Friday 30 August 2013

Beauty Pay Day Haul

Yay, payday! I have been needing this day for a longgg time! I haven't done a proper collective haul post for what seems like quite a long time, so I've compiled all of my recent beauty purchases together to share with you in honour of this wonderful day: 

(I am now in super saver mode to build up some funds to *fingers crossed* go travelling in the summer, but a working girl need a few little treats. I couldn't bare to slave away all those hours without a pretty little reward at the end of it all!).

Mac Girl About Town Lipstick
Being a silly University student, I may have accidentally had too much vodka one evening last year and taken my most favourite lipstick EVER out with me. And, yep, you guessed it. I returned home without it. Coincidentally, I lost it in a bar called Macs. (It's not funny). Being deprived from my favourite fuschia pink lippie for too long, I caved while Debenhams had 10% off all beauty and bagged myself a replacement with a teeny £1.50 discount (it's better than nothing). I'm so happy to be reunited with Girl About Town, and it's safe to say that this one will not being coming about town with me again!

Maybelline 24 Hr Color Tattoos - Metallic Pomegranate and Pink Gold
Warning: if you care about your bank balance at all, never ever read Beth's blog: Birds Words. She is up there with the most influential bloggers I've ever come across and can make me buy anything! Thanks to her post on all of her Color Tattoos (here), I now also own Metallic Pomegranate - a very autumn appropriate purple berry shade, and Pink Gold - a gold toned pink, or a pink toned gold ..erm? I'm going with gold toned pink on this one. I bought both of these shades from the same eBay seller for £3.84 - link (I've put a filter on all of these pictures so the shades are coming out differently. They will all be reviewed in full with better images in due course.)

Redken Mini Sets - Smooth Lock, Extreme, and All Soft
No matter what kind of super saver mode you may be in, no one can resist a browse through Feel Unique's 60% off Summer Sale!! Whoops. Did I get carried away? I'm a huge fan of Redken, and although I'll admit that there's no shortage of shampoo, etc. in my bathroom, it doesn't hurt to stock up on some of your all time favourites while they're discounted. I found these handy mini sets for just £6.95 each, and me being me.. couldn't make a decision so ordered myself the Smooth Lock, Extreme and the All Soft sets. I've used Smooth Lock before (review here) and know that I love it, so now I have minis (yay), I've tried the Extreme Anti Snap treatment (review here) but not the shampoo and conditioner, and I'm a complete newbie to All Soft but I'm sure I'll love it. Go see if you can find yourself some beauty bargains on the site: Link

It's A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product
You may be happy to hear that when I came across this extremely hard to come by wonder product in my local Sally's (Salon Services) store, I was quick on my feet and grabbed the last two boxes on the shelf. Why two? You may be asking. Well, one for me ..and one for you! In a couple of weeks I am going to be doing a full review of this hair care favourite that many Americans swear by, and I'll also be running a giveaway so that one of my lovely readers can have the 2nd one for themselves. If you find something good, you've gotta share it - right?

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish - Limited Edition Grapefruit and Patchouli
If you currently feel like I haven't shut up about this yet (I have Instagrammed it, Tweeted about it, and I even reviewed it in full yesterday), well it's not over yet because it's got one more appearance to come and that'll be in tomorrow's August favourites post! It's a real love. Released properly yesterday this fruity twist on the classic cult cleanser Cleanse & Polish comes in super pretty packaging with a refreshing citrus boost - it's limited edition and only available while stocks last, so of course that warranted a purchase.

Origins 'Gin Zing' Energy Boosting Moisturiser
Have a product featured on enough blogs that I read and it will only be a matter of time before I cave and buy it for myself to see what all the fuss is about. Honestly, using blogs for marketing really does work and I am living proof of this. The Gin Zing moisturiser is a pretty new release from Origins, to go with their best seller Gin Zing eye cream, and from what I've read it is amaaazing. So far I've only taken it out of the box and given it a little sniff (it smells like oranges!), so I can't comment yet. 

