A UK Beauty, Lifestyle & Parenting Blog

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Skincare Wishlist

I've really got into skincare again recently and find my skin has finally settled down after having a major breakdown at the end of my pregnancy. I'm constantly on the browse for new products aimed at dry/sensitive skin and I've compiled a pretty substantial list of everything I wanna try. Clearly NEVER gonna get all of these as some of them are pretty pricey, but a girl can want!

I'm a massive lover of oily/balm like cleansers, but due to the residue they can leave on the skin, I've come to realise that 2nd cleansing is the way to go. I'm wanting some gentle cleansers to remove any oily residue but also soothe my sensitive skin and add a bit of hydration.

Exfoliating is essential for dry skin that's looking a bit lackluster, but if you have dry/sensitive skin like me, you've gotta be picky on the type of exfoliator you use, unless you want angry red skin after your pamper sesh! Gentle exfoliators that add a bit of radiance are my weapon of choice and I've got my eye on a few at the moment.

Face Masks
Nothing says pamper night better than a face mask and a long, hot bath. I have a lot of blemish fighting masks, but none that really hydrate and plump, which is what my skin needs more, so I've got my eye on these 3, which I think will do just that.

A product I never used to bother with, but something I now find I notice if I've skipped. I find they are great at removing any last trace of cleansing and really make my skin feel clean. I like exfoliating toners as they are great for dry skin, but I wouldn't use one every day as my skin is sensitive so I think maybe switching up with a hydrating toner every other day is the way to go. I know my Mam uses the Clarins one I've listed below and I've had a few tries of it and it really is lovely.
Something my skin could 100% not do without. I absolutely HAVE to include an oil and a serum into my everyday skincare routines. I find mornings are great for a facial oil and evenings are great for a serum that includes Hyaraluronic Acid to inject some much needed moisture whilst I sleep. (Hyaluronic acid helps to retain over a 1000 times its weight in water within the cells of skin, making it an excellent moisturizer). I've got a list as long as my arm of the products I wanna try, but I've narrowed them down to 3.

Obviously an essential part of skincare. I've lost count of the amount of moisturisers I've tried over the years in the search for the 'perfect one'. I've found some I've really liked, but I always find more to add to my ever growing wishlist in my head. I got a sample of The Body Shop's Nutriganics one last week at their Blogger's Event and I really like it and find my makeup sits really well with it, so definitely gona have to go and get the full size very soon.
I've really got into this extra step lately. I actually spoke of my love for leave on overnight masks (here), but since trying a sample of The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask I honestly can't wait to run out and get the full size. The little sample pot I got has lasted me a week so far and the difference in my skin is unbelievable. It feels so smooth and really does feel 'bouncy'. I've also got my eye on this multipurpose cream that has become such a cult product on Pinterest I need to see what the fuss is all about.

Wow. Think that would actually break the bank!

What's on your skincare wishlist?

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Friday, 26 June 2015

iWhite Instant Teeth Whitening 2 | Review & Results

Ohhh teef! Why are you so bloody faffy? Why can't you just be white and stay white? Why is it that all the yummy food and drinks (I will NEVER give up Tea and Coke) are the main culprits in reducing whiteness? It's just not fair!! I've tried plenty of whitening toothpastes & mouthwashes and realised they really don't make much difference. I've even tried some whitening strips off ebay that were ok but nothing snazzy. I'd love to pay to have mine professionally whitened but it's just not feasible on the owld budget! When I was asked to trial the iWhite Instant Teeth Whitening 2 Kit*, I jumped at the chance truth be told.

