Saturday, 31 May 2014

Mr Nutcase Personalised iPad Case | Review

I love getting new cases for my technology, I always find it makes you love your tablet or phone again! Is that just me? I recently got this iPad mini cover from Mr Nutcase, who can personalise pretty much any tablet or phone you might have with your own photos. There's lots of different collage designs to pick from, and you can just upload your photos and position how you would like them on the website before ordering your new case. A word of warning - you do need to be really careful when positioning your photos - you might be able to see a small white line on my case where I didn't quite line the photos up perfectly. My case was delivered in just a couple of days (pretty good for something with personalised printing) and the image quality is quite impressive. I wish I'd picked slightly brighter pictures, as they seemed to print quite dark, but I'm still happy with it. It fits my iPad perfectly, with all the buttons still accessible. I think a personalised case is a really nice gift idea for that person who has everything!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Oqibo Skin Refining Exfoliator | Face Scrub Review

Oqibo's Skin Refining Exfoliator is recommended to be used twice weekly after cleansing. Hmmm. With my stupidly sensitive skin, I was wary of using it more than once a week, but I needn't have worried. It has tiny little exfoliating flecks, suspended in a rich creamy lotion, which is massaged into damp skin for 1-2 minutes (with a very light hand).  You can just see the little magical particles in the last photo (excuse my mottled hand, the lighting was doing something very weird to it!) The exfoliating particles certainly do their job of exfoliating, leaving no dry patches or flakes, and the ingredients which give the product that creamy effect are super hydrating, making my skin feel soft, plumped and nourished after washing the product off. And all with absolutely no irritation, redness or sensitivity! After use my skin feels very clean, and the next day it is noticeably brighter and glowy-er, thanks to the essential minerals and marine extracts this little tube is packed full of. This exfoliator is on the pricey side at nearly £25, but it does everything I'd want an exfoliator to do: it's effective but very gentle, gives exfoliation and hydration (so many exfoliators just seem to strip the skin), and it didn't cause any adverse effects to my sensitive skin, which is quite an achievement!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Money No Object Wishlist!

1. BY TERRY Ombre Blackstar // £28 - these little sticks of creamy shimmery eyeshadow look perfect for summer. Every single colour is stunning.

2. BY TERRY Hyaluronic Hydra Powder // £42 - The description for this powder sounds like a dream, and I've heard it raved about by several beauty bloggers. It's meant to disguise pores, prevent shine without drying and can be used alone or on top of makeup.

3. SARAH CHAPMAN Skinesis Intense Hydrating Booster // £57 - This is said to give the skin a dewy glow, extreme hydration and also prevent breakouts.

4. ZELENS Z Matrix // £85 - Beauty Blogger Amelia Liana admits that this price is crazy for a daily moisturiser, but she says it's worth it! 

5. KIEHLS Midnight Recovery Concentrate // £36 - A really popular night serum I'd love to try. Estee's (Essiebutton) boyfriend is hooked on the stuff so it must be great!

6. ACCESSORIZE Structured Tab Bag // £35 - This really isn't a high-end or designer bag, but it would be a luxury, as everyone I know tells me I do NOT NEED any more bags! 

Have you tried any of these products? What luxury things have you been wishing for lately?

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner | Review

Large pores are one of my  most annoying skin concerns, so I was intrigued by Bioderma's Sebium, which claims to improve the appearance of the skin by somehow making pores more closed and less visible. There's an ingredient that I think regulates the sebaceous glands somehow and another ingredient which is an astringent to refine skin texture. With sensitive skin, the word 'astringent' alarms me, but I needn't have worried. It's a very light cream which feels calming to the skin, and makes a lovely base for makeup, slightly mattifying the skin. I've been using it as a primer, with added skincare benefits. It has the most wonderful scent (which didn't break me out) of freshly cut grass and summer, and sinks in straight away. It is a small tube at 30ml, but it can be used sparingly just over the t-zone once or twice a day. I've noticed a thin layer of product prevents my skin from getting quite so oily during the day, and my pores are definitely less obvious when I use this under makeup. I also feel like it might be helping to keep my pores unblocked, as my skin feels fresh and healthy. It certainly doesn't 'close' pores' like it claims, but then I don't think any product can do that. Reducing the appearance of pores and keeping shine at bay are enough for this product to be a winner in my book. Overall I'm quite happy with this little product and will continue to use it, at least to the end of this tube.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Lee Stafford My Big Fat Healthy Hair Shampoo and Conditioner | Review

