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Sally Faye Cotterill for the #BirchboxManithon in aid of Coppafeel

Last week I did a quick post to let you know about the #BirchboxManithon supporting the charity Coppafeel (you can find the post here). As I said in that post I wanted to try and get some nail art ready to post on the day of the Manithon but obviously I didn't manage this. Unfortunately I've been a bit busy this week, but I'm only a few days late!

I didn't have much time to create any kind of fancy design so I just went in with a dotting tool and created a couple of flowers on my ring finger and a cascade of dots down the side of each nail. It's a little bit rough so that's why I've not include a close up picture. As you can see I forgot to do my thumb and I didn't even attempt the other hand!

As I said in my last post even if you couldn't get down to the Manithon you can still contribute by buying one of the limited edition T shirts* designed by Sally Faye Cotterill, which I'm modelling above. Sorry for the chopped off head but I hadn't had time to wash my hair! Being a size 10 but sometimes a 12 if the sizing is particularly small I went for a 10-12. This size is now sold out but you can still find sizes 6-8, 8-10 and 12-14 but be quick as once they're sold out they're gone. The T shirts are good quality and if you're a beauty blogger or nail varnish fan the design is amazing. You can find the T shirts in the Birchbox e-shop here.  

Did you manage to make it to the #BirchboxManithon?

*PR sample

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Recycling your Lush packaging

When I was breaking down a box that contained a Lush order ready to pop the cardboard into the recycling I noticed that on the inside of the box Lush have printed some information on the various ways you can recycle or reuse their packaging.  In case you've never spotted this, or have never ordered online, I though I'd do a post letting you know what you can do with any Lush packaging you have rather then just popping it in the bin.

As I've just said if you've ordered online the cardboard box that your order comes in can go into cardboard recycling and this is also the case if you have any empty boxes from Toothy tabs.  The little squishy foamy type bits that protect your order while it's on it's way to you are made from potato starch so they biodegrade quickly and can be added to compost bins or put around your house plants. If you have anything that is wrapped in cellulose, which is a clear film, this is made from plant materials and so again this can go in your compost bin or in with food waste.

As I'm sure any Lush fan is aware (as it is printed on the pots) if you wash out five full-size black pots and take them back to any Lush store they'll reward you with a free fresh face mask.  This doesn't include the little sample pots but if you're storing bigger pots to take back to store you can pop any sample pots you have in a bigger pot and take them back too.   

If you have any empty lip balm tins Lush suggest you can use these as travel tins, maybe to keep earrings safe, but if you don't want to reuse them you can pop them in recycling with your drinks cans.  If you have any small glass jars like the ones the lip scrubs come in you can use them to put creams in to travel or otherwise you can return the lid to a Lush store and recycle the glass bottom in standard glass recycling. I actually have an empty lip scrub jar that I'll be decorating shortly to use for storing my rings and I'll write a post to show how I decorated it.

If you have any shower gel bottles the lids can be returned to a Lush store and the plastic bottle can be put in plastic recycling.  If you have any Emotional Brilliance bottles, although the actual applicator can't be recycled the glass bottle can be recycled as normal and again you can return the lid to any Lush store. 

Do you recycle your packaging?

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Lush Sesame suntan lotion SPF10

I'll be completely honest and start by saying that I haven't actually used this product, but bare with me and I'll explain why. One of the main reasons why I haven't given it a try is because I'm not really sure how I would go about using it.

Lush Sesame suntan lotion

Lush Sesame suntan lotion
First of all I'll tell you a little bit about the product. Lush have recently launched a range of sun protection products and Lush Meadowhall kindly sent me the Sesame suntan lotion* to try out. This contains Walnut leaf infusion and Cocoa butter to condition the skin and Aloe vera to keep you cool and obviously soothe. This was made with fresh ingredients in June 2014 and it has a use by date of August 2015, so you have 14 months to use this product (although I often use Lush products past their date as long as the smell and feel of the product hasn't changed).  This product is also suitable for vegans.

I've never actually come into contact with any toasted sesame seeds, but this smells exactly how I would expect them to smell and to be honest it's not really a smell that I'm keen on personally. It's also quite strong, as many Lush scents are, in fact it's only in the last few years that I've actually been able to go into Lush stores because of the strong smell from the products. I'll talk about this a bit more in a minute but this product takes quite a while to be fully absorbed and until it has absorbed you can still smell the sesame seed scent quite strongly.

