Friday, 30 September 2011

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is....


Congratulations Vijaya! (I'll be sending you an e-mail shortly), and a big thank you to everyone who entered. 

 I just wanted to take a moment to apologise for the lack of posts recently. The last few weeks have been a bit hectic and I've also been a little bit unwell, so I've been taking a small break from blogging. I do intend to start posting a little bit more regularly now, and also to catch up on all of the posts I've missed over the last couple of weeks.

I hope everyone's well and you all have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Make Up Mavens Weekly Round-up

 Christina of Lovesong for my Lipgloss loves her Pokemon.  But in all seriousness, she shows us some products that are worth splurging on all the colors.

Klara of Mookie on the Bench shows her sister that makeup, even blue eyeshadow(!) can be fun and pretty and brings us a gorgeous sleeper in a Catrice eyeshadow

Nat of Raspberry Rouge really does find the best deals!  This week, she brings us her latest discount find, Korres Lip Butters, and lets us know why we all need them.  Although, stick form might be best.

Nisha of Product Doctor has found a new My lips but better lipstick, in a sexy black box!  Check out her review of Tom Ford Coco Ravish.  

The Black Panties shares some gorgeous goodies in her What's in my make up bag post.

And some other posts I loved:

Those who suffer from Psoriasis might want to check out this review on Pai Skincare.  I know it made me want to try it.

Musings of a Muse has been showing us a bunch of different holiday collections (I know it's only September but I love the holidays and holiday collections.)  I am especially excited for the sets that Tarte will be offering!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Korres Lip Butters: Quince & Wild Rose

Korres Lip Butters are something I'd been wanting to try for quite a while, so when I spotted they were reduced in a recent Lookfantastic sale, I snapped up a couple of the shades I'd had my eye on. They're described as rich, buttery lip balms that melt on the lips and offer a shiny, tinted finish. They're formulated without Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Fragrances, Petrochemicals, Phthalates and Triclosan.

Korres Lip Butters: Quince & Wild Rose

There are seven different shades available in the range, most of which offer a sheer tint of colour. I opted for Wild Rose, which looks to be the darkest of the available colours, and Quince, which is a pretty, rose pink shade.

Korres Lip Butters

Quince adds a touch of sheer, very subtle, pink colour to my fairly pigmented lips, and Wild Rose adds a pretty, red tint. They're both delicately scented, but Quince smells slightly stronger than Wild Rose, which has a faint, fresh floral scent.

Korres Quince & Wild Rose

Korres Quince & Wild Rose

The consistency of both balms is really lovely. They have an almost gel type texture which is quite thick and turns into a soft, buttery balm when it's warmed. They glide over lips smoothly, adding a delicate hint of natural colour, and leave behind a shiny, non sticky tint, which hydrates brilliantly. The formula actually feels like it sinks into lips, instead of sitting on top of them, and really does work well at hydrating and softening.

Top: Quince & Bottom: Wild Rose

Overall, I'm really impressed with korres Lip Butters. The colours are really pretty, the formula feels great and the subtle scent is lovely. The only thing I'm not overly keen on, is the packaging. The tubs are really pretty to look at, but not particularly hygienic, so I think I'll be purchasing the stick versions next time. They really are fantastic balms, though and I definitely recommend checking them out if you haven't tried them. They're available from quite a few different sites where they cost around £6.00 for 6g of product and they're also available at Lookfantastic where they're currently on sale for £4.80.

Korres Lip Butter Ingredients

Have you tried Korres Lip Butters? What do you think of them?

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Make Up Mavens Weekly Round-up

This week we've got a fabulous selection of posts on skincare, makeup and nails so all bases covered. Add to that brands like Ellis Faas, Chanel, Chantecaille and Le Metier de Beaute along with a special giveaway, there is sure to be something you'll enjoy. Have a great weekend!

