Tuesday, 31 July 2012

My First Giveaway | Sneak Peek!

I'm so excited to finally announce this... I'm having a giveaway!
It will be open once I reach 20 followers on this blog - full terms and conditions will follow then. Once I reach 15 followers on this blog I will release full details of the products I will be giving away, but until then I thought I'd give you a cheeky sneak peek! However, I don't want to spoil the surprise, so here's all you're getting! Each letter has come from a photo I have taken of the front of the products themselves, so if you are familiar with the brands you might be able to guess what they are!

To increase your chances, anyone who guesses the brands of any of the products I'm giving away will receive an extra entry into my competition! For example, if you correctly guess the brand of one of my products, your name will be entered into the draw twice once I open the competition and if you guess the brands of all six products correctly your name will be entered seven times -boosting your chances of winning!

All the products I have selected are some of my favourite drugstore products which I personally love and I hope you will too! Best of luck - comment your guesses below to increase your chances of winning! x

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Saving some pennies - My Top 5 Budget Fashion Sites!

Being a teenager, I have limited income. Or in layman's terms, I'm usually broke. When it comes to shopping for clothes, I usually have to fall back on "The Bank of Mum and Dad" which of course makes it necessary for them to approve of what I'm buying. This makes shopping for high heels and clothes for going out awkward, as mum's idea of stillettos are usually the 3' heels you'd find in the pre-teen department.
Therefore, I rely on budget fashion websites for the majority of my fashion purchases, and have found some really fantastic sites which I've become a massive fan of, so I thought I'd share them with you, my readers!

 1. Ebay
If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard of ebay, basically it is like an online auction. You search for products you are interested in either by name or by brand and click buy or bid. Usually products from private sellers (such as Joe Bloggs from down the lane) will be an auction where people bid until the closure of the sale. Then the highest bidder wins. Personally, my favourite way to use ebay is to buy products from companies' outlet stores on this site. For example, brands such as Toms, Hollister, Irregular Choice and Mulberry all have products for sale at great reductions - similar to their outlet stores.

2. TK Maxx (or TJ Maxx worldwide)
 This is a store that also has a great website, so it counts... right? TK Maxx is basically a store which stocks lots of big brands at affordable prices. However, a trip into TK Maxx cannot be taken lightly as you will likely have to delve through mountains of tatt to find your treasure. However don't let this put you off, as I've found some real bargains in this store! Its sportswear range is particularly amazing!

3. Fashion Vouchers
I've only recently found this site, but it is definitely one of my favourites! Fashion Vouchers gives you codes to enter at the checkouts of major online stores to get extra savings on their products - can't complain! They work with companies such as Firetrap, Ted Baker, Boots and even Tesco Clothing! I can't rate this site enough.

4. Primark
Not technically a website, but seeing as most of my wardrobe consists of Primark products, I just had to include it! Primark sell a huge range of products from dresses and underwear to duvets and coats. If you need it, you'll find it in Primark. The quality can be a bit iffy on some products  - however I'd rather spend £3 on a top and have to repurchase it in a couple of months than spend £30 on an identical one! Anyway, I usually get bored of clothes once I've worn them for a few months, so at least I don't feel guilty about hiding my Primark buys at the back of the wardrobe!

5. Boohoo
This is another site I'm crazy about. While not dubbing themselves a budget site, Boohoo stock a brilliant range of ladies, mens and teen clothing at affordable prices. Most dresses are under £20, with some really pretty tops for under a tenner! Also check out their sales - they've caused some damage to my bank account over the years...

And just a cheeky little one for luck...
Want budget beauty? Check out...

Feelunique is a site where you can buy skincare, bodycare, haircare, makeup, home and men's grooming products - all at amazing prices! They have free international shipping which is always a bonus, and stock brands such as bareMinerals, Benefit, Clarins and L'Oréal Paris. I'm unfortunately addicted to a few expensive brands, so I love using Feelunique to save a few precious pennies on my purchases!

So that's my round-up of my favourite budget fashion websites and stores, with a cheeky little beauty one thrown in! I hope you enjoyed reading and make sure to comment below telling me your favourite money saving tips when it comes to beauty or fashion! x

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Liebster Blog Award

 First up, many thanks to Piece of Beauty for nominating me for this award, you're the best!

