Friday, 31 January 2014

January Favourites

The miserable weather as of late has meant one thing, more hot baths to soothe dry winter skin and cold toes! Here are some of the products I've been loving this month.

The Boots Extracts range has been a brilliant discovery I've been using the Cocoa Butter Sugar Scrub (full review here) and Body Butter (full review here) non stop since I got them, in fact I'm already nearly halfway through both! The Scrub has a really tightly packed consistency that really gives skin a good scrub leaving it feeling super smooth. The body butter somehow manages to be really thick and creamy but still sinks in really quickly leaving skin feeling supple and nourished.

I've been burning my Milk Bath Remedy Candle in Coconut Milk constantly in the evenings, it fills the room with a lovely relaxing scent and it a cozy ambience. Full review here.

Boots Coconut Body Oil has been an absolute life saver this month with my skin being in the condition it's in. My eyelids have been dry and sore and my skin has been feeling super sensitive. I've been using this to remove makeup, as a facial oil, a hair treatment and adding a scoop into the bath! I wrote a post all about different ways to use it here.

I fallen back in love with my favourite lipgloss lately, it's the Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait De Gloss in 56 Imaginaire. It's just the easies colour to wear, I even apply it without a mirror. A flatters all warm toned peachy pink. 


Thursday, 30 January 2014

Valentine's Day Gift Guide - For Him

Every guy should have a good quality holdall, they can be used as hand luggage on long haul flights, business trips and of course on romantic weekends away. God forbid he tries to take a smelly old gym bag! 

This retro style badger hair shaving kit will look great in the bathroom and will bring out his inner bond!

Give his high tech gadget a nostalgic retro twist with an arcade dock that is sure to keep him out of trouble!

All his skincare needs in one, this set contains a glycolic cleanser, pre-shave oil, shave cream and after shave balm.

If like mine, the guy in your life is a Bond fan, he'll love this vintage black and white print. 

Fragrance is a classic option, either top up his stocks of his all time favourite and surprise him with something new! 

I'm sure the boys would appreciate a little blue box as much as the girls! These cufflinks manage to be a bit different without being to blingy. 

A retro pair of sunnies with a modern twist, I love the dove grey! 

A photography book of London's 100 most famous landmarks, full of ideas of things to do!


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Valentine's Day Gift Guide - For Her

Of course you can get her red roses but they are ridiculously overpriced around Valentine's Day and they're not particularly original. Why not get a pretty seasonal bouquet in colours that she likes? I love this one from from next flowers. M&S do some lovely ones too.

Perfume is always a good choice and you just can't go wrong with Jo Malone, there's one for everyone! This one is my favourite.

This classic, black shoulder bag with a long strap is definitely a wardrobe essential. It will work day or evening and with smart or casual outfits. Plus it's a great price for a well made designer bag. Also available in nude.

You can't beat a gift that comes in a little blue box and these earrings are a classic that will last a lifetime.

If your gal is a makeup addict you can't get much better than a limited edition Nars palette, this one contains their best selling blusher and bronzer as well as a lovely highlighter.

I love a cute animal card and sea otters are my absolute favourite, they're just so darn cute!

Bubbles are a must on Valentine's Day so why not try out a pink version?

These are a real delicious threat that no one can really justify buying for themselves, and they come in a really pretty box which you can use for keepsakes and jewellery afterwards.

As with the Nars palette this is a lovely limited edition eyeshadow palette that would make any beauty addict drool! It's a 9 pan palette with a combination of matt and shimmery shades. 


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

REVIEW: Lee Stafford Shine Head Spray Shine

I've mentioned my love of Lee Stafford hair products before, results wise, they're one of the best on the high street for styling products. Last week I spoke about their 'My Big Fat Root Boost', a supercharged volumising product which you can find out more about here.

Today I thought I'd give a shout out to their Shine Head Spray Shine, a product that I've been using since I was about 13! During the course of the last 11 years I've tried other shine spays, including ones from higher end brands and have always ended up coming back to this. Nothing has quite lived up to it!

Having naturally curly hair means it's default setting is to look a bit lacklustre and dull, so this is equally great when I'm going au natural or if I've straightened/waved my hair. By the time I've blow dried and straightened/waved my hair I find the mid lengths to ends can look a bit dry and straw like. I could add a bit of serum or styling oil at this point but every time I've done that in the past it has led to really weighing my hair down and caused any curls I've added in to drop at lightening speed. This spray is great for adding shine back into the hair but keeping all the volume in too. All you have to do is spray it on from about half an arms length away. Simple. Just make sure you only use in on the bottom half of your hair, no one wants shiny roots! 

