Friday, 30 April 2010

The Friday Message...

...courtesy of the fabulously wonderful Marilyn Monroe:

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A Review: The Sanctuary Mum To Be Pure Pamper Bag

The Sanctuary 'Mum To Be'
Pure Pamper Bag

What Do I Think?
According to Boots website this 'kit' is called a Deluxe Gift Set, according to The Sanctuary this 'kit' is called the Pure Pamper Bag - we'll go with that one, they made it so I'm sure they know! The 'kit' contains 3 items: 75ml Supple Skin Shower Oil; 75g Soft Skin Bath Soak; and 125ml Collagen Boosting Body Butter. One of the common skin issues in pregnancy, once your bump really starts to grow and grow, is a feeling of being stretched to the max, which can become quite itchy, dry and uncomfortable if you don't ensure you look after your skin. These three products have all been designed with this in mind, and are full of skin soothing essential oils and ingredients. The Supple Skin Shower Oil contains coconut oil (nourishing), vitamin e (protecting) and rosehip seed oil (regenerating), and despite my dubious preconceptions of using an oil product in the shower (slipping nightmare visions anyone?!), I was pleasantly surprised at how nice this is: it lathers quite well, and really does have leave a nice luxurious feel to the skin afterwards. I found this surprisingly moisturising too, and you only need to use a tiny amount. The Soft Skin Bath Soak contains milk protein (nourishing), wheat germ and sweet almond oil, and honestly when I saw it I thought it looked like Parmesan cheese! I suppose that is actually quite an accurate representation of the texture of it, but it certainly smells a LOT better! My only issue with this, and its more of a personal preference for bath products than an actual issue with the product, is that it doesn't bubble, at all...it turns the water quite milky, and has a heavenly scent which lingers on the skin for a while, but no bubbles - sad times! It is incredibly relaxing though, so I can forgive it! The Collagen Boosting Body Butter contains cocoa butter, borage (firming) and organic rosehip seed oil, and as one would expect from a Sanctuary body butter is thick, creamy and luxurious, and it sinks it pretty quickly for a body butter. Personally, I apply this at night after a bath, I feel it moisturises better on slightly damp skin, and that way I don't have to worry about it having to 'dry' before I need to go out. An actual visit to the Sanctuary (I've been twice before, and it's amaaaazing) for a Mum To be experience would be lovely, but unless someone decides to treat me, I'm happy creating my own spa experience with these products at home...and my skin does feel less stretched afterwards!

Where Is It Available?
You can now buy Sanctuary products from Boots (instore and online), or direct from the Sanctuary website.

How Much Will It Cost?
This retails for £12.00 in Boots (according to their website you get a free GWP when you spend over £7.00 on Sanctuary products at the moment).

Would I Recommend It?
As a nice treat for yummy mummies to be (or even mummies that are already yummy!), yes I would! The products are lovely to use, have a gorgeous, delicate fragrance and leave your skin feeling soft and more supple - bonus! I've knocked 0.5 off of the overall mark purely because I wish there was more bubbles from the bath soak.

Star Rating:
4.5/5

*Disclaimer: this product was bought for me by my sister, and she is currently forcing me to write this review by holding my cake hostage. JOKES!

