Sunday, 25 August 2013

Love: Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder

Clarins never used to be a brand I was drawn to. For some reason I always thought the make up was geared towards more mature customers but how wrong was I. The makeup collections are always stunning, especially the face palettes but up untill now I'd never parted with my pennies for one as I really didn't know how practical they would be. This Autumn see's the Graphic Expressions collection and as usual, it's a beauty! The Joli Rouge Lipstick's I can live without, I doubt they would suit my skintone but the Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Forest and the Face & Blush Powder almost had me drooling all over my laptop. I'm not one of these people who have to own everything from every new collection, infact, I very rarely buy into or show much interest in collections but I just couldn't stop thinking about the Face & Blush Powder.

I have a few midweek breaks planned and thought the Face & Blush Powder would be a good product to take away with me. Depending on your skintone it can be used as an all over powder, blush and subtle bronzer. I usually don't like shimmer in products like this but for once I was hoping it wasn't just an overspray (it is, disappears after one swirl of a brush) so I could use it as a highlight too. It really is a handy compact to have and can be used in a number of ways. If you're having a good skin day it can be applied all over the face with a powder brush to even things out slightly and add a bit of life to the skin or you can use it over foundation. The palest shade is great for sweeping over eye lids to get rid of any veins or discolouration. The deeper shades are great for a subtle contour/bronzer or used in the crease and the pink shade adds a healthy flush of colour to the cheeks.

It's a great addition to my makeup bag, just add mascara, concealer, a lip product and you're good to go.

Have you bought anything from the Graphic Expressions Collection?

Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder, £30 from

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Instant Hydration: Caribbean Essentials Radiance Hydrating Facial Spritz

I love vanilla, I love natural products and I love toners. This facial spritz from Caribbean Essentials is a hit with me and if you love a hydration boost in spray form then you're going to be adding this to your skin care booty.

Caribbean Essentials isn't a brand I know a lot about, I've heard a few whispers here and there but this is the first product I've tried from the brand. I'll link the website at the end of this post so anyone interested can have a read through the 'About' section as it's too lengthy to post here but in short, Caribbean Essentials is a luxury global spa Ritual company.

The Radiance Hydrating Facial Spritz* is one of those products that makes you feel good just from the scent alone. It contains nutrient rich ingredients including neroli to improve skins elasticity, witch hazel, carrot seed oil, sweet orange, vanilla and aloe vera. To me it mainly smells like vanilla, there's no not-so-nice witch hazel pong thankfully. Instead of just tending to one skin concern I find it helps soothe my reactive skin as well as adding a shot of hydration either after cleansing or throughout the day when my skin needs it. It can be used over makeup which I think anyone with mature/very dry skin could really benefit from as it gets rid of  the dreaded dry skin clinging onto foundation look.

If you're a bit of a facial spritz fanatic, this is one worth adding to your arsenal of instant hydration hits.

Have you tried this or any other products from Caribbean Essentials?

Caribbean Essentials Radiance Hydrating Facial Spritz, 100ml £18 available from

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Love: Soap & Glory The Breakfast Scrub

After years of mumbling 'meh' at the sheer mention of Soap & Glory I finally have a firm fave from the brand taking pride of place in my shower. Last year I tried Pulp Friction and loved it but the scent is hideous, really synthetic which puts me off from using it as much as I'd like to. In my opinion the same can't be said about The Breakfast Scrub, it smells incredible! I'm sure it's as synthetic as they come but to my nose it smells like walking into a room filled with hot pancakes and waffles smothered in maple syrup. Yum!

The scrub itself is just as good as the scent, it's jam packed with organic capuacu bio scrubs? No, I've never heard of the before either! Oats, shea butter, sugar, banana, almond and honey extracts. The scrub is so densely packed that a little really does go a long way, it clings on to damp skin and unlike most scrubs, it doesn't end up doing a disappearing act down the plug hole. I find it works best when the skin is only slightly damp, it allows me to really get my scrub on then I can add more water if I want to spread it further. I love how no residue is left on the skin, it rinses off clean which make's it a good one to use before applying fake tan. I get a few dry pacthes on my body from time to time but don't find The Breakfast Scrub makes it any worse nor does it irritate my skin even though it gives one helluva scrub!

I'm in love and will definitely be running to Boots as soon as this pot runs out. It isn't the cheapest scrub out there, it's £8 but it's fantastic and Soap & Glory products are always on offer.

