Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser Dry Review

As the seasons are changing, this year I'm actively trying to change up what is in my skincare routine to fit it's winter needs. One of my first changes was this Nivea in-shower body moisturiser. I picked up the 'dry skin' formula, although I don't suffer from dry skin, I wanted to get the smoothest and most moisturised skin possible! The concept is easy enough to grasp and with it on offer in my local Sainsbury's, I thought I'd give it a whirl and see if it indeed made a difference or if it was a bit of a fad.



When first using this, I was really sceptical as to whether I could slot this into my daily shower routine, but actually it was fairly easy. This product is simple to use, and quick as well, so this can even feature in your rushed 5 minute showers. I view it as a second shower gel, although this product doesn't lather at all, it just sits on the skin. The smell isn't a potent one, if you've ever smelt Nivea's original cream, it smells just like that, but it doesn't linger at all when out of the shower. Maybe my only gripe when using this is that I use a hefty amount of it, but the bottles are rather big and cheap, so using a fair amount of it over my whole body isn't a hardship to my wallet. I have definitely noticed a difference in my skin, and it is certainly a lot smoother a supple than if I didn't use it, and because you've already washed the residue off you genuinely can pop your clothes on and go. I don't think it works as well as a body butter, but with some body butters you're waiting a rather long time for them to sink in. I've used a body lotion over the top of it, which does add even more moisture to your skin, so even if you're not willing to give up your post-shower moisturisers, this will still be of good use to you.

Overall, I'm really satisfied with this product, it's cheap and cheerful, it does what it says it will and is super fuss-free. With it's ease-of-use and faint scent, I think this would also be great for men (I'm in no way saying men can't invest in a Laura Mercier Body Souffle, I just don't know any who do.) and I just think this is great product all year round, but particularly with the colder weather closing in.

Have you tried any of Nivea's products?
Do you have a favourite body moisturiser?
Let us know in the comments!



Monday, 28 October 2013

Make Like A Tree, And Get Outta Here!

  
  
  

Hey guys!! I hope this post finds you well and all prepped for your halloween celebrations!! This month saw me finally admit that summer and the good weather has indeed gone. I went to a Mexican dinner party and discovered the amazing game which is Heads Up! I also invested in some OPI polishes, Viva Glam  #1 and some (more) French skincare! I've been buying pieces for a wedding I'm heading to next month, which I'm really excited to share with you, but in general this month has been a very chilled one, just hanging out with my nearest and dearest!

How have you guys been this month? All settled into Autumn?
Read my last Instagram update here!
Feel free to follow both Emma and I on Instagram, as well as our Bloglovin'!

I look forward to updating you all next month and posting a review this coming Wednesday!


Friday, 25 October 2013

Boots Essentials Cucumber Wipes & Eye Make-Up Remover Gel



So being on a money saving mission in the run up to Christmas, today I am going to be looking at budget make-up removal. Expensive make-up removers, cleansers and micellar waters seem to be top of everyone's wish list at the moment, but I completely understand that not everyone can afford high end beauty every month.

I popped into Boots and picked up these two items, they were in the 3 for 2 deal, so I picked up two wipes and one eye make-up remover for the small price of £3.00. There were tonnes of other items in the range, but I felt these are the bare basics of make-up removal.

So firstly, the Boots Essentials Cucumber Wipes. Surprisingly, if I was in a rush or low on cash, these would always be my go-to make-up wipes and always have been, at such a low price and usually included in some sort of deal, you can't really go wrong. You get twenty-five in a packet, so they could see you through the majority of the month. I use one wipe for basic make-up, being no heavy eye make-up, so for anything more than foundation and mascara, you would need two wipes. I love the scent of the cucumber range, but for those who don't, there is a non-scented range, which comes in blue packaging. My skin isn't dried out or damaged by these wipes and I know for a fact I will be repurchasing these again and again.

So onto the Cucumber Eye Make-Up Remover Gel. This was a first time purchase for me, and as wipes generally aren't really the best for removing eye make-up (unless you want all your eyelashes ripped out), I thought I would give this a whirl. To be perfectly honest, I did not have the best time with this product, the consistency was a little strange, I know it is a 'gel', but I didn't expect it to be as thick as it was. I used a cotton pad with the gel, held it over my lashes for a few seconds and then wiped the product away. It removes product fine, although removing a few lashes in the process, but, and this is a very big but, if the product gets in your eye it is game over. I have never ever experienced a product specifically made for the eye area, that hurts so much if you accidentally get it in your eye. There were some Cucumber Eye Make-Up Remover Pads in the range as well, which I think I might give a try instead.

