Friday, 6 March 2015

LIEBSTER AWARD



Thank you so much Rebecca from Blonde Bexx for nominating me. I also hope you don't mind that I stole the image from you!

1. Who inspired you to get into blogging? Well I actually started blogging about fashion back in 2013 under the same blog name but I wasn't happy with it so I put it on hold for a while until I was ready to come back and start something that I would be proud of. I wasn't inspired by just one person in particular, I'm inspired by the entire industry.

2. What do you enjoy the most about blogging? I think I enjoy the actual writing the most, I love trying to think of what I'm going to write about next.

3. 3 Beauty items I couldn't live without: That is a really tough question! Well the only fragrance I ever wear is Dior Hypnotic Poison. I think my other two must-have products are Origins No Puffery Eye Gel and YSL lipstick.

4. Who is your style icon? Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I don't think I necessarily dress similarly to them but I love their collections for the row. But I also love the 50's and 60's so I'm inspired by Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot.

5. 3 blogs that I follow religiously: 5 Inch and Up, What Olivia Did and Lisa Elridge. I am also constantly reading Who What Wear.

6. If you could, what would you say to your 13 year old self? If you work hard and keep motivated you will achieve everything you want to.

7. What do you find the most difficult about blogging? Right now the most difficult thing is actually finding the time. Balancing university work, a job, blogging and a social life is a lot harder than it sounds!

8. Three place you would love to visit? My list is never-ending right now the text places on my list are Burma, Poland and Rwanda.

9. What is your most prized possession in your wardrobe? I have two 80's vintage Burberry and Hermes scarves that my mum gave me. They are my favourite items by far.

10. Heels or flats? I love heels and have a ridiculous amount but I never wear them.

Lipgloss or lipstick? Lipstick all the way.

I nominate PaTinka from PaTinka's World, Michelle from Pomegranate & Coffeee, Charlotte from Pastel Skies, Alice from The Girl in the Tartan Boots, Ashley from Don't Coral With Me, Andrea from Saving Simplicity 13, Lana from Lana Loves, Amber from Amber McNiff, Sun from High Voltage, Jade from Jadicusxo. Please answer the questions below and nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers!

My 11 questions are:
1. If you were asked to create a capsule range for a brand which brand would it be?
2. What is your favourite post you've written?
3. What is your favourite accessory?
4. If you could interview a guest on your blog who would it be?
5. What is the one thing you can't live without?
6. What film character's style would you steal?
7. What was your favourite look from London Fashion Week?
8. If you could team up with a blogger who would it be?
9. What item have you recently bought and why did you buy it?
10. What is the best piece of blogging advice that you have heard?
11. What is one S/S trend you are going to try?

Andrea x

Saturday, 21 February 2015

REVIEW| REDKEN DIAMOND OIL SHATTERPROOF SHINE INTENSE




Earlier this week I wrote about a facial oil that I really loved. Today I'm reviewing the Redken Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine Intense, which I am sorry to say I was really disappointed with. For a product renowned for its performance I really expected a lot more.

The aesthetics of the product are great - the diamond shape of the bottle to reflect the brand range is stunning. The bottle fits perfectly in my hand and it is easy to control the amount of product that comes out of the pipette. The formula is a silicone free hybrid oil containing 99% pure oils including olive, jojoba, coconut, apricot and coriander all designed to strengthen, smooth and soften hair. So it's got all the components to be a great product. But then I checked the ingredients list and found out that it contains isopropyl myristate to promote absorption in the hair. However, an overuse of the ingredient dries out skin which I would also assume may be transferred to hair products.

I use the leave-in oil on the ends of towel dried hair and work my way up to about half way up my hair follicle. On application to the hair the oil feels light and despite being intended for coarse/ dry hair there is a serious lack of absorption in the hair follicle. Applying too much leaves hair feeling heavy and oily in comparison to products like Moroccanoil which is much better at being absorbed. Here are the broken down the claims and the results:

Strengthens hair - Redken Diamond Oil claims to strengthen hair up to 3X and prevent breakage. My hair frequently breaks when brushing and using this product has not reduced the amount of breakage.

Smooths & softens hair - I can assume that due to the inclusion of isopropyl myristate and as I use this product every time I wash my hair (so two or three times a week) it actually may be increasing the courseness of my hair. This may then also be encouraging me to use more of the product which then puts me in a catch 22 situation. You don't want to use the product, but you don't know what else will solve the problem (probably another hair oil, duh!).

Improves shine - I did to an extent see my hair more shiny however, not enough for me to say that this claim has been substantiated in reality.

Therefore, considering Redken Diamond Oil is £27.20 for 100ml and Moroccanoil is £31.85 for the same volume, the extra few pounds is worth a product that fulfils its legacy.

Andrea x

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

REVIEW| CLARINS LOTUS FACE TREATMENT OIL




For years and years I have struggled with oily skin which was as oily as John Travolta's hair in Grease. In the summer my make-up would slip off my face like wax dripping down a candle - far too many times I felt like I had a melting clown face. No matter what I tried whether it was a gel moisturiser or one designed for oily skin my oil-spill of a face remained. That is, until I started reading about facial oils. For months and months I had read about the benefits of facial oils, but putting an oil on my face? Surely that would make it worse? Wrong. It made it so much better!

