Just posting a quick Sayonara to everyone, see you in 2 weeks! Will be back with some brand giveaways I have lined up and will organise a special Japanese beauty one too :)
The month has gone by so fast again hasn't it? Here are my beauty favourites for March:-
(1) Liz Earle Skin Repair Light Moisturiser* - (review) - This is one of the best moisturisers I've tried for oily/combination skin, it controls excess oil where needed and doesn't dry out the other parts. I'll be using this a lot over the coming summer months.
(2) Dr Organic Pomegranate Deodorant - (review) - Have been raving about this a lot recently and absolutely love it. Smells so good!
(3) Zoya Nail Polish in Jana - (NOTD) - Gorgeous mauve/taupe shade.
(4) Andrea Fulerton Nail Polish in Eliza - (NOTD) - One of my new favs shades for S/S, so pretty!
(5) Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie - (review) - I imagine that these little beauties will be on a lot of people's favourites this month! I have been wearing this almost everyday since the lovely Sandra sent it to me.
(6) Karma Naturals Lip Balm in Rhubarb and Custard - (review) - This smells good enough to eat and is very moisturising, love how natural it is too!
Keeping my travel make-up fairly simple(ish!) and packing all of the above:-
Brows: Korres Eyebrow Pencil in 1 Dark Shade
Eyes: Benefit Lemon Aid, Urban Decay Primer Potion, Urban Decay Naked Palette, Urban Decay Double Eyeliner with Zero and Whiskey, The Body Shop Super Volume Mascara.
Face: Witch Anti-Blemish Skin Clearing Primer, MyFace MyMix Foundation in Medium 02, The Body Shop Vitamin E Tinted Moisture Lotion, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealers in 2 Light and 3 Medium, Everyday Minerals Mint Colour Corrector, The Body Shop Lightening Touch Pen in 03, Benefit High Beam, Witch Pressed Powder.
Cheeks & contour: The Balm Fratboy Blush, MAC Eversun Beauty Powder Blush, Benefit Hoola bronzer
Lips: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in 050 Berry Smoothie, Diego Dalla Palma Lipstick in 42, Barry M Lipgloss Wand in Toffee, Elf Conditioning Lip Balm with SPF 15 in Nice and Natural.
Onto brushes (all of which will obviously be cleaned beforehand! from L-R):-
Joliebox Concealer Brush, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Brush (that came with the Naked Palette), Models Own Eye Blending Brush, Avon Eyeshadow Brush, Elf Complexion Brush, Everyday Minerals Angled Contour Brush, Ecotools Blush Brush, Everyday Minerals Kabuki Brush, Elf Fan Brush, The Body Shop Eyelash Curlers.
Only last thing to pack beauty-wise other than the bigger stuff like straightners and hairdryer etc, are nail polishes, will probably take two or three with me I think.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me mention that I'm heading to Tokyo on Sunday. It's a place that I've always wanted to visit and I'm so excited to finally be able to go! I've had a few requests to do a 'what's in my travel bag?' type of post detailing what beauty products I'll be taking with me, so here's my toiletries one to start things off.
[Haircare]: Macadamia Deep Repair Masque - When I saw this in last month's Joliebox, I knew that I'd have to refrain from trying it out straight away, and popped into my travel bag instead. Can't wait to use this. KMS California Free Shape Quick Blow Dry Spray does what it says on the bottle and will be perfect for using in the mornings, along with John Frieda Frizz Ease 3 Day Straight for quick and easy sleek hair. I'm also taking this trusty little bottle of Morrocan Oil for last minute touch ups. I'll be decanting a little of my usual Eucerin shampoo to keep my scalp happy and will be pairing that with The Body Shop Nettle Oil Balance Conditioner, which I believe is now discontinued but was from a gift set I received at xmas.
