Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Something strange has happened...

... but I like it! :)

As I've mentioned in previous posts, my skin is currently combination (oily t-zone & 'normal' everywhere else)

My moisturiser of choice for the last few months has been The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion and I was happy with it. BUT, I started to wonder if my skin was actually dry and that was the reason I was producing more oil. So, whilst flipping through Grazia magazine last week, I saw (another) advert for L'Oreal Youth Code Day Cream.

Now, I will hold my hands up and admit that I've never been a fan of L'Oreal as a skincare brand. Call me a snob, but I have always liked 'posh' moisturisers and never thought that L'Oreal was a brand for me. So, I now have to hang my head in shame because I LOVE this moisturiser!

Here is my pot...

I bought this from Boots on Sunday whilst shopping in Bath and thanks to my £5-off skincare voucher, it cost just £9.99 :)

The pot is 50ml and although it's sold as a Day Cream, it can be used both day & night, which is a bonus. For the past few days, I have just been using it in the morning, under my foundation.

The cream itself is a lovely texture...

It's a sort of gel-cream that feels refreshing and moisturising upon application. Also, a little goes a long way so this jar should last a while :)

I digress... So, I decided to try this in place of my Body Shop moisturiser on Monday morning. I was worried all day that I might look in the mirror and see an oil-slick half-way through the day, but no! I was amazed to say the least.

I mixed it with some MAC Strobe Cream and then applied it before my foundation. It went on smoothly and made my MAC Face & Body Foundation look really dewy and fresh, yet 'set'. I then applied my usual powder, etc and kept an eye on it during the day.

I was amazed to find that when it was time to remove my make-up at the end of the day, I had a barely-noticeable amount of shine in the middle of my forehead. Hooray! :) This is a big difference to my Body Shop one. That normally mattifies my skin until the early evening, but this kept the oil at bay for much longer.

I feel like giving myself a little kick, because I think that I tried to mattify my skin too much when it became oily. Also, skin can produce extra oil to compensate for the dryness if you use too many 'drying' products. I think that my skin started off being oily (due to hormone changes) but when that settled down (and I was still using a mattifying lotion) my skin continued to produce oil to compensate. Grr! ;)

So, I have now ditched the Body Shop lotion and will continue to use this. I am both miffed and pleased... Miffed because I wish I had switched my moisturiser & tested this out ages ago and pleased because I have now found it!

If you are looking to try a new moisturiser, I really recommend this one.

On the box it claims to:
1 Hour: Skin feels smoother, rehydrated and looks more radiant
1 Week: Features appear more rested, skin tone looks more luminous
1 Month: Wrinkles appear visibly reduced. Skin looks rejuvenated

Have you tried this moisturiser for the reason I did? Do you think it lives up to its claims?

On my trip to Bath, I also got an early Xmas present and some other things. My 'haul' consisted of:

* Topshop over-the-knee beige reindeer-print socks
* LUSH Snow Fairy
* LUSH Candy Cane Bubble Bar
* LUSH L'il Xmas Pud bath bomb
* Eve Lom Muslin Cloths (pack of 3)
* Kiehl's Creme de Corps
* NARS The Multiple in 'Orgasm'
* By Terry Baume de Rose
* MAC Strobe Cream
* MAC Blush in 'Well Dressed'
* MAC lipstick in 'Angel'
* MAC lipstick in 'Impassioned'

Phew! ;) It was a great day and made even better by the big box of Ben's Cookies I bought :)

Sorry about the long post, hope it was interesting for you x

Friday, November 26, 2010

Topshop Mini Nail Polish Set Review...

I bought a set of 3 mini nail polishes from Topshop earlier in the week and here it is!

Inside the box...

& outside the box! ...

 From left to right: Big Smoke, Offbeat & Dark Horse

I bought this, as I really wanted to try 'Dark Horse'...

It's a beautiful chocolate-brown with a hint of gold shimmer.

The other colours you get are 'Big Smoke' (pale lilac/grey) & 'Offbeat' (cream).

Each bottle is 6ml and the set cost £12. There were other colour combinations available, but I really wanted this one. I saw 'Big Smoke' sold separately in store a few weeks ago and loved the colour. It's a pale shade that's really wearable and it's a great nude shade. I haven't tried it yet, but I am planning on doing so next week.

The main reason I wanted this set is because I haven't seen 'Dark Horse' sold on its own and I couldn't resist this cute trio!

This is what 'Dark Horse' looks like on...

Excuse the shoddy photo - it looks much better in person! I applied 2 coats and am in love with it already :)

It's a cinch to apply and the colour is really rich & glossy. If you're looking for a rich brown shade for winter, look no further than this.

