Saturday, 28 June 2014

Beauty News: The Julep Plié Wand

Julep is a brand I first heard about thanks to their Julep Maven boxes - a box of different coloured nail polishes delivered to your door each month. From what I've read about these boxes Julep nail varnishes seem to be of consistent good quality and come in a huge array of shades and finishes. But this post isn't about their polishes, but about their latest release, the Plié Wand.

This is basically a screw-on top you can add to any Julep polish bottle that will turn it into a pen, which is meant to make application easier, smoother and more comfortable. I think I can see where they are coming from - a longer wand would make it a lot easier to apply long, smooth strokes from your wrists, rather than having to cramp your fingers around a short, stubby brush. I'm usually alright doing my left hand as I'm right-handed, but the other way around my polish tends to look a tad wonky, so it would be quite interesting to see if this little magic wand would be able to sort it out for me.

There are attachments available for purchase that turn it into either a dotting tool or a nail striper for those of you who are already quite confident at nail art. Julep isn't currently available over here in the UK, but you can purchase the whole set including all attachments on the US Sephora website, which now ships to the UK, for $35. Let me know in the comments if you decide to give it a go and how you get on!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Review: Boots Extracts Vanilla Body Butter

Vanilla seems to be a staple scent in many beauty products: lipsticks, glosses, lotions and as a sweet base note in pretty much any "cheaper" perfume on the market. Usually, I'm not a huge fan of that scent. Not because I don't like vanilla, but because that synthetic scent smells more like sweet plastic than actual vanilla. If you've ever felt the same, then I got a little treat here for you.

If you think of vanilla in most regular beauty products as your standard Mr. Whippy ice cream, then this is the five star gourmet clotted cream Madagascan vanilla ganache. This smells unbelievably good and nothing like that plasticky fake vanilla scent you'd expect. It's so intensely, but beautifully vanilla-y, that I half expected to find little black scraped out seeds in the lotion.

Alas, when it comes to formula, the quality matches that of the incredible scent. I'm a big fan of thick, rich body butters rather than runny lotions and this fits the bill perfectly to keep my skin hydrated and soft as a feather. Additionally, however, it sinks in immediately to a velvety smooth finish, so even in warmer temperatures it doesn't leave a sticky mess - I'd actually say it feels very cooling and soothing on the skin. I am seriously, seriously impressed with this body butter and I think it might even be better than the Body Shop butters, which are my all time favourite.

Note that the packaging has changed a little bit ever since I purchased mine, but the formula is still the same. At £8 for a tub, Boots have really knocked it out of the park with this one!

Face of the Day #06

A very short time before doing this face of the day post I received a new eye shadow palette in my monthly Love Me Beauty box, so I was dying to try it out and see if it would do any better on the lid than it did in my less than impressive swatches. I think this is probably the last time I'll be using my Rimmel powder, as I've seriously hit pan on it now and I've already got a different replacement powder waiting to be used in my make-up drawer/box.


I've been using a new foundation lately, namely the Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in Shade 115 Ivory and I'm not particularly sold. Even though it's the lightest shade in the line up, it's still too dark for me by about two or three tones, but hopefully now that the sun's out I'll be able to pick up a bit of a tan and it will be a better match. I've stuck to my old faithfuls when it comes to concealer, namely the Seventeen Phwoarr Paint in Fair and the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in 004 Sandstorm (also a shade too dark, I've got no idea why I picked it up in the shop). The powder is literally on its last legs right now, so I'll be replacing it with a different one very, very soon. For cheeks, I dug out what used to be my favourite blusher ever, the MAC Powder Blush in Mocha. I don't think there's a skin tone in this world that wouldn't be able to pull off this soft, dusky pink shade. I've treated myself to a new Real Techniques Blush Brush and it's made application so much easier!


