DIY Beauty: Shredded Cucumber Eye Masks

Friday 29 June 2012

I came across some very old photos of myself earlier this week, during a manic summer cleaning blitz.  In them, I was with some friends at a sleepover, probably aged around 6 or 7 and we all had DIY face masks on, accompanied by the obligatory cucumber slices over our eyes!  I haven't donned cucumber slices for a long time, because nowadays I find the shredding technique a lot more effective.  This is a good DIY tip for anyone who has been suffering from puffy eyes recently.  Shredding the cucumber and bundling it into muslin cloth will cover more of the eye area than a thin slice of cucumber would, so a bit more effect doing it this way will give you much better results.

You will need:-
- A half portion of cucumber
- A grater
- Two muslin cloths
- Two hair ties

To do:-
1. Grate all of the cucumber and divide the shreddings into two even piles.
2. Place each pile of shreddings into each muslin cloth.
3. Wrap each one up and fasten with a hair tie.
4. Lie back and place on the bundles on closed eyes for 10-15 minutes for a cooling 
and refreshing de-puffing natural eye treatment.

Have a great weekend! :)

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NOTD: Leighton Denny - Supermodel

Thursday 28 June 2012

I finally found Leighton Denny's Supermodel!  Every issue of Harpers Bazaar I'd come across only had the bright shades left, but the other day I managed to get my greedy paws on Supermodel, a gorgeous taupe/neutral shade.  I can certainly see why this was the first to fly off the shelves!  The formula of this is really good and it's been wearing well too, three days so far and no chips.

Did you pick up any of the Leighton Denny nail polishes that were free with Harpers Bazaar this month?  

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June Books List

Books I have read in June:-

(1 & 2) Fifty Shades Of Grey & Fifty Shades Darker by E. L. James - I couldn't resist picking these up due to all of the hype surrounding this steamy series.  It's based around two main characters who enter into a BDSM relationship; naive, young, graduate Ana Steele and self made billionaire with issues, Christian Grey.  Cue lots of sex, some bad writing ("My Inner Goddess" anyone?) and more sex, but I loved reading them! Guilty pleasure heaven.  I will read the last book in the trilogy soon but felt I needed a break first *ahem*  [4/5 & 3/5].

(3) You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik - Controversial coming of age story that's emotional and unsettling at times, centered around a sordid teacher/student relationship.  I can see why it's drawn comparisons with both Donna Tartt (though Tartt's prose still blows most things out of the water) and the film Dead Poets Society.   My main reason for giving it 3/5 though is because it seems to be trying way too hard to be clever, and I feel that it could easily have still been an intelligent novel without the excessive 'meaning of life' themes.  [3/5]

(4) Uglies by Scott Westerfield - A YA dystopian novel where children who are 16 have procedures to become 'Pretties', which is vital in a future world that appears to have gone mad. I was disappointed with Uglies, probably because I felt like it was a very young YA, as opposed to the usual more older teen YA stuff that I tend to read.  Didn't get into the story much, which is a shame because I liked the overall concept and it could have been really good if it had been fleshed out more.  [2/5]

(5) The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan - An in depth book which looks at where our food comes from, as well as documenting our history with food and where we're at now.  Pollan has studied the economic, environmental and political issues that surround our overly complex relationship with the foods that we eat every day, so it's an interesting read for anyone wanting to find out more.  [4/5]

(6) Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder - I love fantasy novels like this, where it's not all about remembering endless names and family trees, and instead just cuts straight into the action of the story. Perfect escapism for me!   Loved the storyline (a condemned prisoner, Yelena, is offered the chance to escape her execution, but only by becoming the Commander of Ixia's food taster), and I thought the subtle romance between Yelena and her mentor Valek was nice too.  Will definitely read the next book Magic Study soon.  [4/5]

What books have you read recently?