Now onto the serious stuff - The Rules.

1. Each person must post eleven random facts about themselves
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you
3. Make 11 new questions for the people you tag
4. Choose people and link them to this post (no tag backs)
5. Go to their page and notify them 

Facts about me
1. I have a horse called Maya.
2. I have a Nomination charm bracelet which I never take off.
3. I'm absolutely addicted to chocolate and Robinson's Fruit and Barley Squash.
4. I constantly make lists and use my Wunderlist app daily.
5. I think Toddlers and Tiaras is the best show on TV.
6. The Vampire Diaries is my weakness. I was also a diehard member of Team Stefan before he went skitz. Now I'm undecided.
7. I'm a magpie for anything rose gold.
8. I love organising things and wish I had a big bedroom so I could have lots of shelves and be able to decorate it myself.
9. My boyfriend is roughly 9/10 inches taller than me. Yep, nearly a foot. Yep, I'm a shortass.
10. I really like the smell of WD40 or Guinness. Not together.
11. I always wanted to be a vet. My dreams were crushed when I realised I couldn't do physics.

Piece of Beauty's Questions: 

1. What's your all time favourite high street make up brand?
MUA (Makeup Academy) or Maybelline for sure!

2. If you had to choose only 3 products, what would they be?
bareMinerals Original Foundation, Maybelline The Colossal Volum' Express Mascara, Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I just love talking about beauty and doing reviews of products. This way my friends and family don't have to listen to me ranting on about the latest mascara!
4. Make up or Clothes?
I'd rather spend money on makeup, but I think clothes catch people's eyes first.
5. What's your favourite movie?
 Either The Lion King or The Amazing Spiderman.
6. Tea or coffee?
Definitely tea!
7. Who is your favourite author?
Nicholas Sparks or John Green.
8. Who is your favourite beauty YouTuber?
I love zoella280390!

9. What is the most expensive make up product you own?
My bareMinerals foundation. I'm a cheapskate!
10. What is your favourite nail polish? 
At the minute it is Rimmel 60 seconds nail polish in Green with Envy, but I'm fickle so it will have changed by next week!
11. How old were you when you started wearing make up?

My questions:
1. What makeup product do you have a love/hate relationship with?
2. Which beauty product disappointed you the most?
3. What skin type and hair type do you have?
4. How do you store your makeup?
5. Fake tan or naturally pale?
6. Favourite hair treatment?
7. Would you rather have a day at a spa or a £100 Drugstore spending spree?
8. Favourite magazine?
9. What is your most worn outfit?
10. Opinions on anti-wrinkle/celulite creams? Fab or fad?
11. Favourite meal and drink?

I tag...  *drumroll*

Thanks to all my followers and readers, and I hope you enjoyed finding out a little bit more about me! xx

What If All My Makeup Disappeared?

I saw this post first on Louise's blog (The Beauty of Louise) and thought it was such a clever idea for a post. The general background is that I've woken up one day and all my makeup has spontaneously disappeared. After crying my eyes out for a day (or seven) these would be the first 10 items that I would sprint to the shops to repurchase.

Yes, I'm a little bit of a bareMinerals obsessive!

1. BareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation in Fairly Light. I have loved the foundation since the day I purchased it. After previously being a Matte fan, I have switched over to the Original/Luminous formulation and haven't looked back! It gives medium, buildable coverage with a radiant glowing finish without looking shiny or greasy. I can apply it in thirty seconds without a mirror if need be (an amazing feat given my lack of hand-eye coordination...) and just utterly love it!

2. BareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer. This is such a miracle product. It's only when I went without using it a few days ago that I realised how amazing it is at defending my foundation against dry patches, oily patches, uneven colouration and enlarged pores. It also leaves me feeling fresh faced for longer - say goodbye to half worn patchy foundation!

3. BareMinerals Ready Blush in The Aphrodisiac. I struggle to find words to describe my love for this blush. A beautiful peachy coral shade that instantly warms up my pale complexion and gives a subtle gold shimmer without glitter or sparkle (I run a mile from most sparkly makeup products!) which I adore!

4. Revlon Colourburst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie. After having to rather sorrowfully reject Peach Parfait (loved the colour - detested the sparkle!) I desperately tried to find another shade that would fill the void. I didn't expect much of Berry Smoothie from the images online, but when I swatched it myself, oh my it was lovely. A lovely warm pink berry tone the exact shade of a mixed berry smoothie drink with no sparkle (yay!) and a moisturising, glossy finish - what is there not to love? Does it fill the hole in my heart left by Peach Parfait? Nearly, very nearly.

5. Rimmel London Match Perfection Skin Tone Adapting 2 in 1 Concealer and Highlighter in 010 Ivory. On paper, I should hate the product. How can a product designed to conceal my dark circles also highlight my cheekbones? I was sceptical to say the least. I decided to try it however, and I now need this in my life. It provides great coverage for my under eye circles and good coverage for blemishes. It gives my skin a lovely highlighted glow without being greasy or shiny looking. The cherry on the top? It adapts to suit my skin tone whether I'm ghostly pale or reasonably tanned (usually thanks to a bottle of St Moriz...) so I can use it all year round!

6. MUA Heaven and Earth Palette. This palette and I have become firm friends. I didn't use to wear eyeshadow all that much, but since I've gotten this palette I've become a dab hand at a neutral eye. Crease colours, browbone highlights, inner corner highlights, darker lashines - you can do them all with this one palette! It's hard to put into words how great this palette is, and I also use one of the colours for my eyebrows which is handy for travelling!

7. Clear Mascara. Unfortunately the name has rubbed off this mascara, so I'm no sure who it's by! However, I love using clear mascara to both hold the curl of my eyelashes, apply a semi water resistant layer to my regular mascara and to set my eyebrows! Yes, I'm too cheap to buy eyebrow gel!

8. Maybelline Volum' Express The Colossal Mascara. The perfect combination of volume and length. Gives the roots of my lashes serious volume while giving extra length to the ends. I love this look and therefore this mascara! You can also use to to create the 'doll eyed' clumpy spider look that most people seem to love, but I'll stick to my way!

9. Barry M Nail Paint in 292 Navy. Just a beautiful everyday nail polish. A rich navy colour with a beautiful shimmer (yes, I hate glitter on my face, but love it on my nails!). Paints on lovely - opaque in just two coats and dries pretty quickly too. Has been my go-to nail polish for months and I love it!

10. Rimmel London 60 Seconds One Coat Nail Polish in 819 Green with Envy. Is it blue? Is it green? I think this nail colour is both. A aquamarine metallic polish with a tiny hint of duochrome in the right lighting. Can be worn as a day polish or for an evening out. Also dries extremely quickly without streaking - perfect for people like me with no patience!

What products would you repurchase first? Let me know in the comments! x

Thursday, 19 July 2012

7 Things for 7 Days

After reading Louise's (aka Sprinkle of Glitter) blog, I have decided to follow her example and start setting some small goals for each week in order to hopefully motivate myself into making the most of my summer holidays. As this is a Beauty blog, I'm going to limit these posts to a maximum of one update a week, but I would love for my readers to join in and try out this challenge on their own blogs! Comment me a link below and I'll happily check them out!

Photo from WeHeartIt
Read: Since I've been so busy with exams, then holidays and starting this blog, I haven't sat down to read a book in ages. This week, I'm going to start reading a novel and hopefully finish it within the week. I miss reading, and look forward to taking the time to sit back, relax and get lost in a good book.

Tidy: I'm going to tidy my desk. It's gotten slightly out of control and I'm determined to get to the place where I can see the wood again! Just need to find somewhere to store those old 'Bliss' magazines now...

Perfect: I am going to perfect the smokey eye look. I'm utterly awful at using dark eyeshadows, so am going to separate myself from my neutrals palette for a few days and master the art of the smokey eye before needing to use it on a night out.

Learn: I will finally force myself to sit down and do my Driving Test revision. Theory tests are my idea of hell, but I will definitely knuckle down and get revising this week.

Smile: As sappy as it sounds, I'm going to make people smile. Whether it's telling the angry looking lady behind the No7 counter that I like her nail polish or even just telling my friend that she makes me laugh, I'm going to try to spread some happiness around the world, or at least my local area.

Relax: I'm going to treat myself to a nice hot bath or shower, using all my 'posh' toiletries and generally giving my hair, body and face a good pampering!