The Black Panties has a new favourite in her life, in the form of Ellis Faas Skin Veil Foundation. Read her excellent review to see if it could be your own 'photoshop in a bottle'!

Lovesong For My Lipgloss shares with us her skincare version of a cashmere sweater, Chantecaille Vital Essence. Her comprehensive review explains why it works so well.
Lipstick Luvvies tried out the latest limited edition nail shades, Les Jeans de Chanel, and searched her collection for similar colours. See how she got on and swatches of the trio here.

If you've always wanted to try Liz Earle's famous Cleanse and Polish, check out Raspberry Rouge's Liz Earle Giveaway and you could be a winner!

Mookie on the Bench tempts us with more Chanel, this time sharing her favourite shade of Chanel Le Crayon Yeux, the beautiful Berry.

Product Doctor's post on her bespoke Le Metier EOTD by Dustin featuring the latest Kaleidoscope, Silk Road, once again makes me green with envy (no Le Metier in Europe) and consider moving to New York!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

September GlossyBox - 5 Future Classics

I received my third GlossyBox in the post this morning and thought I'd share a quick post on it. As with the other two boxes I've received, September's contains some really lovely products, two of which are full size!

L'Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil (Full Size)
Enriched with a special blend of avocado and grape seed oil, this lightweight oil cares and pampers for all hair types. Intensely nourishing even the finest hair, the formula leaves hair looking shiny and feeling supple

Plum by Mary Greenwell EDP 1.5ml
Plum is the signature fragrance of celebrity makeup artist, Mary Greenwell. A stunning chypre with a memorable, modern twist

HD Brows Eye & Brow Palette (full Size)
Eyebrow experts HD Brows have developed this fantastic multi-use palette containing four matte eye-brow colours. They double up as an eye shadow and eyeliner as well as lasting 24 hours

StriVectin SD Eye Concentrate 7ml
A multi-dimensional eye cream targeting crow's feet, dark circles and puffiness around the eyes

Nuxe Oil
Huile Prodigieuse is a multi-function and multi usage dry oil made of 6 precious oils with 98% natural ingredients, no preservatives and no silicone. This must have oil hydrates, softens and beautifies face, body and hair.

I've only briefly looked through all the different products and haven't had chance to try anything properly yet, but I imagine I'll actually use everything I received this month. The brow palette looks fantastic, the EDP smells beautiful and I'm looking forward to trying both of the oils and eye cream.

What goodies did you receive in your GlossyBox this month?

Friday, 16 September 2011

Quick Review: Soap & Glory Hand Food & Heel Genius

Just thought I'd write a quick post on a couple of little gems I've discovered from the Soap & Glory range recently. I've heard lots of great things about the brands bath, body and skincare products over the past few months, but only actually got round to trying a few items from the range fairly recently. I picked up a couple of skincare products, which I'd read positive reviews on, and I also grabbed a hand cream (Hand Food) and a foot cream (Heel Genius), which I thought I'd write a post on.

Hand Food

Soap & Glory Hand Food
First up is the brand's hand cream,  which is described as a non greasy hand cream enriched with shea butter, macadamia oil and marshmallow. 

Now I've tried quite a few different hand creams which claim to be non greasy, but most of them seem to leave some sort of residue behind, which I personally really dislike. I'm happy to report that Hand Food is, as Soap & Glory promise, non greasy. It feels quite light, smells delicious and soaks in really quickly. It does a great job at hydrating and soothing hands and cuticles and the lovely smell lingers for quite a while after I've applied it too. I wouldn't say it's the most "Astonishing" hand cream I've tried, but it does do what it promises and it's a pleasure to use.

It's quite reasonably priced at £2.35 for a 50ml tube, too!

Heel Genius

Soap & Glory Heel Genius
Next up is the brand's foot cream, which is described as a miraculous moisturising mix and contains Allantoin, Glycerin, Macadamia oil and orange and lemon fruit acid to soften and smooth.

