Project Pan #5: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Project Pan #5: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
It's time for the results of another Project Pan! I've been doing a PP since around Feb/March, so this is roughly six months worth of makeup empties and it's been a challenge!

Whilst I find it relatively easy to use up skincare and body products (as you'll no doubt have seen in my monthly empties posts), finishing up makeup items is a completely different ball game. This is probably because I don't wear makeup every single day, and when I do, I like to experiment a little and reach for a different lipstick or blusher, so it takes me a long time to fully use something up.

I love doing Project Pans because they encourage you to use the makeup that you have (it's a fantastic way to cut down on those impulse buys!) and it allows you some time to properly rediscover a bunch of products that you may have neglected. You can check out my previous completed Project Pans here.

For this PP, I pulled out 10 full-size makeup products that I really wanted to use up, and a couple of samples/minis as well. Here's how I got on and what I would consider repurchasing again.

Project Pan #5: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
Superdrug Deep Action Mattifying Shine Control Papers (featured here)
Have used these for years and they come in very handy when you're out and about, so are perfect for keeping in your bag for a quick touch up. They blot away any shine and don't disrupt your makeup. Repurchase? I'm currently using some from Mai Couture at the moment which I prefer, but I'd pick these up again as a budget-friendly option.

MOSSA Skin Perfector BB Cream in Soft Beige
I wasn't a fan of this at all! I found the formula too thick and greasy, and the colour quickly oxidised on me. Repurchase? No.

Dr Hauschka Tinted Day Cream
This was OK and provided a little more coverage which I liked as it still looked fresh, however, I feel that it would be better suited for drier skin types than mine. Repurchase? No.

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer* (reviewed here)
It was a very sad day when this primer ran out as it's one of the best that I've ever tried! I absolutely loved using it and it created such a beautiful brightening base each and every time. My skin loved it as well as I never had any breakout or clogged pore problems from using it on a regular basis. Repurchase? As much as I want to, I have some other primers to use up first, though I'm sure we'll meet again in the near future! 

Giorgio Armani Skin Defense Primer SPF 50(reviewed here)
Although I initially really liked this primer, I slowly began to fall out of love with it about halfway through the bottle because the formula began to get quite thick and gloopy, despite still being well in date. For such an expensive primer, I would rather spend my money on the Juice Beauty one above, rather than risk buying this again and being unable to use the latter half of the bottle. Repurchase? No.

Project Pan #5: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
NARS Audacious Mascara in Black Moon
This was OK, but it didn't impress me enough to want to purchase a full-size and I feel that there are plenty of much better mascaras out there that are half the price of this one. Repurchase? No.

Ciate Wonderland Mascara (reviewed here)
Case in point, if you are after a quality high-end mascara, buy this one from Ciate instead! I've repurchased it twice now (always when there's been a discount code or offer on though) and it's fantastic. Gives me big lashes and reminds me a lot of Too Faced's Better Than Sex Mascara. Repurchase? Yes.

GOSH Blown Away Mascara(reviewed here)
Like I mentioned in my original review, I wasn't 'blown away' by this mascara at all. It's OK for everyday/natural looks, but ultimately, I prefer a much bigger and volumised lash so this wasn't for me. Repurchase? No.

Daniel Sandler Invisible Blotting Powder(reviewed here)
Wow, this felt like it lasted forever! I remember hitting pan on it around Christmas time! This is a brilliant translucent pressed powder which is perfect for producing a matte finish. It never looks cakey or powdery, and really does live up to its 'invisible' name. Repurchase? Tempted! 

Lord & Berry Intensity Satin Lipstick in Brick
This was a gorgeous 90s brown-toned, reddy pink and had a similar formula to MAC's Amplified Lipsticks which I loved. I found myself wearing this shade a lot during the start of the year around Jan-April, so I was glad to have finished it up a few months ago as I've had it my makeup collection for ages! Repurchase? I have a couple of lipsticks that are a similar shade so it's a no for now.

Project Pan #5: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme Cup (reviewed here)
Creme Cup is one of those classic MAC shades and it's such a perfect pale pink nude that looks amazing with a smokey eye. It's also one of the few MAC lipsticks that I've ever repurchased which goes to show how much I must have liked it! Repurchase? I'm holding off as it takes me forever to use up a lipstick, and I do already have shades that are probably dupes. I will save this for Back2Mac though!

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner & Ink Liner 
I finished up two mini liquid eyeliners from Kat Von D. I didn't find that there's much difference between these two - they're both pigmented, easy to use and long-lasting, but perhaps the Tattoo Liner lasts a little bit longer? Repurchase? I would definitely buy the Tattoo Liner again.

