Thursday, 30 January 2014

Beauty Wishlist #6

1. Babyliss Curl Secret - £120.00
I have a feeling this will be on my wishlist for a long time as it's soooo expensive and I just don't have the spare money right now. But oh would I love to have this! I have read lots of posts reviewing it and seen lots of YouTube videos with it in action and it just looks amazing. I am rubbish at curling my hair and the Curl Secret really does seem foolproof.

I have seen a lot of love for this product in the blogger world. It can be used as a highlighter, eyeshadow and just to give a bit of general shimmer to your skin. Of course I really don't need this - I already have two highlighters plus numerous highlighting eyeshadows - but it's just so prettyyyyyy. On all the pictures I've seen it gives such a gorgeous but subtle glow. The packaging of the product is fab too.

I always put a perfume on my birthday or Christmas list, and with my birthday in a few months this is the perfume I've added to it. I always smell it when going past a perfume counter! It's a floral based fragrance containing centifolia rose, India osmanthus, catleya orchid and sambac jasmine. Of course the vintage looking bottle would look amazing on my dressing table too!

I have a bit of an obsession with trying eye creams - I have very bad dark circles and will use anything that might help them look that bit better! I love the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye, but this one is cheaper and is also free from parabens, fragrance and mineral oil. It also contains lots of lovely natural ingredients, such as Lavender and Evening Primose.

I've always wanted to try an "invisible" powder with no particular colour or shade to it. This one sounds ideal for my spot prone skin as it's talc free. It's also fragrance, paraben and silicone free. It is designed to soften skin, minimise the appearance of pores and remove excess shine for a polished finish. I'm currently making a list of makeup products that would work well for my wedding day next year and I think this would help obtain the flawless finish I so desperately want.

As is always the way, since writing this wishlist a few more products have caught my eye! So I'm just going to give mentions to the Frat Boy Blush, also by theBalm cosmetics, which is a gorgeous peachy colour. Plus the Indie Lee Blemish Lotion, which looks like a completely natural version of the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion.

What's on your beauty wishlist right now? Do you use any of the products mentioned above?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Review: The Clear Skin Cookbook by Dale Pinnock

This is my first time reviewing a book on this blog (and I think ever!) but the topic is one that is very close to my heart. I put The Clear Skin Cookbook by Dale Pinnock on my Christmas wishlist and was lucky enough to have my wish granted! 

I feel like I have been on a clear skin mission forever and I wanted this book to try and up my game. I think that a lot of my breakouts now are lifestyle and/or hormonal related. Of course I don't really know, but in terms of a skincare routine I seem to have done everything I can - I follow one consistently and am very careful with the products I use in terms of what ingredients they contain. This is also true for the makeup I wear. I now want to try and incorporate more foods into my diet that are good for the skin, which is where this book comes in. If you're in the same situation as me, hopefully my thoughts on The Clear Skin Cookbook may also help you move forward with your mission!

The first third of the book covers the author's story, what the skin does, how the skin works, how it ages and common skin conditions. It doesn't just cover acne, but also eczema, erythema nodosum, keratosis pilaris, lichen planus, psoriasis and rosacea. The author, Dale Pinnock, suffered with acne himself and he is writing with great experience of the effect food can have on the skin. He is extremely knowledgeable and goes into great scientific detail of how the skin works - but writes it in a way that you can understand. It is so, so interesting, however what I would say is that you do need to concentrate when reading this! For each skin condition he explains why it happens and makes suggestions for the top foods to fight each skin condition.

The second third of the book covers in detail vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and face fats (basically fatty acids like Omega 3) - the role that each of these play in looking after the skin and which are the best foods to find them in. It's fantastic to have such a wealth of information in one place - I find that there's a lot of information online, however it can be very confusing and sometimes contradictory. After reading this part of the book I made a list of foods that I need to either introduce to my diet, or ones that I need to be more present in my diet than they already are (for example, sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds and red bell peppers). 

The final part of the book brings together all the information provided to list some easy recipe ideas for soups, starters, main courses, desserts, breakfasts and drinks, all of which are very healthy to boost your skin and of course, your overall health. A few examples of these are spiced parsnip soup, steamed salmon with yogurt sauce on wilted greens and blackberry crumble. Yum! Living with a self-confessed junk food lover I'm not sure I'll be ever able to completely overhaul my diet, however I will definitely be able to add some of these recipes to our list of dinner ideas, which is better than nothing.

