Thursday 30 April 2015

A Whole Lotta Lush

I'm not sure I've ever had so many products from Lush in my life at the same time; the whole upstairs of my house has smelt amazing over the last few weeks! This whole lotta Lush isn't due to a big spending spree however, I was very spoiled by my work colleagues for my birthday/wedding, as they know I love the shop. I'm so grateful and so excited because most of the products are completely new to me.

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Review: COLAB Dry Shampoo

A few months ago I was excited to get the chance to try two mini COLAB Dry Shampoos via the You Beauty Discovery Box and have since bought a full size bottle. This is the dry shampoo that was created and launched in conjunction with Ruth Crilly from A Model Recommends and is available from Superdrug and Feel Unique. The bottles are available in 50ml and 200ml sizes and in a range of scents. I have London - described as having a "classic" scent made up of bergamot, musk and magnolia, Rio - a tropical scent thanks to papaya, pineapple and cassis and New York - a fruity scent of apple, melon and amber.

Sunday 26 April 2015

My Introduction to Yves Rocher Makeup

It's always fun trying out new beauty products or brands - the  excitement is a bit like a child playing with their new toys, but the toys are replaced with makeup! I've tried some of Yves Rocher's bodycare range before, but nothing from their makeup range and I now have a selection of four in my excited little hands!

Friday 24 April 2015

You Beauty Discovery Box April 2015

I was really excited about April's You Beauty Discovery Box when the preview came through; I knew exactly what two products I was going to choose from the Organic and Natural theme.

Wednesday 22 April 2015

My New Crownbrush Additions

I've mentioned Crownbrush before on this blog after ordering some eye brushes from them last year and now my collection has considerably expanded with more eye brushes and some base brushes too. If you haven't come across them before, Crownbrush are an online based company offering a huge range of affordable makeup brushes, individually and in sets, plus a makeup range that includes foundations, eyeshadow palettes and bronzers to name but a few. After trying and testing my new brush additions, here's a brief rundown of each one!

C436 Mini Duo Fiber Blender £7.39 - This short headed, flat brush is perfect for blending cream and liquid formulas. I personally think it's too small for foundation (unless you have a lot of patience), but for blusher and highlighter it works really well. The bristles are quite dense, but being a mixture of synthetic and goat hair they feel extremely soft on the skin.

SS001 Deluxe Large Oval Foundation £9.39 - I'll be honest, I'm so used to the ease of my Real Techniques Buffing Brush that I find flat headed foundation brushes hard work in comparison. However this a good size brush and it does have some depth to the synthetic bristles, which gives it a bit of bounce! This seems to work best with heavier coverage foundation as it doesn't sheer out the product very much.

C473 Pro Contour £9.99 - Made from sable and goat hair, this brush is wide and thin with a flat end to fit in the hollows under the cheeks. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get much use out of this as I never contour and don't own any contouring products, but I've given it a go with blusher just to get a feel for it. The bristles are dense but super soft and it sweeps easily to get a line of colour, though I'd recommend a separate fluffy brush to do the blending work!

C430 Duo Fiber Crease £4.79 - Speaking of blending, this brush fits perfectly into the crease of my lid to blend out the darker shadow I normally apply there. It does work for the outer corner of the eye too, though I personally prefer a wider, fluffier brush for this area, which isn't so precise. The bristles are a mixture of microfibre and goat to ensure a soft and smooth application.

C428 Deluxe Duo Fiber Shadow £5.49 - I'm used to using a smaller, rounder brush to apply eyeshadow all over the lid, however this larger, flatter brush makes it much easier. Two swipes across the lid ensures even application - though if I was using a darker shadow I'd go in after with a blending brush just to soften the line around the socket. It's also a good size for applying concealer.

C124 Firm Shadow £4.59 - I have been desperately missing a brush like this in my life! As the name suggests, the red sable bristles are closely packed together to ensure a firm brush head, which is slightly oval in shape. I use this to pat on a concentrated hit of eyeshadow in the outer corner of my eye where I want definition, then go in with a fluffy brush to blend, blend, blend.