[Bodycare]: I have so many body lotion travel sizes from various beauty boxes that it was difficult to just pick one, but eventually I decided to take Neom Organic Real Luxury Body Lotion because it just smells incredible. Hands and feet will by taken care of with Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream and Burts Bees Coconut Foot Creme, with a mini tin of Lush Lemony Flutter to rub into cuticles before bed and for any extra dry areas that need it. My new favourite Dr Organic Pomegranate Deodorant will also accompany my travels and keep me smelling fresh throughout the busy days of sightseeing. As I'm likely to be completely jetlagged when I arrive, I thought that the Bodhi Mint The Shower Therapy* would be absolutely perfect for waking me up with its potent mint scent, and I'm going to decant a bit of Bamford Geranium Botanic Bath Oil to take with me for a soothing bath. Just in case I have any problems sleeping, I always carry a small bottle of Lavender Oil to help me relax and send me off to the land of nod.
[Skincare]: The only cleanser I am using at the moment is Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish which gives a lovely deep clean and doubles up as an amazing make-up remover too. After this, I'll use my old faithful Lush Tea Tree Water to tone with, and apply a little of Clinique All About Eyes to my undereye dark circles which helps to de-puff them, as well as hydrating the eye area. For mornings, I'll follow with Korres Wild Rose 24 Hour Moisturiser which has SPF 6, and before bed, I'll use Institut Esthederm Time Technology Cream. Twice a week I'll use Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream to get rid of any dull dead skin cells, and I have a mini bottle of Tea Tree Oil just in case any blemishes decide to show up. For lips, I'll be taking my Lush Honey Trap Lip Balm.
So that's everything. I am one of those people who usually leaves everything to the last minute, but doing this blogpost has helped me strike at least one thing off my enormous to-do list, hooray! I will post a make-up one at some point this evening too.
The sun is still shining here in the UK and I've been enjoying it so much! I have been wearing this little number on my nails for most of the week, it's the LCN nail polish in Free Spirit, from this month's Joliebox. A very pretty light pastel peach with gold/pink shimmer running through it. It was a lot sheerer than I expected it to be, so this took some time applying, the formula is a bit of a pain unfortunately. Finally got it to a good opaque with four thin coats.
March is always a hectic month for us students, so most of the books I've managed to read this time around may appeal to those looking for shorter/quick reads:-
(1) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - This is another of those classics on my enormous to-read list, that I'm slowly working my way through. It's famed as one of the first American Tragedies and is a book that was way ahead of its time when it was written. The prose is beautiful (if a little grating at times due to the archaic language but that's more to do with my own patience more than anything else), the characters lively and colourful and the story is riveting. Like many women, I found the main character, Hester, to be such a strong figure. It's essentially her story, that of a woman who is shamed and punished in her Puritan community for having an affair and giving birth to an illegitimate daughter, and how she seeks to carry on living. [4/5]
(2) Warm Bodies by Issac Marion - A funny YA written from the point of view of a male zombie who falls in love with a female human and desperately wants to feel alive again. Cleverly written, it's the first book to ever make me feel some sort of empathy for a zombie character. So surreal and amusing! [4/5]
(3) As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner - I have wanted to read something by Faulkner for a while and was recommended this as a good book to begin with. The novel is pretty miserable in context (the title may have already given that away for you!), but I found the writing itself largely enjoyable in a poetic, pretentiously arty kinda way. You kind of just have to go along with it and not stop to question why Faulkner chooses not to explain or give reason for anything that he does with the characters. I found that the book was largely open to interpretation, especially the ending which just stops everything in its tracks. [3/5]
(4) Mr Nice by Howard Marks - What can I say about Howard Marks that hasn't already been said? Even if you frown upon his dope smuggling antics, it's hard not to get sucked into this book. It's filled with his intelligent charisma that just oozes from every page and makes for utterly addictive reading. Easily one of the most interesting and entertaining autobiographies I've ever read and certainly worthy of being put onto my 'all time favourites' shelf without a doubt. [5/5]
(5) Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories by Lauren Groff - Wonderful collection of short stories that you can really get your teeth into and enjoy. The writing is excellent, and I'd recommend this collection to anyone who thinks short stories aren't for them. This should change your mind. [4/5]
