Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Soap & Glory: Glow All Out

Soap and Glory Glow All Out 1 Soap and Glory Glow All Out 2

On a recent binge shop at my local Boots, I decided to pick up Soap & Glory's Glow All Out Luminizing Radiance Face Powder, £11. I have been after something like this for quite a while so decided to splurge and keep my fingers crossed.

I've heard a lot of people complain about the packaging with the product, I have no idea why as it's exactly what I have come to expect from the retro beauty brand. Yes, it's not in a plastic container, it's in fact packed into a sturdy cardboard surround with a handy mirror thrown in for good measure. I like this, it's not something I see very often and stands out from a lot of powders in my already overflowing makeup drawer. Anything with gold or silver foil is a winner in my book too, I love the decadence it hints to.

Packaging aside, the powder promises to give you "skin like a supermodel in a couple of brushstrokes".  I don't think I'll ever look like a supermodel, nor do I go out of my way to do so but after a few well placed dabs of Glow All Out, I do look healthier and positively 'glowing'. I use Benefit's High Beam to enhance the appearance of my cheekbones and this has a very reminiscent feel to it, without being a liquid. Using a Real Techniques powder brush, I lightly apply this to the apples of my cheeks for a radiant glow and dust a tiny bit down the length of my nose and around my jawline to really highlight and bring forward my best features. It perks up my otherwise lacklustre skin, creating a subtle glow and taking some of the thirst out of my problem areas.

The versatility this has in comparison to my liquid highlighters can't make me gush enough, it's much easier to blend and less pigmented so you can't go overboard. It's build-able and can even be used all over the face according to S&G for a "moonlit" look. I've yet to try this, it looks far too pearlescent for an all over dusting, but with the hot weather looking to stick around a little longer it might look effortless on those long summer nights without the need for a refresh.

Have you tried any face powders? If so, what's your favourite?

Monday, 27 May 2013

Bourjois Cream to Powder Blushes

Bourjois Paris Cream Blush 1 Bourjois Paris Cream Blush 2 Bourjois Paris Cream Blush 3

Cream to powder blushes aren't a new revelation on the beauty front, we've seen Topshop, Clinique and Simply Beautiful, all of which have made a pretty decent stab at covering all bases in one blush. Most recently, Bourjois Paris has brought out their own range of blushes with this formulation to mark 150 years of it's iconic little round blush pots. It's their first foray into this area and, if their initial four colours are anything to go by, it's set to be a big hit. Having already graced many a beauty bloggers posts, I couldn't pass up the chance to try these little wonders for myself, especially being from a drugstore brand that I hold in high regard.

Looking at the packaging alone is enough to cause anyone to snap them all up just to display on their vanity dresser. Strong typography and easy to distinguish from each other with varying shades of colour; I'm a sucker for bold serif numbers! Light weight and striking, with a handy mirror concealed in the lid for quick and easy touch-ups throughout the day, Bourjois have hit the spot when it comes to look alone.

After cooing over the packaging, I couldn't help but notice the lightly fragranced aroma coming from the pan of each of the pots. It has traces of the healthy mix foundation to it, without being overwhelming. It's a welcome change from the typically strong chemical smell that most cream blushes seem to come with recently. Rubbing my finger in the pan I can feel how incredibly creamy and soft the texture is. After application to the apples of the cheek, you need to work fairly deftly to throughly blend it in to the skin but it strikes you at how pigmented the colour is and a little goes a long way. Once applied, I found the blush instantly looked a part of my natural colouring, it's so natural you would never believe you were wearing a blush at all. After having worn this all day at work with no need to 'freshen up' the blush throughout the day, I was hugely impressed with the longevity. Another added bonus!

Bourjois Paris Cream Blush 4

01 Nude Velvet has a real summer vibe with its matte peach colour, an everyday shade that will look wonderful on slightly sun kissed skin with floral sundresses. 02 Healthy Glow lends more on the orange side of the spectrum, a pearly apricot that would suit most skin types, which definitely leaves the kind of glow intended.

