Pinterest Hover Button

Lush Easter 2015

Yesterday morning I headed to Lush Meadowhall for the #LushBloggerBreakfast to have a sneak peak of the 2015 Easter range. When we arrived we were greeted with a choice of tea, coffee and orange juice, as well as some croissants, chocolate brioche and fruit and a display of products including some old favourites and some new additions. 

Lush Meadowhall Bloggers Breakfast

Lush Bunch of carrots bubble bar and Hoppity Poppity

Lush Immaculate Eggception pink & yellow
Lush Fluffy egg

Lush Bunch of carrots

Let's start off with the Bunch of carrots bubble bar. This comes as a bunch of three carrots that contain buchu oil, lemon oil and bergamot oil. This is a reusable one so the idea is you swirl the carrots around in the water as you're running a bath and then leave them somewhere to dry ready to use next time. The two jugs were used to show that these produce an impressive amount of bubbles that feel very soft and silky. This may not be the prettiest of Lush's bubble bar products but I think it's quite quirky and is obviously Easter bunny appropriate.  If you wanted to give somebody a slightly more unusual Easter present you could give them a chocolate bunny with a bunch of carrots (just make sure they realise the carrots aren't actually edible!).

Lush Easter Immaculate Eggception bath bomb


The bath bombs include Golden egg (not shown), Fluffy egg (the candy pink ones), Immaculate Eggception (the pink and yellow ones) and Hoppity Poppity (the bunny heads). I didn't get a good picture of Golden egg but I believe this is one Lush have released before. It's a small golden coloured egg covered in lots of glitter and containing Fair trade Colombian cocoa butter, olive oil and sweet wild orange oil. This one takes a long time to dissolve and leaves you with glittery yellow/gold water.

I'm pretty sure that I've used Fluffy egg before so I think this one has also been released before. Snow fairy fans will be pleased to know this one smells like Snow fairy, so you can get your Christmas candy fix for Easter. Although I believe a few permanent products do at least smell similar to Snow fairy if not the same?

Immaculate Eggception is a large bomb that is designed to be cracked open. Once in two halves (fingers crossed it doesn't crumble too much) you'll find a very cute little chick inside the egg and these pieces can then be used for three baths. I wouldn't advise chucking the whole thing in if you have the pink version of this one as we discovered the pink and yellow turns the water a rather unattractive muddy brown colour! This one includes grapefruit oil, lemon oil and fair trade vanilla absolute.

I don't recognise Hoppity Poppity (what a cute name) so this might be a new one but I could be wrong about that. This contains violet leaf absolute, lime oil and popping candy to make your bath a little more fun. This one might be good for children as the popping candy will amuse them but I'd say it's perfect for big kids too.

Lush Easter soaps Somewhere over the rainbow and Carrot


The soaps in the Easter collection are Somewhere over the rainbow, which contains mandarin, neroli and carnation, and Carrot containing buchu oil, carrot oil and Fair trade organic cocoa butter. Is it just me or does the Carrot look a little like a giant orange slug eating some grass? We didn't get to see it because it needed to be kept in one piece but running through the middle of the soap is the shape of a rabbit. Somewhere over the rainbow is HUGE, I don't think I've ever seen a complete Lush soap that size before, and obviously the colour(s) of the bit you get will depend on where it's cut from.

Lush Pot o' Gold shower jelly


The sparkly gold flubber looking type thing is actually a shower jelly. I've tried a sample of a shower jelly before and they're quite strange to use. It's the sort of product you really have to try and get a good grip on (which is difficult because it's jelly!) or it will end up going astray. This one is Pot o' Gold, which contains fresh pineapple juice, Fair trade vanilla absolute and myrrh resinoid. This one smells like toffee, which is a scent I love, so I'm thinking about getting some of this.

Finally Lush have several different Easter gift sets (I think there was around eight of them) but I'm afraid I can't remember the names of all of them (you can see some of the names above) and I'm not sure what's in each one. I think my favourite in terms of packaging is probably the carrot as it's just so quirky but the bunny one is also quite unusual. If you want to buy somebody something a little different for Easter, or just don't want to buy chocolate, one of these gift sets would be perfect.

Lush very kindly gave me a Fluffy egg*, Immaculate Eggception* and Hoppity Poppity* to take away with me to try so reviews of each of these will pop up as I use them. I'm afraid I don't have any prices but the Easter range will arrive in store and online this Friday (27th February).

Will you be treating yourself to anything from the Easter range?
*PR sample

View Post

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask

In January an email popped into my inbox from Birchbox asking if I would like to try out the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask*. REN are a brand that I'm aware of but I've never actually tried one of their products before. I've recently plucked up the courage to start moving away from manual exfoliation products and more towards acid exfolation, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to try out one such product.

