Tuesday, 31 December 2013

My Favourite Skincare Discoveries of 2013

For me, 2013 was the year of skincare. I completely overhauled my skincare routine and went from something very basic to something with a lot more products, which has been good for my skin but not so good for my purse! These have been my favourite skincare discoveries of 2013.

I never thought that I'd use a face oil on my oily/combination skin, but the Antipodes Divine Face Oil (review) is probably my favourite skincare discovery of them all. The light, non-greasy oil contains lots of nourishing, natural ingredients, which makes my skin hydrated, re-balanced, super soft and is amazing for soothing angry spots and making the scars disappear much faster.

2013 was the year I discovered toner; both exfoliating and hydrating. The exfoliating toner came in the form of the infamous Pixi Glow Tonic (review), which has replaced my need for a manual exfoliator. I apply it with a cotton pad twice a day and it not only works on any annoying dryness, but it has massively improved how often I get those big, cyst-like spots. 

My hydating toner is the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer (review). I spray it over my face after using the Pixi Glow Tonic and throughout the day as needed. It contains lots of naturally active ingredients and not a splash of alcohol, which hydrates and refreshes my skin. It also has a lovely subtle floral scent.

I always carry a lip balm in my handbag and the best one ever has to be the sphere shaped EOS Lip Balm, which I have in Summer Fruit (review), Lemon Drop and Sweet Mint. They contain 95% organic and 100% natural ingredients such as Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E. They smell/taste amazing and are really moisturising.

Considering I started the year with no serums in my skincare collection, I now have about four or five. I chose the Elemental Herbology Cell Food Serum* (review) because its effect is so noticeable and quick. It is designed to boost radiance and vitality with plenty of active ingredients and anti-oxidants and it certainly makes my skin look brighter and more radiant - it's amazing! 

A product I've harped on about quite a bit on the blog and Twitter is the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask (review). I just love it. It has one of the best scents ever and not only is it intensely moisturising but the antibacterial manuka honey is brilliant on little blemishes and whiteheads. It's a fabulous multi-tasker and an alternative to using a clay mask and then a separate hydrating mask.

Finally, it has to be the L'Oreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution (review). This is the first and only micellar water I've tried, but I am definitely a convert! It's so effective at removing makeup and and the gentle solution doesn't contain any alcohol or artifical fragrance, so it doesn't leave my skin dry or irritated afterwards.

So these have been my favourite skincare discoveries of 2013! What have been your favourites? Are any of the above products on your list?

Beauty Bird xx

*Items with a star indicate that they were originally given to me as a PR sample. 


Sunday, 29 December 2013

My Favourite Makeup Discoveries of 2013

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a good Christmas? I've had a bit of a blogging break this past week, which has been nice, but now I'm definitely ready to get back into it! I really enjoy reading yearly favourites posts, so today I'm going to share with you my favourite makeup discoveries of 2013. (I will do a skincare discoveries post too.)

In 2013 I finally went to a Bobbi Brown counter and purchased their Corrector in Extra Light Bisque (review), which is probably my absolute favourite makeup discovery because I couldn't be without it now. I have circles under my eyes which are quite dark and pronounced, and this works so well at neutralising the dark aspect. The formula is hydrating and blends easily, providing a great base for concealer.

One of my beauty resolutions I set at the beginning of 2013 was to try and sort out my weak nails. At the same time I was also struggling with really bad peeling nail varnish, meaning it would only last a few days maximum. Dr LeWinn's Renunail Nail Strengthener* (review) solved both of these problems for me. I first used it as a 4 week intensive treatment and I now use it as a base coat. A star product.

Another of my beauty resolutions was to sort out my brows. I had them professionally plucked for the first time and then discovered a fab brow beauty product in the form of Benefit Brow Zings in Light (review). It's a little set with wax, powder, mirror, mini tweezers and two mini brushes. It's expensive but the powder is the perfect colour for my brows (something I struggled to find) and just gives them super definition and shape.

The next product I haven't been using very long, but I've decided to include it because since buying it my beloved Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer has been made redundant, which is a big thing! It is the Seventeen Stay Time 18 Hour Concealer in Extra Fair. The shade suits my pale skin perfectly and the formula is seriously creamy, which together equals natural coverage for both blemishes and dark circles. 

In the summer I became a cream blusher convert, thanks to the Bourjois Cream Blusher, which I have in 02 Healthy Glow (coral peach - review) and 03 Rose Tender (soft pink). The cream to powder formula lasts all day on my oily/combination skin and it's so, so easy to apply and blend, especially with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush. I love how natural it looks too.

