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Friday, 31 October 2014

Empties: October 2014

We're not even going to discuss the fact that it's the end of October and tonight is Halloween. We're just ignoring that fact. We are somewhat in denial, but that's okay. We cannot face the idea that the year is almost over. We're going to get straight down to this month's paltry offering of empties; it's been a really poor month actually, I'm disappointed in myself, although there are quite a few things that are so nearly there... I'm expecting a good month in November!!
October Beauty Empties
October Empties

Heel Patches I'm never really sure whether to include single-use products like this in my Empties posts, but I guess it is empty and I have used it, so I'm chucking it in there! I bought these on an absolute whim just to try and ended up being pretty impressed with how effective they were in terms of softening my heels up overnight, with just one use. At 99p a shot they're pretty affordable as well.
Repurchase? Yes.
Batiste Pixie Lott Dry Shampoo Without fail, every month, dry shampoo features in my Empties post. Here it is! I am really running out of things to say about Batiste, aside from I loooove the scent of the Pixie Lott collaboration and can't be without a can of dry shampoo in my life - I wash my hair every other day as it is, without dry shampoo it would have to be daily.
Repurchase? Maybe, as I've actually got a couple of other brands to trial at the moment.
The Body Shop Chocomania Body Butter I actually wasn't keen on the scent of this at first, despite being a massive chocoholic, but it did grow on me as I used it. This has accompanied me on a couple of weekends away as it's a handy size for travelling with and has done a good job of keeping my limbs hydrated whilst I've been out and about, as well as soothing a little bit of sunburn in Nice at the end of last month. I've scraped the last out of the pot back at home as there wasn't enough left for another weekend away.
Repurchase? Maybe; there are other variants I prefer but I'll definitely be buying Body Shop body butters for the foreseeable future, I love them!
Mellor & Russell Macadamia Oil Hand Cream I've had this tube of hand cream ages and have really liked it; despite being from Poundland, its ingredients list is pretty skin-friendly and it's done a good job for me of moisturising my hands and keeping them in reasonable shape. The tube has also lasted absolutely ages as you can tell from the date of the review, which was actually a guest post on another blog, so do go over for a read!
Repurchase? Maybe, if it's still available and once I've used a few hand creams from my stash.
Garnier Simply Essentials Soothing Eye Make-up Remover I've been through quite a few bottles of this now and have found it great in terms of removing all my eye make-up without stinging my eyes or requiring me to tug and drag at the delicate eye area. I wear eye make-up on a daily basis so I do tend to go through a lot of remover, which makes me wish this came in a slightly bigger bottle!
Repurchase? Maybe, although I couldn't find it when I wanted to repurchase and ended up getting something else to try.
The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion I love this! It's a super-fine scrub which really leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth and looking fresher and brighter, whilst also smelling absolutely beautiful. It's quite pricey for a scrub, for me, but there are often offers available to I'll probably pick up another tube when I catch it at a reasonable price. This lasted me quite a few months and would have lasted longer if someone hadn't squeezed half the tube into the bath...
Repurchase? Probably.
Simple Refreshing Toner I really dread to think how long I've had this particular bottle of toner, I'm pretty sure I had it when I started blogging which is over three years ago now... I went off Simple products around that time as I started to learn about skincare ingredients and was really miffed that they market themselves as being such a natural brand, and yet their products are packed with parabens!? That aside, I've finally finished this and am glad to see the back of it, I didn't feel like it benefitted my skin in the slightest, though I do intend to keep up using a toner.
Repurchase? No.
That's it. That's them all. Have you tried any of these products? Any toner recommendations for oily skin? If you're doing anything for Halloween tonight, I hope you have a wonderful time - I will be dressing up as Jack Skellington and going out for Chinese food with some friends, then watching horror movies until the small hours of tomorrow morning, and I can't wait!!


