Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Hyped Beauty Products Wishlist

I think we all must have a wishlist like this - a selection of regularly mentioned and raved about products that you desperately want to try because they must be worth the hype... Then you hold off because you wonder if they really are worth it, because we all hate being disappointed by a purchase and think of the money that we'll never see again... Here's my current wishlist of hyped beauty products!

I swear I see a NYX Butter Gloss included in a blog post nearly every day - I can't get away from them! They sound like the perfect lip gloss though - described as "buttery lip gloss with a sweet scent that provides sheer to medium coverage on your lips without that sticky feeling". The shades have delicious sounding names like Peaches and Cream and Apple Strudel (coincidentally the two shades I especially want to try) and look really pigmented. I don't think there's a NYX stand near me, but I'd love to swatch these on my hand first to get an idea if they are as good as they sound and look.

2. NARS Creamy Concealer - £22.00
This is a NARS product I'd love to have in my life, but have held off taking the splurge. I've nearly gone to buy this online a few times, but don't want to risk getting the wrong shade. The Creamy Concealer sounds just as good as the Sheer Glow Foundation (also on this wishlist) and surely they'd be a match made in heaven? I don't think I've read a bad review of this, so I'm *fairly* confident it'd live up to the hype...

3. La Roche-Posay Serozinc - £ Varied - £13.00 approx.
Ever since Caroline Hirons mentioned this toner spritz on her blog I've mentally had it on my wishlist. Unfortunately it's not very easy to get hold of the U.K. and most people seem to purchase it from eBay at varying prices. I don't have an eBay account, so it's harder for me to make a purchase. (Please note I have linked to a seller above but cannot personally vouch for it - however it looks like they have sold a number of the product previously and have 100% positive feedback.) Serozinc is meant to be really good for oily skin with imperfections, as it contains Zinc Sulfate to regulate sebum, fight against bacteria and soothe irritation.
Oh NARS, why are you so expensive? I don't think I can physically bring myself to buy this without trying it first - I need to try and get hold of some samples pronto. I've read a lot of reviews on this foundation and there some really negative reviews among the many, many positive ones, but the only way I can really know is trying it on my own skin to see if it works for me. This is a possible contender for my wedding day foundation - no SPF, buildable coverage, hydrating and brightening formula, non-comedogenic... it just sounds wonderful!

5. Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm - £9.50
I am obsessed with lip balms, which is why I'm intrigued by this hyped product. I want to know if this is as nourishing and repairing to the lips as it's meant to be - the ingredients indicate it would; Honey, Shea Butter, Plant Oils, Grapefruit Essence... Yum. I have way too many lip balms at the moment, so that's my reason excuse for not giving in, but in all honesty I'm worried about it disappointing me because £9.50 is a lot to spend on a lip balm!

I will definitely keep you all updated as to whether I eventually splurge on any of these beauty bits, but in the meantime I'd love to know if you have any of the products I've mentioned above and whether you think they are worth the hype?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 28 July 2014

Love Me Beauty Box July 2014

Another month means the arrival of a new Love Me Beauty Box - very exciting! After some ummming and ahhhing about which menu to choose, I eventually decided to go for Menu 2, which contains the following...

Swatches - Top to Bottom: Ofra Eyeshadow, So Susan Dual Brow Powder, Ofra Liquid Lipstick

Lashem Lash Enhancing Serum 2ml (sample size, worth £22.86)
Give your natural lashes a chance to make an appearance with this lash enhancing serum that nourishes and conditions. Results have found longer looking lashes within 2 weeks.

I can't believe how much this tiny sample is worth! I'm hoping that means it's a high quality product that delivers on its promises. The lashes on my left eye seem to be a lot weaker and as a result more sparse, so I'm looking forward to trying this.

Ofra Pressed Eyeshadow in "Bliss" (full size, worth £8.80)
From the "Diamonds are Forever" palette collection, it has a vibrant shimmer colour that makes eyes sparkle like diamonds! 

I haven't heard of this brand before and a quick google shows they're based in America. I love this shade - it reminds me of MAC All That Glitters, but more metallic, so it's right up my street. I also love how the eyeshadow pops up to review a little mirror underneath.

Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in "Hollywood" (full size, worth £11.60)
As well as being creamy and soft in texture, this liquid lipstick is moisturising on the lips and creates a long lasting lipstick effect for up to five hours.

Hollywood is a stunning vibrant fuschia pink, which has a creamy formula and dries to a matt finish. The colour is way too bright for me though, so I will passing it onto a friend.

So Susan Flutter Mascara (full size, worth £14.95)
This intense carbon black mascara is formulated with hyaluronic spheres to help you achieve the darkest, curviest lashes possible.

This is another new brand to me, which also appears to be USA based. I adore the gold packaging of this mascara with the little hummingbird sketch on the lid. Having the curviest lashes possible sounds pretty fantastic to me, so can't wait to try this product.

So Susan Dual Brow Powder (full size, worth £11.95)
Create perfectly defined brows with this smudge proof, dual shade compact. Infused with Aloe Extract and Carrot Seed Oil to nourish and rejuvenate the sensitive skin around the eyes.

Again I love the packaging of this compact, which comes complete with a mirror in the lid and a mini angled brow brush. I think the lighter shade is a little too orange toned for my brows, however I will be giving the darker colour a try.

The Teashed 4am Tea - Pack of 20 Whole Leaf White Tea Silky Pyramid Teabags (worth £3.50)
A white tea, which is naturally low in caffeine, meaning that if you drink it at 4am you will still be able to sleep. It is also reputed to be great for your skin and full of anti-oxidants.

A tea that I can drink at any time of the day that's good for my skin? Yes please! I adore tea, so although some people won't want to see this in a beauty box, I'm really pleased to have this.

Weleda Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Body Lotion 200ml (full size, worth £15.95)
The embracing, intensively caring lotion energises the body, mind and spirit and leaves behind a skin that feels strengthened and protected. It contains pure plant oils derived from sun-ripened seeds and fruits, which are full of energy and active ingredients.

Apparently this is a bonus product with the first 400 boxes ordered, which is such so generous! I'm getting a little better with using body lotion and I love how it contains lots of natural ingredients, so I will make sure I nourish my body with this!

This box costs £10.00 plus postage yet is worth a whopping £89.61!!! Even without the bonus product there is still a huge amount of value to this box and it's great way to try some overseas brands, so I highly recommend seeing if you can get your hands on one. Click here to go to the Love Me Beauty website.

What do you think of this month's Love Me Beauty Box?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Review and Swatches: Rodial Glamsticks in Psycho, Blow and Revenge

I was a little late to the tinted lip butter party back when Revlon launched their popular range, however when I did join, I loved having a product that combined the hydrating qualities of a balm and the pigmentation of a lipstick. Therefore I had a high hopes when I tried the Rodial Glamsticks, which are described as "nourishing, tinted lip butters enriched with Vitamin E and Cocoa Butter to hydrate and protect, and infused with a light coconut flavour". They also contain hyaluronic acid spheres to provide a plumping effect. I have the shades Psycho (a light, pink toned red), Blow (a bright, lilac toned pink) and Revenge (a dusky pink).

Top to Bottom: Psycho, Blow, Revenge

The Rodial Glamsticks come in gorgeous packaging - clear, square and very modern. The lip butters twist up out of their silver bullets with rounded ends, which I much prefer as it means you don't have to wear down a square or diagonal end to make them more comfortable to apply. I'm really impressed with the formula of these - they're soft, creamy and moisturising on the lips. There is also a noticeable plumping effect when applied, although to be honest it's not really something I look to achieve from lip products. All the colours are very pigmented, meaning that you only need to swipe the Glamsticks once across the lips for a subtly glossy sheen of beautiful colour. My personal favourite is Revenge, which is a very "me" colour and seems to suit my pale skin down to the ground.

Being more of a balm formula, the weartime isn't very long - the colour lasts 1-2 hours at most, especially if eating and/or drinking. However I've loved using these and have been reaching for them on an almost daily basis. To add the Rodial Glamsticks to your collection won't come cheap - they're £25.00 each, so are very much a high end purchase. It's personally more than I would like to spend on a lip product, but I can't deny that these are just lovely. If a plumping effect is one of the key things you look for then the Rodial Glamsticks will be a worthwhile investment, as this is not something the cheaper Revlon lip butters will provide.

