Friday 31 October 2014

Flamingo Candles Cinnamon Appleberry

Flamingo Candles Cinnamon Appleberry Halloween Classic Square Jar Candle* - £12

Halloween is easily my favourite holiday. I've always been drawn to the spooky side of life & it's a whole lot more fun than any other annual occasion. I love dressing up, decorating the house & handing out sweeties to trick or treaters. Rather than going out for a party this year we're just gonna stay in and watch some classic movies. I'm thinking Hocus Pocus, The Craft & Ed Wood. Tonight along with my pumpkins I'll be lighting this limited edition Halloween candle from Flamingo Candles. For Halloween 2014 Flamingo Candles have brought out a special trio of fragrances complete with three spooky colourways to complement your creepy decorations. The three candles available in this range are Aniseed, Orange & Nutmeg and Cinnamon Appleberry which is the one I that have here. The minty green EcoSoya soy wax is the perfect colour match for witchy face paint and the black Florrie flamingo adds to it's ghoulish appearance. The scent of this candle is described as a 'delicious blend of tart, juicy apples and sweet strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries laced with a cinnamon glow'. It's an incredibly yummy & fresh combination. If you're a fan of crisp apple scents then you will absolutely love this candle.

Earlier this month I reviewed Flamingo Candles' Applecurrant Crumble candle and although they're both apple-based scents they couldn't be any more different. Cinnamon Appleberry is a lot sharper & fruitier whereas Applecurrant Crumble was very sweet & comforting. This candle still has a hint of sweetness though which nostalgically reminds me of Atomic Apple flavoured Hubba Bubba and toffee apples, one of my favourite treats at this time of year! The addition of spicy cinnamon is very warming & makes me feel all cosy inside. It'll carry through nicely into the Winter as well as the spiciness is somewhat Christmassy. With up to 50 hours burn time it'll probably last you that long anyway! It has great scent throw which beautifully fills the room. I really like that these organic hand-poured candles use soy wax and natural cotton wicks as they burn very cleanly. They won't leave any random bits of soot around your home & they're non-toxic so they're much better for you as well.

Although this candle is from the Halloween collection there's nothing stopping you from burning it at any time. Cinnamon Appleberry is another wonderfully Autumnal scent from Flamingo Candles & would make a lovely accompaniment to any cold dark night. I'm not sure how much longer the Halloween collection will be available for so I would suggest ordering soon to avoid disappointment. Happy Halloween everyone!

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Thursday 23 October 2014

Bee Good Honey & Propolis 2-In-1 Cream Cleanser

Bee Good Honey & Propolis 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser* - £11.50

At this time of year my skin always goes a little bit haywire. As a result I have to change up a few of the products I normally swear by for richer formulas that can keep my skin hydrated through the colder months. When it comes to cleansers I'm firmly an oil followed by a gel kinda gal but this product from British skincare brand Bee Good has reminded me of just how lovely cream cleansers can be. I'm sure most people have tried Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish or something similar by now but this has to be my favourite of that cleanser category. Thanks to my recent wasp infested house trauma I have a rather large aversion to any stripy flying insects. I just try to ignore the packaging design when I'm applying it! Of course bees are a whole lot more useful than wasps as they help to pollinate flowers & produce lots of delicious honey. Bee products have also long been regarded as potent skincare ingredients. That's why Bee Good have harnessed the healing powers of British honey, propolis & beeswax to create an effective, all natural range of skincare products.

The Honey & Propolis 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser has an incredibly thick & luxurious creamy texture which is more akin to a mask than a cleanser. It feels very comforting on the skin & has a beautiful fresh natural scent with just a hint of honey. In terms of ingredients this product features super-moisturising British wild flower honey, nourishing British crambe oil & British propolis which is renowned for it's antibacterial properties. It is also rich in vitamins B, C & E to promote skin healing. Each tube comes with it's very own muslin cloth. After massaging the cleanser onto dry skin simply rinse the cloth with hot water and remove the cleanser using circular motions. The luscious cream gently cleanses the skin whilst the cloth softly exfoliates. It works brilliantly as both a morning & evening cleanser as it removes every single trace of makeup without the need for a second cleanse. Although it makes light work of my heavy eye makeup you might want to use an eye makeup remover first as it tends to sting a bit if you massage it too far into your lashes.

