19 Aug 2014

My Desk Essentials

I seem to spend a very large portion of my day at my desk staring aimlessly at my computer (out of the window if I’m completely honest). I thought you might like to see some of my desk essentials so rounded up all the items on my desk that I couldn’t live without day to day & took a photo or two of them.

My Desk Essentials

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist*

This is a very refreshing face mist and I spritz it so often throughout the day. I love how it stops my skin from drying out and the rose scent is very uplifting and calming. A few spritz of this leaves my skin feeling soft, soothed and hydrated. I really enjoy having it on my desk & like I said I spray it so often.

Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets

I used these all the time last Summer but Kleenex discontinued them & I couldn’t find them anywhere, but I have since found a stash in my local Home Bargain & they’re selling the left over stock for 29p a pack. So you better believe I bought a huge supply. I like to have a pack of these with me just to dab on my T-zone so I don’t look like an oily mess as the day goes on. If you have a Home Bargain near you then get in there & buy a couple of packs. These are a god send for shine control.

Dried Fruit / Snacks

I like to snack on dried fruit or nuts at my desk & I always have a few packets in my drawer, I get so hungry & if I don’t have something marginally healthy to hand I will eat whatever I can find, that normally involves chocolate or something sweet. So these little packs of raisins are a good size for snacking on.

Burt’s Bees Hand Salve

I know Burt’s Bees do a Lemon Cuticle Oil too which I like but I have been using this on mu cuticles I find it a little too waxy for a hand salve & it takes some working in to your hands so I like to rub it in to my cuticles when they’re feeling dry. Its handy to have on my desk & its in such a little tin it takes up no space at all.

Crazy Rumors Black Cherry Lip Balm*

OMG does this smell so good & its extremely hydrating on the lips. It does a great job at keeping my lips moisturised. I don’t have to reapply it that much throughout but I like having it to hand & I just love the scent of it . Crazy Rumor offer a wide selection of flavours and they all sound lovely.

Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Pocket Bac

I like to have hand sanitiser & always use this. This one smells sweet & the scent lingers for ages. I have a few of these from B&BW and just love how inexpensive they are and they have so many scents to pick from.

Sharpie / Pens

I’m a stationery addict so this Sharpie just represents my pen pot (which is jam packed full of pens). I love to doodle at my desk when I’m meant to be working or when I am on the phone (bad habit). Sharpies are my weakness and when I see a new colour I have to have it. Tell me I am not alone on this.

Notebook

I have an abundance of pretty notebooks and because I buy that many they often never get used so I have been making a point to get more organised and try to keep one on my desk & I also have one in my handbag. I have been loving Wilko’s for cute stationery lately and they nearly always have a sale on.

iPad

I don’t have a mobile phone (SHOCKER) so I tend to have my Ipad close by for keeping up to date with social media, emails and all that sort of thing. I like to read my books & magazines on here too, saves space & weight in my handbag. So this device comes everywhere with me.

Tea

I can’t go a day without a cup of tea. I tend to drink green tea of some description but I always have a couple of tea bags to hand. Let me know what your favourite cup of tea is.

If you have done a desk essentials post leave me a link or let me know your top 3 desk essentials.

Products that are marked with an * have either been sent to me for my consideration or I’ve received at events. I’m under no obligation to review them on my blog. However if I do, the reviews are 100% my own.

 

16 Aug 2014

Vidal Sassoon Infra Radiance Dryer

I’m very familiar with Vidal Sassoon haircare and have used their styling products for years but I never knew they had a range of electrical hair tools. I have been trying out the Infra Radiance Diffuser Dryer* and this is a serious piece of kit, its changed the way I feel about drying my hair.

Vidal Sassoon Styling Tools

Vidal Sassoon

I recently had my hair cut quite a bit shorter than I wanted, it was even too short to tie up & I was a little stressed about it because my hair is naturally wavy and the shorter it is the more voluminous & wavy it is. So with it being this short I had to style it every time I washed otherwise it looked like a mushroom on my head (I used to just sport a top knot 80% of the time). This meant with my thick wavy locks I was spending almost an hour drying & styling it & in that heat wave we had in July I was overheating in a sea of hot hair tools. Not how I wanted to be spending my mornings.

