30 April 2015

Beauty Picks for Spring and Summer

Beauty Picks for Spring and Summer
Since we have being having some rather nice weather here in the UK recently, this had got me thinking of some of my beauty choices for when the weather gets a little bit warmer. We're already in spring and summer is peeping its neck around the corner therefore I thought it would be a great to share with you some of the products that I'll be reaching for. There's no denying that I love my make up and skincare yet when the mercury starts to creep up I can't help but opt for lighter products; the phrase less is more has never been more appropriate.

Starting off with hair care I find myself always reverting back to John Frieda as I have used various products from the brand in the past in order to keep my hair looking healthy and sun kissed in spring and summer. At the moment I'm using the blow dry lotion to add volume to my roots and have already made a mental note to pick up some more bottles from the John Frieda Sheer Blonde range as the highlight activating shampoo has worked really nicely at refreshing my hair between hairdresser appointments. Speaking of which I have also noticed they have a new Beach Blonde range out which has caught my eye; I'm all for achieving a sea salt finish to my hair in the summer.

At this time of year I like to use quite a light base yet in doing so I also like to know that I have a bit of coverage to boot; I'm not quite ready to go out in public without having used a base of some sort. Recently I have being using the Green People Age Defy+ Tinted DD Cream* which is essentially a tinted moisturiser with an SPF 15 providing daily defence against sun damage. Currently there are only two shades in this which is the only downside as it is a lovely base that provides decent coverage without it feeling too heavy on the skin. I have to say I'm quite enjoying using this at the moment although I do think the shade 'light' is a bit too dark for me at the moment therefore I'm having to mix it in with another moisturiser to weaken the pigment ever so slightly. 

Staying with the complexion for the moment the new Clarins Aquatic Treasures Summer Bronzing Compact* is ideal for warming up the complexion and adding a healthy and radiant glow to the skin. This product also boasts an the exclusive Clarins anti-pollution complex which helps fight signs of premature ageing and loss of radiance. What with four universal matte shades within this compact there is sure to be a shade that will suit you although I know I'll be using a blend of all four to achieve that healthy glow. Where my skin is concerned I know that as the weather gets warmer the issue of break outs can become worse as we all start to get a little bit more oily, it's not nice but I know I won't be the only one. Currently I'm finding that the Avene Cleanance Expert Emulsion* is doing a fantastic job for keeping break outs at bay without being too harsh on my skin. In fact this is a product that I have grown to really like so look out for it in my April favourites in a few day's time. 

For a pop of colour I already know I'm going to be reaching for Barry M Fuchsia Generation, this is a really fun colour for this time of year and has a lovely finish to it. For the cheeks I like to keep it quite simple most of the time therefore the Nyx Cream Blush in the shade natural suits me perfectly as it adds a nice soft dewy finish to the cheeks which is what I prefer in the warmer months. 

What are your beauty picks for when the warmer weather hits?

28 April 2015

Recent Beauty Purchases #6

Recent Beauty Purchases Over the last few weeks I have found myself picking up a few new beauty products to try, let's just say that curiosity got the better of me what with several new releases catching my eye. These are all quite new to me barring some which are repurchases so if you have any thoughts on them then I'd be really interested to hear what you thought. 

Starting off with the repurchases I picked up both the John Frieda Full Repair Shampoo and Conditioner in the salon sizes as I'm quite a fan of this particular range. In fact I have always got on very well with John Frieda hair products come to think of it; however it has been this particular range that has stood out to me the most. When I use these my hair is left feeling really nice and soft yet the key thing for me is that they don't weigh my hair down either. I have also noticed that together they appear to help in terms of prolonging the period until I need to wash my hair again too which is always a bonus.

Moving onto the new products I decided to pick up one of the new Bourjois Rouge Edition Aqua Laque lip paints after really liking the matte versions which were released last year. The shade I opted for was number two 'Rose on the Rocks' which aside from the awesome name is an extremely pretty mauve toned pink which when applied is absolutely beautiful. The only real downside to this product is the longevity period as they don't seem to last very long when applied straight from the doe foot applicator, however if you slightly pat it the product onto the lips this does improve the longevity and helps to create somewhat of a stain. To be honest I think these will be a hit and miss type of product however so far I'm pretty happy with my choice and find myself wanting to pick up one of the brighter shades very soon for the summer. Sadly after having to retake this picture for what must have been the tenth time I ultimately forgot to include the Bourjois product within it; nobody was more annoyed than me when I realised, trust me!

Recent Beauty Purchases I also found myself succumbing to the new Sunset Daylight Curing Nail Paints from Barry M what with the promise of a gel like finish without the UV lamp and expense. Naturally I was sold on the idea and decided to pick up Fuchsia Generation and the corresponding Sunset Topcoat. In my relatively short test so far I have found that the actual colour polish itself is beautiful! The formula is perfect and glides on effortlessly whilst the brush is also a much better improvement as it is wider therefore covers the nail much better when applying the nail polish. Sadly I haven't noticed much of a difference between the specific topcoat for this range and a normal one, which is a little bit disheartening as you're pretty much told to buy the topcoat or else the gel effect won't work. In terms of longevity, again I haven't noticed a difference between this and the normal Barry M line however like I said the formula is lovely and the brush is great therefore it's a step in the right direction that's for sure. For me the idea of this product sounded great yet in my opinion it hasn't quite been pulled off. I don't want to knock Barry M too much if I'm honest because for me they are hands down the best nail polish line on the high street, although I do have quite a soft spot for the Topshop polishes too.

