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Saturday, 31 August 2013

August Empties

August Empties
I cannot believe another month has passed us by! August has been a busy one for me with my dissertation being due and starting to look for proper, grown-up jobs, so it really has flown. There's now less than four months to Christmas and we're almost into my birthday month! For me September marks the beginning of Autumn and is my favourite month - I love the back to school feeling, although I won't be going back to school this year (sob!). Regardless, it still feels like a time for new starts, new goals, and assessing where I am in my life. I hope you've all had a lovely August, too! On that note, here are the products I've finished up over the course of the month...
August Empties 1
Witch Blemish Stick This featured in my Evening Skincare Routine post and I really like it to just pop onto any blemishes I happen to have - I think it really helps them to clear up more quickly than they do on their own. This is a staple for me, so handy to have "just in case".
Repurchase? Yes.
Inika Liquid Mineral Foundation This is a sample I've had a while now, and hadn't used up because it smelt really strongly which put me off. I've finally got it finished, but it didn't grow on me with time and, on top of that, didn't last more than about an hour on my oily skin.
Repurchase? No.
La Roche-Posay Redermic R Dermatological Anti-Wrinkle Treatment I really enjoyed using this sample tube from What's In My Handbag, and I did think it made a difference to the crease in my forehead, although in all honesty I don't think I got enough use from it to say for sure.
Repurhcase? In the future.
Alpha H Liquid Gold I wasn't impressed with this when I used the first sample tube I had, and it hasn't grown on me with the second; I didn't really notice any of the effects it claimed, and felt like it dried my skin out a little. With my oily skin, that's quite impressive, and I'm putting it down to the Alcohol it contains; this is putting me off repurchasing in the future as I really try to avoid Alcohol in my skincare for fear of stripping my skin and making it even oilier.
Repurchase? Probably not.
The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Body Butter This was the second of two I bought in the January sales (I've made it last!) and whilst I do love the scent, I'm starting to think it may have been a bit strong for my sensitive skin and may be to blame for how quickly my skin was drying out. I have noticed with The Body Shop's body butters that the stronger scents can irritate my skin, so in future I think I'll be sticking to the gentler, more natural scents. That aside, I did love this body butter.
Repurchase? Not this scent.
Mitchum Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Bit of a boring one, but I've used it up so it goes on the list! This is the only deodorant I'll buy as it's the only one I find effective, cheap and cheerful, does the job, I'm a happy camper. Their Powder Fresh scent is also really lovely.
Repurchase? Yes, already have.

August Empties 2
Get Fresh Naked Cool and Tingly Minty Menthol Body Wash This was another £1 bargain from Naked's website which I think was due to the packaging being changed, and I really enjoyed using it. It's a lovely fresh, minty scent which really does the trick for waking you up in the morning and leaves your skin clean and pleasantly tingly.
Repurchase? Yes!
B. Refined Exfoliating Cleanser I purchased this on a whim and have actually really enjoyed using it; although it's less scrubby than the exfoliators I'd usually go for, I felt like the Salicylic Acid in the ingredients made up for that and meant it still did a nice job of removing dead skin cells and unclogging my pores.
Repurchase? Probably, at some point.
Batiste Tropical Dry Shampoo A staple in my routine, this features every month and I don't have anything new to say about it - I love it and couldn't be without it!
Repurchase? Yes!
Naked Strength Hibiscus and Frangipani Renewing Shampoo This is aimed at weak, brittle or mature hair and the first thing I have to say is, it smelt amazing - like marzipan! It did leave my hair feeling soft and healthy, and I think it has been breaking less, but I think maybe it's a little much for every wash, for my hair. It's something I'd buy again in the future to use maybe once a week to give my hair a little extra love, whilst using my favourite Naked Volume Shampoo the rest of the time.
Repurchase? Maybe.
Superdrug Tea Tree & Peppermint Creamy Exfoliator I'm gutted to have used this up! It smells lovely and minty-fresh, making it great for waking you up in the shower of a morning, and has just the right texture for leaving my skin soft and smooth.
Repurchase? I would, but it wasn't in stock when I went in so I bought an alternative instead.
Have you tried any of these products? What were your thoughts? Leave me a link if you've posted an Empties post, I love having a nosey!

