Sunday, 16 November 2014

Claudia Louch Day and Night Moisturisers | Reivew

Claudia Louch is one of my favourite brands for high end skincare. Every product I've tried is luxurious and performs the job just like it's supposed to, with no bad side effects. In short, they are utterly reliable. This is the case with these two gorgeously packaged moisturisers. Both are suitable for sensitive skin, containing no harsh chemicals, and a host of soothing and natural active ingredients. Personally, I only apply skincare at night, so I've been using the 'Day Moisturiser' as a night cream, but I actually prefer it over the 'Night Cream' for this task. Jojoba oil is an anti-inflammatory and helps to dissolve excess sebum that clogs pores, so it's great for my oily/combination skin. The Botanical Night Cream contains a little of this great ingredient, but with a higher percentage of shea butter, and other rich ingredients, making it great for when my skin is dryer, and in need of deep hydration. Both creams are free from fragrances, sink into the skin easily, and quite simply, do their job very well indeed.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Clarins The Essentials Mineral Eye Make-Up Palette | Review

The Limited Christmas Palette this year is a scrumptious collection of ten pressed mineral powder eyeshadows, presented in a way not dissimilar to one of the Naked Palettes. The shadows are housed in a cardboard box, held together by an elastic. I'm not hugely happy with the lack ok a click or magnetic closure, and the plastic tray inside makes the packaging somewhat disappointing. However, the brush is of good enough quality, and the first swatch of the shadows showed them to be silky and blendable. A couple of the lightest colours are less pigmented than I would wish, but the mid-tones are beautiful. The real winner in this palette is the bright gold shade near the centre of the palette - it's a little chunky, but with a good primer and careful application, it makes for the most amazing Christmas-party look. The shadows are long-lasting with my usual primer, and not prone to creasing. The range of shades is great for a neutral lover like me, and I think this would make a lovely Christmas gift for any eye-shadow lover.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Degustabox October | Review

October Degustabox * | £12.99 including delivery

I am fully aware that my last post was almost a full month ago, about last month's Degustabox no less, and for that I am very sorry. I have been utterly lazy with my blog for a few weeks, but I have photos for about ten posts, and I'm really hoping to get back into the swing of blogging again - I've really missed it. Anyway, this month's Degustabox was a pretty interesting one. If you haven't seen me post about them before, Degustabox is a food hamper subscription service by which you can receive a box a tasty treats each month, and try all kinds of different foody products. I was excited to see another packet of Pain au Laits when I opened the box (they are scrumptious for mid-morning snacking), but there were also lots of products I've never tried before - Drinks Enhancers which are meant to transform boring water into a fruity drink with just 1 calorie, Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli Sauce, and a crazy thing called Marshmallow Creme! There was also a Degustabox Fridge item (you take the voucher to any supermarket to redeem) of Benecol yoghurts, which was a nice inclusion.I don't think I've mentioned this before, but the Degustabox boxes themselves are very sturdy, and are great for storage (we've got a whole tower of them which are likely to come in very handy when moving house!) There weren't any drink items in this month's box, but I can't really complain, it's still an incredible value box.

You can get £3 off your first Degustabox by using the code 7PBFG

Friday, 17 October 2014

September Degustabox Review

September Degustabox * | £12.99 including delivery

If you regularly read my blog, you will know that I receive my monthly box of foody treats from Degustabox, the food subscription box company. It's a great value way of finding new products you wouldn't normally pick up at the supermarket. This month there was a whole host of products I'd never tried before, the most interesting being Lentil Waves - really tasty crisp-type snacks made from Lentils! The Elizabeth Shaw dark chocolate mint thins were delicious and the Crabbie's lemonade with a hint of ginger was a great change up from usual. Here's what was in my box:

BURTS Lentil Waves
JODANS Simply Granola
PICKUP Chocolate Bars
CRABBIE'S non-alcoholic drink
CRABBIE'S Alcoholic Fruits
CARNATION Cook with it (cooking creme)
ELIZABETH SHAW Dark Chocolate Mint Thins

Our cupboards are certainly fully stocked for interesting things for the next month!

