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.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Quick & Easy Everyday, Natural Make-Up

Maybe not the most exciting mix of products, but these are some of the items I reach for on a daily basis to create a failsafe, quick and natural make-up look. Some of them are fairly new discoveries, and some are old favourites.

Armani Lasting Silk: 4. MUFE Full Cover: 4 & Nars Loose Powder

Thanks to my acne prone skin type, which I’ve had a few issues with recently, foundation and concealer is an absolute must. My foundation of choice at the moment is, Armani’s Lasting Silk, which covers well and feels nice and light-weight. I also use a dab of Make Up For Ever’s Full Cover concealer on more difficult to cover areas. Lasting Silk conceals redness and minor blemishes brilliantly, but I still need a dab of Full Cover on really tricky to cover marks and spots.

To finish, I use a little bit of my favourite powder, Nars Loose. I’ve tried quite a few different finishing powders from various different brands, but I always come back to Nars. It feels light, controls the oilies well, and a 35g tub lasts for ages. 

Becca Enigma Palette & Eye Tints (Romanticism & Vicuna) & Armani Eyes To Kill

Eye make-up has been a fairly simple affair recently. Becca’s Eye Tints are something I find myself reaching for everyday. Vicuna is normally used as a primer and to even out lids, and Baroque and Romanticism are used to add a wash of colour. All of these shades work really well as a base for powder shadows, too, and recently, I’ve been using them under a range of different shadows from MAC, as well as Becca’s Enigma palette. The darker shade from the Enigma palette (Silesia) also works well used as a liner, and is quicker to apply than pencil or liquid, which is an added bonus.

Becca Enigma & MAC Cork, Yogurt & Satin Taupe

On my lips, I’ve mainly been sporting one of two shades. Chantecaille’s Bourbon Rose, which is a kind of ‘my lips but better’ shade, and Armani’s Shine Lipstick in 04, which is a really pretty rose colour. Both are natural shades, and both formulas are excellent, and fairly long-lasting.

Chante Bourbon Rose & Armani Shine: 04

And the end result looks like this (brace yourself for the mahoosive face pic!)....

Using the base products mentioned above, Becca's Vicuna Eye Tint and Enigma palette, Armani Eyes To Kill mascara, and Armani Shine lipstick mixed with a pink-y lip pencil from Laura Mercier. Not the most exciting of looks, but fairly natural, easy and best of all, quick. I've also been mixing things up over the past few weeks with orange and peach lip and cheek colours, but I always come back to these 'safe' shades and products when I want a quick and easy look that I feel comfortable wearing.

Do you have any favourite products for creating a quick, natural make-up look? Do you stick to the same products everyday? Or do you like to experiment with different colours/looks?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Becca Eye Tint Swatches & Review: Romanticism

I’m a huge fan of Becca’s Eye Tints. They’re incredibly easy to apply, come in a range of pretty, natural shades, and they hold up extremely well (even on my oily lids!). I already own a few shades from the relatively small range of colours available, and as soon as I spotted there was a new shade released as part of the brand’s Balearic Love collection, I immediately decided to order a tube. 

Becca Eye Tint: Romanticism

Romanticism is described as a Mauve Bronze on the brand’s website, which unfortunately isn’t a particularly accurate colour description (at least not on me). The bronze part is correct, but I don’t see a lot of mauve in the shade, which I’m slightly disappointed with. On me, Romanticism is a straight up bronze with the tiniest hint of mauve. It adds a sheer wash of shimmering bronze colour, which is delicate, pretty and natural.

Becca Eye Tint: Romanticism

Consistency wise, Romanticism is quite thin/runny, and needs a really good shake before it’s used, as it tends to separate slightly in the tube. I’ve noticed that different shades from the Eye Tint range seem to have slightly different textures. Baroque and Pewter, which are the most pigmented colours I own, are slightly thicker, and Vicuna and Romanticism are both runnier/have a thinner consistency and leave more of a sheer wash of colour on eyes. Like all of the shades I own from the range, though, Romanticism applies and lasts well, and creates a lovely base for powder shadows.

