Monday 30 June 2014

Improving Skin Texture With Laid Bare For Richer For Porer - Pore Minimiser Facial Masque - A Review For My Pure*

I don't know about you but I seem to spend a lot of time looking in the mirror. I'm not vain by any stretch of the imagination but I'm a woman and I'm a beauty blogger, I look in the mirror to do my hair my skincare and my make up. When you look in the mirror and when you take photographs of your own face you start noticing things that you don't like. To be honest at times there is not much that I do like but my biggie at the moment are my pores.

I hate my pores - they're large, noticeable and the pump out oil constantly. If you took a peek in my skincare and make up drawer, you'd notice a pile of primers, skin treatments, makes and toners all designed to minimise those pores.

I know they don't open and close like windows, but there are things out there that can make them look better and improve skin texture. For one of this months My Pure products I decided to add to my pore friendly skin care selection and try out the Laid Bare For Richer For Porer - Pore Minimiser Facial Masque.

Laid Bare as a brand are completely new to me. Like every other brand available on My Pure though they do their best to be as natural and ethical as possible. Concentrating on results driven skincare, Laid Bare's products contain fresh plant  and natural extracts, essential oils and vitamins.

The quirky named For Richer For Porer is designed to minimise the appearance of pores and to improve skin texture.

The mask contains a wide variety of natural ingredients including kaolin clay to remove impurities and toxins from the skin, and seaweed to detoxify and smooth the complexion. It also contains liquorice and rosewater to soothe the skin, and shea butter to hydrate and moisturise.

It comes boxed and in a squeezy tube, so it's very easy to dispense. The masks texture surprised me almost instantaneously. I have to say I was expecting this to be a traditional clay based mask but I was wrong. It has an almost creamy texture, and it contains exfoliating corn cob powder.

Normally clay based pore minimising masks set solid but not this one. When applied to cleansed skin this liquorice and aniseed fragranced mask felt almost creamy on the skin, and as it set the mask stayed relatively soft, and in parts almost appeared to sink into the skin.

After 10 minutes was up I removed the mask with warm water and either a muslin cloth or a flannel. The mask rinsed away pretty easily, and the exfoliating grains seemed almost to buff the skin clean. After rinsing my skin was left looking a little pink but very clear and it felt soft and smooth to the touch.

It's recommended that you use this mask once,a week, so I've only used it a few times so it can't really see whether or not it's made a real difference to my pores. My skin looks a lot clearer and feel a bit smoother though so maybe it is making a difference.

The texture of this mask surprised me a lot but by and large I have to say I quite liked it. If you like a really strong, hard setting, tightening mask than this won't be for you but if you want a two and one mask and exfolitaing treatment that smooths and brightens the skin then for the price this one is worth a try. The Laid Bare For Richer For Porer - Pore Minimiser Facial Masque normally retails at £6.99 for 50ml from My Pure but it's currently on sale at £6.29. Are you a face mask fan? Leave me a comment and let me know xx


Sunday 29 June 2014

Sugared Lilac Nails Courtesy Of Poundland And Jess - Alfresco

Whether your a short or a long term reader of my little blog you should know by now that I'm a little bit of a bargainista. I love finding bargains particularly when it comes to beauty - There really is no better feeling than knowing that you've bought an amazing product for a great price.

Poundland is probably one of the places to find a beauty bargain. I know the choice and quality can often be hitty missy but sometimes you can find some real gems.

A couple of months ago now, a Jess stand appeared in my local Poundland store. Jess is a nail polish brand that is exclusive to Poundland in the UK. Their range features an array of colours featuring everything from pastels, to neons and glitters.

Over the past few months I've picked up a few colours from the brand including this one - Alfresco.

As you know I love lilac nail polishes and this one is a really, spring/ summer, sugared almond lilac colour. 

The polish was quite thick but it applied easily and full coverage was achieved in two coats. It took a little while to dry but it has a glossy finish. Wear time wasn't bad and could easily be approved with the use of a good top coat.

