Monthly Archives: March 2015

Fragrance Direct Beauty Haul!

Posted on March 31, 2015

fragrance-direct-beauty-haul

Hi Guys!

After a not so great start to the week yesterday, the lovely guys at Fragrance Direct have sent me an awesome box of products to play with, this is just what I needed! I had no idea what to expect so I was beyond happy when I opened up the parcel to find a massive bundle of products from some fantastic brands, including Bobbi Brown, Benefit and OPI. It felt like Christmas opening it up! Here’s what I received –

  • Loreal Extra Volume Collagene Mascara (£4.99)
  • Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks in Powder Pink (£17.50)
  • Calvin Klein Creme Lipstick in Eros (£1.99)
  • Benefit Fake Up in 01 Light (£12.99)
  • OPI Nail Polish in A Roll In The Hague (£3.99)
  • OPI Nail Polish in Baring It All (£3.99)
  • Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Buff (£16.00)
  • Calvin Klein Bronzing Powder in Enhance (£2.99)
  • Calvin Klein Creme Lipstick in Desire (£1.99)
  • Calvin Klein Bronzing Powder in Sun Bathe (£2.99)

If you look at the prices you’ll see that all of the products are cheaper than you’d expect, and some are really heavily discounted. I won’t be covering everything today as there’s just too much and this post will take forever to read through, so I thought I’d talk about a brand that I haven’t tried before – Calvin Klein Cosmetics.

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Now to be honest Calvin Klein aren’t really known for their cosmetics, fragrances definitely but makeup, not so much. My first experience of Calvin Klein was when my boyfriend at the time bought a 16 year old me a bottle of Eternity for Christmas that year. That scent brings back good memories!

It’s quite obvious that some of the best bargains in my stash here easily have to be the Calvin Klein products. £2.99 for a bronzer that should be £17.99 and £1.99 for a £13.50 lipstick – talk about cheap as chips! I’ve looked online to try and find some more info out about CK cosmetics, but I think this range is possibly slightly older? As I can only find CK One cosmetics available.

ck-bronzer-swatches

The Calvin Klein Summer Affair Bronzing Powder is a micro fine bronzing powder that comes in three shades, promising a radiant complexion without exposure to the sun.

I have two shades of this bronzer, the darker one is Sun Bathe and the lighter shade is Enhance. They both have a hint of sparkle and I love that the pans are massive – perfect for getting a big bronzing brush in there! The lighter shade is definitely the one for me, and I think these would look great buffed all over the body for a night out!

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ck-lipstick-eros

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The Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Cream Lipsticks are described as luxurious, ultra conditioning and give lips a smooth matte finish, and they have a non-feathering formula that protects and hydrates.

I have shades Eros 142 and Desire 149. Admittedly I wasn’t overly keen when I saw the lipsticks before trying them out, but when I swatched them I was instantly impressed with the creamy consistency which gave a semi-matte finish, and the pigmentation was excellent too. These are two lovely shades, Eros especially being a bright red / orange is perfect for Spring. I definitely want to look into stocking up on some more colours! I also swatched the Bobbi Brown lip gloss while I was checking the products out – I’ll have this reviewed along with some more of the products on a separate post very soon.

I’d love to hear if you’ve tried Calvin Klein makeup before? I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

A Personal Post, and Two New Outfits

Posted on March 30, 2015

Hi Guys,

I really want to say happy Monday! And be all cheery and full of sunshine for you. But already this morning I’ve woken up late, broken a nail and banged the side of my head getting into the car so I feel like I’ve been punched in the ear. Can I start again!?

Today I want to talk about some personal issues, and I want to be honest with you. I’ve been putting off / avoiding outfit posts more and more because I feel so self conscious of my size and weight. I’ve put on a massive chunk of weight (five stones in fact) over the last 18 months and it’s really knocked my confidence. I’ve been trying to think of how to share my thoughts and feelings about this, but it’s so hard to get the words out right, I keep writing this and re-writing this again and again, so I’m just going to go for it…

Basically I feel completely torn. On one hand I want to jump around in my favourite loud and colourful clothes whilst giving the world the middle finger. I want to say this is me, this is what I look like, and if you have a problem with that, then it says a lot more about you that it does me. But unfortunately as much as I want to, I don’t feel like that most of the time. Most of the time I want to hide away because I feel so self conscious. I don’t like the fact that my whole body wobbles when I walk. I don’t like feeling uncomfortable in my clothes, and in my own skin. It’s been really getting to me, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to accept myself as I am in order to start making positive changes… so here I am.

isolated-heroes-dress

This is what I look like.