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

How I Manage My Eczema

I've mentioned in quite a few reviews over the last few months that I've really been making an effort to get my eczema under control. I know this post won't be relevant to everyone, but I know from experience that eczema really can make your life an absolute misery, so I wanted to share what's worked for me in the hopes that it might help someone else out!
How I Manage My Eczema
I've had eczema since I was a baby, it cleared up (aside from the occasional flare-up brought on by pets) by the time I was about 12, and suddenly came back with a vengeance when I was 19. Since then, I've suffered with red, flaking, peeling, bleeding, itching patches on my arms and legs, particularly in the backs of my knees, my elbows and my underarms. My hands were also really bad, coming up in weeping sores and cracking on a weekly basis. It really was a nightmare. I went to the Doctor's and was prescribed Aqueous cream to hydrate my skin in general, which was ineffective, as well as Hydrocortisone cream, which is a steroid-based cream. The Hydrocortisone cleared up patches of eczema for me, but did nothing to prevent them appearing, and over time it stopped working even to treat existing patches. At this point, I realised I needed to do some research of my own.
I decided to start by cutting out Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS) in my shampoo and shower gel - and within a week, every single patch of eczema on my whole body had cleared up. So for me, SLS is the number one place to start - check shampoos, shower gels and bath products, liquid hand soap, and so on. I found it on the ingredients list of my Aqueous Cream, which explains why it was no help to me. So, whilst the flare-up patches are gone, my skin is still dry and extremely prone to itching. This is where the second phase came in; I realised what this needed to be when I tried Sudocrem on a little patch on my elbow. Overnight, my skin flared up into a weeping, orange mess; Sudocrem and I are not friends. Through trial and error, I've established that it's the Paraffinium Liquidum which is the problem for me; products containing Paraffin dry my skin out really badly, so I've just had to stop using them. Petroleum (or Petrolatum) has a similar effect, and I'm starting to think I'm sensitive to Parabens, too - products with ingredients ending in -paraben (Propylparaben, Butylparaben, etc.) also seem to dry my skin out, leaving it itchy and uncomfortable. This rules out Vaseline, Nivea, Aveeno, E45, and the vast majority of similar brands which are marketed at and recommended for eczema. Thank you, difficult, contrary skin.
So, what do I use!?
Naked Bodycare Coco de Mer Body Butter Eczema Friendly
I really recommend Naked Bodycare for products like shampoos, bath products and shower gels; all their products are SLS free and I find they're amazing for my skin. Other SLS-free brands include Organic Surge, and some of the Body Shop's ranges. Fee at Makeup Savvy did a great post on SLS-Free shampoos which is well worth a read if you're looking for one that will work for you.
It's also worth noting that if you have children, be careful what you're using to bath them and wash their hair - Johnson's Baby Shampoo contains SLS and if I use it to wash my stepdaughters' hair, my hands are not happy. Naked do do a range of SLS-free kids' shampoos which I'm intending to try out ASAP!
Liquid hand soaps are out for me, but solid bars are generally fine, as they don't contain SLS. I use solid soap at home and my eczema is now well controlled enough that if I use liquid soap when out and about, it generally doesn't cause me any problems. Washing up liquid and other cleaning products are also a problem, so I make sure I wear washing up gloves even to wash one pan, as well as whilst doing things like cleaning the bathroom.
In terms of moisturising my skin, trying to find moisturisers without Paraffin and Petroleum has been a nightmare, but generally speaking The Body Shop's Body Butters are very good (although some of their fragrances are a bit much for my skin), Naked Bodycare's Coco de Mer Body Butter is gorgeous, and I also really recommend Arora's Body Butter which is an absolute bargain!
So, whilst I wouldn't say my eczema is "cured" given all the special attention it requires, and whilst it is annoying that I generally can't wash my hair at a friend's house unless I've taken my own shampoo, it's worth the effort for the difference it's made to my life. It sounds silly, but unless the itchiness of eczema has literally kept you awake at night, you probably won't appreciate how much it's worth that I finally have it under control!
I hope you've found this post helpful, please do let me know if you have any tips or questions, I'd love to try and help!

