Currently Loving: oNecklace Evil Eye Necklace review #PersonalisedJewellery

Friday, 31 August 2018

oNecklace Evil Eye Necklace review
Jewellery is something that I love to gift to friends and family, whether it's for their Birthdays or a big celebration like Christmas, and I often jump at the chance if there's an option to personalise it. It turns an already lovely gift into something extra special and thoughtful!

Judging by the number of people that I know who cherish their personalised jewellery, I'm not alone in appreciating this concept, so I was over the moon when oNecklace got in touch with me to ask if I'd like to review one of their pieces of jewellery.

oNecklace is an online retailer who specialise in high-quality, personalised jewellery and they have a huge range of products to choose from in a variety of materials such as Sterling Silver, 24K Gold Plated, Rose Gold and Cubic Zirconia. There are rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and jewellery sets, all of which can be personalised from a selection of options, and they're a popular go-to site for Carrie style name necklaces.

oNecklace Evil Eye Necklace review
oNecklace Evil Eye Necklace review
After a good browse through their website, I decided to choose the Evil Eye Necklace because I've been wanting one of these for a while now. The 'Evil Eye' is an ancient concept that crops up in many different cultures around the world, especially in West Asia and usually has the same meaning. It's often described as a "curse or legend believed to be cast by a malevolent glare, usually given to a person when they're unaware to cause them misfortune or injury".

To ward off this unsuspecting 'Evil Eye', people wear talismans that are decorated with some kind of eye insignia to protect them. Wearing an eye is almost like saying 'I'm watching you back, so don't glare at me!", and I've always liked the idea of this, despite not being much of a superstitious person myself. 

The necklace arrived carefully packaged in a gift box and it looks even better in real life than it did online on the website. I love it!

oNecklace Evil Eye Necklace review
I chose to have the Evil Eye Necklace personalised in a number of ways and I'm thrilled with the final result. First, I chose the material as Sterling Silver (you can also choose to have this design in 24K Gold Plated or Rose Gold), the chain length as 18", the chain itself to be a 'box' chain, and finally, I added my Birthstone Alexandrite to be the centre of the eye which I feel goes really well with the Silver.

It's an eye-catching (see what I did there?!) piece of jewellery and I've had plenty of compliments and questions about it since I started wearing it. Will it protect me from the glare of the 'evil eye'? Only time will tell ;)

oNecklace Evil Eye Necklace* retails for £30.76 from onecklace.co.uk

Do you like personalised jewellery?

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August Empties: Products I've Used Up

Thursday, 30 August 2018

August Empties: Products I've Used Up
Well, this hasn't happened in a little while - I've actually managed to get my Empties post up before the end of the month - yay! You guys know the drill by now, these are all the beauty products that I've finished up recently and my thoughts about which ones are worth repurchasing again. 

AYur-vana Neem Foot Cream*
It's been a hot Summer and my feet have been living in flip flops and sandals, so it's no surprise that I've used up a foot cream. I really liked this Neem one from the French ayurvedic brand AYur-vana because it did the job and felt nice and cooling whenever I used it. Repurchase? If I saw it in the UK, I'd definitely pick it up again.

Walden A Little Star Dust Eau de Parfum*
I finished a perfume! Walden's A Little Star Dust is a lovely natural based fragrance and quite unique as it's very different from anything else that I have in my perfume collection. If you like warm and subtle woody-florals, you'll enjoy this. Repurchase? Already have a travel size in my handbag.

Caudalie Instant Detox Mask
Pretty sure that this is my third tube of this face mask and it's one of my favourites for when my skin is feeling really clogged and congested. It works a treat and draws out everything, so don't use it before a big night out as you'll need a day or so to deal with the aftermath! After that though, I always find that my skin is so much cleaner and smoother. Repurchase? I have some similar masks to use up first but will certainly pick this up again in the near future.

Naturally Tribal Iyali Body Food*
I'm a big fan of Naturally Tribal's shea butter based body care products and this Iyali Body Food is incredibly thick, buttery and nourishing. Brilliant to use on eczema, very dry skin and any area that needs some extra TLC, plus it lasts for ages as a little goes a long way. Repurchase? Yes.