I would 100% recommend The Clear Skin Cookbook to anyone - even if you don't particularly suffer with a skin condition and just want to get a better understanding of the link between food and your skin's health. I know I will refer back to this book on a regular basis and I really hope it can help me get one step closer to achieving clear skin! Best of all, it's currently only £5.00 on Amazon (here).

Have you read The Clear Skin Cookbook? What are your favourite beauty or skincare related books to read?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Review: HealGel Face Moisturiser

When it comes to moisturiser I'm one of those people who has three or four on the go at any one time, switching the one I use around depending on the weather and/or how my skin is behaving. The moisturiser I'm using at the moment, both day and night, is HealGel Face. The brand HealGel was created by a team of British cosmetic and plastic surgeons and a dermatological biochemist, who wanted to produce a range of effective skincare products that they could also integrate with their work. This range is based on an aqueous (water based) gel formula, which is suitable for all skin types. 

HealGel Face is described as "An exceptional anti-ageing formula designed to smooth, firm and replenish to give instantly plumper, revitalised looking skin". HealGel Face boasts a unique blend of Omega 3 oils to nourish hydrated skin and restore elasticity, a three part Hyaluronic Acid complex to plump and tighten, plus a mixture of Arnica, Madecassoside, peptides and biodynes to soothe skin and boost collagen. They are all very impressive sounding ingredients and I was excited to see it contained Omega 3 oils, which is recommended for spot prone skin as it tackles inflammation. However there is of course a price to pay for all these powerful, effective ingredients, as the 50ml tube costs £48.00.

The product dispenses with a pump, which thankfully is very controllable, so you don't get any waste! The gel formula is of a medium consistency, quite creamy and very much reminds me of a serum type formula - but thicker. I was worried this wouldn't be hydrating enough to be the last step of my skincare routine before makeup, however I was proved completely wrong. HealGel Face has really upped the hydration levels of my skin. The dryness I was previously experiencing around my breakouts (and couldn't work out why) has completely gone. This seems to be calming them and helping them disappear much faster. My skin really does look healthier, brighter and happier! I'm not experiencing as much oiliness around the t-zone, so it seems to be re-balancing it a little too! The gel formula absorbs very quickly and means I don't have to wait quite as long before applying makeup. The only thing I would say I haven't noticed is any tightening or firming of my skin - perhaps more mature skins than mine could comment on this better?

The Verdict
With HealGel Face I really do believe you get what you pay for; a quality product that contains some fantastic ingredients. For me it just works. It does everything I want a moisturiser to and more. I just hope I can afford a replacement when the time comes around, because an expensive moisturiser does not help to save for a wedding! If you like to invest in your skincare and tend to purchase high end brands, then I highly recommend giving this product a try.

To find out more about HealGel and their products click here.

Have you tried any products from HealGel? Do you prefer to invest in your skincare or your makeup?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Friday, 24 January 2014

Winter Layers

As well as layering up my clothes in the really cold weather, I'm also layering up my skincare. This is the first year I've really listened to my skin and taken into account the effects of the weather, so I've changed my skincare accordingly. Cold weather outside and then central heating indoors means my skin easily gets dehydrated and I need to compensate by making sure my skincare routine really injects the lost moisture back into my skin. This stops the drier areas of my face become even more dry and the oily parts becoming even more oily (skin produces extra oil when it gets dry to try and hydrate it). So I thought I'd share with you the products I'm using regularly to combat dehydration and dryness - a selection of facial skincare winter saviours!

Once I've cleansed and exfoliated, I spritz on a layer of the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic, which is effectively a hydrating toner. It contains lots of natural active ingredients such as Cucumber Extract, Geranium Essential Oil, Aloe Vera and Glycerin to soothe, hydrate and revitalise skin and re-balance it after cleansing. Full review here.

After toning I'll use some kind of serum and at the moment I'm trying Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron after receiving a trial size in the British Beauty Blogger Beauty Box. It contains high levels of intense, moisturising Hyaluronic Acid, which are designed to penetrate the surface of the skin and reach the deeper layers. It also means better absorption of any product you put on top of it. It's working really well for me at the moment and I think my skin looks healthier because of it. I've just bought the full size!

Once the serum has absorbed I'll apply a facial oil and my current oil of choice is the Antipodes Divine Face Oil. It's light, non-greasy and is packed full of different oils such as rosehip, avocado, jojoba and macadamia, which work together to hydrate, soften, regulate and balance skin. I also find it really soothing and calming on painful spots. Full review here.

