Thursday, 27 February 2014

Ingredients in Cosmetics: How They're Ordered and What It Means

As you may know, because of my extremely breakout prone skin I can be a bit obsessive about checking the ingredients in the cosmetics I use. I am starting to get a bit more savvy on the whole ingredients front in general and I thought I'd share with you some of the things I've learnt (and maybe make it into a regular series of posts), starting with the order of ingredients in cosmetics and what difference this makes.

Just for a bit of background information, in Europe the labelling of cosmetics is covered by the EU/EC Regulation No 1223/2009 and is enforced in the U.K. by Trading Standards under the Cosmetic Product Enforcement Regulations 2013. Countries outside of the EU have their own laws, for example the U.S.A has the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act 1938 and the Fair Packaging and Labelling Act, which is enforced by the FDA.

The law states that cosmetic products must be clearly labelled with the ingredients, whether this is on the actual product itself or on the packaging. (There are however special exceptions for extremely small products that are difficult to label.) The list must begin with the word "ingredients" and this list must be in descending order of the weight of the ingredients. This order is one of the things I take into account when looking for new skincare products or makeup (mainly base products). Basically, the very first ingredient is what the product contains the most of. The further you go down the list, the less concentrated the ingredients are. The only exception to the descending order rule is that ingredients with concentrations of under 1% can be listed in any order. The manufacturers do not have to state the percentage breakdowns by law, so it is hard to know exactly how much of each ingredient is in the product. If there is an ingredient I'm looking to avoid, my personal rule is that I don't use the product if the specific ingredient is in the first half of the list. If it is in the second half of the list, it is my view that it shouldn't be concentrated enough to affect my skin.

I remember reading an interesting ingredients post from Sarah over at Sugarpuffish about a product from The Body Shop, I think it was the Chamomile Cleanser. The ingredient chamomile was the very last ingredient on the list, which means you aren't really going to see much - if any - benefit from the product containing chamomile. Unfortunately I think as long as the product name itself isn't completely deceptive there aren't really any rules on this, so it's something to look out for, especially if you want the benefits of specific ingredients.

I really hope you find this post useful and please do let me know if you would like to see more like this!

Do you take note of the ingredients in the beauty products you buy? 

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Review: Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Oil Free

Last year I finished up my bareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer but for some reason, towards the end of the bottle, I began to dislike the silicone gel formula. After a browse online for an alternative formula, I settled on the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Oil Free for my oily/combination skin and purchased the 30ml tube for £19.00. (It can also be purchased in a 50ml size.)

Laura Mercier say, "Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Oil Free creates a smooth, invisible layer that acts as a buffer between the skin and other makeup. Leaves makeup looking fresh & colour-true the entire day. Specialized for oily, sensitive and acne prone skin types." 

This primer contains oil controlling ingredients to ensure longevity of foundation, a high water content to address surface dehydration around active blemishes and Vitamins A, C and E to help protect the skin from the harmful, aging effects of the environment.

I much prefer the formula of the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Oil Free, as it looks, feels and behaves just like a moisturiser with the white, creamy formula. I massage this into my skin once my moisturiser has absorbed and because it's so lightweight, it absorbs quicky and doesn't feel greasy, irritating or uncomfortable in any way. It really does provide a lovely, smooth, hydrating base for foundation. The Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Oil Free gives me a good 7-8 hours wear of my foundation before it begins to fade. It stops my foundation breaking down and gathering in clumps on my oily patches. The primer does help with oil control, but still expect to use blotting papers or apply some powder halfway through the day - it's not a miracle worker! 

The Verdict
The Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Oil Free is an absolutely fab primer with a fab formula. It doesn't worsen breakout prone or oily skin, but works with it without drying it out, so for me it is suitable to use all over my face on both my oily and combination areas. I highly recommend.

