Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sleep-in Rollers Review

I think we are all a little too guilty of over using heat appliances on our hair, and as much as heat protectant does help reduce damage, it doesn't beat giving the tools a break once in a while. I have ridiculously fine, flat hair and I struggle to put any life into it. I'm trying to grow my hair so have been relying on regular trims and not using much heat on my hair. To give it a bit of body and bounce I tried out the Sleep-in Rollers* (£19.99) to see if it was possible to inject some life into my hair minus the damage.
 
I went for the pink leopard set, which includes 20 velcro sponge rollers, some kirby grips to keep them in place and a DVD which shows you how to put them in. The set also comes in a gorgeous pink leopard print drawstring bag to keep them in.
 
 
I've used rollers only a handful of times but despite this it didn't take me long to put them in. I washed my hair and left it to dry for a while and started putting the rollers in when it was just a little bit damp. This is the best time to put them in as your hair sets much better than when its dry. I sectioned my hair so that each section was no wider than the roller and started rolling them in. The velcro on these is really strong, and I found it really clung to my hair. Once I was happy each one was in place I used a kirby grip to make sure it was nice and secure. The grips went in quite nicely between the sponge of the roller and the velcro outer.

 
I used 19 of the 20 rollers in my hair in the end (maybe because I have a pea head?). I always struggle with the sides of my head around the front because  I have lots of baby hair that does its own thing. Once that was sorted I gave it all a good spritz of hairspray and was already for bed.
 
Now, first things first, while these are really squishy and are supposed to be really comfortable to sleep in as the sponge flattens, it goes without saying that it feels a bit unusual and you're not going to sleep like a baby. At first I didn't think I was ever going to sleep as the velcro felt a bit spikey and the grips were digging in my head a bit. I took the grips at the back out as I thought I'd be more comfortable sleeping on my back. I soon fell asleep and only woke up once or twice during the night.
 
 
When I woke I was pleased to see that none of the rollers had been disturbed or had come out. I removed them all and gave my hair a good brush through. As you can see from the above photo, my hair is nice and bouncy and it felt really airy and light. I'm really pleased with the life and volume that I got from the Sleep-in Rollers and will certainly be using these again. My hair retained the volume and bounce all day. They don't give your hair much of a curl, so if this is what you're looking for then its back to a heat appliance for sure. If you don't think you can sleep in these or if its for a night out you can also pop them in for a couple of hours and give them a blast with a hair dryer.
 
Are you a fan of rollers and will you be giving these a try?
 
Laura
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Friday, 25 July 2014

FaceB4 Anti-Bacterial Face Wash and Serum Review


I'd never heard of FaceB4 previously, but as someone who struggles with breakouts in my 30s, this was something I was keen to give a whirl. FaceB4 is a two step program to aims to reduce breakouts and maintain clear healthy skin. It consists of the FaceB4 Anti-Bacterial Face Wash* and the FaceB4 Anti-Bacterial Serum*.
I trialled the products for four weeks, morning and evening. Fortunately for the purpose of this review (and unfortunately for my poor  old face), I had a massive breakout erupt a week or so beforehand so I was really able to put the range to the test. The first thing that I liked about this duo was the packaging of the face wash and toner. It's pretty unique as it's two bottles that dispense together into a big bubbly foam - neat! I am a bit wary of foaming face washes as my skin is pretty dry and they're often quite stripping and drying, but I haven't had any problems at all. The serum is almost like a cream, and it feels quite velvety and really soothing on the skin. I found my skin feeling really soft from the first use which is probably down to the fact that the serum contains vitamins A, B, B5 and E. I need more moisture so I used my normal moisturisers over the top, but oilier skins could skip this altogether.
Now, to show you how my skin has got on. Below is my skin's progress, week by week. Annoyingly these pictures don't show the improvements as much as I could see them, but you get the idea.
 Top row: week 1 and week 2, bottom row, week 3 and 4

As the days went by my skin felt less and less irritated and my blemishes lost their angriness and redness. I did have a few more come up during the first week but I found they went down a lot quicker than they usually do. By the third week I hadn't had any more breakouts for over a week and the blemishes were really healing. I even ditched foundation for a few days and made do with a thin layer of concealer as it was pretty hot and I didn't want to wear anything heavy. I didn't notice any visible changes in the last week, but by this point everything had calmed down completely.
The serum is the clear hero of the two as its made my skin really soft and its super soothing to apply. It sinks in really quickly too which is perfect for lazy people like me that want to get out of the door quickly in the morning! I'm really impressed with these products, so if you have blemish prone skin like me these are good to have on hand.
You can pick these both up from Boots and they're affordable too as the anti-bacterial face wash is £14.95 and the anti-bacterial serum is £9.99.
Will you be picking these up?
Laura
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Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Body Shop Camomile Cleansers


I'm really impressed with The Body Shop lately. I've not shopped in there for years, but I've bought a few things in recent months that have blown me away.
 
