Thursday, November 29, 2012

Garnier Intensive 7 Days Hydrating Lotion

Excuse the fact that this is another foreign version of a product, but I just had to share it with you. This stuff is ah-mazing!
It's not the sort of body moisturiser I would ever normally go for, as I usually prefer something a bit more luxurious, thick and delicious smelling to slather myself in after a nice relaxing shower or bath. But upon spying this little gem in the supermarket, I remembered having seen a blogger or two sing it's praises at some point, and as it was an absolute snip (£1.99!) I thought I might as well put it to the test.
Enriched with soothing Aloe Vera extract and L-Bifidus, the formula claims to work like a shield and help lock in moisture for lasting hydration.

This is a light, non-greasy lotion that sinks easily into the ski, wet or dry.
No word of a lie ladies, this stuff is incredible. After just one use, my skin was feeling silky soft and smooth, and that's saying something considering that I suffer from slightly bumpy skin on the backs of my arms, and have never had these results from any other body lotion or butter. All of a sudden, I know what I've been missing! All those years of hoping for baby-soft skin, before eventually becoming resigned to the fact that no product could work miracles. Well, I take it back.

At just £1.99 a pop, I say you'd be a little bit loony not to give this stuff a go. Let me know if you decide to give it a try and what your thoughts are!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Origins Gin Zing Eye Cream

It's no secret that I suffer from puffy eyes and eye bags, and that I will try pretty much anything in order to rid myself of them. The reason I find them so distressing is because I haven't always had them - everything was fine, and then I woke up one morning about six months ago, and there they were. They have been refusing to budge ever since. I eat well, sleep well, don't drink much any more and don't smoke, so having covered all of those bases, my only option is to plough my way through product after product on a quest to find the one (if it exists) that works for me.

As a fan of Origins skincare, and having heard many good things about their Gin Zing eye cream, I was itching to give it a try. Gin Zing contains caffeine, Panax Ginseng, Magnolia extract and natural optic brighteners, which work together to - in the words of Origins themselves -  'wake up, refresh and restore radiance to tired eyes'. It's also supposed to reduce the look of dark circles while making the appearance of bags and puffiness less visible, so needless to say, I couldn't wait to put it to the test.

The cream itself is a pale salmon colour, and contains little reflective particles, which helps to counteract and blue/purple tones under the eyes. It is light in texture, sinking easily into the skin. It's not sticky in the slightest, and makeup applies easily on top of it, gliding on smoothly.

So, now onto the most important part:
Does it do the job?

Well, unfortunately for me, the answer is a reluctant no. I wanted so badly for this to work, especially with it being from one of my very favourite and most trusted skincare brands, but in all honesty, I can't see that it makes - or has made - much of a difference. I still find myself catching a glimpse of my eyes in the mirror an hour or two later and feeling overwhelmingly frustrated at my tired looking eyes, so I think that says it all really. There's no denying that it certainly does keep the under-eye area hydrated, and perhaps it does have some effect, but if that's the case then I have to say, it's very minimal.

I still finding myself using this cream on a day to day basis, partly due to wishful thinking and partly because I can't bear to fork out on yet another eye cream that doesn't really deliver - at least, not in the way that I had hoped.

At £21.00 for a 15ml pot, it's fair to say I won't be repurchasing this particular product. However, as a brand, I am very much a fan of Origins, so I'm hoping that perhaps I might have more luck with their No Puffery under-eye mask.

Have any of you lovelies tried Gin Zing or No Puffery? If so, what were your thoughts?
And what are your favourite products for tired eyes, puffiness and dark circles?


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mac Mineralise Skinfinish in Light Year

Already a big fan of the concept of Mac Mineralize Skin Finishes, and a daily user of the shade Soft and Gentle (review here), I often find myself gazing admiringly at whatever new offerings Mac have created. When the Heavenly Creatures collection came out, I was particularly drawn to them, largely due to the fact that they are just plain beautiful. However, I held off on purchasing any because I hadn't long got my hands on Soft and Gentle, and was able to convince myself that one was enough.

Until now.

The Mac MSFs are really soft, finely milled highlighting powders, and Light Year is no exception. A light peach shade, with both soft pink and gold shimmer running through it, this translates onto the skin as a beautiful peach-bronze. While I would usually use an MSF as a highlighter on top of a blush, with Light Year there really is no need, as this gives you a gorgeous flush of colour as well as a healthy glow. If anything, I find that pairing this with a blush is a little too much, but if your skintone is of the darker variety then this would probably work well layered up as a highlighter with a more highly-pigmented blush. 
As for the gold shimmer, I do find that I pick up some glittery particles on my brush, but these are not hugely noticeable on the skin. In fact, I didn't realise this would contain any sort of glitter when I bought it online, as Soft and Gentle certainly doesn't. I'm not a glitter person, so I was a little bit worried when I first swatched this, even now tending to avoid the gold veining when using it.

In all, this is a really beautiful, subtle shade, and one I'm very happy to have welcomed into my collection. I can also imagine that this would look stunning on tanned skin in the summer, although I'm already finding myself reaching for it on most days, regardless of the colder season we are currently in.
Sadly, this shade was a limited edition, but Mac have just brought out a couple of gorgeous new MSFs as part of their Glamour Daze collection, so if you like the look of this then do go over and check those out on the MAC website (click the link to go straight there). You can also find Soft and Gentle, which is part of the permanent collection and retails at £21.50.

