Sunday, 5 January 2014

2013 beauty favourites- Hair care

Following on from my 2013 favourite skin care and makeup favourites, I have the very last of last years favourites to share with you: hair care. I probably use more than most people use on their hair as mine is quite dry and coarse so it can take more product than a lot of people would find. I wash my hair every other day and in that cycle will use all of these products, I use little heat on my hair and naturally have quite unruly hair so it is vital that I find the right stuff to control it. Many of these have been favourites for a while and all of them are well tried and tested. 

Dry Shampoo is an absolute life saver for me, the obvious benefit of dry shampoo is the ability to refresh your hair when you don't have time to wash it, this comes in handy for many obvious reasons and makes festivals more bearable. On a day to day basis when I don't have to go without washing my hair, I still always use this as it is such a great texturising spray. It restyles my hair when i'm in a rush and when my hair is looking awful I tip my head upside down give it a blast and generally it looks much better. I have about 5 cans of Batiste and go through a bottle every few months, my favourite is the coconut. 

The Dream Curls range has been my favourite shampoo and conditioner for the last three years or so. I really like this range and it does an awful lot for my hair which is naturally curly, although I rarely wear it in proper curls opting for a messy wavy style instead. Although my hair is rarely in curls I find that this still really helps with styling my hair and definitely controls the fly aways. John Frieda is definitely my hairs best friend. 

My hair is dyed darker than it actually is, although I don't think that colour shampoos do a great deal in maintaining the colour of my hair- I do like to use this range once a week or so and the colour does always look great after using it. 

I do use other shampoos and conditioners in order to switch up my hair care but I do always have these two on the go. 

Hair oils always seem so controversial to me, as nobody ever seems to agree on their favourite oil. This year I have tried out quite a few, ironically one of the first that I tried that I disliked was an argan oil that wasn't made by Moroccan oil. Although some people disagree that they are any different, I really do think it extends beyond the price tag (as non branded is normally much cheaper) and Moroccan Oil has done wonders for my hair and I really like it. I use about three pumps on wet hair and then sometimes an extra one on dry hair and my hair has never felt better. 

Again, this is a curling product that I don't really use for it's curling abilities, I think this is an incredible styling cream that I always put into my hair and it creates lovely waves and texture. It really softens the look of my hair and it seems so good.

Does this keep my hair straight for three days? No, but it does keep my hair smoother for three days and helps lock in the moisture from the moroccan oil. I notice a massive difference when I use this spray and do find that it is easier to style when I use this. 

This is such an interesting product, it is a texturising cream with a mattifying effect and a bit of grit in it. It is the type of product that helps create that messy bed hair look that has been quite popular over the last few years. I like using a little bit of this in the roots and it creates some serious texture although it can easily be overdone so if you buy this, start of sparingly and gradually increase the amount you use. 

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Blow Out Spray - £6.99
The last of the John Frieda products  and is my most recent find, I started using this about two months ago after using up a bumble and bumble spray very quickly and wanting a cheaper alternative. It is quite a good volume spray, I just put it into my roots as they tend to get weighed down by the rest of my hair. 

Sorry that was so John Frieda heavy, I think I like them because they are a little more affordable and I tend to go through hair products quite quickly. What were your favourite hair products of 2013? Is there anything that you are looking forward to trying out? 

Saturday, 4 January 2014

2013 Beauty Favourites- Skin Care

My skin and I had a fairly turbulent relationship in 2014. It couldn't seem to decide which 'type' it wanted to be: going from dry to oily to combination continuously all year. I tried to maintain a consistent skin care routine in order to combat it but this only seemed to make the radical swings worse and in fact the whole routine needed serious consideration. So along the year I have tried and tested with much conviction, giving each product a proper chance before replacing it. I have taken it back to basics and then built up a collection of products that my skin likes. I've learnt a lot about my skin, i've learnt that it is far more sensitive than I ever realised and whilst it still isn't completely settled I feel like the weird journey is less tedious that last winter. 

So with that in mind, here are the essentials that I have gathered over the last year. 

I was given a sample of this to try in June and I absolutely fell in love with it, it is a gentle exfoliator which you apply to dry skin and rub until you feel all the dead skin cells lift off your face and ball up. It also gently removes blackheads and tightens pores. I love it as it is such a satisfying product to use and is so gentle, unlike many other exfoliators on the market.

