31 August 2010

My first spa visit- Nougat Spa and Wahanda

I've always wanted to go and get myself pampered at a spa, but like a lot of people, I could never justify the price. So when I discovered Wahanda via twitter, I kept a close eye on their daily mobdeals and around May, me and a friend decided to treat ourselves to the Nougat Spa deal, which was £100 worth of treatment for a bargainous £30!

The deal was valid for a year, and because of exams and the summer we didn't get round to claiming it until recently.

The sophisicated yet pretty spa (and shop) was located in Notting Hill and on arrival we were given a brief health questionnaire to fill out before we were taken downstairs to the treatment rooms (the upstairs was a mini shop that sold clothes and toiletries).

I'd opted for a half leg wax, full body massage and manicure, and because the massage oil would prevent the wax from sticking properly, we started with the leg wax. My therapist Lauren used a wooden stick to apply the wax then used paper strips to remove the hairs. I found the wax a little on the hot side, but Lauren was very skilled and because she removed it quicky, it wasn't too painful.

She then left the room so that I could undress for the massage. Throughout the massage I was appropiately covered up with a towels and I found the massage really relaxing- I could have stayed there for hours! For the massage she used a gorgeous oil which smelt amazing (I think it was a blend of ylang ylang and lavander).

Afterwards I choose to wait for my friend to finish her pedicure so that we could have our manicures at the same time.

(I opted for Essie funny face- a lovely pink colour)

I didn't like having my cuticles pushed back but otherwise I really enjoyed the manicure. The therapists took their time filing, buffing and painting our nails and at the end we were left with super glossy pretty nails which lasted for over a week!

All in all it was a really positive experience and the start of an expensive spa addiction! Our therapists were really friendly and helpful and we thoroughly enjoyed getting ourselves pampered.

I've since brought myself another
Wahanda mobdeal and I would recommend signing up to their newsletter if you haven't already. They have a different offer everyday and there have been some great deals which allow you to pamper yourself for a fraction of the normal price.

Have you brought any Wahanda mobdeals? What are your favourite spa treatments?

28 August 2010

NOTD- Eyeko punk polish

A very bright almost fluorescent pink colour with a glossy finish that would look great on a night out.

The formula is a little on the thick side but thanks to the brush, it was still easy to paint my nails without getting nail varnish everywhere.

As its quite pigmented, one coat was enough for an even finish and the nail varnish dried very quickly.

Are you a fan of bright nail varnishes?

Don't forget you can use my Eyeko ambassador code (E9624) for a free gift with every order.

26 August 2010

A few of my recent purchases

I recently started my uni placement so haven't had much time to go shopping, but over the last fortnight or so I've managed to pick up a few bits and pieces:

First stop was The Body Shop, where I picked up a soft hands kind heart hand cream and a peppermint cooling foot spray.

I needed a new handbag hand cream and the mini soft hands kind heart one was the perfect size for my bag, plus it helps to support their ECPAT charity. The foot spray was a bit of an unnecessary purchase but I'm so glad I got it because it's fab for freshening and cooling down feet, especially on a hot day!

When I was picking up the giveaway prizes in Boots, I also brought myself the Botanics soothing eye make up remover and some multivitamins (to make up for my lack of fruit and veg intake recently). I've heard a lot of good things about the eye make up remover and I'm hoping it'll be just as good if not better than the No 7 one.

Finally I couldn't resist buying a mini Yankee candle in midnight jasmine from Clintons. I've had so many recommendations for Yankee candles and at £1.60 it seemed the perfect opportunity to try one out.

Have you tried any of the above items? What have you brought recently?

24 August 2010

Bye bye razors, hello epilator!

I've been shaving for years, but after trying out different methods of hair removal this summer, I can happily say I will not be using razors to shave my legs again!

Although I like the results from waxing, it is expensive to do on a regular basis and an epilator allows me to get similar results between sessions.

I was recently sent the Braun silk-epil 7 epilator to try out and I have to say I'm now a big fan of epilating. It did take me a while to figure out how to use it, but once I'd read and understood the instructions it was so simple to use.

They recommend that you trim hairs between 2-5mm for best results and there is a trimmer head included which you can use if necessary. I found the epilator easy to use (although it does sound very scary) and the smart light allowed me to see the area clearly, even at night time.

As expected it was quite painful, but nothing unbearable and the shorter the hair was, the less painful it was to epilate. Although there was still a bit of hair left, the epilator removed everything apart from the really tiny hairs that have just grown out of the follicle.

There is also a shaver head included in the box (with a trim and shave option), which makes a good alternative to the razor. Like shaving I did have to go over areas twice, but otherwise there were no problems.

As well as the shaver head, it comes with various sized attachment heads for bikini and face, a brush to clean the epilator, a waterproof drawstring bag and some wipes for use before epilating. This particular model can also be used in the bath or shower.

