Friday, 30 November 2012

FOTD - Casual Afternoon

eyeshadows used
Face: Stila One Step Primer, Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation in 3.0, YSL Touch Eclat in 1, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer in medium, YSL Blush Radiance in 2;
Eyes: Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs palette in les bois de rose, Ellis Faas mascara, Revlon GrowLuscious Lashliner in Espresso;
Lips: Liz Earle Signature Lip Colour in 13 Melon.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Review / Liz Earle Energising Body Scrub

I use a body scrub about twice/three times per week.
I don't have a favourite and I just buy whichever is on offer, at the time.
 Recently tho, I have been using the Liz Earle Energising Body Scrub* which I consider a real indulging, luxurious product.
The energising range also includes body wash, body lotion, hip and thigh gel which is next on my list to try!
These are multi-active products, really! They are a special blend of botanicals and essential oils that aim at lifting your spirit and also smoothing and toning the body.
This scrub, for example, contains grapefruit, sweet orange, patchouli, eucalyptus essential oils and olive stones granules which are particularly effective as exfoliants.
I love that it comes in a squeeze bottle: I prefer to use my scrub in the shower and I can't be bother to fiddle with a jar or unscrew caps, to be honest.
The consistency is like a gel  - I find it spreads very easily both on dry and wet skin and it's not sticky so It's very easy to rinse off, too.
The olive stones are encased in the gel so you get the right amount of buff to get rid of dead cells and reveal softer skin, without being too harsh and damaging your skin.
Also, It doesn't leave a oily film like other similar products but the skin is still kept hydrated and moisturized, thanks to the damask rose water and glycerin.
 Finally, there's definitely less residue at the bottom of my shower to clean up too... Bonus!
Have you tried this scrub yet?!

Monday, 26 November 2012

My Steamer and I

I've been using a face steamer forever... which translates to about 17 years now.
My loyal steamer decided to pack it in and stop working about 6 weeks ago and I shouldn't really complaint because it has always worked perfectly for nearly 2 decades.
Anyway, I decided not to buy another one straight away because I wanted to see if I would experience any difference in my skin or if I could live without it.
Well, BIG mistake!!!
Two weeks after I stopped using it, I started to experience some unusual break outs, I didn't really connected the dots straight away, to be honest.
But then, even though I managed to keep the situation under control, I noticed that I kept getting the same blemishes just few days after they cleared out.
During this time, I didn't change anything else in my beauty routine so I put it down to the lack of my deep cleansing weekly appointment and decided it was the time to get back into the routine.
I got my new facial steamer in Argos - there are a few different ones available but I went with the My Spa Revitalising Facial Steamer by Homedics.
I thought this was reasonably priced, you can control the steam and it's a brand that I know.
My routine:
I only need to use it once a week and I personally dedicate my Sunday evening to this treatment.
Once the water starts to heat up and the steam starts to rise, I tie my hair back and place my face on the rim of the bowl. I give it 10 minutes, making sure to move my face around during this time and when the heat gets too uncomfortable.
After that, I use a face exfoliator on the wet skin and follow with a purifying mask.
The steam will gently open up the pores so you skin can get the best benefits from these products and get a proper deep cleansing.

This routine works for me and I definitely recommend it; I do have sensitive skin and I don't think the steamer worsened my problem in any way, but I would be cautious if you have rosacea or delicate skin.
Have you ever used one of these face saunas before?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Boots Christmas Gifts

I love the Boots Christmas catalog!
 Every year, I'm so excited and I can't wait to grab my copy when It comes out, at the beginning of October.
I usually take advantage of the Christmas Events to collect the most points possible and get some stocking fillers for friends and family. I think these sets are fantastic: great value for money, the 3x2 offer is unbelievably good and very nice brands!
Typically, I also end up treating myself - these are my 2012 picks :)
Umberto Giannini Beauty Secrets in a Bag
Firstly, I fell in love with the bag (dah!) - then I was pleasantly surprise with the content too: no styling products (that I don't really use much) but 4 treatment items.
This set targets hydration and, not having particular issues with my hair, I usually go for moisturizing products anyway.
The bag is pretty heavy - you don't get tiny samples in here but I would classify them as full size bottles:
1 shampoo (250ml), 1 conditioner (250ml), 1 mask (200ml) and 1 leave-in conditioner (200ml).
I have only tried one product from Umberto Giannini before - the Sleek & Chic Easy Straight Blow Dry Spray - and I was so impressed that it's one of my favourite hair product ever... so I have high hopes for this items as well.
The bag will also come in handy: it has a zip compartment inside that will be perfect to store small jewellery and rings whilst travelling.

