Sunday, 30 November 2014

November Empties #3

I feel like my mission to cut down my beauty stash is getting there! It can be sad to use up a much loved product, but I'm trying to replace that with a sense of achievement. I spoke about this in my recent Use It or Lose It post here and I've come to realise that wasting a product is a much worse feeling! Here's what I used up in November.

Lush Butterbear Bath Bomb - £1.95
This cute little bear makes for one nourishing bath, with a gorgeous, creamy, vanilla scent. There's no colour with this one, so it's good for a simple bath when your skin's feeling sensitive. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Yes.

Village Candle in Blueberry Muffin - £12.95
My other half bought this for me and he did well! The packaging is very Yankee-esque and having two wicks meant it burnt evenly. The blueberry scent was just lovely too! 
Re-purchase? I would definitely get this scent again!

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair 50ml - £69.00
What a sad day it was when this serum ran out. I've never fully reviewed it as it's the old formula, but it was one of those dependable, all round great serums, that you use when you don't know what else to! 
Re-purchase? I'd love to try the new formula when I can afford to.

Green People Gentle Cleanse and Make-up Remover 200ml - £17.96
This is another of those completely dependable and reliable products that is oh so necessary in a beauty arsenal. It has a gorgeous creamy formula that gently removes my makeup and feels calming and soothing on my skin. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Yes.

Urban Retreat Energy Boost Body Wash 250ml - FREE
I received this shower gel as a free gift with a purchase from Urban Retreat Boutique ages ago, but only recently got round to using it. It is SLS free yet lathers well, but the citrus scent was too subtle for my liking.
Re-purchase? No, but if I wanted to I couldn't anyway - it doesn't seem to be available anymore.

Nivea Creme 50ml - £1.49
I carry around a pot of this un-exciting but necessary cream in my handbag. In the winter I tend to get very dry, flaky skin around my nose and this pot is just for those times! 
Re-purchase? I already have.

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer in Light - £8.49
I have seriously dark circles so I use the Lumi Magique highlighting pen to try and add a touch of brightness. It's great to use under or over coverage concealers as the formula is quite thin. It's something that just does the job with no fuss! Full review here.
Re-purchase? I keep forgetting to when I go to Boots, but definitely yes when I remember!

Green People Foaming Face Wash 100ml* - £10.95
Another Green People cleanser! Free from SLS and alcohol, this produces a light foam, which made it more suitable for my morning cleanse. It freshens and clarifies my skin without being drying; especially great if my skin feels oily when I wake up. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Now it's winter I want to use something heavier, but next summer, yes.

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

Beauty Bird xx

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Friday, 28 November 2014

Use It or Lose It... The Story of a Beauty Blogger Who Wasted Too Much

There once was a beauty blogger who loved her beauty products - she didn't tend to be someone who had just one product of each type on the go at once. The problem is, she would excitedly open all these products to try them as soon as she had them in her hands, without waiting and using up another of the same first. This meant that some unfinished products would get neglected for awhile and then sometimes forgotten. Other products, particularly those that were expensive, would be used too infrequently for fear of using up the product. A time would come where she'd inadvertently come across these products again, or think "Ooh I'd really like to use that XYZ today". But to her despair, some of them didn't smell, look or feel right on her skin anymore and she reluctantly re-homed them in the bin.

For example, her Eyeko Skinny Black Eyeliner, only used a handful of times, had dried out. She couldn't use the last few applications of her Elemental Herbology Cell Food Serum as it smelt a little off. The worst? She couldn't finish her beloved Antipodes Aura Manuka Face Mask - it started to tingle on her skin and she realised she was using it way past its 6 month useful life. 

The moral of the story? Use it or lose it. Having too many beauty items on the go at once may result in wasted product, which equals wasted money. Plus what's the point of buying something expensive then not using it? This is an even bigger waste of money. Sensible solutions to help stop this happening so much in the future include a) writing the date of when new products are opened on the packaging and b) trying to be sensible with on how many products are on rotation at any one time. 

***THE END***

Author's Notes
I hope you all like this very differently formatted post - I thought it was a fun way of getting across a lesson learned! I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this in the comments below. 