If any of you saw my Beauty Haul post on Saturday then you will know that I have picked up a few other goodies lately, so expect some FOTD and day to day makeup posts featuring those coming up very soon.

Hope everyone's having a good week so far.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Little Catch-Up

- Current reading material  -  Baking pretty cupcakes  -  Chilled afternoon with green tea and magazines  -  Friday treat  -  The cat asleep in a drawer full of my clothes..he'll literally nap anywhere!  -  Bad photo but trying to show my new Mac Craving lippy.  Alas, it didn't really work out  -  Cake!  -  Glitter nails  -  Crab lunch with the hubby  -

I haven't done a little photo update in an absolute age, mainly because my phone was being uncooperative and refusing to share my gallery to Picasa, which was always how I had gone about it before. But this weekend, I was forced to find a new way to upload photos to Blogger, as perhaps you know if you read yesterday's post. So, as I am now using Photobucket to host the images for the blog, I thought I might as well share the images on my phone in the same way, et voila.
I hope you beauts have all had a lovely weekend. Mine was quite nice and relaxing, up until yesterday, when I spent SIX HOURS at the hairdresser's. And missed the bbloggers chat. Believe me, this was not my intention, but the look I was going for required some lightening, and as I already had various layers of dye on my hair, the colour just refused to lift. But of course, once you've started, you can't really stop, so there was no option but to wait it out. In the end, it did lift - a lot. In fact, too much. So in the end, I left with my hair much lighter than it should have been! Le sigh. The rest is going to be a bit of a DIY job after work tomorrow, when I will attempt to get it toned down a bit to the colour I originally wanted. What a kerfuffle (yesss, managed to squeeze that word into a blog post - if one good thing came out of this then it's that)!
Other than that, it's been a pretty uneventful week, but I'm very excited at the prospect of finishing work for the Christmas holidays in two weeks.

What was the highlight of your week?
Are you feeling festive yet?


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekend Wishlist

Sooo, this was my first attempt at using Beauty Sets, and if I'm honest, I did find it a bit fiddly. I mean, look at the bottom block of text - why is it all wonky and jumbled!? And what's that random arrow floating around at the top about? I know about as much as you do.  I also couldn't find a template that would allow enough items (you lovelies know how carried away I get with my weekly wishlists, so you can imagine how hard it was for me to limit myself to only seven things this week!), nor one which allowed enough space for text, and I think we can safely say that I wasn't yet ready to progress to creating my own template. Oh well, practice makes perfect, and I will get there!

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation  -  Origins Vita Zing SPF 15  -  Topshop Lip Crayon in 'Arcade'  -  Knitted Fairisle Hat  -    Busy Bee 'Cinnamon Buns' Candle  -  Pearl Hotpants  -  Fairisle Jumper

Friday, November 23, 2012

Beauty Haul: Caudalie, Mac, Nars and More.

So the plan was to get this post up much earlier on, but thanks to Blogger and Picassa being exceedingly uncooperative and refusing to let me upload any more images, it wasn't to be. Allegedly, I've used up all of my 1GB quota, although I fail to see how that can be the case. And then I find out that if you delete images from your Picassa web album then they also come off your blog. Nightmare! Anyway, Twitter saved the day once again, or should I say, some of you lovelies did - and I've been able to get my images up via Photobucket. If anyone else has this problem then just sign up to Photobucket or Flickr, upload your images and it'll give you a 'Direct link' for each one. All you have to do is choose 'upload from URL' next time you are trying to upload onto blogger (it's one of the options that appears down the side of the page when you have clicked on the little picture icon to choose your image). An alternative way is to go to Image Maps and you can map the images direct from your laptop to Blogger, but I haven't managed to do that yet - I will let you know more about that when I've had some success!

Anyway. Onto the matter at hand.

As promised, I do indeed have a little haul, consisting of a few bits and bobs I have purchased over the past few weeks.Unsurprisingly, perhaps, most of these goodies were purchased online, as that seems to be the place where my naughty little fingers sneak in a few extra keystrokes without my knowledge, and before you know it I have accidentally filled and paid for a virtual shopping basket of treats. I am usually a lady of some restraint these days, having learnt my lesson the hard way when I hit the age of eighteen and grown up a lot since then. However, of late, I have just been feeling the need, and this is what I've got to show for it.

Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner
My hair is in need. I am a terrible offender when it comes to forgetting to use heat-protective spray, and haven't had my hair cut in a while, and both of these things have started to take their toll. I've been feeling that my hair is lacking shine for a long time now, so fingers crossed that this stuff will work wonders. I've already used it a few times, and so far, me likey.

Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days
This is not normally the sort of moisturiser I'd go for, and in fact, I never would have picked it up if I hadn't seen one or two Youtubers raving about the stuff. I usually go for rich body butters with gorgeous, intense fruity/yummy smells, but I was intrigued enough to give this a go and so far, I'm quite impressed. I in't realise my skin was in need of some extra hydration until I tried it, but alas, it was - my skin is now loads softer and smoother. Full review to come.

