October empties

Sunday, 30 October 2011


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A recap of the beauty products which I have recently finished and whether or not I would purchase them again. So this month, I have used up:-

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Palmers Cocoa Butter Body Lotion - I have used a LOT of body lotions and this is by far the best of the cheaper brands you can pick up in places like Wilkos. If you are on a budget or just in need of a thick winter friendly lotion, then look no further. And it smells like vanilla ice cream. Amazing. Repurchase? Yes!

Boots Botanics Day Shift Moisture Lotion for Normal/Dry Skin - This was too much on the greasy side of face creams, didn't like it much. Repurchase? No.

The Body Shop Warming Mineral Mask - Warming/heat masks are probably my favourite type of mask to use, especially in the colder months but this Body Shop one only heated up for a few seconds and that was it. Hugely disappointing, so I'm glad it was a freebie.
Repurchase? No.

Lush American Cream Conditioner - Smells oh-so-good, like a heavenly vanilla scent and makes my hair nice and soft. Repurchase? Yes, already using a new bottle :)

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L'Occitane Fleur Cherie Hand Cream
- L'Occitane make some of the best hand creams on the market. I think this was a mag freebie from a few months ago and I've been carrying it in my handbag. Wasn't that keen on the scent of this one (it's heavy on the Neroli) but the formula was light and non-greasy. Repurchase? No, I'll stick to the Shea Butter one that they do instead.

Boots Natural Collection Rosemary & Witch Hazel Face Mask - A thick clay formula which smells incredibly strongly of the two key ingredients. I liked it but the smell was a bit too off putting for me. Repurchase? No

Nelsons Pure & Clear Purifying Daily Facial Wash - I was happy to come across this natural version of Clearisil who don't use any nasties. Can't really tell if this works from one sachet use but it didn't break me out so it might be something I try a bottle of in the future. Repurchase? Maybe.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation - I'm glad that I got a sample of this in a magazine because I've tried the normal Double Wear and found it much too heavy for my skin, whereas this is their lighter version. Unfortunately, I still found this much too heavy, kind of sticks to my skin like plaster or something, not for me! Repurchase? No.

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Lush Sugar Scrub - Had this in a gift set, way too rough for my skin but works fantastically on feet and smells great. Repurchase? Maybe as a foot scrub.

What products have you used up recently?

Carmine Box - October 2011

Friday, 28 October 2011


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Carmine is the latest box to join the beauty subscription craze. I didn't sign up for this one straight away when bloggers started talking about it because I'm already signed up to Glossybox and Boudoir Prive. However, when I saw the contents of Carmine's first box, I decided that I had to have at least this one to try out. Carmine's beauty box is much longer (the size of the box itself) in comparison to GB and BP, more like a small shoebox. But it's the inside which is the most different.

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It's bright green! I'm not a big fan of this but I'm happy that it's not another pale pink box.

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Onto the contents. Three full size products and two good sized travel/handbag samples. Very impressed!

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The product leaflet is also the most well designed one I've seen so far from the all of the beauty boxes I've tried.

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(1) Trind Nail Repair in Natural, full size 9ml (£12.95) - I'm currently using a small version of OPI's Nail Envy so I'm interested to try this out afterwards to compare the two.

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(2) The Balm All in One Shadow/Blush in Fratboy, full size 8.5g (£16.34) - "this peachy-apricot-coloured blush doubles up as an eye shadow and miraculously adds life to any skin tone." Wow, this blush is gorgeous! A lovely subtle shade that seems to compliment most people, I love it! This was my main reason for ordering the box and I'm so happy with it. I don't think I'd use it as an eye shadow but as a blush it's just divine.

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Pretty!

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(3) Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream, 30ml sample (full size 100ml - £14.50) - "ultra effective and seriously smoothing, made with 98.8% ingredients of natural origin." I really like the Balance Me, they're one of my favourites new brands to come onto the eco/natural market and I'm looking forward to using this hand cream. Smells lush!

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(4) Caudalie Quenching Sorbet Creme, 10ml sample (full size 40ml - £20) - "naturally refresh and hydrate your skin with all the anti-oxidising powers of red grape seed." I've been wanting to try out Caudalie products, so I'm interested to see if this will work for my skin, which like most people's, gets very thirsty in winter. Smells very nice.

