Saturday 27 April 2013

New: Models Own Ice Neon Collection

My lucky streak continued last week as I ended up being one of the winners of a double Models Own giveaway over at The Love Cats Inc. blog and bagged myself a full set of the new Models Own Ice Neon collection. The Love Cats Inc. is one of my favourite blogs and I'd been planning on getting my mitts on a few of these shades anyway, so imagine my excitement when I found out that I'd won! It made my whole month, so thank you Helen! (Everybody go and look at her blog). 

The collection consists of five brand new intensely pigmented and super bright neon shades (they are a lot brighter than they look here); Left to right - Toxic Apple, Luis Lemon, Pukka Purple, Bubblegum, and Pink Punch ..and if you buy the whole set together there's a top coat thrown in there too. When I say 'brand new', the shades 'Toxic Apple' and 'Pink Punch' do actually already exist, but imagine those shades 5x brighter and super fluorescent!

These shades are right up my street as I'm a huge fan of brightly coloured nails, and even though my collection already has plenty of super bright pinks and oranges in it, all of these are welcomed with open arms and make all the other shades look so dull in comparison. Models Own advises to keep these bottles in the fridge to maintain their fluro colour for longer (think keeping glow sticks in the freezer to keep them glowing!), but I'm not too sold on that idea - it's probably just a sales gimmick, plus I don't think that my Dad would be too happy with pink nail varnish chilling next to his beers and the milk! So, they're sitting pretty on my dressing table and I'm not too worried about their brightness fading with them not being kept really cold. 

These are all absolutely perfect for the S/S season this year and I'm more than happy to hop right onto the neon loving train; especially with the pinks and yellows. They add such a nice 'pop' of colour to any otherwise quite plain outfit and bright nails is such a simple and subtle way to join in with the trend.


Here are swatches from the 5 shades available in the collection:

The shades: all of the above swatches are shown with one coat of colour. The finish isn't exactly 'matte', but it isn't a high gloss either. You can see that some of the shades applied a little streaky with just one coat, so a 2nd would be best, and some were a little more sheer than other.. I'm looking at you Toxic Apple. The brightest, and my favourite, is the yellow: Luis Lemon, and my least favourite is the purple: Pukka Purple, mainly because it's not as 'neon' as the others and is quite a dark shade too. However, this one did have the best application and applied fully opaque in just one coat. Bubblegum and Pink Punch appear to be quite similar shades and sometimes my camera doesn't pick up the full potential of the shades; but Bubblegum is the shade that is pink, pink and pink. Very bright and true Barbie pink, whereas (misleadingly), Pink Punch is more of an orange/coral toned pink in the bottle, but when I applied it onto my nails it looked like neon orange! Confusing, but it's still amazing. A little head's up that this shade of Pink Punch is very similar to 'Hedonist' from the Hed Kandi collection.

Models Own Ice Neon Collection are available from Boots and the Models Own website now for £5.00 each, or £20.00 for all 5 colours plus a topcoat.

Which one's your favourite?

 Thanks again to Helen for running the giveaway for these!

Thursday 25 April 2013

Happy, Healthy Hair: What I Use

Who doesn't want long, full and flowing beautifully luxurious hair? We all do, right? Long, thick hair seems to be a little bit of an obsession for most girls, myself included, and growing my hair seems to be all that I've ever wanted to do. I've never been fussed with extensions because I change my hair colour pretty frequently and it's often multi-coloured a lot of the time too, so I would struggle to find a shade that matches up perfectly, and in the past all the clip ins I've tried have been uncomfortable and hard to work with.

Instead I want my very own mane of super long hair (preferably belly button length), with soft natural waves, rich brown in colour, and thick and healthy with no frizz to be seen ..but it seems hair like that only exists in films! I'll do all that I can get to get as close to that dream as possible though, so as well as banning hairdryers and straighteners from my life for the past 6 months here is what's been working for me recently in terms of products...

(This concoction of products has strictly been limited to washing and treatments, just to keep things simple).

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Shampoo*
As a long time lover of the accompanying Hair Growth treatment mask from Mr.Stafford, it's surprised me that I hadn't yet branched out and bought the full set from this range. My hair obviously hasn't grown 5 inches in a week, but this range makes hair stronger at the root and stimulates follicles to encourage more growth. 
*(c/o North Meet Up Goodie Bag - post)
Lee Stafford Argan Oil Conditioner
As mortified as I am that I walked into Boots and then walked back out again with a bottle of conditioner and a purse £12 lighter, I do really love this conditioner and think that it is the perfect companion to the Hair Growth Shampoo. 

