Friday, 29 June 2012

Sugar and spice and all things nice

Morning ladies and gentlemen :) Today I wanted to share with you a couple of my favourite products for relaxing with after a hard day. Yesterday I was in work for a mere four hours and yet I've never left so stressed in my life! I work at the head office of a shoe company and our sale started yesterday. Whilst I'm not on the phones or anything, my job is directly impacted by how many orders were placed, and there were new people to help etc etc. Safe to say I left feeling like my head had been put through the tumble-drier. Wine, a bath and a face mask were desperately needed. Which leads me to my fail-safe crisis products. Whether its a hard day at work, hormones or a break-up, these will ease the pain a little and get you feeling a bit

First up Lush's Creamy Candy Bubble Bar.

I have no idea when this first came out exactly, but I have been using this since my teens and am still in love. This baby pink lump of glory and I go way back. Incase you haven't ventured near Lush before and don't know what a bubble bar is, it's a crumbly solid bubble bath with you either break up under the running water all in one go, or like me, break it into two or three pieces and crumble one section per bath. These are all strongly scented, and I find if you use a whole one your bathroom looks like it's being taken over by bubbles so a third of a bar works for me.
Bubbles! Be warned, both the products in this post are unashamedly, almost aggressively girly to the point of a sugar headache. This smells like you fell into a vat of candy floss and escaped only to find it raining jelly beans. But I love it that way. If you have never smelled any of Lush's sweeter scents, get yourself into a store now, I also recommend Honey I washed the Kids soap which smells of (shock) honey yumminess.

Next up, Montagne Jeunesse White Chocolate Face Mask.

Bet you'll never guess what this smells like? Yeah it's all in the name. Normally I'm not a fan of chocolate scents in cosmetics or beauty products, but this one isn't too sickly so it's perfect. It smells just like white chocolate buttons. Yum.
It even looks just like melted chocolate, and has a great thick creamy consistency. As Richard will attest this scent is not to everyone's taste ("ugh have you got that stuff on again?") but I happen to love it so once again if you like sweet scents this one's for you. But does it work?And if it didn't would it even matter? Yes it does work and no it probably wouldn't matter. I'd still buy it and slather it on because a. it's 75p in Asda and smells amazing and relaxes me. It does leave my skin feeling soft, brings to a head any spots that are just lurking under the skin and cleanses the rest very well. Here's a shot of me with the mask on, giving a thumbs up cos I'm a child of the 80s.
If I ever have to go on a dating site, this should totally be my profile pic, right? Imagine the weirdos that would attract!! Anyways if these two wonder products fail, book yourself in for a massage or pour yourself a bottle of wine and stick a film on. Or if you're sporty, head to the gym and run out all your frustration. Personally, I'm off for lunch with one of my best friends today, so the bottle of wine option is looking the most likely!

See you next time, chilled as always! xx

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

June Empties!

Guess the title is pretty self-explanatory but last month I decided I would try to use up as many of my extra products as I could. I normally flit between shower gels etc having loads on the go at any given time, but I have been very strict and made myself stick to the same products. It's surprisingly hard to do as I get bored of the same scents so easily! But our flat isn't the largest and my products are taking over so it had to be done. Here are this months empties:
Sadly I ended up using up some of my favourite products! But those ones will be replaced eventually so not to worry! I'll leave out the little shampoo/conditioners that I brought back from a holiday, and just talk about the rest:

  1. Kerastase Oleo Curl Definition Cream. This is my third bottle of this, and I still love it. My hair is somewhere between curly and wavy, and if I don't use a product it tends to frizz a little. This is lightweight but keeps my curls formed. It doesn't go crispy or crunchy on your hair. It comes out as a slightly runny, orange coloured cream which smells glorious. I want to try the shampoo and conditioner from this range, but as it's pretty expensive I keep putting it off. Buy this at My HG product for curly hair.
2. Technically two products. My two favourite shower gels from Lush, The Olive Branch and Snow Fairy. Snow Fairy is a Christmas product, but I stock up every year so I have enough to last me and I've just run out *sob* It's baby pink, full of glitter and smells like sweeties. What more's to like? However I've heard Godmother soap smells the same so I might need to check it out. The Olive Branch is a unisex scent and reminds me of when I was in Italy, which I think it's meant to. It has vine leaves, mandarin, bergamot and olive oil in it and is a very wholesome, warming scent that makes me happy!

