Monday, 24 March 2014

Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel in Chocolate Truffle and Wintermint

Revlon Nail Varnish - £6.49 each

The hype surrounding these nail polishes are incredible. From as far back as January I have been waiting impatiently for their launch and I promise you they do not disappoint. Exclusively from boots, the range includes 20 shades in 4 major scent categories (spicy, fresh, citrus and floral). The shade and scent range is amazing, there is something for all styles, all noses and all seasons. 

Being quite restraint I picked up two shades with some of my Boots points, Chocolate Truffle and Wintermint. Before I talk about these two shades, I'd just like to quickly mention the packaging. The bottles stand out a mile away among my collection because they are genuinely different. I really like how Revlon have tried to incorporate traditional perfume bottles with the top. The unique top doesn't hinder grip at all, and the brush is nice, needing two swipes to cover the entire nail. 

I have to hand it to Revlon, their descriptions match the shade and the scent of each varnish perfectly. Both shades I picked up were opaque in two coats and Chocolate Truffle had a lovely shine without a top coat. On the nail, they last 3-4 days without chipping and the formula is a great creamy consistency.  As you would expect, Chocolate Truffle (115) is a rich, luxurious deep brown, and Wintermint (040) is a metallic light green with turquoise glitter. However, as much as I can rave about the shade range, we all know the real attraction is what happens when the polish is dry.

Once dry, you are hit by your chosen scent. You know like Yankee Candles has a way of making scents lifelike? That's what Revlon have some how managed to do, but on your nails. Chocolate Truffle is an intensely chocolaty scent, more intense than a bar of Dairy Milk, exactly like a box of chocolate truffles. Likewise Wintermint is an equally strong mint scent which is quite sharp, almost like a fresh stick of chewing gum. The lasting power of the fragrance is impressive. The scents of the polish are pretty intense for the first 7 hours, so I would bare that in mind when choosing a shade. Saying that, they do slowly lessen after the 7 hour mark, but even 2 days in, it was noticeable. 

If I'm being honest with myself I know this is a novelty, and that the shade range doesn't include anything I haven't already got, but I don't think it will be long before I add another couple to my collection. Maybe its reliving my childhood but just when I was getting a bit bored of nail varnish, these are released, and suddenly I'm excited again. I definitely have my eye on the lime and orange ones and maybe the Italian leather. Here's hoping there's a 3 for 2 on soon!

Have you picked up any shades? If you could make any scent what would you make?

Monday, 17 March 2014

FABB Liverpool

On Saturday I got the train to Liverpool to go to FABB Liverpool. If you've read my blog for a while, you may remember I went to a previous event organised by Tor & Ray in Manchester (click here). Seeing as I enjoyed that event so much, I though this was the perfect excuse to take a trip down the Mersey, and catch up with some fellow northern bloggers.  

With Ark, Crystal Clear Skincare, Derma V10, ESPA, Lush and Tropic Natural Skincare all showing their latest products it was definitely a great day, full of gossip and testing out the next must-haves. I first got the amazing opportunity to test out a ESPA skin regime, focusing specifically on my dry combination skin! I then began the sensory ritual that is Lush. It's amazing that wherever Lush is, and in whatever form it takes, it always has that distinctive scent and atmosphere. The table was a full of beautiful bright, exciting products and I was introduced to some of their massage bars when I had a lovely hand and arm massage. Next was Crystal Clear Skincare, a brand I'd seen pop up a couple of times of various blogs. After watching a demonstration of their Lift Away The Years, I got to have a tester, and the difference it made on one half of my face in 2 minutes was incredible. More defined, plumper and radiant, My skin felt like it had had a face lift, but with a soft vibration and not anything scary! This serum pen has definitely been placed onto my wishlist. Derma V10 were also presenting their range of products and I definitely took this as an opportunity to stock up on my much-loved day and night cream as well as another chocolate body butter. Moving further round the room I got to look at the new season collection from Ark. I LOVED these grey glitter jelly sandals, I had a pink pair when I was younger. Lastly, I was treated to an introduction to Tropic Natural Skincare. A rapidly growing brand, the quality of the products are simply amazing and I love their contour palette. 

If all this chit-chat with brands wasn't enough, we were all presented the most amazing goody bags, the contents of which I can't wait to try out. Needless to say, the Popchips were eaten straight away. As you can guess, this event was just as good as the Manchester one and I really enjoyed catching up with everyone. I would definitely give FABB Events a follow on twitter, and keep an eye on where their next venture is, it's not to be missed.


Friday, 14 March 2014

Sephora Haul

The news that Sephora has now started shipping (some) products to the UK was music to my ears. Unlike a lot of bloggers, I've not been overseas in quite a while, and I don't think I will be going any time soon. Unfortunately that means I wouldn't have been able to stock up on some brands unavailable to us Brits without the new shipping, unless I begged friends and family. Subject to importing restrictions on certain items such as nail polish, I can now get my hands on the brands I've be craving.

