Friday, 30 October 2015

FACE MASK FRIDAY: BLISS TRIPLE OXYGEN FACIAL IN A BOX

Bliss Triple Oxygen Facial In a Box

It's time for the second installment of Face Mask Friday! This week I'm reviewing the Bliss Triple Oxygen Facial In a Box (£12 from www.debenhams.com). This kit contains enough for two three-step radiant skin facials.

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask on Face

The first stage is a mask- the Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask. This isn't enjoyable to use at all and I couldn't feel or see any real results after using it. This is one of Bliss' cult products, but I just didn't get it. It comes in a minature pump bottle with enough for two applications. It comes out as a coral coloured gel, but when you start to rub in onto your face, it turns white and starts to froth. You leave it frothing on your face (which is actually quite tickly and annoying) for five minutes before wiping off. It's supposed to detoxify the skin by releasing Oxygen, Vitamin C and anti-oxidents into your skin so that it is left energised, brighter and glowing. For me, it didn't do anything as far as I could tell. It certainly didn't combat my dull and tired skin like it claims to.

Bliss That's Incredi-'Peel'

Step two is a peel. Again, this isn't pleasant to use as it really stings the skin. The Bliss That's Incredi-'Peel' comes as two spa-strength glycolic acid resurfacing wipes. These are designed to be anti-aging pads that exfoliate the skin. They are supposed to retexturise and smooth the skin plus target fine lines and imperfections. I have dry skin, and if you do too, I wouldn't recommend using these as all they did was strip my skin of every last bit of moisture it had; leaving it feeling tight and uncomfortable. Those with sensitive skin should avoid too, as it really does burn.


The last step is a moisturiser. Again, this comes in two sachets. The Bliss Triple Oxygen Ex-'glow'sion Moisture Cream claims to give an "instant burst of youthful radiance", but it just left my skin feeling bogged down with product and greasy. It contains micro-alegae (to enhance cell turnover), Vitamin E (to neutralise free radicals that damage collagen production) and Oxygen and Vitamin C (to reinforce collagen synthesis and help the skin breath). I just found this to be a very thick cream that doesn't absorb well into the skin, leaving you feeling like you need to wash your face.

Bliss Facial In a Box

I am really disappointed with all of these and didn't see any positive results from doing these facials. I definitely wouldn't buy any of these products again- together in this set, or seperately. I don't usually feature products that I hate on this site, but that's why I'm enjoying this new Face Mask Friday series so much- it really is going to be a warts and all guide to the world of masks.

Have you tried the Facial In a Box from Bliss before?

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Thursday, 29 October 2015

L'OCCITANE IMMORTELLE PRECIOUS CREAM

L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream

I've been a fan of L'Occitane's hand creams and bath products for a long time- their Lavender range is amazing- but I hadn't yet delved into their skincare offerings until trying their Immortelle Precious Cream (£46 from L'Occitane).

L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream Review

This rich moisuriser is part of their Immortelle anti-aging range. It has a triple-action formula full of active molecules that reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while also boosting the skin's firmness (something which naturally diminishes with age) and protecting against environmental damage.

I have dry skin, and this cream for normal to dry skin is wonderfully hydrating. I've been finding it a great moisuriser to use in winter as it helps to protect my skin from the cold elements while keeping it nourished. It leaves my face feeling very plump, firm and smooth.


L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream Formula

The key ingredient in the L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream is the Corsican plant Immortelle. It is a powerful anti-oxidant that has collagen boosting properties (multiplying collagen production by six). The essential oil from this flower is packed with active molecules that combat signs of aging, boosts microcirculation and cell renewal and protects against free radicals (which contribute to premature aging). L'Occitane have actually patented the use of Corsican Immortelle after discovering the high amount of active ingredients that it contains.

I've been using this as a day cream, although you can use it at night too. It smells divine- a wonderful botanical aroma of freshly cut flowers- and although it is very rich in properties, it has a light and fluffy texture that doesn't feel heavy on the skin or leave it looking greasy. I'm definitely impressed, and I feel confident in continuing to use it to dely the signs of aging on my face.

This post is in collaboration with L'Occitane, but all opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

STROBING WITH ELIZABETH ARDEN


Strobing Products From Elizabeth Arden

Strobing (basically highlighting) is all the rage at the moment, even though we have actually been doing it for years. It's all about using light and reflections it to highlight your features and give you a glowing complexion. If you want to get in on the action, I have found the ideal products from Elizabeth Arden for strobing perfection.

