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Sunday, 24 April 2016

The Oily Scalp Saviours


I recently picked up three items from the L'oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay range: I got the shampoo, the conditioner and the clay masque. As an oily haired gal, I thought the range, which is designed for oily roots and dry ends, was worth a shot. As I have long hair, I'm always looking for products to keep my oily roots under control and keep my ends nourished.

Let me start by saying that I love the pretty aqua shade of the bottles-maybe not a deal breaker but well done L'oreal, I like it. As for the products themselves...they have a lovely fruity smell...a bit like melon if I'm not mistaken? It's always a nice bonus when hair products smell really good.

The clay masque is a bit of a strange product. You put in on the roots of your dry hair pre washing. I put in on then leave it for about five minutes before rinsing and shampooing. It is VERY blue and I had a bit of a scary moment the first time I used in when my hands were bright blue, but it did wash off with soap and water so nothing to worry about. I did feel that the extra step made my hair feel very light, like all residue had been removed and it was super fresh and clean. I will say, however, that when I used it two washes in a row, my scalp felt slightly dry and itchy. I now use this once a week and that's enough even for my rather oily roots.

The shampoo and conditioner have the same scent as the masque. The shampoo feels nicely cleansing but not too stripping and the conditioner is just nourishing enough without being too heavy or weighing down the hair.

So do they make my hair less oily overall? Yes, they do. I am able to go an extra day without washing my hair than I can using every other shampoo/ conditioner combo I've ever tried (and that includes the times in between when I don't use the masque). Normally, my hair pretty much needs washing every other day. I can extend it 1 more day with dry shampoo if I need to. However, with the Extraordinary Clay range, I can go an extra day before I need to use dry shampoo, which is brilliant! This means I can more easily get away with washing my hair twice a week, which is great when you have a lot of hair and it seems to take an age to dry and style it.

Overall, I'm really impressed with this range! I am continuing to use the shampoo and conditioner twice a week and the clay masque every other time and can definitely see myself repurchasing them.

You can find the range via Boots here, currently on 3 for 2.

Have you tried the L'oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay range? What do you think?

Em x

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Raspberry Glitter Nails


I absolutely love glitter tip nails with a gradient effect, they're so easy to do yet look so effective. I always get loads of compliments when I do my nails like this and people asking did I get them done then when they realise I did them myself, how I did it. I also love this colour combination so thought I would share...


I used a Revlon Colorstay polish called 'Rich Raspberry' as the base colour. It's my type of colour and I'd forgotten about it for a while but recently got it out again when re-organising my nail polishes. I'm actually near the end of the bottle. 

I then painted about half of the length of my nails with a Rimmel 'Glitter Bomb topcoat in 'Disco Fever', which is clear with square, chunky glitter. Finally, I added a finer silver glitter polish from No 7 called 'Disco Ball' onto the tips to intensify the glitter and finished everything off with Orly 'Glosser' top coat.


I think some of the polishes may have been discontinued but I'm sure you could replicate it with your favourite fuchsia pink and 2 silver glitters, one more chunky and one finer.

What do you think? Do you like glitter nails?

Em x

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Nail Polish Empties/ Clear Out



I re-organised my nail polishes recently and threw out a few that were either finished or almost finished and super gloopy. It's not often I finish nail polish so you know that I really enjoyed these. Next time, however, I will try to throw them away as I finish them rather than leaving them lurking in my stash! Here's what I finished/ threw away from left to right of the photo...

1. OutTheDoor top coat (large salon size) was a brilliant top coat for being fast drying so it's great if you're in a rush. At the time I bought it, it worked out quite a bit cheaper than Seche Vite. However, I have come to realise that I prefer top coats that might take a little longer to dry but that do more to protect my nails from chipping so I can't see myself repurchasing this.

2. Butter London West End Wonderland is a dense gold glitter polish. It was nice but I won't be repurchasing as Butter London polishes are expensive and chip quite quickly on me, there are other brands I prefer. I think I actually bought this one substantially cheaper than usual in TK Maxx.

