Currently Loving: Pacifica Solar Colour Mineral Palette - Review & Swatches

Monday, 22 May 2017

Pacifica Solar Palette - Review & Swatches
Makeup palettes are a serious weakness of mine and I've fallen head over heels in love with Pacifica's coconut scented Solar Palette, which is full of shimmery goodness for the summer months ahead.

Despite being a fan of Pacifica's perfumes and their gorgeous candles, I hadn't properly looked into their mineral makeup range until recently. I decided to get my hands on one of their bestselling makeup palettes after seeing some rave reviews from a few other bloggers. I also think a palette is a great way to be introduced to a brand's makeup range that you haven't tried out before, as you can get a good feel for their formulas and test out a bunch of different products at the same time. Win win!
Pacifica Solar Palette - Review & Swatches
Pacifica's Solar Palette is described as a 'Complete Colour Mineral Palette for bright eyes and sunkissed highlights' which sounded perfect for me as I was looking for a new palette that was more Summer friendly. The packaging is pretty and functional - it opens up like a book, feels sturdy enough to travel with and has a strong magnetic clasp to keep everything in order during your travels. I was expecting to see a mirror inside though as it would have been handy to have one included, but I generally always pack a separate one anyway, so that's not too much of a problem for me.

The Pacifica Solar Palette consists of three cream highlighters, a mineral blusher, a mineral bronzer and six mineral eyeshadows, and everything by Pacifica is cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and free from nasties such as mineral oil, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, propylene glycol, SLS etc. When I opened up the palette, I could instantly smell coconut thanks to a natural coconut fragrance being included in the cream highlighter formulas, and the other products are also infused with Coconut Oil as well!

Let's take a closer look at the contents:-
Pacifica Solar Palette - Review & Swatches
 Cream Highlighters

The top row of the palette is where you'll find three shades of coconut-scented cream highlighters; Gold Dust (pale shimmery gold), Island Rose (shimmery rosy pink) and Pink Opal (pale light pink with a touch of shimmer). All three of these highlighters are very natural looking and subtle on the skin - they give you a 'bit of glow', rather than a megawatt beam of light if you catch my drift. They have a cream to powder finish and are really easy to apply with fingers - just dip in, dab on and blend out - super easy! 

Staying power isn't the greatest with these though, as I found they disappeared on my oily/combo skin after 2-3 hours, however, you can prolong this by an extra hour or so by using a primer underneath. For my light olive skin tone, I find that Gold Dust suits me the best for a gorgeous sunny glow, and I really like Island Rose as a pinky highlighter-meets-blush for when I just want a subtle wash of colour on my cheeks. Pink Opal, however, requires quite a lot of building up to show up on my skin, so I think that one would be better suited to paler skin tones than mine.
Pacifica Solar Palette - Review & Swatches
 Mineral Blusher & Bronzer

Underneath the cream highlighters, you'll find two large pans; a mineral blusher named Flushed Blush on the left, and a mineral bronzer called Bronzed Bronze on the right. The pigmentation of both of these really surprised me - with just two swipes I got an intense blusher and bronzer as you can see in the swatches above.

Flushed Blush is one of those classic peachy bronzy blushers with a fine gold shimmer running through it. It looks beautiful on and adds a lot of warmth and radiance - I love it! Bronzed Bronze is a light-medium bronzer and works well for adding a light contour and definition to the face, as well as a healthy looking, sun-kissed glow all over. As both of these are so pigmented, I'd recommend using them with a light hand for daytime wear, and then you can easily build them up for a summer evening/night time look later on if you wanted to.
Pacifica Solar Palette - Review & Swatches
Pacifica Solar Palette - Review & Swatches
Eyeshadows

The last two rows are dedicated to six mineral eyeshadows, all of which are shimmery, though some are more prominent than others. The eyeshadows are called Neptune (bold bright yellow), Glow (pale pastel pink), Treasure (metallic bronze), Coral (bright coppery coral), Mermaid Aqua (light turquoise with silver shimmer) and Sandalwood (rich brown with gold shimmer). 

My personal favourites out of these are Treasure, Sandalwood and Coral, the first two being the most pigmented out of the six. I also really like Mermaid Aqua and Neptune for something different, and both of these look really cool applied underneath the lower waterline for a pop of colour. The mineral-based formula for these eyeshadows is great - they feel buttery soft, apply smoothly and blend easily, with the exception of Glow which feels a little chalky and stiff. All in all though, I'm very impressed with this palette and I know that I'll be getting a lot of use out of it in the months ahead!

 Pacifica Solar Colour Mineral Palette* is priced at £33.99 and is available from LoveLula.com

Have you tried any makeup from Pacifica?

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Foodie Friday: Puff Pastry Veggie Pizza recipe #NationalVegetarianWeek

Friday, 19 May 2017

Puff Pastry Veggie Pizza recipe
In honour of National Vegetarian Week, I wanted to share a cheap and cheerful way to use up any leftover vegetables that you may have in the fridge, and turn them into a delicious Friday evening treat that you can share with your friends and family.

One of the very first things that I made in the kitchen as a child was a Puff Pastry Pizza. I loved the texture and taste of it, and it's something that I still make every now and again as a budget conscious student. A packet of fresh, ready rolled puff pastry usually only costs around a £1 or so from a supermarket, and it's often one of those items that you can find in every thrifty student's favourite spot - the 'discounted' section at the end of the day. Oh yes! In fact, I tend to buy most of my puff pastry on sale and pop it in the freezer to use at a later date.

A Puff Pastry Pizza is a great way to use up any leftover veggies that you may have, and being a pizza you can top it with whatever you like or have available - the toppings combinations are endless! It's also a fun way to get your kids in the kitchen (with your adult supervision of course) as anyone can make this, plus it only takes around 15 minutes to cook in the oven.

For the below Puff Pastry Pizza, I used some leftover Courgette, Spinach and Red Bell Pepper, and served it with a big salad. This made enough for four people, and you can reheat any remaining slices by popping them back into the oven for 5-10 minutes to enjoy the next day.
Puff Pastry Veggie Pizza recipe
Ingredients (serves 4 people):-
  • One pack of Fresh Ready Rolled Puff Pastry
  • 125g Mozzarella Cheese
  • 3-4 tbsp of Tomato Puree
  • A handful of your favourite leftover Vegetables (sliced or chopped)
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil
  • Dried Oregano or Herbs de Provence
  • Black Pepper (optional)
  • Fresh Basil Leaves (optional)

Method:-
  1. Preheat the Oven to 220'C / Gas Mark 7, or follow your puff pastry pack instructions if different.
  2. Roll out the Puff Pastry onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof baking paper.
  3. Using the back of a tablespoon, spread out the Tomato Puree, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the pastry.
  4. Top with your Vegetables and the Mozzarella Cheese, spreading them out so that the pastry is evenly covered.
  5. Drizzle over a little Olive Oil and sprinkle on some Oregano or Herbs de Provence.
  6. Pop in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes.
  7. Garnish with some Fresh Basil Leaves and season with a little Black Pepper if desired. Cut into slices and enjoy!
Vegan? Many brands of ready made puff pastry are suitable for vegans (I know the Just Rol one is), just check the packet before purchasing, and either skip the mozzarella cheese or use a vegan mozzarella.

Puff Pastry Veggie Pizza recipe
Have you ever made a Puff Pastry Pizza?

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Budget Beauty: Sunkissed Bronze Professional Once-a-Week Self-Tan Mousse & Moisturiser Spray Tan review

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Sunkissed Bronze Professional Self-Tan Mousse & Moisturising Spray Tan review
Lately, I've been testing out a bunch of budget-friendly self-tanning brands to recommend trying this Summer, and Sunkissed have been one of the first that I've tried out.

I hadn't heard of Sunkissed until an email popped into my inbox last month, but I've been wanting to try out some more affordable self-tanners for a while now. My favourite go-to tanning brands are either high-end (Vita Liberata, He-Shi, St. Tropez etc) or mid-market (Bondi Sands), so finding a fake tan that costs less than a tenner a bottle seemed too good to be true! Their products are also paraben and alcohol-free, so when these two products from Sunkissed arrived, I decided to hop straight into the bathroom to try them out.  