I have to say for just £1 I'm pretty impressed. Some cheaper pastels can be watery, and streaky but not this one -  the pigmentation and the application were first class. I'm now looking forward to trying the rest of the colours that I have and I'll definitely consider picking up more colours from the line x Have you tried Jess nail polish at Poundland yet? Leave me a comment and let me know x 

Saturday 28 June 2014

INIKA Mineral Lipstick In Warm Dusk - A Review For My Pure*

It's been a little while since I've reviewed a make up item for My Pure so this month I decided to try out an item from one of their newer brands, INIKA.

Although I'd heard about the brand and tried out one of their eye shadows I wasn't that familiar with the brand or their ethics. INIKA are a mineral make up brand, who use only the finest natural, crushed minerals in their products. They're are certified cruelty free, and one of the few certified vegan brands on the market. They are also free from talc, genetically modified ingredients, parabens, preservatives, and fragrances.

INIKA have an extensive range of products available on the My Pure website including both powder and liquid foundations, eye shadows, pencils and illuminators, but I decided to go for one of their mineral lipsticks.

The lipsticks in the INIKA range are formulated with natural pigments, shea butter and jojoba oil to give them long lasting colour and moisture.

The lipsticks come boxed and packaged in a matte black almost rubber tube, with gold writing. I'm not always a fan of rubber effect packaging but I have to admit that it always looks classy and expensive.

There are 8 colours to choose from on the My Pure website and I went for Warm Dusk.

I have to be honest and say that the colour swatch on the My Pure website isn't that accurate. I was expecting this to be quite a vibrant pink, but in real life it's a sort of nude pink, with lilac and blue undertones. I'm not even sure how well this swatch shows the shade but hopefully it gives you an idea of just how moisturising this lipstick is.

This face shots isn't the best but hopefully it gives you some sort of idea of just how cool toned this shade actually is.

Despite the fact that this colour wasn't what I expected I have to say I really liked this lipstick. This shade is very cool toned but I think it works well on my pale pink toned complexion. The texture of the lipstick was nice, and it left my ridiculously dry lips feeling comforted and moisturised, and the colour lasted pretty well.

That said I do have a couple of negatives, first of all the taste, there was a tiny hint of almost citrus flavour but the overwhelming taste was quite waxy, and almost a little bit crayon like.

To be honest I can live with the not so amazing taste but the price is maybe a little bit harder to swallow. This lipstick normally retails at £17 from My Pure. Yes, I appreciate that it's vegan, ethical and contains no nasties but £17 is still a pretty high price for a lipstick but that might just be something personal to me. If your willing to spend that much than you could do a lot worse than buy one of these, especially since the INIKA Mineral Lipsticks are currently on special offer at only £15.30 on the My Pure website.

If you are going to purchase one though the only thing I would say is have little look elsewhere on the internet for swatches to make sure you get the shade you want x 

If you have any questions on this lipstick or if there is anything specific that you would like me to review from My Pure then please leave me a comment x Thanks for reading x 


Wednesday 25 June 2014

A Review Of The Make Up Revolution Blush And Contour Palette In Sugar And Spice, And The What You Waiting For Eyeshadow Palette

Like a lot of bloggers I'm currently in the middle of a bit of a Make Up Revolution love in. I'm currently using quite a few of their products in my daily make up routine and I have to say by and large I'm impressed - I'm going to review everything in due course but as yet there is only 1 product that I don't love.

A couple of weeks ago though Make Up Revolution introduced several palettes to their already impressive range. The new introductions included 5 Salvation Eyeshadows Palettes, 3 Ultra Cover And Conceal Palettes and 2 Ultra Blush And Contour Palettes. I'm not badly off concealer wise so I passed on those but eyeshadows and blushers - bring them on!

The first problem though was which ones to buy. In an ideal world I would have bought everything but I really am trying to cut down on the amount of make up that I buy (ha ha) so I decided to be good and get just 1 eyeshadow palette and 1 blush palette.

