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Lord & Berry Crayon Lipstick in Cherry & Giveaway

If you've followed my blog for a while you may have seen my post in November about the Lord & Berry lipstick crayon in Plum (you can find the post here).  I love this so much it made it into my top 5 products of 2013 and the post was one of my 10 most popular posts of the year, so I guess my readers liked the look of it as well.

In my previous post I said I was considering getting another one in the shade Cherry, so when I spotted that they were in the ASOS sale and you could also get an additional 10% off sale prices using an offer code I knew I had to snap one up.

When the parcel arrived and I opened the box that the crayon comes in I could see something was wrong straight away.  When somebody had put the lid on they had caught the edge of the lipstick and taken a chunk out and it was smeared all round the lid and there was some inside the box as well.  If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen the picture I tweeted to the ASOS here to help account.  They were fab and quickly arranged for another one to be sent out to me and told me to keep the original one as well.  There's nothing actually wrong with the original one, all I need to do is just sharpen it and clean it up, but that would have ruined my 'this is the product before I used it' pictures.

This is a gorgeous cherry red colour and as with my plum version it has the same amazing vanilla smell as MAC lipsticks and is so soft it just melts onto your lips (that's probably why it was so easily smooshed as well!).  This lasts really well and I would say you could maybe get five hours wear out of it before you might want to consider giving it a top up to keep it looking fresh.  It does leave a stain behind so even when the actual lipstick starts to wear off it still looks presentable if you can't be bothered to reapply.  

Lord & Berry is not widely available in the UK but as I've already mentioned some of their products are available over on good old ASOS.  I've just noticed that the price of these has increased to £10 now, but I'd still be happy to pay that for one and they often go in the sale.

While I'm talking about ASOS I just wanted to let you know that I'm now an ASOS insider.  I was so happy to have been accepted as I've been a huge fan of ASOS since it was known as As Seen on Screen and the items used to have 'As seen on....'  I'm really looking forward to seeing what opportunities being an insider might bring.

So what is a girl to do when she has two brand new duplicate products...giveaway!  I also recently hit 500 followers on Twitter and 250 followers on Bloglovin so this is a little thank you to my lovely followers.  Don't worry I won't be sending the winner the damaged one, if you win you will receive the perfect one.  I borrowed it briefly to take the photos but I haven't touched the actual lipstick end at all.  I'll also pop in a few surprise samples for you as well.

To enter just complete your entries in Rafflecopter below.  Please note this is UK only.  Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Ole Henriksen Seven Skincare Sensations

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Look Fantastic offering an extra 20% off sale prices for the first 200 customers who used the code SALE20.  Although I really shouldn't have I decided to have a browse through the sale as the one sale purchase I had made I returned because I wasn't happy with it.  

I've only tried a sample sachet of one of Ole Henriksen's product before but I loved it.  I looked up the product in question and discovered the cost was somewhere around the £50 mark, so I tried to forget about it and faced up to the fact that we would never be together.  So when I spotted the Seven Skincare Sensations set in the sale for £24 (worth £89 I believe it said) and tried the code and found that it worked I snapped it up.

I have a couple of products I'm currently using that I want to finish up before I make a start on these but I thought I'd introduce you to the product now and I'll follow up with my reviews in the future.  I love that the side of the box tells you which products you should use when and in what order (otherwise I wouldn't actually be sure which to use when) and I intend on using all of the products together to see what a very expensive skincare regime might be able to do for my skin.

African red tea foaming cleanser 45ml (full size £26 for 207ml) 

This is step 1 for both your morning and evening routine.  This is sulphate-free, paraben-free and contains naturally antioxidant-rich African red tea and Vitamin C.  This is non-drying and gentle enough for sensitive skin but strong enough to remove makeup. 

Truth serum collagen booster 15ml (full size £47 for 30ml)

This isn't the product I tried previously but this had caught my eye and I wanted to try it.  This is step 2 of your morning routine and should be applied after cleansing.  As with the red tea cleanser this is sulphate-free and paraben-free (as are each of the products so I won't mention this point again).  This contains Vitamin C to calm, heal and strengthen collagen and Vitamin E to heal, restore and nourish.  It also contains Grapefruit and Orange extract to purify and brighten, Green tea to protect against damage, Rosehip to repair and strengthen and Sodium hyaluronate to bind moisture to the skinI'm hoping this one is as good as it sounds, although maybe not too much as I don't think I'll be able to part with nearly £50 for a full sized one.

