Monday, 30 June 2014

Blogger of the Month - Amy from Paint Potted


It's that time of the month again, and for June my favourite blog has got to be Paint Potted - written by the lovely Amy. I have followed her for a while now and always find her posts to be amazing. As with all my favourite bloggers, her blog design is beautiful (made by Amy herself) and the photographs are ones to be envious of. Some people just have the skills to take incredible pictures and Amy is certainly one of them.

As usual, below I want to share with you a few of my favourite posts of hers. The first of which is actually her most recent post.


In this post Amy introduces Disney Couture Jewellery. I am sure this is inspired by her recent trip to Disney (which looked amazing in her daily blog pictures). Some of the pieces are truly beautiful. After looking through the shops site I'm sure I would have ordered just the same as she has - a lovely silver Simba ring and a bangle with 'Have faith in your dreams' inscribed on it. 

One of the beauties of reading blogs is precisely this - to find out new things that I may not have known about otherwise. I've already considered purchasing a few bits for upcoming birthdays :)


Next we have Amy's Mac Lipstick collection. This stood out to me personally because I am in the market for a new one myself. Mac Lipstick Collection posts are always some of my favourites to read as I feel you can tell a lot about someone through their choice of shades. I think my favourite of Amy's is Faux which was her first ever Mac lipstick purchase. I'm probably going to have to swatch it next time I'm near my local Mac counter because it looks like it has my name written all over it.


Here we have a post on perfume. I'm sure it's a real shock to all of you that I loved this post, being the obsessed perfume addict that I am. Amy discusses how she can love a perfume one minute and not the next which is definitely something I suffer with when it comes to a few in my collection. However I agree with her when she recommends testing it out a few times in the store on separate occasions before taking the plunge and buying it yourself.

Her favourites at the moment are Guerlain's La Petite Robe Noir, Diptyque's Philosykos and Nina Ricci's L'eau EDT. I can't say I have smelt any of the above but you can guarantee next time I'm in Boots I'll be heading straight for the perfume isle.


Finally we have her swatches of Model's Own Speckled Nails. I won't lie, I kind of fell in love with this post simply because of the pictures. Her manicure is impeccable and really makes the polish look at its best. For me, the small details really matter when it comes to reading a blog. Little things like perfectly painted nails make me want to try something a lot more than if it doesn't look as neat but is still the same thing. I understand that that's weird but it's just the way it works in my head.

I like that she's honest about the removal of the polish being just as fussy as taking of glitter polish. There's nothing more important than an honest review which gives you all perspectives. I hate it when I buy something from a review recommendation and it doesn't quite turn out to be what I expected. Amy is always really honest in her writing and lets you know all the facts so you can make informed purchases. Perfect for girls on a budget like myself!

Over all, Amy's blog is the perfect site to browse in the evenings when you're looking for some light reading before bedtime. Paint Potted is like a good magazine - easy to flick through, looking at all the pretty pictures and when a title really catches your eye, the content you read is top notch too.

Definitely go check Paint Potted out if you haven't already and give her a follow whilst you're there.

Let's Bake - Oreo Cheesecake Truffles

 

Last night I got a real hankering for something Oreo related. I wanted to make little individual Oreo cheesecakes but since it was a Sunday and the only place that was open didn't sell all the ingredients I needed, I had to opt for something a little simpler but just as yummy.

I saw these Oreo Cheesecake Truffles on Nouvelle Daily sometime last year and thought they would definitely be worth a try one day. Seems that day was yesterday. They turned out quite well and are a perfect little treat for yourself or even, packaged up nicely, a present for someone else.

All the ingredients I used are above. You can find the full list of ingredients here.


First you need to line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. This will be used to put the truffles on later.

 

Next it's time to let out all the stress from the day on some Oreo cookies. Place them into a food bag and give it some welly until they are broken up into crumbs. Alternatively, if life is a little less stressful for you and you don't want a miniature work out, a food processor works just as well.


You can use a rolling pin to break up the cookies but I used a meat hammer as the rolling pin was 'misplaced'.

