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.

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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

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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.

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Monday, 17 November 2014

Review: Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

When trying to decide on which rosehip based facial oil to buy to improve the appearance of my spot scars and marks, it seemed only sensible to buy what is claimed to be the most concentrated Rosehip Oil on the market - the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil.

The Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil uses fruit oil instead of the more commonly used seed oil, as the regenerative properties double and the level of carotenoids (anti-oxidants) are five times higher. It's these carotenoids which give the oil its deep orange colour - the stronger the colour, the more anti-oxidants in the oil. Rosehip Oil also contains Omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 and Trans-Retinoic Acid, which converts into Vitamin A. These ingredients boost the skin's natural healing process, helping to approve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, sun damage and fine lines.  Pai have also added in 100% natural Vitamin E; this helps to maintain the condition of the oil but also reduces the photo-ageing effects of UVA light. It costs £20.00 for a 30ml bottle and is suitable for all skintypes.

I've been using the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil for about six months now, around 4-5 times a week at nights and am only halfway through the bottle. I apply 3-4 drops after serum, taking time to massage and pat it in, sometimes applying a moisturiser over the top if I feel I need it. It also works really well mixed in with moisturiser, especially the Kosmea Replenishing Moisture Cream, which also contains Rosehip Oil. Once applied, this Pai oil really packs a hydrating and nourishing punch, which boosts and brightens my skin. I tend to work a little more of the oil into any spotty areas as it really helps to calm and soothe the redness and inflammation. It did take me quite awhile to get used the strong, natural scent and the slightly heavier formula (in comparison to the Antipodes Divine Face Oil). However it was worth getting used to, as when using the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil in conjunction with regular exfoliation, it does help to improve the appearance of my scars and marks over time. It's certainly not a quick fix, but using it mostly in place of a regular moisturiser at night, the horrible patches of red do disappear a lot quicker than they did beforehand.

Don't think that you have to have marks or scars to use the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil - any skintype would benefit from it's nourishing, general skin boosting properties. I can see this oil always having a place on my bedside table! Available to purchase online here.

Have you tried the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil? Which facial oils do you love?

Beauty Bird xx

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Friday, 14 November 2014

Organic Surge Christmas Beauty Bloggers Bundle 2014

Organic Surge are back again this year with the Christmas Beauty Bloggers Bundle, featuring four products that have been blogger favourites in 2014. The bundle is worth £38.88 but retails at £35.50. This is a great selection of products that give the perfect overview of what Organic Surge offer, whether you're already a fan of Organic Surge or have been wanting to try the brand for awhile. It would also make a great present for a skincare lover, or could be split out as stocking fillers.

Hot Cloth Cleanser 150ml
"Natural, brightening hot cloth cleanser gently removes dirt and impurities, harnessing the highest quality essential oils and moisturisers to care and clean to fully rejuvenate skin."

Unfortunately I can't use this cleanser as it contains Cocoa Butter, which has a tendency to break me out. However one of my favourite bloggers Evelyn from We Were Raised by Wolves reviewed this awhile ago and said it has a thick, buttery texture, which makes it very luxurious to use and it removes all of her makeup instantly. 

Spiced Lily Foaming Bath 250ml
"Contains essential oils of sensual Patchouli and spicy Clove-bud, which help to de-stress and revive body and mind, while natural aloe vera soothes the skin. Skin conditioning Glycerine actively attracts moisture to the skin, allowing it to remain smooth, nourished and hydrated."

This has to be one of my all time favourite scents - it's so comforting and warming; sweet but with a musky undertone, which is just perfect for this time of year. Being a SLS free formula it doesn't produce as much foam and bubbles as ones that do contain SLS, however it does leave my skin beautifully soft.

Overnight Sensation Night Cream 50ml
"Restores, revitalises and re-hydrates all skin types. Bursting with intensive, natural moisturisers; Shea Butter, Aloe vera and Glycerine, to lovingly restore skin while you sleep. Plus calming Lavender Flower Oil allows you to wake up to supple skin and a healthy looking, more radiant complexion."

Thanks to my acne prone skin this is unfortunately another product I can't use. However another favourite blog of mine, Miss Makeup Magpie written by Gemma, reviewed this and said the rich and thick formula made it perfect for her dry and dehydrated skin, giving it a real moisture boost overnight.

Gardeners Hand Cream 75ml
"A fast working hand cream for hard working hands. The quick drying formula makes it suitable for use with or without gloves."

I don't do any gardening - ever. Yet I really love this hand cream; it has a rick, thick formula, which dries super quickly and leaves my hands feeling nourished and velvety. Ingredients include Shea Butter, Coconut Butter, Aloe Vera and Peruvian Inca Inchi Essential Oil It also has a lovely herb and lime scent. 

The Christmas Beauty Bloggers Bundle can be purchased online direct from Organic Surge here.

What do you think of this year's bundle? What Organic Surge products have you been loving recently?

Beauty Bird xx

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