A Review: Herbalife Multi Vitamin Moisture Mask

Herbalife NouriFusion
Multi Vitamin Moisture Mask with vitamins A, C & E

What Do I Think?
Lets get the 'boring' bit out of the way first: Herbalife is a company that specialises in weight-management, nutrition and personal care products, although before trying this mask I had only heard of their nutrition side of things. NouriFusion is their new multivitamin skincare range, and all of the products available contain a mix of vitamins A, C and E. Before I get to the review, a quick word on the properties of these vitamins: vitamin A is great for adding to and improving skins moisture, and is helpful in battling premature ageing; vitamin C is essential for collagen production, and can also regulate any pigmentation issues on the skin; vitamin E is a great skin protector, and gives nice smooth skin. OK, so the product in the spotlight is the Moisture Mask, suitable for all skin types. This comes in a huge 125ml tub and looks more like a face cream in consistency than your typical mask. I would describe the texture of this as being silky and luxurious, rich and thick, and very very creamy! The box instructs you to "smooth liberally over clean, dry skin" and "leave on for 20 minutes" - I LOVE face masks that can be left on for a longer period of time, they are the perfect accessory for a nice hot bath! Most face masks make my skin feel tight and slightly uncomfortable, both during application and after its washed off, which to me outweighs any benefits they might be having on my skin. This mask however, is like a breath of fresh air! Due to its lovely thick and creamy texture it feels gorgeous to apply, and sinks into your skin effortlessly. I actually use a muslin cloth soaked in warm water to remove this after 20 minutes, and I don't think I can even begin to do justice to how amazingly soft and smooth my skin feels afterwards! You could follow with toner and moisturiser, but I honestly don't feel the need to, the moisturising properties of this are fabulous, and I love how fresh my skin feels. It makes me feel all glowy and lovely! I have some pigmentation issues on my chin, so I'm really hoping that with regular use this product will help normalise the area.

Where Is It Available?
Your best bet is to visit the Herbalife website for stockist information.

How Much Will It Cost?
This mask retails for £21.05, for a generous 125ml of product, which although slightly expensive for a mask, given the results I've experienced, seems well worth it!

Would I Recommend It?
If you feel your skin could do with some extra moisture, or just some general TLC, then I'd highly recommend this mask. I have to be honest, I wouldn't have sought this out purely because I'd never known anything about Herbalife skincare products before, but my experience with this is making me very intrigued to try more of their NouriFusion range! Watch this space...

Star Rating:
5/5

*Disclaimer: I was sent this Herbalife product to review by a lovely, lovely PR lady called Lisa (we bonded over tales of pregnancy), but I am in no way being paid or compensated for reviewing this, and I certainly wasn't asked to give a positive review - I'd have told them where to shove it! As ever, everything I have written is my own words, experience and thoughts. My pregnant skin is thanking me for giving it some much needed moisture!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Morning Cleansing Routine/Review

My morning cleansing routine hasn't been something I've ever found a 'tried and tested' routine and stuck to religiously, until now. I've found a combo that I am really enjoying and seeing good results from, so for now at least, I'm sticking with it!

The two products in the spotlight are:

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

The Body Shop Facial Buffer
Most UK dwellers like me probably can't get hold of Cetaphil products as easily as our friends across the pond, unless there is something I don't know(???), but I've managed to find a very local stockist: Lloyds Pharmacy. I'm sure it is available a lot cheaper online (I paid roughly £8.50), but I'm impatient and had a craving for it that I'm almost tempted to put down to my raging pregnancy hormones! It's certainly a no frills product, probably something that is easily dupable by another brand stocked more widely in the UK, but I've yet to find that dupe! The thing that I hoped to like about it, and am very glad I do, is that despite its lack of 'glamour', it works. It does what it says on the bottle: gently cleanses the face, doesn't cause any irritation and leaves skin effortlessly clean and clear. Apparently, it doesn't disturb the natural pH levels of your skin, so simply put, it's simple! What more could you want, right?! To test how much I liked it, I've used it with and without the next product, which is now my staple morning accessory...

I, like a lot of other beauty bloggers, buy a vast majority of my products based upon recommendation. There are a few people that I really 'trust', and know their skin type/requirements etc are quite similar to mine. A few weeks ago, I was watching Holly's video (click here to watch) and she mentioned this Facial Buffer from The Body Shop. I'm an 'out and proud' exfoliating addict, but recently have been finding facial exfoliating scrubs a little too harsh on my skin, and was looking for something with slightly more 'scrub' than a muslin cloth (which are perfect for gentle everyday exfoliation, but I prefer using them at night when I have more time). Enter the Facial Buffer. It is essentially just a sponge for the face, with a handy little strap to slip your fingers into making it nicely manoeuvrable, and what I love about it is that it is gentle enough for daily use, but also 'scrubby' enough for a decent exfoliation. I may be jumping the gun slightly, but I'd happily replace 'artificial' facial scrubs with this for the foreseeable future. It's so quick and easy to use, and I am reaping the rewards of soft, smooth and clearer skin! These sponges retail for £3.00 from The Body Shop, and I'm pretty sure one will last you a good couple of months as long as you keep it hygienic...saving money in the long run!

