Monday, 22 December 2014

The Affordable Lip That Will Survive Christmas Dinner

I wrote this post a couple weeks ago featuring the amazing but rather pricey YSL Glossy Stain. I talked about how this is the perfect lip for the festive season as it survives your Christmas Dinner, drinks, lots of chatting.. Basically all the things we do a lot of at Christmas time. 

However, the weekend after that post, I went out on my staff night out, wearing this affordable little lip duo that really stood up to the challenge. 

This long-wearing duo is from Topshop. The lip liner is the shade Deception (which I could not find on the website, sorry!) and the lipstick in the shade Twin.

Not only did I get a surprising amount of compliments on this glossy, berry lip combo, it also lasted fantastically throughout the night!

First, I applied the lip liner all over my lips. This made a really good, matte base for the lipstick. The formulation of this pencil is super soft and creamy, yet stays in place all night long, without feeling dry or uncomfortable on the lips. It is perfect!

The lipstick looks terrifying in the bullet but applies as a sheer, glossy berry colour. This adds a pretty gloss to the lip, whilst making the colour a little bit deeper. 

Swatches of the two:

A three course meal was no problem at all for this mighty little combo. All my work mates kept commenting on how well my "lippie was holding up!" and how pretty the colour was. 

I nipped to the bathroom at the end of the meal and did feel the need to re-apply a small amount of the lipstick on top again as I felt the shine had worn off slightly. However, there was no smudging or fading of the colour at all! If the formulation of the lipstick was matte, I probably wouldn't have needed to re-apply, it is just because it was a glossy formulation that it worn off slightly sooner. But overall, I was very impressed!

It also lasted fantastically for the rest of the night once we went out and had a few drinks (and received more compliments on it!). I did not feel the need to worry that it was smudged all over my face or worn off at all. I think I reapplied the lipstick one other time once we were out, for the same reason as before but that was all the touching up I needed to do the whole night. 

Okay, so that is my affordable lip combo that WILL survive Christmas Dinner (And the rest of the festive season!). 

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful.

Zoe. x 

Friday, 19 December 2014

Runners Up (Top Skincare of 2014)

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
This is my go-to spot treatment. I recommend it to anyone who had spotty, congested skin. It really is a great product. The reason it wasn't in my Top 5 is because, even though I do love it, I don't reach for it as much any more. I find that my skin has maintained the clear, even texture by just using acid toners and that I don't feel the need to apply this as much. This is definitely what got me to that point though. I saw such a difference since using this. My skin was so smooth, it had no little bumps, my blackheads are far less visible (although they are still there but that's something I'll just have to deal with!) and much smaller. If it wasn't for this product to start with, I'd still have blackheads and loads of little under the skin bumps. So, I love it so much for that and still recommend it to anyone who asks because it really is a great product that I am going to 100% keep in my collection, so I always have it on hand in case I need it.

Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris
I really enjoy this toner, it's a great product. It really helps to balance out my skin and leaves it feeling really soft and smooth. I find myself reaching for other toners between this now, where as before, it was all I used every day. I think I would repurchase it, although the Vitamin E toner from The Body Shop is giving it a run for its money!

Nspa Melting Gel Cleanser (Available in ASDA)
By far the best budget skincare item I have found! I love this stuff. It is a really good quality products, packed with loads of lovely fruit and vegetable oils, which leave the skin feeling really hydrated. It is also really uplifting and refreshing to use, it would be perfect as a quick morning cleanse.

Una Brennan Deep Clean Pore Purifying Clay Mask (Since changed the name but it's still the same product.)
I said in a previous post that I wasn't really that impressed with this but I have changed my mind. It has turned into my go to mask. I always use this if my skin feels a bit spotty and congested as it is really deep cleaning and purifying. I notice the biggest difference on my blackheads around my nose, it flushes them out after one use.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
Again, this is one I think I will always have in my collection. It is just such a good, all round, no fuss cleansing balm. It is great for all skin types, as there isn't really anything in it. It just takes your makeup off and that's that! Especially good for anyone with sensitive or blemished skin because as I said, it is so no fuss and simple that it won't cause any irritation or problems.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

My Top 5 of 2014: Skincare

1. Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet 
This is a fantastic moisturiser for oily/dehydrated skin types, which I have.. Duh. My skin also tends to be quite fussy which moisturiser as well.
It is a super light, fluffy consistency, which means it is really quickly and easily absorbed into the skin
. It sinks in instantly and leaves you skin feeling plump and supple. Despite being so light, it gives a great boost of moisture to the skin, yet doesn't leave it feeling heavy or sticky. It's perfect. I've been through so many of these this year and can not see myself straying from it any time soon.

