29 January 2014

Blow Ltd- 15 Minutes to Glow

Earlier on this week I was invited to pop down to the new Blow Ltd Beauty-Bar in Covent Garden to try one of their new This Works treatment 15 Minutes to Glow. If you haven't heard of Blow Ltd they're a fairly new salon that's based on the concept that women no longer have time to pamper themselves and so all the services they offer are done in either 15  or 30 minutes. This novel idea has been seen in New York for a number of years where salons deliver super speedy treatments for the cosmopolitan woman and finally it's made it's way over the pond to us Londoners. The salon offers blow dries in 30 minutes (£25), manis in 15 minutes (£15) and full make overs in 15 minutes(£15) all whilst you sip champagne.They also have a steaming service so you can get glam ready whilst they prep your party dress- what more could you want?!

15 minute to Glow (£15) involveed clean skin 5-in-1 water to remove my make-up and cleanse, no wrinkles time dose mask was then massaged into the skin for 4 minutes, which allowed the Multifruit Acids (Bilberry, Sugar Cane, Sugar Maple, Orange and Lemon) time to exfoliate and resurface the skin gently. Then whilst waiting for the face mask to do its magic my lovely therapist gave me a very relaxing hand massage with the This Works' perfect hands intense moisture. The face mask was removed with clean skin 5-in-1 water before she applying in transit camera close-up, a rapid mask, moisturiser and primer in one. 

The 15 Minutes to Glow treatment is available on it's own or if you're heading our after you can add one of their make-over's at the end, which of course I did. They offer a selection of 3 different looks to choose from- the Day Look, which is a fresh dewy looks, the Evening Look, which is what I picked has a smokey eye and nude lip or the Party Look which includes a metallic eye and red lip. The majority of the products they use are Laura Mercier which was perfectly fine with me as they're one of my favourite make up brands.

One of the best parts about this salon is that you can combine any one of these treatments to save time, so whilst you're having you nails down you can also have a bouncy blow dry or facial and make-over all at the same time. The salon doesn't just use any beauty products on their clients they stock only the best brands in the market, which you can then purchase for yourself.  
If you're looking for the perfect payday treat after a long, wet January then I couldn't recommend the Blow Ltd beauty-bar enough, the staff are lovely and you'll be head to toe ready to party in less than an hour!

This Works Time Does Mask (£39) is available exclusively to Blow Ltd until 8th Feb.


28 January 2014

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus Review

The original Effaclar Duo was one of my favourite finds for problem skin last year- I loved it for stopping blemishes in their tracks before they turned into nasty spots. Effaclar Duo is a hero product for thousands of women around the world with 3 being sold every minute and La Roche Posey have been on a mission to improve the iconic product even more. Effaclar Duo + has all the benefits of the original  but with the added ingredient of Procerad, which helps the skin rebuild it's surface preventing any future pigmentation or red marks. This added ingredient acts to sooth and diffuse inflammation of the blemish before it's even reached the surface of the skin. Effaclar duo + aims to unclog pores, reduce redness, scaring and pigmentation and significantly cut the time of blemish healing.

I've been using this product for the past week and even after the first use I felt like my skin looked a little clearer and my T-Zone less oily. Effaclar Duo can be used as a serum or a moisturiser as it provides the perfect matte base for make-up due to its melt in, light non sticky texture. I couldn't recommend the original product enough so the fact that it's been improved made me very happy. 

Effaclar Duo + is available in store and online at Boots.com at an introductory price of £11.62, normal price will be around £15.


25 January 2014

Drug Store Haul

So I may have accidentally tripped and fallen into Boots once or twice this week, I did need a a few bits but I also picked up a few things that I definitely did not need but were enabled by fellow bloggers. I've been trying a few different drug store mascaras out recently but I just can't seem to find anything I love as much as the 2000 Calorie Max Factor Mascara (£7.99) so I picked up one of these for my stash. I tend to have quite long lashes anyway but I find this adds even more length whilst adding volume so that I'm not left with long thin spider lashes. After hearing other bloggers rave about Rimmel Match Perfect (£6.99) I though I should cave and try it out for myself- I don't think the colour is a perfect match for me but I'll give it a try and report back. After a number of swatching sessions I finally picked up the Cheryl lipstick from the L'Oreal Color Riche Collection (£8.19), which is the perfect browny pink for day to day wear. I forever feel like I'm on the hunt for the perfect liquid eyeliner and after hearing other bloggers raving about the one's from L'Oreal I picked up their Super Liner (£6.49). It has a medium sized brush that thins out at the end so allows for a super precise cat flick or a thicker line if desired. Lastly Philosophy had a 50% off deal on their seasonal shower and bath washes so I picked up the Pumpkin Pie scent for just £7.

21 January 2014

Best Budget Bronzers

The past few months I’ve been on somewhat of a hunt for the best budget bronzer in the hope that there are good quality bronzers out there that don’t cost plus £20. On my hunt I came across the classic Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer (£6.99) and Rimmel Natural Bronzer (£5.99), which are two quite different bronzers in terms of the sun kissed colour they leave you with. I’d definitely say that the Bourjois bronzer is better for those with paler skin as it’s not too orangy and leaves the skin with a lovely bronzed glow. I found the Rimmel Sun Bronzer really quite orange toned and not as natural as the Bourjois one, however I think you can get lighter shades but they didn’t have any left when I bought mine. 
I tend to use my big Real Techniques Powder Brush and lightly dip it into the power so that there’s only a small amount of product on the brush then swoosh it around my cheeks and temples. I find this avoids too much of an orange look, but you do have to be careful not to overdo it. I think the Bourjois bronzer could double up as quite a good contour as it’s quite a flat tan colour with no shimmer in it so would create a really nice shadow in the hollows of your cheeks. Overall I’d have to say I prefer the Bourjois Natural Bronzer because you can build up to a nice sun kissed look. I would like the product to be a bit larger as I like to really swish my brush around the pan to get a good distribution of colour. Has this stopped me from longing after Nars Laguna? I don’t think so but it’s nice to have a cheap drug store back up.  


19 January 2014

Nails Inc- Best Dressed Nails Collection

I know that the party season is long gone but I still like to wear a little glitter on my nails throughout the year. This set from Nails Inc is perfect, it contains 5 mini polishes that give a mixture of textures and finishes and all add a little something to any base colour.
The set contains:

Hampstead Court- Silver Fiber Optic 
Old Street- Rainbow Graffiti 
Regents Park- Red Sprinkles
Westminster Bridge Road- Violet Galaxy
Kings Road- Rose Gold Foil Effect polish

Hampstead Court contains big long chunks of glitter, which remind me of the kind of glittered polish you would wear as a teenager- it looks great over a coloured base, especially black as it really highlights to optic effect of the glitter. Old Street is again a sheer top coat that can be layered over a coloured base but looks really great over white polish so the different colours really stand out. Regents Park can be layered over red or black polish or worn on it's own. Westminster Bridge Road is similar to Regents Park in that it can be worn over a base colour but also works perfectly on its own- it also gives quite a cement like finish. I really like the effect of Kings Road as it gives a lovely foil effect finish and actually looks lovely on all nails and not just as a statement nail.

I think these minature sets from Nails Inc are a really great way to try out colours that you wouldn't ordinarily buy a full size of and I think this set is particularly great as it contains a real mix of shades and textures that you probably wouldn't already have in your collection. 


15 January 2014

Currently Lusting

It would appear that I'm currently lusting after an extremely girlie collection of items and eagerly awaiting the pastlle colours of spring- I feel like I've wanted a dusty pink coat since SS13 and I just can't get over it, this ASOS one is the perfect shade of pink that I'm after and looks like a really flattering cut. My next pink item is one of the tiny notebooks from Smythson, which again is another item I'm been longing after for a good few months- I'm sure other bloggers can relate with how handy it is to have a small notebook in your bag for when an bright idea strikes and I love how small and chic these little one's are. Over the past few months I've developed somewhat of an obsession with owl ornaments whether it be a mug or a pencil holder I'm just completely drawn to them and I fully blame Anthropologie for their ridiculously cute owl items! Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk is the foundation I've been eyeing up recently as I'm like a magpie when it comes to pretty packing and a beautiful dewy finish. I don't feel I need to explain why I'm in love with the Mulberry purse, I think the tiny oaktree says it all.  And lastly please can we just take a moment and appreciate the adorable-ness of this Oliver Bonas mug, if that does't take you back to your childhood and Beauty and the Beast I don't know what will. 

Roll on payday!


11 January 2014

Beauty Sale Haul

So I might have got a little over excited during the Christmas beauty sales but I did still stick to my own rule of only buying something that I would have purchased it full price. My first port of call for discounted beauty was Space NK, naturally, and here I picked up the REN hydra-calm cleansing balm, Diptyque Do Son and Laura Mercier Mini Caviar Stick Eye Collection. I'm already in love with the REN cleanser after only a few weeks as I find it so gentle and soft on my skin whilst still removing every trace of make-up. I received a small sample of Do Son a few months ago and fell in love with the deep earthy scent, so I was very happy that this was half price. Lastly I picked up the Laura Mercier shadow sticks as they come in beautiful bronze and gold shades which are my go to colours of choice that I wear all the time. I wish that I'd picked up more from Space NK actually as they had a good selection of Aromatherapy Associates and more Laura Mercier on offer- maybe next time!

From Nuxe I picked up their Weekend Set (40% off), which includes their much loved Reve de Miel lip balm & hand cream and Huile Prodigieuse dry oil. With my order I also received a lovely delux sample of the shimmer version of Huile Prodigieuse, which will be perfect for adding a little glow in the summer. 

From Escentual I picked up another Clarins Instant Smooth Self-Tanning primer, which I love for preventing an oily T Zone and from Beauty Bay I ordered the Nails Inc Gel Effect Polish in Kensington High Street, a lovely deep purple. 

I think the sales this year have been pretty good as there is a good selection of products that I've been lusting after for a while- did you snag any super beauty bargains?

7 January 2014

Artistry Youth Xtend Review

I'm sure it's no surprise to you all that during the month of December we sleep less, drink more alcohol and eat a lot more food (chocolate) than we normally would. As a result of this we're left with dull, tired and lack luste skin in desperate need of some TLC. The best way to refresh and revitalize your skin during the winter months is to drink lots of water, eat your greens and invest in a good skincare routine to keep your dry skin at bay!

I've recently been trying out some products from the Artistry Youth Xtend range, which is a revolutionary skin care range that aims to reprogram the skins biological clock and repair the signs of aging skin whilst protecting it against negative environmental influences. All of the products from the Artistry Youth Xtend range contain a technology called LifeSirt, which is a Mediterranean botanical extract that helps to increase youth proteins leading to an extended lifespan of skin cells. As a result skin is left looking younger, more radiant and with reduced fine lines and wrinkles.

The range consists of 7 products all aimed to leave skin moisturised, repaired and protected:

Now that the science part is over we can get onto the actual products! The Softening Lotion is designed to be used straight after cleansing to ensure all the product is removed- this prevents blocked pores and congestion on the skin, which can lead to break outs. Once your skin is clean from make-up and cleanser a small amount of the Serum is applied to inject a boost of concentrated Mediterranean goodness.

The Softening Lotion is lovely to apply as it's quite a thin, milky lotion so it doesn't feel like you're coating you skin in a thick product. This leaves your skin feeling thoroughly cleansed and free of product ready for the rest of your skin care routine. I then follow this with a pea sized amount of the serum firstly swiping it over my skin then pressing it in. The thing I love the most about this range is the sweet, fresh scent, which is really refreshing in the morning. Normally I would stay clear from scented products as they tend to break me out, however so far I haven't had any kind of reaction to this range.

Overall I've been pretty impressed with the Artistry Youth Xtend range. It is a little on the pricey side at around £50 per item but the products are all quite large bottles and pots. Plus, I tend to find the higher quality the ingredients the less product you actually used, which means they last much longer. 

*PR Sample  


4 January 2014

Language of Flowers

Flower Crown- Primark- £1

During my travels last month we headed to a beautiful beach on the island of Koh Pangan, Thailand and I thought that as I haven't done an outfit post before, this would be the perfect setting for my first one. I wanted to show you guys a vest top that I'm a little bit obsessed with at the moment from Language of Flowers. LOF are a fairly new luxury London based company created by two best friends, Steph and Alex, who produce the prettiest hand drawn floral, printed vests and tees. Each shirt feels so personal as the various prints all have their own little story and my favourite part is that you receive a packet of seeds so that you can grow the very flowers featured on your shirt!

I found this vest perfect for my holiday as it's such a lightweight shirt that looks great by the beach with a pair of shorts or dressed up with a maxi skirt for dinner. It's also pretty great of traveling too as it's made from eucalyptus pulp and cotton meaning it's extremely soft and comfortable for long haul flights. The design I'm wearing is from the Viola range, which symbolises love at first site. If £45 for a t-shirt is a little out of your price range then head over to their site (found here as they're currently having a pretty generous sale.

