Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Body Shop Cleansing Oil

Cleansing oils have always intrigued me but never enough to try one for myself. The opportunity rose to grab this at a fraction of the price - you know The Body Shop's 40% off flash sales? Yep, it got me. 
Removing makeup with a cleanser has never appealed to me, I don't find they break down makeup very well therefore micellar waters, or the like, have always been my remover of choice. Makeup removal is made effortlessly simple when using a cleansing oil. They make complete sense now I have used one. Have you tried one?
Simply dispense 2-3 drops of the oil into the palm of your hand, rub gently together and slather onto dry skin. Gently rubbing over the eyes and eyelashes ensures complete removal of even the most stubborn waterproof mascara. Using a damp warm flannel softly wipe away the makeup mess on your face. There is no oily residue left on the skin, nor the tight or drying feeling you get when using other makeup removers. The camomile ingredient helps to soothe your skin and makes it perfect for even the most sensitive types. 

I could not recommend this product enough. I mostly use the oil to remove a full face of make-up as it breaks down so easily however, you can use it on a daily basis. 

What is your favourite product from The Body Shop?

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Soap & Glory Bright Here Bright Now

I love Soap & Glory - their body care is something I've used for a long time and always find myself recommending it when someone is in search of a good body scrub or moisturiser. In the last year or so I've even dabbled in their makeup, I particularly love both the Glow All Out highlighter and Solar Powder bronzer. Something I never would have thought to look at Soap & Glory for is skincare. But I'm glad I started with this.

The Bright Here Bright Now Instant Radiance Energy Boost Balm (whopper of a name) is a brightening moisturising balm that smooths over the skin, making it radiant and illuminating. Although it has been labelled a balm, it has more of a gel-like consistency, thicker than a normal moisturiser but not akin to that of a balm texture. The light balm can be used as the last step of your skincare routine, over the top of your normal moisturiser, or mixed in with your base of choice. 
I have been using this in place of my normal moisturiser on days when I need help to make my skin look brighter and more radiant. Providing a boost of moisture, the balm energises the skin giving it a subtle glow. I have been braving the makeup-less look a lot recently due to doing a practical module at University and this balm gives me the confidence to do so. Smoothing over any imperfections, it blurs my scarring, evens out my skintone (especially those dark circles) and adds some life to otherwise dull skin. It is also lovely to use as a base for makeup offering more of a dewy finish. The brightening properties have somehow managed to keep me looking fresh and awake after a night on the town. Application feels soothing and refreshing due to its minty scent. 

For more dry skinned gals I would say to use this alongside your normal moisturiser, however if you have more normal or oily skin then foregoing your moisturiser would do no harm. Bright Here Bright Now is on offer for £8 at the moment instead of £12!

Have you tried any skincare from the Soap & Glory line?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Summer Nail Varnishes

I love nail varnish all year through, but particularly when it comes to Summer time. It is a lot easier to experiment with different colours, and some often look different when you have a nice tan. Maybe we'll skip the tan for this post. I have also skipped on swatches... unless you wanted to see one finger at a time, and you couldn't tell where the nail started and stopped, then you're out of luck. All of the colours translate onto the nails almost as they look in the bottle.

Rimmel London 60 seconds in 825 Sky High, £3.69:
This is the perfect teal. I find one coat of this could be enough, but a second coat gives a smooth even finish. It's quite hard to go wrong with these polishes as they always give an even finish. Perhaps 60 seconds is not true, but it does dry pretty quickly. It lasts well, with a good top coat, around three days before any sign of chipping.

Essie Lapiz of Luxury, £7.99:
I picked up this gorgeous sky blue colour when there was a hype around Bikini So Teeny. I much preferred this one, and I am glad I chose it. I've worn it quite a lot throughout the year as I think it is quite a versatile colour. You are able to build up the opacity by applying in thin layers. Like all Essie polishes, it lasts roughly four/five days before chipping. I love wearing this one on my toenails as it's a flattering colour.

Essie Meet Me at Sunset, £7.99:
I thank Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup for this purchase. Her post claiming that it was a possible dupe for Chanel's holiday had me hotfooting it to my nearest Essie-stocked Boots. It is a gorgeous orange colour with a good mix of red. The perfect colour for matching fingernails and toenails. I feel like the brush on Essie polishes does most of the work for you.

