Tuesday, 29 November 2011

10 questions for a blogger - Part 2


Hello everyone! Firstly I would like to welcome my new members, thank you for joining! 
Here is another interview with one of my favourite bloggers, Tanya from Secrets behind the Mask who I recently met at a party where I was working as a make up artist and after giving Tanya a makeover discovered she was a fellow blogger and have been following her blog ever since. Here are her answers to my blogger questions, enjoy!





Name: Tanya





When did you start blogging and what inspired you to start?

 I started blogging in January of this year along with a couple of friends. I had been reading blogs for a while and wanted a place to voice my rambles and doing it with them gave me the push to actually start.

What is your favourite subject to blog on?

 I love writing personal posts because they flow so easily because it's a subject you're never going to forget. Whether people like to read them or not is another matter :) I also love hauls, showing everyone what I've been buying, finding out what they think and whether they've bought it or plan to.

Which beauty item should every girl own? 

An eyeshadow palette. It gives you such a range of looks to create, you can go from a day to night look instantly, and less to carry if you are planning a look that requires a number of shades like smokey eyes.

Which make up look are you wearing this season?

 As I've just learnt how to create the smokey eye look, I love wearing that right now, and experimenting with different shades together. I'm a bit of a make up novice! 

Can you recommend five of your favourite blogs?

I love reading onewaytickettogorgeous, but five of my other favourite blogs are;

Which beauty products are currently on your wish list?

 I really want a nice make up brush set as I only have a few random brushes. I've asked Mum for a set for Christmas, fingers crossed :)

What are your top 3 make up brands and why?

 MUA, VIVO and MeMeMe. I love MUA and VIVO because they have such a great range of products for an affordable price. I could never justify spending money on companies like MAC just for a single lipstick or eyeshadow. MeMeMe have an amazing range, but I only buy their products rarely as they are a bit more expensive but still cheaper than MAC.

What is your greatest beauty product discovery this year? 

MeMeMe Seventh Heaven Facebase Moisturising Cream. I was given this at the Autum/Winter MeMeMe Launch and I'm in love with it. It smells amazing and is a fantastic product. I reviewed the product on my blog http://www.secretsfrombehindthemask.com/2011/10/seventh-heaven.html

What is your idea of the perfect pampering evening?

 Spending time with my girls. Face Masks. Experimenting with make up. Chick Flicks. Pizza. Gossip :)

If you had one piece of advice for potential bloggers what would it be? 

Don't compare your blog to others. It's not a popularity contest, and your readers wouldn't follow your blog if they didn't love it! Enjoy it and make sure you do it for the right reasons, because if you don't your readers will notice.
 

If any other bloggers want to get involved in the next Q&A blog post please contact me! 

x

Monday, 28 November 2011

Babyliss waving wand

I saw this exciting looking hair tool on a few other blogs including Fleur de force who raved about the waving wand and so as a girl who curls and straightens using her GHD's I was intrigued by this new gadget. Soft natural looking waves instead of tight curls which is exactly what I have always wanted to create. I spotted the wand on amazon for less than £20 and put it straight onto my wish list. Unfortunately my excitement took over and I ended up buying it sooner than I intended to! However I am so glad that I gave into temptation as I have used it almost every day since and am loving the results!


Babyliss 2286U Waving Wand -  www.amazon.co.uk £17.40



Wavy hair!


Wand with good length cable and heat protecting glove for wrapping hair and holding close to the wand




It is important to wrap the hair away from the face to achieve this look and to wrap in the same direction for the whole head however you can wrap forwards then backwards to create a more messy look :) 
Because the wand has no clamp you aren't left with any ridges in the hair and the oval shape of the wand means that a wave is created instead of a round curl. Curls can be great for certain occasions, especially evenings out or special occasions however I think I prefer this more casual tousled look because it is suitable for day and night and looks a lot less "made up" that proper curls. For under £20 this hair tool was a great investment for me and I am really happy with the final look.

What do you guys think of this hairstyle? 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

10 questions for a blogger

I am starting to meet and follow more and more bloggers and have decided to create a set of 10 questions and put them to my favourite bloggers to get a better idea of who they are and what makes them great bloggers. I hope you find this concept as interesting as I do! My first subject is Megan Williams.......





Name: Megan Williams








When did you start blogging and what inspired you to start?

I started my blog about a year ago but didn't post on it much but now I put a lot of effort into each post and enjoy writing it. I was inspired to start after finding beauty videos on youtibe and seeing people's link to their blog underneath. I would spend hours reading them all and as I have the same love for make up and beauty products, I thought why not just give a blog a go.

 What is your favourite subject to blog on?

I enjoy writing about everything and anything beauty related so I cant just pick one specific thing out.




Which beauty item should every girl own?

I think every girl needs a can of Batiste and also a bottle of Cetaphil cleanser.




