30 July 2014

Yours Truly Organics Skincare Review

A picture of Yours Truly Organics Skincare

Yours Truly Organics Balancing Toner and Take it away! Gel Cleanser

A picture of Yours Truly Organics Face Base Face Balm and Fix Me Repairing Serum
When it comes to skincare, the more natural it is, the better. I love products which are kind to our skin, kind to the environment and kind to the planet and animals. Although I'm not 100% cruelty free, I do like to change products in my routine for animal and planet friendly products as often as possible, and some products which have been regular and daily features in my routine over the past couple of months, have become quite the staples! Introducing, Yours Truly Organics

Yours Truly Organics was founded by Kelita Bignall, who knows the importance of clear, beautiful and happy skin and ingredients which are truly good for our skin and what our skin needs, no nasty chemicals to clog up and damage our skin, every product is made with specifically chosen ingredients - you can read more about the ingredients in Yours Truly Organics products here.  

I really love cleansers which have citrus scents, as I find them refreshing and create as a wake-me-up in the morning. This has a lovely light-weight gel formula, enriched with Vitamin C, which adds a lovely citrus touch, and Sandalwood Oil. It works to remove dirt, grime and impurities from the skin whilst being gentle and helping to promote and maintain our skins natural elasticity. I think it's fab as a morning cleanser, but it's not my favourite for removing makeup. The Take it away! Gel Cleanser is available in two sizes, 150ml at £22 and 200ml at £27. 

I definitely prefer spritzer toners to ones you have to pour out of a bottle; they're so much easier to use, totally fuss-free and it saves on cotton pads! The Balancing Toner is formulated with Witch Hazel and Aloe Vera, which are loved for their soothing and repairing properties, helping your skin stay at the optimal pH level all whilst improving hydration. The Witch Hazel is a pretty strong scent in this one, and I think it would be more suited to combination or acne prone skin, although it's lovely fresh out of the fridge as a refresher on a hot day! The Balancing Toner is available in two sizes, 150ml at £29 and 200ml at £24.

This has such a lovely, lovely scent of orange, and I was completely addicted when I used it exclusively throughout May, and it's one I'm starting to use again now as I've found it is an absolute dream when popped in the fridge overnight and applied in the morning. I am serum obsessed at the minute, and this is just another to add to the list of favourites. Formulated to smooth, repair and tighten and enriched with Oat Kernel, whilst Sesame Seed Extract and Saw Palmetto help to reduce inflammation caused by blemishes.

This is easily my favourite product from the range, and has been lovely to use in place of my STREAMCREAM (see review here) as perfect for a day moisturiser-primer hybrid when I want something simple and effective on the skincare side, but also great for priming my skin ready for makeup, extending wear of products.  It contains Pea Extract, which improves elasticity and regulates our skins sebum production (great for us oily skin girls!), alongside Daisy Flower Extract that works to brighten a complexion perfectly. 

Although not all of the products are perfectly suited to my skin, I think each would work well with combination skin to normal skin. The Face Base Face Balm is amazing for oily skin though, so I couldn't recommend that enough for any oily skin sisters out there! As well as being available individually, you can also try each of the products in the Yours Truly Organics Sample Kit (£5), which contains a 5ml sample of each product within the range, or if you're looking to invest in a full routine or even a gift for a friend or loved one, you can buy the range as the Yours Truly Organics Gift Box (£99) which contains the full range. 

What are your thoughts on organics skincare? Have you tried Yours Truly Organics before? Let me know who your favourite organic brands are so I can check them out! 

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29 July 2014

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palettes Review

A picture of Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palettes

A picture of Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palettes

A picture of Anna Sui Eye Color Palette

A picture of Anna Sui Eye Color Palette

A picture of Anna Sui Eye Color Palette
A picture of Anna Sui Lip Color Palette

A picture of Anna Sui Lip Color Palette

A picture of Anna Sui Lip Color Palette
Whoever invented palettes needs to be sent a very big cake, because I will never stop oohhing and ahhing over pretty packaging home to lots of different shades and finishes, all for me to delve in and experiment with! I am of course talking about the currently very popular Anna Sui Eye Color Palette (£14)* and the accompanying Anna Sui Lip Color Palette (£14)*. The packaging, for starters, is just beyond beautiful with incredibly stunning designs for each in slim, lightweight casing and magnets to hold the palette closed. 

