Sunday, 31 May 2015

My epilating relief kit

how to epilate

how to epilate

how to epilate

My quest for smooth, hair free limbs has been long and unfulfilling so far but since taking up epilating recently I'm feeling more hopeful. I could literally shave my legs every day as my hair grows really thick and fast so I was willing to go through a bit of pain to see if epilating could be the answer. I picked up the Braun Silk-epil 9 which is Braun's newest epilator that you can use both wet and dry. 

To help get the best out of my epilator, I've been using a few products that have really made the whole thing a lot more comfortable and the results have been great so far. First off it's best to have a bath first. When I first used it I was a little over eager and did it in the middle of the afternoon and wow, it stung! Having a bath helps soften the skin and open the pores so the hair comes out much easier. To reduce ingrown hairs and give a smooth surface to work on I exfoliate my legs using the Nip + Fab Circulation Fix Body Scrub*. It's a gritty scrub in a soft cream which leaves my skin super smooth but not stripped at all. It's super refreshing as it's got menthol in, as well as glycolic acid which is perfect for keeping your pins in check. I need to buy some more of this as I've almost run out now, you can see by the somewhat pummelled packaging!

The Braun Silk-epil 9 has a massaging head which helps to tease the hair out a bit easier and is supposed to help reduce pain as epilating hurts, there's no getting around that! If you follow me on Twitter you'll know as I've been talking about it quite a bit. At first I really didn't know if I could go on with it as it hurt so much but now I've got a little routine going it's much easier and a lot less painless. You run the epilator slowly against the hair growth and it literally plucks the hairs out from the root, so it does sting but rest assured it gets less painful every time. The first time you epilate you're literally removing every hair but as hair grows in cycles it comes through at different rates so you can do a little bit at a time. 

I do find that I'm left with little red bumps after each session which is completely normal, so to help calm them down and to stop any stinging I roll the Nip + Fab Post Workout Fix* over the area afterwards. It's a cooling gel that helps cool aching sore muscles after the gym but seeing as I'm no gym bunny I thought I'd give it a try after epilating and I'm so glad I did. The menthol and camphor in the gel instantly cool the area, so any stinging is instantly over and it helps reduce the redness too. I only apply a tiny bit but it really makes a difference.

Once I'm done I massage in the Nip + Fab Hyaluronic Fix Body Gel. It's an ultra nourishing formulation as it includes hyaluronic acid and I find it sinks in straight away and is also really refreshing as it's a gel rather than a cream. I've gone through a few tubes of this since discovering the brand last year and it's perfect for someone like me who can't be bothered to stand around awkwardly in the bathroom waiting for moisturiser to sink in!

I've been epilating for about a week or so now and I'm getting the hang of it and now it hardly hurts at all, so it really is worth bearing with it. My legs are pretty smooth but as I'm a newb I've been having a go every couple of days to get every last hair as it was hard to do it all in one go the first time around. The results are supposed to last about a month so I'll keep you posted on how I get on with this but so far I'm really impressed.

Have you tried epilating?


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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Loving Lately #2

loving lately

I'm so rubbish at favourites posts. I'm really not sure why either as they are some of my favourite posts to read and to write myself! As I haven't done one of these posts in so long I've had quite a few bits to share but I've just about managed to scale it down to something a bit more sensible.

I'm majorly crushing on MeMeMe Cosmetics at the moment as you're probably aware. Everything I try blows me away and I can't believe its such an affordable range with quality to rival much more expensive brands. When I set my eyes on the MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette* I knew we'd get on well. It's a really versatile neutral palette with six shimmers and two mattes and the shades are so lovely. I took this away with me recently and it was perfect as you can go for a really pretty subtle day look straight into a more smokey evening look if you want. The colours compliment one another perfectly too and they blend together so beautifully.

