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Like plenty of other girls out there, I've gone through my fair share of mascaras. I say 'gone through', I don't think I've ever actually finished one before moving onto the next. Finally, I think I've found one that I might be sticking with: Max Factor's Eye Brightening Mascara! The Eye Brightening mascara is very unique in the fact that there are three designed formulas for whichever eye colour you have, either brown, green or blue. The idea is that the included light reflective particles work to enrich your eye colour making them stand brighter than they would with any other mascara. I also like the fact that the formula is tonal black, so it's not jet black. This way it doesn't look overly fake and gives a more subtle natural look. It comes in a white tube with black writing that coordinates with the black lid. The lid has a picture of an eye in either brown, blue or green so it's easy to indicate which one you need to buy. It then unscrews to reveal quite a long but thin wand which makes it super easy to apply. You'll be paying around £8 for a 7.2ml tube from high street stores although it can be found cheaper online. Colours available: *Brown eyes - Black pearl *Blue eyes - Black sapphire *Green eyes - Black ruby I always use my eyelash curlers before applying mascara, so I can't comment on the 'curl' it gives my lashes although this isn't in the claims for this particular mascara. I found that just one coat is enough in the daytime to lengthen my eyelashes but if I'm going anywhere I tend to give them two coats as the second coat does seem to make them look slightly fuller. Max Factor say that three coats is best to achieve the maximum effect, however, I've never felt the need to apply three coats. The slightly smaller bit at the end of the wand makes it effortless to reach the corner of the eyes and the rest of the wand is so easy to coat all of the eyelashes. The mascara does what it says on the tube and does seem to make my eyes stand out more. It doesn't leave eyelashes feeling clumpy and the mascara lasts all day without starting to go flakey. Despite lasting well all day, it's surprisingly easy to remove with face wash or even a gentle face wipe. This mascara doesn't seem to have done any damage to my natural lashes either and has left them in great condition. Overall, I'm very happy with it and will definitely repurchase. I've found my new favourite and will be sticking with it for a good while!!
Recently I've taken to wearing more lip products, as I've never usually bothered with them. On my quest to find something suitable for daily use that lasts all day without the need to reapply, the Max Factor lip tint pen caught my eye. Retailing for around £5 from the likes of Superdrug and Boots, the lip pen promises a highly pigmented colour that lasts, without the stickiness of lipstick or lip gloss due to it being water based. It comes with in a choice of 10 different colours, mainly different shades of pink also with reds and nudes to choose from. I chose shade 4 which looked like a nice pinky colour that didn't look to dark for my pale skin. The packaging is quite a chunky black pen with the ends of it and the usual Max Factor cross in the shade of lip tint that you're buying. The writing on the black pen is in gold making it look an attractive product that you'd want to buy. Taking off the transparent lid (that's also tinted the colour of the lip pen) leaves you with the fat nib of the pen that ends in a point, it basically looks like a felt tip. I find that the pointed tip is great for lining the lips and then I use the fatter part of it to swipe the colour across my lips. I like that the colour represented on the packaging is true to the colour of the product (in shade 4's case anyway - I haven't tried the others) and it's also buildable colour if you leave it to dry before applying another coat. It's quite fast drying which is great if you're impatient like me! The colour is definitely bold and lasts all day long without the need to reapply. It doesn't transfer onto anything while eating or drinking and also stays well clear of your teeth, which sometimes can't be said for lipstick!! Your lips need to be dry for the pen to work properly as the colour won't apply if there's any moisture on them. The lip tint is quite a drying product and will show up any cracks that you have on your lips, so it's best if you keep applying vaseline or a moisturising product of some kind over the top of it throughout the day. I wouldn't say the scent of the pen is pleasant but it's bearable, but it can only be smelt when you take the lid off. After you've applied the product the smell doesn't linger at all - so it's not like you're stuck with it all day. I'd say for about an hour after applying the product, although it's dried you can still taste the product and it's definitely not a nice taste. I can't explain it, but let's just say you'd rather avoid licking your lips until it's gone haha! Which is a shame as I really like the colour and longevity of the lip tint. If you often suffer from really dry lips then this wouldn't be the product for you, but I think on occasion I'll be able to deal with applying moisturiser over the top just for the lovely colour and lasting power.
