Friday 29 November 2013

Personalised Gifts From Notonthehighstreet

Today I'm going to share my number one gift buying tip with you - buy something personalised. If you have no idea what to buy someone then personalised gifts are definitely the way forward. It's almost as unique & thoughtful as giving someone a homemade present but the finish of the product will be a whole lot better and you can still guarantee that they won't already own it. My favourite place to shop for personalised gifts is They're kinda like a British version of Etsy but every seller has been hand-picked by the website so you know you're getting a quality product from a reliable seller. Plus I think it's important to support small creative businesses, especially ones that are close to home. They have an enormous array of products on offer such as prints, mugs, cards, hampers, toys, cakes(!), jewellery & home decor so you're bound to find something that would make the perfect gift for any of your friends or family. I can literally spend hours browsing on there! I was sent a few things for review but I have bought presents from there numerous times in the past and I've always had impeccable customer service. Here are some of my picks for personalised gifts:

Alphabet Bags is an extremely popular accessories brand. As the name suggests, their items often feature initials or nice typography. They make so many different products such as tote bags, makeup bags & iPhone cases but I went for their Initial Coin Purse*. This purse is actually quite big so it can fit your cash, bank cards, ID, keys & lipstick in - perfect if you want something a bit less bulky to carry round on a night out.

Loubijoux is an adorable jewellery brand. My favourite item has to be the Single Love Letter Necklace*. I used to be obsessed with buying name necklaces but an initial is a little bit more sophisticated & grown up. A really nice idea would be to buy one of these for each of your friends with their initial on. The Double Love Letter Necklace is even more perfect if you're in a relationship & want to show someone how much you love them.

Pop Kid is my first port of call when buying presents for children. It was launched by the team behind Heidi Seeker who I also love. I have bought loads of stuff from them for Chloe, her cousins & her friends. I find that kids are especially hard to buy for. They're always into something new & sometimes it's impossible to know which toys they already own. My house is filled to the brim with toys anyway so I'm sure many other parents will also appreciate their child receiving something a bit different. I love their t-shirts & this is their Personalised Apple T-Shirt that I bought for Chloe. They also make some rather cute Christmas stockings, aprons & pencil cases.

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Sunday 24 November 2013

Winter Is Coming

Vest - Topshop / Cardigan - H&M / Skirt - Primark / Boots - Topshop
Brooch - Ginger Pickle* / Necklace - Galibardy

It seems like it's been ages since I've done a proper outfit post! I've been desperately trying to get my hair fixed before doing my usual posts. There's only so many reviews you can write without having to show how something looks on your face! Most of the colour has gone now but there's still a light blue/green tint to the lengths. It makes me sad, I just want it to look normal again. My hairdressers were rather confused when I went to get my roots done last week. I'm just glad they didn't feel the need to bleach the rest of it. Anyway this is what I wore out today, with my cosy new Zara coat on top of course. Chloe & I just went shopping & had a little KFC treat on the way home. We were both too poorly to do anything more exciting. I absolutely love my burgundy heart print skirt I got from Primark. I think button through skirts are really cute & my wardrobe was lacking in them. It's kinda like the Burberry heart print shirt that everyone has some version of. I've actually just bought myself a dupe from New Look. It's just such a lovely print. I've been wearing some variation of this look a lot lately, I think I've become a bit of a lazy dresser. At this time of year I'd rather be warm than anything else!

The lovely Jade from Ginger Pickle kindly sent me this amazing Game Of Thrones inspired brooch! So excited for season four, the purple wedding is gonna be epic. It was created by illustrator Kate Rowland. I really love what I've seen of her work. Anyone who makes TV themed jewellery is cool in my books. Ginger Pickle currently have a 15% discount off everything on their website with the code WINTERTREAT so now is the perfect time to check out all the goodies they have on offer. It's valid until this Wednesday. I'm rather tempted to get this Breaking Bad brooch too!

