Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March 2015 Favourites

What I have been loving this month...

 

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer Shade: Fair - £4.19 (Buy HERE)



I've heard so many good reviews about this concealer I thought I'd give it a try and it did not disappoint! It covers under eye circles very well whilst brightening the area at the same time. It also covers up blemishes well too.













COLAB Dry Shampoo Fragrance: London - £3.49 (Buy HERE)


This is a new range brought out by the blogger and model Ruth Crilly from the blog and youtube channel 'A Model Recommends'. I've been watching Ruth for sometime now and when she brought out this range I had to try it. And I love it! The London fragrance is my absolute favourite of the range but there are other fragrances to choose from too which are also pleasant. The dry shampoo is a sheer invisible formula which means it does not leave any white residue in your hair but still reduces the amount of oil visible and gives the hair some texture and body. I also love the extreme volume version of this range (Buy HERE) which really does boost the volume of your roots making it easier to style and plump up the hair.

L'Oreal EverPure Reinforcing Intense Mask - £6.99 (Buy HERE


I LOVE LOVE LOVE this mask! I use it about twice a week and after my hair has dried it is silky smooth and is less frizzy then it normally is. It makes my hair feel so soft. I bought this mask because of the recent colouring I did to my hair as it has been quite dry but this has brought my hair back to life. And the smell is heavenly! Will definite re-purchase this product time and time again.

Britney Spears Fantasy EDP - £20 (Buy HERE) 




I bought this off Amazon a few months back and I've been wearing it a lot this month. It's the perfect girly scent which is great for a night out. It is also really affordable too.

Empress Orchid by Anchee Min


You can buy this off of Amazon new for under a fiver but I was given this by my Aunt who bought it from a charity shop for under £2! I'm not very far into the book yet but I am enjoying it so far and I have also got the sequel (The Last Empress) which I shall read next :)

TV show – Merlin


This series started in 2008 and finished in 2013 and I had watched them all throughout the years and enjoyed them. So I decided to buy the whole box set and enjoy them all over again! It is a TV show aimed at children so the humour can be rather cliché but that is the brilliance of it! If you enjoyed it as a kid you will enjoy it as an adult trust me ;)

What have you been loving this month?

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Dealing with exam stress




Like me, many of you will be facing a stressful next two months due to exams. I am in my final year of my law degree at the University of Nottingham and these will be my last set of uni exams. Yippee! I have been doing exams for at least 7 years of my life now and I still get extremely nervous and stressed in the exam season. 

So here are my tips for staying as calm as possible in this stressful and hectic period...

First of all, try not to panic
I know that's easier said then done.... but stress gets to us all and when exams are just around the corner we have a tendency to act as though we are going to be walking to our executions on the day of exams. But in reality, the world is not coming to an end. They are only exams! Of course they are important but don't let them totally consume you. I know someone who stressed about exams so much she made herself really unwell (due to lack of sleep and excessive revision) and was too sick to attend her exam so that didn't help her at all! So when you're feeling overwhelmed just take a moment, sit back and think what's the worst that can happen?! If you're putting the effort in then there's no need to panic :)

Keep a positive attitude. 
'I'm going to fail....I'm going to fail...' If this is what you're telling yourself before an exam then you're not going to help yourself. I have had this attitude before too and all it does is put your mood down. If you're not fully confident this does not mean you will fail. Go into the exam thinking you can do it and you will be in the right mind to tackle it.

Relax.  
Have a break and do something that makes you feel calmer. This could be a hobby like sport, a nice warm bubble bath, a cup of tea, or even reading a chapter of your favourite book. Next term at uni our society are holding a wellness week where one of the days you can attend a puppy room to relieve stress, haha! So do something that makes you feel happy and you'll feel a lot better :)

Pamper yourself. 
Take a little time to indulge. Whether this be by having a bubble bath or putting on a face mask it is sure to make you feel refreshed and ready to take on revision!

Talk to people. 
Don't just shut yourself away and eat all 3 meals a day sat in your room revising. Take time to talk to your friends/family. 

