Thursday, 30 May 2013

Review: Ginvera Green Tea Whitening Marvel Gel

I've been using the Ginvera Green Tea Whitening Marvel Gel for about 5-6 months now and nearly used up the tube, so I thought it was about time to share my opinion on this product. I've been using the Marvel Gel 2-3 times a week and not used any other exfoliating product. It costs £22.00 for a 60ml tube.

Ginvera say, "Ginvera Green Tea Marvel Gel works by specifically targeting the cornified skin layer, dissolving and removing the dead skin cells on the top most epidermis layer. This gentle yet effective exfoliating action zeros-out blackheads thoroughly and painlessly and helps remove deep layers of dead skin. When the dead skin barrier is removed, the new skin underneath is revealed, allowing your skin’s healthy radiance to glow from within. It helps prevent pimples and controls oil secretion to help you stay shine-free the whole day!"

I decided to purchase the Marvel Gel because I loved the sound of the formula, which doesn't contain any harsh or abrasive exfoliating beads. Out of the tube it is a light green gel, which you apply to a dry face and massage in in circular motions. After around 15 seconds of massaging, small, white flakes appear around your face, which is apparently dead skin cells and dirt! Ginvera recommend massaging the product in for about 60 seconds, but I tend to find the gel has been used up after roughly 30-45 seconds.

In terms of benefits to my skin, it hasn't performed as well on shifting blackheads as I'd hoped. I suffer with them quite badly on my nose and noticed a slight improvement; less down the sides of my nose and the ones that wouldn't budge did look less obvious. However with actual spots I found that after using Marvel Gel they looked and felt less inflamed. The formula itself didn't irritate in any way, just a bit of redness, which is normal with any exfoliator. I do think that after using Marvel Gel my skin looked brighter than normal and felt soft and smooth, with no dryness. Unfortunately I didn't find that this regulated my sebum production at all. In hindsight though, I do wonder if I would have seen elevated results had I used this daily. 

The Verdict
Ginvera Green Tea Whitening Marvel Gel is a really unique product that is perfect for those who find their average exfoliator too harsh. It doesn't perform miracles in terms of blackheads, but I still saw benefits from using the product that I haven't found with other exfoliating products. For this reason and the fact that I just love the formula, I would definitely purchase this product again.

Ginvera Green Tea Whitening Marvel Gel can be purchased from the website Janiro here. If you like the sound of the product but are not convinced enough to buy it full size, you can order a 10g sample and you only have to pay for the postage!

Have you tried Marvel Gel? What's your favourite exfoliating product?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

How I Conceal Spots and Scars

As a long suffering gal of spots and their consequent scars, I have had years of trying different products in an attempt to conceal them enough so I don't step out of my door and instantly think that everyone is staring at my skin. I feel like I've got to a point where I'm pretty happy with my concealing method and the products I use, so thought I'd share these with you.

First of all I apply Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation in Opal £15.50 (full review here) with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush. This foundation provides amazing coverage without being heavy, plus it's non-comedogenic so won't make troublesome skin even worse. The high coverage of this foundation means that it's already doing half the work for you, so when it comes to concealing it takes minimal time and effort.

For targeted coverage of spots and blemishes I apply Witch Anti-Blemish Liquid Concealer in Light £6.99 (full review here) with my Real Techniques Detailer Brush. I like this concealer because I feel like it is actually helping to treat breakouts as well as cover them up. Whenever I use this on whiteheads, they have dried up considerably by the end of the day! I apply Witch Anti-Blemish Liquid Concealer with the brush because I find that the application is more precise and therefore blending is easier too. I tend to pat and buff the concealer in with the brush, rather applying in strokes or rubbing it in, as I feel that you lose more of the product that way.

When it comes to scars I tend to rely on my trusty Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair £4.19 (full review here). The formula of this is thicker and heavier than Witch's concealer and I have a few scars that seem to be standing the test of time, so I prefer to use Collection's offering for this reason. 

To finish and set my concealing, I pat a light layer of a pressed mineral powder, currently the Jane Iredale PurePressed Powder in Light Beige, all over my face using the Real Techniques Powder Brush. Again, I use a patting motion rather than sweeping so as not to disturb the makeup I've just applied. Pure mineral makeup is ideal for spot prone skin as it doesn't contain any pore clogging ingredients such as talc and paraffin liquidium (mineral oil), which often feature in powder based cosmetics.

