Saturday, 31 May 2014

Holiday Picks from my Beauty Swap with KatiedoesBeauty

Judging by the title, you'll be right if you guess that myself and Katie from KatiedoesBeauty did a little beauty/skincare swap, as we live relatively near each other, and had far too many products cluttering up our rooms; so what better than to do a little switch and maybe discover our new 'holy grail' product? I first met Katie when we were arranging to go to a little Benefit event together, as well as with a few other bloggers, and we really hit it off! It's just really lovely to chat about beauty and skincare, and bloggers with someone who gets it, right? So we agreed to meet up for a little chat and maybe some food, which 'lo and behold, turned into a massive food fest at Pizza Hut (and it was so good. If in doubt, always choose to make your own individual pizza *drools*) and I even instagrammed it before it was eaten (here), shame that the same couldn't be said for the dessert... *coughs*

Anywho, seeing as I'm venturing off on holiday, I thought I'd do a little choice pick of what beauty swap items I chose to take with me on holiday (seriously, if I took a picture of everything she gave me... we would be here for days. The bag was maaaaassive, I kid you not) and some are products that I've tried before and looooved (and enjoy very much in their mini size, looking' at you Soap & Glory)  but there were also a few new items, and what better time to try some good looking products than on holiday, when you're so chilled and relaxed?

We'll start with Soap & Glory, as I'm already a big fan, and couldn't wait to get my hands on these lovely things. Clean on Me is one of my favourite creamy, foamy shower gels from them, and this cute little mini size is perfect for taking into the shower with me, saving me from lugging around those massive (but amazing) bottles. Next up is Bright Here, Bright Now, a brightening day moisturiser that is right up my street, because I think we all tend to wear less makeup on holiday, and if there's something to give you a boost of radiance, it's the glorious summer sunshine - but for us pale, undead esc people (skin tone wise, i'm talking now) you have to fake it, and this gives a kick of luminescence that I am very excited to give a full test. Same can be said for Glow Job as not only do they have incredibly good names for their products, it just seems like something I want to throw in my skincare bag and cart away with me to a foreign country. Well done, S&G.

Next, we have La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Duo + which I love a ridiculous amount, so there's no need to really talk about that. The Body Shop's Aloe Vera Protective Serum seemed like a wise choose for holiday, as even though I take very great care with my skin when it comes to the sun, it can also dry out and become quite sore, so this is going to be brilliant for soothing my skin, should the need arise (which i'm sure it will). Another moisturising product is Bioderma's Sebium Hydra cream, which i'm going to be keeping in my travel makeup bag, just for a top up of moisture throughout the day, and it's mini size is wonderful - I think if it really makes an impression, then I'll be getting a full size in City Pharma. Bee Kind is a new brand to me, but something I definitely didn't hesitate to put into my skincare bag, as on holiday, my skin does tend to dry out, but with it's honey and camomile extracts, this body lotion will be a handbag essential. 

A few more little essentials to go, and one of them is a mattifying moisturiser. All the moisturisers, I know, but you can never have too many, right? This one is from Una Brennan and part of the tea Flower range, which is targeted at those with oily/combination skin, and had aims to matte the skin and keep it that way whilst you're out and about, doing your thing. I'm going to be putting this to the test when I'm walking around in the (hopeful) heat, and will be writing back to let you all know what I think. The last products to mention, are two makeup items and one that will be a godsend in every type of weather. The latter has to be the Kleenex blotting powders. Shine is the baaaaaane of my made-up face, and it makes me feel so self conscious, so anything to keep the oiliness/shine away, is always of great importance to me. Rimmel's Stay Blushed and Eyeko's Skinny Eyeliner are two products that have crept their way into my makeup bag, and seem determined to stay for the trip across the channel to France, and who am I to refuse them? They'll be receiving a good test, and if they don't make the grade, then they'll be left to sit as I break out the Bourjois and Clinique for my cheeks, whilst Soap & Glory and Makeup Revolution will be on my eyes. 

I hope you enjoyed this little post, have you swapped any beauty/skincare with a friend recently? You should definitely check out Katie and her blog, KatiedoesBeauty as she wrote a little post about the products I gave her, and I'd love for you to have a read, and let us both know what you think. She a lovely, lovely person and has a wonderful blog, so definitely head on over there to give her a peruse. 


