Sunday, 13 August 2017

Skin Care | L'Oreal Hydra Genius Aloe Water


I'm not usually one for running out and buying a new product just because I've seen it advertised in a magazine, but there was just something about the new Hydra Genius Aloe Vera from L'Oreal that really caught my eye and made me run to Boots just two days later.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Friday First | Lime Crime Velvetines


For that small 13-year-old within, who stumbled across the makeup universe late one night and it was so much bigger than the tiny stands I was used to in Boots; Lime Crime was the one that caught my eye. The whole identity of the brand, the name of the shades, the whole concept of liquid lipsticks was just something I lusted over for as long as I can remember.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Beauty | Does Hype Get In the Way of Research?

So back in April, I was talking about how I was slowly falling in love with Urban Decay's highly hyped All Nighter setting spray. But did the fact that it's so highly hyped get in the way of me researching properly and stop me finding the right setting spray for me?

Friday, 28 July 2017

Friday First | Revolution Retro Luxe Matte Lip Kit


For a girl who wears a liquid lipstick more than anything, the lack of neutral everyday colours in my collection is horrendous. Revolution was the first brand I really heard of that brought out their own version of the Kylie lip kits and I can remember looking at them when they first launched. I can't remember the best colour selection being available, but I've always checked them out while I've been browsing the isles in Superdrug so when I spotted Reign I grabbed it and didn't look back.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Skin Care | Mitchum Advanced Control Deodorant

This is 100% a "blogger made me buy it" post, and all of the blame goes to Erin from Make Erin Over. I don't do heat; I love the sunshine and being out in the sunshine, but I hate feeling horrible, sweaty, and just desperate for a shower. The UK is currently experiencing some crazy heat, for our standards at least, and without fail I will be at work on the hottest days, in a uniform that doesn't let me breathe, just praying that I had a miracle to keep me feeling fresh.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Friday First | Too Faced Mascara Melt Off


I love nothing more than when I make an order with a brand, only to then find out at the checkout that I'll be receiving two free gifts and I get to pick those gifts! I'm not sure what I was more excited for; ordering Glitter Bomb from Too faced, or picking my two free gifts. The first gift I had to choose was the Mascara Melt Off; I'm still currently using up my Better Than Sex mascara and although it's not waterproof, as I mentioned in my review, it's an absolute bugger to get off and I'm always left with panda eyes.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Beauty | Blendercase


Let's talk about the biggest first world problem that we face; storing and travelling with a makeup sponge. I personally use the Real Techniques Complexion Sponge, for me it works really well and I've never thought about using anything else. I personally also travel every other weekend to Leeds and back which means that my sponge really does get knocked about, damaged and dirty. I've recently been travelling with my sponge in its original packaging which is just ridiculous and I've actually forgotten it on more occasions than I care to admit.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Skin Care | Scrub Love Coconut Mango


We're all adults here and you all know how open I am about what skin issues I suffer with when it comes to trying out the majority of products under the sun to battle them. Getting ready my body ready for summer is one of those things that totally fills me with dread; I'm also not talking about getting into shape, I'm talking about getting my skin ready for summer.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Life | Dad's Birthday Breakfast

So what I have I learnt over these past few weeks? That no matter how prepared you are to keep everything running smoothly when you move; it will all fall to pieces and you will lose your blogging mojo. On those days where you're still looking at all the boxes you need to unpack, your family will be the best people at keeping you sane and giving you the best laughs you've had in a while.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Friday First | The Body Shop Lightening Shade Adjusting Drops


I really want to promise you that I'll stop raving about The Body Shop one day soon, but when they keep coming out with those products that I've always needed in my life how can I stop? Also, they're such good quality how can I walk away from them?
Now I know I'm not alone with this struggle; I'm a pale girl and I don't tan, or especially like to tan, which leaves even the palest foundation shades still a shade or two too dark for me. I'm also oily, which means I have tried many, many brands which claim to have a diverse shade range... Spoiler, the majority don't. My current go to foundation is the L'Oreal Paris Infallible 24H-Matte foundation; some days it is perfect for me, other days it is just a smidge too dark for me. So in sweep The Body Shop with what I'm hoping will be my life saviour, their Lightening Shade Adjusting Drops which "help turn an almost there shade into a perfect one". The lightening drops work with the simple equation of "1 drop - 1/2 shade lighter" simple right? Now, "a concentration of white and pink pigments... helps neutralise yellowness while lightening". I won't lie, the fact that the lightening shades have a pink undertone does worry me slightly, but so far I haven't noticed any issues with this (www.thebodyshop.com).


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Hair Care | Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo


Subscription boxes, or stand alone boxes, are definitely one of the best ways to get your hands on products you'd never even pick up and Oribe's Gold Lust Dry Shampoo is definitely one of those.

I feel like lately, I've tried more dry shampoos than anything else, why I'm not entirely sure as I'm quite happy with my two staples. Oribe's Gold Lust claims to make your hair "instantly clean" and "prevent damage" all while promising to "absorb product buildup, oil and impurities with translucent powders", doing all of this "while soothing scalp and restoring strength and softness". Gold Lust contains "watermelon, lychee and edelweiss flower" all of which help to "defend[s] hair from oxidative stress, photoaging and the deterioration of natural keratin all while protecting from the drying, damaging and colour depleting effects of the elements". As well as claiming to protect your hair in that way, Gold Lust also contains "translucent starch blend" which acts to "instantly absorb[s] dirt, oil, impurities and product build-up leaving hair feeling 'just washed'" www.oribe.com.

I can't say this was a bad dry shampoo, but I can say this was a dry shampoo that just did nothing for my hair. It absorbed into my hair so well that when I woke up in the morning there was just no trace of me applying this. I'm just glad I didn't apply this on a day when I really needed this in my hair; it didn't leave a trace behind at all it just seemed to totally disappear. Personally, I love the idea of my dry shampoo being as protective for my hair as it is absorbing and cleansing; but the absorbing and cleansing aspects just need to come first.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Friday First | Studio 10 Miracle Effect Priming Serum


You all know I'm an oily girl, I need something that is going to make sure that my makeup sticks around all day long. I'll give any primer a go, I have some that I really enjoy but I'm yet to find my holy grail if I'm being honest.

