Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Classic Ray Ban Wayfarer

Ray Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses

The Ray Ban Wayfarerfor me has to be one of the most recognised frames in fashion. Sported by the likes of Robert Pattinson, Emma Watson, Taylor Swift and the mighty fine David Beckham it is a frame that is highly recognisable. It is a classic design which will never go off the radar, where over the last ten years it has seen quite the resurgence in popularity. 

Statement accessories such as these are timeless and really add an extra special element to your wardrobe. For me personally I am no longer a huge wearer of accessories, however I do like to wear nice one off pieces here and there to fit my rather minimalistic style. Furthermore, let's face it, a dark pair of sunglasses can hide a whole world of sins when it is an early morning. 

Whilst we are heading rather rapidly into the depths of winter I still thoroughly believe that there is a place for sunglasses at this time of year; hear me out on this one. Early morning driving on a sunny winter morning can be glorious, however the sun is very low in the sky at this time of year and can be extremely bright, especially if it reflects off the snow (not that we see much of that here in the UK anymore). When I knew that I would be offering the chance to give a pair of Ray Bans away I did wonder if it was really the right time of year, however a flashback of learning to drive last winter and being blinded by the sun really did remind me that planning for all eventualities, namely sunshine in winter is perhaps not a bad thing.

Therefore I am thrilled to be able to offer you the opportunity to win a pair of your very own Ray-Ban Sunglasses courtesy of The Sunglasses Shop. All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter widget below and  of course remind Santa just how good you have been this year; a bit of mulled wine will surely do the trick. The giveaway is open internationally and will run for two weeks ending on the 15th December; good luck to everyone that enters.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Sunglasses Shop are kindly providing the winner of this giveaway with a pair of sunglasses of their choice. The give away does exclude Polarised/Titanium and Limited Edition frames.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Decléor Purifying Skincare

Declour Purifying Skincare
Decléor has been on my radar for a little while now ever since my mum had a skin consultation one afternoon whilst we were out shopping. She came away with a whole list of products which she wanted to try and new found skincare knowledge. We all know that when it comes to skincare that the French have it pretty much sussed, therefore when I was kindly offered the chance to try a few products from the French brand Decléor I found myself jumping at the chance; I am a skincare junkie after all.

In order to get an idea of what the brand was like I decided to try out the Decléor Purifying Starter Kit* as I wanted to get a feel as to how the products would work in conjunction with one another. My skin for is generally combination to oily with areas of dehydration, however now that we are in winter I have noticed that my skin is a bit more on the dry side. I did therefore wonder if this would be the right kit for me taking this into account, however I have been pleasantly surprised thus far. 

This is not a full review in terms of how the products have worked for me over a few months as I firstly have not had them that long and seeing as they are just small sample sizes they are not going to last that long. What I did want to do however is share my initial thoughts on them as we head on ever closer to Christmas as I believe this little set (and of course others in the Decléor range) would make fantastic gifts this Christmas.

Declour Purifying Skincare

Aroma Cleanse Purifying Gel 

This cleansing gel is light weight and very gentle on the skin making it suitable for both day and evening use in my experience. Currently I use this of a morning only as I find it to be really refreshing which is exactly what I need when I am still half asleep. This isn't a product that I would reach for to remove my make up as I just don't think it packs enough of a punch, however for me this isn't where this type of product fits into my routine as I think it is best used of a morning.

Aroma Cleanse Matifying Lotion

The Matifying Lotion is one of my favourite products out of the set as it is again really refreshing on my skin yet it does not make it feel tight in the slightest. I do think it has helped at reducing the oily appearance my skin can sometimes have, especially on my forehead. Out of all the products this is the one I am almost running out on which is a shame, however this was to be expected as I always get through liquid products like this incredibly quick.