Well known for their brilliant spas, Champneys also have a really nice skin care range. I have tried quite a few serums, some very high end and others which are cheaper, this is one of the cheaper that I have tried and it is my absolute favourite. It smells amazing and has really helped settle my skin down and has improved the overall appearance of my skin.

Being really pale, it is really important for me to use really high factor skin care. This was my absolute favourite in the summer and came with me on day trips and to festivals and I didn't get burnt at all. It also did not make my skin clogged up, shiny or greasy, I simply applied in the morning and topped up throughout the day without noticing I had it on at all. 

I don't break out often, but when I do I feel highly self conscious, As soon as I notice a blemish I just pop on some of this and overnight it is considerably better. This really is a marvel product, although can by drying if it is over used.

Moisturiser is something that I just have not managed to settle on this year, there hasn't been a standout day cream for me at all as nothing has seemed to work as I would hope so I have tried a couple. However this night cream has remained a favourite all year, it is thick but it does not weigh the skin down or leave it greasy. And it smells incredible. 

Avene Eau Thermale Spray- £6.50
In the summer I was never far from my Avene, it kept oil production under control and helped me to keep cool on sticky days (which we had a lot of!) Although this sort of product could be seen as unnecessary I really enjoyed using it and will start using it again in the spring.

Nuxe RĂªve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm - £9.50
A cult favourite for a reason, this lip balm is thick but not sticky with incredible wear time and is so nourishing. My lips feel like they get long lasting treatment rather than a quick fix and it smells incredible.

Nuxe Oil Huile Prodigieuse Multi Use Dry Oil -£28.00
My other favourite from Nuxe is this dry oil, I really dislike thick body creams as I hate being sticky and cold after application in the winter. With the multi use dry oil it sinks straight in and actually seems to warm up as you apply it. It also has an amazing smell which lasts all day.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir- £11.50 for 30ml
The last of the french products, the beauty elixir is a facial spray which has a range of uses, I spray it on before I apply my makeup and it gives the skin a burst of freshness whilst tightening pores which makes makeup apply more evenly and last all day. It also has done a great job of calming my skin and is a handbag favourite for midday pick me up. 

What were your favourite skin care buys of 2013? Is there anything you are looking forward to trying in 2014? 

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Goals for 2014.

I am a natural worrier, but in 2014 it will not hold me back from having a really awesome year with some incredible people. I'm really quite excited for the weight of the potential that 2014 has. 

I have some plans already laid for 2014, I am going to New York at the start of February and I have a really awesome camera on route to my house at the moment so I can start making some more videos. I'm going to try and say 'yes' to more opportunities and try and remember how to enjoy life again. 

They are my goals, what are yours? 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

2013 Beauty Favourites- Makeup

2013 was a very experimental year for me with beauty products, I tried a lot (an awful lot) of new products out and really mixed up my makeup from being 'everyday' or 'special occasions' to being different on a daily basis. There has been a lot that I have tried and tested, these are the ones that really stood out to me and that I have kept going back to. 

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation- £30.50
I bought this in London completely on a whim after I tested it on the back of my hand and absolutely fell in love with the texture, coverage and finish. I use this most days as it gives such a pleasant dewy finish and enough coverage to hide imperfections but not so much that it looks like heavy makeup. My only bug bear with Sheer Glow is that it seems to melt off a little quicker than other foundations that I use. I use the shade Mont Blanc and one bottle has lasted from May with a generous amount in the bottle- well worth the price tag. 

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer- £4.19
This is my go to concealer and a bit of a cult favourite, for the low price it delivers more than any other high end concealer that I have ever tried. I love the coverage and the finish as it completely blurs out under eye bags and imperfections without sinking or settling into the skin. I use the shade '2' and go through a bottle every couple of months. 

Bare Minerals Mineral Veil- £20
This is my star setting powder for the year as it really locks makeup, particularly concealer, into place for the whole day. It also has a really nice locking feature so you don't lose all the product to the lid whilst in transport. It also seems to last forever and a little goes a long way.

