Monday, 7 May 2012

Burt's Bees Cranberry & Pomegranate Sugar Scrub

Those of you who read my Bye Bye Glossybox post, may remember me mention that April’s Glossybox money was spent on a Burt’s Bees set I’d had my eye on for a while. The brand’s Cranberry & Pomegranate Sugar Scrub is something I’d seen mentioned a few times on various different blogs, and seeing as I love anything cranberry or pomegranate scented, I’d really wanted to give it a go. Cheapsmells currently have a duo set on offer which includes the scrub and matching body butter, so I quickly snapped one up.

Burt's Bees Sugar Scrub

Here’s what Burt’s Bees say: This luxurious body scrub gently exfoliates to leave skin silky and soft. A deliciously sweet blend of cranberry seeds and pomegranate oil combine with natural sugar crystals and shea butter to gently polish and condition skin leaving it feeling healthy, smooth and glowing, naturally.

Burt's Bees Cranberry & Pomegranate Sugar Scrub. Looks delicious, doesn't it?

I think one of the main reasons I’ve been wanting to try this stuff for a while, is how delicious it always seems to look in photos. In the pot, the dark red scrub almost looks like a tasty sorbet or jam that’s good enough to eat! And it smells divine. When you screw off the lid, you’re met with a heavenly, sweet, fruity scent that really is yummy.

The scrub is 100% natural and contains a whole host of lovely ingredients and oils including coconut, soybean, sunflower, shea, and of course, pomegranate and cranberry. It’s also packed full of lovely exfoliating particles, which really do a fabulous job at smoothing rough and dry patches. It does leave behind a bit of an oily film (on me and in the shower) after I’m done scrubbing, but you know what? I really don’t mind, because it also leaves my skin feeling beautifully soft and smooth, and the gorgeous fruity scent lingers for quite a while, too.

Overall, it’s a fantastic and effective body scrub, and I really do enjoy using it. The scrubby bits do an excellent job at smoothing rough areas without being too harsh, the scent is delectable and I’m left with silky smooth skin after using. If you’re a Burt’s Bees fan and you like fruity scented bath and body products, this is definitely worth checking out. It’s available from a number of different sites, but I picked up mine up from Cheapsmells. You get a 226g pot of Sugar Scrub and a 185g pot of matching Body Butter, and they both come in a lovely little Burt’s Bees box (£13.49).

Ingredients: sucrose, glycine soja (soybean) oil, crambe abyssinica seed oil, silica, zea mays (corn) starch, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, parfum (fragrance), vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed, vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) fruit juice, punica granatum seed oil, vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) fruit powder, mel (honey, miel), hydrolyzed soy protein, tocopherol, aqua (water, eau), magnesium hydroxide, citric acid, limonene, geraniol

I hope everyone's having a lovely weekend!

Friday, 4 May 2012

Make Up For Ever Full Cover Extreme Camouflage Cream

After a pretty long and expensive search, I think I may have finally found a concealer which really delivers on the coverage front, matches brilliantly, holds up well on my oily skin, and still looks natural.

MUFE Full Cover Extreme Camouflage Cream. Shade 4 Flesh

Make Up For Ever’s Full Cover Extreme Camouflage Cream is something that was sitting on my lemming list for almost a year before I finally took the plunge and purchased a tube. The main reason for this is that MUFE products are a bit tricky to get hold of here in the UK, and I was unsure about which shade would be a good match for my NC15/20-ish skin tone. The products are available from two different sites, but I’m always a little bit hesitant when ordering either foundation or concealer before testing, as I’ve messed up so many times in the past and ended up with colours that are either far too dark, or light.

Make Up For Ever Concealer

After searching around on blogs and forums, I decided to take a gamble and ordered a tube in the shade 4 Flesh, which fortunately turned out be an excellent match.

MUFE Full Cover: 4

Consistency wise, Full Cover is quite thick and creamy, which does make blending a little bit difficult. I find it’s best to use a very small amount on areas which need camouflaging, and to blend quickly after it’s been applied. A minuscule amount is really all that’s needed anyway, because Full Cover really does do an incredible job at covering redness, blemishes and anything else which needs concealing. Spots seem to magically disappear after I’ve applied this stuff, and it fades out any redness nicely without looking obvious or cakey. Full Cover also holds up well on my oily skin, providing I set it with a little bit of powder, and doesn’t oxidize, which is a problem I’ve had in the past with other concealers.

Full Cover applied over eye liner (I wasn't brave enough to snap a spot shot!)

