Wednesday, 27 February 2013

February Birchbox!

 

This month's Birchbox has taken forever to arrive. It is the end of the month tomorrow and I have only just received mine today. Anyways, I'm happy that I have it in my hands now and the contents of it look great, don't you think?

 

This month's box is based around Fashion Week. It includes lots of little products that help you look and function your best.

 

(1) Gerda Spillmann - Bio Fond Cream Foundation - This light, creamy base is easy to apply, offers great coverage and sets to a powder finish. No wonder it's used on movie sets - we're ready for our close up! (Full Size £20)

My Opinion - This is the first time I have ever received a foundation in a beauty box so I'm actually quite surprised. I love that it's a cream to powder formulation which means that it will work better with my Combo/Oily skin type. The colour doesn't look too bad in the pan either though I will have to try it on to find out how it matches my fair complexion. I didn't want to touch the product so that I could get a beautiful picture of it first. #beautyproblems. A review shall follow shortly.

 

(2) Korres - Guava Shower Gel - The sweet, sophisticated scent of this moisturising show gel will invigorate you, while wheat proteins and aloe vera cleanse and hydrate your skin. Absolutely divine. (Full Size £8).

My Opinion - I already have this! Haha. I have received countless amounts of Korres beauty products in these boxes so I am getting slightly bored of them. However there is no doubting that this is a lovely product with a lovely scent. It reminds me a lot of the kind of shower gel you would find in a really posh hotel. You know the ones where you stash the shower gel in your suitcase so you get a fresh one the next day because it's so nice? You do that too, right?!

 

(3) Nick Chavez Beverly Hills - Plump N'Thick Leave-in Thickening Mist - Get visible volume with this light but powerful leave-in treatment from Nick Chavez. Just spritz onto towel-dried hair before styling (Full Size £13.90).

My Opinion - I already have extremely thick hair so this is not something I worry about. Having said this, there is no harm in adding a bit more volume. I tend to wear my hair straight a lot so it can look a bit dull and flat. I'm hoping that this product will give my hair a breath of fresh air and perk it up. It smells lovely from what I can tell so far.

 

(4) Vichy - Thermal Spa Water (Limited Edition) - Soothing and regenerating, this multi-purpose product is naturally enriched with 15 minerals and 13 trace elements. It can be used as a toner, to set makeup or as a refreshing boost. (Full Size £7).

My Opinion - I'm not sure how I feel about this product. I think of it as water in a spray can which is a bit of a cop out if you ask me. However I am interested in using it as a toner. I'm looking forward to spaying this in the summer when we hopefully get some luscious hot weather and I want a nice cool refreshing feeling.

 

(5) Eboost - Natural Energy Booster - We're relying on EBOOST's natural, nutrient-rich, no-crash tonic to see us through this year's Fashion Week. Just mix the sachet contents with cold water and drink up. (Full Size 20 Packets £20.99).

My Opinion - I'm not sure how I feel about supplements. I always feel that I'm adding unnecessary ingredients into my body when I have dietary supplements and powders. However I am happy to give this a go and see how it tastes. It's only one sachet after all. And if I feel full of energy and life afterwards, more the better.


(6) Eyelash Curler - Get a wide-open, catwalk-worthy gaze with the help of this Birchbox eyelash curler. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes! (Full Size £10).

My Opinion - I'm not sure that this will live up to the Shu Uemura eyelash curler that I am currently using, but it's nice to have a back up that I can throw in my bag or travel purse and not have to worry about. I will let you know how well this compares later on.

So there we have it! Personally I like the box. It'd like it a hell of a lot more if I received it a week earlier but these things happen I guess. 

Have you got you Birchbox yet? Do you like it? Leave your comments below :)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

February Favourites!


(1) Di Palomo Tuscan Rose Body Butter - £15 - Review here.
(2) Di Palomo Tuscan Rose Fragrant Candle - £22 - Review here.
(3) Lacura Beauty 4 Way Nail Buffer - Review here.
(4) L'oreal Paris Colour Riche Nail Top Coat in Confettis - £4.99 - Review here.
(5) La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo - £13 - Review here.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo



The last La Roche Posay product that I tried was a special sun tan lotion for oily skin and it worked wonders. It leaves me curious as to why I haven't tried any other products by this brand until now. I think sometimes the packaging intimidates me a little. I have to pick up every item and read what they are about to understand the benefits. The main aim of the product isn't exactly written in big letters on the front of the box.