I've dug out my old HD Brows Palette in Foxy again to do my brows, but this time I used the ashy brown shade instead of the reddish one. You can't see it in the picture, but there's hardly any of it left in the pan, so I'll be on the lookout for a replacement shortly, as well. I needed a tried and trusted base for my eye shadows to adhere to, so out came the MAC Paint Pot in Painterly, which makes literally any eye shadow stay on my lids all day long. I then got to work with my new Beauty UK Eye Shadow Palette in Earth Child, using the golden bronze colour in the top row all over the lid and blending the reddish brown to the left of it into the crease and outer corner. I used just a touch of the green in the top row along the bottom lash line and lined the water line with a Sephora Eye Pencil in Brown (which I forgot to include in the picture, whoops!) On my lashes I used just one coat of my new favourite drugstore mascara, the Bourjois 1 Seconde Volume Mascara in Black.


For my lips I reached for another old favourite, the MAC lipstick in Please Me. I used to wear this one religiously until one day I decided that the colour and the matte finish just don't suit me at all. Lately, however, I've been enjoying using it again and for a matte formula it really doesn't feel drying at all, which I love.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Montagne Jeunesse Round-up Review

Montagne Jeunesse do this thing where they have their masks strategically placed at tills and at the end of various aisles and the temptation to put a little skincare treat into my shopping basket is just too hard to resist sometimes! I've packed a few of their products that I've tried lately into one post to let you know what I think of them all.

This chocolate mask smells simply amazing, although it really made me crave a Terry's chocolate orange! As the name suggests it's a self-heating mask, which I do like on occasion, as it just feels like it's really doing something. Unfortunately, it is also the messiest mask I've ever had to apply, as it's really runny and sticky. The stickiness also translated into the skin, which felt sticky even after I washed everything off. I only got one application out of this sachet, as it just made such a mess that I couldn't store whatever was left over. This is my least favourite out of this bunch and I wouldn't buy another one.

The Very Berry mask is a whole different story. It smells like a delicious smoothie and applies in a thick, smooth cream which felt very pleasant and slightly cooling on the skin. After rinsing, my face felt moisturised and incredibly soft. I got two applications out of a sachet and will definitely pick up a few more of these whenever my skin needs a little boost. This one is my favourite out of the lot!

The passion mask had the weakest scent out of all of them, so a great one if you don't want too overwhelming a smell in your product. It was slightly sticky upon application, but didn't run as bad as the chocolate mask. What I really liked was that once it dried, it was really easy to peel the whole thing off in one swoop, unlike some masks which you basically have to rub off in thousands of bits. My skin was left feeling really clean, but I definitely needed to apply quite a lot of moisturiser afterward. Great for oily skin or to clean out some impurities.

This sheet mask was my latest addition which I received in a Love Me Beauty box last week. It has an amazing blackcurrant scent and comes as a fairly wet piece of fabric. While the top half fit my contours really well, the bottom half was way too big, so I struggled to get it to sit snugly on my chin. Thankfully, the wetness of the fabric prevented it to fall off my face, so I could still walk around with it on, although it did come loose on my chin several times. Once washed off the result was clean, but still hydrated skin. Although the effect was nice, I'm just not sure if sheet masks are really my thing. I only got one application out of this one as I couldn't reuse the sheet.

These all retail at £1 each apart from the fabric mask, which costs £1.49.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Recipe: Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Me and baking have an on/off relationship. I still remember all of my first attempts at baking and they all turned out horrendous. I even managed to mess up a premade banoffee pie that I basically just had to assemble! These days, things turn out a lot better, but it's still a rare occurrence that I bake something, as I tend to make the biggest mess in the kitchen whenever I give it a go. However, this cheesecake was worth all of the flour behind the counters and the spilt milk and broken eggs. When my friend said she wanted to take this cake to Vegas and marry it I knew I was on to a winner. The recipe was taken from the June issue of BBC Easy Cook magazine. If you don't like blueberries, feel free to substitute other fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries or even pineapple!

For 10-14 bars (depending on the size of your cake tin) you will need:

  • 300g digestives
  • 140g melted butter
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 100g blueberries (or other fruit of your choice)
  • 1tsp cornflour
  • 900g full-fat soft cheese
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200ml sour cream

Throw the biscuits into a food processor until they turn into fine crumbs, then pour in the melted butter and whizz until it becomes a sticky mixture. Alternatively, if you don't have a food processor, you can bash the biscuits in a freezer bag with a rolling pin and mix with the butter by hand in a bowl.

