Monday, January 31, 2011

Clinique Smoothie Kisses Lip Gloss Set... Supports 'Kiss It Better'...

If you love makeup and want to support a good cause at the same time, why not purchase this gorgeous Clinique Smoothie Kisses Lip Gloss Set?...

Image courtesy of cliniquepressoffice.co.uk

Available throughout February - and exclusively at House of Fraser stores nationwide - for each one sold, £4 will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital's 'Kiss It Better' appeal (£2 from Clinique & £2 from House of Fraser). Also, a £2 donation will be made when you buy any other Clinique lipstick or lipgloss in House of Fraser during February (£1 from Clinique & £1 from House of Fraser).


Costing £22.50, the set makes a perfect Valentine's Day gift! It's also perfect if you love the Vitamin C Lip Smoothies and want them small enough to tote around with you every day.

The set contains:

* Pink Me Up

* Goodness Grapecious
* Nude-tricious
* Mango-thon
* A cute mini makeup bag

The set is limited edition so you'll have to be quick! Something this cute won't be around for long!

For more information on this great cause, go to gosh.org/kissitbetter

Will you be purchasing this set? x

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Surprising Discovery...

I've mentioned in previous posts that I was using Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanser as my daily cleanser...


I bought this cleanser last November and I was using it twice a day.


Now, I like this cleanser, but it's far from perfect. I found that if I had the tiniest bit of oil on my hands (from using MAC Cleanse Off Oil, for example) it would not lather up in the slightest and one pump would be wasted. Also, the foam-up is so light, it's almost non-existent. Despite this, I liked using it as I thought my skin looked and felt clean afterwards.

But... last week I realised that my T-Zone has been getting oilier and I decided to try another cleanser just to see what would happen. I grabbed a sample tube of Clinique Liquid Facial Soap that I got given a couple of weeks ago when I bought my Clarifying Lotion, not expecting anything to happen. What did happen was totally unexpected...

I used the Liquid Facial Soap in the morning and then again in the evening before going to bed. When I woke up, my skin wasn't oily! I was totally amazed. So, I decided to keep using it and have done so for the past week (since last Monday). Well... my skin has dramatically improved. Seriously. I have little to no oil on my T-Zone, my pores are smaller and my skin looks & feels smoother. To say this was a shock is an understatement! My skin is clearing quickly and I couldn't be happier :)

I'm also pretty annoyed at the Dermalogica SRC... for a product that claims to do so much, it actually made my skin worse over time. Also, at £34 for just 150ml, it's quite expensive. A lot of people like this cleanser and although it made my skin better initially, over time it actually made it oilier. It was so gradual that I didn't think too much of it at first.

Before making the switch, I studied my skin in the mirror. I just couldn't work out why my pores were still visible and I began to wonder if it was the cleanser. I always remove my makeup every night, exfoliate regularly and use a face mask once a week where needed. The difference in my pores is remarkable and I'm hoping that my skin will get better from now on *crosses fingers* :)

Have you had similar results with a cleanser? x

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cosmopolitan 'Blend Perfection Sponge' Review...

I managed to get one of these on Friday and I used it for the first time today.

Here is my Cosmopolitan 'Blend Perfection Sponge'...


This is sometimes called a 'Beauty Blender' on other blogs (if you're confused!) but this is what it's actually called (just in case you ask for one in store and get given a strange look!)

The 'Blend Perfection Sponge' is a soft, pink piece of sponge that you use to apply/blend your foundation. It's 100% latex-free, so it's perfect for you if you're allergic to this material.

To use it, simply wet the sponge and squeeze out any excess water. Then, apply foundation to the back of your hand or on to the sponge and apply your foundation using a stippling (bouncing) motion in order to achieve a flawless face. Rinse after use.

I tried it today with my YSL Teint Radiance and it was a cinch to use! A word of warning though: foundation may stain the sponge! I only had time to rinse mine under plain warm water, but I will have to use some mild shampoo in order to get rid of the foundation mark that mine now has! I'd like the sponge to stay pink! :)

I really recommend one of these if you haven't tried one before... it's so quick and easy to use.

I bought mine from Superdrug and it cost £4.95

Have you got one of these 'Beauty Blenders'? Is there anything you use to keep yours squeaky-clean? :) x

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chanel Black Pearl & Peche Nacree Nail Polishes... They're Mine!

I posted about this fabulous nail polish collection 3 weeks ago and it was for sale on CHANEL counters in the UK today! :)

I originally reserved a set of all three: Black Pearl, Pearl Drop & Peche Nacree. However, when I went to the department store to collect them, I looked at Pearl Drop again and I just thought 'I'm really not going to wear this!' It's a nice shade, but if I got it, it would only be sat with my other polishes and to be honest, there are better things to spend that money on! So, I stuck with Black Pearl & Peche Nacree :)

My nail polishes came in a lovely CHANEL carrier bag...