The Miracle Effect Priming Serum from Studio 10 was something that I picked up back in the M&S Advent Calendar and I knew it would be one of the first things I tried. The clue is kind of in the name I suppose, but the Miracle Effect Priming Serum has a lot of promises; so let's have a look. So each ingredient used in Miracle Effect "works together in harmony to stimulate collagen and skin cell production in the event of damage" and these five "anti-inflammatory extracts... provide a soothing effect and reduce puffiness around the eyes, minimising signs of fatigue". Miracle Effect promises to "come with the perfect blend of anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant ingredients, plus hydrating and rejuvenating".

As well as all of that Miracle Effect contains "argan oil... to increase skin elasticity... caffeine reduces inflammation and increases microcirculation of the blood to the skin to visibly smooth". So as well as all that, are you ready to run down the list of what else it claims to do? Let's go! Miracle Effect promises to "instantly give skin a boost and reduce wrinkles", "reduce age spots and pigmentation", "improve skin firmness", "improve puffiness and dark circles" and "reduces enlarged pores". Whew, that's everything (www.studio10beauty.com)!

So I'm not going to cut corners, this shit is like glue and it's incredible. By glue, I mean a fantastic glue that I can easily blend my makeup over without a problem, but a glue that means that my makeup didn't budge an inch throughout the day. Now let's tackle that huge list of claims above! The one I can definitely say I noticed first of all was the enlarged pores. As I've always said when I'm testing out products that are meant to reduce pores, I don't have the biggest pores in the world, but anything that can reduce them will always be welcomed in my life. Naturally, I used this more in my t-zone than anywhere else so my pores looked incredible. Your skin instantly becomes smoother when using this, but I also found that come the end of the day when removing my makeup my skin still felt smoother. I personally don't look out for wrinkles so I can't say if they've improved, but my eyes were less puffy, my skin felt less swollen at the end of the day and my skin just overall felt better. To make this last longer I was using this only in my t-zone and using my regular primer elsewhere because nothing budges when I use this.

Will I continue to use Studio 10s Miracle Effect Priming Serum? I have used up every single drop of this. At one point I was storing this at just the right angle to make sure that I could get every drop I needed. If I still had this, I would still be using this without a doubt.
Will I repurchase Studio 10s Miracle Effect Priming Serum? This is genuinely the best primer I have ever used but I'm not sure if I can justify £68 for it. I think I might treat myself to this just before me and Ryan go to America to really make sure that nothing moves in that heat! But £68 really?
Would I recommend Studio 10s Miracle Effect Priming Serum? If you're someone who is looking for a holy grail primer that truly means that nothing is going to move and you're not really on a budget then this definitely is the one for you! This works perfectly in my t-zone, and believe me this is like glue.
Overall score out of 5? A 4. I keep saying it, but this shit kept everything in place and nothing even attempted to budge. It was lightweight, sunk in easily and didn't irritate my skin or break me out! The price is the only thing that stops this being a 5!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Life | A Much Needed Escape

If you take anything away from this post; I want it to be this. Music is our happy place, it's our safe place, it brings us together no one will ever tear us apart.

You all know I'm moving house so you're going to have to put up with the subpar photo for this week! I'm also loving life at Slam Dunk today, so I'm treating you to a second blog post this week! You'll have seen my Instagram post earlier this week where I was telling you all how much I was loving the new single from the local band to me Venetian. My life is now in boxes, and while I've been packing up 20 years worth of memories I've definitely needed some background noise; most music hasn't been cutting this for me and I've been turning to podcasts a hell of a lot.

Echo is different, it's a song I've had stuck in my head since I first heard it and it's a song I'm wanting to play out loud every time I hear it. Echo isn't like anything else I have in my library; Venetian have three very distinct voices, all which come across beautifully on Echo, but all equally marry together perfectly. If you're looking for a song that is easy listening, but also stands out a mile above the rest then you need to listen to this song.

So where can you find Venetian? Well, right here; Official Site | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramEcho Video

Friday, 26 May 2017

Friday First | Newtons Labs Skincare

Nothing is genuinely more exciting than a brand that you're already quite fond of contacting you and asking you if you'd like to review some of their products. Let me be honest, when I'm travelling in between home and Leeds all the time, skin care needs to be accessible for me; so I just simply borrow whichever face wash Ryan's Mum has in the bathroom... Don't say I'm never honest with you all! So, Newtons Labs just happens to be the brand that more often than not I will reach for when I'm at Ryan's. When the lovely Rhiannon told me that they would be sending me out some samples to try, I really did not expect full sized products to try!

Let's start with the product I'm already most familiar with, the T-Zone Blackhead Fighting Scrub that "deeply cleanses pores and helps clear out spots" by using "natural exfoliants [to] unblock and visibly leave the skin fresh and radiant from day one". All which the magic ingredient "tea tree tackles spots head on". I always follow up with the T-Zone Clear Pore Facial Wash, enriched with tea tree and salicylic acid as it can then "help prevent spots and spot-causing bacteria". The beauty of this was it that as well as cleaning my skin, it also works to "prevent the build-up of dead skin cells", "guard against over dry skin" and "leave great-looking and shine free skin". The next little wonder product I was kindly sent is the T-Zone Skincare Spot Zapping Gel which "rapidly targets, prevents and calms spots and blemishes" as it "combines naturally acne-fighting tea tree and witch hazel with skin-clearing salicylic acid... in just 4 hours!". Now, what really caught my eye was the T-Zone Skincare Charcoal Black Cleansing Wipes. I personally haven't used face wipes for years, but these promise to "effectively cleanse the skin, remove makeup residue instantly and absorb dirt and excess oil", so I have high hopes (newtonslabs.com)!

So let's break all of that down. The Blackhead Fighting Scrub is definitely one of the softer exfoliators I have ever used on my skin! I can definitely feel the exfoliant effect on my skin, but my skin doesn't feel half scrubbed to death and doesn't feel sensitive afterwards either. Despite it being super gentle, I can definitely tell the difference in my skin and those annoying dry skin flakes don't seem as obvious anymore! My skin definitely looks fresher, but does it clear out spots? It helps keep them at bay and keeps them from coming to head; but just like everything else, it doesn't seem to stop those horrible deep ones. But, it does help reduce the swelling. So I naturally follow with the Clear Pore Facial Wash, which doesn't leave my skin feeling stripped and tight, a definite nice touch! I can honestly, hand on heart, say that my skin has not felt dry since I introduced both of these face washes into my daily routine; something that with combination skin can be a nightmare to manage.

