Friday 31 May 2013

Monthly Favourites | May

I've been loving so many things these past few weeks that I had trouble whittling it down to a managable amount for this post! There were a lot of great products that didn't quite make the cut this month, but here's the lucky ones that did...

Benefit 'They're Real' Mascara
I could potentially be one of the last people in the world to have tried out this very well known and well loved mascara, but it's a pricey little number and I just didn't know if I could fork out almost £20 to be able to try it (especially when I've heard it can dry up really quickly too!). So, when Elle magazine had a little mini freebie included this month (magazine = £4) then I couldn't pass up the chance to finally test it out. I can totally and completely understand the hype for this; I've never used a mascara that has done so many different things and done them so well - it adds length, volume, curl, and blacker than black colour. I even had my mum ask me if I was wearing falsies when I'd layered this on - the name 'They're Real!' has never seemed more appropriate and I am definitely hooked. Click here to see a photo of it on my lashes.

Next Limited Edition EDT - 'Summer Heat'
Perfumes from Next with their super mini price tags are not something to be underestimated. 'Just Pink' and 'Just Pink With Love' are both rattling around somewhere in my perfume collection and have been well loved for years, but foolish me thought that was as far as Next's fragrance line extended. However, last time I was in store it looked as though they had about 20+ different fragrances stocked on their shelves, all for around £5-6 a bottle. I won't lie, I was drawn to 'Summer Heat' by the pretty ombre colours of the bottle, but it does smell exactly as the name suggest, like a warm evening in July. The scent is described as 'manderin laced with cinnamon and mocha cream' and it's just delicious! For only £6 and such a pretty bottle too it's worth taking a look at.

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Varnish - Grapefruit
Models Own Nail Varnish - Coral Reef
There's been two nail varnishes that I've been completely loving over the past few weeks (and ironically I'm wearing neither of them right now). They're from two of my favourite nail brands: Models Own, and the new 'gelly' formula Barry M varnishes. I do think that Grapefruit is a serious contender to be my favourite nail shade of all time; it's the most perfect shade of pink that isn't too red, too orange, too purple, or too blue, and it isn't too 'in your face' or 'Barbie-esque'. It's just a nice, dark pink and still bright enough to perk up a summer day and looks amazing with a tan. Coral Reef is a nice way to wear 'almost red' nails, as it's a nice balance of red and orange to create a lovely bright coral colour that is absolutely gorgeous.

Mac Lipstick - Vegas Volt
After pulling Vegas Volt out to feature in my 'Summer Lipsticks' post, and also for a recent night out (post), my love for this lipstick has been rekindled and is more intense than ever! It's a lot less orange than I remember it being and it's a lot easier to wear than I had in my head. It's bright coral-y/red colour with a super pigmented colour pay off and high-shine finish. If I could wear one lipstick every single day for the rest of my life I think it'd be this!

Bourjois Cream Blush - 02 Healthy Glow
I've been thoroughly enjoying using all 4 of Bourjois's newly released cream blushes (full review to come), and as someone who's pretty much a 'blush beginner' I've found them really easy to work with and hard to go wrong with. They are so incredibly natural looking on the skin and absolutely perfect for everyday wear. 02 Healthy Glow has been my stand out favourite as a light peachy shade that lightens and brightens the face while adding a subtle hint of colour over the cheeks. 

REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser
One last one that I wanted to add in - I've fallen head over heels in love with this one, I can't believe I nearly forgot to include it! I think I'm in the midst of a full blown love affair with the brand REN, and I basically just want to revamp my whole entire skincare routine with every single one of their products. This is kind of a cleanser/mask hybrid as it is clay based which is pretty unusual for a cleanser, but it's a 'creamy clay' and is massaged around the skin using damp hands for 2 minutes before being rinsed off and it acts as a really quick clay mask would do and instantly purifies and draws out any nastiness from deep in the skin. It's really calming and is excellent to use during a break out, or as just a weekly deep cleanse.

So, that's what I've been loving through the month of May - I hope you enjoyed reading!

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Thursday 30 May 2013

The Body Shop Mango Range

I've mentioned in a past post that the 'Mango' line from The Body Shop is my absolute favourite and that I wanted to do a full post on some of the products from that range. I'd say that I have the majority of the products from the line (6 out of 11 items), but there aren't any more that I'm strongly lusting after - a mango lip gloss and bars of soap are nothing to get excited over anyway. Last time I was instore in TBS (The Body Shop) they seemed to have a little bit of a campaign going of 'What's Your Flavour?', meaning that different moods are reflected by a different scent and apparently mango reflects feeling 'cheeky'. I'm not so sure that cheeky is how I feel when I use these products, but oh well. Without further ado, let's get onto chatting about some gorgeous mango-y goodies..

