Clinique pop lip colour + primer - Cherry pop

Although I've tried a few different Clinique products, both in their skincare and makeup ranges, I haven't really been attracted to any of their lipstick products so far. I do have a couple of Chubby sticks, but in general I find them a little too sheer and subtle for me. My boyfriend did also buy me the 'A Taste of Honey' gift set a few Christmas ago which contained four of their Almost lipsticks, but the colours they provide are barely detectable so I really haven't used them. 

So I really haven't got on with Clinique's lip based offering so far, but when I saw their new Pop lip colour + primer lipsticks I really wanted to get my hands on one. When placing a House of Fraser order with the gift card I won I decided to go for some Clinique products and added a Pop lipstick to my order. I'd seen a beautiful red shade on Hayley from London Beauty Queen on her Instagram and as I've gone from not wearing a red lip to buying all the red shades I took a guess at the shade she might have been wearing and ordered Cherry pop. 

Clinique pop lip colour + primer Cherry pop
Clinique pop lip colour + primer Cherry pop
Clinique pop lip colour + primer Cherry pop

Just look at that swatch, such a pretty shade! I do find the colour of the packaging and the bullet quite deceptive though. Both the packaging and bullet (and of course the name) suggest a cherry red shade but once applied this is a pinky based red, in fact I might even go as far as saying it's more of a deep pink that borders on red. I really don't mind this though as I love the shade.

The packaging is quite simple featuring a mirrored silver lid with Clinique on one side and a red base. I think as long as you were quite careful you could actually apply this using the lid as a mirror. I'm not sure I'm keen on the coloured part of the packaging (although it does help you identify the shade) but in general I do like the overall appearance. There's no click or magnetic closure on the tube but it is a very snug fit, so much so that it does take a little bit of effort to remove the lid and replace it again and I would be confident that this wouldn't come off in my bag. 

The idea of these lipsticks is that they contain a lip colour and primer in one, making them easy to apply and wear. This glides on with ease, there's no tugging at all as it's a very creamy formula and it's also very comfortable to wear. I have naturally very dry lips and even if a lipstick is comfortable to wear to begin with I often find that they become dryer the longer I wear them as my lips suck all the moisture out of the formula. I don't have a problem with this one at all though and despite the creamy formula I find it lasts really well too, leaving behind a stain on the lips as the actual colour fades away.

One of the most surprising things about this lipstick for me though is the price. With Chubby sticks being £17 I'd expect to pay around £20 for a pop lipstick, but they're actually slightly cheaper than the Chubby sticks at £16. For that price skip another MAC lipstick next time you're feeling the urge and try one of these instead!

Have you tried a Clinique pop lipstick?

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DIY - Covered notebooks

At school each term when I got my new exercise books the first thing I'd do when I got home from school was cover them in sticky back plastic so they didn't get all dog-eared through the term. Even back them I apparently had a dislike for things looking scruffy and too well used. I might not be at school any more but I do like pretty notebooks (what blogger doesn't!). 

DIY - Covered notebooks
DIY - Covered notebooks

This is a very cheap project to do and also pretty easy. You need to get your hands on some notebooks and it doesn't really matter how cheap and plain they are as you'll be covering them in something pretty. I picked up a pack of three exercise books from Wilkos for 99p but if you don't have a Wilkos close by you could try places like pound shops and discount book stores. This won't work with ring bound notebooks but will work with exercise books or notebooks with a thicker more book like spine. 

As for what you cover them with you can use whatever you want really but I used wallpaper samples, which are completely free. Just head to your nearest DIY store, have a browse of the wallpaper section and pick out some designs you like and grab a sample of each one. As you can probably see my 'wooden floor' background is actually wallpaper! As I bought a whole roll of it (it was pretty cheap OK!) I thought I'd make a 'wood effect' notebook and then I grabbed a sample of a pretty black wallpaper. You can't see in the pictures but the little squares contain glitter so it sparkles in the light.

DIY - Covered notebooks
DIY - Covered notebooks

1. Start by cutting a section from your sample that is about an inch wider than your notebook all the way around. You'll need to open up your book or at least just flip it from one side over to the other to make sure the section is the correct size. 

2. Open the book up and hold it in place flat while you draw around the outside with a pencil. You'll also need to make a mark on the top and bottom line where the fold of the exercise book is. If you're covering a notebook with a spine you'll need to draw around three sides of one half of the notebook, carefully move the notebook to lay the spine down flat and draw along the top and bottom of the spine and then lay the other half of the notebook down and draw around the remaining three sides. This is to make sure you cut out enough to go round the spine.