Origins 'Checks and Balances' Cleanser
When I was making my Origins order I noticed that their homepage was brimming with offers and you can't pass up these opportunities when they arise! Free delivery with every order (check), a choice of 2 free samples with every order (check), a free Make A Difference Plus Treatment with every moisturiser purchase (check) ..but I wanted one more! ..Two free Plantscription samples with every order £30+ and I was just £6 away; hence, welcome to my online basket Checks and Balances face wash. In hindsight maybe I shouldn't have bought another cleanser for the sake of two free samples, but hey - that's what I'm searching for shopping rehab for. 


Happy payday spending!

Twitter Bloglovin | Instagram | Facebook

Last day to vote in the #CosmoBlogAwards!!
Here's the link to vote if you haven't yet: LINK
Cosmetic Crave is nominated for Best New Beauty Blog

Thursday 29 August 2013

Limited Edition: Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish | Grapefruit and Patchouli

First things first, what do you all think of my brand spanking new layout? Cosmetic Crave has had a makeover (again), but I think this one is a little something special! Serena did a fabulous job at spicing things up and I totally love it. Secondly, today is your last chance to vote in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2013, so if you enjoy reading Cosmetic Crave then please spare a vote in the Best New Beauty Blog category. Thirdly, and lastly - Don't forget to check out two of my newly added pages to my blog: Advertising and Guest Posting - two different ways to feature on this blog! Now, onto the review..

Today, 29th August, is the release date for this new twist on the classic and cult cleanser from Liz Earle, so it is available for you to get your paws on right now, from any Liz Earle stockists (I usually just use the Liz Earle site directly - link).

Last year Liz Earle released a calming rose and lavender variant of the award-winning Cleanse and Polish cleanser, and this year it's time for a zingy and refreshing burst of grapefruit and patchouli instead. I use this as my morning cleanser now, simply because of how uplifting and revistalising it is for the skin with it's burst of fruity freshness! Ideal for a morning wake up call. It still has the exact same skincare benefits as the original formula and is still the same rich, creamy and nourishing cleanser that helps the skin to feel soft, clean and healthy! The key differences in this limited edition C&P are: the smell is a little less herbal, with the scent of rosemary far less detectable, and a much more citrus based fragrance replaces that, although it is only subtle. And, the other key difference is the bottle design: I'm sorry to be superficial but I am a sucker for pretty packaging; plain and simple. Change the colour of something, add a couple of pretty swirls and flowers onto it and I want in.

The £6.50 price bump from the regular pump bottle does seem justified when you realise that this limited edition version is actually a larger bottle, and there is 50ml more cleanser inside that usual. This version is available in one size only: 150ml. I'm not 100% sure how long this will be on sale for; I think it is just for as long as stocks last I'm already weighing up whether to buy a 2nd tube for a back up! If you're a fan of the original, or you're new to the product completely - this is one that you want to catch while you can!

See my review on the original formula Cleanse & Polish - LINK

Liz Earle 'Cleanse & Polish' Limited Edition Grapefruit and Patchouli | £19.75 / 150ml - LINK

Twitter Bloglovin | Instagram | Facebook

Tuesday 27 August 2013

New: L'Oreal Hair Expertise | EverStrong and EverSleek

In the past year or so I have turned into a self confessed 'hair snob' and have taken to only using higher end products on my hair and felt like the likes of Redken, Philip Kingsley and Macadamia are the only things that have been working for me and my locks. However, whilst being a student I only work part time and on minimum wage so I have a very low income and this costly hair habit cannot continue. I've been hunting for a budget hair care alternative that still provides the same great results and luckily I hit the jackpot second time lucky! Tresemme Keratin Smooth range was a no no, but L'Oreal EverStrong and EverSleek were a yes yes!

After 3 weeks of religiously using this sulphate free and silicone free duo, I thought it was time that I shared my thoughts:

I mixed and matched my choices for shampoo and conditioner from the various ranges in the Hair Expertise line, and I chose a reinforcing shampoo to help strengthen the roots of my hair, and a nourishing conditioner to help tame and smooth the mid-lengths and ends.