It was love at first sight with both blush palettes but to be honest the more I thought about the more I realised that I just wouldn't get as much use out of Hot Spice at the moment. It's summer time - I'm not thinking peaches and nudes - I'm thinking corals and pinks, so I went for Sugar and Spice

Packaged in a chic, shiny black palette with a full sized mirror, Make Up Revolution Ultra Blush And Contour Palette in Sugar and Spice contains 8 powder blushers, contours and highlighters, in a combination of nudes, pinks and corals. There are two neutral shades, a nude pink and a peach tone which are great for contouring or a for barely there make up. You also get three different shades of pink, ranging from a raspberry to hot pink, and you also get a coral pink colour.  These 6 powder blushers are ridiculously smooth, creamy and pigmented, and have a matte / satin finish.

If your a shimmer fan though don't worry this palette also contains a merged baked blusher and a merged baked highlighter. The highlighter has an almost icy pink finish and the blusher is a gorgeous shimmery, bright, warm pink. Some baked products suffer from a lack of pigmentation but not these, they are soft, and the payoff is amazing.

If your starting out in make up or even if your already a make up junkie than this blush palette is for you. The pans are a good size and the blushers inside are insane. It's literally impossible to describe how soft they actually are, and the pigmentation speaks for itself. Just the tiniest dab with a brush is all you'll need. If you buy this palette and Hot Spice I'm sure that you'll have just about every blush colour you could ever need, and if you buy them both you'll only have spent £12. Yes, this palette is only £6 - crazy when you think of what you can pay for even one decent quality blusher.

How about the new Salvation eyeshadow palettes though? Do they cut the mustard? Well the hardest aspect again was which one to choose. There are 5 to choose from including Dia De Los Muertos (Day Of The Dead) which contains a lot of bright shades, and Girls On Film which contains a mixture of nudes and plum based shades. I was a bit boring though and stuck to my neutrals and went for What Your Waiting For?.

Named after the Gwen Stefani song, the palette comes packaged in the same shiny black compact, and also comes complete with a full sized mirror, and a double ended sponge applicator.

The palette contains 12 shimmery shadows and 6 matte shades. All of the colours in the palette are named after lines and phrases from the song What You Waiting For?

This is probably the most neutral of the Salvation palettes, think a mixture of all 3 Naked palettes and your about there. They are browns, nudes, golds, rose gold, charcoal greys and burgundies. All of the shimmery shadows have excellent colour payoff and again are super smooth and blendable.

As well as the 12 shimmery shadows you also get 6 matte shades, in nudes, browns and a deep black. Mattes can be hitty missy no matter what the price point, so I wasn't expecting too much from these but they were exactly like a matte shadow should be. Again they were dense, smooth and very pigmented without being chalky. The first two shades don't look that pigmented here but they are, they just match my skin tone perfectly, so I'm definitely going to be using them as base colours and to brighten the my eyelids.

At the risk of repeating myself I don't know what else I can say about this palette apart from that it's amazing! The pigmentation of both the matte and the shimmer shades is superb, the textures are smooth, creamy and easy to work with and the price point is excellent. Again your paying just £6 for 18 eyeshadows!!!

When I try palettes like these it honestly makes my wonder why I buy high end make up. Yes the packaging is normally nicer and it's definitely a thrill when you buy it , but when you can pay just £6 for quality like this there really is no need. Brands like Make Up Revolution are bringing great quality make up to the masses for a great price. In case you haven't realised I love both of these palettes and I would recommend them to anyone and especially to anyone who is starting out in make up. These limited edition palettes are £6 each and at the moment are exclusive to the Make Up Revolution website

Despite the fact that I have enough make up to set up my own shop, I already have a list of  more Make Up Revolution products that I need in my life including a few more Salvation Palettes, the Hot Spice blush palette, the pressed powder and pretty much everything from their new Too Faced inspired diffusion lane I ♥ MAKEUP. I can dream!! Are you a Make Up Revolution Fan? Leave me a comment and let me know and of course if you have any questions or if there are any reviews from the brand you would like to see - type your musings below x Thanks for reading x

Monday 23 June 2014

Summer Showers Courtesy Of Palmolive*

Although the sun hasn't been shining all weekend, I guess we can now officially say that we're slap bang in the middle of that fabled season called summer. In my little corner of the UK we haven't had any really sweltering hot days yet but the temperatures definitely appear to be on the up.