Will people judge me? Maybe. Do I care? I really want to say no, but I wouldn’t be writing this if that was the truth, so I do care a bit.

Even though I’m not feeling great about myself at the moment, I really want this post to have a positive message behind it. If you’re a size 8, 18 or 28. IT’S YOUR LIFE. It’s your body and your choice. If you’re big and want to lose weight, fantastic, do it! If you’re slim and unhappy and you want to gain weight – do it!

We all need to do what makes us happy, you can’t live your life worrying about what other people will think or doing as they expect. (see how I’m contradicting myself there) I find it quite cathartic writing this down so I’m hoping by the end of the post I’ll have made some sort of peace with myself.

In the above picture I’m wearing the Sheer Tears Sequin Dress Isolated Heroes, this is one of my favourite stores, expensive but they make everything by hand, and definitely worth every penny.

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You couldn’t see my shoes very well through the grass so I’ve taken a separate photo of my shoes and accessories for you. I recently bought this Silver Gem Stripe Panel Clutch from New Look in the sale – a bargain at £10, and these gorgeous Rosalie Pose Sandals from Clarks Shoes will just be perfect for the coming warmer weather. My sunnies are from Nasty Gal.

tein-clothing-tshirt

So I’ve put on all this weight for various reasons; I’ve been suffering with anxiety and depression, but mostly depression. I’ve been comfort eating and feeling like I have no control over my habits. The situation I was in got to a point where I couldn’t carry on like I was, and I had to do something about it – so I did. I’ve now made certain changes in my life, so things should be on the up from now on. I’ve been wanting to cut out my bad habits and start a healthier lifestyle for a long time now, and that’s exactly what I’m now starting to do.

In this outfit my t-shirt is from Tein Clothing. I also bought a few others in their sale which I’m hoping to get into when I’ve lost some weight. Their prints are amazing!

new-look-miu-miu-shoes-accesories

The accessories for this outfit included a gold tone gem necklace from Nasty Gal, these amazing Silver Glitter Gem Tie Up Block Heels from New Look, they were £39.99 down to £22.00 – and yes they do actually match the bag above. And my old trusty Nasty Gal bag.

I’m sorry if any of this doesn’t make sense. I’ll have a post up shortly explaining what’s happened exactly and what my plans are moving forward. I do feel better for ‘coming out’ and getting this all off my chest though. I’m really looking forward to a new beginning xxx

My Top Picks From Neve Cosmetics

Posted on March 26, 2015

neve-cosmetics-picks

Hi Guys!

You know I love bright colours, and Neve Cosmetics really have hit the nail on the head here! I’ve got some fab products to show you today, including this amazing palette of rainbow eyeshadow shades, a brightening primer, coloured eyeliner pencil, concealer and illuminating powder.

neve-cosmetics-Intensissimi-eyeshadow-palette

The Intensissimi Eye Palette (£21.95) contains ten bright and bold eyeshadow shades, in a fantastic array of rainbow colours. I know this isn’t going to be everyone’s’ cup of tea, so it’s also worth noting they have other palettes available with darker colours, pastel shades and neutrals too. I love that the palette is a really good size, and the pans are massive so you definitely get your money’s worth when it comes to the amount of product included. The only improvement I’d add is a mirror in the lid!

Intensissimi-eyeshadow-palette-swatches

Intensissimi-eyeshadow-palette-swatches-2

And just look at the pigmentation! These colours rally are superb. They’re super soft, full of pigment and are easy to apply and blend too. The only palette I have that I can compare this too is the Makeup Revolution Colour Chaos Palette, which is smaller in size but full of bright shades. I think the Neve palette comes out on top just because the pigmentation is that much better, though I’d still recommend the MUR palette if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative.

neve-highlighter-and-concealer

I also have the Hide and Seek Concealer (£6.95) – this is a handy little pot of cream concealer that really does the job. It dries to a matte powder finish, and it’s also vegan, silicone and paraben free. I have the second lightest shade which is Light and it’s definitely fair enough for my neon white skin tone. I love the super matte finish it gives – there’s nothing creamy or shiny about this product at all. I’m currently using it to help disguise my under eye dark circles and it’s doing a great job!