Have you tried any of the Laura Mercier Foundation Primers? What's your favourite primer?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Sunday Pamper

I love reading pamper posts, but it's very rare that I take time to relax and pamper myself with no time constraints - I always seem to have something to do. It was a miserable Sunday a few weeks ago that I had absolutely no plans - so for once I decided to keep it that way and stay in for the day. Ok I did still have things to do in the house, but with no worry about having to get ready and rush off somewhere, it was my chance to be seriously lazy.

My lazy Sunday started with a morning of blogging in my pyjamas and watching Sunday brunch - heaven. Part way through the day I got seriously stressed when hanging up a top in my wardrobe, the whole rail decided to snap off, dumping my clothes in a heap on the floor. To attempt to get back to my happy, relaxed state, I decided to have a bath - in the day! I never, ever do this, but it was so lovely. I ran a bath, which became gloriously pink and bubbly thanks to the Snow Fairy Magic Wand Reusable Bubble Bar. It was my first time using this product since purchasing it in Lush's Boxing Day sale and I have to say, it's pretty fun swishing this around your bath! Plus it smells so, so good! 

Once in the bath, I sat back with with a copy of Cotswold Bride magazine, which I'd received in a recent wedding fair goody bag and started my first step of the triple threat facial. If you want to give your skin a real treat, I highly recommend giving this a go. The idea of the triple threat facial is to use three different targeted face masks, one after the other, starting with one that clarifies/detoxifies/deep cleanses. I started with the Laidbare For Richer For Porer Facial Masque*, which is designed for oily/combination skin. Lots of lovely natural ingredients in this mask work together to draw out impurities, detoxify, soothe irritation, minimise inflammation and exfoliate, which is especially great if my skin is being a bit problematic too. The second mask is usually one that boosts radiance, so I picked the Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel. You only have to leave this on for 4 minutes yet it makes the biggest difference. A combination of AHAs and jojoba beads gently exfoliate, leaving my skin looking brighter and feeling smoother. Finally, I finished with a hydrating mask and the only one I actually own - the Superfacialist by Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask. The formula is creamy and contains little grains for some additional exfoliation as you apply. It certainly plumps back up my skin after using the previous two masks!

Out of the bath, I finished my skincare routine but left my face makeup free. I know, makeup free! I can't remember the last time I did that, but my skin really loved me for it. I then settled down with a cup of tea and some butterscotch biscuits (not pictured as they all got eaten - oops!) with my Yankee Candle Votive in Snow Love burning. It's safe to say that after all that, I felt amazing and I plan to do this way more often!

Do you often take the time for a long pamper? What's your favourite way to pamper yourself and relax?

Beauty Bird xx


Friday, 21 February 2014

Love Me Beauty Box February 2014

I was really looking forward to receiving February's Love Me Beauty Box, as one of the products in the box was a complete mystery to me (as everyone else). All Love Me Beauty would give away was that it is a "hero product", which subscribers have said is their favourite product received in a previous box. So without further ado, let's go ahead and see what was in Menu One in this this month's box! I absolutely love the red and white Valentine's themed packaging and menu card this month.

 La Claree Smooth Day Face Care 7ml (sample size, worth £3.92)
 This moisturiser nourishes the skin and optimizes the production of collagen. Its active ingredients soothe the skin, restoring softness and radiance, which leaves it feeling revitalised and protected.

The Bakewell Soap Company Multi-Purpose Pocket Balm in "May Chang" (full size, worth £3.95)
Soothing hydration for lips, hands, nails and body. This balm contains astringent citrus oils that help repair and tone dry and damaged skin. 

Inner Me Beautify Me Vitamin Complex (full size pack of 28 capsules, worth £15.00)
Inner Me's ultimate beauty supplement for skin, hair and nails. Maintain your inner you with seven fabulous nutrients together with a balanced combo of Marine Collagen, MSM and Silica.

Percy and Reed No Fuss Flawlessness Dry Conditioner 150ml  (full size, worth £12.00)
Give your hair a healthy softness and shine without the H20. The conditioning formula reduces damage caused by brushing as well as adding a gorgeous, glossy shine.

