Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A Review: The Body Shop Brazil Nut

The Body Shop Brazil Nut
Body Scrub & Bath and Shower Cream

What Do I Think?
I must first start by saying I bought this based on the scent alone. It smells exactly like Playdough - nostalgia central! Smelling like Playdough might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is definitely not an unpleasant smell, its so comforting and 'homely'. Unfortunately, because I picked this up late in the January sales they only had one 50ml pot left of the scrub, so I have used this so sparingly! I have a day off work today, so I had a mammoth exfoliating session in the shower this morning, and luxuriated myself in the scent! I have used other scrubs from The Body Shop, and this is no different - grainy but not too harshly grainy, creamy but not overly creamy, and incredibly moisturising but not greasy. I almost can't be bothered to write about it in any more detail, simply because it's just fabulous, I just LOVE it :) The Bath & Shower Cream has the same delicious scent, and for a less intense exfoliation I use this on a puff in the shower. I literally want to bathe and shower in just water, but I restrain myself! If you use it as a bath cream it creates lots and lots of gorgeously scented bubbles, that last a long time too, and if you use this as a body cream it lathers up so, so much and the scent lingers for a surprisingly long amount of time.

Where Is It Available?
As always, products from The Body Shop are available to buy in store or online, nationwide.

How Much Will It Cost?
I can't actually find a price for it, but based on the prices of the same product, different scent, the body scrub is £5.00 for 50ml and £12.50 for 500ml. The bath/shower cream is £6.00 for 250ml.

Would I Recommend It?
OH YES! I'm actually quite concerned that I can't find it on the website, so I am desperately hoping they haven't discontinued it. Life without it would not be so good :(

Star Rating:

I bought this in the January sales with a £20 giftcard that The Body Sop sent me for Christmas, so technically I didn't buy it myself, but I did choose it!!! I am not affiliated with The Body Shop in any way, nor was I paid for this review.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Products I'm Loving - Spring 2010

Taking advantage of using Colin's camera, I thought I'd take this opportunity to take photos of the make up products I'm loving and using almost daily at the moment. Ever since I've been on a self inflected (forced) spending ban, I've had to really use the products in my collection, and have only added to it every now and then, with mainly low end purchases. Plus, I love reading about what other people are using, so why not join in :) Some of these products are firm favourites, some are new loves!

Click picture to enlarge

OPI Nail Lacquer in Jade Is The New Black
This is a new OPI polish from the Hong Kong collection for Spring 2010, and as soon as I saw it, I had to have it! I recently changed up the money from my piggy bank, split it with Colin, and decided that with my half I would buy this polish ;) Once my nails have grown properly I'll do a NOTD, because it really is the most incredible colour, something totally undupable IMO. I am so loving this polish right now, and I have had so many compliments when wearing it - bonus!

MAC Mineralise SkinFinish Natural (Light Medium)
This is a staple product in my make up collection, one I could never bear to be parted with. It is the perfect powder for me, its not heavy enough to give you that horrible matte powder face, it gives the perfect amount of coverage, whilst allowing some of your natural skin flushes to show through. I have heard some people complain about this being shimmery, but that is certainly not my experience of it. Before finding this, I would never have been confident to go out with just a TM and touch of this. Big love :)

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation & Concealer
With all of the attention this Healthy Mix duo have been receiving in the blogging community, and my foundation on its last legs, I decided to pick these up from Boots - I even managed to use my Advantage Card points from the concealer! I will review them soon (when I get round to it!), but I've been using them every day for over a month and I am liking them! The foundation smells so scrummy (its packed with fruits), and the concealer does a great job on 'I really didn't get enough sleep last night' eye baggage! I use the lightest shade in both the foundation and the concealer.

PURE Kajal Eyeliner
I've had this liner for over six months, and I've barely made a dent in it! Kajal liners are designed to mimic the traditional Indian method of applying eyeliner (you can use it how you want, however the traditional method is to shut your eye and drag it across the upper and lower waterline). Technicalities aside, this is really creamy liner, which can be smudged along the lashline to create a smoky effect, and has incredible longevity even when used on the waterline. I think they come in different colours, but this one is a really intense black. I'm so glad I picked this up, and use it at least 3-4 times per week. FYI this is currently £2.94 in Boots, a MEGA saving from the normal price of £11.75!