Ted Baker The Name On Everyone's Lips
Again, the packaging is a beauty! I mean, look at this tin: it's not some floppy piece of cardboard but it will last forever, love the design and it also got a cute ballet shoes print inside.
I really like lip pencils/crayons/chubbysticks... however you wanna call them (Ted Baker calls them pens!) and I was attracted by the colours in this set, too.
At first, the colours may look quite 'ordinary' but I actually couldn't find any dupes in my current collection.
The shades don't have names so I will just call them 1,2,3,4 - left to right - for the sake of this post.
Shades 1 & 3 are the most interesting to me... they are quite bright pinks, with 1 being corally, too.
Shades 2 & 4 instead, I was mostly worried about because I don't suit purples on my lips... I was pleasantly surprise as they are very wearable and flattering.
top to bottom: 1, 2, 3, 4
All of them have a great colour pay off and they are very glossy on the lips. I find they last 4/5 hours on me, getting a bit dry and loosing the shine but leaving the pigmentation behind.
Only criticism is the packaging: the actual crayons don't feel properly attached inside and a bit wobbly, in fact shade 4 is already broken after 1 use.
To be honest, I can't be bothered to return it and exchange it and I managed to push it back inside; I reckon I can still use them with a lip brush, if they all happen to have the same issue, in the future.
For the price, tho... I can't recommend them enough!

Have you got your eyes set on any gift from Boots?

Saturday, 24 November 2012

This week I'm in love with...

Since receiving the Caudalie Divine Oil as my birthday treat few weeks back, I've been rediscovering the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR.
I was first introduced to this oil when I received a sample in a GlossyBox - I went quickly through the small bottle because I fell in love with it and I couldn't get enough of it.
The scent is absolutely divine and, because I'm very smell-sensitive, this product doubles as a perfume for me. I picked up the golden shimmer version, last Spring.
The smell is also very similar to the Caudalie' one, although the blend of oils is different; Nuxe's includes borage, st johnswort, sweet almond, camellia, hazelnut and macadamia.
Between the two, I prefer the Nuxe oil because it feels drier and not sticky at all, whilst the Caudalie leaves a greasy residue on my skin.
The glitter does separate from the oil so you just need to give it a good shake before application and - although it looks pretty glittery in concentration - it just leaves a subtle glow, once blended.
The only thing I'm not too happy about is the packaging: I would prefer a spray bottle (mine is not but I understand there's a spray version available on the market) and the writing on the bottle rubbed off straight away (I literally kept finding wee white letters on my hands!).
This product is great in the summer - perfect to enhance a tan - but it will also looks beautiful in the upcoming festive season - as an extra glamorous touch for your Christmas parties.

Have you tried this oil before?

Friday, 23 November 2012

FOTN - Dinner Date

Face: Ginvera BB Cream, Garnier Roll-on concealer, Giorgio Armani Master Corrector in pink, Nars Foreplay Palette;
Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in X and Breathless, Soap & Glory Thick & Fast mascara, Max Factor Liquid Effect Pencil in Black Fire;
Lips: Lancome L'Absolu Nu in 101 Corail Evanescent

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Review / Urban Decay 4-pan Build Your Own Palette

You may remember my review about the Urban Decay Build Your Own Palette, a couple of months ago (if not, you can check it out here).
The original palette holds 6 eyeshadows and I remember people mentioning that you may not need that many colours, especially when travelling... well, here comes the perfect compromise: a 4-pan palette!

