Saturday, 14 September 2013

Clarins HydraQuench Cream Review

Clarins HydraQuench Cream Normal to Dry Skin £34
I've been using this moisturiser from Clarins for just over a month now. I wanted to make good use of it before I gave my opinion. I chose to purchase the product for normal to dry skin, although my skin is normal/combination it can get quite dry and dehyrdrated in the colder months and I wanted a moisturiser which was a little heavier than the ones I already own. Clarins also sell Hydraquench with added SPF15 and another variant which is a gel/cream version. I chose the basic HydraQuench cream as I wanted to use it at night so didn't feel like I needed added SPF, and I find gel/cream formulas can sometimes be more drying.

I've been using a 10p sized amount of the product every night after cleansing and toning. I like the moisturiser as it is quite basic and non offensive, it does what it says on the tin. I do feel like the cream hydrates and moisturises my skin but I'm not amazed by it. I don't think it's made a difference to my skin so I won't be running out to buy it again, I think there are many cheaper products available which do the same thing. I would recommend the product if you have sensitive/blemish prone skin and you are looking for a basic moisturiser that wont irritate your skin. Have you tried HydraQuench, what do you think?
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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Things I bought today #1

Floral Top £22.99 Zara
Flats (black and nude) £6 each Primark
Jacket £22 Primark 
I finally have five whole days booked off work to do as I please, first chance I got I headed to Birmingham to do some much needed retail therapy. I've been trying to de-clutter my wardrobe to make room for some key autumn/winter pieces and have a wishlist as long as my arm, so I headed out ready to shop! I had a realisation when I was out that I do have rent and bills to pay so I only bought a couple of things to satisfy my shopping habit, until payday at least. I'm really happy with my purchases and I know I'll get a lot of wear out of them all. First stop was Zara where I saw this pretty floral tshirt, the top is made of quite thick material and I've seen similar floral pattern pieces in other stores, but nothing compares to the quality and finish of Zara items. I can't wait to wear it with my skinny leigh jeans and a leather jacket. I then went to Primark in a quest to buy new flat shoes as all of mine have gone really tatty, these two pairs of pointy flats were only £6 each so I had to snap them up. They are a suede finish which initially put me off, as I know any hint of rain will just ruin them, but for the price I just had to. Lastly I bought this jacket with the PU faux leather sleeves which will be perfect for the autumn weather.
I may have to make another trip into Birmingham as I tried on a beaut of a coat in Primark (an oversized boyfriend coat) I didn't purchase it as I couldn't decide if it drowned me making me look 2 foot tall. Now I'm home I regret not buying it. I was also eyeing up a chunky gold necklace in River Island, and Nars Chelsea Girl lip gloss which is so lovely. Me and my sister fell in love with this Zara coat, which she is modelling below, LOVE, it is £110. So expect to see another 'Things I bought today' post very soon!
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Monday, 9 September 2013

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Eye Shadow Paint 005 Golden Bronze

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Eye Shadow Paint 005 Golden Bronze £4.99
I don't wear eye shadow on a daily basis mainly due to my hooded eyelids and the fact I have to make a real effort for it to even show up. When I wear eye shadow I ALWAYS have to prime my eye lid otherwise it will disappear within a few hours (current primers of choice, ELF & Mac Soft Ochre) so I was intrigued to try the new Scandal Eyes Eye Shadow Paint from Rimmel as it promises to be a 'long wear liquid eye shadow' which 'lasts all day'.
I have worn this eye shadow a couple of times now, it's a liquid to powder finish which once dry really does not budge. I apply to my eyelids using the applicator and then rub and blend the eye shadow in with my finger. The range hosts a few colours which in my opinion are best used on the eye alone without mixing or blending with other shades. I love the shimmery bronze colour of the product, I don't own many bronze shades even though they help to accentuate my green/hazel eyes. I've worn Golden Bronze on my eyes to work and even after a long day and after rubbing my eyes the product stays put. I'm very impressed.
Have you tried any of these Eye Shadow Paints? What are your thoughts?
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Monday, 19 August 2013

