31 August 2012

August Favourites

Today I'm going to be featuring my favourite items from August. I normally like to feature my top five items, however this month I can honestly say that I don't feel as if I have five to talk about, womp womp! Maybe it is because I haven't really bought much that is new and exciting, I don't really know, all I know is that I have made a conscious effort to use up random stuff in my house.

So instead I'm going to feature my top three products!


Ok, so the first product you can see here is something that I mentioned earlier on this week. It is The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub of which I did a mini review on it here so I won't go on about it too much, other than to say I love it! It costs £12 which I do think is a little pricey but as I mention in my previous post, The Body Shop runs a lot of promotions so you can normally get a good bargain!

My second favourite item of this month is a blusher from Topshop. The shade is called 'Head Over Heels', it is a lovely coral colour which I have been loving throughout this summer. This retails at £6 which I think is rather reasonable, plus, students get discount! This happens to be my first ever cream blush so I was quite apprehensive about using it however I was pleasantly surprised with the application and colour pay off. The packaging is super cute; it even comes with a mirror which is really handy if out and about. I'm pretty certain I will buy this again as it is a nice change to my usual pink tones.

Lastly is a product that I have been rather curious about for a while now.  It is the Argania Hair Oil that is made with certified organic Moroccan argan oil. Now, argan oil has been very popular over recent months with people claiming it is doing wonders for their hair. The actual product I wanted was the Moroccan Oil treatment however at £30 I decided it was far too expensive! I looked for alternatives resulting in me coming across the Argania version which was half the price at £14.99; it had received quite a few positive reviews so I took the decision to get this with my Boots points.

The product comes in two versions one blue and one red. The blue packaging is aimed at light coloured hair or fine hair, whereas the red packaging appears to have no specific target audience so I presume you can use that if you don't have fine hair or light coloured hair.

So far I really like this product; it has a beautiful vanilla scent to it which lasts really quite well on my hair. I’m falling in love with the smell folks! It has made my hair feel much more conditioned as I had noticed the ends of my hair were very dry and feeling a bit coarse prior to using it. I have to say the condition of my hair has improved vastly since using this.

I plan on doing a review on this in the coming weeks so look out for it!

All the products featured in this post are cruelty free!
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29 August 2012

The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion

After having so many products lying around the house I made the decision a while back to put a halt on buying new stuff so that I could use up some of my older products. Some items I found I had completely forgot about so it was just like new anyway!

One of those items was The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion facial scrub. I purchased this about six months ago along with a few other Vitamin C products. It retails at a full price of £12 for 75ml, however with the sheer amount of offers on at The Body Shop you're likely to get a good deal.



The product I feel has quite a 'gritty' texture, the exfoliating particles are very small but there are a lot of them!  The product also has a lovely orange scent to it which I really do like, although, it could be a little too strong for some people. I have the Vitamin C Skin Reviver from the same range and I have to say I do find that a little overpowering sometimes.

I never really thought I had dull skin, so I'm not entirely sure why I purchased this, however after using it I can honestly say I do feel and see a difference in my skin. It appears much brighter, as if I've literally removed a top layer of old skin...gross! It doesn't make my skin feel sore at all, as in my opinion when rubbing it on it can feel a little rough. My skin afterwards is refreshed, much more radiant and ready to be moisturised.

At the moment I'm pretty sure I would re-purchase this, however not at the full price as I think the RRP for this is a little too expensive. Overall, I'm rather glad I came across this again as I really do like it!

*The Body Shop is a cruelty free brand, it is however owned by L'Oreal who conducts testing on animals.
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24 August 2012

Roo Beauty Case!

Today I have had my solution to all my make-up storage woes solved! 

Before today I was using a small little case to keep my make-up in, I had no room for half of it so it was stored across three different places. I decided I couldn't put up with this any longer, especially as I would be moving back to university in a few weeks time, I needed it all in one place. Over the last few weeks I've been searching for a new case which was good quality, however not too expensive.

Eventually I came across Roo Beauty, who specialise in selling storage for all your beauty essentials. They had a wide range of cases for me to look at, each varying in size and design. I was torn between two cases, those being 'The Mombasa' and 'The Burmese'. They were both different in size with the Mombasa case being slightly smaller, yet for the same price I could have a larger case with the Burmese. I chose the larger Burmese case as I'm hoping to stick most of my nail polishes in as well as everything else. Luckily for me they had a sale on (they still do so have a nosey girls)! I ordered the Burmese case for £24.98 instead of £49.99; I also got free delivery with this.