As with every Urban Decay product, the packaging is sooo cool - I love the shiny tin heart and the size is perfect for every day use, as well; easy to carry in your handbag for touch-ups and day-to-night transformation!
It works with the same principle, of course, where the eyeshadows pop in and out so you can create and change the combination every time that you want.
Urban Decay Build Your Own 4-pan Palette*
The palette comes with a complimentary exclusive colour: Breathless* - a medium neutral taupe with stunning shimmering and ideal for daytime. 
I also treated myself to a couple of extra shadows :)
S&M: I fell in love with Money but unfortunately, it's not available as a single shadow so I went with S&M which is very similar. S&M is a metallic silver with a hint of frost and pretty cool toned. I don't have any grey in my collection and this will be great to create a monochrome smokey eye and perfect for the festive season.
Woodstock: I can't resist a fuchsia and Woodstock is definitely a vibrant pearly hot pink. I mainly got it because I fell in love with a tutorial where is blended with Freelove - my all time UD favourite shadow.
It's very pigmented and It can also be used as a wet liner.
So, this is the finished product: 
l-r / t-b: Breathless, Freelove, S&M, Woodstock
There are 3 quads palette available now at Debenhams:
Breathless, Rock & Melt... all with beautiful designs and worth checking out!!!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Mac Mineralize SkinFinish in Soft And Gentle

I've quite an addiction for highlighters, I must confess!
 I believe that they can really make your look comes together - they add that extra sophisticated touch, that 'je ne sais quoi' that makes other women comment on your make up.
I already have quite a collection of highlighters but they are all liquid/cream products and just when I thought I didn't need anymore, I realized that I don't have any powder highlighter, actually.
I like cream cheek products in the summer especially, as they work well with a dewy look and - although I still like a glowy look in winter - I think powders work better with the cold weather.
So, I decided to invest in a powder highlighter and I chose Mac Mineralize SkinFinish in Soft And Gentle
I've read countless raves about this product and I've been considering buying it for a long time but for some reason, I have always pushed it at the bottom of the list (probably because I do have already too many highlighters - dah!)... but you know, you get to a point where the next review just pushes you off the edge and YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT!!!
Well, it's beautiful and, as soon as I received it in the post, I couldn't wait to wear it.
It's a very fine powder, easy to apply and with a pretty high frosty finish; I don't normally go for such a 'bang-in-your-face' effect but the powder blends so well that it looks beautiful on the skin.
It is a rosy/peachy colour that can double as a blusher on my skin and I'm very happy with my choice! :)
I got to say that I'm disappointed with the price, tho: in my opinion, £21.50 is too much especially for such a cr*p packaging.
What is your favourite highlighter? :)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Haul / Origins

I've been wanting to try more from Origins lately so I picked up a few items at the weekend, taking advantage of the 10% off and 500 bonus points in Debenhams.
Origins Mask Marvels Gift Set
I already knew I wanted to try the Clear Improvement mask; I use a mud/clay mask once a week and I'm running out of my current one so I needed to replace it very soon. I know charcoal is supposed to have the same purifying properties and I only read raves on the web so I clearly had to buy into the hype, at some point! ;)
I was mostly pleased when I spotted this gift set! It gives you the chance to try 3 different products and the bottle are 75ml, not small at all. The other masks are Out Of Trouble, another mask for problematic skin, and Drink Up, which target hydration.
I have only used Clear Improvement once and, although I can't comment on the longterm effect, I can say I really liked it - it definitely left my face squeaky clean.
Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel
Lately, I've been experiencing some unusual breakouts so it made sense to try another well recommended product.
This is a really tiny tiny bottle but you really need like 1/3 of a drop - I used it twice and I didn't even have to squeeze the bottle but just swipe my finger on the top and get just enough gel.
This product works brilliantly and it dried my spot beautifully... I could easily get addicted to this stuff!
It also has kinda of peppery scent that I love!!! ;)
Have you tried any of these? Any Origins recommendation to pop on my wishlist?

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Introducing / Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely range

For the second year running, Neal's Yard Remedies comes back with the Bee Lovely and Help Save the Bees campaign. A campaign so powerful and popular to win Silver at the International Green Awards and the Ecologist's Best Campaign.
The bee community is in serious decline and that affect the whole nature harmony; bees are undervalued but essential part of our ecosystem but have been threatened by modern way of life and chemicals.
You can take a stand and support the cause in many ways: 
- you can sign the petition here to get the British government to join Italy, France, Germany and Slovenia in banning neonicotinoids, some powerful and harmful pesticides; 
- plant wild flowers and create a bee friendly environment;
- raise funds for the charities, buying any product from the Bee Lovely range and 5% will be donated to the good cause.