Beauty Bird xx

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

First Impressions: Skinlix Sweet Orange and Lemon Organic Body Scrub and Argan Oil

Skinlix is a newly launched organic skincare and bodycare brand, based in Lancashire. Their products are handmade and are free from preservatives, SLS, parabens, artificial colourings and any harsh chemicals. Skinlix's aim is to use as few ingredients as they can, omitting the use of water so that the ingredients are as effective as possible. The product packaging is also chosen with the environment in mind; recyclable glass jars and tags, which are attached with hemp. The tags are very cute - I love the butterfly design! I have been trying some samples of Skinlix's Sweet Orange and Lemon Body Scrub and Sweet Orange and Lemon Argan Oil. They're not quite big enough to do a full review, however certainly enough to give me a decent first impression.

Full Size £13.00 for 120g
This scrub is made of raw sugar granules encased in a mixture of Argan, Sweet Orange and Lemon oils. The latter two give the scrub a sweet but delicate citrus scent. I like scrubby formulas that you can really feel on your skin and this doesn't disappoint. The essential oils stop it feeling too harsh and prevent the sugar from dissolving too quickly. 

Full Size £13.00 for 50ml
I always assumed Argan Oil was just for hair, but this one can also be used on your face, body and nails. As the bottle is open topped I found it difficult to dispense the right amount for hair, because you really don't need much with this concentrated formula. (NB The full size comes with a pipette.) Instead I used it as a body oil and cuticle oil. It's quite a dry oil, so it sinks into the skin super quickly leaving no trace of residue behind; instead I was left with nourished, softened skin. I also love the fact it is has the same gorgeous scent as the scrub.

I really enjoyed using these two Skinlix products and I definitely felt the benefits of using natural, concentrated formulas after initial use. The full sizes have been added to my wishlist! Plus I think they are very good value for money. I am especially tempted to treat myself as Skinlix are currently offering 10% all their products with the code BLOG. Other products in the range include bath milks, soaps, natural sponges and soy candles, which you can view here.

Have you tried any products by Skinlix? Do you love trying out new, homegrown brands?

Beauty Bird xx

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

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Review: Lush Butterbear Bath Bomb

All ready for Christmas, Lush has taken their standard Butterball Bath Bomb and transformed it into the cutest, little polar bear - Butterbear. I haven't tried the original, but I just had to pick up this version for only £1.95.

Butterbear has only a small list of ingredients; the main ones being Cocoa Butter, Ylang Ylang Oil and Cocoa Powder, which equals a gorgeous, buttery vanilla scent. Lush say it's perfect for a creamy soft bath that nourishes and protects your skin. 

If you like your Lush bath bombs to be bright and colourful, whizzing around the bath like a rocket, then you'll be pretty underwhelmed by Butterbear. It fizzes softly and delicately with no colour, just releasing little pieces of cocoa powder as it breaks apart. I usually include a photo of my Lush baths, but there really wasn't anything to see and I didn't manage to capture it fizzing well at all. Once in the bath, you can actually feel the Ylang Ylang Oil on your skin - Butterbear equals one seriously moisturising soak! This is the most softening and hydrating bath bomb I've tried, plus I love the creamy scent that lingers on me for ages afterwards. 

There's no denying that Butterbear is a cutie and I imagine it's one that would be suited to more sensitive skins as well. As it's so cheap I would definitely pick up another, though I think next time I'd combine it with another bath product so I could have the benefit of bubbles and nourishment! 

Have you tried Butterbear? Which other Lush Christmas releases are you loving?

Beauty Bird xx

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Christmas Treats from The Body Shop

Every year The Body Shop releases a trio of festive scents in a range of products, just in time for Christmas. I think this year the scents are absolute winners as there's something for everyone; the rich and creamy Vanilla Brûlée, the light and sweet Glazed Apple and the fruity and festive Frosted Cranberry. My favourite has to be Glazed Apple - it's not a scent you come across very often, but I find that I want to smell of it all the time! In each scent The Body Shop have multi-product gift sets plus lots of individual products, including shower gel, body butter, lip balm, hand cream, eau de toilette and bath jelly to name a few! There's some very cute limited edition accessories and makeup released just for Christmas too. I have been getting myself in the Christmas spirit and been using a selection of these products to give you the lowdown!