My absolutely favourite find from MeMeMe so far is the MeMeMe Cosmetics Angels With Halos Skin Illuminator*.  I've got a horrible feeling that this is no longer available as I couldn't find it online but its absolutely gorgeous. Angels With Halos is a golden highlighting cream that I've been using as a primer, mixing with foundation, whacking on neat to highlight my cheekbones, you name it I've tried it! It's super flattering and not over the top sparkly at all. Looking on their website there's the Beat the Blues Illuminator in Oyster Gold that looks really similar so definitely check this out if you can. I think a MeMeMe haul is in order soon as there's loads of things I want from their website!

Another makeup love is actually a rediscovered gem. When it starts to get warmer I always dig out my cream blushers as they add so much glow and well needed dewiness to my skin. Lately I've been loving the Stila Convertible Colour in Lilium. I've mainly been wearing this on my lips and its an ultra dreamy soft pink on me. It wears really well too and fades quite evenly. It's perfect with a slick of liquid liner or the MeMeMe eye palette for a soft look. I can't believe I've never thought to use this on my lips before! The hint is in the name after all.

After my skin being well behaved for so long it gave in a few weeks back and has been absolutely awful ever since. A lot of my breakouts are hormonal, but I've no idea what has caused this recent skin tantrum. I've had lots of really painful bumps and weird little ones that heal only to be replaced with another somewhere else - rude I know! So the FaceB4 Ant-Bacterial Serum* has been brought out as I find it really helps my skin and it's perfect for using in the day. It's a really smooth cream formula which nourishes my skin while getting to work and calming breakouts. I use it under my moisturiser and I find that it instantly makes my skin feel happier and within a few days things start to settle down. I love the face wash too but for me the serum is the star of the show and I always have it in my stash.

At night I've really been enjoying using Sunday Riley Luna which is a new night oil from the brand that was pretty difficult to track down as Space NK had sold out. It includes trans-retinol ether which helps to firm the skin and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. I find it to be quite soothing as well and considering my skin has been pretty horrific lately this is just what I need. For me it's an instant result giver, which when you're forking out this kinda money is really important. In the morning I look much more rested and my skin has more life and radiance to it, which is something I'm starting to think I'm slightly obsessed with! Sunday Riley Luna is also blue which was a bit odd at first but as soon as you massage it in the colour disappears. It's really silky and sinks in quickly and I think it's really helping my skin so far.

Lastly, I recently had a fair bit of my hair chopped off (it's now collar length), and I finally managed to learn how to curl my hair with straighteners which was a bit of a eureka moment for me as I've been trying to do it this way unsuccessfully for what feels like forever! So to protect it from all this intensive heat styling I picked up the Kerastase Resistance Ciment Thermique which is a cream heat protectant. A little goes a long way so I know it's going to last me ages, but what I really love is that it's heat activated so will protect your hair until you wash it next. Genius. This is perfect for me as quite often I'll wash and dry my hair in the evening and style it in the morning. Maximum laziness yet protected hair in one. It's from their Resistance range so it helps strengthen the hair and rebuild it from the inside. I also like the idea of a cream as you know exactly where you're putting it, rather than spraying erratically around your head and probably just coating the cat instead...

I'd love to know what beauty bits you've been enjoying lately so make sure you let me know in the comments and I promise I'll try and post these little round ups more frequently! In other news, my mum and I have just booked a city break to NYC for October. I've never been before so am mega excited. Insane planning and list writing will start soon so recommendations for things to do (and buy) would be great!


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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

New in: Rodial Super Acids X-treme Hangover Mask

Rodial Super Acids X-Treme Hangover Mask

It's been a bit quiet on the skincare front around these parts lately which I know is not like me. Truth is, I've had a pretty trusty routine going for quite a while but you'll be pleased to know I am testing out a few new bits. I just can't help myself!

