6 May 2013

Bourjois So Laque #61


Another Spring/Summer appropriate colour for you today, in the form of Bourjois' 'Vert Chlorophylle'. I'm not too sure how to describe the colour, it's a bluey-green that's not overly bright but still adds a nice 'pop of colour' (that phrase gets so annoying, doesn't it?). The formula of the So Laque range from Bourjois is a dream to use, the brush is wide enough to get a good coat on, and the formula is very quick drying. I don't find them the most long-lasting, but then again I paint my nails quite often, so that doesn't really bother me too much. 

What do you think of the colour? 

Sophie

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Bourjois So Laque £5.99 available at Boots

The N Spa Facial


Every once in a while (or not such a while in most cases) it's nice to give your skin a good pamper with some great products that leave you with soft, clean, beautiful skin. As is often the case, I have quite a few products that could fall into the 'pamper' category, mostly in the form a face masks. It's hard to resist them with all their promises of rejuvenating the skin and making you look bright and fresh. This offering from N Spa is the latest addition in my stash. Sold at ASDA, it's hard to resist when doing the weekly shop, especially when it's on two for £8 - what a bargain. I picked up two products from the range, the 5 Minute Magic Mask and the Skin Renewal Gel. 

5 Minute Magic Mask - described as an 'intensive, pore-refining mask to smooth and enhance skin texture', this paraben-free face mask contains essential oils and vitamins to draw out impurities and leave you with fresh, refined skin. It's a thick consistency, with small beads of Vitamin E which you gently massage until they burst onto your skin, and has a nice, but pretty strong, scent. The verdict? As with all masks, it's an enjoyable experience and makes you feel as if you're doing something good for your skin, however, I wasn't completely wowed. It didn't really make my skin feel much softer or leave it looking particularly refined. I'll continue to use it because it had no detrimental effects, but I wouldn't be inclined to repurchase. I would recommend the Good Things Five Minute Facial Mask over this 100% - I've done a review of this one here

Skin Renewal Gel - now this was a winner for me. This claims to 'gently melt away dead skin cells to leave a soft, radiant complexion' and contains fruit acids and essential oil of neroli. As we all know by now, fruit acids are a great way of exfoliating the skin so I had high hopes for this. The method for applying this is something I've not experienced before - it starts off as a very thick gel texture which you work all over the skin, massaging in for about one minute until it starts to turn into an oil. Then you leave it for about 30 seconds, and then continue to massage until it has all broken down into an oil. The ritual of giving your face a proper good old massage is lovely, and it has left my skin feeling incredibly soft and clean, but without feeling tight at all. Once it has all been massaged, you can add some water which will emulsify it into a milky texture, and then go on to remove with a facial cloth. I'm really impressed with this one and would really recommend giving it a go, especially if you've never used a similar product before. 

Have you tried anything from N Spa? Let me know if you have and what you thought. 

Sophie

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30 April 2013

Natural Collection Moisture Shine Lipstick 'Rose Petal'

Can you believe all these pictures were, in fact, taken on the same day, at the same time. I don't know what's going on with the funky light changes (the lipstick isn't as orange as it looks in the last picture).

This lipstick was purchased on a complete whim, wandering around Boots one day. You know those offers where you can get X-number of points for buying something, well I had one to get 100 points for any lipstick, so I popped this one in my basket. 'Rose Petal' is a really pretty light peachy pink, and reminds me very much of the classic Barry M #147, that is very popular in le blogging world, but this one is a lot less drying. For the bargain price of £1.49 (I could be wrong, they don't seem to have them on the Boots website for me to check, either that or £1.99) you can't really go wrong and this would make a nice Spring addition to your make up bag. I have found it lasts relatively well, but being a moisture shine lipstick it isn't the longest lasting formula in the world. Packaging-wise you're never going to get luxury for under two quid, but the lid stays on securely so it's perfect for just throwing in your handbag without worrying about losing it. 

Have you tried any of the Natural Collection lipsticks? 

