Friday, 14 December 2018

Clinique Chubby Stick Cheers To Chubby Set - Review And Swatches

You should know by now that I'm a pretty honest person so I'm going to start this post with a bit of a confession, and it's one that applies to pretty every single post bar 1 that I'm going to be publishing in the run up to Christmas - This post like so many others is late in fact it's almost a year late!

Despite the fact that I love a bargain, I'm not a huge fan of the post Christmas sales, after being squished and stressed whilst shopping in the run up to Christmas, the last thing that I want to do is to go through it all again on Boxing Day. That said I have been known to brave the frustration of websites going down, and online queueing systems, to do a bit of sales shopping online. Although I used to be a little bit more slap dash, I'm not more selective about what I do buy, and way back in December 2017 I picked this Clinique Chubby Stick Cheers To Chubby Set up in the Boots sale.

At that point my lip colour collection was probably worse than it is now, but despite trying every chunky lip pen, and chubby stick inspired lipsticks I had never ever tried the original, and this kit gave me the perfect opportunity to try both of the Clinique Chubby Stick formulations, and some of their most popular colours.

This kit was obviously a one off for Christmas last year and as a result it's no longer available but I still think that it's worth talking about because of the shades are permanent and are still available in their full sizes from both the Clinique website, and from their online and in store concessions.

The kit itself came packaged in a compact and reusable metal tin, emblazoned with the Clinique logo. The tin contained 5 x1g Chubby Stick Lip Colour Balms, in both of Clinique's Chubby Stick formulations.

The original Chubby Stick formulation is the Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm, which contains both mango and Shea butter, and is designed to give the lips intense nourishment and a subtle sheen and tint. There were 2 of these in this kit 13 Mighty Mimosa and 07 Super Strawberry.

If you want a bit more coverage in your lip balm then Clinique also make the Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm, they have a similar ultra nourishing formula but with a more intense gloss colour. There were 3 shades in this formulation in this kit 08 Grandest Grape, 05 Plushest Punch, and 03 Mightiest Maraschino.

From left to right - 13 Mighty Mimosa, 03 Mightiest Maraschino, 05 Plushest Punch, 08 Grandest Grape, and 07 Super Strawberry

I'm going to talk about each colour individually but first just a few general thoughts x First of all Clinique are known for catering for sensitive skin so all of these products are fragrance free, and they have no real taste to them, which personally is a bit of shame since the names lend them so well to flavours and tastes.

Secondly, as you would expect for something called a chubby stick these are quite chunky, so if you have really thin lips you might have problems applying these neatly, it's fine with the original formulation but even on my full lips it was a bit difficult to apply the intense shades particularly on the cupids bow area without the need for a little bit of a clean up. It's not a serious problem you just have to be a bit careful, and you could of course use a brush for neater application

Finally as you can see these are the 1g size which is around half the size of a regular Chubby Stick, the components are probably a little bit more plastic based but they look pretty similar to their bigger cousins. The biggest difference though with these is that you can't twist them up or down so I can imagine it will get harder to use the more you use it and you will probably will end up using a lip brush to get the last bits out. Hassle ? Maybe but if you're anything like me you'll want to use every last bit of all of these colours.

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm - 05 Plushest Punch

Plushest Punch is one of the Intense shades which are a lot bolder and a lot more pigmented. Plushest Punch is one of my favourite shades in the kit, I love pinks, and this is a gorgeous deep pink. For such a pigmented shade I was really impressed with just how moisturising it was and just how glossy the finish was. Given the moisture content it wasn't surprising that this colour transferred onto onto other humans, and of course glasses and mugs but considering the texture and finish the wear time was still pretty good. You can see it on my lips in the picture below and I am also wearing it my October Pink Parcel video that you can see here x

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm - 03 Mightiest Maraschino

If you're looking for a lip colour for that Christmas party then Mightiest Maraschino could be the one, it's a lovely bright cherry red, with the merest hint of pink, so it's perfect if you normally shy away from reds. Again it's from the Intense line so the pigmentation is superb, it applies well, and it feels smooth and creamy on the lips. There was a bit of transfer again, and it did bleed and travel over the lip line a little bit so touch ups and careful application was needed but again it wore well, and once the gloss had faded it almost seemed to leave a stain on the lips

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm - 08 Grandest Grape

One good thing about kits like this is that they give you the opportunity to try out both products and colours that you wouldn't normally try, and one such colour is Grandest Grape. I'm not that experimental when it comes to lip colour but after trying this I think particular shade I think I need to expand my horizons. Grandest Grape is a deep plummy, berry shade again with some pink undertones. The pigmentation and colour payoff again was superb, and if anything this particular colour seemed to even more pigmented and more moisturising. It was probably the hardest shade to apply neatly, because it's such a deep shade the application needs to be spot on and given the creamy texture that wasn't that easy with such a chunky applicator, throw in the fact that it was prone to transferring and smudging then you'd think that maybe it wasn't worth the effort. Well let me tell you that it was, I've had several compliments on this lip colour, and if you can get past the need to clean up every now and then, it actually wore really well and again it seemed to almost leave a moisture filled stain on the lips, when a lot of the gloss had disappeared x See what you think in the pic below x

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm - 13 Mighty Mimosa

Now if intense bold colour isn't your thing, then this kit also contained 2 shades in Clinique's original Chubby Stick formulation. These shades are all about the treatment, and less about the colour, they impart all of the moisture only with a sheer, more natural colour, that for some is a lot more wearable for every day.  Mighty Mimosa is the perfect peachy, nude, pink shade, obviously the pigment isn't quite as intense as the other 3 shades but there is still a bit of colour there. You obviously get the same burst of moisture, but you also get a hint of sheer glossy colour.