If there's one item I can't go without, it's a face mask and I'm always looking for new ones to try out. Seriously, I'm turning into quite a face mask hoarder if you haven't noticed! Over the past few weeks I've really been enjoying using the Rodial Super Acids X-treme Hangover Mask* (£45). It's a three-in-one does it all kinda mask which deeply cleanses, exfoliates and gives your skin a real boost. I tend to exfoliate and then go in with a cleansing mask and pop a moisturising mask on afterwards so for me this is quite big time saver.

The Rodial Super Acids X-treme Hangover mask contains fruit acids which nibble away at your skin like little Pac-Mans, exfoliating the skin and deeply cleansing it, leaving it much fresher and radiant. Like the name suggests, it will help disguise the night before! It's a kaolin clay based mask which I leave on for about five minutes before washing it off and afterwards my skin is left super smooth and just, well more alive really. It's a pretty potent little number so five minutes once a week is all my skin needs from this mask to really wake things up. My skin does get a little dull so this is ideal for when my skin just doesn't look right.

At the moment I'm really paranoid that I'm starting to look really wrinkled and old so I'm really trying to up my skincare game a bit. The Rodial Super Acids X-treme Hangover Mask also helps to plump up my dehydration and fine lines so I feel like it's really helping make me look a lot fresher and (hopefully) younger in the process. Maybe one of these days I'll get ID'd again and then I'll feel like I'm getting somewhere! A girl can hope...


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Monday, 18 May 2015

Slimming Solutions Teatox Review

Slimming solutions teatox review

Slimming solutions teatox review

The tea drinker in me has long been curious about tea detoxes and the potential benefits. There's quite a few on the market now, and as I'm someone that does suffer from the bloat I was keen to try out the Slimming Solutions Teatox* (£19.99) when the opportunity arose.

Slimming Solutions Teatox is a 14 day programme which aims to flush out toxins, cleanse your stomach and increase energy levels, while boosting your metabolism in the process. It's pretty straightforward; you drink a combination of a daytime blend every morning and an evening blend every other night. Simples. I'm pretty forgetful so I did have to leave the packets out to remind me to drink them.

The daytime blend was my favourite out of the two, it contains a base of Chinese oolong tea and includes other natural ingredients such as Siberian ginseng, fennel, lemongrass, and ginger root. First up it's not the nicest smelling tea, maybe down to the very natural ingredients, but taste-wise I found it to be quite pleasant and not too far off of green tea.

The evening blend is a combination of senna leaves, hawthorn leaves, lotus leaves, valerian root and liquorice root to name few. These ingredients can act as a mild laxative quality, although I must say it didn't affect me in this way at all. I had imagined I'd spend about 238596 hours in the bathroom over the course of the two weeks but I can safely report that nothing of the kind happened! Sorry, a bit much I know but it's worth mentioning! I have to be honest and say that the evening blend smells really quite horrid and the taste is not too much better, so I did add a bit of lemon to try and mask the taste a bit. Luckily the evening tea is an every other day affair so it wasn't too bad but I did have to try and gulp it down the first couple of times.

So did it work? Well, I'm on the fence a little. I didn't lose any weight, although that wasn't my main goal. In the first week I didn't notice any difference but come the second week I did feel less bloated than usual and I definitely felt more comfortable after eating. I also didn't feel as snoozy as I usually do, and considering I've been flat out working lately that's always a positive. As I said, this didn't have any side effects or laxative qualities for me, but everyone is different so if you're unsure please make sure you speak to your doctor before trying and sort of detox programme like this.

If you're looking for a mild detox, then you might want to try out Slimming Solutions Teatox.

Have you tried a teatox or would you consider trying one?


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Saturday, 16 May 2015

7 tips for maintaining red hair

tips for red hair

tips for red hair

I've had red hair for a few years now and it's the most difficult shade to keep as good as the day you coloured it. I'm asked how I dye and maintain my red hair all the time, so I thought I'd share my tips with you. This doesn't just apply to red hair, if you're thinking of using any hair colourant, natural or bright, these tips should help you maintain your colour. I apologise now for the length of this post, it seemed to make more sense to do it in one hit rather than break things down.