Hits Glitter Polishes in Rio and Rome
These two have already featured in nail posts, one yesterday and the other last week, as I just couldn't wait to crack them open before taking these photos. Rome contains flecks of gold, white, pink and blue, while Rio is choc-full of blue, orange, pink and purple. I adore both of them and have been loving them over a simple black polish, as this really shows them off in all their glory.

Caudalie Teint Divin Tinted Moisturiser
Recently, having overhaule my skincare regime, I've found that I haven't really needed to use such full-coverage foundations, and despite it being winter, I've found myself favouringtinted moisturisers. I bought this in Fair to Medium, and while I haven't yet tried this out, I'm a bit worried, as it does look quite orange when I squeeze some onto the back of my hand!

And finally, onto my favourite purchases!

Mac Mineralise Skin Finish in Light Year
I have had my MSF in Soft and Gentle for about a year now, and have been using it every day. Though I adore it, I wanted to mix things up a bit, so I decided to go for this warm-toned MSF in Light Year. The gold swirl through the middle is quite glittery, which I didn't realise when choosing, so I tend to avoid that when swirling my brush around the pan. It comes out a gorgeous medium peachy colour, with hints of pink (and obviously some gold shimmer, if youpick that up on your brush) and you could easily use this as a blush as well as a highlighter. So far, I think this is really pretty, but I won't go into too much detail as I will be writing a full review on this very soon - keep your eyes open for that if you'd like to know more.

Nars Powder Blush in Deep Throat
My first purchase from Nars! The photo really does not do it justice, as it's nowhere near as orange as it comes across  - it's a much lighter, peachy-pink, not too dissimilar to Benefit Coralista, as far as I can see, albeit with a touch less pink, but the same amount of gold sheen. I haven't used this bad boy yet, but am really looking forward to test-driving it tomorrow.

Mac Lip Pencil in Cherry
I am one of those people on whom lip products just do not last two seconds. Ok, make that five minutes if we're being pedantic. But anyway, I have been meaning to pick this beauty up for ages. It's a blue-toned red, highly pigmented and slides on extremely easily - to the point that it's really quite difficult to apply neatly. 

Mac Amplified Creme Lipstick in Craving
Amplified Creme is by far my favourite finish from Mac, so when I saw this gorgeous plummy-pink shade, I just had to go for it. It's perfect for the Autumn/Winter seasons and is such a wearable shade - I'm already hooked after one day.

And that's the lot!
Hope you enjoyed having a little nose into the contents of my shopping bags. Have any of these products tickled your pickle?
Have a fantastic weekend lovelies.



I will be posting a little haul post for you later, but I wanted to share this picture of our lovely little doggie with you, who has now been missing for nearly three weeks. He escaped from our garden and ran away, and he hasn't been seen since. I'm so, so sad to have lost him, as he really was like family and has seen me through some tough times. Like many dogs, he always showed unconditional love for me, and was my little companion in times of loneliness. He is such a sweetie. I can only imagine that someone has taken him for themselves, as we have literally looked everywhere for him, combing the streets, knocking on doors and visiting local animal shelters. I have got my fingers crossed so tightly that he somehow manages to find his way back home, wherever he is.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nails Today: Fireworks

Hello beauts, today's post, as you can see, is another nail one. I hadn't done any for ages, and now there have been two in a week. Ooh, get me.
As with my previous nail post, I have gone for a beautiful glitter polish by a brand called Hits, and it contains gold, pink, blue and white flecks of sparkly goodness. All of the polishes in this little line, known as Glitter World, are named after famous cities, and this one is called Rome. Not too sure how the two are related, as it's not really a polish that screams 'Rome!' or 'The Pope!' or 'The Colosseum!' to me. But who am I to complain? Itlooks good, so I'm fine with it.
For the base colour, I went for a simple black polish from OPI, in the shade Black Onyx, and I think this really shows the glitter polish off to it's full advantage. It almost looks like fireworks against a dark night sky. It's a combo I'm really liking, and again I think it's perfect for the festive season, although I am now looking to hunt down some glitters containing more traditional Christmas colours - perhaps some wines, Emeralds and golds.

Do you know of any festive glitter polishes in these colours?


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

L'oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil

I have always been reluctant to use oil on my hair. When I first started hearing about people doing so, I thought they were mad, imagining that it would turn their locks into a greasy oil slick rather than do any good.
The first time I relented and tried Argan oil on my hair, my suspicions were confirmed - I applied it to the ends of dry hair, as instructed, and sure enough, my barnet soon became an oily mop. After that, I decided not to dabble in using such products again.
That was, until I heard about the L'oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil (please excuse the fact that mine's a foreign version - it is exactly the same thing), Glowing review after glowing review persuaded me to give hair oils one more go, especially after reading time and again that this one did not weigh down your locks.

This oil can be applied as a pre-wash treatment (massage it into your hair and leave it for an hour or two, before washing as normal), or can be applied to wet or dry hair. Having had a bad experience applying to dry hair in the past, I thought I would give the wet hair option a try, and I'm glad I did.

One or two pumps is enough, even for long hair - with hair oils, less really is more. Just run it through, from mid length right down to the ends, avoiding the roots (and fringe, if you have one), and blow-dry your hair, just as you normally would.