Happy days!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

A Review: John Frieda Luxurious Volume

John Frieda Luxurious Volume
Shampoo and Conditioner

What Do I Think?
I'll start by saying my hair type is fine, but lots of it, with a tendency to have greasy roots and dry ends, although since being pregnant it has been slightly less greasy. I haven't used heat styling tools on my hair for probably about six months now (save for the odd night out), I wash my hair in the morning and let it air dry on my way to wherever it is I'm going, so it tends to dry with a natural wave and bounce, and naturally has more volume than if I blow dry and straighten it - obviously! However, I do like to try volumising products, so this range from John Frieda did appeal to me. The one thing that always perplexes me about volumising ranges is why they supply such thick conditioners. Another technique I've been using lately is only conditioning my hair 1-2 times a week, as I've found it prevents my hair getting greasy so quickly, and doesn't weigh my hair down. Personally, I've found my hair is in much better condition for doing this, so I've barely used this conditioner - when I do, it makes my hair soft, shiny and healthy looking, but it does weigh my hair down slightly, which I feel has the completely opposite effect to volumising! The shampoo is really nice though, it makes my hair feel quite light, nice and clean and seems to have a bit of a clarifying effect too (has anyone else experienced that?). Any John Frieda products make my hair really shiny, and these are no exception. Shiny hair = smiley faces! However, I think this is 'just' a shampoo, it's not overwhelmingly volumising, and it doesn't really do anything other shampoos don't...for me anyway.

Where Are They Available?
John Frieda products are stocked in most drugstores, supermarkets and chemists in the UK, and I think they are sold nationwide too.

How Much Will They Cost?
£5.99 each for 250ml - standard John Frieda prices.

Would I Recommend Them?
Personally to me, these are not hugely stand out products from the John Frieda haircare line, so I wouldn't rush out to buy them again. However, as I said, they do perform really well as a shampoo and conditioner, but as for their volumising qualities I can't really say they did much to write home about!

Star Rating:
3/5

*Disclaimer: For the record, I was sent these products by a PR company, but as I've mentioned in this review and many times before on my blog, I normally use John Frieda products, so no doubt I would have purchased these myself had I not been sent them! I was also sent the Blow Dry Thickening Spray but I don't use heat tools on my hair at the moment, so I've not used it.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Pregnancy Survival Guide: The First Trimester

As a Yummy Mummy to be, I'm loving reading books about pregnancy, books about babies and books about being a Mummy, but some of the more 'formal' books are really scary and offputting, despite their helpful factual content, and I'm much more inclined to read the more 'informal' funnier books, which I personally can relate a lot more to. I love writing myself, so thought why not write my own, mini survival guide for each trimester, for anyone else interested out there in cyberspace!

This blog post is by no means an exhaustive list of tips, tricks or to-do's, just things that I think are helpful and have realised after having survived the first trimester! FYI the first trimester is the first three months of pregnancy, that's weeks one through to twelve. Pregnancy is brilliant, but here are a few things that I experienced:

