Tuesday 29 April 2014

New: Bourjois Nail Polish Remover Pot for Hands & FEET

I don't doubt for a second that anybody reading this has tried, repurchased, or at least heard of Bourjois' 1 Second Nail Polish Remover pot for fingers. It's a wonder product and I wouldn't be without it now. However, the original nail polish remover for hands used to defeat the object of being quick, easy and faff free when I was doing a full on pamper.. because I'd still have to pull out a bottle of remover and cotton pads to do my feet! (Take my word for it, toes do not go in that little pink pot..)

Now, I can completely do away with a bottle of remover and pads and this one single purple pot, reinvented for use on hands and feet, is all that I need - Brilliant! 
It's the addition we've all been waiting for.

It's a simple revolution. In the lid of the pot is a nail polish remover solution soaked sponge with the plastic lid as its handle. Simply tip the closed bottle upside down to soak the sponge in the solution, and then hold it over your toenails and watch your varnish vanish! (Not in 1 second, but close enough).

It's also still just as good for using to remove nail varnish from fingers in the same way as the original pot. Just dip them in, twist, and remove!

It makes sense that if you have it for your hands, you could quickly and easily use it on your feet too. If you love the original and are thinking about repurchasing, skip it out and head straight to the new invention to be able to use it on your feet too ..just in time for sandal season! 

Available now only from Beauty Mart | thisisbeautymart.com for £6.00
and will be available from Asos, Amazon and Very from mid-May (£5.99)

Bourjois 1 Second Nail Polish Remover Pot for Hands & Feet* - £5.99 | link

Would you use this?
I'd love to know what you think.

Thanks for reading! 
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* c/o Bourjois
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Sunday 27 April 2014

Skin Health Spa Experience

On a sunny Wednesday afternoon last week, I was kindly invited to Manchester to receive a treatment of my choice at the Skin Health Spa. Tucked away on a quiet side street of St James Square in the city centre of Manchester you will find the beautiful and welcoming Skin Health Spa; one of 5 locations in the UK with other clinics in Birmingham, Nantwich and 2 in London. They specialise in advanced skin care and offer treatments that range from hair removal, acne, wrinkles, unwanted pigmentation and more. See a full treatment list here.

Before we crack on with talking about the day, 
I should briefly introduce you to the bane of my life.. my skin:

My Skin
I mention it on Twitter, and it's been touched upon on Instagram, but my real skin journey has never been divulged on my blog ..and I can't see that happening any time soon, as it's still a very raw and sensitive subject for me. All you need to know is that my acne used to be very bad, and now it's not so bad. See this picture for reference (2012 v 2013). My skin concerns are what hold me back more than anything, even with something as simple as blogging because I hate to take pictures of my face (..unless there's at least 10 filters on it ;) #selfie). 

Now, at age 21 and after years of trips to my GP and the dermatologist, my acne hasn't 'gone' - it is still there - but it's a lot less active and less aggravated as I'm currently taking long term antibiotics to control it (Oxytetracycline). I still get occasional breakouts but they're now much more isolated and don't cover the entire surface of my skin.  

My main skin concern now is the scarring that remains. Quite a lot of it is redness and surface scars, but there's also deep set 'ice pick' scars across my cheeks too (unflattering picture here). This is why I focus on a lot of skincare, especially masks, that target radiance and renewal of the skin, to try and fade some of these scars and marks.  

The Spa
The Spa was very easy to find and I received a friendly and warm welcome, offered a comfortable seat, a drink and asked to fill out a couple of forms. I then had a thorough consultation with Sophie as we chatted a little bit about my skin history, what I use at the moment and what I'm aiming for from the treatment. 

Sophie explained that she had once been a sufferer of acne herself, and it was so nice and comforting to speak to somebody who had experienced the same skin troubles in the past. She had almost gone on Roaccutane, but found that the peels and treatments offered at Skin Health Spa helped her complexion far more than packs of pills from the doctors ever did. Anyone who's been a long term sufferer with acne is probably nodding thinking 'yep, my doctor can't seem to fix me', and that's because your GP probably knows naff all about dermatology, they just hand out the pills. I felt like Sophie really cared; even though she'd only just met me I felt so comforted and really reassured by her and that she just wanted to help me and give me the best results for my skin.