Topshop Firework, £6:
This is my one and only glitter polish. I'm not mad about glitter, but I was sucked in by the sparkly accent nails a couple of months back. I have worn it alone, one coat adds a nice subtle sparkle, but two coats really ramps up the glitter. I prefer to wear it over a light purple polish, or a lilac based grey colour. I usually save this pretty for nights out, but I think it's perfect for Summer.

Rimmel London I ♥ Lasting Finish in Hotshot (270), £2.99:
This little number is a lovely hot pink colour. The pink looks really good with a tan... Although a tan isn't necessary as it compliments pale skin, and brightens up the nails. I have had this one for a while and find it quite gloopy now, but much like Sky high, a coat or two and you're ready to go. A base and top coat are needed to prevent early chipping.

What polishes are getting you in the Summer mood?
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Hope you're well. xo

Monday, 27 January 2014

My Favourite Cleansers

The first cleansing milk I fell in love with was the Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser. From first use around a year and a half ago, this has been my staple makeup remover. Gone were the Simple wipes and in were the cotton pads doused in milk, of the cleanser sort. It's primary use is removing makeup, but it is often used for a quick cleanse in the mornings. This cleanser removes any makeup and dirt really well. I use this to remove the majority of my makeup and then follow up with another cleanser. The cleansing milk is very gentle, especially on the eye area, and is well-suited to the more sensitive skin type. It can leave my skin feeling taut if I don't follow with a splash of water, but it does leave a fresh feeling to the skin.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is another cleansing milk that I decided to try after reading Megan's post, about it helping with her spots. Admittedly I picked up the wrong skin type, dry or sensitive skin, but I have been enjoying using it nonetheless. I use this cleanser to wash my face in the mornings. A little of this product goes a long way. It helps to keep my skin free of impurities, and much like the Avène cleanser, it is very gentle. I have quite sensitive skin, and it doesn't aggrivate my skin nor the eye area, which is always a good sign. It is also effective at removing any leftover makeup from the night before (ew).

My one and only, tried and tested, cleansing balm, the Emma Hardie amazing face long name cleansing balm. I'm sure you've heard about this well-spoken about product somewhere along the line. This balm set me back a pretty penny or two, but I am glad I took the plunge. The balm has a soft jelly like texture, slightly thicker than Vaseline, that melts into the skin. I began using this by applying it directly onto the skin, but it works better mixed with a little warm water. I smooth it onto my skin using my fingertips, massaging it into the skin in circular motions, focusing on one area at a time, and removing with a warm, damp flannel. I use this only at night, after removing my makeup with the Avène cleanser. I really like the smell of the balm, it leaves my skin feeling very fresh, like I have had a deep clean!  
What are your favourite, or current cleanser?

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

Is there really any need for a separate eye makeup remover? I have asked this question time and time again. With the exception of waterproof mascara being a pain in the goddamn arse to remove, I thought nothing of it. Oh how things change.

Introducing the ultimate waterproof eye makeup remover.... Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover. I'm sure you've heard along the blogging grapevine that this is the holy grail, must have eye makeup remover. Just wondering how many times that phrase will be said in this post. At first I was skeptical, especially with this fancy half water, half oil solution that requires a good shake before use. One swipe of this bad boy, after say a five second hold over the eye, and you're done. Gone are the days of viciously scrubbing at your eyes before admitting defeat, with shreds of a cotton pad stuck in your lashes. It is said the price of beauty doesn't come cheap, and with this precious Clarins product it is true. It comes at a cost of £18, and I must say I have got through it a lot quicker than I expected. A slight addiction to the luscious curl of a waterproof mascara may have played a part here.

Garnier's Soothing 2 in 1 Makeup Remover is a cheaper alternative that does the job equally as well. It takes a little longer than a five second hold to remove all of the makeup, but after a couple of tries, the makeup is gone. Garnier's offering is also a concoction of the half oil, half water solution which I quite like. The solution does leave a greasy film behind on the eyes, so I tend to remove my eye makeup first and follow with a separate remover for my face. I managed to pick this up in Asda for just £3! So if you're not so keen on emptying your pockets on an eye makeup remover (so so worth it), then I'd recommend this just as much.