3. I have already repurchased Essie's Summit of Style and it appeared in my March favourites post too. This is a beautiful rose gold polish with chunky and smaller glitter pieces. I would deifnitely recommend it.

4. Nicole by OPI 'Wear something Spar-Kylie' is a dense pink glitter polish. It's more something you would wear on it's own than a top coat for other polishes. I really enjoyed this shade and would recommend it but I have a couple of similar polishes so I won't be repurchasing at the moment.

5. Essie's 'Leading Lady' is a super glamorous dark red filled with little brighter red glitters. It is so lovely around Christmas time especially. I had a backup already and the last bit of this one went gloopy so I decided just to throw it away rather than trying to use nail polish thinner (I use the Seche Vite one, if you wondered).

6. Nails Inc a&e is a base coat with nail conditioning qualities. I repurchased straight away because I do feel like this helps the general condition of my nails. They are stronger and don't split of break as often.

7. Nails Inc 'Albert Bridge' top coat is reasonably fast drying but is just ok on the chipping front. It's not bad, but could be better. I do have another albert bridge to use up, however, because unfortunately I could only find the a&e in a double pack with this. I thought I had found a good top coat in the Maybelline Super Stay top coat (you might have seen it in my February favourites) but it since went gloopy half way down the bottle so now I'm not sure...I'm now testing out Orly Glosser as recommended by Zoe from MammafulZo.

Have you used up any nail polishes lately?

Em x


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Pay Day Beauty Treats and a Free Beauty Bag

I recently started a new job and have been working very hard doing some pretty complicated training...so when my first pay day came, I thought I deserved a treat! Look Fantastic also had money off some higher end make up bits that I had my eye on plus I had some extra off with a discount code, so I couldn't resist.

Firstly, I picked up the Estee Lauder Colour Envy Shine lipstick in 'Suggestive'(£25 here), which is a pretty warm pink with a hint of coral that is perfect for Spring. I rently reviewed one of these in the shade 'Innocent' (see my review here) and I was so impressed with the formula that I wanted to try another.The Shine version have much more pigment than your standard more glossy lipstick formula and they have a nice shine to them without being super shiny. You can see my full review of the formula here.



Secondly, I picked up the shade 'Impulsive' from the standard Colour Envy line (£25 here), which is also a pink but less warm and more neutral toned. I think this is a versatile shade as it has enough pink in it to not be a nude so it's enough to brighten up my face but still nice and subtle for wearing to work etc. It would also be great paired with a smokey eye or even as a bridal shade.

The standard formula has more of a creamy, satin finish. As you can see, the packaging is slightly different (the shine range are taller and thinner and the lipstick itself is a different shape) but both look very classy with he navy and gold design and both have a super satisfying magnetic click when closed. They both have a good weight to them, feeling equally good quality.



The third thing I picked up is a Clinique Cheek Pop blush in the shade 'Pink Pop' (£15.30 here. I actually had these blushes in three shades already and they are well used, with the shade 'Plum Pop' in particular looking very worse for wear! 'Pink Pop' is a lovely light pink shade that's perfect for Spring and the formula of these is just lovely. They are sheer but buildable, which I like in a blush because it's easy to end up looking clown-ish with a super pigmented one. They have a slight sheen to them that is very flattering but are not noticeably shimmery. I also love the cute little clear compact with the embossed flower design that lasts a surprisingly long time since it's very raised.


As an added bonus, I received a free beauty bag full of the goodies you can see below with my order, I believe for spending over a certain amount. I was definitely impressed by the generous samples inside! Here's what it contained...

First is a 'Tanworx' (by skincare brand Monu) Tanning Lotion. I haven't tried proper fake tan in a long time, really all I've used in recent years is gradual tan because in the past, I have had a couple of disasters and I really wasn't the best at tanning. I will probably give this a go though because it's got some really good reviews. The full size 200ml costs £25 here so this 100ml size is worth £12.50.

