Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Recent Beauty Buys #3

I've been quite good with my beauty spending recently, mostly only purchasing things I've needed because other things have ran out, with only a few treats! I've had quite a bit of money going out of my account in the past few months for various things, so I haven't had much choice but to be behaved! I love having a nosey at other people's purchases, so here is what I have added to my beauty stash over the past few months.

First of all is a little haul from Superdrug. I picked up another bottle of the Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance Leave In Conditioner (£4.49), which is something I've re-purchased countless times now. It smells amazing and helps me brush through wet, knotty hair with ease. I also added to my basket the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (£4.99), which was on offer at the time. I really like the formula and it is great for removing makeup, though I haven't decided if I prefer it to L'Oreal's offering yet! Next up were two eyeliners - the Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner (£2.99) and the Bourjois Contour Eyeliner in Up and Brown (£4.99). The first was a re-purchase of an old, bargain favourite and the latter was enabled by a rave review on Makeup Monster. I also knew I had to get the newly released Rimmel Brow This Way Styling Gel in Blonde (£3.99)... just because!! I'm still making a judgement on the Bourjois and Rimmel goodies, but will review them in due course.

When my HealGel Eye ran out, I replaced it with the Indie Lee Calendula Eye Balm (£26.00). This was definitely a splurge, but every review I've read has been so positive and glowing about it that this was the only option for me. Naturia Beauty posted pictures of her dark circles before and after using this eye balm and the difference is amazing, so I hope I get similar results!

My next purchase was definitely a treat - a MAC eyeshadow for my pro palette quad in the shade Sable. However I did find it for a bargain £7.00 from a blog sale and it looks barely used. Sable is a frost finish and is a deep bronze colour with plum undertones - just gorgeous!

I was lucky enough to be given the next product as a present - the Lush Sunnyside Bubble Bar (£3.75). I haven't used it yet, but I plan to when I need a little pick me up; the bright gold glitter and the citrus scent seem perfect to lift the spirits. I just hope the glitter washes out of the bath easily!!

Speaking of citrus scents, I'm absolutely loving the Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub (£8.00), which I bought in Boots after I finally used up all my other body scrubs. The scent is mostly lime based and is just delicious - I use it in the morning as it's so refreshing and invigorating. The scrub itself isn't as good as The Breakfast Scrub formula, but it still does the job really well.

My last recent beauty buy is a lip balm and was a bit of a spontaneous purchase. I was away for a few days in Windermere and the only lip balm I had didn't seem to be hydrating my lips very well (thinking about it since, it may be past its expiry date). We were approaching a L'Occitane shop so I veered my fianc√© in that direction and bought the Ultra Rich Shea Butter Lip Balm (£7.50). I've only used it a handful of times, but the formula is rich as promised and leaves my lips soft and nourished.

What have been your recent beauty buys?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Tried and Tested: Jason Long and Strong Jojoba Pure Shampoo and Conditioner for Hard to Grow Hair

I used to have quite short hair (well a bit longer than a bob), that my old hairdresser got very layer happy with. I changed my hairdresser, spent ages growing out the badly cut layers and now I want to increase the overall length of my hair; mainly because I want to wear my hair in a pretty up do for my wedding next year. It's getting there, but it is a very slow process obviously! So when I found the Jason Long and Strong Jojoba Pure Shampoo and Conditioner online, I thought that it sounded like the perfect set of products to try and give my hair a little helping hand. 

Jason is an award winning, natural skincare, haircare and bodycare brand, that do not use artifical or animal by-products and ensure all of their packaging is recyclable or bio-degradable. The Long and Strong Jojoba Pure Shampoo and Conditioner are designed for weakened, hard to grow hair and dry, itchy scalps. They do not contain SLS, parabens or phthalates. The shampoo contains Jojoba Seed Oil to replenish lost moisture, Chamomilla Recutita and Grapefruit extracts to promote healthy hair growth, Yucca Filamentosa extract and Vitamin E to strengthen, therefore preventing breakage/split ends and Wheat Protein to improve elasticity. The matching conditioner contains Biotin, Marigold, Ginseng and Chamomile to fortify and revitalise. The Long and Strong Jojoba Pure Shampoo comes in a 473ml bottle and the Long Strong Jojoba Pure Conditioner comes in a 454ml bottle, each costing £6.29. I have my hair and fringe trimmed every 5-6 weeks, so I decided that using the Jason products for the period in between cuts would be a great test in terms of additional hair growth. Please note that I wash my hair every other day. 

