Monday, 23 December 2013

Yaoh Hemp Seed Oil Lip Balm

I received this item in Decembers The Vegan Kind box and wanted to share it with you.  Yaoh are a UK based vegan brand selling a range of Hemp Oil products including this lip balm.  They come in 5 flavours: Spearmint, Strawberries and Cream, Mango and Kiwi, Coconut, and Blueberry.  As you can see I got Strawberries and Cream which I wouldn't have chosen myself to be honest but it's not as sweet as it sounds and has quite a pleasant scent.

I've had a bit of a cold the past week and so my lips have been ridiculously dry and cracked but I've been using this and it's actually helped quite a lot to keep my lips hydrated.  I tend to avoid lip balms, especially petroleum based ones (I avoid Vaseline like the plague!) as I don't think it's very healthy to be using a by-product of oil on your lips.  Also you can get addicted to using it as your lips rely on the balm for moisture instead of producing their own - I'm not sure if this is a legit fact but sounds about right to me!  You can find the ingredients on their website here which all looks pretty good.  At £2.75 I would happily repurchase, I think I'd like to try the Mango and Kiwi flavour!

We also got marshmallows in our TVK2 box which is so exciting!! I haven't tried them yet but I'm really looking forward to it.  This month TVK are donating 10p from every box to Greyhound Gap which is a charity which rehome greyhounds and lurchers who find themselves in a 'put to sleep' situation in UK pounds.  You can see my review of the first box here, and follow the link to sign up via The Vegan Kind website.


Saturday, 21 December 2013

Festive Nails!

Hello!  I feel like I haven't posted on here in sooo long!  I'm not even sure why?  I've just been  busy working and applying for jobs and stuff, not really had any motivation for blogging sadly!  

I've kind of decided what I would like to do as a career if possible.  I'd like to get into merchandising; they are the ones who work out how much stock goes where, and when to run promotions and markdowns going by the sales figures etc.  I have a background in maths and also in retail so it seems like something I can do!  Unfortunately most head offices are in London which would mean moving away from home but I'm not sure if I'm quite ready for something like that yet!  I have found one vacancy in Scotland so we shall see...  If anyone knows of any head offices that are in Scotland please let me know so I can investigate haha!

Never mind blogging, I've not actually painted my nails in over a month, it's shocking!  I actually felt like a 3 year old when I was doing it, I'm so out of practice... Also my nails are such a mess at the moment but never mind, at least now they look kind of cute and Christmassy.

I've used Nails Inc Victoria & Albert as the red underneath (only needed one coat!) with Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow over the top.  There are smaller gold particles which are much more visible in person and give it a nice shimmer.

PS do you like my Christmas duvet set?  I got it from Primark - love it!


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Konjac Sponge

I've had my eye on the Konjac Sponge for a while and decided to get it for using in the morning.  This is because I am a terrible human being and don't cleanse in the morning cos I am too lazy... I do 'wash' my face with cold water but that's about as far as I've gone, so I decided that this looks like the perfect way of getting me out of this terrible routine.

The Konjac Sponge is made from 100% pure vegetable fibre (from the Konjac plant) so this makes it also 100% biodegradable.  The Konjac plant itself is an alkaline and contains loads of great vitamins and minerals such as protein, carbohydrate, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C and folic acid.  It is gentle on the skin, naturally moisturising, deep cleansing and gently exfoliating.  They come plain, like the one above, or with added charcoal or french clay depending on your skin type. 

I wasn't very sure what to expect from this when I first got it and was quite excited to try it.  It arrived in a sealed plastic pouch which was sort of damp on the inside and smelled a bit odd, but after a first rinse the smell was gone.  When you leave it to dry it goes almost solid so you need to make sure before using it is totally soaked to soften it again.  It has the most bizarre texture, I can't even explain it properly, reminds me of a crumpet!!  It is very soft, not like a normal sponge you would buy, and when you rub it on your face it feels almost as if it is foaming... but it's not?!  It does feel very nice and cleansing on the skin, you can use it with your own cleanser for extra goodness and it also can be used to remove make up.  As I'm only going to be using it with water in the morning I can't really comment on this, however I did try it once after coming out the shower but there was still make up coming off when I toned so it didn't seem to work very well.  Perhaps the ones with clay or charcoal ones would do the job better.