This cleanser is suitable for all skin types but anyone with dry, dehydrated or problem skin will really benefit from it. I have combination skin so my cheeks sometimes get rather dry. Using the Bee Good Honey & Propolis 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser for a few weeks has really helped to balance out my skin & eliminate dry patches. It leaves my skin feeling really soft, smooth & hydrated without leaving any residue behind. My complexion looks noticeably brighter & clearer too. Like most cream cleansers the formula is very rich but unlike most of them this one hasn't given me any blemishes. If anything it has helped to clear up any breakouts as propolis is one of the best ingredients for balancing problematic skin. I feel like my skin gets on really well with this calming creamy cleanser & I would highly recommend it as an Autumn/Winter skincare addition. If you're fed up of cleansers that leave your skin feeling tight or stripped then Bee Good might just have the perfect product for you.

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Friday 17 October 2014

Claudia Louch Protective Jojoba Day Moisturiser

Claudia Louch Protective Jojoba Day Moisturiser* - £52.50

Having fallen completely head over heels for the Claudia Louch Hydrating Mango Face Cream it was a very sad day when that sleek black bottle ran out of product. Despite my fussy combination skin type, my face got on incredibly well with it due to it's deeply hydrating properties & velvety matte finish. Whilst the Hydrating Mango Face Cream is meant for normal to dry skin types, the Protective Jojoba Day Moisturiser is ideal for those with combination or oily skin. I had high hopes for this moisturiser so I jumped at the chance to try it out. As this one is actually intended for my skin type I figured that I would love this product even more. Changing up your moisturiser is always a bit of a gamble but I have tremendous faith in this brand. All of the Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic products are natural and plant and/or mineral-based, hypoallergenic, allergy-tested, non-comedogenic & free from harsh chemicals. Each blend of natural botanical ingredients is designed to work in perfect harmony with your skin & this moisturiser is certainly working wonders on mine.

The key active ingredient in the Protective Jojoba Day Moisturiser is, of course, jojoba oil. This acts as an anti-inflammatory & helps to dissolve excess sebum which is the cause of blocked pores & breakouts. Pretty impressive for a moisturiser! This high-performance 94% natural product boasts an excess of 18% oils (jojoba, avocado & grape seed), 2% shea butter, vegetable glycerine and vitamins A & E. It's a deeply nourishing blend that feels weightless on the skin. The texture feels quite similar to the Hydrating Mango Face Cream but with a bit more slip to it & not as thick in consistency. I use about two or three pumps each time which is plenty for my face. A little goes a long way with this stuff so you definitely get your money's worth. It makes a lovely silky base for makeup as my skin gets less shiny throughout the day. I don't have to wait around for it to sink in either. Although it is labelled as a day moisturiser, I've been using it day & night as the formula feels light yet hydrating enough for both occasions. I normally just apply it over a facial oil at night to really lock in moisture & add some radiance to my complexion. As a result my skin is looking very clear, more even toned and it feels beautifully soft. This moisturiser is wonderfully comforting to the skin & is a brilliant skincare addition for this transitional season.

Claudia Louch's botanical skincare range sets the bar really high & once you try one of her products, you won't want to use anything else. The price might not be within everyone's budget but you can rest assured that this luxurious moisturiser has been produced by utilising Claudia's masterful knowledge of skincare. The Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic skincare range is available to buy online exclusively at with free UK delivery.