Just a heads up for all my budget beauty readers: these two products below are from Sunkissed's Bronze Professional range, but if you're on a really strict beauty budget, they also have an even cheaper range that's simply called Sunkissed which you may want to look into as they have prices starting from just £3.99. I haven't tried anything from the other range myself, but there are some positive reviews on the Superdrug website so by all means, check those out first if you're watching the pennies at the moment.
Sunkissed Bronze Professional Self-Tan Mousse & Moisturising Spray Tan review
Sunkissed Bronze Professional Once-a-Week Self-Tan Mousse* (200ml, £8.49, link)
If you're new to self-tanning, I'd highly recommend opting for a mousse formula because they are, in my opinion, the easiest formula to apply and this one is great for beginners to try out. Designed to be a quick and convenient 'once-a-week' tan that lasts for up to 7 days, the mousse glides onto the skin and was easy to buff in with a tanning mitt. It dried quickly without any sticky or tacky feeling, and the tinted brown guideline colour ensured that I didn't miss any areas. There's a light coconut scent, but you do still get a little whiff of that biscuity fake tan smell with it, though it soon disappeared when I rinsed it off. You can leave the tan to develop for 1-4 hours - for review purposes, I've tried it for one hour (which gave me just a very light tan) and the full four hours (for a much more medium bronzed tan) - both ways gave me a lovely even and streak free finish.

This self-tan mousse contains a trademarked VitaTone complex which helps to give the appearance of smoother and more toned skin, and I must admit that I did notice that my skin looked a bit more toned than usual which I'm guessing is down to the VitaTone complex having some kind of clever blurring technology in the formula. Anything that makes me look slightly more toned gets a thumbs up from me, and I loved the natural looking tan colour. It lasted around 4-5 days before it started to go patchy, so not quite the 7 days but for a fake tan that costs less than a tenner, I have to say I'm really impressed with it. I'd definitely repurchase this in the future!

Sunkissed Bronze Professional Moisturiser Spray Tan* (150ml, £9.99, link)  
As tanning can be an incredibly drying process on the skin, I'm all for trying out anything that says 'moisturiser' in the title, and this one's infused with Argan Oil to offer some extra hydration. Sunkissed's Bronze Professional Moisturiser Spray tan also promises to be 100% transfer and stain-resistant and I'm happy to report that this didn't leave any mess on my bedsheets or clothes (though the mousse above didn't either). 

After I'd exfoliated and done all of my tanning prep, I spritzed this all over and buffed it in with a tanning mitt as instructed. It does go on clear so it was very difficult to check if I'd missed any areas. The spray dried very quickly in around 3 minutes, but it took longer than the hour stated to develop - it took around 3-4 hours instead to get a good level of colour. I rinsed it off and immediately saw several streaks which was incredibly disappointing. I've tried it a few times since which gave me much better results, and I'd strongly recommend applying two layers to make sure that you've got everywhere covered as it's so easy to miss a spot with the formula being clear. Although I liked the natural tan colour and that it lasted for 4-5 days before starting to fade, I think I'll be sticking with the mousse in the future because it's just easier to use and always gives me a streak-free finish.

Sunkissed is available exclusively from Superdrug - in stores nationwide and online at superdrug.com

What's your favourite budget fake tan?

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Beauty Box: Love Me Beauty - May 2017 review + 20% Discount Code

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Love Me Beauty - May 2017 review
May's Love Me Beauty order has arrived, and it's seriously getting me in the mood for the summer holidays, with a great range of travel size minis that are up for grabs this month.

One of my favourite things about beauty boxes is the ability to 'try before you buy', especially when it comes to exploring more higher end and luxury brands. There's nothing worse than spending your hard-earned cash on a new product and then quickly realising that it doesn't work for your skin type, which is why I love samples and travel sizes so much. They also come in handy of course for travelling with and are particularly useful when you're flying with just hand luggage and need to keep within those tricky liquid restrictions. 

This month's Love Me Beauty edit is called #ShineBright, and is packed full of beauty minis that are all under the 100ml liquid restrictions, so it's well worth a look if you have a holiday coming up! I'm really happy to see skincare minis from NUXE, Ultrasun, Aromatherapy Associates, and there are also makeup minis from Manna Kadar Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury and Kat Von D available too.

