26 March 2016

I Finally Own a Bath & Body Works Candle

I feel like it's one of those cult Blogger brands at this point and it's weird if any American Youtuber doesn't have 5,000 of these burning in the background of their videos or blog posts. However, as a British blogger these are not so easy to get my hands on. Yes, i've seen them in person plenty of times but actually being able to bring them back in my suitcase and not be over the baggage limit is pretty much impossible. So, in December i decided to treat myself, found a UK seller on eBay and bought one.

Bath and Body Works is a large, America based body, hand and home store that creates new scents for every season, in a range of products. Things you probably know them for is their three wick candles, their Pocketbac Hand Sanitizers and possibly their body and shower lotions but they do so, so much more. However, the three wick candles are such a cult product and frankly, i've just felt left out. Since it was December and during the months of November to February i love pine scents so i went for the 'Fresh Balsam' candle which smells like a fresh, Winter day. When it was unlit it smelt right up my street but when i actually burned it over the course of about three weeks, i was realising that it was giving me a headache. I think it was the eucalyptus which was a base note to the pine, but i stuck with it and burned it pretty religiously for about three weeks so i can tell you how it did.

What i must say about these candles is they last for-ever. I burned it everyday for at least an hour and a half, on my days off i burned them literally all day and it barely lost any wax. When it burnt, about half of the candle because liquid but when i blew it out and it hardened again it barely went down at all which is really impressive, because noone wants to spend a lot of money on a candle and it lasts a couple of days. Plus it throws out so much scent, i honestly think it's one of the best candles i've ever purchased and if you think Yankee Candles are good, you've seen nothing yet.


19 March 2016

My Relationship with Nail Polish

I don't know why but through the Summer months i go almost entirely off wearing nail polish, except for if i'm going on holiday. From about March to October last year i almost exclusively wore OPI's Original Nail Envy which really did help make a noticeable difference in the condition of my nails. It helped them strengthen and grow longer, quicker too. Not only did it help the quality of my nails but i also just like the way it looks, simple but glossy. Anyway, but come Christmas i am literally obsessed with nail polish and i can't get enough of it.

During November and December i changed my nail colour every week because i just couldn't wait to try out a new colour. I suppose that by Christmas, thanks to all my Nail Envy wearing, my nails are in really good condition, are long and strong and, lets be honest, nails just look better painted when they're longer. The same things happened the year before too, i only wore nail polish while i was on holiday between the months of probably May-November. Very strange but every time this happens i remember how much i love nail polish, and how much i love my nails looking long and manicured.

As you can probably tell from the image above, my favourite brand of nail polish is OPI simply because they have an amazing colour range and the formula dries so fast. One of my pet peeves, in life, is slow drying nail polish so when i find a brand that gets the job done quickly, i'll buy as many colours as i can. I do also dip into a bit of China Glaze and Essie too as they're both pretty good for drying time, as well as a few of the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine paints because they have seriously improved their dry time. I very rarely ever wear blue on my nails, except if it's an icy, silvery blue or a grey-toned blue and i never used to wear green either but over the last year i've actually added quite a few green shades to my collection from a dark, khaki colour to a grey-green and even a fairly light, shimmery green too. Another colour i never used to wear was pink, but i've actually jumped into that too as i think a lot of berry toned and rosy pinks work as great nudes for me. My all time favourite colour, however, is a classic berry or pink-toned red for the cooler months and i actually wear it all year round too.

I've just bought the Essie Grow Stronger Base Coat and the Essie Super Duper Top Coat to try because everyone says that wearing a top and base coat makes your polish last longer and is better for your manicure but so far i'm actually preferring not using a top coat. I might try, at least, the OPI top coat to see if that makes any difference. I've never used a base coat before now and i've never had a problem but i'd be interested to see if wearing a top coat regularly really does make a difference. Everyone seems to rave about the Seche Vite top coat but i tried it once and didn't like it, so any other recommendations are welcome.

Another chatty post today, which i actually like slipping in every now and again because it just feels like i'm writing to a friend or chatting to a friend over tea. Please do leave any comments with recommendations of any top or base coats you love or how you help your polish last longer!


12 March 2016

Dipping My Toe into theBalm

I've wanted to try out theBalm cosmetics for quite awhile but it's not particularly easily accessible in the UK. I know that Superdrug now stock it online, but i've never actually seen it in-store so it's something you have to go out of your way to order online. A couple of months ago, i finally decided it was about time that i went ahead and bought a couple of products that i've been lusting after.

Starting out with the 'Nudetude' Palette which is one of their best known products, and as you can see from the images above the packaging boasts a lot of naked ladies. They do now also have the 'Nudedude' Palette that is the equivalent with naked men on it, but you know it depends on your colour palettes. This particular one is right up my street as it has plenty of neutral, pink-toned shadows as well as some perfect crease colours including my favourite burgundy, a deep brown and a black to smoke everything out. The shadows are buttery and soft, they're super easy to blend and create a beautiful finish on the eye. I absolutely love pairing the shade 'Stubborn' with 'Sexy' in the crease, it turns out to be a beautiful pinky, burgundy smokey eye.

As you can see, they're super easy to blend out and to blend together, and as i said before the consistency is so buttery. They're so smooth, they almost feel creamy like a cream to powder formula but they're not. Honestly, it's not the cheapest brand out there but they are well worth a try for the quality.

The Second product i decided to try, which happens to be another famous product from theBalm, is the Mary Lou-Manizer highlighter. It's described as a 'honey-hued luminizer' and can be used as a highlighter and a shadow, and is supposed to diffuse light so you get a subtle glow. If i don't buff this out once i've applied it, on me it can look a little bit yellow as really i think i suit a cooler, pink or champagne toned highlight but if i work it into the skin a bit before i apply my setting spray then i can make it work. Again, the texture is buttery smooth and super blendable. For the pale skinned gals, like me, it's buildable so you can literally dab your brush in and add just a touch or really layer it on if you have darker skin. It's super soft and so worth giving ago, as it seems as though it's a real cult product.


5 March 2016

Five Products I Always Keep in my Skincare Arsenal

Sort of linking in with a lot of the skincare posts i did at the beginning of last month, i thought i'd share with you some products with you, five which is actually six because i cheated, that i don't necessarily use everyday but that i cannot live without them in my skincare collection.

Lets start with the Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliator which is a product i was recommended when i had my lovely Clarins consultation at the end of last year, that i blogged about here. When she suggested it i really didn't think that it seemed like anything special, it's just an exfoliator right? Wrong. I have used plenty of manual exfoliators and none have made my skin shine like this one does. It seriously exfoliates without being harsh, it removes all the dead skin cells and grime from my face all while keeping it hydrated thanks to it's creamy base. I don't know what it is but this just really gives my skin a boost, and although i have used it morning and night there is nothing better than using this first thing in the morning and getting that glow.

Talking of a glow, my favourite product to use in conjunction with the Clarins exfoliator and what i like to think of as the other half of my dream team is the Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser. When i use this after using the Clarins product, my skin is seriously dreamy. I get this sort of 'lit-from-within' look to my skin, it looks clear and it seriously brightens my face. Again, this is super deep-cleaning but without being at all harsh. I really love massaging this onto my skin and then leaving it for a few minutes to really work in before removing it with a warm, damp flannel.

I've mentioned using the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads before and although i use my Pixi Glow Tonic far more often, i just love having these on hand to switch things up. I often like using the Glow Tonic in the morning and the FAB ones in the evening to keep my skin on it's toes. They're really gentle, but tingle slightly to let you know that they're working and it's the perfect toner to use after cleansing and before you apply any serums, etc. They to brighten your skin, exfoliate and tone, and are great for daily use.

I stopped myself from buying this moisturiser for a long time as i thought that it'd be way too heavy for me, especially after hating it's sister spray product, and that it would do nothing for my oily/combination skin but actually i fell in love with it. The Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief is a gel consistency moisturiser and although it's claims are to be ultra hydrating it, it does just that without clogging pores or weighing my skin down. It's super lightweight all while giving immediate moisture and when i apply this before i go to bed, i wake up with super hydrated and really plump skin. It absorbs really quickly and definitely soothes and calms my skin while i'm sleeping.

Lastly is my cheat product as i simply couldn't pick between these two face masks and, really, they are for totally different things. I can't get enough of the Origins face mask range but two of my favourites are the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask and the Origins Out of Trouble Mask. The drink up intensive i apply before i go to sleep and just leave it on overnight, so i wake up to really plump, beautifully hydrated skin whereas the Out of Trouble is perfect when i'm having one too many pesky blemishes and soothes all while getting rid of my problem areas. They both do exactly what they say on the tin, and are so worth the hefty price tag. I got these as part of a Christmas trial set and if you can get your hands on one i'd highly recommend it as it's a great way to try the products without buying them full price, and they're great trial sized.

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