Line a deep baking tray with parchment and then spread the biscuit mixture over to form an even base. Press it down with a spatula or the back of a spoon and try to get it as even as you can. I tore off some of the baking paper in order to be able to take better pictures, but you may want to leave some overhang, as it will make it a lot easier to lift the cake out of the tray. Bake for 10 minutes at 180C fan/ 200C conventional/ gas 6.

Meanwhile, we can crack on with our blueberry sauce. Mix the cornflour with a little bit of water, then add to a saucepan with the berries and 25g of the sugar.

Heat up and let the mixture bubble while stirring constantly until the berries crack open and release their juice and the sauce becomes thick and syrupy. Then remove from the heat.

By now your base should be ready, so lift out the golden crispy deliciousness. Let the base and the blueberry sauce cool off completely before you continue.

Now we're gonna get started on the main event. Look at all that cheeeeeeeese....

Get a big bowl and whisk the soft cheese until it becomes smooth. Add the sugar and whisk some more. Finally, add the flour, vanilla, eggs and sour cream and whisk again until you're left with a smooth mixture like the one in the picture above.

Pour half the cheesecake mixture over the biscuit base, then dot half of the blueberry sauce all over. Top with the remaining mixture and then add some more blobs of blueberry sauce. Use the tip of a spoon or a knife to create little swirly patterns. Then get this baby in the oven and bake for 10 minutes at fan 180C/ conventional 200C/ gas 6. After that, turn the heat down to fan 90C/ conventional 110C/ gas 1/4 and bake for another 30 minutes. Then turn off the oven and leave the cake to rest in the warm oven for an hour. Lift it out and wait until it's cool enough to put in the fridge, where it should be left for at least 3 hours or ideally overnight - if you can wait that long!

Slice into bars and serve! Enjoy the ooey, gooey creamy deliciousness. Granted, this might not be the healthiest of recipes, but this stuff is seriously worth it. And what would life be without a little naughtiness from time to time, eh?

Let me know in the comments below if you decide to give this recipe a go!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Love Me Beauty Box June 14

Wow, can you believe it's already been a year since Love Me Beauty (then known as Beauteco Box) has launched? After reading lots of rave reviews about their June box I instantly signed up and have been with them ever since their second ever box. There have been some ups and downs (mostly ups, but a few downs in recent times) and I'm quite excited to see what the future has to hold for my favourite beauty box so far.
This month's box included a bonus item for me for filling out another 5 surveys on their website, as well as a £10 off voucher towards Flavourly, a gourmet and artisan food subscription box. While it does sound interesting, Flavourly also offers the same money off voucher for new subscribers on their website, so I won't be counting it towards the value of the box. For June I chose Menu 1 out of the three options on offer.

Full size: £12

Apologies about the blurry picture, it seems like my camera decided it wanted to focus on the fuzzy bits of paper instead of the actual gloss! While it looks like a hot pink gloss in the tube, it actually translates to a shimmery hit of candy floss on the lips. It's slightly on the sticky side, but very flattering and I can see it complimenting pretty much every skin tone out there. I also like the mirror on the side of the tube, which makes on-the-go application a breeze, although I can see it getting scratched to pieces in my handbag! What I like the most is the amazing candy-like sherbet scent and even though I'm not usually a fan of sweet scents I don't find this one sickly at all.

Full size: £3

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my box and found this nail polish in it. From the pictures on my menu it looked like I was about to get a neon pink shade - something I've already got plenty of in my stash. Turns out they've sent out various pink shades and I've really lucked out with Pastel Lavender, as it's a gorgeous colour that was completely missing from my collection. I can't wait to get it on my nails tomorrow night!

