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Sunday, August 31, 2014

GLOSSYBOX 3RD ANNIVERSARY BIRTHDAY EDITION - AUGUST 2014

I have been a subscriber of Glossybox for quite some time now, and this August they celebrated their 3rd Birthday. It's a fab concept which has reached beauty lovers from around the world and the brand continue to improve the service they share with us every month. To be honest I was a bit underwhelmed by this months box, I know you shouldn't compare your box against others, but I felt this month just wasn't for me. I'm always happy with my Glossybox and always feel I get value for money, but for a Birthday box nothing really stood out for me. The box design also changed this month, as well as the information card, which I think is nice to change up from now and then. On to what was inside;
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, 40ml £38.00 full-size - Everybody received this product in their box this month. I have received this so many times in beauty boxes and magazine freebies, so I was a little disappointed to see it again. Saying that it is a great hair product, you apply this pre-shampoo and it gives your hair bounce, shine and manageability without weighing your hair down. This product was originally created for Audrey Hepburn and is suitable for all hair types. For me, it's a product I don't get to use very often as I wash my hair in the morning and always run out of time.
Glossybox Highlighter in Cashmere, 4.5g £12.95 - Another product that everyone received was this Highlighter, created with Kryolan especially for Glossybox's birthday. I didn't think too much of this at first, but when I swatched it I saw that it gives quite a nice illuminating effect on the skin. It's quite subtle, but it gives a velvety shine when applied to the cheekbones, a great multi use product.
Essence Longlasting Lipstick, 3.8g £2.29 - I received the Lipstick in Natural Beauty which is a lovely rose pink, great for everyday. I haven't used the formula before, but I found it to be really creamy and moisturising and the colour stayed around for a while after applying which is great considering the price. I'm not a big fan of the packaging, but this will definitely be making it's way into my make-up bag. I did receive a lipstick last month though, so it would have been nice to see something different.
Yves Rocher Pink Nail Polish, 3ml £3.60 - Another pink item, to match the box was this birthday bonus nail polish. The bottle is super tiny, it's not really a colour I would pick due to having many nude/french manicure pinks in my collection. But nice as a little extra and the mini brush is great for a smooth application!
Figs & Rouge Mini Hand Cream, 20ml £3.95 - I wasn't very excited to see a hand cream, as I have many hand cream samples to use up. But this is lovely, the scent is divine - mango and mandarin and it leaves my hands super soft. The hand creams are enriched with shea butter and sinks straight into your skin without feeling greasy.
Lalique L'Amour Eau De Parfum, 2ml £67.00 full-size - Another product I wasn't very excited about. The scent is nice a musky floral which reminds me of something and it stays on the skin for hours. I haven't really heard much about this perfume before so it was nice to try something different that I wouldn't normally pick up.
Products that were also on offer were; an Essence mascara, All that Jazz cuticle balms, Comfort Zone Essentials Cleansing Milk, SuperPep Super C15 Serum and SuperPep Hydra Sun Defence SPF 30 Day Cream. On a brighter note, next month box is a collaboration with Karen Millen and every subscriber will either receive a L'Oreal Professional hair masque or oil which I'm very happy to receive. I still get really excited to discover what's in my box every month, are you subscribed to a Beauty Box?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

THE BODY SHOP HAUL - WILD ARGAN OIL RANGE

I recently went online and bought a few bits from The Body Shop. I was interested in trying the new Wild Argan Oil collection and of course there were a few discount codes floating around to grab a bargain. Everything I bought was new to me and I have been wanted to try most of the products for a while now. I picked up the Bubbling Bath £8.00 and the Miracle Solid Oil for Body & Hair £8.00 from the Wild Argan Oil collection, I hadn't smelt this scent instore but after hearing great things from lots of bloggers I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. I'm currently using the Honeymania Bath Melt which is so luxurious, but I'm getting a bit low on that, so I bought the Argan Oil version to replace that. This helps to calm and soften skin, open the pores and prepare it for treatment. The oil can be used on the body or hair and any dry patches that might need some love. I'm looking forward to trying more from this range. I then picked up the Early-Harvest Raspberry Body Butter £13.00, this smells lovely and fruity, as every Body Shop Butter does. I love the Satsuma version of this and I go through these tubs like there's no tomorrow. Talking of Satsuma, I purchased the new Satsuma Body Sorbet £8.00 which is a light, cooling body moisturiser. I can't get enough of the scent and it instantly melts into the skin for 24 hours of hydration. The last product I picked up is the newest member of the Vitamin E range, the Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet £12.00. The product is an ultra-light formula which hydrates and refreshes skin. It's enriched with wheatgerm oil to quench skin's thirst.
The Body Shop are currently offering £10 off when you spend £25 online with the promotional code - splash.
Have you tried anything new from The Body Shop?

