Saturday, 31 March 2012

March Favourites {2012}

It's that time of the month again {no, not that time}, and I am right on schedule, if a little late in the day! It's such an overused cliché to say, but I honestly didn't realise how close we were to the end of yet another month! Time, time, where does it go?! Here are some of the products I've been loving this month:

Palmers Cocoa Butter
I've reviewed this before, quite some time ago, however this is one product that will forever remain a faithful staple for me. It's not overly glamorous and doesn't pretend to boast the latest and greatest 'high tech' ingredients, it just smiles sweetly from it's unassuming packaging, knowing its darn great without having to try too hard! It smells great, absorbs instantly into the skin, is hydrating and softening, and what's more is the impressive longevity of the effects. I just love it.

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream
This is somewhat of a cult beauty product, and rightly so, this stuff really is multifunctional and it really does work! I think you either love it or hate it, the scent is quite pungent. However, it's incredibly hydrating and penetrates deep into the skin or lips to fix a multitude of sins. I'm currently using this to try and tackle the VERY rough patches on my knees and ankles that playing on the floor with Jamie has created - it's not all yummy in Mummy land you know!

No7 Dual Protection Tinted Moisturiser
Now that the warmer weather is here, I'm often in search of a lighter base, that provides barely any coverage yet evens out the skin tone, and helps to protect me from those harmful but oh so wonderful suns rays. I've raved about this product before, and the fact I continuously repurchase it is, I think, testament to its fabulousness.

MAC Patina Eyeshadow
I actually purchased this eyeshadow with some Christmas money back in January, it was all Pixiwoo's fault {Sam accepted blame, she told me buying it would change my life...}! It's very much a shade that could be easily overlooked when browsing the vast array of eye shadows on offer in a MAC store, but one that is oh so wearable and versatile. My favourite way to wear this is all over the lid, with my faithful Satin Taupe {also MAC} blended lightly into the outer corner and crease.

17 Mirror Shine Lipstick in Beehive
I had seen and heard raves about this lipstick so frequently, that in all honesty, they'd begun to bore me. I would have a little look at it if passing the 17 stand in Boots, but dismiss it as 'just another nude lipstick'. However, on a recent shopping trip with one of my very best girlfriends, I decided to spend my Advantage Card points on a treat for myself, and chose this. The colour is indeed a very wearable pinky nude, moreover I was seriously impressed by the hydrating and glossy formulation. It's the only lipstick I can comfortably and confidently wear, knowing my lips won't instantly dry out. I definitely want to try more of these now...Belle is next on my hit list!

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Concealer
I've been using this concealer for almost 2 years now I believe, and it really is the dogs doodahs - I've talked about it enough times already! I have some hardcore under eye circles needing to be covered up, and this makes such a difference. For me, a concealer transforms 4 hours of sleep into the look of 6, or maybe even 7! As much as I truly, truly adore it, the beauty addict in me means I'm eager to try it's apparent high street dupe, the much acclaimed Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer, but for now at least I'm staying true to this one.

Barry M Nail Paint in {308} Berry Ice Cream
This is a very last minute entrant, and I suspect it's probably cheating a little. However, with the onset of warm and sunny Spring weather here in the UK, I've been wanting for something a little lighter in shade on my finger nails. This is actually the only Barry M polish that has remained in my collection, for as much as I like their colour selection and affordability, I've found the formulation leaves a lot to be desired with most shades. However, this creamy pastel lilac applies like a dream and is opaque in two thin coats. It chips within 24 hours on me {without a top coat}, but thankfully isn't as noticeable as with darker shades.

MAC Print Eyeshadow
Try as I might, I simply cannot get the hang of liquid eyeliner, preferring to use a dark eye shadow on a thin angled brush instead. I often feel that black is too harsh on me for the daytime, despite coveting the look enviously from afar. Print is a dark grey shade, that lends itself perfectly to the task of defining and lining my eyes, without being too obnoxious about it. It's also a great shade to use when darkening up a crease or outer corner colour, and is obviously the perfect partner for a smokey eye.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the brands or companies mentioned. All words and opinions are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliated. All items were purchased with my own money.