Hair Tools from Vidal Sassoon

This Vidal Sassoon Dryer had bold claims –

‘Gentle infrared technology enhances your blow dry by delivering heat more evenly to the hair, helping maintain the natural moisture balance to help prevent over drying for faster styling*, reduced frizz and soft, conditioned, radiant hair.’

This dryer was a little heavier than my old one but it didn’t take long to get used to that. It has 2 speed settings & 2 heat settings. I liked the control that gave me. It comes with two attachments a concentrator nozzle for sleek smooth precision drying or the diffuser to create curls / volume or texture. I have been using the concentrator nozzle as I want to tame my frizzy wavy hair. The idea of this infra red technology is to deliver heat to your hair more evenly so it is faster drying, kinder on your hair and reduces frizz.

I tend to wear my hair quite natural and leave the waves in but I do like to reduce the frizz and make it look somewhat tidy but still natural and relaxed. I like that this dryer didn’t take away too much volume but tamed the frizz at my roots and made my waves sleeker and I think this has helped me to go up to 3 days without washing my hair (thats almost unheard of for me).

I like the fact that it delivers heat to your hair depending on how wet each section is, this means you won’t over dry your hair and cause damage and frizz which gives you dull hair. I normally have to dry my hair for so long & I know how damaging that was but since using this dryer I have found it a lot quicker. I section off my hair & use the concentrator nozzle to get right in to the roots & blow dry down my hair away from the roots to the tips and my hair feels softer looks smoother and I give my hair a blast of cool air at the end to prolong my style & increase shine. Who knew that worked!?

Hair Styling Tools

So I’m over the moon with this dryer and although its quite heavy for my feeble arms Im getting used to that and it is so much faster to dry my hair now and I’m even growing to love my new shorter hair although I’m still excited for it to grow just that little bit longer so I had tie it up some days.

Vidal Sassoon Infra Radiance Diffuser £49.99 and is available from Boots, Argos, Debenhams, Tesco & Very.co.uk

Let me know if you have used any of the Vidal Sassoon Hair Tools or how you typically style your hair.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/netherlands/entry-requirements

14 Aug 2014

My Top 5 Products From The Dream Box

When British Beauty Blogger released her latest beauty box I was ready & waiting to snap one up. I had missed out on the previous 2 boxes and after seeing what goodies were jam packed into those ones I had to bag this latest one for myself. If you want to see the full contents of that box you can click here. On The Dream Box Jane teamed up with beauty box experts Latest in Beauty & from what I have heard there is another box in the making. So keep your eyes peeled for a release date.

My good friend Becki who blogs over at Life Looks Perfect posted about her top 5 products from the box, I thought it was such a great idea, she inspired me to do the same. So make sure you pop over & check out Becki’s top products & see if we picked any the same.

The Dream Box Top 5 Products

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara £19

This mascara makes your lashes look so good! I found the formula quite wet at first so I had to make sure I didn’t apply too much product & get clumping. If you take your time you can get the brush right in to each individual lash & apply mascara from base to tip, this gives you great volume and by coating each lash your lashes look thick & so fluttery. You can really build this up to look dramatic, its a lovely very intense black mascara that wears well throughout the day, no fall out or crispy lashes. I’m kind of in love. Oh & if you like big mascara brushes you will love this one. I’d say this lives up to it’s claims.

Janjira Thai Lime & Ginger Hand Wash £16 for 250ml

This was the first product I used from the entire box & I instantly liked it. I have naturally very dry hands and find that hand wash can be drying and I need lashings of hand cream after using them. This Janjira one was not like that at all, it was quite a thick gel on consistency and was easy to massage in to your hands, you could smell the ginger straight away & it smelt so good. It was easy to rinse and left my hands feeling clean, soft and most importantly to me was they were not dry. I could still smell the ginger scent & a little hint of lime too, this is a luxurious treat your your hands and I very much enjoyed using it & I’m tempted to buy the full size, which actually comes in a bottle with a pump which is very handy and will be easier to use.

