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Monday, 30 June 2014

June Empties

I can hardly believe we're now officially halfway through the year; summer is in full swing here in the UK (I'm pretty sure we've outdone ourselves this year, I'm sure we've had more than our usual four days of intermittent sunshine...), the longest day has been and gone, and I'm back with another installment of my monthly Empties! I've had another good month of clearing out my stash, so I apologise for the fact that this post is, again, quite long.
Empties June 2014
Empties June 2014 1
The Body Shop Shea Body Butter This 50ml mini body butter has come in handy for a few weekends away lately, being travel-friendly in size whilst still packing a punch in terms of moisturising my dry, eczema-prone skin. The Shea scent isn't my favourite but is by no means unpleasant.
Repurchase? Probably not this scent.
W7 Prime Magic Anti-Dull Skin Brightening Primer* I loved this when I reviewed it and I still loved it as I scraped the last dregs from the tube; I found it perfect for evening out and brightening up my skin tone, whilst at the same time providing a smooth base for my foundation, hiding pores and fine lines. It mattified my skin slightly, though maybe not as much as I'd like, and did help prolong the wear of my make-up, although again not to the degree I think I need with my oily skin.
Repurchase? Maybe.
Soap & Glory Scrub of Your Life This was a giveaway win which I was keen to try out as I've not tried this particular scrub before, but I was sadly disappointed by its gloopy consistency; I didn't really find it did much in terms of exfoliation, and the SLS in the ingredients list aggravated my eczema. It did smell good, though!
Repurchase? No.
Premae Balance Rescue Cleansing Gel Face Wash* I had high hopes for this cleansing gel and sadly found myself disappointed that it didn't really live up to its claims and did nothing to balance my oily skin. I also thought it was very expensive for the size of the bottle, particularly given its ineffectiveness. Not one I'll be seeking out!
Repurchase? No.
Mitchum Powder Fresh Antiperspirant Deodorant Stick Another staple in my Empties posts, I love the fresh scent of this variant and find it effective in keeping me dry and smelling sweet on even the warmest of days.
Repurchase? Maybe, although I'm currently loving a Dove deodorant.
T-Zone Clear Out Nose Pore Strips I love using these things; I get a morbid sense of satisfaction from seeing what's been extracted from my pores! That aside, a few people have said that pore strips can contribute to broken veins around the nose, which isn't something I've observed but it's also something I don't want to risk.
Repurchase? No.
Empties June 2014 2
Soft Touch Naked Starflower Body Wash This is a staple for me, I love the slightly spicy scent, the soft foam, and the fact that it's kind to my eczema! I tend to alternate between this scent and the Love Me rose version and love both almost equally. There's really not much more to say on this.
Repurchase? Already have.
Batiste x Pixie Lott Fun & Floral Dry Shampoo Batiste is another Empties staple for me, and this is my second can of the Pixie Lott scent, which I love! I find it really fresh and feminine, and for me it does a really good job of livening up second-day hair, which is what I need it to do! The can is pretty, too, which doesn't go amiss.
Repurchase? Yes.
Gillette Satin Care Apricot Shave Gel Yet another product which appears in my Empties posts month after month, I love the scent of Gillette's Apricot Shave Gel. However, I've recently made a link between shave gel and my legs becoming dry, red and itchy, so I'm going to use up the can I had in reserve and then try something different! Watch this space...
Repurchase? Not once I've finished my next can.
Bangstyle Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner*This SLS-free duo was kindly sent to me by Bangstyle after a spate of bugs with the widget I was hosting for them; I really enjoyed the scent of the products and found the shampoo cleaned my hair well, whilst the conditioner left it soft yet not weighted-down. If I saw these in the shops I'd consider buying them, though they are pretty pricey, but as it is I probably won't repurchase purely because they're not readily available.
Repurchase? Probably not.
The Body Shop Almond Body Butter I think the Almond scent is my all-time favourite from The Body Shop, and I love how thick and moisturising this body butter is. It really works wonders on my eczema and helps keep my often dry, flaky legs feeling soft and smooth.
Repurchase? Already have!
So there you have my June Empties! Have you tried any of these products? Are there products you use up month in, month out? Let me know if you've shared an Empties post this month as I'd love to have a nosey!