SS008 Deluxe Eyeliner £2.29 - With a thin tip, the firm but soft synthetic bristles on this brush are ideal for sweeping gel eyeliner across the lid. The application is precise but gentle. A great, affordable brush.

C409 Angle Definer / Liner £3.69 - Angled eye brushes are great because they can be used for applying eyeshadow to the brows and on the lids as eyeliner when slightly wet. I think everyone needs one of these in their life and this is easy-on-the-purse option!

SS025 Syntho Brow Duo £3.99 - Believe it or not, this is my first ever spoolie!! My brows have never looked so groomed! What makes it even better is that it's double ended with an angled brush on the opposite end, making it the perfect travel buddy for my brows. As mentioned before, I also love angled brushes for applying eyeshadow as eyeliner.

C326 Precision Smudger £2.49 - This is another brush that does just what is says on the handle! With a teeny brush head it's flat and firm, but kept relatively soft by the sable and goat bristles. I primarily use this for softening eyeshadow under my bottom lash line, but it works great for smudging eyeliner too.

Overall, I think these brushes are great quality, affordable and do exactly what you need them to, plus more. I really recommend visiting their website and checking out their huge range!

Are you a fan of Crownbrush? Which of their brushes do you love?

Beauty Bird xx

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

Monday 20 April 2015

Giveaway! WIN a £25.00 Space NK Voucher (CLOSED)

In March it was the blog's 3rd birthday and I really wanted to do something to celebrate and thank you all for reading, as you keep me writing! However it wasn't good timing back then, but now I'm ready to go with the first of three giveaways and it's one that I know I'd love as a blog reader. 

You could win: 
A £25.00 Space NK voucher

Vouchers can be redeemed both in store and online. Space NK stocks a wide range of brands including NARS, Laura Mercier, Hourglass, Diptyque, REN, GLAMGLOW and Bumble and Bumble, so there's plenty of amazing products to choose from!

Giveaway T&Cs
1. This giveaway is U.K. only as unfortunately I can only buy gift vouchers in Sterling.
2. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Entries will be checked!
3. The winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter and contacted via email. 
4. The giveaway will end Sunday 3rd May.
5. If the winner does not respond within 7 days, a new winner will be drawn. 

As previously mentioned I will be running three giveaways in total; the other two will be on my Twitter and Instagram in the next few weeks, so keep a look out.

Good luck!

Beauty Bird xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday 19 April 2015

Review: Organic Surge Ultra Light Oil Control Lotion

I've tried a few products from the Organic Surge Extra Care skincare range before and the latest one gracing my face is the Ultra Light Oil Control Lotion. This is a 99% natural and 25% organic moisturiser containing a blend of hydrating and softening ingredients including Argan Leaf Extract, Damask Rose Oil, Aloe Leaf Juice and Safflower Seed Oil. Suitable for normal to dry and mature skin, it is also designed to protect the skin from environmental influences, regulate oil production and prevent shine. A 50ml bottle costs £18.50. 

The Ultra Light Oil Control Lotion comes in simple but classic packaging; a glass bottle with a red and white label and a pump to dispense the moisturiser. The formula is extremely light and reminds me a little of the consistency of a serum; it's more akin to a gel than a cream and is very thin in consistency. As a result it absorbs into the skin super quickly, leaving it smooth and refreshed. I don't think the Ultra Light Oil Control Lotion makes any significant difference to regulating my oil production or shine, however I can see why this is a great moisturiser for oily skin that can't deal with heavy, thick formulas but still needs that moisture boost. I don't find myself reaching for this every day while the weather is still up and down as I prefer to use something more intensive, but I think it will come into its own when those hot summer days come along.

You can find the Organic Surge Ultra Light Oil Control Lotion online here

What is your favourite moisturiser for oily skin? Have you tried Organic Surge's offering and if so, what are your thoughts?

Beauty Bird xx

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

Wednesday 15 April 2015

The Perfect Spring Scent: Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Cologne

I think it's safe to say that we all have a list of brands we are just desperate to try and Jo Malone was one of the brands on mine until I had the best surprise from my fianc√©'s Mum for Christmas; the Wild Bluebell Cologne. 