3. Proactiv Revitalising Toner. Hmm. Did I like this? I'm not really sure. I bought the whole Proactiv starter kit to try and found it really dried me out and made me peel, but when I use each item maybe once or twice a week it did make me have less blemishes. It does work, but I probably wouldn't repurchase. Plus it's expensive and smells odd.

 4. Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids Lashes and Lips. Not only is it a mouthful, it's inaccurately named. It should be called "Take most of your makeup off and leave a horrible oily residue on your skin, then wake up with panda eyes the next day" remover, if they're determined to give it a long name. It gave me greasy eyelids but didn't remove all my mascara, tasted gross if I tried to remove lipstick with it, and was generally a bit crap. Sorry Clinique, but this was abominable. Chucked this in the bin with more force than was strictly necessary.

5. Rimmel Pro Super Wear Top Coat. I don't often swear on here or in real life really, but this is *shit*. It has a nice thick brush which would be very helpful if it didn't have the consistency of tar after using it twice. I tried the old nail varnish remover trick to water it down, but it just sat on top of the varnish, not mixing so I poured it out. On the two occasions I used this, it took around 3days to dry. Not literally, but it took much longer than is reasonable (at least 4 hours to be completely dry). I feel bad as I got this as a present and someone paid money for this for me, and I'm chucking it out barely used. Avoid.
6. Naked smooth Silky Shampoo. As you can see the label has peeled off a bit from being in the shower but apart from that this is a great product. Naked got in there before everyone else with the sulphate-free shampoos, and it shows. This doesn't lather as much as normal shampoo but it smells gorgeous and leaves your hair soft and clean, the matching conditioner works really well too. If you haven't tried anything from Naked, I would highly recommend it.

7. OPI Avojuice Mango. MMMM this smells delicious. It's not the best hand cream in the world, I like thicker ones usually but it smells so good I don't care.
8. This on the other hand, is the best hand cream in the world. L'Occitane dry skin hand cream. It's consistency is not as thick as the Body shop hemp hand cream but it's just as effective and doesn't stink. Portable and brilliant. I prefer this one to all the scented ones they do, and will definitely rebuy this.

9. Just as my camera died I was about to take a pic of the Barbara Daly sheer powder in the bottom left but it's pretty boring packaging anyway. What I can tell you is it's one of the best cheap powders I've ever bought, you can get it in Tesco for around £6.00, it lasts ages and really works. Definitely try this if you get the chance.

I hate duty free

I don't really, I LOVE duty free, but I hate the way it sucks me in magnetically. I don't think I've ever not bought anything in duty free. I nearly had a heart attack in Florida when I realised our terminal didn't have a proper duty free (no MAC, Bobbi Brown, Chanel or anything). I just get so excited, I love a bargain and you get the chance to wander, usually not being too harassed by sales staff like you are in a department store. The lights, the deals and being surrounded by gorgeous products all in one place. It's like I've died and gone to heaven! So I think you know where this is leading...

MAC Bombshell! It's my first frost finish and I knew I'd probably buy a lipstick so I wanted something different. I didn't count on Studio Sculpt winding its way into my basket also (oooops). I really don't need any more foundation at the moment, which beauty blogger does really? But I tried it in Harvey Nichols a couple of weeks ago and it wormed its pretty little way into my heart. But that's for another review :)
The first pictures were taken in my hotel in Camden on my Blackberry so sorry for the rubbish quality! I wanted to wear it for work the day after I bought it so wanted pics of the untainted bullet. I've always thought of frost finishes in a very 80's old-fashioned way, like blue eyeshadow and pink cheeks. However, as always MAC have hit the nail on the head. This shade is a dusky rose colour with the faintest metallic gold sheen to it, if I was to describe the formulation I would say it's more moisturising that either my satin or amplified creme lipsticks. It lasts well, doesn't feather and feels great on. It fades evenly, which my amplified lipsticks don't.
I love love love this colour. You really need to see it on in the sun to see the depth of colour and sheen. It's a deeply feminine colour that would match neutral eyes and a flushed cheek, great for shopping, work or a romantic dinner. It's not a POW in your face colour like some of my favourites, but I feel very womanly with this on. I don't think this is a well known shade either so I'm giving it a shout-out.
My lips feel very moisturised and plumped up, I hope you can see the golden sheen to this colour. It's like they've taken all the duller versions of this type of shade made by every cosmetics company under the sun, and perfected it. Let me know what you think, but I'm very happy with this.