The Eye Color Palette has a dark, traditional rose floral design with muted lavender, red and yellow roses on a black and gold ornate frame, whilst the Lip Color Palette is purple with traditional red roses and eye-catching gold lined butterflies with the same lovely ornate gold frame. There's no compact mirror inside like most palettes of this nature, but there is a handy brush in each; a dual-ended eyeshadow brush for the Eye palette and medium sized lip brush for the Lip palette. Each palette is usually £28, but are currently on offer for £14 each, which is a bit of a beauty bargain! But are they beauty bargains worth investing in? Definitely! 

The Eye Color Palette (£14) was always going to go down well with me, as I am a self-confessed palette obsessive. There is just something about a palette that lets you create a whole host of different eye looks, anything from neutral daytime appropriate shades to more bold and sultry shades for at night. The Anna Sui Eye Palette is perfect for day and night, with shades that might look intense, but would really work for any skin tone and any level of intensity; the shades are more sheer when applied than they look in the pan, but can also easily be built up for that intense pigmentation. Super easy to blend and really lovely and soft in the pan, there can be a tiny touch of fall out but nothing major. 

There's 10 shades in the palette and each is pretty fairly sized; unlike some slim eyeshadow palettes, I don't think you'd be hitting pan any time soon. Unfortunately, there's no shade names but there's a perfect mix to get you through any season, with a variety of finishes, I definitely have a few favourites. A super versatile palette, on the top row we have a fairly vivid grey silver with shimmer finish with has amazing colour pay off, a pale champagne with shimmer finish (this one needs building up), a lovey baby pink with shimmer finish, a lovely taupe with light lavender undertones and the most stunning burnt copper I have ever seen, both with a satin finish. On the bottom row all of the shades are pretty intense with amazing colour pay-off, highly pigmented shades that are amazing for the crease and super easy to blend. There's a lovely golden bronze with a slight shimmer finish, a deep warm mauve with a touch of metallic, a shimmering warm bark, a graphite with satin finish and a dark, but slightly sheer, black with silver shimmer. 

The Anna Sui Lip Palette (£14) is possibly one of the most gorgeously packaged palettes in my stash, and it's completely unique as I no longer have any lip palettes in my makeup collection. Lip palettes are incredibly for handy for anyone who is on the go a lot, travels a lot, or is just as indecisive as me and likes to change things up depending on what I'm doing. There's 10 shades in the Lip palette too, nine of which have the same hi-shine finish, and one shimmer finish. The shimmer shade starts the palette and it's the perfect palette version of a shimmering clear gloss with such fine, iridescent shimmer that it'd work alone as well as above any of the shades in the palette. Next up we have a pale pinky-beige nude, probably better for paler beauties and a touch too light for me, a warmer, honey brown, a light coral pink, a dark cherry red, a blue toned fuchsia, a perfect light dolly pink, a peachy coral, the perfect apple red and a warm, brick red. They are a touch glossy than I'd usually like, but a quick blot and the finish is much nicer to wear.The shades themselves are really pigmented and they apply well with the brush provided - although I'd advise popping a liner on some of the paler shades, as the longevity is a couple of hours at most for the nudes, whilst the more vivid shades last a fair while.

 What do you think to lipstick palettes, love them or hate them? Will you be snapping up the Anna Sui palettes whilst they're on offer? Don't forget to let me know if there's any palettes you think I should check out, I love hearing your recommendations! 

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28 July 2014

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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25 July 2014

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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22 July 2014

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!
Buy The Body Shop Eyeshadow Brush (£9)  

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!
Buy The Body Shop Blusher Brush (£12) 

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
Buy The Body Shop Foundation Brush (£12)

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. 
Buy The Body Shop Face & Body Brush (£16) 

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!
Buy The Body Shop Lipstick & Concealer Brush (£9)

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? 

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21 July 2014

Makeup Revolution Lips

A picture of Makeup Revolution Amazing Lipstick in Treat and Salvation Velvet Lacquer in Keep Trying For You

A picture of Makeup Revolution Amazing Lipstick in Treat and Salvation Velvet Lacquer in Keep Trying For You
Lip products are probably the products I own the most of. I am a sucker for a good lipstick, beautiful colours and fab formulas! But a lot of the brands in my stash are quite high-end, with price tags to match. 

I've shared my thoughts on a couple of Makeup Revolution products recently; the budget-friendly £4 Redemption Essential Shimmers palette, which I adore and has become quite the summer favourite, as well as the Baked Highlighter in Pink Lights, which I wasn't such a fan of. As a budget-friendly brand that seems to be winning the hearts of beauty adorers all over the UK, I've been trying out a few more products from the range, including two lip products. One which packs quite a punch, the other I wouldn't miss if I didn't have it...