I love cleansers, and am really into cleansing balms at the moment. I finished the Clinique Take The Day Off Balm recently so thought I'd try The Body Shop Sumptuous Camomile Cleansing Butter (£12) as a more affordable replacement. It melts everything off my face and leaves it super soft. I love the cute tin packaging and it spells seriously divine. Its a bit smaller than a lot of balm cleansers on the market, but at £12 who am I to complain?
 
I've wanted to delve into cleansing oils for a while as a change of texture, and as I was so impressed with the cleansing butter, it wasn't long until I also bought The Body Shop Silky Camomile Cleansing Oil (£10). This is the one out of the two that gets so much praise so I was keen to see what I thought of it. As I haven't used an oil cleanser before I didn't have anything to compare it to, but I had worried that an oil would feel a bit nasty on the skin and leave a residue behind. Oh how wrong I was! I've been smoothing a pump's worth all over my face and neck and giving it a good massage in before removing with a flannel and warm water. Like the butter, it smells gorgeous and makes quick work of my make up, including liquid eye liner and SPF.
 
I've been using both of these as my evening first cleanse and I've been really looking forward to getting home and using them!
 
What products have you been loving from The Body Shop?
 
Laura
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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Not just for horses | Mane 'n Tail Shampoo and Conditioner


In my teens I used to use Mane 'n Tail Shampoo on my pony, but fast forward a few years and its become quite popular with people. Yes really.
 
There's a lot of hype surrounding the range, most notably that its supposed to help your hair grow quicker and keep it shiny and swishy. I took my hair extensions out a little while ago and am trying to grow my hair as much as I can before I get married at the end of October, so thought I'd give this a go to see if it does anything.
 
So far I quite like it; my hair feels really clean and shiny, but I'll give it a test for a few weeks and will let you know what I think.
 
Has anyone tried this or is it really just for the Pony Club?
 
Laura
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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover - Hands & Feet


I've been using the previous Bourjois nail polish for a while now, but when I heard they were releasing one that makes removing your polish from your toes easier I was pretty excited. Yes, I'm quite easily pleased! I've been hunting the aisles of Boots and Superdrug for ages but could never find it. Then, lo and behold, I finally found it in Superdrug at Lakeside shopping Centre.
 
I must admit, one of my naughty beauty habits is leaving my toe nail polish on for far too long, yes, gross I know. I'm determined to make this a thing of the past though, and the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover Hands & Feet is going to really help. Its very similar to their original magic polish, in that the bottle has a sponge inside that you dip and twist your fingers in to remove polish, but the real magic (aha!) is the sponge in the lid that's designed for your feet. The sponge itself is nice and sturdy and a little bit rough, so it takes no time to remove everything. Also, as you hold the lid you don't get any spillage on your hands and there's no more accidently ruining your manicure in the process. Sorted.
 
Right, now my toes are nice and bare I think its time to dig out a summer appropriate shade. Any suggestions?
 
Laura

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Monday, 21 July 2014

Nip + Fab Bee Sting Fix Range


A while ago I was invited over to Nip + Fab HQ to learn more about the brand and to have a play with some of the products from their range. A couple of products that I was kindly given to test out were from their Bee Sting Fix range.
 
Now, let's talk about the name first of all. The active ingredient is bee venom. This might sound a bit scary but I assure you it isn't! It does say on the packaging not to use if you are allergic to bee stings, but as the active ingredient it tricks the skin into believing its been stung, which causes it to plump up and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Smart huh?
 
I've been using these quite a bit recently so thought it was time to share my thoughts with you. First up is the Bee Sting Fix Eye Cream*. I have quite sensitive eyes which means I'm a bit picky and cautious when it comes to any new eye products. There was no need to worry though, this rich hydrating cream has really helped add some moisture to my under eye area and I've been using less concealer and corrector. I've also found that my foundation is setting less in the small creases too, which is something I've always had an issue with. The cream is very hydrating but not all heavy which would be the last thing you'd want under your peepers! What I also like is that this is an affordable eye product at £14.95, as most effective eye products seem to be in the £30+ bracket which isn't do-able for everyone.
 
I love to treat my skin to a mask a couple of times a week, so the Bee Sting Fix Lifting Mask* called straight to me. As well as plumping up wrinkles the mask aims to lift the contour of the face. It also contains propolis extract which is really well known as being an antioxidant, antiseptic and helps heal the skin - perfect for my recent horrid breakout! I've been using this once a week and I find it quite refreshing to use as its a nice and thick gel formula. Afterwards my skin feels nice and smooth and plump. I haven't noticed any lifting or firming to my skin yet unfortunately, but then I don't have any noticeably slack skin just yet.
 
What do you think about this range? Are you tempted to try it?
 
Laura
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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Collection



I try so hard to not get sucked into pretty, limited edition releases but I do love a palette and Bobbi Brown, so it was hard to avoid the Surf & Sand Collection. Bobbi Brown really does own it when it comes to seasonal releases, they are always so well thought out.
 
I picked up a couple of products from the range, the Sand Eye Palette and Peach Sorbet Sheer Lip Color. The Surf & Sand Eye Palette (£48) consists of eight neutral shades, four of which are shimmery and four mattes. The shimmers are supposed to mimic the effect of sand, but the jury's out on that one as I haven't been to a beach in far too long! These are really wearable colours, and I can see me using every single shade in this palette. I like that they are all quite cool toned which is really flattering on my skin. The colours work so well together as well and really perk up my eyes, adding just the right amount of sparkle. The dark drown matte shade can be used as a liner and probably an eyebrow colour as well - I do like a good multi-tasker!
 
Bobbi Brown's sheer lip colors are such a lovely formula and add a gorgeous dewy wash of colour to the lips. I found it hard to pick just one shade but Peach Sorbet (£19.50) was such a good choice for me as its peachy coral tone compliments my hair and skin very well. Its super hydrating and really comfortable to wear. I may have to go back for Pink Taffy after pay day though as it was a very close second!
 
I'm not sure how long the range will be around as it is LE, but if you like pretty and flattering neutrals, this is not one to miss out on.
 
Laura
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Friday, 18 July 2014

The considered purchase | By Terry Ombre Blackstar


 
 

I’ve held back on investing in the By Terry Ombre Blackstar eye shadows for quite a while, but it was only time before I went to Space NK and swatched my heart out. I’m a big fan of the (much cheaper) Mally Beauty equivalents, but it’s hard to ignore the hype surrounding these more expensive little beauties.

 
With 14 shades to choose from it was a tough decision, and therefore I ended up walking away with two shades, 4 Bronze Moon and 13 Brown Perfection. As a neutral kinda girl it was no surprise I was drawn to the browns! Now, at £28 each I was a little hesitant on plumping for two, but I’m pretty glad I did. Bronze Moon is a beautiful shimmery metallic brown that I’ve been washing all over the lid and blending the edges with my trusty MAC 217. It also looks really nice smudged under the lower lash line. Brown perfection is a lovely metallic dark brown and I’ve been using it to line the outside corners of my eyes and to add some definition.
 
The formula of these is buttery-soft and they glide on and layer beautifully. I’m really impressed with the lasting power too, they don’t crease and stay nice and vibrant. I’ve now got some Space NK points to toy with so I’m sure that Misty Rock will soon be in my possession too…
 
Have you tried these and did you like them as much as I do?
 
Laura




 

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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Pout worthy lips


I am in the midst of some serious matte lipstick loving after discovering the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets, so have been sucking up serious hydration to keep any flakiness at bay.
 
I must be on my third Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub by now but its one product I know I can count on to keep my dry lips smooth and soft.  I pop this on and give my lips a good scrub 2-3 times a week and they feel so much better and smooth afterwards. Also, it tastes of mint choc chip which gets an extra thumbs up from me.
 
Pretty much every blogger and their dog (or cat) loves the cult favourite Nuxe Riev de Miel lip balm and for good reason too. This is a seriously thick lip balm which I pack on before bed and come morning my lips feel transformed.
 