Eat, drink and sleep properly. 
Keeping hydrated and nourished is important to stimulate the brain so be sure to maintain a healthy diet. Also make sure you are getting enough sleep. Staying up and revising until 3am each night and waking up early is not going to do you brain or body any good. 
 
I hope these tips are of some use and help you to unwind after a hard day of revision. 

What other tips do you have to relieve exam stress?

Good luck!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Body Shop Goodies!

Everyone loves to spend a few extra pennies on themselves from time to time and I do this by purchasing from the body shop. Do I need the stuff? Of course not. Do I WANT the stuff? Absolutely. Forever increasing the items added to my body care collection is what I do best. Haha. I love the body shop for various reasons. They boast the finest ingredients, trade fairly and are completely against animal testing. Here is what I have lurking about from the Body shop at the minute...

Coca Body Scrub - £13 (Buy HERE)



Whenever I buy from the body shop I religiously get the coca body scrub. I am in love with this! It smells soooo yummy. Its a cream body scrub with a very grainy/sandy texture. I just rub it all over my body in the shower to exfoliate my skin, leave it on for a few minutes, then wash it off with warm water. As soon as I'm dried out of the shower I can instantly feel a difference in my skin. My skin is incredibly smooth and smells like chocolate which is irresistible.
 
Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser - £5 (Buy HERE)


 I really do enjoy the smell of tea tree and I always have a small bottle of pure tea tree oil to apply on breakouts when they appear. I even mix a few drops of tea tree with Witch Hazel to use as a toner. But I got this tea tree cleanser as its great to use on your face in the shower to keep breakouts at bay and take advantage of the antibacterial benefits of tea tree.

Coca Lipcare Stick - £4 (Buy HERE)


 After I discovered this lip balm it is all I ever want to put on my lips. I have one for daily use to keep my lips hydrated and one to put on top of lipsticks to give them shine. It smells divine and keeps my lips soft and supple. I carry this lip balm with me everywhere I go, especially in the winter when the harsh weather can dry my lips out.

Vitamin E Moisture Cream - £11 (Buy HERE)





This is brilliant as either a day or night moisturiser. It feels light on the face and sinks in quickly leaving the face feeling nourished. The smell is also lovely.

Vitamin E SPF 15 Moisture Lotion - £12 (Buy HERE)


This has the same scent as the moisture cream but is more of a thick texture and has SPF 15. After putting this on my face it feels instantly smoother and it puts my mind at rest that it is protecting my skin from harmful UV rays.

Coca Butter Beautifying Oil - £9 (Buy HERE)


This rich oil can be used on the body, face or hair. The fact that this is multi-purpose was definitely a reason for me buying it. It smells gorgeous. I sometimes use it on my face as a night time treatment which leaves me waking up with silky smooth skin. I also frequently run some of the oil through the ends of my hair to enhance shine and banish frizz.

Atlas Mountain Rose Fragrance Mist - £7.50 (Buy HERE)


 I adore the smell of roses and in fact they are my favourite flower so this is perfect for me haha. It smells young and fresh and even though it is the fragrance mist instead of the Eau De Toilette I find it does last pretty well throughout the day.

Coconut Eau De Toilette - £8.50 (Buy HERE)


 This smell is just what I imagine a tropical beach would smell like. If you love the smell of coconut then you will love this product.

Coconut Oil Hair Shine - £5.50 (Buy HERE)


I have been using this stuff for YEARS. My mum even used to use this on my hair when I was very young. Coconut is definitely one of my favourite smells for the hair and this is great for smoothing over the hair to get rid of any fly-aways and make the hair look healthy and shiny.

Even though the products might seem a little pricey fear not! The body shop ALWAYS have in-store and online offers so I take advantage of them. If you sign up to the Body Shop email newsletter you will be notified when the sales are on :)

What are your favourite Body Shop products?