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Friday 10 October 2014

Beloved Brands: Bumble & Bumble

I'm pretty big on brand loyalty. There are certain brands that I consistently buy products from, wholeheartedly love & recommend to all of my friends. Today I'm starting up a new feature to highlight my favourite products from these brands & maybe give a few hints as to what to avoid as well. First up we have Bumble & Bumble. Their products tend to come with a hefty price tag but they're one of the few hair care brands that I'm willing to save up for. My introduction to Bumble & Bumble came when I first had my hair bleached blonde at Taylor Taylor in London. Prep & Thickening Hairspray were always spritzed into my hair before blowdrying. I repurchased both of those products for years as they worked wonders on my hair. Prep was especially effective at making my hair grow faster. When I had my hair cut into an asymmetric crop a combo of Defrizz & Styling Wax was my go to for smoothing & shaping my short locks. I honestly feel like their shampoos & conditioners are ridiculously overpriced for what they are though. Unless I'm getting some huge salon size bottles I'm simply not prepared to drop 30 quid on a hair washing duo. However their styling products are simply to die for & can make such a difference to the appearance of your hair. I wouldn't have spent so much money on them if I thought otherwise! Here are my top picks from their collection:

My favourite hair product of all time has to be Brilliantine. This stuff is absolutely amazing & I can't wash my hair without running some of this through it afterwards. It takes away any fluffiness & frizz, smoothing everything down without making it look greasy or flat. It adds just the right amount of hold & definition whilst giving your hair a beautiful shine. My hair feels lovely & soft when I use it too. You only need a tiny amount of it & you can use it on wet or dry hair. I normally just put it on my dry hair but if you apply some before blowdrying the glossy sheen it gives to your locks is unbelievable. It makes your hair look super healthy even if it's as damaged as mine. If you buy one product from Bumble & Bumble make sure it's Brilliantine.

Dry sprays are still all the rage & one of my favourites is the Thickening Dryspun Finish. This is like a step up from a dry shampoo as it doesn't make your hair feel matted & gross afterwards. It gives your hair an instant shot of volume & plenty of texture. Whenever I want really full & bouncy hair I always spray some of this through my top layers. A quick ruffle with your fingers is then all you need to give your hair some oomph. It works perfectly if you're doing a voluminous updo like a beehive too. Another product that I always find myself reaching for is the Thickening Creme Contour. I mainly just use this on the front layers of my hair to give them a bit more hold & make sure they stay flicked outwards. It adds loads of volume & definition. I have quite fine hair & this stuff definitely plumps it up & makes it look thicker. Use these two products together for some seriously big hair!

Bumble & Bumble do some fantastic creme products all with completely different results. The two I reach for most often are the Hair(Un)Dressing Creme & Grooming Creme. I normally go for the former if I want a messy look & the latter if I want a sleeker look. The Hair(Un)Dressing Creme adds the perfect amount of volume & texture to your hair without overloading it or making it look greasy again. It's great if you hate how your hair looks on the day you wash it. The product is a thick, flexible hold styling creme for lived-in, messy hairstyles complete with a matte finish. A tiny blob of this stuff ran through your roots before blow drying will give your hair some grit & lift so it's a good alternative to backcombing. The Grooming Creme is better if you want your hair to look smooth & polished. It gives my hair separation & hold so it stays looking exactly how I want it. I always blow dry my hair & if I use this beforehand I find that my hair stays straighter for longer. It also works really well on curly hair. If you run some through before leaving it to air dry, this creme helps to reduce frizz & define curls. The soft satin finish adds some elegance to your hairstyle.

One of the latest additions to the Bumble & Bumble range are their Hairdresser's Invisible Oil products. I really love the original Hairdresser's Invisible Oil. This is the best hair oil I've ever tried, nothing will make your hair feel as soft as this does. When I first tried this I couldn't stop stroking my hair, the transformation was incredible. I apply four pumps through my hair before blowdrying. It's hard to believe how much shinier & softer it will make your hair feel, it is a true miracle worker. This is probably the most expensive B&B product but it is worth every single penny. They recently added a shampoo, conditioner & primer to the lineup. You already know my feelings about their hair washing products but the Heat/UV Protective Primer is phenomenal. As well as protecting against heat & UV damage it helps to detangle, soften, defrizz & tame flyaways. It makes my hair so much more manageable & easy to style. I've had less breakage since I started using this too. If you have fine hair you'll probably get on better with the primer but both are well worth trying out.

