Friday, 30 October 2009

Look what I just won at the Nibbles Boutique!!!

A Caramel Bunny Giles Deacon scarf on the Enchanted Hunter blog!! I have been trying all day yesterday to win one and got to the front of the queue after 5 minutes! I'll post a photo up here when it arrives in the post...Has anyone else won one and what do they think? You can follow Caramel Bunny on Facebook to see where the shop will be arriving next...Love the virtual store it's a great way to engage people, which it certainly has as there are thousands of people chatting on there all day!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Clinique review by my Mum!


Sometimes when I am reviewing items I feel that it is difficult to give a 'proper' review, as I am not the intended target audience. Like anti-ageing items for example - I do take good care of my skin and cleanse, tone and moisturise every day but I am only 23 so who knows if it has an effect now!! However when buying presents for my mum I always take recommendations from reviews I read on blogs so thought I would ask my mum to write about her favourite eye cream which is her HG product. So here goes.. as written in the words of my mum! My love for Clinique is purely down to her, thanks to her always using Clinique skincare products and me secretly trying them in the bathroom!

'I was asked to review Clinique's All about Eyes (£22) by my daughter to see how it compared with other eye creams I had used in the past. As a lady fast approaching 50 I believe it is important to use the right products for your skin so I was intrigued to see if all about eyes could make a difference. The first thing you notice is just how creamy, smooth and light it is. The velvet gel cream glided over the skin, absorbed quickly and did not leave it feeling sticky. I applied it after my normal cleaning routine night and day under and over the eyes. The cream is a unique combination of botanicals, proteins and anti-oxidants that work to fade the look of under-eye darkness, decrease puffs and strengthen skin against enivronmental aggressors.

After just a couple of weeks use I noticed a huge difference. The dark areas had diminished considerably and it works very quickly to reduce any puffiness particularly first thing in the morning. It is the first time i have seen an eye cream make such as difference. I will certainly be continuing to use it on a regular basis.'

Thanks Mum for the recommendation! Who else has asked their mum to review products before?

Monday, 26 October 2009

Introducing Cloud Nine Irons

As I am sure you know I am a mad straightening addict and use straighteners most days *slaps wrists*. The day I discovered GHDs literally changed my life and I am being deadly serious. If anybody to this day asks me what the best invention has been, I will always say GHDs! I have thick, wavy hair that just looks ‘lumpy’ if I don’t style it, so love it after I have straightened my hair when it is sleek and shiny!

I was asked if I would like to try out a pair of Cloud Nine irons which was very generous of them as they are not cheap at £129.95 so thanks very much (There are three styles on offer, a regular iron, a micro one and one with wide plates which I tried). As a self-confessed straightening addict I jumped at the chance and have been really excited to try them out. They arrived in beautiful black and blue/green packaging, which looked really expensive and impressed me straight away (yes I am a sucker for good packaging – it is so worth it!) Cloud Nine irons have been created by the original founders of GHDs and provide a beautiful natural finish - without the heat damage. They allow you to achieve a vast array of styles, at lower temperatures than GHDs so your hair isn’t put under so much strain. They also have a secret ingredient trapped within the black ceramic plates, a mysterious element that adds shine and sparkle to the hair every time they're used. Obviously I can’t vouch for this after only using them for a few weeks but my hair does look much smoother and shinier since using them.

My only complaint about these great irons, which I have found with other brands, is that the plates are not as big as GHDs and when you run them through your hair quickly, they can scratch the hair. I can use my GHDs from any angle and they will not catch or scratch my hair. Having said that, when my hair was just washed and dried it didn’t scratch, so maybe it just does it with hair that isn’t freshly washed? Hmm...

But overall I am impressed with their quality and love the wide irons, as it means I can straighten my hair much quicker in the morning, The variable temperature setting is also really good if you have thinner hair (I wish!) that didn’t need as much heat! It would be interesting to compare GHDs with Cloud Nine after using both for a month to see the difference in hair damage – maybe I should do this?!

British Beauty Blogger also has a great review here on these straighteners - so the big questions is will Cloud Nine take over from GHDs?

