Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A few weeks a go I went on a weekend trip to the beautiful city of Paris (Check out my photos in my previous post here). No trip to Paris would be complete without splurging on some French pharmacy products. Before I set off I read various blogposts and asked twitter for recommendations of other good products to look out for. My wish list ended up being extremely long and ambitious.. and due to my tight budget and short amount of time in the city I wasn't able to pick up everything I had hoped to, but that surely is a good enough excuse to plan a return trip, right?

My Purchases:

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Xerand for Hands
This was actually a stood-by-the-till whim purchase when I realised I hadn't bought anything from the greatly recommended La Roche-Posay. I'm not usually one for hand creams but you can't beat the feeling of baby soft hands! This product is said to be one of the best for  dry hands as it helps to repair, protect and restore softness. 

Bioderma Créaline H20 - 
Naturally, this cult product was at the top of my wish list. If you aren't aware of what it does (come out from under that rock), it is a water-based cleanser that removes make-up in seconds. The formulae is especially suited to dry and sensitive skins which is perfect for me. 

Nuxe Paris -  Essentials Travel Kit - 
I was told by many that I must get my hands on some Nuxe products when in France, but I couldn't pick which ones to get so I bought travel set of minis, at a steal for only €12! Individually the Nuxe products were quite pricy, so I figured trying them out in small size first would be the best way to go. 

The set included:
Rêve de Miel - Hand and nail cream 
Huile Prodigieuse - Multi-purpose oil to nourish, repair and soften skin. Can be used on the face, body and hair.
Body Fondant Shower Gel - Enriched with almond and orange flower petals.
Nuxellence Jeaunesse - Anti-ageing treatment said to leave skin smoother and more luminous.
Micellar Cleansing Water - Rose petal cleansing water that removes makeup in a single step. 

I think its safe to say I am kitted out on skincare for a while now. I'm really excited to try out all the products properly and hoping this makes me one step closer to becoming a chic Parisian beauty queen ;)

If you have tried any of these products, please let me know what you think of them! I would also love to hear any other French Pharmacy recommendations.  

Monday, 17 March 2014

At the beginning of this month, I was lucky enough to go on a weekend trip to Paris with some friends.  It was a shame to only be there for a very short period of time, but I did still manage to fit in a lot of exploring, shopping and eating of course. Here are a selection of some of my favourite photographs that I took during my stay. 

It is completely essential when going to Paris to eat as many macarons as possible. We went to Ladurée on Avenue des Champs-Élysées to get a taste of the very best. 

No stay in Paris could be complete without a trip to Sephora. We must have spent almost two hours in the shop, completely in awe of everything. Since we were still looking rough from our coach journey, we got our make-up done by some of the counter girls which was good fun (although I wasn't really a fan of how the lady did smokey eyes up to my eyebrows and ended up taking most of it off later on)

We made sure to fit in seeing the iconic features of Paris: Notre Dam, Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Although the weather wasn't fantastic, the sun did start to come out as we were at the Eiffel Tower, meaning a beautiful rainbow appeared!

Company Magazine's recent "Paris" edition came in SO handy and we made it our mission to track down some of the "go-to" spots that it had recommended. One of these was Angelina's tearoom, which is well-known in Paris for its bottled hot chocolate. We picked up some as well as some more macarons (shock horror).

Browsing around the legandary Galeries Lafayette was a unique experience. Who knew a department store could be so beautiful? We also went to "the first department store", Le Bon Marche. Unsurprisingly, both left me wishing I had all the money in the world.


When exploring different stops on the Metro to try and find somewhere nice to go out for dinner, we stumbled across a large crowd of people gathering around, taking photos and shouting peoples names. An English speaking reporter explained to us that the event was a French film awards ceremony, or as she described it "the French Oscars". Although it proved quite difficult for my short friends and I to get a good view, it was exciting to be there.

With the goal of finding somewhere French to eat, we ended up going to Flam's restaurant. Flams (I think the proper name is Tarte flambée) is a French cuisine that has a slight resemblance to pizza. 

We also made a trip down to get a sight of the Moulin Rouge. I have to say it was definitely a lot smaller than I imagined!

I hope you enjoyed this snippit of my trip! If you've been to Paris, let me know your favourite places and whether you have any recommendations! I definitely want to go back again soon. 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A short and sweet post today because I'm currently drowning in deadlines! I've not tried too many new products in the month of February, but I have re-discovered some gems that had been neglected in my collection. 

1. Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder - This favourite is a "Shop my Stash" find. Having been unused for months on end I've fallen back in love with this matte bronzer. Great for adding a bit of life into my pale face during the winter. 

