Thursday, 31 May 2012

GlossyBox 1st Birthday Box | May 2012

GlossyBox £10 per month + £2.95 P&P*

This month GlossyBox are celebrating their first birthday. I can't believe a whole year has passed since they first came on the scene, it only feels like yesterday! I was quite chuffed with this box, not my favourite, but still some great products included which I can't wait to try. They also included two little extras as a Birthday treat.

Inside the box:

Pink Balloon - This needs no explanation, but what a cute thoughtful extra! It is sitting on my desk all pink and balloon-y.

GlossyBox Compact Mirror -  Every girl needs a compact mirror to keep on their bedside table, in their handbag or on their desk at work, so this was a nice extra surprise this month.

Noble Isle Summer Rising Bath and Shower Gel - I have to be honest, I now have a PILE of shower gels that I'm currently trying to battle my way through, so I wasn't enthralled when I saw this, however, it is amazing! Noble Isle is a new British bath and body brand inspired by the natural and cultural riches of the British Isles. It smells really nice and refreshing!

Lolita Lempicka L'eau en Blanc and Eau de Parfum - For a while now, I've been meaning to pick up some Lolita Lempicka perfume samples, as I've heard good things about the fragrances. I also love the name and the packaging! I love both of these scents. They are really light, soft and girly. Perfect for summer days. I think my favourite of the two is the Eau De Parfum, and I may even need to pick up the full size.

Apivita Express Beauty Masks - I haven't ever heard of this brand, but these masks sound a real treat. They exclude synthetic ingredients and replace water with green tea infusion to enhance the antioxidant action. These masks claim to be 90% natural, so i'm looking forward to giving these a try. I do love a good face mask

Osmo Berber Oil Hair Treatment - More recently, I've really been into hair oils and treatments, so I was pleased to find this buried in my shredded paper. It includes argan oil to help restore dry/damaged hair. It also claims to reduce drying time (something that takes a good while for me). It also contains UV filters to protect from the sun and styling tools. Really looking forward to putting this to the test, my hair could do with a bit of TLC after all the sunny weather we've been having.

HD Brows Grow Baby Grow - This also really stood out to me as a "winning box product". Although I'm fairly happy with my eyebrows as they are, I would love to fill out a few sparse gaps in between. This serum encourages rapid growth by increasing the blood circulation and provides essential nutrients. I will most certainly report back if this takes any effect!

What did you think of the Birthday box?

Monday, 21 May 2012

Topshop Makeup | Blush

Topshop Blush £6 

Next in the Topshop Makeup Series, I want to go over the blushers. These are not my favourite thing in the Topshop makeup range, although I know plenty of people who would say they were. I just want to start with the packaging, I absolutely love it, like all other Topshop makeup items, it has the adorable black sketching, in this case, polka dots. The only thing I will say, is that after a while, the white background becomes a little more cream, and then there's no going back to that lovely white crisp casing, dangnabbit. 

The consistency of these is what makes them a little different from anything else I own, and certainly anything else I have seen on the High Street. They apply as a cream blush, but dry with a more powdery finish. I actually find powder blush easier to apply, as you just apply it with a brush, however, I do like to use these for a much more subtle finish. I think because it applies as a cream and dries to a powder, it gives a much more natural flush than a powder would. I also don't find it that difficult to apply. I just use my fingers, and dot it on my cheekbones or the apples of my cheeks (depending on which mood i'm in) and then blend it out as much as desired. The colours can look a little scary in the pan, but they are very easy to blend, and you can also build up the colour if you want something a little more opaque. They also have quite good lasting power, I wouldn't say it's amazing, but for £6 you can't really expect miracles (plus, you don't want to look like Aunt Sally for over 24 hours).

The colours I own are Head Over Heels (pictured on the left in all photos) and Flush (pictured on the right). Head over heels is my favourite (as you can see it has been used a fair bit...and looks pretty grubby). It's a gorgeous coral pink and I find that this suits my skin tone a little more than Flush, which is a lot more pink. 

