What's in my travel make up bag

To make the most of the August bank holiday weekend, me and my boyfriend decided to spend a few days exploring other parts of the UK, namely Bath and Bristol.

Normally I'm a huge overpacker, but conscious of the big gap between arriving in the city and checking into our hotel, I tried to pack only what was really needed and I'm pleased to say I got it just right on this occasion!

Madara tinting fluid (not pictured)- My go to base this summer (click here to read my full review).

Garnier anti dark circle roll on- A sheer coverage concealer that helps to disguise the appearance of dark circles and red patches.

Urban decay finishing powder- A transclucent powder that helps to mattify my face and can be topped up during the day without looking cakey.

Maybelline dream mousse blush in peach satin - A gorgeous peachy pink shade. It does need reapplying during the day, but it has a subtle shimmer so there's no need for highlighter.

Sleek make up au naturel palette- A versatile palette with plenty of matte and shimmery shades. I especially liked Nubuck, Taupe and Bark.

Avon supershock gel eyeliner- A long lasting pigmented eyeliner, the only downside is that it needs regular sharpening.

No 7 lash adapt mascara- Great for adding some daytime length and volume. Long lasting too.

Clinique bottom lash mascara- This has a tiny 1cm brush so perfect for those bottom lashes. 100% smudge-proof too.

Maxfactor Max effect lip gloss in sweet red- A beautiful pinky red lipgloss that's great for adding a hit of colour to the lips.

Tools- The Body Shop face and body brush, Cosmetics A La Carte eyelash curlers and a disposable mascara wand.

Have you ever been to Bath or Bristol? What's usually in your travel make up bag?

Emma Hardie professional cleansing system

Moringa cleansing balm
First thing to mention is how amazing this balm smells. With extracts of grape seed oil, sweet almond oil, bergamont, jasmine and orange, it makes make up removal a truely enjoyable process.

Texture wise, it's a really interesting product. It's called a balm, but you're supposed to mix it in with some warm water just before application. This then turns it into more of a milky texture. The balm/milk rinses off mostly with water and any last residues are easily removed with a face cloth.

The cleanser can be used around the eye area, but for heavy eye make up, I'd recommend removing it first. As for the rest of my make up, it was easily removed with this cleanser and over time my pores have become smoother and less noticable.

Rosehip exfoliating seeds and Duo action cleansing cloth

To exfoliate the skin, there is a small jar of rosehip seeds. The seeds remind me of small sand granules and are quite 'scrubby' on the skin. It left my skin super smooth but I wouldn't recommend using it more than once a week.

The kit also come with a double sided face cloth- flannel on one side and a muslin on the other. Both felt gentle on the skin, and helped to remove any last traces of cleanser.

At £42 there's no denying this is a luxury product. Although the seeds and the face cloth were a nice addition, I didn't feel they were absoutely essential. However I loved the cleanser and will definitely be repurchasing once my tub runs out.

Disclosure- PR sample

Aussie summer pack giveaway winners

Thank you for all your entries, there were some lovely comments and I really wish I could have picked all of you as winners.

Sadly there were only 7 prizes to be won and in order of entry, the winners are:

Congratulations girls! Can you please email me (peonieslilies@gmail.com) with your choice of a product and postal address by 4:30pm today (24th August).

Thanks again for your entries, and if you didn't win this time then check out my 2 year giveaway or leave a wish for the Fairy hobmother :)

Wishes for the Fairy hobmother

The fairy hobmother from Appliances Online has been doing the rounds recently, and last week I was lucky enough to be paid a visit after leaving a comment on Charlies blog.

I wished for a spa day to destress or an electric heater for my room and she was kind enough to gift me with this one which will keep me nice and warm come winter time.

Now the fairy hobmother is looking to share some more happiness, so if you'd also like to be paid a visit, then leave me a comment below with your wish.

I can't guarantee she'll visit, but she's been very generous recently and you never know, it might just be your lucky day!

Happy wishing!

Ps. Do let me know if she pays you a vist :)

Sleek make up Nude collection

Sleek are well known for their bright colours, but if you'd prefer something more neutral then this Nude collection will be right up your street:

iDivine eyeshadow palette in Au naturel
Like the Storm palette, this has a range of neutral shades which will be perfect for daytime wear. It also includes a purple and black shade which can be used to create a smokey eye.

Most of the eyeshadows are matte, with the exception of Taupe, Conker and Mineral Earth, which are all shimmery. The bottom row is nice and pigmented but some of the colours in the top row do need to be built up. Despite this, I can still see myself getting a lot of use out of this palette.