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Saturday 23 November 2013

Imperial Leather Foamburst Sweet Vanilla & Cherry Blossom Body Wash

Imperial Leather Foamburst Sweet Vanilla & Cherry Blossom Body Wash* - £2.99

If you've never tried a foaming shower gel before then you're really missing out. They bring all the luxury of a long relaxing bath to your quick morning shower. I like the Rituals Foaming Shower Gels but they are a bit on the pricey side. So I was really pleased to hear that Imperial Leather make an incredibly similar product but each bottle is less than half the price of the Rituals ones. Foamburst has been around for quite a while but Imperial Leather have recently relaunched the range with a lovely new bottle design & a new set of beautiful fragrances.

Here I have the Sweet Vanilla & Cherry Blossom body wash. The shower gel starts off a peachy pink gel that quickly turns into a luxurious moisturising foam on contact with water. As soon as you start smoothing it over your body, you're cocooned by the thick sweet-scented foam & it feels so nice on the skin. You don't even need to use a shower pouf with it unless you want a bit of exfoliation. You only need one handful of gel for your whole body & each bottle contains enough product for 40 showers. I always pop a bit extra on my legs because it also works brilliantly as a shaving foam. The scent of this one is very sweet & delicate. The vanilla is the most dominant note here. It smells gorgeous but I don't find that it lingers in the bathroom or lasts on your body which is the only downside.

I'm really impressed by this shower gel. It's such a fun product to use, it smells amazing and it leaves my skin feeling perfectly soft & clean. I love dual-purpose products and this works so well as a thick & creamy base for shaving with. They're such good value so I'll definitely be picking up a few more bottles. Bewitching Blackberry & Wild Fig and Honey & Almond Milk sound too good to pass up!

In celebration of the new range Imperial Leather introduces seven new genies to represent each of the sensual fragrances. Each of the genies holds their own unique personality in representation of each magical new scent. It's a nicely thought out campaign & all the guys are pretty good eye candy haha. The genie for the Sweet Vanilla & Cherry Blossom body wash is Sebastian:

Release Sebastian, he’s a mystical bard who will shower you with sweet poetry & sonnets to ease your body & mind.

*Written in collaboration with Imperial Leather

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Wednesday 20 November 2013

HealGel Face

HealGel Face* - £48

HealGel Eye has become one of my must have skincare products. It is hands down the best eye cream I've ever tried because it makes a visible difference to your under eye area with it's cumulative smoothing & brightening effects. I use it twice a day, every day and my dark circles have never looked so good. So when I was offered the chance to try out HealGel Face, how could I possibly say no? I'm always a bit wary about trying new moisturisers as they can break me out very easily but HealGel is a brand that I have complete confidence in. Their products are created by a highly esteemed group of plastic surgeons and skin specialists who wanted to create an effective skincare range that works on all skin types. My combination, blemish-prone skin is absolutely loving this product.

HealGel Face is a transformative moisturiser with anti-ageing properties. It is suitable for use both during the day & at night due to it's lack of SPF. I always like to have two day moisturisers on the go - one with SPF & one without. This is currently my go-to SPF-free day moisturiser. The product is a white creamy gel that is instantly absorbed into the skin. I love that I don't have to wait around at all before getting on with applying my primer & foundation after using this. Two pumps are all I need for a perfectly moisturised face. It feels very light yet it manages to nourish my skin deeply, removing all signs of dryness. It gives my skin a smooth & soft velvety feel with a natural matte appearance. Like HealGel Eye it features a powerful hyaluronic acid complex to rehydrate the skin & plump it up. I always find that I need something quite rich when the weather gets colder but this gives my skin everything it needs without any heaviness or greasiness. The texture makes it a great choice all year round.

