Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Happy Birthday The Little Blog of Beauty

I'm not doing very well with posting in July (I've taken another unplanned blogging break after getting a role that has involved several days filming and not having any posts prepared) but I thought I'd pop a quick post up to let you know that The Little Blog of Beauty turns one today!

  Image source: We Heart It

Help yourself to a gorgeous birthday cupcake!

I've actually been blogging for just over a year and a half now but I started off on Tumblr and I really didn't like it or feel comfortable over there.  My design was awful because I felt so restricted with what I could do with the templates and I don't think people are keen on following blogs based on Tumblr.  I made the decision to move my blog over to Blogger and treat it to it's own domain and the transition was completed on 22nd July 2013.  So this is the birthday of my new blog.  I lost all my previous comments (there wasn't that many!) and a few followers (there wasn't a huge amount of those either!) and some of my older posts aren't formatted very well because of the transition (I don't want to change them as when you hit update it effectively republishes them) but I'm much much happier on blogger.  

I hope to have a new post up as soon as possible but I may still have a few more days filming left to do yet and although I have a day off today I think I'll take it easy after several days filming and accidentally electrocuting myself when I got back last night!  Don't worry, I'm fine, we called the out of hours doctor who sent an ambulance round and the paramedic checked me over and confirmed all was ok.


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Dixi 'Wild Hearts' collection

One of my favourite online jewellery shops is Dixi and a few weeks ago they launched a new collection called Wild Hearts, which includes over 100 new products.  Not all of their jewellery is to my taste but am particularly partial to their midi rings and several other items also caught my eye so I thought I'd do a post to show you my top picks from the collection.

As I said I'm partial to a midi ring or two and there are several new midi rings in the Wild Hearts collection. The ones that have particularly caught my eye are the Open arms midi ring (4) and the Santiago midi ring (5).  Both are made of silver plated copper (nickel and lead free) and are just £6 each.  

The standard rings that caught my eye in the collection are the Herkimer diamond ring (7) which is available in sterling silver for £36 and silver plated brass for £26 and the Midnight moon ring (3) which is sterling silver and £28. The Midnight moon ring was already on the site (I've had my eye on this one for a while now!) but has obviously been relaunched in the new collection.

The Moon child bracelet (1) you can also get in the same design but with 'Ocean child' or 'Wild hearts' on.  These are £16 each and are available in polished silver, antiqued silver, gold and rose gold, although all finishes are not currently available across all bracelets and sizes (I'm assuming stock may follow later).  The Sky above me, Earth below me and Fire within me bracelets (6) come in a set of three for £30.  These would be great for a layered festival type look and can obviously also be worn individually or maybe split between friends or maybe siblings.  The last bracelet that caught my eye was the Sea dancer green aura bracelet (8).  This is also available with an aqua stone and they're £36 each.  This may not be the most practical of bracelets as the stone might be a little chunky on your wrist and may catch on things (also it's on an open bracelet so you may run the risk of knocking it off) but just look at how pretty it is and the stone will vary in size and shape on different bracelets so it would kind of be unique to you.

Finally the very pretty Treasure island clutch bag (2) caught my eye because of the gorgeous bright colours.  These are fair trade handmade by the Hmong women in the hill tribes of Thailand and feature a wrist strap, zip closure and inner zip compartment.  This has a width of 11" and height of 6" so it's actually quite large and very reasonably priced at £24.

If any of these items take your fancy why not head over to the Dixi website and take a look at the whole collection.  What's your favourite piece from my selection?


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Blendercleanser Solid

After my last post on The Original Beautyblender I was asked if I would post a review of the Blendercleanser Solid after I'd had a chance to use it.  I haven't posted for over a week now (which was an unintentional short break, I've just been busy!) so I thought I'd follow up my last post with a review of the Blendercleanser (I still love that name!).  

Blendercleanser Solid

Blendercleanser Solid
Blendercleanser Solid

Apologies a couple of my photos aren't great, I had to take them on timer so I could have both hands free and they've come out slightly blurred.  Also please avert your eyes from my water stained tap, I really should cleaned it first shouldn't I!

