Friday, 22 August 2014

The British Tag

I saw this tag on Lily Pebbles' YouTube channel - it seems to be more of a YouTube tag, but I loved it, so I've decided it to do it on a blog post. I have a cup of tea in hand, so without further ado...

1. How many cups of tea do you have a day? How many sugars?
I try not to drink too much tea, but I have one or two cups every day. I have half a sugar, which is very specific I know, but I just can't make the step to no sugar. It just doesn't taste right! I absolutely love a good cup of tea.

2. Favourite part of your roast?
It probably depends where I'm having the roast, but usually it's either the yorkshire pudding or the roast potatoes. My other half's Mum makes the nicest, fluffiest yorkshire puddings, but my friend in Cornwall makes the best, crispiest roasties ever. I also love roast parnsips and courgettes. Ok I'm seriously craving a roast now...

3. Favourite dunking biscuit?
Ooh that's difficult, but I think it would have to be Malted Milks. Followed closely by Custard Creams and Bourbons!

4. Favourite quintessentially British pastime?
I'm not sure about this one... I do like a nice afternoon/cream tea, you know where you have scones and those little finger sandwiches, though I don't do that very often. Does a cider down the pub count?!

5. Favourite word?
Again this is something that didn't instantly come to mind, because I don't really think about where the words I say come from. I quite like "the bees knees". I say "bugger" quite a lot, which I think is very British!

6. Cockney rhyme slang?
I don't use or know much cockney rhyming slang, but the one I do is "Jack Jones", which means "alone" - as in "I've been sat on my Jack Jones for an hour!".

7. Favourite sweet?
To be honest I'm not too fussed on sweets (I'd rather have biscuits!) but I do like fruit pastilles!

8. What would your pub be called?
It would have to be named after my dog - she's a Springer Spaniel called Daisy, so perhaps The Daisy Inn or something more traditional sounding like the The Springers Arms.

9. No.1 British person?
One famous person that came to mind instantly was David Jason. I grew up watching Open All Hours and Only Fools and Horses with my family and later on A Touch of Frost. I still watch Only Fools and Horses repeats on Sky now and they never get old! He's a great actor. Also I have to mention Ant and Dec - my favourite TV duo!

10. Favourite shop?
Well shop wise it has to be Boots for everything beauty! For affordable clothing and accessories I love Primark and New Look.

11. What British song pops into your head?
It may be obvious and cheesy, but The Spice Girls! Every time I read or hear this question all I can think is, "I tell you what I want, what I really, really want..."!

12. Marmite.
I'm guessing the question here is do you love it or hate it... and I hate it! It smells horrible and looks like tar. Yuck.

I hope you enjoyed reading this tag - if you decide to do this, whether you live in Britain or just love all things British, then let me know and leave your link below!

In the meantime, I'd love to hear your answer to my favourite question in this tag - what would you call your pub??

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Review: Organic Surge Sweet Blossom Body Cream

Many of you will already know that I'm a fan of Organic Surge products - they contain lots of natural ingredients, they're seriously affordable, the scents are unusual but delicious and everything I've tried does the job effectively. 

The latest product in my Organic Surge stash is the Sweet Blossom Body Cream, which is 99% natural and costs £7.50 for a 150ml tub. It contains super nourishing ingredients like Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter, as well as Aloe Vera to improve skin condition and tone. Orange and Cedarwood Essential Oils also feature to be soothing to the skin whilst providing a really unique scent.

The Sweet Blossom Body Cream is not as thick and heavy as a body butter, but isn't too light either. The medium consistency means it absorbs quickly but at the same time hydrates and softens my skin. I think super dry skin would possibly need something more intensive, but it would suit really well as a general, every day moisturiser. Organic Surge have another winning scent on their hands here too - it's citrusy but with an earthy tone, which really gives the scent some depth and stops it being overly sweet. It lingers for ages too.

You can find out more about the Organic Surge Sweet Blossom Body Cream here. The shower gel from the same range is now on my wishlist!