When going on holiday there's always that worry of having to go out and buy a new foundation to match your tan. Nobody wants to end up with a lovely tan and a foundation a couple of shades too light to cover up their blemishes. As I didn't want to take my usual away with me, I borrowed my mum's No7 Intelligent Colour foundation for the two weeks I was there to save me buying my own haha! It doesn't come cheap compared to other high street brands at £15.50 for a 40ml tube however it promises that it "cleverly adjusts to match the colour of your skin for a sheer, natural finish" and as I'm aware, I don't think there's anything similar out there from another brand just yet. As for the price, the tube should last quite a long time as only a small amount is needed for each application. No7 is a Boots brand, so therefore it can only be bought from Boots instore and online. I prefer buying products like foundation in store as it's much more reliable when testing colours, and make up is always a difficult one to know if you're allowed to return it. The Intelligent Colour comes in three shades: Light, Medium and Dark. When using testers I found that the light matched me perfectly however borrowing my mum's gave me the only option of taking the medium shade. I found that when I came to get some foundation out of the tube it looked REALLY dark. Darker than I was expecting. However, when I put it on my untanned skin, the medium was only slightly too dark for me, and I knew if I had bought the light shade it would have been perfect. When I was tanned the colour was a perfect match. It still looked too dark before applying it to my skin but it did as promised and adjusted to leave it looking natural and glowing. Before using it I was hoping that it wouldn't leave me looking orange, and it didn't!! Nobody wants to look orange, do they? I'd say the Intelligent Colour Foundation is medium coverage as it would cover a few spots and blemishes, but if you have more troublesome skin you might feel the need to use a concealer with it to help cover them up. I applied the foundation with a brush to save mess although it could be done with your fingers or a sponge. The consistency is more mousse like as it's not very runny at all which makes it easier to apply. It feels silky smooth to apply and glides on effortlessly, this is probably helped by putting on a moisturiser first and leaving it to sink in before putting on any make up. The texture looks as though it would feel heavy on the skin, but it's the complete opposite and doesn't even feel like you have any make up on. Another thing I found handy was that it included SPF6. As I intended to use this on holiday it was very useful, although I applied it over the top of an SPF15 moisturiser for extra protection from the sun. I can't comment on how it would last throughout the day in the sun as I only wore make up when I went out at night. But it definitely lasted a good few hours on my face without the need to reapply, and came off easily with a face wipe or face wash. I never use powder anyway due to my dry skin, but I don't think it would be needed with this foundation anyway as I'd say it's in the middle of the dewy/matte scale to leave you with a natural finish.
Barry M are a well known make up brand that have always delivered well with their vast variety of nail varnishes. I for one haven't been disappointed and often go for Barry M over other competing brand names as the quality you receive for the price is usually great. Not only do they provide your usual nail varnishes, they have lots of different effects like glitter, magnetic and now the new Chameleon range. There's three colours to choose from in the Chameleon range which are Pink, Blue and Lilac - all of which are meant to change colour when you apply a clear top coat to them. I opted for the Chameleon Pink as the colour on the lid was meant to indicate the original colour and also the colour it would change to with a top coat on top, both of which I liked and thought would go with lots of different outfits. I bought mine in Superdrug for £3.99 but it can also be purchased in the likes of Boots and other Barry M stockists. For this price you'll get 10ml of the product in the classic square glass Barry M bottle. The handle is easy to keep grip of while applying the polish to your nails and the brush takes a couple of strokes to cover a whole nail. I found the consistency of the polish was just right, it wasn't thick and gloopy yet it wasn't too runny and slipping all over my nails. As I'm not the neatest at painting my nails, the consistency plays a huge part in how neat they end up in the end! The drying time wasn't too bad and was quick enough for me to wait without smudging them (being impatient this is usually almost impossible) and the colour seemed just slightly darker than it looked in the bottle, but still a nice colour. I did two coats like I do with any other nail varnish just to make sure I had fully covered my nails and there weren't any noticeable brush strokes left behind. Now for the effect... I used a Rimmel clear top coat rather than Barry M's. In hindsight it probably would have made more sense to team it with the same branded product to get the true effect, however it isn't stated that you need a specific one so it shouldn't really effect the results. After applying it I only saw a slight change in colour, that it had gone a tiny bit darker. When it had fully dried my nails did look a bit more of a purple-y colour but I wouldn't say the top coat had a really drastic affect at all. This might be because I used a different branded top coat, I don't know, but I wouldn't say it was worth the hype. I wasn't expecting a miracle but just something more. I'll still continue to wear the nail varnish as it is a nice colour on it's own, but I wouldn't buy any others from the Chameleon range. It seemed to last a good 4-5 days without chipping too, which is a plus.
I'm not really a person for wearing trainers and the only ones I own are a pair of Converse and a £10 pair for exercising. Doing a lot of window shopping when I have no money (too often) I fell in love with the blue Puma Suedes in Shuch. I did leave them for a while wondering if I'd actually get my use out of them, but eventually gave in and treated myself to them. In the Women's section at Shuch I had the choice of seven different colours: blue, light blue, light pink, black, green, coral and burgundy. I opted for the blue as I thought they were a bright enough colour to stand out yet would still match a lot of clothes I already owned. They're really versatile and can be worn with jeans, leggings, disco pants or anything else really. The shoes are also unisex as they're sold in the men's section too where they have a slightly different selection of colours. In Shuch they'll set you back £55 and they can also be found in Office and on the Puma website. The pair I bought are in fact the ones on the photo above. They're a lovely blue colour, not too light or dark, and can easily be teamed with a lot of different clothes. Whatever colour you choose will have a white strip down the sides (except the men's have more variation in colour) and also Puma Suede written in little gold lettering on the outer sides of the trainer. The soles are quite thick and are white. The sole themselves can get dirty easily but it's not hard to clean with a wet wipe. Barely anybody wore these when I got them so they seemed a little unique, but I think they must be a little trendier now as I've seen a lot more of them about! They're not too girly at all, and my dad even got a little jealous that I picked the blue colour before he got a look in - we don't want to go out matching now, do we?! A lot of shoes tend to rub my ankles on the first couple of wears but with these I didn't find that at all. They were comfortable right from the word go and I have no complaints at all. A size 6 fit me perfectly, which I'm thankful for as half sizes aren't available. It's advised not to wear them out in the rain though as the colour of the suede can run. That's my only worry with these shoes as I'm too scared to wear them if I think there's a possibility of me getting caught in the rain! I can't comment if they do run or how badly as I've been lucky enough to avoid it for now...I hope I haven't spoken too soon. From what I've heard, these Puma Suede Classics have been around for a good few years, and I'm pretty gutted I didn't find them sooner as I absolutely love mine. They're the kind of trainers that suit everybody and are also really comfy to wear so I really can't fault them. My reason for deducting one star is for my worry of the colour running if I wear them out in the rain - but that's what I signed up for when I bought suede trainers.