I'm on a quest for healthier hair. Even though my hair is in quite good condition, uncoloured and is fairly thick, it lacks body and life at the root and can look a bit flat. Lee Stafford let me have a play with their My Big Fat Healthy Shampoo and Conditioner to try to rectify this. First off, they're PINK. I love the bright ombre fat tubes - they're so satisfying to squeeze! (this is getting weird). They're also a really affordable price-point for shampoos and conditioners that claim to really help the condition of your hair at £5.99 each. So, onto how they actually worked: The [pink!] shampoo lathered up beautifully, the conditioner's texture felt great and they washed out easily. My hair immediately felt very clean, soft and nourished. I was impressed that my hair didn't feel weighed down, like many treatment shampoos and conditioners have done in the past. My hair was noticeably softer and smoother, with a nice scent. When it comes to the actual claims of the product, the 'big, fat' part, I only noticed a marginal difference. My hair had a little more body at the root, but this certainly isn't a miracle product in that respect. Considering the other benefits I saw from these products I wasn't too disappointed though. I think Lee Stafford should perhaps market this pairing as  'Silky Smooth Healthy Hair', rather than 'Big Fat Healthy Hair', but I'm really not complaining, as these are pretty awesome products.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Liquid Foundation

The Pur Minerals 4-In-1 Liquid Foundation appears to have everything I could want in a foundation - claims to be long-wearing (14 hours in fact!), SPF 15, Skincare benefits from the mineral aspect, a reasonable price-point and a bottle with a pump! I reviewed some other products from the Pur Minerals brand here, and was really impressed, so I was really excited for the Foundation offering. As soon as I applied the foundation, I knew I was onto a winner: my skin was even, glowing and felt fresh. Throughout the day my makeup stayed put (tested for eight hours), and didn't feel heavy on the skin My skin looked and felt like skin! To give you the sceincy bit, the foundation is oil-free, and enriched with a 'super-hydrating ceretin complex' which means that the skin is kept hydrated without being oily. The product is vegan-friendly and not tested on animals, which makes me happy to use it regularly in my routine, and the pump dispenser makes it so easy to use. The only very minor qualm I can possibly make about this foundation is that the shade 'Light' which I have is the lightest shade availiable, so those with particularly light skin won't be able to try this out. The Pur Minerals Liquid Foundation has made its way into my top three foundations which is a pretty massive achievement! 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Orelia Jewellery | Beautiful Delicate Pieces

Wishbone Necklace * // £10
Arrow Bangle * // £18
Disc Cord Bracelet * // £15

These beautiful bracelets and necklaces from Orelia have got to be some of the prettiest pieces I've ever seen! Just look at them! Whilst I love my statement necklaces, I'll always have days when I want to just wear some pretty delicate jewellery, and as we go into Spring I think I'll be wearing these a lot. I love how every piece from Orelia manages to be effortlessly feminine, modern-looking and affordable too. Even though the pieces are in a reasonable price range, they appear very well made and look like they could be much more expensive. There are too many gorgeous pieces to count on Orelia's website (I've definitely got it bookmarked) and I'm really excited to have found a brand that I love.

May Love Me Beauty Box | Review

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

Love Me Beauty is a subscription box service that's a little different from the rest - each month there are three 'menus' of products to choose from, and you can skip a month if you're not enticed by any of the menus, so you won't be wasting your money (I love this - It's far more flexible than other boxes). My little bundle of goodies (I picked Menu One) came packaged beautifully. Immediately I was excited by the variety of products - there's a few beauty bits to try out, and some more 'lifestyle' orientated products. Here's what was included in my chosen menu:

- Tea Pigs Tea in 'Chocolate Flake Tea' - 3 bags RRP £0.65 each

The stationary geek in my jumped on the three cute notebooks, which are perfect for keeping lists in your handbag. The lipbalm is super refeshing and also nice to pop in my bag. I wasn't particularly wowed by the tea, but I think it's just not my taste, and it was nice to try something new for my tastebuds! I think the Nail Girls Polish is a little overpriced for what it is, but it was a nice addition and a really pretty colour for Spring, and the Balm trial set smells absolutely gorgeous - I can't wait to try those. All in all, the pricepoint for this box means pretty good value for money, and I'd fully recommend trying out Love Me Beauty as a little pick me up for you or a friend. Did you get this month's box?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Amie Mineral Bronzer | Review