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm - 07 Super Strawberry

Again Super Strawberry offers intense moisture, with just a hint of glossy light strawberry pink colour. Both this and Mighty Mimosa are shades that will suit everyone, the colour doesn't last quite as long, but with these less pigmented shades they are really easy to reapply even with the chunky tip, and you needn't worry as much about bleeding, smudging or going over the lip line.

I am so so pleased that I picked up this kit, I have been pretty impressed with a lot of the Chubby Stick dupes, but now I've tried the real thing I can now say that I completely understand the hype! and Plushest Punch is definitely on my repurchase list. As I say this particular kit is not longer available but all of these shades are available in the full size for around £18.50 each. If you want to experiment a bit or if you're already a Chubby Stick fan then there are a number of limited edition kits around at the moment that may fulfil your Chubby Stick fantasies (that sounds so wrong but I can't resist lol). If you are already a fan of Chubby Sticks then the Clinique website is selling a kit called The Chubbettes which contains 20 x 1g shades, it's an investment at £68 but you probably wouldn't need to buy any more lip colours for a long, long time. If you're after something similar to what I picked up last year though then Boots are currently selling the Clinique Lip Out Loud set which contains 3 x 1g colours for just £15.50 which would a fab stocking filler, and if you want something that gives you the chance to try 5 shades, then you can get the Clinique Chubby Colour Make Up Gift Set from various retailers including Boots, Debenhams and John Lewis, for £25 and it contains 5 x 1g Chubby Sticks. There are loads of options out there if you're a fan of these and I have to say I'm now a convert so if you have any colour recommendations then please let me know in the comments x

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Trimming My Stash - November 2018 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews

Have you ever felt as though there just aren't enough hours in the day? I'm feeling that way at the moment, and it's so easy to see why people get so frazzled at this time of year, there just seems to so much to do at times and the to do list never seems to get any shorter! The annual decorating and tidying frenzy is well and truly under way, there are gifts still to wrap, cards still to deliver and there is shopping still to be done. For a spoonie that's hard enough to deal with but throw in an attack of the sniffles, a coughy, snotty and snuffly Mummy Lou, and all the everyday tasks that still need to be done, then it's no surprise that I don't whether I'm coming or going at the minute. It's hard for everyone at this time of year, so I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself, I'm going to do what needs doing and I'm going to try not to stress about the little things, and above all I'm going to try and focus on what's important.

Having said that, although this post is up a lot later than I would have liked, this and my previous post probably marks the start of what hopefully be my busiest spell on the blog of 2018. I have lots of posts planned, they are nearly all photographed, and I'm really excited to start getting some content up, eventually! I've also got a festive giveaway planned so providing the creeks don't rise, stay tuned for some long awaited blog posts x First of all though it's time to take a step back to last month and have a look at November's beauty empties.

I was so proud of myself with October's total of 10 items, but alas I couldn't continue that success in November. I tried hard I really did but for some reason it just didn't happen and I only managed to finish a measly 3 items :( Not the best month I'm sure you'll agree but every little helps as the famous supermarket saying goes and it does, I now have 3 less items in my bulging cupboards and drawers, and I've created a tiny bit of space for potential beauty gifts (fingers crossed ;) Although there aren't many of them, the items that I managed to finish are pretty interesting and weirdly I loved them all and as you'll see, I will definitely be repurchasing two of them x 

Baija Paris Green Tea Jasmine Body Oil - 30ml

Oh K! Fruit Enriched Peeling Foot Mask - 2 x Skin Softening Socks - 2 x 20ml Sachets Stimulating Foot Essence
Simple Kind To Skin Eye Make Up Remover - 125ml

Total - 3 Items

1. Baija Paris Green Tea Jasmine Body Oil - 30ml

We'll start off with an item that I probably won't be repurchasing but I would if I could. Like so many unusual and less well known brands this product came in beauty box, I think it was either a My Little Box or a Birchbox. This isn't very well known brand but in my experience it should be, it's a French based predominantly body care brand, that seems to be famous for it's beautiful, natural aromas.

This was a beautiful, fine textured, easily absorbed body oil. You could use it as an all over body moisturiser but I tended to use it on my tiger stripes to add a bit of excess moisture and a bit of TLC! Okay, I admit it I have stretch marks, who doesn't? I'm not the biggest fan of them but thanks to growth, and periods of weight loss and weight gain, I have them and once you have them there isn't too much that you can do about them bar embrace them, and give them a little bit of moisture love. Although it doesn't get rid of them completely, moisturising can make them less visible and it can definitely prevent new ones from forming. Whilst this wasn't a miracle worker it did leave my skin feeling smooth and silky, and smelling amazing.