Keep it healthy
Before we even talk dye and keeping things bright, it's important to look after your hair before you colour it. If your hair is damaged or dry, the dye won't take very well and you will of course cause more and more damage, and we don't want that right? So make sure you have regular trims every 8 weeks or so and use a hair mask once a week. Personally I love the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Intensive Mask, as it makes my hair feel so nourished but yet light, perfect for fine hair like mine. My hair is really dry so I use the Phyto 7 Hydrating Day Cream which asks like a moisturiser for your hair. I rub it into my ends most days and it helps keep everything healthy. Heat styling can also make red hair fade, so try and limited the blow drys and straightening etc, and if you do use heat on your hair, make sure you use a good heat protectant. I've been using the GHD Heat Protect Spray one for yonks now and it really does the trick without weighing my hair down. I also use the Wet Brush Paddle* on both wet and dry hair and it's really gentle and doesn't snag at all. I used to use a Tangle Teezer but the not having a handle really annoyed me as I'd always drop it or fling it across the bathroom. The Wet Brush is really worth checking out though as it glides through the hair without tugging and I get hardly any snags with it. It also gets to the roots a lot better than the Tangle Teezer so you can be sure you've got every knot out. The paddle brush is really good for smoothing out my hair too.

There's so many hair dye brands now that produce vibrant bright reds. I used to have really bright red hair and I found that most brands that you could buy in Boots insisted on just having orange-red colours which on me faded to orange really quickly. That's one of the reasons why I actually switched over to copper instead. I hated the colour my hair used to fade to, but now I like the strawberry blonde that my hair lightens up to, which I know is sort of cheating given that we're talking about maintaining red hair, but the less you can get away with dyeing your hair the better. I use the L'oreal Feria Preference dye in either Mango Intense Copper or Paprika Power if I want to go a bit brighter. I also only apply permanent colours to my roots as they lighten the hair and if you repeatedly put them all over you'll end up with very over processed and damaged hair. On the lengths of my hair I use a much gentler, semi-permanent dye. There's lot of these around now which are more stains than anything. I use the Creative Image Adore colour in Cajun Spice. This isn't the easiest to get hold off but you can get it from Bee Unique, Ebay or in little local afro-carribean hair shops for about £4-5. This is the best range of semi-permanent colours I've used and they have everything from natural colours to very vibrant shades. There's no chemicals in this so I can use this every couple of weeks if I need to. Other brands worth trying out are Directions or Manic Panic. I find using a gentle semi-permanent dye really important in terms of maintaining my red hair as I know it's not going to cause lots of unnecessary damage. I also, quite naughtily ignore the directions a fair bit as they say to leave on for 15 minutes under heat. All well and good if you own a hair salon! I wash my hair first, skip conditioner and apply to towel dried hair. Then I put on a rather unattractive shower cap and leave it for about half an hour. Lastly, I blast it with a hair dryer for 15 minutes (with the cap still on). This I find gives me a stronger colour which lasts about three weeks.

Use specific products for coloured hair
Never use harsh shampoos on your red hair as they will strip your colour like nobodies business. You can either go for sulphate-free products or those that are designed to protect coloured hair. I must admit, I like the lather that sulphates give. It's bit of a marmite ingredient, but each to their own I guess. I love the feeling of really clean hair so personally I use it sparingly as I don't want to strip my hair (and colour) too much. I really like the Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Diamond Shampoo* and Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Diamond Conditioner*. These are designed specifically with coloured hair in mind as they have a protective formula that acts as a gloss to seal in colour and moisture, meaning your colour lasts a lot longer. The ingredients include keratin and refined-protein which are really good for keeping your hair strong and in good condition. I find that these two products keep my red hair nice and soft and smooth too. I can go a lot longer than I used to between washes with Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime too, which is also super important for me. In terms of styling products, try and avoid alcohol as this will strip colour out of your hair.