*PR Sample


2 January 2014

2013 Beauty Favourites

La Roche Posey Effaclar Duo (£10.79)- this product has seriously sorted my skin out this year, I don't particularly have blemish prone skin but when one shows up I use this to calm down any redness and prevent any scaring. 
Hydraluron Moisture Booster (£24.99)- I started using this at the beginning of the year when my skin was quite dehydrated and within a matter of days it transformed any dry patches into normal looking skin. It's perfect if you're looking for an everyday lightweight serum that really does what it says on the tin.
L'Oreal Micellar Water (£3.33)- I used to buy Bioderma religiously but since discovering this I haven't used anything else to remove my make-up. It's perfect for dissolving the days face quickly without too much pulling at the eye area and is super inexpensive. 
Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel*- due to my sensitive skin I used to stay clear from enzyme peels as I thought I would be left with blotchy red patches but this one from Elemis is perfect as it's not too abrasive and leaves your skin looking fresh and smooth after just 15 minutes. I find it's the perfect little pick me up when you're skin is looking a little dull.
Olay Complex Care Gradual Tan(£9.99)- I've used this moisturiser on and off for about 3 years, I find it's the perfect base for make-up, develops into a lovely light tan and keeps my skin hydrated all day. Plus it's never too early to be applying anti-aging products!
Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tan (£14.39)- this is part of the instant smooth range so smooths and blurs out any imperfections whilst adding a little colour, which develops into a light tan. I find this is a great base for make-up and helps it last all day. 

L'Oreal Elnett Heat Protect Spray Volume (£5.99)-This has probably been the only product that I've used for every hair wash without fail. I learnt the hard way many years ago that you must always need to protect your hair against hairdryers and straightners and I find this product does exactly that whilst adding volume without weighing my hair down.
Bumble & bumble Thickening Mousse* (£21.50)- When I first tried this product I wasn't completely blown away but after giving it a few goes it slowly worked it's way into my haircare routine. I find it gives my hair lovely bouncy volume without the stickyness of normal mousse and tends to hold a style for a few days.
John Frieda Fine to Full Blow-Out Spray*(£6.99)- I feel like I can't praise this product enough, I find that it gives even the limpest of hair a bit of ooumph and is so affordable that I'd recommend it to anyone. 

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation- (£27.50)- this is the perfect foundation for achieving a flawless full coverage base but also works in the summer as when mixed with a tinted moisturiser it can be used to create a lighter finish. 
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer- (£3.99)- loved by almost every beauty blogger out there and rightly so- this is a beautiful creamy concealer, which is perfect for under the eyes as it doesn't cake up and lasts all day.
Chanel Charme Lipstick- (£25)- this has been my go to lipstick for a while now as it's the perfect pink to wear in the day and doesn't dry out my lips. Plus, who can say no to Chanel?
YSL Glossy Lip Stain Shade 20*- (£23.50)- I love this as it can be worn alone as a lip stain or on top of a red lipstick for a more intense look. 
Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara (£7.99)- this is my favourite budget mascara as it's excellent at adding volume and length to my lashes without clumping up or flaking throughout the day.
Wild About Beauty Eye shadow Pencil Duo* (£14.50)- I've actually been really impressed with the whole Wild About Beauty range but this eye shadow pencil has been my favourite out of everything. I tend to use the thicker end to line my bottom lashes as it's not as harsh and black eyeliner for the day.
Max Factor Colour Tattoo Shade On and On Bronze (£4.99)- there's no surprises this is in my 2013 favorites, I'd even go as far as saying this is my favourite budget beauty product of the year- I love everything from the packaging to the finish as I think it feels so high end. I also find this makes a great base for powder shadows too.

Bath & Body
Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash (£17) - Due to it's delicious scent of Turkish delight this has been my favourite body wash of this year, I only use this every now and then as a treat due to its high price tag.
The Body Shop Body Butters (£13)*- I don't think it would be right to make a favourites post without including one of The Body Shop's body butters, I love almost all the scents they do and find the consistency of the butter incredibly luxurious and moisturising for the price tag.

Models Own Utopia (£5.00)- I'm quite fickle when it comes to nail polish but this year I seem to have gone back to this shade again and again as it's the perfect milky lilac and applies so beautifully. I've actually stocked up on this shade for fear that it will be discontinued. 
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (£9.99)- this is by far my favourite brush to apply my foundation with, it buffs everything in perfectly and seamlessly and whilst I do love all the other Real Techniques ones this has been my favourite this year. 
This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray* (£16.00)  I've found this the perfect little sleep companion for when I'm struggling to drift off at night as the lavender scent if perfect for putting you into a calming sleepy mood.  

*PR Sample
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