Everything about the Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Cologne just oozes class and luxury. I love the simple but chic packaging and how the glass bottle is mounted inside. In fact I'm still keeping the bottle in the box as of this post - I just can't seem to part with it! Now onto the scent - oh my, oh my. Wild Bluebell has White Musk as the base note (powdery and clean), Persimmon as the heart (milky peach with creamy, clean undertones) and Bluebell as the top note (wild flower blended with crisp, green leaves and the balsamic sweetness of spicy clove buds). The scent is beautiful; fresh and floral with such strength and depth to it that you can really pick out all the different notes. After applying the Wild Bluebell Cologne, the delicious scent wafts around me so I can smell it as go about my day to day tasks. This fades after a few hours as expected from a cologne (due to the high concentration of essential oils, the scent naturally fades quicker in comparison to perfume), however I can actually still smell Wild Bluebell directly on my wrists after 8 hours, which I really didn't expect. I love this so much I decided to wear it on my recent wedding day, so it will always have a special place in my heart for the memories it evokes.

I can now understand why Jo Malone stands apart from the rest - how else would I get to smell like a forest of bluebells? Their range of scents can't be compared to anything else (others include Wood Sage and Sea Salt and Earl Grey and Cucumber) and the presentation makes you feel like you have something really special. I have the 30ml bottle, which costs £40.00, but it is also available in a 100ml  bottle for £82.00. I would love to try one of their candles next!

To take a look at the Wild Bluebell Cologne and to see the rest of Jo Malone's range, you can visit the website here.

Are you a fan of Jo Malone? Which scent is your favourite?

Beauty Bird xx

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Monday 13 April 2015

The Fantastic Four: Blemish Busting Skincare

Spots and dark circles are the two beauty banes of my life. Thank goodness for makeup is all I can say! When it comes to spots I am constantly reviewing what skincare I use, because I want products that will treat them effectively without upsetting the rest of my skin. Over the years I've tried and tested so much spot fighting skincare and have four products in my current stash that I can really depend on in my hours days of need... Introducing some of my favourite blemish busters.

I've been using this for about 3 months now and although I don't think this is amazing, it's pretty darn good. I spritz it onto a cotton pad and apply all over my face after cleansing. It only contains three ingredients; healing Zinc Oxide, astringent Sodium Chloride and soothing thermal spring water. I love how it doesn't dry out my skin, yet is great at zapping bacteria - if you get any sting from applying this to an open spot or blemish (which I often do), this means it's killing the bacteria inside and therefore the spot.

This is hands down the best all over, indirect spot treatment I've tried. It can be applied as a moisturiser, but I prefer to use it underneath as a serum, as alone it's not quite hydrating enough for me. The [+] version has the added benefit of reducing scarring as well as fighting spots. I find this works more noticeably when not used every day, but overall it works brilliantly and I'm currently on my second tube.

For spot prone and oily skin, a clay based mask is a must to deep cleanse the skin, soothe breakouts and remove excess oil. Although it's not the cheapest at £28.00, the Facial Detox Mask by Elemental Herbology is an absolutely fantastic mask stuffed full of wonder ingredients as well as Kaolin (clay); for example, Manuka Honey, Calendula, Eucalyptus and Aloe. As a result it re-balances my oily skin without upsetting the combination areas and significantly reduces inflammation and redness. It works well as a direct spot treatment overnight for those angry, lumpy spots too.

When it comes to a spot treatment for smaller blemishes and whiteheads, I reach for one of nature's antiseptics; Tea Tree Oil. This rollerball also contains other anti-spot ingredients like Witch Hazel, so it isn't pure Tea Tree Oil, but  when I apply it direct, it really helps with inflammation. If I've had a moment of weakness and picked a spot (yep it does happen even though I'd always advise not to), it's brilliant to use straight after as it fights the bacteria and helps it to heal. 

Although these aren't direct blemish busters, I'd also recommend checking out the REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser and any kind of facial oil like the Antipodes Divine Face Oil. Both of these products are very soothing and calming on spots and are great at re-balancing oily skin. 

What are your go-to blemish busting skincare products?

Beauty Bird xx

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