Detox: My diet has been awful recently - I blame Spar's half price deals on crisps and biscuits. I'm going to have a detox day, drinking only water and eating only fruit, vegetables and lean meat along with extra special skincare and haircare to leave myself feeling healthy and happy. After this I'm going to desperately try to cut down on the rubbish I eat, but when it comes down to it, if that extra Asda cookie makes me smile, that's more important to me!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Hitlist Haul #2 Highstreet / Drugstore (and a few others!)

I decided to go shopping with my friend Emma today, to have a look around the shops and buy some more things off my Beauty Hitlist (click to view). However, I did get a little sidetracked, and had a bit of a meltdown when surrounded by the many gorgeous nail polish shades in Superdrug!

First up I went into Boots and made a beeline for the Aussie stand. I've been dying to try out some of their products for a long time now, so was excited to get my hands on them!

First up I bought two 3 Minute Miracle Deep Treatments because I want to compare them to review on here. First up was the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Luscious Long Deep Treatment. This treatment is an intensive treatment designed to help with keeping long hair moisturised without weighing it down. As I'm trying to grow my hair, this product ticks all the boxes with me! I'm looking forward to using it and will keep you all informed of how I get on with it.


I also bought the Aussie Take The Heat 3 Minute Miracle Deep Treatment. This is an intensive treatment for heat damaged hair containing Jojoba Seed Oil. I think this product would be great for days when I'm planning on curling my hair or days when I will be heavily straightening it for a special event. I know that heat treatments aren't great for my hair and will hinder it growing so I'm hoping this will help!

My most exciting beauty product (and the one I spent the longest time deciding over...) has to be the Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Green with Envy. Despite its name, it is in fact a gorgeous teal/turquoise shade with a duochrome finish. I'm in love! Hopefully it applies as well to the nails as it looks in the bottle.

And a sneaky little one on the end. I spied this light pinky coral cracked-finish friendship bracelet in the New Look sale for £2! Couldn't argue with that one! It's made of larger pink/coral balls with some smaller, eek! rose gold balls in between. Anyone who knows me knows I'm OBSESSED with rose gold, so I was super excited when I found this bracelet.

So, that was my second shopping trip to complete my Beauty Hitlist (with a few other ones that I 'just couldn't leave behind', right...?) Comment below letting me know what your thoughts are, and what products you'd like me to review!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Hitlist Haul #1 | High Street / Drugstore


After creating my Beauty Hitlist (click to view) I have been trying to pick up all the products on it that are available in my local High Street/Drugstore shops. I have been very good, only buying products from my list (I even managed to survive a half price sale in Gordons Chemists!). Here are the products I decided to buy - let me know if you want a review/swatches of any of these products in the comments below!

L: Flash R: No Flash

First up I nipped into my local Superdrug to buy the Heaven and Earth palette by MUA. I was torn between this and the Undressed palette, but chose this one as I am very much a fan of a neutral eye. It is a lovely palette, with some highlight shades, a variety of neutrals, some golden tones and a few darker shades for your crease. I adore this palette and use it every day without fail! The pigmentation is fantastic and the shades last all day for me without primer, but stay more vibrant with some concealer or face primer as a base.

After hearing such great reviews about it online and from friends and family, I decided to try the Collection 2000 (which I hear are changing their name to simply "Collection") Lasting Perfection Concealer. My colour is Fair 1 which is the lightest shade in their colour range. A word of advice however, when swatching this concealer make sure to walk around the shop for a while to let it fully oxidate as it does darken after a few minutes. I'd advise to go for a lighter shade than normal, as it will darken by approximately one colour shade. From my initial impression of this product, I'm very impressed! I'll let you all know how I get on with it after a few weeks use.

I was desperate to get my hands on this new Kohl and Contour Shadow and Light eyeliner duo by Bourjois but couldn't find it in my local Superdrug! After rummaging through the eyeliners, I could only find the darker colour (Brun) as a single. I decided to half-heartedly look in Boots and managed to grab the only one left! From swatches this is a lovely duo, rather similar to Bobbi Brown's 2011 holiday collection duo eyeliners - only a fraction of the price! I'm really excited to use this duo!

