Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Five Most Used: Base Products

Five Most Used Base Products
I've decided to start a new little series here on the blog, sharing my five most-used products in various categories, starting today with base products. Here I'm including primers, foundations/BB creams etc., concealers and powders, and generally speaking I use at least one of each every day. I have to admit I tend to use one or two products fairly consistently when it comes to base products, rather than having several products on rotation at a time as I may with other products, so this post is maybe a little less interesting than future ones will be!
Five Most Used Base
Pop Beauty Face Magnet Primer | This is a bit of a staple for me and is by far the best product I've found in terms of anchoring my make-up to my supremely oily skin - I use this daily on my forehead and nose as these are the areas which tend to get the oiliest, and can often find that I make it through the day with only a bare minimum in terms of shine coming through. That's nothing short of a miracle for me!
The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser | This is the only primer I've ever repurchased, which says a lot about how good it really is - I am admittedly fickle when it comes to cosmetics, but this does the business for me in terms of shrinking and hiding the gaping pores around my nose. I also use it across my cheeks and on my chin and jaw to provide a nice smooth, even surface for my foundation. I absolutely love the strong tea tree scent of this product, does that make me weird?
Revlon ColorStay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin | I think this is the most expensive foundation I've ever bought! I've always been unwilling to spend almost £12 on a high-street foundation, but in the end I bit the bullet and I think my "investment" has paid off - 'Ivory' is a near-perfect colour match to my super pale skin, whilst providing a decent, buildable coverage and, perhaps most importantly, lasting well on my skin.
Natural Collection Cover-Up Cream | I wasn't too sure about this little number as it looks very similar to Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer which I just don't get on with, but I've actually found that Natural Collection's offering gives more coverage, sits much better on my skin, and lasts longer as well. The shade range is limited, with this (the lightest) being a touch too dark for my skintone, but it works okay when blended out well. It's also half the price of the Collection one at just £1.99 - bargain!
Collection Loose Powder | A loose powder is an essential for me for setting my foundation each day, and I honestly can't tell you how many times I've repurchased this. Cheap & cheerful, it does exactly what I need it to, taking away shine and absorbing any excess oil my skin manages to squeeze through my primer and foundation - and trust me, it manages it! I use the shade 'Transparent' to avoid altering the colour of any other products I might use.
I want to give an honourable mention to Soap & Glory's Kick-Ass Concealer, which is my absolute favourite concealer, but I'm resisting re-purchasing until I've used up some other concealers, so I can't honestly say it's my most-used concealer at the moment! Do any of these base products feature in your routine? What are your favourite base products - any I need to try? Which 'Five Most Used' would you like to see next?

xo

Monday, 1 September 2014

ELF Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palette 'Seattle'

