30 June 2011

The Boys That Blog!

malebloggers

Sometimes however much I love reading girly blogs all about makeup and fashion it's nice to see a man's perspective on things - especially when it comes to style, beauty and all things cool, really! It also basically stops me from buying GQ magazine each month and looking like a weirdo reading a men's magazine out in public.
So here are the four blogs all wrote by men than I religiously read! They all definitely have something different to offer and all deserve a lot more readers than they already have - so get following* ladies!

*Just click the screenshots to get to each blog. 
Arash Mazinani
Arash

Arash's style blog is actually one of my favourites to read in general, his content is always interesting, engaging and he has such a great writing style that connects with both men and women! I mean he can write an article on Bikini Basics and it all just makes sense and it definitely doesn't come across Gokalious in the slightest! His blog also has the feel-good factor about it through his knowledge of fashion and style - take his post on Dress sizes & Self Esteem, of course we all know about vanity sizing and how we can be a size 8 top in one shop and then a size 12 in another. But his post outlined (especially the diagram) how crazy sizing can be and even how one shop can have different sizes of one size! None of it is rocket science but he writes in such a way which every woman can relate to and even feels better and more knowledgeable from - which is exactly why I love his blog!

Danny Kelly 
Danny Kelly

Danny Kelly's blog is understated and basically short and sweet... which is what a lot of blogs can lack sometimes! He doesn't try hard - his posts are two sentences at most with an image or video but they are always interesting and varied which is what I like about them. You can tell he slightly loves himself (but then again wouldn't you if you were that hot?) though he doesn't take himself too seriously which balances things out and you can definitely tell he likes hot women as he does tend to post random pictures of semi-undressed ladies, so really it is a man's type of blog and I shouldn't love it as much as I do! But like GQ magazine it shows me a different view of things that I'd never normally come across which makes it appealing and actually quite relaxing to scan though! If you don't already read any blogs wrote by men then definitely start with this.

Boy Meets Fashion 
boy meets fashion

I'm literally in awe of Jai'me's blog! If I ever had the knowledge/style to create a fashion blog this is what it would look like (minus the amazing photography)! His blog is just so interesting and I don't even love fashion that much, but I think it's because his blog is so different to most other fashion blogs. It's about events, people, premiers, displays, shop windows and he documents it all with his amazing photography skills. He also gives more insight though his photography than most blogs I've seen with lots of detail and interesting portraits of people that he meets at various events. Here are my favourite posts so far from Jai'me - A long line of new shoes outside at night, Vera Wang and Leighton Meester at Harrods, Royal Wedding inspired shop windows.

The Chap
The Chap blog

The Chap's blog is definitely a blog aimed at male grooming and is packed full with product reviews of all different types - though quite a few of his reviews are suitable products for women (I especially like his posts of Dental Hygiene products). But it's also a blog definitely worth bookmarking on your boyfriends laptop to encourage a bit of self-grooming, which is exactly what I did and I have definitely seen an increase in my boy's spending in Boots! I can 100% see this blog really appealing to most men as is doesn't go into detail about looking styled or buff! It's just to the point and honest - which is what I think men need.

Of course these aren't the only male bloggers that blog about grooming or style but they are the ones I love and I think are doing it really well! 

Feel free to leave me links to any male blogs you read as I definitely need a few more on my Bloglovin' list.

24 June 2011

An Obsession with Glittery Top Coats


ghetq4hj

I thought I hadn't done a nail post in quite some time so I decided to dig out all my wonderful glittery top coats and talk about them! As I have quite a lot (around 20) and they are all super cheap!

Now of course some people won't like glittery/sparkly top coats but I personally love them, especially over nude or greige shades and sometimes over really bright shades in summer. I just think you can actually get so much use out of a a single bottle of glittery nail polish - which is why I seem to have so many! Also glitter nail polishes don't really tend to vary in formula and are all pretty easy to apply.

Gosh - Silver Star (£4.75)
The first polish (above) is maybe my favourite glitter top coat. Well it's my definite favourite over nude nails as it some how make them look so glossy and chic which I think is down to the size and shape of the flecks of glitter. As you can see the flecks are all little shards so quite different from most glitter nail polishes.
 
thhtht

Revlon - Silver Belle (£1.50)
I love Revlon as a brand but can't believe they don't have a single glitter nail polish in their current nail polish line. So I had to purchase this from Fragrance Direct for an amazing £1.50! The shade is called Belle but there are quite a few different shades of glitter (here) from a past range, which I'm sure I will gradually buy. The nail polish as I'm sure you can see is made up from lots of tiny flecks of circular glitter and the odd hexagonal pieces, which really catch the light! You really cannot go wrong with this nail polish plus the bottle is a huge 14.7ml!

gnnrtghjn

Maybelline - Flash Cosmic (£3.12) or from Boots £4.10
For a high street brand that is such a great, unique nail polish! I love the fairly new Maybelline nail polish range with all the different shades of nude, but the polish above instantly caught my attention. The bottle however strange is sounds actually looks like it is glowing in certain lights - like a jellyfish! Which also means it's hard to photograph and also to fully explain. The glitter is similar in size to the glitter of the Revlon nail polish above however is transparent/electric blue. The only downside to the beauty of the glitter is that in some lights the flecks look yellow-ish and like little pits in the nail polish. 

thrh

George @ Asda in-store - Starry Eyed (£1.00)
This is my most recent glitter nail polish that I picked up from Asda for £1! Now from instantly looking at it and it's lack of glitter I knew it would be a subtle glitter polish but that's actually a nice thing (for me) as glitter nail polishes can be a bit full on sometimes. This is the ideal glitter nail polish to wear over any neutral shade as it just looks as if it's part of the shade and not a top coat. It also looks really chic when it catches the light - so an all round great shade that has impressed me more than I thought it would!

