Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Sample testing; hits or misses?

How many of you end up collecting thousands (okay, maybe a slight exaggeration) of samples, and don't seem to get round to using them? I know I do... but I have been trying to sort my room out lately, and this includes my beauty stash. Therefore, instead of going straight out to purchase a new full size product if I have a sample, the plan is to use that first. Here are a few of the deluxe samples I have been trying lately. I will be writing a short review on each product followed by whether it is a hit or miss for me.

First up is the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion. This is actually a product I wanted to try a while back due to how famous it is. It is basically a light lotion that brightens up the skin. I find it fairly similar to my favourite The Body Shop Vitamin E Illuminating Cream, but on the more liquidy size. You only need two pea size amounts to easily cover your entire face and neck. Unfortunately unlike The Body Shop's one I found this lotion to leave my skin so so shiny, even visible after makeup. I would say this is definitely one for the drier skin types, as it felt heavier on my skin than what I like and didn't really sink on leaving the extremely shiny finish. My verdict: MISS.
The Melvita moisture-replenishing night nectar is an interesting product. It comes from the Melvita brand, a certified French organic brand definitely worth taking a look at if you're after natural products. I have tried a few products from their range, and have loved some, others not so much. The night nectar contains rose extract, which helps restore skins moisture. I found this product did exactly that, but unfortunately I'm not a fan of the smell so can't see myself finishing or purchasing the full size of this product. However, if you like orange and rose smells this could be an amazing product that you might just love. My verdict: MISS.

The Benefit Moisture Prep Toning Lotion is one that I have been really enjoying. I have found the texture to be slightly thicker to what I am used to, but this just makes the product feel more luxurious. It gets rid of any excess residue left from cleansing, and awakens my skin. I'm not sure on paying the full price of this product but this is definitely one I could see myself happily using. My verdict: HIT.

Ahh, the Elemis freshskin skin clear mattifying moisturiser is the sample I turned to after not enjoying the Clinique one. This is my first product to try from the Elemis brand and it is definitely one I have been enjoying. It is nice and light on my skin, and sinks in easily leaving a lovely mattified finish. I find this a perfect base for me to start applying my makeup. The only thing I'm a little unsure on is the smell, it's slightly odd but luckily not too noticeable after a few minutes. I can definitely overlook this for the great product it is. My verdict: HIT.

The Nars Illuminator in Orgasm. I mentioned this a while back, and my conclusion is the same - I love this product. I like mixing it in with my base, and find it provides the most lovely glowing base. It isn't shiny or oily either, a definitely plus point. Weirdly, I have just finally got hold of the full size so can finally not be scared to finish this one up haha. My verdict: HIT.

The Clinique High Impact Mascara I have been pretty much using every day this month, and most of last month as well. It has the perfect size brush that simply does the job. It isn't massive, something I'm not a fan of, and adds length and volume - the two things I look for most in my mascara. This is one I can definitely see myself purchasing the full size as soon as I have worked my through my mass mascara samples. My verdict: HIT.

And lastly, the famous Urban Decay Primer Potion. I actually received this alongside my NAKED palette all the way back in December, but as I don't really use eye primers I just hadn't got round to using it. Having given it a go lately I have noticed a difference, especially when using my cream eyeshadow offerings. It stops them creasing and ensures they last all day. I don't think it makes any difference to my powder eyeshadows, as they generally seem to last all day on my lids anyway. I can see this deluxe sample lasting me a fair while too. My verdict: HIT.

So, out of seven deluxe samples I have found myself loving five of them. I am quite impressed, and will definitely be attempting to work my way through the rest of them.

Have you found yourself loving any products through deluxe samples you have recieved? I would love to hear which ones have made you want to purchase the full size version.

Don't forget to check back Friday when I will be sharing my very first Sephora haul.

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Monday, 21 July 2014

St Ives Invigorating Apricot Facial Scrub review.

The St Ives Invigorating Apricot Facial Scrub is fast becoming a favourite of mine. I brought it for my holiday the end of last month, but I am loving it so much I think I will be definitely be purchasing the full size once I reach the end of this travel size version.

The St Ives Invigorating Apricot Facial Scrub is said to "gently exfoliate dead skin cells to instantly reveal smooth radiant skin." It is also said to "promote healthier-looking, glowing skin in just 7 days."

When squeezing the product out you reveal a white mixture with little grains mixed in. I have been applying it to my damp face with my The Body Shop soft facial sponge, and applying pressure in circular motions before rinsing.

I have found that with using this scrub my skin is instantly more radiant, even after the first use I could see that the scrub had actually worked. I also agree with my skin glowing more after 7 days.

So, what do I think? As I am sure you might have gathered I love this product. This is the first facial scrub I have actually loved, and want to actually repurchase. I can definitely see why St Ives are rated as the no.1 brand for facial scrubs. It is definitely one worth trying if you haven't already - you can pick up the travel size for £1.20 in Superdrug and ASDA.

