Thursday, October 29, 2015

Going for Gold on Halloween

This weekend if you're not a big Halloween fan and want to keep things more subtle with an amped up everyday look and I have just the line up for you today. You can even argue you're jumping on the Bond bandwagon with a nod to Goldfinger for your costume inspiration.

Despite Make Up Revolution taking over the world right now I'm fairly late to the party and now I've joined, I'm not leaving. The Iconic Dreams Palette* is nothing short of amazing, and just £4 (and that's before you even think about adding to 3 for 2 offers).  The Make Up Revolution Palette contains 12 amazing shades which are pigmented and long lasting. This palette immediately reached the expectations that my Chanel palette sadly didn't. I have been using this consistently for a number of weeks now in a variety of shade combinations. If you haven't tried any of the affordable palettes from Make Up Revolution I suggest you get yourself down to your local stockist and have a browse.

Of course if you want add a little something something more to your eye look you can always start with a base of 24k Gold from the Maybelline Colour Tattoo range and throw in some glitter like the one from Wet n Wild or dig out your the bright yellow gold colour tattoo from Maybelline

Once again I advise if nothing else do something with your nails, it's the easy option with golds and glitter from the likes of Max Factor and Rimmel and what better way to warm up to glitter as we enter the festive season.

Don't forget to return tomorrow as I'll be sharing some details of my Halloween 'costume' this year.

*This post contains press samples

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Nailing the dark side this Halloween

Whether you're a Halloween fan (and I think it's clear I am) or just looking for some Autumn tones here are some that have made their way into my testing pile recently. 

Despite celebrating their 30th birthday just recently and being Germany's no 1 selling make up brands, ARTDECO is still fairly new to the UK market. I was introduced to them via the Mystical Forest collection, inspired by 'enchanted forests'. I have are 702 Couture Dark Queen*  and 794 Couture Dim Grey* still left to try and 700 Couture Mystical Heart* which I loved. It's a darker version of Chanel Rouge Noir and I really enjoyed wearing it and it's made a home straight into my stash. Unlike 707 Couture Crown Pink* which I really expected to love but didn't. I expected a richer raspberry type shade but it is more of a reddy brown which I don't favour, despite compliments and my mum has subsequently pinched it from me as she was such a fan.

In terms opacity I can only speak for those I have tried and they both required two coats to achieve the look I desire. Both lasted longer than I expected with only Crown Pink which I'm still wearing now experiencing some chipping, largely due to an IKEA visit at the weekend!

If you prefer your gel nails then Sensationail have you covered. I've yet to try Midnight Rendevous* but I hear it's great with glitter on top but Moroccan Rouge* was on my nails last week. This was a bit of a strange one for me, it was a rich burgundy but with a shimmer through it which I can't decide if I loved or not. Unlike the red I used to test my Sensationail Starter Kit out with this was a little harder to apply, as darker shades often are. Some nails I thought looked great others not so much and it all depended on the light I was in. Of course this is no fault of the polish, merely my application skills and possibly why I've been cautious at testing Midnight Rendevous. That said the love for Sensationail gel nails continues and my biggest problem remains removing the colours and fighting the urge to go straight back in with more gel when I have other products to try.

What nail colour will you be sporting on Halloween?

*This post contains press samples

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Shopping my stash - The Halloween Edition

As Halloween fast approaches I decided to have a look through my make up collection and see what products I have that can help me get into the Halloween spirit this weekend and was pleased with what I found.

I think we all have a black liquid liner in our stashes and Pixi Cat Eye Ink* in Intense Black is one I've been using lately. The slanted tip makes it easier for me to create an almost perfect cat eye flick that lasts long into witching hours. 

Winged eyeliner is the perfect accompaniment to any smoky eye and if you want to keep things dark my find was Drama Eyes Eye Inspire Catwalk Quad from MeMeMe*. Four baked eyeshadows that can be applied wet or dry depending on intensity wanted in shades of black, blue and grey. A heavy dark smokey eye will transform any little black dress into something from the darkside.

If you want to be a bolder with your choice then I love Barry M Dazzle Dust*. At just under £5 and often available on 3 for 2 they make a more affordable choice than Mac Pigments when looking for some more colourful options. I have shades 72 - bright emerald, 73 - pinky orange and 74 -violet purple and all can be applied lightly and built up for a heavily pigmented statement eye. A little goes a long way with the Barry M Dazzle Dusts but adding definition in the crease and a heavy cat eye it makes for a wearable look that will make you stand out from the crowd.