Sophie

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26 April 2013

Summer Scents


Working on a cosmetics department means I'm constantly spritzing myself with perfumes when I'm not helping out customers, trying to decide which one is my favourite (I've still not managed to narrow it down). By the end of the day I usually have about ten different fragrances on me, which makes it quite difficult to know which ones I like most! A benefit, however, is that I get to try out all the new launches pretty quickly, and so here I am with a round-up of some of my personal favourite Spring/Summer fragrance launches.

Burberry Body Tender - The original EDP is a firm favourite of one of my colleagues and has since become a favourite of mine to spray happily away throughout the day. The newer version is a lighter EDT, with more floral notes to it. Rose, jasmine and sandalwood sit at the heart of this perfume, and a good dose of lemon and apple make for a refreshing initial spritz. Being an EDT makes it perfect for the warmer months when you don't want to be overpowered by a heavy, heady EDP. If you're a fan of the original Burberry Body and are maybe looking for something a bit fresher for summer, I'm pretty sure you'll like this too.

Signorina Eau De Toilette - Next is a new release from Salvatore Ferragamo in the form of the Signorina EDT. The original Signorina has been a slow burner for me. When I first smelt it I really wasn't a huge fan, I think because it's a very sweet scent, but almost everyone I work with absolutely loved it, so I kept spraying it on to see if I would change my mind. Lo and behold, I did and I now adore this fragrance. The original has, in my opinion, a real warmth to it, whereas the new version is lighter and fresher. There are still a lot of similarities and, again, if you like the original I'm sure you'll like this too. If I had to choose I would still go for the original, but this would make a really lovely addition to anyone's perfume collection.

Daisy Eau So Fresh Sunshine Edition - Yet another release from Marc Jacobs, featuring the iconic flower topper. I find it hard to keep up with all the fragrances offered up by Marc Jacobs, there seem to be about ten different varieties of each perfume (and the same goes for this release, there are two versions)! The Eau So Fresh Sunshine edition, however, is described as 'a bolder and fruitier' version of the original Daisy Fragrance. 'Playful, fruity and floral' with a subtle sweetness at its base - this fragrance is pretty much everything you would want from a summer fragrance. And the bottles are pretty cute, aren't they?

See By Chloe - Finally, something not necessarily aimed at summer (as in it's not just a summer version of a different scent) is the new See By Chloe. This is an EDP with a floral scent. Jasmine and ylang-ylang sit at the heart of this one, with vanilla and sandalwood giving it a gorgeous depth. This one is slightly richer than the others (in my opinion) what with it being an EDP, but there is something very elegant and sophisticated that I love about it. The bottle is really gorgeous too - very simple but beautiful. 

So there we have, a quick round up of some fragrances that you may want to check out next time you're out and about. My personal favourite? It's a tough choice between Burberry Body Tender and See By Chloe I think, but if I had to choose I think I'd go Burberry.

Have you smelt any of these? Which one would your favourite be?

Sophie

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25 April 2013

The Face: Spring Edit


With the relatively nice weather we've had in the past couple of weeks (which seems to be leaving us now, boo), I've managed to crack out a couple of Spring appropriate make-up looks using some good old favourites. Sticking to light, creamy textures and bright pops of colour has meant I have definitely been getting in the Spring mood. Now we just need it to stick around...

It's always nice to keep things simple when the weather hots up, so first up I'll moisturise (sometimes only with this, sometimes after a different moisturiser) with the Origins Vitazing. This is a product I use on and off, but when I do use it I certainly notice more of a glow and a slight warmth to the skin. On me it isn't too orangey, but I know some of you paler girls out there might find it a bit dark. Then it's on to a BB cream, and today it is the Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector. I used this so much last year, along with the original one from them, both of which I really like. Neither of them last all that long but it's something I don't mind putting up with in order to get that dewy skin look. A quick sweep of the Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch concealer (which I don't like but am using up) under the eyes and that's base done. (I did actually add a light dusting of powder over everything just to set things in place). 

Then it's on to cheeks and, depending on my mood, I'll either go for the Stila Convertible Colour in 'Gladiola' or the Topshop cream blusher in 'Head Over Heels'. The Stila one leaves a much more dewy finish to the skin, whereas the Topshop one dries down to more of a powdery finish. I love both colours a lot, but I definitely wear the Stila one more, and that's what I chose today. To add some warmth to my skin, I'll pop some of the Topshop 'Desert Sun' blush and bronze duo onto my cheekbones and temples. I love this product, I've had it for years now and because the bronzer colour is so subtle with a slight sheen, it's impossible to go over the top, so you always look natural. 