What do you think of Topshop blush? Do you own any?

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Pastel Pug Manicure

Many weeks ago now, I was made aware of an Ebay shop called JanChristie by Heather who writes EffiesMakeupBox. Jan Christie sells adorable little nail transfers in various different designs at an extremely great price. Each sheet contains 24 stickers in varying sizes for different nails. I bought two sheets of Pugs (as they were my favourite), Foxes and Black Cats. She also threw in a free sheet of flowers as I'd purchased 4 (I'm not sure if she still offers this deal).  Each sheet is only £2.30 with free postage, which I think is a great price, especially if used sparingly like I have. It appears that she doesn't have any of the wildlife/zoo animals or flowers at the moment, although I do hope she restocks, as she had some great options. Currently there are plenty of different Cats and Dogs to choose from though.

RE-EDIT: Jan has just got in touch with me, and mentioned that she now has her own website! HOORAH. It's absolutely brimming with all kinds of different designs & are only £1.80 per sheet. I'm thrilled. I thought she was disappearing! So if you did want to grab yourselves something which wasn't available on her Ebay shop, head on over to:

I decided when having my nails done, that I would opt for pastels as I prefer to wear pastel colours on my nails at the moment. I used Essie's "Mint Candy Apple" (a firm favourite for years now, although not a massive fan of the formula) on 4 of my nails, and then on the accent nail I used O.P.I's "Mod About You" which is also a firm favourite. Both were ordered from Ebay. 

Then came applying the little pug. I left the nail to dry (really important), and then peeled back the sticker to cut round the pugs. I did attempt to cut the pug out before peeling it off, but this was impossible and I couldn't do it, so peel and cut in that order seemed to work best. You then place the sticker on the nail, and press down. It sticks down very easily. Pop on the top coat and you are good to go! She advises topping up with top coat for a few days in order to make the sticker last a bit longer.

It took seconds and so far it's lasting well! Just added a little bit of fun to my manicure, and it makes me smile every time I catch a glimpse of the cheeky little pug on my nail! At just under 10p a sticker, you really can't go wrong. :)

Friday, 18 May 2012

JolieBox UK | May 2012

JolieBox UK £10 monthly subscription + £2.95 P&P*

This months JolieBox was created to inject a little flower power and plant based products into your beauty routine. I'm just going to throw this out there and say that this is possibly my favourite JolieBox so far. It may only have 4 items as opposed to the normal 5, but I feel like the good choice of samples and the full size nail varnish thoroughly make up for it. I also wanted to mention how much I enjoy reading the JolieMag. This little 23 page magazine which has been edited by the oh so gorgeous Anna of ViviannaDoesMakeup, excites me just as much as the box of goodies. It's full of great content, including product reviews, interviews and helpful information. I like to read it in the bath as a wind down! This magazine has become a little bonus when receiving your JolieBox each month, and I think it's a wonderful idea. 

Products included in the box:

Talika Lipocils Expert 2ml - An eyelash growth product with extracts of natural nettle to stimulate the growth of short or frail eyelashes. This sample is quite small, i'm not overly sure how much 2ml of product is going to help stimulate my eyelashes. I'm certainly not expecting to wake up with long fluttering lashes after using it once but i'm intrigued to see if it does in fact do anything at all. I've not ever dabbled in eyelash growth serums before, so this is all new for me! 

Essential Care Organic Rose Moisturiser 15ml - Being quite the skincare junky I'm looking forward to trying this moisturiser. It has rehydrating, regenerative and toning benefits of organic rose and aloe juice. It's also suitable for vegans and they've not tested on animals, which I know is an important factor for many of you when making cosmetic choices. After checking out the ingredients, it also appears to be free of any nastiness too. Skincare is always best when it's kept as natural as possible so this look promising. 