The next item might not strictly be a 'Halloween colour' on the lips but it'd certainly be fun to pull out Barry M Genie Lipstick* whilst attending your parties. I love this lipstick as firstly it's a great shade of pink (and perhaps better suited to Summer wearing) but peoples faces when they see me applying it on the train is priceless. I might just take this along for my niece to enjoy while we're trick or treating on Saturday. For those interested Barry M also have a Halloween Bundle available from Boots here

Finally are two favourite products of mine which are very wearable and often sported during the Autumn months. Desert Festival is one of Fergies palettes with Wet n Wild, a set of five all you need eyeshadows which can create day to night looks without any fuss. I wore this a lot last year as you might have read in my review here and it's one I'll definitely be returning to way after Halloween. 

And finally another lip product that will compliment any pumpkin theme is NYX Cherry Cheesecake Butter Lip Gloss* which you can now find in Boots - hooray. NYX Butter Glosses have been raved all over the blogosphere and I can see why. I'm not typically a gloss fan but these are not sticky and give a medium to sheer coverage I can wait to buy more.

What do you have in your make up bag that you could use for a Halloween make over?

*This post contains press samples

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Partylite Candles | Forbidden Fruits

Partylite is a direct selling company you may be familiar with and with over 68,000 consultants in 18 countries it's very possible you've even attended a party selling Partylite's range of candles. I know had before I was reintroduced to the brand recently.

With origins dating back to the 1900s and continuing to expand as the years go by its a business model you'll know, local consultants host parties in your home and you are able to handle the products , see demonstrations of them in action and most importantly where scented candles are concerned, smell them.

I was sent the Forbidden Fruits Trio* of candles to try and share my thoughts with you today and two are sitting very nicely in my front room adding a sophisticated Halloween touch. The trio of candles are contained in a lovely box perfect for gift wrapping (can you tell I'm getting into Christmas mode already) and would make a lovely gift.

An element I particularly like about Partylite candles is unlike typical brands the glass jars are decorated with patterns or left plain rather than heavily branded. It's rather unusual for a brand to allow the product to speak for itself rather than the name.

Pomegranate Passion, Fig Fatale and Tangerine Tease were the scents contained with Tangerine Tease being the overwhelming scent that came from the box. Perhaps my only criticism of this gift set is the scents didn't necessarily blend well with some overpowering the others but it wasn't unpleasant and was in fact enjoyable to receive a waft of scent even if it was one more than the other.

The candles themselves burned easily and possibly due to their size I wasn't left with the usual black rim you often find with the larger types. Another plus to their packaging is that once the candle has burnt out you have a cute glass to use whether for storing cotton buds, make up brushes or popping a votive candle or similar.

Similar to other direct selling companies Partylite isn't limited to attending a party any longer and you can shop online. It's a slightly fiddly process as you have to enter your location to track down a local seller with an online site but it's fair easier than having to leave the house.

I've had a look at their Autumn/Winter catalogue and there's one or two things I can see myself adding to my Christmas decorating theme this year.

Have you used Partylite candles?

*This post contains press samples

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Happy Halloween with Sleek

As we rapidly approach Halloween weekend it's time to have a rummage in our make up bags to see what products are appropriate for the season or treat ourselves to something new. Maybe you're not into dressing up and just want to add some appropriately orange touches to your make up routine next weekend and Sleek certainly has some perfectly named products to choose from. 

First on the list is the Sleek's Blush by 3 Palette in Californ-i-a*. We all know by now how good Sleek Blushers are, they certainly give Nars a run for their money and for £9.99 it's a bargain for some of the longest lasting blush around. Some people have complained about the mix of power and cream blush in these palettes so this time there are three creams to choose from and no complaints necessary. If you're a cream blush fan and enjoy shades of peach and coral. The three shades housed in the familiar black casing are; Newport Beach a pinky coral with a radiant and dewy finish, The Surf a lighter peach with a gold shimmer which applies quite sheer but works nicely combined with Newport Beach or alone as a highlighter for a more natural look and finally OC a dewy finish of coral colour and the most buildable of the bunch.

All shades are creamy and easy to blend and last me well into the late hours of the day. My favoured application technique is fingers when I'm feeling lazy or a stippling brush if I'm paying greater attention.

The appropriately named Tangerine Scream True Colour Lipstick* from Sleek is the perfect orange shade for those Halloween parties and you'll certainly stand out in this bright and bold colour. One colour you might already have in your lipstick collection is Papaya Punch True Colour Lipstick* as it's been a very popular shade over the years. A matte shade with a touch of pink and coral that provide a more subtle nod to Halloween festivities. Of course don't forget to pick pick up a complementing Eau La La Liner with Pumpkin* being the perfect accompaniment.

