31 Dec 2012

Whats in the box

Just a quick post to say I have made a small NY resolution. I’m sure most of us beauty bloggers are guilty of having a box (or boxes) full of samples. They seem to accumulate over time and I never seem to get around to using them. I haven’t been getting so many since I cancelled my Glossybox subscription. But I certainly have box full and have made it my mission to make an effort to use up what I have before purchasing new products.

Beauty Samples

Let me know if you have a box of samples that is ever-increasing – I’m determined in 2013 to get to the bottom of mine. So look out for some samples in my Monthly Empties posts.

29 Dec 2012

Try Before You Buy

I love it when companies offer you samples before you commit to purchasing the full size esp when it comes to base products. When you try to colour match yourself in store the lighting is all wrong and you normally have makeup on. I like to apply it myself at home, your base is such an important step to get right & we all apply our foundations differently with different brushes and with the lighting in department stores / shops is so off. It’s hard to tell if it is a good match.

I applied online to try the Maybelline FIT Me Foundation and was sent this great sized sample.

Maybelline FIT Me Foundation

This is a nice light coverage foundation. I have the colour 125 Nude Beige and that’s perfect for my winter skin. I would need a darker shade in the summer. Despite this being quite a sheer coverage it evened out my skin nicely. Maybelline claim ‘Exclusive translucent base and lightweight pigments allow skin’s natural highs and lows to show through.’ 

This is true, I like the lightweight feel to this foundation. It gives enough coverage to make your skin look bright and cover any uneven patches. It makes you look fresh and I like that my freckles are still visible. I hate covering them up. I like this so far – I think it would make a great summer foundation as it is quite sheer but leaves your skin with a lovely luminous finish. I do powder over the centre of my face. But I do that with all my foundations. I hate a shiny forehead / chin.

Nude Beige 125

For a drugstore foundation this has quite a good colour range so that’s great to see. It also has factor 18 sun protection.  The only downside for me is that this isn’t very long-wearing. I’ve combination oily skin and it lasts 6 hours. So that’s not too bad for a drugstore foundation. I haven’t used it yet with a primer so will try that and see if that makes it last a little longer. I am hoping so.

Have you tried this foundation. What do you think? I like finding new foundations – I think this one will be my go to summer base.

Maybelline Chart

When this sample is finished I will be buying the full-sized and I will be trying their concealer too. I will see if the chart they sent with the sample works.

Maybelline FIT Me Foundation is available from Boots £7.99 and also Superdrug for £7.99. Also here is the link to the free sample page. Not too sure if there are any left but you can try.


23 Dec 2012

BarryM Festive Nail Polish

This caught my eye at the till in Superdrug & I just had to buy it. Yes I’m one of those shoppers that’s still shopping even at the till. I just get sucked right in. I think there were a few more of these limited edition Christmas polishes but I didn’t have time to look. This typical festive one drew me in & so it left with me.

BarryM Nail Polish


BarryM Nail Polish


This is jam-packed full of green, blue and red hexagonal glitter in a clear nail polish. It is super festive. I have only worn it once so far as on its own but I have heard it looks great on top of black as a glitter top coat. It makes a great Christmas nail look. This called Superdrug Xmas and it is limited edition so not too sure if it is still available.

BarryM Xmas Glitter Polish


Have you picked up any limited edition nail polish this festive season? I am a sucker for a glitter polish I just can’t resist.

20 Dec 2012


At this time of year I am obsessed with my house smelling festive. I think it stems from growing up in Germany and all the lovely Christmas smells just reminds me of being there. Cinnamon, fig and oranges totally remind me of Christmas and all the spicy smells too. Germany was amazing at this time of year so pretty and of course the markets were such good fun and always made me feel festive.

So I’ve bought a few Christmas candles here and there and have had them burning for a few weeks and I thought I had my house smelling as festive as can be, but it wasn’t until a trip to Next in Manchester where I found possibly THE best smelling diffuser. Now I have never used one of these and wasn’t sure how well the scent would carry around my house. But I shouldn’t have worried as it smells amazing and there is no escaping this Christmas scent. I love it.

Next NOEL Diffuser



Its called the NOEL Luxury Reed Diffuser and it is very aptly named. The liquid is red and even looks festive. I have since popped back & bought loads as gifts. I noticed that they do quite a good range of these and so might grab some non festive ones in January.

Noel Diffuser



NEXT NOEL Luxury Reed Diffuser – £12

What are you favourite Christmas Candles / Diffusers – what would you recommend?


19 Dec 2012

Instagram Roundup #16

Its been such a fast month but I’ve finally finished all my Christmas shopping in one sitting in Manchester. I love shopping there. It has a great selection of shops and the German Christmas Market makes me feel so festive. We managed to get over super early and miss the crazy rush. It was starting to get busy as we left around 4pm.

We celebrated finishing the Christmas Shopping by going to the cinema to see The Hobbit in 2d. I can’t stand 3d as it always gives me such a headache. I really liked the film, I love The Shires & want to live there so badly. It’s the cutest place.