Unfortunately I haven't gotten round to fully reviewing my next favourite discovery, the ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base, which I received in a Love Me Beauty Box* quite awhile ago. It is a fantastic product and eyeshadow never goes on my eyes unless this is underneath. It neutralises any discolouration on the eyelid with a slight shimmer, makes my eyeshadow last through an 8 hour working day and makes the colour of my eyeshadow brighter and more intense.

Finally, products that need little introduction - MAC Eyeshadow and Lipstick. I discovered the lipstick first and now have four - Hue, Plumful (review), Viva Glam V (review) and Creme Cup (review). I am eternally grateful to fellow blogger Clare for sending me my first MAC eyeshadow in All That Glitters (review) complete with a quad, which I hope to fill up in 2014! I just think that they are all of such a high quality due to the formulas and pigmentation.

So these have been my favourite makeup discoveries of 2013! What have been your favourites? Are any of the products above on your list?

Beauty Bird xx

*Items with a star indicate that they were originally given to me as a PR sample.


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


I'm really looking forward to the next couple of days and spending lots of time with family and friends - this afternoon I'm meeting up with some old friends for a Christmas meal, tomorrow I'm at my fiance's Mum's house for Christmas dinner and my Mum's for the evening. Then Boxing Day I'll be seeing my Gran in the morning and  going to my Dad's for dinner. Lots of good food and hopefully some drinks will be consumed!! Can't wait!

What are your plans for Christmas?
Hope you all have a lovely day tomorrow, whoever you're with and whatever you do!

Beauty Bird xx

Sunday, 22 December 2013

My Christmas Candle Collection

I love candles and not a night goes by at the moment without me lighting a couple of candles. In the run up to Christmas I seem to have amassed quite a few festive candles and they are really lifting my Christmas spirits! (Warning: picture heavy post!)

Lily Flame Christmas Spice Candle - £8.50 - Link
This is the first Lily Flame candle I've tried and it's one of my favourite scents - cinnamon. This is described as "a warm blend of cinnamon and cloves" and comes in a tin in the most festive colours - red and gold. I love the cute little coloured wax squares that eventually melt as the candle burns. The scent is beautiful, strong but not overwhelming and according to Lily Flame, I should be able to enjoy burning this for about 35 hours.

Yankee Candle 5 Votive Christmas Gift Set - £7.50 - Link 
I bought this from Dobbies Garden Centre and according to their website it can be bought in their stores only. If you can find it I recommend picking it up - it's such an affordable way to try 5 different Yankee Christmas scents; Christmas Eve, Snow in Love, Apple and Pine Needle, Christmas Cookie and Red Apple Wreath. It would make great stocking filler for a candle lover. I think my favourite has to be Christmas Eve - it's fruity but in a really festive way! 

NEOM Organics Harmonise Home Candle* - £39.50 - Link
The Harmonise candle from NEOM Organics is a blend of pine, cedarwood and eucalyptus, a gorgeously woody scent that reminds me of Christmas trees! I think this is one the men would definitely be a fan of too! Although NEOM candles are expensive, they have holistic properties (this one is to treat tiredness and encourage focus), they contain only vegetable wax and pure essential oils for clean and even burning and up to 50 hours of burn time. Plus they come in the most lovely packaging as seen in the picture. 

What are your favourite Christmas candles and/or scents? I'd love some recommendations!

Beauty Bird xx

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


Friday, 20 December 2013

NOTD: Penguin Nails

This is the first nail art I've done in ages! It takes me ages to do, so I often find I either don't have the time or energy, but at the weekend I made some time because I was feeling quite inspired (thank you Pinterest!). I even managed to rope in the other half to help with my right hand! The penguins are by no means perfect - one has a runny nose bless him and there are a few smudges here and there. But I still love these cute little guys and I've had quite a few compliments on them.

The products I used were:

Base Coat: Kate Spade for Nails Inc in New York Noir
Eyes: Models Own Wah Nail Art Pens in White and Black
Body: Barry M in Matte White
Beak and Feet: Color Club in Wham! Pow! (I think - Color Club don't have shade names on the bottle)
Various nail art brushes

What nail art is inspiring you at the moment? I think I may try some snowman or snowflake nail art next!

