Wednesday 31 December 2014

Favourite Products Of 2014

It's that time again! 2014 has brought so many amazing products into my life and I felt the need to share them all with you. I decided to stick to my rule of listing five products in each category so here's another 45 of my favourite products. I always love looking back at all my previous monthly & yearly favourites posts to see which things I am still using. Whenever I write my monthly favourites posts I try to only feature new products or ones that I haven't written about before so that there's lots of variety on my blog. Many of those products have been included here so I like to think I'm not too fickle when it comes to beauty products. Nonetheless I can't wait to try some new things in 2015!

Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil / Claudia Louch Chamomile Facial Wash
La Roche-Posay Serozinc / Eucerin DermoPurifyer Toner / Avene Cleanance K

This was probably the trickiest category for me because I do love a bit of skincare! I've rarely deviated from my routine of using an oil cleanser followed by a gel cleanser. The Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Cleansing Oil and Claudia Louch's Chamomile Facial Wash have been my favourite cleansers this year by far. Serozinc is a cornerstone of my skincare routine & it's finally available to buy in the UK! It's such a good toner for anyone with oily or blemish-prone skin. Of course I couldn't leave out a chemical exfoliant or two. The Eucerin DermoPurifyer Toner contains 2% lactic acid and Avene Cleanance K features a potent blend of glycolic, lactic & salicylic acid. They have both worked wonders on my skin, especially on my forever congested forehead. Apparently Avene are discontinuing Cleanance K though (why god why?!) so get your hands on it while you still can!

Body Products
Arran Aromatics Feel Good Formulas Aloe Vera Energising Body Gel / Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash
Lush D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap / Lush African Paradise Body Conditioner / HealGel Intensive

This Summer was certainly a scorcher and after a day in the sun I loved slathering my limbs in this cooling Aloe Vera Gel from Arran Aromatics. Soap & Glory make some of the best smelling body products around. I'm actually allergic to lime so I put off buying Sugar Crush for ages but I really wish I hadn't! It's not like I was gonna eat it haha! That sweet citrus scent is incredible. Lush D'Fluff & African Paradise were two of my most used products. They both left my skin feeling unbelievably soft & smelling beautiful. I don't think I could face shaving without a bit of D'Fluff now! HealGel Intensive is one of those great multi-purpose products that every family should own. It works better than anything to heal up scars, burns & bruises.

Bleach London Rose Shampoo / Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil / Philip Kingsley Elasticizer
TRESemmé Renewal Hair & Scalp Tonic / John Frieda Full Repair Touch-Up Flyaway Tamer

I tried quite a few products from Bleach London this year. I am especially fond of their Rose Shampoo & Conditioner for effortless pink locks. My favourite hair product was the Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil. It makes my hair feel so soft & adds lots of healthy looking shine. I try out a lot of hair masks and one that I always come back to is Philip Kingsley's Elasticizer. It really helps to strengthen & add moisture to my damaged hair. I love using the TRESemmé Renewal Hair & Scalp Tonic. It feels instantly cooling on my scalp & helps to relieve any tight or dry areas after getting my roots bleached. I've had a lot of breakage this year & there is currently loads of random short areas at the top of my head. To help keep these in place & stop me looking like I've got a mullet I've been using this Flyaway Tamer from John Frieda. It features Inca Inchi Oil to restore the condition of the hair at the same time.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer / NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer / NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation / Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

Since buying the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer I haven't even thought about trying any others. It keeps my makeup perfectly in place all day long & makes my skin look poreless. It is rather expensive but I definitely think it's worth the money. There's only one concealer that I've really liked this year & that is the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I often just blend this around my face if I can't be bothered with proper foundation. It offers excellent coverage of dark circles & blemishes without looking cakey at all. I am also obsessed with the NARS Tinted Moisturiser. I never really got along with tinted moisturisers until I tried this one. It's more like a light foundation but it gives my skin a naturally flawless appearance. Amazing stuff! I've finally reached the end of my Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation and I will be repurchasing it ASAP. I love how glowy my face looks when I use it. Last year I was majorly into the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light but more recently I've been using Diffused Light to set my makeup. It's got a yellow tone that helps to balance out any redness in the skin and makes everything look super smooth.

