Thursday, 8 October 2015

Tarte Miracles From The Amazon

Tarte is a brand I've wanted to try for the longest time but since their products are only available in the UK via QVC, I've never really got round to it; that all changed recently thanks to Michelle, who led me into a little birthday treat to myself... Behold, the Miracles From The Amazon set!!
Tarte Miracles From The Amazon Set QVC
Containing an Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara, a Lipsurgence Liquid Lip Shine, an Amazonian Clay Cheek & Eye Palette and a dual-ended eyeshadow brush, alongside a pretty purple and gold cosmetics bag, I thought this seemed like the ideal way to sample Tarte's products. All the make-up items feature the Limited Edition mosaic-effect packaging which is really pretty; I especially love the lid of the palette, isn't it stunning!?
Tarte Be Your Own tarteist Palette
Contained within the 'Be Your Own Tarteist' palette are six eyeshadows and one full-sized blusher; to my mind, the three shadows on the left work well together, and equally the three on the right combine beautifully. The blusher is very much a versatile, wearable shade for everyday which I think will suit most people. The shadows included are 'Pink Beyond', a pale matte pink; 'Taupe For The Best', a shimmery taupe; 'Dreams Plum True', a deep matte plum shade; 'Out Of This Pearl', a shimmery champagne; 'Thistle Be The Day', a mid-toned matte lilac-grey; and 'Paint The Brown', a deep chocolate-brown matte. The blusher is named 'Talented', a mid-peach/pink which looks to have a slight shimmer in the pan but appears pretty matte on the skin to me. The palette also contains a full-sized mirror which is printed with the Tarte logo.
Tarte Be Your Own Tarteist Palette Shades
Tarte Miracles From The Amazon Set Swatches
I found the shadows easy to work with, smooth and buttery-soft, though there was a little fall-out. Nonetheless, they're well-pigmented (with the exception of 'Pink Beyond', which may just be too pale) and blend beautifully. All six shades are wearable and give you a range of options in terms of wearing just one shade all over the lid or creating a more sophisticated look using several shades. The blusher, too, is well-pigmented but blends out really nicely to give a gorgeous flush of colour to the cheeks, which could easily be built up if your skin-tone is a little deeper than mine. The brush is lovely and soft, works well with the shadows, and has washed up nicely so far as well - a lovely inclusion.
Tarte Be Your Own Tarteist Palette & Brush
I'm not a lipgloss fan and have found that the Lipsurgence Liquid Lip Shine in 'Exquisite', whilst a pretty shade, is just too sticky for my liking; the Liquid Lip Shines are supposed to be a gloss-meets-stain type product and I have to say I do prefer it once the gloss has worn off and I'm left with a pretty tint. The Smart Mascara is not something I'd buy again as it just doesn't feel like anything special to me, although the wood-effect tube is stunning. I found it took a bit of building up to get the kind of length and volume I look for, and it did flake a little after around ten hours' wear, which is a shame.
Tarte Miracles From The Amazon
This make-up look used 'Thistle Be The Day' all over the lid, with 'Paint The Brown' blended into the crease and outer corner, and a sweep of 'Out Of This Pearl' to brighten the inner corners. I'm wearing two coats of the Smart Mascara, and I blended out the 'Talented' Amazonian Clay Blusher over my cheekbones for a pretty pop of colour which is easily suitable for everyday wear.
Tarte Miracles From The Amazon FOTD
Benefit Sun Beam; Collection Loose Powder in 'Transparent'; Makeup Revolution I ♥ Brows
Kit in 'Fairest Of Them All'; Tarte Lipsurgence Liquid Lip Shine in 'Exquisite';
Tarte 'Thistle Be The Day', 'Paint The Brown' and 'Out Of This Pearl' eyeshadows
and 'Talented' blusher from the 'Be Your Own Tarteist' Palette; Tarte Smart Mascara]
Tarte Miracles From The Amazon EOTD
Tarte Miracles From The Amazon is priced at £34 from QVC (plus £3.95 P&P); I'm really happy I decided to treat myself and I do think it's been a great introduction to the brand. I think for what you're getting this is actually a really reasonable price and I do see myself ordering more Tarte products from QVC in the future. I think the palette in particular will be brilliant for travelling with as it combines a selection of versatile shadows with a really wearable blusher, all in a compact case with a mirror!! Have you tried any Tarte products? Any recommendations for me? Do you like the look of this set?

