A UK Beauty, Lifestyle & Parenting Blog

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

OPI Original Nail Envy

OPI Nail Envy Review / raspberrycheeks

OPI Nail Envy Review / raspberrycheeks
OPI Original Nail Envy. £18.65 per 15ml

Due to pesky, crazy hormones after having my baby, my nails became so weak and were constantly flaking and peeling and they wouldn't hold polish for more than a day! I know I know, not good! Something had to be done so I took to the wonderful world wide web for the best nail treatments. I read a lot of reviews, good and bad about the Original OPI Nail Envy, but I was hesitant to buy it as it's obviously quite pricey.  However, I shopped around and actually found a seller on Amazon selling it for £8. At less than half the RRP, I had to bite the bullet and make the purchase. The price has actually gone up to £9.31 (free delivery) now as I did buy it a couple of months ago, but if you fancy it then you can have a look here. Anyway, onto the good stuff..

There are numerous different types of Nail Envy, specifically formulated for the needs of the nail. You can have a look at the full range here. I decided on the Original as I felt this was probably more of an all rounder! This product is actually marketed as an intense nail treatment, to strengthen the nails over the course of a few weeks. The instructions say to apply two coats, then every other day apply an extra coat, then after a week remove it all and start again.  I'll be honest, I only stuck to these instructions for the very first week I got it - and it really did help!! My nails felt much stronger, obviously they're weren't miraculously cured but I am too impatient to have my nails unpainted for any longer than a week, so after the first week I started using it as a basecoat and think it works really well that way. However, my nails still don't hold the polish for very long - 3 days at the most. I'm not sure if it's due to my painting tekkers, my top coat (Essie's Good To Go) or the fact that I've constantly got my hands in the washing up bowl (being stay at home Mum to a baby really takes it's toll on the hands). If anyone has any tips for making your nail polish last longer - PLEASE send them my way!

All in all, I would really recommend this polish for people suffering with weak, flakey-breaky nails! It has certainly strengthened my nails and I've noticed a lot less breakage! I'm not sure whether I'd pay £18+ for it though so it's a good job I found it for half price! Cheers Amazon!!

Do you have any favourite nail treatments?


Monday, 24 February 2014

Nuxe Spring Wishlist

Nuxe Spring Wishlist / raspberrycheeks

If the Winter and it's awful weather isn't depressing enough, it also wreaks havoc on our skin.  My skin is looking seriously lacklustre and in need of a good bit of sunshine, not to mention a full detox and pamper session.

Nuxe Paris, a famous French skincare brand, are offering us bloggers a chance to win a fabulous Nuxe #pamperhamper worth £250. If you fancy getting involved, you can find out more here. I've picked out my top 5 products from the website that I think would be perfect to help my skin get ready for Spring! Bring it ONNNN I say!

1. Nuxe Reve De Miel Face & Body Ultra Rich Cleansing Gel. (£18 per 400ml)
This gel is suitable for Dry/Sensitive skin - which is perfect for my skin, especially at this time of year. I love that it can be used for both face and body, as I've gotta be honest, I'm sometimes lazy when it comes to taking care of any dry patches on my body!

2. Nuxe Sérum Crème Fraîche de Beauté. (£27 per 30ml)
I love a good serum and this looks like a great match for me. Suitable for all sensitive skins, it promises to moisturise and sooth the skin for 24hours. Fantastique!

3. Nuxe Clarifying Creme-Mask with Rose Petals. (£18.50 per 50ml)
Ooooh this does look right up my street! A soft cream that purifies the skin and smells of roses? Winner!

4. Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Comfortable Day Cream. (£23 per 50ml)
This nourishing day cream claims to nourish, replenish, soothe, repair and protect the skin from external factors. Sound awesome? My skin struggles with tightness and dryness, not to mention it's ultra sensitive. I need this in my life!

5. Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm. (£9.50 per 15ml)
Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! This bestselling lip balm has been on my wishlist for so long. Why I don't own it yet is actually puzzling me! I've heard so many good things about it's ability to completely repair the lips overnight and leave them soft and supple. Apparently one is sold every 28 seconds! Yes please!

You have until 10th March to get your entries in! Good luck Nuxers!!