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(5) Daniel Sandler Eye Delight in Peach, full size 3g (£10.25) - "a pot of sweet, shimmery dust to give eyes a little something to smile about." This was the product that I was initially the least excited about and thought that I would have to give it away because the colour looked orange! I tried it out and it's actually gorgeous, I love it! There was minimal fallout and you can build up or blend out as much as you like for different looks. Mine below just show a subtle amount:-
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Summary: It's rare that I like absolutely everything in a beauty box, there's usually at least one item that I give to a friend or swap for something, but this box from Carmine was perfect for me. Incredible value for money (especially as I had a half-price code for this one, yay!) and the products are all fantastic. A great mix of make-up and more natural skincare, let's hope that it isn't just a one-off!

October Book List


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A little early to be doing this post, but I wanted to include my Halloween picks before the month was out, so here's what I've had my nose in for October:-

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - I know a lot of people who adore this book but I felt like it was hugely overrated with an unbelievably ridiculous ending. Not my cup of tea. The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan - The Strain begins with a plane landing at an airport in complete darkness. None of the passengers step down, no word from the pilot, everything is silent. From this suspense filled beginning, the reader is introduced to the main characters and soon learns that something very evil is afoot. But then the story just seems to lose its enthusiasm and tries to drag out things which should have been answered and moved on from earlier in the book. This could have been so much better! The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - Cult classic from the 60s about two rival groups, the Socs and the Greasers. It's an interesting look at the rich/poor divide, but the language is a bit too overly poetic and theatrical in places. Still worth reading at least once though.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman - Brilliant YA sci-fi/dystopia which has the central theme of this chilling process called 'Unwinding' where teens are 'aborted' and sent to a harvest farm for their organs. Great pro-choice/anti-abortion undertones throughout. The L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks - An odd book for me, I know that it was written at the start of the 60s but it was really quite difficult to get past the racism and homophobia. Storywise, I'm glad that I read it, but I wouldn't read it again. Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami - A strange book! I'm new to this magical-realism genre and Murakami's work, so this was an intriguing and confusing novel to read. I enjoyed the split chapters between the two main characters; Kafka, a young teenage runaway and Nakata, an older simpleton who can talk to cats. It's really bizarre and I picked up on some of the Greek tragedy references, but must admit that parts of it simply went over my head. I get the feeling that it's one of those books that perhaps makes more sense the more times you read it.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman - A hilarious satire about that eternal battle of Good and Evil with a strong Britishness about it that I just adored. The characters are strange and wonderful and I found it easy to get completely lost in the story. One of the funniest books I've read in a long time. Time of Grace by Gabriella West - A wonderfully written love story between two women, Grace and Caroline, set against a fascinating backdrop of liberating Irish history. Matched by Ally Condie - Matched is set in your typical totalitarian world, where the 'Society' controls every aspect of your life through some expert form of psychoanalysis. They decide where you will work and live, what food you will eat, exactly when you will die and who you will love. Great YA dystopian romance, looking forward to the film and the second in the trilogy.

Halloween picks are Ring by Koji Suzuki (original Japanese book from which the movie is based on) and Daemon Hall by Andrew Nance (a silly trashy kids horror read).

That's all for this month, add me on GoodReads for more books & short reviews :)

Konjac natural facial sponge review

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


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Always on the lookout for interesting natural products, I was intrigued to try out a Konjac sponge which I spotted on Kia's MakeMeUp blog a while ago. Konjac sponges are made from the Konjac potato plant, found in many Asian countries and they've been used for centuries over there as a food source as well as being widely used in skincare regimes. I bought mine from eBay for around £2 and if looked after properly, they apparently will last for years (I use natural sponges in the shower instead of those plasticy puffs and they last a long time too).

When it's brand new, the Konjac sponge is hard like a rock and needs to be soaked in water before using. After it's been soaked, it turns into a compact sponge which feels tight but is still a bit squidgey and flexible. To use, you can either directly dispense your facial wash/cleanser to the sponge and rub onto the face or you can use it alone on a wet face before or after using your face wash. I've tried it both ways and they've both been equally effective.