Roo Beauty I have to say excelled themselves as I had just standard delivery, however it arrived this morning when I only ordered it Monday night!

I chose the blue one for the simple reason that blue is my favourite colour, I love it!

I also love the little Kangaroo logo; it adds a nice little touch to the design of the case. I have to say, the case feels very well made, it has a great quality feel to it. 

The case opens up into various compartments, it is really handy as the little separators that you can see can be easily removed so that you can put them in where you want, customising the case to fit your needs for your different products. I can't wait to put all my stuff in soon, I'm going to have to clean all my make-up first though, I'm so picky! With this I also received a little set of keys which allows me to lock my box if I should so need.

Overall, I'm extremely impressed with this case. I think for £24.98 it was an incredible bargain! I think I can safely say my storage woes are now over!
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22 August 2012

Montagne Jeunesse Glacial Clay Spa Face Mask

Earlier on today my face was feeling a bit oily and hot after I had been cleaning the house from top to bottom. I decided to treat myself to a face mask after I had finished, a little reward for all my hard work! The one I chose was the Montagne Jeunesse Glacial Clay Spa Face Mask*which I had received in the post as a thank you for taking part in a small feedback session for Montagne Jeunesse.

I was really excited when I got this as I did not expect anything from them, how nice was that! I love clay masks as some of you will know so this made me even happier. I'm aware that these clay masks are new products for Montagne Jeunesse so I thought I would give this one a whirl and see how it faired.


There are two types of these masks currently available, this one as you can see if the Glacial Clay Spa mask whereas the other one you can purchase is a Dead Sea Mud Clay Spa mask; these retail at £1.49.

Now, I've used quite a few products by Montagne Jeunesse before so I just thought that I would tear open the packaging and squeeze the product out. I clearly did not look at it properly as if I had I would have noticed it was not your average face mask. Once I opened it I realised it was something quite different, in my curiosity I took it out and to my delight I realised it was some type of sheet mask. However, I was now left with a dilemma as my fingers were covered in clay and I really wanted to take a photo to show you all. I had to get my brother to take the photo; he was really quite baffled by the whole buisness!

Doesn't this look just a tad scary? I think it does! 

From doing further research into this product I have found out that the mask is made out of natural bamboo fabric whereby the clay is infused into the material...funky eh!

Ingredients

Arctic Cloudberry
Red Grape



This mask leaves space for your mouth and eyes, so you can go about your business for fifteen minutes. Just don't open the door to anyone as from the way I looked with it on it really would give somebody such a fright! 

Once the time was up my mask just peeled off really nicely, it didn't go hard at all. I then proceeded to wash off the remaining clay with warm water and then with cold water to help close pores. I have to say I did notice a difference in my skin afterwards, it felt very refreshed and clean as well as feeling extremely soft, in fact I was really impressed with how soft it felt.

My only gripe with this product is that the mask is far too big, it's either that or my face is too small.

Has anybody else tried these masks yet?
Montagne Jeunesse is a cruelty free brand as well as vegan.

*This was sent to me as a reward for taking part in a survey, all opinions on this product are my own.
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21 August 2012

Fake!

I'm finally back after a few days of making myself do some university work, yay!

I had to pop to town today and whilst I was there I popped into Home Bargains, as you do. I wanted some biscuits to be honest but on the way around the shop I came across a set of fake nails. Now, I have always wanted to try them but I had been put off by the prices, as well as thinking they would just fall off and be a waste of money. However, today I took the decision to pick some up, they cost only £1.99 so I thought what the hell, if they fall off then it isn't a huge deal.

These are the ones I picked up, made by Red Professional with there being two types available. These as you can see are clear whereas the other option was a pale nude set; I went for the clear ones as I thought they may be better as I was going to paint them afterwards.


I'm a complete novice at putting these on; they were quite large for my very short nails, which I might add I'm growing again, for like the zillionth time in my life...I may get there one day! Anyhow, they were pretty straight forward to apply once I had chosen the right size; it was just a case of popping a bit of glue on the back and then sticking them on my nails. I had to cut them into a more desirable length as I'm really not into witch nails; I then filed them to make the shape nicer. The glue I have to say has held up quite well so far, we will see how long they last.

The hardest thing I found with them really was choosing the right size for each nail, I think I have made them look ok but I guess you folks can let me know if I haven't! I'm relatively pleased since I have never put them on before.

I chose one of my favourite nail colours to paint them, plain old black! I love black nails, I always have and I always will. 