Each month, you get 60 credits to spend on whatever you fancy and you can purchase add-on credits if you see more products that you'd like to get your hands on. Below are just a handful of some of the products that you can purchase with your credits in this month's new #ShineBright edit.
Love Me Beauty - May 2017 review
NUXE Reve de Miel Cleanser (15ml travel size - 10 credits)
Remember when every blogger was obsessed with NUXE's Reve de Miel lip balm? I certainly was (you can read my previous rave review of it here), and still am, so I'm looking forward to trying out this cleanser from the same range. It's described as a gentle soap-free cleanser that also doubles up as a makeup remover, and it's infused with Honey, Coconut Oil and Sunflower Seed Oil to be kind on dry and sensitive skin types. 

NUXE Gentle Exfoliating Gel (15ml travel size - 10 credits)
If you have sensitive skin and are looking for a gentle but effective exfoliator to help clear up any congested areas that you many have, this one from NUXE is a great one to try. It comes in a lovely and refreshing gel format with lots of fine scrubby bits to buff away dead skin cells, leaving your complexion brighter and smoother after just one use. I've used this before in the past and loved it!

NUXE Huile Prodiguese (10ml travel size - 10 credits)
Huile Prodiguese is one of my absolute favourite products from NUXE and I've gone through countless bottles of it over the years. It's one of the best multi-purpose dry oils on the market and it smells amazing! You can use this on the face and body to add hydration wherever you need it and it also works well on your hair as a leave-in conditioning treatment and to tame any flyaways. A little goes a long way so this mini bottle will last you a good while.

Manna Kadar Beauty Liplock Stain in Shae (1.5g travel size - 20 credits)
I hadn't heard of Manna Kadar Beauty before but they're a popular Californian cosmetics brand that are better known in the US. This Liplock Stain is highly pigmented like a liquid lipstick, yet feels hydrating and has a glossy finish like a lipgloss. I have the shade Shae which is a really pretty light neutral pink that looks great for everyday wear - a new handbag favourite for sure!

Love Me Beauty* is £10 plus £3.95 P&P per month - lovemebeauty.com


Special reader offer: Use my discount code beautywolfgirl20 to get 20% off your first box!

Do you subscribe to Love Me Beauty? 


5 Summer Must-Haves from Tropic's S/S17 Collection

Monday, 15 May 2017

Tropic S/S17 Collection
Tropic have recently released a whole host of brand new products as part of their latest Spring & Summer collection. Here are my top 5 favourite picks!
 Tropic Wild Mint, Lime and Pineapple Body Wash* (250ml, £10, link)

Regardless of what the great British weather is currently doing, you can invite some Summer vibes into your bathroom with a bright and cheerful body wash - and they don't get much brighter than this fluorescent lime-green tube of goodness from Tropic. This Wild Mint, Lime and Pineapple Body Wash sounds like a summer cocktail and it smells just as good. SLS-free, it's a rich and creamy based body wash (sort of similar to the Weleda Creamy Body Washes if you've tried any of those), that's formulated with 98.5% naturally derived ingredients and it feels wonderfully pampering on the skin. This is a great body wash to reach for first thing in the morning to put you in a good mood for the rest of the day!

Tropic Skin Shade Mineral Sun Protection SPF 50 Tropic Tinted Skin Shade Mineral Facial Sun Protection SPF 50
 Tropic Skin Shade Mineral Sun Protection SPF 50* (200ml, £28, link) & Tropic Tinted Skin Shade Mineral Facial Sun Protection SPF 50* (50ml, £24, link)

If you're looking for some new mineral based sunscreens to try out this Summer, look no further. Tropic have a wide range of sun protection products and like all of their other products, everything is cruelty-free and suitable for vegans to use. For an all round, high-quality sunscreen that the whole family can use, I'd recommend Tropic's Skin Shade Mineral Sun Protection which is available in SPF 15, 30 and 50. It's a broad spectrum sunscreen so it protects against both harmful UVA and UVB rays, is water resistant and has 100% mineral protection which is sourced from Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. I've been testing out the SPF 50 version and it's got a lovely and hydrating lotion-feel formula that's perfect for my dry skin, absorbs easily and doesn't feel sticky. 

