The stand-outs #7

A picture of the products which stood out for me in July.

A picture of The Body Shop Nutriorganics Drops of Youth

A picture of the Cover FX Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation

A picture of Indeed Labs Retinol Reface

A picture of Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara
I've managed to catch a bit of sun whilst we've had glorious whether in the UK, which means the summer bases have come out. I am smitten with the Cover FX Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation 30ml (£34) which was a favourite base last summer too. It's the perfect shade for my summer skin, is super easy to blend and leaves an incredibly natural and flawless finish. Best bit? It keeps my oily skin at bay - very rarely do I need to power when wearing this foundation, if ever!

I can't get enough of the subtle yet warming Bourjois Cream Blush in 01 Nude Velvet (£6), it's absolutely perfect for an everyday wearable blush with a gorgeous peachy nude colour that adds a light pop of colour. The Bourjois cream blushes are my favourite high-street offering where cream blushes are concerned; easy to work with, even easier to blend and a great colour pay-off that lasts all day.

Two shadows have taken top spot as my favourites throughout July for a subtle wash of colour; No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow in Wheatsheaf (£7) and Lily Lolo Mineral Eye Shadow in Miami Taupe (£5.99)both of which are incredibly subtle shades. Wheatsheaf is my favourite champagne shadow, a pressed shadow with a buttery soft formula and fab colour pay-off. Miami Taupe is just absolutely beautiful, a pale beige taupe. A loose mineral shadow, it's very easy to work with and is a favourite go-to shadow recently for a bronzed look.

One of my Sephora buys has taken top spot this month, falling head over heels for the Sephora Rouge Lipstick in Jealous ($12.50/£7.81), a gorgeous peachy coral that just looks amazing with a bronzed look. I am so impressed with the Sephora own range of products, having picked up a few lip products in my Sephora haul, and I will definitely be adding more of these lipsticks to my stash. A creamy formula, amazing colour pay-off and fab longevity, they're budget-friendly lipsticks which rival my favourite high-end brands. 

The Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara (£17)* has quickly taken top spot as a firm favourite. Perfect for even those with super sensitive eyes, the Goddess Mascara is naturally formulated in the style of ancient Egyptian beauty products, with plant based ingredients and waxes. It's a natural mascara that's paraben free and designed to accentuate and enhance your lashes. I just adore how much this mascara lengthens my lashes, making them look naturally fuller and longer and working perfectly to separate my lashes from the base, creating the perfect fan-lash effect. 

Skincare wise there's a few products I've simply adored this July, which have left my skin looking and feeling happier than ever. There's three new serums in my routine, which have made fantastic changes to the overall texture, look and feel of my skin. In the mornings I've been using The Body Shop Nutriorganics Drops of Youth 30ml (£24)*, a youth-enhancing concentrate which promises smoother-looking skin, enriched with criste-marine plant stem cells. A slightly thick serum in consistency, it has a lovely fresh scent and leaves my skin feeling plump and soft. One I'd recommend for those the same age as me or older, it's been a lovely addition to my morning routine. 

For evenings I've been religiously using the Indeed Labs Retinol Reface 30ml (£19.99)*, which is currently on offer for just £13.33. Retinol Reface combines three forms of retinol which works to provide your skin with a softer, smoother surface, leaving skin looking clearer, happier, all whilst targeting the appearance of crows feet, fine lines and wrinkles. A really lovely product, Retinol Reface instantly makes my skin feel softer and plumper once applied and the overall condition of my skin since adding this into my nightly routine has been amazing - I'm completely smitten with the huge benefits I've seen to my skin.

Another evening serum which has made it's way into my routine is the ARK Skincare Regenerating Skin Defence 50ml (£70)* which has just been an absolute joy to use. You might wonder why I use two serums at night, but the Retinol Face is applied straight after cleansing and toning, more as a resurfacing exfoliant and in place of my exfoliating toners, whereas I use the Regenerating Skin Defence as a pre-moisturiser serum. An innovative serum which uses advanced plant stem-cell technology, it works to repair and regenerate skin cells, leaving skin looking brighter and more youthful. It just feels so lovely when applied and I adore the packaging which is super hygienic in comparison to your normal pots; you twist the top section of the pot and the product appears through a centre-top hole, dispensing the perfect amount for your face and neck. 

An old favourite has made it's way back into my morning routine, with last summers favourite, Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturiser 50ml (£23). With an addictive yet refreshing citrus scent, it's easily one of my favourite moisturises for how it instantly hydrates, plumps and adds radiance with a light-weight gel formula. When it comes to summer, there's no moisturiser I love more for my morning routine. 