You can check out the full range of the Glamsticks on the Rodial website here. 

Are you a fan of tinted lip butters? Would you splurge on a Rodial Glamstick for your collection?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Thursday, 24 July 2014

5 Budget Concealers From The High Street Under £10.00

I absolutely love concealer and am always on the hunt for the next best one to cover my darkening circles and my seemingly never-ending cycle of spots and scars. I am partial to a bargain from the high street (I blame the Boots 3 for 2) and am starting to grow a little collection, which I thought I'd share with you today - all of which are from the high street and will give you change from a tenner.

The Highlighting One - L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer - £8.49
Often touted as a dupe for YSL Touche Eclat, this is the one to use to brighten any darkness round the eyes or highlight areas like the cupid's bow and brow bone. I personally use it just on my dark circles to help me look more awake. The thin formula makes it ideal for layering either under or over a heavier duty concealer, as well as any touch ups throughout the day. I pay special attention to the inner corner of my eye and directly under the lashline, as I find these are my darkest spots.

The Heavy Duty One for Eyes - Seventeen Phwoarr Paint - £5.49
This cream concealer is designed to "wage war" under the eyes and with its thick formula and orange tone (to counteract the blue tones in dark circles), it really does the job. It reminds me a bit of Benefit's Boi-ing concealer in these respects, plus they both come in a little round pot - although the Seventeen one has the added extra of a mirror in the lid. The formula isn't great on dry skin though and really accentuates it - so use a good eye cream or primer first!

The Light Duty One for Eyes - Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream - £7.99
Bourjois' CC Eye Cream combines the hydrating qualities of an eye cream and illuminating and camoflaging of a concealer. It has the creamiest, most hydrating formula I've tried but is quite light, which gives a really natural finish, making it in my opinion an ideal concealer for summer. This does mean it isn't the most heavy duty coverage wise, so for extra dark circles a highlighting or correcting concealer is needed too. It also has a unique silicone applicator, which makes it easy to apply and the formula blends like a dream.

The Conceal-It-All One - Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - £4.19
The Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is a blogger favourite and was an obvious choice to include in this post as it's great for concealing everything! I think this is due to the formula - thick and creamy, it provides fantastic high coverage for spots and dark circles but blends with ease. I tend to use this mostly for concealing those really red, angry spots, as nothing else gives me the same coverage.

The Favourite One - Seventeen 18 Hour Stay Time Concealer - £4.49
As you can tell from the title, this is my favourite budget, high street concealer of all the ones I own. It's quite comparable to the Collection Lasting Perfection, apart from the formula is a little thinner. This means it doesn't provide quite as much coverage, but it's still great for both spots and dark circles, it just gives a slightly more natural finish. The shade I use (Extra Fair) is also the best shade match I've found for my pale skin so is easier to blend - the Collection version in the lightest shade is a little more orange toned.

What are your favourite budget, high street concealers? Are there any others that you'd recommend I try?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Summer Evening Pamper

Now it's summer, my evening pamper routine has changed. Instead of soaking in a hot bath of bubbles with a face mask, it's all about a lukewarm shower and sorting out the skin on my body.

Once I'm in the shower, after cleansing it's all about the scrubs! I'm trying to work my way through my big stash and the one I'm currently using is The Body Shop Chocomania Body Scrub. It has a sweet, chocolate scent and the grains are small and concentrated, so you get a decent exfoliate (I hate body scrubs that are too soft and sparse - I like them really scrubby). This preps my skin for my gradual tanning lotion later. I'll then sit on the edge of the bath and give my feet a good scrub too using the Organic Surge Gardeners Hand Scrub*, which isn't just for hands! My feet get really dry and horrible in the summer and with it's olive stones, I feel like this scrub really gets into the contours of my feet.

