Friday, 3 July 2015

The month of June has been pretty hectic, as work has been manic and we were preparing for our summer holidays. I have however tried a few new things that have worked their way into my favourites pile!

The first thing on my list is the Vichy Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel* which is a cleanser I've been testing all night long. As the name suggests, it's a really fresh cleanser, it smells great and feels amazing on your skin! You apply it to wet skin and it's foaming product, so it springs to life. This cleanser feels like it gets deep into your pores and leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean, but without the tight and dry feeling. This cleansing gel retails for £12 from Escentual which makes it incredibly affordable

Next we have two beautiful Essie polishes (yes I'm totally and utterly addicted). The brighter polish is Madison Ave-Hue, which is just a stunning pink/purple shade. The pastel shade is Lilacism which I actually think is one of my favourite ever nail polishes. It's the most perfect pastel purple and the formulation is perfect.

Something I recently reviewed on my blog is the Rimmel Lasting Finish Concealer and I've famously been comparing it to my favourite MAC concealer. It works amazingly well on blemishes and imperfections. The formula is quite thick and takes a bit of blending, but it has high coverage. I've never seen anything quite like it, especially on the high street.

The last thing on my list is the Brush Egg, which has recently revolutionised my brush cleaning routine. Instead of washing your brushes in the the palm of your hand, you use the egg. The Brush Egg is made from Silicone and it has ridges and dimples, which removes makeup from the brushes so efficiently!

I'd love to hear about your favourites in the comments below!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The milkshake shacks in shopping centers are often a bit of a weak point for Chris and I. We've started to become quite fond of The Kinder Bueno Milkshake, but there's two main problems (three if you count the calories). The first is the queue - waiting for these kinds of milkshakes can be quite a long wait, as they make them all by hand. Secondly, the price, they certainly are not cheap with the consumer mark up. 

Chris had a bit of a revelation recently; we've got a blender we've got most of the ingredients. Why don't we try and make one at home?! My man can be quite the genius at times!

Here's how you can make your very own Kinder Bueno Milkshake! 

  1. Grab your blender and assemble your ingredients. You will need; a Kinder Bueno per person, milk, ice cream and some chocolate milkshake powder is optional. 
  2. Grab your Kinder Bueno(s), break the chocolate into chunks and place it into the blender.
  3. Add some milk, how much you will add will depend on the the number of people and how big your glass is. It's pretty easy, just play it by ear!
  4. Blend the milk and the chocolate together for one minute.
  5. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream per person.
  6. Blend again to taste, if you like a thick milkshake just give it a quick mix, if you like it a bit thinner, blend for around one minute.
  7. If you're a bit of a chocolate fan, you can add a bit of chocolate milkshake at this point - we've found that you don't always need it.
  8. Serve (preferably with a cute straw) and enjoy!

We were not expecting it to be as good as buying that from a milkshake shack, but let me tell you; it's potentially the best one I've ever tasted! Let it be said that it's not the healthiest snack out there, so enjoy this in moderation.

ps. we promise that we do make some healthy smoothies in our blender - not just the heavy calorific options! We have smoothies for breakfast every morning, recipes are coming soon! 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Now this sounds like heaven for someone with a bit of a tanning phobia like me. I'm so pale and it's very rare that tanning goes well for me. St.Tropez have released their 'In Shower Tanning Lotion' which is a gradual tanning lotion, which you use in shower, weird right? 

St.Tropez claim their new product is perfect for the first time tanners out there. Purely because its so, so easy and requires very minimal effort. You simply jump in the shower and follow your normal shower routine, when you've finished turn off the shower and apply the lotion all over wet skin in circular movements. The lotion actually lathers a little, so you can use the lather as a guide for where you've missed. You then need to wash your hands and then wait three minutes. St.Tropez say you could use these three minutes to apply a hair mask or to brush your teeth. After the three minutes have passed, you then turn the water back on and wash off the lotion. Dry your skin by using a patting motion and then you're good to go, you can get dressed in your clothes straight away!