This oil had an amazing scent - a fabulous fresh, fruity floral green tea scent, mixed with just a hint of jasmine. It actually smelled very similar to Elizabeth Arden Green Tea, a scent that some people find a little bit old fashion but personally it's a one that I love and that I used to wear regularly. I would definitely consider repurchasing both this product and some of the other products that I've tried from Baija Paris but the range is incredibly difficult to get hold of in the UK, you can occasionally find the odd thing in TK Maxx, but other than that you're pretty much relying on resellers which is a shame, if you see it though the entire range is well worth trying x

2. Oh K! Fruit Enriched Peeling Foot Mask - 2 x Skin Softening Socks - 2 x 20ml Sachets Stimulating Foot Essence

Foot peels and peeling socks are probably one of the grossest beauty products on the market but personally I love them! There is something completely gross yet somewhat fascinating and even enjoyable about watching all of that dry skin fall off your feet! I don't even like feet that much but these things are just so satisfying - Does that make me a bit weird lol I don't know?

I've tried a lot of different types of peeling socks over the years but these ones are a little bit different to all of the other brands that I've tried so far. The box contains a pair of paper / fabric socks with a plastic lining. The socks are pretty decent quality they don't feel flimsy or thin and they have a tie which helps secure them onto your feet. The tie is a much better idea than the sticky tabs that these socks normally have, they felt really safe on my feet, they didn't feel as though they were going to slip off, and I didn't feel that I needed to put a pair of socks on over the top to hold them in place. 

Sounds pretty standard so far doesn't it but what is unusual is that the socks are completely dry, so the box also contains two sachets of stimulating foot essence (1 for each foot), which contains lactic, salicylic and glycolic acids and a variety of fruit acids including lemon, lime, orange, apple, grape and wild cherry, which you then pour into your socks.

All you do is wash and dry your feet, and then put the liquid filled socks on to your feet, secure them with the ties and then you just sit and relax for between an hour and an hour and a half, to let the liquid do it's thing before rinsing off your feet in plain, warm water.

There was no real scent to the liquid just a slight astringency, almost alcohol scent, The two phase system meant that the socks were really wet, and the liquid really did completely cover the feet. I'm not going to lie, after about 10 minutes I started to feel a tingling sensation, it wasn't unpleasant but it was noticeable, and you definitely felt as though it was doing something. 

The worst thing with this type of product is the waiting, over the next week or so your feet steadily get drier and drier, and no matter how much you want to, you can't moisturise them! I used these socks around 2 weeks ago now and it's safe to say that my feet do not look pretty! The skin is drying and peeling off on the soles, and balls of my feet and even between my toes . Soaking your feet makes a big difference and it can really help speed the process up, so for best result either shower with your feet in a washing up bowl (that's what I've been doing!), have a bath, or treat yourself to a foot spa, to really loosen off that dead skin!

Based on the initial feeling and the results so far these are probably the strongest type of these socks that I've tried, yes my feet look pretty horrid at the moment, but in a week or so they'll be smooth, baby soft and party ready x If your feet have seen better days and the thought of showing them to anyone fills you full of horror then these could be something to try, just make sure you give them long enough to work before that big event, as with these things it definitely gets worse before it gets better x Based on my current results I will definitely be repurchasing these socks again x They retail at around £8.50 from various retailers including FEELUNIQUE, ASOS and the Oh K Life website

3. Simple Kind To Skin Eye Make Up Remover - 125ml

As you know my quest for a new eye make up remover has been a long one - there have been lots of fails, and lots of nearly's, but at long last I think I may have found the one. Simple are specialists in skincare for sensitive skin, so why on earth did I wait so long before giving this one a go? I'm obviously not quite with it at times! 

Like all Simple products this eye make up remover is free from colours or dyes, artificial perfumes, or chemicals, it's also oil free, non comedogenic, hypoallergenic, dermatologically tested and approved, and opthamologically tested. Containing Pro Vitamin B5, it is designed to gently and effectively remove all eye make up including waterproof mascara, and it's also suitable for contact lens wearers.

As you would expect it is clear in colour and it has an almost water like appearance and texture, and no real scent. Given the slightly unassuming appearance I was really surprised at how well this worked. It removed everything that I threw at it with very little effort, long wear mascara took a little bit longer but it still removed easily without scrubbing or rubbing, and most importantly my eyes didn't feel dry or sore, and there was no watering or stinging!

I don't know if my quest is over, and I'll definitely keep trying new things, but with this product I've definitely found something that I like and that I'll continue to repurchase. In fact I've already bought another couple of bottles, the RRP for this is around £3.79 but in Superdrug in particular, it's normally on special offer so it's well worth stocking up if you like it as much as I do.

So only 3 items, but as hopefully you can see they were three very interesting items, 2 of which have subsequently become firm favourites. We're now well into December and so far I've only managed to finish one item so fingers crossed I can up my game and finish the month and the year on a high x Don't forget to let me know if you're doing something similar to Trimming My Stash and of course please let me know if you have any questions on any of the items in this post x 

Saturday, 8 December 2018

A Gift And A Christmas Decoration All In One - NEXT Mini Stationery Set Bauble

After weeks and weeks of thinking that it's too early I guess we can't hide from it now, Christmas really is on its way. My main tree has been up since last Saturday and believe it or not there are already a few presents underneath it.

I love buying presents almost as much, if not more, than I enjoy receiving them, I don't know what it is but in some people you can almost see a return to that childhood excitement as they tear off the wrapping paper. I love making the people that I love happy, and gifts can do exactly that.

Now I know that a lot of bloggers spend hours and hours producing gift guides, but to be honest I've never been one of them, gifting is a really personal thing, and what is someones stocking filler might be someone else's main present, so although they are often written with the best of intentions and personally I do love reading them, they can be a bit of a minefield, So instead what I like to do is share a few items with you that I think would make a good gift either for someone special in your life or just for that person who you want to say a little thank you to this holiday season.