Another product I got was Topshop's Nail Varnish Remover (wipes)...

These are amazing and cost just £2!

The wipes are individual round circles soaked with nail varnish remover. They contain panthenol & pro vitamin B5 and don't have that awful acetone smell, which is a great bonus. Each wipe also seems to be packed with an oil of some sort, as when you've removed your old polish, your nails looks conditioned. I wasn't expecting them to be so good, but I love them so I take it all back ;) I also picked up a pack of their face wipes but I haven't tried those yet.

I really love the Topshop Make Up packaging... it's quirky & cute and the spotted lid bottles on the nail polishes are really unique. They have a sort of 'homemade' feel to them and I think that's what I like the most :)

Have you bought this cute set yet (or any of the others)?

On the subject of nail polish, I got this in the post today...

I decided to photograph these two together as I liked the contrast.

On the right is the nail polish I got and it's a limited edition colour by Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss for Nails Inc. This is the shade 'Vanilla Bliss'. I think I've got lots of these nail polishes to come over the next few days, as I entered the competition every day! They also do a dark brown/chocolate shade, so fingers crossed I'll get some of those.

This is a full-sized bottle (10ml) and the colour is a gorgeous cream-coloured shade with a hint of shimmer. They are supposed to represent the colours in Cadbury's Bliss chocolate bar and ran a promotion for about 3 weeks in Sainsbury's.

If you missed out on this giveaway, they can be purchased in store and cost about £10.

Did you enter this competition? If so, have you received any of these colours yet?

Hope you have a great weekend :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Skincare Products...

Recently, I decided to review the skincare products I was using.

My skin has undergone some changes over the past year and as a result I had to overhaul my skincare routine and change the products that had been working for me.

For example, last year my skin used to be 'normal'. No dryness, no oily patches, no pigmentation/redness and no spots! I know, pretty lucky, right?

How times have changed!

About 6 months ago, my hormones went haywire and now my skin has pigmentation (under my left eye), visible pores (when I'm not wearing make-up), an oily t-zone and hormonal acne around my jawline. To say I was upset when all this happened was an understatement!

So... I had to abandon my beloved skincare products that I could use with abandon (Clinique 3-Step, Dermalogica, Creme de la Mer, etc, etc) and look at products for combination skin.

As this was the first time in my life that I had ever suffered any real skin problems, this was a bit of a challenge for me and I didn't know where to start. It was so difficult to find products that would cleanse without over-drying/irritating my skin even more, tone without harsh alcohol and moisturise yet control my t-zone.

As you can imagine, this took a while! I have tried so many combinations of products in order to achieve what I wanted. On top of that, I also had to change my foundation and powder so that they would last all day without sliding off. What a total headache!

Now, after many, many products, this is my current skincare routine...

L-R: Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanser, Sanctuary Pore Refining Toner, Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus, Clarins Eye Revive Beauty Flash & The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion

This combination of products seem to be having amazing results on my skin and I couldn't be happier :)

The Dermalogica cleanser is one of my recent purchases. I mentioned it in my last post and I just had to try it out for myself. I have been using it for the past 2 days and already I am impressed...

I use just one pump in the morning and then again in the evening. It has to be used on clean skin, so I use a No7 face wipe to remove my eye make-up & foundation before using this.

It doesn't lather up very much, but it still manages to remove any last traces of make-up. My skin is left really clean and comfortable. It's a cinch to remove and when used with my Eve Lom muslin cloth it's all gone. Quick and convenient - I love it! This product has already replaced my Neutrogena combination (Visibly Clear 2-in-1 & Grapefruit Scrub) and the results are far better. My skin is looking clearer already so who knows how it will look in a few weeks :) The smell is also lovely and lingers for a while in the bathroom afterwards!

My other amazing find is this product by Clinique...

It's the latest product in their Repairwear range and this is Repairwear Laser Focus.

I am totally in love with this amazing serum! In the past, I have never really got on with serums. Some were too thick; others were too greasy. This is certainly none of those things! It is ultra-light and sinks into my skin in no time. It can even be used around the eyes, which makes it even more of a great product.

I apply this after my toner and use about 3-4 drops all over my face & under my eyes each time. When I use this is in the morning, I tend to wait a minute or so and then apply my moisturiser on top. It's truly amazing as it doesn't alter the affects of my moisturiser and it doesn't make my skin errupt so I am very happy with this product. So much so, that I bought my second pot at Boots yesterday. Thank you Advantage Card points :)

I'm also really happy with the toner I am currently using. I have used many toners/astringents in the past: Clinique Clarifying Lotion & Anti-Blemish Solutions Lotion, La Roche-Posay Effaclar, Body Shop Tea Tree Toner and Origins Zero Oil... to name a few. Some of these were too harsh, some made no difference and others had no effect whatsoever and I might aswell have used water!

