Monday, 30 June 2014

Review: Kosmea Daily Facial Exfoliant and Replenishing Moisture Cream

I love coming across new skincare brands and my latest discovery is Kosmea, a natural Australian skincare brand that is now available in the U.K. Their ethos is "skincare as nature intended" and their products are based around the organic ingredient Rosehip Oil. This means no SLS, mineral oils, petrochemicals and artificial colours or fragrances. I have been trying the Kosmea Daily Facial Exfoliant and Replenishing Moisture Cream.

Daily Facial Exfoliant 125g - £25.96
Suitable for all skintypes, this exfoliator is meant to be gentle enough to use every day, removing dirt, makeup and dead skin cells to reveal the skin's natural vitality. The exfoliating grains are ground rosehips, set into a clay based cream, which also contains Chamomile Flowers, Shea Butter, Witch Hazel, Rosehip Oil, Vitamin E, Grape Seed Oil and many, many other natural ingredients. I use a liquid exfoliator these days so I didn't find the grains particularly gentle; you really feel like they are working, but at the same time they weren't irritating. Thankfully the rest of the formula is really creamy, so it feels like you're using a cleanser and exfoliator in one, though I personally wouldn't use this everyday. My preferred use for this is as a face mask - Kosmea recommend leaving it on for at least 5 minutes to use as a treatment. The combination of ingredients means it purifies, exfoliates and hydrates in one go, so I reach for it if I really want a triple threat facial but don't have the time to do three separate masks. A really nice product, but I wouldn't say it has the "wow" factor.

Replenishing Moisture Cream 50ml - £28.95
Again suitable for all skintypes, this moisturiser is designed to hydrate, restore radiance and plump the skin. It is packed full of nourishing ingredients; Rosehip Oil, Carrot Oil, Shea Butter, Vitamin E, Rose Flower Water, Jojoba Seed Oil and Green Tea just to name a few! The yellow coloured formula is rich and thick; a small blob is enough to treat the whole face. For this reason I mainly use this at night, especially mixed with my Pai Biodegenerate Rosehip Oil, which gives a real boost to my skin. I love that the effects of the Replenishing Moisture Cream are noticeable straight away - my complexion becomes brighter and my skin looks a bit plumper, which combined with its hydrating qualities, gives me a real healthy glow. This is a product that 100% does what it claims to do, which is what you want when paying for a high end moisturiser.

As you can probably tell, my favourite product is definitely the Replenishing Moisture Cream. The Daily Facial Exfoliant is nice, but I think I'm biased by my love of chemical exfoliators and unfortunately this hasn't swayed me. To view the rest of the Kosmea skincare range, please click here.

Have you tried any products from Kosmea? What are your favourite products containing Rosehip Oil?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Friday, 27 June 2014

NOTD: The Perfect Summer Blue

At the weekend I picked up a new nail varnish - the Maybelline Forever Strong Super Stay Gel Nail Color in Uptown Blue. The shade jumped out at me by a mile; I think it has the perfect balance between pastel and bright. It's not too muted yet it's not an in-your-face neon, which makes it just the perfect summer blue for me. The formula is thick, shiny and long lasting, giving me a good five days or so wear time. I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of the wide nail varnish brush and this one ticks that box for sure; it's not far off being as wide as the nail on my little finger!

The Maybelline Forever Strong Super Stay Gel Nail Color in Uptown Blue costs £4.49 normally, though I got mine half price thanks to a Boots offer (buy one get one half price on Maybelline products). You can take a look at the rest of the shade range here!

What do you think of this shade? What is your favourite blue nail varnish for summer?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Love Me Beauty Box June 2014

First of all, Happy Birthday to Love Me Beauty who turns one this month! I know some people weren't too fussed on last month's box with the inclusion of some lifestyle themed products, but this month's box takes a turn back to just beauty. So without further ado, here's what Menu One offers.

 Model Co Shine Ultra Lip Gloss in Fairy Floss 4ml (full size, worth £12.00)
Create a glamorous, lacquered pout with this light reflecting gloss, which glides on smoothly for a non-sticky, lasting finish.