Finally, if I feel my skin needs it, I'll apply a light layer of the Neal's Yard Power Berry Daily Moisture. It's lightweight and also contains Hyaluronic Acid, amongst lots of natural oils and extracts. It's light enough to use in the morning but hydrating enough to use at night. I love this because it absorbs quickly, isn't greasy and makes my skin look brighter.

I thought I'd also mention in this post the Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask, which I don't use daily, but as and when I think my skin needs a more intense hydration hit. This is the only moisture mask I've ever tried, but it's very affordable at £8.99 if you don't want to stretch to the price of the Origins masks. The formula is creamy but (unexpectedly) contains little grainy bits, so it leaves skin smoother and brighter as well as giving it a moisture boost. Full review to come.

What are your favourite skincare products for winter? Have you been layering your skincare too?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Review: Seventeen 18 Hour Stay Time Concealer in Extra Fair

Move over Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, there's a new favourite concealer in my makeup bag that I'm using every day - the Seventeen 18 Hour Stay Time Concealer in Extra Fair. I bought this after Kate from Gh0stparties raved about it on her blog and recently mentioned it in My Favourite Makeup Discoveries of 2013 post without having done a full review. Here's why I love it so.

First of all, the shade Extra Fair is the absolute perfect match for my super pale skintone. The formula has a fairly thick, creamy consistency and this paired with the shade, means it blends fantastically and looks very natural. I use it on both blemishes and dark circles and it works really well on both. The thick consistency does mean it has a tendency to settle into fine lines, however it doesn't dry out the skin or go cakey halfway through the day. I wouldn't say it lasts 18 hours, however it lasts at least 8 hours on me. 

I prefer this to Collection's offering mainly because of the shade - the Collection one is a little more orange toned, which it makes it harder to blend and doesn't look as natural. I would say that the formula of Seventeen's is thinner in comparison to Collection's, so I will keep the Lasting Perfection Concealer when I feel I need something a little more heavy duty, especially for dark circles. However I think for the time being, Seventeen 18 Hour Stay Time Concealer will be daily choice for natural coverage.

The Seventeen 18 Hour Stay Time Concealer is £4.49 and can be purchased from Boots, although it doesn't seem to be on their website for some reason!

Have you tried this concealer? What's your current go to for natural coverage?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 20 January 2014

Love Me Beauty Box January 2014

Well hello to the very first Love Me Beauty Box of the year! I had high expectations for this month's box and boy it is good! Love Me Beauty have definitely upped their game and there's not a Lord and Berry product in sight. This box contains 5 products; 3 of these are full size and 3 of these are also brands that have never featured in a Love Me Beauty Box before! I chose Menu Two, which along with the other menus, costs £10.00 plus postage.

 NYX Cosmetics Single Eyeshadow in Cryptonite (full size, worth £5.00)
(The accompanying menu said the shade "Rock" but also that shades may vary slightly.)
NYX pressed mineral eye shadows are packed with colour, easy to blend and will last for hours. This shimmery black eyeshadow can be used for the ultimate smokey eye look. 

Weleda Sea Buckhorn Hand Cream 10ml (sample size, worth £1.79)
Rich in vitamins and unsaturated fatty acids, the precious sea buckhorn and sesame oils in this soothing balm gives rough, dry, hard-working hands an intense moisture boost.

Anatomicals You Need a Blooming Shower! - Rose and Jasmine Body Cleanser 250ml (full size, worth £3.00)
This cleanser features a soothing mix of Aloe Vera and Witch Hazel with Rose and Jasmine scents. This relaxing shower gel leaves the skin feeling cleansed and refreshed.

Pureology Colour Stylist Silk Bodifier 65ml (sample size, worth £3.90)
This 100% vegan rich mousse adds fullness and volume without feeling heavy and leaves hair beautifully soft and shiny, plus it protects and maximises the vibrancy of colour treated hair.

 Cosmetics à la Carte Divine Lash Mascara in Black (full size, worth £23.00)
Divine Lash has a slim, tapered, flexible brush, perfect for reaching every lash from corners to bottom lashes. This mascara creates length and definition with the advantage of no clumps.

In total this box is worth £36.69 and contains a fantastic mix of products covering makeup, bodycare and haircare. I am most excited about the NYX Cosmetics Eyeshadow (it may get me closer to achieving my beauty resolution of the perfect smokey eye) and the Cosmetics à la Carte Divine Lash Mascara (a brand I've never tried before and a high end one at that!). I'm also glad to see another Weleda product because I didn't get on with the last one I've tried, which was a shampoo, but I've seen lots of positive reviews about the brand as a whole. Plus you can never have enough hand cream and it's the perfect size for popping in your handbag. The Anatomicals shower gel is a seriously generous size for the price and the sweet (but very) rose scent makes it one I'll use in Spring/Summer. I'm intrigued by the Pureology Colour Stylist Silk Bodifier as I haven't used mousse for years... hopefully it'll provide plenty of volume with no crispiness!