Having said this, I was offered to try the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo* so I thought I would take a punt on it. I am one of the many many people in this world that suffers from cystic acne and blackheads so this product sounds like it was written for me.



The product aims to reduce the appearance of imperfections and unclog sebum-blocked pores by combining 4 active ingredients. Two of the ingredients help to purify the skin and protect against breakouts whilst the other two help unblock your pores and eliminate dead skin cells that are responsible for their obstruction.



The cream/gel formulation is mattifying and moisturising. It leaves your skin feeling refreshed and non-greasy which is great for the oily/combo skin that it is aimed at.

This is all well and good saying these wonderful things. We all want to know if it works and I can reveal that surprisingly on some magical level it actually does. I must note that I have only been using this for a week so that you can add that into your understanding of this review.

I've been suffering with two hormonal/cystic acne spots on my chin that have just refused to go away recently. There's nothing I hate more than the moment when they start to surface and I know that I am in for the long haul because they don't disappear for weeks. I find it to be a real hit for my self confidence which isn't ideal when I am going for job interviews. Therefore I thought there was no better time than to try this out and hope that I didn't react to the product and get even more spotty.

I applied the gel all over my face and not just on the affected areas. Many people complain that it is drying but I haven't experienced anything like that.

The truth is, it's reduced my cystic acne so much that I'm overwhelmed with joy. With just one application I saw a 50% decrease in the size of the spots I once had. This seemed like a miracle to me.

But it's not all sunshine and roses. After applying it for 2-3 days I started to get a spot on my cheek. I've heard that this is quite common. The product is trying to clear out your skin and therefore impurities can be drawn to the surface. I know that realistically you have to go through this 'binge' cycle to come out on the other side, but it still makes me want to stop using the product so that I can remain spot free.

This is why I started to use the product only on the areas of my face where I felt that I needed help - e.g on my acne. This works ok. The spots are getting smaller but I feel that this product might not be enough to get rid of the problem all together. So far I have seen no reduce in blackheads.

So over all I think that this is a great product if you want your cystic acne to die down. In fact it is some what of a miracle when it comes to this issue. And perhaps after roughly 2 weeks of 'binging' the skin you might end up with something wonderful. However I hardly want to start that process now when I will be attending interviews as previously mentioned. So for the time being I will use it on select areas and maybe at a later date I will do a follow up after using the product for a steady couple of weeks.

I hope that this review was helpful for some. If you have any experiences using this product then please feel free to leave your thoughts below. It would be interesting to hear about how other peoples skin has reacted.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Book Worm Book Giveaway #1 !



Yay! Today we have the first of my Book Worm Giveaways! I haven't written a Book Worm post in a few weeks now because the book I have been trying to forced myself to read hasn't been very good. So now I have downloaded a new one to my kindle which is much better. Therefore another Book Worm post should be on it's way shortly. But to tide you over until that point, why not enter my competition to win the first two in the Lindsey Kelk series which I reviewed. They are all amazing books and I know that you will love them just as much as I did.

The competition is open internationally. If you're under 18 then please ask permission from your parents to enter as I will need to ask for your address to send out your prize. The competition ends on Monday so it's going to be a very quick and short competition. At least this means I can get the books to you sooner and you can start to enjoy Angela's journey :)

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 22 February 2013

Etail PR & Marc B/Asos Competition

Yay, I've been shortlisted :) You can check out the finalists entries here.



Want more Marc B bags?
Thinking about entering?
Prize - £75 voucher for Marc B and £175 voucher for Asos!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Laura Geller Bronze and Brighten

 

I've found a new way to discover new products. It's called 'Mum'. Yes, Mum. What I mean by this is that she will go off and order her make up on the Internet. She will have it imported from America and spend a pretty penny only to go and realise that shes ordered the wrong product. Bless her. But this works out to my advantage because then I have a new item to trial for my blog. Win!

So if you hadn't heard of Laura Geller like I hadn't, you may be interested to know that she is one of the leading ladies when it comes to 'baked' makeup. Laura has set up a wide makeup range to help women feel their best. Whether you want to correct a certain issue or enliven your skin or just learn the tips and tricks of the makeup trade, this is your lady. She has numerous best-selling lines amongst which this product above is one.