Finally we have the YSL Touche Eclat Blur Perfector which was a product I was extremely excited about yet is the one that has left me feeling the most deflated so far. At £31.50 this was an expensive purchase yet all the reviews I was reading at the time seemed to reinstate that fact that this was a product I just had to try. First and foremost the presentation of this product is beautiful, there is no denying it however if I'm honest with you I feel as though I've paid for that and that alone. At the moment despite trying several things this is a product that simply does not work for me, I've recently been given a few tips on how to use this so I will try those next time I pick it up however if I fail to see an improvement then this will be going straight into a disappointing product post. My reasons for this is that no matter how I use it, whether it be with a brush, the little sponge that it comes with or my fingers I have found that it seems to suck at my foundation, pulling it away from my face and moving it around where it then somehow manages emphasises my pores as opposed to 'blurring' the overall finish. Naturally this isn't the type of look I'm going for, therefore for my first YSL make up purchase I have to say that so far I'm not impressed at all. 

Oh how I feel like a negative Nancy right now ending on that note, however this is a beauty blog after all. It can't all be roses and sunshine because not all products out there work for everyone. Furthermore whilst I'm still feeling slightly absolutely infuriated over the YSL Blur Perfector please do let me know your thoughts in the comments below if you have tried it; maybe it's just me and I'm using it completely wrong?

26 April 2015

Recently Recycled #4

Beauty Product Empties
Recently I've finished off a fair few products which fall into the skincare category which comes as no more of a surprise to you than it does me. It isn't very often that happens as I find skincare can take a while to get through however I'm making a real effort to use things up that I know are pushing it when it comes to their life expectancy as it were.

Getting straight to it the REN ClayCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser* is a product that I have absolutely adored and is one that I purchase later on in the year. Originally sent to me as a sample to try out this has been one of the very few samples that I know I want to go out and buy for myself having now used it. It's such a beautiful product that provides a really nice purifying cleanse that isn't stripping on the skin, I personally liked to use this as my second cleanse as I think the benefits of using it that way were much better as opposed to using it simply to remove your make up. Speaking of cleansing and removing make up my favourite micellar water to date has to be the Garnier Micellar Water which must now be my third bottle. It's such a bargain and does the job perfectly, I'm a huge fan of this and have already purchased another bottle.

Onto hair care once again I have another repurchase which is the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave-in-Spray which for some reason is still really hard to find where I live yet I know it's readily available in most places. I've really liked this for a long time now as it leaves my hair feeling nourished but not heavy and also smelling delightful! I've gone through two or three of these now and can honestly say I haven't really looked at any other leave in conditioner since. Sticking with hair care for one more moment I have here the LUSH Big Sea Salt Shampoo which I would happily say has to be one of my all time favourite hair care products to date. I've yet to pick this up again as I forgot last time I was close to LUSH however when I go back in a few weeks time I'll be picking up another. The scent of this is incredible, it smells so fresh and invigorating whilst also leaving my hair in the softest and nicest condition it has been in a long, long time. Whilst I can't say that it gives me volume (I think the name for me is a bit misleading) I can say that I will always have a tub of this on the go, it is brilliant stuff.

Beauty Product Empties

Origins for a long time now has been a brand that I have got on very well with so it makes me somewhat a little bit sad to be saying goodbye to two fantastic moisturisers. The Origins Make A Difference Plus was a product I used both day and night and is one that I miss a lot in my routine as I found that it just worked so beautifully on my skin. It wasn't too heavy and didn't exacerbate any breakouts, quite simply it worked and for that reason I know I'll be repurchasing. Again much like the former the Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins night cream was one that I had read so much about before I really got into blogging regularly. The hype surrounding this product has been very much justified in my opinion as I really notice a visual difference in my skin when I have used this of a night time, it's so beautiful to apply and does not feel heavy at all despite being a richer cream for the night. Once again this will be a product that I repurchase at some point this year. 

The only make up product I have here is the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer which is a product that I used up a while ago but only now find myself featuring it. Marketed as somewhat a concealer I do think that it can act as almost a highlight too as the shade I have is quite light making it perfect for brightening up under the eyes and using on the very top of the cheek bone. Again this is a product that I got on very well with and is one that I will repurchase as I currently now use something similar from Charlotte Tilbury which whilst I really like it I do think that the L'Oreal one does a similar job for more than half the price. 

Finally I have a fragrance here which was an unexpected discovery after receiving it for Christmas one year. The Lady Gaga Fame fragrance was one that I got through very quickly as it instantly became a favourite of mine. I'll put it out there that I rarely fall for celebrity fragrances such as these yet this one had me hooked! It's quite a warm scent if I remember rightly with notes of honey and saffron yet once on it does change ever so slightly, it's also pretty affordable too. 

24 April 2015

JewelStreet | Astrid & Miyu

Jewel Street Astrid and Miyu
If like me you have a penchant for jewellery that is both unique and beautiful then look no further as I may just have the perfect place for you. JewelStreet is a global marketplace for online jewellery that provides home to a range of on trend designs as well as timeless classics put forward by independent jewellery designers. As customers we often buy most of our jewellery from high street retailers yet  in doing so this often results in the retailer making more from a sale than the designer themselves. JewelStreet however provides something different in that by cutting out the middle man, that's the retailer, they are then able to ensure that the hard working designers receive a higher percentage of the final retail price; naturally allowing them to carry on producing quality jewellery.

