Thursday, 28 May 2015

May Favorites

I've mentioned in past favorites my obsession with the sugar crush range from Soap and Glory. I got a small sample of this body wash and as soon as it ran out I got the full size. Its a creamy lotion like body wash that smells incredible. It smells like zesty limes, sugar and more awake mornings. Its basically a mojito minus the mint. If you like fresh, citrus, sweet scents, you'll be super into this. Also, the bottle is huge so it'll last you a long time, great value for how much you get.

This is a hesistant favorite because although it hydrates amazingly well and sinks in fairly fast, the smell... I hate it! it literally smells like plants, some people like that, I don't. I can look past it because the smell only lingers for a few minutes and then its gone. This is full of essential oils but manages to absorb fast without a greasy feel. Its a little greasy compared to the Grown Alchemist hand cream I love (which is still my all time favorite, absorbs instantly, smells amazing, its like giving your hands a glass of water, if that makes sense) but this Neals Yard one is a close second.

I'm surprised I haven't mentioned Biotin before because its something I take everyday. Its a B vitamin supplement that aids growth in hair and nails. I was researching online one day for ways to make nails less brittle - mine are always breaking/peeling - and lots of people suggested taking Biotin. I ordered some and after taking it every day for just a week my nails were as hard as rocks, and growing insanely fast! This stuff works like nothing else. Don't waste your money or expectations on 'nail hardening' polishes from the likes of Sally Hansen. Just take Biotin. Try to get the 5000 mcg one, the higher the strength the better the results.

Not many people are deficient in Biotin (its found in most foods we eat) but if you drink a lot, eat processed foods or smoke chronically, its likely you are deficient. Other benefits include regulating blood sugar, helping the body metabolize fats and carbohydrates (because of this it can also aid in weight loss), and it seriously strengthens hair,

Perfect balance is an amazing day time moisturizer, if you have money to burn. I got a small sample of it and was sad when it finally ran out. Its the ideal moisturizer for oily skins, because it hits the face with a load of hydration but leaves skin completely matte, I wouldn't purchase the full size because its £42, and as amazing as it is, there are similar moisturizers out there for a lot less, if you want something similar, the Neals Yard Power Berry moisturizer is a very close dupe. Different textured creams, same result.

And the Soap and Glory fixation continues! I've heard great things about their scrubs, so I got the 'Breakfast Scrub' which smells like a cappuccino and maple flapjack all in one, sounds weird, but trust me its a heavenly scent. This a very exfoliating body scrub, very thorough, but gentle. the scrubby particles stay in tact as you work it into the damp skin meaning you can use the same amount of product over a lot of surface area. This is a big tub and will last a long time, I can tell. I think there must be essential oils in it too because my skin always feels much softer after using it.

Another hesitant favorite, because I'm not a huge fan of the NYX blushes by themselves. Wearing this blush alone, it won't last you all day (5 hours on an oily skin) which annoys me because I typically wear make-up for 12 - 14 hours a day and need something that lasts, however, used over the top of other blushes, it gives a hint of color and a beautiful iridescent shimmer. For super blush longevity, I pat in a very small amount of cream blush, I'm talking a minuscule amount, you don't want the color, you want the adhesive nature of the cream blush. Before it sets I dust on a MAC blush, and then over the top of that I dust on a NYX blush. Sounds a lot, but if you use a little of each product, its a recipe for all day/night blush.

The NYX blushes are very pretty worn alone, but you will need to take it with you for touch ups throughout the day. Although, they're so affordable you can use it more often without feeling like you're wasting product.

This primer used to come attached to a Maxfactor foundation, and that was the only way you could get it. Now they sell the primer separately and I'm so glad, otherwise I probably never would have tried it. This goes on as a lotion and once rubbed in to skin, it sets fairly matte. It provides a smooth surface for make-up and gives SPF 20 protection, something I've been really appreciating in the warmer months. It really does make my foundation last longer, great product, would suit all skin types.

I didn't like this serum at first. It's a very 'wet' serum, like a watery gel consistency. Once rubbed in it leaves skin tacky to the touch. Its strange, but when you apply moisturizer over top, it does make skin smoother and softer. It contains 4% Glycolic acid which treats blemishes (I genuinely think its working in that department, I had a spot the other day which came to a head. 3 nights of using this serum and its dried up to nothing!) it also minimizes the look of pores and gives a gentle, even exfoliation. Side note: smells like oranges.

I stole borrowed this perfume from my mum recently and remembered how good it was, so I got one for myself. I've been wearing it every day, here's the part where I horribly describe what it smells like. Its musky, floral, sweet, its a strong scent but because of that - and the quality - you only need 2 sprays and it lasts all day. Expensive, but worth it.

First let me just say that I have Eczema (a dry skin condition which affects mostly my legs), and so most moisturizers don't work for me, they just aren't enough for my dry, dry skin. This is literally the only exception. This is the best moisturizer I have ever used. Move over E45, Nivea, every other brand I've tried, and I have tried many different body moisturizers.  I'm sure it has some kind of oil in it, but once you rub it in (also absorbs very fast, meaning I don't have to get up super early to moisturize before work! Eczema problems...) once rubbed in, it doesn't have a greasy feel, my skin is softened and still soft by the end of the day. Top marks Dove!