Next is the Monu Recovery Balm moisturiser which is actually a full size (50ml) and costs £25 here so is a brilliant freebie to get. Monu say 'The gentle formula of this balm works as immediate relief to soothe irritation and reduce inflammation to all skin types, especially sensitive or over worked skin.'

The final Monu product is the Monu Revitalising Moisturiser for Normal or Combination Skin which is great for me since my skin is combination-oily. Again, this is a full sized product (50ml) that retails for £25! (find it here). I've never tried anything from Monu so getting some freebies is a great way to try it.

Next up is Lancer 'The Method Polish'. I'd never heard of the brand but it seems to be pretty expensive with an 120g tube of this retailing for £60 here! I would never spend that on a face scrub unless it worked some sort of miracle on my skin but it will be interesting to try the 14g they sent.


Also included was a mini Korres Basil and Lemon shower gel that smells lovely and fresh. I will put this in my travel bits-I keep a bag of travel sized toiletries as I get them instead of having to go out and buy them when I travel or stay overnight at a friend's house. This mini size is £3 here.

Then there is a Lord & Berry Maxi Matte Crayon Lipstick in a nice pinky/ plum shade that I think might be called intimacy? It's not very clear on the packaging really but it's a lovely colour. Again, I've never tried the brand so it will be interesting to see what I think and it's worth £8 (link here).

Finally is two sachets of EmergenC which is a vitamin powder you dissolve in water and it makes an orange flavour fizzy drink. Again interesting as I'd never heard of these. I do take vitamins from time to time so I'll give these a go.

I know that Look Fantastic do these free beauty bags from time to time and if this one is anything to go by, I'd say that if you're looking to order some bits, it's worth doing it when they have this offer on. Mine includes some interesting things that are worth a fair bit for freebies!

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think?

Em x

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Beauty Empties, Reviews and Fails #18

Once again I have a bag full of empties I'm getting rid of as well as a few disappointing beauty products. Here's what I think of each...

Bath and Body


1. The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Shower Gel and...
2. The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Body Lotion both smell delicious! They were a limited edition scent but are still available on the website (now in the sale). I am trying to work my way through my rather large stash of shower gels and body lotions at the moment (including some other Body Shop products) so won't be repurchasing them but I would love it if this scent was made permanent.

3. Dove Caring Bath with Shea Butter and Warming Vanilla is a really nice bath product for the price. Dove bath creams are something I buy quite often as they are cheap and cheerful, pretty moisturising and smell nice too. No doubt I will repurchase one of these at some point.

4. Dove Derma Spa Body Cream is something I enjoyed, although it wasn't quite what I expected. It's actually more of a gel-cream texture and has a nice fresh but not overpowering scent so it is quite refreshing. I received this in a gift set at Christmas and would definitely consider buying it once I've used up some other body moisturisers.

5. Superdrug Plum and Red Cherry Bath Essence smelled nice (think black forest gateaux!) and made bubbles but there isn't an awful lot more I can say really. It did the job and for the bargainous price of 10p on the sale shelf, I'm not complaining. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it again if it is still available.

6. Bubble T Summer Fruits Tea Bath Fizzies and
7. Bubble T Summer Fruits Tea Bath and Shower Jelly
both smell absolutely gorgeous. The jelly is a bit of a novelty product really but the two used together made for a lovely bath with bubbles and a very fruity, refreshing scent. I would definitely consider buying these again because I really enjoyed them. See my review of them here.

Skincare


1. Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm stick was very disappointing in comparison to the pot version. The one in the pot is my favourite lip balm ever and quickly sorts out the driest of lips. This, on the other hand, gives them some slip temporarily but somehow makes them drier than they were! I've used it a fair few times in the hopes it will suddenly work but it's now going in the bin. Fail!

2. La Roche Posay Effaklar Duo + appeared in a recent favourites post (read it here) because it is a great moisturiser/ treatment for oily, spot prone skin and it helps keep my skin clear. I don't use it every night because I slightly vary my skincare routine depending on how my skin is feeling but I have already repurchased it.