As well as hyaluronic acid HealGel Face also contains a unique blend of omega oils, which replenish dehydrated skin & restore elasticity. Arnica and madecassoide are used to boost collagen and soothe the skin. This combination of ingredients is ideal if you're looking for something with anti-ageing properties. The moisturiser manages to reduce the appearance of fine lines by firming, smoothing & plumping up the skin. The effects are instant, albeit temporary. With consistent usage, I have found that my skin has become softer & plumper so it must be slowly making more of a difference. I've noticed that my skin looks healthier overall and it works incredibly well on scarring. I really trust in the science behind the HealGel products and I think they're a brilliant choice if you're looking to soothe any irritation. Whenever I try something that doesn't completely agree with my skin I know that I can rely on this moisturiser to sort it all out. Again this is a rather pricey product but a little does go a long way & you won't need a separate night cream to go with it. It just does everything it's supposed to & it's always so amazing to find a product that really delivers on it's promises.

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Saturday 16 November 2013

Nail Polish Collection & Storage

70 Bottle Nail Polish Display Stand - £19.99

Following on from yesterday's haul, I thought I'd show you my lovely new nail polish storage. For the past few years I've been housing my nail polish collection in those floral drawers from WHSmith that pretty much everyone used to own. The storage space within it was good but I hated not being able to see all my polishes. I kept buying loads of dupes of the same colours because I was forgetting which ones I already owned. So I decided to find a proper space for them & I bought this display stand from eBay. I'd really recommend the eBay seller I got it from. The stand arrived really quickly and it was packaged in a huge box with a ton of bubble wrap to protect it. You can get them in various sizes but I went for the 70 bottle stand because I wanted to keep everything out in one place. Despite the large amount of polishes it holds I still couldn't manage to fit everything in! There's only a handful that aren't in here now but they're mainly top coats, minis etc. If you're wondering about any of the polishes, here's the full list of everything in the stand:

Top Row
Zoya LC, Zoya Ali, Zoya Paz, Zoya Lulu, Zoya Miley, China Glaze Aquadelic, MAC Bad Fairy, MAC Kid Orange,
MAC Steamy, MAC Gold Veneer

6th Row
Barry M Red Glitter, Barry M Red Black, Barry M Raspberry, Barry M Strawberry Ice Cream, Barry M Peach Melba,
Barry M Yellow, Barry M Spring Green, Barry M Mint Green, Barry M Cyan Blue, Topshop Junkyard

5th Row
Essie Fiji, Essie Chinchilly, Essie Lilacism, Essie Mint Candy Apple, Essie Tart Deco, Essie Mini Shorts,
Essie Cute As A Button, Essie Bachelorette Bash, Essie Bahama Mama, Essie After School Boy Blazer

4th Row
Illamasqua Collide, Illamasqua Jo'mina, Illamasqua Stance, Illamasqua Nomad, Illamasqua Scarce,
OPI Cajun Shrimp, American Apparel Neon Yellow, American Apparel Neon Orange, American Apparel Neon Green

3rd Row
Models Own Hot Stuff, Models Own Disco Inferno, Models Own Dancing Queen, Models Own Freak Out!,
Models Own Boogie Nights, Models Own Ibiza Mix, Models Own Pink Fizz,
Models Own Juicy Jules, Models Own 3 In 1 Basecoat/Topcoat/Glosscoat, Seche Vite Top Coat

2nd Row
Models Own Lemon Meringue, Models Own Aciiied, Models Own 25 Carat Gold, Models Own Fuzzy Peach,
Models Own Orangeade, Models Own Utopia, Models Own Lilac Dream, Models Own Purple Passion,
Models Own Jade Stone, Models Own Green Tea

Bottom Row
Models Own Hedonist, Models Own Pink Punch, Models Own Bubblegum, Models Own Sophie's Pink,
Models Own Pastel Pink, Models Own Balearic Cool, Models Own Blooboo, Models Own Beth's Blue,
Models Own Feeling Blue, Models Own Top Turquoise

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Friday 15 November 2013

New Nails: Essie Additions

Essie After School Boy Blazer / Essie Bahama Mama / Essie Chinchilly / Essie Bachelorette Bash

Like many people I cannot resist the allure of the Essie stand in Boots. It's even harder to stay away when there's a 3 for 2 offer on. So I picked up a few shades that I'd been lusting after for a while. I've been dying to get my hands on After School Boy Blazer. I don't think there's been such a hyped nail polish in the beauty community for a long time. This gorgeous blackened navy sold out really quickly both instore & online. I kept checking my local Boots for weeks but they never restocked it. Then I had the bright idea to check the drawer at the bottom of the stand where one single bottle of it was left. I actually squeed when I saw it. I never normally go for dark colours, even during Autumn/Winter but I'm really feeling the seasonal shades this year. I love this colour so much! If you're still after this polish you're probably better off looking for it online now.