brfgregh

Kiko - Sparkle touch 230
This is a polish that Fiamma actually sent me - so it's sadly not available in the UK but I'm sure you can get it in other parts of Europe and of course definitely in Italy. This is just such a fun glitter polish with all different micro flecks that can be worn as one coat over a normal nail polish (as above) or can be easily built up to look more like an opaque nail polish . It also looks great over light nude shades for nights outs as it looks very glam and sparkly!

thnjthj

Barry M - Hologram Hexograms (£3.00)
Barry M was how I first got obsessed by glitter nail polishes and I remember really loving this when I bought it - but now, not so much as it's a bit too simple for my liking. But if you like really chunky glitter then you will love this! There isn't much to say about the nail polish, other than it applies perfectly and the bottle will last you forever and a day. Also the shades 'Once upon a time' and both the blue and red glitters are definitely worth a look as well! 

ghteh

NYC - Starry Silver Glitter ( £1.99 in-store at Superdrug)
Another kind of favourite for how unique it is (though Bourjois do one very similar), just love the combination of the pink and blue hexagons in the sea of the tiny flecks of glitter. Just a really fun mix that makes me want NYC to bring out more like this with different colour combinations. It also lasts pretty well on the nails without chipping off which I'm a definite fan off.

So that's it... for now! I'm sure I will do a part 2 at some stage seeing as I have lots more - especially more coloured glitter nail polishes and opaque formulas! 

 

16 June 2011

Free No7 £5 Voucher Time, Again!

No7

At the beginning of this year I wrote a guide on how to spend your No7 £5 vouchers as they seem to be around every few months now! So feel free to have a read here. But this is kind of a 'haul' of products I bought around 2 weeks ago now - with quite mixed reviews!

Firstly I guess it's important to mention that the vouchers do run out on the 19th June (so in a few days) so if you have any make sure to get down to Boots and use them, even if it's just on something like the No7 cosmetic sponges which are under £5, so the product would actually be free! 

Anyways lets get down to business seeing as I used 8 vouchers in total - so of course all the products below I purchased for £5 less than stated.

hhthj

No7 Beautiful Brow Pencil (10 Brown/Black) - £7.50
I actually bought this as I tried another shade ( 15 Blonde) last year which came as a free gift and even though it was definitely the wrong shade for me I thought it would be an okay product if I got the shade right. Which is why I picked up brown/black but again it's just the wrong shade and I'm now thinking the whole range of shades is a bit poop and the actual product isn't all that great either. 
In my head the shade brown/black is exactly that... brown that is veering towards black so quite a dark cool toned brown. But this is a warm red toned brown that makes my blonde eyebrows look slightly ginger. As for the texture the pencil instead of applying the colour to the hairs of the eyebrows it actually puts more colour down on the skin under the eyebrows, if that makes any sense.  As for the other end, I can only liken it too a pipe cleaner! So all in all for me personally a total fail of a product.

gtryt

N07 Quick Cover Blemish Stick (03 Fair) - £8.00
I must of spoken about this concealer more than 5 times already, so here is a more in depth review if you want to read it. The shade range is fairly small (nothing new for the high street) but is particularly good for anyone with fair skin. From using the concealer for the last few years I can say it's aimed at oily/combination skin and is a cream to powder formulation so it soaks up any excess oils, which is why it's called a Blemish stick. Though you can use it to concealer anything - except maybe not under the eyes as it can be slightly to powdery depending on your own skin. The coverage is really great and will conceal any redness or spots like a dream. The only slightly downside to the product that I can see is that it's not so great hygiene wise, though I use a clean No7 Precision eyeliner brush (£6.75) to dot the concealer on my face and then I blend with a Sigma tapered blending E40 brush, though you could use the blend & contour eye brush by No7. Basically if you have oily/spot prone skin you should love this product!

N07 Smoothing & Brightening Eye Base - £7.75
To be honest this was a last minute purchase as Boots was just closing and I knew in the back of my mind it was a product for more mature skin but for some silly reason I bought it and hoped for the best. But this is basically an 'anti-aging' product and definitely not an eye primer as I was hoping for. The basic problem being the peach toned product is wasted on my eyelids as there is nothing to brighten and also the product is clearly suited to older more drier eyelids, so it actually makes my quite oily eyelids even more oily! So the product isn't bad it's just not suited to everyone - which it should really state I'm thinking!

ghtrh

No7 Golden Palms Nail Polish - £7.00
There isn't a lot to say about the polish as you can see how beautiful it is in the swatch above. But the one thing I can say is it takes FOREVER to dry... and I literally mean for-ever, which can be quite annoying as you think it will be dry after a few minutes and you either catch your nails on something or you touch it and get a nice fingerprint in it! But if you can put up with that, then you will be fine and also very happy with the shade.
 
No7 Stay Perfect Coral Kiss - £7.00
Is this called Coral Kiss? Or have I just made it up? I haven't got the bottle to hand and it's not on the Boots website, you see! However it is called 'Coral something' that is something I'm sure off. Anyway this is just a great red/coral nail polish that is perfect for summer on the finger nails or toes and actually lasts quite well! Really great shade for only £2 with the voucher.  

jiojioh

No7 Lift and Curve Eyelash Curler - £6.64
For £1.64 I couldn't resist buying these as my then current No7 eyelash curlers where on their way out and had started to wear on the eyelash pads. These definitely perform well and give a nice lift to the lashes that looks natural unlike a few eyelashes curlers I have tried in the past and binned. Also love the gunmetal finish to them!