However, my current toner of choice is by The Sanctuary and it's their Pore Refining Toner. It's a spray that can be applied to a cotton pad or sprayed over the face to refresh during the day. I love this toner! It smells similar to Liz Earle's Tonic, which I like and it makes my skin feel really refreshed. I have only been using it for about a month, but it doesn't irritate my skin and I swear my pores are getting smaller. I shall continue to use it and wait and see.

Sorry about the long post, I hope it was interesting for you :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fat Girl Slim is WANTED!

I am officially addicted to this amazing product...

FatGirlSlim by Poetic Cosmetics/Bliss

I have mentioned this product a couple of times before in previous posts.

The jar is 170g and I like the fact that I can just scoop some out and slather it on! I normally prefer a pump dispenser, but for this product I like to scoop :) It makes the process much quicker and you don't end up with product all over the lid.

I only have one complaint... the pot doesn't last very long! I bought this about 3 weeks ago and it's now all used up :( I have only been applying it to one area, twice a day, so I dread to think how quickly it would have been used up if I had applied it everywhere!

The only other downside is the price... for example,on blissworld.co.uk it tends to be around the £28 mark. So, if I was to be a bit more conservative and use it a bit more sparingly, that would mean £28 a month - ouch. Over a year, that would mean spending £336 on toning my bum!! On that basis, it would be cheaper to take out a gym membership!

BUT, I do not want to join a gym (yet). I enjoying using this product too much and the results are so quick. Seriously. After just one week there was a notable difference. I have never had that with any other firming product before, in spite of their grand claims. This product is truly something else and in a league of its own.

So, my dilemma is this...

Where, oh where, do I purchase this product in a large quantity? If anyone can tell me where I can get this in bulk - at a good price - then I would be very interested. I have looked on eBay but I'm not sure if the pots on there are genuine as the price is about half of the rrp. Now I wouldn't normally complain about this, but as the pots do not come pre-sealed, I can't be assured of when/if the product has been opened. I have also looked at buying it from the States, but with shipping & taxes that's an expensive option.

I absolutely love this product and do not want to stop using it - EVER! All jokes aside, if I could use this by the gallon every day, I would.

I only needed a little improvement on a certain area and this product has done the trick. I just wish that I had discovered it a lot sooner as it has become one of my HG products.

Any help with my dilemma would be hugely appreciated! x

Friday, November 19, 2010

Skincare Product Wish List...

Like any other beauty product junkie, I am constantly looking to get my fix of new products :)

Every week/month, I buy Grazia, ELLE, Marie Claire, InStyle, Vogue, Cosmo and Glamour   magazines and diligently scour the beauty pages. They always make everything look so glossy & chic and I can't help getting sucked in!

I also check out other beauty blogs and make a note of any products that get great reviews. Two such products caught my eye recently and now I really want to get them.

The first one is by Dermalogica and it's their Skin Resurfacing Cleanser, which is part of their Age Smart range. This product is exactly what I'm looking for! Right now, my daily skincare cleansing routine consists of Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 and then I use a small amount of Neutrogena Grapefruit Scrub with my Dermalogica Exfoliating Face Brush. I then follow with toner, serum, eye cream, moisturiser, etc. With the Dermalogica SRC, it's a 2-in-1 product that cleanses and exfoliates. Yes please! Anything that promises double-duty results immediately grabs my interest. The only downside is that is seems quite pricey for a cleanser... about £34 for 150ml. Now, that's the suggested rrp for this product and I know there are places online that sell it for less. BUT, after a few past bad experiences with buying full-sized products, I now tend to buy a smaller bottle or obtain samples first. To me, that's just good common sense. How are you supposed to know if you'll get on with a product if you don't try it first? My only complaint with Dermalogica is that samples can be hard to come by and they don't sell trial sizes individually (not in the UK anyway). If they did, I would be rushing out right now to get some! I'm sure this particular cleanser is sold as part of a kit, but I'm only interested in trying this particular product.

I did have a look on eBay, but I don't really trust sellers on there who sell products too cheap or if they only provide a stock photo and the bare minimum of information. If I'm going to buy something online, I want to see an actual photo of the product. Stock photos can be misleading, as you don't know exactly what it looks like. You could just take their word for it, but that's risky. I know that not all eBay sellers work like that, but I've heard some horror stories from friends, which makes me wary. One example is that a couple of years ago, a friend bought a salon-sized bottle of Dermalogica Cleanser and paid about £48. When it arrived, it was just a large pump bottle filled with cheap green hand soap, yet it had all the Dermalogica labels!! When she tried to claim her money back, the seller had shut up shop and disappeared. She eventually had the money returned to her by eBay/Paypal, but she had been stung big time.