Like Hand Food, it has quite a light texture and it smells amazing. It's kind of fresh and fruity, but slightly sweet and really lingers after it's been rubbed in. I apply quite a generous amount of the blue cream each evening and I find it sinks in really fast, and like the hand cream, it doesn't feel greasy or oily. It softens and hydrates well and leaves my feet feeling smooth and lovely and soft. 

It's not the most intensive foot moisturiser I've tried and I still use a foot oil a couple of times a week, but it's great as an in between cream to maintain softness and hydration. It costs £5.11 for a 125ml tube, which I think is a bit of a bargain. Soap & Glory products are currently on a 3 for 2 offer at Boots too.

Overall, I'm really quite pleased with both of my Soap & Glory purchases. They both work well and they both smell lovely. The only thing I'm not particularly fond of, is the busy, pink packaging, but as long as the goodies on the inside work, I'm not too bothered about the colour of the tubes.

Have you tried either of these? What do you do you think of them? 
Are there any hero products from the brand that I need to try?

Lookfantastic Sunset Sale!

A quick post to let you know that Lookfantastic currently have a sunset sale going on and have lots of great products reduced, including items from the Becca Fall collection. 

I've already grabbed a few bargain goodies from Korres and Hei Poa, but the Becca Fall polishes, which have 20% off, are also calling my name.

There's free delivery on all orders (including international) and the sale ends on the 26th of September.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

My First Empties Post!

I decided to clean out my bathroom cabinet last month and was quite shocked at how many lotions and potions I'd managed to store away in there. When I'd finished going through everything, I decided to set myself a little goal to try and use up some of them. I didn't actually do well with the things I'd planned on finishing, but I still managed to create a nice little pile of empty bottles, tubes and tubs over the past month.


Moroccanoil - I really wanted to finish my little 25ml bottle of Moroccanoil because I also have a full size bottle waiting to be used, which I purchased shortly after testing out my mini, sample size. I have fine hair and don't normally get on well with oils, but this leaves it soft, smooth and glossy and doesn't weigh it down. I love the scent of Moroccanoil and I love how it cuts down on drying time too, it's great stuff.

Dr Sebagh Mask

Dr Sebagh Deep Exfoliating Mask - I've already mentioned this on quite a few occasions so I wont ramble on about it too much. It's expensive stuff, but it's worked really well at helping to reduce acne scarring and blemishes and the above pot lasted a good year with me using it once a week, so I'll definitely be buying another tub soon.

Dior Cleansing gelee

Dior Cleansing Gelee for Face, Lips and Eyes - I picked this up a while ago, mainly because it was reduced. It feels lovely and removes make up (including waterproof mascara) really well, but it's pretty expensive. I would probably buy it again at a reduced price, but I'm not sure I'd pay full price for it, because there are lots of similar products out there that remove make up just as well and cost a whole lot less.

Weleda Pomegranate Body Oil

Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil - I received this in my first GlossyBox and I absolutely love the stuff. It hydrates really well without feeling greasy and it smells divine. I've already bought myself another bottle and I'm tempted to try out some of the other Weleda oils on offer too.

Murad Acne Cleanser

Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser - This was another GlossyBox item. I've heard quite a lot of good things about Murad products, so I was looking forward to giving this a go. I've been using it almost everyday since I received it and it is quite nice, but I can't say I've noticed any positive improvements in blemishes or blocked pores, so I wont be replacing this.

Alpha Hydroc Souffle

Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle - I've used this on and off for a couple of years now and it's really helped to fade acne scars and has also helped with blocked pores. I haven't decided on whether I'm going to re-purchase yet, because I'm currently testing out a few other glycolic acid products which I seem to be getting on well with. They're slightly more expensive than Alpha Hydrox, but they're much easier to get hold of here. 

These are actually the first products I've finished in quite a while and I'd forgotten how good it feels to have a little pile of empties. I know there aren't loads of items there, but it's a start and it's made me determined to use up some more of the products I've squirreled away. I may even have a go at trying to finish some make up next month! 