As you have to place quite an expensive order, over £75, one of the first big questions I had was whether I'd be then faced with a nice duty and tax bill once my box of goodies arrived. I was pleasantly surprised that Sephora were true to there word and this is included, so no nasty surprises. I will also say that the tracking and packaging of said items its great and my parcel came a whopping week earlier than estimated! Shipping is £10 once you have added £75 worth of products into you basket (don't forget you will have duty & taxes on top of this but will pay it in the checkout). As I mentioned above, you can't get your hands on nail products such as Formula X which is upsetting, but I expected it. Similarly, there's quite a lot of brands such as Hourglass and Soap & Glory which won't be eligible for shipping (full list here NB: this list includes Josie Maran, and as you can see I got a blush so not sure on that one) but the majority of these are freely available in the UK, so no tears lost. Oh and as an added bonus, you can select up to 3 samples with your order! 

Now onto my haul. I've been quite mean with the photo above and for that I am apologizing. I'm not giving too much away with some of the shades etc. because I'm doing full posts on everything and this post would end up extremely long if I did include photographs of each product. That being said, I have been asked countless times what I got when I had a splurge, so rather than keep you all in suspense and repeat myself listing items, I decided I'd do a haul post.

I decided to stick with things I couldn't get freely in the UK to justify the extra costs. After seeing Estee rave about the Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation, it was one of the first things to make its way into my shopping basket. I've never tried a mineral foundation so I also picked up the Tarte Airbuki Brush. Based on the provisional product list for the Tarte QVC launch, this isn't going to be available so I'm really glad to have this in my life. The other base product I got was the Lorac Perfectly Lit Oil-Free Luminizing Powder in Spotlight. I really wanted to try something from Lorac and as this powder was in the sale, I couldn't resit. On first inspection it seems to be more of a finishing powder than a highlighter, but I'm going to have a play.

Since summer I have become a blush addict. It's actually getting quite ridiculous the rate I'm picking them up. The newest additions to my collection are the Kat Von D Everlasting Blush in Bellisima which is a beautiful peach powder blush, meant to last 24 hours! The second blush I picked up was the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gel in Getaway Red. I was completely stuck for choice on choosing a shade because they are all so wearable, but I settled on this red as apart from NARS Exhibit A, I don't have anything else similar. I really excited to try the formula as it includes Argan Oil and looks almost like a balm-like texture. Keeping on the red theme, I may have got a bit giddy and got Marc Jacobs Lip Gel in Surrender Dorothy, a red with orange undertones. The packaging alone has me in love. I'm now just waiting for the right occasion to use it!

Of course I couldn't place an order to Sephora without getting some bits from Sephora's own line. Whenever I read/watch anyone's Sephora Hauls, the brands brushes always rate highly. I've never seen anything like the Pro Visionary Face Blender Brush (maybe a bit like the Illamasqua Blush Up Brush?) but I thought it would make an amazing multi-tasker brush, and particularly good for contouring this summer. I also got the Classic Must Have Precision Cream Shadow Brush. I usually use my fingers for cream shadows and have actually been on the search for a better alternative. After reading the reviews, I was quickly sold, so hopefully this will become a staple in my collection. Make-up wise I was transfixed with their MicroSmooth collection, and picked up a Baked Blush Duo in Tea Rose Tickle and a highlighter in Stardust. Whilst I thought the duo was an impulse buy and caught my eye, the highlighter is said to be a great dupe for NARS Albatross. 

What a mammoth haul! As I said, I will be reviewing all the products I got in a lot more detail, so make sure you follow so you don't miss anything!

Have you got anything from Sephora? What's on your wishlist?


Monday, 10 March 2014

The Original Mane 'n Tail Shampoo and Conditioner

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Mane 'n Tail Shampoo & Conditioner - £7 each
Despite popular belief, (most) bloggers don't like to write negative reviews. If I've read up and found a product, and then gone on to part with my hard earned cash, its because I genuinely want to love it. I always think twice when posting a negative review, but in the end I think the reasons why I've not fallen in love with something may help someone else considering buying it. That's the case with the two products I'm going to talk about today, which are actually quite hard to come by in the UK.

As the name suggests, Mane 'n Tail shampoo and conditioner can be used on both horse and human hair. Aiming to maintain and achieve fuller, stronger, longer, healthier-looking hair, the products aim to cleanse without stripping natural oils and inject moisture into your hair to add nourishment. In theory, this is the best way to maintain your my little pony hair. To get the best results, it was suggested that I use both the shampoo and the conditioner, but after a couple of weeks it was obvious this wasn't a match made in heaven.