Thursday, 22 October 2009

St Ives 24 hour body lotion

As you already know I am a huge St Ives fan and especially of the Radiance Cleansers (thank you so much Helen from St Ives sending some to me as they are now discontinued - they are my HG in the morning to wake me up!) I have also discovered a new favourite, which is similar to Garnier Hydralock - 24 Hour Moisture Body Lotion (£4.20). My legs always seem to get really dry underneath trousers (why is that?!) so I have to religiously moisturise twice a day to keep them smooth. The body lotion is "specially formulated with Hydratein, an exclusive protein complex that hydrates dry, flaky skin, replenishing it and infusing it with long-lasting moisture." Like Hydralock, its keeps your skin really smooth and moisturised for 24 hours and smells lovely too. It is also easily absorbed, which is important when moisturising as I hate products that take ages to rub in.

I recommend this body lotion if you have dry skin that needs a bit of TLC - and it is priced reasonably under £5 but not as cheap as Hydralock though.. Who else has tried this product - any thoughts?

** UPDATED OFFERS ON ST IVES**

Save a 1/3 on the whole St Ives range from 2nd December – First week January in Tesco

All St Ives products will be HALF PRICE from 2nd January – 26th January in Sainsbury’s

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Origins Skin tone correcting serum

I hate this time of year as my skin always seems to look so dull having lost its summer glow. I am always on the lookout for skin brightening products that will give me a healthy glow all year round so decided to try out the new Origins Skin tone Correcting Serum (£30). I must admit I don’t know too much about Origins and their product range, but I do know they use potent plants, organic ingredients and 100% natural essential oils which is really important for me when applying products to my face.

This serum consists of naturally-derived Vitamin C which helps to create even skin tone and reduce the appearance of dullness, dark spots and discolourations. Cucumber Extract and Japanese Basil Leaf help prevent future spotting and freckling. It has a lovely smell and texture that feels really soothing on your face and definitely brightens up your face. The downside is it is pricey – but then as you know you get what you pay for with skincare products and serums do tend to cost more than moisturisers.

Who else has tried Origins and what are your favourite products as I’d like to try some more out!

Monday, 19 October 2009

L'Oréal Paris Double Extension Renewal Serum Inside Mascara review


There has been quite a few reviews on blogs about the new L'Oréal Paris Double Extension Renewal Serum Inside Mascara (wow what a mouthfull!!) so was really excited to try it out. It is currently on offer in Boots for £7.76, which is a pretty good deal as you get the Renewal Lash Serum, as well as a mascara. As you can see from my photos,it gives amazing lashes! First of all you use the serum enriched base coat with Arginine and Centella which makes your lashes really nourished and looks after them in the long-term helping them grow! Secondly you use the lengthening mascara for a lash extension effect which claims to give up to 80% longer-looking lashes. I don't normally believe claims on mascaras adverts, as we all know they use fake lashes anyway (what is the point in making an advert for a mascara if you use fash lashes - why?!). However, I would actually say this claim is pretty correct as my lashes were much, much longer than before!
The only downside to the 'double' mascara is in the morning I really can't be bothered to apply the serum, then the mascara. That's purely because I always get up so late and have around five minutes to apply my make-up! But if you have a spare ten minutes for your routine in the morning, then it is a fantastic buy and I will definitely be re-purchasing!

Who else has tried this mascara and what do you think?

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Best Breast Cancer Awareness pink products



As I am sure you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there are loads of products out there at the moment which are donating money to Breast Cancer. I think that is so great of brands to do this and I always look out for products that support good causes - plus I love all things pink! So I thought I would write about a few of the best 'pink' products I have come across this month!

1) Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Lotion (£3.51) is a great moisturiser made of 100% cocoa butter (which I love!) enriched with vitamin E. It is a real holy grail product for me thanks to its skin smoothing and stretch mark reducing benefits, plus it keeps your skin smooth for hours and feels proper moisturised. The bottle looks fab in pink - only downside is they only offer 25p to charity from each bottle which I think could have been a bit more! Great buy though as a bottle costs under £4.

2) Avon have some fantastic products on sale with at least a 25% donation to breast cancer. My favourite is the gorgeous 'Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer' nail file which only costs £1.50 with 75p going to charity which is extremely generous.

3) Tweezerman Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Slant Tweezers (£20) from feelunique.com look so cute, with £4.00 going to Breast Cancer Campaign. Tweezerman are contributing £2 for each pair bought and feelunique.com will match this with a further £2 which makes it even more important to buy from them online! They are decorated with gorgeous pink ribbons and are ideal for clean, precise plucking - even getting those most annoying hairs! Well worth purchasing as they are for a good cause and look great too in your make-up bag hehe!