Have you managed to finish any products recently?

Monday, 12 September 2011

Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion

My eyes are one area of my face that I don't normally pay much attention to. They're not particularly sensitive, or easily irritated and I don't really have any major problems with dark circles. They do occasionally look a little bit puffy though and feel a little bit heavy and tired, which is where Eyebright comes in handy. I was sent a bottle of Liz Earle's Soothing Eye Lotion around a month ago and it's become a firm favourite and a part of my routine that I really look forward to each evening.

Here's what Liz Earle have to say about Eyebright: 

Wake up and revitalise eyes with cotton wool pads soaked in this gentle, soothing herbal lotion before using Cleanse & Polish. Naturally active ingredients include the grassland herb – eyebright, witch hazel, organic aloe vera and cornflower to help tone, cool and refresh tired, puffy or sore eyes.

Liz Earle Eyebright

The lotion can actually be used in two ways. You can either sweep it over lids and lashes to quickly cool and sooth, or you can soak two cotton pads, place them over your eyes and let them sit for 5-10 minutes. I've been using the lotion as a compress soak after I've removed my make up and the delicately scented lotion does a fantastic job at cooling and soothing. The scent is much more subtle than most of the other products I've tried from the Liz Earle range (I mainly smell witch hazel) and it feels light, non greasy and refreshing. It really does help to reduce any puffiness and my eyes look much brighter and fresher after using it.

Eyebright also does a brilliant job at removing any last traces of stubborn eye make up and I've even been using it to tidy up any mascara or eye liner mistakes. A cotton bud dipped in the solution works really well at cleaning up any small smudges or smears and doesn't leave any sort of greasy residue behind after. It really does do an excellent job at removing eye make up without being harsh or irritating.

Overall, it's a great little product that I really enjoy using. It's a nice pick me up for tired eyes and I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you suffer with irritation or puffiness, or if you're looking for a really gentle cleanser to remove light eye make up. It's available from the Liz Earle site where it costs £10.00 for a 150ml bottle, or you can purchase a smaller 50ml trial bottle for £5.00.

Eyebright Ingredients

Have you tried Eyebright? 
Do you have any tips or tricks for reducing puffiness or dark circles?

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Essie Vanity Fairest

The lovely Liz of Beauty Reductionista did a fab post on a half moon mani recently, using Chanel's Graphite. I decided to have a little go myself this morning, but unfortunately, it didn't turn out well. Actually, it looked terrible and I ended up removing everything before it even had chance to dry. I decided to go with something simple after the nail art disaster and opted for an old favourite from Essie, Vanity Fairest.

Essie Vanity Fairest

Vanity Fairest is a sheer, pale pink shade with some very delicate shimmer, which is barely visible on nails. It's a colour I reach for a lot when I don't want to wear brights or darks and just want my nails to look fresh, clean and pretty.

Essie Vanity Fairest (3 coats)

The photo shows what the shade looks like with three coats. I normally apply two and get a lovely, sheer pink colour, but I managed to mess up application slightly today and did a cover up job with a third coat. Three coats resulted in a slightly uneven, gloopy finish, but after the nail art fiasco, I didn't have the patience to remove it and start again.

A few other favourites: Marshmallow, Rock Candy & Pink Glove service

Essie Vanity Fairest, Marshmallow, Rock Candy & Pink Glove Service

All in all, it's a pretty, natural, my nails but better shade, and is one of my favourite sheer pinks from the many on offer in the Essie range.

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend! 

The Make Up Mavens Weekly Round-up

Searching for a tinted moisturizer? Check out Lipstick Luvvies review on Liz Earle Sheer Skin tint and see how it comapres to Laura Merciers. Liz Earle's might be an even better option for you.
Now that the summer is coming to a close, Lovesong for My Lipgloss has been inspired to create the perfect eye for fall and it's something definitely helpful for autumn makeup looks.

