Foodie Friday: YourZooki Omega V Zooki 3-6-9 Flax Seed Oil Supplement review

Friday, 22 September 2017

YourZooki Omega V Zooki 3-6-9 Strawberry Banana Supplement review
A healthy breakfast is the best way to kickstart your day, and for me, it's the easiest and fastest meal to throw together. I've been giving mine an extra boost with a drizzle of YourZooki's Omega V Zooki 3-6-9 Flax Seed Oil which is a tasty way to get your daily dose of vital omegas and essential fatty acids from a plant-based source.

What Is It?
YourZooki Omega V Zooki 3-6-9 is a Flax Seed Oil supplement with a difference as it's one of the few that I've tried which tastes really good (if you've ever tried plain flaxseed oil, you'll know what I mean - it's something of an acquired taste!). The high-strength Flaxseed Oil in YourZooki is sourced from organic farms in Canada, and then blended into a smoothie/thin yoghurt type emulsion that's been optimised for taste, convenience and absorption. 

YourZooki Omega V Zooki 3-6-9 Strawberry Banana Supplement review
What Are The Ingredients?
Purified Water, Vegetarian Flaxseed Oil, Xylitol (plant-based sweetener), Glycerin, Vitamin E (D alpha tocopherol), Thickener (Acacia Gum), Sucrose (less than 0.1g), Acidity Regulator (Potassium bicarbonate), Oleic Acid, Natural Flavours, Natural Colours, Citric Acid.

What Are The Health Benefits?
Each 15ml serving provides 6mg Vitamin E, 3000mg Omega 3 (Alpha Linoleic Acid from Flaxseed), 800mg Omega 6 (Linoleic Acid from Flaxseed) and 900mg Omega 9 (Oleic Acid). Omega 3, 6 and 9, and Vitamin E, are all important to help protect the cells from oxidative stress, maintain normal blood cholesterol levels, support overall general health and wellbeing and they help to care for the maintenance of healthy skin and hair from within.

Who Can Take It?
As these omegas are derived from Flaxseed Oil and not fish oil, this plant-based supplement is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans, and can be used by all ages.

YourZooki Omega V Zooki 3-6-9 Strawberry Banana Supplement review
What Does It Taste Like?
It has a natural Strawberry Banana flavour and is sweetened with the plant-based sweetener Xylitol, so it tastes very similar to a strawberry banana smoothie! 

How Do I Use It?
YourZooki suggests taking 1-3 teaspoons a day for adults and up to 1 teaspoon a day for children. You can take it straight off the spoon, blend it in smoothies and protein shakes or simply drizzle it over toast, porridge, granola or yoghurt - the options are endless! I quite like it over a bowl of homemade granola (check out my recipe here), almond milk and fresh fruit as you can see above. Once opened, store it in the fridge and use by the best before date.

Overall Thoughts?
I'm a big advocate of taking daily supplements to boost your overall health, and this is a great way to get your daily amount of Omega 3, 6 and 9 without feeling like you're actually taking a supplement. It's so easy to add to your everyday breakfast routine, but best of all, it tastes great!

YourZooki Omega V Zooki 3-6-9 Flax Seed Oil Supplement* (450ml, £27.99) is available from yourzooki.com

Do you take any daily supplements like this?

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Beauty News: Madame LA LA Launches at Pretty Little Thing + Self Tan Mousse & Bronzing Ball review

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Madame LA LA Launches at Pretty Little Thing
Online shopping addicts may have recently spotted that fashion retailer, Pretty Little Thing, has launched a brand new Beauty section to their website and they now stock a wide range of mainstream and indie beauty brands.

One such cult indie brand that has been added within the past month is Madame LA LA who specialise in luxury self-tanning products. I've used a couple of their tanners in the past with excellent results (check out my previous reviews here), so it's great to see them available with more stockists. To celebrate their launch onto Pretty Little Thing, they kindly sent me a few products to try out to give you an idea of what you can pick up from the PLT site.

