Saturday 29 September 2012

Saturday Afternoon Post :-)

Don't you just love it when a courier knocks the door with a parcel of goodies on a Saturday Afternoon? I LOVE

Goldwell DualSenses Rich Repair 60 Sec Treatment 200ml - I ha vent had my hair cut in a salon for just over a year. As awful as this sounds, I have now finally got the length of hair that it had taken me about 10 years to try and grow. despite this neglect, I wouldn't say my hair is in really bad condition, but it does need a treatment every now and again as the ends are quite dry. I had recently heard a review of this product on Youtube by Ruth of A Model Recommends, and for £8.45 I thought I would give it a go. It has that intense, salon-product scent to it, and promises a visibly enhanced healthy shine and smooth, silky hair in 60 seconds. Sounds great! I cant wait to try this out!

Caudalie Winter Rescue Duo - Admittedly, this was an impulse buy. As I have said before, I am always wanting to try out new hand creams, as my hands become dry and sore through washing them a zillion times a day in work, and the winter weather only adds to this. With ingredients like avocado, Shea butter & grape-seed oil, I have high hopes for this product. I am also suffering the worst dry lips ever at the moments, and am hoping that the vanilla lip conditioner is going to work some magic on them. This set cost £7.20, which was a bargain I thought :-)

Caudalie Peach Shower Gel - This was another impulse buy, especially as I didn't realise that Caudalie produce bath & shower products. I thought it was only facial skincare! This shower gel smells exactly how you would expect, is soap-free and claims to be non-irritating. I have sooo many shower gels, but I don't mind adding this one to my vast collection as I seem to be getting through them all quite quickly. At £8.10 for 200mls, it is quite reasonably priced.

Have you ordered anything from feelunique lately?



Mini Urban Decay Haul

A few blog posts ago, I shared my disappointment of the re-vamped Big Fatty Mascara by Urban Decay. This product had been purchased along with a few others, so I thought I would do a mini Urban Decay haul for you.

As a side note, I have to say that I really love the rock-chick-esque packaging that Urban Decay have going on at the moment!

My most favourite ever Urban Decay eyeshadow has to be Sin. I have loved it since forever, and its popularity as part of my make-up collection never dies. It is the only shade in my Naked palette that has a significant 'dent' in it. I think it is such a versatile colour, which I wear alone for daytime/work and vamp it up by blending it with Darkhorse or Hustle for an evening look. So, when I discovered the 24/7 eyeshadow pencil available in Sin, I just had to have one! Crease-proof, waterproof and Ultra Long lasting. The Pigmentation is fantastic, and I cant wait to give this little beauty a whirl :-)

I also purchased the new Karma brush. this was another product that, like the Big Fatty Mascara, was mis-sold to me. I was told that this brush was multi-use and suitable as an applicator for blusher & foundation. Thinking that this was ingenious for travelling, I snapped it up only to discover that it is for foundation only. It feels very soft, and I have read only good things about it so far, so despite my initial disappointment that it is not what I first thought, I am excited to try it out.

I also had two freebies thrown in with these purchases. The Midnight Cowboy lipgloss mini is right up my street. It is almost sheer with a delicate bronze/gold sparkle. It smells delicious, and is the perfect size for taking on a night out.

I also had this eyeshadow & primer tester. Although the darker shade of eyeshadow scares me, I am determined to give it a go all the same. And I have heard many a rave review of the Primer Potion, so this comes as a very welcome tester.

I hope you all like this mini-haul. have you treated yourself to any Urban Decay goodies lately?



Wednesday 26 September 2012

Florabotanica Balenciaga Paris

To date, I have never purchased, owned or tried any fragrance by Balenciaga. However, whilst out and about shopping today this little beauty caught my eye.

It is the Florabotanica by Balenciaga, and not only is the couture bottle such an amazing, unique design - very 'Alice in Wonderland' I thought - but the scent is simply stunning, and long-lasting. It is described as a fragrance with two architectural notes: a fresh floral facet and a mysterious green facet, and its name is intended to evoke the 18th century botanical gardens in which the most exotic and rarest plant species were displayed.