Which make up look are you wearing this season?

I am going for a very natural look. Brown eyeshadow, glossy lips and a flush of colour on the cheeks.




Can you recommend five of your favourite blogs?

I read so many blogs its hard to pick 5. I would say MakeupSavvy, Sophieismadeup, Fleurdeforce, Laura's blog and of course onewaytickettogorgeous.



Which beauty products are currently on your wish list?

Liz earl cleanse and polish, Mac tinted lip conditioner, Mac paintpot in painterly and Urban Decay Naked Palette even though I cant justify spending that much money on eyeshadow.



What are your top 3 make up brands and why?

I'm gonna have to say Rimmel, Bourjois and 17.  



What is your greatest beauty product discovery this year?

Until this year I didn't have a great deal of products but now there isn't a draw in my room without products in. So on that basis most products I have discovered have been great but if I had to choose I would say Hand Food from Soap and Glory or Cetaphil's cleanser.



What is your idea of the perfect pampering evening?

Just doing things I love like going to the cinema or shopping then going home to relax with friends. Nothing exciting :)



If you had one piece of advice for potential bloggers what would it be?

I would just say stick at it and make sure your doing it for the right reasons. Do it because you want to not because you want 100's of followers and free products.


Thankyou for being involved in this Q&A Megan! Keep your eyes peeled for more blogger interviews coming soon!

Check out my interview with Megan on her blog:
http://megansbeautyblog22.blogspot.com/2011/11/blogger-interview-1.html

x

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Beauty Stocking Fillers

So I'm back to reality with this post and forgetting my overly expensive dream wish list to bring you a few ideas for affordable beauty gifts all £10 and under. There are many ranges doing budget gifts this year which is perfect for many people who love giving beautiful gifts but just cannot afford to splash their cash. Here are a few of my favourites which I will definitely be considering purchasing for friends and family this year!


Aromatherapy Associates Little Star Deep Relax bath and shower oil 7.5ml - £10
www.feelunique.com 


How adorable is this? The ornament style of packaging is perfect for the Christmas season and even though the product is small, bath oils last a long time as little amount is needed each time so I believe it is worth the money. The brand is famous for creating luxurious bathing products and so if you know someone who needs to relax at this time of year this is an excellent option.


ELF Cosmetics Day to night beauty on the go - £7
www.eyeslipsface.co.uk



A set of two palettes which clip into the holder depending on which one you need. A great idea for ladies who get ready of the go and would be an excellent handbag item. This range has had wonderful feedback from beauty bloggers and I am desperate to try some of the range so may have to treat myself to this product. Its worth signing up to the newsletter too as they often have money off and free delivery deals.


Elemis Get up and glow skin treats - £10
www.feelunique.com


This kit is great for teenagers who are just starting to get into a skincare regime as it is aimed at teenage skin and contains an exfoliating face wash, daily moisturiser and a set of three purifying face mask sachets. The sachets would be perfect for a pampering party and the packaging is girly but elegant. Elemis is a successful skin care brand so you can be assured that the quality will be high too.

Stila Beach Pallette "Striking in South Beach" - £10
www.lookfantastic.com


A gorgeous palette containing four eyeshadows, blush and highlighter/bronzer and a good sized mirror. The price is good for this much product and the packaging is sophisticated but fun and so would suit many ages. The palette is available in three styles, with varying colours. I particularly like them because they make me think of summer and when we are feel cold on Christmas morning wouldn't it be nice to open something as vibrant as this?


This Works Christmas Cracker in Dream/Star - £10.00
www.feelunique.com



These elegant gifts contain either sleep balm 10g in the Dream cracker or turbo balm 10g in the Star cracker and even though the product is small, balm goes a long way. The balm can be applied on pulse points on the wrist or onto dry area such as heels, elbows or lips. If you know someone who is struggling to relax at night go for the lavender scented balm in the Dream cracker whilst those who just want to moisturise and look after their skin would probably prefer the Monoi oil formula of the turbo balm in the Star cracker. Would be fantastic under the tree, on the tree as decoration or even on the dinner table as a nice alternative to regular (usually disappointing) crackers.

I highly recommend checking out Feel Unique and Look Fantastic for gifts and everyday beauty essentials because the selection is huge and both sites have free delivery worldwide. I hope this post has given you some inspiration and assured you that you can find some gorgeous beauty gifts this year even if you are on a budget!



Friday, 25 November 2011

Luxury beauty gifts

I don't know why I am depressing myself and others by doing this post but we are all allowed to dream!
I have seen lots of luxurious, expensive beauty gifts around this year particularly in high end stores and thought I would show you my favourites and if anyone has a large budget this year (or is just living in a dream world like me) then here is some inspiration...... 