This gloss is much nicer than I expected - it smells and tastes just like candyfloss and isn't sticky or drying. My favourite thing of all is the mirror on the tube so it's easy to apply on the go!

NYX Cosmetics Nail Polish in Pink On Steroid 15ml (full size, worth £3.00)
One coat of this pro-favourite polish is all it takes to transform your hands from ho-hum to haute stuff.

I love a good neon pink and this shade doesn't disappoint! Plus the bottle is huge!

Montagne Jeunnesse Brazilian Mud Fabric Masque (one masque, worth £1.00)
The specially sourced clays are infused into natural bamboo fabric, which makes this deep cleansing masque for your skin quicker, easier and more convenient than ever before.

I initially wasn't very excited about this product when looking at the menu options, however now I have it in my hands I'm really excited to try it. I've never tried a fabric masque before and it surprisingly contains lots of natural ingredients.

Beauty UK Eyeshadow Palette in Earth Child (full size, worth £3.99)
With a combination of colours, this palette is perfect for a natural daytime look or a dramatic smokey eye for the evening.

There are some lovely shades in this palette, although I don't think I'll get much use out of the green and white shades. I've only swatched these and they're not the most pigmented, but I wouldn't expect much more considering the price.

Urban Veda Purifying Day Cream 10ml (sample size, worth £3.00)
This light and hydrating cream contains detoxifying botanicals of cold pressed Neem Oil, healing Witch Hazel and refreshing Spearmint to tighten pores and support healthy cell renewal.

I was quite excited by the sound of this, however when I looked it up online I discovered the second ingredient is Alcohol Denat, which is too drying for my skin. So unfortunately I won't be using this.

I don't think this is the best box Love Me Beauty have brought out, however it's a really nice mix of products amd brands, plus you do get your money's worth - Menu One is worth £22.99 and it costs £10.00 plus postage to buy. 

What do you think of this month's Love Me Beauty Box? Do you own any of the products mentioned?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Monday, 23 June 2014

Recent Beauty Buys #2

Over the past few weeks I've made a fair few purchases on the beauty front. I'm trying hard to curb my spending but new releases, beauty offers/discounts and existing products running out have meant that my bank card has been used quite a bit! Here's what's new in my life...

First of all I bought another Pixi Glow Tonic (£16.00) in anticipation of my current bottle running out. I've been using this less recently though, as it seems to be too much for my skin in the hotter weather; instead of twice a day I'm using it 3-4 times a week. It was the first time I'd managed to buy it online (here) as previously it's been out of stock on the website and I've had to order from the London store over the telephone.

Next up was a purchase from Tesco and the Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion Sun-Kissed Look in Light (£5.10), though it was on offer at the time - I think half price. I actually wanted the Dove one but it was sold out, however I'm really glad I got this one. It builds up a natural tan gradually and evenly, plus smells amazing - like apricots!

Recently Feel Unique was offering 15% off and so I had to order some products from Organic Burst (here), a brand that create certified organic food supplements and was recently raved about by Annabel from Fragmented Splendour on her blog. I asked Organic Burst on Twitter which ones they'd recommend for healthy, clearer skin and as a result I bought the Wheatgrass Dried Leaf Powder (£6.69) and Chlorella Tablets (£16.99). Will do a full review after a few months of use!

My next purchase was inspired by Kat from Tales of a Pale Face and is the Susan Posnick Brush on Block SPF30 (£22.50). I didn't even realise you could get powder SPF and it's genius because you can top it up throughout the day without effecting your makeup or adding any colour. I bought this online from a website called Effortless Skin.