It seemed to make more sense to me to mix and match this pair together and choose a stimulating shampoo to encourage root growth, and then a conditioner from their most nourishing range to be able to heal any damage and restore any well needed moisture to those ends. I love Lee Stafford's honesty in the aims of his products, stating that the shampoo will help hair to 'reach its maximum potential length', and the conditioner will 'restore hair to its optimal condition' - no unrealistic promises there.

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment Mask
Lee Stafford Argan Oil Treatment Mask
I have chosen a mask from each of two above ranges to help my hair out and alternate between the two of them; focusing the Hair Growth on the roots around once a fortnight and the Argan Oil mask on the mid-lengths and ends every weekend. Both of these masks work really well at giving the hair a nourishment boost and bring it back to being silky soft, smooth and manageable. You can see my full review of the Hair Growth mask and read more on what I think of it here.

Moroccanoil Oil Treatment
Ooh so one you'll never have heard of then?! Haha the world famous Moroccan Oil. Now a firm favourite in my life and a definite repurchase until then end of time, I am a huge fan of this hair oil and would recommend it to anybody. It is basically my hair's best friend to keeps it calm, soft, nourished and free from frizz. It can be used on wet or dry hair / before and after styling so it can be thrown into any stage of my routine. You can see my full review on if it you click here.

Redken Color Extend Radiant-10 Multi Benefit Treatment Spray
Again, a product that I have talked about before and you'll be able to see my full review on it here; I use this Redken spray as a leave-in conditioner and as a detangler. Straight after washing my hair, before I do anything, I spray this all over to make sure that I can get a wide tooth comb through it without any snagging, pulling or breaking of the hair (a Tangle Teezer has been welcomed to my life in the past few days that will now replace the comb), and it makes my life a heck of a lot easier. It also adds extra condition to the hair in a super light weight formula too.

Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave In Treatment
Umm, okay so I owe this 'Anti-Snap' a little apology after the very blunt and negative review that I gave to it back in October (here), and said that it had made my hair a lot drier and a lot more brittle, leading to increased breakage.. it seemed to be a pro-snap, not an anti-snap!! That's my own fault for not using the product correctly and I've learnt from videos by Tanya Burr and EleventhGorgeous (if you click their names it will take you to the videos where they talk about this topic) that yes, protein/keratin is the the best thing that you can use on your hair, but there is also such as thing as 'too much of a good thing' when it comes to overloading your hair with keratin.. and using too much too often will dry out your hair and make it more brittle. So that was my problem with the Anti-Snap, that I was too keen and was using it too often. Now that I use it in moderation I've found it to be a wonder product and makes my hair feel so much stronger.

One more point: This is supposed to 'seal' the hair cuticles, so if you are using this product in your routine make sure that you're using it last, because otherwise it will block out all other products and they won't be able to penetrate into the hair shaft, so especially if you're also using an oil - make sure that you apply the oil first and then the Anti-Snap to be able to 'lock it in'!

So, that's what has been keeping my little head of hair happy and healthy recently.

It's currently the longest that it's ever been (finally gone past 'boobie length'! yay!), it's in the best condition that it's ever been and is the most 'tameable' I've ever had it. A while back I'd never be able to wear my hair in it's natural style, but it seems I've got things under control now and heat styling is well and truly a thing of the past for me. If you'd like to see a snap of my hair then you can click here to see a recent Instagram picture and I'm afraid that's the best I've got for you!

Do you have any hair care recommendations for me that I might like to try?

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Review: Garnier Summer Body Gradual Tanning Lotion

In the not too distant past I reviewed another gradual tanning lotion that I said that I adored; Palmers Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze (post), but I'm happy to say that said tan has now been pushed to the back of the drawer and there's a new favourite in town. Ladies and Gentlemen, say hello to Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion Sun-Kissed Look. (..Why do things like this need to have such a long name?!). This, my friends, is where it's at. This is.. the one. Irreplaceable. (Maybe). 