Bob The Polar Bear Bath Sponge - £4.00
How cute is this?! There's also a Perry The Penguin Bath Sponge too. I don't tend to use bath sponges or lilies much, but this does really help improve the lather of shower gel. Plus having Bob hanging up in your shower is one way of adding some festive decoration to your bathroom!

Glazed Apple Bath Jelly 250ml - £10.00
I love bath products, but I've never tried a bath jelly before. This tub comes with a little wooden scoop to dispense the jelly out of the tub and under running water. The scoop is actually really handy because the formula is so thick and solid. I tend to put a good six or so scoops into the bath and this creates a nice layer of foamy bubbles. The scent is also just right; it's not overwhelming but it's strong enough to keep you comforted and relaxed. I wish it lingered on my skin afterwards though!

Vanilla Brûlée Body Butter 200ml - £13.00
You can't go wrong with a body butter from The Body Shop. The formula of this is thick but creamy, absorbing easily into the skin. Along with the rich scent, this makes using the body butter feel like a really indulgent treat. With the main ingredients being Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Glycerin, my skin is left soft and hydrated.

Glazed Apple Hand Cream 30ml - £3.50
When I've applied the Glazed Apple Hand Cream I can't stop smelling my hands afterwards! The formula of this is lighter and thinner though than I thought it would be - it's more like a creamy gel. I don't think this hand cream will be intensive enough for me when the temperature really drops, because I get very dry hands, but for now it's doing a great job. It absorbs and dries quickly too and doesn't leave any greasy or oily residue.

Frosted Cranberry Lip Balm 20ml - £4.00
I think you get very good value for money with this tin of balm - it's huge! As the colour of the balm is red in the tin, I assumed this would have a red tint to it on the lips, however it just gives a subtle, clear sheen. Although I think it would have been nice for this to have some colour, I can understand that just being a clear balm will make it appeal to a wider range of people. I adore the fruity scent and the main ingredient, Grape Seed Oil, equals soft and moisturised lips. Like the hand cream though I don't think this will be intensive enough in the bitter cold.

Lip and Cheek Doll - £10.00
Although the limited edition packaging isn't particularly festive, I do think it completely transforms this lip and cheek stain, which normally comes in a plain, rectangular tube. It's superbly cute and quirky and would look great sat on a dressing table. The stain is a sheer, rosy red, which unfortunately didn't work on my super pale cheeks, however it didn't budge all day! The consistency is quite thin and it dries super quickly, so it can be a bit difficult to work with. On my lips this meant I found it hard to get an even wash of colour. Unfortunately this product just isn't for me, but I'm sure for someone else it would be a delight to use. 

To view the full Christmas range click here

Have you tried any of the new Christmas products from The Body Shop? Which of the three limited edition scents is your favourite?

Beauty Bird xx

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

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Non-Beauty Wishlist #2

I haven't veered away from beauty based posts recently, so I thought I'd share with you my current wishlist of everything non-beauty and it's a real mixture! 

I read Katie Piper's first book, Beautiful, about 3 years ago. It's a heart breaking story (she was the victim of an acid attack) but also truly inspirational. In her second book she continues telling her journey and I can't wait to get my hands on it and read it.

Now it's darker earlier I'm pretty much lighting candles and my oil/wax burner every night. The candles I have at the moment are in small jars, so I'm getting through them quite quickly. The large jars by Yankee Candle last for ages and the scent Appleberry Cinnamon jumped out at me straight away. It's sounds delicious and the perfect scent for this time of year. 

I've eyed up the infamous NutriBullet many a time, but at the £100.00 mark its way out of my budget. This Breville version seems like a good budget dupe in that it comes with two drinking bottles that connect directly to the blender, meaning it's quicker to use and less to wash up afterwards! I really want to start drinking smoothies and healthy, raw juices and this is such an affordable way to do it.