I then went into the most dangerous shop in my town - Gordon's Chemists. For those of you who don't live in the UK, Gordons is a chemists which stocks makeup, fake tan, hair dye etc. in addition to their 'daily essentials' stock. The real problem for me however, is the fact that they usually have really good sales on! They had a better than half price sale running when I visited, so it killed me to leave with just this Schwarzkopf Got 2 Be Guardian Angel Heat Protectant! On the plus side, this product is really lovely! I've always accepted that straightening my hair would leave it a little frazzled (despite the fact my hair is 90% straight naturally) but this product leaves it soft, silky and smelling lovely! I'm a convert!

On my way back to the car, I couldn't resist popping into Superdrug again and having a look at the Revlon Colourburst Lip Butters. I had my heart set on Peach Parfait, but was absolutely devastated when I swatched it and realised that it was very shimmery/glittery! I'm not a fan of too much shimmer, so decided it wasn't for me. Berry Smoothie didn't originally catch my eye until I swatched it, and realised what a beautiful colour it was. It gives my lips a healthy sheen and glow of colour, without being 'clown-like'! With my pale skin, it's hard to wear bright lipsticks, so this colour was perfect for me.

Let me know which products you would like me to review in the comments below!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

First Look | YSL Fall Collection

While I am staying firmly in 'summer mode' and refusing to think about autumn I spied that the new Yves Saint Laurent autumn collection had been released and couldn't resist a peek at it!

The collection is inspired by the rich colours found in deep in the Amazon rainforest. Greens, browns and other earthy tones are prominent throughout the collection with the occasional burst of colour breaking through with the lipsticks and eye shadow palettes.

The lipsticks (or should I say, Rouge Pur Couture The Mats) are of matte formulation, designed to give a vibrant burst of colour to the lips, without any shine. However, these stand apart from other matte lipsticks as they contain jojoba oil and a velvet complex to prevent the lipstick drying out your lips.

Next up in the collection are a trio of highlighters (Dare to Glow). They are liquid luminizers designed to give a radiant glow to your cheekbones, eyes or lips. I'm particularly drawn to the golden toned shade (Tempting Gold).

In the collection they have also released two new shades in their La Laque Couture range of nail polishes. I'm actually quite disappointed by these new shades. 'Khaki Arty' is a very brown nude, rather 'muddy' from swatches online. 'Rouge Expressionniste' is a lovely deep red shade, but at £20+? A little steep.

Another new release for fall is two new eyeshadow palettes from their 'Pure Chromatics' range. No. 10 is a range of khaki greens with a silver highlight and a gold toned green shade and No 11 follows a more 'dusky' colour scheme, with beige, grey, navy grey and chocolate shades. Beautiful, and certainly following their 'Amazonian' theme. These shadows are based on water-process technology which enhances colour pigments. This means that when used wet, the pigments in these shadows become activated, leaving a cream, pearl, metallic finish. This makes them extremely tempting, even with their £39 price tag!

The award winning Volume Effet Faux Cils mascara returns again this time with a new shade - Vert Graphite. This dark, midnight green shade is packed full of goodness for your lashes such as pro-vitamin B5 and aloe vera while maintaining your look for longer thanks to its coating film and vinyl polymers. Even the brush is cutting edge, combining nylon fibres of differing sizes to volumize and enhance lashes.

 They have also released a new shade of their Dessin Du Regard Crayon Yeux Haute Tenue eye pencils. 'Excentric Green' lives up to its name as this vibrant leaf green colour is certainly alternative, but would create a really gorgeous effect if used well. The built in blending tip also allows you to mix up your effects on the go.

The real star in this collection has to be the Palette Couture. Styled in the crocodile motif synonymous with YSL's leather goods collection. This delicate powder palette consists of a flesh tone, a warm pinky beige and a deep rosy brown which allow you to sculpt your cheeks by using the flesh tone as a highlight, pinky tone as a blush and the rosy brown as a contouring shade. Alternatively, you could blend all three colours together to create a radiant blush to suit all skin tones.

In my opinion, there are some real stars in this collection. My personal favourites are the lipsticks, mascara and of course the Palette Couture! I'm a bit disappointed with the nail polishes however, which I think simply do not justify their price tag.

YSL is available to purchase from Boots, on their website or from House of Fraser.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

£100 ASOS Blogger Challenge!

The lovely people at discount coder have launched a competition to create the hottest look you can for under £100. Here is my chosen look! I think it will be perfect for summer but could equally work well as a spring look.

