Wednesday, 19 February 2014

REVIEW: Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Leave in Conditioner

Last week, I spoke about the Charles Worthington Salon at Home Moisture Seal Shampoo and Mask and why I love it (you can read all about that here). I've also been loving the Hair Healer Leave in Conditioner from the same range.

Most leave in conditioners I've tried in the past have had quite thick, rich textures that have a tendency to weigh hair down. I always thought that was just the price you had to pay for a super moisturising product. This one is completely different, it has a light, fresh, gel like texture which means you can use it as sparingly or generously as you like without having to worry about it resulting in flat, greasy looking hair. 

I've been running a fairly generous amount through damp hair pre blow-dry instead of a serum or oil and then brushing it through. It makes tangles slide out of the hair without the need to tug and leaves the hair feeling soft and clean. I even work a bit into the ends when they look a bit dry or through the lengths to revive curls.

Have you tried any Charles Worthington hair products?


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

REVIEW: Avon Far Away Exotic

Avon Far Away Exotic is a new twist on an old classic. Their original Far Away came out in the 90s and has been a bestseller ever since. I personally prefer the newer version and have enjoyed wearing it constantly throughout the winter months in spite of it being more of a summery scent. I usually tend to wear summery fragrances just in the summer but this scent balances it's fruitiness really well with the more warming spicy notes making it appropriate for all seasons. Here is what's in it,

Top notes: Mango, Spiced Chai and Mandarin

Heart Notes: Saffron Rose, Coconut Milk and Jasmine 

Base Notes: Patchouli, Amber, Musk and Sandalwood 

It's an all round lovely fragrance that I've been wearing both in the day time and in the evenings and when I finish this bottle I'll definitely be buying another one!

Have you tried any Avon fragrances?



Monday, 17 February 2014

REVIEW: The Body Shop Shea Lip Butter

No thanks to the cold weather, cranked up central heating and the cold I had for most of last week, my lips have been feeling dry, sore and generally a bit worse for wear. After trying quite a few lip balms, none of which did much, I tried The Body Shop Shea Lip Butter. It completely brought my lips back to life in the space of about a day and a half.

Obviously I was seriously impressed and have been using it non stop ever since. It has an extremely thick formula, so you only need a tiny amount. I spread a thin layer over the lips and top it up when ever I feel like I need a bit more. It has a sweet, nutty fragrance that makes it lovely to use, and I think it's really good value considering how long this pot will last me. The only slight downside to it is if you're a bit heavy handed with the application it can leave a slight white cast but as you only need a tiny amount that isn't too much of a problem. 

Have you tried any of The Body Shop's Lip Butters? 


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Empties #6

It's empties time again, where I talk about what products I've used up lately and whether or not I'd repurchase them. I can't believe I'm on to the 6th one already! 

First up is the Avon Room & Linen Spray in Lavender and Chamomile, I've been using this stuff for ages and absolutely love it! I keep it on my bedside table and spritz a bit into the air before going to sleep, the scent is just so relaxing. Repurchase? Definitely

Lee Stafford Dry Shampoo Original is great to get a day or 2 more out of your blow-dry. It doesn't leave as much of a white cast or feel as powdery in the hair as some others can. Repurchase? Possibly at some point but there are a few others I want to try out first.

I did a full review of the Nivea Raspberry Rose Lip Butter a while ago (see here), it smells delicious, softens lips really well but leaves a very unflattering pale cast on the lips, such a shame! Repurchase? No

As you can see, I haven't completely finished the Avon Gel Strength Base Coat, but what's left in the bottle (about 1/5) has gone so thick and gloopy that it can't be used. That said, most of the ones I've tried seem to do that and this one did a pretty good job before it got gloopy. Repurchase? Yes

The Body Shop Absinthe Hand Cream was kept in the car and used constantly, it has a really moisturising formula that manages to feel really fresh on the skin and sink in quickly. Repurchase? Yes

The Avon Anew Lip Plumping Conditioner was unfortunately, a huge disappointment. The packaging is gorgeous but the product just didn't deliver. Moisture wise, it was ok, but it left a really thick, unflattering pale cast on the lips that for me makes it a big no-no. Repurchase? No

Benefit Hello Oxygen Flawless Wow Brightening Makeup is the only foundation I've been using for the past couple of months, full review here. It has medium coverage that is really buildable, plus the added SPF 25 is a bonus that makes it great for everyday. Repurchase? I already have another one on the go!

