Thursday, 30 August 2012

Tropic Skincare Body Polish

Hi guys hope you're all well! I'm nearly back at uni for my fourth year so have been working loads and blogging when I can, sorry for being a rubbish blogger! Anyway I have a review today of a new HG of mine, a beautiful Body Polish from Tropic Skincare. I was contacted on Twitter to ask if I wanted a free facial from a Tropic Skincare representative near to me. Unsurprisingly I said yes! I had heard of the brand before but didn't know too much about it. Their range is derived only from plants and has a very natural ethos. Check out their website here. Their products are vegan also, which is great.

At the moment the range is on the small side but each product has been carefully tested and I'd rather it was that way than having a large range which was ineffective. Various facial products were used on me during my facial and I have to say they all smelled amazing and my skin was left feeling very soft. But the thing that really struck me when I tried it was their Body Polish, and I just had to buy some before I left!
You can buy this product in two sizes, 100ml and 200ml. I have to say up front that for a body polish/scrub, there are cheaper ones out there, but I don't think you will find any that are nearly as good as this one. The 100ml is £14.95 and the 200ml is £19.95 so I went for the larger tub. Two months on and I'm still working my way through it!
These images were taken on a cloudy day and don't do the packaging justice so here is one from the Tropic Skincare site (I did NOT take this picture haha)

Ah much better! Anyway. When you open up the pot, all the sea salt has sunk to the bottom, with all the natural oils sitting on the top. I was given a spatula with this to mix it all up before using it. Once mixed, it becomes a moist yellow scrub with a fairly thick consistency. The oils are great as it means the scrub holds together well, and because they are plant oils they don't feel too, well, oily!
After mixing
You take a small amount of the mixed polish into your hand and smooth onto DRY skin, rub in circular motions then wash off. All of the salt but not all of the oils are washed off, leaving you with a very light layer of the smoothest, most stunningly scented oil on your skin. I used this just on my hands to try it out when I was there for my facial and could not stop running my hands over each other throughout my facial, that's how I knew I had to have it! The representative also told me that you can use this before shaving your legs and you don't have to use shaving foam/cream. I've tried this once and it works like a dream but you need to clean your razor after as the oil clogged it up a little.
all you need for silky soft hands!
They also do a face polish using rice instead of sea salt, it smelled just as divine so might get that next time as I'm so blown away by this product. The scent is luxurious, as though you are on an exotic island in a five star spa. It smells mostly of citrus fruits, patchouli, bergamot and a little bit of mint. That might not sound too appetizing but the effect is glorious.

I've ranted on enough now I reckon. You get the gist, I love love love this product. I wish it was a tad cheaper as I know I will end up buying multiple pots of this, but it is worth every penny and I'd still buy it if it was double the price. Sigh.

10/10 and a gold star :)

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Creme

Afternoon lovely readers! It's Friday! You know what that means, party time! Well not actually for me as I'm working tomorrow, but generally speaking it's the time for getting your heels on, having one too many Cosmopolitans and dancing the night away. But how best to shine on a night out? Slap on some highlighter. Whether you like to go for the disco-ball look or fancy a light smattering of glitter and iridescence, you can't go wrong with a bit of highlighter. After years of being faithful to Benefit's High Beam, I saw a makeup artist use this creme in a makeup video and was sorely tempted by it. Fast forward to the FeelUnique sale and it's mine!
Do you like the flowers? I was feeling girly so wanted some to spruce up the flat, flowers just make everything a little brighter! Anyway the highlighter has a classic black matt box, and the case is the same, it wouldn't photograph properly so I left it out as you can google it easily enough! You get a decent mirror inside it and you get 4.25g for £17.00 ( have 20% off at the moment).
This has such a beautiful sheen to it, I was worried it might be a bit gritty if there was a lot of pigment in it. Luckily I was wrong, the cream is very, well creamy! You know what I mean, it's very smooth and light to the touch and looks beautiful on, I'm very tempted to slather it all over me and attract various strange looks in the workplace...maybe I won't though.
This shade is called "Iced Gold", and I would class it as a pearly colour than leans towards ivory rather than silver. It's a very flattering, angelic glean and I'm in love! This will be my new go-to product when I'm feeling dull or under the weather. Or about to strap on the stilettos! Go buy this, now!!