The sponge should last between 1-3 months depending on use so once it starts looking a bit depleted or damaged it will need replaced.  There is a a string running through the sponge to allow you to hang it up to dry, leaving it in a damp place such as the shower will shorten its lifespan.  When you've finished with it it can be composted, or you can add it into a plant pot and help look after the plant by retaining moisture for it!

I've been using it for a while now and haven't noticed any improvements in my skin - which in general is good, combination but more dry in Winter - but I am enjoying the routine of using the Konjac sponge in the morning as it does leave it feeling nice and clean.

You can get this from LoveLula for £6.99.


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Empties #13

I seem to have managed to use a different font in the above photo to the last few empties photos... odd...  Anyway, here we are again - 5 items plus a wee sample included too.

Christmas is so soon now, it's scary!  I'm dreading it this year though as it's the first (and hopefully last!) Christmas I'll have spent working full time in retail.  Retail + Christmas = Hell.  Sadly I will be working Boxing Day, I'm so gutted, however I've managed to avoid it for the past few years so it's probably my turn anyway!

St Ives Apricot Scrub
Thoughts: I've literally had this for years so I finally decided to get rid of it.  I've had heard some things said about the particles being too rough for your skin and also Caroline Hirons saying never to use a scrub on your face anyway, use an exfoliating toner instead!  Good riddance!
Cruelty-free?: Unknown, doubtfully.
Repurchase?: No.

Lush Eau Roma Toner Water
Thoughts: I love this stuff, it's so refreshing and because it doesn't contain any alcohol or chemicals it doesn't dry out my skin or make it feel tight.  I use it after an exfoliating toner (REN Clarifying Lotion) to rehydrate my face.  This is my 3rd bottle of Lush's toner water and I've already bought myself a big bottle of Breath of Fresh Air.  £3.95/100g here. Vegan.
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: Yes.

Neal's Yard Remedies White Tea Enriching Facial Mask
Thoughts: I got this free sample when I bought NYR eye make up remover a few months ago.  I managed to get two uses of of the tiny wee tube which is pretty good, however it really didn't 'wow' me at all.  £25.75/50g here.
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: No.

ELF Translucent Matte Powder
Thoughts:  I've been trying to finish this for ages actually!  I decided that as it's nearly finished I would use it until the end of the week and then get rid of it.  It was an okay powder but not very translucent - it definitely had some colour to it which is unfortunate.  £3.73 here.
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: No.

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Dry Shampoo
Thoughts:  I received this as a PR sample along with some other items from the Luxurious Volume collection.  It worked okay but definitely not as good as Batiste and it had a quite a strong aerosol smell to it.  It was as if there wasn't enough powder coming out the the spray as I had to use quite a lot to see any effect.  I don't even know how much this is because I can't find it on the Boots or Superdrug websites...
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: No.

Dove Beauty Care Body Wash Cream Oil
Thoughts:  I've been trying to use up my large collection of non-CF shower gels and moisturisers that I've collected over the years and I've definitely made a good dent in it!  This came in a set of two where the other one was Silk Glow and it was lovely however this one was nowhere near as nice.
Cruelty-free?: No.
Repurchase?: No.


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

I discovered The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil on Katie's blog and really wanted to try it as she said it was approved by Caroline Hirons - excellent! - and she was using it as a pre-cleanse, or first step in a double cleanse, to remove make up which is just what I had been looking for.  Shortly after I went onto The Body Shop's website and as usual, they were having a sale so I picked up the cleansing oil for £6.50 instead of the full price of £10 which is for 200ml.

I've been using this almost every night to remove my make up, it even works brilliantly on eye make up.  I have been looking for my 'Holy Grail' eye make up remover for a while now and I think I've found it, even better that it's a normal cleanser so you don't need a separate product!