The above photo gives a good idea of the amount of coverage you can achieve with Full Cover. One thin layer conceals minor to moderate flaws brilliantly, and a second camouflages harder to cover areas well, without looking caked on.

I only have one slight gripe with Extreme Camouflage, and that’s that it doesn’t work particularly well as an under eye concealer. I can get away with using it sparingly if I use a generous amount of eye cream beforehand, but I find it a little bit drying and it does seem to settle into fine lines. Overall, though, Full Cover is an excellent product and definitely works well as a natural looking, long lasting cover up on other areas. It is a bit difficult to get hold of here and it isn’t cheap, but it’s absolutely the best concealer I’ve tried so far, and because such a small amount is needed with each use, I imagine the 15ml tube will last a while.

Available from (£22.50)  & (£20.50)

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick: 17 Orchidee

Recently, when on the hunt for a bright, but still daytime appropriate, pinky/red lipstick, I stumbled across Chanel’s Orchidee. I was after something a little bit more vibrant than the usual, natural ‘my lips but better’ shades I’ve been wearing a lot lately, and Orchidee seemed to fit the bill. 

Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Colour: 17 Orchidee

I’d describe the shade as a pretty, red-rose with very delicate shimmer. It’s a ‘safe’ red that’s not too intense. Perfect for those, who like me, normally aren’t brave enough to sport red lip colours. It ‘pops’ without being over the top, and really brightens up my face. I do generally tend to stick to fairly natural lip colours, and make-up in general, really, but I feel completely comfortable wearing Orchidee, even during the day!

Chanel Rouge Coco: 17 Orchidee
You can just make out the really delicate shimmer in these photos. It's very subtle and barely visible on lips.

I’m a big fan of the Rouge Coco formula. I find the shades I own to be comfortable, hydrating and fairly long-lasting, too. They feel incredibly light-weight on lips and fade evenly. Orchidee has a slightly creamier texture than some of the other Rouge Coco shades I own, and provides an almost full coverage finish. As it fades, it leaves behind a pretty and delicate stain.

Chanel Rouge Coco: Orchidee

Orchidee (left) swatched next to Chanel's Monte Carlo (Right)

Overall, I’m really impressed with the pretty, pink-y red colour. It’s a nice change to the very natural and normally sheer lip colours that I usually wear, and I love the comfortable and fairly long-lasting formula. If you’re looking for a slightly brighter, but still wearable lip colour, I’d definitely recommend checking out Orchidee.

Do you have any favourite shades from the Rouge Coco range?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

A Few April Favourites

Chanel Orchidee & Revlon Raspberry Pie & Peach Parfait Lip Butters

Chanel Orchidee Rouge Coco Lipstick - A pretty pink-y red shade, which adds a nice pop off colour to lips without being over the top. Formula and finish are both excellent and long-lasting, too.

Revlon Raspberry Pie & Peach Parfait Lip Butters - I've been reaching for these quite a bit since I picked them up last month. Raspberry Pie is really pigmented, so I've been applying with a very light hand. Used in this way, it leaves a hint of stain like colour on lips, which is fairly long-lasting. I'm not a fan of the slightly gritty texture of Peach Parfait, but the colour is great.

NARS Douceur & Cactus Flower

Nars Douceur Blush - A great, neutral pink-brown shade. I've been reaching for this almost everyday to add a touch of really natural looking colour to cheeks.

Nars Cactus Flower - Is a vibrant reddish coral, which looks suprisingly natural applied. It adds a pretty, fresh flush to cheeks and holds up well on my oily skin. Swatch & review here.

Becca Eye Tints: Pewter & Baroque and MyFace Eye Pencil

Becca Romanticism & Pewter Eye Tints - I've been using Romanticism on a daily basis to add a wash of long-lasting, natural colour to lids. Pewter is more pigmented and is perfect for creating a quick and easy smoky eye. Swatches here & here.

MyFace Eye Liner Pencil - I picked this up last month after my brown, Dior eye pencil ran out, and I'm impressed with how creamy this it and how well it applies and lasts.

Leighton Denny Fell The Burn & Rampant Rose & Chanel June
Leighton Denny Feel The Burn & Rampant Rose - Feel The Burn is a rich, terracotta red shade and looks fab on fingers and toes, and Rampant Rose is a rich, berry colour, which is very similar to Chanel's April. Swatches of both here.

Chanel June - I'm still loving orange and peach-y shades at the moment and have been sporting them on nails quite a lot. June is a pretty, soft apricot colour, which applies brilliantly and dries to a gorgeously glossy finish. A perfect spring shade!

