Friday, 25 April 2014

What's the best form of hair removal?

With these lovely summer months coming everyone is going to be freeing their legs from the confines of thick wooly socks and trousers and letting them breath, I can't wait to start wearing more of my summery skirts and dresses! But with this comes having to make sure that your legs are defuzzed and smooth, and this becomes high maintenance in summer. During the winter you can get away with neglecting it a little bit as you are so covered up with layers all the time, but having furry legs out in the sun is just not attractive...

So this got me thinking, what's the best form of hair removal? I've tried a few of them and not been overly wow-ed by any yet so suggestions are very much welcome!

I got introduced to hair removal through shaving (as do most people probably) and this is still my go to method. It's just quick and easy to do, whack a bit of shaving foam on, shave the hair off, rinse - done! Ok it can be a bit fiddly around your knees and ankles but with a bit of practice you learn how to do them areas without injuring yourself. The downsides though - it thickens the hairs so they grow back looking worse, it grows back really quickly (as in a matter of days) and blades can get quite pricey for decent ones. 

I tried having my legs and underarms waxed in a proper salon back before Christmas (for the holidays) and it just wasn't for me. That agony went on for one hour and it seemed to snap a lot of my hairs near the skin rather than actually remove the root, which meant that it grew back in pretty much the same length of time as when I shave. Plus it had the added extra of being quite painful when it grew back, I had ingrown hairs EVERYWHERE, especially down my shins. I tried exfoliating, moisturising, soaking and everything else that was suggested but it didn't really help. To be honest, this only happened on my legs so I would happily continue having my armpits waxed but I felt in mild amounts of pain for weeks whilst the hairs on my legs grew and managed to break through the skin. So never again with the leg waxing!

I've also tried those hair removal creams that you can buy. I found the smell pretty repulsive and kind of hung around on your skin for a day or 2 afterwards (yes, I did wash). It was also slightly awkward having to paste them on your skin carefully so that it doesn't burn a hole through your bathroom tiles and stand around for the required time period. That said though, I loved the results from these creams and it did seem to take longer for the hair to grow back after using. So I did quite like this method, it would just be quite expensive having to keep purchasing bottles of hair removal cream, it could end up getting quite pricey.

So I'm still on the fence about what is best to use. I'll stick with shaving for now as that seems to be working out ok but I'd just rather find something a bit longer lasting that works for me. So if you have any suggestions/ recommendations for me that would be brilliant! All comments are very much welcomed and appreciated :)

My favourite neutral lips

It may be pretty obvious to many by now, but I have an obsession with lipstick...I won't leave the house without some sort of colour on my lips, it just pulls a look together. Sadly for work I can't really get away with wearing my bright reds and purples that I love, so instead I like to wear a nice neutral/nude shade. I got thinking last night about what my favourite lips for work were and managed to narrow it down to these four (I told you I had far too many!)

So clockwise from top left we have Sleek Pout Polish in shade Bare Minimum 963, Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in shade 206 Nude Pink, Rimmel Moisture Renew Lisptick in shade 125 To Nude or Not To Nude? and finally my Seventeen Supreme Shine Lipstick in shade Bella.

So first, Seventeen Supreme Shine's contribution. I have already given a detailed review of this lipstick here but I love it so much that I couldn't leave it out of my Top Nudes list. Since buying it I pretty much where this lipstick every day. It's so soft and moisturising on the lips and is a gorgeous colour.

This moisture renew lipstick does just that, it gives such great hydration to the lips and doesn't show up any patches that may be on the dry side. It's a gorgeous shimmery beige-nude shade and has great pigmentation. It glides so easily on to the lip and although being quite subtle, it looks lush! If you are not a fan of shimmer based lipsticks than this is probably not for you, but if you are a fan then you should definitely add this to your collection. (This is shimmery not glittery)

I love this lipstick because it is a pink shade of nude, all the others I have are more of a beige nude. So this is my one differing one! This is one I have recently repurchased as I have been wearing it a lot, that's how much I love the colour. This lipstick is really durable, so it fits it's name perfectly. I easily get 3-4 hours out of this before it needs touching up. The colour pigmentation is also lovely, a nice gentle pink that looks great on the lip.

This offering from Sleek is different from the others in the fact that this is a tinted lip balm as opposed to a lipstick. It is a pale beige nude and does feel super-hydrating on the lips. The texture is that which you would expect from a balm and does leave a slight sheen on the lips with a subtle hint of colour. If great pigmentation is what you are after than this is probably not for you but it is great for a more natural look. I usually use this over the top of other lipsticks as well as it keeps the lips hydrated and I like the sheen it gives.