Picked up in Asda during a food shop for a small cost of £2.50 (Regular price: £5.00), this has been one of my most reached for products recently. We're all familiar with the process of gradual tanners; it looks and feels like a moisturiser, applies like a moisturiser, and moisturises like a moisturiser.. with the added bonus that you wake up in the morning with a freshly golden tan ..for the most part. There are the times when you wake up looking far too orange and like you've walked straight off the set of TOWIE, occasionally with patches and streaks of white splashed around (getting my shoulders just right is my biggest challenge), and the worst aspect is that you have to walk around smelling like a giant digestive biscuit. Yuck! But at least your skin is soft, right?

So, while we all love a long lasting and beautiful golden tan (I feel so much better when I'm not stark white, everything just looks and feels healthier and more toned!), it can be difficult to get everything perfect. Enter Garnier:
- Price point? Perfect. (Approx £5 for 250ml, £7 for 400ml)
- Availability? Wide: supermarkets, Boots/Superdrug, etc.
- Packaging? Good, no complaints.
- Moisturises the skin? Yes.
- Easy to apply? Yes.
- Nasty biscuit smell? No!! One of the winning aspects of this for me is that it smells like fruit and actually smells nice!

- Now.. The colour and the tan
I often have the fear of applying a gradual tan in the morning and then gradually watching my arms as the day goes on turning darker and darker in colour, and by the time it gets to the end of the day I look like I've spent a week in the Caribbean and return home looking like a different person. Even worse if you apply it in the evening so that you've spent all day Monday at work/uni looking like Casper's long lost sister, and then roll up on the Tuesday looking like you've fallen asleep next to the Sun. When a tanning lotion is like that, it's hard to call it 'gradual' as you're 'English Rose' to '3 weeks spent in Egypt' in about 8 hours. Although this can be nice, it's not very realistic and it can be overly fake. I prefer the look of 'yes, I have been spending my afternoons outside in the sun relaxing with a book and catching some rays, look how sun-kissed I am', as opposed to 'yeah this fake tan is so good'. You get me? 

I loved this tan ever since the first time that I used it. I applied it in the evening after I'd had a bath and before I was going to bed. The first good point I noted was that I didn't have to hop about waiting for it to dry before I could put my PJs on and hop under the duvet; it sank in quickly and was touch-dry in a little over 5 minutes. When I woke up there was no unusual smell and the tell-tale 'tan smell' was nowhere to be seen and when I looked in the mirror I got a little bit of a shock to see that I wasn't tanned. I was happy because all that it had done after one application was that it has taken the edge off my shocking pale skin and added a touch more 'warmth' to me. Nothing dramatic. After applying this every day since and I am now on my 7th day in a row of using this, I could happily pass for somebody who spent their Easter abroad, but that was from my own choice of using this for 7 days in a row and building it up gradually, day by day making it more intense. It didn't all come at once.

This makes it much easier to control the tan and you can create the intensity of the colour that you're looking for without going over the top too quickly. You could apply it every day, every two days, or even once a week and have a different level of tan. 

I don't think that I can quite get across in words how much I reaaally like this; I keep catching myself in the mirror, or rolling up sleeves slightly and thinking to myself 'wow you look like you've just got back from a nice long holiday', instead of 'yeah this fake tan is good'! You look brown, not orange. And natural, not fake. It's a winner!

I managed to find a larger sized (400ml) bottle on the Boots website, also for half price of £3.57 - link, and there is a 'dark' version as well, as this the 'light sun-kissed look' version of the tan. So if you're interested then head to Asda or Boots and get yourself a bottle for half price while you still can!

Life's better with a tan.

Monday 22 April 2013

Cosmetic Crave: Where To Find & Follow Me

Hey beautifuls! With all of the excitement of growing up into I thought it'd be a good time to take the opportunity to lay out to you all of the social networking and blogging platforms that you can find me on - it can get a little bit confusing now there's so many! Who do you follow on what and where?! 
The most classic way of following a blog is via GFC (Google Friend Connect), and this is my personal favourite way. All you need is a Google, Twitter or Yahoo account and just click 'Join This Site' at the right hand side of this page to be able to follow!

Following rumours of GFC's looming extinction, Bloglovin' is now 'the next big thing' in terms of platforms for following blogs. It's really simple to use and super easy to be able to find new blogs, such as the 'up and comers' and also be able to flick through the day's most popular posts. Even better, you don't even need to have your own blog to be able to use it! You can find me by searching Cosmetic Crave, or you can click here.