L'Oreal Ever Riche Perfect Elixir Masque Spray

L'Oreal Ever Riche Perfect Elixir Masque Spray £6.99
It's safe to say I'm quite liking the new L'Oreal offerings that have been released (did you see my post praising up the Micellar Solution here). Another product which has made its way into my stash is the L'Oreal EverRiche Perfect Elixir Masque Spray which aims to 'instantly replenish very dry hair leaving it with a soft flowing feel and healthy look'.  
The spray masque should be applied onto damp hair after shampooing and conditioning (after shampooing if hair is fine) and then rinsed out. Typical me, on my first use I applied after washing my hair and before blow drying (without rinsing) due to not reading the directions properly. From my first use however I found this product to be effective, my hair was left noticeably softer and more manageable without leaving any greasy residue. I have fine oily hair, but dry ends due to regular highlights and bleach so I've been applying the spray after conditioning avoiding the roots.
The product itself is so easy to use and takes a few seconds to spray onto the hair whilst in the shower, great if you're a bit lazy and can't be arsed with applying a thick hair masque and waiting for it to have an affect. The masque spray also has a gorgeous sweet scent. I have noticed after use that my hair is much easier to brush and detangle and once dry feels softer than normal. I'm very happy with the product, I think I'll have to purchase more from the L'Oreal Ever Riche range, have you tried any of their new goodies?
Whilst I'm on the topic of hair, can anyone recommend any decent products for oily hair? Which will help to prevent my roots getting so greasy?
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Monday, 12 August 2013

Brand Loving: Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier: Space NK
This is a post dedicated to my favourite products from a brand I love, Laura Mercier. The brand is renowned in the beauty world for its base products which help to create a flawless face, their foundations and primers are their most popular items. I like Laura Mercier's 'no frills' approach where their products focus on accentuating natural beauty rather than seasonal trends which may not suit many people.
Firstly I like to prime my skin before applying makeup with the Foundation Primer - Radiance (sample size) which adds a luminous base to the skin. I then apply Silk Crème Foundation in Rose Ivory £33 with a Real Techniques Face Expert Brush, this gives the most flawless finish, covering and concealing blemishes like no other - I tend to use this product on bad skin days because spots don't stand a chance with this bad boy. I also love the Laura Mercier Mineral Power Foundation in Real Sand £31, I like to use this over the top of the crème foundation to set my makeup where I apply a light layer using a kabuki. I also use the mineral powder foundation alone as I find the coverage is pretty good, it helps to cover red patches and conceal blemishes well. I finish off the face with a dab of the Secret Brightener £24.50 on the cupids bow, down the centre of my nose and on my cheekbones. This product gives a lovely subtle glow to the face without looking sparkly/glittery. My favourite HG lipstick has to be the Crème Smooth Lip Color in Pink Blush £20, it is such a natural shade (check out my full review here).
A final special mention goes to items within the skincare and bodycare Laura Mercier line. I am currently using a sample of the Flawless Skin Repair Eye Crème (sample size) which I'm enjoying, I find the product to be quite refreshing as it noticeably helps to reduce puffiness. I am also a big fan of the Souffle Body Cremes £43.50, especially 'Fresh Fig' however I find them to be quite expensive for body moisturisers!
So there we have a quick overview of my current Laura Mercier favourites. I am yet to be disappointed with any of my purchases from this brand, next on my wishlist is the Second Skin Cheek Colour in Lush Nectarine and the Mineral Illuminating Powder. What are your favourite Laura Mercier goodies?
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Thursday, 8 August 2013

Fashionista Blush Quad

L-R Glowing Shade 11, Juicy Apricot Shade 6, Rose Glow Shade 2, Cinnamon Shade 12
Fashionista Blush
Another lovely product I purchased from Gaelle's blogsale (lipstickergosum) a few weeks ago now. I absolutely love these blushers, they are so pigmented and are beautiful colours. I've used them every single day since the quad arrived on my doorstep. I've mentioned before that I like my blushers to be quite pigmented because I look so pale/ill without wearing blusher, so I like something with a bit of colour like these. They blend into the skin well (I use a Real Techniques Contour Brush to apply) and they also last all day, no need for touch ups. I'm wearing my favourite out of the four 'Cinnamon Shade 12' in the photo below - this shade has been gracing my cheeks all week!
The quad has a very big mirror which is really handy when on the move and once closed the product looks quite sleek, it's very thin and small and doesn't take up much space. The blushers individually are usually £4 each but after browsing the website they are currently on sale for only £1.65 each! Bargain!
These are the only products I've tried from the Fashionista brand and I'm really impressed. After browsing their range online, I'm after a few more bits. Which Fashionista products would you recommend?
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Monday, 5 August 2013