L'Oreal EverStrong Shampoo
The EverStrong range is a strengthening and reinforcing formula for fragile, brittle hair. I don't use a huge amount of product in my hair such as hairspray, volume sprays etc, so I don't need anything too heavy duty for regular washing, and the no sulphate formula of this means that there isn't the usual excess stripping of essential oils in the hair that some shampoos can do, so it is much more gentle on the hair. It definitely does still leave the hair feeling clean after use, but more of a soft and nourished kind of clean, as opposed to the squeaky clean and easily tangled type of clean.

L'Oreal EverSleek Conditioner
The EverSleek range is a smoothing and moisturising formula for frizzy, over worked hair. (There is a 'smoothing and moistursing', and also a 'smoothing and nourishing' conditioner from the EverSleek line, but I expect they're extremely similar). This is a really rich and creamy conditioner where a little goes a long way, which is refreshing to see from a highstreet conditioner. It really does help to battle the frizz and make everything seem smoother, sleeker and generally more tame, without weighing the hair down at all.

I'm pretty sure that my hair has never felt so clean and refreshed, at the same time as being so soft, smooth and manageable, all with a healthy glossy shine! These absolutely rival some more expensive hair care ranges I have tried, and for the price I would definitely say it's worth trying them out and letting them work their magic on you!

With all sorts of ranges such as EverRiche and EverPure as well as EverStrong and EverSleek, and matching deep treatment masks too, everybody should be able to find a match to suit their hair needs.

Cost at Boots: Currently £5.99 each, or 2 for £9.00
on all L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise - LINK

I bought mine for £3.99 each from Asda at the beginning of August.

Thanks for reading!

There's 3 days left to cast your votes in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards! 
Cosmetic Crave has been nominated for Best New Beauty Blog and would greatly appreciate your vote if you enjoy reading! :) 
Here is the voting link: LINK. (Only takes a sec!). 

Thank you!

Monday 26 August 2013

BeauteCo. Box (August) | Review and First Impressions

Helloo. Today's post is on a fairly new beauty box subscription service from BeauteCo., and I promise you that it is not just another fad and waste of time - this one really is good! I do have to say that I've only had the box a couple of days and have only had a first impressions feel for the products included, but it is definitely good value and there's nothing within the box that has disappointed or that I feel I won't use at some point. BeauteCo. offer a little 'menu' and a choice of boxes in their boutique that you can choose from each month, although the choice is not as vast as I first thought. For this August box the only variation between the three boxes available is the item from the brand Melvita. With the options of a hand cream, a body milk or a floral water atomiser from Melvita, I opted for the floral water as I have enough of the other products to last me a lifetime! (I chose box #2). 

You can cancel your subscription whenever you wish, and every month you receive an e-mail letting you know that the new boxes have launched and you can make your choice of which one you'd like. Each box is £10 per month, plus a reasonable postage and packaging price. 

5 products in the box: 
- Arran Aromatics Lavender and Tea Tree Facial Gel Wash | 100ml Full Size
- Lord & Berry Kiss Proof Lip Colour Pencil '#6415 Blossom' | Full Size
- Lord & Berry Intensity Lipstick in 'Peach Gleam' | Full Size
S5 Calm Serum for Redness & Sensitive Skin | 10ml Mini
- Melvita Eau de Fleurs d'Oranger / Orange Blossom Floral Water | 28ml sample

I'm happy with the Lavender and Tea Tree Facial Wash from Arran Aromatics, despite it being a brand that I have not heard of previously, but it smells really calming and herbal based - just like you would expect from a lavender and tea tree wash, and it contains antibacterial properties which is ideal for spot prone skin. It contains exfoliating loofah that exfoliates the skin whilst also cleansing and toning. I'd say that this maybe isn't one for dry skin, but I'm looking forward to putting it's spot fighting claims into action! (link)

Ooh Lord & Berry! A make up brand that I've heard so much about and have always been interested to try. Just these two full sized make up items alone make the cost of the box worthwhile, with the Intensity Lipstick costing £12.00 and the Kiss Proof Lip Colour costing £7.50. The lipstick comes in a beautiful nude shade 'Peach Gleam' that I'm not sure I can pull off because it's not really 'me' but I do think the colour is lovely and hope I can make it work as the formula is gorgeous: enriched with macadamia oil for moisturisation, and offers an intense and long lasting colour. The Lip Pencil can be used as a liner but can also be blended to use as a full lip colour that seals to a matte finish in just 30 seconds. (Don't fear that I haven't swatched the lipstick colour, I wanted to do a full post on it very soon with better pictures and a more thorough review!).