Beauty Bird xx



Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Love Me Beauty Box December 2013

If you haven't yet heard of Love Me Beauty, let me introduce you to this beauty box with a difference. Each month you get to choose from three menu options - so you know exactly what you're expecting; no surprises but no disappointments either! You also don't have to buy the Love Me Beauty Box on a pre-paid subscription basis and can buy it on a one-off basis whenever a menu takes your fancy. However 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions are available.

This month it's the Christmas edition of the Love Me Beauty Box and I chose Menu One. It would have been nice to have had some festive packaging for the Christmas edition or perhaps some festive colours.

  Lord and Berry Intensity Lipstick in Glazed Pink (full size, worth £12.00)
Rich and silky, the hydrating formula is enriched with macadamia oil and waterlily extracts to keep your lips in pristine condition. Glazed Pink will look great for everyday use or with a dramatic smokey eye on a night out.

Lord and Berry Kiss Proof Lip Liner in Romantica (full size, worth £7.50)
(The accompanying menu says the shade is "Seduction", but this must be an error as the actual product is labelled "Romantica".)
Enriched with macadamia oil and waterlily extracts, the waterproof formula creates long lasting and precise lines. It is soft enough to be used as a liner and a lipstick.

Headline Colours Nail Polish in Quicksand (full size, worth £9.00)
The formula boasts a high colour pigment for a rich, intense colour and gloss, plus UV absorbers for staying power. Quicksand is a smooth, light chocolate nude.

Rodial 5 Minute Facial 10ml (sample size, worth £7.00)
This 5 minute facial is an exfoliating and decongesting mask with active ingredients to restore a youthful glow. It clarifies and absorbs impurities whilst reducing pore size to reveal smooth, bright and glowing skin.

S5 Vitality Mask 15ml (sample size, exclusive to Love Me Beauty!)
This mask contains marine enzymes derived from salmon caviar and the formula is clinically proven to reduce imperfections by 60% and pore size by 20%. 

There is also a code in this box so that if a friend wants to subscribe, I can give them a special code so that they get two extra products in their first box.

I chose Menu One because I really liked the sound of the masks - face masks seem to be my newest obsession! The products featuring in each of the three menus are the Headline Colours nail varnish and the Lord and Berry products. I haven't tried the brand Headline Colours before and you can't beat a nude shade, I don't think I have a colour quite like this in my existing collection. The Lord and Berry lipstick and lipliner are products featured in previous boxes but in different shades, so it would be nice to see some alternative makeup brands in the boxes in future. Saying that, the lipstick shade Glazed Pink is the nicest one I've seen yet - a gorgeous frosty pink.

In total this box is worth £35.50 not including the S5 Vitality Mask. According to the Love Me Beauty website each menu is worth over £50.00 this month, so the S5 mask must be worth at least £14.50. The box costs £10.00 plus £2.95, so you are getting quadruple your money's worth of products. If you've never tried Love Me Beauty before but having been itching to do so, until 10/01/2014 you can take advantage of a huge 20% discount using the code LMBBB20 at the checkout. Even more of a bargain!

What do you think of this month's box? 

Beauty Bird xx

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


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Review: Lush The Comforter Bubble Bar

The Comforter is the first bubble bar I've tried from Lush and is one of the products I've been reaching for on these chillier nights to create a relaxing bubble bath.

The Comforter is quite a large bar (according to Lush it's twice the size of their other bubble bars) with a pretty, raspberry ripple design. It contains bergamot oil to "relax, reassure and revive a worried mind" and cypress oil to calm. The Comforter's featured ingredient is cassis absolute, which is blackcurrant, for a "warming, relaxing aroma". 

To use The Comforter you hold it under the tap in the running water to soften and gradually crumble bits of the bar into the bath. This creates the bubbles and also gives the water a pink tinge. Depending on how much of the bar you use will obviously depend on how bubbly your bath is - I've used it 3 times so far and I think I will get another 3 uses of it. I love the warm berry scent, which isn't overpowering and does make me feel nice and relaxed. As with the other Lush bath products I've tried, The Comforter doesn't dry out or irritate my skin; I'm just left with a lovely lingering scent for a few hours once I'm out of the bath.

The Comforter costs £4.25 and can be viewed on the Lush website here. It's not the best value for money when you consider the number of uses you get from the product, however it's something I would re-purchase as the occasional treat.