This skater lace dress is from the brand ASOS petite retailing for £40.00. It is flirty and feminine and a must have for summer! Its soft round neck makes it easy to wear during the day and the cream coloured lace covering the dress makes it super easy to add bursts of colour without worrying about the look being too "clashy". I've chosen mint green accents but you could just as easily chose pink, green or any pastel colour to add a pop of colour to the outfit!

These peep toe platform heels from the ASOS collection can be bought from their site for £18.00. The platform sole makes them more comfortable to wear during the day or all night long! They also are a fab mint shade to compliment the dress but also to add some fun to the outfit! They keep in with the feminine style of the outfit and give colour without being overly clashy.

This super skinny waist belt from the ASOS collection costs only £6.00! Bargain! As skater style dresses can be a little 'boyish' on some body types this slender belt will help to cinch in the waist, giving an hourglass figure or can equally be fastened loosely as its bright burst of mint colour will take attention away from any problem areas!

This cute miniature digital watch from Casio adds some vintage thrifty chic to the the outfut without blowing the budget at £30.00. The minty turquoise face of the watch ties in with the other accent pieces while the gold strap makes this watch cute and quirky! It comes with an alarm and a stop watch, ensuring you will never be late for summer soirées, romantic meals for two or even to nab your favourite poolside deckchair!

Dress: £40
Shoes: £18
Belt: £6
Watch: £30
Total: £94
(Just enough left over for a cheeky nail polish or pair of earrings to finish off the look!)

I'll be back to beauty posts after this, unless this interested you? Comment below letting me know if I should add more fashion posts to this blog! Want to enter? Click here http://www.discountcoder.com/blog/win-big-with-our-100-asos-blogger-challenge/

Monday, 9 July 2012

Tutorial | Simple French with a Summer Twist

The classic summer style to wear on your nails has to be the traditional French Polish. A clear or sheer pink base with white tips, designed to look like your own nails, only better! However, this look does get boring when worn every day, so I decided to breathe some life into this common style by injecting some colour.

I used Revlon Nail Enamel in Dreamer for the base coat, Barry M Nail Paint in Navy for the tips and some French Tip Guides I had. However, the guides are optional - I did my other hand without guides and with some practice this can look better than the results I got from using the guides.

First of all I painted my nails with two coats of the light blue polish. Make sure to let it dry thoroughly.

When it is completely dry, apply your guides to the nails. Then paint the tips with the navy polish. Allow it to dry completely. (If you are not using guides, just paint the tips free-hand.)

Once the polish is completely dry, remove the guides and ta-da! Summery nails in less than 10 minutes!

Comment below and let me know if you tried out this nail look yourself :)

Revlon Nail Enamel in Dreamer is available from Boots or Superdrug for £6.49 and Barry M Nail Paint in Navy is available from Superdrug or Boots for £2.99.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Review | DIY Body Scrub

Yesterday I made a sugar body scrub from ingredients around my house (Click here to view my tutorial on how to make your own body scrub). After using it in my shower today, I decided to let you all know how I got on with it.

As background information, I've been a big fan of Soap and Glory's Flake Away Scrub for a few months now, so will be comparing my scrub to both it and Along Came Betty's Hey Sugar Sugar scrub. I used my scrub as the first step in my shower, before cleansing my body. I applied a grape sized amount to each zone of my body (calves, thighs, stomach, arms, chest, back) when the skin was damp and rubbed it into my skin with circular motions. Initially I was worried that the scrub was a little harsh, but due to the properties of the sugar it provided just the right level of abrasion as the granules only disappeared when I felt my skin was well exfoliated. It's rate of dissolving was similar to the Along Came Betty scrub but was faster than Soap and Glory's scrub as it contains peach seed powder which is insoluble. I actually preferred the fact that my scrub dissolved completely as I sometimes felt that I over exfoliated my skin with the Soap and Glory scrub.

The part that impressed me the most about this scrub however, was the feel it left on the skin. The oil remained on the skin throughout my shower which protected my legs from shaving - I usually get nicks and razor rash but I had no side effects to this today apart from silky smooth legs! Shaving removed most of the oil from my legs but any shower gel will also do the job nicely.

After drying off, there was an ever so slight residue on my legs, which soaked in within fifteen minutes. My legs tend to take the longest for moisturiser or fake tan to absorb in so this might just be me. It absorbed nearly instantly into my arms and upper body, leaving my skin super soft and hydrated.