If I'm washing my hair I'll pop on the Macadamia Deep Repair Masque, which is just the best hair mask ever. My coloured hair can easily go dry and frizzy in the warm weather and this product makes me feel like I've had my hair washed at a salon. It leaves my hair feeling nourished and soft, plus it smells amazing! Macadamia products aren't cheap, but I picked up this 250ml tub from Beauty Bay on sale at around 25% off. (Note - the sale is still on so pick one up while you can!)

Out of the shower I apply the Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion Sun-Kissed Look in Light on my body (not my face), which is basically a gradual tanning moisturiser. I don't use this every day, but about 3 times a week just to take the edge off my pasty skin - especially my legs! It's builds up a lovely, subtle colour very gradually, so it looks nice and natural. The apricot scent is lush too!

Finally, it's all about getting some colour on my nails - both my toes and hands. I love my pastels but I love my brights too, so I just go with whatever I feel like at the time. Some of the polishes I love for summer especially are the Rimmel Salon Pro in Cocktail Passion and Peppermint, Maybelline Forever Strong Super Stay Gel Nail Color on Uptown Blue, Barry M Peach Melba and anything from the Models Own Fruit Pastel range.

Do you change your pamper routine for summer? What products do you use for a summer evening pamper?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Review: Illamasqua Gleam Highlighter in Aurora

You know when you hear a LOT about a brand you've personally never tried, then get really excited when you finally own a product from that brand? Well this is what happened with the Illamasqua Gleam Highlighter in Aurora - my first ever Illamasqua product!! When I opened up the package I did take a moment to admire the quirky, black packaging so synonymous with Illamasqua before getting to the highlighter inside.

The Gleam Highlighter is a cream highlighter containing "lustrous pearl pigments" to create a light reflecting glow on the cheekbones, browbones, cupids bow and inner corners of the eyes. The shade Aurora is described as an iridescent champagne (there is also a Supernatural shade, which is described as a warm bronze). Whichever shade you buy, the Gleam Highlighter costs £20.00.

This is one of those products that you almost don't want to use as it's just looks so pretty in the compact. The champagne shade leans more towards gold than nude, however the gold tone is more subtle once blended, leaving a light glow with some very fine shimmer. Although solid in the packaging, when you apply the formula it is so creamy that it is a dream to apply and blend with fingers, though it does dry quickly so I wouldn't recommend being hasty with blending this one! I tend to use it just on my cheekbones to bring some radiance to that area of my face. In terms of wear time, the Gleam Highlighter begins to fade after about 5 hours, which isn't much different to what I get from my No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter. I have only ever used two highlighters so I don't know whether this is an average sort of wear time, but of course my oily/combo skin may play a part in this. 

All in all, the Illamasqua Gleam Highlighter in Aurora is a beautiful, good quality glow-giver. For the price it would be nice to have a longer wear time, but you get a good amount of product in the compact and I don't use much, so it should last for ages. You can find the Gleam Highlighter on the Illamasqua website here.

Have you tried the Illamasqua Gleam Highlighter in Aurora? Which Illamasqua products do you love?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Review: Susan Posnick Brush on Block SPF30

One thing I feel I fall down on skincare wise is facial SPF. I'll apply a cream one first thing in the morning under my makeup (when I remember) but re-applying after three or four hours just isn't possible. Then last year I saw the Susan Posnick Brush on Block SPF30 on Kat's blog Tales of a Pale Face - problem solved! I went online and purchased it from a website called Effortless Skin for £22.50.

The Susan Posnick Brush on Block SPF30 is a mineral sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection. The product itself is basically a powder brush with the powder inbuilt into the bottom of the tube. In order to release the powder to the brush, you simply turn the bottom section of the tube to the left and turn it back when you've finished so as not to waste any product. Being mineral, this does not contain any harsh or irritating ingredients and will not block pores. Ingredients include Zinc Oxide, Green Leaf Tea Extract, Honeysuckle and Chamomile Flower Extract. 

The powder itself is very finely milled and is translucent in colour. When I apply the Susan Posnick Brush on Block over makeup it doesn't add any colour nor does it interfere with my makeup. If my skin is looking a little oily it also mattifies it at the same time, saving me reaching for a separate powder to take the shine away. The only thing I would say is that because it's a fine, translucent powder, you can't see how much you've applied and if you've missed any areas of the face, so I tend to brush it over my face twice just in case. The tube is so compact that it slots easily into my makeup bag, making sure I do re-apply throughout the day.