I can't say I'm an expert in eyelash curlers but for the price with the vouchers they are 100% worth trying out or having as a spare pair.
 
hhhhh

No7 Pampering Dry Oil Body Spray - £8.75
This is a totally new product for me and again one I purchase in a bit of a hurry, but so far so good! I've never used a dry oil before, so again don't take my word for what I think of it. The oil comes in quite a large 200ml bottle with a spritz pump at the top and is for spraying on the slightly damp skin after a shower or bath. As it is a dry oil it definitely isn't refreshing and to be honest you can hardly feel anything whilst spraying it onto the skin. But after a few minutes it soaks into the skin and acts as a moisturizer which seems to make the skin softer for a day or so. This is basically the lazy persons version of moisturizing after a shower! All in all not a wonder product but one that I've been using after every shower as it so quick and easy to use.
 
No7 Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser - £9.00
Another product that I've been using for a long time now and one that I bought as a back up for when I run out. I like to think of this as the savvy version of the iconic Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (which I also own) as it is just as affective and is also just as mild on the skin - however I'd say the Liz Earle version is better for problematic skin. The cleanser will seriously last you a long, long time and has the added benefit of a clear tube so you can see your usage. Though the only downside is the muslin cloth that is included in the box as it is quite stiff and basically rubbish - so I'd either suggest buying a few better quality ones online or from Mothercare, or even using a facial brush with the cleanser. 


 As for other newer No7 products I've tried and loved I really love the No7 Metallic Eye Pencils (£7.75) and of course all the No7 brushes, in particular the Eyeshadow Blend and Contour brush (£6.75) which I actually own four of now!
 

14 June 2011

Highstreet Makeup Brands I Haven't Tried!

In the last 9 years that I've been buying makeup I've tried a lot and it's been mainly high street! So I thought it would be interesting to see which brands I've not actually tried and why that is the case! 

loreal

L'Oreal 
I never even tried Elnett can you believe! Yes, this is a big one... I mean L'oreal is pretty huge and from looking online they do some pretty good products that many people love. However they just don't appeal to me especially when they come out with very gimmicky products that you apply with a roller or suggest a million lashes! It just seems a brand focused on being a huge brand that doesn't offer anything that outside the box or fun.

rthrhy

Prestige 
Pristige are like No7 but with the free £5 vouchers to lure you in! The brand doesn't jump out at me, however I do like the look of the baked mineral products and My Longest Lashes Mascara - just not enough to make a purchase though! Maybe it's a lack of marketing and they just don't have much oomph to them that draws you in. Also I find it hard to trust any brand that offers Loose Shimmering eyeshadow dust with a dipper/wand!

tu5t

Frontcover 
The main focus of the brand seems to be there eye kits that contain lots of different baked eye shadows that you can actually take out and put into a smaller palette of five, which is a very good idea. But for me personally this falls into the 'Christmas gift' category and I was actually tempted to purchase one of the kits last Christmas. The size of the product seems very in-practical but the products inside do seem of good quality. So I can't make my mind up really! Would love to know from anyone that owns one of the sets how they have gotten on with it.

MISSSPORTY

Miss Sporty 
I think I basically missed the train for this when it first came out and was at the wrong age for it! I'm guessing the products will be similar to that of Natural Collection - however at least Natural Collection has simple packaging and is quite a subtle but cheap brand. Miss Sporty on the other hand, has a pretty rubbish brand name, quite loud packaging and overall just doesn't look that great as a stand which is why I've never really even looked at the products. However I've going to actually look next time I'm out shopping and try to pick up a few products that don't seem as "Miss Sporty" if I can! 

Une

Une 
Une is the first organic ecocert makeup range on the high street and in theory by now someone like me that is concerns by different chemicals in makeup products should have purchase quite a few items from them but sadly I'm still at zero. Is there a reason? Kind of but not really that much of a reason! The first issue I have with this range is the price - it stepped out onto the market and priced itself very similar to most organic makeup brands online with single eye shadows being priced at just over £9 and no foundation for less than £12.50. But I think the main factor is the tag line of 'natural beauty' natural looking makeup is good but a whole brand of natural coloured shades is a bit bland and that's what I see when I look at the concession, it's just a bit 'meh' and something I can pass on.


H Tropic

Hawaiian Tropic 
This is a brand that has been around for a long time but for me it seems a brand that doesn't look that much better than any other in the sun care market and just one that has tapped into the holiday vibe that people get into when going on holiday or enjoying the sun. All the products do smell good but who would buy an after sun moisturizer for £10.20 or an SPF25 lipgloss for £7.45.


face boutique

Face Boutique 
I actually love the look of the packaging with the illustrations by Stina Persson and bottle shapes but it just comes across as one of those brands that has been probably created by a giant of a company to purely make money and not build up and type of loyal user or even add onto the range. I like to see a brand develop and grow and bring out new products, even bring out new ranges and as sad as it sounds actually have a brand identity. But since this brand started it has stayed the same and that's just not enough for me. A brand that looks quirky and unique but sadly just isn't! 


I'm sure these aren't all the high street brands I have yet to try but they are definitely the ones that stand out to me! Would love to know which makeup brands you have yet to buy from and why.
 


PS. You may have to ignore the grammar and spelling as this was wrote on zero hours sleep!

12 June 2011

New host for next Sunday's bbloggers chat!

pgt1

For next week's #bbloggers chat I will be away in Birmingham for the BBC Good Food Show. Which of course means finding someone to fill my high heels for the evening... which I wouldn't say it that hard as I don't do much! 

However only one name strung to mind! Liloo or @Tsunimee as she is known on Twitter and her blog. Liloo is such a giving person who I really cherish and appreciate and has helped me so much in the way of techy transcript stuff. But most of all she is just such a lovely, kind person and someone that would be a perfect host for the chat as she really does love to tweet! 