So the two products that definitely caught my eye. The Spot Zapping Gel reminds me very much of products that I have tried in the past which have promised to target my spots quickly. The Zapping Gel claims to be invisible, now I personally didn't find this and I personally don't like wearing this kind of products under my makeup. To make this work for me, I use this at night to let it work its magic without being disturbed. This is my wonder product, I can't lie. I can go to bed with the biggest demon on my face, but by morning it is definitely under control and has been reduced visibly... As you can imagine this works wonders for those really deep, but sore spots. The Charcoal Black Cleansing Wipes were something I wondered how I was going to fit into my routine. I don't use face wipes to remove makeup anymore, but I tried using these after I'd removed my makeup with my micellar water. The amount of makeup that is still removed with these is absolutely shocking; it's also so weird seeing all that makeup on a black face wipe. My skin feels great after using the Charcoal wipes, something I definitely wasn't expecting as face wipes usually leave my skin feeling horrendously dry.

So has Newtons Labs replaced all my current skin care? Definitely not, but instead I've fit it in quite nicely. Both of the face washes fit into both my morning and evening routine for cleansing, and the zapping gel and cleansing wipes have slipped into my evening routine so easily I haven't even noticed the extra few minutes!

Will I continue to use Newtons Labs skincare products? Definitely! They have fit into my current skincare routine so easily, I don't even have to think about reaching for them.
Will I repurchase Newtons Labs skincare products? They are so easy to pick up in my local Superdrug I'd be stupid not to. I'm also really looking forward to trying out some of the other products they have in their range.
Would I recommend Newtons Labs skincare products? I personally think that Newtons Labs is a totally underrated brand that not enough people are talking about. They're super affordable, and their products contain all of the magic ingredients that are brilliant for your skin! I'm going to be telling everybody that whether they have an established skin care routine, or are just looking to get into the skincare then this is a brand they need to consider.
Overall score out of 5? A 4. Naturally, it isn't the wonder product that I always dream of and it hasn't completely cured my skin. However, it's come pretty damn close. Clearly the products I'm using for my skin are working some form of almost miracle, and Newtons Labs has definitely had it's part in this!

I was sent these products for free in return for a review. I have not been paid for this post, all opinions remain my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Friday First | Batiste 2in1 Shampoo & Conditioner


Let me introduce you to one of the worst hair products I have ever used on my hair, and I genuinely mean I regretted using this the minute I woke up. So ask anyone for a dry shampoo recommendation, usually, Batiste is the name you will be given. I can't lie, when I heard that they were coming out with a 2in1 dry shampoo and conditioner I was excited and couldn't wait to see how it worked, but I was also incredibly dubious at the same time. When it was released, I definitely wasn't keen on the price tag for something I wasn't overly convinced on, so I was so relieved when I received a mini in my Birchbox! So, Batiste promise that their 2in1 Dry Shampoo & Conditioner is "perfect for dry, coloured and curly hair" and promises that their "new formula refreshes roots and nourishes ends". For this to happen you just have to "spray... from roots to ends""give your roots a massage to add some volume and get rid of any excess oil" and "work it through with your hands or a brush" (www.batistehair.co.uk). The new 2in1 has the scent of vanilla and passion flower, which is suddenly my new favourite scent. Also, if a brand is going to boast about "18-hour conditioning" then they've got a lot to live up to (www.superdrug.com)!

Seriously, I've never woken up with greasier hair than when I used this. I always put my dry shampoo in just before I go to bed so that it can really soak in and be absorbed overnight. Naturally, I put all of my faith into my dry shampoo to work it's magic overnight; not to make me look like I've not washed my hair in two weeks. No amount of massaging my hair further saved this, and I had no option but to use my trusty dry shampoo that has never let me down before to save the day. I can't say the ends of my hair felt anymore nourished either, in fact, you wouldn't even know that I'd applied this to the ends of my hair.

Will I continue to use Batiste's 2in1 Shampoo & Conditioner? That's not even an option, it went straight in the bin after I woke up with 3-week old looking hair. The only thing about this that I enjoyed is the scent, it did absolutely nothing for my hair.
Will I repurchase Batiste's 2in1 Shampoo & Conditioner? I'll never even think about it. For nearly £5 I'm expecting miracles, purely because I use a couple of dry shampoos which are just over or just under £1 and they work incredibly well on my hair without even a sign that I've used dry shampoo.
Would I recommend Batiste's 2in1 Shampoo & Conditioner? Oh hell no. I've got so many people telling me how it's one of the best things they've ever used on their hair and I'm not quite sure how. I'm not quite sure what I'm missing, but I'd definitely recommend everyone to stay away from this.
Overall score out of 5? A 1. The scent was the only saving grace of this product. I went to sleep with hair that looked fine and woke up looking like I'd not washed my hair for 3 weeks; not a great look trust me. For me, conditioner is something that can only be left in while hair is damp, not added when hair is dry.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Friday First | Pixi Glow Mist


So while repurchasing the famous Glow Tonic from Pixi, I spied the shelf full of the mists and the biphase Glow Mist definitely caught my eye. Looking at just how the Glow Mist worked it promises to give "a glowing, luminous and smooth complexion" as the whole bottle is packed full of "13 natural oils plus propolis, aloe vera and fruit extracts". The oils included aren't actually mentioned, so instead I looked the ingredients list and oils such as evening primrose oil, jojoba oil, macadamia oil, and lavender oil filled me with total confidence. So the Glow mist promises that it "hydrates, protects and nourishes" as well as boasting the ability that it "refreshes makeup, hydrates and adds glow" and that it can also "set[s] makeup, adds a dewy finish and protects skin". Now I have tried everything to add oil into my daily routine, and I have failed miserably. So for me, Glow Mist with its basic instructions of "use in the AM and PM or when needed, shake to mix, close eyes and mist over face & neck" sounded like the product that was perfect for me (www.pixibeauty.co.uk).

