Sunday, 30 June 2013

Review: Ambiance Volumizing Dry Shampoo in Blonde

When it comes to dry shampoo for coloured hair I've only ever tried Girlz Only's offering for blonde hair, which I didn't think made much difference to the colour. So I was really intrigued by the Ambiance Volumizing Dry Shampoo in Blonde, which is a golden blonde tinted powder that you apply directly with a special applicator brush. The colour is also so concentrated that this dry shampoo doubles up as a concealer to cover up roots; perfect if you have coloured hair like me! It can also conceal areas of the scalp where hair is thinning.

The Ambiance Volumizing Dry Shampoo is available in Blonde, Black, Brunette, Grey and Red and comes with a free powder refill. It is suitable for all hair types and does not contain alcohol, so won't damage or dry out your hair. It is also sulphate, paraben and preservative free. Ambiance say, "100% natural formula refreshes, increases volume, conceals roots and extends the time between hair washings".

The applicator brush is protected by a lid and a retractable sleeve. When I take the lid off the sleeve seems to go down automatically - I assumed it would stay up and pull down as indicated in the enclosed Instructions for Use, so I'm not sure if this is a fault. However it doesn't seem to damage the brush at all. When applying I tilt the brush and dab the brush onto my roots at an angle, as the powder dispenses quite quickly. I pull back my hair into sections when applying and then use my fingertips to blend. 

The result? Well Ambiance Volumizing Dry Shampoo does exactly what it says on the box - my hair looks refreshed and volumized. It gives my hair some body and with the fact it injects a shot of colour, it makes my hair look like it has been very recently washed. It doesn't leave any white residue or any tackiness/stickiness either. You can see the difference to the colour of my roots in the picture below. 

The Verdict
Ambiance Volumizing Dry Shampoo is without a doubt the best dry shampoo I have ever tried - though it is normally an eye watering £26.98. However at the moment it is currently on offer on the Natural Origin website for £14.99 here. If you are just looking for a dry shampoo then this is an expensive option, but if you have coloured hair and are looking to cover up your roots between colourings then this could be really worth it. Especially if you want a natural product too. I would personally purchase for the offer price, but not for the full RRP. I've been using this fairly generously for about a month now every other day and I've used about half the powder. So including the refill this should in total last me about four months. 

Have you tried the Ambiance Volumizing Dry Shampoo? Would you be willing to pay more for a product like this?

Beauty Bird xx

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

Friday, 21 June 2013

NOTD: Toothbrush Nail Art

I saw this nail art awhile ago on the blog The Nailasaurus and absolutely loved it. It's really easy to do and best of all, it doesn't have to be neat! My nails are never the neatest anyway - in this case I've ended up with some air bubbles and a few dents, sigh. 

All you need is four different nail varnishes and some cheap toothbrushes - you can get a pack of 2 Tesco Everyday Value Toothbrushes for just 18p! The nail varnishes I chose to use are:

Models Own Grape Juice (base colour)
Essie Sweet Talker
Models Own Apple Pie
Barry M Peach Melba 

Once the base colour is dry, you take your second nail varnish and generously paint the last two or three rows of the toothbrush bristles. Then just dab the toothbrush on your nails to achieve the random splodges! Wait for each layer of splodges to dry before applying the next and finish with a top coat to even out the bumps. I just love the slightly marbled effect.

What nail art have you tried recently? If you've posted about one on your blog please send me your links!

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Review: Le Volume de Chanel Mascara in Noir

Le Volume de Chanel mascara is my first ever item of Chanel makeup! Very exciting! Recently Stylist magazine were giving away free sample sizes of this mascara on their website and I was lucky enough to get one before they ran out. The full size Le Volume de Chanel mascara will set you back £24.00 and is available in shades Noir, Bleu and Prune.

Chanel say, "Instant volume and intense curves from the first stroke with longer, plumper and thicker lashes. Lashes are coated in deep colour, giving eyes a wide-open effect. A shock result produced by the perfect union of brush and formula: The brush, creates volume thanks to its smart design of snowflake-shaped disks that are stacked and oriented for an ideal finish. The quick-drying fluid formula helps build a customised volume result."

The brush head has quite short bristles, which instantly made me wonder if Le Volume de Chanel would separate my lashes enough. It's better than I thought, but I do have to have a mascara wand to hand when applying just incase, as it can apply the formula quite thickly and clump some of the lashes together. In terms of volume - wow! Le Volume you certainly get! Not only that, it curls my lashes (and keeps them that way), and makes them look longer, for gorgeously fluttery eyelashes. The formula of this is quite "wet" and glossy - it makes me realise how other mascaras I've tried have formulas that are actually quite dry (e.g. Benefit They're Real, 17 Doll'd Up). However there is a negative - Le Volume de Chanel tends leave a smudge of black under my eyes by the end of the day and the occasional flake or two. So when wearing it I'm a bit more obsessed with checking my eye makeup than usual!