Bee Lovely started with an hand cream but was so popular that now there's a whole range, including hand wash, body lotion, shower gel and lip balm.
Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Bath & Shower Gel* comes in the classic NYR blue bottle; it'd look elegant in every bathroom, especially if you wanna impress your guests or simply treat yourself; it comes with a pump which is also ideal, if you decide to use it in the shower.
First thing which comes to mind - talking about bees - is honey, of course and I was expecting it to smell like the golden nectar... instead, I couldn't have been more surprised. 
This body cleanser is enriched with moisturizing organic honey, which is fairly sourced in Nicaragua and Mexico and so pure that it could be eaten.
The gel is also blended with orange and mandarin essential oils that give it an uplifting scent.
I've been enjoying it in the shower where the energizing effects have been more than helpful in the early mornings... but I adore it in a warm bath to soak my battered muscles, after a gym session.
The line contains organic ingredients and it's free from nasty chemicals, which makes it suitable for the whole family, including children aged 3+
This is a truly fantastic and high quality product and if you want to treat yourself or the family and feel good about it, you now know what you need to pick up this Christmas :)

Have you tried Bee Lovely yet?

Saturday, 17 November 2012

FOTD - Owl Sanctuary

When my sister was visiting last month, we decided to go to the Scottish Owl Sanctuary - it was awesome!!!
I am seriously owl-crazy, and I know there are a few ladies out there that share my passion, but I don't want to bore everyone to death with 50 pictures of different owls so here is the link to my flickr, if you're interested. :)
Anyway - beauty-related, this is the simple make up that I wore on the day:
Face: Murad Skin Perfecting Primer Dewy Finish, Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation in 3.0, Giorgio Armani Master Corrector in pink, Estee Lauder DoubleWear Concealer in 07 Warm Light, Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in 60 Coffee Cake, Topshop Blush in Butterscotch, Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder in Brightening Nudes;
Eyes: Givenchy Les Ombres a Fleur de Peau in 01 pearly rose, Collection 2000 Idol'Eyes in Bling, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Revlon GrowLuscious mascara, Clinique Bottom Lash mascara;
Lips: Kiko Pencil Lip Gloss in 8, Mac Creme Cup Lipstick.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Space NK Birthday Present

Last month was my birthday and I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email from Space NK with a  voucher to take in store and collect my birthday present.
I thought it was really sweet, since most of the merchants just give you a discount code - implying you need to spend money, of course.

My present was 15ml bottle of Caudalie Divine Oil.
I was thrilled because I read amazing raves about this product and wanted to try it, anyway.
It comes in a spray glass bottle and, even though is a sample size, I reckon it will last me quite a long time.
This oil is a blend of grape, hibiscus, sesame and argan oils and smells gorgeous!
It can be used on the body, face and hair and it's a dry oil but I still find it too oily on dry skin so I've been using it on damp skin, just out of the shower.
Thoroughly enjoying it - Thank you Space NK! :)
Congratulations to Emily @ One Way Beauty  that won my Birthday Giveway!
Your prize will be with you soon :)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Just In / 24 Days of Christmas with Liz Earle

It's that time of the year again - the best, if you ask me! ;)
Christmas is fast approaching and all the magic and excitement that brings with it.
Today this majestic beauty landed on my doorstep - the Liz Earle advent calendar!
24 Days of Christmas with Liz Earle*
The box is so beautiful! I love the red and white design - very Christmassy yet elegant.
The white wreath is this year stamp and you can find it on all the gift sets.
The calendar opens up as a book to reveal the 24 windows and this is quite a substantial gift - it's heavy!
It could be a gift to yourself (you know you want it!), or for your other half (if any male specimen is reading), or for your mother-in-law. I think advent calendar classify as Christmas presents too, especially significant as this one.
There's a list of all the products on the back of the box, but I'm resisting... I'll make sure to share the content with you every day... Bring on the 1st of December!!! :)
More exciting news:
Liz Earle has launched in Boots across the country!
You can now find specially designed counters and an expert team in 6 Boots premium stores but I'm sure this initiative will roll out to more stores soon.
For my Scottish readers, our local destination is the Glasgow Fort and make sure to pop in this weekend to get complimentary hand and arm massage, skincare consultation and 30ml travel size of the Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser to celebrate the opening, whilst stocks last.
Also, I'd recommend to pick up the Christmas catalog - it's full of great limited edition ideas, gift sets and also candles!

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