Friday, 27 June 2014

Introducing... Looks & Lifestyle

Once again, I have a lovely lady featured in my right-hand sidebar as June's Featured Blogger; meet Jen from Looks and Lifestyle! Today's post is just to give you a little introduction to Jen and her fab blog, and share some of her recent posts which you may be interested in having a look at. Without further ado, I'll let Jen introduce herself!
"Hey! My name is Jen and I am a 21-year-old UK-based blogger who loves to write about all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle related! After working with many fashion and beauty blogs during my internship at university, I was inspired to join in on the blogging fun – and so Looks and Lifestyle was born! Looks and Lifestyle was eventually created in August 2013 and is dedicated to a mix of all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle. The blog has loads of regular posts, reviews and features, including a tasty ‘Recipe Find of the Week’ post as well as a daily ‘#todaywelove’ tweet on its Twitter page – featuring trends and products that are too gorgeous to miss! The latest and best offers to save money on those all-important fashion and beauty essentials are also regularly posted on Twitter. If you want to find out more (or just want to say hi!) please email looksandlifestyle@gmail.com or tweet me @LooksLifestyle1."
Looks & Lifestyle Summer Trends 2014
Summer Trends
Five Beauty Products I Couldn't Live Without
Summer Handbag Essentials
Summer Handbag Essentials
Raspberry Ripple Cake Recipe
Raspberry Ripple Cake Recipe
How good does that Raspberry Ripple Cake look!? My mouth is watering just thinking about it, that's definitely one I'll have to be trying out this sometime summer. So do you like the look of Jen's blog? I'd love it if you could pop over and say hello - let her know I sent you! If you're interested in advertising on Just Jess, you can see more details or purchase your space here.


Thursday, 26 June 2014

A Relaxing Evening With Pied À Terre*

Recently, the lovely people at House of Fraser were kind enough to send me a little treat from Pied À Terre to help me get some all-important relaxation time; with modern life becoming increasingly hectic, it's vital to take some time out for ourselves to de-stress and unwind. Everyone is different and we all like to kick back in our own way, but for me, nothing beats curling up in bed with a face mask on, complete with a hot chocolate, a good book or magazine, and a gorgeous candle burning.
Relaxing Evening With Pied A Terre
I was very kindly sent a set of Three Mini Votive Candles* (RRP £20, currently £14) and Three Mini Reed Diffusers* (RRP £25, currently £17.50); each set features three beautiful-sounding scents: Iris & Vetiver, Plum & Black Amber, and Fig Leaf & Cassis. The mini votives are presented in lovely little glass jars, whilst the diffuser bottles themselves are really pretty, and both sets come housed in gorgeous black and grey gift boxes with a floral design and a ribbon round them, making them the perfect gift - maybe for a housewarming? [Dead links removed, apologies for any inconvenience.]
Pied A Terre Candles & Diffusers
I am truly hopeless at describing scents of any kind, so the following descriptions are taken word-for-word from House of Fraser's site! Iris & Vetiver is described as "A classic feminine floriental with a heart of iris, rose and jasmine, highlighted by top notes of bergamot and pink pepper. A sensual base of moss, vetiver and sweet amber completes the fragrance." I found this one to be quite a sweet floral scent, which I'd consider very summery. Plum & Black Amber is, apparently, "A heavenly fruity rich plum laced with sensual black amber and dark musk accords." Again, I think the description given is pretty spot-on; this is a fruity fragrance with a definite deeper, darker heart to it which I love, this would be my choice for a candle-lit bath or a summer evening. Finally, Fig Leaf & Cassis is described as, "Green leafy fig accords entwine with fruity cassis and redcurrant. A base of white cedar and a hint of creamy coconut adds depth." For me, this is the least strongly-scented of the three; I love coconut scents and was really looking forward to that but unfortunately I can't personally smell any coconut in there. Nonetheless, it is a nice fresh scent and is by no means unpleasant, just not quite as lovely as I was hoping.
Pied A Terre Mini Votives
The candles claim to have a burn time of up to fifteen hours each, giving you a total of 45 hours from this set, which I don't think is bad value even at the full RRP; I've not burnt one fully yet but can confirm that an hour's burning has barely left a dent in the Plum & Black Amber I decided to start with, and the candle gives off a reasonable amount of fragrance. The scent isn't as strong as the diffusers and doesn't quite fill a room, but when it's on the side next to me as I read, it's the perfect level of fragrance and really adds a little something else to my evening of relaxation!
Pied A Terre Mini Reed Diffusers
Pied A Terre Reed Diffuser
Meanwhile, the diffusers claim to last up to two months which, again, isn't bad going, especially as they're the mini versions! Obviously I can't yet comment on how long they last, but the one I've started with (Fig Leaf & Cassis) quickly filled my living room (and, indeed, the kitchen too!) with a beautiful scent, not too strong but enough that you notice it as you walk into the house.
All in all, I think both the Mini Votives and the Mini Reed Diffusers are gorgeous sets, with a lovely mixture of fragrances and a reasonable price point for a good-quality product. I'd definitely consider buying these as a gift, maybe as part of a pamper package! How do you like to unwind after a stressful day? What's your favourite type of scent for a candle or diffuser?