Friday, August 29, 2014

NEW HAIR RANGE - GARNIER ULTIMATE BLENDS THE SLEEK RESTORER

Garnier have introduced six signature blends to their Ultimate Blends range; The Silky Smoother, The Marvellous Transformer, The Shine Revitaliser, The Sleek Restorer, The Colour Illuminator and The Nourishing Repairer. Garnier have spent seven years creating this new range of haircare products with the help of 25,000 British women. The design of the bottles has a very strong 70’s influence, which I wan’t sure of at first, but now I really like the look of them in my bathroom. I always pick up new shampoos and conditioners from the high-street as there is always new offers to be had and they are so affordable for everyday use. 
The Sleek Restorer is formulated for dry, frizzy hair. The range contains pure coconut oil and cocoa butter to give you nourished and super sleek hair. From this range I decided to try the Shampoo, Conditioner and the One Minute Treatment. There is also a Sleek Perfector Oil in the same scent, which claims to leave your hair looking sleek for 72 hours and protects your hair from heat. The shampoo has a gorgeous subtle coconut scent, it lathers up well, my hair is left shinier and it helps reduce frizz and flyaways  It’s a great average, everyday shampoo that does the job and doesn’t weigh my hair down. I found it lovely for my thick hair, as it gave my hair lots of moisture and shine. The formulas contain no parabens and have natural ingredients, which is nice to see from a high street hair product. The conditioner is a little less thick than normal conditioners, but it does do a good job at making my hair feel sleek. I even notice this when my hair is still wet. The pair were on special offer in Boots, 2 for £3 but I wish I had picked up the bigger 400ml sizes.
I like to use the deep conditioner twice a week, it's a little thicker than the normal conditioner, it helps my dry ends and leaves my hair feeling nourished. I also picked up the Dry Shampoo from the Silky Smoother range. The Dry Shampoo is for mid to long hair and it’s a 7 in 1 product. It claims to instantly cleanse hair, absorbs grease at the roots, it has a light weight feel, leaves hair soft to the touch, hair is easy to detangle, it has a blissful fragrance and there is no visible residue. The dry shampoo can be used in other ways than just refreshing the hair, it can also be used to create volume and lift, see video below for styling tips. I love the sweet vanilla milk scent, not like your normal overpowering dry shampoo scent, it's a great product to use inbetween washes. I have read some mixed reviews online, saying it left hair feeling greasier, but I think it does a fair job at refreshing second day hair and it does give my hair some bounce.
One product which has caught my eye from the range is the One Minute Polisher Scrub, which looks like a great, new innovative product (see video below), I think I will have to give that one a try next. Ultimate Blends is definitely a range to try as there is something for every hair type at such an affordable price point. I'd be interested to try the Marvellous Transformer range next as I've heard only good things.
Have you tried the Ultimate Blends range?