It goes without saying that of course every single one of these products is bursting with the same zesty and fruity fragrance. It's really exotic and tropical - absolutely perfect for bright, sunny days in the summer or on holiday. It's a scent that really makes you feel happy and fresh. I'd say that it's one of the lighter scents available from TBS and the use of just one of the products won't leave you with an overpowering 'stay all day' lingering scent of mango. However, with all of the products smelling the same they are absolutely ideal to layer with each other, starting by washing with shower gel, moisturising with the body butter, and finishing with the body mist, to create more of an intense and long lasting fragrance.

Mango Body Butter - £13.00 / 200ml
The body butters from TBS are some of their best selling and their most well known products, and potentially what made the store as famous as it is today. Out of all of the moisturising body creams/butters/lotions/potions that I've tried, these ones always come out on top as the most nourishing and long lasting. The silky soft feeling on the skin lasts all day and night, and basically until you next wash your body. Some of the body butters have different 'textures', and this mango one has a smoother and more runny consistency than others, but it's still super rich and melts into the skin straight away.

Mango Body Scrub - £12.50 / 200ml
Gotta love a good scrub up from time to time. This mango scrub is a 'sugar scrub' and to look at it reminds me a little bit like a frozen slush, or some other kind of iced fruity summer drink. It scoops out of the tub as a heavy grainy consistency and offers a decent exfoliation onto the skin before dissolving from the body heat into a thick oil that moisturises the skin after the exfoliation from the sugar particles. This is my favourite kind of scrub; one that melts down into an oily base to offer a two-in-one action of exfoliation and moisturisation. I've found that a little goes a long way with this too. 

Mango Shower Gel - £4.00 / 250ml
This is the newest addition to my mango family, hence why the bottle is still fairly full, but these shower gels seem to last a lifetime anyway. For £4 it's pretty good value! The first time I used this I was shocked at how intense the fragrance was from this, and I'm pretty sure that I washed myself three times over the first time that I tried this because I just felt like I was in heaven. Other than the gorgeous smell, this is really just your average shower gel formulation - it lathers up to a big pile of bubbles and doesn't dry the skin out. Using this is one of the perfect bases to 'layer' up the mango scent.

Mango Beautifying Oil - £9.00 / 100ml
This is the bad boy that started off the whole mango obsession. Exactly one year ago from now, probably even exact to the same week, these 'beautifying oils' were released and they sounded like a dream product that I ran out to buy on the first day they landed in the shops. Considering they have a gorgeous scent, can be used in the hair, on the face, and on the body, in a lightweight and completely none greasy formulation, I can't quite put my finger on the reason why I don't reach for this more. I think it's because it isn't quite intense enough to nourish my dry hair, but it can make quite a nice and light 'hair perfume', I don't feel comfortable putting something so heavily fragranced on my sensitive face, and I just seem to reach for lotions rather than oils to moisturise my body - leaving this as a quite a redundant product really. (For me, anyway).

Mango Body Mist - £7.50 / 100ml
I would highly recommend these body mists to anybody looking for a light and fresh summer fragrance. TBS have just released some perfumes in their fruity scents, which would essentially be just the same as these but in a more concentrated and longer lasting formulation. These glass bottles are lovely and presentable; I always like bottles that look good sitting on a dresser, and the strength of the scent is just enough to perk up a day with a burst of fresh and zesty fruity-ness. The perfect final layer to the scents. 

Mango Lip Butter - £4.00 / 10ml
I often forget about this lip butter, and that's because it isn't all that nourishing or moisturising on the lips. It's a hard butter consistency in a not so user-friendly tub. It is highly scented, but just not all that much loved. The only real let down from the collection! 

Soo.. that is my little hoard of products from The Body Shop's mango line. I don't get a whole lot of use from the lip butter or the beautifying oil, although I want to start getting back into using the oil again - it's been neglected for so long! The body butter and the body mist are my absolute favourites and I would highly recommend looking at this range. 

Although some of the items may seem highly priced, The Body Shop is never without some kind of deal or sale running and it's rare that you'll have to pay full price for something that you're after. Right now, for example, the whole store is running 30% off online and in store - so go take advantage and pick yourself up a bright and happy product for summer!

If you enjoy reading my blog I would be SO grateful if you could nominate for a Cosmopolitan Blog Award in the category of 'Best New Beauty Blog'. All you have to do is click here and it'll take you a matter of seconds to enter my blog url and click enter!
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Monday 27 May 2013

OOTN: White Lace & Neon

Woah, look who's stepping out of their comfort zone! That's right, me! Doing an outfit post?! Better cherish this moment because they're rare. This was what I wore last night for bank holiday celebrations, known to us as 'Super Sunday' - but that seems to just be local terminology.. Does anyone outside of Cumbria ever call it that?