The shampoo has a coloured, thick gel formula, which lathers up really well and has a subtly fruity scent. The conditioner has the same lovely scent but for me, the formula is too thin and not creamy enough. I have to apply much more than normal in order to feel like there is actually conditioner on my hair and that it is actually doing something! I also believe this is why my hair is more knotty after using this duo. However despite my gripes, I was pleased to find that the Jason Long and Strong Jojoba Pure Shampoo and Conditioner does work. It was hard to tell with the overall length of my hair, though I did notice I was finally managing to twist my hair into a little bun. The really noticeable effect was on my fringe - normally by my visit to the hairdressers it is longer than I'd like, but still hangs in place comfortably. However this time around I was actually having to sweep my fringe to the side because otherwise, I basically wouldn't be able to see. Really impressive.

I will continue to use the Jason Long and Strong Jojoba Pure Shampoo and Conditioner in the run up to my wedding for the brilliant results, but I think when it comes to replacing them I would try and get away with just buying and using the shampoo and see how that worked. Unfortunately the conditioner just isn't hydrating or nourishing enough for me. However they're both great value - the bottles are huge! You can buy the duo online from Baldwins here and here.

Have you tried the Jason Long and Strong Jojoba Pure Shampoo and/or Conditioner? What hair products do you love for strong, healthy hair?

Beauty Bird xx  

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


Friday, 26 September 2014

My Everyday Makeup Essentials and Non-Essentials

First of all, full credit for the topic of this post goes to Rachael from Overdose de Maquillage, which is one of my regular blog reads. Rachael did this post not too long ago, which I loved reading so much that I decided I would do one of my own. I wear makeup pretty much every day unless I'm staying at home for the entire day (which isn't very often). I work full time 5 days a week so am often rushing in the mornings and don't have lots of time to spend on applying lots of different products. Taking each type of makeup product one by one, find out which I class as my everyday essentials and which I can take or leave.

Primer: Essential
I always, always apply primer without fail. With an oily t-zone, I need all the help I can get in making my base products last longer and primer is a good first step in ensuring this happens. 
Currently using: Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer

Concealer: Essential
I am a pale gal, with dark circles and problem skin, so concealer is an absolute must for me. I can't ever see myself not using concealer, although of course I would like the problem skin to disappear so I use a lot less! 
Currently using: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

Foundation: Essential
For the same reason as concealer, I could not live without foundation. At the moment I steer towards high coverage foundation, but even if when my skin improves, I think I would still wear a base but go for something lighter. I would love to be able to go out just wearing a tinted moisturiser!
Currently using: Vichy Dermablend Foundation

Powder: Essential
I feel like powder provides the perfect finish to my base; I apply it lightly on my t-zone to set my makeup in place and stop it slipping so quickly. Throughout the day I'll top up as needed with a translucent powder to get rid of any shine.
Currently using: Green People Pressed Powder SPF15 & theBalm Sexy Mama Translucent Powder

Blusher/Bronzer: Essential/Non-Essential
I don't use bronzer at all, but blusher gives my skin a natural flush of colour and perks up my otherwise pale skin. 
Currently using: Daniel Sandler Watercolour Fluid Blusher in Cherub

Highlighter: Non-Essential
Having added a couple of highlighting products to my collection recently, I have been really into using highlighter but I could easily take it or leave it. I tend to use it mostly at weekends when I have more time.
Currently using: No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter

Eyeshadow/Eyeliner: Both Non-Essential
Again these are products I tend to save for weekends, though if I've had a particularly bad night's sleep in the week I will quickly apply a wash of a neutral toned, shimmery eyeshadow to help brighten up my eye area.
Currently using: No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define in Cool Mink and Bourjois Contour Clubbing Eyeliner in Up and Brown

