Wednesday 31 July 2013

BeautecoBox July 2013

BeautecoBox* - £10 + £2.95 Delivery

BeautecoBox just seems to get better and better every month. The July box is probably the best beauty box I have ever received. Out of the three menus available, this month I opted for box 2 which contained four full size products and only one sample. You have to admit that's pretty incredible for the price! Like I've said before they really do have those ratios down to a T and it's so brilliant to be able to try out some new products properly instead fiddling about with tiny sample sachets.

Artdeco Soft Kajal Liner
I'm not really into pencil eyeliners as I think they make my eyes look smaller (something I definitely don't need!) but this one is really nice. It's so soft and ready to use without having to warm it up on your hand first. I always end up stabbing myself in the eye with stiffer liners when I'm tightlining but I can do it with this one no problem. It also smudges out really well for a smokey eye. It's very pigmented and seems to last a long time on my eyes.

Artdeco Eyehadow Base
I normally go for the Urban Decay Primer Potion or MAC Painterly Paint Pot if I want a neutral eye primer but both of those have been pushed aside for this little pot of wonder. It sits so nicely on my eyelids and stops creasing completely. My eyeshadows last incredibly well when I use this and it helps to boost their pigmentation too. In the pot it looks like a sparkly beige cream but it appears matte once applied. I normally apply it with a MAC 239 brush and then use the same brush to pack on my eyeshadow. This has worked it's way into my everyday makeup bag and it's definitely my favourite eye primer at the moment.

Pukka Radiance Serum
I'm a big fan of the Pukka Castor Oil so I was interested in trying some more of their skincare products. This is a light yellow serum that contains aloe vera & manuka honey to soothe & refresh the skin as well as gotu kola & lemon balm to tone & brighten the complexion. It is an organic ayurvedic formula so it has a very herby scent which might not be to everyone's taste but I quite like it. The texture is a bit thin & watery but after a little while it made my skin feel super soft which must be down to the manuka honey. I didn't notice much difference in brightness or radiance but this is a nice serum if you want something to soften and soothe your skin.

Neal & Wolf Harmony Intensive Care Treatment
I've tried this product before and even featured it in one of my monthly favourites posts a few months back. I absolutely adore this conditioner so I was more than happy to receive a new bottle. This stuff instantly transforms my hair from dry & damaged to soft & smooth. It's one of the few products that can make my bleached hair look healthy and it works so much better than many of the more expensive hair treatments that I've tried.

Neal & Wolf Elevate Volumising Lotion
With all the oils and treatments I use in an attempt to restore my hair, it can get a bit weighed down & look flat. As soon as I tried this lotion I was instantly impressed. My hair actually had some volume for once! This product makes my hair feel thicker and look fuller. The effect lasted until I washed my hair again a few days later. Best of all, it didn't affect my hair in any other way. Most of the other volumising hair products I've tried either dried out my hair or made it feel sticky & horrible. With this, my hair just feels like hair but with added body. Really great stuff!

All in all, this was another brilliant set of products from BeautecoBox. Not only did this box have loads of full sized products but I actually really liked them all and will continue to use everything in here. The Artdeco Eyeshadow Base is a complete must-have product for me now and Neal & Wolf are fast becoming one of my favourite haircare brands. I think this particular box has sold out now (no surprise there!) but you can subscribe to BeautecoBox for £10 a month plus £2.95 delivery with no minimum subscription term. Visit the BeautecoBox website to find out more.

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Friday 26 July 2013

Superfacialist By Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil

Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil - £10.99

I've waxed lyrical about how much I love the Superfacialist Rose Miracle Makeover Facial Oil quite a few times now. My one problem with the product is that it runs out incredibly quickly. I've been using it twice a day since April and have gone through one bottle per month. What was supposed to be a cheap but actually good alternative to some of the more expensive cleansers I've tried was costing me £15 a month and I was considering going back the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm just because it lasts a lot longer. Then I went into Boots a few weeks ago and spotted a new Vitamin C collection in the Superfacialist range called Brighten. The first thing that caught my eye was this Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil. It was £4 cheaper than the rose oil for 170ml more product. That's such a crazy bargain, I immediately dismissed it as surely it had to be made from crappy ingredients to cost so little. I opened it up, cringed at the huge hole in the top and had a whiff of the orangey scent. Based on the strength of the other Superfacialist products, I decided I still wanted to try it out so I went back a few days later and bought a bottle.

The first time I tried it I figured maybe if I pour it out carefully then it'll be okay. Alas a huge gush of oil appeared in my hand and I ended up smothering my face in the stuff. The packaging design of this product is just incredibly disappointing. Whoever decided to not include either a pump or bit of plastic with a smaller hole is an idiot. Thank god I'd only just finished my bottle of the rose oil and could decant it into that. Seriously do not buy this product unless you have some kind of pump bottle to use with it instead. Packaging aside, this oil is a surprisingly good cleanser and my combination blemish-prone skin has had no adverse reactions to it!

This product is intended to be used as the first step in a double cleansing routine. It takes off makeup with the greatest of ease, doesn't make my eyes go foggy and really clears out my skin. Oil cleansers are ace if you get blocked pores, especially if you're prone to blackheads. The Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil contains olive, grapeseed, rosemary, cucumber and - everyone's current favourite - rosehip oil as well as Vitamin E & C. The texture of this is very light and fluid, probably more so than the rose oil. The colour is lighter too. I wouldn't say this is particularly brightening as the name suggests but my face is left with greater clarity & less redness. The orange scent is quite pleasant and as I know many people dislike rose scented products (why?!) this is a good alternative. The main difference between this oil and the rose oil other than the price is how it leaves my skin feeling. The rose oil is part of the 'Hydrate' collection and it definitely does hydrate my skin more than this one. The Vitamin C oil makes my skin feel really clean - almost squeaky. It doesn't strip my skin or make it feel tight at all, just less hydrated than the rose one. After completing the rest of my skincare routine I can't really tell any difference so I guess it doesn't matter in the end. Both do a brilliant job of cleansing my skin so I'm happy to use either one. I think I do slightly prefer the Rose Miracle Makeover Facial Oil but for the price you really can't complain about this product. Just don't forget to buy a pump!

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Wednesday 24 July 2013

Rio Ultrasonic Facial

Rio Ultrasonic Facial* - £59.99

For the past couple of months I've been testing out this nifty little gadget. You might know Rio for their Sonicleanse which is a Clarisonic dupe but they've recently relaunched their Ultrasonic Facial which is another brilliant facial cleansing system. This gadget provides you with two different treatments. First of all it cleanses & gently exfoliates the skin. Then it is used with a serum to lift & firm up the entire face. The interesting part is how it does this. The Ultrasonic Facial works by using tiny ultrasonic vibrations delivered through the blunt metal blade. I know that running a blade over your face sounds a bit scary but the treatments are very gentle so it doesn't hurt or anything. The high frequency vibrations just feel a bit funny and make a weird high pitched buzzing sound.

During the deep cleansing phase you hold the Ultrasonic Facial with the buttons facing outwards so that the blade can glide over your face at an angle. You simply wash your face as normal and then turn on the mode that uses continuous ultrasonic waves. Then you move the blade all over your face working outwards and upwards. When the blade comes into contact with the water on your face the vibrations cause a super fine mist to appear. Dead skin cells are then collected on the edge of the blade so it's almost as if you're gently scraping away a layer of skin. I've found this mode works well if you use a cleanser that lathers up slightly so you can see which parts of your face you've already treated. When I first tried using this I have to admit I was slightly disappointed. I had high hopes for the deep cleansing mode but it didn't really make a difference to my blemishes, blackheads or pores. Instead it made my skin feel softer and smoother which obviously isn't a bad thing, just not what I was expecting. It did make manual extractions a lot easier though.