I've actually got two Twitter accounts as I'd been told by uni friends that my constant blog tweets and spamming during #bbloggers chats were a pain in the bum and they'd been tempted to unfollow me - to be fair they are boys who don't care about constant lipstick chatter! Oops! So I now have a twitter just for bloggy stuff (@cosmeticcrave), and I'd love for you to click here and follow me on my blog Twitter!

If you're still in the world of Facebook and like to stay up to date with blogs via liking their Facebook pages then you can find mine by searching Cosmetic Crave, or click here.

My favourite! I'm a little bit obsessed with Instagram, maybe more than is considered to be normal, but it's a fantastic way to discover new blogs. If it's beauty bloggers you want to find, give #bbloggers a search in the discover tab and you'll be welcomed to thousands of beauty related snaps that will lead you to users and their blogs. Find me with the username HannahRipley1, or click here.

The wonderful world of Pinterest is a little bit new to me and I only signed up a couple of days ago. I'm just finding my feet with it and regret not getting to grips with it sooner as it has potential to be something really huge! It's a little bit like a mash-up of Tumblr, WeHeartIt and Instagram all rolled up into one as it's a place for people to share images, tips, tricks and inspiration and you can 'like' or 'repin' the ones that you love. I've been using it mostly for looking up hair styles and also inspiration for healthy meals and snacks; you'd be able to find pretty much anything on there! If you use Pinterest and would like to follow me, my username is Cosmetic Crave or you can click here.

Oooh and one last platform that we can't forget:
As a long term subscriber to the SSB beauty boxes (that are no longer in existance), I feel a loyal obligation to promote their site; now predominately a social networking site for beauty lovers and bloggers, described as 'All things beauty, in one place'. If you're not signed up yet, then you should be! Find me with the username Hannahr1, or click here.

So, got enough places you can follow me at?!

Sunday 21 April 2013

Review: REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask

Hey girls, me again! ..With REN, again! If you saw my previous post, you'll know that it was all about another of REN's amazing face masks (Radiance Renewal*) which is targeted towards dull or scarred skin and is based with fruit enzymes to give the skin a gentle but effective chemical exfoliation, breaking down and then resurfacing the top layer of skin. To read more on this mask and see my post on it you can click here.

After falling in love with the Radiance Renewal mask I decided to purchase an equally loved mask from REN to continue my mission to 'get perfect skin' and it wasn't long before the Invisible Pores Detox Mask had wormed it's way into my regular skincare routine and is edging it's way towards the top spot of all time favourite products. I ordered mine from whilst they had a cheeky 20% off, but you can find the mask on their site here for a full price of £16.20, instead of £18.00 from the REN site.

The Invisible Pores mask could not be more different from the Radiance Renewal mask in terms of texture, function, active ingredients and effects on the skin, however they do look lovely in the bathroom lined up next to each other with their identical, simple packaging with a clean design and effective pump dispenser; the bottles are differentiated by their strips of colour: bright orange for RR, and pistachio green for IP, which also coincides with the colour of the product inside too. Is it sad that I enjoy this simple fact?

Again, REN keeps up the good work with their 'clean skincare' and there's no nasty stuff in these products that will do any harm to your skin, and you can see on the image below that there is lovely extra detailing on the box - packaging can make a difference, as superficial as that is!

Invisible Pores (also known as Minimising Pores) is a clay based mask that is aimed at congested oily skin to give it a really good deep clean and detox by using the French Clay to draw out all of the impurities from deep within the pores and remove any excess sebum that can clog things up and cause blackheads and spots. It doesn't just stop there though, as this mask also contains proteins from Spirulina (that's some kind of a fancy tropical seaweed, you know, just incase you didn't know or anything..) that 'encourages cell renewal while reducing pore size, leaving your skin smooth, toned and decongested'. Wow REN, you really do you know to work wonders don't you!

REN advises you to apply this generously over clean skin, but naturally the thicker layer of product you apply, the longer it takes to dry, and as you remove this in a slighly different way - by rubbing away the dry clay with your fingers to gives a gentle exfoliating effect - it means that you can't remove it until it has dried. I apply quite a thin layer over my nose, a little bit of my cheeks and my chin because they are the area that I suffer with blocked up pores and blackheads, and I usually leave around 15 minutes before removing.

