Thursday, 22 January 2015

New Year, New Treats

After receiving some money for Christmas, I put most of it in my savings but kept some aside for a few treats for myself. It has to be done right?!

Lush Christmas Candy Box
First of all I made a purchase from the online Lush Boxing Day sale. I only just managed to get the Christmas Candy Box with lots and lots of refreshing! If you went onto Lush's website that day too you will know what an absolute nightmare it was; I had so much on my wishlist and didn't get half of what I wanted. However I'm still pleased with the gift set, which contains a 100g bottle of Snow Fairy Shower Gel, the Butterbear Bath Bomb, Rock Star Soap and Candy Mountain Bubble Bar. I've not tried the latter two products and I've never tried a Lush soap, so I'm really happy that these were in the box. I used Candy Mountain the other night and it's already a favourite - full review coming soon!

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Mark II Lens
My fiancĂ© bought a Canon 700d camera late last year for his business and it was inevitable that I was going to start using it for blog photos! He bought a couple of zoom lenses to go with it, but he said that the 50mm fixed lens, which is a favourite among bloggers, would definitely be better suited for blogging. So I bought the EF 50mm f/1.8 Mark II Lens to suit the 700d brand new and boxed from a photography shop on eBay for £68.00 with free delivery, which I thought was an absolute bargain. You can find the seller I used here, though the price has now gone up by a £1.00! I'm still getting used to the camera and all the settings, but I hope that my blog photos will get better and better as my photography and camera skills improve.

Enrapture Encode Totem Styler
This ceramic curling iron has been on my wishlist ever since I watched a YouTube tutorial by Wonderfuly0u. Previously I was using my hair straighteners to curl my hair, but they're quite chunky and I found it really difficult to do. The barrel of the Totem Styler has three different zones, each of which you can set to three different heat settings, so you can really control what type of curl you create. It comes with a removable stand, heat resistant pouch and style guide. The retail price for the Totem Styler is £59.99 and I bought this from an official store on eBay for just £23.99 with free delivery, which is a whopping 60% off!! It comes with a 3 year warranty. I've only turned this on to check it works and not properly used it yet, but I think it will make my life so much easier! You can find the seller I used here

Have you purchased any New Year treats for yourself?

Beauty Bird xx

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

You Beauty Discovery Box January 2015

Not too long ago January's You Beauty Discovery Box dropped through my letterbox. Even though I knew what products were in the box, as you get to choose from a themed selection every month, I was still excited to get it open and see them in the flesh. This month's theme was all about banishing the January blues and offering products that are dedicated to "fixing" rather than "changing" and so helping you look and feel better about yourself.

I knew which products I wanted to try instantly as they've been on my radar for awhile. First off is the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil in a 30ml bottle, which is designed to remove makeup and impurities with hydrating Vitamin E and Olive Oil. I've only ever tried one other cleansing oil before (The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil), so it'll be great to try something different. My second choice is actually a duo and comes from Merumaya - a 30ml Melting Cleansing Balm and a 3ml Overnight Recharge Night Cream. I've tried a little sachet of the cleansing balm before and really liked it - it's more of a thick gel formula that emulsifies into a milk when you add water. Now I get the chance to try it again and for a bit longer, so I can make more of an informed opinion on it. The night cream sounds fantastic; it apparently contains five highly potent actives to firm, lift, diminish the signs of fatigue and aid skin restoration. Other brands available to choose products from this month were Elemis, Burt's Bees, Tresemme, Afyna and Boutique. 

Every box also contains the same extra treats; three sachets of Dragonfly Tea (I have the flavours Swirling Mist, Green Gaucho and Mountain Honeybush), a sachet of Dove Hair BB Cream and a £25.00 Hello Fresh gift card

I love the theme of this month's box and everything that's included, so I think it's £6.95 very, very well spent. Find out more about the You Beauty Discovery Box and how it works here.

What do you think of January's You Beauty Discovery Box? 

Beauty Bird xx

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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Review: Organic Surge Replenishing Facial Oil

Last year Organic Surge launched an "Extra Care" range for timeless skin solutions that are designed to rejuvenate, condition and protect. One of these products is the Replenishing Facial Oil, which is designed to hydrate parched skin with a blend of essential oils including Argan, Yarrow, Safflower, Sunflower and Lavender. I use facial oil every night, either alone or mixed into a moisturiser, as although my skin leans towards oily, I find that it can easily become dry or dehydrated. 100% of the ingredients in this facial oil are natural and 55% are organic, are suitable for vegetarians and vegans and the packaging is recyclable. The bottle is 30ml and priced at £23.50.

I apply around 3-4 drops of the Organic Surge Replenishing Facial Oil after serum, or as much as I feel my skin needs. The oil dispenses with a pipette; most have a squeezy topper, which releases the oil, but with this one you simply push down - so much easier and it never gets stuck either! The facial oil itself is clear in colour and has a thin consistency, making it feel weightless. The Replenishing Facial Oil is soft and silky on the skin, absorbing quickly, with a uplifting, natural scent. I don't think this is the most intensive facial oil I've tried, but it certainly gives my skin a nourishing boost and soothes and calms any areas of redness or inflammation. I personally think the formula will make it perfect to use in the warmer months because it's so lightweight. 

The Replenishing Facial Oil is another great product from Organic Surge and is a brilliant price considering it's jam packed full of natural ingredients. You can find out more on the Organic Surge website here.

Have you tried any products from Organic Surge's Extra Care range? What's your favourite facial oil?

Beauty Bird xx

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P.S. This post contains a PR sample. This does not affect my opinion of the product.


Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Re-Purchased #1

The problem with a) being a beauty blogger and b) only human is that there's always the temptation to try new or different products, even if I don't need it or I'm already happy with what I have. There's always a voice in the back of my head saying, "but what if there's something better out there?" However there's a selection of products I haven't yet traded in and have been using for quite a long time...

I think I'm on my third bottle of this, which I think is quite impressive considering how long it lasts. This liquid exfoliator contains AHAs, which is able to remove dead skin cells without the need for physical beads or grains. I find I get the biggest benefit from using it daily (twice in winter, once in summer). It brightens and de-congests my skin, whilst helping to reduce the appearance of scars and marks. Love! Full review here.

I can't bear to be without this cleanser, which I've re-purchased three or four times now. I tend to use this as my second cleanse at night; it's not one to remove makeup with. I love the thick, creamy, clay-based formula, which makes me feel like I'm giving my skin a thorough deep cleanse. It works really well all over my oily/combo skin, leaving it re-balanced and feeling supple. Full review here.

I have used this Aussie spray for years and years- I just haven't felt the need to try something else. Well if it ain't broke... My hair gets quite knotty when wet, so a few sprays of this makes it much easier to get a brush through it! It stops my hair feeling dry and smells amazing. 

It's surprisingly hard to find a talc free, pressed powder that comes under the £20.00 mark, so once you find one it's hard to let go! The price of Green People's offering is £18.00-£20.00 depending on where you buy it from. I use powder every day to set my makeup and give a matt finish. This one is finely milled so it doesn't feel heavy or look like I've overloaded my skin. Full review here.

This foundation is like my comfort blanket. It's reliable, dependable and it works for me, so after a few years of using it almost every day, to not have one in my stash would probably send me into a panic! I'm very fussy with base products, especially foundation, for fear of breaking out so I just find it easier to avoid everything else. I love the high (but not heavy) coverage that the Vichy Dermablend provides, so it's a godsend for hiding spots and scarring whilst ensuring the rest of your face stays clear! Full review here.

What beauty products do you find yourself regularly re-purchasing?

Beauty Bird xx 

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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

First Impressions: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

I mentioned in a post awhile ago that I picked up a sample of the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation from Space N.K. when buying the Radiant Creamy Concealer. The lovely sales assistant colour matched me to Mont Blanc, which is one of the lightest shades with pink undertones. Described as a "glowing, natural, radiant finish foundation" that is non-comedogenic with no SPF, means it's one I've wanted to try for ages. It's advertised for normal to dry skin and I have combination to oily skin, but I've read lots of reviews from combination/oily skinned people saying it works well for them. There is actually a Sheer Matte Foundation for oily skin, though I've never seen anyone really talk about it on Twitter or come across reviews of it. 

Sheer Glow is of a medium consistency and applies and blends beautifully with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. The word "sheer" in the name is quite misleading because this has medium coverage, but is extremely buildable so can provide fuller coverage too with a second layer. The finish is described as "satin matte", which is pretty accurate; Sheer Glow doesn't give you dewy or glowy skin, but it does give the skin a subtle luminosity as if it's come within and looks very natural. I always use a primer before applying foundation (currently the Laura Mercier Oil Free Primer) and tend to powder once through the day. Bearing all that in mind, I get around 8 hours wear before noticing fading around my t-zone. Importantly, I didn't seem to get any breakouts from wearing this foundation.

All in all I am very impressed with NARS Sheer Glow and am very tempted to make a purchase - this  has wedding-day-makeup potential! I am also intrigued now by Sheer Matte and how the two compare, so I may see if I can pick up a sample of this to try. 

Have you tried either NARS Sheer Glow or Sheer Matte? I'd love to hear your experiences with either of these foundations. If you can recommend any other non-comedogenic, SPF free, full coverage foundations then please do!

Beauty Bird xx

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