Of course no haul is complete without some purchases from Boots. I needed a new mascara after being hugely disappointed by the L'Oreal Telescopic I bought last month (will do a full review soon to explain why), so I got the raved about Bourjois 1 Seconde Volume Mascara (£9.99). There was an offer on of 2 Bourjois products for £14.00, so I re-purchased the Bourjois CC Eye Cream in Ivory for half price (normally £7.99) as it had ran out literally the day before. I then swung by the Maybelline counter as I knew I wanted to try their new Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner Pen in Black (£8.99). It was buy one get one half price on Maybelline products, so I also bought the gorgeous Forever Strong Super Stay Gel Nail Color on Uptown Blue (normally £4.49). I promise reviews and a NOTD will follow on these! Finally I grabbed a bottle of the Touch of Silver Twice a Week Brightening Shampoo, which was 25% off (normally £3.09). I've used this before and re-purchased as I've recently had my hair lightened blonder with foils. It's a purple shampoo that is great at preventing brassiness and keeping the colour fresh.

What have been your recent beauty buys?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Review: Organic Surge Gardeners Handcare Range

The Organic Surge Gardeners Handcare Range is a new range that was recently launched at the Chelsea Flower Show Gala. Although my fiancé is the gardener of our house, I still don't think you can beat a good handcare set, so this range really would be suitable for anyone. The range consists of the Gardeners Hand Scrub and Hand Cream, presented in beautiful green packaging with a floral and gardening design on the label. Both are Eco Cert approved and are 99% natural.

Gardeners Hand Scrub 150ml - £7.99
"An effective but gentle way to clean and soften hardworking hands."
The hand scrub contains finely ground olive stones to naturally exfoliate, removing ingrained dirt and roughened skin. The olive stones are surrounded in a thick cream, containing Lime, Basil and Rosemary essential oils, Aloe Vera and Shea Butter, which work together to nourish and hydrate the skin. This creamy formula stops the olive stones feeling too harsh and doesn't leave your hands feeling really dry afterwards, just really soft. As the formula is quite thick I prefer to apply the scrub to damp or slightly wet hands, otherwise the cream does dry quite quickly. This also works great on feet too (thanks Evelyn for this tip!). You don't need to use much product at all, so the 150ml pot should last for ages, making it great value for money. The scent is quite herby with a hint of sweet lime, so it's a scent that could appeal to both women and men. 

Gardeners Hand Cream 75ml - £7.99
"A fast working cream for hardworking hands."
I think the stand out benefits of this hand cream is the fact it is has a rich, thick formula yet it absorbs super quickly. If you're a regular gardener this is especially great as you can use it before, during and after gardening without having to spend lots of time waiting for it to sink in. Peruvian Inca Inchi Essential Oil protects skin from damage and dehydration, Marine Algae Extract helps control skin inflammation and to nourish and hydrate you have essential oils of Rosemary, Basil and Lime, Aloe Vera, Coconut Butter and Shea Butter. I would say that the formula is not far away from being on a par with my beloved L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream; the consistency isn't quite as thick but it has that same rich, velvety feeling on the skin. The scent is the same as the Hand Scrub, so again this product could appeal to both women and men. 

In summary, the Gardeners Hand Scrub and Hand Cream are two fantastic products that do just what they say on the pot/tube without breaking the bank. You can purchase these separately or in a bundle on the Organic Surge website here.

Have you tried any of the Organic Surge Gardeners range? What is your favourite hand scrub and/or hand cream?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Ingredients in Cosmetics: Alcohol

Alcohol isn't just something we drink, but also something that features as an ingredient in cosmetics and skincare. However it can be quite confusing as there are different types of alcohols and this something I have learnt very quickly, after discovering that certain alcohols irritate and dry out my skin, causing it to become clogged and spotty. 

There are generally two types of alcohols; denatured and fatty. 

Denatured Alcohol

This is the type of alcohol that we drink; called Ethyl Alcohol or Ethanol, but to be used in beauty products it goes through a denaturing process, which basically gives it a bitter taste and prevents it from being drinkable. It is also extremely drying on the skin and can be very irritating. I have oily/combo, spot prone skin and I actively try to avoid this ingredient when looking for new beauty products. It dries my skin out terribly, which in turn causes it to over produce oil in attempt to moisturise it. This excess oil then clogs my pores and produces horrible breakouts.

If you wish to avoid this ingredient, look out for the following names on ingredients labels:
Alcohol Denat(e), SD Alcohol and all variations of it, Alcohol.