Truth revealed super creme 15ml (full size £57 for 50ml)

This is the product that I've previously tried a sample of and loved.  This is the 3rd and final step of your morning routine and is applied over the Truth serum.  This contains SPF 15 and a little note on the Ole Henriksen website informs you that the Skin Cancer Foundation recommend this product as an effective UV sunscreen.  This contains Micro algae to firm skin and boost collagen production and Tripeptide-5 to stimulate collagen to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.  The final featured ingredient I love the sound of.  This is called Omega 3 Happiness Concentrate, which improves microcirculation for a radiant complexion and apparently also promotes happiness.  I'm not quite sure if this is supposed to mean happy skin or happy you, but wouldn't it be great if you could just apply a cream to make yourself happy!

Invigorating night gel 15ml (full size £42 for 50ml)

This is the 2nd step of your evening routine following cleansing.  This contains Algae extract to nourish the skin with vitamins and minerals and Mucopolysaccharrides (?) to bind moisture to the skin and provide superior hydration.  This also contains Alpha hydroxy acid complex to renew skin cells, diminish fine lines and wrinkles smooth texture and balance skin tone.  This is also claimed to regulate overactive sebaceous gland to minimise blemishes.  

Sheer transformation 15ml (full size £47 for 50ml) 

This is the 3rd step of the evening routine, to be applied over the Invigorating night gel.  This one contains Vitamin C to stimulate collagen production, Vitamin E to heal, restore and nourish and fruit acids to retexturise and smooth lines.  It also contains Sandlewood, Geranium, Licorice and Chamomile to soothe, replenish, balance and purify and something called Actiwhite™, which apparently prevents and corrects discolouration and evens skin tone with a combination of Pea extract and Sugar.  Is now a good time to mention I can't stand peas? I'm sure that won't effect me being able to use this product though!

Ultimate lift eye gel 7ml (full size £36 for 28ml)

This is the 4th and final step of the evening routine following on from the Transformation gel.  This contains Calendula extract to energise and soften, Cucumber extract to tighten pores and work as a decongestant, Peptides to improve elasticity and tone and Arginine to promote wrinkle resistance.  Finally it contains something called Eyebright extract to calm, soothe and restrict the capillaries around the eye area. 

Walnut complexion scrub 15ml (full size £26 for 50ml)

This one should be used twice a week in place of the African red tea cleanser.  This should be applied to wet skin and massaged in circular motions.  This is described as densely textured so I may go carefully with this to begin with as my cheeks in particular are very sensitive and easily aggravated.  This contains Aloe vera to moisturise, calm and heal, Chamomile to calm, soften and soothe, Korean ginseng to increase cellular energy and and stimulate microcirculation and finally walnut powder to be mildly abrasive and aid in cell renewal.

What is really scary is that if I decided to buy the full size version of each product to continue the same skin care routine it would set me back £281.  I can tell you that definitely won't be happening!  I am looking forward to giving this a try though and if I do like the products I'll probably pick a couple and see if I can drop hints for some birthday presents.

Would you spend this kind of money on a complete skin care routine or maybe treat yourself to one or two products?
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L'Oreal Paris Elvive Fibrology thickening range - First impressions

I didn't blog about my beauty based new years resolutions at the beginning of the year as I only had two (it's now increased to four!) but one of them is to start being more adventurous with my hair and the products that I use.  I tend to wash it and then either straighten it or tie it back if I've left it to do it's own thing, and that's about it.  One of things I do want to try and experiment with this year is finding more volume.  When left to dry naturally my hair isn't short on volume through the mid-lengths to the ends, but this is due to frizz and once straightened my hair becomes very flat.  

Another thing I do worry about is that at some point my hair has become thinner.  As you may be aware I used to have very long hair that was naturally blond but three years ago I cut it all off to shoulder length and dyed it what should have been chocolate brown but pretty much ended up being black.  It may be an illusion because my skin is very pale and I've been used to blond hair for most of my life but when I look at my scalp now I'm concerned by how much of my scalp I can see through my hair.