JewelStreet has a wide range of different jewellery designers on there, some you may have heard of some you may not. A few weeks ago now I very kindly had the opportunity to pick out an item from the website where I found myself at the modest but utterly beautiful collection from Astrid and Miyu. This was a brand that I had heard of before and was one that I had always admired as I think their jewellery is extremely feminine and elegant.

Jewel Street Astrid and Miyu
The Silver Wishbone Ring* was the item that I chose as it looked like the exact type of thing I was looking for, I'd also seen the wishbone collection numerous times from the brand in the past and had always taken a liking to it. As well as this the design of it was completely different to any other rings that I owned therefore I thought it would be nice to go for something more unusual yet still relatively simple and reserved. Whilst this isn't sterling silver, it is in fact rhodium plated brass which gives it a really nice silver finish; it's actually really quite beautiful and if I hadn't had known I honestly would have thought it was sterling silver. I think that the quality of this is very good indeed as it feels strong enough to warrant being worn regularly and is relatively adjustable in regards to size too. When it first arrived I thought it may have been a bit too small however luckily with this type of ring there is always room for a little bit of manoeuvring as it were.

Overall I have been really impressed with JewelStreet and the sheer variety of jewellery that they have on offer. Their prices start off extremely reasonable for handmade jewellery and of course increase depending on the types of metals and stones used. They also do student discount which was something I only discovered whilst writing this post, I'll definitely bear that in mind before I finish university that's for sure!

Have you spotted anything on JewelStreet?

22 April 2015

Top Cat

More Than Pet Insurance

In collaboration with More Than Insurance - It is hard to believe that I have had my cat Oliver for nearly fifteen years, that's more than half my age! Clearly from that mere fact alone it is safe to say that this little fella means the absolute world to me. I've grown up with him if I'm honest as I was almost 11 years of age when we first got him where on that very night we all sat deliberating various names for him before we finally settled on the name Oliver. Named aptly from the Walt Disney film Oliver and Company, Oliver however hasn't quite lived up to the name though as whilst he was and still is incredibly mischievous, he absolutely hates dogs and company for that matter!

In the time that we have had Oliver we have had some extremely funny moments alongside some rather worrying ones too. Alongside that we've had two house moves, a lodger who he hated (of the female cat variety) and one too many trips to the vets after his countless escapades. 

Like most cats, or should I say the stereotype formed about them, Oliver cannot stand water! Although having said that I have known him to lie in the sink on more than one occasion, completely oblivious to the fact that the tap is dripping onto his back. I still remember the early days when he was quite young when he used to have sporadic crazy hours running around the house when he ended up diving into the bath unknowing to him that it was half full with water. To put it bluntly he looked like a skinny rat when he got out as all his fur had stuck to him making him look like half his size! He was a sight for sore eyes as he sat there in the hallway licking himself dry, I naturally of course took pity on him and tried to dry him with a towel yet in all these years later he has never appreciated being dried off when he has been out in the rain; he has also never made the mistake of jumping into the bath again either!

I bet not many cat owners can claim that their cat has been held to ransom by a black bird; it's an odd prospect yet trust me I'm one of them. Again this happened when he was quite young so I guess his street credit cannot be too dented, although we do still keep it all hush hush. Oliver had managed to corner a young bird in the garden yet had found himself face to face with what I can only presume was the parent of this young bird who was, I can assure you taking no prisoners that day! I can still see this as clearly as if it had happened yesterday as it was such an odd situation to be witnessing. The brave little bird circled Oliver three or four times over all whilst tweeting at him like crazy! Oliver had no idea what to do at all, in fact he sat there rather perplexed until the bird attacked him on the head resulting in him running swiftly back into the house with his tail down between his legs in humiliation. Oh the shame, beaten by a bird!

Recently as some of you may have read we have moved house which has been quite the upheaval for Oliver, particularly when you consider how old he is. It's a big, big thing moving house with a cat in tow as they do not like change at all. It has taken nearly two months I would say for his confidence to return to a similar level to where it was before. He has always been an outdoor cat at heart yet he had not being staying out for more than twenty minutes at a time until I would say this weekend where he has seemed to hit a turning point; maybe it has been the glorious weather that we have had which has made him want to bask in the sunshine. Just yesterday in fact he was rolling in a big patch of dirt (we're clearing the garden at the moment for new plants) where I honestly cannot express to you just how nice it was to see him having a bit of fun; seeing him so relaxed made me not feel as guilty as I had been doing as I know the move had knocked him right out of his routine.

Whilst having a pet can bring you so much joy there is always something that you should bear in mind and that is fact that at some point they will probably need to see the vet for something, especially if you have the neighbourhood terror like we do who gets himself into more mischief than the Weasley twins put together! To make vet trips easier on you and your purse strings More Than offer a wide range of pet insurance policies that suit a variety of budgets, they also do multi pet policies which is actually something I'm making note of as I wasn't aware of this; for reference I want a cat and dog of my own one day when I have my own place so it's nice to know you can cover them both all within one policy. By insuring your dog or puppy with More Than (this also applies to cats too) you not only protect your puppy, you also help other animals across the country as currently for each policy sold £20 is donated to the RSPCA. This is a charity that I whole heartedly support myself as they work tirelessly to help unwanted and neglected animals across the UK, which, if you're a pet owner yourself you probably already agree that this helps to support a very good cause.