Bobbi Brown deluxe gold beauty trunk (exclusive to Selfridges) - £200
www.selfridges.com



Its gold, its Bobbi Brown and its shiny, need I say more? I cant think of a more stylish and glamorous way to store make up! I would be proud to have this on my dressing table but would probably be too afraid to put make up items into it as it is so perfect.

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Luxury candle - £260
www.jomalone.co.uk


Yes it is 2.5kg which is a giant candle but I just can't imagine anyone being able to put that amount of cash down on the counter in exchange for a candle! Thankfully I have the more affordable cologne of this scent coming for Christmas so at least I will finally have this scent in my possession!

Creme de la mer The luxury essentials - £305
www.selfridges.com


Considering the price of one jar of this famous face cream, this gift is technically value for money however this hefty price tag is only suitable for men who REALLY love their spouse! I wish I could afford to buy this quality cult product for my mum but the bank balance is saying "no way"!


Tom Ford Eye Colour Quad - £62
www.selfridges.com


Its not the most expensive item on the list but when I told my boyfriend I was in love with an eyeshadow palette that cost this much his jaw nearly fell to the floor. It is a very exciting launch in the make up world and the quality and finish are second to none. I will put this on my wish list just in case he changes his mind.......


Kiehl's Swarovski Edition Creme de Corps - £1,600


I love this moisturising Kiehl's body lotion and I love crystals therefore I deserve this present right? This is by far the most expensive beauty gift I have come across this year and I don't know anyone who could or would purchase it but someone will and I will be very jealous of them. Can you imagine a more perfect accessory on your dressing table? *swoon*


So there you are, a few beauty treats for you to drool over. Have you found any dream products this year and have you got any tips for getting the man in your life to spend 3 months wages on beauty treats for you?

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Lucas' Papaw Ointment

This multitasking balm is a cult classic product used by many make up artists because of its natural ingredients and wide variety of skin benefits. So when the UK suppliers at the Pawpaw shop, London www.pawpawshop.co.uk sent me a sample I couldn't wait to try it out and see if it truly was a wonder product. I have had some experience with the product whilst assisting a professional make up artist at workshops in central london however I had not had the chance to really put it to the test. I wanted to try it on many areas of the body and see if it could heal and soothe different skin problems. Papaw is a different name for papaya and the product contains fresh fermented papaya within its petroleum jelly base.


25g handy tube - £4.20 www.pawpawshop.co.uk

The packaging for this product is simple and to the point. It is the product inside and the benefits of the formula which are most important and therefore well explained on the packaging itself. 25g is the smallest size available but even this will last a good amount of time as the ingredients are so rich and natural that a small amount is needed to achieve results. 


The balm texture of the product is non greasy and non sticky which means you can use it anywhere on the face or body without feeling uncomfortable or worrying about causing breakouts on the skin. Just some of its uses are combatting dry lips, dry elbows, cracked skin, eczema, psoriasis, healing grazes and cuts, sunburn, bites and splinters. Because of its many purposes it is a handbag essential for many women in its country of origin, Australia and has now been taken on by make up artists around the world as a professional kit must have. It is perfect for controlling unruly eyebrows or creating a colourless sheen on the cheekbones. I personally enjoyed using it on my lips before applying lipsticks or on my elbows and other dry skin patches during this cold weather. 
I would definitely recommend this to budding make up artists as a kit essential because I haven't found anything which performs as well and without any sticky texture or unappealing smell. I would also recommend this to ladies who are always on the go and need one product to pop in their bad which performs the task of lip balm, moisturiser and healing balm without the need to pack three separate products!

You can buy two 25g handy tubes for only £8.00 at www.pawpawshop.co.uk now!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Handpicked Media Gets Social

This event on Monday 21st November was organised by Handpicked Media, a company which represents the best blogging talent in the UK, helping bloggers to promote their work, increase their traffic and secure the correct advertising and campaigns for each individual need. I was lucky enough to win a ticket for this event through a competition run by beauty blogger Jen from www.beautyjunkielondon.com who was also part of the beauty panel on the day. I was extremely excited about the event as I am new to blogging and couldn't wait to meet fellow bloggers, many of whom I have been following for a long time.

The event was held at The Royal institute of British Architects near Oxford Circus, London and was a full day from 9am - 5am consisting of talks, advice and question and answer sessions. I will give you a quick summary of the day and what I learnt from it!


My official sticker for the event! Handy for meeting people and putting faces to blogs.

The day started with a chance to look around at some new make up collections from Bourjois and Shu Uemura who had their own stands and make up artists on hand. I loved the Bourjois eye pearls range which consisted of 5 small eyeshadows in a handy palette available in a range of colours.


Bourjois Eye Pearls rrp £8.99
(Illusion was my favourite shade which is the 2nd from the right which includes pinks and purples)


New Shu Uemura Holiday Collection- a collaboration with film director Wong Kar Wai which includes Drowning in Flames palette (centre) rrp £39.00 and Dance in Glitter premium false lashes (top left) rrp £26.00. Gorgeous collection with holographic details to reflect the work of the film director and beautiful shades to create the perfect party look this season.


A selection of perfumes to try! My personal favourites were Jimmy Choo and Elie Saab which I would highly recommend. We were given samples to take home and they are the perfect size for my handbag.

The first talk was with Garry from Why Communicate which dealt with the technical side of blogging and how to get the most out of your blog using the internet. His top tips were:

  • Understand your visitors - what do they want from a blog and why have they clicked onto yours?
  • Content is king - write honestly and enthusiastically on your chosen blog topics 
  • Engage in the blogging community - read, comment and link to other blogs
  • Review and optimise - what are people writing about this week? keep up to date with trends
  • Learn a little SEO - search engine optimization to improve visibility of your blog in search engines

I learnt a lot from this talk and Garry was great at explaining the usually difficult and confusing technology used for blogging and giving us step by step instructions on how to improve our blogs and their visibility in the online world.

Later on, we had a talk with Shaa Wasmund, a successful business woman who began blogging and turned this success into a corporation www.smarta.com which supports small businesses and gives entrepreneurs tools and advice. Her talk was off the original topic because she felt that the other speakers had already covered the main points. Instead she simply told us her own story on how she made money and spoke frankly about how bloggers should be able to earn money and not have to work in jobs they don't enjoy when their passion lies in blogging and their chosen blog topics. We were also invited to take a free copy of her book "Stop Talking, Start Doing - A kick in the pants in six parts" which is pretty much self explanatory! I loved her bold and frank advice on how to make money from blogging and to try your hardest to achieve your goals instead of making promises that you will never keep. A truly inspirational woman - www.shaa.com

At 3pm we were invited to join the Beauty Panel which consisted of many successful bloggers, beauty journalists and magazine writers. One of my favourite beauty bloggers Fleur de Force was on the panel as well as Grooming guru a mens grooming blogger and Beautyjunkielondon whom I won the ticket from! This question and answers session was really interesting as it allowed us to pick the brains of successful writers and find out how we could improve our own blogs. I particularly liked Grooming Guru's view on blogging "Its like sex, the more you blog the better you get at it!"

Other topics covered were the influence of social networking sites, the relationship between PR and bloggers and the power of narrative in the digital world. I found the discussion on the rise of the influence of twitter and facebook fascinating. I particularly enjoyed the talk on the idea that blogs could be in competition with magazines because they are so up to date and break many beauty news stores whilst magazines are monthly or fortnightly and therefore can never truly break news with twitter around! However many people agreed that they are two very different experiences. Magazines are perfect for alone times and to get in depth views on beauty whilst twitter breaks stories without going into detail and the information is thrown at us instead of allowing us to choose our time to sit down and find out the latest in beauty with a cup of tea in hand! I personally can see the benefits of both media.

I had false eyelashes applied by a Shu Uemura make up artist towards the end of the day which were gorgeous! I am definitely going to purchase some next pay day for the Christmas party season!


Natural but glamorous lashes!


I also had a chance to get my hair done by the folk from Hersheson's blow dry bar where you can pop in and get one of 10 hairstyles for only £24, a great idea for those who are going out straight from work and need a quick hair makeover! I chose the B52 beehive half up hairstyle to match my vintage red lips which you can see in the photos at the end of this post.


The goody bag I received! 


Lots of goodies inside! (Reviews coming soon)


I met lots of lovely bloggers including Anna of www.quarterlifetalesofanniebean.blogspot.com who writes about everything from fashion to music and gave me some great advice! She also took some photos on her amazing camera (which has inspired me to invest in a great camera for blogging). Here are  some of Anna's photos from the day:


At the Shu Uemura station getting lashes applied!


Anna and I at the Hersheson's blow dry bar station after getting our do's done!


Blogging buddies!

Overall I had a fantastic day at the event! It encouraged me to work extra hard on my blog and to become part of the wider blogging community. I learnt that networking and sharing tips is vital to improving your blog and that bloggers should collaborate not compete. I left with a positive attitude and am more inspired to continue writing and become a successful beauty blogger.

Cetaphil

I have heard a lot of talk in the beauty world about Cetaphil launching in the UK so when the company offered to send me some samples I was excited to find out what all the fuss was about! The range is super gentle and therefore suitable for all skin types including sensitive, dry and can even compliment prescription treatment for acne, rosacea and psoriasis. Having normal/combination skin myself I was not particularly concerned about how gentle the formula was however knowing that the ingredients are suitable for such sensitive skin types makes me feel better about what I am putting onto my face and how it will work with, instead of against, my skin.

I was sent the gentle skin cleanser, the only cleanser in the range, which is suitable for everyone and can be used daily without the risk of stripping the skin and can also be used on the body.