You can, of course, use any kind of sunscreen on your face, but if you're after a specific tinted formula to give you some coverage as well, the 100% naturally derived Tropic's Tinted Skin Shade Mineral Facial Sun Protection is a good one to opt for. It's available in two shades, Light/Medium or Medium/Dark, and provides you with a high level of SPF 50 mineral-based, broad-spectrum sun protection to prevent premature skin ageing. I have it in the shade Medium/Dark which looks quite dark at first, but once it's massaged and absorbed into the skin, it simply gives you a very subtle and light level of coverage that you'd expect from a tinted moisturiser.  I really like these two Skin Shade products and they would be perfect to pack into your summer holiday bag this year.

Tropic Summer Goddess Shimmering Body Oil
 Tropic Summer Goddess Shimmering Body Oil* (150ml, £28, link)

One of the bestsellers from Tropic's new S/S17 collection is their Summer Goddess Shimmering Body Oil which has been flying off the shelves recently and for good reason too. In the bottle, this 100% naturally derived body oil is stunning to look at as it's infused with golden shimmer, and when you open it, you can smell this incredible summery and exotic fragrance due to the natural extracts of Coconut, Lime Essential Oil and Tahitian and Bourbon Vanilla. The oil itself is composed of a blend of Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil, so it glides onto the skin and feels super moisturising.

This body oil is amazing to use on your legs, arms, decolletage etc, as the golden shimmer imparts an instantly sexy and radiant, goddess-worthy glow, and the scent leaves you smelling gorgeous without the need for any extra perfume. Heads up though - this product is Limited Edition so if you want to get your hands on a bottle (or three), I'd recommend ordering sooner rather than later!
Tropic Cream Highlighter in Sunlight
Tropic Cream Highlighter in Sunlight* (5g, £18, link)

I'm a total highlighter fiend and when I saw these newbies, I just had to try one out. I've been really impressed with Tropic's makeup line so far (check out my previous review here), and this new cream highlighter is a fantastic addition to their range. Available in two shades, I decided to try the golden bronze shade 'Sunlight' which looks slightly darker in real life than it does above.  This is a beautiful shade for anyone who has a medium/dark skin tone, and I love using it when I've more tanned for a deep golden glow. 

The 100% natural cream formula is very solid in the pan so it requires some warming up with your fingertips before you apply it, but once that's done, it's then easy to dab on and blend out wherever you want it. As well as a highlighter, I also enjoy using this as an eyeshadow as you can build it up for a more solid colour if desired. 

All of the products featured above are available online from tropicskincare.com

Have you tried anything from Tropic?

Foodie Friday: The Vegan Kind Box - May 2017 review #TVK43

Friday, 12 May 2017

The Vegan Kind Box - May 2017 review #TVK43
Earlier this week, this month's The Vegan Kind box arrived on my doorstep and I've been so busy lately that I completely forgot that it was due! Needless to say, it cheered me up instantly and I couldn't wait to see what was inside.

I've been subscribed to TVK for well over a year now and I still get excited when I open them up! You can check out my previous box reviews here. May's edition of The Vegan Kind box is another great mix of cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, food and lifestyle treats and contains seven products this time around. 
Organica Hazelnut Nougat Delight Bar
 Organica Hazelnut Nougat Delight Bar (40g, RRP £0.99)

I was in the mood for something sweet when the box arrived, so naturally, the first thing that caught my eye was this chocolate bar from Organica. I haven't heard of this brand before, but they're certified vegan and also only use organic ingredients (Soil Association certified) in their products. This chocolate bar is like the missing link between a Mars and a Snickers - it's chewy, sweet, covered in dark chocolate and has a delicious hazelnut nougat filling. I'll definitely be buying some more of these in the near future!