The Verdict
I think this is an absolutely fabulous mascara that makes my lashes look better than any other I've tried. However for £24.00 I would expect it not to transfer under my eyes at all. It's something I can live with, but in principle I'm not sure if I could bring myself to purchase it full size.

Have you tried Le Volume de Chanel mascara? What are your thoughts on this product?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 17 June 2013

Milestone Follower Giveaway!

One day recently I realised that I had reached an amazing 800 GFC followers and 550 Bloglovin followers, a milestone that I am so thankful to have reached. To say thank you, I am holding an international giveaway!

I'm all about skincare at the moment, so I've decided to give away an Origins face mask of your choice! I chose Origins face masks because they're a great quality product that I've had experience of using before, plus there are ones for different skin types and skin needs. You can choose one of the following four masks:

Origins Drink Up Intensive - "Overnight mask to quench skin's thirst"
Origins Drink Up - "10 minute mask to quench skin's thirst"
Origins Clear Improvement - "Active charcoal mask to clear pores"
Origins Out of Trouble - "10 minute mask to rescue problem skin"

If you need more help deciding which one you'd choose, click here to view them on the Origins website. 

This giveaway will run until 15th July. Please note that I will purchase the face mask after the giveaway ends, so it is likely to take a week or two for the prize to reach the lucky winner. 

Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below. If you do not properly complete the mandatory entries, all other entries will be void. All entries will be checked!! Entries via fake accounts will be disqualified.


Beauty Bird xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

DIY Lip Scrub

Ever since running out of my Betty Buff lip scrubs I've been meaning to make my own and finally got round to it a few weekends ago. The recipe I used for this lip scrub came from the very lovely Grace from All That Slap - you can check out her post on her fab blog here!

To make Grace's lip scrub I used the following:

  • Coconut oil (this was a bargain £2.29 from Superdrug)
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • A pot for the lip scrub (I recycled my Betty Buff one)
  • Mixing bowl and fork

Grace recommends using around 80% sugar, 15% oil and 5% honey. The sugar will exfoliate, the oil will moisturise and the honey seals in that moisture. I used about five teaspoons of sugar, then added the coconut oil gradually (it is solid at room temperature so needs melting first) and mixed it together in between. I stopped when most of the sugar had been bound together by the coconut oil and the texture didn't seem too dry but also not full of liquid. To give you an idea here's what it looked like at this point:

I then mixed in about 3/4 teaspoon of honey, which really binds all the ingredients together. I didn't melt the honey, I just used it straight out of the jar. Although it was solid it was still quite soft, but probably required extra mixing to evenly distribute it than if it was runny.

That is the lip scrub done, super easy! The great thing is that you probably have most of the ingredients already at home, so it's really cheap too. If you don't have coconut oil you could use a different oil, like olive oil. 

The lip scrub is lovely to use. It's very different to my old one, which was quite a dry formula. When you rub the sugar over your lips this leaves a nice thin layer of the coconut oil and honey behind, which is seriously moisturising and also tastes yummy! I don't seem to need to apply as much lip balm afterwards as I used to.

Have you ever made your own lip scrub?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

My Guest Post over at Makeup-Pixi3

Hey lovelies, hope you're all having a good week so far! I'm not sure if I've ever posted twice in one day before, but it's just a quick one to say that I have done a guest post for the lovely Georgina from Makeup-Pixi3 called "The Sleep Easy Pamper". So if you don't already follow Georgina's blog please do go and check it out here and give my little post a read if you have a moment. Thank you!

Beauty Bird xx


John Frieda FREE Everlasting Blonde Trial Packs

I tweeted and instagrammed (my username is beautybird87 if you want to follow) about this yesterday, but I thought I'd also pop up a quick blog post for those of you who might have missed it. I originally saw this on Facebook - one of my friends had liked John Frieda, so it came up on my news feed.

John Frieda are giving away 200 Everlasting Blonde trial packs from their Sheer Blonde range every hour, on the hour from 9am - 8pm, until 14th June. All you have to do is fill in a little form with your name, address and date of birth. Who can say no to a good freebie? I certainly can't and have already claimed my trial pack!

To claim your free trial pack click here.

