Monday, 28 April 2014

April Beauty Favourites 2014

April has been the month for trying out all the lovely new spring products that have come out and I've found some really good ones that I have loved recently, so I'm really excited to talk about them in some detail. I've also got a couple fashion favourites as well that I've thrown in. So here are my April Favourites. Enjoy! 

First up is the No.7 Pop & Glow Cream Blush in Rose Blossom. 

I really love this product and haven't used anything else like it. It is branded as a cream blush, yet when applied to the skin is applies as a powder but a super soft, creamy one. It blends so effortlessly on the skin and what I love most is, you get the smooth application of a cream yet it doesn't end up moving and rubbing away my base make-up, which is a problem I get all the time with cream blushes. Blended out its a really lovely bubblegum pink that's subtle and very pretty on the cheeks. It can also be built up for a more intense colour.

I love this and highly recommend it! There are two other shades and a highlighter in the same formulation that I am very tempted by. 

My next favourite is what I use in conjunction with this blush and its the Real Techniques Stippling Brush. I find that this gives the best application as it applies the blush sheer yet gives you the chance to build it up gradually if you want more colour. 

Next up is the Gosh CC Cream. I have the shade 02 Ivory. 

This is a really lovely lightweight, sheer foundation that gives a fresh, illuminated look to the skin. Its marketed as a CC cream which is meant to colour correct any redness, dark circles etc, on the skin and it really does. Considering how light it is, it manages to cover up the redness I get around my cheeks and nose but still looks like skin. Its so buildable but doesn't get cakey or heavy looking, its pretty much undetectable on the skin. I usually wear just this as my base but sometimes use concealer on any areas that might need a bit more coverage. Overall, a lovely product that I highly recommend trying if you're into light, glowy foundation. I use this with my Real Techniques buffing brush, which I've missed using so much as the foundation Ive been using recently (Dr Jart BB Cream) needs to be massaged in with your finger tips or it doesn't blend as well, so I've enjoyed being able to buff in my foundation to a smooth, seamless finish with this brush! 

Benefit Gimme Brow is next.

Im kind of obsessed with this. Its a tinted gel that fills in and sets your eyebrows. I have the light/medium shade and find that it works perfectly for me. I was hesitant at first as I have blonde hair and thought that it would be far too dark for me (They only have 2 shades, light/medium, medium/dark) But its absolutely fine! It helps my brows look more defined without looking fake or overally filled in and it keeps them in place ALL day. I use an eyebrow pencil to fill them in first and then go over them lightly with the Gimme Brow, using it to shape and define the brows and then fill in any areas that need a little extra. Its also in such a tiny little tube that its perfect to carry around with you in your handbag.

My next favourite is my Mini Tangle Teezer!

I got a Tangle Teezer for my Christmas and love it so much that I decided I needed another one to take with me on the go. If you haven't tried this, you're missing out! I don't know how it works but it just brushes through your hair effortlessly and doesn't tug or hurt. It works so well in wet hair, it just glides through it without snapping or damaging  any areas that are knotted or tangled up. I have really thin hair and it can get knotted and break quite easily and since using this I've seen such a difference. My hair also doesn't fall out as much as it's not being pulled at or tugged on with a normal brush. I couldn't go back to using a normal hair brush after having this! It's so good. 

My next favourite is a fashion item. 
I bought this top in New Look a couple weeks ago and I love it. 

I don't usually wear a lot of colour, so this was a nice addition to my usual black on black on black.
Yellow/lime green isn't really a colour I'd go for but recently I've been seeing a few really nice pieces pop up in this colour and I've really warmed to it. 
I also find that even though this has a boxy shape to it (Again, not my usual style at all!) it's more flattering on that other styles I have tried in the past. 

I pair this with a collared white blouse underneath and a statement necklace (Now, THAT part is very me.) 

Continuing on with the yellow/Lime green theme, I have this bag. 

Again, I have been a few bags in shops in this lovely colour at about £30+ and even though I loved them and they were gorgeous, I had to walk away because 1. I didn't know how much I'd actually wear it. 2. This colour is very much a trend and trends come and go and 3. Let's face it, I didn't really want to spend that much on a handbag that I'd only get a few months wear out of. So when I saw this in Tesco on my lunch break for only £10 (!!!) I was like Um, you're coming home with me.

I love it! It has a lovely chain detail on the straps that I think really add to the bag and make it look more expensive that it is. The strap is also detachable, so you can have it as a clutch bag if you fancy. It's a really good size, perfect for a night out. There are 2 pouches on the inside, one is a zipper compartment and the other is a slot for your phone. And THE COLOUR. I like that it's bright without being too neon and in your face because I really dislike anything neon. So this is the perfect shade of "bright but not too bright" for me! So happy with this little bargain. Thanks, Tesco.

My last favourite for this month has to be having a blog. I'm so glad I plucked up the courage this month to finally post something. It's been so fun! Thank you to everyone that takes the time to read my posts and for all the support I've received over the last few weeks, it really means a lot to me. :)

So there you have it, my top products for April :) I really hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. 

Thanks for reading! 

Zoe x 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

REN Skincare Haul

REN is a brand I've always been interested in and seen a lot of since reading blogs/watching YouTube videos. However it was never really readily available for me to buy until it came to M&S near me. 

Last week they had a promotion that when you bought 2 REN products you got a £30 free gift- yes, please. 
Then this week, they had 20% off their whole beauty section- again, yes please. So I took these chances to buy a few bits is always been interested in. So here is a quick post about what I got...

Clear Calm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser.

I bought this to use as the second step in my double cleanse at night, after removing all my makeup with the likes of a balm cleanser. I'd also use it in the morning as it's lighter than a balm. This contains clay which is really good at drawing our impurities and just giving the skin a good cleanse without stripping it of moisture.

I also bought a balm cleanser. The No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm.

I have a weakness for balm cleansers (and exfoliating toners) I originally saw this on Instgaram but in a tub. And I was like "I need it." There's just something about balm cleansers that get me every time! However they've changed the packaging and put it in a tube and reduced it from £30 for 150ml to £23 for 100ml, which is fine with me. 
This is what I'd use as my first cleanse at night to remove and melt away all traces of makeup. 

I also purchased the Invisible Pores Detox Mask.

I like to use detoxifying masks once every couple weeks, just to, well.. Detox my skin. This contains clay, lactic acids, fruit oils and lavender oil. The clay helps draw out impurities but the oils help to purifie the skin and also leaves it smooth and more toned. 

I also bought the REN Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream. 

I liked the look of this as it's targeted to help defend your skin against pollution and environmental damage whilst providing your skin will all the essential nutrients and antioxidants. I liked the consistency when I tried it on my hand in the store. It was fairly light and sunk it well and a little seemed to go a long way. I always get a bit nervous about trying new moisturisers as a lot of the ones I have tried haven't worked well for my skin and have broken me out as they've been too heavy, so hopefully this one doesn't do that!

From the same range I bought the Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil. Which I really didn't need. But Caroline Hirons said it was amazing so I couldn't not try it! It's now the 4th skin oil on rotation. 

It's meant to build up your lipids in the skin to help keep the skin plump and healthy whilst reducing the signs of any ageing, fine lines or wrinkles. It also claims to "re-energise" the skin cells allowing your skincare to work better.

As for the free gift..

It contains 6 deluxe size samples from RENs most popular products all in a handy little travel bag. 

The samples are:

- Rosa Centifolia Cleasing Gel 25ml
- Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask 15ml
- Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Cream 15ml
- Vita Mineral Active 7 Eye Gel 3ml
- Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash 50ml
- Neroli and Grapefruit Body Cream 50ml

I'm really looking forward to trying out everything. I might do a follow up post talking about what I think of everything once I've properly tried them out.

Thanks for reading!

Zoe x

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Easy Daisy Nail Design

I love all the daisy prints that are in for Spring right now, so thought I would recreate the look in a nail design! 

This is super easy and only takes a few moments to create.

All you will need is:
- A tooth pick or a nail "dotting" tool (I got mine from eBay for £2 and it came with 5 different sizes) 
- A base nail colour of your choice 
- A nail colour for the daisy petals and a colour for the center of the daisy
- A piece of paper/tissue
- Cotton wool pads (for cleaning your tool)

Nail colours used:
Black: Revlon- Lunar
White: Barry M- Matte White
Orange: Nails Inc by Fabulous magazine- Atomic 

Okay, so..