10/10- yes really!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Spongebob Cleanface

Stupid title aside, this post is in fact about sponges. Konjac sponges, not the kind that speak and live under the sea and wear pants. Kid's tv programs are really odd, now I come to think of it.

Anyway, Konjac sponges have been used in Japan for over 1500 years to cleanse the skin in a natural, gentle manner. You can get different sponges for different skin types, some have clay added to them and some have charcoal or just plain. They are 100% natural vegetable fiber, and you can use them just with water or with a little bit of cleanser. I bought the Charcoal Bamboo Sponge, for oily and combination skin. This is how it arrived, looking very squishy and moist, which wasn't particularly attractive.
Regardless of the pretty rubbish packaging, I was quite excited to open this up and give it a go! According to the instructions the sponge must be soaked prior to use and left to dry hard between uses. It can be used to remove makeup or just to cleanse the face daily. It has a little string for you to hold it or presumably hang it up if you want to.
I think it looks a little like one of those "pet rock" things! It has a nice soft consistency, feels a little rubbery on the surface and squashes easily. I've used this twice now and am so far quite happy with the results. It leaves your skin soft and cleansed and my skin does feel a little less oily. But beware, this will NOT remove waterproof eyemakup well. It will just smudge it around after dissolving it into a sludge-like consistency and give you panda eyes. My advice it to take off your eye makeup first with a specific eye makeup remover, then use this. It would also be good first thing in the morning before you tone, moisturise etc. I'm going to use mine in the bath after the majority of my makeup is off.

These sponges each last around 3-5 months with continuous use, you can get them from FeelUnique here or the Konjac Sponge Company directly. FeelUnique have a sale on right now and free delivery, I got mine for £5.85, they are usually around £6.50. I think this is a really great product once you work out how to use it!

8/10 from me, let me know if you get one/have one and what you think"

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Live Beautifully!

Isn't that a nice sentiment? Live your life beautifully, I think there's a lot to be said for that. On that note, I was trawling etsy looking for unusual gifts for the other half's 30th bday and stumbled upon Live Beautifully, an American company owned by a presumably very happy couple who make all natural beauty. A distant bell rang in my head somewhere and I realised I had seen this company before on one of the blogs I read and seen the beautiful packaging as the parcel arrived. Much excited by this, I placed an order and waited eagerly for its delivery from America!
I love all the handmade touches they have added to the products and the packaging. Each of the products has a lovely natural scent made with real whole ingredients that work (they use organic oils). The packaging is inspired by an old French boutique and I think it is gorgeous. I also like the hand signed note saying thanks, really personal.
These are three of their beautiful lip balms, in sampler sizes. The large versions are 5 dollars each, but I got three of these little ones for $5 which seemed like a really good option if you just want to try them for the first time. I was drawn to the Southern Peach Rose firstly, it sounded like such a delicate feminine fragrance, and the other combinations sounded just as delightful, but I ended up with Sweet Strawberry Honesuckle and Creamsicle Dreamsicle. Check out their full range at their etsy store. There are some stunning scents available like Black Chocolate Berry and Cotton Candy Dreaming. The descriptions are lovely and so are the pictures. Everything feels very wholesome and classic. I've only tried the Creamsicle Dreamsicle so far but it's lovely. Quite light in consistency but soothing on the lips, a nice summer balm. Probably not thick enough for the winter or for very dry or chapped lips, but this would be perfect for a top up during the day or as a base for a lipstick. The scents are stunning, however and actually smell of what they claim to without smelling artificial or sickly sweet.

As you can see I was on a bit of a lip-product rampage! This is one of their whipped lip butters in Raspberry and Vanilla, it looks a bit like a sugar scrub but it's actualy a smooth salve with little bubbles of lip butter that burst when you smooth them onto your lips. This is slightly thicker and more moisturising texture than the other balms, and it also smells delicious! These are around $5.00 each.

I really like this company, I like their ethos, their handmade packaging and their lovingly made products. Check them out here! You can pay by PayPal through their etsy store, which is secure and very handy and their delivery charges are very reasonable.