The size of the cleanser is 250ml which is impressive as I only found I needed a pea sized amount of the liquid to cover and clean my entire face and neck, therefore for £9.18 (www.boots.com) you are getting outstanding value for money with this product. The formula itself is a cloudy gel liquid which I rubbed into the skin and washed off with warm water. It felt soft and smooth on my face and created a milky texture and colour when mixed with water which washed off easily. I enjoyed the fact that the product had no smell and did not lather which assured me that the product was indeed soap and fragrance free. I found the product perfect for use in the morning in the shower because it was quick, easy and effective in cleaning the skin and left it feeling soft and hydrated.

The company also sent me the moisturising lotion, which claims to soothe and hydrate the skin without leaving greasy residue on the skin. I was pleased that I could apply my make up soon after without it slipping or being affected by any residue left behind as can often happen with moisturisers which are suitable for dry skin. The lotion was light in texture and was again perfect for morning routines because it sank into the skin without feeling heavy. The lotion is again great value for money at £9.18 for 250ml (www.boots.com) as I needed a very small amount to cover my face and neck and I like the fact that both cleanser and lotion are the same price as many moisturisers are priced higher than cleansers within the same range. I feel that these prices reflect that both products are as effective as one another and work well together to promote healthy skin.

The packaging is not as exciting as many other brands that I have used and I certainly wouldn't consider this range a gift brand as the colours and style of the range are simple and almost clinical. However if you are tired of picking up fancy packaged products and being disappointed with the results, then this is the range for you. I have to admit that at night I do prefer a slightly deeper cleansing routine such as a creamy cleanser used with a muslin cloth as I wear make up most of the time and like to remove every last trace so I would use this range purely for my morning routine or on evenings that I had not been wearing any make up.

It does exactly what it says on the bottle and even if the range isn't the prettiest, I got the results I hoped for and would definitely recommend this range to those who have sensitive skin or those who don't like gimmicks on their beauty products and simply want a product that works.

You can find out more information on the brand at www.cetaphil.co.uk

Monday, 21 November 2011

Blinc mascara

I was recently sent a sample of Blinc mascara and primer, the original brand tubing mascara which forms tubes around each lash creating a water and smudge proof finish. I was of course excited about this concept as I am constantly having issues with mascara's flaking or smudging during the day and ending up with the dreaded panda eyes!


Blinc mascara and lash primer (PR Sample)

The packaging is sleek and almost futuristic with a metal style finish and I think this reflects the revolutionary idea contained within the tube. It is not the most appealing packaging and I wouldn't be drawn to it aesthetically however it is the unique formula which is its selling point. The lash primer is a treatment and mascara base coat in one and can be applied before bed for a deep eyelash conditioning treatment or before using the mascara to treat the lashes and create length and volume. The formula is white and therefore you can see exactly how much you have applied and how the product immediately lengthens the lashes. I expected more volume but was impressed with the length created just by the primer. The mascara itself has a classic brush which adds to the length of the lashes and separates each lash. It works well with the primer as its deep black colour covers all of the white formula and extends the length of the lashes even further. Again I was hoping for more volume so I would recommend this as a natural look day time mascara rather than a false lash effect product. However if you are mostly concerned with length and separation you will not be disappointed. 

I was impressed with the staying power of this product. The mascara didn't flake or smudge after a long day at work and even whilst washing my face at night the mascara did not budge! The product doesn't need to be removed using make up remover because the tubes of mascara can simply be pulled of the lashes however this was my least favourite aspect of the product. I like using an eye make up remover to simply sweep product off of my eyes and I didn't enjoy taking the tubes off each lash as I felt like I may be damaging my lashes in some way. I am sure that this is not the case but nonetheless it didn't feel completely comfortable. It is something that I would have to get used to if I were to repurchase the product.

The full size mascara retails for £18.50 and the primer £12.80 which are not overly expensive considering that if you are investing in this product you should be expecting to pay more for its unique formula with proven results. I personally would consider repurchasing for use on holiday because I could be sure that the mascara would stay on my lashes and not end up on my face after a day in the sun or in the pool! I would also recommend this product for brides or make up artists looking for a long wear mascara to add to their professional kit. However if you are not convinced, a trial size of the mascara is available from the company website for only £2.56 with a 20% off discount if you choose to buy the full size product which is a great idea for those of you who are interested in the concept and want to try before you buy. 