The Shampoo is a silver-like liquid that is perhaps too gooey to be the perfect consistency. Nevertheless, it lathers up lovely and even when your are simply rising your hair, you can feel a remarkable difference in the condition of your hair. In fact, I don't not like the shampoo; I find it ok. But as this post suggests, there were some issues that occurred. The Conditioner is an equally high-quality product which has a creamy consistency. Like the shampoo, you can feel it moisturising your locks from the get-go. So why am I complaining? Well, the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Used together, these products don't work for me. Concentrating on my ends, using the conditioner with the shampoo did leave my hair feeling nourished and incredibly shiny, but also made it look greasy from day 1. Instead of fuller, my hair became flat. Although more manageable, it was just lank. I altered quantities, I altered focus areas, I did everything in the book to make this duo co-operate, but sadly in my case nothing did. Desperate to not waste these products, I eventually began using the shampoo on its own, and pairing it with the conditioner sporadically. Doing this, I did find a massive improvement, and the claims were closer to being achieved, but it was nothing mind blowing, nothing that made me want to re-invest.

So this is rather an odd conclusion. I think these products over fulfilled on their claims. I will be the first one to admit that myself and hair care aren't always the best of friends.  I have ridiculously thick hair which most products weigh down. In this case, I think that, although somewhat dry, my hair is not dry or neglected enough to cope with the amount of moisture injected in by the conditioner, leaving my hair a bit overwhelmed. Like I said, the conditioner is actually OK if used now and again, but I think its far to much for my hair to cope with paired with the shampoo. However, I would say it could be great if you have dry hair through bleach etc. Then I think it could be a miracle team. Separately though, their not amazing, just ok so hardly worth the effort and expense of finding them.

I know these products are readily available in the States, but if your this side of the Atlantic, I picked these up from Liberty of London, for £7 each.

Have you tried Mane 'n Tail? Have you got any suggestions for products that won't weight my hair down?


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Lush Bunch of Carrots

A Bunch of Carrots - £5.95

How hilarious does that post title sound. A lush bunch of carrots! Even my mum gave me a funny look when I told her I'd be 5 minutes because I have to photograph a bunch of carrots. Anyway, last week I did a very naughty, very big Lush shop and got a whole handful of goodies from their Easter and Mother's Day collection. Out of everything, this product really stood out due to its fun form, so I thought I'd review it for you all.

A Bunch of Carrots consists of 3 carrot shaped reusable bubble bars, tied together with green string (as their leaves). To use simply choose a carrot, untie it from the bunch and either hold by the string under warm running water or swish it around in the water til your hearts content. I love that the scent is relatively subtle for Lush standards, yet is strong enough to let you enjoy it. Rather than the usual sweet scents, this is one that everyone can appreciate.With notes of blackcurrant, buchu and, lemon and grapefruit oils, this has a lovely tropical scent which will banish your winter blues and get you in the mood for the S/S season.  Each bar lasts around 2 baths, working out at just under £1 per bath which I think is great value!

I am absolutely loving Lush's two new collections. I think they've become more adventurous now with designs and scents and it's paying off. I would have liked to seen some shower gel or even perhaps incorporate the new season into other products such as their hair care (pastal dyes anyone?). That being said, they have definitely not disappointed.

Have you picked up or got your eye on anything?


Monday, 3 March 2014

Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum

S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum - £27.55

Oh Glossy Box. Despite my disappointment in the the last couple of months, I will always be grateful for the introduction of Caudalie into my life. If you're not familiar with the brand, Caudalie is a French skincare company who produce complete miracle workers. Every product I've tried from the brand delivers exactly what its supposed to do and seems to go the extra mile. Although high-end, nothing is priced ridiculously and in fact everything is extremely reasonably when you experience the quality of the products.

The product I'm focusing on today is the Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum. An exceptionally lightweight milky-looking fluid, it's an intensely hydrating serum suitable for all skin types. Combining Organic Grape Water and Hyaluronic Acid it works by boosts your skin's natural moisture balance and kick starts it's mechanism to give you smoother, softer skin. I apply a pea-sized amount of the light, fresh fragranced serum after I've cleanser my skin at night and then follow with a moisturiser however it would be equally effective applied in the morning, and I have heard some people state it helps to give a natural dewy look to their skin!

I have normal to dry skin and am prone to blemishes, particularly if I'm under stress, which let's face it, is all the time. During exams or particularly intense periods, my skin really deteriorates and I get horrible dry rashes on my neck which are incredibly painful. I've tried everything on it, E45 and other intense moisturisers, but nothing has ever worked as well or as quickly as this. Overnight my rash will nearly disappear, and although it's quick to act, the results are long-lasting! It doesn't suddenly reappear when you stop using it, this is a serum where you can really see it working. When I'm minus said rash, I use it roughly once a week just to keep on top of my dehydrated skin. I don't like giving products the 'holy grail' label, because things are always improving. But this is going to take some beating; it's been life changing. My skin is smoother and softer since using regularly, and because you use so little, it will last you a while. Particularly good if your trying to battle the signs of winter, or even perhaps travelling, as I said before, its suitable for all skin types, and personally, I think everyone should give it ago.

Have you got any hydrating hero's? Are you in love with Caudalie as much as I am?

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