Mookie On The Bench's highlight of the week is Elie Saab's "Le Parfum". The orange blossom and jasmine are the primary notes and even though you may not like florals, don't totally dislike it, because it's soft and seamless effect on the skin.

Check out Product Doctor's blog on meeting Oscar de la Renta for Fashion and her overall thoughts on the Face of Fashion Kaleidoscope. You get to see her lovely face with Oscar de la Renta in an epic photo :) 

Raspberry Rouge discusses Cliniques Black Honey Lipgloss/Lipstick Duo. 10 years ago she thought it was a bit too dark for her liking, go check to see how she feels about it now.

Always hunting for an awesome blush brush? Stop on over to The Black Panties blog to see the differences are between Shu Uemura's #17 and #14 blush brushes, so you can see which one would be a perfect fit for you :)

Friday, 9 September 2011

Clinique Limited Edition High Impact Mascara

I was recently sent a few products to try from the Clinique Black Honey fall collection, and among them was the brands new, limited edition High Impact Mascara.

Clinique High Impact Mascara

Now, I've not tried the original High Impact mascara, but as far as I can tell from the Clinique site, the new version is the same as the original but is packaged in a silver tube instead of the usual black. 

Here's what Clinique say about High Impact:
 Packaged in sleek Limited Edition silver packaging, this instant gratification mascara delivers intense, glamorous, dressed-up lashes in a flash.  Women crave long, thick, lashes and that's exactly what Clinique's multi-benefit High Impact Mascara delivers - dramatic volume and length, fast!

Clinique High Impact

If you've read any of my other mascara related posts, you may have noticed me mention that I'm quite picky about them. I tend to go for mascaras which add volume, but still look and feel quite natural. I'm not really a fan of over the top, dramatic lashes (on me) and I don't like 'wet' formulas, which I find to be quite messy and difficult to apply. The brush is important for me too. A few that I've tried recently have had quite large brushes, which I find also makes application on my small ish eyes a little bit tricky.

Clinique's High Impact brush is small enough for me to to able to apply product evenly and allows me to get into the tricky areas without making a mess. It's a soft, fairly dense, bristle type brush which pulls through lashes easily and coats and defines well.

Clinique High Impact Brush

The actual formula also applies well. It separates nicely, adds a decent amount of length and thickens without looking clumpy. I've attempted a couple of before and afters below to show you the results. The photos show what lashes look like after using one coat of High Impact, I've found the mascara builds well too though, if you're going for a more dramatic result.

Top: Without Mascara & Bottom with High Impact
High Impact adds quite a lot of length to my short lashes, but it also adds a nice amount of volume and darkens well too. One of the things I really do like about the formula, is that it doesn't leave my lashes feeling stiff or heavy. They're still soft and feel nice and light and natural. I've found the formula also wears excellently. I've had no problems at all with smearing, smudging or flaking and it actually holds a curl nicely as well.

As Above

Overall, I'm really quite impressed with High Impact. It's easy to apply, does what it promises to do, holds up well, and is fairly easy to remove. I'm pleased with the thickening and lengthening results I get from it and I really like the soft, perfectly sized brush, which allows me to apply product precisely and without making a mess. 

The Limited Edition High Impact Mascara is available now and costs £15.00 for a 7ml tube. 

PR Sample

Have you tried Clinique's High Impact? What do you think of it?

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Quick Review: Guerlain Cupidon Lip Pencil

I used Guerlain's Cupidon pencil for the first time in a little while this morning and thought I'd do a quick post on it. I actually ordered the pearly, pink pencil by mistake around a year ago, thinking it was a regular lip pencil. Why I was even looking for a such a pale lip liner, I have no idea, but what I actually ended up with is a highlighting pencil designed to be used on the cupids bow.