I was quite surprised with the consistency of this mask the first time that I used it as when it comes out of the pump it feels really creamy and soft, kind of like a thick moisturiser. It's cooling on the skin which is loving and refreshing, but it also feels calming and relaxing because of the lavender oil - such a lovely treat! As it is a clay mask, it does of course dry onto the skin and you get the hard plastered and cracking scary looking face when you can't move a muscle or change your facial expression! What I really love about this is that there is zero irritation to the skin, it's really gentle and after removal always makes my skin look less red and angry; it's always clean, calmed and refreshed.

Does it work at improving the skin? Well, like I've just said it is a lovely treat and a pleasure to use; if things are looking a little bit chaotic on the skin then it's a great way to just calm things down, if there's a break out then it helps to stop it looking so angry, and looking across the clogged up areas on my T-zone they do always look like they've had a good little extraction after using this, of course helping to make them look minimised. I don't think it's a miracle product that you can just use and you'll have no blackheads anymore - I don't think there's anything that will ever do that?.. but it could be a working progress towards slowly improving them and definitely giving them a minimised appearance.

REN also advises to use the Radiance Renewal mask and the Invisibles Pores mask in conjunction with each other; using RR first and IP the following day, to be able to gain maximum impacts from both products. So these make for my perfect weekend duo, Radiance Renewal on Saturday to get that top layer of skin broken down and exfoliated away, and then Invisible Pores on the Sunday to give my skin a really good detox and clear out anything that's blocked deep down in those pores! These make for a great skincare pair!

If you want to read more about what I had to say on the REN Radiance Renewal mask, you can see my post on it here, and if you're interested in this Invisible Pores mask yourself then here is a link to where you can buy it: link.

Thursday 18 April 2013

Review: REN Radiance Renewal Mask

A good couple of weeks ago, the lovely people over at Cult Beauty got in touch with me and asked if I'd like to test out any of the products that they stock - If the name doesn't give it away already, Cult Beauty are retailers for only 'the best of the best' in terms of beauty products and sell only those that deserve cult status. It's a site I could browse for hours! (Honestly, I want it all!). If you want to browse the site yourselves then you can find it hereAnyway, when I told them that I was looking for anything that could help with skin rejuvenation and the scarring issues on my face, I was very kindly offered a bottle of REN's Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask*, a product I'd had my eye on for a very long time as I'd heard brilliant things about it from other bloggers!

Soo.. 'What's a Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask'? I can hear some of you asking yourselves right now. Well, let me run you through it. This potent mask is one of REN's top selling products and is made with around 5-6.5% Glycolactic acid, an effective chemical exfoliator that 'actively dissolves the bonds that hold skin build-up'. All skin needs a little prepping up from time to time and can become a little bit congested, so this mask works fantastically well at exfoliating away all of the dirt from the surface of the skin and the AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) that it contains resurface the top layer of the skin which visibly improves the appearance.

I hope I'm not losing you with this one! It sounds fancy, and it is pretty fancy.. but oh so simple all at the same time. REN keep things clean, hence the branding 'clean skincare', and have kept their products free from all those nasties such as parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, fragrances, etc. All that does the work with this is the active element of a 100% pure fruit acid complex - lactic, glycolic, tartaric, citric, papain enzyme, pineapple extract, omega 3 - that gently targets dull and congested skin (these are what gives it it's yummy fruity scent too). The ingredients break down the dead cells and the outcome is a bright, new complexion! Ideal for targetting: fine lines, acne scarring, blemishes and blackheads.

Does it work? Yes. Can I just leave it at that?.. Yes, it does work! The first time I used this I was expecting to be blown away because of the hype, and I felt a little bit underwhelmed because I didn't see any immediate results. But as I persevered and continued to use this 1-2 times a week I noticed more and more improvement to my skin, both long term and short term. The long term effects are that scarring and blackheads are gradually diminishing and fading away to become less prominent, and the short term effects are the super intense exfoliation and 'glowing' effect that it gives to the skin as all the dullness on the top layer has been dissolved away. Such a lovely pick me up for an instant burst of radiance!

Just one pump is enough to cover the entire face in a thick even layer - I was using more than this at first but I'm not sure how I thought that this was okay, because the image below shows how much product comes out with just one pump! There's plenty to go around with that amount, silly me for being wasteful with it at first :( The consistency is very sticky and gooey and it has the similar texture to honey, or jam.. something you'd spread on your toast! It's quite thick but it isn't hard to work with or spread around the skin, and it's good that it's sticky as it helps it to adhere to your face better and doesn't go sliding down your neck and onto your clothes (do watch out for stray hairs getting glued to your face though!). The mask isn't clay based so it won't set or go hard on the skin; it stays like goo for the whole time it's on your face.