For eyes, a quick sweep of the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in 'On and On Bronze' is perfect, smudged under the lash line for a bit of smokiness as well, and you're good to go. A few coats of mascara, this one being the bareMinerals Curl and Lengthen mascara, and the look is almost complete. For lips, I like to pop some of the Stila cream blusher on, which, by the way, works extremely well on both lips and cheeks in my opinion, followed by a sweep of this absolutely gorgeous Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick in #70 'Sourire', which has subtle golden shimmers running through it, making your lips look full and beautiful. 

And that's it (minus an eyebrow powder, but that's boring!), my Spring Face for you all! I'd love to know what you're using now the weather has finally warmed up a bit. Do you change products dramatically from Winter to Spring, or do you tend to keep them pretty much the same? 

Sophie

p.s. I don't think I've quite got the hang of taking selfies yet ;)!

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24 April 2013

Morning Skincare Routine


Back with another skincare routine today, this time the morning edit. There a less products and less treatments here - it's all about getting things done quick so I can get out the door on time. Up until probably my second year of uni I was one of those terrible people that didn't wash their face in the morning. Looking back on it I can't imagine how I did it because the thought of not washing the oils that have been produced overnight off makes me feel distinctly horrible!

Vichy Normaderm - I like to use a pretty simple cleanser in the morning, I switch between the Clarins one that I featured in my Evening Skincare Routine and this Vichy Normaderm one. I picked it up a while ago when my previous Clarins cleanser had run out to give something new a go and I like it a lot. It's paraben, soap and alcohol free, which 'cleanses sebum and impurities, without over drying'. It also has salicylic and glycolic acids in which helps to very mildly exfoliate. It leaves the skin feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

Boots Botanics Rosewater Toning Spritz - After this, I will occasionally use this toning water. I bought this ages ago and it's still going strong, although that's probably because I go through phases of not using it at all. I don't think it does much and I wouldn't repurchase, but it smells nice and, again, feels refreshing on the skin.

Effaclar Duo - Once I'm done with cleansing, I often move on to the Effaclar Duo. I tend to use this in the morning mostly because I use other treatment type things in the evening, but also because it leaves absolutely no residue and is therefore perfect to wear under make up. I haven't had any of the amazing results from this as some other bloggers and YouTubers seem to have, but for some reason I still really like it.

Effaclar Mat - After this I will follow with either one of the two moisturisers pictured. Depending on how my skin feels, I will either use the Effaclar Mat for days when I feel a bit more oily, or the Clarins Daily Energizer Cream-Gel, for when I feel I want a bit more moisture. I was looking back and I can't believe I haven't reviewed the Effaclar Mat before because I've used it for around a year and a half now and absolutely love it. When I first purchased it I was a bit underwhelmed, but after about three weeks of using it every morning I noticed remarkable improvements in my skin. It looked smoother, my pores seemed reduced and it just looked really rather good, if I do say so myself. I repurchased it a couple of weeks ago after not using it for a couple of months, and I absolutely love it.

I'd love to know if you've used any of these products, or let me know what you use in the morning! 

Sophie

16 April 2013

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine 'Papaya'

The newest addition to the ever-expanding nail varnish collection. This time a distinctly Spring-time colour with Barry M's 'Papaya'. A creamy, peachy coral that I'm currently sporting on both hands and feet in an attempt to bring some colour into my life - I seem to constantly be wearing black at the moment! As I mentioned in the review of Grapefruit, the application and finish is lovely and wear time is really rather impressive when worn with a base and top coat. I can already tell this is going to be making many reappearances throughout Spring and Summer. This gets a perfectly manicured (questionable) thumbs up from me!


Just a quick one from me today, I've been picking up some goodies recently though so there will be some hauls and more reviews coming your way very soon! 