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June Empties

Wednesday 27 June 2012

It's that time again!  Here are my empties for June and whether I would repurchase them:-
  •  The Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub - Although I adore anything coconut scented (and this does smell good), I thought this scrub wasn't very effective at all.  It's more like a shower smoothie and has these tiny bits in it that just don't exfoliate anything.  Repurchase? No.
  • Lush The Olive Branch Shower Gel - I always seem to have a small bottle of this in my bathroom and like to use it every now and again for a change.  Repurchase? Yes.
  • KMS California Free Shape Quick Blow Dry Spray - Love this, it does what it says it'll do and is lightweight on the hair.  Repurchase? Yes, definitely will get a full size.
  • The Body Shop Vitamin E Tinted Moisture Lotion - I do like this because it moisturises well and gives pretty good coverage for a tinted product, but I feel it's better suited to dry skin types because it can feel a bit too greasy on my oily/combination skin, especially in summer.  Repurchase? Maybe in Winter.
  • Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in 09 Currant - Nice sheer gloss, a little sticky though.  Repurchase? I wouldn't buy a full size, but I would pick up another sample.
  • Clinique All About Eyes Eye Cream - Lovely to use at night as it's very rich and super hydrating.  Repurchase? Already have another sample.
  • LJ's Natural Solutions Balancing Organic Moisturiser* - This was too heavy for my skin so I used it up as a night cream and it was great for that.  I imagine it would work really well for dry skin.  Repurchase? No.
  • Jurlique Purely White Skin Brightening Cleanser - Loved this sample, my skin did look brighter after just one use.  Repurchase? Yes, I think I would buy a full size.
  • Montagne Jeunesse Sauna Masque - One of the best budget beauty buys out there, this is simply amazing for only 99p!  Has a warming effect which draws out any impurities clogged in your pores and always makes my skin look really clean afterwards.  Ideal if you're prone to breakouts.  Repurchase? Yes!

  • Percy Reed Spendidly Silky Moisturising Conditioner - Didn't hydrate my hair, it made it even drier, hated it!  Used it up as shaving cream instead.  Repurchase? No!
  •  Witch Anti-Blemish Skin Clearing Primer - I like this a lot as I find it really works well for oily skin and creates a barrier that prevents make-up from breaking you out.  Repurchase? Yes, but not for a while as I'm using Benefit's The POREfessional at the moment.
  • Dead Sea Spa Magik Silky Smooth Body Lotion - Lovely formula that sinks into the skin straight away, but it doesn't really have a scent.  Repurchase? No.
  • Bodhi Ylang Ylang Incensa Sensual Body Moisturiser* - The scent of this is absolutely divine but I prefer the formula of other body moisturisers more.  Repurchase? Probably not.  I'd rather splash out on the shower gel with the same scent instead.
  • Lavera Basis Sensitive Hand Cream - Great summer hand cream because it's quite light, really like this.  Repurchase? Yes.
  • Weleda Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash - This has a wonderful uplifting citrus scent and was quite moisturising too.  Repurchase? Yes, would buy a full size at some point.
  • Iroisie Ultimate BB Cream SPF 25 - Tried this today and wasn't that keen on it.  Smells quite strongly and was very thick which made it difficult to blend.  Repurchase? No.
Have you used up any beauty products this month?  Link me to your empties posts below!

*PR samples
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Summer Essentials: Beauty Products for Hayfever

Monday 25 June 2012

The sun has finally decided to come out and play!  But along with it comes the accompanying high pollen counts sadly.  I don't often complain about the sunshine, as I've always preferred hot weather to cold, but I do suffer from hayfever and it can be a BITCH at times!  So when the pollen goes up, I find myself adding an extra couple of beauty products to my everyday make-up bag in order to help cover up some of the symptoms of hayfever.  I don't think I've seen many posts like this about, so I thought it may be helpful to those who might feel a bit self conscious during hayfever season.

Blink & Go Long Lasting Mascara - A good waterproof mascara is a must for most people during the hotter months, but even more so for hayfever sufferers.  With all that sneezing going on, if you're going to wear mascara, make sure you pick one that won't leave you with smeary panda eyes.