Are you a fan of Organic Surge? Have you tried their Sweet Blossom Body Cream?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Monday, 18 August 2014

Review: No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter

The No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter caused a bit of a stir in the blogging world when it was released and as a result it was always out of stock when I went to purchase it. I finally got my hands on it not too long ago - but was it worth it?

The No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter comes in a round, compact tube, housing the cream highlighting stick inside, which also has a rounded end for direct application. It is designed to create "the illusion of younger, dewy skin" on the cheeks, brow bones, centre of the nose and cupid's bow. The highlighter is a shimmery nude with a very subtle pink tone to it, which should make it suitable for a range of skintones. It retails at £9.95 but can be bought cheaper if No7 have one of their money off makeup and skincare vouchers available.

I get on really well with the No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter, mainly because it is so easy, quick and simple to use. The stick is for me the perfect size for bringing radiance to the cheekbones, which is the only place I tend to use it; it's not too thick nor too thin. I simply swipe it lightly across my cheekbones for a subtle glow, which is especially lovely on those bright, sunny days, then soften out the edges a little with my finger. The formula isn't the creamiest I've come across, which may be due to the fact it comes in stick form, so I would advise doing any blending straight away as it does dry fairly quickly. I get around 6 hours wear out of this on the average day.

In summary, I would definitely recommend picking up the No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter if you're on the lookout for a cream formulation for summer. If you prefer a bit of bronze on your skin, there is also now a Instant Radiance Bronzing Highlighter too. You can check them out here.

Have you tried the No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter? What are your favourite highlighting products?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sundays Are For... Reading

I absolutely love reading and have done ever since I was little with my Peter and Jane books (anyone else remember them?). These days I'm so busy that I don't tend to give myself as much time to read as I used to, but there are times I just want to bury my head in my book and take myself away from everything else. In my opinion there's nothing better than making time to stay in bed on a Sunday morning with a book and a cup of tea after a long, busy week. It makes me feel relaxed and de-stressed. I've been reading quite a few books recently, so I thought I'd do a post away from beauty and share the books I'm loving right now.

I've been trying to improve my diet recently and although I don't intend to fully go vegan, I've been taking inspiration from vegan recipes and websites to help me with cleaner eating (a diet based on whole foods rather than processed foods). I'm also trying to significantly reduce the amount of dairy and gluten in my diet.

The writer, Angela Liddon, started off with a blog to document her journey into a vegan diet and now has over a million visits to her blog every month and her own book! Going vegan was her own choice and one that developed gradually, so I like how she appreciates and acknowledges the difficulty in making the change - she isn't preaching, she just wants to inspire her readers and share healthy but tasty recipes.

The first chapter covers "My Natural Foods Pantry" so I now have a list of ingredients to buy for an impending trip to Wholefoods, so this is really useful. Each recipe has a gorgeous photo of the finished result and Angela tells you what the recipe is free from e.g. gluten, nuts, soy. Angela also suggests ingredient substitutions where possible and the recipes are easy to read and clearly laid out. I haven't looked through the whole book yet, but I am already inspired by recipes such as the Effortless Vegan Overnight Oats, the Classic Green Monster (smoothie), Grilled Portobello Burger with Sun-Dried Tomato Kale-Hemp Pesto and the 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta. 

Allegiant by Veronica Roth - £7.00 from Amazon

Now to a fiction book, Allegiant, which is the third book in the Divergent trilogy (following Divergent and Insurgent). I really don't want to give away much about what happens, but I really recommend this trilogy if you want a series of books to get swept away with. It's a bit of a generalisation, but if you liked The Hunger Games trilogy, then it's likely you'll like this too. (Though I don't think it's quite as good as The Hunger Games.) It's a dystopian, post-apocalyptic novel set in the future in Chicago, America, where society is divided into five different factions, which is based around five different sets of values and aptitudes. It is told from the view of the main character, Tris. The first book Divergent has been made into a film, which is now out on DVD. I watched it Friday night and it was really good!

