Saturday, 28 September 2013

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Repair Lip Balm

I was lucky enough to receive this Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Repair Lip Balm as a freebie from LookFantastic, who I work for, and after using it for a few weeks I can definitely notice and improvement in the condition of my lips.

Formulated with vitamins and emollients, as well as natural ingredients including watercress extract and honey, it locks in moisture and heals dry, chapped skin. It has a slightly odd menthol taste and leaves your lips tingling slightly when first applied, but you can really feel it soothing any areas of dryness.

I apply this before I go to bed and my lips feel so soft and smooth when I wake up. It's quite pricey, and retails around the £20 mark, however a little goes a long way so a pot will last you a long time.

What are your favourite lip balms? Have you tried this one yourself?

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Stick in Shocking Coral

I love my lipsticks, and recently I picked up this gorgeous coral pink one from Maybelline. Although it looks more red-toned in the bullet, it actually comes out as a really bright pink.
Here it is without flash:
And with flash:
I think it's a great statement shade that's perfect for both day and evening wear. It also has a slightly glossy finish for an extra glam look, as well as being long-lasting. It wasn't the smoothest to go on, but overall I'm really impressed with it, and I'll definitely be purchasing more Color Sensational shades.
What are your favourite lipsticks? What kind of colours to you like to wear?



Monday, 23 September 2013

Bargain Body Scrub Alert!

I thought I'd let you all know about a bargain body scrub that I picked up in my local Home and Bargain store - this NS Nuage Body Scrub was just £1, and it works a treat.

Working in three ways to cleanse, smooth and moisturise your skin, it contains ginseng and seaweed extracts which leave your skin feeling soft and conditioned. The exfoliating grains are really gentle too, so it won't make your skin feel irritated.

What are your favourite bargain products? Which body scrubs do you like to use?

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Holiday Nails: Rimmel I Love Lasting Finish in Pop Your Pink

Tomorrow I head to Las Vegas for a week, and I couldn't be more excited! I've spent most of today pampering myself (and scheduling some posts for throughout the week), and of course this included painting my nails a beautiful summery colour.

I love Rimmel nail polishes but this is the first I Love Lasting finish one that I've tried, and I'm so impressed! The colour is so vibrant, and it applied really smoothly. It was also completely dry in five minutes, so it's great if you've not got much time to spare.

With its promises of being long-lasting, I'll be interested to see how good this looks after a week in Vegas! I've packed it just in case it needs any touch-ups though.
At just £2.99 from Superdrug, it's an absolute bargain, and if it lives up to my expectations then I'll definitely be treating myself to a few more shades! What are your favourite brands when it comes to nail polish?

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Birchbox UK September 2013

Yesterday this lovely box of goodies arrived at my door, and I couldn't wait to see what was inside. This is only my third Birchbox, (I subscribed to see whether it bettered Glossybox), and so far, I have to say that although the contents are good, I prefer the fact that Glossybox gives more full-sized samples and uses more well-known brands.

                                Anyway, here is what I got inside my Birchbox this month:

1. Bioderma Sebium H20 Micellar Water, 20ml sample, worth less than £1 (my maths isn't great!)
2. Aromatherapy Associates Revive Body Gel 40ml, worth £6.20
3. ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick in Kitty, full size worth around £5.16
4. Reverence de Bastien Nail Polish, full size worth £16
5. Molton Brown Ylang Ylang Nourishing Body Lotion, 30ml worth £2.50
6. Green & Black's White Chocolate Sample
Total worth: Around £30
Overall, I'm really pleased with my box this month. I love nail polishes and this gorgeous red is definitely a shade I'd go for, and the Molton Brown lotion smells divine. I'm looking forward to trying the micellar water as I've heard it's great for sensitive eyes as it has the same pH as your tears, and the Aromatherapy Associates gel will come in handy when I've put on a few pounds on my holiday, as it helps to smooth and tone the skin. Although I love lipsticks, this particular shade isn't quite 'me', and doesn't really give my lips much colour, which is a shame. I love white chocolate though, so the little extra was a nice bonus!
Which is your favourite beauty box? Are there any others I should try out?