Have you tried The Breakfast Scrub Before?

Monday, 19 August 2013

August 2013: Used, Abused & Reviewed.

Another month is almost over which can only mean one thing - it's time to get rid of all the empty products I've used up over the last few weeks. I'm still having problems with blogger, I can't lay my posts out how I normally would and I'm having trouble adding links. I have reviewed most of these products so just have a wee search through my blog if there's anything you would like more info on.

KIKO Light Legs Crackling Mousse*: This stuff was a godsend when the weather was really, really hot recently. It instantly cools on contact with the skin and as the name suggests, it crackles. I know a lot of people might think it's quite a gimmicky product but if you have a job that invloves a lot of standing (hairdressers etc) then you'll know how tired and achy you're legs can get at the end of the day. This crackling mousse really helps to refresh and soothe legs. It's also great if you have restless legs.
Repurchase? Yes! I think it's limited edition though, I'll have to check.

Bioderma Sebium H2O Micelle Solution*: I haven't tried the original version of this in a few years but unlike most people, I wasn't blown away. To me it didn't work any better than other makeup removers/micellar waters out there. I'm not sure if the formula has been changed since then or how different the ingredients are between the original and this Sebium H2O version but I prefered this slightly more. It didn't irritate my skin at all and it did remove make up but mascara doesnt disappear with one seep of a cotton pad.
Repurchase? Bioderma is a lot easier to get hold of in the UK now but unless you live in London, you'll more than likely have to order online. If I was in a shop that stocked it then I probably would buy it but I'm more likely to stick with something like the L'Oreal Micellar Water, it works really well and is a lot easier for me to get my hands on.

PRO:VOKE Touch Of Silver Weekly Treatment Shampoo: Can't fault this shampoo. It's designed to get rid of brassy, yellow tones from blonde/grey hair and it really works. I pick mine up from Boots where it's often on offer, think it's around 2 quid.
Repurchase? I thought I already had but I lifted the everyday version by mistake. The purple isn't as vibrant as the weekly treatment so doesn't work just as well but I'll get a new bottle next time I'm in town.

The Handmade Soap Co. Goats Milk Honey & Beeswax Soap: The Handmade Soap Co is a new-ish 100% natural skincare brand from Ireland. I'd never heard of it untill around Easter time when the fambo done the once yearly museum visit. Not gonna lie, museums don't float my boat so I headed straight to the gift shop where I came across so many different products from this brand. I noticed my hands were less dry while using this, it had a lovely creamy texture and the bar didn't go slushy as quickly as other soaps.
Repurchase? Yes but maybe in a different scent as the Goats Milk & Honey range doesn't have much of a scent to it, think it's fragrance free.

Dainty Doll Mascara/Eyeliner Duo: The mascara barely coats the lashes, doesn't curl, lengthen or anything else and the liquid liner wipes straight off. Awful product.
Repurchase? No

Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturising Mask: I really loved this mask at first. It can be left on for around 20 minutes or overnight. I usually leave it on overnight to get the most from it but over time I've found other masks that work just as good, if not better and cost a lot less.
Repurchase? No.

Barefoot Botanicals Rosa Fina Face Lotion*: I finished this aaaages ago but just came across the empty bottle. I love Barefoot Botanicals and enjoyed using this. It's free from nasty ingredients and was very gentle on my sensitive skin and added just the right amount of hydration.
Repurchase? I'm sure I will at some point.

Sure 'Cool Pink' | Soft & Gentle 'Wild Rose & Vanilla': I'm almost at the end of my deodorant stash now, think there's only one left in my cupboard. Both deodorants worked well and the Wild Rose & Vanilla smelt so good.
Repurchase? I would repurchase both but I won't. I'm switching to more natural deodorants and really love the Citrus one from Weleda.

Bodhi Ylang-Ylang Incensa Body Moisturiser: I really shouldn't like the scent of this but I do, I love it! It smells so rich and the scent lingers for hours. Finished the matching shower gel a while back and it scented my whole house everytime I used it. I won the duo from Sandra/Beauty Balm's giveaway. This is the only scent I've tried so far but want to get my mitts on the Mint The range. If you've tried it, does it mainly smell like mint?
Repurchase? Definitely.

Yankee Wax Tarts - Christmas Eve & Winter Wonderland: I love Yankee Wax Tarts, they last such a long time, way longer than Yankee claim they will and They work out much cheaper than the candles. I like Christmas Eve but Winter Wonderland smells like pine toilet duck.
Repurchase? Christmas Eve - Yes. Winter Wonderland - Nuh-uh.

REN Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream: I've gone through a few tubes of this now. It's one of the best moisturisers to wear under makeup. I find it makes foundation go on a lot smoother and it's light enough to use when I'm having an oily skin day.
Repurchase? Yes.

Green People Eye Gel*: Another one I finished ages ago but only just found the empty tube. It's very cooling, felt great when my eyes were puffy or irritated and it's reasonably priced.
Repurchase? Probably not, there's other eye products I prefer.

Green & Spring Refreshing Eye Cream*: Most eye creams come in 15ml tubes but this one was a whopping 30ml and lasted an absolute age! It isn't the cheapest eye cream out there but it's free from horrible ingredients and holds the same amount of product as a bottle of foundation.
Repurchase? Same as above, there's other eye creams I prefer.

Pure Thoughts Natural Handmade Soap Honey, Oats & Orange | Coffee Bean & Shea Butter: This brand can do no wrong in my eyes, I've loved every product I've tried so far. Both of these soaps are sample sizes but were big enough for me to decide I love them. They contain oats & coffee beans so I'm guessing they're designed to be used on the body for a light exfoliation but I used them for my hands as I'm trying to get away from drying handwash.
Repurchase? A big fat yes!
Have you tried any of these products?   

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Essential Care Organic Rose Petal Tonic

I have a bit of a soft spot for toners. They're one of those products that most of the time don't make an obvious difference to the look and feel of my skin but on the rare occasion I drop them from my skin care routine, I notice, and it aint pretty. I use toners for a number of reasons.. On a cotton pad after cleansing to remove any residue that might be left behind, to reset the skins acid mantle after cleansing with water, over my makeup if I've gone a bit mental with the powder, to cool me down when it's really warm and if it's a hydrating toner I'll use it throughout the day to add some moisture back into my skin.

Essential Care Organic Rose Petal Toner* is formulated to rehydrate and soothe dry, normal, mature or inflamed skin. It smells like turkish delight thanks to the blend of pure organic rose water and is hydrating enough to be used on it's own without layering moisturiser over the top yet it didn't cause my oily t-zone to resemble a chip pan. I've tried it in all the ways I listed above and absolutely love it. It refreshes the skin and is very addictive - the smell and how it make's my skin feel had me reaching for it several times a day. I always compare moisturising toners to Liz Earle's Instant Boost Skin Tonic as it's very moisturising and I know a lot of you have tried it. Essential Care's Organic Rose Petal Toner gives the same level of moisture but unlike IBST, it doesn't make my skin look shiny so would be great for oily, dehydrated skins too.

As with all products from Essential Care, this toner is suitable for vegans, Soil Association Certified and preservative free.

Are you a toner lover?
Have you tried this one from Essential Care?

Organic Rose Petal Toner, 30ml, £7 is available directly from

Monday, 12 August 2013

August 2013: Beauteco Box

This month I recieved my first Beauteco Box and I have to say I'm REALLY impressed. I haven't had time to fully try out all the products yet so this will be a first impressions post.
Beauteco Box is much like other beauty subscription boxes out there but there's a slight difference, each month there will be 3 different boxes to choose from. The boxes will be similar with a few variations but will all contain 5 luxurious beauty & lifestyle products and come packaged in Eco-Friendly recyclable boxes.
This month I decided to go for Menu 2* which includes:

Arran Aromatics Lavender & Tea Tree Facial Wash 100ml, £12.90 (full size): This is indeed a facial wash but contains naturally exfoliating loofah, so if you're using it daily it's getting rid of dry skin as well as cleansing. The loofah is extremely gentle though, it's almost spongy so should be fine for anyone with sensitive skin. The gel creates a creamy lather when mixed with water and left my skin feeling cool. Oily skins would get on well with this but combo/dry/dehydrated skins may find it too drying for daily use.