Mascara: Essential
I did have a phase where I stopped wearing mascara - what was that all about?! I feel like my eyes look too small without mascara, as my eyelashes are long are completely flat. Mascara opens up eyes and makes me feel like I've made some kind of effort!
Currently using: Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara

Brows: Essential
Now that I have a little arsenal of brow products, from tints to powders to gels, this type of product has changed from non-essential to essential. As already mentioned, my work makeup is minimal so I find that filling in and tidying up my brows gives my face more definition and makes me look a little more polished.
Currently using: Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Pencil

Lipstick/Lipgloss: Both Non-Essential
Over the summer I've unconsciously seemed to abandon most of my lip collection apart from lip balm. If I've wanted a light wash of colour I've just used something tinted but still hydrating. Hopefully I've re-discover it all again soon!
Currently using: Korres Lip Butter in Quince & Clinique Chubby Stick in Super Strawberry

What are your day to day makeup essentials and non-essentials?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The All New Love Me Beauty Box - September 2014

This month saw the exciting launch of the all new Love Me Beauty box. It's still a beauty box with a difference - but the way it works has changed considerably.

Love Me Beauty used to provide three menu options to choose from every month, but now you completely choose the products you want from the selection provided based on a credits system, so every box will be different. The one month subscription is still available at the same cost (£10.00 plus £3.95 P&P), or you can do 3, 6, 9 and 12 month subscriptions, where the price goes down the longer the subscription period. Purchasing the box each month automatically gives you 6 credits - generally a full size product is 2 credits and a sample size is 1 credit, although some lower value, full size products are worth 1 credit. If you run out of credits but there is another product you desperately want, you can purchase these at an extra cost (shown on the website). I love the fact you can choose the products you want - never again will you receive something you don't like or that won't suit you! I'm not aware of any other box that offers this.

The Love Me Beauty website has also had a makeover. When creating your account on the new website, you are asked a series of questions to create a "beauty profile", from which Love Me Beauty can make products recommendations from based on your answers. I think the beauty profile is a bit limited in places as you can only pick one answer e.g. with "what products are you looking for?", I could have chosen all of them (categorised as makeup, haircare, nails, skincare etc)! So to be honest I didn't use the recommendations feature, but it's a nice thing to have if you're unsure where to start.

When the box arrived in the post I did "ooooh" a little at the new stylish and modern packaging, which is a silver grey and embossed with "Love Me Beauty" on the removable lid. It's a lovely box to keep for storing makeup or nail varnish, though it's definitely not as eco-friendly as the previous plain cardboard packaging. The products come in a cute drawstring bag, but there's no product card as before, though I don't think it's really needed as you can see all the information about the products on the website when you pick them. Here are the products I chose;

Percy and Reed Lovingly Light Foaming Treatment Mask 150ml (full size, worth £20.00 - 2 credits)
"A rich, lightweight mousse that repairs, nourishes, moisturises and adds volume."

I love the sound of this mask and the formula will be different to anything I've tried before. It only has to be left on for 2-5 minutes, so will be perfect to use when I'm short on time.

Malin and Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser 29ml (sample size, worth £3.07 - 1 credit)
"This foaming gel uses natural grapefruit extract and amino acid-based skincare agents to deeply cleanse skin without the need for harsh chemicals and drying detergents."

I've warmed to foaming gel cleansers in recent months, so I will use this in the mornings when my current one has run out. It will be good for taking travelling too.

Anatomicals Oi! You Throbhead Headache Relief Balm (full size, worth £4.00 - 1 credit)
"To add insult (although we see 'throbhead' of more of a condition than an insult) to injury, you've also got a jolting pain. Rub this balm into your temples, if you don't you're a blithering ignaramous, now that's an insult!"

I'm one of those people who will take paracetamol at any hint of pain, so I was really intrigued by this when I saw it. The scent is a mixture of soothing peppermint and lavender - hopefully it works!

Oriflame The ONE 5-in-1 Wonder Lash Mascara in Black (full size, worth £8.95 - 2 credits)
"The double-sided brush is designed to produce extremely high influence definition. The short bristles transport and curve your lashes, then turning the brush to the long bristles separates and lengthens every individual lash, for optimal effect."