There's no denying £1 for a lipstick is a bargain! A super purse-friendly price and within anyone's budget, which is a great thing about Makeup Revolution - everyone can indulge in their products. Makeup Revolution describe their lipstick range as a must-have range of lipsticks with over 20 shades, a creamy formula and long-lasting colour. Always a lover of the classic nude lip, I've been trying the Makeup Revolution Amazing Lipstick in Treat (£1) A lovely apricot nude, Treat is a shade which would suit a whole variety of skin-tones, a perfect everyday wearable shade. The formula is super creamy, it feels light-weight when on, with a finish akin to MAC Luster lipsticks

Although I love the shade, I haven't fallen in love with Treat as a lipstick. A creamy formula is fab, keeping your lips from getting dry and uncomfortable, but this ultra creamy formula makes the shade just a touch too sheer for my liking and it needs to be really built up to achieve an opaque colour. I also find Treat doesn't last long on me at all, needing to reapply more often than I'd like. Although £1 is a fantastic price, I'm not sure I'd delve into other shades from the Amazing Lipstick range, as the formula just doesn't work for me.

The Makeup Revolution Salvation Velvet Lacquer in Keep Trying For You (£3) on the other hand, is a must-have! A gorgeous liquid lipstick that is truly opaque in colour and has a gorgeous creamy formula that's the perfect in between - not too thin, not too thick. Effortless to apply, one layer will give you a gorgeous deep colour which can be built up with a second layer for more intensity. The finish is matte, yet it doesn't feel drying or uncomfortable when on like many matte lip products can. The shade is actually gorgeous, a real bright cherry red, but with blue undertones that make Keep Trying For You the perfect red for any complexion. Lasting power we're talking all day long, very rarely needing to touch up and even lasting through food and drinks. It's a beauty, and at just £3, I definitely plan on trying some more shades from the range!

Have you tried any Makeup Revolution lip products? What's your favourite budget-friendly brand for gorgeous lipsticks and opaque shades? 

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20 July 2014

Benefit Benebalm Hydrating Tinted Lip Balms

A picture of Benefit Benebalm Hydrating Tinted Lip Balms

A picture of Benefit Chachabalm and Benebalm
A picture of Benefit Posiebalm and Lollibalm

A picture of Benefit Benebalm Hydrating Tinted Lip Balms
L-R: BeneBalm, Posiebalm, Lollibalm, Chachabalm
As soon as I saw the packaging for the new(ish) Benefit Benebalm Hydrating Tinted Lip Balms, I knew I had never seen anything quite so pretty. Of all the quirky, unique and vibrant packaging akin to Benefit products (something they're very well known and loved for), this has to be my absolute favourite range for sheer packaging alone. The Benefit Benebalms were created after Benefit listened to their customers over their love for the Benetints range (which includes Benetint, Chachatint, Posietint and Lollitint), but who felt they could be a touch too drying when used as a lip tint. The Benefit Benebalms are Benefit's answer to keeping lips soft and nourished, whilst still using your favourite Benetints for a pop of colour. 

Each shade is featured in light-weight packaging with a high-end feel, with each colour-coded to their shades. Each differs slightly in design, with the designs on each (ranging from cute polka-dots to pretty florals) corresponding with their matching Benetint. The packaging for each shade is so spot on to the shade of the Benebalm in the bullet, and I think it really makes these lightly tinted balms stand out in my stash. I've said it already and I'll say it again - so pretty. 

Each has been specially formulated to condition and hydrate, with Mango Butter and Sodium Hyaluronate; the sodium salt of Hyaluronic Acid, smaller in molecule size than Hyaluronic Acid which makes it easier to penetrate the skin's surface, able to hold up to 1,000 times it's weight. There's a lovely fruity scent to each, and there's no denying they feel moisturising when on, probably due to the lovely Mango Butter. The shades are each very, very subtle. We're talking sheer hints of colour, but they can be built up for a touch more intensity too. They go lovely above the partner Benefit Benetints, but also work well alone or above other lipsticks and tints. Benebalm (£14.50) has a lovely touch of cherry red, Posiebalm (£14.50) a gorgeous pale pink, Lollibalm (£14.50) is a subtle pinky lilac, whilst Chachabalm (£14.50) is a vibrant toned orange.