I've wanted an initial necklace for awhile and saw this one in Lily Pebbles' recent New York haul video. It comes in gold or silver and I like how the initial is on a little round disc - very cute but still very classy! The only problem is it doesn't seem to be easy to get hold of in the UK. I found it on an American website called Nordstrom (link above) that ship to the UK for around £10.00. This is definitely one for my Christmas list!

5. Taylor Swift - 1989 - £13.00
There's just something about Taylor Swift isn't there? Since her Fearless album I've loved all her single releases enough to want her albums - and that doesn't happen very often! (Other exceptions include Kelly Clarkson, Beyoncé and Ellie Goulding.) Shake it Off has been in my head intermittently and I've seen lots of people on Twitter raving about this album. 

What's currently on your non-beauty wishlist? Do you have any of the products mentioned above?

Beauty Bird xx

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

5 Mini Reviews: Amazing Cosmetics, REN, Redken, DELAROM and Nailtiques

I love it when brands offer mini or travel size versions of their products, effectively meaning you can try-before-going-ahead-and-buying-the-full-size. I've been using quite a few minis at the moment, so today I'm sharing my thoughts on each product and whether I would buy the full size.

"It's effective technology and highly pigmented formula is designed to conceal dark circles, blemishes, sun damage and broken capillaries; it's the ultimate skin perfector."
This sample kit comes with five shade samples of the Amazing Concealer, plus the Amazing Concealer Brush. The lightest shade in the kit is Fair Golden; I would really need Fair for my super pale skin, but this just about works for me with some careful blending. I've only been using this on my dark circles as the concealer contains ingredients that would break out the rest of my face, such as Talc, Paraffin Liquidium and Lanolin. This has a really thick consistency but blends out so well with the warmth of my fingers, that only the tiniest amount is needed. It gives brilliant coverage, but does need setting with a powder as otherwise it has a tendency to slip. I used the brush to cover imperfections with a different concealer and the small brush head makes it fantastic for pinpoint application and blending.
Verdict: I generally prefer concealers that I can use for both dark circles and breakouts, especially if they're on the pricey side (a 6ml tube of this costs £19.50). However the coverage is brilliant so I am considering it.

"A potent bio active peel mask designed to renew the complexion, reduce the appearance of fine lines and dramatically improve skin tone."
I love exfoliating masks! This one contains natural Fruit Acids to remove dead skin cells to reveal more radiant skin. The formula is a smooth, orange gel with a fruity scent that you leave on for ten minutes before removing with a face cloth. I try and use this once a week in conjunction with other masks. I find that it helps to de-congest my skin and makes it look fresher and brighter. The REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask doesn't feel uncomfortable and it isn't too harsh on my skin either.
Verdict: I couldn't be without a mask like this, so REN's offering is a definite contender for a full size exfoliating mask purchase... the other being the Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel. Decisions decisions!

Redken Iron Shape 11 Finishing Thermal Spray*
"A thermal spray designed to strengthen and protect dry hair from heat styling tools, leaving hair smooth and soft."
I don't straighten my hair much, but since my hair's got a bit longer I've been giving waving and curling a go more often, so this thermal spray for dry hair from Redken has been really handy. I'll admit I've never actually used one just for dry hair before and I'm really impressed with how it prevents dryness and keeps my hair soft. The only thing I've struggled with is the application - you only need the lightest spray of this otherwise it sticks the hair together and makes it feel super tacky. I've had to run a brush through my hair many times after using this spray as I've used too much. I'm not sure if this is the typical formula of a thermal spray or not... let me know if you've experienced this!
Verdict: To be honest the formula is putting me off buying a bigger bottle of this.

"A nourishing treat, the smooth textured mask combines hydrating active ingredients to enhance the radiance of your complexion and defend against unruly dryness. For normal to dry skin."
One of the ingredients of the Acquaconfort Mask is Pomegranate Sterols, which is meant to hydrate and strengthen the skin's hydrolipidic barrier. It also gives it a lovely, fruity scent. This mask is just like applying a creamy moisturiser; I almost forgot it was on my skin! DELAROM recommend keeping this on for 5-10 minutes, but I would imagine this working well for seriously dry skin if left on for a lot longer or even overnight. It definitely adds a plumping boost of hydration - it's nice to use after a clay mask or exfoliating mask like the REN one mentioned above.
Verdict: My skin generally isn't dry or dehydrated, so on its own this doesn't really wow me, but in conjunction with other face masks it comes into its own. I like it, but at £22.80 for the full size and for the way I'd use it, I think I'll see if I can pick something cheaper instead.

