Thursday, 30 July 2015

July Beauty Favourites

This months favourites is mostly new purchases which i've been using a lot but there is also two products that I repurchased as I had forgot how much I enjoyed using them. I'm trying not to buy too many new things as I am going to America at the end of August where shopping will be happening. 
July Beauty Favourites
Vo5 Give Me Texture Dry Texturising Spray
HAIRCARE:
Vo5 Give Me Texture Dry Texturising Spray - This is one of the product that I had to repurchase as I was missing using it. I have other texturising sprays but this one is my favourites as it's a fine spray that doesn't feel crunchy in the hair yet gives some volume and texture to the hair. It also brushes out very easily which I love. 
Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze Gradual Tan
BODY:
Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze Gradual Tan - I'm a big fan of the 1 hour tan so I wanted to try the gradual tan. As expected, I really like it. It's a natural looking tan that gives a nice bronzed look to the skin. It's a tinted gel which helps to avoid it looking patchy, there also isn't much of a 'fake tan' scent to it either. 
Soap & Glory Fab Pore Mask and Peel
SKINCARE:
Australian Bodycare Blemish Stick* - I've been using this throughout the month when i've had some breakouts. It's made up of tea tree and witch hazel so helps with breakouts without being harsh on the skin. It really helps to keep the blemishes clean and therefore go quicker.  
Soap & Glory Fab Pore Mask and Peel - This was my go to mask throughout college and recently I wanted to start using it again. I picked up a new pot whilst it was on offer and it's been great using it again. It really helps to clean the skin and is a great quick fix to reduce the appearance of pores and help with any breakouts. It's gentle enough that you can use it twice a week when your skin is feeling a bit congested. 
Bourjois Bronzing Primer
MAKEUP:
Bourjois Bronzing Primer - This is a product I dig out in the Summer as it gives the perfect healthy, bronzed look. It's a cream mouse that blends really easily, you can actually keep blending until there's hardly any colour there. You can use this is so many ways as well which makes it a great mutli-purpose to have. 
P.S Love.. Lip Liner Pencil
Kiko Smart Lip Pencil in 702 - I've been really into lip liners recently and picked this up on a recent trip to London. This is creamy and matte without feeling dry on the lips. The shade 702 is a lovely coral pink which is a really nice Summer shade. 
P.S Love.. Lip Liner Pencil - I've been wanting to try some bits from the Primark makeup ranges and these lip liners have been a big hit for me. They're creamy yet matte, and are pigmented so work well alone or under lipsticks. The stand out is definitely the red which is the perfect, cherry red shade.

So those are this months beauty favourites. I'm going to try not make any beauty purchases next month so I think there might be a few rediscovered favourites. What beauty products have you been loving this month?

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

July Empties!