Elemis Treat Your Feet Foot Cream £6.00 for 20ml

This foot cream has been used a lot during the heat wave, I love to wear sandals and so I like my feet to be Summer ready. This was a nice treat to apply at night on my feet and by morning my feet were soft, no dry skin and ready for my Summer shoes. If you don’t like the feeling of a greasy cream on your feet then you should give this Elemis one a go as it sinks in to your feet quickly and won’t leave them feeling slippy/greasy. Its perfect for keeping your feet looking their best in your Summer Shoes.

Essie Fashion Playground

I’m so happy that I received this colour in my box as it is a pretty subtle pistachio green colour. It is easy to wear and looks pretty under a glitter top coat too. Two coats will give you an opaque finish but you have to wait for each coat to fully dry otherwise it looks a little streaky. I have worn this quite a bit since getting it & I’m tempted to wear it on my upcoming holiday as its not to bright and will go with everything.

Benefit Its Potent Eye Cream £25.50 for 14.2g

I have used this all up & loved it. It was hydrating and was a great base for my under eye concealer. It was light enough for a day cream but still gave me the hydration I needed. I found that my concealer didn’t sink in to my fine lines as much because this cream helped smooth them out. I wouldn’t say it helped reduce dark circles but I think mine are from a considerable lack of sleep. I was very happy with this pot & would love to but the full size. I might have to ask for the skincare gift set for my birthday.

Let me know if you snapped up this box & what your top 5 products were?

 

14 Aug 2014

The Body Shop Expert Brush Collection

The Body Shop Brushes

I was lucky enough to win this Expert Brush Collection on the lovely Carrie’s blog. I have tried a couple of brushes from The Body Shop in the past and been impressed by the quality of them, no shedding, they wash nicely and they are very soft. This set of brushes are very soft too and I’m so happy that there is a Foundation Brush in there as my beloved Real Techniques Stippling Brush broke a few weeks ago & I have been struggling to find a brush that applies foundation as well. So I’m going to put this brush to the test & hope it gives me a flawless look, I like to really buff my foundation in.

The Body Shop Makeup Brushes

This Expert Brush Collection has 5 brushes & they are Concealer, Eyeshadow, Foundation , Blusher and Face & Body Brush. So they have everything covered (apart from a brow/eyeliner brush). These are all brushes I will use in my routines and think the Foundation & Blusher Brush will be getting a lot of use.

Let me know if you have used any makeup brushes from The Body Shop & if so what would you recommend.

 

13 Aug 2014

Nivea Sun Protect & Bronze Giveaway

I’m excited to be teaming up with Nivea to give ten of my readers the chance to win one of their Nivea Sun Protect & Bronze Face Cream with SPF30. So if you’re in need of some holiday sun protection or if you are like me and never leave home without sun protection on then why not enter to win.

Nivea Giveaway

NIVEA SUN Protect & Bronze Face Lotion offers immediate sun protection. Formulated specifically for the face, it also contains a natural plant extract to help activate the skin’s natural tanning process. Therefore, even those with pale skin can achieve a healthy glow whilst sunning sensibly. SPF – SPF30 combined with the light feeling and texture makes it the perfect facial protection for summer’s hot and humid weather & this formula is water resistant too.

Also this Facial SPF from Nivea offers you UVA & UVB protection so you’re protecting your face not only from burning but also from the signs of premature ageing. Remember to apply at least a teaspoon amount to your face and neck & also to reapply throughout the day to ensure you are giving your skin the best protection.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T&C -

Open to UK residents Only

You must be over 18 or have your parents/guardians approval to take part

The 10 winners will be picked at random using Raffelcopter

Only one product per winner & there will be ten winners

I will contact the winners via email on 19/08/14  & Nivea will be posting the prize out to you

A new winner will be selected if you do not respond within 4 days

Nivea have kindly provided the prizes

Good Luck

11 Aug 2014

Delving In To My Sample Stash #2

I’m still working my way through my sample stash, if you want to read my first post you can click here. I have been routing in the sample drawer and picked out a couple of new things to try. It’s like going shopping without spending any money. I have also looked out a few things from the sample drawer to take with me on holiday next week. So keep an eye out for that post

Raiding My Sample Stash

First up are two travel brushes one from Eco Tools (pink handle) which is from their Fresh & Flawless Set & is ideal for applying bronzer & blush. I love this brush it is so soft & just the perfect size for your makeup bag. The second brush is from Sonia Kashuk and this is what I have been using for my eyebrows, its the perfect angle & is quite stiff but not scratchy. These will be coming with me to Amsterdam too.

