September empties

Thursday, 29 September 2011


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My monthly empties showcases all of the beauty products that I have managed to use up and finish that month. This is mainly to reflect on what products I liked or didn't like and whether I would purchase them again. I also find it helpful in that it reminds me of what I already have and what I don't need more of and vice versa. So this month, I've used:-


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- The Body Shop Coconut Shower Cream - a super creamy soap-free body wash with organic virgin coconut oil. I've been using this particular product for years and find that a little goes a long way so it's taken me a while to use this bottle up! Repurchase? Yes. In fact, I already have one from the gift set that I won in a charity raffle.

- Superdrug Revitalising Foot and Leg Spray - This has been a summer staple for cooling down and refreshing tired feet. Bought it last summer and finally used it all up. Repurchase? Yes.

- The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector - another product that has lasted me a while. Reviewed it here. Repurchase? Maybe. I want to try out some different hand creams at the moment.

- Clinique Liquid Facial Soap - so glad that I got this as a travel size version from Glamour magazine because it really didn't suit my skin. Despite it claiming to be 'non-drying', I found it incredibly drying for my oily/combination skin. Repurchase? No.

- Boots Botanics (81%) Organic Moisturising Eye Cream - bought this randomly to try out when it was in a 3 for 2 offer. It's OK, nothing amazing. Repurchase? Probably not.


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- Lush Creme Anglaise Hand and Body Lotion - a sample tin I impulsively picked up in my last Lush haul. Another OK product for me, I like it, but not enough to justify spending £25 on a full size pot. Repurchase? No.

- Tropic Body Smooth Refreshing Polish - this is just amazing! Seriously, I was so happy to get this to try out in my Boudoir Prive box. It smells absolutely gorgeous, a strong citrusy scent that lingers afterwards. Although it was advertised by BP as a hand scrub, I used it as a body scrub and it left my skin wonderfully soft. Repurchase? Yes!

- Barry M Super Shiny Lip Gloss - another magazine freebie that I've been using pretty constantly throughout summer. Repurchase? No. It's a great lip gloss but I prefer Barry M's lip wands to this as they're longer lasting.

- Clinique High Impact Mascara - yep, another mag freebie! I do like this a lot but I think I like my bareMinerals one more. Repurchase? Maybe.


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- Mai Couture Blot and Bronze sheets - an extra in my Boudoir Prive box, I'd had high hopes for this but was left disappointed. It didn't blot very well at all, and just left a patchy shimmer on my face. Repurchase? No.

- Dead Sea Spa Magik Salt Brushing - from my Glossy Box, I was also exicted to try this out but was left a little disappointed. It's a good scrub but I wasn't all that keen on the scent. Might just be me but I was expecting a yummy uplifting citrusy scent and instead got a whiff of something akin to watered down furniture polish. Repurchase? No.


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- John Frieda Weather Works Style Sealant Creme - this had zero effect on my hair, other than leaving a slightly heavy residue on it and smelling a little like glue. Repurchase? No.

- Aesop Aromatique Body Balm - received in a swap package, I love this! Smells wonderfully citrusy (like grapefruit!) and hydrated my skin nicely after a shower. A brand I'll definitely be looking into. Repurchase? Yes.

- Nivea Young Mild Exfoliating Scrub - I'm not sure what's in this, but it broke me out straight away! Would not recommend for sensitive skin (or any skin for that matter). Repurchase? No!


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- Lush Honey I Washed The Kids - one of my all time favourite soaps from Lush, smells amazing and is really gentle on the skin. I mainly use it as a hand soap. Repurchase? Yes.

- Lush Buffy Body Butter - these solid body butters are so good for using in the shower (away from the water to apply and then getting under again to rinse). A great exfoliator which leaves skin soft and supple afterwards. Repurchase? Yes.