(6) Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay - A lot more different than the TV series, but still a darkly humorous and quick read. [3/5]
(7) Perfect Lives by Polly Samson - I can see what the author was trying to do by linking together all of the short stories in this collection, but can't help but wonder why she chose to keep them as short stories and not turn this into a novel/novella? The stories are OK, though a little predictable here and there. Good for a quick summer/holiday read. [3/5]
Thought I'd post my empties a few days earlier than usual as the recycling is being picked up tomorrow and it would be good to get these out of the house! Here's what I've used up this month and whether I would repurchase them or not:-
James Brown London Scandalous Intensively Glossy Rescue Treatment - A very good hair mask for weekly treatments. Only thing I didn't like about it was the highly perfumed scent which put me off using it for ages. Repurchase? No, I think it's been discontinued now. Korres Quince Body Butter - Loved this, fantastic for dry skin and soaks in immediately, gorgeous subtle scent too. Repurchase? Yes. Purity Facial Wash* - Used this as my in-shower foaming cleanser for a few months, stopped using it as it dried out my skin too much, but then started using the rest of it up these last couple of weeks due to the change in weather. Repurchase? No, doesn't really suit my oily/combo skin, would be better for very oily/sensitive instead. Lush Ultra Bland - Amazing cream/oil based cleanser that removes makeup quickly with no scrubbing. You only need the tiniest amount to do your whole face with so a little definitely goes a long way with this. Repurchase? Not at the moment as I'm happy with my Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, but it might be something I come back to at some point.
Laura Mercier Eye Shadow in Vanilla Nuts - I've had this for such a long time but it took me forever to hit pan on it, and I've finally only now used the whole thing up! Repurchase? Not sure if they do this shade anymore and I wouldn't really need another neutral eyeshadow due to UD Naked Palette, but Laura Mercier eye shadows are really good, wonderfully soft and pigmented. Blistex Raspberry Lemonade Blast Lip Balm - This was a nice change but it got a little too sickly for my liking when I used it a lot. Repurchase? No. Lush Sweet Lips Scrub - Love this, lasted me a good couple of months. Repurchase? Yes, though I may try a DIY version. The Body Shop Hemp Foot Protector - Got this travel size pot from a gift set at xmas. I do like it but I like my usual Lush Fairtrade Foot Lotion more. Repurchase? Probably not. BareMinerals Original SPF Foundation in Medium Beige - I really liked this sample and think it's a great foundation, though the coverage is on the sheer side, it's very good for people with oily skin. Repurchase? Yes, will buy a full size once I've used up some of my other foundations.
Caudalie Quenching Sorbet Creme - This was OK, but had a really strong floral scent which I wasn't keen on. Repurchase? No. Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque - Can't really vouch for the 'agesmart' properties that this claims to have, but it was pleasant to use and I got about four uses out of this 15ml sample. Didn't notice enough of a difference to warrant a full size purchase though. Repurchase? No. Crabtree & Evelyn Lavender Bath & Shower Gel - This was a little on the artificial side for me scent-wise, think there are much nicer lavender products on the market. Repurchase? No. L'Occitane 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream - Seriously the BEST hand cream ever, I always seem to have a travel size one of these around. Repurchase? Yes! Westlab Himalayan Bath Salts - I asked around to see if anyone wanted these and I got a resounding "NO!" so I ended up using them myself last week. They did nothing for me, had virtually no scent and it was like sitting in a bath of plain hot water. Only positive thing I can say is that they didn't irriate my skin. Repurchase? No.
Clinique Redness Solutions Makeup SPF 15 - Liked this a lot, all of the Clinique foundations I've sampled in the past have been great so I'll definitely look more into their range when I need a full size. Repurchase? Yes. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in Soft Beige - Still umming and ahhing over this. The shade was a perfect match for me right now (would probably need one a touch darker for summer) and I liked the formula a lot but you need a lot of powder on top of it if you have oily skin like I do. Repurchase? Not sure. Bourjois Organic Bio Detox Foundation - Hands down one of the worst foundations I've ever tried! It was patchy, stuck to my face like glue and refused to blend. Awful! Repurchase? No! Avon Advance Techniques Frizz Control Lotus Shield - This is pretty good, reduced frizz by about 50% and made my hair a lot more manageable. It also didn't make it look greasy which is always a bonus with these products. Repurchase? Yes.