Blush in Suede
This blusher couldn't have come at a better time. I've been on the lookout for a peach shade recently and this fits the bill perfectly. It gives a lovely flush of colour to the cheeks and it's been my go to blusher ever since it dropped through my letterbox on Saturday.

Pout polish in Bare minimum
As the name suggests, this is really subtle, in fact it's more like a clear lipgloss. It won't add much colour but it does offer spf15 protection, gives a nice sheen to the lips and smells of cocoa butter.

The Nude collection will be a permanent addition and will be available from 31st August.

What do you think about the new collection? Do you tend to favour neutral or bright colours?

Aussie summer pack giveaway *closed*

As you may already know, Australia turns 110 this year, and to celebrate haircare company Aussie are giving away summer packs to 7 of you lovely readers.

The 7 winners will also have the opportunity to take part in an challenge, and one person will win tickets to an exclusive Aussie party for themselves and 9 friends (the party will take place in October).

The 7 winners of the summer packs can each choose an Aussie product from the list below:

Take The Heat range – shampoo, conditioner, 3MM, heat-protection cream, heat-protection spray

Miracle Moist – Shampoo, conditioner, 3MM

Luscious Long – Shampoo, conditioner, 3MM, leave-in conditioner

For your chance to win an Aussie summer pack and tickets to their October party simply write a blogpost or leave me a comment telling me what your reasons for celebrating are (big or small, after all, any excuse for a party!).

The giveaway will end at 11:59pm on 23rd August
and winners will be selected on 24th August.

Good luck!

Terms and conditions:

(Aussie have kindly agreed to extend the giveaway as there was a delay in me receiving my parcel)

1. This competition is open to the Aussie Angels online communities

2. Winners must be UK Mainland residents and aged 18 years or over

3. Winners of the giveaway are to be chosen by Aussie Angels

4. To enter, community members must write a blog post, OR comment on an Angels’ Giveaway blog post, stating how they qualify for a Summer Party pack

5. To qualify for winning the Summer party pack, they must have something to celebrate (there are no restrictions on their reasons for celebration)

6. Selection criteria: Each Aussie Angel will select their own 7 community member winners. Selection is entirely at each Angels discretion

7. The Promoter will not be liable for applications not received, incomplete, delayed or damaged. Last date for receipt of entries is Tuesday 23 August 2011

8. There will be up to 7 winners per Aussie Angel

9. Winners must be chosen and notified in writing, by the Angels, by Wednesday 24 August 2011

10. The Angels must also notify Aussie, in writing, who they have chosen, by Wednesday 24 August 2011

11. A list of the prize winners will be available on www.uncoveraussie.co.uk after this date.

12. The prizes are as stated and cannot be transferred, sold or exchanged. There is no cash alternative. Only one prize per household. No bulk or third party entries accepted

13. Summer Party packs will be sent by Aussie, and all delivery costs covered by Aussie

14. By entering this competition, entrants agree to be bound by the rules and by any other requirements set out in the promotional material.

2 year giveaway

To celebrate 2 years of Peonies and lilies, and as a way of saying thank you to my lovely readers, I thought I'd hold a little giveaway:

The Body Shop vitamin E gentle facial cleansing wipes
Bare minerals foundation sample
Sleek make up Nailed polish in Turquoise
Sleek make up Nailed polish in Florida
Eyeko Military polish
Eyeko Coral polish
Revlon ColorStay 12 hour eye shadow in Sunrise, Sunset
Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Va va violet
BeautyUK nail polish in Fuschia
James Brown Scandalous moisturising conditioner
FCUK Polished bodyspray
Botanics Daily hand therapy SPF10
Soap and Glory Hand food hand cream
Wella High hair finishing spray
MAXfactor lash extension effect mascara

For your chance to win:
- Leave me a comment telling me what your favourite holiday destination is and why
- Be a follower of this blog
- Feel free to blog or tweet about this giveaway for 2 extra enteries each

This giveaway will be open to both UK and international
readers, and will close at 11.59pm on 2nd September.

Good luck!

2 year blog anniversary

Can you believe it's been 2 years since I started this blog? Time really does fly when you're having fun!

Over the last 2 years, I've been lucky enough to meet some really lovely bloggers, been introduced to some great products and generally just had a really good time.

None of it would have been possible without your support, and I really do appreciate every single one of you that follows my blog, leaves me a comment or chats to me on Twitter.