Anyway, I liked what I was wearing and felt all summer-y by embracing the tan and subtle hints of neon to brighten things up, so thought I'd be brave and share just a couple of posey pics with you. Everything is a pretty recent purchase, so if anything catches your eye then you should still be able to get hold of it now ..except maybe the dress as I did find that in TK Maxx and stock can be a little hit and miss in there across different stores - it was only £14.99 too, such a beautiful bargain!

Dress: TK Maxx | Brand: 'Hearts'
Shoes: H&M

Nails: Models Own 'Luis Lemon' (Ice Neon)
Toes: Topshop 'Green Room'
Lips: Mac 'Vegas Volt'

If you enjoy reading my blog I would be SO grateful if you could nominate for a Cosmopolitan Blog Award in the category of 'Best New Beauty Blog'. All you have to do is click here and it'll take you a matter of seconds to enter my blog url and click enter!
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Saturday 25 May 2013

Drugstore Lipsticks Haul | Barry M and Rimmel

Hey there lovely ladies, happy Bank Holiday weekend! I hope you all have some exciting things planned to get up to this weekend, but I just thought I'd quickly share with you some recent lipstick purchases that I made from two very affordable highstreet/drugstore brands. I know that four lipsticks doesn't constitute much of a 'haul', but I thought that it was worth showing to you all to share some of the gorgeous shades. All four of these were ordered at the same time from Superdrug online but they're all widely available so you should be able to find them in most Boots and Superdrug stores.

Rimmel Kate Moss (Matte) | Shade 101 'Soft Pink' - £5.49 (link)
Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Perfection | Shade 16 - £5.49 (link)

If you saw my summer lipsticks post then you will know that I'm a fan of bright lips; whether it's hot pink or bright coral/orange, I like them to be vibrant and bold. That's all well and good but sometimes you just need something a bit more subtle and wearable for the day time. This was something that my collection was lacking. I know, crazy - right? Who doesn't own everyday natural colour lipsticks? And hold onto your hats, because I literally don't own one single nude shade. 

Soo, I headed to Rimmel for my answer to some softer and more 'go with everything and anything' kind of shades. The darker shade (#16) is literally my dream colour and I am IN LOVE. I cannot stop wearing this, it's just the perfect shade of pink for me. The lighter one is maybe a touch too light to be perfect, but I still really like it and it's unlike anything else that I own as it leans slightly lilac-y. Plus, these matte formulations from Kate Moss's collection are really spot on - more like a semi-matte/satin finish that last forever.

Barry M | Shade 310 'TMLP' - £4.49 (link)
Barry M | Shade 151 'Sunset' - £4.49 (link)

No, your eyes are not deceiving you.. that lipstick is green. 'TMLP' or 'Turn My Lips Pink' is a little bit of a novelty and a fad that I bought into, but hey - I was curious! This lipstick applies clear at first and then reacts to the natural pigments/alkali in your lips and transforms in colour to be a shade suited for you and only you. A personalised lipstick? That's pretty damn cool. On my hand it turned into a light pink but on my lips it went a darker and more berry shade, which I guess just shows how different it can turn out on different people/skin. 'Sunset' is a gorgeous bright shade that is the perfect mix of red and orange to create a bright dark coral.

All affordable and gorgeous pink shades to lighten things up for the summer months.
Which is your favourite?

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Friday 24 May 2013

Anne Semonin Skincare | Face Masks and Marine Emulsion

Anyone who knows me will know that I love a good face mask. My skin and troublesome complexion are the constant bane of my life and anything that will show any signs of improvement to it, however short term those improvements may be, I am willing to give them a shot.

Walking away from the Bloggers North Meet Up with a gorgeous Anne Semonin 'Goodie Bag' provided by my friend Nikki from, left me very happy as when I peeked inside I saw a set of four Anne Semonin face masks in a kind of 'tester format' pack. The set is called The Daily Musts* and you can buy this set from Anne Semonin here, although there are other retailers for the products, such as Beauty Bay and Cult Beauty. I was also separately sent a couple of samples of Anne Semonin's Marine Emulsion* to test out too - you can find the full size of this here.

The Daily Musts - Face Mask Pack
The Daily Musts set is a collection of four mini versions of Anne Semonin masks and there should be something for everyone, it includes: a mineral mask, an exfoliating mask, a gel mask, and a cream mask; all with different effects on the skin. Each of these masks are available to buy individually, but they're pretty pricey at £40+ a pot, so this pack is an ideal way to dip your toe in the waters, see if they're for you and maybe find a favourite - I can hands down tell you that I'm now head over heels in love with the exfoliating mask. This would also make a lovely gift as it's packaged lovely and all of the products are gorgeous quality as they're used in all the best spas and salons. I thoroughly enjoyed popping on my bathrobe and fluffy headband, kicking back and smothering some skin loving nutrients all over my face. I had no adverse reactions to any of them and they all left my skin looking in tip top condition. 

