Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Favourite Blogs of 2013!

I can't think of a better way to end 2013 than to share some of the blogs I've read the most this year with you. I know I have my Blogs I Love page at the top of my blog, but I feel like I don't emphasise enough how much I enjoy reading fellow beauty blogger's blogs. I think that next year I might make it a resolution to create a post every month where I share my favourite blogger and their blog. I know that a lot of you will already be following these lovely ladies but for those who aren't, I hope you stop by and check them out. I for one absolutely love reading these posts as it helps me to discover new treasures to read. I hope this does the same for some of you. So lets get started...



Sophie from SophieRoseHearts

Sophie's blog is always up there with some of my favourite blogs to read. I'm always able to find something new and interesting that is completely relevant to me. I love how Sophie knows her audience and really caters toward them whilst staying true to herself. She mixes lifestyle posts with beauty posts to create the perfect combo of personality and content. Her photos are always incredibly well composed and the design is so clean that it's a joy to read. I also follow her on Youtube and her videos are fun to watch! Thanks so much Sophie for all the comments you've given me on my blog! Have a great 2013!




Evelyn from We Were Raised By Wolves

Evelyn's blog was one of the first ones I ever read and I love it as much now as I did then. You are guaranteed to find amazing quality photographs and reviews on a close-to-daily basis. She features a lot of organic, natural, cruelty free and environmentally friendly products which makes her blog stand out from everyone else. You're guaranteed to discover something new that you'll be dying to try as soon as the last line of the post is up. I enjoy reading her book posts as they give me inspiration for my own Book Worm posts. Over all she's just a fabulous girl and I really recommend you go and follow her!



Megan from Thumbelina Lillie

I'm so thankful that I discovered Megan's blog. She's absolutely gorgeous and her blog follows suit. I'm loving her What's On My Face posts and her OOTD's are always super cute! She makes me want to be a better blogger as I really look up to her and her blog style. I'm sure many of you have already discovered her blog but if you haven't, make it your new years resolution to do so :) Megan, if you're reading this, please blog more often because I just can't get enough!



Amy from A Little Boat Sailing

Amy! I was so happy when she won one my giveaways at Christmas because she's such a lovely girl. She always comments on my blog posts and I really value everything that she says. Her posts on a little Boat Sailing are always made unique by the time she puts into them. I loved her Christmas Nail Art post and her Nail Art Brushes post. They were such a fun and intriguing read. She always makes them really concise and easy to follow which I find to be a huge bonus. Another fabulous blog.



Nic and Claire from Agent Smyth

Last but not least we have Nic and Claire. After they followed me on Twitter I started to check in with their blog quite regularly and love it. Being mums, they note about how they don't always have the time or money to waste on products that aren't worth the hype. Therefore they share what they've bought between them on their piece of the web to help pass on knowledge to others. I think this is fabulous as I hate to waste my money on items that I end up not enjoying too. Researching is key and they bring it straight to your computer on a regular monthly basis. Fabulous. Thanks for all of your comments and interaction girls :)

These are just a few of the blogs I've loved this year. There are sooo many more, some of which you will be able to find on my Blogs I Love page linked at the top. From now on I will being making these posts a regular thing as supporting other bloggers is always really important to me and I hope it is to you too..

Let me know your favourite blogs of 2013 in the comments below.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Beauticology Pink Peppermint Body Butter


In honesty this product was a complete let down for me. I had high hopes for it and it didn't really meet any of them. I wanted it to smell like I was smothering myself in melted candy candy sweetness and moisturise my skin so heavenly that I couldn't resist covering myself in it. Unfortunately it just ended up smelling like plastic, with a hint of mint in there somewhere and the level of moisture was nothing to write home about. 

I was expecting a thick cream to body butter formulation but this looks a lot like the gel moisturiser I use for my face in the morning. It resembles a body lotion more than anything else, so I feel that the statement 'body butter is rather misleading in this instance. Its lightweight formulation definitely makes it fall into the category of more suitable for summer months like the Bee Kind Body Lotion I reviewed a few days ago. It does absorb into the skin reasonably quickly which is a point in its favour. The vague minty smell is also rather pleasant, but the over all perfume of this product has disappointed me as it smells quite manufactured and not as organic as I would have hoped.

