Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Spring NOTD: Sparkly Mint

Revlon Minted: £1.25 from Fragrance Direct/ Barry M Hologram Hexagrams: (discontinued)

The sun is shining, it's lovely and spring-y outside and despite being woken up by a load of construction work this morning nearby to my house, it's fair to say I'm in a bloody good mood. It doesn't even need to be particularly warm, but as soon as that sun shows his face I swear I'm like a different person- my motivation levels go through the roof!

What better way to embrace the spring spirit than by busting out your favourite mint polish, in my case it's Minted by Revlon. Like every beauty blogger worth their weight in nail polish, I'm pretty much obsessed with pastel nails at this time of year (pastel colours are my favourites in general actually, they're just way prettier than neons and darks!) I've gone with Barry M's Hologram Hexagrams on the accent nail, although after searching for a link to add to this post it seems as though they've discontinued it. I have to wonder who makes the decisions for which shades get cut, because there are so many other Barry M polishes that aren't half as nice as this and they're still on the shelves? I'm quite gutted as this was one of my favourite glitter top coats, and as you can probably see from the picture I don't have a whole load left either where I use it to death.

Like most light nail polishes, Revlon's Minted is a bit streaky and so I did need two coats when I was applying it today. Despite the fact it's on the streaky side I'm still impressed with this formulation, I've had this polish since last spring/ summer and it's lasted really well and hasn't gone gloopy in the slightest. If you're interested in an inexpensive mint polish, this one is in stock on Fragrance Direct right now for just £1.25 (considering Revlon Nail Enamels are around £7 in Superdrug and Boots, that's a nice saving!) Now to go on the hunt for a replacement for my beloved Hologram Hexagrams, if you know of anything similar let me know.

Have you tried either of these polishes? Whats on your nails today?

This month's Platinum advertiser is Laura from Lola and Behold

Friday, 11 April 2014

My Pamper Night Essentials

I looked in the mirror the other day and knew I was due for a bit of a pamper evening; my hair felt lifeless, my skin looked dull and the nail polish on my toes had quite frankly seen better days. To be fair I'd had a busy and hectic week- most days were quick morning showers rather than long relaxing baths, and even managing to take my makeup off before falling into bed most nights were worthy of a pat on the back. I'd been left feeling (and looking) a bit rough, but after a relaxing night of pampering and I felt a million times better. It got me thinking about some of my 'pamper night essentials'; while most of the specific products that I use change depending on what I have in at the time, these are a few things that make for a great, relaxing night to unwind and de-stress! 

I don't know what it is about deliciously scented, overpriced hunks of wax but I absolutely love the things. It doesn't matter what time of year it is, I have to have a lovely scent burning away in the evenings. Yankee are definitely my brand of choice, I love treating myself to a new one every now and again and often ask for them for Christmasses and birthdays too. You can't have a pamper evening without a couple of candles; I'm saving money and budgeting this year and so have been buying their wax tarts to put in my little wax burner instead- very handy as they throw off as much scent as a candle and you can mix and match scents without spending a fortune.

I think the older you get, the better wine seems to taste? I used to drink it now and again on nights out in uni and thought it tasted revolting but it's definitely grown on me as I've got a bit older (unless you're talking about £3 supermarket stuff which lets face it is always going to taste like vinegar!) If I'm having a pamper night with a couple of friends we often get a bottle of wine in- a recent survey showed that people drink on average of 2.7 glasses of wine per night which seems crazy to me? Think they might need to 'talk to Frank!'

Bath Bombs/ Bubble Bath
While it's not exactly budget friendly to be chucking Lush bath bombs into every midweek bath, they're definitely nice for a bit of a treat and I always save mine for pamper evenings. Two of my favourites are 'Think Pink' and 'Butterball', although I do tend to go a bit crazy for the limited edition seasonal products whenever they're available. I seriously need to get my hands on some of their Easter goodies!

