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Thursday, 31 July 2014

July Favourites



I seem to have a huge amount of favourites this month, not sure how that happened! Here's what I've been loving.


Nip+Fab Yoga Blend Body Lotion - Full review here

Smells amazing, sinks in quickly and leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth. It's very rare that a body lotion makes a difference to my skin as I use them all the time but this one definitely has!



I've been using this on my post surgery scars as often as I remember. I'm not sure wether it's helping fade them or not but no harm in trying! Another product that smells good and leaves my skin feeling soft.


Dior Nail Varnish Tie & Dye - See it on my nails here

A bright orangey red that's been on my nails almost non stop. Plus it has a great glossy, long-lasting formula and an easy to use brush. 



This stuff is amazing at removing makeup quickly and easily. It goes on as an oil, breaks down makeup and completely rises of on contact with water. It also leaves my skin feeling nice and soft, I think I'll be repurchasing this one for years to come!



Having dry and frizz prone hair means hair oils are my number one styling product. This one moisturises hair making it easier to blow-dry, adds shine and controls frizz. It's also much cheaper than a lot of the others, definitely a winner! 



I'm a huge fan of the lip butters and this is the shade I've been reaching for the most recently. It's a moisturising lip balm/lipstick hybrid that adds a tint of colour with one layer and can be built up for a stronger look. 



I've had this palette for quite a long time but had completely forgotten about it until I rediscovered it recently. I've been particularly loving shade 6 & 7. I'll be doing a full review of this palette soon so make sure you keep an eye out if you're interested!



If I had to pick one favourite to rule all favourites this would be it. By far the best night cream I've ever tried, I've been using it for about 6 weeks and my skin feels softer and looks plumper and more even. It's also quite rich but sinks in really easily, a quality I always love in a product!


What have you been loving this month?



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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Summer Nail Favourites



My seasonal nail favourites are usually very difficult to narrow down, but not this time. I've been wearing these four a lot more than anything else, pretty much on rotation!


Barry M Gelly Nail Paint Blueberry & Greenberry

These polishes are absolutely brilliant, the colours are stunning, the formula is long wearing and glossy and they're super cheap. You can see blueberry in action here. I may have to pick up a few more from this range.


Dior Tie & Dye

I've been wearing this one almost non stop since I got it. The colour sits in just the right spot between orange and red, a lovely, juicy summer bright. As always with Dior, the formula, brush and finish are spot on. See it on my nails here


OPI Strawberry Margarita

Another 'juicy summer bright', sensing a theme here! This one is a brilliantly bright fuchsia that manages to look cool rather than barbieish. I've been wearing it occasionally on my fingers and constantly on my toes!


What have you been wearing on your nails recently?



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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Body Shop Tea Tree Cool & Creamy Wash



I recently spoke about The Body Shop's Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil, which I use in the evenings as it's really great for removing makeup, read all about that here. In the mornings I've been using their Tea Tree Cool & Creamy Wash and I've really been loving it. 


As you'd expect it contains Tea Tree oil which in combination with menthol smells amazing and leaves skin feeling unbelievable cool, fresh and tingly with out stripping it of moisture. It's perfect for anyone who lives in a hot climate or in a country currently experiencing a heatwave! 


It's a cream cleanser so it doesn't foam, something I really like about it as I tend to avoid foaming cleansers. I massage it into my skin and then usually remove it using a warm flannel/washcloth, this leaves my skin feeling really clean and soft. If I have time I sometimes leaves it on for a couple of minutes before removing it, I'm sure there are no skincare benefits to doing this but I just love the cooling sensation it has on my skin!  



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Monday, 28 July 2014

Lee Stafford ARGANOIL from Morocco Nourishing Miracle Oil



My love of Lee Stafford hair styling products is no secret, I've spoken about many of them here on the blog, in particular the bits I've tried from the ARGANOIL from Morocco range. Most days I've just been leaving my hair in it's natural, curly state with some help from their Curl Creme (full review here), in an attempt to cut back on heat styling, but on days when I do reach for the hairdryer or straighteners, the Nourishing Miracle Oil has been my product of choice.


It's a really, soft and lightweight oil serum that feels weightless in the hair but still nourishes, smoothes and leaves it lovely and shiny. I distribute a few pumps into hair pre blow-dry and it just makes the whole process so much easier, I find my brush just glides through my hair with ease. I also sometimes use a tiny bit as a finishing product, half a pump smoothed onto ends or flyways just pulls the style together making everything look a bit more polished. 