{Linking up with Makeup Monday Linky Party!}

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

November 2015 Magazine Freebies [UK]

It's looking to be another pretty good month as far as freebies with the magazines go; I've finally managed to get my hands on them after the Sainsbury's I usually use has replaced its magazine stands with a Halloween display, and the Booths I popped into on my way home from work didn't have the November issues in yet. WHSmith's turned out to be the one!
November 2015 UK Magazine Freebies
I've actually one picked up one, so far; Marie Claire (£3.99, Claire Danes on the cover) comes with a choice of six 30ml L'Occitane Hand Creams. I went for Zesty Lime, which I have previously reviewed, but there are also Lavender, Peony, Rose, Vanilla and Verveine, These have an RRP of £8 each so it's a great way to grab a bargain - I love L'Occitane hand creams so it's pretty likely I'll pick up a couple more before the end of the month! You also get testers for Viktor & Rolf's Bonbon perfume, and Valentino's Donna, as well as sample sachets of Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation and L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Oil-in-Cream.
Magazine Freebies November 2015 L'Occitane Hand Cream Marie Claire
ELLE (£4, Carey Mulligan on the cover) is offering a choice of four Orly nail polishes; these are full-sized bottles worth £10.50 each.
InStyle (£3.99, Cheryl on the cover) has a set of three REN skincare minis including a day cream, night cream and eye gel. The only reason I didn't get one of these is because I've had the same set in the past and haven't actually used it yet...
Finally, Glamour (£2, Ellie Goulding on the cover) comes with one of four Nails Inc nail polishes, which have an RRP of £11 - so again, a reet bargain!
Have you picked up any of these magazine freebies yet? Are there any you'll be keeping an eye out for?


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Introducing Veeda | Natural Feminine Hygiene*

I was recently contacted on Twitter by a company called Veeda, and offered the opportunity to try out some of their products*. Now feminine hygiene isn't something I've ever discussed on my blog and let's be honest, it's not the most pleasant of topics - but the majority of women have to deal with periods so I do think it's important to talk about it every now and then!
Veeda 100 Natural Cotton Tampons
Veeda offer 100% cotton feminine hygiene products including sanitary pads, tampons and liners, so there should be something for everyone, no matter your preference. Tampons are available in a range of absorbencies, with or without applicators, whilst the pads come in regular or super-long options, with each pad being individually wrapped for convenience.
Veeda 100 Natural Cotton Sanitary Pads
Veeda chose cotton for their feminine hygiene products for a number of reasons; not least, it is soft and comfortable, whilst also being the most absorbent natural material, absorbing up to twenty times its own weight. It's also renewable, sustainable, and skin-friendly. Veeda's cotton is oxygen-processed, avoiding the use of bleach, dioxin and pesticides - which, when you think about it, probably aren't things you want to be putting in or near your intimate parts!!
Veeda Natural Cotton Tampons
Using natural tampons is also thought to reduce the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS, which can be fatal - there has never been a case of TSS associated with the use of all-cotton tampons, thought to be because pure cotton does not promote the growth of the bacteria which lead to TSS.
Veeda Natural Sanitary Pads
I honestly expected a product like this to be quite expensive; I begrudge having to spend money on tampons at all - let's be honest, it's not really a treat - So I'd be reluctant to spend much more. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, to find that the prices of Veeda's products are actually comparable with what I'd consider the leading brands of pads and tampons - all under £3 per pack. They're also more accessible than you might imagine, with products available online as well as in Boots stores. I'd like to see availability through major supermarkets, as I know that's the most convenient place for me to pick up feminine hygiene products and I'm sure I'm not alone in that - but Boots is a good start and I for one will definitely be switching over to Veeda. Have you heard of Veeda before? Have you ever given any consideration to the origins and environmental impact of your feminine hygiene products?