I often have several different face washes on the go at once as I think changing mine every so often stops my skin getting used to one in particular. It might sound a little odd but I think that if my skin gets used to the ingredients in a product it might not work as well as it does when I first began to use it, so I switch between a couple that I know are reliable and aren't harsh on my sensitive and dry skin. At just 74p for a 150ml tube in Tesco's I thought this cucumber face wash would be worth a try to add to my small collection. Like a lot of people, I tend to judge quality on the price. High end skin care brands often work well (not always) but also have the price tag to match, so I'd much rather save my money and find something cheaper by a bit of trial and error and also reading reviews to guide me on my way. The tube for this face wash is pretty basic, it's plain white with grey and green detailing and writing on the front. Crisp white always catches my eye as a fresh and natural product, which is what I hoped this would be. The lid is easy to open and allows just the right amount of product out of the tube for each use. I found that the clear gel product had just a nice consistency to it and wasn't too runny at all. Being enriched with vitamin E and also being a cucumber face wash which is generally meant to soothe irritation and give a bit more of a radiant look to your skin, I was hoping I was onto a winner with the new found bargain...how wrong was I?! I used an average amount of the face wash (the same as I'd use with any other) and found it didn't lather up very well. I continued to apply it to my face in circular motions as instructed on the tube and massaged it into my skin. After rinsing it off I could feel a tightness in my skin straight away and it also felt very drying to my skin. About 10 minutes after use my skin went a little blotchy, red and left me with a slight burning sensation on my face. I do have sensitive skin and react to a few things, so I don't know whether it was just my skin type or the product itself. Just to make sure that it wasn't anything else that my skin had reacted to, I tried it again on another occasion paying more attention to what I'd put on my skin beforehand but still found that it had the same affect. It definitely is not suitable for me and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else with sensitive skin either! Maybe the 74p price tag does have a downside. It was worth a try I suppose.
Coming up to exam season it is drilled into every student that revision is a must if you want to achieve good grades! I'm such a worrier and hate failing at anything, therefore I'm probably a little on the geeky side and start my revision quite a while in advance for up and coming exams. Making revision posters seems to work well for me, and I chose these Staedtler Triplus Colour pens for this reason. Although, they can be used for lots of other purposes other than revision. ~What are they?~ The claims on the pack say that these are "Fibre-tip pens in an ergonomic triangular shape for relaxed and easy writing and drawing." Fibre tip pen is basically a posher way of saying these are felt tips. They are slightly rounded but end in a pointy tip to ensure that your writing will be as thin and neat as possible - there's nothing worse than not being able to read your own writing! ~Packaging~ They come in a little plastic case (shown in the picture above) which clips at the sides. It's very easy to pull open and it also folds back and clips into place to create a stand for the pens. I think this is very clever and makes it easy to grab a pen or put one back when making my colourful revision posters. Each colour has their own slot in the plastic case, which I find comes in handy when you take a colour out and they don't all slip to one side. As the case is see through it's also perfect for being able to see what colours you'll be receiving in the pack before you buy them. ~How I found them~ The triangle shape of the pen makes them super easy to hold and write without any discomfort. The pointy tips of the pens glide across the page easily and don't scratch at the paper like some other brands of similar products seem to. My writing looks really neat in these and the tips do tend to stay pointy, however I have noticed that some of my most used colours have began to get a little rounded and has resulted in my writing being slightly fatter. From the amount of use these have had I can't really complain, but I do try my best to be careful with them to keep them in shape. The colour of the ink is true to the colour on the pens and they're all really bright colours that haven't gone dull or dried up. They also don't look like they're going to run out any time soon which is great. Somehow I always manage to cover my hands in pen while I'm writing, but fortunately these don't stain at all. The ink comes of easily with a quick wash in warm water and soap. I haven't had it on my clothes (not yet anyway!) so I can't comment on whether they'd stain fabric or not. ~Where did I buy them?~ I got my pack of 10 from Wilkinson's for £5.75. There was also a slightly larger pack that were more expensive, but I felt there was a great enough range of colours with just 10 of them. In a pack of 10 you'll receive: a yellow, orange, red, pink, light blue, dark blue, dark green, light green, brown and a black. £5.75 isn't exactly cheap either compared to other felt tips, but you are paying for quality. I also think they'll be available from supermarkets and online such as Amazon. ~Would I recommend them?~ Yes, definitely! They're great and lovely to write with. I wouldn't suggest buying them for a young child to colour with as they do need care to stay in their original state (pointy), but for anyone else's use: for revision like me or whatever else you need them for, I think they are really good. By far the best colours I've used.