A Review: Liz Earle Skin Repair Light Moisturiser

Liz Earle Skin Repair Light Moisturiser

What Do I Think?
I use this moisturiser as the final step in my three step cleansing, toning and moisturising {morning} routine. I have really oily skin - not just concentrated on the t-zone - that is also dehydrated and fairly sensitive. Liz Earle recommend the Light version of their Skin Repair moisturiser for oily and combination skin types, and although I have previously tried the other two formulations {when received as free samples with orders} this is the most suitable for my specific skincare needs. It's a fairly common myth that oily skins don't need moisturiser, whereas in fact quite the opposite is true, and for my skin in particular it is an essential step. Whilst my skin is predominantly oily, I do also suffer from dry patches around the sides of my nose, and very occasionally on my forehead and cheeks. I find that this moisturiser helps to regulate my skins oil production fairly well, whilst also delivering much needed nourishment and moisture to those drier patches. I have to say that the only slight negative about this for me is it's oil control longevity. It definitely doesn't keep my skin matte all day long, although I have also found that it depends which foundation I use on top. This isn't a huge problem for me, I'm used to having oily skin and am naturally quite 'shiny' with or without make up, but a quick blot and retouch with powder will quickly correct it if needs be. This is instantly absorbed into the skin, meaning you can apply your make up almost immediately after application, and the scent is typical of other Liz Earle products, slightly herbal and medicinal, but very soothing and not at all overpowering. My skin tone was fairly uneven, particularly on my chin and cheeks, and I have noticed a marked improvement since re-embarking upon my Liz Earle routine, and would say there is definitely less red pigmentation on my naked skin. I do think this improvement is in part due to the light and gentle soothing effects of the ingredients in this moisturiser {for a full list, check out the product information on the website}. As a final note, I'm a big fan of the hygienic and easy to use packaging too.

Where Is It Available?
Liz Earle products are available instore and online from Liz Earle stores and counters in John Lewis.

How Much Does It Cost?
 This retails at £18.75 for a 50ml pump bottle.

Would I Recommend It? 
Yes, although whilst I absolutely love this product, and will most definitely continue to use it as part of my routine, I don't think it is my 'holy grail' facial moisturiser, purely because of the oil control factor. However, despite the pretty expensive price, I am a complete convert to the Liz Earle products, they work well in conjunction for my skin, and I really like the routine itself. If you are unsure but would like to try out the Liz Earle products, you could purchase on of their 'Try Me' kits {which is how I initially tried them}, to see how you get on.

Star Rating: 

Disclaimer: This product was provided for review consideration purposes. I am not affiliated with any of the brands/companies mentioned. All words and opinions are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliated.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Beauty on a Budget #3

Superdrug Body Polish
Cranberry & Pomegranate and Plum & Red Cherry
It will come as no surprise to regular readers that I am, what some people may like to call, an exfoliating addict. Try as I might, I just can't stop exfoliating {almost daily}, it's a habit I can't and won't break {mind you, I can think of much worse/serious habits to have}! If you don't believe me, just check out my archive of exfoliating related blog posts...

There are a plethora of exfoliators on the market, to suit any budget, from high street to high end, and I often find that some of the best scrubs are those that can be picked up for next to nothing whilst out buying the essentials.

I have been loving the Superdrug own brand products recently, not only are they purse friendly and easily accessible, they are pretty darn smashing to boot! They have a really creamy gel-like consistency, with a decent amount of little scrubby beads {which are actually the seeds} that leave your skin feeling clean and gently exfoliated - please note that if you're after a serious scrub then these probably won't be up to the job, I tend to use these on more of a daily basis. The scents are truly delicious, very fruity and fragrant, almost edible {but I really wouldn't recommend it}, that linger slightly on the skin. Some scrubs do have a tendency to dry out my skin, leaving it unbearably tight and itchy, but thanks to their delightfully creamy consistency, I've found that these have an almost moisturising effect on my skin.