What products stood out for you this July?

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Check out my exclusive Darjeeling Sponsor for July - Which Beauty Box UK
*This post contains a PR samples. For more information, please see my disclaimer

Wonderful July Sponsors

Another month has passed, and a busy month it was too! But in between the chaos and deadlines of my dissertation, I've been enjoying a good old cup of tea whilst reading through the newest posts of my wonderful July Sponsors.

Exclusive Darjeeling Sponsor
Which Beauty Box UK

Here's what Jaina has to say about Which Beauty Box UK, "My name is Jaina, a 30 something year old who has a love affair with beauty boxes.  My main objective when I created this blog was to offer my readers a one stop shop where they can find monthly reviews on the most popular beauty subscription boxes available in the UK. The list is endless!"
My favourite posts from Which Beauty Box UK in July have been the detailed July Wanted Beaut Box review and the July Edition 2 Love Me Beauty Box review!

Lady Grey Sponsors
Stephanie Theresa Spiritual Consultant
Could Stephanie help you? Here's what she has to say... "In need of guidance? Unhappy? Wanting to make change? Spiritual Coaching can help you. Maybe you are just curious as to options that may be showing up in your life? A Spiritual Reading can help with this.Over 30 years experience.   Many happy clients."

The Human Mannequin
Here's what Sally has to say about The Human Mannequin, "The Human Mannequin is written by Sally, a lover of plus size fashion, all things girly and a gallivant in the sunshine. The Human Mannequin is primarily a plus size fashion blog designed to offer outfit inspiration for women of a curvier nature as well as a few lifestyle and beauty posts."
My favourite post from The Human Mannequin through July has been Sally's 'Feeling Blue' OOTD post!

The Cameras Lying
Here's what Amy has to say about The Cameras Lying, "Hello Sophia's readers! I'm Amy from the blog 'The Camera's Lying' and the youtube channel 'Thecameraliesbeauty.' On my blog you can find fashion & style posts- namely outfit of the days, along with beauty reviews, favourites & tutorials. All of the above are coupled with my love of photography, which influences my blog a lot. Enjoy!"
My favourite post from The Cameras Lying through July has been Amy's gorgeous 'Florals & Tailoring' OOTD post as well as her fab DIY Makeup Storage Cake Stand YouTube video!

The Agoraphobic Fashionista
Here's what Sera has to say about The Agoraphobic Fashionista, "The Agoraphobic Fashionista is an escape and has grown into a community of sorts. Created as somewhere Sera could get lost in. From pretty dresses to fashion styles that don't work, beauty buys & beauty fails to discussing the taboos of mental health challenges such as Agoraphobia. A blog about a life spent indoors."
My favourite post from The Agoraphobic Fashionista through July has been Sera's fab hair care review, The Perfect BIG Brush by Denman!

A Scottish Lass
Here's what Laura had to say about A Scottish Lass, "Laura, coffee drinking, lipstick loving, mother of two, wife of one.  A Scottish Beauty & Lifestyle blogger from North East Scotland. Holy Grails - Mac Ruby Woo Lipstick, Clarins Flash Balm, Touche Eclat Foundation.  Favourite Food - Macaroni.  Celebrity Crush - Bradley Cooper."
My favourite post from A Scottish Lass through July has been Laura's fab Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo - Suede review!

Earl Grey Sponsors
Dream in Pink
More of Me

You can find out more about the three Sponsor packages available, pricing as well as what each package includes over on my Sponsor page!

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July Love Me Beauty Box Review

A picture of July Edition 2 Love Me Beauty Box

A picture of July Edition 2 Love Me Beauty Box

A picture of Weleda Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Body Lotion
A picture of Ofra Bliss Pressed Eyeshadow, Lashem Lash Enhancing Serum, Ofra Hollywood Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick, So Susan Dual Brow Powder & So Susan Flutter Mascara

A picture of TeaShed 4am Tea 20 Whole Leaf White Tea Silky Pyramid Teabags
It's been another fantastic month for beauty boxes and I've really been enjoying trying all the products inside each box this month. One box I've been really excited about is the July Love Me Beauty box and this month I opted for Edition 2, which contains six full sized beauty products, a sample sized product and a delicious lifestyle extra.