September Book List


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A recap of books I have read this month:-

Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk - Seriously weird and disturbing book! Took me a little while to get into the story but I soon found myself completely in love with it. Must make a note to purchase more of Palahniuk's novels. Eating Myself by Candida Crewe - OK eating disorder memoir but the writing is very hit and miss. Dancing in the Shadows of Love by Judy Croome - A clever interwoven tale of three inspiring women who overcome their troubled pasts to find peace and love. I wasn't sure whether I was going to like it at first but find myself enjoying it. This was yet another Goodreads win too!

Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
- As a philosophy geek, I naturally adored this. If you're after an introduction to philosophy then this would be a good start. It by Stephen King - Finally, finally got around to reading this! Enjoyed it a lot (clowns are scary!), so happy to read good King again, even if it did take me about two months to finish. One Day by David Nicholls - The romance bestseller du jour, I absolutely loved this. Completely wasn't expecting it to be this good but it's witty and well written. Recommended. I also seem to be one of the few women left on the planet who hasn't seen the film yet.


The Woman In Black by Susan Hill - Classic short ghost story to get a head start on Halloween reading with. Spooky and suspenseful, written in a similar way to Dracula. A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemmingway - First Hemingway book I've read and I wasn't that keen on the writing style to be honest. I thought that there would be a lot more description about the war and it was difficult for me to get into the story properly. Playground: A Childhood Lost in the Playboy Mansion by Jennifer Saginor - Silly trashy read but 95% of it doesn't actually have anything to do with the Playboy mansion!

The Drowning Pool by Syd Moore - Another Goodreads win, this one is a great Halloween read, part ghost story, part historical fiction (about Essex witches) and part mystery. The first quarter of it is especially scary! Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury - Fantastic story of two teenage boys who experience what happens when a dark and truly wicked carnival comes to their small town. A great mix of horror and fantasy with a quick to read prose that often implies the question of 'Is this all really happening or am I just dreaming?'. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith - A fast-paced thriller set in the terrifying world of 50s Stalinist Russia. The State projects itself as having the 'perfect society' through its draconian regime, but a series of unexplained murders prompts serious debate on this so called utopia. Scary stuff.

For more books & short reviews, follow me on Goodreads. You can also find me sending out books for free via BookMooch.

Have you read any good books lately?

The Body Shop Carbon Eye Definer

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


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I generally find that The Body Shop is very hit and miss with its make-up collection, their eyeliner pencils in particular are rather crappy in my opinion. I received their Carbon Eye Definer several months ago as a freebie with some online purchases. I wasn't all that excited to try it out so it got shoved to the back of a make-up drawer. Found it recently and thought that I'd finally test it.

The Carbon Eye Definer is a simple black eyeliner pencil at one end and has a built in smudger tip at the other end to create a sexy smokey eye.

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It swatches a better black than their regular eye liners and the second swatch shows it smudged out with the end tip. I wasn't all that impressed by the fact that it smudged by itself into a big old mess within a few hours and started to faded quite quickly. Not something that I would recommend purchasing for the £9 price tag!

NOTD: Zoya - Jem

Monday, 26 September 2011


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Here's that gorgeous Zoya nail polish that I received in my Boudoir Prive box. I absolutely love it. It's a bit similar to my favourite nail polish of last month, Mac's Formidable, but with a warmer red and gold undertone of shimmer. Formulation wise, it's really good too.

Boudoir Prive - September 2011

Friday, 23 September 2011


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So after what seems like weeks of waiting (BP had some delays with US samples arriving and then delivery of the actual boxes took longer than it should have), my first Boudoir Prive box is here and I'm really happy with it!

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Boudoir Prive is a monthly beauty box subscription service where you pay £10 (free postage!) for 5-6 beauty samples. I got this first box half price with a discount code so all of this cost me a mere fiver. So what's inside?

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Oooo nice!

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Here's what I received:-

(1) Agent Provacateur L'Agent Eau De Parfum
, 1.5ml sample vial (full size 50ml RRP: £50). Although I don't like a lot of perfumes, this one smells OK. I will be passing it on though as perfumes generally give me headaches.

(2) Zoya nail polish in Jem
, full size (RRP: £9.98). WOW WOW WOW! Seriously wow! The colour is absolutely gorgeous, so happy with this! Despite being a nail polish junkie, I don't own any Zoya polishes so this is a real treat for me :)

(3) Colbert MD Nourish Eye Cream sample pot (full size 15ml RRP: £90). I have heard of this brand from various blogs due the hysteria that surrounded the Royal Wedding (apparently Kate Middleton regularly uses this skincare brand). I could never justify spending £90 on an eye cream but I am interested to see what the fuss is all about.

(4) Cargo Cosmetics Boogie Nights Eye Pencil in Black
, sample size (set of five RRP: £13). A black eye liner with a silver shimmer, this looks OK but I swatched it earlier and it faded pretty fast. I'll see if it stays put longer with a primer underneath.

(5) Tropic Skincare Body Smooth Refreshing Polish, sample pot (full size 200ml, RRP: £19.95). This smells amazing! It's basically a body scrub that smells of sherbert lemons and is 100% natural ingredients . I will be using this ASAP.

(6) Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment
for all hair types, 10ml (RRP: £5.75). This seems pretty similiar to Moroccan Oil so I'm excited to try this out!

I also received a one sheet sample of Mai Couture's Blot & Bronze face paper which I'll also be happy to use.

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But let's step back and admire that gorgeous Zoya nail polish shall we? So so pretty!

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Also included in the box, was a Zoya advertising booklet and a swatches of their new Smoke and Mirrors collection.

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Yeah, I already want every single shade here! Zoya polishes are 3free, camphor free and vegan friendly so I'm seriously tempted to splash out on a couple.

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I also really liked the little information leaflet that came in the box which details all of the products included and how to use them.

Overall thoughts: I am extremely happy with my box and I'm excited to try everything out. I personally like this box a lot more than this month's Glossybox because I'll actually use pretty much everything. I imagine that many people in the Glossybox camp won't be swayed by Boudoir Prive due to the size of the products included and I was sceptical about whether BP would be suitable for me due to their first box last month being very mature. All in all, if they continue to put together boxes like this I'll be very happy!

What do you think of Boudoir Prive? And the beauty box trend in general?

17 Eyeshadow Trio in Metallic Toffee

Monday, 19 September 2011


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Picked up this handbag friendly eyeshadow trio at the weekend, courtesy of Boots and their usual 3 for 2 offers (is that offer ever not on? Not that I'm complaining!). This is from their own brand '17' make-up line which I'm guessing is aimed at teens, and everything seems to be priced under £7.

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I decided to go for 'Metallic Toffee' which has a light gold toned highlight colour, a medium gold shade and a darker rusty toned bronze.

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The shades are all beautifully smooth and shimmery, with great pigmentation.

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17 Metallic Toffee w/ UDPP & Clinique High Impact Mascara

On the eyes, they last very well and the colours are subtly intensified when swept over a good primer. All in all, I'm impressed! I think this is something which would be ideal for taking with you on weekends away when you don't want to be carrying around a big palette.

NOTD: OPI - Teenage Dream

Saturday, 17 September 2011


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When the Katy Perry for OPI collection came out earlier this year, Teenage Dream was the only polish that I really wanted to get. It's completely girly but what can I say? I'm a sucker for glitter!

Glossybox - September 2011

Thursday, 15 September 2011


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My first Glossybox is here! This month's theme is Future Classics which sounds interesting. So what's inside?

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The contents; first impressions, looking good! Here's what I got:

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(1) Neal And Wolf Glow Super Shine Spray 100ml full size product (RRP £11.95) - "a weightless spray that adds deep, lasting shine. Unique formula also helps to smooth hair, control frizz ans reduce static." I've used shine sprays in the past (mostly drugstore brands) and have always tended to avoid them since because they usually make my hair look greasy rather than shiny, so I like the claim of this one being 'weightless'. I've given it a quick spray and it's got an overpowering perfumed scent which I'm not liking at all, but I'll give it a proper go all over and see if it makes any difference.

