Nude ProGenius Treatment Oil | Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9

12/02/2014 03:02:00 pm
Nude ProGenius Treatment Oil with Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 is something I’d been glancing at in shops, and reading about on blogs for quite a while before I actually laid my hands on it, and experienced what can only be called its greatness. My go-to oil prior to this was the Antipodes Divine Facial Oil, which – like its name – is pretty divine. Perfect for a full on, oil-you-know-is-there kind of pamper, the Antipodes will always have a place in my heart. 
But enter the Nude ProGenius. More of your use-it-everyday-and-still-see-the-benefits kin of oil as opposed to the use-it-as-a-treat oil! This is a lovely, rich, yellow colour that just makes you believe it’s going to nourish the skin deeply. The perfect oil for really massaging into the skin as an everyday pick-me-up, it leaves a non-oily finish, so your face doesn’t get stuck to your pillow, and your hair doesn’t stick to your face. I find it terrible comforting, but at the same time, it almost doesn’t seem to be there after the massage. In the morning, skin is super plump; so much less dehydrated, and has more than a hint of clarity to it. Of course, I’ve not been using this long, and I’ve also only got the deluxe sample size, but this is one that is on my must-buy list. I have a feeling that this purple bottle will be in my life for the foreseeable future.
Much love,
Ani x

Hardcore Skin | The Perfect Peel

11/27/2014 09:11:00 pm
The days of growing old completely gracefully have now been replaced with the days of growing old with a little help from science. More and more women (and men) want to make the most of what they have, and why not use the latest breakthroughs in science for this? One of the most popular non-invasive ways of doing this is through Chemical Peels. Now, depending on your knowledge of the landscape of the skincare world, chemical peels either fill you with joy, or make you recoil in horror. For us, it fills us with a great amount of joy – peels vary from very gentle refreshers through to deep, aggressive peels designed to treat a variety of skin afflictions, from acne, to scars, to fine lines and wrinkles.

Now I always use Rachel at Aesthetic Nursing Services for any treatments I may need, from peels, to botox, to lip fillers, and I wouldn't trust anyone with my face except her. She covers the majority of Bucks and Chiltern. New in to Aesthetic Nursing Services is Perfect Peel, which uses Glutathione, an anti-oxidant known to prevent chronic diseases and anti-ageing, blended with acids, vitamins and minerals to penetrate the skin at a cellular level to fight all the daily and long-term damage that has been inflicted on our skins. Most people stop producing glutathione at about 40, which reduces the body’s ability to fight off toxins and increasing the ageing process. Glutathione is also proven to reverse the metabolism of melanin, leading to lightening of excess skin pigmentation, especially when combined with the Kojic Acid element, which also stimulates elastin and collagen production. The addition of Salicylic Acid also aids with the combating of acne and inflammation by clearing pores from the root.

The Ingredient List: 
Trichloracetic Acid (TCA), Salicylic Acid, Retinoic Acid, Glutathione, Kojic Acid, Phenol, Vitamin C, Minerals.

Now, Rachel has had this peel done, and is loving the results herself, and would love to tell you all about it. She says “this is a fantastic treatment to peel away that old, dull skin and reveal healthier, younger-looking skin.” Rachel noticed peeling for around 8 days, which is something she actually likes, as she can see that the peel is working its magic. After around 2 weeks, results are clearly noticeable, with the stimulation of collagen continuing into weeks 4-6. What is so brilliant about this particular peel is that it requires is suitable for all ethnicities and scales on the Fitzpatrick scale, with darker skin tones  being advised to prep prior to the peel, which is what I am currently doing - I will be updating with the results of the prep and then the peel. Please feel free to visit Aesthetic Nursing Services for more information and prices, plus find a special offer on the perfect peel on their Facebook page.

I hope you find this kind of treatment as interesting as I do.
Much love,
Ani x

One Brand | Origins Triple Threat Facial aka Mask Marvels

11/26/2014 04:28:00 pm
Continuing on the birthday theme, today I introduce to you the Origins Mask Marvels Gift Set – a present from my sister. Like all beauty obsessees, I do love a good mask, and on most occasions, I tend to love more than one mask during a session: the triple threat facial (deep cleanse, brighten and moisturise) is one of my best friends. Lo and behold, Origins kit could literally be named the triple threat facial kit.
Let us start with that lovely black mask – the Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask (to clear pores.  Psychologically I feel that this works instantly - it’s the black colour! But technically, it does actually seem to work on the skin – thick and unctuous, it is deeply satisfying. Pores are cleansed deeply, and skin is smooth to the touch. Second up is the Origins Out of Trouble 10 minute mask, which was actually a complete revelation to me.  It is nothing like I expected it to be. Slightly medical and menthol-smelling, utterly relaxing, and the super-thick texture of a terribly nourishing hot cloth cleanser. Smush this all over your face, and just relax. This is the ultimate for smoother skin. I cannot even explain how smooth my face felt after this – texture was super refined, plumped and just healthy looking. I think this is one to use before a night out for a perfected make-up base. 
Last we have a blogger cult favourite – the Drink Up Mask. I have to say, this is the one that I could leave out – it is lovely, but I find the Nude Pro Genius Oil to be the ultimate thirst quencher. On it’s own merit, it is a lovely, fruity, cooling treat for the skin. I would definitely like to try more Origins skincare. You can find the kit here. 
Much love,
Ani x