RMK Make up Base 15ml - This makeup base claims to prime the surface of your skin, add moisture with shea butter and provide the perfect fit for foundation. I'm the sort of person who skips on priming before applying my makeup because sometimes I just prefer my face to have as little on it as possible, I always feel like priming just adds another layer, and I can't say i've ever really needed to do it. However, more recently, I have been trying out some different primers, and my eyes have been opened to the world of longer lasting makeup and a smoother, easier foundation application. This looks to be a very good primer, and I'm excited to give this a proper whirl. The cute little bottle will also be perfect for travelling. 

China Glaze Nail Lacquer Wicked Style (full size) - I was so happy to see this nail polish in my JolieBox this month, as China Glaze are one of my favourite nail brands. I find their polishes to be very long-lasting and just of excellent quality. I see them as O.P.I's main rival in the high end polish stakes. I'm not a massive fan of the pink, as I don't tend to wear pinks all that often, although that could all change once the sun comes out :) Saying that, pink is always my top choice for a pedicure!

What do you think of this months JolieBox? 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Skincare Review | Nourish Balance

I am always on the hunt for the perfect skincare, and although I am deeply in love with my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, the beauty blogger in me is always up for trying new things, in order to find those essential, holy grail products, but also to aid you, the reader, in making vital choices. :)

Nourish is not a brand I was familiar with before I was asked if I'd like to try a few items from their range. They pride themselves on skincare ranges which avoid the use of unfriendly chemicals such as synthetic colours, TEA, DEA, parabens, phenoxyetol, sulfates, mineral oils, PEGS and silicones. Instead, their products contain organic, plant derived, scientifically tested ingredients to enhance and nourish your skin.

Like a lot of people, i'm not always aware of what ingredients do what when it comes to skincare or makeup items, but what I do know, is that these skincare products lack a lot of the things i've been told to try and avoid putting on my face (although that is definitely easier said than done).

There are 4 different skin care ranges. Protect, Relax, Radiance and Balance. The packaging is very simple but I really like it and the colours and designs are different for each range. 

I was sent the Nourish "Balance" range, as my skin type is normal/combination. The signature scent for this range, is apple, which is one of my favourite fruity smells. It smells so fresh and rejuvenating on application. I wouldn't say they are heavily perfumed (for those of you with a strong sense of smell) but it's not a subtle scent either. 

Nourish Balance Cleanser 100ml £9.95* - This was a product which I was most apprehensive to try, being so attached to my Liz Earle and the dry application and cloth removal, meant that I was changing the way I normally cleansed. This has a very watery consistency which you pump into your hand and smooth over your damp face. It doesn't foam up too much (no bubbles up the nose) & leaves your skin feeling very clean. I wasn't a massive fan of this one, I felt it left my skin feeling a little tighter than my regular cleanser, and that's not normally the outcome I like. However, after following up with the next steps, there was no tightness. For those of you who prefer to use water on your face (splashing as opposed to a wet muslin cloth) then you will love this.

Nourish Balance Toner 100ml £8.95* - This toner contains a blend of vitamins and minerals in order to retain the skins natural barrier. I actually really liked this product, it's one that I found myself reaching for a lot more than the cleanser. I really believed this made a difference to my skin, it felt a lot more refreshed and squeaky clean once i'd used this as part of my regime. I used a cotton pad to apply this to my face post cleanse.

Nourish Balance Intense Face Gel 50ml £15.95* - This was my favourite item from the range. It's an intense face gel containing organic aloe vera and hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a unique ingredient that detoxifies and adds moisture. It provides protection against water loss and also enhances the barrier function to protect skin. Sounds good right? It is. It says that it's to be applied after moisturising, although I apply this at night, before moisturising, as I don't feel right applying a gel over it as a last step. One of the main problems I have with my skin is that I have dry patches, and oily patches, so something like this is perfect for combatting both problems. 

