Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 Favourties... Skin Care and Hair Products

2012 was definitely the year of skin care for me, when I first started blogging I was quite happy with my face wipes and simple face wash that was until I started reading other blogs and learning more about skin types and skin care, so now I am trying out new products to see what is the best match for me, so these are my 2012 favourites of skin care products that I love and will definitely be buying again and again.

Ren Mayblossom T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel
This cleanser leaves my skin feeling really clean and refreshed, but doesn't dry out my skin at all. I've already bought another bottle of this cleanser and have recommended it to friends. (You can see the post here)

Clarins HyrdaQuench Moisturiser
I love this moisturiser it has really improved my skin, especially in the cold months, I have been using it twice a day in the winter, but I think it will be great as a night time moisturiser in the summer. (You can see the post here)

La Roche Posay Hyrdaphase Intense Mask
I use this mask all the time, it leaves my skin lovely and moisturised, I love it and will definitely be buying it again. (You can see the post here)

Decelor Ylang Ylang Balancing Face Oil
I got this on a bit of a whim after a lovely lady at the Decelor counter gave me advice about my skin care, she said that my oily skin was probably being made worse as my skin was unbalanced and that the ylang ylang will balance my skin. It is really expensive but I bought it for half price in Paris and you can get it cheaper on feel unique. I love using this as it smells gorgeous and my skin feels lovely when I use it. (Mentioned in this post here)

Emma Hardie
This has done the rounds on most blogs, I was lucky enough to get a sample size for free to try from Whats in my handbag, I love this cleanser it smells gorgeous and just melts my makeup, leaving my skin lovely and soft. (You can see the post here)

Figs and Rouge Lip Balm
Sorry I forgot to include this in the photo! I really like this lip balm, for me it is just as good as the infamous Nuxe lip balm but half the price! (You can see the post here)

I'm not really that into hair care products, it's not something that has ever really interested me, but at the same time I am obsessed with trying different volume products to find anything that give my hair any sort of boost. These products are the only products that I use again and again, I can't get loads of volume but they do give my hair a bit of extra body and shine.

Aveda Phomollient Styling Foam

Aussie Aussome Volume Shampoo and Conditioner

V05 Miracle Concentrate Elixir with Argan Oil


Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012 Favourites... Makeup

When I was thinking about the different makeup products that I wanted to include in my 2012 favourites that list was getting very long and I was getting a bit concerned this post would turn into a bit of an essay, so I cut the list down and decided to only include the products that I turn to all the time without thinking and that list was easy to make. So here are my 2012 favourites...

L'Oreal Million Lashes Mascara
This is my all time favourite mascara, I love it!! I talk about it in this post.

Garnier BB Cream
I love this BB cream it is perfect for my combination/skin, it's really easy to wear and BB cream has lasted ages I bought this back in May (i think) and I still have loads left and I wear it everyday! You can read my post here.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation
I really like this foundation, it is medium coverage and really does last all day, I know a lot of people compare this foundation to Revlon's Colour Stay foundation, which I have, but I think that the double wear gives a much better finish compared to the colour stay, you can find the foundation here, I will do a post soon!

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder
This powder is brilliant, there is not much I can say about a powder but it keeps my skin nice and matte all day and for only £3.99 it's a bargain, although since I have been using the Garnier BB cream I haven't been using it as much. You can find it here.

Soap and Glory Kick Ass Concealer
I recently did a post on this, which you can see here, but I am obsessed with concealer and use it everyday!

Collection 2000 Extreme Liner
This range of eyeliners are really great felt tip liners which can rival other brands such as L'Oreal and Rimmel for only £2.99. It's mentioned in a post here and here.

Avon Super Shock Gel Liner
I use this liner on my waterline and it is such a great true black I love it, I bought it from Ebay but you can find it here.

Benefit Blushers
I've included the Hervana blusher in my favourites, but I could easily wear any of my Benefit blushers any time. (You can see my post here and here)

I love all 3 of these lipsticks, they are so easy to wear, I have a LOT of lipsticks but I reach for these the most.
Revlon Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti (You can see my post here)
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Stain Balm in Crush (You can see my post here)
L'Oreal Rouge Caress in Dating Coral (You can see my post here)

MUA Heaven and Earth Eye Shadow Palette
I know everyone raves about the undressed palette, which I also have, but the Heaven and Earth palette is always the range of eye shadows that I reach for most often for daytime and evening makeup looks. I just realised I haven't done a post on this so I will get some swatches done soon, in the mean time you can find it here

Real Techniques Brushes
This year I have become really interested in using makeup brushes, I never quite understood the need for them before I became a blogger but now I am obsessed, especially with Real Techniques brushes, I first bought the Stippling Brush which I love, I got the core collection for Christmas so I can't wait to try them.