Painting your nails a deepest darkest black is possibly the easiest way to add a Halloween touch to your day and Sleek Loves Nails colour in Raven* is perfect for a homage to Alfred Hitchcocks film The Birds. Blacks can often appear patchy and require lots of effort to build up but Sleek have created an jet-black shade which will apply with full opacity.

Finally the easiest way to create any Halloween make up look is by lining your lips in black. I've used this trick many times over the years adding a spooky look to my usual red lipsticks. Pick up Noir Eau La La Liner* from Sleek for a creamy, long lasting application. 

Sleek also have put together at Halloween Bundle including the fabulous Enchanted Forest eye shadow palette which you can find online at Boots or all products are currently 3 for 2. 

*This post contains press samples

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Eye of Horus Baked Goddess Eyeshadow Palette Review

Eye of Horus, the Australian brand whose range of products are inspired by the Ancient Egyptians, have just released four new eye shadow palettes in cool and warm tones, one of which I was recently sent to try.

I received the Eye Of Horus Isis Sun Goddess Eye Shadow Palette* which is designed to 'tempt the inner goddess to come out' and contains three beautiful autumnal shades which retail at £22.50.

The three shades are all shimmers, representing the radiance of the sun befitting Isis the Sun Goddess. All Eye of Horus award winning eye shadow palettes are infused with sun-kissed precious metals to make one imagine the Egyptian deserts.

First is Enigma Mist a rose gold pink, followed by Chalice Bronze a sparkling bronze and finally Sacred Husk a light brown with golden undertones.  I must apologise in advance that my swatching skills are poor and the photo I had taken really doesn't do these shadows any justice and in frustration I have removed from this post.

Whilst testing this palette I was able to play around with various combinations on my eyes. Each can work as an all over lid shade with as I type this I want to say Enigma Mist is a favourite but then think but I loved Sacred Husk. Either way for those who like a bit of gold shimmer this is a great little palette to play with. You can also use these eye shadows wet which I can imagine would really ramp things up for those Christmas parties I'm starting to already see entering my diary. I've even found myself using the enclosed brush when I forgot to throw one of my regular ones in my make up bag. The Egyptian elements continue with ancient formulas such as Moringa Oil to provide a beautiful product.

The packaging of the Isis Sun Goddess Eye Shadow Palette maybe cardboard but it's hardy and beautiful decorated with images of the goddess herself, you even get a good sized mirror which works perfectly when I'm applying on the train.

As I was reading up I've seen you can also use this palette as a bronzer and highlighter so that's next on my list to try, as well as adding Sheba Mystical Goddess Palette to my collection.

Would you be keen to channel your inner Egyptian Goddess with these palettes?

*This post contains press samples

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween at Home

There's something about Halloween I love, I don't know whether it's just my general appreciation for a 'theme' or the excuse to dress up but love it I do. As such be prepared for some Halloween themed posts over the next few days as I get into the spirit (ha!) wherever possible, no matter how tenuous (fi it's so much as slightly pumpkin coloured you may find it here next week.

Today I'm starting things a little more low key for those who perhaps aren't fans of the spooky holiday and won't be roaming the streets Trick or Treating next weekend. Instead here are some of my picks for a Halloween pamper session at home.

Many a Saturday night I can be found in the bath tub and what better product to use than MOA's Fortifying Green Bath Potion*. Housed in a bottle which would not look out of place in Professor Snapes Potion's Lab this is really quite 'bewitching'. I know I shall stop soon. Rid yourself of stress, aches and pains whether from the constant trick or treaters visits, or maybe you were pounding the streets yourself climb into a bath of peppermint and fennel and return that spring to your step.

Last weekend I gave this a try and quite frankly it is amazing. The peppermint scent fills the bathroom and you have that hit in your throat as you feel the aromatic scent - this would be ideal if you were suffering from Autumn sniffles. Climbing into the bath I really felt myself relax and a weight lift of my shoulders, and that's as someone who isn't really one for kicking back and relaxing in the bath. Even when I returned home later that afternoon the bathroom still had the lingering scent. 