Anyway! ...

On Dermalogica's website, this cleanser is described as:

A dual-action exfoliating cleanser containing Lactic Acid that smoothes, re-texturizes and delivers ultra-clean skin. Use of this cleanser prepares skin for maximum penetration of AGE Smart™ active ingredients. Contains no artificial fragrance or colour.

Sounds great, doesn't it?

If this does the job of my Neutrogena products and delivers the same (or better) results, then it shall become my regular cleansing product. This would actually save me time and I would use it with my Dermalogica Face Brush.

I wish Santa existed so that I could add this to my Xmas List! But apparently (so I'm told) 28 is too old to be writing to Santa! ;)

My second product is Bioderma Sensibio Cleansing Water.

This product is really difficult to get hold of in the UK. The only place I could see if for sale - without sky-high P&P - was on eBay.

It comes in two sizes, 250ml or 500ml, and it is a water-like cleanser that removes make-up.

I would love to try this product as I have read great reviews about it. Apparently, most make-up artists have this product in their kit and swear by it. You don't need to rinse it away either, just apply some to a cotton pad, gently wipe over eyes/face to remove your make-up and then get straight onto the next step (cleansing) or re-apply make-up as required.

Products like this immediately grab my interest. I love the idea of just grabbing one bottle of product and a load of cotton wool pads and then completely whipping off all the days make-up in a few swipes! I sometimes find removing make-up a real chore, but there are certain products - like these - that make the process quick and therefore enjoyable :) The last thing I want to do is lapse my skincare routine and just reach for a wipe. I enjoy using skincare products and want to stick to a regular routine. If a product becomes too fiddly/time-consuming to use, I get bored quickly and just think 'sod it, I'll use a wipe'. This is fine for those occasions where I don't have much time, but I like to remove my make-up properly before I go to bed.

Have you tried either of these products? If so, do you have any recommendations on the best place to buy them?

Happy Friday! x

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Topshop Airplane Nail Polish...

I've had this nail polish for a couple of weeks now and tonight I decided to use it!

So this is Airplane. I applied 2 coats and this what it looks like with the flash. Without the flash it is a bit darker - think royal blue. In the bottle, it looks like a cornflower blue, but it dried darker.

I'm finding this with Topshop nail polishes lately... for example, Sketch looked like a dark grey/chocolate mix, but when I applied two coats, it actually went almost black! I'm not sure if this happens with any of their lighter colours, but the darker shades certainly dry a lot darker than they appear in the bottle. Don't get me wrong, the shades are all lovely, but I was a bit disappointed with Sketch. On the plus side, their polishes seem to last about a week before they start to chip - and I only seal the colour with one coat of Topshop Under & Over - so that is a major plus.

If you're looking for a new shade for winter, then give Airplane a try. I was getting a bit bored of the usual grey/black/dark shades and wanted to try something different. I shall wear this for a few days and see I get on with it. I'm not normally a fan of blue nail polish, but this is a gorgeous colour and I really want to like it. If it doesn't match anything I wear over the next few days, it shall be replaced!

Have you purchased this shade yet? Are you favouring blue as a shade for Winter? x

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

MAC Prep + Prime Skin Review & My MAC Wish List!

For the past few days I've been trying out the sample of MAC Prep + Prime Skin that I got with my MAC order last week.

I was not expecting to like this product. I've used primers before and just found them to be awful - they either made my foundation slide off or my foundation looked patchy and like I hadn't applied any. It would take me ages to blend it in and make it look half-decent.

This is different!

For a start, the formula is silicone-based, but it goes on like it doesn't contain any! It's more like a cream and it seems to just sink into skin, leaving a slightly shimmery finish.

I apply my moisturiser, wait 1 minute, then apply this, wait 2 minutes and then apply my MAC Face & Body Foundation. The result is a nice, even finish and it makes my F&B stay put all day. I'm also impressed by the fact that my blusher seems to retain it's true colour and doesn't darken/fade away. As I've said before, my skin is combination right now and I'm normally a shiny mess by the end of the day on my T-Zone. However, with the use of a few great products used in conjunction with each other, this seems to keep my skin matte. In case you're looking for products that can help you achieve this, I use...

* The Body Shop Skin Clearing Lotion (a great mattifying moisturiser that's also a great base for make-up - also a total bargain at just £6!)