As for the topic - it's going to the on Time Management as that was what Liloo actually suggested for this week's chat. 

So for next week's chat (19th June) make sure to direct your tweets at @Tsunimee and not me, as I'll most likely be in a food induced coma!


Topics Choices for bbloggers Twitter Chat No.5


I'm so so late with this post, however I've basically had no idea of what topics to pick this week so all the topics below have come from a few lovely Twitter followers. So as this is very late minute, please do tell me via the comments or Twitter which topic you like the sound of the most! 

Also a lot of people have been asking me when the #bbloggers chat actually is - it's every Sunday at 8-9pm GMT+1 with a different topic each week. 

So here are the topic choices for tonight

Writing good content & staying inspired to blog - This is quite a broad topic but something I think we can all go through from time to time. So it's all about give each other tips and tricks on how not to get repetitive with posts and how to keep ourselves motivated!      
 
The best and worst of beauty blogging - I was tempted to just use the best of blogging but as it is a big friendly chat I thought it would be good for us all to air out thoughts on both the good and bad of blogging to make it more balanced! Though I hope the good definitely out weighs the bad!

Time management - Someone suggested this via Twitter and I instantly thought what a good topic it would make, just to find out how people organise themselves and even how long they spend on a single blog post! I also think for those that are lacking in the time management department (i.e me) it could be very beneficial! 

Really hope you can join in with the chat tonight and please do tell me which topic you prefer!



11 June 2011

Thoughts & Photos 1.2

southport

I really enjoyed writing my first Thoughts & Photos post and think it's such a nice way to basically ramble a bit more and show a few personal photos!

This week me and the fiance went on a last minute trip to Southport in Lancashire which is around 40 minutes drive from where we live. We only got there just before 5pm but as the day was so summery and warm it really didn't make a difference. Southport is such a lovely traditional Victorian seaside town full of different areas to walk around - shopping on Lord St and at Wayfarers Arcade, riding the carousel, visiting Funland and the free Hall of Mirrors, antique shopping, boating on the marina, visiting the sand dunes, eating al fresco in one of the many brasserie and of course the beach and pier! Or if you are slightly alternative you could visit the British Lawnmower Museum - which is actually the top 3rd thing to do in Southport according to Trip Advisor, who knew!

1. Jetty over marshlands at the end of the beach. 2. Waterstones building on the corner of Lord St. built in 1833. 3. Kitsch beach hunt next to the marina 4. Sand Dunes - which are my absolute favourite, some are so high and very fun to run down!
 
southport 2

5. A beautiful Victorian house off the Promenade. 6. War Memorial for those that died in World War 1 - across from Lord Street. 7. Gardens next to the memorial overlooking the shops on Lord Street Boulevard - a perfect place to have an ice-cream! 8. More sand dunes!

It's just such a nice place to visit in Summer and a place I really hope to live in the future someday. If you do ever visit Southport make sure to have a game of crazy golf and an amazingly flavoured ice-cream on Neville st!

books

9. For over a year now I have been aware of the different carcinogenics in products which is why I don't use any product containing Sulfate (found in cleansers, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, bubble bath, shower gel - anything that lathers up basically) and I've also stopped using deodorant containing Parabens, which may seem a bit extreme but every breast cancer tumour tested has contained parabens and parabens have estrogen-like properties so it would make sense. So it's something that I've incorporated into my life and now it's just the norm however with the rise of cancers, Alzheimer's, eye diseases and so much more I thought I would take my Internet reading a step further and buy a book on it!

The first book I purchase is Skin Deep by Pat Thomas and is so in-depth and honest and has really opened my eyes to how many harsh and bad chemicals are in products - even in colourants and fragrances! But I knew the book could be seriously overwhelming so in the same order I purchased Feeding Your Skin by Carla Oates which is full of homemade recipes for every beauty product! The first products I want to try out making is The Brightest Hour Strawberry Scrub and the Rose Syrup mask, both for oily skin, oh and the Banana and Lime Hair Treatment! The book is just filled with inspiring recipes that look fun yet sophisticated. 

Overall I'm more than pleased with the two books and think they both compliment each other perfectly. I'll be sure to share my new found knowledge with you all once I've read both books and tried out a few homemade products!

lonny mag

10. Lonny is a bi-monthly interior/home decor online magazine that is totally free... and I love it! I love magazines but as I have so many different interests - interiors, fashion & beauty, cooking it can quickly become pricey by the end of the month if I purchase all the magazines I liked. So for a few months now I've been limiting myself to around 3 magazines a month and then going online to read my favourite blogs and online magazines. 

But what I love about Lonny it is like an actual magazine. It's not focused on selling the products of one company or trying to force you into paying for anything, it's just free to enjoy! I also love that it's an American interior magazine as I think British interiors can be a bit stuffy and also the content is just great. Though if home decor isn't your thing Pure Beauty magazine is another free online magazine that keeps you up to date with the latest products and also give you a bit of a behind the scenes view of the beauty world.

cookies

11. Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies - Yes you heard right! I am more than rubbish when it comes to baking but these are at my level and taste amazing. The combination does seem VERY odd and any type of meat in a cookie is enough to turn anyone off but it actually works! They aren't savoury in the least and the bacon add more texture and punch to the taste than anything. I've also got quite a few people try them now and no one has spotted they contain bacon but it definitely is a needed ingredient.