Oh and incase you were wondering why I was in duty free in the first place, I was down in London for work. As it turns out I am far too old to shop in the city centre (Topshop was a massively stressful experience) and much preferred trawling through Camden market and haggling with the stall owners! I bought a pretty navy dress and found an Aldo sale shop so got some gorgeous sandals:
It was so warm that I HAD to buy these, honest...and then I wore them back to Scotland, and it was raining when I got off the plane so looked like a right plonker. Fabulous. As part of my job, we got taken to lunch to a lovely sushi/noodle place called Bento in Camden, look at my gorgeous flowering jasmine tea! I have to get some of this for the flat.
All in all a successful trip! I also managed to fall in love with Estee Lauder Double Wear light in the airport on the way back but managed to avoid buying any but I go away again next month so we'll see what happens then!!! Oddly I'm NC20 in Mac but the lightest shade in Estee. I'm never sure if it's the light in airports but I always seem to change shade. Oh and smell this the next time you're in Boots, it's beautiful and on my wishlist:

Anyway lovely readers, that's my little update, back in a day or so with my next review. Hope you're well and thanks for reading, as always :) xxx

Monday, 25 June 2012

Kokeshi in the buff!

Well that got your attention, didn't it? This morning the postman turned up with a very exciting package for me, I had been speaking to Ellie from Betty Buff, scrub maker extraordinaire, on Twitter. She offered to send me some goodies to review, and I obviously accepted ecstatically! I had heard of Betty Buff on another blog, and was really drawn to how so much care is put into the products. I have sensitive skin but like a good scrub, and I need to be so careful with what I use on my body. I'm a massive Lush fan as I like fresh products made with wholesome ingredients, and I would say Betty Buff's products are even more wholesome than Lush! This is what I got (spoiled or what?)

So on the left we have the Peppermint sugar scrub from the Gunky Monkey range (it's for boys), Candy Floss sugar scrub, Besty Zesty sugar scrub and Banoffee sugar scrub. I've not touched the Peppermint one as I'm leaving it for Richard to open and try it and I love how it's packaged! All the packaging is quirky and cute, I love the 50's pinup in the bath style and general retro feel. You also get a lot for your money, which is a big deal for a bargain hunter like me. The smaller pots are £6.00, the larger pot is £8.00, as is the Gunky Monkey scrub.
I sniffed all three of my scrubs and they each smell AMAZING. The Candy Floss has freeze dried strawberries in it and smells like a strawberry daquiri, I was salivating just sniffing it, I'll review that in full later. Same with the Banoffee scrub, I don't like fake banana scents but luckily this wasn't like that at all! It has soft brown sugar in it so is a thicker consistency, it reminds me of an expensive mud scrub I had done in Egypt. It smells luxurious and rich, and it reminds me of when we used to put bananas on the barbeque with rum on. It also reminds me of gingerbread men! Maybe this scrub should be one to share in the bath with someone you love as it's quite a sexy smell :) But onto the star of the bunch, Besty Zesty.
 Isn't that gorgeous? It smells really fresh and citrussy, a bit like Tropicana to be honest! The texture is not too grainy, quite light and easy to mix. But my favourite thing about this is the lack of oiliness after using it. I have used so many scrubs, Body Shop, Lush, Boots, Sanctuary Spa, Clinique, Arran Aromatics, the list goes on. But a lot of them have a moisturising cream or oil added to them, which leaves me feeling oily or makes my skin react. This does have vegetable oil in it but there is hardly any, and there is glycerine, honey and fresh grapefruit which keep the liquid element of the scrub light.
Can you see the grapefruit bits and pips? I love that! I like being able to see the ingredients in products, it somehow makes me feel as though they are more likely to work? Weird haha. Anyway I just scoop up some of the product, making sure its a mixture of the scrubby bit and the liquid, and work in circles on my skin, not too hard, until I feel as though its had a good going over. Then rinse off with warm water. I usually jump in the bath and start with my legs.
Results? Pretty darn great! No redness on my legs, which is the usual reaction if the scrub is too harsh, no tingling or itching, as it's natural and fresh so doesn't irritate with nasty chemicals. My skin feels smooth and clean, I have beach-ready legs for once! Now I just need Scotland to get the sun out and I'll reveal my baby-soft, gleaming skin. I'm really very impressed with this product and I like the fact that it has to be used by August due to the fresh ingredients. It worries me when a beauty product could last a nuclear attack and still be used. Fresh all the way! Obviously this was given to me, but as I'm sure you know I'm honest about everything I review (you can read my scathing review of an Nfu Oh nail varnish here if you doubt this).