So has it been the easiest way for me to add oil into my daily routine? Most definitely! The best thing about Glow Mist is that it sinks into my skin easily and quick, and it doesn't leave my skin with the layer of oil till it sinks in. I have tried the Glow Mist in every way it states it can be used. I've tried using Glow Mist twice a daily but, as I mentioned in my Bio-Oil review, my skin can't handle using oil twice a day, so I tend to use my Glow Mist after I take my makeup off and let it sink in overnight. I have also tried using Glow Mist as a setting spray, but it just didn't set or hold my makeup in place the way I needed it to. Although, misting my face with Glow Mist after I've applied my makeup does give me a natural looking glow.


Will I continue to use Pixi's Glow Mist? I use my Glow Mist on a daily basis and I've barely made a dent in my bottle, so I'll be using this up till every last drop is gone. I love how my skin has improved since I introduced Glow Mist into my routine.
Will I repurchase Pixi's Glow Mist? Definitely. I love how it's made adding oil into my routine a breeze and how my skin has improved. For £16 I've barely used any product and I've been using this daily so it's definitely worth the price. I'm also already eyeing up some of the other mists from Pixi that I'd like to try.
Would I recommend Pixi's Glow Mist? Without a doubt. If you're looking for a way to easily introduce oil into your skincare routine then definitely give it a go; you don't even have to think about what you're doing. So many different oils are packed into one little bottle you really can't go wrong.
Overall score out of 5? A 4. I can't use Glow Mist in every way that it states you can do, and it definitely cannot be used as a setting spray. However, the benefits that I've seen to my skin since introducing this into my routine daily outweighs absolutely everything.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Skin Care | Tony Moly Sheet Masks


Okay so, not long after moving my cousin and his wife came to visit us and they bought some bits and pieces with them. Just imagine my excitement when I discovered that they'd left me some TONYMOLY sheet masks! Korean beauty is something that I have been interested in for years and I have done so much reading into it, and of course, TONYMOLY will always be a brand you come across when reading into Korean beauty and skincare.

Alicia kindly gave me two I'm REAL sheet masks; one for clear skin and one for skin purifying. The first one I tried was the Clear Skin sheet mask. Clear Skin is a sheet mask that is infused with rice extracts and natural oils, designed to provide elasticity and brightening effects for the skin. Then one night in bed while feeling a bit shit, I threw on the Skin Purifying sheet mask which is infused with mineral oils and fermented rice wine extracts, that is designed to refine skin for a smoother complexion. So both sheet masks work in the same way; make sure your skin is clean and dry, apply the mask for 20-30 minutes and pat the excess into your skin.

So the TONYMOLY sheet masks are made up of 3 layers that are soaked in three different types of essence; they come in water-type, microemulsion type, and milky lotion type, all of which are designed to maximise the hydration for your skin. I genuinely have no idea which essence I had in either. Both of these masks were freezing cold, which is insanely soothing on the skin and it's something I really do enjoy. TONYMOLY give you the tip to stick them in the fridge for an extra cooling and soothing effect... Unless you like feeling like you've stepped into a freezer I really think you can skip this step. These masks are absolutely saturated so you have so much excess left over when you remove this, now I leave mine to just sink in naturally.

Quick Update: I was worried about the availability of TONYMOLY products in the UK, however instantly I've found that they are available on Cult Beauty, Selfridges or a website dedicated to Korean beauty products!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Friday First | Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm


Let's talk all about this tiny Emma Hardie cleansing balm! I honestly thought I'd be getting through this insanely quickly with it being so small, but you need so little it's going to last me a lifetime! The Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm "is a balanced daily cleanser that thoroughly cleanses[s] deep in the pores, moisturises and calms all skin types" that also "removes all traces of face and eye make-up and is so pure pure it doubles as a soothing and hydrating mask". The Moringa Cleansing Balm contains so many different ingredients that are good for your skin, let's just list them all;
  • "Grape seed oil and sweet almond oil rich in essential fatty acids help to plump and soften"
  • "Moringa seed extract, wild sea fennel and vitamin E balance, purify and help to minimise the appearance of open pores"
  • "Essential oils of orange, neroli and mandarin rejuvenate and revitalise the skin whilst calming the sense"
  • "Jasmine and rose help to recondition dull, dry, dehydrated and mature skins" (www.emmahardie.com).
With this being such a small pot it's the perfect size for travelling with those weekends when I'm at Ryan's in Leeds and it's also really nice to have some of my actual skincare with me, as opposed to just my micellar water and moisturiser. You only need to use the same amount of product as a 5p coin, which at first really didn't look like it would be enough to remove the makeup from my entire face. This definitely sinks into the skin straight away and really does break down all my makeup; however, does it really wash it off? Whether I'm wearing a huge eye look, my winged eyeliner or even just mascara I end up with major panda eye which I struggle to get rid of, even with a muslin cloth. I often have to go back in with an exfoliating kind of wash to make sure that every trace of makeup has been removed. My skin definitely does feel more hydrated after using this cleansing balm, and even more so if I follow it with my muslin cloth. What's also really nice is that despite being infused with many essential oils the scent isn't overwhelming and doesn't affect my skin in the slightest. I haven't yet attempted to use this as an overnight face mask, but I'll update you all on when I do and how my skin feels!

Will I continue to use the Moringa Cleansing Balm? It's currently living in my makeup bag to make sure that it comes with me every other weekend when I travel up to Ryan's as it's such a convenient size to throw in. I enjoy how it makes my skin feel after using it, although my eyeliner is an area where it struggles to not leave me with that much sought after panda eye look.
Will I repurchase the Moringa Cleansing Balm? I highly doubt it, for £38 it doesn't really convince me to turn my back on my trusty cleansing balm from The Body Shop. I feel it does exactly the same job and I can't say my face feels any better or any worse with either.
Would I recommend the Moringa Cleansing Balm? If you're someone who is struggling to find a cleansing balm that works for you then I'd highly recommend you giving this one a go. If you're someone who has highly sensitive skin then I'd definitely give this a go, with all the essential oils it could definitely give your skin what it's missing.
Overall score out of 5? A 4. It definitely cleans my skin deeply, although it does have the tendency to leave me with a panda eye look when I've been wearing heavy eye makeup, nothing that can't be solved with extra cleansing, however. Despite being packed full of every ingredient under the sun which is good for your skin it isn't overpowering and it doesn't irritate your skin. It's definitely one worth trying!