When my hair is feeling particularly dry or lacklustre, I add a pump into my Curl Creme or my hair conditioner, I find this really adds a boost, making them work even harder. It's a great multifunctional product, great value for money and definitely comparable to it's high end equivalents! 


Have you tried any Lee Stafford products?



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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Objects of Desire




I'm a regular browser of the 'New In' page on the Sephora website, usually because it gives me a heads up on new launches before they hit us here in the UK. I spotted this lovely travel brush set during my last browse and just had to mention it. There are 6 different interchangeable brush heads and one handle, great for saving space, they attach themselves magnetically too so there's no faffing about. 


I've tried a few brushes from Sephora before and been very impressed with the quality, I also like the look of all these brushes, there isn't one that I think I wouldn't use so this set has firmly been placed on my wish list!

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Saturday, 26 July 2014

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ Two Tubes in



Rather than doing a traditional style review of the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ I decided to write a post every time I finished a tube, that way I could share with you the progress and give you a good idea of how soon you can expect results. If you missed my pervious post, the one I wrote when I was one tube in, you can see that here. That post also contains all the info on what the product does, what it contains etc so give it a quick read if this is a product you're unfamiliar with. 


I mentioned in my first post that the most noticeable improvement was in skin texture and that's still the case, the clogged pores on and around my nose have almost completely disappeared, the area now feels smooth to the touch and the pores are barely noticeable. The second most noticeable improvement is my skin tone, it looks significantly brighter and my pigmentation has faded a lot. The marks I could perviously see standing a foot away from the mirror I can now only see if I get right up close to it. A lot of the ones that were already a bit lighter have now disappeared which I'm very pleased about!


I've now started using this just in the areas that I need it rather than all over so I'm expecting the third tube to last me a lot longer than the first two. Especially considering the area in which I need to use it keeps getting smaller and smaller.


As I said in my last post it's a great product that I'd definitely recommend to anyone with breakouts, pigmentation or uneven skin texture. Have you tried La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+?



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Friday, 25 July 2014

Clothing & Accessories Haul



Yesterday was all about the beauty bits I've been buying recently (see that here), but today I'm talking clothing and accessories. Looking at the pictures you'd be forgiven for thinking it was the middle of winter, bar the sunglasses. In spite of the fact that I was supposed to be shopping for holiday clothes I ended up with mostly blacks and neutrals. I think it's my insatiable appetite for finding the perfect 'wardrobe essentials'. 

I got some black boots because, once again, I'm on the quest for the 'perfect pair' these ones seemed pretty comfortable when I tried them on and they have a mid sized heel, they were from H&M. Also from H&M, I got a medium sized black handbag which will work well for days when I need something on the smart side. Can you tell I'm lusting after the Givenchy Antigona

From Dorothy Perkins I got a lovely black envelope clutch with gold hardware, I think it looks pretty good quality for DPs and it's the only clutch I plan on taking away with me. I also got a pair of cheap sunnies but don't worry they have full UVA/UVB protection! 




Also from Dotty P's (anyone else call it that?) I got come cute midi rings. I've been meaning to get some for a while but never got round to it, I love how they look on so I'm not well and truly on the bandwagon! 




I spotted this lovely MOR London Hanging Fold Out Bag and knew I had to have it, I love the print, it's made really well and when you open it up it has 3 separate zipped compartments and a hook to hang it onto the back of a bathroom door! Surely a beauty addict's dream? Unfortunately I was disappointed soon after getting home when I realised one of the zips was faulty! I'm going to be taking it back in the hope I can get another one, fingers crossed they still have some left!




Last up, the clothes! I've been after some of the leather motorcycle type skinnies for a while now but have never found any that fit quite right. These ones seemed like a good fit so I went for them. I was also on the hunt for a plain black mini skirt but when I saw this one I decided I quite liked the embellishments. The hunt for a plain black one still continues! Both from H&M.


I also got a couple of slouchy t-shirts, aka my daily uniform. A beige Cynthia Rowley one and a navy Vera Moda one. I'm planning on doing some OOTD posts soon so you'll be able to see what they look like on! 


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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Summer Beauty Haul



I picked up a few new beauty bits lately so I thought I'd share them with you! I'm especially excited about the makeup bits as I haven't bought any in a while. 

The first thing I got was the Riemann P20 Once A Day Sun Protection SPF30, I've tried the SPF50 version before and I absolutely loved it. It's transparent, sinks into the skin quickly and isn't drying. I'm going on holiday soon (excited!) so this will definitely come in handy! When I travel I try to do it as lightly as possible, whether or not I succeed is another question! I picked up a few Muji Travel Bottles to decant stuff into. I also got the Ren Clarifying Toner which I'm very excited to try, I'm a huge fan of Ren skincare, I haven't tried a single product of their's I haven't liked so I've got high hopes for this one. 