I've always been pleased with jeans from Topshop, and I do believe that although they are quite expensive compared to other high street shops, you are paying for the quality. I love high waisted things as there isn't the possibility of what I'd call 'the muffin top look' where you're belly hangs over. They can also make you appear slightly slimmer and hold in any lumps and bumps. When I saw that Topshop had launched the Joni jeans and how popular they were, I thought it was worth giving them a go. The pair of Joni jeans I bought were called 'vintage'. I wouldn't call them vintage myself as I see something vintage as second hand, already used and unique - which these obviously weren't. The vintage jeans are the usual denim colour. I also had the choice of black or a lighter wash denim. Since buying them, the range has expanded and there's now a variety of pastel colours in the high waisted Joni jeans to choose from. They can be found at Topshop online or in store. I prefer to buy mine in store so I can try them on there and then, ordering online never seems to end well for me! As the sizes aren't you're usual 8s/10s/12s, and are instead in inches for the waist and length, I find Topshop jeans are much easier to find a pair that fit nicely. I've had mine quite a while now and I love them! The jeans are so so soft, they don't even feel like jeans. They slip on easily unlike a lot of skinny jeans and are surprisingly easy to get off too. They aren't baggy on your legs or waist at all but they don't feel tight and as if you can't breathe in them. They're literally a perfect fit for me. After several washes the colour is just as bold as it was to start with and no threads on the seams have come loose. The classic zip and button up found on many jeans is also the fastening for the Joni's and the zip works easily and never gets jammed. I'm back tracking a bit here as I said my Leigh jeans were the best I'd bought, but I take that back after buying these. Joni jeans are just as comfortable as wearing leggings and look a bit less casual for if you go out during the day, and there's nothing to stop you dressing them up and teaming them with a lovely blazer (or anything you fancy) for more of a going out look. You can wear them with practically anything because they're so versatile. Jeans are a staple for anyone's wardrobe. At £36 these may seem expensive to some, but I do think jeans are worth spending that little extra on for comfort. I can't complain at the price for how good quality they are, the fact that I can match them with most things in my wardrobe and look fine is a great bonus for me as getting ready in a morning suddenly becomes much less of an effort. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending these jeans to anyone.
Converse have been a very popular trainer brand (or sneaker, whatever you want to call them) for a long while now, and I only joined the hype a last January with my first and only pair of white Converse low tops. You can also get the hi top version like the picture shown above, but I've never been keen on those and thought the low tops in white would go with so many more outfits. The trainers in all colours are very versatile to wear, you can get away with wearing them with literally everything: jeans/leggings/shorts/skirts and they look great. I even know somebody that wore a pair of Converse with her prom dress... maybe that was a little extreme! They come in a very wide choice of colours and the range is always expanding with new designs and styles to fit in with current trends. Some of them have several 'tongues' (the flap on the front) which is quite good if you're looking for something different as no other trainer brands make things like that. You also have the opportunity to design your own on the Converse website at an extra cost, so you can make them unique to you and even add writing to them. I've considered doing this but haven't done yet so I can't comment on the service. The price of Converse often varies depending on where you buy them from, as I bought mine over a year ago I think they were around £35 from Office whereas now they can cost you around £40 upwards. They are widely available from shops such as Office, Shuch (both online and in store) or the Converse website. Sometimes they can be found on offer, and of course if you have student discount that's a bonus. The Converse brand do such a wide variety of trainers for you to pick from and they're unisex, you really won't be disappointed, there is something for everyone. My Converse are basically white canvas shoes with a rubber toe cap section and rubber (I think) soles, with the red and blue stripe around the bottom. The usual 'All Star' branding is found at the back of the shoe on the sole and also on the tongue of the shoe. I find that they look better when the laces are tied underneath the tongue of the shoe rather than over, which can be a bit fussy and time consuming to put on when you're going out. I know you're probably thinking "How can you justify spending that much on canvas shoes? You can get them for a fiver in Primark" but the truth is, the cheaper versions really don't compare. Converse are much better quality and better made, this proved by the fact I've had mine nearly a year and a half and they're still going strong. So, despite the initial outlay and that you could probably get a cheaper pair for a fraction of the price, Converse last so much longer and are therefore worth the extra cost. In my opinion anyway! People are always advised to go for a half size smaller in Converse than what they usually are, but as a half size smaller than mine weren't available I opted for my usual size and they fitted perfectly - so it's not always the case. At first I did get a couple of blisters from wearing them, but like a lot of new shoes they just needed wearing in. After that they were fine and have been super comfortable ever since - so comfortable I can often complete the six mile walk with the dog without my feet hurting. The soles don't tend to wear down too much and are quite durable. I'm not sure if it's just me but I have found that my feet seem to get cold really easily in these? Compared to other trainers and shoes, if I wear them out in harsher weather, my feet definitely feel like they're going to freeze off the most in my Converse. They're probably better to be worn for the summer weather. Overall I've been really impressed with my Converse since I've bought them, I really should get on with expanding my collection! I'd recommend them to anyone.
