Thursday, 29 November 2012

November Empties

At this time of year I try and use up most of my products to make way for all the Christmas beauty goodies I receive!  Here are a few of the things I managed to finish this month......

Soap and Glory Daily Smooth Body Butter  I love body butters and this is a particularly good one.  Really rich but absorbs quickly and scented with Soap and Glorys scent 'Mist you Madly'  This huge 250ml tube has lasted me for ages!  Not to keep on the tube packaging though - tubs are much easier to get every last bit out.

Soap and Glory Thick and Fast Mascara This was a freebie with a magazine.  The brush has really thick bristles and gives lots of volume and clump free lashes.  Only problem being is the brush is huge - not great for getting into those little lashes!

The Sanctuary Foaming Bath Soak If you love the classic Sanctuary scent you'll love this bath soak.  The whole bathroom is filled with the smell!  However, I find the bubbles are not that long-lasting.

Beauty Junky Ginseng Refreshing and Moisturising Face Mask This came in my Selfridges Lucky Bag.  I love the idea of face masks but I struggle to find one that actually has an affect on my skin without causing some kind of allergic reaction!  This luckily didn't bring me out in any kind of strange rash.  However, it says to 'peel' the mask off after 15 minutes.  Errmmm.... its so thick and creamy I'm not quite sure how that would work!  None the less it left my skin feeling soft and moisturised.

Bare Minerals Big and Bright Eyeliner in Charcoal  These are lovely pencil style liners.  They are in twist up style packaging but also come with a smudger and pencil sharpener in the base which is handy!  However, as the pencil is so soft the sharpener tends to break the 'lead'.

Diorshow Mascara This mini mascara was a sample from a Dior counter.  I think this is a fantastic mascara but a little out of my price league as although I use mascara everyday I never manage to use one up before it goes dry and needs replacing.  The brush and formula is the complete opposite to the Soap and Glory Thick and Fast.  This has a teeny brush with 'teeth' rather than bristles and is perfect for separating and defining lashes for a natural look.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Decleor Phytopeel Exfoliating Cream Review

Decleor is a brand that really appeals to me.  Featured in several spas, I love the way they combine luxury with natural ingredients.  Therefore, I was super excited to receive this sample of Decleor Phytopeel Exfoliating Cream. 

Decleor Phytopeel Exfoliating Cream is described as a gentle and natural way to renew your skin.  Exfoliating is a really important skincare step to me as prior to using Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish I was under the impression that I had dry skin.  However, the gentle exfoliating of the muslin cloth has completed eliminated any dryness I previously had.  Now gentle exfoliating products always catch my eye. 

Decleor Phytopeel Exfoliating cream is a thick, tacky, pearlised cream as you can see below.  The scent is quite medicinal but still natural.  The directions state to smooth on a medium layer of this cream all over the face, avoiding the eyes, and leave to dry for a few minutes.  So far so good..,

When the cream has dried down you are instructed to rub off the cream in circular upward motions till it starts to 'peel' off.  This is where I began to hate this product.  Firstly, to get the product to peel of the skin you have to rub quite roughly.  My skin was already starting to get slightly pink and sore at this point rather than glowing!

The cream rubs off in little flakes as shown here.  Attractive?  Not very.  You are then advised to rinse any remaining product away.  This in itself is quite difficult and I couldn't help but feel there was still some product remaining on my face.  Using a toner seemed to resolve this slightly.

Finally, having managed to remove all of the product my skin did look very clear and feel remarkably smooth but it also looked rather red and blotchy from all that rubbing!  My moisturiser also seemed to sink in twice as quick as normal.  Maybe this is a good thing but I couldn't help but feel the Decleor Phytopeel was slightly drying?

I would not say the Decleor Phytopeel is a bad product as it produces results.  However, I do think it is most definitely not suitable for all skin types as suggested.  If you are prone to redness or sensitivity you may want to think twice about the rough way in which you have to remove this product. 

Furthermore, the actual experience of using the product wasn't pleasant for me.  I like gentle, luxurious beauty experiences rather than vigorous, abrasive ones!  If you don't like the feeling of 'a good scrub' maybe give this one a miss!