2. Hydraluron by Indeed Labs
Ahh, I just love this so much. The perfect, simple, does the job and does it well, serum. This is fantastic if you have dehydrated skin as it really gives you the best out of your moisturiser by really holding the moisture within the skin. It sinks in instantly to my skin and then when I apply my Caudalie moisturiser on top, it drinks it up and holds it there for the whole day. My skin feels so plump and hydrated when I use these two products. Hydraluron works amazingly under any moisturiser.

3. Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner.
THIS. This, is easily, by far, my favourite skincare product ever. Yes. I can quite confidently say that. I just adore it! The difference I see in my skin when I use this is amazing. It exfoliates the surface of the skin (acid toner) making it smooth and even but what I love the most about it is it leaves this amazing glow to my skin! My skin literally has that "lit from within" look to it after I use this. It is brilliant. It's so gentle on the skin, so you can use it every day (and trust me, you'll want to!). If you have tired, dull, dry looking skin, please, pick up a bottle of this!
It also does wonders for anyone who has congested/spotty skin, as it kills off bacteria on the surface of the skin, as well as removing dead skin cells that will be clogging everything up (Nice.) PLEASE get yourself a bottle. Or add it to your Christmas list. I could talk about this forever, so I better stop here and move onto the next thing!

4. The Body Shop Silky Camomile Cleansing Oil.
What a surprise, right? I couldn't leave this little gem out. No matter what cleanser I use, whether it is a balm or an oil, cost £50 or £5, I will always, always, always come back to this. It is a staple for me.
For the price, you just can't beat it. It is fantastic quality, the oil is so light and comfortable on the skin. It removes everything in one go, with just one pump of product. And it is effortless to remove off the skin- warm water and a flannel and it is gone.
It is so effective at removing makeup and cleaning the skin, yet will never strip or damage the skin. It leaves it soft and supple but 100% makeup/dirt/grime free. Suitable for everyone, every skin type.

5. Bioderma.
How could I not mention Bioderma?! I have been so in love with the one for over a year now but I just had to mention it. It is fantastic.
Bioderma is a staple item for me, I will never be without it in my collection.
I mainly use Bioderma in the morning, for a quick freshen up. I love it around my eyes as it is so refreshing and cooling, it really wakes me up. It really is just like using water. It is so gentle and has never caused any irritation to my skin.
I have also used Bioderma to remove a full face of makeup, including eye makeup, which it works fantastically for (I always recommend double cleansing with something else after though, like an oil or a balm.) It removes everything so easily and again, it never irritated my skin, no matter how many times I go over it.
I am so glad you can now get this easily in the UK from websites such as Escentual and for a great price too! I buy the 500ml bottles and they last me at least 6 months.

So that is my top 5 skincare items for 2014. Again, there will be a Runners Up post shortly after this talking about some more of my favourite bits from 2014

Thanks for reading!

Zoe x

 Disclaimer: I work for The Body Shop. However, all opinions about products from The Body Shop are 100% my own and do not reflect the opinions of those at The Body Shop. Any product given to me for staff sampling has been marked with an *. Any product from The Body Shop not marked, will have been purchased by myself, with my own money at a staff discounted price. All my opinions are completely true and honest. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Runners up (Top makeup of 2014)

The ones that didn't quite make the Top 5 but I still had to mention! 

Topshop highlighter in Crescent Moon. 
The main reason I didn't want to mention this is because it is no longer available. 
It is a beautiful, intense highlighter that looks fantastic when applied with the Real Techniques Duo Fibre Contour brush. I dust this along the tops of my cheekbones and it adds a real glow to the skin! Not for anyone who prefers a more subtle, natural highlight though as it really pops on the skin. If you can somehow get your hands on this, grab it! You won't be disappointed. 

Benefit Gimme Brow (Shade: Light/Medium) 
I went through a bit of a love, hate relationship with this little guy. I started off by absolutely loving it. I was obsessed! It kept my brows in place, whilst also adding a tint of colour and filling in any little bits that I may have missed. It was great! Then, I started to fall out of love with it. I started noticing it would go a bit... Ashy? It was strange. Instead of blending in with my eyebrows it would sit very obviously on top of the hairs and turn almost a slight ashy, grey colour. It was not a good look! So I stopped using it for a while. 
I recently picked it up again and I am back to enjoying it! I'm not completely in love with it the way I was originally but I do enjoy using it to set my brows in place, it does make a difference. I don't think I'll repurchased though. There has been a lot of drugstore options pop up over the last few months that I'll probably try our next. 

Urban Decay Setting Spray (De-slick)
I really enjoy this product, however, I can't decide if I see a massive difference in the wear of my makeup which is why it didn't go into my top 5. This, combined with my InstaBlur primer make a massive difference in keeping oil at bay throughout the day, which then helps with my makeup stay in place much longer. I just don't know how well it would hold up on it's own but combined with a primer, it's great. I do enjoy using this product and I have put it on my Christmas List! 

No.7 Pop and Glow Cream Blush Sticks (shade: Rose Blossom)
These are great little products. It is a cream blush that you pop onto the skin (I use the Real Techniques stippling brush- fantastic together!) and it dries down to a powder finish. They give a great pop of colour but still look natural on the skin. What I love the most about these though, is they don't end up rubbing away your foundation when you apply them, which is what puts me off using a lot of cream blushes. 
I also ended up picking up the highlighter version as well, which is just as nice! 

Tanya Burr lip glosses.
I seem to have gathered quite the collection of these over the year. They really are great, probably some of the nicest lip glosses I have used. The super pigmented, creamy formula makes them great for throwing on on their own or over a lipstick for extra colour and shine. I have 8 in total now and only 1 of them has been a bit of a fail (Just Peachy- far too pale for me. If it was less pigmented it would be great but the opaque, milky peach lip look isn't for me I'm afraid.) 
My favourite colours are Picnic in The Park, Aurora and Exotic Island! 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

My Top 5 of 2014: Makeup

1. InstaBlur by The Body Shop. *
Easily the best primer I've used. This actually makes a difference in how my makeup looks and wears throughout the day. It keeps oil at bay as well as helping my makeup last much longer. I love, love, love it.

This gives me everything I look for in a foundation. A light, glowy coverage, that is buildable but looks super natural on the skin. It applies well with a brush but flawlessly with my Real Techniques makeup sponge. It is also a really good colour match for me as well, which always helps. 

I've already been through 2 of these and I only started using it a couple months ago! It is perfect. The tiny nib makes it so easy to fill in your brows easily and quickly but also allows you to add more detail and really shape the brow. The colour is also fantastic (I use Blonde-shell). Being blonde, it can be quite hard to find eyebrow pencils that aren't super red toned. This one is really ashy toned, so it looks really natural in my brows and matches them perfectly.

This is the most easy to use, natural looking bronzer ever. It's impossible to go wrong with this. I love how light and natural it is, as it has a very neutral undertone to it. It also has a matte finish which is great as a good, matte bronzer is really hard to find! 

I have been through so many of these over the last year. It's great! It's a felt tip applicator which means it's so easy to use as its really easy to control. I'm able to do a variety of different looks with this, depending on whether I want a thick, winged out look or a thin line. It's so easy to do with this pen. It's super black and pigmented and lasts a really good amount of time before drying out. 

That is my top 5 makeup bits for 2014! I will be doing a Runners Up post after this talking about a few more bits that I do love, they just didn't make it into the top 5.

Thanks for reading!

Zoe x 

 Disclaimer: I work for The Body Shop. However, all opinions about products from The Body Shop are 100% my own and do not reflect the opinions of those at The Body Shop. Any product given to me for staff sampling has been marked with an *. Any product from The Body Shop not marked, will have been purchased by myself, with my own money at a staff discounted price. All my opinions are completely true and honest. 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Red Lip That Will Survive Christmas Dinner

There's nothing more festive than a good old red lip. However, I find that I can be put off wearing one if I know I'm going to be eating (which we all tend to do a lot of over the festive season!) 

Last year I decided to just go for the red lip on Christmas Day. I was feeling bold and up for the challenge!

The one I went for? The YSL Glossy Stain in number 13. I am sure anyone reading this who is even slightly into beauty will know about these. If not, basically, they are the perfect mix between a lipstick/lipgloss/balm/stain.

They have the opaque pigmentation of a lipstick.
The intense shine of a lipgloss.
The comfortable, moisturising texture of a balm.
And the longevity of a stain.

You apply 3 layers to get maximum colour and wear out of them.

Number 13 is a gorgeous, bright and very bold, pinky/red shade. It is stunning. By far one of my favourite lip products I own. 

So, on Christmas Day, I whacked this on and headed through for Christmas Dinner. 

After I was done, I hesitantly looked in the mirror expecting a very worn off lip, with the rest of it smudged around my face but I was very very pleasantly surprised.

My lips looked perfect! There was a veeeery slight wear right in the middle of my lips but something only I, holding the mirror inches away from my face, would notice. I was so impressed! 

It truly stayed in place all night, through the whole of dinner, drinks, lots of chatting, pudding and whatever else I threw at it that night. The colour stayed as bright and as bold as it was when I first applied it and it stayed looking very glossy and shiny as well. 

It also stayed very comfortable on my lips. Majority of the time I completely forgot I was wearing lipstick at all. The glossy texture makes it very moisturising and comfortable to wear for a long period of time.

The YSL Glossy Stains are expensive, coming in at £25 each. However, they are fantastic products and I'd recommend them to anyone. Pop it on your Christmas list! 

Or, for a cheaper alternative, there is the L'oreal L'Extradinaire by Colour Riche. 
I personally have not tried them myself but have read a lot of reviews comparing them to the YSL Glossy Stain and apparently, they are almost identical. L'oreal own YSL so the chances of them actually being the same product is pretty high. 

Thanks for reading! I hope you found this helpful and it inspired you to wear a festive red lip this Christmas!

Zoe x 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Affordable Cleansing Balms/Oils (Under £20)

We all know how I feel about cleansing. Like you all should, IT'S IMPORTANT.
So I have gathered together my top, most favourite, affordable cleansers (Balms/oils, so if you're not into that, sorry. p.s you should be into that...)

The Body Shop Silky Camomile Cleansing Oil £10 200ml.
One of the best. Easily. I always, always go back to this. I find this one to be the quickest for removing makeup. The oil just breaks down and melts everything away so easily and effectively. There's no scrubbing at your eyes to remove pesky waterproof makeup, a few gentle sweeps with your finger tips and it practically all gone.
It leaves no residue on the skin and is wiped away with a flannel in one go. Its also super gentle and calming on the skin, great for sensitive faces. In fact, it is great for ALL skin types. Dry, oily, dehydrated.. You name it, you can use it.
Its just win win! I love it.

Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm. £8.99 70ml
A rich, luxurious balm that works and feels almost identical to Emma Hardie's Amazing Face cleansing balm on the skin. It contains 97% organic ingredients and is loaded with natural plant and vegetable oils. Suitable for oily skins as it is vegetable oil based, so it isn't too thick and is less likely to cause breakouts (Everyone's skin is different, always keep that in mind). Removes makeup effortlessly and leaves the skin feeling super soft and supple. Also, great for facial massage! This is the thickest formulation out of all the balms/oils I am going to mention. You need to remove it throughly with a nice thick flannel and hot water. Out of all of them, it takes me the longest to remove, however it does not leave any residue or anything after I have done so, you do just need to take your time and remove it properly.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil £11-£21 (Okay, JUST over but Escentual usually have it on offer so you can get the large size for under £20 most of the time, promise!)
This is a lovely product. Its slightly thicker than other oils I have used, making it feel much more luxurious on the skin. Despite being thicker, it isn't greasy or hard to remove, and it will not leave residue on the skin (In fact, NONE of the products I have mentioned in this post will) It is olive oil based, which again, is good for oily skin types.
Yes, mine is empty. Yes, I will be repurchasing.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm £22 (OKAY. I have cheated! But this is such a good one that spending that £2 extra will be worth it. Trust me!)
This is the cleansing balm that I would recommend to everyone! Especially someone who is blemish/acne prone, doesn't want to use oily products on their skin as they are hesitant to do so, doesn't take well to strong scents on their skin (essential oils, or synthetic, each can be irritating to the skin. Everyone's skin is different!)
It is just a good, basic, no fuss cleanser. It doesn't have all the fancy, luxurious ingredients in it but that is okay because it still works so well. It removes makeup, cleans the skin without stripping it and leaves it clean, fresh and smooth. This balm would be particularly good for someone who is acne prone or very sensitive, as it doesn't have anything in it that will cause irritation. Dry skin types might feel the need to go in with something a little bit thicker after, as like I said, it doesn't have any of the oils/butters in it like the others do.

That is my top affordable cleansing balms! I hope this was helpful.

Thanks for reading.

Zoe x

 Disclaimer: I work for The Body Shop. However, all opinions about products from The Body Shop are 100% my own and do not reflect the opinions of those at The Body Shop. Any product given to me for staff sampling has been marked with an *. Any product from The Body Shop not marked, will have been purchased by myself, with my own money at a staff discounted price. All my opinions are completely true and honest. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

New Favourite Nail Polishes

I have picked up a few new nail polishes over the last while and every single one has instantly become a new favourite that I just cant stop reapplying! I thought I'd share them with you.

The Body Shop- Gorgeous Grey. *
The name says it all. A stunning grey with strong purple undertones. In the bottle it does not look like much but on the nails, wow. It's so so pretty. I sold 3 of these in one shift at work as everyone kept asking what was on my nails.

Essie- Urban Jungle. (I bought this in Boots but can't seem to find it online.)
Think of it as Fiji without the pink, instead with a more neutral/grey undertone. It is so pretty! An unusual colour, that again, people always compliment/ask what is on my nails. Great formulation as well, creamy, opaque in 2 coats, non-streaky.

The Body Shop- Almond Kiss. *
I liked this shade when I saw it but I was unsure how it would look on my hands. I didn't know if it was the right tone for me, if it would make my hands look dead and mannequin like. I tried it on in work one day and again, instantly fell in love.
It is really natural and clean looking on the nails. It has a very very subtle shimmer running through it that you can see in the bottle more than anything but it does show up on the nails in certain lights. 

Nails Inc for Glamour- Hanover Square
Now I know mentioning this one might not be fair but you can still pick it up in Glamour magazine for the rest of the month, so if you like the look of it, go grab it!
It is a beautiful, deep, rich berry shade. I just love it. It looks so stunning and elegant on the nails and is the perfect Autumn/Winter shade I was looking for. A thick, rich formula makes it opaque in 1 coat but I always go for 2 just to make sure. I can see myself with this on my nails right through autumn/winter! 

So there you have it! My new top picks in the nail polish category.

Thanks for reading!

Zoe x

 Disclaimer: I work for The Body Shop. However, all opinions about products from The Body Shop are 100% my own and do not reflect the opinions of those at The Body Shop. Any product given to me for staff sampling has been marked with an *. Any product from The Body Shop not marked, will have been purchased by myself, with my own money at a staff discounted price. All my opinions are completely true and honest. 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

NOTD | 22.10.14

This stunning shade is Essie's Urban Jungle.

It is a pinky/peachy/nudey kind of shade. I know, best description ever! 

It applies really well, the formula was nice thick and even. It applied completely opaque in two coats. 

I like that it has a slight pink undertone, it makes it easier to wear and avoids the not so flattering "mannequin hand" look. A more pink shade suits my skin tone more as I have a pink undertone to my skin anyway. 

Have you got this shade? If so, what do you think? 

Thanks for reading.

Zoe x

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Save vs Splurge: Gel Cleansers

I am back with another save or splurge post, this time on gel cleansers. 

I would just like to say I use gel cleansers as a second cleanse, after I have removed my makeup with either an oil or a balm. I also would use these as a morning cleanse.

The Products 

nSpa Melting Cleansing Gel £6
Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel £20


Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Vitis Vinifera Seed (Grapeseed) Oil, Aqua, Sucrose Laurate, Sucrose Palmitate, Parfum, Citrus Aurantium Flower (Neroli) Oil, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Natural Vitamin E), Alcohol, Sucrose Myristate, Isopropyl Myristate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Linalool, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Limonene, CI 16035, CI 19140.

Caprylic/Capric TriglycerideHydrogenated Polyisobutene, Stearayl Heptanoate, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Glycerin,AquaCyclomethicone, Sclerocarya Birrea, ParfumPhenoxyethanolEthylhexyl MethoxycinnamateTocopherol,MethylchloroisothiazolinoneButyl MethoxydibenzoylmethaneEthylhexyl SalicylateMethylisothiazolinoneBht,Hexyl CinnamalBenzyl SalicylateCi 19140, Ci 17200


nSpa- This cleanser starts off as a thick gel. As you massage it into the skin, it does break into a slightly thinner, more oil like consistency but it does still stay more gel-like. 
It is easy to move and work around the skin, you do not need to pull or tug at the skin. 
You then apply water to the skin to make the gel emulsify to a light milk. This feels really light and refreshing on the skin. It is then a very milky, runny consistency

Clarins - This also starts off as a gel. Although, I find this one is slightly thinner than the nSpa. Once you massage this onto the skin, it melts into a lovely oil that moves effortlessly over the skin. Even though it is an oil, it doesn't feel greasy or heavy on the skin. 
I do not emulsify this one as I like it as an oil (although you can do so if you want). I only emulsify the nSpa one as it specifically requires you to to get the most out of the product. 


nSpa- I remove this with a warm, damp flannel. It wipes off the skin clean, leaving no residue or coating behind on the skin. The light, milky consistency means it is super quick and easy to remove with one swipe of the flannel (although I always go over the skin a few times anyway.) or if you like to splash your face with water, it would be easy to remove that way too. 

Clarins- I also remove this the same way, with a flannel. Again, this removes really easily. The oil wipes off the skin without leaving any residue behind. 


nSpa- I love how fresh my skin feels after I use this. I think it is a great cleanser to use in the morning as it really wakes you up and also because it is so light on the skin! Your skin is left feeling really soft and supple. It has been given the moisture and hydrating it needs without being heavy or too much for the skin. 

Clarins- I like how nourishing this is to my skin. I would prefer to use this one more at night than in the morning as it is a little bit richer. I love the more luxurious feel this one has to it, even though it is a gel cleanser. I do not get the same fresh feeling on my skin as I do with the nSpa after using this. My face does feel nice and clean though. 

Overall opinion: Save or Splurge?

Again, I think I am going to have to say save! I am just so impressed with the results of the nSpa cleanser and for such great value! Even though I do enjoy using the Clarins cleanser, it doesn't give me the same super fresh, awake feeling the nSpa option does.
Overall, they are very similar products that both perform very well but for the price difference, I do not notice that much of a difference between the two. 

Looks like you can save yourself some more pennies and go for the cheaper version this time round too!

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful.

Zoe x

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

NOTD | 08.10.14

This is The Body Shop Colour Crush nail polish in the shade Gorgeous Grey.*

It's a really pretty grey with purple undertones. This type of shade is one of my favourites to wear in Autumn. 

This is my first time wearing it as I only got it a few days ago but I've fallen in love with the colour! It's so stunning on. I have a feeling I'll be wearing this a lot over the upcoming months. 

(Ignore the little cut on my middle finger. Oops..)

The formula is great. The colour is opaque in 2 coats. It is also really shiny and fast drying. I'm really impressed with it so far.

Have you tried any of The Body Shops new nail range? If so, what do you think?

Thanks for reading! 
Zoe x 

 Disclaimer: I work for The Body Shop. However, all opinions about products from The Body Shop are 100% my own and do not reflect the opinions of those at The Body Shop. Any product given to me for staff sampling has been marked with an *. Any product from The Body Shop not marked, will have been purchased by myself, with my own money at a staff discounted price. All my opinions are completely true and honest. 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The product I wish I hated..

Do you ever try a product you know you can't get hold of easily and you just know you're going to fall in love with, to the point where you wish you didn't like it so you didn't have the face the fact you can't get it again? Yeah. That's happening right now..

With La Roche Posay Serozinc. *sigh* 

I was lucky enough to get one brought back from France by a friend. I'm sure anyone reading this will know, this product is not available to buy in the UK. I was beyond excited to finally get my hands on it. 

This is a light, refreshing toning spray. I use it as my "traditional" toning stage (after acid tone, before serum.) and I just love it.

It is in a spray can, which means you can either spray it onto a cotton pad or directly over the skin. I choose to apply it directly onto the skin.
It comes out in a really light mist yet it covers the skin effectively and evenly in one spray. There's nothing more annoying than a spray that either completely soaks your face in product or you're standing there spraying it for days to actually get any on your skin! This applies the perfect amount. 

What I love the most about this is how soothing and cooling it is on the skin. As soon as you spray it, my skin feels instantly preped and refreshed. 

It sinks in well, leaving my skin feeling really soft and hydrated and also, well prepped for the rest of my skincare to follow. 

It is the nicest spray toner I have tried. I love how evenly it applies and how it makes my skin feel.
If you can get your hands on this, snatch it up! And don't just buy one, stock up. Trust me on this one! 

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. 

Friday, 3 October 2014

nSpa Skin Renewal Gel Review

I didn't think it was possible for me to be even more impressed with nSpa's skincare range than I already was the first time I went- but oh no. I managed to find a total gem, an even bigger gem than all the other amazing bits I found first time round.

The nSpa Skin Renewal Gel. This is an exfoliating mask- but not a harsh, scrubby, beady mask- no no. An acid exfoliating mask.

(If you do not know what an acid exfoliator is, I have done a post all about them that you can read here.)

This mask is loaded with loads of naturally exfoliating fruit acids. Including orange, bilberry, sugar cane extract (where glycolic acids comes from), grape seed and lemon.
It also contains Vitamin E and Neroli oil. Lovely.

Now, this mask is far more gentle than other exfoliating masks, as fruit acids are far less abrasive than the likes of a chemical acid such as glycolic. However, this mask is still very effective.

It comes out as a thick gel. As you massage it over the skin it breaks into an oil (it takes a while before this happens).
I like to massage it around my skin (sometimes using my facial massager) for 1-2 minutes. I then let it sit on my skin for maybe 10-15 minutes, so I get the most out of the exfoliating acids.
I then go back in and start to work it round the skin more, until it finally breaks into the oil.
Once it has done that, I remove it using a wash cloth and warm water.

With acid exfoliants, you feel a tingle on the skin when the acid is nibbling away the dead skin cells, with this mask you feel a more... fuzzy feeling? It is strange. It isn't tingly as such but I can feel it doing something!

When I remove the mask, my skin feels so soft. It is lovely! You can really feel that the fruit acids have nibbled away all the dead skin and revealed a new healthy layer of skin cells.
My skin never feels tight or stripped after using this, something I love about the whole nSpa range, all the products always leave my skin feeling so comfortable and supple after use. I love that it is so gentle yet effective.

I prefer this £7 mask over my £30 REN mask. *gulp* I am both happy and sad about that!
I find that this gives the same- actually, better- results and for a fraction of the price and is the only exfoliating mask that I regularly use! (I have explained before how I have never really been impressed with acid masks and prefer to just use an acid toner every day instead.)

