Tuesday 29 November 2011

MÁDARA Moonkissed Tinting Lip Gloss

MÁDARA are a brand whose products are all natural, organic as well as eco-friendly. MÁDARA's founder, Lotte, started the company in Latvia after not being able to find any natural skincare products in the country. The company has won numerous awards for design and product and now produces certified eco cosmetics for your hair, body, face, lips as well as a unique range of baby products.

I was sent the Tinting Lip Gloss in the shade Moonkissed to try out. I really like that 100% of the ingredients used are of natural origin. I think its a given that natural products are just so much gentler and nicer to your skin than products filled with chemicals. Even the colours are natural, this lipgloss is tinted using Baltic rose hips. A quick look through the ingredients list and its plain to see that this product is going to make your lips soft and shiny. It contains things like lanolin, avocado oil, cocoa butter and vitamin E.

The first thing I noticed when applying this lipgloss was its wonderful smell. I'm guessing thats the rose hips. Its really sweet and almost reminds me of the smell of a sweet shop. The next thing I noticed was how immediately softer my lips felt. I've been struggling with chapped lips in this horrible weather but this seems to have almost dissolved the dry skin. I really love how silky it makes my lips feel, its a very fluid lipgloss. I wore it when I went out today and despite the horrible wind, my hair didn't get stuck to my lips once. Whilst the colour in the tube is absolutely gorgeous, it comes out as very sheer on your lips just giving them a very pretty rosy glow. It would look great over lipstick as well as on its own. I do really like the gold shimmer that runs throughout it but its so subtle that you wouldn't even notice it unless you were properly studying my lips. The shimmer and brilliant shine of the gloss do help to make your lips look fuller though so I guess it is noticeable in that respect.

Overall I would say that it is worth the £9.90 price tag as it does seem to moisturise my lips so much better than the likes of Blistex or Carmex. I know that because the colours are sourced naturally its going to be a limited range but I feel like I would like it so much more if there were more shades available. If natural skincare and cosmetics are your thing, MÁDARA are definitely a brand you should check out. MÁDARA cosmetics are available here with free shipping on all orders.

Monday 28 November 2011

Clarisonic Mia

As you might have seen in my latest monthly favourites post I bought myself a Clarisonic Mia. Incase you've never heard of a Clarisonic before its basically an electric facial brush. It uses the same sonic technology as electric toothbrushes to thoroughly cleanse your face. You might think that using a regular cleanse, tone and moisturise routine is good enough but this method often leaves you with impurities still on your skin. The Clarisonic is said to clean your skin six times better than using a cleanser alone. The vibrations it gives off gently massage away anything trapped within your pores and it actually prepares your skin for better absorption of toners, moisturisers and serums.

There are quite a few different types of Clarisonic available including one you can use on your body. It would be perfect for treating stretch marks and keratosis pilaris (those horrible red bumps you get on the tops of your arms). I opted to get the Mia because I figured I only really want to use it on my face and it was the cheapest. The Clarisonic Mia is the baby of the Clarisonic family. It only has one speed. There is now a Mia 2 which has two speeds but I just have the original Mia. For me, the one speed is fast enough and I think that anything stronger might be a bit too abrasive on my skin. When you first get it you have to charge it up for a full 24 hours. This will then last you for about 20 washes before you need to recharge it. The charger is really cool as well, its magnetic so you just have to place it on the bottom of the Clarisonic. Its very petite which makes it ideal for traveling with and its waterproof so you can use it in the shower.

I bought mine from Space.NK in Leeds where it retails at £120. Some of the profit from all the pink Clarisonic models goes towards a breast cancer charity so you can do some good as well as getting a cute product. The sales assistant gave me a full demo which I really appreciated. She put some of the Eve Lom cleanser on my hand and then used the Clarisonic on it for one minute. I could immediately tell the difference as my hand looked brighter and felt a lot softer than the other one. She very nicely gave me a sample of the Eve Lom cleanser and some shampoo & conditioner sachets. I always get the best customer service in Space.NK. She even told me that she'd recently lost over two stone and because she had been using the Clarisonic on her body her skin felt tighter and she didn't have a single stretch mark. Maybe that was just an attempt to sell me the body one but I believe her.

I love Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish so thats the cleanser I've decided to keep using with my Clarisonic. You do the same as if you were using Cleanse & Polish normally by massaging a couple of pumps over your face. Rather than using the muslin cloth to wipe away makeup or dirt, you then wet the Clarisonic brush and move it round your face in circular motions. You need to spend about 20 seconds on each area of your face and it then turns itself off to tell you its been one minute. Its gentle enough to use morning & night for one minute each time. You need to use a normal cleanser rather than one with any kind of exfoliant in it as the particles combined with the brush would be too harsh on the skin. Thats why Cleanse & Polish is the perfect partner for the Clarisonic. It leaves my face feeling ridiculously soft, my pores looking smaller & my skin tone looking brighter and more even. I have normal/combination type skin and don't really get too many spots anymore. I tend to just get bumps under the skin on my cheeks and forehead. I bought a Clarisonic to get rid of these bumps and its done exactly that. My makeup would often highlight these bumps but now my skin looks really great under foundation.

The only bad thing I've found with the Clarisonic is that when you first start using it your skin goes through a 'purge'. Like I say I don't really get spots anymore but I broke out in places I don't normally do like on my chin and nose as well as my forehead. This continued for about two weeks but my skin never looked too bad because using the Clarisonic helped the spots to heal as quickly as they had appeared. All the blocked pores & blackheads I had on those areas feel smooth and are now barely visible. So even though it might mess up your skin to begin with if you persevere with using it, your skin will look amazing in the end. I've been using it for about two months now and I could never go back to any other form of skincare routine. There are only a few things I would be willing to spend such a large amount of money on but I'm so glad I decided to splurge on this product. It has completely transformed my skin and I wouldn't be without it.

October/November Favourites

Clarisonic Mia
Back in October I decided to get myself a very early Christmas present in the form of the pink Clarisonic Mia. I don't generally get many proper spots anymore but I do get some bumps under the skin on my cheeks and forehead which make me look spotty even though I'm not. After reading some reviews I wanted to give the Clarisonic a try in an attempt to get rid of these bumps. I've been using it for less than two months now and my skin already looks a thousand times better. All the cleansers, toners, exfoliants and face masks in the world haven't done as much for my skin as this one tool has. Theres so much to say about this so I'm gonna post a full review later.

I got this bottle of Moroccanoil free in my Cosmo Blog Awards goodie bag. I'd previously tried a mini sample bottle and really liked it then but felt I had to use it very sparingly because the bottle was so tiny. Plus it didn't have a pump so I pretty much ended up pouring out most of the bottle every time I used it. The full sized bottle does come with a pump so I can get the amount I want out. This stuff just makes your hair look so shiny, its a really incredible product. I'm willing to use anything on my hair in an attempt to avoid cutting it and this seems to be doing the trick nicely. I want to give the Moroccanoil shampoo and conditioner a go next.

Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel
Everyone's favourite shower gel is finally back in the shops! I'm a bit Snow Fairy mad and buy any Lush product which smells even vaguely similar. I've bought two of the big bottles and think I'm gonna go back for a third because I can't bear to be without this product. Pink, sickly sweet & sparkly, what more could you want in a shower gel?

Frédéric Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream
Another really fabulous hair product is the Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream. I apply this to my hair just before I blow dry it to add extra shine & fight frizz. It does a similar job to Moroccanoil but in some ways I actually prefer this product. Because its a cream its a lot heavier so it does a better job at smoothing everything down. It really helps your hair keep its shape once blow dried. The secret ingredient in this is olive oil which forms part of the 'Encapsulated Shine-Release Complex'. I can really tell the difference when I use this because it makes my hair properly glossy and lustrous, not just shiny. The only things you have to be careful about is how much you use and where you apply it. If you use it anywhere near your roots it'll make your freshly washed hair greasy again. Same goes for if you use too much of it. Its an expensive product so I guess its a good thing that you only have to use a tiny amount to reap the benefits of it.

Nailene Ultra Adhesive Tabs
I normally use Nailene's Ultra Quick Dry nail glue to apply my falsies but when they would eventually fall off I hated the glue residue that remained on my nails. Charlotte posted about these nail tabs as a way of sticking on falsies without damaging your own nails. These are such a great way of applying nails. As well as not damaging your nails, they feel very strong and you don't have to deal with the inevitable mess of getting nail glue all over your fingers. Thats the worst feeling ever, makes me shudder thinking about it haha. They cost the same as the Ultra Quick Dry nail glue and will last about the same amount of time so I'm always gonna use these from now on.

The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword
If you know me at all, you'll know that I absolutely love video games. I have been waiting for ages for this game to come out. I'm a big fan of the Zelda games even though the only one I've ever managed to complete is Phantom Hourglass. I've been spending almost every night playing this since it came out last week and its such a blast. I got the 25th anniversary limited edition pack which comes with an awesome gold Wii motion plus remote and a CD with some of the classic Zelda songs on it. The motion controls are a nice touch. Its so much fun being able to slash away with your remote and watch Link do the same on screen with his sword. If you have a Wii, you need this game in your life!

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Turn My Way

Top - Topshop / Jeans - Topshop / Coat - Topshop / Necklace - Urban Outfitters

Oh hai! Not quite sure how I ended up taking a month long sabbatical from blogging but I'm finally back. After two long months of waiting Sky managed to connect our broadband but then last week I got really sick and literally couldn't move without needing to throw up. On the plus side I might have lost some weight? But I have no way of knowing as I accidentally knocked my Wii Fit CD down the back of the fireplace. Oh dear... Anyways I feel like I've got a massive backlog of things to blog about now including ridiculously belated posts about the Cosmo Blog Awards & the Leeds blogger meetup!

So this is what I wore today to the young parent's group at my local sure start centre. I spent the afternoon making felt haha. What is my life?! My whole outfit is made up of new things I bought in Topshop. I felt the need to get some black jeans so I got the Leigh ones which are really soft but a bit on the thin side. I bought this top after I saw the lovely Vivianna wearing it in one of her videos. Its massive, slouchy, comfy & perfect for everyday wear. I love it so much I bought it in orange too.

And I finally managed to find a Winter coat that I like! I originally wanted to get this one from Urban Outfitters but I couldn't bring myself to spend £120 on one coat. This one was only £76 with student discount so not too bad I guess. I've not bought a new coat since I got that Topshop sailor coat a few years ago so it was definitely time to invest in something new. Its really oversized so not sure if I should've sized down. I probably look massive in it but oh well. Its a lovely coat that will definitely keep me warm throughout the winter months.