Anastasia DipBrow Pomade in Medium Brown / MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Groundwork
Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in The Uptown Girl / Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Mascara
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner

2014 was all about the brows for me & the best brow product I've ever tried has to be the Anastasia DipBrow Pomade. I started off with Blonde which was too warm for me but recently I got the Medium Brown shade & now I couldn't be happier with it. It lasts all day without smudging or fading and it's just so easy to apply. If you want immaculate looking eyebrows then you should go out and buy it immediately. In the first half of the year I was quite lazy with eyeshadow & most of the time I just smudged some of the MAC Groundwork Paint Pot around my eyes. It's a soft medium brown that adds some nice natural looking definition. Then I finally got round to visiting a Charlotte Tilbury counter & I fell in love with her gorgeous eyeshadow palettes. Most people seem to adore The Dolce Vita one but I think red toned eyeshadows look horrible on me. I purchased The Uptown Girl & it is the most incredible eyeshadow palette ever. The eyeshadows are buttery soft & blend like a dream. This particular palette is very shimmery but it just looks stunning & really makes my eyes pop. I got a little sample tube of the Kevyn Aucoin Essential Mascara with a Space.NK purchase and I absolutely love it. It adds so much length & basically acts like a push up bra for your lashes. The curved wand is really cool & stops me from splodging mascara all over my eyelid. I think it contains fibres so it might not be great for those with sensitive eyes but it has fast become one of my favourite mascaras. The Stila liquid liner really does last all day on my eyes. It's so pigmented & doesn't transfer to my upper eyelid at all. The pen nib has a great shape and makes it easy to draw a cat flick with precision.

Cheek Products
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer / Illamasqua Naked Rose / NARS Douceur
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette / Soap & Glory Solar Powder

After almost three years together Mary-Lou Manizer has finally reached it's end. I've already bought a new one because I couldn't possibly go a single day without adding it's beautiful glow to my face. There really is nothing better. I have a pretty crazy blush collection so I tried my hardest not to buy too many new ones this year. I mainly stuck to using Illamasqua Naked Rose & NARS Douceur as they go with everything. However I did massively spurge on the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette. The colours in here are so pretty & multi-dimensional. They're definitely something special. I got kinda sick of looking at my pasty round moon face so I've been trying out some bronzing & contouring products. I've been really loving Soap & Glory's Solar Powder as it adds some warmth to my complexion & shape to my face without making me look liked I've been tangoed.

Lip Products
Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 01 Rose Shimmer / Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm in Demure
Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Aid / MeMeMe Long Wear Satin Lip Cream in China Rose / MAC Ever Hip

I finally listened to the blogger hype & found a new love in the form of Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector. Rose Shimmer is such a pretty baby pink colour & it makes my lips feel so lovely. My go-to lip product this year was the Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm in Demure. It's a high gloss peachy pink lip balm & I wear it all the time. Lanolips Lemonaid is still my fave lip balm. The natural acid content gently exfoliates your lips leaving them kissably soft. It has such a delicious citrus scent & taste too. MAC Creme Cup is one of my most used lipsticks so I was very glad to find a drugstore dupe from MeMeMe. Their Satin Lip Cream in China Rose is such a sweet pink shade & it even has that same vanilla scent as a MAC lipstick. I don't think I bought any new MAC lipsticks this year but Ever Hip was one of my most used products. It's a peach that actually looks good on pale skin tones. I just wish that MAC would add it to their permanent lipstick range!

