31 December 2014

Favourite Blogs of 2014

Favourite Blogs of 2014

This year I have had the up-most pleasure in reading an array of fantastic blogs from some pretty inspiring women. From such a wide variety of content to read daily I have found that reading blogs has definitely become part of my daily life, along with watching the odd YouTube video here and there.

Suzie - Hello October - Suzie's blog and indeed YouTube channel is one of my favourites and has been for quite a long time now. She seems so incredibly genuine, upfront and honest which when I'm taking advice from her in regards to make up products to buy or not to buy as the case maybe makes this honesty even more important. She also has the cutest puppy ever, period.

Claudia - Beauty and the Chic - Claudia's blog is the one to go to if you're a huge LUSH fan, trust me! Of course she features plenty of other products along with some really pretty outfit posts too and like I've already mentioned in one of the comments on her blog, she picks the most gorgeous nail polish shades I have ever seen.

Sophie - The Private Life of a Girl - If there has been one blog that I have visited every single day without fail this year then it will be The Private Life of a Girl. Sophie's no nonsense approach is SO incredibly refreshing and her advice posts and beauty interests are on point. I always leave Sophie's blog feeling inspired, like I can go out there and get what I want if I work hard enough for it. She's incredibly inspiring and produces the most unique blog I have ever read. If there is one blog you should take a peek at for 2015 then let it be this one.

LaaLaa - Dolce Vanity - LaaLaa's blog is once again a personal favourite of mine and is one that deserves so many more readers as she is again a blogger that I trust. Her make up knowledge is clear to see from reading her blog posts, whereby the tips she has often left me in comments on my own blog have always been welcomed. Dolce Vanity isn't however completely focused on beauty; there is a variety of content over there ranging from food and style too!

Kim - Love Cloth - If there's one fashion blogger who just looks so incredibly happy to be doing what she's doing it is Kim. I absolutely adore her fashion sense and the fun atmosphere that is so evident in so many of her pictures. Unlike so many fashion blogs I find Kim's style to be true and real to everyday life, I could envision myself wearing what she's wearing instead of thinking 'yeah that's nice but I'd never wear that out in public'. Love Cloth is most certainly a fashion blog to keep bookmarked.

Chaitra - Pink Pot - Towards the end of the year I had the pleasure of having Chaitra guest post for me whilst I was settling back down into university life. She's such a pleasure to talk to and has an equally beautiful blog to match her personality. I love the large crisp images she produces and the helpful advice she provides on her photography tip posts.

Latasha - Today I Adore - Latasha has a make up collection that I could only ever dream of, it's safe to say I have being eyeing up the NARS Kabuki Brush set ever since she featured it at the beginning of the month. She's an utter beauty and is once again a blogger that is so friendly and approachable. I adore the style of her blog and the images that she produces, they're clean cut and elegant to boot.

Victoria - In The Frow - I've followed In the Frow for a good while now and it is truly incredible to see how well Victoria has done in such a short period of time. Whilst her blog, style and hair are impeccable what inspires me most about Victoria is her dedication to her studies, she's clearly worked very hard for a very long time and deserves all the success that comes her way.

Caroline - Burkatron - It's safe to say that without a shadow of a doubt Caroline's blog has been my favourite blog of all time. I still remember discovering her blog roughly around the time when I started my own, that'll be three years in March so it just goes to show how long I have being reading Burkatron. In that time her blog has grown from strength to strength whereby her home decor posts and nail tutorials along with her awesome style posts always have me coming back for more.

Jenny - Jennypurr - Starting off as a beauty blog Jennypurr has changed over the year into a creative outlet full of advice, motivation and inspiration for bloggers and creatives alike. Jennypurr was my go to beauty blog but even now her site keeps me coming back for more in order to learn new things and to see how she's getting on, plus she does add in a sneaky beauty post here and there. She's such a lovely person and one that I truly wish all the success for in 2015.

What have been your favourite reads of 2014?

30 December 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Brand of the Year 2014

Charlotte Tilbury
This year there was quite simply one brand that for me stood out from all of the rest; stand up Charlotte Tilbury! From first glance the rose gold packaging had me captivated and that was long before I even tried any of the products for myself. From the items I own personally I have to say they are probably the most luxurious pieces of make up that I own, not just from the packaging but from the quality of the products too. This is not going to be review post today as I'm planning on producing individual posts on the various products throughout the next few months. If however you're interested in the lipstick then I already have you covered on that one as I have reviewed Bitch Perfect it its entirety just a few months ago. 