20 April 2015

Jewellery Box

Jewellery Box Jewellery Box
To say that jewellery would be one of my favourite things would be quite simply an understatement. From intricate designs found in minimal pieces to chunky statement watches I find that my taste can be far reaching, where, if I'm honest I don't think I fall into one particular category where jewellery is concerned. That being said the only thing I do tend to do is look for assurance that the jewellery I'm buying is the real deal in terms of the metal used; the only reason for this is that I do not like jewellery turning green.

When Jewellery Box got in touch with me back in March I must admit that it was a company that I had not heard of before however after learning more about them and being able to see what they sold I was pretty impressed at not just the range on offer but also the prices.  There's everything on Jewellery Box from rings, necklaces, nose studs, earrings and much more which are offered in various metals such as sterling silver, gold, white gold and rose gold so it's well worth a look if you're in the market for some new pieces.

Jewellery Box

The Sterling Silver and Purple Quartz Gemstone Heart Necklace* at £9 is a pretty little necklace that is relatively discrete yet offers something a little bit different to anything else that I own. It's easily an item of jewellery that could be worn regularly as it's small as I do find that if I have quite large necklaces or pendants then I'm less inclined to reach for them whereas if they're small like this I find that I just wear them all of the time and rarely take them off. The chain on this seems great quality and is super shiny to boot, in fact I really do like this necklace on a whole and have considered ordering the Black Agate pendant as an alternative to this one as I like the idea of that and do feel that it would suit my style a little bit more.

Most appropriate for a few weeks ago when it was Easter the Sterling Silver Bunny Rabbit Stud Earrings* at £4.40 are incredibly cute and have in some way reminded me of when I was younger as I had something similar only in the shape of ladybirds. These are as I said extremely cute and delicate and would make a wonderful gift to anybody, especially someone who is fond of rabbits.

If you're one for wearing sandals in summer then I think being able to add a little decoration to your feet is a great thing to do in order to add something a little special, for me it gives off a typical boho vibe which is a look I absolutely adore! Whether you opt for an ankle bracelet or a toe ring such as the Sterling Silver Laurel Crown Toe Ring* at £4.60 or even both, I think you'll be perfectly set for the sunshine; why not paint your toenails too and go all out whilst you're at it! Here in the UK we don't have sunshine enough as it is so make the most of it whilst you can.

Jewellery is obviously extremely personal to each individual although from my own experience with Jewellery Box I'm quite certain that there is something that will catch the eye of many.

18 April 2015

An Ode to Soap and Glory

An Ode to Soap and Glory

There comes a point when I feel as though I need to share with you just how good one particular brand is. It is not very often that I write posts like these because to me it is a big statement to make, however that being said when I feel like my experience has been that good I really do feel as though posts like these are warranted; it feels good to shout about a brand that you love.

Soap and Glory is a brand that I have being using now longer than I have being blogging. I still remember the very first time I was introduced to the brand when my mum brought both me and my sister the Soap and Glory Pink Tote Gift Set at Christmas which was filled the brim with what would soon become firm favourites of mine. From make up to skincare and pampering body treats Soap and Glory really does have you covered with some of the best (in my opinion) products on the high street; they're also pretty affordable too!

The Breakfast Scrub instantly springs to mind as one of my firm favourites as to this day it is still my favourite body scrub. To me it smells utterly incredible like maple syrup which is just one of the reasons as to why I like it so much, it also leaves my skin feeling beautifully smooth and hydrated. Likewise I also think Flake Away is pretty awesome too yet it doesn't get mentioned half as much which I think is a shame because it does the job just as good as the Breakfast Scrub. The only real difference that I have personally noticed is the scent because Flake Away follows the more traditional scent of Soap and Glory which is fruitier in comparison. 

Once dead skin has been buffed away you'll want to treat your skin to something extra nice which is where products such as Butter Yourself and The Righteous Butter come in. Both of these are fantastic body moisturisers that once again smell delightful! I know that I have been through a fair few tubs of The Righteous Butter in the past which is a favourite of mine for the winter time as it is thicker in texture to Butter Yourself. Generally speaking I'm a huge fan of the original Soap and Glory scent where in comparison I'm not too keen on Orangeasm; although having said that I do quite like Sugar Crush! There quite a wide variety of products available now which I think is awesome, of which after narrowing it down Smoothie Star is next on my list.

From the make up range on offer I have tried very little so far however there has been one product that I have tried which has impressed me immensely, so much so in fact that I have already gone out and purchased a backup. The Soap and Glory Archery Brow Pencil* in the shade Hot Chocolate was originally sent to me to try in which at the time I had heard very good things about it but if I'm honest I wasn't too sure how I would personally get on with it. I think purchasing it myself so soon already speaks for itself but if you're looking for a decent brow pencil that looks natural, is easy to use and doesn't cost a small fortune then for £8 it is worth checking out; my only real gripe is that the shade range is too small. 