The Illuminismo Face Powder (£9.95) is a gorgeous soft and silky weightless powder that highlights the complexion – it’s basically a loose powder version of MAC’s MSF’s. It’s perfect for creating highlights under the brows, on the cheekbones, or wherever you want your skin to catch the light. Again it contains no parabens and no silicones and it’s vegan and cruelty free. I have to say I really love the finish of this powder, it really is just like a MSF, but I think I’d prefer it in a pressed powder just for ease of use.

And the BioPrimer Brightening Primer for dull skin (£9.50) – this is another vegan, cruelty and silicone free product, promising a smooth finish to the skin with brightening properties to enhance a dull or dry complexion. This sounds just what I need right now! It’s formulated with nourishing argan oil, protective shea butter and moisturising aloe extract, so this primer aims to give skin a healthy and radiant finish. I love that it gives the slightest hint of illumination to the skin, I couldn’t capture it on camera unfortunately. It’s not sparkly or shimmery, but definitely illuminating and just makes your complexion look a bit brighter.

neve-cosmetics-eye-look

I’m really impressed with all of the products I’ve been using today, and I can’t get enough of the amazing eyeshadow palette. I’ve used some of the eyeshadow shades, and the Pastello Eyeliner Pencil in Turquoise (£3.95) in the waterline to creat a quick, fun and colourful eye look – what do you think?

Neve Cosmetics are available in the UK from Cute Cosmetics – do check them out, as I brand I think they’re definitely underrated! And I also have a previous post on their lip products here.

I hope you enjoyed my review! xxx

This post contains samples provided for review

Shared Beauty Secrets Lava Shells Review

Posted on March 25, 2015

lava-shells-review

Hi Guys!

When an email popped in my inbox talking about Lava Shells, I was completely intrigued! What even is this!? Well a Lava Shell is basically a self heating massage tool, made from recycled Tiger Clam shells and high quality porcelain. A natural, biodegradable heat technology is incorporated into the Lava Shell which then omits heat for over an hour, allowing you to use the product for self-massage. It can can be used to treat a multitude of concerns from easing aching muscles and joints to alleviating the suffering of IBS and bloating. The heat helps relax the muscles quicker and the shape of the shell helps target problem areas like tense shoulders. The Lava Shell is perfect for massaging backs, tummies, legs, shoulders and necks too.

Well that sounded right up my street! I’m a BIG fan of massages – but I’ve only ever had one proper back massage in my life, sad I know. It was a swedish one and Jesus was I broken after that, but I also felt great! Until I actually arrange another ‘proper’ massage, I get my other half to either scratch my back for me (I love that) or rub my shoulders.

So, when the package arrived, I opened it up to find the Lava Shell, a 30ml bottle of Basic Elements Exotic Massage Oil, and four sachets of Lava Gel charges and Lava Activators. The process is really simple, you just open the plug on the back of the shell and place the one of the charges inside, this contains a blend of food grade minerals, then tip in the activator from a separate sachet, this is a saline solution, then replace the plug and wait five to ten minutes for the natural exothermic reaction to happen.

Now I have no idea how this magic worked, but it did and the shell was comfortably hot after about eight minutes. So I positioned myself ready for the massage of my life… Well Ollie was watching Rude Tube on the TV while I layed on the floor. I loved the heat aspect of the massage, and the shell really is the perfect ergonomic shape for holding, as well as rubbing across the back.

So is it any good? Well in a word – yes! Yes I may have been laying on the floor in front of the telly with my other half more interested in watching hilarious Youtube clips that concentrating on what he was doing, but it was actually really nice! You definitely need to use an oil, so the shell glides over skin with ease, and the heat aspect is fantastic. If you have aches and pains you should definitely give this a go. The shell stayed heated for over an hour too, giving plenty of time for a long massage. My only niggle would be the fact that you only get four uses out of it. You can purchase a refill kit, but it’s nearly £30, and the website doesn’t say how many uses you get out of the refill kit unfortunately.

If you love a good home massage I’d definitely recommend you try Lava Shells, the Home Kit is £39.50 from sharedbeautysecrets.

Are you a fan of massages? I’d love to hear what you think of this product!

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains a sample provided for review

Some New Bath Time Treats…

Posted on March 24, 2015

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Hi Guys!