I've been really good this year, and I've just about finished my Christmas shopping already, I only need a few more little things and then I'm done. As stressful as shopping can be at this time of year I still try to have a little browse and make it enjoyable, I love seeing what's out there and what the present and buying trends are and something that I've noticed a lot this year is the concept of a gift in the form of a Christmas decoration.

Specialised and Christmas packaging is nothing new, and it's something that's been around for as long as I can remember and probably way longer than that, but over the last few years I've noticed a real trend in truly decorative packaging. Look on any high street and you'll see biscuits, sweets and chocolates, packaged in decorative tins that you can reuse and display around the home, Christmas crackers, filled with beauty products, chocolates and candles, and of course lots of things that you can hang on the Christmas tree from make up palettes with built in hanging loops from the like of Maybelline and Laura Geller, (more on some of these to come) to specially designed packaging from say Benefit, Molton Brown or Burts Bees that are filled with your favourite treats. Gifting and decorations are now in some senses one the same, and nowhere is that more evident than with the humble Christmas bauble.

The stores at the moment are full of either metal, solid card or plastic tree decorations containing everything from jewellery, to fudge and chocolates, to candles, alcohol miniatures, and of course beauty products with the likes of Lancome, boohoo, Nails Inc, Baylis & Harding, and L'Occitane, and more, all selling fabulous, decorative and in most cases reusable tree decorations containing all of your favourite products.

I love the idea of a bauble containing a gift, they are brilliant for table gifts, or as stocking fillers and in this age of cutting down on waste, the fact that the majority or them are reusable means that you can either refill them for next year or you can continue using them in years to come to decorate your Christmas tree. We've already bought some of the gorgeous L'Occitane tin star ones this year which contain mini hand creams, and I know for a fact that they'll be well received by their recipients. Seeing as this is predominantly a beauty and fashion blog you might think that's what I'm going to review here, but you'd be wrong, I'm going to talk about a bauble containing one of my other loves -stationery!

I love stationery! Buying stationery is as exciting to me as buying a new lipstick or a new top, I love the stuff, and even though I have more than enough for probably a full classroom, I still can't stop buying it. At the moment NEXT have a lot of stationery bits in, both from Paperchase and from their own brand, and a few months ago now I bought a stationery set, in a plastic case, for £10 containing all sorts of rose gold, copper toned, pencils, paper clips, washi tape and pastel coloured push pins, sticky notes and magnets. £10 sounds a lot but in my opinion it was well worth it and it looks beautiful . It's still available online and in store so if you're into stationery then I would definitely consider it,  but if you want something a little bit cheaper then one of my other recent buys, the NEXT Mini Stationery Set Bauble might be right up your street.

This cute bauble comes gift boxed and thanks to the clever design and the hanging loop poking through the box you can hang the whole thing on your tree. Open the box and you're greeted with a good sized clear plastic bauble, with a bright neon coral, orange ribbon hanging loop.

The two halves of the bauble snap easily apart and reseal so you can use it again. Inside the bauble there are 5 different stationery pieces in tonal pinks, corals, and coppery rose golds.

The bauble contains a coral, almost neon peach orange pad of heart shaped sticky notes, a rose gold / copper toned bulldog clip, and 3 rose gold / copper toned heart shaped paper clips, which match the ones in the other set perfectly.

The set also contains a copper / rose gold wrapped pencil eraser, and the cutest mini neon pink highlighter pen, and finally the most exciting thing for me a roll of fabulous silver glitter encrusted washi style sticky tape.

Lets not beat about the bush if you were to split it down item for item I don't think that this set which is priced at £4 probably represents the best value for money, but the products are nice, and decent quality, and I personally will use every single one of them, throw in the fact that the bauble itself is reusable (I intend to fill it with sweeties for Mummy Lou this year) then I don't think this is too bad a gift, either as a secret Santa, or a table gift, or as a stocking filler for the stationery lover in your life. Let me know in the comments and if you have any other stationery inspired stocking filler ideas I'd love to hear them x 

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

AD - Spreading The Cost Of Winter Fashion And Some New Online Discoveries*

Purely based on my own experience of talking to people, watching You Tube videos, reading magazines and reading blogs, I've discovered that when it comes to fashion, people roughly fall into two categories, there are spring and summer people, there are are autumn and winter people.

I definitely fall into the autumn and winter camp, I love jumpers, cardigans, warm scarves, and chunky and practical winter boots! Don't get me wrong I still love t-shirts and sandals but whether it's down to my body shape, my lifestyle, or even plain old personal preference, I love to cover up and to get warm and cosy.

At the moment I'm in my element, the shops at the moment are full of fabulous colours and fabulous winter styles but lets be honest, who really wants to brave the high street when it's cold and pouring with rain, or brave that out of town shopping centre when it's full of Christmas shoppers? Not me! At least not all of the time anyways/ I'm 100% in favour of supporting local businesses and our high streets, but sometimes especially when your health isn't the best like mine, it makes a lot more sense to do a least of some of your shopping online.

Although online shopping is a relatively new thing, distance shopping isn't a modern invention by any means, people have been shopping from catalogues since the 1800's and whilst I'm not quite that old, I have fond, childhood memories of circling things in my mam's mail order catalogue and trying to rest the huge, heavy book comfortably on my tiny knees!

