Saturday, 22 August 2015

Shopping My Stash [Empties]

I'm sure that just like me you all have a bunch of products which kind of just sit there waiting to be used right? I'm a self confessed lip balm junkie and over the past year or so I have made little collections of these things. In particular I seemed to have more lotions and lip balms than anything else, so I set a task for myself recently to use up some of my products before allowing myself to buy anything new.  

Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter / I cheated a bit here, I've included this even though I didn't finish it. The more I used this product, the more I realised I just wasn't a fan of it (way too oily for my liking) and I really don't like how it smells. It had been sitting in my stash for so long it had turned a really pale yellow colour and so I decided to just get rid of it.

S&G No Clogs Allowed Face Mask / This is a self-heating face mask from Soap and Glory which I wasn't too crazy about either. I didn't see any improvements in my skin after using it and so I won't be repurchasing.

Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue lotion / This is the hand lotion that corresponds to their Light Blue perfume and I absolutely love the smell as well as the way this lotion sinks into your skin. I did notice towards the end of the tube though that is has plenty of parabens listed in the ingredients, so as much as I love it, I'm not in any hurry to get another one (I'm slowly trying to cut down on the amount of products I use that contain parabens).

Caudalie lip balms / Whenever I visit France, I always pick up one of these lip balms because I just love them. They're under 4 euros each but feel like the most luxurious balm I have ever used. Although I'm trying to cut down my collection, I already have two more of these sitting in their place ;)

You can read more on what I think about Lemony Flutter, No Clogs Allowed and the Caudalie lip balms by clicking the links.
What are the types of products that you seem to collect or need to whittle down?

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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Garnier Ultimate Blends: The Sleek Restorer

Hey! I recently have been trying out a bunch of the new(ish) Garnier Ultimate Blends* hair care range. I got the 'Sleek Restorer' set which is aimed at dry, fizzy hair but there are other a few other sets for different hair types. My set includes a shampoo, conditioner, hair oil and 1 minute treatment but I know some of the other sets include a dry shampoo too.

My by far favourite product from the line is the shampoo. The cocoa butter scent (which runs throughout the line) smells absolutely amazing and I can't actually think of another product that I have recently used which has made my hair as soft and this does. I had high hopes for it since it aims to give you sleeker, softer hair but it completely surpassed my expectations. The conditioner is nice enough too, especially if you are someone who like to always use one but I find I get good enough results from the shampoo alone.

Next is the 1 minute treatment which is exactly what it says it is; put it on your hair, leave for 1 minute and then rinse. Honestly, I could do without this from the range. I don't feel it does anything more for my hair than the shampoo or conditioner does. My hair felt no softer or sleeker than when I use the shampoo alone and this just feels like an extra step when I'm in the shower.

Lastly is the hair oil. I'm usually pretty cautious with hair oils because I'm scared they will leave my hair looking greasy but I love that this is a multi-purpose product and also acts as protection against humidity and a heat protectant. I have used this a couple of times before I straighten my hair, using just a teeny amount each time and I did feel as though my hair stayed smoother and straighter longer than it normally would. It also shares the amazing cocoa butter scent. It also suggests using it as a pre-wash treatment which is what I plan do to next!

If you try anything from this ranger, I would definitely recommend the shampoo over anything else.
Have you tried anything from the Ultimate Blends range?

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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Bikini Series 2015 - Week 1 Roundup

I have decided to take part in the Tone It Up Bikini Series again this year and thought I would weekly review my experience with it this time around. If you're not sure what the Bikini Series is, pop over to the Tone It Up website, have a little read and if you like, sign up and join in on it with me!

I'm not following the nutrition plan but I've still been stocking up on lots of fruits, veggies and greens to keep on track throughout the week. I'm pretty sure I would find it hard to stick to the plan - I'm not really keen on the idea of having each meal set out for me because I've never really planned my meals in advance in this way and tend to decide what I want to eat right before I make it. I'm also a very picky eater. I still plan to try some of the TIU recipes though and have started picking up random ingredients for them here and there. I've always been buying things I have never tried before like chia seeds, flaxseed and coconut oil..

Although not on the 8 week nutrition plan, I have decided to try out one 'TIU approved' recipe each week. This first week's recipe was for the chocolate peanut butter cookies (click here for the recipe). These are made with just maple syrup (or honey), peanut butter, chocolate chunks, an egg, almond extract and baking powder. If they turned out well I thought they would be perfect for when I needed something sweet. My mixture was incredibly runny, not at all like what you'd expect a cookie dough texture to be so I didn't hold out much hope for them. I was surprised though because they turned out really well. I would never think to put almond extract in something like this but I love the little hint of almond it gives and they're just sweet enough, they're actually really very yummy!

What I love most about the TIU Bikini Series is the community. When I'm feeling a little less motivated to get up and work out or struggling to make healthy food choices, I just have to go over to Instagram, see everyone else doing it and it picks me right back up to stay on track. During this first week of the series I've managed to stick to what has been scheduled really well and have been really enjoying the workouts and I'm currently at 14 miles of my 100 by summer.