To find out more about Love Me Beauty or to order your own box, please click here.

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.


Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Blogger Made Me Buy It - Tag!

I love a good tag! So when I saw this one created by the lovely Danniella from Famous in Japan, I added it straight to my list! Blogging has definitely meant that my bank account gets dented more often than it would otherwise and I always read blogger reviews if there's a product I want to find out more about before buying. So here I go with my answers!

1) Who are your most influential bloggers?  Who are the ones that you really rely on for reviews and swatches?
For reviews and swatches, especially of new products, I'd either head to The Sunday Girl or British Beauty Blogger. I also regularly head to Temptalia, which is particularly fab for MAC reviews and swatches. For skincare, Caroline Hirons is one of my favourites.

2) Do you buy a product solely as a result from one review from your favourite bloggers, or do you look for more reviews from others?
I think it probably depends on the product, so a bit of both really. If it's something I really want but haven't given in yet, one or two rave reviews would definitely sway me to buy. However if it's the opposite because I haven't really heard of it or been tempted by it, then I'd probably read a lot more reviews before making a decision on whether to purchase or not.

3) What is your most favourite item that you have ever bought as a consequence of blogs?
Ooh that's hard one! I have quite a few... Probably the Real Techniques brushes, closely followed by the Pixi Glow Tonic.

4) What is your least favourite item that you have ever bought as a consequence of blogs?
I think it would have to be the tinted version of Maybelline Baby Lips. I read so many rave reviews but really there wasn't anything that made them special, apart from maybe the super cheap price, but you get what you pay for with it. I'd rather pay more for a tinted lip balm that actually makes my lips feel hydrated in the long term rather than the short term.

5) Name 5 products you have bought recently as a result of blogs.
Some Crownbrush brushes, the REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser, Lush Shoot for the Stars Bath Bomb, Lush Golden Wonder Bath Bomb and the Clarins Essential Eye Palette (so excited about the latter as I desperately wanted it when it was released, then found it recently in a blog sale!).

6) Have you ever given into blogger hype?  If so, which hype?
Yes definitely - Pixi Glow Tonic, Maybelline Baby Lips, L'Oreal Confetti Top Coat, MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder, Bourjois Cream Blushers, MAC Lipstick... and probably many more!! However apart from the Baby Lips, I don't regret buying any of these as they're all fab products.

7) Have you ever avoided blogger hype?  If so, which hype?
The Urban Decay Naked 3 is one that immediately springs to mind, as it seems like everyone owns it and is talking about right now. To be honest I think I prefer the shades in the other two palettes, neither of which I own either!! I just can't bring myself to spend nearly £40.00 on an eyeshadow palette. I also never bought any of the Rimmel Apocalips - I haven't been quite convinced by these.

8) Is everything you buy based on blogger reviews or are there some items you buy without checking out a review?
I think it's a mix of both... I do read a lot of reviews but there are occasions where I'll pop into Boots or Superdrug and pick up something on impulse that I haven't read about beforehand! I did this with the Seventeen Doll'd Up Mascara and Phwoarr Paint, but ended up really liking both.

I hope you enjoyed reading my answers! As usual I tag all of you lovely people reading this, so pop your links in the comment box if you do this tag! Otherwise let me know what are your favourite and least favourite products you've bought due to blogger hype?

Beauty Bird xx


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Fragrance Direct Bargain Picks

I do a lot of my beauty shopping online these days and tend to rely on the same set of websites to get my beauty fix. One of these is Fragrance Direct, which I'm sure most of you have already heard of, as they sell branded but discounted perfumes, makeup, skincare, haircare and bodycare for both men and women. So I was very excited when Fragrance Direct asked me to feature some products from their website on my blog. I think it's fair to say that one of the brands Fragrance Direct is best known for selling is Essie nail varnish, because they offer a whopping £5.49 off the normal retail price. However after a lengthy browse, I wanted to share with you some of Fragrance Direct's other bargain picks from brands you may not be aware that they sell - I certainly wasn't aware of all of these when I found them!