Betty Buff's website is about to be updated so the current one is a little plain (sorry Ellie I know the new one will be shiny and gorgeous), but don't let that put you off for now. Betty Buff products are great value for money, high quality and fun to use. You can find them at

10/10 from me, I'll be happy to buy from the rest of the range once I've used these up!!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Yankee Candle makes lip balm??

Can you hear my bank account shrieking in the background? Yes, Yankee Candle make lipbalms now. WOOHOO! I adore Yankee Candles and frequently trawl ebay trying to find samplers for our flat, I have about 12 on the go at the moment :( So, when I came across this listing for Yankee lip balms I knew I had to get one. There isn't a great selection of fragrances, I really didn't fancy a Christmas one in June, so I settled for Sweet Strawberry!
How cute is that?! I haven't got the strawberry sampler at the moment so I can't compare the scents unfortunately but I can tell you this smells AMAZING, like strawberry laces. It doesn't taste of them though! The lid is a bit of a pain in the arse to get off the first time, but I love how the packaging looks like the big jars. It's a good size to stick in your handbag and the lid doesn't fall off.
This is after I managed to wrestle off the lid! It's a cherry red, pinky sort of colour in the packaging but goes on pretty much clear. It reminds me a lot of cherry chapstick actually, the consistency and formula are very similar, which I like as I was a cherry chapstick fan before Katy Perry made it "cool" *sigh*. You twist the product up from the bottom which is handy and pretty hygienic, and for £3.99 (free postage) you get 4g of product. Oh and it's SPF 15!
Don't think you can see it properly but the lid has "Yankee Candle" on the top. Too cute. I think these would be good for presents. It's not the most amazing lipbalm I've ever used but it works, smells great and the packaging is adorable. I probably won't buy more than one of these as it's more of a quirky item but I highly recommend you get one for your collection or to give to a friend!