Morning sickness is a lie. A big fat lie! Sickness (whether physical vomiting or feelings of constant sickness) is one of the biggest 'symptoms' and indicators of pregnancy in the early stages. This sickness does not, despite the name, occur only in the morning. It is, in most cases, all day, every day, relentless in its presence. I can't abide feeling sick, I find it so debilitating, and there is virtually nothing that alleviates the feeling...not even being physically sick. My personal experience of 'morning' sickness was that I knew I was pregnant for 2-3 weeks before it kicked in, on Christmas Day of all days! Boy did it kick in though! For some women the sickness can be worse in the morning, usually because you are hungry and thirsty, and because mornings clearly weren't hard enough already! I personally found that the hungrier I was, the sicker I felt, therefore a good survival strategy seemed to be never letting myself get hungry. Easier said than done, when most foods you loved to eat before suddenly turn into the devil incarnate, and make the need to vom even worse. After a little trial and error, I found my 'safe' foods included white toast with butter, rich tea or gingers biscuits (ginger is renowned for lessening sickness), porridge in the mornings, and very bland white bread sandwiches for lunch. Dinners were a minefield for me, because even if I really wanted something, I could probably manage a few mouthfuls before I'd had enough. I did manage to keep eating a relatively normal amount, and certainly had days were the sickness was not as bad, but it was a long three months for sure! I also found that constantly sipping water and drinking a glass of milk before bed helped considerably.

Exhaustion is inevitable. And unavoidable! Again, another common indicator of pregnancy (if you haven't already taken a test and realised!) is extreme tiredness. An overwhelming 'inability to keep your eyes open after 8pm' type tiredness! There is only one thing that makes it slightly more bearable, which is obviously to try and get as much sleep as you can. I'm a terrible sleeper, I often struggle to get off to sleep, and wake up quite a lot throughout the night without drifting off quickly again, however even I managed to fall asleep pretty much at the click of a finger! Sleeping for me was also a blessing, because when you're asleep you don't feel as sick, bonus!

You will be terrified. During the first trimester I was so scared of doing anything that might harm the teeny tiny baby growing inside of me that I probably worried myself sick (even more sick!). I am a natural born worrier, it's my 'thing'. If I'm not worrying about something, I'll worry about why I'm not worrying! One of the first things I thought after realising I was pregnant was that exactly one week beforehand I had broken almost every rule in the pregnancy book: drank copious amounts of alcohol, eaten pate and unpasteurised cheese, been in close vicinity to smokers and had not been taking folic acid! Just remember this is a huge change, and its more than perfectly normal to be scared about it!

Baby brain is not a myth. Despite what scientists or newspaper articles might try and tell us! I can vouch first hand for the fact that it is a real phenomenon. I work as a personal assistant, therefore my working life requires me to be on the ball and organised, and although I can be quite ditzy (pregnancy or no pregnancy) I think I'm pretty good at my job! Within the first month of pregnancy I noticed I was finding it increasingly hard to focus and remember things, not helped by the tiredness, and have resigned myself to relying on a large amount of post it notes and lists! Thankfully my boss and team are very supportive, and I'm still managing to function normally!

Don't believe everything you read/hear. Quite a lot of it I think is blatant scaremongering! Some of the books and websites I have read since being pregnant scare the bejeezers out of me, and make you feel like if you do not experience or do every single one of the things they tell you too, you will be a terrible mother and your baby will be born with a huge amount of abnormalities or grow up needing a huge amount of therapy (OK, so maybe I'm exaggerating slightly, but what I'm trying to get across is take everything you read with a pinch of salt). I think its a good idea to stock up your bookshelves with a few pregnancy 'what to expect' type books, but as I mentioned earlier, I find the slightly more 'informally' written ones a lot easier to digest. My partner have both enjoyed reading books written by 'human beings' rather than 'experts', and its always good to have a laugh whilst doing it!

Start trying to prevent stretch marks. Sadly, some women are genetically more prone to stretch marks than others, and this ladies is one of the reasons mother nature is a bitch! I'm well into my second trimester now, and I'm only noticing stretch marks on my boobs so far, so I like to think the oils are doing their job! FYI I'll be doing some reviews on maternity products soon :)

Document your pregnancy. I've started writing a (private) blog documenting my pregnancy, mainly because I think it'll be good to look back and remember all the little things that I'll no doubt forget after the birth (even if I might not want reminding about them!). We also bought a baby journal type book, to document things for the baby, like what we both felt when we found out/saw the baby at the scan/heard the heartbeat etc. I love looking back at my own baby book, and was really excited to start one of my own!