The treatments work best if you do the deep cleansing mode and then follow it up with the sonophoresis. I didn't think that I would be that impressed by the sonophoresis as my skin isn't particularly saggy or wrinkly but this is where the machine really shines. After cleansing you apply some of the collagen serum all over your face. You then turn the machine round so the blade lies flat against your skin and slowly glide it upwards & outwards. This mode utilises pulsing waves which really pushes the serum deep into your skin. This helps your skin to absorb all of the product in the most beneficial way. The ultrasonic waves also boost your circulation and this plumps up & tightens the skin. This treatment is really amazing. I don't have any wrinkles yet but I'd say I have noticeable fine lines on my forehead and my nasiolabial folds are quite prominent. With just a few glides of this over those problem areas, the lines immediately disappear! It's quite incredible to see. The effects only last for a few hours but hopefully with continued use they'll be a bit more permanent. I've found it also works brilliantly around the jawline to firm up my many double chins.

I can't say I'm a huge fan of the collagen serum provided in the kit because the texture is rather sticky. I think it does help with the lifting effect but I just don't like how it feels on the skin. I've tried using the Ultrasonic Facial with other serums and I think it works just as well with them. It goes particularly well with my much loved Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. This really gives my skin a boost as the serum is absorbed deeply into the epidermis. Even though both treatments are incredibly gentle on the skin, my face is left looking a bit red for a few hours afterwards. So I'd recommend using this only once or twice a week just before bed. One unexpected effect I've experienced from using this is reduced scarring. Like I say it makes my skin look red but once that redness fades away, so does the redness from my post-blemish scarring as well. As a result my face looks clearer & brighter as well as feeling firmer & tighter. So although I thought this was more of a blemish clearing treatment to begin with, it has actually proved itself to be a highly effective treatment for fine lines, sagging & scarring. I think inventions like the Clarisonic have proved that beauty gadgets aren't just gimmicks and the Ultrasonic Facial is one I can see myself using every week from now on.

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Tuesday 23 July 2013

Clear Skin From Within With Viridian

The Clear Skin Cookbook* / Clear Skin Complex* / 100% Organic Clear Skin Omega Oil*

Since making my clear skin smoothie shots I've become more and more interested in feeding my skin properly. I'm the first to admit I still indulge myself a lot with burgers, brownies, ice cream & everything else that's bad for you but if you manage to eat well most of the time it will show through your skin. Recently I've been trying out Viridian Nutrition’s Clear Skin Collection. As a bit of a supplement junkie I know that Viridian's products are really high quality and are made from the purest ingredients so they're a great brand to opt for. I was sent three products to try out - Clear Skin Complex, 100% Organic Clear Skin Omega Oil and Dale Pinnock's Clear Skin Cookbook. The cookbook was the inspiration behind the two supplements as a way of supporting the underlying health of blemish-free skin.

Clear Skin Complex is a supplement which combines probiotics, botanicals, minerals and antioxidants to help clear the skin. If you struggle to eat properly I whole heartedly recommend supplementing your diet. I take a ton of pills every day, its surprising I don't rattle when I walk! I've had to limit myself in recent years because otherwise I would spend a fortune on them every month. One supplement my skin has missed is Burdock Root so I was pleased to see the inclusion of this in Viridian's Clear Skin Complex. It also contains Zinc which is something Dale Pinnock highlights as an acne fighting mineral. This bottle contains 60 capsules which is enough for one month. I've finished taking the whole bottle and I'm definitely going to repurchase this. Rather than the huge crop of new spots I get on my chin every month, I've only had two. Two! It's normally that area that is affected by hormones and eating better is also known to help balance hormones so I'm gonna put it down to taking these pills and the omega oil.

I absolutely love the 100% Organic Clear Skin Omega Oil. This is a bright yellow and highly nutritious oil that you can either take directly from a spoon or mix into food. It doesn't taste great on it's own as you are literally eating a spoonful of oil which isn't the most pleasant sensation. But combined with other food it becomes a brilliant supplement. It works really well when used as a salad dressing and you can add a couple of spoonfuls to things like smoothies and soups. My favourite way to take it is mixed into a tub of hummous. It doesn't change the flavour or texture at all, it just adds extra goodness to an already healthy snack. The oil provides you with Omega 3, 6, 7 & 9. Those fatty acids are great for eczema. I already take Omega 3 and flaxseed oil supplements to help with my eczema so I know first hand they work really well for that. The main ingredient in this is flaxseed oil but there's loads of other lovely stuff in it such as rosehip oil, avocado oil, pumpkin seed oil and argan oil. Together with the Clear Skin Complex pills, this has really helped my skin - both my blemishes and eczema have lessened since I started taking them and they're not the only things to benefit from these new additions to my diet. My nails have grown so much and they're strong for once! Mine normally break & peel all the time but now they're strong & long.