It has gorgeous black rope handles and it will be hung up on the shelves that I store my skincare & nail polishes on :)

Onto the best bit... the nail polishes!

Here's '513 Black Pearl
'...



This is how it looks without the flash, which really doesn't do it any justice!

Here's how it looks with the flash...



Wow! It's such a gorgeous colour :) Although the shade is called 'Black Pearl', the polish is actually a beautiful deep green with a silver shimmer running through it. I can't wait to try it.

Here's '515 Peche Nacree'...



This was taken without the flash, as with it the colour looks too pink. The colour of 'Peche Nacree' is a gorgeous peach with a light shimmer. I absolutely LOVE peach/nude/pink shades of polish and this is no exception.

Each bottle cost £17.20 (thanks to the rise in VAT in the UK!) and for that you get 13ml of polish. I don't know about you, but I love the boxes the polishes come in and will definitely be keeping mine in them...


The lady that served me on the CHANEL counter said that they only received a few of each of these colours and that most of them had been reserved already! I'm not surprised that this is the case... the colours are fabulous and CHANEL nail polish collections are always popular and tend to sell out quickly. There are rumours that these colours will become part of the permanent collection, but the saleswoman told me that this is not definite and might happen.

I also managed to get a 'Cosmopolitan Beauty Blender' today! I have been on the hunt for one for the past couple of weeks and when I saw it, I snapped it up :) I got it from Superdrug and they only had 3 left. I was amazed to see it in store because all the Cosmo products have been removed from Superdrug's website for some reason. I shall be testing it over the weekend and a blog post will follow on it next week :)

Did you get any of these nail polishes today? Which one(s) did you get? x

Thursday, January 27, 2011

One Step Closer to 'Posh'...

I went to the hairdressers today in my bid to change my hair colour from the brown-black shade it is now to the chocolate-brown I want.

At my last appointment I only had a half-head of L'Oreal Quasi Colour, which fades out rather than grows out.

This time, I asked for the darkest-brown/black to be taken out (which my hairdresser uses as my 'base' colour) and I just had a rich dark brown (this had red tones & provides depth).

It's not quite what I was looking for, but as I had so much black going through my hair, I can have a lighter shade on my next appointment.

This is how my hair turned out today...



Excuse the looking down pose, but this was the only photo I was happy with (and I'd taken about 50 by this stage!) I also had a side-parting and a choppy fringe put in.

A close-up of the colour (with flash)...


I love the high-shine that the Quasi Colour gives. It looks so natural and I love it :) This is with no shine product added btw!

I also tried my 2 new MAC powders today and they've lasted all day :) In the first photo, I'm wearing:

* Clinique Anti-Blemish foundation in '02 Fresh Ivory'
* YSL Teint Radiance foundation in 'Peach'
* YSL Touche Eclat '1'
* MAC MSF Natural in 'Medium Beige'
* NARS Blush in 'Orgasm'
* MAC MSF in 'Soft and Gentle'
* MAC Kohl Liner in 'Smoulder' (upper waterline)
* Stila Kajal Eye Pencil in '02 Topaz' (lower waterline)
* Rimmel Lash Accelerator mascara in '001 Black' (top lashes only)
* Clinique chocolate eyeshadow smudged under lower lashes
* MAC lipstick in 'Myth'
* MAC Lipglass in 'Florabundance'
* Nail polish is 'Plum' from the Nails Inc/Diet Coke collection (latest)
* GAP hoody

I don't know about you, but I love going to the hairdressers... any excuse for some pampering and time away from my laptop is always welcome :)

Do you use L'Oreal Quasi Colour or do you dye your hair at home? x

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Top 10 Bargain Beauty Buys!

I decided to do this post, as I wanted to show that not everything I buy comes from Clinique, MAC, NARS, Dermalogica, etc!

Whilst I love buying high-end cosmetics and makeup, sometimes you can't beat a bargain beauty buy.

The 10 items I chose are things I have used for a while and not only are they cheap, but they give great results.

So, here's my top 10 bargain beauty buys...


Original Source Mint & Tea Tree Shower Gel...
Wow! What a great shower gel! Packed with essential oils, this is a great pick-me-up and a total bargain at just £2! The scent is so envigorating & uplifting and just one squirt on a shower puff/sponge lathers it up really well. The bubbles are moisturising and it rinses away without leaving any residue. I cannot recommend this enough and it's definitely my favourite cheap shower gel :)
 
Dove Damage Therapy Intensive Repair Conditioner...
I bought 2 bottles of this last week (200ml each) and it was 2 for £3 at Tesco. I need to use quite a bit of this conditioner on my long hair, but the end result is that my hair is left smooth and frizz-free. I wouldn't say that it's the best conditioner I've tried, but it's great for the money.
 