It has a handy pump on the top which makes it easy to dispense.  I use one pump and rub it over my entire face and eyes - particularly into eyelashes to remove mascara.  If I am feeling a bit lazy and not going to cleanse again afterwards then I will rinse with water - it emulsifies with water unlike a plain oil - and remove the excess with a damp flannel, then finish with toner and moisturiser.  I've had this for about a month now using it most days and I've still got loads left, I would definitely buy this again.

My only real complaint with this product is that the pump is a bit strong and if I don't cup my hand around it it will end up halfway across the bathroom!


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

NOTD: All Hail The Queen

If you remember back to my recent wishlist post I said I would like another Butter London nail varnish to add to my lonely little Disco Biscuit, so the next time I was in Boots I picked up All Hail The Queen!  After quickly swatching it on my finger I was quite disappointed, it was so sheer and streaky, so it put me off trying it properly for a while.  However when I finally did I was quite pleased with how it turned out, after 3 coats that is!  You could probably get away with 2 coats if you are very careful to get them even.  All Hail The Queen is a neutral brown with a slight scattered holo through it which is really pretty.  It is quite similar to China Glaze Fast Track which you can see here which is lighter with gold shimmer instead.


Monday, 11 November 2013

The Vegan Kind Box #1

[via with permission]
As soon as I heard about The Vegan Kind box being launched, I knew I had to sign up!  Even though I am not vegan - more a fussy pescatarian - but the idea of getting a box full of 100% cruelty free items really appealed to me.  I always said, if someone made a cruelty free beauty box I would sign up in a heartbeat so although this is more a lifestyle box, it's good to know if any beauty items are included they will be vegan and cruelty free.  Other than the fact it sounded great, I also found out it was started by one of my Scottish blogger friends Karris, so I wanted to support her in her amazing venture.

My box arrived on Monday which was a pretty quick delivery but I live relatively close to her in comparison to the rest of the UK so that could have been a factor.  Luckily my dad was in to get it off the postman - this bad boy would definitely not fit through your letter box!  The box is enormous compared to any other monthly boxed I've seen!

Inside, at the top there were a few sheets of paper including a lovely little welcome newsletter introducing themselves, a list of all the samples and a recipe card.  Every month there will be a recipe card in the box and on month 3 you get a binder to store them in - so cute!!  Also, since the box is based around helping animals, each month 10p from every box will be donated to a different animal charity which I think is such a lovely gesture.  Then underneath are all the goodies:

  1. Crystal Spring 50g Salt of the Earth Travel Deodorant (unisex) This is applied to damp skin and leaves a thin layer of natural mineral salts on the skin which prevent the formation of body odour.  Personally I prefer antiperspirant rather than deodorant but I am intrigued to try this, perhaps keep it for less busy days though! link
  2. Clearspring Organic Miso Bouillion Paste - Concentrated Vegetable Stock You probably would associate miso with Japanese food but this can be used in the place of any other stock in soups and stews.  I've been making a lot of soups recently so I'm looking forward to trying this out instead of my usual Knorr cubes! link
  3. Living Naturally Soapnut Sample Bag This is probably one of my favourite items from the box simply because of how bizarre they sound!  Soapnut shells can be used instead of detergent in your washing machine even though they are a fruit, what?!  They can be used a few times before being composted and they are 100% natural with no chemicals in them at all.  They are also naturally conditioning so you don't need to use fabric softener either.  I am quite excited to try them actually - how sad am I?? link
  4. Goody Good Stuff Fizzy Sweets 25g One thing I did miss when I stopped eating gelatine (in sweets, not raw... gross) was jelly sweeties!  I can get some from Tesco but I'm quite far away from one and there's only a couple of flavours I like, they're also only suitable vegetarians not vegans.  Needless to say, these did not last long!  They are very sour, and very fizzy!  I didn't love the flavour but only cos I'm not a massive fan of cherry but other than that they were comparable to Haribo!  I'll definitely be looking out for these and hopefully try different flavours, as they're available in places I have nearby like Asda and Waitrose. link
  5. The Vegg 1.56oz This is more for the actual vegans as it's an egg yolk replacer, however I do plan on trying the french toast recipe on the front - I'll need to buy soya milk to make it with first haha!  It's great to know these products are out there. link
  6. QI Tea Samples Unfortunately I don't drink tea so I've passed these onto my parents to try! link
  7. Koolbadges This was added in as a little bonus which is really cute!  Koolbadges is ran by a vegan married couple who are based in England.  They hand make all their badges and source everything from the UK to keep environmental impact to a minimum, and recycle everything where possible.  They supply badges worldwide with 6000 designs to choose from! link
So there you have it!  I won't be doing this for every single month as I know myself how tedious the beauty box type posts can be after a while... but I wanted to share The Vegan Kind's first box with you.  If you're interested in signing up the link to their website is here, and it costs £10 plus £2.99 P&P.