Fatty Alcohols

Fatty alcohols are typically derived from coconut or palm. They are solid at room temperature and are melted specifically for use in the beauty industry. Fatty alcohols tend to be used to for their moisturising properties and their ability to emulisfy oil into water. Therefore they are the exact opposite of denatured alcohol and will not dry out the skin. Of course this isn't to say that fatty alcohols will not ever be irritating - everyone's skin will be irritated by something at some point!

Fatty alcohols can be identified on ingredients labels as any of the following:
Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Alcohol and Myristyl Alcohol.

I hope that this post has been helpful in some way - I do think this area can be confusing and I'm trying to become more savvy with what I use on my skin! I also did another "Ingredients in Cosmetics" post here, which explains how they're ordered and what this means.

Do you check the ingredients labels on makeup and skincare products? What ingredients do you actively avoid?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Review: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

Purchasing the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge was my first venture into the world of using sponges to apply foundation. When this product was released I wasn't drawn to it at all, being too attached to my beloved Buffing Brush, but after reading countless rave reviews I was intrigued. As it only costs £5.99, I ended up giving in to my intrigue and thought I wouldn't waste too much money if I ended up disliking it. 

The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is oval shaped, with rounded edges for blending the foundation onto your face in either a dabbing or stippling motion. On one end it has a flat, rounded surface to work to the contours of your face and on the other end is a pointy tip, which is designed for precise application onto blemishes and imperfections. The sponge can be used dry or damp and it is advised to wash the sponge after 2-3 uses.

The Miracle Complexion Sponge's shape and design is just perfect for applying and blending foundation, although the dabbing motion does take a bit more effort than a brush. I personally prefer using the sponge damp as I find it blends out my foundation better. I also think this is key to the finish the sponge can provide - when it's damp my foundation looks so, so natural, fresh and even dewy. I use a high coverage foundation (Vichy Dermablend) and it just seems to sheer it out a little; not so much that I lose lots of coverage but enough so that I feel like I'm wearing a different foundation. Consequently this works perfectly for me on those warmer days when I want to feel like I'm wearing a lighter base but I still crave that coverage. The Miracle Complexion Sponge is also a great product when you're in a rush - I just pop the tip into some more foundation and et voilà, my concealing is done without using a different product or tool. Wonderful.

I'd say the one thing I'm not so keen on with the Miracle Complexion Sponge is cleaning it, especially when it has to be done after only 3 uses. So recently I bought another! Also, the first time I went to clean it was a nightmare - there's no guidance on the box and the dried on foundation just wasn't coming off. I've now found a method that works really well - let the sponge soak in water for a few minutes so it absorbs plenty of the water. Apply your shampoo or soap directly onto the sponge and massage in lightly. Then with the sponge in your palm, squeeze it with your fingers and at the same time run your thumb over the sponge, especially where there is foundation. You should then see the foundation run off the sponge as the excess water comes out. It can take two or three times of doing this to get it thoroughly clean and foundation free.

I bought my first Miracle Complexion Sponge from my local Boots store at full price, but bought my second one online from Amazon (here) as it was a little cheaper.

Are you a fan of using beauty sponges? Have you tried the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Summer Tag

I always look forward to Georgina from Makeup Pixi3's seasonal tags and it's time for a summer one! I hope you enjoy reading!

1.  What's your favourite thing about Summer?
There are so many things I love about summer. I love waking up to daylight rather than darkness, being able to have a BBQ for tea, lovely long sunny walks with the dog, wearing flips flops and t-shirts rather than boots and jumpers...! Plus the sunshine and longer, lighter hours just generally seem to put me in a better mood.

2.  Do you have a favourite Summer drink?
Something really refreshing like orange and cranberry juice or if I'm in need of some caffeine I looooove the Costa Mocha Coffee Cooler.

3.  Is there a location you like to go to each Summer?
My other half and I tend to go to Cornwall to stay with friends at least once over the summer, either for a week or a long weekend. They live really close to the beach and you can see the sea from their house, it's just such a beautiful, relaxing place to go. The dog loves it too!