Funnily enough, I never used to be bothered about having baths – don’t worry, I did shower! I think this stems from my mum only allowing me one (short) bath a week when I was little – ‘to save money’. So baths were never really my thing. Fast forward twenty years or so when my husband and I moved into our brand new house, which led to a different bathroom problem – the bath water wouldn’t get hot, at all. I could run a bath from the hot tap only and put Fred straight in (he was about 1 at the time) then we found out the nice people at Persimmon had put some sort of limiter on the temperature so you couldn’t scald yourself – thanks for that! £40 later we had it removed and I can now finally enjoy a lovely hot bath!

Anyway, enough of my bath time history! Last week I decided to have a bit of a tidy up and clear out in the bathroom, so I thought I’d show you my most recent additions –

Phytacol PhytaOil – I’ve started using this to try to help with my ridiculous stretch marks. I’ve got them across the whole of my mid section, at the top of my boobs and the tops of my thighs. My belly ones are old from being massive when I was pregnant but the others are more recent due to my weight gain over the last two years. It’s bad enough putting a heap of weight on but having stretch marks too just makes it that much worse! So Phytaoil basically contains Rosehip Oil, which should help with my stretch marks (it’s also good for scars too) it’s rich in essential fatty acids, which are the building blocks for healthy skin cells, as well as antioxidants, vitamins A & E, and natural oils of apricot kernel, jojoba seed, lavender, lime and geranium. I used Bio Oil a long time ago which didn’t work at all, so fingers crossed Phytaoil will have better results. Phytaoil is £10.99 and can be purchased from Phytacol

L’Erbolario Narciso Sublime Bath Foam – This is another new brand to me. L’Erbolario Narciso is an Italian plant-based beauty brand, and their Sublime range has a fresh floral and dark green fragrance. The Sublime Bath Foam contains toning and softening extracts of Narcissus flowers and Narcissus distilled water, combined with almond oil sufactants and oat amino acids, and it gives a beautiful bubbly bath. There’s also an EDP, Body Oil and Candle as well as other items available in the range. The Narciso Sublime Bath Foam is £12.50 from Erbolario

Argan 5 Moroccan Rose Body Wash & Body Butter – I love Moroccan and Argan Oil hair products so when I heard about Argan 5’s rose scented body range I had to try a couple of their products out! The Moroccan Rose Bath & Body Collection has been specially formulated to enrich the skin for long-lasting hydration, and leave you literally smelling of roses. The Nourish & Anew Body Wash has a beautiful Rose Otto scent and counteracts the drying effects of water on the skin with their exclusive Argan + synergy complex, and the Nourish & Soften Body Butter increases cellular turnover to leave skin deeply hydrated. The Argan + synergy complex includes Moroccan Argan Oil, Baobab, Kukui, Moringa Oil and Sacha Inchi to restore, regenerate and nourish the skin. This collection is from £4.95 at Waitrose.

Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil – Carrying on with the rose scented theme, I also have this beautiful Wild Rose Body Oil – it really does leave skin soft, supple and velvety smooth. It contains wild musk rose oil, jojoba oil and almond oil to nourish and protect skin, and it’s ideal for an all over facial and body massage – nice! I haven’t used this on my face as yet, but I love to cover myself in it after a bath. This is £19.95 for 100m from Weleda.

Molton Brown Blossoming Honeysuckle & White Tea Bath & Shower Gel – Molton Brown are one of my all time favourite companies when it comes to bath products. Their scents are just amazing! Their latest Blossoming Honeysuckle & White Tea collection takes inspiration from Sichuan, China, and its breath-taking mountains and azure lakes. This new floral collection is blended with this exquisite region’s honeysuckle and rare white tea. This is the legend of the goddess Semo that inspired the scent –

Legend has it that the Sichuan goddess Semo was presented with a magical mirror by a love-struck 
mountain deity. While admiring herself, it slipped from her hands, shattering to create 114 lakes. 
Mirror Lake was the most beautiful of them all – still and pure as white tea; floating, delicate petals of jasmine and overhanging trees adorned with unfurled honeysuckle blossoms.

I love the story behind the range and the bath & shower gel is just spot on. It’s blended with honeysuckle, antioxidant-rich white tea leaf and warm heliotrope. The fragrance includes top notes of bergamot and mandarin, heart notes of honeysuckle, white tea and jasmine, and base notes of sandalwood, heliotrope and vanilla. This is £18.00 from Beauty Expert.

I’d love to hear what your favourite bath and body products are? I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains samples provided for review

Introducing ARK Skincare: The Age Maintain Range

Posted on March 23, 2015

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Hi Guys!