Although I've dismissed their daily shampoos & conditioners they do make some lovely hair masks. Deeep is an incredibly nourishing protein mask that would be perfect for anyone with chemically treated, sun damaged or very dry hair. It repairs the hair from within by increasing elasticity whilst adding immense softness. It has a very thick texture so you don't need to use that much product to get results otherwise it can weigh down the hair. This mask is best applied to damp hair for 20 minutes once a week. Pop on a shower cap or a warm towel to intensify it's hair revitalising properties. Plus the scent is utterly gorgeous & it lingers on your hair for ages. Quenching Complex is also a brilliant quick fix for dry hair. This is a light leave-in cream that I like to apply to the ends of my hair before bed. It smooths the hair cuticle, sealing in moisture & protecting the hair. It's just a nice hydrating booster before I wash my hair in the morning. You can also use it before blowdrying as a leave-in conditioner if you prefer.

Now this isn't entirely my pick as I would never use the stuff but my boyfriend loves the Bb. Gel. I actually bought him this as a present and he declared it to be the best hair gel that he'd ever used. I'm sure many of you know how hard it is to get boys excited about beauty products so this was a small victory for me. It gives the hair a strong but flexible hold & doesn't turn into flaky white bits like many gels do. This is a much more modern formula & doesn't look too wet or too dry on the hair. If you want to buy the man in your life a nice hair treat, get him this.

What are your favourite Bumble & Bumble products?

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Thursday 9 October 2014

Balance Me Natural Protection Moisturiser SPF 25

Balance Me Natural Protection Moisturiser SPF 25* - £26

Something that I am becoming increasingly fanatical about is sun protection. I'm the kinda gal who likes to wear sunscreen all year round. I turned 26 this year & I'm getting to the age where I feel like I do need to start including anti-ageing products in my routine. Wearing sunscreen daily is the best way to fight against fine lines, wrinkles & age spots. Not to mention that my love of AHAs & retinol means that I have to apply it or suffer the consequences. During the Summer I normally use a separate moisturiser & SPF product to ensure that my face is getting fully protected. You need to apply 1/4 teaspoon of sunscreen on your face to fully benefit from it so it's better to use separate products. However when the weather is cold & grey, much like it is right now, a moisturiser containing SPF is far more convenient & perfectly adequate for protecting your skin. The vast majority of moisturisers with sun protection only come with SPF 15 which is a little low for my liking. Balance Me's Natural Protection Moisturiser comes with SPF 25 plus protection against both UVA & UVB rays which is exactly what most of us should be aiming for.

As a daily moisturiser I do think that this product works very well. It features 99% natural ingredients including hyaluronic acid for hydration, blackberry seed extract to encourage collagen production and abyssinian, camellia & rosehip oils to nourish the skin. Balance Me have also created a bespoke blend of essential oils for this moisturiser including bergamot, frankincense, chamomile & lavender to calm, soothe & brighten the skin. They give it a really nice herbal scent too. The formula is quite thick yet it feels lightweight on the skin. It gives me the perfect amount of hydration without feeling greasy or heavy. My skin is left feeling perfectly plump & smooth. It doesn't break me out at all so it'd be a great choice for those with sensitive or problem skin. Although it says it's suitable for all skin types I feel like it might not be fluid enough for those with dry skin.

I really like the packaging of this moisturiser. The 40ml tube is very slim with a precise nozzle tip so you can get out just the right amount of product. It would be great to carry around with you too. The sun protection in this moisturiser comes from an innovative natural titanium dioxide-based sun filter. This means that it is a physical sunscreen which protects your skin by reflecting the sun's rays rather than absorbing them. Physical sunscreens are also less likely to cause irritation however they do leave an unpleasant white cast on your skin. When I first applied this product I was shocked by how white my face looked but after a couple of minutes everything sinks in & the white cast completely disappears. It dries to a semi-matte finish and I've noticed that my foundation stays on a lot longer when I use this, eliminating the need for primer. It is such a lovely base for makeup!

Balance Me spent two years developing this moisturiser which I think is shown through it's immense high quality. Sometimes with moisturisers that include SPF you can tell that something has been compromised, either the moisturising benefits or the sun protection levels. The Natural Protection Moisturiser gets that balance just right making this product a great skincare addition for those who don't get along with separate sunscreens. It's a simple one-step no fuss product that does it all. Are you a fan of Balance Me?

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Wednesday 8 October 2014

Russell Organics Vitamin C Serum

Russell Organics Vitamin C Serum* - £38

There are certain active ingredients that everyone should include in their skincare routine, vitamin C being one of them. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory & collagen stimulator. It boasts a variety of skin perfecting features such as lightening post-acne scarring & hyperpigmentation, reducing fine lines & wrinkles, plumping up the skin & generally giving you a beautiful healthy glow. Due to it's antioxidant properties vitamin C has been shown to increase the efficacy of sunscreens. Basically if you have a vitamin C product & a good sunscreen in your morning routine then you're golden. They're a brilliant combo for fighting against the signs of ageing. Vitamin C is also a melanin inhibitor so if you're prone to freckles or age spots then it is one of the few ingredients that can actually fade them & stop them from forming. Anyone wanting brighter, perkier looking skin will hugely benefit from this wonder ingredient. Normally I am a huge advocate of supplements for skin health but you won't get the same visible results from food, drink or a vitamin C pill that you will from a skincare product. All the orange juice in the world can't compare to a good vitamin C serum! I adore the Una Brennan Vitamin C+ range & the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster but most recently I've been testing out this lovely Vitamin C Serum from Russell Organics.

Russell Organics are an innovative skincare & wellness brand. They were founded by skincare pioneer Richard Russell who desired to create a range of luxury cruelty-free & vegan products. Their products feature the purest, most effective natural ingredients utilised to target various skin ailments. One of their newest stockists are who kindly sent me this serum. They're a brilliant online store with over 32000 products from 650 international beauty brands. They always have great discounts, free gifts & free worldwide shipping. Plus they have a loyalty programme so if you're a regular shopper you can save even more money. One of best things about shopping on StrawberryNET is that you can find loads of brands that aren't always easily available in the UK like Russell Organics. All the Russell Organics products are 100% natural, eco-friendly and come in minimal, easily recycled packaging. The pump packaging of this serum is great because I can get out the exact amount of product I need (two pumps is what I usually go for) and it protects the product better. That might sound weird but vitamin C is not a stable ingredient. It's important to keep the serum away from light & oxygen as they can render it useless. Most vitamin C products have a relatively short life span compared to other skincare products. This serum has a natural light yellow colour but if you notice a vitamin C product turning dark yellow or orange then you should throw it away.

The Russell Organics Vitamin C Serum feels very light on the skin yet it manages to really up the hydration levels. As well as vitamin C this serum also contains aloe vera, green tea extract, shea butter & vitamin E to help soothe and hydrate the skin. My skin doesn't require as much moisturiser after using this & is left feeling a lot smoother and softer all day long. I much prefer using this to the Ole Henriksen serum as it often felt a bit sticky on my skin whereas this just feels very silky & moisturising. It makes my whole face glow without making it any oilier or greasier. Everything looks brighter, less red & more even toned. The biggest difference I have noticed from using this product is a drastic reduction in my post-acne scarring. The dark marks on my face have been fading like crazy & it gives my bare skin a much healthier appearance. This is great stuff if you need more confidence in your skin without makeup. It hasn't really done much for my freckles yet but hopefully I'll notice a difference with further usage. A welcome side effect of using this serum is that it has reduced my sunken under eye area & dark circles. It's pretty phenomenal stuff! The only thing I dislike about this product is the scent. Citrus scents are normally my fave but this has a weird, pungent orange scent & from looking at the ingredient list I imagine it's from the inclusion of blood orange peel oil. I love eating blood oranges but for some reason the peel oil makes this serum smell terrible. Luckily it soon dissipates & by the time I've applied my moisturiser I can't smell it at all.

