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Foundation purchases are usually a nightmare for me as a reasonably priced (Under fifteen pounds!) foundation can be difficult to find in paler shades. That is until I discovered Bourjois' Healthy Mix foundation. Priced at around ten pounds it isn't bad at all for a daily wear shade. I wear shade 51 'vanille clair', which is classed as a light vanilla shade. For someone pale like me I've found it isn't QUITE the perfect match but is definitely close to it. The name 'Healthy Mix' derives from their choice of ingredients, including apricot for radiance, melon for hydradtion, apple for anti-oxidant properties and ginger for energy. It certainly smells divine! In terms of it's lasting quality I believe that it lasts well throughout the day, or even at night when out and provides good coverage with a slight matte finish. The bottle is a good size at 30ml and makes use of a pump-top to provide hygienic release of the product. I've found that control is adequate, it releases a small amount of a time and so two pumps of the nozzle is probably enough to provide good daily-wear facial coverage. I'd wholly recommend this product as a reasonably priced product, especially to those paler girls.
Voted the UK's number 1 dry shampoo, Batiste aim to provide greasy or oily hair some instant revival, providing a bit of body whilst it's at it. As a regular festival go-er come student, I often find myself dithering over Batiste's new and vast array of dry shampoos available on the market. Having tried numerous I've come to the conclusion that 'Blush' is easily one of their top three of the scented range - a genius idea for giving greasy hair a bit of revival. So what is dry shampoo? Dry shampoo is a talc-based product that aims to banish oil from the roots of the hair to provide hair with a quick refreshment when you lack the time or amenities to give it a wash. 'Blush' teams that with a girly, floral smell to mask any talc-meets-grease odour. How do you use it? Firstly - it is recommended that the can is shaken well before use. To use Batiste's dry shampoo, simple lift the can around 30cm away from the hair and spray around the roots. Give the dry shampoo a moment or two to settle and massage through the roots with your fingertips. Following this, you can brush and style your hair - or if, like me, you have curly hair, skip the brushing part and continue with styling. Does it actually work? Absolutely! Dry shampoo is a brilliant alternative to shampoo when you lack time - I use it on a morning before university if I haven't time to wash my hair as I shower, or at festivals when showering amenities are often minimal. The product definitely reduces grease but needs a bit of work to get rid of the white effect that it can often leave behind. Of course, their new 'touch of colour' range can help avoid this, too. I've found that these products are great with providing volume to the hair too, another way to indicate that your hair looks fresh and full of life. I recommend Batiste Dry Shampoo as a product for time saving and giving yourself a bit of a boost. The range boasts multiple scents, colours and sizes and you can check the full range out at batistehair.com. The product is largely available in chemists, drug-stores and numerous beauty stores around the High Street.
Ciate nail polishes go beyond the call of duty as far as a nail polish goes. They're aesthetically appealing and look wonderful at your beauty table, with it's large bottle, chic labelling, long handle and the classic black now. They are without doubt the prettiest product available on the market right now. At £9 for 13ml it's a little pricier than the average nail polish but are lovely to own and make great gifts, I've found. I own the 'My Fairy Lady' nude shade, a sheer shade that can look more opaque with two to three coats. As a one-coat polish, the product is perfect for a french manicure, it looks fresh as well as clean and reflects light nicely. With two to three coats the shade becomes more opaque and looks professional, you can't see any brush strokes as it dries out. Drying time is slightly better than average, within a minute or so depending on how many coats, but that it something normal with polishes. In terms of wear, it lasts well. I'd say that on average (I've used this product religiously since purchase) the shade lasts around 5-8 days without chipping and even so, only chips a tiny bit. As it's such a pale shade it's easily touched up and isn't really noticeable to begin with. To conclude, I'd say that as a treat, Ciate nail polishes tick SO many boxes - it looks beautiful both in bottle on nail, stays true to the colour in the bottle and is long lasting. Application is made so easy by the length of the handle and they really do think of all details, down to the curve of the bottle allowing it to fit snugly within the hand for application. For me, a 10/10 polish and one I'm so eager to stock up on slowly. Deserves MORE than the five stars!
