Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Clinique All About Eyes

If you've read my 'Starting Out With Skincare' post (posted on the 5th July) you'll know that it's only been more recently that I've focused properly on looking after my face as I figured that we all only have one face and we had better look after it.  I got a trial sized pot of Clinique All About Eyes in a gift set which had previously sat unloved until my recent focus. 
This cream is pretty thick and luxurious.  I apply this each evening after my usual routine.  I recently read on Caroline Hirons blog that you should apply eye cream first before your face cream so this is the order I apply them in.  

The bottom line is... I really love this cream.  It makes my eye area feel really hydrated which afterall is what we are all after to keep wrinkles at bay.  This little pot pictured is 7ml, less than half the size of the 15ml full sized version for £25 and it has lasted me a couple of months, you really don't need a lot of it.  I can imagine the full sized pot would last me more than 6 months and I would definitely buy this when I run out.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Soap & Glory Heel Genius

Pedicures are one of the many services I offer so as you can imagine I've tested a lot of foot products, both retail and professional brands.

Before I did any sort of training I had bought Soap & Glory Heel Genius but never really gotten around to trying it out as I knew alot of people applied it to their feet and then slept overnight with the moisturising socks on which I had tried once before and didn't like the feeling.  One night I decided to apply to my feet whilst I was watching television and I was amazed by the results.  On first application I could see a massive improvement in the texture and overall feel of my skin.  This stuff definitely moisturises and hydrates - there's no doubt about it!!

I would say though if you're like me and you don't like overnight socks, I really don't think they're needed.  I've tried this stuff with moisturising socks and after around 30 minutes its all soaked in and completely dry anyway.

The bottom line is... I highly recommend it.  I've recommended it to friends and family.  If it wasn't for the fact it would look unprofessional to use a retail product on my clients I'd definitely include this in my pedicure routines!  I also think for £5.50 you really can't go wrong either - bargain!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Monster Haul

Today I went into Liverpool city centre with my friend to do some retail therapy AKA treating ourselves for no good reason.  I've bought quite a few new products recently which I've been really enjoying using but it also means that there shall be plenty of review posts on this blog for a really long time - I have alot to talk about.

We also went to Jamie's Italian (owned by Jamie Oliver) and had a delicious meal there.  I did tweet a photo, those of you that are following me on twitter would have saw that.

I have to say I think I have already developed some serious romantic feelings towards my Rituals order - everything smells amazing and I used the shower scrub this evening - gorgeous !!

Enjoy the video !

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask

Today's post is on Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask.  It took me a little while to get my mitts on this as my local Boots was out of stock of it as it has just been launched but in fairness they made a note of my name and phone number and contacted me when they received stock.

If you've read my 'Starting Out With Skincare' post on the 5th July you'll know that I struggle getting the right amount of moisture into my skin, some moisturisers just don't relieve my tight forehead.  When my skin got really bad and I had little dry patches all over my face I started searching for something to really hydrate my skin and came across this mask since one of the only moisturiser that works for me is Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief.

Clinique say:

"Deep moisture tonight for a dewy glow tomorrow. Protects skin from dehydration, plumping skin's ability to hold in soothing, nourishing moisture"

This mask is thick and creamy, just as you would expect.  I apply this just as I do with a regular moisturiser, after my skincare routine but before going to bed.  When I wake up my skin is smooth, plump feeling and recharged.  I use this mask once a week as I like to rotate a few different treatments roughly two or three times a week.


The bottom line is... I would definitely buy it again.  At £29 for 100ml I was suprised at the price considering their regular Moisture Surge is £32 for 50ml and as this is a treat for the skin I can definitely see this lasting me a long time.   Treat yourself!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

My Work: Acrylic nails with Shellac Lobster Roll & Tropix

I know my nail posts are always pretty popular given that that's what my main You Tube channel is all about so I thought I'd share with you today's work.

Rachael had saw a photo of my nails (which I possibly added as a nail of the day onto my blog too) and wanted a version of that.  It's hard to get the right colour to show on camera but this is Lobster Roll with Tropix over it on acrylic nails.

Rachael seemed pleased with the final look and that's what matters the most to me.

The super bright shade just makes them perfect for summer!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Banana Boat Aloe Vera Gel

I was reluctant to write this post with it comes with me admitting my stupidity.  Recently myself and an anonymous friend of mine ** cough - Rachel - cough ** sat out in the sun for a silly amount of time.  Now to make it more stupid I did have a high factor SPF on my face only, so needless to say both of our upper bodies were pretty sunburnt.  I never do this, my mum couldn't believe I even sat out in the sun as she's always mocking my paleness.  Anyway, now you know how stupid I've been I can tell you about my best friend for summer... Banana Boat Aloe Vera Gel

I was raised on this stuff.  I feel like this statement isn't too far from the truth, in the summer at least.  