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Skin Care | Garnier Pure Active Range


So I swear by the Garnier Pure Active Matte Control, so much so that I wear it on a daily basis even when I'm not wearing makeup. So while in Boots replacing my Micellar Water I spied that there was now a Pure Active Micellar Water so I had a look around for what else Garnier were doing in the Pure Active Range. As well as grabbing the Micellar Water, I also picked up the 3-in-1 Wash, Scrub and Mask and the Deep Clean Foam Wash.

The 3-in-1 Wash, Scrub and Mask has now become my daily face wash. I personally prefer a daily face wash that has some exfoliant in to help keep my skin under control; I have major combination skin, as well as having an oily t-zone, I also suffer with dry skin around my nose and my cheeks. Super attractive as you can imagine, so I need something to help me combat both of these. The exfoliant isn't horrendously harsh, in fact unless I work the scrub into my face I can barely notice it's there. I've heard of face washes that can also be used as face masks but I've never tried any of them out. I don't go out of my way to use this as a mask if I'm honest, how I tend to use this is that I'll apply it to my face like a normal scrub and I'll just leave it on while I rinse out my conditioner.

As much as I try to wash my face at night every single day, I get lazy and tired and it doesn't always happen. Although, when I actually do I'm currently reaching for the Deep Clean Foam Wash. Quick warning; if this even manages to get into your eye this will burn. Deep Clean always leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean and I definitely feel as though everything from the day has been removed from my face. So when I'm not reaching for Deep Clean to take off my makeup I'm reaching for my Micellar Water instead. I've used a micellar water to remove my makeup for a good few years now, and as much as I love them I have noticed that I can be left feeling like I have layer left on my skin or that somehow not everything has been removed. The Pure Active Micellar Water doesn't do this to me; I'm not left feeling like I have a layer on my skin and I do feel like everything has been taken off my face. The Pure Active Micellar Water doesn't irritate my skin or my eyes, which is a hugely important factor for me.

So both the 3-in-1 Wash, Scrub and Mask and the Deep Clean Foam wash both contain Zinc, and Deep Clean is also enriched with salicylic acid; both of which are great for my skin type. I don't want to say that Pure Active has worked miracles for my skin, but it definitely has changed my skin totally. I'm not breaking out as much, my oil levels are easier to maintain and my skin just feels fresher. I'd love to say my spots have completely disappeared but I'd be lying; I don't get as many spots coming to the surface, which is perfect but I still do have those deep, painful spots. All in all, Pure Active has definitely worked for my skin for the better.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Friday First | Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara


Here we go with another super conflicting product; although seeing as Better Than Sex is meant to be one of the best mascaras around I was expecting bigger things.

Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara is a mascara that I have heard every single beauty blogger, vlogger, and just anyone who is everyone talking about ever since I started watching and reading anything to do with makeup. Just like the Urban Decay setting spray, Better Than Sex is something that I can easily pick up at Debenham's with no issue but I just never have. So while I was in Sephora over in Prague, and in that 'treat yoself' mood who could blame me for grabbing this mini while in the queue to pay? Can Better Than Sex fulfil all my "desire for lush, incredibly intense lashes"? Better Than Sex claims to be able to make "lashes... full, defined and stretched to unbelievable lengths" all in one application. Better Than Sex contains "film-firming Polymer for smudge-proof, all day wear", "acacia Senegal tree extract to nourish, thicken and lock curl in place" and uses "unique peptides for the deepest, intense black possible" (www.toofaced.com).

So Better Than Sex is definitely one of the best mascara's I've reached for in terms of it being a really intense black on my lashes, which is something I really look for in a mascara. Better Than Sex also gives me lashes that are super full with an incredible curl, so it definitely lives up to expectations and claims in that respect. Spoiler: that's where it ends. "Smudge-proof" is the biggest lie that this mascara will ever tell you; within an hour or two of wearing this mascara, I have the biggest shadows under my eyes. It will look like I've gone mental at rubbing my eyes when in reality I won't have even touched them. As well as smudging like there is no tomorrow it also flakes off throughout the day, again without me even touching my eyes, and I have flakes all across the top of my cheeks! Oh, and these will also end up in my eyes, which is not comfortable. Now before anyone says anything, I use mascaras that aren't waterproof and none of them do this to me and I've also tested Better Than Sex with a few different setting sprays and nothing makes a difference.

Will I continue to use Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara? This is still the mascara I'm reaching for on a daily basis. I'm so conflicted around this mascara, purely because I love how it makes my lashes look but I hate how easily it smudges and flakes on its own!
Will I repurchase Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara? Definitely not. £19 for a mascara that smudges and flakes on its own without me even touching it is not worth my money. This breaks my heart because it's a mascara that makes my lashes look so incredible!
Would I recommend Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara? Again, I'm in two halves about this. I'd highly recommend Better Than Sex for the way that it makes my lashes look, but then I'd also tell people to stay as far away from this mascara as possible if they don't enjoy a smudgy mascara or one that just flakes into your eyes.
Overall score out of 5? A 3. I love how my lashes look when I apply this mascara, and despite how easily it flakes and smudges this look really does last throughout the day. The curl doesn't drop my lashes and they still look as intensely black as they do when I first apply this mascara. But again, it just smudges all over my face and flakes off into my eyes. Ugh, no thanks.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Skin Care | Pixi Glow Tonic

Talking about a cult product is always a post that basically fills me with dread; what if I say something that people don't like and everyone goes against me? This is basically one of the main reasons as to why it takes me so long to even think about touching such a highly acclaimed cult product. When I received the Pixi Glow Tonic in my TILI Beauty Box I was incredibly excited as I've wanting to try it for years, but I instantly panicked just in case I didn't love it just like everyone else seems to.