The Clarins Lotus Face Oil Treatment is the first (and at the moment only) facial oil I have tried so I can't compare it to other products in the market. However, because of this little gem my face isn't the valley of grease that it used to be.The oil comes in a 30ml glass bottle. The lid is actually a pipette which allows you to easily control how much product you are using. However, I do find that sometimes if I accidentally squeeze the pipette too hard it is easy to get an excess amount of product.

I apply the product to a damp face, after toning and then dab my face with a cotton pad to absorb the excess oil. Since using this twice a day (along with cleansers and toners intended for oily skin) the release of sebum in my skin has evened out. The result being that no more foundation runs off my face (yay) and my skin is left feeling soft and hydrated. The redness in my T-zone and cheeks has also nearly disappeared. Although the product also claims to tighten pores I can't say that I have seen this happen. Unfortunately for those of us with large pores, pore size is genetic so as much as we can try to make them smaller we won't. What this product will do though is ensure that pores are purified so that they don't stretch further.

The facial oil is formulated without parabens, sulphates and phthalates. As from the name, Lotus is a key ingredient in the product - and was really a great choice - which is full of antioxidants, flavinoids, vitamins and proteins to help purify skin by shrinking pores (again not completely sure I can agree with this), hydrate skin, reduce redness and repair proteins in the skin's structure. Lotus also contains natural AHA's which also help to exfoliate the outer layer of the skin. Not only this but the product is formulated with 100% pure plant extracts meaning that not only do you get the amazing benefits of Lotus extract but of rosewood, geranium and hazelnut oils just to name a few. All of which are intended to regulate oil control, purify and soften the skin.

Pros:
- Ingredient choice
- Regulates skin's sebum
- Reduces redness
- Leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated

Cons:
- Does not reduce pore size (although may prevent them from enlarging)
- Can be easy to use an excess amount of product


Andrea x

Monday, 9 February 2015

REVIEW| BENEFIT PUFF OFF EYE GEL



I've always loved Benefit since I first visited a counter at twelve years old. Nine years later and my love for the brand is still going strong; their products never fault and their packaging is always super cute (and being an absolute sucker for packaging I can never resist a Benefit product). Benefit's new Puff Off Eye Gel hasn't let them down.

So firstly, I need to talk about the packaging. The gel comes in a soft tube roughly the size of my hand, making it perfect to hold and to apply onto the eye area. The design maintain's Benefit's signature style - quirky and retro - with a miniature silver 'shield' on the lid. However, the innovative applicator is the most interesting of all. 


The 'ironing tip' as the box refers to it, allows probably the easiest application of all eye gels ever. Following the instructions, I dot the gel onto my eye straight from the applicator and then go back and 'iron' over the gel to smooth it into my skin. I apply this before applying my make-up although according to the website you can actually apply this over your make-up but you need to pat it in with your fingers. I have also tried this and the results are pretty good. 



The creamy formulation contains sunflower oil which is high in vitamin E to fight free radicals and prevent damage by ultra violet rays as well as vitamins A, C and D to regenerate skin cells and prevent premature signs of ageing.

On application the gel has a gentle cooling sensation on the eyes. I use it in the morning and afterwards I can see the fluid has drained from under my eyes and that the puffiness had significantly reduced. However, what it doesn't do (and it doesn't claim to do it) is reduce discolouration under the eyes, so if that what is what your looking for in an eye product this isn't the one for you.

As of yet I am really impressed with the product and really looking forward to trying their new Roller Lash Mascara!

Andrea x

Monday, 2 February 2015

GET THE LOOK| THINK PINK




When I think of winter make-up I always think of dark colours - sultry reds, black kohl smokey eyes and deep purples. Sometimes these looks can look really dramatic against my pale skin and so I tend to shy away from these looks (although it depends on the occasion of course!). Instead I have found that an all-pink look is much more wearable. The trick is to find pink shades that are a similar colour (so you don't end up looking like a clown) and to make sure that the colour you use compliments your skin tone. Rosy tones are usually great pale skin. I chose Elizabeth Arden in Iridescent Pink, P.S Love Blusher Stick (found at Primark) and Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Pout. If you're nervous about doing an all pink look, slowly work up the colour. I apply a small amount of blush and rub it in with my fingers and will add more if I feel like I need it, alternatively just leave out the blush completely.

Andrea x

Monday, 26 January 2015

REVIEW| GLAMGLOW BRIGHTMUD EYE TREATMENT




Dark circles and puffiness under my eyes is something I've tackled since a young age. The years of having trouble sleeping, especially if it has been a tough week always show up on my face. As having sinus problems, allergies, thyroid or kidney problems bags may be more pronounced, I started to accept that I would never win the battle against my bags. When I saw that the GlamGlow Brightmud Eye Treatment targeted all under eye problems (dark circles, puffiness, brightening, tired eyes, hydrating, plumping...need I go on?) my first thought was, is this the superhero product I've been waiting for? Will I finally get rid of the slugs under my eyes? And for £39.99 on Feel Unique I thought it must be the one...