Sanctuary 24-Hour Moisturisation Body Lotion...
This is such a great body lotion! If you're a fan of the classic Sanctuary scent, this is definitely for you :) It contains ginger, nourishing jojoba & fragrant spices and I love the fact that I can slather this on before bedtime and wake up to soft skin in the morning. It's also a bargain at £5.10 for 250ml. For me, it moisturises just as well as my beloved Clinique Deep Comfort and it's almost a third of the price!


Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara (001 Black)...
This is a great mascara. It goes on smooth, clump free and makes my lashes super-fluttery. It's also got the added bonus of a 'lash growth complex', which makes it a great double-duty product. It doesn't smudge/flake and it removes easily at the end of the day.
 
L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara (Carbon Black)...
Another great bargain mascara! Plus, Kim Kardashian is a fan :) It's smells a bit like talc, which might be the ingredient that's used to fatten your lashes. For me, this is no bad thing and I love how it makes my eyelashes look thick and clump-free.

No7 Quick Thinking 4-in-1 Face Wipes...
These are the best bargain face wipes I've tried. Super-moist and suitable for all skin-types, they really are the holy grail of face wipes. With these, I can remove all of my makeup (including Clinique Lash Curling mascara, which is really stubborn!) and they don't irritate my skin. It's difficult to find decent face wipes that can be used to remove eye-makeup before the wipe has dried out from removing your foundation, but these stay moist to the end. At £7 for a pack of 30, they're not the cheapest, but they certainly are a great buy. So much so that I have 3 packs in my drawer as back-up! :)

Vaseline (Blue Tin)...
This is such a great multi-purpose product! I mainly use it to make my perfume last longer (I dab some Vaseline on my wrists and behind my ears, then spritz my perfume on top). It's also really handy for smoothing eyebrows, moisturising dry cuticles, etc, etc, etc! A small tin lasts ages and I can't be without it.


Evian Facial Spray...
This is a great spray for misting over makeup to make it last longer. It's also fantastic for a quick refresh on hot days! The can I've got is 50ml and you can get it from Boots for just £2.99. I also find that it gives a much lighter mist than Fix+, which is another bonus. I've tried the Avene spray, which is also good, but I go for Evian every time :)

Johnson's Baby Oil Gel with Camomile...
This is one of my all-time favourite beauty buys. If you've never tried this gel, why not?! ;) I apply this to damp skin when I come out the bath/shower and then pat dry with a towel. The result? Baby soft skin with a gorgeous glow. It also smells of camomile and is non-greasy. For extra moisturisation, I like to mix this with body lotion. It comes in a 200ml tube and costs just £2.85. This is a new tube and my old one lasted 6 months, so at that price it's a great buy.

Sanctuary Body Butter...
 This is another great moisturiser from Sanctuary. I got this pot as part of a gift set and this is a 150ml pot. I've also got a larger pot in the drawer as back-up! The body butter also has the classic Sanctuary scent and I use it as a foot cream. If I really want to feel ultra-moisturised from head to toe (& don't want to use a whole tube of Clinique Deep Comfort!) then I grab this pot, mix in a load of Baby Oil Gel and slather it on. I then pop on cosy pj's & fluffy bed socks and wake-up with skin as soft as a baby's bottom ;)
 
I realise that this was a post and a half, but I wanted to give info on each product.

Do you use any of these products? What are you're top bargain beauty buys? x

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Clinique Pore Minimizer Thermal-Active Skin Refiner & Refining Mask Review...

I've mentioned these two products in previous posts, but I wanted to do a separate review on them now that I've been using them for a few weeks.

Both products are from Clinique's 'pore minimizer' range and first up is:

Thermal-Active Skin Refiner...



This is for skin-types 1-4 (all skin types), comes in a 75ml tube and costs £23.

As you can see, my tube is getting a bit flat! I've been using this 3 times a week for the past 6 weeks and I love it. After cleansing, I apply (to dry skin) a thin amount to my t-zone, cheeks & chin, then I wet my hands and massage it in. It's a gritty cream that gets activated by water, so this is to be avoided if you don't like products that heat up on your face. Once fully massaged in, I used my EVE LOM cloth to remove it all. My skin immediately feels deeply cleaned and smooth.

The grains are so fine and the cream is white...


Clinique say...

Thermal-action formula activates with water, opening pores for deep cleansing. Dislodges pore-clogging debris. Polishes away dullness, excess oil. Pores look noticeably smaller, instantly, and over time.

For me, I am happy to say that the claims are true :) The pores on the right hand side of my nose look a lot smaller and the ones on the left are definitely shrinking. Despite the warming sensation, my skin doesn't get irritated and any redness soon disappears to reveal a nice glow. I love this and will certainly be re-purchasing when it runs out.



Next up is:

Refining Mask...


This is for skin-types 2, 3 & 4 (dry combination to oily), it comes in a 100ml tube and costs £16.50.