Kiko is a brand I'm always hearing great things about but have never really tried. I finally decided to give them a go, I got the City Filter Sunscreen Primer SPF50 which I tried on the back of my hand instore. I just couldn't believe how lightweight it was and how quickly it sunk in without leaving a white cast. The 3 in 1 Shine Nail Care because I've just about run out of my current top/base coat and the 207 Eye Contour Brush.




I also got the Glow Touch for Lips & Cheeks in Wave Hibiscus which I cannot wait to try out, just look at how pretty it is! I love the colour, packaging and the fact that it's a multi use product. This one's definitely coming on holiday with me! As if one cream blusher wasn't enough I got the Sleek Blush By 3 Blush Palette in 370 Californ.I.A, I'm a huge fan of their powder blushers so I thought I'd give these ones a go! 

I'll definitely be doing reviews of these products as and when I use them so look out for those if any of this has caught your eye!


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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

NOTD #28



When it comes to makeup, Nars is by far my favourite brand. In spite of that, this was the first time I've tried one of their nail varnishes. I think it's safe to say I had very high expectations! The shade I'm wearing is TV Party, a really bold, juicy orange. I love brights any time of year but particularly in the summer. Unfortunately the polish isn't as pigmented as I'd hoped, it took 3 coats to get the colour looking opaque and in the end it still looked a tad streaky. 


Good news is that this is one of their older polishes which have since been reformulated, so if you were to buy a Nars polish now, the quality and performance would be a lot better. I'll definitely be giving the new formulas a go as they have some lovely, individual shades. 


Have you tried any Nars Nail Varnishes? What did you think of them?



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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush in Flushed




The Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush in Flushed was the first cream blusher I ever tried and it still remains my favourite/most used. It's a great option if you've never tried cream blushers and you're not sure how to use them as this one is foolproof to apply. It has a cream to powder formula so it doesn't look super sheeny on your cheeks and doesn't slide around all over the place. 




There are two ways to apply this that work well for me, firstly with fingers. I use one finger to apply the product and then blend it out with a clean finger. This creates a really natural, seamless finish. The other way is using a Real Techniques Stippling Brush, I usually go for this option if I want to build up the product for a pop of colour on the cheeks. I just dip the brush lightly in the product and use a tapping motion to blend it out. With both methods start with a little and then add more bit by bit, it's a lot easier to add more than to take away! 


That said, although it's got a good amount of colour it's not completely packed with pigment so it's not going to leave you looking like a clown. If you do happen to go a bit overboard you can always fix the situation by dusting a bit of face powder over the top. The shade I have, flushed, is a bright, cool toned fuscia pink. It looks scary in the tub but on the skin it looks natural and very, very flattering. The blue undertones perk up the complexion and leave teeth and whites of eyes looking whiter. 


I've also spotted a coral shade called Coral Reef, it's definitely next on my list to try as I just love the formula! 




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Monday, 21 July 2014

Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette



I picked up the Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette in In The Dark while I was on holiday last year and if I'm totally honest, I haven't used it much since. It's a lovely palette but it's just not the easiest to use. It has a good range of shades, mostly neutrals, a couple of purples and an eye catching cobalt blue. All the shades are very shimmery, bordering on glittery, they don't appear so in the palette but they do when worn. I don't tend to use it in the day in fear of looking like a day time disco ball! The shades do look great as part of a more 'evening' look.




The shadows don't have great colour pay off, they deposit more glitter than colour but they are very buildable so it's definitely still possible to achieve a bold look, it just takes a bit of time and layering. I find the best way to apply them is to pack on the colour with your finger and then just blend out any edges with a fluffy brush.   




Top row: Lavender, Nude, White Gold, Gold, Platinum

Bottom Row: Black Purple, Deep Brown, Glitter Black, Black Gold, Cobalt Blue





In spite of not using this palette very often, I'm still glad I own it as I can create some really great looks with it. A good one to add to your collection if you're a fan of glittery shadows but probably one to give a miss if you like your products quick and easy to use!

Available from Sephora


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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Skinted or Minted? Black Asymmetric Pumps







Next isn't somewhere I usually shop but when I was passing through the other day I spotted these and promptly tried them on. They're one of those shoes that look so much better on, the picture doesn't seem to do them justice. I'm undecided as to weather to get them in the black (sensible option) or cobalt (my favourite colour). Although I have to admit for just £30 there is a temptation to get both! 
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Saturday, 19 July 2014

Avon Ideal Flawless CC Cream



I've always been a die hard, heavy coverage foundation gal but ever since making a few skincare changes my skin has improved and I haven't felt the need to pile on the slap. Instead I've been going for something a little more lightweight, as I mentioned in my Everyday Coral Makeup post yesterday. 