All products are available from www.blincuk.co.uk

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Facial Oils

I have recently discovered the amazing effects of face oils after years of being a little frightened by the idea of slathering oil on my normal combination skin. I always assumed it would cause breakouts or leave my skin oily and uncomfortable. However I have found three oils which I enjoy using and leave my skin looking moisturised and healthy after use. I thought I would share them with you and convert those of you who felt like me or inspire those of you who haven't found an oil that works for you yet :)


L-R Betty Hula Wonder Oil, Green People Facial Oil, Decleor Aromessence Neroli


I purchased the Betty Hula most recently after hearing rave reviews from other bloggers and on a trip to Sainsburys I noticed the last bottle of it on the shelf and so I just couldn't walk away! The name wonder oil implies that the product will work, and it claims not only to combat dryness but wrinkles too! Because I am in my mid twenties I wasn't overly concerned with the anti ageing properties of the product but the skin perfecting and moisturising effects were certainly noticeable. I applied before bed and each morning I would wake up with clear, plump skin. The texture is quite oily and I was worried it would be too heavy for my skin but I have just found myself cutting down on the amount I use each time. It smells lovely, not at all overpowering and glides on smoothly. RRP is £15.99 for 50ml which is far cheaper than many luxury facial oils and for anyone concerned with anti ageing on a budget this is certainly worth a try!

The Green People facial oil was part of a set of PR samples from the company after I became interested in their natural organic but affordable skincare range. The facial oil was one of the best products in their collection, with a lovely natural herb fragrance, light texture and simple clear packaging. Again this product has anti ageing and plumping properties but its 99% certified organic which means its suitable for all skin types, even people prone to eczema and psoriasis and improves elasticity in the face and neck. For those of you who prefer using organic products this is an amazing facial oil which can even be applied gently to the skin to create a perfect make up base. At £16.95 RRP for 30ml this product is an affordable natural skincare option with visible benefits.

The last oil is part of a skincare kit I bought after an amazing Decleor facial at a Center Parcs spa last year. The product is only small as it was part of an entire routine kit however I use this oil every couple of weeks and it is still not finished! The product goes a long way and therefore despite being the most pricey of all the oils, it will last you a while! It smells luxurious with a divine blend of neroli, sandalwood, sage, parsley and juniper berries and feels like a real treat every time I use it. The main benefits of the oil are radiance and smoothness to the skin and it doesn't claim to have anti ageing properties like the other oils however it works in conjunction with the Decleor moisturiser to reinforce its moisturising properties which can only improve the texture and look of the skin! I have to admit that if I were forced to choose my favourite oil this would probably be the one purely because of the amazing smell and luxurious feel of the product. It is a £43.00 for a 15ml bottle which is certainly an expensive one off purchase but when you consider how long it will last if you use it as a weekly/fortnightly treat, it is an investment worth making in my opinion. Maybe pop it on the Christmas wishlist........

That is my top 3 facial oils! If you have any more suggestions please leave comments below as I am interested in trying out more this winter! 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Breakfast scrub

Firstly, "Hello!" to all my new followers, please leave comments on my posts! I love reading them and talking beauty with you all!

Onto today's post, I have tried quite a few products from Soap and Glory before, including their hand cream, scrubs and body butters and have enjoyed using all of them. I spotted "The Breakfast Scrub" body exfoliator on the shelf in Boots with its breakfast time ingredients and girly packaging and I just couldn't resist grabbing it! I am always in need of an exfoliator to keep my skin soft and to scrub away any excess self tan in preparation for a new layer. The scent is maple syrup (yum) and the scrub contains sugar particles, oatmeal grains, shea butter and almond, honey and banana extracts (yum yum yum) There was no denying that it smelt good but could  it deliver silky smooth skin?


Soap and Glory "The Breakfast Scrub" - £9.45 www.boots.com



The scrub was voted best scrub in Cosmo Awards and by U magazine beauty readers so I had high hopes already for this product! The smell is divine is uplifting for the morning but also soothing for night time bathing. The grains themselves are not too harsh on the skin, making exfoliating an enjoyable process and the texture is thick and almost creamy making the scrubbing feel less harsh on delicate skin areas. I used this scrub before tanning and a few days later to remove the tan and both times the scrub worked well. I always use an exfoliating glove when removing tan in conjunction with a scrub to ensure all product is removed however for regular exfoliation this scrub is great at deep exfoliation and left my skin soft and ready for moisturising! A great scrub which smells gorgeous and exfoliates without tugging at the skin, what more could you want?
 I will definitely be buying more products from the brand as I haven't been let down by any of the range yet and I am VERY excited about trying their new make up products too.......

What is your favourite body scrub? 

Monday, 14 November 2011

Pucker up! with Blistex

With the weather getting colder and our skin getting drier and more sensitive, it is easy to forget that our lips suffer too and need a little extra TLC during the winter months. I myself find that my lips are much more prone to cracking and flaking during this time and I usually slap a bit of lip balm on when it gets bad enough to notice but never think to treat my lips daily. I am a huge fan of lipgloss and lipsticks but I am terrible at prepping the lip skin for using make up! So when Blistex sent me a selection of lip friendly goodies I decided now would be the perfect time to get preparing!


