Friday, 29 June 2012

Obsessed with... Weleda Body Oils

Every now and again a product comes along and you wonder how you ever lived without it. For me, Weleda Body Oil is one of those products! And what makes it even more sacred, I would NEVER have discovered it hadn't have been for Glossybox. I received a full size Pomegranate Oil in July 2011's box and I've been hooked ever since.

Until then body oil's hadn't featured in my skincare routine and I'd never heard of Weleda... big FAIL! Weleda was founded in Switzerland in 1921 and aims to help everyone restore and maintain well-being. They aim to do so naturally, ethically, safely, without animal experimentation and without damaging the environment. 

OK, history lesson over. All you really need to know is these oils are AMAZING and since using them my skin has become noticeably softer. Previously I've used body moisturisers and butters, which I still like, but use less and less. The main difference is, oil penetrates the skin and absorbs deep within, whereas butters and creams sit on top of the skin. Plus oils are water-free, so won’t quickly evaporate, meaning they’ll hydrate and benefit your skin for longer. There's around 8 oils in the Weleda range priced from £9.95-£19.95. They're easy to apply, absorb quickly, smell divine and leave skin noticeably softer and smoother.


Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil £19.95, my first and still my fave, indulgently firms and renews skin. I apply  it all over my body after showering, whilst my skin's still a little damp. The citrus smell is divine and very relaxing. It spreads easily and absorbs surprisingly well. When I first received it I expected I'd be a once a week treat, but it's crept its way into my daily routine. My body is much softer, smoother and firmer. I love it so much, I doubt I'll ever go back to creams. Yes they're pricey, but they're very rich and a little goes a long way. A 100ml bottle lasts me 3-4 months. They also do gift sets which work out really good value. I got his one in February for around £20 from Lookfantastic, which included the oil, Body Wash and Hand cream.


I decided to give the Birch Celulite Oil £19.95 a whirl in the run up to my holiday to help combat cellulite on my thighs. Birch Cellulite Oil is a unique combination of plant extracts and natural plant oils which visibly improve the skin's texture and smoothness by stimulating the body’s own regulating and regenerating processes. Natural essential oils support the toning effects of the other plant extracts, leaving the skin feeling and looking firm and supple whilst reducing the appearance of cellulite in just one month. I've been using it for two months now and HAVE noticed improvements. I massage it into my legs about five times a week. It definitely doesn't smell as divine as pomegrante oil (it smells like nettles) but it's no less indulgent. After body brushing, showering and applying the oil, I feel like I've been to spa. My legs feel firmer and thighs look less dimply.


My most recent addition to the family is the Relaxing Lavender Oil £9.95. I was running low on Pomegrante oil and thought I'd try a different "flavour". True to its name, this one is very relaxing, I almost drift off whilst massaging into the skin. Like the others it's rich, indulgent, easily adsorbed and leaves my skin baby soft. A couple of drops in the bath is nice too.

You can buy Weleda direct from their website, as well as Lookfantastic, Feel Unique and Amazon.

Don't be fooled by the bottles, it's not cough medicine!
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Monday, 25 June 2012

Thoughts and Reviews on June 2012’s Glossybox UK.


For some reason I received June’s Glossybox a week later than everyone else. I was “well jel” when spoilers emerged on blogger and instagram last week, but I exercised restraint and didn’t look.... at many. For me it’s all about the surprise! The theme of this months’ box is “sexy summer style”. “With beauty products that cover your every summer beauty need, you can be sure you’ll be beach beauty in no time”... shame I’ve just RETURNED from my holiday.
Here’s what I got, starting with the good and going down to the UGLY.


HD Brows Precision Tweezers Full Size £19.95
It was a YES moment when I spotted the HD Branding. It’s about a year since Glossybox sent me the HD Brow palette – the best product they’ve EVER sent and my can’t live without! I actually hoped it was the brow keeper or brow pencil, but no, it’s tweezers. I already own tweezermans so I wasn’t overly excited about these, but I’ve used them this morning and they’re very good. Thinner than tweezermans, and as the name suggests – precise. They are a full size product worth more than the cost of the box and it’s always good to have a back up. No protective stopper on the end though... bad HD Brows!


Vichy Dermablend Ultra-Corrective Foundation Cream Stick Samples
Had I not already purchased one of these sticks I would have been VERY excited to receive this sample kit. It’s a great way to try the product and play with the shades. I used the foundation stick more as a concealer, it really does cover anything. Read a full review on my blog here. A full size version costs £19.