Dale Pinnock is the UK's first medicinal chef. He wrote The Clear Skin Cookbook to share his knowledge about how different food can affect the skin and to provide healthy recipes to boost your skin. The first section deals with different ailments such as acne and eczema and what kind of things you should be including in your diet to help combat them. The next few chapters discuss vitamins, minerals, fats and antioxidants. I found it really interesting to learn more about what each vitamin & mineral can do for your skin. The science behind it all is explained in a really enjoyable way. Then the second half features some recipes for every meal as well as snacks and drinks. Each recipe is followed by a page explaining exactly how the ingredients will help your skin. While there is some good meal inspiration in here I think the book suffers due to a lack of recipes. But after reading through the rest of it you gain knowledge about ingredients so you can make informed, healthier choices and then google recipes featuring those ingredients. The internet is always going to be a better resource of recipes than any cookbook so it's the rest of the information in here that's really valuable. I've been using it more like a shopping list so I know exactly what things to get when I'm doing the weekly shop.

Here are some of the recipes I tried to recreate. The first thing I made was the Mean Green Mineralizing Machine. This is a green raw vegan soup and it's probably one of the worst things I've ever eaten. I'm sorry, I just couldn't stomach this. I love eating vegetables but this just wasn't for me. There is a crazy amount of extra virgin olive oil in this and I couldn't enjoy eating cold soup even on one of the hottest days of the year. Next I tried making Spinach Pate. This is basically chopped spinach mixed with light cream cheese and nutmeg. I topped some Ryvita with this as a healthy snack and this tasted a lot nicer than the soup. The nutmeg went surprisingly well with the savoury flavours and it was really filling. I also made the Blueberry & Yoghurt Layer Crunch for breakfast one day. This was nice & filling too and a great way to start the day. It's so quick & easy to make. I did have to cheat a tiny bit and drizzle it with some agave syrup to sweeten it up though. I'd used ground flaxseed instead of golden flaxseed which made it a bit dry so the syrup made it easier to eat.

Overall I'd say the book is a great reference point as to what kind of things you should be eating to help alleviate various skin problems. Viridian's Clear Skin products are the real stars here though. If like me you often don't eat enough healthy food then supplements can really help your diet. These products take note of the vitamins, minerals, fats and antioxidants that Dale Pinnock champions in his cookbook and delivers them in an easy to stomach and convenient manner. They're definitely worth a try if you suffer from any skin ailment that is treatable through your diet - especially acne!

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Tuesday 16 July 2013

Illamasqua Pure Pigments In Ore & Furore

Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Ore & Furore - £16.50

Pigments are a funny old thing. I know there's tons of people out there who can't get enough of them but for some reason I've always shied away from them. Pressed eyeshadows just seem so much more convenient, less messy and easier to apply than their loose counterparts. I own a couple of MAC pigments in Melon & Vanilla but they always get ignored and shoved to the back of my makeup storage. However Illamasqua's Pure Pigments are a completely different ball game. No, they'll never be as easy to cart around with you as an eyeshadow palette but if you make the effort, they are so worth it. These Pure Pigments are buttery soft and blend incredibly well. You only need a tiny bit for immense colour payoff. You can use them wet or dry, either way they last a long time without much fading or creasing. I've been using the Artdeco Eyeshadow Base with these and it keeps them looking perfect all day long, even in this heat! The packaging is a little bit fiddly but the stopper inside the cap does a fairly good job of keeping the pigment in it's place.

Illamasqua are generally known for their more 'out there' colours but they actually do nudes very well. I think that together Ore & Furore make such a beautiful eye combo. Ore is described as a rich russet bronze. When swatched it has quite a lot of gold in it but when blended out the bronze is a lot more evident. It contains some fine gold glitter and if you pack it on it looks stunning! As this is a fairly dark colour you do have to be careful with fallout. Just wipe it away with your foundation brush and only powder the rest of your face after you've applied the pigment. Furore is my favourite of the two as it's more of a multipurpose product than Ore. Whereas Ore only really works as an eyeshadow, Furore can also be used as a highlighter. Illamasqua describe it as a champagne peach shimmer and it really adds a gorgeous glow to your face. Here I've used it on top of my cheekbones, down my nose and on the top of my cupid's bow. The shine of both these pigments is just incredible and the highly metallic shimmer almost makes them look wet.