"Glycerin and aloe vera enriched to soften and heal cracked or hardened cuticles. Can also be applied to elbows, knees and calloused areas on the feet."
Oh I do like a good multi-purpose product! The formula of this is a white, creamy gel that is a joy to smooth over my skin and nails, absorbing quickly and leaving a velvety softness. Because it's so creamy you don't need to use much; I can see this little pot lasting me quite awhile. After using the Nailtiques Cuticle and Skin Gel it's really easy to tidy up my cuticles and it helps to combat the dryness I often suffer with around my nails.
Verdict: I like this an awful lot. It's so easy and effortless to use, that I'll definitely be investing in the full size.

Have you tried any of the above products?

Beauty Bird xx

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

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Monday, 17 November 2014

Review: Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

When trying to decide on which rosehip based facial oil to buy to improve the appearance of my spot scars and marks, it seemed only sensible to buy what is claimed to be the most concentrated Rosehip Oil on the market - the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil.

The Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil uses fruit oil instead of the more commonly used seed oil, as the regenerative properties double and the level of carotenoids (anti-oxidants) are five times higher. It's these carotenoids which give the oil its deep orange colour - the stronger the colour, the more anti-oxidants in the oil. Rosehip Oil also contains Omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 and Trans-Retinoic Acid, which converts into Vitamin A. These ingredients boost the skin's natural healing process, helping to approve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, sun damage and fine lines.  Pai have also added in 100% natural Vitamin E; this helps to maintain the condition of the oil but also reduces the photo-ageing effects of UVA light. It costs £20.00 for a 30ml bottle and is suitable for all skintypes.

I've been using the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil for about six months now, around 4-5 times a week at nights and am only halfway through the bottle. I apply 3-4 drops after serum, taking time to massage and pat it in, sometimes applying a moisturiser over the top if I feel I need it. It also works really well mixed in with moisturiser, especially the Kosmea Replenishing Moisture Cream, which also contains Rosehip Oil. Once applied, this Pai oil really packs a hydrating and nourishing punch, which boosts and brightens my skin. I tend to work a little more of the oil into any spotty areas as it really helps to calm and soothe the redness and inflammation. It did take me quite awhile to get used the strong, natural scent and the slightly heavier formula (in comparison to the Antipodes Divine Face Oil). However it was worth getting used to, as when using the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil in conjunction with regular exfoliation, it does help to improve the appearance of my scars and marks over time. It's certainly not a quick fix, but using it mostly in place of a regular moisturiser at night, the horrible patches of red do disappear a lot quicker than they did beforehand.

Don't think that you have to have marks or scars to use the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil - any skintype would benefit from it's nourishing, general skin boosting properties. I can see this oil always having a place on my bedside table! Available to purchase online here.

Have you tried the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil? Which facial oils do you love?

Beauty Bird xx

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Friday, 14 November 2014

Organic Surge Christmas Beauty Bloggers Bundle 2014

Organic Surge are back again this year with the Christmas Beauty Bloggers Bundle, featuring four products that have been blogger favourites in 2014. The bundle is worth £38.88 but retails at £35.50. This is a great selection of products that give the perfect overview of what Organic Surge offer, whether you're already a fan of Organic Surge or have been wanting to try the brand for awhile. It would also make a great present for a skincare lover, or could be split out as stocking fillers.

Hot Cloth Cleanser 150ml
"Natural, brightening hot cloth cleanser gently removes dirt and impurities, harnessing the highest quality essential oils and moisturisers to care and clean to fully rejuvenate skin."