I also got the 'Favourites To Fall For' duo of Bahama Mama & Chinchilly. Neither of those are colours that I would've normally bought but that little box just kept calling to me every time I went into Boots and I'm so glad I got them. They're both such beautiful colours. Bahama Mama is a warm plum shade that couldn't be any more fitting for Autumn. Chinchilly is a sleek granite grey. This was the least pigmented of the bunch as it needed three layers before turning opaque. I actually really like this for an accent nail with a brighter polish on the other fingers. I have a bit of an obsession with hot pinks so the last polish I picked up was Bachelorette Bash. This is such a lovely bright & creamy fuchsia & it goes completely opaque in one coat. I think this one might be my favourite from my mini haul. What's your favourite Essie colour? Not that I need or have any room for more nail polishes but I'm still curious ;)

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Thursday 14 November 2013

Object Of Desire: Christmas Jumpers

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

I'm already feeling pretty festive this year, even though it's only November. I love how the cheesy Christmas jumpers of old have now become the coolest thing to sport this Winter. New Look recently got in touch and asked me to write a post about some of their new clothes. I'm loving the incredibly cute collection of Christmas jumpers from New Look & I'm having the hardest time deciding which one to buy! If your grandparents still insist on buying you some new knitwear at Christmas, make sure you point them in this direction.

01. I actually hate the taste of Christmas pudding (& mince pies for that matter) but the jumper I'm most drawn to is this one. I love pastel colours & the little white bobbles attached are really cute. The red & clear gems are a nice finishing touch. I'd wear this just with some skinny jeans & ankle boots.

02. This super fluffy jumper will be great for snuggling up in on cold Winter nights. The sequins give rudolph a very shiny nose indeed!

03. Aww check out this fluffy little penguin with his scarf & bobble hat! The large polka dots on the jumper look like falling snow making this one a really cute choice.

04. I think this one would look lovely worn on Christmas Day with a white shirt underneath and a black skirt. I normally end up wearing something red for Christmas, channeling Santa Claus chic.

05. This one is probably the most wearable is you don't want to look overly festive. I love the mint green fairisle pattern. It's a nice take on the more traditional patterned jumpers.

06. This is another lovely one if you want something something a bit more simple & casual. Who doesn't love spotting robins in the garden?

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Monday 11 November 2013

Flamingo Candles Cheesecake Crunch

Flamingo Candles Cheesecake Crunch Classic Square Jar Candle* - £12

This is the time of year when I go a little bit candle crazy. I always have to have at least one burning every night. I've recently fallen in love with these adorable little jar candles from Flamingo Candles. They're a fresh British company who create handmade organic candles. Here I have one of their classic square jar candles in Cheesecake Crunch. The scent of this one is described as a 'luscious medley of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, maple, walnut, citrus & caramel' and it sure is delicious!

First of all I absolutely adore how these candles look. The jar, lid, colourful wax and plastic flamingo are such a cute combo. The flamingo on Cheesecake Crunch is a gold glitter one which is a bit of a Brucey bonus! My spirit animal perhaps? This candle smells truly incredible and has that kind of biscuity note that really does remind me of cheesecake. It's sweet, comforting, cosy & warming - everything you could want on an Autumn night. It is quite similar to the Vanilla Cupcake Yankee Candle which I also love. The scent quickly fills the room & it's sweet but not at all sickly. Each of the classic square jar candles offers 50 hours burn time at a very purse friendly price. The candle is made from EcoSoya soy wax and features a natural cotton wick resulting in a cleaner, longer & non-toxic burn. Some of my paraffin wax candles have been making me a feel a bit ill lately so I'm thinking of switching to just burning soy candles. Flamingo Candles are a brilliant choice if you've had similar problems with other candle brands.