One thing I have to mention about this product is the scent, it's got that distinct 'Lee Stafford product scent' which I can never quite put my finger on, sugary candy floss maybe? It's definitely a hate it or love it scent. I used to love it when I was younger but now I think I've grown out of it, it's a bit too sweet for my liking. That said I love the results the product gives so it definitely wouldn't stop me from using it! 


Monday, 27 January 2014

REVIEW: Sephora Gentle Exfoliator Cleansing Cream

Yesterday I spoke about a cleanser I really dislike so I thought it was about time I turned the tables and spoke about one that I love. It's the Sephora Gentle Exfoliator Cleansing Cream which I brought in Sephora when I went to France last summer.

It has a thick creamy consistancy which you massage into the skin and wipe away with a warm damp flannel. I contains exfoliating fruit acids (AHAs) which gently rid skin of dull surface skin cells without the need for using harsh grainular products that can often irritate sensative skin. 

I tend to use it as a mask rather than a cleanser, I just smooth it on and leave it for about 10 minutes, that way all the ingredience have a chance to work for a bit longer. When I remove it my skin feels really soft and smoother and looks a lot brighter. I'll definitely be repurchasing this next time I'm in France! 


Sunday, 26 January 2014

REVIEW: Clinique Rinse-off Foaming Cleanser

I'm not a big fan of foaming cleansers and this one only reminded me of that. I like to keep things quite positive on this blog but I do feel it's important to mention when I don't like things too.

I generally prefer cream and oil based cleansers because I find they're a lot kinder on the skin, the only time I really use foaming cleansers is if I'm travelling. I had a mini version of Clinique's Rinse-off Foaming Cleanser so I thought I might as well give it a try.

It's safe to say I really, really didn't like it! It foams up well but isn't great at removing makeup, something I always expect a cleanser to. I had to wash my face twice to get it all of and it left my skin feeling really awful. It felt tight, squeaky, uncomfortable and dry. Even after pilling on the moisturiser afterwards my skin still didn't feel quite same. 

That said, everyone's skin is different so what doesn't work for me might well work for you! 


Saturday, 25 January 2014

REVIEW: Milk Bath Remedy Candles

I love burning candles in the winter months, I find they make a house feel more like a home and add a cozy ambience to any room. Lately I've been loving these two Milk Bath Remedy Candles which I picked up from TK Maxx.

The first one, Coconut Milk has a lovely delicate fragrance to it, like a slightly sweetened but not at all sickly coconut scent that manages to be exotic but still quite fresh. 

The other, Sugared Hibiscus, is much sweeter and more floral, again without being at all sickly. I find this one to be a particularly relaxing scent so I love to burn it while having a bath.

Both give out enough scent to fill a room and leave it smelling lovely for a few hours after they've been snuffed out, and they come in cute vintage style jars which I'll definitely be keeping to store makeup brushes in! 

Friday, 24 January 2014

REVIEW: E.L.F HD Blush in Diva

E.L.F or EyesLipsFace, is a brand that isn't particularly well known in the UK, although it's widely available in America you can only really get hold of it online over here. While on holiday over there in the summer I picked up their HD Blush in Diva, a products I'd read lots of reviews of on beauty blogs.

All the reviews I read raved about the pigmentation of this stuff, and they weren't lying, it definitely packs a punch. You need the tiniest amount, about half the size of a rice grain is enough for both cheeks and then some. 

The shade I got, Diva, is a lovely warm toned, pinky peach that brings a bit of life and colour back into the face. I just dispense it onto the back of my hand, spread it out a bit then dab on with either my fingers or a stippling brush. It has amazing lasting power too, I find it lasts all day without the need for touch ups.

Have you tried any E.L.F products before? What did you think of them?


Thursday, 23 January 2014

REVIEW: Nivea Raspberry Rose Lip Butter

The Nivea Raspberry Rose Lip Butter seems to be one of those products that has had a lot of hype in the beauty blogging world. People love this stuff. I understand why, it smells divine, like a delicious raspberry yoghurt, but for me it didn't quite live up to expectations.

Much as I love the scent, I found the actual consistancy to be disappointing. It's very thick, which isn't terrible in itself but I find the product leaves lips with a very pale pink cast. Which on my complexion just looks ridiculous! If you have very fair lips/complexion this might work for you but on anyone else it is definitely an unflattering tinted balm.

That said, it hasn't gone to waste, it does moisturise lips fairly well and I like the scent so I've just been applying it sparingly before bedtime! I'll use it up, but I definitely won't be buying it again!


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

REVIEW: Boots Extracts Cocoa Butter Body Butter

A few days ago I was talking about how much I love the Boots Extracts Cocoa Butter Sugar Scrub, when I bought it in the sales it came in a set along with a Shower Gel and Body Butter. The Body Butter is seriously amazing too! I’ve been completely blown away by this range as it’s seriously good quality for it’s relatively low cost.