Thursday, 30 October 2014

Makeup Revolution I ♥ Passion Palette

I recently received Makeup Revolution's I ♥ Passion Palette in a bundle of Makeup Revolution products which I was lucky enough to win from London Beauty Queen. I've been really wanting to try more of Makeup Revolution's palettes and this one looks like a pretty good place to expand my horizons! Containing sixteen eyeshadow shades in a mixture of matte and shimmer finishes, Makeup Revolution say the I ♥ Passion palette is inspired by an obsession with passion.
MR I Heart Passion Palette Review & Swatches
I have to say I'm not a huge fan of the packaging, I can't help but think the massive pink heart diamante thing looks a little tacky, although I can't deny that it's eye-catching and makes the palette easy to find amongst my collection; it's just not something I'd want to use in public as I think it looks cheap. That said, the palette feels sturdy, closes securely and features a decent-sized mirror, all of which are good points in my book.
Makeup Revolution I Heart Passion Palette Shades
The sixteen shades all have names, printed on a clear plastic overlay which protects the shadows and also helps to keep the mirror clean while the palette is closed, although I have to admit I've lost the overlay now... There's a nice mix of matte and shimmer shades, with the pigmentation being pretty consistent throughout the palette; the matte shades aren't quite up to the same standard as the shimmers, but that's to be expected, particularly in a budget palette like this. Overall, the quality of the shades is pretty good for the price and the smooth texture makes them easy to work with and blend; I haven't noticed any fallout.
I Heart Passion First Row Swatches
First row left to right: Love Is The Drug, Limber Up, Rumba Down, I Say Go, Guess The Rest.
I Heart Passion 2nd row swatches
Second Row left to right: I Believe, Dangerous Liaisons, In My Heart, Heartbreaker Romance, Takes Over, We Are Going Home.
I Heart Passion 3rd row swatches
Third Row left to right: Missing A Beat, Never Never, Catch Your Eye, U Need More, Easier Affair.
I've shared two looks I've created using this palette below; for the first, I simply used 'I Say Go', a shimmery taupe, all over the lids.
Makeup Revolution I Say Go
The second is a bit more of a put-together look, using 'In My Heart' (a light matte purple-grey) all over the lids, with 'Dangerous Liaisons', a shimmery deep purple, to define the outer corners, and 'Easier Affair', a cool-toned cream shimmer, through the crease and blended down to add a little more dimension.
MR I Heart Passion Purple Eye Look
All in all, I think this palette contains a lovely range of shades in a good mix of finishes, making it versatile and easy to wear. The shadows are pigmented and easy to work with, and I've found that even without primer on my oily lids, they last around 8 or 9 hours before any signs of creasing begin to appear, which is pretty good! This has definitely made me want to try more Makeup Revolution palettes! Have you tried the I ♥ Passion palette? Do you have any Makeup Revolution favourites? What do I need to try next?


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Review: Heel Patches

I recently picked up a packet of Heel Patches in Home Bargains purely through curiosity, to see if they made any difference at all to the state of my feet. I'm really not a fan of feet so don't worry, there are no foot photos in this post - just a quick review of my experience with the patches! "Heel patches softening treatment enriched with natural extracts. Helps to soothe and soften your split and rough heels. Intensive heel softening patches are enriched with natural extracts of Aloe Vera and other natural ingredients to help penetrate deep into the skin. Helping to reduce callus build-up and help sooth and soften cracked and split heels."
Home Bargains Heel Patches Review
[Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Urea, Cera Alba, PEG-8, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tremella Fuciformis Polysaccharide, White Petrolatum, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Polysorbate 60, Stearic Acid, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben.]
The foil sachet tears open to reveal two patches, one for each foot. It's pretty easy to remove the backing and apply the patch to your heel, with the treatment consisting of a thick waxy cream which I lined up with the driest part of my heel. I ended up looking like I had a giant plaster on the back of each foot, but I was wearing them for bed so no-one was going to see! I did find that the patches came a little unstuck during the night, with the edges rolling up somewhat, but they were still firmly stuck to my feel come morning. I found the patches easy to remove, like peeling off a plaster but less sticky, and there was a slight residue of the cream left on my feet, which I massaged into my skin to get the full benefit of the treatment. I have definitely noticed a difference in how soft my heels are over the following three or four days, meaning this is a treatment I'd consider picking up again. It's quick, easy to use and has noticeable effects, so I think I'm onto a winner, especially given that a pack of two is just 99p at Home Bargains! I'm not a fan of the inclusion of petroleum and parabens, but at this price I can't really complain, and I have to admit the patches are effective! Have you ever tried heel patches or a similar product? How do you look after your feet?


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Review: Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm*