So let me know what you think - what are your top beauty buys for Breast Cancer Awareness month?

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Nailene review

I am soo rubbish at painting my own nails - I always get my sister or friend to do them for me if I can't afford to get them done in a salon (which is most of the time!) Nailene, a US company kindly send me some products to try out, so I decided to try out the French Tip Pen Kit which has a great white tip pen and a lovely top coat. I found this kit really easy to use and in particular like how easy it is to do a french manicure yourself!! At first I couldn't work out how to use the tip pen but realised you have to push down on the end like a bingo pen! This ensures that you have enough varnish on the pen for each nail. It literally takes five minutes to give yourself a great, smooth manicure and is so easy to do even with complete novices like moi! I have found one downside though - I have had the polish on for two days and it has already chipped which is a real shame :( Maybe next time I will add an extra top coat to see if it lasts longer? You can buy Nailene products for around £4.99 online so they are well priced and worth checking out!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Goody's Add & Shine jojoba-infused brush review

I suffer from really dry hair that has been abused by straighteners so was really intrigued to hear about Goody's Add & Shine jojoba-infused brush which claims to put an end to dull, damaged hair once and for all with jojoba infused bristles!

The Goody Add & Shine paddle brush is infused with nourishing Jojoba oil, and has soft, rubbery bristles which stimulate your scalp. You can’t see the Jojoba oil as it's released slowly as you brush and absorbed by the hair. The oil smoothes down the cuticle to stop natural moisture escaping, as well as providing extra hydration. So if you have oily/greasy hair then this isn’t for you!

It also means the effects are longer lasting than the 'just brushed' look you get from using a traditional hairbrush – your hair feels much smoother and softer. The bristles are also really soft as well – not the best for untangling but great for smoothing down your hair and removing annoying frizzes that are the bane of my life!

I also recommend using the brush alongside your normal hair products to make your hair super shiny and a frizz-reducing dryer like the Remington Shine Therapy dryer which I swear by. What products do you swear by for smooth hair – please let me know as I am always keen to try out new products!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Bioré Pore Unclogging Scrub

As you know I am a big fan of face scrubs (I love that feeling when you use one after getting out of the shower! I have been using the Bioré Pore Unclogging Scrub for a few weeks now, which is great if you suffer from blocked pores like me, especially on your nose!! It is an exfoliating cleanser for all skin types, but has a lovely formula with micro beads and salicylic acid that unclogs pores and removes dry, dull skin so your pores can breath easier. It is also dermatologically tested, hypo-allergenic and non-comedogenic (so basically it won't clog pores). It won't replace my all time number one face scrub from St Ives but it is pretty good and available in Boots for £4.99. Bioré also have a Twitter account and a blog you can follow which reveals people's dirty little secrets. Why on earth anyone would actually care/want to read this is beyond me as some of them are pretty gross!!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Aussie Angel pamper evening in London!



Oh my god where do I start - I had an amazing day yesterday in London and the Aussie Angel Pamper Evening at Adee Phelan’s salon in Covent Garden. I was with my boyfriend and his cousin Natalie who was over visiting us from Germany and we had a great day sightseeing and hitting the shops on Oxford Street! We had so much stuff we could hardly carry it all when we were walking to the salon, which is conveniently located 5 minutes from Covent Garden tube station.

After a hectic day shopping it was pure heaven to arrive at the salon (which is amazing inside with some really funky décor) and be greeted by the lovely Aussie PR girls with some champagne! They ensured that our glasses were permanently filled up all evening so thanks guys! We then were truly pampered by the hairdressers using the Aussie products who styled our hair however we wanted. I asked for a 'blonde Cheryl Cole' look as I love the sleekness of her hair but it has natural volume - a look I can never achieve by myself. The lovely hair stylist used the Aussie Real Volume products on my hair, which smell gorgeous and are priced under £4 each! Normally when you go to a salon you love the products but when you ask the stylist each product is really expensive, so it is fab to know how reasonable these products are. My only wish would be for Aussie to have a blonde range as I do love how bright my hair looks using blonde products, in particular shampoo! So as you can see from the photos, the end results were fantastic and I still can't stop touching my hair as it so smooth but has natural volume as well :) My boyfriend's cousin looks great as well with curls in her hair - what do you think?