To do my eyes first of all I applied the Artdeco Eyeshadow Base with a MAC 239 brush. Then I used the same brush to pack Furore on all over my eyelid, right up to my eyebrows. I then used a MAC 219 brush to apply Ore to the outer corners of my eyes including underneath my lash line. I built up the colour and blended out the edges using a MAC 217 brush. Easy peasy! Pigments really aren't so scary if you use the right base product and brushes. The Illamasqua ones simply look amazing and are nowhere near as messy as other loose powders. I've been using these ones almost every day because they are just so beautiful and a lot easier to use than I thought. If you're into shimmery eyeshadows then Ore & Furore are well worth checking out next time you're near an Illamasqua counter.

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Tuesday 9 July 2013

The SPF Quartet

Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+ / Nivea Sun Invisible Protection Transparent Spray SPF 50
Soltan Head & Hair Dry-Touch Transparent Suncare Spray SPF 30 / Balmi Mint Lip Balm SPF 15

Something I am very passionate about is the use of sun protection products. I don't think I've ever shared this with you before but in November 2005 my dad was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, more commonly known as skin cancer. He never wore sun tan lotion even when we went on holiday and would often sit in his room with a little tanning lamp. One day he noticed a tiny lump on the top of his head which he stupidly kept picking at. It developed into a huge scab and continued sun exposure only made it worse. After years and years of suffering he finally went to the doctors and soon after his diagnosis he started receiving treatment. He has been in remission for several years now but it still affects his life every day. The doctors treated him with too much radiation so his head has never properly healed. He still has to visit the doctor three times a week to get the dressing on his head changed and he has to wear a hat pretty much everywhere he goes. He travels to work every day in a suit and a baseball cap. So sadly this is something he will have to deal with for the rest of his life. Sorry for the horrid start to this post but I wanted to demonstrate what a horrible disease skin cancer is and how life altering it can be. I think it's pretty clear why I'm such a big advocate of products with SPF.

Skin cancer is obviously the most important reason to protect yourself from the sun but seeing as this is a beauty blog let's talk about how the sun can affect your looks. It is one of the main causes of premature ageing as it can give you liver spots and wrinkles. Too much sun exposure will give your skin a dry, leathery appearance and it increases sagging. The sun also causes the appearance of tiny blood vessels on your face. Once Summer finally rears it's head I never leave the house without slathering on the high SPF products. Don't get me wrong, I love going to the beach and sitting in the sun as much as the next person but I don't care if I never get a tan because I'd much rather be pale, look youthful and have healthy skin. There are four products that I know I can rely on to keep myself fully protected.

I first came across Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+ when I started using Liquid Gold. AHAs found in chemical exfoliants increase your sensitivity to the sun so I decided look for face products with SPF 50. A lot of the ones I tried left my face feeling greasy, broke me out, smelled gross and gave me a white cast. I figured since Alpha-H invented Liquid Gold that their SPF moisturiser might be the perfect accompaniment to it. Luckily I was right and now I use this moisturiser every day, even during the Winter. It feels really nice on the skin, gives me the right amount of hydration and doesn't come with any of the problems of the other SPF products I've tried. The best sun protection product I've ever found for my body is the Nivea Sun Invisible Protection Transparent Spray SPF 50. I got so fed up of using messy lotions that stained all my clothes and were annoying to apply. I first heard about this product last year from a goth YouTuber called Synthetic Doll. If it's good enough for a goth, it's good enough for me! You just spray this all over and rub it in. It is quickly absorbed, non-greasy and water resistant. It's so easy to re-apply when you're out and about too. Due to my dad's problems I'm very conscious of protecting my head. If I'm not wearing a hat I use the Soltan Head & Hair Dry-Touch Transparent Suncare Spray SPF 30. I spray this liberally all over my scalp and hair. It doesn't make my hair greasy and it contains conditioner so it helps to protect my bleached hair. Finally I whack on a bit of my Balmi lip balm because it contains SPF 15 and feels fresh & minty on a hot day. These products never let me down and it's reassuring to know that I can enjoy the sun safely.