If you are doing the Bikini Series this year too and post your check ins on Instagram, please follow me and let me know down below so that I can follow you back! I'd love to see how you've been doing. I'd also love to know how many miles you have ticked off so far?

I hope you have all had an amazing first week!

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Friday, 3 April 2015

Friday Favourites!

Happy Friday! I haven't done a Friday Favourites in quite some time even though there have been lots of products that I have been really loving lately, so I thought I would share a few of them today.

I've been wanting to try out The Body Shop scrubs for the longest time now but they are particularly pricey (£13!) and I just haven't been able to justify spending the money. For my birthday last year though, my cousin gave me the mango gift set which included a body scrub along with a tub of mango body butter. This scrub has a pretty thick consistency (do they still sell them like this? Newer ones I have had are much runnier) and is full of lovely gritty, scrubby bits. I'm fussy when it comes to a scrub; I want it to stay gritty and not melt off into the water right away so I can really get a good scrub out of it and this one does just that. It has an almost artificial smell to me but it smells good none the less and although I really enjoyed using this but I still wouldn't fork out the full price. 

I can not believe I haven't already included this in a FF, I had to go back and check to make sure but it doesn't look like I have. I LOVE this stuff. I love how it smells, I love how it lathers and I love how it makes my hair feel. It's a bit pricey at £12.95 a tub but I just use it a couple times a week to really give my hair a deep clean and one tub lasts a decently long time. Does it make my hair 'big'? Eh, I don't really notice a big enough different to say that it does but as a general clarifying shampoo, it's amazing. The smell also transfers onto your hair really well and after I've used this, I just want to keep sniffing it! 

I've recently started using a few of the products from the Baylis & Harding Beauticology range, including this Marshmallow Frosting body butter. It smells to me like cherry yoghurts which I actually quite like but what impressed me the most about this body butter was it's drying time. It dries on your skin super quickly and doesn't leave it feeling greasy at all. Some of their products are also paraben free which has drawn me to the brand even more (although, check before you buy as it seems not all of their products are!)

Finally is Ultraviolet Bubblebar from Lush. I really like the colours of this one but the smell of this bubblebar is just amazing. The violet scent is really strong and I can't get enough of it. I've since bought a couple more of these because they are part of the Mother's Day collection so I know they won't be around for much longer! 

What products have you been enjoying recently?
I hope you all have a lovely Easter!

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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Toners (Garnier V Neutrogena)

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Whenever Boots have their 3 for 2 sale I tend to stock up on the products that I use the most; things like shampoo, face wash, face powder and toner etc so I don't ever really run out of those things. Recently though, I did run out of my favourite Neutrogena Toner and so I had to pick one up. I couldn't find my it but since I absolutely love the Garnier Pure Active face wash I decided to pick up the corresponding toner which claims to help your skin feel clean and purified as well as fade marks and fight spots.

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I don't normally like to switch up a product once I have found one that I like and that I feel works well for me but I expected to really like this new toner. It smells really nice and I feel like it does what you would expect from a toner but it then leaves my face feeling incredibly oily and greasy for a very long time after I used it. My skin also looked oily which isn't something I want to be left with at all, especially right after I have cleaned my face! I decided I would try to finish the bottle as not to waste it but I just can't stand how it leaves my skin feeling and can't bring myself to use it again.

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So now I'm back to my favourite Neutrogena one which doesn't leave my skin feeling gross/oily but instead leaves it feeling refreshed and clean. On the nights I am feeling lazy, I sometimes use this to remove my makeup and on those occasions I like to use this twice to be sure I'm removing as much as I can but whenever I do, this toner burns. like. hell. Other than that though, this is and will remain my favourite!

Have you used this toner? Did you find the same problems with it that I did? What is your favourite toner to use?

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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Binky London

I've been a pretty big Made In Chelsea fan over the years and when I heard Binky had released her own range of make up products, I was pretty excited to try a few of them out. 

L-R: Pout / Bloom

I chose two of the lipsticks in Pout and Bloom (although unfortunately, as you can see, Bloom is a little damaged) which are priced at £2.95* each. They're both soft, apply nicely and have a lot of pigmentation to them. Bloom has a little shimmer to it, so my favourite is definitely Pout; which is a more pinkish nude colour.

I was really excited to try out the mascara (priced again at £2.95*). The wand comes with a big brush, fiber bristles and the mascara has a rather wet formula. I personally like very natural looking, fluttery eye lashes and this is absolutely perfect to get that effect. You need to work with it a bit to build it up if you like thicker lashes but I really liked how this left mine looking. 

