Thursday, 24 July 2014

international giveaway: win a pair of ray-ban justin sunglasses

I'm not all that much of a designer brands kinda girl, but there's certainly a few staples that I've wanted to own with a *hides eyes behind hand* price tag. Firstly was my Mulberry purse and phone case that I was lucky enough to get for my birthday/christmas, and for as long as I can remember I've wanted a pair of Ray-Bans. Well, I've finally got my hands on some courtesy of and I couldn't be more grateful! I chose the Ray-Ban 4165 Justin Sunglasses in Black Rubber* (£89) which are beautifully made and so comfortable to wear. I love the black, and the rubber makes them a bit different to the usual frames I opt for. They come in a sturdy case and outer box, all of which calms me as I'm so scared of breaking them! Not only do I have my own pair, but now one of you lucky lot gets the chance to win your own pair of Ray-Ban Justin Sunglasses. It's my first international giveaway in quite some time too! It's only open for one week before a winner is chosen at random by Rafflecopter. Your prize will be sent out by, but the entries will be moderated by me. All you have to do is complete the form below. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
What do you think of these sunglasses?
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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

a few simple skincare tips

Following on from last Sunday's #bbloggers chat on Twitter, it got me thinking about some of the skincare tips I've picked up over the years...

Be a bit of a clean freak. Always start with clean hands, clean face cloths, clean make up brushes and clean towels, and don't fill up the sink with water. How many times a day do you touch your face? A lot I'm guessing. It's so important to avoid adding dirt and bacteria to your face because really you're asking for spots. 

Better skin comes from a combination of things - not just products. A healthy diet (& drinking lots of water), a good routine, products suited to you and recognising your skin is always changing. I make sure to adapt my products to suit my skin, and I've especially started making sure I'm taking care of my body which in turn is improving my skin.

Spend some time really working in the products and test them over a minimum of a month. You've got to wait for cell turnover before you really see the results, it does frustrate me when people don't use products for long enough and say they aren't working. You've also got to make sure you're applying them correctly, working them in and using the correct amount. 

Use SPF all year round. There's still rays all year round and being exposed to the sun without protection will make your skin age quicker. The earlier you use it and get into the habit of using it consistently, the more you'll be able to put off those wrinkles.

Avoid Sudocrem. I don't care if Cheryl Cole apparently uses it, it's for nappy rash not your face.

Have some basic knowledge of ingredients. I'm a bit of a geek and find it really interesting knowing what I should be using and avoiding. The fewer the ingredients the better; oh and they're listed with the highest percentage first and decrease in amounts. I'm definitely thinking about a beginners guide to skincare ingredients if anyone wants to read it! 

Skincare is subjective. I don't read a whole load of skin care reviews just because everyone's skin is different so it might not work for you but it does for someone else and vice versa. I do look out for those posts for product suggestions, but I'll do my own research into ingredients etc before purchasing. 

You can have oily/combination AND dehydrated skin at the same time. A common misconception - it means that you've got to find products that work for both parts of your skin type. 

Prevent rather than cure. Start early! I wish I could turn back time and tell my teenage self to have a skincare routine that consisted of more than just make up wipes. I make sure I do my full routine every single morning and evening, no matter how tired I am and use products that are anti-ageing etc because it's better to prevent it than try and treat/cure it later on. 

There's so many skincare tips I could give you, but these are definitely small things that will often get forgotten. Let me know if you want to see more of these posts! 

What are your best skincare tips?

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

review: three summer picks from rmk

I've only tried two RMK products in the past - the makeup base and UV face protector (review here), both of which I adore. It's not a brand I hear/read all that much about really, but it's definitely one that needs to be on your radar. It's only currently stocked in three Selfridges stores in the UK so might not be the easiest to go and get shade matched unfortunately, but here's three summer beauts that you need in your life...

Starting with the RMK Creamy Polished Base in 00 Translucent* (£28), this ultra smoothing primer totally freshens skin leaving it looking luminous, hydrated and even. It's not heavy, it's not synthetic feeling and it blends out beautifully so you'll only be using a tiny amount each time. There's 5 shades available if you need something to enhance your skin tone but I'm more than happy with the one I have. The tube packaging is convenient and slimline for popping in your travel bag. 

