Summer ready with Boots

At times I did wonder if we'd been getting any sunshine this year, but now that summer is finally here, I've been trying out a selection of products from Boots designed to get me prepped and ready for the sunny days ahead:

Summer ready with Boots

Starting with my favourite product in the pack. I always find fake tanning a bit of a faff, so it's nice to find a product that offers a longer lasting solution. It's a tinted formula so you can see exactly where you've applied and there's no stale biscuit smell. I usually leave it on overnight, but the colour develops in a couple of hours so you can wash it off sooner if needs be. I found the colour to be really natural and one application lasted me for well over a week.

To extend the tan, you need to reapply twice more within the next 2-3 days. So far I've only ever done 2 applications, but I've been really happy with the colour and longevity, and if the good weather continues then I'll definitely be doing all 3 applications in the hope of extending my tan even longer.

SPF is another summer essential and the Boots soltan dry touch sunscare spray offers protection without any of the stickness associated with traditional sunscreens. For holidays I would go for SPF 30 or 50, but for the odd lunch break outside this is perfect. It's quick absorbing, easy to apply and offers both UVA and UVB protection. 

When Nivea first launched their in shower moisturiser it caused quite the stir, and I can see their new after sun lotion becoming just as popular. It's not a complete substitute for aftersun, but the cucumber extract means it's nice and cooling, and for days when you're in a rush this would be perfect for soothing and lightly hydrating sun exposed skin.

From the creaters of hydraluron, Indeed labs exfoliator comes as a fine powder which you mix with water to activate before applying to the skin. It uses a powerful mixture of bamboo extract, rice ban powder, pineapple enzymes, algae and hyluronic acid to gently exfoliate and deep cleanse the skin. A good choice for sensitive skins or as a substitute for a liquid exfoliator when going on holiday.

Finally the Sleek face form palette in medium, which contains a contour shade, highlighter and bronzer. As always the powders are pigmented and blendable, but unfortunately as much as I loved the idea of this palette, the shades were just too dark for my skintone. I already own the face contour kit, which contains 2 of the 3 powders and judging by that I'd say the fair or light palette would be a better match instead.

Have you tried any of the products above? What are your summer essentials?

Currently loving - Essie watermelon

It's been a while since I've painted my nails, but named after my favourite fruit and with it's eyecatching hot pink colour, Essie Watermelon was just too pretty to resist:

Essie watermelon nail polish

I'm slowly building up a small collection of Essie nail polishes and I have to say, so far I'm really impressed. The brush makes application quick and easy, the formula is rich and pigmented and the colour a gorgeous coral pink creme. In fact it's one of the few nail polishes where I can get away with just one coat. Lasting power was pretty good too. I had to remove the polish after 3 days but in that time there was no chipping and only minimal tip wear. Overall, a great formula and a beautiful colour for summer.

Essie Watermelon, £6.79 from Chemist Direct. 

Do you own any Essie nail polishes? What's your favourite colour?

Glossybox and Love me beauty June 2014

Another month, another set of beauty boxes to try out. With holidays just around the corner Glossybox have gone for a June jet set theme whereas Love me beauty have focused more on summer make up and skincare:

Glossybox June 2014

Glossybox June 2014, Nail girls, Teez trend cosmetics, L'oreal paris volume million lashes mascara, So susan cosmetics concealer quad, Rituals Qi Gong sray

Glossybox have really upped their game this year and this has be my favourite box yet. Considering it retails for just £10 there are 4 full sized products as well as a generously sized Ritals travel deodorant. In the past I've found make up products really hit and miss but this month I think they've got it absolutely spot on.

Although I'm not a big fan of the bold print, the eye make up brush is soft yet still firm and densely packed, so ideal for sweeping colour onto the eyelids. I've been wanting a concealer palette for quite some time now so the So susan concealer quad was another welcome new addition. The concealers are thick and creamy and with 4 shades to play around with, you can mix and match to your heart's content. Finally there's a L'oreal volume million lashes mascara and Nail girls base/top coat and nail strengthener, both of which are beauty essentials and I'm sure will go down well with subscribers.

Love me beauty June 2014

Love me beauty June 2014, Montagne Jeuness, Model co lipgloss, NYX cosmetics nail polish, Beauty UK eyeshadow palette, Urban veda purifying day cream

Moving onto Love me beauty and again they've gone for a make up heavy box. What I like about Love me beauty is that there are a choice of 3 boxes each month, so you can always be sure that the products will be best suited to your skintype and make up preference.

For my June box I went for menu 1, which contains a full sized Montagne Jeuness face mask, Model Co lipgloss, Beauty UK eyeshadow palette and NYX cosmetics nail polish, as well as a mini sample sized Urban veda purifying day cream. I'll be passing the eyeshadow palette onto a friend but having been super stressed out and working long hours, the Montagne Jeuness face mask couldn't have come at a better time. It was the perfect excuse for a mini pamper session and with natural clay, acai berries and avocado it was both detoxying and rejuvenating, leaving my skin soft and glowing after just 10 minutes.

Are you a Glossybox or Love me beauty subscriber? What was your favourite product this month?