 Madame LA LA Self-Tan Mousse
 Madame LA LA Self-Tan Mousse* (200ml, £30, link)

Self-tanning is what Madame LA LA is all about and their popular Self-Tan Mousse is definitely a hero product for the brand. It contains an innovative formula which features Coco Water, Aloe, Green Tea and Vitamin E to hydrate and nourish the skin, whilst the organic and natural based DHA gives you a beautiful Californian style tan. Not many self-tanning brands use organic or even naturally derived DHA, so it's brilliant to have this option more readily available if you're looking for a more natural based self-tanner. 

Mousse is always my top choice when it comes to tanning at home and this one is super easy to use, plus I didn't experience any problems with streaks or anything like that when I was applying it. It glides on smoothly, has a brown tint to it so you can see where it's going and is easy to buff into the skin with a tanning mitt. It does have a bit of a fake tan smell, but it's not particularly offensive to my nose and soon disappears after a few hours. This tan develops in around three hours, but I always leave it on overnight to get a darker and longer lasting result. Love it! 

 Madame LA LA Bronzing Ball
 Madame LA LA Bronzing Ball
 Madame LA LA Bronzing Ball
  Madame LA LA Bronzing Ball* (5g, £14, link)

The newest product to the Madame LA LA range is this Bronzing Ball; a cream bronzer that you can use for contouring and highlighting. The domed shape means you can apply it directly to the face and then blend it out with just your fingers. I have to admit that I thought this was rather gimmicky at first glance and I wasn't sure about the colour, but it's surprised me! It's definitely the wrong shade for me to use a contour, but as it's more of a peachy-meets-golden bronze colour, it's perfect as a shimmery blush or warm-toned highlighter, especially on tanned skin.

The ball was a little hard and felt waxy at first, so it did require some warming up with my fingertips before I could apply it, but after that, I've found it easy to use and it blends really well. A word of warning about the packaging though; when I threw this into my makeup bag I noticed that one side of the clear plastic lid had started to crack slightly, so I wouldn't recommend it for travelling with - best to keep it on your vanity or in your makeup drawer instead.

 Madame LA LA Bronzing Ball swatches
  Madame LA LA Bronzing Ball - Swatches!

Check out the new beauty section at Pretty Little Thing & shop the Madame LA LA range at prettylittlething.com

Have you tried anything from Madame LA LA?

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Luxury Beauty: Trying Out A £50 Foundation - Image Skincare I-Conceal Flawless Foundation - Review & Swatches

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Image I-Conceal Flawless Foundation - Review & Swatches
Back in July, I featured some amazing sheet masks from a high-end brand called Image Skincare in my Monthly Favourites post (check it out here if you missed it!). As the name suggests, they're mainly all about skincare, but they do have one makeup product in their range; the I-Conceal Flawless Foundation which is an interesting makeup-meets-skincare hybrid.

There are lots of brands who are including skincare benefits in their makeup, especially with base products such as primers and foundations, but Image Skincare have taken this approach to the next level. The brand prides itself on its clinical, evidence-based formulas which are at the heart of all of its skincare, so it's easy to see why they've developed a foundation which has some pretty bold claims. 

Who Is It For?
Image's I-Conceal Foundation is suitable for all skin types, but its main USP is that it helps to 'heal' the skin, as well as concealing visible imperfections. This makes it highly suitable for anyone who has pigmentation, acne scarring, redness etc or is recovering from post-surgery/laser treatments and is dealing with bruising or cosmetic scarring. As I have some old acne scarring and I'm always up for trying out a new foundation, I was curious to put it to the test!

Image I-Conceal Flawless Foundation - Review & Swatches
The Formula
The I-Conceal Foundation is made up of an innovative formula which includes Biodynes TRF Collagen that helps to increase oxygen in the skin cells to speed up the healing process and increases collagen production. There's also Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate and plump up the skin, and EpiCalmin TCM to soothe any irritation and redness, whilst helping to strengthen the skin's natural defence system against free aging radicals, plus Peptides and Plant-derived stem cells to reduce the depth and appearance of wrinkles after 28 days of continued usage. This foundation also contains broad spectrum SPF 30 to further protect the skin against aging on a daily basis.

Coverage, Blendability & Finish
This foundation offers an excellent level of medium-to-full coverage depending on how much you apply, and it's easy to build this up without it being cakey on the skin. It feels surprisingly lightweight for a foundation of this nature (I was expecting to it be much heavier), yet the overall texture is quite thick and a little goes a very long way! It blends out beautifully though, and I've tried it with both a brush and a beauty blender sponge, each delivering flawless results. The overall finish looks very natural and it gives a stunning healthy looking glow to the skin - perfect if you want an illuminating foundation to perk up a dull complexion. It wears incredibly well throughout the day, staying put for a good 10-12 hours before a subtle touch-up is needed, and this foundation is also water-resistant.   

Image I-Conceal Flawless Foundation - Review & Swatches
Packaging
For a premium foundation that retails for £50, I was expecting it to be packaged in glass as most of my high-end foundations that are around the £30 price point are all packaged in this way, almost as an industry standard. However, this one is packaged in plastic as it features an interesting twist up pump to keep the foundation as airtight and hygienic as possible. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this as it sometimes gets a little stuck on the way up, but for the most part, it does the job.

Shade Range
There are currently six shades available and I've swatched the two that I was sent below; Beige and Natural. I'm usually a typical 'beige' in most foundation ranges, but this one was a little too pink toned for my skin, so I like to mix a bit of the yellow-toned Natural shade to even it out to give me a perfect match for my skin tone. Not cheap though!

Image I-Conceal Flawless Foundation - Review & Swatches
Image Skincare I-Conceal Flawless Foundation in Natural and Beige

Did It Help My Acne Scarring?
I tested out this foundation for just over a month and I'm happy to report that I did see some minor changes to my acne scarring - mainly that it was becoming a little bit lighter and was much easier, as a result, to cover up, as I have some quite dark marks on my chin area. The biggest difference that I saw with this foundation though was when I had a hormonal breakout around 'that time of the month' and I noticed that the redness and blemishes which popped up, calmed down considerably quicker than usual which I thought was very impressive! 

Overall Thoughts?
Given the price point, I know this foundation won't be accessible to everyone, but if you are in the market for a new high-end base and you want to see if the skincare benefits will work for you, this is definitely something to try out. I can't fault the performance, finish or coverage either - as a stand-alone quality foundation, it's up there with the likes of my favourite Charlotte Tilbury, Chanel and Giorgio Armani foundations.

Image Skincare I-Conceal Flawless Foundation* (28g, £50) available from imageskincare.com

Are you interested in makeup with skincare benefits?

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Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - September 2017 review

Monday, 18 September 2017

LoveLula Beauty Box - September 2017 review
LoveLula's monthly beauty boxes are something that I always look forward to receiving and their September edition is an amazing selection of natural perfume, skincare and pampering treats! Let's take a closer look, shall we?

 Walden Eau de Parfum Gift Set
Walden Eau de Parfum Gift Set (RRP £30)
The star of this month's box is a beautiful gift set from Walden, featuring their complete range of Eau de Parfums in 5ml trial-size bottles. I was lucky enough to try out the range before it launched earlier this year and I raved about the release back in May (read my review here) where I featured my two favourites, Castles In The Air and A Little Star Dust. All of these perfumes have been created with the finest natural absolutes, resins and essential oils, making them a must-try for anyone who wants to explore a new line of luxury natural fragrances. Needless to say, they all smell gorgeous and completely different to anything that you can find on the high street.

ESSE Gel Cleanser (10ml travel size - full size is 100ml for £25) 
I was pleased to see an ESSE product included as I'm currently testing out some of their probiotic skincare (review coming soon, keep your eyes peeled!) and this Gel Cleanser sounds perfect for my skin. It contains Peppermint and Spearmint Oils to improve micro-circulation and help to get rid of toxins, so it sounds like a really refreshing cleanser to reach for at the end of a long day.

LoveLula Beauty Box - September 2017 review
Kimberly Sayer Skincare (Sample Set)
This set contains 1.5ml sachets of four best-selling skincare products from Kimberly Sayer; Light Cleansing Lotion, Gentle Face Cleanser, Restore Anti-Aging Cream and Healing Light Night Cream. I've used a few Kimberly Sayer products in the past but I haven't tried any of these before, so I might save them for a weekend away. 

JOIK White Chocolate Bath Truffle (1 truffle)
I do love how the label warns you not to eat this product because it smells delicious! I've used these before (featured them back in my Valentine's Day Gift Guide here earlier this year) and absolutely love them. They're packed full of rich nourishing ingredients such as Cocoa Butter and they are a wonderfully indulgent pampering treat for dry skin. Did I mention that they also smell like creamy, sweet white chocolate?! 

Balm Balm Beauty Balm (full size, RRP £16.50)
The last product from this month's LoveLula beauty box is a jar of Balm Balm's fantastic Beauty Balm. This multi-purposing skincare gem can be used as a balm cleanser to remove daily grime and makeup, as an exfoliator and as an ultra-hydrating /intensive moisturiser. Suitable for all skin types, a little goes a long way with this product whichever way you use it, so this jar will last you a good few months.

LoveLula Beauty Box* is a monthly subscription box priced at £13.95 with free postage in the UK. Visit lovelula.com to find out more.

Have you subscribed to LoveLula's Beauty Box?

Foodie Friday: The Vegan Kind Box - Taste Test review - September 2017 #TVK47

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Vegan Kind Box - Taste Test review - September 2017 #TVK47
Earlier this week, this month's The Vegan Kind box arrived and although it was a little squashed, most of the products had survived the rough handling! 

The Vegan Kind is a monthly subscription box and whilst it mainly contains food, there's usually some kind of 'lifestyle' product also included. I've been subscribed to them for over a year and always look forward to the boxes arriving - it's a lovely treat and a great way to find new vegan-friendly, dairy-free, and often gluten-free goodies.

Here's what I found inside September's box:-

 Lenny and Larry White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie
 Lenny and Larry White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie (113g, RRP £2.50)

These enormous protein cookies from Lenny and Larry are hugely popular (I see them on Instagram all the time!). Their White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut flavour is brand new to the UK, and this flavour combo is amazing! Each cookie contains 8g of fibre and 16g of protein, so it's ideal as a post-workout treat. They taste a bit like cake and I highly recommend warming them up for a few seconds in the microwave first, for a deliciously indulgent, warm, sweet dessert! Free from dairy, soy, eggs, GMOs, trans fats and artificial sweeteners.

Livias Kitchen Salted Maca Caramel Biccy Boms
 Livia's Kitchen Salted Maca Caramel Biccy Boms (40g, RRP £1.79)

Biccy Boms are another new sweet treat that has launched onto the market recently and they're made by Livia's Kitchen. You get two of them in a pack and they're kind of like a small crumbly biscuit covered in a raw cacao coating, with a sweet salted maca date centre. My pack got squashed during transit but they still tasted good!

Pop Chips Sea Salt and Black Pepper
 Pop Chips Sea Salt and Black Pepper (23g, RRP £0.85)

I try not to eat too many crisps but when I do, I tend to opt for the healthier options like Pop Chips, so I've had these many times before. They're 'popped' not fried, so they still have a good crunch to them, and this Sea Salt and Black Pepper flavour goes well with any kind of sandwich or soup to liven up a simple lunch. 

Greenfrog Botanic Natural Bodywash in Relaxing Geranium & Peppermint
 Greenfrog Botanic Natural Bodywash in Relaxing Geranium & Peppermint (100ml, RRP £3.95)

This month's lifestyle product is an all-natural body wash from Greenfrog Botanic in a generous travel size tube. It's made from 100% plant-based ingredients, is free from parabens and sulphates, and contains organic Soapberries which are moisturising and gentle to the pH balance of your skin, so it's kind to sensitive and eczema prone skin. I love the scent of this which is really refreshing and I can see why it's won awards!

Cheeky P's Curry Flavour Roasted Chickpeas
 Cheeky P's Curry Flavour Roasted Chickpeas (52g, RRP £1.30)

Cheeky P's are another new product launch and these are so moreish! I love anything curry flavoured and these roasted chickpeas taste so good! Each pack contains 10g of protein and they're also high in fibre, making them a healthy snack to reach for when you want something savoury and crunchy to nibble on. I'll have to keep an eye out for more of these!