Due to the glorious weather we're currently experiencing in the UK, I haven't been wearing an awful lot of make-up these last couple of days. I have however been reaching for this mascara quite a lot recently and wanted to do a quick review of it. The Body Shop's Super Volume Mascara is supposed to be one of those mega volumising mascaras (as the name certainly suggests it should be!), but I wasn't all that impressed with it when I first purchased it a couple of weeks back. I think the main issue I have with it is the design of the brush. I mean it just looks clumpy doesn't it?! The bristles are that touch too stumpy to properly coat the lashes evenly and it has a tendency to clump straight away, especially if you attempt to put on more than one coat. However despite this major flaw, it's got good pigmentation and lasts on me all day, no flakes or anything, even in this summery heat. I like this mascara for days when I just want a little something on my lashes to add a bit of definition and in my opinion it works well for that. At £10 a tube, I personally don't think it's worth that price tag, but I picked this one up on eBay for around £4 which made it much more affordable to try out.
[Swatch above with one coat of The Body Shop's Super Volume Mascara. Excuse my creased eyeshadow, it's been a long day and I forgot to put my trusty UDPP on this morning!]
Summary: If you're looking for a volumising mascara, then I think this will disappoint most, as there are much better mascaras on the market that do the job. However, if you're after a mascara for an 'everyday/simple' make-up look and you see this on offer, then it might be perfect for you.
Have you tried this? Which volumising mascaras do you use?
This month's Joliebox boasts a first for any beauty box; it contains all full size products! Do you think someone perhaps took notice of the drama surrounding last month's box of small (but still sample) sizes? Hmmmm. There's also the addition of the 'Joliemag', a 24-page glossy magazine showcasing new beauty products, meet the team features and how-to guides etc, which is pretty neat. Onto the products that I received, firstly there's a 200ml Yardley Luxury Body Wash in English Lavender. Now, I'm probably in the minority here when I say that I actually like lavender, I know that it's certainly something of a marmite scent for most people so I can imagine a few being disappointed with receiving this. I've seen some of the other floral scents that were sent out so I guess it's just one of those luck of the draw things? The product that I'm most excited about is the Davines Authentic Moisturising Balm which was sent out with one of the other beauty boxes recently and I thought it sounded really interesting. It's a 98% natural balm that can be used on hair, face and body so I'll certainly make use of this. Oh how I love multi-purpose products!
Two make-up items were included this month, an Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner in Powder Pink and an LCN nail polish which is a German brand I believe. I'm happy with the colours that I got sent; the nail polish looks like a pretty shimmery peach shade and I've been meaning to experiment with a pink eyeliner for that 'wide awake/bigger eyes' look. There's also a little extra in the shape of the Joliebox mirror which isn't exactly great quality wise as it looks mega cheap, but no doubt it will get thrown into one of my many make-up bags regardless. Summary: I thought this box was great, all things that I will use again which is always good of course!
Whilst I'm here, I just wanted to add my two cents to the news of the Carmine box being no more. Carmine was definitely my favourite out of all of the beauty boxes as they always offered great value and a good range of products. Sad to see them go, but I didn't think much of them merging with Glossybox. What was that all about?! I don't think I'll be signing up again to Glossybox, though my mind may change if they become more like how Carmine used to be. I'm sure only time will tell.
I was doing very well with my self-imposed spending ban/restricted budgeting for the month, when I spotted this bargain over at Buyapowa. I purchased it straight away for my mum, as I knew she'd love it for Mother's Day (buying stuff for other people doesn't count right?), being a Burts Bees fan like myself. Then I checked my Paypal account, saw that I still had some surplus funds in there, and bought one for myself. Did I need this? Erm....no. Did I want it because it was a bargain that I couldn't refuse? Yes!
