Sunday, 30 March 2014

Review: theBalm Cosmetics Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder

Last month I made a little Feel Unique order for two pressed powder products from theBalm Cosmetics after discovering they were talc free. The first one was the gorgeous Frat Boy Shadow/Blush, which I've reviewed here and the product I'm reviewing today - the Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder from their Mama Collection. This powder comes in a gorgeous compact with a vintage pin-up design on the packaging and a mirror in the lid. I've wanted a translucent powder for awhile so that I can get rid of unwanted shine on my face through the day as needed, without adding more colour and coverage. The Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder costs £13.50, which I think is a great price compared to other talc free, pressed powders on the market.

"Powder your face without a trace. This sexy formula with revolutionary, tiny oil-absorbing spheres removes dreaded shine leaving you with a soft matte finish."

I've been using my Ecotools Retractable Kabuki Brush to apply this powder, just dabbing along my t-zone as needed. The two together are perfect for carrying around in your on-the-go makeup bag; they're compact and there is just no fall out at all when you swipe the brush across the powder and then apply. The powder does have a light sandy colour to it in the compact and you can see it on the brush, but when it's on the face? Nothing. All I know is that I see my excess oil disappear in front of my eyes, leaving me with a lovely, matte finish, which in turn helps my makeup to last longer. Yep, theBalm Cosmetics definitely have another winner here.

The Verdict
Love! The Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder is such a simple product but it just works effortlessly and looks absolutely gorgeous. I highly recommend to anyone who suffers with oily, shiny skin that needs to blot without wanting to add more makeup.

You can purchase the Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder here.

Are you a fan of translucent powders? Are there any other products from theBalm you'd recommend?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Tips for Longer Lasting Nail Varnish

There was a point where nail varnish was the bane of my life. I'd apply it only for it to start peeling off two days later. In my quest for longer lasting nail varnish I googled, I tweeted and I tried a lot of different things. Although I am nowhere near perfect at applying nail varnish and am no expert, my nail varnish now often lasts for 5-7 days before chipping and no peeling in sight. I thought I'd share with you some of the tips I picked up along the way!

- Before applying anything, make sure your nails are clean otherwise the nail varnish won't adhere properly. So don't apply hand cream first for example. To make sure your nails are free of residue, lightly wipe over them with some nail varnish remover on a cotton pad. A few people suggested buffing the nail as well, however I didn't like how this made my nails feel and it's meant to weaken them in the long term.

- Use a clear base coat - think of it as a primer for your coloured varnish. This was the key in making my nail varnish last longer. I use Dr LeWinn's Renunail Nail Strengthener, which is absolutely amazing and one of my favourite products of 2013 - see my full review here.

- Apply your nail varnish as thinly as possible. It's better to apply 3-4 thin coats rather than 1-2 thick coats. I've made this mistake many a time, ending up with thick, lumpy nail varnish that ends up wrinkling, cracking and splitting very quickly where it's so thick.

- Leave a couple of minutes between coats to allow them to dry fully - this will be all you need if you're applying the varnish thinly as above. A coat won't adhere properly to the previous coat if it's still wet or tacky. I've had to completely start over again with some of my nails by being too impatient!

- Finish with a clear top coat to protect the coloured varnish underneath. I like fast drying top coats like Seche Vite or the one I'm currently using, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat. However I still wait a little longer to go about my normal business even after it feels dry to touch - it can still smudge or mark if you're not careful.

- Following on from above, avoid putting your hands/nails in warm water after applying your nail varnish until you're confident it's completely set and dry. Otherwise the warm water will soften the nail varnish even more, making it more likely to smudge and move around the nail. Cold water however will do the opposite and help set the varnish that bit quicker.

- Lastly, it seems a bit obvious, but my nail varnish lasts longer when my nails are shorter. They're less likely to catch on things and chip on the ends as I go about day to day life.