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask
When this arrived I opened up the parcel, started to read the box and my heart sank. 'Suitable for all skin types, except sensitive' - damn it! The rest of my face is not too bad but the tops of my cheeks can be very sensitive and reactive. Clay masks can often burn me there and even a hydrating sheet mask that I tried left me with a slightly red face for a couple of days. So I really wasn't sure if I would be able to use this at all.

As the name suggests this mask is designed to help renew your complexion. It should help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, combat congestion, blackheads and blemishes and make skin look brighter, healthier and more radiant. It contains natural fruit acids from passion fruit, lemon, grape and pineapple and also something called papin from papaya. It also doesn't contain anything that some people aren't keen on being in their skincare such as parabens, mineral oil and silicones.

The packaging of this is quite unusual. Although it comes in a standard pump dispense bottle I believe the actual product in the bottle is in some kind of bag. I guess as you dispense the product it sucks the bag up and I would imagine this means you can get almost all of the product out of the bottle. There is also a strip of plastic with a little cap on the end attached to the pump that you can use to cover the hole the product is dispensed from when not in use. I'm not sure of the purpose for this, as the product is too thick to leak, but this might be to help keep the product fresh.

The mask has a thick and sticky consistency. It has a reasonably strong smell to it which I find reminds me of marmalade. I guess it also kind of looks like marmalade! You apply a thick layer to your whole face, avoiding the eye area, and after 10 minutes you remove it using the muslin cloth provided. This doesn't dry, it remains sticky, so you do need to use the cloth to remove this properly. 

I took it slowly and carefully and started out with a patch test behind my ear. When this was clear after 24 hours I decided to try the mask on the most 'hardy' area of my face, which is my forehead. Again nothing happened so after a week had passed (as you're only supposed to use this weekly) I cautiously applied this to my whole face. I stayed in the bathroom for the first couple of minutes (as this is how quickly I usually react) so I could quickly wash this off if I needed to, but I'm pleased to report I didn't have any problems at all. In fact I didn't even notice any tingling, which the packaging says you will probably experience.

I've used this a couple of times now and I find that it's not a product that gives an instant result, my skin will look a little more radiant and clearer either the following day or possibly the day after that. I'm guessing here (I'm no skincare expert) but for me at least I think it may work by 'loosening' the top layer of dead skin cells that I then shed after using the mask. It didn't make me go 'Wow, my skin looks amazing!' but I did notice that it helped with the appearance of blackheads and blemishes and made my skin look a little more glowing than it usually does. I can't comment on lines and wrinkles as I don't currently have any.

Although this didn't personally blow me away this is one of REN's best selling products so it obviously works well for some people. I'm wondering if maybe the lack of a tingling sensation means this one just doesn't really work for me? The REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask is £32 and is available from the Birchbox E-shop.

Are you a fan of REN products?

*PR sample

 
View Post

The repurchases

As a blogger and general lover of all things beauty, even if I like a product (possibly even if I really like a product) the chances are when it runs out I'll buy a different product because I want to try it out. I want to know if a different product is as good as everyone says it is, if it might be my holly grail product or maybe I'm just curious because it's new so I want to see what it's like. So if I do repurchase a product then usually it means it's something special. 

Several products that I really didn't want to be without all recently ran out around the same time (isn't that always the way!) so I thought I'd do a repurchases post to show you what they are.

Lush Tea tree water, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ and Soap & Glory Supercat


Lush Tea tree water, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ and Soap & Glory Supercat
Lush Tea tree water, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ and Soap & Glory Supercat

Lush Tea tree water, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ and Soap & Glory Supercat
You may have heard me mention before that I'm really not that good at applying eye liner. I love the look of black liquid liner, but for many years I didn't even attempt it as I knew from doing my makeup for shows when I was younger that eye liner really wasn't my strong point. That was until I tried the Soap & Glory Supercat eye liner pen. If anybody asks for eye liner recommendations or comments that they struggle to apply eye liner I always recommend this as it's just so easy to use. Thanks to this I'm now confident enough to attempt liquid liner application and actually go out in public with it. What makes it even better is that it's only £6 and doesn't start to dry out within a couple of weeks/months.

The other two products I've included I actually like to use together and they make a pretty amazing combo. Despite the dry skin on the rest of my face my chin is often oily and blemish prone, especially around crazy hormone time. I also have old, pretty set in there acne scaring. I like to use La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ to help treat minor breakouts and help minimise/improve scaring and Lush Tea tree water for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties to try and stop breakouts spreading/getting worse. Using these together I find that I suffer with a lot less breakouts and if I do get one it's usually not as bad or clears up more quickly.

