Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Review: Feel Unique Beauty Box January

Hey Lovelies

Now I must confess I did go on and have a sneaky look at my beauty box account before this got delivered so I already knew what I was going to get and I have to say I wasn't looking forward to it. The reason being there ware no make up items in my box this month, I do love skin and hair care products but I don't really bother using the really small samples as I don't think they give you a good enough idea of what the product is like so I just tend to save them for weekends away when I don't want to take my full sized products. Anyway onto the box for those of you that are interested.

Lierac Coherance L.IR Infared Lifting Cream Sample Size 15ml RRP £56.55 for 50ml

I must say this is a really decent sample size for such an expensive product. It's a firming cream that helps to repair collagen fibres in the skin, I haven't started using anti ageing products yet but maybe I should start. There was also a small 2ml sample of Lierac's Comfort Peel Wrinkle Smoother included in the box.

Dead Sea Spa Magik Salt Brushing Sample Size 2 x 50g sachets RRP £12.25 for 500g

Dead Sea seem to pop up in many beauty boxes! I still have their bath salts from Novembers Glossy Box. These salts are for use in brushing over the body either by hand or with a body brush, I've wanted to get a body brush for ages so this has reminded me to do that. I think I'm going to save them until I do. If anyone has any recommendations of body brushes for me please pop them below!

Caudalie Vinotherapir Nourishing Body Lotion Sample Size 30ml RRP £21.50 for 400ml

I think one of the reasons I wasn't as excited about this box was also because I didn't recognise some of the brands, this being one of them. This is a softening and firming lotion using plant based ingredients, seeing as it's a body lotion this sample definitely isn't enough to cover your whole body, unless it's very tiny so I think I'll be throwing this in my box of overnight samples too.

Phyto PhytoBaume Color Protect Express Conditioner Samples Size 20ml RRP £10.20 for 150 ml

No I didn't make a typo, that's how they have spelt colour on this product. I have read quite a bit about this brand and their hair products, most recently the gorgeous Vivianna of Vivianna Does Make Up fame (link) said she had tried the Phyto Express Conditioner on her lovely locks. Although my hair isn't that long and pretty fine I'd still like enough product for at least a couple of washes and at only 20ml I think this is a bit useless.

Green People Gentle Cleanse Sample Size 10ml RRP £15.25 for 200ml

A brand I had heard of but I haven't yet tried any of their products, Green people use mostly organic ingredients in their products. I doubt I'll be trying this as I'm happy with my skincare routine at the moment although a trial of a sample product I got from the clothes show has convinced me to switch my cleanser so you never know.

So there you go, for me, nothing to exciting or inspiring in this months box, I think we've been spoilt getting full sized products in the beauty boxes lately so when a box full of sample sizes arrives you feel a bit hard done by  haha Think I might be popping over to the Beauty Box Swaps facebook page (link) to see if anybody is interested in any of this months samples. I'm definitely going to keep my subscription though as I've been really happy with my past beauty boxes and been as this months was all skin and hair care that means next months might be all make up!!! :)

Lots of Love

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Review: YSL Rouge Volupte #13 Peach Passion and a super simple FOTD

Hey Lovelies!

Being one of the most coveted lipsticks in the beauty world it seemed wrong that I didn't own one. Even if I don't really like lipstick. I'd seen so many other people flaunting their golden bullet on their blogs and I had major product envy. Now I have to say generally I'm a lipgloss girl, while I know some people can't cope with the whole sticky, gloopy, hair stuck to your lipness, I have always felt lipsticks just don't 'suit' me. This changed a few months ago, nothing too daring (baby steps) I'd stocked up on some lipsticks for my make up unit at college and while perusing my collection one day I decided to try it out. It was a nudey brown, and I was surprised, I actually quite liked it! Since then I've made myself a little 'to buy' list and top of it was a YSL Rouge Volupte. Now I'd eyed up various  shades, #1 Nude Beige and #30 Fabourg Peach but while I will happily invest £30+ in a new foundation, I was prepared to wait a while until I spent twenty two well earned pounds on a lipstick (no matter how pretty the packaging).And then, randomly perusing blog sales, quickly becoming my latest habit, I came across this beauty for £10. Now granted it wasn't in the shades I'd initially lusted after but #13 Peach Passion sounded and looked, just beautiful. I swiftly sent my payment and awaited my arrival.

