Its’ not really Easter with out devouring so much chocolate, our tummys hurt and we feel sick right? This year I’m on a health kick, so I’m informing the Easter Bunny early. And if a girl can’t have chocolate, its only fair she gets a beauty gift!
1. Lush Cosmetics – As always Lush have got it on point, their Easter Collection is just amazing, the carrots look so real, you could mistakenly eat one, Hoppity Poppity is the cutest and well the Golden Egg is coated in glitter, need I say more.
2. Illamasqua Speckled Nail Polish – If you can’t eat mini eggs, you can paint your nails like them instead, with these pastel speckled nail polishes from Illamasqua.
3. Chocolate Candle – This could be considered a little mean, as if your not having chocolate, why would you want to smell it, and these candles could easily be mistaken for Thorntons choccy. But if your a candle lover, these are very sweet.
I’ve never been one to over spend on a concealer, I just have never seen the need, some of my best cover ups have been under £5, including Collection and Rimmel. My most recent one being NYX Cosmetics. But when you run out of said concealer, and discover the local Urban Decay counter, all reasoning goes out the window, and I part with £17.50 with a wave of this magic stick.
Cover up has always been an ‘essential’ part of my daily make up routine for years, you will not find me with out one in my kit. So I’ve tried a fair few in my time, (I’ve been around a few brands shall I say). But I’ve never fallen so quickly for a cover up stick before. Maybe it was the counter girls flawless complexion, friendly persona, or expert selling skills. Either way I left with the Urban Decay Naked Concealer, and quite honestly, I’m hooked. Not only does it cover up the imperfections, it perfects my skin tone, and blends in just effortlessly. Its lightweight, demi-matte, and contains Japanese Green Tea to treat the skin. It lasts all day in work, with a top up only necessary if I’m off out in the evenings. Overall, I’ve definitely got what I’ve paid for.
Have you tried the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer? Do you save or splurge when it comes to cover ups?
Lots of love,
P.S In the picture I have swatched their concealer in medium-light
I first heard about Crystal Clear Skincare a few years ago, when I was looking at potentially getting some microdermabrasion done at a salon local to me. But I had never really thought or really knew that they did everyday skincare. It’s only really been the last few months on Twitter, that the brand has caught my attention again.
I was sent their Lift Away The Years* (£59.99) Wand, to use a long with their Intense Anti-Ageing Serum* (£29.99) now I know I’m only 24, so it’s not like I need to reverse the signs of ageing, but I like to work on the premise of prevent not correct. So this isn’t the first mature skin product I’ve tried. And I was pretty excited to see if this really was a magic wand, (Maybe not on me, but on my mum).
I was really intrigued to see how the wand would work, at first it looked like a fancy roll on applicator, but this one is battery powered. The wand has a metal roller tip to it, and a screw top where the serum goes. Once the button has been pressed, and the wand is rolled over the face, the serum starts coming out. Obviously being a bit over excited, I skipped the instructions and whacked the serum straight on and then used the wand, but to be honest, I didn’t prefer one method over the other, (I know my mum used it the proper way). When I did pick up the instructions, I saw the step by step guide on which way to direct the wand on the skin, and it was very similar to the basic massage movements I use in my facial treatments. Which all helps to improve circulation, and restore a healthier glow.
When I use the wand, I find my face goes a little red, but this is a good sign as far as I’m concerned and shows that my facial muscles are being stimulated by the vibrations. I found the serum a little too sticky, so I opted for a PM use only, even though Crystal Clear recommend AM and PM application. It has a familiar scent to it, but I can’t pin point it from the ingredients, as I thought it smelt a bit citrusy. The Anti-Ageing Serum contains Metrixyl 3000 which is meant to repair age damage and improve elasticity, Biopeptide CL which stimulates collagen production, Oxygen Complex which helps to regenerate and revitalise the skin, Sy-Nake which mimics the venom of a Temple Viper to reduce lines and wrinkles, while Camelia Vegetal Oil, and Argan Vegetal Oil protect and nourish the skin.
Both me and my mum have been using it over a two/three week period, (More so my mum, as I had to leave it in her possession on my trip to Barcelona). I like a heavy application of product on my face before bed, so this worked perfectly with my night cream, and I have found my skin feels more hydrated in the mornings, (Probably thanks to the Camelia and Argan). However my mum has really seen results, she says it is quite tricky to get an even spread when the serum is inside the applicator, and although she hasn’t seen a difference on her face, she has considerably on her decolletage, which she then went on to say, if its worked on her neck/chest it must have on her face.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this product, it is a bit of a faff to apply every morning and night, if your not a skincare fanatic like myself and my mother, but its turned out to be pretty good. Although the immediate cost of the two is quite expensive, £29.99 for an Anti-Ageing serum is very good. Especially when it gets the approval of my mum.