I have yet to try the other body butter scents which I received from this line at Christmas. A full review will be up as soon as I have. But on this basis, I'm not holding out high hopes. This just wasn't what I hoped it would be.


Has anyone else tried this? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

Beauticology Pink Peppermint Body Butter - Included in this set for £10.26 from Amazon

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Parfum


As soon as you get a Chanel bag under your Christmas tree, you know you've been a good girl all year.  I certainly felt the luckiest girl in the world as I was handed mine to open by my dad on Christmas day. The tag revealed that the gift was from my brother. As I untied the Chanel ribbon and the bag popped open I could see nothing but the words Coco Mademoiselle. From then on I was far too excited to take it in. Chanel is such a treat and not only was it from a gorgeous brand but it was one of my favourite beauty products to receive - perfume!

I had briefly smelt this in store before and knew that I loved it. It was only at duty free earlier this year when I decided to pump for Coco Noir instead. Instantly I had buyers remorse for not getting the Mademoiselle version but let's just be honest, I wanted them both, not one instead of the other.

Either way, unlike Noir, Mademoiselle is a much lighter fragrance. It's instantly made more daytime by it's fruity, floral and vanilla notes. These create a softer finish whereas Noir was a lot more spicy, woodsy and evening appropriate.

Coco Mademoiselle notes consist of:

Top Notes: Bergamot, Grapefruit and Orange
Heart Notes: Jasmine, Rose and Litchi
Base Notes: Vetiver, Musk, Patchouli and Vanilla

Personally I smell Jasmine, Vanilla and Musk, ignoring the fact that I'm suffering from a cold and blocked nose right now.. haha. I always find it surprising when I look over the notes as I sometimes think I wouldn't enjoy a fragrance if all I knew all its notes. I'm not the biggest fan of Grapefruit for a start and Rose can be a bit heady. However this simply works. But you wouldn't expect anything less from Chanel now would you?!

What's key for me is to look over all of my favourite, most worn perfumes, to see what notes match up and almost create my perfect combination based on that. Then if I ever get the chance to create my own perfume one day, I'll know exactly how I want it.

Over all, this perfume just makes me feel a million bucks. It's not because it's Chanel, though obviously that adds to the magic. It's just because it smells so gorgeous and elegant. Each time I pick up the most divine bottle i've ever clasped eyes on, I fall in love. Sounds ridiculously I'm sure but perfume is somewhat of a weakness for me.

I just can't say thank you enough to my brother for treating me! Thank you again big bro :) I hope you enjoy your Bleu De Chanel just as much :P

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum - £47.50 for 35ml from The Perfume Shop

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Birchbox Review - Number Four Jour D'automne Non Aerosol Hair Spray


I wasn't overly fussed with trying this product to start with, as I'm not really a hairspray user. I like to run my fingers through my locks and hate the thought of it looking stiff and crisp. The only time I'm tempted to lean over and sprtiz a bit is when my fringe is driving me potty and I want it to stay out of my face!

Having said that, a week ago I was curling my hair for a night out and thought I would spray a bit of this product onto my hair to help the curls last throughout the evening. This hair spray is made unique by it's non-aerosol qualities. This makes it a lot kinder to the environment which is always a nice bonus.

As soon as I pressed the pump down I thought I'd been transported to a men's cologne shop! The hair spray has a really strong perfumed scent scent and it's one of it's selling points in my eyes, though my mums not so keen. The nozzle definitely creates an even mist but it certainly gets everywhere! This definitely isn't a direct use product. One spray will probably cover half your head! It gives a gentle hold to start with, but the more you spray the stronger the hold will get. It will make your hair crispy if you spray too much but with the right amount I feel that it looks natural and gives a subtle shine too. 

Personally I like this for giving me a lightweight hold - a style that I can still run my fingers through if I wanted too. I know most people will scamper at the thought of a hair spray that doesn't necessarily hold every piece in place, but for days when I want a soft curl, this is perfect. A simple mist holds my curl in place but lets them move around in the breeze too, which makes it look and feel natural.