Another of my purchases in my recent ELF sale haul was the Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palette in 'Seattle', which is described as follows: "This perfect palette of ten pigment-rich baked eyeshadow shades can be used wet or dry for a subtle or vibrant effect. • Infused with Jojoba, Rose, Sunflower, Apricot & Grape Seed to nourish and condition the skin. • Create gorgeous custom blended colour for both day and night looks."
ELF Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palette Seattle
ELF Studio Seattle Palette
The outer cardboard box is quite nice, showing you the shades contained within as well as all the product information and ingredients; I really like that the shades are reflected in the coloured bars across the top of the packaging, I think that's a lovely touch. Within this outer case, the palette itself is a chunky black plastic one which to me feels a little cheap and bulky; there is also nothing on the palette to enable you to distinguish 'Seattle' from the other three variants ELF produce in this line, which will be annoying should you own more than one. The lid lifts to reveal a good-sized mirror, which is always handy, along with ten domed baked eyeshadows in a range of shimmery shades.
ELF Seattle Eyeshadow Palette
ELF Seattle Baked Palette
The shades don't have names, but I'll describe them as best I can - a pale shimmery pink; a shimmery lilac with gold shift; a blue/purple shimmer; a shimmery cornflower blue; a mid-blue with shimmer; a frosted cream with a gold shift; a pale silver shimmer; a mid-silver/grey shimmer; a deep grey with fine glitter; and a black with gold shift. All ten shades are shimmery, with several of them displaying unusual, pretty colour shifts as they catch the light. I particularly like the second shade which flashes lilac and gold, as well as the left-hand shade in the bottom row which is white with a gold shift and looks gorgeous in the light. All swatches below are one swipe with a dampened brush.
ELF Seattle Palette Swatches
I've found that all ten shades need a damp brush to bring the colours out; otherwise, you end up with very little to show for your application. Applied damp, however, they have a gorgeous pigmentation and leave a lovely metallic finish. I find that applying shadows damp makes them a little harder to blend, so these aren't the easiest of shadows to work with, but it's not impossible by any means. Applied with a very wet brush you end up with an almost foil-like finish which I really like. I find the lasting power of these shadows to be generally pretty good; around eight hours without primer. Below, I've used a fairly damp brush to apply the second shade in the top row all over the lid, with the fourth shade in the bottom row along my lower lashline and the outer third of my upper lashline. Because these are such shimmery, multi-dimensional shades, I don't think you really need to blend together three or four shades to get an interesting look - one shade alone is never going to look flat!
ELF Seattle Palette FOTD
[Products used: Supergoop CC Cream in 'Light-Medium';
Collection Loose Powder in 'Transparent'; NARS Blusher in 'Douceur';
Wet N Wild x Fergie Shimmer Palette in 'Rosé Champagne Glow (as highlight on
cheekbones/browbone); MUA Pro Brow Kit; ELF Studio Baked Eyeshadow
Palette in 'Seattle'; Accessorize Volumizing Mascara; ELF Matte Lip Color in 'Tea Rose']
ELF Seattle Palette EOTD
All in all, I think at £10 the ELF Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palette is a little over-priced but when bought with one of ELF's regular discount codes, it's definitely worth a look-in - mine was £4.90 which I think it's easily worth. You get a reasonable mix of shades which apply quite nicely with a damp brush and last well on the lids. ELF's Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palettes are priced at £10 for 6g of product and are available in four colourways. Have you tried any of ELF's Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palettes? What do you think to 'Seattle'? What's your favourite way to wear baked shadows?

xo

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Empties: August 2014

August has been a month of big changes, the most obvious being that I've now moved back into my parents' house. This has been a fun experiment in fitting a house-worth of my belongings back into an already somewhat over-filled house which contains three other people and their belongings... August has also been a particularly quiet month on the blog, mostly due to the aforementioned big changes; I'm hoping September will see things getting back to normal. I've never missed a monthly Empties post, though, and I don't plan to start now - here are the products I've used up in August!
August Empties
August Empties 1
Batiste Tropical Dry Shampoo This super-sized can has lasted me ages; Batiste is a bit of a staple for me to avoid having to wash my hair daily - with this I can stretch to every other day! I wouldn't want to be without my dry shampoo. It's come in particularly handy recently having spent a couple of weekends camping.
Repurchase? Already have.
Love Me Naked Heaven Scent Rose Body Wash I tend to stock up when these are on offer, I think this was half price at £1.99 when I bought it - I rely on Naked's body wash to keep me clean and fresh without irritating my eczema, which this does pretty well! It also smells lovely, I'm not generally a lover of rose scents but this is really nice and not old-ladyish at all.
Repurchase? Yes.
Naked Volume Bodybuilding Shampoo Another staple in the haircare arena, this is my every-other-day shampoo which I find leaves my hair feeling clean and soft but not weighted down, and being SLS-free it's also friendly for my sensitive, eczema-prone skin. Win/win!
Repurchase? Already have.
Dove Invisible Dry Deodorant I bought this to try as I was sick of white marks on my black tops, but unfortunately it still left marks on my clothing, and on top of that I didn't find it very effective. I'm not impressed at all and wouldn't buy this again.
Repurchase? No.
The Body Shop Blueberry Body Butter I love The Body Shop's body butters, they're one of the best I've found in terms of keeping my skin hydrated and smooth without triggering my eczema - the absence of petroleum and paraffin works wonders for me, and the range of beautiful scents is an added bonus! I tend to favour fruitier variants in the summer months and this was lovely.
Repurchase? Maybe, though I have a few in stock!
Skinetica Anti-Blemish Super Toner* I was kindly sent this to review and started using it when my skin was going through a particularly bad patch; for the first week it worked like magic and my skin became almost completely clear, but sadly the effects were short-lived and I was almost back where I started a week later. I'm in two minds over whether to keep trying with this, due to its alcohol content; it's definitely highlighted to me the importance of using a toner, but I think I might try something else.
Repurchase? Maybe.