There you have it, Barry M 'Black'! (It is actually quite gloopy now, I need to replace it). I do really quite like the Barry M Nail polishes, I think they are quite unique with their products. They are also cruelty free, along with some of their products being vegan friendly too.

There is the final result, I tried to be a bit arty with my last picture!
What do you all think of these? I've never been a fan of fake nails in the slightest, however it is nice to feel long nails for once. I really must kick this habit.
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16 August 2012

Botanics Conditioning Clay Mask.

I'm really quite naughty, I'm sitting here about to write my next post when really I should be doing my dissertation research write up...oops!

Anyhow, today I'm doing a review on the Botanics Conditioning Clay Mask as it says in the title. Now, Botanics have recently had a package make over, as well as with some of the products having changed. So far I've read their hot cloth cleanser and the eye makeup remover are different than they were previously.  Having read the description on the Boots website from what I can tell the ingredients to the clay mask have changed, with the key ingredient being 'willow bark', whereas the older version had 'burdock' in it. 

Both of these ingredients are said to purify and clarify the skin, I wonder if the new version is as good as the old.

Old packaging of the clay mask by Botanics
I've had this a while now, and it's very nearly empty, in fact it is becoming harder to squeeze out the tube so maybe it is coming to the end of its life. I can't remember how much I purchased this for but the new version costs £6.99 (I doubt I would have paid that much, I must have bought it on offer at the time).

Wet mask!
As you all can see, the mask is very thick and dark in colour when first applied. Is it just me, but I just love the idea of putting thick dark goo on my face haha; it must be the child in me! There is a smell to this mask but it is nothing horrible, just a very natural scent. Once applied you leave the mask on for around 10-20 minutes, depending on how thick you have put it on as it needs time to dry and go hard on your face.

Note that when applying the mask I only put it along my t-zone and on my chin as these are the problem areas. Don't stick it around your delicate eye areas folks.

Dry mask!
Once it is dry you can see that the colour has changed, it is much lighter than previously as well as having little cracks in it where it has dryed on my skin. The mask on your face will begin to feel much tighter as it dries. Once the mask is completely solid on your face and when there are no dark patches left it is time to wash it off, use just warm water to remove the mask from your face. Once dry you will hopefully see a difference in your skin, I know I did every time I used it.

I found that I tended to use this mask when my skin was looking quite oily and if I felt that I had too many blackheads on my t-zone. I have to say, it would make quite a difference to my skin, it would look so much cleaner when compared to other masks I used which were not clay based. Overall, I think from the many masks I have used on my face clay ones do indeed give better results.

Always remember to moisturise afterwards, especially after using clay masks as they do remove a lot of moisture from the skin.

Another great mask I use is the seaweed one from The Body Shop, this is probably better than the Botanics on in my opinion. Expect a review on that in the coming weeks.
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15 August 2012

Into the sky!

Now, besides my love for beauty, fashion etc my other main interests include books and art. I love looking at art work as well as trying to create my own. Today I'm going to share with you all my most recent attempt.

Yesterday I did a new painting, it was a nice summer’s day and I felt rather cheerful. I think this reflected in my picture, today however is so gloomy and miserable so I'm quite happy that I have this picture to look at today.

I present to you my painting 'Into the sky'.


 I painted this using acrylic paint and a canvas that I purchased from Home Bargains for £1.99. The canvas isn't the best quality but for what I wanted it for it was more than suitable.


I would have preferred to have used oil paint as I prefer oils over acrylic however, I couldn't find my oils anywhere! My picture isn't that neat really, I find it quite difficult to be neat with paint, it is something I'm trying to get better at.

Anyway, I hope you all like and that my picture brings some colour to your day.

P.S: Welcome new followers! 
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13 August 2012

No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser

I have finally got around to posting a review on the No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser which I purchased back at the beginning of June. At the time I said I would do a review the following week, however, I decided this really was not long enough to get a true opinion of the product. So, here we are just over two months later where I feel I can give a honest and fair review.

I have compared it to the well known Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser in parts as it is the only other one I have used besides this. Having said that, I have only used the Liz Earle for two weeks and it was on and off, not every day.


The No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser can be purchased from Boots with the retail price of this product being £9.95, let's just call it £10. As we all know, Boots often give out £5 vouchers, I used one of these when I purchased this so it cost me just £5; I thought this was a brilliant bargain. No7 is a range which is cruelty free so this is another reason to use those £5 vouchers on something new to try.

The cleanser is aimed for all skin types, with it being hypo-allergenic. I did actually pick one of these up for somebody I know who has very sensitive skin, and they can use this no problem. For the price you receive 200ml of product which is quite a lot. I have been using this since June every day barring the week I went to Edinburgh and you can see through the packaging just how much product has been used, this will last me quite a while I feel.