YSL Forever Youth Liberator Serum – I totally forgot I had this. I think It came in the Glossybox collaboration with Harrods (so long ago). It is a gorgeous light serum, it leaves my skin so smooth and soft. I have only used is a couple of times & I am excited to see how my skin looks after a week or so. This is quite a pricey serum so I’m expecting to be wowed.

Aromatherapy Associates Relax Light Bath & Shower Oil – This could quite possibly be heaven in a bottle. It smells botanical and very relaxing which is no surprise as there is lavender & ylang ylang in it, a couple of drops of this in your bath is all you need. Its lovely after a long stressful day. If you enjoy taking baths then these Aromatherapy Associate Oils are luxurious but not too expensive.

Murad Essential C Eye Cream SPF 15 – I haven’t used this yet but I have tried a couple of other products from this Essential C line & like them. This one is meant to hydrate, brighten and soften the appearance of fine lines. I’m an eye cream junkie & always on the look out for that perfect one so I’m hoping this could be it.

Palmers Natural Bronze Gradual Tanning Moisturiser – I have had this for the longest time too & usually use my Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion & really like that, although it can take a couple of days to get a good amount of colour. With this Palmers one it’s like one application & a couple of hours later you have the most beautiful tan. It looks like you have been somewhere tropical & expensive on holiday. I can’t get over how even the colour is and how natural but deep the colour was. I even topped it up over the next 3 mornings & it looked amazing. My skin looked glowing, tanned and felt so soft. It lasts for ages (a good week) too & doesn’t go patchy. Oh and as with all Palmers Cocoa Butter products it smells incredible. I am in love with it.

Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment* – Could a mask be any more amazing?? I think not. If you suffer from breakouts, blackheads or just unruly skin this mask is like a miracle worker. Its quite thick and does tingle a little but its not uncomfortable. My husband loves to use it too, mainly on his nose as he gets blackheads & we have tried quite a few products to help reduce them but this mask does its jobs & clears them up. It must draw out the sebum & grime leaving you with clean, smooth and glowing skin. I will be buying the full size of this mask & think its worth every penny.

StriVectin TL 360 Tightening Eye Serum  – I have been using this for a while now and LOVE it. Its a serum but slightly thicker in texture than your average serum . I pat it under my eye & over my lid too and instantly your eye area looks plumper, tighter and hydrated. Another miracle worker for sure. I have almost used this up & I’ve liked it so much I’m going to have buy the full size.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser - How cute is this tiny sample. I have never tried a NARS base before and am very excited to give this a go. I’m hoping this gives a light coverage & helps my skin look healthy and fresh. I enjoy wearing tinted moisturisers & BB Creams so fingers crossed this works for me. Oh & I like that this has SPF30 in too.

Let me know if you have tried any of the samples I’m using or let me know what samples you have recently used up.

Products that are marked with an * have either been sent to me for my consideration or I’ve received at events. I’m under no obligation to review them on my blog. However if I do, the reviews are 100% my own.

9 Aug 2014

DHC Premium Lipsticks

DHC Lipsticks

Cult Japanese brand DHC are very well known for their skincare and I love their Cleansing Oil and Eye Masks but they also have  a makeup line which includes Lipsticks, Eyeliners, Blushers and a few other products. They have recently released a line of Premium Lipsticks and these come in 6 easy to wear shades. I have been testing 3 of the colours.

DHC Makeup

The first thing you notice is the packaging, they have a very high end look and feel to them, the casing is a stunning mix of gold and silver with etched flower detailing. They look very pretty and feel luxurious. The only downside to the packaging is the fact they don’t have the product names on, the boxes have only the number and the lipstick themselves have neither.