August Empties 2
Forever Marine Mask I won this face mask last year in a giveaway and have really enjoyed using it; as you can see, I even cut the tube open to scrape every last drop out! It felt lovely and cooling on the skin and worked quite well to calm redness and heal blemishes. I can't help but feel it's quite expensive, though, and there are other similar products which aren't as pricey.
Repurchase? Probably not.
Murad Soothing Skin, Lip & Cuticle Care I've had this ages and kept forgetting I had it - I've been keeping it on my desk the past few weeks to try and remind myself to use it! I really like the packaging, which is easy to use, twisting to dispense the product. It has a lovely scent and did moisturise my cuticles well, but I think it's very overpriced for what it is so for that reason I won't be buying this again!
Repurchase? No.
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in 'Fair' I know this is a blogger cult favourite but I'm sorry, the Lasting Perfection Concealer and I are just not friends. I find even the palest shade is too orange for my skin-tone, which results in my blending it out so much that the coverage is pants. On top of that, it seems to crease on me within minutes. I'm super glad to see the back of this and try something else!!
Repurchase? Not a chance.
Vichy Normaderm 3-in-1 Cleanser, Scrub & Mask I mostly used this as a mask rather than as a cleanser, as I found it was just a little too messy used that way - used as a mask, I washed all traces away in the shower afterwards! I did enjoy using this and found that it left my skin feeling soft, smooth and calm; the exfoliation whilst removing made it right up my street as I do love a good scrub.
Repurchase? Maybe, although I don't feel like it was anything special as far as results go.
Natural Collection Shine Away Foundation in 'Porcelain' I did really like this at first, finding it to give good coverage, a reasonable colour match to my skin, and pretty good lasting power. However, as time went on I noticed that it oxidises quite badly on my skin, leaving me looking a bit orange - never a good look! As far as budget foundations go this isn't a bad shout but for me, I think I'd look elsewhere rather than buying this one again.
Repurchase? Probably not.
And that concludes another month of empty beauty products - have you tried any of these? What did you think? Are there any posts you'd like to see from me as I get back into blogging in September?

xo

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Recent Giveaway Wins

I've been lucky enough to win a few super lovely prizes from blog giveaways in the past few months, and thought it was about time I shared them to say a big THANK YOU to the bloggers who've been so generous! Just to reiterate, I'm not in any way trying to brag by sharing these, I just like to read similar posts on other blogs and think it's nice to say thank you to people who are kind enough to hold giveaways and send such amazing prizes.
MAC Mystical Lipstick
Aqeela from Diary of a Makeup Geek gave away a MAC lipstick, 'Mystical', from the Alluring Aquatic collection to celebrate her second blog birthday. I haven't worn this yet but I'm in love with the packaging!

American Beauty Products
Beauty Samples
Amiiee from It's Amiieeism gave away a whole selection of American beauty goodies from her trip to the States, along with a little bundle of fab samples to add to my collection. There's such a lovely mix of brands here, including products from Milani, Wet N Wild, Physician's Formula & EOS.

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette
Laura from A Scottish Lass held a giveaway for Too Faced's Chocolate Bar Palette, which arrived this morning; I've not had chance to try it out yet but it smells amazing!!

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream
Finally, I've also won a bottle of Marc Jacobs' Daisy Dream perfume from Jen at Beauty Junkie London; I'd been saving up for a new perfume so this came at the perfect time and I've been really enjoying wearing it.