Now this product has an SPF of 10 which is very low (it does state this on the bottle) so this isn't something that I would consider using on holiday as I'm pale and burn easily and would only use a minimum of 30 at least in a hotter climate. So this means this is something that I would only use in the UK, but I wouldn't use it for sunbathing in the garden unless I was only staying out for a very short period of time. If I'm using a sun protection product for something like walking round town I'll only use something that absorbs very quickly and doesn't leave any kind of greasy or oily residue behind as I don't like this coming into contact with my clothes. Although I haven't actually tried this out properly I did pop some on the back of my hand to see what it's like and I found that it took an awful long time to be absorbed and until it was fully absorbed it left a slightly greasy kind of sheen to the skin. So I don't think I would use this for light protection for something like shopping either.

Because of the Cocoa butter and Aloe vera this can also be used as an aftersun lotion and I think this is the only thing that I would actually use this product for. As I said I'm not keen on the smell, but this does disappear once the product has been absorbed, so I could live with this if it does make a good aftersun lotion. Would I actually buy this myself though? No I wouldn't, especially as this is £8 for 100g and £15 for 250g. As you're supposed to apply this generously this wouldn't last very long at all so I think it's quite expensive. Although I am a Lush fan, this particular product isn't for me.

Have you tried the Lush Sesame suntan lotion?

*PR sample

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Models Own Bottleshop - Meadowhall Sheffield

This is really just a quick post to let anybody based in the north know that there is now a Models Own Bottleshop in Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield. Previously the only Bottleshops were down in London, so it's great that two have recently arrived in the north (the other being in White Rose shopping centre in Leeds). When I popped over to Meadowhall for the MHBloggersHub cocktail making sessions I made sure I nipped into the Bottleshop to check it out.

The great thing about the Bottleshops is that they don't need premises to move into, they are a completely self-contained shop that in theory could be popped into every shopping centre in the UK as long as the have the spare space.  Even better is that the Bottleshops are actually in the shape of a nail varnish bottle.  So they're a giant bottle containing hundreds of small bottles of pretty nail varnish, amazing hey! 

I've never actually been able to get to a Bottleshop myself, as although I do travel to London occasionally I'm usually on a long shoot, so I was excited to see one for myself for the first time. The bottles are stored upside down so you can see the shades clearly and are neatly stored to create a rainbow effect of colours along the shop. Just look at how amazing they look! There are also displays showing off the shades in each of their different ranges. Along with their nail varnishes you'll also find their other products including makeup, makeup brushes and nail art accessories. Oh and in the Bottleshop you can mix and match any 6 items for £20, meaning you'll save at least £10 on the cost of buying them separately.  

As there are now Bottleshops in the south-east (London) and the north (Sheffield/Leeds), making them a minimum of 160 miles apart, this might mean that Bottleshops will start popping up around the country so more Models Own fans can start experiencing shopping inside a giant nail varnish bottle.

Where would you like to see a Bottleshop open?

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#BirchboxManithon for Coppafeel

This month Birchbox are supporting the charity Coppafeel, who are trying to stamp out the late detection of breast cancer by trying to make sure everyone knows the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and by encouraging women to check their breasts.

Image taken from the Birchbox website 

On Friday 29th August between 10am and 7:30pm the #BirchboxManithon will be taking place in London's Soho Square. There will be 20 manicure stations offering express manicures for a minimum donation of just £5, with all proceeds going to Coppafeel. The event will also be co-hosted by The Xtra Factor's Sarah-Jane Crawford. If you'd like to pop down to have a manicure you can book your space here.

If you won't be able to make it to London but you'd still like to contribute, renowned fashion illustrator Sally Faye Cotterill has designed a limited edition T-shirt that you can buy in the Birchbox e-shop for £12, with 100% of the profits also going to Coppafeel. If you'd like to grab one of these special T-shirts you can find them in the Birchbox e-shop here.

Birchbox very kindly sent me a T-shirt* and a gorgeous Models Own Hypergel nail varnish in Lilac Sheen* so I can create some nail art to celebrate the #BirchboxManithon as unfortunately I can't get to London to join in. I'm quite busy over the next week but I'll try my hardest to get something ready to post on the day of the Manithon.

If you'd like to sign up for a monthly, 6 month or 12 month subscription with Birchbox you can do so here

Will you be heading over to the #BirchboxManithon?