Over all this is a thumbs up for me. I would probably buy this again if I ran out but it's not necessarily an everyday staple as I don't tend to need hair spray that often. Having said that, if I did I wouldn't be reaching to any other product than this. To me, that says it all.

Number Four Jour D'automne Non Aerosol Hair Spray - from Birchbox

Friday, 27 December 2013

Birchbox Review - Bee Kind Body Lotion with Honey and Organic Chamomile Extract


Apologies for the lack of posting on Boxing Day. The day ran away with me as I was spending some quality time with my family. However I am back now and usual posting service should resume! Haha.

Today I wanted to talk to you about the Body Lotion I received in this month's Birchbox. I do love a good body lotion, even if I am more of a butter lady myself. However this one left me wanting if I'm honest with you. I just didn't find that it gave much moisture at all. Sure, it was amazing that it was so easy to massage in and disappeared into the skin within seconds. It even smelt like lemons, or at least it did to me, which I found to be quite refreshing and clean. But after that, I wasn't really left with much. My legs felt softer for a few hours but after that I couldn't really notice the difference at all. 

This is definitely a lighter product which would be great for the summer months when you don't want to get all lathered up and potentially sticky. However for winter I would much rather reach for my Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Souffle Body Cream or whichever body butter I'm using at the present time. 

Speaking of which, If you have seen my Christmas haul then you will know that I got given quite a few different body butters so I'm sure a review of a few will be coming up soon. While we're on the subject, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, spent it with loved ones and got everything you wished for.

Bee Kind Body Lotion with Honey and Organic Chamomile Extract - £12.95 from Birchbox

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas Haul 2013!


I'm extremely thankful for the gorgeous friends and family I have around me.
I hope you are all well and are having a very merry Christmas.
Helena xxo

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Rimmel London Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Eclipse



This is another post just like the Bourjois Color Boost Glossy Finish Lipstick post the other day, where I have reviewed the product and formulation before but a new colour has come out which I just had to swatch and rave about to you.

The first colour I picked up from the Apocolips range was Celestial which is a nude pink colour. It turns out that this is my least worn colour from the range though as I just feel that it looks a little too fake on the lips now. The second purchase was Big Bang which is a fabulous bright red! I absolutely love that product but it's not really an every day shade as it's very in your face. And now I've finally purchased a dark oxblood version from their new release of winter shades.

After trying Black Cherry from Revlon last year and it looking terrible on me, I had concluded that dark lip colours weren't going to be my thing. However it turns out that if you find the perfect shade for you, any colour is wearable! Eclipse is absolutely stunning and extremely flattering to my pale skin tone. It almost gives an english rose vibe with a little umph!



The applicator on this product is brilliant as always. You get enough product on the doe-foot to do one application, without the need to go back for more. It's simple to get a perfect edge and makes a potentially difficult product very easy indeed.



I really love how dark and intense the colour is. The formulation of these Apocalips lacquers are amazing because they are so long lasting. Even after eating and drinking you are left with a swipe of colour that is very passable if you didn't want to touch up.

If I'm going to be nitpickity I would note that if you put the colour too far into the corners of your mouth and then have a drink, the colour will start to break away and may end up on your teeth. Having said that, it's really nothing major and the easy way to solve it is to wipe the excess from the corners of your lips straight away.

I really couldn't recommend this any more to you. It's lovely and I'll certainly be wearing mine on Christmas day.

Rimmel London Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Eclipse - £6.49 from Boots

Monday, 23 December 2013

Sleek Matte Me Ultra Smooth Lip Cream in Birthday Suit



I've never been the biggest fan of matte lip products. The first thing that comes to mind when they are mentioned is dry, chapped and an unattractive pout. No one wants that. As much as anyone would like to claim there are moisturising matte lip products out there, I'm not so sure. This lip cream is definitely bareable but it's certainly drying too. Matte products just generally make your lips look quite crinkled and dehydrated in my opinion, but there we have it.



Over all I like the concept and colour of this. It's almost a liquid lipstick formulation, apart from the fact that I find this has better staying power. I like the doe-foot applicator for precision and the colour is quite a good nude for me too. It's a little bit more brown than I would usually go for but I still feel like it works. There are 6 colours to pick from over all with range from this nude, and a baby pink to hot pinks and almost red.