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 10 June 2013

Review: MUA Power Pout in Rendezvous

Ever since the Clinique Chubby Sticks were released, quite a few brands have been bringing out their own versions and the MUA Power Pout is one of these dupes. MUA describe this as "a lip treatment with colour intensity that relieves dry, cracked lips providing immediate moisturisation". I think this is the cheapest alternative to the Chubby Sticks on the market - a Power Pout will only set you back £3.00! There are six shades available and I went for Rendezvous, which is described as "chic nude".

Let's start with the formula. The crayon end is soft and smooth and it applies the formula quite "wet" and glossy. This glossy finish wears off after around half an hour leaving a nice matte stain of colour, which lasts a couple of hours. It is a lot balmier than I thought it would be - more so than the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains - and is so moisturising! This really was a nice surprise. The Power Pout also has that slightly minty scent and taste, which I personally like and find quite refreshing. 

Now onto the colour. Rendezvous is not what you think it is! The packaging is a light brown and the initial swatch is a sort of browny pink. But very quickly the colour seems to turn into a pretty, slightly berry pink! You can see this in my picture of the swatches and Rendezvous applied to my lips. Thankfully I actually really like the colour, so I'm not too disappointed. It's quite subtle but at the same time you can tell you've added some colour. However if you really want a nude shade, I wouldn't recommend picking this up! Has anyone experienced a colour change with any of the other shades?

All in all though, I think this is a great bargain of a product and I may go and pick up one of their other shades at some point.

To buy MUA Power Pout online or to view all the shades available, click here.

Have you tried any of the MUA Power Pout shades? What's your favourite balm stain product?

Beauty Bird xx


Friday, 7 June 2013

The Five Product Face

I first saw this post over on Kat's blog Tales of a Pale Face and loved the idea of it, so I thought I'd give it a go - especially as I almost always use more than five products. Sometimes I'll use three or four different concealers!! As I was limited to five products I decided to do a very simple, casual, slobbing-out-on-a-Sunday face.

I used:

1. Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation - I couldn't not use my beloved foundation to my cover up my multitude of sins! Thankfully this works really well on dark circles as well as spots, so I applied it all over then went back and added a little more under the eyes where some dark was still showing through. I also used it as a concealer and blended a little extra on some blemishes and scars that were still a bit too obvious for my liking. You can see my full review of this product here.

2. Jane Iredale PurePressed Powder in Light Beige - I ummed and ahhed about whether or not to use a powder, as it seemed like such an easy step to skip. But I do feel like powder really sets the makeup underneath, gives a little more coverage and provides a nice base to apply powder blusher. I like this Jane Iredale one as it's mineral and doesn't contain any pore clogging ingredients.

3. Inika Cosmetics Mineral Blusher in Pink Pinch - I'm currently using a little sample pot of this that I ordered from Beauty Bazaar; I couldn't find any decent swatches online and wanted to try it without having to order the full size. It's a pretty, slightly dusky pink with a hint of shimmer - it's quite subtle, so perfect for a natural glow. 

4. Le Volume de Chanel Mascara - This is also a sample that I received after filling out on a form on the website Stylist (unfortunately I think they've run out of samples now). It's the first time I used it in this photo and my first impressions are that le volume you certainly get! Although at the end of the day the curl had dropped a little and I did have a faint smudge of mascara under my eye in the corner. However I will use a few more times before making a final judgement.

5. CoverGirl Natureluxe Gloss Balm in Thistle - I received this little gem in a American beauty box swap from the lovely Cassidy and love it. It's really moisturising and has the most gorgeous pink sheen with a lilac undertone. 

What products would you use for a five product face?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Spending Ban Update #2 / Beauty Wishlist #5

So exactly one month ago, on 5th May, I started a two month beauty spending ban! I am very pleased to report that I am still going strong and have resisted any temptation that comes my way! The only product I have bought is a new cleanser after mine ran out and I have to say, it did feel a bit weird. This gives me a feeling that this spending ban really is going to benefit me in the long term. 

In my last update I mentioned that I was lusting after the new Bourjois cream blushers and since then I have added a few more bits to my wishlist! 

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask - £30.00
This really isn't a cheap face mask but it is raved about in the blogger world. It is a "potent bio active peel mask designed to renew the complexion, reduce the appearance of fine lines and dramatically improve skin tone". Being an ingredient checker I have noticed that this contains alcohol denat, which I normally actively avoid. However I know from Caroline Hirons that sometimes alcohol is necessary to suspend certain products like acids in a solution - so I'm hoping this is the case... Any advice would be welcomed on this!

Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron Moisture Booster - £24.99
This is another raved about product that I really want to incorporate into my skincare routine. Hydraluron is a hydrating serum that contains a premium grade of hyaluronic acid and is designed to be used before moisturiser. I've found that my skin has really benefited from using a serum in the morning, but I've been using my Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, which is a lot more expensive so ideally I'd like to stick to using it at night.

Bobbi Brown Corrector - £18.00
I've been intrigued by this product by a long time. My dark circles have been a lot worse than normal recently due to a lack of sleep and sometimes I just don't think concealer is enough! This is designed be applied before concealer to neutralise darkness. I'd quite like to see this in store and be properly colour matched, so this may well be a purchase for the blogger meetup I'm going to in July!

What's on your beauty wishlist right now? Are you on a spending ban and if so how are you finding it?   

Beauty Bird xx



Monday, 3 June 2013

Magazine Freebies June 2013 (July 2013 Editions)

So last month I had a bit of a magazine spree to pick up some fab freebies and there's even more due out in June with the July magazine editions! Here are the ones I'm aware of - if you know of any more comment below and I'll add it to the post with a credit. Thank goodness I'm allowing myself magazines even though I'm on a spending ban for everything else beauty related!

On 6 June Marie Claire will be hitting the shops with a free Ciate Mini Nail Polish and Caviar Kit worth £10.00! This consists of the Cookies and Cream nude polish for the base and Shooting Stars Caviar Pearls, which looks primarily gold on the nails but has multi-coloured beads in the pot. Either way there's no way I will be passing up my chance to add more Ciate to my collection!

If you're on the look out for a new moisturiser, Instyle will be giving away a 50ml Neal's Yard Remedies Daily Moisturiser worth £12.00 from 6 June. This moisturiser sounds absolutely divine - according to the Neal's Yard website they've blended "antioxidant-rich acai, bilberry and goji berry with moisturising hyaluronic acid in this lightweight, easily absorbed lotion, for beautifully nourished, radiant, healthy-looking skin". I'm not sure I can avoid this, especially as my current Dermalogica moisturiser is close to running out.

Elle will be out a day earlier on 5 June with a Rodial Brazilian Tan freebie in a choice of three shades - clear, dark and light. This 58ml tube is worth £13.50. To be honest I don't really fake tan very often and if I do it's just to take the edge off my pasty legs once the sun arrives! So I'm not sure yet if I'll get this one.

Sandra from Beauty Balm posted on her blog recently (click here to the view the post) that Red will come with a free 15ml Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm. I think this already out in stores. This tube is worth £9.60 and can be used as a primer, moisturiser and radiance booster. I'm intrigued!

Sara from Pretty in Pink instagrammed a picture of some freebies with Glamour - a choice of four beauty products from Model Co, together worth £76.00. Choose from a mascara (£16.00), lipgloss (£15.00), eyeliner (£15.00) or lip liner (£15.00). I think I'll check these out in store first - the lip liner will be tempting depending on what colour.

Will you be picking up any of these magazines for the freebies?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 2 June 2013

May Empties

I'm seriously low on the empties this month! I am so close to finishing quite a few other products though, so perhaps June's post will be a biggie!

Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser 250ml - £21.85 (online price)
I've been using this specific cleanser for a long time, as it's suited for skin with excess oil production and so is great at re-balancing mine! This bottle lasts me a good four or five months, but everytime I re-purchase the price has gone up! Full review here.
Re-purchase? I already have, but next time I may look elsewhere for a cheaper alternative.

Soap and Glory Flake Away 50ml - £2.50
Flake Away is one of Soap and Glory's body exfoliators, containing shea butter, sweet almond oil, peach seed powder, sea salt and sugar. I really wasn't taken with this product; I didn't find it exfoliating enough as it seemed to disappear into the skin really quickly. It smells nice though!
Re-purchase? No.

The Body Shop Lightening Touch Pen in Shade 01 - £14.00
This is a highlighting, light diffusing concealer that I've been using under my eyes to give extra radiance on top of a coverage concealer. It works really well and has a non-cakey, easy to blend formula, but it's just a bit expensive compared to others on the high street. Full review here.
Re-purchase? I'm still undecided - I think I will browse Boots first to see if I can find a cheaper alternative.

Caudalie Grape Water Spray 75ml - £5.40 (online price) 
I'd been keeping this in my handbag to use throughout the day, to soothe, moisturise and refresh my skin. It is a 100% organic spray, that is suitable for all skin types. This is a product that does what it says on the tin and has a lovely refreshing scent. Full review here.
Re-purchase? No - Liz Earle's Skin Tonic Spritzer caught my eye so I purchased this instead.

What empties have you used up recently? 

Beauty Bird xx

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