On a giveaway-related note, I'm happy to announce that the winner of my 500 Bloglovin' Followers Giveaway was the lovely Sophia, congratulations to her! Have you won any giveaways recently?

xo

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

September Magazine Freebies [UK]

I popped into Tesco to buy milk on my way home from work last night and somehow ended up with this month's copy of Marie Claire, which I justified on the grounds it comes with a travel-sized bottle of Ghost Eclipse perfume... Which is basically all I had to say in this post - if you like Ghost, go spend £3.90 on Marie Claire (with Jessica Alba on the cover) and get a 3ml roller ball perfume!
Marie Claire Ghost Freebie September 2014
Ghost Perfume Freebies Magazine September 2014
The only other freebie I've spotted so far this month is an unbranded eyeliner with Company which I'm not that excited about to be honest! Have you seen anything decent? Will you be picking up Marie Claire? Do you buy magazines purely for the freebies like I have been known to do, on occasion?

xo

Monday, 11 August 2014

The British Tag

Today I'm sharing my answers to The British Tag which was created by Sammi; I've not actually been tagged to do this but I saw Essiebutton's video and thought it was such a fun tag. Also her video is hilarious so if you haven't seen it and you get chance, definitely give it a watch here.
The British Tag
How many cups of tea do you have per day? How many sugars?
It varies, but I do drink quite a lot of tea. I'd say maybe five or six cups per day, and I have a pretty big mug! I like my tea well-brewed and sometimes I have a sugar - usually my first cup of tea of the day has a sugar in. I'm on my second cup of the day so far and it's just after 10.30am.
British Tag tea
Favourite part of a Sunday roast?
Roast parsnips, without a doubt. Can I also be really cheesy and say I love the whole process of making the Sunday roast, and of course the time spent with loved ones? Oh and gravy. I love gravy.
What is your favourite dunking biscuit?
This is a tough question but I'm going to say Ginger Crunch, though there is definitely an art to dunking the Ginger Crunch, you have to get the timing perfect! My favourite non-dunking biscuit would definitely be the Bourbon.
What's your favourite quintessentially British pastime?
I love walking my dog. I know that's not exclusively a British thing to do, but when done in the Lancashire countryside I'm going to say it counts and that's that!
What's your favourite word?
I looove words, this is such a hard question. I really like how 'inconsequential' sounds. I tend to like words for how they sound rather than whether I'll actually use them. 'Furthermore' is another favourite, but that has a family history ever since my brother's teacher gave them a list of words when he was about seven - they had to include at least one word from the list in each piece of written homework, but I think he lost the list and the only one he could remember was 'furthermore'. So in it went. In every piece of work he ever handed in. And now it's a running joke; no essay, job application or letter can be considered complete until it contains 'furthermore'.
What's your favourite Cockney rhyming slang?
I don't know any Cockney rhyming slang apart from apples and pears (stairs), which is a direct consequence of growing up in the NORTH. I can tell you about Lancashire dialect if that's your thing, though? Also my Dad has a whole host of words that I grew up using, and every so often I'll use one in general conversation and no-one has a clue what it means, and it turns out it's not a real word. 'Clarty', for example, which refers to a particular consistency of mud... I thought clarty was a real word!
What are your favourite British sweets?
Firstly, I have to say that I would choose chocolate over sweets almost every time. On the occasion that I fancy sweets, though, it's gotta be Jelly Babies, or Dolly Mixtures.
What would your pub be called?
This is an interesting one and it took some thinking about! In the end I am going to say The Painted Pigeon because it sounds nice and a little bit quirky, and I can't think of anything better. Also I could have seasonal changes to my pub sign. The pigeon could wear Halloween face paint, or Christmas face paint, or be otherwise painted to suit the time of year.
Number One British person?
This is a horrible question. I feel like if I'm allowed all four members of McFly, that will be my answer, but that's probably cheating and I probably need to commit to a number one, like the question asks. In which case... I don't know! I really don't know. I might have to come back to this one. Essie mentioned David Attenborough and Dave Lamb, the commentator off Come Dine With Me, who I have to say are both honourable mentions for sure!
Favourite shop/restaurant?
My favourite shop would probably be either H&M or Boots. I do, however, have a lot of love for stationery shops, and those shops selling a bizarre assortment of bits and bobs, and I really love health food shops, and B&Q. I could spend hours in B&Q. I don't think I really have a favourite restaurant - I'm not picky, as long as there's food I'm probably happy!
What British song pops into your head?
Anything by McFly, of course! I think this is my favourite, at the moment. Also I love how young they all look! I can't believe this was almost seven years ago.
Marmite - Love it or hate it?
Here is where I am a little contentious - I am indifferent to Marmite, which makes people distrust me. I wouldn't say I love it and it's not something I'd choose, but I could eat it if I was given it.
OH OH OH BILL NIGHY. Is he British!? Google says he is, so can be my Number One British Person purely for his role as Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean. Boom! Ahem. Anyway, now I've calmed down over Bill Nighy, I'd like to tag anyone reading this to answer the questions - I know that's a cop-out and I'm not sorry. Do you enjoy reading tag posts? What's your favourite tag? Let me know if there are any you think I should do!