Embrace change. Your body, mind, relationship and lifestyle will all start to change, from the very minute you fall pregnant. There is a hell of a lot to start getting used to, but if I have learnt one thing it is to go with the flow, accept and embrace the things that are happening, and learn to love it (even in getting fatter is hard to deal with!). Here are some really positive changes that I've experienced, because it certainly isn't all doom and gloom: my skin has cleared up dramatically, and has gone from super duper oily/combo, to normal/combo; my hair is super duper shiny and growing super duper fast; my outlook on life is a lot more positive; I get to do even more shopping now ;)

Trust your instincts. A lot of people, helpfully and sometimes unhelpfully, will offer their pearls of wisdom on every aspect of your new circumstances, and you can honestly be the nicest person in the world but still get a teeny bit fed up of all the well meaning advice and opinions. There are some things which I am eternally grateful for being told, but others (like "shouldn't you be buying a house now not wasting your money renting" from a work colleague) that I'd really rather people kept to themselves. At the end of the day, it is important to stay true to yourself, trust your instincts, and don't think things too personally.

There will be tears. More than normal! I'm quite an emotional person anyway, movies often reduce me to tears and I'm no stranger to crying in public! However, what I certainly didn't expect was the completely irrational waterworks, at very strange times. There were quite a few instances during my first trimester where I would just be stood washing my face or doing my make up of a morning and burst into hysterical tears, FOR NO REASON! This is where a very understanding partner is a godsend, because at first I felt like I was going insane! I've got used to it now!

You WILL be a yummy mummy. End of :)

I'm sure there are a million more things that I've forgotten to mention, but hey, that's baby brain for you ;)

Monday, 12 April 2010

A Review: Maybelline Define-A-Lash Volume Mascara

Maybelline Define-A-Lash Volume
Black Mascara

What Do I Think?
It suddenly occurred to me a few days ago that I talk about this mascara all the time, and use it consistently on a pretty much daily basis, yet I've never reviewed it! Slacker! I'll start by saying that I adore this mascara, and I'd go as far as to say that it is my favourite (out of the ones that I have tried obviously!) ever! I've been happily using and repurchasing this for well over a year now, and have recommended it to friends who then become hooked too! It's not got any ground breaking, 'oh my word its so fabulous' technology or formulation, to my knowledge anyway, it's just a standard drugstore mascara (there is also a waterproof version), with a plastic wand and pink packaging! In all honesty the pink is probably why I bought it in the first place, because yes I am that superficial! As you can see from the picture above (sorry I just nabbed it from Google) the wand is initially pink (which I never understand, because as soon as its put inside the tube with the black mascara it gets covered!) and covered with lots of tiny plastic spikes (quite similar to the Rimmel Sexy Curves wand, just without the curves) which grab hold of even the shortest, stumpiest lashes and coat them in mascara. I really like the formulation of this, its not too thick or too thin, it doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes, and it stays on the lashes all day without transferring or flaking down onto the cheeks. It does a great job of volumising, curling and lengthening, for me personally, and I haven't found anything that separates my lashes without clumping as well as this does! I really, really, really like it :)

Where Is It Available?
Maybelline is available nationwide, and is stocked in most drugstores and supermarkets.

How Much Will It Cost?
This retails for around the £7.00 mark, but it is often on offer so look out for bargain deals!

Would I Recommend It?
In two words: HELL YEAH!

Star Rating:
5/5

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Overrated product #2: UDPP

I have a feeling my naming this 'cult' product as one of the most overrated products (in my opinion) may rattle a few cages, but who cares! I'm no sheep! Today kids, I'm going to rant about Urban Decay Primer Potion.