Now, since they're release I've seen a lot of negative reviews. We all know that no matter how much we want to love every product, some of us just aren't suited to every product out there. There's two main grumbles people seem to have with the Benebalms; colour pay-off and how much they actually benefit us as a lip balm. Because of this, before writing my review I wanted to give these hydration promising balms a proper run for their money, and used them as my sole lip balm choices for two weeks. If I wasn't wearing lipstick, I was wearing a Benebalm! 

So OK, the shades are pretty sheer. But there is definitely hints of colour there with each and like I said, they can easily be built up for more intensity. I personally have a pretty dark colouring to my lips, which means a lot of shades are a no-go for me. Yet despite my naturally darker lips, I still get that hint of colour from each balm when built up. They are super sheer, but they are also super pretty and for me, that hint of colour is enough. Hydration wise, I sit on the fence. I didn't see drastic changes to the condition of my lips through two weeks of continuous use, but I also never suffered from dry lips, peeling or soreness, which is something I often experience in summer due to the constant temperature changes and air-conditioning. If you already look after your lips and have a good lip-care routine; regular use of a lip scrub and applying balms and salves regularly throughout the day, then you'll find the Benebalms a delight to use. If you don't and often suffer from dry, cracking lips, these won't offer you the care your lips need to repair and protect, and for that I would definitely recommend trying the budget-friendly Burt's Bees Pomegranate Replenishing Lip Balm (£3.70) as a fantastic alternative!

I do think the could be a touch more purse-friendly in price, perhaps more around the £11.50-£12.50 mark, but overall I am really happy with the Benebalm range and they are a product I have enjoyed using daily - something I see continuing throughout summer! What do you think to the Benebalms? Have you tried them? What's your favourite high-street alternative? Mine is definitely the Revlon Lip Butter range! 

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18 July 2014

HealGel Body Review


 Ever since HealGel first hit the beauty scene, I have been obsessed. I own each of the products available for the HealGel range, and each are fail-safe products I can rely on when my skin needs some real TLC, with no gimmick selling-points. HealGel Intensive is my top serum, and one of my favourite ever skincare products; which goes to show just how much I adore HealGel as a brand!

HealGel Body (£39.50) is the latest product to join the range, the first product to be specifically for your body opposed to HealGel Intensive (£37.50), HealGel Eye (£32) and HealGel Face (£48), which are first and foremost, for our face. HealGel Body is a light-weight, easily absorbed body gel which works to gently nourish, repair and protect troublesome areas. It has a delicately scented formula, a very fresh and invigorating scent which reminds me somewhat of Intensive, alongside skin-loving ingredients such as Arnica and Madecassoside Liposomes, which work to target distressed areas, calming and soothing, whilst repairing and protecting with a regenerative effect. It's been particularly hailed by fans as marvellous for eczema, too!

For me, HealGel Body is the perfect summer product for keeping your skin happy. My skin suffers more in the summer than it does the winter, drying easily and often, feeling uncomfortable if it's a particularly hot day. HealGel Body has been perfect for those days where I've been out enjoying the sunshine and want something which will cool and soothe, whilst making me feel refreshed. I love the tube HealGel Body is presented in, a yellow label akin to the now highly coveted range. It sinks in quickly and is lovely to massage in; as it's a gel product, a little goes a long way, so despite it only being a 100ml tube it's lasting a long time with regular use! It also works well applied under a body butter, sort of like a first step, which is my favourite way to use HealGel Body as I get the benefits of a real skin treat, with the extra hydration of my favourite body butters.

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17 July 2014

Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Collection

A picture of Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Collection

A picture of Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Collection Sand Eye Palette

A picture of Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Brightening Pink Blush

A picture of Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Sheer Lip Color in Pink Taffy and Peach Sorbet

A picture of Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Collection
I say it time and time again, but Bobbi Brown really is my top high-end brand. There's something about Bobbi Brown products which make me feel as if a lot of thought, time and passion has gone into creating products that truly transform, yet highlight our natural beauty effortlessly. The whole brand philosophy is for me is my favourite, and Bobbi Brown herself has become quite my beauty idol! (Her books are a must-read) The latest limited edition collection to come from Bobbi Brown is one which I think is really fun and definitely a stunning summer collection. 