How do you remove your make-up? 
Do you stick to drug-store or do you always buy high-end?


Monday, 21 October 2013

October Beauty Box First Impressions

I thought I would treat you guys with a bonus post as the Postman has treated me with both of my beauty box subscriptions - GlossyBox and Birchbox. Both are priced at £12.95 including P+P and both offer to give you 5 exciting samples from the beauty world from high end to high street, as well as brands you've never heard of, but wish you had. This is what I received and what I thought!!

The box itself and the magazine and card talking about the
products. This box retails for £12.95

The products L-R: MeMeMe Lip & Cheek Stain, Katy Perry
'Killer Queen' Fragrance, Monu Illuminating Primer, Premae
Harmony Serum and Unica 'Kiss It Better' Cream.


Glossybox's theme this month is 'Dark Romance' which is great for this season, bang on trend with all the deep red and berry shades we've been seeing this season. I received 5 products this time around and this is what they are:

MeMeMe Cherub's Blush Cheek & Lip Tint  - £5.50 for 12ml
This is a perfect dupe of Benefit's Benetint - the same application, colour pay off and even the scent of roses. MeMeMe are known to release products similar to Benefit, with products nigh on identical to their liquid highlighters. This is a fairly versatile product and can be used on a wide variety of skin tones.

Katy Perry Killer Queen Fragrance - £29.50 for 50ml
This is Katy Perry's newest fragrance, sporting a fruity and floral scent. I love the scent of this, I think it would suit her younger fan base, the bottle is crazy as hell but there is one big reason I wouldn't purchase the full size of this. I happen to own Soap & Glory's Mist You Madly body spray which smells almost identical to this fragrance, and I bet very few could tell the difference! Both scents have bergamot, berries and patchouli, but equally if you wish to layer your scent, definitely have a look into S&G products!!

Monu Illuminating Primer - £24.95 for 50ml
This is a paraben free primer suitable for all skin types. Through beauty boxes I've tried this brand before, and although I can't say anything bad about the company, none of their products have particularly wowed me, although this primer feels great when swatching so I think I'll merrily use this up.

Premae Multi-Vit Smoothie Serum - £22.50 for 50ml
First off, I'm unsure if this is just my sample (I certainly hope it is) but my sample of this product is half empty. The product itself hasn't been used (this sample comes with a pump and no product came out immediately) but the bottle itself is half empty, fingers crossed this is just a factory blip, but annoying all the same. That being said, this sounds like a fairly promising product, this is a vegan, allergen free product so is super kind to skin, and doesn't contain any weird animal bits either. It also seems fairly tailored to my oily combo skin, which turns slightly more combo in the colder months so this is ideal.

Unica Kiss It Better Cream - £12.95 for 50ml
I'm really unsure what this product really is for. At first, misled a little by the name I thought it was an intensive treatment for your lips. It definitely is not that. But I'm still left guessing whether this is a moisturiser formulated for those with particularly problematic and sensitive skin, or a cream for nasty irritated dry patches with the change of weather/eczema, or indeed a mixture of the two. I luckily don't suffer from eczema or sensitive/problematic skin, although here in the UK I think we're all susceptible to crappy skin with the change of weather, so this might come in handy yet!

In my opinion, this isn't Glossie's best attempt of a box. I don't feel the products I received matched the 'Dark Romance' theme at all, although the majority are extremely appropriate for this time of year, and I see me putting all of them to good use in the near future. I'm sure I will finish all of these products up, and I'm not particularly excited by any of them, and I guess I'm just feeling soso about this month's box. A big plus though, is you can get discounts off of all the brands featured in this box excluding Katy Perry, which is great if you love the products or wish to try other products from the brands featured!!

The box as well as the leaflet and info cards. This box retails
for £12.95

Products L-R: Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, Akane Mask
Cocoon Noturne, KMS California Silk Sheen, theBalm's Stainiac
in 'Beauty Queen', Dr. Lipp's Nipple Balm for Lips. Bottom row
is the extras I received, Egyptian Magic and UltraDEX.


Birchbox also have a theme this month - 'Beauty Buzz' tying in hyped products and social media which plays a big part in the beauty industry nowadays. Birch have also ditched their magazine this month and instead given us (might I say very well designed) cards which depict everything from how-tos, app recommendations and more in-depth chat about products in the current and previous boxes. I received 5 main products as well as a lifestyle and a beauty extra.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - £28.00 for 50ml
This primer has had a lot of hype behind, and this is definitely the product I'm most excited to try out of both boxes I've received this month. I'm almost ashamed to say I've never tried a Laura Mercier product before, and I've heard very good things across the board with this brand, although committing to such a high price tag is a hard one. I hope the sample size is big enough for me to get a good enough feel for the product (which I think it is!)