When this runs out there is a refill available, which slots onto the end of the brush. This is great as when the powder runs out you only have to spend £11.95 on the refill instead of purchasing the whole thing for double the price. I will definitely be buying the refill because I love the convenience and ease of using this SPF.

Have you tried the Susan Posnick Brush on Block SPF30? What facial SPFs do you use?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Review: The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

I mentioned the The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil in my recent Taking The Day Off post and a lot of the comments on the post were about trying it, so I wanted to share with you all a full review of this product. To be honest The Body Shop isn't one of the first places I think of when I'm looking for new skincare, however I found myself drawn to the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil; I'd read countless good reviews on it and with a 40% discount offer sitting in my inbox, the bottle found its way into my bathroom and my life. The 200ml bottle normally costs £10.00 but I picked it up for just £6.00 - an absolute bargain.

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil contains ingredients like Soyabean Oil, Sweet Almond Oil and Sunflower Seed Oil. This isn't a completely natural product, however these oils are right at the top of the ingredients list. This also contains Camomile Oil, however it's disappointing that this is the second to last ingredient when the product is named after it! Being right towards the end of the ingredient list means the concentration of it will be very low. 

Moving on from my ingredients gripe, this oil is designed to remove makeup (including waterproof makeup), be suitable for all skintypes and leave the skin feeling clean and refreshed. When The Body Shop named this "silky" in the title they really did use the most perfect word to describe this formula, because it is oh-so-silky! Using it for my first cleanse in the evening, I apply 1-2 pumps and massage it over my entire face. This oil literally glides across my skin; it's light, not at all greasy and my makeup, including mascara, literally disappears in front my eyes within seconds. I then add a little water, which emulsifies the oil into a milky consistency, making it easy to remove and not leaving any residue behind. It certainly leaves my skin refreshed yet hydrated (note I have oily/combo skin) and doesn't aggravate any breakouts I have. It also has a very light, floral scent.

If you've never tried a cleansing oil or just want to expand your skincare collection, then I highly recommend The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil. I do wish it contained more Camomile, but aside from that it is a product that really delivers without having to break the bank, even if you pay full price for it! You can find it on The Body Shop website here.

Have you tried The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil? What is your favourite oil cleanser?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Taking The Day Off

At the moment I am obsessed with cleansers. There once was a day where I only owned one full size cleanser and used it for my morning and nighttime cleanse, however I've really branched out recently and I have so many different types now. There are so many formulations to choose from, some designed to remove makeup and some not, but at the end of the day they all help to take the day off. I have oily/combo skin but I don't think you just have to strictly stick to cleansers designed especially for your skintype. Here's a rundown of what cleansers I'm using right now.

The Oil Cleanser
If you have oily skin don't think you have to avoid oil cleansers; this one from The Body Shop is suitable for all skin types. I love using for my first cleanse at night as it removes all makeup, including eye makeup, superbly well. The formula is silky as per its name and when you add water it emulsifies into a milk, making it super easy to remove with no residue left behind. It's a great price too.

The Cream Cleanser
Green People is a natural brand and this creamy cleanser contains lots of natural oils and butters to balance and nourish. I love how this feels on my skin - it's like a moisturiser that never absorbs, I feel like I could massage it on my skin for hours! It gently removes all my makeup and feels so soothing. This is a cleanser that I will use in the morning and for either of my cleanses at night, especially if my skin is feeling dry or irritated.

The Clay Cleanser
I'm on my third bottle of this because it's the nicest clay based cleanser I've come across. It's no good for removing makeup but this is one you really want to get onto bare skin. It's ideal for oily and blemish prone skin because it calms those pesky spots without being drying or stripping; I find it actually re-balances my skin. I prefer using it as my second nighttime cleanse but do sometimes use it in the morning too.