The beauty of this product is well documented, its lustrous gold casing combined with the trademark YSL watermelon scent is enough to make any girl, lipstick lover or not, just a bit giddy. Unfortunately the longevity of this lipstick is much talked about also. I'd just applied my make up, bar any form of lip product when I heard this drop through my letter box, it must have been fate I though as I hurriedly tore open the package and got myself to the nearest mirror. And well, I wanted to love this lipstick, I really did, I'd convinced myself that not only would I love this lipstick, but it would be a turning point in my lipstick journey; from now on I'd peruse make up counters eyeing up their lippie offerings instead of instinctively reaching for the latest face products. I'd even found a lovely little storage box that I thought would be perfect for keeping all my soon to be purchases in (sad I know!). The problem I found with this lipstick is in the application, I don't have dry lips, the upside to never having worn lipstick before is that I slather balm on my lips several times a day, this keeps them soft and moisturised, the perfect base for my rouge volupte so I thought. However when I applied the lipstick it seemed to pick up on every single line on my lip, so much so I immediately removed it to check that my lips hadn't randomly dried out overnight. Nope, still fine. I tried once more, this time I decided to combine it with a gloss on the top, I chose my jelly pong pong strawberry shortcake, which already had quite a lot of colour to it. The result was an almost neon lip, definitely not what I was after. So I popped the rouge volupte away in my make up collection and resided myself to the fact that maybe I would never be a lipstick kinda girl.

A few days later the rouge volupte was still on my mind, it was too pretty to just let it sit amongst my make up collection. This time I applied a bit of vaseline first, it was a slight improvement but it felt much more like a gloss rather than a lipstick and the staying power was naff. Almost giving up hope I rubbed in a teeny bit of Figs and Rouge Sweet Geranium Balm from last months Feel Unique Box and this time instead of applying directly from the bullet I used a lip brush to line my lips with the colour and then used the bullet to gently dab the colour on to my lips so I didn't overload them and finally I liked it. It's not the gushy, swoony lipstick lust I thought it might be, but I really do like it.

YSL Rouge Volupte #13 Peach Passion (without flash)

Recently I've been keeping my make up super simple so my rouge volupte has been a perfect accompaniment to my dressed down look but I am looking forward to seeing how it fairs with some heavier eye make up.

Jemma Kidd Light as Air Foundation in Medium (still mixed on this one)
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in shade medium for blemishes and light for under eye.
ELF HD Powder
Jelly Pong Pong Matt Bronzer for contouring
Collection 2000 Shimmer Shades Blushalicious Blusher

Christian Eyebrow Kit (review here)
Loreal Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara

Figs and Rouge Sweet Geranium Balm
YSL Rouge Volupte #13 Peach Passion

Have any lipstick recommendations for me?

Lots of Love xxx

Friday, 6 January 2012

Review: Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter and OPI's Katy Perry Last Friday Night

Hey Lovelies

I've been neglecting my cuticles recently and when taking a recent NOTD picture decided I really needed to give them some TLC. Generally I'll rub it some Imn cuticle oil but I felt they needed something a bit extra so took myself off to Lush for some Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter. One of the best known products from Lush, this lemony pot of loveliness costs just £5.95 for a 50g and will last you a lifetime. You need the teeniest amount of this and it's no wonder as it contains shea butter, beeswax, avocado oil, mango butter, coconut oil and a whole host of other skin softening treats. But don't be fooled by the name, this fluttery buttery thrill is most certainly not just for your cuticles; heels, knees, elbows and any other stubborn dry areas are sure to be tamed with this little delight. The biggest reason (other than aforementioned loveliness) that has kept me repurchasing this product for a solid 7 years? The smell! There's lemon, and then there's lemony flutter, sometimes I just sit with the tub and keep opening it up for a sniff (I know how to party!) I tend to pop this on combined with some Soap and Glory Hand Food before I go to bed and wake up with lovely soft hands and cuticles. I've not yet invested in some manicure mittens, I just can't get with the idea of wearing gloves in bed but feel free to tell me they're totally worth it!