So there's my top 4 neutral shades. I am quite surprised that there aren't any high end products but I tend to buy these in the bright shades that I prefer to wear when I'm not having to tone down for work! Are any of your favourites in my list? If not, what are yours? All comments are very welcomed!

Sleek Pout Polish is available from Boots here for £4.49
Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick is available from Boots here for £4.99
Rimmel Moisture Renew lipstick is available from Boots here for £6.49
Seventeen Supreme Shine lipstick is available exclusively from Boots here for £4.99

Boots currently also have a lot of make-up brands on 3 for 2 across all brands, the above are included :)

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Reverse washing - just not for me??

As you may have seen, the new big hair care 'thing' is reverse washing. This involves conditioning your hair before shampoo-ing it (hence 'reverse') and it's supposed to leave your hair feeling lighter and more cared for as using shampoo second means you wash away any conditioner residue that was left in your hair. In theory this sounded like a really good idea so I was keen to try it, but was disappointed to find that actually I really don't like it this way round. I like my usual routine that I have always done!

I reverse washed my hair on three seperate occasions with my Tigi Bed Head Colour Goddess Shampoo and Conditioner. I chose these because the conditioner is really thick and nourishing as it is designed to protect coloured hair, and so I hoped the effects would last through the shampooing.

I found that applying conditioner to hair that hadn't just been cleaned just felt...weird? It didn't feel like it went nicely on my hair and really absorb. I did leave it for a few minutes like you usually would with a conditioner before rinsing it off and shampooing. I found that the shampoo did really foam, a lot more than usual, very odd. But it left my hair really knotty. It may just be that I have hair that is just prone to knotting at the earliest convenience but half the point of conditioner to me is to ease out the tangles caused by the shampooing process, if you don't condition second all those knots are left in! Very painful detangling session after.

But I perservered, even though I wasn't really loving it at this point. I had visions of having big, beautiful, glossy hair for all my efforts, but sadly I didn't notice any real difference to when I 'forward wash' (is that what we call the 'normal' way of washing now?!). It looked exactly the same to me. Disappointing :(

It may just be because I don't wash my hair everyday, choosing to leave it at least a couple of days between washes, so maybe with the dry shampoo in my hair still when conditioning it didn't allow the conditioner to soak in properly? Also, I have really fine hair so maybe with really fine hair the effects just aren't as noticeable?

Has anyone else tried reverse washing? Did you have the same results as me or did you find it worked really well (I'll pretend I'm not jealous). Would be nice to get some feedback to see where I went wrong!

All comments, as always, are very welcome. I ensure that I read them all and reply if possible :)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Seventeen - Supreme Shine Lipstick

I think in my last post on Seventeen lipsticks (here) I was pretty unimpressed by the brand from Boots. I am now eating my words though, as my new favourite nude lipstick is from this very brand! It is one of their Supreme Shine Lipsticks in shade Bella and I love it.

Shade Bella is a brown nude and has a gorgeous shimmery sheen to it. The pigmentation is great (much better than from the Mirror Shine Lipsticks from this brand) and really shows up brilliantly on the lips. It is quite durable for a low cost brand as well, it lasted at least 2-3 hours on my lips before having to do any touch ups. It applies so smoothly to the lips and doesn't cling to dry patches, so is really good for all lips. Lastly, it feels quite moisturising on the lips as well. Just a perfect lipstick!

Supreme Shine Lipstick comes in a mirrored tube and is quite chunky but in a good way. There is a choice of 13 shades, ranging from deep reds to light nudes but I would definitely recommend Bella, I'm also tempted to get All About the Sass - a dark, wine red shade. Lush!

Seventeen Supreme Shine Lipsticks are available here on in Boots Stores for £4.99 each

Fitness - exercise routine

I've been trying to get in to an exercise routine the last couple of months. It started off as just trying to get in shape for the wedding and make sure I still fit in my bridesmaid dress (I got fitted for it a year ago when I first returned from living abroad and was nice and slim). But now that I have been sticking to my routine for a while, I really feel much better in myself and have loads more energy so am keen to stick to it and incorporate other exercises in to it.

