Saturday 30 June 2012

Aussie Aussome Volume Ltd. Edition collection

Aussie aussome volume ltd edition shampoo and conditioner
It seems as though I am forever searching for the perfect shampoo. Constantly chopping and changing you will find an array of shampoos and conditioners in my bathroom. One brand that I seem to always return to when my hair needs a good pick me up is Aussie. This was my brand of choice throughout my teenage years which was some years ago. I would class this as mid of the range price wise. Its approximately £5.99 each but I took advantage of the 3 for 2 in boots so it worked out rather well.

I am a sucker for a shampoo with a strong aroma. The fruity tropical scent of this instantly draws me in and I love the fact that not only does this smell ridiculously incredible in the shower but the scent actually lingers afterwards allowing me to catch a whiff of it throughout the day. This lathers up pretty darn well meaning that I only need a 50 pence sized dollop for my long hair and it does the job. Being the volume edition to their collection this does a great job of removing all traces of dirt and grease meaning my hair feels weighless afterwards which is perfect for fine haired ladies like myself that may have lots of hair but lack in the volume stakes. When I wash my hair it can become quite knotty which means the main thing I look for in a conditioner is one that removes all tangles and gives me that smooth glossy feeling when I rinse. This does just that, it allows me to get a wide tooth comb through in the shower with ease and as it rinses it instantly feels smoother. With some volumising shampoos I can find that they can be slightly drying but surprisingly I did not find that was an issue with these and whilst it lifted my roots it actually gave the ends of my hair which can be a tad damaged a good burst of moisture. Even my best mate commented on how glossy my hair was looking. This was definitely a winner in my opinion and now I don't know why I ever strayed from this brand in the first place...

What are your thoughts on the Aussie range? Nay or yay?

Friday 29 June 2012

Soap and Glory The Fab Pore

Soap and Glory The Fab PoreSoap and Glory The Fab Pore Facial PeelSoap and Glory The Fab Pore ReviewSoap and Glory The Fab Pore Facial Peel Review
Soap and Glory The Fab Pore*
I don't know what it is about Soap and Glory products, whether its the adorable packaging, the fact they always pick a name that puts a smile on my face or the fact that they always deliver. When my skin was need of a deep cleanse this week, I treated myself to this little number. S&G The Fab Pore facial peel. I had also accumulated a good few Boots points so technically it was free right? Now don't get me wrong I don't have particularly blemish prone skin bar the occasional breakout when mother nature is paying her monthly visit. I do however suffer from enlarged pores and some blackheads on the nose area (gross right?). This is usually disguised with my Porefessional primer which covers them perfectly. But like most skincare junkies I am always on the hunt for something that eliminates them completely. Blackhead scrubs, nose strips, weird contraptions you name it and there's a good chance I have tried it. 

When it comes to face masks I always look for something that gives immediate results. Call me impatient but if I am going to spend 15 minutes looking ridiculous then I at least want to see the results afterwards.  Packed full of blemish fighting ingredients including salicylic acid, kaolin and essential vitamins E&C this is the ultimate treat for 'oily' skin. Usually I am a no mess kind of girl. I like to apply my facial masks with a brush and avoid sticky fingers so to speak. This on the other hand works by massaging into the skin which allows the tiny micro beads to almost burst and penetrate the clay into the pores. I massaged this in for approximately 1 minute until my entire face resembled a ghostly shade of white (scary stuff) although my dad did joke that I looked better :-). It does have a rather menthol smell in my opinion which I guess is an acquired scent but not something I would associate with a relaxing spa treatment. But it does the business none the less. Perhaps not the best mask if you have sensitive skin as this does have a slight sting to it upon application. The tingling does wear off after a few minutes and isn't unbearable but you can definitely feel this stuff doing its biz. Unlike generic clay masks it does not dry onto the skin, it just stays the same throughout the treatment and after 15 minutes you rinse.  I like to do this with a clean muslin cloth to ensure that all the product has been rinsed away, there is nothing worse than finding left over mask in the hair line or under the chin. Rather than making my skin feel dry afterwards it actually feels rather moisturised considering the ingredients in this. My skin actually felt cleaner than it ever has almost squeaky clean. Although I would not go as far to say I was completely blackhead free after use it definitely tightened my pores and made my skin look a lot more even and clear. As this is quite a potent formula its not something I would use on a regular basis but more something that I would dig out when my skin needs a thorough deep down cleanse even though it is advised to use this 2-3 times per week. Having said that I may experiment with more frequent use and see what results I get and will report back. 