One of my lovely friends sent me Katy Perry's Last Friday Night polish from OPI, its a blue jelly polish jam packed with a tonne of iridescent sparkle. I swatched it over my current Models Own Nyla Nude and just wasn't feeling it, this polish on it's own isn't my cup of tea.

Cuticles refreshed I did a little blog research and as advised tried it over a dark base instead, some random No.7 polish I've had for ages called Betty Blues, cue the perfect midnight sparkle! Over a dark shade you can really see this polish in all its beauty, I think this would work well over any dark base - blue, purple, black even green if you're so inclined. I don't think the photographs do it justice, as you really can't see how iridescent the glitter is. Although glitter season is almost over (for me) now I am very happy to add this to my collection and don't think I'll be putting it away for the year just yet.

Have you put your sparkly polishes away for the year or do you wear it all year round?

Lots of Love xxx

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Review: Eve Taylor Skin Care

Hey Lovelies!

I can't tell you just how much I was looking forward to getting this delivery. You may have seen my previous mentions about my current skin troubles. I'm a huge Lush skincare fan, I love products that contain natural goodness from essential oils and organic ingredients but I almost felt like my skin had become immune to my products lately. I had first heard of Eve Taylor when I was training at college, and the more I read about them, the more I wanted to try some products, so when I was feeling the need for a new skincare routine I knew exactly where to look.

Eve Taylor facial skincare is split into three categories, balancing, purifying and soothing. As I have oily/combination skin I went for a product from each range. To top off my new skin care routine I also bought a facial oil.

Balancing Cleanser - 200ml RRP £14.59

I love this cleanser, it has a really thick, creamy texture that feels lovely as you apply it to your skin. After use my skin feel super clean without feeling tight or dry. It contains lavender and jasmine along with cucumber and lettuce to cleanser pores. I apply a couple of pumps all over my face and neck and just do a basic facial massage that helps to stimulate your circulation - there's lots of youtube videos with various routines so worth a look if you're not sure what to do. I then remove with warm water and some facial sponges (link), if you haven't invested in some of these then you really should, they save you a small fortune in cotton wool. My skin tends to be on the oilier side but since using this cleanser I have noticed a change for the better, and my pore size has definitely reduced.

Purifying Toner - 200ml RRP £12.89

This is a mildly astringent toner, which means it gets rid of any left over traces of make up or dirt on my skin. It also has antiseptic and anti inflammatory actions, which I hoped would take some of the redness out of my recent break out, and I was pleased to see it really did. Depending on the time of day I either mist over my face and blot with a facial tissue or apply to a cotton pad and then smooth gently over my face; the spritz method is just too intrusive on a morning! The toner contains lavender, aloe vera and has a lovely cooling, soothing effect, I skip cleansing in the morning but can't apply my make up before I've toned and moisturised and this toner is perfect for cleaning and brightening the skin.

Soothing Moisturiser Lotion 200ml RRP £14.59

I chose a lotion instead of a cream as it's a lighter formula so more easily absorbed; I wanted a mutlifunctional moisturiser that I could apply with my facial oil but also use on a morning before I apply my make up. The moisturiser is super softening containing comfrey and would you believe it...lavender, after the first application my skin felt so smooth. It soaks in quite quickly and doesn't leave a shine so it's been perfect to apply on a morning.

