Friday, 28 February 2014

February Favorites - 2014

February is over already :o - except to see this after every month this year - how is time going so fast, scarily coming up to my 25th birthday. That's a quarter of a century - how has that happened?! Anyway onto my February favorites. Firstly is the e.l.f maximum coverage concealer I picked this up a while ago in one of e.l.f's 50% sales it retails for just £3.95 anyway. It's super creamy and pigmented so dabbing a teeny bit on any blemish covers it up straight away. I've been using this a lot this month and I love how it comes in a little squeezy almost foundation like tube. I'll definitely repurchase this as a small amount goes such a long way. 

I had to include Alpha H Liquid Gold - I won't go on about it because I blogged about just a few days ago so you can read my full thoughts here. I found my Maybelline on and on bronze in an overnight make-up bag at the beginning of the month - it had been treated badly and left amongst a bag I'd completely forgotten about. I first bought this in April 2012 and the lover affair has continued all that time. It's the only shadow I've ever finished and repurchased I use it as a base and a stand alone shadow.

I use the Vo5 Dry Texturising Spray like it's going out of fashion this is my 4th or 5th can. It's so versatile and fits into any styling I do or don't do to my hair. I won't go on about it any more than I have it's been used thoroughly during this month though and you can read my full review here. Finally I had to include the REN hydra calm cleansing milk which I reviewed last month. It's been a huge part in getting my skin back on form and also in making my skincare routine work again. It's so soothing and gentle yet really removes all the days grime from my skin. I love REN and this product is a part of the reason why. 


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Alpha H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid - Review

I've been wanting to try Alpha H Liquid Gold for probably a year or so when it first burst onto every blog I read. I was however a little scared of it acid and a price tag that was out of my league meant that I just never got around to buying it. However my new years resolution was to buy just one thing each month that was expensive but has been on many a wishlist. This month was finally the time for Alpha H after spending hours reading everything Caroline Hirons had to say I knew this was a better early purchase than any of the make-up on my wishlist. I picked it up from Beauty Expert in a duo bundle for about £40 but it RRP's for £31.50 for 100ml. 

I'm having a little skincare refresh at the moment as everything I was doing just wasn't working - this is working. I've been using liquid gold 2-3 times a week after fully removing all make-up and then not applying anything after it for what they call an intensive treatment. If I'm honest I'd read so much about it that I kind of imagined waking up looking in the mirror with my 15 year old skin. It isn't a miracle worker but after just a few weeks my complexion is more glowing, my pores less visible and all the dark marks and redness caused by previous break outs is heavily reduced. 

Alpha H is an exfoliant and it really does all the things it claims - I feared I'd have dry angry skin when using this but I haven't found any bad side effects whatsoever. It is pricey but it's so worth it. You only need the smallest amount on a cotton pad (as much as  a toner) lightly sweep it across the skin and you're done. I would highly recommend this product as I change up my skincare routine this has helped me the see the light - if you're in any doubt google Alpha H Caroline Hirons you'll see all of the most gorgeous skinned girls raving about it too. 


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

February Empties - 2014

I'm near to the end of so many make-up products but never quite finishing them off - the problem with having so much! I have finished some skin care and hair care though *yay*. I got the REN rose otto body wash in a sample set a while ago. I love the rose scent and it's a really lovely body wash. If you're looking to splurge then I do recommend it but I personally can't part with such money for a shower gel so I won't be repurchasing. It has been lovely to use though especially followed up by the matching moisturiser. 

I mentioned in a recent post that I was cooling off with micellar solution and using it as a pre-cleanse. Bioderma is the original and the first I tired - as much as I like it I don't think it does anything ground breakingly different to its drugstore counterparts so I won't be repurchasing this one. I've tried L'Oreal and this on and off and I can't see any more benefits in the more expensive bioderma brand so I'll be sticking to the brands I can pick up more easily and cheaply from now on. 

I've been using the Tresemme Liquid Gold complex for over 18 months now (first review) and it's happily sat within my collection that entire time. I really love it and I have no doubt it will be repurchased at some point - right now I'm trying some more natural alternatives but it's always an oil I reach back for. 

Clean start Welcome Matte moisturiser has been in my life (samples and full size) for about a year. I do love it and it's mattifying qualities. I think my skin has changed a lot in the last few months though and that maybe this range isn't for me anymore. I've become a little obsessed with skincare posts so I'm going to work out which is the next moisturiser I'll buy over the next few weeks or so. I really recommend this if you have teenage spot prone skin though it's an amazing range as a start out to skin care. 

Finally the Philip Kingsley Scalp Toner has been used up. I blogged about it a year ago - I didn't see any notable differences to it then and I still don't now. I could swear I just bought some water in a rather pretty bottle but surely that can't really be the case. Instead I'll settle with it just not working for me. I've recently picked up Superdrug's scalp toner for just £1.99 - a much more pleasant price if it doesn't work out - can you tell I'm desperate for scalp toners to do what they say on the box? 


Sunday, 23 February 2014

£1.49 Nourishing Natural Hair Oil

The longer my hair gets the more nourishment it needs and I've recently been looking for more natural and chemical free products to fit into my haircare routine. I picked up this almond oil from Superdrug for just £1.49 and my hair has loved it. For that tiny price you get a whopping 200ml of oil which will last me absolutely ages. Almond oil has a long list of benefits for skin and hair - Almond oil naturally works to help split ends and heavy hair fall, making hair look healthy with more shine, and is a good substitute for leave in conditioners. 

I've been using it for a little while and my hair has loved it. I haven't replaced my normal branded hair oils post wash through the ends of my hair as almond oil doesn't have a scent you'd really want to swish around with you all day. I have however been including it my hair conditioning treatments. I rub this through the lengths of my hair and massage it into the scalp - this stays on all day and then I wash it out before bed (a Sunday thing). I've really loved being able to be generous with an oil that doesn't cost the earth it also has been great for my scalp. My hair is so much less weighed down and shinier after using this. 

The only downside of this is the oversized bottle that spills everywhere but I've overcome this by decanting it into my Tresemme hair oil bottle with pump (favourite hair oil bottle of all the bottles). I've really loved introducing this into my hair care routine - you can really feel that it's just full of goodness. I'm trying out coconut oil as well as the scent means that can be used on damp washed hair too. There's lots of natural oils in the superdrug range so if you've tried any I'd love to hear your thoughts too. 


Friday, 21 February 2014

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water - Review

I saw the Garnier miceller cleansing water in an instagram post a month or so ago and have been trying to get my hands on it for ages. It finally seems to be popping up everywhere and I picked it up in Asda a few weeks ago. I had become a little reliant on micellar water after falling in love with both Bioderma and the L'Oreal offering but I've started using it properly as a make-up remover rather than a cleanser and my skin is loving me for it. I read Charlotte's post 'why bioderma is so 2013' and it completely summed up my current skincare problems. I'd become really lazy and was relying completely on micellar water for all my skincare needs. 

I went cold turkey for a week after reading her post and began properly cleansing, toning and moisturising. My pores are less visible, my skintone less red and I am having fewer breakouts. In the last few days I've reintroduced micellar water as a pre-cleanse to get the most from my REN cleanser and to also remove all my make-up. It's working brilliantly - massive thank you to Charlotte at Lil Miss Chickas  for pointing out my obvious laziness in her post. 

So the Garnier micellar water has had a thorough testing and I have to say it's nothing groundbreaking and is equally as good as L'Oreal (review). I genuinely couldn't tell you any differences between them and I have really tried. I like the bottle a lot more on the Garnier version the chunky round shape and pink lid appeal in the same way Bioderma's very similar packaging does. This version removes my make-up just as well. I think this is a product that all UK skin care brands are going to bring out at some point this year and I can't imagine any of them being particularly awful as the concept is so simple. I currently have no loyalty to any of them and will be picking up my pre-cleanse micellar waters purely based on price. Most new entries to the market are on offer for just £2 - £3 so a bargain for an everyday purchase. As for the 400ml = 200 uses slogan on this bottle, are you kidding! This is based on 2ml per use so you'd have to extremely light make-up on for this to be anywhere near close. A silly claim that is so unnecessary - it lasts just as long as all other brands and for the price I don't think anyone would expect 200 or 100 days worth out of it. 


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Real Techniques Powder Brush - Review

This is the last brush I wanted from the Real Techniques range. I have a little obsession with the range and I think it's mainly down to how useful the colour coordinated brush system is. This gold handled powder brush sits within the base range and has the perfect size bristles to it. You can blend foundation, apply powder or just sweep bronzer all over your cheeks. It's the perfect brush to complete my collection as it's larger and denser in bristles than the blush brush. I picked this up in a beauty expert haul recently and I'm so so glad I did it's finished my collection off so nicely. I'm done on the brush front for now my small pot is full to the brim of brushes I actually now use every single day. 


Saturday, 15 February 2014

Dr Jart + Up-Tighten Serum

I adored the Dr Jart waterfuse BB cream  so had high hopes for the up tighten serum. I've mentioned many times on here that the main problem I have with my skin is large and very visible pores. When a product claims to help with this in some way it normally ends up in my basket. I'm yet to overcome the problem completely but this is helping. The Dr Jart + Up Tighten Serum helps tighten and refine pores and also helps to prevent the build up of impurities. The key pore tightening ingredients are sage and rosemary extract. It gives a nice matte finish which makes it a lovely serum to use in the morning as well as evening. I've really noticed a difference when using this - I did have a small breakout as I started with it but after a little perseverance my skin is less red and my pores are much less visible.  It contains a little witch hazel too which I think is helping keep my spots under control right now. For £13 I think this is very good value as it does live up to it's claims and like most serum's a small amount goes a very long way. 


Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentines Make-Up Look

Base: L'Oreal Nude Magique Eau De Teint (review) ELF Concealer Quad Brows: Maybelline Brow Drama (review) HD Brows Palette Eyes: Origins Ginzing Eyeshadow (review) & Smashbox Waterproof Gel Liner & L'Oreal Super Liner (review)  HD Brows Palette Bronzer: ELF Bronzer Quad Highlighter: Topshop in Sunbeam (reviewLipstick: Yves Rocher Moisturising Cream Lipstick in Red 

I'm not huge into valentines day but it is a nice excuse to get some lovely steaks in and watch a movie whilst drinking bubbly wine (literally any excuse). We have picked up an MnS dine in and I have a couple of bottles of fizz in the fridge - perfect evening in for me! Although we're just staying in it's a nice excuse to pop on some red lipstick and a bit of a smoky eye. I have a habit of coming in straight from work and taking off all traces of make-up and putting something comfy on so I'm going to try and make a little effort for a romantic evening. I hope you all have a perfect day/ evening whatever you're up too weather it be with friends or lovers.


Thursday, 13 February 2014

Aesop Rosehip Lip Cream - Review

Shush don't tell the man in your life who has a joint clubcard with you but Tesco now double up clubcard vouchers for gift vouchers at - needless to say I bought myself some treats. This being a completely unnecessary but so wanted purchase. This little lip cream is £10  I'm not sure I would normally pick up such an expensive little cream if I'm honest. However I've heard amazing things about Aesop and my lips are stupidly chapped due to this horrendous weather so I couldn't resist. I'm so so glad I did - normally all of the crap in lip products makes my lips worse but the natural ingredients in this little tube simply soothed my lips completely within just a few days. It also smells beautiful which is a lovely treat. I normally use cymex medicated cream to soothe my winter lips but it's not very attractive and smells pretty medicated. This is a lovely treat and change and I'm very glad I added it to my basket. I already have lots of Aesop treats on my wishlist and loving this product has definitely made me lust for them even more. 


Saturday, 8 February 2014

Mini Models Own Haul & Hyper Gel

Utopia, Snowflakes - Wonderland, Catherine Wheel - Fireworks, Naked Glow Hypergel, Lilac Sheen Hypergel 

Models Own are my favourite nail brand - over half of my nail varnishes are by the brand so when they have a half price sale I can't resist making a little order. When they did this offer a while ago it took ages to arrive and most of the good shades were out of stock. They obviously learnt a lot from that attempt at high demand as this sale was the complete opposite. I went on the site the day after the sale started and pretty much all shades were in stock. It was a few days before payday so I only picked up 5 shades but I'm so happy with all of them. I repurchased utopia as I somehow lost my last bottle - it's my favourite polish ever I love the almost white lilac shade so I'm very happy to have this back in my life. 

Snowflake has small to very large speckles of glitter and pearlescent long pieces. It's gorgeous over utopia and other pastel shades. I also got catherine wheel from the fireworks range which is gorgeous it has red, gold and green glitter in it - I adore this glitter it's perfect to go over light and dark polish and I know it will be much used over bright corals this summer. 