Now pretty much every store has some sort of online or mail order shopping presence, and although catalogues aren't always the first place that you may think of when it comes to online shopping, in some cases they probably should be your first port of call no matter what you're looking for, but especially when it comes to shopping for winter fashion for the whole family.

Online catalogues are probably one of the best alternatives to actually getting out there and braving the high street. Not only is the whole shopping experience less stressful and less time consuming but you also have the added benefits of choice, convenience, easy price comparisons, the occasional option to spread the cost , and of course lots of special offers, all at your fingertips. If you're interested in picking up some new winter fashion pieces and you would like to spread the cost or at what can be an expensive time of year, or make your life just a little bit easier by shopping online, here are 2 online catalogues that may not have heard of that might be right up your street.

Fashion World

When it comes to clothes shopping, Fashion World really is the creme de la creme when it comes to catalogue shopping. Although like me, you may not have necessarily heard of Fashion World, you'll definitely have heard of some of the brands that they stock and some of their sister stores, websites and catalogues. Part of the JD Williams & Company group, one of the leading purveyors of mail order catalogues in the UK, Fashion World makes shopping quick, and easy. As well as a huge variety of women's clothing in sizes 12-32, Fashion World also stocks a range of men's and children's wear, as well as home items, electricals and Christmas gifts - so you can stock up on some winter fashion pieces and of course some festive gifts for both friends and family at the same time - convenient, guilt free shopping - what more could you want?!


If you're looking for fashions just that bit different, and with a bit more sophistication, and class then Madeline should probably be your first port of call. Established way back in 1977 Madeline are of one of the pioneers in the mail order fashion business and have operations both in the UK and in mainland Europe. They're easy to navigate online catalogue contains a wide variety of high fashion clothing, shoes and accessories that are perfect for this time of year. Focusing entirely on female fashion, the site contains everything for the autumn and winter season, from winter boots, to cosy scarves, smart work wear, sparkly evening wear and comfortable, yet stylish casual clothing. Madeline is considered by many to be the site for people who know what top fashion is all about and I can see why. Whilst often veering towards the classic their clothes seem to have enough of an edge to make them appeal to the most fashion conscious women out there, be it in the cut of a garment, in the shape of a collar or a seem or even in the buttons or on a trim, they really do seem to offer something that's just that little bit different. 

If you're anything like me then I know you'll probably need no excuse to go shopping, so I won't be responsible for any purchases made because of this post ;) I know I've definitely made a wishlist after checking out both of these online catalogues, and it's definitely made me wonder just how many other catalogues and shopping sites there are that I haven't discovered yet x The Internet really is a wonderful thing when it comes to shopping or even window shopping, it's easy, in a roundabout way it can save you money, it's convenient and you do it all from the comfort of your own home.


Saturday, 10 November 2018

Trimming My Stash - October 2018 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews*

I'm a bit late with this one I'm afraid, nothing new there I hear you say but I've had a bit of a busy start to the month and it's showing no sign of slowing down. I've had a few outings, lots of family time, and I've got a few projects on the go that needed some attention. throw in the horrendous light over the last week or and that's why I'm posting my October empties on the 10th November!

Maria Nila True Soft Conditioner - 100ml
NIVEA Daily Essentials Double Effect Make Up Remover - 125ml
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser - 100ml
Benefit They're Real Beyond Mascara - Black - 3g
Benefit Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer - 15.5g
AVON Advance Techniques Anti Hair Fall Conditioner - 250ml
Boozi Bodycare Cocktails Mango & Ginger Margarita Body Wash - 50ml
Boozi Bodycare Cocktails Cheeky Woo Woo Body Wash - 50ml
Beauty Pro Nourishing Collagen Mask With Olive Extract x 1 x 23g Sheet Mask
The Body Shop Frosted Berries Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub - 50ml
Total - 10 Items 

As I hope you can see though this post was worth waiting for. In October I managed to finish 10 beauty products including skincare, body care, hair care and even a couple of make up items. I make no apologies that this post is going to be pretty epic but I managed to finish a lot of products that I loved and a lot of products that I've never mentioned before and that equals a pretty long and descriptive blog lets quit the rambling and get started!

1. Maria Nila True Soft Conditioner - 100ml

According to a lot of people I'm a bit strange, I can live with that who wants to be a sheep after all, being weird and a bit different is fun, and one of the ways in which I'm bit different is that I go through way more shampoo than conditioner. A minor thing but apparently I'm in a minority, using more conditioner than shampoo doesn't make sense to me at all but hey ho, more people still seem to do it, so what do I know? It's always the way with me though I finish a bottle of shampoo and it's usually a month or two later before I finish the corresponding conditioner. That's why there are conditioners in this post and no shampoos.

The first one I'm going to talk about is from ethical Swedish brand Maria Nila. I talked about the shampoo back in Septembers countdown (read it here), and it was something that I received in the May edition of Glossybox (you can watch my unboxing video here). I was immediately attracted to the brand on ethical and environmental grounds but the products themselves definitely didn't disappoint either.

Again containing Maria Nila's exclusive colour guard complex, and nourishing and protecting argan oil, this vegan, sulphate and paraben free conditioner is specifically designed for drier hair types. It wasn't too thick and it had a lovely creamy consistency, it wasn't too heavy and it was easy to apply evenly throughout the hair and it was easy to rinse. This conditioner instantly smoothed and detangles the hair and left it with a similar fresh, fruity, floral scent that was similar to the shampoo only with a bit more of a zing and a bit of astringency. Again myself and Mummy Lou really enjoyed using this product and it's something that I would definitely consider buying again.