This month I had a good beauty clear out reach has resulted in my finding a few products that needed using up. This month is a bit skincare heavy but there's also some makeup empties which I find the hardest to use up. 
Soap & Glory Heel Genius
BODY:
Sainsbury's Ladies Sensitive Shave Gel - This is something I always use up. It's my go to shave gel and is really affordable whilst working really well. Repurchase? Yes. 
Soap & Glory Heel Genius - I use these every now and then, this tube i've had for a little while so I decided to use it up. It's a gel like consistency so feels light on the skin. I use it at night and in the morning my feet feel so much softer. Repurchase? Yes.
Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave In Conditioner
HAIRCARE:
Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave In Conditioner - I've been using this for a long time and it's definitely my favourite leave in conditioner. It can sometimes be hard to get hold of but if you can find it, it's the best thing for de-tangling the hair after washing and helps to make your hair look healthy. Repurchase? Yes.
Garnier Express 2 in 1 Eye Makeup Remover
SKINCARE:
Origins Clear Improvements Charcoal Mask - This has been my go to clay mask for a long time and it finally came to an end. This is so good at giving the skin a deep clean. It's definitely best if you have oily or blemish prone skin. As much as I love this i'm using some more affordable clay masks at the moment. Repurchase? No.
Garnier Express 2 in 1 Eye Makeup Remover - I have very sensitive eyes, especially when it comes to eye makeup removers. This one didn't remove all of my eye makeup plus it left my eyes a little red. It also had a bit of an oily residue when you use it. I'll be sticking to using something like Bioderma to remove my makeup from now on. Repurchase? No.
Bioderma Photoderm AKN Mat SPF 30
The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream - I'm a big fan of the Aloe range from The Body Shop and the night cream was an other favourite. It's a light cream that feels soothing and hydrating to the skin. It's not greasy at all and perfect if your skin can be a bit sensitive. Repurchase? Yes. 
Bioderma Photoderm AKN Mat SPF 30 - This was my favourite face SPF last year as it's light on the skin and works well under makeup. It didn't irritate my skin at all and would be great for someone with oily or blemish prone skin. Repurchase? Yes. 
Nelsons Pure & Clear Blemish Gel
Organic Surge Eye Gel - This isn't actually empty but I think it is past it's best now. It's a nice, light gel which is nice and cooling to use in the morning. This is one of those products that helps to 'wake up' the eyes. I'm using some other things at the moment but would recommend this. Repurchase? Not straight away.
Nelsons Pure & Clear Blemish Gel - This has been sitting in my bedside drawer empty for a while so I finally remember to include it. I remember this being a nice light gel that has tea tree in it so helped to get rid of breakouts without being full of chemicals or be too harsh. I'm using something similar to this at the moment but would use this again. Repurchase? Not straight away. 
Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara in Ultra Black
MAKEUP:
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer - I was surprised how long the concealer lasted. This really did surprise me how much I ended up enjoy this. It's a light, yet pigmented concealer which works equally well on blemishes and under my eyes with go cakey or patchy. For that it has become one of my favourite concealer. Repurchase? Yes. 
Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara in Ultra Black - This was a great mascara for giving a really dramatic lash look. It's very black and gives lots of volume and a false lash look. It doesn't look clumpy though or transfer under the eyes. Repurchase? Yes.

So those are this months empties, i've already used up a couple more products so expect another full empties next month. Have you had a beauty clear out recently or used up any of your favourite products?

Sunday, 26 July 2015

July Health Favourites

I think the word balance has summed up this months thoughts on the health kick. My plan at the start of the year was definitely to have a healthy lifestyle that I can maintain and not stress out about. This is where balance comes in; there's been a lot of celebrating this month due to me passing my driving test so pizza and chocolate happened a few times. After having a 'treat day' I try to eat well the next day which really has helped to keep me on track and stop any guilty thoughts and be able to enjoy myself. 
July Health Favourites
BAGELS:
I discovered these New York Bagel Co. Seeded Bagel Thins this month and i've been loving them. At 130 calories each they're a lot lighter than a normal bagel and don't leave me feeling bloated. I have the with cream cheese and cucumber with a side salad and it's a great, easy and filling lunch. 
AVOCADO:
It's hard to remember a time where I didn't enjoy avocado now. I have them with salad all the time, on toast or as a side. I made this tomato veggie stew thing with some sweet potato and avocado on the side which was so good. I also had it on top of this Mexican style rice, veggie bowl with some salsa which was again easy to make and a great lunch. 
SWEETS:
As I mentioned chocolate cake and more chocolate happened this month so I haven't made a lot of sweet snacks recently. I did make a batch of these raw cookie dough bites which were really good. Next month I think I will make some more things and test out some more energy ball recipes. 
July Health Favourites
TEA:
I've been slowly having more coffee so i've been trying to ease up on that again and go back to tea. Luckily most of the month the weather has been pretty rubbish and not too hot for tea. I find that drinking a cup mid afternoon helps to perk me up and stop me snacking on things before dinner. 
LISTENING TO MY BODY:
This month I think i've really started to understand my body more. After eating well for half the year now i've begun to know what my body needs in certain situation. For example, after having a 'treat night' I was actually craving a green smoothie the morning after which really helped to make me feel better. I've still been working out but not worrying if I skip a day, instead getting back to it when I can fit it in. I've found if I stress out about eating something 'bad' or not working out it's a lot harder to get back on track. Speaking about working out i've definitely noticed how much stronger I now feel and my endurance has definitely improved. Seeing changes like this definitely helps with the motivation to keep going. 