I can't get enough of mascara - I'm continually on the hunt for the perfect one! I think the double sided brush may take some getting used to, but if it works then I won't be complaining.

In total the box is worth £36.02, which is very good value for money. Many of the previous old boxes have been worth a lot more than that though, so I do wonder whether the credits system has generally reduced the value of the boxes. But of course it completely depends on what brands and products you choose, so I think only time will tell on this. It's not a big issue for me at all as the box is worth over triple the cost of the price, just something I noted and thought was worth mentioning. Overall I'm very happy with the box and I can't wait to see what products there are to choose from next month!

You can find out more or purchase your own box on Love Me Beauty's website here.

What do you think of the new Love Me Beauty box? 

Beauty Bird xx

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


Monday, 22 September 2014

Review: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla

After eyeing up the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer for the longest time, I finally caved in, praying it would be worth the splurge. At £22.00, this is definitely the most expensive concealer I've ever purchased. I bought it from my nearest Space NK, where I was colour matched to the second lightest shade Vanilla, which is described as a "tiny cast of pink for the fair complexion".

The NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is designed to offer medium to high, buildable coverage that optically corrects imperfections rather than masks them, providing a natural, luminous finish. It also helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark circles. The concealer doesn't contain parabens, sulfates, alcohol or fragrance and is non-comedogenic (doesn't block pores). Grape Seed Extract and Vitamin E ensures the skin stays hydrated.

First of all, Vanilla is a great shade match for me, blending really well with my skintone. (Please note my hand is much more tanned than my face at the moment!!) I use the Radiant Creamy Concealer on both my spots and dark circles and it provides fantastic coverage for both without feeling heavy, while also adding a subtle brightness to the skin. The fact that the formula is super creamy means a little goes a long way; I blend it out with the Real Techniques Contour Brush, which it works really well with. I apply concealer before foundation and because the Radiant Creamy Concealer is so good at counteracting redness, I find I use less foundation on top than I would otherwise. I then apply a dusting of powder and I'm good to go for coverage for the rest of the day. The concealer doesn't dry out my skin, crease or go cakey. I honestly haven't used anything else since I bought it; it is my go-to daily concealer for everything!

I can officially state that the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is worth both the hype and the price, not disappointing me in any way. The formula is on another level to high street concealers, so believe me, if you're a concealaholic like me then this is one product you NEED in your life. You can buy in store or online from Space NK here.

Have you tried the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer? What high end concealers do you love?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Review: KERNOWSPA Uplifting Wonder Oil and Soothing Foot Scrub

I first mentioned KERNOWSPA on this blog back in 2013, a Cornish brand that produce skincare and toiletries with 100% natural ingredients; no SLS, parabens, petrochemicals, artificial fragances or artificial colours. I love the fact that their products are handmade in Cornwall, one of my favourite areas of the country and that the focus is all on the ingredients. I've been trying two of their bodycare products; the Uplifting Wonder Oil and the Soothing Foot Scrub.

Uplifting Wonder Oil - 150ml - £10.95

The Uplifting Wonder Oil contains a blend of natural oils including Almond, Sunflower, Jojoba and Olive to hydrate the skin and Lemon, Orange and Bergamot to provide an uplifting scent. The packaging is simple but functional - the opening of the bottle is restricted so that the oil is released in a very controlled manner, one medium sized drop at a time.

I prefer to use this as a body/massage oil, though KERNOWSPA do also say that it can be added to a bath. I would describe it as quite a dry oil; it isn't a runny formula and absorbs into the skin really quickly when you massage it in. The formula is silky rather than greasy, leaving my skin soft and moisturised. At first I did make the mistake of using too much and then the oil feels too heavy on the skin and just sits on top of it. I absolutely adore the scent of the Uplifting Wonder Oil - it really is lovely and invigorating, but isn't overwhelming. This is definitely one to use in the mornings!