I've mentioned a few times on this 'ere blog that I struggle quite badly with eczema; I've had it since I was a child and, although I grew out of it for quite a few years, I kind of grew back into it around the age of nineteen. My main problem is my hands, which are often dry and flakey or red and sore. I also occasionally struggle with the insides of my elbows and the backs of my knees, although this is much better since switching to SLS-free shampoo & body wash; however, my legs in generally are still extremely dry and itchy, to the point where I've woken myself up in the night scratching til they bleed - not ideal. 
Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm Review
So, you can probably guess why when I was offered the opportunity to try a couple of products from Eau Thermale Avène's new XeraCalm range, which is aimed at skin prone to severe dryness and itching, I jumped at the chance! I was very kindly sent the Lipid-Replenishing Balm* and Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil* to try out. This is going to be a long post, so I apologise for that, but I wanted to give a comprehensive review of these products.
Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm Lipid Replenishing Balm
"Lipid Replenishing Balm specifically formulated for severe dryness in the skin of infants, children and adults • Skin prone to atopic dermatitis • Skin prone to irritations, redness and itching caused by skin dryness • Naturally dry skin. The formula for XeraCalm AD Lipid Replenishing Balm was created using a minimum of ingredients: • The I-Modulia complex, the result of 12 years of scientific development, reduces itching sensations caused by skin dryness and soothes redness and irritations caused by the skin's hyper-reactivity. • CER-OMEGA lipids which resemble those found in the skin help to repair, nourish and strengthen the protective film, giving the skin better resistance against external aggressions. • Avène Thermal Spring Water with its soothing, anti-irritating properties reduces sensations of discomfort and softens the skin. • This formula is from the "sterile cosmetics" generation and combines "high technology" actives with Avène Thermal Spring Water, and contains absolutely no fragrance, alcohol or colourants; skin is therefore soothed, comforted and softened in complete safety. Apply XeraCalm AD Lipid Replenishing Balm once or twice a day to dry areas of the face and/or body, after cleansing. After use, remove all excess product and close bottle."
Avene Xeracalm Balm
I really like the opening of this tube which doesn't allow air to enter the tube, meaning the product is kept sterile and will last well without the need for excessive preservatives; it's a little bit harder to squeeze product from the tube than with a traditional tube, but that doesn't concern me personally. The box containing the balm also provides a leaflet which gives a little background on Eau Thermale Avène, its properties and the kind of symptoms it can help to ease.
XeraCalm Balm
I was a little worried about the inclusion of Paraffinum Liquidum in the ingredients list, as I have in the past found that products containing Liquid Paraffin (also known as Mineral Oil) have a tendency to really dry my skin out, which obviously isn't what I'm looking for. The thick, white balm is a creamy texture which is easy to spread over the skin and takes a few minutes to absorb, which I absolutely don't mind if a product works well; I know a lot of people hate waiting for body lotions and the like to soak in, but when you've suffered dry skin to the extent I have, trust me - you don't mind. This seems to do a reasonable job of treating dryness on my legs when used daily, but unfortunately I've found that, despite its claims, it doesn't really soothe itching upon application. I'm also in two minds about it as I have found it needs re-applying at least once a day and sometimes twice to keep my skin feeling happy - which isn't the case with other products I've tried, leading me to think it may be down to the Paraffin. This is not a product I'd consider buying again for those reasons - there are just products that work better for me and do more to keep my skin hydrated and happy.
Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm Lipid Replenishing Cleansing Oil
"Lipid Replenishing Cleansing Oil gently cleanses & soothes itching sensations. The formula for XeraCalm AD Cleansing Oil was created using a minimum of ingredients • A very gentle soap-free cleansing base cleanses the skin and protects it against the drying effects of water. • The I-Modulia complex, result of 12 years of scientific development, reduces itching sensations caused by skin dryness and and soothes redness and irritations caused by skin's hyper-reactivity. • CER-OMEGA lipids, which resemble those found in the skin, help to repair, nourish and strengthen the protective film, giving the skin better resistance against external aggressions. • Skin feels comfortable and smooth. Rich in Avène Thermal Spring Water. Very good cutaneous and ocular tolerance - Does not sting the eyes. Directions for use; In the shower, lather onto wet hands before applying to the skin. In the bath, pour the equivalent of five pumps into bathwater while filling the tub. Rinse thoroughly and dry without rubbing, then apply the Cream or XeraCalm AD Lipid Replenishing Balm."
Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm Cleansing Oil
The large bottle of Cleansing Oil features a pump which makes for really easy dispensation of product, a definite bonus as I'm forever dropping bottles on my feet in the shower and they're always more painful than you'd think! Despite being described as an oil, I wouldn't say this product is at all oil-like in texture or consistency; it's actually a pretty standard body wash kind of product which I've been using in the shower with my exfoliating gloves. It lathers quite nicely and does leave my skin feeling clean without being stripped or irritated. There's no strong scent to it which is obviously a bonus if you're sensitive to fragranced products. Personally, I haven't found my skin to react to this any differently than it has to other SLS-free body washes, many of which smell much nicer. For that reason, I can't see myself repurchasing, particularly when there are other much more purse-friendly options available.
Overall, I've found both of these products work okay with my skin - but for the price I want more than okay. The Lipid Replenishing Balm doesn't seem to keep my skin from getting dry for as long as I'd like, so this isn't one I'll be buying again. The Cleansing Oil does a good job and hasn't irritated my skin, but as I said it doesn't seem anything special compared to other, much cheaper, SLS-free body washes. If you're sensitive to scented products or haven't found anything that works well with your eczema-prone skin, I'd definitely recommend giving these a try, but for me I don't think they're worth the price-point. The Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm range is available in Boots, with the XeraCalm Lipid Replenishing Balm being priced at £18.50 for 200ml of product, and the XeraCalm Lipid Replenishing Cleansing Oil at £15.50 for 400ml; also available in the range is a XeraCalm Lipid Replenishing Cream which is priced at £16.50 for 200ml. What are the best products you've found for keeping eczema or other dry skin conditions under control? Have you tried Eau Thermale Avène's XeraCalm range?

[*These products were provided in return for an honest review; as always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.]