As well as their amazing range of unique scents (Pomegranate cider? Yum!), Flamingo Candles also have some utterly delicious sounding Christmas candles available. I always end up buying loads of seasonal candles so I'll definitely be picking up the Toasted Almonds & Plum Crumble and Black Cherry Gluhwein candles. They'll make lovely presents too. I just can't resist those sparkly flamingos!

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Sunday 10 November 2013

Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Aid

Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Aid* - £9.18

If you've been reading my blog for a while you will know that I am fanatical about acid exfoliants. Imagine my joy when I discovered that Lanolips make a natural acid exfoliating lip balm! I just had to give it a go. When the colder weather rears it's ugly head the first thing I do is start reaching for the heavy duty lip balms. I get horrendously bad chapped lips so I need something soothing, hydrating & long lasting to sort them out. This stuff fits the bill perfectly. I'd shied away from trying Lanolips products in the past because they always seemed like they would be too thick & sticky but I couldn't have been more wrong. It can take a bit of effort to squeeze the product out but the tube features a new slanted nib so it's really easy to apply. The formula of this lip balm is incredibly slippy & it simply glides onto your lips leaving them feeling buttery soft. There's no stickiness involved whatsoever - something that's always a priority for me when looking for new lip products.

Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Aid combines the super moisturising properties of Lanolips' exclusive Ultra Pure Medical Grade Lanolin with the citric acid found in organic lemon oil. This acid acts as a natural exfoliator on the lips to gently buff away any dry skin present. It works really well & makes my lips feel wonderfully smooth. Lanolips say that you might notice a slight tingling on the lips as it works but it's not something I've experienced. The lemon oil also gives this lip balm the most delicious citrus scent & taste. It's so lovely & fresh! The balm has a slight shimmer to it which is barely noticeable on the lips but definitely adds to the overall glossy appearance. The lanolin in this product is whipped which produces a richer & creamier balm. It feels thick yet light at the same time & absorbs quickly. It's very comfortable to wear and it lasts for hours, even after eating & drinking. I'm guilty of hoarding lip balms in my handbag but this is the one I've been reaching for most often. It's absolutely perfect for this time of year & the tube is totally cute. Plus it contains 97% natural ingredients which is something to consider when you're putting something on your lips. I adore this product and it's actually knocked down NUXE Reve de Miel from the top spot to become my favourite lip balm.

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Wednesday 6 November 2013

Jon Richard Poppy Ring

Jon Richard Poppy Ring* - £12

November marks the annual Poppy Appeal where poppy brooches are sold by The Royal British Legion to support the British Armed Forces past & present and their families. I always make sure I buy a brooch (even though I always end up losing them!) because the charity is such an important one. We wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the sacrifices our troops have made. This year Jon Richard have designed a gorgeous bejewelled poppy cocktail ring so you can do your bit for charity & look good at the same time.

I think the ring is absolutely beautiful & it's the kind of jewellery I would wear regardless of it's charitable connotations. It features red & dark ruby crystals on the petals and a jet crystal in the middle. The ring has an adjustable band so it can fit everyone. It also comes presented in this lovely gift box so I'm sure many people would appreciate receiving this as a present. Pair it with your favourite red polish (I'm wearing MAC Kid Orange) for matching glam nails and show everyone that you wear your poppy with pride.

You can buy one of these rings from Debenhams or the Jon Richard online store. Each ring retails at £12 with £3.60 of proceeds being donated to charity. They're a much better option if, like me, your brooch always falls off your coat never to be seen again. Will you be buying one of these this November?

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Tuesday 5 November 2013

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder - £18.50

I always used to have problems with my mascara migrating down my face throughout the day. That was when I discovered that it is really important to set your under eye concealer. It seems like an obvious solution but I never knew anyone who specifically powdered their eye area, everyone just concentrates on their t-zone & oily areas. Anyway that little tip has saved me from a lifetime of having panda eyes. I've tried quite a few setting powders over the years. From things like MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural & Illamasqua Translucent Loose Setting Powder to Rimmel Stay Matte Powder & Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. But Laura Mercier have something special - a setting powder designed for use on the under eye area only.