Friday, 21 February 2014

Barry M Nail Paints

Barry M Nail Paints Collection / raspberrycheeks

Barry M Nail Paints Collection / raspberrycheeks

Barry M Nail Paints are very popular amoungst beauty bloggers, and for good reason. They're cheap, the shade range is outstanding, and they're easy to apply.  They come in a huge range of different formulas; Original Nail Paint, Hi Shine Gelly, Matte, Effects (magnetic, crackle, glitter, etc.), textured and their newest additions; Silk & Confetti. I just wanted to show you my current collection - although there's so many more I need to try.

Barry M Nail Paint (£2.99 per 10ml)

Barry M Nail Paints / raspberrycheeks
From Left: Matte White - Blue Moon - Peach Melba - Cappucino
Ahhh the original Nail Paints. So much love for these bad boys. I don't know why I only own 4 of them to be honest, as the shade range is mahooooosive! They apply well and are relatively long lasting. However, the pastel colours (Blue Moon & Peach Melba), are extremely sheer, so they do need a good 2-3 coats to get to the opacity I like.

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint (£3.99 per 10ml)

Barry M Gelly Nail Paints / raspberrycheeks
From Left: Plum - Prickly Pear - Lychee

The Hi Shine Gelly Polishes were released at the back end of 2012, when everyone went mad for them and they became a very controversial product - with bloggers either loving or hating them! I for one, LOVE them. The high shine finish means a top coat isn't necessary and they are, like the original formula, super easy to apply. I need me some more of these pronto!!

Barry M All in One & Glitters

Barry M Nail Paint Glitters / raspberrycheeks
From Left: All in One Basecoat, Topcoat, Hardener - Gold Glitter - Superdrug Limited Edition 347 - Rose Quartz Glitter

First up, the All in One Basecoat, Topcoat & Nail Hardener. I really like this product, and it definitely does a good job at hardening the nail. It's actually taken a back seat while I try some other base / topcoats, but I think I'll dig it back out as a permanent fixture as I'm feeling a little bit guilty now, ha!

The Glitters - it's love!! Especially Rose Gold Quartz. It was my go to for the Christmas / party season and it makes any nail polish look so pretty! They're a little bit tougher to remove but I think most glitter polishes are like that so I'm not going to complain! I have to say I'm not a huge fan of the Limited Edition Superdrug one, but it's still wearable!

Barry M Nail Paint Swatches / raspberrycheeks

1. Plum
2. Prickly Pear
3. Lychee
4. Matte White
5. Blue Moon
6. Peach Melba
7. Cappucino
8. Gold Glitter
9. 347 (Limited Edition at Superdrug)
10. Rose Quartz Glitter

My favourites?  Plum & Rose Quartz Glitter (together they make the perfect pair)

Next on my list?  Silk & Matte formulas! If anyone has any reviews I'd love to have a read!


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Mummy Tag

raspberrycheeks The Mummy Tag

The lovely Caroline over at Notes From Caroline tagged me to do this post and I'm so glad she did as I've been dying to do it! You can read her post here. I love a good Mummy-related post now and again.

1. Are you a Stay at Home Mum or a Working Mum?
I'm a Stay at Home Mum for the time being. The plan was to stay at home with George, hopefully have another baby, and then once they are both settled in school/nursery, I will get out into the big, bad world.

2. Would you have it any other way?
I absolutely love being at home with George, as I get to be there for every little milestone he makes, and I don't have to leave him in childcare etc.. but at the same time, money is obviously a lot tighter than it used to be for us with only one income. So it will be nice to earn a crust when I finally get back out there, as well as actually having some adult conversations again. lol

3. Do you co-sleep?
No, we never have. I've always been scared incase we roll onto him or something. George actually went in his own room (moses basket inside cot) from about 3 weeks old. I know thats young, but it's right next door and we left both doors wide open so we could hear him, we just found we all slept a lot better, and he was sleeping through the night by 8 weeks so I don't regret it at all.

4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?
Apart from the obvious ones; Pram, Cot, Nappies, Dummies etc.... I would say Ewan the Dream Sheep has been George's best sleeping companion. It's a gorgeous little cuddly sheep that lights up a soothing dim red light, plays a tune and also has different heartbeat sounds to replicate the mother's womb. He sleeps with it every single night and sometimes if he wakes in the night I hear him press it's little foot to turn it on again. So cute.