Step 1- This would be to carry out your normal manicure routine. File, shape, cuticle work etc etc.. 

Step 2- Apply two even coats of your chosen base colour and allow to dry THOROUGHLY.  This is important as you don't want the nail polish to be wet or tacky when you are trying to create the design. 

Step 3- Apply a small amount of nail polish onto your piece of paper. This is easier to work from than having to dip into the nail polish bottle. 
Using your tooth pick/dotting tool, you're going to dot 5 dots in a circle on your nail, like so...

(I have used black, this is just so it showed up more clearly in the photos! It also looked really effective as the end result.)

And then connect in the middle so it should look roughly like the outline of a flower. It doesn't have to be perfect! 

Step 4- wait for the "flower" to dry 

Step 5- Clean off the polish from your tool. Dip it into the chosen colour to add to centre to the flower. 

Step 6- Wait for all polish to dry thoroughly and add a top coat. 

And you're done!

Super easy and the result is so cute and pretty! Try it in different colours, like I have here... 

I hope you liked this little design and try it out for yourself. I also hope it was easy to understand and I didn't word it really awfully or anything! Haha. 

Thanks for reading!

Zoe x 

Monday, 14 April 2014

My Skincare Routine

I am kind of obsessed with Skincare. Out of all things beauty it's what I love the most and I truly believe it's okay to spend your hard earned cash on your best asset. You do only have one face to last you forever, you know..

-My skin type is normal/oily.
-Mainly oily in the t-zone, everywhere else is normal.
-I get slightly dehydrated on my cheeks.
-Spots/blemishes aren't really an issue for me although I do get the odd few here and there.

Okay, so..

Cleansing:  I usually just go for Bioderma.

 It's quick, easy and refreshing! I love using it around my eyes as I find it really helps wake me up and freshens up my eye area. It also doesn't dry out my skin or leave it feeling sticky or tacky.

I love toning! A lot of people find it an unnecessary step but honestly, it's probably one of my favourite and MOST essential steps! I use two toners. An exfoliating toner and a hydrating toner.

For the exfoliating toner I use Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Brightening Toner. 

I am slightly obsessed with this. I 100% believe this product is the key for glowy skin! It contains Glycolic acid that basically nibbles away all the dead skin cells (without having to scrub at your face with exfoliating beads) leaving a fresh, glowy complexion! Lovely. (I plan to do a more in depth post about exfoliating toners and how amazing they are.)

Then I follow up with a hydrating toner. My one of choice is also from Clarins and is the Toning Lotion with Iris (Which is running very low and I need to repurchase!) 

Again this just leaves my skin feeling fresh, hydrated and glowing. It's alcohol free (a MUST in a good toner) and smells lovely! 
With results like that I don't know why anyone WOULDNT want to use a toner! 

I use Hydraluron from IndeedLabs. 

This is just a simple, basic serum packed full of hylaronic acid which helps keep the moisture within your skin throughout the day. This makes my skin feel really plumped up and hydrated and really does help my moisturiser do it's job ALL day. It also helps my under eye area look less dry and prevents concealer creasing.  

Eye Cream: 
I'm using a little sample from Benefit. 

I like this one, however I don't think it works wonders. My under eye area is actually quite dry and I look for an eye cream that really hydrates and moisturises. I still haven't found an eye cream I like enough to stick to yet so I'll have to get back to you on that one!


As my skin is oily, throughout the day I like to use a light, hydrating moisturiser. I go for the Caudile Moisturizing Sorbet. This is really lovely as it sinks in instantly (especially paired with the hydralouron) and doesn't leave any film over my skin or leave me looking shiny or greasy. It's perfect for the day and under makeup, leaves my skin hydrated and moisturised. Exactly what I want!

And that's me done for my routine in the morning.

Cleansing: I use a cleansing balm. So far I've used the Emma Hardie Amazing Face, Elemis ProCollagen and currently, the Clinique Take The Day Off.

I think I like it the most so far. It doesn't have that "luxury" feel of all the other ones. It doesn't contain any essential oils so doesn't smell lovely and relaxing like the others and it has a more waxy texture instead of a buttery one. However, it's the one that has worked best for my skin! I like that it's simple, basic and no fuss, yet doesn't have any nasties in it. Yay! It still still gives me the same results as all the other fancier ones in terms of removing all traces of makeup (including eye makeup) but find that my skin has got clearer and just looks better since using it. I think that my skin can react badly to some essential oils and that's maybe why I was getting a few spots here and there when using other balms, nothing seriously, just something that was a bit annoying. So this has definitely been my favourite so far and at half the price of the others (£21 for 125ml) I most certainly can't complain. :) I like to use it with this little tool from The Body Shop. It's a facial massager. I use this on my second cleanse (so once I've removed all the makeup and get to ACTUALLY cleaning my skin.) It helps to increase the blood flow to the surface of the skin, making your skin nice and plump. It's also really relaxing and helps you get a better cleanse. 

Then I tone, usually just with the Clarins Hydrating Lotion. However, if I find my skin is looking a little but full I will go in with the exfoliating toner as well. 

I then move on to a "treatment". This would be the La Roche Posay Effleclar Duo. 

This. Is. Amazing.

It's a treatment that unblocks pores and flushes away congestion from underneath the skin. If you run your hand over your skin and can feel an uneven bumpy texture, THAT is congestion. Effaclar Duo contains ingredients such as salicylic that get into the pore and flush out any dirt and bacteria that would usually lead to spots and further congestion. This product made a MASSIVE difference to my skin and I recommend it to anyone suffering with blemishes. A lot of people look for it to target spots that have already formed on the skin and even though it does help with them it really targets on clearing out underneath the skin to stop spots forming in the first place. I use to use this everyday when I first bought it but now I only use it at NIGHT maybe 2-3 times a week or more if I need it. I wouldn't recommend using it twice a day, every day because it can be quite drying if you use it too much. It's a TREATMENT, not an everyday moisturiser, so don't go mad with it. But it's seriously amazing and probably one of my favourite products EVER. I currently have the newer version which is Effaclar Duo [+] This formulation is made to help fade pigmentation marks left my spots and blemishes. 

Then at night instead of a moisturiser I use a facial oil. I have recently started using the Kielh's Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

 This stuff is really lovely. It contains all sorts of lovely ingredients such as lavender, rosemary, primrose and jasmine extract. I'm not sure what it is but there's just SOMETHING about this that makes my skin look so fresh and lovely in the morning and my skin tone looks really smooth and even. It's also like is given my skin a drink because it's always really plump and hydrated, no excess oil or residue AT ALL, it just sinks in over night and you're left with beautifully fresh skin in the morning. Like I said about essential oils, my skin an disagree with some of them but nothing in this has made me have that problem. It's worked an absolute treat :) 


There is also a couple masks I like to use. However, I haven't found any miracle masks that I 100% love yet, so I'm still on the hunt. 

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask. 

This is an exfoliating acid mask. It's meant to give a super glowy complexion as it contains Glycolic acid, like my toner, but in a much more concentrated form. It smells orangey and is really sticky in consistency. I do like this mask, however it doesn't work miracles. I don't notice THAT much of a difference in my complexion when I use this. It's £30 which is really expensive and I think that if you were to use an exfoliating toner every day you get good enough results that you could do without this. I'd recommend trying to get a sample first before forking out £30 (Like I did.) 

I also use the Una Brennan Tea Flower Deep Clean Mask.

I like this for getting rid of pesky blackheads and if I'm just feeling a bit oily and blegh. It's a clay mask so it is really good for pulling out all the impurities. I find it slightly drying so I only use this once every couple weeks or if I really need it. I always follow up with a good hydrating toner and moisturiser. This mask is good quality and really affordable. I've also purchased the hydrating mask by Una Brennan and I'm excited to try that out!

So that is my current skincare routine! I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. As I said I love skincare and am always buying new products to try out but these have been the ones that have really made a difference to my skin and that Ive stuck with! 

Thanks for reading! 