I would contemplate putting a lip balm on underneath this cream but I suppose that would defeat the object. I guess matte products just aren't for me. I find them a little uncomfortable after a while and this one is no exception.

If you do like matte products then I suppose this might be worth trying out since I find it has quite good longevity and the colour selection is quite pretty. However if you are a girl like me where lip balm is your best friend and the slightest sign of dry lips makes you run for the hills, perhaps consider that this might not be the best option.

Sleek Matte Me Ultra Smooth Lip Cream in Birthday Suit - £4.99 from Boots

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Birchbox Review: Lipsy Glam Eau De Toilette


I know a lot of people don't like getting perfume samples in beauty boxes but I'm a huge perfume junkie so generally I love it. In this month's Birchbox I received a sample of Lipsy London's Glam Perfume. I'm not really one to shop in Lipsy so I hadn't come across this product before, but after smelling the sampler it certainly felt like I had.


To me this perfume smells quite generic. I feel like it's quite a common scent that I smell often but I'm not sure why. Maybe I know someone who wears this perfume? If you own it, let me know in the comments below. But honestly I feel like just smells very typical. It's not that I don't like it, because I do. I just don't feel like I'd rush out to buy myself a bottle as I like perfumes with a little more character.

For those of you wondering what this perfume smells like, I shall include the notes below:

Top Notes: Fruity Honey, Sweet
Heart Notes: Orchid, Jasmine and Peony
Base Notes: Amaryllis and Black Incense

After looking over the notes myself I don't really understand which scent combination it is that smells so familiar to me. 

The notes individually sounds lovely but joint together they are definitely quite sweet. Once you've had the perfume on for around 10-20 minutes the floral notes start to come through, but to begin with I would definitely agree with the fruity, honey, sweet scents being more dominant. I feel like the fragrance is over all quite warming which might be the base notes coming through. That factor I do enjoy, but over all it doesn't shout 'Buy me.' I reckon that this product is probably targeted more at the younger teen.

In my personal taste, I'm not overly blown away by the look of the bottle either. The black heart-shaped jewelled bottle isn't really something that would catch my eye across the room or something I would particularly want to display. Then again, everyone's tastes are different.

If you've received this perfume in your Birchbox this month, let me know your thoughts on it in the comments below.

Lipsy London Glam Eau De Toilette - £25 for 50ml from Lipsy

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Body Polish


As you probably saw in yesterday's post, I received a Body Shop gift set for my birthday this year. Included in the package were 4 different Limited Edition Cranberry Joy products - one of which was this body polish. I've been completely addicted to body scrubs since I discovered them earlier this year, so naturally this was the first product out of the selection that I gravitated to first.

After a couple of test runs in the shower, I can solemnly swear down that I love this scrub! It's completely different to all the other scrubs I own which makes it a new scrub sensation! Haha. 

This product comes out as more of a thin gel with little black seeds in - I'm guessing these are from the cranberries. The seed part is actually the exfoliant as there are no micro-beads to speak of. This means that the scrub is incredibly gentle and could be used on a daily basis. It lathers to a lovely soapy consistency which means that it could easily double as a shower gel I feel. The polish buff away your dead skin cells and fills your shower with a heavenly, fruity scent. I think the smell shares a strawberry and cranberry fragrance though there is only cranberry noted on the ingredients. Either way, it smells yummy to me! Extracts of Honey are included to help your skin feel nourished, soft and supple.

I got the 75ml tube of this in my gift set but I'm awfully tempted to head back and get the 200ml as it has gone into sale for just a fiver! What a bargin. I definitely recommend checking this out if you love scrubs just as much as I do, or are looking for a last minute stocking stuffer!

The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Body Polish - £5 from The Body Shop

Friday, 20 December 2013

Birthday Haul!


This week's video is a rather belated birthday haul. I was umm-ing and ahh-ing about whether to film this video as I wasn't quite sure if you'd like to watch it. However I decided to do it so that I could do a kind-of mini review of the beauty products that I got and whether they would make good Christmas presents or not, for those last minute shoppers looking for gift ideas!