Whilst in the past I have used the Supercat Liner and loved it, I have recently being trying out the Supercat Fat Eyeliner* which is essentially is the same thing only with a much thicker tip that has a slant to it. This was a product that took me a little while to get used to because the pen is much thicker than I'm used to however once I had got the hang of it I was left feeling pretty impressed. It is just as good as the original Supercat Liner for me in terms of pigmentation and longevity however I do generally prefer a thinner line for my eye liner. If however you are looking for a chunky liner and want to achieve an awesome cat flick in the process then again this is one to check out. Sticking with make up for one moment more I'll mention briefly the Sexy Mother Blusher* in the shade Berry Jamm which is quite a bright pink cream blush at first instance however once applied it is easily blended out to create a soft summer flush to the cheeks. Sadly when I opened this particular one the whole thing fell out of the packaging onto my big white A3 card that I use for blog photographs, uh oh! That was a bit disappointing however aside from that one aspect the product itself is actually pretty nice as it blends out beautifully from what is a cream to powder finish. Personally I really do like this one, it'll be one I reach for in summer a lot although if I could say one thing about this it would be that I would have preferred this to have been in a little pot as opposed to a tube as I do think the packaging could have been designed better.

Finally onto skincare there is a now quite a few products within the line however a stand out to me in the past has been No Clogs Allowed which was one of the very first products I purchased from Soap and Glory back in the day when it still had silver packaging. At the moment I'm giving the Drama Clean Micellar Water* a whirl although if I'm honest this will only be a product I reach for on light make up days because so far I have found that it struggles against heavy eye make up. To be honest for me this is something that I would put into a toner category more so than a make up remover as I found that ultimately it didn't do a good job in that department.

Upon reaching the end of this post I do feel a little sad that I've ended on somewhat of a dim note, yet when I actually sat down and thought about it, out of what must have been almost fifteen different products or more that I have tried from Soap and Glory in over three years I think that only finding one that I wasn't too keen on is actually a pretty darn good achievement. For me Soap and Glory have created a brand that is fun, creative, affordable and accessible in which nine times out of ten the products actually work and do what they claim to do , which is why I ultimately felt that an ode to Soap and Glory was warranted here today.

What are your favourite products from Soap and Glory? I'd love some more recommendations.

Soap and Glory can be found at Boots.

17 April 2015

A Little Fine Tuning

A Little Boat Sailing
Today's post has been long overdue, in fact it was just before Christmas last year when I had a little revamp over here on A Little Boat Sailing and opted to find a sleek, professional looking blogger design that wouldn't cost me a small fortune. 

Many of you by now will have heard of Pipdig, a professional blog designer whose designs are modern, sleek and professional, all of which were things that I was looking for; in a nut shell they are pretty perfect. It has been a while now since I picked my design and had it installed for me where to this day I haven't had any real urge to change anything because quite simply I have loved it so much. 

Pipdig offers a variety of pre-made templates for both Blogger and WordPress which are affordable and easy to install. If however like me you're a little bit intimidated by the prospect of installing it yourself then Pipdig is on hand to help you with that too! There's also the option to have a blog design custom made if that tickles your fancy which would allow you to have complete control over a design that would be unique to your blog.

Many of you who have been long time readers on here will have noticed that there has been a little bit of a change in colour scheme overnight. This had been something that I had wanted to do for around a month now in order to add my own spin to the overall appearance because seeing as I had picked out a pre-made template, I chose London Calling, this meant that more than one person could ultimately have the same one. This isn't something I mind too much because like with all of the templates from Pipdig they are customisable. Despite this I didn't want to actually loose the physical design of this template because it works so well for me, it's simple, clean and easy to move around therefore slightly changing the colour scheme and designing my own header like in the good old days seemed like the perfect way to achieve what I wanted.  

For a very long time thinking about my past blog design history I have stuck to somewhat of a blue and purple theme. Recently however I found my tastes veering very much towards monochrome which whilst it is still something that I absolutely love I did feel as though my blog felt a little too formal. Whilst I do remain professional in terms of communication and general day to day ramblings on here I did feel as though my blog didn't represent me as well as it could. Therefore after a few hours and around six different blog header designs later I finally decided to make a few tweaks here and there in order to give A Little Boat Sailing a little spring clean.

I really wanted to share my blog design and the few tweaks that I have made with you because my blog is a huge part of my day to day life yet more importantly I wanted to highlight the talent and hard work of Pipdig. From the get go I felt extremely confident in Pipdig after reading so much positive feedback from others; it was such a blessing to work with somebody who knew what they were doing and could help me achieve what I wanted. For a lot of bloggers it's not just the design that is important it is having the confidence to let someone take control on that front because if I'm honest I would not even know where to start when it comes to designing a blogger template; a blog header is as far as it goes for me!

Overall my experience with Pigdig has always been absolutely wonderful! From swift responses, awesome designs, friendly helpful advice and a professional manner I have always been left feeling confident and delighted with the results. If you're in the market for a new blog design or know somebody that is then I simply could not recommend Pipdig any more even if I tried.

For the record this was not a sponsored post or anything like that, in fact I simply wanted to acknowledge the hard work of Pipdig because, like all good work it should be recognised. 

15 April 2015

Clarins Body Care - Your Body Matters Too

Clarins Body Care Clarins Body Care

Over time I have noticed through reading blogs and magazines that there is a huge focus upon the skincare that we apply on our face yet not so much where the rest of our body is concerned. Skincare is something that I'm extremely passionate about, more so than make up would you believe therefore I thought it would be nice to share with you two new products that I'm currently road testing from Clarins.

Clarins are well known for their vast skincare range and beautiful make up products of which in particular the Instant Light Lip Perfectors spring to mind; they're quite possibly some of my favourite products of all time. Whilst their make up products have always left me impressed I was curious to see how I would get on with a couple of products from the body care range.