2. NIVEA Daily Essentials Double Effect Make Up Remover - 125ml

From something that I loved to something that didn't quite make the grade. I bought this product as part of my seemingly never ending quest to find a good budget eye make up remover. I've lost count of how many that I've tried but at last I think I may have found the one but unfortunately though it isn't this one.

I've talked about my love NIVEA as a brand recently and seeing as I'd got on with quite a few dual phase eye make up removers (mainly Lancome Bi-Facil - a classic and a multi award winner) I though that I would give this cheaper alternative a go.

Basically it's a 2 phase formulation, this means that the bottle contains two liquids with different consistencies that you shake together to combine, the water based element is designed to refresh, protect and care for the lashes whilst the oil based liquid is designed to remove even waterproof eye make up effectively and without rubbing. It is suitable for contact lens wearers and it contains cornflower extract.

Despite the fact that the two phases have been designed to minimise oiliness, I did find it quite greasy on the lids and unfortunately I did find that it made my eyes smart and water. Not only that but I also found that it did struggle to remove stubborn mascara. Whilst it isn't waterproof Benefit They're Real can be quite tricky to remove, and this product did struggle to remove every last trace of it, hence I woke up a few times with those horrid black eye bogeys in my eyes, bleurgh!! not what you want to be greeted with in the morning!

It's unfortunate but this product isn't for me I may consider trying the NIVEA Daily Essentials Extra Gentle Eye Make Up Remover in the future but even despite the pocket friendly retail price of £3.89 I certainly won't be buying this one again.

3. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser - 100ml

Well what can I say about this product that hasn't already been said by the thousands and thousands of people that swear by this cleanser! It's won countless awards (over 125!) and with good reason. If you haven't tried this or at least heard about it - where have you been! Designed for all skin types it was one of the original hot cloth style cleansers and it has many imitators. The original formulation contains cocoa butter, rosemary, chamomile, and hops extracts and eucalyptus essential which all give that signature scent and texture.

Simply massage a small amount over your dry face to start dissolving make up and grime, and then remove it with warm water and the cotton muslin face cloth, for a thorough cleanse and exfoliation all in one simple step.

I've used this on and off for years and years and it's something that I will continue to use and repurchase on a regular basis. I do on occasions find the eucalyptus a touch stimulating and it can cause a little bit of redness on my skin so I'm definitely looking into try some of the new limited edition varieties but in the winter months when you're feeling tired and under the weather that is really nothing better than that hit of eucalyptus.

4. Benefit They're Real Beyond Mascara - Black - 3g

I've already briefly mentioned this in this post, and how well it wears is one of the reasons why I love it. I've written a full review of this mascara which you can read here, which explains in full just why I love it but at the same time just why it drives me mad. It really does annoy the hell out of me at times when it clumps, but most of the times by having a lash comb at hand I can live with it, so it's something that I will continue to use either alone or alongside Benefit's Roller Lash to give my lashes length, volume and curl ( I will be talking more about both Benefit Roller Lash and Benefit Bad Gal Bang in the future).

5. Benefit Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer - 15.5g

Benefit are famous for a lot of things including their mascaras, brows, and boxed blushers but something else that they also do pretty damn well are primers. Without a doubt their most famous primer is the original Porefessional but this particular one also created a bit of stir when it was first launched.

Unlike a lot of primers on the market this one isn't a cream or liquid instead it's a solid balm like waxy stick, which melts on contact with the skin. All you do is rub the stick all over your face or just on your t-zone depending on your skin type and where you usually apply your primer. It goes on relatively clear but you can almost feel a tightening sensation on the skin where you've applied it. Some people say that it's best to apply foundation straight away and whilst it still feels tacky but personally I like to give it a minute or two to set before I start applying my foundation.

Obviously Benefit recommend that you use this alongside one of their foundations but I've used it with quite a few other brands and it's mostly been fine. The key I've found is not to use it alongside too thick, too heavy or some mattifying foundations. If you chose to dense a consistency it results in a cakey, mask like finish, teamed up with pilling, and roll off!

For me this isn't for you if you don't have oily skin, if you have dry skin this isn't going to work at all for you, and if you have a more combination skin only apply it to your oily areas. Don't apply too much and use it with either a light weight foundation or on its own as a shine minimising product. Using it like that definitely helps with shine and it helps your base to last longer. I'm not sure that it quite lives us to Benefit's 15 hour claim but in my experience helped my make up to stay on longer. I'm not sure I would repurchase this particular product again as the price (£27) is quite prohibitive but I do like the stick primer idea and I'm definitely on the hunt for something similar and more purse friendly, so if you've seen something similar let me know in the comments x 

6. AVON Advance Techniques Anti Hair Fall Conditioner - 250ml

Ahh, another conditioner finished way later than the corresponding shampoo, which in this case I finished way back in July (read about it here). What can I say? Rave, rave, rave! I love, love, love this range, this shampoo and conditioner combination has made a huge difference to my hair and all at a super affordable price point. I've spoke about both products at length but to put it simply this conditioner smells amazing, fresh and floral with just a hint of mint; it contains keratin, arginine, bamboo and peppermint extracts. It's a fortifying conditioner that is designed to strengthen and repair the hair from root to tip, so you lose few strands of hair. It's creamy yet lightweight and it easy to apply and rinse and the hair is left smooth and tangle free.