Sunday, 25 May 2014

My French Pharmacy Wishlist

French Pharmacy Wishlist

If you follow me on Twitter... on or here, really, you'll know that i'm going on holiday soon, (PARIS OMG) and i'm quite excited about it. And if there's one thing that I know all beauty bloggers talk about, it's the City Pharma store on Saint-Germain (26 Rue de Four). It is like, the place to go, and seeing as I really into my art and museums the last time I went to Paris, this was totally overlooked, as I had no idea it existed. But now, no more! I am prepared, complete with list written on phone and paper (totally prepared) to go into this massive store and spend a good hour having a nose (it's already been agreed upon that I will meet my parents somewhere else... when i'm done, if i'm ever done, haha).

So, let's get right to it and list the products that I am lusting over, and therefore must have. These are pretty much blogger 'essentials', or products that are massively thought of a 'must haves'. La Roche-Posay's Serozinc is a toning spray that I use morning and evening already, and I'm on my last bottle. So you can bet that I'm going to stock up whilst I'm there. Next, is Bioderma Crealine H2O, a product needs no introduction, yet it's something that I've never tried. Gasp. I know. I totally plan on rectifying that. Next we have another product that I use, so much, that I've actually run out and don't know what to do with myself; and that's Caudalie's Beauty Elixr, a spray that refreshes the skin and just makes you look luminous and lovely, sprayed on before moisturiser and used as a moisture boost whenever my skin needs it. Next up, we have Caudalie's Organic Grape Water Mist, I'll admit, this is a bit of something I've had my eye on, and I just like the sound of it. It sounds refreshing and wonderful, hopefully something I'll be spritzing to keep my cool on warm French evenings. The first product from Nuxe is the Reve de Miel hand cream, and I thought, since I love their lip balm so much, this is definitely something that I want to try.

Another product from Nuxe is their Huile Prodigieuse, an oil that can be used on the body, face and hair - it's an all 'rounder, and I love my little mini one, so you can be the large on will be put to good use. Up next, is Embyolisse, which needs no introduction if you watch any Pixiwoo video's, as Sam loves the stuff; but basically, it's an amazing 3 in 1 moisturiser that has a massive cult status, and I cannot wait to try it. And last, but certainly not least, is the Nuxe Unclogging Thermo-Active Mask, which is basically a mask that works with oily/combination skin to deep clean, refine and matte the skin - three things which I am all for.

I am so excited for this little holiday, and cannot wait to do a bit of beauty blogger shopping. Are there any products that I've missed? Let me know what I have to get. 


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Soap & Glory 'Flake Away' Body Scrub

The body scrub of champions, and the original Soap & Glory scrub, for me. It was the first one I ever bought from them, and it's so good. Flake Away is an offering made from Shea Butter, Sugar and Peach Seed Powder that smells so, so good. It's one of those typical S&G scents, not too overtly floral, but floral enough to know that yes, it is a Soap & Glory product, with no doubt about it at all. Do you know that you get a massive 300ml for £8 (here)? Which I think is awesome for a body scrub, and is one that I've had to repurchase, as well as a few other scrubs (this one is totally coming on holiday with me), time and time again, because it does it's job so well. Not only does it have fine rinds of ...scrubby stuff (technical term, I know) but it's really moisturising as well, without being too greasy or heavy on the skin - it just makes you feel fresh, clean and wonderfully smooth, which is such a brilliant thing for summer... as everyone feels so overheated and sweaty... just me? Surely not.

Now, it wouldn't be a good ol' nourishing scrub if it didn't have some almond oils in there, as well a bit of sea salt (ugh, love this stuff. just makes everything better) to give the scrub an extra bit of kick, in the, uh, scrubbing area of things. Basically, I think this stuff is really wonderful, and would totally recommend it to those who haven't really tried anything from Soap & Glory, or have yet to try this little pot of wonder... I say little pot, it's not really. It's quite hefty, and will last a good while.

The packaging is typical S&G, gloriously pink and pretty, with those black and white pictures that have become synonymous with the brand. On the lid itself, it does mention turning reptile esc legs into radiant ones, but I use this scrub all over, especially on the back of my arms, as its fine grain really polishes away all of the dead skin cells that build up there. This is one of my definite choices for my holiday, and even though it may weigh quite a bit, it's still wondrous and it'll sit quite joyfully in my toiletries bag. What are your favourite scrubs? Any I should take a look at? Let me know.