It really is true that this oil doesn't leave the hair feeling heavy or greasy. Instead, it leaves me with soft, smooth locks that are much more manageable than usual. My hair is really quite dry at the moment, and while this doesn't leave me looking as though I've just stepped out of a salon, it's not all that far off. My hair is in dire need of a good cut, so it's more of a challenge for this product than most people's hair, I think!
I do sometimes use the oil to tame fly-aways once my hair is dry, but in this instance I would use the tiniest little amount, as it does seems to leave more of a coating on the hair when used in this way.

I now use this oil on my hair regularly - after washing and before drying - and am really enjoying the difference it makes to the condition of my hair.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Ren Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask

I had wanted to try this mask for ages, but at £30 for 50ml, I wasn't happy to part with my hard-earned pennies until I was sure that it was the product for me. So, I managed to get my hands on this 15ml sample. I have used this about four times so far, suffice to say, the tube s nearly empty. You can probably get about six applications out of this, seven at a push.

Just a little foreword about Ren as a brand, before we move onto the product itself. 
All of their products are formulated WITH 100% natural active ingredients, and WITHOUT any parabens, sulfates, petro-chemicals, synthetic dyes/fragrances or phtalates. On top of this, they do not test/have their products tested on animals. With all this in mind, I was already holding Ren pretty high in my estimation, as most of you will know that I am a huge fan of organic skincare, and products which use natural or naturally derived ingredients where possible.

So, what does this product claim to do? Well, it's a potent bio active skin peel mask, designed to improve radiance by renewing the complexion, as well as reducing the appearance of fine lines and combating congestion. Fruit acids from passion fruit, grape, pineapple and lemon, as well as Papain - a bio extract from papaya - to exfoliate the outer layer of skin and encourage cell turnover, are the active ingredients in this skin treat.  Do give this one a miss if you've got extremely sensitive skin though, as Ren say that it's probably not the mask for you.

So, first impressions.
The mask is a thick, sort of lumpy consistency, orange in colour, and smells like orange marmalade, or something similar. For me, that's completely fine - it only makes me more aware of all the natural goodies the mask contains, and I love to know that I'm using things like this on my skin, rather than nasty chemicals . Plus, I love the smell of fruit.

(Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of what the mask itself looks like, and the consistency, so please forgive me for using this image from Google, below. I really wanted to show you how it looks, and what to expect.)

To use the mask, you basically apply a generous layer to the skin, (at which point it really does feel like you're slathering on a good coating of sticky marmalade), being sure to avoid the eyes. Leave for ten minutes, and wipe away using a muslin cloth soaked in warm water.

What struck me most about this mask is that, despite being a skin peel, this mask doesn't harden. In fact, it doesn't dry at all. In fact, this is the first skin peel mask I have used where this was the case, and so I was worried it might not do as great a job as I was hoping.

Upon wiping the mask away, I noticed that my skin looked really clean and fresh, but I was just about to go to bed and so chose to reserve judgement until the morning. The next day, my skin was absolutely glowing with health, and my makeup went on a lot smoother than normal, the radiance showing through. I can't really vouch for it's affect on fine lines, as the only ones I have are around my eyes, and obviously these were left free from the mask.

I'm not going to say that this is a miracle worker, but it does do the job. It perks up my skin, and is a pleasure to use if, like me, you like the smell of fruit! I've been using this mask once a week, and am planning on buying the full-size version once I run out.

Have you tried anything from Ren? What did you think?


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Life of Late...

I thought it was about time I caught you all up with life lately. Last time I wrote this sort of post, it's fair to say that I wasn't feeling my best. I had been suffering badly with anxiety, and after beginning to take some medication for this prescribed to me by my doctor (a last resort, as I had tried everything else) I was feeling even worse. That was really a low point for me, and I want to thank each and every one of you who listened to me moaning about it, for your kind words and just for being there.

Fast forward until today, and things have really changed for me.I stopped taking the medication,as it was obvious that it wasn't for me and was only making things worse. I was offered an alternative, but I had decided that I didn't want to try anything else - I had dealt with things for this long without medication, so I figured that I could continue doing so, regardless of how difficult it might be.
I was given yet more natural remedies to try, just in case, but as it turns out, since that last day at the doctor's surgery, I haven't needed it. It's the strangest thing, but it was almost as if on that day, when I made the decision to deal with things myself, my anxiety ceased to have a reason to exist. Because I had now labelled it as something I could cope with, it no longer had the same control over me as when I viewed it as something insurmountable, and something that was taken over my life.
Now, I don't want to get ahead of myself here, because I know full well that anxiety tends to come in waves; it comes and goes. But this time, things seem different. It's not that I don't worry about things any more - of course I do. But now, when a negative thought or an irrational fear enters my head, I am ready and waiting to tell it where to go. I'm able to see that they are irrational, where before I took my thoughts as gospel.
I'm not saying that it won't come back. But for the first time in a long while, I am finally feeling like myself again. I've somehow managed to pull myself out of the hole I was in and am able to see the good in things again. I feel positive, and excited about things again. 
Things are looking up.