Laguna Bronzer- £26
As you can see, this is a well loved product and is one that I use daily, it is the perfect shade for a fair skin tone. I can honestly say that I would never feel the need to find another bronzer as this is so perfect and a little really goes a long way- i've had this over a year and have only recently hit pan. 

Laura Mercier Radiance Primer- £28
On days when my skin is looking a little lifeless (which is normally monday morning- friday afternoon, early wake ups do not agree with me) This really helps to pick up my complexion. Paired with Sheer Glow it gives the nicest finish. 

Sleek Shimmer Blush- Rose Gold- £4.49
This is often compared to Nars Orgasm which is probably my favourite blush of all time, however for the tiny price tag I would probably choose Rose Gold over Orgasm. It is a warm peachy blush with a pink tint and gold shimmer, it is one of those wonderful shades that looks good on all skin tones and the colour pay off is fantastic. It is the only blush from Sleek that I own but I would definitely like to try more.

Benefit They're Real Mascara- £19.50*
I tried this for the first time when it was a sample in a magazine towards the start of the year and I didn't like it, however I continued to use it as I was on spending ban, I actually fell in love with it and I think it is now my new favourite mascara, it really defines and seperates lashes and it never goes flaky. 

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick- Shade 9 'Nude in Private' - £24.00
The Rouge Volupte formula is absolutely beautiful, but the hefty price tag means that I only own the one 'Nude in Private' it is a favourite of mine as it is such a lovely peach/coral shade which works well with most makeup looks. It is very sheer so there isn't much colour payoff but what it gives you is a really nice 'your lips but better' finish. I highly recommend this shade. 

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector- Shade 5 'Candy Shimmer'- £17.00
These were very popular in the spring and have remained a favourite of mine, they have a really nice finish, they aren't too sticky and have really good staying power. The shade Candy Shimmer is a creamy mid pink which is quite sheer, giving a subtle hint of colour. They also smell of sweets, incredible. 

They were my favourite make up products from 2013, i'm sure many of them will remain solid favourites in 2014 as well. Do you like any of the products that I love? What are your favourites?

Friday, 27 December 2013

Winter Tag.

What are your favourite things about winter?

The best part of winter has to be christmas, I love the thought of evening shopping, spending time with family and having fairy lights everywhere. 
What is your favourite winter outfit?

I definitely love winter outfits more than any other time of the year, I think my favourite winter outfit has to be a big jumper, tights a thick scarf and massive boots. Cozy style is the best style. 

What is your favourite winter food?

I honestly don't think I have a favourite winter food, I am not really a 'foodie' but if I was going to pick something for winter I would go for soup. 

Favourite winter drink?

I love the hot apple from Costa, I have drunk so many of these this month. I also really love hot chocolate, but I have to be in the mood for it. 

What is your dream way to spend a Winter’s day?

Just curled up in my room with a massive cup of hot chocolate and my laptop. I love being cosy when it is cold outside and would pick that over anything else. If I was forced to leave the house, there is nothing better than sitting in coffee shops with good friends and watching the world go by. 

How do you like to do your make-up in the Winter?

Winter makeup needs to be bold, save the fresh face for summer in my opinion. I embrace my pale skin in the winter, wearing a foundation like Nars Sheer Glow, with a light pink blusher on- Dandelion by Benefit is a favourite, and then statement eye with cat flick eyeliner and smokey shades. 

What are the first three things that remind you of Winter?

Fairy lights, soft jumpers and cold noses. 

What is your favourite Winter song?

Fairy Tale of New York - The Pogues

What is your favourite Winter memory?

Christmas as a child was always really special and in my house it is still really magical. When I think back on christmas as a child I think about waking up on christmas morning at 5am, waking my sister up and the two of us sneaking downstairs to see if santa had been. The best part of christmas will always be waking up on christmas morning.

What is your favourite Winter scent?

I have to say I dislike most of the winter scents as I prefer really light scents and dislike cinnamon or spice scents. My favourite winter candle is cranberry ice by Yankee Candle which I bought last year. Perfume wise, I don't tend to change my scents too much for the winter but I do tend to prefer something like Lady Million by Paco Rabanne or  Alien by Thierry Mugler, over the Marc Jacobs scents I wear in the summer.

Finish this sentence… If I could have one wish this Christmas it would be…

For everyone to just feel content with what they have and that they get to spend the festive period with the ones the love. After all, that is all that matters. 