There are other things which may well affect the longevity of nail varnish, like the formula and the type of nail varnish or even just what type of job you do, which are much less controllable. I really hope you found these tips useful - they're not particularly groundbreaking but helped me an awful lot. I'd love to hear what helps your nail varnish last longer?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 24 March 2014

Review: Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

I am finally part of the Urban Decay Palette Club! The Naked Basics Palette is the one I've had my eye on for awhile now, but kept umming and ahhing over whether to buy it (I'm a big shimmer lover). The decision was taken away from me when my fiance's Mum surprised me with it at Christmas and oh was I excited!

The Naked Basics Palette is Urban Decay's first matte eyeshadow palette, designed to be exactly what you need for a neutral, matte eye. It costs £22.00, though I have seen it for £20.00 on the website Beauty Bay. My first thought of the palette was how small it is... Although they do say that good things come in small packages! Inside the palette is a mirror and six neutral, full size eyeshadows from light to dark. According to Urban Decay, four of these are completely new shades and two have featured in previous palettes. Five of these shades are completely matte and the lightest one is "demi-matte", so has a slight sheen to it for use as a highlighting shadow.

The shades are as follows (from left to right): Venus (soft, off-white demi-matte), Foxy (cream bisque matte), Walk of Shame (very light nude matte), Naked2 (taupe matte), Faint (warm, dusty brown matte) and Crave (deepest, darkest brown/black matte). The descriptions of these shades are taken from the Urban Decay website and I think they're pretty accurate. In terms of quality, I find there's quite a lot of excess when the eyeshadow brush meets the eyeshadow, however once it's on the lid I can't fault it. The eyeshadow literally glides over the lid it's so smooth and you don't need a lot to get the right amount of colour (apparently this is due to Urban Decay's Pigment Infusion System™ - ooh!). I'm also seriously impressed with the longevity - I haven't used eye primer with this palette because the only one I have by ARTDECO is shimmery and shows through - yet the eyeshadow lasts for a good 7-8 hours. Ah-maz-ing.

My favourite look using the palette is the one in the picture below, which is inspired by the beautiful Victoria from In the Frow. This is Walk of Shame all over the lid and Naked2 blended into the crease and outer edge. Often with this perfect pair I'll use Crave applied thinly as an eyeliner on the upper lid and Venus in the inner corner of the eye. This is perfect for daytime, whether at work or for weekend socalising, as it's so natural but gives you a really finished look.

The Verdict
The Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette has certainly opened my eyes to the beauty of matte eyeshadows. It's an expensive palette for just six eyeshadows, but I think it's a must have addition for anyone who loves their neutral shades. I'm reaching for this palette a lot and it will be perfect if I'm going away and need to travel light.

What do you think of the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette? What are your favourite neutral palettes?

Beauty Bird xx


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Review: Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser

The Vitalising Cleanser is the second product I've tried by New Zealand brand Living Nature; I also have their Lip Balm, which you can read my review of here. 

The Vitalising Cleanser is described by Living Nature as "A creamy cleanser to gently remove all traces of make-up and impurities without stripping your skin of protective oils". It is described as being suitable for normal to dry, mature and sensitive skins. It contains ingredients like Manuka Honey (moisturising and antimicrobal), Kumerahou (naturally cleansing) and Avocado Oil (moisturising with regenerative and anti-aging properties). My small gripe with their Lip Balm was that Manuka Honey was at the end of the ingredients list when it was marketed on the front of the product. Manuka Honey is also mentioned on the front of the Vitalising Cleanser, but this time its halfway through the entire list, which is better as you see more benefits of the ingredient. The full size of 100ml costs £21.00 (I've been using the travel size 50ml).

I've been using the Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser as my first cleanse at night and as my morning cleanser for about a month now. The formula is certainly creamy in texture but more milky in consistency, making it feel light and soothing on the skin. It removes my makeup with ease, including my eye makeup (big novelty for me) and wipes away easily whether using a flannel or just water. It leaves my skin feeling soft and looking fresh, re-balanced and just downright healthy. I have combination skin with an oily t-zone and dry to normal cheeks, so although the Vitalising Cleanser isn't quite marketed at this skin type, my skin responds so, so well to it. It also has a light, natural scent, which is lovely and fresh too.