Here you can see a before and after. My skin has been terrible recently, particularly on my chin as you can see, so thank goodness for makeup!

What are your favourite products for concealing spots and scars?

Beauty Bird xx


Friday, 24 May 2013

Eau Thermale Avène Skin Diagnosis & Free Samples

I recently discovered that Eau Thermale Avène do a skin diagnosis on their website and based on your answers, provide you with a recommended Avène skincare routine. Even better, if you register with their website, your routine is saved and you are sent free trial size samples to try based on your diagnosis! Unfortunately though they do only post to the UK and Ireland. 

My recommended skincare routine based on the skin diagnosis, was first to use the Avène Gentle Gel Cleanser, then the Thermal Water Spray, followed by Hydrance Optimale UV Light SPF 20 Protective Hydrating Cream. My recommended night product is Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream. Complementary products were also suggested, such as the Soothing Hydrating Serum.

Just under a month later I received this little package, containing a 25ml Gentle Gel Cleanser and a 5ml Hydrance Optimale UV Light SPF 20 Protective Hydrating Cream!

I'm not aware of any other brands that offer a skin diagnosis on their website and then send out free samples, so a big thumbs up to Avène for this! It's a great way of trying before you buy.

You can complete the Avène skin diagnosis here.

Do you use any Avène products in your skincare routine?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Review: Dr LeWinn's Renunail Nail Strengthener

I swear there once was a time when I could grow my nails into lovely, long talons, but it really is a distant memory! I don't mind having shorter nails necessarily, but it would just be nice to have nails that didn't break or split so easily so I could actually choose! Step in Dr LeWinn's Renunail Nail Strengthener, which I tried as part of their "Nailpril" campaign (however I started and finished a bit late due to having Shellac). Renunail Nail Strengthener is an intensive treatment that promises longer and stronger nails in just 4 weeks. It contains calcium to strengthen weak, brittle nails and camphor to soothe sensitive nails. It retails at £17.50.

How to Use
The first thing that instantly impressed me was the size of the bottle - it's 30ml, which is gigantic compared to your average sized nail varnish. You use Renunail by applying two coats on the first day and then one further coat everyday for 5 days. On the 7th day you remove it and repeat the whole process again for another three weeks. You can wear nail varnish during the programme, but it is not recommended to use if you have recently had gels or acrylics removed. Due to the intensity of Renunail, it is only recommended to complete the programme a maximum of 4 times a year.

My Experience
Renunail looks and feels just like a clear nail varnish when applied. For the first few weeks I was very well behaved and applied it every day, but for the last two weeks I do admit I did miss about three or four days in total. Within just 2 weeks though my nails were stronger than before - they felt stronger and I had no breakages or splits. I applied nail varnish at the end of the second week and this didn't seem to affect the product working. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Renunail made my nail varnish last longer. Some of you may know that my nail varnish normally peels off within 1-2 days, but with Renunail my nail varnish lasted for 4 DAYS before chipping, 4 WHOLE DAYS!!! I had a couple of splits in the last two weeks, though one was because I caught my nail on my house key when getting them out of my pocket, and the second I noticed after a big housework session. Things like this are going to happen; I didn't expect Renunail to perform miracles!

Post Programme
Two weeks after finishing the programme I'm still experiencing the benefits of Renunail. I've also experienced less peeling, which I was getting on a couple of my nails before. I have used it as a base coat since though, which is probably helping to prolong the effect. Instead of using this again as a four week programme, which is a bit of a challenge to stick to, I may just use it once or twice a month as a base coat. However I will tread carefully, as over using this product can actually have the opposite effect. There is a sensitive version of Renunail, which is recommended as an ongoing maintenance treatment, so I may purchase this instead if necessary.

To view Dr LeWinn's Renunail Nail Strengthener on their website, please click here.

Do you use any nail strengthening products? If so, please share below!