The process is very simple: apply the mask all over clean, dry skin and leave it for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes is up run the enclosed muslin cloth underneath warm water and use it to clear the mask from your skin and voila! Fresh skin. A little word of warning: even though it is very gentle, this mask isn't suitable for those who have very sensitive skin. Mine can be just a little bit sensitive and I've found that if I exceed the recommended time to have it on my skin then there is quite a strong tingling sensation and my face is a little bit red after use although this quickly dies down and I look radiant, not flushed!

It's not a lie that I was very, very impressed with this product (and the brand REN in general), and the proof is in the further purchases! About two weeks after using this mask I knew that I loved it and wanted to branch out and try more from the brand. I've since bought the 'Invisible Pores Detox Mask' that I will be reviewing in a couple of days, and also the 'Clearcalm Clarifying Clay Cleanser' that is in the post on it's way to me as I write!
REN, I love you.
If you're interested in this mask then you can find it here.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Review: Clinique 'Even Better' Foundation

Everybody hold up, stop what you're doing. I think I have found my holy grail foundation. That's right, this could be the one. We spend years going through bottles and bottles of the stuff searching for that one perfect formula and shade combined to give us the flawless base that we're searching for, and I think I've found my answer in Clinique. 

Halfway through bottle number two of this foundation and I had the realisation that I could never see myself turning to anything else, at least not for the foreseeable future anyway. What I like about this is that it provides full coverage, works on oily skin and it lasts all day. How often is it that you come across a foundation that can do all of that? It is suitable for any skin type which is ideal for me as I suffer with patches of dry and patches of oily (and patches of normal) - annoying skin! But I would say it is suited more for oily/normal skin types though, as it does tend to show dry patches if they're quite bad.

What I'm more concerned with is how high and how full the coverage is that this offers; it's pretty amazing. Having a face that's riddled with scars, marks, redness and little blemishes I've got a lot to cover up! The foundation's main aim is to target uneven skin tone - that's me! But it doesn't just cover the uneven skin tone and the hyper-pigmentation, it also works to treat it at the same time and who doesn't love a 2-in-1? With continuous use, over time this foundation will provide benefits from the mineral enrichment that helps to even out the skin tone and deliver brighter skin (or so it claims). I've been using a range of new things to help with this whole 'evening of the skin tone' fiasco, and I'm definitely seeing improvements but I would say that it's the result of a combination of products and that this foundation isn't quite powerful enough to make any radical changes to the skin's quality on it's own, but every little helps!

As well as concealing any imperfections on the skin such as redness or markings, it also helps to slightly 'fill in' (I don't know if that's the best term that I could've used) enlarged pores and smooth them over, making them appear minimised, in the same way that using a primer such as The Pore-Fessional would do. So not only does Even Better provide an amazing full coverage that isn't at all thick or cakey on the skin and actually feels nice and light, this full coverage also manages to last all day long without sliding around. With a few dabs of concealer and a dusting of powder this foundation manages to give me a flawless (or as near to flawless as I'm going to get) base, and by the end of the day it's still looking just as good. Huge thumbs up!

Any extras you  might be interested in: it contains SPF15 which is always a good thing as it prevents sun damage and any further hyper pigmentation (it's good unless you're having your photograph taken - SPF causes those 'ghost faces' with a flash), it's an oil free formula, it's enriched with minerals and it also has anti-aging properties.

Housed in a nice and sleek compact little tube, it's standard 30ml size but there's no bulky and uneccessary packaging that takes up space. It's very minimal and very simple, but it still looks high end and presentable. The squeezy plastic bottle makes it ideal for travelling too as there's no risk of breakage or spillage, and the nozzle makes it easy to control dispensing the product in a super hygienic way. I just dislike the way that there is no indication of how much is left and when I'm going to run out as the bottle is completely opaque. I hate that day when it comes as a shock that there's actually nothing left in the bottle! At £23.00 a bottle it's on middle ground of price range for high end foundations and it is available to buy here, or you can go in store to your nearest Clinique counter and have the lovely ladies colour match you up; they did a good job with me as this shade matches my skin exactly.