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Monday 8 July 2013

BeautecoBox June 2013

BeautecoBox* - £10 + £2.95 Delivery

Back in May I tried out the first ever BeautecoBox and was greatly impressed by the ratio of full size products & samples as well as the fully recyclable packaging. The concept of being able to choose your own selection of products is very refreshing and unique in the beauty box world. There isn't any disappointment & jealousy when the boxes are delivered as you chose which set of products you wanted to try. Out of the three boxes available for June, I went for box number two which contains three full size products and two very generous samples.

Headline Colors Nail Polish in Glamour
Gold is probably my favourite colour and I've been wanting a nice new gold polish since I ran out of my beloved MAC Gold Veneer nail polish. This is such a gorgeous shade as it contains a lot of yellow and has a highly metallic finish. It applies really smoothly and the brush is a good size. I think it looks stunning. The only bad thing about it is that it chips really easily. It only actually lasted a couple of days on my nails. That being said, I applied it straight without any top coat or base coat so it'd probably last a lot better if you seal the polish. I really do love the colour and finish of this though so I think I need to invest in a new bottle of Seche Vite!

Amie New Leaf Skin Exfoliating Polish
I generally don't use physical exfoliators anymore because my skin seems to like chemical exfoliators so much better. I was quite interested in this one though because of how much I liked the Amie Morning Clear cleanser. Much like the cleanser this is incredibly moisturising. Products with exfoliating beads can often strip the skin and leave it feeling tight. This however contains cocoa seed butter, mango seed butter (which smells delicious!) and sweet almond oil so it makes my face feel very soft & smooth. It's really good at unclogging the skin & works great on blackheads. If you're after a gentle face scrub then this is a lovely one to go for.

Organic Surge Gentle Cleansing Lotion
After trying a few other Organic Surge products I had high hopes for this cleansing lotion. It does a good job of cleaning off most of my makeup but my mascara just wouldn't shift. It also stung my eyes a bit when I did try to take off my eye makeup. I wasn't a big fan of how it leaves my skin feeling afterwards either. It was good to try this but I much prefer using micellar waters as they're gentler on the eyes & more effective at cleansing in general.

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream
I first tried this last year when Glamour magazine gave it away as a freebie and I still like this product a lot. This eye cream is full of lovely ingredients such as rosehip oil, witch hazel, coconut oil, aloe vera, cucumber and chamomile. It feels very light on the skin but moisturising at the same time. It claims to reduce dark circles and fine lines. I find it does brighten and hydrate my under eye area so it works pretty well. You only need a tiny bit so even though this is a sample, the tube will last for ages!

Eve Of St. Agnes Body Balm
Omigod you guys, this stuff is amazing! I think this is probably my favourite item in the June box. This is a lightly rose scented body balm and it feels so good on my skin. It starts off as a thick white balm and it quickly melts into your skin softening it immediately. It's made from shea butter, mango butter and calendula oil. Even though it's a balm it doesn't feel greasy or heavy at all, just wonderfully moisturising. You can use this anywhere on your face or body. It makes such a difference to my dry elbows, it works wonders on my cuticles and I really like it as a lip balm too. A little goes a long way with this balm so hopefully this tin will last me a few more weeks but I'll definitely be repurchasing it.

As you all know I do love my skincare products so in my opinion the June BeautecoBox was even better than the May one. The recyclable packaging is obviously working for them as money that could be wasted on fancy boxes is being put towards decent full sized products instead. For that reason I really do think that BeautecoBox is one of the few beauty boxes out there that are actually worth the money. I can't wait to receive the July one. It contains two Neal & Wolf products so I think it's gonna be another good'un!

You can subscribe to BeautecoBox for £10 a month plus £2.95 delivery with no minimum subscription term. Visit the BeautecoBox website to find out more.