 
 

The Bronze and Brighten Baked Powder is a bronzer that includes colour-corrective pigments to help achieve a natural looking dewy tan. It is oil free, paraben free and includes anti-oxidants and white tea extract. This product promises to be long wearing and a true crowd-pleaser. You can buy it on it's own or with the 'clever' brush. 

The 'clever' brush only picks up the exact right amount of product before depositing it cleanly onto the skin. This way you will never end up looking like you've just rubbed your face in the mud.


So all of that sounds wonderful doesn't it? But does it actually work?

Well in terms of the brush just mentioned, yes it actually does. I can't quite comprehend how it does it but it only picks up the amount of product you need regardless of how much you swirl the brush around. Once you've applied the bronzer it looks like there isn't any product left on the brush which is pretty impressive. Having said this, you would still need to clean it like you would do with any other makeup brush, just to make sure you don't get any build up of bacteria.

Although it picks up the right amount of product, I can't help but think I would rather use my Mac Contour brush instead. I suppose if you were new to bronzer and didn't want to overpower your face, this brush might help you achieve a more flawless look. However it doesn't feel particularly soft and luxurious. I tend to prefer using my own brushes and luckily I am able to judge how much product is enough.

When it comes to the bronzer, you can either by a fair or a regular/medium shade. My mum has slightly darker skin than I do so she picked the latter which is actually a little too dark for me. Having said this I found that this colour bronzer is like no other. Obviously you have the tan shade running through and the pearly white which gives you a fresh and dewy finish. But I seem to pick up on a pinker shade too which, when applied, looks a lot like a blusher to me. I would normally use a bronzer to contour my face but I found that this didn't work very well due to the pink undertones. I found that this product worked a lot better as a subtle blush than for definition under my cheek bones.

Over all the product is of great quality and it is long lasting when applied. I'm happy that I was introduced to this brand, even if the bronzer above is slightly too dark for my skin tone, but would definitely be intrigued to try more items from Laura's line.

If you want to check out more about this product you can find it on her website.

Have you tried any Laura Geller products or have a particular favourite bronzer? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Nail Effects - Confettis


L'oreal Paris have recently bought out 4 new top coats to their Color Riche collection of polishes. I had been waiting for them with anticipation after seeing sneaky previews of what they look like on the nails. However there was one in particular that really stuck out and that was Confettis (£4.99).

I really love the little circle discs which make up the base of this polish. The various sizes and contrast of black and white create a really cute and fun effect which looks particularly stunning on light coloured nails. I was tempted to paint my nails with Oxblood when testing out this top coat. Then I decided that the black discs might blend in too much and you wouldn't be able to appreciate the really cute effect that this wonderful top coat creates.

I used my Nail Envy to start with as a base coat. I then applied three or four coats of Essie's Mademoiselle. This polish can be hard work as it is so sheer and takes patience, but I think that the end look is so natural and perfect that it makes it all worth it. I then dabbed a bit of the top coat onto each nail and voila. It couldn't be simpler.


Have you tried any of the new L'oreal Paris Top Coats? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Di Palomo Tuscan Rose Body Butter



Earlier this week I did a post revealing a brand new scent to the Di Palomo brand - Tuscan Rose. I started off by talking about their heavenly natural oils candle which you can read more about here. Eager to try more from this line, I then went on to try their deeply nourishing Body Butter*.

From first impressions I am yet again very pleased with the presentation. The lovely, delicate design of the packaging adds a girly edge without being too over powering. It's easy on the eye and would instantly stand out to me if I saw it on a shelf. But it's not just the box that impresses. The actual container itself carries the beautiful rose theme through.



There is just something about a heavy glass jar which makes the product seem expensive and luxurious. As soon as you unwind the lid and lift the jar to your nose you get an instant hit of something floral and soft. Lightly touching the butter and rubbing your fingers together gives you a sense of how intensely nourishing this treatment will be.



I was converted to a full body moisturising session when I discovered the Yves Rocher Repair Lotion which left my skin feeling supple and satisfied. However this product can't even compare to that one. Yves Rocher is a quick, simple and light way to hydrate the skin. This Di Palomo butter takes a little more time - the kind of stuff made for a true pamper party. As you run the butter along your skin, it melts at body temperature. You then have the chance to massage it in, needing only a small amount to cover a large area.

With Rocher, the lotion is absorbed and dry within seconds. On the other hand, this butter takes it's time to make sure every layer of skin is hydrated. Once it does you are left with skin that a baby's bum couldn't rival and that's a fact.