L'Oreal Skin Perfection Micellar Solution

L'Oreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution £3.33
I picked up the L'Oreal Micellar Solution on my last spending spree in Boots (dangerous). I was getting fed up of making all my flannels dirty when cleansing my face (with Emma Hardie cleansing balm) so I have been using this solution to remove the majority of my face and eye makeup before using my normal cleanser. The brand claims this product 'dissolves make-up, unclogs pores, removes impurities and tones and smooths the skin'. I'm not sure about all of that but I find it is really effective in removing makeup, even on the eyes. I find it removes eye makeup (including waterproof) much more easily than Bioderma. This solution is much cheaper than Bioderma and much more accessible in the UK too.
The only negative is that I will probably run out of this product quite quickly. You only get 200ml compared to Bioderma where you get 500ml, but like I said it is much cheaper so I will more than likely buy in bulk next time. So it's not really an issue. If your looking for a dupe for Bioderma then I'd definitely recommend this product! Have you tried L'Oreal Micellar Solution? What are your thoughts?
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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Recent Reads #2

I've read a few goodies since my last Recent Reads post (here). I've had a slump in my motivation when it came to picking up a book/kindle recently, until I went on holiday where I read three in one week! My mojo is back and i'm back to reading every night before I go to bed. Here are a few I recommend;

1. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
There is much hype surrounding this book which initially drew me to read it. Although i'm not much of a thriller/crime novel sort of girl (ironic as I have a degree in criminology) I did enjoy this book and the twists/turns that came with it. It started off quite slowly as the first half focuses on the relationship between the two main characters Nick and Amy only touching on the main storyline in which Amy goes missing. The first half I found to be quite frustrating as I wanted questions answered; where had Amy disappeared to? Who was involved? but those questions were left until the second half of the book where the mystery surrounding the missing woman started to unravel. The novel became quite a page turner with many twists and turns. If you start reading this novel, bear with it as it really does get good in the second half.

2. Slave Girl - Sarah Forsyth
A true heart breaking story about a young British girl who was kidnapped and sold into the sex industry. I read this book in a day! Probably my favourite out of the four I've reviewed. It is a very emotional story which will make you cry and make you feel angry and disgusted all at once. Sarah talks about her horrendous life and the abuse she has suffered growing up as well as giving an in depth account of her experiences within the sex industry. The book definitely opened my eyes and made me more aware of the trafficking and abuse that takes place even now to this present day. A captivating and emotional tale which will keep you thinking about it for days after you've read it.

3. You Had Me At Hello - Mhairi Mcfarlane
This is another emotional story, I just love a book that can give you a good cry. This is a love story between Rachel and Ben when they reignite their friendship after a decade apart. The novel has some brilliant laugh out loud moments as well as some emotional tear jerking moments. This is chick lit at its best.
4. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
I read this book after watching the film (Leo Di Caprio version), usually something I wouldn't do as I think it ruins the experience of reading the book. However, this was a short and easy read (I expected it to be longer) which I did enjoy. Whilst reading I kept imagining scenes from the film which was a bit annoying and I think I actually preferred the film. The Great Gatsby is a classic love story which tells the tale of Jay Gatsby and his fixation on Daisy Buchanan. There is much more to the book such as its focus on the American dream; money, power and greed and how it affects the characters, I can see why The Great Gatsby is such a classic piece of literature. Word of advice, read the book first.
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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Nars The Multiple Orgasm - Review and Swatch