The Verdict
The Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser is just a fantastic all rounder in my opinion and I think would be suitable for any skin type. It's light enough to use in the morning for a bright, fresh face, but creamy enough to use in the evening to remove all traces of makeup and grime ready for a second cleanse. I'll be sad to see the end of this bottle and will look to buy the full size when it's empty.

Living Nature products can be purchased from the website Naturismo here.

Have you ever tried the Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser? What are your favourite cream or milk cleansers?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Thursday, 20 March 2014

Marvellous Mint

I've previously declared my love for honey (here) and now I'm declaring my love for mint. I love the colour for Spring/Summer (today is officially the first day of Spring!) and I love the scent in beauty products. It isn't so bad to taste when it's in chocolate or a cocktail either!! So today I thought I'd share with you some marvellously minty products from my beauty and fashion stash that I'm loving at the moment.

Primark Long Sleeved Jumper
I only bought this jumper just over a month or so ago, so it should still be in store hopefully. It has some little antique brass buttons on each shoulder and cost just £5.00! It's quite thin so combined with the pastel mint colour, it's a perfect transitional item of clothing to go from Winter to Spring and it's still a bit chilly.

Accessorize Star Necklace in Silver
I was given this necklace for Christmas from a friend, so unfortunately I'm not sure if it's still available to buy in store and I couldn't see it online. It's a silver chain with a mint coloured star and a little silver star that sits next to it. It's simple yet so cute and looks great with pretty much anything!

Neal's Yard Power Berry Daily Moisture
But it's called "Power Berry" you say, not "Power Mint"! The reason I've included this is because one of the ingredients is Garden Mint Herb Oil and it smells just like mint sauce! Yum. Aside from the delicious smell, this is a fantastic moisturiser and I really should do it the justice of a full review. It's hydrating yet light, not greasy and gives the skin a subtle glow, thanks to a mixture of natural ingredients.

Organic Surge Citrus Mint Shower Gel*
Want a shower gel with a zingy, zesty scent to wake you up in the morning? Then I highly recommend giving this one by Organic Surge a try. It's more mint than citrus, but the combination just works. It's also SLS free, but actually lathers up really, really well.

Seascape Island Apothecary Peppermint Oil Lip Balm*
Containing only natural ingredients, this little pot of lip balm is a saviour for dry lips. As well as Peppermint Oil, which gives it a subtle minty scent and taste, you've also got Honey, Jojoba Seed Oil and Shea Butter in there too (amongst others). This doesn't tingle upon application like some minty lip products do either.

Nail Varnish - Models Own in Apple Pie, Rimmel Salon Pro in Peppermint and Sinful Colors in Mint Apple
These three nail varnishes really cover the mint shade spectrum. Apple Pie from Models Own is a very light, pastel mint, which screams Spring/Summer. Peppermint from the Rimmel Salon Pro range is a medium coloured mint; still bright but with a bit of depth to it. Finally, Mint Apple from Sinful Colors leans towards true green and has a light shimmer running through it. All absolutely gorgeous colours!

So those are my mint picks! What are your favourite minty items, whether fashion, beauty or otherwise?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Love Me Beauty Box March 2014

I really think that Love Me Beauty have upped their game this year with the products and brands featured in the monthly boxes. This month is no exception with a mixture of brands; some I know well and some I don't know at all and a good mixture of products covering makeup, skincare and bodycare. This £10.00 box (plus postage) contains three full size and three sample size products, which together are worth nearly triple the cost of the whole box at £29.37. 

 Murad Sheer Lustre Day Moisturiser SPF15 7.5ml (sample size, worth £9.60)
Using this daily moisturiser will deeply hydrate your skin while powerfully protecting against harmful UV rays, minimising lines and providing a natural, dewy glow.

BlanX White Shock Toothpaste 15ml (sample size, worth £2.25)
The only toothpaste to contain ActiluX, a non-abrasive, peroxide free formula, that whitens teeth all day long by reacting to light to whiten your teeth naturally.

Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix in "Light" 2ml (full size, worth £6.00)
This refreshing eye cream and concealer in one contains oat extract and light diffusing pigments to help brighten and lift the appearance of the eye area.

Deep Steep Moisture Stick in "Lavender Chamomile" 15ml (full size, worth £3.60)
Formulated to melt on contact with the heat from your skin, the Moisture Stick glides on easily and hydrates even the driest of skin.

Quintessentially English Bath Salts in "English Rose" 50g (sample size, worth £2.12)
These soothing bath salts are made with dead sea salt and pure essential oils, with an evocative perfume of an English Rose Garden.

The Vintage Cosmetic Company False Lashes in "Grace" (full size, worth £6.00)
These lashes are natural enough to be worn during the day or at night to give more definition to your evening makeup look. Easy to apply and can be used again and again.

The Deep Steep Moisture Stick is just lovely; it takes awhile to absorb but smells divine and makes skin super soft and hydrated. It's nice to use just before bed as a pampering treat as the lavender chamomile scent makes you feel rested at the same time. The BlanX White Shock Toothpaste is nice to see because I'm trialling this at the moment and now I have another for when my current one runs out. I'm really looking forward to trying the rest of the products from the box, especially the Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix because I'm obsessed with eye concealers!

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.


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Amphora Aromatics Traditional Ceramic Oil Burner and Spa Essential Oils

Some of you lovely readers may well know from previous blog posts that I have become a little obsessed with candles and rarely a night goes by without lighting one or two. However I have never owned a fragrancer/oil burner or tried burning essential oils in any form before - until now. 

The oil burner and essential oils I've been using are from a company called Amphora Aromatics, who are based in Bristol and describe themselves as one of the U.K.'s largest suppliers of pure essential oils and aromatherapy products, with over 25 years experience. Aside from oils, their products include a range of candles, soaps, incense, bath products such as bath bombs and bodycare products like scrubs and lip balms (the Lemon and Lime one sounds gorgeous!). 

The fragrance burner is their Traditional Ceramic Fragrancer/Oil Burner in Style 3, costing £4.96. With the burner I have been using three of their 40 essential oils available in the range. Firstly the pure essential oil Bergamot (£4.20 for 10ml), which has a relaxing, fruity scent (one of my favourites) that is meant to help maintain a balanced mood and lift the spirits in colder weather.  Secondly the floral yet citrusy Neroli Absolute Oil, which has a stress relieving, calming and rejuvenating scent. This is a whopping £33.00 for 5ml because it's so pure, but the diluted version is only £4.80 for 10ml. The final pure essential oil is Geranium (£6.00 for 10ml), whose floral and fresh scent is meant to balance mind and body and emotionally stabilise. Amphora Aromatics also have pre-blended oils, which are ideal for aromatherapy massages.

First of all, I just have to mention that the burner and oils arrived beautifully packaged in a lovely cardboard giftbox wrapped with a ribbon tie. Little touches like these make such a big difference I think. (The box now houses some of nail varnish stash!) Using the oil burner was a bit of a learning curve and I did have to google how much oil to use. For novices like me, you fill the bowl at the top with cold water, pop in 2-3 drops of oil and then place in a lit tealight in the bottom of the burner to gently heat and then vaporise the mixture. The cut out flower pattern means the light shines through and if it's dark, reflects the pattern onto objects around it. It's so, so pretty! It doesn't take long for the scent of the oil to fill the room and goes for 2-3 hours before the water completely disappears. Apparently you can use wax tarts in these burners too, so I need buy some and give them a try. 

In summary, I'm definitely an oil burning convert and the Amphora Aromatics Traditional Ceramic Fragrancer/Oil Burner is a beautiful addition to my living room even when it's not in use. The essential oils make it smell beautiful too and should last for absolutely ages! You can visit the Amphora Aromatics website here.