At the end of August I got to America for just over a week so some treats will definitely be had but I do plan on doing as much walking as I can which brings me back to the word balance which has become my view on a healthy lifestyle. What have your health favourites been this month? Have you found any new recipes, foods or workouts recently? 

Friday, 24 July 2015

The Summer SPF Rotation

As someone with fair skin SPF has been an important sunny day staple for me, especially if I want to avoid looking like a lobster after 10 minutes in the sun. As the years have gone on i've tried a bunch of different products and learnt more about how to protect my skin. Today I thought I would share some favourites, and different ways you can get your SPF in. 
The Summer SPF Rotation
The Summer SPF Rotation
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Sun Lotion SPF 30
BODY:
There not many sunscreens that stood out for me when it comes to the body, I tend to just make sure it's an SPF 30. I gave the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Sun Lotion SPF 30 last Summer and loved that it doesn't feel like your regular sunscreen. First off it smells like a tropical island, a mix of coconut and papaya is a nice change from you ordinary sunscreen scent. The other great thing is that it actually feels hydrating on the skin, it isn't greasy and sinks in nicely leaving the skin soft and protected. 
Piz Buin Ultra Light Day Touch Face Fluid SPF 30
FACE:
For a while i've been using a separate SPF for my face. It is definitely harder to find an SPF that isn't greasy and will work well underneath makeup. I've tried a few and these are two of my favourites. The first is the Avene Very High Protection Emulsion SPF 50+, this one has the name suggest has a very high protection so great for long days at the beach. It's a light, thin cream that goes matte when applied and you can barely feel it on the skin, a great option is you have oily skin. The other is a newer discovery, the Piz Buin Ultra Light Day Touch Face Fluid SPF 30. This again feels very light on the skin and doesn't leave a tacky feeling or a white residue. I wear this under makeup a lot and it works really well without making your makeup breakout down. 
Simple Kind To Skin+ Protecting Moisture Cream SPF 30
MOISTURISER:
If you don't want to wear a separate SPF getting your protection is a great option for those not as sunny days. The one i've been using a lot is the Simple Kind To Skin+ Protecting Moisture Cream SPF 30. This feels like a normal day cream; light on the skin, easy to blend in and pleasant under makeup. I great affordable option if you are prone to forgetting to apply a sunscreen. 
Garnier Miracle Skin Cream
MAKEUP:
The last option is picking a makeup base with an SPF in it. I tend to like to apply a separate SPF as much as I can but these are a great option if, again you can be forgetful and want something fuss free. A Summer favourite of mine is always the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser. This has an SPF 30 and evens out the skin beautifully whilst looking natural and covering just the right amount. A new favourite of mine is the Garnier Miracle Skin Cream which has an SPF 20. This is a cream which has a tint to it. I was surprised how much coverage this actually gives and really brightens the skin.

I think it's very important to make sure your skin is protected from the sun, especially your face and there are so many great products available now it's easier than ever to do so. Don't forget to repurchase your sunscreen ever 12 months as it won't be effective after that long.

What are your favourite products to protect your skin in the Summer?

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

P.S Love.. Lip Liner Pencil - Reviewed!