5 Blistex products (PR sample)


Here is a quick description of each of the products:

Blistex Relief Cream - A healing formula for extremely dry or problematic lips. The cream is medicated and so can also treat cold sores and cracked lips. I don't suffer from cold sores but would keep this in my bathroom cabinet for when my lips are suffering after a day out in the cold.

Blistex Intensive moisturiser - A hydrating forumla to treat sore lips but also prevent them. It has a tingly sensation and I liked using this after brushing my teeth at night and sleeping in it. The curved shape of the applicator is perfect for using on the lip area.

Blistex Lip Brilliance - This blushing pink colour with SPF 15 is perfect for summer and winter months because it provides a rosy pink glow to the lips as well as moisturising and softening the lips. The product is perfect for carrying in my handbag, especially for use with a natural make up look.

Blistex Daily lip conditioner - A caring formula for every day use, this small pot of goodness containing aloe vera, vitamin e and collagen with SPF 15 provides essential care to keep your lips in top condition.I like the tub because you can take it in your handbag and dip in whenever needed. Great for when I am wearing lipstick to keep the skin soft and vibrant.

Blistex Lip massage - The perfect tool for flaking lips, with a ridged applicator to gently buff away dead skin and a shea butter formula with SPF 10. I was impressed with the way this product changed the feel and appearance of my lips immediately. A real innovation in lip care.

I was very impressed with this range. The products feel comfortable and have no overpowering smell or taste which makes them perfect for day and night use. There is a product for every lip care need and I would definitely recommend the brand to those who want to give their lips that extra care this winter!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Real Techniques Stippling Brush

So any self confessed beauty addicts out there will have heard of the Chapman sisters, or Pixiwoo as they are best known on Youtube. Nicola and Samantha Chapman are both make up artists and create amazing online tutorials allowing everyone to try out both simple and creative looks following their great instruction and vibrant personalities. Samantha Chapman recently brought out her own brush range called Real Techniques and I have been dying to try them out because I adore their attitude to make up and was sure that if Samantha had applied this genuine passion for make up to her new brand then we were onto a winner!

I decided to purchase the stippling brush because I have heard great reviews about it and when it is used in their tutorials the skin always looks flawless.


Real Techniques Stippling brush - £10.95 + shipping www.cocktailcosmetics.co.uk


Lovely smooth comfortable pink handle with branding!


A little note and photo on the back of the packaging

The brush is easy to use, and gently buffs my liquid foundation into the skin to create a flawless base. The synthetic brush bristles are cruelty free, dual fibre and feel soft and comfortable on the skin. The aluminium handle is lightweight and therefore perfect for travelling and comfortable to handle when applying make up on yourself or another person. I am definitely interested in investing in more products from this range because the price, quality and style are fantastic. Be sure to like the Real Techniques Facebook page as every week there is a free brush friday competition! Samantha Chapman's real life experience of make up brushes, the good and the bad, you can be sure that she knows her stuff and therefore the quality is excellent but the price won't destroy your bank balance! I am impressed with this brush and I like the fact that I can support a brand created by a fellow blogger and make up artist.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Glossybox - a monthly treat!

I'm sure most of you have heard bout monthly subscription beauty boxes by now but for those of you who haven't, there are several companies who provide the service of delivering a box full of different sample sized products each month for a fee of around £10 plus delivery.  Glossybox is one of the most well known beauty box brand and I was eager to try this service due to my constant blogging and passion for everything beauty so imagine my excitement when I received the October Glossybox in the post! I know it is November now but I wanted to test the products thoroughly before giving my verdict! So lets crack on....


The gorgeous pink box that comes in the cardboard box


Its even prettier inside, I didn't want to open it!


Mmm goodies!

The box comes with a card to explain all items included, their full sizes prices and where to purchase which is really handy if you fall in love with any of the products. Here is what the box included and what I thought of each of the products:

Dermalogica Age Smart Multivitamin Thermafoliant, Power recover masque plus extra renewal lip complex in Dermalogica bag - 
I was surprised to see an anti ageing line in the box as I always thought of the idea as aimed at younger generation however the products were great on my mid 20's skin. The masque was a nice balm texture and left my skin soft and radiant. The Thermafoliant was gentle and pleasant to use. The lip complex was smooth and conditioning and the added bag was a nice touch to complete the collection. I wasn't blown away by the products and therefore wouldn't purchase at the moment but I think if you had ageing concerns and bought the full size products sticking to the routine you could be confident that the quality of the brand would deliver good results.

Leighton Denny Expert nails in Babydoll -
 In contrast to the anti ageing skincare, I felt that this product was suited to a younger user, perhaps teenagers who enjoy using bright colours or perhaps for use on holiday with a tan. The pink is lovley with a completely matte finish and stayed well on my toes for a week or so however the colour was a little too sickly sweet for my taste and I would suggest this colour for young girls who enjoy experimenting with brights. The formula was good however and I would consider purchasing another colour from the brand.

