Tuesday, 31 May 2016

May Favourites

Another month has come to an end! May was an incredibly busy month as I celebrated my 24th birthday and jetted off on a long weekend to Rome (take me back!). May was also the start of the slow transition into summer as I welcomed more corally shades to my beauty collection, switched up my foundation to something a bit lighter and started to get myself "summer body ready". Here are some of the products I have been loving this month....

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter New Summer makeup launches make me very happy and I think that Urban Decay has excelled with its latest collection. I did a full review of the range here but one of my particular favourites is the Afterglow highlighter. I often tend to skip highlighter from my daily makeup routine and save it for special occasions but now love using it to brighten my skin and add a subtle glow!

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque Sitting in an air conditioned office for eight hours every day has caused havoc with my skin and sucked every ounce of moisture out of it. I try to drink at least two litres of water each day to re-hydrate but also love using this mask for dehydrated skin to soothe my face. It contains Hyaluronic Acid as well as La Roche Posay's signature Thermal Spring Water, perfect for calming and moisturising sensitive skin.

Kiehl's Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment Avocado is EVERYWHERE at the moment and I love the benefits of it in this eye cream. It is the thickest, creamiest eye cream I've tried and it instantly plumps and hydrates my skin. This has become one of my holy grail skincare products and I'm so glad I recently discovered it!

Bean Burst Coffee Scrub - Peppermint Blend This body scrub is the stuff of dreams! Exfoliating, moisturising and it smells divine. All Bean Burst scrubs are made with Indian Robusta coffee to remove dead skin cells and create a smooth, healthy skin tone. As Robusta coffee contains twice the amount of caffeine as usual coffee, it wakes up the skin and improves texture - helping to remove cellulite. The scrubs are also blended with marula and coconut oil to hydrate skin. There are three scents available; orange, grapefruit and peppermint. I tried out the peppermint blend and it is so dreamy! I can't wait to try out the other scents.

Cover FX Blotting Powder The only bad thing about the weather getting warmer is the hot and sweaty commute to work on the tube! I love using this handy compact powder from Cover FX to mop up any excess oil and shine. It is mattifying without being overly cakey or chalky and also contains Green Tea Leaf to soothe skin. Plus it is free of any parabens, fragrances and talc - ideal for sensitive skin!

Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 'Robust Rhubard' As we get ready for summer I love using more coral shades and sheer products. I've ditched my pink powder blush which can look a bit harsh on my skin and opted for this creamy cheek colour balm from Clinique. It is a lovely coral shade and just adds a pop of colour.

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Matte Lipstick in 'Pretty Muted' This lipstick shade has become my ultimate nude pink and is one of the most long-lasting lipsticks for daily wear. I did a full review last month which you can check out here. This lipstick will carry me all through summer!

Have you tried any of these products before? What have been your favourites in May?

Monday, 30 May 2016

The Holiday Countdown...Starting the TeaPigs Two Week #MatchaChallenge

We've all been there. We live in hibernation during the freezing cold weather then one day the sun starts shining, you look in you diary and all of a sudden it's four weeks until your summer holiday and you are far from ready to bare all in a bikini. While I don't believe in crash dieting and try to eat healthily and keep up a good level of exercise throughout the year, I am guilty of indulging in sweet treats and often skipping gym classes because I'm "too tired" after work.

In just over three weeks I will be jetting off on holiday so I am upping my exercise regime and trying to make healthy switches in my diet - like adding in more protein and veg and getting rid of nasty carbs. I am also trying to cut out my regular cups of tea with sugar and swapping it for green tea instead.

I recently discovered matcha green tea - a Japanese tea that is made from green tea leaves and ground to a powder. It is super strong and is said to have ten times the nurititonal value of regular green tea.

Teapigs has introduced an entire matcha range including the tea powder, pre-bottled cold green tea drinks and handy on-the-go sachets!

They kindly sent me some tea from the range to take part in the two-week #MatchaChallenge (drinking matcha every day for two weeks). I will be trying it as a drink and adding it to smoothies, yoghurts and porridge to see if it makes a difference to my energy levels! Stay tuned to see how I get on...

Oh and if you are a fan of matcha make sure you check out Tombo cafe in London. It recently ran a six- week pop up in Liberty and it will be opening a new cafe in South Kensington in June. I went along to the Liberty pop up and tried out a matcha juice, brownie and cake (all delicious!) so am very excited about the launch of the new cafe (hello matcha ice cream!).

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Mythic Oil Blow Dry at House of Rush

I am a firm believer in setting aside some time each week for ME time - whether that is spending some time on my own, going shopping or going for a run it is so important to switch off from a busy lifestyle, recharge and spend some time looking after myself. I love doing pamper nights at home but rarely splash out on treatments in salons, so was very excited when I was invited to try out the new Mythic Treatment at the House of Rush in Piccadilly Circus!

I visited the House of Rush salon in February for the #DoneUndone hair masterclass, but as the event took place downstairs, in their retail area, I had never actually been up into the hair studio. It is probably one of the most glamorous hairdressers I have ever been in - with giant chandeliers and gold mirrors everywhere! The staff were very friendly and attentive and my stylist, Hayley, spent some time talking me through the L'Oreal Mythic Oil Collection and how to style my hair with it.