Benefit Ready, Set, Brow!
I don't get the hype for this at all - it's basically just a clear brow gel! It does the job and does it well, but there are much cheaper products that are virtually identical to this, so I'm glad that I picked it up as a magazine freebie because I wouldn't pay full price for it. Repurchase? No.

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Cheek Gelee in Poppy Paradise (featured here)
Remember when these were all over blogs and Youtube?! I've gotten through a pot of this Poppy Paradise shade before and I still love it! Very easy to sheer out and it looks so pretty and fresh on. Repurchase? I have too many similar products to justify buying another one right now :(

Eylure Brow Amplifier in No 10 Dark Brown (featured here)
I've repurchased this before and still like it a lot. Super easy to use, it has a teeny tiny brush so that you can fill in small gaps for fuller brows. Doesn't smudge, looks natural and stays put all day. Repurchase? I'm trying out some different brow products at the moment and I think I've found one that I prefer over this - sorry Eylure!

Have you ever done a Project Pan?
Have you tried any of the products that I used up?

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Foodie Friday: Apple, Blackberry & Rhubarb Crumble (Vegetarian / Refined Sugar Free recipe)

Friday, 17 August 2018

Apple, Blackberry & Rhubarb Crumble
Is there anything more comforting and delicious than a bowl of warm fruit crumble served with either custard or ice cream? This version uses a lot less sugar than traditional recipes, but it's still utterly satisfying. 

Despite it being only mid-August, the weather has turned rather chilly and Autumnal lately (I'm literally sitting here typing this with my favourite cosy jumper on and a cinnamon-scented candle burning in the background), which has me craving more filling and comforting types of desserts. This Apple, Blackberry & Rhubarb Crumble is exactly what I needed after a long week, and it's a great way to truly appreciate all of the flavours that are the classic hallmarks of the British fruit season right now.

Apple, Blackberry & Rhubarb Crumble
Ingredients: (makes around six portions)
  • 3 medium-sized Bramley Apples
  • 5 sticks of Rhubarb
  • 200g Blackberries
  • 50g Coconut Sugar 
  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 50g Porridge Oats
  • 75g cold, unsalted & cubed Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • Pinch of Salt

Method:
  • Preheat the oven to 190C / Gas Mark 5.
  • Peel, core and chop the Apples into small pieces. Chop off any woody parts of the Rhubarb and cut into bite-size sticks. 
  • In a large saucepan with a lid, add 10g of Coconut Sugar, the chopped Apples and Rhubarb with a splash of water, and cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the fruit starts to gently soften. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed to prevent sticking.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the Blackberries, Cinnamon and Ground Ginger. Add the lid again and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the Plain Flour, the remaining Coconut Sugar, cubed Butter, Oats and a pinch of Salt, and rub together with your fingers until the mixture resembles something similar to breadcrumbs.
  • In a baking dish, add the fruit, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top, ensuring that everything is thoroughly covered. 
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes until the top is lightly golden brown. Serve warm or cold with custard or ice cream. Enjoy!

Storage tip: This crumble will keep in the fridge for 2-4 days in a foil covered dish. Alternatively, you can freeze it either whole or in portions in an airtight container or in freezer bags for up to a month. 

Apple, Blackberry & Rhubarb Crumble
What are your favourite fruits to have in a crumble?

New In Beauty: REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm review + Recycled Ocean Plastic Campaign

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm review + Recycled Ocean Plastic Campaign
REN have been making waves (pun intended!) with their recent Recycled Ocean Plastic campaign, and with the addition of an exciting new product launch, I just had to dedicate a blog post to them. Here's what's been happening in the world of REN in case you've missed the latest news on social media.

REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm review
New product launch: REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm* (30ml, £40, link)
Last month, I received an exciting package from REN which contained a full-size jar of their latest launch, the Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm. This newbie is part of the brand's hugely popular Evercalm range which is targeted at sensitive skin types and I've used several products from this line over the years. 

The new Overnight Recovery Balm is a powerfully rich and hydrating night balm that's packed full of ultra-nourishing plant-based oils such as Olive, Almond, Borage, Jojoba, Sunflower and Linseed. These oils are naturally rich in lipids and active enzymes which help to strengthen the skin's natural protective barrier, as well as giving it an intense shot of moisture at the same time. Beta-Glucan is also included to soothe and calm any visible signs of sensitivity as it acts as an anti-inflammatory ingredient, so this is a fantastic product to try if you're currently suffering from any irritation or redness due to sensitive skin.