The iWhite Instant Teeth Whitening 2 Kit (or iWhite 2) is I think an updated version of the original iWhite kit, although I'm not entirely sure what's different. All I know is it's a few quid more. Anyway, the kit itself comes with a 5 day course which you can choose to either use 5 days in a row, or use as and when you fancy a quick brighten. There's 5 packets in total, with 2 trays in each (one for the bottom and one for the top).  Here's what they say:
"White Instant is a professional teeth whitening kit for instant results, up to 8 shades whiter, after just one application. The product contains a new, revolutionary whitening gel which has been clinically proven safe and instantly effective. This innovative, one step system will also actively remove stains and strengthen your teeth. A packaging contains 10 mouth trays which are ready to use. The trays are pre-filled with active gel and hygienically packed. The flexible one-size-fits-all trays ensure a comfortable fit and maximum performance.This product comes with 75ml iWHITE Instant Teeth Whitening Toothpaste".
The trays contain a white gel, which covers the teeth and gets to work. So all you do is gently clean your teeth, apply the two disposable trays to the top and bottom teeth, close the mouth and leave them on for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes has passed, simply remove the trays and dispose of and rinse mouth with water to get rid of any leftover gel. I wanted to use mine for 5 days in a row to get the full effect, but to be honest I kept forgetting so I think I used all 5 over the space of about 12 days or something. They're really easy to use and don't really bother you (unless you get a phonecall from your brother like I did! The fun I had trying to speak. I had to hang up the phone as I couldn't stop laughing and obviously couldn't explain why I couldn't speak to him. howl)

My results below show that this kit definitely works and is something I'd certainly reconsider purchasing again if/when I need to. Here's me thinking my teeth weren't too bad #awkward.

iWhite 2 is available from Boots for £34.5 and is currently on Fragrance Direct for £30.95 PLUS a free gift. Barrrg!

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Friday, 19 June 2015

My Most Loved Makeup Brushes

Travel back in time about 4 years and you wouldn't see many makeup brushes in my collection. I probably had a couple of scratty old blusher brushes, a random kabuki and some basic eyeshadow brushes and that was it. I certainly never used brushes for foundation, just plain old fingers. Fast forward to the present day and I have a pretty canny brush collection going on (obviously living in my White Ikea Skurar Plant Pots, cos am a blogger arn' a!). Even though I have a fair few makeup brushes now, I still find myself reaching for the same ones to perform the same jobs, so I wanted to show you my 8 favourites.

Real Techniques Buffing Brush
Part of the Core Collection. I use this for foundation every single day. I'm yet to find anything better. It's super soft but nice and dense which means it buffs product into my skin seamlessly and really quickly.
Core Collection RRP £21.99 but £10.08 on Amazon (here)

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Similar to the Buffing Brush but smaller and the bristles are even more densely packed. I use this for foundation on occasion (if my Buffing brush is being washed), but I usually use this for cream blush as it picks up just the right amount of product and blends the product onto the cheeks really nicely.
RRP £9.99 but £6.48 on Amazon (here)

MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush
My one and only MAC brush. I love this for contouring as it's just the right to get into those (non-existent) hollows of the cheekbones to add some definition. Its amazing quality and always comes up spotless after a clean with baby shampoo.
RRP £27

Real Techniques Duo-Fiber Face Brush
I actually have 2 of these because it's comes in both the Nic's Picks & Limited Edition Duo-Fiber Collections. I use this to set my makeup with a transparent powder. Because it's duo-fibre, it's really light and picks up the smallest amount of product, ideal for me who doesn't want much powder. I just like to use it on areas where I might get a little bit shiny.
Nic's Picks Set RRP £29.99 but £19.06 on Amazon (here)
Limited Edition Duo-Fiber Set RRP £23.99 but £13.45 on Amazon (here)

Real Techniques Contour Brush
Says it's for contouring, I use it for highlighting - cos I'm a big rebel. I find this the perfect size for highlighting as it's got a small, soft head that picks up just the right amount of product. I have used it for contouring aswell and it does work nicely at getting in the hollows.
Core Collection RRP £21.99 but £10.08 on Amazon (here)

Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush
My favourite brush for applying eyeshadow. It's nice and flat so it's great for packing on colour, but it's also really nice to blend with, making it a great little multi-tasker! Available in both the Starter Set & Nic's Picks Collections.
Starter Kit RRP £20.99 but £12.70 on Amazon (here)

Emily 217 Blending Brush
Clearly a dupe (#blatentcopy) of MAC's 217 brush, but I couldn't justify paying £19 for an eyeshadow brush so I took to ebay for a cheapy just to see what they were like. I found the Emily 217 blending brush which looks pretty much identical to MAC's version and you know what? I really love it. It does the exact job I want without being scratchy and harsh. Definitely need a few more of these in my collection.
RRP £2.49

Real Techniques Angled Liner Brush
Also part of Nic's Picks, this is one little beauty I really couldn't live without! I use it every single day on my eyebrows and it's just the perfect size and sharp enough to get really crisp lines. It works great with both powder and cream brow products, and it's also great for gel eyeliner!
Nic's Picks Set RRP £29.99 but £19.06 on Amazon (here)

What are your favourite brushes?