10/10 for the idea, but will not repurchase

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp & 17 Mirror Shine Beehive

Hey girls, I've decided to stick these two reviews together as I wore them together yesterday and took some pictures of my FACE. Uh oh close up time! I got the Sexy Pulp mascara with my Glossybox earlier this week and I loved the look of the brush, let's have a look at this one first!
We only got a small sample, in fact the brush takes up most of the inside of the tube! If you want to see the brush in all its glory check out the Glossybox review here! The brush is great in that it curves to the shape of your lashes, and it doesn't get too much product on it when you pull it out of the tube (unlike my beloved Faux Cils which just gloops EVERYWHERE). So, before and afters!
By the way my lashes are quite blonde at the tips so you won't see the ends!
Va va voom!
I really like this mascara, I don't tend to do seperate coats as I find waiting for coats to dry makes the application clumpy, I just keep going over my lashes until they are long enough. This is a great length, almost all my lashes are coated equally but it could do with being a big thicker. Still, I'm very happy with this. During the day I did end up with a couple of black marks under my eyes, but I did have eyeliner on so it's hard to tell which was the culprit. To be safe I'd say stick on a coat of waterproof mascara over this and it would be perfect. This mascara is half price on the Yves Rocher website.
Next up, 17 Mirror Shine lipstick in "Beehive", which seems to be a big thing in the blogging world. I'd seen this on a couple of posts, and Boots were giving you a free eyeliner and 100 points if you bought a lipstick, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Not bad for £4.59! 
Is it just me or is there not that much in the tube? It's a dusky pink-brown colour in the tube, creamy looking with no shimmer or glitter. On the skin, it is much more sheer and less pigmented but very very glossy and shiny looking.
I have to be totally honest: I HATE the packaging. I see what they're trying to do with the mirrored look, mirror shine. But it's so plasticy and cheap, the lid is so light, I dropped it and it bounced! I hate the blue colour too. Maybe I'm a makeup snob, it's only £4.59 what am I expecting? Also in the interest of being honest, the product itself is fantastic. It feels very smooth and soft on, the colour payoff is good for a nude lipstick. 
It's shiny but not sticky and you can tell it's a lipstick not a gloss. It's very much a day-to-day shade and you could pull off a dramatic eye with this. It's also very moisturising, sometimes when wearing lipstick throughout the day I carry a lipbalm to alternate or put underneath, I didn't have to use lipbalm once when wearing this. It's fairly long-lasting, at least an hour and a half which is good for a glossy lipstick, but I tend to reapply more often as I was enjoying using it!  It does wear down a little oddly, I didn't have any dry patches on my lips yet there were grooves left on the bullet after application which made it look a little messy.
Overall I think this is a great highstreet buy, you get a great product for what you pay, it's a great alternative to the likes of Mac Angel and Hue and delivers a great look for minimal cost.

Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp 7/10 and 17 Mirror Shine Beehive 8/10, would repurchase both!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

June Freebies and Ciate Review

The sun is shining and I'm a happy doll. Hope you're all having a day full of cake and tea :) As you may know, I'm a student, bargain hunter and general all-round chancer. So I love a deal or a freebie, and magazine freebies are the best of all. Personally I love Glamour as they always seem to team up with the best companies, but Instyle and Marie Claire are pretty good as well, if a little more expensive. This month has a plethora of freebies available, but being a little skint (two birthdays, fathers day, two weddings to attend, and a failed MOT), I limited myself. Well, a bit.
I only bought three magazines! That's not too bad for me. I've used BadGal mascara before and wasn't that impressed so didn't want that freebie, but I wanted a travel size PoreFessional and I've never tried "That Gal" . Don't know about you but I'd rather fork out £2.00 for a sample size than get the full size and hate it! So I got two Glamour magazines and one Marie Claire for the Ciate nail varnish. Being a cheapskate bit skint, I kind of kicked myself afterwards. I do NOT need any more nail varnish, just because it's a pretty colour blah blah blah.

HOWEVER, this has become my new favourite nail varnish. Last month in Instyle we got some Nails Inc varnishes which were gorgeous colours, but they peeled within two days, which was very frustrating. This nail varnish is a *dream*. I got the shade Jelly Bean, which is a fuschia with a violet-blue undertone, it is slightly iridescent in the bottle but to be completely honest it's not quite as obvious on.
The application is effortless, it is smooth and creamy, you only need two coats to get it looking like this. The brush is a perfect size so I didn't find myself painting half of my fingers as well as my nails. It dries quickly, within a couple of minutes, and there are no streaks or bubbles.

I always like seeing how the colour looks next to the shade in the bottle incase it dries funny! The best thing about this, though, is the wear. I have had this on for five days now and only have minimal tip wear, there are no chips or flaking. For once I may remove nail varnish because I want a change rather than because it looks a mess. The formula is AMAZING. Unless you really look up close it looks like it has just been applied. For £3.70 this is a bargain, even for the £11.00 RRP this is a great buy. I put diamantes on my thumbs and big toes for the wedding!