Nail Polishes
Sally Hansen Maximum Growth / China Glaze Aquadelic / Essie Spin The Bottle
Only Fingers + Toes Nitrogen / Mavala Mavadry Top Coat

I never used to bother with a basecoat. Then I tried Sally Hansen Maximum Growth. It makes my polish stay on so much longer & acts as a protective seal on your nails so they're less likely to break. In terms of polish, in the Spring I was really into China Glaze Aquadelic which is a beautiful bright turquoise colour. In the Summer I was feeling nude shades & Essie Spin The Bottle fit the bill perfectly. Earlier this month I had a manicure at Only Fingers + Toes in Manchester & was gifted their Nitrogen nail lacquer. It's the perfect Autumn/Winter shade - dark but with some intense glitter. I gave up using Seche Vite because it kept making my polish peel. I've since moved onto Mavala's Mavadry range. I can't paint my nails without finishing off with their quick drying top coat or spray.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler / Mavala Double-Lash / Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush
Only Fingers + Toes Glass Nail File / Illamasqua Highlighter Brush

Surely everyone knows how amazing Shu Uemura eyelash curlers are by now. I use them every single day before applying mascara & they make such a difference to the appearance of my lashes. To further boost my eyelash & eyebrow growth I've relied on Mavala Double-Lash. It has a mascara wand applicator which is one of my main criteria when looking for a lash growth serum & it works so well. Real Techniques brought out some brilliant retractable brushes this year & I use the kabuki brush every day to apply my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. Glass nail files are definitely the way forward. I never used to file my nails but this makes it so much easier & you can achieve a really nice shape. The Illamasqua Highlighter Brush is a real game changer. The brush head might look like it's a bit small but it's actually perfect. It is one of the best foundation brushes I've ever tried. It blends everything seamlessly & makes my base look flawless. Everyone needs to buy this brush!

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Things I Loved In 2014

Taylor Swift - Shake It Off

Prior to this year I never would've counted myself as a Taylor Swift fan but Shake It Off is easily my song of the year. Even if you hate hate hated this tune you can't argue with how catchy that chorus is. The music video is probably my favourite of the year as well. Taylor just looks too cute!

Other Faves: McBusted - Sensitive Guy / 5SOS - She Looks So Perfect / RuPaul - Sissy That Walk

Smashing Pumpkins - Monuments To An Elegy

Smashing Pumpkins will forever be my favourite band and despite the varied quality of their material since Machina I always look forward to hearing their new songs. Monuments To An Elegy is a brilliant return to form for the band. Tommy Lee from Motley Crue joined them for the recording & his drumming is fantastic although I wish Jimmy Chamberlin would come back. The album itself is really short, it only lasts about half an hour but the songs pack a punch. My favourite tracks on the album are Tiberius & Monuments. Lyrically I don't really connect with the new songs as much but the music is still awesome. As long as Billy Corgan is singing & playing guitar I'm a happy bunny.

Other Faves: Arctic Monkeys - AM / Brody Dalle - Diploid Love / Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

#GIRLBOSS - Sophia Amoruso

Back when Nasty Gal was just a small eBay shop I used to love checking out their vintage finds & seeing how they would style different pieces. Sophia Amoruso, the founder & CEO of the company, brought out a book earlier this year documenting her rise to success through sheer hard work. #GIRLBOSS is such an interesting read and it was so cool to find out about how much effort used to go into that eBay account. It's part biography, part self-help book with a whole lot of advice about business. It makes you want to work hard & be as successful as Sophia. It almost seems achievable after reading through her experiences. If you're lacking inspiration or motivation then this is the book to read. When you're done you'll just want to go out and leave your mark on the world.

Other Faves: Party Monster - James St. James / Brunette Ambition - Lea Michele / Yes Please - Amy Poehler

X-Men: Days Of Future Past

X-Men has always been one of my favourite superhero franchises but I didn't have much hope for X-Men: First Class. I finally got round to seeing it earlier this year and as soon as I saw how incredibly badass Michael Fassbender was as Magneto I was hyped for the next instalment. The collaboration between the current X-Men and their younger selves was so well done and I liked that it basically retconned X-Men: The Last Stand. My favourite part was Evan Peters as Quicksilver. That whole prison break segment was so amazing to watch!

Other Faves: The Grand Budapest Hotel / Non-Stop / 22 Jump Street

TV Show
RuPaul's Drag Race

I've been fully obsessed with Drag Race for the past couple of years and season 6 was as entertaining as ever! There were so many talented queens this year. Adore Delano & Ben De La Creme were my faves but Bianca Del Rio was a deserving winner. The challenges were hilarious as were Laganja Estranja's many breakdowns. The season 7 contestants were revealed recently & I cannot wait for the show to start up again. Party!

Other Faves: American Horror Story: Freak Show / Orange Is The New Black / Game Of Thrones / Workaholics

Tokyo Ghoul

With the announcement of the long awaited Sailor Moon Crystal I really got back into anime again this year. As much as I love the new show I don't feel that it matches up to the original series despite the immense lack of filler episodes. Instead the anime I liked the most this year was Tokyo Ghoul. This show got a lot of flack for not following the manga but as someone who hadn't read it beforehand I really enjoyed it. It follows the story of Ken Kaneki who lives in a world populated by humans and 'ghouls'. The ghouls are very similar to regular people apart from their need to consume humans. Ken gets in an accident after which he ends up with ghoul organs transplanted inside him and he picks up a lot of their traits. Of course as someone who was born a human he really doesn't want to eat other people & he joins up with a group of ghouls who just want to live a normal life. It's a pretty violent anime but the story is very compelling & I'm extremely excited for the second season to begin next year!

Other Faves: Monster / Sailor Moon Crystal / Zankyou No Terror / Ao Haru Ride

Fantasy Life

My favourite kind of video games are RPGs and I was really excited about Fantasy Life coming out on the 3DS. This game is really quite different to a lot of RPGs because if you just wanted to spend your time fishing, sewing or cooking then that was totally acceptable. You can choose from 12 different classes and change between them whenever you like. They each come with different quests such as killing dragons, creating armor, mining ores and building furniture. It kinda reminds of me of the old MMORPGs I used to play such as Ragnarok Online, especially the fighting style. It's very cute & funny with some rather unique characters. This is such an addictive game as there's just so many quests to complete. I've spent countless hours playing it!

Other Faves: Professor Layton Vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney / Bravely Default / Hyrule Warriors

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Tuesday 30 December 2014

Christmas Presents

Charlotte Tilbury Makeup
What can I say? I've gone a bit Charlotte Tilbury crazy lately! I guess it's because it took so long for a counter to open up North and as soon as I visited one I was instantly hooked. Everything is just too pretty! I've wanted the Filmstar Bronze & Glow for ages so I got that with the Powder & Sculpt brush. I've really gotten into contouring lately & that sculpt shade looks gorgeous. I also purchased the limited edition Fallen Angel eyeshadow palette which is absolutely stunning. The buttery soft texture makes these a dream to apply & blend. They are super pigmented and have a wet to dry formula so you can amp up the colour even further. I'm a blush fiend so I got the Cheek To Chic Love Glow blusher. It's a soft peachy pink with a beautiful golden shimmer running through it. I also got the Rock 'N' Kohl eye pencil in Bedroom Black. The texture of this is fantastic, it glides on and stays put all day. I've heard so many good things about her lip products so I bought the Pillow Talk lip pencil & Bitch Perfect lipstick. Nude pink perfection! I love everything I got & I've already started planning my next Charlotte Tilbury purchases. I'm even considering replacing most of my makeup with her products. This is gonna be an expensive addiction!

Makeup Brushes
Illamasqua make some amazing makeup brushes. I bought their Highlighter Brush a few months ago & now I use it every day to apply my foundation. It makes my base look flawless. I saw this cute mini brush set on their website which comes with a little makeup bag & thought it be great to travel with. The brushes feel so soft & I'm so happy I finally got my hands on one of their Angled Brushes as I've been on the waiting list for it for months! I still love my Real Techniques brushes & really liked the look of the Nic's Picks set. Plus it was only £20 in Superdrug so I thought I'd treat myself! I especially like the two face brushes as they'll be great for bronzer & blusher.