On occasion I tend to read the odd beauty blog just for hints and tips on what products are out there, what's worth trying, how to use them and whatever else they have on there. I've been looking for a good hair product for a while to give my fine and boringly straight hair some texture. After stumbling upon this on a blog I decided to purchase it and see if it lives up to the hype! I've never tried any other Toni and Guy products before purely because of the price, but if this did as it claims I thought it would be worth it. ~WHAT IS IT?~ It's a Sea Salt Texturising spray for your hair from Toni and Guy. It's from their 'Casual' range of styling products which gives a massive hint towards the look that you'll be aiming to achieve with this product. Sea salt sprays are meant to give you that beach hair, effortless 'sexy' look (that is if you're able to pull it off, haha). Soft but messy waves has always been a popular look but is often hard to get with heated curling tongues or straighteners unless you have already wavy or big natural hair. Toni and Guy claim that this product "creates texture and natural movement with light hold". Having long and fine hair myself, I thought this sounded like the perfect product to add some texture. ~PRICING AND AVAILABILTY~ You have a choice between two sizes of the bottles: 200ml at £7.19 75ml at £2.19 I bought the 75ml bottle as £7.19 would be quite a lot of money down the drain if I didn't actually like the product, and thought it would be best to test it out first. Mine was bought from Boots in store, but it is also on their online shop, from Toni and Guy online and probably elsewhere in other drug stores, supermarkets or hairdressers. ~THE BOTTLE~ The bottle for this Sea Salt spray is a lovely blue/green type colour and looks quite stylish (like something you'd buy from a hair salon) with white text on the front saying the brand name, what it is and 'casual' down the side to show which Toni and Guy range this belongs to. Obviously by the name, it is a spray pump that you use to get the product out of the bottle. I found this worked well and sprayed a nice even amount onto my hair each time, and it hasn't broken at all yet (like most spray bottles)...I hope I haven't spoken too soon! ~USING THE PRODUCT~ The pump spray gives out a decent amount of the clear water-like liquid and a few sprays covers your hair nicely. The directions say to use it on dry hair, which I did after I had washed and dried it to achieve the best results, but it can also be used on damp hair. It has a lovely fresh, maybe a little bit of a sweet scent to it which I really like, I think it makes my hair smell really clean. After spraying it on all parts of my hair, I ran my fingers through making sure it had reached every part and left it 10 minutes before waiting for any results. I found that it didn't create any waves at all in my hair. It made it feel slightly thicker than it usually would however it didn't do as it claimed. For the price that they charge it didn't live up to my expectations. Although it did smell nice, and the liquid didn't leave any residue on my hair or make it feel greasy, I really was looking for something more from this product. I found that about an hour after applying it to my hair it just felt back to normal again and you wouldn't even be able to tell that I'd applied anything to it. At £7.19 for a 200ml bottle this isn't the kind of product that you can afford to keep applying every hour of the day either. ~WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS?~ If you're hair is like mine: long, straight and quite fine, I wouldn't recommend buying it as the results are poor. It may work better if you're hair is already slightly wavy/curly and you'd just like to make it a bit thicker and textured, or if you have shorter hair that isn't weighed down it might find it easier to create waves. I'm disappointed with this and wouldn't buy it again, and I'll probably think twice about buying anything from the Toni and Guy range again.
I constantly have dry lips and using vaseline or other moisture products religiously just never seems to do the job properly. The recent cold weather and harsh winds obviously don't help in the slightest, so I thought it was best to try and find something new to use to tackle the problem. ~WHY I BOUGHT IT~ Lush is a well known cosmetic company throughout the UK. Their brand name is very popular because of their quality products that tend to do what they say they do. Not only do their products work well, but they are made of natural ingredients, environmentally friendly and not tested on animals. Lush have never let me down in the past with their products (apart from the henna hair dye I thought would be a good idea to try - I'll not go into that) and although they're a little pricey, I didn't mind paying a little extra if I knew it would work. In this case, Lush was the first place I headed to find something for my dry lips. The assistants in the shop are lovely and helpful, and the lady I spoke to that day suggested that I try the lip scrub to exfoliate my lips before using one of Lush's lip balms. ~PRICE AND AVAILABILITY~ As this is a Lush branded lip scrub, just like any of their other products it is only available to buy from any of the Lush shops and online at www.lush.co.uk. It only comes in one size, and a 25g pot will set you back £5.25. You do get a lot for the money and you barely need any of the lip scrub for each application. It's available in 3 different flavours: bubblegum - the one that I own; popcorn and mint julips. They have samples out in store for you to try before you buy, which I took advantage of and had a quick smell/taste of each of the three to see which I preferred. Doing this, I thought I'd get along with the bubblegum flavour much easier than the other two. Lush also sell lip balms that you're meant to use after using the lip scrub, but I decided not to buy one of these as I'm sure vaseline would do a similar job and I may as well make the most of what I already own. ~PACKAGING~ Just like most of the other products in Lush, the lip scrub's packaging is very minimalistic and simple. I actually think packaging looks better when it's simple and a gimmicky look often puts me off buying something. The 25g jar is small and transparent glass with a black and white label stuck around it, telling you what ingredients it contains: -Castor sugar -Organic jojoba oil -Methyl Ionone -Flavour and colouring - the only unnatural ingredients It has a black lid that unscrews to reveal the bright