Full size: £1.49

Although I'm a little miffed that I'll only get one application out of this sachet, I'm looking forward to trying a sheet mask, as I've never used one before. I'm quite a fan of Montagne Jeunesse masks whenever my skin needs a little pick-me-up and I was about to do a review of a few of their masks I've tried recently when I realised that I'd be getting another one in my Love Me Beauty Box, so that post has been ever so slightly postponed. This mask also came in a fold-out paper envelope with a few bits and bobs about Montagne Jeunesse. I never knew they were such an eco-conscious brand!

Full size: £3.99

Although Beauty UK is a brand I regularly bypass when browsing through drugstore aisles, I was really excited to get this product in my June box - I could never have enough eye shadow palettes! Then it arrived and turned out to be absolutely tiny! Then I guess I shouldn't be complaining, as you do get 10 shadows for £3.99, which is a bargain. The quality, however, is exactly what I'd expect from such a budget palette. The payoff is quite patchy and chalky, there's a lot of fallout and pigmentation could also be better. I haven't tried any of the colours on the lids yet, so I might change my mind once I've actually tried the shadows on my eyes.

5) Urban Veda | Purifying Day Cream
Full size: £14.99 for 50ml / Sample Value: £3

I've never heard of Urban Veda before and I'm always excited to try out new skincare brands. The sample is generous enough to get a good idea of how the product works and I'm always happy to get a mattifying moisturiser when it's hot and sweltering outside. It's got a strong herbal scent and I can definitely smell some tea tree in there, which I'm not the biggest fan of, but on the plus side it's completely SLS-, paraben- and GM ingredient-free.

Full size: £10.50

I think it's really great that Love Me Beauty include bonus items for being subscribed for a certain amount of time or for filling in 5 surveys about their boxes. Unfortunately, I already received this exact item in this exact shade in my November box. I think I used it two or three times and then let it plummet to the bottom of my make-up stash, as it creased on my like mad, so I won't be getting any use out of this, whatsoever. It would have been nice if they could have at least sent me a different shade rather than the exact same product I received a few months back.

Total value: £23.48 (£33.98 with bonus item)

I feel like the value of my Love Me Beauty boxes has been getting consistently lower and lower and almost all the items in this month's box are from low-end, budget brands. While that's not necessarily a bad thing and the value of my box still exceeds what I paid for it, it's the eye shadow palette in particular that I felt was a big letdown. I just don't think I will be using it at all, as the quality just isn't there. Still, it's been a big improvement from last month's box which particularly annoyed me as it included tea and notebooks as two of my five beauty products. And with four out of five items being full sized, it still tops most other beauty boxes that I know of.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Review: Atrixo Intensive Protection Cream

This is the last in my big pile of Atrixo products that I've slowly been working my way through for nearly two years (!!) and I gotta say that it seems like I left the best till last - this one is by far my favourite product!

The love starts already from the outside. While I know some people find tubs unhygienic, I personally prefer them over squeezey tubes for three reasons:
a) They look nicer on my bedside table
b) You always know exactly how much you've got left
c) There's this satisfying feeling of dipping your finger into a big ol' tub of cream (just me on this one?)

Then there's also the scent... I really love the scent on all Atrixo products and this one is no different. It's soft, very subtly sweet and extremely comforting. This particular one actually reminds me a little bit of sun lotion, which is definitely not a bad thing!

The cream is very similar in texture to a silky body butter and is very satisfying and smooth to apply. Even though this is the intensive cream, I find that it actually sinks in a lot quicker than the regular version. I still only use it overnight - there have only been two hand creams ever that I've used during the day time just because I hate that dreadful sticky feeling you get from applying hand lotion. It works wonderfully as an overnight treatment, though, and has me waking up with baby soft hands every morning. What more could you ask for?

Granted, the tub isn't particularly handbag friendly, but at £4.59 for a gigantic 200ml tub it's truly amazing value for money.

Review: Murad Balance and Protect Travel Kit

It's that time of year now where a lot of you are jetting off somewhere rather lovely on your summer breaks (Lucky you! No holiday for me till September!) and are faced with the dilemma of having to squeeze your entire skincare regime into small plastic containers of no more than 100ml total.
To make things a little easier Murad are launching three different travel kits depending on skincare needs which all come ready in a little plastic pouch (which you can then fill with a few more essentials if you want to). The one I've got to show you today is the Balance and Protect Travel Kit aimed at oily and combination skin.

