Wednesday, 26 November 2014

First Impressions: Skinlix Sweet Orange and Lemon Organic Body Scrub and Argan Oil

Skinlix is a newly launched organic skincare and bodycare brand, based in Lancashire. Their products are handmade and are free from preservatives, SLS, parabens, artificial colourings and any harsh chemicals. Skinlix's aim is to use as few ingredients as they can, omitting the use of water so that the ingredients are as effective as possible. The product packaging is also chosen with the environment in mind; recyclable glass jars and tags, which are attached with hemp. The tags are very cute - I love the butterfly design! I have been trying some samples of Skinlix's Sweet Orange and Lemon Body Scrub and Sweet Orange and Lemon Argan Oil. They're not quite big enough to do a full review, however certainly enough to give me a decent first impression.

Full Size £13.00 for 120g
This scrub is made of raw sugar granules encased in a mixture of Argan, Sweet Orange and Lemon oils. The latter two give the scrub a sweet but delicate citrus scent. I like scrubby formulas that you can really feel on your skin and this doesn't disappoint. The essential oils stop it feeling too harsh and prevent the sugar from dissolving too quickly. 

Full Size £13.00 for 50ml
I always assumed Argan Oil was just for hair, but this one can also be used on your face, body and nails. As the bottle is open topped I found it difficult to dispense the right amount for hair, because you really don't need much with this concentrated formula. (NB The full size comes with a pipette.) Instead I used it as a body oil and cuticle oil. It's quite a dry oil, so it sinks into the skin super quickly leaving no trace of residue behind; instead I was left with nourished, softened skin. I also love the fact it is has the same gorgeous scent as the scrub.

I really enjoyed using these two Skinlix products and I definitely felt the benefits of using natural, concentrated formulas after initial use. The full sizes have been added to my wishlist! Plus I think they are very good value for money. I am especially tempted to treat myself as Skinlix are currently offering 10% all their products with the code BLOG. Other products in the range include bath milks, soaps, natural sponges and soy candles, which you can view here.

Have you tried any products by Skinlix? Do you love trying out new, homegrown brands?

Beauty Bird xx

P.S. This post contains PR samples. This does not affect my opinion of the products.

[Follow Me On: Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram]


Monday, 24 November 2014

Review: Lush Butterbear Bath Bomb

All ready for Christmas, Lush has taken their standard Butterball Bath Bomb and transformed it into the cutest, little polar bear - Butterbear. I haven't tried the original, but I just had to pick up this version for only £1.95.

Butterbear has only a small list of ingredients; the main ones being Cocoa Butter, Ylang Ylang Oil and Cocoa Powder, which equals a gorgeous, buttery vanilla scent. Lush say it's perfect for a creamy soft bath that nourishes and protects your skin. 

If you like your Lush bath bombs to be bright and colourful, whizzing around the bath like a rocket, then you'll be pretty underwhelmed by Butterbear. It fizzes softly and delicately with no colour, just releasing little pieces of cocoa powder as it breaks apart. I usually include a photo of my Lush baths, but there really wasn't anything to see and I didn't manage to capture it fizzing well at all. Once in the bath, you can actually feel the Ylang Ylang Oil on your skin - Butterbear equals one seriously moisturising soak! This is the most softening and hydrating bath bomb I've tried, plus I love the creamy scent that lingers on me for ages afterwards. 

There's no denying that Butterbear is a cutie and I imagine it's one that would be suited to more sensitive skins as well. As it's so cheap I would definitely pick up another, though I think next time I'd combine it with another bath product so I could have the benefit of bubbles and nourishment! 

Have you tried Butterbear? Which other Lush Christmas releases are you loving?

Beauty Bird xx

[Follow Me On: Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram]


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Christmas Treats from The Body Shop

Every year The Body Shop releases a trio of festive scents in a range of products, just in time for Christmas. I think this year the scents are absolute winners as there's something for everyone; the rich and creamy Vanilla Brûlée, the light and sweet Glazed Apple and the fruity and festive Frosted Cranberry. My favourite has to be Glazed Apple - it's not a scent you come across very often, but I find that I want to smell of it all the time! In each scent The Body Shop have multi-product gift sets plus lots of individual products, including shower gel, body butter, lip balm, hand cream, eau de toilette and bath jelly to name a few! There's some very cute limited edition accessories and makeup released just for Christmas too. I have been getting myself in the Christmas spirit and been using a selection of these products to give you the lowdown!