If I'm not rocking a matte lip or if I want to add a little moisture and gloss on top I reach for the Rodial Glamstick in Bang*. I've talked about this a lot recently but that's because it does a great job of keeping my dry lips topped up with moisture during the day thanks to its not so secret weapon, hyaluronic acid.
 
On make up free lazy days or when my lips are cracked and in need of some serious TLC, I turn to the Body Shop Aloe Lip Care. This lip treatment sinks straight in and helps heal sore and chapped lips in no time. It comes in a little squeezy tube which is pretty convenient and more hygienic than the Nuxe offering. 
 
So that's how I keep my lips happy. Do you have any lip care secrets to share?

Laura
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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The coveted base | Make Up For Ever


Everyone has that little list on their phone...you know the one I mean. That little wish list of makeup and skincare products that you covet most. There's been a couple of said items on my list for quite some time that I've now managed to delete.
 
I'm talking about the Make Up For Ever  HD Invisible Coverage Foundation and the Full Coverage Extreme Camouflage Concealer. MUFE is available in the UK, but only online so I've been too scared to take the risk and pick out shades online. A couple of weeks back I went to IMATS so it was the perfect opportunity to test out both products for myself and I'm so glad I did. I'm usually the lightest pink toned or neutral shade in most ranges but the sales assistant recommended I try the shade 115 in the foundation and 3 in the concealer. Both are the perfect match for my skin.
 
I've only used them a few times each so far but I can see why everyone praises them so much. The foundation is supposed to be next to invisible on the skin, and whilst I don't believe its possible for a base to be truly undetectable, this is pretty damn close. It builds beautifully and covers up most of the warzone that is my blemish ridden face. I've been using the concealer both on blemishes and under my eyes and it really does the trick. It's name screams thick and cakey but it really isn't. I find it glides on and provides great coverage without settling in any lines.
 
I'm slowly working my way through my list and will be showing you some bits that I've picked up recently over the coming weeks. I'd really love to know what's on your most coveted list so do share yours with me and maybe they'll end up on my list too!

Laura

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Saturday, 5 July 2014

Summer ready legs


With summer finally here its time to dust off my shorts and get those legs of mine out. But before I do, its time to give my legs a bit of TLC.
 
My skin is pretty dry and lately I've been having lots of problems with  my legs in particular so I've been relying on a few products to get them into a more presentable state. Firstly, before shaving my legs I have been using the Body Shop Cocoa Butter Body Scrub to get off any dry skin that's still hanging around. I've tried loads of the Body Shop's scrubs but this is a firm favourite as it adds a bit of hydration along the way.
 
Once all smooth I use the Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner. I bought this on a bit of a whim a while ago to soothe my legs as I often don't bother moisturising them which doesn't help the whole dry skin thing (when will I learn?). This is a bit pricey at £15.95 but you do get a big tub for your pennies. It acts exactly like a hair conditioner but just for your skin. I lather this all over my legs and leave it on for a few minutes before washing off. It contains argon oil, along with brazil nut, almond oil and cocoa, cupuacu and shea butters so really does pack a punch in the hydration stakes.  It does leave your skin feeling a bit greasy but once you're dry its pretty much all sunk in.
 
After a bath I moisturise with a generous helping of the Nip+Fab Hyaluronic Fix Body Gel* which is really soothing as it's a gel formulation that includes aloe vera. Where my legs have been so dry recently, they've been quite itchy and sore and I've found that using this everyday has taken down a lot of the discomfort. As the name suggests, it also contains hyaluronic acid which I've not used in body products before. This, plus vitamin E helps keep things nice and moisturised and my legs are silky smooth and not at all dry or uncomfortable.
 
Because I'm a paley I've been reaching for the This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle before scaring the general public with my white legs! I've wanted to try this for such a long time but wasn't too sure about it as it does give your legs a bit of colour and fake tan usually makes me look a bit ill. I shouldn't have worried though, as this serum does add a slight bit of colour, but its more of a subtle glow. Packed with vitamin C, vitamin E and arnica, it makes things look nice and healthy and helps disguise bruises and scars, along with evening out the skin tone.
 
At last I feel confident to get my legs out in the summer months so lots of shorts have been purchased. Now I've just got to hope the weather stays nice for a while yet!
 
Do you have any tips for getting your skin ready for summer?
 
Laura
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