Friday, 24 October 2014

Five Most Used: Palettes

I think I'm coming towards the end of this little Most Used series, I can only think of a couple more product types to cover! Today I have the post which probably includes the hardest decisions to make; my most-used palettes. I wear eyeshadow every day I wear make-up so I like to have a lot of options to keep things fresh; I do own quite a few single eyeshadows but it's definitely my palettes which see the most love.
Five Most Used Palettes
ELF NYC Palette
ELF NYC | The most recently-acquired of these palettes, I've been using this fairly frequently for a striking eye make-up look with minimal effort, as applying these shadows with a reasonably damp brush gives a lovely foil-like effect on the lids. Again, these are lacking shade names but the second and fourth shades in the top row have seen the most use.
MUA Undressed Palette
MUA Undressed | This palette has definitely seen better days, which is really the only weakness of MUA palettes; the packaging is a bit pants. Aside from that, this is meant to be a cracking dupe for the Urban Decay Naked palette (which I don't own, hence I'm saying "meant to be") and features a dozen lovely neutral shades with both shimmery and matte finishes. The pigmentation isn't quite 100% with the matte shades but they're notoriously harder to get right and for the budget price point of this palette, I really don't mind. The shades don't have names but my most-worn are shade 2, shade 4 and shade 9.
Sleek Showstoppers Palette
Sleek Showstoppers | This is my first and only Sleek palette, a limited edition number which is packed full of incredibly pigmented shades which apply beautifully and last so well on the eyes. It's definitely made me want to try more Sleek palettes, although my local Superdrug no longer stocks the brand so it's become a little tricky for me to pick up more of them! I think this is the palette with the most 'out-there' shades from these five most-used, but they are mostly still very wearable on a day-to-day basis. My favourite shades are 'Bad Girl', the oddly-named 'Noir', and 'Graphite'.
Stila In The Light Palette
Stila In The Light | Another palette I won, this contains ten shades in various neutral tones which again, are all super-wearable and an absolute dream to work with. They're beautifully pigmented and blend so easily on the lids. I have found that the more shimmery shades can produce a bit of fallout if you don't use an extremely light hand when picking them up with your brush. In The Light also includes a Smudge Stick in 'Damsel', a deep brown, which complements the shadows well and lasts nicely on the skin, even in the waterline. Favourites are 'Kitten' and 'Champagne'.
Urban Decay Naked 2
Urban Decay Naked2 | This is such a predictable palette to include but I really do love it and it's definitely one of my most-used; it contains a beautiful selection of neutral shades which are suitable for day-to-day wear and can easily be built up for a more dramatic look. All twelve shadows are really nicely pigmented, apply smoothly and blend well, making them a dream to work with. I actually won this palette but I'd be more than willing to buy it now, having seen how much wear I get from it! My favourite shades within this palette are probably 'Half Baked', 'Chopper', 'YDK' and 'Verve'.
You may have noticed that the majority of these palettes consist of mostly neutral shades; neutrals are definitely my most-worn eyeshadow choices, but I wouldn't say my favourite necessarily. I am a huge fan of really bright, out-there eyeshadow (I love green eye make-up!) but it's just not suitable for work, so can't honestly constitute my most-worn palettes. I do love all of these palettes but I feel like this is a different post altogether than it would be if I'd done my five favourite palettes, as opposed to most-used. I hope that makes sense! What are your most-used palettes? Do you own any of these beauties?


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Review: Dr Organic+ Olive Oil Body Scrub

I recently picked up the Dr Organic+ Olive Oil Body Scrub (along with the Rose Otto Shampoo which I've previously reviewed) and have been enjoying having a good ol' scrub in my shower of a morning for a couple of weeks now; it's been a while since I've used a body scrub, having been depending on my exfoliating gloves and body wash, so it's made a nice change to add another product into the mix.
Dr Organic Olive Oil Body Scrub Review
"A super-hydrating body scrub with micro particles of pure volcanic lava. • Exfoliating. • Energising. • Hydrating. • Bioactive Organic Virgin Olive Oil is an intensely nutritious and moisturising fruit oil, rich in Oleic acid, a powerful antioxidant. We blend this organic fruit oil with a proprietary selection of highly moisturising, nourishing and replenishing bioactive, natural and organic ingredients. This hydrating body scrub combines natural micro particles of volcanic lava to gently but efficiently remove dead skin cells and stimulate the circulation deep into the capillaries, giving the body an instant re-energised lift, leaving the skin beautifully hydrated, silky smooth and bursting with vitality."
Dr Organic Olive Scrub
The squeezy tube with flip cap is easy to use even with wet hands in the shower, and the thick creamy scrub squeezes out easily enough; there are fewer scrubby particles than I'm maybe used to in a scrub, with a thick creamy base, meaning it lathers up nicely when massaged into damp skin with the hands. I've been using a grape-sized blob for each leg and around the same for both arms, so the 200ml tube should last fairly well.
Dr Organic Olive Scrub Review
The exfoliating particles do just enough to leave the skin feeling soft and smooth, without causing irritation or soreness; I do like quite a harsh scrub and whilst this isn't one of those, I can definitely feel that it's worked after use. There's no real scent to the product and it doesn't leave any kind of film or residue on the skin after use, so it shouldn't interfere with any other products you wish to apply afterwards.
Dr Organic Olive Oil Scrub
Overall, I've really been enjoying this as an added step in my routine and whilst I don't feel it's an essential product, it's definitely nice to have! I can certainly see myself buying this again, maybe in one of the other variants Dr Organic+ has to offer. Dr Organic+ Olive Oil Body Scrub is available from Holland & Barrett's, priced at £6.39 for 200ml of product. Have you tried Dr Organic+ scrubs? What's your favourite way to exfoliate your body?