Bob The Polar Bear Bath Sponge - £4.00
How cute is this?! There's also a Perry The Penguin Bath Sponge too. I don't tend to use bath sponges or lilies much, but this does really help improve the lather of shower gel. Plus having Bob hanging up in your shower is one way of adding some festive decoration to your bathroom!

Glazed Apple Bath Jelly 250ml - £10.00
I love bath products, but I've never tried a bath jelly before. This tub comes with a little wooden scoop to dispense the jelly out of the tub and under running water. The scoop is actually really handy because the formula is so thick and solid. I tend to put a good six or so scoops into the bath and this creates a nice layer of foamy bubbles. The scent is also just right; it's not overwhelming but it's strong enough to keep you comforted and relaxed. I wish it lingered on my skin afterwards though!

Vanilla Brûlée Body Butter 200ml - £13.00
You can't go wrong with a body butter from The Body Shop. The formula of this is thick but creamy, absorbing easily into the skin. Along with the rich scent, this makes using the body butter feel like a really indulgent treat. With the main ingredients being Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Glycerin, my skin is left soft and hydrated.

Glazed Apple Hand Cream 30ml - £3.50
When I've applied the Glazed Apple Hand Cream I can't stop smelling my hands afterwards! The formula of this is lighter and thinner though than I thought it would be - it's more like a creamy gel. I don't think this hand cream will be intensive enough for me when the temperature really drops, because I get very dry hands, but for now it's doing a great job. It absorbs and dries quickly too and doesn't leave any greasy or oily residue.

Frosted Cranberry Lip Balm 20ml - £4.00
I think you get very good value for money with this tin of balm - it's huge! As the colour of the balm is red in the tin, I assumed this would have a red tint to it on the lips, however it just gives a subtle, clear sheen. Although I think it would have been nice for this to have some colour, I can understand that just being a clear balm will make it appeal to a wider range of people. I adore the fruity scent and the main ingredient, Grape Seed Oil, equals soft and moisturised lips. Like the hand cream though I don't think this will be intensive enough in the bitter cold.

Lip and Cheek Doll - £10.00
Although the limited edition packaging isn't particularly festive, I do think it completely transforms this lip and cheek stain, which normally comes in a plain, rectangular tube. It's superbly cute and quirky and would look great sat on a dressing table. The stain is a sheer, rosy red, which unfortunately didn't work on my super pale cheeks, however it didn't budge all day! The consistency is quite thin and it dries super quickly, so it can be a bit difficult to work with. On my lips this meant I found it hard to get an even wash of colour. Unfortunately this product just isn't for me, but I'm sure for someone else it would be a delight to use. 

To view the full Christmas range click here

Have you tried any of the new Christmas products from The Body Shop? Which of the three limited edition scents is your favourite?

Beauty Bird xx

P.S. This post contains PR samples. This does not affect my opinion of the products.

[Follow Me On: Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram]


Friday, 21 November 2014

Non-Beauty Wishlist #2

I haven't veered away from beauty based posts recently, so I thought I'd share with you my current wishlist of everything non-beauty and it's a real mixture! 

I read Katie Piper's first book, Beautiful, about 3 years ago. It's a heart breaking story (she was the victim of an acid attack) but also truly inspirational. In her second book she continues telling her journey and I can't wait to get my hands on it and read it.

Now it's darker earlier I'm pretty much lighting candles and my oil/wax burner every night. The candles I have at the moment are in small jars, so I'm getting through them quite quickly. The large jars by Yankee Candle last for ages and the scent Appleberry Cinnamon jumped out at me straight away. It's sounds delicious and the perfect scent for this time of year. 

I've eyed up the infamous NutriBullet many a time, but at the £100.00 mark its way out of my budget. This Breville version seems like a good budget dupe in that it comes with two drinking bottles that connect directly to the blender, meaning it's quicker to use and less to wash up afterwards! I really want to start drinking smoothies and healthy, raw juices and this is such an affordable way to do it.

I've wanted an initial necklace for awhile and saw this one in Lily Pebbles' recent New York haul video. It comes in gold or silver and I like how the initial is on a little round disc - very cute but still very classy! The only problem is it doesn't seem to be easy to get hold of in the UK. I found it on an American website called Nordstrom (link above) that ship to the UK for around £10.00. This is definitely one for my Christmas list!

5. Taylor Swift - 1989 - £13.00
There's just something about Taylor Swift isn't there? Since her Fearless album I've loved all her single releases enough to want her albums - and that doesn't happen very often! (Other exceptions include Kelly Clarkson, Beyoncé and Ellie Goulding.) Shake it Off has been in my head intermittently and I've seen lots of people on Twitter raving about this album. 

What's currently on your non-beauty wishlist? Do you have any of the products mentioned above?