Which products have you been enjoying recently?

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Soap & Glory Sunday: Glam-A-Lot Body Spray

It’s Sunday again, which means it’s time for another Soap & Glory product. This week it’s one of the brands body sprays, Glam-A -Lot. 

Here’s what Soap & Glory say: There are times you need a little glam, and times you need to Glam-a-lot. We recommend deploying this during the latter. 

A super sexy, warm, rich, racy, and veritably voluptuous fragrant body spray with fresh flowers layered on a woody, vanilla musk base. 

This is actually one of the Soap & Glory products I’ve seen mentioned quite a few times on various different blogs and forums, so when I spotted it in my Christmas goodie bag, I was eager to give it a sniff. The scent is packaged in a 250ml, purple, plastic bottle. I find some of Soap & Glory’s packaging to be a bit busy and girly for my taste, but I guess it’s different, fun and a little bit retro. Besides, it’s what’s inside that counts, right? And what’s inside of the Glam-A-Lot bottle is a really delicious, feminine fragrance.

S&G’s fragrance description is a fairly accurate one. The vanilla and musk base is quite strong, really pleasant and not overly sweet. Vanilla is not one of my favourite scents, but mixed with the flowers in Glam-A-Lot, I really like it. It’s fresh and floral, with a sweet creaminess from the warm, vanilla/musk base. It’s quite a strong scent, but as it’s a body spray, it’s hard to over-do, and isn’t over powering. 

Considering Glam-A-Lot is just a body spray/mist, I wasn’t really expecting too much in terms of lasting power, but it actually lingers for quite a while after it’s been applied. In fact, when I spritz it on before bed, I still catch a very faint whiff of the yummy scent in the morning. Pretty impressive for a body spray!

Overall, I think Glam-A-Lot is a fabulous, inexpensive body mist. The scent is feminine and lovely and fairly long-lasting, too. Out of the products I’ve tried from the S&G range so far, this is definitely one of my favourites. I’ve been reaching for this a lot since I received it, on days when I don’t wear perfume or want something lighter, and I will definitely be repurchasing when my bottle runs out. I imagine the liquid spray will be quite cooling and refreshing during, the warmer, summer months, too, so will definitely be keeping a bottle handy for then.

Available from Boots (£6.50 for a pretty large 250ml bottle)

Have you tried Glam-A-Lot? Are any of the other scents from the S&G range worth checking out?

Friday, 27 April 2012

NARS Cream Blush: Cactus Flower

Nars Cactus Flower is something I’ve had my eye on for a very long time. I’ve even added it to my basket a few times when shopping on the Nars site, but never actually took the plunge and ordered it. The main reason for this is that while the colour looks extremely pretty in the pan, it also looks a little bit scary. I’ve also been a bit reluctant to order, because of my oily skin type. I love the ease of application with cream blush, and I also love the natural finish that most of them create, but I’ve found that the majority of the one’s I’ve tried don’t hold up well on my skin.

I’d describe Cactus Flower as a vibrant, reddish coral. The shade reminds me a little bit of Nars Exhibit A, which I found difficult to wear. It has a touch more pink in it, though and contains gold shimmer. I read quite a few reviews on the colour before purchasing and noticed there were quite a lot of complaints about the shimmer being sparkly and very obvious, but I actually find it to be quite subtle. There’s quite a lot of it and yes, it is visible on cheeks, but it’s delicate and adds a kind of glow.

NARS Cream Blush: Cactus Flower

The formula is a cream to powder one and is incredibly easy to apply. The texture is creamy, non sticky and blends with very little effort. I normally opt to apply with fingers, and a couple of dabs and a little bit of blending is all that’s needed to create a pretty flush. The bright, poppy red adds a sheer hint of colour to cheeks, and actually looks surprisingly natural. It can also be built up to create a more intense colour too, though. 

NARS Cactus Flower

NARS Cactus Flower

Cactus Flower is my first Nars cream blush, so I was unsure how well the formula would hold up on my oily skin. I’m pleased to report that it actually does really well! The translucent colour sticks around for biggest part of the day, which I’m really impressed with. I’ve only found a couple of cream cheek products (both from Becca) that wear well on me and don’t break me out, so I’m extremely happy that I’ve found another. Especially since there are a range of lovely shades on offer!