So when I saw that L'Oreal were releasing a new hair care range aimed at creating thicker hair that appeared to be creating a bit of a buzz you could say I got a little bit excited.

Image taken from the L'Oreal website

I apologise for the stock image but I'm currently at my boyfriend's house and the chance of being able to take a picture I'd be happy to put up on my blog is non-existent so I've borrowed an image from L'Oreal. 

I signed up to the Boots waiting list to be notified when this was released and when the email hit my account a week and a half ago I headed straight to my nearest store.  I wasn't surprised to find that it hadn't actually made it's way to store yet and after several trips to a couple of different stores I finally found it yesterday.  The range is currently on offer in Boots on 3 for £10 so I grabbed a shampoo, conditioner and the Thickness creation serum and the offer saved me just under £5.  I'm not sure if I'll try the Thickness booster as the reviews I've seen so far have complained about how much product you're apparently supposed to use and how little is included is included in the tube.  I think I will probably grab the mask at some point in the future though.

So what is special about this range is that L'Oreal have apparently been working on it for many years and it contains something called Filloxane.  This actually penetrates the hair fibre and then expands to thicken the hair.  This then remains inside the hair fibre, it isn't washed away when you rinse, and over time your hair will look thicker and thicker as you continue to use it.  

As the name of the post suggests this is just a first impressions post as I mainly wanted to introduce the range and let you know it's currently on offer if you want to try it for yourself.  However, I did give this a try for the first time last night and on first impressions, I love it!  I only used the shampoo and conditioner, just to get a feel for them before trying the serum, but today I have soft, bouncy hair that generally just looks really nice.  Although I couldn't say for definite that my hair was any thicker after just one use it did actually feel like it was to me and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it develops over time.  

I intend to just use these products (and obviously heat protection if I'm using heat) for a couple of weeks and then I'll report back with how I'm getting on.

Will you be giving L'Oreal's new Fibrology range a try?

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Rituals Miracle Balm nourishing hand balm

As I've said before I usually try to use up one hand cream before I start a new one, but when this popped up in my most recent Glossybox and I noticed that it was a hand balm rather than a hand cream, I couldn't resist starting it to see what it was like.  

There's not much information on the tube, well there's a little bit but it's in German and although I have GCSE German that was a long time ago and I wasn't that good at it at the time!  But the English on the front informs me that this contains White Lotus and Ginkgo Biloba.  Is it just me or does the second ingredient sound like something out of Lord of the rings (not that I've read it!)?

As a balm this is a lot thicker than a cream and at first you can really feel this; until it warms up from the heat from your hands it's quite difficult to spread around.  As a balm I find it more moisturising than a cream, which I wouldn't normally be to bothered about as my hands aren't usually dry, but at the moment they are (probably because I keep forgetting to use hand cream) so the extra moisture is welcome.  There's not really very much of a scent to speak of but there may be just a slight fresh floral smell. 

Although it doesn't last for too long it does leave my hands feeling slightly greasy for a little while after I've applied it so I tend to use this just before going to bed when it doesn't really matter too much as I won't be touching anything other than the bedsheets.  I haven't given it a try yet but I'd love to try applying a good amount and then popping on my cotton gloves before going to bed.  If you have dry hands I'd definitely recommend giving this a try.  

Have you tried any other Rituals products you'd recommend?

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Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Purifying mask

I've stayed away from clay based face masks for many years now after I tried one and had a bad experience that involved a rather nasty burning sensation.  It really wasn't very pleasant and I decided that maybe I was allergic to clay.  Back then I also found that whenever I tried a face mask it appeared to just suck all of the moisture out of my skin leaving it dry and rough.  So I left face masks behind me, although more recently I have used a couple of Lush masks.

Fast forward to becoming a blogger and I decided that I really wanted to start trying masks again.  After saying something to my boyfriend one day about believing that I may be allergic to clay he told me he thought it was unlikely as clay is one of the most inert substances around.  So I thought I'd start trying some masks, but would be very careful and patch test first on my most sensitive area, which is the tops of my cheeks over my cheek bones.