What would a post on bath time Halloween treats be without the inclusion of Lush. I'm not a frequent Lush shopper but you can bet as soon as the seasonal items hit stores I'm first in there. I think it's almost mandatory as a blogger to feature the Lush Sparkly Pumpkin and this is it's second appearance on Florence and Mary. This year I passed on to my mum to try after she commented on my instagram photo of them in store as I must admit cleaning up the glitter after using isn't something I enjoy. Clean up requirements aside this is a fun addition and would make a great gift for younger hostesses if you're attending parties or teachers. I managed two uses from one bar and maybe could've got away with three if I were more diligent. As I commented last year my biggest disappointment is that it isn't pumpkin scented and instead it's more zesty. 

New to me from Lush this year was Lord of Misrule Shower Scream (Lush's pun this time not mine!), usually found in their bath bomb offering. I'd not tried this either and whilst I was initially happy with my Sparkly Pumpkin purchase after one sniff I was hooked on Lord of Misrule and threw it into my basket. Appropriately green coloured this has a more sweet scent than I would expect from the vanilla and really reminds me of some sweets or something which I just can't put my finger on. It's a thick cream which nourishes the skin and worked better than my expectations allowed for shaving purposes. This is definitely one I'll be looking out for next year. You can find more of Lush's Halloween range here

The easiest way to get into the Halloween spirit without needing a full make up tutorial and face paints is by painting your nails an appropriate colour. If orange is a little too garish and black too gothic then maybe try purple? My pick is Belvedere Road from Nails Inc which is sadly discontinued from my hunt to link online but I'm sure you can find the colour that's just right for you.

If you'd like some more Halloween reading you can find that here and don't forget to let me know how you will spending Halloween.

*This post contains press samples

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Chanel Limited Edition Entrelacs Eyeshadow Palette

I'm afraid this is going to be one of those annoying posts where I talk about a product that was Limited Edition and is unlikely you'll be able to get your hands on. That said it's worth talking about for a number of reasons and yes I will reference the gorgeous purse in the photo too.

The story begins way back to November 2013 when Chanel released the Ombres Matelassees Eyeshadow Palette in Charming as part of their Christmas collection. Lisa Eldridge featured it in one of her tutorials and many bloggers and YouTube proudly showed it off. I wanted it but for some reason dithered, it sold out and has haunted me ever since.

Yes I'm being slightly dramatic and the distress was short lived (how fickle one can be) but when I happened to pop into Boots one Saturday afternoon a few months back and saw Chanel's Entrelacs Eyeshadow Palette I stopped in my tracks.

Did I need it? Of course not, a very neutral selection of browns which were they not encased in the familiar Chanel packaging with the dreamy patterns on the shadows themselves I may have overlooked it but... there's always a but where Chanel is concerned.

My thought process went something like this; it was in stock something that always gives me a thrill with Limited Editions (I'm still haunted by a Chanel nail polish mum had to hunt down in Spain one year). Next yes it was a fairly boring, made of neutral browns but this could be 'the' palette. The one I relied on, that's grabbed for nights out when I don't want to worry about experimenting. Everything I need in that one palette and the most tenuous of reasons, it could be the palette I take to Florida with me in January. Yes I kid you not I decided that I needed this palette for a holiday I'm going on next year because no other would be suitable.

All those 'reasons' were fairly mute points because ultimately I had an abundance of Boots Advantage Card points so technically this palette would be free. And free Chanel is an amazing thing.

I skipped home with my new piece of Chanel goodness, showed it off to my mum, again justifying it with my 'I'll take it to Florida with me' story, not that my mum needed convincing and then came the moment of joy when I could start using it.

Unfortunately I was a little disappointed. This might surprise you to hear because it appeared in my August favourites but despite it's failings it's still a palette I've come to love. The Entrelacs palette is inspired by 'a path in the heart of the forest' and contains five shades.

The first is your typical white frosted highlighter shade and the one I use least. I'm still not up to standard with using highlighters under the brow and with a light appearance it's not a colour I've had much use of.

The next four shades are all used in various combinations, typically with the second, a medium brown used in the crease, combinations of three and five used on the lid and/or in corners of my eyes and four, the darkest brown as a liner or to darken things up 'after dark'.

My problem was that I struggled to get much product from initial application. I had hoped shade five would be similar to my Wet n Wilds Trios and be a perfect look when I wear red lipstick but it was more muted. In the pan all the shades look like they'll be highly pigmented but they are more sheer on application and need to be built up. They are all firm colours that require some work with my make up brushes to build up colour.

That said I persisted and I have made this palette work for me and I do love it. As I wanted a neutral palette that would work for every day use and give me a small window of creativity it does work perfectly and its actually been a palette that I've had to consciously remove from my make up bag for fear of things becoming a little too boring.

