Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Skincare: My Current Cleansers feat. The Body Shop , Garner, Australian Bodycare, Dr Organic

It appears long overdue that I chat about my current skincare regime, however, I have recently found myself reaching for the same 4 products lately that I want to share with you today.The first being the much raved about Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil. Since I jumped onto the cleansing oil bandwagon when trying the Una Brennan Vitamin C oil, I love reaching for this Body Shop oil as it is gentle on the skin, even if burnt or chapped. I tend to use a couple of pumps of this into my hands and rub it onto my makeup covered face, including my eyes and, albeit messy at times, it will easily melt your makeup before rinsing with a warm flannel. The pump bottle makes it easy to get the right amount of product for your face, but it will pump precariously so be wary when near light bed linen or getting it on your clothes.

The second - the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water -  is a product I featured in my recently repurchased post ( LINK) and is a sure fire way to take your makeup off quickly and easily without stinging or irritating your eyes. Just add to a cotton pad and swoosh all over your face and a couple of cotton pads later you're good to go.

The third cleanser is one I prefer to use in the shower, after removing my makeup, to get a deeper clean and to remove any remaining traces. The Australian Bodycare Company Tea Tree Oil Gentle Cleansing milk, due to its tea tree ingredients, makes it less gentle than the oil and micellar water but more suited toward Oily/ Combination skin types. Nevertheless, this is great if you want a deeper clean without being harsh and stripping due to the lightly exfoliating texture and the tea tree has great anti-bacterial properties so is great to aid breakouts but avoiding the eye area.

The fourth step in my cleansing routine is the Dr Organic Manuka Honey face mask. This is great, especially after a night out or ahead of a big event, as it draws impurities from under the surface of your skin to come to a head. Though this may gross some people out, by doing a few days before an important event, and allowing the spots/ breakouts to calm down, the mask deeply cleans your skin and leaves it feeling less congested.I'll definitely be checking out more from Dr Organic in the future.

What are your current cleansers? Let me know below!

Beth xx

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

STILA Eyes Are The Window Shadow Palette Review & Swatches

Since the Stila Eyes are the Window (Soul) eye shadow palette entered my makeup bag I haven’t gone a makeup day without it, so much in fact I wanted to take photos and swatches of this pretty palette before I hit pan on some of my favourite shades.
In its pretty rose gold packaging are 12 highly pigmented and complimentary shadows that are versatile for both day and night time wear. The shadows, a mixture of both warm and cool toned shades, are very true to pan in their swatches though I tend to gravitate toward the far left column the most, in particular the shades Kitten and Vitality, the first a light champagne satin shade, without the chunky glitter, has fast become my most used eye shadow, and the latter a warm toned gold.  

The middle and outer columns are equally as high quality but as with the nature of matte and shimmer shades, the shimmer shades have better colour pay off than the matte shades but both have great lasting power and are easily blended together for an assortment of different shadow looks.
 L-R Light, Kitten, Thought, Vitality
L-R Individual, Affection, Heart, Substance
L-R Being, Character, Peace, Essence

With help from my MAC Bare Study paint pot, my trusty eye base of how many years, the intensity of each colour will easily last from 8 o clock in the morning till six at night and will also last a good 6-8 hours without an eye base.

The square mirror in the palette is a great feature of the palette for when applying the shadows and also to apply the rest of your face makeup that will stay upright while on a counter top or is light enough to hold. 

If I haven’t convinced you enough, this palette retails for £30 from the likes of CultBeauty or BeautyBay , or in my case was a very generous gift from Sephora from my Auntie on her return from the states, making it more purse friendly than the Naked Palettes and arguably prettier in its more compact rose gold shell though that doesn’t mean it has completely replaced my Naked 2 palette as a girl can never have too many neutral palettes…

Have you tried this or any other palette from Stila? Let me know below! 

Beth xx

Sunday, 26 July 2015

My Coconut Island Shower and Bath Gel*

I've always been a fan of Coconut scented products so when Clare got in touch on behalf of treaclemoon, creators of the most amazing scented bath and body products, I of course was going to opt for their bath and shower gel in their  'my coconut island' scent. Admittedly, if you aren't a fan of 'sickly sweet' scents I'd perhaps give this a miss but in my case, I always opt for coconut or sweet scented products for the shower. As this scent is very similar to the likes of the Body Shop Coconut Milk range, I see no reason to pay over the odds when for under £3 you can get a very generously sized 500ml bottle that requires a pea-sized amount in a shower puff to create enough bubbles to turn your shower into a tropical island and smelling good enough to eat. 