Soap and Glory The Fab Pore is available at Boots for a mere £8.00. They are also doing a 3 for 2 on all S&G products at the moment. Click here to buy.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

L'Oreal Lumi Magique vs YSL Touche Éclat

L'Oreal magique highlighting concealerL'Oreal lumi magique highlighterL'oreal lumi magiqueL'oreal magique highlighting concealer swatch lightL'Oreal magique concealer in lightYSLToucheclatvsLOrealLumiMagique
 YSL Touche Éclat (left) L'Oreal Lumi Magique

When I heard on the grapevine that there was a possible dupe in the form of L'oreal Lumi Magique to the infamous YSL Touche Éclat my first thought was where can I get this from? I am a big fan of the latter and I don't think there has been a time where this has not graced my makeup collection with my latest being a sneaky purchase on a day trip to Harrods after being lured into the cosmetics hall (seriously this is like WOW, if you ever get the chance to visit I highly recommend!). Anyhow its an expensive habit at at RRP of £25 so when I spied the L'oreal Lumi Magique in Boots a while back priced at a mere £8.49 I quickly snapped one up in the shade light. 

Now lets be frank here, its not got the packaging to rival the YSL version by far and it has a twisting end which disperses the product as opposed to the fancy clicker on the YSL but on all other levels its a winner. For starters the brushes are very similar in both size and denseness with the L'oreal being a tad softer. Colour wise I opted for light whereas I am a shade 1 (original) in the Touche Éclat. I found that the L'oreal had a more yellow base whereas the YSL has more of a pink undertone in the shade I use. With the limited amount of shades in the L'oreal collection, ranging from light, medium to dark it would be hard to get a perfect match but this does the job just as well. Being a highlighting concealer this can be used anywhere you would get a natural highlight so I tend to apply under my eyes, along the bridge of my nose and creases and across the cupids bow and brows, all blended with a RT deluxe shadow brush. In terms of formulation they are very similar with the latter being of a slightly more fluid formula. Coverage wise neither are going to cover blemishes well and are designed to be used on areas such as dark circles under the eyes so I would not go putting either of these on your spots or blemishes as all this will do is highlight the area, not a good look. 

In a nutshell these are very much comparable with very different price tags. I still stand firmly that the YSL will never be beaten and will always be my under-eye concealer of choice but this is the perfect alternative without breaking the bank and is something I will definitely be re-purchasing in the future.

The YSL Touche Éclat is available at most major department stores and online for approximately £25. The L'Oreal Lumi Magique highlight can be purchased in Boots in store or online here for £8.49. 

Friday 22 June 2012

New York the dream!

Source - Wikipedia
Ask me my favourite city and there won't be a pause, just a quick 'New York' reply. Ever since I was a youngster I dreamt about going to New York. Then back when I was a teen I started watching Sex and The City religiously. Yes, I watched it from the very first episode on TV to the finale. I recall quite vividly texting my best mate via my old Nokia 3210 to catch up on the last episode before I ran out of credit haha. There was something so special about the city, like you could get lost there. I promised myself that one day I would go there, see the lights and sip a cosmo overlooking Times Square. Well back in 2009 my boyfriend and I took the plunge and booked an entire week out there and I wasnt disappointed! It was everything I had seen in the movies and more so whilst flicking through some pictures this evening and reminiscing over some happy memories I thought I would share some with you. Enjoy!

Left - It took a long time and a lot of walking but my bf managed to find the infamous stoop as seen in Sex and the city at Perry Street. To say I was excited was an understatement.

Right - Me being my usual cheeky self at Madame Tussauds in Times Square...


Slightly different type of post to throw into the mix which is slightly off on a tangent from my usual beauty banter. Let me know what you think of these types of posts...

Monday 18 June 2012

Essie Diffusion Line - My collection & Swatches!

