Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Birchbox Review - Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream

As usual Birchbox hit the nail on the head. I was just running out of my Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream which I received in a Birchbox previously when this arrived on my doorstep. Although it's lovely to receive products from unknown brands, it's always nice when you spot a bit of something you know and like already. Benefit is a hugely respected beauty brand and I knew I was going to love the product instantly. I've tried some of their makeup before but never really got around to testing their skincare as I tend to be a little picker when it comes to that. However, now I have I'm completely hooked and can't wait to try more from their skincare line. If it's as good as this eye cream, I'm sure it'll be to die for.

I was impressed with the sample size and really appreciated that it was nicely packaged. It's one of my favourite things when a brand takes the time to package the sample just as well as the product itself so that you feel you're getting the full experience each time you try something. The tiny glass pot is perfect for travelling so it came in handy on my recent holiday to Turkey.

The eye cream itself is more of a cream-lotion type of consistancy. It's got a bit of a gel feel to it too so I guess it's really a mixture of them all. When I first tested it out it felt pretty greasy under my eye but it was soon absorbed into the skin without any worries at all.

I must admit, I had a fair bit of scepticism when I read that this product could help with dark under eye circles and lines. I generally don't suffer from dark circles but recently I've been burning the candle at both ends and therefore needed a pick-me-up product that would help me look more awake. So you'll understand when I say I was really happy to discover this product did exactly what it claimed to do. It was great at de-puffing my eyes in the morning along with hydrating them and making me look more alive. High 5 to Benefit for that because it isn't an easy task to do.

After realising all the claims for the cream were true, my final test was to see how well it would sit under makeup. Well, brilliantly was the answer. By keeping the skin thoroughly hydrated throughout the day I didn't suffer with my makeup looking dry or cakey at all. Hallelujah!

Thanks so much to Birchbox for introducing me to this product and to Benefit for creating what's likely to become a holy grail item for me. I love it and I can't wait to use it more!

Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream - £25.50 from Birchbox

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Birchbox Review - Modelco Lip Lacquer in Viva

This month Birchbox gave subscribers the chance to pick one of their products before it came in the September box. The choice was between two shades of lip gloss and a mascara by ModelCo. Naturally I would go for the mascara as I love a good lash product but for some reason the lip gloss drew me in this time. Viva Lip Lacquer really caught my eye so I was happy to receive it and couldn't wait to test it out.

First impressions were that the sample was a decent size - perfect for handbag use and travelling. When I twisted off the cap, the product itself seemed a little gloopy but I wanted to give it a good trial before discounting anything.

Applied with a doe-foot applicator, this lip lacquer leans more towards a gloss than a lipstick or balm. The colour is sheer but has a beautiful peachy-pink punch to it. The gloss looks lovely as glosses generally do, but what puts me off them is how sticky they are and this one can be just that unfortunately. It's definitely a product where your hair will get stuck to your face when the wind blows. Having said that, if you're saying inside, this is the perfect pout product to use to give your face a fresh and flawless finish.

During the day it wears just like any other gloss would and needs reapplying. It does tend to wear quite comfortably but towards the end I do find myself chewing on my lips (ew, gross, i know) because I feel like something is laying on them that I want to get off. That's probably just me and with some reapplication I'm sure there wouldn't be an issue.

Over all, I'd say as glosses go this is a nice one. I'm not particularly a gloss girl for the sticky hair situation along with the after-feeling but I do like this and have worn it a few times now.

Modelco Lip Lacquer in Viva - £15 from Birchbox

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

September Mags - This Month's Best Bits!

Company - (October Issue) - Left
Top and Skirt / Shampoo / Eye Rollerball / Bag / Brow Gel / Perfume

Elle - (October Issue) - Right
Wand / Top / Nail Polish

Instyle - (October Issue) - Left
Coats / Lip Scrub / Moisturiser / Haircare

Cosmopolitan - (October Issue) - Right
Boots / Scrub

Glamour - (October Issue)
Face Tan / BB Cream / Lip Product / Foundation / Haircare / Treatment / Milk
Nail Polish / Scrub / Nail Polish / Book / Scrub

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

It's going to be a LUSH Christmas 2014

Apologies for all the festive coloured spots. I think I got a little bit carried away by the whole excitement of Christmas. Yes, my mind is set on Christmas already and apparently so is Lush! They've got a whole new range of gorgeous products coming out on October 4th this year and I simply can not wait to get my hands on them. There's everything from Bathbombs to Bubble Bars as well as scrumptious Soaps and more!

The newest Bathbombs are the Dashing Santa which fills your bath with citrus Christmas Satsuma and  Butterbear which contains sweet Cocoa Butter and Vanilla. Personally the Butterbear instantly appealed to me as that creamy and moisturising yet sweet and relaxing combination is exactly what I want all year round but especially at my favourite time of year - Christmas.