Happy Monday! The sun is shining and I’m super excited that the lovely guys at ARK skincare have sent me a bundle of their gorgeous products to try out. I have most of the products from the Age Maintain range, which is aimed at those in their mid 30’s up to age 50. I’m coming up 31 in June but was advised that due to my skin being on the dry side, I’d benefit more from this range than the Age Prepare range which is aimed at those with oilier skins from teens to early 30’s.

The Age Maintain range targets skin that’s starting to show signs of ageing, such a fine lines, wrinkles and sensitivity. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I am starting to get fine lines around my eyes – and I know they’re only going to get worse! And my skin has always been on the sensitive side, so I’m hoping this range of products will work really well for my skin!

So lets take a look at the products –

Replenishing Moisturiser (£27) – This is ARK’s best selling anti-wrinkle treatment moisturiser. With Co-enzyme Q10, it’s packed with natural moisturising agents including Shea Butter and Olive Oil. It also contains clinically proven anti-ageing peptides, including Matrixyl, to smoothes out wrinkles, plump and tones the skin, and diminish signs of premature ageing.

Soothing Masque (£26) – This is a calming face mask for stressed and irritated skin. It helps to reduce the appearance of redness associated with dryness, and diminish the look of wrinkles. With an encapsulated blend of Vitamin A, C, E and F, it promotes skin firmness and elasticity.

Conditioning Cleanser (£24) – This is an ultra-nourishing cleanser that helps with skin’s natural exfoliation for a clear, radiant complexion. It removes make-up and excess sebum to leave skin exquisitely clean, plump and supple. This cleanser is perfect for sensitive skins as the natural ingredients soothe redness and inflammation too.

Renewing Exfoliator (£29) – This is a gentle, granule-free exfoliating mask that safely removes dead cells from the skin’s surface using Multifruit Acids. This super-smoothing skin saviour diminishes rough, flaky skin to promote a younger looking complexion.

De-Stress SkinResponse Serum (£42) – This soothing DeStress Serum reduces the visible signs of skin stress, diminishing the look of fatigue, slackness and loss of vitality. Created with a herbal complex, this anti-irritant serum calms redness and boosts hydration for beautiful, healthy skin.

I’m so excited now to get stuck in with these products, I feel like I’m completely kitted out so I can work on getting my skin to it’s best condition yet! I’m going to be giving these products a long term trial over the next couple of months, with updates along the way – so I can find out if they really work. Keep your eyes peeled for my first update in the next couple of weeks!

I’d love to hear if you’ve tried ARK Skincare products before? xx

A Little Zoeva Haul…

Posted on March 21, 2015

zoeva-haul

Hi Guys!

I’ve had my eye on Zoeva brushes ever since I first discovered them. My first lusting was the original Rose Gold collection sets with the brown handles – I’m a sucker for anything rose gold. Then I heard they were recently releasing the Rose Gold Vol.2 sets, so I saved up my pennies for the release date, and then I stocked up!

I went for both sets, as well as the corresponding brush pots, the Rose Gold Eyeshdow Palette and also a fan brush which I wanted from the standard brush range. I ordered direct from the German Zoeva site, as it seemed to work out cheaper than in the UK, and my parcel also arrived the same week! (Also Germany is in the EU, so no import taxes or fees – result!)

The brush sets were EUR 70 each including the brush holders, which works out at just over £50 each, compared to the same sets which are £61.50 each from Love Makeup in the UK. Shipping on the German site was EUR 7.50 (£5.43) so it definitely worked out to be the cheaper option purchasing from there.

This may sound expensive, but with one set including eight brushes, and the other including twelve, they’re actually really good value for money, averaging out at just over a fiver each.

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The brushes are most definitely amazing – as expected. Apart from being beautiful to look at, they really are top quality too, the bristles are soft but firm, and they’re synthetic too in case you were wondering. I now have literally every eye brush a girl could ever want or need! The face brushes were slightly more limited so I also purchased a fan brush separately which I had my eye on. The sets also come in beautiful rose gold metallic leather cases, with shiny rose gold zips. The cases are fantastic quality too, so I’m now wondering what I can use them for!

I’ll briefly touch on the Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette, which at EUR 17.50 (£12.66) for ten good sized shadows is a complete bargain. I’ll being reviewing this separately though so you can get a good look at it.

I really can’t recommend these brushes enough, I’d love to hear what your favourite brushes are? xxx