What's your favourite Lush bubble bar?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 15 December 2013

(Micellar) Water Over Wipes

Ever since buying and trying my first ever micellar water - the L'Oreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution - I can now say I completely understand the micellar water hype for removing makeup. It makes me wonder why I bothered using face wipes for so long (I have used other liquid makeup removers, but I'd always have a pack of wipes handy too)! I never ever relied on face wipes for anything but removing makeup (mainly eye makeup) and would always double cleanse afterwards. Now my half full pack of Tesco Cleansing Facial Wipes are sat in my bedside drawer redundant. 

So why am I liking micellar water so much? First of all I love the formula; micellar waters contain little molecules of oil suspended in water, which are designed to "pick up" and dissolve particles of dirt and makeup. I've only ever tried the L'Oreal Micellar Solution, but it's just so good at removing makeup. L'Oreal say that "this solution feels as gentle as water on your skin but acts like makeup remover, toner and skin soother all in one". It barely contains any ingredients, none of which are alcohol or perfume. The main ingredient is water, but it also contains Glycerin, which is known for its moisturising properties. The solution is gentle on my skin and it lifts the makeup off my face swiftly and easily, no rubbing or dragging of the skin necessary. (Of course you do have to hold the cotton pad on your eyes for a little while to remove mascara.) Plus they leave no horrible residue behind and do not dry out my skin at all. Micellar waters are so effective that they can be used as your first cleanse and although I generally prefer to wash my face twice, I will use the L'Oreal Micellar Solution as a first cleanse when I'm in a rush or feeling really tired.

In comparison, I find that face wipes take a lot more effort to remove makeup, especially around the eyes. I just feel like wipes remove some of my makeup and then move the rest around my face, leaving a wet and almost slimy film with it too. The Tesco Cleansing Facial Wipes I've used do not contain alcohol, but I know many do, which is only going to dry out your skin. I think the other thing that annoys me is how they're packaged - if you don't pop the little cover over properly they'll dry out really quickly and surely if the air can get to them it's just inviting bacteria in to breed among the layers of wipes? *shudder*

I'm a little late to the micellar water party but I'm certainly enjoying it now I'm here! Are you a micellar water fan? Have you given up facial wipes yet?

Beauty Bird xx


Friday, 13 December 2013

Christmas Gift Ideas - Bathtime Treats

Apparently the average person will spend around a year and an half of their life in the bathroom... With the amount of lathering, exfoliating and time spent soaking in bubbles, I wouldn't be surprised if this was actually more for some of us! We all love a good pamper, so in honour of this I'm bringing you some gorgeous Christmas gift ideas for the bath lover in your life! (Or yourself...!)

Lush Cosmetics Relax... Take A Bath - £12.75 - Link
For many people you really can't go wrong with a present from Lush. I thought this was a good price, it comes already gift wrapped and contains a lovely selection of treats for bathtime. The box contains a Twilight Bath Ballistic, a Dreamtime Luxury Bath Melt and a Dorothy Bubble Bar. Lush says this is the perfect present for someone who runs around after other people all day and forgets to take time for themselves. I would agree with this - it would definitely encourage me to stop and take some time out!

The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Shower, Scrub and Moisture Collection - £17.00 - Link
I love this set! Not only does it include a 250ml Shower Gel, 50ml Body Butter, 75ml Body Polish and 25g Mini Heart Soap, but it comes in a reusable tin shaped like a gingerbread man! I had a quick whiff of the shower gel the other day and the spicy ginger scent is gorgeous and very festive. Although this is priced at £17.00, The Body Shop often have discounts and offers available, so it could probably be picked up cheaper.

Baylis and Harding Beauticology Stacking Gifts - £10.00 - Link
If you're looking for bathtime treats on a budget, Beauticology from Baylis and Harding seems to be the ideal option. You get a lot for your money and the packaging is very Philosophy-esque, which I think makes it look a lot more expensive. In this gift set you will find a 100ml Shower Creme, 100ml Body Wash, 50ml Body Lotion, 50ml Body Scrub, 25g of Bath Salt Crystals and a Body Polisher. Scents include gingerbread, cherry glaze, chocolate and vanilla frosting. Sounds good enough to eat!

Elemis Skin Nourishing Secrets - Soothing Bodycare Set - £45.00 - Link
Going to the opposite of budget now to an Elemis set, which sounds like pure indulgence! Perfect for someone who's a fan of Elemis or high end body/bath brands in general. The items sold separately are worth £70.00 and are a 400ml Elemis Sp@ Home Skin Nourishing Milk Bath and a 200ml Elemis Sp@ Home Skin Nourishing Body Scrub. The milk is rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals and the scrub contains natural exfoliators rice and bamboo with sweet almond and macadamia, which equal nourished and conditioned skin.