Secret Brightening Powder is a fine milled transparent setting powder. It feels silky soft and weightless on the skin. It doesn't settle into fine lines & doesn't look cakey or powdery at all. It really helps to prolong the wear of my concealer & completely stops my mascara migration problems. What really sets it apart from other setting powders is that it contains white pigment to lighten & brighten the under eye area. Therefore it's also helping to increase the coverage of your concealer because it's harder to notice the dark circles underneath. It has a slight sparkly effect, kinda like the illuminating particles in Origins' GinZing Eye Cream. It's not noticeable unless you look in a big magnifying mirror but it definitely helps the overall brightness of that area. Because of the white pigment present you should never set the rest of your face with this powder, otherwise you'll lose the lightened area. Think of Kim Kardashian style contouring. She always puts loads of light yellow concealer under her eyes, not all over her face. Laura Mercier also make a yellow version of this powder so if you think this one will look ashy on your skin, there's a warmer alternative too.

I apply this powder with the Real Techniques Setting Brush. The size & shape of it are absolutely perfect for setting your concealer. Patting the powder onto the area with this brush helps to reduce concealer creasing & dragging. Secret Brightening Powder definitely helps me to look more awake & well rested. You only need to use a teeny tiny amount so I think the price can be justified. I've been using this stuff every day for months now & there's still loads of powder left. It might seem like a bit of a faff having a separate setting powder for your eyes & your face but trust me, it makes all the difference.

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Monday 4 November 2013

Love Me Beauty Box October 2013

Love Me Beauty Box* - £10 + £2.95 Delivery

Last month's Love Me Beauty box (previously BeautecoBox) was definitely an exciting one with four full sized products and just one sample. Love Me Beauty provide you with three different boxes to choose from which sets them apart from any other beauty box on the market. I was really looking forward to trying out some Lord & Berry products for the first time and the inclusion of a full sized bottle of eye makeup remover meant that I decided to opt for menu 3.

Balm Balm Indulge Bath & Shower Oil
I've made a conscious effort to have more baths than showers recently because there's just so many lovely bath salts, oils, bombs etc. out there. I love the NEOM bath oils so I had high hopes for this one & it smells gorgeous. It contains essential oils of ylang ylang, patchouli, & clary sage so the scent is quite a deep & musky floral one. It is incredibly relaxing and this little bottle lasted for 3 baths. A very indulgent organic bathtime treat. You can also pop some on a flannel for use in the shower or dab a drop on your pulse points for some instant relaxation.

Weleda Millet Nourishing Shampoo
This millet shampoo contains macadamia nut oil, extracts of organic millet husks and sage to gently cleanse and nourish your hair. Weleda are known for their natural eco-friendly products. This shampoo is SLS free and features extract of grapefruit & peppermint. The smell is kinda like minty porridge, which I have to admit I like haha. This was the sample of the box so the tube was a little bit small for my hair. I used it on Chloe instead and it made her hair really shiny. She has really frizzy curly hair so it didn't do much for the condition of it but it works as a gentle shampoo suitable for the whole family. However the full size bottle costs £9 so I can't see myself repurchasing it.

Amie Bright Eyes
I've tried a few Amie products now & they're a great choice if you want good skincare on a budget. I recently ran out of Bioderma so this product is one of the main reasons I chose this particular box. This eye makeup remover is very gentle and doesn't make my eyes sting at all. It features meadow cornflower, chamomile, grape water & cucumber to cleanse whilst soothing & refreshing the eye area at the same time. It is oil-free so there's no horrible greasiness afterwards. It manages to remove my normal eye makeup really well but it completely failed when I tried to get off the Lord & Berry waterproof products. For that reason I think I prefer micellar waters because the oil content in those helps to remove waterproof mascara without leaving any greasiness either. This works perfectly well on everyday makeup. I do seem to be getting through the bottle rather quickly though!

Lord & Berry Scuba Mascara
I go swimming every week so I've been looking for a good waterproof mascara. This came very close but it was let down by one thing - it is incredibly dry. If you ignore that dryness though, this makes your lashes look stunning. Never has anything made my lashes look so long or hold a curl like this before. They were almost touching my eyebrows! I had to run the tube under a hot tap first to get anything out though, which really isn't acceptable for a new product. The dryness also made my lashes quite flaky & I had some black bits drop down underneath my eyes. It is definitely waterproof though and it took a bit of effort with some cleansing oil & a muslin cloth to remove it properly. It's just frustrating that this was so dry because it had so much potential!

Lord & Berry Smudgeproof Eyeliner in Smoke
This waterproof eyeliner is actually grey in colour. It looks really nice & is a softer alternative to black eyeliner. This stuff does not move! It doesn't run, smudge or transfer at all & only comes off with an oil-based makeup remover. However again there were a couple of problems with this Lord & Berry product. The edges of the pencil were raised above the nib so I had to sharpen it a bit first before I could use it. It also wouldn't show up at all on my waterline. Instead I'd recommend using it all over the lid & then blending it out quickly with a MAC 217 brush. It does set quickly so you do have to work fast. I do like this product & the colour is pretty unique so I can see myself using this a lot. Grey smokey eye looks are my fave.

This is the first time I've felt a little bit disappointed with my Love Me Beauty box. I think it was mainly let down by the Lord & Berry products because they had the potential to be amazing but fell at the last hurdle. Apparently some other people have experienced problems with those products too. Product quality and customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance to Love Me Beauty, so they have released this statement:

"It has come to our attention that some products dispatched in our October box from our long term partner Lord & Berry, have not met the high standards set by Lord & Berry and ourselves. As our customers are the heart of our business, this has been brought to the attention of Lord & Berry's head office. Lord & Berry has set a team to investigate as to why the products fell below the high standards that they set themselves and are making additional quality checks to all of their products that they send internationally. As a gesture of goodwill and apology to our members, Lord & Berry will be providing in next month’s box a full sized lipstick which retails at £12 to all members. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

I think it's brilliant that they're putting things right and are giving everyone a free lipstick next month. It shows that they do care about the feedback they get from customers and don't just fob people off with a statement (take note, Bleach London). You can subscribe to Love Me Beauty for £10 a month plus £2.95 delivery with no minimum subscription term. Visit the Love Me Beauty website to find out more.

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Sunday 3 November 2013

Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner Pen

Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner Pen - £6

I am very picky when it comes to liquid eyeliner. When I was at school one of my friends always sported the perfect cat flick liner. She introduced me to her weapon of choice - Lancome's Artliner. I started wearing liquid liner when I was 16 and have done that same cat flick ever since. I used those pens for years and they made tricky liner application into a complete doddle. Much to my dismay, Lancome decided to discontinue it and I struggled to find a good replacement. Eventually I came across L'Oreal's Carbon Gloss Superliner and I've been using that for the past couple of years. Superliner is pretty much a straight up dupe for Artliner so when Lancome finally brought it back to their counters, I stuck with the cheaper product. Both of them have a pointy sponge tip, are incredibly pigmented and stay put all day on my eyes. I think that type of applicator makes them perfect for beginners. I've never fared well with other types of liquid liner but considering it gets a lot of love from other bloggers, I decided to try to something new & picked up Soap & Glory's Supercat eyeliner from Boots a few weeks ago.