ARTDECO Hydra Lip Booster in Shade 39 "Wood Rose" (full size, worth £11.50)
**This is the mystery product**
Provides full, sensual lips with a trace of colour and wonderful shine. Marine Filling Spheres even out wrinkles and lines and Hyaluronic Filling Spheres maintain hydration levels. 

Out of five products, an impressive four of these are full size products, making this box worth £46.37. Seriously good value considering the box costs just £10.00 plus postage, containing a great range of products and brands. The only thing I'm a bit disappointed about is the fact that the shade of the ARTDECO Hydra Lip Booster (the mystery product) is the shade I received before, so this will be going to a friend or family member. However I can't wait to try all the other products, especially the Percy and Reed Dry Conditioner (can it make my blonde hair finally shiny?) and the Multi-Purpose Balm by The Bakewell Company (I love a good balm, especially if it's a multi-tasking one!).

What do you think of this month's Love Me Beauty box? Have you tried any of the products featured before?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Review: MAC Eyeshadow in Satin Taupe

Back at the beginning of January, the lovely Clare from A Teenie Bit of This and That seriously lifted my January blues by telling me that I had won her giveaway to win a MAC eyeshadow in the shade of my choice! After not much deliberation, I decided to pick one of MAC's bestselling shades; Satin Taupe. This is my second MAC eyeshadow, so I am now halfway to filling my quad. (My other MAC eyeshadow is All That Glitters, which also came from Clare!)

Satin Taupe is described by MAC as "taupe with silver shimmer" and is a Frost finish. Frost finishes have an iridescent shine to them, which is especially great if you want to highlight a certain part of the eye. What I really love about Satin Taupe is that the colour is so changeable depending on how much you build up the colour. In the pan it looks very brown, but a light wash of colour on the lids and it looks more like a shimmery bronze. Build up the colour and it becomes a shimmery, grey-brown taupe, as per the above picture. This makes Satin Taupe brilliant as a day-to-night shade; apply lightly over the lids in the day and all you have to do is build up the colour in the outer corners and et voilĂ  - you have a smokey eye for the evening!

I highly recommend Satin Taupe to anyone and I can certainly understand why it's so popular. Plus the quality and pigmentation is fantastic! Thank you so much to Clare for bringing this into my life!

Have you picked up any MAC eyeshadows recently? Which shades do you love? Any recommendations for my third shade (to suit pale skin and blue eyes) would be much appreciated!

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 17 February 2014

Review: HealGel Eye

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have recently caught my review on the HealGel Face moisturiser (if not read it here), which is a product I absolutely fell in love with. So I had high hopes for the HealGel product I'm reviewing today; HealGel Eye.

Created by a team of surgeons (plastic and cosmetic) and a dermatological biochemist, HealGel Eye is described as, "A peerless anti-aging formula that can help to diminish the appearance of dark circles, puffiness and fine lines. Refreshing and lightweight, it provides a perfect base for makeup or a pick-me-up for tired eyes, so that you can look well rested even if you're not." HealGel Eye contains a hyaluronic acid complex to lock moisture deeper into the skin and firm the eye contours, plus a mixture of Arnica, Madecassoside, peptides and biodynes to soothe skin and boost collagen. Light diffusers brighten and smooth any sallow areas. A 15ml bottle costs £32.00.

Like the other HealGel products, HealGel Eye is dispensed via a controllable pump. The formula is a clear gel, which is of a medium consistency - not too dissimilar to the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye if you have tried this before. You really don't need a lot of this product as a little goes a very long way. A full pump is way too much and you end up with some waste; just the lightest touch dispenses enough product for both eyes. HealGel Eye definitely provides a smooth and hydrating base for makeup. The light diffusers certainly do their thing effectively, as after applying the product my dark circles look brighter and I just generally look more awake. I always need to look more awake, so this is a big bonus! I find that I don't have to apply as much concealer as a result.

