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Category Archives: face wash

Beauty Review – March and April Birchboxes

I’m not sure how I managed to miss a month’s review but I thought I would do a condensed double-whammy of beauty products that I received over the past two months plus an extra purchase I made.

March’s Box

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This box was rather plain and uninspiring when I opened it but there were some gems hidden inside.

First up is the Batiste 2-in-1 Dry Shampoo and Conditioner. This seems like a great idea but I just don’t use dry shampoos. I will however pass this onto my husband who does.

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I was surprised to see an inclusion from Bobbi Brown. Although the product sizes are quite tiny, it is still quite a high-end brand and I am really looking forward to trying out these three mini face masks.

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Next, a Balance Me Instant Lift Primer which I was pleased with as I love the brand and am always keen on testing out new primers. This smells nice and isn’t too silicone-y upon first use.

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Given that summer is fast-approaching, it was good to include a tanning lotion. This one from Vita Liberata is their Ten Minute Tan and I will use this as soon as it gets warm enough to contemplate getting my bare legs out!

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Finally, from Benefit I received a Double The Lip in the shade Pink Thrills. This is a lipstick and lipliner in one and although I can see the idea behind it, I just don’t think it quite works. Firstly, the two colours don’t really complement each other – I just wouldn’t use a dark purple lip liner with a bright pink lipstick! Secondly, it doesn’t really blend out very well and is quite a dry formula. With enough priming and blending I can just about make this work for me but for a product that was created to speed up application, it seems to have done the opposite!

April’s Box

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This was a much prettier offering in collaboration with Boden who included a £10 voucher.

The first item I received was a Baïja Paris body lotion in Fleur De Tiaré. I know some people moan that these products are ‘filler’ but I take these mini moisturisers with me whenever I go away and this one will be coming with me to Croatia in June.

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I also received Polaar’s face scrub with Arctic Cotton – an ingredient I don’t think I have used before. It’s meant to be moisturising but I’m usually quite wary of scrubs being too harsh on my skin.

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Next, a bronzer and highlighter duo from Manna Kadar Cosmetics. I haven’t heard of this brand before and on first impressions, the packaging feels very cheap and flimsy. However, the formula of the products aren’t bad. The bronzer is too dark for my skin tone so I will probably try using this as an eyeshadow but the highlighter is a nice peachy colour and looks quite natural.

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I think ModelCo are quite an underrated brand and I have really liked everything I’ve tried from them and use their brow gel and bronzer on a daily basis. This black eyeliner is another great product. My only niggle would be that it feels like I’ve received quite a few black eyeliners from Birchbox now so a different colour would have been nice.

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Finally, a Keratin conditioner from Luseta Beauty. This looks right up my street and will be going straight in my travel make-up bag to use on holiday.

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If you are a Birchbox customer, you will know they are making a few changes to their membership (free delivery, money off your orders, more opportunities to personalise your monthly box) and I realised some of my Birchbox points were about to expire so I put in an emergency order so I didn’t lose them!

An old faithful, Seche Vite, which I use on a weekly basis to give that gel finish to a manicure.

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My absolute favourite foaming shower gel from Rituals. This is quite expensive compared to what I would normally pay for a shower gel but it really is amazing stuff.

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I also bought a mini nail varnish remover pot from Ciate which is chocolate orange scented. These are so handy for removing nail varnish and I was in need of a new one too.

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Phew – that was a mammoth post but it has left me feeling really excited about testing out all these new products!

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Beauty Review – Burt’s Bees Box

It’s a beautiful sunny day today and I have already been to the gym, done two loads of washing and am in a very productive mood. This doesn’t strike me too often so I am making the most of it and blitzing the house!

Today’s post is all about this fab little box Ian bought me. I have a huge drawer full of skincare and beauty products so it has taken me a little while to get around to unpacking and testing these out. I always think of Burt’s Bees as being a very ‘natural’ brand and have previously used (and loved!) their cuticle cream and lip balms. This box had a little bit of everything in it…

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This Coconut Foot Cream is a little love/hate. The texture is very greasy, more like an ointment than a cream, akin to the Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream. Although I’m not too sure about the texture, I cannot deny that it smells amazing and it really does work! I tend to apply liberally then pop on a pair of socks until it has all been absorbed and it has left my feet feeling so smooth that I think I can get used to the formulation.