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(2) Green People Fruitful Nights night cream 10ml sample tube which sells for £3.60 (full size 50ml RRP £14.95) - "magic night cream smoothes fine lines and improves pigmentation marks. Using pineapple and wild berry extracts, dead skin cells are lifted away revealing younger skin." Although this is targeted towards mature/older skin, I was pleased to receive this because I've been wanting to try out something from Green People for a while now. Very happy that it's 90.1% organic, ethical company approved and Vegan society certified. On the Green People website, they sell lots of their products as trial/travel sizes, so if this is good, I'll be looking more into them.

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(3) Plum by Mary Greenwell Eau De Parfum 1.5ml sample vial
(full size 50ml RRP £90) - "signature fragrance by world-renowned celebrity makeup artist Mary Greenwell." I'm not a big perfume fan so I'll be giving this to a friend or my sister. Probably a good thing because I couldn't imagine spending £90 on a perfume!

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(4) Dead Sea Spa Magik Salt Brushing 2 x 50g sachets
(full size 500g RRP £13.30) - "voted 'Best Exfoliator' by You Magazine. A harmonious blend of pure Dead Sea Salts, vitamin E and coconut oil, with a hypnotic citrus aroma." I love body scrubs and have tried Dead Sea salts in the past (thought they were amazing), so I'm looking forward to trying these.

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(5) HD Brows Eye & Brow Palette full size product
(RRP £24.95) - "multi-use palette containing four matte eyebrow colours. They double up as an eye shadow and eyeliner as well as lasting 24 hours." My immediate impressions were WOW! I'd been meaning to purchase an eyebrow palette so now I didn't need to! Then I realised I'd been sent the 'Bombshell' one which is for blondes.... Hmm. Also was a bit disappointed that other people had been sent a full size brush with theirs, but looking at the shades, they look extremely wearable for neutral looks on the eyes and if the claims of lasting 24 hours hold true, then it looks like a great palette. I will try it out and see.

General summary and thoughts: I'm pleased with my first Glossybox, I think it's certainly value for money with the two full size products included. The HD brows palette will obviously be the most talked about product I imagine, and I'll be interested to see if others received different shades or if everyone got the same one. Other than the perfume sample, I'm looking forward to trying everything else out and will post reviews once I have.

Did you get a Glossybox? What did you get in yours?

Everyday Make-Up Routine

Monday, 12 September 2011


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Whilst clearing out some old magazines, I came across an article which stated that the average woman uses, on average, over 20 different make-up products on a daily basis. Over 20 different products?! That seems like a huge amount, but is it really? I decided to look into this theory by compiling my own list of make-up products that I personally use for an 'everyday look'. Below are some of my regular favourites, as well as one or two new items which I'm testing out.

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For everyday I tend to stick to a neutral look, so I start with applying a bit of
(1) Benefit's Lemon Aid over my eyelids with my fingers. I've used this product rather religiously over the last couple of years because it instantly makes me look more awake and one little pot lasts a long, long time. Next, I'll dab on a little of (2) Urban Decay's Primer Potion and whilst that dries, I'll fill in my brows with (3) Korres Eyebrow Pencil in 1/Dark Shade. Under my eyes, I'm currently using (4) The Body Shop's Lightening Touch concealer pen in shade 3, which is their version of YSL's Touche Eclat. It's a decent concealer which does the job, but if you apply too much or don't properly blend, then it has that annoying habit of settling into fine lines. I'll probably try out a different brand once this one has been used up.

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On my eyes, I'll probably use two shades of eyeshadow; (5) an overall lid colour and then (6) a darker one for the crease. Urban Decay's Naked palette is still the best thing ever. I mainly use Virgin, Sin, Naked, Buck, Smog and Toasted for everyday looks.