I was originally booked in to receive an Ultimate Facial - a 4-in-1 facial consisting of: Microdermabrasion, a balancing enzyme facial, a transderm treatment, and a relaxing facial massage. Read more about the Ultimate Facial here. After a chat it was decided that, especially with having a current active breakout, the Ultimate Facial was likely to not offer the best results for my skin at that time. That treatment is more for relaxation, and there could be a risk of unnecessarily spreading the breakout with the exfoliation, so we decided on an alternate treatment of a Micro Peel, a treatment aimed for at giving instantly visible results of a smoother and brighter skin surface, and helps to target mild scars and lines. 

My Treatment* - Micro Peel (Single Face Treatment £125)
Instead of the Ultimate Facial, I was recommended a Micropeel; a duo of a peel and microdermabrasion. They offer a range of peels for this double act, but I was given the Mangobright Peel: a combination of all three acids - salicylic, lactic and glycolic, to combat blemishes, pigmentation and resurface the skin. 

Micro Peel = Microdermabrasion + Skin Peel

The gentle mango extract peel was activated and left on my skin for 7 minutes; slightly less than the usual time because it was my first peel, but longer than a typical first time because my skin is used to glycolic products with having used AHAs on my skin before (Alpha H Liquid Gold, Clarins Gentle Exfoliator, REN Radiance Renewal).

There was no discomfort during the peel as it sat on my skin, just a slight tingle and a gentle warming sensation. After the peel came the medical microdermabrasion which pushes the peel deeper into the skin and also removes any dead skin cells to brighten, stimulate cell regeneration, improve blood flow, regulate excess oil production, reduce flaking and dry skin, and fade scars, pigmentation and age spots. Medical microdermabrasion is like a miracle procedure! 

Microdermabrasion - 'The skin is treated to a deep, mechanical exfoliation. Using a vacuum, the machine passes micro-fine crystals across the skin. As the crystals make contact layers of the stratum corneum are exfoliated, then vacuumed away with the dead skin cells. The combination of skin exfoliation and slight vacuum stimulates new healthy living cells and improved blood flow for better cell turn over'. 

I enjoyed the microdermabrasion so much. It only lasted about 10 minutes and it was so gentle and relaxing, it was just like my face was being attacked with a teeny tiny mini Hoover! Just really gentle suction on your skin is the only thing that you can feel, but knowing that crystals are gently exfoliating the skin surface and then it's all being sucked away is an amazing feeling. 

To finish, SPF 50 and B5 Hydrating serum were applied and I was advised not to wear make up for at least the next 18 hours, and that my skin might be more sensitised than usual. 

The Result
Although the results are instantaneous, it's not a quick and ultimate fix, because nothing ever is ..is it :( You don't walk through the door with bad skin, walk out of the door an hour later with good skin and that's your life happily ever after (although I do really wish this was the case!!). Immediately after the treatment my skin appeared to be quite red and looked a little blotchy, but by the end of the day and especially in the next morning I was just staring at my complexion like 'wow!' and I was truly amazed. Nearly all of the redness had eased, my blemishes had shrunk to literally nothing, and post-blemish red marks has faded away dramatically. My skin was so much clearer, brighter and smoother. All that was remaining was the deep set, ice pick scars along with still lightly larger than average pores, and even they looked less noticeable. 

The results are supposed to be long lasting, but not permanent. What Skin Health Spa gave to me was the confidence that not all hope is lost with my skin, and the intense boost and kick start to really make some improvements by being persistent with home dermabrasions and lots of exfoliation.

Treatments are recommended in a course of 3 or 6. I'm going to continue to follow up with a routine of products at home (outlined below), but I'm aware the results won't be as drastic as what was acheived in that hour at Skin Health Spa. I'm definitely going to be booking back into Skin Health Spa for a course of peels; there's so many to choose from I'm not sure if I'd go for a Glycolic Peel, a Skin Brite Peel, or another Mango Bright Peel. I can also see myself potentially becoming addicted to the Microdermabrasion - I love the sucky sensation across the skin and I'm already booked into a small, local spa for another single treatment of this. 

Price list for treatments - link
They have so many treatments available, whether you have skin concerns or not, but there'll always be a treatment to relax you, stimulate dull skin, target wrinkles, pigmentation, acne, or scars. Skin Health Spa also frequently have offers on, such as all skin peels are buy one, get one free for April.

Special Offers Page - link

Aftercare and continuation..