*This post is not sponsored and all items have been purchased by myself

Monday, 13 August 2012

ELF Budget buys

Afternoon all, I have just won tickets to a whisky tasting tonight so I'm in a great mood! A lovely woman at my work agreed to cover the four hour shift I was supposed to be doing so a box of choccies will be heading her way to say thanks! Today I have a review of a couple of items from a recent e.l.f order I placed recently. I love e.l.f, their products are really good value for money, high performing products within cheapish packaging to keep the prices low. The items are available in America and the UK, not sure about where else, check out their website for more info. I ordered quite a few bits and bobs as they had a half price sale on,I'm still trying some of them out, but these two are items I'd never tried before.
I love cream blushers, and to be honest I was wondering why it was so much more expensive than many of the other items(£6.50 when many items are around £2.00), so wanted to see if it was any good! It's from their studio range, which is generally a little higher in price but the products are great. When the blush arrived I realised partially why it was a bit more expensive- it's MASSIVE. Like the size of your face. Ok not quite, but it's three times the size of most of my other blushers and you get a huge 15g of product which makes it positively cheap!
There is an awful lot of packaging, it's not the most portable item but the performance outweighs the bulkiness of it.
The texture of the blush is spongy, moussy as opposed to a cream as such, it's very easy to get out of the pot though when I've used a lot more of it this might not be the case. I think I'd start using a stippling brush once I get further down. The consistency is not too thick, and it blends very easily, sinking into the skin, making it hard to overload with blush. The shade I have is Vixen which is pretty highly pigmented so it's good you don't end up looking like a clown.
I would definitely repurchase this in another colour, it's a high quality product and you get a lot of bang for your buck :)
Next up was the tinted moisturiser in Porcelain. I had tried their Flawless Finish foundation a couple of years ago, and while it was a good foundation, it was a little too moisturising for my oily skin so I fancied trying this in case it was more suited to my skin type. It contains Aloe and Cucumber which are calming, and SPF20. This costs £3.75 for 25ml of product. I'm still undecided as to whether I'm impressed by this.
This is their lightest shade, described as being for very fair skin with yellow undertones, but when it is squeezed out it looks very yellow/orangey. The consistency of this is quite odd, it's like a paste rather than a cream, and quite gelatinous. I was really dubious of putting this on my skin, but in a rush to go to work one day I slapped it on with my blusher, and received a couple of compliments! It adjusts well to your skin tone and has a light to medium coverage. As this is a moisturiser it feels a tad shiny/sticky when first on, but once set with powder it didn't budge all day. Overall I reckon I'll need to wear this more often to decide if I love it or am just using it up, but initial results are good for day to day wear!

9/10 for the blusher and 6/10 for the tinted moisturiser. Have you ever tried elf, if so do you have any favourite items I should try? xx

Friday, 10 August 2012

Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm

Hey guys!

Hope you are all having a mini heatwave like we are in Scotland at the moment, can't believe it's so warm at this time of year, it makes your days go a bit more quickly I think! The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is in full swing, if you haven't heard of it before, Wikipedia says it's the worlds largest arts festival. Ever since going to high school in Edinburgh as a teen I've loved how the whole city comes to live and is flooded with entertainers and tourists from all around the world. From ventriloquism and street dance groups to famous comedians, theater and music, there is so much going on. If you've never been, I'd recommend it. Lots of areas of the city are set up at night as pop up bars too so the night life is great!

I promise I don't work for the tourist board haha! But it is awesome so check it out if you can. The actual purpose of this post was to review the much acclaimed Reve De Miel Lip Balm by Nuxe, one of the items I had picked up in France, photographed in my mum's house in France, on her lovely cushion!!