Vivienne Westwood Cheeky Alice Eau de Toilette Spray 50ml - RRP £45.00 - FD Price £18.95 = SAVING £26.05
This perfume is currently in their sale, so it is a lot more discounted than normal. I've wanted to try one of the Vivienne Westwood Alice perfumes for ages and the scent is right up my street - floral with a woody, musky base. The balance is just right and so would work well for day and night, especially in the summer.  Apparently this is the "sexier, older sister" of the Naughty Alice scent! Can I just also just say how gorgeous the bottle is - it has that vintage feel with the round lid and the mixture of gold and red. This is in the sale until Sunday 19th January, so be quick if you want to take advantage!

Organix Passionfruit Guava Shampoo 385ml - RRP £5.99 - FD Price £2.99 = SAVING £3.00 
I love my fruity scents and this one is delicious without being too sweet or sickly. It contains organic Passionfruit Extract, organic Guava and Orange Blossom infused Honey, which is designed to equal hydrated, stimulated and enriched frizz-free hair. This shampoo really works for me; my hair isn't massively frizzy yet my hair was so smooth and silky afterwards I didn't even need to use serum like normal! It's also paraben and sulfate free. 

Rimmel Glam Eyes Quad in Smokey Brun - RRP £6.99 - FD Price £1.99 = SAVING £5.00
I had this quad years ago and used it all the time, as it contains four fab neutral colours that really suit blue eyes. The lighter shades are great for a natural daytime look and you can add the darker ones for a smokey nighttime look. The quad comes with a little brush too, making it perfect for travelling.

Becca Extra Small Polishing Brush 55 - RRP £21.50 - FD Price £4.99 = SAVING £16.51
I have seen lots of love for Becca products from fellow bloggers and Fragrance Direct offer seriously big savings on the Becca products they sell. One of these is this eyeshadow brush, which is described as the ideal blending and buffing tool for liquid, cream and powder shadows, whether wet or dry. This is the biggest, chunkiest eyeshadow brush I've tried and it is definitely best for blending/buffing - it's not so good for applying, especially with cream eyeshadow.
Laidbare For Richer For Porer Facial Masque 50ml - RRP £7.99 - FD Price £2.99 - SAVING £5.00
A face mask for just £2.99?! Yes please! This pick was a no brainer, especially as I've wanted to try the Laidbare brand for ages! It contains Kaolin Clay to draw out impurities, Japanese Seaweed Extract to detoxify and smooth, Shea Butter for hydration, Liquorice to minimise inflammation and Rose Water to soothe irritation. It also contains little grains to exfoliate as you apply/remove it. Doesn't this sound like just the perfect multi-tasking mask? It is recommended for oily/combo skin like mine and I've only used it a few times, but I'm really liking it so far!

Just a note that one thing I find is about Fragrance Direct is that some of the stock levels change regularly - so one week there might be three shades of nail varnish available from a specific brand and then the next week over ten. So it's always worth checking back if there's something you're specifically looking for. 

What are your favourite bargain picks from Fragrance Direct?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Review: ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base

I wear eyeshadow a lot but it doesn't go anywhere near my eyes unless I've applied some kind of base or primer product first. The one I've been using for months now is the ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base and after mentioning it in My Favourite Makeup Discoveries of 2013 post, it's time I justify this favouritism with a full review.

The ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base comes in a 5ml pot and has a thin but creamy, neutral coloured formula with a slight shimmer. It contains Vitamin E to nourish and protect the skin and Bisabolol to calm and neutralise any redness. It retails at £8.00. 

ARTDECO say, "This base ensures eye shadow particles stay put and does not deposit in the crease of the eye. Colours are distributed evenly resulting in brighter, more intense pigmentation and even the most basic of eye-shadows become longer lasting and brilliant."

This product absolutely delivers on its promises. As you can see from the photo, it's absolutely amazing at enhancing and intensifying the colour of eyeshadow; it has completed transformed the MUA Cosmetics eyeshadow above. It's especially a must have if you own any eyeshadows that aren't very pigmented or just don't "pop". Using the ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base, my eyeshadow doesn't crease and has barely faded even after a good 10 hours. 

I think for £8.00 this is an absolute bargain and a great option if you don't want to spend over double on the popular Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.

You can purchase ARTDECO from Debenhams or from the website Beauty Bay.

What's your favourite eyeshadow primer/base?

Beauty Bird xx 


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Review: Organic Surge Spiced Lily Foaming Bath

Sometimes there's nothing more pampering and relaxing than a warm bath, especially in the chilly winter months. I never have a bath without some kind of product in there too, be it a bath foam/soak, salts or a good old bomb! The most recent addition to my bathtime stash is the Organic Surge Spiced Lily Foaming Bath and it's the first time I've ever tried one that's SLS free. The bottle is 250ml in size and retails for a very affordable £5.99.