Sophie

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine nail varnishes are £3.99 at Boots

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12 April 2013

Evening Skincare Routine


Evening skincare routines are always highly anticipated in the beauty blogging world, as they're often the beefiest part of any beauty obsessives arsenal and something that I over here at D&E get rather excited about. The ritual of spending those fifteen or so minutes taking care of your skin and getting it ready for those crucial restorative hours at night is, for me, relaxing and enjoyable. The skincare included in my evening routine is, for the most part, stuff that I've used for quite a while, although there are other things I use fairly regularly that aren't included, the Neutrogena 2-in1 wash and mask and the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, for example. 

I always do a double cleanse to make sure every scrap of make-up is removed, and for that I start of with the absolute cult beauty product, Bioderma. Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that this mild micellar solution is the fave for removing both face and eye make-up and makes a perfect first step to any cleansing routine. Once I've completed this step, I move onto my good old Clarisonic Mia, which more often than not I'll use with the Clarins Daily Energizer Gel cleanser. An absolute HG product of mine, this leaves my skin soft and refreshed, without feeling overly dry. 

Once I'm happy that all my makeup has been removed, I'll move on to a relatively new step in my routine, which is this Botanics All Bright Cleansing Toner. I've been looking to add in a toning step to my routine, and I was actually going to get the Clarins exfoliating toner, but saw this in Boots and thought I'd give it a go. It has natural AHA's from the hibiscus flower in it, giving the skin a gentle exfoliation, as well as preparing it for moisturiser. So far I'm impressed with it, although I'm not sure if it has been drying my skin out a bit. I'll keep you posted. 

After that, it's on to the best bit - treatments. Not included in this post is the Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight mask, mainly because I use it very infrequently, but I'll pop it in just here to let you know that if my skin is feeling particularly parched I will use it (I should probably use it later, but unfortunately I left it at home whilst visiting the boyf). If I'm not using that, however, I'll start off with the bareMinerals Skin Rev-er Upper, which is a concoction of skin-loving vitamins as well as salicylic and glycolic acids, which really do work overnight to make your skin look glowing and refreshed. I've been using this for about two or three months now and it is definitely a keeper. I'll warn you that it doesn't have the best scent in the world, but if it works then it's worth it eh? I'll follow that with a moisturiser, and if you read my March Beauty Favourites you'll know the Clarins Daily Energizer Cream-Gel is my moisturiser of choice. This is a sample I have because I'm away and didn't want to lug around a huge glass jar with me, but seriously, you should try it! After I've let that sink in for a few minutes, I'll go on to use either the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate or the Clarins Liquid Bronze face tanner.  I'll use each one pretty much every other night and I find that this routine works really well to maintain a healthy glow without looking overly orange-faced. 

Another product that isn't pictured here which I use in times of need, is the Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Spot Treatment Gel, for when you get a pesky spot that won't budge.

So, there we have it! A rather long post, but all necessary of course. I'm sure all you beauty-nuts out there will agree! I'm pretty happy with my routine at the moment, but of course that urge to try out new products will never go away, so let me know what your routine is and I might have to look into it! 

Sophie 

Clarins Daily Energizer Cleanser and Moisturiser

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10 April 2013

V05 Gimmmeeeeeee Texture!


I mentioned in my Empties post that I was looking to try other products from the V05 texturising range after having my hair cut relatively short recently. Well, by gum, I went out and did just that! I picked up another couple of products fromt the pink-packaged range - the Give Me Texture Tousled Style Spray and the Plump It Up Dry Backcomb Spray. 

First up the backcomb spray. To be honest, it does exactly the same thing as the Give Me Texture Dry Texturising Spray. I don't really know why I bought it (apart from the fact that had run out) because I swear they are both the exact same product. Ok, according to the bottle, the Dry Texturising Spray has sea salt in for 'sexy, undone hair' and the Dry Backcomb Spray (anyone confused yet) has 'collagen for hair that is big in all the right places'. I've looked at the ingredients list on the back and it is exactly the same. Every single ingredient, in exactly the same order, listed there on the back for all to see! It doesn't bother me particularly but it is a bit weird. Basically, my point is, if you want to try one of them just pick either because they do the exact same thing! Weird. 