Firstly, I hope you all had a cracking weekend! For once in a blue moon my bf managed to get the entire weekend off of work which meant lots of drinking, eating, followed by some shopping and a quick visit to the cinema to see Men in Black III, unfortunately I had not seen any of the previous films so did not have a scooby what was going on, but it was pretty good none the less and Will Smith is pretty easy on the eye. But this does mean that having been to see 2 of my Chris's choices in a row that I shall get the pick for the next 2 films (hopefully). So, apologies for there being a lack of a Sunday post, I have been trying to post on a more daily basis. This was meant to be a 'hair' post yet I managed to clean up my camera and delete the photo's I had taken for that post so I shall have to re-shoot this week. 

Ever since Superdrug/Boots launched the Essie diffusion line, I instantly fell in love with the range. Suffice to say I have accumulated rather a collection over the past month or so. So much so that it deserved a post dedicated. Not only do these apply like a dream thanks to their new wider brush, but the colour range is right up my street.
Essie Nail Polishes (swatches)Essie Diffusion Nail Polishes (swatches)EssieDiffusionLineSwatches

001 Lilacism. I am not a big fan of lilacs but there was something about this colour I was drawn to. 2 coats achieves a fairly opaque colour with a 3rd coat adding a slightly more intensity. This is a colour that looks better on than in the bottle, and is perfect for summer. 
002 Fiji. There has been some speculation about the application of this and I am inclined to agree. It does take several coats for an opaque look I am happy with and can apply a tad streaky but this is the perfect nude pale pink. 
003 Peach Daiquiri - This is a gorgeous juicy summer colour. I love this applied with my Seche Vite for the ultra gloss look. You can see my post on this here.  
004 Tart Deco - This is the perfect peach colour. Think a more intense Barry M peach melba but a much easier application. 
005 Mint Candy Apple - A bloggers favourite theres not much to say about this one. My only gripe is that it can be tricky to apply without streaking and does need a good few coats for an intense colour so you need a little time on your hands to apply. 
006 Merino Cool - One of my favourites. 2 coats of this and I am ready to go. This is a gorgeous muted  greyish purple colour. 
007 Finally, Cute as a button. I have been dying to try this out and was lucky enough to win this as a part of a giveaway which you can see my post on here! This is the ultimate neon summer colour verging between a pink and an orange. 

The Essie diffusion line is available in selected Boots and Superdrugs stores or you can purchase online for £7.99

Saturday 16 June 2012

Giveaway win and a Thank You!

This morning I was startled by the postman who delivered a rather large suspicious parcel to my doorstep. You see a short while ago I was lucky to win Aimee's giveaway over at her blog A qui bit of. Being a huge fan of Essie polishes the prize was their popular 'cute as a button' shade from their new diffusion range. This is a colour I have been literally dying to try out so I literally squealed with excitement when I got the email from Aimee to say I had won! So big thank you to Aimee and if you are not familiar with her blog then please go check it out by clicking here.

Giveaway winGiveaway winnerEssie giveaway win
Not only did Aimee beautifully package the prize she wrote a stunning card (and how lush are her business cards) but she also packed in a few other treats! This is a girl after my own heart... 

So, Thank you Aimee!

The Imperfect bun - Donut style

(not the most flattering of angles, excuse BIG head!)

Everytime I see a girl with a perfect top knot, I feel a pang of jealousy inside. Take Zoe from Zoella she manages to perfect the perfect imperfect up do every time. For starters I have long, very fine hair, albeit lots of it but it lacks volume and oomph so to speak. Therefore any 'bun' usually resembles a pineapple party piece as opposed to a chic 'I've made an effort but I haven't' type of look. That was until I discovered the donut! Where have you been all my life? After traipsing to Boots and picking one up for a couple of quid I got to work experimenting. Given its not perfect by any means but it definitely gave my hair a more voluminous effect. All I did was gather all my hair in a high pony, slip the donut over, wrapped hair and pinned with a dozen kirby grips. Simples. I find this works better on 'unwashed' hair which is perfect for in-between washes without looking like you have made zilch effort. Keep your eyes peeled for my next post which is another 'hair' one. 