Facial Oil Number 3 for Problem Skin - 30ml RRP £11.29

Although I have combination/oily skin I don't shy away from using oil based moisturisers, in fact I look out for them. A sales assistant in Boots once gave me a sample of The Sanctuary Facial Oil, and had it not been for that I probably would have always assumed they weren't for use with my skin type but how wrong I was. Oils are so good for your skin (not to mention your hair and nails), I bought this one in hope it might cure my skin problems of late, I've only been using the products a couple of weeks so I don't want to give an opinion too soon but so far so good! From my experience as a beautician I know people with skin problems are hesitant to use oils and moisturisers on their skin for fear of more breakouts but actually dehydrating the skin will only make it worse. Facial oils are for use on all skin types! This facial oil is just lovely, it absorbs so quickly and doesn't leave a shine, facial oils are much lighter than body oils, it has quite a strong citrus scent due to the lemongrass content, some people might not like that but I love it. Other ingredients include ylang ylang, lavender (of course!), cedarwood, sandalwood, rosewood, hazelnut and advocado, woah! It's just goodness in a bottle, this is by far my favourite product from my Eve Taylor range and no matter how much make up I may have applied that day, putting this on before bed always makes me feel like I'm doing something good for my skin. They also do facial oils for delicate, sensitive, normal and mature skin so there really is one for everyone! So there's my little ravey rave, can you tell I like this facial oil? :)

Without really meaning to I ordered four products that all contained lavender, which wasn't really a susrpise as I think lavender can pretty much cure everything! I can genuinely say I have actually been looking forward to taking my (lovingly applied) make up off. The products feel creamy and luxurious and as soon as I put them on my face my skin just goes 'ahhh'. Although the pricing is towards the higher end when you compare the quantity and the ingredients to similar brands I think they are good value, if you don't fancy investing in such a large amount of product at the moment then all the products are available in 50ml travel sizes for arond £4-£5. The packaging is simple and sophisticated and I love that the larger products come with a pump dispenser, I tend to use 2 pumps of cleanser, 1 pump of lotion and 1 of the oil so I know these products are going to last ages.

I took a before shot of my bare faced skin to compare with after I've given the products a good trial run. Perhaps I'll post it on here in a few weeks so you can see the results, although I'll give warning first ;)

I had to stop myself from ordering so many other products, one thing which I most definitely will be trying are the candles (I wrote this post before the Mr bought me one for Christmas! Review coming soon). They are made with a blend of plant wax and essential oils and you can use the warm wax as a body moisturiser. I'm so excited by this idea!

Do you change your skin care frequently? What is your holy grail skin care brand?

Lots of Love xxx

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Lashes and Leopard Print Nails

Hello Lovelies!

Hope you all had a super Christmas! I had the most lovely time with The Mr and my family, although I don't think I should eat anything for a few days to make up for what I have consumed recently!

I had lots of lovely presents, offerings from Bobbi Brown, Soap and Glory, Sigma, Ellie Saab, Kérastase, Eve name a few, and I'm sure they will be included in some upcoming posts. I've been perusing the online sales but nothing has caught my eye so far, with 3 wardrobes bursting at the seams, beauty products seem like a more sensible investment at the moment. I've bought some long overdue NYX jumbo eye pencils after seeing them being used in some make up tutorials recently and perhaps may have treated myself to my first YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick, even better when it was in a blog sale!

I'm also currently sporting some cluster lashes, I popped them on in about 10 minutes before we went out for Boxing Day Celebrations. I use to wear these quite regularly before I fell in love with strip lashes, but now I've applied these I have remembered how lovely and natural they can look. If treated correctly they last between 2-5 days, perhaps I'll pop a more in depth review/tutorial up if anyone was interested.

I decided to go for some leopard print nails for Christmas this year and I loved them. I used MUA's Shade 21 for the base and Models Own Nyla Nude for the spots and then alternated it on my ring finger. I painted my nails whilst wearing my new tiger print onesie, (my favourite early Christmas present to myself!).

Leopard print nail art is one of the easiest looks to create, don't worry if you haven't got the steadiest of hands, it all adds to the effect! :)

My cuticles are super dry at the moment, I'm gonna treat myself to some lemony flutter cuticle butter from Lush tomorrow. Whenever I give nail treatments I'm always surprised by the amount of people that don't own cuticle tools, for a few pounds you can pick up a cuticle pusher and some nippers and they make a world of difference to your manicure. So yes, on with the Seche Base and then 2 coats of each polish. I love this MUA shade its a beautiful taupe that just seems to go with everything, the only thing I dislike is the brush but for the £1 price tag you really can't complain. Whenever I'm doing nail art I always apply a top coat over my base colour, this means if I make any mistakes I can remove it by gently sweeping an acetone soaked cotton bud over the nail without spoiling my base.