I've not tried the S5 Calm Serum at all yet as I'm currently trialing another one for review purposes, but as this one is for redness and sensitive skin I have a feeling it'll be right up my street. There was no need for the sample to be much bigger than the 10ml that was given anyway because it'll probably last an eternity. This is a targeted soothing treatment for sensitive skin with marine bioactives to reduce the appearance of redness and any signs of skin hyper reactivity - sounds good! You can buy a 10ml bottle the same as this one for £10.00 from Beauty Bay (link).

Mmm.. this Melvita orange blossom floral water is a good'un! It's a spritzer spray that can be used on the face and body and is rich in naturally active ingredients that have calming, softening and refreshing properties. It smells absolutely amazing, like zingy citrus fruits so is great to refresh and perk up lagging skin. (£16.00 / 200ml. 28ml sample worth £2.24)

3 bonus products: 
- Headline Colors Nail Varnish in 'Glamour' | 10ml Full Size
- Eve of St Agnes Rose Body Balm 'Rose and Mango Butter' | 30ml Full Size 
- The Green Balm Moa 100% Natural Healing Balm | 15ml Mini

After hearing about this box from Kayleigh's blog, she shared the code FRIEND07 that gives all new subscribers to BeauteCo 2 extra bonus product in their first box. I actually got three bonus products with my box - 2 full size and one mini that alone is worth £5.00! (You can still use the code FRIEND07 to get yourself these extra bonus products from me referring you too).

The Headline Colors nail varnish is a 10ml bottle which is full size and a limited edition shade from the brand that costs £9.00 for this far from captivating looking bottle. I'm sorry, but on first impressions I thought that it was a cheap and nasty looking brand (I've never heard of them before!), plus I'm not 100% sold on the colour, even though I probably will still try it out and give it a go. I'm impressed that a full size product worth £9.00 was added to the box as a freebie bonus. 

The Eve of St Agnes Balm was one that I dismissed at first, but it is actually one of my favourite products from the box and you can find out more about it here: (link). This is one of their handy 30ml tins (£6.00) made from 100% natural ingredients. It is a soothing balm that melts at body temperature into an oil and nourishes dry skin - I've been loving it for elbows! It contains shea butter, mango butter and calendular oil, and it really is lovely. 

This teeny 15ml pot from The Green Balm (link), called Moa is a healing balm ideal for skin irritations such as psoriasis, eczema, bites, grazes and minor burns. I've not had the opportunity to use this yet but it could make a helpful handbag essential and save the day in some kind of crisis. You never know when something like this could come in handy. I'm going to slip it into a pocket of my handbag for 'just in case' moments. 

I can't express how good value for money this subscription box really is. The boxes that I've been subscribed to in the past haven't really been worth it and have been a similar price point but just stuffed with small sample sachets, but this one is brimming with full size and good quality products. I'm especially excited to now own a Lord & Berry lipstick and I'm looking forward to trying to rock a nude lip colour! 

I totaled up the exact cost of the EIGHT products that come in this box
£12.95 + £12.00 + £7.50 + £10.00 + £2.24
+ £9.00 + £6.00 + £4.99
For a £10.00 box, that's pretty darn amazing!

BeauteCo. Box - August 2013 | £10.00 + p&p - Link
Don't forget your FRIEND07 code.
Thanks for reading!

There's less than a week left to cast your votes in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards! Cosmetic Crave has been nominated for Best New Beauty Blog and would greatly appreciate your vote if you enjoy reading! :) Here is the voting link: LINK. (Only takes a sec!). 
Thank you!