Of course, technically, this means you're not actually tanning in the shower, but I have to say I love the concept of it. Lots of people are complaining that the process is a bit of a faff and I agree it is. You have to turn the water off, apply the lotion, hop out of the shower, wash your hands and then stand naked and cold for three minutes. However, I have to say, that I actually find this a much easier way to tan than the traditional method. Once you've followed the procedure a couple of times, you become a bit of an expert at it! The only real problem I have is that I don't have a clock in my bathroom (does anyone?!) so I have to count three minutes in my head!

So what about the results? Well, as I've mentioned, I've found the product very easy to use. I rinsed my hands straight after applying the lotion and I didn't experience any staining on them. I've had no weird streaks on my skin and the tan seems to be covering my skin completely evenly. The only issue I've really had is I ended up with a couple of light brown marks on my ankles, where my skin is particularly dry. Of course, this is a gradual tanner, so I didn't suddenly look golden brown, but it's something that has built up over 3/4 times of using it.

The St.Tropez In Shower Tanning Lotion comes in a gorgeous squeezy bottle, which has a ombre blue colour pattern. The lotion itself is a cream colour, which feels really smooth and moisturising to the touch. The lotion is actually enriched with Sweet Almond Oil, which means that your skin feels hydrated and moisturised after you use the product. I've not needed to use any moisturiser or body butters after tanning with this in the shower.

The St.Tropez In Shower Tanning Lotion comes in a 200ml bottle and retails for £14.50, which means it's not the cheapest tanning product on the market. However, I have to say that I love the innovation of this and I love how easy it is to use. I think it's going to be a real hit on the bloggersphere! You can buy the St.Tropez In Shower Tanning Lotion in Boots (here)

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

I'm becoming hopelessly obsessed with skincare! This might sound like a very weird comment to make, but this is a pretty recent occurrence. Sadly I have to admit that playing with skincare never used to be my thing, but I've become a bit of a French Pharmacy addict. So you can imagine my excitement when I was given the chance to experiment with two cleansers from Vichy.

I've tried serums and makeup items from Vichy, but this is the first time I've tried their cleansers, so it's been a bit of a learning curve. Both these cleansers are from the Vichy Purete Thermale range, which is packed full of different textures and formulations - I had no idea that there were so many to choose from! The idea is that there is something for every skin type, so you should be able to find something that works for you.

First up we have the Beautifying Cleansing Micellar Oil*, which is completely new to me. I've tried a fair amount of cleansers; from foams, to gels, to micellar waters, but I've never tried an oil. What's interesting about this product, is that it's taking two 'hypes' from recent years and combining them together. The micellar craze has been huge, I for one have been completely sucked in, sampling lots of different products. They've taken the micellar idea and taken the oil craze and combined them together. 

You start with your fully made up face, then simply take a few drops of the oil and rub it into your dry skin. As the oil starts to melt down your makeup, it turns into a creamy colour, which is a sign that it's ready to be removed. You then take a cloth and remove the oil from your skin, revealing your makeup free and beautifully cleansed skin. Your skin feels amazing afterwards, there's no grease in sight! The only thing I don't really like is that your cloths get very dirty, very quickly! The Beautifying Cleansing Micellar Oil retails for £13.74 from Escentual

The second cleanser is the Vichy Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel* which happens to be my favourite of the two. As the name suggests, it's a much fresher cleanser, which is something I really love about it. The cleansing gel is much more of a traditional cleanser, whereby you apply it to wet skin, massaging the cleanser all over your face. The Vichy Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel is a foaming product, it springs to life and starts straight to work. It feels to me like this cleanser cleanses right down into my pores and leaves me with skin that feels squeaky clean - but without that tight and dry feeling. 