I've been using this once a week for the past month and it's fantastic. After cleansing (and then exfoliating with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant) I smooth on a thin layer of this mask over my face, paying extra attention to my t-zone. You only need to leave it on for 5 minutes. I then remove it with my beloved EVE LOM cloth so that every last trace is removed. It's a great mask for absorbing oil and the clay 'mops' it up :)

The mask has a pleasant menthol scent and is also white...


Excuse the slight blur... the camera had trouble focusing and I only had one hand free!


Clinique say...

Clay-based treatment minimizes size and appearance of pores. Deep cleansing formula goes beyond clearing pores to help control oil. Apply a thin layer to bare skin. Wait 5 minutes. Rinse off thoroughly with tepid water. Avoid eye area. Apply weekly or as needed.

I have only had this for a month (4 uses) and I already love how smooth it makes my skin after I've used it :) The cream dries quite quickly, but it's a cinch to remove. My skin feels deep-down-clean and the scent is really invigorating. I liken it to the EVE LOM mask, but half the price! It smells the same, but it doesn't have the chopped-up bits of menthol in it.

I think this combination of products, used as part of my skincare routine, are really making a difference to my skin. After I've used each one, I always follow with a sweep of Clinique Clarifying Lotion and my skin looks and feels glowing & deep-clean :) If you suffer from oily skin, I'm sure you can sympathise when I say that you don't feel very clean when there's a layer of oil on your face.

The products I'm using are helping me to win the battle in crap skin so that can only be a good thing :) Whilst my skin's not perfect, I can at least use things to keep it at bay.

Do you use either of these products to keep your pesky pores in check? ;) x

Monday, January 24, 2011

LUSH, MAC & ZARA Goodies!

I decided to brave the cold and go shopping yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure what type of weather the rest of the UK had yesterday, but where I went it was bloomin' freezing! Therefore, I only spent about an hour & a half looking round and got these lovely things:

Top from ZARA...

 


  
This caught my eye immediately whilst I was riffling through the rails and it was just £6.99 in the sale. It was the last one and I love it. It's quite see-through so I shall certainly be wearing it with a tee or vest underneath ;) I also saw A LOT of other gorgeous things in there (leopard-print flats for one!) so a return trip is definitely on the cards as soon as possible! 

LUSH goodies...


It's Raining Men & Sweetie Pie


I've read on other blogs about 'It's Raining Men' and loved how people were describing it. Honey-scented shower gel?
Yes please! :)

I decided to be restrained and opted for the (smallest) 100ml bottle. I would have got the 250ml but I thought about how long my 250ml bottle of 'Snow Fairy' is lasting and decided to spend the extra cash on something else. That something else was:

 
Sweetie Pie...


It's smells gorgeous... it reminds me of blackcurrent sweets and I almost want to eat some! I decided to get this as I'm a
LUSH 'shower jelly virgin' ;) This little pot was £2.85 (they also do a larger size).

Speaking of 'Snow Fairy', I've had my bottle since last November (when it first came out) and I've used a generous squirt on a shower puff 3 times a week since. It looks like I haven't used any at all...


So I decided to get a small bottle of 'It's Raining Men' (which will probably be gone in about a week now I've said it'll
last for ages! ;)

Next time I go to LUSH, I will definitely stock up on: the Comforter (bubble bar), more Jelly, a larger 'It's Raining Men', seaweed face mask & more. Oh screw it! ... What I'd really like is the huge, stuffed-with-products gift box that they sell for £99.50 :)

Last but not least:

MAC powders...

MSF Natural & MSF Soft and Gentle

I have wanted these powders for a-g-e-s but I always seemed to get other things instead. They're 'basics' and it's always
easy to overlook those, isn't it? So this time, I got 'the basics' :)

MSF Natural in Medium Plus...



I was amazed to find that this powder matched me perfectly. I had a lovely MUA who was really helpful. I tried the three colours that I thought were more 'me'... Light, Light Medium & Medium but I discarded all three as they were all too pale/yellow/orange for me. So, as one last attempt, I picked up Medium Plus. I swatched it on my hand and voila! a perfect match :) Just to be sure, the MUA applied a light dusting over my face and it blended in so nicely. I'm glad I didn't order this online like I originally planned because I would have bought the wrong shade!

MSF Soft and Gentle...

 


I have used this powder before and managed to use every last bit, which is saying something because it's quite rare for
me to totally finish a product *sheepish face* :)

I am so glad I've finally got this again, because whilst in MAC, I applied a layer of MSF Medium Plus and then Soft and Gentle over the top and the sheen was a-maz-ing! It looked so shimmery (in a glowing way, not a greaseball way). I can't wait to wear these two together :) 


I also popped in to SpaceNK to see if they had the 'By Terry' rose gel cleanser. Sadly, they had none in stock and no samples so the next time I go I might get a tube. They were just about to close, so I didn't spend very long in there, which is just as well (for my bank balance's sake!)