[*Product provided for consideration.]

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Six Mini Reviews #6: Nivea, Nip + Fab, Benefit & More...

I am back once again with another installment of my mission to use up my collection of product samples! Some of these I've had for longer than I care to mention, so I'm definitely pleased with myself for finally getting them used up and clearing out a bit of space. Read on to see how I got on with this bunch of miniature tubs, tubes and sachets!
Six Mini Reviews Nip + Fab Benefit Nivea B. Dove
Dove Colour Radiance Express Treatment Conditioner I don't have coloured hair but I'd been hanging onto this for months and in the end decided I may as well just use it up. This smells absolutely gorgeous and I quite enjoyed the swirled-together pink and white colour of the conditioner, which left my hair feeling soft and smelling lovely. I wouldn't repurchase as I don't have coloured hair but I'd be tempted to try other products from the range if it wasn't for the fact that Dimethicone features so highly on the ingredients list; it's bad for your hair and clogs my pores up something chronic! This is reasonably priced at £2.69 for 200ml.
B. Active Day Cream SPF 15 This came as part of a Gift-With-Purchase set and I really enjoyed using it; it didn't have any particular scent but did a lovely job of hydrating my skin, leaving it soft and moisturised. The fact it contains SPF is a definite bonus, too, as I always forget to apply mine... I don't think I'd repurchase this, though, purely because I don't think it was quite right for my skin type. I really struggle to find moisturisers which suit my super-oily skin! The full-size 50ml is £5.97.
B. Radiant Rejuvenating Serum After my previous experiences with B., I expected good things from this serum but I found it left me feeling a little.. Blah. It just didn't seem to do anything for my skin, and the inclusion of silicones put me off further. This one isn't for me I'm afraid! Full price is £6.97 for 30ml.
Benefit The Porefessional This isn't my first little sample of The Porefessional and I have in fact done a more in-depth review in the past, but it's a sample and I've finished it so I'll damn well include it! The more I use this, the more I become convinced it just isn't for me. I want to love it but I just can't! It feels greasy on my skin, does very little to keep my face looking matte, and seems to encourage my make-up to slide off even more quickly than it does with no primer at all - overall, this really isn't a winner for me which is a shame as I know so many people swear by it. I have another sample, which I'll use, but I wouldn't purchase the full-size, which is £24.50 for 22ml.
Nivea Daily Essentials Sensitive Day Cream Yes, another day cream sample. I really liked this one; despite being aimed at perhaps more dry skin, I found it sank into my skin quickly and left it mattified and soft. It contains SPF 15, and I found that makeup applied really nicely over it, too. I'd consider giving the full-sized version of this a go! This is a bargain at £2.99 for 50ml.
Nip + Fab Coconut Latte Dry Skin Fix Body Butter Well this was just a massive disappointment! The scent was nothing like what I hoped, it didn't really smell of coconuts to me at all. On top of that, contrary to its "dry skin fix" claims, this dried my skin out horribly; I put that down to the Paraffinum Liquidum it contains, and I won't be buying the full size(£8.49 for 200ml)! This has really put me off Nip + Fab actually, I've not tried any of their other products and this has left me not really wanting to.
Have you tried any of these products? Ever tried a product with big claims been left disappointed?


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Summer Holidays On A Budget*