*PR sample

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My Lord & Berry lipstick crayon collection

Recently I did a post on my very moderately sized MAC lipstick collection and it was a popular post with my readers.  Even though my Lord & Berry lipstick crayon collection is even smaller (I only have three) I thought I would do a collection post on them as well as I don't think these are recognised enough within the blogging community.

The correct name for these is Lord & Berry 20100 shining lipsticks but I tend to drop the 20100 (I'm not sure what this part means) and just refer to them as Lord & Berry lipstick crayons.  These are the sort of crayons that require sharpening but I really don't mind that. Although you do lose some product while sharpening I like that you can get a point back again to help with more precise application.

One of the best thing about these crayons is that they are so buttery soft. So soft in fact that you have to be careful replacing the clear plastic lids that they come with as you can catch the edge of the crayon quite easily and end up smooshing it all over the place. The buttery texture of course means that they melt onto your lips with ease, there's no dry formula and tugging on the lips here.  Another thing I really like is that they smell just like MAC lipsticks with a lovely vanilla fragrance to them.  These are comfortable to wear and I find they last pretty well, at least a good few hours, and two of them leave a stain behind so they appear to last even longer.

I love my little collection because although I haven't got a nude shade (as you're probably aware I don't do nude shades) I think I have the perfect range of shades.  Plum was the first one I bought and fell in love with and this is a lovely plum/berry shade that's perfect for autumn/winter.  The next shade I bought I personally think works all year round, although this may be the sort of shade some people save for special occasions or nights out.  Cherry is a lovely dark cherry red shade that looks a little more cherry than shows in the swatch. Although all three shades are highly pigmented this is the most pigmented of the bunch.  Bucking the trend the last shade in my collection doesn't have a name that reflects the colour of the crayon.  Lust is a lovely summery coral shade that isn't really the sort of shade I would usually pick for myself.  This was however a Miss Makeup Magpie enabled purchase after I saw it on Gemma's blog and just had to add it to my collection.  

Strangely the price of the Lord & Berry lipstick crayons varies quite a lot across different retailer, ranging from £8 up to I think £12. I think the price even varies across shades over on ASOS. However, I wouldn't hesitate in paying £12 for one of these as I think they are on par with MAC lipsticks and even at their highest price they're still £3.50 cheaper than the cheapest MAC lipsticks. I urge you to try one (if you haven't already) and discover how amazing they are for yourself.

Have you tried a Lord & Berry lipstick crayon?

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A mini The Body Shop haul

I'm sure you may have noticed that I've become a bit of a fan of The Body Shop recently. I hadn't really bought anything from The Body Shop since I was a teenager when I used to buy products from the Fuzzy Peach range, a range that is long, long gone! I'm not sure which product was my first purchase after all those years, but whatever it was it obviously impressed me as I keep going back to try more.

As I was quite early for the cocktail master-class that I blogged about in my last post I decided to nip into The Body Shop and managed to pick up a bit of a bargain. 

The Wild Argan Oil range is The Body Shop's newest range having only been released on, I think, the 13th August. I did take a look at this a few days before but was disappointed to find out that you can't actually use any offers on this range at the moment. I never pay full price for any product from The Body Shop (there's no point when they always have such great offers), but I decided I just had to try the Wild Argan Oil Miracle solid oil as soon as possible. When I did go to buy this I discovered that actually you can use your Love Your Body discount, so I did at least get 10% off this.  

I've had my eye on the Chocomania Eau de Toilette for quite a while now and I decided it was time to treat myself. When I got to the counter I discovered that as well as being able to use my Love Your Body discount on both items it was also my fourth in-store purchase meaning I was entitled to a £5 free gift. I'd also had my eye on their new mini sized hand creams so I decided to add a Coconut Hand cream. I thought these were £5 each but I them discovered that they're actually £3.50 and because there was some kind of buy one get one half price deal that included the EDT and hand cream I actually got it for just £1.75. So my free £5 got me this free but then also deducted £3.25 from the rest of my bill. So my purchases that should have cost me £20 were just £11.60. Reviews of each of these products will of course follow shortly.

Have you bought anything from The Body Shop recently?

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Bloggers make cocktails #MHBloggersHub

A few days ago I was invited along to Meadowhall in Sheffield to try my hand at a bit of Mixology, which is the art or skill of mixing cocktails (or mocktails for the under 18's and drivers). There was no flairing (the fancy throwing around bit) allowed though as, you know, inexperienced bloggers and glass bottles flying through the air would probably have been an accident waiting to happen!