Aromessence Ylang Ylang Purifying Serum

Serums and I don't always get on as in the past they have been known to make my hair a bit greasy come morning, despite only using a small amount and refraining from using too much around the edges of my face. Having said that the serum included within this kit as not done that and has instead been absorbed into my skin almost immediately after my cleansing routine of an evening. Out of all of the oils I have so far tried this has to be the thickest in terms of consistency, however I am well aware that there are more viscous ones out there. After using this for the last two weeks every evening I have seen a reduction in dryness around my nose and have also seen an improvement in terms of my complexion which has looked clearer.

Aroma Purete Shine Control Fluid 

The moisturiser element of this kit is again incredibly soothing and cool upon application to the skin. I am not entirely sure why this feels so cool to the touch as I keep all of my products in the same place, therefore for now that shall remain somewhat of a mystery. This light, non-oily formula has so far been a delight to use and has most certainly made a difference in helping to keep oil at bay. This hasn't been particularly noticeable at first instance however come the afternoon time when I know my skin would normally be looking a little shiny I have, since using this barely seen any indication of my oily skin showing. This could of course be down to the colder weather that we have at the moment, however knowing my skin as I do I really do think that this moisturiser is having a positive impact, especially in conjunction with the serum that I am using of an evening.

Aroma Night Ylang Ylang Night Balm 

The final product in the purifying starter kit is of course the night balm which completes a lovely little skincare routine. This balm I have to say is like no other night cream I have used before, it really is of a thick balm consistency, meaning that you need only need tiny amount for your whole face as a little goes a long way. When used on top of the serum I do find that it can be a little heavy for me, therefore I now only use one or the other. Overall it is a really nice product and I do find that it keeps my skin hydrated overnight; however I do know that I personally do prefer to use more of a cream texture that isn't as heavy on my skin.

Full sizes of the Decléor products featured here are available at Beauty Expert, where you will find lots of Christmas gift ideas for the festive season.


Saturday, 21 November 2015

High End v High Street Make Up

High End v High Street Make Up

When I very first starting blogging there was not one single high end product within my make up collection. Up until that moment the only high end product I had ever used was a single eye shadow from Urban Decay in the shade Midnight Cowboy which I had adored. Sadly that met a cruel fate which is likely for any clumsy fourteen year old as it never made it back from school one day; it was left resembling somewhat of a sorry smashed mess within the bottom of my school bag.

Nevertheless over ten years later I now have a make up collection that I love which consists of a few well thought out high end purchases, alongside some of my most favourite high street products. This thought got me thinking as I really wanted to share with you where I think you can spend less on products and where in my opinion it is worth spending your money.


When it comes to foundation I know that in the past I have had some rather odd experiences with high street options. This has mainly been down to poor shade choice and also lack of knowledge in terms of what my own skin type has been. Over time however I have learnt that it is best to choose a foundation that will not exacerbate my oily skin and to also steer clear from a certain mousse. High end foundations are for me a bit of a luxury as I do not believe that you have to spend a fortune on a base. My favourites high end foundations have to be Laura Mercier Silk Creme*, NARS Sheer Glow and Chanel Vitalumiére Aqua; all three offer very different finishes yet suit my skin wonderfully. 

Naturally a huge advantage of a higher end brand is that there are more shade choices therefore you are nine times out of ten almost guaranteed to find a good match for your skin tone. On the other hand I cannot say the same for high street foundations as their shades to tend to me somewhat limited. Despite this I have found some fantastic high street foundations, the most recent being the L'Oreal Infalliable 24Hr Matte which gives a beautiful finish to the skin. Personally I would not say that this is an overall matte foundation as the skin is not left looking flat in the slightest. Other favourites of mine consist of the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum and Revlon Nearly Naked foundation, I also find myself very tempted to pick up the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation as I have read a lot of good things about that one in particular. 

Overall in my experience when it comes to a foundation you simply have to shop around. Whilst I will always love my higher end options I do know that there are some great alternatives out there which work just as well as their higher end counterparts.