Firstly the Clarins Renew-Plus Body Serum* is a body moisturiser that can be used all over however it is one that is targeted towards anti-wrinkles therefore it is recommended for age sensitive areas; these consist generally of areas such as the knees, elbows, décolleté and inner thighs. I've being using it all over in order to try it out but I'm probably going to start using it in those areas in particular because at £40 I know I want to be making it last as long as I can. The Renew-Plus Body Serum is light weight, fresh and hydrating on the skin, it also sinks into the skin incredibly quickly which makes it the ideal product for someone such as me who can be more than a little impatient when it comes to hopping out of the shower. The scent of this is really lovely too although it's not over powering in the slightest, it is quite soft and fresh. Ingredients such as Water Lily extract which is rich in Vitamin C helps to eliminate dry flaky skin cells leaving the skin soft and hydrated, Pre-Retinol encourages skin renewal whilst Cashew Nut extract evens skin tone. This product out of the two is my favourite as I can really see and feel a difference in my skin when I use it. 

The next product was something that I was if I'm honest a little bit sceptical about because in essence it is a body wash which is the type of product that I'm reluctant to spend much money on. At £20 this is in my opinion much more than I'd be willing to spend however hear me out on this one because if you're looking for something to treat yourself to for a dash of luxury to your shower/bathing routine then this could be just that. The Clarins Tonic Bath and Shower Concentrate* is a light weight cleansing treatment which when activated with warm water releases various aromatic fragrances of Rosemary, Mint and Geranium. I have in the past never really had anything particularly luxurious when it comes to this type of product therefore I find myself having not much to compare it to, however having now used it I'm much more inclined to treat myself in the future. The scent of this product is beautiful and it seems to last for ages after using it, it's extremely gentle and hasn't irritated my skin in the slightest. Overall it's such a nice product to use once you get home from work and want a nice relaxing bath or shower before you get into your pyjamas. For me this is a product that I'll save for pamper evenings instead of using it every time I shower because for me it's that extra bit special.

Have you tried any of the body care products available from Clarins?

13 April 2015

Beauty & Go Bioactive Beauty Drinks

Beauty & Go Bioactive Beauty Drinks Beauty & Go Bioactive Beauty Drinks

For a while now I have been rather curious about the vast majority of juices that are on the market which claim to help us with so many things. From weight loss, to achieving clear skin I have seen them all over the last year or so in which in that time I have read various pros and cons of both. Naturally I'm curious, who wouldn't be? Therefore when I was introduced to the brand Beauty & Go which produces a range of Bioactive Beauty Drinks* I found that I just couldn't say no to the opportunity in giving them a try for myself. 

Founded from two company's bringing together the knowledge of the skincare industry and natural fresh produce Beauty & Go was formed. There's a whole heap of science behind the formulation of these drinks which you can read about at your leisure on the Beauty & Go website. Although for the purposes of this post I'd like to explain what bioactive actually means and what it means in terms of these drinks. 

Quite simply bioactives are substances found within plants and certain foods which when consumed provide health benefits, examples of these consist of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Bioactives are used within Beauty & Go drinks which contain within them your daily requirements of macroantioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other beauty ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.

The Beauty & Go range consists of four different drinks which target different aspects of skincare, those being anti-ageing, vitality, detox and radiance. I had the opportunity to fill out a little lifestyle questionnaire which enabled a nutritionist to be able to recommend me the most appropriate drink for me personally, that being detox. Despite that I have had the opportunity to try out all four of them very briefly in which over the next month I'll be completing the one month detox challenge. 

Anti-ageing - The anti-ageing drink aims to help with skin elasticity, firmness and of course wrinkles. The flavour of this one consists of pomegranate, apple and raspberry by which it also has various other ingredients in such as hyaluronic acid, collagen and vitamin E. 

Vitality - I'd say that the vitality drink was my favourite here by which this aims to invigorate the skin and helps to relieve the look of fatigue. This drink has pineapple, passion fruit and green tea in it along with ingredients such as lemon grass and vitamin B6 and B12.

Detox - As the word suggests the detox drink helps to purifying the skin. Again there are similar ingredients here what with hyaluronic acid and collagen being present. This detox drink also contains cucumber, dandelion, spirulina, zinc, broccoli and artichoke which if I'm honest out of all four that are available it is the hardest to stomach because it has an incredibly strong after taste; it's typical that this would be the one that was deemed most appropriate for me.

Radiance - Naturally the radiance drink aims to help skin look more illuminating and hydrated. The one has a blend of red grape, pear, rosehip and aloe vera which I have to say I felt as though this had a slight spicy after taste to it although I'm not quite sure what could be causing that. Despite that factor it was still quite a pleasant to drink so I didn't mind this one at all. 

To read more about the ingredients within the Beauty & Go drinks be sure to head on over to the website. There is a huge amount of information on there which will enable you to draw your own conclusions where these drinks are concerned.

Over the next month I'll be drinking one of the detox drinks a day in which over that time I'll be keeping an eye out for any improvements in my skin, particularly in terms of it looking clearer. I'm not sure what to expect if I'm honest because I'm a firm believer in you are what you eat therefore without a generally good diet in the first place I can't see that these would make a huge difference on their own.

Have you tried Beauty & Go? You can pick these up exclusively at Selfridges.