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I always wear some form of (7) eyeliner and was given Bourjois' Liner Feutre felt-tip eyeliner pen in 11/Noir recently by a friend. I haven't decided whether I love or loathe this yet. It's amazingly pigmented, a 'proper' black and doesn't smudge at all, UNTIL it gets wet and then it's one great big mess. Hmmm. I'll probably stick to my old faithful Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners. As with eyeliner, I always wear (8) mascara and am currently using up a small tube of Clinque's High Impact mascara, which used to be my favourite until I discovered bareMinerals. Next, I'll dab on a bit of this (9) Witch Concealer stick in 01/Natural onto any spots I might have. I think this concealer stick is discontinued now which is a shame because it's blended with Tea Tree Oil and gives excellent coverage.

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I don't tend to wear foundation for everyday, so I've been trying out (10) The Body Shop's Vitamin E Tinted Moisturiser which gives a light coverage and lasts a decent amount of time too. It's a little too greasy feeling for my oily/combination skin on its own so I use (11) Benefit's Hoola Bronzing Powder all over to mattify (I've got olive coloured skin, so Hoola works well as a normal face powder for me). To cover up any red areas, usually around my nose, I apply a tiny bit of (12) Clinique's Redness Solutions, which is a thick green coloured cream which counteracts the red and equals it out. A fab product which also has SPF 15. I finish up by applying a (13) blusher, my current favourite is MAC's Wonder Woman powder blush in Mighty Aphrodite. And lastly, I put on a little slick of a neutral coloured (14) lipgloss such as ELF's Conditioning Lip Balm in Nice and Natural. All done!

So, I clocked up 14 products! Other products that I might use if I had extra time or just fancied it, would be:- a clear mascara if I felt my brows needed a little tidying, a translucent powder for setting everything if I didn't want to use Hoola, and an inner corner highlight for my eyes if I needed that extra illusion of looking more awake.

How many make-up products do you use on a daily basis?

NOTD: Galaxy nails

Friday, 9 September 2011


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I love, love, love the Galaxy inspired nails trend at the moment. This is my first attempt and I don't think it looks too bad (though trust me when I say it looks much better from a slight distance!)

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For mine I did the following:-
1. Apply one coat all over of a dark navy blue, I used Barry M's 292 Navy which is also one of my all time favourite shades from Barry M.
2. Once that has dried, using a teeny piece of an old (but clean) make-up sponge, I quickly dabbed on a bit of Barry M's 66 Matte White to create a cloud effect.
3. Allow to dry and then do the same with a purple shade, I used Mac's Formidable which looks like a galaxy in a bottle on its own.
4. Lastly, to add some 'stars', you can add some glitter if wanted. I used Barry M's 239 Lavender Hexograms which worked well with the purpleness of Formidable.
5. Slick on a clear top coat and you're done!

Montagne Jeunesse products review: part 1

Sunday, 4 September 2011


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About a month ago I received a swap package of Montagne Jeunesse products. Montagne Jeunesse is a brand that takes me back to that wonderful era of being a kid and having girly sleepovers, but I haven't used anything by them since then. I chose five at random to start with and here's what I thought:-

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Always on the hunt for a quick face mask, I liked the Gel Cream Masque in Strawberries and Cream which is a thick creamy mask with little scrubby bits. Very gentle on the skin, smells lovely and leaves skin feeling nice and smooth.

Next, I tried the Spa Facial Mask (with aloe vera, ginseng and plant extracts). A fruity scented exfoliator which does a great job of removing dull dead skin and making it look fresh and clean again. I saw a noticeable difference in my skin afterwards, pores looked smaller and my face looked brighter.

Two products that I was sceptical about were from the Renew You range. I tried the Restoration Gel Face and Neck Masque which has a thick cream consistency to start with and then dries to a thin jelly/gel. I was put off my its heavy perfumed scent but it did leave my skin smooth and soft afterwards. I then used the Anti-Cellulite Body Masque Gel, a clear orange tinged gel with lots of microbeads for exfoliation. Once on, it has an instant cooling effect which borders on tingling but I didn't notice anything else once it was rinsed off.

Lastly, I tried the Deodorising Foot Scrub which smells AWFUL (very medicinal, not my thing at all) but did a good job making my feet smooth and fresh.

Not a bad batch to start off with, I'll post part 2 when I've tried them.
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