Green People Sun Lotion SPF 15 with Tan Accelerator 30 ml worth £3.90
I do like a good sun factor, it’s just shame it’s two weeks too late! I’ve never heard of this brand but it’s organic, moisturising and rich in antioxidants, what’s not to like? It’s a great travel size so I’ll keep it for my next holiday, although I’m a little dubious about the fact it includes a tan accelerator.... sometimes they can make me look a little orange. A full size 100ml bottle with cost £12.99

BM Beauty Summer Warmth Bronzer 1 g worth £2
I’ve got two problems with this product, 1) it’s not a luxury brand and 2) I hate the packaging. This is the second time I’ve received a sample product from Glossybox decanted into one of these little DIY pots. It works ok when it’s an eyeshadow, but this product is a bronzer – how I am supposed to fit a bronzer/face brush inside a 1cm pot? This loose powder is very messy, but a quick swatch on my hand reveals it’ very pretty. For me it’s too light and too gold to be an all over bronzer, but I will try it as a highlights or eye shadow.

GlossyBox branded Pro Beauty Brush
Come on Glossybox, shame on you! What a cheat this one is. When I first saw it I thought it was a free bonus product, like the compact mirror and sweets they’ve included in the past. I’m not sure what qualifies them to commission some cheap make up brushes, call them “Pro” and stick on an imaginary £15 price tag! Tut, Tut, Tut! It’s not that I’m a brush snob, there’s some very good quality, inexpensive brushes out there (NO7 and Royal spring to mind). It’s a short handled blush brush. It’s rather bluntly cut, the bristles are scratchy and they fall out. I will never use this brush, it’s not even good enough to stick in my handbag, sorry.


I know that a lot of people were disappointed with this box. I was, at first, but after using a few of the products I think it's not a bad box. If it wasn't so ill timed with my holiday and I didn't already have the Vichy Dermablend stick, I think I'd be  happy with this one.

How about you? I'd love to hear your thoughts?
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Friday, 22 June 2012

MAC Fix + For that Dewy Glow


This is my 100th post so I wanted to make it a good one! I thought I should feature something fantastic or share something special. Whilst rummaging around in my “stash” for inspiration, I realised the answer was staring me in the face... Sitting there in its prime location on my dressing table screaming “pick me, pick me” was my bottle of MAC Fix +. I can’t believe I’ve never featured this on my blog. It’s one of my absolute favourite products. It’s my “I’m feeling bad about myself” solution and 8 hours sleep cheat.
I realise it looks like a bottle of water, but I promise it’s so much more. An aqua-spritz of vitamin and minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi. MAC says it “Adds radiance and finishes makeup. Spray it on. Skin drinks it up!”


I must admit I first bought it on the back of beauty blogger hype. Normally I recommend trying the product for yourself first – what works for others doesn’t necessarily work for you, but this was something I knew I had to try (even though I didn’t know what it actually was or how to use it ). Armed with my scepticism I ordered it online and it was a case of love at first spritz!  
Fix Plus uses;
  1. Set – Don’t ask me how but a spritz of fix plus will set your face a treat. I know it doesn’t make sense, you’d think the water would wash away your make up, especially mascara, but not Fix +. When I first used it I was fully expecting to get Alice Cooper eyes, but my mascara didn’t run or smudge. Holding the bottle 12 inches from the face, spray evenly after makeup application (and before if you like) – I find one of two pumps is sufficient. The mist is so fine and dries quickly but some people swear by setting it further with a hairdryer. It gives the face a dewy glow and make up looks more vivid, more done. It’s my life saver when I’m tired or hungover and need a little extra help.
  2. Refresh – This is what I use it the most for. Say you’ve been at work all day. You’re going out but don’t have time to take your face off and start again... a spritz of this will freshen you right up, magically bringing your make up back to life. It moisturises tired and thirsty skin and gives you back that glow. You can add a bit more blusher, concealer, whatever you need and spritz again to set. The mist is so fine it doesn’t soak the face and takes just seconds to dry.
  3. Shine – It can be used to apply eye shadows and pigments. It’s especially good for sparkly one. Spray the brush first to damped, dip into the product then apply to the face/eye wet. It makes colours much more vivid and shiny and longer-lasting.

It's difficult to show in a picture the true result as they're quite subtle. I'm wearing it in this picture I took to show my Benefit Coralista blusher. I think you can see the all-over glow, especially on the cheeks and forehead... excuse my slightly burnt and very shiny nose.