August Empties: Products I've Used Up
Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask*
Another face mask favourite and again, one that I've used many tubes of over the years. I absolutely love it and always have to have it in my skincare stash! This mask not only brightens but also reduces blemishes and breakouts, soothes inflammation and hydrates at the same time. A fantastic, all-round skincare treatment. Repurchase? Yes!

NUXE Reve De Miel Lip Balm
It takes me forever to use up a lip balm and I've had this NUXE one on the go for a couple of months now. It's another longtime favourite of mine and quite possibly the best lip balm that I've ever used. I love using this before going to bed. Repurchase? I'm holding off as I have so many other lip balms to use up first, but no doubt will purchase it again at some point.

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Or
If you've never had the pleasure of smelling the NUXE Huile Prodigieuse range, please pop into a shop and have a sniff - it's truly one of my all-time favourite scents in the whole beauty world! This multi-purpose oil has a golden shimmer to it which is amazing all over legs, arms and décolletage for a special occasion or evening/night out. Repurchase? Already have some more minis in my stash.

Elemental Herbology Facial Detox Purifying Mask
Although this mask did the job, I found it a lot more drying than the Caudalie one above, so I don't think that I would pick it up again. Would probably suit much more oilier skin types better than mine. Repurchase? No.

August Empties: Products I've Used Up
Madara Exfoliating Scrub*
This is one of the most gentle manual exfoliators that I've used in a while, and I really enjoyed the oil-to-milk texture which feels very pampering and luxurious on the skin. I was surprised by how long this tube lasted too!  Repurchase? I have another one from a LoveLula beauty box to use up.

Dr Hauschka Hydrating Hand Cream
Received this in a recent GWP and although I generally love a lot of Dr Hauschka's products, I wasn't blown away by this hand cream. It was nice to try but it isn't as moisturising as some other hand creams that I've used. Repurchase? No.

Andalou Naturals Blemish Vanishing Gel*
For the past few months I've been zapping spots with Andalou's popular Blemish Vanishing Gel and despite finishing up the tube, I still can't decide whether I would repurchase it again or not as it has some pros and cons. It works amazingly well and really does help to rapidly blitz blemishes, but it's also incredibly drying and causes a lot of peeling to the surrounding area. Repurchase? Not sure yet.

Madara SOS Instant Moisture Radiance Hydra Mask*
If you're in the market for an intensively soothing and hydrating face mask, this one from Madara ticks all the right boxes and does an excellent job of plumping everything up at the same time. My skin always feels as soft as a baby's bum after using this! Repurchase? Already have a full-size tube in my skincare stash.

Have you tried any of these? What have you used up recently?

Budget Beauty: 3 Makeup Essentials From E.L.F - Review & Swatches

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

3 Makeup Essentials From E.L.F - Review & Swatches
Heads up makeup fans! Everyone's favourite affordable, cruelty-free and vegan makeup brand, e.l.f, just launched on Feel Unique - yay! If you haven't tried e.l.f yet or are looking to pick up some new makeup for school/college/Uni etc, here are three essentials from them that you shouldn't miss.

e.l.f stands for Eyes, Lips, Face and they were actually one of the very first makeup brands that I reviewed when I started blogging because they're so cheap and cheerful. I used a lot of their products when I was a cash-strapped student at college many years ago, and now that I'm a cash-strapped Uni student, they're still a brand that appeals to me! I also love that their whole range is cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. 

They have an enormous array of products and are constantly coming out with new stuff, so below are just three essentials that I'd recommend checking out.

 e.l.f Beautifully Bare Natural Glow Lotion
 e.l.f Beautifully Bare Natural Glow Lotion
 e.l.f Beautifully Bare Natural Glow Lotion* (25ml, £9, link)

Gorgeous glowy skin will always be on-trend, but if your complexion needs a helping hand, this Beautifully Bare Natural Glow Lotion is a quick and easy way to get your glow on without looking OTT or like an extra from Twilight. Instead, this product feels more like a facial moisturiser-meets-primer as it's light and easily absorbed without any greasy or stickiness.  The lotion is infused with Micro-Shimmering Pearls, Vitamin E, Orange, Lemon and Grape extracts, and feels hydrating on so it makes a particularly great base for dry skin. 