Soothing Foot Scrub - 250ml - £8.95

The Soothing Foot Scrub contains Dead Sea Salt to exfoliate, Shea Butter, Sunflower Seed Oil and Jojoba Seed Oil to nourish and essential oils of Tea Tree and Eucalyptus to soothe. The scrub comes in a round pot with a screw lid so it can be simply scooped out when used.

I've been using the Soothing Foot Scrub about twice a week, as I get quite dry heels and sometimes dryness on my toes too. This scrub combats the dryness, improving it dramatically; if I forget to use it then it's amazing how quickly my skin reverts back. The salt is scrubby but not harsh - however it does dissolve into the skin so you have to work fairly quickly! When the salt dissolves you're left with a silky layer of oil to nourish and hydrate. It's quite slippy though so be careful if having a shower - it's best to apply this in the bath. The scent is very menthol-y, but not in a cold medicine way; it's much more natural and actually really reviving. Again, it's a scent for the mornings or perhaps when you're a bit congested - I don't see why you couldn't use this on the rest of your body too.

KERNOWSPA always seem to deliver - their products do exactly what they promise to, all with completely natural ingredients and at a really affordable price. I'd really recommend checking out these products on their website here. I've been eyeing up their candles too as they have some gorgeous sounding scents - Pomegranate and White Fig and Lime and Sweet Orange are on my wishlist!

Have you tried any products from KERNOWSPA?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Thursday, 11 September 2014

My Favourite New Beauty Tool: The Body Shop Facial Massager

After being intrigued by The Body Shop Facial Massager and the concept of facial massage for awhile, when I finally went to buy it it was just my luck that it was out of stock for absolutely ages. However I finally found it in store and it's one of those beauty tools I didn't know was missing so badly from my life.

The Body Shop Facial Massager looks a little bit like a mini paint roller, apart from the rolling part of it is covered in lots of nodules. These nodules are designed to massage the skin without dragging or damaging it and encourage the absorption of skincare products. Facial massage also encourages blood flow and circulation, which is meant to help the healing process and generally contributes to healthier skin. The massager costs just £6.00.

I generally use The Body Shop Facial Massager in the evenings as the final part of my skincare routine after applying a facial oil. Facial oils tend to take longer to absorb than serums and moisturisers, so the massager gives the oil a helping hand. The Body Shop recommends using the massager in forward and backward motions, vertically on the forehead and then diagonally across the cheeks and chin. I do find it hard to get a grip on the forehead, but it works brilliantly well on the rest of my face. The nodules feel quite firm across the skin but not painful or uncomfortable in any way; I actually really enjoy using this! I always finish using the massager in a downwards motion, because this is meant to help lymphatic drainage, which carries away waste toxins from the skin tissue back towards the heart. Lymphatic drainage is meant to promote clearer skin, so anything that helps with that I am all for! I find that after using The Body Shop Facial Massager my skin has a gorgeous, healthy glow, with the products I use beforehand definitely working more effectively, especially in terms of hydration and redness. So although I'm not 100% sure yet if it reduces breakouts directly, it definitely makes my skin looks brighter and clearer. I prefer not to use it when I have any open spot wounds (e.g. if cleansing with a muslin cloth has removed whiteheads), because I don't want to risk spreading bacteria.

So in summary, your other half may look at you with much confusion when using The Body Shop Facial Massager, but it feels so nice and makes your skin look so much healthier, that you really won't care. If you use facial oils on a regular basis (or heavy serums/moisturisers that take awhile to absorb) then you need this - you just won't realise it until you try it! It can be bought online from The Body Shop here.

Have you tried The Body Shop Facial Massager?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Tips for Treating Spot Scars/Marks

Having extremely breakout prone skin for over half of my life (wow that's a depressing stat!), I face an ongoing battle not only with the breakouts themselves, but the consequent scars that follow. Now I am by no means a skincare expert, but I feel like I have a good grasp now of what routine I should follow and what products I should use to help those annoying red marks disappear quicker than they would otherwise.

1. Don't Pick Your Spots!
This is probably an obvious one, but years of fiddling with my face has taught me that picking spots can make them redder, more inflamed and take them longer to heal. Picking spots can push the infection deeper into the spot and damage the skin tissue around the spot, all of which means evidence of the spot is going to stick around for a lot longer. 

