Monday, 30 March 2015

Spring Vibes | Introducing L'erbolario

L'erbolario Bath and candle review
L'erbolario Narciso Bath foam and candle review
Narciso Bath Foam - £12.50 Candle - £13.00

L'erbolario is a brand new to me and one I have welcomed due to my love of bath products and candles. The Italian born company pride themselves on only using the best herbs and natural plant ingredients, sourcing and manufacturing them in a way that benefits the environment as well as their employees.
L'erbolario make and produce an array of beauty products that include skincare, perfumes, bath products and home scents - all containing the very best raw ingredients that will treat any number of beauty concerns.

The two products I have been trying out come from the Narciso Sublime range* which contains Narcissus  - a flower that blooms before any other and delivers fresh spring like notes. The skin care properties like Almond Oil and Oat Amino Acids produces the softest bubbles known to man - I mean you can literally feel the difference when they touch your skin. They feel velvety soft which in turn leaves the skin feeling nourished. The ingredients are even suitable for sensitive skin making this a good all rounder that tackles a number of skin concerns,

The candle is of the same family and transports the fresh floral notes around the room, filling the air with a spring like freshness that is uplifting and awakening. There is no hint of artificial fragrance with this and even though the candle is rather small the smell still lingers around the home and is easy detectable.

I've fallen for this brand and look forward to trying out more from their different lines. Have you heard or tried any products from them? I would love to hear your thoughts.

* Pr sample. All thoughts are of course my own.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Bargain Beauty

As any beauty fanatic will know it's not always easy to keep ahead of the game when it comes to new products. That little thing called money can stop us buying what we want and often lead to beauty product depression. But fear not! Some sites offer cult and luxury ( as well as drug store) items at discounted rates so we can all get our hands on the must have products without a call from the bank manager.
These items I have come from Direct Cosmetics (which stock products like Clarins, Estee Lauder, Hermes, Urban Decay and many more) cost a lot less than what you would pay on the high-street.  

The Mont Blanc Femme de Montblanc* EDT retails for £28.60, but on this site you can pick it up for the tidy sum of £9.99! The perfume is a seductive mixture of Beaumont, Pineapple, Chocolate, Patchouli and Jasmine which when worn reminds me of Ghost 'Deep Night' and Jean Paul Gaultier 'Le Male' mixed together. Sweet and spicy with a sexy vibe that makes it ideal for evening wear and a favourite mine.

Something else I was excited to see on the site was the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream*. I picked the one in lip balm form which is handy to use but I feel it's not as hydrating as the one in the tube. Not sure why as the formula seems the same, but never the less a good item to have in my handbag for chapped lips emergencies. This retails at £15.99 but is available on the site for £6.99

Along with the high end makeup and skincare items you can pick up beauty staples for less than you'd pay on the high street. This mascara from Loreal - 'Waterproof Lash Architect'* is a narrow bristled wand that lengthens the lashes without clumping. It doesn't deliver much in the way of volume but separates the hairs and the waterproof formula makes it ideal for use after curling your lashes as it holds the curl and without flaking or transferring. This can be found on the high street priced at £9.99 and on this site for £4.89. 

Have you bought any bargain beauty items recently? What discount sites do you like to use?

*Pr Samples. All thoughts are of course my own. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Spring Vibes | Neom Reed Diffuser in Happiness

Neom Reed Diffuser in Happiness

Neom Reed Diffuser in Happiness £20.00*

The season is definitely seeing a change now - the mornings are lighter and the evenings longer. With this addition many of us feel the urge for a spring clean. To throw out the old and refresh our homes to reveal a new and up lifting environment for us to live in. An easy way of doing this without getting your hands dirty is to inject fragrance into your home, this can be done with fresh seasonal flowers or for an option that lasts longer  - some scented reeds.

These reeds from Neom Organics in Happiness are ideal. They infuse the room with essences of White Neroli, Mimosa and Lemon, which instantly injects life and a spring awaking into the home.

I've tried many reed diffusers in the past and found that the initial scent is detectable but after a few days the fragrance fades and becomes unnoticeable. The Neom Reed Diffuser is different. It fills the room within minutes of placing the reeds in the diffuser, the scent lingers and more importantly lasts! It filled the room with a subtle backdrop that is sweet and clean, masking cooking smells and leaving you feeling lifted and relaxed.

The pure essential oils are designed to change moods by filling the air with natural goodness. The scent you require is all down to your personal needs - 'Happiness' has definitely helped me these last few days with some unexpected worry and anxiety. Obviously these oils won't solve problems but what they do do is relax and clear the mind so you're at your best to deal with life's troubles.

Have you tried any products from Neom?