In the long term, I have noticed a small improvement in the little lines that appear out from the end of my dark circles when I smile, which is fantastic. Now when it comes to my dark circles I keep hopping back forth on and off the fence! Mine are very bad and pronounced and my erratic sleeping means they can change in colour almost daily. Overall I do think they look a bit brighter, but this could be the light diffusers playing with my mind. The conclusion I have to make is that any difference that has occurred is minimal.

The Verdict
I've loved using HealGel Eye as it has a great hydrating formula with an instant brightening effect, which is a lovely bonus. It definitely works on fine lines, but for me, any change to my dark circles hasn't been significant enough to shout about it from the rooftops. (However, those who aren't as cursed as I with pronounced, very dark circles, may be able to see more of a noticeable change with this product.) For this reason and the price, I don't think I will be replacing the bottle when it runs out.

To find out more or to try this product for yourself, click here.

Have you tried HealGel Eye? 

Beauty Bird xx

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


Saturday, 15 February 2014

NOTD: Glitter is Falling, All Around Me

I love glitter nail varnish all year round but there's something about the colder seasons in general that makes me want to have glitzy nails all the time - maybe it's to brighten up the usually miserable weather! I love Models Own Freak Out from their Mirrorball Collection; it's definitely one of my favourite glitter top coats. I love how it contains three different glitters, each in their own size; there's small circles in purple-pink, larger circles in a bright blue and an assortment of randomly shaped and sized glitter in a light blue. I think it's the latter that makes this top coat really stand out. I layered it over Models Own Prussian Blue, a lovely navy blue, which is on the brighter side of the navy spectrum (if there is one?!). I've also worn it before over purple and pink shades, but next time I think I'll try silver, which would be a nice contrast!

What nail varnish are you reaching for at the moment? 

Beauty Bird xx


Thursday, 13 February 2014

Review: Green People Pressed Powder SPF15 in Porcelain Pale

I was on the look out for a new talc free, mineral pressed powder last year (talc breaks me out in spots really badly with daily use) and was recommended the brand Green People from the lovely Ana from Ana Goes Green. Green People produce a range of natural and organic skincare, bodycare and makeup products, free from aggressive ingredients and synthetic chemicals and fragrances. I bought their Pressed Powder SPF15 in Porcelain Pale from the website Naturismo for £20.95. This is one of the cheaper mineral powders out there in pressed form; I don't tend to use loose powder as I get it everywhere!

The Green People powder comes in a square compact, which I think is made from very thick cardboard, with a mirror in the lid and a inbuilt magnet to keep the compact closed in your handbag. I chose the lightest shade Porcelain Pale, which you can see is super light, however there are also four other shades to choose from. Although unfortunately their shades don't seem to cater for dark skintones.

Green People say, "Green People Pressed Mineral Powder with SPF15 is a certified organic 3 in 1 foundation, powder and sunscreen SPF15, suitable for sensitive skin and those prone to acne, eczema, psoriasis or rosacea as it is talc-free and non irritating. Made with Mica and Zinc Oxide, the Green People Face Powder achieves a natural complexion, matte finish with no tide mark. Minerals reflect light to minimise fine lines and wrinkles and they do not clog pores, allowing skin to breathe naturally".

I personally wouldn't use this as a foundation as I prefer thicker, liquid formulations that provide more coverage. I like to use a powder to set my makeup underneath and to give my skin that matte, "finished" look, which this does a great job at. This powder is fairly fine, but can be built up quite easily by swirling your powder brush around the compact a few extra times. I was initially worried about Porcelain Pale being too light, but for this time of year when I have zero colour on my face, this shade seems to suit me really well. I love the fact that it contains SPF too, as I don't seem to think about applying a separate sunscreen in winter, although I know I really should.

If you're looking for a talc free, pressed mineral powder and can find a shade to suit your skintone, then I definitely recommend giving the Green Pressed Powder SPF15 a try.

What sort of powder do you use? Have you tried any products by Green People before?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A Fashion Moment: Primark Necklaces #2

 From top to bottom: £2.00 / £4.00 / £4.00

Yes, I love Primark necklaces so much I have done a post like this before! I never used to bother much with the jewellery section in Primark, but now it's one of the ones I get excited about heading to! 

For me a statement necklace is a fantastic way of giving a simple outfit a bit of oomph and I always get comments when I wear one. I like Primark for these necklaces because just like all the other sections, they're inexpensive and basically an absolute bargain. The three necklaces I picked up recently cost just £10.00 all together, which probably won't even get you one necklace in some of the other high street shops.

I think my favourite is the middle necklace with the spikes, just because I'd been looking for one like it for ages. Plus it's very versatile; I've worn it with both a day-to-night dress and a plain jumper with a blazer and it looked great with both. The first necklace is great if you want a more low key piece of jewellery and the third larger, collar-esque necklace I plan to wear next time I dress up for a night out.

Have you picked up any bargain pieces of jewellery recently?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 9 February 2014

Review: Castegram Custom Phone Case + Discount!

Say hello to my new custom phone case from Castegram! My bird print case from Accessorize has been put away in the cupboard for the time being to adorn my iPhone 5S in this beauty.

Castegram is an American based website where you can make your own photo case out of photos directly from your Instagram, Facebook or from your computer, for a small range of phones that cover the iPhones, iPads and Samsung Galaxies. You can design your case using a computer or you can download the Castegram app to do it on your phone. First of all you choose from a range of design templates to upload your photos to. I chose the template "Rand" as I liked the layout with the different sized squares. I decided to choose some family pictures (my niece, my little sister, my fiance and my dog!) and then a few of various locations that mean a lot to me. Once you've completed your design, there are a couple of different cases to choose from and the one I chose is called "Classic Snap in Frosty Charcoal", which is just 2.5mm thick to show off the phone's slim profile but is also impact resistant to protect the phone from scratches, drops and dust. 

Coming from America, my Castegram delivery took a few weeks to arrive, but it was worth the wait. I am so, so pleased with the case. The photos are clear, colourful and look fantastic, with a slight sheen from the case in the light. I have had a LOT of positive comments on it and just looking at people and places I love on my phone every day gives me a really happy feeling when I'm a bit down. I was a little hesitant about how the case would perform at first because it is so thin, however it's been on my phone for weeks now through many accidental drops on the floor and it still looks as good as new! Love, love, love.

A custom case for the iPhone 5S from Castegram costs $39.95, which is around £25.00 and shipping is free worldwide. I think this is a good price that I would expect to pay for a high quality, custom printed case. Castegram have kindly offered my readers a 10% discount off the full price until 28th February 2014 using the code BEAUTYBIRD, so make sure you take advantage if you fancy one of these for your phone!

You can visit the Castegram website by clicking here.

Have you used Castegram before? Is a custom phone case something you would treat yourself to?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Friday, 7 February 2014

Review: No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser

With cleansers I tend to gravitate to ones suitable for my oily/combination skin type, but I've broken the trend with the No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser, which is advertised at dry to normal skintypes. At the time I was in urgent need of a first cleanse cleanser and happened to have a No7 voucher for £5.00 off skincare. Out of all the No7 cleansers, this one caught my eye the most, mainly because of the formula and because I couldn't pick out any pore clogging ingredients from the list. Just a note though that this isn't a natural product; although it does contain the two natural, hydrating ingredients Rosehip Oil and Sweet Almond Oil. The 150ml squeezy tube costs £9.50, but I bought it for a bargain £4.50 with the voucher.

The No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser is designed "to effectively clear away dirt and impurities, leaving dry, leaving dry complexions feeling as soft and supple as normal skin". You apply the gel to slightly damp skin where it begins to turn into an oil; I probably use about the size of a 20p piece. When you add water, the formula emulsifies into a thin milk. It took me a little while to get used to this, as at first I was wetting my skin too much and it began to emulsify straight away, but now I absolutely love this formula. The gel is pretty thick and as it turns to a oil (staying on the thick consistency side), it removes makeup with ease. However I don't think that it's designed to remove eye makeup. I tried it and the area around my eyes stung slightly and went a little red afterwards. The way it emulsifies into a milk with water means it is very easy to remove either with a flannel or just by splashing water on your face. Overall it does leave you with perfectly soft and hydrated skin. In terms of scent, it is light, subtle and leans towards floral.

The Verdict
As someone who tends to buy high end cleansers, I am really impressed with the No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser. I think it's great quality for the price (especially if you purchase with a voucher!) and for me, is a very effective first cleanse cleanser. If you're looking for something to take off your eye makeup though I would look elsewhere. I would re-purchase - although I do have my eye on a couple of other cleansers at the moment, so that re-purchase may be delayed!

Have you tried the No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser? Are there any other skincare products by No7 that you'd recommend?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Life: Making a Positive Change

I wasn't feeling particularly inspired at the beginning of the year, when most people are making their resolutions in order to better their life in some way or another. I was feeling pretty glum; glum that Christmas was over and that I'd be going back to work after a few glorious weeks off. Pretty normal feelings, but I was feeling super negative about it all. If you follow me on Twitter you may catch the odd tweet about not being happy with my current work. It escalated downwardly three or four months before Christmas and I was feeling stressed and unhappy. But the problem was I let it completely overwhelm me and the negativity took over my mind and spread into other areas of my life. Looking back I made the situation seem worse than it actually was by my attitude and it made me forget all the great things I do have.

I need to thank all you lovely bloggers, because you are the ones that inspired me and set the positivity ball rolling. I really enjoyed reading your January lifestyle posts, your resolutions and plans for the year ahead. It was almost like the positivity, enthusiasm and energy was infectious and I caught it through the posts! The fact that I was feeling so happy and relaxed over Christmas also made me realise that I had a choice; I either view the glass half empty or the glass half full. It's my own choice and I control my own feelings; I can't blame anyone else. 

The above quote is what I'm beginning to do. So instead of thinking constantly about the negative things at my current work for example, I'm trying to concentrate on the things I love about my work. Sometimes it can be hard to be positive all the time and I'm not even sure it's humanly possible to be, but one thing I know is that I feel a whole lot better these days just from a change in mindset! If I need a positivity pick me up then I head straight to Pinterest for inspiration and start pinning - it's just fab and it's where I found all the quotes/pictures in this post. 

I guess the reason I'm sharing this with you all is because one of you reading may be feeling how I did those months ago. Hopefully this post will provide some inspiration to you, because once you begin to wallow in negative thoughts it gets increasingly hard to get out! 

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react. There are some things we can't control and some things that do happen to us that we can't take back, but how we deal with it afterwards is our future... I think anybody can do anything they want if they stay positive and determined."
- Katie Piper, in the Body Talk video with Pixiwoo

What are your tips or techniques for staying positive? I'd love to hear them!

Beauty Bird xx



Monday, 3 February 2014

January Empties #2

So the first month of the year is over already. In some ways it's gone really quick and in other ways it hasn't (for example waiting six weeks to get paid!!). One of the girls at work is obsessed with Christmas and keeps giving me the countdown for Christmas 2014...! Here's what I used up in January.

REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser 150ml - £18.00
I loooooove this cleanser! My favourite thing about it is the thick, creamy formula, which really feels like it's giving your skin a thorough cleanse. It's great for oily/combination skin as it removes excess oil from the oily areas yet doesn't dehydrate the drier ones. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Yes I already have. Plus now the bottle is 200ml for the same price so you get more for your money!

Soap and Glory Scrub, Actually 200ml - £7.00
I really enjoyed using this scrub - it has a gorgeously fruity scent and a winning formula of sugar granules suspended in a mixture of butters and oils. This means it doesn't feel harsh and leaves your skin feeling more hydrated than before your shower! Full review here.
Re-purchase? No - but only because I want to try all of Soap and Glory's scrubs! I have the choice between Pulp Friction or Sugar Crush - which would you recommend?