Blendercleanser Solid is just like any other standard soap and is super easy to use, well that is until you drop it in the sink and the whole thing gets wet and then it becomes difficult to hold, but more on that later.  To use the Blendercleanser you just wet your Beautyblender, swirl it round on the top of the soap and then rinse until all of the soap is washed away.  Admittedly I've only actually used my Beautyblender a couple of times, so there wasn't an awful lot of foundation (or in this case BB cream) on there, but it was really quick and came up sparkly clean. 

You can also use this for makeup brushes, I used it to clean my Real Techniques Stippling brush.  You do this in exactly the same way, just wet the brush, swirl it on the soap and then rinse.  Again my Stippling brush didn't have that much on it as I've only used it a couple of times since I last washed it but it also came up clean really quickly.

There are pluses and minuses to this product.  It is quick and easy to use, you don't have to use your hand to 'scrub' the Beautyblender or brush as you do it on the soap and it should last well as you don't use much each time.  However as I did mention briefly earlier if you accidentally get the whole thing wet instead of just the top it obviously gets very slippy and almost impossible to hold.  It would be better if it came in some kind of little plastic tray that it sits in so you can hold it more easily.  This would also be better for drying it afterwards.  I left it on my sink to dry and thought it would end up sticking to the sink because the bottom would stay damp and get sticky but actually it did dry all round and didn't stick.  Now it's dry though I'm not sure where I'm going to store it, it really does need some kind of little pot for it to live in.

I don't know about you but I'm very funny about where I store a makeup sponge once it's damp, I'm really not happy to drop it in a makeup bag or even just leave it sitting on a surface.  What I've done is I've kept the cute little pot it came in and when it's damp I just pop it back in the pot but because it's swelled up it balances in the opening of the pot so has minimal contact with any surfaces.  Once it's dried and shrunk back down it drops into the pot and then I just pop the lid back on to protect it from dust until the next time I want to use it.  

How do you prefer to clean your makeup tools?


Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Original Beautyblender

I've tried the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge (post here if you fancy a look) but have never tried The Original Beautyblender (probably because it's three times the price!). When I spotted that the June Birchbox included a Beautyblender this was one of the products that made me decide to order the box as a one off.  Birchbox started releasing a few spoilers about the box and when I read that 'some' subscribers would receive this I prepared to throw a full on diva strop if I didn't see one nestled in my box when it arrived!  Fortunately this was one of the products I received. If you'd like to see what else was in my June Birchbox you can find the post here.   

The Original Beautyblender
The Original Beautyblender
The Original Beautyblender
The Original Beautyblender
Just in case you've not come across the Beautyblender before this is a makeup sponge that comes in a super cute little egg shape.  Mine is a bright pink colour but I believe you can also get them in black and white. The Beautyblender on its own is £16 but mine also came with a solid Blendercleanser soap (that name tickles me!) that can be used to clean both the Beautyblender and any makeup brushes that you have and this little set is worth £26.

To use the Beautyblender you run the sponge under cold water and squeeze out the excess before placing it inside a towel and pressing between your hands to ensure its just damp rather than wet.  You then use this to 'bounce' your foundation onto your face (I think stipple if the technical term).  The round sides of the sponge can be used to apply foundation to large areas of the face and the pointy tip can be used for those fiddly areas like around your nose or eyes.  

The bouncing method is not the quickest way to apply your base but if you do have the time I'd definitely recommend at least giving this a try as it gives such a lovely almost airbrushed finish to your makeup.  I personally think the finish is due to the combination of patting the foundation onto your face and using the sponge damp.  Like a setting spray applied after completing your makeup sets it in place I think the damp sponge sets your foundation in place as you go.  I've been using this with a BB cream and I've found that it provides a lovely finish and makes the BB cream last longer on my skin.  So if it works this well with a BB cream imagine how well it would work with something with a higher level of coverage.  