If you enjoyed reading this then I tag you to take part, a huge thank you to Nat from There Might Be Coffee for posting this, go check out her blog she is a great writer. 

**All images via pinterest****

Sunday, 22 December 2013

A slightly nervous return

So you may have noticed that I haven't posted here in a while... a really long time in fact, it has been september since I last posted. In september I made the rather quiet decision to take a break from this bubble for many reasons & I just closed down the writer in me until I felt a time that I wanted to come back. And I've wanted to be back, for a while... but I got a little bit too scared to do so. I've been scared a lot recently actually and managing that fear has made me hermit away from things that I really love- including blogging. 

I think it would be easy to say that I have been busy (which I really have, balancing a degree, a full time job and a social life is more than a task in itself without devoting many hours a week to keeping up a strong online presence) or that I have had writers block (also true, so far this small amount of words has taken some serious work to write down). But actually I think that I sort of gave up, it is easy for life to get over whelming and get the better of us and I think this autumn it definitely got the better of me. I don't have a demanding job by any stretch of the imagination but since september it has been very busy and at times hasn't been the most pleasant of experiences. I've felt a bit down trodden and with that you always end up doubting yourself. I definitely doubted my ability to do 'this', as well as my ability to do a lot of other things. All the self assurance that I previously had seems to have got very shaky recently and I have felt lost and confused and as a result putting my face and my voice and my opinion here seemed too difficult to do. 

I'm scared that no one will listen to me anymore, but I am not going to give up. I think more than ever, I need my friends that I have gained as a result of blogging and the only way that I can keep that connection is by starting to write again. I am going to try my hardest to put aside my insecurities on my ability to write or my uncertainty on the validity of my opinions and just keep doing what I love. 

Saying that, I am planning on shifting up the content slightly. I will still post reviews of products and I am not changing that but I will be chucking other stuff in. Also who loves youtube? because I really do so I will try and do more on there. Any suggestions would be really great on other stuff I could do, I really am scared about starting this again but high on anticipation on what I can do with this space.

I have some posts planned for the coming weeks, I hope I still have some readers left. 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Butter London Horse Power Nail Fertiliser | Review

Butter London Horsepower nail fertiliser

Butter London Horse Power Nail Fertiliser £17 for 17.5ml

I have heard that people either are blessed with good hair or good nails, but rarely both. I'm not sure if there is any science behind that, something to do with protein? I'm not sure. All I can say is that I have long thick hair and the worst nails to ever grace this planet. They have a poor case of the terminal splitting and peeling that means that they never longer than the length of the nail bed. I probably don't help the situation as I paint my nails constantly and hate having naked nails or just clear nail varnish so they never get a break to recover. 

Horse Power Nail Fertiliser by Butter London is a 3 Free product (Free from DBP, Formaldehyde and Toluene) that is designed to strengthen nails and encourage growth. It has the herb horsetail in it which is rich in silica and nutrients to help deliver great results to match their claims. I have noticed that the horsetail gives it a slight herby smell that lingers until you remove the polish- I quite like the smell but some may find it off putting. To use, you simply brush one coat on daily to naked nails or under polish for 7 days and then remove the lot and start again. It is recommended that you do this for 4 weeks  and then give your nails a months break and then start again. 

I started this in April and found a mix of results. At first I really liked it and found my nails looked and felt stronger, however after about two weeks of using it I noticed that the nail fertiliser was peeling off my nails on a daily basis. I'm wary of nail varnish that does peel as it takes the top layers off your nail which will ultimately weaken them. So I put it to one side, until about a month ago. Recently to combat the peeling problem, I have been applying my CND base coat before starting and then have built the daily coat of horse power on top. This stopped peeling and the product was still working. My nails now look stronger and healthier and dont seem to be peeling or breaking quite as badly as before. For many, the results may not be outstanding, which is why I haven't posted photos of my nails. But for me it is a whole world of different nails and I am so happy with the results. 

The product may be quite expensive and I wouldn't say it is my favourite nail treatment but it is a good one and one that you should definitely consider if you are looking for one that is 3 free and therefore less harsh on your nails. 

I'd love to hear what your favourite nail treatment is!