Tuesday, 26 June 2012

no7 'beautiful skin' radiance exfoliator


i have to say that this is my first experience of no7 skincare. i find it quite surprising really because i'm always in boots and i always get the £5 off no7 products voucher. i usually do try and avoid the no7 stand after making my purchases and receiving the voucher though, as generally when i'm in boots by the time i'm on my way out i've spent enough!

anyway, this time i needed some new exfoliator and thought i may aswell try this one partly because i quite like the simple yet pretty packaging, because after using the voucher it came to £3, and also because i felt like it was time to test something other than my usual st. ives invigorating scrub.

the scent is floral but not overpowering at all so is pleasant to use, and the formula is really creamy which is likely to work well for dry skin. my skin isn't particularly dry though, especially not in the summer (i say summer, it's so wet at the moment in the u.k we may aswell be celebrating christmas...) so i don't tend to look for additional moisture in my exfoliator. 

unfortunately, i found this exfoliators main downfall to be that it just isn't exfoliating enough! if your skin is sensitive or particularly radiant already then it may work for you, but right now i'm craving my ye olde faithful st. ives scrub! this just doesn't slough away my lumps and bumps enough so i don't get that fresh feeling i expect after exfoliating.

it hasn't put me off no7 as a brand though as it is still a nice, gentle product, and i do intend to at least attempt to use it up. this may be done by leaving it at the boyfriend's as a 'just in case' product though whilst i get back into my serious exfoliating routine with st. ives! next time i get a £5 off no7 products voucher i may have a look at the make up side of things instead... always worth a go!

primark tanning mitt

application side
back of the mitt

a while ago i blogged about my favourite fake tan, l'oreal sublime bronze but never got round to showing you my favourite tanning mitt. well here it is! it's my favourite mainly because it's only £2 from primark. personally, i really don't feel the need to splash out on a branded tanning mitt when after one use it's pretty brown and ugly looking anyway! 

the reason i use a tanning mitt is because i find it really helps with smooth application and avoiding streaks as well as protecting your hand from going as bright orange as the back of the tanning mitt too. i've heard of loads of other ways to avoid this problem - sandwich bags being my own desperate preference, an old sock being others' applicator of choice! - but for only £2 and countless uses (this is machine washable) i definitely advise a tanning mitt for those that don't already have one!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

instagram #1 - hot days, yummy food, cosy slippers

* a pretty train ride * sushi homemade by the boyfriend * yummy coconut m&m's from cyber candy * cocktails in a teapot * pretty flowers on a sunny day * paralympic bucket bbq * my friend modelling slippers hand knitted by my other friend's granny * homemade puff pastry olive and pesto pizza * deckchairs in brighton outside lick for eating frozen yoghurt on *

Monday, 18 June 2012

garnier intensive seven day challenge

i requested a garnier intensive 7 days moisturiser sample pack a few weeks ago but haven't yet taken the week long challenge so figured if i let you all know i was participating then it may give me a bit of motivation to actually get moisturising! unfortunately, garnier seem to have run out of sample packs as i found out here, but as the cream is so cheap (£2.99 in superdrug) it'd be relatively easy to take the challenge yourself if you still wanted to!

the sample pack comes with a 'skin reader' which you're meant to use before the challenge and after the seven days to test levels of skin dryness. as far as i know the black circles on the skin reader are there to pick up dry skin cells. the less 'white' (dry skin cells) it picks up, the less dry your skin is. lovely! if you're lucky (and it's not too gross) i may even show you a before and after skin reader shot in the review... just maybe!

it also comes with seven individual sachets of the moisturiser in the shea butter variety for dry to extra dry skin. i wouldn't say my skin is extra dry but i figure the more intense the moisturiser the less i have to do it and that's always a bonus!

so the plan is, in seven days i'll be able to come back to you with as accurate a review as possible of whether this moisturiser actually does what it claims to do... here's hoping!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

avene freebies!

how i've been blogging for almost five months now and haven't mentioned one of my favourite skincare brands i do not know! i was introduced to avène by my local pharmacist. for some reason before i went on holiday a couple of years ago i decided to buy a really strong and scented cleanser and ended up coming home with a sort of red bumpy rash/breakout - yuk! he told me to try the 'rich skin recovery cream' and the rash soon went away.

following this, i started trying some of their other products, namely their moisturisers and their 'extremely gentle cleanser' and have since been convincing friends and family (and pretty much anyone else who will listen) how great this brand really is. 