The Foaming Gel Cleanser
This is quite an expensive cleanser but if you're going for a foaming cleanser I'd recommend a higher end one, as budget ones can contain very stripping ingredients. This one is 94% natural and contains no SLS, parabens or artifical fragrance. You don't need a lot of this thick gel to create a good lather, which removes impurities without drying your skin or giving it that horrible "squeaky clean" feeling. I love using this one especially when my skin is feeling extra oily (morning or night) and I want to use a lighter cleanser. 

The Balm Cleanser
Suti Cleansing Balm / Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm - Sample Sizes
As you can tell, I'm pretty new to balm cleansers! I had these samples in my stash and have been trying out the Suti and Merumaya balms. These are best for a nighttime cleanse, either first or second, as they remove makeup brilliantly. My preference out of these two is the Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm as I like how the velvety formula is more viscose and then emulsifies into a milk, making it easy to remove. The Suti one melts into a thick oil, which takes longer to feel like it's completely been removed from my skin. I will be buying the Merumaya one full size.

What are your favourite cleansers to take the day off? Do you use any of the ones in this post?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Thursday, 10 July 2014

5 Blogging Things I'm Bad At

Back at the end of last year I did a "5 Beauty Things I'm Bad At" post (which you can catch up on here) and thought I'd follow this up with 5 blogging things I'm bad at! 

1. Analysing My Stats
I have Google Analytics yet I rarely use it, which is partially me being lazy and dedicating some time to getting my head around it. Therefore I generally have no idea what sort of visits my blog gets per day, my traffic sources, my bounce rate etc. Although I think some of this information I won't do anything with, it would be interesting to do a bit of analysis. What I do really want to know is what time of the day my blog gets the most visitors because at the moment I post in the early evening based just on a gut instinct.

2. Joining in Blogger Chats
There are so many different blogger chats on Twitter these days I completely lose track of when they all are. I used to join in the Sunday evening #bbloggers chat every week, but I got out of the habit and now I forget or if I remember I seem to be too busy. I'd rather join in properly for the whole hour and share links at the end, rather than join in for 20 minutes or here and there. However when I did manage to join in a Sunday chat the other week, a lot of people were negative about the topic and so my #bbloggers Twitter feed was mostly links with "I'm 27 away from 700 followers" type tweets. This did put me off a little, so I think I will try and join in with the more general, no-topic chats in future, as I do miss chatting and finding new blogs.

3. Social Media
I don't feel like I fully take advantage of social media. I can't get on the internet on my phone at work (no 3G and not allowed to connect to WiFi) so I miss out on daytime interaction, but yet I don't schedule anything. I have Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for my blog but I don't use Facebook or Google+ and I think I'm missing a trick here. (Check out Makeup Pixi3's recent post here, which explains why I'm thinking about social media more.)

4. Keeping on Top of New Beauty Releases
I totally rely on other bloggers for beauty news and wish I was more on top of it myself. I'm hardly signed up to any PR companies or brands for details of press releases, so I think is something I could do to make myself more aware. I'm completely guilty of hearing bloggers rave about a new product, waiting to read countless reviews about it and after lots of umming and ahhing, I then end up buying the product when no-one is talking about it anymore and wants to read another review on it. I really should be more spontaneous sometimes!

5. Post Variety
There are so many times I've started incorporating more fashion and lifestyle based posts into my blog, only for me to switch completely back to beauty after a month. Don't get me wrong, I love writing beauty posts and it's always what will be the heart of my blog, but I'd love to mix it up more often. It's always something I've wanted to do. Writing this post has inspired me to have a brainstorm one day on ideas for these type of posts and try and do one post a month that breaks away from beauty.

What blogging things do you feel you are bad at? I'd love to know!

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Review: Lush A French Kiss Bubble Bar

One of my work colleagues adores lavender scented products and was recently raving about the A French Kiss Bubble Bar from Lush, which I'd not heard of before. I mentally added it to my wishlist and a few weeks later she surprised me with one as a present, which was really lovely of her.

As you may have guessed, the A French Kiss Bubble Bar's main ingredient is calming lavender - it contains Lavender Oil, Lavender Absolute and even a Lavender Sprig that is slotted into a little hole in the bar. The ends of my sprig came off in the bag, but I did pop them next to the bar on the photo so you can get an idea of what it would have looked like! The bubble bar also includes Extra Virgin Coconut Oil to moisturise and soften the skin and Rosemary Oil for its relaxing and antiseptic properties.