Barry M Shimmering Eye and Lip Crayon in 01 - I often dab a bit of a light, champagney colour on my inner eye area to make me look more awake, and find myself doing this more often when hayfever strikes.  It just helps to lessen the tired look you get when you've been sneezing.

Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion* - Oh boy, do I wish someone had given me a bottle of this when I was younger!  This is so useful for refreshing red and sore eyes.  It's a very gentle herbal lotion that cleanses and tones the eye area.  You put a small amount on a cotton wool pad and sweep it over closed eyes to revitalise and refresh.  It's lovely and soothing, exactly what I need when hayfever has made my eyes look awful!  This is still worth checking out even if you don't have hayfever because it reduces puffiness and removes light make-up too.

Everyday Minerals Mint Color Corrector - A very clever make-up trick can be achieved by using this simple green powder to cover up any redness on your face.  This is particularly good around the nose area.  Apply your usual concealer over the top of it and you're good to go.

Hay Max - A friend introduced me to Hay Max about two years ago and I always have a pot of it with me during spring and summer.  It's basically an all natural balm that you apply at the base of your nose and it acts as a pollen barrier, trapping it before it reaches you.  It doesn't completely stop me from sneezing, but I definitely sneeze less when I use this.  The one I have has a slight Lavender fragrance and you can also get it in Aloe Vera and unscented.

Do you use any beauty products to help with hayfever?

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*PR sample

NOTD: Ciate - Jelly Bean

Sunday 24 June 2012

On my nails this weekend has been Ciate's Jelly Bean; a bright fuschia pink with blue undertones.  Although it's not the most original colour in the world, it is pretty cute if you like your girly pinks!  You should still be able to pick up one up for free with the current issue of Marie Claire before the new mags arrive on the shelves.

What's on your nails today?  

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NEOM Utter Relaxation Collection

Saturday 23 June 2012

I was so happy to receive this NEOM Utter Relaxation Collection gift set for my birthday.  I absolutely love NEOM and if you've never tried anything from them before, I'd strongly recommend their incredible candles!  NEOM are a British brand who have a fantastic range of luxury organic products which use a lot of pure essential oils, meaning that everything smells simply amazing.  In my gift set were the following:-
  • Tranquility Organic Pillow Mist -  This is a potent blend of Jasmine, Sweet Basil and Lavender to help you to fall asleep.  The combined scent of all three is so lovely and because it's so concentrated, you only need one or two sprays of this on your pillow/bedsheets, and you're soon off to the land of nod.
  • Tranquility Organic Bath Oil - I love using bath oils and NEOM do some of the best on the market.  Can't wait to use this, smells so good.
  • Sumptuous Travel Candle - NEOM candles have something of a cult following going on and having used them in the past, I can certainly say I can see why!  The candles are made free of toxins with 100% vegetable wax and don't give off any icky black soot.  The Sumptuous blend has a Rose & Neroli Orange Blossom scent which is soothing as well as uplifting.  I lit it this morning and the fragrance is just so wonderful.  
  • Real Luxury Organic Body Lotion - Have used this before and loved it.  The formula is light so it sinks into the skin quickly, as well as being moisturising.  As you can probably guess by now, it smells really good too!
What are your favourite NEOM products? 

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Review: Real Techniques Core Collection Brushes

Friday 22 June 2012

Yesterday was my Birthday (thank you for all of your lovely tweets!), and one of the gifts that I very gratefully received was the Real Techniques Core Collection make-up brushes.  When these came out earlier this year, I kept meaning to buy them, but I bought some Eco Tools ones instead at the time, and told myself that I simply didn't need these.  Having had this set for less than 24 hours, I can strongly tell you that I was SO WRONG ABOUT THAT!  These brushes seriously live up to their hype and I absolutely love them; from their sleek design to their ultra soft taklon bristles, Real Techniques have set the standard for what all other brushes that I ever buy in the future will be compared to.