I've used the Vichy Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel on it's own with my hands, but my favourite way to use it is with a cleansing brush. I use my Magnitone Lucid and the cleansing gel together and it feels like it does a really great job of cleansing the skin. The only thing I don't like is that this cleanser can have a tendency to sting your eyes a little, so I have to be a little bit careful. This cleansing gel retails for £12 from Escentual which makes it incredibly affordable

What is particulary great is that you can use these two cleansers on their own, or you can use them together as part of a double cleanse. If you're looking to treat yourself to some new skincare, Escentual are currently celebrating their French Pharmacy month, so you can save 1/3 on French Pharmacy products, including these Vichy products and many more! Click here to shop online!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

When Barry M launched the new Speedy Quick Dry collection, earlier this year and I immediately had to try it! The original collection featured a nine-piece pastel selection and carried a racing theme, in terms of the packaging and the names. 

Earlier this year I fell head over heels for this range and I knew it was only a matter of time before I tried some more. I headed to a Barry M counter because Barry M are back with a new selection of Speedy Dry colours for summer! Each polish still features a checkered flag as the lid and the names of the polishes still all follow the racing theme too. If you're interested in the new shades, I highly recommend checking out this blog post from The Nail Mail (one of my favourite nail bloggers).  

The formulation of these polishes still impress me no end! First of all they dry really quickly, so I tend to apply quite a thick coat! You still need two coats to get an opaque colour and they both dry with a really glossy finish. 

The colour range really is gorgeous, again I really struggled to pick just a couple to add to my collection. In the end I picked up one shade from the new collection and a colour from the old collection. From the new collection I chose 'Need For Speed' which is a gorgeous bring lilac shade, and from the older collection I chose 'Lap of Honour' which is a more pastel taupe shade. The Barry M Speedy Quick Dry polishes only cost £3.99 and they are available from Boots and Superdrug 

I brought both of these shades away with me as I think they are both holiday friendly. The colours are lovely and nobody wants to waste their holiday waiting for their nails to dry!

Friday, 19 June 2015

I've wanted to try something from B. for quite a while now. So when I saw the B. Sweet collection, I knew it was time to crack and try something. The thing that really caught my eye was the Whipped Blush, pretty colours and gorgeous packaging - what's not to love?

The B. Sweet collection was announced in February but launched in stores and online in April. The collection is candy inspired and was created with Cassie Lomas, the makeup ambassador for B. Beauty. The collection has special packaging and is paired with pretty summer shades, to create something lovely for summertime.

The B. Whipped Blush comes in two shades; Strawberry and Peach. I opted for Peach (after much deliberation) as I don't have many peach blushers in my collection. It comes in gorgeous mirrored packaging, decorated with pretty diagonal pink stripes and the B. logo. It might be a pain to photograph but it certainly looks gorgeous on my dressing table.

The B. Whipped Blush is exactly that; a creamy, whipped formula. It's incredibly light; I've found it works best when you apply it with your fingers, but it also works with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. It's a very pretty colour, but it's not very pigmented, so if you like colour that packs a punch, this might not be for you. That said, it's completely buildable and it adds a wash of colour which just looks like a healthy glow. 

The formula makes it great for summer holidays and hot weather, as it's not cakey and not too heavy. The B. Beauty range is also vegan friendly and boasts that they don't test on animals. Pick up the Whipped Blush from B. online and at selected stores for £7.99 (here). 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

'Thursday Tittle Tattle', is a Hope, Freedom, Love blog series dedicated to breaking news of the beauty world. From time-to-time, Thursday’s blog post will be dedicated to news. I'll feature beauty and lifestyle news, events, discounts, and even a bit of fashion news thrown in too! Here are the things that have caught my eye this week:

Don't forget Father's Day
Father's Day is this Sunday, so don't forget to pick up your gifts and presents for the father figure in your life. If it helps, I've created a Father's Day Gift Guide (here) that features lots of alternative gifts!

MAC & Ellie Goulding 
This collection has caused a bit of a stir on Twitter but it's right up my street! I love the look of all the products and I love that the items are a bit more classic. I often find that the limited edition collections from MAC are too daring for me! I like the idea of having something a bit special, but something I will make use out of. The collection launches in December this year, so we've got a bit of a wait! You can see a bit of a sneak peak on Instagram here

Lisa Potter-Dixon Announces Book 
This is something I found really, really exciting! If you're unaware Lisa Potter-Dixon is the head of makeup, trend artist AND brow expert for Benefit. Last week she announced the launch of her first ever book! It's called 'Easy on the Eyes' and promises to bring eye makeup to every woman. What I love is that the book is split up into time sections, so it doesn't matter if you have 5 minutes or 30 minutes, Lisa will have the look for you! Lisa launched the book with a super emotional video (click here) - it really pulls at the heart strings. It launches on September 10th and will retail for £14.99. 