..And here's what I've been using at home to keep up the good results:
They're all products that I've had lurking around in my cupboards, but I've pulled them out into action to maintain the effects of the skin peel. I am still been using the NSpa Hot Cloth Cleanser as a gentle morning cleanser but I've been more strict in the evenings: alternate nights using Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash* and twice a week using the Origins Modern Friction (Gentle Dermabrasion) or the Philosophy Microdelivery Peel (intense home dermabrasion) to work on shifting dead skin cells and encouraging skin cell renewal. The salicylic acid in the Philosophy Peel will help with any breakouts, and the lactic acid should help to fade pigmentation. 

Having an oily skin type, all I've ever feared is adding more oil to my skin and if there's any step I stick it's always been moisturiser. For damaged and scarred skin (actually, any skin) this is a big no no! Don't skip out on the moisturiser! It was recommended to me to find a 'dry oil' to moisturise, so I've been using the Balance Me Radiance Face Oil* which sinks in instantly and literally feels like there's nothing on the skin - just what I like, but I also need to find a really good serum too. Something to help repair the deeper layer of my skin as these troubles go beyond just the surface and top layer of my skin. 

To help with extra rejuvenation, I've also ordered another bottle of Alpha H Liquid Gold, a tub of Glam Glow, a home derma roller and I'm thinking about the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate too. 

Skincare overhaul! Any more recommendations for me?
Have you ever had a skin peel experience? 

A huge thanks to Skin Health Spa for the amazing treatment and changing the way I treat my skin. I'm now so glowing and happy; in less than two weeks my confidence levels have shot sky high all because of having better skin. 

Thanks for reading! 
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*My treatment was received c/o Skin Health Spa
**Products marked with * have been sent as separate PR samples
Check out my April Gold advertiser, Katrina, and her amazing blog:

Wednesday 16 April 2014

A Mint Line Up | Mint Green Polishes For Spring

As a continuation from yesterday's post about a mint little game where I showed a nail wheel with a selection of mint green polishes and asked you all if you could guess which shades were which to test your beauty eye.. today I'm revealing the shades!

Dun dun dunnn...

1. Primark P.S. Love 'Mint Green'
2. Models Own 'Apple Pie'
3. Rimmel 60 Seconds 'Breakfast in Bed'
4. Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine 'Sugar Apple'
5. Essie 'Mint Candy Apple'
6. MUA 'Pistachio Ice Cream'
7. Maybelline Color Show 'Green With Envy'
8. Models Own 'Jade Stone'

My personal favourite is #3 - Rita Ora for Rimmel 'Breakfast in Bed' because that one also has a very subtle silver shimmer running through it too, and I also really love #2 for a bit more of a greenier shade - Models Own 'Apple Pie'. As a bonus, that's one of their scented polishes from the Fruit Pastel range.

The closest one to looking like a dupe for Essie Mint Candy Apple may actually be the Primark polish! (#1). At just £1 that's saving you a bundle if you opt for that one instead of Essie. Obviously for the price the formula isn't quite on par.. but for the colour selection alone, Primark comes up good!

There's one shade missing that I wish could be included here and that's
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Mint Sorbet
and I almost ordered it from Amazon before I realised.. how many mint greens does one girl need? Really??..
I've got more mint than I could ever use up, and spring/pastel nails aren't even my favourite - I'm more about summer/neon nails!

Let me know in the comments below if you saw yesterday's post too where the shade names were concealed and if you correctly identified any of the shades from this minty line up!

Did you know which one was Mint Candy Apple? :)
Also, which one is your favourite?

Thanks for reading!
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Monday 14 April 2014

A Mint Game

Heyy, a little 'competition' coming your way today on Cosmetic Crave.
(except you don't win anything..)
So it's more like a game - just for fun and the satisfaction of having accurate beauty knowledge.

Have you ever wondered how good your beauty eye is?
Well, let's put it to the test!

I've rounded up all of the mint polishes in my stash (fave shade for spring, that's why there's a crazy
excessive amount!) and put I've them all together on a swatch wheel.
Each of the 8 shades all have two coats of colour and no top coat.

I'd love for everybody to get involved and see if they can hazard a guess at which shades are which!
Just comment below if you think you can identify any of the shades!

It looks like I've found some pretty good dupes in amongst here too, especially shades 7 & 8 - identical!