4.  Favourite makeup look for Summer?
A light, natural look - a light base, with cream blusher, neutral eyeshadow and a pretty wash of colour on the lips. You can see my picks in more detail in my recent Lighter Makeup Picks for Summer post.

5.  Dresses or skirts?
I tend to have more summer dresses than skirts, but generally both. I want to get more shorts though this year, I only have denim ones and would really like some of the patterned fabric ones I've seen on summer OOTD posts.

6.  Sandals or ballet pumps?
Again both, though I prefer sandals with a bright nail varnish on my toes!

7.  Do you prefer to wear your hair up or down for Summer?
I generally wear my hair down most of the time. I am growing my hair longer but it's not quite long enough to do a proper bun or anything, so maybe it will be up more next year!

8.  Deep smokey eyes or bold lips?
I don't tend to do either very much, but it would be smokey eyes - brown shades though rather than black with some eyeliner. I really need to practice my flicks because I love winged eyeliner, but most of the time I give up before I've even started and end it where my eye ends!

9.  Favourite perfume for Summer?
I love Davidoff Cool Water and Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau so Fresh. They're so different when compared to the other, but both smell like summer to me!

10.  Last but not least, favourite music for Summer?
Just something upbeat - one that makes you turn it up with the windows down in your car and sing along! I love listening to Labyrinth "Sunshine" whenever the sun is out, it's such a summery, feel good song.
I tag all of you reading this post to do your own Summer Tag, just don't forget to credit Georgina if you do! In the meantime I'd love to hear your favourite things about summer?

Beauty Bird xx


Thursday, 12 June 2014

Review: Claudia Louch Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

At the moment I'm obsessed with skincare products, especially ones to "take the day off". Sometimes there's nothing more satisfying than getting home and removing all the makeup and dirt that's built up after a long day. One of the products I've been trying out recently is the Claudia Louch Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. This eye makeup remover is 94% natural, hypoallergenic, allergy-tested, non-comedogenic and free from fragrance, parabens and SLS. It contains cucumber fruit extract and chamomile flower extract, which work together to soothe the skin whilst effectively removing makeup from the eye when applied to a cotton pad.

As with all the Claudia Louch products, the Oil-Free Makeup Remover comes beautifully packaged in sleek, black packaging with a silver chrome pump dispenser built into the top of the bottle. The formula of this is extremely gentle and soothing on the skin - it completely refreshes the whole eye area without leaving any oily or greasy residue behind. In terms of removing makeup you do have to take your time with this one - with the formula being so gentle it takes awhile to get going - but once it does it works just as well as a micellar water. I do wonder if it would struggle a bit with waterproof mascara, although as I don't own any I unfortunately haven't been able to put this to the test.

To add the Claudia Louch Oil-Free Makeup Remover to your skincare stash will cost £37.40. I think this is the most expensive one I have come across and although the formula is lovely, unfortunately it doesn't stand out enough for me to splurge and re-purchase once it's empty. However I think this product is catered more to those with very sensitive and easily irritated skintypes (which isn't me) - and I highly recommend it in this instance.

To find out more about Claudia Louch and her product range including the Oil-Free Makeup Remover, you can visit her website here.

Have you tried any Claudia Louch products? What's your favourite product for removing eye makeup?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

What To Buy With Your No7 Voucher

These No7 vouchers come around blimin' often don't they? They're usually for £3.00 off makeup products and £5.00 off skincare and come with any purchase you make at Boots. There's currently one floating around that is valid until 15th June and I thought I'd share some of my past purchases with you as suggestions if you have a No7 voucher in your purse waiting to be used.

High Shine Lip Gloss in Smile £9.00 / £6.00 with a voucher
I've been reaching for this a lot recently - the colour pay off is subtle (think your lips but better), but I love the high shine, moisturising formula. It also contains SPF15. There are 14 other shades in the range, so plenty of choice, from nudes to reds. Full review here.

Stay Perfect Eyeshadow in Wheatsheaf - £7.00 / £4.00 with a voucher
The one I have is in the old packaging, but the colour is the same - a beautiful shimmery taupe/beige, which I regularly turn to for a natural, daytime look. This shade is also meant to be a dupe for MAC Naked Lunch. The eyeshadow itself is soft and buttery. Full review here.