I have being blogging three years in March and I'll be honest with you I've never really been captivated by a brand as much as I have been with this one. The quality is there, as is the passion and the enthusiasm which naturally radiates from Charlotte Tilbury herself. From first-hand experience the make up artists at the Birmingham counter in Selfridges are so incredibly passionate, whereby this is evident from chatting to them about the products. It's clear to see that they're not just there to sell them, they really believe in the brand and want you to too. 

There are currently nine eye shadow palettes within the collection of which the limited edition 'Fallen Angel' palette is still available as of writing this post. Each one of them has its own designated look, for instance 'The Rock Chic' is all about the sultry smoky eye whereby in contrast to this 'The Vintage Vamp' is still very much about the eyes but incorporates a bright bold lip, perfect for New Year's Eve. There are of course more products within the Charlotte Tilbury line, the Filmstar Bronze and Glow is a personal favourite of mine.

I'm keeping this post short and sweet as I really should be revising for my law exams however the urge to share with you my favourite brand of 2014 was just too much for me to handle. In a nut shell the Charlotte Tilbury line made me excited about make up again, I mean really excited and that is why Charlotte Tilbury has been my favourite brand of the year.

29 December 2014

Beauty Favourites 2014

Beauty Favourites 2014

Yesterday I proclaimed my love for five skincare favourites whereas today my attention is very much focused upon make up. This year was quite the year for me in terms of discovering new products as each one of these has been new to me; some I'll admit were products that I was late to the game with although now I own them I can why they had received so much positive feedback over the years. 

Starting off with NARS Sheer Glow this was hefty purchase for me at the time yet it is one that I would repeat again and again until something better comes along. This foundation in my opinion certainly warrants the attention that it receives; it is a beautiful base that provides medium coverage without being too heavy on my skin. Despite the name I don't think it is sheer at all, I know that I've tried foundations in the past that have had a much more sheer finish and consistency. In terms of glow I wouldn't say that this is a glowy foundation either therefore the name of it does baffle me ever so slightly however what this does provide me with is a beautiful soft matte finish that looks natural and almost flawless.

This year was finally the year where I decided to pick up the Rimmel 107 and see what all of the fuss was about. I know I was pretty late to the game with this one but I managed to get there in the end. I featured this in my 'It's all about Kate' post therefore I'll refrain from repeating myself all over again, however let's just say that this was a purchase I absolutely loved.

Considering I've mentioned these next two products together in their own dedicated post, 'Dream Team' it seems only fitting to discuss them together now. The MAC 217 and the Urban Decay Basics Palette* were two products that I tried for the first time this year, whereby I have to say they both surpassed my expectations. Firstly I did not understand how a brush could be so good until I tried the 217 and secondly the basics palette for me initially looked, dare I say it, a bit boring. It felt so good to be proven wrong on both of these accounts as I have found myself using these products none stop.

Back in August I posted about my 'Canadian Beauty Swap' that I took part in with Celina. When it came down to it I had a tough time deciding what I wanted to try however I had heard so much about the Tarte Blushes that I knew one of those would be on my list. The shade 'Exposed' is said to be a dupe for NARS Douceur which rumour has it has been discontinued therefore I'm extremely happy that I have this within my collection. I've only tried one so far yet I have found that the Tarte blushes are beautifully pigmented and last really well in my experience. Exposed adds a really soft, natural flush to my cheeks and allows me to wear a bolder lip without everything looking a little too Pat Evans.

My last favourite this year has to be the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette which I purchased half way through the year. These palettes are nothing short of beautiful and are most certainly eye catching what with their distinct rose gold packaging and dramatic looks associated to each palette. The eye shadows themselves are incredibly easy to wear and whilst they may initially seem expensive the quads do work out cheaper then putting together your own MAC quad.

Hit me with your favourite beauty items of this year, as you would expect I'm pretty interested to hear what they are.


28 December 2014

Skincare Favourites 2014

Skincare Favourites 2014

It has only been a few days since I last wrote a blog post and it already feels like something new and exciting! It is however ironic considering we are building up to the end of 2014, whereby I'm finishing off this year on A Little Boat Sailing with a few posts rounding up with my favourite beauty items from the last twelve months.

