November 15th, 2013

October Favourites

 

Hey guys, apologies for the lack of posts lately, I’ve been majorly trying to get my life in order, and had a lot going on. I need to write up an update on the October spending ban, and a few other things which I promise will do soon!
I filmed my October Favourites on time, but like always I have uploaded two weeks after I filmed it. Good job! So here are my fashionably late favourites, I hope you guys enjoy the video, I have tried to start getting a bit more creative with the editing, and minus a slight focus blip I’m quite happy with this video!

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October 31st, 2013

Happy Halloween

 

Whether or not it means anything to you, Halloween is like Christmas for moshers, or just anyone who likes to dress up/do crazy makeup. I dressed up as a skeleton on Saturday for a Halloween themed night out, and when I say dressed up, I mean I wore the above dress, and none of the makeup. I kinda went minimal effort because I knew my face would just be a huge black smudge by the end of the night. I thought I’d put in a little bit of effort for actual Halloween, and just because I like to play around with makeup every now and again.
So tonight I’ve been opening the door to trick or treaters like this, having followed the amazing Katie Snooks’ skeleton tutorial, and donned my dress once again. It was super fun to do, and the face paints I bought didn’t go to waste. Hurrah! I just hope I haven’t ruined my L’Oreal Superliner…
What have you all done for Halloween? Let me know in the comments!

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October 30th, 2013

The Acne Battle – Witch Gentle Exfoliating Face Wash

 

So my skin situation is getting desperate, and although it may not be obvious because I don’t post face pictures very often, but my acne is getting worse and worse. It’s reached the point now where my face is just painful to touch and I’m actually getting used to seeing lumps and bumps all over it, when my skin was previously perfectly clear. I know that nothing topical is going to solve it, because it’s hormonal due to coming off the pill and my body going ‘ARGH WHAT IS THIS’, so I am dosing myself up on things that are supposed to help regulate me from within. However that doesn’t stop me from buying everything that claims to help from the outside too.
I picked up this Witch Gentle Exfoliating Face Wash in Boots a month or two ago, because Witch are a brand known to be helpful in combating bad skin situations. It was cheap and cheerful, and I basically had nothing to lose. The idea is that until whatever is causing this acne in the first place gets sorted out, I can at least try to keep the symptoms at bay or under control.
On the whole I do like this cleanser. I like the smell, I do think it leaves my skin clean, and it does seem to be helping my skin a little. The only problem is, I feel like it’s helping my skin because it’s drying it out so much. Which some might say is a small price to pay for fewer new skin eruptions, but my skin still ends up looking flakey and bad, which is pretty difficult to cover with foundation because that only highlights the problem. I did think that due  to it being an exfoliating wash, it might combat that by sloughing away the dry skin, but I actually found it’s exfoliating properties kinda useless. It does say ‘gentle’ exfoliating, which I guess is true, but for me there just aren’t enough exfoliating beads in it, they aren’t dense enough to actually exfoliate effectively, so I find myself using a different exfoliator as well.
With this said, when I do use an extra exfoliator, and make sure I moisturise really well before applying foundation, this has been working quite well for me in terms of keeping breakouts to what so far is my minimum. For the price, I’m happy to overlook the fact that I need to use an extra exfoliator, and I do think that when it comes to acne prone skin, anything you use that helps the situation tends to dry out your skin – it comes with the territory, it seems.
As of writing this post, my skin has a few little bumps (almost flat) in my main problem areas, but no big, painful cystic eruptions, which at the moment is kinda amazing for me. So I would say definitely give this a go if you want to try something new, without shelling out lots of money. I think I will be trying more products from the Witch line soon! And please let me know what your acne solutions are, I’d really really love to hear them.