The Real Techniques Core Collection consists of (from L-R above):-

- a Contour Brush -  can be used for applying highlighter, blush and bronzer, the rounded shape makes contouring super easy!
- a Pointed Foundation Brush -  ideal for using with liquid foundation, the pointed tip makes short work of applying your base around those tricky areas like the nose etc.
- a Detailer Brush - that's the tiny, skinny one.  Perfect size for applying lipstick, taking eyeshadow underneath the eyes, using with concealer.
- a Buffing Brush - this is the one that I'm sure you've all heard about.  It's possibly become THE brush for applying foundation with, and works like a dream especially with mineral foundation.

The set also comes with a handy compact case, as well as doubling up as a stand, best packaging ever?!

Do you have the Core Collection and/or any other Real Techniques Brushes?  

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Tried & Tested: REN Neroli & Grapefruit Body Wash

Wednesday 20 June 2012

I received this bottle of REN's Neroli & Grapefruit Body Wash, last December via an Amarya box and it's something of a scandal that I've only just gotten around to using it.  My main excuse was that I was 'saving' it for summer, because it's got a lovely fresh fruity scent which would be great to refresh with in the warmer months.  But truth be told, it's because I had far too many bath and shower products on the go at the time, and there simply wasn't enough space in my bathroom for another body wash!  Any else crazily hoard stuff in their bathroom?  I'm sure there are plenty of nods of agreement out there, we're all simply mad aren't we?!

So fast forward to this week, and I have been enjoying using this product so much.  Here are two simple reasons why:-

- Scent is amazing!  It reminds me a lot of Lush's Happy Hippy Shower Gel which has long been a firm favourite of mine.  Wonderfully citrusy and helps to wake me up in the morning, but without being too overpowering at the same time.  
- I feel like my skin is being properly cleansed with this, rather than coated with fragrance.  It doesn't really lather all that much with it being a natural product, but I always feel incredibly clean after using it.

The only teeny not-so-positive thing I feel that I need to mention, is that you need to use at least 3-4 pumps of this every time you shower otherwise it doesn't feel enough.  Because of this, I don't think it'll last as long as I'd hoped it would.  Other than that, I think this is a great buy if you're looking for a fresh, citrusy, natural body wash for the summer.

Have you tried this?  Do you use any REN products?

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Front Cover Make-Up Set: Colour Of The Season Pink S/S 2012 (Photos & Swatches)

Tuesday 19 June 2012

If you have ever been in a Boots during Christmas time, you'll no doubt have seen Frontcover's make-up sets (or you may even have bought one as a gift or received one yourself).  I have always been intrigued by their huge boxed palettes and the consumer hype that surrounds this brand; many of their kits regularly sell out when they're introduced in stores.  So what is all the fuss about?!  I want to know!

I was sent one of the new Frontcover make-up sets for S/S to try out.  Colour Of The Season: Pink* is a boxed palette which gives you (most of) the products that you need to recreate the look on the cover.  It's a simple chic and feminine everyday look centered around the colour pink which was popular on this year's Chanel runways.  On the back and on the inside cover, are easy to follow make-up tips to advise you on how to use the products included in the set to get the overall cover look.

Colour Of The Season: Pink contains 3 domed baked eyeshadows, 3 lip glosses, a black kohl eye pencil with a smudger tip, a lip liner, a baked powder blusher and a nail polish, as well as two brushes; a cheek brush and a double ended eyeshadow brush.  You also get a pencil sharpener too which is always handy to have in a set like this.  Onto the swatches!

The 3 lip glosses offer 3 different variations on the pink lip look.  Coral Peach is a nice sheer shimmery pink, whereas Desert Flower is a 'barely there' nude.  I found it impossible to get DF to show up on me, even with multiple layers, so that shade would only really work on those with very naturally pale lips.  Rosebud is definitely the standout lip gloss in the set, look at that beautifully pigmented fuschia pink!  The formula of these are pretty average though (not really sticky or scented, wear time is maybe an hour or so), and I'd recommend wearing a lip primer underneath Rosebud to help it stay put.

The baked eyeshadows were very disappointing.  As you can see they're not very pigmented at all (I swatched all three quite heavily to get them to show up), so I think these would look better used wet or with a damp brush.  An eyeshadow primer like UDPP would be an absolute MUST if wearing any of these!  Peach Skin is a pretty neutral pink with finely milled shimmer in it, Wolf is a shimmery grey that looks a bit taupey in some lights, and Black Spark is a light black with lots of silver glitter.  The glitter in Black Spark is very chunky and I had some fallout issues with all three of these, majorly so with Black Spark.

The Baked Powder Blusher looked incredible when I first put it on; it had just the right amount of shimmer in it to look like beautiful pink blush combined with a highlighter.  Unfortunately, the pink in the blush quickly faded by mid-morning and left me with just the shimmer particles on my cheeks, not a good look!  This may just be because my skin is oily/combination, so it might be better suited for drier skin.  The Black Kohl Eye Pencil fared much better, but did require setting to prevent it smudging and the Lip Liner sadly quickly faded and didn't exactly colour match any of the glosses in the set.

The two brushes included were too rough for me to use and shedded immediately, so I used my own in the end.  The Nail Polish wasn't great either.  It was very thick and gloopy so it took me ages to apply and then it chipped literally within the hour!  Such a shame because it's a slightly darker version of one of my favourite polishes from China Glaze - Fifth Avenue.

Summary: I don't think the products in this set meet my relatively high make-up expectations, as I was looking for an everyday make-up palette and this certainly let me down.  However, I think that my opinions are largely based on the fact that I'm slightly older than perhaps the target audience for the Frontcover sets?  I can imagine this being a nice make-up set to buy for someone much younger (early teens) who is just starting to get into make-up and wants to experiment.  In that context, I would say it's more than ideal, but if you're looking to achieve a more professional make-up look, then perhaps try something else.

*PR sample

Review: Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia

Monday 18 June 2012

After trying out Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers last month and loving those, I decided to order one of their Tinted Lip Balms to see what they were like.  My decision to get one was also swayed by seeing one mentioned in Susie Amy's recent favourites and in Sandra's lip products post.

First things first; the packaging.  The Tinted Lip Balms come wrapped in a thick cardboard tube which give the impression you're getting more product for your money, but they're the same amount and size as the regular  Burt's Bees lip balms.  When you take out the tinted lip balm, there's ANOTHER cardboard tube surrounding it.  Burt's Bees, there's no need for this wasteful packaging!  I know that cardboard is easily recyclable, but still, it's better not to create it in the first place right?

I picked Red Dahlia which looks like a deep almost burgundy/wine red in the tube, but on the lips, it delivers just a sheer wash of colour (see swatch below) which is more pink and very easy to wear for everyday.  Because it's so sheer, you'll need to reapply it regularly, but it's no problem if you're a lip balm fiend like myself!  It's super moisturizing as you'd expect from Burt's Bees and unlike the Lip Shimmers, the Tinted Lip Balms don't have that tingly cooling menthol flavour.  They are 100% natural and I really want to try some of the other shades.

Have you tried Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balms?

NOTD: China Glaze - Dress Me Up

Sunday 17 June 2012

I'm being super organised today (honestly it doesn't happen often, I must be feeling ill or something), and have decided to paint my nails for the week ahead.  I went with China Glaze's Dress Me Up which I received in my Joliebox last month.  When the China Glaze Hunger Games collection came out (which this nail polish is from, the name referring to District 8's textiles), I didn't give it a second glance because I already have so many similar shades, but boy am I glad to have it now!  It's possibly my favourite dusky rose neutral ever, I just love it.  The formula is also great, typical China Glaze, and applies smoothly in two coats.

What are you wearing on your nails today?  

Natural Beauty: The Organyc Feminine Care Range

A bit of a different post today!  As some of you may know, I am changing my degree to Environmental Science in October and I have always been very much for the expansion of organic goods.  Whilst the organic beauty market has boomed in the last few years due to changing attitudes and more consumer awareness about our environment, there are certain products that are still not readily available everywhere. 