You can find the recipe at Joy The Baker however it is in cup measurements , so feel free to tweet me @Makeup_savvy if you would like the ingredients in grams. If you like baking or eating soft gooey cookies then the recipe is definitely for you!  

shopping

12. I love shopping and would definitely class it as a hobby, rather than a thing to do! So I thought it would only be right to talk about things I have seen/bought and also one of my favourite shops - Homesense. All the products above are from Homesense (the furniture sister of TK Maxx) and are things I wanted to buy there and then. The little (well quite large) wooden house is actually a bird house would you believe, just so cute... but I'm not too sure how you are supposed to hang it or where you put it. I also spotted a lovely white wooden letter holder in the stationary section that would be perfect for storing makeup palettes in, as I seem to be growing quite a collection now. 

Last but not least I found a gorgeous chest of drawer which is unlike anything I have seen before - it's quite hard to describe but you may be able to see in the bottom right corner of the framed piece that is is mirrored, but in a vintage way and only to parts of the piece. Just so lovely! Which is why I want it in my bedroom with a gorgeous hand made mother of pearl mirror hanging above it - which won't happen as we are current saving for our wedding! 

The Apprentice Susan Ma's mystery skincare brand - I've loved watching The Apprentice so far this year but every time I watch it Susan mentions her skincare brand and knowing a lot about the beauty industry. However it's yet to say what it is... so I thought I'd do a bit of search in the hope to find out what her skincare line was called and if it's actually online and it is! It's actually called Tropic Skincare and is 100% natural and cruelty free, you can find the products here... but sadly I'm a little let down as it doesn't seem all that professional and the prices are very similar to Liz Earle. But then again she is only 21, so it is pretty amazing that she even has her own company!

Hope you are all enjoying these types of posts! 

Fee xo.

10 June 2011

The Scrub, the bad, the ugly!

bodyscrubs

I love a good scrub in the shower, so much so I have various scrubs for different body parts! So I thought I would share the ones I love the most and of course the least, speed review style!

Naked shower scrub

Naked Glowing Skin Rice Shower Scrub 
This a a natural SLS free scrub (though most scrubs are free from sulfates as they don't tend to need to foam) that actually feels quite natural, which sounds stupid as it is 97% natural I now but the rice grains are held in a cream like formula that feels quite caring to the skin. It's quite a pleasant scrub that won't be taking any layers on skin of or irritating it, however it sadly been discontinued! 
{You can still buy it though for a limited time from Direct Cosmetics for £1.99/250g)

The breakfast scrub

Soap & Glory The Breakfast Scrub 
My new favourite scrub of choice. I love the play on words with The Breakfast Club, very cute and 80's and also the cereal bowl like tub! The scrub itself is heavenly, it smells so so good, very maple sugar like but what I love about it most is it feels quite a sophisticated scrub and by that I mean it feels like there is two scrubs going on at once. The scrub seems to coat your skin in something also similar to sugar granules and then there are large particles that really get to work and make the skin feel invigorated. It may seem slightly pricey for the high street but it really is so worth it! 
{Boots £9.45/300ml}

nspa scrub 1

N Spa Coconut Ice Cream Body scrub
This is the first scrub from the N Spa range I purchased and to be honest it's nothing amazing but it is a good everyday scrub. It won't be tackling any really dry skin but it does lightly buff the skin which is nice when maintaining a tan. Also quite similar to the Naked scrub in that it's held in a milk like formula and applies with ease. 
{N Spa Fruit range at Asda £2.25/225ml)

Boots mango scrub

Boots Extract Mango Sugar scrub
I had been smelling this every time I went into Boots before actually buying it, as it just smelt so amazing. Not really so much of Mangoes but just so sugary and also like sweets! So I finally caved in and purchased it thinking it would be amazing. How wrong I was! The scrub is fairly similar to The Breakfast Scrub in thickness and spreads over the skin in a layer however the problems come when washing it off, it leaves quite a thick waxy residue which isn't noticeable until getting out of the shower. Also it's not an oil that gradually soaks into damp skin but almost sets into a sticky layer, later - which I had to jump back into the shower to wash off! So sadly quite a fail of a product. 
{Boots £7.92/400ml}

Melvita Extra Gentle Body Scrub
This has to be my favourite scrub for summer as it's so light and orangey but sadly I haven't purchased it in a year as it is on the pricey side and when I already spend £10 on a bottle of shampoo I don't really need any more extra costs! But as a treat this is amazing and just the best scrub I've used, just love the sugar kane granules and the small pieces of orange peel which give it such an organic feel. Also you can actually feel how good this is for the skin during and after use.
{Look Fantastic £12.00/200ml}
 
nspa scrub 2

N Spa Vanilla Creme Brulee Body Scrub
Exactly the same formula as the Coconut Ice cream scrub but this smells amazing! More buttery popcorn than Creme Brulee but still amazing to breath in whilst in the shower. Also as it's so cheap I've found it's a great scrub to use prior to shaving and also as a food scrub as I really wouldn't recommend the N Spa Mint apple foot scrub in the range. It's also worth noting the more fruity scrubs in the range are also really nice especially the Strawberry ice cream scrub!
{N Spa Fruit range at Asda £2.25/225ml}