Monday, August 25, 2014

AUGUST HAIRCARE BEAUTY PRODUCT EMPTIES

I have a fair few haircare empties which I have been collecting since my last haircare empties back in March. Most of them are my favourite products which I have repurchased over and over.
Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Texturising Spray, 150ml £6.99 - This is a great styling product for divining layers and giving texture to the hair. Bloggers have said it's a great dupe for the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray (which I haven't used) but this is an affordable alternative, that smells great and really works if you like big hair. Would I repurchase? Yes, I need it back in my stash.
L'Oreal Ever Riche Nourishing Intense Mask, 200ml £6.99 - I used up the Shampoo and Conditioner to this range in my last hair empties, see review here. This mask is for dry and very dry hair, it contains no sulphates and the scent is lovely - Camelina and Apricot Seed. I liked to use this on the mid lengths and ends of my hair and leave it on for 10 minutes, the product is super thick - it left my hair smelling great and so soft. Would I repurchase? Yes, I'm a big fan of the range.
It's A 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin, 120ml £19.99 - Another product that featured in my last empties, but this version is the Keratin one. I equally enjoyed this, great to use with my tangle teezer, it helped straighten hair, replace lost protein, protect against heat, detangles and add shine. It also smells lovely too. Only problem is, it's hard to get hold of in the UK. Would I repurchase? Yes, I would also love to try the hair mask in the range.
L'Oreal Professionnel Silver Shampoo, 250ml £7.58 - This is a product I always pick up from the Hairdressers and don't like being without it. I use it once a week, to help get any brassy tones out of my hair and leaves me with clean blonde shades. I get my hair highlighted, so this violet formula also helps keep my colour for longer. Would I repurchase? Yes, I always do.
V05 Refresh Me Quick Dry Shampoo, 200ml £3.59 - This has got to be my all time favourite dry shampoo. It smells lush, is really affordable and leaves me with no white marks. Great for second day hair, my hair is left feeling fresh without the oily roots. Would I repurchase? Yes, always.
Pro:Voke Touch Of Silver Twice A Week Brightening Shampoo, 200ml £3.09 - Another violet shampoo for blonde hair, a cheaper version of the L'Oreal one. For me, it does the same job but the scent isn't as nice. If you're looking for a more affordable purchase, this one is for you. Would I repurchase? I wouldn't run out and buy it no, but if I was in the supermarket I'd pick it up.
Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo, 50ml £4.76* - I have a few of these 50ml versions I received from various places, I won one in a feelunique competition a while back and got one free with an M&S order. I really enjoyed using this, it refreshes, soothes and gives my hair another day of live. It's suitable for coloured hair, adds texture, it's a little pricey for a dry shampoo, but the scent is nice. Would I repurchase? Yes, maybe more likely if it was on offer.
Aussie Miracle Shine Shampoo and Conditioner, 300ml & 400ml £5.99 each - I have always been a big fan of the Aussie Miracle Moist range, it's probably my most repurchased drugstore shampoo and conditioner. The scent is lovely and sweet and the bottles now come in even bigger sizes, so you get more product for your money. The Miracle Shine version leaves my hair shiny and glossy and you can really tell when I've used this perfect duo. Would I repurchase? Yes.
Aussie Beach Mate Shampoo, 300ml £4.69 - This was a random purchase that I picked up in the reduced section in Boots, I had spotted it before so I thought why not give it a go. It's a limited edition design and it's suppose to be a post beach cleanse and revive shampoo but I just used it most days. It's great for summer as it helps to restore the moisture back into the hair, with the same great scent as the other formulas. Would I repurchase? I would probably go back to my normal Aussie range.
Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Shine Deep Treatment, 250ml £4.99 - Another product I go back to again and again. The deep conditioner is great to use a couple of times a week and really helps to boost tired and dull hair. Would I repurchase? Yes, I can always rely on Aussie.
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Highlight Activating Shampoo & Conditioner, 250ml £5.59 each* - As you can probably tell I like any products that are going to help my colour last longer or leave me with a brighter shade of blonde. This shampoo and conditioner leaves my hair soft, moisturised and brighter than before use, see my full review here. Would I repurchase? Yes, I would really recommend it to people with highlighted hair.
Philip Kingsley Body Building Shampoo and Moisture Balancing Conditioner, 60ml £16.00 for the set - I purchased these as part of a trial set, having only tried the elasticizer and dry shampoo from the range, I was eager to try the shampoo and conditioner. I really saw a difference when using the shampoo, if you have fine hair this is great at creating volume. The conditioner is great for textured, wavy hair and was really hydrating on my ends. Would I repurchase? Yes, I'd like to try the other ranges from Philip Kingsley.
John Frieda Luxurious Volume Shampoo & Conditioner, 50ml £5.89 each full-size* - I managed to bag these samples in a Facebook competition. Having enjoyed John Frieda shampoo and conditioner in the past I was excited to try this one. I took these mini's away with me and I loved using them. They are great for fine hair, gives you natural looking volume and doesn't strip your hair. Would I repurchase? Yes, I would definitely pick up the full-sizes.
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Everlasting Blonde Shampoo & Conditioner, 50ml £5.99 each full size - I got these samples in a Glossybox, I really liked the scent of these and another good product at preserving my blonde. The safflower oil and bergamot extract keeps my hair from fading and helps my newly coloured hair stay round for longer. Would I repurchase? Yes, I'm a big fan of John Frieda's Blonde range.
Toni & Guy Cleanse Shampoo & Conditioner For Normal Hair, 250ml £6.49 each - Having tried more of Toni & Guy's styling products than Shampoo and Conditioner before I was looking forward to trying these for normal hair. I love the sleek packaging, the product smells lovely and lathers up well. It's a great everyday shampoo for cleansing and nourishing, as well as leaving my hair soft and shiny. Would I repurchase? Yes, I would try others from the brand
Have you tried any of these products?
*PR Samples Or Competition Wins

Sunday, August 24, 2014

BENEFIT THEY'RE REAL PUSH-UP LINER & REMOVER

I have to admit, I'm not your average winged eyeliner girl. I spent my teens wearing eyeliner underneath my eyes, but finally out grew that for every day and now I'm more likely to apply it on my top lash line without the flick. I'm not a pro at applying the product, the problem with eyeliner is if you go wrong you have to wipe it off and start again, I haven't go time for that. My favourite type of eyeliner to use most recently has been liquid formulas, reaching for the Dior Art Pen Felt-Tip Eyeliner or Collection Fast Stroke Eyeliner as I know these are quick and easy to use and have an intense black pigmentation.
After the success of Benefit's They're Real Mascara, the brand have brought out a gel liner pen called They're Real Push-Up Liner to sit next to the best selling product. I am a big fan of the mascara so after hearing good reviews about the new eyeliner I decided to try it for myself. The eyeliner claims to hug the lash line, make eyes look visibly larger, be long wearing and most impressive of all be waterproof. As I have quite hooded eyes, I like to apply my eyeliner as close to my natural line as possible. I found this eyeliner quite hard to get used to at first, you twist the pen up to push up the product, but be careful not to twist it too much as too much product can leave you with a crumbly mess and the product just falls off, wasted. Having said that, the clever Accuflex tip allows you to move the pen easily around the lash line and the colour is really matte black. Once the product is set, it's not going anywhere, it doesn't smudge and I have even been swimming wearing this. It's hard to know how much product you have left, or how long the pens going to last, but I'm getting better at using this every time I apply it. Just make sure you wipe off any excess from previous use. This product is priced at £18.50 which I think is great if your confident at applying eyeliner, but you can purchase a mini version if you want to try it first.
Benefit have also introduced to their range They're Real Remover which lifts away long wearing and waterproof mascara and eyeliner. As we know the mascara is quite hard to remove and so is the eyeliner, which is good if we want our make-up to last all day. When it's time to remove it, this creamy gel formula is gentle and dissolves make-up around the delicate eye area. I like to use this on my eyes with a cotton pad before going in with a cleanser and it allows the bulk of my make-up to be removed without the panda eyes. The formula feels light and silky and my skin is left feeling soft and clean, with no trace of mascara or eyeliner. At £14.50 for 50ml I will definitely be repurchasing as a little goes a long way.
Have you tried the They're Real range?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