  Nars The Multiple in Orgasm 

Everyone loves the original Nars Blush with the naughty name so here's my take on The Multiple in Orgasm. This is the only Nars Multiple I own, originally purchased because I read that it was a fave of Millie Mackintosh! It is a cream blush/illuminating product which gives a rosy flush of colour to the skin, and as with the other Nars Multiples it is created to be used on the cheeks, lips, eyes and body. Saying that I will only use this product on my cheeks, on the lips it would look too frosty and I couldn't imagine it looking good as an eyeshadow nor on the body. However, for a blush and illuminator the product is fab.
The colour when swatched is very light (see hand swatch above) however the smooth crème-like texture is very buildable and allows you to create a lovely colour on the cheeks. I like the fact that the Multiple is very easy to use, a blusher and highlighter in one means it can be used quickly and on the go. The glow created gives the face a healthy dewy look, without leaving behind a glittery sheen (there is a slight sheen in the product which I know many people hate but no glittery particles).
Because I like my blush to be highly pigmented (my pale face means I need a lot of blusher) I think I prefer Nars original powder blush products to this Multiple as they don't require you to apply so much product. However I do like this product applied lightly over the top of my powder blush because it gives me cheeks that added healthy glow which lasts all day.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any Nars product recommendations? 
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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Smooth skin

Finally we're having a bit of sun in the UK (despite the day of thunderstorms yesterday) which means dusting off our summer clothes and whipping out the legs. More flesh on show means more effort is needed in the shower to keep skin feeling soft and hair free, these three products have become firm favourites of mine to help achieve silky smooth skin;
1. Clarins Smoothing Body Scrub - I start with applying this product all over my body to get rid of dead skin cells and prevent flakiness. This product is grainy in texture but not too abrasive which helps to brighten and exfoliate the skin. I apply it in circular motions to damp skin and then rinse off.
2. L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil - A cleansing and softening shower oil which transforms into a milky texture once applied to damp skin. I have been using this as a shaving balm, I'll apply it after exfoliating and then use my Venus razor on anywhere that needs it. Once rinsed off skin is left feeling silky smooth - this oil works better than any shaving foam I've used for making skin feel soft. You can feel no rough bumps on your legs once getting out of the shower!
3. Vaseline Essential Moisture Lotion - This was on offer in Boots which is the reason I bought it as I'd ran out of lotion. I love the fruity smell and the fact it sinks into the skin quite quickly once applied after a shower without being greasy. The lotion contains pure oat extract which helps to soften the skin. This moisturiser is a cheap product which does its job. No complaints.
What products do you use to help your skin feel moisturised in the summer months?
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Sunday, 21 July 2013

Elemental Herbology Moisture Milk Ultra-Light Facial Hydrator Review

I've been using Elemental Herbology Moisture Milk for a couple of months now. I use it in the morning after cleansing and toning. I wanted a light moisturiser which I could use in summer months before applying my makeup, one which wouldn't be too heavy for my skin and make it look oily. Elemental Herbology describe the product as '...ideal for those prone to break-outs and for use during the summer or in a humid environment', perfect for use in this current heat wave Britain seems to be having.
The thing I like most about this product is that it contains AHA's which help to gently exfoliate the skin. It's not as heavy as some other popular exfoliating products containing acids (Clarins exfoliating toner & Liquid Gold) which means it can be used on a daily basis without irritating the skin. This moisturiser also contains skin clearing & anti-bacterial properties (Acerola Cherry, Apple Serum, Green Tea, Tea Tree, Rosemary Oil & Aloe Vera) so it works well on congested skin.
What I dislike about the moisturiser is that it is called a 'moisture milk and hydrator', although the brand describes it as 'ultra-light' I don't feel it gives my skin hardly any hydration at all. I've been using the product as a morning serum and then applying a moisturiser on top which seems to work best for me. It seems to be too drying on my skin if used alone.
This is the first product I have purchased from this British brand, and I am very impressed, it seems to have helped keep my skin clear in this hot weather. The other thing I must point out is that the product contains no SPF and so it's vital to use one over the top because of the glycolic and lactic acid content.
Elemental Herbology Moisture Milk Ultra-Light Facial Hydrator costs £42 for 50ml.
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Monday, 15 July 2013