Upon thinking of what I wanted to include in my skincare favourites of 2014 I knew immediately which three items which would certainly be in there. Starting off with the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water this has been a firm favourite of mine ever since I picked it up months ago. It has been a repurchase twice already and will long continue to be I think as I do find it hard to imagine something beating it in terms of quality (it works really well for me) and price. 

Moving onto La Roche Posay the infamous Effaclar Duo saw a revamp in 2014 of which the newly formulated Effaclar Duo +* hit the shelves running much to everyone's delight. I found myself purchasing it in the hope that the new formula would work for me the second time around as I had previously struggled with the original. Luckily for me it worked much better than the former and has now continued to be a product I use regularly within my skincare routine. Just a few months ago I came to the end of my tube and never got around to picking up another as I was waiting for it to come on offer in Boots however since then I have been sent the  La Roche-Posay 3 Step Anti Blemish System* which I'll be reviewing in the New Year. 

The LUSH Tea Tree Water was a product that I discovered in June last year and ever since has been something I have enjoyed using. Whilst it's not a complete miracle worker (my skin at the moment would be testament to that) I do find that overall it has helped to keep my skin much clearer. For that reason alone it most certainly deserves a spot within my skincare favourites of 2014. I have a whole review dedicated to this toner in fact so if you're interested or mildly curious then head over and have a read here.

Onto my favourite night cream thus far the Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins was a purchase that I made in the Christmas sales last year and even though I don't think I've mentioned it much throughout the year it has been a product I have used almost every single night. This moisturiser provides just the right amount of hydration to my skin over night without it being too rich or heavy for my oily/combination skin type and leaves my skin feeling much more hydrated and if I'm honest much more awake in the morning.

Last but not least is a product that I'm very much behind in reviewing therefore I thought I'd pop it in here just to highlight the fact of how much I like it. The Green People Age Defy Cleansing and Soothe Balm* has been a product that I have being using of a night time ever since September. I've mainly being using this to take my make up off (not my eye make up) whereby I have to say it has being doing a wonderful job. I've also being using it for more of a treatment when trying to replicate the Lisa Eldridge Facial Massage video, it is a fantastic product to use alongside that routine whereby after I have finished my face feels great! I'll be back with a more in-depth review on this in the coming weeks so stay tuned if you're interested in reading more about this cleansing balm.

What have been your favourite skincare items from 2014? Are they old favourites or new discoveries?


24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Well that's it folks, it's almost the time to kick back, relax and snuggle up on the sofa with your favourite Christmas film and glass of mulled wine. Over the Christmas period I'm going to take a little blogging break in order to give myself a much earned rest, although I'll be back towards the end of the year with my beauty favourites from 2014; excited? Me too!

Wherever you are in the world I hope you truly have a wonderful Christmas. Stay safe, be merry and have an awesome time!

Merry Christmas everybody! 


20 December 2014

Recently Recycled #2

Recently Recycled

Back in the summer I made it a priority of mine to ensure I started to use up the many lotions and potions that I had before I opened up any new ones to try. Being a beauty blogger primarily this was quite hard in theory as despite wanting to find and stick to a routine that works for me I've often always found myself wanting to try something new. Having said that in 2014 I found my outlook on skincare items changing somewhat as whilst I will always enjoy trying out new things I did find myself becoming a little overwhelmed with the sheer amount of products floating around. I found it excessive, overwhelming and to be quite honest a little chaotic therefore I slimmed it right down. By putting products out of sight in boxes hidden away this allowed me to set my focus upon using a few products rather than having a mixture of things to choose from. My point to all of this waffle is that by sticking to just a few products this allowed me to use them up a lot quicker, it also allowed me to gain a much thorough insight as to how the products worked for me over not just two months but over six or seven.

A frequent visitor to this type of post is the Batiste Dry Shampoo of which I feel no need to speak about any more; you all know the drill where this is concerned. The incredibly popular Bioderma Micelle Solution* was something I really wanted to try whereby in the end  it did live up to expectations although to this day I'd still argue the Garnier offering is much better overall. Back in June I put together a post on my thoughts between the two in the ultimate match of Garnier vs Bioderma; check it out for a more in-depth review.

Effaclar Duo + was released this year and once again became quite the topic amongst skincare lovers. Having struggled with the original formula I'm not entirely sure why I decided to purchase the new formulated version, all I know is that I'm glad I did as it worked really well for me. At the moment I'm trialling out the new La Roche-Posay 3 Step Anti Blemish System* so keep an eye out in the new year for my thoughts on that.