NEW LIP FAVOURITE - REVLON COLORSTAY MOISTURE STAINS

Revlon create some of my favourite lip products from the High Street, Lip Butters being one of the best products I've tried. Revlon's most recent offering are these Colorstay Moisture Lip Stains. They come in 12 different shades inspired by the most fashionable global destinations. Not disappointed by Revlon's lip products before, I decided to pick up three shades, Milan Moment, Parisian Passion and London Posh. I love the names, very clever and it gives the consumer the chance to enjoy a slice of beauty from their favourite places around the world. Milan Moment is a peachy orange, Parisian Passion a dark plum and London Posh a shimmery nude, Parisian Passion has to be my favourite. I have posted a picture on Instagram of me wearing it here.
This formulation applies like a lipgloss, looks glossy but are not sticky at all. They are pigmented, lightweight, moisturising and build-able  The wide doe foot applicator means its easy to apply the formula and re-apply when needed throughout the day. I really like to work the formula into my lips and reapply to build the colour and create a shiny finish. The stains come in a great range of bright colours as well as nudes, so there is something for everyone. They last for ages on the lips, the stain remains but I do like to top up the gloss. The concept reminds me of the YSL glossy stains (which I haven't tried) but at a much more affordable price point. The packaging is really sleek, stylish and makes the product look more expensive than it actually is. Boots currently have a 2 for £10 offer on selected Revlon Cosmetics, priced at £7.99 each. No doubt I will be picking up more of these, I have my eye on Cannes Crush next. 
Asos are currently giving you the chance to win the whole collection, all you have to do is create a city look on Pinterest inspired by your favourite shade, see my board here.
Have you tried Revlon's newest lip product?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BOBBI BROWN - LIMITED EDITION SAND EYESHADOW PALETTE

I am a sucker for eyeshadow palettes, I have many palettes which I use on a weekly basis; especially wearable, neutral palettes which you can create many different looks with. This Bobbi Brown Sand Palette is the newest palette in my collection, it contains 8 shimmer and matte shades. I featured this product on my August Beauty Wish List here. This limited edition palette has been on my wish list since it first came out, but I finally gave in and brought it. I haven’t tried eyeshadows from Bobbi Brown before, but I know many people that have raved about them, so I thought this palette was a good product to try from the brand. The packaging isn’t the classic, sleek, shiny outing we normally see from the brand but its still compact and the theme packaging goes well with the collection. The size of the palette is cute, portable and the inspired beach linen compact also comes with a handy mirror.
The Sand Palette is a neautral palette and the Surf Palette that sits beside it contains more colourful shades. The formula of the shadows are silky, build-able and creamy. I have read a few reviews stating that the shadows aren’t as pigmented as they’d hoped. I do find the matte shades more pigmented than the shimmer shades, but I’m pleased with the payoff for a subtle look. If you want a more intense colour, I like to use a cream base underneath and build up the shadows. I have read a few reviews which say to use your fingers for the shimmer shades as when you use a brush there is a lot of fall out. There are 3 new shades in this palette and 7 new ones in the surf palette. This palette can create a sparkly gold look for day or a smoky brown look for evening. The shades include; Blazing Star Sparkle, Bikini Bronze Metallic, Sand, Saddle, Pale Cream, Gold Sparkle, Frappe, Golden Copper Metallic. The shades mimic the shimmering texture of golden beaches, so this is an ideal palette for Summer and to take on holidays. The shades work on any skin tone, I like to use the lightest shade up to my brow bone, use the medium shades over the lower lid and then layer a sparkly or metallic shade over the top. Using the darkest shade to line the eyes for a bolder look.
The palette is a little pricey at £48.00, but it's a treat and the gorgeous shades do it justice. Also available from the range are Sheer Lip Colours, Bronze & Pink Brightening Blushers, Long-Wear Eye Pencils, Long-Wear Shadow Sticks. I know this collection has been selling fast, will you be trying anything from the Surf & Sand collection?