The product is a quick 3 minute treatment, which makes it easy to incorporate into any routine and its as simple as dabbing it on under your eyes and wiping it off when the time is up. So, it really is a great on-the-go product which makes sense considering its intended use is for Hollywood stars to use on set.




I could not possibly review this product without talking about the packaging. The silver box completely reflects the personality of the brand and the concept of 'glam'. When you first open the box it says 'hello sexy' which personally I think this is a genius packaging idea.

The first thing I noticed as soon as I received the package was just the vast amount of different natural high bioactivity, bentonits and mineral ingredients in the product and that it doesn't include parabens, sulfates and phthalates.
14% Nitroffeine™ - a caffeine formula which stimulates the lymphatic system to awaken the eyes with a tingling sensation.
5% Juvelane™ - has the same effects of retinol to revive the eye area.
TEAOXI™ - uses a combination peppermint, fatty acids, vitamins A and C to de-puff and brighten the eyes.

The pack features 12 chromes (pictured above) and within that two dimples that hold the same amount of product. The intention behind this is that one dimple is for each eye but on application it seems like a lot to put on. So I have occasionally only used one dimple for both eyes (especially as its not something I can easily repurchase given the price point), although I'm not sure whether this has affected the results.

I apply the treatment with my fingers under the eye area and leave it on for the recommended 3 minutes (it's not recommended to leave it for longer). When I apply the treatment there is a cooling, tingling sensation which if applied close to the eye can almost feel like a bit of a burn but at least you know the product is working. After the 3 minutes I simply wipe it off with a tissue or cotton pad. It's also advised not to use water to remove the product as it may mean that the ingredients will not continue to work.

To be honest I am still unsure about the results. I can't deny that I haven't noticed somewhat of a difference after application. The under eye area is smoother and fine lines look like they have been reduced, however, I noticed little contrast in the appearance of my dark circles. As I only use this product occasionally maybe with more frequent use I would see a bigger difference. Despite this I have heard people who have amazing results from this product.

I do believe that the £39.99 price is on the expensive side but when you work out the cost per chrome each chrome costs £3.34. If you use one dimple then it is £1.70 per use (a total of 24) and when you put it in that perspective the price isn't as scary as it is originally perceived to be. This is a product I will probably keep using but only in my pre-night out routine. Targeting dark circles is difficult and few products truly achieve this, and as I do have a predisposition to dark circles, as far as this product is concerned it does target eye problems to its full ability.

Andrea x

Thursday, 22 January 2015

REVIEW| CLINIQUE FACIAL CLEANSING BRUSH


Ever since receiving this gift for Christmas I have been dying to write about it. The Clinique Sonic System Purifying Facial Cleansing Brush provides an affordable alternative to the Clarisonic retailing at nearly half the price.

The brush is roughly the size of my hand and the long neck of the brush allows a secure hold which makes it easy to control the movement of the brush on the face. Additionally, the egg-shaped brush head makes it easy to target different hard-to-reach areas of the face such as the side of the nose. The brush features two different types of bristles, softer ones suitable for gentle cleansing on the cheeks (the white area) and firmer bristles to target the T-zone (the green area). The combination of the two makes it perfect to tailor the brush to your skin's needs.

I use the brush in the second stage of my double cleansing routine along with the Elemis Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser. As I had never previously used a face brush before I wanted to allow my skin to adapt to the cleansing process and eased my way into using it in my daily routine.
Week 1 - I used the brush once a day for 30 seconds during my night-time cleansing routine.
Week 2 - 1 minute a day during my night-time cleansing routine.
Week 3 - 1 minute twice a day during both my morning and night-time cleansing.

I use the brush for 10 seconds on each area of the face, 10 seconds on each cheek, my nose, chin and forehead (so total cleansing time is actually 50 seconds). I use the white bristles on my cheeks, moving the brush over my face in circular motions and the green bristles on the T-zone and rest of my forehead in an up and down motion.

The brush has a timer which turns off after 30 seconds, which when washing your face for 1 minute is a slight inconvenience. I personally think they should have set the timer for 1 minute but this is a minor detail.

Upon the first use the brush felt hard against my face but after several uses it was unnoticeable. However, I have noticed that if I haven't used the brush for a day or so the brush will feel rough. It isn't necessary to press the brush into the face, as tempting as it may be it needs to be avoided in order not to damage the skin.

It is a product definitely worth the price tag I don't think I could ever go back to normal cleaning again. After the first use of the brush my skin immediately looked more radiant and although it has not removed my acne, it has prevented spots from developing by removing dirt that my face has collected throughout the day. The spots on my chin have nearly completely disappeared and I have seen a significant decrease in blackheads. My face always feels cleaner, smoother, brighter after usage and even make-up sits better on my face.

Some other great features are that the brush is lightweight and perfect for travel. It stays charged for 24 hours which means using it for 2 minutes a day results in the battery life of the brush being between 1 and 2 months (and you save space because you don't need to take your charger on holiday!).

It's also important to note that even though it feels as though your face is being exfoliated this brush does not actually exfoliate the skin.

Andrea x