Like the scrub, the body butter has a very delicate scent, which to me smells more like vanilla than cocoa butter. It’s pretty subtle which is definitely a plus for me as I always wear perfume and sometimes, fragranced body products can clash with them!

But, the main reason why I love it is it’s texture. It appears to be really thick and rich in the tub and when you scoop some out but the moment you work it into your skin, it completely disappears! It somehow manages to be super rich and nourishing, and be really light and quickly absorbed at the same time. Something I can say I’ve never found to this extent in a body butter before, high end or high street.

I’ve been using this duo along with the shower gel non stop since I got them and my skin feels softer than it has felt in years. I would definitely recommend anything from this range to anyone. I think it would be amazing if they extended the range to include some facial skincare products in the future, if they do, I’ll be first in line to snap them up!


Monday, 20 January 2014

REVIEW: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief is a light moisturiser with a gel texture. It sinks straight into the skin as soon as it’s applied and I think it would be perfect for combination/oily but dehydrated skins.

At the moment I feel it’s not quite moisturizing enough for me because my skin is really dry due to the cold weather. As soon as I put it on, my skin just drinks it up and feels dry again. That said I do think it would be perfect for me come summer when my skin tends to loose all it’s sensitive tendencies and is prone to looking a bit shiny. It leaves skin with a matte to natural finish and works amazingly well under makeup, no overly shiny residue at all.

So I think I’ll be stashing this moisturizer away for now to use in the summer when I’ll get the most out of it!

Have you tried this moisturizer? What do you think of it?


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Boots Haul

Another day, another haul. But the last one was all with boots points (therefore free) and this one is more needs than wants, plus it doesn't include any makeup so it doesn't really count, right?

Moving on, let me tell you what I actually got! First up I ordered some more of my trusty Caudalie Grape Water from FeelUnique, I've gone on and on about how much I love this stuff (here) so it was just yet another repurchase of the stuff. It's great for dry and sensitive winter skin.

Next up was my trip to Boots, I'd heard Amelia talk about the Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Hair Healer Leave In Conditioner and seeing as how I've loved all her previous hair product recommendations, I decided to pick one up. I also got the Moisture Seal Shampoo and Hair Rescue Masque from the same range as I needed some more anyway and I like to use products from the same range together!

Come rain or shine, coconut oil is a staple in my beauty routine, I spoke about all the ways I use it here. This one comes in a nice little glass jar that I can always top up from a bigger bottle which is handy. The more sensitive my skin gets, the more I tend to use this stuff, at the moment it's all I'm using to remove makeup and I keep reapplying it (about every 15 mins) to a pesky dry patch that just won't budge. Sexy, I know. 

Said dry patch is on my eyelid, and everything I put on it seems to be making it burn at the moment. I got this cucumber eye gel in the hope that it would be soothing and calming, fingers crossed it is! 

Nailfiles, we all know how they work so there isn't much to say about those, but I do always specifically get these Double Faced Cotton Pads, one side is designed to take things of, like removing makeup/nail varnish etc and the other side is designed to put things on, like when using toner. I know it sounds like a bit of a gimmick and they are slightly pricier but if you are using decent products you end up saving in the long run. I find I need a lot less product when I'm using them.

Last but not least I bought Maybelline Colour Show Nail Varnish in Clear to use as a base and top coat because my current one has gone gloomy, but more on that in my next empties post!

Have you tried any of these products before?


Saturday, 18 January 2014

REVIEW: Clarins Super Restorative Replenishing Comfort Mask

The Clarins Super Restorative Replenishing Comfort Mask is well named, because it does just that, restores, replenishes and comforts. Technically it has been designed for skin aged 50+ but I think if it does something for you then why not use it!

It has a super rich, creamy texture that really feels like it’s feeding the skin with all the nourishment that cold weather and central heating has stripped away. That’s thanks to the Mango Oil and Shea Butter. It also contains parsley extract and fruit acids to brighten the skin and eliminate dead surface cells, which it definitely manages to do while still being really gentle, I haven’t had any problems with it all in spite of my super sensitive winter skin.

The instructions suggest applying a thick layer and leaving it for 10 minutes, I’ve been leaving it on a bit longer than that. I just put it on when I get into the bath and I find all the hot steam makes it do an even better job. On some occasions, which has been rather often as of late, when my skin has been feeling extra dry, I’ve actually been using a thin layer instead of a night cream. I works really well for me this way because I wake up with skin that feels a lot better than it was the night before.

One point I have to address with this mask is the price, it is expensive, I have a mini size that came free as part of a gift with purchase offer that Clarins often have on.  That said, it’s so good that I definitely buy a full sized version when it runs out, not to use every night as a night cream or every week as a mask but just to whip out every now and then when my skin needs it or as a treat for a special occasion.

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