Barry M Lipgloss in Toffee
I honestly think this is one of the nicest lipglosses in my collection! Not only does it smell delicious (of toffee, duh!), it also creates a very natural looking glaze to the lips and it doesn't have a hint of stickiness. It lasts for a decent amount of time, and I am literally in love with it :) Barry M are wonderful value for money, I believe this retails for around £3 - £4.

MAC Blusher in Peachykeen
This blush is fast becoming one of my favourite blush products, possibly even trumping Well Dressed - gasp! It's the perfect shade for year round colour - MAC describe it as a 'perfect baby peach', which I disagree with - a reddy, peachy colour with a hint of shimmer. It makes me look healthy, and isn't too much for my pale skin tone!

The Body Shop Precious Pearlescents Eye Trio in Moonlight Lustre
I've had this eye trio since The Body Shop event back in August 2009, and I have to be honest, I've never really given it that much love. However, I am really digging the blue and green from this trio at the moment, worn together, with one on the lid and one of the lower lashline. The purple is nice too, although it isn't as pigmented as the other two colours, bizarrely. The nice thing about these trios is that they can be used wet or dry, and produce totally different effects. They seem like lovely colours for spring, hence having some love from me at the moment!

MAC Eyeshadow in Satin Taupe
I couldn't do a post on products I love without including Satin Taupe by MAC, which may well be a 'boring' brown, but it is such a wearable, easy colour, and can be paired with so many others shades (over, under, next to...whatever!) and if ever I can't be bothered to make much effort, I can still look nice with this dusted over my eyelids. I have bought this for my Mum and a couple of friends, and they are all hooked on it!

ELF Mineral Eyeshadow in Elegant
ELF is renowned for its ridiculously cheap and affordable prices, yet brilliant quality products, and this mineral eyeshadow is the most beautiful golden colour, it's so finely milled and is so pretty sometimes I just want to stare at it! It looks lovely worn alone, or pared with another shadow (such as Satin Taupe!), and I'd go so far as to say that a very light dusting of this along the cheekbones or browbone would make a lovely highlight (I tend to steer clear of super shimmery highlights due to my oily skin). I really want to try more of these mineral eyeshadows, in actual fact, I'm disappointed I only have one!

Maybelline Define-a-Lash Volume
As I have mentioned before, this is my HG mascara, so I won't blather on and on and on about it, but I just had to mention it (even if only to prove how much I really do love it, because I go on about it allllll the time!).

Soo...those are the products I am loving right now, fancy sharing yours?
I'd love to know :)

By the way, I have created some new blog 'pages' - testing out one of Bloggers new features - you can see them along the top of my blog, under the title. One of the pages I'm in the process of creating is a glossary, so feel free to check it out if you don't understand any of the abbreviations used!

Oh..and once again, for what its worth, all products were purchased with my own monies, except for the ELF shadow which I won in a competition, and the Body Shop eye trio which was given to my at an event.

A Review: Eyeko Nail Polishes

Eyeko Nail Polishes
Vintage Polish in Jade Green, Nude Polish, Lilac Polish and Purple Polish

What Do I Think?
I'm really loving the pastel trends this spring (I can say that now, it's official in the UK!), and one place I really like to experiment with colour is on my nails. I think pastel shades look great on all skin tones, even Cullen style pale skins like me! As you can see from the picture, 3 of these Eyeko polishes are pastels: Vintage Polish in Jade Green; Nude Polish and Lilac Polish (these polishes are from the new range). My favourite is the Lilac, I love purples, and out of all the four polishes this has the best coverage after two coats, and it lasted 3 days without chipping before I picked it off (oops, my bad!). From my experience of using these, both the Nude Polish and the Jade Green look better after three coats otherwise they are very sheer, which doesn't particularly bother me, but isn't the greatest thing if you happen to be in a rush. The formulation of these polishes in my opinion is quite thin and watery, however, again this doesn't particularly bother me, I quite like applying 3 thinner coats for an even finish, and I'd rather a thinner polish than one too thick and gloopy. Polishes don't tend to get a chance to last a long time on my nails, because as I have previously admitted (my shameful secret) I am a chronic nail varnish picker! However, that aside, as I mentioned above, these managed to last 3 days without chipping (with no base or top coat either), which in my mind is super duper fantastic! The Purple Polish is a very vibrant, bright purple shade (obviously not a pastel!), that I'm currently sporting on my toenails - which I'm struggling to reach already! If you want more info, check the products out on the Eyeko site - they have some other colours I really like the look of too!