I’m going to have to look in to their Microdermabrasion treatments.
Have you heard of Crystal Clear Skincare? Do you use Anti-Ageing Products? Have you ever had Microdermabrasion?
I’ve always been one to wear a lot of mascara, and in recent years become a fan of the false eye lashes. As lets face it, no mascara will do for you what a pair of Eyelure 101s will. And now I’m moving on the Individual Lash Extensions.
I’ve been doing Lash Extensions since 2011, so they aren’t necessarily a ‘new thing’. But in recent months I’ve seen their popularity grow, and I’ve even jumped on board. I first tried them out, as I wanted to be able to give my clients advise from my own personal experience, not just from what the Lash Company said. It also meant they could see what the lashes looked like before having them done. But instead I got a little attached, (No pun intended). When you say Lash Extensions, most people assume it will be very fake and false looking, and when I think of the cluster lashes we used at college, they probably were. But these individual lashes are far from it. It actually takes a long time to achieve a false look with these lashes. Where they are literally individual lashes, attached to your own lash, they look perfectly natural. Well, maybe not completely when you go for the longest length ones, like me.
I put mine on just before I went to Barcelona, two and a half weeks later, I’ve still got a good set on, and the pictures show them at two weeks. I would normally say they last 2-3 weeks, before infills are needed. However this all depends on the maintenance. I know mine would look a lot better now, had I not worn mascara with them in Barcelona, (Only for added oomph on the evenings). And I would not recommend wearing mascara with them anyway. You can wear eye make up with them, but just be careful on removal, using an oil free remover, with either a cotton pad or cotton bud, (No rubbing over the eye lashes).
Individual lash extensions are perfect for holidays, and in general I just love the fact I can get up in the mornings, and have one less things to worry about doing. Although I do have to try and make sure I don’t wake up, face planting the pillow. I wouldn’t have them on continuously myself, but I like them for special occasions, like Weddings or trips away, and if removed properly, should not cause a problem to your natural lashes. They will either fall out with your own lash, over the 3 week period, or come off with a remover. The alternative home removal, is to steam the face until they come away easily, (Although I would recommend you leave it to the salon professionals). But I do spend about a week after having them taken off, thinking my own lashes are crap. They just look so much shorter.
Overall I just love them! Why can’t these be my natural look? What do you think?
Have you ever or would you ever wear individual Lash Extensions?
Who knew Playboy did make up? Up until November 2014, when I first came across Playboys ‘Front Cover’ lipstick, the Playboy bunny symbol was something of a distant memory. I mean for me that signature Playboy bunny, takes me back to my school days, where practically every girl had Playboy stationary, I longed for Playboy bunny bed sheets, and lets not forget the girls who got the bunny tattoos. And now it appears they are making a come back, from my pencil case to my make up bag.
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have high expectations for Playboy Make Up. I had my first lipstick in my Soton goody bag, and my other two had been sent as part of a ‘Bloggers Valentines Day Look’, I was meant to be part of, (Had the package not arrived a week after the 14th). My first Playboy lipstick was ‘front cover’, a bright pinky coral. I then received ‘Centerfold’* a shocking Barbie pink, and ‘Playboy Red’* a deep rouge, (Or so they appeared in the packaging).
(Playboy Red, Centrefold, Front Cover)
The formula isn’t great, as I expected, I can compare them to the likes of MUA. But MUA you only pay a £1 a lippy not £3.99. I would say ‘Centrefold’ and ‘Front Cover’ feel and wear more like a lipstick/lipbalm, (If that makes sense). Going by the lipsticks appearance in the packaging you would think they were quite daring colours, but the swatches and application to the lip say otherwise, and I was a little disappointed as to how subtle they actually were on the lips. Especially ‘Front Cover’, as that is my kind of summer time lip. However, ‘Playboy Red’ is a lot more resistant, more pigmented, and overall a much better lipstick, (If it needed any more reason to be my favourite).
To finish on a positive, the packaging is of good quality and is ‘classic’ Playboy bunny.
I’m hoping the Mascara I’ve got is on the same level as ‘Playboy Red’.
Have you tried Playboy Makeup?