Before Christmas I won a mystery Christmas present giveaway on Rachel's blog Beauty Queen UK and one of the prizes I received in a rather large prize bundle was a Palmers Purifying clay mask.  This contains Kaolin clay to deep clean and draw out impurities, Cocoa butter and Shea butter for hydration, Aloe vera and Chamomile to soothe, Vitamin E to work as an antioxidant and Sweet almond oil to work as a light skin emoliant.

As a clay based mask I was slightly apprehensive about giving it a try but I loved the sound of the ingredients.  I started off with a patch test, applying a small amount to my right cheek, and left it for around 5 minutes.  When there was no stinging/burning sensation, which would normally start within a couple of minutes, I applied a thin layer over my whole face.  

I'm pleased to report that I don't experience any kind of burning sensation when I use this, in fact it has a lovely cooling and soothing effect on my skin that's really pleasant.  After about 10 minutes I rinse away with warm water.  As I mentioned above I've had problems with masks dehydrating my skin in the past but this leaves my skin feeling smooth and soft, even when on one occasion my skin was dry and flaky before applying this.  

Sorry for some not so pleasant details now but at the end of last week I had two very sore large lump blemishes pop up on my chin.  There was obviously some nasty stuff lurking in the deeper layers of my skin so I thought I would give this a try to see if it would draw it closer to the surface so it would be easier to treat.  Beforehand both blemishes were just lumps but pretty much as soon as I washed this off I noticed that it had indeed drawn some of the yuckiness up to the surface of the larger lump.  

So overall I'm very impressed with this mask.  It doesn't burn my skin off, doesn't suck out every last little bit of moisture my skin contains, leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised and does the job in drawing out impurities.  

I've not seen this in the shops before and was surprised that I couldn't find it on the Boots website.  I did however find this on the Superdrug website for £5.99 and on for the bargain price of £5.95 (every penny counts!).

Have you tried Palmer's Purifying mask?

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Caudalie Beauty Elixir

I was lucky enough to win a bottle of Caudalie's Beauty Elixir in one of Latasha's giveaways last year over on her blog Today I Adore.  I know this is a bit of a cult beauty favourite, so I was really looking forward to giving this a try, but I'm afraid my review is not going to be a good one!

This is supposed to boost radiance, minimise pore size and be good for setting makeup, which all sounds really good, but I just can't get on with using it.  To begin with I really don't like the smell of this, it smells really strange and I actually find it quite unpleasant.  I'm also really not very good with the whole spraying it on your face thing.  I've never used a product that you spray on your face before and I've found that every single time I use this it makes me jump, even though I'm obviously expecting it.  I usually sit there for at least a good couple of seconds mentally preparing myself before finally plucking up the courage to spray.  Also the last time I gave this a try, even though I obviously had my eyes closed as I'm not going to spray something onto my face with my eyes open, I had this strange kind of 'fresh' feeling in my eyes that wasn't really that pleasant.

I've only tried this two or three times, so I can't really comment on any effect this may have had on my skin, but I didn't notice any instant effects as soon as I used it (apart from fresh eyeballs!).  This is certainly not cheap at around £11.50 for 30ml and £32 for 100ml so I certainly won't be buying this again and I'm not sure I will even use the one I have.  I'm sorry Caudalie, I love your Makeup Remover Cleansing Water, but the Beauty Elixir is just not for me. 

Have you tried Caudalie's Beauty Elixir and what did you think of it?

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Origins Super Spot Remover blemish treatment gel

I've always suffered with acne, but since going on the pill in my late teens my skin is now a lot clearer.  I do still get hormonal breakouts here and there and I also occasionally get really bad single spots that pop up on their own, I think these might be called cysts? These often come up in a huge lump that is so sore and when it does finally go down I'm usually still left with a slight lump and a horrible red or purple scar that I then have to treat with Aloe Vera gel for weeks or months to try and reduce the scaring.  Currently the only thing that really works for me for treating bad breakouts or these cyst spots is a prescription treatment from my doctor, but this isn't particularly pleasant stuff and I do have to be really careful with it or it burns my skin.  So I'm always on the look out for something much gentler that actually works, so I may only have to resort to my prescription cream in extreme cases.

