March Books List

Sunday, 31 March 2013

NOTD: Nails Inc - Porchester Square

Friday, 29 March 2013

Nails Inc's Porchester Square has to be one of my all time favourite nail polishes.  It's the the most simple and clean looking neutral 'mushroomy' shade which some may find boring, but I think it's quietly elegant and it always yields many compliments whenever I wear it.  Plus it applies so easily in two coats and has a natural glossy finish.  If it didn't already come with that hero sticker, I'd be putting one on it myself.

What are you wearing on your nails today?

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March Empties / Products I've Used Up

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Oh yes, it's that time of the month for the Empties round up!  I managed to finish off quite a lot of products again which is no surprise since I'm still on the 100 Day Spending Ban.  So here are my March Empties, what I thought of them and whether I will be repurchasing them or not.

Winter Skin Saviour: Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Hand Cream

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Hand Cream (50ml, £10, link)

I wasn't expecting to write another Winter Skin Saviour post until at least October/November, but as it's still freezing cold out, it seems rather apt to fit in another.  I've often spoken of my love for L'Occitane's Shea Butter Hand Creams, but recently my hands have been having a little fling with this one.  

Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Hand Cream smells simply divine.  No other word can sum up the heavenly uplifting orange scent that it has.  But where some hand creams have only scent as their main marketable asset, Bee Lovely ticks all the other boxes too.   

It has organic honey and a plethora of other natural and organic ingredients in it.  The formula is just right for me; neither too thick, nor too thin.  I  You can use it like a light hand cream during the day by just using a small amount, or you can slather a generous amount on at night and leave it alone to do its moisturising magic.  Either way, my hands are loving this.  No wonder I picked up two when they were magazine freebies!

Have you tried this?

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Review: Betrousse - The Glitz and Glamour Box

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

 Betrousse Beauty Box* (£10 + P&P, link)

Betrousse have just released a brand new beauty box called 'Glitz and Glamour', and I'm happy to see that it's only a tenner plus postage as their past boxes have always been priced much higher.  As always with Betrousse, all of the contents are full sized and there's a good mix of products included.  Let's see what's inside shall we?

Spending Ban Update # 11

Monday, 25 March 2013

Don't be fooled by the above photo, I haven't broken my spending ban! As per my rules, I'm allowed to purchase a replacement item if something has completely run out.  Lo and behold, my ever faithful Lightening Touch Concealer Pen from The Body Shop decided to do just that last week (to be honest, I had a sneaky feeling it was running low).  I thought I had a backup somewhere in my stash but sadly this wasn't the case.  At £14 a pop, I thought it would be wiser to seek out a more budget friendly alternative for the time being. 

I opted for Collection's version called Illuminating Touch Brightening Concealer which was a mere £4.99.  I also got a free Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner with it, yay!  I think this offer has now ceased and has been replaced by Boots' 3 for 2 deal instead, so I'm happy I managed to pick them up when I did.  Will have reviews on both of these up shortly once I've had a proper play with them.  Has anyone else got these or tried them before?

The rest of the week has been incredibly dull and mainly consisted of working and finishing essays.  I will be very glad when all of this snow goes and Spring finally decides to show up!

The 100 Day Spending Ban & My Rules / Updates 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
/ 9 / 10

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DIY Beauty: Toffee Sugar Scrub

Sunday, 24 March 2013

If there's one beauty related product that I nearly always make myself, it's body scrubs.  They're so easy to whip up with ingredients that you've probably already got in your kitchen.  This one is perfect for anyone who loves very sweet stuff!  

Tried & Tested: Murad Vitalic Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Murad Vitalic Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask* (6 treatments, £25, link)

Often touted as a 'weekly miracle worker for dull skin', I've spotted Murad's Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask on several blogs lately and I have been lucky enough to be able to try it out for myself.  This face mask uses Pomegranate Extract, Natural Fruit Enzymes, Ginko Bilbo Extract, and AHAs to dissolve tired and dull skin cells, leaving you with a brightened, clear and revitalised complexion.  