In some respect I have the same opinion here as I had with the foundation analysis as in my experience the high street produces some fantastic lip products which certainly rival, and in some cases work better than higher end brands. Personally I think that you are paying a lot more for a very similar product in some cases, the only real difference being the packaging, which, let's face is it is very important if you like your beauty products. The likes of YSL, Chanel and Charlotte Tilbury all make beautiful products which are visually very pleasing to look at, but in terms of the performance of the product are they really worth it?

Take for instance the Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Moss Lipstick in the shade 107; this is a great budget matte lipstick which I think looks amazing on everyone. If I am honest I would rather spend less on a matte lipstick from Rimmel compared to a matte from MAC, this is because I find matte lipsticks from MAC extremely drying on the lips whereas the Rimmel formula is more hydrating. Having said that the matte formula from Charlotte Tilbury is like no other I have ever tried; it is by far the most hydrating I have come across therefore I would always be happy to pay a bit more in order to have a better product. 

The lip category again is something that I think is very well balanced. Standing up for the high street I think that Revlon truly make amazing lip products for the price, my favourite being the Kissable Balm Stains and their Super Lustrous range which is really rather nice and completely took me by surprise. On the other side to this I have fallen for everything Charlotte Tilbury as I think the formula of her lipsticks in general is one of the best on the market.

High End v High Street Make Up

Eye shadow

It is at this point where I feel as though I can finally start to be more biased towards one side or the other; however I will be picky. Firstly when it comes to eye shadow there are for me two main types which I think should be mentioned separately; those being cream and powder. Cream eye shadows are for me a quick and easy way to add definition to the eye when you're in a rush, where for me you really don't need to look much further than the high street. Both the Max Factor Excess Shimmer Eye Shadows and the Maybelline Colour Tattoos are fantastic cream eye shadow formulas, the only real criticism I have is that the shade range is often extremely limited. 

Powder eye shadows on the other hand, do, in my experience warrant a high end purchase every single time. I have lost count of the amount of times in which I have been left feeling disappointed by a high street powder eye shadow purchases, so much so that I don't even bother to look these days. Pigmentation is often extremely poor, there is fall out and the texture is normally quite chalky too. I have tried to think of one to recommend from the high street for the purpose of this post yet sadly I have not been able to come up with anything. Personally I think that if you want to invest in a good set of eye shadows then you cannot go wrong with the likes of Urban Decay and MAC.


The primer section is for me the shortest one of all as to date I have never found a high street primer to work for me. My current favourite is the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer for everyday as this just simply works. At the moment I am currently contemplating in investing in the Tom Ford Illuminating Primer, although I am not quite sure if I am ready for the financial commitment just yet.


Eye brows are a funny old thing and are probably the trickiest thing to get right when it comes to doing your make up. To date I have only found one high street product which I can whole heartedly recommend, that being the Soap and Glory Archery* which was initially a product sent to me to review, however has been one that I have since purchased. This range is extremely limited in shades again which is a shame as the product itself is so easy to use and above all else looks natural when applied. Despite this I am very inclined to lean towards high end for brows simply because there are so many options out there. From gel formulas to pencils and liquids there really is an option for everyone. For me the best brand for brows that I have personally tried is Illamasqua, I really like the Eyebrow Cake in Thunder for creating a more natural finish and the Brow Gel in Strike for creating a slightly stronger brow.

High End v High Street Make Up


Up until the release of the Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes I would have voted for high end options, however Max Factor have shown that actually the high street is more than capable of producing a great blush. Overall I am still very much an advocate for high end blushes as there is just a huge array of shades available, whereby generally speaking I do find that the longevity of high end blushes do far outweigh high street options. NARS produce fantastic blushes, as do Illamasqua and Tarte, although the latter can be a bit hard to get hold of here in the UK. In terms of more budget friendly options then I would highly recommend the Topshop Cream Blushes as they are really lovely and also come in cute packaging to boot. 