What have been your favourite makeup products this year?


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmaaaaaaaas...!!!

We hope everyone has a lovely Christmas!!

Elaine & Rachel

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Soap and Glory Kick Ass Concealer Review

The Soap and Glory Kick Ass Concealer is something I have had for quite a while now and have only briefly mentioned in posts about what I was taking away with me on holiday, I really love this concealer and I was thinking about what I wanted to include in my favourites for 2012 and really thought this concealer needed a post all of it's own. 

I know this did the rounds on a few blogs quite a few months ago but I was always a bit put off by the price tag, I mean £10 is a bit pricey for a concealer, but I thought I would give it a go as I wanted to invest in a better quality concealer. I am always a bit paranoid about looking tired and having black circles under my eyes, especially with the dark mornings I feel tired 100% of the time, but I find some concealers are either good for under eyes or for covering blemishes and I couldn't find one that was good for both, I do like the Collection concealer but find it's a but heavy for under my eyes. So that's how I justified paying £10 for a concealer as I would have ended up paying more to find a concealer for under eyes and another for blemishes.

The concealer itself is a 3 step system, and includes an under eye brightening concealer, complexion concealer and a translucent powder to set the concealer, there is also a handy little mirror.

The powder is very easy to use and blends well without making your makeup look cakey, I use this sometimes on my t-zone too when I am out and about.

The concealers are really creamy and blend well, with great coverage which still looks really natural. The peach tone concealer is great for brightening under your eyes as the peach cancels out the blue in dark under eye circles, I feel that this concealer freshens up my make up and look much more awake.
The yellow tone concealer is great to conceal blemishes or any scars you may have, I have had some really bad skin lately and I really wish I listened to people who said not to pick spots as I now have so many scars/marks on my chin, and this concealer hides them really well. If the concealer is too yellow for your skin tone you can mix it with the peach to get the right colour for you. 

I love this concealer and carry it with me all of the time, I bought this in July and have used it everyday since and I still haven't hit pan, for me this is worth every penny. I will definitely buy this again when it finally runs out!


Thursday, 20 December 2012

L'oreal Volume Million Lashes Excess Mascara Review

If there is one bit of makeup that I couldn't leave the house without it has to be mascara! Out of all the makeup I own I am the most obsessed about mascara, a good mascara can make such a huge difference to your look and really open up your eyes. I often have a few mascara's on the go and tend to always end up buying new mascara's that are being launched in the hunt for the 'perfect' mascara, that was until I tried L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes mascara I loved it instantly and have been pretty loyal to it, I must have bought at least 10 since I first tried it. 

I was pretty excited about the launch of a new mascara to add to the range, the Volume Million Lashes Excess, I was expecting great things considering how much I love the original. The mascara is £10.99.

L'Oreal describe the mascara... L'OrĂ©al Paris's Volume Million Lashes Excess mascara. Don't just volumise, millionise your lashes for a maxed-up, fanned-out effect.

I have to be honest I was really disappointed in this mascara, the long brush does allow you to reach all of your lashes but it certainly doesn't millionise my lashes or provide volume to excess.
I also found that unlike the original mascara the more I applied the more clumpy my lashes got, and it was more of a struggle to try and avoid the spider leg lashes look.
I also feel that when I wear this mascara I have to wear eyeliner as it isn't volumising enough for me, which in contrast to the original I can happily wear it with or without mascara, so I have only been using this as a work/daytime mascara but I have already bought the original Volume Million Lashes mascara again and will just stick to that. 

I know that mascara is quite a personal thing, but I found that this mascara didn't match up to it's  name which was disappointing and I won't be buying this again. 

I much prefer the Volume Million Lashes in extra black, the brush is bigger so it adds more volume but the plastic brush means that you do get fewer clumps.

Have you tried L'Oreal mascara's? What did you think?


Monday, 17 December 2012

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift Moringa Cleansing Balm Review

About a month ago I had a lovely surprise when I received this cleanser in the post, I had completely forgotten that I had applied for a sample on Whats in my Handbag, you can see the post here.