Firstly, the packaging of the UDPP is an absolute epic fail. How Urban Decay continued to sell this product with such awful packaging is beyond me, there is SO much product wasted if you purchase the full size, standard version of this because the wand simply can't reach into the curves of the tube...maybe it just goes to show what some brands will do to make money? If you don't know what I mean, Google 'depotting UDPP' and your eyes will be opened to the horrors within - literally! I know they have recently 'redesigned' the tube, but I'm pretty sure the same issue exists!

Secondly, to me, the formulation of this product is cack. It's too thin and watery in consistency, and feels too 'wet', which surely defeats the very act of using an eyelid primer - the main task of which is to increase the longevity and pigmentation of shadows applied on top. I actually found that my eyeshadow would last for a shorter amount of time if I used this, and would be more prone to creasing, fading and transferring. For interest, my eyelid primers of choice are Too Faced Shadow Insurance or MAC's Painterly Paintpot.

Thirdly, this product seems to collect in little splodges over my eyelid, leaving unsightly lumps and bumps under my eyeshadow. I haven't heard of this happening to anyone else, but then I've only actually seen one other person slate this like I have (click here to see Holly's video). I would normally assume that I had unfortunately managed to be the recipient of a dud product, but I've had three separate tubes of this (two minis from Urban Decay palettes, one full size) and had the exact same experience with each. I should probably mention that I have previously reviewed the UDPP in the shade SIN, which I DO like, and DO still use. The formulation is miles better!

UDPP, you are a big fat fail!

*you can see my post on Overrated product #1 here. I've been blogging for almost two years, so if you're new to my blog remember you can check the archives for older posts!

My MAC Eyeshadow Collection

I really am on somewhat of a blogging roll today! It's much more fun blogging outside in the sunshine than indoors on the sofa (however comfortable our lovely new one is!).

I love seeing other people post collection photos/videos, and thought a good a place as any to start would be with my MAC eyeshadow collection. Now, I would like to just quickly say that I think many MAC products are over-priced and/or over-hyped, but their range of eyeshadow shades always impresses me, and I think the quality is second to none. Well worth the money in my opinion. I purchased my first MAC eyeshadows back at the start of 2009, so these have been purchased or acquired gradually since then.

I am reasonably content with my collection as it stands, although there are a few more 'basic' shades that I would like to get. I've sold/swapped a few shades that I didn't really get enough use out of too. I hope you don't mind that I didn't swatch them all for this post, but I am happy to do individual reviews/swatches if required.

My two self made MAC quads

Shadows clockwise from L-R: Sable, Shroom, Wedge and Vex

Shadows clockwise from L-R: Steamy, Greensmoke, Trax and Beautymarked

Shadows clockwise from top to bottom: Brule, Satin Taupe and Twinks (easily my most used shades - I've hit pan!)

Shadows from L-R: Shale and Beautiful Iris (most recent addition, a pressie bought back from New York by my lovely sister - apologies if the sun washed the colours out slightly in this photo)

Shadows clockwise from top to bottom: Knight Divine, Silver Ring and Black Tied (this trio are perfect for smoky eye looks)

Shadows from L-R: Wintersky (LE) and Sweetlust (these are probably my least used shadows, purely because pinks aren't brilliant on my skintone, and that blue is very bright!)

You may think it is sad or that I have too much time on my hands, but if need be I can name each of my MAC eyeshadows from memory, which I like to think is a good thing, and means my collection isn't too large!

Are there any shadows that you think my collection is lacking? I am dying to get my hands on the LE Photorealism quad, I keep checking various websites in the hope I might find it for a decent price! What are your favourite MAC eyeshadows? Are you a MAC lover or hater?

*click on the photos to enlarge

Showing Stila some love!

Most UK dwellers like myself will probably have had limited access to Stila make up products, unless you all know something I don't?! I've only ever seen Stila products online, or in discount stores such as TK Maxx, TJ Hughes and The Factory Shop - which by the way is where I purchased the items I'm going to show you.

Each of the items I picked up were £3.00, and I foolishly threw away the price labels showing the original RRPs, but obviously they cost more than £3.00 normally!

