Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm vs Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm

Top - Emma Hardie. Bottom - Elemis
I may not be able to answer some age old questions like, .. which came first, the chicken or the egg, or why does toast fall butter side up, but there is one question I CAN help you with. Which cleansing balm should I choose?
The market has been awash with many balms, all good in there own right but when you have the choice between Emma Hardie or Elemis, which on is better?
Today  hopefully I will help you decide..
I think you would have to be blind not to see the similarity between these two. Both same colour and a oil/cream hybrid.  Texture wise they are a little different, but not much mind you!
The Elemis is a silky smooth dense balm whereas the Emma Hardie is a little lighter and has a slight grainy feel when first applied, I think this is something to do with the Moringa seed extracts that inhabit the balm. The grains do disappear instantly after massaging it in and the texture in then on par with the Elemis, smooth, luxurious, with an almost oily feel to it. I would say that the Elemis has a more oilier texture than the Emma Hardie, more of a heavier feel to it.
Both balms remove make up like a dream, instantly dissolving all traces without leaving the skin dry or with an oily residue. Both leave the skin silky soft and plumbed with goodness. The only thing that differs is the Elemis is not great used over the eyes, it can sting a little and doesn't bode for a nice experience, it doesn't leave your eyes feeling like a burning inferno but none the less not a great sensation. 
The Emma Hardie balm can be used all over the eyes to remove mascara and eye make up but some waterproof mascaras may need another product to remove them more effectively. 
This is where they are miles apart. Elemis has a strong spa like smell to it, very rich with essence of Rose and Elderberry, a deep fragrance that oozes with luxury. Emma Hardie is lighter with a herby and fresh aroma to it containing Orange, Mandarin, Rose and Wild Sea Fennel. The scent to down to personal choice whether you like something strong or a little lighter.
Packaging and Price
If I was doing this review a couple of months ago the point would have gone to Elemis. The packaging for the Emma Hardie balm has been its let down ever since its release with it leaking and generally being a pain , but the product has now been re-packaged and I have had no problems with it so far.
The tub for the Emma Hardie is deeper than that of the Elemis and can make obtaining the product when its running low a little bit more difficult.
Both are packaged lovely, the Elemis comes with its own flannel whereas you have to purchase the Emma Hardie muslin cloth separately. I think this is a bit mean of Emma Hardie and don't see why they couldn't have included one for the price you are paying. 
Price wise they are both in the same high end price bracket, Elemis is £39.50 for 100g and Emma Hardie is £34.00 for 105ml, but you do get a cloth with Elemis.
I have combination skin and haven't experienced had any issues with either balm in terms of break outs or irritation. Both are lovely to use, but if I had to pick one it would be the Emma Hardie. Not that I don't like the Elemis but these few points did sway it for me...
  • Its slightly cheaper even thou you do get a flannel with the Elemis, I have plenty of flannels.
  • I find the lighter texture more suitable to my combination skin. For drier skin types the Elemis balm with its heavier consistency my feel better and more nourishing on the skin.
  • The fact I can use it on my eyes, making my night time routine I little quicker and easier.
So there you have it, the run down and low down on both products. Which is your personal choice, Emma Hardie or Elemis?

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Christmas Crackers and Baubles with a Beauty themed twist!

I love a gimmick and what better time to embrace them than Christmas!
If your looking for stocking fillers or something to make the tree more exciting there are products available that will have you parting with your money in a heart beat!

1. Cowshed - Cracking Cow Christmas Cracker £10.00 each
A great twist to the conventional Christmas cracker, this contains treats to indulge the body after the huge Christmas dinner -   a Wild Cow Invigorating Bath & Shower Gel (30ml) and a Knackered Cow Relaxing Body Lotion (30ml). Available from Selfridges

2. Liz Earl Christmas Star - Hot Cloth Cleanser and Muslin Cloth £5.50 each
I think this is a fantastic price! You get 30ml of the iconic Hot Cloth Cleanser and Muslin cloth to go with it. I think this will be great as stocking fillers for both men and women, who doesn't want to have great skin? Available from the Liz Earl website. These Christmas star's are also available with a lipstick or nail polish from selected Boots stores.