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Rainy Day Fashion

Inspired by today's horrific weather (hello ex-Hurricane Gonzalo, you are certainly making your presence felt!) and my subsequent inability to take any blog photos, I've put together a little set of some rainy day fashion essentials. Dressing for the British winter definitely comes with its fair selection of challenges, but I think really it's all about being prepared - what are your essentials for keeping dry and yet still stylish for the next few months?
Rainy Day Fashion
1. Pink Aztec Jacquard Scarf, Debenhams, £8
2. Teal Backpack, Topshop, £34
3. Bailey & Quinn Bicycle Umbrella, Debenhams, £14.40
4. Tartan Print Wellies, Matalan, £12
5. Biker Style Boots, La Redoute, £49
6. Black Matte Chelsea Wellies, New Look, £15.99
7. Burgundy Quilted Parka, New Look, £48.99
First up, a scarf is ideal for keeping you warm and cosy on even the breeziest of days, whilst it can also double for keeping your hair dry on days when a brolly would last a maximum of 0.6 seconds before turning into a lethal handful of bent aluminium. An umbrella is an obvious choice for the less-windy rainy days, with a foldable option being a great idea for keeping in your handbag. Indeed, I carry a brolly all year round because you never know when it might come in handy! Speaking of handbags, something at least vaguely waterproof is a good idea for keeping your belongings safe and dry - I love this teal backpack from Topshop! When it comes to footwear, canvas shoes and ballet pumps are out until around May as far as I'm concerned - there is nothing worse than getting to work with already-wet feet and having to spend the day drying out. That said, boots are an excellent choice, or of course you can go down the wellies-for-the-commute route and take a less weather-appropriate pair of shoes to change into. You could potentially actually get away with wearing the matte pair above all day, come to think about it! A decent coat is a bit of a no-brainer for keeping warm and dry; a hood is essential as far as I'm concerned, and the resurgence of the parka trend makes this an easy box to tick this season! I adore the burgundy colour of this New Look one.
Are any of these on your rainy day essentials list? Is there anything else you'd add? Do you have a top tip for keeping dry whilst looking good in the rainy winter months?


Saturday, 18 October 2014

Skincare Wishlist: Night Creams

I kind of keep forgetting about this little skincare wishlist series I have going on; I am a massive skincare junkie but am really trying to reign myself in at the moment (especially as I'm currently living with my parents, who can't quite believe the sheer volume of make-up and toiletries I own...) so these posts are meant to stop me buying quite so many skincare products... I'll let you take a guess as to how effective that is! Anyhow, night creams are something I've only really come to understand in the last couple of years, but now I have more on my wishlist than you could shake a stick at!
Wish List: Night Cream

Superfacialist Rose Peaceful Skin Night Cream, Boots, £16.99
Freshskin by Elemis Dreamy Skin Night-Time Moisturiser, Superdrug, £13.66
Nip + Fab Viper Venom Face, Superdrug, £9.97
Clarins Super Restorative Night Cream, Boots, £73
Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Oil Free Renewal Cream, Boots, £34.50
No7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream for Normal/Oily Skin, Boots, £13.50
Tea Tree Night Lotion, The Body Shop, £9
Superfacialist products get a lot of praise due to being effective and reasonably priced, and I really love the sound of their Rose Night Cream. I've not really tried any Elemis products but the Freshskin range sounds pretty lovely and is an affordable introduction to the brand. I've recently started exploring Nip+Fab's skincare and am keen to investigate the Viper Venom range! The Clarins night cream is way beyond my budget, but a girl can dream, right!? Again, Origins products are quite expensive but in my experience, worth the price for the effects; High Potency Night-A-Mins sounds right up my street and I love that there's an oil-free version available. I've not tried many No7 products but this cream claims to help oily skin behave like normal skin; I'm going to have to find out whether it works, sooner or later! I'm always on the lookout for mattifying products for my oily skin; The Body Shop's Tea Tree Night Lotion should tick that box nicely whilst also battling blemishes and improving skin tone. I'm happy to admit that half the appeal of the Hydraluron Moisture Jelly is in the packaging, although the gel texture does sound pretty lovely as well; I find gel moisturisers are nice and light on the skin. I really like the All Bright range Botanics do, and the night cream sounds like it would work well with my skin; anything that brightens is pretty much a done deal for me! And finally, the Trilogy cream is definitely towards the higher end of my budget but I have really loved all the Trilogy products I've tried previously so I think it would be worth the investment.
What are your favourite night creams? Have you tried any of these products? I'd love to hear any recommendations for night creams that work well with oily skin! Meanwhile, you can check out the exfoliators, day creams and cleansers I'd love to try in my previous skincare wishlists.


