Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The benefits of using oils

For a long time I've avoided hair/facial/body oils for fear they'd make me spotty/greasy/slimy/sticky etc. But after trying out a few of these wonder products I can safely say I am oil convert and have noticed drastic benefits from these. There are so many on the market at the moment but here are a few that I use..

Facial Oils

Paul & Joe Facial Treatment Oil
At £28 a bottle it's easy to think this product is over hyped purely because of the packaging. I do love the classic design of this bottle, all Paul & Joe skincare has the same design and the same fresh citrus scent. Still because it is super concentrated you know you're getting your money's worth as it'll last for so long! A couple of drops is all that's needed. I prefer to use this as a weekly treatment rather than daily as it is a bit thicker than other facial oils, but I can wear it in the day under my makeup! Perfect for dry skin to add extra moisture but didn't make too much of a difference to my skin's appearance.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate
This has become one of my favourite skincare products! (I have already done a blog post on it which you can read here) I pop a couple of drops of this onto my face every night under my moisturiser before going to bed and wake up with brighter healthier looking skin! It isn't greasy at all and hasn't caused me to breakout much which is always a plus as it's something I worry about!

Body Oils

You will all know the hype around Bio-Oil by now and have probably seen it advertised everywhere! It has become a cult product for many. I got a bottle of this around June time and still haven't finished it so it has lasted around 8 months. To be honest I didn't really see the need for me to buy it as I didn't have any garish scars and am not too fussed about my stretch marks but wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I think I will definitely be re-purchasing it once I've run out though as it has become a part of my daily routine. I pop a couple of drops into my bath water to moisturise my skin or use it to replace a body lotion and it takes so much less time to apply and sink in. I was worried about putting this on my face for fear it would clog up my pores but as long as you use the tiniest amount it does help with my skin's appearance. I haven't noticed much of a difference to the stretch marks on my stomach but the leaflet does say you need to apply it daily for about 6 weeks to see visible results and I know I haven't been that strict with it! Even so this is a very handy product to have

Hair Oils

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment
Another product that I wondered how I ever coped without before! When everyone was raving about Moroccan oil and Argan Oil I was too scared to use it as my hair is so fine I just assumed it would make it limp and greasy. But this tiny bottle has done wonders for my hair! I hadn't heard of Macadamia Oil before I was given this at the Birmingham Bloggers Meet Up (so many different types of hair oil at the moment!) and was excited to try it. It smells divine and running the tiniest drop through the ends of my hair when it's wet leaves my hair shiny and smooth. My hair is in such better condition since using it and feels like silk! 

So I guess I'm sorry oils for ever doubting your amazing uses! Have you used any of these products? What are your favourite oil treatments? xo

Monday, 11 February 2013

St Moriz Instant Self-Tanning Mist Review

Pretty much everyone has heard of St Moriz tan by now and tried it at some point. This is one of my favourite fake tanning brands as it is so cheap and gives amazing results! A bottle of the self tanning lotion costs around £3 from Wilkinsons, although I'm pretty sure the cost has gone up recently with it becoming so popular which I'm not happy about! I sometimes struggle to find this in the shops as my local Superdrug and Boots don't stock it so I often have to search for cheaper beauty shops.

Anyway! When I last bought my bottle of the tanning lotion I saw that St Moriz also does a tanning mousse and spray as well. With all the hype around the original St Moriz lotion I wondered if their other products would be just as good. I opted for the mist instead of the mousse because as much as I love the speed & fast  drying formulation I have very dry skin and tanning mousses just make it a lot worse!

Firstly I'd like to point out, if you're expecting the "mist" to be similar to Rimmel Sun Shimmer spray, it's not. In fact it's nothing like it. This is more of a liquid spray and doesn't come out like an airbrush mist at all. When I spray it onto my skin it comes out blotchy and I had to rub it in as quickly as possible to avoid it streaking.

Hopefully you can see from the picture what I mean! In the end I found it a lot easier to spray the product onto a tanning mitt then apply it to my skin that way.
Swatches of the Tanning Spray compared to Lotion
Nevertheless I still thought this was a really good self tanner. For £3 it gave great even coverage and wasn't streaky once I'd blended it completely. The spray is tinted you can see exactly where you're applying it. As the colour starts to develop it goes a very dark brown colour but once you wash the top layer off you are left with a golden colour underneath!

It's also good for spraying onto the backs of legs and for applying tanner to the face and hands as it is a lot finer so isn't as dark as the lotion. I also think this works really well to top up an existing tan as it is a lot quicker to apply and dries almost instantly so you don't have to faff around with applying tanning lotion or moisturiser every day! 

At first I was a little disappointed that this is more of a spray than a mist but for such a cheap price you can't go wrong and I'll be using it for quick instant results in the future.

Have you tried St Moriz products? What are your favourite tanning brands?