[*Product provided for consideration. I have not been asked to write this post, nor am I being compensated for doing so - I just felt this was an important topic to share!]

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Review | George Matte Primer

There is no getting away from the fact that I am a massive impulse buyer, which is why I came home from Asda with this George Matte Primer - despite knowing full well that I already have a ridiculous collection of primers I need to work my way through. Anyway, here we are, with one additional primer in our stash - so we may as well review it, right!? It claims to, "reduce shine worn alone or under make-up" and "help to create a shine-free matte complexion", as well as boasting Sweet Almond Oil and Vitamin E amongst its ingredients, which sounds pretty good to me.
George at Asda Matte Primer Review
Packaged in a simple white plastic tube with screw-cap and the product information printed in mint, it doesn't look anything fancy, but we all know it's what's on the inside that counts! The primer is easy to squeeze out of the tube and is peach in colour with a light, gel-like creamy texture; it's easy to spread over the skin and does give a nice smooth surface for applying make-up over. Although the primer states it can be worn alone or under make-up, I'd never wear it alone as it doesn't offer any kind of coverage or even blurring of imperfections; if you had clear skin and literally just wanted to mattify, I guess it could work. I have noticed a slight scent to the product which reminds me of PVA glue at primary school, but it thankfully doesn't linger on the skin!
George Matte Primer Review
I've found that whilst this does mattify my skin initially, and make-up goes on nicely over it, the effects don't really last with my oil-slick face; even using powder to set my foundation, (which I always do anyway!) within a couple of hours I'm super-shiny again, particularly on my forehead and nose. I know my skin is exceptionally oily so if you're more of a combination skin-type, you may have better luck, but for me, there are better products for helping to keep my skin matte for longer. It's probably worth pointing out that the formula does feature several silicones (cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, cyclohexasiloxane) as well as methylparaben and propylparaben, so if you try to avoid these ingredients in your products then this is one to skip. The silicones should theoretically act to blur out pores and fine lines, but I haven't noticed that to be the case.
George Matte Primer
George Matte Primer is priced at £3.50 for 30ml, which makes it an affordable option to try out; for me, I'll use this tube up but I wouldn't repurchase it as there are other products which work better for my skin-type. I'm certainly not put off trying other products from the George range as I do think this is a good product for the price, it just happens to not suit me very well; they look to have some lovely blusher shades. Would you buy make-up from a supermarket brand? Have you tried any of George's make-up?


Friday, 2 October 2015

Hello October!