Stay Perfect Shade and Define in Cool Mink - £8.00 / £5.00 with a voucher
This eyeshadow stick is quite a new addition to my collection and recommended by Amy at Srsly Lou. I've only used it a few times, but the formula is creamy and long lasting and the shade is just beautiful; I would describe it as a shimmery, taupe-brown. It also comes with an in-built sharpener at the other end of the pen.

Stay Perfect Nail Colour - £6.00 / £3.00 with a voucher
Nail varnish is the easy option for a voucher - you can never enough in my opinion! There are plenty of shades available - I have Thunderstorm and Paradise Love. They're not the best nail varnishes in the world, but they're worth it for £3.00. 

Instant Radiance Highlighter - £9.95 / £6.95 with a voucher
I really love this creamy highlighter - it has a subtle pink tone to it with a hint of shimmer. I lightly swipe the stick over the top of my cheekbones and it gives a lovely, light glow. I highly recommend!

Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser 150ml - £9.50 / £4.50 with a voucher
I'm really impressed with this cleanser - it dispenses as a gel, turns into a thick oil on application and emulsifies into a milk with the addition of water, leaving you with clean, hydrated skin. Unfortunately it's not one for removing eye makeup but otherwise it's great. Full review here.

Beautiful Skin Quick Thinking Wipes - £7.00 / £2.00 with a voucher
I don't really use face wipes much anymore but I do keep a pack on emergency standby. These are definitely better than your standard supermarket or drugstore own brand; they remove makeup much more effectively. 

Are there any other No7 products that you would recommend? What will you be buying with your No7 voucher?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Lighter Makeup Picks for Summer

To be honest in the past I haven't really changed my makeup over the seasons, but being a part of the beauty blogging world has opened up my eyes to a lot of new products and has made me a bit more savvy with what I use and when. The English weather has been predictably up and down recently but we have definitely seen some bouts of beautifully warm sunshine, so let's hope we see some more! On these days it's not just my clothes that become lighter, but my makeup too.

I'm usually not without my heavy coverage foundation but I went out of my comfort zone and bought the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream in Ivory recently. It's a much lighter base but is still surprisingly good at covering up blemishes and imperfections. It also contains SPF15 for some added sun protection. For those large, angry spots that need something a little extra I'll use the Seventeen 18 Hour Stay Time Concealer in Extra Fair (review). It's very similar to the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer but with a slightly lighter formula and is not so orange toned. To conceal and brighten my dark circles whilst keeping the area hydrated, I turn to the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream in Ivory (review). Also containing SPF15, this seriously creamy but light formula gives such a natural finish.

When it comes to summer cheeks I am all over cream blushers rather than powders. I am currently in love with the Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink (review). It looks quite bright in the packaging but once applied it just gives the most beautiful, natural flush of colour to the cheeks.

When it comes to the eyes I want to keep it simple but give them some definition. For eyeshadow I'll use my trusty Naked Basics Palette (review), which are nude shades with a matte finish. I use W.O.S. (third shade from the left) all over the lid and Naked 2 (fourth shade from the left) in the crease to give some depth. Finally I'll finish with a sweeping of Seventeen Doll'd Up Mascara (review), which is an old favourite. It gives length, curl and enough volume for a daytime look without clumping or flaking.

The Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Dark Blond isn't the best brow product out there at all but it's just so easy to use, which is why I'm drawn to it. It tidies up my brows while adding a hint of colour, which is all I really want in the hot, potentially makeup-melting weather.

For the lips, I want to use something hydrating but with a hint of colour, so I turn to my beloved Korres Lip Butter in Quince (review). It looks very bright and pigmented in the pot but it actually applies quite sheer for a lovely sheen of colour.

Do you change your makeup in line with the seasons? What are your lighter makeup picks for summer?