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Five Most Used: Lip Products

Five Most Used Lip Products
I'm back with another installment in my Five Most Used... series; today we're looking at lip products. A little disclaimer, lip products are probably my least-used make-up item. I own an obscene number of lipsticks for someone who rarely even considers wearing lip colour! You'll probably notice below that all five of my picks fall firmly onto the pink/nude end of the spectrum; I'll happily wear a neon-pink lip, but a bright red lip is for some reason just a little too far outside my comfort zone...
Most Used Lips
Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm in 'Elusive' | I'm really enjoying using matte lip colours recently, and this Revlon balm feels comfortable on the lips and gives a really great colour pay-off. It's easy to apply straight from the bullet and the matte packaging is an added bonus for me, I really like that the finish of the tube matches the finish on the lip. This is a lovely bright shade, great for brightening up dull grey days now that Autumn is here, but equally perfect as a loud summer shade.
ELF Matte Lip Color in 'Tea Rose' | Another matte product, this is more of a subdued, subtle shade which again, wears comfortably on the lips and applies easily straight from the bullet. This lasts pretty well on the lips and is ideal as an everyday shade, it's one that would be suitable for work and casual wear as well as paired with a more dramatic eye for evening wear.
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 'Honey' | I've had this one for quite a while, as you can tell by the way the crayon is so worn down! I find this a really easy shade to wear and again, it feels super comfortable on the lips. It's a very natural shade so, although it doesn't last as well as the first two, it doesn't matter as it doesn't look patchy or untidy as it fades. This is another versatile shade that's really suitable for anytime wear. A little niggle here; it annoys me that all the text has worn off the packaging so you can't see what the product is called - a minor complaint but a complaint nonetheless!
MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in 'Pink Pearl Pop' | I only own three MAC lipsticks and this is my most-worn by a long shot; a slightly sheer bright pink, this has blue undertones which serve to whiten the teeth, accompanied by the vanilla-y MAC lipstick scent I'm sure we all know and love. I don't find this lasts particularly well on the lips but that's probably down to the sheer colour and glossy formula, and it doesn't put me off wearing it!
Collection Lasting Colour Lipstick in 'Sweet Tart' | In the bullet this looks very similar to 'Pink Pearl Pop' but as you can see in the swatch below, it's actually much more pigmented and is a louder colour on the lip. These lipsticks are an absolute bargain at only £2.99 and I'd buy other shades from this range without hesitation as it's just such a good product; the pigmentation, the finish and the wear time are all spot-on. 'Sweet Tart' is another blue-toned pink which I do tend to gravitate towards as they suit my skintone and whiten the teeth nicely.
Five Most Used Lip Swatches
That concludes my Five Most Used lip products; there's not a lot of variation in shades but there's a nice mix of finishes and I like to think I have plenty of options for my predictable pink lip! What are you favourite lip products? Have you tried any of these? Which is your favourite of these five?


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Review | Dr Organic+ Rose Otto Shampoo

Boots have annoyingly stopped stocking my favourite Naked Volume shampoo, both instore and online, and although I could still order it direct from Naked, their site was out of stock and I was almost out of shampoo, so desperate measures had to be taken... I popped into Holland & Barrett's and, after browsing the Dr Organic+ range for a little while, eventually decided on their Rose Otto Shampoo. I didn't get the matching conditioner as I had almost a full bottle of a conditioner I like perfectly well, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to finish that off. "Volumising hair therapy • Revitalising • Nourishing • Volumising. • Pure Organic Rose Otto Oil is an uplifting aromatic essential oil, acclaimed through the ages for its use in natural skin and hair care. By combining this precious oil with our proprietary blend of bioactive, natural and organic ingredients, we have created a luxurious shampoo that instantly revitalises the hair and scalp. Formulated to penetrate deep into the keratin fibres and follicles, it gently cleanses, nourishes and hydrates, leaving a luxurious feeling of total indulgence."
Dr Organic Rose Otto Shampoo Review
I've been using Dr Organic+ Rose Otto Shampoo for around three weeks now and have really enjoyed it so far; it lathers much more readily than other SLS-free shampoos I've tried previously, meaning I need less of it as it's easier to work through my hair. My hair is left feeling soft and silky-smooth, and as an added bonus, it smells beautiful; the Rose Otto definitely comes out, and the scent lingers on my hair even after using a different conditioner. I can only imagine it would smell more strongly using the matching conditioner!
Dr Organic Rose Otto Shampoo
I have a lot of hair and it tends to become oily quite quickly (I wash it every other day and even then, depend heavily on dry shampoo on the days between washes) so a volumising shampoo always seems like a good option; I wouldn't say this has particularly added volume to my hair, but then it is so thick that volume is difficult to come by. This shampoo has allowed me to maintain my washing every other day schedule, though I think two days is definitely the limit for me personally, even with my beloved dry shampoo.
Dr Organic Rose Shampoo
The bottle is easy to use, with the flip-up cap making dispensation a breeze even with wet hands. I have to say I was sort of expecting the shampoo to be pink, but it turns out it's clear in a pink bottle, which was kind of disappointing! Then again, if the most disappointing thing about a product is not being pink, I think I'm onto a winner. It's a little more expensive than other shampoos at £5.89 for 268ml, but the fact that I need to use less per wash makes up for that. Dr Organic+ Rose Otto Shampoo is available from Holland & Barrett in-store or online, and is currently available on a buy one, get one half price offer. Have you tried any Dr Organic+ Shampoos? Can you recommend a good SLS-free shampoo for oily hair?