Keep it cool
Hot water opens the hair cuticles and so when the cuticles are wide open, the colour can run out a lot quicker. If you turn down the shower and keep the water nice and cool the colour will not come out as quickly. This also leaves your red hair a lot shinier as the cuticles close nicely and leave your hair super smooth. No one likes a cold shower so I tend to wash my hair over the side of the bath so the rest of me can stay nice and cosy, a godsend in winter!

Cut down
Probably the best tip I can give to maintain red hair is to reduce the frequency that you wash it. I have fine hair which does get greasy quickly but I find washing my hair every three to four days really helps. Dry shampoo is therefore my best friend. The only one that I've found that keeps my hair feeling clean enough is the Batiste Coconut & Exotic Tropical Dry Shampoo. There's still room for improvement, so if you have any recommendations for better dry shampoos please let me know! I also swap out regular conditioner for leave-in conditioner every couple of washes. I use the Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner. It helps keep my hair tangle-free but I also find that it's moisturising without feeling heavy on my hair. My hair does tend to frizz so this really helps it behave without having to straighten it all the time.

Mix your dye and conditioner
If you mix a little of your semi-permanent dye with your conditioner you can top up your colour a little bit every time you wash it. I don't do this that often, but if my hair is starting to fade and I don't have the time to dye it then this is a great step for topping things up.

Keep out of the sun
The sun is not very kind to coloured hair and will make it fade. Just as you should be applying sunscreen to your skin, you should also protect your hair. There's loads of good UVA and UVB protection sprays out there now and Charles Worthington do a pretty good one. Failing that, keep out to the sun for prolonged periods or wear a hat.

These are just a few tips that I find to really help me but if you have any tips to share, please let me know. Also if you have any questions on maintaining red hair, do ask as I love to chat to you guys :)


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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Lip lovin' - Rodial Glamsticks

rodial glamstick

You might have noticed that I'm somewhat lip product obsessed at the moment. I'm not sure where this came from as I'm usually declaring my love for all things blush, but right now its all about lips. I'm always praising the Rodial Glamsticks too it would seem, well actually Rodial in general, but if there's one thing you should try from them, its these little babies.

Rodial is a brand I came across through blogging and it's definitely one of my favourites now. The skincare range is awesome, but the recently launched makeup line is so well thought out it's unreal. The Rodial Glamsticks have been around for a while now, long before the sculpting makeup range was launched near the end of last year. They're a lip balm/lipstick hybrid that deliver a high dose of hydration due to the inclusion of hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and cocoa butter, but the colour payoff is pretty awesome. I've been collecting these over the last year and I always have at least one rolling around in my bag. I've built up a fairly good collection of these beauts now so I've always got one on me that goes with pretty much every look.

My favourites have to be Bang* and the new limited edition hue, Just Daisy*. Daisy Lowe is the face of Rodial, so to acknowledge this it was only right that they launched a new shade to the range. It's a gorgeous deep reddy-brown neutral shade designed for the lady herself and I'm totally smitten. I've been wearing lots of different lipsticks and crayons lately as there have been so many amazing launches, but Just Daisy has constantly been in my makeup bag over the last few weeks.

rodial glamstick swatches

The formula is really nice, it's super hydrating and glides onto the lips, giving a great pop of colour in the process. Rodial Glamsticks give a super glossy, comfortable coating to your lips without feeling sticky. As they are fairly sheer they're not that long lasting, but I reckon I get a good couple of hours out of each application. They're also easy to apply on the go without a mirror, so come in handy when you're in a rush. They've got a lovely coconut scent too which I really adore. At £25 each the Rodial Glamsticks are a considered purchase but they last for ages. I wear mine all the time and I've hardly made a dent in any of them. It's also nice to get good ingredients into lip products too, it's not that often that you get such a gorgeous hit of colour and skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Me love. A lot.

If you like the look of Just Daisy, it won't be around forever as it's a limited edition release so definitely get on it! I'm eyeing up Thrill and Lust next...

Have you tried these?


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Thursday, 7 May 2015

MeMeMe Cosmetics Lip Glide Velvet Finish Lip Colour

MeMeMe Cosmetics Lip Glide Velvet Finish Lip Colour

MeMeMe Cosmetics Lip Glide Velvet Finish Lip Colour

After trying out these gorgeous eyeshadows from MeMeMe I've become somewhat obsessed with this budget brand. I was given the opportunity to try a few more of their products and they're super nice. First up, as I'm clearly having a bit of a lip product obsession, are the new MeMeMe Cosmetics Lip Glide Velvet Finish Lip Colour Pencils*.

The lip crayon/pencil thing is not new but there's so many great offerings out there, many of which are pretty affordable. These lovelies from MeMeMe do not disappoint. They're described as a matte finish, but in actual fact I think they are more velvety as the name suggests. They have a slight sheen to them which means they apply really smoothly and provide a fair bit of moisture to the lip, but aren't slippy if you know what I mean.

The formula is really nice and I find the colour payoff to be really good. They last for ages without drying your pout out at all. I've got two shades, Playful Peach* and English Rose*. I always gravitate pinky shades but Playful Peach has been getting the most wear. Both colours really compliment my pale skin and they go with every kind of look. They're so easy to wear and as they are fuss free they hardly need reapplying throughout the day. After a couple of hours the colour does begin to wear off but they sheer out to more of a stain so no patchy colour in sight. Both of these colours are perfect for Spring and Summer so I'm going to be wearing these a lot over the coming months!

MeMeMe Cosmetics Lip Glide Velvet Finish Lip Colour swatch Playful Peach
MeMeMe Cosmetics Lip Glide Velvet Finish Lip Colour in Playful Peach
MeMeMe Cosmetics Lip Glide Velvet Finish Lip Colour swatch English Rose
MeMeMe Cosmetics Lip Glide Velvet Finish Lip Colour in English Rose

Over the next few weeks you'll be seeing more of MeMeMe on Lelore as I'm really smitten with everything I've tried so far. If you haven't tried this brand out yet you really must. They're available online and these pencils are a steal at £6.95 each.

Have you tried anything from MeMeMe yet?



Monday, 4 May 2015

Isabel Marant Dicker Boots

Isabel Marant Dicker Boots

Isabel Marant Dicker Boots

Isabel Marant Dicker Boots

Isabel Marant Dicker Boots

Isabel Marant Dicker Boots
Boots: Isabel Marant, Jeans: French Connection, T shirt: Rag & Bone, Cardigan: H&M, Bag: Mulberry, Sunglasses: Ray Ban

A couple of weeks ago the sun actually came out in the UK. Don't worry, this strange phenomenon didn't last very long at all and we're back to wet and windy grey days. I took advantage of the rare lovely weather to get outside and take a few outfit photos as I really wanted to show you my new Isabel Marant Dicker boots. 

I've been wanting to treat myself to these Isabel Marant babies for a while now but as they're pretty pricey I deliberated for ages. Not sure why I didn't just go for it as they are super comfy and go with literally everything. My uniform mainly consists of jeans and boots so I knew I'd get a lot of wear out of these Dickers. The suede is super soft and I love how you can either wear them with quite a casual outfit or something a bit more formal. They'd also look great with denim shorts I think, maybe in the lighter beige colour they come in. Might have to get saving for the summer!

Sorry it's been a bit quiet around here lately. April-June is absolutely crazy at work for me as it's right in the middle of events season. A few more weeks to go and hopefully I'll have more time for blogging. In the meantime, I'm making the most of this long weekend by trying to get as much blogging and relaxing done. It's a tall order but I'm gonna give it my best shot!

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend whatever you're up to :)


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