Conscious Skincare Sweet Orange and Frangipani Bath Soak 250ml* - £15.99 - Link
This organic bath soak comes gorgeously packaged in a 100% recycled round cardboard gift tube with a seriously cute reindeer ribbon. It contains lots of lovely natural and organic ingredients and the scent of sweet orange and frangipani is as promised; warming, sensual and calming. An ingredient called Fragonia has been added to the scent mix, which brings a freshness that stops it being sickly sweet. A lovely treat, especially for a natural product lover.

NEOM Organics Organic Bath and Shower Indulgence Set* - £19.00 - Link
This set contains 6 5ml bath oils in three beautiful scents - Tranquility to relax (English Lavender, Sweet Basil and Jasmine), Real Luxury to pamper (Lavender, Jasmine and Brazilian Rosewood) and Complete Bliss to energise (Moroccan Blush Rose). They contain 30% essential oils and 70% certified organic ingredients including Safflower and Jojoba, which work to create super soft skin. To use them in the shower, you dab a little on your decolletage and the steam and oil mix to make your shower experience smell amazing!

What bathtime treats do you have your eye on for Christmas - either for yourself or someone else? I hope this posts helps you with some ideas!

Beauty Bird xx

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


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

NEOM Organics 24 Hour Blogger Flash Sale

Happy Hump Day all! I have some exciting news to share with you all today - on Thursday 12th December, NEOM Organics are having a 24 hour flash sale exclusively for bloggers and their readers to thank everyone for their support over the last 12 months. NEOM will be offering a whopping 20% discount off their entire range, so it's perfect if you're still looking for Christmas presents or just fancy treating yourself to something you've had on your wishlist for awhile! I highly recommend their candles - you can see my review of their Real Luxury Candle here.

Follow this link for your 20% discount code - remember it's only valid on Thursday 12th December and ends at midnight. On Twitter, you can keep up-to-date using the hashtag #NeomBloggerDiscount! 

Will you be taking advantage?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Christmas Gift Ideas - Makeup/Nail Sets

After bringing you some gift ideas for skincare sets here, I'm now bringing you my top gift ideas in the form of makeup/nail sets. I think it's a real shame more makeup brands don't take a leaf out of Benefit's book and create gift sets containing a range of different travel sized products, especially at this time of year. Here's my favourites:

Clockwise from top left ending in the middle: 

Bourjois Rose Exclusif Set - £15.99 - Link
This one of the few gifts I could find from a more "budget" high street brand. It contains a Rose Exclusif Lipgloss and Cream Blusher, which both self-adjust into a personalised colour depending on the pH of your skin. I love the vintage pink packaging of the products. I would personally love this as a present because I'm already a fan of the cream blushers from their normal range. 

Laura Mercier Colour-To-Go Portable Palette for Eyes, Lips and Cheeks in Natural Nude - £31.00 - Link 
I really love the look of this palette because it contains a range of products; three eyeshadows, an eyeliner, pressed bronzing powder, pressed powder blusher and mini lip glace, plus a mirror in the lid. This would be great for a higher end makeup lover who is always on the go! This palette is also available in Smokey Violet.  

Benefit Cosmetics Little Love Potions - £29.50 - Link
I personally find Benefit a bit and miss, but I know someone who really wants to try Benefit but can't afford it and so a set like this, containing mini versions of their bestsellers, is just perfect. It contains POREfessional primer, It's Potent! eye cream, High Beam, Posietint, Stay Don't Stray eye primer, Watt's Up! highlighter, BADgal mascara, That Gal primer, Hoola blusher and Hoola lipgloss. 

Real Techniques Sam's Picks - £25.40 - Link
This retails at £29.99 but I found it on Escentual for £25.40, bargain! I love Real Techniques brushes and this set is fab because it contains a mixture of face and eye brushes; a Multi-task Brush, Setting Brush, Buffing Brush, Pointed Foundation Brush, Essential Crease Brush and Fine Liner Brush. Great to see the Buffing Brush in there as at the moment you can only get this if you buy the Core Collection Set. 

China Glaze Touch of Twinkle 3 Piece Collection - £12.38 - Link
Festive nails are a must have at Christmas and this set is an easy way to do it, containing three berry shades and a mixture of metallics and glitter. My favourite is probably the glitter one (I'm obsessed with glitter nail varnish) called Be Merry, Be Bright, which is a stunning combo of pink, blue and red. The other shades are Just Be Claws (metallic red) and Santa Red My List (metallic crimson). 