In comparison, I would rate my scrub above Along Came Betty's scrub purely for the protection it gave me from shaving and the fact it was a little more exfoliating. It was on a par with Soap and Glory's scrub - performing as well on the exfoliating front but leaving the lovely residue that hydrated my skin. Soap and Glory's scrub has a gorgeous scent however, and will obviously have a longer shelf life due to the preservatives in it.

Overall, I'm a big fan of my scrub and will use it any time I can't purchase any of Soap and Glory's scrub and any time I shave my legs! Let me know in the comments how well you got on with your own sugar or salt scrubs.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Style from Scratch #2 | DIY Body Scrub

I'm a self-confessed exfoliating addict. It's only been in the past year that I've really gotten into scrubs and exfoliators, but since then I've realised what an amazing job exfoliating does to your skin. Basically, exfoliation is the removal of the dead skin cells that cling to your healthy skin. These cells make skin look dull and lifeless. When done once or twice a week, exfoliation leaves the skin feeling smoother and also makes it easy for expensive serums or moisturisers to penetrate your skin.

However, my main problem with body scrubs (I mainly just use a muslin cloth cleanser for my face) is the price. For example, Soap and Glory's Flake Away body scrub retails for £7 while more high end brands such as Neom's scrubs can reach £32. When used regularly, this soon adds up. So, I decided to make my own body scrub in the second part of my "Style from Scratch" series. This is a body scrub suitable for most skin types for use on the body only. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your own skin types/conditions.

You will need:
  • A jar to store your scrub in (jam jars work well, but I chose to use an empty jar from an old body scrub. Also to remove the sticky residue left by the label I recommend applying WD40 to the residue, leaving it to eat away at the residue for a few minutes, then rub it off and rinse under the tap.)
  • Table Sugar or Salt (Sugar can be gentler on the skin. Make sure to choose sugar/salt with small granules. If you have very sensitive skin you might want to opt for dark brown sugar however table sugar works fine with my slightly sensitive skin.)
  • A spoon
  • An essential oil (I used lavender but feel free to use any essential oil e.g. camomile, jasmine or rose)
  • Oil (I used a combination of No7 Pampering Dry Oil body spray and Bio Oil but coconut oil, almond oil, vegetable oil or baby oil work well also.)
  • Icing Sugar (optional)
  • A bowl for mixing (optional)

1.  I chose to use sugar in my scrub. Measure out the amount of sugar you want to use. If you want a full jar of scrub, fill the jar with sugar as the oil will mix with it rather than increasing the volume. I used 8 level tablespoons of sugar for my scrub.

2. I then added my No7 Pampering Dry Oil body spray. You should aim for 2 parts sugar to 1 part oil. However, depending on how soluble your sugar/salt is, you may need to add more oil. I added 3 tablespoons of the No7 Oil.

 3. I then added the Bio Oil as it is great for getting rid of scars and any blemishes on your skin. I added 1 tablespoon of this oil to created the 2:1 ratio but still found it a little dry.

4. I kept adding tablespoons of oil and stirring the mixture until I achieved a slightly liquid/watery consistancy.

 5. I then added five drops of my essential oil (lavender) to my mixture to give it a nice scent. If you're wondering, the pink tint to my scrub came from the bio oil.

6. Leave it in the fridge for 15/20 minutes to set a little. (Perfect time for a muller yoghurt or two ;) )

7. When I took it out of the fridge the mixture had come together well.

8. This was the consistency of my body scrub. This is similar to many scrubs on the market (usually in tube form) however I like mine to be a little less liquid so I added in icing sugar until it formed a thicker, less runny mixture.

So that's it! Your sugar scrub is complete. I'm going to review this scrub tomorrow when I use it in the shower and will post a review on my blog in the next few days. Also, feel free to try out different 'flavours' of scrub (no, I don't recommend eating it!) such as coconut oil and grated ginger, lemon juice and grated orange zest, puréed cucumber and melon added to the mixture, a few drops of chamomile oil added, a few drops of peppermint and eucalyptus added or why not try replacing some of the oil with warm honey and adding brown sugar for a hydrating treat?

Also, if you leave out the sugar you've got a great scented body oil to add to your bath or to simply rub into damp skin for the softest skin all day long!