2. Tanya Burr Lipgloss in Afternoon Tea - As much as I wanted to buy all of Tanya's make-up range (cause I think she's goddamn great), I had to start somewhere and I was immediately drawn to the gorgeous pink named Afternoon Tea. I'm so impressed with the quality of the glosses and I've not stopped wearing it all month.

3. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in 010 Light Porcelain - My skin is ghostly pale and a big worry for me is that my face is a different colour to my neck and body. Much to my delight, this month I found this new light shade in my favourite high street foundation. 

4. LUSH Grease Lightning Spot Treatment - This product has really helped me get through some bad breakouts recently. I couldn't recommend it enough. Click here to read my full review.

5. Barry M Hi Shine Gel Effect Nail Polish in Lychee - I love the formula of Barry M Gel Effect polishes. This colour was given to me as a gift and while initially I found it difficult to wear, I now can't get enough of it. Now looking to add some more nude nail polishes into my collection!

Have you tried any of these products before? What did you think? 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

I was inspired to do this post by one of my all time favourite beauty bloggers, Anna, from Vivianna Does Makeup. I loved reading her 'Tale of Makeup and Me' post, which got me thinking nostalgically back to my first days of experimenting with makeup.

Now I can't remember the exact age that I started using makeup, but performing in dance shows meant I was introduced to bright blush, red lips and blue eyeshadow at an early age. My real interest came about as a result my admiration of my older sister, whom I would copy everything from. I learnt a lot from playing around with her lotions and potions and begging her to do my makeup and nails for school discos.

I used to love spending my pocket money on Mizz Magazines, which were sure to give away a free nail polish and give basic tips on how to apply makeup. Claire's Accessories was also the coolest shop ever for getting all the glittery products you could think of. The days of blue eye-liner, gloopy lipgloss and hair mascara were the best days. I still feel sentimental if I spot my first proper fragrance (that was not a Impulse body spray) Fantasy by Britney Spears in shops today.

I remember waking up for my first day of secondary school and putting on my AVON tinted moisturiser and Miss Sporty Clear Mascara and feeling the epitome of a grown up teenager. Looking back at my school photo, you can't tell I'm wearing a thing (and I look as goofy as ever), but I do remember the feeling applying the makeup gave me.

Later came the days of the Dream Matte Mousse Foundation, which I feel everyone tried out as a teenager. Despite not actually being a suitable match for most people's skin - it was the cool foundation to have. There was also the popular phase of putting the foundation on your lips to eradicate them altogether..(still not quite sure what that was all about).

After a few clumsy years of teen magazines, makeovers at sleepovers and going crazy over the tester products in Superdrug, I managed to do my own makeup without looking completely ridiculous. With my eyebrows, however, the damage was done, and I am still paying for my teenage pluck-happy mistakes.

For Christmas one year, I received my first high-end beauty product, a Benefit blusher set, followed later by the Benefit Celebutante Beauty Kit. My sister and I had always got excited around the Benefit counters and getting into their products was very exciting. My magazine taste became more sophisticated too, as I started collecting "grown up" magazines like Elle (which provided me with more Benefit products in the Subscription gift).

It was shortly after this that I came across the Beauty community on YouTube which really cemented my interest in makeup. The first YouTuber I think I came across was Sara Walker Makeup, after being linked to the Look Your Worst Tag video. I soon discovered the likes of Beauty Crush and FleurDeForce (among many others) who I can thank for teaching me a lot of what I've learnt about beauty. I've been following various beauty bloggers and channels for about three years now and have loved watching some of my favourites become successful as well as discovering many more along the way.

When I was 17 I got my job in a department store, which meant I could get staff discount on all the high-end make-up and skincare brands I was growing to love (No need to explain where my wages went!).

After a lot of deliberation and a few failed attempts, I'm turning my passion for makeup and beauty into a hobby, in the form of this blog. I figured if I love reading about beauty so much, I would probably enjoy writing about it too. So far its been one month and I'm absolutely loving it.

Can you remember how you got interested in make-up?

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Here it is.. my FIRST EVER product review. (NB. All opinions are my own.)

Recently I've been suffering from some breakouts that have left my skin crying for some TLC. Previous methods of Sudacrem no longer sufficed, so it was time to explore the wider market of products that could banish the unwelcome visitors from my face. One spot treatment I've had my eye of for a long time is the Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment, but under a tight budget, I was keen to find  a product for much less. When browsing in LUSH, I came across the Grease Lightning Spot Treatment, costing £5.95.

The product is reasonably sized at 45g. For every application, barely any amount is needed, so it will last a substantial amount of time. If the bottle came any larger, the product may not get used up within the one year  "use by" regulations. 

