Monday, 28 April 2014

Nail Envy



If you follow my blog regularly you'll know that I don't often wear regular nail polish because I usually have gel polish or extensions on my nails. However a few weeks back my nails started to become really weak, they have never grown past the ends of my fingers and they have always peeled, but this time they were splitting straight down the middle and peeling so far down that they really hurt. I took my Gelish off and underneath my nails were paper thin, red and sore, I'm not sure if this was my nails way of telling me they needed a break from the Gelish, I have had either Gelish or Extensions on continuously since last summer, or whether it's because I've been ill lately and my body just doesn't have the nourishment it needs to keep them strong.

I knew that I had to try something to get them back in order as a few days without anything and they were only getting worse! The first thing that came to mind was OPI Nail Envy, so many of my customers rave about it, so I thought it was time I tried out their recommendation. There are six formulas in the Nail Envy collection, each one to suit a particular need - original, matte, dry & brittle, maintenance, soft and thin and sensitive and peeling, which is the one I opted for due to the state that my nails were in.

I don't know why, but even on recommendation I just was't expecting a great deal from this! I've used plenty of nail strengtheners before and they've all been about as much use as a UV polish without a lamp, not much use at all! 

Formaldehyde-free, this nail strengthener protects nails from peeling whilst the vitamin E, kukul nut oil and aloe vera soothes the nails from any sensitivities. Used on the natural nail, initially you apply two coats to the nail and then apply another coat every other day, I do sometimes apply this more often, whether it helps or not I'm not sure but I'm sure it won't harm you if you do. One thing I have learnt is to work quickly as it becomes tacky during application if you work a little too slow. It does dry pretty quickly too, but like any other nail varnish be a little more cautious for a few hours just to be safe from smudges.

I wish I'd have taken before pictures to show you just how good the results are, if I ever damage my nails to that extent again I will be sure to photograph it - blogger problems! Within seconds of putting this product on, by some miracle, the redness of my nails had almost completely disappeared, I actually had to question the girl I work with on this, as I'd shown her how bad my nails were just before I applied the product, but she too was pretty much amazed! After two weeks of using this my nails are so much better, they still have a way to go, they're not long by any means but there is no redness in sight, my split is almost grown out and they look healthier than they ever have before! So if you have any nail concerns and need a little help, I would definitely recommend checking out the OPI Nail Envy collection!

Have you tried OPI Nail Envy before? What were your thoughts?

Love


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

miamoo travel goodies



miamoo is a company created by Saira Khan, who you may remember from the very first season of The Apprentice, Saira worked on building miamoo, after suffering from years of dry skin. Whilst at university, Saira decided to research the ingredients in products that claimed to soften and smooth skin, among many other claims, which she found out to in fact be far from the truth! Saira soon learned that most companies only care about their profit and not your skin, that a product isn't always natural even though it says so on the label and that sensitized skin can actually be a cause of all these so called products. This drove Saira to come up with her own answer to sensitized skin and miamoo was born! 

When the opportunity arose to try out the miamoo travel goodies set, I was really excited! Although the products are aimed more towards mother and babies, with the products being 98-100% natural they're great for sensitive skin too! One thing that is stressed in particular with this kit is that you follow the three step routine - cleanse, moisturise and massage in order to receive the full benefits of the products. 


The kit I received is perfect for your travels, each bottle is within flying restrictions, is perfect to fit in your handbag and includes: 

splashy wash 30ml
fresh locks shampoo 30ml
huggy lotion 30ml
cheeky cream 10ml
spritz and wipe 30ml
baba oil 30ml
flannel 


The first step within the miamoo skincare routine is to cleanse...



I start by using the spritz and wipe on a cotton pad to remove my makeup, infused with limewater, bitter orange and minerals, this smells amazing, makes your skin feel so soft and is perfect for freshening up on the go. This removes my makeup so well but it also helps to freshen up my makeup throughout the day, when I feel that my makeup is starting to look a little dull and cakey mid-afternoon, I simply spritz all over my face and pat any creases gently with my ring finger to reveal smoother looking skin. This is definitely one of my favourite products from the pack.

splashy wash 200ml £6


Once I've removed my makeup, I ensure that I use my splashy wash and the cloth provided to thoroughly cleanse my face to ensure all traces of makeup and dirt are removed. What I love most about the miamoo products is that I can use them on my face and not worry about them stinging my eyes, which shows how super gentle they are. For an exfoliating wash I use the splashy wash with my cleansing brush on the exfoliate setting to ensure any dead skin is removed, this leaves my skin feeling really smooth and fresh, I aim to do this once a week.  I then use the splashy wash in the shower to cleanse my body, again if I want to exfoliate I use this with my cleansing brush using the body brush head to get rid of any dry patches, paying particular attention to my knees, elbows and ankles.