Sorry for the Blair Witch quality of these photos, I took them in the evening after I'd done them and had to use the flash. Very weird looking! Haha. So, I highly recommend these and the other Ciate varnishes, you get a 15% off code with the bottle for their online shop, I'm lusting after the Caviar Manicure so might get that on payday. Also might sneak the other Marie Claire colours into my basket in Sainsburys!

10/10 and a HUGE thumbs up to Ciate! Tempted to buy multiples of this colour!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Glossybox June 2012

Good day one and all! Now that the formalities are over, how've you been? I've been away at a wedding and my phone was being an IDIOT, and I've not been able to post or read blogs. I literally felt like I'd lost a limb. No joke. So anyway I'm baaaack, and ready to ramble at will. The only picture of Richard and I from the wedding isn't massively flattering but here it is anyway! For the record I am not that wide!!

As you can see we have our priorities right and are next to the bar, the cake, and the sweet table. Yes there was a big pic and mix table with paper bags to take away goodies with you! I stole all the Haribo eggs and hearts at the end of the night mmmm. ANYWAY, I got back to find my June Glossybox outside the flat door. Naughty postman, anyone could have stolen it!

Richard thought I said it was for him, I said the word "review" and he thought I said "for you", he was so disappointed when he realised otherwise. I was like REALLY? It's a big PINK box! Come on now. Last month's Glossybox was a massive hit with me, if you haven't read it you can do so here. I always knew it would be a hard act to follow, but to be honest I'm a little underwhelmed by this month's box. Let's see what I got:
It looks a little bare doesn't it :(
I have seen these Dermablend concealers before, I have a birthmark on my neck which looks a lot like a lovebite, when I was a teenager I was pretty embarrassed by it so tried everything to cover it up. A friend has this to cover her acne scarring and I used it, it is brilliant but just so thick. I'll use it for stubborn spots maybe but I don't really have a use for this anymore, might try to cover my birthmark and do a post for interest's sake.
We also got a brush, which is meant to be £15.00 full price. I hate to be cynical, but as it's made for Glossybox, they could really say it costs anything. I have a lot of high quality brushes and whilst not cheap looking, it doesn't strike me as a high end product.
If I didn't know these were made of 100% goat hair I would say they were synthetic, something about the plasticy gleam or the splaying of the brushes just shouts fake to me. It could be the way the hair has been treated as my MAC and Bobbi Brown brushes don't look so messy when they are brand new. I do like the fact that Glossybox are giving us products we can use and keep, this and the mirror from last month will be used, but I'd rather have quality over quantity.
I have wanted to try the Agent Provocateur perfumes for  a while so for me this set was a good additon. I do however think perfumes aren't the best thing to include as everyone's taste is so different! I have the original one on just now and I really like it. It smells very flowery and sensual, although (please bear with me) it does smell like a grown-up version of the "perfume" you used to get free with Barbies. Does anyone remember that? Nevermind, that's what it smells like and you get three fragrances, each 1.5ml.
Next up, a mineral bronzer from new cosmetics company BM Beauty, one of the founders of which is Pussycat Doll Kimberley Wyatt! Like her or not, she is a bit of a glamourpuss, and I am a latecomer to the world of mineral makeup so I am quite excited to give this a shot. The only thing is it does look a bit muddy! I'm very worried I will look awfully dark, will need to update you once I've tried it.
Last but not least, we have a Yves Rocher "Sexy Pulp" mascara which has a huuuuge curvaceous, sexy looking brush to match its name. I would have hoped for a full size one of these as this is a very small sample, but it's currently half price on their website here, so if I like it I might purchase the large one. The large one is normally over sixteen pounds so this should be a good product (totally on the you-get-what-you-pay-for premise).

Now I've written this review, I'm slightly more excited about the products I received but it still feels a little sparse, if you know what I mean. The only full size item was Glossybox branded so it seems like a bit of a cop-out and while the other items look good, they are all little testers. I don't feel like this box is particularly good value for money. I've just seen that Top Cashback are offering 15% discount on the monthly subscription, and I got £7.00 back on my first box, so I might need to cancel then resubscribe to get the best deal.

Sorry Glossybox this month you'd get a score of 5/10. What did you get in your box? Were you happy with it? xxx