Monday, 19 May 2014

Little TKMaxx Haul - Butter London and Burt's Bees.

I love having a good nose around TKMaxx, and since I became a beauty blogger, I've been far more interested in the beauty side of the store than the clothes and you know why? Because I've seen some really wonderful little treats in my local store, Butter London, Sally Hansen, OPI, Essie, YSL, Elizabeth Arden, Una Brennan, Korres, Burt's Bees, I could go on and on. My most recent wonder around the shop awarded me with these two little beauties. Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and Butter London Nail Polish in British Racing Green. The Burt's Bees cream smells like lemon curd and that is stuff dreams are made of, as I looooove lemon curd so much, as it's so zesty and yum. Makes me want lemon curd... or to eat the cuticle cream... which I won't do, I'll just buy some lemon curd (expect a tweet once I do actually buy a jar. I know how to live).

It goes on so lovely and creamy, making my cuticles look less dry and horrible, and it makes my fingers smell so nice... so it's pretty much all good. I can't stop smelling this stuff, it's ridiculous. It's so zesty and sweet, and I love it. It comes in such a cute little tin, that you twist and it's packaging is really lovely - citrus is always a massive selling point for me, anything lemon/lime esc is a winner, and there's a big chance i'm going to buy it if there's citrus in it. I picked it up for £2.99 in TKMaxx and i'm so chuffed that I did.

Next up is my Butter London polish in British Racing Green is such a gorgeous colour, and it makes me want a convertible Jaguar in that colour, whilst I wear driving gloves and the wing blows cinematically through my hair... we can all dream, right? But let's get back to the polish - it's one of those good ones; 3 free - no formaldehyde, no toluene and no DBP, making it a really natural one to wear on your nails, without worrying about it causing damage. It takes about two coats to be fully opaque and you can bet that this is going to get a proper review in my little Butter London centric post that will be posted soon. It's a gorgeous colour and it makes me want to be fabulous and flawless, y'know, more so than I usually am (; This was £4.99 in the shop and such a good brand for such a good price is all good by me. So I definitely recommend checking out TKMaxx for some little beauty products that will make your day. 


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Marie Claire June featuring Aromatherapy Associates.

I love a good freebie, who doesn't, right? That's why I was very excited when I saw this months Marie Claire with some little mini Aromatherapy Associates included, all for the rather lovely price of £3.90. I've never tried anything from AA before, so this was an opportunity to dip into the wonder of their products (as i've read on countless blogs, apparently their oils are a must have). These little mini's will be zooming away with me on my holiday, where they'll have to contend with everything that France has to throw at me (for one week, at least). I for one, am quite excited. But for those of you who aren't fans of Rose in their products, then these freebies are not going to be your thing.

The little pack of three includes; Triple Rose Renewing Moisturiser, Renewing Rose Cleanser and their Rose Hydrating Face Mask - all of which are started for all skin types, which is brilliant news for those sensitive skinned beauties out there. The Marie Claire itself is always an interesting read, as not only do they discuss fashion (most of which I cannot afford. One day.) and beauty (obviously my favourite section) but issues regarding abortion clinics (that'll be controversial) and holidaying in The Hamptons - so there's an array of hard hitting, and other somewhat amusing articles, as well as the interview featuring the cover star, Elizabeth Olsen (huzzah for Wanda/the Scarlet Witch). Fancy a little read like I did, whilst getting some lovely little products? I think it's totally worth picking this up; this is stepping into a skincare brand without spending a whole load of money, only to find out that you don't like something/doesn't suit your skin. Marie Claire should be available in all supermarkets and newsagents. Mine was picked up from Tesco. Have you had any good freebie's recently? 


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL 50+ Facial SPF

It's going to be Summertime soon (I hope) so it's time to properly break out the 50+ face SPF. Yeah, I do SPF 30 around wintertime, but Summer calls for some more effort, and that's where this little beauty comes in. It's not really more effort though, just... a higher SPF, and seeing as I'll be moseying off to France next month (only for a week, though), this is going to be taking pride of place in my skincare routine. La Roche-Posay are my current skin go-to's for all of it's ailments (stupid blemishes) and this has been with me since last summer, where it did it's job very, very well. Anthelios XL 50+ (£12.37, here) is in the formula of a 'dry touch gel-cream' which is perfect for my oily/combination skin as others will leave that somewhat oily residue, and make your skin feel tacky before you even put on your makeup, which is not a desirable look, in my opinion. It has double anti-shine and absorption, with an ultra-dry finish, which is more than us oily/combination lot can ask for. 