Monday, 16 September 2013

Motivate Me Monday: Zumba

Fitness is a big part of my life, and I do some form of exercise at least four times per week. However there's one gym class that takes up the majority of my schedule, and that's Zumba.

Zumba has really taken off over the past few years, with gyms and village halls across the country offering classes. Before I tried by first Zumba class over two years ago, I was not a dancer by any stretch of the imagination, however after a couple of sessions I was transformed into a Zumba addict.

Combining dance with aerobics, it's a great cardio workout that can burn between 500 and 1000 calories per class! It works your entire body, and although originating from Latin America, it incorporates dance styles from all over the world - from salsa to street and Bollywood to reggaeton, it offers something for all ages and abilities.

I do three 45 minutes classes per week, and I love it. It's so much fun that it doesn't even feel like a workout, and the routines also use recognisable chart songs as well as those traditional to each style of dance.

As well as normal Zumba, some gyms will also offer a range of other Zumba classes, including Aqua Zumba (in a pool, pretty self-explanatory really!), and Zumba Toning, which uses a weighted bar to sculpt your muscles.

If you've not tried Zumba yet, I thoroughly recommend you give it a go. It's a great fat burner and I guarantee you'll leave with a big smile on your face, wishing you could do it all over again. You can find your nearest Zumba class here.

Do you enjoy Zumba? Are you going to give it a go? What are your favourite ways of keeping fit?

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Las Vegas Countdown: 1 Week!


In exactly one week I'll be on a plane to Las Vegas, and I could not be more excited! It's my first proper visit to the States, and I can't wait to meander The Strip, see some shows and soak up everything Sin City has to offer.

I'm going with my dad, and a couple of weeks ago my uncle (dad's brother) surprised us with the news that he's going to come over from Canada and spend a few days with us while we're there, so I can't wait to have a bit of a family reunion!

We're going to be staying at the MGM Grand, which looks incredible (as do all the plush hotels on The Strip!). With a wealth of restaurants, bars and pools, it is sure to be a great base for our stay.

However there won't be much time for lazing around the pool, as my dad and I have plenty of things planned during our trip. We want to take a helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon, see some shows, explore all the different hotels, visit the traditional downtown area of Vegas, and of course have the odd flutter here and there in the casinos.
Being the adrenaline junkie that I am, I'm also going to be trying out the thrill rides at the top of The Stratosphere Hotel. Don't they look crazy!?
I can't wait to spend a week in this vibrant city, taking in the sights, enjoying the amazing restaurants and being dazzled by the bright lights, as well as spending some quality time with my dad and uncle. And of course I'll be having a snoop round the local malls, so if you know any American beauty or fashion brands that are worth checking out, please do let me know!
Have you been to Las Vegas before? Are there any attractions that you recommend?

Friday, 13 September 2013

Glossybox September 2013

I love getting my Glossybox each month, and this month was no exception. 'The London Edition' was presented in a beautiful Union Jack box, with decorative London-themed tissue paper packaging.

I was really happy with this month's selection of treats overall, and I felt that this box offered good value for money with 4 of my products being full sized.
My first product was this Rimmel Stay Blushed Blusher 14ml (full size), worth £4.49. I got shade 001 Pop of Pink, which should give my pale skin a really natural hint of rosiness. It promises to last 24 hours too, which is great for my oily complexion. I'm excited to try this out.
 Next up is a 5ml sample of Elizabeth Arden Untold, worth £4.80. I really like the fact that this is a decent size for sample compared to other perfume vials I've has in previous Glossyboxes. Fragrance-wise, it's a delicate floral accord, which is really light. I think this is a lovely fragrance and one that's not overpowering.
The bottle is cute too!
My next treat was this Toni & Guy Classic Shine Gloss Serum 30ml (full size), worth £7.19. I've used serums before and this one is supposed to be lightweight, so hopefully it won't make my fine hair look greasy.
I found this Be A Bombshell Eye Liner in Onxy 3g to be a strange choice for the London-themed box as it seems to only be available in America. That said, it seems like a great felt-tip style liner and looks really pigmented when swatched on the back of my hand. At $14, this is worth about £8.80 give or take the exchange rate.
Finally were these Eylure Pre-Glued lashes, worth £5.06. I'm not really a false lash wearer but I'm prepared to give these a go next time I have a night out. I like the self-adhesive aspect though, it sounds much better than faffing around with glue.
In total my box this month was worth £30.34. Also, if you take your product card to a Debenhams store, you can also get a free Elizabeth Arden Untold Body Lotion 100ml. Not bad, eh?
What did you get in your Glossybox this month? Were you happy with your products?