N Spa Hot Butter Fudge Body Polish
Another favourite scrub to use and one that smells very similar to The Breakfast Scrub, really warm and yummy! But definitely not similar in texture as this is more of a jelly that holds the grains and it's quite a lot lighter in feel. But none this less this does exfoliate quite nicely and isn't too harsh on the skin! Also this will last you ages. Just an all round good scrub and one to go for it you don't love the price of S&G Breakfast Scrub. Plus the hinged tub is great! 
{N Spa Fruit £6.50/350ml}

scrub sponge

Alternative scrub
Calypso Natural Scrub Sponge
I love this sponge and I don't! On one hand I love the corn grain covered side for really exfoliating hard skin on the knees and feet and at a push the legs but anywhere else it is way too harsh and will actually scratch the skin.  Also as one side is covered in the exfoliating grains the other side doesn't act as a sponge, it just fills with water and stays heavy! So I'd say the product is slightly mis-leading in some ways. However this is perfect for exfoliating them hard areas prior to tanning or just to remove the dead skin, especially on the heels of the feet.
{John Lewis £4.95}
 
combi

Ones I want to try out... 
Firstly I've had my eye on the Burt's Bees Cranberry & Pomegranate sugar scrub but at £13.27 for just over 200ml I don't think I will be buying it any time soon (one for the Christmas list!) and I really do like the idea of different alternatives to exfoliating so my next purchase in the scrub department will either be the Sanctuary Salt scrub bar (£4.85) or the Korres Guarana Exfoliating body soap (£5.00). I also love the look of all The Body Shop body scrubs especially the Olive and Sweet Lemon scrubs but they are again on the pricey side at £12.50 for a 200ml tub. 


Overall I love rotating all the different body scrubs I have but would really love to find a good priced fruity body scrub that can wake me up in the morning! 

Answers on a postcard if you have any suggestions or in the comments below - either-or. I'm not fussy!

Benefit/ Glamour Magazine Freebie Reminder!

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This is just a quick reminder that the July issue of Glamour magazine is now out, which can only mean free Benefit products!

The choice is between Benetint, Posie Tint and High Beam and are 4mls in size. It's of course not as great as last years offering, however at £2 for the magazine it is not to be sniffed at! 

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 I couldn't be bothered thinking which I needed the most or liked the most so I just picked up all three (which means 3 copies of Adele's face - would love it they had different cover shoots for each product!). But having used all the three products in the past my clear favourite is Benetint and then High Beam... of course there is nothing wrong with Posie Tint but you can get a very similar effect with the Benetint stain. 

Here are the swatches if you can't make up your mind which to get... 

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Top to bottom - Posie tint, High Beam, Benetint
 If you are disappointed on the size front even the tiny 2.5ml vials that come in some of the smaller Benefit kits last ages and ages. But you could of course the one you want the most twice so that you actually get 8mls for £4 which is what I'm very tempted to do with Benetint. 

I would rush though as if it's anything like last year a lot of newsagents will sell out of the Glamour Magazines within a week! 

Would love to know which you pick up!

Fee xo.

8 June 2011

Overview of #bbloggers chat No.4 with Transcript!


Another chat and another topic - this time Photography Tips. As per usual the chat was full of great tips and very informative all round. I personally learnt quite a lot in the hour and I even studied Photography at college - though not the digital kind I have to say! 

I think discussion wise we all were in agreement that clear, well lit, quite large photos are best and what readers want to see, however content is as equally important! So it's all about getting the right balance. Also something I kept seeing over and over again was a debate on using a standard camera Vs. a digital SLR and I think most people where in agreement that you shouldn't just get one just for taking blog pictures with and it also doesn't guarantee better quality images as they are alot harder to use. I personally would suggest you shop around, look at reviews online, try cameras out in store and find a digital camera that suit you, which is what I did with my Canon digital camera and I love it! 

So here are some photography tips that where mentioned in the hour and a few of my own, plus the full transcript for anyone that missed out on the chat!

Go for large images, close ups and a clutter free background
The general consensus was that people do like to see larger images that fit the full main column, however watch out for stretching the image. Close ups are also loved by many. If you have a standard camera make full use of the macro setting (little flower icon) to take up close, detailed photos, but remember you need good daylight and a steady hand (or mini tripod). As for a background whether it's colourful, patterned or plain white you want it to be portable so you can place it next to a window and no clutter should be in shot.
 
Don't be tempted to over use stock photos
Stock images are cut outs of a product on a white background found on most websites that sell items and if your pictures aren't that great it could be tempting to just copy and paste. But really try to avoid this if you can as most readers will want to see your own images (however rubbish you think they are) and it's basically more personal. The only time when using stock images is fine though, is when talking about products you want to buy or like the look of.
 
Copyright 
Now this is a tricky one as so many people have different thoughts on it however looking over the whole chat I can say I have changed my own views on it. It is worth reading Rockalily's costly copyright mistake here and making your own mind up. But overall I think it is common courtesy to email the owner of the photos you want to use and if they agree, link back to the image/credit them with a link to the owners website. As for your own images if you don't want them to be used by other blogger/sites or even for eBay listings! Then make watermarking for photos a priority to at least deter people.

Avoid flash when possible
When it comes to using flash for blog pictures it is normally used so wrong, basically because it is used too up close to the subject, however if you can only shoot in low light then use flash and lamps with daylight bulbs in them so not to get a yellow cast and even a piece of tissue or sticky tape over the flash to stop the flare. But otherwise find a window, get outside and basically use all the natural light you can. Which leads me to...
  
Edit to make shades true to colour 
Even natural light can look dull if there are shadows or it's too sunny but it's correctable (unlike with flash) in any basic photo editing program. Most dull images just need the brightness adjusting and more contrast plus hitting the sharpen button can really do wonders for an image. But if you are editing an image with swatches or a close up of a product shade actually have the product to hand and play with the different levels and match the shades so they are as similar as they can be. 
 
Be creative
 This also can come under editing as you can really make a single shot look interesting especially if the image size is large you can use a free program like Photoscape and by cropping and enlarging certain parts of the image you can make a collage. But even with out any editing you can be creative with angles, backgrounds and even staging different products together. Which leads me onto...

My own savvy tips 
 My background is actually a simple leather chair however an A2 piece of white card (from a craft shop) is ideal as you can place the product(s) onto the card and curve it for the background so there won't be a join line. But if you want to have more fun with your background or for personal posts then get yourself down to a DIY shop and get some quite large wallpaper samples. There are so many beautiful designer prints in all shades and it's totally free! 