Are you a fan of fragrancers/oil burners? What are your favourite products to use?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Friday, 14 March 2014

Review: Elemental Herbology Facial Detox Purifying Mask

I first tried the Elemental Herbology Facial Detox Purifying Mask when I bought a sample size through the website Naturismo and was so impressed by it that I decided to buy the full size tube.

Elemental Herbology say, "[The Facial Detox Purifying Mask] helps reduce excess sebum and decongest the pores. Our anti-bacterial, deep-cleansing mask is ideal for weekly use on oily and congested skin". It isn't the cheapest face mask - a 75ml tube costs £28.00. However this product does contain an impressive number of bio-oils, active ingredients and even some patents, which are listed below with a little explanation of what each one does.

Kombuchka™ improves radiance.
SEPICONTROL™A5 balances oil production. 

Manuka Honey, Aloe and Calendula have skin-soothing effects.
Oat Flour and Allantoin gently exfoliate to resolve congestion.
Amazonion Clay helps to eliminate toxins from the skin.

Essential Oils of Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, Lavender and Rosemary help to balance sebum production.

The Facial Detox Purifying Mask has a greyish-white clay formula, which does harden as it dries and has a fairly strong herbal scent. Elemental Herbology recommend leaving the mask on for about ten minutes and removing with a muslin cloth, though sometimes I leave it on for an extra 5 minutes or so for extra oomph. I tend to use this just on my t-zone, which is where I experience the oilness and congestion. This product is a wonder for eliminating excess oil without drying out the skin and for an intensive attack against breakouts. The Facial Detox Purifying Mask reduces the size and redness of my spots noticeably and is especially good at soothing and calming those angry, cystic-like spots. It's so good I'll sometimes apply it as an overnight spot treatment directly onto the offending nasties. In terms of decongesting my skin it isn't quite as good; I would say a more targeted mask like the Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask is better for this.

The Verdict
The Elemental Herbology Facial Detox Purifying Mask has become the first mask I'll reach for when my skin is troubled with a nasty breakout, as it just helps the breakout disappear so much quicker. It is expensive, but for me it's worth the price tag for how well it works and all the lovely natural ingredients it treats my skin to. This has 100% become my favourite clay based mask. I just wouldn't recommend it if you're after a mask just to clear your pores.

Click here to view the product on the Elemental Herbology website.

Have you tried the Elemental Herbology Facial Detox Purifying Mask? What's your favourite clay based face mask?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Recent Beauty Buys

So who else has got sucked in by the Boots 3 for 2?! It's pretty hard to resist isn't it!! Some of the bits I ordered online as my Boots is really small; the only makeup counter is No7 and it doesn't stock brands like Models Own, Essie and Soap and Glory. Plus I just find that it doesn't have much stock and often non-testers have been tested (big bugbear!).

First of all I picked up online a frequent re-purchase - the Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation in Opal (£15.50). It's high coverage but doesn't make my skin feel heavy or make me look like I'm caked in makeup. The Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Precision Shaping Pencil in Love is Blonde (£10.00) was next on my list after having endless recommendations for it. It's early days but I'm definitely seeing why this is loved on many a blog - the tint and crayon combo perfectly fills and defines brows but looks so natural! Lastly, I picked up the Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Paint in Rich Russet (£4.99), which has a creamy liquid formula and is just a beautiful, sparkling bronze-brown colour. 

A couple of days ago I headed into Boots itself in search of the Charles Worthington Volume and Bounce Texturising Spray (£6.99). This has been all over blogs recently as Amelia Liana hailed it as a dupe for the Oribe Texturising Spray. I've never tried the Oribe version, but I'm just so intrigued to try and see if it gives me the height, texture and volume it promises! Next is a new release from Bourjois - the 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream in Ivory (£7.99). I really don't need any more concealers for my eyes, but I'm so obsessed with covering my dark circles, so I'm always up for trying new things! I also picked up the Bourjois Cream Blush in 03 Rose Tender (£7.99), which is a re-purchase as my current one is nearly empty. It seems the No7 vouchers are out again, so I plan to go back and use the makeup one to buy the Instant Radiance Stick - if they ever have any back in stock!