When I first started I was just doing my own work-out in the gym and was finding it difficult to stay motivated, then I discovered spinning classes (mentioned in my earlier blog post here). Through this I realised how much more effort I put in when in a group than on my own, my competitive streak made me push myself harder to keep up with everyone else. So I then branched out to other classes as well. So here is my current weekly exercise routine:

Monday evening - 45 minute spinning
Tuesday evening - 1 hour body pump
Wednesday morning - 45 minute spinning
Thursday night - 1 hour body pump
Friday morning - 45 minute spinning.
Saturday - rest
Sunday - rest

Spinning is an excellent cardio work out whereas body pump is based around weights and resistance training. I like to balance these two as the cardio helps burn calories whereas body pump helps tone my muscles (any that I may have!). I think it's good to get a balance of the two in order to get the most out of your weekly routine. It's also really important to get at least one rest day a week for your body to recover, allowing your muscles to repair.

In order to keep things new and changing, I also bought myself a yoga mat to do some floor exercises at home. I know this may seem really depressing to most people but I was so excited to get this!!

I read recently (I think in Cosmo) that you burn nearly twice as many calories in your sleep if you do light exercise before bed than if you don't so my main reason for getting this was so that I could do some floor exercises at home before I went to bed. I'm also going to get some light hand-weights so that I can do some of the routines I learnt in body pump at home also.

So that's my routine! I try to keep changing it up every now and then so that my body doesn't get used to it and continues getting the most out of my exercises. Do you have a routine that you stick to? Or maybe you like to just do your own thing? All comments are welcome!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Urban Decay Dupe - Next

I have been keeping my eye out for dupes again this weekend, and it seems that Next has come up a winner again! I found this eye shadow palette in Next and it is a perfect dupe for the Urban Decay Naked Palette (the first one) - and is only £7!!!. It is from the brand W7 and is called In the Buff Natural Nudes.

This palette, like the Urban Decay palette, is comprised of both matte and shimmer shades but mainly shimmer. It also includes a double-ended applicator, in much the same way as the Urban Decay version.

The pigmentation is actually really brilliant, I wasn't expecting great things from such a small price tag but I was very impressed. The shimmers show up much better than the mattes on the skin, the first colour on the left of the palette does not show at all on my skin but apart from that all the others are great. I'm also not majorly impressed by the applicator brush but I prefer to use my own brushes anyway.

The eyeshadows themselves are easy to apply, blend and build up to create whatever style you're after. The texture is nice and soft mainly, one of the matte's feels slightly on the chalky side but I find a lot of matte shadows are similar. There is slight fall out but nothing too extreme, nothing a face wipe couldn't fix!

All-in-all, I am very glad I found this palette as I have been lusting after the Urban Decay Naked Palette for a while. Now I have one that's incredibly similar for a mere fraction of the price. It seems like Next are the place to go for dupes at the moment, I also bought myself a big bottle of Sparkle!!

Have you tried any of the make-up from Next? Are there any dupes from there that you like to use? All comments are more than welcome!

Liebster Blog Awards

Firstly, a big thank you to Not Now Rachel for nominating me! It's greatly appreciated and means a lot to have my blog noticed :) Right, so here are the questions that she has asked me and my answers!

1) Why did you start blogging?
I have loved sharing make-up tips and products with my friends and family for ages and then I discovered the world of blogging and I knew it was for me. Not just for me to give my reviews and opinions but to discover other people's as well.

2) Who do you aspire to be most like?
So many people to choose... I think I'll go with Beyonce (who wouldn't want to have Beyonce's life). But also the fact that she is so driven and determined, that is definitely a quality I respect in a person and I aspire to be like that myself.

3)Who is your favourite blogger/vlogger/viner etc.
I really enjoy Miss Budget Beauty's blog, there are a lot of helpful tips and she really helps influence future products for me to try out.

4)What song is currently stuck in your head, and why should it be stuck in ours too?
I can't stop singing Marilyn Monroe by Pharrell at the moment. My boyfriend bought his album at the weekend and has literally been listening to it non-stop ever since - luckily it is a brilliant album!

5)Got any future plans?
Long or short-term? Erm... nothing set in stone really. Continue with my blog, hopefully make it something I'm really proud of. Find a job that I really love and that makes me happy. Enjoy myself!

6)What is your biggest dream?
To become a superstar DJ! I have no musical talent whatsoever but there is no harm in dreaming big!

7)What are you most likely to spend all your money on?
Lipstick, it really is a compulsion!! Either that or nice meals out with my boyfriend/ friends.

8)If you were stuck on a desert island, who would you want to be with?
Ryan Gosling, I would probably need something to cheer me up if I was stuck on a desert island!