11 April 2015

Fleur de Force - The Glam Guide

Fleur De Force The Glam Guide
In recent months there has been somewhat of a flurry of book launches from a number of bloggers and YouTubers of which whilst I'd be lying if I had said I wasn't interested there was ever only going to be one which I'd pick up. I've been a huge fan of Fleur from Fleur de Force for a rather long time now therefore it seemed only natural for me to want to be able to support her in my own little way by picking up her book, that being The Glam Guide.

From the water colour designs and illustrations to the well thought out chapters and tutorials; it's clear to all those that pick The Glam Guide up that a lot of time and effort has gone into it. I wasn't too sure what to expect when I first heard about it however I was super excited to see it in my local book store having watched Fleur update those who watch her channel about its progress over the months in which it was being written. I can't quite imagine how it must have felt for her to hold her very own copy after all of that time. 
Fleur De Force The Glam Guide

With an array of chapters covering beauty and fashion to more personal topics such as health, fitness and love I think it's a great book that so many people can relate to and indeed learn from. Whilst I think some of the beauty content is relatively simple I know that I personally can still learn from it; take for instance eye liner. You would think that at the age of 25 having being wearing eye liner since my emo days (those were the day's guys) that I would have cracked it by now yet alas to this it still manages to me leave me in a bit of a bother in the morning , therefore I'm more than happy to read new advice where that is concerned.

I guess for myself personally I didn't buy this to use as a beauty guide, I picked it up because quite simply blogging and the world of YouTube is something that I absolutely adore. Whilst A Little Boat Sailing will never be in that league I find it so incredibly amazing that through hard work and dedication that people are able to produce things like this because in my opinion a book of your very own is pretty darn awesome!

9 April 2015

Yves Rocher Make Up and Giveaway!

Yves Rocher Make Up
It has been a few weeks now since I proclaimed my love for the  Yves Rocher Sérum Végétal Wrinkles and Radiance* day and night cream which I dedicated an entire post to here. Since then I have been lucky enough to have the chance to try out a few things from the Yves Rocher make up line of which I have today a few thoughts to share with you in regards to that. Yves Rocher is a brand that prides itself on its values, particularly in reference to botanical beauty. Their products are sold around the world in 88 different countries worldwide where they reach over 30 million people. With a wide range of cosmetics and skincare sourced from ethical farming and research their plant based products are a welcome presence within the beauty industry. They're also particularly welcome in my skincare routine as I'm still loving that night cream guys!

For my first experience with Yves Rocher make up I was sent a few products which could all be used together to create the perfect smoky eye, my favourite! The first product was the Sumptuous Colour Eye Shadow Quad* in the shade red hot brown which consists of four warm shades which I think would suit the majority of skin tones and eye colours. I opted for this palette in particular as I know the majority of people opt for nude palettes as opposed to anything else. Inside there are three shimmer shades and one matte of which the first is champagne based in tone which I think is rather lovely to use as an inner corner highlight. The second is a taupe which is nice for using all over the lid of which the same applies for the bronze shade too. My favourite out of all four here would have to be the matte dark chocolate shade which is gorgeous and super pigmented to boot; it's a great one to use in the crease because it is matte although you could also use it to act almost as a liner too. 

To coincide with the eye shadow quad there is also the Yves Rocher Fixing Eye Lid Primer* which not just helps to prolong the longevity of your eye shadow but also provides a neutral base on the eye lids. The primer has a nude toned tint to it which I think works very well at neutralising any blue or dark tones on your eye lids; I know that I do tend to suffer from darker lids compared to the rest of my complexion. At the moment I'm still road testing this primer in regards to some others I have tried yet so far I do quite like it. 

Yves Rocher Sumptuous Colour Eye Shadow Quad

Onto eye liner the Yves Rocher Intense Kajal 100%* in the shade black is something which is new to me in terms of the product itself as I have never used a Kajal liner before. I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of this type of product but that's only because I like quite a thin line because in my non expert opinion I do have quite hooded eyes so the thinner the line the better. I have struggled to use this product to its full potential but that's not to say that somebody else wouldn't love it. Having said that what I can tell you is that it is incredibly soft, and it applies very easily; there's no dragging involved which is something I immediately look out for when trying new liners. It is also an easy product to work with in terms of blending so you can achieve a nice smoky eye effect with this. 

Finally the last piece to completely a smoky eye is the mascara in which the Yves Rocher Mascara Volume Vertige* helps to add definition to the lashes with a hint of volume. I wouldn't say it is the best mascara in terms of volume that I have ever tried however what I think is key here is that it separates my lashes beautifully making them look fuller and much more elegant; I like that. I've being using this every day since it arrived because it has a really natural soft finish for day time wear.

Yves Rocher Mascara and Eye Liner

If you would like to be in with the chance in winning these products (brand new ones of course) courtesy of Yves Rocher then all you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is open to the UK only however for those who are unable to enter this time around please do look out for my own personal giveaway which I will be running in the near future in order to celebrate A Little Boat Sailing turning three.

The giveaway will run until Friday 24th April where the winner will be notified within 24 hours of the giveaway ending. There is only one mandatory condition although for extra entries you can do more. Please do leave your contact details below so that if you win I can reach you, good luck to everyone who enters! Please note that by entering the giveaway you will be signed up to the Yves Rocher newsletter, those details will not be passed onto anybody else.

