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all items marked with a asterisk (*) are gifted items, pr samples or paid for with gift vouchers/store credit, for more information read:
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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

clarisonic mia: thoughts so far

Clarisonic Mia: £120

This isn't a full blown review, as I've only been using my Clarisonic Mia for a few weeks, just my initial thoughts on my experience with it so far. I paid £93 for my Clarisonic on ASOS a few weeks before Christmas, I've wanted one for ages but the huge price tag has always put me off. Not being a skincare junkie I didn't want to spend all that money on something that may or may not work. However like most things I want I do eventually cave in and buy them!

I had a really bad experience with it at first, I actually gave up using it for a week as I couldn't cope with all the spots I'd got from it. Your supposed to go through a "purging" phase which lasts 1-2 weeks, but mine was more like 3 weeks. Its the period where all the stuff under your skin comes to the surface and breaks you out. I had really horrible spots all over my chin and nose. Im not normally really spotty, I get the occasional breakout but this was horrible. My skin looked terrible. I was so dishearted by it all I was blaming everything from my Dermalogica Cleanser to not washing my brushes before realising it was the Clarisonic that was doing it do me. Although, I have noticed my skin is SO much brighter, so clean and fresh looking. Its really improved the sallow look I used to have to my skin. My skintone has gone from being very dull to a much brighter clearer shade. I havent noticed much decrease in my blackheads though which Im dissapointed about.

I've been using this with a cream cleanser, like Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, but I think a foaming cleanser might work just as well. I use it three times a week, I started off using it daily and my breakouts were insane. Toning it down to three times a week has kept my skin feeling smooth but not as broken out.Currently I still have some spots from "the purging period" that are refusing to budge, although overall my skin has improved alot. I'll update again when I've used it for a few more weeks, so far I think its a really good tool, but just so expensive. I do sort of question is it really worth it at this stage. Like I said I'll update in three weeks with my final thoughts on it!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo

Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo photos Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo review
Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo: boots/superdrug (£3.99)*

I remember when the Batiste XXL Volume came out last year(?), there was a lot of hype about it in the blogasphere. As per everything that comes into blogging favour I (naturally) really wanted it. I was forever checking my local Boots and Superdrug but they were constantly sold out. Im sure most people are familiar with Bastiste, its the dry shampoo of dry shampoo and if you don't own a can you should rethink your life. They are a absolute life saver on limp or greasy hair days to add a bit of texture or remove the greasy-ness

After being pointed out a few weeks ago this was in a goodybag of an event I'd gone to and I realised was actually already using it thinking it was just the plain old Batiste. I hadn't really noticed the difference between they two, Maybe it was just because I'd just assumed it was the same. I tend to use Batiste to mattify my hair, as its so long and straight its quite hard to get that "OOMPH" after I wash it. Its always a bit too "soft to style" so I give it a good blast with some dry shampoo. XXL Volume does a good job of mattifying the hair and giving some styling help. Its basically a mix between hair spray and dry shampoo. You spray it into the roots then just fluff your hair up a bit for a bit of volume! I dont find the volume last that long though, the dry shampoo element does work, but then I think the hair spray/voluminous side just doesnt have the longevity. It doesn't feel horrible in the hair, but it does make it feel alot stiffer than just a dry shampoo. You do have to make sure you give it a good shake to make sure none of the whiteness is showing either, which is hard when your hairs a bit stiffer from the product.

Overall I think the XXL Volume Batiste is OK, Definitely not a life changer. Its pretty good and Im sure I'll use this giant bottle up. But I do think I prefer the regular Batiste (Tropical is my fave!) for greasy hair days, and then the XXL Volume for just adding a bit of body and volume. Its more of a styling product than a dry shampoo. It doesnt really do anything that special though!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

crest white strips

crest white strips
crest white strips: ebay (£6.50 week supply)
crest white strip 2 hour advance seal: ebay (£6.57 one set of strips)

Like most people, Im constantly on the hunt for white teeth. If I had the money I'd get a full set of veneers, but until then Im stuck with highstreet bleaching (I've never had but its really unsafe and I really dont recommend) or home treatments. I've used lots of different things over the years to vary degrees of success. I drink way to much coffee and coke and I wish I could just stop as I know my teeth are suffering but I'm just addicted. I think as well that my teeth just naturally aren't that Hollywood white smile I really want.

Crest White Strips seem to get rave reviews over in the States so naturally, I had to try. I've tried both the normal white strips that you use everyday as well as the Two Hour Express ones. You cant actually buy these in store the UK at the moment so I tend to buy off ebay sellers. You can get them from the UK or US sellers, depends on who your comfortable buying from.