As you can see pictured above, I've been particularly enjoying two of the fruitier scents: Cranberry & Pomegranate Body Polish and Plum & Red Cherry Body Polish {I can't find this online}. These retail at £2.24 for 200ml {although they are currently on offer at £1.99 making them even more of a bargain}, and are available in a variety of different scent combinations - I want to try the Coconut & Shea Butter one next I think. These are pretty long lasting too, I've definitely had mine for over a month, and tend to use one 3 or 4 times per week in the shower, and so far I've not even finished one of them.

I have to admit that I would normally tend to bypass 'own brand' products, in favour of something more 'well known' and hyped up, but I think from now on I might browse a little more before I make my final choice. For those interested, Superdrug products are cruelty free.

Have you tried any of the Superdrug own brand products? What are your thoughts on Budget Beauty? 

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the brands/companies mentioned. All words and opinions are 100% my own. These products were purchased with my own money. Some links may be affiliated. Check out my other 'Beauty on a Budget' posts HERE.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Lust List #2

You may have seen my previous 'Lust List', on perfumes I'm currently coveting. Following on from that post, my second 'Lust List' is going to be centred on the 'things for the home' genre. As much as I love clothes and beauty products, I honestly think if I had spare cash, 9 times out of 10 it would go on decorative or practical, but not always necessary, items for my home. My style is a bit mix and match, featuring shabby chic items quite heavily, but I like my home to look loved and lived in, rather than sleek and minimalist. Anyone that has been in my home {or seen this sneak peek} will know that not only is 'Live, Laugh, Love' the title of my blog, it's also one of my life mottos, and features prominently in most rooms! The only problem is, I think I would need a credit card or something if I was to ever actually BUY this stuff. Oh well, a girl can dream...right?! Here are a few items that have caught my eye recently:

Lust List #2

A gorgeous desk calendar, from the Live, Laugh, Love website {not mine, sadly}. This would look perfect in my 'new' office.

A door sign for said 'new' office, also from Live, Laugh, Love.

An "always kiss me goodnight" wall decal for the bedroom {source}.

I LOVE this cheeky laundry sign, although not that it would make much difference to where the washing is dropped I'm sure!

 I'd like this for my bathroom too, if only for the laughs it would muster from visitors to our loo {source}.

I really like this retro 'Keep Calm' themed doormat, it would make me smile every time I saw it {source}.

 I'm most definitely lusting over the drool-worthy Lazzari toy storage system, available from one of my new favourite websites, GLTC. I love the customisable designs, and that everything would have a home.

I'd never need de-tangle my necklaces again with one of these to hang special pieces on {although I'd probably fasten this to the inside of a cupboard door, to save little hands getting hold of them}.

Snuggling down for the night would be extra nice in this gorgeous Cath Kidston bed linen {source} - mind you, I wouldn't say no to that bed either!

 Of course, this Lust List wouldn't be complete without some obligatory 'Live, Laugh, Love' themed items, and these gorgeous trinket boxes would be perfect for holding earrings, rings or other small miscellaneous things.

What items for the home are you lusting after? How often do you buy new home accessories?

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the brands, companies or websites mentioned. Some links may be affiliate links. Credit for images linked below each photo. This post is the product of many evenings browsing the Internet for things I can't afford. I call that torture.

Monday, 19 March 2012

A Review: Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara {with a BONUS FOTD}

 Soap & Glory Thick & Fast™ Mascara
Super volume false lash effect mascara

What Do I Think?
Along with no doubt countless others, I got this mascara free with the March edition of Elle {UK} magazine, and admittedly I bought it sent Colin to buy it purely because I was curious to try it out for a fraction of the retail price {I actually can't stand Elle, it's FULL of adverts and little else}. As you well know, I'm a big Soap & Glory fan, but aside from their lipglosses, I'd never tried any of their more recent make up offerings. I'm very fortunate to have naturally long lashes, although they are poker straight, so I do need mascara/eyelash curlers to further accentuate them. I had no preconceptions of this mascara, but for some reason didn't have the highest of hopes, and it has proved me wrong, albeit only a little. 