Guerlain Cupidon Lip pencil

Cupidon is supposed to be applied to the skin just above the upper lip and the idea is that it gives the illusion of fuller looking lips. I can't say I notice a huge difference in fullness when I apply it, but the pinky, beige pencil definitely helps to enhance and gives an overall pretty effect. It leaves a very delicate sheen after it's been blended and creates a slight highlight which enhances and defines the shape of lips.

Guerlain Cupidon 00

I've seen Cupidon described as a creamy beige shade, but I'd describe it as a pale, almost frosty, pinky-beige. I've applied quite a lot of the colour to my arm in the swatch - it actually looks a lot more subtle when it's been applied with a light hand. The pencil itself is really excellent quality, it's creamy, draws well and doesn't budge after it's been applied.

Geurlain Cupidon Swatches

All in all, Cupidon is a great little product which does do what it promises, it's just something I don't find myself reaching for often. I'd describe it as more of a pretty, finishing touch product, than an essential one, and for that reason, I probably wouldn't re-purchase. I've found a tiny bit of NARS Copacabana applied just above the lip creates a similar result and I'm sure the same effect could be achieved with other highlighters too. 

Have you tried Cupidon or a similar lip highlighting product?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Giveaway!

Liz Earle have very kindly offered to give you lovely readers the chance to win a Cleanse & Polish Starter Kit, which contains a 100ml bottle of their award winning Hot Cloth Cleanser and two muslin cloths!

If you'd like to enter, please make sure you're following via Google Friend Connect and please leave a comment below with your e-mail address, so I can contact you if you win. You can gain an extra entry by either posting about the giveaway on your blog, or tweeting about it. (Please let me know if do either),

The giveaway is international so everyone's welcome to enter and the winner will be chosen using on the 30th of September.

Good luck!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Clinique Black Honey Lipgloss/Lipstick Duo

Black Honey Lipstick and Lip gloss duo is one of the limited edition products from Clinique's 2011 Fall collection, which consists of berry and violet shades inspired by the cult favourite lip colour.

The dual ended lip product contains two different versions of the iconic shade, an almost lipstick and a long last glosswear. 

Clinique Black Honey Lipgloss/Lipstick Duo

The lipstick looks a little bit scary in the tube, but the dark brown/eggplant becomes more of a subtle, sheer, berry shade once it's applied. On my lips, it just adds a hint of colour which enhances my natural lip tone. The Almost Lipstick formula feels soft, light weight and balm like, perfect for those who don't like the feel or texture of lipstick or gloss. I've found lasting power to be pretty good and I find the formula to be quite hydrating too. It wears well and leaves my lips feeling comfortable.

Clinique Black Honey Lipstick

The complementary gloss shade is slightly more pigmented than the lipstick, but is still sheer and leaves lips with a pretty, glossy version of the berry shade. It almost looks like a shiny stain and creates a "just-bitten" look. The formula is quite thick and feels a little bit tacky on lips, but it's comfortable and fairly long lasting for a gloss. Applied over the Almost Lipstick version, it enhances the intensity slightly and creates a slighter deeper, glossy version of the berry shade.

Clinique Black Honey Gloss

Below are swatches of the two products. The lipstick is on the left and the gloss on the right.

Clnique Black Honey Duo

And here's what the products look like applied. Just the lipstick in the first photo and both the lipstick and gloss in the second.

Clinique Black Honey Lipstick
Clinique Black Honey Gloss

I must have been about sixteen or seventeen when I first tried Clnique's Black Honey and at the time, the shade didn't really wow me. I was more of a fan of soft, pinky nudes, and Black Honey was a little bit too dark for my taste. After giving the colour another go almost ten years later, I have to say, I've completely changed my mind. I'm not sure if Clinique have changed the colour slightly, or if I just remember the shade being darker than it actually is, but the berry shade works well at enhancing my natural lip colour and is perfect for days when I'm going for a 'no make up look' and want a subtle, barely there lip colour. 

Available now from the Clinique site, counters and department stores where it costs £17.50.

(PR Sample)
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