Our cocktail master-class was held at the Palm Sugar Lounge bar in the food court and our Mixologist was Matt who had previously honed his skills in Sydney, Australia. 

First up was the Tom Yam Siam (the one with the chilli in) which uses the spices used in Tom Yam soup. This includes vodka, rum, lime juice, lemongrass and yes, red chilli. We were warned about this one before we even started the master-class and let me warm you too, if you're a fan of spicy things then you might love this, if not I'd say stay away from this one! The taste of the actual cocktail isn't too bad but once you've swallowed it the chilli then hits you in the back of the throat, and I only had a tiny sip as I was driving. There's no way I could drink a full one so I wasn't personally a fan!

Next up were some Mojito's including a raspberry flavoured one and another flavour that I can't remember now (I really must start taking notes).  A Mojito includes white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water, mint and then obviously some raspberry's for the raspberry flavoured one.  I didn't try the Mojito's as I haven't been a fan of these in the past, I'm not keen on the bits of mint in it.

I didn't manage to get any photos of the Strawberry Daiquiri's as these were made over by the blender (in a round bar) so I couldn't actually see them being made.  I had a quick sip (very tasty) but obviously couldn't have anymore so Matt offered to make me a mocktail/smoothie type drink and I headed into the bar to give him a hand.  After mixing up a mango juice/paste type thing, lime juice, strawberrys and ice I had a smoothie that didn't actually have a name as Matt made it up on the spot so I christened this the Bloggers Hub Mocktail.

Matte then asked if we had any requests for anything we'd like to make and Bethanie asked to make a Frozen Margarita.  A Magarita includes Tequila, Triple sec (an orange flavoured liqueur), lime juice, sour mix (a mixer with sugar and lemon or lime juice) and is finished with a lime wedge and salt round the rim of the glass. This is the one with the lime wedged on the edge of the glass.  

Once we'd finished testing out our lack of mixology skills we made ourselves comfortable and waited to be treated to some amazing Thai food from ChaoBaby. While we were waiting for our lunch we given a little background information about the restaurant. The group is owned by Martin Stead and Kim Kaewkraikhot. Martin went to Bangkok, bought some street food from Kim and they fell in love. Kim came to the UK with Martin and in 2004 they opened their first restaurant, Chaophraya, in Leeds.  They then opened another restaurant in 2007 in Manchester and later another in Liverpool. In 2010 they launched ChaoBaby (a restaurant designed for shopping centres) and in 2011 a new Chaophraya was opened in Birmingham and the ChaoBaby was opened in Meadowhall. 

Just how amazing does this food look and I can assure you it tasted just as amazing. We sampled some chicken pad thai (hidden under an omelette), beef curry, egg fried and plain rice, mini spring rolls, mini fish in batter and chips.  If you're based near Sheffield (or any of the other locations mentioned) and fancy treating yourself I'd say get yourself over to ChaoBaby and the Palm Sugar lounge and indulge in some delicious Thai food and a cheeky cocktail or two.

Are you a cocktail and Thai food fan?

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A NARS wishlist from a NARS virgin

I'm not normally a wishlist kind of post girl.  Don't get me wrong I read other people's, but I rarely post them myself.  I do of course have wishlists, I just normally tend to make these on Pinterest (if you'd like to follow me on Pinterest I'm just here) or mentally in my sieve like brain.  I only normally have wishlists on my blog if they're products from one particular brand that I've only tried one or two products from, or none at all.

I know many beauty fans are already NARSissist's (there's too many S's going on there!) but I have a little confession to make and that is that I have never tried a NARS product, nope, not a single one. 

The reason I'm posting this is that recently I've been daydreaming about NARS and I'd like the advice of my readers.  As some of you may know earlier this year I was awarded the PhD that I've been working on for four stressful, tiring, nearly breakdown inducing (seriously, at one point I was this close to a breakdown) years.  A PhD means you conduct a piece of research, on your own but with support, that is original and so should hopefully contribute some new knowledge to whatever area you're working in.  Now all of that is out the way and it's completed I will be publishing a book about what I found and I'm hoping to get a good publishing deal (fingers crossed) as although my area is very popular with many people, very few people actually study and research it (that's quite cryptic isn't it!).  Just in case you're curious, my area is Parapsychology (I'll leave you to go and Google that one).  