Fix + comes in two sizes 30ml costs £7 and 100ml £12.50. The 30ml bottle is really very small, more of a travel size. 100ml is what I have and is much better value. I agree it’s pretty insane spending £12.50 on a small bottle of water, but I’ve had this one since February and there’s barely a fifth gone... and on those tired, sleepy, face-still-not-woken up days, it’s priceless!
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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

BOOM! It's Benefit BELLA BAMBA


I know that people go mad for benefit’s blushers, but they’ve never really interested me. I had Dandelion years ago, it was pretty but nothing special, not the kind of product I had to repurchase when it ran out, plus I’m not a fan of the cardboard box or that useless little brush. BUT I was in the airport last week with two hours caking myself in Duty Free cosmetics and perfumes and look what I left with...

A sweep of this in the airport at 3 am brightened my face right up... I HAD to have it. They describe it as 3D pink, and I can see where they’re coming from. Laced with shimmering gold undertones it creates the illusion of sculpted cheekbones. It’s certainly multi-tonal and multi-dimensional, the kind that makes you turn your head up and down, left and right in the mirror to see it from all angles.
It’s a true medium pretty pink, but has a peachy-pink look when it’s on your cheeks, well mine at least. It’s very buildable, one sweep gives a pretty wash of colour and sheen, but a few sweeps can transform and chisel the cheekbones. I think it’s a great evening blusher, I wore it most nights on holiday. When swatched on your hand, it’s not super pigmented, but it shows up on my face very well (much more than Coralista which is more subtle) even with a tan.



This blush could be the love child of Benefit’s Coralista, Orgasm by Nars and MAC’s Dollymix. In the pan it reminds me of Orgasm, but it’s more pink like Dollymix and has the sparkle and sheen of it’s sister Coralista.


Like I said, I’m not a fan of the packaging, but there’s a couple of small improvements for Bella Bamba. Firstly there’s a flip-top box with a mirror, making it easier when you’re “on the go” and less likely to lose the lid and the brush has a new curved finish making it more cheek friendly (still does anyone really use the brush?)
Benefit blushers retail for £23.50 in the UK, I paid about £17 in duty free. They're usually a very generous size, Coralista for example is 12g, compared to MAC's standard 6g... it’s a lotta blush for your money. BUT Bella Bamba is a much smaller 8g (feeling the pinch at Benefit are you?) still, more generous than some and a little does go a long way!
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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Holiday Beauty Essentials


We all love a bit of sun! Whether you’re going abroad or just kicking back in your garden (wishful thinking I know)! But with the sun also comes frizz, burns and melting make up. Here are my top tips and beauty products to help you channel your inner beach babe.

Skincare

Suncream (Obviously!)


Suncream is sooo important – if you want to tan you’ve got to do it carefully and gradually – the lobster look aint attractive and when you’re older, do you really wanna look like Donatella Versace?

If you’re going abroad go armed with a range of factors. I normally start on 30, then drop to 15 where I can (gone are the days of, oh I’ll just use a factor 6 oil). Although Malibu kindly sent me this factor 10 bronzing oil, which I road tested during last months (short-lived) heat wave. It smells lovely and it protected my skin in the scorching heat so I'll give it a go... depending how hot it gets. I use a separate, non-greasy high factor on my face. I love Ultra Sun's Anti-aging Face Formula SPF 30 and Boot Soltan Family Collection is really good value offering 3 factors and an aftersun for £12.99.

Lipbalm, preferably with SPF

So many people forget to protect their lips, but if you want to rock that colour popping lipstick at night you need to protect against chapped, burnt lips – SIMPLE!

Moisturiser/After Sun



After a hard days sunbathing you need a great moisturiser to lock that tan in! I’ve never know if it’s better to use after sun or a regular body moisturiser, but I’ve tried both and got the same results. I’ve always been a big fan of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter and Soap & Glory’s Righteous Butter – unfortunately so are FLIES! AVOID aftersuns that market themselves as a tan prolonger. If it contains self tanning ingredient, I find it doesn’t mix well with the natural tan and leads to premature pealing. This year I'm taking Soap & Glory’s Righteous Butter and a Malibu Aloe Vera after sun.


And I’d never go on holiday without Elizabeth Arden’s Eight hour cream – for burns, dry skin and chapped lips. Keep it close during the flight - it’s the perfect antidote to the moisture zapping, dehydrating aeroplanes. This one is really handy because it's small and light weight.

Make Up



I love holiday make up. You can take all your current routines and rules and throw them out the window cos if you can’t experiment in another country where no one knows you, when can you! Even if you’re not feeling so daring, the heat and humidity forces you to change it up anyway.