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Going Blonde When You Have Fine Hair

Over the past couple of years, I'd debated whether or not to go from my natural mid-brown colour to blonde. I was getting bored of my colour, but as my hair is super fine, I was concerned that the bleach, and regular maintenance, would be too much for my hair to take.

However in March last year, after talking through things with my hairdresser, I was reassured enough to take the plunge. I was advised to gradually add more highlights until I got the coverage and tone I was happy with, rather than slap a load of bleach on in one sitting.

The top left picture is my original colour, whilst the top right is my hair after one set of highlights. After about 3-4 months, I got more added, taking the blonde to the more uniform, all-over colour that it is now (bottom pictures). I also got about 5 inches chopped off my hair, which has also helped it to retain strength and prevent further damage.

My hair gets greasy very easily, so I wash and condition it every day using products from John Frieda's blonde range. Not only do these products keep my hair looking healthy, they also preserve the colour so I don't need to get it dyed as often. My hairdresser also uses a toner each time it's dyed or cut, which does give my hair an ashy tint for about a week, but in the long run it keeps my hair looking bright and not brassy.

Going blonde was definitely a great decision - I feel it suits be better than my natural colour, and I always get complement on how nice it looks. If you have fine hair and want to take the plunge, I would recommend speaking to your hairdresser and getting it done professionally. They'll be able to make sure that the bleach is not too harsh for your hair, as well as ensuring it suits your skin tone and eyebrow colour. As long as you get regular trims, keep it conditioned and avoid over-dying, your hair will look strong and healthy. I actually think my hair looks thicker since going blonde too!

Are you tempted to have a colour change? Had any hair dye disasters?

Sunday, 8 September 2013

My Daily Skincare Routine: Oily Skin

In this post I thought I'd share with you the skincare products that I use on a daily basis, and ones which I recommend if you have oily skin like myself. These three fabulous product keep my skin clean, smooth and hydrated, whilst keeping my complexion shine-free.

I begin my skincare routine by washing my face with Clean and Clear Morning Energy Shine Control Daily Face Scrub, and this really refreshes and invigorates my skin in the morning. It contains tiny beads that burst on your skin, which help to remove surface oil, as well as gently exfoliating to keep your skin looking bright. This product smells absolutely gorgeous too - it has a zesty scent that really perks you up. 150ml is £3.99 from Boots.

When I come home from work I remove all my makeup before I head to the gym using Nivea Visage Pure & Natural Facial Cleansing Wipes, which are suitable for all skin types. Although these do contains bio argan and aloe vera oils, they don't leave my skin with a greasy film, unlike most other wipes I've tried. These wipes are great at multi-tasking, as they cleanse, tone and hydrate skin in one simple step, and even remove stubborn waterproof mascara with ease. I have really sensitive eyes and these produce a lovely cooling sensation, which I really like. A pack of 25 wipes is £2 from Superdrug.

I finish my skin care routine by applying Nivea Daily Essentials Oil Free Moisturising Day Cream. Despite this being a day cream, I actually use this in the evening as I feel that works best for my skin. In the winter I'll apply it in the morning as well for extra protection, but at any other time of the year one application a day is enough to combat dryness for me. It's really lightweight and doesn't clog my pores, and it also helps to balance out oil levels. This is another bargain at £2.99 for 50ml from Boots.
What are your skin care tips? Which products do you recommend for oily skin? Have you tried any of these products before?

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Travel Essentials - EarPlanes

Although this post doesn't quite fit the 'beauty' theme of my blog, I just had to share with you the miracle of Earplanes. A lot of bloggers talk about their 'travel essentials', however if it wasn't for these beauties, I simply wouldn't be able to step on a plane to full stop. If you've ever suffered from painful ears on a flight, then listen up!