xo
PS Remember you have til midnight TONIGHT to enter my 500 Bloglovin' Followers Giveaway! Go go go!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

FOTD: Tea Rose

One of the products I ordered recently from ELF when there was a 51% off code was their Studio Matte Lip Color in the shade 'Tea Rose'. I've been wearing this shade a lot lately as it's a really pretty flattering everyday kind of shade which takes minimal preparation of the lips and wears well. "This convenient jumbo sized lip pencil creates exact color application. The pigment-rich color glides on effortlessly and provides long-lasting matte color. The enriched Vitamin A, C & E formula moisturises and hydrates lips for all-day comfort. Directions: Apply to lips and blend in color. Re-apply as often as desired."
ELF Matte Lip Color 'Tea Rose'
The Matte Lip Color comes in cardboard outer packaging with the shade name in a swatch indicating the colour; in this case, 'Tea Rose' which is a dusky blue-toned pink. The product itself is housed in a matte black plastic crayon with a click-on cap, which feels really secure. The base of the crayon twists to release more product, and the colour of the base corresponds with the shade, which would make it easier to pick out a specific shade if you had a few of these. The crayon is slimmer than many other lip crayons, which I like as it makes for an easier and more accurate application.
Swatch ELF Matte Lip Color 'Tea Rose'
The crayon can drag slightly on the lips but the colour transfers nicely and evenly, leaving a semi-matte finish which lasts 2-3 hours on my lips, even when eating and drinking. The colour seems to fade pretty evenly and doesn't leave behind a stain, making it ideal if you know you're not going to have chance to top up. I really like the shade, which looks natural on my skintone, with the blue undertones making my teeth look whiter. Overall, I'm really impressed with ELF's Studio Matte Lip Color and would be happy to order another shade or two to add to my collection!
FOTD Elf Matte Lip Color 'Tea Rose'
[Products used: Pop Beauty Face Magnet Primer (on forehead/nose);
The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser (on cheeks/chin); Revlon ColorStay
Foundation in 110 'Ivory'; Collection Loose Powder in 'Translucent';
MUA Powder Blusher in Shade 2; MUA Mosaic Blusher in 'English Rose'
(as highlighter); MUA Pro Brow Kit; ELF Baked Eyeshadow Palette in 'Seattle';
Accessorize Volumising Mascara in 'Jet Black'; ELF Studio Matte Lip Color in 'Tea Rose']
ELF's Studio Matte Lip Colors are available in six shades, priced at £3.95 for 1.8g of product. I really like the shade I have and find it easy to apply, comfortable to wear, and long-wearing. I'd definitely recommend picking up 'Tea Rose' or any of the other shades that catch your eye! Have you tried ELF's Studio Matte Lip Colors? Which shade do you most like the look of?