When I first tried it out, I completely hated it. It dragged along my lashes resulting in a blobby uneven line, the thickness was impossible to control and my flick looked awful. The only good thing was the pigmentation - it is very black. Not wanting to have wasted my money I persevered with it and now I finally see what all the fuss was about. I think there's a bit of a learning curve with this product but once you get used to it, it's actually quite good. The liquid is instantly opaque and comes out smooth if you hold it at the right angle. I find using the very tip of the pen results in a better application & the thickness is easier to control. The nib of this eyeliner pen is very thick and hard. It's like drawing on your eyes with a felt tip pen. It's easy to get into your lashes so there's no visible gap left. One area where I think it is better than my other fave eyeliners is that the actual product is housed within one pen so you don't have to keep dipping the applicator into the inkwell. I still don't like that it transfers onto my upper eyelid but that might be more to do with the shape of my eyes than the quality of the product. I never had that problem with Superliner or Artliner though. It does the same thing whether I wear primer or not. Sometimes it also transfers to the inner corner of my bottom lash line but otherwise the staying power is impressive. Despite this, it is also easy to remove so you don't have to tug at your eyes to get it off.

Personally I still prefer the flimsier pointed sponge tip applicator found in the likes of Artliner & Superliner but this thicker felt tip style isn't too difficult to master either. I'm sure there's many people out there who find it even easier to use. It's probably a better choice for your handbag if you need to touch up on the go too. At just £6 it is brilliant value for money. Once you figure out how to get it to work for your eye shape, it's a piece of cake.

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Saturday 2 November 2013

October Favourites

HealGel Eye
It's so easy to forget about using an eye cream because sometimes you can't ever be sure that it's having a positive effect. I think that this is the only eye product that has actually made a lasting visible difference to my under eye area. It's a hydrating gel featuring arnica & hyaluronic acid. It feels very refreshing & manages to effectively reduce puffiness as well as discolouration. It also provides a smooth canvas for my concealer by firming up that whole area. It's great for both day & night so you're definitely getting your money's worth. I'm actually remembering to use an eye product every day without fail now because this really works! Full review here.

Estelle & Thild Lily Detox Mask
I don't really have large pores but I still can't get enough of this face mask! The product is a thick yellow cream that never sets on the face. It uses lactic acid & natural bentonite clay to remove every trace of gunk from your skin. It gets to work in just 5 minutes & it has such a noticeable effect on pores & blemishes. It reduces inflammtion & gives the skin a matte airbrushed appearance. It makes my skin feel so lovely & soft too. Anyone with oily or blemish-prone skin should give this a go. It is fantastic! Estelle & Thild are definitely a skincare brand to keep your eye on. Full review here.

Clarins HydraQuench Lotion SPF 15
I recently finished off my tub of Origins Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Moisturiser. As much as I loved that moisturiser, I felt like trying something new. I use lots of acids on my face so SPF is now an everyday must-have. I decided to go for this Clarins offering and I have to say I really love this moisturiser! The HydraQuench range is ideal for anyone with dehydrated skin. The products feature an exclusive hyaluronic acid complex that replenishes the skin's moisture levels & reduces future moisture loss. There's a different version for every skin type & this one is for people with normal to combination skin. It's a thin white lotion that absorbs very quickly and leaves my face feeling perfectly balanced. It also uses katafray bark, pomegranate extract & alpine willow herb to limit dehydration, tighten pores and regulate shine & sebum production. My makeup sits so nicely on top of this & I no longer need to use Hydraluron because this already contains hyaluronic acid. I've never found a better day moisturiser for combination skin & I thoroughly recommend trying this product.

Vosene Shampoo
I needed a strong clarifying shampoo to help fade my blue hair disaster and this has been working really well for me. It has a slightly odd menthol scent which isn't entirely pleasant but you can't smell it on your hair at all. It uses salicylic acid to cleanse the scalp & hair so it's working to strip the dye as well as excess oils. Therefore you do need a good conditioner afterwards or you'll end up with a dry wreck on your head. I'd recommend this to fade your hair colour rather than a bleach bath though, it's far less damaging.

Organic Surge 2-Minute Moisture Mask
To counteract the effects of the Vosene shampoo I've been relying on this Organic Surge hair mask. This lovely thick mask uses coconut oil & plant extracts to restore the condition of your hair & give it an intense hit of hydration. I love how soft, shiny & silky it makes my hair. Plus it gets to work incredibly quickly. It's about 1000x better than Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, that stuff never did anything for my hair even when it wasn't bleached! My hair loves this mask so it's currently on 'forever repurchase' status. Full review here.

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