Natalie. xox

Sunday, 10 February 2013

imPRESS Press-on Manicure Review

Last year I was given a pack of imPRESS Press-on Manicure nails in my goodie bag from the Company Fashion Forum. As I've never really been into false nails they were shoved in a box under my bed and never looked at again but today boredom took over and I decided to give them a try!

imPRESS nails are press-on false nails that last up to a week. Each nail has a sticky tab on it which you peel off then apply the cover over your own nail. The product contains 24 nail covers in 12 different sizes and a prep pad to smooth down each nail before application.

The first thing to note is I love the cute packaging! It's very neat and tidy and all the nails are inside a plastic case which looks like a nail polish bottle.

Once you open up the bottle there is a nail tray with five different nail covers, which you can lift out to find the remaining nails. So first thing's first..when I applied these I was a bit lazy and didn't bother with taking my existing nail polish off or prepping the nails (naughty!) I just got straight to it.

I matched up the different nail covers to my own nails to find the ones with the best fit then lined them up in front of me in size order. Starting with the pinky finger and working inwards to the thumbs I peeled off the sticky backing and pressed the nails on then applied pressure. It was so easy to apply and the glue tabs are really strong so the nails didn't feel loose at all. I did find the glue tabs a bit difficult to remove but that's just because they are so sticky so need a bit of tugging!

It was a little bit more fiddly to do my other hand but all in all the nails were so easy to apply and I'm pleased with the end result! These nails are short length so they feel really natural and comfortable. I thought they'd feel a bit strange and I wouldn't be able to type or get things done with them on but here I am typing away! As I said I didn't remove my nail polish before putting them on so you can see the pink colour through the transparent nail but these are meant to be a sheer natural colour.

imPRESS Press-on Manicure nails cost £8.99 from Boots and come in a ton of different styles. There is also a pedicure range. For more information see http://impressmanicure.com/.

Personally I wouldn't pay that much money for them purely because I never wear false nails and naturally have long nails so I prefer to let mine grow but I think these would be lovely for someone that does buy false nails, especially as they were so easy to apply and feel great on.

Have you tried imPRESS nails? What did you think of them?

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Blistex Lip Brilliance lip balm Review

This week I bought two new lip balms: Nivea Soothe & Protect and Blistex Lip Brilliance. I like buying tinted lip balms that have a light pink colour as I can use them instead of lipsticks, which always dry my lips out. Unfortunately with all of the lip balms being in cardboard packaging it was hard to see the colour of them but I thought I'd give this Blistex one a try anyway. Sadly I'm a bit disappointed with it..

As you can see the colour of the tube is a light pink shimmery colour so I expected the lip balm to be the same but it's actually more of a deep red, almost brown colour. It comes out like a red jammy colour. As for the shimmer it feels like there's actual clumps of glitter on it so it doesn't go smoothly onto my lips and just accentuates the dry skin. It also causes my lips to go a lot more flaky and I end up picking lumps of red off!

Apart from that, the lip balm does have a really nice smell. I'm a bit disappointed after paying for it. In future I'll do a bit more research into lip balms! This would probably suit someone with a darker skin tone or hair colour but the colour really isn't for me. I don't want to waste my money though so I may wear a lighter lipstick over the top in the hopes the colour evens out!

Friday, 8 February 2013


Here are a couple of my recent empties from the end of last month...

Xen-Tan Weekly Self Tan in Deep Bronze Luxe
Since getting this in the summer Xen-Tan has fast become one of my favourite self tanning brands! This fake tan has a gorgeous vanilla smell (very similar to Fake Bake products) and since using this I have tried their Dark Lotion which has more of a marzipan kind of smell. Despite being Dark this tan is very natural looking and gives a nice even result. It has more of an olive undertone but once you've washed off the tinted colour it leaves a natural looking glow. I'll definitely buy this product again.

Dove Cream Oil Body Wash
I got this body wash in a gift set for Christmas. It is extremely moisturising and feels luxurious on the skin. It is quite oily so it's better to use it in the shower rather than bath as it can make the bath quite slippery!

Miss Sporty So Clear Foundation in Light
Unfortunately I won't be re-purchasing this any time soon. I bought this when I was a bit strapped for cash and loved the fact it was an anti-blemish foundation so wanted to try it out. Some cheaper makeup brands often deliver good results but I was let down by this one. Despite being the 'light' shade this foundation was a thick orangey colour and came out quite cakey on my face.

MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation in NW20
*sob* very sad that this foundation has run out! I bought it around May/June time last year as treat for finishing my exams. It was the first item of MAC makeup I'd ever bought and I love it! If I can save up enough money for this I'll definitely buy it again. I bought this instead of Studio Fix Fluid as it has more of a dewy finish. It gave great coverage and lasted all day on my skin

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate Review

Last month I was lucky enough to go along to the Kiehl's Blogger's Gathering in Nottingham (have a read of my post here) and since then I've become a complete Kiehl's convert! One of the items we were given at the event was this bottle of Midnight Recovery Concentrate, and I cannot praise it enough!

I've always loved trying new skincare products and have kept mine quite varied, but since buying the Clinique 3-Step kit last month I developed more of a routine so was a but worried about suddenly changing it.