First up you get five of the Clarifying Wipes for blemish-prone skin. The great thing about these is that as they're individually wrapped they won't dry out and are perfectly moist every time you open one. They also won't eat away at your liquid allowance if you want to take them in your hand luggage. While face wipes might not be the greatest way of cleansing your skin, they won't hurt for a long weekend or so, and I found these to be really, really effective. They did sting a little on my sensitive eyes, so if your eyes get a little dry from time to time I'd recommend packing a separate eye make-up remover.

Next up is this little 10ml tube of Oil-Control Mattifier, the hero product in this kit if you ask me. Where was this when I was going through puberty?? It's the first mattifying moisturiser I've tried that really does what it promises and keeps shine completely at bay for several hours. While my skin doesn't really get that oily anymore these days, hot summer weather always brings out shiny sweat-face (mmmmh, attractive), and this does an amazing job at keeping heat damage to a minimum while still providing enough moisture. I can actually feel my skin tighten a little bit after applying this, but it's by no means an unpleasant sensation. I've been using my sample for just over a week now and I've still got plenty left, so this should be enough even for longer holidays.

The final product is this 5ml container of the Skin Perfecting Primer in Dewy Finish. The funny thing is that I once got a sample of this in a beauty box and I absolutely hated it, but this second time around I'm really fond of it. I remember it turning my face bright orange at first, but it doesn't really do that anymore at all. Maybe I had a dodgy sample or maybe they've changed the formulation? Or maybe my skin changed? Either way, while I wouldn't rely on this for tint alone, it works really well layered over the moisturiser to give my foundation enough slip to apply easier but still have something to grip to. My make-up also seems to hang around for 2-3 hours more than usual.

This is really a rather lovely little kit and I actually think it would be absolutely perfect if you're going to any outdoor festivals, where having access to running water can be a tad tricky and you don't have anywhere to reapply make-up or powder your face all day.

There will also be a Smooth and Soften Travel Kit to tackle fine lines and wrinkles and a Youthful You Travel Kit for firming and brightening skin. They will all be £10 each, which I think is great value for the quality of skincare that you get.

They launch on Sunday, June 15th exclusively in Marks & Spencer stores.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Review: L'Oreal Skin Perfection Cleansing & Perfecting Milk

When I was younger (back in the olden days....) my number one method of cleansing would be gels, but these days I find them to be much too harsh and stripping on my skin, so I've turned to gentle milks and balms instead.

When it comes to gentleness, this one certainly fits the bill. It has a soft, almond like scent and even when I get it into my eyes it doesn't sting one bit. There's not the slightest bit of irritation and no feeling of tightness after rinsing it off.

While it's great on the gentleness, it's not the most hard-working of cleansers and I'd still be left with bits of foundation rubbing off on my towel whenever I'd use this milk on its own. I finished it as part of a double cleanse and it worked really well then, but it's not a product I'll be rushing out to repurchase any time soon.

L'Oreal Skin Perfection Cleansing & Perfecting Milk retails at £3.99.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Book Review: The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Title: The Husband's Secret

Author: Liane Moriarty

Price: £7.99

Type: Fiction

Pages: 402

The Husband's Secret is a book that's been talked about a lot and has been high up on the list of bestsellers for a while. I do love a book with a great mystery, so I spontaneously picked it up one day while waiting for a train.

There are three main characters in this book and from the very beginning you get a sense that they are all connected in one way or another. Sadly, this also means that I figured out very early what this secret might be, although finding out the secret is not the point - it's about how the characters deal with the secret and the effect it's had on them.