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October 9th, 2013

Carmex Moisture Plus Tinted Lip Balm

Carmex moisture plus pink tinted lip balm
Carmex moisture plus pink tinted lip balm
Carmex moisture plus pink tinted lip balm

 

If there is one lip product I have repurchased more than any other, it’s the Carmex Moisture Plus tinted lip balm. It comes in Pink, Peach, Berry and Clear (if there are any other shades I just haven’t heard of, let me know) but I have only actually tried the Pink one. I immediately fell in love, stocked up, and haven’t been without since. Every bag I own has at least one of these in it, and I always stock up on them in Bodycare (cheaper than Boots, although I’ve only ever found pink and clear in there) so I never run out.
To me this is just the perfect lip balm. It hydrates really effectively, but also gives a nice pink colour to the lips, with minimal upkeep requited. As this wears off, it doesn’t look patchy and questionable like lipstick sometimes can, it just quietly fades away without any fuss. I really appreciate just how moisturising it is, because I’m someone who has always struggled with dry lips, and this does a fantastic job of keeping them from cracking.
If I can’t decide on a lipstick to wear, am going for a low key look, or just can’t be bothered, I can always just grab this to avoid that ‘full face of makeup but no lipstick’ look that I think we’re all guilty of sporting from time to time.
I really want to try the Peach and Berry shades, I’ve been loyal to the pink for a good few years now, and I don’t know why I haven’t branched out sooner!

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October 7th, 2013

New Hair

blonde dip dye ombre balayage hair colour

Before

I thought I’d share my new hair with you all, this might not be super exciting for some of you, but I finally decided to get rid of the dark ends of where my previous dye job was growing out. I dyed my hair dark brown for about 3 years, and have been attempting to grow that out for the past year and a bit now.
The last time I got my hair coloured was January, when I got a few highlights put through my dark colour to break it up a bit, and I’ve been growing it out ever since. Today my stylist dyed the bottom part of it which was still pretty dark, and did a bit of work on the layers to try to blend it all together. She also added some highlights through the top, where my natural colour is, because my hair does naturally highlight in places anyway, and adding to this will help to blend through the blonde better.
I did go in sort of expecting to leave properly blonde, but there is some dark left in the upper layers which she says I’m best off growing out. It’s hard to get a good picture of it, but in natural light the bottom bit is actually looking pretty brassy. It looked the perfect shade in the salon because of the lighting, but once I stepped outside and had a look in the mirror in my car, I was actually a bit gutted at just how orangey it looks. My natural colour is very ashy, and the highlights I’d previously had put through the dark bit went very blonde indeed so I really wasn’t expecting so much brass. I’ve bought the Fudge purple shampoo which should be arriving tomorrow, and I’m eager to see whether this helps to tone down the orangey hues a little bit, otherwise I might end up popping back soon just to see if she can tone it somehow. I’m touching wood that the purple shampoo will just sort it for me, but we will see.
I’m also a bit gutted because she ended up cutting into the cut I’d had done a couple of weeks before (they didn’t have time to colour it at the same time), and now I have a weird chunk at the front which was exactly what I’d just had fixed before, so I might go back and ask them to fix that.

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October 4th, 2013

Soap & Glory – The Ultimelt Hot Cloth Cleanser – A Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Dupe?

Soap and glory the ultimelt hot cloth cleanser liz earle cleanse and polish comparison

 

Recently the cleanser I had been trying out came to an end a little quicker than I’d anticipated. I did my morning cleanse and all of a sudden it was gone. With no time to order online, and nothing in my Stock Room Drawer (the drawer where I keep backups of things, products to try out etc) I made a dash to Boots on my dinner break to see what I could source quickly that wouldn’t upset my skin too much.
My local Boots is really rather limited, but they did have a few things that caught my eye, one being the Soap & Glory stand they had set up showing off the skincare range. The Soap & Glory skincare has had a makeover recently, and I’ve gotta say, I’m loving the packaging. I thought I loved it before, but for some reason there’s just something about simplicity that makes me think ‘yep, I trust that near my face’. Just me?
I spotted The Ulimelt Hot Cloth Cleanser, and as a big fan of the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (review here) I wanted to take a closer look. The ingredients are certainly appealing, it contains essential oils (orange, lavender, clary sage, rose and geranium) and sweet almond and coconut oils – all things I already know are fantastic in skincare, and I’d actually been using an almond cleanser before it abruptly ran out, which was fantastic for sensitive skin, so I thought I’d definitely give it a shot.
I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, and I’m quite pleased with it. Scent wise, it’s actually almost similar to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, although the ingredients are different, the Liz Earle offering smells of rosemary, chamomile, cocoa butter and eucalyptus, but it’s the same sort of natural scent, and I like them both equally in that respect. I don’t think I’d pick one over the other, in terms of smell.
It is perhaps a little bit less thick than the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, but this isn’t really a good or bad thing, just something I’ve noticed. The experience of using it is essentially the same, and I’ve been using it as a second cleanse after removing my makeup. I haven’t actually tried using it to remove eye makeup as that’s usually a pointless exercise (I wear a lot of mascara).
My skin definitely seems to like it, it’s very gentle and well… my skin was breaking out pretty badly before, and it did get a little better for a while. I’m extremely hormonal and also full of flu as of writing this, so my skin is an absolute crisis zone right now, but the situation did seem to calm for a while.
I took a peek at the ingredients lists for this next to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and the ingredients are actually very similar. Besides having a different set of essential oils in the mix, the ingredients are really close, so it’s no wonder they seem so similar.
It retails at £10 for 100ml and the Cleanse and Polish is £14.75 for the starter kit, so pound for pound the Soap & Glory offering is definitely cheaper than the Cleanse and Polish starter kit, although you can get 100ml of Cleanse & Polish for £13.25 without a cloth. I managed to grab The Ultimelt on offer for around £6, so if you can find this on offer like I did it’s definitely a good product to grab as an affordable dupe, but ultimeltly (hurrr) if you disregard price I guess it really comes down to a matter of personal preference.
Have you tried either or both of these? What were your thoughts and which did you prefer?

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October 2nd, 2013

Rapidlash Review – Lash Growth Tips

 

Rapidlash rapid lash review eyelash growth
Rapidlash rapid lash review eyelash growth
Rapidlash rapid lash review eyelash growth

 

Long eyelashes are something I’ve always been very jealous of people for having, so naturally, when Rapidlash hit the market several years ago, I was definitely curious. I avoided buying it for quite some time, because at £40, it’s not a very cheap gamble to make. I bided my time, and read lots of reviews online before taking the plunge. The thing I noticed the most when reading through various reviews, was that the people complaining it didn’t work were waiting around a month to see results and then giving up, where as most of the reviews singing it’s praises stated that it had taken up to 10 weeks for them to see results.
With this in mind, I eventually caved and bought my first tube, not fully expecting it to work because everybody’s lashes are different, and of course there will definitely be people it doesn’t work for. For me it took at least the ten week mark before I started noticing a difference. I was pretty obsessive about peering away at them, and it is initially hard to spot a difference because you see yourself so often, but I did eventually notice a definite difference. I could also feel my lashes tickling beneath my eyebrows, so you know, that was new.
I’ve been using Rapidlash for a couple of years now, and every time I run out I panic a little. It is expensive to repurchase, but in my eyes it’s worth it because without it I felt like I needed false lashes. I do still wear them sometimes of course, because nothing looks as perfect as a set of falsies, but it’s really nice to be able to just slap on some mascara and have lovely long lashes.
The picture above is by no means my lashes at their best, they have been a lot longer than this, but this was at a point where I was finally starting to see some length again after a lengthy period of not being able to afford to rebuy it, and then finally getting my mits on it again. It’s reached the point where I’m tempted to just make sure I always have a backup tube.
There are a couple of other pieces of advice I would give when trying to grow your lashes, or just keep them in good condition, and they are:
Think twice about eyelash extensions. Before I knew Rapidlash was a thing, I tried out lash extensions, and while I initially loved being able to roll out of bed and look ready, they  tugged out my natural lashes, and I was left with a very noticeable gap, which has grown back funny ever since, although Rapidlash has helped it to grow at all. Do a lot of research into where you’re going to get them done, if at all!
When removing your eye makeup, don’t rub your eyes. Hold a cotton pad with eye makeup remover over each eye for about 30 seconds and then most of it should just come off. It will feel like forever, but it is much kinder to both your eyelashes and the thinner skin around your eyes. If you’re struggling to picture what I mean, Lisa Eldridge did a fantastic video a few years ago on how she removes her makeup using that technique.