5. How many kids do you plan on having?
Two. My hubby already has 2 children from a previous marriage who live with us for half of the week, so I think one more will be perfect. Plus I really don't think we could afford any more than that haha.

6. Date night? How many nights per month?
We don't really call them 'date nights' but we get to the cinema quite often on an Orange Wednesday (usually an afternoon if the hubby can get away from work) which is lovely.  We are lucky that both sets of parents live close by and are more than willing to look after George for a few hours. Also, my Mam often asks to have George overnight on a Friday night, which means we get to go to the local pub for a few drink and a takeaway now and again. Not to mention a Saturday morning lie in! Lovely! But even so, we get a few hours every night to settle down and watch what we want on the TV, so we're far from deprived.  We're hooked on Game of Thrones at the minute!!

7. Your Child's favourite TV show?
George absolutely adores Peppa Pig. Obviously his favourite is George Pig ;-) haha. He is also partial to a bit of Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom. I think it's just whatever he is used to, and I usually just have Nick Jr on, which show those two programs a LOT.

8. Name one thing you bought before having your baby that you've never used?
I bought a baba-sling. As lots of people said they were a Godsend when it came to doing housework with a clingy baby. I never got the hang of it, as I thought he never looked comfy. Then he got too big. Booo.

9. Your child's favourite food?
I'm afraid I have a very fussy child on my hands. If he doesn't like the look of something he won't even try it. The little tinker. He is a huge fan of Scrambed Eggs and Dairylea Sandwiches. Simple things!

10. How many cars does your family have?
We just have the one. It's a seven seater beast. My hubby goes to work on his bike, leaving me the car. Sweeeeet.

11. Weight gain before, during & after pregnancy, and now?
To be honest I've never been one to stress about my weight. Although I am lucky that I have a pretty fast metabolism. I'd say that my weight is pretty much the same as I was pre-pregnancy, maybe a couple of lbs heavier. It's just that my tummy is a lot less firm than it used to be. pahhhh

12.  Dream holiday with your kids?
Obviously I would LOVE to go to Disney World (or even Disney Land) when they are a bit older. I think I'd love that just as much as the kids (if not more, ha).

13. Dream holiday without your kids?
New York City. I went back in 2006 with my friend and I'd love to go back with my Hubby. He needs to see the best city in the world!!! NEEED.

14. How has your life changed since your baby has been born?
Massively. Obviously, I am not working at the minute, so there's that aspect of life, which is fab. But of course, becoming a parent is the most life-changing event a person will ever go through. You are suddenly responsible for a whole other human being, and you and your needs no longer come first. I wouldn't change it for the world though, even if it does take half an hour just to get out of the house to go down to the shops. I adore George and honestly cannot imagine my life without him.

15.  Finish the sentence.. 'it melts my heart to see...'
The biggest smile on George's face when I walk into his bedroom on a morning. He is so happy when he wakes up. Gets me every time.

16. Where do you shop for your kids?
For necessities, I go to wherever has the best offers at the time.  But for clothing I go all over. H&M have some lovely bits, as well as Primark, Next, George at Asda etc.

17. Favourite makeup and skincare products?
Ooohhhh too many to choose from! Beauty bloggers have an obsession, haha. At the minute I am loving The Body Shop Vitamin E Facial Oil (review here) & Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation.

18. Huggies or Pampers?
Pampers for nappies, Huggies for wipes as they are a bit thicker than Pampers. Huggies nappies were pap when George was newborn, and I think they have actually stopped making them now.

19. Have you always wanted kids?
Yes, always.

20. Best part about being a Mum?
Cliché, but everything! I honestly find myself sitting and just staring at George, whether he is asleep or just sat playing on his own. Motherhood is the best job in the world. Fact!

I don't think I have anyone to tag, as the Mummy bloggers I read have already done it. So I tag anyone who hasn't already done it!! :-)


Monday, 17 February 2014

Avène Try Before You Buy Samples

Avene Try Before You Buy Samples Mistrys

Avene Try Before You Buy Samples Mistrys

I was trawling my major backlog bloglovin' feed the other day when I came across Latasha's post over at Today I Adore, about how Mistrys Pharmacy online are offering 5 free Avene samples, and all you need to pay is the £3.25 postage.  I jumped right on that one and headed straight over to Mistrys to make my order.

I chose...
Gentle Toner 25ml
Soapless Gel Cleanser 25ml
Hydrating Soothing Serum 5ml
Mineral SPF50 Cream 5ml
Gentle Purifying Scrub 5ml

They ended up sending me an extra SPF50 cream, HOWEVER, they also sent 2 different items to the ones that I ordered, which is a little bit annoying as the Serum is what I wanted to try the most. Sooo I ended up receiving...

Micellar Lotion 25ml
Soapless Gel Cleanser 25ml
D-Pigment Dark Spot Lightener 3ml (it's smaller and I don't even need to try it!)
Mineral SPF50 Cream 5ml x 2
Gentle Purifying Scrub 5ml

So apart from that little hitch (which I've emailed them about, just because there was no explanation as to why they sent different ones), I'm actually pretty happy with my samples. I think more brands should offer this system as it's a great way of getting to test them out on your skin without paying £10+ first.

You can order your 5 free samples here.
What do you think of this offer? Should more brands do this?


Friday, 14 February 2014

Review || Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Moss Nail Polish - Hip Hop

Review | Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish by Kate Moss in Hip Hop

Review | Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish by Kate Moss in Hip Hop

Review | Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish by Kate Moss in Hip Hop
Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Moss Nail Polish in Hip Hop - £4.49
Firstly, Happy Valentine's Day to all you love birds out there! I've never been one for Valentine's Day myself - I find it highly commercialised and a bit gimmicky, so the Hubby and I never really celebrate it. However, we are going for a cheeky breakfast at a local tea room this morning (a cheeky Groupon Deal) so you could  say we're being romantic! heh! Anyhoo, I wanted to show you all my current favourite nail polish as I just can't get enough of it!

As I'm sure you're all aware, Kate Moss is the face of Rimmel, and has collaborated with them to create 10 of her own shades of the popular Salon Pro Nail Polishes to go alongside the original 26 shades. My choice: Hip Hop. A beautiful, orange-toned, coral red. In other words; perfection in a polish! All of the Salon Pro nail polishes contain lycra and have a gel-like formula, which, not only dry to a glossy finish, are also relatively long lasting.  I use both a base and topcoat, like I do with all my nail polishes, and I can vouch for both claims. This shade does take a good 2-3 coats to reach to the opacity I like, but I'm not sure how the other shades are on that front. I think I'll try painting this over a white polish next time to see how that pans out. My favourite thing about these polishes is the size of the brush. The enormousness of it allows you to paint a nail in 1-2 strokes. Always a winner with me. Hip Hop is a firm favourite of mine, and I can't see it being beaten any time soon as it is perfect for the approaching Spring/Summer.

Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polishes retail at £4.49 in all the usual places, but I spotted a selection of original shades on Fragrance Direct for a bargain £1.50, and a select few Kate Moss ones for £2.50.  I need to get my hands on some more of these bad boys.

Also, If those shades don't tickle your fancy, they are currently 2 for £7 at Superdrug.

What's your current favourite nail polish?


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Review || Origins Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Treatment Lotion

Origins Make a Difference+ Rejuvenating Treatment Lotion

Origins Make a Difference+ Rejuvenating Treatment Lotion
Origins Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Treatment Lotion. £20 for 150ml

I have to be honest, toner isn't something I've ever used on a regular basis, just because I've always felt like they were a bit of a con and never felt as though I really needed that extra step.  More recently though, I've been using one, as I think it must do 'something' even though I don't necessarily see instant results. The latest addition to my new toner family is this 50ml serving from Origins, which I received in the Origins Merry Moisturisers Gift Set at Christmas.

The purpose of this lotion is to prepare the skin for moisturisation after cleansing and to help the skin retain moisture, leaving the skin looking and feeling more plump and healthy. Of course, like the other products from the Make A Difference range, the lotion includes some key, active ingredients to help the skin retain moisture; Rose of Jericho and Cactus Extract.

I have been using this as part of my evening skincare routine, and using a different toner on a morning. I feel as though, for me, this lotion is better suited for evening use as I prefer to partner it with thicker, more intense moisturisers and let them work their magic while I'm in the land of nod. As with any other toners, I simply put a couple of drops of this onto a cotton pad and swipe across my face after cleansing, before applying my facial oil and moisturiser. Like I said above, I have never felt like toners really made much of a difference to my skin. This is different. I actually do notice a difference when using this lotion. My skin feels very refreshed, soothed and hydrated as soon as I've applied it. I can't say that using this product has single-handedly changed my skin for the better, but it definitely feels nice to use and think it gives my skin that extra nudge to help it retain moisture.  For that, I do really like this product and think it is definitely a step above your regular toner - I'm just not sure that I can justify £20 for a bottle of toner.