Organic Surge say, "Natural Spiced Lily Foaming Bath contains essential oils of sensual patchouli and spicy clove-bud, which help to de-stress and revive body and mind while natural aloe vera soothes the skin. Skin-conditioning glycerine actively attracts moisture to the skin, allowing it to remain smooth, nourished and hydrated".

My favourite thing about it is the scent - it's absolutely beautiful. Being from essential oils of Patchouli and Clove-Bud, the scent is sweet but with a musky undertone and is quite strong, but so warming and comforting. It is the most perfect winter scent - if only you could transport the smell through a blog post! Being SLS free, this doesn't create a massive amount of bubbles or foam, which was as I expected. So if you like to be surrounded by a mountain of bubbles, this definitely isn't the product for you; the photo shows below what I got from using about a sixth of the bottle. The bubbles also seem to disperse quite quickly. However as promised, you are left with lovely, soft and hydrated skin thanks to the Aloe Vera and Glycerine it contains.

The Verdict
I personally prefer a few more bubbles from a foaming product, however the scent is a winner, which will keep me using the rest of the bottle. Would I get my hands on another bottle? Possibly, for the winter months - the price is certainly swaying me towards a yes! However I definitely recommend this if you use SLS free products, although for you green bloggers it's worth noting this is 98.81% natural, not 100%. I would love it if Organic Surge produced some more products in Spiced Lily, as at the moment the Foaming Bath is the only one. It would be absolutely amazing as a candle scent!

Have you tried the Organic Surge Spiced Lily Foaming Bath? What are your thoughts on a SLS free bath product - are you a big bubble fan?!

Click here to view it on the Organic Surge website.

Beauty Bird xx

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


Friday, 10 January 2014

Lush Boxing Day Sale Haul

I've really surprised myself this year and only succumbed to the Lush sale, which went live on Boxing Day *pats self on back*. I went online about 10am and there were quite a lot of items on sale but, as I need to tighten the purse strings this year, I only ordered the items I really wanted. Thankfully I went on early because I think most things in the sale had sold out by the afternoon. My package finally arrived at the beginning of this week and here's what was inside!

Magic Wand Reusable Bubble Bar - This is part of the Snow Fairy range and so is only available around Christmas time. It's a solid version of the Snow Fairy shower gel, but instead of crumbling it up like a lot of their other bubble bars, you swish this one around under the running water just like a magic wand! The six year old princess in me can't wait to give this one a try.

Shoot for the Stars Bath Bomb - I believe this bath bomb is a newbie, created for Christmas 2013, so I'm not sure whether they'll bring this back for next Christmas, like they always do with Snow Fairy. I chose this one because it contains Bergamot (one of my favourite bathtime scents) and from reviews I've seen, it turns the bath water a pretty purple-y blue.

Whoosh Temple Balm - I've never seen this before in store, but it turns out it's only available online and in the Poole shop (but all year round). If you're feeling tired or overworked you're meant to put some of this balm on your temples and the citrus fragrance should perk you up and give you a boost. Believe me, I need something like this in my life so I hope it works - I will do a full review once it's been tried and tested!

Golden Wonder Bath Bomb - Another Christmas bath bomb, but I've seen this a few Christmases in a row now. I've wanted to try it for ages so I just had to pop one in my online basket. It's blimmin' huge and has lots of different layers inside, which are slowly revealed when you put it in the bath (like pass the parcel according to Lush!).

Rose Jam and Snower Fairy Shower Gels - Only the small bottles were available when I went online, but that's probably a good thing considering how many shower gels I already have! Of course I had to get a bottle of Snow Fairy, a gorgeously sweet scent of pear drops and candyfloss. I also picked up Rose Jam, another limited edition product, because I nearly bought it a few months ago but stopped when I realised the small bottle was £4.65! Ouch! The scent is gorgeous though - floral but with sweet notes of lemon and vanilla.

Did you pick up anything in the Lush sale?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

NOTD: One for Magpies - Rimmel Space Dust in Aurora

My sister bought me this gorgeous Rimmel Space Dust in Aurora for Christmas and for a magpie like me, this is the ultimate glitter nail varnish! Aurora is one of five shades in the range and a very light pink made up of very small concentrated glitter with larger silver glitter particles mixed throughout. I absolutely love this effect, though if it's a bit much for you it would look great as just an accent nail too. 