From Superdrug (as they weren't in Boots) I purchased the Collection Work the Colour Nude Eye Palette (£3.99) and L'Oreal Lumi Magique Highlighting Pen in Light (£8.49). I don't need another nude eye palette, but for £3.99 it seemed stupid not to! I wanted the L'Oreal concealer because I don't have a highlighting one and it's meant to be a good budget dupe for the YSL Touche Eclat, which I can't bring myself to splurge on! I haven't tried either yet, but really looking forward to seeing how I get on with them.

Finally I gave in to the freebie and got Elle magazine with the free Percy and Reed Wonder Balm worth £18.00. Apparently it's a brand new and exclusive not-on-the-shelves-to-buy-yet product, which acts like a primer for your hair. 

What have been your recent beauty buys?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 10 March 2014

Birthday and Bloglovin Giveaway

I haven't held a giveaway for a long time on this blog, however I really wanted to celebrate a couple of milestones I reached recently; last week my blog reached the grand old age of two and back in February it also reached 1,000 followers on Bloglovin! You, my followers, have helped me achieve these amazing milestones and this giveaway is to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

There are two prizes up for grabs! 

 Prize 1 - International
A face powder product of your choice from theBalm Cosmetics. Choose from the following;
- Mary-Lou Manizer Luminizer
- FratBoy Shadow/Blush (you can read my recent review of this here)
- Hot Mama Shadow and Blush All-in-One
- Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder
- Betty-Lou Manizier a.k.a "The Bronzing Bandit"
- Bahama Mama Bronzer
- Cindy-Lou Manizer a.k.a "The Con-tour Artist"
- Cabana Boy's Blush

This product will be purchased from the website FeelUnique after the giveaway, so it will take a week or two to reach the lucky winner.

Prize 2 - U.K. Only
A 200ml bottle of Organic Surge Orange Flower Toner. You can read my recent review of this here.

This prize has kindly been offered by Organic Surge, who will send the prize direct to 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

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Review: Living Nature Lip Balm

If you tell me about a product with the word "honey" in it then my ears will instantly prick up. I just love honey as an ingredient - it attracts and retains moisture, has anti-microbal properties and can absorb impurities from the skin. Plus it has a gorgeously natural, sweet smell. The latest product in my honey line up is the Living Nature Lip Balm.

Living Nature is a natural skincare company that originates from New Zealand and was inspired by the healing properties of native New Zealand plants. Their Lip Balm is just one of a large range of skincare, bodycare and cosmetic products. Living Nature say, "Smooth and protect your lips by sealing in moisture and preventing dehydration with our nourishing Lip Balm. Good enough to eat, our certified natural Lip Balm will leave your lips beautifully soft and supple". The Lip Balm contains Active Manuka Honey to moisturise and help heal split or chapped lips. Calendula, Shea Butter, Beeswax and a number of other oils and fruit waxes also help to nourish and soothe. The 10ml tube costs £11.00.

The formula is dispensed out of the squeezy tube onto a lip shaped applicator. You can tell that there are a lot of oils in the product because of the texture and consistency; it's soft and smooth, literally sliding onto the lips, but not greasy. This also means it has a glossy finish complete with a light, subtle honey scent. Less is definitely more with this product, because a little goes a long way. The balm takes a little while to absorb, but certainly makes my lips feel soft and hydrated once it has. One thing I didn't expect from the product were little exfoliating beads that pop out every so often! Looking at the ingredients, this is Jojoba Esters, which is hydrogenated Jojoba Oil. They're not harsh or grainy at all, melting fairly quickly as you smooth the balm over the lips. When looking at the ingredients though I noticed that Manuka Honey is right towards the end of the ingredients list, meaning that the concentration of it is lower than the rest of the ingredients, so the benefits of it are overwhelmed by the higher concentrated ingredients. Considering that Manuka Honey is the ingredient marketed on the front of the packaging, it's quite disappointing.