 

Once all the cookies are broken up, pop the majority of the crumbs into a bowl, saving some back for decoration later. Then put a spoonful of your cream cheese in and mix into the cookies well. I mashed it in with the back of a spoon but again, a food processor would work just as well.

 

The consistency should be something like the above - holding together. It shouldn't be too wet or too dry. I thought I was going to need a lot more cream cheese than was used. It's usually best to eye-ball this stage but for reference I used one and a half dessert spoons full.

 

Now it's time to wash your hands and get rolling. You can make the truffles as big or as small as you want. I made 18.

Once you've rolled them out, leave them in the fridge to chill while you move onto the next step.


Break up your white chocolate and pop it into the microwave to melt. You need to be very careful at this stage not to burn the chocolate which I may or may not have done with my first batch.

It's best to set the mircowave on 20 second stints. Stir it each time it finishes and judge it that way. I think mine took 50 seconds to be completely melted.

 

It should look something like this. No lumps.


And now it's time to get decorating. Place a truffle into the white chocolate and flip it over with a spoon to coat it completely. Then simply scoop it out of the chocolate and place it back on the greaseproof to set. It's best to try and get a thin coat of chocolate as the end result looks a lot better I think. I even covered some strawberries with white chocolate too, for some added decoration.


And there we have it. Oreo Cheesecake Truffles. And my goodness do they taste good. Perfect as a little pick me up treat with a cup of tea or as an after dinner snack.

If you make these, please let me know as I'd love to see them. Tweet me a picture @edgeofbeauty7 or pop them up on Instagram :) I'm @edgeofbeauty

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Herbal Essences Moroccan My Shine Shampoo


I've been a fan of Herbal Essences for a long time now. When my old Pantene routine just wasn't cutting it, Herbal flew in and saved the day. From that moment on we have been inseperable. I've pretty much tried all the different formulations that the brand has to offer. This is why when there were a couple of new releases on the table I jumped at the chance to give this one a go and placed it straight in my basket at Boots.

The face of Herbal's new lines is Nicole Scherzinger. What a choice they made there because Nicole's hair always looks incredible. When she was a judge on XFactor last year I was in awe at how shiny and voluminous her hair was. If this shampoo could even give me a fraction of what was going on with her locks then, I'd be a happy lady.

After working my way through the stash of shampoo I already had, I finally got around to testing this product out about a week ago, and I must say I am seriously impressed. The instant shine you get is incredible. I always thought a shampoo that contained Moroccan Oil would be an instant winner on the shine front but there's nothing quite like seeing it for yourself first hand. After drying my hair it was so lightweight and soft. I love everything about how this makes my hair feel.

I can imagine the conditioner just being that extra boost for a gorgeous head of hair but I'm currently using my John Frieda Smooth Start Hydrating Conditioner and that's working wonders too.

Certainly recommend you try this shampoo if you're looking for an affordable effective product to pick up on your next beauty retail therapy session.

Herbal Essences Moroccan My Shine Shampoo - £3.79 from Boots

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Beauty Wish List #29

OOTD - 25/06/14


Allsaints Walker Leather Jacket - £358/£179 in sale (Buy one here)
River Island Little White Tee - £15 (Buy one here)
Hollister Black Leggings - £34 (Buy them here)
Black Converse - £44.99 (Buy them here)
Zara Mini City Bag - £29.99/£22.99 in sale (Buy grey version here)

Monday, 23 June 2014

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanillé Body Scrub


I simply can not express my love for this scrub enough. It is beyond out of this world. It's bordering on phenomenal really - as far as scrubs go.

The whole Ambre Vanillé range is incredible. I was first introduced to it just before Christmas last year, when I received a sample of the Body Souffle in my Birchbox. It was love at first try. I was lucky enough to be gifted the souffle, scrub, bath honey and candle set by my brother on my birthday and have been trying to savour every last drop since then - only using it on special occasions as I'm fully aware of how expensive it is. I like to consider using it as a treat, because it feels like more of a luxury that way. Rather than using it every day and getting a little bit bored of it - if that is even possible!?