Friday, 8 November 2013

WoodWick Trilogy Candle

[via with permission]
I first saw these mentioned in one of Fleur De Force's monthly favourites videos and loved the sound of them so one was immediately added to my birthday list!  

Woodwick, as the name suggests, are different from other candles in that they have a wooden wick rather than the normal stringy ones.  Also when lit the wick gives off a pleasant crackling noise which  I love!  It's so soothing and sounds just like you've got a lovely wood fire burning away in the fireplace.  I've also noticed that when you blow it out it doesn't have that acrid burning smell that you often get - Yankee, I'm looking at you!

The candle I got is a 10oz Trilogy in Winter Forest which combines Enchanted Evergreen, Velvet Woods and Frasier Fir fragrances.  I wanted some sort of Christmassy scent but as I really dislike cinnamon I went for this one which smells just like a real tree which is what we always get!  The morning after burning it I can come into the living room and still smell it subtly lingering in the air, lovely!

Unfortunately I was so excited to burn it when I first got it I didn't take a photo - hence the stock photo - but below are some photos of it in action.  I think another great feature of the candle which isn't shown in the top photo, is that it comes with a smart wooden lid which then doubles as a mat to protect the surface you're burning it on - such a good idea!

In order to get an even burn you need to have it lit for at least 3 hours to let the wax pool reach the side of the jar to stop it from burrowing down unevenly.  Also you must break off the burnt section of the wick before relighting.

The candles are available here: the 10oz ones are £15.99, and you can also get a bigger 22oz one for £22.99.  They also do lots of other home fragrance products including candles called Ribbonwick which I am very intrigued by!

I would definitely buy another one of of these, I just wish I had somewhere local which stocked them so I could smell before buying as they aren't cheap and it would suck to buy one only to find out you don't like it!


Monday, 28 October 2013

The Q Collection for Women: Balance & Radiance

Q are a fine fragrance body spray specialising in high-end, high-quality products at a fantastic high street prices.  The idea behind it is to allow women to change their fragrance regularly without breaking the bank.  They come in at a bargainous £2.29 and are available at Tesco, Sainsbury's and Boots nationwide.

There are currently 3 fragrances for women available which are Awe, Balance and Radiance.  I was kindly offered the chance to try 2 of these and I picked Balance and Radiance.

Balance is described as being for those looking for a more fruity fragrance which is bright and flirtatious, opening with radiant bergamot and pear blossom, the romantic heart is conveyed with pink peony, stargazer rose, luminous orchid, on a sensual base of forbidden woods and creme de musk.

Whereas Radiance is a modern and sophisticated floral fragrance with top notes of champaka flower, mandarin and ivy, which leads into a heart of rose, violet and exotic orchid.  The base consists of wild plum and blackberry musk.

I think these are great idea as more grown up alternative to body sprays.  They would be perfect for keeping in your handbag for a quick freshen up on the go.  I know a lot of people carry their perfumes around with them but personally would never do that, I am far too clumsy and could see myself smashing the bottle somehow!  They - body sprays in general - definitely don't last as long as perfume but probably because you're not applying directly the skin, it's just more of a mist but when you can shove it in your bag I don't think this is too much of an issue.  I don't think they would ever replace perfume but they are handy for on the go and days when you don't want to wear a more expensive fragrance.