If I'm honest for £46 I don't think the quality is up to scratch, as I've mentioned I have far cheaper eyeshadows that are better pigmented but for a little Chanel luxury I'm glad this palette is in my collection.

And before I head off, the Chanel purse. This was another spontaneous purchase. My mum and I were out shopping years ago now and spotted it in a Chanel store. At a mere £200 (or thereabouts) we decided this was a bargain and shared the cost and took it home. I appreciate there are some who wouldn't dream of spending this much on a little coin purse but for those who are interested this is a great sized item that I have been using as my 'every day' purse for some time and it holds a number of cards, notes and coins and looks as good as the day I brought it.

Are you a Chanel fan?

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Winter Sun Protection

Whilst the UK weather hasn't exactly been too kind and temperatures are certainly on the chillier side it is half term and I'm sure there are some of you heading off for some Winter sun.  Today I'm giving you the line up of sun protection I used on my trips to Dubai and Ibiza and I can even claims they're almost 'Halloween themed' due to their pumpkin colours. I'm quite sure I'm the first person to head out to the Ushuaia Beach Hotel's pool area armed with a bunch of products and their camera, I certainly gathered some strange looks rearranging the bottles around the pool.

Riemann P20 Once A Day Sun Protection Spray* is the well know once a day sun protection spray which I mentioned briefly in one of my Ibiza posts. Recommended by dermatologists containing both UVA and UVB filters will provide sun protection for up to 10 hours. Of course I'd urge anyone to be cautious with these claims and whilst it's 'water resistant' do use your common sense depending on the climate you're in.

I love the spray bottle as I've mentioned in my previous post and it's non-greasy formula for when you haven't got any helpers around to help you reach those back areas. I liked this for the days in Ibiza when I went to visit my parents for a wander around the resort of just taking a walk into the town and wouldn't be conscious of reapplications.

Riemann P20 can usually be found in Duty Free too so handy to pick up at the airport rather than taking up valuable space in your case.

It's well known by now what a fan I am of La Roche Posay so it's no surprises that their Anthelios Sun Care range is a big hit with me. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Comfort Protective Oil* is a thick consistency but not too greasy. My biggest complaint is with the nozzle of the bottle which dispenses a stream rather than Vichy's version which is in a more mangeable spray. Of course being an oil there was some greasiness to it but not unpleasantly so and it was perfect level of protection and oil for sitting in the sun.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Tinted Fluid* was my preference to the thicker Comfort SPF for the face I had also used during my holidays. The lighter fluid as it's name suggests didn't feel as suffocating on the skin.

Both La Roche-Posay products felt like they were traditional and familar products but with the added experience of a skincare line.

My favourite products were from Vichy. I loved the Vichy Ideal Soleil Suncare Oil* and it had a shimmer to it which made it perfect for Ibiza's club nights which started before the sun went down. As mentioned the spray nozzle gave a lighter application and gave me more ease of application. And for the face Vichy Ideal Soleil Tinted Velvety BB Cream* was perfect for a lunch in the sun providing a radiant coverage to sunkissed skin.

Finally is Caudalie Radiance Tinted Moisturiser* which is more of a make up product than SPF and it's a product I've still worn as recent as this month. This is generally the product I wore throughout Summer when I wanted to allow my skin to breathe but with a little more coverage than the Vichy offering. This is definitely a staple to my base draw and one I will reach for frequently even as we enter Winter.

What are your favourite sun protection products?

*This post contains press samples

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Boots Electronic Cold Sore Machine Review

Boots Electronic Cold Sore Machine

Cold sores might not be the most glamorous of topics but I'm a sufferer and I might have the product that could change your life if you are one too. I first heard about the Boots Cold Sore Machine from Sali Hughes blog and with such a rave review I made a note to pick up one of these fabulous machines.

I've suffered from cold sores as long as I can remember, an unwelcome ailment inherited from my nan and dad. They occur at any random, and often inappropriate moment and tend to stick around for a good two weeks, rendering lipsticks unwearable, often painful and generally unpleasant to look at.

Last November I talked about Compeed Cold Sore Patches being something of saviour to the process as using creams often left things looking, for want of a better word, gunky. There was also the downside that if you left things to dry they would crack and become sore. I'd recently discovered Boots own version of these cold sore patches which I was getting along quite well with as they were smaller in size and less intrusive. I often found that people would ask 'what's on your lip' about the actual patch rather than noticing a cold sore - maybe more of a diversion tactic than actual 'cover up'.