 Beloved Date Nectar
 Beloved Date Nectar (340g, RRP £3)

My kitchen cupboard is full of natural sweeteners that I use when I'm baking, but I've been missing a bottle of Date Nectar for a while now, so it's great to have it back in my life with this one from Beloved. Made from just 100% dates (sourced from local community farmers in Oman, not Israel - yay!), you can use this as you would any other sweetener; drizzled over porridge, in tea or coffee, and of course in baking and cooking, etc. A little goes a long way too. 

Revolution Foods Protein Sample
Revolution Foods Protein Sample (31g)

The last product is a sample of Revolution Foods' Premium Plant Protein which is blended with a superfood formula to give you an extra boost of energy. It contains 22g of protein and this sample pack makes one protein shake. I got the Wild Berry flavour which was really nice and filled me up until lunchtime!

Also in the box: This month's recipe card is for Hazelnut & Coconut Bliss Balls (yum!) and September's chosen charity is Animals Asia who rescues and rehabilitates bears and other captive animals from across countries such as China and Vietnam. 

To find out more about The Vegan Kind, visit their website here. £10 + p&p each month in the UK, with worldwide shipping options available. 

Have you signed up to The Vegan Kind?
What's your favourite, non-beauty lifestyle subscription box?

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Introducing: Playa - Luxury Natural Haircare from California - Pure Dry Shampoo, Ritual Hair Oil & Endless Summer Spray review

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Playa Pure Dry Shampoo, Ritual Hair Oil & Endless Summer Spray review
Californian girls certainly know a thing or two about hair and how to achieve those covetable beachy waves, so I was over the moon when a package arrived from a brand called Playa, straight from Venice Beach, LA.

There is something incredibly cool about the spirit of LA and California in general, and I think us Brits are obsessed with their way of life over there, as much as the rest of the world seems to be! I know it's been at the top of my own wanderlust list for a very long time and when finances allow, I'll be booking a trip to sunny SoCal as soon as possible! Until then, I'll have to be content with experimenting with as much Californian beauty products as humanly possible, starting with these natural hair goodies from Playa.

Playa is a brand new botanical based hair care brand which only recently launched back in May, but it's already caught the attention of the likes of Byrdie, Vogue and The Wall Street Journal, which is hella impressive, to say the least. Founded by a former fashion stylist named Shelby Wild, the young entrepreneur packed her bags and moved from New York to LA to be next to the beach and reconnect with nature.  She studied Herbalism and after years of development, Playa was born.

Shelby very kindly sent me a couple of Playa's best sellers to try out and even though the weather has taken a turn for the worse in rainy old England, at least my hair has been looking good!

Playa Pure Dry Shampoo review
Playa Pure Dry Shampoo* (145ml, $26, link)

Dry Shampoo is a massive lifesaver for me, especially when I'm running late or I simply haven't had the time to properly wash my hair. I also have naturally oily roots and I find that if I did wash it every day, it becomes even oilier, so a good quality dry shampoo is a must! Playa's Pure Dry Shampoo features a blend of botanicals and minerals to refresh and absorb excess oil. Key ingredients include Rose Powder which is great for sucking up grease and keeping hair soft, whereas Star Anise extract helps it be kind to sensitive scalps and eliminates any impurities. The end result is super fresh hair that has some extra volume to it, but without any build-up or residue afterward. I'm really impressed with this - it's easy to use as a spray activated dry shampoo, and it keeps my hair feeling fresh all day long.

Playa Ritual Hair Oil review
Playa Ritual Hair Oil* (40ml, $38, link)

Alongside dry shampoo, I always keep a stash of hair oils handy to help me make some sense of my notoriously frizzy locks, and they come in really useful when my hair is feeling damaged or dry. I was excited to try the Ritual Hair Oil as it contains a super blend of Kukui, Apricot and Sunflower Oils in a Coconut Oil derived base, and I have to say that it did not disappoint. It has an ultra convenient dropper applicator and I've found that I only needed a couple of drops to get the best results each time. I was a little worried that the oil was going to be too rich for my fine hair, but the formula has been specially designed to be weightless and easily absorbed without the need for silicones, so my hair has been loving it! It works wonders for taming frizz and flyaways, and my dry ends and lengths feel stronger and look much shinier since I started using it. Amazing stuff!

Playa Endless Summer Spray review
Playa Endless Summer Spray* (108ml, $28, link)

As I mentioned earlier, my hair is very fine, so it needs all the help it can get when it comes to volume and creating texture in hairstyles. The delightfully named Endless Summer Spray is a must-have for anyone who wants to get those covetable beachy waves without the annoying crunch or sticky residue. It uses Sea Salt that's harvested from Southern California and contains a Marine Complex which helps to add volume and shine, plus there are natural UV filters included in the formula to shield your hair from the worst of the sun's damaging rays. This styling spray is really easy to use too; a quick spritz here and there gives you instant texture and a little volume boost without making my hair feel dry. All I need now is a holiday to California!

Shop the full range at Playa.ca and keep an eye out for a UK launch early next year in Space NK and Liberty.

Are you a fan of Californian beauty brands?

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Green Beauty: Relax & Pamper Yourself With Westlab

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Green Beauty: Pampering with Westlab
Stressful or busy week? If the answer's yes, it sounds like you need some well deserved 'me time', so relax and get ready to feel all zen again with these pampering treats from Westlab.

If you're new to Westlab, they're an all-natural British brand who specialise in bath and body products that contain soothing and beneficial minerals such as Dead Sea, Epsom Salts and Magnesium Flakes. I've used their Epsom Salts many times in the past as they're perfect for when you need a deeply relaxing soak in the tub after a long day.

Last month, I raved about a Westlab Detoxing Salt Body Scrub and Bath Soak (which you can read about here if you missed it) and I was contacted by the brand soon after asking if I'd like to review any more products from them. Given how much I've been enjoying using the Scrub & Soak, I eagerly said yes and picked out the three products below to try out.

Green Beauty: Pampering with Westlab
Westlab Supersalt Himalayan Body Cleanse* (1kg, £7.99, link)
In addition to using Dead Sea, Epsom and Magnesium minerals, Westlab also have a couple of products available which use Himalayan Salts and this Body Cleanse is one of them. I'm a huge fan of Himalayan Salts in bath products as they have some interesting and relaxing therapeutic benefits, so I was very keen to try these. This Body Cleanse is basically a bath soak that contains Himalayan Salts which are infused with extracts of Seaweed along with Lemon and Rose Essential Oils. Himalayan Salts have a naturally pale pink colour to them and these smell just as beautiful as they look! To use them, you just add a couple of handfuls to a bath and enjoy a relaxing soak for at least 20 minutes to reap the full benefits. After using these, I always feel much calmer and they're ideal to use before going to bed for a restful night's sleep. A must-try if you have anxiety, insomnia or suffer from any stress!

Westlab Muscle Spray* (50ml, £6.95, link)
This Muscle Spray is a new launch for Westlab and it's been specially formulated to be a 'natural first aid remedy' for sore muscles. It features Epsom Salt, Spearmint and Eucalyptus to refresh and soothe aching muscles, whilst helping to revive fatigue at the same time. I've found this to be very useful after Hot Yoga and Pilates sessions if I've overstretched something, and the convenient travel sized bottle makes it the perfect product to pop into your gym bag.

Westlab Reviving Salt Body Scrub & Bath Soak* (500g, £18.45, link)
For a spot of luxury pampering, you really can't beat this 2-in-1 Body Scrub and Bath Soak which is made from 100% pure Epsom Salts that are blended with natural botanical oils, and nothing else. It has an incredible fragrance of Rose, Lime, and May Chang and feels so refreshing! I love using this as a body scrub since it leaves my skin feeling super smooth and pampered afterwards, but it's equally as good used in the bath as a relaxing soak. No wonder it won a Finalist Award in the Natural & Organic Europe Awards last year!

To shop the full range of Westlab products, visit westlabsalts.co.uk

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Budget Beauty: Two New MUA (Makeup Academy) Pro 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palettes To Buy This Autumn - Twilight Delight and Au Naturel - Review & Swatches

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

MUA 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palettes To Buy This Autumn - Twilight Delight and Au Naturel - Review & Swatches
The weather has certainly turned Autumnal here in the UK, so I think it's the perfect time for me to share these two new eyeshadow palettes from MUA (Makeup Academy) which launched just last month.