After reading mixed reviews on the Origin Super Spot Remover I decided the good reviews were enough to make me want to give it a try myself.  My boyfriend must have read my mind because just the next day I heard my all time favourite thing to hear coming out of his mouth 'What do you currently want from Boots?'  After hearing this I'm usually sent into Boots to get what I've currently got my eye on.  

I knew this was going to be small, but when I first got to the counter I actually thought they didn't have any in stock.  That was until I saw a tiny little box kind of sat to one side of the display all on its own and my first thought was 'Is that it?!'  I got a similar response from my boyfriend when I showed him what his £14 had just bought, except his response may have been slightly less polite!  This little fella may be rather small, but obviously as a spot treatment you only need to use a tiny amount and hopefully you'd only need to use it occasionally as well. 

I think it was The Sunday Girl who found that this was good for helping to reduce the scaring left behind by cyst type spots.  This was one of the main selling points for me as my skin scars so easily and because I'm so pale it means scaring is usually really obvious.  I've now tried this a couple of times on different spots and I have mixed feelings about it.  It's certainly not a miracle worker and your spot won't magically disappear overnight.

Although the little pot doesn't look it, it's actually squidgy, so to dispense the product you just have to give it a squeeze to push it towards the little hole at the top.  This works fine while it's still pretty much full but I'm not sure how easy this will be when it's nearly empty or even when it gets down to something like half full.  I've found the consistency of this varies depending on how warm my room is at the time, so when it's cold it's thicker and when it warms up it becomes thinner.  It's obviously easier to get out when this is a little thinner.  Some people find that this tingles/stings slightly when applied but I haven't personally really noticed this.  You can apply this under makeup but I've found that it can go a flaky, so it might look like you have a dry patch of skin.

Last week I noticed a lump coming up near my shoulder blade so I started applying this at least once a day, sometimes more if I remembered.  As I've already mentioned the spot didn't disappear over night but I did notice that this recovered much more quickly than a spot like this would normally take to recover on me.  After about three days I was left just the slightest of lumps remaining and although it has left a purple mark behind this is minimal.  However, when I've applied this to other spots I don't think it has particularly helped much.  It may just be that I'm impatient, as much as I don't like using my harsh medicated cream this does have the power to pretty much eliminate a quite severe breakout within two nights.

Would I pay £14 again to repurchase this?  To be honest I'm not quite sure.  It will probably depend on how long it takes me to get through this one and whether I see a few more successes like I did last week.

Have you tried the Origins Super Spot Remover and what did you think?

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Lush Emotional Brilliance liquid lipstick in Believe

I remember Lush's Emotional Brilliance range being released but for some reason at the time it just didn't really appeal to me.  If this was more than a year ago then it's probably because this was before I started blogging and getting into makeup in a big way.  

On a recent trip into a Lush store to have a browse I stopped at the liquid lipsticks and after a little nosey I suddenly decided, ok I actually really want one of these.  I didn't buy one at the time, I decided to hold off for a little while, but I did decide that I wanted the shade Bubbly, which is a two-tone rose pink.  A short while later I decided to place a Lush order online and popped one of these into my basket, however I changed my mind about Bubbly and went for Believe instead.

Image taken from the Lush website

Unfortunately my camera has completed changed the colour of this, naughty camera!  This is not an orange shade at all but what is described on the Lush website as a raspberry ice-cream pink.  I've included the image from the Lush website, which is a much closer match to the true shade.  

As you may be aware Lush like to use as little packaging as possible and what packaging they do use, as far as I'm aware, is recyclable.  With regard to their colour cosmetics obviously some packaging was required but Lush have worked hard to ensure that the packaging used has as little impact on the environment as possible.  Although the wand inside is not recyclable the base is glass (so recyclable) and the black caps are actually made from recycled black pots (the little pots that many lush products come in).  Once your lipstick is finished you can take the cap back to any Lush store and this will be returned to their supplier to be recycled into a new cap or black pot. 

I really like the packaging, it's sleek and simple and I think it would look really pretty sat on a dressing table, especially if you had a couple of different colours lined up together.  It may just be me but when I first got hold of the cap I expected the top part to be squidgy, like one of the dropper tops you get on bottles of oil, but it's actually solid.  You just unscrew the top and you're greeted by a small fluffy applicator.  I also really like the applicator and found the lipstick easy to apply using this.

