Tuesday, 31 July 2012

This Month's Giveaways - August-September

Hi everyone, just a quick post to let you know about giveaways August-September!

Carissa is giving away OPI polishes here!

Angie is giving away a Mac lipstick of your choice here

Huge international giveaway by Tattooed tea lady here

The black pearl is running a huge international giveaway here!

Glossyboutique is giving away some beauty goodies and a surprise here!

Fantastic international giveaway here

Fabulous illamasqua blush giveaway here!

Meg is giving away a Mac lipstick here

Shesaidbeauty giveaway here

Sarah's giving away some revlon goodies here!

Great sleek palette giveaway here

Win some great MUA products from Georgia's giveaway here

Great makeup bundle giveaway here!

Amazing international giveaway here!

Win great Topshop and essie goodies here!

Amazing Dahlia fashion giveaway here

Michaela is giving away a big beauty bundle here!

Great makeup and nail giveaway here

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Avene Cleanance Lotion Toner - Summer MUST HAVE!

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll have seen I tried out Avene's Cleanance Range. I couldn't sing the range's praises enough - but this didn't particularly agree with my skin. At the time, the weather was much colder and my skin was much drier. However, now the Sun has finally reared its head, my oily skin is back *horay*. The gorgeous weather we're currently having gave me the perfect opportunity to re-introduce the toner in to my skin care routine.

During the summer, I love nothing more than to use a toner around midday to make my skin feel fresh again. Suncream and the increased temperatures play havoc with my skin, so I really like to get everything off midday and start a fresh. I usually use Lush's Tea Tree Water, however, it has definitely been replaced by Avene's Cleanance Toner.

"Wave goodbye to excess shine with the Cleanance Purifying Anti-Shine Lotion.
Formulated with specific active ingredients, this cooling lotion gently purifies the skin. Its matifying effect is made up of powders that absorb excess oil, so you're left with matte, shine-free skin that lasts. Added Avène Thermal Spring Water soothes irritation, and added Cucurbita regulates oil secretion.
Shake well before use, and apply to the face with a cotton pad.
Non-comodogenic, hypoallergenic, paraben-free."

The description of the toner is really fitting - the toner literally sweeps away all traces of oil, dirt and shine. It makes my skin feel really soft and refreshed, without feeling tight. It gives the perfect base for me to reapply my suncream. My suncream of choice is Avene's Hydrance Light SPF 20 on cooler days, and La Roche Posay's Anthelios Fluid SPF 50 (both reviewed here). The thing I have noticed most while using this toner is the reduction in oil production my skin has experienced. I can remember last summer how awful my skin was during the summer months, however, in addition to the Hydrance Light, my skin has been looking matte and shine-free pretty much all day! These two items are definite summer essentials for me - I would highly recommend them for oily, spot prone, yet sensitive skin. All of Avene's products are extremely gentle, they don't irritate my skin, and they really keep oil at bay.

What are your summer Skincare essentials?


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

My Miracle Nail Strengthening Products: Part 1/3 - Essie Crystal Nail File

Ever since I stopped biting my nails, (terrible hait, ahem!)  I have been trying to get them as strong as possible. I feel I’m at a place now where I can safely recommend a few wonder products which have helped me to achieve this. This three part series covers these products which I highly recommend to anyone stuggling with brittle nail. One of my first plans of action for strong nails was switching to a crystal nail file, and let me tell you - my nails have been in an amazing condition ever since!

My nail file is by Essie, a brand that has recently blown up in the Blogosphere following the launch of their Diffusion line in the UK.

 The crystal nail file leaves my nails incredibly smooth following filing them, and it makes maintaining them at a healthy length incredibly easy! A few strokes is all you need to perfectly file your nails down to your desired length. Unlike emery boards, the crystal nail file doesn’t leave a scratchy edge on your nail post-filing. Another great thing about the crystal nail file is it should last a lifetime if you use it in the advised way! It can also be rinsed with water and comes up as good as new after!