*Pr Sample. All thoughts are of course my own.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Makeup Revolution | Pro Fix Oil Control Fixing Spray

Makeup Revolution Oil Control Fixing Spray Review

Oil and my face are like Siamese twins - where there's one there's the other. In the warmer months this tends to be a lot worse but it's always a concern of mine no matter what the season. So with this being said I obviously like to use products to counteract this and keep the oil at bay for as long as possible.

I don't normally use setting sprays. I reply on powders to lock everything in place and eradicate the shine. I was very intrigued to try the Makeup Revolution Oil Control Fixing Spray*. It's said to be "a lightweight setting spray that helps deflect surface shine for a natural matte finish. High tech ingredients keep foundation and eye makeup in place, with no smudging and no fading. That 'Just-Applied' look for 12 hours"

The fine mist settles onto the skin and dries within minutes, initially delivering a cooling sensation and then ridding the skin of any powdery residue that same foundations and powders leave behind (much like MAC Fix+ would do). The spray doesn't make the skin feel sticky - which for some reason I thought it might do or leave a film on the skin to stop the shine and oil coming through. In fact it disappeared as soon as it was applied so no need to wave your hands around your face in order for it to dry. Just spray and go.

After using this for a couple of weeks now I can definitely say that I've found it does help control the shine throughout the day. I've not felt the need to powder or touch up as much as I used to and I think that this plays a big part in stopping the foundation breaking up and looking patchy, which can happen when there's excess oil present on the skin. Even though I was impressed with the results I think the claim of 12 hours maybe pushing it a bit. I found on my skin that after 8 hours my foundation had worn away in certain areas. Up until that point the makeup looked good and the spray saw me through the best part of the working day so that was good enough for me. 

I've also found it works wonders when used with pressed pigments or wet-dry eye shadows as a fixing agent to achieve a foiled effect. It not only does the job perfectly but also keeps the shadow looking its best and prevents fading. 

For the price (£5.00) I think it's definitely worth checking out if you're an oily gal like myself, and a much cheaper option that the Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Setting Spray.

What methods to you use to keep the oil at bay? Have you tried a setting spray like this before?
*Pr sample. All thoughts are of course my own.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Magic Minerals - An Instagram filter for your face!

Magic Minerals* £9.99 

We've all been there and watched the shopping channels at one time or another  (I know I have), and lost hours glued to the TV while watching the presenters talk for what seems a life time about one particular product. If you're like me then you may have seen this item crop every now and then.  Magic Minerals pressed powder promises to conceal, correct and adjust to every skin tone. 
I must admit I was a little sceptical. It looks pretty in the pan with the different colour correcting pigments but I was unsure at how well these would really work on the skin, and if at all it adapted to my skin tone.

The different colours represent a colour correcting pigment that will even out skin tone leaving it looking flawless and adding a brightening effect to the skin. 
  • Lavender - helps camouflage sallow complexions 
  • Pink - brightens dull skin
  • Mint - reduces the appearance of redness and hides blemishes
  • Yellow - conceals dark circles and uneven skin tones. 

When I first tried this out I was bare faced. I have quite a lot if pigmentation marks and scarring (see photo below) from past blemishes and my skin is anything but even, so I thought this would be a good test. The powder is filly milled and blends easily onto the skin. I used the brush that came with it but you can also use the sponge that's supplied with the kit. 
When buffing it over my skin it felt like nothing was being applied - but what I did notice was my skin perfecting before my eyes. Redness was neutralised and the purple scarring I have was softened - not covered completely but in all honestly I didn't think it would! My skin tone just looked more even, almost like I'd had an Instagram filter had been applied to it. 

Before and After used alone on bare skin. 

When used over makeup it gives the illusion of delivering an extra layer of coverage without delivering an extra layer of product. It doesn't look or feel cakey - the skin just looks perfected. 
I've been using this to set my makeup and it's worked really well. It stays put for the good part of 6-8 hours leaving my skin looking polished and even. I've been impressed and can definitely see it being part of my makeup routine.

This would be perfect for summer and times when you want to go makeup free, but without actually going make up free. You can wear it on its own while it just blurs away imperfections and still leaving the skin looking like skin.

As for it colour adjusting - all I can say is I've used it on my natural pale skin (MAC NW20)  and I've use it when I have fake tanned (MAC NW30), and both times the colour match has been spot on. I'm interested to see how this works on darker skin tones and whether it leaves it looks ashy at all?

If you're concerned about the appearance of your skin because of blemishes, scarring and so forth but hate wearing heavy makeup to disguise it then this  +  something like the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream = natural flawless looking skin.

What do you think to this? Have you tried it before?

*Pr Sample. All thoughts are of course my own. 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Fuller lips in Seconds?

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk review with lip swatches.

Charlotte Tilbury's Lip Cheat in 'Pillow Talk' has been raved by many so I thought it was about time to give you my take on the iconic lip shaping pencil. At £16.00 it's not cheap by any means and many have found good dupes for it, but this is where it all began - so does it really live up to the hype?