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September 29th, 2013

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Review

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Review

 

I find taking care of my hair very important, and am always looking for products to help keep it in tip top condition, so when I spotted this sample of the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer with Instyle magazine I quickly snapped it up. Having seen the likes of Lily Melrose talk about how great this is more than a couple of times, I thought it was about time I gave it a try myself.
I imagine I’m a bit late telling you about this freebie, but if you can pop down the shops within the next few days you might still be able to catch the current issue of Instyle.
I have tried this a couple of times now, and so far I am quite impressed. The first time using it, I was far too eager and didn’t read that you are supposed to wet your hair before applying it, so I just used it on dry hair. Since then I’ve been doing as it says, and making my hair damp, then just applying it to the damp sections of my hair. I’ve only been using it from about my ears downwards, because I think I would go through my sample very quickly if I covered my whole head, and it does say if you have fine hair to just put it through the midlengths and ends. Then I just pop on my pink sparkly sequin shower cap (pictured above) and leave it on until I’m ready to wash my hair. It says to leave it on for 10-20 minutes, but I think I’ve been averaging about 45 minutes because I am easily distracted and always mess around more than I expected before finally clambering in the shower.
Using a conditioning treatment BEFORE shampooing did have me a little skeptical, because surely you’d just undo all the good work by shampooing, but actually I’ve been finding that it does manage to make my hair feel very healthy indeed. It just feels undamaged when I use this, which definitely isn’t the case. It’s soft and manageable and just feels pretty strong.
I think this stuff is going to be a godsend when I get my hair done in a couple of weeks time, because it’s gonna be bleached to within an inch of it’s life and need all the conditioning it can get! So I might hold off on using it all up before then. The fact that I do love this upsets me a little bit, because it’s not exactly cheap to buy the full size versions, so I am keeping my eyes peeled for something that works just as well but is a little bit cheaper. If you know of such a product please do let me know in the comments!

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September 27th, 2013

Weleda Oat Replenishing Haircare Range

Weleda Oat Replenishing Hair Care Shampoo Conditioner Review

 

Weleda Oat Replenishing Hair Care Shampoo Conditioner Review
Yeah so remember how much I love Weleda? I may have mentioned it one or two or three times, but I really do love them as a brand. So when I heard they were going to be bringing out hair products this year, I was pretty eager to try them.
Their range of haircare products launched this month, and I was kindly sent the Replenishing Shampoo* and Replenishing Conditioner* to try out. I have mentioned that I am actively seeking to use as many natural products as possible, and couldn’t wait to use these.
I have fine, flat hair, which doesn’t really need to be weighed down by product buildup, and I also seem to have easily irritated scalp, and the more natural the product the less I have to worry about either of these things!
They’ve brought out a Millet Nourishing Shampoo for normal hair, and a Wheat Balancing Shampoo for dandruff, but I was keen to try their Oat Replenishing products, for Dry and Damaged hair, as my hair is bleached and loves to break, a problem fellow fine hair havers (?) will no doubt relate to. The best bit is this shampoo and conditioner duo are volumising formulas, and I found them to actually work pretty well in this department! The shampoo smoothes the surface of the hair and reduces breakage, while the conditioner improves elasticity, suppleness and shine.
The shampoo smells AMAZING, aside from oat it contains jojoba oil, mimosa, tonka beans, and cedar wood oil, and together they just make it smell like something I’d be happy to have in candle form to smell all the time. It lathers up, although it contains no sodium lauryl sulfate or other chemicals, and I was able to easily massage it through my hair.
Unlike other hair products I’ve used, where the shampoos and conditioners are perfumed to smell the same, the scent in these comes from the actual ingredients themselves, with no added perfumes, so the conditioner smelled rather different to the shampoo. I can’t quite put my finger on what I was picking up on, but it has jojoba, coconut, white mallow root extract, and phyto peptides to strengthen the hair and add body. It smelled really lovely and the two together definitely did the job of adding body to my hair which really impressed me because I don’t generally expect much with my hair type, it’s forever determined to be flat as a pancake.
The consistency of the conditioner was something I really liked, it was not like any other conditioner I’ve ever used, it came out the tube more like a thick lotion, but had the consistency of a deep conditioner.
My hair feels SO strong after using these products, and they definitely help to add volume and body, which is no small feat let me tell you. Much though I was loving my John Frieda set, these have quickly overtaken as firm favourites because they don’t weigh my hair down at all, it feels light and swooshy.
I am really impressed as I have heard a lot of skepticism as to whether natural products do the job as well as your standard chemical filled alternatives, but they definitely do! I am running low at the moment, but once my spending ban is over, I will definitely look into repurchasing these, and I might even pick up the Oat Replenishing Treatment!
For now I’m just going to sit here and sniff my light, voluminous hair, because it smells amazing!
Have you picked up any of the Weleda haircare range? Had you heard about the range yet?

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28 year old lifestyle blogger from the North of England

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