I do think holiday make up should be kept to a minimum, not least because those pesky airlines get stingier on luggage allowance every year, but who wants to waste their time applying the wall paint (only for it to slide off during that first cocktail) and with your bronzed holiday glow you shouldn’t need as much, right??? I wouldn’t bother with it during the day, but if you have to make sure it’s waterproof and opt for cream products over powder.

Cream Blush – my number one holiday hero!


A cream blush is great for adding a pop of colour on the cheeks without clogging the pores. In the heat they last longer and look fresher. I love MAC Blushcreme in LadyBlush and Stila’s Convertible colours (read the reviews here)– both can be used on the lips too. Tip – keep them in the fridge to avoid them becoming too liquified.

HOT nail varnish and lipstick


Holidays are the perfect opportunity to sport that bright lipstick you’ve been wanting to try but were too scared to. Try a bright fushia or coral – perfect compliment for a tan. I love MAC’s Impassioned and Cost Chic £13.50 each.


The same goes for the nails, step out your pale pink comfort zone and reach for something eye popping or sparkly! I've shortlisted these three beauties... Essie polishes in Mint Candy Apple and Cute as a Button for my fingers and Ciate's Jelly Bean for my toes... which is free with this month's Marie Claire Magazine.

Waterproof mascara


If you can go without, do! If not, whether there’s water involved or not, better make it waterproof or at least smudgeproof. The heat and humidity can be just as damaging – panda eyes is never a good look, especially on a hot summers day… or night. Max Factor's Flase Lash Effect 24 Hour Mascara has amazing staying power, it's waterproof, heat proof, facewash proof... in fact it's bomb proof!

Hair

A salty/touselled/ texturising type spray


You’re on holiday. Frizz and waves are inevitable, so save time and effort blowdrying, straightening and trying to combat the kink and ride those beach waves. Some type of saltly/touselled/texturising spray will help you look all beachy and fabulous. I like Umberto Giannini’s grunge glamour tousled salt spray or make your own DIY spray with actual sea water!

Dry Shampoo


This time, it's not for the grease or the fact that I can't be bothered washing my hair, on holiday I use dry shampoo for texture and root lift. I love Batiste Dry Shampoo XXL Volume. The heat and humidity can flatten hair and I haven't got time for a full blow wave or velcro rollers. Instead I work in some XXL volume for instant BIG HAIR.

Tangle Teezer


I don’t know how I coped without this for so long, home or away! Great for teasing out those sea salty tangles without breaking hair.

Hope that's got you all in the holiday mood? Let me know if you've got any fab holiday must haves. Not that I'm trying to rub it in, but I'm off to Greece tomorrow... so no posts for a week, sorry ladies!

See you soon x
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Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Green with Envy? Collection 2000 Gel Liner

I'm guessing by now you're probably tired of red, white and blue? The Jubilee has been great but I think I've had union jack overload. Time to channel something different... Green, well TEAL actually.


I received this Collection 2000, or just Collection as they've been rebranded, in last month's Glossybox. Despite the fact it was one of the cheaper products in the box, it was the one I was most excited about trying. Although I LOVE gel liners, I know I would never have purchased this one. I rarely look at the Collection brand and wouldn't have expected their Gel liner to live up to my beloved Bobbi Brown ones and I'd never have picked a teal.

It just goes to show how wrong we can be! This product is FANTASTIC, and had I been blind testing I'd never of guessed it was a cheaper brand. The colour is very vivid - a true teal that works very well with my Hazel eyes and it's very pigmented. The formula is thick, but not glupey and is so easy to apply. I tested it on my hand first to be sure - you can use of a liner or smudge it to use as an eye shadow.




Here's how I apply...

I dip my MAC 209 eye liner brush (The product comes with a little brush but I find them too small and fiddly) into the pot to pick up a small amount of the product and wipe the excess off on the back of my hand, you can always add more if you need it. Starting in the inner corner I sketch a thin line across my lash line, getting a little thicker as I reach the outer corner (you can add a flick if you desire, but I didn't on this occasion). What I love about gel liners is that they're very pliable - there's enough time to "play" with the product before it sets. I add more product along the line until I'm happy with the shape and thickness. Then repeat on the other eye - simples!




What's amazing about this product is its staying power. I applied this at 07:30am and by 9 that night (when this picture was taken) it hadn't budged or faded. I assumed this would mean it wouldn't wash off, but it did and with my regular face wash.


Collection Long Lasting Gel Eyeliner 5ml £4.99 available in Gold, Teal, Black and Brown out now

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