Have you tried Decleor Phytopeel?  Did you find it harsh and uncomfortable to use?

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Death of the Beauty Box?

When I first started blogging I discovered Beauty Boxes.  Namely the Feel Unique Beauty Box (now discontinued)  The idea totally captured my imagination - a little parcel of treats every month with new and high end beauty brands to try.  I only received a total of 3 boxes before Feel Unique sadly cancelled their service.

I say sadly... however, had they continued I am not sure my subscription would have done despite having made good use of the 3 boxes I did receive.  Some bloggers, such as myself do not regularly receive free samples from PR companies to review.  Therefore, beauty boxes seem like an affordable way to try out and review the latest beauty products.  However, this quickly evolves into a way of collecting a selection of random samples that you would never have considered buying in the first place! 

Furthermore, a lot of beauty bloggers have talked of how subscribers have been hooked in with fantastic boxes only for the next month to be given a pile of, well...  A prime example of this was the recent Selfridges Lucky Bag.  A few months earlier Selfridges sold a Beauty Box at the same price of £15 and included some amazing products including a full sized Stila One Step Correct.  With high hopes of similar products in the Lucky Bag many purchasers were left disappointed with bargain basement products that would look out of place on the shelves of Selfridges.  A clever but nasty marketing ploy?

Luckily, my Selfridges Lucky Bag was quite reasonable but the experience of my friends has put me off ever buying a random beauty box/bag again.  I would much rather take my hard earned cash and buy one well researched product a month and get full use out of it!

How do you feel about beauty boxes?  Are you still in love with them or do you think they have run their course?

Thursday, 15 November 2012

My Selfridges Lucky Bag - Revealed!

I must admit this morning I was feeling a little fed up at the thought of receiving a disappointing Selfridges Lucky Bag after all the hype.  As the reviews mounted up online the majority of bloggers seemed less than pleased with the contents.

However, just after 5pm today my Selfridges Lucky Bag arrived!  I was really pleased with the quick delivery as I only chose standard but it came the next day after ordering.   It came in a rather large yellow lined Selfridges box as shown here:

Some of the reviews showed items such as tissues and beauty vitamins - items I would have been severely disappointed with!  I was hoping for either REN, Dermalogica or the very cute sparkly Duck Lip Balm I'd seen others have.  Here are the items I received:

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash 50ml (£4.25)
Disco Duck Creme Brulee Lip Balm Full Size (3.99)
Anatomicals SPF 15 Banana Lipbalm (£2.55)
Beauty Junky Ginseng Face Mask (£1.95)
OCC Lip Tar (£10)
Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner (£10)
Total Value: £32.74
I am really pleased with my Lucky Bag in comparison to others.  I can always use lip balms especially at this time of year and the lip tar is a gorgeous vivid fuscia pink.
The REN Body Wash smells gorgeous and this will be my first chance to try this brand.
The Eyeko Liquid Eyeliner is perfect for me as I never go a day without wearing eyeliner!
What I think has disappointed most people about these bags is the brands included don't seem to represent those that you would expect to see in Selfridges i.e. high end brands.  Their previous beauty box delivered on this front.
However, I really like that no two bags seem to be the same like the original lucky bags we had as children!
Did you order yourself a Selfridges Lucky Bag?  What was your opinion?

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Selfridges Beauty Workshop Lucky Bag

So I actually managed to order myself a Selfridges Beauty Workshop Lucky Bag!!!  I wasn't feeling hopeful as I'd heard the beauty boxes had sold out within an hour.  Luckily, I woke up at 6.00am to see an email had been sent only 15 mins earlier!  On I went and grabbed that gorgeous little bag of surprises :D  However, here are a few things that have surprised me about this 'limited' purchase:

1.)  The added p&p of £4.95 - I hope this comes beautifully packaged and arrives on time!  I HATE paying this much for p&p

2.)  They're still not sold out!  I thought they would fly off the shelfs especially as they are supposedly limited to 1000 bags.  This is despite...

3.)  You can buy as many as you want - my whole office has purchased them in multiples!