It's not actually pictured here, as I haven't actually repurchased it yet, but when I need to (which I don't think will be long) I will be buying another Collection Lasting perfection concealer. This stuff is great. Reasonably priced (I believe just under a fiver), easy to blend, high coverage and a little goes a long way. The only downside is it can be a little difficult to get hold of, especially if you need the pale shade, but I'll keep an eye on my local Wilkos and as soon as I spot a pale I'll be running to the till.

What are your guaranteed repurchases?

Twitter | Bloglovin | Pinterest | Instagram
 
View Post

A Models Own sale haul

I've bought a few nail varnishes from Models Own's various collections but in general most of them haven't really appealed to me. There hasn't been anything wrong with any of them, they just haven't really been to my taste. The Velvet Goth range was one that really didn't appeal to me as I didn't like the effect it provided and knew I wouldn't be able to use the velvet covered lids *shudders*. When I saw the first promo images of the new Chrome collection it really caught my attention with its very pretty bottles. When Models Own launched their half price sale in January they included a limited number of the new Chrome varnishes before they had officially been released. I ummed and ahhed for a while before deciding to see if any of the Chrome varnishes were left a few days after the sale launched and as there were I decided to try some. 

Models Own sale haul - Chromes and Buff pink

Models Own sale haul - Chromes and Buff pink

Models Own sale haul - Chromes and Buff pink
Models Own sale haul - Chromes and Buff pink
As you can see I didn't just order some of the Chrome varnishes I also added Buff Pink from the standard range to my order. I wanted a new barely there pink shade, the sort you would use for a French manicure, as my existing ones were past their best. I had a hard time trying to decide which Chrome shades I wanted to try but ended up settling on Chrome Cerise, Chrome Mauve, Chrome Rose and Chrome Green.

Just look at these bottles in all their prettiness! They're very sleek and shiny and will satisfy any magpie tendencies you may have. I even love the bottom of the bottles, something about the coloured base and the dots going around the edge makes me keep picking them up to look at their bottoms *blushes*

As you might be aware chrome nail varnishes are notoriously difficult to apply because you usually end up with very obvious brush strokes in the finish, but I actually didn't find these too bad at all. If you look closely yes you can see some brush strokes, but from a distance they're really not too bad. 

Models Own suggest not using a base coat or a top with these and although I didn't try them with a base coat I would agree with avoiding a top coat. The photo above is without a top coat and when I did add one to see what happened it appeared to emphasise any brush strokes or faults in the nail. Models Own also suggest buffing your nails before application to try and get rid of any ridges or imperfections but if you have nails like me you won't be able to get rid of them all. You can see my ridges and the strange 'dents' I get in my nails but I don't think it looks bad. 

I thought I would prefer the lighter shades, but then ended up ordering three of the brighter shades (go figure!) and actually I really like Cerise and Mauve. Rose was the shade I most wanted to try but I'm actually slightly disappointed with it. Only because I think I was expecting it to be slightly more pink, but it's still a lovely colour.

I'm really pleased I did decide to buy a few. I like the chrome look and I'm happy with my colour choices. You can get these from the Models Own website and Models Own bottle shops. You can also get them in Superdrug but I'm not sure if Models Own is still available in Boots as the display has been removed from my local store and they're no longer available online.

Have you tried any of the new Chrome nail varnishes?

View Post

Nail art - Gatsby inspired

Although I wasn't particularly a fan of the film (I didn't have time to watch it all and never actually bothered watching the end) I am a fan of 20's inspired fashion. Back when I first started working as a Supporting Artist a few years ago I worked on a music video for Yolanda be Cool (of We no speak Americano fame) that unfortunately did nowhere near as well as their first (and only) hit, but I loved filming it. Although I didn't love the fine I got for accidentally driving in the congestion zone without realising! The video had a 20's theme and was filmed in the amazing Rivoli ballroom in London, which you've probably seen used for at least one video/TV show etc without realising (S Club 7's Don't stop moving video?). I wore a purple flapper style dress, long black beads, long black gloves, a black feather boa and my Latin American or character (dancing) shoes, I can't remember which ones the stylist told me to wear in the end. If you'd like to see the video you can find it here.

I've spotted a few Gatsby style nail looks on Pinterest so decided to have a go myself and see what I could create. I didn't have time to do anything too fancy so tried to keep it simple (although to be honest my designs are always quite simple!).