I'm a big believer in the power of scents and the notable difference they make on your mental state, so I found this introductory book into aromatherapy really interesting. According to the book, aromatherapy is "the use of natural ingredients, such as essentials oils and herbal extracts, to create treatments which promote mental and physical well-being". 

The book goes into detail about all the different essential oils from geranium to lemongrass to tea tree, covering the history of the essential oil, the suggested usage and application, the toxicity of each oil and whether it needs to be blended with a carrier oil due to its strength. One of the ones I want to purchase now is Eucalyptus - it can help clear congestion, boost the immune system, be used as an antiseptic treatment, banish feelings of mental tiredness, be added to laundry for a fresh feeling and can ease oily skin and acne when added to a base cream or lotion. How amazing does that sound?! I've also learnt facts like if you add essential oils to your bath, a tablespoon of milk will help the oil disperse. So interesting!

The back of the book suggests some blends for physical aromatherapy e.g. treating headaches and reducing dandruff and pyschological aromatherapy e.g. relieving feelings of disappointment and promoting feelings of confidence. The glossary is also useful, as is the space for notes at the back of the book, which I actually made use out of!

Have you read any of these books? What books are you reading right now? I'd love some suggestions!

Beauty Bird xx

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


Thursday, 14 August 2014

5 Budget Skincare Picks Under £15.00

I have to admit that I do have a bit of a penchant for high end skincare, however there is some fantastic budget skincare out there too, which work just as effectively without breaking the bank. Obviously the word "budget" means different things to different people, but in this case for me it's around £15.00 and under.

The Cleanser - The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil 200ml - £10.00
I have only recently added this to my skincare stash, but I am a big fan of this cleansing oil. I use it as my first cleanse to rid my skin of the makeup and dirt from the day. Just massage into dry skin and your makeup basically dissolves in front of your eyes; it's amazing. Mascara isn't a problem for it either. The formula is silky, soft and not at all greasy - add water and it emulisifies into a thin, milky liquid for easy rinsing. Full review here.

The Hydrating Toner - Organic Surge Orange Flower Toner 200ml - £6.50
I still can't believe that this toner is just £6.50 considering it's 98.89% natural and free from alcohol, parabens and SLS. I use this to hydrate my skin after using Pixi Glow Tonic, which is an exfoliating toner. As well as being hydrating, this is really soothing and refreshing on my skin and preps it ready for the next step in my skincare routine. You can read my full review here.

The Moisturiser - Super Facialist by Una Brennan Tea Flower Mattifying Moisturiser 75ml - £12.99
This is my highest priced budget pick. I have an oily t-zone and when if it goes through a super oily stage I replace my normal moisturiser for this mattifying one by Una Brennan. It re-balances my t-zone and keeps the oil under control using watercress, horsetail and nettle extracts. It also contains Salicylic Acid, which doesn't prevent breakouts but does seem to keep existing ones in check. Full review here.

The Face Mask - Laidbare For Richer For Porer Facial Masque 50ml* - £6.99
I love a good triple threat facial, but if I'm in a rush I'll use this Laidbare one, which seems to do it all. It contains Kaolin Clay and Liquorice to draw out impurities and reduce inflammation, little Corn Granules to exfoliate as you apply and remove and Shea Butter to hydrate. I especially love this if my skin is feeling oily and problematic as it leaves it calmed and re-balanced.

The Micellar Water - L'Oreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution 200ml - £4.99
If you prefer to remove your makeup before cleansing, this L'Oreal micellar water is a great budget buy. It doesn't contain alcohol or perfume but contains Glycerin for hydration. Little molecules of oil suspended in the water makes this fantastic at lifting the makeup and dirt off your skin rather than just moving it around your face. 

Which budget skincare products do you love? I'd love to hear your recommendations!

Beauty Bird xx