I first discovered EarPlanes about seven years ago, after two previous holidays abroad left me facing up to the fact that my days of air travel were over. I have extremely narrow eustachian tubes, which means air pressure can't pass through my ears very easily, and I ended up with perforated eardrums, deafness which lasted for three days, and ear/head/jaw ache that was so excruciating it couldn't be put into words. I'd tried all the usual tricks of eating boiled sweets and yawning, but nothing helped. For the entire flight, and for long after the plane had landed, I was in agony.

However, after reading some travel forums, I was introduced to EarPlanes - tested by Navy Pilots, these earplugs contains a special filter that regulates air pressure in the ears, taking away the associated discomfort. At first I was sceptical, and didn't think an earplug would be enough to help with the severe problems that I had, but my dad persuaded me to give them a go.

I first tried them out on a short flight to Spain when I was 17, and I could not believe how much they helped. There was zero pain taking off, zero whilst the plane was cruising, and just a mild amount of discomfort when landing. Flying was no longer a 'no-go' for me!

They're so easy to insert - simply twist the ribbed end into your ear until they feel secure. As well as being easy to use, they're completely comfortable too. The instructions on the box suggest taking them out once the plane has reached maximum altitude, however I keep them in for the whole flight just to be safe! I've used them on many flights of varying durations and they're just as effective each time. As well as dramatically relieving pain, they also cancel out noise, so they're perfect if you want to sleep without being disturbed by other passengers.

If you suffer from discomfort and pain on flights, no matter how mild or severe, I cannot recommend EarPlanes enough. I'm so thankful that I discovered them, as without them I wouldn't be able to go on the amazing holidays and see the places that I have. They really did give me part of my life back. And trust me, if they can help me, they can help anyone. Nothing beats the feeling of getting on a plane and knowing that I can completely look forward to my holiday, without having to worry about unbearable pain and causing further damage to my ears. They're an absolute godsend, and I shall be using them in a couple of weeks when I fly to Las Vegas (I'm SO excited!).

You can buy EarPlanes for £5.15 here at Lloyds Pharmacy.  Do you suffer from painful ears when flying? Will you be giving these a go?

Monday, 2 September 2013

Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Shine Spray

As someone who straightens their hair almost every day, an essential hair product for me is a heat protector. I've tried many in the past, but found that most make my fine hair feel heavy and weighed down, not to mention making it look greasy. My hair can also look quite lacklustre, so anything that adds shine minus the residue is a bonus for me. This Awapuhi Wild Ginger Shine Spray from Paul Mitchell does all of this!
Incredibly lightweight, the super fine mist not only illuminates your locks, but also conditions and protects your hair at the same time. I blow dry my hair, then spritz this generously all over before I begin straightening. Even when sprayed near the roots, there's not a trace of product build-up.
The awapuhi extract is rich in lipids, so it hydrates and nourishes your hair, as well as making it softer or more manageable. My hair breaks easily, and since using this it has felt stronger and healthier, not to mention that gorgeous glossy sheen that this product creates. It smells absolutely gorgeous too, and has a lovely ginger scent that's not overpowering.
A 125ml can lasts ages too, so it definitely justifies being quite pricey. I'd recommend this product if you have fine, flat hair that can look dull, or if your tresses have become damaged/dry. You can buy  Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Shine Spray for £15.16 here.
What are your essential hair products? Would you be tempted to give this a go?

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub

With the colder weather fast approaching, I thought I'd share one of my winter lip saviours with you. This Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub keeps my lips soft and smooth, as well as being absolutely delicious - it's so tempting just to eat it straight from the pot!

Made from castor sugar and organic jojoba oil, the scrub buffs away dry, flaky skin, as well as softening and hydrating your lips without making them feel sticky or greasy. It's perfect for prepping your lips for lipstick, and it really helps the colour to glide on effortlessly.

The sugar can feel quite rough, so you only need a tiny bit at a time. Although a 25g pot is £5.50, it's worth it as it will last you for ages.

If you like bubblegum or candy floss, you will absolutely love this. I'm tempted to give the popcorn one a go next. Have you used Lush Lip Scrubs before? What are your favourite lip care products?

You can get this lip scrub both in store and online here.