Sunday 25 August 2013

Sunshine in a Bottle: Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning

Hey, hey! Happy Bank Holiday Weekend to you all. I hope you're all enjoying the moderate sunshine that we've been gifted with today, and that you all have some fab plans for the long weekend. It's my boyfriend's birthday today so I've been spending most of my time with him, but have taken a little bit of time out to put together a post on a skincare wonder I've been loving recently: Clarins Liquid Bronze*.

Clarins Liquid Bronze is a lightweight moisturising lotion specifically designed to gradually fake tan the face. I have quite sensitive skin and it is prone to breakouts very easily, so fake tanning on my face is one thing I often steer clear of due to the fear of a breakout erruption, and my fave tan (St Moriz mousse) just doesn't seem to have the same effect on the face. Liquid Bronze makes everything 10x simpler and easier though and just solves everything. I've not once had a breakout from using this lotion on my face, it adds a lovely subtle tan that can easily be controlled to be made more intense with regular use, and it also makes the skin refreshed and perked up after use too. 

It is a calming and cooling, light lotion that contains Aloe Vera to soften and moisturise the skin. I have been using this self tanner as an alternative to my night cream on alternate evenings to keep up the colour that this gives. There is quite a noticeable difference after one use, but nothing ridiculous and nothing to be wary of - it simply looked like I had spent an afternoon reading in the garden instead of slaving away at work indoors! Being impressed with my sunkissed complexion I started to apply the lotion nightly but ended up looking a bit Oompa Loompa and over the top, so toned it down to once every 3 evenings to maintain a basic layer, and then amped it back up to alternate evenings when an occasion was looming. 

The tan couldn't be simpler to apply: I have always used a cotton pad to apply and it is so easy to just sweep around the whole face quickly and easily, totally fuss free and I have never had a streaky, patchy or uneven result the next morning. It also fades away gently, naturally and evenly too. It fades so gradually that it is barely even noticable and thankfully there's no scaliness effect or patches.

Wearing this tan on the face not only adds a bronzed boost underneath foundation, but it also makes no make up days so much more comfortable as it balances out the redness and dark circles ever so slightly so that the skintone looks more even and perfected - as well as being a few shades deeper! One extra bonus point for Liquid Bronze is that it smells lovely too, not like your typical biscuity fake tan as it has violet and jasmine added in for fragrance. 

So I've basically just sung the praises of this little bottle of sunshine all the way to the high heavens because there's not a single fault that I can pick out with this one! Usually there's at least one thing I could nit pick at to balance things; such as a packaging flaw or the pricing is a little unreasonable, but even those are spot on too! I know that Summer in the UK is more or less drawing to a close now, but there's no reason why your face shouldn't still be beaming and glowing with a healthy dose of sunkissed beauty.

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning | £18.00 / 125ml - Link

Thanks for reading!
Have you ever tried Clarins Liquid Bronze?
- - - - - - - -
* (c/o) Clarins

There's less than a week left to cast your votes in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards! Cosmetic Crave has been nominated for Best New Beauty Blog and would greatly appreciate your vote if you enjoy reading! :) Here is the voting link: LINK. (Only takes a sec!). 
Thank you!

Thursday 22 August 2013

The Fragrance Shop Discovery Box | Third Edition

Good evening! :) Having a predominately beauty loving and female readership, I expect that most of you have some kind of interest in fragrances? I know that I find the array of perfumes, etc, that are currently on the market a little bit of an overwhelming selection and if I'm ever looking for a new scent then I have no idea where to start, and after getting a whiff of about 5 samples in a department store everything all starts to smell the same! If you're anything like me, here's a potential solution:

The Fragrance Shop are the only fragrance retailer that offer a subscription box to customers; their Discovery Box*. This here is their Third Edition of the Discovery Box and they have a new one released quarterly, for only £5.00 a box. So what's in this box for £5.00? This box contains 6 fragrance samples for you to try out in the comfort of your own home with most sizes being around 2ml. One of the things I love about these perfumes samples is that 4 out of the 6 in this box come with a spritzer dispenser so if you like one of the fragrances they are ideal to slip into your night out bag for a quick and discreet top up (instead of taking out a big, clumpy full size bottle that's at risk of smashing, or trying to balance and pour out the right amount with a non-spritzer sample). Just me that's easily pleased with a feature like that?