Hair/ Face Mask
Relaxing nights in like this are the perfect time to give your hair a well deserved treat. My hair treatment of choice is coconut oil (Superdrug's little £2 version works a treat) and sweet almond oil melted down in the microwave then applied to the hair and scalp an hour or so before a bath. Once I've washed my hair I then use either a Herbal Essences or Tresemme masque for a further five minutes. My face mask of choice at the moment is Palmers Cocoa Butter face mask, I picked this up last weekend for just a few pounds but it works amazingly well!

Hand/ Feet Treatments
I think that most of us are probably a bit guilty of neglecting our hands and feet on a regular basis, I know I am. I usually slap a bit of hand cream on a couple of times a week and give my feet a once over with a Ped Egg but that's about it. Pamper nights are a good opportunity to pull out the old hand and feet treatment products, I have a tonne of accumulated 'peppermint foot scrub' style products, hand creams and cuticle butters so have no excuse really. If you're going all out, can even do the classic 'foot cream then wrap your feet in cling film until it soaks in' trick. It really works!

What are your pamper night essentials?

This month's Platinum advertiser is Laura from Lola and Behold

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Mac's Ruby Woo: My Perfect Red Lipstick

Ruby Woo by Mac: £15.50 available here

You know when you first start wearing red lipstick and it throws up a load of doubts? When I started wearing darker shades, such thoughts as "do I look like a clown", "do I look like a streetwalker" and "do I look like a child who's been rummaging around in their mums makeup bag" were 'lovely' little thoughts that would go through my mind. However once I got over that silly stage and realised screw it I can actually rock this look, I went on a bit of a red lipstick rampage in search of the perfect one. Eighteen months (and a lot of lipstick) later it ended with Ruby Woo- the ultimate, the holiest of grails, yep it's amazing. My favourite red lipstick isn't a title given lightly either, but this just has it all. A beautiful blue toned red shade that works with my cool-toned skin, very long lasting and doesn't come with a lot of problems I face with my other reds (such as smudging and bleeding from the lip line, niiiice).

While red lipsticks are often raved about over the autumn and winter, this definitely isn't one I'll be abandoning this spring. While I'm unlikely to wear it in the daytime throughout the warmer months, it's still a product I turn to for nights out or any occasion that involves glamming up. The matte finish looks classy, and the long lasting formula means that even if you're out eating, drinking or chatting away like crazy it wont be disappearing or fading away within a mere hour (like a lot of lipsticks tend to do- sigh). The only negative I can find with this is it's a bit difficult to apply, the matte formula is quite dry and so it does tend to drag on the lips. I apply mine with a lip brush which makes it much easier, it's also more precise when using such a statement shade anyway. With any matte lipstick a bit of prep doesn't hurt either, I find a quick once over with a Lush lip scrub and some balm creates a nice even surface.

Despite the fact that it takes a bit more effort to apply, it's well worth it for the beautiful finish and amazing longevity. Ruby Woo really is one lipstick everyone needs in their collection. When you're going to wear red lipstick (even if it's not very often) this is one way to do it right, and if you were going to invest in just one red shade I'd recommend this every time.

Have you tried Ruby Woo? What's your favourite Mac shade?
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come and check out my Platinum advertiser! Laura from Lola and Behold

Friday, 4 April 2014

S5 Skincare Review

S5 Skincare £9.95* (RRP: £31) from Baobella Boutique

S5 isn't a brand I've heard too much about on the beauty blogging scene, but a quick read through their website and I couldn't wait to give these two little powerhouse products a go. Some of the ingredients and the ways they work is seriously impressive, and so if you have more mature skin or suffer with premature aging this is definitely a brand to look into. S5 (Source 5) products are targeted towards problem and ageing skin, and are free from synthetic nasties including parabens, mineral oil, silicones and synthetic fragrances.