Where Are They Available?
To my knowledge, Eyeko have recently pulled out of Superdrug, so at the moment their products are only available to buy online. You can buy direct from their website (if you follow them on Twitter @Eyeko they are always offering discounts too!).

How Much Will They Cost?
These retail at £3.50 each, for an 8.5ml bottle, which is insane value for money. There is a 4 for 3 offer on their website at the moment too.

Would I Recommend Them?
If you're on a tight budget like me, then these polishes are a great option, especially when it comes to trying out new, on trend shades. I think they are of a similar quality to the equally affordable Barry M polishes, and I will certainly be looking to repurchase if I'm having a make up spend :)

Star Rating:

For what its worth, I was kindly sent these products from Eyeko after contacting them to ask where they stocked products locally to me - after seeing the line be discontinued in my nearest Superdrug. I was not paid to do this review, and as something of a nail varnish junkie, these are exactly what I wanted to try! It really frustrates me when people review products sent to them and clearly haven't even used them. You can rest assured that I will only post reviews after using products for what I consider a satisfactory amount of time, and I'll post a review regardless of a positive or negative feeling on the products.

Bedside Table Essentials

Now I've managed to find my camera lead, I can finally write the blogs I've been meaning to for ages! As you know, I recently moved house, and when unpacking I decided to store my favourite 'night time' products in my bedside table, for easy access! I don't use these products every single night, but I like having them close to reach to pamper myself (even if Colin does complain when I wear lip balm to bed!).

Holland & Barrett Certified Aloe Vera Gel - 99.9%
Aloe Vera is a fabulous, cheap and so,so versatile product to have at home, and can be used on a multitude of things: dry, chapped skin; numerous skin irritations; stretch marks; sunburn; insect bites; acne...the list is pretty much endless. I also have an Aloe Vera plant that we grow at home, and nothing is better for burns after cooking etc. than pure Aloe Vera. It has a lovely, instantly cooling effect on the skin, hence its great for using after sun exposure. I use this mainly on my face at night, and it's great after a facemask if your skin feels a little tight. As the gel dries on your face it will feel slightly tight, but after that it will feel amazingly soft, smooth and hopefully irritation free!

Soap & Glory Spa range Heel Genius
I have to admit to not using foot creams often enough, but the condition of my feet always improves when I do, so I need to stop being so lazy - hence putting this in my bedside drawer to prompt usage. This is the only product I have used from the Soap & Glory Spa range, but I was instantly impressed by it's soft, gel like texture and love that it has a nice fresh, but not overbearing scent. For those interested, some of this products key ingredients are: allantoin; glycerin; macadamia oil; menthol; bilberry; orange and lemon fruit acid smoothers. This product is designed to be an overnight mask, a more intensive foot softening treatment, that is greatly helped if you slip your feet into some cotton socks after slathering on a nice, thick layer.

The Body Shop Almond Oil Daily Hand & Nail Cream
I am in love with the scent of almonds, so this product was obviously going to appeal to me. Mix in the fact that it is a fantastic product aside from the scent, and it makes it pretty much my favourite ever hand cream. As well as containing almond oil, which is amazing and renowned for its moisturising properties, this cream also contains shea butter and soya oil - wowee! For what its worth, this product is suitable for all skin types, and gives you the softest hands in the world - hands with a softness to rival a babies bum!

The Body Shop Almond Oil Nail & Cuticle Treatment
From the same range as the Hand & Nail Cream, this product is a specific treatment oil for the nails and cuticles. It has the same delicious scent of almond oil - almost good enough to eat, but I wouldn't recommend it, doesn't taste so good - and really makes my nails stronger and my cuticles softer. As you can see from the picture, this comes in a pen style, with a brush applicator, and a cuticle pusher on the other end. A little of this goes a long way, so I think it'll last a long time - great value for money, even better!

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum
I used to use this product religiously, and reviewed it some time ago (check my archives), but for whatever reason - probably laziness - I gradually stopped using it. However, I've recently noticed that the fine lines around my eyes seem more prominent, and I thought perhaps this product did more than I thought it had - kept me young and youthful looking! I may only be approaching 24, but I'm sure once the baby arrives sleepless nights will be unfortunately high on my agenda, and lack of sleep = ageing. I'm honestly not sure if I can notice much difference between the standard Protect & Perfect Serum and this Intense version (except the price), but it really makes my skin feel amazing, and by keeping it next to my bed, hopefully I'll remember to use it!