Beauty Bird xx


Friday, 6 June 2014

Introducing The Yours Truly Organics Skincare Range

Yours Truly Organics is a recently released range of skincare developed by Kelita Bignall after her struggles with acne and scarring. The brand's philosophy is that "Beautiful skin is achievable using ingredients that are in the best interest of your health. So whilst our products are beautiful on the outside, they are also beautiful on the inside". What I love is that the complete list of ingredients used in Yours Truly Organics' products is broken down on the website, with a clear description of what the ingredient is and what it is used for. The range is cruelty free, Vegetarian Society approved and Ecocert approved. There are currently four products in the range; the Take it Away! Gel Cleanser, Balancing Toner, Fix Me! Repairing Serum and Face Base Face Balm, which come in very basic, simple packaging.

Take it Away! Gel Cleanser 150ml - £22.00
"Enriched with Vitamin C and Sandalwood Oil, this cleanser will remove impurities from the skin’s surface whilst maintaining its natural elasticity. Leaving your skin feeling soft and clean."
This fruity scented gel cleanser with a pump dispenser lathers up into a foam when combined with water. It removes makeup easily, including my eye makeup with no irritation at all, so works well for a first or second cleanse. Unfortunately this cleanser just wasn't for me - I have oily/combination skin prone to dehydration and this left my skin a little too squeaky clean. After using it I felt like I really needed to inject some moisture back into my skin. Therefore I think this may be more suited to extremely oily skintypes.

Balancing Toner 150ml - £19.00
"Return your skin to its optimal pH level with this toner and improve its ability to absorb moisture. Witch Hazel and Aloe Vera soothe and repair the skin’s surface. Perfect for use on the face and neck."
I love using toners, so I used the Balancing Toner after my Pixi Glow Tonic morning and night. It comes in a spritzer bottle, but the spray is very fine so I preferred putting some of the product on a cotton pad and applying it that way. The citrus scent is lovely, especially in the morning; very zingy and uplifting. The toner left my skin feeling soft and hydrated and looking refreshed, but the formula really dried out my spots, which I think was the Witch Hazel. Of course this is a good thing, but with continued use it dried them out to the point of becoming flaky and a nightmare to conceal. I think this is much better for me used a couple of times a week rather than every day.

Fix Me! Repairing Serum 30ml - £28.00
"Smooth, repair and tighten your skin with this Oat Kernel enriched serum. Reduce inflammation caused by blemishes with Sesame Seed extract and Saw Palmetto."
Dispensed with a pipette, this serum is of a medium consistency and is clear in colour. The formula does go a bit tacky as you apply it, but once fully absorbed this tackiness disappears. It also dries super fast so you need to work quickly with this one! It has a light, herbal scent that I can't quite put my finger on. This is my favourite product in the range by far. 88% of the ingredients are organic and also include Argan Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Powder. The formula soothes and calms my skin with a really noticeable effect on spots and blemishes - they look less red and inflamed and with daily use, it seems to help them disappear quicker. Love.

Face Base Face Balm 100ml - £25.00
"This face balm is highly moisturising and acts as a great base for makeup application. Formulated with Pea Extract to improve elasticity and regulate your skin’s sebum production and Daisy Flower extract that will brighten your skin’s complexion this face balm will help you look and feel your best."
This moisturiser has quite a rich, thick formula, so seems more suited for nighttime application at this time of year, but would be great morning and night in the winter. It has a light scent which I'm struggling to describe - I would say cocoa butter (the third ingredient) with a hint of fruitiness. The inclusion of cocoa butter in this product is unfortunately why I haven't really been able to use it - this is an ingredient that has broken me out in the past. What I can say about it from testing it on my hands is that the formula doesn't feel too heavy on the skin and once it absorbs, it leaves skin feeling soft and supple.

All in all I do think this a lovely range with a great ethos and an inspirational story behind it. As with all skincare, different products work for different people and the stand out product for me is the Fix Me! Repairing Serum, which works so effectively on my skin. I will definitely re-purchase. If you're interested to see if the range would work for you but don't want to splash out on the full size products straight away, you can purchase a Sample Kit for just £5.00 containing 5ml sizes of all the products. To view this Sample Kit, please visit the Yours Truly Organics website here.