3. Clarins - Box of 6 Crackers £39.00
In these crackers I promised you,  you will not find a plastic toy, a "funny" joke, or a paper hat that breaks within 5 minutes of putting it on.  You will however find a lovely array of beauty treats which include, Beauty Flash Balm, Mascara, Lipstick, Hand and Nail lotion, Eau de Jardins and Gentle exfoliator. Now that's better than a Knock Knock joke isn't it?! Available from Selfridges

4. Rodial Glam Balm Christmas Tree Decoration £14.00
Rodial Stem cell Super Glam Balm, a rose flavoured lip balm with stem cell technology that plumps, hydrates and smooth's lips. Great for the cold winter weather. Available from Selfridges

5. Ciate Tree Trinkets - 6 Baubles for £30.00
These will brighten up the most drab of Christmas trees. 6 Mini Paint Pots in super glittery shades each encased in their very own bauble along with gift tag, perfect for young ladies and nail addicts alike. Available from Selfridges

6. Lancôme In Love Christmas Cubes 4 for £39.00
These festive cubes house some gorgeous treats, not the cheapest tree decoration in the world but can make any beauty loving quiver at the knees. They contain, a full size Nail Polish in Love, Mini Lip Gloss in Love, Mini Lipstick in Love and Mini Hypnôse Classic Mascara. Available from Selfridges

What do you think these festive treats, will they be adorning your table or Christmas tree this year?

Friday, 25 October 2013

Laura Mercier Christmas, Luxe Stickgloss Collection

L-R Brown Sugar, Baby Lips, Courtisane, Peony
L-R Brown Sugar, Baby Lips, Courtisane, Peony.

Top L-R Brown Sugar, Baby Lips.
Middle - Bare lips.
Bottom L-R Courtisane, Peony.
I know Christmas is some time away but I couldn't help but share this fantastic gift set I purchased. I'm sure a lot of you have heard of Laura Mercier, I think the brand is best know for their foundations and bases but I haven't heard a lot about their lip products before.
The Laura Mercier Luxe Stickgloss Collection is part of their Christmas line and comprises of four lipsticks, all nude and berry toned, displayed in a box in the signature Laura Mercier style.
The lipsticks are super glossy ( hence the name I suppose) creamy and really hydrating on the lips. When I first read the name "stickgloss"  I thought they were going to be similar to a balm, with just  a hint of colour. They do in fact have really good pigmentation and deliver a fantastic wash of colour to the lips.
Brown Sugar -  Cool toned nude with a slight mauve undertone.
Baby Lips -  Rose toned nude.
Courtisane - A frost finish with pink and gold undertones.
Peony - Deep purple muted down with the frost finish.
Whether you're buying this as a gift or for yourself you can not doubt the value of it. £40 for 4 lipsticks from such a high end brand is just phenomenal! As a gift this would be perfect kept as the set or spilt up into stocking fillers, I'm sure any women would be more that grateful to receive this or ones of these this Christmas.
If this is a treat to yourself ( like mine was) I think its a great way to be introduced in to Laura Mercier's lip line, having never tired them before I will definitely be looking out for them in the future.
What do you think to the value of this set? Have you tried any Laura Mercier lipsticks before? Please leave a comment below. :)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Bobbi Brown Corrector ~ Banish those under eye circles!


Bobbi Brown Corrector recently featured in my " Products I would repurchase" post, so I thought it was about time that I wrote a review for you all, as I cant believe I haven't done so already!

Under eye circles, which are caused by many factors can be the bane of peoples lives. We all want that flawless flash of light under our eyes to make us look younger, fresher and more awake.
Now I don't suffer too much with dark circles, but I do have them and I want them gone! I have tried many concealers, all promising to eliminate the darkness but none, until now have done the job quite so well.
The way that this differs from other concealers is it includes a pink or peach pigment, designed to counteract the blue/purple tones under the eye.
To find out which shade and tone is best suited to you, you will need to be colour matched at your local Bobbi Brown counter.