I'm so looking forward to Christmas this year. Sadly, I won't be spending it with my own family, but with my husband's. I think I've mentioned before that they are Brazilian, and in the past I have found it very disappointing to spend Christmas with them because they do very little, if anything, to celebrate. They barely exchange gifts, and they don't tend to have a special meal. In my family, we have always made a huge fuss, spoiling each other with lovely presents and stuffing ourselves with delicious food. We decorate the house, send cars, listen to Christmas music...all the things that families traditionally do in England. So it has been difficult, knowing what I am trading in my own family's Christmas celebrations for. But this year, I don't mind, because I am planning on being home for every subsequent Christmas, as of next year. Granted, I'm not really excited about Christmas day itself this year, but I'm looking forward to giving and receiving presents and getting into the spirit of things beforehand.
In other news, I have decided to go back to university next year. I did a degree in Print Journalism, with writing being my first love and a lifelong passion. But as it happens, it's not an industry I have found myself working in, and I feel the need to feed my mind with more knowledge. I genuinely do miss studying, not because I'm a geek but because I think after spending our whole lives filling our heads with new and exciting information, there comes a point where, after we stop learning, our brains begin to stagnate. I'm a firm believer that we have to use our talents, our minds and our creativity in order to maintain them and in order to maintain our youth.
I'm going to be studying nutrition, which has always been an area of great interest to me, and something which I have learned an awful lot about simply through curiosity. I have not given up my dream of writing for a living, but I think this will be an enriching experience, and will broaden the options available to me.

Things definitely seem to be looking up, and in the past that would have scared me. I was always too afraid to be happy, just in case whatever was making me feel that way was suddenly taken away, without warning. But now I see how silly that is, and what an unfulfilling way to live our lives it is. If you worry about things that might happen, then you are wasting the time you could be spending being happy. If you think positive, you are not silly or naive for not spotting something before it goes wrong. You are living your life.


Weekend Wishlist

Just some goodies I've got my eye on this week. I'm not going to go on about how torturous I'm finding it to make these wishlists at the moment, as I'm fairly sure I unleashed that one on you all last weekend. Basically, I can't have any of this stuff, as Christmas is coming, 'Santa' is already overflowing with Christmas letters from me, and money doesn't grow on trees. They're all so pretty though, are they not?
I may have to make an exception for that giraffe onesie. It's clearly an essential that should feature in every girl worth her fashion salt's wardrobe. No, really though. I want it bad. It'd be my best friend for those nights in on the sofa, and the way I see it I'd actually be saving money, because I'd be staying home, snug and warm in this winner, as opposed to going out and spending my pennies. No?

What do you want but can't have this week?


Saturday, November 17, 2012

New Video: Current Skincare Routine

Hi lovelies, I'm back with my second Youtube video after a few disasters with making it! I actually originally filmed this last week, but it was too long and therefore rejected by Youtube - proof if ever I needed any that I can talk for England! Anyway, being the inexperienced video editor that I am, instead of managing to cut out the bits I didn't want I only succeeded in butchering it, and it's taken until today for me to find some daylight and some free time at home in order to try again! In fact, it took me another three attempts today - the first time the radio started blasting halfway through, and the second my laptop ran out of battery! Clearly not my day for filming, but we got there in the end! :)

I'm aware that some of you might possibly be interested in hearing about my skincare routine but won't fancy watching the video. Well, if that's you then please don't feel left out, as I will be doing a blog post about the very same on Monday. I was going to include some info about the products now, but as you can imagine, having made three attempts at producing this video, I now need a little break from talking about them!

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend so far, possibly doing a bit of Christmas shopping and getting into the spirit of things. Some say it's too early. I am not one of them.
Whatever you're doing lovelies, enjoy yourselves!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Origins Modern Friction

I have never been one to spend a lot of money on exfoliants, as I have always been of the belief that one was more or less the same as another. Truth be told, I have never felt that they made that much of a difference to my skin, although I have, on occasion, noticed a momentary brightening after use, having obviously got my circulation going as I was massaging the product over my face. I bought the Origins Modern Friction on a whim , intrigued by its natural ingredients, but not expecting much (at the the time I had never tried anything from Origins before). 

Modern Friction is touted by Origins as 'nature's gentle dermabrasion'. It is so-called because it uses rice starch, as opposed to coarse chemical crystals, to slough away dead skin cells, thus making it that much gentler, and pores and lines are supposed to appear greatly diminished after use. Modern Friction contains lemon oil for illumination, and vitamin C to mop up any nasty free radicals. Oh - and it also helps to remove any uneven patches, signs of skin damage and discolouration.  All this, sans irritation and redness? Sounds good to me.

So, how did it fare?

The first time I used this, I wasn't all that impressed. In consistency, it seemed like any other exfoliator, although it was thicker than most I've tried, and it also had a pleasant lemony scent.
To use, you massage this onto clean, dry skin (you can leave your skin damp if you've got particularly sensitive skin) in circular motions, before adding a dash of water and working it into a lather. Rinse, pat dry and you're all done.