If you don't know what this is, it's another "cult" product that has being doing the rounds on some beauty blogs and vlogs that I read/watch. As it's a French product and notoriously difficult to get ahold of here, I decided to try and get one when I was away. I was a little shocked to hear that it's £10 in Selfridges in London but the reviews were raving about it. I got it for around 9 euros in a pharmacie, so that was a bit more manageable but my inner cheapskate was still balking at the price when my beloved chapstick is a pound!
You also get a generous 15grams of product, and the packaging is beautiful. The pot is glass and the lid is a smooth white plastic, and the box it comes in is sturdy and pretty to look at. I really like products in chunky glass pots, and I like the frosting. It feels worth the money, but is the product any good?
I was a bit disappointed/confused when I saw the little bubbles or cracks on the surface, but they literally disappear the first time you swipe your finger across the surface. The product itself is a gorgeous buttery consistency, quite thick and very smooth. You don't need a lot and it doesn't show or look shiny on your lips, which is good if you wanted to put a matte lipstick on over it. I can see what all the fuss was about, I tend to put this on at night and wake up with baby soft lips, I haven't had any flaking or peeling at all! The main attraction for me with this product, however, is the smell. This smells lightly of honey but more so of oranges and grapefruits, I love it. I keep opening it just to sniff it! So guys, there's room up here on this bandwagon if you fancy getting on it. It's definitely worth the hype.

I'm away to enjoy the sun, but will be announcing my first giveaway very shortly so keep checking back!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Sephora Goodies!

Morning dears, hope you're ready for another France installment. Richard and I spent a couple of days in Limoges by ourselves, and I had googled the Sephora shops so I could drag him there.What I didn't realise, however, was that every 100 metres there is a pharmacy, full of amazing brands like Nuxe, La Roche Posay, Avene and Bioderma. I was literally in heaven, Richard had to ban me from going into pharmacies after a while :( The Sephora stores lived up to the memories I have of them, stocked to the rafters with goodies, and after each purchase they spray you with your favourite perfume then give you a sample of it to take away!
Since reading about Bioderma's Eau Miscellar water cleanser, I really wanted to try some of their products, and they have a really helpful website which shows you all the products they make, click here to have a look. As I tend to be oily and get blemishes the green "Sebium" range was for me. This set was around 12 euros, which is amazing for these two products but it was on a special deal. I got the cleansing gel and the purifying treatment.
You are meant to put this on clean skin at least once a day, and you can wear makeup over it if you like, it's like a very light gel-cream that is meant to combat imperfections. I've only been using it for four days and I can see a difference already. It does tingle/sting a bit when you first put it on but my skin seems used to it now and I haven't had any problems with this. Definitely would recommend this for skin with blemishes. I haven't tried the gel wash yet but have heard good things so watch this space.
I did buy the Bioderma Eau Miscellaire but it is currently still in France waiting for my mum to drive it back for me to review! However I had seen on the Sephora website that they do their own version, which was a little cheaper, so I picked up one of these to try too.

Look at the dispenser! Am I the only one excited by this? You take a cotton pad and put it on the round bit, push down twice and away you go. I later found that Bioderma do a bottle with this design too but it was only available in one out the twenty odd pharmacies I visited. Anyway back to the product, I found this very refreshing and soothing on my skin, it doesn't have a strong scent and it does take off all your makeup. I'm unsure if you are meant to tone after this or not, they do sell toner next to this but this looks too much like a toner already for me! I much prefer this to cream cleansers.
Another item I had researched before going away was this little Precision Sponge, Sephora's version of the Beauty Blender. It was much cheaper than the Beauty Blender, coming in at 10 euros as opposed to £16.00.
It is a little egg-shaped sponge with a rounded base and a pointed top so that you can reach smaller areas e.g. around the nose and eyes. The idea is that you wet the sponge, wring it out and then "bounce" the product across your face. This method of application means that there are no smears, lines, or patchy areas and that application is much easier. You can also use the sponge for cream blushers etc.
I find that this does indeed offer a more even coverage but it takes a little getting used to when using it, especially with cream blushes getting the technique right took a few tries. I really want to try the Cosmopolitan version of this also.
Finally, we have one of Sephora's own lipsticks. I have to say I was a little shocked when I saw the price tags of their own makeup, maybe I've become a cheapskate or maybe they're more expensive than I remembered but this was 10.90 euros, when I remember paying around 8 only two years ago. That's quite a jump! Anyway I had Richard with me and was boring him to tears with the "What do you think of this colour, is it too boring? Yes it's too boring, you're right. What about this one? No, too pale." Poor guy looked like he wanted to jump out of a window when he finally pointed at this one and said "If you have to get something, that one looks alright". So I snaffled it.
How dark is that! Very vampy. I love it though, and on coming home I picked up this months magazines and apparently dark, dramatic berry shades are in. Well there you go. It smells beautiful and applies very easily. It actually can be very wearable if blotted properly, this is heavily applied to show the colour payoff. This is from their Rouge Cream Collection, you can find it on the US website here. They are really the most beautiful colours, this is in the shade Crush.