They are really easy to apply, are not particularly uncomfortable to wear. I tend to use 2 Hour Advance strips once every 3-4 months then use the regular ones once a week.  The Two Hour strips are for a harsh bleaching process. I find they do make your teeth quite sensitive the next day even if you don't have sensitive teeth. But the uncomfortable feeling does go away after a few hours. They are intended for maximum whiteness in the shortest amount of time. The regular white strips aren't as harsh, but you don't get results as quickly as you would do with the 2 hour ones. Your supposed to use the regular ones everyday, but I think its quite hard to actually remember to put them on. When I was at uni I used to wear them on my drive to Hereford each morning! But its so easy to forget.

I wouldnt recommend these at all if you have sensitive teeth. However I can confirm they do actually work and you can definely see the improvement in your teeth colour time. I havent achieved as white as I'd like and highly doubt I ever will until I pay up and get them whitened professionally!But these are good if your on a budget and can deal with the uncomfortable-ness for a few hours after using them.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

american apparel nail polish in l'espirt

american apparel nail polish in l'espirt photo american apparel nail polish in l'espirt review american apparel nail polish in l'espirt swatch american apparel nail polish in l'espirt on nails
american apparel nail polish in l'espirt: asos (£7)

As part of my Asos Future Stylist entry I was given some money to use towards my outfit, I picked out two American Apparel nail polishes as I was interested in trying them out and L'Espirit colour was perfect for the look I was going for.  I am occasionally swayed to part with the cash for American Apparel items,  Their leggings are my all time favourites. However I do think their prices can be over inflated. At £9 (they are cheaper on ASOS, but not the whole shade range of colours is online!) a polish its cheaper than OPI but still quite expensive compared to Models own or even lower down the price chart Barry M.

Of the two shades I've tried (Poppy Red & L'Espirt) both are one coat opaque, However I tend to use two coats, just out of habit and I feel the extra coat just smoothes everything down nicely. They dry down amazingly quickly, perfect if you need a quick manicure on the go. I experienced really minor tip wear (without a top coat!) considering I've wore it for 4 days while moving house. L'Espirt is a pretty grey-lavender-blue toned cream polish, I think its absolutely stunning. At first I thought it looked a bit like Models Own BlooBloo, but its got a gorgeous purple tone to it that BlooBloo lacks. In different lights it can look a creamy blue in others a warmish lavender, it even looks a touch grey.

AA Nails has a wonderful shade range, it contains a fair few really unique polishes that I haven't seen before as well as some lovely classic colours. They also are Cruelty, DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde free. These polishes completely live up to my expectation and certainly do all the things they claim to do. Pricey for nail polish but something I'd very much recommend as they actually do what they claim and are of a really high quality.  Worth the money in other words! I'll definitely be making more purchases of these in the future.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

revlon pink about it

revlon matte lipstick in pink about it: ebay (discontinued shade, £2.99) 

When I reviewed the Really Red Revlon lipstick I knew the formula was going to be a winner with me so I went out and bought two more. This shade has actually been discontinued so I picked it up on ebay for around £3. After doing some searching online it seems Revlon have a habit of bringing out these lipsticks in the matte range then discontinuing them soon after. They are much cheaper on ebay than in store (£7.49) and have a large shade variety.

Revlon Pink about it is not as pink as I imagined it would be. On me it leads very orangey-peachy toned but still has pink undertones rather than being a full on pink lipstick. Its a warm toned hot pink which I think could almost be described as a coral/red. It is still pink though, I think its quite a unique shade which would probably look different on different people depending on your colouring or pigmentation of your lips. Like the other matte lipsticks in the Revlon range Pink About it is a matte and has suede feeling to it, The formula is similar to a MAC Satin Finish lipstick. Its full coverage in one swipe. It stained my lips when I wore it which was really frustrating as when I wanted to change lipsticks it made them look way too red.

I think the lipstick is really good, but its not my colour as I prefer much cooler neutral pinks. The Revlon Matte formula is still one of my favourite lipstick formulas I've tried (drugstore and high end) and I'd really recommend trying them out if your a fan of matte lipsticks that dont suck the moisture out of your lips completely!