Banana Boat say:

"After a glorious day under the sun, Banana Boat® Aloe Vera Gel cools, moisturises and replenishes dry skin and helps prevent peeling.
  • Formulated with Aloe Vera.
  • Relieves sunburned or windburned skin.
  • Moisturises dry, rough or chapped skin.
  • Can be used all year round. "
On the packaging is also says "Like having an aloe leaf in a bottle" and it really is!  I always take a bottle with me on a sunny holiday and the relief it gives when you've been out in the sun is great.  As it's a gel I feel like it smooths nicely over your delicate skin and sometimes I will even just leave a layer on for it to soak in.  It definitely helps to cool, soothe your skin down and as my mum repeatedly said 'it helps take the red out' (she said this at least three times.)  

The bottom line is.. If you are going to be out in the sun with a potential of getting even remotely sunburnt then I would say that you should have this ready, cooling in the fridge.  At £5.99 you'll pat yourself on the back (once you've healed of course) that you were prepared for such an event.

Sidenote - It would be better for you to stay out of the sun obviously as its not good for you.  This post is for people like me and Rachel that went against all common sense and sat out in it regardless.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Sexy Look Sheet Masks

A long time ago - possibly two years ago - I was talking on Twitter to 'ChefCaffy' who is a lovely lady over in Singapore about eyelashes.  I ended up sending her my favourite, she sent me hers but in with her parcel she had included two sheet masks.  Previously I had only tried peel off and clay masks so this was a new experience.


As the 'Sexy Look' sheet masks are manufactured for the overseas market, understandably there is no English translation at all on the packaging apart from the brand name.  Luckily it's pretty self explainatory really, apply to face, look at yourself in the mirror for giggles, possibly take a photo, send to your friends like I did and then once you've gotten over it you can peel off after around 15 minutes (a guess!). You're then left with a little residue on your skin that you massage in, this sinks in within minutes.  Afterwards you are left with silky smooth, hydrated and soft skin.

The bottom line is... I truly believe that these masks are brilliant.  At around £1.50 each from eBay (search "Sexy Look face mask") they're a great price and the thing that I like in particular is they're a sheet and not a mask that sets or you need to peel off, there's no scrubbing as your skin at all.  

There are a few different coloured packs in the range (firming, lifting, collagen, etc) but to be honest they're all pretty much the same to me - moisturising and leave your skin feel deeply moisturised and refreshed.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

My 10,000 Subscriber Giveaway

So today is the day I launched my 10,000 subscriber giveaway.  Officially my main You Tube Channel hit 10,000 subscribers three days ago but I've had such a busy week that this was the first day I was able to put everything together into some sort of a video.

Laughably the voiceover for the giveaway video actually took me an hour and a half to do.  I stuttered, I stumbled and I knew you could barely understand what I was saying so I recorded it again.. and again... but you were all worth it !!

Anyway - I know when You Tubers say 'thank you' it's always really cheesey and a bit naff (come on admit it!) but genuinely if you're a subscriber of mine then you don't actually know how valueable you are to me.  Put it this way - not all of my videos may have been what you were hoping to watch / a design you liked / whatever but you've stuck by me regardless. 

In this giveaway I have two main rules - be a subscriber and follow me on Twitter - I think that's fair.  I didn't want to ask people to jump through hoops just to enter my giveaway.  I look at other giveaways and what some people say and it's like.. 'subscribe, follow me on twitter, like my facebook page, follow my instagram, put your finger in a fire if you really love me...' ha I'm just kidding obviously.

The full list of proper rules are in the 'about' tab of the video, but as I say they're nothing too crazy.

Anyway - I think that's all for this post.  Why don't you enter?  The winner will be chosen by on the 8th August 2013.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

My Work: The Failed Shellac Nails

Every now and again a little idea pops in my head and I just go with it.  I have used large hexagons before in acrylic and they look stunning so I decided to try them in shellac.  I applied a few silver and gold ones into Shellac Black Pool and they looked AMAZING so after doing a few of those I then thought I'll try it on myself.

I went for a pink theme so I applied Shellac's Cake Pop and then I used Pink Glitter Nail Foil on one random nail on each hand and then added three large hexagons to the alternate bare nails on the opposite hand into the sticky layer, then applied the top coat.

"What makes it a fail?" I hear you ask - yeah those large hexagons lasted about an hour before I noticed the first one popped off.  They looked fabulous but the Shellac top coat just isn't strong enough to hold them onto the nail.  Perhaps two layers of top coat may have held them longer but I have a feeling they would have still fallen away.  Such a shame !

Monday, 22 July 2013

Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks In Sweet Cheeks

Natural Collection is a brand that I haven't really experimented with, I have a lipstick from their line but that was it until I decided to try out one of their blushes.  I picked up the Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks In Sweet Cheeks.

I don't have a massive blush collection but I have to admit they're mainly more high end brands.  This particular shade is truly stunning.  As it's matte it gives a brilliant natural flush to your cheeks which looks exactly as it does in the pan.  Although I'm naturally fairly pale, often one of the lighter shades of most foundations, it really looks good with my colouring.  What I like so much about this blush is even if I have a spray tan this colour looks truly beautiful and compliments it which means it's pretty much a universal shade.

The bottom line is... I honestly think that if you popped the pan out of the packaging and added it to my MAC palette I wouldn't be able to tell the difference, the quality is fantastic.  At £1.99 it's an absolute bargain!  It's often on a crazy offer like '3 for £5' or something simular.  I have already hit pan on my first one, I think that speaks volumes.  This item will be in my stash as long as its available!  I highly recommend it.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Soap & Glory Face Massage Mini Mitt

I bought the Soap & Glory Face Massage Mini Mitt on a whim whilst buying the Soap & Glory Hair Turban (which I have already reviewed this month and love!) Now you know that this blog is dreadfully honest so brace yourself.  For some reason when I bought this as it was called a 'mitt' I instantly imagined it to be a Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove only for your face.  That's literally what I thought it was going to look like and the packaging had a little circle cut out of the front for you to feel what it's like.  In reality it's exactly like the 'free scrublet' that came in the L'Oreal Perfect Clean Gentle Scrub which seems to have been discontinued as I can't find it on the Boots or Superdrug website but I do still have it.

Regardless of my initial surprise that it wasn't a full on mitt, I still have included it into my skincare routine with my favourite cleanser to road test it for you and I'm going to keep this one short and sweet.
The bottom line is... The texture of it is a rubbery and plastic so in my honest opinion is doesn't feel in any way, shape or form enjoyable to use.  When you feel your cleanser being rubbed around your face it is borderline squeaky and very unnatural feeling.  At £4 the price of it is not worth it considering the L'Oreal Gentle Scrub would have been that price alot for the product and the 'Scrublet.'  Obviously this isn't a product you need to replenish but if it was I wouldn't buy it, I wouldn't recommend it and it makes me wonder if that's why the L'Oreal version seems to have been discontinued.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Caudalie Divine Oil

It's products like Caudalie Divine Oil that make me glad that I'm still subscribed to Birchbox.  When I saw a Caudalie product in the box I was filled with excitement as in my mind, Caudalie have got a brilliant reputation.  As a lot of people have said before I was concerned about using an oil with my oily combination skin but I needn't have worried.

Caudalie say:

"A nourishing multi-purpose miracle oil, Caudalie Divine Oil is an indulgent treat for dry skin, hair and nails. The unique blend of natural oils, gentle fragrances and softening shea butter can also be used to restore the skin in the bath or during a massage."

This product has been design for use on your face, body and hair but I only use it on my face at night as an overnight treatment.  The scent is divine - there are no other words for it - light, luxurious and spa-like.  In the morning I wake up and my skin feels soft and rejuvenated.

The bottom line is... I love this oil.  As I use it on my face alone just once a week this bottle is going to last me a really long time.  The bottle pictured is actually still the sample although I have already ordered the full size ready and waiting which I know has a spray pump to mist over your face.  If you have the chance to try this product I highly recommend it. 

Friday, 19 July 2013

MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder

I wont beat around the bush, this is one of the MAC products I have repurchased quite a few times.  I bought the MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder as I heard it mentioned a few times on You Tube although now I feel like it doesn't really get mentioned alot now.

MAC's website describe this powder as:

A silky finishing powder that provides an invisible way to set makeup. Reduces shine while optically minimising the look of pores, lines, imperfections. Available in one universal colour that suits all shades. Wear over makeup or on bare, moisturised skin.

I agree with everything it promises.  I bought it mainly to help my make up last longer as I felt my oily/combination skin meant that when it came to remove my make up at the end of the day I would only see the last bit of mascara left so I knew I needed to take action.  It definitely works to keep my make up on longer but the really brilliant bonus to that is that this powder definitely almost has a 'blurring' effect, it makes your skin seem smoother and almost flawless.

The bottom line is... I love this stuff! It lasts a decent amount of time for the price but you could reserve it for either days that you will have your make up on longer, you're having your photo taken or its a special occasion / event.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser

Following on from Tuesday's post and confession, I bought Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser for the same reasons (something to throw on my legs with little effort.)  You can buy this product in two sizes (250ml £3.56 or 400ml £5.10) for two skin types (normal or dry) so I went for the massive one for dry skin.

Nivea claim:

"Discover the new and convenient way to moisturise with the first In-Shower Body Moisturiser from Nivea.
The skin conditioning formula is applied straight after cleansing in the shower and is rinsed off immediately to reveal soft and silky feeling skin.
No need to wait, the formula is instantly absorbed into wet skin so you can dry yourself, get dressed and go!"

Now, straight into the review... I bought this after reading my friend Leanne's Blog about it.  The idea of it is that you use your normal shower gel etc and then apply this to your skin and rinse off.  The texture is pretty much the same as the average body lotion and it does have the typical clean Nivea scent.

The application... firstly it does feel a little odd putting body lotion on whilst stood in the shower but I soon got over this.  Once it's rinsed away your skin does feel silky when its still wet.  Now the first time I applied it I did it sparingly so realising I needed more I picked the bottle back up and here's where the slight problem lies, you already have the product on your hands so it makes the bottle incredibly difficult to hold.  This is probably made worse by the fact I bought the massive bottle but as the packaging is completely smooth I really had to hold on tight.  Thinking of this now I remember watching a You Tube video reviewing it and the reviewer also mentioned this but I put it down to nit-picking, trying to look for faults.  When I got out of the shower and dried off I feel like there was only a slight difference in the softness of my skin.  It felt amazingly soft in the shower but once you've dried yourself I don't think it seemed as soft.

The bottom line is... This product is good for someone who seriously has no intention of moisturising after the shower so your skin should be grateful for what it gets!  I would use it for these occasions when I don't have time for example or my recent little bit of sunburn where as I've used this and still moisturised when I got out in hope of 'doubling up' on moisture.  I hope that Nivea re-design the packaging so that it either has a hook to hang in the shower or a soft grip to it.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

New iPhone 5 Case

I appreciate today's post is completely random but this phone case just deserved its own post.

I got my Chanel iPhone Case from eBay (where else?!) and it cost me £2.49.  It's absolutely perfect for all nail techs and any nail polish lover!!  This case comes in loads of colours that match real Chanel colours.

There are loads of sellers selling these cases, just search for "polish iPhone case" and make sure you're buying the right model for your phone!!

If you do buy one I want to see it! 
Tweet me a photo @liverpoollashes

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Vaseline Spray & Go Body Moisturiser

I feel like I should start this post with a confession.

"My name's Karen and i'm a lazy leg moisturiser"

There i've said it.  It's out there and you can judge all you like.  There's something about moisturising my legs that feels me with dread.  I'll sit and apply it constantly to my upper body and always on my face but that's as far as it goes.  Obviously my legs looks pretty horrendous sometimes because of this but I tell myself they're a long was away from my eyes and ignore them (everything looks better as a distance!)

I was in Boots buying yet another bottle of my favourite Banana Boat's Aloe Vera Gel as i'm a little sunburnt right now when I stumbled across this display...

A moisturising spray that I can throw over my legs? SOLD!! It's actually something I have thought of for a long time after loving L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Airbrush Effect Self Tanning Dry Mist - I thought 'if they can do a self tanning mist then why doesn't someone come up with a moisturiser?"

After standing there trying to decide between Cocoa Radiant, Aloe Fresh or Essential Moisture I finally went for Cocoa Radiant version on my husband's say so (not that he often calls the shots but for random decision making I can always turn to him!)  

As soon as I got out of the shop and into the car I sprayed in on myself (but mostly on the window!) and I was hooked.  The mist is fine, it sprays evenly with a continuous stream of product which dries quickly and doesn't leave a greasey feeling.  Afterwards my skin is left instantly soft with the delicate scent.  

The bottom line is... I love this stuff! I can't stop spraying it to the point where as my husband said 'you're going to run out of that really quickly!'  

My thoughts on the price though... The normal price seems to be £4.99 and this might sound a little stupid but I think thats a little higher then I expected.  I appreciate I buy some pretty expensive products so £5 is nothing in the grand scheme of things but there is 190ml of product, the next best thing to this is Vaseline Essential Moisture Cocoa Radiance Rich Feeling Lotion 200ml which is only £2.99!  Okay it's only £2 but I just don't see why this spray version is more expensive for slightly less product.  

Overall (and ignoring my price rant) I love it.  Buy it.  I recommend it.  Just kidding.  But I do recommend it.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in 'Funtime Fuschia'

I like to dedicate posts to important products so this is definitely one of them.  I bought Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in 'Funtime Fuschia' around 2 years ago.  It must be AT LEAST two years ago.  It was around the time I had first heard the rave reviews of MAC's 'Girl About Town.' At this point i'd only seen videos on You Tube which showed it so without even looking at a swatch I went to Superdrug and found this Rimmel lipstick.  Looking at it now I think that they're not exactly an absolute dupe but they're not far off and I didnt have to have an exact match - just something in my collection that was remotely similar.

Up until this point i'd never tried a Rimmel lipstick before but I swatched it and the formula seemed gorgeous.  It was smooth, glossy and very moisturising that I had to buy it and so I did.  The colour itself is a bright fuschia.  It has a slightly blue undertone to it which I believe definitely makes your teeth look whitener.  Its the perfect all year around shade although I love to crack it out with neutral make up for the day - with me there are no boundaries !!
I love it when I hear a product being raved that i've had for a long time so it was lovely to hear that one of my favourite You Tubers Essie loves it too.