Humble Brush Bamboo Toothbrush
 Humble Brush Bamboo Toothbrush (RRP £3.99)

Back in March I featured a bamboo toothbrush in my Monthly Favourites post (you can check it out here if you missed it), so I'm pleased to see that the word is getting out about these fantastic eco-friendly alternatives to plastic toothbrushes. This one's from a Swedish brand called Humble and the handle is made from 100% biodegradable bamboo so it won't clog up landfills or add to the growing problem that is plastic pollution. On top of all that, for each Humble toothbrush that's bought, the brand will donate one to a child in need via the not-for-profit organisation, the Humble Smile Foundation, who work with children around the world who don't have access to basic oral health care.

Hippeas Cheese & Love Organic Chickpea Puffs
 Hippeas Cheese & Love Organic Chickpea Puffs (22g, RRP £0.99)

Hippeas are crazy addictive and provide a healthier snack alternative to mainstream crisps as they're made from organic chickpeas and rice. They're really crunchy, totally satisfying and loaded with flavour - especially these ones which are incredibly cheesy! Suitable for vegans, they're also gluten-free, high in fibre, contain no trans fats or MSG, and offer a source of protein. At only 90 calories a bag, they're virtually a guilt-free snack to have alongside your lunchtime sandwich - yum!

Terra Vegane Egg Free Omelett Mix
 Terra Vegane Egg Free Omelett Mix (250g, RRP £4.00)

Last year, The Vegan Kind gave us the popular Vegan Egg from Follow Your Heart (which is great by the way, especially in baking!), and now they're introducing us to the another egg-free product, but this time it's from German brand, Terra Vegane. I've tried a couple of products from Terra Vegane in the past and enjoyed all of those, so I'm looking forward to trying out this Egg Free Omelett Mix which is made from potato starch and chickpea flour.

Bute Island Creamy Original Sheese
 Bute Island Creamy Original Sheese (225g, RRP £2.30)

Although I'm not a vegan, I am trying to cut back on the amount of dairy that I consume, but cheese is something that I've been finding incredibly difficult to give up. I've tried a lot of dairy-free and vegan cheese alternatives from various brands, but I've yet to find one that I actually like, and sadly this Sheese from Bute Island hasn't helped to change my mind. Don't get me wrong, this is definitely one of the better dairy-free cream cheese alternatives that I've tried, but it still doesn't give me that Philadelphia fix that I'm after. If you know of a vegan cheese that tastes like Philadelphia, please let me know!
 Angelic Gluten Free Cocktail Oatcakes (150g, RRP £2.60)

These mini oatcakes from Scottish brand Angelic are free from gluten, wheat, dairy, nuts and eggs, making them the perfect choice for many people who have food allergies or intolerances. I don't eat oatcakes often, but these are really good with a great texture that works well with lots of other ingredients like cheese, jam and nut butters. You get a generous amount in the packet and I've been slowly munching my way through them all week!

Vita Coco Coconut Oil
Vita Coco Coconut Oil (5ml sample sachet)

The last item in this month's box is a product that I know and love, in fact I already have two jars of it in my kitchen! It's Vita Coco Coconut Oil which is just pure and simple extra virgin, organic, 100% raw and cold pressed coconut oil, with nothing else added to it. I use coconut oil for so many different things (check out my top 10 Ways To Use Coconut Oil post here), and I think I'll be popping this little sample into my travel bag.

This month's recipe card was for a Raw Chocolate Avocado Tart which looks amazing, and May's chosen charity is the Willows Sanctuary, who are the largest animal sanctuary in Aberdeenshire and have rescued thousands of animals since they opened in 1999.

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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Travel Size Beauty: Michael Van Clarke 3 More Inches Travel Set review

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Michael Van Clarke 3 More Inches Travel Set review
With summer holidays on the horizon, it's time to stock up on the travel size beauty minis! If you're looking for a silicones-free haircare set to take with you on your travels, this handy three piece kit from 3 More Inches could be just what you're after.

Created by the celebrated London-based hairdresser Michael Van Clarke, the 3 More Inches haircare range is aimed at those who want naturally healthier and thicker hair that grows faster and longer. The range is formulated without silicones and parabens, as silicones, in particular, can cause hair to become brittle over time, and as we all know, it only offers a temporary 'quick fix', without actually doing anything for the overall health of the hair. 