Lots of Love,
P.S They don’t seem to have their own website, the link in my post is to Playboy Make Up on Amazon, but you can follow them @playboymakeupUK
So I’ve been in the Beauty industry around 6 years now, having worked on counters, in Spas and Salons, but it still surprises me how many people don’t exfoliate their skin or exfoliate too much. But at the same time, there are so many products on the market these days, I can see why it can get so confusing, and lets face it, those bright isles of the drugstores, pretty faces and beaming lights of the counters can be a bit overwhelming, (Unless your a complete fanatic like me).
Coming from my Beauty Therapist background, and my own personal experience, this is how I feel about exfoliating, and what I tell my clients…
As far as I am concerned the ‘done’ thing when it comes to skincare is, cleanse and moisturise day and night, apply a mask once a week, and exfoliate twice a week. For me, taking my face off at night, is an essential part of my daily routine, I see it as a treat, a mini pamper session after a days work. But I know for others it is considered a chore, and my clients often say they don’t have the time, so I always focus on the above, ‘the basics’ , before bringing any other lotions and potions in to the equation.
Exfoliators and exfoliating seems to be one of the topics that comes up most often during my facials. I can feel straight away from touching someones skin if they use an exfoliator, or need one. But what worries me most, is when someone says to me they don’t exfoliate because they don’t want to hurt their skin, or it brings them up all red and sore. My first response is normally, ‘What the hell are you using on your skin?’. An exfoliator is necessary for all skin types, it is just finding and using the right one.
Exfoliating helps give the skin a good deep clean, it gets rid of all the dead and dry skin cells, and as a result helps remove the build up of dirt and’ crap’ in the skin. It clears the way so the rest of your products can really work deep in to the skin, and can actually help balance the skin. For me the texture and appearance of my skin always looks improved after regular exfoliation, and my blemish marks go away a lot quicker. An added bonus is that my make up always sits on my face a whole lot better. As I always say, good make up, starts with good skincare.
Here are my top picks, I’ve used and liked them all myself, and although I’ve put what skin type I’d recommend for each, my skin tends to vary between dry and spotty, it is also very sensitive and all of these have been fine for me.
Good Things Manuka Refining Scrub £5.99 – I was brought this by two friends, (Who obviously know me very well), it got my full attention at the word ‘Manuka Honey’, a honey I swear by for its miracle work on sore throats. However I was a little concerned that only ‘honey’ is mentioned in the ingredients?? Anyway, I like it either way, its got quite a sweet smell to it, the consistancy is quite thick and creamy, and the Oatmeal works so gently on my skin. This scrub is a little drying, because of the Kaolin, so ideal for oily skin, (Full review coming soon).
The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion £14.00 – Does The Body Shop ever dissapoint? I first tried this, when I spotted it in my mums beauty box, (We all know what I say about my mum and her skincare right?) and have since brought myself one, and got several freinds on to it to. I love Vitamin C products, they brighten my skin tone and imrpove my complexion, and this scrub is great. Its quite the opposite to the ‘Good Things’ scrub, less of a creamy consistancy, and instead made up of millions of little micro beads, (Or Garnet Stones as they say), good for all skin types but you may want a sample first if you have sensitive skin. Full review here.
Neutrogena Visibly Clear Blackhead Scrub £3.79 – I was recommended this by a friend, during university. So not only was the price tag spot on, I was pretty impressed at its work on my blackheads. I really liked the formula and consistency of this one, it reminds me of the Origins Checks and Balance Cleanser (With out the scrub), and again it was very gentle on my skin. See my post here.
Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel £31.00 – I have worked with Elemis products for 3 years now, and I’ve always raved about their exfoliators. The Papaya Enzyme Peel is perfect for those who have sensitive, spot prone or mature skin. The fruit enzyme is a natural exfoliator, and smells incredible, (Which is always a plus, if your about to put it on your face for 6-8 minutes). It is full of Milk Protein, Vitamin E and Marine Alga, all of which nourish and protect the skin.
Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator £29.00 – If you like more of a scrub then this is perfect. The Morrocan Rose gives the product a lovely smell, while also hydrating the skin, while the Jojoba beads get to work on refreshing the skin. You can even feel the beads getting smaller as you work them round your skin. This is my ‘go to’ product in facials, as I find it fits most skin types.
Merumaya Skin Brightening Exfoliating Peel £19.50 – I tried this at the end of 2014, I only had a sample size but I was really impressed, with my skin looking refreshed after one use. The Pomegranate Enzymes, exfoliate the skin, while the Hyluronic Acid, and Aloe Vera, soothe, protect and hydrate the skin. I would say this one feels a little stronger than the Papaya on my skin, and I actually felt it tingle a bit when I first applied it on my hand, but still suitable for most skin types. See my full review here.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant £41.00 – I know it says ‘daily’, but I wouldn’t use it daily, and you don’t have to. I’ve been a fan of Dermalogica since it transformed my teenage skin, and their Daily Microfoliant has to be one of their ‘best’ products. It comes in powder form consistancy, and as soon as it is mixed with water it gets to work, using no artificial colouring or fragrances, just the essentials, Papain, Salicylic Acid, and Rice Enzymes. Just typing this makes me want to repurchase it.