Monday, August 18, 2014

BOOK REVIEW - WE WERE LIARS BY E.LOCKHART

Published – 13/05/14 Publisher – Hot Key Books
Pages – 240 Genre – Young Adult/Contemporary
Synopsis – 
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends - the Liars - whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

My Thoughts – After hearing a lot of hype about this book, I decided to give it a go. This is a coming of age story which reflects on topics such as race, background, wealth and relationships. The writing style is really unique and made me read more and more. Quick sentences and even quicker chapters, although I know this isn't for everyone. The events left me shocked and shows how life can seem pretty good on the outside, but you know something's not right and you have to keep reading to find out. For me, the last part of the story made it for me, you are left guessing what has happened to the main character and it all becomes clear nearer the end. I feel like I should read this again and really appreciate the earlier part of the story more, before the plot unravels itself. I also really liked the way the author used fairy tales to describe the story. It's worth a read, don't let anyone spoil it for you.
My Rating - 4/5
Follow my reviews on Goodreads.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

EVERYDAY MAKE-UP ESSENTIALS - SHOPPING MY STASH

This is the make-up that I'm currently wearing most week days, I like to mix it up a bit on weekends or evenings out but I do like to stick to the same products that I know work for me, so that they're quick and easy to reach for in the mornings. I store my everyday makeup in my Muji drawers and I shop my stash whenever I get bored of using a product. This is what my drawer currently contains;
Face
Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer, 30ml £6.99 - The main reason I wear primer is to make my foundation stay around for longer. But this formula minimises pores, mattifies my oily skin and evens out skin before applying the rest of my make-up. I have nearly finished this tube, but you get a good amount of product for the price. I have already repurchased. YSL Fusion Ink Foundation, 30ml £30.50 - This is the newest foundation from YSL, I got a 7 day sample from a counter to try it before I buy the full-size. I'm really enjoying wearing it so far, it gives you a light to medium coverage, it drys matte which is great for my oily skin but is still glowing, really natural and leaves my skin super soft. Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer, 6.8ml £7.99 - This is great for dark circles, I do find it does crease if I don't set it with powder. But the formulation really does erase tiredness. The sponge applicator isn't very hygienic but the twist tube allows you to get every last drop of product out. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, £4.19 - This is my go to concealer for hiding blemishes and redness. It lasts a while on the skin and doesn't look cakey at all. Soap & Glory Kick Ass Powder, 7g £12.00 - I then matte my skin, using this weightless and translucent powder. It's great for retouching and feels smooth on the skin. I have hit pan on this and would definitely repurchase. See my full post here.
Cheeks
Soap & Glory Love At First Blush, 7g £11.00 - I have been using this blush for ages and still haven't hit pan. It's still in the old cardboard packaging, but it gives a lovely rosy sheen on the cheeks. It has a small amount of shimmer, but it's great for everyday. 
Eyes
MAC Eyeshadows Omega & Soba, £10.00 each - I use these eyeshadows in my eyebrows to make them look as natural as possible. Benefit Gimme Brow, 3g £17.50 - I then set my eyebrows with this, it gives them a bit of definition, shapes and tints. It's long wearing, water resistant and build-able. I wouldn't be without this now. Urban Decay Primer Potion, 11ml £16.00 - I always use a base for my eyeshadows, as I have oily skin it's difficult to find shadows that don't slide down my face. This helps to make my make-up stay around the longer and prevents creasing. Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette, £22.00 - This is a great neutral matte palette which is really wearable for everyday. It's the perfect size to just pop in your bag and the shadows are creamy and blendable. I have seen that Urban Decay are releasing a second Naked Basics palette, so I'm looking forward to that. Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara, 11g £19.00 - I like a mascara with a big brush wand. This mascara is jet black, it lengthening and volumises lashes and holds a curl all day. I'm really enjoying using this at the moment.
Lips
Loreal Rouge Caresse Lipstick, £7.99 - This has to be my most wearable lip colour for everyday. It's a Loreal Caresse in the shade 101 Tempting Lilac, the formulation is so creamy and the colour is a subtle rose lilac. Sadly I'm nearly at the end of this.
Do you keep your everyday make-up separate? What are your recommendations?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

BIRCHBOX UK - AWAY WE GO! AUGUST 2014

This Month's Birchbox is all about Summer Getaways! The box introduces make-up, skincare and haircare essentials, as well as easy to use products that are compact and don't need tools. The box also contains travel hacks, holiday tick lists, an easy hair tutorial and cute luggage tags to get you ready for your dream destination!
Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect, 200ml £20.00 – This product is a leave in conditioning spray which detangles and protects against heat and sun damage. I’ve never heard of this brand but I like using these kinds of products on damp hair before styling. If you have dry or damaged hair this product is great at strengthening,  repairing, detangling, taming flyaways, nourishing and protecting. The scent is lovely but quite sweet in the hair.
Wild About Beauty Crème Eyeshadow, 1.75g £13.00 – I have used this brand before from another beauty box. It’s a long-lasting, high quality, satin finish shadow from Louise Redknapp and Kim Jacob’s paraben-free range. I like to use crème eyeshadows as a base, they’re easy to apply and blend out with your fingers. The shade I have is 03 Buster, a lovely coppery bronze.
Nude Progenius Omega Treatment Oil, 30ml £58.00 – I have always wanted to try this oil, but have been put off by the price. This nourishing oil is rich in omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 for hydrated, smooth skin. I like to apply this after cleansing and before moisturising in the evenings. This product claims to transform your skin and reduce the signs of ageing. Having not tried this brand before I was excited to see it in this months box, I’ve been impressed with the results so far, it left my skin hydrated and smooth.
Vasanti Britenup! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator, 120ml £26.00 – Another brand I haven’t heard of, but I’m excited to use. This product is a multi-action exfoliator to ensure a renewed, refreshed complexion. It’s great at improving your skin’s texture, my skin is softer and brighter after use. It also gently cleanses with aloe vera, coconut and panternol and it smells lovely. It's packed with exfoliating beads, so it really does revitalise the skin.
Supergoop! Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream, 47ml £32.00 – I was excited to see a CC Cream in the box this month, it adjusts to your natural shade, contains an SPF to smooth fine lines and even out skin tone. We received two 3ml travel sized samples in light/medium which I think was very generous of Birchbox. The CC Cream gives a light coverage but can be layered up for extra coverage. The formula is lightweight and fragrance free and acts as both a primer and a foundation in one. It contains 100% natural ingredients and light-diffusing mica minerals that soften the appearance of pores and wrinkles.
This month all the products came in a cute carry-on bag for your liquids. I will definitely be using this on plane journeys in the future. It’s great for storing all of your beauty essentials and this month’s box even came with a chapter one of the book, The Proposal by Tasmina Perry, which I think is a great idea! 
Are you subscribed to Birchbox?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