Ditching silicones in my haircare is something that I've been actively doing for a while now and it's made a huge difference to my hair, so I was interested in trying out Michael's 3 More Inches range. It's based on a three-step system that uses a unique naturally derived Cashmere proteins blend, and one of the easiest ways that you can try it out is with his handy travel set which contains all three products, packaged in a travel-friendly, clear, zipped bag.
Michael Van Clarke 3 More Inches Travel Set review
Step 1: 3 More Inches Pre-wash Treatment (100ml)
Pre-wash treatments have really become much more popular over the last couple of years and I know that many celebrity hairdressers use them religiously on their clients. I try to do one once a week if I have time and it truly makes a massive difference! I've been loving this one as it seems to be noticeably repairing a lot of the damage that my hair has gone through with straightening and blow-dries, and my hair now feels much softer and a lot more manageable. To use it, I apply it to my lengths and ends when my hair is dry, comb it through and leave it on overnight. In the morning, I shampoo as normal and marvel at how lovely and swish-worthy my hair is! If you don't want to leave it on overnight, you can just keep it on for an hour and then rinse it out, but I always get better results when I've left it on longer. I highly recommend trying this if you have bleached, coloured, dry or damaged hair!

Step 2: 3 More Inches Shampoo* (75ml)
I was initially wary about trying this as it contains SLS, but after reading some other reviews, I decided to it a go and luckily I haven't had any problems with it irritating my sensitive scalp. This shampoo contains that unique naturally derived Cashmere proteins blend that I mentioned earlier and it does a fantastic job of cleaning my hair, without leaving it feeling stripped or dry. In fact, my hair feels noticeably more hydrated and softer after I've used this, plus it added such extra volume which was a welcomed bonus.

Step 3: 3 More Inches Conditioner* (75ml)
The matching conditioner is a great way to finish off using this 3 step system, and whilst it's moisturising, it doesn't feel like it's overloading my fine hair - the balance is just right. I've tried it in conjunction with both the Pre-wash Treatment and Shampoo, and with just the Shampoo, and it gave me pretty much identical results which is why I feel it doesn't weigh down my hair or overdo it with the moisture levels. It's a bit runnier and thinner in texture than I was expecting, but it worked well for me so I'm not complaining!

Michael Van Clarke 3 More Inches Travel Set* retails for £24.50 and is available from feelunique.com 

Have you stocked up on your holiday beauty minis yet?

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New In: Smith & Cult Spring/Summer 2017 Nail Lacquers - Exit The Void, Glass Souls & Sugarette - Review & Swatches

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Smith & Cult Spring/Summer 2017 Nail Lacquers - Exit The Void, Glass Souls & Sugarette
Luxury beauty fans will be delighted to know that Smith & Cult have three brand new shades out for S/S17, two of which are Limited Edition.

Smith & Cult's Nail Lacquers are easily identifiable by their quirky melted metal effect caps and chunky round bottles, with a simplistic but elegant brand typography on the front. They look like mini works of art and whenever you pick one of them up, they feel incredibly heavy, which just adds to their serious luxe vibe that oozes cool from every angle.

Smith & Cult's shade range has some really gorgeous contemporary shades in it, and their vegan-friendly, 8-free formula ensures that your luxury nail lacquer is free from Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide and Triphenyl Phosphate. 

I was very kindly sent their brand new S/S17 collection to try out, which features three new shades; Exit The Void, Glass Souls and Sugarette.
Smith & Cult Spring/Summer 2017 Nail Lacquers - Exit The Void review swatches
Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in Exit The Void* (14ml, £19, link)

My favourite of the three new shades is Exit The Void - a stunning Limited Edition opaque periwinkle blue shade that just screams Spring and Summer to me. This is one of those beautiful pastel colours that really stands out against a tan, but looks just as good on pale skin as well. This nail lacquer applied smoothly in two thin coats and has a lovely shiny finish to it.

Smith & Cult Spring/Summer 2017 Nail Lacquers - Glass Souls review swatches
 Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in Glass Souls* (14ml, £19, link)

If you love glitter, Glass Souls will be your ideal summer festival companion. Featuring a mix of large and small silver glitter particles that are suspended in a clear base, this is the ideal polish to layer on top of any shade to really bring it to life - the glitter dazzles beautifully when it hits the sunshine! Here you can see what it looks like on top of Exit The Void, photographed in natural sunlight.