Lord & Berry Intensity Lipstick 'Peach Gleam', £12 (full size): I have wanted to try Lord & Berry lip products for such a long time so was really pleased to see 2 included in this months box. The shade 'Peach Gleam' isn't my type of colour at all, it looks very 90's against my fair skin but the formula and pigmentation are both fantastic. The Intensity Lipsticks are enriched with Macadamia Oil & Waterlily extracts and live upto their claim of being hydrating. I will definitely be taking a closer look at other shades.
Lord & Berry Kiss Proof Lip Colour Liner 'Blossom', £7.50 (full size): If you're someone who prefers long lasting, matte lip products then look no further. You're not gettin this bad boy off your lips without makeup remover. It's pigmented, applies without any dragging and manages to be creamy yet matte at the same time. I never line my lips so have been using this just like a lippy.
Melvita Atomiser Orange Blossom Floral Water, 28ml £4.50 (sample size): I like Melvita and I like toners so this wee travel sized bottle will come in handy for weekends away. It claims to soothe and soften the skin which is something my skin definitely needs at the min.
S5 Calm Serum, 10ml sample (full size £44): Believe it or not, this is what I was most excited to see in the box. In short it's a soothing treatment with marine bioactives to reduce the appearance of redness and signs of skin hyperactivity. My skin is very reactive and as a result, I have a lot of redness. First impressions are good, it sinks into the skin immediately, doesn't leave any residue behind and doesn't feel heavy in the slightest. I haven't noticed too much of a difference yet but it's still early days, I'll report back in an empties post.
It's safe to say I like this box, a lot! Even though the lippy colour doesn't suit me I'm sure I'll get some use from it by pairing it with a brighter lippy in my collection. I know Beauteco is a newish box so I'm really hoping the contents don't get less impressive each month like we've all witnessed with other boxes.
What do you think of this months box?
Each Beauteco Box costs £10 plus P&P from

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Love: Zoeva 106 Powder Brush & 230 Pencil Brush

The majority of my makeup brush collection is made up from Real Techniques with a few random brushes from different brands. I never used to be too bothered about makeup brushes but each month I seem to obsess over different products. Last month it was bases and July seemed to be all about makeup brushes. The phase doesn't seem to be going away so I have a feeling August is going to be all about brushes too.

Lately I've been hearing more and more about Zoeva. Zoeva is a German brand who produce really affordable makeup brushes as well as make up. I haven't delved into the makeup just yet but I've been so impressed by their brushes that I'm really tempted. I know this isn't always the case but in my experience, you get what you pay for especially when it come's to makeup brushes but with Zoeva, the quality definitely doesn't reflect the price.

Zoeva 106 Powder Brush, £8.75: I've never been too taken with any powder brush I've tried in the past so for that reason I've always used powder puffs. As the price was so reasonable I decided to go ahead and order the 106 which is a vegan synthetic brush. The bristles are black but white at the tips and they're so unbelievably soft. The bristles pick up just the right amound of powder to remove excess shine from the skin without ever looking powdery. I've tried the brush with 3 different powders and reapplied each several times on different days and each time the finish was natural. The handle is short, not travel size short but short enough to hold comfortably and fit into makeup bags for travel. The handles are glossy black which makes the brushes look more expensive than they actually are and I love how they've added the brush number and name to the handle so any brush newbies know exactly what it's for. The bristles are held tightly in the ferulle and not one stray hair has came out, even when giving it a good scrub.

Zoeva 230 Pencil Brush, £5.30: The 230 has the same glossy black handle with the brush name & number and is made just as well as the 106 powder brush. The ferulle is sturdy and once again, there hasn't been any shedding. The bristles are natural which I didn't realise untill drafting this post up so just make sure you double check if you're placing an order for any of the brushes. The 230 can be used to smudge out pencils or shadow close to the lashes, I've been using it to place and blend shadows along my lower lash line and to add highlight to the inner corners, The bristles aren't as soft as the 106 but in no way are they scratchy and the tapered tip allows you to place product exactly where you want it.

I have no complaints about the 2 brushes I own, the quality is fantastic and they even come in their own Zoeva Zip lock pouch which is big enough to fit 4 or 5 brushes in but each separate brush comes in it's own. I've held onto mine, they'll come in handy for weekends away or for storing brushes away and keeping them dust free. I've got my eye on the Cream Cheek Brush & Fine Liner Brushnext. Fingers crossed they're just as good.

Have you tried Zoeva Brushes?
Let me know which ones you'd recommend.

Zoeva Brushes are available from

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