Once rubbed in, your skin is transformed with a subtle glowy finish that brightens and illuminates a dull complexion within seconds. I love reaching for this for nights out, and it's also perfect for the day after if you know what I mean! You can also use this Natural Glow Lotion on the décolletage, arms and shoulders, as well as on bare legs for a little sexy shimmer, wherever you want to draw some attention to.

e.l.f Aqua Beauty Molten Liquid Eyeshadow in Rose Gold
e.l.f Aqua Beauty Molten Liquid Eyeshadow in Rose Gold
 e.l.f Aqua Beauty Molten Liquid Eyeshadow in Rose Gold* (2.6g, £5, link)

One of the biggest makeup trends this year has been metallic liquid eyeshadows and this new generation of formulas are much lighter than anything that you may have tried in the past. If you haven't experimented with this trend yet, e.l.f have three beautiful metallic shades in their Aqua Beauty Molten Liquid Eyeshadow range and this one in Rose Gold is an absolute stunner as you can see above.

They have a doe-foot applicator and are super easy to apply, blend out and generally work with. The pigmentation is fantastic and although the formula is infused with purified water, they have a decent amount of staying power, especially when applied over an eyeshadow primer. Depending on which shade you go for, these could easily double up as super pretty liquid highlighters too.

e.l.f Matte Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Fiji
e.l.f Matte Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Fiji* (8.4g, £5, link)

For the ultimate 2-in-1 makeup bag essential, you absolutely have to pick up e.l.f's bestselling Matte Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder duo. This sleek black compact comes with a mirror for easy touch-ups on the go and features two large pans of product; a beautiful dusky rose blusher on the left and a sunkissed bronzer that would work well for light-medium skin tones on the right. 

Both of these powders are soft, finely milled, and apply like a dream. The matte textures allow you to sculpt and contour with the bronzer, whilst the blusher gives a really natural looking flush of colour to the cheeks that brightens up the whole face. I love this duo so much and often reach for it over some of my high-end products because the quality is so good. It's a steal at just £5!

Shop the full range of e.l.f cosmetics at FeelUnique.com

Have you tried anything from e.l.f?

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Health & Lifestyle: Imedeen Derma One Supplements - 3 Month Trial Review #BeautyFromWithin *AD

Monday, 27 August 2018

Imedeen Derma One Supplements - 3 Month Trial Review
Skincare supplements are becoming increasingly more popular and I've tried out various skin, hair and nails supplements over the years. The latest ones that I've been using on a daily basis for the past three months are Imedeen's Derma One supplements.

The older I get, the more interested I've become in health and skin care supplements, and how the two can relate to and support each other. Why? Well, I've always been an advocate of that old saying 'beauty comes from within', and what you put into your body is more important than what you put on it. Case in point, if you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, your skin is going to look awful when you're 40 years old, regardless of how expensive the face cream that you use is. 

Aside from not smoking, watching your booze intake, eating a healthy diet and doing regular exercise, you can also take supplements to give your skin a 'boost from within' so to speak. Supplements should never, ever be used as an excuse to not eat healthily, but I do find them particularly useful as a 'top-up' to make sure that you're getting everything that your skin needs to look its best.

Despite this, not all supplements are created equally and I was disappointed with another brand's skin, hair and nails supplements at the start of the year, so I decided to take a break from these kinds of products. That was until an email popped up in my inbox from Imedeen, asking if I'd like to try out their Derma One supplements over the course of three months. Curious to see if they would work for me, I said yes.

Imedeen Derma One Supplements - 3 Month Trial Review
 What is Imedeen Derma One and Who Is It For?
Derma One is one of Imedeen's bestsellers that's aimed at those who are over 25 years of age and concerned about the first signs of ageing. It's a specialised skincare supplement which helps to improve the skin's overall quality and radiance, whilst also helping to keep the skin's natural moisture levels balanced. This, in turn, should improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as plumped up skin tends to smooth them out, for a more youthful and glowy appearance.

What's In It?
The three key ingredients are:-
  • Marine Complex that contains a protein and polysaccharide complex which contains elements that are similar to those that are naturally found in the skin. Made from Fish extract so not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.
  • Vitamin C - helps to protect cells from oxidative stress and supports normal collagen formation.
  • Zinc - contributes to normal DNA synthesis and supports the maintenance of normal skin.

How Do I Take It?
Two tablets a day, preferably taken with a meal. Imedeen recommends that you take Derma One for at least 12 weeks to see the best results, which they claim are scientifically proven. Each daily dose provides 210mg of Marine Complex, 60mg Vitamin C (75% NRV) and 4mg Zinc (40% NRV).

Imedeen Derma One Supplements - 3 Month Trial Review
Overall Thoughts & Results?
I took Derma One as instructed every morning with my breakfast for three months. For the purposes of this review, I stopped taking any other supplements that contained the three key ingredients. I found the tablets easy to swallow, there was no fishy aftertaste and I didn't experience any problems throughout the three-month trial. 

As far as results go, I have to admit that I haven't seen any big changes in my skin and that any differences have been much more subtle. It took around 10 weeks for the supplements to make any noticeable difference for me, and after that point, I started to feel that my skin was a tiny bit softer and smoother overall. I didn't see any changes with radiance/brightness, but the small fine lines underneath my eyes appeared to be smoother and a little less noticeable than before I started taking them, so that's a firm positive.

I don't think that any supplement is a miracle-worker, but it does take a couple of months before you'll start to see any differences so stick with it if you are interested in trying something like this. Price wise, they're somewhere in the middle of the spectrum for skincare supplements - certainly not the most expensive that I've tried, and not the cheapest either. Are they worth it? It's difficult to say as we're all individuals and will see different results, but if you don't eat a lot of fish in your diet/don't currently take a dedicated fish supplement, you may see some subtle changes in your skin after taking these. 

Imedeen Derma One* (60 tablets, one month supply is £37.99, link)

Do you take any skincare supplements?

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Foodie Friday: Fried Padrón Peppers AKA Spanish Tapas Roulette #SummerBBQ

Friday, 24 August 2018

Fried Padron Peppers aka Spanish Tapas Roulette
Whether it's gloriously sunny or pours it down this Bank Holiday weekend, you can still make these tasty Fried Padrón Peppers on a BBQ or in your frying pan, whatever the weather!

Padrón Peppers traditionally come from the region of the same name in northwestern Spain, and they are a popular tapas side throughout much of the country. Although they're now available all year round due to being grown in greenhouses, they are best eaten when they're at their freshest in the peak season from the end of May to October, so now's a great time to try them if you've yet to experience them.

The most common way to enjoy padróns is to simply fry them up with a little Olive Oil and Garlic, and allow their skins to blister which makes the peppers almost melt in your mouth when you eat them. A liberal sprinkling of Salt finishes them off beautifully and you'll soon see why they're such popular snacks in bars as they go down very well with a cold drink or two ;)

Watch out though, whilst most padrón peppers are relatively mild heat-wise, it's estimated that 1 in 10 may be pretty damn hot (hence the nickname Spanish Tapas Roulette) and there's no way to tell which ones they'll be, so fry up a batch and live a little dangerously!

Fried Padron Peppers aka Spanish Tapas Roulette
Fried Padron Peppers aka Spanish Tapas Roulette
Ingredients:-
  • Padrón Peppers - 5 or 6 per person as a starter/side
  • 1 Garlic Clove - per person
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt

Method:-
  • Drizzle Olive Oil into a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the Garlic Clove whole.
  • Wash your Padrón Peppers and pat them dry, before adding them to the pan whole. Depending on the size of your pan, you should be able to cook two portions at the same time.
  • Allow them to sizzle in the pan for a few minutes and start to blister on one side, before turning them over. Fry for another few minutes until they start to go brown.
  • Remove from the pan, plate them up and sprinkle a generous amount of Salt all over. You can use a good quality Sea Salt or an infused Chilli Salt depending on your personal tastes. Enjoy!

Fried Padron Peppers aka Spanish Tapas Roulette
Have you tried Padrón Peppers?

Summer Beauty: 6 Natural After-Sun Products To Try

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Summer Beauty: 6 Amazing Natural After-Sun Products To Try
Despite your best intentions of religiously applying sunscreen every two hours when you're outside or on holiday, catching too much sun or getting sunburnt is all too common, but there's no need for your skin to suffer!

Here are my top six natural after-sun products to try, with various price points to suit everyone's budgets.

