Balance me natural skincare amnesty and Radiance face mask review

Balance me are well known for their natural, paraben free skincare, and this April, they've launched their first ever natural skincare amnesty. The idea being that people would swap one item of their existing skincare routine in exchange for a more natural, chemical free alternative:

Balance me natural skincare amnesty, Balance me radiance face mask, Balance me super toning body oil, Balance me super moisturising hand cream
 Balance me natural skincare amnesty

Since starting work, my skin has been somewhat neglected and as a result it's now rather dry and dull looking. With that in mind, I decided to put Balance me radiance face mask to the test.

Balance me radiance face mask
 Balance me radiance face mask*

The fact that it was a triple action face mask really appealed to me, and I like that I can exfoliate, deep cleanse and hydrate all in the space of 5 minutes. I usually exfoliate once a week anyway, but with this, I can just leave it on whilst I condition my hair and it barely adds any extra time to my beauty routine.

The face mask itself is unscented, and I found the ground walnut shells to be really gentle on the skin. In terms of hydration, it's not the most moisturising of face masks, but my skin definitely felt more deep cleansed afterwards, and the gentle exfoliation helped to add some much needed radiance.

Overall, I think this a good multi purpose face mask. Definitely one to check out if you want a more natural skincare routine or if you're super busy and struggle to find the time to treat yourself.

PS. Balance me are also giving away £200 worth of products on their website. For more information and to enter, click here.

Have you tried anything from Balance me? What's your favourite face mask?

Clinique a different nail enamel for sensitive skin

When Clinique first announced that they were launching a nail enamel for sensitive skin, my first thought was why? It doesn't go any anywhere near the skin. Well, it turns out I was wrong, and the average person touches their face around 200 times a day, making it a major source of irritation around the eyes:

Clinique a different nail enamel for sensitive skin, Clinique nail varnish, Clinique nail enamel review

With that in mind, Clinique have spent 6 years developing this new range, and if you do suffer from sensitive skin, then you'll be glad to hear that it's been tested and approved by both dermatologists and opthalmologists.

Clinique a different nail enamel for sensitive skin, Clinique nail enamel swatches, Clinique nail varnish swatches, Clinique red red red, Clinique fizzy, Clinique hula skirt, Clinique sweet tooth

Red red red, Fizzy, Hula Skirt, Sweet tooth

Clinique a different nail enamel for sensitive skin, Clinique pinkini, Clinique grape ice, Clinique hot date, Clinique nail enamel SS13

Now I can't personally vouch for the gentle formula of the nail varnish (as much as my skin drives me up the wall, it is on the whole fairly tolerant) however I will say that they've got some beautiful on trend colours, the formulas are easy to apply, and at £12, it's on par with other high end nail polishes.

And my top picks for Spring/Summer? Pinkini, Grape ice and Hot date, all three of which are eye catching hot pink shades, which will look great with a tan!

Clinique a different nail enamel will be available online from 25th April, and in stores from 31st May 2013.

Will you be trying the new Clinique nail enamels? What are your favourite Spring/Summer shades?

Glossybox April 2013 - Pearl Lowe edition

The limited edition Glossyboxes are always my favourite, and this month, they've teamed up with fashion designer Pearl Lowe to create a floral themed peach and black box:

Glossybox april 2013, Glossybox pearl lowe

Glossybox april 2013, Glossybox pearl lowe, NIP and fab body butter, Model co cheek and lip tint, Essie nice is nice, Yves rocher so elixir purple perfume, Sunsence daily face spf 50
NIP+FAB dry skin fix body butter in Pistachio sundae
Model Co cheek + lip tint in Rosy red
Essie nail lacquer in Nice is nice
Yves rocher france so elixir purple eau de parfum
Sunsence daily face SPF50

And it's not just the box that's special - they seem to have put a lot of thought into the contents too. In fact it's one of the few boxes that I can actually see myself using all 5 samples, There's a good mix of high end brands too.

Essie has been on my wishlist for quite some time now, and the lilac grey Nice is nice shade couldn't be more perfect for Spring. The Nip +Fab body butter is another product that gets a lot of rave reviews, and I can't wait to give Model Co cheek and lip stain a try. It sounds like it could be a good alternative to Benetint, one of my favourit lip colours at the moment.

So all in all, a great box from Glossybox. They seem to have really improved the contents of their boxes recently and I can't wait to see what they've got planned for May 2013.

Glossybox, RRP £10 plus £2.95 P+P, available online at Glossybox.com

Are you a Glossybox subscriber? What do you think about this month's contents?

Sleek make up lip 4 lipstick palettes

Having done my fair shair of travelling and make up on the go, I seem to have discovered a new found love for make up palettes. Now Sleek make up may be best known for their iDivine eyeshadow palettes, but I think their new lipstick palettes are just as nice, and since taking these photos, they've gone straight into my travel make up bag:

Sleek make up lip4 lipstick palette in Ballet and Siren

Each palette comes with a choice of 4 complimentary shades, and there's a good mix of matte, gloss and satin finishes. I like the fact that each shade is individually named, and as you'd expect from Sleek make up, packed with pigment. The textures do vary though, with the matte colours being firmer and the gloss shades much softer and creamier.

In some ways, these remind me of the Sleek pout paints (their equivalent of the OCC lip tars). Like most matte lipsticks, it's not the most moisturising, so a slick of lip balm is essential before hand, but the glossy shades are lovely.

For everyday use, I would still stick to traditional lipsticks and glosses, simply because they're quicker and easier to apply, but for my travel make up bag these are perfect. The matte black packaging is firm and study, and from a convenience point of view, it's great to have 4 lip colours in such a small compact palette.

Sleek make up lip 4 lipstick palettes will be available in stores and online at Superdrug.com from 8th May 2013.

What do you think about the new Sleek make up lip palettes? What are your travel make up essentials?

Spring giveaway winner

A big thank you to everyone who entered my Spring giveaway. I loved reading each and every one of your comments. So without further ado, I numbered all the valid entries and used random.org to select a winner:



Congratulations Elfie, can you please email me your postal address by 21th April and I'll get your prizes posted out asap.

Thanks again to everyone who entered, and keep an eye out for future giveaways if you didn't manage to win this time :)

Girl's night in - pampering treats

Back in the day I used to love going out, but as I've gotten older (and the responsibilities of work started taking over) I seem to be spending more and more time just relaxing at home or chilling out with a few close friends. And judging by a recent survey by Ladbrokes bingo, it seems like I'm not the only one. So with that in mind, I've put together a selection of my favourite pampering treats for a girls night in:

Bourjois Rendez-vous a Paris, Bourjois prepp'hibiscus nail enamel, Bourjois oh so rose nail enamel, Neom invigorate candle, Biotherm hydra detox face mask, No 7 nourishing nail and cuticle care

To start off with, I like to set the mood by lighting Neom invigorate, my favourite scented candle and one that's perfect for spring with it's blend of bergamot, grapefruit and lime. Candle lit, I then move on to a pampering face mask. At the moment I'm liking Biotherm hydra detox as it seems to both rehydrate and detoxify my skin at the same time.

Whilst the face mask is on, I get to work using No 7 nail and cuticle care cream. My hands have been rather battered recently, and I find this really helps to strengthen and inject some much needed moisture back into my nails. By the time the face mask is washed off, this has sunk in, leaving me a nice base for my nail colour of choice.

And because we're finally getting some sunshine in the UK, I've been drawn to the new Bourjois Rendez-vous a Paris collection. Prepp'hibiscus would be my top pick and Oh so rose a close second on days when I need something more subtle and chic.

Finally, no girl's night in would be complete without a boxset of my favourite TV show and some mint ice cream. My top picks? One tree hill, Gossip girl, Grey's anatomy and The OC.

Do you prefer to stay in or go out? What's your favourite TV show?

*Blog post in association with Ladbrokes bingo.