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Thursday 4 July 2013

Organic Surge Eye Gel

Organic Surge Eye Gel* - £8.49

Due to my incredibly bad hayfever I dread every Summer. You can hear me sneezing from a mile away and wearing eye makeup is a nightmare because my eyes get incredibly itchy. Every year I end up trying loads of new products in an attempt to diminish my symptoms. One product that has helped to soothe my red irritated eyes is Organic Surge's Eye Gel. This is a clear lightweight gel that instantly cools the under eye area upon application. It feels especially good if you keep it chilled in the fridge beforehand. It comes with a pump applicator which I like a lot as it's more hygienic than a pot and you can easily distribute the right amount of product. I find that about half a pump is just enough for both of my eyes.

I think that this is a brilliant eye gel if you suffer from puffy eyes as it really works to visibly reduce puffiness and tighten the under eye area. It's so nice to use in the morning if you haven't gotten enough sleep. I much prefer gels to eye creams because I generally find them to be more hydrating and they act as a better base for makeup, especially concealer. A good eye gel like this can smooth down the under eye area and reduce fine lines so that concealer won't collect in them. As a result I look much more awake and well rested. This absorbs really easily too so you don't have to wait around for ages before applying your makeup.

Organic Surge are known for using a lot of natural ingredients in their products. Their Eye Gel is no exception. It contains things such as aloe vera, green tea, witch hazel and menthol which together help to naturally reduce inflammation, puffiness, sagging and dehydration. I was slightly worried that menthol would sting my eyes a bit but it just feels very refreshing and I've had no adverse effects from it. The star ingredient in this product is eyebright - a herb well known for it's ability to reduce puffiness & redness. It has an overall brightening effect on the eye area and is especially good for those of us with allergies. This gel is such a welcome relief to my poorly itchy eyes. If you suffer with hayfever too then you'll know how plain awful it can make you feel. This has helped my eyes to look and feel so much better lately. I no longer have random people on the street asking me if I'm upset! Now if only I could find an antihistamine that can actually stop my hideous sneezing!

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Tuesday 2 July 2013

June Favourites

Tea Tree Oil
I recently ran out of my Origins Super Spot Remover and didn't really want to pay £13 for a new bottle just yet. Gemma often mentions that she uses pure tea tree oil on her spots so I decided to give it a go too. I picked up this little bottle from Superdrug for £3 and I've been really pleased with the results. I find it only works on those really big painful under the skin spots but it definitely reduces the level of pain and speeds up healing time. It does smell very strongly so you're probably better off just using this at bedtime!

Lanacane Anti-Chafing Gel
Well now... here's an embarrassing favourite if there ever was one. If like me your thunder thighs give you grief as soon as the weather improves then you will love this product. I always had to wear cycling shorts or thin tights under dresses until I tried this stuff. It's a silicone-based gel that you just smooth on and hey presto! No more chafing. You know what else this works as? A pretty decent primer. It's full of silicones so if you react to them then you might want to give it a miss but I would liken this to a cheap dupe of the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. It makes my skin feel really silky, smooths over pores and keeps my foundation in place. Not bad at all for £6!

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil*
This is probably the nicest shower gel I've ever used. It's incredibly moisturising and cleans like a dream. I think it works brilliantly as a shaving product and it has saved me from wasting money on expensive razor blades. It's also managed to heal my eczema flare ups so I can't recommend this enough! Check out my full review here.

theBalm Frat Boy Blusher
I love theBalm products and their Mary-Lou Manizer is my favourite highlighter ever! I decided to buy one of their blushers and this is one of the best Summery cheek colours I've come across. It's a satin-finish peachy pink that I think a lot of people would love. I own quite a few peachy blushers but this one stands out because of how highly pigmented it is and how silky the powder feels. It applies so smoothly and blends out really well. It's easy to overdo it so a light hand is necessary here but I love the healthy glow it brings to my cheeks.

Illamasqua Furore Pure Pigment
I've had my eye on this product for months and I finally bought it in the crazy 50% off everything Illamasqua sale. This is a beautiful champagne coloured loose powder that can be used as an eyeshadow and highlighter. The shimmery finish this gives to the skin is truly stunning. It's highly metallic so it almost looks wet. I wear this on my eyes a lot as it's such a lovely shimmery nude colour. It looks absolutely gorgeous when worn with their Ore pure pigment too. I'll be sure to do an eye makeup look soon so you can see both of these powders in action.