Well that's it for today, back tomorrow with more goodies. Sorry about the massive post with all the pics but had to be done :) Have a great day guys xx

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Post Holiday Blues

Hello you lot, have you missed me? I've missed you. I got back from France last night, and am currently in limbo all out of sync with the weather and holiday frame of mind. Sigh. We had an amazing time, and a week wasn't enough. I nearly cried like a small child when we arrived in Edinburgh to see people bundled up in coats and the rain drizzling around us. But I did get some amazing French goodies, so I will apologise in advance for the onslaught of reviews that is heading your way. First up though, a picture of some patisseries, just because.
YUM. Every second street has a patisserie or boulangerie that puts our bakeries to shame. They are like works of art, and taste amazing. I'm making myself want to go back just looking at this picture. So lets move on. As I'm sure you will be surprised to hear, I managed to control myself at Duty Free and only bought from the MAC counter. I was trying not to spend a fortune before even getting on the plane, so decided to just buy a lipstick...then an eyeshadow blending brush.
So I figured, everyone bangs on about Mac Angel, I really need to see what the fuss is all about. It's a Frost Finish, which I didn't know as it's always portrayed as a perfect nude shade. Also Kim K's favourite (YAWN). As a beauty blogger of sorts, I really should own some of these cult shades to see what I think about them, contrary to following the hype I tend to want to disprove it, maybe my little inner rebel coming out!
As I'm unable to keep things for long without using them, I only waited to get on the plane before taking pics of this. You can only image what I'm like on Christmas Day. Yep, I'm basically an overgrown child. In the bullet this looks like a dusky rose pink with brown undertones. I wouldn't say that the frost finish is very obvious for this shade at all, you really have to peer at the bullet to see the shimmer and it isn't obvious at all on.
This is pretty heavily swatched as I found that it wasn't very highly pigmented on the skin.
Am I blown away by this? No, not really. It's a pretty colour, very wearable but doesn't pack enough of a punch for me. It's a bit too...vanilla. But I'll add it to the collection and I'm sure it will get used at some point. The brush I bought was another Pixiwoo inspired purchase, those girls are no good for my bank balance. A lot of my eyebrow brushes are from various sets, and tend to be smaller in size. I had seen this brush being used by Sam in a couple of smokey eye videos and liked how it softened out the look.
This is the MAC 217 Blending brush, the Pixiwoo girls always seem to keep theirs very clean but looking at these bristles I don't see myself managing to keep this clean at all. In France the weather was so warm that all my eyeshadow and other makeup seemed to slide down my face so I ended up wearing just BB cream and mascara, so I will need to try this out and get back to you on it!

Speaking of the weather, I had a couple of little sun tan lotions to try out while I was away, so just wanted to mention these briefly.
We have Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration and Green People sun lotion with tan accelerator. These are both SPF 15, which is what I would normally use. The Hawaiian Tropic has "ribbons" of hydration throughout the product. The packaging is lovely and you can see the swirled effect through the plastic. It smells delicious, as do all their products, although this is floral rather than fruity. Your skin is indeed left soft and protected but I got rather annoyed at this products as it separated if you didn't use it for over 6 hours or so, meaning that you squirted out a sort of yellow oil and the cream separately. It was fine if you just shook it back together but I wasn't a fan overall. This is £14.99 for 180ml.

The Green People's packaging is dull as ditchwater, but the product is 98% natural in origin and smells of essential oils. It was just a bog standard white cream but certainly did the job. I put this on my legs to attempt to get them to change colour at all as they are very stubborn, and did see a slight difference, but nothing major. If you are into natural products I would definitely recommend this product. It is £17.95 for 200ml.

Anyway guys, it's good to be back, you will be hearing about France for the next couple of posts then I promise to shut up about it! If you want to know, I was in the Limousin region near Limoges :)