fresh locks shampoo is a 3-in-1 product that can be used on the face, body and hair, this isn't dissimilar to the splashy wash in my opinion, as they are both a similar runny consistency, lather well and can be used for multiple purposes, however they do have a slightly different scent and the fresh locks shampoo can be used on the hair too. If being used as a shampoo, I think this would be better suited to babies or someone with fine hair, unfortunately as my hair is long, thick, dry and coloured I found that my hair didn't lather too well with this product and I had to use another, that being said it makes an amazing body wash and my latest discovery, I found that it is perfect for washing my makeup brushes with as it leaves them smelling gorgeous and leaves them super soft too, I always love to use baby shampoos on my makeup brushes as I find they are gentle and don't damage the brushes, so this one is perfect and I will be sure to use it again!

Next step, moisturise....





huggy lotion is the perfect everyday moisturiser, it is a lightweight lotion which absorbs into the skin quickly, making it perfect for use after your morning shower, as you don't need to wait for it to absorb before you get dressed for work. Again it smells seriously good, makes the skin baby soft and can actually be used as a base for makeup or simply pop in your handbag to use as a hand cream throughout the day.



What I love about cheeky cream is that it is a thicker cream which can be used as a barrier for problem areas, this is the only one I don't find to have much of a scent but that doesn't bother me as the product works so well. This can be popped in your handbag to use when you need to treat dry hands, flaky skin and any itches or sores throughout the day. I actually have a dry patch on the front of both of my feet, which leans towards the outside and is just to the right of my ankle, they are severely dry and actually go really dark in the summer making them stand out and making me feel self-conscious. I've had them since I was a kid and have no idea what they are or where they came from, but I have been using cheeky cream to try and soften them which so far is working pretty well, I'm aiming to use this every evening in order to make them soft and smooth ready for summer, fingers crossed I'll be able to wear sandals this summer without having to worry about the dreaded patches. I actually think that miamoo should sell this in small pots alone as well as the squeezy tube because it's the perfect handbag companion.

Last step, Massage...




Ok so I won't lie, I was actually hesitant to use this oil at first, I'm not sure if this needed shaking beforehand but the first time I swatched it on my hands, it just didn't really give off a scent, and being a qualified aromatherapist, I like my oils to have a scent that either lifts me or relaxes me, so I'll admit I'm guilty, I just popped it in my drawer for a few days, without much of a thought. I did however get it back out on Friday to give it another whirl and I was pleasantly surprised. I have been alternating between this and the huggy lotion, which I use in a morning and then I whip the baba oil out in the evening. I simply massage this in all over my body after my bath or shower in the evening, allowing the lavender and almond scent to sooth and relax me whilst I unwind before bed.

The biggest test for me and the reason I was so excited to try out the miamoo products is my longstanding problem with constantly irritated legs. Whenever I have a shower or bath and especially after shaving, my legs become an itching nightmare, I develop small bumps under the skin, all over my calf and they itch so bad that I scratch them until they bleed, even then I continue to itch them, making them really sore and they just end up looking a complete mess! I'm actually really happy as I've found that using the splashy wash, followed by baba oil on my legs in the evening really soothes them, they still itch a little between stepping out of the shower and putting the oil on, however if i can resist the initial itch for long enough, these products eventually begin to soothe it and keep the itch at bay, goodbye itchy spots and bruises, hello summer legs!

Overall I love these products, I think my favourite product has to be the baba oil purely because it soothes my itching legs, but I really love them all  and can't wait till payday so that I can order the spritz and wipe and baba oil in full size. I think that the range is perfect for mother and babies, but don't just discard them because they aren't aimed directly towards you, if they're gentle enough for babies, they will be perfect for all skin types and I'm actually really surprised at how affordable the products are considering they are 98-100% natural, each product is either just £5 or £6 and the travel set comes in at just £15, what's not to love?!

miamoo have also given you lovely lot a treat with 10% off at www.miamoo.co.uk when you use the code Blog13. This applies to full priced items only and can be redeemed by entering the code at the checkout! Happy shopping! 

Love




*This product was girfted to me however any opinions given are always my own.