Eyeshadows in Jade and Shore

The eyeshadows come in pan form, and are housed inside these cardboard packets, protected by plastic, which whilst it isn't exactly the nicest or most ideal way to store them, it does stop them from getting broken! If I buy another two I'll try and find a palette on eBay or something, but for now I'm happy keeping them as they are. I have got swatches below for anyone interested. I am really impressed by the pigmentation of these eyeshadows, and as you can see the colours are gorgeous - Jade is a nice shimmery green, and Shore is a shimmery lilac. The shimmer isn't too much, and really is shimmer, not chunky glitter. Both colours are really wearable, and perfect for spring/summer. I've been enjoying using Jade as a liner for the lower lashline with a brown or neutral lid colour. Longevity wise, both shadows last all day on the lid or lashline without creasing or fading.

Lipglosses in Enchanting and Ravishing

I'm somewhat of a lipgloss fiend, one day I will get around to showing my whole collection - although I think it is quite shameful, I mean, how many glosses can I wear at once?! However, I couldn't resist these two colours, and from swatching in the store, the formulation looked great and really appealed to me. Once applied to the lips, although quite sheer with a light coat, these shades are buildable, and do retain their colour, unlike some other, more expensive, glosses I have tried which fail miserably at this very basic task! They both have some shimmer to them, but as with the eyeshadows it is quite discreet and wearable, and definitely not chunks of glitter. The thing that seriously impressed me about these glosses was how long they last on the lips, even when faced with drinking, eating and general day to day chattering! If I apply this before I leave the house in the morning (at about 08.30), I'll still have colour and a bit of gloss by about mid morning, even after breakfast, snacks etc! To top it all off, they smell rather yummy too!

Swatches top to bottom: Shore, Jade, Ravishing and Enchanting

I'm really impressed with the products I have tried from Stila, and will definitely be keeping my eye out for some more bargains in the near future! I want to try and get my hands on the infamous Kitten eyeshadow - if you see it, let me know!

Has anyone else tried and loved Stila products? Or have you had a different experience entirely?

*click on the images to enlarge

A Review: Bourjois Healthy Mix

Bourjois Healthy Mix
Foundation and Concealer

What Do I Think?
I apologise that I'm adding to the influx of reviews already in cyberspace for this Healthy Mix duo, but I'm really quite in love with them, so there! I'll start with the 'boring' bit: the foundation contains a lovely mix of fruits with wonderful powers(!), including apricot (radiance), melon (hydration), apple (anti-oxidant) and ginger (energy), which give this a delicate and quite delicious scent. The scent is certainly a lot more appealing than most other liquid foundations that I've tried! The concealer boasts a couple of fruits too, apricot (radiance) and raspberry (micro-circular activator - whatever that is!), and although it doesn't smell quite as appealing as the foundation, I don't find the scent particularly unpleasant (I understand this has been a common complaint). The foundation 'claims' to last for 16 hours, and to give the wearer a 'perfectly glowing complexion and toned skin', and uses its special 'fruit therapy' to boost your skins radiance. I've honestly never felt that my face looks radiant, with or without make up, but what this foundation does give me is a decent coverage (I'd say it's light to medium, which is my preference), it feels very light and non pore clogging on the skin, and it does last a fair amount of time (not sure about 16 hours though!). The concealer claims to give the skin being concealed 'radiance' and have an 'anti-fatigue' effect, the latter of which I do agree with. I use this concealer to cover up my horrible dark under eye circles, and it has the same effect, if not better, than my normal concealer of choice - MAC Select Cover Up. I do use this concealer on blemishes, but it doesn't totally camouflage them, although it does work quite well at hiding scarring from spots/acne. With both of these products applied to my face I honestly feel a lot more confident about my skin, and am very happy with the base they provide for any other make up applied afterwards. They do mattify the skin, but they also allow it to breathe, and allow some of your natural skin to show through, meaning the end result is both natural but concealed. I hadn't even tried Bourjois facial products, but I can honestly say I'm really impressed and think I will be trying out the 10 Hour Sleep Effect foundation too.