My favourite of the two is Radiance and to give you an idea of what sort of scents I like, the fragrances I have on the go at the moment are: The Body Shop White Musk, LGNS London Diamonds and Roses, Victoria's Secret Aqua Kiss and Jil Sander Sport. 

The third one which I haven't tried as I'm not a huge citrus fan is Awe, with its fresh aroma and top notes of bergamot and Sicilian lemon, followed by a green tea accord.  This light spray boasts freesia bouquet and a rich smooth background of cedarwood, amber and musk.

Do you ever use body sprays?


Sunday, 27 October 2013

NOTD: Peach Sherbet

Say hello to Peach Sherbet from Models Own.  It's probably not one I would have bought myself -  this one of the colours I won but I just picked it as I don't have many nudes and they are handy to have.  At first I wasn't too sure about it as it's a bit orangey against my skin tone to be a nice nude but if you set that thought aside and just look at it for the colour itself it is quite pretty and unusual.  It also has a nice coverage and finish, this is 2 coats without top coat as I had left it at my friend's!  I think Models Own are definitely my favourite brand of nail varnish, I don't think I've found one yet which has disappointed!


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Empties #12

I haven't done an empties post in a good few weeks actually, but here we are again!  I kind of stopped blogging for a while as I was so tired after work or just too busy - I actually lost my memory card which must be somewhere in my house but luckily I found a wee 1GB one lying around so that'll keep me going! 

Avon Solutions Plus Pure Pore-Fection
Thoughts: This dried my skin out so badly.  I was trying to finish it so I was just using it but in the end I had to stop when I realised how badly it was drying out my face.  It's full of SLS, one of the highest ingredients, horrible stuff!
Cruelty-free?: No.
Repurchase?: No.

Virgin Vie Pretty Calm Shower Gel
Thoughts: I got this in a set with the body lotion as a Christmas presents.  It smells quite nice, kinda manly in a way haha.
Cruelty-free?: No.
Repurchase?: No.

The Body Shop Camomile Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover
Thoughts: This works pretty well actually, it's a thin water-like liquid, I found that if you use too much it can sting the eyes.  They seem to have rebranded it so I'm not sure if it's exactly the same or not, maybe less stingy now!  £8/250ml here.
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: Possibly, but still on a quest for the bestest one!! ;)

Bourjois Volume Glamour
Thoughts: I bought this as I couldn't find my favourite spinny one!  It is a very average mascara to be honest, and I had to buy another different one this time as spinny one still wasn't shelved :( £7.99 here.
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: No.

Lush Honey I Washed The Kids Soap (not pictured)
Thoughts: I got this ages ago and had kind of put off using it as I'm not a huge fan of honey but it's actually not too strong and is just more of a generally warm, sweet scent which was generally quite pleasant.  £3.40/100g here.
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: Probably but there are so many others I want to try first!!


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Collection: Neon Nail Varnishes

Summer might well be over but who says you need to start wearing darker colours on your nails?!  I'm not really one for following seasonal nail colour trends, especially as I don't like having my nails very dark.  I will maybe have a couple of shades which would be particularly suited to that season but other than that I just go for whatever I feel like at the time.

Over the past year I have become a big neon fan and built up quite a nice wee collection!  I'll go through the colours I've got and add in any comments and full posts if available.

From left to right:

Nina Ultra Pro in Punki Pink - probably not CF.
Models Own Bubblegum - loved this in the summer!
Models Own Hedonist - at first I wasn't sure about this colour but saw it on someone's nails and loved it!
China Glaze Orange Knockout - I found the China Glaze ones didn't have as nice a finish as Models Own ones.
Models Own Beach Party - the brush came off so they sent me a new one which is actually darker, how odd!  My dad fixed the brush for me so now I have two...  I wonder if they look different colours on the nail?
Models Own Luis Lemon - love this, but haven't actually worn it yet...
China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise - An unusual neon, you don't often see turquoise.