Clinique Black Honey Beauty Set - £25.00 - Link
I've always been intrigued by the Black Honey range and so this set immediately jumped out at me. The Almost Lipstick is meant to be a shade that any woman can wear, yet looks different on everyone! There is a matching Superbalm Moisturising Gloss and A Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skins - the perfect winter shade! The set is completed with a High Impact Mascara in Black. 

Models Own Wonderland Box Set - £20.00 - Link
Everything about this set screams winter, Christmas and snow! It's a glitterholic's dream! They contain different concentrations of glitter for top coat and full colour applications. Plus they have wintry names; Jack Frost, Southern Lights, Snow Flake, Northern Lights and Blizzard.

What makeup or nail varnish sets do you have your eye on for Christmas - either for yourself or someone else? I hope this posts helps you with some ideas!

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 8 December 2013

The Organic Surge Christmas Beauty Blogger's Favourites Bundle

Organic Surge's Christmas Beauty Blogger's Favourites Bundle is a great way for bloggers like myself to either be given an affordable way to try a new brand or to be re-acquainted with an old one! If you haven't heard of Organic Surge before, they are responsible for creating a range of skincare and haircare products free from parabens, SLS, artifical fragrances/colourants and genetically modified ingredients. This bundle contains 4 of the most popular products with beauty bloggers with 13% off normal price and is only available for beauty bloggers via a dedicated link, which I'll put on the bottom of this post. For £20.95 instead of the normal £24.08 here is what the bundle contains:

Citrus Mint Shower Gel 250ml 
"The Citrus Mint Shower Gel blends purifying and stimulating organic essential oils with natural moisturisers to refresh and invigorate, while natural skin healer aloe vera works to soothe any skin irritation or blemishes."

I would say that this is more minty than citrus, but the scent is really zesty and invigorating; perfect for sleepy mornings. Considering this is SLS free it lathers up brilliantly and leaves my skin soft and hydrated. 

Lavender Meadow Hand and Nail Cream 75ml
"This has an intensive moisturising action and is quickly-absorbed to provide comfort and hydration. Enriched with organic lavender and geranium essential oils, and moisturising vitamin E and cocoa butter, our hand cream works to prevent moisture loss leaving hands comforted and softened."

The subtle lavender scent means this is the hand cream I've been reaching for before bed. It isn't the thickest formula which means it does absorb quickly, yet it still leaves my hands soft and moisturised. If you have super dry hands I would recommend something with a thicker formula though. 

2-Minute Moisture Hair Mask 150ml
"Super-charged with pure coconut oil and plant extracts, the 2-Minute Moisture Hair Mask works to penetrate the hair shaft, targeting weak or damaged areas and helping to protect hair from the inside out. Enjoy smooth, manageable hair that shines with health and vitality."

I'm always on the go and in a rush so this hair mask is one I reach for often. The coconut scent is natural and not too sweet. It's perfect if you want to give your hair a quick shot of moisture and leave it feeling soft and looking healthy. I reviewed this in full here. 

Blissful Daily Moisturiser 50ml
"With its quickly-absorbed, lightweight texture Blissful Daily Moisturiser blends natural hydrators, antioxidants and essential oils to balance oily and dry skin zones and maintain a healthy, smooth complexion."

This has quite a thick consistency and I would say it's more of a night cream, but it could certainly be used in the day too. I've been a bit hesistant about using this on my t-zone as one the main ingredients is shea butter, which can be comedogenic, but it works wonderfully on the drier areas so I will eventually progress to the oily areas! 

To take advantage of the Organic Surge Christmas Beauty Blogger's Favourites Bundle, click here. It would make a great present for a skincare lover or it could be split up into stocking fillers for different recipients. 

What's your favourite product by Organic Surge? What product would you most like to try?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Saturday, 7 December 2013

A Christmas Twitter Giveaway! (CLOSED)

Hi everyone! Hope you all have a lovely weekend planned? I just thought I'd let you know that I'm currently running a Christmas Twitter giveaway to win some festive themed products from The Body Shop, as seen in the above picture. For your chance to win a Ginger Sparkle Lip Balm, Cranberry Joy Body Butter, Cranberry Joy Shower Gel and Vanilla Bliss Hand Cream, all you have to do is follow me on Twitter (@beauty__bird) and retweet the giveaway status, which you can find here.