One of those corners of the market is feminine care/hygiene products.  Take a look down the aisle of any of the big supermarket chains, and you'll be hard pushed to find anything that is organic in this area.  But for those who are searching for a more natural alternative, look no further than eco-brand Organyc.

The Organyc Feminine Care range* covers all of your needs and includes sanitary pads, tampons and panty liners, as well as gentle intimate washes and wipes.  They also have cotton wool pads and cotton wool buds for your daily beauty routine.  The range is 100% certified organic cotton, 100% biodegradable, chlorine free, hypoallergenic, and is Vegan Society approved too.  

Do you buy anything organic? Food, clothing, beauty products?

*PR samples

Tried & Tested: Leighton Denny Remove & Rectify Cuticle Remover

Friday 15 June 2012

Nail cuticles are strange things aren't they?  Like the rest of my skin, mine are on the dry side and get even drier when the weather is cold or I'm subjected to too much central heating.  I use various cuticle balms and salves when I can remember too, but I was looking for something that would just help to remove them when I wanted my nails to look nice and tidy.

I saw Andy's review of Leighton Denny's Remove & Rectify Cuticle Remover a while ago, and I was so impressed with his before and after photos of this product, that I knew I had to try it out myself.  I've been using Remove & Rectify for about three weeks and I'm definitely pleased with it.

Remove & Rectify looks like your typical Leighton Denny nail polish which makes storing it easy.  It has a little pump that dispenses a small amount at a time and has a pleasant fruity fragrance due to the Grape, Passion Fruit and Pineapple extracts in it.  Instead of harsh chemicals, it uses these and Milk AHAs to dissolve away the dry skin around the cuticles.  Super easy to use, you just rub it into the cuticles, leave for a few minutes to do it's thing, and then you can use a hoof/orange stick to push back the cuticle neatly and clean up around it for a polished look.

It's £11 which might sound pricey compared to some of the cheaper drugstore cuticle removers you can get, but this feels a lot nicer than the cheaper ones I've tried, smells much better and moisturises a lot better too.  Whichever way you look at it, you only use a teeny amount each time, so it'll definitely last a while.

Have you tried this?  Do you use cuticle removers?

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Shy Girl

Thursday 14 June 2012

I randomly ended up at a MAC counter today (as you do!) and bought a Cremesheen Lipstick in Shy Girl.  I have been having a brief love affair with nude lips at the moment, and this was just perfect for the look I was after.  Buying nude lipsticks can be quite daunting because I've tried so many in the past which have just completely washed me out and made me look like a member of the undead.  Not a good look!  But Shy Girl seems to be just the right tone of nude for me and because it's quite neutral to start with, I can see it also suiting a range of skintones. 

The formula is a bit 'meh' though.  Although it's a cremesheen, it's definitely one of the more drying lipsticks that I have tried in the cremesheen family.  It's not terribly drying or anything like that, but it will cling to any dry parts on your lips, and I found that I had to use a lot of lip balm underneath to get an even and smooth application.  Despite this, I really do love this lipstick and I'm more than happy with the final look it gives.

What are your favourite nude lipsticks?

Summer Essential: JASON Natural Sunblock/Sunscreen

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Summer seems to be evading us in the UK at the moment, but apparently the good weather is "on its way".  Fingers crossed!  Or if you are lucky enough to be jet setting out of this grey and rainy country soon to warmer sunnier shores, then this post might be useful to you.  I was kindly sent these two products by the US natural brand, JĀSÖN to try out, and I've managed to sneak some samplings into my routine on the few sunny days that we've had recently.

First up is JĀSÖN Mineral Natural Sunblock SPF 30* - an all mineral sun screen that is fragrance free as well as being free from chemicals.  It's a broad spectrum sun screen meaning that will protect against both UVA and UVB rays.  Unlike most conventional sun screens I have always used in the past, this one feels light on the skin and doesn't take forever to rub in.  It just soaks straight in, no fuss whatsoever.  I also had no issues with my sensitive skin because it's hypoallergenic too.  Is there anything this sun screen doesn't do?!  Well the only downside is that it isn't waterproof, so you'll need the 'Sport' sun screen if you plan on doing any swimming etc.  But if you're going on a non-swimming holiday like a city break or just want a general, all round sun screen for your body when the weather warms up, this would certainly be a good option.