3. You then need to add some flaps to each edge to secure the cover to the book. On the two outsides edges you'll just need one flap but on the top and bottom you'll need to draw two separate flaps that join where the exercise book folds. You'll want to try and keep these as neat as possible as although you can't see them from the outside you'll see them when you open the cover of the book. On the first book I made these by measuring in a cm and then out a cm to make the point of the flap but this was a little small so for the second one I went in half a cm and out one and a half cm's. If you're covering a notebook you'll need to make three folds on the top and bottom line; two larger ones that end as they meet the spine and a much smaller flap that you can curve over the top and the bottom of the spine to give it a neat appearance. 

4. Once you've drawn all of the flaps on you'll need to cut this out.

5. Open your book and place it flat within your traced outline. Starting with the front of the book, fold each of the flaps around the cover and secure inside the cover. Glue is obviously the neatest way to do this but I discovered that my glue wouldn't stick so I used Sellotape instead. Sellotape doesn't look as neat but works well. Once one side is stuck down rather than leaving the whole book flat it's best to prop that side up (either ask somebody to hold it or I used my stomach to hold it up) to make sure you're leaving enough space to curve round the fold of the exercise book. Otherwise once finished the covering could be too tight and might pull up the top of the book rather than it laying flat. If covering a notebook obviously do the same to go round the spine. You then secure the last flaps in place and you're done. 

DIY - Covered notebooks

Covering my exercise books at school in sticky back plastic meant this stuck to the book all the way round, but covering them with wallpaper or anything else that isn't sticky will result in a slight 'puffy' appearance to the book once finished. If you'd prefer it to appear flatter you can use some glue just before you secure the flaps to stick the covering down to the book cover.

Will you be trying out making your own pretty notebooks?

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The Body Shop Spa of the World range

The Body Shop's new Spa of the World range launched on 10th August and I've been sent a few products from the range to try. The products I'll be trying out include the Japanese camellia cream Velvet moisture body cream*, Moroccan rhassoul body clay* and Thai lemongrass massage oil*. I haven't really tried any of these products yet (I'll be reporting back with my thoughts on them in the future) but I wanted to introduce the range to you.

The Body Shop Spa of the World

This is intended as a luxurious spa brand so the prices do run a little higher than you would usually pay for a product from The Body Shop. I believe TBS are currently overhauling some of their packaging and the Spa of the World range does feature packaging that we haven't seen from them before, running with a gold and deep bronze/golden brown colour scheme. The products available online do appear to be a bit limited but I believe more products may be available in store. I thought there were 'themes' in terms of scent/ingredients across different products but actually it appears that each product is different. The scents/ingredients available include Dead sea salt, Himalayan charcoal, Tahitian orchid, and French lavender and the products include scrubs, bath oils. body masks, body moisturisers and massage oils.

The product I'm really intrigued to try is the Moroccan rhassoul firming clay body mask (£16). We're all familiar with clay face masks but I think this may be the first body mask that I have personally come across. There is also a body mask brush (£10) available to use with this which I am tempted by and might pick up if I like the product. I do use a brush to apply clay masks to my face and although you can obviously just use your hands I do prefer using a brush as it's a little less messy. This is designed for the tummy, legs and arms and absorbs excess water and oil to tighten skin and make it feel firmer as it dries. It's not clear whether this 'firmed' feeling is intended to hang around after the product has been washed off but I'm guessing this might be the case. I won't be using this on my tummy or arms, as I'm lucky enough to not need any help in these areas, but I will be trying it out on my legs. I don't really suffer from cellulite but do tend to suffer from 'puffy' legs, which stops me wearing anything above the knee. It recommends removing this with firm circular movements to maximise the firming effect so it might be worth trying this with a body brush.  

Although I have dry skin I'm not a fan of TBS' body butters as I find them too solid and my skin doesn't absorb them well. I am however a fan of their body lotions (although I've only really tried the Smoky poppy one) as I find these absorb well and quickly and don't leave any horrible stickiness behind. The Japanese camellia velvet moisture body cream (£23) definitely comes in somewhere between the two. It's solid, so not a body lotion, but it has a light, whipped cream feel that is much softer than the body butters. A few years ago I had a moisturiser from a Ted Baker gift set that was described as a body soufflé and I loved it, but it had been discontinued when I went to purchase it. This very much reminds me of that so I'm hoping this might just be my new favourite body product.