The pencil isn't as creamy as some I have tried. It leaves a slightly tacky feeling behind and is a little dragging on the lips. Not really what I was expecting but because of this and its waterproof formula it gives the pencil staying power and stops it smearing or rubbing off. It also creates the perfect base for lipsticks as it gives them something to adhere to, acting like a glue almost to prevent the lipstick from fading.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Review.
Before and After. 

The colour is a nice mix of pink and brown hues that match my lip shade perfectly, the "your lips but better" saying is so apt here, and because of this it allows me to overdraw and reshape my lip line. As you can see form the photos my top lip in smaller than my bottom - the lip pencil rectifies this and does so in an understated and natural way.

The lip pencil is good, fab in fact. In my opinion it's worth the hype. Maybe it's not something you need to own but for those who are conscious about their lips and want them to appear bigger and fuller without going down the injections route, then this is your guy.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Which is the best Exfoliator for you?

Exfoliating is something that really takes a prime position in my skin care routine. The results of exfoliating can hold huge benefits and really improve the appearance and condition of the skin. It can help with blemishes by unclogging pores, refine the skins texture, improve pigmentation and deliver the healthy radiant glow will all strive to achieve. But which exfoliator is best for you?

'The Lazy Girls Exfoliator'
If your skincare routine is nothing but a chore, and the thought of adding another step is too much to bare then this is your guy. Not only is it excellent at brightening the skin and delivering radiance and more even texture, but it's worn overnight with no other products. So skip the moisturiser and serums, and just pop this on with a cotton pad and you're good to go. Alpha H Liquid Gold is Glycolic based and helps break down dead skin cells while you sleep, and then washes them away in the morning cleanse. Known as the "overnight facial" to delivers results without all the faff.

'The Newbie/Sensitive Skin'
If you're new to chemical exfoliating or have sensitive skin you might want to start with something gentle and non abrasive. The First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads are not only handy with their pre-soaked pads, but are gentle enough to use everyday and for those with sensitive skin. Using fruit and chemical acids to gently remove dead skin cells and brighten up the complexion without the risk of irritation. These are a great way to step into chemical exfoliants.

'The Exfoliating Mask'
The Avène Cleanance Mask* is great for problematic skin as it's a mask and exfoliator in one. The Kaolin (White clay) helps draw out impurities and regulate oil production, and the  AHA's then help lift away dead dull skin to reveal a more radiant complexion. The mask also contains micro particles that buff and polish the skin, removing dry patches and textured areas so the skin looks and feels smooth. Revealing a more even texture that is less congested.

'The Double Whammy Exfoliator'
When most of you think of exfoliators I bet St Ives Apricot Scrub comes to mind. The iconic scrub has been around for years and many enjoy the feeling of actually buffing away dead skin. I personally think it's a little too abrasive and prefer chemical exfoliation. But sometimes when I have dry patches it's nice to use a product that will lift the dead skin away immediately. This cleanser from Murad* combines AHA and BHA exfoliators (Salicylic, Lactic, Glycolic acids) with Jojoba beads to remove dead skin and dissolve away dullness while still delivering hydration. The concoction of acids improves cell turnover by dissolving dead skin resulting in a brighter more radiant complexion.

'The Cult Product'
I'm sure if you've been reading blogs for a while the Pixi Glow Tonic would have made an appearance at one time or another. It's a cult product and for good reason. The "toner" breaks down dead skin cells much like the other exfoliators do - leaving the skin feeling refreshed and more refined. It smooths out texture making the skin more even and creates the perfect canvas for applying serums and moisturisers to.
This is a step up the First Aid Beauty pads - being a little stronger and delivering faster results.

Which exfoliators do you like using?

*Pr Samples. All thoughts are of course my own.

Friday, 6 March 2015

February Favourites 2015

Avène Ystheal Moisturiser*. This is my first dip into retinol based products and from the results I've seen so far I'm hooked! This anti ageing moisturiser has been changing my skin for the better. Just from the first couple of weeks use i can already see my skin tone looking more even, the textured areas are smoother and breakouts less frequent. I'm loving it and will be doing a full review in the next couple of week so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Eye of Horus Brow Define Pencils* are the perfect partners for any brows. The fine tipped pencil allows me to create tiny hair like strokes for a natural look, or overfill my brows to create a define bolder brow. Either way it does the job easily and without fuss.

Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze and Glow has been my product of choice ever since I got it earlier this month. The "bronze" shade is the perfect colour for craving out cheek bones as it contains just the right amount of cool tones to deliver a shadow effect. But is also warm enough to add colour and glow to the skin. The highlight shade isn't glittery at all. I normally stay clear of highlighters as I think they emphasise my pores too much, but this is different. It adds glow to the skin without making you looking like a disco ball and because of that I've been using the two together everyday since I got them.