It has a gel like formula which feels instantly cooling when you first apply it to freshly cleansed skin, and there was also a tingling, 'working', sensation as the mask gets down to business.  Those with sensitive skin may find this too irritating, but I didn't find it too uncomfortable myself.  I left it on for around 10 minutes and then washed it off.  My skin was left feeling very clean, my pores looked noticeably smaller, and my complexion looked much brighter overall.  Brilliant! 

The packaging is a little unconventional as you receive six sachets in a box, as opposed the usual tube or pump, but I can see this appealing to those who travel a lot and want to keep up with a good skincare routine whilst they're away.  There's a lot of product in one sachet, so you could easily get two uses out of each one which is what I did.  On this basis, you're paying £25 for 12 masks which works out at just over £2 each.  Not bad for a face treatment that works!

Have you tried this?
Do you prefer face masks in tubes or sachets?

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Photos & Swatches: Mavala S/S13: Lemon Cream, Lagoon, Aquamarine & White

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

 Mavala S/S13 Nail Polishes* (5ml, £4.50 each, link)

The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed a lack of NOTDs on here recently, so like buses, I'm going to bombard you with four at once!  I was recently sent the new S/S13 nail polishes from Mavala to play with and I have been enjoying their pastel coloured goodness. These shades are so perfect for Spring!   

Currently Using: Cleansers

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

As much as I love trying out new skincare, my skin doesn't always agree and tends to reacts badly if I chop and change what I use too often.  That said, if I stick with just using one cleanser for both morning and evening, it doesn't like that much either.  After a lot of trial and error, I've managed to find a good balance, so the following are the cleansers that my oily/combination skin is currently very happy with on a daily basis.

Spending Ban Update #10

Monday, 18 March 2013

I find it so hard to believe that I've been on a spending ban for 10 whole weeks now - it doesn't seem that long at all!

This past week has been fairly same old, same old.  The weather has been awful, work has been very busy, and I'm hitting the point of writing block with a particular essay I need to finish by Thursday.  Luckily, I only need another 800 words, so I'm sure I'll think of something to finish that off.

 I've stuck with the ban again this week and haven't bought anything, but I did accept a lovely meal out and quite a lot of drinks from friends yesterday for St Patrick's Day.  After this ban is over, it's going to be drinks on me for a while!

Well that's everything to report - not long to go now!

P.S My giveaway to win a set of Ecotools make-up brushes & TVVC Eyelash Curlers ends tomorrow - if you'd like to enter, click here.


The 100 Day Spending Ban & My Rules / Updates 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
/ 9

Want to join in and do a 100 Day Spending Ban?  Just do it!

To see all of the bloggers currently involved, visit Blog Of Shadows who has an enormous list of everyone who is taking part.  And don't forget that there's a Twitter chat at 8pm every Thursday! #spendingban

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Hair Review: Choppin' Block, Telford with Groupon

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Last weekend, I travelled down to the Choppin' Block beauty salon in Wellington, Telford for a long overdue haircut.  Groupon*, the online retailer which offers consumers a range of bargain deals on pretty much everything (from electrical goods, days out and holidays, to gift ideas and hair and beauty treatments), very kindly offered me the chance to review one of their beauty deals, so I opted to try out a haircut at the Choppin' Block.  It's a mini road trip away from where I live, but as I was meeting up with friends in nearby Shrewsbury the same weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to give it a go!

Review: UNE Lip Toned Colour Lipstick in 05

Friday, 15 March 2013

UNE Lip Toned Colour Lipstick in 05 (2g, £7.99, link)

How is it possible that I have bypassed UNE for so long?  Launched in the UK by Bourjois a few years ago, the whole UNE range is made up of beautiful neutral tones, which fits in nicely with the whole natural ethos they're based around.  I picked up one of their Lip Toned Colour Lipsticks recently and I'm in love with it.