Let's cut to the chase, I am totally in love with the Pixi Glow Tonic. I don't know how this little bottle of amazement works, but it does some incredible things for my skin. Glow Tonic contains "aloe vera, ginseng and botanical extracts" and all of these are meant to work together and "exfoliates, brightens and smoothes skin", and of course the clue is in the name, it's also an "instant glow enhancer". When I read that the Pixi Glow Tonic was meant to be able to exfoliate my skin, I couldn't quite work out how that was possible and just how it would work. I still can't work out how it exfoliates my skin, but somehow it does and it does it perfectly well.

I use my Glow Tonic daily so it's probably no surprise that I got through that tiny bottle super quick; within two weeks of receiving this sample bottle I'd already repurchased one of the 100ml bottles and now I genuinely can't live without it! My skin has definitely improved since I introduced the Pixi Glow Tonic into my life, and I don't think I could turn back now.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Friday First | Beaver Daily Moisture Conditioning Spray


My favourite thing about subscription boxes is that they really encourage me to try new products. As much as I love trying out new products, when it comes to old favourites I can be very reluctant to try anything, in fear that I'll fall in love with a ridiculously expensive product and also I'm very nervous when it comes to trying anything new on my hair. The Daily Moisture Conditioning Spray by Beaver came in February's Birchbox. It sounded interesting, but it also didn't really stand out from the millions of other sprays for hair out there and I was happy enough with my Aussie spray. The Daily Moisture Conditioning Spray is designed as a "light detangler" which "imparts shine and luster to hair without weighing it down" and like any other conditioning spray you can "leave it in for more conditioning". The Conditioning Spray also "helps reduce frizz and flyaways for improved manageability... penetrate[s] hair to moisturise from within and add shine and body" (www.beaver-cn.com).

I'm currently using this on my hair every time after I wash it, although because I have to use so little of it I'm actually thinking of leaving it at Ryan's so I actually have something to use on my hair when I've washed it at his. I've been using this as a pair with my Wet Brush, and detangling my hair fresh out of the shower is now a dream. I still struggle with some really troublesome knots, but I just spray a little extra of the Conditioning Spray on them and they become a thing of the past. I have noticed increased shine to my hair, which I couldn't place my finger on why until I've just reminded myself of what the Conditioning Spray is meant to do, so it definitely adds shine! The amount of frizz and flyaways I'm dealing with has decreased dramatically which is something I have dreamed of for years! I can't say I'm overly keen on the scent; I can't quite describe the scent but it's not my favourite. Although, after brushing through my hair it disappears and can't be detected at all!

Will I continue to use Beaver's Daily Moisturising Conditioning Spray? Like I've said above I'm currently using this every time I wash my hair. But I do think I'm going to leave it at Ryan's so I have something to use there and don't have to worry about forgetting anything. I'll definitely keep using it, though!
Will I repurchase Beaver's Daily Moisturising Conditioning Spray? I don't think I will. It's good and I like what it does for my hair, but I can't say it stands out from my Aussie Protection Spray enough for me to justify spending £11.50 on something new.
Would I recommend Beaver's Daily Moisturising Conditioning Spray? Just like with The Wet Brush if you're someone who really struggles with tangled hair while it's wet then you really do need to try this. If you're also looking for a way to put a little moisture back into your hair, or deal with those annoying flyaways and frizz then give it a go!
Overall score out of 5? A 3. I do enjoy how easy it is to untangle my hair, and I enjoy the added shine, moisture and manageability. However, the scent is something I really don't like and it doesn't really stand out as anything special from anything that I've used for my hair in the past.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Beauty | Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

So I totally couldn't resist with the backdrop for this one! Okay, so I'm aware I can pick up Urban Decay quite easily from Debenhams in the UK but as soon as I stepped off the metro in Prague the first thing I saw was a Sephora. Now, I had a lot more spending money left at the end of our trip and come on, what kind of makeup lover isn't desperate for a Sephora bag? I picked up a few bits from Sephora, but the first thing that I picked up was the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray; a product that I've only ever heard of as a holy grail product and one I've definitely lusted over for years.

I wear a setting spray on a daily basis; it actually took me years to start using a setting spray, but now if I don't use mine I feel like I've skipped a whole step of my makeup routine. Being an oily girl I need a setting spray that will hold my makeup all day long without letting me down, which also means I've tried many, many setting sprays.

So I'm currently using All Nighter on a daily basis, but... It definitely took me a few times to start loving this and understanding the hype. So Urban Decay tells you that the best way to apply All Nighter is to mist it over your face in an X and a T shape, which just didn't work for me and left me with huge parts of my face untouched. Instead, I just mist this over my face in almost a circle type fashion, which leaves my face leaving totally secure for the day. I'm yet to try and use All Nighter to create a more intense look with my eyeshadows, but I'll be giving that a go soon.

All Nighter definitely took me a while to fall in love with, and I really do enjoy how it sits on my face and how it holds my makeup in place. Will I be picking it back up for £23.50? I'm currently not sure, I really do like this setting spray but I think I need to see how long it lasts me before I have to make the choice between All Nighter and one I can pick up from Boots...

Friday, 14 April 2017

Friday First | w7 Absolute Lashes


Oh look, Beka is reviewing another w7 product. Honestly, it's all Amazon's fault that I try as many w7 products as I do, I promise! Anyway, this week I'm reviewing the Absolute Lashes from them, which is clearly a dupe for the They're Real mascara from Benefit; literally in every way possible from the packaging to the brush. Absolute Lashes is described as "a black mascara with a soft spiked brush" that claims to "boosts volume, length and add extra curl to give you brilliant bold lashes". Now, I've somehow forgotten to take a photo of the brush but it's basically the same design at the brush on the They're Real mascara. With this brush, Absolute Lashes claims that "each spoke separates and therefore emphasises each lash to give a dramatic curl" (www.w7cosmetics.co.uk).