For the face, there is JĀSÖN Facial Natural Sunblock SPF 20* which is a sheer translucent sun screen that you can wear under make-up (make sure to always put your facial sunscreen on BEFORE applying make-up, not after, because you want your sun protection to be the first layer next to your skin!).  It has a handy pump that dispenses just the right amount at a time.  I really love this one because like the Mineral Sunblock above, it soaks straight into the skin and doesn't leave any greasy residue.  It also suits my oily/combination skin because it has a lightweight oil-free formula and doesn't feel like it's clogging my pores, so I'm not worried about it breaking me out like some sun screens do.

To summarise, both of these natural sunscreen products are:-
  • Hypoallergenic - Suitable for Very Sensitive Skin 
  • Broad Spectrum - Will protect against both UVA and UVB rays
  • Paraben free
  • Cruelty free - BUAV approved
  • Fragrance free
  • Light & non greasy formulas which absorb into skin straight away
Have you tried anything from JASON?

*PR sample  

Make-Up Bag Staple: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion (or UDPP amongst devoted fans), has been a make-up bag staple of mine for years.  It's hard to think of a time when I didn't use this virtually every time I wore eyeshadow.  I've tried other eyeshadow primers and bases by different brands in the past, but I always come back to good old UDPP. 

For anyone who has never heard of this, it's a light cream primer that creates a smooth base for eyeshadow to adhere to.  It makes eyeshadows look more pigmented and in certain shades, a bit more intense and 'pop' if you will.  It stops creasing, and lasts for hours and hours.  On me it lasts all day and well into the night if I'm going out straight after work.  As I have oily/combination skin, using an eyeshadow primer is a must for me because I find a lot of eyeshadows crease very easily on my oily lids, so this puts a stop to all of that.          

Above are two quick swatches of Nature Minerals Eyeshadow Pigment in Sparkle Brown.  The above swatch shows how it looks without UDPP and the swatch below shows it with.  As you can see, when applied over UDPP it looks much more pigmented, and shows up a much richer brown.

 Do you use Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion?

Review: A'kin 24 Hour Intensive Leave In Conditioner

Monday 11 June 2012

I have been pretty obsessed with this product since trying out a sample last month.  I immediately purchased a full size tube via Naturismo and I was so happy when it arrived today.  A'kin Lavender & Anthyllis 24 Hour Intensive Leave-In Conditioner is the BEST leave-in conditioner I have ever tried.  It's formulated for normal, dry and textured hair and it really does work wonders on de-frizzing and hydrating my dry hair.  It's a light cream that absorbs into the hair immediately without any greasy or sticky residue.  I know that not everyone will like the scent of this because it does have lavender in it, but I find it quite subtle and relaxing, and once it's in your hair I didn't really notice much of a scent.

You can use it on dry or wet hair, and I find that it works equally well both ways, though I mostly use it after towel drying on damp hair before blow-drying or styling it.  You only need to use the tiniest amount each time (and I have medium-thick long hair) so this 150ml tube will last a long, long time!

I also love that this is 100% natural, made from plant derived ingredients and it's cruelty free, as well as being suitable for vegans.  Bonus points all round for A'kin! 

Have you tried this or any products from A'kin?

NOTD: Nails Inc - Bluebell (for InStyle)

Sunday 10 June 2012

I find pastel shades a bit tricky to wear because they're often too pale for me, but I have been wearing this Nails Inc Bluebell polish (which was free with InStyle magazine last month) recently, and I'm really loving it.  It's similiar to the cult favourite Beth's Blue by Models Own, but with a more pronounced baby blue in it rather than lavender tones.

What are you wearing on your nails today? 
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