You may ask why if I was suffering cold sores with such frequency (reasons being anything from immune system crashing after a big night out, time of the month or general stress and lack of sleep) hadn't I tried the Cold Sore Machine earlier.

In the first instance the cost of £35 wasn't something to just pop into Boots and pick up 'on a whim' and secondly there was denial, ie I haven't got a cold sore (now) so I don't need it. After a period of cold sores in quick succession interfering with my lifestyle (not the perfect 'pulling' conditions!) I of course decided I would try anything no matter the cost.

My lax attitude was to be punished. For literally about 6 months I could not find the machine in stock. It was sold out online, every Boots I tried, or passed I'd pop my head in to search for it. I had friends on the look out. This was honestly the holy grail (and I must admit even now I still glance at the shelf to see what availability is like just in case I lose or break mine).

Eventually I was able to purchase the machine and not long I woke up one morning and a cold sore had appeared. They're cheeky these cold sores, sometimes you get the warning tingle but this one just appeared overnight. I went to work with the machine. It's a very non nondescript machine that you hold over the sore, press the button and it flashes for 5 minutes and beeps when you're done. That is it. You repeat the process a second time, so I would do it in the morning and of an evening before bed (it sits in my bedside table for this purpose). 

Does it work? Hell yes it does. It's amazing and I urge anyone who suffers from one to immediately try it. It'll change your life. The cold sores which last 7 - 14 days and go through the varying states mentions remain tiny, there's no weepy, oozing, dryness. It's truly amazing. After three days I'm left with little more than a graze and by Friday it's pretty gone away. There is no need for patches or creams as this machine does it all. So that £35 I mentioned pays for itself - and lasts longer than the other products last.

Having a read through of Sali's post during a recent outbreak I see she uses it more than the advised twice a day and I've been increasing my usage during a recent outbreak. I'm not sure whether it's actually cut it down any more dramatically but I'm happy to keep firing at it!

Apologies for the non cold sore sufferers who might have found today's post dull or unpleasant but I'm sure if you're a sufferer this could be the best news you've heard all day.

*this post contains press samples and / or affiliate links

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream And a High Street Dupe

I was lucky enough to come home with a sample pot of Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream after a makeover at John Lewis and my first thought on using it was how similar it was to another product I was currently testing, SKINeffect Active Day Face Cream* which can be picked up in your local Lloyds Pharmacy.

The enigmatically named 'Magic Cream' is the stuff of beauty folklore, Charlotte would whip up her magic cream backstage and skin would be 'magically transformed' no matter how hungover or jetlagged and now for a mere £70 we too can take home our own pot of magic. 

What you have is a very thick moisturiser which it's claimed will do all manner 'of magic' but essentially will transfer very dry stressed skin into looking plump and wide awake, much like the SKINeffect Active Day Face Cream.

At £7.99 the more affordable SKINeffect cream had been added to my skincare line up and reached for on days when my skin was very dry or looking very dehydrated the morning after the night before. In fact SKINeffect cream is claimed to increase hydration in your skin by 15% in just 30 minutes with its patented three in one Hydramatrix, including of course that favourite for rehydration in the skin, hyaluronic acid. 

A mere amateur I may be I see very little difference in both these creams, aside from price and packaging of course. Both are thick creams which if you're over zealous with your application can result in a face of white cream that does require working in and both leave skin feeling supple when it's needed but cautiously if my skin isn't that thirsty things can great a little greasy looking. 

SKINeffects may not be as pretty on the outside but it's inside that counts and it really does hold it's own against Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream. It was lovely to try this much talked about product and I do enjoy having my little pot of magic but for now I think I'll stick to my high street alternative which is available online from Lloyds Pharmacy

Would you pay £70 for a moisturiser?

*This post contains press samples

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Monday, October 12, 2015

All New By Terry Light-Expert Click Brush

Before I 'officially' started beauty blogging I walked into Space NK and sought help. Having hit my thirties and begun watching YouTube videos I suddenly decided I needed to step things up a notch in the foundation department. Two products were applied on either side of my face and I went away, asking colleagues which looked better and returned to purchase By Terry's Light Expert.

Fast forward to a few months ago and I headed to Space NK once again for the relaunch of the By Terry Light Expert Click Brush*. By Terry aim to produce products for a 'radiant and flawless complexion' and the Click Brush certainly helps achieve radiance and more on the flawless element later. Did you know Terry de Gunzurg is responsible for the famous YSL Touche Eclat?