Beauty Bird xx

P.S. This post contains a PR sample.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Nails Inc You're a Peach NOTD - Instyle Freebie May 2013

I absolutely love the colour peach, so I just had to pick up Instyle magazine's current freebie - Nails Inc You're a Peach (there are also two other shades to collect - Totes Pink and It's Red, Babez). You're a Peach is a milky, pastel peach that just screams summer time. On my nails below I finished it off with a top coat of Nails Inc Glamour Glitter, which was a Glamour freebie last year.

One of my favourite ever nail varnishes is Peach Melba by Barry M, so I thought I'd see how these two compare. The Nails Inc is much more orange toned, whereas Barry M's peachy offering is more pink toned. However they're both beautiful shades and it means Nails Inc You're a Peach fills a nice gap in my nail varnish collection.

Did you pick up Instyle magazine this month? Are you a fan of peach nail varnish?

Beauty Bird xx


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Spending Ban Update #1

So I'm nearly two weeks into my beauty spending ban and am pleased to announce that I have not bought any new beauty products! Woop! The only thing I intend to purchase shortly is some cleanser, as my bottle has nearly run out, which is allowed as part of the ban. 

I've found it surprisingly easy so far. I've been deleting any beauty related newsletters/emails very quickly, especially if they have a discount in the title! I also don't work or live in or very near to the town centre, so it's not easy for me to pop in and wonder around Boots or Superdrug, which I think has really helped! Especially as these little babies have been released and I am in total blusher lust! I'm normally a powder blusher girl, but these Bourjois cream blushers are just calling to me! I particularly like the look of 01 Nude Velvet and 03 Rose Tender. These will definitely be one of my first purchases post spending ban.

I think as time goes on the spending ban is only going to get harder! Can I stay away from Boots and Superdrug for another six weeks?! Eek!

If you're on a spending ban let me know how you're getting on!

Beauty Bird xx


Thursday, 16 May 2013

Skincare Splurgin'

Having had terrible skin for years I've always been obsessed with skincare, however I'm very fussy with what I use and don't tend to chop and change my skincare products. Recently though, as you can see, I have done some serious skincare purchasing to overhaul my routine (pre spending ban)! It basically started with my skin going through extremes - really oily, to the point where I was using three blotting sheets in one go just to mop up the oil and then on other parts so dry it was showing through my makeup. I also had some awful breakouts on my chin, including some horrible cyst-like ones.

I ordered the Pixi Glow Tonic after seeing it raved about on Caroline Hiron's blog. It's an "oxygenating, exfoliating facial glow tonic" that removes dead cells and helps tone, firm and tighten the skin. I intend to use it instead of an exfoliating scrub; Caroline points out the beads can spread around bacteria on the face, which isn't great when my skin is so breakout prone! I've only just received this so haven't used it yet, but can't wait to. (Just a point that you can't order Pixi Glow Tonic online - I rang up the London store and ordered it over the phone on 0207 287 721.) 

Again influenced by Caroline's blog, I decided to introduce a hydrating toner into my routine to use after cleansing, which should re-balance the skin and aid the absorption of serum/oil. Step in Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer! I chose this one as it contains lots of natural ingredients and includes vegetable derived glycerin for moisture, plus it's quick and easy to use. It can also be used over makeup to refresh and revitalise. I'm still making a judgement on this; but my initial thoughts are very positive.

To try and manage my oily skin and breakouts, I purchased the Super Facialist by Una Brennan Tea Flower Mattifying Moisturiser. It contains Salicylic Acid to mattify and balance skin, but also elderflower for added hydration. My skin has definitely been less oily since using this, but it's not a miracle worker and I still need to use blotting sheets. It's also a bit drying on my cheeks, so I've only been using it on my t-zone.

Finally I made two separate purchases from Antipodes - the Divine Face Oil and Aura Manuka Honey Mask. I bought the face oil mainly to target my blemishes and scarring. I've been using it every other day, alternating with my Estee Lauder ANR serum. I've only been using it a week but absolutely love it - it makes my skin looks so healthy, bright and plump! I swear my scarring has slightly improved too. The mask I've used a few times as a hydrating treat - it's especially perfect for those hungover days! It smells absolutely divine. I really should start using it more often and think I will do so in conjunction with my Origins Out of Trouble mask - the double threat facial (I don't have enough for the triple threat!).