The formula of this concealer is a lot drier in texture, unlike most concealers that are overly creamy and quite wet feeling. The dryer texture is in no way a bad thing and please don't think that this is dehydrating at all, because it isn't! The texture means that it does not crease under my eyes and sits lovely on the skin. I have found that I don't need to set it with a powder and it stays put all day!

This can be worn under or over foundation and I find that it looks more natural and lasts longer on me when applied before. I apply it over an eye cream (which is recommended),  you only need the smallest amount, dabbed into the inner corner of the under eye to instantly awaken your eyes and conceals those dark circles. As you can see from the picture above, the darkness is eliminated and the skin looks a more even tone.
I also find it works really well with any discolouration on the skin caused by hyperpigmentation. I have some old scars caused by spots that have a purple tone to them so I also use this and found it works feeling well at disguising them.
I was put off buying this for ages, the £18.50 price tag for such a small product kept weighing on my mind. Obviously I gave in and I'm so glad I did. The concealer will last ages as a little goes a long way.
I can not recommend this enough, if you suffer from dark circles and haven't found a product that has worked for you yet, you really need to give this a try!

What is your holy grail product to use under your eyes? Do you use this?

Monday, 21 October 2013

London Beauty Haul

If you can't tell by the title I went shopping and bought a few bits.......Ooops!

Its very rare that I have a Saturday off work but my Hubby was meeting a client in London and I decided to tag along and buy some bits that I have had my eye on for some time.
While Hubby was working I met up with a friend who I  haven't seen for ages and we had a good old catch up over a glass of wine.
After all the catching up was done it was time to get down to business and do some serious shopping (Hubby in tow!).

First port of call was Mac, this is a bit of a disappointing haul as the shop was so busy that I couldn't really have a good look. Stacey from Expat Make-Up Addict had recommend an eyeshadow to me which I was wanting to swatch but alas the counter was surrounded! Feeling that I may get into a brawl with all the pushing and shoving I quickly asked the assistant to get me Mac Pink Pearl Pop (which was for a friend) and a Charcoal brown eyeshadow for my eyebrows, and I was outta there!

I went to Liberty which is somewhere I have never been before but heard their beauty hall is meant to be one of the best so off I trotted! I went a tiny bit mad at Laura Mercier, buying the Silk Crème Foundation, which I do already own, but it was purchased online and the colour was too light for me so I got colour matched and bought it along with their primer. While there I saw some fantastic gift sets, this one has four gorgeous lip shades in, all nude and berry toned and great for autumn/winter. I must add that this was a bargain costing only £40 for all four lipsticks!! I just had to have it!

Pixie Glow Tonic was the only thing from my shopping list that I actually needed. My La Roche Posay exfoliating toner had run out so I was in the market for a new one to try. This has had some serious coverage over the last few months and I was dying to try it out. The tonic is really hard to get hold of as it can only be purchased from the store. Pixie have said that it will soon be available to buy online which I know will please lots of people, so while I was there I asked how long the wait will be. Apparently they are still waiting for new packaging to make shipping the liquid easier and safer. She couldn't give me anymore information on how long this will take, but you can  however ring the store and pay over the phone, they will then ship it from there and have it posted to you....Yay!! :)

SpaceNk was the shop I was most excited about, stocking some fantastic brands I had a whale of a time perusing the stands and trying out different things. 
I picked up the Hourglass Ambient lighting powder in Dim Light. I have seen this doing the rounds and so many bloggers have raved about it so I thought I'd give it a go. The powder can be used to set makeup and add a radiant sheen to the face.
While there I added Nars Seduction blush to my shopping pile. This is a shade which is so out of my comfort zone that I shocked myself! I'm trying to get away from the pinky coral colours that I was loving in the summer and opted for this deep cranberry shade. I cant wait to try it out!

So there you have it, my lasted shopping haul. Are any of these on your shopping list or do you own them already? Please let me know what you think of them, I will of course be doing full reviews on each product when I have tried them all out.