Definitely one to check out if you're a bright lipstick kinda gal !

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Nail Of The Day: Shellac with nail art

Today's post is going to be a Nail Of The Day.  I feel like alot of visitors like to look at these so I like to throw them in and you can always look at my previous simular posts by using the 'labels' section up the side of the blog.

When I did this design I was really pushed for time so this is what I came up with but I still love them.  The colours I used were Hot Pop Pink with Moonlight & Roses layered on top and then the lighter pink nails are Cake Pop with the flower details.

I adore this type of flower as I think its a little bit different to the flowers I typically see on nails but yet they're incredible easy to do.  The colours I used were Shellac's Studio White and Hot Pop Pink with a regular glitter and green polish.

If you'd like to see how the flowers are created, heres the tutorial:


Saturday, 13 July 2013

Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser

If you're a subscriber to my You Tube Channel you will know how madly in love with this product I am.  Since this launched a little while I feel like every well known You Tuber or Blogger has been buzzing about the Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser.

I'm often a little sceptical about when theres a massive hype on new products.  Obviously this is because either it truly is amazing or that people have been caught up in the hype and convinced themselves its better than what it is.  I - of course - was hoping it was the first one as I pulled up my car by Boots!  

As I explained in my previous post on the Vichy Idealia Smoothing & Illuminating Cream, my face (like sometimes my personality) can be awkward and not respond to a lot of moisturisers.  I know this sounds ridiculous but I was extremely excited about trying it, to the point were as when I got home I actually considered taking all of my make up off to apply it - seriously - but I came to my senses and filed it away in my newly arranged drawers for the morning.  Okay I admit I did open it up and smelt it by putting a tiny drop on my hand.

The next day I followed my usual morning routine and as I sat down at my desk I pulled open the drawer I felt another wave of excitement.  I applied it to my face. WOW - this stuff is divine.  There are no words.  Lets talk about the scent as thats the first thing that hits you, its a gorgeous zingy orange fragrance.  The texture is a very soft mix of a cream and a gel, for this reason I believe this is why it feels so lightweight on the skin and seems to sink in straight away to the point where as my make up is pretty much ready to be applied straight after. I said this in my June 2013 favourites video but I am absolutely not joking when I say that when I apply this moisturiser I find myself muttering 'Mmmm.'

Price wise this tub is the only size available so for 50ml its £23 in Boots.  Comparing this to the equalivant sized pot of another favourite moisturiser - Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief which is £32 and my Vichy Idealia Smoothing & Illuminating Cream at £22, I think this is a really responsible price.

Bottom line is... I love it.  I shall definitely repurchase it once this tub runs out.  I think its gorgeous and citrusy for the summer but will help wake you up in the depths of winter too - a win / win situation!!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Lush Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly

So todays post is going to be a pretty short one - short and Sweetie - okay okay I couldnt resist.  I went to the Trafford Centre with a friend and one of the items on my list was the Lush Big Shampoo.  While I was in there we had a full mooch around all of their products and found quite a few interesting items including their Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly.  With its dark appearance, the blue and purple sparkles and the scent described as 'cherries and coconut' we were both sold.

The texture is like jelly before you mix it with water.  Its quite structured and thick.  The lady in the shop advised us to use with a shower scrunchie netting thing (which i've just learnt is apparently called a shower puff.)  The best way that i've found it to rip off a small chunk, approximately a 10p coin size, open up the layers of netting and stuff it in there.  Then go under the water but holding the layers of netting closed over the chunk until it starts to lather and the scent engulfs you.  Believe me when I say this stuff lathers!!  I've heard others say that they've struggled to use it but I think if you use it how I do then there is no problem.

The tubs are £3.10 for 100g and £6.25 for 240g which initially I thought was a little steep but now I see how long thinh is going to last I would happily repurchase.  A plus side is Lush accept both the small and large tubs back for their '5 tubs for a free face mask' off.  Result!!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Seventeen Blemish Balm BB Cream

Never in a million years did I think I would ever find myself falling in love with a product from this brand.  I dont consider myself to be a brand snob but I just put this brand into the 'teenager' category so when I found myself picking up a bottle of the Seventeen Blemish Balm BB Cream in 'light' I did question myself. 

To cut a long story short I bought it last August (I found the receipt the other day!) but it was only when I organised my collection I decided to stray from my usual Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser for a day and try it out.  Comparing to my beloved tinted moisturiser the first thing I noticed is that the consistency of the BB cream is definitely thicker and therefore more coverage.  Don't get me wrong its not as full coverage as a foundation but its definitely more than the average tinted moisturiser. The finish leaves a slight dewy appearance but the best part is throughout the day its got a pretty good lasting power and your skin feels moisturised and soft, although I have oily / combination skin I really enjoy this aspect of it.