2. Regular Exfoliation
It is important to exfoliate as it encourages the removal of dead cells and allows new skin cells to be exposed. Regular exfoliation will therefore help red marks fade quicker. Regular readers will know I love the Pixi Glow Tonic, which is a liquid exfoliator that contains Glycolic Acid, an ingredient that naturally loosens dead skin cells without the need for physical grains or beads. I use this every day because I find it helps to reduce actual breakouts too, so is fantastic for a clearer complexion overall.

For a more intense exfoliation I use a radiance face mask either once a week or once a fortnight. My favourite is the Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel. This also contains Glycolic Acid, plus a whole host of other natural, active ingredients, including Jojoba Beads to manually exfoliate as you apply and remove the mask. This gives my skin an amazing glow; it looks brighter, fresher and clearer instantly.

3. Use Facial Oils
Independent studies and trials have shown that using natural or essential oils on the skin can improve the appearance of scars and marks. One of the most popular is Rosehip Oil and I use the Pai BioRegenerate Rosehip Oil, which according to Pai is the most concentrated Rosehip Oil on the market. The oil contains Trans Retinoic Acid, which converts to Vitamin A when absorbed by the skin and helps the skin to repair itself. I use this about four times a week, sometimes more, because it really does reduce redness over time. I also use and recommend the Antipodes Divine Face Oil, which contains a mixture of oils including Rosehip, Avocado and Jojoba.

I just want to give a little mention here to the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+. It's not a facial oil but more of a primer/serum. I'm still making a full judgement on this, but it really seems to be helping with reducing my spots and the marks they leave behind much quicker than before.

4. Wear SPF
We all know that the sun causes skin damage and when it comes to scars and marks the sun can actually them redder and darker, which obviously makes them look a lot worse. I'll be honest, I do forget to apply SPF sometimes. However now I have my Susan Posnick Brush on Block SPF30 in my handbag I can apply SPF at any point in the day and over my makeup, which means I'm a lot better than I used to be! My skin definitely looks less red when I've protected it from the sun.

I hope you found these tips useful! I'd love to know any tips you have for treating spots scars and marks?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Review: Neal and Wolf Indulgence Scented Candle

There are so many scents that I love from hair, bath and body products and I often think how amazing it would be if the scent was incorporated into a candle product. This is exactly what Neal and Wolf have done - their haircare range has a unique scent created by a perfume house just for their products and now it can be enjoyed from a candle too; the Neal and Wolf Indulgence Scented Candle.

I have some Neal and Wolf hair products in my stash and love the sweet yet almost musky scent. It's really strong and I can smell it in my hair for ages after washing and styling it. I have never been able to work out what made the scent, but I now know it is Mandarin, Orange Blossom, Lily, Ylang Ylang and Orchid. I think calling it "indulgence" is very apt; I can't explain why but the scent just screams luxury. The candle is packaged in a beautiful, purple glass jar and has a burn time of up to 45 hours. (It does also come boxed when you buy it, should you wish to give it as a gift.) The Neal and Wolf Indulgence Candle retails at £17.95.

The candle burns evenly and cleanly, but I can't deny that I'm a little disappointed by the strength of the scent. I know I am basing my expectations on my experiences with Neal and Wolf's hair range, which isn't a comparable product, but I guess I was hoping it would be similar (I also prefer strong scents in general). The scent in the room itself is quite subtle and it doesn't waft into other areas of the house.

The Neal and Wolf Indulgence Scented Candle is a lovely candle with a luxurious scent that I adore, but unfortunately it's not for me because the scent is too light. However if you prefer your scents this way, then I would definitely recommend it. It can be bought direct from Neal and Wolf here.

Have you tried the Neal and Wolf Indulgence Scented Candle? Are you a fan of strong or subtle scents?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Friday, 5 September 2014

August Empties #2

So hands up who else started hearing the word "Christmas" a lot in August?! Summer isn't over yet but already there's talk of the number of days/weeks until Christmas and my sister text me the other day asking for what I wanted as a present this year! Me, I'm still clinging to the hope that the sunshine will be back before Autumn sets in - Christmas couldn't be further from my mind. Anyway, the purpose of this post isn't to talk about the dreaded C word, but my beauty empties from August. Here's what I used up this month...

