Monday, 20 February 2012

A Skincare Disaster (Simple.)

Now, I am not one for negativity but I feel that some these two Simple skincare products deserve some negative attention. Never, ever in my life have I had such a terrible reaction to something I've put on my face! 

A few months ago, my favourite facial wash was discontinued & this is what prompted me to pick up the Simple 'Refreshing Facial Wash Gel'- I really wish I hadn't! After 2 days of using this I had to stop; I had broken out in the most disgusting cystic acne, all over my face. They were angry, sore, red & so so painful. I can honestly say I've never before had these kind of spots & haven't since. I had changed nothing else in my routine so the blame falls entirely on this facial wash. 

Since then, I have Googled this product a few times out of interest & found that lots of other people have had the same problem! Gracie from UglyFaceOfBeauty explained a very similar reaction in one of her videos. I also mentioned it to a few of the girls I work with & two of them also experienced exactly the same result! Both of these girls have lovely skin which is not even prone to blemishes normally. There is something wrong with this product & I actually believe it should be taken off the shelves. Please, for the sake of your beautiful faces DO.NOT.BUY.IT.

Secondly, the Simple 'Spotless Skin - Quick Fix Cleansing Wipes are absolutely not suited to drier skin types. I'd read quite a few positive reviews on these wipes & decided to give them a try on my blemish prone skin. All this resulted in is cheeks so dry that they actually became scaley & PEELED OFF. This was after approximately 5 days of use. Again, I've never had such a reaction before. There is something very strong in these wipes & I for one am not comfortable with using something that harsh on my face anyway, even if it seemingly doesn't have any negative effects.

Before this, I didn't have particularly problematic skin & it completely threw me into despair. That may seem a bit extreme but my face looked terrible & it made me extremely self conscious. Plus I had no idea how to make it better! At this point I got my Google hat on and discovered all the benefits of extra virgin olive oil when used in skincare - Thankfully the eevo routine returned my skin to it's normal condition pretty quickly & now I wouldn't be without it. I have even introduced other products (very carefully) into my routine recently, but I could swear my face has never been the same since the Simple fiasco - it is much, much drier nowadays. It seems that I now have a constant battle keeping it hydrated. I think these products basically stripped all the good oils from my face & it's taking time to recover. Boo.

I do like the Simple moisturisers, however I will not be touching any of their other products again. I stay away from all cleansing wipes as a rule now too - Personally I believe they are not necessary & are far too harsh on skin.

Have you tried these products? How did they work for you?!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

January 2012 Favourites!

Can you believe it's February already?! I genuinely have no idea where all this time goes - I definitely don't seem to be doing any productive with it, that's for sure.

Only one make-up item in my faves this month! Pretty crazy but I've been more focused on keeping my skin & hair in good condition (an impossible task.)

L-R Clockwise:

Superdrug Vitamin E  SPF Radiance Moisture Cream: This is a great face highlighter! I've been using this over my makeup, above my cheekbones & eyebrows all month. It's really subtle but definitely noticeable & it does an excellent job at brightening up my dry skin whilst moisturising it - major bonus points for that! As another plus, it smells delicious.

In the picture above (click to enlarge) I have rubbed it in to the right side of my hand. What do you think?

Sanctuary 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask: Not going to say too much about this product as I'd really like write up a separate review on it. Although I have dry skin, I am still very prone to blemishes & I find this mask really leaves my skin feeling clean & seems to clear out all the nasties. My skin is also quite sensitive & unlike he majority of other masks, this doesn't irritate it all...hooray! Overall a great addition to my skincare routine, especially during the winter months.

VO5 Hot Oil 'Moisture Soak Elixir' - This is genuinely the only thing that makes a considerable amount of difference to the condition, feel & shine of my hair. It's a miracle product for me! After many years of bleaching my hair, last year I finally saw the light & stopped. I had it dyed to as close to my natural hair colour as possible & have been growing it out ever since (perhaps 6 months now?) However, I am still dealing with the ridiculous amounts of damage my hair suffered as a result from evil, evil bleach.