Thursday, 17 April 2014

Birchbox April Thoughts : Good Enough To Eat



 This month's Birchbox theme was Good Enough to Eat, with either the name of the product or the scent being, well, good enough to eat. I am really happy with this months box however I can't help but take a sneak peek at what others got on Instagram and I always find myself a little envious when I see other products that I didn't receive. This month I would have loved to try the One Organics balm as I've heard so many good things about the brand but I guess we can't have them all! Luckily Birchbox sell everything from the box in their Birchbox shop, so I may have to treat myself to that one next month! This month I was really excited to see The Balm and Lord and Berry featured, as I've heard a lot about their products but never got round to trying any, I also received a product from Laura Mercier which is always a bonus!




Before I switched to Birchbox I was always peeking at Instagram to see what people were getting in their boxes each month, I remember being so amazed by seeing Birchbox featuring a product by Laura Mercier and I think this is when I finally decided to switch to them. So I was really happy to see this Laura Mercier product in my box this month! I have way too many body lotions, I'm talking a whole draw full of unopened body lotions but this one smells insanely gorgeous so I didn't mind another! I actually put it on Sunday morning and was being told how nice I smelt Sunday evening, so the scent does last all day! It smells so sweet and is really moisturising, I just hope I don't get too addicted at £44.50 a pop!


I was so excited to see The Balm featured as I have never tried a product from them before, however I have constantly lusted after the Nude'tude Nude Eyeshadow Palette and Mary-Lou Manizer! Why I've never purchased them I'm not sure! This is one of the cheek and lip creams from the How 'Bout them Apples palette which contains six colours, I got the colour Pie, which I think maybe the one everyone got, which is a gorgeous pink toned red. I'm not the best with cream products but when swatching this one, it seems to blend well and isn't too bright, even if it looks so in the palette, I think I'm going to try blending this with my real techniques complexion sponge and see how that goes, this is a new trick I picked up for cream blushers.


                                           Yes To Cucumbers Facial Wipes £4.99 

Although I'm not a big face wipe fan, I've heard a lot of good things about the Yes To range and with these being 100% natural, they can't be that bad for your face right?! Surely it's better to remove your makeup with a 100% natural face wipe than not at all? I used one the other night as a pre-cleanse and they are super gentle, but still be careful around the eye area especially if yours are delicate like mine, they still tend to sting a little! They smell lovely and fresh and will be perfect for your handbag or gym bag for those moments when you may need to remove your makeup in a dash.


Lord and Berry has become quite popular recently and I'm lucky enough to live around the corner from a Sally's store which has actually just started stocking it! I'm obsessed with eyeliner, I barely go a day without wearing it, unless I'm sick, so I was happy to receive this in my box. I love that this is a miniature size, so it fits perfectly in your handbag for touch ups throughout the day. I like that this is black, which may sound silly but I hate when I receive coloured eyeliners in boxes as I'm not so brave with colours, so a standard black eyeliner is perfect as I know I'll use it.




There is always some sort of tasty treat in the box and I was really happy to see Propercorn's sweet and salty popcorn, me and Dan became obsessed with these on one of our many trips this year so far and haven't stopped buying them since! They're just so tasty and under 40 cals for this little bag which makes it guilt free snacking! Right?!


Color Club Nail Lacquer in Gold Struck, part of the Gala's Gems Collection £15

Most people love nail polishes and are happy to receive them in their box, however I work with Gel polish and therefore it's very rare that I wear regular nail polish. As I hit 100 followers on Bloglovin at the weekend, Yayyyy! I have decided to put this nail polish in a giveaway along with some other goodies, so keep your eyes peeled and as soon as I've ordered the rest I'll put my giveaway up.

I just want to say Thank you so much to those of you who follow me and read my posts regularly and especially to those of you who take the time to comment, I really do appreciate it!

Are you subscribed to Birchbox? What did you get this month?

Love










Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Top Spring Lip Picks





Before I started blogging, Lipsticks were just one of those makeup items that I thought only my nan wore, what did I know?! I barely even wore lipgloss and I don't think I actually even owned a lipstick... fast forward seventeen months and I now own over 30 lipsticks, never mind all of the lip crayons, chubby sticks, lip glosses etc so I guess you could say that blogging converted me into a lipstick lover! 

Although I probably didn't need any more lipsticks, with each new season, I love to change up my makeup routine and after hunting for the perfect lipstick for Spring, I ended up finding four! I think a red and a nude are always essential in any collection, for any season, they are the classic colours you can fall back on when your outfit needs to be complimented by an elegant rather than edgy makeup look. 