The Surf & Sand Collection, is a selection of Bobbi Brown's must-have summer products. It's quite a big collection, with a lot of products on offer; two eight-pan eyeshadow palettes, four sheer lip colours, two long-wear eye pencils, a beachball rollerball perfume, a long-wear cream shadow stick, a bronzing blush and a pink brightening blush, all of which are limited edition. Many of the products in the collection carry the classic Bobbi Brown packaging; sleek, black with the white Bobbi Brown logo, bold with a glossy. The two palettes on the other hand, are presented in an exclusive beach-inspired linen compact with mirror. The collection name, Surf & Sand, is boldly embossed in black alongside the Bobbi Brown Logo, against a gorgeous almost-exact golden sand like colour with lovely texture. Can you tell I like the palettes?

The Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Sand Eye Palette (£48) is easily my favourite from the collection. We already know I'm sold on the packaging for this one, but the shades are the biggest selling point. A neutral eye palette, each of the shades can be worked together to create a variety of looks from day to night, and absolutely perfect for the beach. If I was going abroad on holiday this summer (I wish!), this is the palette I'd take with me. With shades that differ in intensity, Bobbi Brown describes the Sand Eye palette as perfect for anyone who loves an easy nude-meets-sultry eye, with shades perfect against healthy, glowing, sun-kissed skin. The shades are perfect, and incredibly versatile; a pale warm porcelain, a peach opal, a warm copper sparkle, a soft pale gold, a warm porcelain, a medium ash-beige, a golden bronze and a dark grey-brown. Four of the shades have lovely matte finishes that are effortless to work with, but it's the shimmer and sparkle finish shades I love the most which pack a punch with intense colour pay-off and gorgeous eye-catching finishes. The longevity is as always with Bobbi Brown products, perfect, with colours lasting all day with no fading or smudging, and each just effortless to work with, apply and blend. 

The Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Color range is pretty new to me, with the Surf & Sand offerings the first I've tried. A lightweight lipstick formula that works to provide an effortless wash of colour whilst nourishing our lips with a gorgeous shine finish. Using luxurious butters and oils, these lipsticks go beyond a pop of colour and really work to improve the condition of your lips. The Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Peach Sorbet Sheer Lip Color (£19.50) is a gorgeous peachy-coral with fine, shimmering golden undertones, perfect for any summers day. I actually think Peach Sorbet would make an insanely pretty blush shade, too! The Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Pink Taffy Sheer Lip Color (£19.50) is my favourite of the two though; a pale, dolly pink with the same beautiful and eye-catching fine golden shimmer, that looks incredible in sunlight. So smitten!

I am a big fan of Bobbi Brown brightening bricks and blushes, and so it's no surprise that I'm head over heels for the Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Brightening Pink Blush (£34), which works as both a gorgeous pinky blush, and a stunning face brightening highlight. A lightly pearlised blush that provides that 'lit-from-within' colour with a touch of pink, is described as perfect for any skin tone. On me, built up for a touch of intensity it makes a perfect flattering blush. Yet my favourite use for this beauty is definitely as a highlight, for which it just works wonders at creating a brightening yet entirely flawless finish. 

Another stunning collection from Bobbi Brown, my summer looks are set! What's your favourite product from the Bobbi Brown Sand & Surf Collection? Have you picked up anything for yourself? What do you think to the unusual and unique packaging for the Sand Eye Palette?

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*This post contains a PR sample. For more information, please see my disclaimer
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16 July 2014

My very first Jo Malone

A picture of Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne

A picture of Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne

A picture of Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne
Jo Malone was never a brand I intended to add to my fragrance collection. Although I've browsed Jo Malone concessions many times, always finding at least a few scents I love, one thing has always put me off. The price. Jo Malone is by all means a high-end brand, and that reflects in the price per ml. Of course, with a brand like Jo Malone you know the fragrance is going to be absolutely exquisite, and well worth the price-tag, with exceptionally fine ingredients, attention to detail and timeless packaging. Yet I'm used to much bigger bottles when it comes to my scents, at a much smaller price point, too. Of course, if I hadn't been completely swayed by the perfect scent, I wouldn't be writing this post, would I?

Back when I was in London for iMats, just as me and Vanessa (The Other VW) were waiting for our trains home, we decided to have a browse of the (quite impressive) beauty brands and shops on offer in St Pancras. When we walked in to Jo Malone, a recent new addition to St Pancras, we were greeted by an absolutely lovely young woman, who if I'm quite honest, is the loveliest Jo Malone lady I've ever encountered. I should have known as soon as she introduced herself, that I'd walk out with my very first Jo Malone fragrance - one of the biggest reasons I've never invested in Jo Malone before, is finding staff on previous experiences to be a touch cold and disinterested in helping me explore the brand. This lady was the opposite; welcoming, enthusiastic, even excited to meet us!, an incredible depth of knowledge for Jo Malone products and an obvious passion for the job which literally radiated from her. She introduced us to a few scents, before I found 'the one'. 

Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber (£40) is unlike any other scent in my stash, it completely stands out. The name alone was enough to grab my attention, but the scent itself is just something else. Inspired by the traditional and much loved British 'high tea', Earl Grey & Cucumber sets the scene for the perfect summer garden tea party. Bergamot is our top note, the ingredient which gives Earl Grey it's distinctive scent and flavour, adding a refreshing and sparkling touch of citrus zing. Cucumber is our heart note; an insanely refreshing touch which works magically with the Bergamot to create a scent that's entirely captivating, yet soothing at the same time. For our base notes, we have Beeswax, Vanilla and Tobacco Musk, which creates a whole new dimension to the scent, giving it depth and warmth. It's an incredibly beautiful scent and I'm more than a little bit smitten.

So the size of Earl Grey & Cucumber isn't usually what I'd go for - I like big bottles with more mid-range price tags. My Jo Malone fragrance is just 30ml in size (although that makes the bottle entirely adorable), and for £40, 30ml is not a lot. But, I actually think I'm swayed. I would definitely add another Jo Malone fragrance to my stash, and I'm already looking forward to the next time I can treat myself. I adore the bottle; effortlessly chic yet entirely simple, and presented in the timeless Jo Malone black and cream presentation box. The scent is just incredible, and there's a lot more scents I have my eye on. I also explored the candle range whilst in store, and I'm completely addicted to the scent of the Green Tomato Leaf candle (£40) which is just insanely addictive with a scent like just ripened tomatoes (seriously, sniff it next time you're in store!)  

Do you have any Jo Malone fragrances in your stash? What do you think to my choice of Earl Grey & Cucumber? What's your favourite brand for a splurge fragrance buy?

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15 July 2014

Benefit Dandelion Review | OFFER

A picture of Benefit Dandelion Box Powder Brightening Face Powder

A picture of Benefit Dandelion Box Powder Brightening Face Powder

A picture of Benefit Dandelion Box Powder Brightening Face Powder
Earlier in the year I attended a Birchbox event in collaboration with Benefit and Harper's Bazaar, to celebrate the May Harper's Bazaar Birchbox. At the event I was lucky enough to meet the Sophie Bloomfield, Harper's Beauty Director! When asked what her favourite Benefit product was, Sophie instantly pointed to Dandelion and said it's her favourite Benefit product, and one she thinks is highly under-rated. Having tried Dandelion for myself, I think I might just agree...

Described by Benefit as a Brightening Face Powder, Benefit Dandelion Box O' Powder (£23.50) is such a gorgeous multi-purpose blush-come-complexion brightening powder. It works perfectly as a blush, but with a very subtle, sheer golden pink, it needs building up on my olive complexion to show as a proper pop of colour. Used as a touch of highlight or even with a touch more oomph for a light, natural contour? It's stunning. On paler beauties Dandelion would make the most perfect everyday wearable blush. For me, it's a really lovely, subtle yet elegant natural highlight that just adds a whole new touch of healthy glow - much as I imagine the Hourglass powders are raved to do. 

Presented in a super pretty box with green and Dandelion theme, I have been turning to this box powder everyday since it joined my beauty stash, and I love how incredibly versatile it is. All Benefit box powders are fab - there's a huge variety of blushers, a couple of more highlight shades and a fab matte contour bronzer. The packaging is one thing that massively stands out for Benefit as a brand, and the box powders are sturdy, durable, travel-friendly, with the perfect compact mirror inside as well as including a brush, for making on-the-go touch ups even easier!

What do you think to Dandelion? Do you already have it in your stash and adore it as much as me? Or maybe you're thinking of picking up Dandelion for yourself? If you want to add Dandelion to your beauty stash, you can treat yourself to my fab exclusive offer! Spend £10 or more in the Birchbox e-Shop, use my code 'BBXESHOP50' at checkout and you'll receive 50 Birchbox Points! That's £5 to spend in the Birchbox e-Shop, which includes high-street and high-end brands from all over the world! Plus, there's always fab offers and free delivery deals! 

Let me know if you decide to snap Dandelion up, and I'd love to hear which your favourite Benefit Box O' Powder is! 

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*This post contains a PR sample. For more information, please see my disclaimer
**Discount code is valid for one use per customer and expires July 31st 2014. 
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