Nail art - Gatsby inspired

Nail art - Gatsby inspired

Nail art - Gatsby inspired
I realised I haven't actually used Models Own Diamond Luxe in Oval Plum yet so thought I'd give it a try as the base for this design to make the lines. I used stripping tape to create the design, which is actually really hard to try and do precisely when you can only use one hand because you're applying it to the other! I then painted over the whole thing with Nails Inc Alexa Silk before removing the stripping tape straight away. I then finished this off with a Soigne Gel top coat (not pictured) that I'll be reviewing very soon. 

What do you think of Gatsby inspired nails? Are you a fan of 20's inspired fashion? 

Twitter | Bloglovin | Pinterest | Instagram
 
View Post

The Body Shop Hemp soap on a rope

Is it just me or is soap on a rope a very retro thing? I have come across a few before, but I think they've mostly been intended as a joke present. So when The Body Shop contacted me to let me know they would be sending me some new products to try out I was very surprised to see that one was a Hemp soap on a rope*. 

The Body Shop Hemp soap on a rope
The Body Shop Hemp soap on a rope
The idea behind this being on a rope is that it hang dries so it doesn't pick up dirt and bacteria sitting on the side of the bath tub, or any surface you may choose to leave it on. As the name suggests it's part of the Hemp range and contains moisturising hemp seed oil for non-drying cleansing for dry/very dry skin. 

I have to say if I saw this is store I would assume it was a masculine product due to the khaki green colour and thick rope, but I believe it is intended to be unisex. In fact the image TBS used to advertise this in one of their emails was an apparently naked man holding this over his, er, bits. So maybe that was TBS saying 'Hello ladies, this one's for you'! I did tweet the picture saying it's not that big (meaning the soap!) and TBS replied saying if they'd used the correct size you'd be able to see a little more than you should! Also does this remind anyone else of a cannabis leaf?

There's a very slight fragrance to this but it's not very noticeable. From the look of it I thought it might be quite hard and difficult to lather up but actually it was the complete opposite. Obviously it is hard because it's a solid soap but as soon as it comes into contact with water it starts to produce a lather. Apart from the whole hanging it up to dry thing I thought there were good and bad sides to the rope. It's good to loop over your wrist so it doesn't go astray if it slips out of your hand but the rope also feels like it can get in the way slightly. 

Until some of the pattern has worn off (there's also a TBS logo stamped on the back) I'd recommend lathering it between your hands rather than rubbing the soap directly against your skin as it's a bit bumpy. I didn't find it particularly moisturising (I have very dry skin) but I also didn't find it at all drying. 

In general, although it's not the most feminine or prettiest TBS product it was nice to use. It's not a product I would personally buy, as I tend to prefer shower gels over soaps, and I'm not really sure how I feel about the rope. If you do like the look of the Hemp soap on a rope it's £7 and is available online and in store.

How do you feel about soap on a rope?

*PR sample. Post contains an affiliate link
 
View Post

L'Oreal Professional Cristal Temptation Steampod straighteners

If you follow me on Twitter then you may have spotted my tweet a few weeks before Christmas mourning the death of my trusty old GHD's. I started straightening my hair as usual, holding the straighteners between my knees while I was separating the next piece of hair when I heard a crackling sound. I quickly picked them up and bent down to unplug them when they sparked with a little puff of smoke and they were no more. At least they weren't still between my knees though as that would have been my second electrocution of the year! Just a few weeks before my laptop charging cable did exactly the same thing, electrocuting me and resulting in my first ambulance. It didn't throw me across the room or anything though, the ambulance was just really a precaution because my arm felt strange afterwards and they wanted to check my heart as I have a very slight issue with it. 

Anyway, back to straighteners. I had managed to pick up a cheap set that were reduced in Superdrug to tide me over but they're not a patch on my GHD's. So when an email popped into my account a few weeks ago from L'Oreal asking if they could send me their Cristal Temptation Steampod straighteners* I was over the moon.

This is going to be a long post so you may want to grab a drink and a snack!

L'Oreal Professional Crystal Temptation Steampod straighteners


L'Oreal Professional Crystal Temptation Steampod straighteners
L'Oreal Professional Crystal Temptation Steampod straighteners
L'Oreal Professional Crystal Temptation Steampod straighteners
The straighteners consist of the straighteners themselves and then an attached Steampod (and of course the power cable). The only other things included in the box are the instruction manual and a PH testing strip to test your water. The straighteners have an on/off button and a + and - button to adjust the temperature. There's an electronic screen on the top to show the temperature and when the straighteners are 'locked' (so you can't accidentally press a button and change the temperature) and the top of the straighteners light up around the screen and down around the crystal decoration. The bottom of the Steampod has suckers on so as long as you've placed it on a smooth surface you don't need to worry about pulling the cable and tipping it over because it suckers in place.