Finally there's the Thai lemongrass stimulating massage oil (£16). I've mentioned before that a massage oil is something that I've never really had a use for, but I'm actually hoping this might help me out with something. I suffer with Scoliosis, Hypermobility and Bursitis, which means I often experience pain in my joints/muscles. Although I don't think this could really help with joint pain there's a muscle on the top of my left leg that persistently aches and I'm hoping that trying out massaging the area might help improve this. I will report back after I've given this a try.

The Body Shop Spa of the World products are now available in stores and online

Have you got your eye on any products from the Spa of the World range?

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Max Factor Lipfinity long lasting lipstick

When I was asked if I'd like to try some of the Max Factor Lipfinity long lasting lipsticks* I expected them to be the ones that come with two parts, one being a liquid lipstick type product and then a balm type thing to apply over the top. I was a bridesmaid for my best friend just over 9 years ago and these were the lipsticks we bought especially to try and make sure they lasted through the day, as who can be bothered to top up their lipstick after a wedding tipple or two! 

When the parcel arrived and these three little tubes rolled out I was really surprised. I thought it was possible they might have been updated at some point in the last decade, but these ones appear to be a completely different kind of lipstick. 

Max Factor Lipfinity long lasting lipsticks
Max Factor Lipfinity long lasting lipsticks
Max Factor Lipfinity long lasting lipsticks

It turns out that the lipsticks that I thought these would be are still available and they both fall under the Lipfinity name. Surprisingly I couldn't find these ones on the Max Factor website but I did find them on the Boots website and it appears that they might be new. 

These come in traditional wind up tubes with a clear lid so you can see the colour of the lipstick. The tubes are gold but plastic, so they don't quite pull off the luxe look of something like Charlotte Tilbury. The bullets don't wind right the way down into the tube but stick out of the top very slightly, as you can see on the red lipstick on the top picture. This does look pretty and also means you can see the colour of the lipstick without having to tilt it to see inside the tube, but it also means there's the possibility that you might accidentally catch the bullet with the lid when replacing it. I thought I was being really careful but I did discover that I'd caught the red one when I found it on my hand and smeared on the tube. The lids do fit securely but in general the packaging doesn't feel that secure.

The orangey red shade 'Just deluxe' and the light berry type shade 'Evermore lush' I would say are the sort of shades I would expect from Max Factor, but the purple shade I was surprised by. At first I thought it might just be very purple in the bullet but when swatched it is a proper purple. I was pleased to see that these lipsticks come sealed with a small piece of tape (I hate getting makeup home and realising somebody has tried it) but unfortunately this piece of tape is the only place where the shade name is written. So unless you manage to keep this you'll have to shade match if you want to repurchase in the future, unless you can remember the name of course. Just a quick note on the shade names, I don't mind Just deluxe but Evermore lush and Eternally luscious I do find a bit old-fashioned.

I didn't notice in the bullets at first but when I swatched each shade I noticed that they do contain glitter, although I'm not sure this particularly shows up on the lips. They also have a nice light sweet scent. The shades are easy to apply but I do suffer with a distinct lack of lip line in places and I find the round bullet mean application isn't as precise as I would like. These contain lip conditioners and nourishing oils, so they're comfortable to wear, but when it comes to lasting up to eight hours I don't find that they last anywhere near that. In general I don't find that they last any longer than any other standard lipstick, but then I wouldn't really expect them to as there's nothing about the formula that I can see that should make them last. They're not matte (but not glossy either) and unlike the older Lipfinity lipsticks I mentioned above they don't set in any way. So I wouldn't expect them to last that long if it wasn't for the Lipfinity claim. They really aren't bad at all though, they're nice lipsticks for the price.

The Max Factor Lipfinity long lasting lipsticks are £8.99 and are available from Boots and Superdrug.

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NARS Radiant creamy concealer

On a recent trip into Space NK I really couldn't decide between trying the REN Clearcalm 3 clarifying clay cleanser or the NARS Radiant creamy concealer. I've had my eye on both for a while now but as this visit was on the boyfriend I thought trying to get both of them was pushing my luck a little. When he told me to get both he really didn't have to tell me twice!

My Collection Lasting perfection concealer was coming to an end and although the NARS version is over four times the price of course I wanted to try it. 

NARS Radiant creamy concealer
NARS Radiant creamy concealer

I didn't get colour matched but went for Chantilly, which I believe is the lightest shade available and is described as a true ivory shade for the fairest complexions. This is a pretty good match for me but can be slightly too light if I use a little too much on my currently slightly tanned skin tone.  