Having said that, if you're more of a Bubble Bar kind of person, you won't be disappointed. There are 3 new additions to their already fabulous line. First we have the Christmas Hedgehog with Shea, Cococa and Rose. Next there's Drummers Drumming which features a fresh Strawberry scent along with Bergamot, Geranium and Olibanum Oil and last but not least Holly Go Lightly which smells of Cinnamon (my favourite Christmas spice) along with Lime and Patchouli. Is your mind boggling with which one you want to try first? Mine certainly is. But that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to newness in store. The Soap selection is just as magical.

Yog Nog Soap, inspired by that famous Christmas drink Egg Nog, is completely vegan. It contains a creamy blend of Clove Bud Oil and Ylang Ylang to soften the skin whilst the Christmas fairy dusts it with some Nutmeg and Cocoa Powder to really get the festive feeling flowing. If you perhaps prefer something a little more fruity, the Reindeer Rock Soap might be the one for you. Whilst it's packed with Lush's best selling Comforter fragrance with Bergamot and Cypress Oil, it's decorated with a dusting of Crushed Raspberry Sparkle and Snowflake Lustre to make you feel like a pampered princess. Last but not least for the new Lush soaps is Baked Alaska. Perhaps the most exciting of all, this little soap contains hidden snowballs which create a fresh aroma of Organic Lemon Myrtle, Ylang Ylang and Grapefruit. Now that's the kind of sensory snowball I want thrown at me.

Finally, we have a new Bath Melt to welcome. The pretty little Snow Angel adds a fizz to your evening routine. I can imagine this being the perfect product to use on Christmas Eve. Once the golden layer has melted away, you're left with skin that has a beautiful, radiant glow. Meanwhile the Fair Trade Cocoa Butter gets to work nourishing and pampering every last inch. This is all bought together by the relaxing fragrance of Rose - perfect for calming the night before excitement of Christmas Eve and helping you get the beauty sleep you need.

If all of that wasn't enough, you can count on Lush to bring out an amazing range of gift sets that will be perfect for treating the loved ones around you. Thanks to Lush, it looks like Christmas 2014 is going to be as shimmery and magical as ever.

So which products have caught your eye so far? Let me know in the comments below :)

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Birchbox Review - Number Four Super Comb Prep & Protect Leave In Conditioner

I was really excited when I noticed I had another N.4 product in my Birchbox last month. After discovering their Non-Aerosol Hairspray through Birchbox previously and loving it, I was really looking forward to trying something else from the brand. A leave-in conditioner is such a useful product to have that everyone can use, so I figured that it was a great product to progress onto. Plus trying this gave me the chance to test wet styling rather than dry styling instead.

The product was really simple to use. All it requires is to be sprayed into towel-dried hair and then blow-dried as normal. After use, hair should be stronger and less tangled.

But unfortunately this product just didn't seem to do what it says on the bottle. I found that my head was quite itchy for the days leading up to my next hair wash and ironically my locks had never been so knotty. I'd find huge knots in it throughout the day that I've never experienced before. Strands of hair broke just as easily and over all my hair didn't actually look like it's in better condition. If anything it looks slightly worse of wear.

Obviously I only used this a few times before putting it to one side as clearly it's not the product for me. It might work better on thinner hair but simply wasn't compatible with my thicker locks. Although this product hasn't worked out for me, I've not been put off trying other products from the brand as I loved their hairspray so much. I think I will stick to that product in the meantime.

Number Four Super Comb Prep & Protect Leave In Conditioner - £20 from Birchbox

Monday, 8 September 2014

Book Worm #19 - Book Tour - The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

I've certainly been getting my head down recently and doing some serious reading. You may have seen my Book Worm the other week about The Destroyer by Warren Murphy which I wasn't overly fond of. Well, this book couldn't have been a more polar opposite in terms of story line and enjoyment. It was completely up my street. I found it effortless and compelling to read.

I've read a few Nicholas Sparks books and they've all been incredible. The style of his writing is so smooth and easy to digest. Certain aspects of this book reminded me a lot of the plot behind one of his other books, Safe Haven. Though having said that, there were definitely some twists and turns, as there often are in Mr Sparks books, which keep you gripped and guessing until the very end. 

Dawson and Amanda fell in love when they were just teenagers. But coming from a small town where everyone knows everyone, their last names destined them to be apart forever. 

After going their separate ways all those years ago, life went on as usual until one phone call changed their lives forever. After the death of their dear friend, both Dawson and Amanda travelled back home to be reunited once again. Finding out that the spark was still there lead to difficult choices for them both. But could their love stand the test of time or would their chance to be together pass them by once more?

From all my past Book Worm posts you probably know that I'm a sucker for a romance and this novel delivers on every aspect. You get to know both of the main characters very well and it's very easy to relate to their struggles and hardships. 