So for the grand sum of around £7 plus postage, I bought myself the Burts Bees Tips And Toes Kit, which consists of travel size/try me versions of some of their bestselling products. You get all of these: Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream, Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey & Grapeseed Oil Hand Cream, Coconut Foot Cream, Hand Salve, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, and a full size Replenishing Pomegranate Lip Balm. Seeing that the lip balm alone is nearly £4, I thought this was a great bargain and I've wanted to try out some more products from Burts Bees for ages but never gotten around to picking anything other than the lip balms up. I'll put up some mini reviews of the products once I've tried them out, so you'll probably see them in some upcoming empties posts.
Zoya's Jana is a beautiful mauve cream/pale taupe and it's one of those neutral colours that I pick every now and again, especially when I'm feeling a bit indecisive. These shades are just perfect for everyday wear and always look simple yet chic. Like the other Zoya polishes I have, Jana applies perfectly in two coats with no fuss, and delivers a lovely smooth finish.
What are you wearing on your nails today?
I made the switch to more natural based deodorants a few years ago and had mainly stuck with my trusty Crystal Spring deodorant which is fragrance free. For a change, I picked up the Dr Organic Pomegranate Deodorant to try out and have been road testing it for a few weeks. My main two reasons for buying this was that it was pretty cheap for an organic deodorant (these retail for about £4.29 for 50ml) and it smelt incredible. Honestly, I could not stop sniffing this in the shop and had to refrain from purchasing the entire Pomegranate range by Dr Organic. If you have a Holland and Barratt near you, pop in and have a sniff of this range, it's seriously amazing!
Onto the deodorant itself, it's a liquid cream based roll-on that is free of Aluminium, SLS, Parabens and Alcohol, as well as artificial colours, fragrances and preservative. The active and organic ingredients come from Pomegranate, Aloe Vera, Icelandic Moss, Vitamin E and Sunflower Seed Oil. The main thing to remember about natural based deodorants is that they won't stop you from sweating as they're not antiperspirants. I don't think it's very good for your skin to block it with chemicals to stop it from doing its natural function of perspiring, which is why I use these deodorants instead. Natural deodorants will however eliminate odour from your sweat, so don't worry, you're not going to be walking around reeking of BO! The deodorants from Dr Organic all have a non-pore clogging formula and I found this very effective. As it's a natural liquid cream roll-on, on application it is wet of course and does take a little time to dry. I don't find this a problem for me personally, as I always apply deodorant straight after a shower, so by the time I've put on my body lotion and everything else, it's dry and fine for me to get dressed. You can however speed the drying time up with a quick blast of your hairdryer if you wish.
Protection-wise, I found it worked well throughout the day without needing to be reapplied, but I did need to reapply it if I did some exercise (which seems normal for most conventional deodorants too). It doesn't irritate my sensitive skin and can be applied straight away after shaving with no stinging at all. But the best thing about this deodorant is the scent. I can smell it subtly throughout the day and it's so nice. Lovely, fresh and feminine, perfect!
Have you tried any natural/organic deodorants?
(1) Bad Teacher (2011) - Was channel flicking and came across this, thought it was pretty dreadful, but I did want Cameron Diaz's shoes!
(2) Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2012) - I am unashamedly a big Twilight fan, but do feel that this was majorly dragged out so that they could split Breaking Dawn into two parts.
(3) Cinema Paradiso (1989) - One of my favourite foreign films, so beautifully written. It's set in post-WW2 Italy and depicts a life before everyone had a TV and went to a local cinema instead. Heartwarming and sad at the same time, I highly recommend this.
(4) Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) - A girly guilty pleasure!
(5) Dirty Dancing (1987) - And another guilty pleasure ;)
(6) Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2012) - Dark fantasy, has a couple of good moments in it.
(7) Final Destination 5 (2011) - Love this franchise, this follows the exact same formula as the others of course.
(8) Planet of The Apes (2001) - Tim Burton's re-imagining of the cult classic, was interesting to see his take on this but definitely prefer the shock element of the original.