Nourish Balance Face Moisturiser 50ml £13.95* - This face cream has a very light consistency (something I wasn't used to, as I much prefer a heavier cream). It sinks into the skin very quickly and leaves it feeling silky soft. I also noticed that it didn't leave any sort of sheen to my face (great if you are prone to oily patches). Although it's not one of my favourite face creams, I do like to apply this on days where my skin is being particularly troublesome in terms of dry/oily patches, as I feel as though it can benefit both. I also like that my make up applies very easily over this. 

I think Nourish is a great brand, and it is refreshing to see a company trying to remove the nastiness in our skincare and focusing on using organic ingredients. I think the pricing is very reasonable, and definitely worth the money considering how much product you get for the price and the ingredients used. I really wish i'd have used this skincare regime through my teenage years, as it makes everything so much easier for you. They advise you which step each product is used, and it's such a simple 4 step routine. Between the ages of 12-15 when I probably should have been taking great care of my skin, I quite honestly, didn't have a clue. If I had been presented with these 4 products it would have made life a lot easier, and I would have made a lot more effort. 

I would highly recommend this brand if you are looking for a good structured skincare routine, if you are looking into changing up your skincare or buying skincare for the first time. Slightly more expensive than your average products in your local pharmacy maybe, but it's worth the extra pennies for something which contains beneficial ingredients that won't strip your youthful skin, making it even worse (I have done this so many times - I'm looking at you Clearasil)

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Favourite Eyeshadows | Nars Isolde Duo

This post won't come as a shock to most of you, considering how often I bang on about how much I adore this eyeshadow duo. I was gifted this for Christmas a while back from none other than my brother (after i'd picked it mind you) and it has become my absolute go-to for an everyday eye. I reach for this above any other eyeshadows (and I own a sickening amount of eyeshadows - including two Mac palettes). Nars is definitely my favourite brand when it comes to eyeshadows and blushers. The consistency of the powders are phenomenal. The pigmentation and longevity surpass any other eyeshadows i've tried. A bit higher on the scale brand and price-wise, but totally worth it. I have used this duo almost daily for over a year, and it looks as though i've barely touched the surface. The reason for this is that because the pigmentation is so good, and the powder so finely milled, I barely have to push my brush into the product before applying the shadow. The fact that they're so finely milled, means they also blend like a dream. 

This duo has two very orange based bronze/gold shades. Now, normally, you wouldn't really think to go near a bonze, or a gold with an undertone of orange, but actually orange is the most flattering colour for blue eyes. I really notice a huge difference in my appearance once I have these shadows on, my eyes appear a lot bluer in colour and I just find it effortlessly more dramatic makeup-wise. I like to wear both shadows either together, or the darker colour all over the lid with a matte brown in the crease and under the bottom lash line for a more smokey effect. I get a lot of people asking me which eyeshadows i'm wearing in my videos, and 8 times out of 10, it will be this duo. I'm one of these people that can't really wear cool toned colours on my eyes, greys appear blue and drain any colour from my face. So over the years i've learnt to stick to mainly warm toned shadows, and this duo is almost smoking on the warm-toned scale. 

I would whole-heartedly recommend Nars eyeshadows, both individual and in duo form. I believe buying  them as a duo is better value for money and I do intend on extending my collection (over a large period of time obviously haha). Absolutely love them!

Do you own any Nars eyeshadows? Love them as much as I do?

Friday, 11 May 2012

Little Online Shopping Spree

It's not all that often that I will buy things from the comfort of my own home. It's not that I don't like online shopping, it's just that I tend to shop more on the High Street. However, come pay day, there were so many things I wanted to buy/try that I wasn't all that sure i'd be able to get hold of in the shops. I went onto the feelunique website (which is just brimming with every product you could ever think of) and bought the above items. 