Overall this serum is an extremely welcome addition to my morning skincare routine. Anything that can make my skin softer, brighter & clearer is a winner in my eyes. I can't believe the difference this has made to my post-blemish scarring. I always thought that AHAs were best for getting rid of hyperpigmentation but good old vitamin C does the job so much better & is less harsh on the skin. I really want to try some more of their products now as they have such a nice range of facial oils. Have you tried any products from Russell Organics before?

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Tuesday 7 October 2014

Flamingo Candles Applecurrant Crumble

Flamingo Candles Applecurrant Crumble Classic Square Jar Candle* - £12

With all the dreary Autumn weather we've been having recently there's nothing better than wrapping yourself up warm, relaxing with a hot drink & indulging in the scent of a fresh new candle. Flamingo Candles clearly know the way to my heart and a few weeks ago they sent me one of the new fragrances from their current Autumn/Winter collection, Applecurrant Crumble. If apple pie is the quintessential American dessert then apple crumble is surely ours. That's why Applecurrant Crumble couldn't be a more apt candle for the British Autumn season. The scent is described as a 'delicious blend of warm apple puree and brown sugar highlighted by fruity notes of raisin, rich plum and lemon peel. All of this is covered with a golden topping of all-butter pastry crumble'. It fills your home with a realistic scent of freshly baked crumble which never fails to make me feel hungry! It smells sweet & comforting with a luscious blend of fruit. I much prefer this kind of scent to the spicier offerings we normally get around this time of year. I've amassed quite a few Flamingo Candles now but this is definitely my favourite out of all of them. The Applecurrant Crumble candle actually reminds me of one they bought out last year, Toasted Almonds & Plum Crumble, but this one is even more powerfully scented & the apples give it a scrumptious tangy twist. It beautifully captures the essence of Autumn. This candle is a real olfactory treat & I simply can't get enough of it!

Flamingo Candles are easily one of my favourite candle brands. Not only do they have an ever expanding range of divine scents, all of their products are handmade & organic to boot. They are made from EcoSoya soy wax and feature a natural cotton wick so you get a clean, non-toxic burn. They're environmentally-friendly too. Each of these classic square jar candles offers up to 50 hours of burn time which is so impressive considering their size & price. One of the things I like best about these candles is their super cute packaging. They look amazing on top of my fireplace & dotted around my bedroom. Applecurrant Crumble comes with a pretty pastel green wax & a gold acrylic Florrie flamingo on the front. It looks adorable & smells truly incredible, what more could you want from a candle?

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Monday 6 October 2014

#MCM Man Crush Monday With New Look

Leather Jacket / Check Shirt / Black Skinny Jeans / Snakeskin Plimsolls / Belt / Leather Wrap Bracelet / Watch

It's Monday & #MCM means it's time to fawn over some hot men, yay! My current top three 'man crushes' would have to be Joe Gilgun from This Is England/Misfits, Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age and Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro. I clearly have a thing for men with tattoos & nice hair. In general I'd say I have a pretty weird taste in men (Steve Buscemi anyone?) but I imagine some of you will fancy at least one of those three. Of course a well dressed man is always more attractive to me. I tend to like guys with indie style sensibilities as I feel like that best compliments my own fashion choices. New Look have recently relaunched their menswear collection & to celebrate they wanted to see how I would style up my man crush. I think that any of the above guys would look great in what I've chosen. However my ultimate man crush would have to be my boyfriend Andy (gag haha!) & he is definitely in need of some new clothes. He's actually a fashion retail manager so he mainly just wears whatever uniform he's chosen for work. I wish I could get him to wear something like this but he's very stuck in his ways. Whenever I buy him something he nearly always returns it. I practically begged him to get the leather jacket but he point blank refused. He's just turned 30 so he thought that he would be too old for it. He's such a goon, I think he'd look amazing in it! So instead I let him have free reign of the New Look website & as he was in need of a new coat he chose this navy parka jacket*.