I'm absolutely in love with this mascara, and I'm reaching for it on a daily basis! It really does give you volume and even length, which can be quite difficult to find in a mascara, especially when I don't curl my lashes on a daily basis. When I do curl my lashes when using Absolute Lashes the whole look just becomes even more intense. The brush does allow me to reach as many lashes as possible, meaning that none are missed and therefore my lashes look even. I always apply 2-3 coats of mascara, I always have and I always will. For me, it isn't about adding coats, but more about making sure my lashes look just right which usually means applying another coat or two to do this. Now, my only complaint about Absolute Lashes is that is can be a complete nightmare to apply; and the more coats you're wearing the more of a battle you have on your hands. I remove all of my makeup with a cleansing butter which usually breaks down all of my makeup without a problem, but when it comes to Absolute Lashes I really have to work my cleansing butter into my lashes to remove every trace possible. Sometimes this isn't always enough and I then have to go in with an oil to really oil cleanse my lashes, all while praying that I'm not pulling any out!

Will I continue to use w7's Absolute Lashes? I'm currently using it on a daily basis, and the only time I reach for my trusty Boots mascara instead is those days after I've struggled to get it off and I need to give my lashes and my eyes a rest.
Will I repurchase w7's Absolute Lashes? Definitely. w7 have it on their website for £6.95 but I picked it up on Amazon for as little as £1.98! I love the look that it gives to my lashes and it isn't difficult to use. My lashes don't feel heavy while I'm wearing this, it doesn't smudge and it definitely doesn't crumble away.
Would I recommend w7's Absolute Lashes? Highly! If you're looking for a mascara to give you volumized and lengthened lashes then really do give this one a go. For such a small price you'll be able to very quickly work out if the mascara is for you or not.
Overall score out of 5? A 4. I love how it easily gives my lashes volume and length, and even more so when they've been curled. I love how it lasts all day long without smudging or budging. Although, the one thing I don't love is that if I put too much on my eyelashes will clump and I have no way of fixing it!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Beauty | Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer


Okay, let's talk about a product that receives so much hype within the beauty community and I'm pretty sure you've heard of. If you haven't, well where have you been? So Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer seems to be the most talked about concealer by everyone going; I've asked for many recommendations for conceal and everyone seems to come back to this one.

So I caved and picked it up while I was in Boots the other week. Now, with how long it took me to get into the liquid foundation game just imagine how wary I was when playing around with concealer. If you're anything like me you can watch 1,000 tutorials and then still manage to mess it up when it comes to your own go. I grabbed the Lasting Perfection Concealer in the lightest shade, as I know a lot of people use it under their eyes to brighten as well as conceal and it matches my skin tone perfectly... Nonetheless, we carry on. I use this under my eyes, down the bridge of my nose, around the edges of my nose and then on any imperfections and blend it out with a mini Real Techniques sponge. It blends in effortlessly and I just set it with my normal powder just to keep it all in place and that does the trick for me.

I have found that if I touch up my concealer at any point while doing my makeup then it will become incredibly cakey, so I've found it works best for me if I just apply it, set it and leave it alone... It hasn't caked since I've stopped playing around with it! I can't say I have the worlds worst dark circles, however, it just gives me enough coverage to not look so pale and ill. I find it also tackles any blemishes pretty well; I use a pretty decent coverage foundation so I don't really have to worry about my blemishes being ridiculously obvious. But on those days, or nights, where I want that flawless look this becomes my best friend!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Friday First | Pantene Foam Conditioner


As soon as I saw the advert for these on TV I knew I had to get my hands on these and give them a go. 'A foam conditioner? Just how on earth does that work? Is it just another gimmick?' I grabbed two while I was shopping on Sunday; I grabbed the Repair & Protect and the Smooth & Sleek foam conditioners to try two things I really want for my hair. Being a girl with long hair I tend not to condition higher up from my ears to avoid greasy roots; I style my hair with heat on nearly a daily basis and I have bleach in my hair that means that my fringe and the top half of my hair run the risk of being damaged and dry. Both the conditioners are designed for fine hair, but I see them both as the perfect chance to fully condition my hair. Pantene's foam conditioners both work as "the air-light foamy texture is absorbed deep into the hair and moisturizes it from the inside out... Without leaving unwanted residue on the outside that could weigh down fine hair". Repair & Protect is also designed for damaged hair and "helps restore hair's strength against styling damage". Pantene also claim that the Repair & Protect foam conditioner should also leave "hair easy to detangle, silky soft and free-flowing" as it gives "hair all the nourishment and conditioning it needs, without weighing it down" (Repair & Protect). Having long hair seems to be a little bit of a curse; it tangles like there is no tomorrow, it seems to get greasy quicker than I remember and new hairs and flyaways seem horrendously noticeable. Smooth & Sleek again gives "hair all the conditioning it needs, without weighing it down" and leaves hair "easy to detangle, visibly healthy and full of volume" (Smooth & Sleek).

I'm always very nervous when it comes to trying new hair products, especially when I have to put something near my roots. I jumped straight in at the deep end; I smothered this good stuff all over my hair, from root to tip and let it sink it. Both have the typical Pantene smell, a smell I'm pretty sure I'll be able to recognise no matter where I am in live. The foam conditioners take no time to sink into my hair, to allow a little bit extra time I was my face while they're sinking in and then I rinse them out. The beauty of them sinking in quickly is that they also rinse out really quickly, which is really nice touch with these products. So did my hair feel any better after using both of these? Definitely, I noticed the difference straight away. Both of these made my hair super easy to brush through, there were no tangles and my hair just felt better.

Will I continue to use the Pantene Foam Conditioners? Definitely! I love how they've cut down the amount of time I have to spend on my hair in the shower and I love how much better my hair instantly feels. Annoyingly I can't comment on how my hair looks as each time I've used these I've had to throw my hair up each day for work.
Will I repurchase the Pantene Foam Conditioners? I think I will. I think that £4 could be judged as being a little bit expensive for conditioners, depending on your budget of course. Although I really enjoy the way my hair feels and how I'm able to manage my hair after using these, so these will definitely be a repurchase.
Would I recommend the Pantene Foam Conditioners? Definitely. I personally thought these would just be a gimmick, but I have definitely been proven wrong. If like me you have long hair you need a way to really condition your hair well then this is a product that you should definitely be considering. If you have fine hair and you find that products stay in your hair too easily then this is definitely something you should try!
Overall score out of 5? A really high 4. My hair was incredibly easy to manage after washing my hair, and felt really smooth. To say I applied conditioner directly to my roots, you'd never know!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Skin Care | Bio-Oil


So I was really hoping I'd be able to include a bare-faced photo in this to really showcase the difference in my skin from when I first started using Bio-Oil* to now, but my skin confidence still isn't quite there; maybe I'll upload one to my facebook! Everyone who is anyone has heard of Bio-Oil, but then if anyone is like me then you'll also admit that you've never really seen the hype surrounding it, and the price tag definitely put you off. Especially when you're questioning if it's really that essential to you life?