Last year I shared with you my thoughts on the REN Hydra Calm Global Protection Day Cream* which was something I really enjoyed using, particularly at times when my skin was feeling fragile and was having one of its moments. Whilst I did like this I don't know if it would be something I would purchase in the future as I think now one year on that there are other moisturisers that are just as good for a fraction of the price. If however you're keen on reading more about this then head on over to my review of the REN Global Protection Day Cream*, just please excuse my poor photographs!

Lastly I have two products from HealGel of which both were products that I really enjoyed, particularly HealGel Face which to this day remains the nicest product I have ever put on my face. HealGel Face* is a moisturiser which I felt really did help to improve the appearance of my skin along with helping to improve considerably any dehydration that I suffer from. HealGel Eye* as the name would suggest is the equivalent but for under the eye area. Whilst I really liked both of these it was HealGel Face which I fell for the most; it truly was a beautiful product. I've never really felt too sad about reaching the end of a product before yet I have to say where this was concerned I really was.

Other mentions go out to the L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Shampoo, The Body Shop White Musk Shower Gel and the Superfacialist Facial Wash, all of which were products that I really liked but ended up looking a little bit too gross to photograph.

18 December 2014

E-Reader vs Book

E-reader vs Book
Besides my interest in the world of beauty and fashion I have always had a huge interest and passion for reading. Even before the likes of Harry Potter I was quite the book worm whereby by the age of eleven I had read quite a lot already. To this day I still remember climbing onto the top bunk, wrapping myself up in my duvet and escaping into another world. My bookshelf as a child was crammed full and I found this continuing into my early twenties. Over the last few years I've had to be a little more ruthless with my collection as it was incredibly out of hand; this has led to countless trips to the charity shop over the last few years whereby now I have everything comfortably on two shelves (although there is a box full under my bed, shhhh).

Working in a book store for what seems like a lifetime and being such an avid reader myself I naturally have a huge soft spot for a physical book. Therefore when the e-reader started to take the market by storm I felt as though my enjoyment of reading was being attacked, I didn't like it! For the longest time I was dead set against e-readers, I simply tuned out and wouldn't want to hear about them as they quite literally went against everything I believed in. That was until I had to start selling them at work, imagine the sheer horror when I saw the e-reader stand being installed and I had to learn how to use them and more importantly act enthusiastic about them. 

Fast forward a few years or so I have definitely developed quite a difference stance on them, not least because I now own one of my own. Mine was actually a leaving present when I left work after I moved back home from university however I can safely say that I would have purchased one eventually. My two main reasons for using an e-reader are quite simply because firstly they help to save a lot of space, particularly when you have limited storage like me. I'm forever sacrificing one book on my bookshelf for another however with an e-reader I don't have to do this. Whilst it's sad to not have a physical copy I do have to weigh up the possibility that I may never read that particular book again therefore I really don't need it sitting on my book shelf gathering dust. The second reason is that when new books are released they tend to be in hardback which is a format I never buy; for me they are too heavy and too big for reading in bed which means I have to wait a while until a paperback version is released. Luckily with an e-reader I don't have to wait at all which is fantastic if it is a new release that I have being looking forward to reading.

There are of course a few downsides to an e-reader of which one I have already alluded to. The lack of a physical book can make me a bit sad at times as it's always nice to have the real physical thing, especially if the cover art work is nice as e-readers, not tablets (as far as I know) are not in colour so I do miss out on that aspect of a book. Of course you have to also ensure that your e-reader is charged up, if it isn't you won't be reading anything until it is.

Overall there are a few pros and cons in regards to e-readers whereby in my opinion it all simply boils down to personal preference and what you are most comfortable with; see my list below.

Pros of an e-reader -Portable, lightweight, saves storage space (big issue for me), cheaper books (at times), accessibility to thousands of books at your fingertips, ability to change font size, personalisation as there are a lot of different covers out there now, some e-readers are also tablets so they have more than one function.

Cons of an e-reader - Initially expensive, computer based therefore there is perhaps a fear of losing your purchases, lack of personality (no creased spine, no traditional book scent) , an internet connection is required to purchase online which not everybody has access to, a technological stigma which I would argue has been removed somewhat.

Generally for me it all still boils down to what book it is and the price at the time. For instance I would have never purchased Harry Potter for my e-reader because I love it too much and therefore need a physical copy. Furthermore if it is a new author that I just want to try out I'd be more inclined to buy an e-book instead. 