Next up is the Tousled Style Spray (which does have a different ingredients list - phew). I was looking for something that I could use in wet hair, let my hair dry naturally and end up with easy, beachy, natural waves. To an extent this is what happens, but be warned, this does leave my hair a bit on the crispy side of things. I don't know if I'm using too much, and it's fine if I run through it with my fingers once it's dry, but there is definitely a crispiness going on. Also, the spray nozzle is ridiculous. It squirts out (oh!) a single line of product, as opposed to misting the hair, which means if you aren't careful you could end up with individual crispy patches, and not much else. Let's face it, that would not be a good look. Best applied to your hands first and then rubbed in for better control. 

Overall, I do like what I've tried from the range because I like having a bit of texture in my hair, but having two products in the same range that do exactly the same thing seems a bit strange. Ah well! Have you tried anything from the range as well? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Sophie 

V05 Tousled Style Spray is £3.89, Dry Texturising Spray is £3.49 and Dry Backcomb Spray is £3.49 (you'd hope it would be the same!)

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9 April 2013

March Non-Beauty Favourites

Just a few things that have nothing to do with beauty that I've been loving in March! 

Anyone else rekindled their love for JT since this album release? I know some of the reviews haven't been overly complimentary, but I love the song Mirrors so much that I don't care. Plus, I'm going to see him at Wireless so I have to listen to learn all the words! I am so excited for it, JT and Jay-Z headlining is going to be epic! Also, so happy you can play songs more than 5 times on Spotify now haha.

Pretty Little Liars anyone? Please, no spoilers! I'm only on season one. I started watching this with my girlfriends at uni, but only made it a few episodes in. I've started up again on Netflix and am pretty much hooked now. They're all so damn pretty! 

I'm attempting to read the books before I start watching the TV series, but as you can see I'm still only on book one, so I've got a fair while to go and everyone keeps telling me things about what's happening in the episodes! Has anyone read the books and seen the series? Which, if any, do you prefer? 

Apple and Pear Green Tea. I've been a green tea drinker for quite a few years now, and I don't mind drinking the original, I know some people find it a bit bitter but I don't mind. However, since discovering different flavoured versions (I've also tried the peach and cherry blossom flavour) I don't think I'd go back to basics. This one is really nice and I'd recommend it for anyone that wants to drink green tea for the benefits but doesn't particularly like the taste. 

Bit of a random one, but thought I'd share anyway. Let me know what any of your non-beauty faves are!

Sophie 

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March Beauty Favourites


Little bit late with this post, apologies for that. Also, apologies for the pretty shoddy photo here it just wasn't working for me today...

Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion - The second half of March, and coming into April, has definitely felt like Spring has finally sprung. With that in mind I have started getting back into adding a bit of a glow to my skin (and I am currently waiting for the infamous Clarins Liquid Bronze to come through the post to go with this). I have been achieving my Spring-time glow in a gradual way by using the Dove Summer Glow body lotion. I've used this for as long as I can remember, whilst flitting between the Johnson's Holiday Skin and Garnier Summer Body. To be honest I like all of them but hadn't gone back to this one in a while so picked it up. It smells good, does a good job and lasts just as long as any other gradual tanner I've used, including the St. Tropez one. 

Clarins Daily Energizer Cream-Gel - Next up is another long-time fave, my absolute holy grail moisturiser - the Clarins Daily Energizer Cream-Gel. I spoke about this a while ago on my blog, along with the gel cleanser from the same range. I stopped using them about five months ago and I was getting on fine with other things, but recently my skin has had a bit of a breakout session so I very quickly went online and ordered both and have firmly rekindled my love for them. There is something about this moisturiser that my skin loves - it leaves it feeling extremely soft, healthy and glowing. I seriously recommend giving this a go. 

Rimmel Undercover Shadow Primer - This was purchased on a whim, whilst waiting for a haircut. I was in need a new primer anyway, and it does a good-ish job. Eyeshadows don't tend to crease too badly on me anyway, but I was looking for something to help intensify the colours and help blend more seamlessly. I have to say I wouldn't recommend this over the Urban Decay primer potion, in my opinion that one does a better job, but for a third of the price it will do for now. 