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Review: Superdrug Tea Tree Pore Strips

I know I'm not the only one who has a slightly morbid obsession with pore strips and close inspection of all the gunk they remove from my pores; it stands to reason, then, that I'm not alone in having been sorely disappointed when I've removed a pore strip and been left with nothing to investigate! These pore strips, however, are extremely satisfying, doing a great job of sticking to and sucking out any blackheads and leaving my pores clear and tightened.
"No pore excuse for blackheads! These deep cleansing Tea Tree Nose Strips make use of the latest skincare technology to help you maintain a healthy, clear complexion. The antibacterial action of Tea Tree Oil combines with special ingredients that bond with skin impurities, to help lift blackheads and relieve blockages, leaving you with cleaner pores."
Superdrug Tea Tree Nose Pore Strips Review
Each individually packaged strip shows the instructions for use, which are the same as all pore strips; apply to clean, damp skin, leave until stiff then peel off. I use these on clean, freshly cleansed skin, and tend to hold a hot flannel or muslin cloth over my nose for a few minutes first to open my pores up nicely. Like all shaped products, they don't fit my nose very well, but I do get a decent amount of contact. The tea tree scent is quite strong which may be a problem if you're not a fan, but for me it's great as I love tea tree! After about ten minutes, the strip has dried nicely and you can carefully peel it off from the edges in, revealing lovely clean pores and a strip of disgusting joy for your perusal. Sorry for the slightly gross photo below, but I think it shows quite well how effective these strips are!
Review Superdrug Tea Tree Nose Pore Strips
Obviously I wouldn't recommend these if you have dry or sensitive skin as you risk damaging it or having a reaction, but if your skin is combination-oily and you suffer with clogged pores, like me, then I highly recommend you give Superdrug's Tea Tree Pore Strips a go; they're definitely the best brand I've tried and one of the most reasonably priced, too. They'll set you back just £3.99, are often on offers such as 2 for £4, and a box contains five strips making them 80p a go at full price!
What are your favourite pore strips? Do you love to investigate what's been unplugged from your pores, too?

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Monday, 26 August 2013

I'm A Hobo!

...According to Next's Which Handbag Are You? guide, anyway. Head on over to find out whether you're a clutch, a tote or a satchel, in one of those fab flowchart quizzes I haven't seen since I was a teenager! So now I know I'm a hobo, I've put together an outfit to go with my bag, which is my entry into a competition Next are hosting for their blogger network - find out more here.
4. Silver Bracelet, £5
5. Tan Tote, £32
I have to say, I do love a good roomy bag for carrying round all my day-to-day paraphernalia, and this tan tote looks lovely and smart meaning it's perfect for almost any outfit, from casual days shopping to at the office or a job interview. I love lace details and this gorgeous lace dress is all about the details! I chose to pair it with some simple (but glittery!) court shoes, and simple jewellery in the form of a chunky silver bracelet. Finally, the chunky necklace would sit perfectly with dress's neckline and add a little bit of colour to the outfit.
What do you think? Do you like the pieces I've chosen? What sort of handbag are you!?

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Review: La Roche-Posay Redermic R Dermatological Anti-Wrinkle Treatment

I received La Roche-Posay's Redermic R Dermatological Anti-Wrinkle Treatment as a Try from What's In My Handbag; as I've not tried any other La Roche-Posay products, I was excited about receiving this and giving it a good try.
La Roche-Posay Redermic R Review
The 5ml sample tube came in a small cardboard box which listed the ingredients; the inside of the box contains a warning about the need to use a good SPF after using this product. The tube itself is metal, with a metal seal which must be pierced with the screw-cap before use. I think the seal is a great touch as it reassures you of the hygiene of the product and means you know it's been properly sealed. The product within the tube is a medium-consistency pale yellow cream, which is easily dispensed and has a very light scent to it, which isn't unpleasant in the slightest. The cream sinks into the skin quickly and easily, leaving it feeling ever so slightly tacky. The tackiness wears off after a couple of minutes, at which point I apply my moisturiser over the top.
Review La Roche-Posay Redermic R
I've been using Redermic R every evening as instructed, and have found it a lovely, fuss-free product to add into my skincare routine; I simply pop it on before I brush my teeth, then moisturise afterwards. I'm only 21, and don't really have any major wrinkles yet. There are a couple of fine lines around my eyes, but as this product can't be used on the eye contour area, it was never going to help there. I also have a crease in my forehead, which I've been using as a yardstick for how well Redermic R has been working; after three weeks of use, I don't feel like I could say how it'll work long-term, but I do think while I've been using it, my forehead crease has been reduced. This could all be in my head as it's only a tiny crease but this is definitely a product I would continue to use if I was a little older, and one I'll be looking at adding into my routine in a few years' time.
La Roche-Posay Redermic R Dermatological Anti-Wrinkle Treatment is available from Boots, priced at £28 for 30ml of product.
Have you tried Redermic R? What's your favourite anti-wrinkle product? Are there any La Roche-Posay products you'd recommend me to try?