I also got two polishes in Cobalt and Purple. They are again £2.95* (although not everything in the Binky range is this price) and come with the wide brushes which I tend to really like on polish applicators. They are a pretty thick formula and both of these polishes are super opaque and I was really impressed with how they applied. Cobalt is an absolutely gorgeous bright pop of blue on your nails and will be perfect for summer! I'd be interested in trying out some other polishes in the range to see if they are all as good as these two.

The range is super affordable and I was really impressed with the packaging, which puts me in mind of the Rimmel London packaging and Models Own polish bottles. I love that she has also included the little flag too!

Have you tried anything from Binky London? 
You can check out more of the range on the Binky London website.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Lush Shampoo Bars

A shampoo bar was one of the first items I ever bought from Lush (Seanik I believe). At the time I wasn't really too fussed by it but I recently decided to try the bars again and now I have a little collection of three!

New - This cinnamon and clove scented bar (which is what drew me to it - it smells amazing) aims to promote healthy hair by stimulating your scalp and boosting blood flow to the hair follicle.  It lathers up really nicely and my hair always feels clean after I've used it. Unfortunately though, the smell doesn't linger for very long in my hair which I wish it did.

Squeaky Green - With more of a herbal scent to it this one contains 'invigorating' cleansing herbs and essential oils to again stimulate your scalp and promote hair growth. I find the dried herbs in this one, that you can see in the picture, really snag and pull on my hair when I'm using it which is a bit annoying. I'm hoping they might soften over time/use.

Lullaby - This one has a really strong lavender scent, which I love but it again doesn't seem to transfer onto my hair. I really wish they did because these bars all have lovely scents. Lullaby also lathers nicely and it seemed to rinse out of my hair much easier than the other two.

You can use the bars by rubbing them in your hands first or just straight onto wet hair, which is what I do. Lush claim that they should last between 60-80 washes. I have found that after quite a few uses they haven't really changed much in size but I haven't completely finished one yet so I can't really comment on that! I don't really see much difference between the three (besides smell of course) and I don't feel they give my hair the same softness that a regular shampoo does but I do really like them. 

Have you tried any of the Lush shampoo bars?

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Dry Shampoo!

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I'm not the biggest user of dry shampoo but on the days that I'm due to wash my hair and decide to pop out somewhere, it becomes a life saver.

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I was so excited to try the Herbal Essences Naked 0% range when it first came out and the dry shampoo was one of the items I picked up. This one has an ok smell (I neither love or hate it) but I do love that this dry shampoo doesn't leave any kind of white power in your hair but that is all I love about it. It just doesn't seem to do anything; my hair didn't feel or look cleaner. It felt knotty and to be honest, I wish I had just left my hair how it was before. 

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I've been using Batiste for years now and while it does leave the white power in your hair (which I find usually just rubs in pretty well) it does what you want it to do. I'm not crazy about the smell of any of the Batiste dry shampoos but it really is one of the best at absorbing the oils in your hair and making it look cleaner!

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This Aussie dry shampoo is the best smelling out of the three and like the Herbal Essences one doesn't leave much white residue behind in your hair and it makes your hair feel cleaner and fresh. I still prefer the Batiste dry shampoo over this one because I feel it works slightly better but this is definitely close second!

What are you favourite dry shampoos?

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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Sally Hansen No More Mistakes Manicure Clean-Up Pen

Even after years of practice I can still be pretty useless at painting my nails neatly so when I saw this Sally Hansen Manicure Clean Up Pen I thought it would be perfect for me. It works by just erasing the polish where ever you rub it and comes with two extra tips. So, after I have painted my nails I grabbed it to clean them up and.. Nothing. Id did absolutely nothing because it was completely dried out. The package was sealed and the pen was shut so I have no idea what happened. I even tried dipping the tips into nail polish remover but it didn't work.

I thought I would make this post so that if you were thinking of buying this, to tell you to be aware that it might be dried out like mine was. It's a huge shame because I feel like if this worked, it could have been a very useful tool to have to help painting my nails easier.

What do you use to clean up yours nails? If you use a brush I would love to know which one you use because I can't seem to find one that I like to use for this purpose!

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Scrub Series: Soap and Glory's Breakfast Scrub

Hey you lovely lot! Today's Scrub is yet another Soap and Glory one (I just love them) in the form of Breakfast Scrub. If you've used this before or even if you've just taken a sniff of it in store then you know it's maple scent smells amazing. Really amazing. Like you want to eat it amazing. 

It's a nice gritty scrub that doesn't dissolve and disappear in the water quickly because it's so super thick. It leaves your skin nicely buffed and feeling smooth. I know it's way too think to come in a tube but I still wish it did - I'm just not a fan of scrubs that come in a tub like this.

At £8 it's at the same price point as most of Soap and Glory's Scrubs which to me always feels like a bit of a splurge but for the most part, they are nearly always worth it (this one included) and I will repurchase them over and over again!

Have you used Breakfast Scrub? Did you like it as much as I do?
Some previous scrubs:
Boots Mango Sugar Scrub
Soap and Glory Pulp Friction

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