When I had finished using this for the first time, I didn't notice a huge difference. That was, until the next day. When I was applying my makeup in the morning, I was pleasantly surprised by how radiant and glowing my skin looked, and upon closer inspection I could see that my skin and pores looked really clean.
But it was the second time I used it that it really succeeded in impressing me.
I had some dry, flaky patches on my nose where I had been trying to clear some forever-blocked pores there, and nothing would shift it. Eventually, I decided to give it a quick exfoliate with Modern Friction, but I didn't expect it to make a huge difference, as when I have tried to exfoliate really dry/flakey patches in the past it has only improved the situation by about 20%.
Well, I was wrong. Very wrong. 
I used the product in the same way as I had done before, this time concentrating on my nose, and when I washed the product away I was amazed to see that I  had a perfectly smooth,silky soft nose, without a flake in sight. Ah-mazing.

Since then, I've been using Modern Friction Twice a week, and it has fast become an absolute must-have for me. It's rare for me to suffer from dry skin, but this is not just for people who have this problem. It leaves my skin looking absolutely glowing with health, and I haven't had a single spot since I started using this! Granted, I have been using it in conjunction with the Origins Clear Improvement mask (review coming up), but between the two of them they have done an incredible job.

Have you tried anything from the Origins skincare range? What did you think?


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Carnival Nails

Finally, a nail post! It's been such a long time since I've done one, mainly due to lack of inspiration and the fact that I seemed to be rocking variations of the same combos over and over, but finally, I have come up with something that makes me happy.
If you can excuse the less than perfect manicure ( this was taken on day four!), I have gone for a bit of Miss Sporty nail polish in gold (shade 312), and then a good dose of 'Rio Glitter's World' glitter polish, by a random brand called Hit. The polish contains turquoise, orange, pink and purple flecks and I love the contrast between these colours and the gold. To me, this look just screams 'party', which is very fitting for the festive season, although the colours themselves are not traditionally Christmassy ones.
I do think I could have layered on the glitter a bit more, but this time it wasn't the look I was going for. I'm quite happy with the way it turned out and will be experimenting with this combo again.

What's on your nails this week?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I Love Autumn Tag

This is a tag that has been doing the rounds on Youtube over the past few weeks, and having now seen that it has reached the blogosphere I quite fancy giving it a go. I don't usually do these sorts of posts, but I love getting into the spirit of the new season and embracing all the things that come with the bitingly cold Autumn/Winter weather. It's so easy to only see the bad bits (think waking up when it's still dark etc.), but there are lots of lovely things to enjoy as the night start drawing in, so why not celebrate that?

1. Favourite Autumn/Fall lip product?
It's a toughie. I have recently dug out a couple of the infamous Revlon Lip Butters in Autumnal shades, as they had been sitting in my collection and feeling a little bit unloved over the warmer months. Cherry Tart is a bright red shade, while Raspberry Pie is a beautiful berry, both being wuite sheer but buildable. However, I have got my eye on some many new lip products and have just ordered myself a Mac Lip Pencil in Cherry and a couple of Mac lippies, and I'm also planning on giving the new Rimmel Kate Moss Matte ones a go this weekend to see if they can live up to their reputation. All in all, I am all about deep berries, plums and dark reds at the moment.

2. Favourite  Autumn nail polish?
Another difficult one, as this changes on a weekly basis! I adore Topshop Hidden Treasure (multi-tonal metallic green) and Essie Sure Shot (dark magenta duo-chrome), but I've popped the Model's Own Mirrorball and Winter Wonderland collections on my Christmas list as I do love a bit of glitter and sparkle to jazz up my nails, especially during the festive period!

3. Favourite Autumn Starbucks drink?
I'm a year-round fan of the Hazelnut Latte and White Cafe Mocha, but I am always tempted by the Gingerbread Lattes come the run-up to Christmas. However, I've ordered this on a number of occasions, and while sometimes it's lovely, other times it really is not, so I'm undecided on that one! Although I'm a Starbucks girl, I must admit I'm keen to try the Costa Salted Caramel Latte, which sounds just divine (although from what I've heard it's not all that either) :(

4. Favourite Autumn Yankee Candles?
I love it when they bring out all the Christmassy-scented candles. Apple Cider, Banana-Nut Bread and Sparkling Cinnamon all sound delish.

5. Favourite Autumn Scarf/Accessory?
Well, I love being able to layer up and accessorise, and I have a plethora of printed scarves to choose from! They are definitely a style saviour at this time of year, as when it gets too cold, and all you can wear is a super-heavy coat, you can start to feel like you're wearing the same thing all the time. Throwing on a scarf gives any outfit a new lease of life. I also like knitted hats, of various types - this year I am enjoying chunky-knit bobble beanies. Oh, and earmuffs are a must for blustery Autumn walks, I don't care what anyone says!

6. Haunted house, haunted hay ride or haunted corn maze?
Well, with the latter two (I assume) being American things, I can't say I have ever experienced them, and I've only ever been in a haunted house at a fairground. They can be pretty fun if you really get into the spirit of them though.

7. Favourite Hallowe'en Film?
To be honest, I'm not really all that into Hallowe'en these days and don't often bother with it any more. Don't get me wrong, I love getting into the spirit of things, but this is just one day of the year that doesn't really mean much to me. If someone is having a party or doing something special then of course I'll go, but I won't go out of my way to organise something. Christmas and birthdays, however, are a COMPLETELY different matter!
Anyway, the film. Well, I'm not the hugest fan of horror films, not because they scare me but because I just don't have the patience to watch them! Having said this, The Orphan is pretty freaky!