Following this I've been loving the RMK Liquid Foundation in 101* (£33) - a super light weight foundation that's a little runny but actually provides great coverage. It disguises a whole load of things despite how thin it appears, has a satin finish (but really quite dewy when used with the above base) and lasts so well. If you've got dry/dehydrated then this is definitely for you because it hides that lack of moisture by leaving skin looking so healthy. It blends like a dream, builds like a dream (if you want to use it later on in the year or for extra coverage) and when used with the above base, it won't be going anywhere in the day - no matter how hot it gets out. The bottle doesn't have a pump which is the only real downside, but the pros of the product mean I can easily overlook that. There's 11 shades in total, mine being the lightest - I'd actually say it could be for the first 3 fair skin tones (if that makes sense!) because you can add more to build the colour without it ever looking cakey/heavy.

Then lastly, the RMK Mix Colors For Cheeks in 02 Coral* (£26) is the prettiest little blush trio ever to fall into my hands. Despite appearing quite shimmery in the pan, this translates to a beautiful sheen when on the cheeks - with the pastel pink being more of a highlight shade. Saying that, each shade can be used alone, or blended together for the ideal summer flush to the cheeks. Whether you build them up or apply them quite sheerly, they still look radiant and add a pop of colour that compliments a brighter or a more nude lip. Again for this, the primer helps to hold it in place longer and there's 4 shade combinations available if this one's not for you. 

Have you ever tried RMK?

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Monday, 21 July 2014

review: illamasqua shattered star nail varnish in marquise

Introducing my favourite summer polish pick for 2014 - Illamasqua Shattered Star Nail Varnish in Marquise* (£15). It may be one of the priciest polishes in my collection but boy is it a beaut. At a single coat opaque, this polish described as "shattered orange" can pull more the orange side of coral, or more the pink side depending on how much you choose to build it up - making it suited to different skintones. It is a glitter polish (not shimmer), as it has some texture to it but it's tightly packed in the coloured solution so that it's not rough. It dries quickly, applies evenly (due to the fairly wide brush) and lasts really well too. I love this on my toes most, but it's still super pretty on the fingernails. 
What do you think of this polish?
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Sunday, 20 July 2014

seven days #30

This week I've been loving: Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Instant Tan (£7.99)

This week I'm lusting after: Paperchase Swallows Multi List Book (£8.00)

This week you should: Get involved in #RecommendaBlogger - read more about it here.

Who have you followed this week? 
What have you been loving/reading/listening to/buying/lusting after?
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Saturday, 19 July 2014

what i've bought #49 - fragrance direct haul

Ok so not technically "what I've bought" as I've been very kindly sent these products from Fragrance Direct, but here's my latest haul! Click here to watch the video on YouTube if you can't see it above. Enjoy!
What have you bought lately?

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Friday, 18 July 2014

three jurlique skincare reviews

My skin's been a bit all over the place during the transition into the warmer months, but I can thankfully say it's almost there. I'll be talking more about my current serum and moisturiser in a few weeks, but for now I thought I'd share three products from my first dabble into the natural brand that is Jurlique skincare.

Usually avoiding anything that is "foaming" due to it tending to strip the skin leaving it dry and sensitive, it was only down to the amount of great reviews I'd read that I wanted to get my hands on the Jurlique Soothing Foaming Cleanser* (£27.50) - something I totally understand why it's so raved about. These cleanser is really gentle, non-drying and deep cleaning whilst still being light enough for summer. I've accidentally used it on my eyes a couple of times and found that it doesn't irritate them and removes make up really well. I use 2 pumps each time, rub between my hands to start the lather and apply in circular motions before adding just a little water. I honestly do believe this has lived up to its' claim of re-balancing skin in combination with my other skincare products. The Groomwell and Sichuan Peppercorn scent takes just a little getting used to but isn't anything too heavily fragranced meaning it hasn't broken me out at all. This bottle is lasting me ages too and I've been using it for the past month. 

Once a week I opt for the Jurlique Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator* (£34). I don't have anything like it in my skincare stash, and although I really am not a fan of the scent, it's clear the product itself is a good'un. I use a single pump, working it into the skin before leaving it for around 5 minutes. It's comfortable enough to leave on for longer and again doesn't dry out skin if you accidentally do leave it past this time. It's certainly very refreshing and leaves my skin looking much clearer and smoother once rinsed off. 