Beauty Bird xx

[Follow Me On: Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram]


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

5 Mini Reviews: Amazing Cosmetics, REN, Redken, DELAROM and Nailtiques

I love it when brands offer mini or travel size versions of their products, effectively meaning you can try-before-going-ahead-and-buying-the-full-size. I've been using quite a few minis at the moment, so today I'm sharing my thoughts on each product and whether I would buy the full size.

"It's effective technology and highly pigmented formula is designed to conceal dark circles, blemishes, sun damage and broken capillaries; it's the ultimate skin perfector."
This sample kit comes with five shade samples of the Amazing Concealer, plus the Amazing Concealer Brush. The lightest shade in the kit is Fair Golden; I would really need Fair for my super pale skin, but this just about works for me with some careful blending. I've only been using this on my dark circles as the concealer contains ingredients that would break out the rest of my face, such as Talc, Paraffin Liquidium and Lanolin. This has a really thick consistency but blends out so well with the warmth of my fingers, that only the tiniest amount is needed. It gives brilliant coverage, but does need setting with a powder as otherwise it has a tendency to slip. I used the brush to cover imperfections with a different concealer and the small brush head makes it fantastic for pinpoint application and blending.
Verdict: I generally prefer concealers that I can use for both dark circles and breakouts, especially if they're on the pricey side (a 6ml tube of this costs £19.50). However the coverage is brilliant so I am considering it.

"A potent bio active peel mask designed to renew the complexion, reduce the appearance of fine lines and dramatically improve skin tone."
I love exfoliating masks! This one contains natural Fruit Acids to remove dead skin cells to reveal more radiant skin. The formula is a smooth, orange gel with a fruity scent that you leave on for ten minutes before removing with a face cloth. I try and use this once a week in conjunction with other masks. I find that it helps to de-congest my skin and makes it look fresher and brighter. The REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask doesn't feel uncomfortable and it isn't too harsh on my skin either.
Verdict: I couldn't be without a mask like this, so REN's offering is a definite contender for a full size exfoliating mask purchase... the other being the Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel. Decisions decisions!

Redken Iron Shape 11 Finishing Thermal Spray*
"A thermal spray designed to strengthen and protect dry hair from heat styling tools, leaving hair smooth and soft."
I don't straighten my hair much, but since my hair's got a bit longer I've been giving waving and curling a go more often, so this thermal spray for dry hair from Redken has been really handy. I'll admit I've never actually used one just for dry hair before and I'm really impressed with how it prevents dryness and keeps my hair soft. The only thing I've struggled with is the application - you only need the lightest spray of this otherwise it sticks the hair together and makes it feel super tacky. I've had to run a brush through my hair many times after using this spray as I've used too much. I'm not sure if this is the typical formula of a thermal spray or not... let me know if you've experienced this!
Verdict: To be honest the formula is putting me off buying a bigger bottle of this.

"A nourishing treat, the smooth textured mask combines hydrating active ingredients to enhance the radiance of your complexion and defend against unruly dryness. For normal to dry skin."
One of the ingredients of the Acquaconfort Mask is Pomegranate Sterols, which is meant to hydrate and strengthen the skin's hydrolipidic barrier. It also gives it a lovely, fruity scent. This mask is just like applying a creamy moisturiser; I almost forgot it was on my skin! DELAROM recommend keeping this on for 5-10 minutes, but I would imagine this working well for seriously dry skin if left on for a lot longer or even overnight. It definitely adds a plumping boost of hydration - it's nice to use after a clay mask or exfoliating mask like the REN one mentioned above.
Verdict: My skin generally isn't dry or dehydrated, so on its own this doesn't really wow me, but in conjunction with other face masks it comes into its own. I like it, but at £22.80 for the full size and for the way I'd use it, I think I'll see if I can pick something cheaper instead.

"Glycerin and aloe vera enriched to soften and heal cracked or hardened cuticles. Can also be applied to elbows, knees and calloused areas on the feet."
Oh I do like a good multi-purpose product! The formula of this is a white, creamy gel that is a joy to smooth over my skin and nails, absorbing quickly and leaving a velvety softness. Because it's so creamy you don't need to use much; I can see this little pot lasting me quite awhile. After using the Nailtiques Cuticle and Skin Gel it's really easy to tidy up my cuticles and it helps to combat the dryness I often suffer with around my nails.
Verdict: I like this an awful lot. It's so easy and effortless to use, that I'll definitely be investing in the full size.

Have you tried any of the above products?

Beauty Bird xx

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

[Follow Me On: Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram]