Thursday, 22 December 2011

Leighton Denny Bio Build Treatment Regime Review

I thought I'd review Leighton Denny Bio Build Treatment Regime as I'm feeling rather pleased with my nails at the moment and its all thanks to this little system.  For the past 2 years or so I've been suffering from nails that peel to below the free edge and to be honest everytime I looked at them I felt miserable.  I've tried several treatments such as oils (Leighton Denny Slick Tips and O.P.I's Avoplex) and nail hardeners (O.P.I. Nail Envy) without much success.  The oils did a good job of conditioning and moisturising but they didn't seem to seal the edge and solve the problem.  Nail Hardeners seemed to make the problem worse!

This system consists of 3 stages - serum, shield and remover.  First for the serum.  You squeeze a small drop of this light cream onto each nail and massage into the the nail and cuticle area.  For a nail product this serum smells gorgeous!  It has a fresh aromatherapy smell.  You leave this to dry (which takes seconds) before you move onto the shield.

The shield is more like a traditional clear polish.  However, it dries matte which makes it suitable for applying colour on top.  You can apply two coats if using on its own.

Finally, you are supplied with a nail varnish remover.  This also smells a lot nicer than traditional removers and because of its mild scent I'm guessing its a lot gentler on your nails.  However, because of this I do sometimes struggle to remove colour with it!  According to other users you need to hold a cotton wool pad over the nail for a few minutes before 'swiping' away the polish in one go.  I am probably too impatient for this to work properly....

Now for the results.  I have been using this consistently for about 2 months and there has definitley been an improvement in my nails.  On my left hand all of my nails are strong and long with no peeling or splitting.  My right hand has been a bit more problematic and 2 nails seem to refuse to fix themselves!  However, this is a great improvement and I'm quite happy to continue using this product especially as I've barely made a dent in any of the bottles.  In my opinion, Leighton Denny Bio Build is a good straightforward product that improves the appearance of your nails without simply masking the problem like some nail hardeners do.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

December's Beauty Box - Finally!!!

After 2 weeks of waiting (apparently there was some mix up with their delivery service...) my first Beauty Box has finally arrived!!!  The wait and the fact that they revealed what was in the box by email before I received my box did slightly ruin the excitement but boy am I glad its here now!  Here is a quick photo of the 5/6 products I received this month:

Looks very pretty eh?  The box is beautifully presented and quite sturdy so could be re-used for all my make up and beauty bits and pieces.  They'd look quite nice stacked too.  The box also comes with an insert detailing the products contained and its theme (this month is a rather festive 'Finishing Touches'.  Overall first impressions are very good.

The first product that I was drawn to was Annick Goutal's Mandragore.  This is an impressive 25ml glass bottle of Eau de Toilette - hardly a sample!  Even the way it was packaged is impressive, presented in a purple gauze drawstring bag with tassles.  Now for the scent.  It's definitley distinctive with notes of bergamont, star anise, ginger and peppermint.  I usually go for fragrances which are vanilla/musk based whereas this has a strange earthy, plant-like smell - almost aromatherapy based.  To me its not a moreish scent which you keep wanting to smell yourself (which is what I look for in a perfume!)  However, I think it will make a very nice gift to pass on.

The next most substantial product is Clarisonic's Refining Skin Polish.  I was pleased I got this option as I seen other people had received either a gel cleanser for dry or oily skin.  As most of you know I love my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and am not really that keen on trying other products on my skin (if it ain't broke don't fix it!)  I tried this tonight with my Revlon electronic buffing brush as I do not own a Clarisonic cleansing system myself.  This worked really nicely.  You apply it to damp skin and work into a gentle lather.  It smells delicious - quite fruity as it contains acai fruit and prickly pear.  The gel is also very pretty as it is gold in colour and the jojoba beads that exfoliate sparkle in it.  Thumbs up for this one!

Next was one of my favourite nailcare brands so I was pleased to receive a mini (very mini!) Nails Inc. polish in Oxford Street.  The colour is a classic candy pink which you can't go wrong with so I will definitley be using this one.  The small size makes it nice to take on holiday.  The size could have been slightly bigger especially as magazines seem to now be regularly giving away full size Nails Inc. polishes as freebies.

For some reason I thought this next product was going to be larger as it is the full size valued at around £9.50.  Bed Head's Sugar Dust is the size of a small pepper pot and in similar packaging!  Apparently you sprinkle some into the roots of your hair and it absorbs oil and gives lift and volume.  I will be trying this one as sometimes my long heavy hair can lie a bit flat.  Not sure how well a powder could hold it though.  Though small I think there could be a good few applications in here.

Finally there is a full sized Figs & Rouge Sweet Geranium 100% Organic Balm included.  This little tin is just sooo cute and I love anything Parisian or vintage looking.  The balm itself feels very silky and is a good multi purpose product for lips, cuticles etc.  I also like the fact that it is 100% natural. However, the geranium smell is rather strong and its not one of my favourite scents.  Nevertherless this tin will look very pretty on my office desk and useful as a lipbalm!

All in all I was really pleased with this good value box (there were 3 sachets of Living Nature products to try also).  All big brands even if some of the products are not to everybodies taste.  I think I will carry on for January's box to see if it is as just as exciting!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Bare Minerals SPF 15 Original Foundation Review

Up until around 18 months ago I absolutely hated foundation.  Mainly because all liquid foundations did at least one of the following to my face:

1.)  The colour would 'bunch up' and rub off my face as quickly as I applied it
2.)  It would stick to any dry patches and make them stand out even more
3.)  I could never get a colour that matched my skin tone - pale but not a yellowy white shade the palest foundations usually come in!

Then I started to use Collection 2000s Mineral Foundation which solved the majority of the above problems.  I find powders so much easier to apply than creams.  But then the inevitable happened - it was discontinued.  My hunt began for a replacement mineral foundation...

In the end I settled for the original and most famous brand - Bare Minerals.  It comes in a wide range of colours all of which seem to adapt to a range of skin tones.  I went for Fairly Light and although pale it still has a natural warmth to it.

Application wise it is sooooo simple.  The tag line is 'swirl tap buff'.  Basically you tip the teeniest bit of powder into the lid, then using a brush swirl the minerals in the lid, tap off any excess then 'buff' into your face.  This does take a little practice to get the right coverage but when you do you're left with a gorgeous even skin tone with no tell tale foundation lines. 

For me it gives that perfect balance between looking natural and made up at the same time.  Strangely for a powder it gives a nice fresh sheen to the skin.

The other plus side of this foundation is the natural ingredients.  Apparently its supposed to be so gentle on the skin you can sleep in it (though I haven't tried this since I am so in love with removing it with Liz Earles C&P!)

I am now a convert to most of the range but this foundation especially has saved me a lot of money on wasted liquid foundation products.  It retails at around £20 for 9g but as it lasts at least 6 months it actually works out quite a bargain!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Bargain Beauty Alert!!! Lacura Aqua Complete Multi Intensive Serum

More expensive doesn't necessarily mean better results and this serum definitley proves that.  This has been a favourite of mine for around 2 years now.  You'll probably have seen rave reviews of it in the newspapers as a rival to Boots Protect and Perfect serum.  The difference is the price.  At £3.49 for 50ml at Aldi, it is incredible value.

The packaging of this product doesn't make it feel cheap at all.  The bottle is packaged in a box and the bottle itself is quite weighty and made of glass. I guess those who don't like excessive packaging won't feel the same!

Now for the serum itself.  It has a lovely light texture and one pump smooths easily across your whole face and neck.  There is an anti-ageing version also which I am guessing is slightly more heavier.  I have a few faint frown lines on my forehead and after a few weeks of using this I could notice they had reduced.  You can use this on its own or under a day cream if you have drier skin.

For me this is a lovely light everyday product that has impressive results for its price - what more could you ask for for £3.49!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Leighton Denny Nail Colour - Notorious

This week I've been wearing a vivid green/turquoise nail colour by Leighton Denny called Notorious.  It came in a trio collection called Art Deco alongside two other colours The Heiress (a cornflower blue/lilac) and Madison (a hot pink).  Leighton Denny is a British nailcare range.  Though maybe not as famous as Nails Inc. or O.P.I. his products definitely rival them.

What I love most about this nail polish is how long it lasts.  Being a fan of piping hot bubble baths my nail colour usually starts to peel after 1 or 2 days.  Although I love changing my colours frequently its a bit of a pain if you don't have time!  This photo was taken 4 days after I originally applied it and as you can see its still going strong (with a coat of Leighton Denny's One For All topcoat).

His colours are really rich too - 2 coats and you get a good solid colour.  The shade is rather bright so some might prefer it as a nail colour.  It does tend to clash if you're wearing anything but green!  However, I love it for a bright pop of colour to cheer me up :)