Review: Murad Blemish Treatment Concealer

Thursday, 14 March 2013

 Murad Blemish Treatment Concealer* (2.5g, £19, link)

If you've ever been troubled by blemishes, you'll probably know that covering them in make-up can often only exasperate the problem.  However, having an unsightly crater of a spot on your face is never pleasant or exactly going to boost your confidence levels either.  Which is where this magic 2-in-1 blemish treatment concealer comes in very handy.  But does it work?

Currently Using: Lip Balms!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

It's no secret that I have something of an obsession with lip balms.  I have a tube, pot, stick, tin or even sphere of the stuff somewhere near me at all times.  If I didn't, I'd probably run to the nearest shop and purchase one, such is my dislike for dry, chapped lips.  I decided to count up how many of these lip saviors I have in current usage which involved a quick check of my handbags, desk drawers, coat pockets and generally any available surface space that could accommodate such an item.  The total that came back was nine!  So here are those nine lip balms that I currently have on the go:-

Spending Ban Update #9

Monday, 11 March 2013

It's been one hell of a busy week for me but I'm pleased to say that I'm back on track with the spending ban and haven't bought anything off the banned list.  Yay!

At the weekend, I went for a long overdue haircut courtesy of Groupon (post on that coming up soon) and then I went to Crufts yesterday which was a lot of fun.  It's become something of a tradition for me to go every year, even though I mostly just spend the whole day petting the dogs in the Discover Dogs section rather than watching any of the actual shows! 
Anyone else go?

Aside from that, the rest of my week has mainly been dominated by drafting two very long essays for Uni - it seems like all my lecturers want everything in before the Easter break so I've been trying to get it all done asap.  Despite the deadline pressure, I'm glad the main bulk of it will be submitted soon, so that I can actually enjoy having a break from it all at Easter, instead of being stressed about what I need to finish!

So after last week's naughty mini splurge, this one has been much better for my bank balance.


The 100 Day Spending Ban & My Rules / Updates 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Want to join in and do a 100 Day Spending Ban?  Just do it!

To see all of the bloggers currently involved, visit Blog Of Shadows who has an enormous list of everyone who is taking part.  And don't forget that there's a Twitter chat at 8pm every Thursday! #spendingban

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I'm in Simply Beautiful magazine!

Friday, 8 March 2013

I was recently interviewed by the lovely Rebecca Goodyear for the print edition of Simply Beautiful magazine (Spring 2013) which covers all things natural - beauty, lifestyle and health.  My copy arrived this morning and I couldn't wait to show it off to everyone - my mum loves it!  In the interview, I talk about my favourite natural brands, offer up some DIY beauty tips, and suggest where the beauty industry might be heading when it comes to natural and organic products.

I'm very excited to see how the magazine progresses and  I look forward to seeing which bloggers are featured in future editions.  I think I'm going to indulge in a long bath later and read the whole thing from cover to cover!

Huge thanks to Rebecca for interviewing me, and Claire for sending me a copy :)

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Tried & Tested: Weleda Iris Hydrating Masque

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Weleda Iris Hydrating Masque* (30ml, £12.49)

When it comes to face masks, I have a habit of going on auto pilot and heading straight for the ones that promise me things like banishing blemishes, smaller pores and brighter skin, which is probably why I've bypassed this hidden skincare gem for so long.

Weleda's Iris Hydrating Masque is a creamy face mask which has some amazing powers (seriously, this thing is like Wonder Woman coming to rescue you!).  Not only does it take the skin to a whole new level of feeling moisturised, but it also helps to regulate that moisture balance and keep everything happy at the same time.  Genius. 

Why is this so important to me?  Well being plagued with oily/combination skin means that most face masks that are billed as 'hydrating' are simply too hydrating for me.  I don't need a thick, heavy, too rich formula because that's only going to clog up my pores and make me look greasy.  That's not attractive!  Instead, I want something that will seriously hydrate my dry parts, but do so only lightly on the oily bits.  Somehow this face mask manages to do exactly that.  My skin feels super soft and looks more healthy/less tired.

