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Friday, 31 July 2015

New Additions to the Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix Line

I have combination skin with normal cheeks and an oily t zone. I can be prone to spots and the scarring they bring with them unless I really look after my skin (I was quite spotty as a teenager, until learned how to get it under control). I find that my skin really responds well to acidic exfoliating type products as they help to unclog pores and speed up cell turnover, meaning that scarring fades over time and spots are less likely.

I love the Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix line for such products. I already love their scrub, pads and serum so I was excited to try out two new products that they've just released. I wouldn't use these all at once because you can definitely over exfoliate, but I mix and match depending on how my skin is feeling.

The first of the new products are the Glycolic Night Pads Extreme (currently on offer at Boots for £9.97, normally £14.95, here). These are a stronger version of the Glycolic Fix pads that have been part of my evening skincare routine for a long time. These ones contain 5% Glycolic acid as well as salicylic acid and lactic acid to exfoliate, plus hyaluronic acid to keep skin plump and hydrated. Nip & Fab advise to use these 2-3 times a week, or once a week for more sensitive skin types. I have been using them twice a week and using the normal Glycolic Fix pads on the rest of the days and I've really been enjoying them. It's nice to see the addition of salicylic acid because it is particularly good for those who have more oily skin or spots. You get 60 pads so even if you are using them 2-3 times a week, they will last you quite a while.

The second product is the Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel (also currently on offer at Boots for £9.97, usually £14.95, here). This one is designed as a night time clarifying treatment for dull and oily skin. It contains glycolic acid, salicylic acid and Niacinamide, which acts as an anti-inflammatory on the skin. The tube contains 40ml, which I feel is a decent amount of product for the price and considering it is a treatment that is not something I'd use every night.

So do these work for my skin? The answer is yes, definitely! I always get a few spots around 'that time of the month'. I decided to use these two new products in combination since they both contain spot fighting and calming ingredients as well as exfoliating glycolic acid. If you have particularly sensitive skin, I would go carefully with them, but since I knew my skin reacts well to the ingredients, I went the whole hog. I wiped a pad over my face, flipped it over and wiped the other side over, sprayed my hydrating toner. applied a few drops of my ususal facial oil then followed with the gel. When I woke up, my skin felt super smooth and the redness and size of the spots had really reduced over night.
Something to note is that you definitely need to apply the gel last because it sort of sits on the skin rather than soaking in. There aren't really any instructions about this on the tube but if you tried to apply moisturiser afterwards I suspect that it would ball up on the skin.

I have since been using the pads a couple of times a week for a stronger exfoliation and using the gel as and when I feel it necessary-when I've got any spots/ little bumps/ my skin is looking dull. You can also use the gel on particular areas of the face if you don't feel that you need it all over.

I am very happy with these two products and will definitely be continuing to use them.

What do you think? Have you tried the Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix line?

Em x

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

July 2015 Beauty Favourites

I recently rediscovered my GOSH Forever Eye Shadow in 'Beige' (£5.99 via Superdrug here), which is a sparkly beige/ neutral cream eye shadow pencil. It's super easy to draw onto the lid and pat in with your finger and it sets to a waterproof finish. I love using this underneath powder shadows to make them a bit more sparkly and it also gives more shimmery/ glittery shadows something to cling on to so I don't end up with glittery cheeks. It's also great to use just on it's own if you want something quick and easy.

Along with the warm and sticky weather we had early in July came the appearance of my Murad SPF15 Oil Control Mattifier (£32.84 here). This is great at controlling the oil that my skin likes to produce more and more of as the temperature increases, meaning that my foundation actually stands a chance of staying put. I had a little bit left in a tube that I bought around this time last year, so it also needed using up since moisturisers/ sunscreens normally have a shelf life of around 12 months. It appeared in my last empties post (here) and I since bought one for a good deal online (the full price is a pricey £35 so it's worth shopping around).

Eucerin Intensive Hand Cream (£8.50 but currently have 20% off herewas a bit of a surprise to me that it became a favourite. I ordered it from when I was picking up some skincare things that I needed a month or two ago. It contains urea, which is an ingredient that is found in the skin naturally to help keep it moisturised, so it makes sense that it would work well with the skin. I have mentioned this before but I sometimes have issues with my engagement and wedding rings causing dryness/ an eczema type rash. It is nothing to do with the ring themselves but rather the fact that things tend to get trapped under there, like soap when I wash my hands. Applying this hand cream daily has made such a difference you would not believe in the problem is virtually gone. It was actually so sore at one point that I had to not wear my rings for a few days so that's pretty impressive. Bizarrely, it is quite a thin, runny cream, which you wouldn't think would be that moisturising, but it does and amazing job on very dry/ sore skin.

I've really enjoyed the Cargo Contour Palette in 'Monaco' (£22 via FeelUnique herethis month (see my full review here). I love coral cheeks in the Summer but sometimes bright corals can be a bit scary to work with on fair skin. This bronzer, blush and highlighter combo has enough pigment without being too much and is easy to work with. To pair with this, I have also been going for coral lips and there are two lipsticks in particular I've been reaching for a lot. The first is MAC coral bliss lipstick (£15.50 via Debenhams here). It's a cremesheen finish, meaning that it's super creamy feeling on the lips. The second is the Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer (£16 via Debenhams here),which has a lovely texture that glides on super smoothly. Both shades are very wearable corals-they brighten up the face without being super bright so are great for everyday use. You can see from the swatches below that these are actually really similar, but the MAC is slightly brighter and more glossy.

Left to right: GOSH Forever Eye Shadow 'Beige', Clinique 'Melon Pop, MAC 'Coral Bliss', Cargo contour palette 'Monaco'
What were your favourite beauty products this month?

Em x

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Easy Cinnamon Rolls

I took inspiration from a few pinterest pins to create these super easy cinnamon rolls that turned out to be very tasty if I do say so myself! If you like the taste of cinnamon, you will love them!

You will need:

Pre-made croissant dough (I used 'Jus Rol' as that is the brand stocked in my local supermarket)
Heaped dessert spoon of butter or margarine
Soft brown sugar
Optional: Icing sugar and water

Step 1: Open and unroll the dough. Mine was perforated into 6 triangles so I cut this into 3 squares along the perforations and layed them into something like a rectangle.

Step 2: Pinch the dough together along the joins and perforations and roll with a rolling pin to even it up shape wise if you need to (it's best to have an even-ish rectangle)

Step 3: Melt a little bit of butter or margarine. I used a heaped dessert spoon and put it in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Brush this over the dough, ideally with a pastry brush. I couldn't find mine (the kitchen fairies seem to  have taken it!) so I just used the back of a spoon to spread it out.

Step 4: Sprinkle on your brown sugar and cinnamon. You can add more or less of either of these depending on your tastes. I added quite a lot of cinnamon because I like the taste to be quite strong.

Step 5: Roll up the dough starting on one of the longest sides (I find it easiest to start at the bottom and roll towards the top).

Step 6: Cut the roll into 8 evenly sized pieces. I start by cutting it in half, then half again and half again to make sure the pieces are even.

Step 7: Place the pieces into a lightly greased cupcake/ muffin tin. I find that this gives them a better shape than just putting them on a baking tray. 

Step 8: Bake for 10-15 minutes (depending how golden you like them) at gas mark 6 or 200 degrees and you will end up with something that looks like this...

Step 9: If you'd like to make them a bit sweeter, you an take the optional step of mixing together a little bit of icing sugar with water and drizzling it across the top.

The only thing I might change next time is to make more of them because let me tell you they didn't last long!

Em x

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Laura Geller Reviews: Cheeks and Lips

Laura Geller isn't a brand I've ever tried and to be honest it's not a brand I've even thought of trying before. I thought it was one of those brands that was only really sold by QVC (in the UK, anyway). However, I was browsing the Beauty Bay sale and spotted this cute little set. It seems like it might have been from Valentine's day sort of time judging by the outer packaging. It contains 3 full sized items and the original price was £30 but I got it for around £10 with the sale and an added discount code on sale items. The set is out of stock on there now but I thought I would review it anyway because all of the items are available individually.

The first product it contains is a 'Blush n Brighten' in the shade 'Pink Grapefruit' (£15.50 here).This is such a pretty baked blush. It's an unusual shade, that is bronzey with pink and peach in it too-perfect for Summer if you are going for a bronzey look or have a bit of a tan. The first thing I thought about it when I swatched it was that it's really nicely pigmented and it requires zero effort to get the colour onto your brush. On the cheeks, it looks like a pinky bronze shade with a sheen-stunning! A very interesting product.

Left to right: Blush n Brighten 'Pink Grapefruit', Baked Hghlighter 'Vanilla', Love Me Dew 'Watermelon Cooler'
The second product is a baked highlighter in the shade 'French Vanilla' (split pan with two shades and a brush is £34 here). I did google reviews of the products before I bought it and this one looked particularly interesting in that it has a sheen to it like most highlighters, but with added coverage. This means that it does actually brighten rather than just adding shimmer-a bit like the effect you can get by using a lighter shade of concealer to highlight under the eye and cheekbones-you sort of get a similar effect from this as well as a a sheen. Fair skinned ladies could therefore use it lightly underneath the eyes to add coverage to your concealer if you have an issue with dark circles.

Pink Grapefruit and French Vanilla on the cheeks (with a slight contour)
The 3rd and final product is the 'Love Me Dew' lip crayon in the shade 'Watermelon cooler' (£13 here), which is a bright but not too bright warm pink that brightens up the face nicely. It's super moisturising but not as slippery feeling as some moisturising lip products, so that it won't wear off in two minutes flat like some can. It's slightly sheer although because it's reasonably bright, it packs a punch and it is buildable, too, if you want it to be more opaque and brighter.

'Watermelon Cooler' on the lips
Overall, I'm really pleased with this set, especially because it was such a bargain. I enjoy every one of the products and it was a really nice introduction to the brand. I would definitely consider trying more products from Laura Geller, having been impressed with these. The brand seems to be an online one from what I can tell and the best places to buy it seem to be QVC here (who have some cute sets available that would be great to try the brand out) and BeautyBay here.

Have you tried anything nice from Laura Geller?

Em x

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Beauty Empties and Mini Reviews #12

It's that time again when I have a bag full of empty beauty products. I've really been working on finishing some of my half used things so I don't have so many products open at once. Here are my thoughts on the things I've finished in the last month or so...


Tigi Catwalk Headshot conditioner (750ml on offer for £13.98 here). This is an amazing , really hydrating, conditioner that can also be used as a mask if you leave it on for longer. It smells a bit like a strawberry milkshake to me so it's a win win. This is in the old style of packaging because I purchased several of them when they were a really good price in TK Maxx, since I knew it was one of my favourites. It is a huge pump bottle (750ml) and I must have been through about 10 of them so that shows you how much I like it. I like buying big pump bottles because they last a few months even with long hair. I have a couple of other conditioners that I'm going to use up first, but I'd definitely consider buying this again when I need one, particularly if I see it on offer.

Batiste Eden (£3.29 here) appeared in a recent beauty favourites post of mine because it smells so nice, almost like a perfume. The scent is 'sugar melon and honeysuckle'. It does a good job of absorbing oils like any other batiste. I am currently working on a can of a different scent but I will be coming back to this one.

Head and Shoulders Itchy Scalp shampoo (£4.99 for 500ml/ 3 for £10 heredid a good job of soothing my scalp when it felt a little bit irritated (product overload, I think!). It has a cooling feeling on the scalp that makes your hair feel like it's really fresh and clean, too. I don't use this sort of shampoo all the time but it's something I would definitely buy again if I felt my scalp needed it.


Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (on offer for £3.29 hereis usually in my empties because it's cheap, you get a great big 400ml bottle and it does what it says on the tin. Great for removing make up before cleansing the skin. I've already repurchased.

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Cream Wash (£4.89 hereis my favourite morning face wash. It contains salicylic acid so is great for spot prone skin but doesn't dry the skin out too much due to the creamy formula. Already Repurchased.

La Roche Posay Serozinc (£8.50 here or 2 for £10 here) is a spray toner that is great for hydration and also for spots because it contains zinc. Again, already repurchased.

Murad Oil Control Mattifier SPF15 (£32.84 with free delivery and a free gift here)is something that I actually pulled out because I had about a third of a tube left from last Summer and I wanted to use it up, with SPF products generally only lasting 12 months (although on the back of this one it actually says 24 months). I'd sort of forgotten how good it was at keeping me matte during warmer weather and I've been enjoying it. The only slight issues are that it is thick and gloopy and feels a bit like you're putting PVA glue on your face at first (but it soon absorbs) and that it is a little pricey. It does a good job though and it's worth looking out for offers online. I would consider repurchasing it.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat (£14.50 hereis also a great day moisturiser for oilier skins. I use it under an SPF primer though, because it doesn't contain any. It isn't as oil controlling as the Murad, which is far more mattifying in hot weather, but it is a light and non greasy gel-cream texture. You can regularly get this on offer for around £9-10 from Boots or I already have a new one of these because it's a good basic moisturiser for me so I tend to buy a backup if I see it on offer.

Body Care/ Toiletries

Sanctuary Relax Nourishing Bath Soak smells lovely and makes luxurious feeling bubbles. I have 2 backups of this because after is was discontinued, I found it cheaply in B&M so I bought some more. If you see it anywhere, I'd recommend it.

Dove Visible Effects Body Lotion is a gel-cream texture that sinks in really quickly so it's great for using when you want to get dressed quickly. It doesn't have much of a scent so is nice one for using in the morning if you're going to use perfume as it won't clash. I suspect that this one may have been discontinued as I can't find it online but it's a nice one if you do see it anywhere.

3 x Sure/ Nivea Antiperspirants. I have 3 because I always misplace a half used one and open a new one, use half of it and the old one turns up hahaFor everyday use I use the 'invisible' anti-antiperspirants as they don't mark clothes.-normally whichever one is on offer at Boots/ Superdrug/ the supermarket. Not a lot more I can say really but I would recommend them and repurchase one of them each time I need one.

Make Up

Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin (£12.99/ 3 for 2 here). This used to be my favourite foundation and I still really like it but the L'oreal Infallible Matte is a serious competititor now as it keeps me matte for longer. I get really quite oily in the t zone so that is something that's quite important for me in a foundation. Having said that, the L'oreal requires a bit more effort to make sure it is well blended and even looking, so I still like the colorstay when I'm looking for something quick and easy that lasts. I can also get a really good colour match in the colorstay whereas I have to mix shades in the L'oreal. There are pros and cons of each and I'm going backwards and forwards between the two at the moment. I already have a new bottle of the colorstay as I bought them while they were on 3 for 2.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (£3.99/ buy one get one half price hereis great for setting my make up into place to help it last as well as helping me to stay matte. I have lost count how many times I've repurchased this, it's one of my essentials.

Bourjois 'Poudre de Riz' (£9.99/ 3 for 2 hereis a pale pink, glowy loose powder that is great for setting under eye concealer. It keeps the area nice and bright and non-cakey. If you have dry skin, you might like it dusted lightly all over. Repurchased.


Marc Jacobs Dot (50ml for £34.95 here, normally £50) is a lovely perfume for Summer-very fruity and juicy smelling. The fancy bits on the bottle have actually fallen off in case you're wondeing because I cleverly dropped it on my laminate floor not once but twice, and I've lost the lid too. I would love to own this one again but am trying to use up some other perfumes first.