Home is where the heart is

Aside from beauty products, I tend to spend my wages on pretty homeware items. I love a cosy home and I think decorative items from places like The Range, Dunelm Mill and Homesense look great and you can find some really good bargains.
I've recently decorated my living room and got some new bits surrounding the fireplace. The candlestick and the clock are both from Homesense, I was gutted I only picked up the one candlestick for £12.99, it would look so much better with another on the other side. I also bought the 3-wick candle on the bottom right for only £6 from BHS home (currently half price), I love 3 wick candles they make the room look so cosy when lit. The 'Letters' holder is so useful because I don't own a telephone/side table yet where I can store all my letters (or this free Co-op magazine I picked up lol), so this makes the place look tidier, it cost £9,99 from Dunelm Mill.
I picked up this 'Tea Time' wall plaque from a charity shop, it only cost me £5. I'm yet to put it on the wall but it looks great in my kitchen next to my kettle and the tea/coffee tubs. The pretty storage boxes were a present from a friend (from TK Maxx) along with this 'Jimmy Choo' sign which I hang on my shoe cupboard right by the front door (this I believe was from Ebay).
I never thought I'd get excited about buying storage boxes, candlesticks and wall plaques, but I do! Is this what age does to you?
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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Mac Pro Longwear Lip Creme Overtime - Review and Swatch

I've gone a little blog sale crazy lately, I've purchased some lovely products which I'm really happy with, one being Mac Pro Longwear Lip Crème Overtime. I have wanted this shade for a while after seeing Millie Mackintosh tweet that she was wearing it in a picture she posted of herself months ago. I jumped at the chance of buying it when I saw it on Gaelle's blog sale (see her lovely blog here).
I'm a big fan of pale pink or peach lipstick shades on me, it helps to lighten my very pigmented lips and I feel these pale shades suit me better than bolder colours. Overtime is a blue toned pink, it is a bubblegum barbie colour when swatched, but doesn't look so scary once applied to the lips. It's the first pro wear lip crème I own and I have to say I'm very impressed with the application, it applies so smoothly and almost feels like a lipbalm. It isn't sticky or drying and gives the lips a lovely pop of colour. My new favourite lipstick. Do you own any Mac pro longwear lip crèmes? What do you think?
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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

June 2013 Beauty Favourites

1. Benefit They're Real Mascara - A freebie with a previous issue of Elle magazine. This mascara really does lengthen and thicken lashes giving a noticeably fuller effect. I would compare this mascara to Bourjois Volume Clubbing Mascara, similarly the results are not subtle. I love the big fluttery fake look when it comes to my eyelashes. The only downside is if you apply too much the eyelashes can look quite's also a bugger to remove...but the product itself is great. I will definitely repurchase.
2. Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Repair Eye Creme - I received this eye cream free when I purchased two products from a Laura Mercier counter a few months ago. I don't tend to use an eye cream but after dabbing this on a few nights before bed I've been using it every night ever since. The product has a creamy, cooling effect on the eyes, it reduces puffiness and keeps skin feeling nourished.
3. Pantene Fine Hair Volume and Body Conditioner - This range not only smells gorgeous but also leaves hair feeling soft and smooth. This product made my hair feel conditioned whilst on holiday even though the sun and sea salt was trying its best to dry it out. I thank this conditioner for allowing me to walk around in the humidity without looking like Monica from Friends.
4. Clarins Smoothing Body Scrub For A New Skin - My top favourite of the month goes to this body scrub. This scrub leaves skin feeling silky smooth without feeling too abrasive. I was talking to a lady at the Clarins beauty counter who advised to apply this scrub before getting into the shower for a deeper exfoliation, or another tip was to mix with some body oil to moisturise the skin at the same time. A great body product from Clarins, I've yet to come across one I don't like.
5. Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser - The lazy girl in me loves this product, it allows me to apply moisturiser quickly in the shower after cleansing and means I don't have to apply anything when I've dried off. Skin is left feeling smooth and hydrated.
6. Dr Jart Water Fuse Beauty Balm - I wore this on my face every day on my holiday to Spain instead of my normal foundation. The balm has a tinted moisturiser consistency with SPF25 (the main reason why I chose it as my daily base product) - other suncreams tend to break me out on my face but this one worked great. It gave me just enough coverage with a dewy effect whilst protecting my skin at the same time. Love.
7. Mac Fix+ - Perfect for freshening up my makeup, I've been using it everyday and twice a day on holiday. I can't rave about it enough, it gives the skin a dewy look on top of foundation, I have also been using this by spritzing a little on my foundation brush before applying my base, this enables me to blend the foundation much more easily and prevent any caky effects on the skin.
8. 17 Instant Glow Gold Bronze Shimmer Brick - Another holiday product. Gives the apples of cheeks a glow without too much shimmer, looks great with a tan....not so much without.
I love reading peoples monthly favourite posts so link yours below :).
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