Finally I picked up 2 shades from the new Models Own range - hypergel. I think all of the nail brands have a 'gel' range out at the moment. I've tried quite a few of them and the models own version has definitely impressed me the most. I picked the two lightest shades in the range and they are so opaque they could be used with just one coat easily. The swatches above are just one coat and that's probably their main selling point for me. I don't find these as overly shiny and gel like in sheen as much as perhaps the Barry M gelly formula but that's fine for me. It's a beautiful range and I'm sure I'll pick up some more brights as summer gets nearer. I love that there's a colour swatch on each lid too it makes finding them so much easier amongst all of the other white lids I own. 


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Everyday Make-Up February - 2014

Base: L'Oreal Nude Magique Eau De Teint (review) Brows: Maybelline Brow Drama (reviewEyes: Origins Ginzing Eyeshadow (review) & Smashbox Waterproof Gel Liner & L'Oreal Super Liner (reviewBronzer: ELF Bronzer Quad Highlighter: Topshop in Sunbeam (reviewLipstick: Kate Moss for Rimmel Shade 110 (review

I'm trying to save my pennies at the moment so doing things that cost nothing at the weekend is my new hobby. However walks with the boy and prepping the weeks food isn't all that glamorous so a bright lip is adding that to my life. I'm so fed up of the constant rain and cold weather but a slick of this lipstick brightens up any day. Having a movie night in is much more fun when you've paired your PJ's with a bright red lip. I'm not sure why but it is.


Monday, 3 February 2014

Enrapture Amplify Jumbo Wave Styler


Enrapture Amplify Jumbo Wave Styler RRP £60 - Amazon £40

I've had this heat styler for ages but somehow never got round to posting about it. It's something I was looking for, for ages and I'm really glad I bought it. It's the styler that gives you that inbetween style instead of curls and straight hair. It's so easy to use you simply clamp the hair in it for about 15 seconds and then move the styler down until the length of the hair is in waves. What I love about it it is it gives that messy volume which means you don't have to be so neat about it. It's only downfall is that it's super heavy. I have a lot of hair so by the end of styling my arm aches a little. It's really nice heat tool that gives a nice everyday style that you don't have to think too much about. I like messy hair with a bit of volume so this is perfect for me.I really want the totem styler by enrapture next it's firmly on my curls wishlist. 


Sunday, 2 February 2014

January Empties - 2014

I really love the L'Oreal Micellar Solution and always have a back up. I've been using it non-stop since I first purchased and reviewed it back in June last year and it's a firm favorite still. After using the micellar water as a pre-cleanse I love wiping the clean and clear deep cleansing lotion over my skin. It's a really strong lotion that really gets rid of all the dirt and grime the day's left on your skin. I use a variety of the clean and clear cleansing lotion but this one for sensitive skin is a staple in my skincare collection. I only seem to buy original source shower gels now - I adore the scents and the bottles are super easy to open and use. I love coconut so much and this nourishing creme shower gel has been gorgeous throughout the winter months. My favorite scent is raspberry and vanilla which is now sitting happily in my shower caddy. 

I tend to wash my hair with an anti-drandruff shampoo before using my everyday shampoo and conditioner. I really loved using this Yves Rocher shampoo. It's a lovely shampoo that really cleans the hair whilst smelling super lovely. I love adding little extra's to my Yves Rocher orders these little finds are brilliant. I also finished my superdrug dry shampoo - I didn't not like this product but it's definitely no batiste. I find it takes a lot of effort not to end up with white roots with this version - it smells cute though and is a good budget buy if you need something quickly I won't be repurchasing though .


Saturday, 1 February 2014

Tresemme Texture Style - Divine Definition Spray

Tresemme Texture Style Divine Definition Spray £5.50 Boots

I definitely didn't need another hair texture spray but I do enjoy using and trying them out. I really love the Vo5 texturising spray  but I'm massively fickle and nothing's ever perfect. The Tresemme texture style divine definition spray is very similar. It's a little more 'airy' though by 'airy' I mean it kind of blasts your hair bigger at the time but does give you that same overall effect after a little settling down. It adds volume and texture to the hair whilst staying matte. I'm not a huge orange/ black fan so the can doesn't hugely appeal but the product is good. I don't think it's that much better or more outstanding than the Vo5 one though that comes in at nearly £2 cheaper so I'd still hold my opinion that the Vo5 spray is my favorite but if this is ever on offer or in your supermarket I would recommend it for the dry messy layered look.