MUA (Makeup Academy) have become the go-to, budget friendly, cruelty-free makeup brand for savvy shoppers and students alike. I literally would have killed for a brand like this to have been around when I was at college, as it would have given me so many more options than just Barry M or the Natural Collection range from Boots! MUA basically stock everything your makeup bag could ever desire and the prices are cheap as chips.

Admittedly though, like many budget brands, their products are sometimes a little hit or miss in places, but one area that they particularly excel in are eyeshadow palettes, so I was thrilled to hear that they had recently launched some brand new 15 shade eyeshadow palettes in six different colourways - oh yes! I've managed to get my hands on two of them to give you an idea of what's on offer from MUA.

MUA 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palette Twilight Delight Review & Swatches
 MUA (Makeup Academy) Pro 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palette in Twilight Delight* (£5, link)

These Pro 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palettes come in cheap and cheerful no-frills plastic packaging, but they feel relatively sturdy and they're compact enough to pop into your makeup bag without it taking up loads of room. The clear lids allow you to find the shade/s that you're looking for immediately and the vast majority of the shadows feel soft and silky to the touch. A few are a little chalky, especially the paler mattes, but the overall quality is fantastic and they all blend easily.

Twilight Delight is a beautiful autumnal palette with a mix of neutrals and some stunning copper and purple shades, alongside a couple of smoky grey tones. The shimmery shades really stand out in this one, and I would recommend using a good quality primer underneath to make them 'pop' even more. I did experience a bit of creasing and a little fading with some of the colours, but when used with an eyeshadow primer, they are a worthy addition to any makeup junkie's stash, and a great starting point for anyone new to eyeshadow who wants a range of shades to experiment with.

MUA 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palette - Twilight Delight Review & Swatches
MUA 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palette - Twilight Delight Review & Swatches
Swatches! MUA (Makeup Academy) Pro 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palette in Twilight Delight

MUA 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palette Au Naturel - Review & Swatches
 MUA (Makeup Academy) Pro 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palette in Au Naturel* (£5, link)

The second palette that I have is one that I'm sure will appeal to everyone who loves a good neutral colourway! Au Naturel is 15 shades of wanton neutral loving and contains a range of both shimmer and 'high pearl' (mega shimmery) colours. At first glance, I thought some of the paler shades were mattes, but they actually have a teeny tiny amount of fine shimmer running through them if you look closely enough. All of these shades were highly pigmented and silky smooth, with the exception of the pale nude fourth colour which is a little dry and chalky.

The rest though, are simply stunning with varying tones of browns, coppers, bronzes, nudes and golds all represented in one convenient palette. Like Twilight Delight though, I do feel that these shadows definitely benefit from having an eyeshadow primer underneath them to stop any creasing if you have oily lids, but I'm still blown away by the quality for a palette that costs just a fiver! 

MUA 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palette Au Naturel - Review & Swatches
MUA 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palette Au Naturel - Review & Swatches
Swatches! MUA (Makeup Academy) Pro 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palette in Au Naturel

MUA Pro 15 Shade Eyeshadow Palettes are available from Superdrug (both in stores nationwide and online), and you can shop the full range at muastore.co.uk

Are you a fan of MUA?

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Tried & Tested: Sephora Sheet Masks review

Monday, 11 September 2017

SEPHORA Sheet Masks review
Ask a beauty junkie what their favorite shop is and chances are they'll reply with Sephora. Sadly for us Brits though, the beauty shop of Instagram dreams is unavailable on our home turf, so shopping trips are relegated to risking customs fees by ordering online or hoping that there's a Sephora somewhere on our next holiday trip. Or you could just ask an international friend nicely to pick up some products for you, which is what I tend to do!

Despite Sephora being a total mecca for new beauty finds and brands, I seem to get more excited about trying out their own-brand stuff more than anything else. A year or so ago, I tried one of their Rose Face Masks and instantly fell in love, so I've been dying to try out more of their sheet masks ever since.

Sephora's sheet masks come in a wide variety of different formulas that are targeted at every skin type and concern imaginable, and it's easy to tell them apart by the brightly coloured packaging. Each one has the same 'second skin paper mask' material and gets to work in 15 minutes, it's just the formulas that are different. My friend Ingrid recently came back from France and picked me up a bunch to try which I've been testing out over the past month.