Friday 15 June 2012

L'Oreal Rouge Caresse - Lovely Rose

L'Oreal CaresseL'Oreal Caresse Lovely RoseL'Oreal Caresse Lovely Rose ReviewL'Oreal Caresse Lovely Rose Review

When Revlon launched a range of lip butters the blogging world seemed to go into a frenzy. However whilst all this was going on L'oreal slyly released their Caresse range, a collection of 10 stunning colours promising a weightless finish without compromising on the colour payoff. A few weeks a go I stumbled across these in Superdrug and decided to get one to see what all the fuss was about. I know Cheeky Magenta is a bloggers fave but it was a little too daring for me so I opted for 'Lovely Rose' a nude pink shade perfect for day to day wear. Verging between a matte and gloss finish these leave a natural sheen of colour across the lips which can be built up by layering for intensity. I usually swish one coat over my lips and then pat in with my finger for a more matte look. Moisturising and pigmented these are lovely to wear my only gripe would be is that they don't last. I am talking 1 hour tops without drinking or eating as such. When you are a 2 cups of coffee in the first hour at work girl (aka me) its a little annoying but as I opted for a lighter shade I can pretty much re-apply without the aid of a mirror but if you are looking for something with slightly more longevity then this range isn't perhaps your best choice. Have you tried any from this range yet?

The L'Oreal Rouge their Caresse range are available at Boots/Superdrug for £7.99 each. The last time I checked Superdrug were doing a 3 for 2 offer on all cosmetics and these were included!

Evening Skincare Routine

It has taken me some time to achieve an evening routine that I am happy with but I think I have finally got there - for the time being. You see, I chop and change all the time, testing new products, getting rid of duds and so forth that I tend to use a medley of products in the evening. Evenings are 'me' time. After a long day at work all I want to do is have dinner, run a relaxing bath and give my skin a thorough cleanse to  rid of all the gunk from throughout the day. I think skincare is such a personal thing and what works for me may not work for you guys so please bear this in mind when I mention the products. This is just what works for me at the moment. 

First step is to remove all traces of makeup using Bioderma and several cotton pads. This has to be by far the most effective makeup remover I have tried without drying my skin out. I then move onto a deep cleanse using the Chanel Pureté. My skin definitely feels squeaky clean after using this. I will use the Clarisonic Mia about 2 times a week, always in the evening, I find this gives my skin a real boost. Once I have got all the dirt and grime off I need to start putting some good back in, I am loving the Alpha H liquid gold at the moment and have definitely seen an improvement in blemishes, not that I suffered with spots as such, but you know the marks you get over time from previous spots and uneven skin tone etc. I will then spritz a generous amount of Caudalie Beauty Elixir in my hands and press into the skin. After this has dried I will do the same with the Esteé Lauder ANR. Little tip for you girls, try and press the products into the skin rather than rub, I believe I got this tip from the queen herself that is Lisa Eldridge :-). I always try to remember an eye cream but sometimes, I am only human after all, I do forget...but I have been enjoying the Esteé Lauder ANR eye cream which I got as a sample size 5ml. Let me tell you I have had this since March, 3 months and have not so much as touched the bottom. If you can get a sample of this then I highly recommend it. Finally if I do have any active spots then I dab a small amount of Origins super spot remover. No it doesn't eliminate the spot overnight but reduces the redness and makes it more manageable to cover in the morning. You have probably noticed I bypass an important step. Moisturiser right! Well having slightly oily skin means that I find that the Esteé Lauder ANR provides enough moisture. If I feel that my skin needs a little more hydration then I usually slap on an oil, either the Clarins Lotus oil or Sanctuary Facial oil is a good cheaper alternative. 

See below for a full list of the products mentioned, click the links for prices etc. 

Thursday 14 June 2012

Empties #1

For a while a tatty old Body Shop bag has sat in the corner of my room. Everytime I have finished a product I have thrown it in this bag and over a period of time have accumulated somewhat of a little stash ready for the recycling bin but there was another reason, this post for instance. Being a neat freak I shall be glad to get rid of this, not before sharing with you some of the products I finished this month though. Being a product obsessive, if I finish a product its real testimony of my love for it. But does it mean I will buy it again? Read on...