The straighteners basically work like a steam iron. The top of the Steampod detaches and you fill this with water before clicking it back into place on the Steampod. However first you need to test the PH/hardness of your water to make sure that it's suitable to use with the Steampod. If your water is too hard (over 9F) you're advised to buy demineralised water to use with it. You're provided with a PH strip that you have to dip into a cup of water before leaving it for 60 seconds. The strip has five pads on it which you really want to turn green, the more pads that turn red the harder your water is. One red pad means the hardness of your water is 9F at the most. On mine just the very edges of the second pad had turned red so I decided if anything my water is just slightly over 9F so I've decided to go with using my water in the Steampod.

So you pop some water in the Steampod and turn them on using the button on the straighteners. You then set the temperature you want between a range of 170C to 210C depending on how fine/thick and fragile your hair is. I have to admit I'm not entirely sure what heat I should be putting them on for my hair. It's in good condition but I don't know whether it's fine or normal, so I went for 200C which covers fine (thickness)/normal (damage level) and normal (thickness)/fragile (damage level).

The straighteners take 90 seconds to heat up, which sounds about right, and are supposed to take 90 seconds for the steam to start but I would say this does take longer. The first time I used them I actually thought something might be wrong with them as I had to wait maybe five minutes plus for the steam to start coming out (Note - I've just read a bit in the manual that I must have completely missed when I first read it saying to hold the straighteners closed the first time you use them to start the steam after 90 seconds!). The second time it seemed a little quicker, but still not 90 seconds, although the third time it did seem much quicker. In the manual it says you must be able to see the steam coming out and hear the noise of the steam to use the straighteners. I'm not sure why this would be the case as surely you could use them without the steam, but if the steam runs out you're supposed to refill the Steampod reservoir. The sound that the steam makes sounds just like the sound a steam iron makes, a kind of a puff noise.

To use the straighteners you take a section of hair, clamp the straighteners firmly at the root of the hair (this starts the steam) and then slowly run the straighteners down to the ends so the steam can spread through the hair. The arrows on the top of the straighteners indicate which way round they have to be moved through the hair. At first I got all cack-handed because I naturally use straighteners facing outwards and I was concerned that this would mean the steam was puffing towards my head and it might burn. This isn't a problem though as I think the part where the arrows are blocks the steam. As you can see from the pictures this does include a built-in comb so I would recommend combing through the section of hair you're about to straighten or obviously any knots will catch in the comb.         

L'Oreal Professional Crystal Temptation Steampod straighteners
L'Oreal Professional Crystal Temptation Steampod straighteners
It's only when I try to take pictures like this that I realise how bad the curve at the top of my spine is! I had to make sure I held my head back so I didn't look like a complete hunchback. Please also excuse my roots/slightly patchy dye job. The first photo shows my hair left to dry au naturel with a quick blast of the hair dryer as I was impatient and the second shows my hair after using the straighteners. I'm not very good at getting the ends straight, I always seem to tilt the straighteners slightly at the end of my hair and end up with a slight flick. However I'm very pleased with the results. I'm not sure that it was any quicker than my usual straighteners but my hair did feel softer and looked a little healthier and shinier than it usually does. I used these for the third time last night and did a much better job of getting the ends straight and I love how my hair looked.

There are a few things that I think you need to bear in mind if you're considering investing in these straighteners. Firstly, prices appear to range between £109 and £150 for the standard version and the limited edition Cristal Temptation version, which is what I have here, appears to be £150. So they're on par, if not slightly more expensive than GHD pricing. The Cristal Temptation version is available now but the standard version doesn't appear to be released for another week or so.  

These don't come with any kind of heat resistant mat which I think you really do need. The outside of the straighteners near the plates gets very hot and there's no way to put them down without a hot part touching whatever surface you put them on. You won't be able to curl your hair with these because of the comb and the shape of the straighteners due to the steam part, so they're just for straightening. Also as I mentioned above if your water is too hard to use with these you will need to buy demineralised water to use with them, which might not be ideal. Finally these aren't ideal for travelling as they're quite bulky and take up a lot of space and don't come with any kind of pouch or bag to store them in. They're definitely ones that are best for use at home. 

So would I choose these over GHD's? It's very close. In my current circumstances I would go for GHD's because of their portability, but once I have my own house and can stop flitting between my parents and my boyfriends I think I would go for these. I think as long as I knew about it beforehand I would check the water in my house and my final decision would probably depend on that.

I did also receive a couple of L'Oreal styling products to use with these but I haven't tried them as of yet as one of the products doesn't have any English instructions on it, so I'm not sure how to use it. Researching for this post I discovered that you are apparently supposed to use one of the products with the straighteners. So I will look for English instructions online and report back in a separate post. It's worth noting that the Steampod styling products are £16.50 each. You can out more about the L'Oreal Professional Steampod straighteners here.