To use, I simply apply a small amount all over a clean, cleansed face, leave it on for around 10 minutes and wash it off with warm water.  If your skin is drier, I'd suggest leaving it for an extra 10 minutes so that it soaks up more of the lovely formula.  I've been using it once a week for the last few weeks and it's like going in for a spa facial every time I use it!  

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Review: terre d'Oc BB Cream in 952 Rose des Sables

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

 terre d'Oc BB Cream in 952 Rose des Sables* (30ml, £24.95)

With Spring and the promise of some warmer weather on the way, I've found myself starting to gravitate towards much lighter make-up bases already.  So when the new BB cream from terre d'Oc launched recently, I couldn't wait to try it out.

Packaged in a high-end weighty glass bottle with a pump dispenser, terre d'Oc's latest make-up offering promises to be a true multi-tasking BB cream.  The light formula aims to nourish, moisturise, conceal and brighten the skin, whilst leaving it looking even, smooth, flawless, natural and radiant.  Now those are some pretty big claims to make.

Review & Giveaway (CLOSED!): Ecotools Travel Brushes Set

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Ever since I bought a set of Ecotools brushes last year (reviewed here), I knew I'd eventually be getting my hands on some more. So when I spotted this cute little travel size set in my local TK Maxx at the weekend for a bargain price, I couldn't hand my cash over fast enough.  

The brushes are all made from 100% cruelty free synthetic taklon bristles, which are ridiculously soft, and feature both a sleek metal furrule which is made from recycled aluminum and a sturdy bamboo handle (bamboo being an amazing low impact, highly sustainable plant).  Make-up brushes really don't come more eco-friendly than Ecotools!

Spending Ban Update #8

Monday, 4 March 2013

 So Week 8...

I succumbed to the lure of the magazine freebies.  I can never resist them, so I knew I would be breaking the ban this week.  What I didn't know was that I was going to pick up some extra things as well.  I blame payday of course and not my inability to say no to a good deal! 

 Here's what I bought at the weekend:-

March/April UK Magazine Freebies: Neal's Yard Remedies & Percy Reed

Sunday, 3 March 2013

I couldn't help picking up this month's magazine freebies (and maybe one or two other beauty bits this weekend.  I'll confess all in my spending ban update tomorrow but it isn't too bad, honest!).  

Anyway, with Marie Claire, there's a free full size Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Hand Cream worth £10, and I absolutely love the scent of this.  I've been using the Body Lotion and Busy Bee Balm from the same range for the last couple of months (review of those here), so I knew I'd be getting my greedy mitts on this freebie!

With Glamour, there is a choice of four different Percy Reed haircare products (Shampoo, Conditioner, Finishing Polish and Volumising Oil), and I opted for the Volumising Oil to try out.

Have you picked up any of these magazine freebies this month? 

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February Favourites

Friday, 1 March 2013

February may be the shortest month of the year, but that's not going to stop me from finding a good handful of beauty favourites.  Here's what I've been loving this month:-

The London Oil Company Morning Glory & Sleepy Head Body Oils* have been keeping my skin soft, hydrated and not to mention, smelling gorgeous.  As the names suggest, I've been using Morning Glory to brighten up the process of waking up first thing and Sleepy Head to send me off to the land of nod.  Another gorgeous smelling skin softner that I've been enamoured with is LUSH Ro's Argan Body Conditioner.  It's a simple slap it on and wash it off in the shower deal for those times when I'm running late (which let's face it, is always!).

Make-up wise, I've mostly been wearing Inika Creme Colour in Rosehip* on my cheeks which has a wonderful creamy formula that lasts all day, and my lips have been constantly decorated with those budget friendly Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquers in Celestial, Luna and Nude Eclipse.  I've also discovered a new favourite concealer corrector in the guise of Perricone MD No Concealer Concealer*, so I'd say it's been a pretty good month!

What beauty products have you been loving lately?

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