It's applied to wet hair, before shampooing etc & left on for one minute only. During that minute it somehow transforms my hair into silky, shiny, soft  LOVELINESS...without weighing it down. Having very thin, fine hair I find it very difficult to find products that make it soft and silky without weighing down it down & making it look limp & lifeless (even the Kerastase treatments have this affect). I love this product, use it once a week & will continue to do so forever (or until I find something better, if such a thing exists?!)

I wish I could find an everyday shampoo version of this. Hmmph.

Soap & Glory Hand Food: Hannah from sent this to me in a giveaway! :) I've used it before & it's definitely a keeper. As well as smelling delicious it sinks in quickly, leaves your hands feeling soft & keeps them smelling yummy. Very important to keep your hands hydrated during this cold weather.

TRESemme Restructuring Deep Conditioning Treatment Mask: I have discovered that this is really great for making the 'frazzled' ends of my hair look, well...less frazzled? I've been using it on the ends of my hair & leaving it for 5 minutes every time I wash my hair & as a result my hair looks much sleeker. It is of a very thin consistency which can sometimes make it a bit messy getting it out of the tub, but hey ho.

1000x better than Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle. Sorry! :) It's true. 

VO5 'Give Me Texture' Instant Oomph Powder: So handy for giving my fine hair a bit of volume at the roots! I use this every day. It's super quick too - shake onto roots, work in with fingers, tidy hair up a voila! Sorted. As with all VO5 products, it smells good enough to eat too.

e.l.f Studio Matte Lip Colour in Tea Rose: I don't think I would've ever picked up this colour if I'd seen in in a shop, but I put it in my online basket when I bought some brushes etc from e.l.f (it was only £2.45!) & I'm now so happy that I bought this on a whim! The colour is pink with very brown tones, which I would think is very flattering & wearable for most people. Most of all I LOVE that it gives a matte lipstick finish but that it's super moisturising at the same time- usually the matte/moisturising combo is quite unobtainable I find. It does start to feel dry after a while, but the good thing is that it can be applied again & again without looking cakey. Due to it's pencil-like form, it isn't difficult to put on without a mirror if need be either. I'm a fan!

Not beauty related at all & I know I'm a million years behind everyone else reading this trilogy but I am LOVING The Hunger Games! I haven't been engrossed in a book so much for a long time - I've wanted a book to get stuck in to for ages & quite frankly, if I could do nothing but read these books all day until they're finished instead of moving/doing anything..I really would. Hahaha. I'm half way through 'Catching Fire' (the second book) right now & enjoying it immensely.

Have you tried any of these products or do you plan to? What do you think?!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Broken Laptop, boooo.

Oh my golly gosh, my laptop's only gone & broken completely! So inconvenient when you're trying to blog & sell your life on ebay...

Anyway, that's why I haven't been around at all( it's difficult to blog via iPhone). Hopefully I'll be back soon to catch up with all the amazing blogs I follow. Just waiting impatiently for my laptop to be fixed up. Hope all you lovely ladies are well... I miss you guys! :)

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

New year, new shoes.

Hi guys! Just a fly-by post to say that with some of my Birthday money I bought myself a new pair of 'Odetta Heeled Chelsea Boots' from the Missguided site. These were purchased for the rather bargain price of £26.99 (including delivery.)

Odetta Heeled Chelsea Boots -£26.99
Buy them here

These boots are so gorgeous that I felt the need to post them on here. Although I haven't worn them out yet, from trying them on & walking around they house they seem super comfortable & they are pretty spacious around the ankles too...which is what I was looking for. To the touch they're clearly not of the best quality, but quite frankly what can you expect for the price of £27? I'm sure they will do they job! If I end up wearing them to death I might invest in a higher quality pair. Originally I went on the site to get the flat chelsea boots; however, they'd sold out of size 4's. I had a look around & went for these instead which I am quite pleased about as I wouldn't usually go for heeled day shoes. Plus I already own 3 pairs of flat day boots...It is sometimes nice to be pushed into trying something new for you, don't you think?