So here we are in June and I'm only just starting to test out the scrub now. Good gracious this stuff feels like butter. From the moment you open the pot and smell it's overwhelming, heady, gorgeous scent to the moment you scoop some up with your hand, it's a journey to be savoured. I have never had a product feel so good before I've even got around to testing it out.

This body scrub itself is so finely milled. It feels really delicate yet effective on your skin. Without a doubt, it's certainly gentle enough to use on a daily basis but as stated previously, I prefer to use this as a treat. The perfumed scent does linger on the skin but is no where near as potent as the soufflé itself. Combined together they are the perfect combination for a date or special evening out when you want to feel at your best.

Genuinely, I couldn't express to you enough how beautiful and special this product is. When something makes you feel like a million bucks, you know you're on to a winner.

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanillé Body Scrub - £37 from Birchbox

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Birchbox Review - OPI 2014 Brazil Collection Nail Polish in AmazON.AmazOFF


I love getting polish in my monthly beauty box, especially when it's from such a great brand like OPI. I used to follow OPI's new launches religiously but somewhere along the line slipped off the radar. 

Having said that, I am properly informed by the Birchbox website that this little miniature is part of OPI's 2014 Brazil Collection, which consists of 12 different shades. Unfortunately this is probably one of two colours in the collection which I am least likely to wear on a regular basis. Nevertheless, it is still a pretty teal which looks glossy and put-together on the nails.

OPI is such a classic and great brand. The polish is always good quality and the shine is incredible. A gel-like glossy look can be achieved after just two coats.

I like the look of some of the other colours in the collection so I might try and get my mitts on some before they all sell out. You can check out the whole range of colours available in the Brazil series here.

OPI 2014 Brazil Collection Nail Polish in AmazON.AmazOFF - £11.95 from Birchbox

Maylash - An Update

 

At the beginning of March I was contacted by Maylash and asked if I would like to try their Eyelash Serum*. Personally I've never really looked into serums before but have always wanted luscious long lashes. Who wouldn't?

I'm very sensitive about what I put on and near my eye, so it was important to me that this serum was natural and not going to harm my eye area.

After watching their promotional video and seeing all the results in pictures of other people's lashes, I decided it would definitely be worth giving it a try. It took me roughly a month before I got around to testing it properly on a daily basis, which was around the end of April.

I'm back now, just over 8 weeks on with my progress pictures, and to share my experience with you.


Maylash is really simple and easy to use. You simply brush the serum on once a day, as close to the lash line as possible, and that's it. Application of some products can be time consuming and make my already extensive evening routine a bit of a chore but this product slipped into my nightly regime nicely.

Initially I saw some incredible results. My eyelashes looked so much longer. I was really excited that I was seeing results so quickly. This only made me want to use the product more and really see how much of an impact I could have.

To me the drastic changes in my lashes stopped around the 4 week mark. I stopped noticing any change in the length and volume. I just felt that the serum wasn't doing anything anymore.

As the weeks progressed I actually started to feel like my eyelashes were looking worse. Mascara wasn't looking as good on them anymore and if anything I thought the hairs were looking a little patchy. I wasn't getting any bad reactions to the serum. There was no burning or stinging, nor did I find my lashes were dropping out at a noticeable rate. However, you can see from the pictures below a massive change between a couple of month's ago when I started this process and now.


Today my lashes look much more sparse and withered compared to the full and thick ones I had at the beginning. What was strange was that I saw incredible results initially and then the noticeable changes started to dwindle as the weeks progressed.

I'm sorry to say that I won't be using this serum again from today. I'm hoping that my eyelashes will grow back to their natural state soon. I'm not too sure what might happen to them if I carry on using the serum every day. 

What is strange is that you are recommended to use it every day. Once you stop using it your lashes should go back to their natural state after a few months. But honestly, I feel like prolonged usage of this product has done more harm than good.

I may take progress pictures to see how long it takes for my lashes to get back to their natural state. Hopefully, a month from now, I'll see some improvement.

Maylash Natural Eyelash Serum - from Maylash

Friday, 20 June 2014

Haul - Superdrug, Estee Lauder, Paperchase and more!