Smith & Cult Spring/Summer 2017 Nail Lacquers - Sugarette review swatches
Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in Sugarette* (14ml, £19, link)

Sugarette is the only shade from this new collection that I'm not really feeling, but I'm personally not the biggest fan of frosty pale shades anyway. It's described as an 'opaque frosty golden cloud', but you'll need to apply at least three or four coats to get it anywhere near opaque as the formula is so thin. I also find it impossible not to get streaks when I'm applying these sorts of frosted shimmer colours, however, if you have steadier hands than I do, you're likely to do a much better job than me! Not my cup of tea but I can see others loving this unusual Limited Edition shade.

Smith & Cult Spring/Summer 2017 Nail Lacquers - Exit The Void, Glass Souls & Sugarette - Review & Swatches
L-R: Smith & Cult's new S/S17 Nail Lacquers - Exit The Void (Limited Edition), Glass Souls & Sugarette (Limited Edition). Available online from Net-a-Porter, Cult Beauty, Beauty Bay, Bath and Unwind, John Lewis & SpaceNK.

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Currently Loving: Walden Natural Perfumes - Castles In The Air & A Little Star Dust Eau de Parfums review

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Walden Natural Perfumes - Castles In The Air & A Little Star Dust Eau de Parfums review
Walden Natural Perfumes are possibly one of my favourite beauty launches of the year so far, and these two scents, in particular, have become my go-to fragrances for Spring and Summer.

I love it when a new brand emerges and gets everything right straight off the mark. From the name (this brand is named after Henry David Thoreau's classic book, 'Walden'), to the beautifully chic packaging with dark wooden tops, and the delightful names of the perfumes themselves (which are phrases that Thoreau himself mentioned in the book), Walden have done an excellent job here to appeal to both green beauty fans and fine fragrance lovers alike.

These new 100% natural Eau de Parfums use only the finest natural absolutes and essential oils, so they're naturally free from ingredients such as parabens, artificial fragrances and mineral oils that you can often find in mainstream perfumes. They're handmade in small batches and have a really luxurious feel about them. The Walden perfume range currently has five fragrances within its collection, and I've had the great pleasure of experiencing all of the scents for LoveLula, where the brand is exclusively stocked.

Below are my two favourite Walden Natural Perfumes; Castles In The Air and A Little Star Dust, but trust me when I say that they are all incredible. Both of these perfumes lasted longer on me that I imagined they would, as I've tried a lot of natural fragrances that seem to disappear after an hour, so if you're in the market for a new perfume, these are well worth a try.
Walden Natural Perfumes - Castles In The Air Eau de Parfum review
 Walden Natural Perfumes - Castles In The Air* (50ml, £40, link)

Castles In The Air is described as a 'fresh, intoxicating blend of Citrus and with a hint of Tropical Flowers and Lavender' which sums up this fragrance perfectly. 

A quick spritz on the wrists releases an immediate fresh and Spring-like scent with key notes of Bergamot, Lemon, and Mandarin, on a calming base of Lavender and Rosemary. Castles In The Air has such a relaxing effect on my mind and helps to put me in a good mood for rest of the day which is probably why I love it so much! It's also completely different to anything that's currently in my perfume collection and it just smells divine.
Walden Natural Perfumes - A Little Star Dust Eau de Parfum review
Walden Natural Perfumes - A Little Star-Dust* (50ml, £40, link)

A Little Star-Dust has been receiving a lot of love from the green beauty world since it launched and it was a finalist for the Best Natural Beauty Product in this year's Natural and Organic Awards Europe which is a really impressive feat for a new brand to achieve. It's described as a 'sumptuous bouquet of Ylang Ylang, Iris and Jasmine enriched with hints of creamy Amyris and exotic Tonka Bean.' 

This is a fragrance that would work equally well for daywear as it would for something that you could use for an evening dinner out or a date night with your partner. It's a very strong and feminine scent with a heady aroma of Ylang Ylang and Jasmine at first, but it soon settles down into a more exotic and sophisticated fragrance overall.

Walden Natural Perfumes are exclusive to LoveLula.com

What kind of fragrances do you like to wear?

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