Are you still with me? *tumbleweed* If you are, would you invest in the Steampod?

*PR sample

 
View Post

My experience of braces

Like many people when I was younger I had braces. I was born with far too many teeth in my mouth and this made them very wonky. Before I had my braces fitted I had to have about eight teeth removed and six of those were removed at the same time. I dread to think what my teeth would have ended up looking like without intervention. I can't remember at what age they were fitted (I also can't remember exactly when they were removed) but I wore them for years and it wasn't an easy experience. Although you can now get invisible braces, or at least ones that aren't very visible, back then I had the good old train tracks featuring metals pads glued to each tooth and then a metal wire running through them. They were far from attractive, which is really isn't helpful when you're starting to develop into an adult and already have a chronic lack of self-confidence.

I wanted to include a photo of me wearing braces but I can't find one anywhere, which I guess is understandable. I'm assuming it's either because I didn't smile showing my teeth or just completely avoided having my picture taken around that time. So I've included a very old picture of me with very long (and blonde) hair that was taken after having my braces as my teeth are straight.

One of the things I remember most about having braces was the pain. I had to go back regularly to have them tightened, at one point it was every two weeks, and after tightening the aching pain as my teeth started to move was hard to bear. There was also then the pain of the mouth ulcers as the metal pads began to rub in a slightly different place in my mouth that wasn't used to it. At least I didn't have it quite as bad as my brother though. He actually had a headset with braces attached that he was supposed to sleep in at night, but it was so uncomfortable and almost impossible to sleep in so I don't think he bothered much. 

It was definitely a relief when I went for my very last appointment and my orthodontist pulled off my braces. For the first time ever I had straight teeth without a mouth full of metal attached to them. Although he did attach a permanent retainer to the back of my top teeth, to stop them moving out of position, that I still have in place today. I thought that was it, so I wasn't particularly impressed when he asked me if I now wanted an operation to align my jaw properly. Why couldn't my jaw have been dealt with at the same time as my teeth like my brother? I didn't want to go through any more so I said no, and now I regret it!



I am probably the slowest eater in the world. I sometimes have trouble chewing things like steak and I know it's because my jaw is out of line. I'm not keen on the idea of having an operation to correct it but if there was something else I could have, maybe like braces (although preferably without the pain) I would definitely consider it. I'd never heard of an Inman Aligner before but this is an orthodontic treatment that can be used for issues such as small gaps between teeth and minor problems with the bite. It's not invisible, as a metal bar runs along the front of the teeth, but it's apparently discreet and most treatments are complete within four months.

I'm not sure if my jaw problem would be counted as minor but this is definitely something that I'm going to keep in mind for the future when I'm hopefully in a slightly better financial position. The Inman Aligner treatment is available at Sensu in London and you can find more details about the treatment on their website.

Have you ever had braces?

*Sponsored post

 
View Post

Nail art - Geometric corners

Today I have some more nail art featuring one of the OPI shade that I've recently added to my collection. You can read my post about my recent additions here. This time I decided to go for I carol about you, which is a lovely deep purple that tends to look a little too blue in photos. I did attempt this design before Christmas and was really pleased with it but I just couldn't get any decent photos to use. I've recently managed to work out a better set up for photography so I thought I'd try this again so I could blog about it.

Nail art - Geometric corners
Nail art - Geometric corners
Nail art - Geometric corners



As you can probably see I did slip up slightly on my ring finger, but you couldn't see that from a distance and I'm really pleased with how all of my other nails turned out. As usual I started with a base coat and then used Barry M Silk in Heather as my base colour. I used masking tape to block off most of my nail and then stripping tape to create a line and painted over with I carol about you. I whipped off the masking tape and stripping tape while I carol about you was still wet and then once this was dry sealed it all with a top coat. 

My floating lines aren't quite even all the way along but again you couldn't see this from a distance, I'm just a perfectionist so things like this niggle at me! I think this is quite a sophisticated look and I think it would look best with square-ish shaped nails like I have. My nails naturally grow quite square so I usually just soften the corners slightly as they're quite sharp and I either scratch myself or my boyfriend.

What do you think of Geometric corners?

 
View Post

Birchbox February 2015 - Birchbox Loves

Last Friday a mystery parcel dropped through my letter box and I was surprised to discover that it was the Birchbox Loves February 2015 box*. The reason this came through my letter box is because Birchbox has now launched a Slimbox, which as you've probably guessed by now is slim enough to fit through a standard letter box. If you'd like to read more about the Slimbox you can find my post here.