* MAC Prep + Prime Skin (as mentioned above and on a previous post)

* MAC Face & Body Foundation (this is a great, lightweight foundation that also provides good, buildable coverage)

* Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation (Shade: Blondie) (this is a great setting powder for my foundation - it also gives an extra light layer of coverage and as it's mineral, it's also good for skin!)

* Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder (this is AMAZING and I wish I had discovered it sooner. I apply this over the Lily Lolo powder and it gives extra an glow/boost/coverage to my skin and also keeps me oil-free all day! My HG powder!)

I also use concealer (where needed), blusher and a highlighting powder to achieve my look. This may sound like a lot of products, but I have found my perfect combination of items, which help me to fake that 'doesn't my skin look flawless?' finish. I knew I'd hit upon the right combination when a woman on a Clinique counter asked me what I used and then she said that she couldn't tell that I was even wearing foundation so I was really happy :) It's always good when someone says 'your skin looks great' rather than 'your make-up looks great' isn't it? To me, that tells me I've got it just right. I see so many girls caked in make-up and it just looks grubby. I've found that the trick is to use light layers of good quality products and use the right tools to apply them. I just wish I had mastered this 10 years ago! ;)

So, to sum up, I shall certainly be purchasing this product as soon as my sample tube runs out!

I'm planning on going to MAC soon and there a tonne of things I want to get. They're going to be a Xmas present, so I have thought carefully and I'm going to get...

* cremestick liner (lip liner) in 'creamola'
* eyeshadows in 'patina', 'sable', 'mulch' & 'texture'
* powder blush in 'well dressed'
* prep + prime skin

I think I will also look at 'blankety' & 'angel' and other nude-coloured lipsticks. I'm like a kid in a sweet shop when it comes to a MAC counter! I love to swatch everything and the girls that work there are always so helpful and friendly - nothing is too much trouble. They seem to wear a lot of make-up, but it's always beautifully applied. I would love a job there *hint hint*! ;)

Fingers crossed I will be going to Bath next week with my mum to get started on Xmas shopping. I always love going to Bath, as I am totally addicted to Ben's Cookies! If you have never tried one of their to-die-for cookies - where have you been?! Every bite tastes like heaven! My favourite flavour is 'Milk Chocolate Chunk' and each cookie is more like a cake in terms of texture. Each one is soft, chewy and on the flavour I like, there are chunks of yummy milk chocolate that's melted in the middle, so with every bite you get doughy cookie and runny chocolate! I must stop talking about them now, as it's making me hungry! Suffice to say, I will be buying a box of 10 to take home :)

Have you got a MAC wish list this Xmas? Have you been to Ben's Cookies & found your favourite flavour? x

Saturday, November 13, 2010

SpaceNK N.dulge Card!

I applied for this card AGES ago and today, it finally arrived!

It's an 'N.dulge' card and is SpaceNK's equivalent of a loyalty card...

Excuse the photo - it is so difficult to take a picture of something black - the camera had trouble focusing! This was the best of a bad bunch, but hopefully you get the idea :)

It's free to join and you get your name printed on the front. The design of the card is typical of SpaceNK - glossy and understated. I especially like the row of outlined beauty products.

The card can be used in store or online and you receive 1 point for every £1 spent. When you reach 100 points, you'll get a £5 'N.centive' (reward). It also comes with extra bonuses such as exclusive invitations, new product previews, birthday treats, etc. I love shopping at SpaceNK, so I couldn't wait to get one of these cards. I plan on breaking it in next week when I go shopping in Bath ;)

If you'd like one of these cards, just go to spacenk.co.uk/ndulge and sign up

I totally recommend getting one if you love shopping at SpaceNK as much as I do! :)

On another note, I am currently addicted to this drink...

Power Shot Organic Energy White Tea & Ginseng

It's a blend of white tea, ginseng, cherry, acai juice & still mineral water. It's also organic, which is a great bonus.

The drink is branded as an energy drink that is supposed to 'refresh, sharpen, revitalise'. The taste is also very nice, which makes a change as some health drinks are not! The health food shop I got this from does stock other flavours, but this is my favourite. It's £1.69 for a 330ml bottle and when I was out shopping yesterday I had a craving for this - I didn't feel like grabbing a coke like I normally do!

For more info on this drink, check out powershotbrands.com

Have you tried this drink before? x

Kerastase Elixir Ultime... Updated Review!

As this seems to be such a popular product right now, I thought I would share my thoughts on this product now that I've had it for a few weeks.

I will start by saying that I absolutely LOVE this product! If you are currently sitting on the fence and wondering if you should buy it or not, all I can say is BUY BUY BUY! :) Seriously, you will wonder how you lived without it (which is what I think to myself every time I reach for it).