Pixi Glow Tonic 250ml - £16.00
I've raved about this exfoliating toner a few times on the blog now and it was one of my favourite skincare products of 2013. I'm not sure if I'll ever go back to a manual exfoliator. I find the biggest difference to my skin comes with using this every day - not just with dryness but with calming and controlling my spots too. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Yes yes yes.

The Body Shop Born Lippy Lychee Shimmer Lip Balm - £3.00
This was a lovely lip balm to use, containing Beeswax to keep my lips soft and moisturised. Lychee Shimmer is clear but with a subtle hint of shimmer and smells fruity but quite sweet too. Great for daytime. Full review here.
Re-purchase? I would buy this again, although I have a few others on my list to try first! (Not that I don't have enough already...)

S5 Purity Serum 10ml - £9.00
I received this in a Love Me Beauty box last year and use it morning and night just on any areas of breakouts. It's not an instant miracle worker, but I find that when I stop using it my spots do take longer to clear and look redder and angrier. 
Re-purchase? I have purchased another 10ml bottle because the full size is £44.00, so quite a lot to spend on one product in one go. However I seem to be using up my second bottle quite quickly, so I think I may have to bite the bullet next time!

Lily Flame Christmas Spice Candle - £8.50
I used this beauty up right at the beginning of the month. The scent of Christmas Spice is cinnamon and cloves, which is just one of the best festive scents in my opinion!
Re-purchase? I would love to use this again next Christmas, so yes.

NEOM Organics Harmonise Home Candle* - £39.50
Another beautiful candle, which was lovely to use over the festive period. This one has a woody scent (think pine, cedarwood and eucalyptus), which is designed to treat tiredness and encourage focus. Maybe it's partly pyschological, but I really do think this helped!! Now it's empty I'm doing to take a tip from fellow blogger Evelyn and use it as a makeup brush holder!
Re-purchase? I loved this scent but I would love to try some of NEOM's other scents first - problem is there are so many to choose from!

What products have you used up recently? Do you use any of the ones mentioned above?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Saturday, 1 February 2014

Review: Conscious Skincare Soothing Hand Cream for Hardworking Hands

I have mentioned Conscious Skincare before on this blog when I reviewed their Sweet Orange and Frangipani Body Butter (here)If you haven't heard of Conscious Skincare before, they are an eco-friendy Welsh brand who produce face and body products made up of plant based, organic and fair trade ingredients where possible, that come in recyclable packaging. 

Conscious Skincare's Soothing Hand Cream is described as an "ultra-soothing organic hand cream, which has been carefully created to help replenish and restore hard working hands". It contains lots of lovely natural and super hydrating ingredients such as organic Avocado Oil, organic Geranium, fair trade Shea Butter and Beeswax. It is recommended as suitable for all skin types. A 50ml tin costs £14.99.

The formula of the Soothing Hand Cream is just like the body butter - a whipped mousse, which is light and creamy. Upon contact with your skin the mousse melts into an oil, which you can see beginning to happen in the very last picture. The key with this formula is less is definitely more! Apply a normal sized blob as you would with any other hand cream and it's too much. It makes your skin greasy and it takes ages to absorb. However apply just the right (tiniest) amount and you're left with seriously smooth and moisturised hands. It is certainly an intensive hand cream, which means the pot will last for absolutely ages. The scent is very natural, leaning more towards the scent of Avocado Oil than anything else.

The Verdict
The Conscious Skincare Soothing Hand Cream for Hardworking Hands is the one to use if your hands are regularly exposed to the elements (e.g. you work outside) or just suffer with extremely dry hands in general. It is probably the most intensive hand cream I've tried and works amazingly well, plus I give it big brownie points for being completely natural. It hasn't taken over as my favourite hand cream though - can anything beat L'Occitane?!

To view the Conscious Skincare website, click here.

Have you tried any products from Conscious Skincare? What's your favourite hand cream?

Beauty Bird xx

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

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