Friday, 18 October 2013

NOTD - Using Nail Decals from Sour Cherry

Seche Rose II

There is one thing I would love to be good at and that is nail design. I see so many pictures of amazing nails and wish  I could recreate the look, knowing full well that I have neither the time or the patients to do so!
I can however just about manage to paint them, and if you can do this then you can use these Nail Decals* from Sour Cherry.
They're like the transfer tattoos that we used to get when we were younger. Simply cut out the design of your choice and submerge it in some of water for 45 seconds ( I used tweezers to hold the decal, which I found easier than using my fingers), I peeled off the white backing carefully and placed it on my painted nail. Once the design is where you want it, allow it to dry before sealing it with a top coat. The clear backing will disappear, making the design look flawless with no seams. Simple as that!
They didn't peel off or start to fray which I thought they would and my design looked great until I was ready to paint them again.
If like me you are rubbish with nail design you should give this a go, if I can do it anyone can! They are priced at £3.00 and come in array of different colours and styles. I'm hoping they bring out a Christmas themed design so I can look festive head to toe this coming season!
What do you think to these nail tattoos?  


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Advent Calendars for Grown Ups (No Chocolate included!!)

With the Christmas season approaching like the speed of light, its time for us to turn in to deranged women! Arranging gifts, parties and the dreaded Christmas outfit (something that will look great on the day but at the same time stretch nicely round the Christmas dinner baby!) so we all need to step back and pamper ourselves, its only fair!
So before it all sets in why not treat yourself to your own unique advent calendar? This is not for the kids, you will not find miniature chocolate bars or Rudolf shaped choccies in these! These are for you and only YOU! I'm talking about Advent Calendars that will not add pounds to your hips, no, these wonderfully wrapped gems are full of make up, skin care, nail polish and even candles to get you party ready and feeling fabulous!

Selfridges Advent Calendar £84.00 Available now
A jaw dropping price tag which I'm sure is not in every ones budget, but does contains miniatures from some fantastic brands. Lancôme, Armani, YSL, Kiehls, and many more could be gracing your days running up to Christmas! Available exclusively from Selfridges

Boots 24 Days of Treats £30.00 Available now
A price that is more purse friendly but never the less still contains products that many will find appealing! Nails Inc Seventeen, Soap and Glory, Paco Rabanne, Juicy Couture, Rimmel, Mavala and Umberto Giannini could be brightening up your day on these dark and dreary Christmas nights. Can be purchased HERE

Benefit Count Down to Love advent Calendar £50 Available from 2nd November
For all Benefit virgins and lovers out there, this could be the perfect way of trying out their most iconic products. Filled with the likes of Hoola, Porefessional, High Beam, Coralista and Benetint this could be the start of a fab Christmas! Can be purchased HERE or from selected Debenhams stores

Ciate Mini Mani Month £42.00 Available to now.
If nails are your thing then this could be perfect for you! Full of their bestselling mini Paint Pots, four mini Caviar blends, and three exclusive Paint Pot glitter shades that will make sure you sparkle this Christmas. Can be purchased HERE

Yankee Candle advent Calendar £21.00 Available now
This is the cheapest one out of all the "grown up" calendars I could find. Each day you will be greeted by a different tea light that could warm up your Christmas evening, I can just imagine  the smell now of cinnamon and spices! MMmmm...
Some of the fragrances are..Snow In Love, Balsam & Cedar, Merry Marshmallow, Red Apple Wreat , Snowflake Cookie and Sparkling Cinnamon. So if make up doesn't float your boat I'm sure this will! Can be purchased HERE

 Advent Calendar from You Discover Beauty £49.99 Available now
The picture shown above is of last years calendar of which I purchased. This calendar has just been released and features products from Balance Me, BioEffect, NSPA, Leighton Denny, Trilogy, Perricone MD, Dr Lipp and Neom as well as many more. Can be purchased HERE

Will you be purchasing any of these Grown Up Advent Calendars? If so, which one has caught your eye?

To see 2014 Beauty Advent Calendars click here!!!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

All About Purple - FOTD

Nars Desire (L) and Amour (R)

I posted a picture on instagram at the weekend and thought I would share the products used.