Becca Romanticism

While the shade wasn’t quite what I was expecting after reading the sites colour description, I have to say, I am still quite happy with my purchase. The Mauve Bronze that was promised would have been nice, but the sheer, bronze colour is still pretty and very wearable. If you’re a fan of minimal, very natural looking eye make-up that’s quick and easy to apply, I’d definitely recommend checking out Romanticism, and the other pretty shades on offer in the Eye Tint range. 


  Available from Zuneta & Lookfantastic (free postage). Romanticism is £20.00 for a 7ml tube of product.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Soap & Glory Sunday: Clean On Me Shower Gel

This weeks Soap & Glory product is, Clean On Me. A shower gel which contains natural mandarin peel and a built-in body lotion. It’s scented with the brand’s Original Pink fragrance, and promises soft, smooth, sexy skin.

Soap & Glory Clean on Me

Clean On Me is packaged in a rather pretty 500ml bottle and has a handy pump (more shower gels should have these!), which makes dispensing product an easy task. I haven’t smelt the Original Pink scent that it’s fragranced with, but like the brand’s body butter, which I wrote about last week, it smells lovely. It’s very sweet and fruity, but still fresh and in no way sickly. S&G describe the scent as a fresh, summery fragrance with orange leaf, lemon, peach, sweet strawberries, summer rose, gardenia blooms and jasmine. A lovely mix of fragrances, which create a feminine scent that lingers on my skin for a quite a while after I’ve used it. I still get a faint hint of the pretty aroma hours after washing with this, which is nice.

Consistency-wise, it’s quite thick and creamy and a few pumps produce a decent amount of lovely, bubbly foam/lather, which cleans well and feels soft and gentle. Soap & Glory claim Clean On Me has a built-in body lotion, and while it does leave my skin feeling soft and smooth, I can't say I've noticed any major improvements in hydration after using this. This isn't a problem for me as I'm more interested in how well it cleans, and it also gives me a good excuse to layer on one of the brands lotions or butters after.

Soap & Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel

The rich, bubbly lather rinses off easily and leaves no residue behind – just soft, clean skin.

Overall, it’s a really nice body wash, which cleans well without being harsh or drying, and like other products I’ve used from the S&G range, it smells delicious. I can't say I've noticed the built-in body lotion working it's magic, but it’s still a great product that’s pleasant to use and at £5.50 for a 500ml bottle, it’s excellent value for money, too.

Available from Boots.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

A Week In Nails. Leighton Denny & Chanel

Leighton Denny Stormy Weather, Chanel Graphite & Leighton Denny Steel Appeal & Little Minx

Well, kind of. These are a few of the shades I've been sporting on my nails over the last few weeks. I've mainly been reaching for brighter, summery nail colours, but I've still been making the most of the darker and shimmery shades in my collection, too. 

 Leighton Denny Stormy Weather

Leighton Denny Stormy Weather

Leighton Denny's, Stormy Weather is a pretty, warm purple shade, shot through with lots of tiny, silver shimmer.  It applies well and is opaque in two coats.

Leighton Denny Stormy Weather (Two coats)

Leighton Denny Little Minx

Leighton Denny Little Minx

Little Minx is a metallic bronze/beige shade, which almost looks like liquid metal in the bottle. The shade normally applies perfectly, but for some reason, I just couldn't get it to paint evenly when I applied it this time. So, after taking the photo below, I went over the colour with a coat of Chanel's Graphite, which actually turned out quite well.

Leighton Denny Little Minx (Two coats)

Chanel Graphite paired with Little Minx

Chanel Graphite

I haven't reached for this shade for quite a while, but after using it to fix the streaky and slightly uneven application of Little Minx, I think I'll be reaching for the shimmery colour more often. I have a few other shades in the stash, which I think Graphite would work really well with, so I'll definitely be playing with this one some more. I may even attempt a bit of nail art!

Chanel Graphite over Leighton Denny's Little Minx

   Leighton Denny Steel Appeal

Leighton Denny Steel Appeal

A dark, glossy grey with silver shimmer. The base is very dark, but the silver sparkles lighten it slightly and turn it into something more interesting and unique. Steel Appeal applies perfectly, is opaque in two coats, and dries to a lovely, shiny finish.

Leighton Denny Steel Appeal (Two coats)

All of the swatches above are without top coat, and all of the photos were taken with flash.

The Leighton Denny colours above are available from the LD site, and cost £11.00 for a 12ml bottle.

I hope everyone's having a lovely weekend!
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