Amie was created for sensitive skin which needs help keeping in balance. None of Amie's products are tested on animals, and are free from harsh chemicals. When Amie expanded from Skincare to Makeup, mineral makeup was the logical step. It's a really affordable brand, for one that uses natural ingredients. I've been testing the Amie Mineral Bronzer, a medium-toned loose powder bronzer, and it's an all-round nice product. The packaging is compact, but it can be a little hard to get just a small amount of product onto a powder brush. Only a tiny bit of product is needed, and it can be very easy to make this 'one-tone-suits-all' bronzer too dark. However, with a bit of practice it can be buffed out to give quite a nice glow. Personally, I find the shade a little too orange-y, but I know some people won't mind. This bronzer does have some slight shimmer in it, which I'm not usually a fan of, but actually the finish it gives it quite pretty. The product feels soft on the skin, and being a mineral bronzer it's not going to cause breakouts and helps fight oilyness.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Spring Powders | MAC and Hourglass

I've picked out some of my current favourite powders for cheeks and eyes that I want to use more as the weather gets warmer! These are all neutral everyday shades and finishes that I've picked becuase of their ability to brighten and jzeush up the complexion!

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade - a very light beige-white highlight for before you've got any summer tan - it's lovely and subtle and doesn't look too shimmery in sunlight as I sometimes find with Soft and Gentle.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light - a light-reflecting powder that can be worn as a highlight or all over for a healthy glow. 
MAC Blush in Well Dressed - such a popular shade, and for good reason(!) - a light rose pink blush with a satin finish which brightens light skintones.
MAC Blush in Dollymix - A far brighter shade of blush to give a slightly more intense colour - don't worry, it's very build-able, and not as scary as it looks in the pan.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush - a pink-coral blush infused with the Ambient Lighting powder that gives a flushed pretty look.
MAC Eyeshadow in Naked Lunch - A super popular shade again, Naked Lunch is perfect all over the lid to brighten up your eyes.
MAC Eyeshadow in Quarry - My current favourite crease shade, Quarry is a greyish/purpley/brown/taupe without any shimmer.
MAC Eyeshadow in Handwritten - Handwritten is a rich chocolate brown in a matte squared formula, which makes it incredibly buttery to apply. 

My MAC neutral eyeshadow palette is pictured on my instagram here:

Sunday, 11 May 2014

LetterBox Cake! | Review

The idea of the Letterbox Cake is that it can be sent to a friend without worry that they won't be in to accept delivery, since it can be dropped through the letterbox. Someone in my house heard it arrive, and even though it made quite a loud bang, the cake was completely intact! The cake is five inches across (six small slices) and comes in a cute little tin, inside a cardboard box, along with some balloons and candles, which is a really nice touch. The tin serves as a storage container if you don't eat the cake all in one go, which is perfect for students or those in a new home! Baker Days offers hundreds of different cute cake designs for various celebrations (and flavours) - I went with a customised sponge cake for my fiance, which was actually delicious. He literally loved the whole concept, and has enjoyed having a slice of cake everyday for the last few days! I think a letterbox cake would make a thoughtful gift to send to a friend on a special occasion when you can't make it yourself.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Let the Wedding Planning Commence!

Now that my last piece of uni work has been handed in, it's time to officially start wedding planning! (You can read my engagement story here). Unfortunately my fiance has a few more weeks left of exams before he can start helping me with it all, but I'm so ready to start! Even though I worked in a luxury Wedding Venue for a couple of years, I feel I have a lot to learn about Weddings, receptions, traditions, etc. I couldn't resist buying a Wedding Magazine - even though everything is online nowadays, it's nice to sit down with an actual magazine. I'm so excited to share my wedding planning over the next 12(ish) months with you!