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Highlighter in Gold Illumination

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Highlighter in Gold Illumination Swatches

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Highlighter in Gold Illumination Swatch

Elizabeth Arden's new limited edition Beautiful Color Highlighter in Gold Illumination (£29 from www.houseoffraser.co.uk) is beautiful both inside and out. Its gold and black printed packaging is stunning and the powder inside is divine. You can use each of the three shades individually to highlight different parts of your face depending on your skin tone, but I prefer to swirl my brush around and mix them all together as this creates such a soft-focus, subtle radiant look when applied to your cheekbones, down the centre of your nose and on your chin and forehead. The powder is very finely milled with no obvious glitter particles, so it leaves your skin looking naturally illuminated. There is quite a bit of fall-out from this powder, but that doesn't bother me too much.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Correcting & Highlighting Perfector

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Correcting & Highlighting Perfector Swatch

I have always been a fan of highlighting concealers such as Touche Éclat, and this one from Elizabeth Arden is up there with the best. Their Flawless Finish Correcting & Highlighting Perfector (£23) is a brilliant undereye concealer to disguide dark circles and fine lines and add light for an awakened look. The shade I have is the lightest (shade 1) and it has a lovely lightweight creamy formula that's very hydrating. You can also use it to highlight your cupid's bow to define the contours of your lips.

Elizabeth Arden Eight-Hour Cream Swatch
Before Blending | After Blending

Finally, we have the Elizabeth Arden cult classic Eight-Hour Cream Skin Protectant (£26). I've reviewed this on my blog before and shared my top tips on how to use it, here. However, it is also an excellent strobing tool. This thick balm leaves a lovely glossy glow to skin once it has been blended in. So it protects your skin against the elements, keeps it hydrated and has visual benefits. It adds a beautiful highlight to your lips, or you can mix it with your powder highlighter or a nude shimmer eyeshadow to create the perfect strobing cream to highlight the areas where light naturally hits your face.

Do you like the look of any of these products?

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

MAKING S'MORES & EATING AMERICAN CANDY



One of my most favourite sweet treats are S'mores. Everytime one of my friends or family goes to the US, I get them to bring me back graham crackers so that I can make them. As I don't always have a handy campfire, I am forced to use my oven. Sometimes I make open S'mores and just bake marshmallows and chocolate in a dish layered on top of graham crackers; but sometimes I prefer them the traditional and very messy way.

How To Make S'mores


S'mores

To make traditional S'mores you will need graham crackers- I love the honey graham crackers from Honey Maid as they are very sweet. You'll also need a milk chocolate Hershey's bar and some white marshmallows. Lay a few squares of the chocolate and a couple of marshmallows on top of a cracker sheet, then lay another sheet loosely on top. I then make a little boat of tin foil around this so that the chocolatey marshmallow-y liquid doesn't spill out the sides when it's heating up. Finally, all you need to do is pop the parcel in the oven just long enough for the marshmallows to be squidgy and the chocolate soft but still able to hold its shape- this means you can have that joyous moment of squashing everything together in the sandwich and watching it oose out the sides.

Taffy Mail

I also love the novelty of American candy. Taffy Mail is a great US-candy subscription box service that delivers treats straight to your door every month. A Classic Plan subscription costs £14.99 per month, and for this you get 10-12 different candies and a can of soda. 

American Candy

In the October box, I got a can of Fanta Pineapple (how cool!), a Skor bar (basically the same as a Diam bar), a 100 Grand bar (just like a Toffee Crisp), Smoothie Peanut Butter Cups and a Hershey's Cookies & Cream bar (milky white chocolate with Oreo-style cookie pieces).

American Candy UK

I also got some very sour and juicy Warheads Sour Chewy Cubes, red berry Chewy Lemonhead Redrifics (fruity gumdrops), Sour Goop Gum (which oozes in the centre), Sour Patch Kids (fruit-flavoured sour chews), some hard root bear flavoured Dad's boiled sweets, a Blue Razz lollipop (tastes like blue Slush Puppies) and a Sour Apple Jaffy Taffy (which has the texture of a Maom).

Do you have any particular American candy or dessert favourites?

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AW15 FASHION LOOKBOOK


I am loving all the fashion trends for AW15 and now that I have been making real progress in my weight-loss, I finally feel confident enough to do a lookbook. Hopefully I will do one of these every season from now on. I have bought lots of new pieces for autumn and winter this year, from both the new season ranges and the end of summer sales.


New Look have some beautiful new pieces in for AW15. I picked up this retro 70s-style printed tunic (£17.99, in a size 18) from their Inspire range. I love the chunky zip on the front. Underneath, I've put one of Primark's bargain £2.50 black sleeved tops and my go-to black leggings. I teamed this look with my new Primark marsala-toned patent t-bar flats (£8). I think they look really cute.