I feel that this description is well-deserved, as it is a bold floral-based fragrance that at first appears very classic in scent, but has a delicious modern twist. You really need to seek this product out and test it for yourself to appreciate its uniqueness. And who doesn't need that perfume bottle displayed on their dressing table?!

Florabotanica is an eau de parfum available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml sizes, with prices ranging from £40-£75. I am seriously considering purchasing the latter as I really cannot get enough of this, and think it could be my go-to winter fragrance!!

Have you been wowed by this fragrance as much as I am?



Monday 24 September 2012

More free samples!!

In follow-up to my recent post where I told you all about how generous L'Occitane were by sending me a good amount of free samples, I thought I would let you know about a few more free samples that I received about two weeks or so ago from Neal's Yard.

A little while back, I posted my views on the Neal's Yard Rehydrating Rose Moisturiser, which you can read about here. I was less than impressed with this particular product, but had not completely lost faith in the brand as it was only the first Neal's Yard product that I had tried. I relayed the information detailing the problems I had found with this moisturiser in an email to Neal's Yard via their website, and politely requested some samples of other products before I started spending my hard earned cash on more Neal's Yard items that I may also have an adverse reaction to.

They were very obliging, and I have received trial sizes of the Orange Flower Facial Polish, Orange Flower Facial Wash, and the Orange Flower Facial Moisturiser. As you can see from the photos above, one of the products is quite oily (the facial polish), and a little has leaked out during transit, causing the writing to smudge. All of these products smell lovely - more of an aromatherapy-based orange than a fruity/citrussy orange - and I couldn't wait to try them out!!

£14.80 for 100g

I used all three products as a skincare trio. The Orange Flower Facial Polish has micro-particles in it which, although seemingly gentle, make actually quite an abrasive scrub. Out of all three products, this is my favourite. My skin felt so soft and clear immediately after use, and my complexion also looked much brighter. This is definately a product I can see myself purchasing full-size, however I think it is a little too harsh a scrub for everyday use. It also doesn't appear to be available on the website, so maybe I would just have to purchase it in-store?

£15.50 for 100mls

The next product is the Orange Flower Facial Wash, which I have to say I found a little disappointing. This claims to be "A gently foaming lotion with nurturing orange flower and mandarin oils to cleanse without drying the skin". It should be massaged into damp skin and rinsed off with cool water. I much prefer a facial wash that lathers up well, which this one does not (not even a hint of the 'gentle foaming' as described!), and the biggest downside with this product is that it does not remove mascara/eyeliner effectively. I also found it to be quite drying, and my skin felt very taught after use. Unfortunately, this is not a product I would consider purchasing.

£23.75 for 100mls

The Orange Flower Facial Moisturiser again smells very aromatherapy-based, and is not what I would describe as an intense moisturiser. If you have normal skin, with no dry patches, this product would most likely be great for you. On the plus side, it absorbs easily into the skin, leaving it soft and non-greasy. I wasn't overly wowed by this product, and don't think I will be purchasing the full size, simply because it is not moisturising enough for me (but thankfully I suffered none of the red blotchy rash as I had done with the Rehydrating Rose Moisturiser!!).

This post just goes to prove how sending out samples can really help us as a consumer when choosing new beauty products. There is nothing worse than making a big purchase, only to find out that the product you have chosen is not suitable for you. Being able to try-before-you-buy is such a great concept, and it is a shame that many other companies are not so obliging with sending out free samples on request.

Please let me know if you have tried out some great samples lately?



Saturday 22 September 2012

Recent Purchases: River Island, Primark, Nars, Laura Mercier & L'Occitane

Lately, I have been shopping on several occasions where I have picked up a few bits and pieces here and there. I have combined these into this little haul for you all to see :-)

I absolutely LOVE my new boots from River Island!! Usually, I would opt for good old brown or black in a boot, but when I saw these I just had to have them!! They are faux fur-lined, making them the most snuggly boots ever. They come in a few different colours, and I have my eye on the grey ones too. I love their versatile style, and at £30.00 they were an absolute bargain. I can't wait to wear them this Autumn :-)

I also treated myself to a new pair of pyjamas from Primark. They are made from a stretchy jersey-type fabric, and as soon as I saw the pretty vintage-style bird print fabric I snapped them up! They are so soft and comfy, and I am sat here in them whilst writing! Ideal for those cold winter nights!! For £8.00 you just can't go wrong - Oh, how I love Primark!!