Bourjois Spring/Summer 13

For on trend, fun girly make up, Bourjois are fast becoming one of my favourite high street brands. Last week I had the chance to preview their new SS13 releases, and it looks like they've got some great products launching over the next few months:

Bourjois rouge edition shine lipstick, Bourjois SS13
Bourjois rouge edition shine lipsticks

Starting with their new Rouge edition shine lipsticks, which was by far my favourite product on the day. There'll be a choice of 6 colours, and for someone who likes sheer moisturising lipsticks, these are perfect. The lipsticks are creamy and glossy, and although sheer, they can be build up for up to 4 hours of intense colour.

Bourjois je t'aime vintage blush, Bourjois 150 anniversary, Bourjois SS13
Bourjois Je T'aime vintage blush

Bourjois cream blush, Bourjois 150 anniversary, Bourjois ss13
Bourjois 150th anniversary cream blush

Did you know blusher was the first product that Bourjois ever created? The brand turns 150 this year, and to celebrate they've brought out a limited edition design for 3 of their best selling shades. Along side that, there are also 4 new cream blushers. I thought they had a nice cream to powder finish, gave a lovely glow to the skin and for a cream blusher, relatively long lasting too. I'm predicting these'll be a big seller this summer.

Bourjois summer on the riviera, Bourjois maxi delight powder bronzer, Bourjois delice bb cream, Bourjois delice primer, Bourjois ss13, Chanel tan de soleil dupe
Bourjois summer on the Riviera bronzing collection

For the nails, there are 3 new 1 seconde shine nail polishes and of course it wouldn't be a summer collection without some bronzing products. Bourjois have gone for a Summer on the Riviera theme, and there'll be a choice of bronzing powder, BB cream and a rather interesting titled bronzing primer. Having tried it in person, I would say it's more of a mousse than a primer and I suspect it may be a good high street dupe for the infamous Chanel tan de soleil.

Bourjois SS13 products will be launching in stores and online at Boots.com from May onwards.

What do you think about the new Bourjois SS13 collection? Will you be travelling anywhere nice this summer?

Elemis pro-collagen cleansing balm review

As much as I love wearing make up, there really is no nicer feeling that taking it all off at the end of the day. A few weeks ago, Elemis launched their new pro collagen cleansing balm and it's been my go to make up remover ever since:

Elemis pro collagen cleansing balm, Elemis cleansing balm review

In the pot Elemis pro collagen cleansing balm is thick and waxy, but when applied to the skin it melts and becomes a light, non greasy face oil. Like most balm cleansers, it makes make up removal quick and easy, but for me, the it's the blend of essential oils and aromatherapy scent which really sets it apart.

Because the scent is so relaxing, the cleanser is an absolute joy to use, and I like to really take my time, massaging it into the skin. The only downside is that it's not suitable for use over the eye area, so you will need a separate eye make up remover first.

The balm emulsifies on contact with water, and it comes with it's own flannel cloth so you can gently exfoliate and wash away any last traces of cleanser. Since using this, I've noticed a real difference with my skin, and no matter how much make up I'm wearing, it always leaves my skin feeling cleansed, but still super soft and nourished.

So as you can tell, I'm a big fan of the new Elemis cleansing balm. In fact it's just one of 2 cleansers that I would repurchase. Definitely one to try out if you're new to Elemis or if you suffer from dry/dehydrated skin.

Elemis pro-collagen cleansing balm, RRP £39.50, available online at timetospa.co.uk

Have you tried Elemis pro collagen cleansing balm yet? What's your favourite make up remover?

Stila SS13 festival of colour collection

Being a bit of a beauty addict, I love seeing all the new collections that come out at the start of every season. And today I wanted to talk about Stila, who have gone with a 'festival of colour' theme for their SS13 collection:

Stila after glow lip colors, Stila festival of colour, Stila SS13
Stila after glow lip colors

At the event, I was immediately drawn to their new After glow lip colors. It's no secret that I love moisturising lip crayons, and I think the 6 new shades will be perfect for a pop of bright colour during the summer months. Being a festival themed collection, the lip crayons will glow in the dark, something which I wasn't too sure about (fluorescent lips are really my thing), but I'm reassured that this only happens in the presence of UV light, so on a day to day basis, it should be just like any other lip colour.