Do you dream of foreign shores but aren't sure how you'll be able to afford to holiday abroad this year? If you cut a few corners and live like a local, there's no reason why you can't spend a week or two in the sun without breaking the bank. Here's how:
Get Saving
Even if you start saving now you can still save a substantial amount towards your holiday spending money. Instead of buying lunch out each day at work, make a packed lunch instead and you'll save a small fortune by the time you fly off on holiday. Likewise, if you treat yourself to a latte and a muffin on the way to work, buy yourself a takeaway style coffee cup and make your coffee at home instead. You could even make a batch of muffins every weekend ready for the week ahead if you need a sweet fix in the mornings. Cut down on takeaways before you go away too. It's easy to spend £20 a time on takeaways, so if you have one a week you're looking at a saving of at least £80 a month by cutting them out.
Leave Now or Book Last Minute
It's cheaper to holiday outside of the school holidays, so you'll make real savings on travel and accommodation if you go away in the next few weeks before the school holidays start in July. Alternatively, if you don't mind where you go and don't need to know exactly which hotel you'll be staying in, booking a last minute deal can also save you money, especially if you're able to be flexible.
Your Holiday Wardrobe
Don't spend a small fortune on the latest designer bikinis when you can buy an entire wardrobe, including some great value bikinis, from George at ASDA at a fraction of the price. Stock up on vests, tropical prints, shorts, pretty dresses, sandals and, of course, swimwear and you'll be ready to hit the beach in style without going bankrupt in the process - see some of my favourites below!
Holiday Fashion With George at Asda
Accommodation Options
Perhaps choose to book your travel and accommodation separately. You can find some great bargains if you break away from package deals. You can also find bargains by booking direct with the owner, especially if you're looking at staying in an apartment or a villa with a group of friends and self catering. Other options are to stay in hostels. That's not as scary as it sounds - in some countries you'll find they're B&B's, so don't dismiss this budget solution until you take a closer look.
Live Like a Local
If you want to find out the cheapest and best places to eat, look for the bars and restaurants crowded with locals. Go to the happy hours in various bars and then switch to soft drinks - you won't catch expats and locals paying tourist prices, that's for sure! Don't be afraid to haggle the price on things like boat trips, especially if there are lots of places operating the same tours in the same area - they want your business after all.
By taking even just a little of this advice on board, you'll be able to enjoy your summer holiday without spending a small fortune. More to spend on new bikinis then! Are you going away this summer? Where are you heading, or where would you like to go? Do you have any more hot tips for getting a holiday on the cheaps?

[*Please note this is a sponsored post.]

Monday, 23 June 2014

NOTD: 'Cancun'

Following on from my NOTD post which featured 'Rhossili', I'm back with the second of the two polishes I've bought from Barry M's Summer 2014 Matte Nail Paints Collection; 'Cancun' is a beautiful matte teal/turquoise shade which is absolutely gorgeous for summer, it really brings to mind beaches and paddling in the sea. I love it! As with most Barry M polishes, I found the formula really easy to work with; it's opaque enough that one coat would be sufficient if you were careful, but I found two did give a deeper colour, so if you've got time it's worth the extra coat in my opinion. These photos show two coats over a base of OPI Nail Envy, with no top coat.
Barry M Matte Cancun
NOTD Barry M Cancun Matte
I only wore this for one day so obviously I can't comment on how long it would last, but I didn't experience any chipping whilst I was wearing it. I did find that it stained my fingers a little upon removal, so I'd recommend being very careful when it comes to taking the polish off! Overall, this is a gorgeous summery shade and well worth the £3.99 it'll set you back for 10ml of product, available from Boots or Superdrug.
What do you think to 'Cancun'? What's your ultimate summer polish shade?


Friday, 20 June 2014

Review: Blackhead Killer Mask

It's been a while since I've reviewed a face mask on this little blog, which I think is mostly because I've been using the type that come in tubes rather than sachets, and consequently using less of a variety of masks. However, I have tried a new one today! I think I received the Blackhead Killer Peel-Off Mask as part of a giveaway prize and it's been sat in my drawer waiting its turn ever since.
Blackhead Killer Mask Review
[Ingredients: Aqua, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Alcohol Denat, Glycerin,
Carbomer, Triethanolamine, CI 77266, Diazolidinyl Urea,
Algin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.]
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this mask, as the packaging doesn't give much away ("Usage: After 10 minutes drying, gently peel off the mask. Cleanse with warm water and apply and delicious face moisturiser."), so I was quite surprised when I snipped open the sachet and squeezed out a thick black gel. I have used black peel-off masks before so I wasn't put off by it; it just wasn't what I was expecting for some reason. I found the mask was quite difficult to spread evenly over the skin (you can see below it's a little patchy), with the 10ml in the sachet being just about the right amount for covering my whole face (excluding my eyes and lips, obviously!). The mask dried fairly quickly, which is always a bonus when you're hanging round looking like you've fallen face-first into a tar pit... I'd say around 10-15 minutes. This was a very satisfying mask to peel off, coming away from the skin in pleasingly large pieces. I did find removing it made my eyes water a little, which leads me to suggest you may be better giving this one a miss if you have very sensitive skin. However, the slight pain was worth it for the sheer amount of gunk I could see on the chunks of peeled-off mask! I could plainly see that the mask was doing its work and clearing out my pores a treat; particularly around my nose and chin, my blackheads are noticeably reduced after using this mask once. They are by no means gone altogether but there are definitely fewer of them. A word of warning; should you happen to get the mask in your eyebrows, I'd recommend washing it off rather than peeling, unless you want to end up missing half an eyebrow..!
Review Blackhead Killer Peel Off Mask
Blackhead Killer Peel-Off Masks are available from StyleLux at their RRP of £14.95 for a pack of five 10ml-sachets, equating to just under £3 per mask. I've never ordered from StyleLux so I wouldn't like to comment on them as a store, though they do offer free shipping on orders over £10 and a money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied after the first use. I have also found the masks for sale on eBay at £7.99 for five, though again I haven't bought from this specific seller so I can't recommend them. Overall, I found the Blackhead Killer Mask to be an effective way of cleaning out my pores and leaving my skin looking clearer and feeling smoother; it worked well with my oily skin. If you have sensitive skin I'd be careful but otherwise I'd recommend these as an easy way to remove blackheads at a reasonable price point! Have you tried Blackhead Killer Masks? What's your favourite peel-off mask?