Barry M is a wonderful make up company - I'm a long term user of their lip paints and nail polishes especially, so was chuffed to find out that the company had branched out in to nail effects, making nail art cheap and affordable to all woman. Keen to try it, I purchased the instant effects in black whilst in Superdrug for £2.99. I was intrigued to see how it would work so got right to it and applied a coat of the product on top of my grey Barry M polish. I must admit, it was definitely mesmerising to watch the polish crackle as it dried to form a pattern and it did look pretty snazzy. However, I found that it was difficult to get it looking decent across each nail as the product dried quickly and could look really streaky on one, whilst effective on the other. You can't really go over it too, to improve it as it doesn't really work as a 'two coat' polish. But on the whole, for first attempts it was alright and I was satisfied with how it looked. I do recommend that if you do not like the contrast of the black matte polish on top of a normal polish that a top coat be applied. I used a matte coat over it to allow the colour to match the black and it looked pretty good. My only issue with the product was that it doesn't seem that long lasting. From first application to second, the product (when tightly closed!) seemed thicker, gloopier and more difficult to work with. I found that the effects from the first time couldn't be matched in terms of quality on top of this and so resigned myself to it being a bit worse. Following this, I've used it a few times and found the same difficulties until I opened it one day to find the product had completely dried out. I don't know whether this was my mistake or not, but I do ensure that products are closed correctly and adequately to prevent such events taking place. In idea, the product is good. It makes nail art more accessible to those who simply don't have the time or money to get things done professionally and looks good for adding a bit of detail to an outfit or to your make up. I personally wasn't too impressed with it though, and won't be purchasing again. I shall stick to the normal shades, for sure!
As a lifestyle/beauty blogger, I'm always keen to try out products I've not encountered before. Having seen the immense popularity of Model's Own make up since reading blogs I decided to indulge using my Boots points. The nail polishes come in 14ml bottles and are priced at a reasonable £5. For what you're paying, you're getting a decent amount of polish. They're also available in a VAST array of colours ranging from neons, metallics, mattes, shimmers and special edition collections. I've since opted in 'Utopia' (a beautiful matte pink) and Nudge Beige, the shade under question. I've used this product multiple times since owning it, and have had no issues with it in terms of application. It glides on smoothly and doesn't necessarily require more than one coat to get a decent finish. I personally opt for two coats as standard but like I said, you could rest assured that one coat provides good coverage. The brush itself is a tiny bit chunky but I don't think it affects brush strokes as such. The colour itself is a decent nude, it suits all skin tones and dries very similar to how it looks in the bottle. Speaking of drying, it dries incredibly quickly, so gone are the half an hour's spent sat with your hands spread out in the air to avoid catching them on things and messing them up. I'd recommend having a go at Model's Own polishes - even if you don't want to choose the classic Nude Beige. For me, Model's Own epitomises what you'd want from a nail polish - good colours, good coverage, decent in quality and long lasting. I've found that my nails only chipped after around a week, and even so that was thanks to washing up! Model's Own can be purchased online at www.modelsown.co.uk or via Boots stores nationwide.
Firstly, a bit of context. My hair is absolutely huge - long, curly, messy. It takes a near genius product to give it some hold and it's often difficult to find a mousse that does the job. I've tried higher end brands, cheap brands and a lot of the shades of grey in between. I picked v05's mega hold mousse up in Boots for around £2.89, a reasonable price for hair care these days. On first impressions, it smells delicious. It doesn't have that clinical mousse smell typical of such products but has an enjoyable fruity scent that sticks to your locks for a while. I've actually received compliments on it, so that's always a bonus. The actual texture of the mousse is soft, springy and nice and thick. It swells to a decent size so you don't need to use a huge amount and it runs through the hair nicely, going clear as you would expect. So far, so good. As far as manipulation is concerned, it holds the hair well and did a good job of evening out and separating my curls and stayed pretty well throughout the day. Overall, a decent product which I would most probably buy again. The product boasts five benefits: climate control to prevent frizz, all day hold and volume, maximum control, shine and a uv filter to prevent damage from the environment. For me, all five boxes are ticked. I'd say that personally, my hair has felt healthy and hasn't looked caked in product when used.
Garnier BB Cream, meaning 'blemish balm' combine the benefits of skincare products and make up in one handy bottle. Prizing itself as the miracle in skin perfection, this product claims to act as a moisturiser, foundation and primer in one. Having used the product for a few weeks now I must say that I'm incredibly impressed - my skin feels hydrated, softer, smoother and looks healthy. The product feels light, almost whipped to touch yet is thick enough to provide decent coverage without looking 'cakey'. A little bit of this product goes a long way and so I do believe that for the price of ten English pounds, you are getting your money's worth ten times over. It's slowly replacing my usual foundation as the product of choice for the days when I want to look a bit more revived. The product also includes SPF 15 to help against the suns rays, an added bonus given the amount of advantages the product already has. It's not just about its use though - it smells lovely too. Available in three shades - light, medium and dark, it is fair to say that you'll be able to find a shade that adapts to your skin tone. I implore you to head to your nearest beauty retailer and have a go of Garnier's miracle BB cream, you won't revert back.
Breath of God, available at Lush stores for a mere £7 or so for 12g, is a solid perfume which develops and adapts to the skin throughout use. The product's ingredients contain: cedarwood, vetivert and sandalwood, as well as lemon, melon and neroli. As you can probably tell, these ingredients provide a blend of masculine and feminine scents to create the ideal unisex perfume. In that sense, perhaps the product should be named 'Breath of God and Goddess.' It's a super scent, it smells different on everybody who I've known to own it. I purchased this as a gift for my boyfriend and it's fast become one of his favourite products - he's owned it for around a year and there is still plenty of product left to use. In colour, it is an electric blue shade which transfers on to the skin as a clear moisturising slick of scent. The product therefore is aesthetically pleasing, with sleek black packaging teamed with the traditional Lush fonts and descriptions. Another bonus with the product is that the empty container can be kept aside and saved - once five tubs are collected you can trade them in for a fresh face mask as a thank you for helping to recycle produce. I'd say that Breath of God is an incredibly worthwhile purchase for someone who likes to try different scents. It's different from the usual atomiser and is small enough to keep in your pocket, purse or handbag when on the move.
Cuticura's Dry skin intensive hand and nail cream is a product which sits by the sink in my kitchen. It's a product which for me, repairs the damage done by daily washing up, cleaning and anything that remotely gives your hands a bit of a beating. The product claims to intensively moisturise, nourise and protect the hands and strengthen the nails. Having used this product a few times a day for the past few weeks especially I have found that my hands are softer and the skin around my nails have stopped 'fraying' around my cuticles. As well as this, I've found that my hands aren't so dry as usual and are much softer in comparison to pre-cuticura use. For the princely sum of 99p for 75ml you cannot really go wrong. The hand and nail cream boasts an 'expertly formulated' cream including glycerin and allatoin, renowned for their properties in soothing the skin. Whilst I may not be a scientist, as a regular user I've found that the product meets its claims and meets the expectations that one would expect from a daily use hand cream. It isn't invasive, but kind to the skin. I think the only thing with this product for me is that the smell isn't too 'pretty', it's just a standard smell you'd relate to hand creams and similar, not entirely groundbreaking. But for less than a pound I can't complain!
Nivea Creme is a thick, white moisturiser in a classic blue tub. Without being over the top in its appearance, the product looks as simple as it is to use and to incorporate in to a daily beauty routine. A cream that I remember my mum using when I was small and still does to this day, I owe it to her looking incredibly young at nearing fifty and am hoping for similar results! The cream is incredibly thick, which for me is a bonus as it means only a tiny amount is needed to provide full coverage for the face. It sinks in quickly, leaving your face soft and smooth and works wonderfully as a base for applying foundation. I've found that the product is long lasting and so have vowed to never pick up another moisturiser again - there isn't any need as this is the perfect product. Whilst some people may think this item is too thick for them, Nivea offer a 'softer' version in white packaging which is thinner. Nivea Creme's 200ml tub lasts months even when used twice daily, for the price it is incredibly worth while as a purchase and as a member of your beauty supplies. I cannot articulate the extent of my love for this product - it's my number one beauty item and has yet to be replaced.
Hairdresser Shaun Pulfrey once burst on our television screens on BBC entrepreneurial show Dragon's Den with a product promising to smooth knotted hair with his innovative hair brush design. Unconvinced by his claims that he could revolutionise hair care with one product, the business tycoons sent him away and most probably assumed that was the end of that. Fast forward to 2012 when persistence has paid off and you cannot go in to a Boots store nationwide without seeing the Tangle Teezer sitting proudly amongst a multitude of popular brush brands, or photographed on fashion blogs galore, and in many a woman's hand bag. This girl is no exception. I must confess, my hair can be ridiculous to manage sometimes. I have long, thick curly hair which has a tendency to dreadlock itself at the back as it rubs on the collar of my coat, or scarf. Putting a brush through my hair is enough to have me red in the face, pouring what feels like the entire contents of a bottle of conditioner on a knot the size of a tennis ball. Fed up with leaving the shower feeling like I was rapidly balding, I clicked on to Amazon and purchased an attractive purple one using a gift voucher. Ten pounds for a hairbrush felt astronomical, but the guilt was tamed by the fact I could class it as a gift to myself. Soon, it arrived in its clear, sleek packaging and I was dying to give it a try. The Claims: The Tangle Teezer claims to be a hair brush unlike any other, with its unique flexible teeth configuration, lack of handle and hand-friendly shaped head. The Tangle Teezer gives you the opportunity to apply pressure to your hair as you wish, removing pain and the creation of cuticle damage caused by dragging bristles through unyielding knots. Through regular use, the product claims to instigate the return of natural shine, thickness and body. My Verdict: The product is undoubtedly attractive - I opted for a deep purple with added glitter, but was initially struck by the numerous choices of colour and size. The original Tangle Teezer felt good in my hand and fit well despite the fact that my hands are tiny, and I could see how I could manipulate and control easier. The first issue arises from its shape though, someone who favours the left hand may find it awkward, perhaps uncomfortable. That said, your hand is physically closer to both your hair and the bristles allowing for ease of control. However, I found that for a good two weeks or so, brushing my hair wasn't pain free. It still pulled at my scalp, admittedly a lot less than normal. I found that tackling my hair as an entire entity wasn't the best option, but separating the hair in to sections allowed for smoother strokes and quicker detangling. I was no longer spending up to thirty minutes brushing my hair!That in itself is impressive and for me, almost justified the price. I'm terrified of haircuts and the likes so anything that can reduce the amount of stress I put my hair under gets the Stobbs seal of approval. Perhaps my one of my main pieces of criticism is that I'm yet to notice a difference in shine and my hair quality, but that may be because I have a mass of curls as opposed to sleeker, straighter hair where it may be more noticeable. I'm not going to rave about this product just yet, though - because I've yet to achieve a pain free experience. On the other hand, I tried it on my younger sister who is blessed with beautiful waist length hair. Gone were the screams and sharp intakes of breath before school, in its place the question 'Done already, really?' - In that respect, a one hundred percent success. The Tangle Teezer's plastic, snag-free design may not have been an instant hit with me as it has been other bloggers, but like creator Shaun Pulrey, I shall persist until the results are entirely satisfying. In short, a decent product with a hell of a lot of potential. Please do not let me experiences dissuade you, I am merely being honest about how I responded to the product.
For my birthday I was kindly given some Lush vouchers - a thoughtful gift, as I'm a huge fan of the store and the intoxicating scent never fails to have me make a pit stop inside. I love a good nosey at the vast array of products on offer. Something I've never really looked at is their facial range and so with the help of the wonderful Emma G (Liverpool store) I picked 'Angels on Bare Skin', a cleanser, amongst other items. What initially captured my attention was the fact that Lush cleansers are offered as a midpoint between those who prefer to use just water to wash their face daily (i.e. me!) and those who prefer a longer regime. I confess that I felt intimidated by the sheer amount of products on the market, each with different claims but was still curious to abandon my normal routine and give something a try. This one came at the right time as it seemed like a simple addition to my skincare routine, and having someone talk me through it definitely helped influence my purchase. Angels on Bare Skin is the most popular cleanser of the range, famed for its gentle care for all skin types. It claims to reduce redness and improve the overall health and appearance of your skin, resulting in a natural glow. How to Use: The instructions on the tub are simple - 'take a small sized amount of cleanser, mix with water, massage over your face, rinse off and pat dry.' With this in mind I had a go and enjoyed watching something resemblant of porridge oats turn in to a thick, creamy paste on my hand. The Ingredients: The cleanser's products include ground almonds which when teamed with water, turn to almond milk on the hand. Almonds, according to Lush, are an age-old product which are used for their toning and brightening properties. As well as this, vegetable glycerine to soften and moisturise, kaolin (a clay material) for grease absorption and essential oils for balance are included to ensure that the cleanser meets its needs and satisfies the skin. A final ingredient comes in the form of lavender flowers included when the product is in its rolling process. This gives the product a wonderful, natural smell that holds true to Lush's natural values. The Verdict: As someone unsure of skin care products and overwhelmed by the choices available these days, Lush's Angels on Bare Skin is a simple way of getting in to a new routine without feeling like you're essentially picking the wrong thing for your skin type. I must admit that I'm not fussed on the lavender scent as a personal preference but otherwise I can't fault it. There's something ridiculously enjoyable about watching a piece of it transform as you add water, too. I find that the ground almonds in it gave my face a gentle scrub without being too harsh and the product sat well on my face, as I gave it a minute or so to 'sink in' and give my face a treat. I think the fact that it isn't too intense or invasive as a scrub makes it perfect for daily use and provided an easy introduction in to a world of facial skincare that I've previously left unvisited. Upon washing it off and patting my face dry with a clean towel I found that I had a little pink glow that I associate with feeling fresh and have since used it twice daily for over a week now. The term 'baby face' definitely springs to mind because my skin has felt wonderfully soft and smooth from using this product. During this time I've genuinely felt excited about using a cleanser as it feels like a mini pampering session to get you feeling good about the day, or night ahead. The best thing about this product for sure is that you only need a small amount to cover the entirety of the face, meaning that the 100g tub will stand the test of time. An almost heavenly in itself product I'd be keen to repurchase upon completion of the tub! Angels on Bare Skin is available at Lush stores nationwide or online, priced at £5.95 for 100g. See the full review plus pictures at jadestobbs.blogspot.com