I have been wanting to try this cleansing balm for ages, it gets rave reviews from Caroline Hirons and from other bloggers that have tried it following Caroline's recommendation, but it is quite pricey at £34 for 100ml, although if you time it right there are sometimes offers on QVC or Feel Unique . I have always been a bit hesitant to try it due to the price and I have never used a balm cleanser before so I wasn't sure how to use it or whether it would be suitable for my oily/combination skin type, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to receive a sample.

Emma Hardie Say...
- Thoroughly cleanses and moisturises the skin.
- Helps to purify and minimises the appearance of open pores.
- Calming for sensitive skin
- Revitalising for dull and mature skins.
- Can be used as a rescue balm, ie on dry elbows or knees, or as a lip balm.
- Doubles as a soothing mask if left on the skin for ten minutes

Key Ingredients and what they do:
- Moringa seed extract, Wild Sea Fennel and Vitamin E:Balance, purify and help to minimise the appearance of open pores
- Orange, Neroli and Mandarin extracts: Rejuvenates and revitalises the skin.
- Jasmine, cedarwood and Rose:  Helps to recondition dull, dry, dehydrated and mature skins

The cleanser can be used in the morning and evening but I have just been using the cleanser in the evening (so that it lasts longer) and I prefer a refreshing gel cleanser in the morning when I have a shower.
You mix couple of drops (or a small scoop) of the balm with warm water to create a cleansing milk and then apply to your face, I apply the balm to my face when it's dry as recommended by Caroline Hirons, it can also be used to remove eye makeup too. It did take me a little while to figure out how much I actually needed as I either would use too much or too little as I wanted to make my sample last as long as possible! You then remove the balm with a muslin cloth and warm water, although I have been using a face flannel which works just as well but is much cheaper.

The cleansing balm smells absolutely gorgeous, the scent is really relaxing and luxurious, it's the perfect scent to help you feel ready for bed. When I first applied this I was absolutely amazed at how quickly the cleanser melted my makeup away, especially my eye makeup, all of my mascara was removed with only one wipe of my face cloth! It left my skin feeling thoroughly cleaned but didn't leave it feeling tight, my skin felt lovely and soft and very moisturised. 
Straight after using the cleanser I noticed a visible difference in how luminous my skin appeared.

I absolutely love this cleanser and look forward to using it every night, as I don't see it as much of a chore to remove my makeup and clean my face as I know that this cleanser will do that all for me in one go and it's just sooo nice to use! Apparently the cleanser also doubles up as a soothing mask when you apply and leave it for 10 minutes, I haven't tried this yet but I will definitely be testing this out.

I have asked for the full size for Christmas and pointed my boyfriend in the direction of Feel Unique where it is currently on offer for £26ish. It is expensive so it will definitely be on birthday and Christmas lists in the future.  


Thursday, 13 December 2012

My favourite things to do at Christmas

I love Christmas I can honestly say it is my favourite time of year. 

As soon as the Christmas adverts start on the TV (and they have been great this year) I begin to feel festive and genuinely look forward to buying presents for people. 

I'm not the most creative/arts and crafts person but when it comes to Christmas I always feel inspired to make something to give as presents, but I'm a bit rubbish I have accepted this! So my way to meet my want to be creative is to make Christmas present gift tags! I keep all the Christmas cards from the previous year and I enjoy sitting cutting out all the pictures from the cards to add ribbon and create my own unique gift tags, I really like going through all the cut outs to match tags with my family and friend's personalities, Rachel always gets a cute cat gift tag!

Christmas presents - Put some assets in their Christmas stockings
When it gets close to Christmas I love having a day to myself to sit next to the Christmas tree with a lovely Christmas cinnamon candle making gift tags and wrapping Christmas presents, and of course I have to watch my favourite Christmas films at the same time!!

Santa Claus the Movie
 Love Actually 
To me Christmas isn't Christmas without watching these films at least once!

What's your favourite thing to do at Christmas?


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

My Kate Rimmel Lipstick Collection

My name is Elaine and I'm addicted to Kate Rimmel lipsticks.

I was having a hunt through my makeup box the other day and I realised that I have quite a few Kate Rimmel lipsticks! I have a bit of an obsession with lipsticks at the minute and I often forget just how many I actually have... oops.

I go back to the Kate lipsticks quite a bit because I think that they are such good value for money, the lipsticks are really creamy and extremely pigmented, they aren't drying at all so they are easy to wear. I do find with the new matte collection it is best to put a lipbalm on before applying the lipstick but I think thats the same with most matte lipsticks. 
The Kate lipsticks also have had 3 seasonal launches so far so they keep up with make up trends really well. 
Shades 12 and 03 are from the first range of Kate Lipsticks.
Shade 16 is from the Spring/Summer range.
Shades 111, 101, and 107 are from from the most recent range of matte lipsticks.
(Swatches below)

(L-R) Shades 12, 03, 16, 111, 101,107
My favourites are  shades 12, 03, and 16, but I think it's because I have had them longer so I am more used to them, perhaps? My least favourite is shade 101, I just don't think it suits me at all, I've tried wearing it a few times with different makeup looks but I'm never happy and end up rubbing it off, which is annoying as it was the shade I was looking forward to the most from the new matte range, and with the drama I had getting it in the first place. I will end up giving this to a friend.

When the new matte Kate lipsticks were being launched I actually bought shades 111 and 101 from their facebook shop before they were launched in the shops, mainly because I am quite impatient and they had an offer running that if you bought two products you got a free nail polish, I'm a sucker for an offer so I bought them. If I'm honest I regret it and didn't have the best experience with Rimmel's customer service. 

When I received the lipsticks in the post I was most excited about trying shade 101 and of course with my luck that shade was missing from my order, so I contacted Rimmel via twitter and they advised me to send a message via facebook, which I did. A couple of days later I received a response saying they would look into my missing order, and that was the last I heard. I sent facebook and twitter messages asking for an update but no one responded, I received the missing lipstick a week later no note saying sorry or anything, I was left feeling very irritated that no one had acknowledged my requests for information. I even sent a message saying how disappointed I was that no one had gotten back to me and that I won't be buying anything else from their facebook shop and still I got no response. Of course during this time the lipsticks were released in the shops! So I will not be purchasing anything more from their facebook shop and will just be patient in future and wait for products to launch in the shops!

I really like the Kate lipsticks and think they are great quality which is probably why I will end up with more, but bad customer service really puts me off a brand.

What makeup range are you addicted to?


Sunday, 9 December 2012

My Winter Skin Savior: Clarins HydraQuench

I recently got a new job as an outreach worker, which means that I am outside a lot between appointments and waiting for buses to visit people so my skin has been exposed to the cold weather a lot, and I have been feeling the effects on my skin of the extremes of going between the cold outside and central heating blasting inside! My skin feels much more sensitive and dry, I've also had more blemishes which I think is due to the lack of balance in my skin. I decided that I needed to invest in a moisturiser that can protect my skin in the winter months and leave my skin feeling as hydrated as possible.

Initially I wanted to buy Clinique's dramatically different moisturiser as it had some good reviews and felt rich but not too greasy when I tried it on my hand, but I was put off due to some bad customer service I received from the Clinique counter and being told flat they didn't offer samples (when other counters said they did but didn't have any sample tubs) which I don't think is right when a moisituriser is £30 personally I want to try a product out first before spending that much money, so I left feeling a bit disappointed. I was having a wander round the beauty counters in John Lewis to get an idea of what moisturiser to try when I asked an assistant on the Clarins counter for advice, she recommended Clarins Hydraquench cream gel for combination/oily skin, she mentioned that she also uses this product and that it can be used in both summer and winter months, and that her jar has lasted her at least 6 months, I was then offered a decent sample without asking.  

I used the sample everyday for a week and the difference I felt in my skin was huge! My skin felt instantly more hydrated and stayed hydrated throughout the day. Hydraquench is a very rich moisturiser but it doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy or clogged, and it soaks into my skin quickly so it's a great base for my make up.

 I have found that you only need to use a small amount of the product, so hopefully this jar will last me a long time. I do really like the packaging of the moisturiser, the glass jar makes it seem more of a luxurious product and for the price it should, but I would prefer a bottle with a pump to make it a bit more hygienic.

Hydraquench is pricey at £33.50 for 50ml, but when I decided I really wanted to buy this I had a good hunt on the internet to find it cheaper and I managed to get a good saving, currently on you can buy it for £26.80 or if you time it right for when John Lewis hold their price match events you can get it cheaper, it's currently 15% cheaper in John Lewis now.

I have really enjoyed using this moisturiser and it has made such a difference to my skin, I will definitely be buying this again when it runs out!


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Body Shop Strawberry Body Mist

A few months ago I took my car to the garage to get serviced, (this will get relevant I promise) when I finally picked up my car they had give it a (quick) clean and sprayed a strawberry carpet freshener  The more I drove my car the more I grew to really like the strawberry scent, I don't normally like strawberry scents as they seem really artificial, but I was converted.

I went on a hunt to find a strawberry perfume or body spray but most smelt very artificial especially Boot's Natural Collection strawberry range, but The Body Shop strawberry body mist  was perfect, the scent is more natural and less 'chemically'. 

I have been obsessed with it since I bought this and use it everyday, it has encouraged me to experiment with fragrances more as I normally stick to sweet fruity scents. 

The body mist is £12 for 100ml, if you subscribe to The Body Shop's emails they always send through really good discounts.


Monday, 3 December 2012

La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque Review

A couple of months ago were running an offer of 20% (ish... I can't remember) discount on French pharmacie brands, as I had just come back from Paris I was a bit obsessed with pharmacies so took full advantage of this offer, you can see what else I bought here.

La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque caught my eye as I have dehydrated skin so I was looking for a product to help keep my skin nice and soft especially in the winter. 

La Roche-Posay: When skin lacks water it can seem dull and sallow. This velvety fresh gel-cream delivers high performance hydration for dehydrated, sensitive skin. An intensive formula that will plump up the complexion with moisture, ensuring that it glows with health and appears more uniform.
The Hydraphase Intense Masque is enriched with two unique ingredients: La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring water, a natural anti-oxidant to sooth and calm the skin, and hyaluronic acid fragments to infuse and retain water in the skin for optimal hydration.
La Roche-Posay actually have a dehydrated skin section on the website, which I think is really helpful if your new to investing in skin care, as I was.

The mask has a cream consistency and can be used weekly, now the weather has gotten a LOT colder I will be using this mask twice a week and will definitely be using this after any other cleansing or radiance mask to ensure my skin stays hydrated. 

The mask is unscented and is suitable for sensitive skin.

The directions say to apply a generous layer and leave for 10 minutes, but I often leave it on for longer and have no problems. I really love this mask, it makes my skin feel extremely soft and hydrated even when I only leave it on for 10 minutes, I have tried Origins Drink up Mask which is an overnight mask and I much prefer this one.

I bought the mask for £10.56 and it normally costs £16 for 50ml, which may seem a bit pricey but I definitely think that it is worth it, when I double checked the price on I noticed that there is another offer on and you can buy this at the moment for £13.60!

I will definitely be buying this again I have had no problems with it at all, and I would happily recommend this mask to anyone not only if your skin is dehydrated.


Saturday, 1 December 2012

TK Maxx Finds!

It's officially December now so I have fully embraced my Christmas spirit and went a bit mad downloading Christmas songs on iTunes, so you can have the vision in your mind of me singing away to 'it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas' as I wrote this! You lucky lot!

TK Maxx is fast becoming one of my favourite places to visit when I'm shopping in town, it is always full of bargains on branded cosmetics, skin care, candles... but it is not that often that you find the same bargain product in more than one TKMaxx, so I have learnt when I find something I just buy it or I always regret it!

When I was rutting through all the cosmetics I came across quite a few NYX eyeshadow pallettes, New <id cosmetics, too faced and Jemma Kidd products.  All at really decent prices, I got a highlighter from New <id and a smokey eye kit from NYX, I also got a cute Christmas candle as a treat. 

I got this i-Shimmer for £5.99, it's a double ended highlighter with a brush.
It wasn't until I got home and tried out the highlighter that I realised there is no really need for the brush at all and it is probably the reason it is being sold off cheaply in TK Maxx!

The colour of the highlighter is a really pretty pink shimmer, but it is very subtle, the consistency of the highlighter is very light and more of a cream to powder feel. I just can't understand how you would need the brush as it is very easy to blend. I guess it gives a good gimmick to get people's attention... like me! To be honest this is just an OK product so I'm pleased I didn't spend too much money.

I have never bought any NYX products before but I know through reading blogs they are a good quality brand. TK Maxx had quite a few mini palettes and they also had a big neutral palette too.
I was drawn to this one as I'm trying out a grey smokey eye rather than wearing browns/neutrals all the time and this cute palette was only £5.99.

I was really impressed by the pigmentation and quality of the eyeshadows and will definitely look out for other NYX products in the future

I got this really cute Christmas candle for £3.99 too, it smells really nice, I love cinnamon candles around this time of year, it was soo nice I got my mam one too.

Have you found any bargains lately?

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