Friday, 20 January 2012

giveaway: £200 selfridges vouchers via pinspire

Sponsored Post
Pinspire is a innovative concept that allows users to collect and share contents on the web. A visual mood board of images from around the web collated into a large online visual "collections". A scrapbook for the digital age! It's great for gathering inspiration for DIY projects, outfit inspiration or just browsing through artwork. Saves on printing out images or taking up valuable hard drive space! Pinspire is free to sign up for and open to everyone and everyone- no invite needed.
Pinspire are currently running a competition on a few blogs, Where if you to sign up to the website before February 1st you will be entered into a prize draw where you can win £200 of Selfridges vouchers to spend in store on whatever you fancy! Maybe it would help you recreate some of your favourite makeup looks you've pinned or even help towards that designer handbag you've been lusting over!

Simply sign up and comment below with a link to any image you found on the website that you liked or even a profile of someone you like on there. Make sure you leave a contact email so you can be contacted when the draw is being counted! All comments will be passed on to Pinspire and then picked randomly using a random number generator.

DISCLAIMER: I am not running this giveaway, just hosting it on my blog. Therefore I will not be involved with picking the winner and not responsible for getting the prize to the eventual winner.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

benefit b.right radiant skincare set

benefit b.right radiant skincare set
benefit b.right radiant skincare set
benefit b.right radiant skincare set
benefit b.right radiant skincare set
benefit b.right radiant skincare set
b.right radiant skincare 6 piece miniature set: asos (£10)

For someone who isn't sure about Benefit I've been posting about them quite a bit recently! I just thought I'd share this mini Benefit skincare kit that I spotted on ASOS for a cool £10. As I thought it would make a great little gift idea if you were on a tight budget. I was drawn to the kit as, similarly to the Benefit Tan About Town Kit, it has that "brand name appeal" without breaking the bank.

In the Benefit b.right radiant skincare set you get 6 sample sized items from Benefits skin care range in a clear plastic makeup bag. The kit contains a miniature triple performance facial emulsion, moisture prep toning lotion, foamingly clean facial wash, refined finish facial polish, total moisture facial cream and it’s potent eye cream. They all come in nice study glass packaging or heavy plastic which makes the kit feel alot more expensive than it is. I've heard a bit about the B.right skincare range when it launched from reviews on Temptalia, but I've not tried it out myself. I think the packaging is really nice and simple for Benefit. Although it does have that playful element that runs through the whole Benefit skincare range it also reminds me of all the old fashioned lotions and potions my Granny would have in her bathroom. The samples/miniatures are generous sample sizes would last a week or two at a push. Which is generally enough time to try out a product! I know from experience its so annoying buying a full size kit of face products only for them not to work for you.

I actually bought this one for a friend who I know needs a bit of cheering up so I bough her the gift! Like I said Ive not actually tried the products themselves, But I am tempted to buy myself a little kit to try though. The price is really good at less than £2 per item, and coming in a clear zippable pouch which can be used for other things. This is something I'd personally like to received off someone as a gift! So I think she'd appreciate it. I think I will probably end up buying myself a set of Benefit b.right radiant skincare to try out to review, so do watch this space! I thought I'd just share this as a little gift idea right now though! I find it so hard to buy presents for people sometimes so this may help those of you with a friend/sister/whatever's birthday coming up and if you're on a budget!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

which beauty box do you reccommend?

uk best beauty box

Choosing which beauty box to subscribe to is HARD. Really hard, essentially your putting your faith in a company to give you a good return on £10-£13 a month for 5-6 product samples. I'm always asked which beauty box I'd recommend, and I can't honestly answer that question. Seeing as contents vary from month to month there is no real way of me saying "this service is better than this one" as every month the samples are different, its all down to personal preference and your taste.

One month could be an amazing beauty box the next could be a terrible one, They are incredibly unpredictable. However one persons rubbish is another ones treasure. For example I know I don't like Carmine, I got the first box, thought it wasn't for me and unsubscribed, I then resubscribed and got another two boxes which I didn't like (I didnt even post about them so it says alot!). So Carmine has beens eliminated for me. However I know a lot of people love Carmine as they tend to give out make up samples (which I don't want).

At the end of the day your the only one that can decide which box you feel is right for you. The more I think about it the more I realise beauty boxes are a bit of a waste of money. Especially if you cant afford to waste money each month on things you might not like. Sometimes I think I should have spent that tenner on one product I wanted rather than 5 that I probably wont use. I see alot of people commenting on the beauty box Facebook pages requesting Nars or MAC stuff in their boxes, but you have to realise that beauty boxes aren't an excuse to stock up on high end products. They are samples for you to try and see if you like. Beauty boxes aren't trying to give you products for cheap, they are giving you a sample in the hope that you'd like it and go on to buy full size. Would you rather have a full size MAC eye-shadow (£12 or £10 if you wanted one in a pan!) that you know you'll love because you picked it yourself or risk that money on 5 you might not?