Using a 50 + SPF on my face is very important to me, as although I have very pale skin, it does tan well under the sun, or used to... to be honest, I haven't tanned for years. I don't mind using a lower SPF on my body, I tend to switch between 30+ and 50+, but I just don't like it on my face. On my holiday, I would gladly have my shoulders on display, but would constantly wear a hat to shield my face from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Don't get me wrong, I don't think going out in the sun is bad for you, on the contrary: Vitamin D is an essential to strong bones and good skin, but i'm all about moderation, and looking after your skin, especially your face. That's why this cream comes in so handy, as it protects my face, is targeted towards fair and sensitive skin (so if you have had issues with SPF before, this is where you should go next) and is completely hypoallergenic. My skin is sensitive, so much so, I never really realised how sensitive it was until a few products gave me terrible reactions (we'll talk about those in another post).

This cream is going to be a permeant attachment to my person this summer/when the sun actually comes out, and I cannot wait. It applied like a dream and gives you wonderful protection. I can apply it in the morning and reapply maybe once or twice more throughout the day, and under my straw hat, or whatever headwear i'm rocking that day, it gives me the best protection and is even waterproof, in case anyone wants to jump in the pool/lake/body of water. I would definitely recommend trying this out and letting me know what you this. Look out for this addition in my upcoming 'what i'm taking on holiday with me' post. What facial SPF's are you loving for summer? 


Monday, 12 May 2014

Revlon Parfumerie Nail Polishes in 'China Flower' and Orange Melon'

I love a good nail polish and when Revlon bring out something new, I am there like a shot! These Parfumerie polishes are no exception (£6.49, here) - especially as they solve that question that no one ever really thought to ask; what if my nail polish smelt like fabulous things? Well Revlon, you've definitely given me something to ponder over. Me, being me, smelt one of the polishes right in the shop in the thought that they'd smell better in the bottle than most other polishes. Don't do that. It hurt my face. Never sniff nail polish from the bottle, it will give you that unpleasant repulsed face, complete with crinkled nose and an almost snarl on your lips. Yeah, just don't do it. 

Anyway, back to these little lovely things. I chose Ginger Melon, a gorgeous Dragon Fruit esc pink, and China Flower, a true orange red, a blood orange, if you will. Let's talk about the packaging. Oh my goodness, I try not to get too sucked in by a good looking product, but these are so divine, it makes me want to buy them all, line them up and just look adoringly at their sweet little bottles, complete with those little Parfumerie labels that make them look so expensive. I love the shape of the bottle, as well as the handle, which just feels right, when you're painting your nails. Usually the tops are quite straight and rectangular (apart from those amazing Bourjois ones) but these are spherical and complete the look, making them look far more expensive - so, to the untrained eye, they'd be something sitting on the dressing table of a very respectable lady, next to her perfume bottles of Chanel and Yves St Laurent

But now we should talk about the scent, the colour payoff and how long the polishes/enamels last, as those are the most important things, yes? Ginger Melon is something entirely fruity and sweet, like a little piece of candy that your grandmother would give you, and not only does that bring back fantastic memories for me, but it's a gorgeous smell. China Flower on the other hand, is something I can't quite describe. It's a bit floral, a bit spice, a bit musk - three elements which do ultimately work together. I only wish a 'Chine Flower' was a real thing, and that it was that colour - as not only would it be gorgeous, but it would have a very unusual scent, something to definitely make you think twice. Full opacity for me, was two coats of each with a brush that isn't too big or two small, and with the handle it was so easy to control without your fingers sliding down, or becoming sweaty... nail painting is a stressful job! These lasted a really good amount of time on my nails, considering I work in retail, also known as the death of a good manicure. I got a good five days out of these polishes before any noticeable chipping, and i'm so impressed with them. The scent lingers on the nails for some time, and becomes more mellow, at least two/three days worth of scent, depending on if your hands are in and out of water a lot. 