Makeup Revolution Oil Control Fixing Spray*. I'm all over anything that says it controls oil and this setting spray has been a firm fixture in my makeup bag. The fine mist settles onto the skin, drying within seconds and taking away the powdery residue much like the MAC Fix+ would do. It's refreshing and actually feels hydrating on the skin which I wasn't expecting due to it being oil reducing. The spray I've found does keep the oil from surfacing throughout the day and keeps my makeup looking its best for longer! It's also great to use with pressed pigments as a fixing agent to create a foil effect over the lid. Gotta love a multi purpose product!

Bourjois Liner Pinceau Eyeliner. I reviewed this here and have used nothing else - it's my eyeliner of choice and creates the perfect flick with its fine haired brush. The formula is "ultra black' meaning it is just that. Not grey, or wishy washy, but black. And what's even better is it last all day. No smudging or flaking, just the perfect wing all day.

Nspa Double Action Youth Serum*. My skin has changed recently, a result of all the oil fighting products I've been using. Which is good and welcomed but because of this is I've suddenly been feeling for the first time that my skin needs a little more hydration than it has done before. Step in the Nspa Double Action Youth Serum. A light weight serum I've been using before my evening moisturiser to give my skin the extra boost it needs. It's non oily and sinks in quickly plumping up the skin delivering hydration just where it needs it. As you can see I'm nearly all out so need to replace it asap!

Library Of Fragrance Gin and Tonic Perfume*. Since the season is beginning to change I've opted for a fresher more subtle fragrance, and this has been it. Don't be put off my the name, you're not going to feel like a brewery! The scent is very clean and fresh with an uplifting quality to it and because of this it's been shoved into my handbag for everyday use!

What have been your favourites last month? Have you tried any go mine?

*PR Samples. All thoughts are of course my own.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers | Worth the hype?

If you would have told me that I'd be spending £20 on an eyelash curler I would of thought you were mad. Surly they're all the same? What makes one pair which cost £5 so different to a pair the cost four times as much?

I have a pair of curlers from Boots and I've studied them closely and compared the two together. They both look identical and feel the same when clamped around my eye ball, but still they're oceans apart when it comes to performance.
When the question is asked "are the Shu Uemura eye lash curlers worth the money" the answer is yes! I can't tell you why they're different from cheaper alternatives but they are.

Left - Lashes curled with Shu Uemura Curlers. Right - Natural lashes, both with one coat of Loreal Miss Manga Waterproof Mascara. 

What makes them stand out from the crowd is that they hold the curl. It doesn't flop within 5 minutes of leaving the house, but actually lasts all day until you remove your make up. When using cheaper curlers I found the curl would drop within a few minutes of applying mascara, this would be the same whether i used a waterproof version or not. But with the Shu Uemura eyelash curlers the lashes remain lifted and the eyes look bigger and more awake.

If you're in the market for a new pair of eyelash curlers they these are your guy. Don't waste your money on cheaper alternatives as I've found they just don't live up to their high end counterpart.

Have you tried these? What do you think to them?

Monday, 2 March 2015

Three Mini Reviews

Eyeshadow - Nars Desdemona (dry). Lashes - Velour 'Girl You Crazy'. Eyeliner - Bourjois Liner Pinceau.

I've been trying out some new products recently and thought I'd give you some mini reviews and my initial thoughts on them...

Nars Dual Intensity Eye shadow in 'Desdemona'. These shadows are all over the blogosphere so obviously it was inevitably that i was going to pick one up. What makes these different from other shadows is that they can be worn wet or dry. Used dry they deliver a wash of colour over the eye lid. And when used wet the intensity is amplified giving a more foiled effect. The colour i have 'Desdemona" which is stunning - a duo chrome purple with hints of blue which is unlike anything i own.
They're not cheap but well worth a look as they can be worn a number of different ways. You can even apply them as eyeliner when used wet!

Velour Lashes 'Girl You Crazy'. I've got the bug when it comes to mink lashes and have been trying out different makes and styles. These look so fluttery when on and can change up any makeup look. Like the Total Mink Lashes I reviewed here, they can be worn up to 25 times making the initial pay out a little easier to swallow. Although they look quite heavy, they feel comfortable to wear and apply easily to the lashes. You do have to be carful when removing them as they're known for the hairs to fall out and you don't want bold lashes now do you!

Bourjois Liner Pinceau Eyeliner. This is the sister to the 'Mega Liner' which I  loved, the formula is spot on but I found the felt tip applicator a little tricky to work with. This solves the problem and they've released it in a fine tipped brush form. This makes it a lot easier for me to apply, and the pigmented long lasting formula is still the same.  Hurray!!

Have you tried any of these products out?What did you think to them?