I don't know about you but in the summer I tend to mix my beauty routine up a bit. I increase my SPF application, fake tan a little bit more often, switch to lighter formulations and strange as it sounds I start having more showers. Don't get me wrong I still use the shower regularly but personally I'm more of a bath person. As I've said many times a bath soothes my aching muscles like no shower ever will. Sometimes though it's just too hot to enclose yourself in warm water, and the refreshing nature of the shower wins hands down. 

There really is nothing like a refreshing shower on a hot and sticky day, and recently I've been trying out some products from the new Palmolive Thermal Spa range that are perfect for summer.

Designed to evoke memories of walking along the seashore, and gentle see breezes, the range comprises of two shower gels, each packed full of sea minerals that are designed to give you that spa experience in your own bathroom.

Palmolive Thermal Spa Ocean Vitality

Packaged in a easy to hold, chunky bottle, this shower just screams summer. The beautiful turquoise shade is reminiscent of tropical oceans, and the smell is fresh, and clean with almost a hint of salty air and tropical fruit.

Given the scent and the colour, it's no surprise really that this product is crammed full of blue algae and marine minerals, which help to smooth and revitalise the skin and relieve stress.

This shower gel produces a super gentle foam, with a fresh but not overpowering scent. This one also works equally well poured under running water, if the lure of the bath is too strong. When it's rinsed off the skin is left soft and clean, with no dryness or discomfort. 

I've really enjoyed using this one, and it is probably my favourite of the two. It left me feeling fresh, clean and more awake which is just what you need when the weather is a hot and sticky.

Palmolive Thermal Spa Mineral Massage

Initially it didn't make much sense to me that this range comprised of two shower gels and I assumed that all that would be different was the smell, but I was wrong. Palmolive Thermal Spa Mineral Massage is as the name would probably suggest an exfoliating shower gel.

It has a slightly different fresh scent -  If you remember the Boots The Spa range from several years then this shower gel smells most identical to that. The ocean blue coloured gel is crammed full of sea minerals, dead sea salt and aloe very. I don't know how well you can see it in this picture, but there are tiny sea mineral and salt particles suspended in the gel.

It's not the most exfoliating product on the market but it's really good for everyday use. It produces a creamy foam and gives the skin a gentle but through scrub. It's easy and convenient to use, and it rinses off easily under running water leaving the skin soft and smooth. As you know I actually prefer more abrasive scrubs but I'm still pretty impressed with the 2 in 1 aspect of this product, and I'm actually liking the less abrasive action of this product on my upper arms and more sensitive areas

I have to say I liked both of these products. They both did the job and left the skin feeling soft and clean. The fragrances were also pleasant. The fresh aromas weren't too overpowering or too girly, so I think that both of these products would be ideal for men or women. The only negative could possibly be the inclusion of sulphates but if that doesn't bother you then this budget range is a must have in your bathroom this summer. Palmolive Thermal Spa Mineral Massage and Palmolive Thermal Spa Ocean Vitality each come in 250 ml bottles and retail at around £2.49 each from selected Tesco and Waitrose stores. Are you a bath or a shower person? Leave me a comment and let me know x

(*PR Sample)

Saturday 21 June 2014

Birthday Giveaway Winner Anounced

Hey Everyone x It's a little later than planned but it's time to announce the winner of my birthday giveaway x First of all I want to say a huge thank you to everyone that entered, and thank you for all the birthday wishes - I really appreciated it and it really made my birthday go on for ever. Alas there can only be one winner and that winner was picked randomly from all the entries via rafflecopter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

and that winner is... Kirsteen R 

Congratulations Kirsteen, I will be sending you an email out tonight to get your details x

If you weren't lucky enough to win this time don't despair as I have a lot more giveaways planned, including a Summer one coming soon xx So keep following and stay subscribed x

Thanks for reading and thanks for following xx

Friday 20 June 2014

Foodie Friday - Mummy Lou's Gluten Free Lemon Sponge Cake

In my family for as long as I can remember we've always had a bit of a tradition of Sunday tea. Not necessarily a full afternoon tea but now we normally have something a little bit special usually involving a homemade cake or a dessert made be either me or Mummy Lou. Over the years we've had every from flapjacks, to fruit cakes, to trifles, mousses and crumbles but one cake always does seem to win it - the humble Victoria Sandwich Cake.