What's your favourite scrub? Have you tried any products from the St Ives brand before?
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Thursday, 17 July 2014

YouBeauty Discovery beauty box July 2014.

For those of you who don't know Youbeauty Discovery is a beauty box subscription you receive on a monthly basis at a mere cost of just £6.95 including postage. Each month, you get to choose two products from a specific theme. Alongside this you also receive two additional items; one normally a food/drink item, and the other being some form of a beauty product.

This month's theme was Travel, a perfect fitting considering the time of year and everyone seems to be going on holiday. The products I chose were the L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara, the Green People sun lotion SPF 15. Additionally I received the Dove Men's shave cream, a 3ml sample of the Egyptian Magic's all purpose skin cream and a perfume sample of Agent Provocateur's Fatale.

Last month I also chose a L'Oreal product, and have to say similarly to last month my favourite product is the L'Oreal product, the Miss Manga Mascara. I am actually saving this as I seem to have accumulated quite a few different mascara's despite not purchasing any for a while. It features a 360 degree flexible cone shaped brush which is said to be perfect for using on both upper and lower lashes. I love adding volume to my lashes so can't wait to try this one out - I just hope it leaves my lashes seperated as well, as I can't stand any clumping.

Next up is the Green People sun lotion with SPF 15. I again haven't tried this, simply because I received  it just after I got back from my holiday and it hasn't been overly sunny since. One of the main reasons I chose this was because similarly to the Piz Buin tanning accelerating products this one contains a sun accelerator. It is said that trials have shown that the speed of tanning is increased by 25%, and the tan-fading rate is reduced by 50% - how brilliant does that sound? I can't wait to try this out, and might even give it a go on my face as it is also said to be non-pore-clogging.

The last couple of items were this month's extras. The Egyptian Magic all purpose skin cream is said to be super moisturising, combined with six natural ingredients to help protect the skin. Apparently it is popular amongst Hollywood actresses and models, so it must be good.

The second item was the Dove's men shaving cream. I don't have much to say about this other then it is supposed to make a man's shaving experience more enjoyable. I guess it's a nice extra item that girls might pass on to their other halves.

They also included a perfume sample of Agent Provocateur's Fatale. As much as I hate it when beauty boxes include perfume samples, it is a good way to try out new perfumes a bit more thoroughly than a quick spray in your local beauty shop.

I can't say I am in love with this box, I would have liked a bit more choice but for the price I can't complain. The L'Oreal Miss Manga mascara alone is worth £8.99, and if I had of been a bit quicker I could have got hold of L'Occitane mini shampoo and conditioner duo. That would have been pretty amazing.

What do you think of the products I received? Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes?
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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

June Favourites

I know I am a tad delayed in writing this post but with being on holiday and being so busy I somehow forgot to post it. But none the less, it is time for one of my favourite posts each month; my favourite beauty items, of June.

First up is the famous Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. When I brought this I really wasn't expecting much, but it really is worth the hype surrounding it. I love this top coat - it not only makes the polish dry faster and puts my hands back in use quicker, but it also makes my nail polish last far longer without chipping. Some polishes it has doubled the length of time, I can definitely see this being a long-term favourite for me.

The Piz Buin Tan & Protect Tan Accelerating Oil Spray SPF 30 is my next favourite of June (and the beginning of July but sh lol). I love this product, as for the first time ever I actually properly tanned with actual decent tan lines and I swear it's down to this product. I am a pale girl who has always seemed to find it relatively hard to get a tan. I will be writing a full review shortly, but it is a nice and light formula that sinks in with relative ease.

The Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub. A product that in a nut shell instantly leaves my lips exfoliated and soft. This was a favourite of mine when I was younger and I recently thought I should repurchase it to see if it was as good as I remembered - it is. I love the instant results, and of course the smell of the product. If bubblegum isn't up your street it does come in two other flavours; Mint Julips and Popcorn.

Lastly, but in no way least is the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I love how I can use this concealer alone to cover up both redness and dark under-eye circles. Under the eyes it instantly brightens the area and covers the dark circles. Any other skin concerns are also instantly covered. When I first used this I found the product far too cakey for my liking, but since changing brushes I definitely understand why this product is many peoples favourite. If you haven't already, then this is definitely a product that is worth the money to try.

What are your favourites at the moment? Do you regularly use any of the products I've mentioned?
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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Holiday makeup: what I actually used...

As I am sure most of us do when we go on holiday, I slightly over-packed on the makeup I thought I was going to wear. In comparison to the products I packed I probably used less than a quarter of them :O.

All I really wanted to do was ensure my eyebrows didn't look a right mess, and cover up my dark circles. Other than that, I was completely comfortable going out and about everywhere and anywhere with my bare skin.