If you are in ASDA any time soon, definitely check out this lovely range! You can read my post reviewing some of their other skincare bits here, too.

I hope you found this helpful and pick up some nSpa skincare to try!

Thanks for reading.

Zoe x

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

September Favourites 2014

I am making up for my lack of favourites over the last 2 months (Oops) as I seem to have found a whole bunch of new discoveries that I have been completely obsessed with over the last while.
Lets jump right in with my first favourite.

I bought the Pretty Quik Instant Nail Polish Remover. (I chose this because it was only £2.79, compared to £5 for the other brands. Pfft, no thanks. *cheapo alert*)

This is the quickest, easiest thing ever! Again, you'll all know how it works- you stick your finger in the pot, twist twist twist, ta-dah! Nail polish GONE.

It is great. I told myself I would only use it if I was in a rush or needed to take it with me somewhere to do my nails on the go (When does that ever happen? Like, really?) but I have been using this every time I do my nails. It is the ultimate lazy girl nail polish remover.

The formulation does not dry out my nails or leave a weird residue, which means I don't feel the need to have to wash my hands after, making it perfect for on the go.

YAY! Next..

The Soap and Glory Archery Eyebrow Pencil has changed my eyebrow game. It is awesome.

I have the newer version, the one that just has the pencil and is much smaller.

I picked up the shade Blonde-Shell and it matches my eyebrows perfectly. Up until now I had been using a L'oreal pencil that I was really happy with. It matched well, wore fine throughout the day and stayed in place but since switching over, I have now noticed it was a bit dark for me and I could easily make my brows look too harsh with it.

The Archery still makes my eyebrows defined but makes them look far more natural. The tiny little nib makes it so easy to fill in the brows and mock hairs by creating tiny little strokes. I am so impressed by it! I was going to purchase Brow Whiz by Anastasia but I am glad I didn't as I think this is a pretty good dupe for it.

I recently added a few more Tanya Burr lip glosses to my collection and I love the colours I picked up. I got them from for only £4-something as they were on sale.
I picked up the shades Exotic Island, Aurora and Afternoon Tea.
Exotic Island is my favourite out of the bunch.

 It is a beautiful, bright purpley-pink shade that really packs a punch. For a gloss, it is so highly pigmented that just one coat and lasts all day! All the glosses have a slightly thicker, creamier formula without being goopy or sticky. I love how easy it is to apply and you don't have to worry about it smudging or bleeding.
I re-apply it maybe once or twice throughout the day but if I don't it's fine, as it leaves a beautiful tint/stain to the lips anyway once it has worn down, so it still looks as if I've got colour on. Perfect!

I also have loved wearing the more subtle colours; Afternoon Tea and Aurora. They are pretty, girly pinks that just add a tint of colour. Aurora has a slight shimmer, whereas Afternoon Tea is completely cream. They are very similar in shade, Aurora being slightly more pink. They are both lovely and I recommend all three shades.

My next favourite has been doing a world of wonders to my nails recently. It is the Almond Oil Pen from The Body Shop.

I have noticed such a difference in the condition of my nails/cuticles (particularly cuticles) since using this regularly.

The brush application makes it so quick,easy and mess free to use. I simply brush the product round my nails and over my cuticles, rub in and apply a hand cream on top.
My cuticles have been so smooth and hydrated and they've stayed that way. I find with other nail oils/butters by the next day, I need to reapply as my cuticles look a bit dry again but not with this one. The hydration really does last for so much longer! I can skip a day and still have smooth cuticles.

The NUXE Reve De Miel lip balm is next up. Oh my Goodness. What took me so long to start using this? I purchased if from Escentual a good few months ago and it has just sat in my collection unopened.

I now have this in my bed side table and apply it every night before bed.
It feels so luxurious to apply as it is a super thick balm. It is so nourishing and moisturising on the lips that I can still feel it in the morning.
Despite being thick, it isn't greasy or goopy. It just melts onto the lips.

I have really been enjoying the Caudalie Grape Water.

I love spritzing this over my skin after toning (Acid tone, 'regular' tone, spray) as it is so refreshing and smells lovely. It is also nice to spray throughout the day if you're feeling a bit dull and need a little boost and refreshment.

Last but not least is a little candle. Yankee Candle in Salted Caramel is my go to Autumn candle. I love the sweet, warm scent and have completely burned through one already and have another one waiting to go. I really love sweet smells, so this is right up my street. If you do too, go and have a smell of this one!

So there you have it. My round of of products I have been loving over the last month! 
My next post should be another Save vs Splurge so keep an eye out for that.

Thanks for reading!