What's In My Handbag | Birthday Edition

11/24/2014 02:51:00 pm
Today is my birthday. As usual, I am 19 again, and loving it. As with birthdays, enjoyable as they are, there is always an element of reflectiveness – so I thought to myself, why not reflect slightly on something a little more candy floss and  - if I dare say so – just a little more shallow. And why not? So today I reflect on what is in my handbag. First off the bag. Found here, it is one the most useful bags I have ever had, and is currently my day-to-day, day-to-night, work, home and play bag. A large-sized small bag, black quilted, with gold hardware and a double strap, it fulfils all my criteria for a non-fussy but fancy-looking bag. Inside is super spacious, with poppers to the sides which enables it to become roomier and really fit a lot of my ridiculous stuff into it! And here is where we start with the contents!
Let’s start with the ultimate oily-girl’s essential – powder. This is actually a repurchase, so I think we can safely say that L’oreal’s True Match The Powder in D3, W3 Golden Beige. Perfect for touch-ups, but also used as my actual setting powder. Finely milled, beautifully yellow-toned powder that really gives a beautifully flawless finish when paired with the Mii Cosmetics Flat Top Kabuki brush (short handled, so perfect for the old handbag).
Next up, my little perfume collection – previous to today, you would have also found another full-sized perfume in here, but last night I pared it down a little. So the full-size is my YSL Belle D’Opium, which I inherently love to pieces. Ultimately not a daytime perfume, but as with all of my beauty rules, I don’t actually have any! Heady, sexy and musky, this is just beautiful. The two mini perfumes are both from The Body Shop, and are White Musk Smoky Rose and Atlas Mountain Rose. Both rose-based, but completely world’s apart in terms of scent. The White Musk Smoky Rose is slightly dark, with a depth of scent that is completely amazing – far-removed from your traditional rose scent. The Atlas Mountain Rose was actually a birthday present today, partly due to the little-known fact that my middle name is Atlas. This is a traditional, clean, floral rose – the type of scent I tend to layer with others.
Let us move on to the lipstick collection – we are actually lucky that these are the only lipsticks in here, I did remove three yesterday! These all actually serve a function, and are at least different shades for my different moods. First of all, the Mac lippy in Snob. One of my absolute faves, this is a face-brightening blue-toned, mauve-ish, soft-looking pink that makes you look a little bit expensive. The Rimmel is called Asia, and is a perfect up-to-date 90s lip that is a little Kylie Jenner-esque. The last, by L’oreal is the Cheryl Cole nude, and is more-or-less the perfect nude-nude. By that I mean, this is the perfect I-have-no-mirror, or I-want-to-top-up-my-lipstick nude. These three together make a pretty wonderful lip wardrobe. Of course, with winter having arrived full-force, and with eczema-loving lips, I always carry a Burt's Bees stick around with me. The original variation is the best, and really sticks around on the lips.
Lastly, eye-liner: I heart kohl eyeliner, and Rimmel’s one is the original kohl I ever used, and is one of the best for super-smudgy eyes.
And that ornate book is my diary, from Paperblanks – very important for an unorganised girl who is trying to organise herself!

Much Love,
Ani x

Stuff on a Tuesday | Life

10/28/2014 02:00:00 pm
Normally, when I am in my routine, it tends to be a Sunday that I post a "stuffs" post - a little life catch-up of the past week if you will. But routine is not my bag, and I wanted to post this today, so here we go: a bit of inside my life from this week.
Much love,
Ani x

Speed Review | Alpha H

10/27/2014 08:43:00 pm
Alpha H is a brand I have loved for around about 4 years now - I have only used one product, but use it often, and find it to be one of the best skincare innovations available to the consumer market. The product that I am talking about is indeed Liquid Gold. However, it suddenly occurred to me that seeing as I had such good results with this, that I should probably try some of the other products in the range. Enter QVC and their wonderful easy pays! I saw this kit on QVC one night, and decided to go for it - 2 easy payments of £24.50 made it an easy purchase, that I have already seen results with.
This kit covers all your skincare bases, from cleanser, to resurfacing treatment, rejuvenating cream and eye gel - definitely your one-stop shop for radiant skin. I have been using this system for around about a week now, and I have to say, I am thoroughly impressed. It is amazing what changes can be seen in the skin, and how quickly they can be seen when all the stages of your routine include active ingredients. My skin reacts so well to AHAs and BHAs, and the lactic and glycolic acids present in these products are slowly but surely refining the texture of my skin, lessening the appearance of marks, and keeping breakouts away.
When it comes to eye creams, I tend to fall in the horrid category of using a steroid cream to alleviate any eczema flare-ups that seem to always be present. When I saw the gel-like, serum-type texture of the Absolute Eye Complex, I immediately assumed that it wouldn't be able to help my eyelids at all, but I was thankfully wrong. Cooling, firming and hydrating, this has meant that for the last week (touch wood) my eyelids have been eczema-free, and that is really no mean feat at all!
The Liquid Gold, as always, is such a staple and necessity in not only my routine, but that of my mum and sister too! Fixing a multitude of skin issues, this is one that I recommend to the whole world.
Next up, the Liquid Gold Rejuvenating Cream, another newbie to my stash, and I absolutely adore it. If you have ever used liquid gold in a hardcore way - lots and often - you can sometimes crave a little luxe in the skincare routine, and that is when this steps in. Glycolic acid swathed in cream, you still feel the slight prickliness associated with the Liquid Gold, but topped off with the comfort of a cream. Gorgeous for the days in between your Liquid Gold use, or layered on top of Liquid Gold, this is a perfect overnight skin workout.
Lastly, the Liquid Gold Anti-Ageing Cleanser. One word for this. Amaze. I have never had a cleanser that felt so active on my skin before: glycolic and lactic acids combine for the gentlest (but beware, prickly-feeling, and heaty-y) exfoliating cleanse ever. Just enough slip to get a really good facial massage out of this, it is one that I would never waste on a first cleanse or make up removal (I reckon it would super sting the eyes), but would want on my bare skin, to really infiltrate the skin's surface. 
And those are my speed reviews of these wonderful Alpha H products. I'm pretty sure most of these will achieve holy grail status.
What new skincare discoveries have you made?
Much love,

Body Shop | Rediscovery

10/08/2014 01:00:00 pm
I often find myself wandering in to The Body Shop - I think it's the smell that draws me in. I remember it from when I was quite small, and a little bit obsessed with all things pretty, even back then. But that smell, always pulls me in. However, I don't often find myself buying anything - just a browse, a couple of spritzes of scent, and I flounce out. Until a few weeks ago, where I found myself wanting to buy everything! The Body Shop really has had quite the upgrade in terms of their products, their relevance within the world of beauty, and the ingredients and actives they now put into their products. So, what did I walk out with you ask? Three cleansers of course!
I have had a few weeks to test all of these, and I have to say, I love them. I purchased both the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter and Silky Cleansing Oil - I have a penchant for a balm or oil as my first cleanse (I really don't think anything cleanses/ removes make up as well as a balm or oil), and thought the Balm in it's little tin would be brilliant for my Dubai holiday. The oil is beautifully silky, as the name suggests, and has a good amount of slip to it, perfect for rubbing into lashes to remove my beloved Urban Decay Perversion mascara. It is suggested that you add water and emulsify to remove, but I am unashamedly loyal to my hot-water, rung-out flannels! The balm on the other hand, is now one for when I fancy a long, relaxed, facial massage - all knuckles and fingers! If using in this way, it is my second cleanser, to really plump up and relax the skin. The same gorgeous scent as the oil, it just does it's job brilliantly. On holiday, this was actually my first cleanser - the metal tin just travels so well! As a first cleanse, it does all I want it to - it removes the majority of my make up, leaving my skin clean enough for the second cleanse. Both of the Camomile cleansers are definitely new loves for my skin. I have already talked about the Tea Tree Cool & Creamy wash in my last post, but the long and short of it is that I love it!
With all the offers The Body Shop has these days, I am definitely looking forward to trying out more of the range.
Much love,
Ani x

Morning Time | Cleansing

10/07/2014 04:03:00 pm
Everyday, when I wake up, the first thing I feel the need to do is wash my face. Before bed I will have at least double cleansed, massaged and put a whooole load of lotions and potions on, and of course, upon waking, toxins and residue have seeped out of the skin. Enter morning time cleansers! 
Every morning I choose between one of the above - the Kiehl's Oil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash for Men, and The Body Shop Tea Tree Cool & Creamy Wash. Both are relatively new purchases - The Body Shop was one I purchased for when I was off to Dubai - I thought it would be a lovely, deep cleansing but nourishing choice for a world of extremes - immense heat, humidity and then freezing-cold air conditioning.  Lo and behold, I was right! Just like it's name, it is super creamy, a thick, but fluid texture that calms and cools the skin immediately.  The Kiehl's however, is a much newer addition, that was actually purchased at Dubai Duty Free. I have been wanting to try Kiehl's for the longest time, but tend to like to try a small kit, or some samples first. This kit consisted of the Exfoliating Wash. a toner, and a moisturiser, and like I often do, I picked the kit for men! This particular face wash is a lovely, thick, gel consistency with beads suspended in the formula. Generally my preference is a chemical exfoliant, but the exfoliating action within this is super-soft, but effective. Both of these are perfect for refreshing and waking-up the skin of a morning!
What are your current morning face washes?
Much love,
Ani x

The Repurchase | Max Factor Facefinity Primer

10/05/2014 01:00:00 pm
You may or may not know, but I tend not to finish products, and I tend not to repurchase. However, shock horror, I have gone and done both. Max Factor have struck gold with their primer - so much so that I ran out, went without it for 3 days and after wearing a primer-less face of make up, ran out to get it. That is how good it is. The effect it has on bare skin is wonderful, the effect is has under a freshly-made-up face is beautiful, and the longevity it has during a working day is the icing on the cake!
I wholeheartedly recommend this for all skin types, and can vouch for how good it works on my very oily skin (currently on offer at Superdrug, wink wink!).
Much love,

New In | Make Up Revolution

10/04/2014 10:21:00 pm
Now this is a complete and utter new in. Wanted these forever, finally bought this afternoon, and not even touched yet. A first impressions post will be coming soon :).
I am hugely looking forward to using the more berry-toned shades in the eye shadow palette, and seeing how well the highlighters work in the Blush and Contour palette.
Much love,
Ani x

Vacancies | 1 | AKA the Empty Ones

10/02/2014 11:02:00 pm
I had a weird moment tonight, about 10 minutes ago, where I decided to slightly have a quick clean-up of the bathroom, leading to this post - the empties. I then decided to choose a synonym for the word empty, because why not? And that is how we now have a "Vacancies" series.
Bouffe Dry Spray:
I noticed this at the checkout of Boots one day and thought WOWZA that looks like something the wonderful Marie-Antoinette would use, and lo and behold, it was bought. I love the packaging, so different from any other dry shampoo on the market. But to be honest, that's where the good ends. This is one of the few that come in an actual black shade - but that is part of the problem: it is a flat, fully matte black that looks horrendously unnatural. On reflection, choosing the "transparent" option probably would have been the way to go with this product. It has all the grit and dryness of my fave Superdrug Dry Shampoo, but the colour rubs off onto anything like nobody's business, and makes hair feel like it immediately needs washing. Probably a good one for structured up-dos, but not so much when you just want a refresher for the hair.
Batiste Dry Shampoo in Dark and Deep Brown:
This happens to be a bog-standard dry shampoo that I seem to have hoarded a while ago and decided to use. I don't have any particular feelings on it - it refreshes the hair, but tends to leave a slightly too-warm brown cast on the hair, but is not too unnatural.
Ginvera Green Tea Whitening Marvel Gel:
Now, let's address the elephant in the room: this has nothing to do with whitening - I am hugely against anything that lightens the skin for cosmetic reasons, as I feel everyone has a slightly different colour that should be celebrated. This product however is the absolute bomb. I'm sure many of you have tried this, but for those who have not, it is essentially a thick, cooling, green gel that you smooth over the skin. After waiting a minute or two you rub, rub, rub off the skin. The magical formula literally exfoliates and brings away dead skin with it as you rub. A quick swipe of the flannel, and you have the smoothest, healthiest looking skin. Definitely one for repurchasing.
Alpha H Liquid Gold Smoothing and Perfecting Mask:
This is one that I used sparingly as I loved it so much. A definite brightening mask, that really feels like is does something. Clearer, smoother skin in around 10 minutes.
Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser:
I know a lot of oily-skinned girls swear by this range, but after trying the entirety of it, I can say it just does nothing for my skin. This cleanser I actually found to be stripping, but at the same time, to not take care of my oil issues. Puzzling. I used up this mini - it has quite a nice, cooling feeling for the morning cleanse, but I wouldn't repurchase.
Good Things Manuka Honey Creamy Cleanser:
This is a brand that I 100% love the premise of, but in terms of reality, I have disliked more products that I have liked. One of my fave ever products - their 5 minute face mask - is from Good Things, but I have had less luck with their cleansers, until now. This was definitely an impulse "oh-its-on-offer" buy, but turns out, its a pretty lovely product. Soft, creamy and thick, this takes off make up like a dream, and is a thick enough texture to use as a massage product. The smell is beautiful, and all in all it acts like a much higher-end product. Another for the repurchase list.
I hope you liked the mini reviews.
Much love,
Ani x

The One I Should Have Liked | Ren Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser

8/26/2014 08:47:00 pm
On paper, I thought I'd love it.. Even on first sniff. I loved it. First touch - the same. But on the face? Not so much. I love a bit of rose - the sweet, soft, fresh smell of real roses, which this one hundred per cent delivers on. Again, hot cloth cleaner - something I love. 
But then it all goes a little pear-shaped. Something about the texture when on my face feels like it is suffocating me - there is no obvious reason why, it isn't sticky or super thick, in fact for a hot cloth cleanser it's pretty loose in texture. I don't dispute it's cleansing prowess, the gentleness of the formula, but I can't stand the cloying feel on my face. I'm a little bit of a lover of Ren, of roses, of hot cloth cleansers, so I tried again, but with no luck. Unfortunately, this is a no for me, but I know pleeeeeeeeeenty of people who love it.
Much love,
Ani x

Life | Stoke Place | Tea in the Afternoon

8/16/2014 06:00:00 am
I love a little afternoon tea - I love the fanciness of it, the yummy food, and the stunning views. This week I took my buddy for her birthday, and Stoke Place did not disappoint. My faves were the scones and the sandwiches, the tea, and of course the champagne :)
I hope you liked a little insight into my life.
Much love,
Ani x

The Acessories | Gogo Philip & Walt Disney Logo Bracelet

8/11/2014 07:00:00 am
I have a thing about Disney. I adore it. I wrote my first Dissertation on Disney and Literature, and my Masters on on Children's Literature. Now, I'm not really one for expensive handbags and shoes - in fact I try solely to buy in the sales - but I am one for Mickey things. I love a Mickey jumper - I have quite the collection, and I just could not resist when it came to this beauty.
I'm a little bit of a magpie crossed with a gypsy when it comes to bracelets - I love adding them onto my wrist, but I also love to make sure they are simple bracelets, and this one really fit the bill. It adds a touch of silver to my otherwise gold arm: a contrast that I really appreciate, and adds a little mix of both classicism and modernity.
Much love,
Ani x

Sunday's Stories | Five

8/10/2014 07:00:00 am
And so we're here, on another Sunday, with a sneak peek into my life. I quite like these posts - what a lovely way to document my life!
Much love,
Ani x

The Singular Review | La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+

8/06/2014 07:00:00 am
It's been a little bit of a little while since I've done any singular reviews - I don't know if it's because trends seem to be leading away from this, or because nothing' has really wow'ed me lately, but dagnammit I've been wow'ed!
La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo+ is the bomb. As in the bomb diggy. It does everything. It has bells and whistles, and if I had one of those high-up Parisian rooftops, I would be on top of it, screaming about the prowess of Duo+. Judging from that, it's fair to say that I kinda love it a little - some may say a lot - anddddd this time round, I have tangible, justifiable reasons for the love-in, not just my usual wishy-washy "I like it for some reason that I can't really put my finger on."
Lightweight gel-serum texture that both hydrates and mattifies in the short-term, but also in the long-term.
Long-term reduction of visible oil production on the skin - this leads to make up looking better, staying on the face all day.
Visible reduction of blemishes and scars, which is amazing. The last time I saw results like this was thanks to the Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector (which is muchos more dinero than the Duo+).
Less frequent breakouts, lets angry spots, and generally fasting healing time.
That is Effaclar Duo+ in a nutshell, but between us, you need to try it - it kind of does everything for the skin, leaving it in brilliant condition.
Much love,

The Beauty Fave Files | July

8/05/2014 07:00:00 am
So July has been wonderful, hasn't it? My perfect kind of weather - hot, hot, hot! For a coooold snow girl like me, summer fills me with joy and happiness and all the good feels. Today as I sit here typing (it is Saturday 2nd of Aug), the weather has turned a little moody, but sticky moody.  The sun has disappeared, but the heat remains, and I have decided to share my July Faves with you.
First of all, complete hero product of the month - the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+. I have used the original Duo on and off for quite a while, but the Duo+ is quite the skincare revelation. When I picked this up, I made a bit of a skincare promise to myself: to not over complicate my skincare routine - so for a while, the Duo+ was both my serum and moisturiser. After a solid 2 weeks of this single-skin-product-routine, I started adding bits and pieces back in to complement and enhance the effects. In the most basic terms, this has turned my super-oily skin into something much more controlled and even - my foundation can now stay on all day without re-powdering, which is something that I have never achieved before. My skin tone is much more even, clearer and just generally more healthy-looking. I have already purchased, and am using a second tube of this!
Now, onto a little bit of foundation chemistry: Becca Luminous Skin in Toast, Maybelline Better Skin in Golden, and No7 Beautifully Matte in Deeply Beige. The combo of the Becca, with either, or both of the Maybelline and No7 creates the most beautifully natural flawless base that, combined with my Max Factor Facefinity Primer, lasts alllllllllllllllllllll day.
Finally, my forever product, the one that hardly ever fails to be on my cheeks - the Bourjois Blush Exclusif. I've raved about this a million and one times, I've hit pan, finished and repurchased, and I think that speaks for itself.
And that is that for another month - a much more streamlined look at my favourites!
Let me know what you've been enjoying this month.
Much love,
Ani x

Sunday's Stories | Four

8/03/2014 09:27:00 pm
The stories of the week:
Much Love,
Ani x

How to | Relax - Epsom Salts

8/02/2014 07:00:00 am
I love a bath. I hated the idea of them for a good 10 years - I would always shower, and never bathe, but after a couple of operations for kidney stones and ovarian cyst, I was in so much pain one day that the only comforting thought was that of a bath. And that is the beginning of a story that hasn't ended - a story where I just love a bath. I find baths to be soothing in times of anxiety - so much so that they can stave off an attack - calming in times of stress, the place where I watch Youtube beauty videos, and where I can read an entire book in a go. There is something about the hot water that I just adore. But I don't like bubbles anymore. Because I literally tend to wallow in the bath - just lie still - the bubbles don't tend to dissipate, and annoy me when I wash my hair, and when I drain the water they just remain! I love a good Lush Bath melt or Ballistic, but my latest non-bubble love is Epsom Salts.
These mainly magnesium-based salts are amazing. Hidden in what looks like just large salt flakes is an elixir that cures everything - skin conditions, stress, and helps to give me a wonderful night's sleep. My current choice is the Dead Sea Spa Magik (one of my fave brands) Dead Sea Bath Salts. I adore these, and will always keep a little stash for my bathing happiness.
Much love,
Ani x

Another One | One

7/31/2014 07:00:00 am
Repurchasing doesn't come naturally to me. I am inquisitive, curious, some may say to a fault - but then again, at least I know that if I repurchase anything, it's pretty much worth it's weight in gold!
First up, my deodorant, and yes, it is men's deodorant. I don't really like the floral scents of women's deodorants, or the artificial clean scent that they often try to sell us, so I stick to men's deodorants. My fave and most trusted is the Nivea Men - the Cool Kick 48hour is my usual, but I thought I'd mix it up and live a little with the Stress Protect Version - #wild. Next up, what every girl needs during summer - some razors. I like these Bic Soleil ones - the handle is easy to hold, the blades sharp and triple, they are fun colours and were on offer at Boots for £2.99 for the 8. Last of all, my beloved Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean - perfect for quick cleanses, long massage-y cleanses and for using as a mask.
And that was all my current repurchases.
Much love,
Ani x

Wet Hair | Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash

7/30/2014 07:00:00 am
I have loved my rickety old Tangle Teezer for a good couple of years now - I find nothing as effective as it for brushing out backcombing and knots from my hair. But here's the catch. I tend to de-tangle my hair when I jump in the bath or shower. I tend to then brush it to distribute conditioner and/or masks. Of course, the original Tangle Teezer wasn't made for this, and lo and behold, it deteriorated. Enter Aqua Splash.
This wonderful little brush has a wholly open middle section, which allows the water to drain easily, preserving the life of the Tangle Teezer. It works just as well as the original, plus it stands up by itself to aid the draining action. The bristles are brilliant for my de-backcombing and conditioning purposes, and is a rather genius little invention.
Much love,
Ani x

Summer | Skin Soothers

7/29/2014 07:00:00 am
Skincare probably is my Everest - I love it, but it is a never-ending climb. I doubt very much that I'll ever just stop and think ahhhh I don't need anymore new skincare. Because I always do. And I'm pretty sure I always will. Summer proves an odd one for my skin - if I don't hydrate enough (both from the inside and out) I have eczema patches appear under my eyes and on my lips. But I also have oily skin, so keeping that balanced is one of my key issues. Additionally, a little sun always does wonders for my skin, but obviously, SPF is needed, and mine being once a day UVA and UBV doesn't leave a lot of room for the sun to break through. Today I thought I would share the little saviours I am currently using to soothe summer skin.
My go-to clay mask is the Quick Fix Calming Clay Mask for Red and Sensitive Skin. I have the complete set of Quick Fix Mask, as well as numerous others, and this tends to be my fave. Unlike many clay masks, this is slightly thinner, doesn't dry hard or feel cloying on the skin, and as my sister says, "doesn't make you feel dehydrated." This tends to calm the skin quickly, as opposed to aiming to draw out the impurities in an aggressive way as many clay masks do. Next up, my second fave from Quick Fix - the Mega Moisture Gel Mask for Dry and Thirsty Skin. This is a gel consistency that again doesn't dry, but aims to cool and hydrate the skin, and is nothing short of a miracle worker for plumping parched skin. The Lush Mask of Magnaminty is one that is always in my stash. Another clay-based mask, this time thick, green and unctuous. With honey, peppermint and evening primrose, this soothes, cools and comforts the skin and also doubles up as an exfoliator when you wash it off. Last of all the Avene Soothing Mask - a sample that I have used once and am pretty impressed with - soft and soothing, perfect for summer.
Much love,
Ani x

Face of the Day | Bronzed

7/28/2014 07:00:00 am
So I thought it might be about time that I show my face on here again - it has been quite some time, mostly because my everyday make up tends to be the same: some kind of contoured base, defined and smoked eyes, pink cheeks and a nude lip. This weekend though I bronzed myself up to the hilt and these were the results.
Skincare: Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
Primer: Max Factor Facefinity Primer
Concealer: Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Warm Medium
Base: Mix of Becca Luminous Skin Perfector in Toast and Maybelline Superstay Better Skin in Golden. L'oreal True Match Powder in Golden Beige
Contour: Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium, L'oreal Paris Glam Bronze in Brunette Harmony.
Blush: Bourjois Blush Exclusif.
Highlight: L'oreal Paris Lumi Magique Pearl Powder in Rose Boudoir.
Eyes: Sleek Showstoppers Palette: Mix of the bronzey gold and green, with the black through the crease, Rimmel Rimmel Soft Khol Kajal Eye Pencil in Black, Bourjois Volume Glamour Mascara for Sensitive Eyes.
Lips: L’OrĂ©al Paris Colour Riche Extraordinaire liquid Nude Ballet.
And that, I think, is everything.
Let me know if you like Face of the Day posts!
Much love,
Ani x

Sunday's Stories | Three

7/27/2014 01:00:00 pm
Another week, another Sunday's Stories. I like these little posts - throughout the week I tend to save pictures and quotes that I love, along with taking selfies, and pics of things that I think are pic-worthy!
This week has included tiny glimpses of my wonderful niece and nephew, beauty inspirations and life lessons!
What have you seen this week that has inspired you?
Much love,
Ani x

All Used Up | One

7/26/2014 07:25:00 pm
I thought I should start documenting my product usage - I use so many products that it would be nice to see what I use up, how quickly, and how good (or not so good) each product it. So, here goes this month's All Used Ups!
Elemis Tri-Enzyme Mask and Papaya Enzyme Peel - the Tri-Enzyme is one of my fave masks ever, kind of does everything, brightening, plumping, detoxing, all the while calming and soothing the skin, leaving it soft, cool and hydrated. I actually have a few more of these floating around that I will no doubt be using up. I have a feeling this will be my forever repurchased mask. The Papaya Enzyme is a more gentle, more hydrating version of the Tri-Enzyme - a perfect pick for sensitised skins!
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - bought this specifically to repair the damage inflicted on my hair by my blonde months. This is a little bit of an odd product, I thought the results would be comparable to that of a hair mask, but it is entirely different in every way. Applied on wet hair, and left for at least 20 minutes, this doesn't give instant gratification - after shampooing and conditioning, I didn't see any instant results, but I persevered, and after a few treatments the condition of my hair really improved: it is definitely a more deep-rooted repair than a superficial surface type of repair. I actually already have another tube of this that I will continue to use and repurchase after.
L'oreal TXT is my choice of texturising spray for the lengths of my hair. It adds body and texture to the heavy lengths that make up my hair, and really "big" it up, with a small amount of hold, and no sticky or crispy texture. I'll probably have already bought another of these before this post goes up.
VO5 Plumping spray is my spray of choice for the roots of my hair, and is the best one I have found thus far. Adding body and volume, it helps to recreate a vaguely backcombed hairstyle, perfect for everyday, but that can be enhanced with some actual backcombing. Ditto to buying this before this post is published!
Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean - my absolute rock solid favourite cleanser that I can always depend upon. Perfect for taking off heavy make up, although I tend to use this as a second cleanse after a coconut-oil cleanse, this can also double up as a mask. It is brightening, softening and soothing, and is an in-a-heartbeat kind of repurchase.
Nivea Men Cool Kick Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Spray is my deodorant of choice.. I like the clean, slightly masculine scent of this, plus it performs brilliantly even in the hot weather and through my workouts. This has been repurchased numerous times, and will be repurchased again without a doubt.
What have you been using up recently?
Much love,
Ani x

Sensitive | Mascara

7/21/2014 07:00:00 am
I do have quite odd eyes - they will behave for a while and then BANG! Eczema, itchiness, sensitivity all come at once and boy does it hurt. I got to thinking that I probably shouldn't be wearing any make up during these episodes, but this is me, and I don't do no make up. So I changed the most irritating eye wear - mascara - to a mascara specifically for sensitive eyes. Enter Bourjois Volume Glamour Ultra Care.
Now this is a purchase that I'd been thinking about for a while - in the past I have used the various other variants of this mascara, and found them to be pretty good. First off, the brush - traditional bristles, not too big and a straight wand. Just how I like it to be honest. Fine, a larger brush is my normal weapon of choice, but for sensitive eyes, the precision of the smaller brush works brilliants. The brush wiggles right up into the roots of lashes, and de-clumps as you pull it through to the ends. The mascara is pure black, and is perfect for everyday wear (I like my everyday eyes a little heavy), and can be built up. I always looks for volume in a mascara, and this delivers perfectly, all the while never irritating my eyes.
Much love,
Ani x

Sunday's Stories | Two

7/20/2014 07:00:00 am
And this is my week. A busy, tiring, hot, challenging week - but I managed to snap a few bits and pieces here and there:
| Inspiration | Beauty Inspiration - looking forward to trying it | Pick Your Own squash, strawberries, peas, plums (also beetroot) | Spotty aka my teddy-dog | New going out shoes - ebay bargain | Fave Sigma Foundation brush |
Much love, 
Ani x

Perfect | Nude Lipstick

7/18/2014 07:00:00 am
The quest for the perfect nude lipstick is a lifetime's work. One day you think you have it, then your skin changes ever-so-slightly, and the whole "nude" issue is thrown off-balance. In my quest, I have loved a Maybelline, a Rimmel and a Mac, but today's perfect nude - that has been perfect for around 6 months now - is a L'oreal offering. A Cheryl offering if you will.
I tend to lean towards pink-toned nude - this one is a lot more neutral with hints of peach: somehow this makes for a wonderful true nude lip - like these are my lips, but they are beautifully shiny and soft. The texture is moisturising and ever-so-slightly sheer. A perfect one for applying without a mirror - also perfect for just lifting the face, and completing more or less any make up look.
What are your perfect nude lipstick shades?
Much love,
Ani x

Damaged Hair | Rescue

7/17/2014 07:00:00 am
I had a phase that lasted a while. A phase of getting the ends of my hair as blonde as possible. It worked, it took me a while but I definitely had an extreme ombre going on, with super-blonde tips. But alas, as all stories go, when you get to what you want, it is never quite as good as you envision. Whilst it looked beautiful when freshly straightened, at all other points of my life, the blonde was rough, coarse, crispy and fragile. I am proud of my super-strong hair, so this was quite the bizarre development for me, and in the midst of trying to sleeken it, I bit the bullet and did an all-over black hair dye, which rescued the hair a little. In the quest for my hair of old (which is almost back to tip top condition) I have discovered some real hair gems that have taken me from someone who used to let my hair solve its own problems - it did this very well - to someone who now takes the time to nourish and strengthen it.
Whilst at the hairdresser, she suggested that I look for something to re-elasticise my hair - it really was at the point where all the elasticity had gone from it, not that it was brittle, but you could really feel it just didn't want to stretch and behave in the way hair normally wanted to. A light bulb moment occurred in my head, and I ordered myself two little tester tubes of Philip Kingsley's Elasticiser.  I have to say that this is probably what has restored my hair back to its former glory. A thick cream, almost like an intensive conditioner, you just pop this on wet hair for around 20 minutes - I leave it longer if I have the time - and wash out. At first, I have to say I was a little disappointed with the results, but I persevered, and after finishing one of the little tubes - around 6 treatments - I have to say my hair is strengthened, and has that lovely elasticity that I was craving, back. This is a miracle product, but not an instant one - you need to keep going with it in order that all the goodness can keep restoring your hair.
Next up, a lovely hair mas from Pantene - this is the 2 minute rejuvenation masque, which is a "deeply nutritive anti-ageing system." I have to say this is one of those masques that you feel and see the results on the first try - it behaves just like a conditioner, and works in the stated 2 minutes, to soften and smooth the hair.  
The last two products are Argan Oil products that I actually picked up in Poundland after seeing them elsewhere. The Hydrating Hair Mask is super thick, and super lovely! This is now my hair mask of choice - it works in a few minutes, but also makes a lovely deep conditioning treatment whilst I sit in the bath and read a book. This seems to add to the hair's shine, resilience and general texture.  I then finish off with the Argan Oil Hair Treatment, which is a thick, gloopy oil, that I massage through the ends of my hair before drying or leaving to dry. I really feel that this particular oil (unlike the L'oreal oils I have previously used) really works deep down in the hair, and doesn't just sit superficially on the surface, really adding to overall hair health and hydration.
And that is all for my hair rescue post, but each product I would recommend a million times over.
Much love,
Ani x

Hitting Pan | Everyday Essentials

7/15/2014 05:11:00 pm
It is not often that I hit pan on, or finish products - I am quite the fickle one when it comes to make up, I like to know what's going on, what's new, and what each of those new things can bring to my very full table.  But lately, I have been trying the less waste, more exploring of my own products way of life, and it's been pretty fulfilling actually. What it means is that I am now hitting pan on items, repurchasing things for the first time in my life, and finding those everyday essentials that I can apparently no longer live without. These four products are staples in my everyday life - with three of them actually being used almost without fail everyday.
First up, my chosen all-round powder of the moment - L'oreal The Powder True Match in Golden Beige. This is the best all-round powder I have found, and I have tried soooo many. It is a pressed, coloured powder that finished off a foundation look, adds a soft matte-ness, and a hint of colour to the skin. It helps my ever-oily skin to stay first softly matte, then on the right side of dewy as the day wears on, and doesn't look cakey when reapplied after a blot. This is the powder I used to set my foundation daily, then pop it in my handbag for touch-ups on the go - very unusual for me to only use one product for both.  
Next, the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium - something I have used daily since buying about a year and a half ago - this may be one of the most innovative, best products on the market. Super soft in texture, blends away to nothing, or can be built up to impressive Kimmy K proportions, this is the perfect grey / brown / taupe for creating cheekbone shadow. I absolutely adore it, and use it with a variety of sized brushes depending on how subtle (or unsubtle as is sometimes the case) I wish to be. This is a definite need-to-repurchase product. 
The Balm Bahama Mama is my general bronzing go-to on the days when I fancy adding a little colour to my visage. Equally good at creating cheekbones, or for bronzing up the face, this colour runs a tad "dirty" which I feel looks pretty natural and warm at the same time and looks to be one that would work on all skin tones. This was a steal from T K Maxx years and years ago.
Last up, what may as well be the only blush in my whole collection - I have so much love and time for the Bourjois Blush Exclusif that I have already bought my next little pot, so that I never have to be without it. Apparently, this pulls a slightly different pink on everyone - having only tried it on myself I can only testify to the slight hint of Barbie, cool-toned pink that it leans on me. I use an angled blush brush to apply, and find it can be layered from a wash of pink, to a full-on "I'm out tonight" kind of pink. Beautiful texture, beautiful product.
I hope you liked reading about the items that I so obviously can't live without!
Much love,
Ani x

Simple | Skincare

7/10/2014 06:36:00 pm
I adore skincare - always have, and I'm pretty sure I always will. I feel a little happiness every time someone comes to me for a recommendation or a review - but like any beauty blogger, I can be guilty of overindulging in the mounds of skincare I tend to have. So I decided to go back to basics - not with cleansers, not with masks, but with treatments and moisturisers. In fact, I am keeping it so simple that I am only using two products. Shock horror. Never did I ever think I'd be saying those words! It actually all came about when I decided to give the newest version of La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus a go - it makes such a nice treatment and moisturiser that I decided this would be my main serum/ moisturiser, with others being added in only if and when they were needed. Of course, I could never be without an SPF, and I feel like a once a day formula is the best for me - so I am currently trialling Calypso Once a Day SPF50+. The combination of these in the daytime keeps me protected, hydrated, and relatively matte - albeit slightly dewy towards the end of the day.
The Effaclar Duo is a gel-serum consistency, not much is needed, and it spreads well over the face. I apply this first on an evening, and over my SPF of a morning. The SPF itself is almost an oil-gel texture, very alcoholic smelling, but almost evaporates on the skin, leaving a soft veil.  Together, these two are brilliant, and my skin seems to be brightening and evening with each day!
Ani x

Sunday's Stories | One

7/06/2014 04:32:00 pm
Hola all!
Sometimes, I have a little brainwave - a moment where I think ahhhhhhhhhhh that's a good idea. Today's brainwave is blog-related, and introduces to you Sunday's Stories: a collage of the going-ons in my world over the past week. I loooove looking at photos, and being a bit nosey, so I hope you like this too!
Lots of bits and pieces from this week - food, drinks, skincare and quotes!
Much love,

Night Time | Cleansing Line Up

7/05/2014 06:10:00 pm
Hola all!
Last night I was washing my face, like the good little skincare junkie that I am, and I realised that it has been quite a while since I shared my night time skincare line up, so that is what I am going to do today! My cleansers are forever changing, but this routine has two of my all-time faves in, repurchased many a time, with a new little product chucked in for good measure!

Coconut oil has to be the most versatile product ever - I love it for a first cleanse: I scoop out a little, melt it between my palms (although in this hot weather, it is already melted!), and massage alllllll over my face, even all over the eyes, and it breaks down every little tiny scrap of make up. I love coconut oil - I adore the idea of oil cleansing oil off the face: that oil grabs and holds onto all the dirt and make up on the face, then whisks it all away when buffed off with a flannel (that red thing in the corner of the pic!). 

Good Things Manuka Honey Creamy Cleanser is a brand new purchase - I have been using it for about a week. It smells yummy, not quite like honey, almost a little sheesha-like, and is a thick cream consistency. I use this for my second cleanse, and to remove any leftover coconut oil: again, I massage all over the face, even the eyes, and whisk off with a flannel. 

Last of all my other long-term fave, the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean, that I have repurchased on numerous occasions.  This cleanser keeps my face in check, and by using it as a third cleanse it means that all the goodness from it - the acids, the brightening ingredients - go directly onto my skin. I massage it in, which the fluid cream texture is perfect for, and again flannel it away. 

As a triad, these are keeping my skin clean, soft and relaxed :)
Much love,

The Beauty Faves | June

7/02/2014 07:00:00 am
Hola all!
To get back in the general swing of one of my favourite things, aka writing, it seemed perfect to write about my favourites for June. I know I haven't written since the end of May, but writing is never far from my mind. June has been a month where I have loved contouring in all its forms - both subtle and dramatic. I find that with this I tend to not need too much foundation, and that I generally look more polished and groomed.
First up, in this lovely weather we have been enjoying, the Piz Buin Ultra Light 30, which does exactly what it says on the tube: the texture is fluid and dry to the touch, making it perfect for layering over moisturiser/ serums, and for then applying the next product - the Max Factor Facefinity Primer. This is my most favourite primer ever - I think the reason I like it is because it strikes me as a skincare-makeup hybrid. A lovely soft texture, not siliconey at all, that just sinks into the skin. Unlike most primers, which I get excited about at first, and then realise they do next to nothing, this one I have been using daily for a good month or so, and I have to say it really helps to keep my make up on at least until afternoon tea time! The bullet-stick-like-thing you can see next to the primer is the Becca Stick Foundation in Molasses, and is my go-to for contouring these days. Easily more blendable and believable than a powder contour, I use this after primer and before foundation, quite heavily layering it on and then blending with my Real Techniques sponge, before applying a mixture of Laura Mercier's Silk Creme foundation in Cashew Beige, which has fabulous, flawless finish, with brilliant staying powder, and Becca's Luminous Skin Colour in Toast, which lifts the face and adds the shot of yellow I need for my particular complexion. Together these have been my go-to base since I purchased them from Sandra at The Black Pearl Blog. Lastly, we have the Givenchy Matissime Powder in Mat Nude, which I use only on the parts of my face that I want to keep lighter - the parts where you would place highlighter.  Altogether, these are my June Faves, and they create quite a lovely face!
Lots of Love,
Ani x 

All the Things | 6th May - 15th May

5/15/2014 11:09:00 pm
Hola Munchkins!
This week has been manic so far, but as I sit here on this night, I am ridiculously happy at the fact the sun has finally come out! Here's a little round-up:
Much Love Ani x

Big Fat | Hair

5/10/2014 07:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
When it comes to hair, there is only one thing I like - big hair. I have a lot of hair, both in thickness and length, and if I don't try and inject life into it, I look like it has just been stuck onto my had, so I try and emulate these wonderful beauties - with Brigitte Bardot having to be my ultimate:

So, in my quest I have been through the whole of Boots and Superdrug and their aisles to find perfection for bigger hair, and these products are the ones that seems to do the best - products that add grit, texture and dryness to the tresses:

The first product I came across was the Superdrug Cocoa Brownie Dry Shampoo, and was a complete fluke that it worked so well for easy backcombing. I bought it whilst on offer as it was considerably cheaper than the Batiste effort.  In essence, this is much drier than most dry shampoos that I have tried, and as such, adds a lot of grip to the hair, making it both easier to backcomb, and also meaning that it takes a lot less backcombing for it to look good. 

Next up we have the VO5 Plump It Up Dry Backcomb Spray, which again was picked up accidentally - I was actually after the VO5 dry shampoo, but boy am I glad this stuff came into my life. It is essentially a less sticky version of hairspray, combined with the effect of dry shampoo, and is quite the winner in my book. 

Last of all, the L'oreal Studio Line TXT Supersizing Spray. Now this is a texturising spray, very different from the salt sprays that I use, but it sure works well. When I'm after big hair I tend to use the VO5 all over the roots and through the crown, top it off with some Cocoa Brownie around the front of the face and roots to add some depth of colour, and really dry out the top layer, and then flip the head upside down and liberally spray TXT all over. 

Combined with a little backcombing, this is a winning combination!

Much love, Ani x

Aromatherapy Associates Triple Rose | First Impressions

5/08/2014 09:49:00 pm
Hola Munchkins!

It seems many, many, many of you had a little bit of love for my J Lo post - thank you, thank you. I may continue to try out more celeb make up styles =).

Today I come to you with the first impressions of the Aromatherapy Associates Triple Rose set that came in this month's Marie Claire. First off, I LOVE rose, and this rose scent is no exception. Apparently formulated with the aforementioned three roses: Moroccan, Turkish and Bulgarian - I really feel like I can smell all three, though that might be wishful thinking on my behalf. But basically, the scent is a true rose scent, not sickly sweet, nor artificial.

Onto the actual products - it is basically love. I love them all. No joke. Ultimate luxury facial experience to be had with these bad boys right here. Let's start with the Cleanser: for whatever reason I was expecting a balm cleanser, but this is a lovely, comforting creamy cleanser that I adore. Soft on the skin, but brilliant at dissolving a full face of makeup, this is perfect for either first or second cleanse, or both. Leaving the skin fresh, plumped and not stripped, it is a super lovely and effective cleanser.  

Let's move onto the Hydrating Mask: again, for whatever reason, this time I was expecting a cream mask, and was pleasantly surprised to be faced with a calming, soothing, cooling gel mask that sunk into the skin in such a lovely way. I actually didn't bother to rinse this off, instead leaving it to sink in fully, then following with the Renewing Moisturiser.

Ah, the moisturiser - another little piece of heaven! Thick, but thin, cooling, and immensely hydrating - this has been my go-to moisturiser for a week now, and I love it. It sinks in, leaving a slight residue that I know will get to work whilst I'm sleeping, and skin actually looks rested when I awake.

The bonus of all of these is the beautiful scent - I can't help but to inhale and start to feel somewhat relaxed. A beautiful set, which I think I might actually need to purchase in the full sizes soon. Eek!

Much love, Ani x