I started by popping my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer under my eyes to awaken the area. I used my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to blend this in. I then started on my eyebrows by running my favourite Sleek Brow Stylist through them, starting with the spoolie followed by the powder/wax pencil to help define them. Then I popped a little bit of Seventeen Va Va Voom waterproof mascara on to my lashes. Lastly, I used the Maybelline Matte Maker Mattifying powder to set my concealer, and help calm any of the oilier parts of my face - even this I didn't do every day.

And that is literally all I wore on a daily basis - how impressive is that. The great thing about this simplified routine is also how quick and easy it is to do. Occasionally in the evenings I did apply a lipstick to add a bit of extra colour, but I still stuck with the basic routine above.

What makeup do you wear when your on holiday? Do you tend to also wear far less makeup?

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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Empties May-June.

Oh my god I just had a look to see when I did my last empties post, and it was all the way back in April so definitely time for a new one. I love making these posts, as finishing a product means you've really had a chance to test it. Because of the amount of empties I had, I have only featured products I haven't featured before in these posts, and will instead shortly be writing a re-purchased products post.
Anyway time for me to stop yabbering, and to get on with the post. First product up is the Batiste Dry Shampoo in Original. I actually normally go for the volumising version, but recently stole my mums and actually decided I loved the fresh smell so thought I'd give this one a go. As to what I think, I love Batiste dry shampoo. I find it always freshens up my hair, and lifts it without leaving any residue. I'm tempted to try the Dove one but having being loyal to Batiste for so long and knowing I love the product it's kinder hard to switch.

I also finally ran out of my Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance Leave-in Conditioner, don't you find leave-in conditioners last for like ever? Or is it just me? That aside, I love the way this product helps me easily detangles my hair. The smell reminds me of holidays, and a hair detangler/leave-in conditioner is a definite must-have product for me. If you haven't delved into leave-in conditioners yet this is a great starter one. It does it's job, and doesn't leave my hair greasy or anything.

The Avene Hydrating Soothing Serum was something I was gutted to run out of. I loved this product, and can definitely find myself repurchasing it at some stage. I love the way it not only helps enhance maximum hydration, but how it also helped calm down any redness. Whilst using this serum I never found myself to randomly go red throughout the day, a definite benefit of this serum for me. 

Next up is The Body Shop Honey Bubble-bath Melt. I have been using this product on and off for a while now and have to say I do really like it. I love how a little product creates so many bubbles, and how it always leaves my skin lovely and soft after a bath before even moisturising. The smell is also luxurious. The only thing I wish this product came with is one of those honey twisting wooden products, like the one included in Laura Mercier bathing products. You can work around this though, I have been using a spoon to encourage less wastage.

Ooh, the Herbal Essences Bee Strong Intensive Conditioner is one product I have seen mixed reviews about, but I am definitely on the love side of things. I brought this randomly on an offer and I am glad I did. I'm not sure about strengthening but I did find it made a noticeable difference to the amount of tangles I got in my hair when used weekly. I really enjoy the smell that is still noticeable after showering, and can definitely see myself repurchasing.

The Soap & Glory Flake Away Scrub has been a favourite of mine for a long time now, and a product I always seem to go back to. I love how I can actually feel and see this product working, and getting rid of dead skin cells. It has been a saviour with regards to helping control my eczema, and always leaves those areas far smoother than I'm expecting - all I need is a good moisturiser and my skin immediately looks a lot clearer. The smell, as usual with Soap & Glory products is divine. I definitely recommend you pick this up if you haven't already tried it. 

Ahh, the Sleek Brow Stylist, I think this has to be my favourite brow product to try ever. Yes, that's a bold statement but this product is the perfect shape to enhance my brows, and a great colour match without making them too dark. Being blonde I sometimes find this hard. I also love the spoolie attached. I won't say too much more as I'm always mentioning the product, but it is an amazing product and if you want to know more I have written a review previously. 

Lastly is a product I have had since Christmas and have been delaying the inevitable. The YSL Baby Doll Mascara is designed to transform your lashes by separating them and adding volume. This definitely does do that, but I have to say I wasn't as amazed by the product as I was expecting, and as much as I love the prettiness of the packaging I'm not sure it will be getting a repurchase from me.

And that's the end of my long overdue empties post. I hope you didn't mind it being so long and enjoyed having a nose into the products I've used up over the last couple of months. 

What products have you used up lately? Have you tried any of the products I've mentioned?
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Monday, 7 July 2014


I thought I'd do something a little bit different today seeing as I've just come back from holiday, and already have those holiday blues. I had an amazing time and I'm going to share with you all more of a lifestyle post, featuring a few of my favourite pictures from Italy - I hope you enjoy. Oh, and in case you're wondering we stayed in Lido di Jesolo, a lush area with a 15km beach :).

Lido di Jesolo - our private beach.
Me and my boy.
Lunch with a view.
Our gondola ride :).
The view on the boat ride back from Venice.

The beach at night.
Our hotel pool.