[Please note I received this product free-of-charge. I have not been asked to write this review, nor paid to do so, and as always all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own!]
This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Wishlist: Back To School

For the first time in seventeen years, this September will not be a back-to-school month for me - this is somewhat disconcerting, but hasn't put me off putting together a whole little Back To School wishlist! I'm a massive stationery lover so any excuse to browse Paperchase is good with me - the pretty notebooks and cute highlighters are almost too much for me to handle! I've found Wilkinson's also have some gorgeous stationery, at really reasonable prices, like the Seaside range I've featured a couple of items from below.
Back to School Wishlist
Are you back to school, college or university soon? Are you a stationery lover like me? What's on your wishlist?

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Recipe: Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake

As my dissertation is due tomorrow, I've been pretty busy the last week or so, so apologies for the lack of posts. Today's recipe comes courtesy of the lovely Marijke from Viva Coco, a gorgeous blog about everything fashion, beauty and lifestyle. I'd definitely recommend going and having a browse, and I hope you enjoy the amazing recipe she's sharing here!

Hello to you lovely readers of Just Jess, I’m Marijke from Viva Coco. Jess may have mentioned she’s working hard with her dissertation at the moment, so I’m here today to bring you a baking post.
Some of you may realise that Great British Bake Off commenced for their 4th series on TV recently, which inspired to dig out my lovely Bake Off book and create a delicious Strawberry and White Chocolate Cream Cake.
Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake
For the cake ingredients, you will need:
150g white chocolate
200g diced unsalted butter
3 large eggs
150g caster sugar
Grated zest of ½ orange
200g self raising flour
For the filling and topping:
400g large ripe strawberries
Grated zest and juice of ½ orange
1 tbsp caster sugar
200ml double or whipping cream
50g white chocolate

Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake
To begin, preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease two 20.5 sandwich tins, and line the bases with baking paper.
Break up your white chocolate and put it in a heatproof bowl over a pan of steaming hot water to let it melt gently.
Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake
Once the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring until it has melted. Put the eggs into a mixing bowl, and whisk until frothy. Add the sugar and orange zest, then whisk with an electric mixer on high speed until it is very thick and mousse-like. This should take about 4 minutes.
Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake
Quickly give the chocolate and butter mixture a stir, then add it to the egg mixture and stir briefly, to combine it.
Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake
Sift the flour into the bowl and carefully fold in using a large metal spoon.
Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake
Divide the mixture between the prepared tins, and spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes; when done, the sponges should be light and golden brown and springy to the touch. Run a knife around the edge of the inside of the tins, and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake
When ready to assemble, wash the strawberries and roughly dry with kitchen towel. Put the good looking strawberries to one side (to be saved for decoration) and hull and thinly the slice the rest of the strawberries. Put the sliced strawberries in a bowl with the orange zest, juice and caster sugar.
Meanwhile, whip the cream until thick. Set one sponge down on the serving plate, and spread half of the cream of top. Spoon the strawberry and orange mixture onto the cream layer. Set the second sponge on top of this. Spread the rest of the cream over the top, then decorate with the good looking strawberries, and grate the white chocolate over the top.
Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake
Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake
Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake

I hope you enjoyed this post today, if you are interested popping over to my blog (which would be lovely) I’m over at http://viva-coco.blogspot.co.uk.
Best wishes to Jess for her dissertation!

[NB: All credit for this recipe goes to The Great British Bake Off – How To Bake Cookbook.]
Oh my goodness, how amazing does this look!? I'm seriously wanting cake now! Thank you again to Marijke for sharing her recipe, we'd love to hear how you get on if you give this a try!
Do you like baking? Are you watching the Great British Bake Off?