The fact that you can see the product through the packaging is great, I hate not knowing how much product I have or haven't got left.

The cleanser comes with a muslin cloth which is ok quality however as I do have a muslin cloth from the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser I have to say I do prefer that one, I just feel it is much more smoother than the No7 cloth, as well as having a nice finished edge to it; it's all about the small detail!

For those who have not used a hot cloth cleanser before, the method of applying is rather simple. 

1. Place small amounts of the product onto your face whilst it is dry and then rub it in gently through circular upward motions.
2. Run the muslin cloth under warm/hot water depending on what you are comfortable with.
3. Wring out excess water and then proceed to place the cloth on your face, the heat will open up your pores and hopefully the cleanser will do its job and clean them!
4. Once relaxed, rub off the remaining cleanser on your face and then pat your face with cold water to close pores.

I have to say, I very rarely leave the muslin cloth sitting on my face, I'm a wash and go kinda gal!

The consistency of the product is quite creamy; it is very similar to the Liz Earle once out of the tube. However, the smells are different. I can't quite describe what the No7 one smells like, it is less 'natural' then the scent of Liz Earle which is what I prefer Liz Earle in terms of smell. A little product goes quite a long way with this, on application it is more of a runny cream whereas the Liz Earle one I feel is a bit thicker so you require more.

When I first started using this I was concerned that it was causing me to break out in spots, however I persevered and this settled down after a few weeks. I put it down to the cleanser cleaning my face better and removing all the impurities.

After having used this for a while now I can say that I do quite like it. For your money you get a lot of product, even paying full price without the voucher I still feel like you get your money’s worth. I like No7, I'm not a fan of everything they do, and I feel you need find goodies through trial and error but with this product I feel that it does the job pretty well.

I most likely would buy this again, however I do want to try Liz Earle properly before I choose one over the other.
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8 August 2012

Extracts Brazil Nut Body Butter

Sorry I have been slightly absent for the last couple of days, I like to keep my blog updated each day but I have been so busy since my boyfriend got back from Edinburgh on Sunday I have struggled to find the time to sit down and write a post.

Today I'm going to feature a product that I have loved using these last two weeks, with this being the  Extracts Body Butter in Brazil Nut which is available from Boots. This product actually made it onto my July Favourites which can be viewed here. The body butter originally belonged to my mom; however after trying it one evening after a bath I was smitten! Luckily she let me have it to finish it off as there wasn't a huge amount left.

These body butters in the 200 ml size cost £7.95 which I think is fantastic when you consider other similar products on the market. The Body Shop Body Butters spring to mind here which cost £12.50 for the same amount of product.

The product description reads as follows:

Extracts Brazil nut body butter intensively moisturises and hydrates, leaving skin feeling soft and smooth.          
Containing Brazil nut oil derived from the bertholletia excelsa seed, Extracts Brazil nut body butter is organic, sustainably sourced & fair-trade.

I love the fact that the products in the Extracts range are Fair-trade, this when shopping is something I do try to look out for as I know it is much more ethical. Fair-trade products helps people in some of the most deprived countries ensuring that they get paid fairly for the ingredients that they supply, such as cocoa beans which we use for cocoa butter.

If you're interested in this here is some more information on it.

As you can see, this is all but spent now but oh my have I enjoyed using it. My skin after using this felt so unbelievably soft, I also felt that it helped to improve the condition of my skin in terms of its appearance. The product itself is quite thick which is something I do like with moisturisers, I much prefer this to a runnier consistency. 

I will be re-buying this as soon as I have got through my spending ban and once I have used up some other little bits and bobs I have lying around.

These body butters also come in:
Honey
Mango
Vanilla
Nectarine
Cocoa 
Almond
Shea
Coconut
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4 August 2012

Product use up update #1



I have been trying so hard this last month to use up products that I have floating around the house. I seriously had so much stuff I had began to struggle to find places to keep it all, it was so unnecessary

I mentioned back at the beginning of July that I had started this, I wrote a post on it here. Some of the products featured here I have managed to use up, however a lot of them will take me another month I think. I ended up finding other things that needed using so I was rather spoilt for choice, here today I'm going to show you just a select few. I think I recycled another six empty bottles before I took my pictures for this post, it was too much! I feel very satisfied though having managed this; I'm going to keep it up throughout August.