I ended up treating myself to a few bits and pieces this month after all, even though I'm meant to be saving to pay off my holiday. Oh well! A girl's got to shop right?

Check out what cheeky purchases were made here.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

This Week's Wish List

Birchbox Review - Yves Rocher Sheer Botanical Lipstick in Rouge Groseille

 

I'm on a roll with testing out all of these products in the June Birchbox. Today we have a lovely little lipstick addition in one of my favourite shades - red. I have far to many red lipsticks. It may be bordering on a slight addiction. I would never get through them all in a lifetime but I feel that since I was sent this one I have an excuse. Plus, it's a different kind of red - which is what I tell myself each time I put one in my basket at Boots.

But honestly, it is a new type of red. Or more a different type of formulation. This lovely little lippie is actually from Yves Rocher's Sheer Botanical range. Rich in Cherry oil, this lipstick aims to nourish and protect with a super smooth finish. I thought when I tested it, it smelt good and now I know why. 

 

At first I looked at the shade and wondered how that could ever give a sheer finish but after application I understood what effect the company meant. Although it is sheer, it still does pack a punch of colour and when layered you can really build up an intense shade. 

It is perhaps not represented very well in the swatch below but this red definitely has more of an orange undertone than pink, and I really like that. It makes it perfect for a fruity pop of colour in the summer. Plus, with the extra oils and Candelilla wax packed into this little pucker-stick, it ends up looking really smooth on the lips and therefore quite natural too.


It wears really well but as with any lipstick, you need to re-apply it after eating. You can get away without wearing a liner as the colour doesn't bleed that much. But if you have the time I would definitely apply a liner of some sort - my favourite being the Rimmel Moisture Renew Transparent Lip Liner - to keep things in tip top shape. Other than that, this is kind of a beauty. Just like the other Yves Rocher coral lipstick I tried, it has won my heart almost instantly and will definitely be coming with me on my summer travels later this year.

One for the online shopping basket ladies. With an awesome introductory offer at Birchbox, who can really resist?

Have you tried your Yves Rocher lipstick yet?

Yves Rocher Sheer Botanical Lipstick in Rouge Groseille - £9.90 from Birchbox

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Birchbox Review - Naobay Body Radiance Lotion


I'm familiar with this brand by the packaging. I'm sure I've been sent stuff by Naobay in my Birchbox before but never got around to testing it for one reason or another. It was probably skincare and I'm always really dubious about what I put on my face. But this seemed to be a nice body lotion that I could test out without having to worry too much about repercussions, so I put it straight on trial. 


After getting out the shower I slathered my legs with this beautiful, soft yellow lotion. Instantly I felt how smooth it made my legs feel. The lotion absorbed like a dream and didn't leave any sticky or greasy residue. I already knew that this was going to be a great product from that point onwards.

And it was. This lotion made my legs feel super smooth and baby soft. I can not get over how beautiful it is. I shouldn't be surprised though. This product is packed with avocado and olive oil to give truly soft skin. The moisture and hydration lasts for days - even after showering I could still feel the effects of the lotion I'd put on two days prior. That is a sure sign of a potential holy grail product right there. Yup, I said it. I'm certainly falling in lust with this product, if I can't say the L word just yet. After all it's only been a few days!

If you haven't tested this little baby out from your Birchbox this month yet, get on it! You're going to love it!

Naobay Body Radiance Lotion - £14 from Birchbox

Monday, 16 June 2014

Birchbox Review - Silk + Honey Shea Butter Hair Conditioning Mask


I've never tried anything from this brand before but isn't that what Birchbox is all about? Testing out new products that you've perhaps never come across previously? As soon as I saw it in my box I knew that it would be something I would try first out of the selection. A Shea Butter hair mask sounded super nourishing and rich - definitely something my locks have been seeking in this warm heat. I can't say I've ever used Shea Butter on my hair before. I'm more familiar with seeing it in body care products. But knowing what great results I get from using it that way, I could only predict great things for my hair too.

The mask was very easy to use. All you have to do is scoop a bit up, apply it to your damp hair after shampooing, leave it 10-15 minutes and then wash out. 