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Review: Arora Pink Grapefruit Body Butter

For me, moisturising my body is not a once-a-week luxury or something I struggle to remember; it's something I do without fail after every bath or shower, because if I don't my life is a misery; such are the joys of eczema. I also have to be pretty careful about the ingredients in my body butters, as anything containing Paraffin, Petroleum or parabens seems to dry my skin out no end and basically leaves me no better off. The Body Shop body butters are largely great (although a couple of them are too strongly scented for my skin) and I really like Naked Bodycare's Coco de Mer Body Butter, but I'm a beauty blogger at heart and I like to try new things!
Arora Pink Grapefruit Body Butter Review
I picked up this Arora Pink Grapefruit Body Butter in Superdrug a couple of weeks ago, because the ingredients list looked pretty good and it seemed like really good value for money. With moisturising ingredients like Capric Triglyceride (coconut fatty acids) and Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (shea butter), and none of the nasties which I know my skin hates, I had to give it a try.
Arora Pink Grapefruit Body Butter Ingredients
The packaging is nothing exciting, a simple pink plastic pot with a screw cap, but it does the job and I wouldn't expect much else for the price to be honest.
The butter itself is really thick but quickly melts on contact with the skin, meaning it spreads easily and sinks into the skin in next to no time. I find this goes a lot further than, say The Body Shop's body butters, which I find are so thick that they don't spread easily and I end up using quite a lot to properly moisturise my legs. Arora's Body Butter, on the other hand, spreads like a dream and leaves my skin feeling really soft, without drying it out like some body butters can (I'm looking at you, Soap & Glory!). It has the added bonus of a beautiful citrus scent which, although it doesn't last long on the skin, makes it really pleasant to use.
Arora Pink Grapefruit Body Butter
Arora Pink Grapefruit Body Butter is available from Superdrug priced at £3.99 for 200ml, although it's currently available at just £1.97 so now is definitely a good time to give it a try! The Body Butter also comes in five other fragrances, including Wild Berry, Sweet Vanilla, and Coconut Creme, all of which sound gorgeous.
Have you tried Arora's body butters? What's your favourite body butter? How good are you at remembering to moisturise your body?

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

NOTD: Gray by Liquorice

NOTD Sally Hansen Gray by Gray Barry M Confetti Liquorice
This was a NOTD I slapped on quickly on Sunday afternoon because my nails were a mess and we had friends coming round for dinner; I've had Sally Hansen's 'Gray by Gray' for ages now and only worn it a couple of times, yet every time I do I love its gorgeous slate-blue-grey colour and lovely smooth, creamy application which is totally opaque in two fast-drying coats. I topped it off with one coat of 'Liquorice' form Barry M's Confetti collection, and added a top coat of Seche Vite to smooth everything over nicely. I think the black and white bar glitter are the perfect pairing for the grey and make this a pretty yet sophisticated manicure - what do you think?
Sally Hansen Gray by Gray Barry B Confetti Liquorice NOTD
What do you think of grey nail polish? Do you have any of the Barry M Confetti polishes? Do you like the effect they give?

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Wishlist: Birthday

Although my birthday is still over a month away, I decided to put together a little wishlist of things I'm lusting after. I'm not expecting to receive any of these as no-one I know reads my blog, and to be honest I'll be happy to get to spend some time with family and friends around my birthday; predictable but true! If I can afford to treat myself around my birthday, this little list will offer some inspiration, and if not - hey, it's nice to dream!
Birthday Wishlist
I'm a massive fan of rose gold and this Michael Kors watch is so pretty, without being too chunky like some similar styles. I love matte nails and purple polish, so this Topshop number is just screaming my name; I always find Topshop polishes to be really nice quality, too, and I like the packaging, although it's a shame this is missing the usual polka dot lid! By no stretch of the imagination do I need any more eyeshadow, yet this gorgeous teal shade from Bourjois is almost too pretty to resist; the fact that it's called 'blue duck' definitely isn't helping. I love to wear gold eyeshadow, especially as a liner to really brighten my face up, and this bargain Sleek duo would be perfect for that or as a base for a shimmery look,.
I have a Revlon Just Bitten Stain in the shade 'Honey' which the lovely Amiiee chose for me as part of our swap, and have been wearing it almost every day over the summer. It's a lovely formula and so comfortable to wear, so I'd love a couple more; 'Lovesick' is a pretty, pink shade which is my favourite lip colour. Having loved Origins' VitaZing Moisturiser and GinZing Eye Cream, I really, really want to try the GinZing moisturiser, which is supposed to energise the skin and leave you with a lovely glow - definitely something I can use, particularly as mornings begin to get darker once more. & Other Stories have so many pretty shoes but these wedges are just lovely and have the added bonus of being practical - work-friendly and I might even be able to walk in them! I've been after the Clarins Toner ever since reading about it on Robyn's blog as it sounds perfect for, as the name suggests, gently exfoliating and brightening the skin, plus I really need to get into the habit of using a toner in my skincare routine.
When's your birthday? Do you like reading people's birthday wishlists? What's your favourite item off my list?

Sophie Jane is my Featured Advertiser this month; please have a peek at her blog for fab beauty reviews, gorgeous photos and lovely recipes!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

How I Made Rimmel Apocalips Work For Me

Rimmel Apocalips Before & After
You may remember my somewhat negative review of Rimmel's Apocalips in the shade 'Apocaliptic', and how I closed by saying that whilst I loved the shade, I couldn't find a way to make the product work for me. Well, after a lot of trial and error, I have eventually found a way to apply it which prevents the bleeding and transferring I had problems with, although it doesn't do much for the longevity and still fades unevenly.
So how did I achieve this?! A lip brush. Yes, I know it comes with a wand. The wand is at least half of the problem, in my opinion, so I simply transfer the product from the wand to the tip of a clean lip brush, and use that for the application. I start by applying the bulk of the product to the middle of my bottom lip, then carefully outline my Cupid's bow and the rest of my upper lip. I then fill in my top lip, and repeat the process on my lower lip. I try to not quite reach the edge of my lip on the lower lip, to minimise bleeding. Then, I blot carefully using a piece of tissue to remove all excess and really press the product into the lip. I then use the brush to reapply over any areas which look a little faded. And, ta-dah! Neat, non-bleeding, non-transferring-to-my-teeth, lip colour.
How I Apply Rimmel Apocalips
Yes, it is a lot of faff for something that should be easy to apply with the wand provided, but for the amazing shade I feel like it's worth it on occasion. Applying this way also makes the product a lot more comfortable to wear; it feels less drying on the lips. It still fades quickly and unevenly, but I've found applying a lip balm and rubbing it in well at that point helps to even things out and still leaves a pretty stain behind, with none of the flaking and bleeding I experience previously.
Rimmel Apocaliptic
Have you had similar problems with Rimmel's Apocalips? Have you found a way to make them work for you yet? Will you be giving this a go?

Please check out my Featured Advertiser, Sophie Jane, for beauty reviews, fab recipes and gorgeous photos!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Review: Laidbare Working 9 to 5 Anti-Aging Hydration Cream

Review Laidbare 9 to 5
I purchased Laidbare's Working 9 to 5 Anti-Aging Hydration Cream back in January from TKMaxx for the bargain price of £4.99, but only began using it mid-July, as I wanted to clear out some of my extensive moisturiser stash first. I've been using it now for around a month and thought it was high time I shared my thoughts with you all!
Packaged in a simple pink and white cardboard box, the outer casing gives plenty of information about the product within; "You think you work hard? Our hydration cream moisturises and protects around the clock! With extracts of Rose Water to calm, revitalise and soften the skin. Anti-aging Iceland Moss helps to combat the fight against time, and Gotu Kola works by stimulating collagen production. Application: Use in the morning and again before bedtime after cleansing and toning with Laidbare DIY! Bonus: Cassis Augustifolia Seed Polysaccharide is considered a natural version of Hyaluronic Acid due to its water-attracting properties; essential for plumped and youthful skin."
Laidbare Working 9 to 5 Anti-ageing hydration cream
The screw-cap tube within follows the same colour-scheme and gives the same information (minus the ingredients); handy for those of us who don't tend to keep outer packaging once we begin using a product! The moisturiser itself is a medium-texture white cream which has a subtle Rose scent and feels really light on the skin. Despite this, though, it does take some rubbing in, as you can see below; most moisturisers I've tried have been long gone by the point I took this photo, yet here you can still see the moisturiser sitting on the skin.
Laidbare 9 to 5 review ingredients packaging
Once worked in, the skin is left feeling soft and smooth, with no obvious lingering scent. It gives a lovely base for your make-up which goes on flawlessly over it. I have noticed recently that my skin has been looking a lot clearer; I'm not sure that I'd put it down to this moisturiser as I have been a lot better in general at looking after my skin, but the lovely calming ingredients can't hurt and certainly haven't broken me out or anything like that. I do feel like it gives a really lovely moisturisation, such that my skin gets less oily, although only marginally - this is a definite bonus for me and my oil-slick forehead!
Overall, I really like this moisturiser; it smells good, does a lovely job at moisturising and softening my skin, and hasn't broken me out, all for a bargain price! My one and only complaint would be that it doesn't contain SPF, which is something I do like in a day cream, but since this is designed for use day and night it's probably to be expected.
You can purchase Laidbare Working 9 To 5 direct from their website at the reduced price of £3.99 for 50ml.
Have you  ever tried any Laidbare products? What's your favourite day cream? Is SPF an important factor for you?

Please check out my Featured Advertiser, Sophie Jane, for beauty reviews, fab recipes and gorgeous photos!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Wishlist: Transition

I hate to say it guys, but it's looking more and more like Summer's on its way out and we're hurtling towards Autumn! You never know, we might get a week of sunshine at the end of September just to throw us completely, but actually I don't mind; Autumn is my favourite season, and the only thing I'll really miss about Summer is the warmth. Today I've just put together a few items that I think would be great for the Summer/Autumn transition, where you're never sure whether it's going to rain or turn out really warm and sunny.
Summer to Autumn Transition Wishlist
Dresses are great for layering up as it's so easy to pull a jumper or cardi over for a bit of extra warmth if you need it. I love that this Motel Rocks dress has mid-length sleeves, too - I just wish it were a few inches longer, although with my short legs it'd probably be fine. A weatherproof bag is a must when there's a chance of showers, and this Accessorize beauty has plenty of room for keeping an umbrella and a scarf. Sandals are no longer a practical choice, but these Barratts Mary Janes have the advantage of raising you by an inch, out of puddles! Genius. I adore the print on this Topshop scarf, which would be perfect to brighten up a plain outfit or thrown over another print. A pretty top like the Sugar+Style number is sensible but still girly and would work on its own or under a jumper with the collar out. A deeper lip colour is lovely for Autumn and will make the most of the last of your summer tan! Finally, this Lavish Alice jumper is perfect for layering up whilst adding a pop of colour and pattern with the pretty floral sleeves.
What is your favourite item? What are your Summer-Autumn transition essentials? Have you done a similar wishlist? Leave me a link if so, I'd love to see!

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Saturday, 10 August 2013

NOTD: Tribal Nail Art

Tribal Nail Art

I'm a massive lover of the Tribal trend and have attempted it on my nails a few times, with varying degrees of success. Now that I'm the proud owner of all four of Barry M's nail art pens, I decided to have another go, and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out! My middle nail is a little wobbly but other than that I think I did quite a good job. I used the white nail art pen over two coats of Maybelline's 'Surreal', with Nail Envy as a base coat and Seche Vite as a top coat.
Surreal Tribal Nail Art

What do you think? Do you like the tribal trend? Have you tried Tribal nails?

Please check out my Featured Advertiser, Sophie Jane, for beauty reviews, fab recipes and gorgeous photos!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Summer Beauty with Shopcade

Where has the sunshine gone!? Today I'm just sharing my favourite summer beauty products via my Shopcade list, in the hopes that summer isn't quite over yet and we might be lucky enough to get a few more nice days before we head into Autumn.

The Body Shop's Body Butters are a firm favourite all year round, but the Lemon and Pink Grapefruit scents are perfect for the summer months; fruity and citrussy. I'm a lover of bright nails, and have been lusting over Barry M's Summer collection in the Gelly range for weeks now; 'Key Lime' and 'Guava' are my favourites! I have Essie's 'Orange, It's Obvious' and it's ideal for bright summer toenails. SPF is obviously a summer essential and this oil-free offering from Murad would be perfect for under make-up. I also love Origins' VitaZing tinted moisturiser which provides SPF combined with a light coverage. The Body Shop's Tea Tree Pore Minimiser is a firm favourite of mine, great for helping make-up stay in place all day. Humidity can leave your hair looking limp and lank, I find Batiste brilliant for perking my 'do back up and reducing the amount of washing I have to do. Finally, a nice hot pink lip and a pretty, shimmery smokey eye are the finishing touches for a lovely warm evening.
What are your favourite Summer beauty products? Do you own any of the products on my list?