Neons are notoriously difficult to try photograph but I've tried my best!  Swatched in the same order as above.

What are your favourite neon polishes?


Monday, 7 October 2013

Autumn Tag

For Autumn, what is your...

1.  Favourite thing about it? 
Jumpers, boots and everything turning gorgeous orange and yellow colours!

2.  Favourite drink?
Costa Honeycomb Hot Chocolate... oh god, it's so good!  Not sure when it's coming back but I really hope it's soon!

3.  Favourite scent/candle?
 At the moment I don't really have one but I'm hoping to get a WoodWick candle for my birthday which is sort of forest-y scented which I think sounds really good!

4.  Best lipstick?
 As always berry colours will be in for Autumn so maybe Topshop Inhibition?

5.  Go to moisturiser?
I don't change skincare in the colder months even though my skin does dry out I think I just use more moisturiser!  I am currently using Liz Earle for the day and Buddha Beauty for nighttime.

6.  Go to colours for the eyes?
Probably gold and bronze tones, hello Naked palettes! 

7.  Favourite music or band/singer to listen to?
I don't really listen to music... awkward....

8.  Favourite outfit to wear (i.e. boots & a scarf combo)?
Jeans, jumper and boots!  I also got myself a nice tartan scarf this year so I'm looking forward to wearing that!

9.  Autumn treat?
Probably a new coat or boots, or both? :O

10.  Favourite place to be?
Chillin' on the sofa with my big cosy dressing gown on watching Netflix - Oh I lead such an exciting life!

I was tagged by Char and the original post is by Makeup-Pixi3 so you can check out their answers by following the links!  If anyone else has done it please link it below and I'll have a read :)


Sunday, 6 October 2013

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Shampoo & Conditioner

I have a lot of hair, however the hair itself is fine and it is weighed down as there is so much.  I was offered the chance to try some John Frieda products and after describing my hair to the PR, I was sent items from the Luxurious Volume collection, and also a Full Repair Deep Conditioner.

Unfortunately I didn't get on very well with the shampoo and after a few weeks I just had to stop using it and gave it to my mum!  I haven't used shampoo with SLS in it for about a year now and I think going back to it has made me realise why it should be avoided!  I've mentioned before about a dry patch on my head - I think it might be psoriasis - which has been okay recently but since using that shampoo it got sooo much worse!  Then as soon as I went back to my SLS free shampoo it pretty much cleared up - crazy!

Aside from that unfortunate occurrence, I don't think it it made my hair particularly voluminous at the roots, perhaps around the ends there was a bit more body.  My mum commented that my hair was looking shinier though!

I also wasn't very keen on the smell, it was quite chemically and reminded me of the smell of hair dye!   Another weird negative is that (this is probably going to sound ridiculous and might just be me but I thought it's worth mentioning!) the shampoo and conditioner bottles looks exactly same except for their respective word written on the back so when I was using them in the shower I would have to bend right down and pick them up to see which was which as I don't have very good eyesight so couldn't see for further away haha!  It's such a minor issue but it annoyed me a little bit!  Sorry John Frieda, I wish I had more positives for you!  The shampoo and conditioner are £8.99 each (eek!) on the Boots website.

On the contrary I actually really liked the Full Repair Deep Conditioner.  It smells amazing and made my hair feel really soft and silky.  It actually smells a lot like the LGNs London Roses & Diamonds perfume I have oddly enough.  I brush my hair before washing it then go to sleep with it wet (so classy!) and when I brush it in the morning after using this there are no tugs, pretty impressive for my hair!!  This is definitely something I would buy again.  The deep conditioner is £6.99 on the Boots website.

I have a few other items to review but I want to get more use out of them first as they are more styling products and if you know me at all you'll know I don't often actually do anything to my hair other giving it the occasional brush!  So you can keep an eye out for that in the next few weeks.