I've tried using it in each of the 4 different ways that Kerastase recommend...

Please note that for each of these, I used 2 pumps of product and applied to lengths and ends only.

My first use of it was on dry hair - after blow-drying and before straightening. This gave great results. Sleek, shiny, frizz-free and a luxe gloss. The light just bounced off my hair! My hair is very dark brown-black, so you may get a different result if your hair is blonde (for example).

I then decided to try it on wet hair before blow-drying. This also gave a great result and made blow-drying a cinch. The end result was a sleek, high-gloss finish that stayed that way all day!

My final use of it was on dry hair, before shampooing. WOW... this is the way to go for me! I applied 2 pumps of product through the lengths and ends and really massaged it in before combing through to ensure even distribution. I then hopped in the shower, rinsed and did a double shampoo with Kerastase Oleo-Relax shampoo & then my Aveda Rosemary Mint Conditioner. I then lightly towel-dried my hair before unwrapping to see the result. Wow, wow, wow! My hair looked and felt amazing; the comb practically slid through my hair! Then, just to be greedy, I applied a hazelnut-sized amount of Kerastase Nectar Thermique all over before blow-drying and I was blown away by the finished result! My hair never looked better. Glossy, smooth, sleek, shiny... Basically, it was a perfect hair day for me :) The result lasted almost 2 days and not once did it look lank/weighed down/dull.

I was using one vial of VO5 Hot Oil before shampooing, but this has been swiftly replaced!

If you are reading this and want to try it but the price puts you off, then visit lookfantastic.com They currently sell it for £27.85 instead of the rrp of £32.75 and they're offering free delivery this month! In case you are wondering, I am not on any sort of affiliate programme/commission with this website/company, I am only passing on a great offer to you. This great website also sells the other hair products I've mentioned (Kerastase, Aveda, etc) and they always have great offers, so if you want to try my combination of styling/shampoo/conditioner, then this is the perfect one-stop shop!

I hope this was useful to you - any comments welcome!

Have a great weekend x

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another Friday, Another Haul...

Despite the rain, I decided to brave it and head to the shops! I know - that's how dedicated I am! ;)

My first purchase was this dressing gown from Marks & Spencer...

If you read this weeks' Heat magazine, then you will recognise this as the dressing gown that Cheryl Cole was spotted wearing!

I have been after a new dressing gown for ages as my old pink Topshop one is cosy but it's getting a bit tatty and my other ones are too thin/short for Winter. It was time to ditch the old one and get a new one!

It comes in 2 different lengths (standard & long) and the sizes are 8-10, 12-14, etc. I got the 8-10 Long and it was £25.

It's VERY cosy and warm - I tried it on over my pj's when I got home and I felt warm in about 2 minutes! It's also nice and long, so it's perfect for this cold, miserable weather. This was the last one (in 8-10) at the M&S I went to, but I think they still have it in stock on their website. Although the label says 8-10, I am more of a 10-12 and it is perfect on me. I love it!

I also got some Bare Escentuals Eye Make-Up Remover...

I got this as I had a £5 giftcard and this caught my eye. It was normally £10, so getting it for just £5 was a bargain! It's a dual-phase oil & water formula that you shake up before applying to a cotton pad. I haven't tried this before so I'm hoping it will be a great dupe for Lancome's Bi-Facil. However, my hopes aren't high as I've just read some of the reviews on MUA and some of them are not very complimentary - eek!

Finally, one of my favourite shops, TK Maxx, came up trumps again with this bargain find...

Eggnog Latte by Philosophy

This is an amazing product by Philosophy and (shock, horror!) it smells like an eggnog latte - what could be more festive than that?! The bottle is pretty big (473.1ml) and as it was the last one I snapped it up. It cost £7.99, which was a great price as it's normal about £14. It's one of their famous 3-in-1 products, but I shall be using it as a bubble bath and savouring every drop. In fact, tonight I shall be having a bubble bath with this, reading the latest issue of ELLE and then wrapping myself up in my new M&S dressing gown - bliss!

Strange coincidence, but I also went to Starbucks and tried one of their Eggnog Latte's - it was delicious and I think I may become addicted very quickly! :)

How are you spending your Friday night? x

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A Quick Update...

I just have to update my blog tonight - I couldn't wait until my next 'proper' post!

I've been using my Dermalogica Face Brush every day since I bought it and it is truly fantastic. It states that you should apply cleanser to your face and then move the brush in circular motions. BUT, I have found that the best result comes from wetting the brush, applying my cleanser directly onto the brush and then using it on my face. The lather that's produced is incredible and it really does super-charge the process. It might not be for everyone, but if you're looking for a great (not to mention cheap!) way to boost the results of your cleanser, then get one of these!