This month it was the lifestyle extra from The TeaShed that swayed my decision in which box to go for. I love white tea and the idea of a tea which has been specifically created to be perfect for any time of day - even 4am - with lower caffeine than normal teas as well as being great for your skin and full of anti-oxidants, well I was instantly sold! With a really light fragrant scent, The TeaShed White Tea is lovely and I've enjoyed a few cups over the past few nights, just before bed. It makes a perfect bedtime tea, just brew for 4-5 minutes and as it's a white tea, there's no need for milk! I received 20 teabags, which is the same as full size - although it would have been nice to have the cup advertised with the teabags, in the box too.

Ofra is a completely new brand to me, and there's two full sized Ofra products inside Edition 2, which is a great way to explore the brand. First up, a stunning pale beige champagne eyeshadow with a shimmer finish. It's really quite beautiful, and I can't wait to put this to the test, see how the colour pay-off is when on as well as how long it lasts! It looks perfect for an inner-corner highlight or a wash of colour over the lids. The second Ofra product is a gorgeous, gorgeous blue toned bright pink liquid lipstick, that has a divine creamy formula and reminds me a lot texture wise, of the Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipsticks. Definitely can't wait to see how this fairs compared to my other liquid lipsticks! 

I recently introduced So Susan to the blog, and they're a brand whose products I've found to be fairly hit and miss. Inside Edition 2 there's two products from So Susan, a brow kit and a mascara. The brow kit shades are quite warm toned, and one in particular is fairly dark. I actually see these shades working well for me though, although I imagine paler beauties may struggle and need fairer shades. The mascara is described as an intense carbon-black mascara formulated with Hyaluronic spheres to help you achieve the darkest, curviest lashes possible. I've never known Hyaluronic Acid to be used in a mascara, and it's purpose in the formula is a little puzzling for me. I'll be giving this a go when I've used up a few of my current mascaras, and let you know my final thoughts!

The final product inside the July Edition 2 box is a product that I've tried in many forms before, although not from Lashem. A lash enhancing serum which promises to make your lashes look longer and healthier within 2 weeks, we'll see with this one.... I've never had luck with this kind of product before, but with the full size costing £40 at 3.5ml (I received a 2ml sample size), I hope this will be the one to change my mind and leave me with beautiful lashes!

This was a surprise product in boxes this month, and one I was really chuffed to see. I love Weleda and they're an essential brand I often indulge in, but beauty boxes always seem to provide the same samples of Weleda products. It's fantastic to see a full sized Weleda product in the box, and one I'll definitely use. Who doesn't love a replenishing body lotion?!

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the July Edition 2 box. Although there's a couple of products from the same brands, they are all products I will use and I'm actually really excited by all of them. I love the formula of the Ofra liquid lipstick and the eyeshadow shade is just gorgeous! I'm hoping Lashem will finally give me the lashes I've always wanted, and I'm excited by the brow kit and mascara from So Susan. The TeaShed tea was a fabulous lifestyle extra to receive - and it's also really nice to see a box including more than one or two individual teabags. I was also super chuffed with the unexpected extra of the Weleda Replenishing Body Lotion, which will definitely come in handy as you can never have too many body lotions! Overall my July Edition 2 Love Me Beauty box has a total worth of £89.61, which is amazing for a £10 box!

If you'd like to subscribe to Love Me Beauty and chose between three editions each month (ensuring you get the products you really want, rather than a surprise contents of products you won't use), then you can find out more on the Love Me Beauty website. Boxes cost £10 a month plus £2.95 post and packaging.

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Check out my exclusive Darjeeling Sponsor for July - Which Beauty Box UK
*This post contains a PR samples. For more information, please see my disclaimer


Win a romantic trip to Paris for two!

Win a romantic trip to Paris for two
Paris has always been a dream destination for me. I've been before, once, but it was with school in year 11, a day to Disneyland Paris that wasn't quite as fun as we'd all hoped (flying ants everywhere). Yet Paris has always been that 'romantic' destination I've wanted to visit; see the Eiffel Tower, visit the Louvre, marvel at Notre Dame. Visit the Moulin Rouge (oh la la) It's hailed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world - I'm determined to visit one day!

If you would love to visit Paris as much as me, there's an amazing competition going on right now to win a romantic trip to Paris for two, with travel and hotel included - and yes, I've entered! (Could you imagine winning a prize like that?!) The competition is open until July 30th, and the amazing prize is courtesy of iDBUS and it's incredibly easy to enter - all you have to do is answer a question, that's it! You can enter here

As well as entering the fab Paris competition, I'd really recommend checking out the iDBUS Destination Generator, fab for anyone indecisive about where to go on holiday! My partner and I are hoping to go on holiday next summer, and we decided to try the generator out, and funnily enough it gave us Paris as our answer, how spot on! 