Akane Mask Cocoon Nocturne - £18.00 for 30ml
After reading about this product I'm also quite satisfied with this one. This mask aims to combat the tell-tale signs of tiredness whilst hydrating your skin. You pop it on before you sleep and rinse it off in the morning, or indeed after a flight. It is no secret that the recycled air on planes is bad for your skin, so using this on a flight is something I really want to do. I plan on trying it out before then, double checking it won't be painfully obvious I'm wearing a face mask, and also see the results.

KMS California Silk Sheen Styling Cream - £15.50 for 150ml
A nice little (I say little, the sample is a rather generous 50ml) hair product to try out. I've tried other KMS products through Birch before and I have liked them. This styling creme adds some heat protection, whilst taming frizz and some hold to help out with styling. These points tick a lot of boxes for me, and I think would help with a blowdry or when styling.

theBalm Cosmetics Stainiac in 'Beauty Queen' - £10.00 for 8.5g
Another red lip and cheek stain, but I think this one is more like The Body Shop's - which I have reviewed. A girl can never have enough of these, and it's small size and doe foot applicator sees itself landing in my handbag very soon indeed.

Dr Lipp Nipple Balm For Lips - £11.50 for 15ml
I've had a sample of this much loved product, and I must say I do like it. It is a very good lanolin based balm, although I'm still toying whether or not I am willing to part with over a tenner for a lip balm. Who knows? maybe I'll treat myself!!

The two extras I received were three sachets of 'Egyptian Magic' cream, which has a whopping 6 ingredients (5 are different types of bee secretion), all of which I know what they are, which is great, although it doesn't really state what it does as well as some UltraDEX vegan whitening toothpaste. I'm sure I'll be able to put both of these to good use, particularly the toothpaste, because hey, we all need toothpaste and I'd sure like whiter teeth!!

If I were to pick one beauty box this month, it would be Birch, simply because I just prefer the products I received in it, and I am genuinely excited to use them all. Also with the promise of another Laura Mercier product next month, I am anticipating what they're going to offer up next month!!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Ben Nye Luxury Banana Face Powder


Ben Nye Luxury Banana Face Powder is a translucent beige loose powder with yellow tones that can be used to highlight and contour areas of the face. Ben Nye products are big within theatrical make-up so aren't products we usually read about. This product shot to fame when it was revealed that this is what Kim Kardashian's make-up artist uses and when she posted a picture of it caked all over her face. This is a product that is hard to track down, I bought mine at IMATS (the best online supplier I have found is Guru Make-Up Emporium) and at £7.50 for 1.5oz I didn't think it could hurt to give it a try. This product is going to last me a lifetime, the powder is so fine and you only need a really small amount. I think it is likely that I will waste more product than I use, due to the awkward packaging, once the product is out of the tub, it is not going back in. The tub has a screw top lid and dispenses in the same way as talcum powder, which can become super messy.

I am very pale and think this colour would work a lot better on darker skin tones for highlighting purposes, saying that, I do think it brightens up my make-up and I love this product as a setting powder for concealer. I use the smaller end of my Beauty Blender to apply the product under my eye and along the top of my cheek bones, you could also use a small brush like the Real Techniques Setting Brush. The powder is so fine so it doesn't look cakey or highlight any problem areas like dry patches.

Sadly, I don't end up with a perfectly sculpted face after using this product, so I cannot sing its praises in that respect, but I will say how much I love it as a setting powder. On re-purchasing I think I will go for a different colour, either Cameo or Buff.

Have you used this product?
Do you think it is worth the hype?
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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara Review

Sometimes some products just seem like an extra faff. Be that to you primers, eyelash curlers or brow gels. To other people, they're absolute saviours and make a world of difference, and as a someone who is happy to have their beauty regime turned upside down by a seemingly unnecessary product, I thought Clinique's Bottom Lash Mascara could be one of these game-changers.



This product retails for £12.00



Clinique's Bottom Lash wand (left) compared to Benefit's
'They're Real' wand (right)
Close-up of the mascara after a full 8 hours of wear
(bottom lashes only)

As pretty little products go, this one isn't cheap. At £12 a pop (which amounts to approximately £60 if it were 'standard' size.) That price tag could easily cover both top and bottom lashes, so this probably isn't something for those who are money conscious. I must admit, with fairly oily skin, the formula in this mascara is a lifesaver, there isn't a trace of smudgy black underneath my eyes, nor any flakiness on my cheeks, this is certainly a mascara which stays exactly where you want until you want to take it off, which isn't a hassle either. The mini brush really helps you get the small lashes looking full and not clumping them at all (nor do you get an accidental big blob on your nose either!) and overall is a great little product!

With all it's praises sung, and more or less every box ticked, I am toying with the idea whether or not I will repurchase. It is a great product, and it definitely does what it says on the tin, but weighing up the sheer price of the product if it were dialled up to a normal sized mascara, I'm sure I could find a high end mascara which works just as well, and can be tailored to my top lashes too, and hey, saving the mini wand could come in handy if I find other wands a tad cumbersome.

Have you tried any Clinique mascaras?
Do you have a favourite mascara?
Let us know!



Monday, 14 October 2013

Celebrate Good Times

    
  

So the end of Summer has brought around a lot of reasons to celebrate! My baby sister turned 18 in August and I whisked her off for a surprise day in London to see Derren Brown and within the same week one of my best friends turned 20. Then I was off to Bestival in the first weekend of September, which was absolutely amazing, highlights were Disclosure and Rudimental and of course, Elton John. But, my favourite celebrations of the last month have been my Grandma turning 80 as well as her and my Grandad celebrating 60 years of marriage, they got a card from Buckingham Palace! (...and no month is complete without a few snaps of my favourite beauty finds!)

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Real Techniques Duo Fibre Collection


As a big fan of the Real Techniques duo-fibre stippling brush I was keen to try this limited edition duo-fibre set when they were released! This set was released in May and will be on sale for the next year.

This set contains 3 brushes, the Duo-Fibre Face Brush, the Duo-Fibre Contour Brush and the Duo-Fibre Eye Brush. The first thing you will notice is the change in colour scheme, these brushes are a distinct white and black instead of the usual black/gold/purple/pink scheme. Unlike previous Real Techniques brush sets, this set does not come with the usual travel case, which for me is not a problem as I always pop my brushes in my make-up bag if I am on the move. I think Real Techniques brushes are really reasonably priced, you can pick this set up for £23.99 and very often Real Techniques are included in Boots and Superdrugs offers, you can currently get these in the buy one get the second half price deal at Boots, lovely!

The Duo-Fibre Face Brush is my favourite of the set, very big and absolutely perfect for a light coverage of face powder. For a thicker coverage I would not use this, as the bristles aren't thick, you can't pick up or apply tonnes of product. Although I haven't tried it out, this brush would be good for an all over bronzing also.

The Duo-Fibre Contour Brush, I didn't really get on with, this brush is designed for contouring and sculpting the face, but I feel I can't be very controlled with it as it is such a light brush. I think this would be an excellent brush for applying cream products such as blushers and bronzers!

Finally, the Duo-Fibre Eye Brush is advertised as being perfect for adding finishing touches to eyes. Due to the light feel of the brush, I didn't get very far with actual application with this brush, this is definitely more of a blending brush. This is good for lighter blending, but as with the Contour Brush, I prefer a thicker bristled brush.

Overall, I think this is a good set, but for a basic make-up bag, I wouldn't say it is a must have, unless you always want to achieve a very natural, light finish to your make-up.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Urban Decay De-slick Mattifying Powder Review

Urban Decay is always a brand I've liked the look of but never really ventured into their products, but have always wanted to. They're also a brand known for their long-wearing products from the 24/7 eyeliners to teaming up with Skindinavia for their range of setting sprays. I was after a powder I could pop in my handbag and get out to blot the day's oiliness and the De-slick Mattifying Powder looked like it would tick all the boxes!!