For me Birchbox is definitely one of the best beauty subscription boxes and February's box is certainly a good one.

Birchbox Loves February 2015

Birchbox Loves February 2015

Birchbox Loves February 2015
Birchbox Loves February 2015

Birchbox Loves February 2015
The first thing that jumped out at me (wouldn't it be amazing if the products did actually jump out of the box when you open it?!) was the theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer. In a previous Birchbox I received a similar sample of one of the shades from theBalm's How 'bout them apples cheek and lip set and I love it, so I'm very excited to try another product from the brand. I'm not 100% sure about the shade, I think Mary-Lou might work better for me, but it looks like a lovely product.

The next thing to catch my eye was the Cynthia Rowley eye liner. I've never come across this brand before but a quick Google search revealed the brand includes fashion, beauty, eye wear and sports wear. The packaging is certainly very appealing, featuring black with gold writing and a gold dotted pattern, it's a compact size so easy to carry around and on first swatch the formula appears soft and creamy.

My eagle eyes spotted a Caudalie product lurking in the box and on closer inspection I discovered this is the Caudalie Vinoperfect radiance serum (10ml). I've already tried a sample of the day perfecting fluid from the Vinoperfect range, which I enjoyed using, so I'm looking forward to giving this a try.

My eagle eyes also spotted Liz Earle in my box and I assumed it would be some kind of skincare sample, but it's actually the Liz Earle Botanical shine shampoo (50ml). I'm not sure I even realised that Liz Earle do hair care. This is plant based, SLS/SLES free and contains Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, Shea butter and apple and orange extracts. I'm a little unsure about the shea butter with my oily hair but it does say it's for all hair types so I'll see how I go. 

The last beauty sample is a T London Darjeeling hand & body lotion (50ml). It's not the most exciting looking sample, the packaging doesn't really appeal to me, but the lotion appears nice enough (the small amount I tried on my hand absorbed really quickly) and it appears to have a nice light citrus scent.

This months lifestyle extra is a The Chia co Oats + chia mixed berry sachet (45g). I don't usually eat things like this so I'm looking forward to trying something different and I'm hoping I may have found a tasty new breakfast/snack for me to enjoy. I'm quite surprised there wasn't a Valentines based lifestyle extra though such as sweets or chocolate. Last February Birchbox included a heart shaped lolly, although mine was broken *insert broken heart emoji here*

Finally if you're curious about the 'friends with benefit' card this is to let you know that the March box will feature a pick your sample selection from Benefit. At a guess with the recent launch of Puff off and the launch of Roller Lash on 26th February this might involve samples of the new products (or of course I could be completely wrong!). Birchbox is £10 a month plus £2.95 P&P however if you use code LOVEBB during February you'll get free postage for your first box. You can subscribe to Birchbox here.

What do you think of the February Birchbox?

*PR sample
Twitter | Bloglovin | Pinterest | Instagram
 
View Post

The Body Shop Smoky poppy body lotion and body butter

Last month I popped up a post to introduce The Body Shop's new Smoky poppy range which launched yesterday. If you'd like to have a look at the products I'll be reviewing you can find my previous post here. Today I'm talking about the body lotion and body butter.

The Body Shop Smoky poppy body lotion and body butter

The Body Shop Smoky poppy body lotion and body butter

The Body Shop Smoky poppy body lotion and body butter
Since my last post I've discovered this is actually intended as a bit of a 'sexy' range and of course Valentines day is just a week and a half away. Thinking about it the smoky, slightly spicy fragrance and dark sultry packaging with a flash of red does give the range a slightly boudoir feel to it. In my last post I did say that when I first smelt this I wasn't sure but it was growing on me and I have to say now I really like.

One of the first products that appealed to me was the body lotion* so I decided to try that first and popped it into my bag to take away with me to stay at my boyfriends. Although this is a body lotion this is actually quite thick, it takes a good few pumps to get the product to start dispensing and I've noticed that sometimes the pump does struggle a little dispensing this. Despite being quite thick this applies nicely and I was actually surprised by how quickly this absorbs. Even though the skin on my body is excessively dry in patches it does struggle to absorb products, but my skin drinks this up within a couple of minutes and it doesn't leave anything behind on the surface of my skin. The fragrance isn't overwhelming but it is reasonably strong and this does linger on my skin for a while. A big thumbs up for this one from me.