The next stage is the spots, I use the flat face of the brush and dab gently, nothing uniform here, I think different sized/shape spots work well and look more realistic.

Allow the spots to dry and then using either a nail art brush and some black polish, a nail art pen, a liquid eyeliner or stripping brush as I did, draw some wiggly 'C' shapes around the spots, again don't worry about being too neat. I also tend to add a black spot here and there.

For some subtle shimmer I used MUA's glitter eye liner in Shade 2 to fill in and outline some of the spots, you can use glitter polish or a nail art glitter pen but this eye liner costs just £1 and has a really fine brush so it's great for detail. Then apply your favourite top coat and your done! I used a UV topcoat, Seche Vite Ultra V - review here.

This look could be recreated using so many different combinations, I kept mine quite traditional but if you want some colour inspiration take a look here.

Lots of Love xxx

Monday, 19 December 2011

My First JolieBox December 2011

This week just gets better when my postman knocked the door again but this time to deliver my/the first ever JolieBox! JolieBox is the newly named Boudour Prive beauty box, and was actually the first box of it's type that I became aware of, it is the same as Glossy Box et al - 5-6 high end samples in a lovely little box delivered monthly. The Jolie Box is 12.95 including p + p so it is one of the more expensive boxes but this months box was so definitely worth it.

OPI Gold Shatter Lacquer - Full Size 15ml RRP £10.50

I practically jumped when I opened my box and found this, my parents had come up for the weekend and My Lovely Mum is a complete newbie to the beauty box world, so we 'oohed' and 'ahhed' together at this sparkly treat. I swatched it immediately over my current MUA Shade 21 - a most gorgeous mink colour, and I have to say, it's love. The effect is so understated yet so pretty, I think it would work beautifully as an accent nail but hey it is the festive season, so why stop there? I can't wait to try this polish over many more in my collection. For anyone that isn't a fan of the other shatter effect polishes, that can be quite bold and obvious, I think this is the perfect solution.

Mitchell and Peach Shower Wash - Sample Size 50ml RRP £20.00 for 250ml

This is such a beautifully scented shower wash I almost don't want to use it, I just keep taking the cap off to smell if. These are always useful to throw in your bag for a weekend away and you would definitely feel pampered with that price tag!

New CID Cosmetics i-gloss in Baby Doll - Full Size RRP £16.00

I love this product, it's so clever! As soon as you twist the cap open two super bright LED lights come on, illuminating wherever you point the applicator, and not only that on the back of the lip gloss tube is a perfectly sized mirror so you can apply your lip gloss in the dark with complete reassurance that you won't end up looking like you really did put it on, well, in the dark. It's a beautiful soft pink, the formula is great, not at all sticky and just enough shine.

Jane Iredale 4 Karat Gold Dust in Rose Gold - Full Size RRP £10.00

To be honest I kind of looked over this item when I opened the box, I'm a bit of a magpie so I was all over the OPI and it wasn't till I actually sat and looked through all the products properly that I got super excited about this one! It's a multi use shimmer powder containing actual gold flakes. You can apply it your eyes, cheeks, lips, body and even your hair apparently. The colour is perfect, a gorgeous rosy pink, I can't wait to dust it over my cheeks soon.

Yon-Ka Vital Defense - Sample Size 5ml RRP £50.00 for 50ml

An anti-aging prevention, antioxidant and anti-pollution, cream to preserve 'youthfulness' apparently. Well it's never too early to start I guess. A teeny sample that I will most probably keep for my over night collection.

As this was the first Jolie box subscribers also received two bonus samples this month which were...

Kusmi Detox Tea - Sample Size 20g RRP Approx £12.00 for 125g

I'm one of those strange people that doesn't drink tea or coffee. I wish I did, it's so sociable, the whole 'fancy popping round for a cuppa?' just doesn't work with a glass of squash but as many times as I've tried to make myself enjoy it I just can't. My saving grace is that I'm quite partial to a herbal/fruit tea, and people usually have a few bags knocking around in their cupboard so I don't have to ask if I can have some of the children's ribena instead. I've tried various detox teas but I'm very much looking forward to this loose leaf variety, who knows I may even keep it in my handbag for those sociable occasions :)

JolieBox Concealer Brush 

A girl can never have too many brushes, this is nice a soft and a decent size, a welcome bonus.