Primark have had their makeup range out for a little while now and i'm finally getting round to trying some bits from it. They have a really wide range so I was a bit over faced and didn't know what to try so I sent out a tweet and got a great response of what to try. A lot of people said good things about the lip liners so those were first on my list. 
P.S Love.. Lip Liner Pencil
P.S Love.. Lip Liner Pencil
The packaging is very impressive, it's sleek black with gold writing and each shade is colour coded which I always love as you can quickly spot which shade you want. They definitely look a lot more expensive than they actually are. 
P.S Love.. Lip Liner Pencil
P.S Love.. Lip Liner Pencil
I'm not sure how many shades there are in totally. Some stores seem to have more than others. Oddly I found more in my small, local Primark than a big one I went too. I got the red which is shade 03 which is so creamy and pigmented. It's the perfect cherry, matte red. I applies nicely without feeling too dry on the lips then stays in place really well. You could definitely wear this alone or underneath a lipstick to make it last longer. The other shade I have is 08 which from the lid looks like a dusty pink but it's actually more of a peachy nude. This one feels a little drier but still easy to apply. On the lips it's a nice nude which would work well under any pale nude or pink lipstick.
P.S Love.. Lip Liner Pencil
P.S Love.. Lip Liner Pencil
For the price I think these are great value for money and quality that are well worth checking out. I definitely will be trying to hunt down some more shades. Out of the two I have the red is definitely the stand out and as good as some more expensive lip liners i've tried.

P.S Love.. Lip Liner Pencil retail for £1.00.

What have you tried from the Primark beauty range?

Monday, 20 July 2015

Shopping The Stash #7

Since it is officially Summer time I thought it was about time I did another shop of my stash and dig out some Summer themed products that I haven't used for a little while and add them back into rotations. I've dug out some things that were firm favourites last year so i'm sure they will be this Summer. 
Shopping The Stash #7
Kiko City Filter Primer SPF 50
Kiko City Filter Primer SPF 50 - £12.90 - I picked this up last year when I was in London and I used it a lot last year and thought I should start using it again. It's a primer/sunscreen so is a nice all in one product. It's a runny cream so feels light on the skin, I think this would be great if you want a non greasy sunscreen to wear under makeup. I remember liking it so i'm looking forward to using it again. 
Revlon Skinlights Face Illuminator in Bare Light
Bourjois Bronzing Primer - £9.99 - Another product I used so much last year. It's a mouse bronzer which actually blends really well onto the skin. You can use it under makeup or as your bronzer over foundation. It isn't too warm toned but adds a really nice, natural bronzed look to the skin. 
Revlon Skinlights Face Illuminator in Bare Light - £11.99 - This is something I actually use all year round but somehow forgot about it. This is probably my favourite highlighter as it's a lovely golden colour that isn't too shimmery yet adds a nice glow to the skin. You can mix it with your foundation, where it alone or use it as a regular highlighter. 
Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette
Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette - £45.00 - This was a treat to myself when I finished my degree last year. I've not been wearing a lot of makeup recently, especially eyeshadow so I thought I should dig this out and get some use out of it. The shadows blend really nicely and there is a great mix of shades, plus the palette smells like chocolate. 
Revlon Lip Butters Wild Watermelon
Revlon Lip Butters Juicy Papaya
Revlon Lip Butters - £7.99 - I love the lip butters but thought I should dig out some of my Summery shades. I picked three, the first Wild Watermelon is a lovely bright pink. Next is Tutti Frutti which is a true orange colour, I tend to sheer this out as it can be a bit intense. Finally Juicy Papaya which is the perfect peach shade. The formula of these are creamy so feel comfortable on the lips and the darker shades leave a slight stain to the lips. 

So those are the products i've dug out of my stash to use over the next few months. It always nice to go through everything and see what products have been neglected and to start using them again. What products have you rediscovered recently?

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Botanics All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum - Reviewed!

I've been slowly trying a few bits from the Botanics All Bright range and every time they have an offer on I always check out what there is to try. This serum caught my eye on a shopping trip a few months ago and it seemed like the perfect product to add a glow to my skin in time for Summer. 
Botanics All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum
Botanics All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum
The packaging is very nice and looks nice sitting on my dressing table. It's a glass bottle with a pipette which gives an easy application and you don't end up wasting product or applying too much. The claim is that is will 'brighten, and energies in 2 weeks giving a visible radiant glow.' 
Botanics All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum
Botanics All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum
The product itself is a thick liquid which has an almost gel like consistency to it. I apply 2-3 drops all over cleansed skin and instantly my skin starts to feel smoother and brighter. It doesn't feel greasy on the skin like an oil which makes it especially nice to use in the warmer months. This really helps to improve the texture of the skin and make the skin look healthier. I haven't had any irritation from using this and it is gentle enough to use everyday. I do make sure I use an SPF in the morning after using this to make sure my skin is protected. Although the bottle seems small I still have a good amount left after testing it out for a month. 