Seche Restore (£9 via ASOS hereis an amazing nail polish thinner. This bottle has literally lasted me years and it does a really good job of thinning nail polish that has started to thicken and go a bit gloopy. This is a great item for people who have a lot of nail polish because of course if you have a lot, you tend to go through them more slowly. I haven't repurchased it yet but probably will at some point.

Which beauty products have you used up lately?

Em x

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Nails: Glistening Sea and Sky

I thought I'd share what I currently have on my nails. I really like it, despite the fact that I'm normally not that keen on blue nails. Something about this pastel blue shade made me buy it!

I've had the base shade for a while now and have worn it a few times-it's one of the amazing Maybelline Super Stay nail polishes (find them see my review of the line here) called 'Sea Sky'.  You can find them at Boots, Superdrug, or I picked mine up at my local ASDA. I used two coats of it on all of my nails except for my ring fingers, on which I used 2 coats of  Essie's 'Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low'. I think this one may have been a Christmas limited edition as I picked it up from the sale shelf in my local Boots for a bargainous £2. Any silver would work, though, and I know Barry M do a nice one. 

I then did my favourite glitter tip technique. I painted Models Own 'Juicy Jules' (a fine silver glitter) over half of the nail (middle to tip). I allowed it to dry then applied 'Blizzard' (a more chunky silver glitter) to around a third of the nail, just on the tips.

Left to right: Maybelline Sea Sky, Essie 'Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low', Models Own 'Juicy Jules', Models Own 'Blizzard'
I love this combination. I actually think it would work well in Winter, too, as there's almost something icy about the colour combination of blue and silver. The pale blue with sparkle also sort of reminds me of cinderella's dress!

What do you think?

Em x

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Aromatherapy Associates Bath and Shower Oils: Worth the Hype?

I have heard so many good things about the Aromatherapy Associates bath and shower oils online over the years, but they have a pretty expensive price tag. The full sized 55ml bottles are around the £40-45 mark full price, depending where you buy them. 

However, I was browsing the Beauty Bay sale when I spotted this little set of 3 7.5ml miniatures (originally £27) in the sale. I also had a discount code for use on sale items so it only ended up being around £6! I thought this was an amazing deal considering the original price and decided that it was a great opportunity to try them.It said you could get up to 3 baths from each bottle, so 9 in total from the set.

So...are the worth the hype? Well...I have had a few baths with them now and I must say that they are super relaxing. The 'relax deep' scent is my favourite. It contains sandalwood, which I love the smell of, and it really does help me get a better night's sleep. This was particularly important at the weekend when I really wasn't feeling good. I was full of cold after finishing work for the Summer holidays (it's so annoying how I always get to my time off then get ill). After a bath with a couple of cap fulls of this (around a 3rd of the little bottle), I was so relaxed that I drifted straight off when my head hit the pillow. We all know how difficult it can be to get to sleep when you feel like you can barely breathe, but this did the job excellently. The scent really is pretty strong because they are so concentrated-I could smell it despite not being able to smell much else and it filled the bathroom with the scent.

The usage instructions online said to run the bath first then add the oil in at the end, which I have been doing. You can also apply them to your body then get in the shower, but for me this sort of thing is definitely more of a bath product. At first, they just sort of float on the surface in visible blobs but as soon as you give the water a little swish about, they disperse through the water. I wouldn't say that they made a vast difference to how my skin felt like some bath oils that are designed for their skin softening/ moisturising properties, but I do think that they make the water sort of slightly softer and a little more moisturising if that makes sense. I still felt the need to put on a body moisturiser afterwards. I think these are more about the relaxing experience than what they do for your skin.

Would I repurchase? Well the answer is that I have already purchased a full size of the 'Relax deep' scent since it was my favourite. I did, however, get it on sale (back to the Beauty Bay website I went). It was on sale for £16 then there was a 10% off code, making it £14.40. It's still in stock here but you'll have to be quick because everything seems to be selling out quickly! Considering that they say a bottle is enough for 20 baths, and the fact that it really helped me sleep easier, I don't think that's too bad-it makes it 72p per bath. If you think about people who constantly buy Lush bath bombs (I went through a phase of being one of those people), then this works out cheaper and in my opinion feels far more luxurious.

Would I buy them at full price? Probably not for myself. I think this is one of those items that I would look out for in sales and save for when I have time to lie in the bath for quite a while and really enjoy it. Of course, if you have a particular problem with sleeping then they may be worth the full price to you, but for me they are a little luxury treat rather than a necessity and I just don't think I could bring myself to pay that.  I think they would make such a nice gift for someone who likes a bit of pampering or has trouble sleeping, though.

Have you tried the Aromatherapy Associates Bath and Shower oils? Do you think they're worth the price tag?

Em x

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Topshop Glitter Nail Polishes

Left to right: Song and Dance, White Heat
I might be one of the last beauty bloggers to try anything from the Topshop make up range but up until now, nothing from it has really struck me as being particularly stand out. As someone who has quite a bit of make up, I find that a lot of new releases are similar to something I already have.