Since your hair goes through different phases you're always losing strands of hair here and there, and some of us certainly seem to loose more than others. Therefore it's always difficult to say whether or not an external product truly makes a difference, all I can see though is that since I've stopped using both the shampoo and the conditioner, and despite using excellent quality products, I've noticed a lot more loose strands and clumps in the shower and on the floor! So it goes without saying that I'm going to repurchase both products asap and I've going to start reusing them regularly, which I think is recommendation enough!

7. Boozi Bodycare Cocktails Mango & Ginger Margarita Body Wash - 50ml
8. Boozi Bodycare Cocktails Cheeky Woo Woo Body Wash - 50ml

Although they have their faults and their critics I am partial to a subscription box or two, and one of my favourite is most definitely Pink Parcel. Designed to make that time of the month just that little bit easier, they contain sanitary protection, and a little something to cheer you up, including beauty product, snacks, tea bags, and sometimes a jewellery or lifestyle product. I look forward to my box coming every month even if it does mine that my period has either already arrived or it's on it's way.

One of the things that I love most about beauty boxes in the discovery aspect and the opportunity they give you to try new things, that you otherwise might not have heard of let alone tried. One of my favourite ever beauty box discoveries the Boozie Bodycare Cocktails Cheeky Woo Woo Bodywash, came in March 2017's Pink Parcel - You can watch my unboxing below or via this link x

Boozi Bodycare, are a British, Berkshire based company that produce a range of cocktail inspired body, hand and lip care products, that are paraben free, not tested on animals and made in the UK. Their quirky line of products is all based on tropical fruity, cocktails. Of course they don't contain any alcohol, so don't go drinking them but they are ideal if you're not a drinker and you still want to experience some fruity fun.

The first one I tried was Cheeky Woo Woo, a fabulously fruity combination of sweet peach, and juicy cranberry, and after one sniff I was hooked on the line and I went on to buy a mini set the Boozi Bodycare Cocktail Party Body Wash Collection which contained a large variety of mini bottles, I ended to split them up as stocking fillers last Christmas bit I actually ended up keeping most of it for myself! The Mango And Ginger Margarita again was a feast for the senses, with a fabulously juicy sweet mango scent with just a hint of spicy ginger!

The scents are truly mouthwatering but as good as they are these body washes have so much more to offer, they are quite thick gels so you only need a tiny amount to produce a fabulous creamy leather with an even more fabulous scent!

These body washes are amazing and are perfect for transporting you back to the cocktail on that tropical beach even in the depth of winter. They would make a fab treat either for yourself or as a gift for someone else, and the prices aren't out of the way either at only £5.95 for 250ml body wash. These are fab products and I was definitely be repurchasing at least one scent when I've finished using up my minis. You can find Boozi Bodycare on their own website, where you can also find out further stockist information. I've had a little look around though online and you buy a small selection on Fragrance Direct, as well as on Amazon and if like me you're based in North East England Fenwick in Newcastle did, and I'm hoping still do have a small selection in store.

9. Beauty Pro Nourishing Collagen Mask With Olive Extract x 1 x 23g Sheet Mask

Next up another Pink Parcel item this time from the September 2018 box x I've had a couple of these masks in various beauty boxes but this is the first one that I've tried. Made in the home of sheet masks South Korea Beauty Pro sell a wide range of masks for different skin concerns. This one is an anti ageing and nourishing mask, that is designed to boost skin firmness, and to improve texture, clarity, tone, and elasticity. It contains pomegranate, witch hazel, aloe vera, and olive extract, and it is mineral oil, lanolin, petroleum and paragon free.

Now at first glance my skin doesn't scream that I need nourishment, but as I get older my skin in definitely changing, I used to have oily skin, but now it's much more combination, I get the occasional dry area that's exacerbated by extremes in temperature and it can be quite easily sensitised. Seeing as the temperature seems to have dropped so much over the last month on so I thought that my skin could probably do with a bit of a moisture boost so I gave this a go.

All you do is apply the fabric / paper sheet mask to your face for 15 minutes. The first thing that I noticed was just how wet the mask actually was, it had a subtle green, fresh scent, and it felt very cooling on the skin. After I'd removed it there was a lot of liquid left on my skin so I massaged into my face, my neck and my decolletage. It actually felt quite tacky and sticky on the skin and it did take quite a while to absorb but most of it did end up sinking into the skin. There was no immediate improvement in the feel or the softness of the skin but my face definitely looked plumper, and it had a slight glow to it, it also looked less tired and it didn't feel quite as tight.