Its also worth noting that Treaclemoon are a great ethical brand and have recently partnered with BulliesOut, a charity that supports a vision for all young people to recognise their self-worth and potential. With monthly donations from their proceeds, Treaclemoon have pledged to help raise further funds and also awareness of the charity’s work.

If you are a lover of coconut or sweet scents, I strongly urge you take a trip to Tesco or Waitrose and take a sniff of the scents available as I am sure you won't be disappointed. Treaclemoon also have a coordinating handwash of which will be going straight in my basket next time i'm in the supermarket.

Have you tried any of the Treaclemoon bath and body range? Which scent is your favourite?

Beth xx

Friday, 24 July 2015

Roomzzz Aparthotel Chester Review : Girls Shopping Weekend

At the start of the week I, along with 3 of my friends, spent the night at one of Roomzzz Aparthotels, more specifically their Chester location overlooking the Chester race course. 

It was in fact by fluke that I came across their website but  I am so glad that I did After many failed attempts at finding an Apartment for four eighteen year olds to stay in a popular shopping destination across the country, our age meant that we weren’t permitted to stay in any of the options that I had previously considered as we were all under 25 and such apartments were exclusive to those over that age. Fortunately, the Roomzzz website popped up as part of my search and proved to be a great alternative, without age restrictions and with affordable, modern double rooms available a stones throw away from the shops.What’s more was that days after I stumbled across their website, Roomzzz were offering 50% off all rooms in all of their UK locations meaning each room would cost us £34.50 instead of £69.99 ( already reasonably priced for the quality) , compared to apartments we’d found for around the £120-£140 region. Great value for cash-strapped students as it meant it cost us each £17.25 for the night – bargain. 

For those who haven’t heard of Roomzzz , they currently have numerous Aparthotels in city locations across England, such as Chester, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham, with more Aparthotels expected in Liverpool and London soon. They are affordably priced per night, with double rooms priced from £70 which includes their grab &go breakfast and complimentary wi-fi. 

When we arrived to check in ( after 3.00pm ), the ladies at the desk were as friendly and helpful as the lady I spoke to when booking through their booking hotline, and quickly and easily checked us in.

The hotel overall had a blue and pink colour scheme which carried on into the rooms which were modern and spacious, had a kitchenette, en-suite bathroom and big double bed. The grab and go breakfast was equally as amazing as the rooms. Available from 6.30am-10am the next morning, we were wowed by the pain au chocolats ( my personal favourite)  croissants, fruit, fruit juices and hot drinks – all very yummy indeed - and a bonus that we had forgotten was included with the price.

I would highly recommend the Roomzzz Aparthotel Chester and would definitely stay at Roomzzz Chester again. In the meantime, I hope to arrange a stay at one of the other locations as if the quality of the Chester Aparthotel is anything to go by, I will not be disappointed.

Have you heard of / stayed at Roomzzz before? Let me know!

Beth xx

Thursday, 23 July 2015

My Holy Grail Items, Repurchased feat. Kiehl's, MAC and more

Though I try out and use up many different beauty, skincare and makeup products, I do believe that the true test is to part with your hard earned pennies and make a repurchase. For me, there are a few products that I always end up going back to so I thought it was only right to share the products that regularly end up in my shopping basket and give them the credit that they deserve.

Garnier Micellar Water / BOOTS /

For those of you who have seen my most recent empties posts, this seems to regularly feature and I am due another repurchase. For me this is my fail-safe makeup remover as a couple of cotton pads of this will remove my face and eye makeup without stinging or irritating my skin. The fact it is almost always on offer also means that as soon as one bottle runs out, I can quickly -  and affordably - pick up a new one.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate / John Lewis / REVIEW