8. Favourite sweets to eat on Hallowe'en?
Again, not really my thing, but if there's an excuse to eat chocolate then I'll take it. I also used to love Haribo Sour Mix.

9. What are your favourite things about Autumn?
Snuggling up in a onesie by the fire with a nice hot cup of tea and a good book, having whipped cream on top of my lattes and hot chocolates and not feeling bad, being cosy in bed while the rain drums against the window pane, long hot baths and relaxing evenings in catching up on blog reading and of course, doing some blogging of my own.

I am tagging:

If anyone else would like to do this then please feel free :)


Monday, November 12, 2012

The Best of November Giveaways

Well, I couldn't help but notice the sheer volume of exciting giveaways doing the rounds in the blogosphere this week, and I have to say, there are some very generous bloggers amongst you lovelies! With Christmas just around the corner, who wouldn't want to win some of these treats, whether for stocking-fillers for loved ones, or just to spoil yourself rotten after trawling around the shops and tiring yourself out buying presents for others?
Here's the best of the bunch this week:

Tattooed Tealady is holding her second Christmas giveaway. For your chance to win a Beauticology Sweet Gingerbread Shower Cream, a Rimmel Kate Moss Matte lipstick in shade 107 and a box of Guylian Belgian chocolates, click  here. (Image courtesy of Tattooed Tealady

To enter Dolce Vita's  Thank You Giveaway to win this huge pile of goodies, head over here.

Pretty in Pink's One Year Blogiversary Giveaway is now on, so if you fancy winning yourselves an Urban Decay Naked 2 palette (1st place), a Body Shop Mist in a fragrance of your choice (2nd), a Revlon Lip Butter in the colour of your choice (3rd) or a Rimmel Kate Moss Matte lipstick in a shade of your choice (4th), click  here.

Natalie Roseanne is giving away a Benefit Sugarlicious Lip and Cheek Kit to one lucky follower. Fancy your chances? Head over here.

Trot on over to Fashernably Late, and you could win this stunning YSL lipstick. Click here to enter.

To celebrate hitting 50 followers, Trapped in a Fashion Paradise is offering followers the chance to win a Mac lipstick in a shade of your choice! Go here and enter!

In need of some new makeup brushes? Enter Glossy Boutique's giveaway here and you could win either the Core Collection or the Starter Kit!

To win these goodies, including some MUA goodies and jewellery, go over to Little Bo Blab's 10k Views Giveaway (here).

Enter the Boho Vanity Thank You Giveaway here for your chance to win this enormous haul of cosmetic treats!

Lucy Rose is currently holding a Welcome Giveaway here. Click to enter if you'dlike to win the four great prizes pictured, including a Mac lipstick and Model's Own nail polish in shades of your choice.

Win the Mac Marilyn Monroe Love Goddess lipstick, as well as a Mac lipstick of your choice! Go on over to Epiphannie A and enter here.

If you wouldn't mind winning this box of goodies, including Barry M, MUA and Yankee Candle then get yourself over to Jetley Mess and enter here.

To win a Burt's Bees Tips and Toes Kit and Basic Beeswax Gift Set, visit Lola and Behold and enter here

Also, don't miss out on Bethlovebeauty's fab giveaway where you can win a mystery box worth £200! Head over here now!

May I just point out to you lovelies that these are all fantastic blogs, so don't just go there for the giveaway and never take a second look, as they are all well worth a read, and the ladies behind them are gems. Give them a little bit of your time while you're there and I am certain you won't be disappointed.

I hope you've seen something you like here my lovelies, and good luck !


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Weekend Wishlist

  Fairisle Jumper  -   Tote Bag  -  Mark Jacobs 'Dot' Eau De Parfum  -  Studded Military Coat  -  Skeleton Tshirt  -  Velvet Body  -  Boots  -   Wolf Collar Tips  -  Beaded Clutch  -  Mac Spring Forecast '13 Lip Palette  -  Charles Worthington Intense Rescue Melting Balm

It's that time of the week again!
I'm currently enjoying a lazy Saturday morning in bed with tea, Nutella on toast and the radio on, which quite frankly is a very nice way to start the weekend! That said, I think it really began last night, as I had a bit of a Friday night pampering session, also involving wine and homemade chocolate cheesecake, which was just what I needed after yet another busy week!
I've got to stop doing these wishlists. Seriously, they just encourage me! I used to be quite a bad spender, but in recent years I have become much more sensible about looking after my pennies. Or at least, I had until I started blogging! I swear it's worsening by the day, as I just can't stop mentally adding things to my list of wants, and really, I don't need them at all.I mean, if we are honest with ourselves, do we really need more than one or two  tinted moisturisers/blushes/bronzers at a time!? Lipsticks and nail polishes, fair enough - there are just too many pretty colours to choose from, and it's nice to change them to suit your mood/the season etc. But I do sometimes think that we bloggers go a bit crazy when it comes to makeup and the like. I say this out of guilt - I might have accidentally done some more online shopping last night:(
Anyway, moving on. There are rather a few treats in the shops at the moment that I wouldn't mind adding to my wardrobe, as well as the Marc Jacobs 'Dot' Eau de Parfum and this beautiful 'Spring Forecast'13' lip palette from Mac. I actually love the look of this little compact, as you get six pretty colours, and it seems to be the perfect size for throwing in your bag. I usually avoid doing this with palettes as they are often so bulky! Now, being an indecisive person as well as a lover of Mac lipsticks, I'd rate this as a pretty perfect gift, and it also means that I don't have to rummage around in the depths of the afore-mentioned handbag trying to find one tiny lipstick - only to find I'm 'not in the mood' for that colour that day! 'Right On Orange' looks just like my sort of colour for Spring/Summer, and I'm quite inrigued by 'A Look in Lavender' - it's not a colour I would have imagined using on mylips, but I have learned not to rule anything out when it comes to beauty and fashion, as sometimes you can find you can be really surprised by what looks nice.
Last but not least, I have to mention the Charles Worthington Intense Rescue Melting Balm. I saw Fleur de Force talking about this in her October Favourites video on Youtube, and she couldn't rave about it enough. A product that allows you to leave the house feeling like you've just left the salon, any day of the week? Sounds good to me! My hair has been so dry and brittle on the ends of late, not to mention the split ends, and I'm looking for a deep conditioning product that can really nourish it and nurse it back to health. Fingers crossed this is it!