What skincare purchases have you made recently? Do you use any of the above products?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Introducing Studio 78 Paris Natural Makeup

Studio 78 Paris is a natural makeup brand created by Margareth Halfon, an ex Assistant Product Manager for Guerlain, in order to provide a solution for those who want to combine health and beauty. Certified by EcoCert, the Studio 78 Paris ingredients range from 99% - 100% natural and 10%-44% organic ingredients. This means none of their products contain GMO, parabens, phenoxyethanol, silicone, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes and animal-derivated ingredients. Plus 100% of their packaging is biodegradable and recyclable. I absolutely love the design of their packaging! I was lucky enough to be sent three of their products to try - We Evade Bronzing Powder, We Flirt Around Mascara and Off We Go Anti-Dark Circles Concealer.

We Evade Bronzing Powder - 01 White Sand - £27.00

The We Evade Bronzing Powder comes in a pretty round pot, which contains a mirror in the lid and a powder applicator. The baked formula contains natural mineral powders and organic vegetal oils, such as coconut, avocado and apricot oil. The shade 01 White Sand is suitable for light to medium skin tones and there is also a shade available for medium to olive skin tones called 02 Desert Sand. I'm more of a blusher than bronzer girl and this colour did scare me slightly as it looks so dark. It is very pigmented and I barely needed more than one swipe of a makeup brush across this to get a good shot of bronze. The colour also lasted really well, around 7 hours. Once I get to grips with bronzer (you can see I'm not very savvy by my terrible application!), I can see me getting a lot of use out of this, especially in the summer.

We Flirt Around Mascara - 01 All Nighter Black - £21.00

The We Flirt Around Mascara contains shea butter and jojoba oil to nourish the lashes and sage and jojoba seed oil for a volumizing effect. It claims to lengthen and curl while separating lashes one by one without clumping. It also claims to last all day without flaking. Unfortunately the We Flirt Around Mascara only lived up to one of these claims for me and didn't clump. My eyelashes went flat very quickly and the mascara found its way under my eyes by the end of the day. If you like the au naturel look and have naturally curly eyelashes this may work for you, but it may not stay put!

Off We Go Anti-Dark Circles Concealer - 01 At Dawn - £20.00

This concealer is designed to conceal dark circles and imperfections, containing nourishing anti-oxidant plant oils to moisturise, regenerate and revitalise the eye area. This shade is suitable for fair to light skin tones and there is also a shade available for medium to olive skin tones called 02 At Moonlight. I love the expensive looking packaging and the little mirror in the lid. I don't generally go for solid concealers as they tend to be drying, but the formula of the Off We Go Anti-Dark Circles Concealer is so creamy! I find it applies better when warmed up on my fingers, where it glides on and blends in effortlessly. The coverage is also really good - as you can see from the before and after photo of it applied under my eyes - and lasts about 6/7 hours.  This is my favourite of the three products by far.

Being a natural brand, the products from Studio 78 Paris cost more than your normal high street brand. My experience of their products have been a little hit and miss, but I've discovered a little gem in the Off We Go Anti-Dark Circles Concealer.

You can purchase Studio 78 Paris from the website Natural Origin here. If you fancy trying any of the above products for yourself, Natural Origin have kindly offered a massive 30% online discount for my readers off of each of the products I've reviewed! Just use the code BEAUTY30 - valid until 10th June!

Have you tried any products by Studio 78 Paris? Are you willing to pay more for natural makeup?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 13 May 2013

Review: The Body Shop Lightening Touch Pen in Shade 01

I bought The Body Shop Lightening Touch Pen after Evelyn from We Were Raised by Werewolves described it as a dupe for YSL Touche Eclat (yes I do buy a lot of things after seeing them on her blog - she does fab, honest reviews!). I've never tried YSL Touche Eclat - I would love to, but I just can't bring myself to spend the money on it. The Body Shop definitely have the high end looking packaging down pat - the chunky silver tube is very YSL inspired. (But also unfortunately very hard to photograph!)