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Review: Lush D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap

Lush D'Fluff
It shouldn't come as any surprise to regular readers that I am quite the lover of Lush products, but given that I never have baths and can't use products which contain SLS (that's basically all their soaps & shower gels), my options are always pretty limited. I love their fresh face masks and their other skincare, and when I spotted the new Strawberry Shaving Soap, I decided I had to give it a whirl! I went for the smaller of the two sizes available, the 70g, just in case I didn't like it.
Lush D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap
The packaging is the standard black screw-cap plastic Lush pot, which does the job pretty nicely and of course, once you've collected five of these pots you can swap them in-store for a fresh face mask, and the pots will be re-used! The product housed in the pot is a thick pink cream which almost feels like mousse in texture; at first I really wasn't impressed with it, but I've since found I need more than I expected to work well. Around a grape-sized blob (technical term) is about right for one leg; the soap lathers nicely and smells gorgeous. I've found I get a nice close shave using D'Fluff, and my legs feel lovely and soft afterwards, though I do always moisturise after showering. I've found the occasional slightly larger chunk of what I assume to be strawberry can clog my razor, but this problem is easily removed by regularly rinsing the blade, as the instructions suggest.
Lush D'Fluff Review
"De-fluffed and delightful! We've whipped up our shaving soap with fresh strawberries, golden syrup, rosehip oil and cocoa butter to leave you silky-smooth and smelling sweet. Had enuff of the ruff stuff? This bright pink shaving soap is full of soothing and softening ingredients. How to Use: Smooth over the skin and shave as you would normally, sluicing the blade often. Good to know: This can be used on chins, pins and underarms... Wherever you want to be smooth and de-fluffed!"
Lush D'Fluff Ingredients
Overall, I've been enjoying using D'Fluff as it smells beautiful and makes shaving easy, leaving my legs soft and smooth, but I'm not sure it's worth the price point; it seems expensive for how much you need per application and I don't really feel like it does a better job than other shaving products I've used in the past. I might repurchase it in future as a treat as it is so nice to use, but I don't see myself buying this every time. Lush D'Fluff is priced at £5.75 for 70g or £9.95 for 150g of product, and is available from Lush in-store and online. Have you tried D'Fluff? What's your shaving product of choice?


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Makeup Revolution Go! To The City Palette

I recently won a lovely bunch of Makeup Revolution makeup from London Beauty Queen; one of the items included was the Go! To The City palette, a handy little palette containing six eyeshadows, two blushers and a highlighter. I was really excited to give this a go as I don't think I've ever owned a palette which would be so perfect for travelling!
Makeup Revolution Go To The City Palette
The round palette is quite unusual, with the highlighter being a round pan in the centre and the other products forming a ring around it. The packaging feels sturdy and fastens securely so I would feel confident travelling with this, my only minor complaint is that it doesn't contain a mirror which would be really handy in a palette like this.
Go To The City Palette
The two blushers are both matte; a peach-pink shade and a cool-toned true pink. The highlighter is a cool-toned champagne shade which is really smooth - no chunky glitter in sight!. The six shadows include, anti-clockwise: A matte cream, a shimmery mid-purple, a shimmery royal blue, a shimmery forest green, a shimmery deep grey and a shimmery dark purple. As you can see in my swatches, all the products are quite nicely pigmented, translating well from palette to the skin. They're easy to blend out and worn without primer, the shadows lasted eight hours on my oily lids with no creasing, and eleven with only minimal creasing - not bad going at all!! The matte shadow is a little chalky, but nothing too bad, and the same cannot be said of the blushers despite them being matte - the texture of both is spot on.
Go To The City Swatches
For this look I used the peachy-pink left-hand blusher on the apples of my cheeks, the highlighter over my cheekbones, browbones and down my nose, and the first eyeshadow (matte cream) all over the lid. I then blended the second shadow (mid-purple with shimmer) over the whole lid, with the sixth shadow (deeper purple with shimmer) blended in from the outer corners to the middle of the lid, and the whole lot blended out to make it a wearable daytime look.
Go To The City Palette FOTD
[Products used: Pop Beauty Face Magnet Primer, Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation in '100 Ivory', Natural Collection Cover-Up Cream in 'Light', Natural Collection Loose Powder in 'Neutral Translucent', MUA Pro Brow Kit, Accessorize Volumising Mascara, Makeup Revolution Go! To The City Palette]
Go To The City Eyes
All in all, I think this is a really convenient palette; I love that it contains two blusher options as well as the highlighter, alongside a good mixture of eyeshadows which could be blended out for daytime wear or built up for a more dramatic evening look. This really is an ideal palette for travelling with and is an absolute bargain at just £6.49, available from Makeup Revolution's website or Superdrug. Have you tried the Go! To The City palette? What's your favourite Makeup Revolution product?


Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Beauty Blogger Bunch Giveaway: Customised MAC Blusher Palette

Welcome to The Beauty Blogger Bunch's quarterly giveaway! We are giving away a customized MAC blush palette that just so happens to be the top favorite blushes of none other than Jaclyn Hill! 
This giveaway is open worldwide and will end on October 31st! 
If you are interested in joining The Beauty Blogger Bunch apply HERE!