But of course, yes you can go to your local department store and if they're feeling generous you may be able to take away a little sample for free, but they don't always do this, and The Fragrance Shop hand picks 6 of the newest releases and sends them directly to you with an information booklet full of details on each fragrance, their origins and their key notes.

That's not the best part though - what's better is the booklet FULL of vouchers and discount codes for customers to use. In this Third Edition there are a whopping £60 worth of vouchers included in the box and you can get £10 off any size bottle of any of the samples included in the box. (The vouchers can also be redeemed online). So if you fall for one of the scents then you can use a voucher to more or less claim your money back, and more! 

Samples in the Third Edition Discovery Box:

Pour Femme:
Thierry Mugler - Alien Aqua Chic
Mont Blanc - Legend Pour Femme
Loewe - Quizas, Quizas, Quizas Pasion
Elvis Jesus - For Her

Pour Homme:
Lacoste - Eau de Lacoste Noir
Givenchy - Gentlemen Only

If you'd like to find out more about the Discovery Box and subscribe to receive one straight to your door then you can click here

Thanks for reading!
Would you try this Discovery Box from The Fragrance Shop?
- - - - - - - -
* (c/o) Sparkle PR

Voting is open for the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2013
Cosmetic Crave has been shortlisted for 'Best New Beauty Blog'

Spare a minute to vote for your favourite blog(s) here:

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Real Techniques Brushes: Expert Face Brush

Helloo! Welcome to my long awaited review of the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush* - a post that should have been published about 3 weeks ago, but due to endless schedule shuffling hasn't managed to make it's way live until today. Such a chaotic life I lead.. 

The love I have for the Real Techniques brushes isn't a secret, and is shared by many people everywhere. Most of us know the basics with these brushes now: designed by one half of the Pixi Woo sisters (Sam Chapman), made with synthetic taklon bristles so that they don't suck up and absorb all of your product, wash like a dream, and have colour coded handles depending on which 'category' they belong to - BaseFinish and Eyes. As an extra, they have a flat bottom handle so that they're self-standing on your dresser and they're just really lightweight, easy to use, fantastic quality and deserve all of the hype that they receive.

The Expert Face brush belongs to the BASE category and I use it for the sole purpose of applying liquid foundation. It has taken the top spot away from the Buffing Brush, which was once previously used for this purpose, and I now much prefer the Expert Face brush. The head of the Expert Face brush is smaller, and is a little wider that the Buffing Brush; think of an oval compared to a circle. Instead of buffing liquid foundation into the skin with circular motions, I instead use more of a 'painting' motion across the skin and this smaller brush head gives a much more precise and controllable application, but it is still quick, easy and flawless!

The Expert Face brush is quite comparable to the Buffing Brush and they perform similarly, so I would advise people wanting to try the Buffing Brush who do not want to spend £20+ on the Core Collection (the only way you can get the Buffing Brush), that the Expert Face brush would be a good alternative purchase, especially as it is just one single brush and if that's the only one that you're looking to use then it makes more sense than paying more for a full set!

Annoying for a lot of beauty lovers worldwide, a lot of stockists of Real Techniques don't ship internationally, leaving many potential fans deprived! A new site My Pretty Face Place has got the answer to this though and ships the likes of RT brushes, ELF, and NYX to anywhere in the world! And for a bargain price too! They stock the Expert Face brush currently for just £4.57 - wow! (link) (Plus p&p which is about £4 according to the online currency converter I used!). If you're a resident of one of the countries unable to get hold of Real Techniques then check out their site here.

Also, My Pretty Face Place have offered my readers an exclusive discount code for the month of August. Using the code 08cosmeticcrave15 all of you can get 15% off any purchase from their site, including the Real Techniques brushes! 

Thanks for reading!
Have you tried the Expert Face Brush?
- - - - - - - -

Voting is open for the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2013
Cosmetic Crave has been shortlisted for 'Best New Beauty Blog'

Spare a minute to vote for your favourite blog(s) here:
Minimal Blogger Templates from pipdig