Caudalie Products
My friend got me this cute set of miniature Caudalie products including a shower gel, body lotion, hand cream & Divine Oil. Caudalie remain one of my favourite skincare brands so I'm always excited to try some more of their products. You can never have too many bottles of Divine Oil! The pattern inside the bag is really cute too.

Sarah Chapman Facialift Massager
I didn't show anyone in my family my Sarah Chapman wishlist nor did I even mention any of her products to anyone & yet my mum got me this facial massager! Is she psychic or what? I'm really pleased with this as I have the worst double chin ever. Even at my thinnest it still didn't look great. I'm sure I'll have gained a few more after Christmas too! This scary looking contraption is supposed to help tone your face, reducing puffiness & sagging. I'm gonna roll it over my jaw every night & hopefully it'll get rid of my many chins. I gave it a quick go earlier & it definitely packs a punch. Despite it's appearance it actually feels really relaxing to use.

GlamGlow Masks
Although I wasn't a huge fan of GlamGlow Youthmud, earlier this year I fell completely in love with their Supermud. For Christmas I got a cute mask sample set as well as Brightmud Eye Treatment & Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment. I love trying out new face masks & I can't wait to give these a go!

My family bought me this at the beginning of December & said it was my Christmas gift. I think they're paranoid things won't arrive in time for some reason! I've been using it a lot & it's such a cool blender. I've always loved making smoothies but I hate washing everything up afterwards. The NutriBullet makes the whole process a lot easier as you blend & drink everything in the same cup so there's only one thing to wash up when you're done. It came with some of their Superboost powder & a huge book of recipes. I normally go for kale, banana, pineapple, coconut water & chia seeds. I think I might start drinking two NutriBlasts a day to kickstart my fitness regime in 2015. I highly recommend getting one of these, they're simply amazing!

iPhone 6
This is another present that I got at the start of December but that's just because my phone contract had expired. I was desperate to upgrade from my iPhone 5 because of the 128GB capacity of the iPhone 6. I have a huge iTunes library of about 9000 songs and there just wasn't room for even half of them on my old phone along with all my photos, videos, apps etc. Now I can fit everything on with ease & I love how thin the phone is. I wish it was slightly smaller though as it no longer fits in my bag zip pocket! There aren't many nice cases out for the iPhone 6 yet so I just got this pink gel case from eBay. It was only £3 but it seems to do a decent job of protecting it from scratches. Anyway I think the iPhone 6 is an incredible phone & it's definitely worth upgrading to.

I had a really great Christmas this year. I got such lovely presents & we all had lots of fun on the day. Andy didn't get me a material gift but he's booked a little trip for us next month so I'm really looking forward to that! Christmas dinner was totally delicious, if I do say so myself haha. We got Chloe so many presents this year and pretty much all of them were My Little Pony related. She was really happy to get some more of the Equestria Girls dolls & we all played My Little Pony Monopoly Junior. I'm glad she's at that age where we can play games that are enjoyable for adults too. The day didn't drag on like usual as we were just so busy having fun. I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas & got everything you wished for! If you've done a Christmas presents post then please feel free to link it in the comments below as I would love to see it!

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Monday 29 December 2014

Serozinc In The UK

La Roche-Posay Serozinc* - £8.50

2015 is already shaping up to be an excellent year as from January 1st Serozinc will at long last be available to buy in the UK! After 18 months of paying over the odds for this stuff on eBay I was overjoyed to hear that La Roche-Posay have finally brought Serozinc over here. It will be exclusively available on where you can get a bottle of this wonder toner for just £8.50.

If you haven't heard about Serozinc before then let me break it down for you. Inside this blue aerosol can is a zinc sulfate solution. Zinc is an incredibly important ingredient in skincare. It helps to reduce inflammation, heal wounds & regulate sebum production. For the past couple of years I've been taking a zinc + copper supplement which basically got rid of my cystic acne entirely. I still get other kinds of blemishes though and that's where Serozinc comes in. I use this product as a hydrating spray toner either on it's own or after an exfoliating toner. Although it's mainly intended for those with oily or blemish-prone skin I think it would be a good toner for most skin types. It feels just like a fine mist of water on the skin which is really cooling & soothing. It helps to calm down any active spots, redness & irritation. This product is a staple in my skincare routine & I couldn't be without it now!

Another thing I love about Serozinc is that you don't just have to use it as a toner. It's a bit of a multi-purpose marvel. Zinc is great for alleviating loads of different skin irritations so it also works brilliantly on things like razor burn & nappy rash. Think of it as an invisible spray version of Sudocrem. It's the kind of thing that every family should have in their medicine cabinet. I can't thank Escentual enough for bringing Serozinc to the UK as now I'll never have to worry about running out & ordering it from random eBay sellers again. It really is such a fantastic product & I am completely addicted to this skin soothing spray. Believe the hype!

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Friday 19 December 2014

Claudia Louch Botanical Cleansing Lotion & Face Cream With Deep Line Complex

Claudia Louch Botanical Cleansing Lotion* - £37.40
Claudia Louch Botanical Face Cream With Deep Line Complex* - £61.50

Claudia Louch's luxury botanical skincare range has completely won me over this year. With their gentle yet effective approach, her products have become staples in my skincare routine. They offer a calming respite from all the BHAs/AHAs/retinol that I can't resist throwing on my face. In the Winter I like to switch up the products I'm using for slightly heavier & more nourishing formulas. The cold weather always dries out my skin so it's important to make adjustments. I've stuck by using a cleansing oil followed by a gel for washing my face as that seems to work best for my skin type. I was previously using the Claudia Louch Chamomile Facial Wash which is a straight up gel cleanser with lots of lovely anti-inflammatory ingredients. More recently I've been using this Botanical Cleansing Lotion which is suitable for all skin types. The texture still feels like that of a gel but the formula is a lot creamier and therefore more moisturising on the skin.

This lightly foaming creamy cleanser is derived from coconut & sugar beets. It also features a wonderful combination of chamomile, aloe, cucumber & green tea which help to soothe and deliver antioxidants to the skin. They give it a gorgeous natural scent too. A little bit of the Botanical Cleansing Lotion goes a very long way, I only need to use a tiny amount each time. It leaves my skin feeling really soft & perfectly clean. It has helped to reduce the redness in my face & put paid to any dry patches. It balances out my skin & generally makes it a lot happier. I have to admit I'm not totally crazy about it like I am with the Chamomile Facial Wash but that's just my personal preference. They're both excellent gentle cleansers & this one is great for the current climate. However when this huge tube runs out (which will take a long time with a whopping 240ml of product!) I'll definitely be repurchasing the chamomile one. Somehow it just leaves my skin feeling calmer & better refreshed.

I'm still using the Claudia Louch Protective Jojoba Day Moisturiser every morning. I was also using it at night in conjunction with a facial oil until last month when I added in the Botanical Face Cream With Deep Line Complex to my routine. Unlike the other two Claudia Louch moisturisers I've tried, I keep this product solely for use as a night cream. It has the most beautiful velvety texture & the rich formula is deeply hydrating on it's own. This moisturiser is ideal for skin that requires more oils without making it feel greasy. It absorbs into the skin & gets to work very quickly. The key active ingredient here is grape seed oil which has fantastic anti-ageing properties and helps to tighten, tone, hydrate & soothe the skin. Other natural active ingredients include aloe vera gel, jojoba oil, avocado oil, green tea, 4% African shea butter & vitamin E. I absolutely love the feel of this night cream & I don't feel the need to use any extra serums or oils alongside it. This product just makes my skin feel super smooth & really helps to plump it up. I can definitely notice a difference in the appearance of my fine lines when I use this. I think it would be ideal for anyone with normal, dry, sensitive or mature skin. My one niggle with this product is the smell. When I'm massaging it onto my skin I get the faint aroma of fish oil which is kinda odd because I'm pretty sure it's not on the ingredient list! Luckily it goes away as soon as I've finished applying the night cream but it just doesn't smell quite as nice as the other moisturisers from Claudia Louch. Apart from that I can't get enough of this indulgent night cream.

These two botanical skincare products have really helped to protect my skin from the harsh weather outside lately. They might be very expensive but they simply work wonders & are cornerstones in my Winter skincare routine. Claudia Louch has got me hooked on her high quality products & my skin has got a lot to thank her for!

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Sunday 14 December 2014

Beauty Crowd

Say hello to Beauty Crowd, a new online destination for beauty lovers. Their marketplace features a veritable smorgasbord of brands & products that you won't come across anywhere else. If you're after something new & unique then you need to check out their website! From makeup & skincare to candles & bath products, they literally have something for everyone. However Beauty Crowd is more than just an online shop. They also have the BC.Edit which is a series of articles written by their in-house editorial team to provide you with the latest beauty news as well as BC.TV where you can watch videos featuring products, reviews & tutorials. Beauty Crowd recently sent me an amazing selection of products from their shop so that I could better acquaint myself with a few of their brands.

UNII Palette*
The item that I was most excited about receiving is this UNII palette. This is an empty magnetic case that you can transfer over eyeshadows or blushers into so that you can create your own personalised palette. I've wanted one of these for so long & I'm really pleased with it! I already have a completed MAC 15 pan palette but there were still a few solo MAC eyeshadows taking up room in my makeup drawers. I finally have something to depot them into so I set to work this morning & cleaned up these four pans. Here I have Whistle & Playful from the Barbie Loves MAC collection as well as Chrome Yellow & Juiced. The palette comes with a magnetic sheet to stick on the back of your makeup pans & a rubber thumb grip. It feels really sturdy & the sparkly black case looks very chic. I hardly use my MAC palette because it's just so large & cumbersome. Now that I have this more compact palette I can easily switch up my MAC eyeshadows & can add in a blusher as well. Plus it has a mirror inside the lid which makes it a whole lot more useful! The Unii Palette is exclusive to Beauty Crowd so you won't find this product anywhere else in Europe.

Flint+Flint Glycolic Cleanser*
As soon as I saw the word 'glycolic' on this cleanser my face lit up! Generally AHA cleansers aren't as effective as a separate AHA treatment because they only stay on your skin for a couple of minutes before you have to wash it off. However if I've had a week where I've been a bit lazy with my skincare routine then this is exactly the kind of thing I like to reach for to quickly sort out my complexion. This cleanser from Flint+Flint contains 12% glycolic acid which means it's even more potent than Alpha-H Liquid Gold. It also features bisabolol which accelerates the skin healing process & defensil which soothes irritation. The cleanser itself is a clear lightly foaming gel with no discernible scent. You're supposed to leave it on for two minutes to give the ingredients time to work on your skin. After washing it off I was really surprised by just how smooth my face felt. It had eaten away all the dead skin cells on my face to reveal softer, clearer & perkier skin. It's a highly effective acid cleanser which isn't actually too drying. I would still probably stick to using this twice a week rather than every day though. All Flint+Flint products are formulated to the highest standards here in the UK. They all contain really innovative active ingredients but their prices are lower than many other medical dermatology products. Flint+Flint seems like such an interesting & high quality brand. I really like their minimalistic packaging & would love to try some more of their products.

SoCal Curls Hair Tie*
These SoCal Curls Hair Ties are pure genius! This is a microwavable hair band that can give you no-heat beachy waves in just half an hour. I rarely curl my hair because I don't want the heat to damage it any further so this is a great alternative to a curling wand. You just pop the piece of fabric into the microwave for 30 seconds, tie it on top of your head & wrap strands of your hair around it. You then leave it in for a minimum of 30 minutes & once removed it'll transform your hair into a beautiful set of bouncy ringlets. You could even leave it in overnight for more dramatic curls. Unlike many other no-heat hair curlers this one is very simple to use & actually looks really cute tied up in your hair. I'm gonna do a full review of this in the future so you can see how pretty it makes my hair look. It's such an awesome hair tool & I'm really impressed with it!

Lola's Apothecary Golden Elixir Of Rose*
I'd never heard of Lola's Apothecary before but I am absolutely in love with this rose & geranium body oil. It's one of the most wonderful things I've ever smelled. Not only is the fragrance incredible but the essential oils help to refine skin texture, soothe inflammation, promote cell renewal & balance the skin. It makes my body feel so soft & supple. The 10ml rollerball is great to keep in your handbag for whenever you're in need of an aromatherapeutic treat. I'm sorely tempted to buy the full-size bottle now. I also really want to try some more of their products, especially the Citrus Glow Body Polish which sounds utterly dreamy.

I am so impressed with everything that I received and this selection of goodies is just a small example of all the superb hand picked products that Beauty Crowd have to offer. Make sure you check out the full list of brands available on Beauty Crowd as most of them are exclusive to their website. They also stock some you might be more familiar with such as ELF, Decleor, Ginvera & Magnitone. Either way you'll find a treasure trove of beauty products chosen & acclaimed by the crowd that you're bound to love too.

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Saturday 13 December 2014

TIGI Bed Head Party Girl Gift Pack

TIGI Bed Head Party Girl Gift Pack* - £18.99

TIGI were one of the first haircare brands that I really connected with. Their products just seem to work really well & they all smell absolutely gorgeous. I love their whole brand identity & I'm always drawn to their eye-catching packaging. I spotted this set of goodies on the Hairtrade website & thought that it would make an amazing gift. I've actually bought all of these products before & would thoroughly recommend them to everyone. The Party Girl gift pack comes with full-size bottles of After Party Smoothing Cream, Headrush Shine Spray & Masterpiece Massive Shine Hairspray. It contains everything you need to prep & style your hair ready for a big night out. Best of all this set has a value of about £45 but you can get it for less than £20 on Hairtrade. Whenever I go on a night out I like my hair to look glossy & voluminous. This kit helps me to achieve that with virtually no effort. Here's how I use all of these products to style my hair:

I always apply a hair cream after blowdrying to tame frizz & smooth down any flyaways. After Party was the first smoothing cream that I really fell in love with. Running a little bit of this lightweight cream through the lengths of your hair makes it feel like silk & adds a healthy looking shine. It's especially good if you have dry hair as it'll make your ends look smooth & soft. I love the smell of this product! It's very sweet & fruity and always keeps me coming back for more.

Bleached hair rarely looks glossy & healthy on it's own. I don't like to put creams too close too my roots as this makes my hair get greasier quicker. Instead I spritz on some of the Headrush shine spray. It makes my hair look glossy from root to tip without any product build up. This spray adds depth & definition to my hair colour. If you have highlights then it helps to refresh them & brighten up your colour. It also eliminates static so you're left with perfectly polished locks. I'm obsessed with it's strawberry bubblegum scent! This spray is easily my favourite TIGI product ever. It just makes your hair look & smell so nice. To add some volume & texture to my hair I then use the Masterpiece hairspray. I lift up my top layers and give my hair a good spray from about 10 inches away. I also tip my head upside down & spray as an alternative to backcombing. This is a medium hold hairspray so it won't make your hair feel as hard as a rock. It will keep your style in place for hours but you'll still be able to brush it out if you fancy a change. This hairspray is also humidity resistant which allows you feel confident with your hairstyle whatever the weather. I like that it has a shiny finish as many other hairsprays can make your hair look matte & dull.

After applying all my products I just ruffle up the layers & shape the front sections away from my face. The hairspray does most of the work in this look but the other products will give the hair a super healthy appearance. My hair is left looking really full, textured & lustrous. It's an extremely quick & easy way to glam up your hair for a night out. Plus you'll smell good enough to eat! Are you a fan of TIGI products?

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