I say humble but this cake is the basis for so many wonderful creations, you can fill it with fruit and fresh cream, cream and Nutella, butter cream and jam or you can add any colour or flavouring you like to make something special. Since I went gluten and wheat free baking became a bit of a challenge, the normal sponge cake recipe just doesn't seem to work anymore so Mummy Lou put her inventors hat on and had a play, finally producing some which isn't quite the same but something that is equally tasty.

This sponge isn't anywhere near as light as the traditional one but since gluten free cakes tend to be quite dry and crumbly, the addition of the ground almonds adds a lovely moist texture to the cake which helps keep it fresher for longer. My favourite version of this cake has a bit of citrus edge so may I present Mummy Lou's Gluten Free Lemon Sponge Cake.

Mummy Lou's Gluten Free Lemon Sponge Cake

For The Cake 
6oz Butter At Room Temperature 
6oz Sugar
3 Eggs At Room Temperature
4oz Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
2oz Ground Almonds
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tbsp Milk
Zest of 1 Lemon

For The Butter Cream

Zest Of 1/2 A Lemon
Juice Of 1/2 A Lemon
6oz Butter At Room Temperature
12oz Icing Sugar 

For The Cake 

1. Preheat your oven to around 175°c - then grease and line two sandwich cake tins - I'm using silicone ones here but I've still used an extra bit of silicone liner to make sure they come out clean.

2. Put your butter and sugar into a large basin

and beat preferably with an electric mixer until smooth, combined and paler in colour.

3. Beat your eggs in a small bowl and add the milk to the eggs.These fabulously yellow yolked eggs are courtesy of my uncles chickens :)

Then beat this mixture into your butter and sugar

4. Sieve your flour, add the lemon zest, almonds, baking power, and xanthan gum

Then slowly beat that into the rest of your mixture , a little at a time. until it's all combined.

5. The mixture will be a little thicker than normal but it should still drop easily from a spoon - if it's too dry add a little bit of extra milk.

6. Put your cake mix into your cake tins, don't worry too much about it being perfect this mix does spread out quite a bit.

7. Pop them into the oven for about 25 minutes until they're springy to the touch and golden, you can always pop a skewer in if your not sure, and if it comes out clean they're done. Leave them to cool completely preferably in the tins before decorating

For The Lemon Butter Cream

1. Sieve your icing sugar into a mixing bowl

2. Add your butter and some of the lemon zest and beat - you do need an electric mixer for the best results. Gradually add some of the lemon juice to taste - you don't want the butter cream to be too thin so you might not need all of it, and of course it depends on personal taste.

3. Beat, beat and beat as though your life depends on it - I have heard that you should whip butter cream for around 7 minutes for best results but if your using a hand mixer this is nigh on impossible without some serious arm ache! As soon as it's paler in colour and light and fluffy though it's done. 

4. This recipe makes enough for the centre and the top of an average sandwich cake. Of you could half the recipe if you just waned to put it in the middle.

We've decorated our cake with lemon jelly sweets and lemon zest but you can do what you like x 

This cake is indulgent enough with butter cream but we've also had it filled and topped with lemon curd and fresh cream - definitely naughty but nice!

If lemon isn't your thing you could use lime or orange zest, or you could leave it out completely and just use the basic recipe to make a plain Victoria Sponge.

I'm definitely going to experiment with this basic recipe a bit more and maybe try a chocolate variant and also to see if it works for cupcakes, so I'll keep you posted x  If you have any questions on this recipe or any questions with regard to gluten free baking please leave me a comment or send me a message and I'll get back to you x Thanks for reading x