Summer Beauty: 6 Amazing Natural After-Sun Products To Try
Lavera After-Sun Lotion* (200ml, £9.95, link)
Lavera's After-Sun Lotion is an affordable and practical option, as the large 200ml tube is ideal for those two-week family holidays in the sun. This lotion is packed full of natural and organic ingredients such as Shea Butter, Sunflower Seed Oil, Aloe Vera and Calendula extracts, to provide up to 24 hours of moisturisation. It feels instantly cooling and soothing, and is quickly absorbed to leave your skin smoother and softer.

Organii After Sun Cream* (50ml, £3.50, link)
If you're travelling with hand luggage, are going on a long weekend away or only need a small after-sun product for yourself, this handy 50ml size from Organii costs a mere £3.50, yet is a lovely after-sun moisturiser that you can use on the face and body. Key ingredients include Shea Butter, Argan Oil, Aloe Vera, Calendula extract and Vitamin E which get to work in no time at all to moisturise and soothe.

Green People Hydrating After Sun Soothing Moisturiser* (200ml, £16.50, link)
One of my absolute favourite after-sun products is from Green People and I've been using this one for years. Not only is it 94% organic, but it has the most wonderful cooling sensation thanks to a blend of Organic Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Calendula, Myrrh & Mint, and it feels SO good on sun-scorched skin. Free from a long list of 'nasties', this award-winning after-sun also helps to minimise peeling and maintains the colour of your tan for longer. 

Summer Beauty: 6 Amazing Natural After-Sun Products To Try
Dr. Hauschka After Sun* (100ml, £16, link)
For a luxury/high-end option, I wanted to include Dr. Hauschka's After Sun which is reportedly used by numerous A-list actresses and supermodels. There's no denying that this is a beautiful product that's 100% natural and includes nourishing ingredients such as Rosehip, Shea Butter, Glycerin, Sweet Almond Oil, Quince Seed, Rose Flower, Carrot Root and Ice Plant extracts. It's a little thicker and richer in texture than you might expect from a typical after-sun moisturiser, but boy does it do a great job!  If you have the budget for it, this is a fantastic luxury product to try out.

Sukin Aloe Vera Gel* (125ml, £14.95, link)
Many people prefer to use a pure Aloe Vera Gel as their after-sun product of choice, and this one from Sukin comes with a handy pump dispenser for a fast and fuss-free application. I don't find it as hydrating as a lotion or moisturiser as it contains a small amount of alcohol in the formula, but if you hate applying after-sun and want a super quick-drying gel that will soothe your sunburn, this is the product for you.

Lyonsleaf Body Butter* (120ml, £16.99, link)
My last recommendation isn't an aftersun per se, but it is a fantastic all-round skin healer in the shape of an incredibly thick and rich body butter. Lyonsleaf's award-winning waterless product boasts an impressive 95% organic and cold-pressed formula which contains the likes of Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Avocado Oil, Almond Oil, Vitamin E, Geranium, Clary Sage and Marigold extracts. A little goes a very long way and this is a perfect option for those who are looking for a plastic-free product as it's packaged in glass.

What are your favourite after-suns? 
Have you tried any of these?

Beauty Box: LoveLula Beauty Box - August 2018 review

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

LoveLula Beauty Box - August 2018 review
Skincare fans are going to love this month's LoveLula box which features an award-winning selection of organic and natural skincare products that's worth £55!

Here's what's inside August's LoveLula box:-

Madara AHA Peel Mask
 Madara AHA Peel Mask (full size, RRP £24)

One of the star products this month is a full-size Madara AHA Peel Mask which is worth £24 on its own! I've mentioned this mask a couple of times as travel sizes of it have appeared in previous LoveLula boxes, so it's great to have another tube for my skincare stash. This mask features active fruit acids which munch away at dull, dead skin cells, helping to reveal an instantly smoother and brighter complexion. I find it particularly useful for when my skin is feeling congested, clogged or simply not looking its best, and it gets to work in just 3-10 minutes so it's brilliant for when you need a quick fix. 

Bowe Organics Lash Oil
 Bowe Organics Lash Oil (full size, RRP £19.99)

I've only recently heard of the natural and organic British brand, Bowe Organics, and was pleased when I saw that they were newly stocked on LoveLula. Their Lash Oil is currently the first and only product that they sell, but it's an interesting one nonetheless. This specially formulated, plant oil-based blend helps to protect, thicken and lengthen your lashes, making them more resilient and beautiful overall. It's recommended as an add-on step for your evening skincare routine and it can also be used on your brows for thicker and fuller brows.

Pure & Light Revitalising Facial Exfoliation
 Pure & Light Revitalising Facial Exfoliation (15ml travel size)

Earlier this year, I reviewed two products from Pure & Light (read my review here) and I've been meaning to try out more from them. This cute pink tube is a travel size of their Revitalising Facial Exfoliation which is like a dual-action cleansing cream that offers a subtle amount of daily exfoliation. It contains 32 active natural ingredients, and although I've only used it once so far, I can tell that it's something that I'm likely to purchase the full size of in the near future. It feels lovely and nourishing on the skin, and is ideal for those who are looking for a gentle, creamy exfoliator to use in the AM or PM.

Gallinée La Culture Hand Cream & Hydrating Face Cream
Gallinée La Culture Hand Cream & Hydrating Face Cream (5ml travel sizes)

Gallinée are a fantastic French skincare brand who are famous for their natural formulas which feature prebiotics and probiotics. I've actually used both of these products in the past and loved them - the Hand Cream is amazing for dry skin (I featured it in a monthly favourites post here about two years ago), and their Hydrating Face Cream is a good option for dry and sensitive skin types.

Also included in the box is a sachet sample of the popular Kimberly Sayer Ultra light Facial Moisturiser SPF 30.

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?

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Project Pan #5: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Project Pan #5: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
It's time for the results of another Project Pan! I've been doing a PP since around Feb/March, so this is roughly six months worth of makeup empties and it's been a challenge!

Whilst I find it relatively easy to use up skincare and body products (as you'll no doubt have seen in my monthly empties posts), finishing up makeup items is a completely different ball game. This is probably because I don't wear makeup every single day, and when I do, I like to experiment a little and reach for a different lipstick or blusher, so it takes me a long time to fully use something up.

I love doing Project Pans because they encourage you to use the makeup that you have (it's a fantastic way to cut down on those impulse buys!) and it allows you some time to properly rediscover a bunch of products that you may have neglected. You can check out my previous completed Project Pans here.

For this PP, I pulled out 10 full-size makeup products that I really wanted to use up, and a couple of samples/minis as well. Here's how I got on and what I would consider repurchasing again.

Project Pan #5: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
Superdrug Deep Action Mattifying Shine Control Papers (featured here)
Have used these for years and they come in very handy when you're out and about, so are perfect for keeping in your bag for a quick touch up. They blot away any shine and don't disrupt your makeup. Repurchase? I'm currently using some from Mai Couture at the moment which I prefer, but I'd pick these up again as a budget-friendly option.

MOSSA Skin Perfector BB Cream in Soft Beige
I wasn't a fan of this at all! I found the formula too thick and greasy, and the colour quickly oxidised on me. Repurchase? No.

Dr Hauschka Tinted Day Cream
This was OK and provided a little more coverage which I liked as it still looked fresh, however, I feel that it would be better suited for drier skin types than mine. Repurchase? No.

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer* (reviewed here)
It was a very sad day when this primer ran out as it's one of the best that I've ever tried! I absolutely loved using it and it created such a beautiful brightening base each and every time. My skin loved it as well as I never had any breakout or clogged pore problems from using it on a regular basis. Repurchase? As much as I want to, I have some other primers to use up first, though I'm sure we'll meet again in the near future! 

Giorgio Armani Skin Defense Primer SPF 50(reviewed here)
Although I initially really liked this primer, I slowly began to fall out of love with it about halfway through the bottle because the formula began to get quite thick and gloopy, despite still being well in date. For such an expensive primer, I would rather spend my money on the Juice Beauty one above, rather than risk buying this again and being unable to use the latter half of the bottle. Repurchase? No.

Project Pan #5: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
NARS Audacious Mascara in Black Moon
This was OK, but it didn't impress me enough to want to purchase a full-size and I feel that there are plenty of much better mascaras out there that are half the price of this one. Repurchase? No.

Ciate Wonderland Mascara (reviewed here)
Case in point, if you are after a quality high-end mascara, buy this one from Ciate instead! I've repurchased it twice now (always when there's been a discount code or offer on though) and it's fantastic. Gives me big lashes and reminds me a lot of Too Faced's Better Than Sex Mascara. Repurchase? Yes.

GOSH Blown Away Mascara(reviewed here)
Like I mentioned in my original review, I wasn't 'blown away' by this mascara at all. It's OK for everyday/natural looks, but ultimately, I prefer a much bigger and volumised lash so this wasn't for me. Repurchase? No.

Daniel Sandler Invisible Blotting Powder(reviewed here)
Wow, this felt like it lasted forever! I remember hitting pan on it around Christmas time! This is a brilliant translucent pressed powder which is perfect for producing a matte finish. It never looks cakey or powdery, and really does live up to its 'invisible' name. Repurchase? Tempted! 

Lord & Berry Intensity Satin Lipstick in Brick
This was a gorgeous 90s brown-toned, reddy pink and had a similar formula to MAC's Amplified Lipsticks which I loved. I found myself wearing this shade a lot during the start of the year around Jan-April, so I was glad to have finished it up a few months ago as I've had it my makeup collection for ages! Repurchase? I have a couple of lipsticks that are a similar shade so it's a no for now.

Project Pan #5: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme Cup (reviewed here)
Creme Cup is one of those classic MAC shades and it's such a perfect pale pink nude that looks amazing with a smokey eye. It's also one of the few MAC lipsticks that I've ever repurchased which goes to show how much I must have liked it! Repurchase? I'm holding off as it takes me forever to use up a lipstick, and I do already have shades that are probably dupes. I will save this for Back2Mac though!

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner & Ink Liner 
I finished up two mini liquid eyeliners from Kat Von D. I didn't find that there's much difference between these two - they're both pigmented, easy to use and long-lasting, but perhaps the Tattoo Liner lasts a little bit longer? Repurchase? I would definitely buy the Tattoo Liner again.

Benefit Ready, Set, Brow!
I don't get the hype for this at all - it's basically just a clear brow gel! It does the job and does it well, but there are much cheaper products that are virtually identical to this, so I'm glad that I picked it up as a magazine freebie because I wouldn't pay full price for it. Repurchase? No.

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Cheek Gelee in Poppy Paradise (featured here)
Remember when these were all over blogs and Youtube?! I've gotten through a pot of this Poppy Paradise shade before and I still love it! Very easy to sheer out and it looks so pretty and fresh on. Repurchase? I have too many similar products to justify buying another one right now :(

Eylure Brow Amplifier in No 10 Dark Brown (featured here)
I've repurchased this before and still like it a lot. Super easy to use, it has a teeny tiny brush so that you can fill in small gaps for fuller brows. Doesn't smudge, looks natural and stays put all day. Repurchase? I'm trying out some different brow products at the moment and I think I've found one that I prefer over this - sorry Eylure!

Have you ever done a Project Pan?
Have you tried any of the products that I used up?

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Foodie Friday: Apple, Blackberry & Rhubarb Crumble (Vegetarian / Refined Sugar Free recipe)

Friday, 17 August 2018

Apple, Blackberry & Rhubarb Crumble
Is there anything more comforting and delicious than a bowl of warm fruit crumble served with either custard or ice cream? This version uses a lot less sugar than traditional recipes, but it's still utterly satisfying. 

Despite it being only mid-August, the weather has turned rather chilly and Autumnal lately (I'm literally sitting here typing this with my favourite cosy jumper on and a cinnamon-scented candle burning in the background), which has me craving more filling and comforting types of desserts. This Apple, Blackberry & Rhubarb Crumble is exactly what I needed after a long week, and it's a great way to truly appreciate all of the flavours that are the classic hallmarks of the British fruit season right now.

Apple, Blackberry & Rhubarb Crumble
Ingredients: (makes around six portions)
  • 3 medium-sized Bramley Apples
  • 5 sticks of Rhubarb
  • 200g Blackberries
  • 50g Coconut Sugar 
  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 50g Porridge Oats
  • 75g cold, unsalted & cubed Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • Pinch of Salt

Method:
  • Preheat the oven to 190C / Gas Mark 5.
  • Peel, core and chop the Apples into small pieces. Chop off any woody parts of the Rhubarb and cut into bite-size sticks. 
  • In a large saucepan with a lid, add 10g of Coconut Sugar, the chopped Apples and Rhubarb with a splash of water, and cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the fruit starts to gently soften. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed to prevent sticking.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the Blackberries, Cinnamon and Ground Ginger. Add the lid again and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the Plain Flour, the remaining Coconut Sugar, cubed Butter, Oats and a pinch of Salt, and rub together with your fingers until the mixture resembles something similar to breadcrumbs.
  • In a baking dish, add the fruit, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top, ensuring that everything is thoroughly covered. 
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes until the top is lightly golden brown. Serve warm or cold with custard or ice cream. Enjoy!