Nip+Fab Pistachio Sundae Body Butter Another moisturising product here, obviously trying to get my summer body ready! I've wanted to write a post about this Nip+Fab Pistachio Sundae body butter for the longest time but for some reason it never made it to fruition. I mentioned in a recent post that I don't like using the Body Shop body butters because they're too heavy for my skin, so I tried this one after Barbara from The Persian Babe recommended it. I've heard some people don't like the scent of it because it is ridiculously sweet, and I'm not normally one for a sweet scent, but I do love this so much! I actually look forward to moisturising with this, and I'm normally crap at moisturising my body on a regular basis, so anything that makes it more enjoyable is a winner in my eyes! 

bareMinerals READY Foundation - The final favourite this month is the bareMinerals READY foundation. I've got a whole post coming up about this foundation so I won't go into detail here, but I will say that it is probably my all time favourite foundation, ever, up to this point in my life. So there. 

What are some of your recent favourites? Have you tried the READY foundation? I know there are some mixed reviews but you should go and try it if you haven't! 

Sophie

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8 April 2013

Showdown: Hair Oils - Moroccanoil Vs. Luxe Oil

As you will no doubt be aware, oils have been the product du jour for taming those luscious locks for a while now. At first people were a bit dubious about using an oil in their hair for fear of it looking greasy and feeling heavy, but the times have changed and now there are many different oils to choose from on the market.


Moroccanoil pioneered the trend with their signature oil treatment which popped up in a lot of bloggers favourites for many a month. The relatively thick, beautifully scented liquid claimed to smooth and nourish the hair, making it look glossy and healthy.  There was a bit of controversy about the product a few months ago with some beauty bloggers questioning the actual hair-health benefits this product has, and personally I don't have enough in depth information to make a well-informed comment on this, but from their website it claims to have fatty acids, omega-3 oils, vitamins and antioxidants in - all of which sound pretty good. The oil is absorbed by the hair pretty much instantly, and can be used as a styling, conditioning and finishing tool. 


The opposition in this showdown is Wella's SP Luxe Oil. A slightly thinner consistency than the Morrocanoil, but definitely still with some substance, this oil claims to make hair texture up to 10 times smoother after one application and leave hair looking healthy and naturally beautiful. According to the website there are eight different ways you can use this oil, from an overnight treatment to a protecting and defining tool. The scent of this oil is equally as delicious, but if I had to choose scent I would probably plump for Morrocanoil.

I've used both for a long while now so feel I can make a pretty well informed decision as to which one I prefer. However, it is proving to be difficult because I honestly really like both. In order for this post to be worthwhile though, I do feel like I must decide! So, the winner is...drumroll...the Luxe Oil. I have just gone online to have a look at the prices of both of these and am very surprised. For some reason I thought the Luxe Oil would be more, but it actually around £10 less expensive than the Morrocanoil. Win all round!

Apart from being the less pricey of the two (Morrocanoil is around the £30 mark for 100ml, the Luxe Oil is around the £20 mark), the Luxe Oil really is a really nice product to use, and I would highly recommend you giving it a go. Have you tried either of these? Which one do you prefer? Also, are there any other hair oils you'd recommend? Hope you're doing well! 

Sophie 

Morrocanoil is £30.45 on Feel Unique and Luxe Oil is £19.89 on Look Fantastic

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27 March 2013

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in 'Grapefruit'

I know these nail varnishes have been doing quite the rounds in the blogging world recently, but I've actually had mine since October last year. I picked one up a couple of days before I went away to Egypt for a holiday, and I wanted a nice bright polish to get me in the holiday mood. There weren't many shades to choose from at the time, and I know they've expanded their colour collection more recently. 


The shade I picked up is 'Grapefruit' - a gorgeous, almost neon pink. As the name suggests it does leave an incredible shine on the nails. The pictures in this post show only one coat of colour and no top coat (hadn't got that far!). As you can see the opacity of these polishes (well, the one I've tried anyway) is pretty impressive so if you were in a rush and only had 10 minutes to paint your nails, these would be a good choice because you could do one quick coat and you're out the door. The texture is more 'gloopy' than other polishes, obviously because they're going for the gel-nail finish, but they are touch-dry relatively quickly so it's not an issue. I will emphasise the 'touch-dry' point, as I find that they do take a bit longer to be completely dry and if you were to accidentally bang your nail or scratch it too soon, they would definitely be left with a mark.