For me concealer is a bit hit and miss on both sides of the spectrum as I have never been particularly blown away in terms of performance by any. Currently I am using the Seventeen Stay Time Concealer which I really like and do prefer to the much hyped Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, although this is quite good for those stubborn blemishes. When using concealer I do tend to use two at any given time, one for under the eyes and one for covering up blemishes. For under the eyes I do prefer more hydrating options which is where I find the Clarins Instant Concealer to really stand out above the rest; it is a super lightweight formula which blends beautifully across the delicate under eye area all whilst helping to mask dark circles. It is far from a miracle worker, however if I am honest I would rather use something which is more hydrating as opposed to a product which is too thick and heavy which proceeds to sink into fine lines.


Probably one of my most favourite products to use when I am putting on my make up is my mascara. My eye lashes are naturally quite long so it is nice to be able to enhance a feature that I actually do like. Whilst I rarely really want to increase the length of my lashes I do like to enhance them in terms of volume and thickness. Having tried plenty of high street options I have long since decided that the high street can come up trumps with mascara, although I must note that the prices of those do seem to be increasing rather rapidly these days. Again Max Factor for me produces the best mascaras on the high street by far with the Max Factor False Lash Effect being my favourite; my runner up would have to be the L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes.

In terms of high end mascaras I have only ever tried two, where I must confess that I have adored both. The Lancome Hypnose Mascara and the Chanel Le Volume De Chanel have both been incredible, however due to the price tags and the fact that mascaras run out of shelf life relatively quickly I have not been inclined to repurchase.

Overall I thoroughly enjoy browsing both the aisles for high street make up and the luxury beauty counters for when I want something a little bit special. My experience with beauty is ever growing and there will always be fantastic products and bad ones on either side of the fence. It really is all about trying and testing out new things in order to see how they work for you, because after all what may work for one person may not always work for another. 

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Green People Quinoa & Artichoke Hair Care

Green People Shampoo and Conditioner

Green People have a fantastic ethos, one which born in 1997 promises to never use synthetic chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), parabens and alcohol to synthetic fragrances and colourants; they also never test on animals. 

They produce a range of organic beauty products ranging from make up, skincare, hair care and more so it is a brand that is well worth checking out. Generally speaking I think we are slowly becoming more conscious and aware of the ingredients that we use within our beauty products therefore this is for me a brand that I know I can look to and trust.

Hair care has for me always been a bit of an issue for me as I rarely do the things I am supposed to. For instance I rarely use a heat protection spray and I never use a colour care shampoo despite having numerous highlights in my hair. Therefore when it really does boil down to it the main products I only really use are shampoos, conditioners and a detangle spray, although for 2016 I am making a new year's resolution to make more of an effort with my locks.

The Green People Quinoa and Artichoke Shampoo and Conditioner have been sitting in my shower for a little while now, in fact, I have just finished both of the products off so I thought it was about time that I shared my thoughts on them.

Starting off with the Green People Quinoa and Artichoke Shampoo* I wasn't quite sure what to anticipate at first as in the past SLS free shampoos have not impressed me that much; having said that my experience with this option has completely changed my mind on them. This product produces a really nice lather despite the lack of SLS, therefore I still feel as though I am giving my hair a good clean. It is gentle on my scalp and leaves my hair smelling really good, in fact the whole shower smells great after I have used this as the scent is actually one of my favourite things about the range as a whole. The addition of artichoke ensures that my hair is left feeling super soft and silky which I can hand on heart say that this is how my hair feels after I have used this. Generally speaking I know I wash my hair a bit too often however this product has been really nice to use on a very regular basis as it does not weigh my hair down or make it greasy in the slightest.

The Green People Quinoa and Artichoke Conditioner* again has impressed me, although it has to be said that the star of the two products here is the shampoo. I often do find that I can use any conditioner and nine times out of ten they will do the trick, however it was very nice to use a corresponding product to go alongside the shampoo. Simply by using this through the ends of my hair it has helped to ensure my hair is silky soft, which is always a rather nice feeling.

Have you used anything from Green People recently?