Thursday, 3 October 2013

MUA Pro-Base Conceal & Brighten

I've been using this for a good few months now and I've actually really been enjoying it!  I bought it on a whim when my last concealer was running out and as it was not CF I couldn't repurchase.  It was only £3.50 from Superdrug so I figured if it was rubbish it wouldn't matter too much.  The shade I purchased is Porcelain.

It doesn't actually specify what each one is used for but I use the left hand side one for under my eyes; the middle one for any blemishes or redness; and the right hand side one I steer well clear of!  The LHS one is great as it has a peachy tone which helps cover dark circles, it's almost exactly the same colour and consistency of Mac NW20 Studio Finish Concealer which is what I was using before.  The middle one is pretty much the same colour as my skin which is incredibly lucky!  Onto the last one... apparently this is a highlighter?!  You can see the glittery pieces reflecting in the photo but it's just so dark, why would you use a highlighter darker than your skin tone, doesn't that defeat the purpose haha?  The only way I've been able to use it is as a cream blush but even then I'm not keen on it.  However when it's £3.50 for a huge 11g of product I am quite happy to sacrifice one third!

I find that it seems to last quite well and doesn't crease under my eyes which is somewhat miraculous!  I set it with Benefit Powderflage (not CF and discontinued I believe?) and for the rest of my face I just use whatever powder I'm using - currently ELF Translucent Matte Powder.

I am still on the look out for another concealer as the the ingredients in this aren't great - contains parabens.  However if I am stuck it's something I know works for me and I can fall back on it.

Any cruelty free concealer recommendations?


Monday, 23 September 2013

Payday Wishlist!

If you follow me on Twitter (@LooweezBx) you might know that at the start of September I managed to get myself a full time job!  It's just in retail which isn't where I want to build my career however for the next year or so it'll keep money coming in until I can hopefully find something relevant to my degree... 

So to celebrate my first full time wage coming in I will definitely be going shopping!  Here are a few of the things I want to buy next month.

  1. Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser I finished my Neal's Yard Cleanser a few weeks ago so I'm looking for a new 'luxury' cleanser to use on a daily basis.  I do still have some No7 ones I'm trying to use up but I don't enjoy using them and it's just a chore!
  2. River Island Jacquard Skinny Trousers I briefly saw these in the shop but then at a course I went on for work, one of the women was wearing them and they looked great!  As they're black it means I can wear them for work as well if I wanted to.
  3. Konjac Sponge Puff with French Green Clay These just look so intriguing! You can use it alone with some water and it exfoliates and cleanses the skin, you can also use it on your body.
  4. Butter London All Hail The Queen I don't specifically want this shade but now that they're available in Boots I really just want to add another one (or more) to my collection of one...  I'll need to get googling swatches and decide!
  5. Apple iPad Mini 32GB I'm kind of cheating with this one... It's my birthday soon I think I'll go halfers with my parents for my present and get one of these!  I do have a very basic tablet but I just feel like I'm missing out haha!  I think I'd probably get the mini as the big one is maybe a bit too big, and also the mini is cheaper which is always helpful!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Nail Varnish Challenge #19

This is Wimpole Street from Nails Inc which seems to have been discontinued :( It's a deep, metallic purple colour.  Again, not something I would normally wear as it's quite dark but I do quite like it and it's perfect for Autumn!  I think I'll hold onto this one!  As you can see there's some tip wear but I took the photo about 36 hours after painting them so it had lasted quite well, and it's still looking pretty good considering how bad my nails usually are.