If you want £3 off your first Degustabox, just use the code: AOVFV

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Most Luxurious Body Butter | Organic Surge

Organic Surge Lavender Meadow Super Rich Body Butter * | £15.75

I've recently taken to having a bit of a pamper session on Sunday mornings. Since I've started working full time, soaking in a long bath and generally having a lovely lazy Sunday morning is more appreciated than ever. The latest addition to my pamper arsenal is this Organic Surge Lavender Meadow Super Rich Body Butter. Housed in a huge and satisfying tub, the butter has the most gorgeous delicate lavender and geranium scent which really lingers on the skin all day. Organic Surge are not joking when they says 'super rich' - I've never used a thicker body butter. It's incredibly luxurious and certainly not one to use when you are needing to dash off somewhere as you really need to spend the time massaging this into the skin, letting in sink in and do its good work. The ingredients include cocoa and shea butters, natural beeswax, lavender essential oil, aloe vera and coconut oil, which make the butter incredibly nourishing and hydrating. A day after I first used this I found myself wondering why my skin was feeling particularly smooth and subtle, and of course, the reason was this lovely tub of body butter! For a proper pamper session, this stuff is just perfect. You can pick up the Organic Surge Body Butters from Organic Surge online, and in leading retailers such as John Lewis, Peter Jones, Ocado, Waitrose & Co-op.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Love Me Beauty Box Review | September

Love Me Beauty Box * | £12.95 including P&P

Love Me Beauty is, from what I can tell, the best value subscription box out there, so when I heard that they were making some changes, I was pretty excited to see what they could do to make the boxes even better. Love Me Beauty has had a complete makeover - to order your box, you now go to the love me beauty website and choose exactly what you want to try from a range of products (using a credit system where each product is worth a certain number of points). Your profile is even updated with your preferences and you are recommended products to try. I always loved that Love Me Beauty allowed you to pick between three box menus, but now there is even more freedom to pick what you want. 

The box itself is now far more luxurious, no more cardboard and shredded paper - instead a gorgeous silver embossed box and a soft drawstring pouch contain your picks. I firstly choose the Percy and Reed dry conditioner, which when brushed through the hair adds moisture and a glossy finish. Second to go in my box was the Malin and Goetz Mojito lip balm, which is a great lip protectant that really does smell of mojitos! Lastly I choose The One mascara from Oriflame, which I've been using for the last week and am loving. Each of my items were worth two credits, but if I'd wanted to I could have picked more than three items that were worth less credits.

I'm loving the changes Love Me Beauty have made this month, and always find new and great brands through them. Love Me Beauty offers great value for money, a lovely experience and must be the most personalised subscription service out there.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

My MAC Blush Palette | MAC Blush Collection

For years I refused to wear blush, worrying that it would bring out my naturally flushed skin with pink undertones, as well as show up my blemishes. How silly I was. Blush can really make a make-up look, stopping the face from being unnaturally one tone, and is such an interested product. I've finally filled my MAC blush palette with six shades, and other than possibly NARS, MAC is my favourite brand for blush. The colour range is of course massive and the formulas tend to be creamy and long-lasting. I chose to get my blushes in pro-pan form as its cheaper, more easily stored, and to be honest, having my blushes in a palette just brings out the wanna-be make-up artist in me!

My first shade was Well-Dressed, a super-popular shade of course, a lovely light pink, which I love for S/S. It's incredibly easy to just throw on your cheeks and looks good on paler skins. Prism is almost a contour shade on my skin-tone, and is good for no-make-up make up looks. Fleur Power is a dusty pink with a bit of coral, and looks better with a slight tan for me. Peachykeen is obviously a lot more peachy and has a fine gold shimmer running through it, a little similar to NARS Orgasm. Dollymix is another really popular one - a glowy bright pink which pulls a little berry coloured on my skin. Frankly Scarlet is my most recent addition, since Tanya Burr used it in so many of her tutorials. It is super bright and incredibly pigmented, but if you use a very light hand it gives the most natural flush, as if you've been out on a chilly winter's walk.

Do leave your MAC Blush posts below - I love reading them!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

The BEST Facemask Ever | Claudia Louch Mineral Mud Mask Review

In case you didn't already know, facemasks are my number one favourite skincare product. Potentially even my favourite beauty product in general(!) and I'm constantly trying new masks out. I've been loving Claudia Louch products recently, so when I was sent the Claudia Louch Mineral Mud Mask, with its rather hefty price tag, I had similarly hefty expectations. And boy oh boy, it did not disappoint.