pink, crystal-like scrub. A cute little extra that I really like is the sticker on the bottom of the jar. It tells you who made it, and on what date it was made. The sticker also tells you what date you should use it by. Looking at this, the life span of the product should be around a year and two months. ~THE PRODUCT~ The lid screws off really easily and opens to the pot filled to the brim of the lip scrub. As soon as you open the jar you're met with quite a strong sweet smell, although it's strong I don't find it too overpowering. I used my finger to get a little bit out of the jar, and gently rubbed the little grains of castor sugar into my lips for a couple of seconds to 'buff them to softness'. Containing jojoba oil too meant that the lip scrub isn't too abrasive or sharp on my lips and has a bit of a moisturising element to it. Applying it to your lips is surprisingly mess free and easy to do, a little goes a long way and I can see my jar lasting for a long while. In fact, I probably won't be able to use it up before the recommended date. After rubbing it into your lips, you're meant to lick off the excess. This wasn't a problem to me! It tastes lovely. It's not got a very strong taste to it, just a slight sweet, candy floss kind of flavour. Being sweet, I expected it to leave my lips feeling a bit sticky or tacky, or even a bit greasy from the oil - but I was pleasantly surprised when it didn't. For the product to reach it's full potential, you're meant to apply a lip balm after. I chose my trusty vaseline which glided onto my lips with ease as they were already much smoother after one use. ~AFTER APPLYING~ I found that my lips stayed smoother for a longer amount of time than they would just using a moisture lip balm alone. For a good few days they weren't dry at all, but this is with continued use of vaseline once a day. I wouldn't use this lip scrub daily as it may have an adverse effect on my lips if I use it too often, therefore I choose to use it twice or three times a week. Since using it I feel that when I wear lipstick or lip gloss it makes them look much better on, and they also last longer on my lips. For this reason alone, I wear lipstick more often than I did before. ~MY OPINION~ Overall, I can't fault this product at all. It works so much better than I originally thought it would. Now I've been using it for a few months I really couldn't live without it and wish I'd found out about it sooner. My friends and family that I've introduced to it also seem to love the lip scrub and ended up buying some for themselves. My pot of lip scrub is still nearly full after lots of uses, so I do think it's worth the money.
~WHY I BOUGHT IT~ I've always thought that the matte finish on nails looked nice. It's not for everyone and some people think that it's too dull and prefer the glossy look. Most nail varnishes that are coloured and claim to dry with a matte finish are usually in dark, winter-y colours, and this put me off buying them straight away. I prefer what I'd call 'pretty' coloured nails - blues, pinks and purples. As it's also coming to summer, I think bright and bold colours look so much better for the season. ~PRICE AND AVAILABILITY~ When I found out that a clear matte top coat was available to buy that could be applied on top of any colour you like I was really excited to try one. A few brands have now brought them out, but with nail varnishes I do like to stick between Rimmel and Barry M as their ranges seem good for the money. Priced at £4.59 for a 12ml bottle in Boots and Superdrug, I didn't think the Rimmel Matte Topcoat cost too much compared to other brands. ~PACKAGING~ Just like any other nail varnish, it's in a small rounded glass bottle that's transparent to enable you to see the misty coloured liquid and so you can tell how much of the product you have left. The bottle has a white handled lid that unscrews to reveal the clear flat brush. ~APPLYING THE NAIL VARNISH~ The brush is a great shape and allows you to coat a whole nail with just one stroke. It seems to be able to hold a good amount of the varnish so that you can coat two or three nails without needing to dip it back into the bottle. The liquid itself is quite a thick consistency which I like. I'm not the best person for painting my nails, but the consistency makes it easy to apply it quickly to my nails without a messy result. It doesn't run to the edges of my nails, and it smooths the imperfections of the nail varnish I've applied underneath. Being impatient, I often end up smudging my nail varnish before it's gotten chance to dry. Fortunately, this top coat dries almost instantly, and I'd say it's okay to touch within a minute or less. Only one coat of this is needed for each nail, and if you apply more it won't make much of a difference in the appearance of your nail varnish - I don't see the point using it up on more coats. I've used this I'd say about 5 times now, and the bottle still looks nearly full. I'm really pleased that a little goes a long way, so hopefully it will last me a while. ~PERFORMANCE~ Rimmel promises the matte finish to last for "up to 10 days". I never leave nail varnish on for that long anyway and can't comment on having it on for that length of time. After about a week I get bored of the same colour and like to change it to keep it looking fresh. Having worn the matte top coat several times now, the matte finish only last for about three days and then begins to wear off. When the glossy look starts to show again, I suppose there's nothing to stop you reapplying the top coat to get the effect again. Surprisingly though, it lasts longer without chipping. Chipped nail varnish is one of my pet hates, so this is a real bonus for me. I've found that it can easily last about 5 days before it starts to come off. I'd never expect for it to live up to the 10 days as promised, I highly doubt any nail varnish would, so I think that 5-7 days of wear is a decent achievement! Although it lasts well, it's really easy to remove with a cotton pad and nail varnish remover. ~WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?~ I would recommend the matte top coat to anyone wanting a different effect on their nails for quite a small price. Shiny and glossy nails can get a bit boring from time to time and it's always nice to have a bit of a change. I'm really happy with the performance of the nail varnish although I would have hope for the matte effect for a little longer than it did. £4.59 isn't a bad price and I would purchase it again in the future when mine runs out.
The Body Shop's Hemp range is specifically designed for very dry skin and heavy duty hydration. If you've read any of my previous reviews, you'll probably already know that I tend to suffer with dry and sensitive skin quite regularly and struggle to find products that work. ~WHY I BOUGHT IT~ From a young age, I've used Hemp body cream as I had quite severe eczema and my mum was advised that this was the best thing to treat it. Which it did. I'm pretty sure it got discontinued for a while, and I was relieved to see it back in store! My eczema is no where near as bad as I used to get it, and in fact I rarely get it on my body now, just on my face. After using a face mask not designed for sensitive skin (silly me), my face reacted to it and became very red and dry. I tried almost everything on it, but my skin stayed dry. I have various different brands of moisturiser that are claimed to be for 'intensively moisturising' which didn't help in the slightest, so my last port of call was obviously the Hemp Face Protector. ~PRICE AND AVAILABILITY~ Hemp had never let me down in the past, so although this costs £8 for a small 50ml tub which may seem expensive for what is it, I didn't hesitate to buy it. I'd never used the face protector before and had always gone for the body butter which is £13 for a 100ml pot. The Hemp range really do have something for every area of dry skin: hands, lips, face, feet and your body/skin in general. These products can often be found on offer, but unfortunately at the time I needed the face protector it wasn't, so I had to pay full price. You can purchase it from any of The Body Shops throughout the country or online at www.thebodyshop.co.uk. Compared to other expensive cosmetic and beauty brands, it isn't actually too overpriced considering what a wonderful job it does. ~PACKAGING~ The Hemp Face Protector comes in a small brown pot with a screw on grey lid - this might be seen as less hygienic than a pump, but this doesn't bother me at all, and at least I know I can get every last bit of product out of the bottom of the pot and get my moneys worth! The stickers on the top and around the pot are green stating what the product is and that you get 50ml in the pot. I think that the colouring is chosen very carefully to represent that it's a natural product and therefore suitable for the use on sensitive skin. If you want a list of the full ingredients, they can be found on the Body Shop website along with the product. The pot does look very small for the £8 that you're paying, but it comes full to the brim and you don't need a very large amount for every use as it's quite strong. I've been using this twice daily for a couple of months now and I still have plenty left and there isn't a chance of me running out any time soon. ~THE PRODUCT~ The Body Shop says that the Hemp Face Protector "Intensively hydrates, brings instant relief to very dry patches and is designed to protect skin in extreme weather conditions" and I agree! After just a couple of days using this I noticed a huge difference. My skin was back to it's usual self with no dry patches. As it's a very heavy duty moisturiser, I expected the consistency to be very thick and slimy, and a bit gross to apply to my skin. I was pleasantly surprised to find the texture was in fact quite thin and smooth and was very easy to apply. The product was light and it sunk into my skin almost instantly without feeling greasy and left me feeling fresh faced. It's a good base for foundation and also helps to stop make up clinging to any dry patches if you do have any. If you're skin isn't majorly dry (or you suffer with oily skin) but you'd like something more substantial to make sure it's kept hydrated, I'd suggest using Hemp at night before bed and leaving it to work it's magic over night, and then using a lighter moisturiser in the morning before applying any make up. Many other moisturisers I've tried when my skin has been bad have caused a burning sensation or made my dry skin go red, which isn't something I'm comfortable with and doesn't assure me that the product is working how I want it to. With Hemp, it didn't do this at all and actually helped to soothe my skin. It's advised not to use this near the eye area, which I (foolishly) ignored as I use it all over my face. Doing this, I haven't suffered with any adverse effects. I haven't tried this myself, but I've been told if your skin is irritated and itchy it can help to leave Hemp in the fridge for a while before applying it to your face. Then, as it's already very soothing it can also cool down your irritated skin. The smell of Hemp is very much down to taste although it's not very over powering, some people like it and others don't. Personally, I quite like the smell of it. To me it seems to smell pretty natural and fresh, but it doesn't linger after you've put the product on your skin. ~WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?~ I really would recommend Hemp Face Protector to anyone suffering with dry skin. No other moisturiser I've ever come across has even come close, and you really do get what you pay for. If I had to suggest an improvement for this product, it would be to include SPF as this is what many people look for in skin care products. This doesn't bother me too much though as most foundations or BB creams do include this and I use these over the top. I love the Hemp range from the Body Shop and wouldn't hesitate in buying other products from the range too.