Unfortunately I can't use this cleanser as it contains Cocoa Butter, which has a tendency to break me out. However one of my favourite bloggers Evelyn from We Were Raised by Wolves reviewed this awhile ago and said it has a thick, buttery texture, which makes it very luxurious to use and it removes all of her makeup instantly. 

Spiced Lily Foaming Bath 250ml
"Contains essential oils of sensual Patchouli and spicy Clove-bud, which help to de-stress and revive body and mind, while natural aloe vera soothes the skin. Skin conditioning Glycerine actively attracts moisture to the skin, allowing it to remain smooth, nourished and hydrated."

This has to be one of my all time favourite scents - it's so comforting and warming; sweet but with a musky undertone, which is just perfect for this time of year. Being a SLS free formula it doesn't produce as much foam and bubbles as ones that do contain SLS, however it does leave my skin beautifully soft.

Overnight Sensation Night Cream 50ml
"Restores, revitalises and re-hydrates all skin types. Bursting with intensive, natural moisturisers; Shea Butter, Aloe vera and Glycerine, to lovingly restore skin while you sleep. Plus calming Lavender Flower Oil allows you to wake up to supple skin and a healthy looking, more radiant complexion."

Thanks to my acne prone skin this is unfortunately another product I can't use. However another favourite blog of mine, Miss Makeup Magpie written by Gemma, reviewed this and said the rich and thick formula made it perfect for her dry and dehydrated skin, giving it a real moisture boost overnight.

Gardeners Hand Cream 75ml
"A fast working hand cream for hard working hands. The quick drying formula makes it suitable for use with or without gloves."

I don't do any gardening - ever. Yet I really love this hand cream; it has a rick, thick formula, which dries super quickly and leaves my hands feeling nourished and velvety. Ingredients include Shea Butter, Coconut Butter, Aloe Vera and Peruvian Inca Inchi Essential Oil It also has a lovely herb and lime scent. 

The Christmas Beauty Bloggers Bundle can be purchased online direct from Organic Surge here.

What do you think of this year's bundle? What Organic Surge products have you been loving recently?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Berry Beauts

I love all the berry hues that have come into their own since the colder weather hit and have pulled out three of my favourites that have been sat in hibernation over the summer. For me, these are Autumn and Winter in a bottle, tube and pot!

1. Maybelline Color Tattoo in Metallic Pomegranate - £4.99
This colour is completely out of my normal comfort zone of neutral eyeshadow, yet it is surprisingly wearable. In the pot the colour looks very bright, but on the skin the eyeshadow turns into a deep burgundy with a delicate gold shimmer that softens the overall look. The cream formula is seriously pigmented, long lasting and buildable, so you can wear it quite sheer or quite strong as per the swatch. For me this is a perfect alternative to a black or brown smokey eye, but still with lashings of mascara and a sweep of liquid eyeliner for extra definition. 

If you're scared off by deep berry shades when it comes to lipstick, but still want to rock a berry lip, then the pinky-plum shade Plumful by MAC is a great choice. The lustre finish means the colour is a little more sheer than other finishes and is quite glossy, which softens the effect. If the shade is still a little "out there" for you, it looks gorgeous just blotted on or if you want a little more oomph, pair it with a lipliner for an evening out (I recommend the No7 Precision Lips Pencil in Plum).

I love this range of nail varnish; Uptown Blue was a summer favourite and now it's Autumn I'm replacing it for the gorgeous Divine Wine, which I also mentioned in my recent 5 Autumn Nail Picks post. This mid-toned berry shade is vibrant but deep in tone and has a lovely glossy finish. The wide nail varnish brush makes the thick formula very easy to apply and lasts a good 5 days on me.

I know I won't be able to get enough of these berry beauts over the next few months. I'd love to know your favourite berry toned makeup products?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 10 November 2014

You Beauty Discovery Box November 2014

This month I purchased my very first You Beauty Discovery Box. I'd heard of this box before but nothing had prompted me to make a purchase - until now. The way it works is that you sign up for an ongoing subscription that costs £6.95 per box per month including P&P. For this price you get to choose two products out of a selection of around eight, plus every box comes with a selection of "extra treats" - basically sample size products.