9)What is your favourite thing to write about?
Probably nail art, judging from my recent blog posts. I got a few different nail art tools recently and have really enjoyed experimenting with them, I'm sure there will be many more in the near future.

10)How long have you been blogging?
I am still VERY new to blogging, I only started at the beginning of March so it hasn't even been 2 months yet.

11)If you had to share a blog with someone, who would it be and why?
My best friend Charlotte (Bam), she is the most intelligent, focused person I know and is always honest so I think her posts would be the ones I trust the most! She also knows ridiculous amounts about make-up and skincare and, like me, spends stupid amounts on them every month!

Now, on to my questions:

1) What is your favourite pastime?
2) If you had to blog about something different to what you already do, what would it be?
3) What is the one thing you couldn't live without?
4) What is your favourite brand? Make-up or otherwise.
5) What would your ultimate day-out be?
6) Who is your style icon?
7) What is your favourite film of all time?
8) Big, bold colours or natural nudes?
9) What is your ultimate style fail?
10) Do you have a fitness regime? If so, what is it?
11) What is your favourite food?

And here are my chosen nominees:

1) Josie from Josie Loves
2) Carly from Carlywritesablog
3) Lori from Glasgow Beauty Blogger
4) Sabi from Glossaholic
5) Anna from House of Bargain
6) Katy from Sirens and Bells
7) Brianna from Brianna Babbles
8) Awaken-beauty
9) Helen from Beautiful Curiosities
10) Farzana from Beauty by Eff
11) Paula from Beauty Lover

Rules~ - Thank and link the person who nominated you- Answer the 11 questions they gave you- Nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers - Let the nominees know and set their questions
Good luck guys, hope you enjoy the questions!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

My Pay Day WIshlist

Pay Day may still be just over a week away, but I am a girl who likes to be prepared! Therefore I have begun to put together my wishlist of what to splurge my money on. It consists of a mix of high end and high street items but all I have been lusting after for a while. Here are just a few, unfortunately the list has grown out of control so I'm unable to share them all!

Firstly, it's an item from MAC

I love MAC lipsticks, they are always of a brilliant quality and are so durable. I don't own many as they are slightly out of my price range to buy often, but as a little treat to myself they are very nice. I have had my eye on shade New York Apple for ages now and so I think I am going to have to treat myself to it. Looking on their website today they are showing as currently being out of stock, I hope this isn't for long!

Makeup Revolution

Literally every eye palette from this new brand! I have read such great reviews on this brand, with all eyeshadows having great pigmentation and longevity and I just love all the eye palettes that I have seen from them. Even better, they are super affordable!! The eye palettes like the ones shown above are only £4 each, £4!!! That's an amazing price! This whole brand is worth looking at though when it comes to good quality makeup for an incredibly low price as their lipsticks start from only £1. This brand is currently only available from Superdrug online but they are definitely worth having a look at.

Real Techniques

All my brushes are starting to get a bit old now so I am looking to get some new, good quality ones. I keep reading such amazing reviews about Real Techniques recently and so I really want to have some of my own. Pictured is the core collection and I think this would be great as a starting point for a new brush set. It includes a detailer brush for applying concealer, a pointed foundation brush for liquid foundation, a buffing brush for powder or mineral foundation and a contour brush. This is available for £20.99 from FeelUnique and there is no doubt that I will be owning this in the very near future!

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet

I have read review after review about these new lip colours from Bourjois and I am yet to read any that paint them in a bad light. They look so incredible on the lip and dry to a perfect matte finish, which is my favourite lip look at the moment. My must-have of the collection is 06 Pink Pong, which is the one shown on the far right of the picture. It is such a bright, vivid pink and I think it will look perfect now the weather is hotting up (finally).

So there's just a few from my current wishlist, hopefully I shall be the proud owner of these in the very near future! Are any of them also in your wishlist? If not, what beauty products are you lusting after right now?

Nail Art - Glitter Tips

I had seen a few pictures of people painting their nails with a block colour varnish and then adding an extra dimension to it by just adding a slight amount of glitter to the tips. It gives a sophisticated, understated look that I just love. I have been meaning to try this for ages on my own nails, but when I received my Color Club Nail Lacquer in shade Heirloom Pearls I knew this was the colour to try it with (I told you their would be a post on this very soon!). These are the varnishes I used:

I used a Barry M Basecoat and Topcoat in shade 54 Clear as a base coat over the entire nail. Once this dried I applied two coats of Color Club in shade Heirloom Pearls. Once this had all dried (and I think it's quite important that it is left to dry fully) I delicately painted just the tips of my nail with Barry M in shade Silver Glitter. This is a very good, glittery topcoat as the glitter is in quite small pieces and not big chunks like you can get with some glitter. Once this had also dried I then went over the whole nail with the clear topcoat again to preserve the nail varnish and make it last longer.