A little while ago, L'Occitane kindly sent me some free samples. I was so impressed with the products I tried, that I decided to take a trip to their recently-opened store in Queens Arcade, Cardiff. I am always on the hunt for a good hand cream, and with the assistance of the two lovely girls that work there, I decided to splash out on the One Minute Hand Scrub and the Dry Skin Hand Cream (available here as a duo). I got to try both products out in-store and was really impressed. The hand cream is multi-award winning, and the scrub has received excellent reviews online. I am looking forward to putting both products to the test during the upcoming winter months.

The Laura Mercier Creme de Pistache Gift Box was a rare find, and an absolute bargain. It contains a full 200ml size Body Wash (RRP £29), a full size 50g Hand Cream (RRP £13) and a 100g Souffle Body Cream (worth £14.50). However, I paid a 'measley' £35.00 for all three products - a saving of over £20!! For those of you who haven't yet sampled the delights of Laura Mercier's bath & body care range, I urge you all to take a look (and a sniff) the next chance you get. I promise you, you will be hooked!! Unfortunately, this gift box was the last in-store of a discontinued line, but I purchased it in House of Fraser, Bristol. I know they are out of stock of these on the website, as the newly packaged gift sets are on their way in time for Christmas, but keep your eyes peeled for the possibility of finding one in your local store!!

And my final purchase, the 'All About Eve' Eyeshadow duo by NARS. I am becoming somewhat addicted to NARS products lately, and it seems that every time I pass a counter I can't leave empty-handed. I have wanted this particular eyeshadow duo for a while now, but I was lucky to also receive three 2ml trial samples of the new NARS Skincare line, namely the gentle cream cleanser, luminous moisture cream, and the optimal brightening concentrate. The full-size versions of these range between £20.00 and £50.00, so I will let you all know what I think as soon as I have tried them out :-)

So thats it peeps, I hope you all like my new purchases as much as I do :-)



Tuesday 18 September 2012

Empties - July/August 2012

Whilst I realise that I am a little late with this post, I just thought I would share with you the latest 'dent' I have made in my stash of beauty products.

Liz Earle Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash (£11.50 for 200mls)
I was really excited to try this product, especially as the reviews I had read stated just how gentle, soothing, and nicely scented it was. However, it pains me to say that I was a little disappointed. It did have a really lovely orange-based aromatherapy scent, and lathered well with the use of a shower pouff. The big downside for me is that it wasn't really moisturising and, if anything, I found it a little drying for my skin. For £11.50 there are much nicer shower gels out there.

Radox Moisturise Shower Gel with Chamomile & Jojoba 
I'm sure that this shower gel cost me just £1, and in stark contrast to the Liz Earle Body Wash mentioned above it is very moisturising, as well as being nicely scented and lathering up well. It is not a ground-breaking product by any means, but for £1 it is a bargain and highly recommended!

Gillette Satin Care with Aloe Vera
Again, not a groundbreaking product, but it is just another item that I have managed to use up in recent weeks. I always purchase Satin Care as I find it to be great value for money as a little product goes a long way. I have sensitive skin, and find regular shaving quite irritable to the skin on my legs. Combined with a good exfoliator and moisturiser, Satin Care prevents any irritation of the skin. Bingo!

Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Conditioner
I always wonder if I am the only girl on the planet who uses up approx half a bottle of conditioner per full bottle of shampoo - providing they are both the same sized bottles?! I tire easily of the same shampoo/conditioner combo and always end up with a fair amount of half-full bottles of conditioner clogging up my bathroom shelves. I am currently persevering with using one particular shampoo per all of my half-empty conditioners to rid my bathroom of these once and for all. Most people would just throw them away, but I don't believe in waste! The first empty conditioner is this one, which I am not overly keen on. It is quite a thin-consistency conditioner, and smells lovely. However, it doesn't seem to completely rinse out of my hair, and leaves it feeling lank, lifeless, and a little on the greasy side. I doubt that I will be repurchasing.

Clarins Hydraquench Moisturiser
I have previously written an in-depth review of this product, which you can read here, and I cannot tell you just how disappointed I am that I am now completely out of it. This is definately my most favourite moisturiser, and one that will be top of my Christmas list for Santa!! In short: Amazing product, a little pricey, but worth every penny. Highly recommended!!

Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer in Moderately Fair
This product just seemed to last forever! It is the type of product that you use alot, switch to a different concealer for a change, rediscover it at the back of your make-up drawer a few weeks later and start using it again, forget about it again, rediscover it again.... and so this pattern continues until it is finally used up.  It works well, but can be somewhat 'chalky' if the skin around your eyes is a little on the dry side, and it settles in the fine lines if not used sparingly. Having said that, I do feel like it does its job well, and is great value for money as it lasted me for ages (hence why there is no print left on the tube as pictured). Would I buy it again? Probably.

Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black
 By far, my most favourite mascara. It volumises, lengthens, and doesn't dry out easily. It can be easily layered without clumping for a variety of different looks. Put simply, I would repurchase it again in a heartbeat :-)

Simple Kind To Skin Moisturising Facial Wash
This is a travel sized product that I took on my trip to Paris back in April, and I am really glad that I didn't purchase the larger size. It is unscented - as most Simple products are - and doesn't lather well. I didn't feel like it gave my skin a good cleanse, it doesn't remove make-up easily, and I also found it quite drying. It didn't do anything amazing for my skin and, unfortunately, I wont be re-purchasing this product.

L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss - Shade 415 Iced Chocolate
I used to religiously have my hair highlighted, but recently I have opted for darker locks. I absolutely love this brand of hair colour as they only last for up to 28 shampoos, and they leave my hair feeling and looking healthy, glossy and conditioned. This particular shade initially proved too dark for my skin tone, but it didn't take long for the colour to fade out a little. If you are a babe on a budget, I would really recommend giving these a whirl!!

Airwick Reed Diffuser
Although obviously not a beauty product, I had to add this in as I am loving these Diffusers. My favourite scent is Crisp Linen & Lilac, which smells exactly like fresh laundry. They last for around 2 months and the scent never fades. Also, they are an absolute bargain, and by far the best value diffusers I have found so far

So, that's it peeps! Phew. I need a cuppa now!!

Please feel free to let me know your opinions on these products too :-)



Sunday 16 September 2012

Origins Superstar Giveaway

I feel as though I have been bigging up Origins quite alot in my blog of late, but this is just going to be a small entry to let you all know about a great offer they have on at the moment in the way of their 'Superstar Giveaway'.

With any skincare purchase, you can choose 3 free deluxe samples. There are 10 samples to choose from, and these include the famous VitaZing Moisturiser, Modern Friction Dermabrasion and GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream. This offer is available Online and in-store, however, although the Online offer is available now, the offer in-store is not available until 20th September. The offer ends both in-store and Online 4th October 2012.


Additionally, with orders of £30 or more, you can receive a free cleanser duo ~ a 30ml A Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser and a 15ml Mega Mushroom Face Cleanser ~ as well as free delivery! Simply add the code CLOCK at checkout.

I have had my eye on the Night-A-Mins moisturiser for a while and, with all of these deluxe samples up for grabs, now seems like the right time to make a purchase.

Will you also be taking advantage of this offer?



Friday 14 September 2012

Dr Martens... to buy or not to buy?!

Recently, I have been scouting around for a new pair of winter boots, and strangely enough the brand that has continuously caught my eye is the very retro Dr Martens. These were very popular when I was in Junior School (back in the day!) and, in recent years, I have mostly associated this type of boot with the grungy emo types amongst us. However, I am quickly becoming more and more fond of them. From what I remember, they are really durable and also very classic in style. Having had a look on their website I am spoilt for choice, and these are just a few of the pairs that I have my eye on at the moment:

Felice Boot - Side view - £100

Felice Boot - Front View
Gayle Boot - Side View - £100
Gayle Boot - Front View

Haley Boot - Side View - £140
Haley Boot - Front View

At a starting cost of around the £100 mark, they are not cheap by any means, but I am guessing that they will last a few seasons, and I just really do love them!!

What are your thoughts? Would you recommend a particular pair of Dr Martens?



Tuesday 11 September 2012

** Ba Da Bling **

If you looking for a website offering a treasure trove of unique gifts or maybe just a treat for yourself, then Etsy could be right up your street! I began selling my handmade hair accessories on this website just a few months ago, and aside from being part of such a wonderful community of truly gifted artists and craftsmen, I love the uniqueness that it has to offer, particularly if you are someone who likes to stand out from the crowd! I have discovered one particular Etsy shop just this morning that I am excited to tell you all about.

Jamie Constantino is a 22 year old girl based in Florida who creates an amazing selection of Kawaii Nail Polishes, and sells them in her Etsy shop 'KawaiiNailLaquer'. Her Collections contain an array of glitter polishes based on several themes: Harry Potter, The Avengers, Batman, and many more. They are really unique and, lets face it, who doesn't love a bit of bling?!

The glitter used to create these wonderful polishes are tried and tested by Jamie to ensure the highest possible standard of product, with glitter that does not curl. And her 100% feedback speaks for itself.

I have my eye on three items in particular, but at just $8 a piece I may even treat myself and get them all! The good news is that Jamie ships worldwide :-)

I hope you love the look of these little beauties as much as I do :-)



Sunday 9 September 2012

Big Fatty? Big Disappointment :-(

Recently, my most favourite everyday mascara - Clinique's High Impact - ran out :-( I always re-purchase the same one, and have done over and over again for the past 5 years or so, simply because it works for me and I am content with it. It applies easily, gives my lashes a longer, fuller look, stays put for hours, and washes off easily. This time though, I thought it was time for a change.

There are two things about a mascara that I don't like: Waterproofing and/or a Thermoplastic Brush. I have very sensitive eyes, and if a mascara/eye make-up takes alot of rubbing to remove, my eyelashes wont withstand the friction and simply fall out in their masses. Bald eyes are not a good look! No amount of mascara can make a sparsely eyelashed eye look anything short of awful. This is the reason I also don't like make-up wipes (for me, you just cant beat good old cleanser & water!). And Thermoplastic Brushes really don't tickle my pickle because I feel that they clump my lashes rather than separate. Its like they just don't have enough bristles!

I had a little scout around Boots, Debenhams and John Lewis, and the first mascara that I debated on was the Benefit 'They're Real'. This is apparently the UK's best selling mascara, with really good reviews received online. However, it has a thermoplastic brush and its waterproof, making it a big no-no for me.

I then had a look at the Shocking Mascara by Yves Saint Laurent. This is obviously a more high-end, and needless to say more expensive mascara. I have heard many good reviews, but for an everyday mascara, the price put me off. I wasn't sure that I could justify spending £23.00 on a mascara to wear simply for work, despite the nylon bristles and it being non-waterproof.

Then I remembered a mascara I used to wear alot quite a while back that, for a long time, was my favourite. The Big Fatty Mascara by Urban Decay. As I remember it, this mascara made my lashes look full and lengthy. It also removed easily with a simple soapy cleanser and water. So, with my mind made up, I took myself off to my local Urban Decay Counter. Here is where it all goes pear-shaped...

You know sometimes, when you have likes/dislikes about a certain type of product that you need to question before purchase to make sure that that product is right for you? Yet 'enthusiatic' shop assistants that are quite excitable start to rant about several other products that they think you'll love instead, which in turn makes you forget those questions you initially had lined up, and you end up blindly purchasing a product? Well, this is exactly what happened to me! I was met by a very 'enthusiastic' assistant with what she described as 'lots of time on her hands'. To be fair to her, it was not far off closing time on a Friday evening, but she got my mind in a spin from the offset. All I wanted was to purchase the Psychadelic-look Big Fatty Mascara that I knew and loved: non-waterproof with a nylon brush. I asked if they still made the Big Fatty Mascara, which she said they did, and then continued with the hard sale. I remember thinking that the packaging of the Big Fatty Mascara had changed, and commented on this (in-between her throwing random details about other products at me) but she just nodded politely. I assumed the packaging had just had a revamp. A Brush, Lipgloss, Eyeshadow pencil, the said mascara and almost fifty quid later I was free to leave. Phew.

It was only when I arrived home that the true disappointment started to set in. On opening the mascara box, it was evident that the tube was round and not square. Not such a big deal I suppose, but this started off a feeling of something not being quite right. I then opened the tube, and found a THERMOPLASTIC BRUSH. I wanted to cry. Literally. I just felt liked I had wasted £15.00. I relayed this disappointment to my sister, who suggested I just give it a go, in the hope that it may not be that bad. Unfortunately, it was. The following day I used the mascara, and I have to say that there was nothing 'WOW' about it at all. My eyelashes looked barely covered in mascara, despite a few coats, and were anything other than volumised and curled. To add further insult to injury, when I tried to wash it off about 12 hours later it wouldn't budge. Literally. I tried Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, Eye Make-up remover lotion, and good old soap and water. IT WOULD NOT BUDGE! In the end I had to resort to picking it off?! And lost many an eyelash in the process, making me a far from happy bunny. I guess you could say the upside of this product is that it is a really good waterproof mascara!!

The other alarming thing about this product is that it is not advertised as being 'waterproof'. This word is nowhere to be seen on the outer packaging or the tube itself. It is not even advertised as being waterproof on the Debenhams or the website. It says it is smudge-proof, flake-proof and ultra long wearing - but NOT waterproof! Maybe I am just being silly and not reading enough into this? But lots of non-waterproofs claim to be smudge-proof, flake-proof and long wearing too. I want to kick myself! And WILL NOT make this mistake again!!

So girls, please learn from this experience. Despite the fact that you now know how rubbish a mascara this is, don't allow yourself to be fooled by a sales assistant that just wants to sell a high volume of stock. Keep your cool, stay focused on the product that you want to buy and make sure that you ask all of the necessary questions to ensure that the product you purchase is right for you. You are the one who works for that hard earned cash you spend after all!!

I am now on the hunt for another mascara, any suggestions?



Friday 7 September 2012

Lush is Lush!

A few days ago, I treated myself to some little goodies from Lush. I haven't been there in soooo long, and it was nice just to have a little mosey around all of the products on display. The shop assistant introduced me to the new 'Emotional Brilliance' cosmetics range, which I have to say has a fabulous (if not a little daring) colour palette, and the skin tints are to die for! The products include eyeshadows, lipsticks, eyeliners, skin tints, loose powder and even a mascara, and range between £12 and £14.50 per product, which I have to say seems a little on the pricey side. In fact, is it just me, or has the Lush range as a whole become more expensive? I say this, because I also got to try out the Turkish Delight Shower Smoothie, which comes in at a hefty £15.95 for a large 200g black pot. The shop assistant informed me that 15,000 rose petals have been used in each of the pots, and even though it did smell divine and leave my skin feeling super-soft, I think its one of those products to splurge on when you're feeling flush!!

Anyway, back to the products I did purchase...

I'm going to start with the Stepping Stone Foot Scrub. This is a much wanted product as I work long shifts and sometimes you just want to come home and pamper those poor little tootsies that have been put to use all day. This funky little scrub, aptly moulded in the shape of a foot, smells quite citrussy and really refreshing - just the ticket for pampering those hot, tired feet. It obviously contains lashings of Jojoba oil, as the bag has become quite greasy, and has rubbed off the 'instructions' for use. On their website, they advise you to 'Give your feet a good workout with this little green footprint - because all that pumice in there will scrub and smooth away dead skin, whilst the jojoba oil will moisturise and make them soft without leaving them slippery or oily' . However, reading the reviews, most people have commented that the slightest drop of water makes this product disappear rapidly. One suggestion is to crumble the entire thing into a pot and use a little at a time, so I think that's what I am going to do!! I may also try massaging it onto dry skin then rinse off. At £2.95, its a little pricey to waste in one go!