Hmm... my limited Lucky Bag is not feeling so exclusive anymore :(

However, I am still excited to see what I get and it's my pre-Christmas treat to myself. 

Did you manage to bag yourself a bag?  You can still get yours here!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

My Winter Rescue Remedies

Even with this mild weather we're having at the moment I still start to feel the need to change my beauty routine as my hair and skin starts to dry out.  Here are a few of my favourite products that I add to my routine in the winter:

Clockwise: Sarah Chapman Skinesis Hydration Booster, Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial, Elemis Frangipani Monoi Oil, Ojon Damage Reverse Serum, Moroccan Oil
Sarah Chapman Skinesis Hydration Booster This is a fab little 'liquid' that you just apply 1 or 2 drops to your skin or mix with your existing moisturiser.  I love to mix it with my Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser.  It increases hydration without me having to switch moisturiser completely when winter approaches.
Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial  A cult product amongst beauty fans, I tend only to use this when my skin feels like a needs a real boost.  Instead of applying my moisturiser at night I massage 2 or 3 drops of this serum into my face and enjoy the gorgeous aromatherapy scents.  A really relaxing treat and I wake up in the morning with baby soft skin!
Elemis Frangipani Monoi Oil  This body oil has to be haveof my favourite scents.  It reminds me of the Aqua Sana Spa where I first tried it.  Great for instense body moisturising on extra dry areas such as knees and elbow - also fantastic for massage!  The only slight downside is it is solid at room temperature but a few minutes in a warm bath and it turns to oil.
Ojon Damage Reverse Serum  I received this in my Harrods Glossy Box - a fantastic birthday present from my friend Leigh at The LA Effect !  This is perfect for applying to dry and flyaway ends as the serum is quite light and not at all greasy.  I really love the 'pipette' style dispenser too!
Moroccan Oil  I love using the famous Moroccan Oil on wet hair after washing.  I'm slightly addicted to its scent too!  Just a tiny 5 pence piece blob massaged in disappears on drying but leaves hair feeling really healthy without any residue.  A teeny bottle like this lasts me ages too! 
How do you step up your beauty regime in the winter?  

Monday, 5 November 2012

Collection 2000 Haul

This weekend I needed to purchase some new liquid eyeliner and mascara.  Though I never go a day without them I struggle to pick a brand and find them the least exciting make-up purchases!  So I popped into Superdrug and noticed they had 3 for 2 on all cosmetics and just for simplicity and to save the pennies I went to the Collection 2000 counter.

Collection 2000 definitley has a reputation for being a bargain beauty brand but it does seem to have a few fantastic products.  I am a fan of their Lasting Perfection  Concealer and used to love their Perfecting Minerals till they were discontinued :( and I developed a pricey addiction to Bare Minerals!

This time I picked up their Skyscraper Mascara, Eye Definition Liquid Eyeliner and Metallic Cream Eyeshadow in Emerald City as my freebie. 

I am really liking the Skyscraper mascara so far.  It has a rubber bristled brush with short bristles on one side and longer ones on the others.  It reminds me lots of the Diorshow Mascara brush but at the fraction of the price (£4.99)  This mascara gives long natural and defined lashes which I much prefer to clumpy thickened ones.  It does seem to flake a little so might not be great for those who touch their eyes lots!
Eye Definition Liquid Eyeliner is a good classic style liquid eyeliner.  I have dabbled with eyeliner pens, pencils and gel pots but this is the type I prefer.  The eyeliner is very liquid and highly pigmented so no need to repeat over your line!  One sweep and you have a perfect classic eyeline.
The Metallic Cream Eyeshadow was a little treat purchase - something I didn't need but I loved the shade Emerald City.  It's a shimmering khaki green colour which looks lovely on hazel brown eyes.  You apply with the sponge applicator inside and it suggests blending with a finger.  However, as with all cream eyeshadows I find this wipes the colour straight off again!  Instead I just paint it on direct.  The colour lasts and barely creases.
These 3 Collection 2000 eye products are great cheap treats and I definitley think I'll be repurchasing the mascara and eye liner.