Obviously as a butter the body butter* is thicker than the lotion and I find it quite solid, I have to dig my finger in there to get some out. To be honest I'm not always keen on this as I have reasonably long nails and it means I end up with a load of butter under them that I have to fish out. This wasn't as easy to apply as the body lotion, which is unsurprising for a body butter as it's more solid so needs to soften a little before it's easier to spread, but it did absorb well. The fragrance is not quite as strong in the butter as in the lotion, it's slightly lighter but still very detectable. This is a nice product but I just don't think it's for me, I personally prefer the body lotion and when I've worked my way through a few products that I need to finish off I'll definitely be picking up another one of these. 

The Smoky poppy body lotion is £8 for 250ml and the body butter £5 for 50ml or £13 for 200ml and both are now available in store and online.

Will you be trying anything from the Smoky poppy range?

*PR sample

 
View Post

Leighton Denny Easy peasy mani set

Around Christmas time Look Fantastic ran a competition to win a Leighton Denny Easy peasy mani set. As a fan of Leighton Denny's nail varnishes and a fan of anything to do with nails in general I entered and was lucky enough to win. I don't know if this was intended as a Christmas set but it is available to buy on Look Fantastic for £27.50 and I believe you can buy at least a couple of the products individually.

Leighton Denny Easy peasy mani set

Leighton Denny Easy peasy mani set

Leighton Denny Easy peasy mani set
Leighton Denny Easy peasy mani set
Leighton Denny Easy peasy mani set

Leighton Denny Easy peasy mani set
Starting with the Remove & Go nail polish remover (£6.99). I'm sure you've all come across these before by now but if not the idea is you dip your finger, wiggle it around a few times and when you take you finger out your nail varnish should have been removed. This was the first product I tried and when I first unscrewed the lid I thought the smell was quite strong. Not a nail varnish remover type smell but something else that I wasn't keen on. It was only when I'd only got two fingers left to do that it dawned on me why I disliked the smell so much - lavender. As you may be aware I can't stand the smell of lavender and I'm also allergic to it. So I quickly finished off my last couple of fingers (I thought I might as well as I'd done all of the others), washed my hands and handed this over to my mum to use. As I said I did give this a try and it worked well, but be warned this does smell quite strongly, so strong you can actually smell it through the lid.

I try to take good care of my nails and have been curious about trying a glass nail file so I was really pleased to see the Crystal nail file included. These are supposed to be much gentler on the nails than harsh emery boards and so far I'm really impressed with this. It files the nails with ease, definitely feels more gentle and appears to produce less 'dust' when you file, if you understand what I mean. They also last a lot longer as you can wash them to remove any build up and it should be as good as new. The only downside to this is occasionally it can send a vibration up your finger and that sensation goes right through me. Despite that I won't be going back to traditional emery boards.

I haven't really come across anything like the Colour & Go nail paint duo before. I've seen similar things containing a nail colour and some kind of effect top coat to go over the top, but not one with a base and top coat in. This one contains a Matte finish base coat and Fast dry top coat. I like the idea of this, as it will be handy to take away with me when I stay at my boyfriend's, however I think it will take a little getting used to. One issue with this is that when you're using it it's quite top heavy, because you the other side attached to the brush you're using, and this makes it a little difficult to be precise. It's not too much of a problem with a base/top coat but if it was a nail colour it would make things a bit more difficult than normal. Also as the bottoms of the bottles are quite slim I'm a little concerned about accidentally knocking one over while using them. Despite that the base and top coats are both very good. The base coat provides a very matte base on the nail that I'm not used to but works well and the top coat is fast drying and very glossy. So a big thumbs up for both of those.

I've been suffering with really dry skin around my nails recently so I've been slapping on cuticle oils and creams trying to ease the dryness. I've used bottle oils but haven't actually used a pen like the Slick tips touch & go cuticle oil (£12) before. The most annoying thing about these kind of product dispensers is definitely when you first start using them and have to click them round a billion times before it actually starts to dispense any product! Once this one does start dispensing you get a light, citrus scented oil and all you do is just brush it on around your cuticles. I usually brush it on, leave it to absorb and then massage in any remaining oil after 10 minutes or so. It smells amazing and really helps to keep your cuticles and the skin around your nails moisturised.

The final product was the Miracle mist (£11) which is a quick dry spray for speeding up the drying time of your nail varnish. I've not really been a fan of these in the past as they often leave your fingers oily and I prefer to just use a quick drying top coat. Back in April last year I put the Elegant Touch rapid dry for nails through the 60 second challenge and I think I'll do the same with this one and report back on my findings.

So I'm really pleased with this little set. There are some great products in there and it's very good value considering the three products I could find online come to £30 and at a guess the other two products are probably worth around £10/£11.

Are you a fan of Leighton Denny?

 
View Post
Next PostNewer Posts Previous PostOlder Posts Home
BLOGGER TEMPLATES BY pipdig