I only applied two coats of Aurora to achieve a full coverage finish. The finish is textured so I didn't apply a top coat, yet it still lasted four days before chipping. It wasn't too bad to take off - you just need to hold the cotton pad over the varnish for a little bit before trying to remove.

Have you tried any of the Rimmel Space Dust shades? What's your favourite concentrated glitter nail varnish?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 6 January 2014

Review: REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser

I really like clay cleansers, so when I decided to move on from my usual Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser, which was regularly increasing in price, I quickly gravitated towards REN's offering. The REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser (try saying that quickly!) is part of a larger ClearCalm 3 range, which is designed for blemish prone skin that aims to combat the 3 key causes of blemishes and breakouts without harshness - excess sebum, build up of dead skin cells and blemish causing bacteria. The bottle I currently have and seen in the photos is 150ml in size, however REN have now increased it to 200ml as standard for the same price of £18.00. It comes with a very controllable pump dispenser and I like the clear bottle so you can see how much product you have left! 

The REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser uses bio extracts of French Clay, Zinc Gluconate, Salicilin, Mayblossom and Manuka Extract to deeply cleanse and purify the skin, gently exfoliate to unclog skin and minimise the appearance of pore size. REN as a brand do not use parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, petrolatum, synthetic fragrances or colours.

The formula I absolutely love, it's very creamy, quite thick and it lasts for ages when you're massaging it into your face; it doesn't disappear or dry out quickly, so you can give your skin a thorough cleanse. It doesn't irritate or feel harsh on my oily/combination skin either; it removes excess oil yet it's probably the most hydrating clay cleanser I've tried, so it gives me a good base to carry on with the rest of my skincare routine. This isn't a cleanser for removing makeup, so I'd recommend using it for a second nighttime cleanse or as a morning cleanse. I'd also recommend removing it with a face cloth; it's so thick that just splashing water on your face really doesn't remove it all properly.

When it comes to breakouts however, I personally haven't noticed a major difference. I've been using the Clarifying Clay Cleanser for nearly four months and through this time I've had bouts of clear skin, skin with a few little breakouts and then really awful, mountainous type breakouts. But the thing is I'm not really disappointed. I think there's only so much a cleanser can do when it's on your face for a few minutes and then washed off. Its effects aren't going to last through the day or night until the next cleanse, especially when there's so many other factors that can affect your skin in between, such as the number of other products that will be layered on afterwards! It may be that you see better effects when used with other products from the ClearCalm 3 range. What I would say is that the formula is very soothing and calming on spots and blemishes, not aggravating them at all.

The Verdict
The REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser is a pleasure to use, as I love the creamy clay formula that doesn't contain any nasty ingredients to irritate or dry out my skin. If you're really breakout prone don't expect miracles from this cleanser, but it's a great product to start off the rest of a targeted skincare routine. I will re-purchase.

To view on the REN website, please click here.

Have you tried the REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser? Are you a fan of clay based cleansers?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Mission: Hydrated Hair with Tigi

This winter is the first time I've really noticed a difference to my hair. In reaction to the change in temperature it started off dry and then would get really greasy/oily at the roots quite quickly after washing. Quite similar to skin really - I guess it was producing extra oil to counteract the dryness. Therefore like with my skin, I changed what products I used to achieve the mission: hydrated hair.

Three new additions to my haircare stash are the Tigi Catwalk Oatmeal and Honey Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner and the Tigi S Factor Silky Smooth Moisture Serum. I've been using these for a good month now and thought it was about time to share my thoughts on them with you.

Tigi Catwalk Oatmeal and Honey Nourishing Shampoo 300ml (£13.95) and Conditioner 250ml (£15.50)
"This formula with acacia honey, wheat protein and Vitamin E, helps to smooth dry, damaged hair and replenish moisture and shine, leaving hair soft and silky. With ingredients that help to nourish and repair, benefits accumulated with repeated usage."

First of all, wow does this duo smell amazing! The sweetness of the honey is balanced out with the dry scent of the oatmeal, making it just right. Everytime I open the bottles I have to have a sniff! The packaging is sleek and elegant and I like the fact the conditioner bottle is a little smaller, meaning you're more likely to run out of the shampoo and conditioner together.