The Body Shop say, "This light-diffusing liquid concealer works brilliantly on undereye shadows and imperfections"

The Lightening Touch Pen is available in three shades and I use the lightest, called 01. This is definitely more of a highlighter than a concealer; the formula is a lot thinner than a typical concealer (such as Collection Lasting Perfection) and it definitely doesn't provide as much coverage. I have quite bad under eye circles and so I use Lightening Touch over my concealer, just to give some radiance where some darkness still shows through. The difference is subtle, but my eyes definitely look brighter. The formula doesn't go cakey and blends easily, plus as the formula is so light it's great for touching up without having to trowel it on!

The only thing that stops me really loving Lightening Touch is the price - £14.00. I just wish it was a little bit cheaper! I bought this when I had a gift card so didn't pay full price. I think it's because it seems a lot compared to similar highlighting pens you can get in Boots, such as Bourjois and Maybelline.

The Verdict
The Body Shop Lightening Touch Pen is a fab highlighting product to provide radiance under the eyes. The formula is lovely and light and so easy to blend. There are only three shades to choose from though, so they may not suit everyone. I will definitely re-purchase, but I think I'll wait until The Body Shop have an offer on, which seems to be quite often!

To view the product on The Body Shop's website, please click here.

What's your favourite highlighting product for under the eyes?

Beauty Bird xx


Friday, 10 May 2013

Review: Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Lemonade

This is the first time I've actually reviewed a Revlon lip butter, despite previously owning two before receiving this for my birthday! I also own Peach Parfait and Berry Smoothie. The shade Pink Lemonade has not very long been released, along with three other shades, as part of a limited edition collection called the "Pacific Coast Collection". I do really like the Revlon lip butters because they are a great compromise between lip balm and lipstick; you get the moisturising goodness of a lip balm and the pigmentation of a lipstick. 

In the bullet Pink Lemonade is a very light, peachy pink that doesn't contain any glitter particles like with some of the other lip butters. I have to say that initially I was really underwhelmed by this shade because the colour is so sheer. The swatch on my hand above is a good three or four layers of colour, as is the picture of it applied to my lips. However, the more I've used Pink Lemonade the more I've started to like it. In the light the colour is actually really pretty, though is much more of a baby pink than peachy pink. It also has a lovely subtle sheen, making it the perfect shade for daytime. This is possibly the only lip butter you can get away with applying without a mirror, so it's ideal for when you're out and about. The colour lasts a few hours maximum.

Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Lemonade costs £7.99 and can be purchased from Boots here.

Have you picked up any of the limited edition lip butters? What's your favourite shade?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

April Empties

I'm a little late with the empties post this month, oops! Here's the lowdown on what I used up and whether I will re-purchase (or if I already have).

Tesco Baby Soft and Gentle Shampoo 500ml - £1.08
I've been using this baby shampoo to clean my makeup brushes for ages - for the price you get a great sized bottle. It cleans brushes really well and has that typical baby shampoo smell, which I actually quite like!!
Re-purchase? No - only because I am going to use one of my SLS free shampoos instead. I'm getting a bit more fussy about ingredients!
Dermalogica Oil Control Lotion Sample - FREE
At the beginning of April my skin closely resembled a big puddle of oil - much more oily than normal. So I dug out this sample from my stash to see if a targeted moisturiser made a difference and although I was still getting oily patches, it was much less than before. I wasn't overly keen on the formula though - it was quite thin and a little runny.
Purchase full size? No - full size (59ml) this costs around £28.00 and I didn't love it enough. Instead I bought a cheaper option from Boots - Una Brenna Super Facialist Tea Flower Mattifying Moisturiser (review to come).

Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation 30ml - £15.50
I've been using this foundation since November and absolutely love it. It has a nice medium to thick coverage for "uneven skin texture, dark circles and diffused redness yet no mask effect". It is fantastic for covering up spots but is non-comedogenic, so won't cause more breakouts. You can see my full review here.
Re-purchase? Yes - I already have!

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel 50ml - £10.50 (online price)
This cleanser is a soap free, foaming gel designed for all skin types. I've been cleansing with it just to get rid of it really, as I've been using it on and off for ages. It's a formula that makes my skin feel fresh and squeaky clean, but doesn't dry it out.
Re-purchase? No - I was never in love with this and I've realised it contains SLS, which I'm trying to avoid. Plus I'm obsessed with Caroline Hiron's blog right now (she is a skincare guru) and she says that foaming cleansers are a big no no for acne prone skin - read more about this here.

Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets (Pack of 50) - £2.99
I actually bought these for 99p when they were on offer in Superdrug, bargain! As mentioned above, my skin has had a super oily stage recently and at one point I was using up to three sheets of these a day! So I've used this pack up a lot quicker than normal. Full review here.
Re-purchase? No need - I'm working my way through my 99p stash!

White Glo Extra Strength Whitening Toothpaste 100ml - £3.99
For £3.99 you also get a toothbrush with this toothpaste, which is an amazing deal! This is the first time I've tried White Glo and I'm liking it a lot. Apparently it was originally formulated for actors and models! It has a nice thick formula, which lathers up really well and even has a nice taste - completely the opposite of the Arm and Hammer toothpaste I used to use! It hasn't performed any miracles, but my teeth definitely seem less stained/yellow.
Re-purchase? Yes - though I'm trying the coffee and tea drinkers version this time to compare.
Did you have many product empties in April? Do you use any of the above products?

Beauty Bird xx

Monday, 6 May 2013

Review: Wild Bluebell Candle by Kiss-Air Candles

Over the past few months I have developed a serious candle obsession. The latest addition to my collection is the Wild Bluebell Candle by Kiss-Air Candles. Kiss-Air Candles are handmade in Cambridgeshire using natural soyabean (vegetable) wax and fragrance oil. According to their website, using the natural soyabean wax means that the candles "burn cleaner, for longer and have a fabulous scent throw when compared to paraffin candles". Kiss-Air Candles also make a range of wax melts and tealights.

Today I am going to be reviewing the Wild Bluebell Candle. This comes in a pretty gold tin wrapped with heart and bow packaging, which features on all Kiss-Air's candles. 

The scent of Wild Bluebell is just beautiful. It's a very clean, fresh scent with a floral heart that means I've been reaching to light this one the most these recent Spring evenings. The base notes of this candle are white musk and amber, the heart notes are jasmine, freesia, orange blossom, gardenia and milky peach and the top notes crisp green leaves, marine notes, clove bud and melon. The website is so true when it says this candle will transport you to Bluebell Woods! The Wild Bluebell candle gives you up to 30 hours of burn time. 

In terms of price, Wild Bluebell will only set you back £8.50, which I think is a great price. However this scent is limited edition, so if you want to get your hands on this gorgeous candle you only have until 31st May, so be quick! Kiss-Air also do lots of other delicious sounding scents, such as Citrus Crush, Chocolate Cake and Pomegranate and Fresh Mint. I especially love the sound of Punchy Peach, Kiss-Air's newest scent to the range. 

To visit Kiss-Air Candles' website, click here. You can also follow them on Twitter for the latest news, discounts, competitions and a good chat! In fact, I noticed on Twitter that they are offering a 10% bank holiday discount using the code MayDay until midnight tonight!

Have you tried any products by Kiss-Air? What's your favourite candle scent?

Beauty Bird xx

P.S. This post contains a PR sample. 


Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Two Month Beauty Spending Ban Begins...


Oh my, what have I left myself in for! Today heralds the start of a two month beauty spending ban and I am seriously worried for my mental health! I am just hoping that there aren't too many amazing beauty releases in the next few months... Thankfully I am not alone and there are three other lovely ladies joining me in the spending ban:

Natasha from Shot of Beauty
Rachel from Beauty Queen UK

My plan and what hopefully will get me through this, is to have a splurge with some of my saved pounds at the London Blogger Meetup on 27th July. This is being hosted by Helen from Beautifully Superfluous and I am so excited! I don't go to London very often so I can't wait to meet some lovely bloggers and hit the London stores, especially Selfridges!

I am hoping that this spending ban in the long term will help me to manage my spending better. I am fairly good anyway, as I just don't have a lot of extra cash after bills, but a lot of my spare cash I do spend on beauty products. So it would be nice to use some of it on other things that I don't really do very often - go to the cinema or have a nice meal out. 

I have set myself a few rules for the length of the spending ban:
  • No purchasing any NEW products, just replacements when products run out - if I don't already have an alternative stashed away.
  • When purchasing replacements, don't buy something more expensive - buy like for like or cheaper.
  • To keep me sane, I am allowing myself a magazine or two when the July editions are released as I know there will be some good freebies!