The jacket is a nice smart cover up that he can wear for work or on his days off. It's very practical for the coming season. Andy's fashion sense doesn't really extend beyond being practical so I guess that's why he chose it! Hopefully I can persuade him to go for some of the other pieces I've chosen from New Look as his wardrobe could really do with a revamp. First of all though I need to tackle that dreadful goatee...

Who's your pick for Man Crush Monday?

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Thursday 2 October 2014

The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream

The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream* - £12

Thanks to my current skincare routine, my skin is looking very clear & even toned for once. As a result I don't feel the need to smother my face in foundation as much & have been enjoying using some lighter base products. After trying out the Ginvera Green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream SPF 30 my interest in BB creams has been piqued once more. I really liked the formula & finish of that BB cream but the colour was a tad too orange for me. And so the hunt continued. Recently I've been loving watching Gabby's YouTube videos & noticed that she often uses this All-In-One BB Cream from The Body Shop in her tutorials. The idea of a colour-adapting product was rather intriguing as I hoped that it work a lot better on my pale skin. I got the shade 00 which sounded like a promising choice for fair skin tones. There are also four darker shades available which would cover a large range of skin colours.

Strictly speaking I think it would be wrong to call this a BB cream. The subtitle of 'colour-adapting tinted cream' is far more appropriate as it doesn't contain any SPF & it has no discernible skincare benefits. Straight from the tube the product appears as a thin white cream with tiny little peach beads dotted throughout. These beads are colour pigments that burst as you rub the cream in. It quickly transforms to a flesh tone colour offering light buildable coverage. It feels cooling, refreshing & hydrating on the skin. Applied with my hands it's great for adding a hint of a tint when I'm in a rush & want to look a bit less zombie-like in the morning. Applied with a brush you can really up the coverage and I was surprised by how well it covered up my freckles. It's great that the cream can be used either way depending on how much coverage you desire. The satin finish looks beautiful & lightly perfects my complexion. However after a few hours of wear it does start to look very dewy so I don't think it would work for anyone with oily skin. A good setting powder is an absolute must with this product. Despite the shine that develops throughout the day, it doesn't break down on my skin & the staying power is excellent for a tinted cream. It doesn't cause me to breakout at all either.

Unfortunately as with most base products this cream is too dark for my ghostly pallor. I had high hopes that 00 would work for me but it just looks way too orange. In fact it's even darker on me than the Ginvera BB cream. I would've expected shade 02 or even 01 to look like this so the lack of a good match for us truly pale ladies makes me a bit sad. As this is a colour-adapting product I feel like the colour gets darker throughout the day as well. I can just about get away with it if I apply it with my hands but I prefer the coverage that comes with brush application. Even if I blend it really far down my neck you can still see a definite orange line. I really hoped that the All-In-One BB Cream could join my roster of everyday bases as it does look so lovely on the skin. Sadly the colour is totally wrong for me. If only there was a minus shade available! For now I think it's time to give up trying to find a pale enough BB cream in a UK store. Asia just does them a whole lot better.

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Wednesday 1 October 2014

September Favourites

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Reverse Pump Bottle
Bioderma will probably always be my favourite micellar water. I've used this stuff for years & I'm not planning on changing that anytime soon. I won't bore you with another rave about this wonderful makeup remover but there's a reason why I've included it in this post. A couple of months ago Escentual started stocking a reverse pump bottle of Bioderma. How cool is that?! It took me a while to finish off my old bottle but I finally got to buy this one a few weeks ago & I love it! I always used to end up drowning my cotton pads in the stuff which was a little wasteful. This pump allows you to control how much product is being put onto your pad so you won't waste a single drop. You don't even have to pick up the bottle, just lift the lid & press down. The lazy girl's makeup remover just got even lazier.