The giveaway will run until 8.30pm on Sunday 8th December. Good luck!

Beauty Bird xx


Friday, 6 December 2013

Christmas Gift Ideas - Skincare/Bodycare Sets

I can't believe there are only 19 Christmas shopping days left! I haven't bought any Christmas presents yet and instead of looking online for other people, I seem to get distracted by the amazing range of gift sets out that I like and begin to add even more to my own wishlist! So I thought I'd share with you my top picks of skincare gift sets for sale at the moment. I'm hoping to bring you a series of Christmassy posts over the next week or so, so keep your eyes peeled!

Clockwise from top left and ending in the middle:

Green and Spring Indulging Bird Cage - £25.00 - Link
I have never tried this brand before but the gorgeous bird cage packaging instantly jumped out at me! The set contains a 50ml Shower and Bath Foam, 30ml Bath Oil and 2 travel candles. Apparently the scent is a mixture of rose and jasmine and the products are free from parabens, SLS, artifical colours and fragrances. It sounds like the perfect set for a pamper! 

Elemental Herbology Pure Radiance Set - £47.00 - Link  
This is the most expensive set I've chosen, but it is oh so worth it for Elemental Herbology! This contains a 30ml Facial Glow Radiance Peel and 30ml Cell Food Serum and is described as the perfect pre and post party survival kit. I've tried both of these products and they both work so effectively that I highly recommend.

EOS Limited Edition Organic Lip Balm Fruit Basket - £15.36 - Link
I've seen this EOS set on the Selfridges website for £24.00 but found it on Amazon for this bargain price with free delivery! EOS lip balms are probably my all time favourite lip balms and I love fruity flavours, so I would love to find this under my Christmas tree! The flavours in the set are Summer Fruit, Pomegranate Raspberry, Strawberry Sorbet and Fresh Watermelon. You could also buy this and split the balms up into individual stocking fillers.

Pai Skincare Intensive Nourishing Rosehip 3 Piece Facial Collection - £30.00 - Link
I have been so close to buying this set myself but managed to hold back for the sake of my purse! It contains a 30ml Rosehip BioRegenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend, 50g Rosehip BioRegenerate Face Mask and an Organic Muslin Cloth. This set is described as perfect for dry complexions that need an intensive hydration boost and is suitable for the most sensitive skin.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Discovery Collection - £20.00 - Link
This Shea Butter set comes in a cute makeup bag and contains a 75ml Ultra Rich Shower Cream, 75ml Ultra Rich Body Lotion, Extra Gentle Soap - Milk, 10ml Hand Cream, 10ml Foot Cream and 3ml Organic Moisturisng Lip Balm. I've only ever tried the Shea Butter Hand Cream but if the rest is as good as this product, then this set is a real treat. Definitely a great way to be introduced to L'Occitane as a brand.

Burt's Bees Mini Collection - £5.99 - Link
This set is the cheapest of them all and would be great as a stocking filler. I love the cute tin with the bee design, which houses a Hand Salve, Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme and Beeswax Lip Balm Tube. Burt's Bees do lots of great value gift sets, so if this one isn't what you're after I'd definitely recommend checking out the rest of their range.

Origins Christmas Bauble - £12.00 - Link
Origins did one of these baubles last year, which was only available at Selfridges (I was lucky enough to win one in a giveaway), but this year it's on their website too. It contains five samples of some of their most popular products, so it's perfect to try-before-you-buy-the-full-size! This year the samples are a 7ml Plantscription Serum, 7ml Drink Up Intensive Mask, 5ml GinZing Eye Cream, 5ml Modern Friction and a 5ml Make A Difference Plus Moisturiser. Another fab stocking filler!

What skincare or bodycare sets do you have your eye on for Christmas - either for yourself or someone else? I hope this posts helps you with some ideas!

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

November Empties #2

'Twas the empties post before Christmas...! Quite scary that the next empties post I do will be after celebrating Christmas and preparing to see in 2014! Before I ramble on too much about Christmas, let's go onto what I used up product wise in November.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Paisley 200ml - FREE (from blogger meetup, worth £2.99)
This is the first time I've used Batiste in ages and I forgot how much I do like Batiste dry shampoo. Paisley has a refreshing, fruity fragrance that isn't too sweet and it easily revives my second day hair.
Re-purchase? Yes I would but probably only if it was on offer.