The one I'm currently loving is the Avon Ideal Flawless CC Cream in Nutmeg, the colour is a tad too dark for me but as it's light coverage it's nothing a bit of blending can't fix (See it in action here). The formula is nice and lightweight and blends into the skin seamlessly, I usually just slap a bit on with my hands if I'm in a rush or if I have a bit more time I use a Real Techniques Buffing Brush to work it into the skin, that way it can be built up in any areas where I feel I need a bit more coverage. 


It claims to also have skincare benefits, which if I'm honest I'm not sure it does. I think of it purely as a makeup product. I do however love the fact that it contains SPF50 and still manages to be so lightweight and non greasy on the skin. It leaves a completely natural finish that just makes your skin look better rather than like you're wearing makeup.


It's a great product overall and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone on the hunt for a lightweight base. My only criticism would be that the shade range isn't great, there are a few light shades, a random dark one and nothing much in between. If you can find a good shade for you it's definitely worth a try! 



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Friday, 18 July 2014

Everyday Coral Makeup



It's been quite a while since I spoke about makeup on the blog, I've been distracted by all the skin and body care products I've been loving! I thought a good way to get back into it would be to share the look I've been going for on a day to day basis. It's really quick and easy and looks pretty natural but with a tiny pop of colour. 


Face 

For everyday I tend to skip foundation in favour of something a little lighter. I've been using the Avon Ideal Flawless CC Cream, it's really light and breathable, evens out my skin tone without masking everything and it has the added bonus of SPF50! I then dab a bit of MAC Studio Finish Concealer on any blemishes and Clinique Even Better Concealer under my eyes to cover dark circles and brighten up the eye area. I've been skipping powder as I prefer a more natural finish. 

I then use my Sleek Face Form Palette in Light, a product I love and have recommended to so many people. I use all three shades, the dark shade to contour under my cheekbones, the blusher just above it to add a bit of colour back into the skin and the highlighter (sparingly) on the tops of cheekbones. 




Eyes

I don't wear eyeshadow everyday but when I do I've been reaching for the Avon True Colour Eyeshadow Quad in Mocha Latte (full review and swatches here). I use shade 1 under my brow bone and in the inner corners of my eyes, shade 3 all over the lid and a bit of shade 4 blended into the socket and in the outer corners. I also use shade 4 to fill in any sparse areas in my brows. I then add a thin line along the lashes using Avon Superextend Liquid Liner in Black and coat my lashes with lashings of Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara.
 


 Lips

On the lips I've been going for Revlon Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti, by far one of my favourite shades. Its a great coral shade that is so flattering and just seems to perk up my complexion. I wore it almost all summer last year and I think I will be again. As with all the lip butters, one swipe gives you a sheer wash of colour or they can be built up for a more intense look. I go somewhere in-between and just top up whenever I fancy. 

What do you think of this look?

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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Rodial Dragon's Blood Hyaluronic Night Cream



Moisturisers are a bit of a difficult one for me, I usually find them to be either not moisturising enough or far too heavy and clog my skin. I've found a few exceptions over the years that I like, but never one I've loved, until now. I've been using the Rodial Dragon's Blood Hyaluronic Night Cream for just over a month now and I can honestly say it's the best I've ever tried. 




Why do I like it so much? The main reason is the formula. It feels like a thick, rich cream but the moment you start massaging it into the skin it sinks in. It doesn't disappear immediately leaving you feeling like you need to apply more but it doesn't just sit on the skin either. I often find that when night creams do that they mostly end up on my pillow! Rodial describe it as a 'plumping' moisturiser, and it definitely delivers on that account, I've been waking up every morning to cushiony soft skin. My moisturising skin serums and oils have been going untouched for the last month as I haven't felt like I've needed them, this cream has been giving my skin all the moisture it needs.  




It contains Dragon's Blood (resin from the Dragon's Blood Tree) which smooths and hydrates the skin, wonder ingredient hyaluronic acid which has the ability to hold 1000 times it's weight in water meaning your skin holds onto the moisture it already has a well as that of any products you're using. Retinol, an ingredient proven to even skin tone and pigmentation and Niacinamide which calms down  irritated skin. It also contains Shea butter which leaves skin feeling soft and nourished but is an ingredient that's best avoided if you have acne or very oily skin, for everyone else, it's fine!


I can't comment on the claim to visibly reduce fine lines in 4 weeks as I don't have any, but as I said it definitely does give a plumping effect. I have however definitely noticed my skin looking brighter and more even toned, thanks to the retinol I'm sure.
   



There is one thing I feel I need to address with this and that's the price, at £58.00 it's not exactly cheap but I do genuinely feel it's worth every penny. As I said before I've not needed to use any serums/oils along side it which is something I'd normally do, so for me this is a 3 in 1 product. As well as that I've been using it every single night for just over a month and as you can see from the picture I've only just scraped the surface, a little really does go a long way with this as it spreads so well. I've already decided that I'll be repurchasing this when it runs out but luckily for my wallet that won't be for a long time! 


Avialable at Space NK


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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

NOTD #27



Nails Inc Porchester Square is a classic for a reason. Sitting somewhere between grey, beige and lilac, it's a great, understated neural that works with all skin tones and for all occasions. It looks equally appropriate at a job interview as on a date, not something a lot of shades can pull off. 


I'm a big fan of the Nails Inc formulas, they apply well, have a great finish and last well before chipping. I'm not crazy about these mini sized bottles though. I've used them before and find they make application a bit fiddly. Definitely add this colour to your collection if you don't already own it but I'd say stick to the full size bottle! It also comes in a Gel Effect version which I hear has a better brush and dries glossier. I may just have to pick that one up too!
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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil



When it comes to cleansers I tend to pass on the foaming ones and stick to cream, oil and balm formulas. I made the switch a few years ago now and my skin is definitely thanking me for it. I found foaming formulas left my skin feeling tight and uncomfortable whereas creams/oils/balms leave my skin feeling soft and nourished. 


I've been using The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil for a while now and I'm loving it. It's a really lightweight oil that you massage onto your dry, fully made up face and it completely dissolves makeup, including stubborn mascara. When it comes into contact with water the whole lot turns into a milky liquid and just rinses off making makeup removal incredibly quick and easy. You can also remove it with a damp flannel/washcloth which I sometimes do and this gives the skin a slight exfoliation, leaving it feeling even softer. 


I find one pump of product is plenty to do my whole face and as I only use it in the evening this bottle will last me a long time. I tend to follow it with another cleanse, just to make sure all my makeup is definitely gone and my skin in super clean, for this I prefer a balm cleanser or coconut oil as it's richer and leaves my skin feeling plumped up. I've heard great things about The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter too so that one's next on my list to try! 







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Monday, 14 July 2014

Nip+Fab Yoga Blend Range



This stuff smells amazing. I shouldn't be surprised that I love the scent so much, I love lavender, coconut and rose, they're just not a combination I've ever smelt together, or thought would ever smell good together. It's a scent that's difficult to describe but the words 'spa like' spring to mind, Nip+Fab hit the nail on the head with their description, aromatic, soft and warming. If you're in your local Boots or Superdrug definitely give this stuff a sniff. 


I've mainly been using the Body Wash as a bubble bath as I find the scent so relaxing. It creates a great lather and fills the bathroom with the amazing scent that seems to linger for hours. 


The Body Scrub is described as a gentle one, with micro scrub beads and walnut shell to gently buff away dead skin cells. It's not something I would naturally gravitate towards as I tend to like my scrubs super 'scrubby' rather than gentle but I've been enjoying using it none the less (it may or may not have something to do with the fact that I adore the scent). The particles are quite tightly packed together which is something I like but for me this is definitely an everyday scrub rather than an intensive 2/3 times a week treatment. If you're into gentler scrubs then this is definitely one to check out. 


When it comes to body moisturisers, I always feel like they fall into one of two categories. The ones that smell nice and feel like a 'treat', and the ones that 'do something' or have a function that's more than just moisturising. This one seems to tick both boxes, which for me is a first. Yes, it smells amazing (I may have already mentioned that), and it moisturises skin incredibly well but it also contains Glycolic, Lactic and Salicylic acids which mean that while on your skin it's also chemically exfoliating it. This, to me, makes up for the fact that the scrub is on the gentle side. Everytime I've used this it leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft, and that's coming from someone who uses a body moisturiser everyday. It's very rare that a Body Lotion make a noticeable difference to me. The formula is really great too, it's light and sinks in quickly and a little goes a long way so the huge 490ml bottle will be lasting me a while! 


All in all it's a great range, the Body Wash and Scrub are great, but for me the Body Lotion is definitely the stand out product. I may have to try their Energy Boost range next, lemon, grapefruit and sweet mandarin sound right up my street!


The Nip+Fab Yoga Blend range is available on ASOS as well as from  Superdrug.


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