I bought mine from America, but I know that you can get them on Ebay (Click here) for £10.49.

What do you do to keep your nails strong and healthy?


Monday, 16 July 2012

Nourish Skincare Range: A Review

Following my review of some Organic Surge products (here), I was offered the chance to try some products from a new skincare range called Nourish. I am really in to natural, paraben-free skincare at the moment, so I knew these products would be perfect for me!

Nourish has four ranges featuring four different ingredients to suit different skin types. These include: Orange for Dry Skin, Apple for Combination Skin, Lavender for Sensitive Skin and Rose for Normal Skin. Each range features four key products: Cleanser, Toner, Moisturiser and Serum. This is one thing I really like about the company: they're not trying to sell you millions of different "wonder" products for every problem under the sun - it's just the basics (which are perfectly adequate, don't get me wrong!) 

I was sent two of their products to try out: The apple toner spritzer and lavender moisturiser. The first thing you'll notice about their products is the amazing scents! Really nice for waking you up in the morning!

"Balanced blend of vitamins and minerals. The refining mist restores the natural pH level of oily and dry skin after cleansing. Recommended for combination skin and to restore the skin's natural barrier. 97% Organic."
-Taken from their website

This is a really, really nice toner. I have always been a bit sceptical about toners as they've never really done much for my skin, except dry it out. This one is totally different: it soothes and calms my skin, without leaving it sticky or greasy. I have noticed that my moisturiser sinks in a lot quicker when I've used this, and I therefore use a lot less product. The scent is gorgeous - it smells of apple, but not a really artificial, sickly-sweet scent: It's very pleasant and refreshing. This would be perfect for taking on holiday for a quick refresh for your skin midday - the spritzer nozzle is perfect for this! The toner is free from alcohol so would be suitable for most skin types, and is a bargain at £8.95 for 100ml. I would really recommend this for the summer (if we ever get one!) as it is extremely refreshing and pleasant to use!

Next up, their Lavender moisturiser.

"With Organic Lavender Oil, Borage and special Shea Butter Nilotica, this delicate and light cream is rich is Omega Oils and balancing ingredients to sooth sensitive skin. Lavender is well known for its powerful anti-inflammatory actives that help to alleviate the effects of damaging free radicals, to reduce physical stress and relax the spirit and soothe the skin.97% Organic."
-Taken from their website

Now, I have to admit, this was a little too heavy for my skin. It broke me out, but I am pretty sure this is down to the shea butter content, as my skin doesn't get on well with it! I was determined not to let this lovely product go to waste, so I have been using it on my neck. My skin is ridiculously confused: my facial moisturiser gives me spots on my chest, but not my face, and this hasn't given me spots on my chest, but does on my face. Strange, right? Anyway, I'm not complaining as I really like this as a neck cream!

The moisturiser is quite thick - it reminds me more of a whipped butter than a cream, which would be very nice if your skin tends to be slightly dry. This makes it perfect for use as a neck/décolletage cream, as it is very moisturising and leaves my skin super soft by the morning. The gorgeous lavender scent makes this heavenly to use at night, as it really calms me down and helps me to sleep - big thumbs up! I also really like the extra little lid which comes with this moisturiser, it makes me feel the product is staying lovely and fresh! This pot will last you a long time - I have been using it for around a month now and I'm not even near half full. You really only need a little bit, as the moisturiser is very thick and nourishing, making it excellent value for money.

If your skin is fine with shea butter, then I'd really encourage you to try this, as it is a gorgeous moisturiser. If your skin is a little more combination, like mine, you'll probably be better off with their balancing moisturiser. 

Overall, I am really impressed with these products. They are extremely good quality for the price, and the ingredients really are something special. There is definitely something for everyone, and the products are extremely affordable and of an excellent quality. Both products mentioned are available on the Nourish website, and since I was sent them, the packaging has had a makeover. I liked the previous packaging, but the new is gorgeous! It makes the products look really up-market, and a lot more expensive than they actually are! Here are some examples of the lovely new packaging, and some of their products I'd love to try in the future.