I have the shade 01 Alabaster which I would assume is the lightest shade that Clinique offers as it is numbered '01', and this matches me perfectly. However, although I do have pale skin, I know that my skin isn't the fairest out there and if you're especially light skinned then there's a chance that this could be a tad too deep for you and that's a complaint I've heard about Clinique before; that the shades don't go light enough. 
But, it matches me, it works for me, and I LOVE it.

If you're in the market for a new long wearing foundation that offers high coverage then have a wander over to your nearest Clinique counter and have a look at Even Better - you won't be disappointed.

Saturday 13 April 2013

Review: Moroccanoil Oil Treatment

Hi ladies, I'm trying to get past my spout of 'bloggers block' at the moment as I don't know what's come over me recently but I've been finding it impossible to put words into a sentence and have them make some kind of sense! Too much uni work has been baffling my head and it's been 10 days since I last put up a proper post - that feels like forever! I hope you'll excuse my little absence and we'll get back into the swing of things ASAP. 

Soo.... Moroccan oil? Heard of it? Thought you might have! 

To clear up any confusion; 'Moroccanoil' is the name of the brand, and the product is called 'Oil Treatment', which is why it looks a bit odd calling it 'Morccanoil Oil Treatment', but hey - that's it's name. 

This famous little blue bottle has a 'seal of originality' over the cap, which Moroccanoil pride themselves on, and I'm pretty sure they're chuffed to bits with the fact that they've revolutionised hair care, making argan oil (or any kind of oil!) a key ingredient in a lot of people's daily hair routines, whether it's for care and treatment, or with styling. Oil no longer means slick and greasy, oil means nourishment and good quality care for our stressed out tresses. Moroccanoil is an industry sensation, used by professionals around the world and many women (such as myself) swear by it to transform hair that is dry and damaged, into soft, smooth, shiny and beautiful flowing locks. 

Where to buy? The site Feel Unique is the leading retailer for all sorts of products from this brand, from shampoo and conditioner, to hairspray, shine spray and conditioning masks, and you will be able to see everything that they offer by looking here. The bottle of the treatment itself is available in 2 different sizes to suit everybody's needs and budgets. This small 25ml bottle that I have here costs £12.85 and is great if you just want to dip your toe in the waters and see what you think of it, maybe use it for travel as it's a really small bottle that takes up no space at all, or even as a back up bottle for whatever reason. For me, I received this as a gift and it was pretty much perfect for everything that I needed, but now I know that I love it I have my heart set on buying the larger 100ml bottle when this has all run out (100ml bottle costs £30.45) - it's expensive but it's so worth it.

Why is it worth it? Why would you spend £30+ on a bottle of oil?.. Well, not only does the oil weightlessly leave the hair smoother, free from tangles and knots, with minimised frizz, it also improves the actual condition of the hair right down to the core, making it stronger with each use. I've been using this regularly since Christmas and my hair has never looked so good! Also, I can always tell on the days when I haven't used this as my hair is slightly more unruly and feels drier on the ends, although it's nothing compared to how it used to feel! I'm also only about 1/3 of the way through the bottle which gives you a good indication of how long lasting something like this can be; if a 25ml bottle will last me approximately 1 year, you'll be set for a long, long time with a 100ml bottle! That's enough oil to transform anybody's hair from awful to amazing with regular use. 

How to use: I pour quite a generous sized blob into the palm of my hand (about the size of a 50p and I've never experienced any greasiness with that much), rub my hands together and then massage the oil through the mid-lengths (bottom of ear downwards) of towel dried hair. Sometimes I'll go back for a little bit more and add some more onto the very ends as they've had some bleach damage and deserve some extra TLC. This oil doesn't leave your hands feeling sticky, slimey or greasy and it doesn't leave a residue in the hair either. I also love the smell of it too, it's quite a masculine and musky smell which is unique from most other hair products, but that makes it quite a signature scent. One more good point: it also helps to speed up the drying time of the hair as oil repels water particles, making them clear off out of the hair in half the time - always a bonus if you're using heat to dry your hair as it means less heat on the hair, therefore less damage, or if you're drying it naturally then that means less time with damp hair hanging around!

Here is what Moroccanoil® themselves have to say about their oil treatment:
"This treatment for hair completely transforms and repairs as its formula transports lost proteins for strength; fatty acids, omega-3 oils and vitamins for shine; and antioxidants for protection. It absorbs instantly to fill gaps in hair created by heat, styling and environmental damage".