This product retails for £20

What the product looks like


Now, this may only be a problem for me, but in less than 24 hours I'd dropped this £20 powder on the floor, and yep, it cracked. I know that somewhere down the line it's going to break up prematurely and be going to make-up heaven before it's time. I must say, this has really annoyed me, UD have spent a fair bit of time designing the packaging for this product, and you'd like to think a powder on the higher end of the spectrum would be a bit more durable. I also feel this product is sort of sold as a 'handbag' beauty product, with the De-slick Spray for when you first apply the make-up and the powder for throughout the day. I hope that I just dropped it at a weird angle and this isn't a usual thing. Aside from my packaging issue, this product is actually really good! This product has no pigment in it whatsoever so your pals can borrow it from you no bother, it may look a teensy bit white upon first applying, but when applying the right amount, I think it'll sit on the skin no bother whether you're super fair or have a really deep skin tone. Don't be put off by the slightly bumpy feel when swatching in store, this coarseness doesn't translate at all onto the skin when using a puff or a brush (my weapon of choice is the contour brush from Real Technique's Duo Fibre Collection) and leaves a really nice natural finish to the skin, whilst getting rid of and keeping oils at bay. For the amount you use everyday, I do think it is well worth the £20 price tag. I found this powder also lasts for a long time, which I think is great, no more catching a glimpse of my reflection and having a shiny face! This product is great for touch ups as well as setting your make-up and I think a great all rounder for those willing to pay a little more for their powder. My skin is oily/combo and I've found this works really well through my oily t-zone.

Bar the 'technical difficulties', I would recommend this product. It does what it says on the tin, and it does it well, and for an oily girl like me, having a fix, which lasts more than five minutes is a god send. It's an easy product to have in your bag, on hand for all your oily needs and will rue the day when this puppy smashes like a champ.

Do you like Urban Decay products?
Have you tried anything from the De-slick range?

Let us know in the comments!!


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Champneys Spa Treatments Watermint Body Scrub


This is not a brand I had used before until now, and not usually a product I would buy for myself, I received this as a gift and I must say, I am impressed!

I am a big fan of mint based products, there are three types of mint in this scrub: watermint, peppermint and wildmint. The smell is quite strong, which I really like, this may put some people off. Although the smell may be strong, the product is very gentle and is a scrub you could use multiple times a week. Once applied, and teamed with a hot shower, I can't even begin to explain how fresh it makes your skin feel, I might even have to go as far as saying, it actually feels like you have new skin. You can really feel that the product has worked into the skin, and the fresh feeling that comes with it is a serious bonus. This is one of those products, that if you actually have time in your morning shower, could wake you up before work!

Overall, this scrub is ideal for people who like a really invigorating and stimulating cleanse but don't have the time or money to pop to a spa every time they want one! An excellent bathing product at an affordable price of £6.00 for 200ml which I will 100% be purchasing again.

Have you tried any products from the Watermint Range?

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Maybelline's Baby Lips Review

Lip balm is an essential for nigh on the entire human race. Nobody, whether you're a burly builder or a princess want chapped, dry looking lips. And as the owner of rather full lips, I find when my lips aren't at their best it is incredibly noticeable. So when I heard the buzz about this new balm, Baby Lips from across the pond, I was excited for it to arrive on British shores to give this cheap and rather hyped product a whirl.

With 6 currently in the Baby Lips range in the UK, I thought I'd try out two, the Intense Care with SPF and the 'Cherry Me' tinted version (a girl can never have enough lip balm, you know?) The price is a modest £2.99, which I think is very reasonable, as someone willing to fork out for lip care. The packaging is super easy to work with, I sometimes find some lip balms let you twist up, but not down (as a child I never learned with Lip Smackers and ended up with a fuzzy mess) which is a gigantic pain, but these are clean and simple.

L-R 'Cherry Me' and 'Intense Care' - both products retail for
£2.99

T-B 'Intense Care' and 'Cherry Me'


I can't get enough of products with SPF in, so I'm glad there are several in the range which do. I really do like the feel of the intensive balm on my lips, as well as the way it makes them look. When I use it, it makes them look super healthy and smooth (and dare I say it, kissable) and the 'rub your lips together' feeling does stick around for a long while. All of the balms claim to last and give moisture for 8 hours, and I think if you're not eating or drinking loads, then that is a fair statement to make with this one in particular!! The tint in 'Cherry Me' is quite a sheer one, but is still good for little make-up days if you just want to add a tiny something to your lips. I do like the moisture this one also adds to my lips, but I have noticed a difference in the amount of moisture I get from this one and the intense one, and I just feel if you're looking into this range for lip care, rather than lip colour, then hands down I think you should pick up the intense one. But equally if you're lips are in a fairly good condition, and you want something subtle for work or school, then I'd say this one is great too, it is all down to personal preference!!

Overall I like both of the Baby Lips that I bought, but if I were to pick one, I'd go with the Intense Care one! I just feel if I want to add a bit of colour to my lips, I can introduce that with another product, but still can have the longer lasting, more intense formula with SPF in!!

Have you tried out any of the Baby Lips range?
How did you find it?
Let us know in the comments!!