The formula of both the shampoo and conditioner is lovely, quite thick and creamy. After first use I didn't notice the biggest difference, however Tigi are right when they say the benefits increase the more you use the products. The Tigi Catwalk Oatmeal and Honey Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner make my hair hydrated, healthy, soft and frizz free. My hair has stopped getting so oily and now lasts well through to its normal second day wash. This is the best moisturising shampoo and conditioner I've tried to date.
Tigi S Factor Silky Smooth Moisture Serum 250ml (£14.90)
"A scientific blend of ingredients that smoothes the cuticle, protects against environmental and heat damage and restores moisture and shine. Use in wet or dry hair."

Once I've washed my hair and towel dried it, I'll apply a pea sized amount of the Tigi S Factor Silky Smooth Moisture Serum through my hair avoiding the roots. If I feel my hair needs it, I'll also apply some to dry hair between washes. The formula is clear with a medium consistency and has quite a strong apple scent, which is nice but quite unexpected! It dispenses with a pump and it's very easy to control how much product is released. 

I personally prefer using this on wet hair because it seems to protect my hair from the heat of the hairdryer so well. This serum really does take the moisture level up a big notch. My hair goes from soft to, as promised, seriously silky smooth! It doesn't make my hair feel tacky or weigh it down. In conjunction with the Catwalk duo, this makes my hair actually really lightweight. If I had to choose, this would be favourite of the three products.

Although you pay more for Tigi as a brand, I feel that from my experience of using the Catwalk Oatmeal and Honey Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner and the S Factor Silky Smooth Moisture Serum, that you get amazing quality and products that really deliver. If you're struggling to manage your hair in this colder weather, I would really recommend using these. They can be purchased from the website Dirty Looks here, a fab hair website that sell a range of haircare products, hair tools and clip in extensions, from brands including Tigi, Osmo, Renbow Crazy Color, GHD, Babyliss, Cloud 9 and Bobby Glam.

What are your favourite products for hydrated hair? Have you tried Tigi's offerings before?

Beauty Bird xx

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

Friday, 3 January 2014

December Empties #2

I've been trying to get through my mass collection of products, but I don't seem to be doing too well! I had a good sort out the other day and threw out a lot of old products, however I still have a lot left!! (If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen my picture of my 17 shower gels...!) So I definitely need to work on using up products better. Here's what I used up in December.

Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser 250ml - £24.45 (online price)
I've mentioned this cleanser a few times before on this blog as I've used it for a long time. The clay based formula is great for my oily/combination skin and cleanses without being harsh or drying out the skin. Full review here.
Re-purchase? No - the price goes up everytime I need to re-purchase, so I'm now using the REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser.

NEOM Organics Real Luxury Organic Treatment Candle* - £39.50
I absolutely loved this candle and was so sad when it ran out. The scent was a gorgeous mix of Lavender, Jasmine and Brazilian Rosewood; light but really relaxing. It burnt completely evenly thanks to the three wicks and the all natural mix of vegetable wax and aromatherapy oils. Full review here.
Re-purchase? I'm currently using their Harmonise candle, but I would definitely like to have this one again.

L'Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray 75ml - £2.50
I don't use hairspray very much but I always have a little bottle just incase. It's a perfectly good hairspray though I wouldn't say it's the one for hardcore hold.
Re-purchase? Yes.

L'Oreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution 200ml - £4.99
This featured in my Favourite Skincare Discoveries of 2013 post as it's made me a micellar water convert. The formula is great at removing my makeup and doesn't contain any alcohol or artificial fragrance to irritate my skin.
Re-purchase? I already have!

balance Me Daily Essentials Pure Skin Face Wash 50ml - FREE (magazine sample - worth £11.00)
I liked this more than I expected to. The formula is quite light and thin with a strong essential oil scent, that foams up as you mix with water. (Though it doesn't contain SLS to strip your skin or block your pores.) It's not the best at removing heavy makeup, but works great as a light second cleanse or as a morning cleanse.
Re-purchase? No - I liked it, but not really enough for the price.

Sally Hansen Strengthening Nail Polish Remover 200ml - £2.45
I'm not particularly loyal to any nail polish remover and bought this one because at the time my nails were quite weak. It's pretty good at removing nail polish but I didn't really notice any difference to the strength of my nails.
Re-purchase? No - I'm trying a Cutex one instead.
Naked Blonder Lightening Shampoo 250ml - £3.99
I've never fully reviewed this but have mentioned it in a Disappointing Products post. I have to admit I didn't actually finish this but tipped out what was left down the sink. I don't do that very often, but I couldn't carry on trying to use it up. It made my hair really knotty, dry and tacky no matter how I used it.
Re-purchase? Definitely not.

What products have you used up recently? Do any of the ones above feature in any of your beauty routines?

Beauty Bird xx

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

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