xo
PS, Don't forget to enter my 500 Bloglovin' Followers Giveaway if you like the look of 'Tea Rose' - it may or may not feature in my mystery box of beauty goodies!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Review: The Body Shop Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil

I ordered The Body Shop's Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil when it was on a half-price offer as I'd been wanting to try it and you know me - I can't resist an offer! I already knew I loved the scent of the Almond range and I was looking for a cuticle product for daytime use - I thought the handy pen style and application brush would be ideal for this.
The Body Shop Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil Review
Presented in a beige pen with a click-off lid, you twist the base of the pen to dispense product which is then applied to the nail and cuticle area using the built-in brush. I find this ideal for applying throughout the day as the fact that the product is applied via the brush, means I don't end up with sticky fingers from rubbing it in. The brush feels soft and doesn't irritate my skin, as well as making the oil really easy to apply accurately and spread around the desired area. The oil does feel slightly sticky to the touch, but is absorbed within a few minutes of application, leaving the nail and cuticle area feeling moisturised and smelling like marzipan - yum! The end of the cap also features a cuticle pusher, which I don't use, but it definitely could be handy to have it included.
Review The Body Shop Almond Cuticle Oil
Overall, I'd definitely recommend this for an easy-to-use, on-the-go product for moisturising dry cuticles; it smells lovely, is easy to apply without getting your fingers sticky, and soaks in pretty quickly to hydrate the skin. Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil is priced at £7.50 for 1.8ml, although The Body Shop run offers pretty frequently so you should be able to get it cheaper than that! What, if anything, do you use on your cuticles? What's your favourite range at The Body Shop?

xo
PS, Don't forget to enter my 500 Bloglovin' Followers Giveaway to be in with a chance of winning a mystery box of beauty goodies!!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Keeping Girls Warm this Autumn*

At an age when fashion counts for a lot, keeping girls warm as well as trendy can be a difficult feat – especially when they get to an age where they want to do all of their shopping themselves (or at least have a say in what you buy). But, even with teenagers, you'll probably still want to have a say in what they wear. You're likely to see plenty of girls hanging out with their friends not wearing jackets – you will probably have been one of those girls, once – but if you stock your kids' wardrobes with trendy jumpers, cardigans and jackets, they'll happily cover up and stay warm on cold days, without the need for nagging from mum! So, what should you buy to keep them warm this autumn?
At Home
When you're lounging about at home, it doesn't really matter what you wear - after all, nobody is going to see you! However, young girls may think differently, especially if they're a lover of fashion. Whether they're heading out to see their friends or they're relaxing at home, something to keep them warm will be crucial (plus, it'll help to keep your bills low if they layer up rather than turning up the thermostat!).
Take a look at the jumpers range at George at ASDA; jumpers and cardigans are a great addition to any girl's wardrobe, come rain or shine!
Jumpers for Girls from George at Asda

At School
The back to school preparations will soon be setting in and while you may be able to get a few weeks wear out of their summer dresses, they will also need some new autumn-friendly uniform. A school jumper or cardigan, or two, are recommended, as is a coat or jacket that they can wear on cold days. Make sure that you add their name to every item that they take to school, so that you don't have to rummage through the lost property every time they mislay something.
Out and About
Add a jacket to their jumpers for when they're out and about. Whether it's a cute little biker, bomber or blazer or something more padded will depend on just how cold it is. A winter coat, as well as a jacket or two, would be ideal additions to any girl's wardrobe. As the winter sets in, the need for a hat, scarf and gloves will become apparent, too!
At Night
It's been beautifully warm lately, and the nights have been incredibly humid. The need to stay warm during the dark hours hasn't been high on the agenda, but it soon will be. As the autumn approaches, the need for nightwear will become apparent. Whether it's a onesie, some funky pyjamas or a nightie, something to sleep in will be essential. A dressing gown is also handy to have, particularly on chilly nights. And some slippers! Don't forget the slippers!
We've enjoyed a heatwave lately, and while the majority of us will be more than happy for this to continue, we're also realistic. The weather will soon change and the cold front will set in – when it does, make sure the girls in your life are ready for it with plenty of warm clothes that they'll be happy to wear this autumn.
How will you be keeping your kids warm this Autumn? I know I never used to wear a coat or jacket for school, were you the same?