Have you tried anything from Nourish?


Friday, 13 July 2012

Steal Her Style: Kendall Jenner *EXACT MATCH!*

Hi everyone! The other day, I stumbled across a dress on Motel Rocks which caught my eye. I could have sworn I'd seen it before, and I did!

Or, if pink is more your thing...


I actually couldn't believe it when I found these dresses as I LOVE Kendall Jenner! She always looks so gorgeous, and I'm so surprised how cheap these dresses are! What more could you ask for - exact matches, and they are both on sale!


Friday, 6 July 2012

Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask Review

As most of you will probably already know, when you return 5 Clean Black Pots to Lush for recycling, you will receive a free fresh face mask of your choice! This time, I chose Catastrophe Cosmetic.

"You know those times when you get one or two spots and it throws you into panic? Well, this mask is here to lend you a bit of perspective, to tell you to calm down, it’s not the end of the world and it’s nothing that can't be sorted. Basically, this is your best mate in a pot. Irish moss gel will soften the skin, whilst almond oil will moisturise and leave it supple. Fresh blueberries are full of vitamins and minerals and are antioxidant. Rose absolute and chamomile essential oil will reduce redness and irritation. Calamine and talc will deep clean and soothe the skin at the same time. Combined together they provide your skin with a good deep cleanse without causing puffiness – leaving the face cool, clear and calm. This is a deep cleansing mask that it designed for regular maintenance to keep the skin clean and clear. Regular deep cleaning can avoid spots occurring and keep skin in top condition."
-Taken from their Website

This was a totally new purchase for me: previously, I have gone for either Cupcake or Cosmetic Warrior, both of which are much more powerful at spot-fighting. However, this time, I wanted to go for something a little more gentle and soothing. Unfortunately, I wasn't that impressed.

The mask itself has a pleasant aroma: quite sweet and fruity, and the texture is thick and feels quite chalky. There are also pieces of blueberry in the mask, which in my opinion, add nothing to it, but block up your sink, so watch out! As Lush's face masks have to stay in the fridge due to being preservative free, applying it to the face is a wonderfully relaxing feeling after a long hot day! It dries within around five minutes, but not too hard, which is great. It is relatively easy to remove from the skin with a muslin cloth, however, it left my skin really tacky, which I didn't like. You know that feeling where you don't think you've removed it properly? It made me really paranoid, and I just wanted to give my face a good scrub to remove it! 

I think it is just personal preference: as my skin is combination, I don't use hydrating products, and I don't  really like my face feeling tacky prior to skin care usage: I'm more of a "squeaky clean" feeling girl. All of the extra moisture on my face made me really paranoid that I would break out, however, I didn't. This mask wasn't for me, however, if you do have slightly drier skin which needs a little bit of moisture, this is definitely the mask for you. I think I'll stick to Cupcake in future!

If you don't have 5 black lush pots, you can also purchase their face masks online or in store. They all retail at £5.75 and will last around 5-8 uses, depending on how thick you apply them. Also, please be aware that Lush's face masks do need to stay in the fridge due to the lovely fresh ingredients and lack of preservatives!

What's your favourite face mask? Are you with me on the "squeaky clean" feel, or do you prefer your skin to feel more moisturised?


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

NOTD: Caviar Manicure

Barry M Pink Flamingo 305
Essie 3 Way Glaze
Micro Beads (here)

You'll probably have realised by now that I love Caviar manicure! Not only is it eye-catching and unique, it is amazingly quick and simple to do! I like to do it on one accent nail as I think any more than that would be too hard to pull off for an "everyday" nail. I find the beads last a good few hours, and even after they've fallen off, they leave a silver imprint on the nail, which gives you a polka-dot effect! Just a little word of warning with the microbeads: don't put a top coat over them, they'll discolour. I found this out the hard way! I do like to put a top coat on the base colour before adding the microbeads though, and the Essie 3 Way Glaze is fantastic! For my tutorial post on the caviar manicure, click here.

Have you tried Caviar Manicure?