I think I will be picking up some more shades for Spring, as I really like the finish they give to the nails and with a base and top coat I get a good four days wear out of them. For £3.99 you can't go wrong and I definitely recommend them. 

Sophie

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Varnishes are £3.99 at Boots

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25 March 2013

Empties #1


Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish - A beauty staple and long-time favourite of mine. I first started using this about four years ago when I was getting more into skincare at uni. You will all have heard reviews about it before and it is worth the hype. A gentle, but very effective cleanser. I tend to use it as the first step in my evening skincare routine to get the majority of my make-up off (including eye make-up), before going on to cleanse again with something else. I got this one for Christmas and it has just run out, so it's long lasting too.

V05 Give Me Texture - Since I had my haircut into what pretty much resembles a bob, I've wanted to make sure my hair has some texture and body to it. This does both very well. Almost like a dry shampoo but without the faff of white hair, it smells really nice and definitely does what it says on the tin. Sprayed into the roots it gives lift and an almost matte finish to the hair. Will definitely repurchase and try other things from the range.

OPI Nail Envy - Another beauty world favourite. This actually ran out a couple of months ago but for some reason it has stuck around in my collection. I did enjoy using this but to be honest, I didn't get the amazing results that I've heard other people have. The main issue I have with my nails isn't so much strength, it's more peeling and the fact they never get past a certain length. I think it helped with the peeling to a certain extent but didn't really help my nails to grow much longer. I am still considering a repurchase to give it another go, but at £18 a bottle (although I actually got this one off eBay for less than that) I'm not rushing out to buy it.

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Blow Dry Lotion - I used to use this product when I was in secondary school (which was about 6 or 7 years ago - oh god) and discovered it again (not the exact same bottle, just FYI) earlier this year. Again, I wanted something to give some volume and lift to my relatively fine hair, and I have to say I love this product. It really does give amazing volume after I spray it into the roots of towel dried hair. I don't find it sticky or crispy, in fact I can't feel it in my hair at all and it makes my hair feel bouncy and light. I'm actually really sad this has finished and as soon as I get the chance I will be picking another one up.

Soap and Glory Righteous Butter - I seem to have used up a lot of 'cult' beauty products in this post! This was a travel size of the famous S&G butter that I picked up a while ago. I have to agree with the hype that surrounds this product - it really is a great body butter. Smells delicious and doesn't leave a sticky feeling on the skin, which I hate! I can't use the Body Shop body butters because I cannot stand being able to feel moisturisers on my skin, but this one sinks in really quickly but feels moisturising enough. I have a thousand and one other body moisturisers to use up, so won't be re-buying this just yet, but I will in the future.

Sleek Luminous Pressed Powder - Technically I didn't finish this - I dropped it on the floor and it smashed so I had to throw the contents away! There wasn't much left so I wasn't too bothered! I really like this powder. It has very fine golden shimmers running through it which give a really gorgeous healthy glow to the skin. I have combination/oily skin and I personally love a good bit of glow, so I don't mind the shimmers at all. They aren't too obvious or glittery so if you're worried about that then, well, don't be! One of the main reasons I love it is because it never looks powdery, I haven't found that it cakes at all and I find it quite long lasting. I won't be repurchasing at the moment because, surprise surprise, I have others to use up first, but I would consider it in the future.

Give me your thoughts on any of these products and let me know if you've got an empties post to share!

Sophie

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24 March 2013

Showdown: Rimmel Lash Accelerator - Old Vs. New

This is a review and comparison of the original Lash Accelerator Mascara vs. the new Lash Accelerator Endless mascara. I've been a fan of the original for a few years now and was interested to see how the newer version would compare (please excuse the packaging of my original, I've had it for longer than I probably should have). 

L-R: Original, New

I was expecting some similarities seeing as they are the same range, however, they are very different. For starters, the older version has a bristle brush and the new one has a plastic wand, which in my opinion makes a big difference to any mascara application. I don't have a preference as to wands in general, I like both plastic and bristle, but I was surprised that the two would be different for these mascaras. I love the shape of the original wand and think it works well being a bristle brush. The wand on the new one has very small plastic 'bristles'. 