The sponge gently exfoliates the skin, leaving it feeling deeply cleansed, as well as incredibly smooth (like a baby's bum!). I've been using mine constantly for about a month and prefer it to my usual muslin cloths because I feel it does more for my skin with removing dull, dead skin cells, than a muslin cloth which just feels like a quick wipe. Konjac sponges are an all natural product that are well worth trying out and very purse friendly too.

The Body Shop Baked to Last Bronzer in Warm Glow

Monday, 24 October 2011


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I was going through my make-up drawers today and looking for products that I like but don't use as much as I should. I bought this bronzer from The Body Shop earlier this year when it was either on offer or I had a voucher of some kind, because it would have been too pricey for me to take a chance on for full price (£16). It's a handmade 'baked' bronzer with intertwined swirls of rich brown, a baby/ coral pink and a creamy gold, combined with plenty of shimmer. Probably a bit too much shimmer than I usually go for but when used with a light hand, it gives skin a lovely subtle (and as the name suggests) 'warm glow' that is great for perking up dull looking winter skin.

You can use it as a general all over bronzer (though I find it too shimmery for this purpose), a blush (looks good! especially if you're not too big a fan of pinks) and as a highlighter which works the best IMO. Wear time is OK, it'll last for a few hours before disappearing so certainly doesn't live up to its '8 hours' claim at all. I think its expensive at full prize for what it is, but would recommend picking it up if its on offer and you're after a nice highlighter that looks pretty and will last you a long, long time (this thing is huge!).

Do you wear bronzers in Winter or are they purely a Summer item for your make-up bag?

NOTD: Ciate - My Fair Lady

Sunday, 23 October 2011


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Ciate nail polishes have really started to grow on me, I'm not the biggest neutral fan but I really like this one which was a mag freebie a few months ago. It's the nicest pale pink I've tried so far which doesn't wash out my skintone.

10 Films list


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1. The Boat That Rocked (2009) - Brilliant feel-good movie based on the pirate radios of the 60s. I have so much love for Rhys Ifans :)
2. Hostage (2005) - Bruce Willis thriller, where as you can guess, he has to save a family who have been taken hostage in their mansion. Pretty good.
3. Easy Rider (1969) - Cult classic counter-culture movie which explores attitudes towards soft drugs and the hippie/freedom movement. Famous part with Jack Nicholson's character explaining what freedom is and why some people are against others having it.
4. The Book Of Eli (2010) - Beautifully shot post-apocalyptic dystopia starring Denzel Washington and Mila Kunis, story is OK but the strong pro-religion theme put me off.
5. Haunting In Connecticut (2009) - Alright horror movie, has its token scary parts.
6. Rubber (2011) - The strangest movie I've probably ever seen; a rubber tyre is on the loose and its murdering people.... has to be seen to be believed.
7. Another Day In Paradise (1999) - Cult junkie film with the guy who plays Pete Campbell from Mad Men in it, it's really quite dull.
8. Fright Night (1985) - Classic 80s horror movie which has recently been remade, but you have to see the original!
9. Neds (2011) - Gritty and violent portrayal of youth gang culture in 1970s Glasgow. If you liked This Is England and Trainspotting, then you'll love this.
10. The Woman In Black (1989) - One of those made for TV movies based on Susan Hill's classic ghost story. SCARY. I hope the remake is good!

Have you watched any good movies recently?

Boudoir Prive - October 2011

Friday, 21 October 2011


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Two beauty boxes arriving in the same day, what a great way to begin the weekend! Here's what I received in this month's Boudoir Prive box.

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(1) Rose & Co Rose Petal Salve, full size (£5) - "soothes chapped lips and dry skin." The product is 20g, a huge tin! This is a multi-purpose salve with a subtle rose scent to it. You can use this on lips, dry bits, to tame brows etc but I'll probably just use it as a lip balm as I tend to use Lush's Lemony Flutter for everything else. I like this a lot, the packaging is very cute and it looks like it will last for a long time.

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(2) Studiomakeup Liner Styler Pen in Black, full size (£12) - "long lasting and crease-proof line, easy to create a thin or thick stroke and can be removed with water." I've not heard of this brand before and the product reminds me of Bourjois' Liner Feutre, but with a much finer tip. It's seems more smudgy than Liner Feutre from swatching it on my hand, but I'll try it on my eyes and see how I get on with it.