Compared to shaving, this is so much easier and longer lasting (I was getting seriously fed up with getting stubble the day after I'd shaved) plus I can use it on really short hairs, so I don't have to wait weeks for the hair to grow before epilating again. Although it does cost significantly more than a packet of razors, I much prefer this to shaving and for me, its worth buying to avoid the hassle of shaving everyday!

Have you tried epilating before? How did you get on?

21 August 2010

Colorsport 24 hour eyeliner

Over the last few years I've tried several different forms of eyeliner, but my favourite has to be the pen style ones, so when I was sent the Colorsport 24 hour eyeliner I had high expectations and on the most part, I wasn't disappointed.

It's a pen style eyeliner with a long thin nib, which makes application very easy. I could either use the end of the nib to draw a thin line, or use the side to get a thicker line.

It gives a pigmented semi-glossy black colour when applied and it lasted well throughout the day with no smudging. Because I have quite small eyes and short straight eyelashes, it really helped to define my eyes and make them stand out a bit more.

Although its a long lasting eyeliner, I had no problems removing it and it came off easily using both an eye make up remover and a normal face cleanser. However despite what the packaging claims, I didn't find it to be waterproof.

Overall I liked this eyeliner, and I would recommend if you want something that's easy to use and long lasting, just bear in mind that it won't be waterproof!

Have you tried anything from Colorsport? What are your favourite long lasting cosmetics?

18 August 2010

Current haircare routine (including some surprising favourites)

For the last couple of month I've been experimenting with different products and trying to use up old shampoos and conditioners. But now I've finally found a haircare routine that really suits my hair, including one or two products from brands that I never thought I'd be using as part of my haircare.

I tend to wash my hair every 2/3 days and the products of choice are Pantene aqua light shampoo and conditioner. This range is designed to nourish hair without weighing it down, and it really does what it says on the bottle.

They both have a gorgeous fruity fresh scent and they leave my hair feeling smooth and silky but not overloaded with silicon like some other Pantene products. Both products rinse out easily and although my hair doesn't have any more volume, it does feel lighter and with dry shampoo, I can get away with not washing it for 3 days!

Since using the Pantene, I don't really need to use a build up removal shampoo, but as I already own the Boots expert build up removal shampoo I like to use it once a fortnight to deep cleanse my hair. Click here to read my full review.

I also like to deep condition the ends of my hair, so once a week I'll use either the Andrew Collinge moisturize & protect conditioner or the Herbal Essences seductively straight intensive mask.

The Andrew Collinge has a gorgeous ainseedy scent which lingers after washing. It's a creamy conditioner that rinses out easily and always leaves my hair feeling soft and smooth. It comes in a huge 500ml bottle and as you only need to use a little bit each time, a bottle will last for months!

The Herbal Essences has more of a fruity scent and because its a hair mask, it does take a little longer to rinse out. However it's definitely worth the effort, because it leaves my hair feeling so smooth and silky. This comes in a 200ml tub and again you don't need to use much so expect a tub to last for ages!

In between washes I like to use Tresemme dry shampoo. For years I used Batiste but the particles in this are a lot smaller, so it feels less powdery and chalky. It also has a lovely fresh floral scent which isn't too overpowering. It comes out as more of a liquid, so you need to wait a minute for it to dry, but once rubbed in, it really helps to soak up any grease and refresh my hair.

Ironically Pantene and Tresemme were my least 2 favourite haircare brands, but after trying the aqua light range and dry shampoo, they have definitely improved the quality of their products and I would happily recommend if you want to try some new haircare products.

What haircare products are you loving at the moment?

17 August 2010

1 year giveaway *closed*

As it's the one year anniversary of this blog, I've decided to hold a giveaway as a way of saying thank you to everyone for taking the time to read and comment on my blog over the past year- I really do appreciate your support!

So, without further ado, here are the prizes:

1st prize:
Soap and glory flake away exfoliator
Soap and glory massage glove
Primark faking it matte wash off instant tan
The sanctuary warming charcoal detox mask
Boots amazon forest mango and babassu body butter
Plus your choice of any Sleek make up i-divine palette (subject to availability)

2nd prize:
Soap and glory righteous butter moisturizer
Soap and glory massage glove
Primark faking it shimmer wash off instant tan
The sanctuary warming charcoal detox mask
Boots solait self tan wipe
Plus your choice of any Sleek make up pout polish (subject to availability)

The rules:
- You must be a follower of the blog
- Leave me a comment telling me what your favourite beauty product is and why
- Feel free to tweet or blog about the giveaway for extra entries
- Please let me know if you've tweeted or blogged about the giveaway so I can enter you accordingly

The giveaway is open to both UK and international readers
and will close on 17th Sept at 11.59pm.

The winner will be chosen using random.org.