Zoe x

Friday, 26 September 2014

KIKO Makeup Haul

I am so excited to share this small makeup haul as it is from KIKO Cosmetics. A brand that has been appearing quite a lot in the blogging world recently. So I decided to pop online and pick up a few bits for myself.

The first thing I added to my basket was the Queen of Hearts eyeshadow pallet in 03 Elegant Ebony

This has 4 really pretty, purpley undertoned, neutral shades. Just my kind of colour! I love the packaging too, it's really pretty and feels sturdy and good quality. 

They are soft and smooth when swatched and apply smoothly too but could do with a bit more pigmentation. I am yet to wear these properly, so I will have to update! 

Now, the main reason I placed this order..

I had heard a lot about these beauties online and was so excited to get my hands on them.
They are the Long Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks. *swoon* 

I picked up three shades:

No.37 (Burgundy) - The name gives it away. A beautiful deep, burgundy shade. Probably my favourite from the bunch! 
No.05 (Rosy Brown) - A pretty warm toned, pink, shimmery brown. 
No.04 (Golden Chocolate) - A deep chocolate brown.

They are beautiful. The pigmentation and wear on these are incredible! Again, I am yet to wear them properly but from what I have gathered from playing around with them, I am going to be completely obsessed. I already want to pick up a few more shades!

I will have to do an update post once I have tried all these out properly and give a more thorough review on them but I think I am going to be very pleased.

Have you tried anything from Kiko? If so, what did you think?

Thanks for reading!

Zoe x

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Empties #2

Today I am back with another Empties post. I love writing these as it actually motivates me to get through my hundreds of half used products! Okay lets get started...

Things mentioned in order placed in the photo (obvs) 

1. Bioderma- This is just a little baby size that I use to take away if I was staying at a friends house or anything. I love Bioderma and it is my makeup remover of choice and I currently have 2 500ml bottles in my collection, so it is clear I love this stuff! 

2. Klorane Shampoo with Camomile- Meh. I would not repurchase this as I did not see any difference in the colour of my hair. 

3. The Body Shop Organic Cotton Rounds- Such a boring empty but we all use them! I seem to go through cotton pads like water, its crazy. These are lovely and soft and I only used them on my face, at £2.50 a pack I did not want to waste them taking off nail polish or anything. Lovely quality, did not rip or leave little fluffs behind on my skin.

4. The Body Shop Tea Tree Blotting Tissues- I am so sad I finished these as I loved them and they are now discontinued! If I could, I could 100% repurchase them. They removed excess oil without moving or lifting away my makeup. 

5. Mini Clarins Extra Comfort Toning Lotions- I have already done a whole post about this toner and how I have purchased the full size, however, I still have a few more minis to get through before I open that one! A really lovely toner, highly recommend!

6. TRESemme Salon Finish Extra Hold hairspray- Again, a hairspray is a hairspray to me! This wasnt outstanding or anything, it just did the job. 

7. The Body Shop Earth Lovers shower gel- This product has been discontinued which I am quite sad about as I really enjoyed using this as it is super gentle on the skin as it does not contain any harsh ingredients or sulphates. I was never crazy on any of the scents this came in as they were all very herbal but I would repurchase this again if I could!

8. The Body Shop Rainforest Volume Shampoo- I love this stuff and will continue to repurchase it. I love that it cleans my hair really well without stripping it as it does not contain any harsh ingredients or sulphates. 

9. Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm- I loved this but now, I have gone off it slightly. I loved it enough to repurchase it but I have got about a quarter through my current tub and have stopped using it. I have gone off the more waxy texture and now look for something more oily and soft. This is still a lovely product and is great for someone who wants a fuss free cleanser!

10. The Body Shop Rainforest Volume minis- Oh... More shampoo! 

11. ELF Tone Correcting Concealer- I looove this stuff. Its super lightweight and undetectable on the skin. I have plenty more in my makeup stash to use!

12. The Body Shop Cleansing Gel in Mango and strawberry- My favourite hand gel ever. It smells so amazing and gets your hands clean without making them feel sticky or dry. Totally obsessed with these little guys.

13. Hydralouron- Already repurchased this wonder product and will continue to forever. The best hydrating serum around, so light and easily absorbed into the skin. 

14. The Body Shop InstaBlur primer- I am so obsessed with this stuff. I already have another one on the go and will forever repurchase this! My holy grail primer. 

15. The Body Shop Blueberry Scrub- This was so fun to use. It is like you are washing yourself with jam! It was full of real seeds and fruit pulp and the smell was amazing. The only thing is I went through it very quickly! The Blueberry is no longer available as it was a limited addition scent, however, you can still purchase the raspberry which is the same jam-like consistency! 

Okay, so that is all my empties for this post. 

Thanks for reading! 

Zoe x