The next product I purchased is the Green Bubbleroon Bubble Bar, which has a zingy, citrus scent to it. As a bath product meant to be twisted into two halves and crumbled under running tap water, it is suitable for two uses (one half for each bath), but I have previously purchased the Yuzu & Cocoa Bubbleroon, and I literally just smashed it up into bits using a rolling pin, then sprinkled a little into each bath I took - this way you can easily get four (if not more!) baths out of one Bubbleroon. I loved the Yuzu & Cocoa one, which left my skin feeling soft and scented for ages afterwards, so I am really excited to try the Green one out! This product cost £3.25 (another reason to try and make it go that little bit further).

Ocean Salt Cleanser - this is a facial scrub which contains sea salt, coconuts, limes and 'lots of great things that will moisturise and treat the skin'. It smells Amazing - there is just the right scent of lime, and it is also infused with fresh grapefruit - sounds like an ideal product for waking your skin up in the morning!! At £6.95 for a smaller 100g pot, it is not cheap by any means, but it smells delicious and I have never tried a facial scrub with sea salt in before, so I am really looking forward to giving this product a go! Having read some other reviews, it appears that this product can be quite drying if overused, despite Lush's attempts to prevent this by adding in Avocado Butter, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Lanolin, Seaweed Absolute and Violet Leaf Absolute. This product has also been described as a 'Harsh Scrub' and as I have dry/sensitive skin, I am hoping that it is not going to dry my skin out too much. I am now feeling a little apprehensive about trying this out....eek, but I will let you know how it goes!!

Oatifix Fresh Face Mask - I have heard alot about the Lush range of Fresh Face Masks, which have to be refrigerated, and was so intrigued that I decided to give one a go. I opted for the Oatifix, priced at £5.95 for a 75g pot, which smells deliciously of vanilla and contains Oatmeal, Ground Almonds and Fresh Banana (hence why it should be stored in the fridge). The shop assistant commented that this pot comes from a 'sticky batch', and if too thick, a little splash of water can be stirred through to make the consistency more manageable. I am really excited to try this mask, as my skin tends to love any product that is oat-based. However, the only downside I would have to point out is the shelf life of the product as, even if stored correctly, the period of time from manufacture to use by date is roughly 1 month!! I purchased this pot (made 30/8/2012) on 3rd Sept and now only have 23 days left in which to use it - the pressure is on!!

So that's it for my little Lush haul peeps, please let me know what you think and if you have any
recommendations for me :-)



Tuesday 4 September 2012

Origins Product Reviews

A little while back I made my first ever set of purchases from Origins. I had perused many of their products during several trips to my local John Lewis Department Store, where my sister and I love to spend a long browsing/testing session on a Friday evening - we find this is the quietest time of the week, where there are shoppers more in the way of stragglers than crowds, and pestering shop assistants are nowhere to be seen. Bliss!

Back at the end of June, I did a blog post on which products I purchased during this little online splurge, and this is going to be a little review of my thoughts on these items...

'Brightening Musts' - this gift set contains 3 products, which is a much more cost effective was of purchasing the Vitazing Moisturiser (my most wanted Origins product) as the whole set costs £26 - a pound cheaper than purchasing the Vitazing Moisturiser alone. I spent a little while pondering as to whether this 'kit' was right for me as it is meant for those with younger skin, but thought I would give it a go anyway. It is still available on the Origins website under the 'Gifts' sale tab.

Vitazing Moisturiser ~ This is the big purchase, and the item I had been lusting over for the longest time. It is a tinted moisturiser that contains mangosteen, an ingredient rich in antioxidants to give the skin a refreshing 'zing'. It is also a 'one-shade-suits-all' kind of product, and the colour of the product develops on application to blend with your skin colour. On first use, my husband commented that I looked like I had been "airbrushed" - this can only be a good thing... Right?! My skin was flawless and super healthy looking. As a moisturiser, I think that this product is perfect for summer, but personally I am going to need something a bit more moisturising during the harsh winter months, when my skin tends to get quite dry and irritated. After prolonged use as a light-coverage substitute for foundation, I have found that Vitazing is a little greasy, and even on my dry/normal skin it brought me out in spots during the first two weeks or so of use. I'm 30, I don't really get spots now, but thankfully this has calmed down and I assume the breakout happened during that initial period because my skin was just getting used to a different product. This little mishap aside, I would highly recommend Vitazing to anyone looking for a natural glow with light coverage.

GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream - This is a 5ml sample pot (the full 15ml size retails at £21), which claims to brighten dark circles and depuff. I used this after cleansing each morning, and though I don't suffer with puffy eyes (so cant comment on how this cream helps to depuff) I do have dark circles, especially after nights with lack of sleep, and this eye cream definitely helped to reduce them. However, it is not very moisturising, and as someone who suffers with dry skin during the winter months, this cream is not going to be enough on its own as a moisturiser for me. Unfortunately, I dont think I would re-purchase this product based simply on its cost-effectiveness.   

Modern Friction (Natures Gentle Dermabrasion) ~ Back in 2008, this product won 'Best Facial Scrub' in the Daily Mail Beauty Awards. I only have this product in my possession because it came as part of the Brightening Musts set, and all I can say is Wowzers!! I was really surprised to find a face scrub that is so rich and creamy as well as containing a good amount of scrub particles - I find that normally scrubs are either very creamy with minimal scrub, or too much scrub and not enough cream. This is the perfect mix. It feels so luxurious on the skin, and when rinsed off my skin felt soft, smooth, and properly exfoliated. I am quite a harsh critic, I do not easily describe a product as 'Amazing' or 'Fantastic', so please believe me when I say that this product really is Amazing!! You cannot truly believe how good this product is until you try it out for yourself . However, the downside is that this is a little pricey at £31 for 125 mls, but it is advised to be used 2-3 times a week, and a little goes a long way. So, like me,  maybe you can purchase the 30ml tube as part of the Brightening musts set? Or put it on your Christmas wish list?

Make A Difference Rejuvenating Hand Treatment ~ This is a 15ml sample that came free with purchases of over £40. I have said before that, as part of my job, I wash my hands over and over each day. This causes me to have dry, chapped hands that are sometimes also very sore, and so a good hand cream is essential. This particular hand cream is easily one of my favourites. It smells lovely, is just the right consistency, absorbs well without being greasy and does its job well. I love! love! love! this product, and although the full 75ml size is £18 I can definitely see myself purchasing this product again in the future.

Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ~ This product smells faintly of oranges, and is meant to be used twice a week (or as desired) at bedtime by massaging onto clean skin and using a tissue to remove the excess. It has a very silky feel to it, but the effects reflect this as my skin in the morning is soft and silky-smooth. It absorbs quickly and is very moisturising. I had the sample free with purchase, but a full size 100ml tube is £20. I feel a bit in limbo as to whether I would purchase the full size product as although it does its job well, I wasn't particularly 'Wowed' by it.

A Perfect World - This was another sample free with purchase. It is an Antioxidant moisturiser that contains White Tea, which is known for its anti-ageing properties. Despite the slightly iffy scent, I am loving this moisturiser! It has a very silky feel to it, that leaves a silky film on the skin for hours after application. I found it deeply moisturising, despite a small breakout of spots after the first few uses. I liken it to the Clarins Hydraquench Moisturiser, which is my favourite moisturiser ever. Would I pay £33.00 for the full 50ml pot? Probably :-)

Gloomaway Body Wash/Bubble Bath - I intended to purchase the Ginger Burst body wash, which is highly popular, and consequently out of stock online. Instead, I opted for the Gloomaway Grapefruit combined Body Wash & Bubble Bath. This product is fantastic! Although it is a bit pricey at £18 for 250ml, a small amount on a shower pouff gives a copious lather, which lasts for an all-over body wash. It smells lovely, and left my skin feeling super soft and moisturised. Although I do feel that £18 is excessive for a shower gel, I wouldn't think twice about purchasing this product again.