I'm so impressed with these, and definitely think a few more are needed to add to my collection of Revlon polishes (not that I really need any more...). I fancy the look of Lime Basil, African Tea Rose, Apricot Nectar, Watermint, Spun Sugar, Moonlight Woods, Lavender Soap and Surf Spray. I basically just want them all. They're so gorgeous and a perfect addition to my ever growing Revlon beauty collection. What shades do you have your eye on? xx


Thursday, 8 May 2014

Korres Wild Rose Brightening Moisturiser

I remember this little purchase was totally inspired by Kate over at Gh0stparties, and along with it, I also ordered my first Korres lip butter in, you guessed it, Wild Rose. This moisturiser, doesn't really feel like any other that I've used before - it doesn't have that thick, cream like texture, but it's - I actually have no idea how to explain it, it's thin, but it's thick and when you scoop some out onto your fingers, it doesn't look at all that impressive. But it is, I assure you, it is. Slather it on, and in sinks in like a dream with the most gorgeous scent of rose, leaving skin plump and hydrated, which are two very important areas to cover when looking for a good moisturiser. 

It's light and smoothing, it kind of feels like it would be a really good base for foundation, and it is, don't get me wrong - that was the impression I first got when I slathered it on my face. And you don't need a lot of it, it's one of those amazing products where a little goes a long way. Because my skin is so pale, it just tends to glow of its own accord, but I think this cream definitely helps in aiding a bit of brightening - which once again speaks to how good a base it as, as you can just put some concealer on top and get on with your day. As I'm writing this, this is my moisturiser of choice, and it currently sat under a layer of foundation and concealer, and it looks good. With pale skin and hereditary dark circles, it's very easy for me to look quite.. zombie esc, or vampire esc... whichever one you think is more appealing; but I think with use of this (I use it in the mornings before my primer/foundation/concealer for a long day) it does make me look more alive (something I am always thankful for). I think it's the Vitamin C, which is an ingredient I love about my Clarins Daily Energizers moisturiser, that gives me that bit of brightness that is so hard to fake without a good amount of know how. Who doesn't love some Vitamin C, though?

You can purchase Korres Wild Rose Moisturiser (£20, here) or you could do what I would do, and snap up this offer of the 1 + 1 Wild Rose Skincare Set Day (£20, here) as it combines the moisturiser with the eye cream, and I think that's a pretty amazing bargain. Gotta love LookFantastic for bargains, and this is a definite one. This pot is certainly a long lasting one, as even though I made quite a dent in my Clarins one, I've gone back to this time and time again, as the smell is divine and it just does what is says it will, which is brighten, hydrate and make your skin look smooth, ugh, amazing, right?


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Marks & Spencer's Limited Collection Underwear

I know I'm not usually one for lifestyle esc posts, but then I thought 'why not?' and I know underwear might be a bit TMI, but i'm not wearing it (in the pictures) so why not talk about them? I love getting my bras and knickers from M&S because they're good, and I know they're good; it's good value for money, they're comfortable and I know that they do a vast array of sizes, which is so important. The thing about photographing underwear is that these don't look dainty or cute, which is what you generally see when underwear is photographed - all lace and teeny cups and if anything, these bras are sturdy and reliable - kind of like a boat. I can't be dealing with those non-wired bras, because my chest isn't that small (which is a blessing in some ways, but so incredibly annoying in others).

Another thing that i've found is these bras (£16 here and here) and these knickers (£9 here) look vastly different in real life compared to those shown on the website; so much so, I would not buy them if I hadn't seen them in store, as the  online pictures shows them to look, I don't know, quite cheap (isn't it weird how the smaller sizes on the model look different to ones just shot by themselves?)? I know they're not the most expensive in the world, but if you need something to keep your cleavage in place, especially when you've got big boobs, and you like your knickers to match, these are the ones for you. I love looking for underwear inshore, because I know that not only will the girls in my local store help me to select the best options, but if I want to be fitted, they I can be, and they'll get me whatever styles/colours I want - all in all, making the embarrassing experience of being fitted for a bra a great deal nicer. 

These two bras, and their matching knickers are awesome; really comfortable and supportive (its the bras i'm talking about now), so much so, I'm going to say that M&S are totally the place I would recommend for DD+ underwear, as it's just so comfy, and it's pretty; let's face it, a lot of bigger sizes are not pretty. It sucks. There's usually an assortment of dull, beige bras that no one wants to wear, but you have to because that's the only thing that fits... but now with M&S; I think they actually understand that women with bigger boobs need pretty underwear too, and ones that don't cost too much either. Bravo M&S. 

Also, has anyone seen the new print campaign for M&S? Ugh, Emma Thompson in anything is a yes. Have you bought any lovely little underwear pieces recently? xx

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