Carmex Lip Balm
I challenge anyone to find something that is wrong with Carmex (except Colin, who will moan that it makes his lips "taste funny", and he "doesn't like being covered in icky gunk"!). It's great on dry, chapped lips, and its a nice thick balm to apply at night and wake up with nicely moisturised, conditioned and healthy lips.

For what its worth, I purchased all of these products with my own hard earned cash.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

A Review: Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara

Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara
'Lash Plumping'

What Do I Think?
As you can see from the picture above (sourced from Rimmel), this mascara gets its name from the innovative 'curvy' wand design. The wand boasts lots of plastic 'spikes' all over its curves, making it a good tool for grabbing hold of even the smallest lashes. I felt inclined to dislike this mascara from the AWFUL advertising spiel Rimmel use: "Lash plumping, full curve mascara. Fuller figured brush - fuller figured lashes. Curves in all the right places! The first Triple Plump brush with 3 x the curves for 70% curlier lashes. Voluptuous brush with CurveControl technology wiggles easily through your lashes quickly coating them. Exclusive brush design curves IN to maximize lash loading, curves OUT to curl and de-clump each lash for a complete curved look. Lashes look lusciously curled, plumped and defined. Plump 'em up!" Awful right?! Curve Control technology my ass! However, aside from this, the mascara is actually pretty good. I personally prefer plastic bristles on a mascara, they seem to do a better job of reducing clumps, and I can't say I ever have trouble with them poking me in the eye! I don't know about it producing 70% curlier lashes, but it certainly doesn't clump, it coats every single lash (even the tiny ones) really evenly, it has a slight volumising effect and more importantly it doesn't flake off after a few hours either. Another thing that makes me laugh is when brands advertise something as lasting for a whole 12 or 18 hours: "Rich cream texture instantly amplifies your natural volume x 7 and fixes the curl for 12 hour hold." I mean, what happens after the 12 hours is up?! Limp lashes?! The mascara literally sliding off?! Sarcasm aside, as cheaper, low end mascaras go, this is pretty damn good at its job!

Where Is It Available?
To my knowledge Rimmel is stocked nationwide in most drugstores and supermarkets.

How Much Will It Cost?
I think this retails between £5.99 - £7.99 (although I got mine for £3.99 when it was on special offer!).

Would I Recommend It?
I probably wouldn't repurchase this, purely because it isn't quite as amazing as my old faithful Define-a-Lash from Maybelline, and I only purchased it because it was on offer, but it didn't disappoint, and it does the job nicely!

Star Rating:

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Yummy Mummy?!

Being pregnant is a funny thing...

It's the most incredibly amazing feeling know that there is someone growing inside of me, relying on me for everything, is slightly overwhelming but more than anything else, it's amazing. I've created a! A miracle, a true blessing.

It's also the most scary feeling ever...the realisation (no matter how much you've wanted/planned/anticipated) that YOU are going to be a parent, YOU are going to be responsible for another human being. That feeling is pretty intense, but as well as being initially terrifying, it soon turns into something amazing!

I can't wait to hold my baby in my arms, thinking "I made you"! I just can't wait to be a Mummy! The actual giving birth stuff...ahem, lets not think about that bit (I'm such a wuss when it comes to pain)! I hope I'll be considered a yummy mummy too, hehe!

From a relatively young age, I've known that I wanted to be a Mummy, and have lots of babies living with me in a big house in the country! I might not have all the aspects of my teenage daydreams, but I'm extremely fortunate to have a wonderful, loving partner who is going to make a fantastic Daddy, and we can't wait to be a family.

Pregnancy is a pretty crazy journey too...full of ups and downs from the raging hormones. Witnessing the changes my body is making to get ready for my baby is really quite amazing. The constant sickness in the first three months might not have been fun, but it was always in the back of my mind that it was a good thing, it was the babies way of showing me that it was in there!

My bump is growing, and I'm starting to feel movement from inside, little fluttery kicks...again, it just feels so incredible, it's an indescribable feeling. I'm sure once I have the baby I won't believe that it actually came out of me!

If I have a daughter, you just know this next picture will be true...

All picture courtesy of weheartit