Where Are They Available?
Bourjois is stocked in most drugstores and some supermarkets in the UK. I believe it is stocked nationwide, but I'm not Google, so don't take my word for it ;)

How Much Will They Cost?
£10.99 for the foundation, and £6.99 for the concealer.

Would I Recommend Them?
Yes I really would, I've really enjoyed using both of these products, and I will repurchase once they have run out. I'm currently trying out the Revlon PhotoReady, but keep going back to this duo because I genuinely like it that much! FYI I have combo oily skin, and both of these work fine for me.

Star Rating:
5/5

Disclaimer: I purchased both of these using my own money and my own brain. I want healthy skin, I buy healthy mix foundation!

NOTD: Metro Chic

Sephora by OPI Nail Colour
Metro Chic

It is true. Good things come to those who wait.

I have wanted Metro Chic for approx. the same amount of time as I've been blogging...which is roughly two years. That is a long time to a) consistently want something and b) wait for it!

I'm spending this glorious day in the garden, so I thought I'd rob Colins posh camera to take some decent photos and do some blogging! I may have a cold AND hayfever at the same time, but I'm not missing the opportunity to sit outside whilst the weather is so nice!

Unless you move around the blogsphere with your eyes closed, I doubt Metro Chic has escaped your radar. It's a gorgeous purple/grey/brown, with a high shine creamy gloss finish. In the picture I'm wearing 2 coats with one coat of OPI Base & Top Coat over it, and have been wearing it since Wednesday. As you can see there is some slight wear at the very tips of my nails, and a teeny tiny chip on my thumbnail - but I am seriously impressed with formulation, finish and durability of this polish.

I am oh so pleased to finally have it in my possession, thanks to my lovely sister Lucy who picked it up from Sephora on a recent trip to New York. I am forever in her debt!

I waited so long for it, and I am not disappointed!

*click on the picture to enlarge. Don't you just love the washing line in the background?! That's how I roll!

A Review: Neutrogena Deep Clean Invigorating Scrub

Neutrogena Deep Clean
Invigorating Scrub

What Do I Think?
I picked up this scrub when it was on special offer in Boots a while ago, I used my advantage card points. I was using up the remains of my Liz Earle exfoliator prior to that. I hadn't really seen or heard much about the new 'Deep Clean' range, and only knew that like the vast majority of the Neutrogena facial products, it would be aimed at 'young skin', typically oily and blemish prone. Whilst my skin has indeed remarkably improved at the moment, I'm putting it down to pregnancy hormones more than any one product. With that in mine, I wasn't really looking for anything more than finding a nice new scrub from this product. It has a blue gel formula, with scrubby beads in it, and contains menthol which is intended to give a nice cooling effect to the skin. Initially the skin does feel 'cool' on application, although after about two seconds the sensation (on my skin) turned to burning. It didn't actually cause any irritation or redness, it just didn't feel particularly comfortable, and my skin didn't feel very smooth or clean afterwards - odd given the menthol content. This product should come with a warning, because if you happen to get this anywhere near the vicinity of your eyes, it will sting and burn like hell...no joke! In fact...even if I barely even applied it on my cheeks I could still feel that tell tale burning type sensation brewing in my eyes. I used this approx. 5 times before deciding that I really couldn't handle the way it made my eyes react, or how my skin felt...so I'll be sticking it on SwapsiesUK for anyone else who might fancy giving it a go. Bear in mind my skin is quite sensitive, so different skin types may experience different reactions.

Where Is It Available?
Neutrogena is available nationwide I believe, and is stocked in most drugstores and supermarkets.

How Much Will It Cost?
I picked this up for £2.99 I think, but it probably retails at around the £4.00 mark.

Would I Recommend It?
I really wanted to like this, because it looks nice and refreshing in the packaging, but I just don't like the effects it has, so a big thumbs down from me I'm afraid.

Star Rating:
0/5