 I'm truly sorry for the irritating hair in my eye...gah!

The wand is a h u g e natural bristle brush, almost the size of my entire eye, meaning I find it physically impossible to use without blobbing some onto my nose/browbone/lashline. It picks up a lot of product, so do make sure to wipe off the excess before applying. It's marketed as a non-clumping mascara, although I think you can tell from the picture {my right eye in particular} that it's slightly hit and miss - I find that I definitely have to work harder to make it look good. It is undeniably lengthening and volumising, but doesn't hold much of a curl on me without prior use of eyelash curlers. The formulation is pretty good, although nothing overly special, and it doesn't flake off or transfer throughout the day, holding for 8 hours at least. I quite the look it gives, aesthetically speaking, however I do find it applies slightly too much product for my liking, and as a result is prone to sporadic clumping. 

How Much Does It Cost?
 This retails at £10.00 for 10ml.

Where Is It Available?
This is available to buy instore and online from Boots.

Would I Recommend It?
I'd say the jury's still out on this one. It's certainly no match for my much coveted Max Factor False Lash Effect, but it's certainly not the worst mascara I've ever tried. I more than probably wouldn't repurchase this, purely because I wouldn't want to pay £10 for a product I don't 'love', but that's not to say I wouldn't recommend it... An inconclusive review, sorry!

Star Rating:

 I wouldn't normally add this into a review post, but seeing as I ended up taking over thirty face shots in an endeavour to get just one photo worth using, I thought I may as well share the rest of said face!

 Nice messy hair there Laura...

I'm wearing:
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation {51}
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Concealer {Light}
Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Sugar Plum
MAC MSF Natural {Light Medium}
Natural Collection Natural Care Mascara {Clear - on brows}
Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Illusoire
MAC Vex eyeshadow
Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara
17 Mirror Shine On lipstick in Beehive

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the brands or companies mentioned. All words and opinions are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliated. The lashes are also my own, take note advertisers! DON'T USE FALSE LASHES IN ADVERTS FOR MASCARA - AS POINTLESS AS A CHOCOLATE TEAPOT!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Minis with Mini Reviews

There's something so appealing about a mini sized product isn't there?! There is no difference in formulation to it's full sized counterpart, it's simply housed in miniature sized packaging {making them ideal for travel too!}. I've recently been on a mission to use up all of the products in my stash, and apparently had amassed quite the collection of minis, each deserving of their own 'mini' reviews.

Trevor Sorbie 'Beautifully Straightened' Collection
Protection Shampoo & Conditioner, Protect Flatten & Shine Spray and Lightweight Serum

This is the first time I've ever tried Trevor Sorbie products, and to be honest, my initial impression is not that great. The Beautifully Straightened line is designed to help protect your hair from heat used during styling whilst enhancing it's natural shine, and is suitable for all hair types. The packaging really appealed to me upon first sight, it's practical, stylish and is aesthetically pleasing. The shampoo and conditioner feel fine whilst in use, lathering well and rinsing out nicely, but once my hair was dry it became very static {pet peeve} and unmanageable, which was incredibly disappointing. I didn't feel that the conditioner was very nourishing either, so this duo are a big, fat fail to me. Very rarely do I tend to use styling products, but I did give both the spray and serum a try. The spray did nothing extra in terms of straightening, and I honestly never really feel that heat protecting sprays have any effect either. Out of all four products, the serum is probably the only one I noticed a positive outcome from, it made my ends feel soft and silky, and a little easier to tame when styling my hair.