Bourjois Paris Cream Blush 5

03 Rose Tender is a real pink shade which also has a pearly finish, easily wearable and a colour that many people would write off until tried. 04 Sweet Cherry is the darkest of all the blushes, a deep matte brown-pink colour which will suit most if worn lightly as it has the most natural tones to it which all skin can blend in with.

Bourjois Cream Blush is available now for £7.99.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Whittard's Peach Melba Instant Tea

Whittard of Chelsea Peach Melba Instant Tea |

To mix things up a little, today I thought I'd talk about something that's not beauty related but my ultimate relaxing treat! Whittard's do a delicious range of instant teas that I haven't been able to get enough of since my sister bought me a bunch for my birthday along with a wonderful ice tea set with birds of paradise adorning the glass. 

As a staple, my partner Ross and I always keep the Mango and Lychee (£5.50) flavour in the cupboard, it never fails to impress guests! But, after running out of Strawberry and Vanilla (£5.50) and frightening low on Dreamtime (£5.50), I decided to have a look to see what other flavours we might like to try. Peach Melba (£5.50) jumped off the shelf for me, I can't get enough of anything that's either peach, grape or berry related. This also contains raspberries, so it's an instant hit in my book. 

Being both a coffee and tea lover, I'm quite a purist. I like my tea strong and generally the kind that you need to let infuse, the same goes for my coffee and I much prefer filter to instant. Now, this is where Whittard have turned my expectations on its head. I'd never used an instant tea before, so didn't quite know what to expect, but figured it might be slightly weak if you didn't use enough. I was wrong! The recommended scoop is perfect for a really strong, flavourful cup of tea and there's no need to add any sugar to make it sweet as it's mixed with real cane sugar. 

Cozying up on the sofa with a large mug of this, a terrible sitcom on the television and a heap of fashion magazines is my ultimate in downtime. I can't wait to be able to make iced tea with all my Whittard instant teas, especially knowing how wonderful they taste hot.

Have you tried any Whittard's Instant Tea? What's your favourite?

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Bath Time Treats 01

Origins Rich Rewards Clinique 7 Day Scrub Hero | Origins Rich Rewards | Clinique 7 Day Scrub Hero |

I love a long bath, there's nothing better than soaking for extended periods of time, especially when there are plenty of candles, bubble bath and a few of my favourite pampering treats. As such, I'm always on the look out for new products to put to good use while letting the steamy water do its work.

On a recent trip to Bicester Village, I came home with a few goodies from The Cosmetic Company. Firstly, Origins Rich Rewards Intensive Moisture Treatment (£14), an incredibly intense deep conditioning product to be used weekly after shampooing. I find it best when I really work it into the scalp and use a comb to get it through down to the tips of my hair. I probably use a little more than recommended as I have quite long hair, but a good handful should suffice for most. It smells incredibly dreamy, a really strong pear scent that works wonders letting it repair while you sit back and relax and is supposed to raise your spirits, bonus! I've used this twice now and have the shiniest  softest hair afterwards. Letting it dry a little naturally before blowdrying seems to really make a difference and I find I don't have to wash my hair as often after using this, which can only be a benefit. I've not tried it for the full 30 minutes, but have left it in for at least 15 previously. Make sure to give the treatment at least 5 minutes to work it's magic!

While I'm waiting for the Moisture Treatment to set in I reach for Clinique's 7 Day Scrub (£17.50) which is a creamy grainy forumla meant to exfoliate those problem areas and works really well on all skin types. Unlike most other scrubs, the grains are a little on the heavier side, which suits me completely. I can really feel it taking those dead skin cells and leaving me brighter, clearer skin. This might not be to everyones taste, but I'd yet to find a scrub quite like this one and, combined with their 3 Step Skincare, my skin hasn't felt this good in months. I like to really work this in with my fingers and then use a sea sponge to start to gently clean it off.

