Thing of the Week 15 | Carmex Moisture Plus

6/29/2012 06:00:00 am
I hate carmex.  Fact.  I don't like sticking my talons into the teeny pot and scraping some product out.  I do not like the tingly feeling.  I do not like the smell.  BUT I do like these.

 They are scrummy sweet-vanilla scented lip balms, that add a sheer hint of colour and shine to the lips.  I prefer the pink myself, I find the peach looks a little unnatural on my lips, but I still like it!  These are perfect for touching up with, as they are foolproof.  The colour seems to only go onto the lips, no matter how much you might mess up the application!  Perfect for a natural make up kinda day!

Love A.x

FOTD and Rare Review | Mac Mineralize Skinfinish in Petticoat

6/28/2012 06:00:00 am
I had heard about Mac's Petticoat from some of the Pixiwoo videos, where they suggested if you could find this rare product, then you best buy it asap!  Now, some months ago, I was visiting Bicester Village, really so I could visit one shop only - the CCO.  In it, to my utter delight I came across the beautiful wonder of Petticoat!  Now, I don't get along with Mac's Natural Skinfinishes, they oxidise on me and make me look dirty, but these 'special' mineralizes are pretty darn lovely.

Petticoat is a warm-toned pinky-gold, and adds a real depth to the skin, as if flushed from the sun:  I use it in a variety of ways - as a highlighter, as a shimmery bronzer or as a blush.  Petticoat has managed to convert me to the Mineralize skinfinishes, and I really fancy picking up a cool-toned one!  It is incredibly pigmented, slightly shimmery and butter soft to the touch.  If I had any gripes, I would say it is a little coarse in texture, but that is me being VERY picky!

Both of the above pics have Petticoat on the cheekbones!
All in all, this is a gorgeous product that has pride of place on my windowsill!
Love A.x

Simple Kind to Eyes | Eye Make Up Remover Pads

6/27/2012 01:09:00 pm
In my skincare routine, there is always, always a separate eye-make up remover to my cleanser.  My eyes are eczema-prone, and as such I prefer to always use something specially formulated for eyes to remove the masses of make up that can sometimes accumulate on my eyes!  My eye make up remover of choice is the Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Make Up Remover.  Bit of a mouthful, but the best eye make up remover I have ever come across.  Even better than the many people's HG - Bioderma.  Best of all, it only costs around £3.50, and lasts my heavily made-up eyes around a month to a month and a half.  But I am not the best prepared person in the world, and inevitably, there are a few days at the end of a month where I find myself void of any eye make up remover.  Sob.  That is why I keep these little babies in the back of one of my drawers!

 These little pads are impregnated with a fair amount of my beloved eye make up remover, but not so much that the liquid runs down your face!  I use these as I would any make up remover - one pad for each eye, and they are just brilliant!
They cause no irritation to my poor, eczema-ish, contact-lens wearing eyes, and I actually keep one pack of these in my handbag for any clean-ups that are necessary (mostly swatching too many cosmetics in boots!) 
Definitely a staple for any eye-make up loving girl!
Love A.x

Review | Avon Earthern Rose - a perfect light contour!

6/26/2012 06:00:00 am
As the weather has gotten hot and then cold and then hot and then cold, I've found myself lusting after a more natural contour for my face for no apparent reason.  My HG Bronzer, theBalm Bahama Mama can look a little stark, and for some reason I find Nars Laguna very obvious on my face.  After watching a couple of Pixiwoo Vids, I decided to purchase the Avon True Colour Blush in Earthern Rose.  

First things first, I adooooore Avon as a cosmetics company - any product can be returned to them within 60days for a full refund, even if used!  Genius Customer Service.  I do wish, however, that the shades could be seen in person before purchasing.  I SUPER want the Ideal Flawless Liquid Foundation, but the shade I purchased - Golden - was too dark, and although I have returned it used, and received the refund, I have no idea which shade to go to from there!  Anyways, that's much of a muchness.