NARS Cactus Flower Blush

Cactus Flower is a really lovely shade, which adds a beautiful, natural and fresh hint of colour to cheeks, and the formula is great! I imagine I’ll be reaching for the shade a lot over the coming months, and will definitely be adding a few more of the colours from the range to my collection. 

Available from & HQ Hair (£21.00) 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Bye Bye Glossybox

After being a Glossybox subscriber for almost nine months, I’ve decided to cancel my subscription. I made the decision last month after having a little tidy up/clear out, and finding a lot of the contents I’ve received in my boxes in various different drawers and cupboards around the house. Some had been lightly tested, but most of products I found hadn’t even been opened, particularly the sample pots and sachets I’ve received. 

After bundling everything together in a big pile, and going through the various different products I’d stashed, I realised that I’ve only actually used up a handful of the things I’ve been sent over the past nine months. Most of the make-up and nail items I’ve had, have been colours I don’t really wear. The majority of the skin care items haven’t been suitable for my skin type and the hair products I’ve received have mostly been styling products, which again, I don’t really use. In fact, the only products I have used up have been a small number of bath and body products. I loved and re-purchased the Weleda oil I received in my first Glossybox, and I also really enjoyed the Rituals Yogi shower gel I got a few months ago. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about what I’ve had. I’ve been lucky with most of my boxes, and considering I’ve received quite a few full sized goodies, I think Glossybox has been pretty good value for money. I just begrudge paying almost thirteen pounds a month for something which doesn’t actually get used. I know it’s a relatively small amount of money, but that cash adds up and could be spent on items I actually want every month. £155 a year buys six or seven full sized make items, or I could treat myself to a nice hair care or bath or body each month, which I know I’ll use. In fact, this month’s Glossybox cash has already been spent on a Burt’s Bees kit, which I’ve had my eye on for a while.

I have enjoyed getting my box in the post each month, and I still think getting a surprise selection of goodies sent to your door is a fabulous idea, but Glossybox just isn’t for me at the moment. I may come back to it in the future, but for now, I’m attempting to be more careful and picky with the things I buy and will be spending my £13 on products I really want and need.

Anyone else feeling the same way about their monthly beauty boxes?

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Hydrating Gel

I’ve used various different products from the Peter Thomas Roth range for quite a few years now, and have been happy with almost everything I’ve tried from the brand. I’m a big fan of PTR Botanical Buffing Beads and Oil free moisturiser, and I always have a bottle of Acne Clearing Gel to help dry up blemishes and unclog pores. Recently, when on the hunt for a chemical exfoliant to help fade acne scarring without drying my skin, I stumbled upon Peter Thomas Roth’s Glycolic Acid 10% Hydrating Gel and after reading reviews, I decided to give it a go. 

The Peter Thomas Roth description: A lightweight gel with anti-oxidants, glycolic acid and advanced cell renewal action to increase cell turn-over and help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging. 

Supplies lost moisture, anti-oxidants, and glycolic acid to aging and sun-damaged skin. Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging while clarifying the skin and smoothing out rough texture. 

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Hydrating Gel

Fine lines and wrinkles are not a big concern for me at the moment, but rough texture and acne scarring are, and I’m pleased to report that PTR Hydrating gel has worked well in both of those areas.

The clear gel, which looks almost identical to the brands Acne Clearing Gel is supposed to be applied every other night for the first two weeks, then every night after that. I’ve used similar glycolic products in the past, and although my skin isn’t particularly sensitive, I know it’s a good idea to follow instructions to avoid any major irritation. I did get a tiny amount of irritation the first few times I applied the product (some minor redness and stinging), but nothing major.

The gel is fairly thin/watery in consistency and one pump is enough to cover my face in a thin layer of product. It spreads well, but takes a little while to absorb. It sort of sits on top of skin for a good ten minutes after it’s been applied, before disappearing completely. It feels nice and light-weight, leaves no residue behind after it’s absorbed, and provides just enough hydration for my oily skin type. I’m not sure if it would be moisturising enough for normal and drier skins, but the instructions do say you can follow up with moisturiser/other treatments after the gel has sunk in.

Since I started using the gel I’ve noticed quite a big improvement in the texture of my skin. It feels softer/smoother, pores look less obvious, and foundation applies much better. I’d just finished dealing with a pretty bad break out before I started using this, too, and had a lot of marks/scarring left on my skin.The gel has really helped to fade them over the last few months and also helps to prevent any major scarring/purple marks from fresh break outs.