Monday, 4 May 2015

March and April Favorites

Until I bought this I used nothing but my naked palette, but I find myself reaching for this affordable offering from Collection much more these days. The quality wasn't something I was expecting when I swatched this in store. The shadows are highly pigmented, soft, and very blendable, there's a good mixture of colors if you're into the smokey, bronzey look, they contain shimmer but it's a subtle amount, very flattering. I can't believe this palette is only £3.99?! I loved it so much I went back and bought the 'Nude' version.

Before this I hadn't tried anything from Smashbox before, but based on how incredible this foundation is I'm definitely going to try more of their products. First of all, cool name, Liquid Halo? I'm always drawn in by a cool name. This is the lightest texture foundation I've ever come across, its so liquid its practically water, giving the most natural finish. It has enough substance to it to apply nicely with a brush, and blends into the skin in a matter of seconds, seriously, seconds. Its a high coverage but in a light formula, I like that it has SPF 15 because sun protection isn't something I think about too much, and its oil free. When I've played around with it some more I'll link a full review to this foundation.

My eyes aren't really dry at all, however I do like to bring my serum and moisturizer around the eye area just to keep it hydrated. I got this eye serum from my sister and didn't think much of it, why do I need a serum specifically for my eyes? well, I don't, but if you have particularly dry skin or sensitive eyes, this is a beautiful serum, its very gentle, but packs a massive moisture punch. There is a faint scent of rose but this disapears once it sinks into the skin.

Elf is a very hit and miss brand, some things I've tried from them have been very underwhelming, but when they get it right they get it really right. The shimmering facial whip is a beam coming off your face kind of highlighter. There is a lot of iridescent shimmer in it, as the name would suggest, but based in a cream formula this makes for a beautiful highlight, its a little showy but I still like to wear it in the day time and its been on my cheeks every day for the past few months. Much better than the famous Benefit high beam in my opinion, and ridiculously cheap too.

My eye primer of choice has been the GOSH waterproof eye shadow stick for many years now, which just goes to show how effective it is, and how long it lasts. Its a cream shadow that I apply in a thin layer all over the lid, and then pack on my powder shadow over top. it works as glue for whatever eyeshadow you apply, as well as giving your eye shadow phenomenal staying power, it also gives much better color pay off. I rate it much higher than any other primer I've tried (even though technically it isn't a primer) and I'm considering getting another one in a darker or more vibrant shade.

My lashes are very stubborn, I'd describe them as elephant like because although there are a lot of them, they stick out straight and struggle to hold a curl. Since I invested in the Shishedo eye lash curler my lashes look much bigger, and actually stay curled by the end of the day, something that I could never achieve before. Unlike conventional curlers, this one has a wide brim and thin band, meaning it doesn't snag on your lashes painfully, and you can get right to the base of the lash line, creating a much bigger and more fluttery curl. Absolutely worth the money.

I got the Balance me radiance mask free in a magazine and like most freebies, didn't think it would be anything special, but this really is. Its a smooth texture, with lots of gentle exfoliating ground walnut, because of the natural ingredients it smells a little of a garden but I like that. One of the top ingredients is Glycerin - it naturally occurs in the skin - which retains moisture. It also contains sweet almond oil, vitamin E, chamomile, rosmary, ylang ylang and glycolic acid, making it super nourishing and after a few uses, I honestly noticed a glow.

Seche Vite is a love amongst many a blogger and beauty professional alike, its often said to be the best top coat in the world. This gives the most shiny look to the nails, but the thing I'm impressed most by is the speed in which it dries. It really only takes about thirty seconds once applied, meaning you don't have to wait around for twenty minutes not being able to use your hands. It also prelongs the life of my manicure.

I always on the hunt for a new candle (I bought two this month) the other one doesn't even get a mention because it just doesn't compare. The Pairfum candle I got is in ginger and lemongrass, I got the small size just to try it but now I regret not buying the larger one. It smells fresh but spicy at the same time, I like to burn it in the evenings and once Its burned for an hour it pretty much fills up the entire house with its scent.

I'd never heard of Grown Alchemist before and pretty much only bought this because the brand has a cool name. Kidding, it had good reviews. I've been looking for a more heavy duty hand cream. At work I wash my hands a lot (those handling money on a daily basis will understand) and the constant use of soap really dries out my hands. I've tried the Boots number 7 hand cream (terrible) and the soap and glory hand food (smells amazing, decent moisture but leaves a greasy film) this hand cream is light weight and sinks in almost instantly, the skin is conditioned but not greasy in the slightest. The scent is pleasant but not very strong, and it doesn't linger.

I've been back into glittery nails, and no ones does glitter like Nails Inc. I bought the Winter wonderland collection, three glitter polishes from their 'Special effects' line. Trafalgar Square is a blood red glitter that I've been wearing non-stop, St George's Square is a white and silver shimmer in a clear polish, I've yet to try it but seen it look amazing on other people, almost like glittery snow. And Buckingham Square is a beautiful rose gold glitter, looks very pretty painted on just the tip of the nail.

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