(9) Super 8 (2011) - Young adventure sci-fi, was a bit too sentimental for my liking.
(10) The Three Musketeers (2011) - Loved this, fantastic big budget blockbuster.
What films have you been watching recently?
Spotted this Nail Polish Addict Tag on Gaby's blog that is doing the rounds at the moment and thought I'd post it along with some of my own polish p*rn for you all to admire.
1. What's your favourite nail polish company?
I'm torn between a few, but my absolute favourite would probably be OPI because I always want something from their new collections. I like their formulas, their often silly yet quirky names and they're a brand that seems to be able to collaborate successfully with celebrities time and time again.
2. 2. Glitter or no glitter?
I'm a total sucker for anything glittery so I personally love it, even though it's a pain to remove!
3. OPI, China Glaze, or Essie?
Have tried all three and going to say OPI again. However, I do really like China Glaze and Essie a lot too, I just have a lot more OPIs currently in my collection.
4. When do you change your nail polish?
When the mood strikes me. I'm sometimes fickle and will wear a colour once and take it off the next day if I see something else I'd rather wear. But at the same time, if I'm wearing a polish that I really love, then I have been known to wear it constantly for like two weeks.
5. What's your favorite color on your nails?
I can't pick one, I have too many joint favourites to choose from! Some of my all time favs include OPI Parlez-Vous OPI?, OPI Jade Is The New Black, OPI Black Cherry Chutney, Barry M Racing Green, Barry M Coral, China Glaze Fifth Avenue, Nails Inc Shoreditch, MAC Formidable!, Zoya Jem.
6. Darks or brights?
I love both and probably wear them in equal measures. Only thing I will mention is that I only like brights on my toes.
7. What are you wearing on your nails right this moment?
Still wearing OPI - Lucerne-Tainly Look Marvelous but will probably scrub that off later and pick something else for the weekend.
8. Matte nails - in or out?
It's not a trend that I've experimented much with. I bought a couple of matte nail polishes from MAC when they were being heavily hyped but I don't remember wearing them for long. I mainly just want to put glossy top coats over mattes which kinda defeats the object a bit!
9. French manicure?
It's not a look I'm personally fond of as it brings up images of WAGs and Jordan for me, but I think it can look OK if the nails are kept short and neat.
10. Favorite Summer Colours?
Probably corals, oranges and bright pinks!
P.S This isn't all of the nail polish that I own. Oh no. Embarassingly enough, there's a lot more including various dupes and things that I haven't had the heart to let go of yet. One day I'll sort it all out eventually, I promise! For now, the photos above are my 'main' polishes that I use the most of.
And while I'm here I'll quickly post this 11 Questions Tag from Helena's Edge Of Beauty blog:-
1. What is your favourite MAC Lipstick?
Shy Girl definitely, so easy to wear and seems to look great on lots of skintones.
2. What is your favourite foundation?
At the moment, it's Bare Minerals Original Foundation in Medium Beige.
3. What is your favourite blog?
Eeeek can't pick one! Check out the Daily Reads list in the sidebar for starters :)
4. Iphone or Blackberry?
I seem to be in the minority but you can't pry me away from my BlackBerry just yet.
5. What is your favourite brand for blush?
MAC or NARS
6. What do you order at Starbucks?
Iced Caramel Macchiato or Iced Vanilla Chai Latte, though I do fancy the frappuccinos every now and again.
7. What is your staple wardrobe piece?
A black leather biker style jacket that fits well.
8. What trend do you most dislike?
I don't get those Crocs! Why?!
9. What is your favourite perfume?
Not a big perfume wearer, but one that I do wear occasionally is Flower by Kenzo.
10. Who is your favourite actress?
I have a few, love Abbie Cornish, Eva Green, Jennifer Connolly & Rachel McAdams.
11. What is your favourite high street store?
Zara, always has nice stuff and finds a good balance between being 'on trend', but without making you look like you're 14.
I tag anyone who wants to do either of these :) Have a good weekend!