FCUK Signature
Body Wash, Body Polish, Body Butter & Body Spray

In a similar vein to the above review, this is the first time {I believe} that I've ever tried any of the FCUK body products, and this set was released around Christmas time in Boots {UK}. The products are all based around the FCUK signature scent, a fruity and oriental fragrance. I don't think any of these products are 'mind blowing', but perform their basic functions well enough. As an exfoliating addict I found the Body Polish to be a little lacklustre for my liking, there was too much cream and not enough scrub, although it did leave my skin feeling softer, and when used in conjunction with the Body Butter my skin smelt and felt lovely. The Body Wash is nothing out of the ordinary, but I do really like the scent, which leads me nicely to the Body Spray {which you may have seen featured in my What's In My Bag video} that I find really handy to bung in my handbag for a freshen up spritz when on the go.

Eau Thermale Avene
Gentle Purifying Scrub

I'm not sure this product 'technically' counts as a mini, because although it's a dinky 50ml tube, that is the only size it retails in. However, technicalities aside, this is also another first in terms of brand for me, because despite hearing many good things about Avene, I've never before tried any of their range. I tend to use a muslin cloth for gentle daily exfoliation these days, but I do still get days/weeks when I feel my skin just needs some extra oompf, so then I tend to reach for an exfoliating product. This is a very gentle, rose scented scrub, suitable for sensitive skin, with a gel like consistency and tiny scrubby particles. It does leave my skin feeling refreshed and slightly smoother, although it's definitely not comparable to the likes of the infamous St Ives Apricot Scrub for example. I don't think I would rush out to repurchase this, and I think it would compliment a full routine of Avene products slightly better.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the brands or companies mentioned. All words and opinions are 100% my own. Products denoted with a * were provided for review consideration purposes. Some links may be affiliated.

Monday, 12 March 2012

What's In My Bag

Thursday, 8 March 2012

NOTD: Topshop 'Late Show'

As you may have noticed from my February Favourites post, this Topshop nail polish has been one of my favourite shades recently, and is proudly gracing my nails as I type.

Artificial light, with flash

Daylight {indoors}, with flash

I keep referring to the colour as a 'Cadbury purple', and although it's not the exact same shade, it's pretty darn close {and I must confess it does conjure up images of it's chocolate counterpart when I glance at it}. 

This was three coats, on top of a base coat, although I think if I'd have been a little more consistent in my application {as in two thinner coats per nail as opposed to randomly and halfheartedly splodging it on}, it wouldn't have necessitated that many. It's a gorgeous consistency, and very creamy in it's finish, although naturally glossy too. I'm really quite impressed with its durability and longevity too, especially given that it's really been put through it's paces over the past couple of days {I've been helping out with my parents house move}.

Topshop nail polishes retail at £5.00, and are available from most Topshop stores or online.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Topshop. All words and opinions are 100% my own. This product was purchased with my own money. Some links may be affiliated.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

YouTube/TAG: Best of Both Worlds

My sister Lucy and I decided to take an embarrassing plunge into the world of YouTube this afternoon, and our first video is the Best of Both Worlds/sister TAG. It's just light-hearted silliness, but do let us know what you think and subscribe if you'd like to see more!



OH! Aren't those ATTRACTIVE thumbnails?!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

February Favourites {2012}

We're six days into March, which MUST mean it's about time for my February favourites, right?! Apologies for the delay, let's get on with the show...


L'Occitane Ultra Gentle Moisturiser*
 I really rate L'Occitane for high end, high quality products, and this gorgeous moisturiser containing 8% shea butter is no exception. It is so lightweight, yet fantastically hydrating and nourishing, making it the perfect antidote for my oily yet dehydrated skin this winter. I've been applying a decent layer of this at night, after I remove my make up, and I wake up to soft, supple skin. It's fragrance free and very gentle, so would be perfect for more sensitive skins.

Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask*
 This is a "reviving, fast acting mask for instant radiance", that can be applied of a morning for 30 seconds to 2 minutes {then removed with a muslin cloth}. Whilst I am a lover of face masks that can be left on to work their magic whilst you luxuriate in a hot, bubbly bath, I was also on the lookout for a 'pick me up' skincare product that I could use of a morning. This mask from Liz Earle honestly is perfect, and some mornings I even use it in place of my cleanser. It instantly brightens, tightens and awakens the face, leaving visible results, although I must point out this is not suitable for sensitive skin types {it tingles and does leave my face feeling slightly tight until I use toner}.