The first thing that accidentally hopped into my virtual basket was the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. I've heard such amazing things about this face mist, so of course, I had to give it a whirl and see what all the hype was about. The next thing that ended up in my basket, was the Benefit Erase Paste (bought in 01 fair). This is actually my third pot of this stupidly-overpriced-but-equally-amazing undereye concealer. I absolutely love it, and when I reach the bottom of the cute little pot, I always get that horrid feeling of dread & despair at having to fork out another £19.50 because I can't really live without it (trust me, I have tried). There was also a little deal where if you bought a Benefit product you got a little "Cha-Cha Tint" for free. It's a lovely mango lip and cheek stain, much like the benetint and posietint, but being peach, A LOT more up my street. I think this will be really pretty in summer. The last thing I bought, was all because of Millie Mackintosh. If you are familiar with the TV programme "Made In Chelsea", then you will know who I'm talking about. She is absolutely gorgeous, but one thing that always makes me ultra envious, is her healthy golden glow. I recently read a blog post she did, where she says that she uses "Institut Esthederm Self Tanning Face Cream" so naturally, I needed this in my life. I can't say i've ever heard of the brand before, but i'm looking forward to seeing if I magically wake up looking like Millie....(I can only hope right...). 

Let me know if you'd like to see any reviews of the above products once i've put them to the test!

Birthday Fun & Frolics

So most of you will probably know by now, that not too long ago, my good chum Louise turned 25 again, and I went up to stay with her, to launch our new shop, and to celebrate her day of birth. We took a  little road trip to Fleur's house in the evening, for pre-drinks and a jolly good hoo-hah, and then went out for a few tipples-on-the-town. (I wasn't drinking, just in case you were worried I "road tripped" under the influence haha). Whilst at Fleurs, I took some photo's, which I loved so much I just had to share them with you all. How GORGEOUS do they both look? 

I also revealed Louise's secret birthday video to her, which if you've not seen yet, you can view HERE. You can watch Louise's vlog of the few days I spent there HERE, and Fleurs vlog of evening antics HERE. It will almost feel as if you are there celebrating with us :) Also keep your eyes peeled on my YouTube channel for my vlog too. I think I may have overused the word "vlog" in this blog post! VLOG VLOG VLOG. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

GlossyBox April 2012 | Limited Edition Natural Box

Aprils GlossyBox* was another special edition. These are definitely my favourite kind of beauty boxes, something about it being different from the norm, makes the anticipation of un-peeling the sticker that little bit more exciting. This months box was full of products guaranteed to make you feel your best whilst satisfying the green goddess within. Inside the limited edition 100% biodegradable box, are 5 eco friendly and ethical products. I know that for a lot of you, products sourced naturally with no harmful nastiness is quite an important factor when shopping for cosmetics. So for those of you who prefer your products to be a little more organic, look no further. I was really hoping that GlossyBox would do a box like this, as I think it is very appealing to a vast majority of us. I know I love it any-who. 

The products included in my GlossyBox:

Caudalie SOS Thirst-Quenching Serum - Caudalie is a fairly new brand on the beauty blog scene. We've all heard how marvellous the beauty elixir is (I have just purchased it myself also) so I was super intrigued to try out this serum. Although you only receive 10ml, I think it's a good amount to indicate if you enjoy using the product. The 30ml full size product is worth £29, which is quite steep but for a serum but if it does what it says on the tube, you get what you pay for. I've used this twice, and so far I do really like it. It's very easy to use quite a lot though, as it sinks into your skin so quickly, you almost feel as though you need more. I haven't noticed any dramatic changes to my skin, but I'm not expecting miracles after 2 uses. It does however, leave your skin feeling silky smooth, and made my makeup application that little bit easier. 