Review: Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Overnight Glycolic Peel Review
Superdrug recently launched a new addition to their Naturally Radiant line in the shape of a Glycolic Overnight Peel, which I picked up on one offer or another a couple of months ago now. I've recently been dabbling more into chemical exfoliants over manual versions, trying a few products containing Glycolic Acid, so I was keen to give this a try! The Glycolic Overnight Peel claims that it, "Awakens skin's natural glow • Improves skin tone and texture."
Glycolic Overnight Peel
"Natural Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel is formulated with a unique energising complex and infused with Kiwi Fruit and Mulberry Extracts to help revive skin's radiance and even out skin tone. With Glycolic Acid, a powerful Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and a Fruit Acid blend, the refreshing gel formula also refines and retexturises the skin's surface, providing a brighter, more youthful complexion. Directions for use: Apply a pea-sized amount with fingertips to a freshly cleansed face at night, avoiding the delicate eye area. Leave on overnight and wash off the next morning. Always follow with an SPF day cream as part of your morning routine."
Naturally Radiant Glycolic Peel
Some pretty bold claims, eh!? I have to say, I find the directions a little bit lacking here; I'm never sure whether to apply a moisturiser over it or not, and have generally been skipping doing so, which is okay on an occasional basis for my oily skin but probably less so for those of you with drier skins. It also doesn't state how often you're supposed to use it - daily? Once a week? Who knows!? I've been using it around once or maybe twice per week on the days I don't use Nip + Fab's rather lovely Glycolic Scrub Fix, applying as suggested to freshly cleansed skin and skipping my usual moisturising routine afterwards. Left on overnight, it doesn't really feel like there's much there to be washed off the next morning, but I dutifully wash my face anyway.
Superdrug Glycolic Peel Review
I've been using this now for a good couple of months and honestly, I don't know whether it does anything or not. I don't know whether I need to use it more often to see results? Am I supposed to apply my moisturiser on top of it or not? I really feel like this could be such a good product if only I was a little clearer on how to use it! It's pleasant enough to use, with the clear gel feeling cool and refreshing on the skin and absorbing quickly without leaving any sticky residue, so I will finish my tube off, but I don't think I'd repurchase it - purely because I don't know how to use it to get the sort of results I'd like from it. I have to admit I'm disappointed as it sounds so promising! Superdrug's Naturally Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel is priced at £5.99 for 30ml of product, though it's currently half price at only £2.99. Have you tried this? Do you have any tips for me? What are your favourite products with Glycolic Acid?


Friday, 10 October 2014

Five Most Used: Highlighters

Five Most Used Highlighters
The third installment of my Five Most Used series will be about my favourite highlighters; I never actually used a highlighter until well after I started blogging, I simply wasn't aware of their existence and didn't really realise how much they can do to help brighten and sculpt your face. Now, I wear a highlighter almost every day, unless I'm wearing a blusher which has enough of a shimmer to go without. These are my go-to choices!
Favourite Highlighters
Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Highlighter in 'Rose Illumination' | I think this is the first highlighter I ever owned and it's still up there as one of my favourites! Not only is the luxurious rose-gold packaging just beautiful, but the powder highlighter is so flattering and easy to wear, a beautiful pinky shade with gold shimmer to it. This is probably more of a spring/summer daytime highlight.
Makeup Revolution Goddess of Love Triple Baked Highlighter | Not only is this beautifully packaged in a gorgeous heart-shaped box, it's also a simply stunning product. A very recent addition to my arsenal, I think this is the only highlight I've used since getting it! This is a cool-toned silvery-pink shade which I find sculpts my face nicely and leaves my skin looking fresh and bright.
MUA Mosaic Blush in 'English Rose' | This is technically a blush but I find that it only really shows up on the skin as a cool-toned shimmer so it's much more suited for use as a highlight, even on my fair skin - I can't imagine anyone with a deeper skin-tone being able to use this as a blusher either to be honest! Cheap and cheerful, MUA are definitely one of my favourite budget brands and this is no exception, a lovely silvery-pink shade which looks almost frosted on the skin.
Benefit Sun Beam | This is probably my least-used of these most-used products (does that even make sense!?) but that's purely because I'm in the habit of applying highlighter after my powder, which obviously doesn't work so well with cream and liquid products... Nonetheless, when I do remember to use this, it's a beautiful golden-bronze shade which, again, is perfect for summer days. This was actually a magazine freebie but you need so little that I don't see myself ever having to purchase a full-sized version!
Wet N Wild Fergie Shimmer Palette in 'Rosé Champagne Glow' | I feel a bit bad including this as it's really not readily available in the UK, but I have been wearing it an awful lot since receiving it as part of a package of US beauty goodies in a giveaway win. The marbled pattern of the product is beautiful and it gives a really subtle brightening effect to the skin, without being over-the-top.
Five Most Used Highlighter Swatches
Do you have a favourite highlighter? Have you tried any of these little beauties? I'd love to hear your thoughts!!

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