I'm not 100% sure that I would purchase this particular mask but I would definitely consider trying out some of Beauty Pro's other masks. This particular one has an RRP of £4.95 and is available from the Beauty Pro website, Amazon, Fabled and the NEXT website x

The Body Shop Frosted Berries Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub - 50ml

Finally a body scrub and one from The Body Shops Frosted Berries range which was one of their festive collections in 2016. This has been one of my favourite festive scents in recent years, so I took the opportunity and stocked up when I could. It has a lovely not too sweet, juicy berry scent that works perfectly with The Body Shop's amazing sugar based body scrub formulation. Thankfully I still have a full sized tub to use up, but alas like my favourite apple based scents this one doesn't make an appearance for Christmas 2018 so I'm hoping that I like at least one of their new festive introductions, I'm thinking either Berry Bon Bon or Vanilla Marshmallow could be the ones for me as I'm not really a big fan of mint based scents so I don't really sure about Peppermint Candy Cane but you never know it might surprise me x If you've tried any of the new festive introductions then let me know your thoughts in the comments x

Phew that was a bit of an epic post wasn't it but I hope managed to stick it out until the end x I was super pleased to have finished 10 items in October and whilst November hasn't started that well empties wise fingers crossed I can have another good month and end the year on a high x

*This Blog Post Contains Affiliate Links Other Than Those From Skimlinks

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Highlighter Heaven With The Revolution Ultra Pro Glow Highlighting Palette

Now it's no secret that I haven't been the best blogger lately but I promise I am going to try and make it up to you in the last few months of the year and going forward into 2019. Although posts have been a bit thin on the ground I've still been photographing and thinking about posts and whilst searching through some of the folders on my MacBook recently I found some pictures of a few products that I'd always intended to review and never got round too, and this was one of them

I originally bought this palette way back in 2017 and like the "good blogger" that I am (deep down inside anyways) I photographed it when it was all new and pristine, shared a quick pic on Instagram and then promptly never mentioned it again on social media - slaps wrists! Anyways despite the lack of online love I pretty much started using this palette straight away and despite the ridiculous number of highlighters that I have in my make up collection, I've used it pretty consistently ever since, so I thought that I'd share it with you and tell you just exactly why I love it so much  

I've been a fan of Make Up Revolution, or Revolution as they're now known since day 1, I know they have their critics due to their sometimes blatant copies of higher end products, but you can't deny that they do what they do well. Although there are now some higher priced items in the range they've remained largely affordable, and purse friendly. In my opinion they do a lot of things well but for me the palette is where they truly excel. I love make up generally but palettes just make things easier, colours tend to go together, and you're adding multiple items to your make up collection with just one purchase, I have lots of their eyeshadow palettes, a blush palette or two and of course I have this one, the Ultra Pro Glow Highlighting Palette.

My highlighter collection is pretty ridiculous, I have way more than I could ever wear but I absolutely love them, and the subtle nuances, and variations in each one that I own. I own budget friendly ones, and high end luxury ones, and whilst I love them all I keep coming back to this palette.  The reason is that this particular palette give you pretty much every warm toned shade of highlighter that you could ever need all in one place.

The packaging is basic but the powders inside are anything but, the shades in the palette range from pale yellows, and champagnes, to peaches, a warm peachy pink, and coppery bronzes. All of the shades in the palette are gluten and cruelty free, and they are vegan friendly to boot.

The powders inside are super smooth and they so finely milled that they almost feel like creams rather than powders. They don't feel dry or chalky, and since they are shimmers rather than glitters, the fallout is virtually non existent. 

As you can see from these swatches the pigmentation is superb, and depending on your skin tone, some of the deeper shades would make fabulous shimmery blushers and bronzers. Obviously you can use these as out and out highlighters to emphasise your cheekbones, your cupids bow, your brow bone, and the the bridge of nose, but what I love about this palette is it's versatility as I say you can use some shades are blushers or bronzers, and of course you can use them as eyeshadows too.

We're entering silly lighting season at the moment, so the lighting hasn't really been conducive to decent, natural face shots but I've taken a few in different lighting condition to give you an idea of just how smooth, blendable and wearable this palette actually is.

This first picture is taken with the flash and it's probably one my favourite ways to use the paler colours in this palette. Here I've used one of the pale champagne colours to highlight my brow bone, I've just used it very simply alongside MAC Smoke And Diamonds eyeshadow and a little bit of black mascara, a very easy shimmery eye that works equally well when worn day or night.

Annoyingly this photo that's taken again with the flash didn't come out as well as I'd hoped, but you can just  about see a hint of the warm, shimmery pink shade worn as a blush. On my pale (ish) skin tone it makes a really pretty and subtle cheek colour.

At last we had sunshine so I managed to take a few pictures in natural light. I'm a huge fan of nude, and neutral eyes, my Naked palette is my best friend and I love a bit of shimmer on my eyes so I've had a play or two and some of the bronze, copper shades are pigmented and strong enough to make excellent eye shadows in their own right. Again I've just teamed them up with a coat or two of mascara for a really easy autumnal eye look.

Again I'm not really that happy about how this one has photographed, because I'm quite pasty in the picture it looks very daring and quite strong but in real life it was definitely a little bit more subtle and wearable. This is lovely almost metallic deep champagne, bronze shade, that just made my face and skin pop. As I say it looked way nicer in real life, but if you have darker or tanned skin then I think this particular shade would be even more beautiful

As I say I've struggled a bit with some of my photographs but hopefully alongside the swatches they give you an idea of both the quality and the pigmentation, and of course the versatility of this palette.

Not only is this palette amazingly versatile but as you would expect from Revolution it's also a bit of a bargain. For just £8 your getting 8 fabulous, versatile and wearable shades, with a total weight of 20g, so that's basically just £1 per shade. Obviously if you're a highlighter obsessive like me then you need this but it you're new to make or to the whole concept of highlighting then this is an excellent product to start with and if your not a fan of cooler toned highlighter then this couple be the only highlighting product that you would ever need. I love and I'm so pleased that I picked it up. If you fancy picking one up for yourself then it's available from Superdrug and from Revolution Beauty. Are you as obsessed as I am with highlighter? Let me know in the comments x