P.S. Look what I'm working with every time I try and take blog photos...

Good job I love him!

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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Father's Day Gift Ideas

With Father's Day just around the corner, it's about time we got our Daddy's something special (and even your other half if you have young children like I do). The lovely people at House of Fraser recently contacted me about an amazing offer they have on at the moment, where you can get a Men's Grooming Gift Set* worth a whopping £96 for just £20 when you spend £10 or more across the Beauty department. They kindly sent me one and it really is a whopper. It makes a great gift, and heck, the beauty related product you buy could even be one of your regular makeup products. #savvy #sorrynotsorry

Exclusively made for House of Fraser, this Father`s Day set contains all the grooming essentials. This set includes:

Scaramouche and Fandango: Hydrator 100ml
Hanz de Fuko: Hybridized Wax 56g
Billy Jealousy: Shampoo 60ml
Billy Jealousy: Conditioner 60ml
Recipe for Men: Ultra Sensitive Shaving Cream 100ml
Molton Brown: Black Pepper Body Wash 100ml
Elemis: Shower Gel 300ml.

This got me thinking about other gifts available, so I thought I'd put together a Father's Day Gift Guide to give you all some ideas. 

R2-D2 Wallet - £11.95
Aerial Postcode Puzzle - from £19.99

I'm LOVING the Postcode puzzle and think I might need to order one of these for my Dad. He loves a good jigsaw! 
Hope this has given you all some last minute ideas.

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Monday, 15 June 2015

MAC Speed Dial Lipstick

MAC Speed Dial Lipstick. RRP £15.50
Yep, I'm back again with another MAC lipstick. I just can't get enough. If I see a post on one or a MAC lipstick collection I just can't ignore it! MAC's Speed Dial lipstick is another one I very rarely see mentioned on other blogs. It's a blue toned. natural (neither bright nor nude) pink which I think would suit most skintones. It's a cremesheen formula which means it's lovely and creamy and has great pigmentation. As with most cremesheens, with it being so moisturising, it does mean that the lasting power isn't great (1-2hours tops), but as it's so easy to reapply I don't mind so much. I always seem to forget about this lippy and find myself reaching for more subtle tones like Creme Cup or Peach Blossom, but I reckon as the summer approaches I'll be choosing this a lot more.

NOTE: MAC Lipsticks RRP for £15.50 but Fragrance Direct have a good few in at the moment for £13.75 so a bit of a saving if you're after a new shade.

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Saturday, 13 June 2015

*NEW* imPRESS Ultra Shine Accent Nails

A few months ago I spoke of my love for the imPress Press-On Nails from Broadway Nails (here), and now they're back with a new range of high shine press on manicures with special accent nail designs. Each set comes with 30 nails (24 plain and 6 accent) in 12 different sizes, a mini nail file and a cleansing wipe. I was very kindly sent the set 'Swept Away'* - a gorgeous pearly-nude with a glitter accent. I chose to put the accent nails on my ring finger as I always love that look. They've gotta be the easiest/best false nails I've ever tried. All you need to do is organise which sizes you want to use, clean your nails with the little wipe included, peel off the clear back of the nail and hold them onto the nail for about 30 seconds and you're good to go! After about an hour or so I went in and gently filed the tip of the nails to remove the slight ridge that you can see on the photos. I've been wearing these for 4 days so far and they're showing no signs of shifting (and that's a busy mother with 2 babies and shed loads of washing up involved). I'm dying to have a look see what other designs are available as I'm loving the new accent option! 

imPress Accent Nails are available in ASDA for £6.98.
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Thursday, 11 June 2015