We are heading for the end of 2015 at what feels like a ridiculous speed, although when I think about it January does feel like a lifetime ago, so who knows what has happened to my perception of time!? Anyway, October it is - a month of many birthdays for me and, of course, Halloween! I really enjoyed my post sharing my September goals so I thought it'd be nice to look back at how I've got on with those as well as sharing a few more for the coming weeks.
Hello October
My September goals were:
See friends more: I set myself a target of twice for this one and I'm pleased to say I smashed it; September included a weekend away with my Total Warrior friends, a house party, a late-night walk, several swimming rendezvous, three tea-at-a-friend's and two lunches out with old school friends. It's been so nice to catch up with people!
Find a way of getting to the Harry Potter Studios for my birthday: Well, it wasn't on my birthday but I did have a brilliant day out with my Mum and brother, which you can read about here should the mood take you. I was in my absolute element at the Warner Bros Studio Tour and I really want to visit again some time!! And yes, I really did smile like this the whole way round the tour.
No4 Privet Drive Warner Bros Studio Tour London
Sort out the paperwork: I swear as soon as I file away all my bits of paper, I get a credit card bill, a student finance statement and an MOT certificate! Nonetheless I have had a good old sort-out of paperwork and tidied things away into my excessively-organised lever arch files. Now I just need to try and make myself keep on top of it...
Throw some things away: Yep, I did this too. I had a little make-up clear-out and chucked some dried-out eyeliners and out-of-date lip balms, as well as throwing out some random things I've been hoarding for no readily apparent reason. I also assembled all my little beauty samples into one place to hopefully encourage me to use them up! And I threw away all my receipts for my driving lessons. Don't know why I still had those. Mystery.
Get a haircut: Possibly the most traumatic item from my list but I did this one as well! We have a hairdresser who comes to our house and has been cutting my hair since I was about four, and she's really good at doing as she's told and not touching my head too much. I had about five inches cut off my hair so it is still long but in much better condition. I'm not sure about it yet (I only had it cut last week) but I'm getting used to it!
So... that's five out of five goals achieved for September! I also bought myself a new laptop as a bit of a birthday treat to myself, as I've been saying for months that I need to, and it's so nice having a computer that does things when I tell it to rather than thinking about it for a week and a half then crashing. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to up my blogging game a little with all the extra time this will give me! I'm also hoping I can make October just as successful as September with these little aims:
See friends: Like I say, it was really nice to catch up with so many friends in September, so I'm carrying this one over to October! I'm going with the same target of at least two meet-ups with two different friends as that should be achievable - there are a couple of people I have in mind as targets I've not seen for a while!
Transfer things to my new laptop: As mentioned, I've got myself a lovely shiny new laptop. However, I've been putting off moving things across from my old one, partly due to a fear of slowing it down and partly because I'm laaaazy. I need to have a good sort-through my photos, music and other files, delete the excess, and shift everything else across into nice organised files. I'm dreading this one.
Throw some more things away: I still have way more stuff than I could possibly need so I'm planning to downsize a little further. My desk (I use the term very loosely as I can't actually access it to use it as a desk, it's basically just storage at the moment) will be my first port of call for this one. I don't even know what's in these heaps!
Start thinking about Christmas: I really can't be doing with Christmas in October, in fact I usually hate it right up until about the 23rd of December, but I do plan to start thinking about presents a bit earlier this year. I'm thinking a spreadsheet will help me keep organised and also act as an incentive to get myself into gear because man I love me a good colour-coded spreadsheet!

What are your plans for October? Do you like to set yourself monthly goals? What are your tips for achieving your aims? I'd love to hear what you're planning this month!!


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Empties | September 2015

Another month down, another assortment of beauty products finished off; September hasn't been the most productive of months for me in terms of beauty empties, but nonetheless here are the few products I have managed to use up this month. We won't go into the fact that it is now officially Autumn here in the UK... or the fact that we are creeping ever closer to the dreaded C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S. I am a fan of denial.
September 2015 Beauty Empties
September Beauty Empties 1
Boots Botanics Shine Away Face Scrub | I love me a good face scrub and I did feel like this worked reasonably well; I'm not sure it mattified my skin at all but it did a pretty good job of smoothing me out. It's a little harsher than my ideal texture would maybe be, but I've still been fine using it a couple of times per week, though my skin is oily and not sensitive - drier or more sensitive souls might find that a bit much. All in all, for the price, this worked well.
Repurchase? Already have another tube in my stash, and I'd consider buying again in the future.
Asda Skinsystem Cotton Wool Pads | These were I think 99p for 200, and they did the job perfectly acceptably for me, but I did find they were a little too thin for my preferences. In future I'd tend to favour the Lacura ones from Aldi as they're just a little bit thicker.
Repurchase? Probably not.
COLAB Dry Shampoo in 'New York' | COLAB has definitely replaced Batiste as my dry shampoo of choice; it doesn't leave that horrid white residue in my hair and it seems to work better in making my hair actually feel cleaner, rather than just like I've sprayed a load of product in it. Sadly, COLAB isn't quite as widely available, so I'm stocking up whenever I'm near a Superdrug! New York is my favourite variant, it's a lovely fruity fragrance.
Repurchase? Already have.
September Beauty Empties 2
The Body Shop Glazed Apple Body Butter | This was a seasonal Limited Edition scent last Christmas (picked up for half price after Christmas, obviously!) and I absolutely love the fragrance; it's sweet and fruity, exactly my cup of tea. It works well as a body butter and leaves the kind of lingering scent that has me sniffing myself through the day like a bit of a weirdo...
Repurchase? If The Body Shop have the Glazed Apple range available again this year then I will for sure be stocking up!
Aussie Aussome Volume & Mega Instant Miracle Dry Shampoos | I think including these is kind of cheating as neither of them are actually empty; however, both the nozzles have broken meaning I can't get any more product out of the cans, so there doesn't seem much point holding onto them. These have been an all-round disappointment for me; they smell bloody awful, really chemically and horrible, and didn't do anything to refresh my hair.
Repurchase? Nope. All the nopes.
Beauty Kitchen Inspire Me Brightening & Toning Body Polish* | I've really enjoyed using this body scrub a couple of times per week, I've particularly liked using it on my arms, shoulders and chest; I often get a handful of spots in those areas, I'm not sure why, but using this in the shower every three or four days has really reduced the numbers, which is nice. I'm not sure about brightening and toning, to be honest, but it leaves my skin soft and smooth so I feel like I'm onto a winner and anything else would be a bonus!
Repurchase? Maybe.
Have you tried any of these products? I'd love to know if you agreed with me or had different experiences? Have any of you tried the Aussie dry shampoos?