I tried out the Klorane Shampoo with Mango Butter a while ago (full review here) and thought it was really impressive for a budget shampoo. It leaves hair feeling clean but not stripped of all moisture. Since running out I've been using a Charles Worthington Shampoo which I think I prefer. Repurchase? Maybe

Clinique Quickliner for Eyes was another disappointing product, this stuff smudged like crazy. Even if you smudged it on purpose, after a few hours it would have travelled even further. Repurchase? No 

I like to get mini products for when I go away and Lee Stafford are great for that. I got the Hold Tight hairspray a while ago and it's lasted me a good few holidays. It did the job but didn't particularly blow me away. Repurchase? Maybe 


Saturday, 15 February 2014

REVIEW: Anatomicals Spray Misty for Me Facial Spritz

I've spoken about facial sprays before, I particularly love the Caudalie ones (read more here) but I recently tried the Anatomicals Spray Misty for Me Facial Spritz and I quite like it!

It doesn't overtake my love of the Caudalie ones, but then it's quite a bit cheaper. Enriched with peppermint, rose and aloe, it soothes and refreshes the skin. I personally love the fragrance, the peppermint makes it really reviving while the rose and aloe tone it down a notch and give it a softer edge. 

The only real disadvantage with this product is the spray top, where the Caudalie ones give out a really fine mist that leaves a light veil over the skin, this is a bit heavier. Once I've spritzed it onto my face I find my the top of my hair and half of my T shirt is covered too, not great if your hair is prone to a bit of frizz! I also find it leaves skin almost wet rather that just ever so slightly damp, so if you're using it over makeup to perk up the skin you could find your mascara on the run!

I've be using mine as a toner which works really well, over all I really like it and I think I'll love it even more in the summer because of its refreshing properties!  


Thursday, 13 February 2014

REVIEW: Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in 56 Imaginaire

If ever I had to pick just one lip gloss to wear for the rest of all time, obviously such a situation will never occur so we're talking hypothetical here, I would definitely choose the Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in 56 Imaginaire. Described as 'a gloss with the colour intensity of a lipstick' the formula is great, it isn't sticky and doesn't cling to any dry patches on the lips, in fact, it hydrates them leaving them feeling a lot softer than they were before, thanks to the added shea butter, canola oil and vitamin E.

It comes in super sleek black packaging with the gold Chanel logo at the top, it just feels so luxe! It has a traditional doe foot applicator, as with most glosses, and I find the formula lasts really well, about 3 - 4 hours which I think is pretty good for a gloss.

My choice of shade is a lovely sheer pinky peach with warm undertones, it's very flattering and is definitely the old cliche 'my lips but better shade'. I find it completes any makeup look from minimal to a full blown smokey eye. It's such an easy to wear shade that I can quite happily swipe it on without a mirror. 

I could quite happily wear this gloss everyday, but at the cost of £25.00, I don't want to go through it too quickly! So I'm on the hunt for a cheaper alternative (suggestions welcome!). When I do run this tube dry I'll definitely be repurchasing it and I also have my eye on a couple of the other shades in the range.  

In fact, I love this lip gloss so much, I wore it on my wedding day! What's your favourite lip gloss?


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

NOTD #19

Today's choice is one that I've owned for a while but hardly ever wear. I bought the lovely pearly white shade Mayfair by Nails Inc with the intention of wearing one coat of it for a barely there, sheer look. Unfortunately it's really streaky, so much so that after one coat I had no choice but to put on another which built it up to an opaque finish. That said I'm surprisingly pleased with the final look, it's definitely not sheer and understated as I intended but it's quite a nice statement look that's still neural enough to wear with anything. 

What do you think of this colour?


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

REVIEW: Charles Worthington Salon at Home Moisture Seal Shampoo + Rescue Masque

I've been using the Charles Worthington Salon at Home Moisture Seal Shampoo and Mineral Hair Rescue Mask for a couple of months now and I'm seriously impressed. When it comes to shampoo and conditioner, I can be a bit of a snob. I generally tend to stick to high end ones because my hair is very coarse, dry and damaged and I generally have to spend a bit more to get something that actually makes a difference. 

Now this isn't quite as good as my favourite Kerastase Oleo Relax Shampoo and Mask but considering it's a third of the price I think I can overlook that! The shampoo has quite a rich consistency and lathers up really well. It leaves hair feeling clean and soft but not at all stripped of moisture as some shampoos do. This, I find, is usually the main difference between drugstore and high end shampoos.