Due to the fact that I have sensitive skin, it is extremely hard to find a decent foundation that will work for me. It's not helped by the fact that I have an oily T-zone and can get bad dry skin around any of the other areas of my face. I've spent so long searching for something affordable that works - finding nothing by cheaper brands under about £10 I decided to take the plunge and invest in some Benefit Hello Flawless foundation as it claims to be oil free (great for my T-zone) yet hydrating (good for dry skin). Does it live up to the expectations? I've read so many great reviews about this foundation and thought it must be worth the money. After all, Benefit is rather a big brand name and is well known for their great quality products. Benefit is widely available in stores and beauty counters throughout the country in shops such as Boots and Debenhams. It comes in a choice of 10 different shades, all with cute tag lines: Ivory (believe in me) Ivory (i'm pure 4 sure) Petal (i'm plush and precious) Champagne (cheers to me) Honey (i'm so money) Beige (i'm all the rage) Toasted beige (warm me up) Amber (i'm so glamber) Hazelnut (i'm hopelessly hot) Nutmeg (gotta know me) I think the tag lines with all of the shades are a unique little extra that add a bit of fun to shopping for new make up. If you're unsure of what shade suits you best like I was, just go to any Benefit counter for a free colour match and the assistants will be happy to help. It might also be possible to be given a free sample of the foundation before deciding if you'd like to buy it. I think this is a great option, as it saves you wasting £24.50 if you really don't like it. For £24.50 you'll receive 30ml of the product. The packaging for the Hello Flawless foundation is quite simple and stylish which is what I prefer. It comes in a white box with silver sides. The writing on the front is simple in black while it says "Oxygen, Wow, Hydrating, Complex" down the side. The hydrating comment was also a reason as to why I chose this, suffering with dry skin it is often something I look for when buying a foundation. There's also a swatch showing the colour that you'll be buying on top. The bottle itself is also very simple: it's a kind of 'frosted' plastic with black writing on the front. The bottle is rounded and it allows you to see how much of the liquid is left inside. It comes with a pump dispenser that works perfectly well and allows you to get out just the right amount. The foundation is a quite runny liquid consistency, and can be applied using a brush or your fingers. I usually use my fingers just because I find it easier. It's really smooth and easy to apply to your face as it spreads easily and evenly. A little goes a long way so the 30ml bottle should last a decent amount of time before running out - because of the price, I don't choose to use this every day as I don't see the point using it up if I'm not doing anything important. Whilst applying the liquid it feels very light, and while it's on your face you can barely tell you even have any product on because it feels lovely. Hello Flawless provides a light finish that leaves you looking healthy and glowing. It doesn't cover all imperfections and I still need to use a little bit of concealer if I have any spots/etc. I love the fact that it looks natural, and I've had a few comments when people thought I had nice skin and that they didn't know I was wearing foundation at all. I've tried it with and without powder, and I think the staying power is definitely better when a powder is used over the top. It's not bad by itself and lasts a good few hours (better than any other foundation I've tried) but will still need to be reapplied about half way through the day if you haven't used powder - which I don't often use if my skin is dry. It's also not bad for dry skin and doesn't cling to dry patches badly. The fact that it contains SPF 25 means it's perfect for use in summer for a light cover up that doesn't feel like you're plastered in make up. It's really easy to remove with a wipe or face wash and doesn't effect my sensitive skin. I'd definitely recommend this product if you're looking for a light, natural coverage rather than full coverage. I wouldn't fully agree with the comment 'flawless' as I've already mentioned, I still felt the need to use some concealer on slight imperfections like spots. I still don't agree that it's worth £24.50 and wouldn't purchase it again due to the price, but it is a really good foundation.
I had seen the new Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer advertised on TV several times before even considering delving into my pocket to spend £6.99 on one. I've never really been one for wearing lipstick or lip gloss, and usually stick to the trusty tinted Vaseline. I do on occasion wear lipstick/lipgloss, just not for every day use. AVAILABILITY A local make up shop in my town sells all the genuine branded products like Rimmel, Max Factor, Maybelline etc at knock down prices. After looking round in search of something new to liven up my make up bag for the summer, I noticed that they were now stocking the Rimmel Apocalips - at just £3!! Better than half price. I couldn't resist the temptation while they were so cheap, and eventually handed over the money. These lip lacquers can be found in Boots or Superdrug for £6.99 for 5.5ml. Rimmel Apocalips are available in 8 different shades, nudes, pinks, purples and red. I opted for 'Celestial', while being one of the lightest shades on offer, I found it to be quite a bright pink (this might be as I'm not used to wearing such bold colours) but when I finally got used to the colour, I really did love it. THE PRODUCT The aim of a lip lacquer is to get the intense pigmented colour of a lipstick while still achieving maximum shine, like a lip gloss. Something which Rimmel certainly does achieve! The gloss is quite thick and easy to apply neatly with the doe foot applicator (kind of a sponge). It spreads easily and evenly across your lips and doesn't dry them out either. The gloss does wear off after about an hour but leaves your lips with a lovely satin finish. The bold colours have good lasting power like a stain, however you could always reapply throughout the day if you prefer the glossy look. When I first applied the lacquer I had to keep checking that it hadn't transferred onto my teeth, as I found it did the first time I wore it (never a good look!!) As soon as the gloss effect is gone and it looks more like a lip stain, it doesn't transfer onto a glass (or teeth) if you're drinking and stays put on your lips. Even though it has great staying power, it is easy to remove with a damp tissue, or a make up wipe - so there's no worry about having permanent bright pink lips. THE PACKAGING I also think the tube for the lip lacquer is as bold as the product itself. It's mainly black with a black screw lid and fades in the middle to show the true colour of the lacquer inside the bottle. This makes it easy when deciding which colour you'd like to purchase, so you don't only have just a swatch on the end of the tube to rely on. MY OPINION Since trying the Apocalips Lip Lacquer I have been really impressed with how they perform, they really are better than I expected. I intend to invest in a few more colours, probably the lighter ones, and make more of a habit of using lip colour as I hardly used to. I would recommend these to anyone that can't seem to get on with either a lip gloss or a lipstick as a lacquer is the perfect inbetween. Barely any of the colours are subtle though, so be careful with your choice!