Until recently I have always worn brown and gold shades, going for a neutral eye and the thought of anything else made my come out in a cold sweat! With make up looks steering to a more plum and purple tone I thought I should give it a go.

  • Laura Mercier Silk Crème foundation.
  • Crown Brush Concealer pallet to contour.
  • Nars Laguna Bronzer. 
  • Nars blush in Amour.
  • HD Brow pallet.
  • Elf eye shadow primer on the lid and under eyes.
  • Mac Cranberry in the outer corners of the lid and under eye.
  • Mac Woodwinked in the inner corners of the lid and under eye.
  • Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara.
  • Top Lashes - Semi Permanent Eyelash Extensions
  • Revoln lip butter in Peach Parfait.
  • BeautyUk lipstick in Plumalicious.*
I'm not one to wear a dark lip so I used the Revlon lip butter in the centre and the darker plum in the corners to create a soft ombre lip. I find combining the shades like this makes it a lot more wearable.

Close up of the lip
Instagram image

What do you think of this plum look? What is your favourite plum shade?

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Proto-col L.E.D Lipgloss Review

Top is my Natural Lip colour to show how the colour more accurately .

Proto-col L.E.D Lip gloss in Abigails Sparkle*

This gloss from Proto-col delivers a raspberry red tint to the lips. Engulfed in a shiny non sticky lip gloss that your hair doesn't stick to are iridescent flecks of sparkle which reflect the light and add dimension to the lips, not too much so you look like a disco ball but enough to create interest. The gloss is super lightweight and doesn't  feel like most lip gloss's I have tried, my lips feel soft, moisturised and not tacky at all.

I love gimmicks and I'm a sucker for multi-purpose products and tools. Why take along three items when you can take one! Am I right?..

The case is unique, a handy mirror on one side and a built in L.E.D light in the lid. The applicator is a brush which I feel could have been made a little wider but none the less does the job.
The nifty design puts an end to fighting for mirrors in the ladies toilet on a night out and the light means you can touch up in any lighting conditions. A perfect addition to any girls handbag, lets hope they bring one out that can do the ironing as well! ;) lol

The lip gloss retails at £11.95 and comes in 6 other great shades, they can be purchased HERE via the Proto-col website.

What do you think to this nifty lip gloss?

Psst..... Have you entered my Mac Crème Cup GIVEAWAY ?

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Bye Bye Brassy Blonde Hair!! IdHAIR Elements Silver Shampoo


If you are not blessed with naturally blonde hair you might feel the need to pop to your local hairdressers for a bit of "enhancing". If like me you fall into this category you may sometimes feel that your beautifully highlighted hair lacks that "just coloured" look and can look brassy and dull. Whether your hair is chemically treated,  naturally blonde or you have white or grey hair there are factors that cause the hair to look dull with a yellow tinge, and nobody likes that look!
  • When highlighting and colouring your hair there are an array of colour molecules (red, yellow, blue) that are deposited into the cuticle. The smallest of them all is the blue molecule which is washed away very quickly, leaving the warmer toned pigments the primary colour resulting in the dreaded brassy  toned look.
  • Pollution and environment (i.e. nicotine, mineral deposits from water and swimming pools) can alter the hairs natural colour causing it to look dull and lifeless.
IdHAIR Silver Shampoo*- Purple in colour it can look a little daunting on first inspection but worry not! The purple tone is designed to counteract the yellow-orange toned pigments and replace the blue molecules that have been lost in the hair. By doing this the shampoo reveals a more cool toned blonde and eliminates the brassy undertones that were there before.
This result is temporary so as a hairdresser I recommend using the shampoo once a week along side your normal shampoo and conditioner to restore highlights and prevent dullness and increase vibrancy of your hair colour.

What makes this stand out from the rest is it's enriched with IdHAIR's own unique pre-styling complex, a blend of Nordic cotton, wheat proteins, UV filters and thermal protectors. These not only help to maintain the life of your hair colour but also help to restore and provide nourishment to the hair as well as protecting it from the sun and other heat sources.