The shampoo is great, but the mask is even more amazing. It has such a rich, thick texture that if you open the pot and hold it upside down it doesn't even move (trust me, I tried it!). There's nothing I hate more than buying a hair mask only to find it's so watery I need to use half the tub in one go. With this one, a little goes a long way. In fact I usually would have finished a tub this size already but I'm not even half way through! The instructions tell you to leave it on for a couple of minutes but I try to leave it on for 10 - 15 and the difference is amazing, it leaves my hair feel silky soft and a lot easier to style and manage. 

I also picked up the Leave in Conditioner from the same range but more on that soon! 


Monday, 10 February 2014

REVIEW: Natural Collection Eye Lines Eyeliner

When it comes to eyeliners, I love those buttery soft ones which glide on really easily, but if you want quite a thin, crisp line they often aren't much good. Their butteriness means as soon as you sharpen them to a point and use them, they become quite blunt and wide again. Great for a smudged out, smoky look. 

Though I'm not much of an eyeliner wearer, when I do reach for it I often want a thin and crisp line. The Natural Collection Eye Lines Eyeliner is great for that, it's soft enough to not drag the skin as you're drawing it on but still hard enough to give you that neat look. Plus it's really pigmented so one swipe will do, there's no need to go over the line again and again to get the line really black. Did I mention it's only £1.99? I think I might need to go back for a few more colours!


Sunday, 9 February 2014

This Week . . .

This week I had the pleasure of cat sitting Smudge for a friend of mine. She's quite a sleepy one but it was lovely having her around, we shared lots of cuddles and I didn't want her to leave!

The miserable weather means evenings have been spent primarily indoors. I usually have some show or the other on the go and recently it has been Dexter which I've been watching on lovefilm. It's a great show about a serial killer who only kills bad guys and I've been totally gripped! I've just finished the first season and I'm diving head first into the second!

I've been spending a lot of time working on the house we've just moved into, there's a lot to be done but I'm sure it will be worth it in the end! I've been sanding and repainting these lovely original 1930s doors which have been in the house since it was built!

What have you been up to this week?  


Saturday, 8 February 2014

REVIEW: Avon True Colour Eyeshadow Quad in Mocha Latte

A while ago I tried Avon eyeshadow for the first time, it was the 8 in 1 Eye Palette in 'The Nudes', full review here. I really liked the formula of the shadows as well as the colour range so I recently ordered their True Colour Eyeshadow Quad in Mocha Latte. Although I love the other palette, it only contained 1 matte shade out of the total 8, so I was really pleased to see that this quad contained 2 matte shades.

The quad comes in a square compact that is a bit bulkier than I'd like, the 8 in 1 palette came in really sleek packaging, which was about the same size inspite of it containing double the amount of shadows. That said the quad does have a nice big mirror housed in the lid which is really handy. 

All of the shadows have a really soft formula, even the matte shades which often with cheaper brands can be a bit chalky. The pigmentation isn't the best I've come across but it's very buildable, especially if it's packed on with fingers. I find shadows with extremely high pigmentation can be difficult to blend out so these work really well for me. 

The 4 shadows are numbered from lightest to darkest to help remind you what order and where to apply them, but of course you can use them as you like to create lots of different looks. 

The first shade is a soft, light champagne colour with a shimmery finish which works really well under the brow bone as a highlight as well as in the inner corners of the eye.

Second is a completely matte, mid brown with cool, ashy undertones. It works amazingly well to fill in brows as well as in the crease for a very natural look.

The third is, of course, my favourite shade in the palette and the one I've been wearing almost non stop since I got it. It's a warmer version on the second colour but with a lovely shimmery finish. 
Unfortunately my photos and swatches don't quite do this shade justice, it really is stunning. I've been sweeping it all over the lid and finishing with a coat of mascara. 

The last shade is another matte, this time in a dark chocolate brown. It works really well in the outer corners paired with shade 3 for a more dramatic evening look, all over the lid or as a liner.

Have you tried any Avon eyeshadows? What did you think of them?


Friday, 7 February 2014

New In - Highend/Luxury

Yesterday I mentioned a few high street/drugstore new makeup launches so today I thought I'd talk about a few luxury ones that have caught my attention. I feel like the market is being flooded with nude eyeshadow palettes at the moment, there are just so many! They all look so lovely it's getting very difficult to choose! Have you tried any of them?


Thursday, 6 February 2014

New In - Highstreet/Drugstore

Revlon ColourBurst Lacquer Balms & Matte Balms

I was wondering around boots the other day and saw so many great new launches! The Maybelline Big Eyes Palette in particular caught my attention because when I swatched them on the back of my hand I just couldn't believe how soft they were, and they come in 5 different colour ways! Have you tred any of these products yet? What do you think of them?