I love how simple and chic NARS' packaging is, with this particular product featuring a rubberised black top that holds a furry applicator and a see through tube so you can see how close you're getting to needing a replacement. You really don't need very much of this as it's high coverage and if you do use a little too much the radiant appearance can make it a bit too obvious. It is reasonably thick, although not as thick as something like Seventeen Phwoarr paint or Benefit Boi-ing, but as the name suggests it's creamy, making it very easy to blend. I use this for covering redness, blemishes, scaring and dark circles and it works amazing well for all of them. It doesn't cover my dark circles completely but to be honest nothing does and I really need to use something underneath with a peachy tone to counteract the darkness. I find this particularly good for spot covering blemishes. I dot a small amount directly on top of the blemish, blend around the edges with a small brush and set with powder and the spot is completely covered. 

This may be quite pricey for a concealer at £22 but it really is worth it. You only need a small amount for high coverage so I can see this lasting me a fair while before I need to replace it. 

You can buy the NARS Radiant creamy concealer in Space NK stores and online.

Are you a fan of the Radiant creamy concealer?

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REN Clearcalm 3 clarifying clay cleanser

I briefly mentioned the REN Clearcalm 3 clarifying clay cleanser in my blemish fighting skincare post but I wanted to devote a whole post to it as I really do love this product.

REN Clearcalm 3 clarifying clay cleanser

As I mentioned in my previous post I was a little unsure about trying this as although my chin has it's oily moments the rest of my face is usually dry and dehydrated. So I wasn't sure if a product aimed at blemish prone skin would work for my whole face when it's only really my chin that is blemish prone. I read a few reviews that reassured me so I picked it up from Space NK around 6 weeks ago.

REN's Clearcalm 3 range combats the three key causes of blemishes; excess sebum, bacteria and a build up of dead skin cells. It's an antibacterial and antimicrobial cleanser that cleanses and purifies, minimises pore size and gently exfoliates to improve skin tone and texture. 

I've only tried two full size REN products so far (and this is one of them) but I believe this comes in fairly standard packaging for REN. The tube is clear with the actual product in a clear bag inside the tube, so you can see when you're running low, and it has a pump dispenser. The product is just like a clay mask, thick and a light creamy colour. It also has a light clay type scent that I'm not a huge fan of but it's so slight you can barely detect it. It doesn't contain any scrubby bits to exfoliate the skin so I'm assuming this is achieved with acid exfoliation. You rub one pump of product between slightly damp hands and then massage it onto the face for one to two minutes. After I've massaged it around for a while I actually like to leave it on my face for a couple of minutes (I brush my teeth to pass the time) so it's like a mini face mask. 

I needn't have worried about using this on my dry/dehydrated skin. It leaves my skin feeling really clean and soft and I'm pleased to see that it also calms down any redness I'm suffering from. Any blemishes I have at the time also look calmer. It was only after I got this home and checked the ingredients that I realised it contains lavender (an allergy for me) but I haven't seen any negative effects from this.

I've been really enjoying using this product but I have found that if I use it daily I do get through it a little too quickly for my liking considering it's not cheap at £19. I've now reduced how often I use it and tend to alternate between using this or my Magnitone. If I do suffer with a breakout I'll probably stop using the magnitone, as I'm really not sure about using it on blemishes, and switch to using this every night to help treat the breakout. 

As I mentioned the REN Clearcalm 3 clarifying clay cleanser is £19 and you can buy this in Space NK stores and online.

What REN products would you recommend?

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The Body Shop Almond hand & nail cream

The Body Shop's little £3.50 hand creams are my favourite as they absorb really quickly so I'm happy to use them as and when I need them through the day. I recently signed up for a new Love your body card and as I did it in my birthday month it meant I was entitled to £5 birthday gift. I've never tried one of The Body Shop's slightly more expensive hand creams but as they're £5 exactly I thought it was a good opportunity to pick one up. There's four available, hemp, almond, wild rose and absinthe, and I decided to try the almond one.

The Body Shop Almond hand & nail cream

In my haul post a few weeks back I mentioned that because these ones are bigger than the £3.50 tubes I assumed there was more in them. As you can probably see in the picture there's actually exactly the same amount in both tubes. As there is the same amount in both I'm not sure why one is £1.50 more expensive than the other; I'm assuming it might be because the more expensive one is slightly more 'luxury'. Although I've just checked online and the £3.50 ones are now £4.

As this is called an almond hand cream I'm pleased to see that almond oil is the fourth ingredient as The Body Shop can be be guilty of naming products after an ingredient that is only there in very small quantities. The £3.50 £4 hand creams are quite highly scented but this one is quite subtle, although that might be because almond is quite a subtle scent in itself. I haven't smelt any of the other scents so I don't know if they're stronger. 