1. Liz Earle Instant Boost Tonic. I have spoken about this in great lengths before and I absolutely love this product. I purchased the full 200ml after finishing a sample and it was a sad day when this came to an end. I hope that I do buy this again but I have 2 other toners on the go so am trying to finish them before splashing out on this. 

2. Batiste Dry Shampoo in Tropical. Lets just say its the smell that has driven me to purchase a larger can of this already. I hate the white residue that Batiste leaves so if I stumble across one that eliminates this then I am all for replacing. Answers below if you know of one :-)

3. Korres body butter in Guava. This is summer in a bottle. I even dedicated a full post on this here. I got this for £5 at an outlet but I am in 2 minds as to whether I would purchase it again at full price. I have heard they have a lipgloss in Guava which is tempting. It smells bloody gorgeous!

4. The Body Shop Banana shampoo. Another product bought purely for the smell. The difference being this leaves my hair silky smooth and manageable. Shame they don't do a volumising one with the same scent! I actually went to get this again but they were out of stock!

5. Noble Isle shower gel. Look familiar? This came with Glossy Box and it smells gorgeous. I am not sure whether it is something I would buy full size but I enjoyed it all the same and am trying to get through the copious amounts of samples I have accumulated over the past few months. 

6. Caudalie Beauty Elixir. The blogger fave. I have already stocked up on this. I can't get enough of it. I use this morning and evening and throw in my bag for freshening up throughout the day!

7. Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser. Finally, another LE product. I am on my 4th bottle of this stuff, upping it to the 200ml to make it last longer. I don't use this everyday usually once or twice a week when my skins a bit poop. 

If you want to buy any of the products mentioned hit the links below. 

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Topshop Blush 'Head over Heels'

Topshop BlusherTopshop Makeup Head over Heels Blusher Review [swatches]Topshop blusher [head over heels]Topshop Head over Heels BlusherTopshop Head over Heels Blusher ReviewTopshop Head over Heels cream blusher
Not so long ago I popped my Topshop makeup cherry and purchased their Skin forward a few months and I can't get enough of Topshop makeup and feel a tad embarrassed I had not discovered this sooner. My latest purchase is Head over Heels blush for a tiny £6. I for one love the packaging of TS makeup, their blushers being no different. The formulation of these blushers are something I am new to. They are basically a cream that mattifies upon application. So I can apply this to the apples of my cheeks, blend and rather than leave a dewy finish like some cream blushers it leaves a subtle wash of colour across my cheeks. The colour is a bright pinky orange and definitely sits well with my love for a peachy blush. The pink undertones are more apparent when this is applied rather than when you first look at this so I highly reccomend having a swatch of this when you are next in TS!

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Benefit POREfessional

Benefit POREfessionalBenefirt POREfessional 2Benefit POREfessional 3POREfessional swatchBenefit POREfessional Trial size
(comparison of full sized vs. trial)

Ever since Glamour released 3 trial sized editions of their most popular products the blogging world seems to have gone a tad crazy over their POREfessional. And for good reason too in my opinion. I mentioned this in yesterdays post yet I felt it worthy of a dedicated post. This little beauty has been a must have in my makeup collection for as long as I can remember. Yes its pricey at £23.50 for a 22ml tube but well worth it. If you are lucky enough to find the POREfessional with Glamour then potentially you could pick up the equivalent of a full sized for a mere £6! I use this as part of my daily routine every morning as the first step of my makeup routine. The formulation is a little strange for want of a better word. Its a balmy consistency with a slight tint which turns translucent when applied. Completely oil free (a must for me) this glides on almost like silk leaving my skin smoother and more even. The ultimate point of the product is to deminish visible pores. I am unfortunate to have enlarged pores, predominantly around the nose and chin area and a few between the eyebrows. There is no proven way to get rid of this (if you know then please share :-)) therefore the only successful means of reducing their appearance is by covering them. Now I wouldn't go as far to say this covers them, in my opinion it 'fills' them in so those tiny little holes you see (pores) are filled with the product meaning that you get a flawless canvas to apply your makeup. Having skin on the oily side means that products can slip around this provides somewhat a veil between my skin and makeup which the makeup can stick to so to speak and this definitely helps with keeping it in place and reducing the shine on a day to day basis. If you have not tried this yet then now is the ideal opportunity whilst you can get it for as little as £2.