I think the reason I've never tried anything from NARS is the price, as it's definitely more on the high-end side, and at the moment I don't have a lot of spare cash.  There are several things I definitely need to do with any money I get from the deal, including paying back my parents for the money they lent me to buy a more reliable car and go and buy a new laptop so I can carry on blogging and actually write the book.  But also, depending on how much I get, I'm dreaming about a little (or maybe not so little) NARS haul, either from Space NK (although the one near me is quite small so this may not be possible) or more likely an online order.  It looks like this little haul may be around £200 worth (I did say probably not so little) so I may end up having to narrow it down to fewer products.

So what have I been dreaming about?  Well obviously to start with the Radiant Creamy Concealer.  Everybody raves about this and how it covers everything and as I have a lot to cover it's a no brainer really.  One product I've wanted to try for a while now is one of their foundations but I'm not sure if I'd go for Sheer Glow or Sheer Matte.  I'm not a fan of dewy foundations, I much prefer a matte finish, but a lot of people say that Sheer Glow isn't dewy, so I'm really confused about which one to go for.  I might nip into Space NK and see if I can get a little tester of each.  Which one do you think I might prefer?

Moving on from bases, although I'm not a huge eye shadow fan (only because I'm lacking in application skills) and don't wear it often their new Dual-Intensity eyeshadows have really caught my eye.  I'm thinking something neutral like Andromeda or Europe and then something more dramatic like Desdemona or Subra.  

Of course I'd have to finally try one of their iconic Blushes but I'm really not sure which one I'd go for.  All I know is that I wouldn't go with the one that Sleek's Rose Gold is a dupe for (Orgasm?) as I have that and haven't even tried it yet as I'm not sure about it.  Any recommendations?  I'd also love to try one of their new Matte Multiples and would probably go for Anguilla.  I've never tried a liquid illuminator before so I'd probably throw in their Illuminator in Copacabana for a little experimentation.  

I'm sure you're aware by now that lipstick is my thing and I'd love to try one of their lip pencils, but I can't decide between a Satin lip pencil, Velvet Gloss lip pencil or Velvet Matte lip pencil.  There are too many difficult decisions in life!  Which one would you recommend?  Obviously while I'm at it I might as well try one of their lipsticks and I'm quite liking the look of their Semi Matte lipstick in either Jungle Red or Red Lizard.

So there you have it, my top 'I want to try' products from NARS.  Is there anything else you would recommend?

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Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipsticks - Ole Flamingo! & Frambourjoise

Even though I was super excited about the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipsticks when I first saw the promotional images for them I didn't actually get round to buying my first one until a couple of months ago. Maybe because they seemed to take so long to come out I got a little bored and kind of forgot about them. Does anybody else find it frustrating when a brand releases images of a product but then reveals they're not releasing it for another couple of months?

The first shade I bought was Ole Flamingo! and a couple of weeks ago I also bought Frambourjoise.

Apologises that my pictures aren't great. My poor old camera couldn't cope with the packaging and similar colours very well. Packaging wise these come in quite short see-through glass tubes with plastic lids that are coloured to correspond with the colour of the lipstick. Inside you'll find a typical fluffy doe foot type applicator.  There's a slight artificial type smell to them but this is nothing to worry about as you can't smell this once applied and I haven't noticed any kind of taste either.  Shade wise I'd describe Frambourjoise as a deepish red (described by Bourjois as a red berry with a pink undertone) and Ole Flamingo! as a darkish pink (described by bourjois a deep pink with the spirit of raspberry).  

I actually find these a little difficult to apply, which I find quite strange as I don't think I've seen anybody else mention this in any of the reviews I've read so far.  To begin with I find they apply a little patchy and my lips appear to absorb most of the lipstick, so although there is a little bit of colour on my lips it's not very impressive, more a a slight stain.  However I then apply another layer over the top and with the first layer acting as a base this is then perfect.  

Despite my issues with application there's a couple of things I love about these.  As the name suggests these have a velvet finish, so they're not fully matte but they're not glossy either.  As you may have heard me mention before my naturally dry lips don't like full on matte formulas at all, I find them very drying and uncomfortable, so a velvet formula is a great compromise for me if I don't want a glossy lip colour.  These have a very light formula and when first applied you can barely feel that you have anything on your lips.  Once these have dried down to the velvet finish I do find that they become very slightly tacky, but not in an annoying, uncomfortable sticking your lips together type way.  It's definitely something I can live with and wear comfortably. 