My other handy tip is with lighting as I've found a lot of the time one side of a product is well lit and the other half is in shadow. So use a full length mirror or free standing mirror on the darker side to bounce the light onto the product. 
Last but not least taking a picture of yourself is hard at the best of times, but to cut down on taking a million pictures place a mirror behind the camera so you can see yourself on the screen whilst taking the shot.

I previously wrote a post on beauty blogging photography tips so feel free to have a look at it here and the list below is all free photo editing app/programs.

For PC and Mac

Iphone/touch apps



I will of course be posting the topic choices on Friday so you can all tell me what you want to talk about! So feel free to suggest topics in the comments below. 


The Body Shop Honey & Oat Scrub Mask Review

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Have you ever purchased something with the inkling that it wouldn't be right for your skin type? But still went ahead because you loved the look of the product or even the smell. Well that's exactly what I did with The Body Shop Honey & Oat 3 in 1 Scrub Mask - I ordered it knowing full well it would be too hydrating for my normally slightly oily skin but it sounded like the ideal ingredients and I knew it would smell damn good!

Now I wouldn't say it was a total waste as I'm still using it in various ways so it doesn't hydrate my skin too much, but if I use it as a scrub and leave it on for the recommended 10 minutes, my skin does feel a bit more oily the next day. However I thought I would still review it as I know this would be great for it's suggested market - people with normal to dry skin. As it's a great non-harsh moisturizing mask that leaves the skin hydrated but not at all greasy or sticky feeling afterwards.

The scrub/mask costs £8.00 for 100ml and texture wise it's quite a soft wet consistency with small flakes of oats in. As for the smell, oh my how good this smells, it's oaty, rich and smells of marzipan! Just amazing and so nice to breath in as you apply it to slightly damp skin.

Oat Honey Face Scrub

I'd say amount wise you do need very little as this spreads over the face with ease and it's a mask that doesn't set, so there is no tight feeling. Once applied to the face to get the most out of the mask I would lightly rub the oats into the skin and then leave for 5 - 10 minutes. If you have really dry skin I would suggest using this mid-shower whilst the room is full of steam and your pores are open to get the maximum benefits. Then just before rinsing I would again just rub in the mask a bit more to really exfoliate the skin. 

Once the mask is washed off it leaves the skin feeling plump and fresh, with no residue left behind. I'd say the effects of the mask are more noticeable the day after with the skin feeling like it has been really moisturized and exfoliated. 

Overall this is a really lovely mask for anyone with normal, dry or combination dry skin. It smells amazing, feels lovely and does what it says! So you can't go wrong. Would really love to see a Honey & Oat Body Scrub brought out now though! 


I've also been loving the Satsuma soap  by The Body Shop...

Satsuma soap TBS

I bought this because it was cheap (£2.00) and sulfate free - which is a very rare combination. But this is actually some good soap! It's worth noting it is a glycerin based soap, so more slippy, translucent and glycerin like, basically! But it you don't mind that then this is a great soap to have next to the sink in summer, it just smells so great. Also really nice for in the shower and even for the face on the odd lazy day.

I also bought the Wild Cherry soap from the same range and I have to say the scent is a bit of a let down compared to the strength in smell of the Satsuma one. But it really is worth having a look and a sniff of the soap range if you are ever in The Body Shop. 


All in all after not buying from The Body Shop for many years due to reasons I won't get into right now, I have been impressed! I still think they are over priced slightly on certain items but from the products I've recently tried I really cannot complain! 

5 June 2011

May Favourites 2011

May favourites

There are three reasons why I love favourites posts 1. I get to line everything up and make it all look pretty. 2. I also get to talk about a million product all in one go 3. It makes me feel like it's still the month before... because I'm really not believing that half the year has passed already!

So the month of May for me has definitely been a month of makeup which made it so easy when it came to picking out my favourites as I knew exactly what to reach for. I haven't included any skincare as I've been sticking to the same old routine of using the Boots Botanics Facial brush with either a SLS-free foaming cleanser or a cream cleanser which always works wonders for keeping spots and whiteheads at bay!

Bronzer & Blush 

Cream blush

All swatch from top to bottom in order of reviews.

The Balm Hot Mama Blusher - £15.00
The full price of this is £15 however I got this at a steal for a mere £2 at TK Maxx and I think I love it so much because I got it at such a bargain. Though based on how much I love it I think I'd re-purchase this again at £10 max as I do think the Balm is on the over priced side. The blush itself is a never pigmented, long lasting shimmering rose gold blush that looks perfect with a tan along the upper part of the cheek to really highlight the cheek bone. This is a definite product to wear of hot balmy nights out in summer!

Bourjois Bronzing Powder #51 - £6.99
I've mentioned this so many times now but it's such a good bronzer and the best I've found to date on the high street! The quality, texture and shade definitely reminds me more of a higher end bronzer from maybe the likes of Dior or Chanel. The bronzer comes in two shades from what I have seen - the one above being medium #51 which is great for really pale to medium skin tones and then shade #52 would make a perfect bronze/contour for more olive or tanned skin. The product does have the odd fleck of shimmer in it but it literally is the odd fleck which definitely doesn't translate onto the skin. Overall the best matte bronzer I have! 

Topshop Blush in Neon Rose - £6.00
I think I love this product so much because of the texture, I just love how it's a silky cream to the touch but instantly turns into a powder formula when blended, which means it really stays put! I find the best way to apply it as it's a cream is to I just use a fingertip to dot a touch of the pretty pink coral blush on to the cheeks and then blend and it's just the perfect amount to pull summer makeup together. This is a definite one to try if you haven't already.