[*Please note I did not purchase this product with my own money. However, as always, my review is 100% my own opinions.]

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Trilogy Rosehip Collection

Over the past year or so, I've read a lot about Trilogy's products (in particular their Rosehip Oil) on some of my favourite blogs, but have never got around to trying any of them. Recently, though, I received an email about their Rosehip Collection being on a special offer with 25% off the usual price, and quickly caved in and ordered the set.
Rosehip Collection Trilogy
Containing a 5ml Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+, 20ml Vital Moisturising Cream, 30ml Cream Cleanser and 20ml Hydrating Mist Toner, this collection seemed like the ideal way to try a few of Trilogy's best-selling products without committing to full-sized bottles; Trilogy sum this up pretty perfectly: "Experience Trilogy. The Rosehip Collection contains nourishing natural skincare for beautiful, healthy skin. The perfect size for travel, the perfect set to try and the perfect gift for someone you treasure. Enjoy."
Trilogy Rosehip Collection 1
The set is beautifully presented in a red and white box, with plenty of information about the products and how to use them. Even in the miniatures, the packaging of the products themselves is also lovely; sleek white plastic tubes and lovely frosted glass bottles - I'm sure it's not just me who can't resist the science-y draw of a pipette in a beauty product!
Trilogy Rosehip Collection
I'll be reviewing all of these products as I begin to use them in the coming weeks, but just wanted to share now so that you can get them at the lower price if you're interested in trying them; the Rosehip Collection is available from Trilogy priced at £15.35 until the end of June, with the usual price being £20.50; free postage within the UK means this is the perfect way to try some new products if you're curious about Trilogy like I was!
Have you tried any Trilogy products? Are there any you'd recommend? Will you be picking up this set while it's on offer?


Monday, 16 June 2014

Review: The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion

The Body Shop's Vitamin C Microdermabrasion was purchased very much on a whim at the #TBSXmasBonanza back in December; I only opened it mid-May as I'd wanted to finish my previous exfoliating product off before opening another, but have since been using Microdermabrasion in the shower every other day. The packaging tells us this product provides, "Weekly home-spa exfoliation. With Vitamin C-rich Amazonian Camu Camu and Community Trade Shea Butter." According to The Body Shop's website, "Fine exfoliating micro-particles and crushed garnet stones remove dead skin cells to reveal a brighter, more radiant complexion. Removes dead skin cells, leaves skin feeling soft and smooth, gives skin a brighter, more radiant look, improves skin texture and tone."
The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion
I always exfoliate in the shower as I find this the easiest way of ensuring I don't have exfoliating particles left stuck to my skin afterwards. I've been using Vitamin C Microdermabrasion by squeezing a large-pea-sized-amount onto my fingertips and massaging with a circular motion onto my skin, focussing on my nose, chin and forehead, as these are the areas which tend to get the most congested. The product is opaque and white in colour, with super-fine exfoliating particles which don't feel harsh on the skin at all, but still feel like they're doing what they're supposed to. The scent is beautiful, really fresh and citrussy, which makes this a pleasure to use and is ideal for waking you up of a morning!
Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion
The packaging suggests using no more than twice a week, but I have to admit I've been using it a little more often than that (three or four times per week), as my oily skin tends to become dull and congested quite quickly; if you have drier or more sensitive skin, I'd definitely recommend sticking to just once per week as suggested! I do agree with The Body Shop's suggestions that this wouldn't be suitable for extremely sensitive skin, so if that's you I'd recommend steering clear. Personally, though, I've really enjoyed using the Vitamin C Microdermabrasion so far, with my skin feeling much smoother and softer and looking brighter and healthier after use. I've found I have fewer blackheads around my chin and nose, and the little under-the-skin bumps I had on my cheeks are also greatly reduced, so I'm hopeful that with time they'll go away altogether - a girl can dream, eh!?
Vitamin C Microdermabrasion Body Shop
The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion is available in-store and online from The Body Shop, priced at £13 for 75ml. It does sound pricey for such a small tube, but a little really does go a long way (I use literally half as much as I was using with my previous St Ives scrub), and if you look out for one of The Body Shop's frequent offers I'm sure you'd be able to grab a bargain! I actually mentioned this in my recent Summer Favourites post, which should tell you how much I'm loving it; I can definitely see myself re-purchasing once I've finished this tube as it basically does everything I want an exfoliator to do for me.
Have you tried The Body Shop's Vitamin C Microdermabrasion, or any other products from the Vitamin C range? How often do you exfoliate?


Saturday, 14 June 2014

What I've Won

It's been a while since I've posted to share anything I've won - really, that's because I'd pretty much stopped entering giveaways and competitions due to a total lack of time on my hands! I've had a little bit more time to spare recently so have got back into entering things here and there, which has led to receiving a few lovely bits and pieces through the post. As always, I'm not trying to brag in any way by sharing these; I just know that I enjoy seeing what other people have won, and think it's a nice way to thank those who have been kind enough to hold these giveaways!
Makeup Revolution
Kate from A British Sparkle gave away a fab box full of beauty goodies including Makeup Revolution's Redemption palette and some other bits and pieces, which I can't wait to have a play around with - expect a few more reviews of these beauties coming your way soon.

Tiny Thunder Necklace
Bee from Vivatramp, one of my favourite blogs, gave away this gorgeous Harry Potter-esque Tiny Thunder necklace from Little Darling, which is just so delicate and pretty; I absolutely love it.

Knitting Smitten
Laura from Made Peachy gave away three copies of Knitting Smitten by Jessica Briscoe, of which I was one of the lucky winners. I've never managed to get the hang of knitting but have been meaning to give it another go, and I'm hoping this will be the motivation I need!

Jamie London Bangle
Emma from Is This Real Life? gave away this gorgeous Jamie Jewellery bangle which is even more lovely in real life, I can't get over how delicate and shiny it is!! The charms are just beautiful.

Mac Pink Pearl Pop Lipstick
Kirsty from Behind These Closed Eyes gave away a MAC lipstick; I was lucky enough to win and chose the shade 'Pink Pearl Pop', which I've been eyeing up for months, to add to my little lipstick collection!

Baobella Giveaway Win
Kat from Tales of A Pale Face gave away a selection of beauty goodies in collaboration with Baobella. They included a Paul Penders Moisturiser, an AEOS Exfoliator and a L'Oreal lipstick.

Hobbs Gift Card Win
I was also lucky enough to win an incredible £500 Hobbs Gift Card from Sarah over at Temporary: Secretary; I am so excited to choose some beautiful things to spend this prize on, I'm eyeing up their gorgeous handbags and leather jackets!!
So, thank you so much to Kate, Bee, Laura, Emma, Kirsty, Kat and Sarah! Have you won anything lovely lately? What would you choose from Hobbs with £500 to spend? What's your favourite MAC lipstick shade?


Monday, 9 June 2014

Wishlist: Clarins [+ Sale!]

Clarins isn't a brand I've tried many products from, although there are several that I read about on an almost weekly basis which have therefore snuck their way onto my wishlist. Luckily for me, Clarins will soon be having a sale, and are giving us the option to sign up for a preview to be first to access the bargains - the perfect time to finally try some of the products I've been lusting after!? Here are my top picks of products I'm hoping to see included in the sale.
Clarins Wish List
(Clockwise from top left:)
Blush Prodige Illuminating Cheek Colour in 'Miami Pink', £26
Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 'Rose Shimmer', £18
Ever Matte Skin Balancing Foundation, £27
Starting with make-up, the Blush Prodige all look beautiful but the shade 'Miami Pink' in particular has caught my eye, I love that you get two complementary shades. The Lip Perfectors look gorgeous on everyone I've seen wear them, with 'Rose Shimmer' looking like the shade I'd get the most wear out of. I've never really tried a high-end foundation and haven't really read any reviews of the Ever Matte Skin Balancing Foundation, but I have to admit it sounds like a promising option for my supremely oily skin. Moving onto skincare, the Gentle Exfoliating toner is a product I've seen blogger after blogger rave about and I'm so keen to try it and see what it can do for my skin. I'm always looking for solutions for the cavernous pores around my nose, so I'd be interested to try the Truly Matte Pore Minimising Serum. Finally, the Beauty Flash Balm is a cult classic and a product I'm absolutely going to have to try at some point - if it's in the sale then so much the better! Remember you can sign up to be notified of the preview by clicking the banner below.
Clarins, Clarins Sale Preview
Have you tried any of the products on my wishlist? What were your thoughts? What are you hoping to see included in the sale?