I hope that you can get some inspiration or just enjoy snooping and I shall speak to you again tomorrow :)

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

My Blogging Diary 2014!


I had to pop a post up about this amazing diary that I bought today because I am absolutely in love with it! It's so adorable and perfect for keeping record of your blog posts, what products you've been testing out, what you want to include in your wish list and which blogs you want to read later too.

The diary (A5) is from the Woodland collection at Paperchase and retails for around £14. Inside you get a calendar month breakdown of the year, as well as a monthly breakdown too. There is a mini address book at the back and space to write down anything you need to in the notes section too.



What really drew me to this product, apart from the adorable illustrations obviously, was the title pages for each month. The pages are divided into 5 categories; to do, wish list, remember, birthdays and websites and blogs. This is amazing for me as I can use the wish list part for my weekly wish lists and note down any blogs I want to check out at a later date in the box at the bottom. I can also see who's birthdays are coming up and tick them off as I buy their gifts. It's just such a handy breakdown to have!



And finally the pages are laid out cute as well. I like that they are a bit different as it makes the diary intriguing and more exciting to use. Or at least that's how it feels to me anyways.

I would definitely recommend you checking out their diaries if you can because they have some really adorable stuff :)

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Ren ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser


As many of you already know, I have been trying to switch up my skincare routine a little bit recently in the hope that I can change it to something a little bit more gentle on my skin. The products I've been using previously have been rather high in alcohol, and whilst that was benefically to some extent when I was a teenager and had oily skin, it's not really as relevant of an ingredient any more. I find that now I'm in my early 20's my skin certainly needs a little more moisture and generally what my skin decides it wants, my skin gets. 

So in my journey to test out some soothing products which still prevent me from breaking out in a blaze of spots, I'm testing Ren's ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser. It's been just over 4 weeks so far and we're going strong.  

The clay cleanser in question aims to purifying the skin, minimize pores and prevent breakouts with it's anti-bacterial formulation. So to me that reads as preventing clogged pores and blackheads whilst killing harmful bacteria that might make you breakout in a face full of spots. I'll be having some of that, thank you!!

The first time I used the cleanser it reminded me a lot of the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser in the sense that it was quite thick and creamy in consistency and felt like a spa treatment for my face. One pump of this product cleans the entire face and leaves my skin feeling silky smooth. I simply massage the cleanser in for around a minute and then rinse with luke warm water. Although it is called a clay cleanser and I do note that it does feel quite clay-like, it is actually really smooth, creamy and very easy to work with. It's not that stiff texture which you or I would automatically think of when we say the word clay. Another side note was that it smelt a lot like bubblegum to me! Did anyone else get that or was it just me? Just me then? Oh, ok. 

Over all I've found it to be really gentle on my skin. It definitely helps to keep it feeling and looking smooth and calm. Any breakouts that occur are a lot more minimal which is lovely and my skin doesn't feel dry or taut! I'm certainly converted to this cleanser and will be using it instead of my Deep Clean Cream Wash by Clean and Clear from now on.

Have you tried this product? How did you get on? Let me know in the comments below.

Ren ClearCalm3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser - £18 from SpaceNK

Monday, 16 December 2013

Bourjois Color Boost Glossy Finish Lipstick in Plum Russian



I wasn't too sure whether to put this review up or not, as I have already reviewed this product formulation before. However I decided that this was such a gorgeous and winter appropriate lippie that I had to give it a mention. I won't go into too much detail about the formulation as I've already reviewed Peach On The Beach, another shade from this line, before. If you would like to hear more about the line then you can pop over to that review :)



As a summary, the packaging is fantastic, I love the way that it's a twist up pencil and the lid is very secure so that avoids any messy accidents in your makeup bag.

The formulation is incredibly smooth and sleek. It's glossy but not remotely sticky, feels like a balm and wears seriously well. You will find that the shine disappears after a couple of hours but the colour's staying power will last for hours after. For me I know a product is remarkable if it's still on after I've eaten and this one is. Perhaps it does fade a little where your lips close but that's something I can definitely live with as it's not too obvious.