i then came across the avène website which not only has an informative (and quite cheesy) video on it about avène water that you can watch here, but it also has a skin diagnosis area where, if you register, you can complete a form about your skin type and they will send you samples that are selected specifically for your skin type. freebies, yay! here are the samples i received and have been using for about a week now...

this is the gentle gel cleanser and is similar to the extremely gentle cleanser in smell and texture - i'd say a combination between a gel and a cream, but thinner in consistency than you'd expect - but is formulated for normal to combination skin as opposed to sensitive skin. it works well at removing make up and feels really gentle and soothing. after using this for just a week my skin hasn't had any flare ups or blemishes surface. 

i've been using the gel cleanser combined with this light hydrating cream that is also spf 20. this moisturiser is very light and usually i prefer something heavier just because i like the feel of it but really i don't think i need it. like i said, my skin has been blemish free for about a week and doesn't look like it's going to break out any time soon so something must be working! ideally, i'd like to use this as a day cream and then the rich hydrating cream for nighttime.

although i wouldn't say avène is pricy at all, especially for what you get and how long it lasts (it ranges from about £5-23) i urge anyone who hasn't already to fill in the skin diagnosis form and at least try the samples... trust me, you'll be a convert before you know it!

Monday, 11 June 2012

glamour magazine benefit freebies

 admittedly a little late, but i thought i would show anyone that hasn't already seen (and bought!) the latest glamour magazine complete with benefit freebies. each issue is £2 and comes with one freebie - either 'porefessional' pro balm, 'bad gal lash' mascara or 'that gal' brightening face primer. 

i bought all three but gave my third copy to a friend hence the lack of the magazine with the eva longoria cover! however, for those of you that don't want to waste money on three copies of the same magazine and a product you may not like, i thought i'd do a mini review of each product.

it should also be noted that, at the time of release, i was in brighton and went into about 20 shops only to find that 'that gal' was nowhere to be seen. not even amongst the 50 or so copies in wh smith or the unopened box that hadn't been put out in sainsburys. however, in london 'that gal' seemed to be everywhere! weird huh?!

'that gal' is a brightening face primer and is probably my favourite product of the three. i love the packaging, particularly the box which may have swayed my opinion a little! the primer has a slightly pink colour to it which i wan't expecting so i'm not sure how well it would work for darker skin tones as it may end up looking a bit ashy. it blends in to my skin well though and does provide a nice illuminating base. i'm not sure if it helps keep my make up on for much longer that usual though but it's become a favourite for early mornings when a bit of brightening is needed!

'porefessional' is described as a pro balm which seems to be similar to a primer but is specifically for minimising the appearance of pores. it's described on the benefit website as translucent which is strange as it definitely has a beige tint to it. once rubbed in though it does turn clear and makes your skin so soft and silky. i can't comment too much on the effect it has on reducing the appearance of my pores as fortunately my pores aren't particularly visible. i do still think i'll get some use out of this though as it makes applying make up easy and may be a bit of a god send on day when my skin feels a bit flared up and bumpy.

everywhere you look 'bad gal lash mascara' appears to be a cult classic however i've read a lot of reviews post-glamour giveaway and can't seem to find many good ones! unfortunately, i have to agree with the bad reviews as this is also my least favourite freebie. the size of the brush (slightly bigger than the average mascara brush in case the picture isn't clear) doesn't bother me as it does to some, but the formula does! 

despite it's 'bad gal' nametag, after using my eyelashes didn't look anywhere near as black and thick as i like them to and by the end of the day i had a clear black shadow and some flaking under my eyes which is something i haven't experienced in a long time. a bit of a shame as i do like the packaging and the mini tube is so cute! however, according to benefit's website their 'they're real! mascara' is actually the number one bestselling mascara in the u.k (!) so i'm not completely put off yet benefit mascaras yet... maybe i just need to try this one instead? any thoughts?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

purple glittery half moon manicure

the past few weeks have been very busy but despite a lack of blogging, i did manage to paint my nails! i fancied something fun and sparkly so did a half moon manicure with a glitter top coat. for my half moon manicure tutorial click here! :)

i painted the base with the latest instyle magazine freebie - a nails inc varnish called 'bluebell'. i then used L.A colors - 'fun in the sun' as the top colour, and nyc - 'lights-camera-glitter' as a top coat. hope you all like it!
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