What do you think of e-readers, are you a fan or do you still prefer a traditional book?



17 December 2014

The Body Shop Shea Festive Picks Gift Set

The Body Shop Shea Gift Set The Body Shop Shea Festive Picks Gift Set The Body Shop Shea Festive Picks Gift Set

The Body Shop and me go way back as I distinctly remember it being a store that, as barely a teen I would go into with my friend and look at the vast array of brightly packaged products whilst our parents weren't too far away looking at moisturisers, night creams and other things that did not interest a pair of twelve year olds. Fast forward quite a few years later it has been a store that I have frequented a lot whereby I have tried various moisturisers, namely the Vitamin E range and body products which have fast become some of my favourites of all time.

As we build up to the Christmas holidays The Body Shop have launched their own festive Advent Calendar which over the course of 24 days is seeing a variety of bloggers feature a range of different products from the this much loved high street brand; it's really fun and worth checking out if like me you're a big fan of The Body Shop. Today I feel really privileged to say that I get to take part and fill the spot of day 17 whereby I'm going to share with you my thoughts on the Shea Festive Picks Gift Set* which is filled with some gorgeous products to keep you feeling pampered throughout Christmas and the New Year.

From first instance I really do think that this gift set is beautiful, I absolutely adore the packaging and the design of this and have already decided that I'm going to be keeping hold of it in order to store a few bits and pieces in for next Christmas. Moving onto what's inside the gift set you will find that there are a variety of different products which are of course all centred on the Shea scent. The Shea range is quite traditional to The Body Shop and has quite a nutty, warm, relaxing scent to it which I'm personally quite the fan of, particularly at this time of the year.

The Shea Shower Cream* makes a wonderful addition to any shower as it feels really rich and moisturising whereby in conjunction with the Shea Body Scrub* I think that they both work really well. I think these are two products to use just before bed as despite my love for citrus scents I don't like to use them of an evening as that is the time for winding down and relaxing. The Shea Body Butter* was a product I knew I would enjoy before I even used it as these body butters have for a long, long time been my favourite products from The Body Shop. Again this one does not disappoint at all, it is the perfect product to use after having used the shower cream beforehand whereby it always leaves my skin feeling super soft!

The added bonus of the Shea Soap* was really nice as I have never tried any of the soaps before. In comparison to other brands I really do think that this is much more moisturising as I've known soaps to dry my hands out in the past whereas this one did not. To round off the gift set there is a miniature Bath Lily* included which I think is pretty handy as in my opinion the mini ones are much easier to use compared to the full size ones you can buy. On a side note I have to say the term Bath Lily is a new one to me, I've always called them body poofs; what do you call them? 

The Shea Festive Picks Gift Set really would make a wonderful gift this Christmas whereby you would not only be giving to one person you would also be giving to another. This year The Body Shop is teaming up with War Child which is a global charity that helps children who have been affected by war all over the world by helping to provide them with an education. Through the purchasing of gifts such as these, no matter how small you and I will enable a child in a war affected country to attend a class; the gift of an education truly is priceless. This Friday I finally have a chance to do a spot of Christmas shopping so I'll definitely be popping into my local store in town to check out all of the amazing gift sets this Christmas.


15 December 2014

Christmas Jumpers

Christmas Jumpers
Red Knitted Snowflake Jumper, Elda Yoke Pattern Jumper, Shell Pink Sequin Reindeer Jumper, Snowman Jumper, Emboridered Penguin Jumper, Brave Soul Penguin Heart Jumper

The annual Christmas Jumper post seems more of a priority to me than a Christmas gift guide right now, especially considering I'm so far behind in my own Christmas shopping! It feels a bit odd to try and give a few tips to any of you guys, especially when I have no idea myself this year. Despite this I have however found a few Christmas jumpers that have taken my fancy whilst looking for gift ideas. 

My favourite above has to be the two penguins from Dorothy Perkins, although the jolly snowman from Primark is pretty awesome too!


11 December 2014

Liz Earle Christmas Giveaway

Liz Earle Christmas Giveaway

Since starting my blog there has been one brand that I can honestly say that if it wasn't for blogging and the community in general I would probably would never have discovered it; that brand is Liz Earle. Right down from the botanical scents to the wonder that is Cleanse and Polish it has been a brand that throughout my time blogging has been one that I continue to use on a regular basis.

Just last week I mentioned that I wanted to hold two giveaway's this Christmas, I very rarely do them but at this time of year I do like to say thank you. This blog really does mean the world to me (a cliché I know), it's something that I enjoy immensely! The whole process of running A Little Boat Sailing fills me with so much enjoyment whereby those that read my blog and actively contribute to it in so many different ways only add to that enjoyment; thank you all so very much. Therefore as my little thank you I'd like to offer one of you the chance to win a Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser 50ml; this is my all-time favourite cleanser to date so I hope that if you are the winner you will like it too.

Once again this is just one more opportunity to say thank you. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a incredible New Year.

To win the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser 50ml in the Christmas packaging all you have to do is enter the rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will run for one week and is open internationally so everybody is free to enter. I'll aim to have it posted out to the winner as soon as I can, although please bear in mind that depending on the location of the winner this may not arrive in time for Christmas; I'll do my best though! This was purchased with my own money and is simply a gift from me to one of you. Please follow the rules in the rafflecopter widget below and I'd like to politely request that this giveaway is not posted to any competition websites, thank you. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


10 December 2014

My Exfoliation Story Part Two

Chemical Exfoliation

When it comes to exfoliation of the skin I have in the past have had a bit of a history. Over time I've used various different types of exfoliators which can be narrowed down into two groups, physical and chemical. Back in September I posted my first part of the series, My Exfoliation Story Part One in which I have to admit I never quite intended to leave the gap between this post and the previous as quite as long as I did.

In part one I looked at the different types of physical exfoliation I had used in the past, in which I came to the overall conclusion that despite turning towards more chemical exfoliation these days I can't quite bring myself to skip physical completely; it just doesn't feel right.

Part two will today look at some of the chemical exfoliators I have used in the past year in which in that time I've been able to gain quite a good idea as to how well they work for me. Starting off with the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner this was a product that I had read and heard so much about namely from Caroline Hirons. This was something that I really wanted to try as at the time I had no form of chemical exfoliator in my skincare routine other than the REN Glycolactic Radiance Mask which to be honest is more of a treatment product for once a week rather than an almost daily toner. 

The Clarins toner for me worked relatively well and really did feel very gentle to use, I found it hard to imagine there being any form of chemical exfoliant within this due to how nice it felt to apply. Using this was the first time I had introduced AHAs into my routine; this stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acids which in a nut shell exfoliates the surface of the skin leaving it at the optimum level for moisture absorption. Using a cotton pad I would gently sweep this across my skin and down my neck and then proceed to use my moisturiser of choice. Generally speaking I only use this toner on an evening and even then I tend not to use it every single day perhaps only reaching for this three or four times a week. I have to say I do notice a difference when using this although it's not something that appears overnight, a little bit of patience is key. My skin feels smoother, softer and looks much more radiant than before and does not feel irritated in the slightest through using this. 

My first purchase from Space NK was the much hyped about REN Glycolatic Radiance Mask which was something I had once again heard a lot about prior to the purchase. If I'm honest having now had a long time to use this I do feel as though it was hyped up quite a lot, it's good but for me it just wasn't worth the attention it got sadly. I'm very loyal to REN and have some really positive experiences with their products yet sadly this left me underwhelmed as I was expecting more. The texture is a bit like thick marmalade which you apply as you would any other face mask and then leave on for around fifteen minutes. Whilst it did leave my skin feeling really nice and soft as well as radiant as the name would suggest I still found it as an overall thing to be a bit expensive for what it was. In the past I have read reviews of people who mentioned that this has stung their skin or that they have felt a tickling sensation. I'd have to agree with the latter but I've personally had no stinging or burning what so ever with this at all which is a big positive.

The last product I have to share with you is the Radical Skincare Age Defying Exfoliating Pads* which I have being using each night over the sixty day period. These pads are pre-soaked with the formula which includes AHA and BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids which treat oily, acne prone skin and those pesky black heads) which aim to exfoliate the skin and clean pores as well as other ingredients which help to tone and improve the overall texture of the skin. Now up until receiving these I had never tried this type of product before whereby I must admit I was a bit sceptical as I thought they would be quite wasteful (I have a thing about using cotton pads and try where I can to not use them) however I put my scepticism to one side in order to try them out.

Over the sixty days I used these I did notice that my skin was feeling a lot more smoother, any little bumps that I had were disappearing and not returning however in terms of helping to clear out my skin I honestly don't think that they worked in that respect; the old blackhead issue wasn't really improving. One other factor was that at times when my skin may have been slightly broken or I had messed with a spot (slap on the wrists) using the pads would sting my skin which is only natural as they do contain an acid, however note that the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator does not do this. My general thoughts on these was that overall they were nice but for me they did not warrant the price tag, maybe they would have worked better for my mum though as being only twenty five I can't help feel that maybe I was a bit young to really benefit from them.

Overall I have mixed feelings about the last two products here, I like them for one reason and don't for another whereas the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator has seemed to come out shining. It's not a miracle worker by any means but I think incorporating this into my skincare routine has helped to make a difference to the overall appearance of my skin.

It is extremely important to note that when using these types of exfoliants they will make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and therefore sun damage so always ensure you incorporate an SPF into your routine. My favourite by far is the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SFP 50+ Ultra Light Fluid.


8 December 2014

Party Ready with New Look

New Look Party New Look Make Up New Look Party Wear

Dress: New Look, Shoes: Sister (quite literally) , Clutch: New Look*, Necklace: New Look*

It's the time of year where we pull out our little black dress, add a bit of sparkle and get ready for a nice evening out with friends and family in the build up to Christmas and New Year. Party season is always a bit of a hectic one although if you're in a bit of a pickle looking for a new dress and accessories then New Look is always worth popping into; they do some fantastic clothes all year around however it is at this time of year when I really think they pull it out of the bag. 

In order to celebrate the launch of the New Look Party Ready Collection I was kindly sent a festive goodie bag containing accessories that I could use to help style up my party outfit. Sticking with my usual theme of black I pulled out my little black dress which is coincidently from New Look although I did pick this up last year. For my shoes I borrowed a pair from my sister (like all good sisters do) as I really like them and seeing as she wasn't at home I naturally seized  the moment.

The Lilac Glitter Clutch* was a nice addition to the outfit as it adds a little bit of sparkle without being too over the top, I also really liked the chain strap on this as it added a different element to the outfit. In regards to the make up I wasn't too sure how I would find it seeing as it was from a clothing brand however I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The Pure Colour Range as far as I know is relatively new and boats a modest collection ranging from eye shadows, blushes, brushes, foundation, lipstick, nail polishes and more. As you can see I was sent a few things to try whereby I would say my favourite is the blusher* in 'babydoll pink', closely followed by the lipstick* in 'sweet rose'. 

So there we have it, I've worn a very straight forward outfit here in which I've used just a few accessories in order to style it up a little bit more. Of course you could add more to this by wearing bracelets, perhaps glittery heels instead? That's the joy of accessorizing, you can add as little or as much as you like. 


6 December 2014

An ode to NARS

An Ode to NARS

From those first twelve lipsticks sold in New York NARS has grown to become a worldwide make up brand and somewhat of a household name for many beauty enthusiasts across the country. It wasn't until this time last year when I tried my very first NARS product whereby ever since I have found myself keeping up with the latest releases and eyeing up more than one of their lip pencils. From the sleek black packaging to the beauty that is NARS Sheer Glow I think it truly is a brand that embraces beauty, individuality and a passion for the make up industry.

Let's not shy away from the fact that NARS is quite a luxurious brand of which of course comes with a price tag. Due to this I find that it is not a brand that I can just go and spend money on as I like to take my time and try the products to the best of my ability before I purchase them. My first product was the much hyped NARS Sheer Glow whereby after being colour matched to the shade 'deauville' at the counter I decided to treat myself with my birthday money last year. I have to say having now being using this foundation for over a year now I think it really does warrant all of the hype, it is beautiful to apply and leaves an even more beautiful finish. To correspond with that I also picked up the Radiance Enhancing Primer which at the time I thought was really good having never used a primer before however in hind sight I do believe I have found something that works much better for me. Out of all the products featured here that is the only one that I have mixed feelings about therefore it really doesn't affect my feelings as a whole in regards to the brand.