[Please note this post contains affiliate links.]

Saturday, 7 June 2014

NOTD: 'Rhossili'

Yesterday I shared a couple of new Barry M Nail Paints I'd picked up, and since I'm off work this weekend I've been able to try one out! 'Rhossili' is a lovely deep plum-pink shade which goes on really smoothly and could easily be a one-coater, though the colour does become a little deeper with a second coat. I've applied it over OPI's Nail Envy, with no top coat so as not to ruin the matte finish. It's not quite a pure matte but has a slight sheen to it, which I really like, and I think this particular shade would also look gorgeous with a glossy top coat.
NOTD Barry M Matte NP Rhossili
NOTD Barry M Matte Rhossili
'Rhossili' is available from Boots and Superdrug, priced at £3.99 for 10ml of product - reasonably priced as Barry M products always are! Have you picked up any of Barry M's new Matte Nail Paint offerings? What do you think of 'Rhossili'? Are you a fan of the matte nails trend?


Friday, 6 June 2014

New Barry M Matte Nail Paints

Barry M are by far my most-bought nail polish brand, I absolutely love the huge range of shades and finishes, not to mention the awesome quality for a super-affordable price. When I heard that some new Matte Nail Paints were being released for Summer 2014, I was pretty much queuing up outside Superdrug - I really love matte nails, and the Matte Nail Paints I've tried from Barry M have been really lovely. There are also two Limited Edition (non-matte) shades released in Superdrug at £3.99 each, with a special offer of getting one free when you spend over £6 on other Barry M products - bargain!
I popped in on my way to work on Wednesday and limited myself to two of the new Matte shades plus the one freebie. I picked up 'Rhossili', which is a lovely bright purple-pink, and 'Cancun', which is a teal shade. The LE shade I went for was 'Seaside', a gorgeous bright blue with shimmer. The other LE shade available in Superdrug is 'Promenade', which is a bright pink, again with shimmer. The other Matte Nail Paints include 'Waikiki', a bright lime green; 'Copacabana', a pink/coral; 'Malibu', a true bright blue; and 'Miami', a peach/pink. I'm definitely eyeing up a couple more of these, egged on by the fact that Boots also have two Limited Edition shades...
Barry M 2014 Summer Matte Nails Paints
Barry M Summer Matte Nails Paints
(L-R: 'Rhossili', 'Seaside' and 'Cancun')
I haven't worn my new polishes yet (due to not being allowed my nails painted at work, sob!) but I'll have a couple of NOTDs up in the coming week or two to show you how they look on the nails. I've currently got 'Seaside' on my toes but there are no feet allowed on my blog so you'll just have to hang on to see how it looks! I will say it's a lovely bright, shimmery shade which really puts me in the mood for a day at the beach.
Have you picked up any of the new Matte Nail Paints yet? Which shades have caught your eye? Are you a sucker for a Limited Edition polish like I am!?