Storage tip: This crumble will keep in the fridge for 2-4 days in a foil covered dish. Alternatively, you can freeze it either whole or in portions in an airtight container or in freezer bags for up to a month. 

Apple, Blackberry & Rhubarb Crumble
What are your favourite fruits to have in a crumble?

New In Beauty: REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm review + Recycled Ocean Plastic Campaign

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm review + Recycled Ocean Plastic Campaign
REN have been making waves (pun intended!) with their recent Recycled Ocean Plastic campaign, and with the addition of an exciting new product launch, I just had to dedicate a blog post to them. Here's what's been happening in the world of REN in case you've missed the latest news on social media.

REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm review
New product launch: REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm* (30ml, £40, link)
Last month, I received an exciting package from REN which contained a full-size jar of their latest launch, the Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm. This newbie is part of the brand's hugely popular Evercalm range which is targeted at sensitive skin types and I've used several products from this line over the years. 

The new Overnight Recovery Balm is a powerfully rich and hydrating night balm that's packed full of ultra-nourishing plant-based oils such as Olive, Almond, Borage, Jojoba, Sunflower and Linseed. These oils are naturally rich in lipids and active enzymes which help to strengthen the skin's natural protective barrier, as well as giving it an intense shot of moisture at the same time. Beta-Glucan is also included to soothe and calm any visible signs of sensitivity as it acts as an anti-inflammatory ingredient, so this is a fantastic product to try if you're currently suffering from any irritation or redness due to sensitive skin.

I've been using the Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm after cleansing in the evenings instead of using a night moisturiser or facial oil (as this is so hydrating, you don't need anything else). A tiny amount goes a long way and it has a lovely light texture that's perfect for doing a facial massage with. It doesn't feel greasy but you do have to massage it in for it to fully absorb, as you would with any other type of balm product. I've had some patches of redness around my nose and on my cheeks in the last month, and this has instantly calmed everything down.

My skin also feels much more hydrated, softer and plumped up in the morning. It feels very luxurious and pampering to use, and it has a pleasant subtly botanical/natural scent that reminds me of a spa. Needless to say, it's a delightful luxury night treatment to add to your evening skincare routine and I can see myself using this even more as the seasons start to change in the coming weeks.

REN Recycled Ocean Plastic Campaign
REN's Recycled Ocean Plastic Campaign
The alarming rate of plastic pollution in our oceans that's destroying delicate eco-systems and threatening the existence of thousands of species has caused a massive outcry from people all around the world, and many are now looking at ways to reduce their plastic consumption and consumer waste in a bid to stop the problem from escalating even further.

REN has been helping out in various ways, from organising beach cleanups across the UK with the charitable organisation Surfers Against Sewage (participants have been rewarded with REN products to thank them for their time), to their commitment to being a zero-waste company by 2021, changes are afoot and it's great to see a beauty brand as global as REN taking these positive steps forwards.

Their latest environmental campaign focuses on their partnership with TerraCycle, where they have created a new 100% recycled plastic bottle that contains 20% reclaimed ocean plastic. As recycled plastic isn't as clear as first use plastic, the bottle has a grey tint which you can see in their award-winning Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Body Wash(£22, 200ml, link) - the first product to be packaged in this new hybrid recycled plastic packaging. The bottle also features an innovative metal-free spring in the pump to make it fully recyclable and the new recycled plastic packaging will be phased in across REN's full global distribution by 2019.

Whilst I know that recycled plastic packaging isn't the saviour to the problem of plastic pollution, it is a welcome helping hand in a better direction and an admirable effort from a global beauty brand to be doing something like this, when many other larger brands are still sadly doing nothing. Hopefully, the actions of companies like REN will inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

To find out more, visit renskincare.com

Do you agree that brands should be doing more to change their packaging?

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