Useful Resources I've found so far:

Pinterest (of course). It's the ultimate online place to get inspiration, and get really excited about the big day! My wedding board can be stalked here
- Bride De Force. Fleur De Force's sister is a wedding planner, so has some really useful video resources on this Youtube channel. The most useful videos so far have been 'Wedding Timeline and Checklist' and 'The Wedding Schedule'. These give you a great starting point for thinking about everything you're going to have to do, and approximately when all those things need to get done!
The Knot. There is just a crazy amount of stuff on this site, but it's really easy to navigate, and I think will be a much-used website over the next few months.

Wedding Planning bits to do in the next two months:

- Take official engagement photos. This makes us sound like royalty or something, but I really want to get some nice shots of us, which we could then potentially use on our Save The Date cards!
- Go to a Wedding Fair together
- Get a firmer idea of the 'feel' and 'vibe' we want for the Wedding day. 
- Decide on our Wedding party and ask them! (bridesmaids, ushers, best man)
- Set a budget
- Get an idea of guest numbers
- Decide on a Church and...
- Set the date!

It's going to be an exciting first few months! Please let me know of any great resources you've used or are using to plan your wedding! Any tips you have (big or small) would also be very much appreciated.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Time Bomb Complextion Cocktail with a shot of Chlorophyll

I haven't blogged for a few days, but I have an excuse, I promise!I was busy finishing my last ever essay! Yesterday I handed in my final piece of work for my degree, and it feels so weird to have finished three years of hard work. Now it's time to get myself a job and start planning the wedding - ahhhh!
Anyway, today I wanted to share with you this 'Time Bomb Complextion Cocktail' (love the name!) which comes in the most adorable screw-top bottle. There are three formulations of the Time Bomb, and I've been trying the one with a shot of Chlorophyll, for stressed,broken-out skin, which mine certainly was when writing my essays. The liquid contains a selection (a cocktail) of skin-loving ingredients picked for their ability to counter the effects of toxins on the skin. The liquid smells literally like summer, super fresh and clean smelling, and it's incredibly refreshing to apply. I use the product as a toner step, sweeping it over the skin on a cotton pad. The benefits I've noticed after using this for several weeks are calmer skin which feels less tight and irritated, reduced dryness and generally more healthy-feeling skin. Time Bomb is also meant to help with anti-ageing in the long run, which is always a plus, but of course I can't comment on its ability to do that yet!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Filorga Time-Filler Eyes | Luxury Eye Cream Review

Filorga have recently released a new luxury eye cream, Time-Filler Eyes, which claims to smooth wrinkles with a 'botox-like ingredient', lift eyelids, boost lash volume, plump under-eye hollows and fade dark circles. Phhewf, a long list of claims if I ever did see one. The cream comes in a chunky pot (not great for travel but gorgeous on a dressing table) which holds 15ml of product, which is a normal amount for an eye cream. I'm personally not a huge fan of pots in which you have to dip your finger, but it isn't to much of an issue. I've been applying the cream for almost two weeks, which yes, is a short amount of time, but with a price tag this high I'd expect to see results fairly soon! The cream applies effortlessly and melts into the skin, without being too liquid or thick in consistency. I'd been using a high-end eye cream previously, so my skin was already hydrated when I began the trial. Two weeks on and my eye area feels wonderfully nourished, with my dark circles marginally reduced, and my lashes looking slightly thicker. I can't comment on the cream's ability to reduce fine lines as I have not quite reached that stage in life yet, but I will be getting my Mum to try this out and report back to me! (I'll post any updates on this post in due course). With the results I've noticed in just a couple of weeks, I'm excited to see how much more this cream can do. Of course, it's not a miracle product, but it's certainly a lovely one.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Pur Minerals Mineral Makeup and Blush | Review

Pur Minerals is a new brand to me, and their pressed mineral makeup and blush are the first products to introduce me to the line. Mineral bases are great for those with oily skin, and this one has skincare ingredients and SPF15, making it a perfect daytime foundation for office-wear. The powder comes in a lovely chunky compact (with an all-important mirror), and when worked into the skin with a brush, provides a medium natural-looking coverage. If you're having trouble with getting liquid foundations to last on your skin, I'd recommend trying a mineral base instead. The blush I tried is equally gorgeous: it's a flushed colour in an easy-to blend formula, made from an ingredient found in the grapes of Bordeaux's wine region! These products feel soft on the skin and are both long-lasting, causing no adverse affects to my sensitive skin. You can find them and the rest of the Pur Minerals range at M&S.