Lush actually have a patent pending on the formula of these lipsticks, which include a simple blend of organic jojoba oil, candelilla wax and rose wax.  Although this does dry down slightly after it's applied it's definitely not a matte product, it still maintains some shine.  I found this really comfortable to wear, which is probably down to the skin softening ingredients.  

It's definitely not a colour for the faint-hearted if you go for full opaque application straight from the wand, but this is just the sort of lip colour I love.  If you're not quite as daring with your lip colour you can still wear this by applying a small amount and blending it out, either with your finger or a lip brush.  This provides a more subtle flushed kind of look, which might still be a little outside a neutral lip colour fans comfort zone but is no where near as full on as just going for it.  I'd say that as long as you use a small amount and a light hand you could also use this as a cream blush, but I haven't tried this myself.  

I've found that this has pretty good staying power even on me.  After about 3 hours it dries out slightly and starts to settle a little into the lines on my lips, but it still looks good and I think you could probably get another hour or two's wear out of it.  

Price wise this isn't cheap and will set you back just slightly less than a MAC or Urban Decay lipstick at £14.50.  Do I think it's worth the price?  I'd say yes actually I think it might be.  I'm not very often in the position at the moment where I can afford to drop £15 for a lipstick, but if I had the money I think this would be a contender alongside a MAC or Urban Decay lipstick and would probably come down to which shade I'm after at the time.

As far as I'm aware the Emotional Brilliance range is available in all Lush stores and is also available online.  Have you tried any of Lush's Emotional Brilliance products?

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Becca Beach Tint water resistant colour in Lychee

I'm sure you're all aware that as well as offering fragrances, Fragrance Direct also offer a range of beauty products with many brands appearing on the website at knock down prices.  I heard a little rumour that Becca cosmetics had made an appearance on the site and indeed they have with some amazing savings like £29 off the Luminous Skin Color and £26 off the Compact Concealer.  For some products there is a rather restricted range of shades available but I have to say I was quite impressed by the range of shades available for the concealer (I think I counted 30 in stock!).  

A few months back I was lucky enough to win one of London Beauty Queen's retweet competitions on Twitter and when I was having a browse of the products available I suddenly remembered that one of the amazing products Hayley sent to me was a Becca Beach Tint.  So I headed to my stash to hunt it out so I could give it a try and write a review for my lovely readers in case you fancy treating yourself to one at the bargain price of just £3.99 (saving £16!).

Although Lychee is not actually available on Fragrance Direct, and the only shade currently available is Strawberry, I find that they do get new stock in quite frequently, so do make sure you check back now and again to see if any new stock has come in. 

This comes in such a cute little squeezy tube with a thin nib to dispense the product.  There's only 7ml of product in there but you need to use such a small amount that's more than enough to last you a long time.  The first time I used this it had quite a solid consistency (I guess like a very thick, dry mousse) but then the second time I was taken by surprise when I gave the tube a little squeeze and it gushed out like a liquid.  This has now settled down to somewhere between the two, a kind of thick liquid/light mousse, so I think some of the product closest to the end of the nib may have dried out while it wasn't being used.

When this first comes out of the tube it really is quite a bright shocking pink colour (slightly darker than shows in the picture) but once blended it becomes more of a bright candy pink that does look just like your cheeks are naturally flushed.  Obviously being such a bright colour you do have to be careful with how much you apply.  When I popped this on a few days ago I was distracted by my boyfriend talking to me and when I looked in the mirror again I looked like somebody had slapped me!

I find this lasts really well, although I haven't tested the claim that this is water resistant as I don't have a swimming poll handy (and it's far too cold for that anyway) and I just don't fancy splashing water on my made up face.  Although this is called a Beach Tint, so I'm guessing that's where the waterproof claim comes in, I'm definitely not one for wearing makeup on the beach so this is irrelevant for me.  Does anybody actually wear makeup on the beach?