The A French Kiss Bubble Bar is quite small, so I used the whole bar in my bath, although you could get away with using half if you're not too bothered about having lots of bubbles. It turns the water into a light purple colour and when you get into the bath you can really feel the oils softening your skin. The bar also smells amazing. The lavender scent is quite strong as you would expect; not to the point that it would give you a headache, but strong enough that you can really feel its calming and relaxing effects. When I got out of the bath I felt half asleep already and could barely get a word out to my fiance when I got into bed- I felt that tired! Predictably I went to sleep straight away.

The A French Kiss Bubble Bar costs £4.25, so is fairly expensive considering you can only get 1-2 uses from it. However it works so effectively that I'd recommend everyone stashes one of these away in their bathroom cupboard, ready for that really stressful day when you just can't unwind. You can buy it online here.

Have you tried the A French Kiss Bubble Bar? What are your favourite lavender based products?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Review: chill* Ed Lush Blonde Oil/Serum

I have thick, recently coloured hair, which I wash and blow dry every other day and so it can get quite frizzy and fly-a-away. As a result I like to use an oil or serum in my hair, normally as a finishing product, to tame it and also inject some moisture. At the moment I'm using the chill* Ed Lush Blonde Oil/Serum, which I really want to share with you as it's such a unique product and nothing like I've tried before. chill* (the star is technically a snowflake - clever!) is a brand offering a range of haircare products for "girls and boys who dare to be different". As well as styling, finishing and cleansing products, they also have a range of at home coloured dyes.

The chill* Ed Lush Blonde Oil/Serum is designed to "transform dull, lifeless hair to silky-smooth locks that radiate lusciousness, iridescence and shine". It can be used on damp hair, where it is also meant to help de-tangle any knots, or on dry hair. As you will notice from the photo, the formula is a strong purple colour; this is because it contains violet pigments to help eliminate any brassy tones from blonde hair. There is also a non-coloured version of this oil/serum, which can be used on any hair type or colour. A 75ml bottle of this retails at £14.99, although you can get it online from a few different websites for just £9.99.

When using this I can completely understand why it is called an oil/serum - the formula isn't just one or the other; it's a hybrid of the two. I prefer to use this on dry hair after washing; I'm always in a rush so I tend to dry my hair mostly upside down (thankfully it's naturally very straight), which means it can look a bit wild afterwards. I apply just one small pump of the chill* Ed Lush Blonde Oil/Serum onto my hands, which is enough for my barnet (a little really goes a long way) and I'm left with instantly smooth, tamed hair, which still looks voluminous but just a bit more put together! You cannot feel it in the hair either, so no horrible tackiness or residue to deal with. I've also tried applying it to damp hair and it works just as well - I don't need to apply it afterwards again, which is pretty fab. The reason I don't apply it damp straight off is that it just doesn't de-tangle as it claims to; I have to use my Aussie Leave In Conditioner instead and I don't like the idea of putting lots of different products in my hair one after the other. In terms of brassiness, I haven't experienced any yet so it must be helping in this respect, although I do use a purple shampoo too.

In summary, the chill* Ed Lush Blonde Oil/Serum is a great product and is my favourite out of the hair oils and serums I've tried to date. I wouldn't recommend it for de-tangling, but if you're after an effective finishing product to suit your blonde hair (whether coloured or natural) then I'd highly recommend. You can check out the chill* website here.

Have you tried any products by chill*? What's your favourite hair oil or serum?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Friday, 4 July 2014

Magazine Freebies July 2014 (August 2014 Editions)

There are so many magazine freebies out again this month and there are some blimin' good ones! Read on to find out what you can get your hands on...

Starting with my favourite, we have Glamour and the fab Clinique freebies - choose from two mini Chubby Sticks in Super Strawberry and Woppin' Watermelon, a mini High Impact Mascara and a mini bottle of Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion+. Together these are worth £30.00 and Glamour is only £2.00!! I didn't think Glamour was for sale until Monday 7th, however I found it today in a small W H Smiths. I went for the Chubby Stick in Super Strawberry, which is a sheer pink with a reddish tone. A full size one of these is £17.00 so to get a mini one for £2.00 is such an amazing deal!