If you fancy joining in with this spending ban, please comment below!

Wish me luck! If you have done a spending ban before, do you have any tips to get me through?

Beauty Bird xx


Friday, 3 May 2013

Beauty Box Swap with Cassidy from Hot Mess in a Dress

I've been dying to do a beauty box swap with an American blogger for ages, so about four months ago I put out a tweet and the lovely Cassidy from Hot Mess in a Dress stepped forward! America do so many brands that aren't readily available over in the UK and if they are, they are usually a lot more expensive, so I was so excited to do a swap with Cassidy! We agreed to post our boxes in April so that we would have plenty of time to buy the beauty goodies and spread out the cost.

Earlier this week I couldn't believe it when Cassidy's parcel arrived so quickly after she emailed to say it had been posted. I hot footed it to the post office to pick it up literally brimmng with excitement. Cassidy had put the beauty goodies in this pretty makeup bag, all individually wrapped in tissue paper, with a card to tell me about what was in the bag. Look at these amazing products she chose for me!

First of all is a Milani Liquid Eyeliner in Blackest Black. I love a good swipe of black liquid eyeliner for a night out and I find a pen easier to use, so I can't wait to use this, especially as my Collection one is beginning to run out!

I was so excited to see a CoverGirl mascara in the bag, so many bloggers rave about this brand for mascara! This one is called Clump Crusher by Lash Blast in Very Black. It is water resistant and promises 200% more volume with zero clumps. I love the fact it has a curved brush too! My lashes are dying to wear this.

I love lip balms and I don't have anything in my collection quite like the CoverGirl Natureluxe Gloss Balm in Thistle. I love the packaging and the colour is gorgeous - shimmery pink with a purple undertone. 

Eeeeeek Maybelline Baby Lips! This one is in Peppermint - yum! It has a SPF 20 and promises 8 hour moisture and lip renewal. This is going to be perfect to keep in my handbag for those hot summer days to protect my lips and keep them smooth and moisturised.

How beautiful is the Physician's Formula eyeshadow? It is offically called Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow and Liner in Nude Eyes. The strips of eyeshadow are split into trios, each one creating a different nude eye look - natural, playful and dramatic. The formula is also designed to transform into eyeliner when wet. I am a big fan of nude eyes, so I can see that I will get so much use out of this. 

I am so happy to add these EOS Lip Balms in Lemon Drop and Sweet Mint to my collection. I absolutely love my Summer Fruit one and these flavours just sound delicious.

The last beauty product that Cassidy sent me is the Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum. This wasn't a shade that was released in the UK when the lip butters first hit our shores. It is a gorgeous plummy pink shade and if you fancy checking it out, it has recently been released over here!

Cassidy also sent me a pack of Starburst sweets, which was a really nice surprise - I ate them very quickly!!

Thank you so much again to Cassidy for all these amazing goodies! I can't wait to use them all. If you haven't done a beauty box swap before I highly recommend it, it's so much fun! I really hope Cassidy likes her beauty box as much I do mine!

What are your favourite beauty products from America? Have you ever done a beauty box swap?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

NOTD: Models Own Fruit Pastel Collection

I love Models Own nail varnishes. I actually love fruit. I love pastel colours. So all these three things together make one of the best combinations ever - the Models Own Fruit Pastel Collection. A seriously big thank you for my sister for bringing these nail varnishes into my life! The collection comprises five gorgeous, ice cream shades - Strawberry Tart, Apple Pie, Banana Split, Blueberry Muffin and Grape Juice. As well as referring to the shade, the names also refer to the scent of these nail varnishes. 

I will be wearing these colours a LOT over the coming Spring and Summer. In fact I don't think I would complain if my nails were these colours permanently all year round. The scents are very fruity but very subtle - one scent isn't massively different to the other, but it definitely makes this collection different. 

The Models Own Fruit Pastel Collection is £20.00, which is £5.00 cheaper than if you bought each shade separately. 

What do you think of these shades? What are your favourite nail varnishes for Spring/Summer?

Beauty Bird xx 

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