Do you exfoliate regularly? What are your basic skincare steps? Have you got a ‘go to’ skin scrub?
As I mentioned in my Mothers Day Gift Guide, its not always about buying something for your mum, sometimes you just need to sit her down with a glass of vino, feet up, and take over for the day. With a lot of restaurants being jam packed on Mothers Day, (Usually overpriced too), you don’t really need another reason to stay in and cook for your mum this Sunday. Or if your like me, and have older siblings, you can always get them to cook, and just help out (Taking some of the credit).
This week, with Mothers Day only a couple of days away, I have teamed up with MediaVision, on Twitter @Beautybkaris, to run a Mothers Day Giveaway, where you could WIN a pair of tickets to the BBC Good Food Show Spring at HIC Harrogate, for Sunday 12th April, (Usually starting at £17). If your Mother loves Master Chef, The British Bake Off, loves to cook, or just enjoys eating food, then this could be the perfect gift this Mothers Day. And when I say Mother, it doesn’t have to be your mum you take, it can be someone who takes on a similar role, maybe your sister, Auntie, Dad or even Brother. The closing date to enter my Twitter giveaway is Mothers Day evening at 8pm.
As John Torode, (Better known as the straight talking co host and judge from BBC1s Master Chef) will be at the show along with other celebrity chefs, here are two of his Carribean inspired recipes, both for the clean eaters or the more adventurous taste buds, just in time for Sunday…
CHICKEN WITH COCONUT DRESSING
50g palm sugar
50ml fish sauce
400g can coconut milk
6 chicken thigh fillets
2 red Thai shallots
1 /2 red pepper, cut into julienne
2 small red chillies, cut into julienne
50g cucumber, cut into julienne
10g roasted peanuts
4 lime leaves, cut into very fine julienne
30 coriander leaves
6 squares banana leaf, to serve
Bring the palm sugar, fish sauce and coconut milk to the boil in a large saucepan, add the chicken and poach until the chicken is cooked through. Leave to cool.
Mix the other ingredients (except the banana leaves) together in a bowl. When the chicken is cool, cut it into 1cm thick strips and toss into the salad.
Lay a banana leaf at the centre of each plate and pile on the salad. Drizzle with some of the poaching liquid and serve.
To get a more authentic jerk experience, add some wood chips to your barbecue and cook your chicken thighs or legs over slow indirect heat for the best flavour. Alternatively enjoy a beautiful jerk chicken breast cooked over a high heat – it should be ready in 10 minutes or less.
12 chicken thighs, bone in, or 8 large chicken breasts
1 large bunch spring onions, or
2 smaller bunches
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp salt
juice of 1 lime
1 /2 tsp dried thyme, or 1 tbsp
1 tbsp allspice berries
1-10 scotch bonnets (start with a small amount and add more later if you think it needs it)
1 thumb-sized piece ginger
3 garlic cloves
1 /2 small onion
2-3 tbsp of brown sugar
To make the marinade, put all the ingredients in a blender and process until you have a purée. Don’t add more water if you’re having trouble getting it all blended, just keep turning off the blender, stirring it up with a spatula, and trying again. Eventually it will start to blend up nicely.
Now taste it. It should taste pretty salty, but not unpleasantly puckeringly salty. You can also now throw in more chillies if it’s not spicy enough for you. If you think it tastes too salty and sour, try adding a bit more brown sugar until things seem good and balanced.
Put the chicken pieces in a bowl, cover with the marinade and leave overnight. Next day, cook the chicken over a smoky fire for 15 to 20 minutes, turning about six times during cooking.
Will you be cooking this Sunday? Are you a foodie? Do you prefer to cook or just eat it?
You’ve probably seen me raving about this brand already, I even classed it as one of my best beauty finds of 2014. And now I’ve been testing out two of their La Amo lippys.
Now you all probably know me by now, and agree that I am a complete sucker for a pink or nude lipstick. So it won’t surprise you that I went straight after the La Amo Creamy Matte lip in *Venus, and well Glo&Ray got me spot on by chucking in the La Amo Creamy Shimmer lip in *Valentine, a gorgeous hot pop pink.