Comment below telling me what YOUR favourite body scrub is and let me know what different varieties you tried out. Keep watching out for my review of this body scrub which should be up in a few days time!

My Daily Makeup Routine

As I'm planning on purchasing a lot of new products (thanks to not spending any of my holiday money!) in the next few weeks, I thought it would be helpful for you to be able to see my current daily makeup routine. I've been following this routine for the past couple of months now, so am ready to switch it up a little! If you would like a review of any of the products mentioned, please comment on this blog post and let me know.

Bare Minerals Prime Time Foundation Primer
 I use this to prime my face before applying any makeup on days where I want my makeup to stay in place all day long. The product is easily dispensed using the pump and I tend to use 1 - 2 pumps of the product depending on how awkward my skin is being. Starting at the centre of my face I will smooth it over my skin, paying the most attention to the places where my makeup moves from first like my nose and chin.
Bare Minerals Original SPF 15 Foundation in Fairly Light

 This is the foundation I currently use. I've used Bare Minerals foundations for roughly 18 months now and have seen a massive improvement in my skin during this time. The foundation applies as a powder but buffs into a cream foundation using a kabuki brush or a powder brush. I like the finish that it gives to my skin and the coverage suits my skin well also. It's so easy to apply that I can do it without a mirror - which is definitely saying something for me!

Rimmel Match Perfection Illuminating Concealer in Ivory
 Easily one of my favourite concealers of all time. I use it on my under eye circles, cheeks, nose, chin and any blemishes I might have. I also have some minor scars on my face and I find this can conceal them a little rather than illuminating them! However this concealer also works well as a highlight if applied to skin over foundation. It also adapts to suit your skin tone which is one reason why it's impossible to photograph once blended!

Bare Minerals READY Blush in The Aphrodisiac
Words cannot describe my love for this blush. It's a peachy coral shade with a very subtle gold shimmer which is only noticeable when the light hits it. I use a few swirls of it on the apples of my cheeks to give my fair skin a bit of life and colour without looking like a clown!

Clinique Gentle Light Powder in Glow*
 If I fancy a more subtle cheek colour I will use this glowing powder. I have a sample size from a sample kit given to me by my mum.It gives my pale skin a slightly golden glow and I use this in place of a bronzer during the winter (because I'm sadly that pale) and during the summer I use it as an overall boost for my still rather pasty skin! It has sadly been discontinued, however.

GOSH Kohl/Eyeliner in White
 I use white eyeliner nearly every day to brighten my eye area. I will apply a little to my waterline and inner corner and smudge a little onto my brow bone to define these areas. I will usually use a fluffy blending eyeshadow brush to make the eyeliner a little more subtle. This eyeliner is soft, highly pigmented and is affordable to boot!

Rimmel London Exaggerate Eye Liner in 100% Black
 If I feel like liquid liner I always reach for this particular one. I like its thin felt tip type applicator and strong pigmentation - perfect for me as I'm usually terrible at liquid liner!

Superdrug Eyelash Curler
This is Superdrug's own brand eyelash curler. It's cheap, comes with two refill pads and does the job with no fuss. Sorted.

Maybelline The Colossal Volum' Express Waterproof Mascara
 My all-time favourite mascara. Applies easily, doesn't move or smudge and isn't overly clumpy or 'wet' to boot. I've yet to find a mascara that is as good as this one for the price. I've been using this range of mascaras for two years now and I think they will be in my makeup bag for a while yet!

Lip Gloss from a Boots Giftset
This lip gloss unfortunately doesn't come with a name or brand, sorry! I'll keep this brief, I promise! This gloss is moisturising, totally non-sticky and well pigmented with a rich corally pink. Yes, I'm a little obsessed with pinky corals at the minute.

Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips tin
(Swatches: Vaseline = Left, Boots Gloss = Right)
 Everyone's heard of Vaseline's little tins of lip therapy. They work to form a protective barrier over the lips to keep the moisture in and this tin is also well pigmented with a rosy pink tone. I find this quite nourishing on my lips, unlike the traditional Vaseline tins. I've also had this for ages, and it just seems to keep going! Great value for money from these little tins.

So, this is my everyday makeup routine for days where I'm just going into town, going to school or just not doing anything overly exciting. Comment below if you'd be interested in seeing my makeup brush collection!