 The tone of colours you use help to reflect the look that you are going for and brights are perfect to take you through Spring and summer when the sun finally decides to shine.

Here are my top four picks so far for this S/S...

YSL Rouge Volupte in (34) Rose Asarine - This lipstick is the perfect raspberry pink, it really compliments dark features and is perfect for day or night. With it's creamy texture and amazing staying power, you won't look back. See my full review here.

MAC Dreaming Dahlia - Coral is THE colour for this Spring and MAC have it covered with this lipstick from their new Fantasy of Flowers collection. Unlike their usual Lustre formula, this is quite a sheer colour once on, making it the best lipsstick for daytime. It's not as long wearing as my usual lipsticks, only managing around 3-4 hours on the lips but this colour is so gorgeous, you won't mind topping up a little more often. See my full review here.

Rimmel Lasting Shine by Kate (22) - I love a red lipstick, no matter what season it is and this one is just perfect! It applies like a dream, lasts all day on the lips and takes any outfit from day to night!

Soap & Glory Super-Colour Fabu Lipstick in The Missing Pink - I love to wear a nude lipstick for everyday and when I want more of a classic look if I have an intense eye going on. I already have MAC's Hue which is amazing but I wanted more of a pink toned nude to freshen up my look. This lipstick by S&G is the perfect nude, it applies like butter, smells like vanilla and stays put all day.

What Lipsticks will you be wearing this Spring?

Love


Friday, 11 April 2014

MAC Lustre Lipstick in Dreaming Dahlia


I became weak at the knees for yet another MAC lipstick last week, in the form of Dreaming Dahlia. This lipstick is from the new fantasy of flowers collection and although there were so many new ones to choose from, this was the colour I had been searching for. I bought my very first MAC Lipstick just over a year ago, see post here, I knew I was off to London for the weekend after my birthday and I knew straight away what I was buying when I got there, that's when Chatterbox finally joined my makeup routine. I remember being so proud that I finally owned a MAC lipstick and my collection has continued to grow ever since. This is my fifth lipstick by the brand so far and it definitely won't be the last.

This lipstick is on the coral side of both a red and an orange lipstick and falls somewhere in between. It does apply quite sheer, which did shock me as it looks quite a solid colour in the bullet, however it can be built up to give more coverage. What I have come to notice from seeing this on others, i.e searching #dreamingdahlia on Instagram, is that it looks completely different on each and every person. Whilst it applies well, leaving a glossy sheen, it only lasts around 3 to 4 hours but this doesn't put me off as I'm the type of person that regularly tops up my lipstick  anyway.

Have you tried any of the new fantasy of flowers collection by MAC?

Love








Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Revlon S/S Haul

 
 
 
Revlon have really been on the ball for S/S launches and I have been lured in by most of their latest products, in fact my makeup bag probably represents that of a Revlon shop right now. I headed to Boots on my lunch hour last week, which is always pretty dangerous, and I spotted these new releases, I have been waiting for these products for ages and I was surprised to see them on the Revlon stand, as I haven't heard much about their release like I did with the colour burst lip balms. Needless to say I was super happy to find them, but I was pretty good and only picked up 3 things, damn you 3 for 2! I was instantly drawn to the colour of these three, so it didn't take me long to choose as I've really been feeling bright colours and pastels with the weather getting a little warmer. 

I'm not a regular nail polish person, which if you read my blog regularly you will probably have gathered, however I am giving my nails a break from gel polish at the moment, as becoming anemic again recently has really taken its toll on my nails and means that they are starting to break and split underneath the gel, which results in them peeling off and my nails are becoming weak. Therefore I wanted a regular nail polish to pop on and I have had my eye on the Revlon Parfumerie collection since they launched in America just before Christmas! I originally wanted the Red Polish however it was love at first sight with Ginger Melon, offering a summer inducing coral pink colour that smells amazing when on, it dries fairly quickly, but the lid is so frustrating, I found it hard to grip and nearly covered my bed covers in the polish several times, my fault for doing it on the bed? Maybe, but prettiness over practicality definitely won in the making of these!

I first saw the eye shadows after Laura from Bellesboutique posted that she had bought some whilst in America just before Christmas and I have been lusting after them ever since. I thought these colours looked perfect for Spring and I can't wait to try some looks out with them, I love how they slot together, allowing you to create your own palette and at just £2.99 each I think they're such a bargain!

The best part about this haul? They were free! Don't you use just love the Boots Loyalty Card scheme?

Have you tried Revlon's latest offerings yet?