Please check out my Featured Advertiser,Sophie Jane, for beauty reviews, fab recipes and gorgeous photos!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Summer Essentials

I popped into town last week to pick up a few essentials using my Boots and Superdrug points; see, saving up your loyalty points really pays off when money is tight! I'm reaching the end of my current shampoo, so in Boots I grabbed another bottle of my favourite Naked Volume Bodybuilding Shampoo, along with a can of Batiste in the new fragrance Graffiti - just to try! I also popped into Superdrug for an exfoliator and some pore strips, and ended up picking up this Arora Pink Grapefruit Body Butter to try as well, since its ingredients list seemed pretty good and I'm trying to be extra careful not to irritate my eczema now I know what the triggers are.
Summer Skincare Essentials
I also placed a little order on Asos with the voucher I won in etailPR's Shopcade giveaway, coming away with Pop Beauty's Face Magnet Primer, as I'm still looking for my Holy Grail primer and this has had some good reviews. I also ordered a couple of skincare items; REN's Mayblossom T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel, and Korres's Sage & Salicylic Acid Regulating Cleansing Gel. You may be beginning to notice a pattern here, but I'm desperately searching for the product which will help to bring my oily skin under control! I'll be reviewing all three of these products once I've had a chance to try them properly.
Skincare Purchases Ren Korres Pop Beauty
What have you been buying lately? Have you tried any of these products? What would you recommend for ultra-oily skin?

Please check out my Featured Advertiser, Sophie Jane, for beauty reviews, fab recipes and gorgeous photos!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Recipe: Crinkly Chocolate Cookies

Crinkly Chocolate Cookies Recipe
My go-to recipe when I fancy baking something chocolatey is Chocolate Brownies, but yesterday I was in the mood for something new, so I decided to make some chocolate cookies. They turned out really well so I thought I'd share the recipe for you guys to have a go!
Crinkly Chocolate Cookies 1
Start by melting 100g dark chocolate and 80g butter in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, combine 225g caster sugar, 125g plain flour, 1 medium egg, 1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda, and 2tbsp cocoa powder in a large bowl, and mix well.
Crinkly Chocolate Cookies 2
Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl and stir to combine. The mixture will be thick and quite sticky. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Crinkly Chocolate Cookies 3
Remove from the fridge, and take 1tbsp amounts of mixture; roll into a ball, roll in icing sugar, and place on a lined baking sheet.
Crinkly Chocolate Cookies 4
Bake at 160°C for 15 minutes, and allow to cool on the tray. As you can see, I didn't leave quite enough space between mine for them to spread as they baked, so it might be better to do them in two batches to avoid this problem... They still taste good, though - soft, chocolatey and delicious!
Crinkly Chocolate Cookies
Do you like chocolate cookies? What's your favourite chocolate-based recipe?

Please check out my Featured Advertiser, Sophie Jane, for beauty reviews, fab recipes and gorgeous photos!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

A Different Kind of Mud

We're all familiar with mud masks in the beauty blogging community, but as I mentioned on Saturday, I've spent the weekend just gone volunteering at a local endurance event called Total Warrior UK, where there was plenty of mud of an altogether different variety. Spread over two days, the event involved around 6000 runners completing either a 10K or 10mile obstacle course (or in some cases, both!) including such obstacles as the 'Human Barbecue', 'Ball Breaker', 'Widow Maker', and my personal favourite 'You Tube'. I ended up manning the water station at the furthest point of the course, which also included covering three obstacles - 'Worm Muncher', the Hurdles, and 'You Tube'. I just wanted to share a few photos from the weekend and let you know that I have every intention of going back next year - I hope to complete the 10k race on the Saturday and then volunteer again on the Sunday, as it was an amazing experience and such good fun!
You Tube
Worm Muncher
You Tube, Worm Muncher, and The Hurdles
Finish Line
Monkey Bars
Approaching the finish line, Monkey Bars to reach the finish
Muddy Back
This is what happens when competitors hug/kiss you after The Hurdles - chest deep mud in places!

What did you get up to this weekend? Have you ever completed an endurance event like Total Warrior? Do you think I'm totally mad for wanting to do it!?

Please check out my Featured Advertiser, Sophie Jane, for beauty reviews, fab recipes and gorgeous photos!
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