I have also been applying 'Fat Girl Slim' twice a day since I bought it and WOW! I am super impressed! It is a cinch to use, smells light & non-offensive and really seems to be making a difference. I don't need to lose weight off the area I'm using it, but I just feel like I could do with looking a bit better. My husband claims that there is nothing wrong with my bum/hips, but I beg to differ! ;) My only criticism of this product is that the pot it quite small and I only have a few days' worth left - NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Therefore, in the next few days I shall be scouring the internet to buy some more.

Phew! I feel so much better now! ;) I'd better get on with painting my nails (which I was going to do hours ago but got distracted) and I think it's got to be Topshop's 'Sketch'.

I've also got to say a big THANK YOU! to my new followers... I really appreciate the support and the comments so far xxx I will continue to make this blog even better, just for you :)

New MAC Make-Up!

My MAC cosmetics order arrived today, which was really exciting as I have tried two of the items before and the other two are new, never-tried-them-before items.

Here they are!

'Myth' Lipstick...

As I have said before, this is my absolute favourite lipstick - EVER! It's the perfect nude (for me), pigmented, creamy, long-lasting and sooo easy to apply. There are no words to describe this other than HOLY GRAIL! :)

'Underage' & 'C-Thru' Lipglasses...

I have never tried 'Underage' Lipglass before, but it looks so amazing on other people's blogs, that I just had to get one for myself! It's a gorgeous-looking colour and I can't wait to wear it with 'Myth' tomorrow! I'm only going food shopping, but who cares ;)

'C-Thru' (shown on the right) is a Lipglass that I used to buy all the time, but for some reason I switched to 'Wildy Lush' (a Plushglass). It's a gorgeous light nude with a hint of shimmer and another one I cannot wait to wear with 'Myth'. Decisions, decisions! ;)

Eyebrow Pencil in 'Lingering'...

The shade shown on the box lid is a bit too pink, so the most acurate colour can be seen on the pencil itself.

I got this as I read on Kim Kardashian's blog that her make-up artist uses this eyebrow pencil on her and BAM! that was me sold :)

It's not a typical pencil that you sharpen. With this, you just need to twist the end and apply. I also read great reviews on MUA, so that was all I needed to convince me to buy.

Finally, my order came with a surprise bonus!

Prep + Prime Skin...

What a great freebie!

A huge card came with it, which says that it's an ultra-fluid lotion formulated with special-effect silicones. Calms and soothes the skin, blots away excess oil and evens out skin redness. Improves the laydown and application of foundation or powder.

I've been wanting to try this, but I have had bad experiences in the past with products that claimed to mattify and absorb excess oil. They all made my foundation look patchy and didn't do a darn thing! So, I am skeptical about this product, but I will give it a try and see. The sample tube I got was 6ml and a full-sized (30ml) bottle costs £16.50. I'll definitely purchase if it lives up to its claims!

I will be placing another order with MAC in the next week or so and there quite a few products on my list. I'm looking to get a lip liner, some eyeshadows and this Prep + Prime if it's any good. A post will follow when it arrives!

Have you tried any of these products? What's been your experience of Prep +Prime Skin?

Hope you're having a great week so far x

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Friday Afternoon Haul!

Even though it was raining yesterday, I just couldn't resist a quick trip to the shops! I'm not going out today (as I've got to get up early on Sunday morning) so I decided to brave the weather and go : )

I went to Boots and got another issue of 'Glamour' magazine, which is currently giving away 4 different 'Nails Inc' nail polishes. I got one bottle with my subscription issue last week, but I thought I would get another one.

Here they are!

On the left is 'Savile Row' and on the right is 'Warwick Avenue'

'Savile Row' is a gorgeous plum colour with a brown undertone. I think this will make an amazing colour for winter - especially when worn with a grey top! I like that kind of contrast between a dark nail polish and a grey cuff : )

'Warwick Avenue' is a baby pink and is one of those shades that can be worn quite sheer or layered up for a real opaque pop of pink. There were two other colours, but they didn't really appeal to me so they stayed on the shelf!

I also went to 'Sally's' and got some amazing bargains and here they are!

CHI Infra Texture Dual Action Hair Spray...

This was at an unbelieveably low price of just 84p in their clearance section! I know, what a total result! The can is huge and will last me a long time. Sadly, that was the only CHI product they had left. If they'd had any 'Silk Infusion' or 'Nourish Intense' I would have bought the lot!

Biosilk Treat Fruit Cocktail Reconstructing Treatment...