And here are the results!

I adore how these came out, I don't think I have ever been so happy with the outcome of my nail art attempts. I know this was a pretty simple look to go for but it is so effective and looks so pretty and summery. I think the varnishes I chose go so well together. I had even thought that these would make great bridal nails with the satin pearl varnish and silver glitter. Classy and elegant!

What do you think of my recent dabble with nail art, are you a fan of this style also? Do you have any other suggestions for nail art techniques? Let me know, all comments are always welcome!

Monthly subscription box - Birchbox

As you may have read here, I am a lover of monthly subscription beauty boxes and so when it comes round to that time of the month when I start receiving these parcels from the postman I am one happy girl! Birchbox arrived this week, and with this month's theme being 'good enough to eat' I was definitely excited. So, the contents of the box:

This bag smelt incredible, definitely in keeping with the good enough to eat theme! I must admit, there was also a packet of Propercorn popcorn in their also but it was just so good that the bag unfortunately didn't make it home... I'll give a brief review of each product from left to right (as shown in the above picture).

Laura Mercier - Body Souffle Ambre Vanille

This literally smelt incredible. The sweet, vanilla smell is so strong that you can smell it as soon as you open up the small cotton bag within the box, and this is with it sealed in a plastic container! It is not a sickly sweet scent, just the right level of sweetness. I haven't tried this yet as I didn't want to break the foil seal and feel I have to use it up quickly, I'm sure I shall come back and write a long review on it in the near future though as it seems a really indulgent body cream and I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to fall head over heels for it! If only it didn't have a price tag slightly out of my price range...

RMK Make-up Base

I had never heard of this make before receiving it in this month's box, and if I'm perfectly honest I'm not a big user of make-up base products. I may use them from time to time if I'm going to a special event and want to attempt to make my make-up last longer but day to day I prefer not to use them. Despite this, I quite like the design of the bottle, with it's little captions covering the front. The actual product is a lot thinner than I was expecting, it's almost like a milk. I'm not sure how this will fare against my oily skin but I'll give it a try. I'm not getting myself excited over it but I've been happily surprised by products in the past. I'll keep you posted as to whether this actually manages to have a good effect on my overly oily skin!

Yin Yang Skincare Skin Cleanser

I was so pleased to receive the skin cleanser rather than the moisturiser! Not that I had anything against the moisturiser, but I currently have them coming out my ears, and I always love to try new cleansers. I was surprised to find this actually had a subtle, pleasant fragrance. I wasn't expecting it to have a scent at all, or that it would be one of those slightly chemical-y smells like you get with some. It's consistency is slightly thicker than what I was expecting for a cleanser that you apply to cotton wool to use on your face but I think that's purely because I had been getting so used to using Micellar water! Overall this seems a pretty good product and I am looking forward to incorporating it in to my daily skin care routine.

 theBalm How 'Bout Them Apples

I had heard little whisperings about theBalm products from my blog browsing and so I was quite intrigued to receive a sample of their cheek and lip stain. The sample is held in a very cute booklet packet and I love the artistry of it! The colour I received is 'Pie' but there are 6 colours in this collection altogether, they come in a palette in the full-sized product.

I have been using this as a lip stain, as I'm slightly wary of using it on my cheeks as I'm only really used to powder blushes! I love the colour and I'm so impressed by the pigmentation this contains, it really does make a big impact. I'm definitely keen to purchase the full-sized product after trying this out, people have even commented on how nice it looks, in an office full of men this really is a big compliment!! Well done theBalm!!

 Color Club Gala's Gems Collection

Oh...My...God, I love this nail varnish!! This was definitely my favourite product from my box and I'm so glad I picked this colour (Birchbox gave you the option to pick 1 of four colours from the collection). It is a beautiful pearl shade which dries to a satin finish which just looks gorgeous on the nail. It gives great coverage, the above picture is after just one coat, so really a second coat isn't even necessary. I have used this for some nail art that I was trying out last night so a post on that can be expected later today, I really love it!

So another winning box!! Do any of you subscribe to Birchbox? What did you think of this month's offerings?

Birchbox is available from here - there are many different payment plans but I use the monthly recurring subscription which is £10 per month plus a £2.95 postage fee.