So what drew me to this You Beauty Discovery Box? The lovely Sandra from Beauty Balm tweeted me to say that one of the product choices were the Roques O'Neil Therapie Himalayan Detox Salts, something I've wanted to try for absolutely ages! This 100g pouch of mineral salts for the bath are meant to calm stress based palpitations, balance energy flow and help combat insomnia. I am so, so excited to try these. They are worth £9.25.

The second product I chose was a box of three Invisibobble Traceless Hair Rings. I'm not particularly keen on the bright blue colour I was sent; as the bands are quite thick I would have preferred something darker (apparently the shades vary). However I'm still glad I chose these; they're not meant to leave a kink in the hair but still have a strong grip, so you can wear your hair up for work and take it down if you're heading out for the evening. This box of three is worth £3.75.

The extra treats automatically included were sachet samples of the Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm and Iconic Youth Serum and a sachet of the Aduna Baobab Superfruit Powder, which can be added to food or drink for a boost of Vitamin C. I think these are brilliant samples to include in the box and I will use all of them happily. The box also contains a Christmas Gift Guide, with more information about the products offered with the box, plus special offers and discounts to use online. This is a really nice touch. 

Overall I am seriously impressed with my You Beauty Discovery Box. There's a fantastic choice of products on offer (others this month included products from Bourjois, Green People and Magnifibres) and I love the extra treats included. I can't believe that it's only £6.95 considering it comes nicely packaged and with a colour booklet too. This is very, very good value if you ask me and I can't wait for next month's box. 

To find out more about the You Beauty Discovery Box or order your own, please click here

What do you think of this beauty box?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Review: Claudia Louch Mineral Mud Mask

I do love clay and mud based masks, as they're generally aimed at oily, congested skin, which is exactly what I have. Over the past few months I've been trying out the Claudia Louch Mineral Mud Mask, which is described as "a unique toning mask to detoxify skin, leaving a baby smooth feel". The main ingredient, pure arctic mineral mud, draws out impurities from the skin and reduces the appearance of pores. Many clay and mud based face masks can be too drying or harsh for some skin types. However this is also packed full of nourishing, natural oils and butters such as Grape Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil and Shea Butter, which makes it far more suitable for a wider range of skin types. The 120ml tube costs £52.50.

The formula of the Claudia Louch Mineral Mud Mask is much thinner than others I've come across, so I do find myself applying a little more than normal. I was surprised to find that it has a fine, grainy texture - I can only assume this is a natural feature of the mineral mud, as there doesn't seem to be any separate grains or beads in the ingredients list. I pretty much only use liquid exfoliators these days, so to be honest I don't enjoy applying this mask; it feels a bit like sandpaper to me. Though I do want to stress that this doesn't irritate my skin at all and I am not used to using this type of formula on my skin on a regular basis. The Claudia Louch Mineral Mud Mask dries quickly and I leave it on for 20 minutes while I either potter about or actually chill with a book, then remove with a face cloth. Claudia Louch were spot on about the "baby smooth feel" - after taking this off my skin is so amazingly soft and supple! It also looks fresh and revived. Being a detoxifying mask, I've noticed sometimes after using this I may get a few little blemishes or whiteheads, but it shows the mask is doing its job and helping to bring any congestion to the surface rather than lurking under the skin.

I would recommend the Claudia Louch Mineral Mud Mask for anyone who is looking for a more gentle alternative to your typical clay or mud mask. I love the effects and benefits of it, though for me I wouldn't replace it because I can't seem to get used to the texture. I also think it's worth noting that although it's pricey, it's actually better value than similar products from brands like Glamglow (thank you to Gemma from Miss Makeup Magpie for pointing this out on her blog!).

What do you think of the Claudia Louch Mineral Mud Mask? What's your favourite detoxifying mask?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Thursday, 6 November 2014

Review: Lush Sunnyside Bubble Bar

If there's one thing I'm guaranteed to get excited about, it's trying a Lush product for the first time. A friend very kindly bought me the Sunnyside Bubble Bar, which is possibly the most luxurious looking bath product they do. The bar is bright gold and coated on the outside with a sparkling gold lustre. Inside it contains mood boosting oils of sweet wild orange, lemon and tangerine. Sunnyside costs £3.50.

