Saturday, 18 October 2014

Skincare Wishlist: Night Creams

I kind of keep forgetting about this little skincare wishlist series I have going on; I am a massive skincare junkie but am really trying to reign myself in at the moment (especially as I'm currently living with my parents, who can't quite believe the sheer volume of make-up and toiletries I own...) so these posts are meant to stop me buying quite so many skincare products... I'll let you take a guess as to how effective that is! Anyhow, night creams are something I've only really come to understand in the last couple of years, but now I have more on my wishlist than you could shake a stick at!
Wish List: Night Cream

Superfacialist Rose Peaceful Skin Night Cream, Boots, £16.99
Freshskin by Elemis Dreamy Skin Night-Time Moisturiser, Superdrug, £13.66
Nip + Fab Viper Venom Face, Superdrug, £9.97
Clarins Super Restorative Night Cream, Boots, £73
Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Oil Free Renewal Cream, Boots, £34.50
No7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream for Normal/Oily Skin, Boots, £13.50
Tea Tree Night Lotion, The Body Shop, £9
Superfacialist products get a lot of praise due to being effective and reasonably priced, and I really love the sound of their Rose Night Cream. I've not really tried any Elemis products but the Freshskin range sounds pretty lovely and is an affordable introduction to the brand. I've recently started exploring Nip+Fab's skincare and am keen to investigate the Viper Venom range! The Clarins night cream is way beyond my budget, but a girl can dream, right!? Again, Origins products are quite expensive but in my experience, worth the price for the effects; High Potency Night-A-Mins sounds right up my street and I love that there's an oil-free version available. I've not tried many No7 products but this cream claims to help oily skin behave like normal skin; I'm going to have to find out whether it works, sooner or later! I'm always on the lookout for mattifying products for my oily skin; The Body Shop's Tea Tree Night Lotion should tick that box nicely whilst also battling blemishes and improving skin tone. I'm happy to admit that half the appeal of the Hydraluron Moisture Jelly is in the packaging, although the gel texture does sound pretty lovely as well; I find gel moisturisers are nice and light on the skin. I really like the All Bright range Botanics do, and the night cream sounds like it would work well with my skin; anything that brightens is pretty much a done deal for me! And finally, the Trilogy cream is definitely towards the higher end of my budget but I have really loved all the Trilogy products I've tried previously so I think it would be worth the investment.
What are your favourite night creams? Have you tried any of these products? I'd love to hear any recommendations for night creams that work well with oily skin! Meanwhile, you can check out the exfoliators, day creams and cleansers I'd love to try in my previous skincare wishlists.


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Five Most Used: Lip Products

Five Most Used Lip Products
I'm back with another installment in my Five Most Used... series; today we're looking at lip products. A little disclaimer, lip products are probably my least-used make-up item. I own an obscene number of lipsticks for someone who rarely even considers wearing lip colour! You'll probably notice below that all five of my picks fall firmly onto the pink/nude end of the spectrum; I'll happily wear a neon-pink lip, but a bright red lip is for some reason just a little too far outside my comfort zone...
Most Used Lips
Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm in 'Elusive' | I'm really enjoying using matte lip colours recently, and this Revlon balm feels comfortable on the lips and gives a really great colour pay-off. It's easy to apply straight from the bullet and the matte packaging is an added bonus for me, I really like that the finish of the tube matches the finish on the lip. This is a lovely bright shade, great for brightening up dull grey days now that Autumn is here, but equally perfect as a loud summer shade.
ELF Matte Lip Color in 'Tea Rose' | Another matte product, this is more of a subdued, subtle shade which again, wears comfortably on the lips and applies easily straight from the bullet. This lasts pretty well on the lips and is ideal as an everyday shade, it's one that would be suitable for work and casual wear as well as paired with a more dramatic eye for evening wear.
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 'Honey' | I've had this one for quite a while, as you can tell by the way the crayon is so worn down! I find this a really easy shade to wear and again, it feels super comfortable on the lips. It's a very natural shade so, although it doesn't last as well as the first two, it doesn't matter as it doesn't look patchy or untidy as it fades. This is another versatile shade that's really suitable for anytime wear. A little niggle here; it annoys me that all the text has worn off the packaging so you can't see what the product is called - a minor complaint but a complaint nonetheless!
MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in 'Pink Pearl Pop' | I only own three MAC lipsticks and this is my most-worn by a long shot; a slightly sheer bright pink, this has blue undertones which serve to whiten the teeth, accompanied by the vanilla-y MAC lipstick scent I'm sure we all know and love. I don't find this lasts particularly well on the lips but that's probably down to the sheer colour and glossy formula, and it doesn't put me off wearing it!
Collection Lasting Colour Lipstick in 'Sweet Tart' | In the bullet this looks very similar to 'Pink Pearl Pop' but as you can see in the swatch below, it's actually much more pigmented and is a louder colour on the lip. These lipsticks are an absolute bargain at only £2.99 and I'd buy other shades from this range without hesitation as it's just such a good product; the pigmentation, the finish and the wear time are all spot-on. 'Sweet Tart' is another blue-toned pink which I do tend to gravitate towards as they suit my skintone and whiten the teeth nicely.
Five Most Used Lip Swatches
That concludes my Five Most Used lip products; there's not a lot of variation in shades but there's a nice mix of finishes and I like to think I have plenty of options for my predictable pink lip! What are you favourite lip products? Have you tried any of these? Which is your favourite of these five?


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Review: Dr Organic+ Rose Otto Shampoo

Boots have annoyingly stopped stocking my favourite Naked Volume shampoo, both instore and online, and although I could still order it direct from Naked, their site was out of stock and I was almost out of shampoo, so desperate measures had to be taken... I popped into Holland & Barrett's and, after browsing the Dr Organic+ range for a little while, eventually decided on their Rose Otto Shampoo. I didn't get the matching conditioner as I had almost a full bottle of a conditioner I like perfectly well, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to finish that off. "Volumising hair therapy • Revitalising • Nourishing • Volumising. • Pure Organic Rose Otto Oil is an uplifting aromatic essential oil, acclaimed through the ages for its use in natural skin and hair care. By combining this precious oil with our proprietary blend of bioactive, natural and organic ingredients, we have created a luxurious shampoo that instantly revitalises the hair and scalp. Formulated to penetrate deep into the keratin fibres and follicles, it gently cleanses, nourishes and hydrates, leaving a luxurious feeling of total indulgence."
Dr Organic Rose Otto Shampoo Review
I've been using Dr Organic+ Rose Otto Shampoo for around three weeks now and have really enjoyed it so far; it lathers much more readily than other SLS-free shampoos I've tried previously, meaning I need less of it as it's easier to work through my hair. My hair is left feeling soft and silky-smooth, and as an added bonus, it smells beautiful; the Rose Otto definitely comes out, and the scent lingers on my hair even after using a different conditioner. I can only imagine it would smell more strongly using the matching conditioner!
Dr Organic Rose Otto Shampoo
I have a lot of hair and it tends to become oily quite quickly (I wash it every other day and even then, depend heavily on dry shampoo on the days between washes) so a volumising shampoo always seems like a good option; I wouldn't say this has particularly added volume to my hair, but then it is so thick that volume is difficult to come by. This shampoo has allowed me to maintain my washing every other day schedule, though I think two days is definitely the limit for me personally, even with my beloved dry shampoo.
Dr Organic Rose Shampoo
The bottle is easy to use, with the flip-up cap making dispensation a breeze even with wet hands. I have to say I was sort of expecting the shampoo to be pink, but it turns out it's clear in a pink bottle, which was kind of disappointing! Then again, if the most disappointing thing about a product is not being pink, I think I'm onto a winner. It's a little more expensive than other shampoos at £5.89 for 268ml, but the fact that I need to use less per wash makes up for that. Dr Organic+ Rose Otto Shampoo is available from Holland & Barrett in-store or online, and is currently available on a buy one, get one half price offer. Have you tried any Dr Organic+ Shampoos? Can you recommend a good SLS-free shampoo for oily hair?


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Review: Lush D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap

Lush D'Fluff
It shouldn't come as any surprise to regular readers that I am quite the lover of Lush products, but given that I never have baths and can't use products which contain SLS (that's basically all their soaps & shower gels), my options are always pretty limited. I love their fresh face masks and their other skincare, and when I spotted the new Strawberry Shaving Soap, I decided I had to give it a whirl! I went for the smaller of the two sizes available, the 70g, just in case I didn't like it.
Lush D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap
The packaging is the standard black screw-cap plastic Lush pot, which does the job pretty nicely and of course, once you've collected five of these pots you can swap them in-store for a fresh face mask, and the pots will be re-used! The product housed in the pot is a thick pink cream which almost feels like mousse in texture; at first I really wasn't impressed with it, but I've since found I need more than I expected to work well. Around a grape-sized blob (technical term) is about right for one leg; the soap lathers nicely and smells gorgeous. I've found I get a nice close shave using D'Fluff, and my legs feel lovely and soft afterwards, though I do always moisturise after showering. I've found the occasional slightly larger chunk of what I assume to be strawberry can clog my razor, but this problem is easily removed by regularly rinsing the blade, as the instructions suggest.
Lush D'Fluff Review
"De-fluffed and delightful! We've whipped up our shaving soap with fresh strawberries, golden syrup, rosehip oil and cocoa butter to leave you silky-smooth and smelling sweet. Had enuff of the ruff stuff? This bright pink shaving soap is full of soothing and softening ingredients. How to Use: Smooth over the skin and shave as you would normally, sluicing the blade often. Good to know: This can be used on chins, pins and underarms... Wherever you want to be smooth and de-fluffed!"
Lush D'Fluff Ingredients
Overall, I've been enjoying using D'Fluff as it smells beautiful and makes shaving easy, leaving my legs soft and smooth, but I'm not sure it's worth the price point; it seems expensive for how much you need per application and I don't really feel like it does a better job than other shaving products I've used in the past. I might repurchase it in future as a treat as it is so nice to use, but I don't see myself buying this every time. Lush D'Fluff is priced at £5.75 for 70g or £9.95 for 150g of product, and is available from Lush in-store and online. Have you tried D'Fluff? What's your shaving product of choice?


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Makeup Revolution Go! To The City Palette

I recently won a lovely bunch of Makeup Revolution makeup from London Beauty Queen; one of the items included was the Go! To The City palette, a handy little palette containing six eyeshadows, two blushers and a highlighter. I was really excited to give this a go as I don't think I've ever owned a palette which would be so perfect for travelling!
Makeup Revolution Go To The City Palette
The round palette is quite unusual, with the highlighter being a round pan in the centre and the other products forming a ring around it. The packaging feels sturdy and fastens securely so I would feel confident travelling with this, my only minor complaint is that it doesn't contain a mirror which would be really handy in a palette like this.
Go To The City Palette
The two blushers are both matte; a peach-pink shade and a cool-toned true pink. The highlighter is a cool-toned champagne shade which is really smooth - no chunky glitter in sight!. The six shadows include, anti-clockwise: A matte cream, a shimmery mid-purple, a shimmery royal blue, a shimmery forest green, a shimmery deep grey and a shimmery dark purple. As you can see in my swatches, all the products are quite nicely pigmented, translating well from palette to the skin. They're easy to blend out and worn without primer, the shadows lasted eight hours on my oily lids with no creasing, and eleven with only minimal creasing - not bad going at all!! The matte shadow is a little chalky, but nothing too bad, and the same cannot be said of the blushers despite them being matte - the texture of both is spot on.
Go To The City Swatches
For this look I used the peachy-pink left-hand blusher on the apples of my cheeks, the highlighter over my cheekbones, browbones and down my nose, and the first eyeshadow (matte cream) all over the lid. I then blended the second shadow (mid-purple with shimmer) over the whole lid, with the sixth shadow (deeper purple with shimmer) blended in from the outer corners to the middle of the lid, and the whole lot blended out to make it a wearable daytime look.
Go To The City Palette FOTD
[Products used: Pop Beauty Face Magnet Primer, Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation in '100 Ivory', Natural Collection Cover-Up Cream in 'Light', Natural Collection Loose Powder in 'Neutral Translucent', MUA Pro Brow Kit, Accessorize Volumising Mascara, Makeup Revolution Go! To The City Palette]
Go To The City Eyes
All in all, I think this is a really convenient palette; I love that it contains two blusher options as well as the highlighter, alongside a good mixture of eyeshadows which could be blended out for daytime wear or built up for a more dramatic evening look. This really is an ideal palette for travelling with and is an absolute bargain at just £6.49, available from Makeup Revolution's website or Superdrug. Have you tried the Go! To The City palette? What's your favourite Makeup Revolution product?


Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Beauty Blogger Bunch Giveaway: Customised MAC Blusher Palette

Welcome to The Beauty Blogger Bunch's quarterly giveaway! We are giving away a customized MAC blush palette that just so happens to be the top favorite blushes of none other than Jaclyn Hill! 
This giveaway is open worldwide and will end on October 31st! 
If you are interested in joining The Beauty Blogger Bunch apply HERE!

Review: Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Overnight Glycolic Peel Review
Superdrug recently launched a new addition to their Naturally Radiant line in the shape of a Glycolic Overnight Peel, which I picked up on one offer or another a couple of months ago now. I've recently been dabbling more into chemical exfoliants over manual versions, trying a few products containing Glycolic Acid, so I was keen to give this a try! The Glycolic Overnight Peel claims that it, "Awakens skin's natural glow • Improves skin tone and texture."
Glycolic Overnight Peel
"Natural Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel is formulated with a unique energising complex and infused with Kiwi Fruit and Mulberry Extracts to help revive skin's radiance and even out skin tone. With Glycolic Acid, a powerful Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and a Fruit Acid blend, the refreshing gel formula also refines and retexturises the skin's surface, providing a brighter, more youthful complexion. Directions for use: Apply a pea-sized amount with fingertips to a freshly cleansed face at night, avoiding the delicate eye area. Leave on overnight and wash off the next morning. Always follow with an SPF day cream as part of your morning routine."
Naturally Radiant Glycolic Peel
Some pretty bold claims, eh!? I have to say, I find the directions a little bit lacking here; I'm never sure whether to apply a moisturiser over it or not, and have generally been skipping doing so, which is okay on an occasional basis for my oily skin but probably less so for those of you with drier skins. It also doesn't state how often you're supposed to use it - daily? Once a week? Who knows!? I've been using it around once or maybe twice per week on the days I don't use Nip + Fab's rather lovely Glycolic Scrub Fix, applying as suggested to freshly cleansed skin and skipping my usual moisturising routine afterwards. Left on overnight, it doesn't really feel like there's much there to be washed off the next morning, but I dutifully wash my face anyway.
Superdrug Glycolic Peel Review
I've been using this now for a good couple of months and honestly, I don't know whether it does anything or not. I don't know whether I need to use it more often to see results? Am I supposed to apply my moisturiser on top of it or not? I really feel like this could be such a good product if only I was a little clearer on how to use it! It's pleasant enough to use, with the clear gel feeling cool and refreshing on the skin and absorbing quickly without leaving any sticky residue, so I will finish my tube off, but I don't think I'd repurchase it - purely because I don't know how to use it to get the sort of results I'd like from it. I have to admit I'm disappointed as it sounds so promising! Superdrug's Naturally Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel is priced at £5.99 for 30ml of product, though it's currently half price at only £2.99. Have you tried this? Do you have any tips for me? What are your favourite products with Glycolic Acid?


Friday, 10 October 2014

Five Most Used: Highlighters

Five Most Used Highlighters
The third installment of my Five Most Used series will be about my favourite highlighters; I never actually used a highlighter until well after I started blogging, I simply wasn't aware of their existence and didn't really realise how much they can do to help brighten and sculpt your face. Now, I wear a highlighter almost every day, unless I'm wearing a blusher which has enough of a shimmer to go without. These are my go-to choices!
Favourite Highlighters
Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Highlighter in 'Rose Illumination' | I think this is the first highlighter I ever owned and it's still up there as one of my favourites! Not only is the luxurious rose-gold packaging just beautiful, but the powder highlighter is so flattering and easy to wear, a beautiful pinky shade with gold shimmer to it. This is probably more of a spring/summer daytime highlight.
Makeup Revolution Goddess of Love Triple Baked Highlighter | Not only is this beautifully packaged in a gorgeous heart-shaped box, it's also a simply stunning product. A very recent addition to my arsenal, I think this is the only highlight I've used since getting it! This is a cool-toned silvery-pink shade which I find sculpts my face nicely and leaves my skin looking fresh and bright.
MUA Mosaic Blush in 'English Rose' | This is technically a blush but I find that it only really shows up on the skin as a cool-toned shimmer so it's much more suited for use as a highlight, even on my fair skin - I can't imagine anyone with a deeper skin-tone being able to use this as a blusher either to be honest! Cheap and cheerful, MUA are definitely one of my favourite budget brands and this is no exception, a lovely silvery-pink shade which looks almost frosted on the skin.
Benefit Sun Beam | This is probably my least-used of these most-used products (does that even make sense!?) but that's purely because I'm in the habit of applying highlighter after my powder, which obviously doesn't work so well with cream and liquid products... Nonetheless, when I do remember to use this, it's a beautiful golden-bronze shade which, again, is perfect for summer days. This was actually a magazine freebie but you need so little that I don't see myself ever having to purchase a full-sized version!
Wet N Wild Fergie Shimmer Palette in 'Rosé Champagne Glow' | I feel a bit bad including this as it's really not readily available in the UK, but I have been wearing it an awful lot since receiving it as part of a package of US beauty goodies in a giveaway win. The marbled pattern of the product is beautiful and it gives a really subtle brightening effect to the skin, without being over-the-top.
Five Most Used Highlighter Swatches
Do you have a favourite highlighter? Have you tried any of these little beauties? I'd love to hear your thoughts!!


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Review: Batiste Smoothing Conditioning Mist

I recently won a can of Batiste's Dry Conditioner in a giveaway on their Twitter feed; I'd wanted to try this product when it was launched, and somehow managed to forget all about it, so I was pretty pleased to win it and excited to finally give it a go! Described as a, "Dry feel conditioning mist with Argan Oil,", this smoothing conditioning mist claims, "Batiste Daily Conditioning Mist is perfect to use after you've washed and dried your hair, or on the days you choose not to wash, when your hair needs extra conditioning. A quick burst smoothes fly-aways and helps to nourish hair, giving a non-greasy shine. Hair feels gorgeously smooth & manageable. Use in conjunction with your favourite Batiste Dry Shampoo for refreshed roots and smooth ends."
Batiste Dry Conditioning Mist
Though I struggle with oily roots and depend heavily on dry shampoo for the days in between washes, I do have long hair and I often find that the ends are feeling very dry and generally in need of some love, so this sounds pretty perfect for me! I do try to remember to use a leave-in conditioner and/or a hair oil after washing, but it's still nice to be able to top up my conditioner when I'm using a dry shampoo - and if you're a reader of my Empties posts, you'll have seen that Batiste features almost every month without fail! Long story short, I was expecting a lot from Batiste's Dry Conditioner, so did it live up to my expectations?!
Batiste Dry Conditioner
The packaging is quite nice - a pink and silver can which is very similar to their dry shampoo packaging, it's clearly labelled as dry conditioner and it's easy to see what it is, what it does and how to use it. The instructions are pretty clear (shake, spray and brush through) and it generally sounds like a quick, easy step to add into styling your hair each day. I've found that the can is easy to hold and sprays a lovely fine mist meaning your hair is gently covered rather than coated so thickly it ends up feeling sticky or damp - not cool! I really like that I can literally spray it onto my ends, brush it through and I'm done, there's no waiting for it to dry or soak in or anything like that. I'm not a massive fan of the scent, it's not offensive and does smell clean and fresh, but it's maybe not what I'd choose personally - that's obviously just my preference, though! The main advantage for me is how much it helps my hair - it really does leave it feeling softer and smoother, and looking shinier. I only use this in the ends as my roots are oily enough as it is, but my doesn't look greasy or anything like that after use - just shiny and healthy! I think I'm onto a winner here and I do see myself picking this up again in future.
Batiste Conditioning Mist with Argan Oil
All in all, Batiste's Smoothing Conditioning Mist has been a nice addition to my haircare routine, helping to keep my ends smooth and under control on the days between washes. It's priced at £3.99 for 200ml and is available from Boots and Superdrug, amongst other retailers (it's currently half price at Superdrug so now's a good time to try it if you like the sound of it!). Have you ever tried a dry conditioner? Are you likely to? What are your must-have haircare products?

[Please note that although I received this product free-of-charge as a giveaway prize, I have not been asked to write this post, nor am I being compensated for doing so. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.]

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Review: L'Occitane Zesty Lime & Vanilla Bouquet Hand Creams

You may have seen my post on this month's magazine freebies, when I mentioned the L'Occitane hand creams available with the November issue of Marie Claire; I initially picked up the Zesty Lime variant, but have since added Vanilla Bouquet to my collection as well! I thought I'd just quickly share my thoughts on these hand creams in case you're thinking about picking one (or more!) up while they're available.
L'Occitane Zesty Lime Vanilla Bouquet Hand Creams
Presented in dinky 30ml metallic squeezy tubes with black screw-caps, the styling is vintage-inspired and really pretty. The colours correspond quite nicely to the different scents, with Vanilla Bouquet being a warm yellow, and Zesty Lime being a bright lime green, making it easy to see at a glance which tube you've picked up, should you own more than one.
L'Occitane Hand Cream Review
Both variants are thick and luxurious white creams, which squeeze from the tube readily enough and spread easily over the skin in both cases. The hands aren't left feeling sticky or greasy and the cream absorbs quickly, leaving you free to get on with your day with lovely soft, nourished hands. The scents are pretty strong, more so in the case of Zesty Lime which smells exactly as you'd expect - fresh and zesty, it's a gorgeous scent and definitely my favourite of the two. Vanilla Bouquet is a slightly more subtle scent, though still noticeable; again, as the name would suggest, a slightly floral vanilla fragrance. Both leave the hands feeling soft and smooth for a good few hours and, with their 20% Shea Butter content, will be ideal for keeping hands in tip-top condition in the coming Winter months. It's nice to know that L'Occitane's Shea Butter is sustainably sourced and Fair Trade, as well.
L'Occitane Hand Cream Zesty Lime Vanilla Bouquet
L'Occitane Vanilla Bouquet and Zesty Lime Hand Creams are priced at £8 each for 30ml of product, though they are currently available in the UK with the November issue of Marie Claire for just £3.99. You can also buy the three Limited Edition scents (which also includes Delightful Rose) in a set presented in a pretty tin for £22, saving £2 compared to buying all three individually from L'Occitane. If you like the sound of them I'd track down Marie Claire while you still can to get them half price! Have you tried any L'Occitane hand creams? Which scent do you like the sound of the most?

[Although I received these products free-of-charge with Marie Claire, I have not been asked to write about them, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions are, as always, 100% my own.]