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Drinking water

A rather unusual post from me today but I wanted to talk about something that I'm doing at the moment that I think might be of interest to others.  I thought the problem that I have made me a bit strange but recently I've spoken to a few other people on Twitter who have the same problem so now I know I'm not the only one.  That makes it sound a bit dramatic doesn't it?  It isn't really!  My problem is that I hate the taste of water.

 Image source: We Heart It

This has always been a problem for me.  I do drink water but can usually only drink it with some kind of cordial in.  If it's hot enough and I'm thirsty enough then I can just about manage to drink water but I think this is only because my body really is desperate for it so I can manage to stomach the taste.  Another problem I have is that I appear to have been born without whatever it is that makes you realise that you need to drink, if you know what I mean?  Typically I'll only drink if I'm thirsty, so in the summer it's not too much of a problem as it's warmer and naturally you want to drink, but in the winter I can quite easily get through a whole day before I'll realise that I haven't had a single thing to drink all day.  I don't like tea or coffee either so I'm not a natural drinker of those through the day.

I've wanted to try and start drinking more water in the past as I'm sure my body is probably suffering because of it.  I'm aware that the majority of the time I'm dehydrated and I'm sure my skin and all sorts of other parts of my body would benefit from an increase in my water intake.  So what has recently pushed me over the edge?  Over the last month or so I've started suffering from fainting.

Fortunately I haven't actually fainted yet as I've been a fainter since my early teens, so I know the signs, and since the very first time I did I've had a 100% success rate with managing to stop it before it's happened.  Unfortunately though all three of the times that I've come very close to fainting recently I've been on set and on two occasions I've actually been filming at the time.  Both times I managed to get through the scene, although with only about 50% vision, which in one scene resulted in me walking into a wall!  I'm just hoping that was a rehearsal shot or if they were actually shooting, that it won't make it into the show.  As soon as the director shouted cut I sat on the floor, the medic was called and I was given a bottle of water with Dioralyte in which makes you feel great after about half an hour.  On both occasions we were shooting outside in the heat we've been having recently and I had more clothing on than I should have had for the heat.  Just to give you an idea of what I was wearing on one shoot, which was a period role, I had on hip pads, three skirts (one reasonably thin but two made of that thick old fashioned curtain type material), an apron, a corset, a blouse, another corset, a jacket, a shawl, a rag tied round my waist, a cap and a bonnet.  It's hardly surprising I nearly fainted is it!  It's hard to try and explain how difficult it is to wear something like that and how heavy it is and my body was well and truly battered after having it on for 24 hours over two days.  

So anyway I decided that it was time to start trying to train myself to just drink water without really thinking about it and I'm quite proud of how well I've done so far.  My boyfriend bought me a big pack of bottles of water that lives in the back of my car (so I have them to hand on set or can at least grab one to take with me if I can't actually park on location) and over the last few weeks I've bought two more big packs of water myself and have had at least one bottle every day.  If I don't actually drink a bottle of water I do make sure that I drink glasses of water, usually with cordial in still as I find it easier to drink just water from a bottle than a glass.  I'm not sure if I've noticed any differences in my body yet but I'm aware this might take a while after years of drinking nowhere near enough.  It has actually got a lot easier now and I often find myself actually wanting to go and grab a bottle from my car, sometimes because I'm really thirsty (unsurprising in this heat) but other times just because I think my training is working.  I still don't like the taste of water, but I always ensure I drink a good few gulps rather than sipping it as then I only actually taste it at the beginning and end.  In the winter I'm sure it'll become more difficult as I won't be thirsty most of the time but by then hopefully I'll have got to the point where it really is just second nature and I don't think about it too much. 

Are you a water drinker?

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My recent empties #3

Another empties post from the girl that doesn't usually use up enough stuff to do them?  Yes indeedy.

One of the reason's I wanted to try The Body Shops new Body sorbets so much was that I thought they might be similar to Garnier's Intensive 7 days Soothing gel-cream.  Despite having dry skin it always seems to like gel-creams and I love how quickly they absorb and that they don't leave anything behind on the skin.  In the humid weather we've been having recently they're very cooling and are also very soothing if you suffer with problems such as shaving rash.

Would I repurchase? I already have several times and yes I will buy it again in the future.

If you've read my blog for a while you may know I'm a bit of a reformed perfume addict and as I still have something like 20 plus to use up I don't buy them any more (The Body Shop perfumes don't count right?).  I love Escada's perfumes and I've had Pacific paradise for several years now, in fact I'm not sure you can get this one any more. 

Would I repurchase? As I said I don't actually buy perfume any more and I don't think this is available any more but if I was to buy a new perfume I would buy one of Escada's newer releases.

I'm quite new to serums and Eau Thermale Avene's Soothing hydrating serum* was one of the first I tried.  I love this serum as it helps to reduce the appearance of redness and is lightly hydrating and even though my skin can be dry I often found that this provided enough moisturisation for me in the morning so I didn't have to apply a moisturiser over the top.

Would I repurchase? Yes definitely, but I have others to use up first.

I think everybody probably suffers with dry skin on their feet and I'm a big fan of Soap & Glory's Heel genius. This has a mentol/minty smell to it and I love slapping a load on and popping on some socks over the top before I go to bed.  I cut the packaging in half so I could get the lasts bits out (there was actually loads left inside so it's well worth doing) but if you then slot one half back over the other like I do to try and stop it drying out this does get a bit messy on the packaging.

Would I repurchase? I already have another one ready to use, which I actually won as part of a blog giveaway prize, but once that's used up I will be buying another one.

Are you a fan of any of these products?

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Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten concealer crayon

A few weeks ago (ok actually make that a month ago, I've been a bit busy recently!) I popped up a quick post about a new product I'd spotted on the Soap & Glory stand in Boots.  I hadn't read about this particular product on any blogs or seen it advertised anywhere, seeing it sitting on the display was the first I'd seen or heard of it.  Not even knowing exactly what the product was called I guessed at the Soap & Glory Kick Ass concealer stick.  I've since discovered this is actually called the Kick Ass Blur & Brighten concealer crayon.

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten concealer crayon

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten concealer crayon

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten concealer crayon
Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten concealer crayon
I have several different concealers at the moment, so I really didn't need another one, but obviously I was curious and had to have a little swatch (there was actually a tester there - highly unusual!) and I was very impressed by just how soft this is.  Checking the price I discovered this is just £6, so I had to give it a try.  

There are only two shades available, Light and Medium, and it doesn't look like they'll be adding a darker shade at least any time soon as there wasn't a space for it on the display.  This look like a typical chunky lipstick crayon of the wind up variety but instead there's a buttery soft concealer inside.  I just apply a couple (or several if needs must) of swipes to the area I want to conceal, lightly blend with my finger and I'm done.  

Soap & Glory claim that this blurs, brightens, visually fills, highlights and re-energises tired under eyes and I have to say I agree with them for both under eye darkness and redness/blemishes/scaring.  It really does blur/blend the area you want to conceal into the surrounding skin and it doesn't take very much blending at all, it almost seems to just do it itself.  It also brightens the area and appears to reduce the appearance of pores.  The darkness under my eyes really is pretty bad and it takes a minor miracle to cover it but this does a pretty good job and another bonus is that it's just so soft it doesn't drag or pull on the delicate skin around your eye.  I apply my concealer under my makeup and I do find that some does 'wipe away' a little when I apply my foundation over the top but I then just add a little more over the top of my foundation to top it up. 

Unfortunately I can't confirm exactly how long this lasts as I've been a little all over the place recently and just haven't really thought to consciously check.  I haven't worn makeup an awful lot over the last few weeks and when I have it has mostly been while I'm on set, but I can confirm that it does last well. 

For just £6 (and even for a much higher price) I don't think you can ask for anything more.  I'll definitely be using this regularly and will be repurchasing when I've got through this one.

Will you be trying the Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten concealer crayon? 

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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Zoya Spring/Summer 2014 - Kirtridge & Alma

Despite being a big nail varnish fan there are several brands that I still haven't tried. I'd love to be able to try at least one varnish from each brand to see which brands are the best to invest in, but that's a little on the expensive side.  One nail varnish brand that I hadn't tried yet was Zoya, but I've recently tried a couple of varnishes from their new Spring/Summer 2014 ranges.

Zoya have over 500 different shades available and all of their nail varnishes are Toluene, Formaldehyde, DBP and Camphor free.  They're also 100% organic and vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Kirtridge* is from the Tickled collection which features six full coverage shades with a creamy finish.  The other shades available in this range include a lime green, medium blue, deep pink, a coral and a slightly orangey looking red.  Kirtridge is a pastel baby pink colour.  As with most creamy pastel shades the formula wasn't the easiest to apply but this was probably one of the best I've tried and it wasn't too difficult to try and apply it neatly.  The swatch above has two coats and this is fully opaque, so as long as you've applied it carefully you could stop there or you could apply another coat to make sure its perfect and deepen the colour.  Without a top coat this has a nice shine to it but if you do want a proper glossy finish you will need to use a top coat.  I only had this on for a couple of days before I removed it but I would say even on my nail varnish destructing nails I could have got 2/3 days out of this without chipping.

Alma* is from the Bubbly collection which features six holographic glitter shades.  The other shades include a deepish grass green, medium/dark blue, a purple, a pink/red and one that looks similar to Alma but lighter. Alma is described by Zoya as a golden peach and I think I probably agree with this, it's a little bit like a sparkly satsuma.  It's a very beautiful colour but unfortunately yellow and orange nail varnishes don't very often suit me, although I did get several compliments on this when I went for my beauty personal shopper experience at Selfridges Birmingham.

This isn't one you can apply on its own as it's not a full coverage glitter so you do need to apply a base colour underneath.  The swatch above next to the bottle is just the glitter nail varnish on its own and although it doesn't look too bad in the picture it's very thin and you'd still be able to see your nail.  For the swatch on its own I applied a creamy/pearl off-white base (Barry M Pearl from the silk collection) and this really bought it to life making it opaque and the colour appear much brighter.  Surprisingly for a glitter nail varnish this actually has a very smooth finish to it and you could easily just leave it as it is and it wouldn't catch, but I did apply a top coat as I rarely go without one.  On my nails I think I got about 3 days wear out of this before chips started to appear.  As a glitter this is obviously more difficult to remove than a standard nail varnish but I actually didn't find it too bad.  I just hold the pad down on the nail for a while (effectively soaking it off I guess) and then most of it can be wiped away.

Price wise Zoya varnishes are £11 each, so around the same as an OPI or Leighton Denny varnish. Although this is a little expensive for me to spend on a nail varnish at the moment I would definitely consider getting more in the future.

Have you tried a Zoya nail varnish?

*PR sample
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