CURRENT SUMMER BEAUTY FAVOURITES

There are quite a few products which I have been enjoying this Summer, most of my favourites either refresh, hydrate or enhance the skin. I'm not one to stick to the same products all month, as I love to try new things but here are some of my current loves.
Origins Ginzing Face Mask – I’m really into my face masks, I like to apply them once or twice a week and this is the one I’m reaching for the most recently. I’m sure you are supposed to apply this in the mornings to awaken skin but I like to apply this in the evenings after taking off my make-up to give my skin an instant pick me up. It’s a quick 10 minute mask which you tissue off, but I like to leave it on until I do the rest of my evening skincare routine as it just melts into your skin. It brightens dull and tired skin and the formula is really cooling. I’ve written a whole blog post on my thoughts here.
Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche – This is the newest fragrance in my collection, I purchased it during a shopping trip to Bicester Outlet Village, so I got it for a bargain price. I have many perfumes but this scent just reminds me of summer, the fragrance is light and fresh and is perfect for holidays. If you love coconut, go and try it! See what else I bought from Bicester here.
Loccitane Almond Shower Oil – Loccitane Almond Shower Oil is a constant favourite in my collection, but I picked up the bigger sized bottle with a pump again from Bicester Outlet Village. The pump makes it so much easier to use and I don’t have to worry about using too much and wasting the product. The scent is heavenly, I reserve this for special occasions and times when I want to pamper myself. The formula comes out as an oil but once it's mixed with water it foams up nicely. I would definitely go and repurchase the eco-refill after using this up as it leaves my skin with a silky smooth texture.
Essie Hide & Go Chic Nail Polish – I have recently been enjoying wearing the colour blue on my nails, this Essie shade called 'Hide & Go Chic' which I got in a Beauty Box has to be my recent favourite. I have been wearing it as a base and using a different colour on an accent nail. The Essie polishes are easy to apply, they do chip a little on my nails, but I love the shiny finish they leave.
Charlotte Tilbury Bar of Gold Highlighter – This was my first taste of Charlotte Tilbury make-up and I was really impressed with the quality of the products. The packaging is so luxe and the product itself looks flawless on the skin. This is great for the Summer months and you can use it on your body too. I can't seem to find this on the website now, as they did say it wasn't going to be around for much longer. Read my full review here. I now have my eyes on the Filmstars on the go eye-cheek-&-lip palettes especially the Breakfast at Tiffanys one.
Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Jelly – I bought this after finishing my Hydraluron serum. I like to use this in the evenings before moisturising and it makes my skin feel plump and revitalised overnight. It’s not greasy at all and it sinks straight into the skin. The packaging is cleverly designed and allows you to dispense just enough in one pump. My friend bought me the serum for my birthday knowing how much I liked it and I have been using them together every night. It's great for all skin types and you can instantly see a difference to dry skin.
What products have you been enjoying this Summer?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

BOOK REVIEW - FRACTURED BY DANI ATKINS

Published – 01/07/13 Publisher – Head of Zeus
Pages – 289 Genre – Chick Lit/Romance
Synopsis – What would you do if life gave you a second chance?
The night of the accident changed everything...
Now, five years on, Rachel's life is crumbling. She lives alone in a tiny flat, working in a dead-end job, desperate with guilt over her best friend's death. She would give anything to turn back the clock. But life doesn't work like that... Does it?
The night of the accident was a lucky escape...
Now, five years on, Rachel's life is perfect. She has a wonderful fiancé, loving family and friends around her, and the career she always wanted. But why can't Rachel shake the memory of a very different life?
Gripping, romantic and heartbreaking, Fractured is a magical love story that asks: can two different stories lead to the same happy ending?
My Thoughts – I must admit, I only picked this up because it was a bargain on the Kindle Store. But a few of my friends had given it raved reviews, so I thought I would give it a go and I think this has to be my favourite read of 2014 so far. The story keeps you guessing and it did take me some time to piece together what was happening. I would recommend you read this in a few days, as I found it a little confusing at times when I was picking it up and down again. The plot was great and really unique, like nothing I have read before. The character were really likeable and the twists were so cleverly written. The last chapter is so beautifully written, I had tears rolling down my face and the story has stayed with me long after finishing the book. I've downloaded Dani Atkins next read and I'm looking forward to reading more.
My Rating - 5/5
Follow my reviews on Goodreads.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