I've mentioned a few times on this blog the minor problems I've had with eczema and dry skin, but I don't think I've ever done a post on having a dry scalp. I guess it's something that isn't talked about much in general, even though it's quite a common condition. Like my eczema, I get flare ups of having a particularly dry and itchy scalp every now and again, and it's often exasperated by cold weather. I have to be quite careful when it comes to picking out shampoos to use because I find that most of the mainstream highstreet brands are packed full of certain chemicals that upset my scalp. I have tried pretty much all of the speicalised medicated shampoos on the market including prescription ones, but the one that has worked best for me has definitely been Eucerin's Dry Scalp Relief Shampoo.
I have gotten through about three bottles of this since Winter began last year and wanted to do a quick review of it in case anyone else has the same problem and was looking for a suitable product to try out. Eucerin's Dry Scalp Shampoo has 5% Urea in it which is its key ingredient in moisturizing the scalp, whilst the chemical Polidocanol soothes and helps to stop the itchiness. It's fragrance free, lathers well and delivers a good cleansing of the scalp, without leaving it dry. I find that it's best to wash twice with this, rinsing in between, so you'll end up using a lot more product than you'd expect. It does the job of stopping any itchiness for a day and I found my scalp to be a lot happier in that it was feeling a lot less dry and angry! Only downside with this shampoo is that it made the lengths and particularly the ends of my hair very dry. Not too much of an issue for me as I use hair oils on those parts often enough, but if I used a light conditioner like Lush's American Cream, then my hair would feel dry by the end of the day, so you'd probably need something much more heavy duty if you were using this on a regular basis.
Summary: I'd recommend this shampoo to anyone who is plagued occasionally by a bothersome, dry, itchy scalp and wants a product to ease it back to a state of normalness again. I'm not sure how this would work on more serious cases of dry skin like psoriasis etc, as mine seems to be more flare up/seasonal based, but judging from other reviews online it seems like it does the job quite well.
I know that this isn't your typical Spring shade, but I was going through some of my OPIs earlier, and stumbled across this little beauty that I hadn't worn in ages. It's one of a mini set that I purchased from their Swiss Collection, and is the only colour that I currently own which is this wonderful gun/dark pewter metallic silver. I love how metallics catch the light when it's sunny, so I always find myself wearing some of these at this time of the year. Application was typically sheer with this and it needed three coats to build up to this opaqueness. Word of caution though: this is something akin to a nightmare to remove. You'll need to employ the tin foil trick of course, but make sure you have plenty of cotton wool around to mop up the excess glitter that dispenses itself everywhere. Despite this, OPI's Lucerne-Tainly Look Marvelous is still one of my favourite OPIs.
When it comes to the world of skincare, there's one brand that seems to dominate the blogosphere and that brand is Liz Earle. Its products are regarded by some as the answer to achieving beautiful skin and it boasts an enormous cult following. Now, I have tried a lot of skincare brands in the past, from budget friendly to luxury high end and most things in between. But I've never properly tried anything from Liz Earle before. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, I always had a preconceived notion that Liz Earle products were out of my price range, simply because I've constantly heard that they were amazing, so I automatically thought they must be ridiculously expensive. Secondly, I didn't quite believe that their most famous product, Cleanse & Polish, could actually work for all skin types. Surely that couldn't be possible? It all seemed too good to be true.
I received a travel size sample of this famous Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser in a Latest In Beauty box and immediately wanted to try it out. After using it for just three days, I was so impressed that I purchased the 100ml pump starter kit straight away, which comes with two muslin clothes and a zipped travel bag. Cleanse & Polish is really incredible stuff. It's a very thick, concentrated cream that has a menthol fresh scent to it. You apply it to dry skin and it just feels wonderful, with a slight cooling sensation. It literally melts into your skin, and removes everything including a full days makeup and waterproof mascara in a matter of minutes. For daily cleansing, I just use half a pump, and one pump for removing make-up and cleansing at night. To remove the cleanser, you soak a muslin cloth in hand-hot water, wring it out and then gently 'polish' your face, which gives it a nice exfoliation at the same time. It may seem laboursome at first, but it's as quick and easy to use as a normal face wipe if you want it to be, or you can take your time and enjoy this ritualistic method. My face felt very smooth and thoroughly clean, with no sense of it feeling drying afterwards. After using this for a week and a half, I noticed that my skin looked clearer and healthier.