At £15 you may look at the price tag and think that is rather expensive. However in reality the amount of product you get and how long it will last you makes it a very solid investment. I would recommend this to anyone who is in the market to try something new when it comes to their skincare routine. You can pick Di Palomo up at John Lewis, or even online at Feel Unique or the Di Palomo website.

What are your thoughts? What moisturisers do you use currently? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Valentine's Day Sum Up ♥


Valentine's day has got some seriously negative connotations around it. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people don't understand what the fuss is about. But for me, Valentine's is the one day a year where I can celebrate being with someone who means the world to me. That doesn't mean we don't appreciate each other the other 364 days of the year. It just means that on February 14th, we can go out, treat ourselves and celebrate how lucky we are. 

Pictures are the best way to remember any occasion. So here is a picture perfect collage of my Valentine's day with Eddie, along with a quick peek at what the cheeky chap spoilt me with.

Picture One: Since we couldn't see each other until late evening, I started off our day with an instagram picture of when we first met and some bits he got me last Valentines day.
Picture Two: He arrived at mine after work and revealed my presents. I told him that it wasn't Christmas but he just sat there with a cheeky grin.
Picture Three: They're all unwrapped. He bought me a bunch of sweets and chocolates (clearly trying to fatten me up!), Nail Rock Heart Nail Wraps, The Vow on DVD, the Paperchase mug I featured in my Valentine's Gift Guide, an Aqua by Aqua Floyd Dress in Black to wear for our evening meal, and last but certainly not least, he made me a beautiful frame with our initials in and some crystal heart gems laying in the bottom to put on my wall. I was well and truly spoilt, especially considering I got him a perfume gift set, some Ralph Lauren joggers and a personalised frame too! Oops!
Picture Four: We got to our restaurant and it was White Peach Bellini time :)
Picture Five: Then it was steak and chips time :)
Picture Six: Followed by shared chocolate fondue time :)
Picture Seven: We finally got home and tried to get a nice picture of the day and the beautiful dress that he got me. Unfortunately lighting was dismal so we settled for this.
Picture Eight: And this.
Picture Nine: And this.

I hope you all had a wonderful day to remember, whether you're single or not.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Topshop Bespoke Gel Nail Art

 

I've finally got around to trying these Gel Nail Art Wraps that my lovely friend Becky got me for Christmas. I absolutely adore the look of Gel nails and have been contemplating getting Shellac done recently. I've never had it done before but it is meant to have the same properties of Gel, without ruining your nails. Win! However in the meantime, I thought I would try and achieve the same look with these beautiful pieces. 

They are super simple to use. All you need to do is paint your nails a block colour and wait for them to be completely dry. Then you find a gel nail which fits yours the best and apply that smoothly. The wrap should be slightly smaller than your nail and not touch any of your nail edges. Once these have been applied, you can apply the strips and triangle pieces before sealing it with a top coat. If you wish to use the gems, the idea is to place these on after the top coat.

To remove the gel nails, you need to peel them back from the cuticle end first. If they don't come off very easy, just soak your hands in warm soapy water and then try again.

 

And this is the finished look. They are amazing aren't they? I love how glossy they look and they feel really realistic. But everything is not how it seems in the photos. Although they look great, there are some considerable flaws to this pack.

Firstly, the gel nails were a very poor fit. I couldn't find any that actually fit flush. They were either too long and I had to trim them down or they weren't wide enough and I had to try and make do. Below is a picture of what I mean. This is the part you'd rather not see.


This isn't too obvious if you have your nails pointing in the right direction. But then I came across another problem. The gem's dropped off without me noticing, about 5 minutes after I applied them. This was really annoying. I couldn't be bothered to keep applying them so I left them off in the end.

I didn't try the strips as I preferred the look of the nail without them. However these strips would of had to be cut down to size as well.

Over all I am a little bit disappointed. I really do wish that the size of the gel was better and that the finish was more flawless. But there is no denying that they do look pretty.

Have you tried these or any similar products? Let me know about your experiences in the comments below.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Di Palomo Tuscan Rose Fragrant Candle

"In the courtyard of a Tuscan Villa, beneath the ancient Linden tree, we sit quietly lost in thought.
As shadows lengthen, a heavenly scent of climbing roses embraces us, like a perfumed kiss so tender and warm..."

 

You may recognise this brand from a previous product I've reviewed. That would of been the Wild Fig and Grape perfume which was simply divine. The product looked luxurious and in return made you feel pampered too. 