First, there's Cecilia: A middle-aged woman living in suburban Australia with three daughters, impeccable organisation skills and a thriving Tupperware business. Think Bree from Desperate Housewives and you're pretty much there. She finds a letter from her husband addressed to her from years and years ago and it's this letter that throws her life upside down.
Then there's Tess. Tess has just found out that her cousin and her husband have fallen in love with each other. In complete shock and disbelief she packs her stuff, grabs her son and flies halfway across Australia to live with her mother again, hoping for a new beginning.
Finally, we meet Rachel, an elderly lady who works at the local school as a secretary. Rachel's daughter Janie was murdered when she was just seventeen and Rachel has never been able to move on from this horrendous event. Her life is filled with bitterness, hatred and a deep, vengeful desire to find Janie's murderer. In doing so, she alienates her son more and more without even realising.

As such, it is beautifully written. Although I hoped for a bit more on the relationship between said husband with a secret and his wife, the author delves really deep into the emotions of each character. They are well rounded and most importantly, very believable. I found it very easy to imagine to be each of those women and to follow their thought process. In that way, it is really similar to Jodi Picoult's writing and I think that if you're a fan of her books then you'll love The Husband's Secret.

It's a really great book - well written, it drags you in and makes you desperate to find out what happens next. The thing is, I didn't really enjoy reading it as much as I hoped I would. My problem with this book is that it's just so goddamn white middle class. I have nothing against white middle class, but when I read a book, I want to escape from everyday life into a world I would not normally experience and even though the characters in this novel were all thrown into an unusual situation, I found their reactions to be not only extremely predictable, but also incredibly dull. The ending in particular is what really did it for me. It was too perfect, leaving the reader with no unanswered questions. Uninspiring is the word that describes it the best.

I realise there is a place for books like this one and there's a reason it's been so successful. If reading about suburban everyday lives being thrown off-kilter is your thing (and by all means, there's nothing at all wrong with that), then I would gladly recommend this book to you, as chances are you're going to love it. For me, I've finally come to realise that this is simply not my kind of story and thankfully, my next read could not be further away from this book if it tried...

Friday, 6 June 2014

Review: e.l.f. Blending Eye Brush

I've mentioned in a recent review that I find elf brushes to be a bit hit and miss. Turns out, this one is a slight exception to the rule, depending on what you're after. Like most elf brushes, this one's amazingly well made considering the price. It's not going to last all your life, but I've had it several months now and despite frequent washing it still holds up well without any shedding or without the metal barrel coming loose. But just like the blush brush which I reviewed last month, the problem with this brush is its density.

The hairs are stiff and dense and for that reason blending is certainly not what this brush is good at - unlike the name would suggest! But that doesn't mean that I don't frequently use it and enjoy doing so. I find the dense hairs work really well at picking up loose pigment and packing it onto the lid without too much fallout. I also don't have any other brushes in my collection with a similar shape and while the rounded tip hugs the crease of my lid very nicely, I do need to use another brush for blending unless I'm using a very light colour.

At £1.95 a pop this is an absolute bargain and you really can't complain - just don't use it for it's intended purpose!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Review: Simple Kind To Skin Exfoliating Facial Wipes

So far all of my reviews of Simple products have been overwhelmingly positive, but today I want to talk about a product I just didn't get on with. It didn't start well, seeing as I only bought this accidentally. I was stocking up on my beloved Simple face wipes and it was only when I got home that I realised I picked up the wrong ones. Instead of being smooth all over, these exfoliating wipes have one smooth side and one rough side which is meant to exfoliate while it cleanses.

Now, I don't know about you, but I buy face wipes for those days when I just cannot be bothered with my regular skincare routine. I use them when I come home tired or erm, slightly intoxicated and I can only just manage to remember to take my make-up off with a wipe before I collapse into bed. The problem with this scenario is that when it's dark and you're tired/drunk you have no way of telling which side is the smooth one and which side is the exfoliating one - until it's too late and you've already rubbed what feels like sandpaper over your eyes.

Now, don't get me wrong, because these wipes will certainly get your skin clean. Very clean. But I feel that rubbing my face with something that literally feels sharp just defeats the whole purpose and I'd rather not actually take my make-up off at all.

So, while the regular Simple wipes are still among my favourite beauty products ever, this exfoliating variety is not something I'll be repurchasing.