Naturally I tend to pick up Venus more, but I’m also blaming this cold weather for my less daring nature, as my lips just aren’t coping with anything too bold at the moment, (Time to crack out the Lush lip scrub).
Although one is matte and the other is shimmer, when on the lips or even in swatches the finish is quite similar, both creamy with a glossy look. It’s only when you look at the lipstick itself that you can see the shimmer sparkling in Valentine and not Venus.
The wearability is pretty average, I wouldn’t say any less so or more so than most of my other lippys. My only negative word to say, is that my Venus lid keeps falling off, it just won’t sit securely.
Venus is very wearable, it’s got a pink tone to the nude, so none of this washed out, concealer lip malarkey, it’s just the kind of nude I love. While Valentine brings such a vibrant pop of colour to my day to day looks, again such a wearable colour. One that I can see being quite popular amongst the Glo&Ray lipsticks.
The quality of their products I’ve used so far have always been good, even the packaging is on point, (If we aren’t mentioning the lid problem I’m having), just talking appearance.
Have you tried Glo&Ray Make Up yet? Which colour do you prefer? Valentine or Venus?
Hope you’ve had a lovely week, Happy Friday y’all.
I think it is so important to show our Mothers how much we appreciate them, but its a bit like Valentines Day, why should so much pressure be put on one day, when we should actually be showing them all year around, (I mean they did bring us in to this world) and sometimes I do wonder if my mum is actually superwoman.
I don’t think mums want us going OTT with gifts on Mothers Day, (As lets face it, its probably brought with money they have lent us anyway), I personally think a small gift, and then a gesture is much more appreciated. So along with my under £10 gift guide, I thought I would do a list of 4 Mothers Day gestures.
Breakfast in bed : As a thank you for all the crack of dawn wake up calls, getting us dressed, fed and completing the school run all before 9am.
Clean her house : As she’s probably been cleaning up after you for your entire life, and if your like me, still does now.
Cook Sundays Dinner : I find it a bit daunting cooking for my mum, as her food is pretty hard to beat, but I think most mums would just be happy not to be cooking.
Bake a cake : If your not good at cooking, baking tends to be a safer option, especially with those ‘just add egg and water’ packs.
When it comes to Mothers Day gifts, its often the thought that counts, I mean what happened to the good old days when a home made card from school made them cry.
My under £10 gift guide:
Flowers | When it comes to ordering flowers from your local florist, it can become pretty expensive, but I’m sure if you pop in to one you can get some pretty nice flowers for £10, if not I know most supermarkets will.
Wine & Chocolate | Whether she has a sweet tooth, or is more of a boozy lady, pick up a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates.
Cath Kidston Mug | I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a Cath Kidston print, and this Cranham Stanley mug is perfect for those mums who love a good cuppa and a chat.
Personalised Wooden Spoon | If she likes to cook or bake, this personalised wooden spoon would make a great kitchen accessory.
Engraved Plant Marker | For the mums who love their gardens, and their plants are their most prized possessions.
When it comes to make up, there is nothing I like more than a good smoky eye look, (Well, maybe a contour, and a lippy actually). For as long as I can remember grey smoky eyes were my staple look, my absolute ‘go to’ glam look. That was until I became a blogger, and discovered there was a lot more than just grey eyeshadows and pink lipstick out there.
Just after Christmas, I went to repurchase my lost Mandarina lipstick, this gorgeous orange nude I am wearing in the pictures, and being on offer, (Something like buy one get the other half price) I picked up this Grey palette, (Which also comes in browns). It even came with a little ‘how to’ guide, detailing which shade of grey went where on the eyelid. Personally I could of just used the darkest two, or even three, but I followed the guide just to see how it all sat together. The colours blended in beautifully, but came across more blue than grey to me, (Maybe that’s just my eyes).
The Mandarina lipstick is a favourite of mine, not one that I wear often, but just by its colour, It is the perfect peachy nude, and I’ve got mine back in my make up bag just in time for spring. I wasn’t sure if the greys would sit nicely with Mandarina, but I think it works pretty well, if I do say so myself.
I’d never really brought from GOSH before, I remember seeing the brand for the first time in Superdrug quite a few years ago, thinking it was all a little too bright for my liking, (How wrong I was). What I like about GOSH make up, is that it comes across quite fun and innovative, its been around since 1945, (Which I was quite surprised to hear) but seems to be on top of the future trends. I definitely need to get my hands on some more of their make up.
What do you think of my smoky look? Would you wear a peachy nude lip? Have you tried any GOSH cosmetics before?