The Light Expert Click Brush is designed to highlight, touch-up, blend and sculpt which are some pretty big claims and I think honestly you will be pushed to achieve all of these factors with one single brush, it would very much depending on your own skintone and the colour choice you make. Darker skins will struggle to find a match from the six colour line up.

Having used the original version I was able to offer some comparisons and firstly is the brush. The click button at the bottom of the tube is there, thankfully larger than before allow it to stand up, and will dispense four dots of 'correcting light prisms', 'camouflage micro-pigments' and 'mineral powders' through the newly designed kabuki brush. This is an improvement I much preferred. I have never enjoyed the paintbrush style for foundations and the short hairs allow you to buff the product into the skin. Whilst the brush is an improvement I still found that I had to go in with my fingers to blend it properly and imagine if you were looking to build up for a fuller coverage then your foundation brush preference would need to be used.

The product feels like velvet on the skin and leaves a radiant satin finish. I looked in the mirror and felt flawless but in a different way from my usual bases, it was like my natural skin had been photoshopped. In fact I wore this at the weekend when popping out with my mum, hair was tided back, I had only the By Terry Light Expert and some mascara and mum commented how good my skin looked. I didn't really want to admit I actually had some help.

You'll most definitely get a light coverage with the product, and it will feel as if you're not wearing anything on your skin but it will not conceal any major dark circles or blemishes. Of course you can go in with your usual concealing products and pile on bronzers and the like but I enjoyed the faux appearance of this amazing skin day and found it perfect for my weekends when I tend to potter around home or run errands and don't want the fuss of a full made up face.

Aside from being such a beautiful product the best thing for me is that you can now reveal how much product remains. There's nothing I hate more than being unable to see when I'm nearing the end of my favourite beauty products and this was something that concerned me with the original version. Obviously as you can see from the photos I still have the original but it's some years old and I have no idea whether I'm scrapping the bottom of the tube or not. You can also clean the brush of the new version which is another great improvement.

This is a wonderful product and one I'd urge the natural bases lovers to try although there is the downside that it doesn't come cheap. This revolutionary click brush retails at £48 which is a high price to pay for flawless skin but with it's new improvements is certainly worth it compared to its earlier version.

Would you like to try the By Terry Light Expert Click Brush?

*This post contains press samples

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Range

Coconut has most definitely had a moment this year be it in as part of skincare or cooking methods. Dr Organic recognise it's ability for the treatment of wrinkles, nourishing and hydrating the skin and that it can be used in all manner of beauty products beside skincare. 

I was sent a couple of items from the range to share with you today. The first up is the Dr Organic Coconut Lip Balm* which you will have seen pop up in my August favourites.  I have all manner of lipbalms, you've seen my collection, that they often tend to blend into one. The coconut scent makes this a stand out as often they're minty or berry flavours so I enjoyed this difference, although as I mentioned previously there is no coconut taste to enjoy. Often my lip balms are applied at night and sporadically throughout the day from those sitting on my desk or coffee table at home which works perfectly fine but a morning application of Dr Organics Coconut Lip Balm has been taking place and making for a much better base for my lipstick. Organic Coconut Oil moisturises dry lips that have appeared overnight and my usual reds or matte lipsticks apply so much better. It's SPF and nourishing properties also mean that my lips aren't exposed as I make the journey to the station. It's passed the testing period but still remains on the dressing table.

I'd like to say that I've given Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Body Souffle* a thorough testing but I would be lying to you due to my brother pinching it from me. He's a big fan of coconut, gave these a sniff and asked if he could have it, how could I say no? He had just painted my front room for me. I did have enough of a test of this before passing it on and it was most tacky than my usual body creams, lotions and butters so it wasn't my favourite product ever but it's combination of fruit extracts such as Papaya and Mango created a wonderful smelling product and for those who like the thicker butters would certainly enjoy this. It certainly ensured skin remained hydrated after tasks such as leg shaving (not that I imagine that's a concern for my brother!) and I imagine this will be perfect for those who suffer from dryer skin as we enter Winter. I did ask my brother how he was enjoying this product and he gave it the thumbs up. As a fireman he is exposed to all elements and wears a uniform that goes through the mill so he has enjoyed giving his skin a treat along with the great scent which combats the usual manly smells that can be found in the locker room.

Finally is Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Deodorant* a liquid cream roll on for sensitive skin. As regular readers will know I'm a big fan and user of Sure Maximum Protection deodorant and whilst I find it most effective for me I do go through it at a rate of knots. I've found a place in my routine for Dr Organic's deodorant offering of an evening, especially if I've shaved my armpits. There is no stining and it's Virgin Coconut Oil blended with Aloe Vera and other such ingredients ensures that any moisturise isn't stripped out leaving things sore and dry. If I'm having a lazy day at home or only running minimal errands I will reach for this but if you're less of a sweater than me it's worth giving it a try. 