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(3) Korres Body Butter in Quince, 50ml sample (full size 150ml - £12.50) - "extremely rich and soothing cream for dry and chapped skin". I LOVE Korres and their body butters are fantastic. I've never tried this one before and it has a pleasant scent to it, though I think the Guava one that also got sent out is nicer. Very pleased to receive this anyhow :)

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(4) Memo Paris Les Eschappes Eau De Parfum, 5ml sample (full size 30ml - £69). Eurgh, another perfume sample! Honestly, does anyone like these? Wouldn't you prefer to receive something else?!

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(5) Leonor Greyl Huile de Palme, 25ml sample (full size 95ml - £24) - "a pre-shampoo conditioner that will soften and nourish dry and damaged hair. Uses only natural ingredients, delicate aromas and plant extracts." I am intrigued to try this out. I love hair treatments, especially more natural ones, so I will be using this asap.

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(6) Cetuem Illuminating Mask, 5ml sample (full size 50g - £25) and Cetuem Creme de Lite, 5ml sample (full size 50ml - £45) - "listed as one of the top 100 beauty brands by Harpers Bazaar, uses natural plant and marine extracts." Yes, another face mask! I'm interested to see what these are like.

Summary: Pretty much happy with everything! A lot of products that I'm excited to try out and I'm pleased that there are some more natural based ones included. Like GB this month, I'll be using everything other than the perfume sample :)

Glossybox - October 2011


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A belated Glossybox post, but better late than never right? Here's what was in mine:-

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(1) Dermalogica Age Smart MultiVitamin Power Recover Masque, 15ml sample (full size 70ml - RRP £33) - "a powerful masque of concentrated antioxidant vitamins to help skin recover and regenerate." I am obssessed with face masks at the moment so I'll certainly be trying this out asap. Sample size looks like enough for two uses which is good.

(2) Dermalogica Age Smart MultiVitamin Thermafoliant, 15ml sample (full size 75ml - RRP £40.50) - "a powerful thermal skin polisher that combines physical and chemical exfoliants." This seems to be like a fancy face scrub basically. Not really liking the sound of 'chemical exfoliants' all that much, but I'll read up on it and give it a go.

(3) Dermalogica Age Smart Renewal Lip Complex, 1ml sample (full size 1.75ml - RRP £22.50) - "a daily treatment that restores the delicate lip tissue."
To celebrate their 6-month milestone, Glossybox decided to put in an extra sixth product in this month's box which is this lip treatment and a beauty bag. I've tried the lip complex and it's OK, feels nice on.

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(4) Robert Piguet Eau De Parfums in Fracas, Visa and Calypso, 0.8ml samples (full size 50ml - RRP £65 each) - "three signature scents from the most Parisian of fashion designers". Yeah, I'm getting a bit fed up of these perfume samples in nearly every box. These will be passed on, again.

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(5) Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Moray
, full size (RRP £13) - "highly pigmented, waterproof eye liner glides on delivering intense, vibrant colour with staying power." This looks amazing, the colour looks gorgeous but mine is BROKEN. I know some people had a lot of trouble with the twisting up mechanism, but mine has a fault running through it in the plastic and won't budge at all. Contacted GB and they are sending me a replacement, so I'll put up a separate review of that when it arrives.

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(6) Leighton Denny nail polish in Sex Kitten, full size (RRP £11) - Excited to try this because I've seen a few bloggers talk about how great Leighton Denny polishes are. The packaging looks quite cool, not sure about the colour yet but I'll post a NOTD soon no doubt. Cringeworthy name though that doesn't really go with the shade at all but I'm glad I got this one instead of the other pinks and oranges as I have far too many of those already.

Summary: I'm impressed with the full size Stila (even though it's broken... I'm sure it will be fabulous when its replacement arrives!) and Leighton Denny products. I'm not sure about having THREE Dermalogica products in the same box. I know its an expensive skincare brand, but it just seems rather lazy to me to do that or it's like the brand are really wanting to force themselves onto people. I would have preferred perhaps the extra sixth product to be from a different brand that I could try out, afterall, isn't that what Glossybox is meant to be all about? Saying that, I will use all of the products except the perfumes, and it is excellent value for money again.

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