The Verdict
The Living Nature Lip Balm is a lovely, natural product that soothingly hydrates lips with a touch of exfoliating action too. I really like the glossy finish and the subtle honey scent, but as mentioned I am disappointed that Manuka Honey isn't one of the main ingredients. Nevertheless, I will enjoy using the rest of the tube but I'm not sure that I would re-purchase.

Have you tried any products from Living Nature? Do you like the sound of this lip balm? You can full their complete range here.

Beauty Bird xx

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


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Review: theBalm Frat Boy Shadow/Blush

I first saw theBalm Frat Boy Shadow/Blush in one of Essie Button's YouTube videos and after that it felt like it kept popping up on blogs and YouTube all over the place, taunting me and tempting me to buy it. Then when I found a 10% discount code online for the website FeelUnique, this blusher was in my basket in the blink of an eye (along with the Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder - review to come). The full price is £14.50.

"Give him a rush he won't forget when he sees you in this velvety smooth, peachy-apricot shadow/blush."

Sometimes I actually sit back and take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous this pressed powder blusher is; the retro, American style packaging both inside and out, the dusky but seriously pigmented colour... A big thumbs up from me. The other thing I loved about it - before even trying it - is the fact that Frat Boy is a talc free blusher. I avoid using any type of face powder that contains talc because for me, continued use equals clogged pores and nasty breakouts. A big no-no. For those of you that avoid parabens, it is free from these too. 

Although the colour of Frat Boy is described as peachy-apricot, it is seems to have a pink undertone that stops it being too much on the orange side. The powder is very fine and there is hardly any excess when you take a brush to it. The blusher is so pigmented that I find for my pale skin, I only need to dab the brush on the powder lightly a few times to get a beautiful flush of natural looking colour. Because of this I think Frat Boy would definitely work for deeper skintones too. I find that in terms of wear time, it lasts for around 6-7 hours before beginning to fade and is still hanging around a few hours after this. I don't use it at all as a shadow, but just because it's not really the colour I would use for this purpose. 

The Verdict 
It's official - theBalm are my new favourite talc free brand and the Frat Boy Shadow/Blush is an absolute winner in my eyes. Most talc free pressed powders I've looked at elsewhere are a lot more expensive (around the £20.00 mark) and for just £14.50 you get intense quality, a high grade formula and packaging that is just so darn cute.

Have you tried any products from theBalm? What do you think of Frat Boy?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

2 Years of Blogging

Today Ramblings of a Beauty Bird reaches it's 2nd birthday!! I very nearly missed the occasion as I thought it was later on in the month, but thankfully I made the sensible decision to double check the date last week.

2 years ago when I set up my blog, I never really thought that far into the future; I was just giving it a try. I definitely didn't anticipate that I would keep it up for so long and that I would spend as much time blogging as I do now. I'm not sure if I can imagine my life without blogging - maybe a big or even over the top statement to make, but it is such a big part of it, that if my blog wasn't around I'd have a gaping hole to fill! It's not just the actual writing and photography aspect, but the reading of other blogs, commenting on blogs, talking to other bloggers on Twitter, checking Instagram, Pinterest... everything. I absolutely love it. I feel like I have a proper hobby now in the same way that someone else has with football or with painting for example. Most of all it's re-ignited my passion for writing in a way I never expected and now I actually have a dream job! Writing for a living in some form or another would be amazing and I've started doing a little bit of freelance work in the past six months, so that and blogging is feeding my writing appetite - for now!

I don't want to ramble on for too long, so I'm going to finish this post with a big, big THANK YOU and send a huge virtual hug to everyone who reads, follows and comments on my blog, because where would I be without you?! Keep your eyes peeled next week because I will be running a giveaway for you lovelies.

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 3 March 2014

February Empties #2

As with every month, I've been collecting up my empty products to share with you, give a brief review and whether I would re-purchase. So without further ado, here's what I used up in February!