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I also got a Peach and Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub. I’ve started to move away from really harsh scrubs on my face so I think I will use this as a body scrub instead. It doesn’t contain any plastic microbeads and again smells wonderful.

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I have almost used up this Intense Hydration Day Lotion. It smells glorious but, for me, is too thick and heavy to use as a day cream. I have been applying a generous layer of this at night and have been really impressed with it. It has a nice pump applicator but doesn’t absorb too quickly which is why I think it is better suited as a night cream.

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I am usually loyal to body butters from The Body Shop but this Honey and Shea one smells delicious and feels really thick and moisturising.

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Onto the lip products now which came in a very pretty tin…

This lip crayon in the shade Hawaiian Smoulder is really nicely pigmented and also feels very moisturising on the lips. This is a perfect everyday shade for me.

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I also got a Lip Shimmer in the shade/ flavour Guava. Although it smells lovely, this pale pink frosted effect just isn’t for me so I think I will pass this on.

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I already love the Burt’s Bees lip balms and this Wild Cherry one smells delicious.

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I also got a tinted lip balm which gives a really natural sweep of colour. I got the shade Hibiscus but to be honest, it leaves exactly the same colour as a different shade I have.

Finally, I received a tube of Lip Shine in the shade Spontaneity. I didn’t think I would like this and sadly I was right. Again, it smells lovely but I just really dislike the sticky, shiny lip gloss look so I will be passing this on to someone else.

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I think this is a great selections of products from the brand with some things I already loved plus the chance to discover a few new things. Are there any other Burt’s Bees items you would recommend? x

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Latest Purchases #109 – A Huge Sephora Haul

This is a really long time coming but these are some of my favourite posts to read and watch online so I didn’t want my photos to go to waste.

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This little haul is from October when we went to Boston. I sent Ian back to the hotel and told him I would be some time and spent a lovely hour or so pottering around Sephora, testing things on the back of my hand, blagging some freebies and eventually making a few choice purchases.

First up, a set of the Sephora Cream Lip Stains. These are mini versions of their bestselling matte lip creams and I think you get a really nice selection of shades. I got Always Red, Infinite Rose, Blackberry Sorbet and Cherry Blossom (it’s fairly easy to work out which is which) and I think I have all bases covered from a deep, vampy berry, to a bright red, to a casual nude. I have a few other shades in full size and I really like them. They are slightly drying but the staying power is worth it.

I bought a Sephora Highlight Lowlight Face Contour Duo which is a chunky crayon, in the shade Light. I know contouring seems to have had its day now but, done with a light hand, is a great way to bring some subtle definition to your face…no crazy Kim K sculpting going on here. These shades really suit my skin tone too.

I really wanted to try the CC Cream from IT Cosmetics but they didn’t have my colour. I did however pick up the Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination, a brightening concealer for the under eye area.

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I am yet to try anything by Sunday Riley (it may have something to do with the price of some of the products!) but I picked up a miniature of Martian Mattifying Melting After-Gel Toner. This is an ‘essence’, a product currently taking the beauty world by storm, and looks a great post-cleansing boost which prepares your skin for foundation.

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I was relatively restrained with nail varnish and just picked up one bottle from Formula X. This monochrome nail topper in Chaotic is similar to a L’Oreal one I have almost used up and looks great over a variety of bases.

I bought a set from one of my favourite brands: First Aid Beauty. I have tried all three products inside this set and loved them all. The Ultra Repair Cream is wonderfully hydrating, the Face Cleanser is gentle yet effective in removing make-up and the Facial Radiance Pads tone and brighten with a wash of glycolic acid.

My two final products are both from the ‘Sephora Favourites’ set which I get really excited about! These are boxes filled with a collection of themed products and allow you to try a variety of brands and items for a really good price.

The first box I picked up was called Beauty Sleep and all the products were designed to be applied before bed and left to work their magic overnight. Inside was: Blue Moon Cleansing Balm from Sunday Riley, Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm from Farmacy, Splash Absolute Hydration Replenishing Sleeping Mask from Algenist, a Sephora Pearl Sleeping Mask, Cell Renewal Night Cream from Caudalie, a Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial by Korres and an Anti-aging Power Eye CreamAnti-aging Power Eye Cream from Origins. Phew!

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I am really excited to try the Sunday Riley balm as well as working my way through the various night creams and masks. Bought individually, these items would cost almost $120 but this box was just $30 which I think is excellent value.

Finally, I bought the Trending: Beauty’s Most Coveted box which contains all the products currently being raved about on beauty blogs and websites. A lot of these products are quite high-end and expensive so this was a great way to try them out for a fraction of the price.

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I received: a nude BeautyBlender, Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in the shade Moonstone, Ka-Brow from Benefit, a Luna Play from Foreo (a facial cleansing brush in case you were wondering!), an Urban Decay lipstick in the shade 714, a GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment, a NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade Custard, a bottle of Tarte’s Rainforest of the Seas Marine Boosting 4-in-1 Mist, The Edgiest Kohl Shadowstick in Black Viper by The Estee Edit, another of the Kat Von D Tattoo Liners in Trooper, a Cover FX highlighter stick in the shade Bubbly, and a pot of Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder (plus  powder puff).

The sample sizes are really good and I can’t describe how excited I am to try some of these products! I have been wanting to try the Becca highlighter, the NARS concealer and the Laura Mercier powder for such a long time but never seemed to get around to buying them.

I had no idea what the Luna Play was beforehand but am intrigued to give that a go too as well as trying out the GlamGlow mask which I have only heard amazing things about.

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The only downside to one of these sets is the colour selection. Both the Benefit brow product and the NARS concealer are a touch too dark for me. I can still use them both (maybe with a tan!) but they wouldn’t be my first choice of shades.

So, I did get a bit spend-happy but I am so pleased with everything I bought, especially the two ‘Sephora Favourites’ boxes. Now to start trying everything out and hopefully finding a few new favourites!

Five Friday Favourites #2

Ahhhh Friday! I think I’m going to enjoy writing my weekly summary on Fridays rather than Sundays as there is no way you can be in a bad mood when Friday rolls around! This weekend I plan to have a lie-in, bake and generally potter about. Whilst I love a busy weekend, there are times when you crave slowing down a bit and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Anyway, on with the five highlights of my week…

Absurd Bird

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Ian and I had a lovely meal at this new restaurant in Bath. I wrote a review of it here. If you like chicken, it’s great but don’t be fooled by the size of the portions!

Organic Surge Rose Hot Cloth Cleanser

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I have loved using this Organic Surge cleanser. It smells like Turkish Delight and is so gentle yet effective at removing make-up at the end of the day.

10 Cloverfield Road

Ian and I watched this film and it was an unexpected hit with us both. I don’t want to give too much away but it was very cleverly done with a great twist at the end. Although it’s the sequel to Cloverfield, it is nothing like the original.

Comedy Tickets

This week, we managed to get tickets to see James Acaster on tour and Ricky Gervais when he comes to Bristol. I am so excited to see Ricky live and I always think it’s great to have something in the diary to look forward to.

New iPhone

My cracked iPhone6 has finally bitten the dust and been replaced. In other words, my contract was up for renewal so I upgraded to a beautiful rose-gold iPhone7. I’ve already ordered a protective anti-smash screen cover (and some pretty marble phone cases!) so I’m hoping this one lasts a bit longer than my last one did.

Beauty Review – Soap and Glory’s ‘The Whole Glam Lot’

I have been lucky enough to receive the annual Christmas set from Soap and Glory for the past few years and love working my way through the products. This year my mother-in-law treated me to the set which came in a useful little tin suitcase – so handy for storage.

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I love the retro packaging of this brand but the products themselves are great and I like the way Soap and Glory mix up the contents every year yet keep a few old favourites in there too. Here was my complete set of items:

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Hand Food

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This hand cream is excellent and I am just finishing up a previous tube so this was great timing. I like to apply a generous layer of this before bed to keep my hands soft and it smells lovely too. As an aside, the foot cream is excellent as well.

The Scrub of Your Life

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I find this quite a unique body scrub as it is thick and foaming as well as exfoliating meaning it is gentle enough for daily (or every other day) use.

The Righteous Butter

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A big tub of intensively moisturising body cream, this smells lovely as well as being really hydrating. I get through these tubs quite quickly and this one is great as it absorbs quickly too.

Vitamin C Facial Wash

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I haven’t tried this one before and the packaging claims that it does an awful lot! Reading between the lines, this seems to be an exfoliating face wash and from the reviews, looks to be quite refreshing to use.

Sugar Crush

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Ahhhh this is an old favourite and smells so summery! Packed with sugar and limes, this is a good, old-fashioned body scrub that leaves your skin smooth and tingly and I find a tub of this lasts me ages.

Smoothie Star Body Milk

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Another one I haven’t tried yet apart from a quick sniff and I can confirm it smells like sweet porridge! This appears to be a much lighter body lotion than the body butter so I might save it for the summer when my skin isn’t so dry. I like the pump bottle this comes in too.

Speed Plump Super Moisture Day Cream

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I love trying new face creams and this looks fab. I have tried it once and it is a light formula that absorbs quickly and leaves a silky finish, perfect for applying make-up on top of. I didn’t find it plumped my skin, as it claims, but I haven’t given it a proper trial yet. I love the fact there is some skincare as well as bath and body products in this set.

Hand Maid Antibacterial Gel

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I didn’t realise Soap and Glory did these sort of products but I like to have a hand gel on me at all times and this one smells nice and fruity.

Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss in Rose & Shine

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I have tried this plumping lip gloss before and quite like it. It tingles upon application and, I’m not sure if it is a placebo effect, but I always think my lips look ‘fuller’. This is a pretty nude shade although does feel a little sticky to wear.

Thick and Fast Mascara in ‘Film Noir’

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Finally, a new mascara to try out. This claims to ‘lengthen and volumise’ with intense staying-power. Although I have my favourites, I’m not hugely fussy when it comes to mascaras and I will definitely use this one.

I think this year’s Soap and Glory box has a great variety and is always great value for money. I love the fact there are smellies, skincare and make-up included from different ranges and it really will keep me going for a while!

Latest Purchases #105 – Organic Surge Beauty Bundle

I was unusually organised for Christmas this year (well, last year now!) so when Black Friday rolled around, I avoided the mad rush to buy things online. However, when I saw an email from Organic Surge I couldn’t resist a quick browse.

Organic Surge are a lovely, all-natural beauty company whose products are free from parabens, animal testing, artificial fragrances and other harsh chemicals. I don’t have particularly sensitive skin but I can sometimes flare up and have a slight reaction if I use anything too heavily perfumed. I have tried several Organic Surge products before and I was really impressed at how gentle they were on my skin and also how wonderful they smelt.

I spotted a collection of products on offer for Black Friday so bought a set for my Mum for an extra Christmas present and a set for myself too…please say I’m not the only one who treats themselves whilst shopping for others?!

Here is the complete set of products I received:

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First up, the Deep Cleansing Face Mask. I love a good face mask and I really like the fact that you can use this the traditional way for 10-15 minutes or as a more intensive treatment overnight. This is packed with essential oils which smell amazing.

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Next, the Rose Whisper Hand and Body Wash. This is a really generously sized item and as you know, I am obsessed with anything rose scented. I think I will use this as a shower gel as opposed to a hand wash.

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A different scent in the Tropical Orange and Bergamot Hand and Body Lotion. Although I love rose-scented products, I like the fact that another range was included and this is so fresh and summery. I use body lotion after every bath or shower and I like the pump dispenser too.

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Next, the Lavender Meadow Gently Cleansing Hand and Body Wash. This is a slightly smaller sized product than the rose one. Lavender is not my favourite fragrance but I will use this as a handwash.

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I have just run out of my Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cleansing Oil so was on the look-out for a new cleanser. My favourite is probably still the Liz Earle one but this Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser looks lovely. Firstly, it is rose-scented and it also has great reviews. It would have been nice to have included a flannel or muslin cloth with this but I do have loads already!

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I feel like face washes are waning in popularity now but I use one every time I shower and find them really refreshing. This Refreshing Face Wash looks really gentle to use and is another beautiful-smelling product.

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A real treat now with the Replenishing Facial Oil. I have made no secret of my love of face oils and this one contains argan oil which I think I have only ever used on my hair before. This can be used alone (how I prefer to use it) or mixed in with your day or night moisturiser.

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I have loved Organic Surge moisturisers in the past so was really pleased to see the Super Intensive Moisturiser included in this bundle. This is a rich, daily moisturiser which feels incredibly hydrating – just what I need at this time of year.

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Finally, I got a tube of Gently Does It Baby Cream. This looks like a really gentle body lotion and although I usually prefer a scented body lotion, I do have the occasional flare-up of eczema when I’m stressed so this will be good to hold onto for then.

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My Mum loved this pamper set too and I can’t wait to start using everything. I’ve never made organic beauty a priority but this is a brand I really like and will buy from again.

Can you recommend any good organic brands to try? x