Have you heard of Yours Truly Organics? What do you think of the range?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Magazine Freebies June 2014 (July 2014 Editions)

If you're prone to buying magazines just for the freebies, you're not alone. Here's the heads up on some freebies out with monthly magazines in June!

If you're a fan of REN skincare then you need to grab Instyle this month as it's offering a fab freebie! Out on 5th June, it will come with a 30ml REN Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser and Stay Warm Cloth. Unfortunately I won't be picking one up as it contains cocoa butter, which I avoid (sad times). Instyle is normally £3.90.

Available also from 5th June, Marie Claire will have six exclusive Ciate Mini Caviar Manicure Kits to choose from, worth £10.00 each. Each set contains a coloured nail varnish and caviar beads to match or complement the colour. Choose from Starry Night (pastel blue), Party Punch (coral pink), Purple Rain (grey toned purple), Sunset Shimmer (orange toned red), Fairy Dust (lilac) and Peach Fizz (looks gold in the picture but may be more orange in reality). I will be trying to get my hands on the beautiful Starry Night and Party Punch. Marie Claire normally costs £3.90.

Red magazine, out now, have a choice of four Mavala nail varnishes - Waikiki Orange (coral toned orange), Moscow (red), Trinidad (royal blue) and Wichita (nude pink). I'm quite liking the sound and look of Waikiki Orange online, so I'm hoping I'll find this to have a look in the flesh. Red is normally £4.00.

Thank you to Daniella from Famous in Japan for tweeting me that Glamour have two Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliners available with their mag this month - choose from Navy Blue or Black. These are worth £12.00 each and Glamour normally costs £2.00. I think I already have one these, but I'll be checking my stash just to make sure!

Harper's Bazaar have six Leighton Denny nail varnishes to choose from, worth £11.00 each. Unfortunately I don't know the shades available, but I've seen one, which is a bright fuschia pink. Thank you to Charlotte for letting me know about this one! The magazine costs £4.20.

If you know of any other freebies out this month let me know and I'll add it to this post with a credit.

Will you be picking up any magazines this month?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 2 June 2014

May Empties #2

Some of you may have noticed that things went a little quite on the blog front last week. I had a really bad cold, wasn't sleeping very well and after work I just didn't have the energy to blog. It's nice to be back and I thought I'd start off the week with my empties from last month.

Imperial Leather Foamburst Luxurious Body Wash in Bewitching Blackberry and Wild Fig 200ml* - £3.15
This has a really unique formula - it dispenses as a gel but then turns into a thick foam as you lather, which meant it worked really well for shaving my legs as well as cleansing. The berry scent was gorgeous too. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Yes I would, but I have too many other shower products to use up right now.

Bourjois Cream Blush in 03 Rose Tender 2.5g - £7.99
This was my first venture into cream blush and it's definitely made me a convert. The cream-to-powder formula looks very natural and provides a long wear time. The shade 03 Rose Tender is a dusky pink with a hint of shimmer.
Re-purchase? Yes I already have.

Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel 100g - £3.50
I bought this bottle in the Christmas sale and have only just gotten round to using it. This bright pink shower gel smells super sweet like candyfloss and has a nice thick formula, which means you don't need to use too much to get a decent lather. 
Re-purchase? Yes - I think this will become a regular yearly re-purchase when Christmas comes around!

Tigi Catwalk Oatmeal and Honey Nourishing Shampoo 300ml* - £13.95
I loved using this shampoo more over the colder months as it's so hydrating and nourishing. The formula is thick and creamy and the scent is just gorgeous (as you may know I love products containing honey). Full review here.
Re-purchase? It's more than I would normally spend on shampoo, but it works fabulously well, so I will consider buying it when Autumn hits.

Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser 100ml - £21.00
This is my second bottle of this natural cleanser (another product with honey as an ingredient!). It has a milky but creamy formula, which removes all makeup (including mascara) really well, but is light enough to use as a morning cleanser too. It leaves my skin soft, refreshed and re-balanced. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Sadly no - 100ml is just too small and I feel like the bottle runs out too quickly, so I bought a cleanser by Green People instead.

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

Beauty Bird xx

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