If you're looking for a light serum/oil to use in the Summer to brighten the skin I would recommend picking this up and giving it a try as my skin seems to really enjoy it. 

Botanics All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum retails for £9.99.

Have you tried this serum? What products do you use to brighten your skin?

Thursday, 16 July 2015

5 Under £5 | Makeup Edition

I love finding a good bargain and when you're on a tight budget there is nothing better than finding a great product that doesn't break the bank. Today i've picked out five products that i've been loving and each of them cost less than £5. I plan on doing a skincare version soon so keep an eye out for that, but today were chatting about makeup.
5 Under £5 | Makeup Edition
5 Under £5 | Makeup Edition
Makeup Revolution Ultra Brow Arch & Shape
Rimmel Mono Eyeshadow in Smokey Quartz - £4.49 - I'm normally more of a palette's person however this shadow looks so good on it's own I had to include it. The quality feels so much like a high end shadow, it's well pigmented, blends so easily and leaves the perfect smokey bronze colour to the lid. I often where this alone as it has a really dimension to it so looks like you spent ages doing a smokey eye when you haven't. 
Makeup Revolution Ultra Brow Arch & Shape - £3.50 - I was a bit on the fence about this when I first got it but now i've really grown to love it. One end has a felt tip which I use to fill in the end of the brows and the other end is a waxy crayon which works well at making the brows look thicker and more even. It stays in place nicely whilst not looking too drawn on. 
Essence Stay Natural Concealer
Essence Stay Natural Concealer - £2.00 - I've mentioned this a few times because I think it's great value for money. It's a brush on concealer perfect for using under the eyes when you don't need a lot of coverage but want to brighten the area. It's light, doesn't crease and is very comparable to more expensive versions of this type of concealer. 
Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Light It Up
Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Light It Up - £4.99 - The whole range of these pencil is a big favourite of mine but this shade is a definite stand out. For me, this is the perfect 'classic' red shade. It's matte but comfortable on the lips, stays in place and because it's a pencil it's easy to get a neat application. I'm always impressed with how well this last and how nice it feels on the lips. 
Maybelline Super Stay Gel Nail Colour in Uptown Blue
Maybelline Super Stay Gel Nail Colour in Uptown Blue - £4.49 - This is a recent favourite of mine and I can see it being something I where I love during the Summer. The formula is creamy and applies nicely onto the nails. It is definitely a gel style polish and therefore doesn't chip easily. The shade itself is the perfect, bright pastel blue that looks so nice on the nails, especially with a bit of a tan.

So those are some makeup bargains well worth trying out. I'm a big fan of the affordable makeup brands and there have been some great releases lately that i've been enjoying adding into my collection. What are some of your favourite makeup products that cost less than £5?