Stila Convertible Colour in Lillium - £13.50 
Oh how I have loved using this, this month! It's a slightly odd product as the formula isn't what I am use to as it's quite a thick tacky cream product however I think that's what makes it last so so long on both the cheeks and lips so I'm not complaining. However this product does need some serious blending on the cheeks to remove that tacky feeling. Though I have been mainly using it on the lips as the shade just looks great I've found and due to the tackiness of the product it lasts through drinking which I love! 

Face 

foundation and concealer

Biotherm SOS Concealer - £13.28
I mentioned purchasing this product a while back and explained how I was only using it on blemishes as I found using it as a base turned me into an ashy green tinted monster! However I persevered and have now cracked how to use it as a base in the areas that I have slightly red skin (around my nose and chin). Which is actually by dotting some of the product onto a good foundation brush and really working it into completely bare skin and I've found it makes a huge difference without any of the green tint I was experiencing when applying it with my fingers. This is just such a good green based concealer to counteract redness in the face or on blemishes.

Max Factor Second Skin Foundation - £12.99
This has been one of my favourite foundations for a long time now, I have strayed with Max Factor's Weightless foundation which I really did like a lot (quite gel like and neutral/pink toned) however my skin tone being normally quite light with pink undertones does warrant a more yellow based foundation which this definitely is. The foundation is the perfect consistency for me - quite thin and light so blends out perfectly. But what I love most of all is the flawless 'second skin' you can achieve with this. Just a really good high quality high street foundation that I will be re-purchasing for many more years!

No7 Quick Cover Blemish Stick - £8.00
When ever the No7 £5 vouchers are around I always make sure to pick up at least two of these in the the first few shades, so that I have some as back ups and also one in my bag in case a nasty spot appears from nowhere during the day! The formulation really suits combination to oily skin perfectly as the product applies at a cream concealer but turns into a powder on blending and soaks up any excess oily so great for applying on blemishes.

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer - £4.19
This is another concealer I really couldn't be without. It again like the Bourjois bronzing powder reminds me of a much more high end product due to the quality of it. I would say this is the best coverage I've found in any concealer on the high street and will cover up even the darkest of under eye circles. However the one down side is the shade range it is just so limited with only 4 different shades - so not much choice at all. But if you can find a shade that matches your own skin colour you will love this product.


Sigma Tapered Blending Brush E40 - $9.00 
When I first got this I used at it's intended as an eyeshadow blending brush however I really can't say I loved it. Yes, it blending perfectly but it was just too large for my eye so I was almost over blending and wasn't just blending out the contouring in my socket but more my entire lid. So I gave up and didn't use it for a week or so. But then I decided to wash it and see how it blending out the Collection 2000 concealer (above) under my eyes and I can literally say I was amazed. Maybe amazed as I've never used a blending brush with concealer before but never the less I was very impressed. The size of the brush is no longer an issue and it literally blending out concealer to a flawless finish. Really do love this brush a lot now!

Eyes 

naked palette gel liner

Elf Cream eyeliner in Coffee - £3.50
I'm going to put it out there and admit I find ELF products very hit and miss. But never the less I placed quite a large order around three weeks ago and made sure to do my homework prior to placing the order, reading lots of reviews and I have to say I have been quite impressed with most of the products so far, this being one of them. I've been wanting a medium brown gel liner for quite some time now however as I'm sure you will know they seem to be pretty scarce on the high street so I'm more than glad I have this now. The liner is on the soft side which isn't what I'm use to but it still glides on nicely and really does stay put all day which is all I need! 
A practical everyday gel liner that I can't fault.

Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner - £7.99
This really needs to come in more shades already (why is the UK the last to receive anything?). This really is such a good pigmented, long lasting gel liner that glides on with such ease. It can create the most perfect flick that will stay put all day and not wear or it can be applied to the base of the lashes and smudged out for a great smokey look. This also lasts really well on the waterline! Perfect, perfect, perfect! Oh, and the brush that is included with the liner is pretty good also.

No7 Metallic pencil in Khaki - £7.75
Oh how surprised I was with the prettiness of this product! The shade is such a lovely olive shade with the perfect amount of shimmer. I've found the best way to wear this is to apply it near the base of the upper lashes and then blend out then re-apply at the base of the lashes again to give more depth. The consistency of this is very similar to the Urban Decay 24/7 pencils so wears down quite fast but unlike the UD ones it isn't too creamy! The whole range of shades are equally as beauty so if you are stuck as to what to spend a No7 £5 voucher on then have a swatch of these.

Urban Decay Naked Palette - £32.00
This has been a favourite of mine since I bought it last year so it only felt right to include in my favourites again. I have yet to get bored of it and to be honest I will be very surprised if I ever do. The shade range is perfect for anyone that loves neutral shimmery eye shadows and are just so pigmented and buttery. I could ramble about this all day long but I will spare you and just say this is now my most favourite makeup purchase EVER. 

paul and joe makeup bag

Last but not least I had to include my new Paul & Joe cosmetic bag which I've only had for a week but really do love already! I am more than picky when it comes to makeup bags as I figure I will be seeing it daily as it should last a few years at least so it has to be right. Though finding the right one was a hard task but I did it!

The makeup bag was from Paul & Joe's collection last year so I had to purchase it from eBay (therefore it may or may not be fake, but I can't say I care really). It definitely fits in all my everyday makeup and has a nice little pouch in the lid to store extras like tweezers and cotton buds. It also came with a smaller pencil case like bag which is very handy for keeping in my handbag for makeup touch ups!

Jeez, that was a lot of products! I think I need to go lie down now...

Feel free to tell me your favourite products of the month or link me to any posts!
 

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