I can't wait for the movie of this book to come out so I can compare it to the scenes acting out in my head as I read this book. One thing Nicolas certainly achieves is description which really lets your imagination run wild. 

With an unexpected twist at the end which keeps you hanging on until the last page, you are guaranteed to be entertained the whole way through. This is certainly worth picking up on your next Waterstones trip, or of course downloading from the Kindle book store as something to read on the train home from work.

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks* - £5.49 for Kindle Edition from Amazon

Friday, 5 September 2014

My 3 Year Giveaway!

My 3 Year Giveaway Post

All prizes were bought by myself.

Must be over 18 to enter. If under 18, please ask permission from an adult before you enter as I will need to ask for your address if you're the winner.
Open internationally.
No entries from competition accounts. These will be disqualified.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Book Worm #18 - Blog Tour - Created, The Destroyer by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir

I'm certainly more of a romance/romcom novel type of girl than anything else but when I read the press release for this book I was instantly hooked by the association of Jason Bourne. I am a huge Bourne fan and enjoyed all four films even though I never read any of the books - such a crime I know (mind the pun). 

Created, The Destroyer is the first in a series of over 145 titles. Yes, you read correctly and it is an insane amount of books, right? This one is the first in the reboot which has now been signed to Sony Pictures to be made into a major film by director of Iron Man 3, Shane Black.

The Destroyer is all about a man who was framed for a crime he didn't commit and into a life he never thought he would be part of - to be an organised assassin for the CURE.

Remo Williams was a cop framed for the death of a well known criminal. After his badge was found next to the body, the judge felt there was no need for a hearing and sentenced him to death row.

Little did Remo know that he would be saved from the electric chair moments before electrocution and sentenced to live his life as an undercover assassin for the CURE. Being technically dead to society made him the perfect person to slip under the radar and attack organised crime in New York from the heart.

Remo's mission? Find and kill 'Maxwell', the leader of organised crime in the city. How? Using martial arts which his teacher Chuin taught him during his time at the CURE facility. But will he find them before they find him? As the bodies fall to the ground who will hold supreme and will justice prevail?

I must admit I had a little bit of a tough time reading this book. I'm not sure if it's because I'm not used to reading this sort of novel and therefore am not used to the intense writing style. I just found that too many characters and too much action was pushed onto me all at one time and I found it incredibly hard to keep up.

The beginning of the book gripped me immediately. All of the writing where Remo is in jail at the start of the book was the perfect way to draw me in and make me want to read more of the book. However, after he was saved I started to get very wary and confused. It was only towards the end of the book when Remo's mission began to wrap up that I felt it had turned back into a fluent story again.

Remo was a difficult hero to love as he commits some ruthless acts without caring too much about them. Although his main role in the story is to deplete the villains in NYC, he perhaps committed some acts which might be considered just as bad if not worse than the ones the criminals were perpetrating.

Over all I'm not persuaded to read the next book in the series. However, this is probably due to the fact that I prefer much more light-hearted novels. Having said that, I have read action and thriller books before and what it boils down to is whether I connect with the writers style or not. Unfortunately, with this one I did not. My conclusion, I would definitely recommend this to determined readers of the theme and who like action-packed stories that keep you going until the very end.

Created, The Destroyer by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir* - £2.48 for Kindle Version

Monday, 1 September 2014

Soap And Glory Scrub 'Em And Leave 'Em Body Scrub

I've been a little bit lost ever since I finished up my Soap and Glory Breakfast Scrub Body Scrub a couple of months ago. Showers simply haven't been the same since. I have been looking for something to replace it with and although the new Orangeasm line they have bought out really caught my eye and tempted me with body butter, it didn't seem to have a scrub in sight. This is when I stumbled across a little travel sized pot of Scrub 'Em and Leave 'Em. One sniff at the gorgeous candy pink mixture and it was sold.

This little pot of joy was a scent I couldn't place in store. All I knew was that it smelt great and I wanted my skin to smell of it too. It was sweet, yet citrusy and.. yum. It was only when I researched it at home that I found out it is fragranced with their Mist You Madly notes of bergamot, blackcurrant, magnoila, freesia, vanilla and musk. The scrub also contains a lot of oils including mandarin oil to mositurise. This would certainly explain the fruity twist.

As a scrub it's quite gentle. I found the Breakfast Scrub to be reasonably abrasive but this certainly had a softer texture. Having said that, the sea salt definitely gives a good exfoliation which leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth.

I was worried I might react to this product as I have done with certain body care products by Soap and Glory in the past. Luckily this one worked fine for me and no doubt will be coming with me on holiday later this month.

If you're looking for a girly new scrub to spice up your shower routine, I'd definitely recommend giving it a try. *Whispers* But if you have the choice, it's still the Breakfast Scrub that wins out for me.

Soap and Glory Scrub 'Em and Leave 'Em - £2.50 for 50ml travel size from Boots
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