This was also just 84p (for 350ml)! I have never tried it before but for that price it was too good to miss! The bottle states that it's 'an intensive, deep conditioning treatment with natural fruit acids to restore moisture and softness'. It contains silk proteins to condition and create incredible shine. That's a bold claim and one that I cannot wait to put to the test.

Wella Lifetex Color Protection Shot...

This was a little bit more money at £1.24, but it sounds like a great product. They had quite a few left in stock, but I thought I would exercise caution/restraint and just get one. It claims to keep your colour's intensity by up to 77% less colour fading after one use. As I have just had my colour done, I will try this when I wash my hair tonight. I like to wait at least 2 days before washing my hair after I've had it coloured so that it has the best chance of absorbing all the colour. If this works as well as I'm hoping it will, I will buy more by the box load! I did have a quick look on eBay last night and I can get 96 of these 'shots' for just £25 including delivery. As they're 10ml each, that's a lot of product for the money. Also, that makes them just 26p (incl. delivery) each so they're a real bargain.

Beyond The Zone Hydrate It Mositurizing Conditioner...

Each bottle is 50ml and they cost 80p each. This is another brand I haven't tried before, but the statement on the bottle made me smile: "moisture care for dried out hair". Also, it smells just like a bag of sweets, so I have to resist the urge to taste it ; ) They had quite a few of these bottles left (about 30, I think!) so if it's any good, I will get some more. They also had the shampoo, but I'm loving Kerastase Bain Oleo-Relax right now and refuse to use anything else!

If you're looking for great hair care products and live near a 'Sally's' store, then I suggest you check them out for amazing bargains. They also had a few 'China Glaze' nail polishes for £2.35 each, so I might go back there next week. Blog post to follow if I do!

Another great freebie currently being given away with a UK magazine right now is this...

This is a beautiful gold-coloured charm bracelet by made. 'Marie Claire' magazine (with Rhianna on the cover) are currently giving these away for free and there's a choice of different ones, each with a different coloured stone on the charm. The company that makes them is called made (made.uk.com) and each bracelet is handmade by Kenyan Artisans using recycled or sustainable materials. All made workers receive a fair wage and support at every level. By purchasing one of their products you are helping them break the cycle of poverty by empowering developing communities through the support of fair trade. The bracelets are so pretty and it's such a good cause to support. When I next go out, I'm going to get more of the others and then check out their other items online.

Have you bought any issues of 'Marie Claire' with this gorgeous bracelet? Which one(s) did you get?

What's been your best bargain from 'Sally's'? Have you tried any of the products I've mentioned above?

Hope you're having a great weekend so far x

Thursday, November 04, 2010

My New Hair Colour & The Lipstick I Wear...

So, this is my hair after my appointment today...

I had an all-over-colour (L'Oreal Quasi Colour) and a cut. Excuse the pose - I took so many photos and was only happy with this one!

This colour is pretty close to my natural colour, but I love how it adds depth and warmth.

It's a mix of two shades, the darkest brown mixed with brown-black. I also had 2" taken off the length and 1" off my layers. I don't get split ends (thank you hair products & diet!) but my hair can get wispy if it gets too long without trims in between. My hair also grows VERY quickly - I'm talking about 1" every couple of months - and that's in winter! In summer, it can grow quicker, with my fringe in my eyes in less than 2 weeks. My nails are the same. I can easily trim a few mm off every week! Anyway, I digress...

The picture shows my hair before using my GHD's. I got home from the hairdressers and applied 2 pumps of Kerastase Elixir before giving it a blast with the hairdryer. It's really shiny and glossy, but to completely eliminate the last trace of frizzies, I need my GHD's! Before I go out tomorrow, I will use them and my look shall be complete ;)

The photo also shows my current lipstick & gloss combination - here's a close-up!

I'm wearing MAC 'Myth' lipstick topped with MAC 'Florabundance' lipgloss. It took me a long time to find my perfect nude lipstick and a few glosses to mix & match with it, but it's worth it as I can create a range of nude/nude-pink looks for any occasion/mood.

My lips are naturally very red, but this combination really works to create my perfect nude lip. To me, this really looks Kim-Kardashian-esque, which is exactly what I look for when I buy any nude lipstick or gloss!

If I want the look to last all day, I apply 'Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream', wait for it to sink in and then apply a thin layer of MAC 'Lip Erase' in 'Pale'. Once that has 'set', I then apply 'Myth' and a gloss.

I'm going to get some new MAC products in about 2 weeks' time. I'm looking to get another 'Myth' lipstick plus a 'Underage' lipgloss. There are lots more items on my list, so a blog post with pictures will follow as soon as I have got them. I really cannot wait, as I love going to MAC :)

What's your perfect combination to create nude lips? x
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