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

New Beauty Brands at Boots

New Beauty Products at Boots

Boots will always be one of my favourite places to shop. I have fond memories throughout my teens and early twenties of browsing the make up aisles (strictly high street brands) and wistfully looking over at the higher end counters thinking one day, I'll be able to shop at those. Fast forward a few years later I still pretty much find myself of that notion, however the odd treat or so is inevitable. I love make up, what can I say.

My point here being is that Boots stock a huge variety of brands, from some of the most affordable to the most luxurious. Over the last few weeks I have been given the opportunity to try out some of the most recent brands to find their way onto the shelves at Boots, both online and in store.

Egyptian Magic* had been a brand that I had heard of before but up until now I had not tried for myself. Proclaimed to be a multi-purpose cream that can help stem frizzy hair, smooth dry skin and sooth chapped lips this to me sounded like a product to always have at hand in emergencies. This initially took me by surprise as I had expected to find a white cream inside however it is a balm in texture as well as appearance and does require a bit of warming up if you want to use it on your hair and body. So far I have only tried it on my lips as they are quite sore at the moment and it has being working very nicely indeed.

Moving onto products which are slightly more health related in a roundabout way I have being trying out the Mr Blanc Teeth Whitening Strips* which I will admit to being a little cautious about. As some of you may know I am currently undergoing Invisalign treatment so I was wary of using these on already sensitive teeth. I did however give them a try and I noticed a visible difference after just one use. Having said that I did think that the result looked a bit patchy to me, which naturally wasn't the type of look I was going for. I am generally on the fence with this type of thing anyway as I still believe that if you want your teeth whitening safely and done properly that the best place for that will always be the dentist. 

The only product I haven't yet tried out from those featured are the Hairburst Vitamins* which provide a thirty day supply in order to maintain healthy hair. Containing vitamins A, B, C and D along with Biotin (also said to help your nails) and zinc I must admit that I am curious, although I will admit to being on the fence about this type of product. I will report back on this as I am inclined to see if they do improve my hair within that time frame.
New Beauty Products at Boots

There are two new brow brands which have intrigued me, those being Billion Dollar Brows and Wunderbrow. The Universal Brow Pencil* is formulated to suit most skin tones, applies smoothly and also will not require sharpening. It also has a fantastic little spoolie on the other end which is actually really rather good, I like that it is small and quite stiff as it really helps me to brush my brows into place. As for the shade I would argue that this isn't bad at all for my brows which are naturally quite dark and because of the ease of use you are able to use this as gently and with accuracy. 

Wunderbrow* is a one-step liquid brow product which contains hair like fibres, which are incidentally are that small that I cannot even see any. Overall I found this product hard to use with the tools provided, that being a spoolie which in my opinion is just too big to use accurately. When equipped with an angled liner brush and by using a bit of the product from the back of my hand I did find that I managed to achieve a decent brow. 

In the past I have featured the popular EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm* which I confess to buying simply for the shape alone. These are great little products to have around, particularly now that we are in the colder months where chapped lips creep upon us rather sneakily. Whilst these are not the most hydrating lip products I have ever used I do think that for on the go they make a really good option; they are easily to apply and also add somewhat of a fun element to the process.

The WAH London Immerge Lava Set* contains three nail paints from the popular nail art brand WAH. The aim of the game here is to create a watercolour effect on your nails which in theory sounds fun. In practice it was a little harder than I had imagined but overall I think I managed to pull it off. I plan to write a more detailed review of these in due course as I really miss writing about nail products, more specifically nail art.

My favourite product from those highlighted here today is the Wet Brush Detangling Brush* which I think is fantastic! First and foremost I am not a fan of the animal print, I never have been and I never will however I can overlook that due to the quality of the brush. Once I have washed my hair I almost never look forward to brushing my hair afterwards as it can be quite a brutal process, however this brush eases through my hair like a knife through hot butter; it is great!

Boots really do have some great new brands to try so it's well worth having a look whilst you are doing your Christmas shopping this year. 
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