Thursday, 19 March 2015

FOTD: Brown eye look with brown/nude lips

This is my go-to holy grail look. If I feel like playing it safe or I am unsure what to do, or even if I just need to be quick then I will always do this nude/brown eyed look. This works great with either soft pencil or cat-flick eyeliner and can go from a day to night look with false lashes in a flash. Here are a few photos with variations on the look...



This version is vamped up with falsies for a night look




Here I used the eyeshadow as a top liner instead of black


 
I used a dark brown lip to enhance the brown look



And lastly with a light liquid eye liner so it can be worn either day or night
What I used (links on the name of product where possible):

 FACE










EYES (including false lashes)





♥ e.l.f Eybrow Kit – Medium



OR

e.l.f lipstick – Runway Pink

Friday, 13 March 2015

Product Review: L'Oréal Casting Crème Gloss Sunkiss Jelly

If you read my post about ombré hair (HERE) you will remember me saying that although I am happy with my lightened ends I would love to go lighter on the top of my head too (or all over if I was brave enough...) So, after reading many praising reviews I decided to try the L'Oréal Casting Crème Gloss Sunkiss Jelly in shade No.2 for dark blonde to light blonde hair (find HERE).




Now this is supposed to only be used on natural hair and so I was concentrating the product on the top part of my head which has not been dyed. I obviously did bring some of it down onto my bleached ends but it seems to be fine. The product smells OK, I wouldn't say it smells really good but for a lightening product the smell is definitely not offensive. What you do is either put the product on your whole head, or just on the ends for an ombré effect, and either blow dry the hair until it is dry or sit out in the sun with the product on. You can leave the product in and there is no need to wash it out. As it is still cold outside, I used a hair-dryer. My hair would look and feel really crispy and the product was really visible on my head which didn't look great. Therefore, I would do this on a day where I didn't have to be anywhere, leave it on all day, then wash it out in the evening. I bought two tubes of the product and applied it 7 times every other day or so.

The result? My hair is lighter... I think... but not as light as I would like it. I understand that as a gradual lightening product it is only supposed to be subtle but I think if I were to continue to keep using it, it would rack up quite a price. As a one off subtle lightener it is a cheap option for anyone that has natural hair and wants to change their colour but not dramatically. Also, as I have more of a gingery/strawberry blonde than a dark blonde/blonde I found that it did bring out more of my warmer reddy tones than blonde which is not quite the result I wanted but it was expected. On a whole, for the cheap price (£5.99) and the easy, not too messy application it was definitely worth a try and I have read a load of reviews which say it worked wonders for them :)

After 2 applications...

After 7 applications...

I recently purchased L'Oréal Recital Preference Light Beige Blond 9.13 hair dye (not sure what came over me and possessed me to buy it as I have no intention of dying all my head...) so I was thinking about MAYBE using it to spruce up the blonde colour of my ends..?! Not even sure if it will work but worth a shot! Haha! The colour on the box (HERE) looks soooo lovely and I wish I was brave enough (and had the money for upkeep) to have my full head blonde! Maybe one day...

What lightening products have you tried if at all?

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Superdrug Vitamin E moisture mask





'oooh I really want a new face mask to try!' I was in Superdrug rushing about and so settled for trying the Superdrug's own range and picked up the nearest one without really looking at what it was... It was the Superdrug's Vitamin E moisture mask. It is £2.59 and can be found HERE

When I did pick this one up I assumed it was a face mask that required to be left on for 10-15 minutes then washed off. However, this one works a little different. It's more like an intensive moisturiser cream. You're supposed to apply the product, leave it on for 10-15 minutes then just pat off any excess with a tissue. So no need to wash it off with water. My first impression was a little disappointed as I find not going through the whole process of washing it off doesn't feel as much of a luxury pampering as a wash off mask. But after using it a few times I am extremely satisfied with the product. It smells pleasant and after about 20 minutes of it being on my face my skin was notably smoother. I found no need to wipe off any 'excess'. This is great to put on just before bed and leave it on all night for a deep moisturise.