So there we have it, I am super impressed with the contents of my first JolieBox, even if the bonus products weren't included the cost is more than justified by the products, oops I think this means I'll be keeping this subscription going too! :)

Lots of Love xxx

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Feel Unique Beauty Box December 2011 - First Impressions

Hey Lovelies!

This is my very first Feel Unique Beauty Box so you can only imagine how excited I was when the postman knocked on my door the other morning! I've not had enough chance to use the products properly yet but thought  I'd give you a quick round up.

The theme for this months box was 'finishing touches' - all the things you need to get you ready for the party season.

TIGI Bedhead Candy Fixations Sugar Dust - Full Size 1g RRP £9.35

I was super excited to get this as I know last months GB members got the OSIS+ Dust It Mattifying Powder and I was gutted I hadn't subscribed sooner! I'm a huge lover of Batiste XXL Volume, I pretty much use it every day to give my meagre locks a boost, it's also brilliant if you wear clip in extensions as it gives the clips some texture to grip on to and ensures they stay in place. So when I saw TIGI's offerings in my box I was very excited although I have to say when I picked up the tube my first thought was "Is this empty? *looks at weight on front on tube* 1g? That's a pretty stingy sample!" although on further research I have found that this is actually a full size product and as soon as I opened it and sprinkled a little on my hand, I could see why, you can barely see it, it looks like teeny tiny almost invisible dust particles. I'm still not sure how I'll get on with this, if you can't see it on your hand I doubt you can see it in your hair so how do you know when you've put enough on, or when you've run out? I'll get back to you on that one!

Figs & Rouge Sweet Geranium 100% Organic Lip Balm - Full Size RRP £3.49

This was the second thing that caught my attention, I've heard a lot about Figs and Rouge. I love that they're products are organic and even more than that I love the packaging, how cute is this little tin? The little leaflet we got inside the box showed some other super cute vintage inspired tins, most desirably a flocked CoCoVanilla one that I definitely need. It's described as a lip, face and body balm, I wondered how something in such a teeny pot might be appropriate for ones body however after having a little try of this it's clear a little bit goes a long way, a perfect handbag companion for these naff weather/dry skin days.

Annick Goutal - Mandragore EDT - Sample Size 25ml RRP £58.65 for 50ml

No one could fail to be impressed by this gorgeous little bottle, unfortunately when I opened the bag I discovered some of the contents of my bottle had leaked out. This perfume is not for the faint hearted, a deep, woody scent with notes of bergamot, star anise, peppermint and ginger, it's a world away from my 'fruit floral'. I'm currently giving it a trial run, it's definitely a lot milder on the skin so we'll see how it goes. I'm impressed with the size of the sample given the cost of this perfume though!

Nails Inc Oxford Circus - Sample Size 4ml RRP £11.00 for 10ml

I swatched this as soon as I got it out the box and love it, it's a soft candy pink and while it may not be 'season appropriate' I still think this may be featuring in a NOTD before we start to see any hope of spring sunshine ;) I would have appreciated a full size more as I'm not much of a miniature girl, I think the brushes are  always a bit rubbish, but I'm happy all the same.

Clarisonic Nourishing Care Cleanser - Sample Size 30ml RRP £21.00 for 177ml

I don't own a Clarisonic although I am truly tempted after reading numerous reviews so I might save this for when I actually decide to take the plunge. I'm still on the fence as there's so many mixed opinions but my skin is not having a good time at moment and I'm hoping this might be the answer!

As a little extra included in the box was also a Living Nature 100% natural New Zealand cosmetics leaflet containing three 2ml samples - vitalising cleanser, extra hydrating toning gel and nourishing day cream. I'm definitely gonna keep my subscription going for this box. Out of the beauty boxes I subscribe to this one is the cheapest £9.95 including delivery, which you more than get back each month. Also I found a great page on facebook where people swap items from their boxes they don't want. What a great idea - link!

Were you happy with your box this month? Is there anything you're thinking about swapping?

Lots of Love xxx

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