I find Missguided can be a bit hit & miss, but there's definitely some great (& cheap) buys on there so it is worth having a look around the site.

Anyway, I do hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas & New Year! Mine was really lovely, albeit a bit hectic - wouldn't have it any other way though! I'm sure you all have tonnes of new exciting products to test out, like myself, so I can't wait to get started on those & blog about them.

Throwing in some of today's Instagram pictures:

Happy new year to you all! How was the festive period for you? 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Batiste Disappointment.

I am a MASSIVE dry shampoo fan! (Isn't everyone?) 

As I have such fine hair, it has come to be my daily hair saviour & without it I would probably have to wash my hair every single day. That would be a bummer for sure & a big old waste of time. I love love love Batiste dry shampoo & always make sure I'm well stocked up, so when I noticed they were on a 3 for 2 offer in Superdrug I decided to grab my usual scents & also try out the 'Big & Bouncy XXL Volume' version. is a horrible disappointment. As soon as I sprayed it on to my hair it turned into a big tangly mess - I couldn't even brush it through. My hair was left feeling absolutely disgusting; a bit like straw. It was knotty, matted & it didn't even make it feel refreshed & clean which is the whole point of using it - I couldn't wait to get home from work all day in order to wash it all out!

Perhaps if you're going for the backcombed, big hair look it might work - I really couldn't say. All I know is I'm not going to be touching this product again. I hate it, sorry Batiste.

Rather than dumping it in the bin, I was wondering if anyone else would like to test it out? Who knows, it may work better for different hair types. If you'd like me to send it to you, just comment on this post with your email address. I'll get it touch with the first person that asks. :]

Have you tried this product? What did YOU think? 

Friday, 9 December 2011

Welcome to my new cleansing routine (olive oil!)

L-R  Tescos Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil 500ml - £1.89 
Pink Superdrug Facecloth - 99p
Superdrug Pump Bottle 100ml - 99p 
Superdrug 100% Pure Essential Tea Tree Oil - £2.99

No, you didn't read the title incorrectly; I am in fact using extra virgin olive oil as a facial cleanser and night time moisturiser & have been doing so for a few weeks now. Let me tell you...this is a MIRACLE worker. I will never be forking out for expensive, chemical laden cleansers ever again. Fact.

This all came about completely by accident. A few weeks ago I was having a massive winter skin dilemma; the skin on my face was cracked & dry but becoming increasingly spotty as well. I couldn't for the life of me get my skincare routine right in order to sort this out & so I did some Googling. I was attempting to look for skincare tips & tricks when I came across something about using extra virgin olive oil on the skin. After this, I did a lot more research (I suggest you do too!) & after seeing amazing things being said about it I decided I had to give it a try.

Firstly, here are some facts about using extra virgin olive oil as part of your skincare routine;

-It can be used on ALL skin types (oily, acne-prone, dry, irritated, itchy etc etc), the molecules of evoo are smaller than our pores and so they cannot penetrate them. Basically, it can not & will not block pores. It will never cause spots!

-The PH of oil is very similar to that of our skin & so it will help skin maintain a healthy ph balance.

-It will moisturise, renew, heal and soothe skin.

-It is natural, hypoallergenic & has the added advantage of antioxidants & the vitamins A & E.

-Usage on oily skin will not make skin more oily.

-Contains no chemicals & therefore your skin will not be stripped of any of it's essential oils.

There is so much more! Here are a few links which will provide you with some extra information:

If you interested in this method of cleansing, please do a little bit of Googling of your own...there is so much information out there! Plus lots of reviews, all of which are good.

After all of this research, I decided I would just stick to using organic eevo (organic means less chance of any chemicals coming into contact with or being absorbed by the skin) & tea tree oil (for antibacterial purposes), rather than adding any other oils as is suggested by some people. There are many different variations ie mixing with castor oil or jojoba oil & there are lots of different cleansing methods so do some research & decide what will be best for you. The method I chose to follow is probably the simplest; this is what I do step by step:

1. Add one tiny drop of pure teal tree oil to palm of hand

2. Pour a 10 pence sized amount of eevo onto palm of hand a mix into the tea tree oil with finger.

3. Rub both palms of hands together so the eevo mixture is spread evenly.

4. Massage face (dry & unwashed of any make up) gently with oily hands, taking extra time on troublesome areas such as around the nose. Include eye area; the eevo will remove even waterproof mascara. I do this for as long as I want, usually a few minutes in order to remove all make up.

5. Soak a washcloth/facial flannel in hot water (not too hot, must be comfortable for hands & face), & then squeeze water out leaving flannel damp. Place over face & let steam for a minute or 2.

6. Repeat step 5 another one or two times, until face feels clean.

7. Pat face dry with clean towel.

After this, your face still may feel slightly oily but this is how it should be. You may need to just pat over your eye area with a cotton pad to remove excess eye make-up.

I have been doing this for just under 2 weeks & my skin is COMPLETELY CLEAR. It is no longer dry & my skin tone is more even than it has been since I can remember. After the first evening of doing this, I woke up to incredibly soft skin & the 3 spots that I'd had on my face were almost gone. I can not rave about this enough! Almost 2 weeks in I can see a considerable difference in the blackheads on my nose too; I had so many but I am now confident that if I continue doing this they will all disappear. I will never stop using extra virgin oil on my skin. I've stopped using other face creams and cleansers entirely, other than my Lacura Multi-Intensive serum. Other than that, I just put a few drops of eevo on my skin if it needs moisturising...It's so simple. I've been using it on my hands, feet, body & hair too! It also also ridiculously cheap; I haven't made a dent in the 500ml bottle I bought & it was only £1.89. All of that money we waste on those ineffective expensive creams & lotions....

As a bonus it is said to protect against signs of ageing as it renews your skin!

I hope this has inspired some of my fellow bloggers to give it a try too! If you have acne- give it a try. If you have dry skin - give it a try. If you have normal skin - give it a try. Why not? You literally can't go wrong! It won't break you out & you will have yourself some super soft, moisturised skin.

Have you ever tried extra virgin olive oil on your skin? If not, will you?
Let me know what you think! :)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Walking in a Winter Wonderland! (plus some Lush goodies.)

Busy busy busy.

This weekend was mostly spent in London. I went to 'Winter Wonderland' in Hyde Park TWICE! It is so pretty, especially in the evening when it's dark. For anyone that hasn't heard of Winter Wonderland, it is a Christmas event which is held every year from November to January. There are various different attractions such as an ice rink, Christmas market & there is even a circus. You can check the website for more information & pictures:

So perfect for getting you into the Christmas spirit. :)

Unfortunately we couldn't go ice skating on either day as it was all sold out, but we had so much fun anyway just wandering about & taking it all in; it is massive. I remembered to take some pictures!

Whilst in London, I thought it would be terribly rude not to pop in to Lush. There's a few bits that I've wanted (actually, needed...) from there for quite some time now.
 Tea Tree Toner Tab: 75p

I bought this because I actually steam my face once every 2 or 3 weeks in order to deeply cleanse it. It really helps to do it as prep before a face mask as it opens your pores & gets out the first lot of grime & dirt. This tab is to be dropped into the hot water before you steam your face in order to release the essential oils it contains.Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties which are great for soothing and calming spots & mixed with the steam will give your skin an excellent deep clean...I can't wait to try it!

Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask:  £5.50

I've been eyeing this up for months! It looks pretty gross to me in the pot & this picture but after seeing a never-ending amount of amazing reviews on this (I've seen people with terrible acne write that it's the only thing they've found that makes a difference to their skin) I decided to stop judging it by it's looks and appreciate it for the excellent deep cleansing mask it is inside. I am forever on the hunt for products that will really clean out my pores & help me achieve the amazing skin that I dream of. Seriously, I'm obsessed with flawless skin. My hopes for this are set so high that I will be incredibly disappointed if it doesn't live up to all the hype! Review to come.

Mint Julips Lip Scrub: £4.95

Ahh, this is the only product I've used so far. I love it! It's pretty well reviewed in the blog world, but everyone seems to have bought the bubblegum one.Why?! This one smells like after eights..mmmmm...
It's sorted my lips right out. They were dry before & I kept biting them which was just making things worse; after scrubbing this into my lips 3 times a day for 3 days now my lips are soft,shiny & happy. After you've licked your lips free of the remainder of the scrub it leaves a slightly oily, shiny residue a bit like lip balm behind.
At £4.95 it is pretty pricey for something you could technically make yourself (ingredients: castor sugar, jojoba oil, vanilla extract etc etc) but who can be arsed to do that REALLY? There's loads of it too.

Have you been to Winter Wonderland or are you planning to? Are you a Lush Fan? Have you tried any these products? :)

Friday, 2 December 2011

Mid-week purchases & a Starbucks addiction.

I've been trying not to spend too much on myself in the last month or so, due to Christmas being around the corner & me having about a million people to buy presents for (possible exaggeration.) But I just cannot go through the week without buying myself a few little treats! And I most definitely cannot deprive myself of my almost daily Starbucks soy latte - they taste like heaven in my mouth.
Do you think I have a problem? Ha.

So anyway, here's what else I bought:

The top was £12.75 from Forever 21. Forever 21 are such a good shop for budget, good quality clothes! Everyone should check them out online or in-store; there's such a wide variety of fashion & beauty products such as make-up bags, pocket mirrors & brushes for brilliant prices.
The heart shaped loofah/nail brush & raccoon socks were from there too, both £1.10! Raccoon was one of my nicknames school (I know right, what the hell?) so I saw them & it instantly reminded me of old school friends - plus they are cute.

The ring was £1.50 from the Topshop sale - bargain! I love massive rings.

Whilst in Topshop I couldn't resist buying one of their lipsticks in the shade 'Pillow Talk' which I've read a lot about in the blog world. I am absolutely not a lipstick person but due to the excellent reviews & it's apparent creamy/moisturising texture I thought I'd give it a go. I am super pleased with this £9 buy! Not going to give a full review (as there are hundreds of them out there already) but I really love it; it is not drying like most of the other lipsticks I've tried & it's a gorgeous colour that I think really suits the blonde hair/blue eyes I've got going on.

The St. Tropez  bronzing mousse says it all for itself really. It's an amazing self-tan & I'd run out. I apply 2 layers on consecutive days during the week. It's an important part of my beauty routine nowadays - easy, no streaks, great colour. Quite pricey at around £30 but worth it.

I also grabbed the VO5 'Revive Me Daily' shampoo for 99p from Superdrug. I love V05 products (they smell divine) & I'm nearly out of my Bedhead 'Dumb Blonde' shampoo (my favourite.) Seeing as I'm too poor to repurchase this at the moment, I've decided to give this a whirl for the time being. I will let you know what I think!

What have you bought this week? :) Have you tried any of these products?

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Budget Anti-Wrinkle/Ageing Serums - Lacura Vs. No.7 Protect & Perfect

I may only be 22, but I really believe beginning the anti-ageing process now is going to make a massive difference to my skin as I get older. After all, prevention is the best cure (my Mum is proof.) I'm going to stop those pesky wrinkles from even getting a chance to form! I already have some quite prominent wrinkles on my forehead, so I would like to keep them from getting any worse & hopefully slow down the formation of any more.