Because I liked this product so much I looked into getting some other products from the same range. I was in particular looking for a face mask which requires to be washed off. After looking at a few online and reading the reviews I'm now quite dubious about buying any other mask from this range other than the Vitamin E moisture mask. The majority of the reviews were negative with almost all of them complaining about burning/red/blotchy skin as a result of using these masks which is rather worrying. I had no reaction after using this product. My skin isn't particularly sensitive but I have had a couple of reactions in the past but only after using two products that I can remember. I do try stick to 'sensitive skin friendly' products, especially on my face, as I feel no one should be using harsh products on their face whether their skin is sensitive or not. So, after reading the reviews I doubt I will be purchasing a different type of mask from this range. If I continue to get on well with the Vitamin E one I probably will re-purchase.

I'm still continuing to look for a wash off mask that is relatively cheap that does not flare up the skin...? Any recommendations? I was thinking either a Simple one or another Lush one... hmmm...

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Drug-store/cheaper foundations

Sorry about not posting for a while! I was ill (again...) and so had to catch up on loads of uni work I missed. Not fun




I have rather a small collection of foundations but I thought they were worth mentioning as they are cheap and do the job more than fine. The only problem I have with drug-store foundations is matching myself to the right colour as I mentioned in my EstéeLauder Double Wear Foundation post. To get the right match it requires a lot of trial and error and so by the time you've found the right foundation you're already racking up quite a collection of foundations that aren't a great colour match.... However, I find that if you are stuck with a foundation that doesn't quite match your skin tone, mixing other lighter/darker foundations in when you apply it can create you're very own custom colour.

L'Oréal True Match Liquid Foundation - £9.99 - find HERE


This is my all time favourite high street foundation at the moment. The formula is a nice thin liquid but very buildable so it is easy to use it for low/medium coverage. It doesn't smell unpleasant. I find it has a very generic 'makeupy' smell haha. Having an SPF of 17 means that this is great to wear out on sunny days to have perfect coverage and protection from the sun which is important to skincare. I have this foundation in the shade N1 Ivory which I find is a suitable match to my skin tone if I don't build it up too much. I find that it applies flawlessly on my face and lasts all day long (and that's even without a primer) with little need to touch up/powder my face. All in all, a brilliant foundation and especially for the price. Will definitely be purchasing again when I run out :)

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation - £6.99 - find HERE


 

This foundation is satisfying but does not quite hit the spot as much as my L'Oréal True Match. I think it's because of the colour. I find that even though I have this in the shade 100 Ivory it is still too dark for my skin and so I can't apply a lot without it looking orange against my neck. But on a whole it's not a bad formula for the price. This too has an SPF (18) and is quite thin. It also has nice packaging – and I think you get a bit more product in this bottle compared to the True Match foundation.

e.l.f Flawless Finish Foundation- £7.50 - find HERE


 

I love e.l.f products and they are absolutely amazing for the prize of the products. This is the first foundation I have tried from the range. The bottle has a luxury feel as it is made with sturdy glass with a smooth black top. The formula is very thick in comparison to the other two products which personally I don't like. Also, the smell of the product reminds me of crayons or clay... which is rather unpleasant. I have this in the shade Porcelain and find it is still a bit too dark for my skin tone. However, it is workable and mixed in with a lighter foundation it does do the job. Also being an SPF foundation (15) it is good for skincare and protection from UV rays which is an admirable feature. However, I don't think I will be purchasing this product again and find there are better products available from drug-stores.

Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation - £5.99 - find HERE


 

When I was at high school I used to LOVE mousse formula foundations. In fact, my holy grail foundation at the time was the Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation. However, I now much prefer lighter, liquid based formulas. Thought I would give this a try though for the cheap price and it performed just as expected. I believe mousse formulas are better applied with fingers than with a brush to ensure even coverage. This is the only foundation in my collection which does not have SPF protection which is a disadvantage. I do think I will be sticking to my liquid based foundations from now on though...

For now I think I'm going to continue to use the True Match foundation as my staple go-to foundation as for the price it is an amazing product.

What's your favourite high-street/drugstore/cheap foundation? :)