Cleanse & Polish is suitable for all skin types and ages. I don't know how this works exactly, but my mum uses it and has dry/mature skin and it works just as well for her as it does on my younger/combination skin. It might have something to do with it being plant-based, the cocoa butter in it or just the fact that it's very gentle yet effective, but I've never come across a cleanser before that has such wide usability and I loved using the muslin cloths with it. In case anyone is interested, I clean mine simply by popping them into the washing machine on an average heat like 40 degrees. They do shrink a little (which isn't really an issue considering how big the Liz Earle cloths are!) and they will become softer over time. Even if you don't use Cleanse & Polish, I'd certainly recommend adding a muslin cloth into your skincare routine and it saves on a lot of cotton wool too!
I was interested to try out the next two steps from the Daily Essentials range and picked out a toner and a facial moisturiser to complete my new skincare routine. I chose the Instant Boost Skin Tonic*, which comes in a normal bottle or with a spritzer attachment. As I prefer my products to be as fuss-free as possible I chose to try out the spritzer version. Instant Boost Skin Tonic is a toner that has a light floral fragrance which I wasn't that keen on at first, but soon got used to after using it a couple of times. The spray produces a very fine mist which feels as light as air and made my skin feel refreshed and soft. Like Cleanse & Polish, it is suitable for all skin types and won't dry your skin out. It can also be used all over the body, for setting your make-up, and I think it would be ideal to use in summer after storing it in the fridge for a quick all over cool down when its hot.
To finish with, I decided to try the Skin Repair Moisturiser Light* which is suitable for oily/combination skin. The pump on this is brilliant as it dispenses a small amount at a time which is very useful considering that I found that a little goes a long way with this moisturiser. It does have a bit of a weird scent to it, kind of reminded me a little of a strong foundation type of smell, but again with continued use, I hardly noticed it. The formula is light and it soaks into the skin straight away with no greasy residue. It worked very well for my oily/combination skin in that it controlled the oily areas (typically my T-zone) and hydrated the drier areas such as my cheeks and around my nose. There's a Skin Repair Moisturiser suitable for everyone's skin types so all are catered for.
All of the products I have mentioned are available to purchase from Liz Earle in trial/travel sizes which is great for those on a budget or who simply want to try before committing to the full sizes. To review these properly, I used them for about a month to get a good feel for what they were doing for my skin.
(Picture above: Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser top, Skin Repair Moisturiser Light bottom).
Summary: I am very impressed by these three products and will certainly continue to repurchase them. Not only am I happy that they're all relatively affordable (I'd say that they're mid-range priced), and that they're also BUAV approved and use naturally active ingredients, but these really worked well for me and my skin looks and feels better for using them, which is basically what I want from a good skincare routine! Liz Earle has definitely set the standard for me when it comes down to comparing everything else skincare wise that I try from now on.
Disclaimer: Products with an * are PR samples, opinions are 100% honest and my own as always.
Have you tried anything from Liz Earle? What did you think?
As the weekend is upon us, I thought I'd post a quick and easy DIY Beauty treat for anyone who is having a relaxing night in or who wants to try this before going out. Not only will this simple facial help you to relax due to the Lavender Essential Oil, but it will also help to increase the blood circulation at the skin's surface to make it look awake and refreshed. If you're not a fan of Lavender, you can use another relaxing essential oil such as Ylang Ylang or Vetiver instead.
You will need:-
- Lavender Essential Oil
- A muslin cloth or face towel
- Hot water
- Soak the muslin cloth or face towel in a bowl of hot water.
- Wring out excess water and apply a few drops of the Lavender Essential Oil.
- Gently place on your face for 5 minutes & breathe in slowly, relax.
- Pat face dry and you're done.
Have a great weekend everyone :)