Eau de Soap & Glory Perfume Spray {50ml}
My sister gave me this perfume for Christmas, knowing what a huge Soap & Glory fan I am. I'd been lusting after it for some time, so squealed with delight as soon as I opened it, and have been wearing it on an almost daily basis ever since. It's just the quintessential Soap & Glory scent, and although it's not incredibly long lasting, it's such an easy everyday perfume to wear, not to mention that it compliments the majority of my body care products and that I just L O V E the smell.  


V05 Miracle Concentrate Elixir with Argan Oil
I'm pretty sure if you're a regular reader of beauty blogs then you will have seen multiple reviews of this little bottle of 'mircale oil' from V05. Whilst I'm not sure I believe it's 'intensive leave-in treatment' nourishing claims {it contains silicone's, which coat the hair}, I can't deny this has some serious softening powers, especially on my dry, brittle ends. It won't provide any long term nourishment for my hair, but it does leave it shiny, more manageable and silky soft on a day to day basis, and for that I love it. A tiny bit goes a long way, I've been using this for approx. 1.5months and there's barely any product gone from my bottle.  


Chanel Intense Radiance Lipgloss Glossimer in {161} Bagatelle
I was more than a little over the moon when I won this beautiful Chanel lipgloss in a giveaway hosted by the equally beautiful Strawberry Blonde Beauty Blog recently. It's the perfect shade for Spring/Summer, a very wearable and fun pink, shot through with delicate and subtle shimmers. The formulation is a tiny bit gritty for my liking, but I normally apply my gloss over a lipbalm, which helps to solve this becoming an issue. It has surprisingly longevity for a lipgloss too, but then it is Chanel, and I wouldn't expect any less. I've been really enjoying wearing this on sunny days, where the promise of warmer weather is tantalisingly close.

New CID Cosmetics i-gloss in {0504} Moonstone*
 Yes yes, another lipgloss, I know...but this is seriously gorgeous. I honestly didn't think I'd like it upon first impressions, it seemed too pale and, dare I say it, slightly adolescent looking with it's white base and pretty pink duo-chrome shimmers. However, when applied to the lips, this is a really nice shade, that adds the perfect level of gloss and although fairly nude, isn't unwearable. I have naturally quite pigmented lips, so this is the perfect shade for me to wear alone. The formulation and longevity also surprised me, it feels of very good quality, isn't sticky and stays put pretty darn well. The i-gloss comes with a mirror on the side and a light, should you want to apply it in a darkened room...!

Topshop NAILS in {left} Eyes of Steel and {right} Late Show
I spy with my little eye something beginning with 'a new obsession'! The Topshop nail polishes first caught my eye back in Autumn 2011, when I picked up the stunning 'Eyes of Steel' metallic shade, and wore it to death. I recently purchased the 'Late Show' shade, a gorgeous and glossy Cadbury shade of purple {NOTD coming soon}. Topshop have an impressive array of stunning shades, and it's definitely a good thing that my local store doesn't stock the full range...

Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Peach Melba
Aside from their clear mascara, which I use on my brows, Natural Collection is always a brand I bypass when browsing the beauty stands in Boots. However, their products are ridiculously affordable {this is £1.99}, and I'm coming to realise that they are also ridiculously despite the low price. This blusher has literally been the only one I've reached for over the past couple of weeks, and I'm so impressed. It's pigmented, relatively long lasting and is such a gorgeous shade. It's subtle but definitely buildable, and is a lovely peachy pink shade that just screams 'Spring' to me. I'm itching to try out more...

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned. All words and opinions are 100% my own - can't you tell?! Products received for review consideration purposes are denoted with a *. Some products mentioned were received as gifts. Some links may be affiliate links.