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Gel and a couple of other skincare products, I'm currently liking

Overall, I’m pleased with the results I’m seeing with the gel, and used in conjunction with a few other products, I’m managing to keep blemishes under control. I still get spots, but they seem to be healing more quickly, and I haven’t had any of those big, underground buggers for a while now. My skincare routine is fairly simple at the moment, and my skin seems to be liking it that way.

Available from (£30.95 for a 57ml bottle)

Have you tried anything from the Peter Thomas Roth range?

Monday, 23 April 2012

Chanel Giveaway Winner

 The winner of the Chanel Nail colour is.....


Congratulations! An e-mail will be making it's way to you shortly. 

Thanks again to everyone who entered and a huge thank you to everyone who reads and comments, your support is very much appreciated.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Soap & Glory Sunday: Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss

This week’s Soap & Glory product is from the brand’s cosmetic range. Sexy Mother Pucker is a plumping lip gloss, which contains a natural plant oil infusion (Lipswell) and volume maxing microspheres (Superfill).

Here’s what Soap & Glory say: Fasten your seatbelts! It's Super-Colour Sexy Mother Pucker with SUPERFILL™ Lip Plumping Spheres and LIPSWELL™ Volume Boost Technology. As ALL OUT Pout-Plumping as our 'Original Formula', in a seductive Yummy Plum colour with a fabulous chocolate/raspberry flavour. 

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Plumping Gloss: Yummy Plum

The gloss is available in five different shades, and the one I received in my S&G Christmas goodie bag is, Yummy Plum, which actually looks like more of a coral/peachy kind of shade. It’s sheer, shimmer free and imparts a pretty hint of colour on lips. The fabulous chocolate/raspberry flavour that S&G describe above is very noticeable, very sweet and somewhat sickly. Scents are not usually something that I pay much attention to in make-up, but I’m not a fan of this one at all.

The texture of Sexy Mother Pucker is very thick and gloopy, which means it’s fairly long-lasting for a gloss, but also very sticky. It leaves an incredibly tacky film on lips, which actually feels a little bit uncomfortable. S&G state on the packaging that you’re likely feel a bit of a buzz after applying, and after a few minutes of putting it on, I do start to feel quite a lot of tingling. It’s a bit of an odd sensation and it feels a little bit like you have an electrical current running through your lips, a strange feeling that’s again a little bit uncomfortable/unpleasant, but in no way painful.

S&G Lip Plumping Gloss: Yummy Plum

So, how well does it perform in the lip plumping department? Actually, not bad! I don’t notice any significant increase in volume, but my lips definitely look more plump and slightly more full. The affect is subtle and temporary, but definitely there. I'm not sure if there's a big enough difference to warrant a before and after shot, but I've added one anyway, to give an idea of the colour. Just a bit of lip balm on in the top photo, and Sexy Mother Pucker applied in the one below.

Overall, I’m not really that impressed with Sexy Mother Pucker. The shade is pretty, and yes it does add volume, but the sticky formula and slightly sickly sweet scent aren’t particularly pleasant. I’m also unsure about the buzz this creates after applying. As I said, it doesn’t burn/sting, but it feels a little bit uncomfortable.

If you’re looking for a plumping gloss and you don’t mind sticky lip products, Sexy Mother Pucker might be worth checking out. I don’t think it’s a product I’ll be re-purchasing in the future, though.

Available from Boots (£9.00 for a 7ml tube)

Friday, 20 April 2012

Leighton Denny Swatches: The Reds

Like the Leighton Denny Neutrals and Vamps, which I posted about here, my collection of reds from the brand is fairly small. I do love red nail colours, but tend to wear them more on toes than I do on fingers. The four I do own are all gorgeously glossy, shimmer free shades, which like the other colours I’ve already talked about/swatched, apply and wear incredibly well.

L- R Leighton Denny Provocative, Viva La Diva, Feel the Burn & Rampant Rose

Leighton Denny: Provocative, Viva La Diva, Feel the Burn & Rampant Rose

Provocative: A glamorous, bright, classic red, which applies perfectly and dries to an amazingly shiny finish.

 Viva La Diva: A super glossy, vibrant orange-y red. A perfect, summer-y manicure or pedicure colour.

Feel The Burn: A warm, earthy, terracotta shade. I actually wore this one a lot during the colder months, but the colour also works as a summer shade, too, and looks great against slightly tanned/darker skin.

Rampant Rose: A rich, creamy, berry-ish/red shade, which is very similar to Chanel’s April.

All shades are available from the official Leighton Denny site:, and lookfantastic, where worldwide postage is free! The bottles are £11.00 each and contain 12mls of product.
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