Monday, 2 June 2014

Review: W7 Metallic Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner*

I was very kindly sent W7's Metallic Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in the shade 'Cosmic Mauve'* to try out and share with you all; a range of metallic liquid eyeliners which are designed to be smudge- and crease-proof, the Metallic Eyes range is available in several shades, but I'm partial to a bit of purple on my eyes, hence my shade choice. The eyeliner is presented in a slim black tube which unscrews to reveal a long, fine eyeliner brush. The cap screws on securely enough that I'd be pretty confident travelling with this in my bag, and the coloured stripe on the packaging makes it easy to see which shade you've picked up, should you happen to have a selection.
W7 Metallic Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Cosmic Mauve
I'd like to point out now that I'm horrible at applying liquid eyeliner, but have actually enjoyed relative success with this particular one! I find the first coat goes on quite sheer, but dries quickly, allowing you to go over with a second coat which gives a lovely bright, vivid colour and a really clean line. I tend to apply to one eye, then the second, and by the time I've done the second eye, the first eye has dried enough to add a second coat.
W7 Metallic Eyes Cosmic Mauve
I have super oily skin and often struggle with eyeliner transferring or smudging on my lids, and whilst this has sometimes been the case with Metallic Eyes, I can get a good 6-8 hours wear from it first, which isn't bad going in my books and would be more than enough for a night out. I tend to wear it quite thickly above my upper lashline, flicked out into a slight cateye, and paired with black pencil liner on my waterline and lower lashline for quite a dramatic, smokey look. You could also easily apply a much finer line and lose the cateye to make this more daytime-appropriate.
[Ingredients: Aqua, Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, 
Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Simethicone, 
Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben. 
May contain: CI 77498.]
The ingredients maybe aren't the best, with a whole list of parabens, but for a product in this price band that's hardly surprising. I have quite sensitive eyes and haven't experienced any problems whilst using this liner so I'd imagine you'd be fine. I've also found that Metallic Eyes is pretty easy to remove with my regular cleanser or with eye make-up remover, so there's no pulling and tugging at the delicate eye area.
In all, I think this is a lovely liner which is fun to wear and super-easy to apply, even for someone like me who truly sucks at liquid eyeliner! For the price, you can't really go wrong and I'd definitely recommend picking up a shade or two to experiment with. W7 Metallic Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in 'Cosmic Mauve' is available to purchase from Xtras, priced at £1.99.

[*This product was sent to me for review purposes, however as always my review is 100% honest. Please note this post contains affiliate links.]

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Gift Guide: Father's Day

I think I've said it before and I'm going to say it again; my Dad is an absolute nightmare to buy gifts for! He doesn't really have any hobbies, he doesn't play golf or watch football or go fishing, any of the usual Dad pursuits. He has a full beard so shaving products are out. He has quite a physical job so isn't interested in things like gym memberships or any kind of fitness products. I'm pretty much limited to shower gel, chocolate, deodorant and socks, which even I have to admit are fairly uninspiring as gift choices go! Father's Day falls on June 15th, two weeks today; this year I'm doing my best to think outside the box and have put together a little mix of things I think may be worth a try.
Father's Day Gift Ideas
RHS Gardening Through The Year, Amazon, £13.59
Original Source For Men Hair & Body Wash in Black Mint, Spearmint 
& Black Pepper & Chilli, Boots, £2.35 each
Chocolate Smothered Fudge, Thorntons, £5
Calvin Klein CKOne Shock Aftershave, Xtras, £19.99
Ultrasun Face SPF 30, Feel Unique, £18.50
Cookie Monster Socks, New Look, £3.99
One thing my Dad does quite enjoy is pottering round the garden; he grows a lot of vegetables and quite a few other plants, so something like this RHS Gardening Through The Year guide would be ideal; lots of pictures means there isn't too much reading involved, either! Shower gel is always a safe option and my Dad is a big fan of the manly scents offered by Original Source; the minty ones are super fresh and I imagine the Black Pepper & Chilli would be pretty invigorating, too! Fudge is a failsafe treat in our household and Thorntons are the ultimate in fudge as far as I'm concerned; if it comes with added chocolate, then so much the better! My Dad is very picky with his watches; they have to be just the right size, and he won't wear anything with a leather or fabric strap as they go nasty pretty quickly as he's regularly elbow-deep in water and other places (he's a farmer, I won't say any more!). Though it's sadly outside my budget this year, I think this silicon-strapped Tommy Hilfiger watch would be perfect as it's not too big, and shows the date as well as the time. Aftershave is quite a tricky one to buy as a gift as it's so personal, but my Dad wears it so infrequently that I don't think he notices what it smells like; it's just something you wear when you need to be presentable! I personally like the CKOne Shock range so I'm hoping he would too. Spending a lot of time outdoors means my Dad gets through SPF like there's no tomorrow, so stocking up on that is a good option as far as I can see. Socks are a bit of a cliché but they are one of life's essentials and I do love this Cookie Monster pair with their cheery bright-blue colour. Finally, Dad does enjoy a tipple of an evening, with whiskey being his drink of choice, so if I was really pushing the boat out this Johnnie Walker Limited Edition bottle would go down a treat, I'm sure.
Would your Dad enjoy any of these gifts? Do you have any recommendations for those of us with impossible-to-shop-for Dads? What are you getting your Dad this Father's Day?

[Please note this post contains affiliate links.]
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