So... that was my little haul from yesterday :) Have you bought 'It's Raining Men'? How long does a bottle of LUSH
shower gel last you?! x

Sunday, January 23, 2011

MAC Peacocky Collection... Coming to the UK on 3rd February 2011...

I was planning on doing a 'haul' post tonight, but by the time I got home, I was too exhausted to take pictures of all the things I bought today. So, I will be doing that post another day next week :) In place of that, I decided to post about what I was given at MAC today...

 
The MUA that served me gave me this card and said that it's being launched on the first Thursday of the month (3rd February). This is (yet another!) new collection from MAC for 2011 and is called Peacocky! It's available in the USA right now.



"Strutting her stuff in a fan of new shades and formulas, she's showy, exotic, every way a spectacle. On her lips, the full-shine, soft, creamy comfort of new Kissable Lipcolour. And for awe-inspiring iridescent eyes with a mesmerizing look of chrome... Introducing Mega Metal Shadow. Dramatic doesn't even begin to describe the girl who knows she's Peacocky!"


Featuring 27 new products, the collection comprises of:


 15 'Mega Metal' Eyeshadows...

* Peek-at-You ~ frosted yellow white
* Dalliance ~ light champagne
* Prance ~ frosted mauve pearl
* Top of the Posh ~ frosted white pink
* Tweet Me ~ gold bronze
* Mating Call ~ dirty frosted violet
* Odalisque ~ deep teal
* Sexpectations ~ metallic burgundy
* Paparazz-she ~ deep copper bronze
* Ego ~ forest green
* Noir Plum ~ true purple with silver pearl
* Dandizette ~ navy with silver pearl
* Spectacle of Yourself ~ deep bronze
* Centre Stage ~ frosted chocolate brown
* Unflappable ~ frosted black with purple pearl

MAC describe these eyeshadows as: 

A colour-rich, light-reflecting gleam combined with a creamy application that invites blending, layering, shaping, while remaining crease-resistant. A brilliant choice for all those seeking the ultimate metallic finish.


12 Kissable Lipcolours:

* Enchantee ~ light blue pink
* Woo Me ~ light pinky nude
* So Vain ~ muted dirty coral
* Vanity Fair ~ mid-tone blue pink
* Exxxhibitionist ~ red-toned coral
* Strut Your Stuff ~ bright true red
* Scandelicious ~ blue fuchsia
* Peacocky ~ sky blue with red pearl
* Super ~ muted neutral brown
* Love Peck ~ blackened blood red
* Temper Tantra ~ mid-tone reddish brown
* Flaunting It ~ grey mauve


MAC describe these lipcolours as:

Luscious in pay-off and application, Kissable Lipcolour applies with the smooth glide of a lip gloss, then finishes with the creamy pigment-rich look of a Lipstick. New Slimline vial complete with doe-foot applicator.


Each eyeshadow costs £15.50 ($19.50) & each lipcolour costs £16 ($18)

Are you tempted by any of these products? I'm just shocked that they didn't release powders/blushes/lipsticks! x

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In and Out number 1

I decided to do this post as it's one I always enjoy reading on other people's blogs. That and it's so easy to do! ;)

So I shall kick off my first 'In and Out' post with...

IN

YSL Teint Radiance foundation... I absolutely love this foundation. It glides on like a dream, leaves my skin flawless and smells yummy! I am officially in love with it :)

By Terry Baume de Rose... It took me ages to jump on the By Terry bandwagon, but now this lip balm/treatment is my favourite. I use it every night and it's made a real difference to my lips.

Starbucks Caramel Latte... I am not a coffee person - tea is my main hot drink. However, last year I was 'persuaded' to try a Caramel Latte and I loved it. So much so that I now have a stash of Starbucks caramel syrup, coffee beans and mug so that I can drink it at home. It never tastes the same as how they make it, but I give it a try! :)

Buying Quality Not Quantity... Last year I looked at my makeup/cosmetics/skincare and was shocked at how much stuff I had. I really didn't need 15 shower gels (that weren't being used!) so a de-clutter was very much needed. My mantra for this year is 'buy quality not quantity' and so far I have resisted. I just hope I don't crack and end up with a tonne of cheap rubbish again!

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant... I bought this last year and a few months ago I stopped using it. I can't remember why, but I popped it back in my drawer when having my clear out 'just in case'. Last week I decided to start using it again and I love it. So much so, I've just bought another one. It's made my skin a lot smoother and is now one of my must-have products.


OUT

Colour fade... My hair grows very quickly. So much so that I should be going to the hairdressers every 3 weeks instead of every 4-6. It's such a pain and I always think that people notice it more than I do. I love the colour that's used (L'Oreal Quasi - it fades out rather than grows) so this is the trade-off.