Everyone has seen/heard all the hype about No.7 Protect & Perfect Serum after it was proven to actually work! The beauty world went crazy nuts & everyone went out & bought it. Well, last year there was a big buzz about Lacura anti-ageing products; especially their Multi-Intensive Serum. Lacura is an award-winning German beauty & skincare company, sold in the U.K in Aldi stores for ridiculously cheap prices.

Both the Lacura Multi-Intensive Serum & the Boots No.7 Protect & Perfect Serum have been proven to work, but guess what? The Lacura serum actually came out top in a recent beauty survey, beating the No.7 serum (which came second) & many more higher-end & more highly priced products.

So which one should you choose?

Lacura 'Multi-Intensive Serum - Aldi £3.49

I have been using the No.7 Perfect & protect Intense Serum for 3 or 4 months now, therefore feel I can give quite an accurate review of this product; it is of a thin, clear consistency which I find doesn't Spread over the face very easily so a little does not go a long way, but it is handy because it is thin enough to also be used on the eye area. To be honest, this product doesn't seem to have any other benefits in addition to the anti-wrinkle aspect of it - it is not moisturising (in fact, possibly the opposite) & it doesn't even out skin tone or anything of the sort. Unfortunately I don't have a before & after picture to properly inspect any results, but I do feel it has made a little bit of a difference to the fine lines & tightness of skin around the eyes. I don't think there is an noticeable difference to the forehead wrinkles, however.

Now, I have seen lots of rave reviews about the Lacura serum & this is what pushed me to buy it. Plus it is sold at the incredible price of £3.49 for 50ml whereas the No.7 serum retails at £21.00 for a 30ml bottle! There is surely no good reason not to give it a try for that price.

The Lacura serum is much creamier (see pictures); more like a moisturiser than a conventional serum. It does state that it has moisturising properties & I've read that a lot of people use it in place of their actual moisturiser as well (handy!) I've only used this for a few days so I can't comment on the anti-ageing effects but  I am absolutely amazed at how soft & smooth my skin feels - it's flipping fabulous! I thought I had soft skin already...obviously not though. From the first application I noticed that it spreads nice and evenly over the skin & a little definitely does go a long way with this. It absorbs amazingly quickly whilst leaving your skin feeling instantly moisturised and soft. I really can't get over it. Also, I have noticed that it makes a great base for foundation - glides straight on. The only downside is the scent which is floral & quite strong.

All I can say is that I will be without a doubt switching my No.7 serum for the Lacura one, although I may still use Protect & Perfect on my eye area...This will be saving a heck of a lot of money and I much prefer it. I absolutely recommend it to anyone of any adult age or skin type & I can't wait to see the effects it has on my skin in the long run!

Have you tried either of these products? Or both? Which one did you prefer? 

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Christmas Presents! (Ideas for ladies.)

It's only a month until Christmas & for once in my life I'm succeeding at being a little bit organised. I think I have bought roughly half of my presents- quite an achievement! (Trust me, I'm a 'leave it 'til the last minute' kind of girl.)

There are a few presents that I really want to keep for myself though, haha. I won't, but I thought posting them here might give someone else a few ideas for their Christmas shopping.

Champneys Complete Home Spa - Boots £50 (bought at half price on special offer.)

Would love to keep this! This is a big box containing all the full size Champney products listed - *drool* & even a cute drawstring bag to keep all your bathroom bits & pieces in. I think this is a pretty perfect present for any lady; Champneys bath products are always of excellent quality & all girls like to pamper themselves now & again, right? When I open the box the fragrance wafts out & smells DIVINE. 

Soap & Glory 'Youcube' - Boots £10

Everyone knows Soap & Glory bath products smell lush. I think this is a great little present for a friend. Even better, Boots offer 3 for 2 on all gift items, so you can grab a couple & keep something for yourself. :D

How is your Christmas shopping going?