I don't think beauty boxes are for everybody. I subscribe to (and pay for)  Feel Unique and then get Glossy Box and Jolie Box sent for free for me to review. I know for a fact that if I wasn't getting the two free I wouldn't be paying for all three. That'd be over £30 a month I'd be essentially gambling away. I wouldn't personally recommend subscribing to more than one box. I do know that if it came down to only choosing one box, I wouldn't know which I'd choose to keep.  Its worth checking through reviews to get a "feel" for the types of brands and contents each beauty box service puts in. But in reality there really is no way for me to say which is the best, or which one might be right for you.
Would be great if you could leave in the comments which box (if any) you subscribe to and why you personally picked that box!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Benefit The POREfessional

benefit the porefessional review benefit the porefessional review benefit the porefessional review benefit the porefessional review
Benefit The POREfessional: debenhams (£23.50)* 

Benefit The POREfessional is described as a "pro balm to minimize the appearance of pores". It's a flesh-toned silky, oil-free and completely lightweight makeup primer. The POREfessional works really well at mattifying the skin without it looking dry or ashy. My skin just looks very matte and natural and also does nice job of evening out my skin tone before applying foundation. I don't think my pores vanish but I do think they look alot less noticeable. It makes a really good base for make-up, I love blending my foundation over it as its just so smooth! My make up lasts me a fair amount of time before I get a bit oily on my t-zone (my major problem areas, so I expect it) but I find the make up on my cheeks still stays put and no signs of pores coming through. It does say you can apply it over your make-up but I personally don't think this works too well, I like my make-up powdered and matte and applying a balm over it just makes it look a touch messy, so I wouldn't recommend trying it like that.

When I started using this I wasn't wowed buy it, Initially I thought of it as "just another primer". I then stopped using it for a bit and really noticed how different my skin did look when I used it. I do think its a really good product and I'll more than likely buy it again, after all I did include it in my top face products of 2011. The price is really high, like alot of Benefit products I think its a touch over priced. Id say £15-£18 would have been more appropriate. However knowing me this will become an expensive addiction!

Monday, 16 January 2012

MAC Pink Nouveau

review mac pink nouveau review mac pink nouveau review mac pink nouveau review mac pink nouveau review mac pink nouveau
MAC Pink Nouveau: MAC Cosmetics (£13.50) 

MAC Pink Nouveau is a satin finished lipstick in a blue toned bright medium pink colour. I don't normally like too blue toned lipstick (MAC Snob) as they dont tend to suit my awkward skin tone, However on me it does look like a bright barbie pink. Its not a neon pink, but very bright and a really fun colour pop. I quite like satin finished lipsticks, they are similar to the MAC Matte formula, but a touch glossier. The formula reminds me of Revlons Matte lipsticks, matte but still has a bit of slip so it doesnt feel too dry. The colour would suit a range of skin tones, providing your not scared about doing a statement lip!

MAC Pink Nouveau is a big, bold lipstick colour but I think its suitable enough for everyday wear too, maybe paired with a simple neutral eye look. I honestly dont know when I bought this, I found it under my bed while I was clearing stuff out! It was still boxed and unopened! Pink Nouveau is big with all the celebs~ so its a really popular MAC shade. Once I realised I owned it I did a happy dance (photographed it) then applied it straight away. I'm so happy that I discovered this again!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

teasing backcomb brush

backcombing brush llymlrs hair backcombing brush llymlrs hair
teasing brush: ebay  (alternative seller!)(£1.45) 

I bought this back combing brush off ebay a few weeks ago after I'd misplaced my usual rat tailed comb. It was only a couple of quid so I didn't think too much of it if they didnt work. Its literally the best thing ever. I was surprised it took me so long to cave in and buy one! The comb provides a nice compact tease at the root of the hair which means you dont need to back comb too much (which can damage the hair). Personally I don't particularly find it *too* damaging (considering your backcombing!), I feel that I don't need to put too much effort into the tease, as I would with a regular comb. This is probably because of the rougher bristles, which seem to "mess up" the hair a bit more.  I like the tail end as well to section off the sections of my hair that need to be teased (usually the crown and then the side parts). Its fairly easy to brush out as well which is a godsend. I spent half my teenage years trying to comb out dodgy emo hair!