LAQA & CO SHEER LIP LUBE PENCILS - MENATOUR AND BEES KNEES

Birchbox have introduced Birchbloggers which gives subscribers and bloggers the chance to test and review new products. July's Birchbox introduced the brand Laqa & Co to me, which is a New York based cosmetic brand. I received the Sheer Lip Lube Pencil in Bees Knees which I couldn't get enough of and have enjoyed wearing for everyday wear. Birchbox then emailed me saying they were looking for 10 Birchbloggers to style two make-up looks using the pencils. I tweeted them and was one of the lucky bloggers. You can join Birchbloggers on their website, here.
I received two of the five shades; Bees Knees* and Menatour*. Bees Knees is a lovely soft coral, great for everyday and Menatour is a vivid purple which is a little more daring and would look great for evenings. The lip lubes are moisturising on the lips, give great colour pay off and have a nice minty scent. The colours look really glossy and my lips feel hydrated and nourished hours after applying. My lip crayon collection has grown over recent months and these have definitely become a firm favourite, the peppermint-shea butter formula also relieves dry lips with it's creamy texture. They are easy to use as they just glide on and you don't even need a mirror to apply, so they are great for on-to-go and touch ups through-out the day. I'm not sure why these pencils are called sheer lip lubes as I find the colours really bold and pigmented and super long wearing on the lips.
I also love the packaging, each box has a different up and coming artist's work on it, which I find so creative and different to competitors packaging. The only thing that annoys me is that the shade name is not anywhere to be seen on the lip tubes themselves. See my looks below, I have been wearing Bees Knees everyday for work with a matching peach blush and then changing it up in the evenings with Menatour and smoking the eyes out a little more with purple shadows.
Other make-up I am wearing - Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer, YSL Fushion Foundation in B10, Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer in Light, Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light 2, Soap & Glory Kick Ass Pressed Powder, Mac Omega and Soba Eyeshadow on Brows, Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium, Nars Gina Blusher, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Nars Fairy's Kiss Eye Shadow Palette and Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara.
Have you tried any Laqa & Co products?
*PR Samples

Thursday, August 07, 2014

N07 INTENSIVE RADIANCE BODY SCRUB & BODY BUTTER

No7 have a couple of new bath and body products which have caught my eye recently. The one I’m most excited about is the Intensive Radiance Body Scrub. I have to admit Soap & Glory make some of my favourite body scrubs, but this one looked really luxurious, so I thought I would give it a try. My mum also works on a No7 counter, so I do get to see the latest products that she is trialling and she recommended I give this one a try. The formulation is enriched with sweet almond oil, argan oil and rosehip seeds, so as you can imagine the pot smells heavenly. This intensive scrub removes dead skin cells to leave skin silky and glowing. This product is also hypo-allergenic which is great for even the most sensitive skins. It’s a rich exfoliator which leaves me with radiant looking skin, I especially like to use this on my legs and feet. It may look a soft formula, but it's actually quite a hard sugar scrub which creates a milky texture when added to water. This would be a great product to use before self tanning or on any drier areas. This 180ml is priced at £10.50 which is around the same price as I would normally pay for my usual high-street scrub. I think the packaging makes the product seem more luxurious and a lot more high-end than it is.
Also new, which sits alongside the scrub is the Intensive Body Butter, both products work great together. This indulgent body butter is enriched with shea butter, sweet almond oil and argan oil and leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated. I like to use this straight out of the bath as I feel it sinks in nicely and it's great for any dry areas. It claims to leave skin feeling intensively moisturised for up to 48 hours. The formulation is thick and creamy and the scent is fresh and comforting. This is the more expensive product out of the two at £13.50 for 180ml, but Boot No7 are currently offering their £5.00 off voucher, so it's worth a try if you're looking for some new bath and body products.
Have you tried No7's Bath & Body range?