Ok, so firstly I finished up a large bottle of Sanex Shower Cream. This is quite a frequent visitor to my bathroom, it is aimed at dry skin which I do tend to have, especially on my legs and the tops of my feet for some reason. I really liked this and it is great if you have sensitive skin too. Sanex does not test on animals, however it is owned by Colgate Palmolive who does.

Secondly is the Batiste Dry Shampoo in 'tropical'. I was happy to use this up so I could buy the 'lace' version which I prefer, the smell is much nice and less 'cloudy' if that makes sense, I don't feel as if I breathe in smoky stuff so much haha! (I've e-mailed Batiste to enquire if they test on animals as I cannot find any clear clarification anywhere; I'm currently waiting on their response).

Next up is a small tube of the No7 Radiance Revealed Exfoliator. To be honest, I didn't think much of this; to be it was just your normal standard exfoliator, I wouldn't buy it again as it really didn't stand out to me. No7 is cruelty free as far as I'm aware.


My last few products I'm showing you all today feature the Botanics Body Balm, The Body Shop Shower Gel and Body Lotion in strawberry and L'Oreal Eye Make-up Remover and finally Sanctuary Body Wash.

The Botanics Body Balm I recently did a review on here, so I will not discuss it much further other than to say I love it and I will certainly re-buy. Botanics is again another cruelty free brand.

The Sanctuary Body Wash again is something I was not wowed by, it was nice but I'm pretty certain that I tend to prefer more fruity, zesty smells rather than spices. The smell wasn't all too amazing, I think for the price there are much better products available. For the full size it costs £5.50 from Boots.  Sanctuary state that their products are not tested on animals.

Now, these last two products whilst beginning to write this put me in a HUGE dilemma! I would appreciate your opinions on this everyone. The Body Shop I love, I seriously do love it however it is owned by L'Oreal who is well known to test on animals. L'Oreal own so many companies, it is very hard to avoid them I feel. The Body Shop do maintain that they are cruelty free and I believe this, however, what about the profits, do they go to L'Oreal and fund further animal testing?...this is what my concern is. I'm going to try and find out more about this as I really would hate to have to boycott this brand that I have come to adore.

The L'Oreal Eye Make-up Remover is quite good to be honest, it is also pretty cheap at around £3.50, and it can be purchased from pretty much anywhere. I purchased this a few months back when I forgot to take make-up remover with me somewhere and I was quite pleased with the results. I won't however be re-buying this for reasons above. (This is what puts me in my dilemma with The Body Shop as I want to continue buying products from there).

Lastly, The Body Shop Body Lotion and Shower Gel. These were a gift at Christmas which I had finally got around to using; I have to say I preferred the shower gel to the body lotion. I think with moisturisers I prefer them to be in a 'butter' format rather than a lotion, that being said it did do the job nicely with my legs being left soft and smelling lovely.

Wow this turned into such a hard post for me to write, I did not expect it.
I feel as if I've been left more concerned and confused than ever over animal testing!
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3 August 2012

My new bag!

My post for today is going to feature my most recent and my last purchase until I go back to university. I did start a spending ban back at the beginning of July, however, I really didn't think that through as it was my birthday month and I went to Edinburgh last minute...how  could I not spend money! So, I have re-started with my ban, wish me luck!

I wanted a new bag for university and whilst out at the Hollybush, which is a garden centre of all places I came across a little shop that sold bags, clothing, scarves and jewellery, of course I had to pop in. In there I saw some bags that I really liked, in particular Move and Moda Satchels. They were in a variety of colours, being priced at £36. I really didn't want to spend that much so I decided not to get one. However, whilst browsing eBay the same night I came across the same bags in black and white at a starting price of 99p!

I bidded...so did eleven others, ooo it was scary stuff! Tension building etc etc, eBay is heart raising stuff let me tell you! I won it though folks, with 12 seconds to go, I was so pleased! I ended up paying £14.75 for the bag with £4 p&p; this was still cheaper than the price I had seen whilst out shopping so I was quite made up.

I love this bag so much; I can't wait to start using it at University. It does fit an A4 pad in however, it sticks out a bit at the top but this isn't an issue for me as I tend to take a small pad to write up notes as all the lectures get put up online anyway.



There is a nice floral patter inside, I think it is roses and the features on the bag such as the zips and buckles are in a gold finish. It has three main compartments, one of which zips up inside the bag. There is also another zip up pocket in the bag as you can see from the picture, I can store my phone in there and whatever else and it won't fall out. On the back of the bag there is also another zip pocket, so there are plenty of places to put valuables.

When I purchased this there was another five up for grabs I think.
What do you all think of my new bag? 
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