Monday, 16 September 2013

Tips for Going Cruelty Free

I've been cruelty free for the past few years now so I thought I would compile a little list of tips for anyone thinking of/going cruelty free.
  • Start by having a big clear out of all your make up.  I like to try and use up and non-CF items and include them in my daily make up routine: powders, blushers etc.  Set yourself a challenge not to buy a new product until that one is finished/nearly finished.
  • You don't need to bin all your 'bad' products.  I still have quite a few!  Things like blushers and eyeshadows can last for years so there's no point wasting them.  If you really want rid of them then have a blog sale or pass them onto friends.
  • Don't feel guilty if you buy something then realise it's not CF.  It's so easily done, especially at the start.  When I started going CF I would quite often just buy something even though I wasn't sure and do the research afterwards, not ideal but it meant I could try the thing I wanted, and I'd know whether I could repurchase or not.
  • Keep a list of companies who you've found to be cruelty free.
  • Use the Leaping Bunny website to look for brands which are definitely CF.
  • PETA Approved brands are not necessarily cruelty free, they don't do any proper checks into the companies suppliers etc.
  • Email companies and ask them about their policies, it can be really confusing to start with but if you are struggling to understand them then it's probably best to stay clear!
  • If a company sells in mainland China, they are NOT cruelty free.  Hong Kong have different rules I believe but I'm not 100% sure.

Have you got any tips for being or going cruelty free?


Thursday, 12 September 2013

Hamsa Necklace

I bought this cute little Hamsa necklace a few weeks ago from the lovely Karris via eBay.  I'm not a huge wearer of jewellery but I've really enjoyed wearing this most days.  The Hamsa is a sign of luck and protection dating back from ancient times predating Islam and Christianity.  Hamsa means 'five' in Arabic and refers to the number of digits on the hand - notice there are 3 fingers and 2 thumbs!  

They were available with turquoise or cream stones but unfortunately Karris has sold out but this is the link anyway in case she does restock at some point.  Such a bargain!  I think it's just a really pretty and delicate addition to an outfit when you're not wanting anything too big or OTT.  I like how it also has an ancient meaning behind it too.


Monday, 9 September 2013

Nail Varnish Challenge #18

I'm nearly finished my Nail Varnish Challenge!  There's only about 3 or 4 left in my box, yay!  This is The Serpentine from Nails Inc which described as a "muted navy slate" on their website, which I think is a perfect description.  Although this is isn't a colour I'd normally wear - it's a bit dark - I do quite like it.  However I found it shrunk quite a lot with Seche Vite and chipped even more quickly than normal on my nails!  Despite this unfortunate occurrence, I think I'll hold onto this one, I do have one other navy but it's more shimmery so this is a bit different.


Friday, 6 September 2013

Summer Wedding

On the 20th July one of my close friends got married!  I absolutely love weddings and was so excited for it.  I hadn't actually started looking for a dress yet when I came across this one - I just saw it in work one day and fell in love!  When I first saw it I wasn't sure if it was actually nice or if I was just being crazy, but after seeing it a few times I knew I had to get it.  I first saw it on a Thursday and by the Saturday the 8 had sold out!  I tried on the 10 (which was enormous, usually it would be fine but oh god, it drowned me!) just to see if I liked how it looked on me before starting to search for it.  I had said the the Coast manager that I was wanting it and to let me know if anything came in, then a couple of weeks later the she came over to let me know one 8 had just became available online, so I just bought it there and then (I was still working, shh!).  

My next concern was that it would be too big as well, some Coast dresses come in a size 6 but this one didn't, and I've got a size 8 in a different style which is a tiny bit big - it's strapless so not much to hold it up!  However when it arrived it fitted, albeit a bit tight round the middle (what?!), so I was delighted!  

Usually I get wedding guest dresses in the sale - cheap, yes - so it was a bit of a shock for me having to pay full price but it was definitely worth it!  It was also a bargain (considering it's Coast!) at only £95, and then I got staff discount.

The final issue was what to wear with it!  You can't see it too much but there's black tubing around the neck and arms which was annoying...  It was quite good in the end as the only thing I had to buy accessories wise were the shoes which were only about £16 from New Look, everything else I already owned.  It was so hot that day as well, so glad I didn't wear a blazer or something!

I kept my make up very simple with neutrals and then liquid liner, and used a pinky/nude lipstick.  For my hair, I just tonged it the night before and went over any straighter bits in the morning, then pinned the front sections back.

Dress - Coast
Pashmina - Debenhams
Bag - ASOS
Shoes - New Look

The beautiful bride and her husband!

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