That's my lot for this week. I'm already getting ahead of myself, as I won't be getting any of this lot until after Christmas, of at all - my Christmas Wishlist is already about two miles long!
What's on yours this year?


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Christmas Gifting: Top Beauty Kits

Mac 'All for Glamour' Face Kit - Gorgeous Bronze, £39.50

I don't know about you guys, but I am getting well into the swing of the festive season, although I can't quite believe that Christmas has come around so quickly! Anyway, this year, I have been doing my homework when it comes to Christmas gift sets, as they can be a great way to stock up on goodies at lower than normal prices, which means of course you will save yourself a few hard-earned pennies.
On the other hand, some of the kits on sale can suck your wallet dry without giving you much bang for your buck, and this year, more than ever, I have come across a plethora of overpriced sets.
So, with value for money in mind as well as the initial attraction some of these sets garner, I have endeavoured to separate the wheat from the chaff, and bring you what I consider to be the best of the bunch.

Let's start off with the Mac 'All for Glamour' Face Kit in Gorgeous Bronze (above). Now, I'm going to be honest here - I think the Mac giftsets are really over-priced. One of the great things about Christmas gift sets is that you are supposed to be able to get several products at a good saving, compared to what it would cost you to buy them individually, and you're also supposed to walk away feeling pretty smug with all the goodies you've managed to snare. Of all the Max kits, this one is probably the best value for money, as you do get a bronzing powder (Golden Eye), three eyeshadows (Hearts-a-Flutter, Romance Me and Darkly Handsome), two lipsticks (Headturner and BarelyLit) for £39.50. But moving onto one of their other offerings....

The Mac Divine Desire Face Kit. This is available in two colour schemes - Paramour Pink and Quite Coral. Now, this one actually really appeals to me, as all the products in it are things I would use. But then we come to the price. £45 for a lipstick, lipgloss, eyeliner and blush. Granted, you do save some pennies buying all the items in one go, but it just doesn't seem like a lot for £45 - especially when you compare it with the 'All for Glamour' Kit., which contains more items for a lower price (not to mention some of the offerings available from other brands).  I suppose this is why I usually buy my Mac products one at a time, as it's easier to pretend I don't spend so much that way!

Mac Divine Desire Face Kit in Paramour Pink, £45.00

Next up is the Lancome Ultimate Beauty Collection, which, in contrast, I think is fantastic value for money. At a special price of just £45, you get thirteen different pieces, plus the vanity case, as pictured. This includes: various skincare products, a full-size Christmas eye palette, a full-size blush, two different mini mascaras, kohl eyeliner and two lipsticks

Lancome Ultimate Beauty Collection, £45

Clinique Whole Lotta Colour Chubby Stick Gift Set, £30

Five of Clinique's best-selling Chubby Sticks for £30, which would be a saving of a whopping £50 on buying them individually....only, they're not full-size. However, I do think this is still a reasonable price for what you get, and it makes a lovely gift, as well as being a great way to try all the colours in one go.

Illamasqua Alter Ego Mystery Selection Gift Set, £38

This one is on my Christmas list! For £38, you get their best-selling nail varnish in 'Collide', Liquid Metal in Electrum, and then four more full-size products (lipstick, lipgloss, blush and eyeshadow) in mystery colours! Granted, it's a bit of a risk, but the reviews have been good, and it's a great way to add a surprise element to a gift, as well as allowing the receiver to try a few new products. This little lot would cost you £91.50 individually, so you save a huge £53.50. This one is, without a doubt, one of the best value sets of the bunch.

Benefit 'She's So Jetset' Gift Set, £29.50

And last but not least comes the Benefit 'She's So Jetset' Kit, £29.50.
You get a four-shade eyeshadow palette, mini 'The POREfessional', 'They're Real' Mascara, First Class Face Powder, Lipgloss and a double-ended sponge applicator. Personally, I wouldn't mind paying the price for this one, as you do get a few different bits and pieces for your money, and it would certainly make a nice gift.

So, have you had your eyes on any of these goodies, either for yourselves or for someone else? Which beauty products are on your Christmas Wishlist this year?


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