Latest In Beauty Capital FM 'Best of Summer' Box
Latest In Beauty is back with another fabulous beauty box! This time they've collaborated with Capital FM again to create the Best of Summer box. It's packed with 10 beauty items, including brands such as; Fudge, Hawaiian Tropic, MUA, Nails Inc and Colab. It retails for £17.95 and it's available now!

'Nail Pure' launched by Nails Inc
Speaking of Nails Inc, a few days ago Nails Inc announced that they were launching their Nail Pure collection. This is a collection of six polishes that all are in infused with oxygen resin complex. This means that they are completely air and water permeable. Nails Inc claim that they are still glossy, fast drying and high shine, infused with ingredients that encourage the natural production of keratin. Water permeable nail polishes are important to many, especially for religious reasons, it's great that more companies are embracing this! If you're particularly interested in nails, OPI also launched their Venice collection

Too Faced Cosmetics 'Born This Way' Foundation
The line between skincare and makeup is becoming more and more skewed, which I personally love! I love the fact that you can apply your makeup and still do great things for your skin. The new foundation from Too Faced is called 'Born This Way' and it promises to replenish dehydrated skin and make your skin feel younger, with the use of Coconut Water and Hyaluronic Acid.

'The Clothes Show' Rebrands
Here's something a bit different and really interesting! I've been to The Clothes Show three times since it's launch and it's progressively become a little boring to me. So I was really glad to hear that The Clothes Show has rebranded and is revamping the show. The layout of the show has been improved and they hope to improve the whole shopping experience. I'm excited to see what they can make of it! 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

I'm off on holiday VERY soon, which means I've been busy picking out some of my summer essentials to take with me. I thought I'd share this little mini summer edit, containing some of my favourite things.

Makeup Essentials
I've got three things here which are staples for my summer makeup routine. First of all I'm loving the ESPA Naturally Radiant Tinted Moisturiser (my full review is here), which has SPF 15 built into the formula. The name might be a bit of a mouthful but it's a light base which still gives good coverage. The best bit is it gives a real glow to the skin, it's so pretty! Next is the Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder from The Body Shop, it's been featured on my blog many times and it's just a stunning bronzer for lighter skintones. It's a good colour match and is buildable from a light glow to fully contoured cheekbones. The last makeup essential for me is a waterproof mascara, like the Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Mascara. This is an essential for pool days and just generally for hotter climates, as I find my mascara tends to run a lot more.

Skincare & SPF Essentials
My one skincare essential which I find really important at this time of year is the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask. Although my skin is much greasier in the summer, I find that sweating can make my skin really dehydrated. This is an instant way to inject life back into your skin, it's also good for flying long haul. The two SPFs I'm using this year are the Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Mist and the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Comfort Cream. I have two cans of the Dry Mist, one in SPF30 and one in SPF50, this is just a dry mist and it's so easy to wear on the skin. The Anthelios XL Comfort Cream is my SPF of choice for my face, its perfect for sensitive skin and its packed with SPF50+. 

Haircare Essentials
My hair tends to behave itself when I travel (famous last words?) so I try not to overload it with products. I take my Garnier Ultimate Blends Sleek Perfector Oil, which keeps frizz at bay (it also happens to smell like coconuts, which I love). This year I'm also taking the Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Reactivating Mist, which is great at giving your curls a lease of life at any point during the day. The last essential for me is the Invisibobble hairbands, which hold your hair in place without leaving a kink. These are perfect because you can hold your hair up in the day and then take it down in the evening without needing to restyle!

What are you holiday essentials? I'd love to hear all about them in the comments below. 
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