Id really recommend this back combing brush if you wanted to get volume with very little effort. For the price you cant really go wrong! I know not everyone agree's with back combing, but I find its the only thing that really gives my long hair volume that actually lasts.
In the next few weeks I'll be doing a post on how I do all my hair styles, so I'll be reviewing alot of the things I actually use up until then for reference in the posts!
PS. I cant believe the item sold out! It was 2 sales when I posted the link on Sunday! I have added an alternative seller selling the same brush for 10p more! Hope people like the brush as much as I do after enabling all these people to buy one!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Benefit POWda WOWza

llymlrs Benefit POWda WOWza review llymlrs Benefit POWda WOWza review llymlrs Benefit POWda WOWza review
Benefit POWda WOWza: debenhams (£19.50)*

I bought this with a voucher I got at the Debenhams Press day alongside a few other items (including the Chanel Eyeshadow Im obsessed with!). Im not really the biggest Benefit fan, I think their packaging puts me off a little. Mainly because Im not into that retro-girly-whimsical sort of look so its not to my taste. I always hear people raving about the products, and I am intrigued by the brand,I just dont know why Im so tentative when buying things from them!

I decided upon the Benefit POWda WOWza face kit which contains 3 of Benefits most popular face powders: Hoola Bronzer, Coralista Blusher and Bella Bamba Blusher. All the powders are soft and easy to blend.  For cardboard packaging I'm surprised how well its made, its very sturdy and solid and doesnt feel like its going to break, although if you chucked it in a makeup bag it would probably end up a bit tatty looking!

Hoola: This is the same size as the little one I got in the Tan about Town kit, I actually really like it. At first I thought it was a bit grey but actually looks alot warmer on my skin. Because its a matte powder its great for contouring your face. Its a very natural and subtle bronzer.

Coralista: I've really wanted to try Coralista for a long time as I imagined I would love it. Being a warm toned peachy coral, it sounded perfect. However it just doesnt really show up on my skin, Maybe because I do like to be tan (orange) but overall felt the colour wasn't there for me. I have been wearing it with the Balm Frat Boy on the apples of my cheeks as the powder does give my skin a lovely glow,just not enough colour for my personal tastes.

Bella Bamba: This is probably my favourite of the two blushes, its a bright medium toned pink with a golden shimmer running through it. Initially I thought it was a standard Nars Orgasm variation but it does pull alot pinker. Its fairly pigmented and gives the face a nice glow.

Overall I'd really recommend this Benefit POWda WOWza face kit, its good value considering you get three of Benefits most popular shades in one box. I dont personally go through a whole blush so its nice to have them without committing to full size. A full size Benefit box powder is £23.50 after all. After a quick google I've seen it reduced to around £13 at a few places but they are sold out. Its worth looking around though! It is limited edition, but if you can get your hands on it I highly reccomend it if your just starting to build up a Benefit collection.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

nailene full cover nails

nailene full over nails in petite square: superdrug/boots/asda (approx £8) *

I love Nailene nails, I've banged on about them many times before but I thought I'd "review" them just for record. Im going to be writing a definitive "how I do my nails" post in the next week, So I thought I best type up some reviews to go along side! I wear fake nails pretty much every day, any post you see me showing my nails, those nails are fakies. My nails are in terrible condition and I can shamefully say I dont really care that much! Smack me on the wrists if you like! I really dislike my natural nails shape too, my nail beds are really ugly and I just overall hate my natural nails!

For everyday use I wear the Nailene 200 full cover nails in petite square. I wear petite nails, because as the name suggests I have small nails. I find the regular sized Nailene 200 nails ones too be far too big and I end up using too many of the smaller ones. I like how the petite nails are also really short, which makes them perfect for daily wear. I think the nails are a nice natural and easy to manage length. They are comfortable, easy to type in and I dont end up having to dig and rubbish from under my nails constantly! The nails themselves are easy to apply and bend easily to fit the nail underneath, because theres a good size range of nails its simple and quick to fit them.

I HIGHLY recommend these nails if your looking for a really easy way of making your nails look nice without faff. They take about 5 minutes to apply a full set and last about 3-4 days. You can get the Nailene 200 nails in various other styles too including longer nails and larger nail sizes!
I have recently been sent alot of Nailene products, not beacause they want me to feature them its because I've raved so much in the past about the brand. I've bought from them for years. Them giving me items doesnt affect my feelings on the brand, I will continue to buy these nails long after the ones gifted are used up!

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