The new Lash Accelerator Endless gives good definition, and can be built up to give a good amount of volume. The formula isn't too wet, even when new, which helps to be able to build it up. I find that about two coats is enough to get a good amount of lashes going on and have found it to be pretty long lasting too. The wand is much more flexible than the original, but I don't really know what difference that makes! Both mascaras are relatively easy to remove, with not too much scrubbing of the eye area involved.

In terms of helping lashes to grow, I always felt like the older version really did make a difference to my lashes and helped them grow a bit thicker. I've probably not had the new version quite long enough to be able to say for sure whether this will be the case for this one too, but I'll keep you posted. Plus, it all helps doesn't it?

Overall, I like both. If I had to choose I think I would stick with the original, mainly because I prefer the shape of the wand and the general application of it. But both are good and do what they say on the tin, so if you are on the hunt to try a new mascara, or happen to see either of them on offer, I would definitely recommend them. 

Sophie 

Both the Original and New versions are £7.99 from Boots, and are on 3-for-2 at the moment. 

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22 March 2013

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate: Initial Thoughts

This was another purchase from when I was down in Egham recently. I went over to Windsor for a little day trip because I had been reliably informed the shopping there was very good. 

As soon as I go off the train I spotted the Kiehl's store and was lured in with the thought of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate firmly in the forefront of my mind. Skip forward to chatting with the saleswoman (mostly in an attempt to gain reassurance for what I already knew I was going to buy) and BAM, there goes £36 out of my account. To be fair, I have heard great things about this product and don't often (ahem) treat myself to skincare, so I feel that it was perfectly justified.


Using only a few drops a night of this paraben free, 99.8% natural blend of essential oils, this promises to restore skin's moisture levels ensuring radiant, supple skin by morning. The 'elixir' (as they call it on their website) sinks in to the skin much quicker than I thought it would, and doesn't leave an oily residue, which I initially thought it would. Once applied it almost instantly makes the skin feel softer and I have found the scent to be extremely relaxing - so perfect for using before bed. 

This is only a first impressions post, as I haven't had it for long, but so far so good. My skin feels extremely soft after using this and I am enjoying the luxury of applying it by gently pressing into the skin at night. I'll keep you posted on my thoughts once I've been using it for a bit longer, but if you're desperate to know more there are loads of reviews out there in the blogosphere to help. 

Have any of you tried this? I'd love to know what you thought about it.

Sophie

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate is £36, available from here

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21 March 2013

Laura Mercier Shimmer Neutrals Eye Trio Palette

This was a bit of an impulse purchase whilst I was down in Egham recently visiting my BF. I was browsing t'interwebs, as you do, and came across this Shimmering Neutrals Eye Trio for the bargain price of £20 from House of Fraser. It's in the sale because it's not current season, but the colours you get in it are, as the name would suggest, neutral and therefore wearable all year round. 

I did have my eye on the Free Spirit baked eye-shadow palette from the Arabesque collection, and after visiting the Laura Mercier counter down in Windsor my desire for it deepened. However, as is always the case I knew I shouldn't really have been spending money on more make-up, so I managed to drag myself away with my card unharmed. But, alas, I could not resist the temptation of a good bargain later that evening. You only live once! Can't take it with you and all that!

L-R: Warm Sands, Sundown, Ground Espresso
Warm Sands
Sundown
Ground Espresso

The three shades that you get in this customizable palette are 'Warm Sands', 'Sundown' and 'Ground Espresso' tightline cake eyeliner. As you can probably guess from the names, this is a very warm toned palette which I like. The shadows are very soft, but not the most pigmented shadows I've ever used. Still very usable and wearable though. The star of the palette for me is probably the tight-line cake eyeliner, I've not used one of these before but I am a big fan of a gel eyeliner so was interested to see how this would compare. To use, you have to wet whichever brush you're using and this "activates" it. It's very easy to use and I love the dark brown colour which helps to bring out the blue in my eyes. 

Overall, a very nice palette and very useful as I can buy more individual eyeshadows, blushes or eyeliners to swap in when I feel like it. Well worth the £20. 

Sophie

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