Girlz Only Dry Shampoo in Dawn til Dusk 150ml - £1.50
This is the dry shampoo I tend to use now rather than Batiste as it's cheaper per ml and I think it works just as well. This has a lovely citrus fragrance.
Re-purchase? Yes.

Tesco Smooth Conditioner Jojoba and Balsam 750ml - No longer available
According to the Tesco website they only do 500ml sizes of this conditioner now worth £0.80 and this scent isn't available any more either. I don't actually use this on my hair but to shave my legs! It's quite a thick formula so I don't get any nicks from the shaver and it leaves my legs smooth and soft too.
Re-purchase? Yes I've bought the 500ml size in Apple and Aloe Vera.

Green People Pressed Powder SPF15 in Porcelain Pale 10g - £20.95
This is the first time I've used this powder and it's one of the cheapest pressed, talc free, mineral powders I could find! The colour is very, very pale so perfectly suited for me at this time of year. The coverage is light but buildable and finishes off my makeup nicely. Full review coming soon!
Re-purchase? Yes I already have.

Chanel de Volume Mascara in Noir Sample Size - FREE (magazine sample)
I was lucky enough to get this sample from Stylist magazine and try my first ever Chanel product. I love many things about this - the wet formula, the volume, the curl, but not how it flakes and smudges under my eyes. It was so close to being the perfect mascara!
Purchase full size? No.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye 15ml - £38.00
I really love this eye cream and although it lasts for ages, I still hate it when it runs out because it's so expensive! It has a gel/serum formula which is amazingly hydrating and I swear it has lightened my dark circles slightly too.
Re-purchase? I will do eventually, when I can afford to!

Shearer Candles Amber and Rose Fondant Candle - FREE (from blogger meetup, worth £3.50)
This has an absolutely gorgeous scent! The heart is floral tuberose and the top notes are violet and amber. It is also available in various different sizes and shapes of candle and the scent comes in a reed diffuser too. A candle of this size is an ideal and an affordable way to give it a try!
Re-purchase? Yes.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair - £4.19
I think this is my most re-purchased concealer to date! It's great to use on dark circles, over blemishes and any other areas of redness. 
Re-purchase? Yes.

What empties have you used up this month? Do you use any of the products mentioned above?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 2 December 2013

Tag: I'm a Beauty Blogger, Get Me Out of Here!

I first saw this great tag on Shona's blog Fresh Beauty XOX and loved reading her answers. (The tag originated on Next Route Style's blog.) I thought I'd give it a go and I'd love to hear your answers too!

You can only take one product into the jungle. What item would you choose and why?
If I could only take one makeup item into the jungle, despite the heat it would probably be foundation so I could cover up spots, dark circles and just generally look a bit more alive! When it comes to skincare I really don't think I could choose just one, I'd have to convince them to let me take at least five!!

What would be your main pre-jungle worry?
I think it would have to be the creepy crawlies, especially spiders or anything else with lots of legs!

You only have 5 minutes to get ready before going into the jungle, what would be your quick beauty routine?
There's no way five minutes is enough, but I'd moisturise, apply dry shampoo and a quick layer of foundation and blusher. 

Last year we saw Helen Flanagan wearing her hair in a top bun. What would be your signature hairstyle?
My hair isn't long enough to do this, but it would have to be some kind of up do, so perhaps a low bun instead! I definitely couldn't do a Jordan and go in with corn rows!!

For moral support, which female celebrity would you like to be in the jungle with you?
I think it would have to be someone easy going with a good sense of humour who could lift my spirits in the low moments, so perhaps the comedian Sarah Millican. If it wasn't a celebrity, then it would be my best friend, because she'd be the best support throughout all the highs and lows.

Everyone's given a role in the camp. What lifestyle skill would you bring to the jungle with you?
There's no way I'd be the chef of the camp because I'd probably burn everything! I'm quite organised so maybe I'd be the one who rallies everyone around to do what needs to get done.

What one thing about being a beauty blogger sometimes makes you want to scream 'Get me out of here'?
It would be the unneccessary bitching and arguments. I've never got involved in it myself, but I've seen it happen and it's not nice.  

Challenge - this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You're up for a trial to face your fears or try something new, what would you choose to do and why?
I think everything about being in the jungle would be a challenge for me in itself! If I was really brave it would be something with spiders involved, but there's no way I'd be sticking my head into a box of them or anything like that! Letting one crawl on my hand would be bad enough.

I tag everyone who reads this post to do this tag - send me your links if you do!

Beauty Bird xx

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