The bottom line is... I would repurchase it. Its a good price, it works well for someone who likes a little coverage but fairly light on the skin and maybe just use with a little concealer if required.

The packaging has since changed - click here to see the updated version.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

This review is possibly a little confused but a very honest one.  I bought the Caudalie Beauty Elixir at the start of last summer because of all of the hype that it had gotten from alot of the UK You Tubers.

I sprayed it on my face over my make up as soon as it arrived.  It was a deliciously fresh scent, mint and herbal is the best description I think.  I put my bottle in my handbag and sprayed it constantly for the next two weeks worrying that I had some sort of addiction to it!  Now I must say straight away that although I used it alot I didnt initially feel a difference in my skin other than a refreshing mist.  Alarmed at the rate that the bottle was going down, I tucked it away in a drawer for a while but fast forward to around two months ago when I started sorting out of my make up and skincare into a properly organised stash and came across it again.

I sprayed it over my face again and recoiled... I swear it didnt smell right and I was then suitably furious that it had gone off.  It was only when I was talking to someone else who also had it, telling her that mine was 'off' as it smelt funny, that she got out hers and it smelt the same.  I'm the sort of person that when something puts me off its hard to get past that - particularly scents - but armed with the knowledge that it was meant to be like that I have carried on using it until the bottle is virtually empty. 

The bottom line is... i'm not sure about it.  If you're after a hydrating facial spray then this is for you and i'd say its really good for that, far better than a water spray like Evian or Vichy Thermal Water.  As far is the claim of 'tightening pores' and 'burst of radiance' - the pores i'm not sure of and perhaps it gives a little radiance.  I think my biggest problem with it is that i'm not sure if the hype has brain washed me and/or others into thinking its better than what it really is.. but then on the other hand I found myself mooching around the Feel Unique website wanting to order another last night?! 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

My Work: My latest set of acrylics

I like to throw in some photos of my work if they're interesting / something different / I've remembered to catch them before they leave.

This client is lovely and she always has something fun.  Everytime she arrives she will say something like "remember when you did the mermaid nails / the black and gold nails / the blah blah nails...? Can I have those again please?" Now I believe on making sure they get what they want and if she meant it then that's fine but then ill show her a photo or a sample of something and she's like "I love it! Can I have that please?!" 

This time she saw a sample I had of Shellac Azure Wish with Cream Puff polka dots.  As I have a baby blue acrylic powder (NSI It's A Boy) it was easily replicated only she wanted something slightly different on her ring fingers so chose to have full blue with polka dots on those.

I love them.  I'm a fan of the pastels / polka dots / Laura Ashley style look and more importantly - she loved them!

To top if off at the end she went to grab her purse and I had the pleasure in telling her its a birthday present from her sister and she had already paid me for them - she was so suprised! 

Monday, 8 July 2013

L'Oreal Paris Nude Magique CC Creams

Its funny how one day you look at yourself in the mirror like you've done a million times before and suddenly realise something different.  One day I realised that I naturally have quite red cheeks and this is why my blush always looks different on me than others.  I saw an advert for the L'Oreal Paris Nude Magique CC Creams and since it was available in three different types, Anti-Redness, Anti-Fatigue and Anti-Dullness I decided to order the Anti-Redness and Anti-Dullness versions. 

** Before I go any further please bear in mind that these photos were taken a day or two after a spray tan but naturally I am the lighter - and in some cases - the lightest shade of most foundation brands **

As always when I returned from Boots I already had my make up so I opened up the tubes and applied a little blob to my hand.  I already knew that the Anti-Redness version would come out of the tube green and the Anti-Dullness version would come out of the tube purple but I was amazed at when I started to rub it into my hand the colour changed into a foundation sort of shade.  I thought to myself 'they really are magique!'

The next day I decided to try the Anti-Redness version out but as I applied it to my cheeks first and blended it I realised it was far too dark for my skintone but covered the redness.  I blended it out further and it then matched my colouring but the redness came through underneath.  The Anti-Dullness version also does not match my skintone, its a little better but the whole point I wanted to test them was for the redness really.

Partially blended
The part about this product that I cant understand is that redness will show through more on paler skins.  When I tan whether it be on holiday or false tan it masks the redness anyway so why make a CC cream that the people will only fit the people that need it less?  I just dont understand it.

Completely blended in
The bottom line is... I want this stuff to work.  I really do.  I will use it but try to sheer it out just to get rid of it.  It might be good for someone who is a medium skintone with a recent scar or mark that they want to cover but that going to be about it.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Strawberries Dipped In Chocolate Nail Tutorial

With the weather beautiful in the UK this week I put together a nail design perfect for it... Strawberries Dipped In Chocolate.  Absolutely delicious!  I love the red and green together - it's so bright and cheerful.

You could always switch the gold glitter for yellow but I felt that the yellow isn't very prominent on a real strawberry and gold glitter would spice it up! 