One evening recently I came home from work, tired and miserable, just feeling like I needed to wash the day away and do something to perk me up at the same time. Step in Sunnyside! I had an early bath while my fiancé cooked dinner and it was just what the doctor ordered. I used the whole bar, which produced a decent amount of bubbles, though half would probably be ok. Sunnyside turns the bath gold in colour as expected, but it's not until you get in the bath that it becomes a lot more 
interesting. Break apart the bubbles and you can see the gold lustre softly shimmering in swirling patterns around you. It's just gorgeous and gives the bar a real touch of decadence. I was surprised to find it doesn't stick to you either - though you will find you need to give the bath a good rinse out afterwards because some of it does stick to the bottom. In terms of scent, the citrus is surprisingly subtle and delicate; it's more sweet than zingy! However it definitely helped me feel refreshed and revived.  

I really enjoyed using the Sunnyside Bubble Bar and would pick it up again. It's the perfect antidote to a dreary, miserable day! 

Have you tried the Lush Sunnyside Bubble Bar? What's your favourite bubble bar? 

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Magazine Freebies November 2014 (December 2014 Editions)

First of all is the magazine I picked up for the Nails Inc nail polish freebie - Glamour. For just £2.00 you can choose from four shades worth £11.00 each. There's Tate (deep red), Marylebone Mews (lilac toned grey), Wigmore Street (deep blue) and the one I went for, Hanover Square (deep plum purple). I applied 3 coats on the nail wheel above. Also inside Glamour is a 20% H&M voucher to use instore between 3 November to 5 December AND a Little Card of Christmas Wishes from The Body Shop, worth either £3.00, £15.00 or £100.00 to spend in store. It's well worth substituting one of your daily or weekly Costa coffees to pick up Glamour! 

The next freebie comes from Elle magazine, which has a free mini Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Gel Eyeliner. I'm not sure how much this is worth, but I would imagine it's not too dissimilar to the price of the mini They're Real! Mascara at £9.50. Elle costs £4.00. 

Will you be picking up any of this month's mags? 

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 2 November 2014

A/W Bodycare Picks

In the Autumn/Winter period I tend to make more of a conscious effort with my bodycare routine. In the summer I can get away with being a bit inconsistent, but in the colder months my skin transforms instantly as soon as the weather drops - hello dryness and dullness! 

Buff that body - My first step is to up the exfoliating ante from once a week to two or three times a week. At the moment I'm using Soap and Glory's Sugar Crush Body Scrub. It's not quite as scrubby as I'd like, but it gets the job done and I just can't get enough of its amazing lime scent. Using it first thing in the morning really gives me an awakening boost.

A lovely lather - I thought it was about time to dig out the most expensive shower gel I've ever owned, the L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil. Once you mix the oil with water it transforms into a thick, creamy foam. Thanks to the ingredients like Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil and Sunflower Oil, I feel like this is more nourishing and softening than my normal shower gels. The delicately nutty scent is lovely and warming too.

Butter me up - Goodbye lightweight body lotions, hello heavyweight body butters! The Organic Surge Lavender Meadow Super Rich Body Butter* is perfect at combatting dry skin. The formula is super thick and rich, containing both Shea and Cocoa Butter, for some serious moisture and nourishment. It does take a bit of working into the skin but afterwards it doesn't leave any greasy residue. For me this is one for nighttime - the subtle scent of Lavender Oil is really soothing and relaxing, setting me up perfectly for bed.

A helping hand - I always have a separate hand cream on stand by, using it endlessly throughout the day and evening. I'm currently reaching for Laidbare In Safe Hands Sunflower Hand Cream*, described as "the ultimate intensive moisture cream". It's not the thickest formula, but it is creamy so a little goes a long way. Shea Butter, Cocoa Seed Butter, Sunflower Seed Oil and Avocado Oil definitely inject the moisture back into my hands, leaving a subtle, buttery scent.

Which bodycare products have you been reaching for in this colder weather?

Beauty Bird xx

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