It's a light cream, so it might not be enough in the winter if you suffer from very dry hands, and as soon as you start to rub it in it melts down to an almost water like feeling. Just like the cheaper The Body Shop hand creams it absorbs very quickly, although maybe not quite as quick, and doesn't leave any greasy residue behind on your hands. 

Although I do like this hand cream I personally prefer the cheaper ones and as they are cheaper it's a bit of a no brainer really that those are the ones I'll be buying in the future. You can buy The Body Shop's hand creams in store and online.
This weeks offer at The Body Shop is 30% off and 
free delivery when you spend £10. Use code 14671.

Are you a fan of The Body Shop's hand creams?

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Help! Which shade to match my dress?

A week today I'm going to a friends wedding and I need your help with a very important dilemma - which nail varnish I should wear to match the dress I'm wearing! 

Which shade to match my dress?

The dress is from Warehouse and it has a black top section with a slightly crazy brush stroke type design on the skirt, featuring several different colours. I bought this back when I had the gift voucher I won for House of Fraser to spend so it didn't cost me a penny. I didn't really need a dress like this, as at the time I didn't think I had an occasion coming up for me to wear it to, but it caught my eye and every time I walked away I ended up coming back to it (the shop assistants must have thought I was a mad women!) so I just couldn't resist it. It was only afterwards that I suddenly realised I do have a wedding to go to this year. I'm not sure if black is really an appropriate choice for a wedding, but as only the top part is completely black I decided it would be fine.

As there's several different colours in the skirt I'm really not sure what colour to wear on my nails to match. The options I've pulled out of my collection are Illamasqua Collide, which is a bright neon pink that almost perfectly matches the pink on the skirt, Maybelline Color show Ocean blue, which is an inky blue shimmer and Soigné Caramel which is a milky nude shade. 

Which shade would you suggest I go with, or should I go with another shade completely?

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Soigné sale bargains

Soigné nail varnishes are a little on the pricey side at £11 each, which makes them around the same price as OPI, but when they have a sale their prices are usually slashed to half price, which I think is a bit of a bargain. The sale I got these shades in finished several weeks ago but they do appear to have sales quite regularly. If you're interested in giving them a try or adding to your existing collection I'd recommend following them on Twitter or signing up to their emails so you know when the next sale launches. 

Soigné nail shades
Soigné nail shades
Soigné nail shades

The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that I've swatched the red shades the wrong way round, sorry about that!  

I have a nice little collection of Soigné shades now; two of their boxed collections and five individual shades has taken my total up to 15. If you're not familiar with Soigné yet they're five free, vegan friendly, against animal testing and made of up to 85% plant-sourced, natural ingredients. I really enjoy using their nail varnishes as they're really easy to apply, although they can take a few coats to build opacity as they are quite thin, and I also find they last really well.

I placed this order back in June using some birthday money but I was obviously craving some darker A/W type shades at the time. I'll start off with darkest of them all, L'encre de Seiche, which is a deep inky black. I have a shimmer black (Nails Inc Alexa Silk) but don't have a good flat black shade so thought I'd pick one up for nail art or when I'm feeling super dark nails in the winter.

Although I've never really been a fan of blue or green nail shades in the past I've found myself picking up more and more of these sorts of shades recently. I spotted Glaҫage turquoise and it caught my eye, more as a colour in general than a nail shade, so I decided to try it. Although the name suggests this is a turquoise it's actually much closer to a teal shade. My camera has captured it very similar to the shade shown on the Soigné website but I'm afraid neither are quite right. This is a deeper shade that is more on the green side than the blue it appears above.

Cerise is not bad as a description of the corresponding shade, I would say it's a deep cerise. On the website this actually looks much more like a purple shade and is described as like a cherry pie. Finally Betteraves rouges is a deep sultry red and the swatch on the website is actually pretty close, although when pictured in the bottle it looks a little darker.

I'm a big fan of Soigné nail varnishes but I am a little disappointed that some of the shade swatches on the website aren't very close to the actual shades. I believe the only way you can currently buy Soigné nail varnishes in the UK is through the website (and a few shades available through the Birchbox website) so this does make it a little difficult choosing the shades you want. I know showing accurate shades online is always difficult because of different screens displaying different colours, so it's not something you can get round easily. I usually search for pictures on Pinterest to try and get a rough idea of a shade but there are very few pictures of Soigné on there. I should have done a Google search as the pictures on there are quite good for showing the true shade.

Have you tried any nail varnishes from Soigné?

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