The absolute best thing about these though is once they're on, they're staying on!  They just do not shift until you decide it's time to take it off.  A few days ago I applied Frambourjoise at about 11am.  This went through a substantial sushi and noodles meal (which was very delicious) and a nap and when I came to remove it at about 7:30pm it was still pretty much perfect.  Yes it had faded, the velvet finish wasn't there anymore, but once this has worn off you're left with an amazing stain (that you can see in the last of the pictures above) that is still perfectly presentable without having to touch up.  The stains you can see on the picture above were what was left after I'd applied the swatches, taken the picture and then wiped the lipstick off my arm.  These stains were still slightly visible on my arm 24 hours later (I promise I do wash, they just managed to survive through a shower).  Despite the staying power they do remove quite easily with a cleansing oil, although if like me you naturally have lines on your lips this might still be there in the lines in the morning if you don't smile to smooth them out when cleansing.  

So despite my slight issue with application I do actually love these and keep having to stop myself picking up at least one more in Boots current 3 for 2 on Bourjois.  For £8.99 each you really can't go wrong with these.

Are you a fan of the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets?

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As seen in - The Theory of Everything

My last 'As seen in' post was back in March so some of my newer readers may not be aware what these posts are about.  I work as a Supporting Artist (or extra) in TV, film and music video's and these posts are just to let my readers know what work I've done and where you may be able to catch a glimpse of me.  

This post is because the trailer for a film I worked on last year has just been released.  The actual film is not out until New Years day 2015, but I thought you might like to take a little look at the trailer if this might be your kind of film.  The Theory of Everything is the story of Stephen Hawking's life with Stephen being played by the rather lovely Eddie Redmayne.  I don't know very much about Stephen's life, but my part is as a visitor in the nursing home he is staying in after having his tracheotomy.  Stephen (Eddie) is sat behind me and his wife Jane Wilde (played by Felicity Jones) comes in and shows him a spelling board to try and help him communicate.  This is before he had the computer to produce the electronic voice we probably all recognise. 

I have no idea whether you'll be able to see me in the film as I haven't seen it, but hopefully I might make a brief appearance.  They did shoot a close up shot of me stroking my 'mothers' hand to try and comfort her because she was confused, but this was literally just our hands and this could end up on the cutting room floor. 

If you'd like to watch the trailer, here it is. 

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The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost sorbet

Despite having dry skin that you would think would need quite a rich moisturiser I tend to find that my skin really likes gel creme type formulas, with my current favourites being Clinique's Moisture Surge or Origins' GinZing moisturiser.  Along with many of their recent new releases when I saw The Body Shop were bringing out a new sorbet moisturiser I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost sorbet
The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost sorbet
Unlike The Body Shop's other moisturisers which come in either plastic pots or squeezey tubes this comes in a frosted glass pot that looks very attractive but is obviously a little on the heavier side than their other packaging. 

The sorbet itself certainly has a very unusual texture that some people may not be so keen on.  This is a light pink coloured gel that when applied to the skin feels very smooth but also kind of bitty.  I think the reason for this is that it contains millions of tiny aqua spheres, which I assume are the little white specks you can see in the gel, that hold many times their weight in water.  These aren't left sitting on your skin though, I assume they 'burst' as you massage this in to release all the moisture that they're holding.   

This is the perfect type of morning moisturiser for hot humid weather as it's very cooling and refreshing to apply and apart from the slight bitty texture it feels just like you're applying water to your skin.  It absorbs very quickly, I'd even go as far as saying it absorbs instantly, and leaves a matte finish so it provides a great base for makeup.  Recently I've been using this if I have to get up really early for a shoot as it absorbs so quickly I can apply my makeup over the top straight away so I can have an extra few minutes in bed (every minute counts when you're getting up at 3am!).

This is for all skin types but even though it's packed with moisture if your skin is very dry and usually likes a rich cream this may not quite be right for you, it all depends on what your skin likes.  I have noticed that when my skin has been particularly dry, although this hasn't quite managed to banish some flaky patches when first applied these have gradually improved through the day and are much less flaky, if not flake-less by the time I've removed my makeup.       

The Vitamin E Aqua Boost sorbet is £12 and is available online and in The Body Shop stores.  You can currently get 30% off if you buy three products and 40% off if you buy five, so if there's a few products you're after you could get this for either £7.20 or £8.40, which I think it a bit of a bargain.

Would you try the Vitamin E Aqua Boost sorbet?