It's very well known that Bio-Oil is meant to be the wonder product if you have scars or stretch marks that you'd like to improve the look of. I do have stretch marks, however, I've had them for so long I really don't care about them anymore and currently, I'm quite comfortable with them so I didn't use my Bio-Oil to help improve the look of these. What I do have however is very acne scarred skin; I can genuinely remember going to the doctor when I was around 12/13 for one issue and the doctor commenting on my acne scars. Now, I have tried everything I can think of to help with my acne scars and my skin tone. Bio-Oil recommend using it on scars or uneven skin tones twice daily, however for my face this is just too much and I've found the best way for me to make Bio-Oil work for me is to use just around 4 drops after I've cleansed my face before I go to bed to allow it to really sink in overnight.

Oil cleansing is the latest thing lately, and if like me you're constantly stalking the skincare pages over on Reddit you'll know how oil cleansing is meant to be absolutely incredible and the best thing ever. I can't say oil cleansing works wonders for me, although I do use my Bio-Oil just after I've used my cleansing butter to remove all my makeup to add some moisture back into my skin and replace anything that might have been stripped away. I did try to use this after every time I washed my face or showered, however, the one day that I used my Bio-Oil in the morning before I applied my makeup I hated how my makeup felt and looked that day. So oil just doesn't suit my face in the morning.

I've also started using my Bio-Oil to clean my Real Techniques makeup sponge; I've always cleaned my sponge with a form of oil and a cleanser, so one day I just tried Bio-Oil. Amazingly, my sponge actually didn't feel like it dried out as much as it has done in the past while using another kind of oil and the makeup really was pulled from my sponge.

So although I might not be using my Bio-Oil in the traditional ways, I've found ways to make it work for me in my everyday skin routine and daily life!

*I was sent this product for free in return for a review. I have not been paid for this post, all opinions remain my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Friday First Revisited | No7 Shimmer Dust Gift Box

We're rewinding it back to 2015 once again, and this time we're looking back on the No7 Shimmer Dust Gift Box! As you can see; my mum and I don't religiously use exactly the same products but we use similar bits.

The first thing I spoke about way back when was the famous No7 Lash Impact Mascara. Now I personally don't currently use a No7 mascara, but my Mum is slightly religious about her No7 mascaras and really does go out of her way to make sure she has at least one in her makeup bag. Now, she's not currently using Lash Impact, instead, she's currently using Extreme Length. Now back in 2015 I was a struggling student, which completely justifies my "not sure if I'm a fan of the normal price tag of £13.50" issue. I do remember really loving the brush that the Lash Impact uses compared to the stiff, plastic brush used in Extreme Length. No7's Extreme Length promises that it "extends each lash for maximum length and eye-opening definition" and my Mum says that it does do just that, hence the repurchasing. So I was then talking about the Youthful Eye Serum, something that I wasn't able to review properly due to you being "meant to see results in 4 weeks". Now, back then I didn't see "any instant results but my eye area does seem softer and smoother". Now, skincare is something that I have definitely started putting a lot more effort into. Although, things like eye creams I totally skip and with all the will in the world I struggle to fit them into my routine. Again, my Mum uses this on a daily basis and repurchases the Youthful Eye Serum quite a few times a year absolutely swearing by it.

Let's stick with the eyes and talk about the Stay Perfect Eyeshadow is actually something I continue to use myself and I still use the exact product from way back! I still use this in exactly the same way as I did; "I can make work in my crease to add some depth when I wear my winged liner" which is exactly what I do most days when wearing my liner. The claims that it "blends effortlessly and lasts for hours" does exactly that, the fact that I barely have to blend out this shadow makes my mornings easier and it really does last all day long. A product you'll never catch me reviewing, or rereviewing in the future, are lipglosses. I don't wear lipgloss, they're far too sticky and I personally find that you can't gain enough colour payoff from them. Two years ago I was thinking that I would "pass this one onto my Mum", which is exactly what I did cause when my Mum goes for colour on the lips she'll always reach for a lipgloss and even apply lipgloss on top of her lipsticks. "It didn't apply easily, it wasn't sticky but it didn't slide on"... Kind of the understatement of the century right there. I didn't give it a big enough chance, but my Mum stated that it was one of the stickiest lipglosses that she's ever used and she didn't even mention any of the "vitamins that protect and care for the lips".

Two years later, would my Mum or I reuse any of the No7 Products? The only product that I personally still use is the Stay Perfect Eyeshadow and I reach for it pretty much everytime I wear winged liner. My Mum still religiously uses the Youthful Eye Serum, and occasionally still uses the No7 mascaras. 
Two years later, would my Mum or I repurchase any of the No7 Products? As much as I enjoy the colour from the Stay Perfect Eyeshadow, I don't think that justifies repurchasing a whole eyeshadow trio for one shade; I'm pretty sure I'll find a colour very similar in an individual shade. Mum repurchases the Youthful Eye Serum throughout the year and often picks it up when there is a No7 offer on. Mum also occasionally picks up the mascaras; she goes back and forth between brands but with her having incredibly sensitive eyes she always ends up going back to No7.
Two years later, would my Mum or I recommend any of the No7 Products? I'd highly recommend the No7 Eyeshadows, they blend incredibly easily and they do last all day long. They're also incredibly pigmented, especially for how easily they blend. Mum would recommend the Youthful Eye Serum if you're religious about skincare, she states it really helps her eyes! We'd also both recommend the Lash Impact Mascara, I'd say especially if like me you like mascaras with big, fluffy brushes. 
Overall score out of 5? I'd give No7 a 3. It isn't a brand I go out of my way to purchase bits from, I don't really keep up to date with new releases from No7 either. However, like I've said numerous times, my Mum really does swear by their skincare pieces... As well as the Youthful Eye Serum she also picks up loads of other pieces that she loves.