The Mythic Oil range is designed for normal/dry hair and contains Argan Oil and Myrrh to add a glossy finish. My hair is incredibly dry, however, I sometimes steer away from shampoos & conditioners that contain oil as they can weigh my hair down and it make it greasy or sticky. I was impressed at how lightweight these products were and how much softer my hair felt after the wash.

My hair was roughly blowdried then curled using large GHD straightners. My stylist then pinned all the curls to my head using sectioning clips and allowed them to cool down for five minutes before unravelling my new bouncy curls! I was so impressed at how quickly she created the style and the amazing, glossy finish! It was safe to say I felt very luxurious leaving the salon - even though I was heading straight home and had nowhere to show it off! Luckily the salon is open until 9pm throughout the week so it is perfect for after-work appointments or if you want a quick style before heading out to an event.

Thank you House of Rush for transforming my hair!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Bondi Sands Fake Tan - Worth The Hype?

Bondi Sands Dark Lotion

I have tried a LOT of different fake tan brands over the years. As much as I would love to be one of those "embrace your natural pale" kind of girls it just doesn't suit me. I'd like to be an English Rose with fair skin and light hair but my natural skin tone is more of a pasty white with a hint of looking slightly unwell (I get the "Are you feeling ok? You look awful" question a lot. Even when I'm wearing makeup).

Putting on a light layer of fake tan gives me an instant confidence boost and transforms my skin. Unfortunately self-tan has a bit of a bad reputation for making people look fake but with the right shade and amount of product it can add a natural, healthy glow.

Depending on my budget I am a regular user of Cocoa Brown, Vita Liberata and good old St Moriz - but when I saw the beautiful Lydia Elise Millen posting about Bondi Sands on her social channels, and looking incredible wearing it, I wanted to try it out!

The Bondi Sands range consists of a mousse, lotion, mist and gradual tanning milk. There is also a Liquid Gold Self Tan Dry Oil, which is the product Lydia recently posted about, however, after searching in my local Superdrug I recently realised it is exclusive to Boots! So I opted for the Dark Self Tanning Lotion (£14.99) instead.

Bondi Sands is an Australian brand and its self tanning lotion is infused with Aloe Vera and coconut oil, with a coconut scent. Its description states it is lightweight and dries in seconds to reveal a natural tan. So here are my thoughts...

The Scent
First up - let's talk about the smell. The lotion is meant to be coconut scented but it isn't OVERLY cocnutty, it's very light and pleasant. As the lotion is being applied the smell isn't particularly overpowering but after application I did notice the strong, fake tan smell. A lot of people claim this doesn't have the usual biscuitty fake tan smell but I did notice it, particularly when I left it on overnight.


I LOVE the colour of this fan. It is a dark, golden brown that looks very natural. Although I am naturally very pale I always use a dark fake tan and people often say they can't notice I'm wearing fake tan because it looks so natural.

On my first application I left the tan on overnight and washed it off in the morning, however, I did notice a lot of the colour came off in the shower. I have now started using an extra layer during application so the colour lasts a bit longer.

Lasting Power

As with most fake tans, I noticed the colour was quick to fade from my face - but this often can't be helped with the amount of scrubbing I do! In terms of my body this product faded really nicely after around a week and didn't go patchy or streaky at all. I was really impressed with how long it lasted on my legs and arms.

Best of all, it didn't dry my skin out and didn't transfer onto my clothing or bed sheets.

Overall I am really impressed with Bondi Sands and it has fast become one of my favourite tanning brands. I would recommend it to anyone and look forward to trying out other products in the range.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Caudalie Vinosource Collection

Last month, French skincare brand Caudalie kindly invited me along to the launch of their new Vinosource Grape Water  collection. Inspired by all things grape it took place in the most beautiful studio and was decorated with pink flowers and balloons and filled with pink cocktails, candyfloss and sweets - my heaven!

The Vinosource range was created to deliver soothing hydration from organic Grape water. The range consists of a Grape Water mist (if you have already tried Caudalie Beauty Elixir mist you will love this!) which soothes and refreshes sensitive skin, as well as four different moisturisers.

The moisturisers vary in strength (from a moisturising sorbet, to a mattifying fluid and an intense moisture rescue cream) and the colour of the packaging matches each level of hydration!

As summer arrives I have become more prone to hayfever and my skin has become dry and irritated so the grape water mist is going to be a life-saver when my skin flares up throughout the day! I have started using the moisturising sorbet as a light day moisturiser and rescue cream as a night cream for overnight hydration and love how comforting it is on my skin.

The limited edition mist costs £6 for 75ml and the moisturisers cost £23 for 40ml.

Friday, 20 May 2016

#BoostYourBlonde - PRO:VOKE Liquid Blonde Launch

A few weeks ago I was invited along to the launch of Liquid Blonde - a new colour haircare range from PRO:VOKE. I am already a huge fan of PRO:VOKE's of Touch of Silver range and couldn't wait to check out the new products on the beautiful roof terrace at Ham Yard Hotel!