I haven't tried washing this yet but I believe it's super easy with the solid cleanser.  I think you just wet the top, rub (or maybe swish?) the Beautyblender or a brush in circles on the top and then just rinse. 

In terms of practicality I don't think this is really one for travelling with due to having to wet it and then having somewhere to store it to dry.  I wouldn't be happy to drop this back into a makeup bag while damp as I'd want to leave it in the open air. But at home this obviously isn't a problem.  When I'm at home and I've got the time to spend a little longer applying my makeup I will definitely be using this to get a lovely airbrushed finish for my base.

Have you tried The Original Beautyblender?


Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Body Shop Camomile Silky cleansing oil

You may have seen my post a few weeks back about some products I've recently bought from The Body Shop, the post is here if you missed it and fancy a little looksie.  In that post I told you that I'd recently had a £15 TBS gift card to spend.  I popped in store for a little wander round to see what I fancied and I decided I'd like to try out either their new Camomile silky cleansing oil or the Camomile Sumptuous cleansing butter. They had an offer of buy one skincare product get one half price, but I didn't want to get both cleansers at the same time so I went for the oil one and also bought the new Vitamin E Serum-in-oil (review on that one to follow).  With the offer that meant both products together were £17.  I then used my Love your body card for 10% off taking this down to £15.30 and obviously my £15 gift card made it just 30p for me to actually pay.  What a bargain!

The Body Shop Camomile silky cleansing oil

The Body Shop Camomile silky cleansing oil
Checking the ingredients for this (which I always do to make sure a product I'm buying doesn't contain Lavender oil) I was surprised to find that I couldn't see Camomile oil in the ingredients list.  A quick Google search revealed that there are two types of Camomile, Roman and German, and that the Roman one is scientifically known as Anthemis Nobilis.  This is listed in the ingredients, although it's second to last out of 17 ingredients, which I believe means there is actually very little Camomile in there.  I'm no skincare expert, so I'm not sure how much of an essential oil needs to be in a product for it to actually have any effect, but as you'll see from my review I really don't mind as I love this product.  I just think it's slightly misleading calling it a Camomile cleanser if there's very little Camomile actually in there.  As well as Camomile this also contains Soybean, Sweet almond, Sunflower seed and Sesame seed oil, all of which are there in larger quantities than the Camomile oil.

This comes in a pump bottle which is definitely handy as this is a very runny oil that will slip straight through your fingers if you're not careful.  Although this does have a lock mechanism on the pump I wouldn't recommend travelling with this one unless you can keep it upright as I've found the oil does leak out around the pump if on it's side, which can obviously get messy.  In fact I think mine does leak a little all the time as I keep having to wipe around the base of the pump, but it might just be my one or it might be because the oil is so thin and slippy it creeps out around the pump. Also the pump does shoot the product out quite far, not drop it down into your hand, so be ready to catch it.   

I haven't actually used a cleansing oil for removing my makeup before, in the past I've been a micellar water kind of girl (as part of a double cleanse), but I've used this both to remove my makeup and as my second cleanse product and I love using it both ways.  I may now actually be a cleansing oil to remove my makeup kind of girl, although most likely I'll chop and change depending on my mood and convenience. I use a couple of pumps and relax as I massage this over my whole face, including my eyes.  Seriously I think I could just carry on massaging this in all evening!  This melts off all of your makeup in seconds with minimal effort and that includes stubborn mascaras.  I've been using a Lancome Hypnose mascara (Star) that I've been struggling to remove with Bioderma but this just melts it away.  It doesn't dry my skin out at all, but leaves it feeling soft and smooth, and rinses away without leaving any kind of oily residue behind.  You could remove this with a muslin cloth or flannel if you wanted but I just splash my face and that removes it all.

I love this product and would definitely pay £10 to repurchase it. Although as I'm sure you're all aware now you rarely have to pay full price for TBS products as they pretty much constantly have amazing offers such as 40% off or buy two products get two free.  If you're still unsure about jumping on the bandwagon with this product I'd say hop right on there!  

Have you tried The Body Shop's Camomile Silky cleansing oil?