10 points for guessing the cult classic: Essie 'Mint Candy Apple'
and then have yourself an extra 5 points for identifying any extra shades!

As a heads up, the one I would've thought was Mint Candy Apple.. was way off!
And.. if you visit my Instagram or look at my recent haul post you'll see a couple of hints to which shades are in the mix.

All shades will be revealed in 48 hours (3.30pm 16.04.14)
Please join in and share the post too - it's just for fun..

Thanks for reading!
Good luck!
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Friday 4 April 2014

My eBay Collections

USERNAME: hannah.ripley

The weird, the wonderful, the obscure and the downright bargainous can all be found throughout eBay.co.uk and now you can save yourself the searching and can simply use eBay’s new and exciting feature: collections. The collections can be put together by others and you can see them, or you can create your own!

I never really ‘got’ Pinterest, right from the get-go I just couldn’t get the hang of it and I never really saw the appeal. But eBay has built on the idea of ‘pinning’ items and putting them together in a themed group for other people to follow and browse, but of course with eBay being eBay – you can buy something that you like too. Think of it as a shopping version of Pinterest.

You can make your own collections for so many different reasons:

  • A lust list; all the things you’d buy if you were a millionaire.. just to tease yourself.
  • For some birthday or Christmas hints (Mum.. just look at this collection I made *wink*)
  • A wedding gift guide to share with your guests
  • Party planning; all the bits you'll need to order when the time comes closer
  • A way to compare different items that you can’t quite decide one. Can’t make up your mind on a few options? Put them all in one place and compare.
  • As a ‘buy later’ option for yourself. Although there is a ‘save for later’ option, collections give you the flexibility to separate and categorise your items, and share them too.
  • ..Or just for fun! Who says you can’t browse all of the pretty Parisian décor or cat themed jewellery on the site and put it all together in one place!

They’re super simple to create, literally all you do is find the item you like and click on the ‘Add to collection’ button that will be underneath Add To Watch List. 
A pop up menu will appear where you can choose which collection to add your item to, or to create a brand new collection.

Just last week I received a tweet from somebody who has just logged into eBay and they saw me and one of my collections sitting there on the homepage – with eBay being such a globally successful site that is cray-zay! I’m really impressed with how well the collections concept has taken off and how many people are making use of it.

Make sure you get involved and if you need some inspiration for collections you can see some of mine here:

Above (top of the page) are examples of just three of the collections that I have on my page.
The idea was to stick to the themes of health/beauty/fashion because that’s what my blog specialises in, but I also chose to create collections on the things that I personally search for on eBay – you’d be surprised how many strange 99p treasures you can come across while scouring the site.

The other collections I have created include: Fun Gift Ideas, Home Décor, Kitchen Accessories and a collection especially for Novelty Mugs! (I’m a mug collector.. don’t judge)

Also, with summer on the way I’m sure many of you might find yourselves browsing through my Work Out / Gym collection, especially if you’re a beginner because there's some good 'at home' gear to get you started.

But of course there’s still the Nail Art Accessories (I always buy my nail wheels and striping tape from eBay and have included sellers I actually use) and more importantly a whole collection dedicated to Acrylic Make Up Storage! Save yourselves the searching and just click here to see my Acrylic Make Up Storage collection including the exact £10 Muji style drawers that I use.

Let me know if you take a browse through my collections, and you can also follow them too!

Thanks for reading!
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*This is a sponsored post: in partnership with eBay

Thursday 3 April 2014

Return Of The Crave ..Big Beauty Haul!

Like I said on Twitter yesterday, I may have been a bad terrible blogger over the past month, but I've still been a damn good shopper! So after a 24 day absence, I thought I'd welcome myself back to blogging with exactly what I do best.. a beauty haul!

You may think I've gone beauty shopping crazy, and that's because I have. I shouldn't have to put in a disclaimer but blah blah, it's my money and I go out earn it, I save some and I spend some ..and I enjoy what I spend it on because beauty products are something I enjoy. :)

I recently went on a weekend trip to Leeds and at the time it was the last weekend of Boots 3 for 2, and also the new Advantage Card points vouchers had just arrived in the post, so I just went on a full blow out.. and earned myself 1,200 Advantage Points in one go with all those boosters!

It's mainly make-up and nails, but there's a couple of extra hair, skin and a single bodycare repurchase in there too.