The three shades I have are all quite muted and perfect as everyday options. These lipsticks are almost an extension of DHC’s skincare line and brand ethos in that they have an underline skincare benefit too as These lipsticks ‘fight the signs of ageing in two ways, firstly by using Pure Colour Technology which contains micronized pigment to deflect light, creating a plump and 3D lip effect and secondly by reducing the appearance of vertical lines with ingredients such as macadamia oil, olive oil and rice bran oil to moisturise, collagen and sodium hyaluronic to lock in moisture and vitamin A and geranium to protect and condition’.

All three of the ones I have are rich in colour and the formula is soft, hydrating and it glides on the lips effortlessly. They have a satin finish, no shimmer (which is good) they leave your lips looking fresh, plumo and with a pop of colour. The three colours I have are, 

OE112 Bold Permission* – This is a glossy peach toned nude, this makes my lips look healthy and like I have lipstick on but nothing too bold. Its a nice nude with a hint of peach, its a great colour for warming up your complexion

RS107 Rich Raspberry* – This is the brightest of the three colours I have and its a stunning raspberry pink – true to it’s name. This looks so pretty on the lips and I think its the ideal Summer shade. Its just such a bright, fresh looking colour.

BE111 Rose Gold* – This is more of a true nude although it leans more to a brown on my lips, this is such an easy colour to wear. Its most definitely a My Lips But Better colours. It makes my lips look plump, smooth and very healthy. I love having this colour in my handbag as I can apply it on the go, no mirror needed.

DHC Premium GE Lipsticks

DHC Premium Lipstick Swatches

If you like your lipstick to be hydrating, easy to apply and fresh looking then these DHC Premium Lipsticks are for you. I find that they last a good amount of time on me, a good couple of hours. If you are eating and drinking they will wear off as they’re a satin finish and quite buttery on the lips but topping them up is so easy too! I have had these on rotation since I got them and have really enjoyed wearing them.

As I said the packaging is beautiful and they look a lot more expensive than they are.

These are really easy to get your hands on, because Escentual have started stocking DHC skincare and makeup so thats great news. You can also find them at DHC Online.

DHC Premium Lipstick – 2.4g for £13.00 – currently in the sale for £10.40

Products that are marked with an * have either been sent to me for my consideration or I’ve received at events. I’m under no obligation to review them on my blog. However if I do, the reviews are 100% my own.

 

7 Aug 2014

Eucerin 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Fluid

French Skincare

I have used my fair share of cleansing / micellar waters over that past couple of years and really like using them as a pre cleanse. Mostly to remove my eye makeup, especially if I’m wearing a lot of eyeliner, I find it easier than just going in with my Hot Cloth Cleanser and making a mess wiping it all over my face.

I have been using this Eucerin 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Fluid* for a good month now and like most people I compare all micellar waters to the HG Bioderma as this is the most effective one I’ve used to date. So they’re all put through their paces and have a lot to measure up to.

This is marketed at a 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing fluid and that means its a cleanser, eye makeup remover and toner in one. I don’t use it as my toner as I do a full face cleanse after using this with either an oil or cream cleanser and tone after that but as a face cleanser and eye makeup remover it does a very good job, not the best I have used (not quite as good as my bioderma) but it is up there with the best of the rest. It is gentle on my skin and I had no trouble at all with taking this round my eyes, no stinging or irritation at all. It feels like a hydrating fluid and doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight. I find micellar waters handy to have around, I even use them if I make an eyeliner mistake or need to tidy up sloppy eyeshadow fall down. They are really easy to pop on a cotton bud & tidy up, like it never happened.

Micellar Cleansing Water

I do like that this is fragrance free, paraben free and alcohol free so it is gentle and won’t strip your skin or sting your eyes. It took me two cotton pads to take off my eye makeup and sweep across my face to remove a little of my base too. It was quite quick at removing my eye makeup and I didn’t need to tug or rub back and forth. If you press lightly on you eyes and hold for about 20 seconds and this will make it easier to remove. It did leave a little more mascara behind than my Bioderma but as I cleanse after that it doesn’t bother me too much. I like the fact that this feel gentle around my eyes and that my makeup lifts off without fuss or the need to apply pressure to that area.