Simple Kind To Skin Exfoliating Facial Wipes retail at £3.55 a pack.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Review: Fudge Urban Sea Salt Texturising Spray

Salt sprays are a product I never really got the point of. Laid-back, beachy waves? When my hair gets in contact with sand and sea water it turns into an uncontrollable, frizzy mess, so why would I ever want to buy a product that will make my hair go berserk? After I tried the Fudge Urban Sea Salt spray, however, I changed my tune and now it's got a firm place in my hair styling routine.

I find it works best on second day hair, when my hair begins to naturally curl and wave a little bit. Rather than cause frizz as I feared it would, it does a perfect job of defining my natural wave and adding some volume and a bit of oomph. Instead of making my hair look how it looks when I go to the beach, it makes look how I always wanted it to look when going to the beach.

Seriously, this stuff is amazing. I never really thought hair could be sexy, but after using this, if I could have sex with my hair then I would. It leaves no sticky residue and the smell alone is simply divine - think a tropical, coconut based fruity cocktail!

At £6.99 a pop, I consider this a must have for gorgeous summer hair.

Monday, 2 June 2014

My Ultimate Beauty Wishlist

Ultimate Beauty Wishlist
It's so easy to get carried away by all the new releases and fresh launches when shopping for beauty products. There are so many products I've wanted to buy for ages, but never got round to it, as something new and shiny caught my eye instead. So, as a kind of aid when I'm out shopping next, I've compiled this list of beauty products that I really, really want to try, so I can focus on what I really want, rather than what I just fancy in the moment.

It's no coincidence that most of the products on this list are high end. I find it really difficult to part with a larger sum for just one beauty product when I could have several cheaper things for the same amount of money. I've actually set out to buy some of these, but then bottled it and returned home empty-handed. Hopefully having them all in one place will help me save up some cash and splurge on things that I really want rather than waste money here and there on things I get bored of after a few days!





Sunday, 1 June 2014

Monthly Favourites: May 2014

1) Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara

Wow, two months in a row my favourites include a Bourjois mascara! I've only just published a review on this one (you can find it here), but if you don't want to go through a lengthy post, then let me just tell you that this is my new favourite drugstore mascara. I think I even prefer it to my trusted Max Factor False Lash Effect! It gives defined, long, fluttery lashes that still look incredibly natural. It's not quite as good as my ultimate holy grail mascara, Benefit's "They're Real!", but at a fraction of a price, this comes a very close second.

2) Pro:Voke Twice A Week Brightening Shampoo & Intensive Treatment Conditioner

I've already featured this shampoo in my favourites once, but it was recently that I purchased the matching conditioner and both together definitely deserve another mention. I've tried a lot of purple shampoos and conditioners to keep my blonde hair from going brassy and no matter the price tag, none of them even come close to these. Not only are they powerful enough to really knock every last bit of yellow out of your hair, they also leave my hair feeling insanely soft and nourished - and they're less than a fiver each!

3) Rimmel Scandaleyes Eye Shadow Paint in Rich Russet

This is a classic case of "the blogger made me buy it". After seeing so many of my favourite bloggers rave about this eye shadow and this colour in particular, I just couldn't help myself but make a sneaky purchase. While it's not the most amazing eye shadow ever, the neutral colour and its versatility are what makes this a stand-out product for me. It's so easy to blend it into a neutral daytime look or layer it up for a bronzed smokey eye, which makes it the perfect day-to-night product. The fact that it comes in a handy tube and can easily be blended with your fingers makes it perfect for on the go. The formula will also stay on my lids pretty much all day once it's dried down. It's crazy to think how far high street cream shadow formulas have come in the last few years!

4) Super Facialist by Una Brennan Brighten & Refine Facial Scrub

Now, this is a scrub for scrub lovers. When I exfoliate my face, I want to feel like I'm actually doing something and this fits the bill perfectly. The grains are tiny and spread very well, but boy are they effective! Do not use this on dry skin unless you like the feeling of sandpaper on your face. In the shower, however, used on wet skin it's the perfect once or twice weekly deep clean that my face needs.