Inika Cosmetics Certified Organic Lip Liner - Inika is not a brand i'd heard of previous to receiving this box. They use a blend of cold pressed plant waxes, oils and natural pigments to make up their liners. I think I would have preferred to receive an eyeliner, as opposed to a lip liner, as i'm one of those people who never uses lipliners. Saying this however, the pigmentation was very good, and the liner very easy to use, so I can't fault it for that. I do think this will end up going to my mum though :) 

Ayuuri Natural Body Wash - Now, i'll be honest, when I first saw this giant shower gel, I wasn't overly excited. I have SO many body washes to get through, and the packaging didn't entrall me (I definitely judge a product by it's packaging... shallow but true) The fragrance I received was "rose" and I am absolutely OBSESSED with it. I definitely didn't think i'd end up loving this so much that I'd use it twice in one shower session! It smells amazing, but more importantly just feels so lovely and moisturising on my skin. At only £4.95 for a whole 235g of product, i'm going to be buying some more. 

Figs & Rouge Lip Balm - This is the product that I was initially excited to try. I've heard so many great things about these little lip balms. They are 100% pure, natural and organic and can be used as a multipurpose product on your lips or skin. The one I received is "Peppermint and Tea Tree", it is so lovely to apply and tastes yummy. I already want more of these to keep on my desk, in my handbag and next to my bed.

Philip B Styling Gel - When I initially saw this, I wasn't too excited by it. After all, when you hear/see the words "styling gel", you automatically think of boyish hairstyles being slicked back Danny Zuko style, for an awful wet "do" Just me then? I was actually relieved to discover that this can be applied to damp hair, and is just an aid to styling and to boost volume at the crown of the head before blow drying. I've not used this yet, but i'll be sure to let you know if it's gravity defying stuff :)

What did you all think of the April GlossyBox?

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Luxury Bath Time | Neom Organics

When it comes to ultimate relaxation, there are 3 vital things I require. The first being a bath. As most of you are aware, I am an anxious person at the best of times (or worst shall we say) so I have to find time to just chill out & switch off. The best place for me to do that, is in a deep, hot bubble bath with a good magazine. This then brings me onto the second requirement, something calming and relaxing to bathe in. I'm definitely more of a bubbles girl, as they cover your dignity & lets be honest, they are a hoot (don't pretend the child within you doesn't enjoy a mound of bubbles) but when it comes to having a slightly less fun, more mature bath however, a good bath oil will be my weapon of choice. The oil I have mostly been reaching for over the last few months is the "Neom Luxury Organics Refresh Bath Oil"* Not only does this smell absolutely amazing, it also soothes & moisturises my skin. I don't even find myself reaching for the moisturiser post bath, as the oil does a good enough job on its own. The main scents of this bath oil are sicilian lemon and fresh basil, designed to give you an instant refresh, and to awaken your mood. Although quite pricey (£32 a bottle), a little goes a very long way. As it's an oil, you only need to add two capfuls each bath time. I'm already nosey-ing up which one to buy next. If you like the idea of trying out a bath oil but don't want to spend £32 on one bottle, they do a little set of mini's which include all 5 of their scents for only £16, which would be a great way of trying before buying, and seeing which you like best. 

The third thing in my ultimate relaxation requirements list, is a candle. Not just any candle though, one that I know will smell amazing, burn well & lift my mood. When I first received this candle, I thought "how could a candle possibly be worth £39.50" but I cannot stress to you enough, how utterly amazing this candle is. Firstly, i'll point out that it's a massive 380g worth of candle (1kg if you count the glass) and burns for up to 55 hours. They are made using vegetable wax and pure essential oils, rather than synthetic scents so they burn without releasing any nastiness or soot. They actually work as holistic treatments as you breathe them in, to help soothe your mind and de-stress you. The candle I have is the Neom Happiness Candle* and do you know what, it really does make me happy. It contains white neroli, mimosa and lemon. I am actually a bit scared to light this too often as I just love it so much I never want it to end. Of all the candles I have ever used (and I am quite the candle junky), this is by far my favourite. The scent doesn't disappear, it burns well (no unburnt, hard wax up the side of the glass) & it's just the perfect companion for bath time, or bedroom chillaxing time. Again, i'm eyeing up which one to go for next. 

What are you luxury bath time essentials?