Well I am now pleased to announce that they have expanded their range with a whole new scent - Tuscan Rose. This new line of products includes candles, body butters, body washes, lotions, potions and anything you could ever want to have a gorgeous, relaxing pamper session. I was lucky enough to get my hands on this Tuscan Rose Fragrant Candle* and I couldn't be happier. When my Vanilla Cupcake Yankee Candle ran out near Christmas last year I started feeling a bit lost. I loved having a fragrance burning in the background and the soothing flickering of the flame on a blank wall whilst I wrote my blog posts. So when I noticed that Di Palomo were selling a candle it seemed like the perfect fit.



The packaging is beautiful. It has been a while since I have come across a brand that actually puts the same amount of attention into their packaging as they do with their products. The cute pink box looks lovely with the roses printed it - perfect for Valentine's Day if you ask me. Futhermore, there is a picture of the product on the back so you know what you are getting.

The box notes:
This hand-blown glass vase is filed to create a luxurious candle, made from 100% natural wax blended olive oil. It will burn for up to 50 hours, providing the most delicious fragrance of Tuscan Rose.

This already makes another point for me. The frosted glass bowl with the delicate cream coloured candle look wonderful with any colour scheme. I am a bit crazy when it comes to picking candles. I like the scent to be nice but I also like the candle to match its surroundings. My room is beige and blue for the majority so this fits in perfectly.



The scent, although described as delicious, is not too overpowering. Delicate rose fills the room and lingers in the air for hour after blowing out the candle. It's better than any air freshener in my eyes.

There are two wicks to the candle which is something I have not bought into before. But it's true that two wicks equal double the loveliness. Not only does it give more of an ambiance, but it also helps the candle to burn more efficiently and evenly. This helps to make sure that you don't have a lot of wax left that the end which you can't burn. Clever, ey?

I've really fallen for this range of products and hope that you can discover something you like equally as much too. You can check out all of the products here. Let me know your thoughts on what you find and what your favourite product would be.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Simple Heart Nail Art ♥

 

I saw a picture of this type of nail art on Facebook not too long ago. I thought that it would be really cute to recreate on the blog. I love that it's so simple and anyone, regardless of art skills, can recreate it.

I think that if I did it again I would use a brighter pink. However when I was looking through my polishes I realised that I hadn't worn this shade in a while and decided to try it out.

The whitener polish is actually meant for french tips but that doesn't matter. All you need is a white polish to create the hearts. Or you can switch up the colours if you prefer. Maybe a red heart on pink polish or a black heart on red would look nice.


I did three coats of the nude polish to create a completely opaque finish. Then I used the end of a bobby pin/hair grip to create the hearts. I bent the pin so that it was straight and used the ball on the end to dip into the white polish. All you need to do is a diagonal line one way and then another diagonal line the other way which join at the bottom to create the heart. 

It's super simple. Give it a try this week and your nails are guaranteed to look gorgeous on Valentine's day :)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

FOTD - Valentine's Date Night!




These are the products I used to create this look :)

I used the Gosh Primer first, smoothing a pea sized amount over my face. I followed this with the Benefit Porefessional Primer, tapping it onto my nose. I then buffed my Mac Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation on with a MAC 187 brush. This was followed by touch-ups using the Mac Studio Finish Concealer. Finally I filled in my brows with Carbon from the HD Brows Palette and sealed them with my Gosh Defining Brow Gel.

This gave me a flawless base on which I created my look below.






 Line your lips with the Max Factor Colour Elixir
 Lip Liner in Red Rush.








Fill in your lips with the same colour. This will help make sure the colour lasts longer on your lips.





The next step is to apply the Smooch Cosmetics Lipstick in Crimson Fire* over the top of the lip liner.

This amazingly soft lipstick gives beautiful colour without drying out your pout.





You want to keep the look relatively neutral from here on in after such a bold statement lip.

I dusted on some Smooch Cosmetics Powder Blush in Peachy* with my MAC 187SE brush to give a subtle flush of colour.








Still keeping it neutral, I applied L'oreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow in Time Resist White with my MAC 282SE to help keep the eyes awake and fresh.





I curled my lashes with my Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers.

My final step was to add some mascara. The look was crying out for some statement lashes so I applied L'oreal False Lash Telescopic generously.



Apologies that I couldn't get a better picture. I have spent 2 hours taking photo after photo but the natural light does not want to play ball today.
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