I had a great evening chatting to the lovely Charlotte and Yinka too and their friends - think we all enjoyed the champagne!! I also got to briefly meet Adee Phelan as well and his gorgeous dog Rocky (I think he was called Rocky?!) So thanks again to Aussie for a memorable evening - I had a great time and can't wait to do it again!

Friday, 9 October 2009

October faves!

Ok I know I should be writing this at the end of the month but I just wanted to share a few pictures with you of my must-have products this month. I will be reviewing the Double Extension Renewal Serum Inside Mascara in full as well showing how great it is! Enjoy!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Clinique Youth Surge (no you won't end up 16 again!)

Hi hope everybody is having a good week! I thought I would write about the latest love in my life – the new Youth Surge SPF 15 Age Decelerating Moisturiser (£38) from Clinique. I admit I am not really the target audience as I am just 23, however I believe prevention is key in skincare. This new moisturiser is inspired by Sirtuin technology (whatever that is lol!!) which can slow the appearance of ageing – result! It also has SPF protection, which is really important for me as it helps both minimize the look of lines and wrinkles and strengthen skin’s resistance to the environment. It leaves your skin feeling smooth and protected, which is what I look for in a day cream. It also promises that you will look younger for longer – so what do you think? I’d say worth investing in for your mum as a present and definitely worth trying yourself – downside is it is quite pricey though.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Dry skin sufferers try Neutrogena Multi-Repair cream!

Just a quick post to tell you about a cream my boyfriend has been using the past few weeks for his dry skin and now swears by it! It is from Neutrogena and called Multi-Repair cream, which can be used on the face or the body – anywhere you have dry skin really! It has been developed specifically for extremely dry or irritated skin, and is perfect for this time of year when you start turning the heating on *cries* and you can use it on your face, too. Unlike most dry skin creams, the formula is lightweight and doesn't feel at all heavy on the skin and rubs in easily (I can't stand thick creams!) It's also completely fragrance free so perfect for people with sensitive skin. It costs under £5 as well which is great. What other creams have you used for dry skin that my boyfriend could try?

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Pizza Express Blogger Dinner!


Last night I had a fantastic dinner at Pizza Express thanks to their generous offer of a 'Blogger Lunch' to try out their new Leggera pizza! The new ‘Leggera’ pizza is apparently causing a bit of a stir as it’s got a hole in the middle that’s filled with salad, and is only 500 calories! Sounds good to me as I am trying to be a bit healthy after holiday eating and drinking.

We arrived at our local Pizza Express in Southampton at around 7.30pm and had to wait about 30 minutes for a table, which wasn't too bad as we could read up on the menu! We decided to try the Garlic Bread and Tomato and Mozzarella salad for starters, which were both amazing and tasted so good. We both then had the Leggera Contadina, which had chicken, peppers, and spinach plus loads of healthy salad in the middle as you can see from the photo above! The funniest part of the evening was my boyfriend's surprise when he asked me why this pizza was only 500 calories and I replied that the middle was missing! He actually couldn't believe it and thought I was joking - typical man! But he actually really enjoyed the pizza and was very full up after his meal so was a definite winner from him... and me! The staff were excellent throughout the meal - our waitress was called Sally and was great, so thanks Sally! It was a very busy evening and they still had loads of time for us which is becoming a bit of a luxury when you go out these days!

Check out the new ‘2 Leggera pizza’s for £10’ voucher on:www.facebook.com/pizzaexpress. You can invite your friends then download the voucher via Facebook. Baring in mind the pizzas are about £9 each this is a genuinely good deal and well worth it for a cheap lunch or dinner with a friend especially if you're on a diet! I would definitely have the Leggera pizza again and look forward to trying out another one...:-)

Friday, 2 October 2009

La Compagnie de Provence Fig Hand Cream

I had a huge addition to hand cream it is silly – you should see my desk at work, my colleague and I have a little collection going on! My favourite hand cream of the week is the Fig Hand Cream by La Compagnie de Provence. I must admit I haven’t tried many of their products before but you can get them for John Lewis so they are available on the high street.

I have really dry hands so have to keep them super moisturised otherwise it annoys me so it is important for me that a hand cream has moisturising elements in it and smells lovely. The Fig hand cream is so soft and light (so your hands don’t feel greasy) and contains shea butter, olive oil and vitamin E so is extremely moisturising. It also contains no silicons, mineral oils, colourants or parabens which is great news too. John Lewis are selling this perfect sized handbag version which now lives in my handbag for £9.95.

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