The fruity sweet fragrance is captured in a unique rectangle bottle, making storage in showers and bath rooms a lot easier than conventional cylinder shaped bottles. The shampoo also gets a thumbs up for being free from paraben's, a cheap chemical used in many cosmetic and skincare items, linked to cause cancer, breast tumors and can resort in early puberty for girls.

The 250ml bottle retails at £11.49 but can be found on Fragrance Direct for £9.99 and on Beauty Bay .

Have you tried any silver shampoo's for your blonde hair or tried products from IdHAIR before?

Psst....Have you entered my GIVEAWAY to win Mac Creme Cup lipstick yet?

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Mac Patisserie Review and Swatches

Today I am showing you another of my recent Mac lipstick purchases. This one is Mac Patisserie.

Mac Patisserie is a Lustre formulation which is moisturising and gives a lovely sheen to the lips. In the bullet the colour looks quite boring, a orange toned brown with a slight shimmer that you would expect to be in the make up bag of someone older and more mature. On the lips the colour is very different, it comes out a lot more sheer and is really an identical match to my own lips.

When swatching in the shops its very hard to imagine the colour pay off on the lips and when I saw this I thought it would be the perfect nude lip colour. In reality the colour is just my lips but better and doesn't really stand out at all.

Maybe on darker or lighter skin tones it my show up more, but for me its a bit disappointing. I mean I will use it  as it cost me £15 and I hate to waist money, but it will be a shade that I got to just to add a sheen to my lips rather than a colour.

Have you any other suggestions for a Nude lip colour?


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

TAG // Skin Care


This is my first ever tag. I have really been into skin care lately, trying to improve my skin and combat those early signs of  ageing, so this tag really appealed to me. I was introduced to it from Harriet who blogs over at ByooteeBlog , to check out her post and answers click here .
Describe your skin care routine in 5 words.
Double Cleanse, Exfoliate/Toner, Eye cream, Serum and then Moisturise. If  I'm allowed one more it would be a mask, which is used weekly as a deep clean.
What's your skin type?
I have combination skin/normal skin. I rarely suffer with dryness or sensitivity but do get those pesky breakout from time to time.  
Top Blemish Zapper?
My top blemish zapper has to be the Origins Super Spot remover. It helps clear up the spot, by reducing redness and the size without drying out my skin. If I get a spot I pop this on and the healing time is halved compared to when I don't use it.
Face Wipes, Yay or Nay?
All I need to say is Caroline Hiron's 3 F's..... "Face wipes are for Fanny's, Festivals and Flights". They are full of alcohol which can irritate and dehydrate your skin, they contain no goodness no matter what they say on the packet and do not clean your skin enough to be your daily cleansing aid. So Nay!
Toner Yay or Nay?
The word "toner" has changed these past years, when I think of a toner I think of an exfoliating toner which will deep clean, and clear out your pores removing dead skin cells and making your skin ready for the next stage in your routine, so Yay.
High-end Skin Care or High Street make up?
God this is a tough one, but I would have to go for skincare. I think if you look after your skin and it looks good, any make up with look good on you. High street make up has come a long way  and brands have really upped their game, so I will go with high end skin care.
What's the most unusual skincare product you've tried?
I think the most unusual product I have tried has to be Alpha H's Liquid Gold (a chemical exfoliant), just because its the first product I have ever used where you apply and leave it over night without washing or wiping off.
It contains Glycolic Acid which breaks down dead skin cells. The dead skin and impurities from blocked pores are then washed away with the morning cleanse. The results have been amazing and a product I would recommend to anyone. You can see my full review here.
 Tell us your skin care top tip?
My top tip would be to cleanse properly and moisturise everyday. If you can't do every step i.e. cleanse, exfoliate, eye cream, serum, moisturise, these two would be the ones I would recommend.
If you are unhappy with your skin, looking after it and using the right products WILL change it! Once you have made these simple changes to your routine, you will stick to them to keep up the results. I know this for a fact, because only in the last 6 months have I been in a proper skin care routine and have seen a dramatic difference in the appearance and texture of my skin.
I tag
Natasha at Shot Of Beauty
And You! If you're reading this you are TAGGED!!!
pssst ... Have you entered my Mac Lipstick GIVEAWAY ?