xo
[*Please note this is a sponsored post.]
PS, Don't forget to enter my 500 Bloglovin' Follower Giveaway, I'm giving away a mystery box of beauty goodies!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Six Mini Reviews #7: Skinetica, Badger, Manuka Doctor, Merumaya & more

I've been absent for a couple of days from the blog due to spending last weekend on the fells in the Lake District volunteering at Total Warrior again - you can see my post from last year if you'd like to hear more about that, it was basically more of the same except more rain, and I ended up getting put on the back of a quad bike and sent back to the Event Village on the Sunday because I'd turned blue from the cold... Anyway, I'm back now with another installment in my battle against the mountain of samples I have accumulated. Here are another six I've put to the test!
Six Mini Reviews #7
Skinetica Anti-Blemish Super Toner* I've actually reviewed this product in full here, but this is a sample-sized bottle and I've finished it, so I'm including it, damn it! As I said in my review, I loved this at first; it was really effective and after the first week my skin looked super-clear. Then things went downhill a little and I ended up pretty much back where I started. Since then, things have improved a little and my skin is currently quite clear *furiously touches wood* so I think I will buy another bottle and see how I get on; prices start at £9.99 for a 70ml bottle, and go down the more bottles you purchase.
Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Rejuvenating Face Mask This free 7ml sample sachet actually provided me with three full applications so I've got a really good idea for how much I like this mask - and I do like it! It feels really refreshing on the skin, soaks in well to almost completely disappear, and once the last traces are removed, leaves my face feeling soft, smooth and hydrated. I was a bit dubious about trying this as I've never been stung by a bee but both my Dad and brother are pretty allergic to them, but I didn't have any adverse reaction to the bee venom! At £49 for 50ml, this is certainly a high-end purchase, but one I would like to treat myself to somewhere down the line.
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum I've had samples of this perfume before and absolutely adore it, it's gorgeous. This tiny sample actually lasted quite a few wears because it's a strong scent, so a couple of spritzes is all you need! The full-sized bottle is out of my budget at the moment, really, at £49.50 for the smaller 30ml, but I would like to invest at some point in the future.
Badger Cuticle Care Balm This sample lasted longer than it strictly should have due to me being terrible at remembering to use cuticle balm, but when I did remember to apply it, this was lovely; thick and nourishing with a lovely gingery scent. It's quite an oily product so it's one I chose to use at bedtime rather than through the day, but it did work well to hydrate the cuticle area for me. This is something I can see myself buying again and the £4.99 price tag for a 21g tin is pretty reasonable!
Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm This little sample sachet appeared in the post a few days ago and I'm not really sure where it came from because I don't remember requesting it..!? Either way, I really like cleansing balms and this was a lovely one, which felt super luxurious on the skin, melted my make-up away beautifully and smelt gorgeous to boot. The 2ml sample was plenty for one generous application, and could easily have done two. The full-sized tube is £14.50 for 100ml which is a fairly reasonable price for such a lovely product, in my opinion, and this is definitely one I can see myself repurchasing.
Merumaya Iconic Youth Serum I received this with the cleansing balm and again, it's really rather nice. I got three uses from it which was not bad going for a ml sample! The serum had quite a strong scent to it which was nevertheless quite pleasant, and felt rich on the skin. I did find it left my skin feeling a little tacky as it's quite a heavy texture for a serum, but then my skin is very oily, so for drier or more mature skintypes this might be a plus! The full size is £34.50 for 30ml which isn't badly priced as serums go and this is one I may consider in the future.
Do you keep hold of samples? Have you tried any of these products? What's the best product you've ever had a sample of?

xo
PS, Don't forget to enter my 500 Bloglovin' Follower Giveaway - there might even be some samples in the prize!!