I'm particularly skeptical about using oils on my face as my skin can be quite blemish prone and I worry that oils will be too thick and greasy - but I was hugely surprised when I used it!

Midnight Recovery Concentrate is "a Repleneshing Elixir of Pure Essential Oils and Distilled Botanicals to visibly restore the appearance of skin by morning". 

What the product says...

"The elixir works all night to replenish the skin with moisture and leave younger-looking. skin by morning. Enriched with a blend of naturally derived ingredients including Squalane, Evening Primrose, and a blend of essential oils. 

This readily absorbed elixir helps the skin to recover radiance by morning, with skin feeling smoother and softer. Enriched with Squalane, Evening Primrose Oil, Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Essential Oils including Lavender, our formula provides a boost of intensive moisture to dehydrated skin. The formula instantly penetrates the skin surface to help replenish it with moisture. Our concentrate is designed to work at night; with skin hydrated, supple and soft, rest assured you can say goodnight to a tired-looking complexion." 

Firstly I love the packaging of the product it looks very oldy worldy and the concentrate comes in a dark blue glass bottle. All the information and directions are on the box so have a good read of it before you throw it away! The actual serum is in a glass pipette and the dropper is on the lid so it's easy to dispense the product and you never end up with too much on your hands. The oil is a see-through colour.

All you need is 2-3 drops to use on your entire face and my skin immediately felt amazing as I rubbed it in! It has a lovely lavender smell and the oil isn't thick or greasy at all, it sinks in nicely. I use a moisturiser over the top as my skin is quite dry but you don't have to use one.

When I woke up my skin looks healthy and glowing! It has also really improved my skin tone and texture as my skin can often look uneven, patchy and quite red but it looks a lot smoother. 

I love this product and defiitely think it's worth the £36 price tag. Plus as you only need a couple of drops it will last you a long time. I've been using mine near enough every night for about 4 weeks and haven't noticed much of the product missing.

You can buy Kiehls products online or find your local store at www.kiehls.co.uk

TAG: Confessions of a Blogger!

Good evening! I found this on another blog and thought I'd do it too, I enjoy filling out these questionnaires it reminds me of things I did when I was younger!


1) How long does it take you to edit/write a post?

Not that long really, my posts are usually quite picture heavy so I don't spend a lot of time writing and when I do write I don't really plan it out I just type as I think! It's editing the pictures that takes forever but sometimes I don't bother with it

2)Are you a spender or saver?

I'm more of a saver as being a student and relying on my loan means I am in no position to spend a lot! Occasionally I like to treat myself and splurge on one particular item like a nice makeup or skincare product but generally I try to be careful with spending.

3) What type of post do you enjoy writing or recording?

I love sharing what I've been buying or doing reviews of new beauty products. I also enjoy doing tags as they're more personal and readers can get to know me better

4)Do your friends and family know about your blog/channel?

Yeah, I usually post about it on Twitter and a few of my friends have made comments about it..I don't think many of my friends read it though and I'd rather they didn't as I get a little embarrassed haha! My family know I have a blog too but they haven't looked at it

5)What Clothing Item do you wear way too much?

Leggings, jeggings and cardigans! I'm always cold and have a chunky cardigan on over outfits. I like to be comfy too so don't always wear skirts of shorts

6)Are you more likely to buy a bag or a pair of shoes?

Ooh that's a tough one! A while ago I probably would have said  bags but I prefer to only buy statement or investment bags that last longer now..so I'm probably more likely to buy shoes! I often just buy cheap crappy pairs of dolly shoes and go through them quickly

7)Are the outfits that you post really what you wear in out?

Yep! I rarely do outfit posts and when I do I don't have time to dress up for them, I literally just post what I'm wearing.

8)Who or What inspired you to start a blog or channel?

When I started my Journalism course at university just over two years ago our lecturers always encouraged us to start a blog just to practice writing and to show off the work we had done. I always meant to start one but never got round to it. Then I set up an online portfolio but never bothered updating it. It was only when I went to the Company Fashion Forum in November last year that I really felt inspired to start a blog and realised how important it was. I set up my beauty blog after that as it's something I'm very passionate about and can't believe how far by blog has come in such a short space of time! I've already been to a couple of bloggers meet ups and events and met some lovely people.

9)What's your style mantra? (in other words, what does style mean to you. I think....)

I think style is a way of expressing your personality and showing you are comfortable within yourself.

I tag you all to take part in this! Leave your links if you've done any recent tags as I love being nosey!

100 followers & now on BlogLovin!

So today my blog reached 100 followers!! Yay!

So I just wanted to say a huuge thank you to everyone who has followed me! I really do appreciate it as I only started my blog in November and was very nervous at first and didn't think it would get anywhere but already I have come so far and am surprised at all the amazing people I have met recently through blogging!

I have now joined Bloglovin so you can follow my blog there at http://www.bloglovin.com/nataliegarland

lots of love xox

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