The two palettes are both as good as they look with NARS Fairy's Kiss being a gift from my mum last year. This is the palette that I'm using the most at the moment as I really like the purple hues within it and is the only palette within my collection with these types of shades, it's also really handy and compact which I'm a big fan of. In contrast to this the NARSissit Palette is pretty huge and if I'm honest it is a bit too big for my liking. Whilst I absolutely love it because of the range of shades I'm not getting as much use out of it as I had thought which is a shame. My main reason for this is purely down to its size as I often find myself reaching for my smaller palettes such as Fairy's Kiss as they are easier to pick up out of my muji storage; it's a bit of a poor excuse but it's an honest one. Both of these palettes are limited editions so I'm not sure if any are available to purchase any more although you may find some of the latter floating around as it was only released this year.

It's hard to ignore the somewhat provocative names for the NARS blushes yet I don't even bat an eyelid now; I'm not entirely sure what that says about me so I'll move on quite quickly. At the moment I own one of the powder blushes in 'deep throat' which is gorgeous and so flattering to wear yet it is the type of shade I'm more prone to wearing in the summer time. I have found myself considering picking up penny lane which is quite different yet is a shade that I could wear all year round without much consideration. Douceur was originally the shade I wanted to invest in next however there are rumours that this has been discontinued although why that is I do not know as it has to be the most talked about blush that NARS offer.

Onto the Velvet Matte and Gloss Lip Pencils whereby where can I possibly start? Last year NARS launched their Promiscuous Lip Coffret which I treated myself to after going through a bit of a tough time at the end of the year. It was such a fantastic purchase and is one that I have never regretted as it allowed me to try five of their lip pencils in a smaller yet still generous size without having to commit to purchasing them at full price. This year they have launched a really similar set in absolutely stunning packaging which secretly I do prefer to last years.

So there we have it, I'm a self confessed NARSissist although, I bet you are too! 

Don't forget to enter my Christmas Giveaway whilst you're here.


3 December 2014

Isle of Wight Natural Candle Company

IWNC.CO Candle

I often find that being a beauty blogger leads to a full grown conclusion that we all love candles. Now I have honestly always liked candles however have found it in the past and even now to be very hard to justify spending a lot of money on them, to me they've always seemed like such a luxurious treat. When I see so many luxury brands I often feel a little disengaged as I know deep down it is pretty unlikely I'll be spending £30 plus on one single candle. 

As of yet I haven't had much experience with candles and the various brands that are available, I am for some want of a better word a candle noob. Therefore when I was kindly offered to try one of the Isle of Wight Natural Candles I pretty much jumped for joy, I envisioned a nice relaxing evening all wrapped up with a nice warm spicy scented candle burning away whilst my cat sat on my lap. Well everything but the latter happened as my cat was much happier curled up in his blanket on the sofa. 

Handmade on the Isle of Wight it feels really nice to support a UK brand whereby all of these candles are made in their garden work shop. I also like the fact that the candles come with a little leaflet which informs you on how to use and care for your candle properly, allowing you to achieve the best burn possible all whilst keeping the amount of carbons to a minimum. The candles are made from natural soy wax which when burnt is much cleaner compared to paraffin wax as it does not contain petrochemicals; plus the remaining pulp from the soy beans is used to go towards animal feed which is a fantastic method ensuring that the ingredients do not go to waste.

The candle that I have had the pleasure of using is the Isle of Wight Natural Candle in Orange Nutmeg and Clove* which is retailing at £13.50 for the larger size. Generally speaking I'm not a huge fan of spicy scents, mainly because so many thing seem to have cinnamon pumped into them which is a scent I cannot warm to at all. It made me so happy to not see the word cinnamon that I was already feeling pretty happy about this from the offset. 

The scent of this candle really is beautiful and what makes it even more special is that I can actually smell it from sitting on the opposite side of the room. Whilst I can definitely smell this it isn't overpowering at all as it adds just a nice warmth to the room due to the blend of soft spices, it really has been the first candle to impress me and to make me want to spend my money on in the future. I have to be quite careful with the candles I use in my house as they often give my mum headaches however even she has commented on how nice this is; thumbs up from mum!

Overall I have been really impressed with this so far and have found myself contemplating ordering a couple to try in the New Year; both Romance and Fresh Fig take my fancy.


1 December 2014

My Every Day Make Up

Everyday makeup

Just under two weeks ago I hopped on over to Michelle's blog Daisy Butter where I shared with you all some of my everyday make up items. From some of my high street favourites (that Revlon Balm Stain keeps appearing doesn't it) to a few more luxury purchases, I have picked out the products that I reach for pretty much every single morning. If you missed it then head on over and have a read, or if you like tell me what your favourite products for the morning are. I'm a bit nosy and would love to hear what you use. 

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