One of the things that surprised me when using this product was how incredibly thin it was. Applying it to my hair felt like there was no product at all and washing it out felt even more bizarre. Usually my hair feels silky smooth after a conditioner or mask but after this product it just felt a bit rubbery and if anything a little greasy.

From this moment on things went downhill. As I blow dried my hair it seemed to help with the greasy feeling but as soon as my hair had cooled down from the heat of the hairdryer I could feel the product like a thick veil on my head. It felt really waxy and horrible. This only intensified the day after using the mask. I ended up heading back in the shower the following night to wash my hair again because it felt incredibly dirty.

I'm not terribly surprised that I've had this reaction to the mask. I had my suspicion that a Shea Butter hair mask would create this issue, with it being so rich. However I thought that this mask would be evolved to prevent any greasy, waxy textures and simply leave your locks with nourishment. Unfortunately the result was the complete opposite and I will not be using this product again.

Silk + Honey Shea Butter Hair Conditioning Mask - £55 from Birchbox

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Book Worm #17 - Blog Tour - Fall From India Place by Samantha Young

I haven't had the chance to read a book in so long. I hate when life gets so busy that there is no time to curl up and indulge in the different world that a good book takes you to.

However when I was sent this book to review I made a conscious effort to make time for reading again and have really enjoyed myself since. This novel probably isn't something that I would have instantly picked up on a book shelf but is certainly something I'm glad I've been introduced to and would definitely recommend to others.

Fall From India Place is actually the fourth book in the "On Dublin Street" series by Samantha Young. It bases itself around a twenty-something girl called Hannah who lives in Scotland.

When Hannah met Marco the evening she missed the bus after school, her life changed for good. She knew instantly that there was something different about him which she felt intrigued by. The subtle way he had with her, and how him saying nothing spoke volumes was really all the encouragement she needed to want to get to know him further.

But after one earth-shattering night together, Marco left her alone in bed and disappeared.

However when their eyes connected across a crowded room 4 years later, old feelings stirred. Was there a chance that they could get back what they had? Or would the troubles and secrets from their past haunt their chance of a future together?

I thought it might be difficult to pick up this series the 4th book in, but it was great in the way that you didn't need to have read the previous 3 to understand the 4th. This makes the series really accessible to anyone - whether you're interested in just one story or the whole sequence.

The characters are really honest and genuine. Any girl in her twenties can completely relate to Hannah's thought processes, as can she relate to the wanting of a man just like Marco. I loved reading bits and comparing it to my own experiences. For me this is partly what makes a book so special - being able to feel like everything's possible.

With regards to Samantha's writing, I did struggle a little at the beginning. She seemed to pile on a lot of information within a short period of time. As a reader you are introduced to between 10 and 15 characters within a couple of chapters which I found really hard to keep up with. What's more irritating is that the information provided isn't necessarily vital to the understanding of the rest of the novel. However, I feel like this section was specifically useful for people who had read the previous 3 stories. It undoubtably explained a gap in the story that I had no idea existed due to me only joining the series late on.

Other than this busy section at the beginning, I felt like Samantha was sometimes in a rush. There seemed to be sections where she would explain a large period of time in 3 or 4 lines so that she could skip to the next Hannah and Marco scene, which became a little repetitive after a while. I felt like I wanted more depth to get my teeth into rather than just focusing on the couple themselves.

Having said all that, the Hannah and Marco storyline was really gripping and once you got deep into those sections of the book you could lose yourself for hours. It really did make for great reading. Certainly something that would be easy to read on the beach on holiday for example.

Although Samantha has been compared to E L James by the Sunday Post, I couldn't necessarily agree. I feel like she is in a league with many adult authors, whereas E L James takes a whole new look at writing. I feel like Samantha's balance of scenes in the book was very well done which is certainly something that makes me want to read more of her writing.

Overall I enjoyed reading Fall From India Place and will definitely be recommending it to friends.