Robert Piguet eau de parfums - 
A set of three samples size perfumes, each very different. Calypso was probably my favourite of the three with a summer nights type smell. It is floral and elegant. I was immediately aware of the fact that this is a high end perfume line and therefore the scents smell good quality and expensive. However I didn't love any of them so much that I would rush out to buy! I would like to smell more of the scents from the brand though and the samples were great for travel in my handbag.

Stila smudge stick waterproof eyeliner in Moray - 
My favourite item from the box, this eyeliner is a gorgeous khaki green grey colour which is a break away from my trusty black eyeliner and I wondered where and how I would wear this colour. But I was bowled over by the quality and pigment of the eyeliner and the deep green colour worked perfectly with a slick of mascara and neutral lips. I would also use this as an all over eyeshadow colour because the formula is so creamy it could be used on the entire eye area and then finish with my black eyeliner. I will definitely be looking more into Stila and these smudge sticks for my make up collection and would also choose them for a professional make up kit as they sit well on the skin and don't drag or pull when applied. They retail at £13 which is a fair price for a good quality product and lovely colour pay off.


Stila smudge stick liner in Moray 

Overall, I think that this service is a great idea for both beauty addicts and make up newbies because it gives us addicts a little burst of excitement each month and it allows beauty novices to try out products they may never have heard of. The luxury feel of the box and products made it feel like a gift and lets be honest, who doesn't want to get beauty gifts in the post each month?! I think I may be adding a subscription to Glossybox to my ever growing Christmas list.....

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Tension relief!

I thought I would write this post despite the fact its not technically a beauty post however it is related to lifestyle and products that make me feel better on a daily basis. I suffer from muscle tension, especially in my shoulders, neck, head and jaw areas which cause me to have headaches and aches and pains at random times and is incredibly annoying and often upsetting :( I am generally a happy person and so when people tell me I hold a lot of tension in these areas I am quite surprised because I don't tend to feel stressed! 
To combat this tension and the side effects of headaches and muscle pain I have three types of treatment at different times throughout each year. I make sure that every month I get a deep tissue massage from my local salon by a lady called Lesley who suffers the same problems herself and therefore knows exactly how to help me and work with certain areas on my body each session. I also see a specialist in Myofascial release called Amanda, who works on the fascia, the areas between the muscle, to gently relieve tension and  find exactly the right areas which cause my headaches and head pains. Once or twice a year I see a TMJ specialist called Sean who gives me complimentary sessions on loosening the jaw area using soft pressure and stress relieving holistic practices which is a great opportunity to relax completely for an hour. I find that the combination of these three treatments helps me to combat my muscle tension and I like to do stretches and exercises at home. There are also various products on the market that I find help me and I thought I would share with you as they can also be helpful for relieving stress and anxiety on a daily basis or during important times in your life :)


Elemis instant refreshing gel - £22.50 www.amazon.co.uk
A cool clear gel that can be applied to the shoulders, to relieve tension, the temples and neck to relieve headaches and to soothe tired legs. A multi functional product perfect for anyone who suffers from tension or stands on their feet all day. Smells fairly strong and not the most pleasant scent but really works and products lasts ages.

Bach Rescue remedy spray - £4.95 www.amazon.co.uk
A flower essence spray which is applied to the tongue and promotes a stress free lifestyle. Can be used before an important event such as an exam or can be used on a daily basis to create a sense of relaxation. Taste is not unpleasant and for under £5 I think of this product as a handbag essential. I like to keep it with me in case I feel anxiety or stress coming on!

Tiger Balm (white) - £4.40 www.amazon.co.uk
A cult classic product balm textured product, which as applied to the skin, warms gently to relieve aches and pains. Can be applied to shoulders to soothe knots and tension. I like to apply to my temples too for added relief. Smells slightly unpleasant so best to use at night or at home as it may attract some unfortunate looks on public transport! Feels comfortable on the skin and when used as part of a massage provides great relief.

Coline mini-massager - £4.99 www.clasohlson.co.uk
A compact vibrating hand held massaging tool which gently vibrates against the skin to loosen knots in my shoulders. Because of the vibrations I don't like using it on my neck as it feels a little odd but on the back and shoulders it is the perfect shape and doesn't feel too hard on my painful spots! The handle is ergonomically designed to fit perfectly in your hand and can be used on yourself or you can ask someone to go all over your back area for full relief. Feels lovely but obviously not an alternative to a deep tissue massage from a professional. Great for people who want a relief between actual massage treatments.

Hope this has given anyone with anxiety or muscle tension some ideas of how to help yourself and if anyone has any stress relieving tips please comment below! I am always looking for new ways to relieve tension and maintain a positive and healthy lifestyle :)