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.
post signature

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? 
post signature
Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

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?
post signature
Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest

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.
 post signature

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?
post signature
Instagram / Twitter / Bloglovin / Pinterest

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?
post signature

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 clumpy...it'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 :).
 post signature

Monday, 1 July 2013

Duty Free Shopping

I recently returned from a week long family holiday in Spain. One of my favourite parts of travelling is the duty free shopping at the airport! As I was travelling there on my own it was the perfect opportunity to browse the beauty counters and take my time testing the products I've had my eye on. Top of my list were the Dior BB crème and Clarins Self Tanning Primer, it's safe to say I didn't get either as with both they had ran out (booooo). I also wanted to buy a new MAC lipstick but the MUA was so unhelpful I just couldn't be arsed. (sidenote: Can anyone recommend a MAC lipstick shade similar to the colour Hue? - this woman had no idea).
So onto the products I did buy. Before departing to Spain I picked up Clarins Hydraquench Cream for Normal to Dry Skin, I've needed to purchase a moisturiser for a while now and after doing some research this product seemed to be a good call. I love Clarins as their products never disappoint, after using the cream for just over a week, so far so good. The moisturiser is very nourishing and I find it perfect for use as a night cream, it's not too heavy so I don't worry about it breaking me out but I can feel the hydrating effects it has on my skin. I also purchased Victoria Secrets Fragrance Mist in Secret Charm, I don't know anywhere else in Birmingham that sells Victoria Secrets Products so I wanted to try one of their fragrances. Secret Charm is described as a honeysuckle and jasmine fragrance - it is gorgeous! Jasmin is one of my favourite scents, it reminds me of holidays and summer. I would say that these mists are overpriced for what they are, this cost about £10 (I think) in duty free and the scent doesn't last longer than an hour, but it will be handy for freshening up throughout the day and the plastic bottle means I can just throw it in my bag.
On the return journey I had some Euros left so decided to pick up the L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil that I've wanted for so long but could never justify paying the price for it. I have to say I am SO glad I made the purchase as nothing else has helped my legs feel so smooth after shaving. I'm also hoping the oil will help to keep my skin moisturised in an attempt to prolong my tan. Another fragrance I picked up was Givenchy Play For Her, I had a sample of this and thought it was lovely, a very sweet summery smell. I'm not keen on the packaging as I think it's quite tacky looking but you can't have it all.
I'm so pleased with my little beauty bits. Pity I couldn't pick up the items I actually went looking for but I suppose it just gave me an excuse to go looking for other goodies. Do you own any of the products I've bought? What do you think?
post signature