Love





Monday, 7 April 2014

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick (34) Rose Asarine








YSL Rouge Volupte Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick (34) Rose Asarine £25

The most I've ever spent on a lipstick is £15 in MAC, however when I received a Debenhams voucher from Dan's mum for my birthday and some money from his grandparents, I immediately knew what I was going out to buy, a YSL lippie of course! I knew that if I left it for too long I would just end up wasting the money on something that I didn't really want, so I headed out the next day to choose one. I was in and out within about 5 minutes, this colour stood out to me most and when the lady on the counter mentioned that it was a new shade from their Spring collection, I was instantly sold!

I have always been a sucker for packaging and this was no exception, I was instantly lured in by the gold casing, it is just so elegant, with the logo encased in circles around the middle, revealing the colour that is inside, I love that it looks expensive! Although this lipstick looks quite coral in the photos, it's actually more of a dark raspberry pink which you can see better in the swatch photo, I am in love with this colour and think it will be perfect for me for spring as I think it compliments my dark features well.

I also love how this lipstick has such a creamy, buttery texture that glides on the lips with such ease, it also has a gorgeous glossy shine to it and has amazing pigmentation. Although the colour does transfer onto glasses/mugs etc, it does have great staying power, I ate and drank several times after applying this and it still looked perfect afterwards, eventually it does wear off to leave a stain on the lips but I would say it stays on for around 5 to 6 hours before completely wearing off.

As you may be able to tell I am completely in love with this lipstick and can see this very quickly becoming a danger to my bank balance! Have you tried any lipsticks from YSL? What do you think to them?

Love




Friday, 4 April 2014

March Favourites...

Last month I purchased far too many products, I'm talking five lots of boots 3 for 2 offers and then some. It was also my birthday at the end of the month and I accumulated a few more! Yet it was payday on Monday and you would think I didn't need anymore but I've already made 3 online orders and had a shopping spree! Will I ever learn? Probably not! But at least I have lots to blog about! Is that an acceptable excuse?!

So although I had lots for my birthday I decided only having had them for a few days, that it's a little unfair to already claim them as favourites based on first impressions! So your lucky, this post isn't the waffle it could have been!

Ramble over...



This month I got the amazing opportunity to try out the Magnitone Pulsar and this has already become a firm favourite! I have always suffered with blemishes, however since using this beauty, they have really kept at bay for the first time in a very long time! However after just two days of not using this beauty, due to pure laziness of course, I gained three pimples scattered across my face like some kind of dot-to-dot book! I think it's safe to say this is now firmly back in my skincare routine!

I was on the lookout for a new face scrub when I spotted the Melvita Young Skin Facial Scrub in my local TK Maxx,  I was really happy as I've wanted to try something from the Melvita range for quite some time now. This scrub is quite gritty and rough, so I try to only use it once a week, but I've found that it leaves my skin so smooth and the product actually feels like it works! It also helps to keep my spots at bay and is now also a firm favourite in my skincare routine.

Onto moisturising, I swear this is a monthly favourites and not a skincare post! I have used the Clinique moisture surge for years after I first received a sample in a bonus gift and although my skin is usually combination, it can at times change and become severely dry, especially around my nose, mouth and chin. I love this product as a little goes a long way and it really hydrates the skin leaving it super soft and smooth.

Next up is The Body Shop Eau de Toilette in White Musk Smoky Rose , I have accumulated a little collection of perfumes at the moment but I like to have one or two that I can spritz the hell out of during the day, and this one is one of those. The scent is immediately quite strong but settles quickly to leave a lovely  sweet floral scent, It may be a little sickly for some but I adore it and will definitely repurchase it when it's all gone, which won't be long at the rate I'm going!

I'm one of those girls that barely goes without eyeliner, bottom line, i feel naked without it! So I'm always trying out new eyeliners! I do tend to swap them about a bit and just use whichever I'm feeling that day, but this new Maybelline Lasting Drama Black Shock Pen has really been taking over my makeup bag at the moment. It is a gel like formula in a pen form, meaning it's easy to apply but is highly pigmented, gives good shine and has fantastic durability, even my Garnier micellar water struggles to budge this one!

And last but not least after falling in love with Soap and Glorys matte lipstick in Pom Pom I headed back for a second helping and came home with this Satin Lipstick in The Missing Pink. It's basically my perfect nude! It's long wearing, has fantastic shine and glides on the lips like butter, I'm hooked! 

So there you have it, my March favourites! How quick did that come around? What were your favourites during the month of March?





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