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Sample Testing

Having a clear out has made me want to try out some of the many samples I have lying around. I also got some new bits that i've been wanting to try and thought it would be good to do mini reviews on each product and see whether it's worth buying the full size versions. 
Sample Testing
Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel
REN Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser - £16.00 - This has been a go to for when i've been travelling as it's a very handy size. I love a lot of REN products and this is another one to add to the mix. It has a nice rose scent, removes makeup, and cleanses the skin really nicely. It's a cream and leaves this skin feeling very smooth and refreshed. It's a great hot cloth cleanser and if you have a bit more to spend, well worth trying. 
Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel - £40.00 - I have a few samples of this and I really do love it. It's a cream with scrubby bits in it. You apply the product to the skin, leave for 4-5 minutes and rinse off. Afterwards my skin feels so soft and instantly looks brighter. It's one of the quickest fixes to dull skin. The only downside is the price tag, although I love this the prize is pretty high; if you have the budget for this product you won't be disappointed, if you don't, i'm on the hunt for a cheaper alternative. 
Bumble & Bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner
Bumble & Bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner - £18.50 and £20.50 - I had these samples for a while and keep forgetting to try them. The shampoo lathered up nicely and didn't leave any residue in the hair. The conditioner was also nice and light whilst leaving the hair soft. Afterwards my hair felt soft but not weighed down. I don't know if my hair felt thicker or there was any added volume. For that I think the Surf Shampoo gives more texture to the hair and that's the one I would purchase out of the two. As for the conditioner I don't use it enough to warrant getting the full size. 
Dr PawPaw Original Balm
Dr PawPaw Original Balm* - £6.95 - I've been meaning to give this a go for a while and kept forgetting to pick it up. The product is a balm that can be used on the lips, dry skin and nails. It's a thick balm but applies nicely without feeling greasy. On the lips it's nice, it softens the cuticles nicely and helps with any dry patches. I think it's a good product to have around, especially when travelling as it can be used it so many different ways. 
St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Tanning Lotion
St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Tanning Lotion - £14.50 - This has had a lot of interest around it and I definitely wanted to try it. The idea is you have a shower as normal, apply a generous layer to the skin then leave for 3 minutes before rinsing off. It's a little awkward waiting for those 3 minutes, however it is easy to apply and doesn't look patchy. There isn't much of a smell to it; a smell does develop once it's been on for a few hours. It leaves a nice, light colour to the skin after it's developed which takes a little while. For some it won't be dark enough, but you can apply it a few times. I would say I don't think this would last very long, you might get 6 applications out of the full size. It's a very nice product, however the value for money isn't the best. 

So those are the samples i've been putting to the test lately. I pretty much liked everything and will probably get the full size of a few of these in the future. Where I can; especially with expensive products, I like to try a sample first so I don't end up wasting my money. What samples have you been trying out lately?

* PR Sample

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Recipe | Healthy Raw Cookie Dough Bites

I am definitely a cookie lover, especially raw cookie dough. Sadly it's not the healthiest of treats so i've been trying to come up with a healthy version. I've tried a few different variations and I think these might be the one, plus they include an interesting secret ingredient. 
Recipe | Healthy Raw Cookie Dough Bites
Recipe | Healthy Raw Cookie Dough Bites
Ingredients (Makes around 14):
1/2 Cup Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1/4 Cup Oats
2 tbsp Ground Almonds
1 tbsp Nut Butter 
1-2 tbsp Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1tsp of Almond Milk or Water
Handful of Dark Chocolate Chips
Recipe | Healthy Raw Cookie Dough Bites
Recipe | Healthy Raw Cookie Dough Bites
  • This recipe is very simple you just want to add all the ingredients into a food processor apart for the milk and chocolate chips. Blend until you get a smooth paste. You may need to wipe the sides down with a spatula every so often. 
  • The mix may seem a little dry, this is where you want to add the teaspoon of milk or water. Give it another blend and if it still seems dry add a little more. You don't want to add too much or it will become too wet to roll into balls. 
Recipe | Healthy Raw Cookie Dough Bites
  • Now you should have a dough like mixture, this is when you want to add your chocolate chips. You want roughly a handful, you can add a few more if you want the bites to be extra chocolately. 
Recipe | Healthy Raw Cookie Dough Bites
Recipe | Healthy Raw Cookie Dough Bites
  • Now you can roll the dough into balls. The mix should make roughly 14 balls depending on the size you make them. 
  • Once you've done this you want to pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour to set. You could also pop them in the freezer so they set quickly and would make a great frozen treat.
So that's it! It's really that simple. If you've not used chickpeas in sweet things before maybe up the sweetener a little until you get used to the flavour. You could even add some cocoa powder to make them have a great chocolate taste. They're definitely not as sugary sweet and real cookie dough but a lot healthier and less likely to spike your blood sugar. Let me know if you try these and what are your favourite cookie flavours?