Sounds good? It is good! Really good. You might think that £30, or even £12 is a lot of money to spend on something for your hair, but if looking after your hair is something that you really are interested in doing, either you're on a mission to grow it all the way down to your hips, or you're trying to reverse some damage from years of bleach to bring back a bit of shine then this is something worth trying. 

It hasn't got all of this hype for nothing!

Monday 8 April 2013

#bbloggers: Manchester North Meet Up

Hello girls, I hope you've all had a good weekend! I did something a little different on Sunday afternoon and attended the meet up that Em from Em Talks organised for all us little bloggers based up in the north of the UK. She did an absolutely fabulous job planning and sorting everything for the meet up and everybody needs to appreciate her amazing-ness! It was great to meet her after being a fan of her blog for so long and she's such a gorgeous, enthusiastic and down to earth girl who really put her all into making sure that everybody enjoyed their day.

The day was much more than just 'drinks at a bar' (although we did have a couple of 2-4-1 cocktails and a tipple of Prosecco), as there were a couple of brand representatives who had come along to give talks and demonstrations to us about their products, including: Xen Tan/Glam Glow, Neal & Wolfe, Arbonne and Blanx, as well as Capital FM there to take some red carpet style snaps of us all. It was a beauty bloggers dream situation: to be surrounded by other bloggers and beauty fanatics that are all on the same wave length when it comes to the excitement of a new fake tan or face mask, to be able to chat away to them all while sipping on cocktails, sneaking your 3rd or 4th Krispy Kreme when you think nobody's looking, and to be in a room surrounded with hundreds and hundreds of beauty products! There were a couple of competitions running throughout the day and some of the prizes were amazing, I would've loved to have bagged myself a Neom candle.. they seem to be a blogger essential! But along with making new friends and having a pocket full of contact cards and blogs to check out, we also walked away from the meet up with our arms weighed down with a huge selection of goodie bags, which you may have seen a few sneak peeks of if you follow lots of bloggers on Instagram as I think everybody was a little bit overwhelmed with the extent of the contents; no wonder we struggled to carry them home!

I thought I would take the opportunity to give you all a more in depth look at what we walked away with and see what goodies I'll be trying out over the next few weeks - some of them are really exciting! Em, you must have some amazing contacts to have sorted all of these!

Goodie Bag from In Fashion (

Goodie Bag from Arbonne:
Eye Shadow | Make Up Primer | Lip Moisturiser | Body Cleanser | Information Pack

Goodie Bag from Anne Semonin:
(Brought by the lovely Nikki Wilson - you need to check out her blog!)
Shower Gel | Shampoo | Pack of Face Masks

Bits that I won/was given throughout the day:
Ortigia Hand Cream | Ilah Brow Kit | Arbonne Hair Mask

Popchips, sweets and a great big stack of contact cards!
(And a free hair cut from Celeste Arnold!)

The huuumongous bag sorted by Em herself! (

Lets take a closer look inside.....

Bittersweet London Ripe Pear Drop Sweets (link):

That toothpaste everybody is talking about!
Blanx whitening toothpaste with LED accelerator:

Some bits from well known brands:
Elemis Exfoliating Face Wash | Lee Stafford Hair Growth Shampoo | The Body Shop Lipgloss | Macadamia (selection of a range of products) | Xen-Tan Moroccan Tan | Glam Glow Mud Mask

Samples from Dr.Organic:
Coconut Oil Skin Lotion | Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo | Dead Sea Mineral Mud Mask | Dead Sea Mineral Anti-Aging Stem Cell System

Offerings from SheSaid Beauty:
(You'll have seen all of these before if you've seen any of the past beautybox reviews on my blog)
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil | Collection Primer | Redken Treatment Spray (see my review here) | S-File nail file | The Vintage Cosmetics Eyelash Curlers (I swear by these! Love them!)

Nourish Smoothing Hand Lotion | Fillast Lip Plumper:

Tinted Moisturiser and Micellar Water from Etat Pur:

It was like Christmas rooting through these bags! I've got a lot of testing out to do!

Thanks Em! 
It was a really lovely day and I look forward to attending more events and meets in the future.

If you want to see more pictures from the day and the actual event, rather than just the goodie bags then I will pass you over to The Uni Lass's fantastic post on it here. (I didn't have a camera to take pictures while I was there!)

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