You can find out more about iDBUS, their destinations, including London to Paris Bercy and all the info on pricing over on the iDBUS website (and as someone who uses public transport constantly to travel around the Country, their fares are pretty darn low!)

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Check out my exclusive Darjeeling Sponsor for July - Which Beauty Box UK
*This is a sponsored collaboration. For more information, please see my disclaimer


The Expert Brush Collection Review

A picture of The Body Shop Expert Brush Collection

A picture of The Body Shop Expert Brush Collection
Makeup brushes are a weakness of mine. I collect makeup brushes just like I do lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes. I have more than I need, yet I never seem to have enough. I remember when I was younger, I had only a couple of makeup brushes - and even they were snapped up second-hand from my mum. I've done the whole using your hands to apply makeup thing, and although it worked for me in my younger years (or not so much, if you see the photo evidence), you could not pay me to apply my makeup without brushes now.

When you buy brushes individually, it can be quite a lengthy and expensive process building up your collection. A good quality brush can cost anything from £10 upwards, but a budget-friendly way to grow your brush collection is brush sets. Lots of brands offer them, usually with a handful or so brushes, at a set price which is cheaper than if you bought each of the brushes individually. One such set, which I have been using over the past fortnight, is The Body Shop The Expert Brush Collection (£30).

Featuring five brushes, The Expert Brush Collection is one of three brush collections available from The Body Shop. Like all The Body Shop products, each brush within the range is cruelty free, with super-soft synthetic bristles. With a total worth of £58, you're saving almost £30 buying the brushes as a set, rather than individually. But what brushes are included, and are they worth investing in?

The Body Shop Eyeshadow Brush is a medium flat brush with tapered bristles, which has been created to provide precise and even application with both powder and cream eye shadows. Personally for me, I adore the eyeshadow brush for applying cream eyeshadow bases - I find the synthetic yet gorgeously glossy bristles are perfect for the formula and texture of cream shadows, opposed to looser, more fluffy brushes which never seem to pick up much product for me. It's definitely helped rekindled my love for some of my favourite cream bases, such as my MAC Paint Pots. I also find this doubles up nicely as a concealer brush!

The Body Shop Blusher Brush is the perfect size for a blusher brush. There's a nice density but with slightly longer bristles than other blusher brushes in my collection. I find this makes the blusher brush lovely for applying subtle, more natural toned blushers. I have a lot of lovely natural, warming blushers in my stash (some which double up as a natural contour, such as the Bobbi Brown Almond Powder Blusher) and the blusher brush makes it effortless to apply, adding a touch of warmth to the apples of my cheeks, then applying slightly more pressure to apply a natural contour upwards, slightly fanning the bristles of the brush. Best to use this one just for powder blushes though!

The Body Shop Foundation Brush is a traditionally shaped flat, tapered brush, best suited to liquid bases. I love traditional foundation brushes - although I don't always find them easy to create a flawless finish, I much prefer using them to apply the foundation to my face, before buffing in with another brush (usually my Real Techniques Buffing Brush) for a natural finish. This is lovely for just that, and also works really work for applying cream contours, before buffing in with my Real Techniques Contour Brush

The Body Shop Face & Body Brush is described as the perfect brush for applying both loose powder products and powder bronzers, for use on the face, neck and d├ęcolletage. For me this one is lovely for powder bronzers. The bristles are long, just the right density, but there's a subtle tapered end which works brilliantly for contouring, whilst still being the perfect brush for blending to a natural finish. 

The Body Shop Lipstick & Concealer Brush is the final brush in The Expert Brush Collection and is one I actually prefer just as a lip brush. It's a touch too small for concealer, but works perfectly for both blending lip liners and applying lipstick. With a slightly tapered top, it's really precise and perfect for applying lipsticks fuss-free!

Each of the brushes in The Expert Brush Collection have made their way into my everyday routine. I really like all of them, but my favourites are definitely the Eyeshadow Brush and Blusher Brush! A fab set of brushes that would be perfect for anyone from beauty novices to fully fledged beauty addicts. Have you tried any brushes from The Body Shop before? 

 I post daily, keep up to date with my newest posts by following me
Check out my exclusive Darjeeling Sponsor for July - Which Beauty Box UK
*This post contains a PR samples. For more information, please see my disclaimer