Following on from Touch of Silver, a range designed especially for light blonde hair, Liquid Blonde has been created to enhance golden pigments in warmer blonde hair.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Urban Decay Summer 2016 Collection

Summer still feels like a long way off but all the new summer make-up launches have got me very excited for warmer days, sunshine on my skin and (hopefully) bronzed skin! Urban Decay has just released its Summer 2016 collection and it is full of shimmer and radiance!

The collection features Afterglow eight-hour powder highlighters, Naked Skin One & Done complexion perfector and Beached Bronzer.

My favourite products by far are the Afterglow highlighters. The shades are (L-R) Sin (champagne), Aura (irridescent light pink), Fireball (peach). Each powder is very sheer but can easily be built up to add a radiant glow to the skin - rather than just a powdery dusting of shimmer - that lasts all day. The peach shade is especially pigmented and works well as a blusher, similar to Benefit Coralista!

Check out the range on Urban Decay's website.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops Review

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

Cover FX allows you to fully customise how you wear your foundation by mixing with serums, moisturisers, primers or other foundations. The full coverage concentrated pigment can be used with a variety of different products so you fully control your coverage.

Depending how many drops you add, you can create anything from a sheer tint to a full coverage foundation. There are 25 shades available so you can either match it to your skin tone and add to serums/moisturisers, or choose a lighter/darker shade to mix with a foundation if it isn't the right colour for you!

These are great fun and make you feel like a scientist as you experiment mixing the pigments with different products. I have been adding mine to moisturiser for a sheer daytime look, and adding to a foundation that is slightly too dark for me so it matches my skin tone!

The only negative with this product as that it isn't easy to dispense. I imagined it to be like a pipette where you can control the amount of product that comes out drop by drop, but with one squeeze of the nozzle the product comes flying out! Then the bottle needs shaking up a few times again for the dropper to pick up more product.

On the plus side it is suitable for all skin types and the buildable coverage is great. It's done a great job at concealing blemishes and lasts all day!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Floating my troubles away...

I am probably the least 'zen' person in the entire world. I don't do yoga, my mind rarely switches off and when I should be in bed sleeping I'm usually wide awake contemplating ridiculous thoughts. At a time when 'mindfulness' seems to be a big trend I disappointingly don't seem to fit the bill. So when I was offered to try out a flotation experience, which is said to help you totally relax, at the new Floatworks centre in Vauxhall, I thought maybe this was the key to finally helping me switch off!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Stila Aqua Glow Spring 2016 Collection

There is nothing like some lovely gold iridescent hues to tell me that summer is on its way! Stila's new Spring/Summer 2016 collection is inspired by impressionism - focusing on light and colour.

Just some of the production in the collection include Aqua Glow Serum Foundation and Aqua Glow Serum Concealer. 

Aqua Glow Serum Foundation £34.50  – This water based foundation hydrates the skin and has buildable coverage thanks to its pipette applicator. It is extremely lightweight but still blurs imperfections and uses colour pigments to increase radiance. Ten shades available.
Aqua Glow Serum Concealer £19  – Also water based, this liquid concealer provides buildable coverage for dark circles. Similar to the foundation, the packaging has a dropper/pipette applicator and a little goes a long way! It is very lightweight so I prefer to use this for radiance on my dark circles and for contouring, but opt for a stronger concealer for blemishes. Eight shades available.
The collection is available from Stila's website, large department stores, Boots and Marks & Spencer!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Beauty Kitchen Miracle Mother Nature Facial Konjac Sponge

Beauty Kitchen Miracle Mother Nature Facial Konjac Sponge

Beauty Kitchen Miracle Mother Nature Facial Konjac Sponge

Beauty Kitchen Miracle Mother Nature Facial Konjac Sponge

Beauty Kitchen Miracle Mother Nature Facial Konjac Sponge

As we move into the spring/summer months I find myself changing up my skincare with the seasons. The thick, heavy-duty moisturisers are no longer needed as often and I need to use lighter products to stop my face getting the midday shine!

Recently after long days at work wearing makeup, going to the gym and generally not eating as healthily as I should my skin has started to become a little congested. Usually I will opt for a hot muslin cloth alongside my cleanser to open pores and exfoliate skin, but then I discovered konjac sponges. They are 100% natural, sustainable and don't dry out the skin. They can be used alone, to gently exfoliate, or with a cleanser. Best of all they are self-cleansing - just rinse it out and leave to dry - and will last months.

This sponge from Beauty Kitchen comes simply packaged and instantly feels springy and a little moist as you take it out the packet. It isn't harsh at all like some scrubs or sponges and feels really smooth on the skin. I've been using it for a few weeks and have already noticed a huge difference in my skin. It retails for £6.99 from the Beauty Kitchen website or from Holland and Barrett.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Coconut Oil as a Cleanser?

Vita Coco Coconut Oil

A few weeks ago I was out shopping with a friend when I said I had to pop into Boots to get some face wash. Her response through me a bit - "I never wash any face any more" - WHAT?! "So how do you take your makeup off at night?" And her answer was?....Coconut Oil.

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