The packaging is simple and the product come out quite a small whole,I find its best to squeeze the bottle to get the liquid out. With the opening being quite small you won’t waste product which is always a good thing.

I will be decanting some of this into a smaller bottle to take with me on my holiday later this month.

If you struggle to get your hands on Bioderma then I can highly recommend this as an option! Let me know if you have tried this or if you have any other Eucerin product recommendations for me.

Eucerin 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Fluid £9.99 for 200ml

Products that are marked with an * have either been sent to me for my consideration or I’ve received at events. I’m under no obligation to review them on my blog. However if I do, the reviews are 100% my own.

6 Aug 2014

City Break in Amsterdam

I’m heading to the beautiful city of Amsterdam at the end of the month, it will be my first holiday in over a year and it can’t come soon enough. This will be my 3rd time in Amsterdam & I love this city. It’s so vibrant , quaint and diverse. It’s very friendly and there is so much to see and do.

20140806-161208-58328167.jpg

I’ve done quite a few of the generic touristy things like Anne Franks House, Museums & Canal Boat Tours. One of my favourite things to do is pack a picnic and spend hours (weather permitting) in one of the many parks/green spaces. So relaxing.

I thought I would ask you, my lovely readers if you have any suggestions / recommendations of things to do whilst I’m there. Tell me where you like to eat, shop and relax. Let me know if you have any hidden secrets or less known about places. I’d love to know. I’m there for a week, so have lots of time to explore.

Also let me know where you would recommend to visit on a City Break.

5 Aug 2014

Barry M Summer Nails

BarryM Polish

I love Barry M nail polishes, they are affordable & quite often on offer, the colour selection is huge and they are always bringing out limited edition collections. I have a few shades and finishes in my collection and thought I would share with you my top 5 BarryM Polishes for Summer. Like most people I reach for bright shades in the Summer & love wearing bright colours on my toes, Summer is the perfect excuse to wear NEON polish and also rock the brightest oranges.

Let me know what your favourite colour to wear in the Summer is.

Summer Barry M Polishes

Pink Iridescent 264 – This is a glitter top coat with pink, silver and gold flecks in a light pink polish. So pretty on top of almost any shade. The glitter flecks catch the light & look so pretty. I like it because the glitter isn’t chunky and its easy to remove.

Block Orange 301 – This is a bold bright orange, it looks gorgeous on your toes especially if you have a tan. This is opaque & vibrant in two coats.

Pomegranate 235 This is a Gelly Hi Shine Formula and these leave your nails looking glossy. The colour is a gorgeous vibrant deep berry pink. I love this on my nails and it lasts a really long time. I have to admit even thought this is a Hi Shine finish I like to use a glossy top coat just to prolong my manicure but you can skip this step and your nails will have a good shine to them. I do find this Hi Shine formula only needs 2 coats and you could get away with one coat if you were in a rush.

Guava 334 – I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this shade when it came out. Its my most worn BarryM nail polish & it just reminds me of swimming pools & being on holiday. The colour is a pretty turquoise blue (more than green). Its bright and looks so nice on fingers & toes. This is another Hi Shine formula & I find these dry pretty quickly on my nails & I’m terrible at messing up my manicure because I’m always in a hurry but this formula only takes a couple of minutes to dry.

Passion Fruit 350 – This is just the perfect holiday coral red colour. It looks bright and fresh on your nails. This is another Hi Shine finish and again the formula is quite thick but easy to apply and you could get away with one coat but I like to apply two just for that pop of vibrant colour. I love this shade & think it makes your nails look so pretty and summery.

Barry M Nail Polish is available from Superdrug and www.barrym.com

Let me know what your favourite Barry M Summer nail polishes are.

← Older EntriesNewer Entries →
If you get chance check out my family business. We hand make badges and specialise in Hen Party Badges.