SEPHORA Sheet Masks review
The 'Purple One': Sephora Orchid Face Mask for Anti Aging & Smoothing
Enriched with Orchid Flower Extract, this one is great if you're after a quick fix to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but it's also fantastic as an overall moisturising mask thanks to its hydrating and plumping up properties. 

The 'Pale Pink One': Sephora Pearl Face Mask for Perfecting & Brightening
Out of the six masks that I tried, the Pearl Mask was the most disappointing as I didn't see any visible results from it. It contains White Pearl Extract which is meant to brighten and even out skin tone, but I couldn't see any difference after using it. It did feel nice and moisturising though.

The 'Turquoise One': Sephora Algae Mask for Purifying & Detoxing
I really liked this one which is infused with Algae Extract to purify the skin and helps to get rid of any impurities. It's a good one for unclogging pores, so is ideal to reach for if your skin is feeling congested or looking dull.

SEPHORA Sheet Masks review
The 'Green One': Sephora Green Tea Face Mask for Mattifying & Anti-Blemish
If you have oily skin, this Green Tea Mask will help to absorb excess sebum and it will temporarily re-balance and mattify the skin, keeping it shine-free for a couple of hours after use. I didn't see any difference with its supposed effect on blemishes though.

The 'Pink One': Sephora Rose Face Mask for Ultra Moisturising & Brightening
Although I've enjoyed trying out all of the other masks, the Rose one is still my favourite! It's very similar to the Orchid mask as it thoroughly hydrates and plumps up the skin, but this one also has a noticeable brightening effect to it which I just love!

The 'Light Green One': Sephora Avocado Face Mask for Nourishing & Repairing
My second favourite is the Avocado mask which is brilliant for soothing sensitive skin and calming down any redness or irritation. It feels very gentle and moisturising on, and leaves my skin so smooth and soft afterwards.

Sephora sheet masks retail for €3.95 each which is around £3.59 (yeah, thanks Brexit exchange rate!)

Have you tried any of the Sephora sheet masks?

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UK Back To School Giveaway: Win an Oy! Skincare Set from Green People!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Oy! Skincare Set from Green People
Award-winning organic skincare brand, Green People, are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and to celebrate, they've given some of their most popular ranges a little makeover. One of the ranges is Oy! and I've got a set to give away to a lucky UK reader!

Green People's Oy! skincare range has been specially formulated for young skin that's going through puberty (the Oy! stands for 'Organic Young'), but it can also be used by anyone who is dealing with acne or has troublesome blemish-prone skin that needs a helping hand. 

It's great to see a range like this available because when I was a teenager, the only options that I had for skincare were way too harsh and left my skin looking worse than it was before! Thankfully, Green People's Oy! line works in harmony with young skin, not against it, and doesn't contain any of the most common irritants such as Alcohol, Petrochemicals, Silicones, Mineral Oil and SLS that are found in most mainstream anti-blemish products.

The Oy! range instead uses over 90% organic and natural active ingredients and contains anti-blemish actives such as Willow Bark (to fight spot forming bacteria and regulate oil production), Prebiotics (to support good skin bacteria and keep it healthy), Green Tea extract (helps to reduce inflammation and protect the skin from free radical damage) and Tea Tree extract (targets the bad skin bacteria that causes spots). 

Oy! Skincare Set from Green People
Whilst my skin has calmed down considerably over the years, I do still suffer from the odd adult acne flare-up (especially when I'm stressed) and my general skin type is oily/combination, so blemishes still are a common occurrence for me. With that in mind, I was curious to try out the Oy! range for myself and I've found these products to be gentle but effective in the battle against spots. 

The range has a Clear Skin Foaming Wash, Clear Skin Cleansing Moisturiser, Clear Skin Purifying Serum, Clear Skin Blemish Concealer, and there's even a Deodorant in there to keep you smelling nice and fresh without the pore-clogging aluminum - yay! 

UK GIVEAWAY - WIN A SET!

Fancy trying all of these products out for yourself or want to win a set for your teen? Simply enter your details into the Rafflecopter below and one lucky UK reader will win the whole Green People Oy! range! Giveaway ends next week on 14th September 2017 where one winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter - good luck!




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