L'Oreal Lash Serum
... I bought a tube, used it for a week, and my eyelashes started to fall out. To say I was miffed was an understatement! I know eyelashes shed, but not so many that it leaves obvious patchy gaps :( I stopped using it and my eyelashes are now almost back to normal.

Bad Skin
... I think that my skin is nearly sorted out and 'back to normal'. For the past year I've had hormonal acne and to get bad skin for the first time at the age of 28 was a huge shock. It's a daily battle to keep everything in check, but I think I'm winning :)

Cold Weather
... I have so many nice clothes that I'm dying to wear, but it's just too cold! Roll on the Spring and warmer weather!


That's it!

What are your In's & Out's? x

Friday, January 21, 2011

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3... New Formulation... Review

Last week I made a post about Clinique Clarifying Lotion vs Decleor Matifying Lotion, which you can read here if you missed it :)

You might have seen the adverts in magazines recently that show the newly-formulated Clarifying Lotions...

Image courtesy of cliniquepressoffice.co.uk

I love how the bottles are portrayed as glass science lab beakers and wish they looked like this :)


I decided to go back to using Clarifying Lotion, because after trying Decleor Matifying Lotion for a couple of weeks, it was making my skin worse. To cut a long story short, it left my skin looking greasy, it took (what felt like) forever to dry and did nothing to matify my skin :( All in all, it was a total waste of money. I certainly won't be buying it again!

So... I decided to go back to Clinique and try Clarifying Lotion again. I am so glad I did. I've been using it for the past week and my skin is improving already *happy dance* :)

I use formulation number 3 and this is my bottle...




As you can see, the bottle doesn't look like the ad, but they have used a different font (I'm such a geek that I notice these things!) It's also pink :)

When I use it twice a day, I just grab a large cotton wool ball, put it on top of the bottle, turn it upside down and that method dispenses enough Clarifying Lotion for one all-over use. A quick sweep all over (focusing on my t-zone) and my skin is immediately left looking clear, fresh, smooth and glowing :)

Clinique say...


In a world with more impurities, new Clarifying Lotions help keep skin glowing. New customised formulas from our guiding dermatologists. Each gentle sweep helps clear away grime and dulling flakes. Purifies pores to help them look smaller. Fresher skin surfaces, and you see a healthy-looking glow. Skin-typed to be non-drying and comfortable from the start. And skin looks clearer, healthier, younger.


You can buy this lotion in two sizes: 200ml (£14.30) or 400ml (£23)


I got mine from Boots and it came with trial sizes of Liquid Facial Soap & Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel. This is a great bonus and is available from Clinique counters while stocks last.

I've also been using the 30ml tube of Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel that I got and I love that too. It makes a great base for make-up and doesn't turn my foundation streaky or patchy. It sinks in straight away and I can use it around my eyes, which is a great bonus.

The one thing I would say about this product is the smell. If you're not a fan of a strong alcohol smell, then this lotion isn't for you. It doesn't stay around for long and I'm used to it, but please bear this in mind before parting with any cash. The old formulation also had a smell, but this is different. The other thing I've noticed is that it doesn't tingle as much as the old one, so I don't mind the trade-off.

Do you use Clinique Clarifying Lotion? What do you think of the new formulation? x

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nails Inc for Diet Coke Nail Polish in Caramel Review...

So... I got all four of the new Nails Inc for Diet Coke nail polishes that came out on the 12th January. Greedy? Yes! Necessary? Heck yes! ;)

I decided to use Heather Grey first (you check out that review here) and tonight was the turn of Caramel...


I love this colour! In the bottle it looks like a nice neutral beige and I adore shades like this. I decided to apply two coats and it comes out as a gorgeous dark nude/beige. If you love your neutral/nude shades, then you need this polish :)

I also love how this colour is like a 'dirty' nude ;) It's also a great wear-with-anything shade. If you're looking for a colour that looks smart, polished & groomed, you will not go wrong with this.

This is already one of my favourite nail polishes (in my ridiculously huge collection!) and is a possible dupe for Chanel Particuliere.

I also decided to switch from my Topshop Under & Over to separate base & top coats. I always used to use Creative Nail and I can't remember why I stopped!

Here is the base coat & top coat I used tonight...

Stickey & Super Shiney
(base coat & top coat)

Each bottle is 68ml and I paid £12 for each one from a store on eBay, which was a bargain. Although they're tinted green & purple, they don't stay that way :) If you've never tried these before, go get them! They keep polish glossy & chip-free and a bottle lasts for ages. I also love the Solar Oil and Solar Manicure. Don't get me started on their hand lotions, which smell good enough to eat! ;)

Did you get a bottle of Caramel? Do you use Creative Nail products? x

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NYX Lip Palette in 'Every Color Imaginable'... No Kidding!