But what I really love about this product is the colour. Ever since I tried Peach On The Beach I really wanted Bourjois to come out with a vampier shade for Autumn/Winter. It's literally the most comfortable product to wear on your lips but it looks fabulous at the same time too. It really makes any outfit pop and I feel like everyone could pull off this shade - whether your pale like me or have a darker complexion. This is the lip product for everyone this season.

I love it.

Bourjois Color Boost Glossy Finish Lipstick in Plum Russian - £7.99 from Superdrug

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Blog Safely!



It's a funny thing to say 'blog safely' because I'm sure each and every one of us thinks that we are. We all love to share our lives with our readers and followers. It's what makes blogging and vlogging so enjoyable. But what's disappointing is that sometimes this enjoyable hobby can put us in potential danger if we are not careful about the amount of information we disclose. 

I for one have not really worried too much about the content I create. Of course I'm aware that anyone and everyone can view my posts and videos online, but that's part of the appeal. I want to reach as many people as possible because getting fresh, new and instant feedback from a review or video is exciting. But being a blogger often means that you are willing to share a certain quantity of your life with your readers to create that invaluable relationship. As a reader of blogs myself, I like to feel like I can relate to and understand the person behind the posts, so in return I like to be relatable too.

Information such as your name, age and perhaps your location are often pieces of information which are disclosed to give you a rough identity. This is then padded out by your day-to-day tweetings and posts which create your core personality. But when do we decide that there's something we don't want to share? Where do we draw the line between sharing to build reader relationships and something that doesn't feel quite as comfortable?


click through to image source

 In honesty it's incredibly easy to not notice how much information we post online. It's 2013 and there are now multiple ways to share where we are, what we are up to and even what we just ate if we want. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter make this information just one click away. Do we notice the amount of information we are divulging every time we let the online world know that the film at Vue Cinema in (insert town) was amazing or when we Instagram a picture of our Christmas tree and presents in our living room? To someone with other ulterior motives these posts could be a lead to where you hang out most, what town you live in and which part of the house could be burgled first to reap the best rewards. The thought sends shivers down my spine.

There are some really simple measures we can all take to make sure that we are kept protected from identity scams and secure our privacy. Not sharing your password or bank details to anyone is a key aspect to keeping yourself safe. No one will ever ask you give out these details so remember to keep them secret. If you come across a form online that asks you to fill in a little too much information, it's probably not worth taking the risk. Hackers will try every trick in the book to get your personal details as information and identity are valuable commodities.

Avoid little things like not taking "Outfit of the day" pictures that include your street sign, letting people know exactly when you will be away from home on holiday and turning off the location notification on your social media will all help to keep you safe too. These may seem like minor everyday activities but a couple of months, or even a couple of weeks worth of sharing this information could provide someone with enough insight into your life to find out where you might be, what you may be doing and, in some circumstances, put you at risk. If I feel like I want to share more information I tend to set profiles to private so that I get to specifically choose who sees the content. Having said that I understand that a lot of bloggers don't like to restrict their following.

I think the line between my blog and life is drawn by specifics. For example, I would be happy to disclose what I thought of a film I saw or where I may be heading on holiday but I prefer not to disclose where I saw the film or when I might be going away. That way I hope that there can still be involvement and interaction but in a safe and secure way.

Blogging without the spice of every individuals personality would be annoying but I just try to remember that personality and details are two very different things.

Let me know your thoughts on this topic in the comments below :)

PR Collaboration with Norton Security.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

December Mags - The Best Bits!


Left
Elle (January Issue) - Jumper / Bag / Mascara / Lip Balm / Bag

Right
Cosmopolitan (January Issue) - Bag / Pillow / Nail Polish / Bag / Haircare

 

Left 
Company (January Issue) - Nail Art Pen / Blush / Dress / Lingerie / Nail Art / Hat / Boots

Right
Glamour (January Issue) - Top / Ear Plugs / Powder / Mask / Cleanser / Nail Polish / Nail Wraps


Marie Claire (January Issue) - Leather Jacket / Coat / Haircare / Mask / Blush
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