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

REN CLEAN SKINCARE - FLASH RINSE 1 MINUTE FACIAL

Elle Magazine recently teamed up with Ren Skincare on Facebook to give a 100 people the chance to try the new Flash Rinse One Minute Facial. I was one of the lucky people to receive a 15ml sample before the release date. Ren Skincare has to be one of my favourite skincare brands alongside Origins. Every product I have tried from Ren I have enjoyed and got on with. I was very excited to hear about their new product as it sounded like a miracle in a tube. Elle Magazine has said its 2014’s best skincare innovation.
I used the sample as soon as I received it through the post. There are not many products I can say instantly work, but I was so eager to buy the full-size straight away. Sampling really does work! You use the product every 3 days by massaging onto dry skin and then adding water, massaging more, leaving for one minute and then wiping off. The formulation is unusual, it’s a green, gritty paste which acts like an exfoliator and treatment to leave skin feeling super soft and glowing. It delivers a potent shot of water activated fresh vitamin c. Skin is instantly brighter, radiant and firmer to give you the results of a spa facial at home. Who wouldn't want results like that? I have continued to use this product every three days and have seen the same instant results each time. But I must admit I don’t want my skin to rely on it too much. The treatment instantly revitalises and visibly rejuvenates the skin. It also reduces the appearance of lines, imperfections and photo-ageing, evens out skin tone and firms.
When the product came out last week, I bought it from the online store. Priced at £32.00 for 75ml it is a treat, but it is definitely a product I always want to have on the go, in my stash. At the time there was also a promotion code, which meant I also received deluxe samples of the Rosa Centifolia Micellar Water which I have tried before and the Satin Perfection BB Cream. I also got to choose two mini samples; I chose two from the Evercalm RangeIf you purchase from the Ren online store this week, you can receive up to four samples of your choice including deluxe samples of Flash Rinse One Minute Facial and V-Cense Youth Vitality Day Cream.
Have you tried Ren Skincare?

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

SOAP & GLORY - DRAMA CLEAN MICELLAR CLEANSING WATER

I am a big fan of Soap and Glory as a brand. I have tried many products from their Bath & Body and Cosmetics line, but not so many from their skincare range. I do love their Off Your Face Face Wipes and The Ultimelt Hot Cloth Cleanser though. Soap and Glory have recently redesigned the packaging of their skincare line, bringing in new products and discontinuing older ones.
 The Drama Clean 5 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water is the newest product in the ever growing Soap & Glory range. Micellar water’s seem to be the newest product hitting brands since the success of Bioderma. As well as bioderma, I have also used Loreal's, Ren's and Garnier’s offerings. I like to use them to take off the bulk of my makeup with a cotton pad before cleansing properly. They can be used on the face, eyes and lips and are so gentle, cooling and effective, removing make-up, dirt and impurities.
The Soap and Glory formula is oil free, non-drying and leaves skin feeling fresh and smooth. All of these waters pretty much do exactly the same thing but the cute pink packaging is a winner for me, although I don’t feel it fits in with the new sleek packaging and reminds me of what it used to look like. The formulation contains vitamin A and C, rich peach and goji berry extracts, cool cucumber water juice, botanical cornflower extract, aloe vera leaf juice and is suitable for all skin types.
The scent is nice and fruity, but still subtle and not overpowering like the Peaches & Clean Cleanser from the brand. This hasn't stung my eyes or broken me out at all, and I have enjoyed using this as part of my skincare routine. I am faithful to my Bioderma micelle solution, but if I did run out and didn't want to order online, I would definitely choose this from the drugstore picks. A 200ml bottle is priced at £6.00, which is a little cheaper than the Bioderma version.
Will you be picking this up?

Monday, August 04, 2014

BOOHOO BOUTIQUE COLLECTION - SUMMER 2014

Boohoo Boutique is the limited edition range of Women's fashion available alongside the main range. The latest collection involves a lot of edgy, high-fashion pieces with an affordable price tag. This collection is inspired by Festival trends and Bohemian styles which are really on trend this Summer season. Lots of Maxi dresses and Kimonos with lots of embroidery detailing, colourful prints and bold pops of colour. My favourites pieces from the collection have to be this Cobalt Blue Lacy Lace Trim Strappy Narrow Leg Jumpsuit, this Finola Floral PVC Biker Jacket and this Vera Floral Georgette Shirt Dress.
What are your favourite pieces from the collection?
*Exclusive Images Supplied By Boohoo

Sunday, August 03, 2014

ESSIE NEONS - GLOW GET 'EM NAIL POLISH SET

Essie has to be one of my favourite nail polish brands to use lately. Since they have become easier to get hold of in drugstores, my collection has built up quite nicely. For Summer 2014, Essie have introduced a Neon Range which contains six bright, stylish shades which look awesome on every nail. I have bought a few nail polish sets in the past and have found a use for every shade. Essie have brought out two sets of four nail polishes, this one which is called Glow Get 'Em and Paradise is Calling, both perfect for summer! 
The Glow Get 'Em contains four shades; Blanc, Sittin' Pretty, Vices Versa and Serial Shopper. Essie's Top Tip is to use the shade Blanc which is the white one, underneath your neon shades to make the colour pop. Sittin' Pretty is a vivid lavender, Vices Versa is a juicy neon lime and Serial Shopper is a florescent fire coral. I think Sittin' Pretty has to be my favourite, I will definitely be taken these shades on holiday with me.
In the photos I have used Essie's Top Tip and the colour appeared a lot more intense and colourful, than when I just used them alone. The first time I used them, I made the mistake of layering up too many coats so that the formula took ages to dry, but with practice I have found that one coat of Blanc underneath your neon shade is just enough. The formulations are glossy, long lasting and the shades are so pretty!
Essie polishes are normally priced at £7.99 per bottle, so at £24.99 for the set you are saving yourself £6.97, which is nearly one bottle free! I might have to go back for the other set. Boots are currently offering £5.00 off when you spend £25.00 or more online on selected items. I might have to go back for the other set. 
Will you be picking up any Essie polishes this Summer?

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