Origins Rich Rewards Clinique 7 Day Scrub Hero 2 |

These two products have really shaken up my bath time and I now cherish the extra moments I spend incorporating these into my routine. What do you use in that bath that you couldn't live without?

Sunday, 12 May 2013

This Works: Sleep Deep Calm Pillow Spray & Breathe In Roll-On

This Works Sleep Deep Calm Pillow Spray and Breathe In Roll-On Hero | This Works Sleep Deep Calm Pillow Spray | This Works Sleep Breathe In Roll-On |

As my first post hinted, I suffer a fair bit with getting a good nights sleep. We all do from time to time but it gets brushed under the carpet a lot more than it should. Sleep is ridiculously important to our overall health and without it, we cease to function in a productive way.

As you can imagine, being without beauty sleep makes my skin look sallow, my eyes tired and my overall complexion fairly dull. With this in mind, I'm constantly on the look out for products to either help aid my descent into sleep or to cover up a particularly bad evening. 

One product I've experimented with recently has been This Works: Deep Calm Pillow Spray and Breathe In Roll-on. A hyped up product touted to be a miracle worker, if I were led to believe all the reviews I had seen popping up around the internet. Nabbing a few samples of the travel size bottles, I figured it couldn't hurt to try it over a few nights and see if there was any improvement.

The first thing to note is the fantastically soothing smell of Lavender, Vetivert and Camomile essential oils which are known to naturally relax your body and mind and help ease you into a peaceful sleep. There are also Frankincense and Eucalyptus notes to clear the airways, effectively giving you a little extra boost before turning in! 

A couple of pumps on the Deep Calm Pillow Spray over your pillow starts that heavenly process of preparing for sleep. I tend to let this sit while I complete the rest of my night time regime to give it time to really get into the fabric before I disturb it. A few well placed dabs of the Breathe In Roll-on onto the pulse points over your body is the final step before resting for the evening. 

After a few nights of getting into a pattern of doing this and I did notice a difference in how I drifted off. I was much calmer and positive about having a decent rest that it helped influence the natural and soothing properties of the essential oils. 

I'm definitely going to be trying the rest of the products in this range. Have you tried any This Works: Sleep products? What did you think of them?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Review: Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Amazon Kindle Fire HD Logo |
Amazon Kindle Fire HD |

Like a kid at Christmas, I've spent many an hour poring over all the books on the Amazon store, investing in all the bargains and nabbing a few gems that I already own in physical form. I do love reading books, but they take up such considerable space over time. I've already decided that keeping a few coffee table and design books on the bookshelf and ridding myself of the old and tatty books I most likely will never read again can only be a good thing. Surely?

Before I need to convince myself of this any further, I just take a look at the quality of the Kindle Fire HD screen and know it's love. Reading at night no longer forces my boyfriend to suffocate under the covers, and I feel much less guilty as a result. And it's never a bad thing browsing the Amazon App store for applications that make my life easier. Pinterest, for one, is infinitely better on the large screen that I've given up using it on my iPhone. I've actually begun looking at all my pins I've saved for later, which I've never done before.

There are a few small quibbles I have, but they are far outweighed by the ease of use and pure beauty of this smart tablet. For now I'm quite happy to sit back, relax and catch up on my classics!

Have you got a Kindle Fire HD tablet? What do you think of it?

Saturday, 4 May 2013

First Post

So here it is, the dreaded first post. Well, not my first ever blog post, but certainly one that I hope proves to put an end to 'first posts' in general.

After much deliberation and determination I've managed to take the plunge and invest some much needed time and attention into a blog that hopes to be a creative outlet for all my cluttered thoughts.

This is the space to share my experience with sleep deprivation and the subsequent effects. My tried and tested lotions, potions and coverups to get myself looking a least a tad more human. With any luck, I won't seem quite so walking dead and I won't creep anyone out with my tales of hypnagogic hallucinations.

So let's kick this off by asking if there's anything you do to get a good nights sleep?