Fake tanning with Elemis and Vita Liberata

Call me a cliche, but I do love it when the sun comes out. Everything's just so much nicer and with so many new places to explore in London, it truely feels like I'm on holiday sometimes. The only problem is after months of hiding away in jeans I'm far from summer ready, so for the last few weeks I've been using these 3 products from Elemis and Vita Liberata for some much needed colour:

Elemis total glow bronzing moisturiser for face, Elemis total glow bronzing body lotion, Vita Liberate nkd skn matte wash off instant tan
Elemis total glow and Vita Liberate nkd skn fake tan

If I know the weather's going to be nice then a few days before I'll start with Elemis Total glow bronzing moisturiser for face and the matching body lotion. Both are gradual tanners so you can build up the colour slowly, then top up every couple of days as required. Being a more subtle tan, it's much harder to go wrong and as I'm super paranoid about streaking my face, the bronzing moisturiser in particular is a welcome new addition. I like that both products have a fresh citrus floral scent and with essential oils and plant extracts it helps to hydrate and even out the skintone too, doubling up nicely as my usual night cream and body lotion.

Quite often I'll get caught out though, after all living in the UK it's not uncommon to get one day of sunshine in between weeks of dull grey weather. For those days I like to have Vita Liberata nkd skin matte wash off instant tan on stand by. It's a tinted gel fluid which stains rather quickly (so I always use a mitt to apply), but the upside is once dried, it leaves behind a beautifully bronzed waterproof tan on the skin. I've yet to experience any problems with it rubbing off or streaking, but as always I'd avoid wearing anything white just in case. It doesn't have that typical stale biscuit smell, and being an instant tan the great thing is you can just wash off and reapply if you make any mistakes.

Have you tried any of the Elemis/Vita Liberata fake tans? What are your top tips for a summer glow?

Maxfactor facefinity all day primer

Maxfactor facefinity primer - the latest addition to my make up bag and a surprising new beauty favourite. Previously I'd only ever use primers on special occasions, but thanks to it's light fluid texture and quick and easy application Maxfactor facefinity primer has quickly become one of my daily essentials:

Maxfactor facefinity all day primer

Maxfactor facefinity primer started life as the secret ingredient in their Flawless 3 in 1 foundation, but thanks to high demand it's now been bottled and sold as a product in it's own right. Unlike most other primers, it lacks that velvety silicone rich texture, instead it's very thin and fluid like, making it much quicker and easier to apply (great if like myself you're always in a rush in the morning).

I find one pump dispenses just the right amount and it leaves my skin looking mattified but still radiant and healthy. Throughout the course of the day 'micro correctors' help to absorb any excess oil and since using this I've noticed a big difference in the longevity of my make up. I no longer need to powder as often, foundation stays in place for longer and my T-zone doesn't get nearly as shiny.

Because it doesn't have that silicone rich texture it's not as smoothing as other primers, but as my main concerns are oil control and longer lasting make up this primer works really well for me. Best of all, it retails for just £10.99 and there's SPF 20 to help protect against sun damage too.

Have you tried this new Maxfactor primer? What are your top tips for helping make up last longer?

Flamingo candles pink lemonade

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of scented candles. In winter I'm all about warm comforting fragrances but come summer time, like with perfume I find myself gravitating towards lighter more fruity scents. My latest discovery is Flamingo candles and with flavours such as pink lemonade, they really couldn't be more perfect for summer:

Flamingo candles pink lemonade

Hand made in the UK, all Flamingo candles are organic and made with soybean and natural wick. Previously I'd never given much thought to the ingredients but nowadays since I get through so many candles, it's important for me that they're as natural as possible. After all, there's no point exposing ourselves unnecessarily to extra pollutants and toxins, especially when there are so many natural/organic brands out there.

Scent wise, this really is pink lemonade in a candle. Think sugary sweet strawberries but still with the zestiness and sharpness of fresh fizzy lemons. Once lit, it gently fills the entire room and if looked after properly can offer up to 50 hours of burn time. Packaging wise, it's more quirky and fun than luxurious and decorative, but at £12 a candle these are a real bargain and a good alternative to some of the more high end brands.

Have you tried Flamingo candles? What's your favourite Spring/Summer scent? 

Love me beauty May 2014

Happy June everyone! A new month and hopefully a fresh start for Peonies and lilies. Last month a hectic schedule at work meant that blog posts weren't as frequent as I'd have liked but thankfully things are now looking much calmer and I'm looking forward to blogging regularly again. Starting today with a review of the May Love me beauty box, one of my favourite boxes to date:

Love me beauty May 2014

Love me beauty May 2014, Suti skincare, Teapigs creme caramel, Raw lip balm in ginger, Nail girls pale pink nail polish

In May Love me beauty made 2 lifestyle additions to their box which I think is such a good idea. I've really been getting into tea this year and the caffeine free creme caramels Teapigs are absolutely delicious and a real treat at the end of a long day. There are 3 sachets too so you can get a proper idea of what it tastes like before investing in the full sized box.

There are 3 mini note books too, which I'm sure would have been really popular with subscribers, after all, who doesn't like cute stationary. My only criticism was that the 3 designs I received weren't the same as those printed on the menu card. None the less they've been put to good use as a place to scribble all my blogging thoughts and I'd love to see more stationary/lifestyle products in future Love me beauty boxes.

The other products are a trio of Suti skincare samples, a Nail girls nude pink nail polish and a Raw skincare natural lip balm in ginger. Since attending the launch for their Honour face cream I've been wanting to try more Suti skincare so I was particularly pleased to find the samples in this month's box. The Cleansing balm has now become a new favourite and I'm sure I'll be investing in a full sized version soon. Overall a really well thought out and varied box for May 2014. Fingers crossed next month's box will be just as good!

Are you a Love me beauty box subscriber? What did you think of the May box?
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