Batiste Dry Conditioner
Charles Worthington  Texturising Spray
Vo5 Plump It Up Dry Shampoo and Dry Backcomb Spray
Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Mousse Treatments - 'Mega' and 'Aussome Volume'

I haven't spelt 'awesome' wrong on that last line by the way ..it is supposed to say 'aussome' for the volume mousse. I can't pass much judgement on any of these yet because they're all so new that I've not had chance to try them properly and form a useful opinion. However, the Vo5 Dry Backcomb Spray is a repurchase and I love that for a subtle root boost and I've been using the CW Texturising Spray lots recently, especially when my hair is curly or wavy to add extra body throughout my hair. 


Models Own (HyperGel) Lilac Sheen
Essie Mint Candy Apple
Maybelline ColorShow Green With Envy
Rimmel (Rita Ora) Breakfast in Bed
Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine - Sugar Apple
Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine - Rose Hip
Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine - Huckleberry
Sinful Colours - Snow Me White

Bought enough new nail varnishes that all look the same?? I'm on a mission to find my perfect spring pastel shade, in particular the perfect minty green - so I bought the cult mint shade 'Mint Candy Apple' and then picked up some potential dupes along the way. I'm surprised to find that the Rita Ora for Rimmel shade (Breakfast in Bed) is actually my favourite! It's a perfect Tiffany blue/green with a very subtle silver shimmer in it. I also searched high and low for the trio of new Barry M shades: I ended up buying Huckleberry in Leeds, Sugar Apple in Preston and ordered Rose Hip from Asos.. after making a detour to the Trafford Center just to check their Superdrug! (#desperate). 

Make Up
Lip products | Blog sale buys | Sleek products

Maybelline ColorSensational Shine Gloss - 420 Glorious Grapefruit
Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm - 210 Unapologetic
Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm - 110 Coquette
Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm - 105 Demure
Soap and Glory FabuLipstick - Guava Rama

Eep, lip product cray-zay! I'm not a lipgloss gal at all but I was tempted by fellow bloggers to try the Maybelline ColorSensational Shine Glosses (they've been compared to Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors) and I absolutely adore it. I also finally caved and got some of the new Revlon matte/lacquer balms even though I said I was done with crayon-style balm stain/glosses and also gave into the lust of S&G Guava Rama after seeing that I'd get 300 Advantage Points for buying any S&G lip product.. so it seemed worth it! 

  Stila In The Light Eyeshadow Palette
Mac Eyeshadow - Cranberry
Being a beauty blog sale bargain hunter I've found a couple of second hand gems recently and I'm especially pleased with these two purchases as they've been on my wishlist for a longgg time: Mac Cranberry and Stila in the Light Palette. Both have light use but are in good condition (athough Stila Kitten got a bit bashed in the post) and sometimes it so worth it to have something 'not quite brand new' and pay half the retail price instead.

Sleek Corrector and Concealer Palette
Sleek Blush by 3 - Pink Lemonade
Sleek Eyeshadow Palette - Storm
Sleek have released two new Blush by 3 palettes for this spring/summer and after being sent Californ.I.A* to review but not loving having all shades being cream formula, I decided to buy the second trio for myself too - Pink Lemonade as this one is 2x powder and 1x cream, with more wearable pretty pink shades, inspired by an English afternoon tea! I also got the Correct/Conceal palette in shade 02 and I'm convinced that it's far too dark for me - using that middle shade under my eyes will make them darker - not brighter! And finally, all hail the Sleek Storm Palette! The most perfect combination of  shades with an amazing formula and perfect price.

Skin & Body

Soap and Glory SugarCrush Body Scrub
Origins Make A Difference+ Treatment
Origins GinZing Eye Cream

I ordered from the Origins site and it came with free samples of: Smarty Plants CC Cream, Modern Friction exfoliator x2, Clear Improvements mask, Plantscription serum, and Gin Zing moisturiser. Although I've already got the full size versions of half of these it never hurts to try out the new ones and keep the sample sizes of the old favourites - you never know when a mini will come in handy! 

Also, these samples are lethal because I was actually purchasing the Make A Difference+ Treatment and GinZing eye cream after loving the samples that I got of them in a previous order. Origins know what they're doing ;) 

The month of March was good for my beauty table ..but bad for the bank balance!

Thanks for reading 
Share your thoughts on any of my purchases in the comments :)

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