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

REVIEW: Origins Sensory Therapy Peace of Mind

If your nerves are frazzled and you had a tendency to get easily stressed, the Origins Sensory Therapy Peace of Mind is a great product to try, even for those not particularly into aromatherapy. 

It's a light cream/gel formula that has a wonderful scent that somehow manages to be relaxing and reviving at the same time. It's great to take around with you on the go if you often have long days out and about but my favourite way to use it is just before bed. I rub 1 pump of the product into wrists and temples and the scent helps me to wind down and get into sleep mode!  


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

REVIEW: Batiste Dry Shampoo Big & Bouncy XXL Volume

Being a curly girl with quite thick hair means that blow-drying and straightening can be quite the epic task, so naturally I want my hair to last as long as possible between washes. Dry shampoo is of course the most obvious choice of product to reach for and as Batiste are probably the best known and most loved dry shampoo brand on the market I thought I'd give one of their products a go. I went for their Dry Shampoo Big & Bouncy XXL Volume in an attempt to get some lift in the roots, two birds one stone and all.

I really had quite high hopes for this product but unfortunately I didn't like it at all. It sprays out leaving a white/grey powder on the hair that you're supposed to massage in and brush out, which is standard with most dry shampoos really but I found with this one the greyish tint never fully disappeared. If you have blonde or light brown hair you probably wouldn't even notice it but on my jet black roots it was really visible.

As well as this I felt like it left my hair with a horrible feeling all day, like it was full of product buildup and just generally a bit yucky! In fact after I used it my hair felt worse than it had before! When it comes to a good dry shampoo I think making your hair feel light and fresh is really important and this just didn't do it for me.

Have you tried this product? WHat did you think of it?


Monday, 3 February 2014

NOTD #18

In an attempt to give my nails a break from being constantly painted, I went the whole of January polish free, full post about that here. To be honest I don't think it made a huge difference to my nails so I'm glad we're now in February! 

I decided to ease myself in gently with a barely there old favourite, Models Own Nail Polish in Buff Pink. It's a really sheer pale pink which when applied very carefully doesn't streak. It looks really chic and put together without being to obvious, which I love, a great option for a job interview I think! 


Sunday, 2 February 2014

REVIEW: Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup

When I think of Benefit, their boxed blushers and quirky packaging come to mind. I've never really paid much attention to their base products. A while ago, I spent a long time at a counter, chatting away with a lovely sales assistant and walked away with a few purchases, a couple of which are are some of my absolute favourites. Seeing as I was buying so much, she very kindly gave me a few samples of the Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup to try!

I first used this in the summer when I took it away with me on holiday. I used it a couple of times but didn't really get on with it very well, I found it looked a bit too dewy on me, almost sweaty! It was then stashed away and forgotten about until recently. 

My skin is completely different in the winter so I thought I'd give it another go, and I'm so glad I did! I now find I need the extra moisture and this foundation sits really well on my skin. It has a medium build able coverage that never cakes up or looks overdone. It's the only foundation I've been using for the last couple of months and I've only got through one little 5ml sample, so it lasts ages. Once I've used up the second one I'll definitely consider buying the full size as a 'winter foundation'. It even has an SPF of 25 which is an added bonus!

Have you tried this foundation?


Saturday, 1 February 2014

REVIEW: The Body Shop Aloe Eye Defence

When it comes to good quality skincare with no added nasties on a budget, I think The Body Shop is one of the best. I particularly love their Vitamin E and Aloe ranges.

I thought it would be a good time to review their Aloe Eye Defence as it's been designed for sensitive skin and my eyes are feeling particularly sensitive at the moment, are you fed up of hearing about that yet?

It has a really light texture and the formula is the mildest I've ever found. A tiny dot of it patted into the eye are immediately cools, soothes and moisturises skin. It also contains prebiotics which are supposed to 'reinforce the skin's natural barrier', I'm not sue if it does this long term but I can definitely say that skin feels a bit more resilient while it's on.

All in all it's a great budget eye cream for sensitive skin, or any skin for that matter! It's light texture makes it sink in really quickly so it creates a great base for eye makeup, because I've been using it mainly in the day time, I find it's also a good shield against the elements. In the evenings I've been using Clarins 'Special' Eye Contour Balm (full review here) which much is richer and creamier. 

Do you use an eye cream?

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