Monday, 28 September 2015

Review | Maple Holistics Ancient Clay Facial Mask*

I was recently very kindly sent some products to trial from Maple Holistics; alongside the Degrease Shampoo*, the other product I chose was their Ancient Clay Facial Mask*, which claims, "Deep cleansing Fuller's Earth removes impurities and allows the skin to breathe, whilst Bentonite revitalizes and detoxes. French green clay firms, tones and tightens pores for a clean, refreshing effect."
Maple Holistics Ancient Clay Facial Mask Review
The packaging is simple but effective, nothing fancy - it consists of large white plastic jar with a screw-cap, with the mask itself being in the form of a powder; the instructions suggest mixing one scoop of the powder with two scoops of water to form a paste, before applying to the skin and waiting ten minutes, then washing off with warm water. I've discovered a couple of things, mostly through trial and error; firstly, one scoop is way too much, about half a scoop is plenty to cover my whole face.
Maple Holistics Ancient Clay Facial Mask
In addition, mixing the powder with water is far easier said than done, as it tends to become very sticky and lumpy and not really want to mix... I've found the best way is spreading the powder out in a fine layer and trying to distribute the water around, then quickly mixing with my fingertips before applying to my face. It still ends up a little lumpy, as you can see, but not too bad...
Maple Holistics Ancient Clay Face Mask
Excuse my very serious expression there... Once on, comparisons to Shrek and/or The Incredible Hulk aside, The Ancient Clay Facial Mask dries to feel quite tight on the skin, as is common with clay masks. I tend to leave it around 15-20 minutes to dry before washing off in the shower (I always wash masks off in the shower so I can put them right up to my hairline, where I always seem to get tiny little spots). My skin is left feeling clean but decidedly on the tight side, so following up with a good moisturiser is a must for me. I do think it clears my pores and firms my skin a little, though I have to admit I've not noticed any tightening of my pores - still, two out of three claims isn't bad! After using this around once a week for the past month, I've barely made a dent in the jar, so I think it's safe to say it's gonna last me a good while yet! Maple Holistics Ancient Clay Facial Mask is priced at $15.99 for the jar which I think is a reasonable price given the quality of the ingredients and the quantity you get. Have you tried any products from Maple Holistics? What's your favourite clay mask?

[*Product provided for consideration.]
Don't forget you have 'til midnight tonight to enter to win a Shampoo & Conditioner duo from Maple Holistics!