One that I don't really think has had a huge impact but is still nice is the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist* (£16.50). Especially for summer, it instantly cools and soothes skin thanks to its' fine mist. It doesn't sit on your skin for ages or leave it feeling excessively moist, but once gently pressed in you'll notice how soft your face feels. It's got a beautiful scent, plus it can be used on a cotton pad to remove any missed bits of makeup. 

I've been incredibly impressed with the new additions to my routine, my skin has been loving them! 
What do you recommend/want to try from Jurlique?

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Thursday, 17 July 2014

don't bother drugstore dry shampoos

Over the past few years I've put a serious amount of dry shampoos to the test for a whole variety of budgets. A few months ago I went a little crazy in Superdrug and picked up every volumizing dry shampoo they had on a quest to find the best one (don't worry, almost all of them were half price!) and while I adore the Tresemme and VO5 offerings, it's festival season (where dry shampoo is every girls' saviour) so I had to tell you all about these ones that didn't work for me...

Superdrug Killer Volume Volumising Dry Shampoo (£2.29) - this one choked me the most which I think has something to do with the amount that comes out of the nozzle when you spray. It covers a wide area of the hair but does really need to be sprayed at a distance and only half pressed down. This one makes you think it's great as it doesn't leave the hair grey or gritty, but it'll only leave second day hair looking clean for a few hours. 

Batiste Pixie Lott Dry Shampoo* (£2.99) - I knew I wanted to get my hands on this as soon as I received the press release. For so long I've been a big Batiste fan and I adore Pixie's music and style, but I've really gone off the brand lately. It has got the best scent out of these three, but it's just rather average when it comes to really making your hair look clean. There's no greyness, but you can definitely tell that you've used it when you touch your hair and I feel like I need a fair amount each time. 

This One Rescues Roots & Revamps Dry Shampoo (£2.99) - this one's pretty good compared to the others, but there's still better out there. Again, it chokes me a little when sprayed, but there's no greyness, no grit and it leaves hair pretty clean. Unfortunately again, it just doesn't last more than a few hours. 

Which dry shampoos didn't work for you?

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

two must haves from lee stafford

I'm so incredibly lazy when it comes to my hairstyles, and more often than not I'll pop it into plaits overnight so I don't have to do anything to it in the morning! There are a couple of products I've been loving using lately though, and the best part? They're so affordable.

First up is a cheaper alternative to my beloved Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray - the Lee Stafford Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray* (£7.99) does just as good a job at adding textured waves with just a few spritzes and ruffling through the hair. It smells better (less like you've just stepped out of the sea) too, and can be used on wet or dry hair to create a beachy look. It doesn't leave hair feeling crispy or too wet, nor does it weigh it down. It's so quick and easy to use, but probably the best one of the two for using if you've already got some sort of natural style in your hair (rather than trying to create it from straight hair) as it just adds a little something to the style.

If you're wanting something to create more of a wavy style to your hair, then opt for the Lee Stafford Argan Oil Curl Creme* (£11.99). This one's a balm texture so does require you to work it into the hair for the style a little more. It leaves hair feeling really soft and conditioned whilst forming and holding curls/waves in place for the majority of the day. I split my hair into two sections firstly, then use a single pump and warm it between my hands before working smaller strands of hair into curls around my fingers. If I want something a little looser, I'll do a scrunching action to larger sections of hair from the bottom. Again, it doesn't weigh hair down or leave it feeling full of product making it another product I definitely recommend. 

Which Lee Stafford products do you recommend?

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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

review: zoya summer 2014 nail polishes

I recently had the biggest clear out of my nail polishes, narrowing it down from around 150 to about 30! Some of the newest additions to my collection though were three from Zoya's Summer 2014 Tickled collection - a brand that I've not previously tried, but at the pricier end of the polish price scale I had high hopes...

I've got the shades Ling (described as a royal blue, but I think it's too cool toned for that), Rocha (orange toned red with very subtle shimmer) and Tilda (a yellow toned green). All were 2 coats fully opaque, but you could definitely get away with 1 if you were in a rush. That being said, I did find them to chip quite easily without a top coat, but they've got a quick drying time. The creme formula is gorgeous and compliments the shade range well. Packaging wise you get a 15ml bottle that comes with a medium width flexible brush making it suitable for all nail sizes, plus the polish applies really evenly which is a bonus. I'm definitely a fan of the polishes I've tried from this range, just a shame my polish application skills/condition of my nails isn't great!

What do you think of these shades?

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