Are you a coconut fan? What are your favourite products?

*This post contains press samples

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Aromatherapy at home with Pur Essential

I must confess I'm not one for aromatherapy and essential oils, maybe only dabbling in oil burners when they were all the rage. Recently I have been introduced to Puressentiel, a brand who want to enable you to bring aromatherapy and essential oils home.

Puressentiel was created by a duo passionate about natural products and aromatherapy with a vast range overseen by doctors and pharmacists to ensure easy to use formulas still contain safe, highly effective and natural ingredients.

They want to make their 100% natural products available to everyone who might otherwise be unsure of using pure essential oils at home. I was sent two products to try which I'm sharing with you today.

The Puressential Purifying Air Spray* contains 41 essential oils, the most active of which destroy unpleasant things such as germs, virus and bad smells. Air freshners and the like usually contain ingredients which we really don't want to be exposing our homes or families to but the Purifying Air Spray is 100% natural. It will help to sanitise air from, in my case smoking and can be used on fabrics and pretty much anywhere you think or really - just do the necessary patch tests.

I found this a fantastic product and an aniseed scent which as the weather has started to turn Autumnal really sets the mood. I would spray on my light bulbs in my lounge whilst I set about my evening routine and then as directed spray in to the four corners of the room as instructed, closing the door to awake to a clean smelling room.

You might remember I'm a fan of Ragdale Hall's Pillow Mist and whilst this is perfect for snuggling down into my pillows it doesn't do much for the room itself. Luckily I was also sent Puressential Rest & Relax Air Spray* to try. Designed to provide relaxation and rest, soothe everyday stresses and help prepare you for sleep it sounded like just the product I need.

Like the Purifying Spray above you're instructed to spray into all four corners of the room which I would do before finally climbing into bed. Again I like to spray on my bedside lamps lightbulb to give things an extra kick. Puressential suggest you can also spray onto a tissue and place by your bedside which makes sense as whilst not overpowering they are a full scent so I think it would be a little too much on pillows and bedlinen.

As for the scent itself its just like dried oranges, you know the ones you use around Christmas? A nice change from the usual lavenders and again perfect for the time of year. It makes me feel quite comforted to have the 'smell of Christmas' before bedtime as it's a particularly favourite time of the year for me.

You can find Puressentiel at Boots and they're definitely something to try as we enter Autumn and are looking for ways to add some warmth and cosiness to dark nights.

Are you an aromatherapy fan?

*This post contains press samples.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

YOSO Trim Review

You may remember at the beginning of the year I fell in love with the epilating and the Braun Epilator  and I can confirm the love has not died yet. I do find I'm now in the position that if I have let things slide for a day or two without giving the necessary attention needed epilating isn't necessary but I still might have one or two facial hairs to remove. Enter the YOSO TRIM*.

The YOSO Trim is a petite, battery operated razor of sorts which is perfect for dealing with, especially in my case the upper lip area. I still find that the epilator isn't always 'perfect' for dealing with this area whereas the YOSO Trim swiftly deals with hair removal in seconds. Likewise I still like to get my eyebrows threaded but on a less frequent basis now as I'm able to keep an eye on them with tweezers and the like and just visit when I need a proper shape up. If I'm inbetween those appointments and have a night out and want to make sure I'm looking tip top when I don't have time to visit the salon I use the YOSO Trim. I was nervous at first heading straight for the eye area with it but there was nothing to fear.

Of course you'll not receive the same effect as if you were tweezing or threading from the root but in a pinch its the perfect solution. As I'm dark haired sometimes I can be left with a slight 'pinhole' from the hair but it's certainly improved on things looking unshapely.

When I first used this my upper lip area was suffering some dryness so I did find it seemed to tackle that more so than the hair so I would be mindful if you're dryer skinned but once I was back to my usual self it's hair only - and I'll add it wasn't unpleasant or painful just that there was the 'layer of skin' it'd reach before the hair. Now doesn't that sound lovely!

The YOSO Trim is the size of a pen so it's also handy to throw in your handbag or keep in a draw at work. The lights in our toilets are perfect and I can't tell you how many times I've looked in the mirror one day to be happy with what I see and then the next a hair has sprung from nowhere. Having the YOSO Trim to hand means I can tackle it immediately.

*This post contains press samples.

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