Although this is a cheek and lip tint I don't personally like using it as a lip product for two reasons.  The first being that the formula is quite dry and I find that this really doesn't feel comfortable on my lips.  The second reason is that although I find that bright fuchsia pink type lipsticks suit me, lighter baby or candy type pinks often don't, and this just doesn't look right one me.  If you're a fan of quite dry matte formulas then you may like this as a lip product, but I would personally just stick to using it as a cheek product.  

Although I'm not sure I would pay the full price of £20 for this, for just £3.99 I think it's a bit of a bargain and would recommend giving one a try.  You can find the Becca Beach Tint on Fragrance Direct here.

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The Body Shop mango eau de toilette

A few weeks ago I received a notification from O2 that if I opened my Priority Moments app I'd find a £5 discount code to spend in store at The Body Shop.  There didn't appear to be a minimum spend amount so as soon as I could I headed straight into town to spend my voucher.  In December I blogged about The Body Shop's coconut eau de toilette, which I really like, so I knew I wanted to pick up another one in a different scent as I'd only have to pay £3.50 for it. 

As well as coconut, mango is also one of my favourite scents and as soon as I sprayed this on the back of my hand I just knew this was the one I wanted to get.  When you first spray this it smells absolutely amazing and makes your mouth water.  So I grabbed one and headed to the till with my phone ready to present my voucher code.

When I got home I was a little disappointed to discover that I couldn't smell this on the back of my hand anymore, but I had only given it a very quick spray just so I could test it out before purchasing.  I sprayed it again on the pulse points on my neck and wrists and swooned again at the amazing mango smell.

As amazing as this smells when you first apply it, I've found that the smell disappears very quickly.  I know that you get used to the perfume you're wearing quite soon after you've sprayed it but I'm talking about actually sniffing your wrist and not being able to smell it anymore.  

I'm aware that perfumes can smell slightly different on different people and also that they may last longer on some people than others, but for some reason this one disappears from my skin very quickly after I've applied it.  Although several perfumes I have only last a few hours on me I know my skin can hold onto a scent for much longer as Chanel No 5 will last on me for at least 8 hours.  So unfortunately there appears to be little point in me wearing this when it will have disappeared within a matter of minutes.

Have you tried any of The Body Shop's eau de toilettes?

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Guest post on Professional Online Make-up - Zoeva lip pencils

I just wanted to write a quick post to let you know that yesterday I guest posted over on the blog for cosmetics website Professional Online Make-up.  My guest post was a review of a new lip crayon from German brand Zoeva.

I'd love if you'd head over to have a read of my guest post and let me know what you think. 

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Funky Laser - Victorian deer brooch (gold glitter)

Back in November I blogged about a fab little brooch that had caught my eye from Funky Laser (you can find the post here).  I love this little brooch, that now lives on my berry coloured coat, so imagine my excitement when Funky Laser popped up a photo on their Facebook page of their new glitter version.  I knew I'd have to have that one as well!

I was looking forward to the Funky Laser stall at The Clothes Show Live last year but unfortunately I didn't see them as they weren't there for the last few days and I went on the final day.  I did however pick up a 25% off voucher so I thought I'd treat myself to this.  In the run up to Christmas Funky Laser offered free delivery and also a free gift with all orders.  As I used the 25% off code and got free delivery I didn't expect them to include a free gift as well (that would have been a little too cheeky!) but they did and sent me an amazing word necklace that I'll blog about in the future.

Funky Laser are again currently offering 20% off all products and free delivery, so you can grab one of these in silver mirror, gold mirror or gold glitter for just £4.80 delivered.  So if you'd like one, or would like to take a look at their other products, get yourself over to the Funky Laser website now!

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Eye of Horus Goddess pencil in Teal Malachite

As I'm not very good at applying eye shadow, if I'm going out somewhere or just want a slightly more interesting or dramatic eye look I usually go for some coloured eye liner, with my colours of choice using being a turquoise or teal kind of shade.  When I was offered the opportunity to try one of Eye of Horus' newest products I decided to go for their Goddess eye pencil* in Teal Malachite.  

Eye of Horus is an Australian brand that has recently launched over here in the UK.  Their products are paraben free and contain as much natural content as possible with the Goddess pencils containing ingredients such as Beeswax, Candellia and Carnauba wax. 