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Jurlique Rosewater Balancing mist

I recently won the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing mist from Jurlique themselves in some kind of competition on Twitter, but for the life of me I now can't remember what the competition was.  The prize I received was a very pretty box containing three rose based products which included the Rose Moisture Plus moisturising cleanser, Rose Moisture Plus moisturising cream and obviously the Balancing mist.  Reviews on the other products will of course follow in the future after I've given them a try.   

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing mist

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing mist
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing mist
Jurlique's products come in very simple packaging which I really like.  The bottle is made of frosted glass that is quite weighty, so it may not be one to carry around with you, and comes with a pump that dispenses a fine mist.  Apart from some writing on the bottle the only decoration on there is a simple white rose that you can just about see in my pictures.  

This does contain alcohol and fragrance, so it might not be any good for anybody who is sensitive to either of these, but I was pleased to note that rose flower extract is the fourth ingredient out of around 17 ingredients, so there is a good amount of rose in there.  There's also grapefruit seed (for antioxidant protection) and aloe leaf (to soothe and calm) extract in smaller quantities. 

I don't really tend to use facial mist products as I jump every single time I spray them on my face no matter how prepared I am (although you can also spray them onto your hands or a cotton pad and apply them that way) but I have completely fallen in love with this.  The thing I love the most about this is that to me it smells exactly like Turkish delight, which is a scent I love.  The first time I used this I tweeted to say it reminded me of Turkish delight and Georgina (who's a mummy to be) started craving Turkish delight so badly she had to ask her husband to bring some home for her!

Although it does make me jump I do like to spray this directly onto my face as in the hot humid weather we've been having this has been so cooling and refreshing.  Within a couple of minutes it has absorbed and I'm left with soft and refreshed skin.  I've also found that this does help to calm the redness across my cheeks.  I was quite surprised to find that the rose scent actually lingers for quite a while, which some people may not be keen on, but as I've already mentioned I love the smell so I don't mind this at all.

I've not actually tried any Jurlique products before and I was delighted to notice that their products actually have expiry dates printed or stamped on them.  In the case of the Balancing mist, in a rather bold mustard yellow colour that I'm glad is tucked away on the bottom of the bottle (I'm superficial and don't like to see pretty packaging ruined!).  As I'm sure everybody must be aware by now (if you're not get googling!) just like the food we eat the skincare and makeup products that we apply to our skin also have best before dates.  The problem is many brands don't actually put these expiry dates on their products so if you can't remember when you first bought the product, or you bought it from some kind of discount or outlet store, then there's a chance it may be out of date and past its best.  Even if I completely forgot about this product (which won't be happening!) and I find it in a cupboard next January, at least I'll know that I have around another six months to use it before it may no longer be usable.

The Jurlique Rosewater Balancing mist comes in 50ml (£16.50) and 100ml (£21.50) and is available on the Jurlique website as well as from Marks & Spencer, Space NK, Lookfantastic and feelunique.

Are you a fan of Jurlique's products?

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My MAC lipstick collection

I certainly don't have the biggest MAC lipstick collection (I can't afford that!) but I thought you might like to take a little nosey at my collection, we all love having a nosey don't we!

Yes I'm one of those people that keeps all the lipstick boxes!  I don't know why I've kept these ones as they're basically all exactly the same, the only thing that's different on each one is the name written on one end.  There's even a limited edition here and it still has the same packaging, although as I'm sure you're all aware some of MAC's collections do have different packaging. 

The first MAC lipstick I ever purchased was Impassioned.  I think I paid something like £13 for this (I may be wrong though) and as I've only been wearing lipstick for about a year and a half this shows you how much their prices have increased recently (a standard MAC lipstick is now £15.50). This is an amplified creme described by MAC as an amped-up fuchsia, which I would agree with.  This is a pretty bright shade, just the sort of shade I love, so not really one for somebody who shies away from a bright lip.

My second purchase was Lickable which is a cremesheen and described as a bright clean blue pink.  I'm not particularly good at describing shades but I don't think this is quite right, I would say it's slightly more of a light plum/berry type shade.  How would you describe it?  As you can probably see on the photo in the bullet this has a silver look shimmer in it but I don't tend to find that this shows on my lips.

Next up was a giveaway win but unfortunately I can't remember whose giveaway it was (shout up if it was yours please).  I'm not really a huge fan of matte formulas as I suffer with naturally dry lips but as it was a win I decided to take a chance on Viva Glam I.  I do tend to find this one a little drying so what I usually do is apply a coat of Revlon's Berry Allure lip gloss over the top and this helps stop it being as dry.  This is described as an intense brownish blue-red (which I would agree with) which makes it quite a winter shade so it's not one I wear at the moment.  