If you like a good romance and are looking for the perfect holiday read, I'd certainly recommend looking the "On Dublin Street" series up, as Fall From India Place specifically, is honestly worth a read.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Fall from India Place by Samantha Young (Piatkus) is available as a paperback original and eBook, £7.99, http://bit.ly/1mISDXo

Thursday, 12 June 2014

This Month's Marie Claire - Ciate Caviar Manicure


I feel like I know Ciate polish quite well. After having their Advent Calendar a couple of years a go I really got to know the quality of their polishes, especially the minis like these above. 

Therefore I was really excited that Marie Claire were giving away these sets with their mag this month. The colour ranges available were awesome. I really wanted the purple but simply couldn't seem to find it at my local supermarket, so I ended up with this peachy shade called Ivory Queen, with the Caviar Pearls in Teardrop Treasure to match.

The whole concept seemed promising as I have tried quite a few Caviar Manicures by Ciate before. However I don't know whether it was because this was free in a magazine or what, but the quality this time round just wasn't up to scratch.

My brush was extremely wonky. It was basically in a C shape which made painting my nails rather difficult to say the least. In addition, the polish seemed really gloopy which from past experience I can tell you isn't like Ciate at all. I'm not really too sure what went on here, but I certainly don't rate the freebie I got.


Regardless of the above, the finished mani looked rather pretty. I thought that the caviar pearls really set off the look and I was pretty happy with the overall outcome, despite the troublesome application.

If this had been my first trial of the brand I might have been a little put off by the quality. However because I've trialled a lot from Ciate in the past, I know they are a brand you can really trust and therefore this was probably a one off. If you've had any issues with your freebie polishes though, let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner


I received this sample in a magazine this month. I can't say it was something I'd jumped at when I first saw the product in store. I already have pretty thick hair and haven't necessarily got on well with Elvive haircare in the past. However when a sample comes along I'm always more than happy to give it a try and see if there's something great I'm missing out on.

The name 'Fibrology' suggested to me that this would work like a fibre mascara, adding fibres into your hair to make it thicker. I know that might sound like the stupidest idea ever but it's what I thought. Turns out this is not the case at all. L'Oreal have created an innovation called Filloxane which 'penetrates the hair fibres and expands it'. This leaves a more permanent result, rather than putting fibres into your hair that are going to fall and wash out (silly me). Instantly you are meant to see your hair thicken and be more bouncy, with increase thickness with every wash thereafter.


The first thing I noticed about this shampoo and conditioner was the scent. I actually really like it. I much prefer the shampoo to the conditioner but I still thought they both smelt nice. A little bit like men's cologne at first but still really lovely.

The sachets were generous enough to give me the chance to wash my hair twice with the shampoo and use the conditioner once. The shampoo lathered up really well. It felt really thick in my hair which, although a little overwhelming, felt nice. The conditioner felt nourishing and overall my hair was nice and clean when I jumped out of the shower.

After blowdrying my locks genuinely did feel thicker, and that's a lot to be said coming from a girl who struggles to find a hairdresser who can cut her hair it's that thick! I have a thinner section on my right hand side where I have quite a deep side parting, and that certainly saw some thickening which was of great relief. I hate it when that side looks like it's thinning when the other side looks so full. That sounds very strange looking but hopefully you get what I mean.

Generally my hair felt bouncy and thick. It was quite lightweight even though it was thickening out which I find is an important factor. There's nothing worse than having thick hair which weighs you down. Honestly, I can see this working very well for people who have thinner hair and even people like me who just want more volume and lift. It's certainly worth the try considering the price tag. I'd recommend it.

Have you tried this yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Shampoo - £2.99 from Boots
                                                        Conditioner - £3.99 from Boots

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

June Mags 2014 - The Best Bits



Company High Street Edit (July Issue)
Haircare / Haircare / Bronzer

Company (July Issue)
Boots



Marie Claire (July Issue)
Foundation / Clutch / Tablets / Lip Pencil

Elle (July Issue)
Dress / Blush / Haircare



Cosmopolitan (July Issue)
Top / Bag / Top / Shirt

Balm / Balm / BB Cream / Haircare



Instyle (July Issue)
Bag / Haircare
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