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Monday 1 July 2013

Currently Loving #3

Pink Nintendo 3DS XL
I've been waiting for a pink 3DS XL to come out in the UK ever since the console was first announced. At first I wished we were getting the pink and white one like in Japan & America but the full pink one is even prettier. I've had my old DS since 2006 so it was definitely time to upgrade to the 3D version anyway. I had some issues with the first one I was sent as it wouldn't charge properly but Amazon quickly replaced it. This one has one dead pixel at the side of the top screen but I figured I could live with it as I just really wanted to play the games! I've been playing Fire Emblem: Awakening and Animal Crossing: New Leaf non-stop since I got it. The games are just amazing & the graphics look so good. Can't wait for Pokemon X&Y to come out in October! If you've got Animal Crossing feel free to add me, my friend code is: 3797-6659-8556. Let me know yours too :)

Leeds Eats
My mum and sister came up to Leeds last month and that always means lots of eating out. First of all we went to Red's True BBQ which I've been dying to visit for months! I went for the Pit Burger and it was just an absolutely delicious massive mountain of meat. The pulled pork was especially good and I really enjoyed the deep fried pickles. My mum had their Donut Burger which has a doughnut at the top and bottom instead of burger buns. I tried a little bit and it was so yummy! Really wished I could've tried the caramel apple pecan pie but there was literally no room left in my stomach. Luckily they'll provide you with doggy bags because their meals tend to be on the unfinishable side! We also went to Cielo Blanco which is a new Mexican street food restaurant in Trinity Leeds. I didn't think the main courses were as good as those at Wahaca. The pork scratchings and tortilla chips we shared were rock hard. I had the chicken tacos and quesadillas but they were both a bit flavourless and everything was bulked up with loads of rice. However the cocktails and churros were outstanding! When I worked in Spain I often had churros con chocolate for breakfast and these were almost as good as the real thing.

Vintage Life Magazine
I was sent a copy of the newly redesigned Vintage Life magazine and it's a really great read. Editorial design is one of my passions in life so I simply had to check it out. I've always been interested in vintage style & beauty but never really knew where to start. This magazine features a vast range of styles throughout the ages and really inspirational imagery. There's some fab tips as to where to find vintage clothing and the kind of thing to look for when buying vintage. My favourite part of the magazine was obvs the beauty section. I absolutely loved the Grease inspired hair styles and this gorgeous 60s makeup look. I often wish I had more of a 60s look about myself so I really want to try it out. I already have tons of peter pan collar dresses so next I just need to figure out how to do a beehive! I can't say that I'd ever seen Vintage Life on the shelves before but I'll definitely be looking out for it in future. You can pick up a copy in WHSmiths, Sainburys & a number of independent newsagents across the country. Don't forget to check out their Facebook & Twitter pages too.

Shingeki No Kyojin (Attack On Titan) / Hataraku Maou-sama!
I've really been enjoying the current anime season thanks to these two new shows. I'm completely obsessed with Attack On Titan. It's so hardcore & often quite harrowing to watch. In this show humanity has become captive behind a set of walls due to the sudden appearance of titans who are deformed giants that eat people for no reason. One day a colossal titan breaks through one of the walls and they start to destroy everything again. The story follows Eren Jaeger whose mother is eaten alive by one of the titans in front of him. From that day he vows to become part of the military and destroy all the titans in existence so that humanity can be free once more. It sounds kinda weird but trust me, this anime is just in a different league to everything else out there. I sat through the first two episodes with my jaw on the floor. The theme tune is just immense too. Can't help but rock out to it every time I watch the show haha! Hataraku Maou-sama! couldn't be more different to Attack On Titan but I've loved the mix of comedy, romance and action. It's about a dark lord (Satan) who is defeated in his realm and forced to open a portal to another world in order to escape. He ends up in Tokyo with one of his generals and they have to get used to living as humans instead of demons. This includes him working part-time at McDonald's. It has some utterly hilarious moments. The first season has just finished so I really hope it'll be back next year!

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