The next repurchase caused a larger dent in my wallet when I came to buy a new bottle, however I couldn’t be without my faithful Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. If, like me, you’ve had trouble with breakouts or red spot-like bumps on the surface of your skin, or the scars they leave behind, then I’d promptly urge you to give this a go. This oil is so low-maintenance that you can use a couple of drops on your face before bed , or just onto the affected areas, and when you wake up the next morning its done most of the work for you – my skin looks and feels softer, and the redness of any spots or blemishes is significantly reduced. A must-try in my opinion.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer / BOOTS / REVIEW

Though I did stray from this concealer in order to play the drugstore concealer field, I found that only the Maybelline Fit Me concealer came anywhere near close to the Collection LP Concealer as I can rely on this for coverage under my eyes, covering any redness around my nose and on any breakouts. I find this has the best coverage out of any drugstore concealers I've tried and isn’t too heavy under my eyes, hence why I have easily used at least 7 of these concealers since starting my blog 4 years ago.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder / BOOTS / REVIEW

Another budget product that I always go back to is the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder. Admittedly, this won’t keep you completely matte all day, but certainly helps the lasting power of my foundation and setting my concealer. At £4, this always ends up in my Boots basket as a reliable translucent pressed powder.

MAC Face and Body Foundation – N1 / JOHN LEWIS / REVIEW

For the start of the year, prior to being admitted to hospital, I found myself using my Laura Mercier Silk Crème foundation and being happy with how it looked and sat on my skin, despite being a high coverage foundation. Once I came out of hospital however, after months of going bare faced, I found makeup just didn’t seem to sit right on my skin and my face looked worse wearing makeup than without and so went on a hunt for an alternative foundation base.

Having run out of my face and body foundation sometime last year, I had forgotten how great and ‘like skin’ it looked. This foundation has a light yet buildable coverage and so gives you fresh looking skin without the cakey- ness of foundation – what my ill-looking complexion had been crying out for. I also knew I could rely on this as my ‘prom’ foundation having used it back in 2013 for my Year 11 prom and as a bridesmaid for my cousins wedding, so for me a repurchase of this seemed like a no-brainer and I’ll certainly repurchase this again once my current bottle runs out. As for my LMSC foundation, only time will tell. 

That’s all for today's post but please do let me know your holy grail products and if you want to see a similar post in the future as I love raving about my favourite products.

What are your fail-safe repurchases?

Beth xx

Monday, 1 June 2015

ICONEMESIS Cat Sims Feathers iPhone Case Review*

When the lovely Sammy got in touch on behalf of Iconemesis, I jumped at the chance to replace my grubby, cheap and falling to pieces iPhone case with a much more aesthetically pleasing alternative from their website. Iconemesis have a great range of iPhone cases in creative and unique designs, their Fifi Lapin design has certainly been one frequenting on my Instagram feed, however after browsing through their cases for iPhone’s 5C, 5S and 6, I opted for their Feathers case by Cat Sims for my white iPhone 5S.

I wouldn't normally opt for hard glossy plastic cases as I worry about them scratching the side of my phone and not fitting exactly to the phone itself however having had the Cat Sims Feathers case on my iPhone for a couple of weeks now, the case looks in the same condition as when it arrived in the post with no chips, scratches or fading in the design. The price of the cases vary dependent on phone type, though the design I opted for is currently on sale at a reasonably priced £10, reduced from £15, so it’s definitely worth checking out their designs on sale before they sell out!

My phone is no longer homed in a case that’s falling apart but in a high quality case so if you are looking for a brilliant quality case with a design that’s unique from the high street, I’d urge to you to check out the Iconemesis website and their new designs.

What do you think of the Cat Sims Feathers design? 

Beth x x

*pr sample received by http://iconemesis.co.uk/. for review

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Spring-Summer 2015 Empties: Best and Worst - Skincare Edition feat. Kiehls, Hydraluron, Trilogy, Superdrug, UNA Brennan

So I don't know how many of you are the same when it comes to using up their beauty products and accumulating empties but i'll go for months without fully using up skincare or makeup products and the next thing I know I have an overflowing basket of empty bottles that until I have blogged about, I guard or hide as if my life depended on it --- what has life come to?! For me, the wicker basket above soon filled with empty bath and shower products, various shampoos and conditioners and many empty skincare products.  Since being discharged from hospital, I have become a bath-person who hardly wears makeup and therefore am finally getting through the dusty bubble bath products that have been neglected at the back of my bathroom cupboards.

I feel I may have already strayed from my initial point here somewhat, however more recently I have found myself almost completely out of bubble bath, body wash and in fact, my own 'shampoos conditioners , moisturiser and cleanser has also resulted in an impulsive Body Shop sale purchase online as I haven't had the chance to do a Boots or Superdrug splurge in a very long time. 

After having a proper look through, from a basket full of various empty bottles, tubes of both budget and more expensive products - I have only perhaps 10 that are worth a mention, if they've not previously been featured. I have also come to realize that I'm yet to be fully faithful to particular brand of shower gel , except perhaps the Lush Snow Fairy shower gel ( which is Limited Edition anyway) or LUSH FUN which is a fab multi-tasking product that is great for a bubble bath and so I shan't be wasting my time ranting about the others that I've used up since the last empties post when I shan't be repurchasing those anyway.
Likewise, and on a more cheery note, I have found a couple of gems in the basket that had been hidden away among the 'rubbish' in the back of my wardrobe that I hadn't got round to raving about either; enter first  the Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil by UNA Brennan. This I bought ages and ages ago ( before the festive party season indefinitely) and so got lots of use and intense testing when I went out wearing thick foundation, red lipstick, festive eye makeup and lots of mascara - of which this removed with ease. If you don't mind the mess of a cleansing oil and take the extra 5 minutes to double cleanse with this, this  is amazing and when I get round to having that Boots splurge I was rambling on and on about earlier, this will be straight into my shopping basket.
Superdrug Vitamin E Dual Phase Cleansing Oil 150ml
On a more negative note, I also used up the Superdrug Vitamin E Dual Phase Cleansing Oil ((StockPhoto: Superdrug:LINK)) which no matter how I used this, I just couldn't get along with it, especially for eye makeup which was a big no no with this. I had hoped that the dual phase cleansing oil may have been along a similar lines to UNA Brennans oil, and would work well at cleansing my dry skin, especially as so many have raved about Superdrug's other vitamin E cleansers before. I was, however, very wrong and regrettably bought this on a whim, without reading up on blog reviews. Firstly, to use this you have to shake the bottle in order to mix the oils, then use a cotton pad to remove your makeup however I felt that this method was only useful if the oil didn't run off the cotton pad or separate before it had chance to remove your makeup. For that reason, and the fact that this irritated my skin, in particular my eyes, and was more hassle than it was worth, I shall not be buying this again and have since ordered the Body Shop's Chamomile Cleansing Oil to try.
Moving swiftly away from cleansing oils and onto facial oils...Since being sent the Trilogy* Rosehip Oil a while ago, I have become partial to facial oils and serums as with blemish prone ( but dry) skin I'd always steered away from oils expecting them to break me out more, which certainly wasn't the case with the Rosehip Oil ( above), that my younger sister Rach, aswell, took a particular liking to's . Instead, the Rosehip Oil leaves your face soft and smooth and gave my skin a great moisture boost.

Despite liking the Trilogy offering for its hydration, I have seen a more impressive improvement in my skin ( and breakouts) since I was given the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate for Christmas and I keep telling myself that one day I shall part my cash for a new bottle when in John Lewis next. It's hard to describe how or what this does unless you try it for yourself, but where I used to attack my skin with spot treatments or harsh lotions and potions when I broke out, I drop a pea sized amount of this miracle worker at night, go to sleep and by morning the angry redness has almost certainly improved.It's really great as you hardly have to do anything and you see amazing results by morning and that in itself is worth a lot. 

A final mention to the empty tub of Hydraulon Moisture jelly* that is also shown above and that I raved about in October (HERE) which remained as a fabulous product however for me, as it is on the pricier side for a moisturiser ( £25), the couple of months it took to use up isn't justified when for £10 more I can get another bottle of Kiehl's magic. Nevertheless, it still did a great job and was hydrating on the skin without feeling greasy.

I think that's enough rambling for today and with that in mind, I want to know your thoughts on my more 'concise' different approach to my EMPTIES posts from now on; chatting only about the best and worst of the bunch instead of wasting words on mediocre deodorants or sample pots of £100 serums that ill never buy, let alone afford. I'm pleased to say that I'm finally going to go and pop my empty bottles in the recycling and start drafting up my Boots shopping list.           

What have you used up recently that's worth ranting or raving over?

Beth xx
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