As an extra treat Yves Rocher are currently offering a discount code where you can get £6 off when you spend £26 which is a great little saving if you ask me, just enter 6OFF26 at the checkout and of course let me know if you pick up anything.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 April 2015

Orly Nail Polishes

Orly Nail Polishes
Painting my nails has to be one of my favourite things to do when it comes to the old past time of treating one's self to a good old pamper. Settling down for a Sunday evening, preparing my nails with an at home manicure and selecting a nail polish from the abyss of my nail polish box is something that I confess I enjoy a little bit too much. 

Recently I have had the pleasure of trying out a few shades from the Orly* which is a brand that I have only tried on one previous occasion. These shades are part of the Orly Blush Collection which was actually a release that came out last spring although how I missed that one I will never know. The shades I have here consist of Classic Contours, Flawless Flush and First Blush of which for reference there are three other shades which come with the collection. 

Orly Nail Polishes
Starting off with the formula of these polishes I have to say that like the very first one I ever tried from Orly, that being Rage* that the formula is once again rather lovely indeed. I have found that all three of these nail polishes have applied beautifully and have been opaque within two coats; in fact I'd even argue that if in a rush you could get away with one coat, especially in regards to Classic Contours and First Blush. The brush is relatively thin which I guess isn't everyone's cup of tea however if I'm honest with you I do have quite small nail beds anyway so wider brushes for me can sometimes be a little bit tricky, although generally speaking if the formula is good and the longevity to boot then this is something I can easily overlook. Speaking of longevity I have been pretty impressed with these overall, so much so that Classic Contours was featured in my March Favourites as despite being a huge fan of the colour I have also been impressed with how long they have lasted. Without a top coat (shameful I know) they lasted a good four or five days without any chipping and even then tip wear was to a minimum; I should imagine that had I used a top coat that they would have lasted even longer.

Orly Nail Polishes
Classic Contours is a dusty mauve and is without a doubt my favourite of all three here. It has a creamy finish to it and applies beautifully; it was an instant hit with me as I absolutely love these types of shades at the moment. In contrast to this we have Flawless Flush which is more of a shimmer and is a light lilac in tone, there are little flecks of what I think looks like gold glitter although they could be silver. The glitter particles are extremely small and add just a really soft glittery finish to the nails, it's worth noting that I couldn't feel the glitter either as I don't know about you but I hate my nails feeling rough when they are painted. Out of the three this is the one shade that I personally do think you need two coats of because it isn't as opaque as the others upon first application. Nevertheless it is a really pretty shade and is one that I will be wearing throughout spring. Finally we have First Blush which I'll go out on a limb here and say is my least favourite of the three, in fact to me it is the odd one out of the whole collection. I do think that the collection when you look at all six together is rather muted by which I mean that to me it follows along the lines of pastel shades to some degree therefore this being a rather bright coral toned pink is something that I find a little odd. Despite this it's still very pretty but it is much brighter on the nails than it is in the bottle which is my reason for not liking it as much as the other two; personally I'm just finding it much harder to pull off bright nail polish.

On a whole I'm once again pretty impressed by Orly nail polishes. When I finally get around to sorting out my nail polish collection (I'll get to it one day) I know I'll be making some room to incorporate some more into my collection; not that I need any more mind you.

1 April 2015

March Favourites

March Beauty Favourites

As April arrives I'm having a quick moment of reflection at some of my beauty favourites from March. I discovered some new products last month however I'm still trying to determine an opinion on them so for now I'm sticking to what I know, some being old favourites and some being new discoveries.

I've already alluded to how much I'm enjoying the Yves Rocher Sérum Végétal Wrinkles and Radiance* day and night cream in my review here so I won't delve into too much detail in this post. Without a doubt the night cream for me is the start of the show, it's a beautiful product that leaves my skin feeling so hydrated and refreshed in the morning. It has been a wonderful replacement for my beloved Origins Night-A-Mins which I finished off recently. 

Sticking with skincare products in a fashion I have being using the Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Aid once again. This is a product I tend to pick up sporadically however in a bid to start getting through some products I have being using this regularly and have once again fallen back in love with it. It really does help to keep my lips moisturised throughout the day as well providing slight exfoliation which helps to keep them in tip top condition before any lipstick is applied.

Onto make up I have three forms here; a lipstick, eye shadow palette and a nail polish. The Lipstick will be of no surprise to anybody as after my MAC Lipstick Collection post so many of you also told me how much you loved the shade Patisserie from MAC. It's now an old favourite and is one that I wear more than any other; it truly is an awesome nude and is one that I'd recommend everybody to try out. As for eyes the NARS Fairy's Kiss Palette has once again made an appearance, it really is an awesome little palette not just for the shades available but also for its size. These little palettes from NARS are utterly fabulous as they're so light and compact yet still provide you with six eye shadows that give you so much flexibility.

As for nails I have recently being trying out a few from Orly* and have been pleasantly surprised in that process. I've three which I'll be posting about in their own right however the one that I have being wearing a lot lately is the shade Classic Contours from the Orly Blush Collection last spring. This shade is a deep mauve which will look absolutely stunning for winter and autumn however I know I'll be sporting it at every opportunity for the foreseeable future. The Orly formula has once again impressed me as having only tried one of their polishes before this occasion I do remember being a fan of the formula before. It is really lovely to apply and lasts for a good three or four days on me without a top coat (I ran out) before I see any real signs of tip wear; I should imagine with a top coat it will last even longer.

What have been your beauty favourites from March?
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