Instyle have a free Neal's Yard Geranium and Orange Hand Cream 50ml, which is worth £10.00. I adore the Neal's Yard Bee Lovely Hand Cream, so I knew I had to get this! Instyle costs £3.90 and is out now.

Red magazine have a Rodial freebie with their magazine this month - the Stemcell Super Glam Balm Lip 10ml, which I think is full size and if so, is worth a whopping £19.00! Thanks to Daniella for the heads up on this via her Instagram! Red is out now and costs £4.00.

If you pick up Cosmopolitan this month you can choose from four freebies from New CID Cosmetics - a Black Mascara and three shades of their Lip and Cheek Tint, all together worth £60.00. Cosmopolitan is out now and I think it costs around £4.00.

Back to skincare now and some balance Me goodies with Marie Claire - choose from a Luxury Face Cream 15ml or Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm 40ml, together worth £25.00. I was going to get the face balm but it contains cocoa butter, which I avoid as an ingredient, so sadly I will have to give this a miss. Marie Claire normally costs £3.90 but it's on offer in Tesco for just £2.50!

The last freebie I know of is with Elle and a skincare travel set by Malin and Goetz, which is a brand I haven't heard of before. The set contains a Grapefruit Face Cleanser 10ml, Lip Moisturiser 5ml and Vitamin E Face Moisturiser 10ml, worth £10.00. Elle is £4.00 and is available to buy now!

Will you be picking up any magazines this month?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

June Empties #2

Someone on my Facebook posted the other day that they were already excited for Christmas... I'm sorry, I know we're in the second half of the year but that's way too early!! Back to the month of June now, where I used up more products than I expected...

REN Clearcalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser 200ml - £18.00
This is my second bottle of this REN cleanser. It's creamy formula is hydrating, soothing and calming on spots and blemishes, which is what I love about it. This isn't going to stop those red nasties from appearing but is ideal for when they have. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Yes I already have!

Kernow Spa Uplifting Body Scrub 450g* - £10.95
A body scrub is one of my weekly treats and this one was lovely to use in the mornings. The scent was so uplifting! The particles were exfoliating Dead Sea Salt, which were quite grainy but eventually melted into the skin, leaving it soft and refreshed. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Yes I would, but I have enough other scrubs to use right now!

Green People Pressed Powder in Porcelain Pale SPF15 10g - £20.95
This is a regular re-purchase as it's a good quality, talc free powder, which is pressed rather than loose. It's also one of the cheaper pressed versions I can find. It's finely milled and the shade Porcelain Pale is a great match for my pale skin, so it's a big thumbs up all round! Full review here.
Re-purchase? Yes I already have.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat 13.3ml - £5.99
It's not actually empty, but I'm getting rid of this because it's gone gloopy. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to Seche Vite, then I'd recommend Sally Hansen's version; it dries quickly to the touch and has a glossy finish.
Re-purchase? Yes.

Lush A French Kiss Bubble Bar - £4.25
I loved using this product! It's a lavender based bubble bar that turns the water purple and smells amazing - I had such a good sleep after using this. My review will be posted very soon!
Re-purchase? Yes I definitely would.

Garnier Ultimate Blends The Colour Illuminator Shampoo and Conditioner Sachets - FREE
These came free with my online Tesco food shop one week. They were nice to use, though I couldn't really tell if they made any difference colour wise from the few uses I had. The formula was creamy but a little too thin for my liking.
Purchase full size? No.

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream in Ivory - £7.99
I really, really like this concealer - it's creamy but light, so looks very natural, which is perfect for this time of year. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Yes - I bought another one a few weeks ago.

Tigi Catwalk Oatmeal and Honey Nourishing Conditioner 250ml* - £15.50
I used up the shampoo last month and this month was the turn of the conditioner. I adore the scent of this creamy conditioner and it is certainly nourishing on my hair. Fab product. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Yes.

What products have you used up this month? Do you use any of the ones I mentioned above?

Beauty Bird xx

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