HealGel Eye 15ml* - £32.00
I used this eye gel mainly in the mornings as it contains light diffusers, which helped to make me look more awake. However I don't think it really made a long term difference to my under eye area. Full review here.
Re-purchase? No. Currently trying to decide what eye cream to buy next, so let me know if you have any recommendations!

Soap and Glory Flake Away 50ml - £2.50
I did enjoy using this scrub, which contains sea salt and sugar to exfoliate. The grains weren't too sparse, so I felt like it was doing its job. This scrub is scented with the original "Pink" S&G fragrance, which I used to love, but I'm a little bored of it now!
Re-purchase? No, instead I've bought a full size Sugar Crush to try.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - £4.19
This seems to have some product left in it, but something happened to the seal between the lid and the tube, so it started leaking over everything and what was left felt quite dry. So it was time to let go! It's a great, all round, budget concealer, but I hadn't found myself reaching for it as much as I used to. Full (old) review here.
Re-purchase? I haven't yet, but I'm sure I will.

Cosmetics √† La Carte Divine Lash Black Mascara* - £23.00
This mascara came into my life via a Love Me Beauty Box and I never fully reviewed it as I just couldn't make up my mind about it. It was strange, but it didn't apply the same; one day it made my lashes look beautifully long and defined, then the next day it would clump them all together.
Re-purchase? No.

Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel 15ml - £2.25
I've mentioned this a few times on blog posts because I just love it. It contains AHAs and jojoba beads for a really intense exfoliation, making my skin look brighter and clearer. The full size is a whopping £40.00, so I think I'll buy the sample size again because it actually lasted for quite awhile.
Re-purchase? 100% yes.

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

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

L'Occitane Freebie with Instyle - September 2014

As we head towards the end of summer the magazine freebies are starting to dwindle, however there is a good one out this month with Instyle from L'Occitane, which I just had to pick up. It's a shampoo and conditioner set, which is worth £10.00 and made up of two 50ml bottles. These are SLS free and contain 5 essential oils (Angelica, Lavender, Geranium, Ylang Ylang and Sweet Orange) to repair and nourish the hair, leaving it shiny and soft. I will be saving this set for holidays as they are the perfect size for travelling. What makes this L'Occitane freebie even more irresistible is that will only cost you £2.50 to get your hands on it, as Instyle is reduced down from the normal price of £3.90.

Will you be picking up Instyle this month?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 1 September 2014

Review: Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Pencil in Love is Blonde

The Archery Brow Tint and Pencil is my first delve into Soap and Glory makeup, recommended by the wonderful blogging world. Before buying this I had only tried brow powder to fill my brows, so I was excited to try this double ended pen with a brow tint on one end and a crayon style pencil on the other. The brow tint is designed to fill sparseness in the brows and the pencil goes over the top to sketch the perfect shape. The formula contains Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and Chamomile Extract to nourish and condition the skin. I bought the shade Love is Blonde (there is also a shade called Brownie Points) and this cost £10.00.

I find Archery really easy and simple to use, which to be honest is what I want from a beauty product on a daily basis. The felt tip end for the brow tint effortlessly releases colour into my brows without having to apply any pressure; I apply in light, feathery strokes, which gives a really natural finish. I then go over the tint with the coloured pencil, which doesn't upset the tint underneath but shapes the hairs and sets them into place. Love is Blonde isn't the perfect colour match as the shade is more ashy than my brows, but it does actually blend in really well. The wear time is impressive - around 8 hours, then fading quite gradually and evenly.

Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Pencil fills a big gap in my small stash of brow products and so is a very welcome addition. I think £10.00 is good value considered it's a double ended product and how long it lasts on my brows. It's perfect for a natural, everyday makeup look or those "no makeup" makeup days. Find it online on the Boots website here.

Have you tried the Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Pencil? What are your favourite brow products?

Beauty Bird xx

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