Heres the full tutorial... Enjoy! 


Saturday, 6 July 2013

Decleor Aroma Night Ylang Ylang Purifying Night Balm

Following on from yesterday's post where I spoke about starting out with skincare, today I wanted to do a review of the Decleor Aroma Night Ylang Ylang Purifying Night Balm.  This balm was recommended to me by a friend who had it recommended to her.  I read reviews of it online but since the Cheap Smells website had it so reasonably priced (currently on offer for £15.49 and free delivery) I didn't hesitate to put my order in.

When it arrived I opened up the box and quickly realised that they weren't messing about when they called this 'aromatherapy.'  The scent is pretty strong but very calming.  The official website description is as follows..

"With its lush, melt-in texture, Aromessence Baume De Nuit Ylang Ylang offers all the benefits of a made-to-measure Aromatic night-care product:- cleanses and purifies the complexion and also helps to re-balance the skin- diminishes imperfections and reduces inflammation"

Before I tried this product out I featured it in a haul video and one subscriber commented and told me they had it, they didn't like it due to the greasy texture.  I can definitely see where she was coming from with this.  As you can see by the photos the product itself looks similar to Vaseline and in the box there is a little white plastic spatula to scoop it out which is most appreciate as you don't really want to have to dig into the jar and is definitely more hygienic.

The instructions tell you to warm a little of the product inbetween your palms, massage into the face and then cup your hands over your face and inhale.  Let me tell you when I inhale I could sit there for hours doing that.  Its so calming and relaxing that it sets me into the perfect mood for sleep.  Back onto the texture, I do feel that it gives a slight greasy texture to your face but honestly I don't mind that, in fact I'd probably go as far to say I really like that as it feels like I can sleep knowing I have something on my skin that's doing magic. 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Starting out with skincare

My recent obsession with skincare all started when I took a shameful selfy and realised my skin was not looking its best.  It looked dehydrated and therefore borderline wrinkly, tight and all around horrific.  It was then that I started researching, googling, finding You Tubers & Bloggers that seem to know their skincare (mainly Kate from Gh0stparties and her other website Nouvelle Daily, Gemma from Gems Maquillage and of course the queen of skincare Caroline Hirons)

At this point I am 28 years old, I have shamefully used make up wipes to remove my make up for years and that would be my night routine.  I have had cleansers that i've used in fits and starts but never consistantly.  The one thing I always did was to use a moisturiser as although I have oily combination skin my skin needed it or it would feel tight but apart from that this was pretty much my 'routine'    * cringe *

The first thing I did was watch this video from Kate (Gh0stparties)  Its her 'Beginners Skincare' Video...


The next thing I did was to search on the Caroline Hirons Blog and found this 'Routines - Cheat Sheet' as she call them very useful.

The next thing I did was watch this video that was the Pixiwoo sisters interviewing Caroline Hirons for their Body Talk Daily channel on You Tube.  I like explaination Caroline gives for different products, her thoughts and the benefits..

I've since watched tons of You Tube videos on different routines (morning and evening, their favourite products, etc.)  Ive read blog posts on items, looked up individual reviews and started to try products out for myself.  Obviously as with all revies you have to bear in mind that what works for someone else wont necessarily be what works for you and vice versa but its good for a general guide.

The shameful thing is i'm actually trained to do facials.  In fairness it was in college so i'm trained for the process side of things, the bones and muscles in the face, massage movements, etc.  As with most colleges we used a basic skincare range which shall remain unnamed but its a typical low cost line from the beauty supply store.  On our first day learning about facials our tutor asked the group 'who uses make up wipes?' and probably at least 20 out of the 24 mumbled or raised our hands.  The tutor told us to get rid of them straight away, they only push make up around your face and to use a proper system and we would be amazed by the results within 8 weeks.  We all nodded and agreed to do it but when the class was over I went back to my lazy ways - there - i've said it. 

So fast forward to now, i've been using various lotion and potions for around 6 weeks now as much as I wasnt a fan of that tutor, she was right.  I still use make up wipes only now I use them to remove the intial bulk of make up, then a proper remover if needed and a cleanser.  After that I use a whole host of different products, mainly moisturisers like Vichy Idealia Smoothing & Illuminating Cream, but then I will mix in overnight masks like Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask and every now and again I will use a face oil like Caudalie Divine Oil.  Some of these products are already reviewed on my blog but if not they shall all have my thoughts added this morning so please look out for those.

I do have a Clarasonic Mia, again a review of that will be posted this month.  I do use it occasionally but not every other day or every day like I hear some people use it.

I also like to apply face masks.  Please notice that I said 'apply' as I hate removing most of them.  For that reason I use sheet masks.  Another You Tuber who makes videos occasionally sent me some sheet masks from Singapore.  Obviously when they arrived I didnt know what any of the packaging meant but I put one on a freshly cleansed face and afterwards it felt hydrated and smooth.  I've since located the brand on ebay and ordered myself another box (If you search for 'Sexy Looks Face Mask' you should be able to find it)

So this, I suppose is my current routine.  As I try new products I shall continue to report back !