Consistency and Application
The treatment is a clear gel which can be applied to keep emerging breakouts at bay, in addition to healing those existing spots. The gel is cool on the skin and the natural ingredients means no stinging.  

The natural scents that make up the treatment are rosemary, thyme and tea tree. This combination creates a smell that I can only describe as clean and fresh. The scent is light and inoffensive, so don't be put off if you don't enjoy the smell of tea tree much. 

I've been so pleased with the results since using this product over the last month. My existing spots healed up quickly and the redness dramatically reduced. I was impressed to find while the spots had dried up, the skin around it remained normal. Using the treatment has also deterred emerging spots from erupting.

Additional PROS
- The pump applicator makes using this treatment uncomplicated and hygienic. 
- Fully natural ingredients means no nasties are being added to your skin.
- Like most LUSH products, this treatment is Vegan, meaning you can have confidence that no animals have been tested on to make it. 
- Very inexpensive for under six pounds.

CONS to consider
I would not use the treatment underneath face make-up as I found the gel becomes crusty when dry. The product is therefore ideal to apply at night time or any other time you are able to embrace a bare face. Not applying with make-up would also help speed up the healing process. 

Final Thoughts
I was very impressed with the results of this product and have not noticed such rapid reduction in spot visibility from any other spot treatments I've tried. I would definitely recommend it to anyone suffering from breakouts who does not want to spend a fortune on a quick fix. 

I now want to try more from the LUSH skincare range, with the Tea Tree Water Toner next on my list!

Have you tried the Grease Lightning Spot Treatment? Or any other LUSH Skincare?
I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

We all need to make time, now and again, to unwind and get pampered. Having "me-time" does not require an excuse and home pampering can be as simple or as extravagant as you want.

One of my favourite things about pampering is putting on a face mask. As I don't currently have a face mask product in my collection, I picked up a Montagne Jeaunesse Mud Mask from Boots. I also bought the Frizz-Ease Miraculous Recovery Intensive Masque  so I could give my hair some extra TLC. Another treat I like to get in specially for pamper night is a bubble bar from Lush. This time I picked up the Creamy Candy Bath Bubble Bar. 

When in the bath it is essential to light a candle. Despite not suiting the season, I've recently been burning the Summer Scoop Yankee candle (clearly just yearning for summer). After the bath, I like to paint my nails. I've been loving nude polishes at the moment, especially the Barry M gelly nail paint in Lychee. Once all the pampering is done, it's time to sit back and immerse myself in my kindle or the latest issue of Company magazine.

What are your pampering essentials? I would love to hear about your favourite products and routine.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Good Riddance to January! Although January was a stressful and gloomy month, I did discover some new favourite products in my beauty collection. Here's what I've been loving recently..

1. V05 Smoothly Does It Tame and Shine Spray
There is nothing worse than the fluffy unruly state my hair gets into after blow-drying. Before straightening, I now give my hair a quick spray with this and run a brush through. It really does what it says on the tin and completely smooths out my hair leaving it tamed and shiny (but not at all greasy!). VO5 wins extra brownie points as this also doubles up as a heat defence spray.

2. Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
One of my beauty resolutions this year is to be kinder to my skin and find a skincare routine that I'm happy with. For Christmas I received the much raved about Liz Earle cleanser. Taking off my make-up is no longer a chore but instead a mini pampering session. I love the clean feeling of my skin after using this and would say it is definitely worth the hype!

3. Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm in Pink Punch
I've been wanting to try a balm from the Maybelline Baby Lips ever since the brightly-coloured fun packaging hit the shelves last year. The gorgeous yet subtle pink shade is an instant pick-me-up that brightens up my daily make-up. As someone who suffers from dry lips, especially in the winter months, this balm has been a god-send and I'm now tempted to pick up some other colours in the collection.

4. Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream - Intensive Daily Moisturiser for Face
This holy-grail moisturiser has been on my high-end wish list for a while, so when I found out I had £10 worth of points on my Debenhams beauty card, it was the perfect excuse for a post-exams treat. I've been using the moisturiser everyday since and it has drastically improved the appearance of my skin. The texture is light and soft and ready for foundation. By far the best moisturiser I've tried and would thoroughly recommend to others with dry skin.

5. Soap and Glory Thick & Fast Super Volume Mascara 
I received this mascara as part of the Soap and Glory Yule Monty Gift set and have completely fallen in love. I've tried my fair share of high-street mascaras over the years, but never really noticed that much of a difference from each of them. My eye lashes have never looked better, adding length and volume without looking clumpy at all. Soap and Glory, I am impressed.

Have you tried any of these products? What was your favourite product of January?