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Review | Neal's Yard Remedies Body Lotions

September has turned out to be a pretty good month for magazine freebies; as well as the Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream I reviewed a few days ago, you can also get your hands on two variants of Neal's Yard Remedies Body Lotions with the October issue of InStyle. I picked up one each of the Bee Lovely and Geranium & Orange options, so here are my thoughts - just in time to pick up a tube or two, if they take your fancy!!
Neal's Yard Remedies Body Lotions Review
Both come in a squeezy plastic tube with screw-cap, with the Bee Lovely tube being a pretty sunshine-yellow colour with a honeycomb design and cute little bees, whilst the Geranium & Orange is a more mature-looking lilac and navy. The tubes are great for travelling with - indeed, I'm keeping the Geranium & Orange in my gym bag - so it's worth noting that the full-sized products actually come in a bottle with a pump, which might not be quite so handy for on the go, but would be easy to use with wet hands after a bath or shower. Swings and roundabouts.
Neal's Yard Bee Lovely Body Lotion Ingredients
Neal's Yard Remedies describe the Bee Lovely lotion as follows: "Moisturising organic honey is blended with energising organic Orange and Mandarin oils to nourish, soften and bee-utifully scent the skin", whilst the Geranium & Orange, "Combines vitamin-rich Olive and Pumpkin Seed oils with soothing Aloe Vera and pure essential oils of Geranium and Orange to leave skin velvety smooth and delightfully fragrant." With a base of natural oils and beeswax, you can expect these to be super-nourishing on even the driest of skins. Having a little look at the ingredients, however, I was surprised to note that the Bee Lovely lotion does contain Alcohol Denat. which is quite a drying form of alcohol and not one I'd expect from Neal's Yard, so if your skin is on the dry side I'd be careful with that and maybe opt for the Geranium & Orange instead.
Neal's Yard Geranium & Orange Body Lotion Ingredients
Both lotions are white and creamy upon squeezing from the tube; if anything, I'd say that the Bee Lovely lotion (on the left below) is ever so slightly thicker than the Geranium & Orange (on the right), but I only noticed when I compared the two side-by-side - I don't think I'd notice in day-to-day use. Both spread easily over the skin and absorb quickly, leaving my skin feeling hydrated, soft and smooth but not sticky or greasy. Both leave behind a lovely, delicate scent which has me sniffing my arms for the next few hours..! Neither has an overwhelming scent - both are subtle and "just enough", if that makes sense; the Bee Lovely has a refreshing yet grown-up citrus scent which is just gorgeous, whilst the Geranium & Orange lotion is a predominantly citrus scent with undertones of geranium which, again, is really lovely.
Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely and Geranium & Orange Body Lotion Reviews
I've found both body lotions work equally well to hydrate my often tight and dry skin, leaving behind a subtle scent that hasn't irritated my eczema at all. Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Body Lotion and Geranium & Orange Body Lotion are priced at £21.50 for 200ml, but you can currently get a 100ml tube for just £3.99 with the October issue of InStyle which will be around for another week or so - I'd definitely recommend searching a copy down if you like the sound of these, as that's a right bargain! Did you pick up either of these Neal's Yard Body Lotions? Which do you like the sound of most?


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Six Mini Reviews #16 | Ghost, Trilogy, Givenchy & more

The time has come again; I'm still on what feels like a never-ending mission to use up a million and one beauty samples. I've actually had a bit of a clear-out in my room recently, discovered a whole stash of samples I'd forgotten I even had, and streamlined a little so that all my samples are in one place (I think) - I'm hoping this will make it easier to see what I've got, and motivate me to use them up! Anyway, onwards; this is the latest installment of my thoughts on the beauty samples I've been trying out.
Mini Beauty Reviews Trilogy Givenchy Benefit Ghost Smim
The Face Shop The Smim Radiating Moisturizing Cream | I have a feeling I've tried a sample of this moisturiser before; I really like the slight fruity scent it has, and found that it worked well to moisturise my skin whilst also adding a nice glow. I don't really know much about this product as everything apart from its name is in Korean... At £3.90 for 60ml on Amazon (please note, I haven't ordered from this Amazon seller) this isn't something I see myself buying in the future - it was nice to try but not something I'd go out of my way to use again.
Ghost Girl Eau de Toilette | Described as "a heady blend of fruity florals and woody base notes", this scent sounded pretty much exactly my cup of tea - and it was! Sweet and girly, it's definitely the sort of fragrance I'd choose for myself, and I found it lasted pretty well on my skin as well. The full-sized bottle isn't really my style but it's what's inside that counts, after all, and with prices starting at £25 for 30ml it's pretty reasonably-priced, so I may end up purchasing a bottle at some point.
Benefit The POREfessional Pro Balm | I've been through a few of these mini tubes now so I'm not sure if including this is classed as cheating? Nevertheless, it's a sample and I've used it, so in it goes! I'm not the greatest fan of this primer; I don't find it does much to keep my make-up in place or my skin matte. For me, there are better options available at much lower prices (like The Body Shop's rather lovely Instablur!) At £24.50 for 22ml of product, this isn't something I ever see myself purchasing in the full-size.
Givenchy Live Irrésistible Eau de Parfum | I got three days' use from each of these little magazine sample sachets, and have to say I really enjoyed wearing this; it's exactly my type of scent! This is quite sweet again but with a spicy kick to it which I loved, and it lasted well on my skin. Apparently it has top notes of pineapple, heart notes of rose, and a base of amber accord. Do I sound like I understand perfume yet?! Starting at £49.50 for 40ml, I'd consider treating myself to this one!
Trilogy Vital Moisturising Cream | This travel-sized tube has lasted me really well; I've used it for overnight stays and weekends away, and have found it works well as both a morning and evening moisturiser. It doesn't contain SPF which means having to remember to apply separate sun protection, but it gave a good base for my make-up, whilst still being enough for a nice dose of overnight hydration as well. It also smelt lovely, the rose scent I've come to associate with Trilogy products. At £24.50 for 50ml this is a mid-price range product for me, although if I were to repurchase I'd probably go for the SPF 15 version, which is a little more at £27.50 for 50ml.
Trilogy Very Gentle Calming Serum | I found this sachet in a little stash of samples I'd forgotten I even had - whoops! I got three or four days' use from it, using it morning and evening, but didn't really notice any obvious benefits. It did feel lovely on my skin and definitely added some hydration, but the other claims relate to reducing fine lines so maybe it's a little soon to say whether it helps with those - I also suspect I'd need to use it for a good while longer. At £28.50 for the full-sized 30ml, this isn't outrageously expensive and is, again, one I'd consider in the future.
Have you tried any of these products? What's the best sample you've tried lately?

[Post contains affiliate links.]

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Review | Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream

There are some pretty good magazine freebies around this month, one of which is a tube of Balance Me's Super Moisturising Hand Cream, which I picked up around a fortnight ago and thought I'd review so that you can pick one up if you like the sound of it! The sunshine-yellow tube caught my eye immediately as I was browsing the magazines in Sainsbury's, I really like the bright colour. The hand cream is described as "ultra effective and seriously soothing" - sounds perfect!
Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream Review
"Multi-award winning and seriously rich, our hand cream has been formulated with a unique and uplifting blend of renowned ancient skin conditioners benzoin and yarrow, as well as fatty-acid and vitamin-rich shea butter to leave even the driest hands smooth and soft to touch. " For me, the most noticeable thing about Balance Me's Super Moisturising Hand Cream is the scent, which is very lavender-y and not really the sort of thing I'd choose, although it's by no means unpleasant. It just wouldn't be my choice! The cream itself is easy to dispense from the screw-cap tube, and has a lovely balmy texture which spreads readily over the hands and absorbs quickly, without leaving behind any stickiness or greasy residue. I find it leaves my hands feeling soft, smooth and well-hydrated, which is basically what I'm looking for in a hand cream! I wash my hands very frequently at work so a good hand cream is a must-have and I do think this one works well and lives up to its claims.
Balanace Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream
Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream is available directly from Balance Me, with prices starting at £7.50 for 30ml, though you can currently get a tube with October's issue of Marie Claire for £3.99 (in the UK), so I'd say it's worth searching out if you like the sound of it! Did you pick up any of the Balance Me products with Marie Claire, or any other magazine freebies this month? What's your favourite hand cream?