However, I was browsing the FeelUnique sale and had the Cargo Contour Palette (reviewed in my last post) in my basket, when I came across a couple of very pretty looking glitter polishes in the Topshop range that were on sale for a mere £3...and I caved. I'm a bit of a magpie and find it hard to resist a good glitter nail polish, plus both of these are different to anything I already have.

I picked up the shades 'White Heat' and 'Song and Dance' (which have both now gone up to the full price of £6 each here). 'Song and Dance' is a clear base with large chunks of blue-purple glitter and white heat is again a clear base but this time it has a mixture of larger and smaller gold and silver glitter pieces. Both shades look great as a glitter topcoat, either all over the nail or for glitter tips (which I have mentioned so many times that you might have gathered by now is my favourite easy nail at ever).I also love the packaging of these cute are the polka dot lids?!

Left to right: White Heat, Song and Dance

In the photo above I'm wearing White Heat as glitter tips over Maybelline's Mint For Life. Please excuse the slightly chipped looking part by the cuticle on my index finger-it's been on for 5 days, but still looking pretty good for 5 days of wear I think. I haven't yet worn Song and Dance on my nails but am looking forward to trying it out the next time I do them.

Have you tried anything from the Topshop beauty range? Are there any products that particularly stand out for you?

Em x

Monday, 13 July 2015

Cargo Contour Palette: Monaco

Cargo isn't a brand I seem to hear/ read much about online, which is strange because I know for a fact that they do some really nice eye shadow palettes (I have two). I was thinking of trying out a cheek product from the brand and came across this cute palette containing 3 shades.

I chose the shade 'Monaco', which is the warmer toned of the two colour ways the palette comes in. The contour shade is on the warm side, more of a bronzer type shade really. It then has a coral blush with gold running through it and a highlighter with a slight pink tinge.The cooler toned palette has a pink blush in it that also looked really pretty, but I wasn't sure about the contour shade,which looked almost plummy and I thought might be better on darker skin tones than mine.

Something I really love about this little palette is that I like the finish of all 3 products-my favourite finishes at the moment are a matte bronzer/ contour, a blush that has a sheen to it but isn't overly shimmery and a subtle highlight. That's exactly what these are! More shimmery products are fine for evening wear and I do have a couple of more stronger highlights that I love, but for daylight and when you have combination-oily skin like me, they can be bit much. They are all nicely pigmented but not to the point where you have to be super careful about using them.

Something else I love about this palette is the fact that it contains 3 products in one and is sleek and compact. It's very convenient to keep in your make up bag and great for travel and speed (you wouldn't think that opening individual products takes up that much time in the mornings but in reality, it can when you're having to rummage around for each one first). It contains a good sized mirror that I could easily use to do my entire face of make up, but it's not at all bulky as there isn't any wasted space inside the palette. At the same time, you are getting a good amount of product for your money-6g each so 18g in total.

On the back of the palette is a diagram of where each product should go and the powders themselves are imprinted with the words contour, cheek and highlight. This is a nice addition for anyone who's not quite sure.

Find it via FeelUnique here or via Debenhams here for £22. I don't think that's a bad price at all when you consider the cost of buying 3 individual products.

Have you tried the Cargo contour palettes? What do you think?

Em x

Friday, 10 July 2015

BeautyBay Bargains

I thought I would pop up a quick post about some really great deals I found on the Beauty Bay case anyone reading wants to get a piece of the action! They have had a sale on for a while now, but sale items now have up to 70% off! So I just ordered a few things...

The Winter Wonderland 3 piece set from Nails Inc has gone down to an amazing £5.80 from £29 (fingers crossed this is still in stock when you're reading because I don't think it will last long at this price). It contains 3 very pretty looking glitter nail polishes that are normally £16 each full price, so bought individually would be £48...these are a complete steal! I have ordered a couple of these, my intention being to keep at least one of them for a Christmas gift-they are, after all, Christmas themed. If I see something pretty that's bargainous and I think would make a nice gift for someone, I like to pick it up and put it into what I call my 'present box'. Obviously you can't do this with anything that will expire but I've found nail polishes to be fine for a few months if they are left sealed. This way, I build up a little stash of stocking fillers and it's not such a shock to my bank account in December (I got this from my mum and really do think it's saved me a lot of money and stress over the years).

I also liked the look of a couple of single glitter nail polishes from Nails Inc, that were also actually from their Winter/ Christmas range and therefore come individually gift boxed, so again would make cute little stocking fillers.  I picked up Royal Avenue Winter Lights (£4 down from £16) which is a gold and red chunky glitter and Whitechapel Snowflake (an unbelieveable £2.40 instead of £16!) which is a snow effect glitter with some gold sparkle. Again these are more Christmas-y/ Winter type shades but I am willing to save them until the colder weather arrives considering the amazing price!

I have fancied trying the Aromatherapy Associates Bath and Shower Oils for a long time because they are much raved about in the blogging world and on youtube. I have never tried them because let's be honest, they're pretty damn expensive as bath products go. However, I spotted this set of 3 7.5ml size oils (was £26, now £7.80). This way I can try 3 different scents and apparently you can get up to 3 baths from each little bottle. They actually have a few Aromatherapy Associates things in the sale so it's worth a look around the site. If you know someone who's into the brand, or just likes luxury bath products, they would also be great gifts and could be for birthdays, too.

The last thing I picked up was this Laura Geller 'Baked With Love' set, which contains a blush, a highlighter and a lip crayon and is on sale for £12 (was £30). I've never tried anything from the brand but these particular products looked pretty from googling swatches, so we'll see how it goes. I always think that sales are a good time to try something unfamiliar, that way you haven't spent as much if it turns out you don't get on well with it.

Have you picked up anything in the BeautyBay sale?

Em x

The New Nude: Rimmel Dare To Go Bare

Rimmel have recently made some new additions to their Kate Moss line with their new 'dare to go bare collection'. It's made up of five nail polishes and five lipsticks. When I saw news of this release, I really wanted to have a look at the lipsticks, so off I went to Superdrug.

I came away with shade 45, which according to the stand, is for skin with neutral undertones. Others were labelled as being for cool and warm undertones. Shade 45 attracted me because it is the most natural one in that it is most like my lip colour. It's one of those 'my lips but better' (or perhaps in this case 'but more mauve' ) shades that has a bit of brown and a bit of pinky/ mauve in it. It's a flattering shade that I can imagine I'll use a lot with a darker/ more smokey eye.

I love the packaging of these lipsticks-such a pretty pastel peach with the usual Kate signature on the lid. I also like the formula, which is the same as the rest of the Kate Moss lipstick range in the black tubes. They are pigmented and opaque and feel nice and creamy with a satin, moisturised looking finish.

The only thing I was quite disappointed with was the fact that only 1 of the 5 shades looked like it would suit me. The first shade, 40, is really quite pale and personally, very pale nudes make me look ill. 43 is sort of a coffee shade of nude that I think would look great on tanned skin, but again not on me. 48 is a darker, chocolatey shade that I think would be gorgeous on darker skin tones.

Overall, I think there is a lipstick in the range for every skin tone but it's not necessarily one of those ranges that I'm likely to pick up a few shades from. I love the one I have though, so if you're reading Rimmel, please make me a couple more shades to suit fair (but not super pale) skin! I would love to see a peachy nude to suit me because that's something I'm enjoying at the moment. As we lipstick hoarders know, a girl can't have enough nudes...even if they all look the same to everyone else! haha.

Have you tried anything from Rimmel's new 'dare to go bare' range? What do you think?

Em x

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

5 'Slap On and Go' Lip Products

If you have a busy job like me, then you will understand that not everyone has time to be faffing about touching up their lipstick during the day. Personally I like to keep a 'slap on and go' lip product in my handbag for such busy days, that I can apply without a mirror and get on with my day. These low maintenance products are also great for Summer because if you're on your holidays or just getting out and about a bit more on sunny days, chances are that you will want to be concentrating on enjoying yourself rather than worrying about your make up. 

Left to right: Nudist, Bashful, Raplumzel, Plum Jam, Fuchsiaristic
Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks (£8/ 3 for 2 here) are super glossy and moisturising yet non-sticky. They are almost like a moisturising lip gloss in pencil form. 'Nudist' is a gorgeous peachy-brownish nude that goes with almost anything and 'Bashful' is a sheer baby pink. The other shades are not quite as neutral and therefore I don't get quite a much use out of them, but they are still lovely. 'Fuchsiaristic' looks quite scary luminous orange in the tube but it comes out more like a sheer coral on the lips. I have repurchased both Nudist and Bashful, having used my first ones up completely. That rarely happens with lip products so you know they're good'ns!
Left to right: Peach Dream, French Violet
The MUA Sweet Sheen Lip Balms (£2 here) are brilliant tinted lip balms that are a bargainous price from Superdrug. They really are nice considering how cheap they are and give a good amount of colour while still being sheer enough to fit into the 'slap on and go' category. I have two shades-Peach Dream and French Violet. You can see my full review of them here and find them here.
Left to right: Rhubarb, Rose, Apples, Sunshine
Lanolips Lip Ointment with Colour (£7.99 here) is a great, really moisturising lip balm with a hint of tint. It's very glossy on the lips (it looks more like a lip gloss) and non-sticky. The only draw back of this one is that you need to apply it with a finger because the tube is just a squeezy tube tip, it doesn't have an applicator. I can look past that for the moisturising properties (this one really is excellent for sore lips) and added bonus of SPF 15 for when you're out and about. It comes in 4 shades, my favourite of which is 'Rhubarb', a natural pinky colour that's quite close to the colour of my lips. 'Rose' mutes out my lips slightly for a nudish look, 'Apples' gives a rosy tint and 'Sunshine' is a nice coral shade.
Left to right: 01 Rose Shimmer, 02 Apricot Shimmer, 03 Nude Shimmer, 05 Candy Shimmer

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors (£18 here) are the most expensive of the bunch but I do love them. They taste like vanilla cake and are a moisturising gloss type of product but are again, non sticky (I can't abide super sticky lip products as I constantly end up with a mouthful of my hair...nice). They are really quite sheer so my favourite shade is the brightest, 05 'Candy Shimmer', which gives a nice pinky coral tint. I also have 01 Rose Shimmer (pale nude-pink), 02 Apricot Shimmer (nude peach)  and 03 Nude Shimmer (more of a beige nude). I'm not sure why the names have 'Shimmer' in them because they're not at all shimmery, they are more of a cream formula. Since they are sheer, the paler shades mute down the lips in a flattering way as opposed to the full on sort of nude that can make us fair skinned girls look slightly ill. They have an interesting applicator with a little sponge tip on a squeezy tube.

Clinique Chubby Sticks (£17 here) give a sheer wash of colour that is perfect for on the go. This one isn't as glossy as the other formulas but has more of a sheeny, moisturised looking finish, so would be a nice one if you don't like your lips too glossy. I have the shades 'Whopping Watermelon' (sheer baby pink) and 'Super Strawberry (a rosy shade). 'Whopping watermelon' gets the most use because I love my pinks.

What are your favourite low maintenance lip products?

Em x

Monday, 6 July 2015

How To Make Your Make Up Last In The Heat: Combination/ Oily Skin

When the temperatures begin to climb, keeping make up on your face can be tricky. I sometimes like to just use a bit of concealer on the areas that need it as far as base makeup goes, so I don't have to worry about foundation getting melty, but sometimes you still want to look put together-it is wedding/ Summer party season after all. Here's what I do to keep everything in place when I need to...

Preparing the skin is just as important as the make up itself in how well things last. I have an oily t-zone and more normal cheeks usually, but it seems to go into oil producing overdrive in the warm weather. I like using the Murad Oil Control Mattifier SPF15 (£33.30 here) to remedy this-it does a good job of keeping the skin matte for quite a few hours.

Primer is an important step too, to give a good base for your foundation to sit on top of. What I wouldn't recommend if your skin is on the oily side is using a totally silicone based primer. The overly slippery feeling that those primers give makes my skin feel more greasy and makes my makeup slide off faster, if anything. My favourite is the Max Factor All Day Primer (£10.99/ 3 for 2 here), which as an added bonus, contains SPF20. It has some silicones in it but feels smoothing rather than slippery-somewhere between a silicone primer and a moisturiser. It really does prolong my make up.

An eye primer is an essential for me too. I like the Urban Decay Primer Potion (£16 hereor Too Faced Shadow Insurance (£17 here) best. Either of these prevent my eye make up from fading or creasing. If you're looking for a budget alternative, then the MUA Pro Base Eye Primer (£2.50 here) works pretty well too, it just doesn't last quite as long as the more expensive versions.

Thin Layers of base products seem to last better for me-too much foundation will not only look very obvious in bright sunshine but will quickly melt and feel sticky, gloopy and gross on the skin. My favourite foundation lately has been a thin layer of L'oreal Infallible Matte Foundation (£7.99/ 2 for £12 here), which really is very matte and long lasting-excellent for more oily skins. For any blemishes, I use the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (£4.19 here), which has high coverage so you don't need to use a lot of it and once it sets, it doesn't budge.

Setting can also make a real difference. I like to spray the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray (£21 here) over my face once I have applied my foundation and concealer. I used to use it after powdering but now I prefer to use it before because although it does help with lasting power, it leaves a slight shine on the skin. Powdering afterwards counteracts this. I use Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (£3.99 here), which does what it says on the tin and doesn't look too heavy or cakey.

What are your favourite products for keeping your make up on in hot weather?

Em x

Friday, 3 July 2015

5 Great Red/ Berry Lipsticks

In my mini series of 5 great lipsticks from each colour family, today is the turn of the reds/ berries. I don't really like a straight up bright red on me but I like darker reds, berries or sheer shades of red, which I find easier to wear. I tend to wear them for evening unless they are a sheer formula because they look quite dramatic against my fair skin tone. These are perhaps not the most seasonal shades for June but since I have turned this into a little series (see the nudes here, pinks here and corals here), I thought I would include them anyway...

From left to right above:

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella (available via ASOS for £19 with free delivery here) is a deep red that is matte and super long lasting. Since it's in pencil form, I don't feel the need to use a lip liner, unlike with most other reds/ deeper shades. It does get a little drying after a few hours so you need to make sure your lips are in good condition/ moisturised before wearing this one.

MAC Russian Red (£15.50 here) is a bit brighter but still isn't a super bright red. This one makes my teeth look very white and isn't quite a drying as the NARS but is still long lasting.

Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick in 30 (£5.49 via Boots here) is a berry shade with a slight bit of purple to it that looks lovely in the Autumn/ Winter months.

Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick in 107 (£5.49 via Boots hereis a burgundy sort of shade that's long lasting due to it's matte formula but isn't as drying as a lot of other matte lipsticks.

Lipstick Queen Medieval (£22 via FeelUnique hereis a super sheer, easy to wear red that's great if you're scared of the shade. It's super moisturising and gives the lips a nice rosy tint. This brand isn't as readily available in the shops as the others. You can pick it up at Space NK or the best place to buy online is Feel Unique  as they have free worldwide delivery. They are pretty pricey but I picked mine up as part of the Lipstick Queen Discovery Kit (£40 here), which I actually got for under £10 in TK Maxx. It was an absolute bargain that I snapped up!

What are your favourite red/ berry lipsticks?

Em x

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Beauty Empties #11

I had another bag of used up beauty products...I'm always amazed at how quickly they add up. Unusually, there's a lot of makeup this time...


Garnier Simply Essentials 2 in 1 makeup remover (£2.59/ 2 for £4 here) is the best 'drugstore' eye make up remover I've tried. It gets everything off quickly and easily (even waterproof mascara) and doesn't leave the greasy film in my eyes that some make up removers can.

Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm (£9.50 hereis THE best lip balm, no joke. It will cure the driest of lips. I apply every morning and night to keep my lips nourished and I have been through a few of them now.

Garnier Micellar Extra Gentle Cleansing Wipes (bundle of  2 for £2.95 half price here) are really nice as wipes go. They aren't nearly as drying as I have found other wipes to be and the cloths themselves are super soft. I wouldn't recommend using these as your only cleansing method but I like to use them to get the bulk of my base make up off.

Simple Age Resisting Eye Cream (£6.99 hereis my evening eye cream. It's not too heavy and promises to prevent premature aging...we will see on that one, but I like it!

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Treatment (£4.99 hereis a salicylic treatment that is great to use on spots before bed. I've had this little 15ml tube for a long time because I don't often get larger spots that warrant using a product like this. My skin decided to freak out a bit at the start of this month, I think due to stress, so this got fnished up! I will be purchasing another tube.

Hair Care

Batiste Tropical (large 400ml can-£4.99/ 3 for 2 here) smells of coconuts and does a good job at battling oily hair, what more can I say?!

Got2B Guardian Angel (on offer for £2.70 hereis a heat protectant that claims to protect u to 200 degrees Celsius. It has a very fine spray so it is easy to evenly distribute it through my hair. It does seem to hairdresser regularly comments on what good condition my hair is in. 

Boots Coconut and Almond Leave-In Conditioner makes a good detangling spray and smells nice. I can't find it on the Boots website, which would suggest it's possibly been discontinued (I'd check in store if you want to try it) but I actually prefer the Aussie leave in conditioners as they are just a bit more moisturising.

Body Care

ASDA Protect Sensitive Shave Gel is a cheap shave gel that does the job and costs around £1. Not much I can say really...I have repurchased this a few times but I'm trying out a Gillette one with 'a touch of Olay' at the moment that feels more moistursing so we shall see.

Champneys Oriental Opulence Bubble Heaven (full size 400ml £12/ 3 for 2 hereis a luxurious feeling bubble bath that makes lots and bubbles and makes the water feel moisturising. I have worked my way through 2 different scents of this now that came in a gift set. I have 1 left to go so I'll be using that next.

Make Up

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (£3.99 hereis a great mattifying powder for oily skin at a great price. This is something I have repurchased for years and continue to do so.

Max Factor Stay All Day Primer (£10.99/ 3 for 2 herereally helps my make up last, smooths out the skin without being too slippery and also contains SPF20. Again I've been through a few of these and continue to use it as my everyday primer.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (£4.19 hereis one of those cult products loved by many! It's a perfect concealer for covering blemishes or redness on more oily skins as it has high coverage and stays put well. This is something I repurchase over and over.

Benefit They're Real (£19.50 heregives really nice, dramatic lashes in my opinion, the only problem is getting it off. It is a little tough to remove so I would recommend an oil based eye make up remover for this one. I actually have another tube of this unopened which I will use, but I have also found a far cheaper mascara that gives me the same result so I don't think I would repurchase it again.

Boots Seventeen Falsifeye HD (£4.99 with £2 off hereis a great mascara that I think gives a similar effect to Benefit's They're Real but for a far more affordable price. I'm not going to repurchase just yet because I have a couple of other mascaras that need using up but I will go for this one next time I need a mascara.

Sleek Brow Stylist (£5.99 hereis a great twist up eye brow pencil with a slanted tip and a spoolie on the other end, making it easy to use. It is my favourite brow product and something I have gone through a few of now.

Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer (£5.99 hereis great for the undereye area as it gives decent coverage but isn't too heavy and is easy to blend in. I'm using Rimmel's 'Wake Me Up' concealer instead at the moment because I needed to us it up but I will repurchase Match Perfection when I have finished it because I prefer it.

Revolution Eye Shadow in 'Touch Me' (£1 hereis a matte cream shade that is super pigmented and really handy for using on the browbone as a matte highlight or cleaning up around the edge of your eye shadow. This is a definite repurchase once I have used up the Essence equivalent I'm currently using, which isn't quite as pigmented.

Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets are my favourite oil blotting sheets. They don't have any powder on them, which I prefer because it just absorbs the oil efficiently without adding anything. I can then decide afterwards whether I need to powder. These are discontinued now but I can pick them up in my local Home Bargains or from Amazon.

Boots Seventeen Mirror Shine Lipstick in 'Belle' (£4.79 hereis a great 'my lips but better' sort of shade with a glossy, balmy finish. There was a tiny little nub left in it but I decided to throw it out because it was quite old anyway (the packaging has actually been changed now, too). I'm not really in need of a lipstick in this sort of shade at the moment but I would consider repurchasing it in the future.

That was a lot of empties! Which beauty products have you used up recently?

Em x