Yankee Candle in Black Cherry (Large Jar) - £19.99
This was a birthday present from a friend and what a fab present it was too. The Black Cherry scent is just gorgeous - go and give it a sniff you haven't before! It's sweet, fruity and warming.
Re-purchase? I would definitely get this scent again, but I'm after a lighter one for Spring/Summer. Scent suggestions welcome!
DGJ Organics HairJuice Clarifying Shampoo 250ml* - £5.99
This SLS and paraben free shampoo is meant to be left on for a minute or two to remove build up and impurities. It has a gorgeous mandarin scent and leaves my hair feeling weightless and refreshed. Review here.
Re-purchase? Yes - when I've worked through some of my shampoo stash!

Pro:Voke Touch of Silver Twice a Week Brightening Shampoo 150ml - £3.09
I started re-using this purple toning shampoo after I had my hair highlighted at the end of December to neutralise brassiness and keep the colour bright. This is a product that 100% delivers and is a must for coloured blonde hair. It's so cheap too! Review here.
Re-purchase? Yes.

The Body Shop Honeymania Shower Gel 250ml - £4.00
I'm a big fan of shower gels from The Body Shop but I was a bit disappointed by this scent. It grew on me the more I used it, but it was more floral and musky than sweet honey. Review here.
Re-purchase? No.

Green People Pressed Powder SPF15 in Porcelain Pale - £20.95
I really like this powder as it ticks many boxes for me - talc free, a light shade, pressed rather than loose. It gives a nice matte finish and isn't too heavy on my skin. Review here.
Re-purchase? I already have!

Hydraluron 5ml - worth £4.17
This moisture boosting serum sample was in the British Beauty Blogger Beauty Box I bought last year. I've enjoyed using it but haven't quite made up my mind about it just from this sample.
Purchase full size? Yes I have - I bought it when it was a third off so couldn't pass it up!

What products have you used up this month? Are you a fan of any of the ones mentioned above?

Beauty Bird xx


Saturday, 1 March 2014

Review: Organic Surge Orange Flower Toner

I'm relatively new to the world of toners, but now my skincare routine couldn't be without them. The latest toner in my skincare stash is the Organic Surge Orange Flower Toner, which is a hydrating one as opposed to exfoliating. The 200ml bottle costs just £6.50 and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It is 98.89% natural and free from parabens, alcohol and SLS.

Organic Surge say, "Our natural Orange Flower Toner blends orange flower water, aloe vera and centella asiatica extract, to make a deliciously fragrant, light toner to freshen your skin after cleansing, or as an instant pick-me-up whenever you or your skin need a boost". Apparently Orange Flower has healing, anti-aging and regenerating properties, Aloe Vera calms and moisturises and Centella Asiatica Extract naturally repairs and promotes skin renewal. 

The bottle doesn't have a pump, so you apply direct to a cotton wool pad and smooth around your face. I use it morning and night after applying the Pixi Glow Tonic. The Orange Flower Toner has a light, delicate, citrus scent, which is really lovely, especially in the mornings. Organic Surge says it's also good for using whenever your skin needs a pick-me-up, however it's rare that I'm makeup free to do this throughout the day, so I haven't been using it this way. Overall this toner is refreshing, hydrating and seriously soothing on my skin; it perfectly re-balances it and preps it ready for a serum or facial oil. The Orange Flower Toner doesn't make my skin tingle, feel tight or uncomfortable in any way and so I can see why it is suitable for all skin types. It doesn't clog my pores either, which is of course a massive plus. I honestly can't find any negatives of this product.

The Verdict
The Organic Surge Orange Flower Toner really is a fantastic product that I can't fault. It's simple and perhaps unexciting, but it works. I can't believe how low the price is, especially as it nearly contains all natural ingredients! If you're after a hydrating toner on a budget, then I highly recommend giving it a try. Click the pink link above to view it on the Organic Surge website.

Have you tried the Organic Surge Orange Flower Toner? Do you use toners in your skincare routine?

Beauty Bird xx

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

© Ramblings of a Beauty Bird. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig