Plunder | Kiko Time

5/28/2013 10:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
I have been a lover of Kiko for a verrrrrrrry long time - the products are beautifully made, pigmentation INCREDIBLE and prices are soooo good, so on a trip to Westfield I can never resist a sneaky purchase of two!
A glimpse at my latest buys:


 Love A.x

B. Clean Melting Gel Cleanser | A Sadly Confused Review

5/27/2013 02:58:00 pm
Hola Munchkins!
Generally in  life, I either like or dislike an item of skincare.  This time however, my mind is truly confused.  The B. Clean Melting Gel Cleanser was something I picked up when B. was introduced to Superdrug, along with the B. Refined Exfoliating Cleanser.  Now, the exfoliating cleanser is something that I do like to use maybe once a week for a lovely actual scrub that brightens the skin.  
The Melting Gel Cleanser is all kinds of confused, and as such, I think this review will be too!  I actually loved the sound of it when I saw it on the shelves - I love a good cleansing balm or oil, and I figured this would fit somewhere within the realms of those, but would be easier to take off the skin.  Ok, so what do I like about it?  Well, it really does cleanse the skin thoroughly, gets rid of any gunk and make up, and leaves the skin soft.  So, what's the bad?  Well it suffocates me.  
Not literally, but the texture is oily, but in a thick gel form, and I find that it feels cloying and suffocating on the skin, so much so that despite it's slippy texture that should just lend itself to a good old facial massage, I tend to rub it in, then take it off as soon as possible.  
Now, this cleanser leaves me in a difficult position: it's good qualities are good enough that it hasn't gone straight into the bin, as things do when I dislike them.  It's bad qualities have meant that I am taking foreeeeeeeverrrrrrrr to get through it.  But I will, because it's a good product just housed in a form that I genuinely find claustrophobic!  But who knows, my fickle self may just pick it up again!
Confused review, but I had to be honest!
Love A.x

Eye Cream | Dermalogica Intensive Eye Repair

5/19/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
I am prone to a little bit of eczema on and around my eyelids, especially in times of stress and illness, and I have been a little of both lately, so the eczema has been kind of bubbling under the surface, not quite there, but not quite not.  
Enter Dermalogica Intensive Eye Repair.  I got this in a little Dermalogica Hydration Kit, and oh-em-gee it has quite literally saved my life.  
It is a thick, non-greasy cream that immediately feels hydrating on the skin.  It takes a few moments to sink in properly, but when it does sink in the immediate area on and around the eye is soft and smooth.  This eye cream has meant that for once I haven't had to resort to steroid creams to take down the eczema, for which I am very grateful!
Beautiful cream that I think could work on most skin types!
Love A.x

Coconut | Oil

5/18/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Once upon a time I bought a tub of coconut oil.  
I then promptly forgot about it, but the good thing about coconut oil and it's pureness is that it tends to never go off.  So I have rediscovered it.  And I must say, I'm bloody loving the stuff.  I actually bought it first and foremost as a deep conditioning treatment for my hair: melt a load of it in my hands, rake fingers through hair, massage and leave (overnight if possible) and hey presto, beautiful, soft, soft hair.  

Now, these days, I am lazy when it comes to my hair, and if truth be told, I prefer it to not be soft and silky, I love body, guts and texture.  So what am I using my rediscovery for?  Well, I'll tell you - it is my newest cleansing balm.  I had a little thought a few days ago, about parabens and the like - I am not adverse to a paraben or two, but I figure if you can avoid, then do.  And coconut oil avoids, so all the better!  

What I love about using this as a cleansing balm is that a teeny tiny bit of coconut oil melts down to a lot of cleanser, and is lovely and slippy on the skin, meaning a lovely massage.  When flannelled off it leaves the skin soft, cleansed and ever so slightly glowy.
The other thing I love about it?  It's super duper cheap for a tub, and it last forrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Have you ever used coconut oil for anything?
Love A.x

Clarins Instant Eye Make Up Remover | L'oreal Absolute Make Up Remover Eye and Lip

5/17/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Today for you I have a very exciting dupe - a wonderful eye make up remover.  I do love a good eye make up remover, especially on my heavier than heavy eye make up days, which are quite a regular occurrence.  For a good 3 years I used the Simple Eye Make Up Remover, and was more than happy with it, until one day it just wasn't working so well anymore.  At the Professional Beauty Show this year I happened to score a little bit of a bargain deal (actually a few) at the Clarins stand, and in amongst my goodies was a little mini Instant Eye Make Up Remover.  
Now, I love a little bit of oil for cleansing, for hydrating, on my face etc etc, but I was a little hesitant about oil on my eyes, mostly because I wear contact lenses, and it could cause my sight to go a little blurry.  But I needn't have feared - this was such a joy to use, shake it up so the two phases can mix, splash a little onto a cotton pad, then press onto the eye for a few secs before wiping away, and miracle of all miracles, even the heaviest made up eye comes away with ease.  

Now, I adore this eye make up remover, but at £17 for 125ml, I was intrigued when I spotted the L'oreal Absolute Make Up Remover Lip and Eye.  Normally retailing at £4.99 for the same 125ml, I actually got it on a ridiculously good Superdrug deal - buy 2 of the new L'oreal skincare range for £4!  Right, so how does this compare?  

It is the same colour, slightly thicker if you will, in texture, applies the same way, and does the same job.  It take a tad more elbow grease and a little longer soaking on the eye, but amazingly, the products are incredibly, incredibly similar.  I am more than happy with both products, and just on the price, and the similar performance, would definitely buy the L'oreal again!
Love A.x

Face Mask Files | Elemis Tri Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask

5/16/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Today is a straight up review of a mask I've been using since the end of February, and feel like I can really and truly comment on both it's instant and cumulative results.  Like it says, this is a gel consistency, easy to spread on the skin, and brilliantly, you hardly need any of it to cover the face well.  
Once on the face, it feels slightly cooling, and I generally forget it's on until about 5 minutes into the treatment, at which point it feels, I imagine, how toothpaste smeared all over one's face would feel - cold and minty fressh! 
This mask contains (as the name suggests) three types of enzymes, which act in the same way a peel would on the face, albeit slightly less strongly.  With regular usage, this mask is said to help with hyper-pigmentation and blemishes, as well as ridding the skin of excess oil.
So, what have I found after regular use over around 3 months?  Well, firstly, this mask really feels like its working - even after I've flannelled it off I can still feel it hanging around, doing good under my skin: immediately after I've taken it off my skin is sooooo, soooo, soooo soft that I can't stop touching it, which is somewhat of a revelation.  Continuous use seems to have evened out my pigmentation slightly, and just generally gives a glow and a healthy-looking look to the face.  Basically I'm a little in love with it.  I am fairly liberal with my application and my little teeny tiny 15ml tube has lasted me 2 and half months, with at least one usage a week!  Definitely, definitely one to repurchase. 
I hope you found this useful, I will be doing a few more reviews of Elemis bits and pieces soon!
Love A.x

Face of the | (going nowhere to-) Day

5/12/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
I thought it was about time that I put some make up on - kidney stones or no kidney stones, sometimes a little bit of make up is just what a girl needs!
I started with a new base - the beautiful EX1 in F200, which is just lovely, reminding me a little of the raved about YSL foundation (too oily for my skin) applied with my Sigma F82 of course.  The foundation itself is just lovely, I will do a separate review, but at the moment it seems to tick all my boxes!

I then proceeded to shove all of this lot on top:
The Wild About Beauty Mattifying Balm was used as a primer - this stuff is just beautiful pressed onto the skin with the sponge that is included, plus you can touch up using it too!  I then applied the EX1 foundation in F200 as seen before, and powdered with the MUA Loose Powder, which is pretty much my go-to loose powder these days: a lovely yellow tone, and a verrrrrrrry finely-milled texture.  Cheekbones were sculpted with the dream that is Kevyn Aucoin's Sculpting Powder in Medium and the Real Techniques Setting Brush, and Sleek's Pixie Pink Blush was applied to the top of cheekbones for the Barbie-toned flush that I love!  L'oreal's Infallible Shadow in Endless chocolate was blended all over the lid of my eye, with the Sculpting Powder in the crease, lined with Rimmel's Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Black, and underneath the lower lash line I blended the UNE Sfumato Eyes Pencil in S26 (a soft grey), and finally lashes curled and doused in Maybelline the Colossal Volume Express.  Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd last of all, all was set with my Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder, and looked something like this:

Love A.x

Plunder | Matalan £5 shoes

5/11/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
A little bargain plunder for you - Matalan's £5 shoe offer!  I picked up these two identical pairs in black and nude with points and studs! Perfecto!
That is all, just thought I would share!
Love A.x

Hydration | Helpers

5/10/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
My skin is in a weird place at the moment.  Not as in in a cupboard under a zoo, more like oily, dehydrated, hyperpigmented and a weird texture.  That kind of place.  In my quest to rediscover the skin I had approximately 3 whooooooooole months ago, where I was using less and less foundation, I have turned to a regime of acid, moisture, acid, moisture, acid moisture and so on and so forth.  Now, let us not confuse our acids - I don't mean the good old HCL (hydrochloric acid), or KCL (potassium chloride), what I generally mean is glycolic, lactic, mandelic, etc etc etc.  Soooooo today I shall share with you my hydration helpers:
Nothing too fancy, the Una Brennan Rose Oil, which I use as my first cleansing step, and as a 'moisture mask sealant' for when I'm in the bath.  Secondly is the Hydraluron serum, which tbh I use on and off as needed rather than every day, and lastly is my beloved Antipodes Avocado and Rosehip oil which is the star of stars when it comes to hydration.  Smooth, thick, and never leaves the skin greasy, plus I awake to glowy skin!

What do you turn to when you need an instant or long-term moisture hit - do any of these products feature on your hydration helpers list?
Love A.x

Springy Summery | Nails

5/09/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
I have always been a dark red, bright pink or nude kinda nail girl - generally I still don't venture away, but my taste has expanded, and a little bit of sun makes me rethink my nail choices.  So, here are the beautiful shades I enjoy to add a little bit of sun to my day:
From the Nails Inc, clockwise,
Nails Inc Instyle Candy, Models Own Lilac Dream, Exposed Lavender Lace, Exposed Wild & Crazy, Topshop Nails Gone Fishing, Models Own Utopia, Topshop Nails Prim and Proper.
Hope you like my safe but summery choices!
Love A.x

Back to Basics | Cleansing

5/08/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Every so often, my love of mixing every skincare and make up piece possible together can annoy my skin a little.  Just a little mind you, my skin is quite the hardy type.  Lately however, illness has made me adjust the skincare I use to just the basics - an oil and a lovely, thick cleansing milk.  
I have been using the Una Brennan Rose Oil as my first cleanser (after any eye make-up remover), massaging thoroughly and then removing with my beloved rust-coloured flannel, then following with the Clarins Cleansing Milk for Combo/Oily skin, and doing the same.  The Rose oil actually works on a couple of levels: it removes make up in such an effective way, allows for a lovely massage, and the scent aids in calming me down in general - I do love a bit of rose.  The Cleansing Milk is equally as comforting, sort of a grown up Baby Lotion scent, thick, luxurious and slightly cooling.  Together they leave my skin feeling cleansed, softened and rebalanced.
Do you ever strip down your skincare?
Love A.x

Skin Perfection | L'oreal Cleansing Oil

5/07/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Now, you may know that despite my oil-addled skin, I am quite the oil and balm aficionado.  Oils and balms cleanse like nothing else - like attracts like, so oil attracts oil, helping to re balance the skin.  Lately, I ran out of my Boots Botanics Cleansing Balm, and decided not to repurchase, simply for the very fussy fact that it is not water-soluble, a flannel must be used, and my eye make-up transfers from my eyes to the flannel, which does not make me a very happy bunny.  

I quite literally stumbled across the L'oreal Skin Perfection Cleansing Oil, and boy am I glad I did.  The oil is similar to the Mac Cleanse-Off Oil, with a thinner texture that somehow feels more luxurious - i can rub it all over my face and eyes, then wet my hands, rub a bit more, then splash it all away, and wowza, super-clean skin!
A lovely, light oil cleanser that I think would suit any skin type.
Love A.x

Sunny Sunny Sun | Lighter Bases

5/06/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
The last few days have provided me with two things - a brilliant primer, and some well-needed sun. These two things have created a magical mix whereby I no longer neeeeed a heavier base, and have been turning to a few of my lighter coverage bases.  The primer in question, firstly, is the Mally Perfect Prep Poreless Primer which is ridiculous amounts of good.  

The Sun, if you were interested, is my friend!The bases I have been loving are the newest version of the Bourjois Healthy Mix, the Maybelline Fit Me foundation, and the Revlon Nearly Naked.

The first two - the Healthy Mix and Fit Me, are somewhat similar in that they are both almost gel-like foundations, they glide on the skin, and leave a slightly healthy finish that is neither matte nor dewy.  The coverage of both is light-medium buildable, and with concealer really looks like my skin but better.  Being an oily girl, I have to powder, and re-powder, but that's a cross I have to bear!

The Nearly Naked is a very different formula, more like you normal/traditional formulas, a liquid that sets, and buffs into the skin almost undetectably.  The coverage is very similar, light-medium buildable, but is somehow more of a perfected finish, and slightly more matte, becoming almost part of the skin.  Again, I powder, and re-powder, but I do love it.

All in all, I am really loving the way the sun means more and more skin options become available to me!
What are your fave sunny-day foundations?
Love A.x

Sunday Sun | Care

5/05/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
As you may know, I am quite the SPF aficionado.  I believe that protecting yourself from the harmful parts of the sun's rays does so much for your skin, and as such I try to always, always SPF myself. 
I use a high SPF on my face, and by high I mean AT LEAST SPF 30, but when I can an SPF50+.  Currently, my fave face SPF is running out (Heliocare Gel SPF90), and I am using my back-up, the No7 Anti Dark Spot SPF 50+.  I'm not all that fond of it, its a little thick for my liking, plus it's not a once a day, so as my skin gets oily throughout the day, I'm pretty sure it melts off my face. 
I will be picking up the P20 SPF50 Once a day as soon as I possibly can, and probably the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL 50 which is most defos on my wish list.
 For body, my choice has been the Piz Buin Once a Day SPF30 - I don't use as high a SPF on the body as I do on the face as I quite like when my skin has a hint of colour - the yellower tones even out to a golden colour which I quite like.
When it comes to SPFs I always try to pick a Once a Day formula, because, let's face it, I'm never gonna remember to reapply throughout the day, and so this guarantees me a lot more protection than if I were to ineffectively use a 'normal' SPF.
I hope you found this a little useful, SPF is something I use daily!
Love A.x

Faves | April

5/03/2013 04:37:00 pm
Hola Munchkins!
I know I sound like such an ooooold lady, but hasn't time flown?!  The sun is out, and I was able to take alllll my pics in the garden in natural light for once!  Wonders will never cease!  Anyways, here are my April Faves!
It's May already eek!  Anyways, I am currently holed up with kidney stones, so thought I may as well distract myself with a little bloggy spurt.

First upppppppppppp something amazeballs and mucho expensivo - the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium.  Quite the ingenious little compact: no red, no orange, just a grey undertone that makes your cheeks look naturally slightly hollow as opposed to "hey look at me I just shoved a load of bronzer on to slim down my face."
My facial skin has been all kinds of weird this month - probably to do with the old kidney stones, so I'm working on repairing it and helping it back to health, mostly using my Clarisonic and the Antipodes Avocado and Rosehip Oil.  The Clarisonic, as I have stated many, many times, is a genius contraption - I am trying to recharge it on the ASAP each time it runs out as it really makes such a difference to my skin.  The Antipodes is a kind of accidental rediscover.  I was reading about Rosehip Oil and how it helps to even out skin tone and fade any marks, so resigned myself to buying the Trilogy Antioxidant+ Rosehip Oil, only to rummage through my ridiculously huge skincare stash and realise than the Antipodes also contained Rosehip.  Bingo!  I use this at night time when I don't use the Alpha H Liquid Gold, and I wake up with just healthy looking skin.
Body-wise, I actually have a favourite - shock, horror!  I am loving the Australian Bodycare Hand and Body Lotion.  I tend to have a bit of a nightmare on my thighs and upper arms after hair removal, but the antiseptic nature of this lotion means none of the usual problemos have occurred recently, which makes me quite the happy bunny.

TV-wise, I am loving the return of my fave Game of Thrones (also reading the books, which count as this month's book fave), as well as the new Da Vinci's Demons, which is such an interesting take on Leonardo Da Vinci's life, and Elementary as I do love me a little bit of any Sherlock!
And that is all for this month!
Hope you enjoyed!
Love A.x