Stila festival of colour, Stila SS13, Stila countless color pigment eyeshadow
Stila countless color pigment eyeshadows

Along side the new lip crayons, there are also 5 new Stila countless color pigments. I think the colours are quite bright and daring, but I love the swirled tie dye effect and pigment wise, they're second to none. There's also a new turqoise eyeliner, which comes in both a liquid and pencil format.

Stila festival of colour, Stila SS13, Stila bronzing BB cream, Stila illuminating BB cream, Stila turqouise eyeliner, Stila lip glaze trio, Stila music festival trio, Stila road trip trio
 Stila SS13 festival of colour

Despite the initial hype, it seems that BB creams are here to stay, and Stila are lauching 2 new versions. A bronzing beauty balm for a sun kissed glow, and an illuminating version for radiant hydrated skin. Finally, they're introducing 2 new lip glaze trios, which I think these are an absoulte bargain at only £12 each. 'Road trip' would be top pick, but if you like baby pinks then you'll love the 'Music festival' trio.

What do you think about the new Stila SS13 collection? Have you tried any of their original lip glazes?

March empties/Project bathroom update

Can you believe we're now a quarter of the way through 2013 already! It seems like only yesterday that I was writing about February's empties, and now here we are, at the end of another month. March started off quite slowly, but in the end I managed to finish 7 products:

Crabtree & Evelyn wisteria bath & shower gel, Corn silk translucent pressed face powder, Apivita intensive moisturizing hand cream, Batiste diva dry shampoo, Sure maximum protection sensitive anti-perspirant deodrant, Angela Langford balanced and beautiful face oil, Nioxin cleanser shampoo for fine hair, Empties, Project bathroom
Crabtree & Evelyn wisteria bath & shower gel
Corn silk translucent pressed face powder
Apivita intensive moisturizing hand cream
Batiste diva dry shampoo
Sure maximum protection sensitive anti-perspirant deodrant
Angela Langford balanced and beautiful face oil
Nioxin cleanser shampoo for fine hair

As always, it was a mixture of real favourites and products that I didn't get on so well with. I really didn't like the Sure deodrant, but the other items were all nice enough to use up.

Of the 7, my favourite would have to be the Nioxin shampoo, and I would definitely consider repurchasing in the future. Batiste dry shampoo remains a firm favourite as well, although I have at least 3 cans on standby, so won't be running out anytime soon. 

How did you get on this month? What are your least favourite products?

March 2013 favourites

Soap and glory whipped clean shower butter, Revlon nearly naked pressed powder, Vita coco coconut water, Organic surge fresh ocean body lotion, 17 mirror shine lipstick in Roasted red, March 2013 favourites
  March favourites

Soap and glory whipped clean shower butter
A cake scented shower gel? Yes please! And not only does this smell amazing, it's also packed with essential oils and moisturising butters so I can get away with not moisturising every day. Great if like myself, you're always in a rush or running late in the mornings.

Organic surge fresh ocean light body lotion
On days when I do moisturise, this is my body lotion of choice. It's light, quick absorbing and leaves my skin feeling hydrated but not greasy. I've spoken before about my love for the million dollar anywhere balm, and this is like the body lotion equivalent. It's got a similar lemon sherbet smell and I think it's so refreshing and perfect for Spring.

Revlon nearly naked pressed powder
Face powder is an everyday essential for me, and I like how this leaves my skin matte, but not flat. The packaging is quite bulky, but it comes with it's own sponge applicator and mirror, which is handy when touching up on the go. The formula's lightweight too, so I can get away with reapplying several times without it caking up or oxidizing.

17 mirror shine lipstick in roasted red
It's no secret that I love sheer moisturising lip colours, and formula wise, this one fits the bill perfectly. It's been my go to lip colour for the last few months, and I love that it's got a little mirror hidden away in the lid too.

Vita coco natural coconut water
Coconut water has been around for quite some time now, but it wasn't until recently that I realised just how good they were for you. It's high in potassium, less sugary than traditional sports drinks but just as hydrating and contains natural anti-oxidants. I've been drinking this whenever I exercise, original is my favourite, but the pineapple flavour's rather tasty too.

Have you tried any of these products? What were your March favourites?
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