For the first time in 13 years me & the hubby are actually having Christmas in our house and we’re not the ones traveling hundreds of miles. All our family are coming to us at the weekend so we’re in full clean up mode & decorating the house. We’re really excited not to be travelling and be able to enjoy a festive drink.

Hope all your festive plans are coming together. I wanted to take the opportunity to Wish all my lovely readers and fellow bloggers a wonderful stress free Christmas. Last year was so different for me as my dad has a massive stroke on the 16th December and we spent Christmas in intensive care & the next 6 months in hospital so we’re determined to enjoy this year. Love to you all xx

Instagram Roundup

Festive Tea Apple & Cinnamon / REX for my Niece / Naughty Treat / Dads (fat) Cat / Christmas Radio Times / The Hobbit / Chinese Super Market Haul / BarryM Glitter Polish / YSL Xmas Gift 


17 Dec 2012

Sweet Boutique

Revlon Lip Butter

I was one of those people who tried everyday to win a Revlon Lip Butter on Facebook & to my surprise one popped through my door. I’ve never tried them before but have swatched them a few times in store. I like their texture and the colour range is so pretty too. Now I have one I want more. That’s always the way, right?

The colour I have is Cupcake 055 – it’s a sweet baby pink. A lovely wearable shade. The colour isn’t super intense. It’s subtle and gives your lips a hint of colour. Perfect for me as I’m quite a wimp when it comes to bold lip colours. I tend to stick to quite plain easy to wear colours, so I’m really looking forward to wearing this Cupcake Revlon Lip Butter.



Now I’m on the hunt for more colours – which would you recommend? Were you lucky enough to win something from the Revlon Sweet Boutique?


You can see the Revlon Lip Butter Range here



15 Dec 2012

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

I have just returned from a 5 day trip to Scotland. I packed light and one thing I didn’t take with me was my beloved Clarins Lotus Oil. It’s quite a bulky glass bottle and I didn’t want it getting damaged. So I left it behind and am regretting that decision. As my skin is so angry at me for not using it. I’ve a couple of super sore spots and my skin isn’t looking as fresh as before my trip.

Clarins Lotus Oil

I’ve been using the Lotus Oil for about 7 weeks now and my skin just drinks this stuff up. The Clarins lady in the Liverpool John Lewis (who was lovely) said this oil was great for combination / Oily skin that’s acne prone & that sums me right up. I wasn’t always acne prone it seems that my 30’s have brought about a real change in my skin. The Clarins Oil has been helping keep my skin hydrated and the acne at bay. Especially the really big sore spots – they’re almost non-existent whist using this. The Oil helps to balance my skin. It keeps my Oily T Zone under control and gives enough moisture to my dehydrated areas too. This its quite the miracle oil.

Clarins Lotus Oil

I use this 3 – 4 times a week at night, it’s a ritual I look forward too. This Lotus Oil smells amazing and after I massage it into my skin it leaves it feeling smooth and hydrated. In the morning I wake up to bright, fresh younger looking skin and I like that. I can’t recommend this enough. It comes in a 30ml glass bottle with a pip-pet dispenser, I like this method as you don’t waste any. I use two drops and that’s plenty. The Oil warms up in your hands and is so easy to massage in, the two drop may not look like enough to cover your face but believe me it really is.

I paid £29 from John Lewis and think its great value for money.

This is a product that feels luxurious and is worth the price tag. I’ve seen great results and the fact that my skin is looking sorry for itself as I didn’t take it with me to Scotland shows me that it’s a necessary part of my night-time routine and I won’t be leaving it at home again.  Have you tried any of the Clarins Face Treatment Oils?


9 Dec 2012

Aesop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque

Aesop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque

This is my winter saviour. It’s just the most calming mask I have ever used. I have been getting a few sore spots above my eyebrows (weird place) and along my jaw line. They’re red and angry. This Aesop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque has been the only thing that calms them down.

I don’t think it is a massive help in clearing them up – although it doesn’t hurt. But it really takes the redness out of them. It smells so grown up and luxurious (yes that is a smell). This goes on so creamy and quite thick and dries but doesn’t dry too tight. This is my posh mask and so use it only when it’s really needed, normally once a week.

In short it gives my skin a deep clean, hydrates my skin and takes down the redness of my spots. This really is a lovely mask & I enjoy using it each week. Its become a ritual over the past few weeks.

I bought this Aesop Mask from the nicest skin care shop in Amsterdam called Skins Cosmetics. It was a beautiful shop and the staff gave the best customer service. They knew their stuff.

Aesop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque – £33.00 – 120ml

Have you tried any Aesop products. I am a fan of their Parsley Seed Anti Oxidant Serum & love using that each night. It’s so hydrating. Let me know if you’d recommend anything else.