Good luck!

Please do not post about this on giveaway blogs!

Blog birthday!

I can't believe how fast the time has gone! This time last year I decided to write my first blogpost and looking back I'm so glad I made that decision.

(photo from pinkcakebox.com)

In the last year, I've met some lovely people, discovered some great products, picked up some fantastic tips and generally just had a really positive experience with blogging.

I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who takes the time to read and comment on my blog and to chat to me on twitter. I really do appreciate your support.

To celebrate my blog anniversary and as a way of saying thank you to my lovely readers I will be hosting a giveaway, which will be up shortly.

Here's to another year of blogging!

16 August 2010

Bloom cosmetics and face tan review

I first came across this Australian brand at the Superdrug spring/summer event, where I was impressed with the cute and quirky packaging and the quality of the products. So when Superdrug got in touch and asked if I wanted to try a few of the products I was more than happy to!

My favourite product has to be the full and flirty mascara, which really helped to lengthen and volumise my lashes. Read my full review here.

The gradual face tan has a very strong herbal scent to it and although it wasn't as nice as my usual moisturizer, it did keep my skin hydrated throughout the day. Over a few days my skintone did get darker, but the effect was very natural and it faded well without any streaking.

I would describe the mineral plus lipstick in foxtrot as a pretty pinky purple colour with a slight sheen. One coat is subtle enough to be worn during the daytime, but I much prefer to apply a few layers for a night out. I found it moisturizing on the lips and it lasts for a few hours without fading.

My least favourite product has to be the lip definer in outline. There wasn't anything wrong with the product, but I don't usually use lipliner and I wasn't a fan of the shimmery brown colour. It does however apply easily to the lips and lasted for a few hours before fading.

The shadow liner in ultra black comes in a twist up pen, so there's no need for sharpening. It's a matte black colour that lasts fairly well throughout the day, although it will need a touch up to last the whole day. Because of the rectangular shape, its near impossible to draw a thin line, but I like the fact that it's a quick and easy way to thickly line my upper lashline.

Overall I'm impressed with the products in this range. They are more expensive than a lot of the other high street brands but the products are of a very good quality and they are very nicely packaged, which gives it a more high end feel. Like any brand some products are better than others, and the stand out products for me were the mascara and the lipstick.

Have you tried any Bloom products? What are your favourites from the range?

11 August 2010

What I am loving at the moment- make up

Cream blushers are definitely one of my favourite make up items and recently I find myself constantly reaching for Maybelline dream mousse blusher in peach satin and NYX cream blush in glow.

The Maybelline one is so easy to apply and it gives a gorgeous peachy pink shimmery colour to the cheeks. The only downside is that it doesn't last throughout the day. The NYX is seriously pigmented and you only need a tiny bit on your finger for each cheek. Because it's so pigmented blending is essential but it gives a gorgeous pink flush and lasts well throughout the day.

I was recently sent some Bloom cosmetics to try out and the Full and flirty waterproof fake lash mascara is by far my favourite product. The first coat really darkens, lengthens and helps to volumise my lashes and the second coat adds more volume. I wouldn't say it gives me a false lash look but it really does help to emphasise them a lot more! It also lasts well throughout the day with minimal smudging and flaking.

Although I love the smoky eye look, I'm rubbish at creating it, so I'm been using ELF brightening eye colour quad in drama and Sleek make up kajal eyeliner in nocturnal to create a super easy cheat version. I simply apply the silver colour all over my eyelid, then draw a thick line along my lashline. I then blend the two colours together and voila a quick and easy smoky eye in minutes!

What make up products have you been loving recently?

9 August 2010

My summer moisturizer- Biotherm aqua source skin perfection

According to the packaging, this moisturizer 'concentrates the equivalent of 5000 litres of thermal spring water and an association of thousands of micro-spheres and perfecting ingredients to help restore skin's hydration capital and smooth its surface micro-texture'.

The moisturizer (which I was sent to review) comes in a light blue glass jar and creme gel moisturizer has a powdery feel to it. As the texture is so light it sinks in very quickly and gives a matte finish to the skin. Normally matte finish moisturizers dry out my skin but this one managed to keep it hydrated throughout the day without making it any oilier than normal.

Since using this, my skin does feel smoother, but there are still some visible pores around my nose.

Overall it's a good basic moisturizer, especially for the summer, and a little bit goes a long way, so a jar will last for months, but it does have an interesting powdery texture which takes some getting used to!

Have you tried this moisturizer? What are your favourite products from Biotherm?

8 August 2010

Maxfactor make up- A guest review by Louise

A little while ago, I sent Louise some Maxfactor make up, which she has kindly guest reviewed for my blog. Click here for part 1 of her reviews.

Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish - 04 Elegant Mauve

Loving nail polish as I do I was delighted to receive a nail polish from the new range. The shade I received was 04 Elegant Mauve. A gorgeous shimmery pink / bronze shade this polish was a good consistency, applied easily, and the coverage was good - the picture shows two coats. I was also impressed with the longevity I have real problems making and nail polish last but this lasted around 3 days before I saw any signs of wear. I am also a huge fan of the mini sized bottle; they are great for travel and for trying out colours that you wouldn’t normally wear. All in all a big thumbs up from me. These polishes are around £3.49 each and there are 12 colours to choose from I am hankering after Dazzling Blue and Diva Violet now whoops!

Max Factor Max Effect Trio Eye Shadow – 03 Tigress

The final product I received was one of the new Trio Eye Shadows in 03. A combination of a black, again an orangey bronze and mustard yellow. As you can see from my swatches these shadows are really smooth and pigmented. They applied well, and blended easily. I would say that these colours aren’t for the faint hearted but I managed to create a relatively subtle look by applying the bronze shade all over the mobile lid, and putting some of the black into the crease.

They lasted pretty well, even without an eye base but I did find that it creased quite badly towards the end of the day. My only complaint with the trio is that it lacked a proper highlight colour only the bronze and the mustand had even the smallest hint of shimmer- the black which is the colour you got the most of is entirely matte. Other than that I think this is an ok trio if you wanted to experiment with some different colours, I just don't think the colours are really for me. The Max Effect Trio eye shadows are available in 6 colours and retail for around £6.49 each.

A massive thank you to Louise for being such a good guest reviewer! Hopefully I'll be doing more guest reviews in the future :)

5 August 2010

Boots expert haircare

Although I don't mind silicon shampoos, over time they can build up in my hair, causing it to become limp and greasy. The Boots expert build up removal shampoo first came to my attention when Zoella reviewed it on her blog and having used it a few times, I can see why it has so many positive reviews.

It has a fresh herby scent and foams up really well, so you don't need to use much each time. It rinsed out easily and after a while my hair feels squeaky clean. Despite being a detox shampoo, it doesn't dry out my hair and it's still really smooth and silky. Although it doesn't give me more volume (nothing ever does) it does keep my hair from getting greasily as quickly. I tend to use this on a weekly basis and it really does to keep my hair from being weighed down by all the silicon and city pollution!

Because I was so impressed with the shampoo, I decided to give the Boots expert dry shampoo a go when I ran out of Batiste, but unfortunately it turned out to be a disappointment.

Its less fragranced than the Batiste (which I prefer) but I found that the particles in the spray were too fine. Although it might be good for adding texture, it really didn't do anything to refresh my hair and I will be sticking to Batiste in the future.

Have you tried anything from the Boots expert range? Are there any products that you would recommend?

2 August 2010

Maxfactor dip in eyeshadow- Guest review by Louise

A while ago, I tweeted asking if anyone wanted to guest review some Maxfactor products for me, and Louise (LouLouLand) replied saying that she'd love to, so without further ado, here's part 1 of her review:

A little while ago now the lovely Peonies and Lilies asked if anyone would like to do a guest review on her blog of some products she had been sent by Max Factor – Of course I jumped at the chance- I must admit Max Factor is a brand that I have pretty much ignored – I love the False Lash Effect Mascara but other than that I haven’t tried that much from them so this was a fabulous opportunity for me to try 3 new products from their new Max Effect range.

Max Factor Max Effect Dip in Eye Shadow – Bronzed Glow 02

One of their newest introductions is the Dip in Eye Shadow. I’ve used similar products by other brands before so the concept was pretty familiar to me. Essentially you get a vial of loose powder shadow and a sponge applicator to dip in and apply it with.

I like the idea of products like this in theory you don’t need an extra brush to apply it so they are quick and easy to use. Well that’s the theory anyways, whether it was the colour, a slightly flat shimmery bronze or the consistency of the product I don’t know but it had a tendency to look too thick or overdone when I just used the applicator, I also found it difficult to get a really precise application. The best way to use it I found was to apply the product with the applicator and then to blend it out with a brush, but like with all loose powder products you need to watch out for a bit of fallout. You can see here two looks that I created with this product first of all I used it on its own as I say the colour is a bit flat, it has some shimmer in it but it does tend to look a little bit orange toned.

Then I used it just as a crease colour, with a neutral, shimmery shade all over the lid. I much preferred this way of using it, because of the darker colour you could use it to define and shape the eye. It also blended well with the other colour and lasted pretty well without much creasing.

Would I buy this? no not in this colour as I say I found it a bit flat, and orange toned, the applicator isn’t that easy to use but maybe it would be easier with a lighter colour where you had to be less precise with application. Max Effect Dip in Eye Shadow retails for around £5.99 and is available in 8 shades

Thanks again to Louise for the review and swatches, and look out for part 2 of her reviews which will be up later in the week!

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