Although the pack costs around £24 and that may seem steep, there is enough product in each small pot to get up to four uses out of it, so you are essentially paying for 16 face treatments when purchasing this pack. For such good quality that seems like a sweet deal to me!

Mineral Mask
The mineral mask was the one that I was most eager to try as it claims to 'boost vitality, purifies, detoxifies, tightens and rebalances' the skin, 'leaving an all over healthy glow'. I hate with a passion the term 'healthy glow' and think that it is so overused, but that's what the mask description says this will provide to you. It is supposed to be ideal for dull and congested skin - hey, that's my face in a nutshell! I have to say that I was quite underwhelmed with this decongesting mask and didn't feel like it did a whole lot for me. Unfortunately I didn't sense much of a detox or purification of my skin, even after using it for 4 days in a row as it is supposed to be suitable for daily use. It should have been perfect for me, but I failed to see results with this one! (Not to mention it looks like I've smeared cow poop on my face - niiiice).

Exfoliating Mask
It was, however, a different story with the exfoliating mask. This one can be used as a quick exfoliator and washed off after 2 minutes, or left longer for 10 mins to provide a deeper clean. The aim of this one is to improve radiance by removing dead surface skin cells to 'smooth, refine and brighten the skin' - now that's a claim I can agree with! The consistency reminded me of Flubber, it was all goopy and bouncy, and although I only got 2 uses from the mini tub, I could happily use this mask again and again and again - I need to buy the full size! It left my skin looking sparkling clean, fresh and really bright and clear. One of the most pleasant exfoliators I have ever used.

Gel Mask
The gel mask is another one for improving the radiance of skin and it was so calming and relaxing to use. This one was described as the 'instant pick me up' of the set, and again this is a statement I can agree with. It doesn't look like much on the skin as it just it just a clear, silver-y gel but it is a hydrating and energising mask that improves elasticity and plumps it up. More targetted towards older skin types than my own as it 'tones fine lines and wrinkles', but I still reaped the benefits from the stimulation and felt a boost to my skin's appearance. It says that it can be ideal to use before a night out and as I have a little bit left that is what I intend to use it for as it has really noticeable instant results - perfect for when you want to look your best. 

Cream Mask
This cream mask is one for dry, tight and flaky skin and although I don't have much of a need for this mask, I gave it a whirl all in the name of trial and research ..and oh my am I glad I tried it. Imagine taking your most expensive moisturiser, and I'm not talking something £10 or the likes of Nivea, I'm talking real high end liquid silk, and think of rubbing a thick and creamy layer of that all over your skin and just enjoying the calming and soothing effects. Ah, heaven! It partially sinks into the skin after a couple of minutes and is to be rinsed off after just two minutes, but it can also be left as an overnight treatment (as I sleep face down into my pillow I didn't see much use in me trying that one!). It gave a really relaxed and supple feeling to my skin after I'd washed it off and this is another mask than can used daily.

Overall thoughts and conclusion:
The pots aren't resealable, they come with a peel off lid - this poses a problem when they have more than one use in them; to combat this I simply wrapped the pot in clingfilm to prevent them from drying out before I came to use them again. Perhaps they could come with a sealable lid as an improvement? I really, really enjoying using 3 out of these 4 masks and would take into consideration buying this small pack again, however I would like the option to perhaps mix and match the samples within the set so I can do without the decongesting mineral mask? - We can't have everything though! I think it's a genius idea that you can also make a 'customised blend' of the masks and mix them together to get the effects of a two-in-one.

Marine Emulsion - Day Cream
One last thing to mention! This pricey little day cream is hands down the most luxurious moisturiser that my skin has ever come into contact with. If you're looking to invest in something that will do wonders for your skin and make you feel like a movie star every time you apply it then this is a direction to look in! Made with shea butter to nourish and hydrate the skin, seaweed extract to balance excess oil and regenerate skin cells and marine criste to improve circulation this is a concoction that dreams are made of. It's rich and nourishing but perfect for controlling oilier skin types, and if I had over £50 going spare to splash on a moisturiser then I can tell you this is one I would want all to myself! 

I'm sorry that this post is super duper long and very lengthy - I didn't realise that I had so much to talk about! But I hope you've enjoyed reading about these skincare bits from Anne Semonin and you can visit their site if you'd like to learn some more. It's a lovely and luxurious spa based brand that I would thoroughly recommend taking a look at. 

* (c/o)  Anne Semonin

If you enjoy reading my blog I would be SO grateful if you could nominate for a Cosmopolitan Blog Award in the category of 'Best New Beauty Blog'. All you have to do is click here and it'll take you a matter of seconds to enter my blog url and click enter!
Thank you! 
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