7 Dec 2012

Cute and Curly

Naked Curl Defining Shampoo and Conditioner*

I was kindly sent these a few weeks ago to try. I’ve naturally wavy hair with a slight curl (often frizzy). I love to wear my hair natural and very rarely style it or straighten it. I like the messy wave look. You may say lazy look. So I was thrilled to give these a go.

Naked are a brand that pride themselves on being Vegan and Vegetarian friendly, I know this is important for alot of people. They’re also a natural brand with their products being up to 99.7% natural. The two I am testing are 97%  natural and are free from parabens, SLS and  petrochemicals only the good stuff is left in. You can read their mission statement here

I found that these work better together. This isn’t always the case with hair care. They often say to use the corresponding shampoo & conditioner but often there is no need. With the Naked Curl Defining Range I found that my hair was alot more bouncy and less frizzy if I use both. If I used just the shampoo my hair would be glossy and wavy but my curls just weren’t as defined as when I used both the Shampoo and Conditioner.

Both products were lovely and not stripping in the least. In fact I found them nourishing. The Conditioner wasn’t too heavy, I think that’s why your curls are more bouncy as it doesn’t weigh your hair down and it’s really easy to rinse off. I’ve been going 3 days without washing my hair which is a first for me. These Naked products don’t coat your hair & make them greasy. They clean and nourish and the effects last a few days.

Naked is available online or in your local Boots. Curl Defining Shampoo £3.98 250ml & Curl Defining Conditioner £3.98 250ml

What have you tried from Naked? Have you tried this Curl defining range?

* I was kindly sent these to try & the review is 100% my own.

5 Dec 2012

November Empties

I know I am a little behind blogging about my empties but December has been busy and I’ve had little or no time to sit down and blog. I didn’t want to carry them over to next month as I’d have too many things to write about. I’m trying hard this month to use things up as I’m hoping to get a few things off my Xmas Wishlist. So I’m trying to make space by using up half empty products. Is anyone else doing this?

1. LUSH Tea Tree Toner Water – I had the smaller bottle of this & when that ran out I purchased the big one. I really like it & spray it onto my face as a refreshing mist. I use it after I have my eyebrows threaded and find it stops me getting those little spots above my eyebrows. I would repurchase but would get the smaller size as I missed carrying this in my handbag.

2. OLAY Ultra Moisture Body Wash – This was from the poundshop. It was really moisturising and it lasted ages. I never really buy a body wash again I always just pick up whats on offer when I’m shopping. This was great for £1 though & would recommend it if you see it.

3. Garnier Body Tonic Hydrating Lotion – Loved using this. It smells of citrus. Can’t say that it was too firming but I guess that’s what exercise is for. But It did leave my skin very smooth and soft. It’s been great for these colder weeks and I would 100% re purchase.

4. Ojon Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum – This came in a Glossybox and I used it so sparingly as I loved it. It left my hair feeling strong and ultra glossy. It smelt lovely too. When I get enough Boots points I am going to re purchase it.

5. No7 Age Defence Cleansing Balm – At 34 ageing is something that plays a part in the products I purchase but I don’t worry about it too much. This came as part of a free gift with purchase from No7 and I thought It was time I gave it a go & have to say it left my face feeling so soft. Not tight in the least like some anti ageing cleansers. It was milky and hydrating. I have to say though – not 100% sure if I’d repurchase only because I have a few cleansers I rely on & I also have a couple to test. But this has surprised me and again it worked well at hydrating my skin.

6. eTOS Makup Remover – This was something I bought whilst on holiday in Amsterdam. It’s a local pharmacy brand. It was OK. It removed my makeup but was slightly drying.

7. Elemis Eyes Awake Recovery Gel – This was part of the hotel toiletries where I stay in London. It’s the 3rd time I’ve stayed there & I just love this stuff. It’s the most soothing eye cream I have ever tried. The gel is cooling and really hydrating. I would repurchase. This lasts a really long time and I just put the smallest amount on and lightly tap it in. I’m gutted its ran out.

9. REN Jojoba Micro Bead Invigorating Facial Polish – I won this in a giveaway a couple of moths ago & have used it once a week here and there. It’s great way to get a really deep clean without rubbing the hell out of your skin. It has a creamy consistency with micro particles in. I would gladly re purchase this as it was a good fit with my sensitive skin.

10. REN Active 7 Radiant Eye Gel - this I am sure came free with a magazine, maybe RED.  I wasn’t sold on this. I love the Elemis Eye Gel, but found this REN one was slightly drying. It left my under eyes a little tight. So wouldn’t repurchase.

11. No7 Perfect & Protect Intense Beauty Serum – I said in my last empties that I ran out of my full size of this but had 4 of these mini versions to use up. SO that’s what I have been doing. I love this serum and my skin feels so smooth and healthy when I use it. My makeup also goes on better after using this. So I most definitely would buy it again (with a £5 No7 voucher.

I didn’t use up that many things this month. But I am determined to use up some stubborn products that refuse to empty. We all have those right? Those things that are a bit meh but go on forever. I’m waging war on them. Esp before I get my Xmas loot :o)





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