The large tube of face-mask contains a mix of pure arctic mineral mud, and just a handful of other natural oils. No chemicals, no fillers. It's a green, grey, very thick textured gloopy-paste, that smells, in my opinion, just how a good facemask should. You can feel the goodness as soon as you spread the stuff on your face, and after about ten minutes you can visibly see the nasties being pulled from your skin. It's very easy to wash off (I find this to be a problem with some of my other favourite mud masks), and doesn't dry the skin out at all. After use my skin is so soft and feels incredibly fresh. Make-up goes on like a dream and blemishes that were threatening are calmed. This has got to be the best facemask I've ever used, but for the price, I would have been shocked if it wasn't really!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

August Degustabox Review | Food Hamper Subscription

August Degustabox| £12.99 including delivery

Another box of foody treats through my door, and another great month for Degustabox! There was such a great selection in this month's box - drinks, breakfast snacks, baking equipment, crisps, chocolates and recipe bases. Like last month, I've got to try items from both boxes, so your box might have one or two less products, but even so, it's a great value box. The products I loved the most from this month's box were the Brioches - pains au lait and pains au chocolat - these were so good as a little mid morning snack, and I'm missing having them now I've finished the packets! I'm really excited to try making cupcakes with the edible wafer cupcake cases (how crazy!) and the super cute heart shaped tin of Lindt chocolates was munched up in less than a day. This month Degustabox also included a 'Degustabox Fridge' token, which means you can pick up a free refridgerated product from your local supermarket (as they obviously can't transport it to you in your box). I got to try some Wild Berry Muesli, which again are great for morning snacks, and I'm really liking this addition to Degustabox. Here's everything I got in this month's box:

MEXICAN DAVE'S Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips
BERRY WHITE Organic Drink
SCHWARTZ Flavour Shots
FEVER TREE Ginger Beer
FEVER TREE Tonic Water
LINDT Heart Chocolate Tin
CAWSTON PRESS Apple and Pear Juice
PASQUIER Pain au Chocolats
DR.OETKER Edible Wafer Cupcake Cases
CARIBBEAN TWIST Strawberry Daiquiri

As always, I've got a coupon for you to get £3 off your first Degustabox!: T6BUK

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Love Me Beauty Box Review | August

Love Me Beauty Box * | £12.95 including P&P

All of August's Love Me Beauty box options (you get to pick from three different menus) each had a total of four beauty products, rather than the usual five or six. However, I would class every product as high-end - the total RRP of my box this month came to almost £65, so this really is still incredible value for money. I love that every product came in its own little box; higher end products seem to all be doing that these days. First up was a Mineral Eyeshadow (RRP £14.49) from the brand Marsk in the shade 'You're Toast'. It's a beautiful colour, incredibly pigmented and a really nice introduction to a brand I'd never heard of before. A La Carte, another brand I've never tried, included their Smudge-Proof Eyebrow Definer in Blonde (RRP £23.00) which allows you to make tiny strokes which really look like genuine hairs. It's a very different experience to using a powder or a pencil to fill in your brows, and when you've got a bit of extra time to spend on your makeup, it's great. From Mirabella there was a Lip Lustre Liner in 'Bashful' (RRP £10.50) which was probably the least impressive product in the box. However, it's still a nice enough lip liner, in a versatile shade of pink. Finally, there was a Ecollagen Wrinkle Correcting Eyecream from Oriflame (RRP £16.95) which is one of those really amazing eyecreams with a rollerboll that feels just amazing to put on under your eyes.

I was rather chuffed with this month's box, AND I've just heard some really exciting news about Love Me Beauty - they're changing the service so that you can pick exactly what goes into your box. I'm really looking forward to trying out the the new Love Me Beauty boxes!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Portsmouth Day Trip

On Saturday, myself, my parents and my fiance had a lovey little day trip to Portsmouth. We wandered around the historic dockyards, ate a picnic lunch by the sea, and took a little boat trip around the harbour. There were also some really nice photo opportunities, so I thought I'd post some of mine up for you to see. I'd definitely recommend Portsmouth for a day trip; there's also a really lovely shopping centre there with lots of high end stores.