Eucerin DermoPurifyer Toner
Having previously reviewed Eucerin's DermoPurifyer Active Concentrate I was keen to try some more of their products. I'm currently obsessed with reading /r/SkincareAddiction. Like me, they're huge advocates of chemical exfoliation & one product that lots of people seemed to be having great results with is this Eucerin DermoPurifyer Toner. Most of the DermoPurifyer range features lactic acid which is a gentler AHA than glycolic acid. This toner contains 2% lactic acid & would be a fantastic addition for anyone with blemish prone skin. It smells a lot nicer than the Active Concentrate so I much prefer using this product. I only use it at night, maybe twice a week as it can be quite drying. Alcohol is fairly high up the ingredients list so I'm guessing it's down to that. Even though I've only been using it twice a week the results were pretty instantaneous. Some AHA products take longer to work on my skin than others but I really noticed a big difference to my skin within a couple of weeks. My skin is prone to closed comedones & I developed quite a few recently from testing out a retinol product. This toner has managed to clear up my skin completely. It's totally amazing & so much cheaper than the likes of Alpha-H Liquid Gold, Pixi Glow Tonic, Clarins Brightening Toner or P50.

John Frieda Full Repair Touch-Up Flyaway Tamer
For some reason I've been experiencing quite a bit of hair breakage recently. I guess all the bleach & heat is finally taking it's toll :( When my hair is freshly washed I have a few broken strands around my parting which tend to stick up & make me look like a bloody cockatoo. For a while I had to run a comb full of hairspray over those hairs to make them stay flat but I felt like this was drying out my hair & possibly exacerbating the problem. I normally use the John Frieda Full Repair range in between washes with my silver or pink toned Bleach London products. Boots had a 3 for 2 offer on recently so I decided to give this Flyaway Tamer a go. I'm so happy with product & wish I'd found it sooner! It's kinda like a hair serum with a mascara wand to brush the product through your hair. It doesn't make my hair greasy or flat, it just smooths down those awful sticky up broken strands so that everything looks perfectly healthy again. It features inca inchi oil to help repair the hair & gives it a polished finish. The tube format means that I can easily slip it in my handbag for touch ups on the go. I'd definitely recommend this if you've had any noticeable hair breakage or are just fed up of flyaways.

Rimmel Apocalips Lip Velvet in Orange-ology
I completely skipped over the original Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquers as I was just never that interested in them & I got tired of seeing 50000 reviews of them on Bloglovin'. Boots had a 2 for £10 offer on all Rimmel products a few weeks ago & I was instantly drawn to the new matte Apocalips Lip Velvets. My current favourite is Orange-ology which is a bright tangerine shade. The colour reminds me of MAC Morange which is one of my favourite ever lipsticks. I would also consider this to be a dupe for the Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Riviera. Even though these are supposed to be matte lip creams they still have a slight sheen to them. The formula is very silky & creamy, taking a while to dry down on the lips. Many matte lip products can be drying & start to crack on the lips but this lip velvet is so moisturising and feels very comfortable to wear. Drugstore brands are finally getting matte lip products right!

Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner
Now this isn't strictly a 'fave' product as generally I do think it's a bit crap. The tremendous hype around the They're Real Liner was almost enough to put me off buying it but the liner lover in me couldn't resist giving it a go. Used to line the lids I just can't get to grips with it. The formula is far too thick & dry to apply smoothly. Despite being assured by a Benefit counter girl that it wouldn't transfer at all, it leaves me with horrid random black lines above my eyes. For me it's just not as good as a regular liquid liner or a gel liner with a brush. However I hate to see a product go to waste, especially an £18 eyeliner, so I decided to keep using it. I've been using this to tightline my eyes only and for that purpose it works brilliantly. I've always struggled to tightline my eyes as most of my eyeliner pencils are quite hard & it can be difficult to get them to show up. The soft texture & high pigmentation combined with the silicone nib means that it's really easy to tightline with. I never used to bother with this step but it makes a huge difference to the appearance of my lashes & ties in well with my cat flick liner to make my eyes look super defined.

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