Never did I envisage writing so many words on an eye makeup remover! Let me know your thoughts if you've tried out either of these products, or if you have any that you would recommend.

Hannah ox

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The Natural Look - "Makeup only enhances the beauty that's alreadythere"

More recently I have been opting for more natural makeup, often even daring to go bare. This has partly been due to having a bout of terribly dry and flaky skin, all thanks to a gel spot treatment. We all know how nice it is to give your skin some room to breathe and in return, are thankful for the results. 
The products are kept to a minimum, but there are a couple that I look to when going au naturelle. 

I begin by applying Collection's (2000) Illuminating Touch Brightening Concealer, in natural 2, in a V shape under my eyes. I find this helps to lighten the undereye area by highlighting and making it look brighter. I also use this lightly on my cheekbones to give a subtle highlight. If a little more coverage is needed, I follow up with Collection's Lasting Perfection concealer in fair 1. I make three small dots under my eyes, swipe around either side of my nose, dot a little on my cheeks to disguise redness and wherever else I need some coverage. 

Using my ring finger, I apply the Maybelline Colour 24hr Tattoo in Eternal Gold onto my lids in a patting motion. This cream shadow adds a nice gold sheen with a little shimmer. The eyes are polished with two coatings of Revlon's Photoready 3D Volume mascara. This mascara is perfect for natural, everyday use as it seperates the lashes nicely and adds a slight curl, discarding the need to use eyelash curlers. 

To complete the natural look, I often apply a small amount of cream blush towards the outer side of my cheeks. I find applying the blusher to this area to be slightly more flattering than the apples. I also use my ring finger to apply the blush by dotting and softly blending. I like to use Dainty Doll cream blush in Orange Country girl for a pink flush with a gold tinged sheen. If I want a bit more colour then I go for Max Factor cream blush in Soft Murano. This is a gorgeous deeper pink colour with a hint of burgundy, which you only need a small amount of. 

I only use one brush for this look and that is the Real Techniques contour brush. This brush blends effortlessly and fits perfectly under the eye. I only use it for concealer and to blend out the edges of the blusher so there aren't any harsh lines.

Do you embrace the natural look? Which products are on your natural agenda?

Hannah ox

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Body Shop: A Guide to Smooth Skin

Cocoa Butter Body Scrub

The first half of my perfect pair is The Body Shop's body scrub in cocoa butter. The little exfoliating beads look close together inside the pot, but they spread rather nicely and sparsely, when applied to the skin. The beads work well to ensure any dead or dry skin is banished away, while smoothing the skin, without being too harsh. I have only used the scrubs on wet skin, never on dry, but I am intrigued to see how it would fair. The scents of these products are amazing. They linger on your skin for the perfect amount of time. If you'd like a longer linger, I would say to use the same scent in the body scrub and body butter. Some of the scents compliment eachother really nicely so it doesn't matter if you use different ones. Recently, I tried out the Palmer's gradual tanner and used this scrub when it was fading. The scrub proved to help in speeding up the fading process. And managed to prevent the dreaded scaly looking skin after tanning. 

 Does the scrub look like biscuit crumbs to anyone else? Just me then.

Satsuma Body Butter

The satsuma body butter is the other half of my cute couple. I have long had an affair with The Body Shop's body butters. But my relationship with moisturising, is well, rather dry. I admit it, I don't moisturise daily. And I only really do it when I remember. I love using these body butters for numerous reasons. They are a lovely, thick cream of a rich texture. The scent of the butters makes me weak at the knees. Every scent is just as delicious, my favourite probably being pink grapefruit. The butters live up to their name as they melt into the skin, giving just the right amount of moisture. I find they need some time to sink in, due to their thick consistency. For this reason they aren't exactly a quick fix moisturiser, but that gives them a more luxurious feeling. 

Both the small (50ml), and large (200ml), pots of these products last a lengthy amount of time. They are a good value for money, and the pots can be re-used to store different products afterwards. I like to use them to keep my bobbles and hair grips all together. 

Have you tried either of these products? Which scents are your favourite?

Hope you're well,

Hannah ox