Earthern rose is LOVELY.  It is a perfect bronze colour, leaning slightly reddy-brown, but most definitely not orange!  The colour is subtle, and looks extremely natural, but can be easily built up.  In terms of formulation, the blusher is super fined milled, and as such, leaves no tell-tale "make-up" signs on the skin.  I generally use my Prestige contour brush lightly swept over the blush and then under my cheekbones for contour, or with my Bobbi Brown blush brush if I want a more obvious look.
Packaging is black and sleek, with a small mirror on the inside, and a little brush which I seem to have misplaced.  Oops.
Lovely blush, and I'm definitely thinking about getting the other colours!
Love A.x

Clinique High Impact Mascara | Travel Make up Bag

6/25/2012 06:00:00 am
First things first, confession time!  I have had this little tube for over a year.  Shock horror!  I actually got this little gem in the trade-in that Clinique do every year, and I have to admit I really love it - I probably will get the full-size as I love it so much.  I think this mascara is almost as good as the beloved Dior Extase which I can't quite afford at the moment, and is perfect for volumising, thickening and lengthening the lashes.
 Because of it's mini size, this is the mascara I pop into the make-up bag that lives in my handbag.
 As you can see, the brush is a medium sized bristle brush, I tend to go for bristle brushes over plastic wands, and bigger brushes over smaller ones!
This is two light coats, I love the way the mascara really darkens the roots of my lashes, and thickens them up but in a more natural way than some of my other ones!
Love A.x

Balms | All the balms I have featuring Rose & Co, Badger Balm and Figs and Rouge

6/24/2012 06:00:00 am
A little bit of a lazy post today - aka you can have a look at the pretty pics and I won't say much!

I love a good multitasking balm!
Love A.x

Back Ups | Skincare Duck Bag! featuring REN Masks, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair and Vichy Dermablend / Normaderm!

6/23/2012 06:00:00 am
This is my little ducky bag that I bought from Debenhams in a sale a while ago.  It was quite the little bargain at about a fiver, and had three separate compartments inside, including a make-up brush specific one.  At them moment though, it is housing all my little skincare doubles and spares.

 In this section we have the REN Mayblossom and Blue Cypress Facial Wash, the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, Shu Uemura Brightening Cleansing Oil, REN T-Zone Balancing Day Fluid, REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask (teeny size), REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask (slightly bigger size), REN Glycolactic Mask, No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream for Normal/Oily skin, and a tube of Sudocrem Skin Care Cream.
In this section, the Vichy Dermablend Foundation, Vichy Normaderm, and two little Hand and Body Lotions from a hotel!
Elsewhere I keep a Boots Botanics Rosewater Toner, as well as the Good Things Deep Pore Anti-Blemish Cleanser, and tons of other little bits all over the place!
Hope you liked the peek into my duck bag.
Love A.x

Thing of the Week 14 | NEST Vanilla Hazelnut Yankee Candle only cheaper!

6/22/2012 05:44:00 pm
Everytime I walk into my room, this is the fragrance that greets me!  My Vanilla Hazelnut candle is on top of my chest of drawers, alongside my cosmetics and general array of pretty things.  It is therefore the scent I smell when doing my make up, and even without burning it I love it!

I found this little gem in TK Maxx, a few days after I purchased the Yankee Candle Candy Apple (review here).  I did not find any more Yankee Candles, but I did have a good old sniffing session and settled on this Vanilla Hazelnut for myself and the Apple Cobbler for my mother.  The Vanilla Hazelnut is an incredibly rich, warm smell, reminds me a lot of starbucks coffee!  Perhaps the Hazelnut latte with a hint of vanilla?  Even as I sit here typing this post, I'm having a good old inhale of this scrumptious candle!  My mum's Apple Cobbler smells, as my dad put it "like something I've eaten before" and he's definitely right, it smells like a lovely, warm, cinammon-y apple crumble.

Now, onto the details: these candles come in a glass jar, most of which is textured with almost like a fishnet kind of frosted pattern on the glass.  Burn time isn't stated anywhere, but I would say I've burnt mine for a good 10 hours or so, and my mum has burnt hers much longer and I would say that only about a fifth of mine and a third of hers has been used up!
Everytime I go into TK Maxx I now have a little sniff in their candle section, after all these are such a little bargainous treat at £4.99.
Love A.x

Another Face of the Day | Pixiwoo Cheryl Cole featuring Bourjois Healthy Mix Original

6/21/2012 06:00:00 am
I thought today I'd share with you the face I did whilst watching the England-Ukraine match!
It is my version of the Pixiwoo Cheryl Cole look - my version because obviously my skin is darker than hers annnnddddddd I don't have ANY of the products that Nic used, BUT I think it still works pretty well.  I think it's a great night out look, and you could use the same principles for any colour palette - I personally think a very dark purple would look gorrrrrrrrgeous.  So, here we go! 
Foundation - Bourjois Healthy Mix (original) in 54
Concealer - None, the healthy mix is pretty conceal-y!
Powders - Body Shop Loose Powder in 04, Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder
Contour - Avon Earthern Rose
Blush - Fashionista Blush in Blush
Primer - Soap and Glory Its About Prime
Sleek Storm Palette - Bottom row, lighter blue, second from left all over lid.  Bottom row, darker blue, third from right through crease, and trace the outline of the eye, then blend, leaving the lighter blue visible in the middle of the eye.  Use the darker blue heavily along the top lash line and under the bottom lash line.
Eyeshadow - Avon Supershock in Black, scrubbed along top lash line and blended out, then applied to top and bottom waterlines.
Mascara - Collection 2000 Big Fat Fake Mascara on top lashes.
Lipstick - Mac Innocence Beware
Lip gloss - Mac Right Image
Unfortunately, with or without flash I couldn't quite get the tone of the blue right, but in person the shadows worked really well!
Hope you liked!
P.S. The original Bourjois Healthy Mix seems to be winning the battle!
Love A.x

Face of the Day | Mini Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Review

6/20/2012 06:00:00 am
This isn't a real face of the day.  It's a fake!  As in, I got bored and put on make up when I wasn't going anywhere.  As you do.  As I do quite regularly tbh!  After uploading this I'm more than likely going to be recreating the Pixiwoo Cheryl Cole look.  And sitting watching the football!  What a waste of a face!
 So, for this face, I was actually trying out a few of my less well-loved make up items - Bourjois Healthy mix Serum and my beloved Chanel Soleil de Tan, which I have a very love-hate relationship with!
Moisturiser - REN T-Zone Balancing Day Fluid
Foundation - Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in 53
Concealer - Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Medium
Powders - Body Shop Loose Powder in 03 and Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder
Cheeks - Chanel Soleil De Tan and Avon Earthern Rose Blusher (amazing, review coming soon)
Highlight - Mac Petticoat
Eyes - Chanel Soleil de Tan as base, then Topshop Eyeliner in Saddle applied thickly close to lashline and blended out.  Saddle also applied under lower lash line
Mascara - Collection 2000 Big Fat Fake
So, a quick review on my impressions of the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum.  Well, to be honest, I'm not quite sure what to say!  I've had it on for about 3-4 hours, and glancing in the mirror I thought that it had let the shine through, and kind of almost 'split' on the face.  However, I think the issue could be that this is indeed a 'glowy' foundation, and just something I'm not used to.  I liked the texture of it when I pumped it onto the back of my hand, felt it brightened my tired complexion somewhat, but it took a lot of product to achieve a medium coverage.  I also found that, unlike most of my foundations which I can apply with my fingers if I wish, this foundation seemed to slip and slide around the face when my fingers were used, making achieving any sort of coverage really hard.  In the end I used the Sigma F82 and really liked the effect after powdering it down a tiny bit.  As you may be able to tell from the pictures, my skin was nice and glowy, but still not shiny, and generally brighter.  I think I'll test this another couple of times, and get back to you on it!  I also have the original Healthy Mix, which I need to test out, and probably do a complete review and comparison of the two.  Also, a quick word about the L'oreal Lumi Magique.  I reaaallllly liked this foundation at first, but find it is now not being very compatible with my oil-prone skin.  Again, I think I'll try a re-test and maybe do a post on foundations and oily skin!
Hope you liked this!
Love A.x

Scrub-a-dub-dub | Current scrubs

6/19/2012 06:00:00 am
In my skincare routine, I love a good old (gentle) scrub.  I am an avid user of glycolics, and other chemical exfoliants, so I shouldn't really need to much scrubbing on my face, HOWEVER, my oily skin often makes my face look dull, and that is when I turn to a scrub or two!  Currently being used are this trio:
First up is the St Ives Apricot Scrub - I think we have quite a few variations on these in my bathroom, but basically, this is the scrub I would recommend to more or less anyone, especially those who want to get into exfoliating for the first time.  The granules of scrub are fairly large, but round, so no chance of scratching the skin, and are encased in a thick, soft, creamy cleanser.  I think of this almost as an exfoliating cleanser as it cleanses the skin especially well, and leaves it soft and a lot brighter than if I haven't used it.  You can find this at Boots for about £4, as well as Superdrug and most supermarkets to be honest.  Perfect for all skin types.
Next up is No7 for Men Energising face scrub.  Now, yes I am a girl, but this is one of the best scrubs I have found.  The granules in this are verrrrrrrrrrry tiny, and almost look like salt!  The carrier is a translucent gel, which foams up a little bit when added to water.  This is one of my fave scrubs, and in my house is used by both sexes, and has been repurchased a fair few times.  It exfoliates very effectively, and the change in my skin is immediately noticeable.  It literally makes the skin glow.  I would recommend this to those with an oilier or thicker skin, or those who haven't exfoliated for a while, and need a load of cells sloughing off.  This is available exclusively at Boots at £8 for 150ml, which I think it is definitely worth HOWEVER, using a No7 £5 off voucher, this is a ridiculous bargain at £3.
Last of all is Dark Angels from Lush, which I have already reviewed on my Problem skin days post.  This is the scrub I turn to for when my skin is playing up in terms of spots - it deep cleans and scrubs my face all at the same time.  I tend to apply this thickly, mixing it with only a teeny bit of water, all over my face as a mask, leave it for a while, then add a little more water and rub, transforming it into a scrub.  This is a perfect problem for anyone who is oily and congested, and for the hot weather and is £5.95 for 100g here.
So those are my current exfoliating tools!
Love A.x

Big Fat Haul | Ft. Boots, Manuka Doctor, Lush and the Body Shop

6/18/2012 06:00:00 am
So these are a few bits and pieces I've picked up over the last couple of weeks.
First up we have the obligatory Boots shop:
*The Kids Soltan I picked up in the sale aisle for about £2 - perfect as it is once a day, and a good size for keeping in my handbag (my Piz Buin is slightly big for handbag purposes)
*My beloved Boots Botanics cleansing balm in it's new incarnation! £8.99
From Holland and Barrett:
*My Clinique Even Better serum has just run out, and I don't have enough Boots points accumulated for the Origins Dr. Weil Mega Bright that I wanted to buy, sooooo after reading positive reviews on the Manuka Doctor Skin Repairing Cream, I decided to try their serum (I have no space in my skincare routine for the cream at the moment!).  £18.99, here on buy one get one half price, so I picked up:
*Dead Sea Spa Magik Mild Exfoliant - one of my staples, LOVE this brand, will do a review on it soon, when I pick up my other staple from the brand.  £7.99 here, but 1/2 price with the serum.
From Lush:
These were both actually freebies
*Cupcake Fresh Face Mask was free as I (and my sister) accumulated five empty lush tubs.  Normally costs  £5.75 here
*The tiny pot has a little sample of Lush Ocean Salt in it - I've used it before, but fancied a sample before I bought it myself £6.75 here
From Glamour Mag:
*That Gal Brightening Primer.  I'm such an idiot.  A couple of years ago I had this in the full size.  And threw it away!  Grrrrrrrrrr at me!
Lastly, from the Body Shop:
I'm not actually a Body Shop fan, I don't rate the efficacy of their products, but their fragrances are little gems:
*Neroli Jasmin Eau de Toilette £4.50 in the sale
*Neroli Jasmin Body Mist £3.50 in the sale
Phew!  Not a bad little haul, mostly all things that were needed!
Hope you enjoyed!
Love A.x

Foundation Alchemy | Mac Primary Yellow Pigment

6/17/2012 06:00:00 am
Aaaaaaaah we're back to the topic of my yellow skin again.  To be honest, I love it.  Apparently cosmetics companies just don't!  I really have an issue with getting foundations with a strong enough yellow undertone.  As a consequence, I have foundations I have bought which really go unloved.  I'm actually contemplating buying Ben NYE Banana Powder, but it seems to be out of stock everyyyyyyyyyywhere.  So for now, I introduce you to my brainwave of an idea - Mac Pigment in Primary Yellow: 

I use this in one of two ways.  I either add a little to my foundation, but can find this changes the texture of the foundation, so invented use number 2: I added a little to my loose powder, and use that as my face powder.  Of course I don't use this everyday, just for the pinker toned foundations I have.  BUT I have also found that using the yellow face powder mix hugely helps any weary/tired skin days, adding a dose of health to my yellowing face!
Love A.x

Found it! | My all-time fave cleanser is back!!!

6/16/2012 06:00:00 am
This isn't the post that is meant to go up today, but I was so excited about my little find that I just had to write this!  After more than a year of using, and then 6 whole months of searching in vain on every trip to every Boots all over the country, and not being able to find this:

My heart stopped and my heart sang with joy when I was perusing the aisles I found it reincarnated as this:
It was as if the angels has spoken to me!  Now, this balm hasn't gotten much coverage on the olde blog, largely because I was near the end of it around the time I started posting regularly.  But, between you and me, this is the bees knees.  I could literally use this balm the rest of my life (or until I can afford the fancy-pants ones - Emma Hardie, Eve Lom).  Why is it so fantastic I hear you say?  Well, it does EVERYTHING a cleanser could need to do, and is everything a cleanser should be.  First off, it comes in a tub with a muslin cloth - I literally chuck away the cloth, because I an wholeheartedly a flannel girl through and through.
The balm itself looks like olive oil decided to solidify itself in a tub!  Deep, golden colour than just invites you in 'eat me, eat me' etc etc.  Except I wouldn't advise you to eat it. 
The formula itself has changed slightly between the first incarnation and the new version.  In the older version it LOOKED more organic - the actual product wasn't packed in as tightly as this, nor as smoothly.  It was a bit grittier, so needed more time in your hands to work it into an oil, but I quite liked this 'prep work'.  The new version, as you can see from both the above and below pics, is as smooth as a baby's bottom, and packed very tightly.  What this means in terms of usage is that it melts into an oil pretty much as soon as you rub your hands together.  To be honest, I liked that with the old version you kinda had to work to get your money's worth, but that is neither here nor there.
In terms of smell, it definitely smells both relaxing and slightly uplifting - in fact in reminds me of some leaves I used to pick in my very first primary school, to make lemon tea.  I think we used to call the bush lemon mint?  It is possible we made that up, but I could liken it to lemon verbena, or a softer citrus smell.  In terms of application, I normally scoop out a lump with my nail and place on palm of hand like so:
I then rub my hands together, creating an oil and massage it into my face until my hands decide to drop off.  Off course, you can massage for less time - I just love the cleanser so keep on going!
Lastly, I wring out a hot flannel, place on face for a second, then go about buffing off the olde balm.  And voila, the cleanest, brightest, softest face you will ever see!
This literally is my favourite cleanser that I have ever used, and I have used a lot.  I always come back to it because it is just sooooo very effective.  In terms of tips, I would say, the longer you can massage the better, massage extra on any problem areas, and then make sure to thoroughly remove the product.
This is the most excited I've been to take off my make up in ages!
I hope this was useful!
Love A.x