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

My Work: Shellac With Nail Art

I want to keep this blog mixed of both nails and beauty related posts fitting in with viewers of both of my You Tube channels and also because these two topics interest me equally.

Today's post is just to share with you one my latest jobs.  

The girl that came to me never knows what she wants (her words not mine!) but she fancied turquoise.  As she was having Shellac she quickly choose Hotski To Tchotchke but as  know its quite a sheer colour I dragged out my colour pops and tried it on its only and also on top of Azure Wish.  I know my clients love when I do these sort of things, it's going to the extra mile for them to get the nails exactly what they're after.  In fairness doing this with every client in a busy salon would put big delays on the service but as I work from home and book my own appointments I never have clients in directly after each other (unless its Christmas!) Anyway she choose the version with Azure Wish underneath - I knew she would - it just made the colour seem more dense.

For the flowers I did the same ones as this video:

Only I used Cream Puff, cured and then Hot Pop Pink, cured and then used a glitter polish for the centre.

She loves them and has since messaged me saying that she's getting alot of compliments and had really enjoyed wearing them.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Soap & Glory Hair Turban

I was recommended the Soap & Glory Hair Turban by a friend who swore that it dried her hair faster.  I don't consider myself to be a "cheap" sort of person but I thought £7.50 was a little steep for something so basic so I held off purchasing it.  It was only when I had a voucher for spending a certain amount of money on Soap & Glory (although the item turned out to be not on the offer!) that I went ahead and picked one up.

My hair is quite thick and takes a little while to dry.  I've recently had it chopped from pretty long to collarbone length for the summer so that it dries quicker but oddly I believe the cut has not made the slightest difference!!  As my hair is thick and naturally wavy I have developed a process to get it into the way I like it which basically involves a million (exaggeration!) shampoos that I rotate for each wash, when I get out I wrap it in a towel, then after ten minutes ill brush it gently and twist it up in a clamp and leave it an hour so that the hair dryer dries it quicker and doesn't struggle getting my hair completely dry.

The steps for the turban are pretty basic and photographed above.  It is a loop in one side which goes over a button at the back of your head to secure in place.  It promises... 

"Dries hair quickly. Designed to be lightweight, compact, and durable, the hair turban is ideal for everyday use at home, in the gym, and while travelling"

I washed my hair as normal, I still wrapped it in my normal towel for a few minutes to take out the first initial bulk of water away and then I wrapped it in the turban.

Well the first thing I noticed was how lightweight it was.  I'm used to trying to balance a pretty hefty towel on my head so this was good.  Checking myself out in the mirror I felt like a pretty cute fifties housewife which was another plus.  When it came to my usual hour of air drying I unwrapped my turban and removed it my hair was definitely drier and for some reason I swear my hair feels softer... Perhaps because hair always responds better the more you air dry it - who knows? 

Bottom line... If my turban was to vanish or get damaged in some way I would DEFINITELY repurchase it.  

Monday, 1 July 2013

Vichy Idealia Smoothing And Illuminating Cream

Today I wanted to talk about one of my new favourite moisturisers.  Now when I say "new favourite" - please don't take this as I find a favourite every other week - it's quite the opposite.

For a long time I've struggled with combination oily skin.  I found that I had an oily T zone but yet when I got out of the shower and my face dried my forehead was so tight and itchy that it was such an unpleasant experience.  I have searched for years for a moisturiser that actually works, alot that I have tried could not relieve that tight feeling.  The only one I have found is the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief which is brilliant and I have purchased it for years.  Like all beauty addicts I'm always keen to see if I can find a better one / more budget friendly alternative and after an extremely poor month I came across a sample in a GlossyBox that I decided to try out.

Introducing the love of my life (moisture wise!) Vichy Idealia Smoothing And Illuminating Cream.

The texture is a light weight gel-like pink toned cream.  The scent is GORGEOUS - a subtle fragrance of raspberries.  It's marketed for sensitive skin and I do believe it lives up to the claim.  The description promises to even texture and complexion whilst smoothing wrinkles.  It is also paraben free which is another plus for me.

With regards to the wrinkles side of things, only time will tell but I definitely believe its evened out my complexion but the main point for me is the hydration my skin was craving for.  

I adore this cream so much that I quickly finished my sample pot and headed straight to Boots for the full size version.  If you are thinking of purchasing this please be aware that there are two types "normal to combination skin" and "dry skin" and the only way to them apart is the last line on the front of the box which I didn't initially notice.

Overall - I highly recommend it and at the time of writing this post it's currently on special offer in Boots for £16.50 however I bought it on a 3 for 2 offer (full price is £22 for 50ml) so always look out for special offers.

Thanks for reading !