S5 Renew Serum
This is an anti-ageing treatment serum to plump, smooth and reduce the appearance of wrinkles for younger looking skin. While I don't have any fine lines or wrinkles just yet I'm definitely not opposed to using anti-aging products, a good dose of prevention has to be better than a cure when it comes to skin complaints. This Renew Serum is said to have a freezing effect on the skin, and has been clinically proven to inhibit muscle contraction and smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles. I don't know about you but I think that sounds like pretty impressive stuff. It applies really nicely under the eyes, absorbs quickly and is very gentle on the skin- I find that lots of eye creams burn or sting my eyes which wasn't a problem at all with this product. I like the pipette applicator, when you need such a small amount of product around the eyes it's great to have some control over exactly how much you want to apply.

S5 Restore Cream
If you're subscribed to 'Love Me' beauty boxes you might have had this little cream as a sample late last year. S5 Restore Cream is an advanced anti-ageing moisturiser for normal-dry and sensitive skin; this little wonder cream contains things like natural proteins and all sorts of fantastic ingredients for the skin (including age defying desert, arctic & marine bioactives) to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, hydrate and protect for a youthful complexion. On first impressions this seems to work really well, my skin definitely looks more radiant and feels hydrated and soft. I'm looking forward to seeing if there are any longer term results with this, and would have no problem treating myself to the bigger size. S5 is a high end skincare brand and so their products do come with a high end price tag, however this was one of Baobella's bargainous offers and was just £9.95 (despite costing over £30 RRP!)

Have you tried anything from S5 Skincare?

This month's Platinum advertiser is Laura from Lola and Behold

Thursday, 3 April 2014

New Products From George Cosmetics

george cream blush, george creme blush coral, george matte lipstick, smooch, asda
george matte lipstick, smooch, asda
george cream blush, george creme blush coral, asda
george cream blush, george creme blush coral, george matte lipstick, smooch, asda, swatch
George Creme Blush*: £3.00 / George Matte Lipstick*: £3.00 available from Asda Direct

Oooh new makeup products from George! I've been writing about George makeup for almost as long as I've had this blog, I've recommended countless products to my friends and have even got my mum (who usually goes for higher end products) hooked on their Ultra Sheer foundation. I was obviously really excited to hear about some new releases for spring, a gorgeous selection of cream blushes, matte lipsticks and gloss/stains, oh yeah! I'm sure most of us are switching out our most used makeup products at the moment, now that spring has finally arrived it's all about brighter lips, lighter bases and an overall fresher look. These two products will be great new additions to any spring makeup routine- I know I'll be using them both a lot!

Creme Blush (Coral)
Cream blushes are always a summer staple, they create that dewy 'summer glow' and sit nicely on the skin even on warm days (as opposed to powder which can be a bit...well, powdery). This has quickly become one of my favourite George products and if you're going to pick up one thing from the range I definitely recommend this. The pigmentation is unreal- one tiny tab is all you need, yet the finish on the skin is very natural looking. The formula is beautiful, it's amazingly creamy and blends seamlessly into the skin;  it's definitely not a 'cream to powder' finish, but does set after a few minutes so that it's not sliding everywhere. George cream blushes come in their standard black and clear packaging, I think it would have been nice to see something a bit more adventurous but it's sturdy enough and does the job. This product has really impressed me, it's absolutely perfect for the spring and summer and such a bargain.

Matte Lipstick (Smooch)
There are few things that make me happier than new lipstick, and this matte offering from George certainly didn't disappoint. A lovely peachy nude shade, really wearable and a long lasting yet comfortable formulation. I'd describe this as more of a satin/ semi matte than true matte as it does have a slight shine to it, and isn't half as drying as some of the other mattes in my collection. I can see this becoming one of my most used lip products this spring, I love how it looks with the coral creme blush and while it's quite a muted colour it's not so pale that you need really heavy eye makeup to balance it out. The packaging of this is quite cool too, rather than a pull off lid you press the bottom of the tube which pops out the silver lipstick mechanism from the outer packaging.

What new makeup products have you got your eye on for spring?
This month's Platinum advertiser is Laura from Lola and Behold
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