Next up we have Red Balloon which is quite a recent purchase from the Playland collection.  You may remember back in June I blogged about heading over to see the lovely Rose who is the beauty personal shopper for Selfridges in Birmingham.  I wasn't intending to make any purchases that day but to be honest who was I kidding? I was in Selfridges with a MAC counter there in front of me (the closest MAC counters to me are all about an hour away) and I had some birthday money so a lipstick purchase had to be made!  It was only when I got home that I discovered that this is really quite similar to Lickable.  MAC describe this as a hot fuchsia, which in theory should make it similar to Impassioned, but as I said I think it's very similar to Lickable but leaning slightly more to the red side than plum/berry side.  Oh and this one's an amplified creme.

As you can probably tell from photo I haven't actually used Hue yet!  This was part of a very generous giveaway prize from Laura over at Laura Louise Beauty but to be honest I'm really not a nude lipstick kinda gal.  I've never really understood why you'd want to go to the effort of applying a lipstick when you can't really see it.  For me you either apply a lipstick people can see from half way down the street or just go for lip balm.  I will of course try this at some point, but being pale I always run the risk of concealer lips/looking ill/dead. 

Wow, look at the hairs on my hand.  I'm like a blonde gorilla!  As you can see (or technically can't see!) Hue barely shows on my skin, but all of my other shade choices you can definitely see.  MAC lipsticks are one of my favourites and when I do have the money to treat myself or there's an offer on I think they'll probably always be my choice, that is as long as the price doesn't go up any more!

What's your favourite MAC lipstick shade?

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The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-oil

With some products as soon as I see them start popping up on blogs I know straight away that I want to give them a try.  This actually wasn't one of those products, to be honest I wasn't really that interested in it.  Although I've been using facial oils for a while now, as I said in my recent empties post, I'm actually quite new to serums, so maybe that's why this one didn't instantly make it to my wish list.

Browsing round The Body Shop one day I knew I wanted to try the Camomile Silky cleansing oil (review here) and as they had an offer on skincare for buy one get one half price I thought I'd give this a try as I found myself drawn to it in store.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight serum-in-oil

The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight serum-in-oil
The serum-in-oil comes in a simple little bottle that has a screw off lid with an attached dropper and this contains 28ml of product.  At first I thought the packaging was plastic but after having just given it a little tap with my nail I think it may be covered glass.  

I believe this is the first two in one serum and oil product and I wasn't sure what this would be like.  I would describe it as a slightly oily water type consistency, it's thinner than a serum and also thinner than other facial oils I've tried.  It's a little on the slippery slide if you drop this on your finger so you need to keep your fingers together or maybe drop it into the palm of your hand instead.  I find this to have a quite light but very luxurious smell to it and looking at the ingredients there are several fragrance ones in there including parfum.

The Body Shop describe this as 8 hours beauty sleep for your skin that recharges, replenishes and softens leaving skin looking fresher, more rested and radiant.  Vitamin E is supposed to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the environment such as pollution, cigarette smoke and UVA/UVB rays and also from premature ageing.  The premature ageing part sounds great for an overnight product but I don't think you have to worry too much about pollution, smoke and the suns rays while your sleeping.    

When I first started using this I used two drops for my whole face but since this warm humid weather has been around for a while now my skin has switched from dry more towards normal, so recently I've only been using one drop.  This massages into the skin nicely and absorbs within a couple of minutes leaving behind lovely soft skin.  If my skin was currently still very dry I would definitely use a moisturiser over the top but at the moment most nights this is enough for me, so I'm only applying a moisturiser over the top every few days for a little boost.  

For some reason my skin never seems to look naturally radiant no matter what skincare products I use but using this I do wake up to soft, refreshed skin that looks about as radiant as my skin gets.  I'm really enjoying using this product, you use the tiniest amount so the bottle will last forever (maybe a slight exaggeration!) and obviously as it's two products in one it's a lazy girls skincare dream (not that I'm saying I'm lazy, but we all have our moments don't we!), especially if you can skip using a moisturiser afterwards.  

The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-oil is £12 and is available from The Body Shop website and in store.  Until 9am on the 5th August The Body Shop have 35% off online using code 35OFF, so you can grab this for just £7.80.

Would you use a two in one product like this?

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