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten Concealer Crayon

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten Crayon. £6
Ohhh Soap & Glory, you never fail to make me smile! Their newest release is an addition to their already amazing concealer line. I'd already tried (and loved) the original Kick Ass 3 in 1 Concealer, so I knew I needed to give the new creamy crayon version a try. Soap & Glory say:
This multi-action, no-nonsense concealer crayon blurs imperfections and banishes shadows for a flawless finish.
With long-lasting coverage that leaves skin looking revived and refreshed, this roll up, multi-tasking concealer crayon is perfect for girls on the go!
Wow, and I thought Benefit's Fake Up was the creamiest concealer I'd ever tried. The formula of this crayon is absolutely a-mazing for my dry skin. It's unbelievably soft, thick and creamy. It glides under the eyes and really highlights the whole area, making me look a whole lot more awake and refreshed. It conceals imperfections pretty well but I wouldn't say it's exceptional for really red blemishes - it's definitely more of a brightening concealer (hence the name).  FYI - as it's in stick form, I wouldn't recommend applying this directly onto blemishes as that would just create a bacteria frenzy and make matters worse - use your finger or a brush. It comes in 2 shades (light and medium). which isn't great, but I chose light as I really like the whole highlighted under eyes look. The shade is actually really nice for my skintone, but I think really pale skintones might not find it as highlighting as I do. It comes in at £6 which I find really reasonable, as usually Soap & Glory products come in around the £10 mark. 

I'd say if you have dry skin and warm/neutral undertone, you'll probably love this concealer and I highly recommend giving it a go, especially for the price.

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Monday, 1 June 2015

May 2015 Favourites

Hiii June. Probably the prettiest month of the year has arrived. June is always so lovely as we're in the midst of Spring with all the beautiful flowers and blossoms going on, but also heading into Summer which means bye bye cardigans, helloooo suntan! Can't wait for Summer this year as George is at the perfect age to take on days out and actually get something out of it, and Freddie (at 3 months old) is getting so inquisitive now and it'll be nice to get him outside in the fresh air taking in all the nature. A new month means a new monthly favourites post. As I'm sure I've said before, I don't always post my faves as sometimes I've been using the same things as the month before and I don't really wanna be a Polly Parrot. Capeesh? I have actually been using some different products to last months (here) though, so naturally I wanna show ya'll! 

Firstly, I've been loving Seventeen lately, and Seventeen's Define & Conquer Contour Kit in fair (review here) has been a staple in my everyday makeup routine all month. The bronzer inside this bad boy is perfect - not too orange nor too dirty looking, it's velvet texture means it's so easy to blend and the very generous mirror inside means it doubles up as my compact. Another product I've been loving this month is one I actually bought last Summer when it was released. Bourjois Cream Blush Sun in 06 Tropical Coral jumped into my basket, went in my drawer when I got home and was forgotten about until very recently, when I opened it up to reveal the most stunning coral based orangey-brown blush with slight shimmer running through it. I certainly don't own anything quite like it and think it's gonna be a great little addition to my makeup bag throughout the Summer. This next one is a bit of a cheat as I've only been using it for the past week, but I wanted to include it in this month's favourites as it's just so pretty. Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 Eyeshadow in Pink Gold is the most beautiful pale pink cream shadow with gold shimmer. It's so easy to swipe across the eyelid and blend using just your finger - great for busy girls or if you're just having a lazy makeup day (Maybelline Color Tattoo post here). Next up, I have FAR too many mascaras at the moment, but when I see a newbie on the block on a special trial price I just fold like a cheap napkin! I always loved the double-ended mascaras with the white primer wand on one end as I always found my lashes loved them. I hadn't used one for a good few years and L'Oreal's new False Lash Superstar Mascara didn't let me down. The primer really helps lengthen and separate the lashes and my lashes just look long and luscious. I've found myself using nothing but this all month (it went with me to Malta last minute even though I'd already packed some handy travel sized mascaras. I just couldn't leave it behind ok?). Last, but certainly not least, is my current go-to everyday lipstick shade - MAC's Peach Blossom (review here). It's a lipstick that doesn't get half as much blog coverage as it should. Last month I was raving about Creme Cup, but that's so last month. Now I've got a slight tan, Peach Blossom is the way to go, with it's warm, peachy undertones! As it's a cremesheen formula, it's so easy to apply and feels moisturising on my dry lips.

What have you been loving recently?

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