Zoe x

Disclaimer: All products were purchased by me and all opinions are 100% my own. I work for The Body Shop yet all opinions are my own and not of those at The Body Shop. Any products given to me for staff sampling have been marked with an *. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

My Personal Favourites from The Body Shop

I work for The Body Shop so have a lot of experience will all the products. I wanted to write a little (Little? Yeah right) blog post going into some detail about some of MY personal favourites. I think this would be very useful if you aren't familiar with The Body Shop, as it can be quite overwhelming to walk in there and not know what you're looking for. Also, I find that it's always the same products that are talked about such as the body butters or the hand cream and even though they are great products there so much more hidden gems in there that need a mention! As I work for Body Shop I need to point out that all opinions are my own and not those of The Body Shop. These products where purchased by me with my own money or some were given to me for staff sampling, these will be marked with a *. 
 Okay, let's get started!

My first favourite would have to be the Vitamin C Skin Reviver

This product is found in the Skincare section however I use it more as a makeup product as a primer. This is lovely! It makes your foundation glide on effortlessly and blend so much easier. It also helps to give a glowy luminous finish to the skin. I have normal/oily skin and this doesn't make me look so shiny or greasy throughout the day, just glowy and healthy. It would be AMAZING for dry skin as it would glide over dry patches and lift a dull complexion. I would maybe advise SUPER oily skins to avoid this one as it could make you look slightly too shiny if that isn't the look you're going for, however Body Shop do a primer specifically designed for oily skin so don't worry, you won't miss out! :)

My next favourite is the Rainforest Volume Shampoo.

The main reason I love this? It's a shampoo that doesn't contain any crap. Specifically sulfates! I have oily hair so using shampoo with sulphates every day does me no favours as it just strips all the oil away which makes my hair produce MORE oil, which trust me, it does not need. So this is perfect for me to use every day! It gets my hair perfectly clean without stripping it. It also doesn't contain silicones or parabens and has lots of lovely community fair trade ingredients in it, such as aloe vera, which is always great. I find since using this my hair is far less oily and I could, if I was brave enough, even go a day between washes. Woohoo! I alternate between the volume and the balancing (specifically for oily hair) and they work just fine.

Next has to be the Baked to Last bronzer in 02* and the Honey Bronzer in 02*. 

These are amazing! The honey bronzer has a completely matte finish which makes it perfect for contouring. Its really light and natural and really warms up your complexion without looking orange or unnatural.
The baked to last is also fantastic. This one is shimmery and can double as a bronzing/highlighting product as it has much lighter shimmery tones running through it as well. It also has a small amount of pink through it which is very subtle but pretty on the cheeks. I have been told it is very comparable to MACs Soft and Gentle (I do not own this so I can't comment myself). And it's cruelty free and a quarter of the price, win win!

The Silky Camomile Cleansing Oil* is one to go for if you're looking for affordable skin care that WORKS (Lets face it, who isn't?). 

At £10 for 200ml its a complete bargain and will last you for months. It's suitable for ALL skin types (Yes, that includes oily skin. Trust me.) and most importantly, has no junk in it. It's super nourishing and gentle on the skin yet manages to remove all traces of makeup completely. Leaves the skin plump and hydrated. A total winner in my books. 
Next up is the Hand Cleansing Gels!

You're probably thinking "What? What can be so special about hand gel?" But oh my. If you're a bit of a germ freak and use public transport a lot, like myself, a good hand sanitiser is a must. I currently have Satsuma and strawberry and they smell amazing. Its nice to be able to use a hand sanitizer that gets your hands clean and doesn't leave you smelling like you've just had a large alcoholic drink.  Not only do they kill germs and clean effectively they also contain ingredients such as glycerin so they keep your hands from getting dried out which is usually the down side to using hand gels. Whenever I use these I always have someone around me comment about how nice they smell, they're that good!
Next up is the Deep Sleep Dreamy Pillow & Body Mist.

This product is designed to help more restful sleep. It's great if you're having trouble getting to sleep or find that you wake up a lot throughout the night. It contains jujube date and camomile extract as well as blended essential oils, the relaxing scent of these continue to release throughout the night as you move which helps you to stay relaxed. I spray this over my bed every night and I find the smell so relaxing and comforting! 

There's so many more products I'd love to mention in this post but it would literally go on forever! I really enjoyed writing this post and hope it was helpful. Are there any products you really love from The Body Shop that think deserve to be mentioned more?

Thanks for reading! 

Zoe x

Disclaimer: All products mentioned were purchased by me, with my own money. Products that were given to me for staff sampling have been marked with a *. All opinions are 100% my own and not those of The Body Shop.