3. La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo Mat is a lightweight gel-cream moisturiser that I like for under makeup on my oily skin. It sinks in quickly and doesn't make me any more shiny than I already am. Another repurchase.

4. La Roche Posay Serozinc is a spring water and zinc spray toner that hydrates the skin and also works to prevent blemishes. I use it after my acid toner and before moituriser. I have already repurchased.

5. Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Cream Wash is my usual morning face wash. It contains salicylic acid so is good for spot prevention and oilier skins but the cream texture means that it isn't too drying like some cleansers aimed at my skin type can be. I am already well underway with another tube.

6. Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish is a great product that really agrees with my skin and helps to keep it clear. I always enjoy it when I use it but go back and forth about whether to carry on buying it or stick with my next favourite, the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser which is a lot cheaper. You can see my comparison post here. The Superdrug one is almost as good in my opinion but the Liz Earle has the edge so I'll probably treat myself to it again at some point.

Hair Products



1. Batiste Dry Shampoo in the 'Sweetie' scent worked well as do all the other scents. I gave this one a go because I'm always interested to see what the new scents are like and it was nice enough but there are others I prefer. I currently have the Tropical version that smells of coconuts, yum!

2. Garnier Ultimate Blends The Sleek Perfector Oil was a nice hair oil but there are others I like too. I'm currently using the Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment instead and I'm about half way through it as I had the two on the go at once. I always use a hair oil before I blow dry but at the moment I'm not sure which one I will repurchase or whether to try something new.

Perfumes


1. Marc Jacobs Oh Lola is one of my very favourite perfumes and is actually what I wore for our wedding so it's special to me. I was sad to finish this and can't justify buying it myself as I have a few perfumes already but my birthday is coming up in May so I may well see if I can persuade hubby to get me a new one!

2. Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy is a scent I enjoy but I wish it lasted longer on my skin. I have the 'Noir' version, which I prefer over the original because it lasts longer on me and I just slightly prefer the scent, so I can't see myself repurchasing this one.

Makeup


1. Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer is a bit of a fail for me. It's very thick so I'm not a fan of it for underneath my eyes and it's not long lasting enough on my oily skin for me to use on blemishes. I tried to make this work quite a few times but I have others I prefer so I'm binning this one and won't be buying it again.

2. Bourjois Happy Light Matte Primer was another fail unfortunately. I bought this a long time ago and had it stashed in a drawer but am throwing it away because I haven't used it in so long. It doesn't really do anything to keep skin matte at all and doesn't help with longevity of my makeup. I definitely won't be buying this again.

3. Rimmel Stay Matte Powder is a staple for me. It's a great setting powder for oily skin and cheap too. It is something I always repurchase.

4. Sleek Brow Perfector in Light is my favourite brow gel. It gives brows a slight tint so it great on its own or over brow pencil or powder. Definite repurchase.

5. L'oreal Lumi Maqique Concealer wasn't my favourite but I think it was my own fault, really. I should have known from the packaging (click pen) that it's a similar product to the YSL Touch Eclat, which is actually more of an illuminating product than a proper concealer. I used this up by mixing it with another concealer because it juts doesn't have enough coverage for me. It's not a bad product if it's what you like but isn't for me.

6. MUA Pro-Base Eye Primer is a great eye primer for the bargain price of £2.50 from Superdrug. It really does keep my eye shadow in place and helps fading. It's not quite as good as the UD Primer Potion (which I use if I have a long day, for nights out etc), but for day to day, it does a great job. I have already repurchased it.

7. Makeup Revolution Eye Shadow in 'Touch Me' is a matte cream shade that I always have in my makeup bag. It's super pigmented and costs just £1! It's also a dupe of MAC Blanc Type which costs about 10 times the price! I like having a matte ivory/ cream shade to use as a matte brow bone highlight and to blend out the edge of shade I put in the crease. I have already repurchased and actually have a back up as well.

8. Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara 24 Hr was just ok to me. A lot of people love the Max Factor False Lash mascaras but they have a huge brush that doesn't do a lot for my lashes. I got it as a gift with purchase and used most of it up as a first coat then put another mascara I prefer over it as the second coat (I always do two anyway). I won't be purchasing it, though.

9. Seventeen Falsifeye HD Mascara, on the other hand, is one of my favourite mascaras and does a really goo job for the price. I think the effect is pretty similar to Benefit's They're Real so if you like that, this is worth a shot! Definite repurchase.

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think?

Em x

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Bargainous Summer Sandals


I recently found these Carvela Kurt Geiger 'Solar' sandals on the House of Fraser website and they were such a bargain that I had to have them. I have a bit of a thing for the brand it would seem, I own a few pairs of Carvela shoes now as they really do some lovely ones.

These are described as low wedges, which they are, but due to the platform, they are near enough flat really. However, they still give me a bit of much needed height that a flat wouldn't. They are also from the Carvela Comfort range...which I do think makes me sound like a granny haha...but also means that they have a little more padding in the insole. I do not know how some people walk for hours in sandals that have those almost cardboard-y looking super thin soles


I thought the peachy nude straps, gold heel/ sole and diamante detail would be pretty with my Summer maxi dresses (I am praying for some decent weather and hope to go on holiday in September but watch this space). Best of all, they were a bargainous £29 instead of the full price of £79!

At the time I am writing this post, House of Fraser have a couple of sizes left here and a website called Shoeaholics.com that I often use (run by Kurt Geiger) have them in a couple of sizes for £19.99 plus postage here.



What do you think? Have you been on the look out for the perfect Summer sandals yet?

Em x

Sunday, 3 April 2016

March Beauty Favourites


It's time to tell you about my favourite beauty products for the month of March! Here we go...

Revlon Highlighting Palette in 'Desert Bronze' (£9.99/ buy one get one half price herehas been my most used bronzer/ contour this month. I'm really not sure why this is classed as a highlighting palette since it is matte but it makes a great contour shade as it is very brown and not at all orange like some bronzers can be. I actually think it would be a pretty good more budget friendly alternative to Benefit's Hoola.

I have been applying this with the B. Blusher/ Contour Brush (£8.99/ buy one get one half price here). It is a nice soft brush and is precise enough for me to contour with but large enough that my bronzer/ contour doesn't end up being too concentrated. See my review of the brush here.

This month, I have gone back to my trusty Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in 'Seductive Pink' (£8.99/ 3 for 2 here). I've already been through an entire one of these and the dome of this one is starting to flatten out too. The finish of these blushes with their slight sheen is just beautiful without being shiny, glittery or oily looking and this is my favourite shade.

Another thing I have gone back to using that I'd sort of forgotten about is the Revlon Lip Butter in 'Strawberry Shortcake' (£7.99 /3 for 2 via Boots here) which is a lovely sheer pink shade. I started a new job this month and I've enjoyed this because I can reapply it at my desk without a mirror and it keeps my lips moisturised while adding a bit of colour. The colour brightens up the face but isn't too much for everyday. I've been enjoying the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in shade 07 (£18 herefor the same reason. This product gives more shine than the Revlon Lip Butter, it is like a gloss-balm hybrid. See my review of them here.

I did a bit of nail polish shopping in March (see my post here) and I have been enjoying all the polishes I bought but I have been particularly enjoying Essie's 'Summit of Style', which is a beautiful rose gold glitter polish with large and small glitter pieces. Fragrance Direct have it for a bargainous £2.49 here (normally around £8).

Soap and Glory's Sugar Crush Body Lotion (£10/ 3 for 2 here) is something I've used a lot this month. I have been using the whole Sugar Crush range on and off for a long time now and I would go so far as to say that the lime smell is my favourite ever scent as far as bath and body products go. I have been through a few of the 'buttercream' body butters from the same range but I find that the lotion is usually moisturising enough for my skin and you get a lot more of it for around the same price. I also love body moisturisers in pump bottles because they're just really quick and convenient to use.

Have you tried any of these products? What were your favourite beauty products last month?

Em x