The packaging is gorgeous and obviously Egyptian inspired, with the products themselves being based on makeup used by the Egyptians.  The Goddess pencil is dual ended with the liner on one end and a smudger on the other.  The lid on the smudger end is colour coded to represent the colour of the liner. 

The first time I gave this a try I applied it in the waterline.  I checked back a couple of hours later to see how it was holding up and found that most of it had gone apart from along the very outside along my lash line.  To be completely honest though this doesn't surprise me as my eyes can be quite watery and whatever eye liner I apply there I usually have to top up every so often.

The next time I tried this I applied it on my eyelid.  Although this is quite soft I did find that it snagged slightly on my skin, but as I've mentioned before I do have a lot of excess skin in my eyelids which makes applying eye liner difficult.  Once this warmed up slightly on my skin it became easier to apply and I was away.  Once this was in place I found that it stayed put and this was still perfectly intact when I went to remove it around 6 hours later.  Although it did stay in place well it was still easy to remove with good old Bioderma.   

This really is a gorgeous colour and is just the sort of colour I would usually go for in an eye liner if I'm not looking for a standard black shade.  Eye of Horus products are available from their website and the Goddess pencil is available in a range of colours for £13 each.  

Would you consider giving an Eye of Horus product a try?

* PR sample 
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Rimmel Stay Matte liquid mousse foundation

If you read my top 5 makeup products of 2013 post then you'll know that one of my top products was Rimmel's Stay Matte foundation (and if you haven't seen the post you can find it here).  As you may know I'm not a fan of dewy foundation at all and much prefer a matte finish.  When I saw reviews of this popping up I wanted to give it a try but based on some reviews I was a little concerned that it might not work so well with my dry skin.  As much as I like matte finishes they're not always compatible with dry skin.  

As Stay Matte is so reasonably priced I thought I would give it a try at some point in the future but then was delighted to find a decent sized sample in a goody bag I picked up at the Clothes Show Live.  A few weeks ago I gave this a try, and as you can probably tell by the fact it's in my top products of 2013, I loved it.


I like the liquid mousse formula as it's solid enough to not run all over the place given the chance but still blends really easily.  I've tried applying this using my fingers and my Real Techniques buffing brush and I prefer to just use my fingers, maybe because the warmth of my fingers helps to melt this down onto my skin.  I haven't tried applying this with my miracle complexion sponge as I'm not sure how it would work with this. 

The sample I received was in the shade 100 Ivory, which I was pleased to find was actually a very good match for me and didn't appear to be just slightly too dark, like most foundations are.  I assumed that this would be the lightest shade but was surprised to find that there is actually a lighter shade, which is 010 Light Porcelain.  Not quite believing that I didn't need to use the lightest shade in a range I swatched Light Porcelain in Boots but decided this would probably make me too pale. 

I wasn't sure what level of coverage this was supposed to provide but I find the coverage really impressive.  I have redness across my cheeks and acne scaring on my chin and I find that depending how bad my redness and scaring is on that particular day I can get away with not using a green primer or concealer and this pretty much covers it.  I tend to apply an even coverage over my whole face and then apply a little more on top on my cheeks and chin for extra coverage.  Although this provides a really good level of coverage it's not thick or cakey but looks really natural.  

As I said I have dry skin so I couldn't tell you how this holds up in general on oily skin.  I do have an oily chin however, especially when I apply makeup over it, and I find that this lasts reasonably well on it's own and even longer if I set with powder.  

When it comes to working on camera if I'm doing my own makeup I always stick to using my trusted compact powder foundation as it's quick and easy to apply and touch up and I don't have to worry about the lights or anything.  However the week before Christmas I headed to London for a casting and I decided to step out of my comfort zone and use this instead.  I'm pleased to report that I felt confident wearing this instead and it got me through the day.  I'm also pleased to report that it must have looked ok as the director picked me and on 21st December I spent 14 hours on set shooting the music video.  I can't tell you who it was for until the video is released but if you follow me on Twitter I will tweet the video when it comes out.

So as a little overview, this is lightweight, easy to apply, provides great coverage, looks really natural and lasts well and you get all of this for just £5.99 (currently on offer for £4.49 at Boots). 

Have you tried Stay Matte or would you give it a try?
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