Sunday, 9 February 2014

Topshop || High Vamp Skaters

Topshop High Vamp Skater Shoes

Topshop High Vamps Skater Shoes
Topshop TIKA2 High Vamp Skaters. £20

Ohhh yes. I did it. I jumped on the bandwagon and bought these amazing Black Crocodile Print Skater Shoes!  Dupes for the likes of the Céline and Kurt Geiger skater shoes that everyone wants, these puppies are very similar and an absolute bargain at only £20.  Thank you Topshop, you've done it again! I think they're perfect for the summer, paired with skinny jeans and a casual tee! There's a little issue with the sizing, though.  I originally bought these in my usual size (6) and they fit in the shop, but the ends are really narrow, which made my toes feel cramped together when I tried to walk around in them at home.  I returned them and picked up a 7 and they're fine.  Just something to keep in mind.

These shoes also come in burgundy & silver, as well as fur and tartan. I want them allllll!!

Have you picked up a pair of these bad boys yet?


Friday, 7 February 2014

The Body Shop Vitamin E Facial Oil

Review | The Body Shop Vitamin E Facial Oil

Review | The Body Shop Vitamin E Facial Oil

Review | The Body Shop Vitamin E Facial Oil
The Body Shop Vitamin E Facial Oil. £11

I've always avoided using oils and oily products on my face as I thought they would make my sensitive skin break out, and I for one wasn't willing to take the risk.  That was until a few months back when my skin was being particularly naughty.  I turned to #bbloggers chat for help, and a lot of lovely ladies came back with the fact that my skin might actually be dehydrated and to try a facial oil.  I introduced one into my little skincare routine - and I haven't looked back!  I first used the Balance Me Extra Care Radiance Face Oil that I got in my Glamour Beauty Edit Box, which I really loved, but once that finished I wanted to try something else.  I picked this one up and I honestly think I love this one even more!

The Vitamin E Range from The Body Shop aims to protect the skin from the damaging effects of the environment, as well as premature ageing, by adding an extra boost of moisture to help plump the skin. This facial oil is jam packed with essential oils to help soothe the skin, as well as anti-oxidants, which help to reduce blemishes by rebalancing the skin's natural oil levels, leaving the skin feeling smoother and more supple.

I have been using this oil morning and night for about 3 weeks now and I'm really loving the results.  I just put one drop of this into my hands and pat it into the skin before moisturising and it leaves my skin looking and feeling so much nicer than it did before.  It sinks into the skin really quickly and doesn't leave a horrible greasy residue like you would expect. My skin feels much plumper and my blemishes have been reduced to the point where I very rarely get one.  Can't think of anything bad to say about it actually, can you tell? ha.

Next on my list? The New Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil (here).

Have you tried this facial oil?


Monday, 3 February 2014

Top 5 Highstreet Face Products

Not everyone can afford premium makeup on an everyday basis, right? I know I can't.  Highstreet (drugstore) brands are really pulling it out of the bag lately when it comes to quality makeup.  Here are my top 5 picks for the face...

Top 5 High Street Drugstore Face Products

It was a tough choice between this and Bourjois' Healthy Mix Serum, but this just pipped it as I think it gives that little extra glow! Such a beautiful foundation

I think everyone who is anyone has mentioned this concealer at one point or another! It's great for both under eyes and blemishes. It's got everything you could want; it has great coverage, it's not cakey or drying, it doesn't move around and best of all - it's cheap!

I'm a huge fan of Soap&Glory powders, with this bronzer being my favourite.  It's split into two sides, with a darker and a lighter shade.  I usually just swirl my brush around the whole pan and give my face an overall glow.  But the darker side works for contouring too.  A great all rounder!

I absolutely love this blush! It's my favourite blush of all.  It's the most perfect colour, it's easy to blend and it leaves a lovely dewy glow.

If you like to set your makeup with a nice translucent powder, then give this a go.  See my review here.

What are your favourite face products on the high street today?

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