I've been using the Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm after cleansing in the evenings instead of using a night moisturiser or facial oil (as this is so hydrating, you don't need anything else). A tiny amount goes a long way and it has a lovely light texture that's perfect for doing a facial massage with. It doesn't feel greasy but you do have to massage it in for it to fully absorb, as you would with any other type of balm product. I've had some patches of redness around my nose and on my cheeks in the last month, and this has instantly calmed everything down.

My skin also feels much more hydrated, softer and plumped up in the morning. It feels very luxurious and pampering to use, and it has a pleasant subtly botanical/natural scent that reminds me of a spa. Needless to say, it's a delightful luxury night treatment to add to your evening skincare routine and I can see myself using this even more as the seasons start to change in the coming weeks.

REN Recycled Ocean Plastic Campaign
REN's Recycled Ocean Plastic Campaign
The alarming rate of plastic pollution in our oceans that's destroying delicate eco-systems and threatening the existence of thousands of species has caused a massive outcry from people all around the world, and many are now looking at ways to reduce their plastic consumption and consumer waste in a bid to stop the problem from escalating even further.

REN has been helping out in various ways, from organising beach cleanups across the UK with the charitable organisation Surfers Against Sewage (participants have been rewarded with REN products to thank them for their time), to their commitment to being a zero-waste company by 2021, changes are afoot and it's great to see a beauty brand as global as REN taking these positive steps forwards.

Their latest environmental campaign focuses on their partnership with TerraCycle, where they have created a new 100% recycled plastic bottle that contains 20% reclaimed ocean plastic. As recycled plastic isn't as clear as first use plastic, the bottle has a grey tint which you can see in their award-winning Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Body Wash(£22, 200ml, link) - the first product to be packaged in this new hybrid recycled plastic packaging. The bottle also features an innovative metal-free spring in the pump to make it fully recyclable and the new recycled plastic packaging will be phased in across REN's full global distribution by 2019.

Whilst I know that recycled plastic packaging isn't the saviour to the problem of plastic pollution, it is a welcome helping hand in a better direction and an admirable effort from a global beauty brand to be doing something like this, when many other larger brands are still sadly doing nothing. Hopefully, the actions of companies like REN will inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

To find out more, visit renskincare.com

Do you agree that brands should be doing more to change their packaging?

Introducing: Ermana Natural Skincare - Comfort Balm, Fresh Body Lotion & Refresh Candle review

Monday, 13 August 2018

 Ermana Natural Skincare - Comfort Balm, Fresh Body Lotion & Refresh Candle review
This week's Introducing feature throws a spotlight on the Oxfordshire based natural and organic skincare brand, Ermana

I first came across Ermana a few years ago at a green beauty event where I was kindly gifted one of their popular Soothe Mama Balms in a goodie bag. Whilst I enjoyed using the product and liked the packaging, I didn't really think much else about them because I'd assumed they were a brand that was focused on natural pregnancy skincare and products for new mums. How wrong I was! There's so much more to Ermana as you'll soon see below.

Ermana has an amazing array of natural and organic skincare which includes everything from pampering body oils and balms, to hand and body lotions, facial oils and even candles. It's an aromatherapy heavy range so there are lots of beautiful essential oils used in their formulas. All of the products are cruelty-free, hand-blended in Oxfordshire, made in small batches to ensure optimum freshness and are free from parabens, preservatives, sulphates, artificial colours and fragrances.

I was spoilt for choice when deciding what to try out, but ultimately I chose the following products to feature so that you can get an overall idea of what Ermana has to offer.

 Ermana Natural Skincare - Comfort Balm, Fresh Body Lotion & Refresh Candle review
Ermana Comfort Balm* (15ml, £8, link)
Regular readers will already know how much I adore a high-quality multipurpose balm and Ermana's Comfort Balm is a brilliant product to try. This 100% natural balm has an incredibly rich and intensely nourishing blend of Cocoa, Shea and Coconut Butters, as well as Sweet Almond Oil and Beeswax to really soften very dry skin. Infused in the balm are three of my favourite essential oils; Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Geranium, so it smells beautiful, but it isn't overpowering, not to my nose anyway. 

You can use the Comfort Balm on any dry areas that need that extra TLC, so it's particularly useful for cuticles, cracked heels, elbows, knees, hands and you can even use it as a lip balm. As with most of these types of products, a little goes a long way and it's great to see that Ermana offer this 15ml travel size pot, in addition to the full-size jar which is 60ml.    

 Ermana Natural Skincare - Comfort Balm, Fresh Body Lotion & Refresh Candle review
Ermana Fresh Hand & Body Lotion* (200ml, £20, link)
For a truly luxurious organic hand and body lotion, Ermana have several different scents and formulas to choose from including Comfort, Soothe, Refresh, Revive and Fresh. I chose the Fresh one as it's perfect for helping you to wake up after your morning shower (and in the mornings I can use all the help that I can get!). The lotion is packaged with a handy pump dispenser and has a hydrating base of Sunflower Seed Oil, Cocoa Butter, Olive Oil and Shea Butter. 

This Fresh version also features Peppermint and Patchouli essential oils, which not only help to awaken your senses, but Patchouli is famed for its natural anti-inflammatory and deodorising properties, whilst Peppermint acts as a mild antiseptic that controls the levels of bacteria on the skin. The result is a lotion that's moisturising and non-greasy when absorbed, with the added bonus of feeling slightly cooling too, so it's a good one to use when you've been out in the sun all day.

Ermana Refresh Candle* (120ml, £20, link)
As I love candles, I couldn't not try one of Ermana's 100% natural aromatherapy candles which come packaged in an amber coloured glass jar. The natural Soy Wax is hand-poured and blended with a little Rapeseed Oil for a clean, toxins-free and slow-burning experience (each candle has a burn time up to 35 hours). The Refresh Candle also has pure Grapefruit Essential Oil for a lively and uplifting citrusy fragrance. It smells very Summery to me!

Shop the full range of Ermana at LoveLula.com

Have you tried anything from Ermana?

Summer Loving with Bolsius Citronella Garden Candles Collection

Friday, 10 August 2018

Bolsius Citronella Garden Candles Collection
One of the best things about Summer is being able to enjoy some al fresco dining (I mean, what's better than good conversation, warm weather and delicious food?), so make the most of those long nights by keeping pesky bugs at bay with Bolsius' new Citronella Garden candles.

Citronella has long been used as a natural way to keep mosquitos and other insects away, and whilst they may hate the scent, most people love it! 

Bolsius Citronella Garden Candles Collection
 Bolsius Citronella Garden Tin Candles in Basil, Tomato Leaf & Rosemary Pink*

Bolsius has a whole range called Citronella Garden which combines classic Citronella fragrances with herbs for a spicy finish that pairs well with most homemade dishes and meals. These wonderful tin candles add a pop of colour to your table and each one has its one unique scent. As you may expect, the Basil candle has a subtle earthy and herby fragrance, whilst the Tomato Leaf is a little stronger with an underlying tangy fruitiness. My favourite is Rosemary Pink though because it has a gorgeous sweet floral aroma that's very warm and summery - this would be a great candle choice for an intimate evening dinner.

All of these tin candles have an excellent scent throw but they're not overbearing or dominate which allows them to do their job subtly, without competing with the appetising scent of your meal.

Bolsius Citronella Garden Candles Collection
 Bolsius Citronella Glass & Patio Lights + Citronella Garden Tealights*

If you prefer the classic citrusy floral fragrance of Citronella, you can purchase the Citronella Glass and Patio Lights Candles, both of which come in a sunny bright yellow colour to liven up your garden. I particularly love the curved shape of the Patio Lights candle as it instantly adds a contemporary touch to any backdrop. Both of these smell amazing and yes, they really do keep the mozzies away!

Going back to the original Citronella Garden range, if you're struggling to choose which scent you like from the tin candles above, why not try a pack of the tealights instead? Each pack contains 18 tealights and they come in a range of assorted scents and colours. I think they look lovely scattered around the centre of the table.

Bolsius Citronella Garden Candles Collection
Bolsius Outdoor Tealight Holder*

For those who like to impress their guests, these large Outdoor Tealight Holders provide a visual way to display your favourite tealights and they really come into their own when the evening starts to darken as the whole glass illuminates beautifully. The base is made from a neutral grey stone/ceramic material and you can either host your tealight just in the base, or add the covering (with your tealight in a separate glass container of course for safety) to complete the look.

To find out more about the Bolsius Candles range visit bolsius.com

Do you use Citronella candles to keep bugs at bay?

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Tried & Tested: nügg Face Masks review

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Nügg Face Masks review
Last month, I received a rather exciting skincare package from nügg who are famous for their iconic face mask pods. Being a mask junkie, I couldn't wait to slap them on my face and try them all out!

If you haven't heard of nügg before, they're a popular American skincare brand who mainly specialise in face masks. Everything is cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny certified), free from mineral oils, parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and colours, and many of their products are suitable for vegans to use. Across the range, you'll find that their masks vary in formulas with between 93-100% naturally derived ingredients, so it's definitely worth checking the INCI lists before you buy if there are certain ingredients that you choose to avoid in your skincare.

To give you an overview of what nügg has to offer, I've tried out several of their bestsellers below.

Nügg Face Masks review
 nügg Charcoal & Vitamin C Peel-Off Face Mask & Tea Tree & Sea Silt Peel Off Mask* (£4.95 each, link)

Peel-off masks have been a massive trend in skincare for a couple of years now and I've had varying degrees of success from numerous brands. To be honest, they're not my favourite type of face mask, but I'll give them a go if my skin is feeling particularly congested. nügg currently have three peel-off options in their range, including these two; a Charcoal & Vitamin C mask for deep pore cleansing and mattifying, and a Tea Tree & Sea Silt mask which is for refining and refreshing the skin. 

Both of these alcohol-free masks are 97% natural and come in a powder format that you mix with warm water. Each pack contains enough for one use and you could possibly stretch to making two masks out of each packet, but you'd need to use them both at the same time so maybe save these for your next girls night in? I found them easy to mix up and was left with a thickish paste that I applied with a Sephora Face Mask Brush. Both peeled off easily without any tugging problems, and I washed off any remaining residue with a warm face cloth after 15 minutes.

I liked the Charcoal & Vitamin C mask a lot as it really helped to unclog some congested pores and kept my skin shine free for a couple of hours afterwards, but it didn't feel tight or dry. However, I wasn't so keen on the Tea Tree & Sea Silt mask which I felt was a little irritating and left my skin looking a bit blotchy and red afterwards.

Nügg Face Masks review
 nügg Deep Cleansing, Revitalising and Exfoliating Face Masks* (10ml, £3.95 each, link)

For the ultimate in travel convenience, you can't beat nügg's iconic face mask pods, many of which have won numerous awards from beauty publications such as Allure and In Style. They have a great range for all sorts of skin concerns, and these three are some of the brand's most popular masks. Although each mask pod is described as single use, you can easily get two masks out of each one.

The Deep Cleansing face mask is the one to try if your skin is feeling oily or congested as it contains Jojoba Oil, Cucumber extract, Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Cranberry and Grape Seed Oil to provide a deep down cleanse that leaves your skin feeling ultra clean and fresh. It's 98% natural and I would definitely pick this one up again!

If you have dull or tired skin that needs a pick me up, the Revitalising face mask is a must-try. This one's 95% natural and features key ingredients such as Peppermint Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Aloe Vera, Olive Oil and Evening Primrose Seed Oil to give the skin a good boost for a more radiant and glowy complexion.  

Whilst I enjoyed those two face masks, I found that the Exfoliating mask didn't do that much for me. Formulated with 93% natural ingredients, it has natural Jojoba beads, Lactic Acid, Cranberry Seed Oil and Aloe Vera, which gently polish the skin for a smoother finish. However, I feel for the price point, it didn't do anything more than a cheaper exfoliating product so it's not really worth it IMO.

 nügg Hydrating Face Masks Pack
 nügg Hydrating Face Masks Pack* (5 mask pods, £17.95, link)

In addition to their individual face masks, you can also purchase most of the mask pods in packs of five which not only saves you a couple of quid, but ensures that you're fully stocked up on your faves.

If you have dry or dehydrated skin, you'll love the Hydrating face mask which stays true to its name and delivers an intense shot of moisture that instantly alleviates any dryness. These are particularly beneficial for those who want a moisturising mask but don't like thick or heavy cream formulas, as it has a much lighter gel consistency instead. Made from 94% natural ingredients, it features Camellia Seed Oil (which I've been particularly loving in my skincare products lately), Aloe Vera, Olive Oil and Spirulina extract, to leave the skin feeling silky soft and super smooth. Perfect for popping into your hand luggage to use on a long haul flight!


nügg Hydrating Lip Mask review
nügg Hydrating Lip Mask* (7g, £9.95, link)

Finally, I tried the Hydrating Lip Mask which is an intensive moisturising treatment for dry lips. It's packaged in a small gold ball which twists open to reveal the creamy product inside. Packed full of nourishing ingredients such as Shea Butter, Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter, this vegan-friendly, all-natural lip mask can be applied for 20 minutes and then tissued off, or left on overnight for the best results which is what I tend to do with products like this. Come the morning, my notoriously dry lips are kissably soft and smooth so it's doing something right!

Have you tried anything from nügg?

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