As a way of saying thank you, I've got a big giveaway planned, which will be up very shortly.

Thanks again for all the support, and here's to another year of blogging!

Sleek make up pout paints

Similar to OCC lip tars, these Sleek pout paints are seriously pigmented and longlasting.

There are 11 shades in the range and I was sent Pin up, Peachy keen, Peek-a-bloo and Cloud to try out.

When I first saw the blue and white shades, I did wonder who would use them. However it turns out they were designed to be mixed in with other shades, to create your own custom colour. Blue helps to warm up a shade, whilst white helps to add some cool tones.

Having played around with the colours, my favourite combination has to be a mixture of Pin up and Cloud. Together they give a gorgeous pinky red colour, which looks great as a statement lip on a night out.

A little bit goes a long way with these pout paints, and I usually apply them over some Carmex to keep my lips nice and hydrated.

During the day, I do find them too strong to wear by themselves, but they can also be mixed in with some lip balm or vaseline to create a sheer wash of colour.

Have you tried any of the new pout paints? What's your favourite colour combination?

Nivea million moments of closeness campaign

Skincare company NIVEA have been in business for 100 years, and to celebrate they have launched a 'million moments of closeness' campaign.

As part of the campaign, Nivea and psychologist Professor Geoff Beattie are asking on their Facebook page if friendships make us happier and also if the internet and social media are bringing us closer than ever or driving us apart?

Personally, I love spending time with my friends. It's great to catch up over a coffee, meet up for dinner, go shopping or simply to just hang out and have a laugh. I always leave feeling happier and more relaxed and sometimes a few hours with a friend or a loved one is all you need after having a bad day!

As for social media, in many ways I do feel it brings people closer together. At the touch of a button you can chat to friends or other bloggers on Twitter, and Facebook is a great platform for sharing photos and event invitations. Also a lot of my university friends are now abroad, and Facebook is a great way of keeping in touch.

That said, it is not a substitute to meeting up in person. Everyone has such hectic lives these days, and whilst social media is a great way to keep in touch, given the choice, I would still much rather meet up in person.

According to Nivea, there are even physical and mental health benefits associated with friendship. Not only do we Feel Closer, it can lower your blood pressure, decrease your stress levels, and decrease the risk of depression and anxiety.

If you’d like to get involved in this debate or the campaign, then simply visit their Facebook page. Nivea are currently running a competition where you can upload a photo of yourself with a friend or a loved one. The photos will be judged on a daily basis by Professor Geoff Beattie for signs of genuine closeness and the winner will receive a £100 prize. They will also be hosting a series of road shows around the UK, where you can enter the competition and receive free Nivea samples.

*Sponsored Post*

NOTD- Nails Inc Little Miss Chatterbox

Released as part of a limited edition collection to celebrate 40 years of Mr Men and Little Miss, Nails Inc Little Miss chatterbox is a grey beige/taupe colour with an ever so slight hint of purple.

In the past Nails Inc polishes have been quite hit and miss for me, but this one is surprisingly pigmented and as long as I had enough polish on the brush I could easily get away with just one coat (as shown above).

I always find colours like this very chic, especially on short nails, and although I tend to favour brighter colours in the summer, this shade will definitely get a lot of wear come Autumn.

Have you tried any of the Nails Inc polishes? Who's your favourite Mr Men and Little Miss character?

Disclosure- PR sample

No 7 lash adapt mascara review

For years, No 7 have impressed me with their skincare, but in recent months, their mascaras have become a new favourite of mine.

I was given this at a recent press event, and it's since become my go to mascara for daytime wear.

The brush is on the chunky side, which I usually struggle with, but as long as I'm careful, it won't smudge on my eyelids and I can even use it to coat my bottom lashes.

The first coat is very subtle and just darkens my lashes, but after the second coat my lashes are visibly lengthened and volumised.

The mascara isn't waterproof, but it lasts reasonably well throughout the day. I usually get a little flaking in the afternoon, but no smudges. As for removal, it comes off easily with all my make up removers.

It's priced at £12.50 which is expensive for a high street mascara, but No7 are always doing £5 off vouchers, and at £7.50 I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

Have you tried any of the No 7 mascaras? What's your favourite high street mascara?