I tend to go to my local TK Maxx once a week and I usually pick up some amazing bargains. Their prices are low at the best of times, but when they have their 'Clearance' sales, the prices get even lower!

If you've never been to a TK Maxx before - and to give you some idea of the things they sell & the prices - I've recently bought:

* Rodial Bum lift ~ £24.99
* FatGirlSlim ~ £12
* See by Chloe taupe silk blouse ~ £11
* Stila makeup set ~ £4
* Converse grey suede trainers ~ £22
* 7 for all Mankind grey skinny jeans ~ £11

Total bargains, right? :) I love TK Maxx and always spend about an hour in there having a good rake through everything ;) I've bought all of my designer jeans from there and have never paid more than £40 for a pair (by Rock & Republic).

So, today, I managed to get another bargain!

After reading on other people's blogs about NYX lipsticks, I spent a while online before I found a site that had the 3 lipsticks & 1 gloss I wanted to try. Including shipping from the USA it would have been $17.04 (about £10.25). This was really cheap, but I wasn't too sure about whether to order or not as one of the colours looked gorgeous on but really dark in the tube.

Enter TK Maxx! I spied this today and snapped it up immediately...


This is NYX's 'Every Color Imaginable' Lip Palette and contains a whopping 96 colours!


When they say 'every color imaginable' they weren't kidding! Yes, you are seeing yellow & green! :)

I'm not sure if I will ever use each and every one of these colours, but I'll certainly have fun trying.

It was a total bargain at just £5 in their Clearance sale *mega happy face*!

The only downside is that none of the shades are labelled, but at least I get to try all the shades.

Have you got this palette? Did you get yours from TK Maxx? x

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Style Inspiration for 2011...

I decided today that 2011 is going to the year I reinvent myself. I feel like my hair's been the same forever (well, the past 2 years) and I want to revamp my 'look'.

Ideally, I would look like this every day...

Image courtesy of looksleek.blogspot.com
I think Victoria Beckham looks great here... It's a glamorous look with a casual twist and I love it :) I especially like how her hair's been done and how glossy it looks; it makes a nice change to the usual sleek/flat look that's for sure! This photo will be coming with me to the hairdressers this week and fingers crossed I can have this colour :) Currently, my hair is a brown-black and although I like it, I would love to go a touch lighter to lift my skintone.

With this photo as my main inspiration, the look I'm aiming for this year is pale creamy skin with a light bronzed glow. That teamed with a glossy smokey eye and a pouty nude lip is my idea of style heaven. I know this image has been airbrushed, but I can dream! ;)


I'm not brave enough to sport a bob - plus I love having long hair! - but this is another example of the hair colour I'm aiming for...

Image courtesy of goodhousekeeping.com
I also think she looks a lot better with this paler skintone than she does with layers of fake tan :)

I'm pretty happy with the make-up products I'm using right now, but I think I need to learn new techniques. For example, I'd love to be able to do a perfect winged eyeliner. So, the makeup items I'm planning on getting are:

* MAC MSF Natural in 'Medium'

* MAC MSF in 'Soft and Gentle'
* MAC lipstick in 'Cherish'
* MAC Paint Pot in 'Painterly'
* MAC Paint Pot in 'Blackground'
* Black gel eyeliner & brush (Bobbi Brown or MAC?)

I'm always adding products to my 'Wish List', but I think that these products are basics that I've been overlooking for too long. Therefore, a trip to MAC is on the cards :)

Who is your style inspiration? Are you planning any image changes for 2011? x

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Skincare Must-Have... The Eve Lom Muslin Cloth

I'm sure you've heard of EVE LOM's Cleanser and the muslin cloth that goes with it. For those of you that haven't, the Cleanser is a blend of 4 oils and cocoa butter that works to cleanse, tone & exfoliate your skin every day. Once described by VOGUE as the "best cleanser in the world" you can see why it has cult status and a loyal following!

They key to this cleanser is the famous Muslin Cloth. The Cleanser comes with one cloth, but you can also buy additional ones (a pack of 3 costs £14 from SpaceNK).


I used to use the cleanser, but I've found that it doesn't 'work' with my skin anymore. I am gutted about this because I used to love using it - the smell is amazing! However, I still use my Muslin Cloth every day and it is my skincare must-have :)


I bought my last pack from SpaceNK last November and I'm currently using the first one. I tend to start using a new cloth every 4 months and buy one pack a year. It gets put in the washing machine every couple of days and this keeps it fresh. Considering I use it twice a day, the pack is a real bargain! It's also much less wasteful than using cotton wool pads or tissue. I also find that it removes cleanser/other products a lot more thoroughly, as rinsing it off by hand doesn't really do it. Using a cloth means that every last trace gets whipped away in no time at all.




The cloth is essentially an oversized flannel that's made of 100% cotton. I apply my cleanser (Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing :), dampen the cloth and then remove the cleanser. A double wipe gets it all off in no time and my skin is left 'squeaky' clean. It's also amazing if you want to apply heat to open your pores or cold to close them. However, warm water is best for skin.

The dual-action massage and exfoliation that this cloth provides really intensifies the cleansing process. I've tried cheaper alternatives, but nothing comes close to this fabulous cloth :)

Do you use a muslin cloth as part of your skincare routine? x

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What's In My Make-Up Drawer...

I've been wanting to do this post for a while, so I hope it's interesting for you :)

Here's what's in my main makeup drawer...


I had a clear-out before Xmas and threw away about 5x this much, so this is scaled down! If you had seen it before you'd have thought I owned a shop ;)

After going through a phase of buying every new make-up item on the market (slight exaggeration, but not much!) my mantra for this year is 'quality over quantity'. It felt so good chucking away old stuff and being able to get to everything easily :) Did I really need 30 lip balms?? :)

This drawer is where I keep my most-used make-up items and the things I reach for every day. I also have 2 other drawers, which contain brushes, lip balms, tweezers, etc, etc, etc!


This is what's on my shelf...


This is where I keep skincare items that I used every day (top shelf), nail polishes (middle shelf) and perfumes, etc (bottom shelf).

It would take all evening to list the items shown here, so I hope you can see everything :) Again, I used to have about 5x this amount before I had my mammoth clear-out, which is pretty shocking! I like how it looks now as I can get to everything easily and it looks much better too :)

To the right of this shelf I have two sets of drawers - one for make-up & another one for body lotions, scrubs, etc - and on top of this I keep my hair products in a large pink heart-shaped basket.

Sorry if this was a boring blog post, but I always love to know what other people have in their makeup/skincare stash! x

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lipice Lip Balm Review...

Have you heard of Lipice lip balms? If not, you soon will!

I was contacted by a company called Multibrands who asked if I would like to do a review on this product. I was impressed with what I read on their website, so I went for it :)

I was sent:


3 sticks...



Original ~ Sunscreen SPF25 UV ~ Strawberry Touch


& 2 tubes...



Pink Sheen Gloss & Q10 Anti-Wrinkle


Each stick and tube contains 10ml of product. There is also a Men's one in the range, but I do not have that. Sorry! :)


The sticks and tubes all contain:

* Lysine Amino Acid for skin repair & regeneration

* Natural Plant extracts Aloe Vera
* Grapeseed for natural moisturisation
* Natural Cocoa & Shea Butter, Jojoba and Castor Oil for enriched moist lips
* Vitamins B5 & E to revitalise lips
* Essential SPF15 UV filters protect against damaging UV radiation

The only exception is that the Sunscreen version has SPF25 UV instead of SPF15.


Here's
what each one looks like:

Original...





As you can see, it leaves a great sheen on the lips! I applied a light layer and immediately felt as though the balm was working. This is a great dupe for Nivea lip balm and a lot cheaper too. If you like a plain-scented balm that gives your lips natural fullness, then this is definitely for you :)



Suncare SPF25 UV...




This one has the added bonus of containing SPF25 UV, which is an amazing addition (especially for the price). If you're looking for a lip balm that provides great moisturisation & a higher SPF, then this is the one for you :) I found that this left my lips feeling soft and moisturised. I'll definitely be wearing this in summer (if we get any good weather!) Please note that this one doesn't contain Castor Oil.



Strawberry Touch...



I think this is my favourite out of the sticks! It's got a nice light strawberry scent and leaves a slight red tint. This also left my lips feeling moisturised and makes a great base for lipstick. As well as natural Cocoa & Shea Butter and Jojoba, this also contains Almond Oil. A great everyday lip balm for when you want natural-looking lips with a hint of colour.



Pink Sheen Gloss...





As you can see in the swatch, this gloss is a pink/peach with a hint of shimmer. The photo of me wearing it was taken with the flash in natural daylight so you can see how the shimmer looks. This gloss contains Macadamia Nut Oil, which ensures the gloss is glossy not gloopy & sticky! I think I will be using this over my MAC 'Myth' lipstick to make sure my lips stay plump not parched :)



Q10 Anti-Wrinkle...





This makes a great overnight lip treatment. The balm has a slightly milky consistency and is nice and thick. Perfect for you if your lips are very dry and in need of intense moisturisation and repair. It contains Q10 anti-age enzyme effect and Calendula Nut Oil to intensely repair and regenerate.


Don't worry if you are a vegetarian because each of these balms have been approved by the Vegetarian Society.

Each lip balm is priced at £1.29-£1.99 and they will be available in Tesco stores soon.


To find out more about the range of Lipice Lip Balms you can visit their website

Which one will you be buying? x



* I was sent these lip balms for a review by Multibrands, but I was not paid to do so *
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