Body butters

When it comes to moisturising, I love treating my skin to nourishing body butters and theses are the 3 that I currently have in my collection:

SPC citrus body moisturiser
Of the 3, this has the lightest texture. I'd describe it as a light cream gel, which sinks into my skin almost immediately to leave it soft and hydrated. It contains extracts of lemon, lime and orange oil and has a nice creamy lemon scent when applied to the skin. Because it's so light and refreshing, it's currently my go to moisturiser during the summer.

Aromatherapy associates enrich body butter
This was a giveaway prize from the lovely Charlie. It has more of a rich creamy feel to it, but despite the thickness, gets absorbed very quickly without any greasiness. It contains extracts of jasmine, patchouli and tonka bean, which together with the mattified container, gives it nice sensual feel. Great for use in the evenings!

The body shop coconut body butter
This has a true butter texture- hard in the tub, but melts on contact with body heat to become a thick cream. It does take a while to sink in, but once it does, it's super moisturising and I can get away with not applying body lotion for the next 2 days. It has a strong coconut vanilla scent, which can be too much if worn all over, but but it makes a great moisturising treat for my dry legs.

Have you tried any of these body butters? What's your favourite body moisturiser?

Disclosure- SPC citrus body moisturiser was a PR sample

NOTD- Bourjois ultra shine so laque in Rose satin

This was originally brought to use as part of a French manicure, however after just one application, I realised it would also look great as an all over nail colour.

I would describe it as a glossy peachy pink colour, which looks particularly nice against a dark background (eg. a black top). As it is such a light colour, it needed 2 coats for an even finish, but the formula was easy to apply and it dried reasonably quickly.

All in all, a great colour for everyday nails and a lovely new addition to my collection.

Have you tried any of the Bourjois nail varnishes? What's your favourite colour for everyday nails?

Murad energizing pomegranate lip protector

A sheer juicy pink lipgloss with a light fruity scent. Texture wise, it's thick but non sticky and can last for up to an hour before wearing off. The lipgloss contains shea butter and plant oils to help hydrate the skin and it always leaves my lips feeling soft and moisturised.

The tube makes for easy application, and because it's so sheer, it's great for adding a hint of daytime colour and gloss to the lips.

Have you tried anything from Murad? What's your go to lipgloss during the summer?

*Disclosure- PR sample*

First look at the new Liz Earle sheer skin tint

This September, skincare brand Liz Earle will be taking its first step into colour cosmetics with the lauch of a much anticipated tinted moisturiser.

There'll be 3 shades to choose from and they all contain mineral SPF15 along with a limited range of botanical ingredients (vitamin E, avocado and borage).

Not wanting to go down the route of traditional black packaging, the team decided put the product into deep blue tubes. The inspiration for this actually struck whilst out at sea, and the shade has now been trademarked as 'Liz Earle marine blue'.

Texture wise it's thick but blendable, and although marketed as a tinted moisturiser, it is very pigmented and gives as much coverage as a light foundation. Personally I find it too thick to use by itself in the summer. Instead I've been mixing it with a moisturiser (for reference shade 2 is the best match for my NC25 skintone). The skin tint helps to add some coverage and together they give a nice radiant finish to the skin.

If like me, you hate choosing shades online, then you'll be glad to hear that Liz Earle has come up with a solution. When you order the skin tint, they'll also send you 3 sample satchets. That way you can try them all and if you find another shade suits you better, simply return the unopened tube and they'll exchange it for another colour.

Liz Earle skin tint will be available from 15th September, and will be priced at £21 for 40ml. Click here to sign up for more information from the official website.

Do you tend to switch to a tinted moisturiser during the summer month? What's your favourite base at the moment?

Bioderma crealine H20 review

Possibly one of the most talked about products in recent months, and thanks to the lovely Louise from GetLippie, I was lucky enough to win a bottle to try out:

As the name suggests, it looks and feels exactly like water, but it somehow manages to do a great job of removing make up without irritating the skin. I've always favoured oil based eye make up removers, but nowadays I find myself reaching for this more often than not.

I simply tip some of the liquid onto a cotton pad, dab it over my eyes a few times, and all my make up gets removed without any need for rubbing. Compared to oil based removers, it has the advantage of not leaving a film on the skin, so its great for cleaning up any eye make up mistakes.

Bioderma used to be difficult and expensive to get hold of in the UK, however you can now buy it from Zuneta for £14 plus £3.95 p+p. Although reasonable, this is still more than what you'd pay in France, so if you are travelling this summer, then I'd highly recommend getting a bottle to try out.

Have you tried any of the Bioderma skincare products? What's your favourite eye make up remover?
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