Also from New Look is this navy check-print shirt (£22.99), and I picked up this cute fringed kimono in their sale for just £7. The fabric of the shirt is so soft and cosy, and I love the rolled-up sleeve detailing. My handbag is a beautiful leather Whittle bag (£60) from Yoshi.



When I was in Primark, I also spotted another chunky-zipped item- a pretty flowing mustard blouse (£10). I've used this for quite a grungy look by teaming it with a show-stopper of a necklace from Happiness Boutique. Their metallic black Urban Bold Statement Necklace weighs a ton and is excellent quality for just 22,90 Euros (here).




Over at Asda I found such a good deal on a coat. This casual black coat with gold hardware was just £15 (reduced from £30) in the sale. I absolutely love it! Of course, with it being nearly Rememberance Day, I have adorned it with a poppy. This poppy brooch (£15) is from Magic Accessories and they are donating 10% of the profits from their poppy range to the British Legion (until 15th November 2015). In my hair I have put a pretty dusky pink pompom (£2.99) from New Look.



I also have another item from the Magic Accessories poppy collection. Their large poppy necklace (£21) is such an eye-catching piece of jewellery and would look great all year round. I've teamed this with a plain navy cashmere and Merino wool poncho (£50) from Woolovers so that it really stands out. This poncho is so cosy and you can fasten and wear it in so many different ways.


Finally, when indulging in my cinnamon bun obsession at Lidl, I found this monochrome jumper for just £4.99. It's really thick and warm and I am actually very pleasantly surprised by the quality of some of Lidl's fashion offerings. I recommend you check them out. Here, I'm wearing it with my new checked hairband from New Look (£2 reduced from £3.99 in the sale) as I like the contrasting prints and colours together.

Which look is your favourite?

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Monday, 26 October 2015

AUTUMN NAILS WITH COLORISTIQ OCTOBER BOX

Coloristiq October Box Nail Polishes

Coloristiq is a nail varnish box service that sends you four season-appropriate polishes a month in a cute little ribbon-tied package. There are always three premium brands in each box, plus one smaller independent brand; giving you the chance to try something new. The contents are usually worth just over £30, with each box costing £15- that's a great saving!  If you like to keep up with fashion trends and love having freshly painted nails, this is definitely a service for you. With Coloristiq you don't even need to subscribe. Instead, you just buy the month's box that you want from their online store- you opt in if you want some new on-trend nail varnishes to add to your collection, or do nothing at all if you don't.

Coloristiq October Box

Coloristiq October Box Nail Varnishes

I love their October box as it's full of perfect autumn and winter shades. In this month's box you get Essie's Parka Perfect (a light grey with a subtle shimmer), Leighton Denny's Hot 'n' Cold (a cool-toned gold), Sally Hansen's Tweedy (a textured clear polish from her Fuzzy Coat collection with black and white bar glitter) and Charming Tale's Fall's Gold (a 5-free orange polish with gold glitter specks from an independent brand).

Halloween-Inspired Nails

I am currently sporting a Halloween-inspired look using the polish from Charming Tale and Leighton Denny and next, I can't wait to get layering with the Sally Hansen Tweedy top coat on top of Essie's Parka Perfect. Price wise, you are basically paying for the Charming Tale (£3.50) and Leighton Denny (£11.99) polishes and getting the Sally Hansen (£6.99) and Essie (£7.99) ones free.

Do you know of any other nail polish subscription services that you can recommend?

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Friday, 23 October 2015

FACE MASK FRIDAY: ORIGINS OUT OF TROUBLE 10-MINUTE MASK

 
Origins Out of Trouble Mask Pods
 
Welcome to the first post of a brand new weekly series on my blog- Face Mask Friday. Every Friday I will bring you a review of a different face mask, my favourite pampering treat.
 
The Origins Out of Trouble 10-Minute Mask has been like a God-send to me this month. For the past 5 to 6 weeks, I've had a red, raw and very sore breakout right across my jaw. I never usually suffer from breakouts and no matter what I tried, I just couldn't shift this one. That was until I popped on some of the Origins Out of Trouble Mask.

This literally sorted out the mass of painful spots overnight. I put the mask on for ten minutes just after dinner and when I woke up the next morning, the breakout had dried up and calmed down incredibly. I repeated the mask the next night, and by the following morning it had gone completely. 

Origins Out of Trouble Mask on Face

The Origins Out of Trouble mask is a white-coloured clay mask that contains an acne-fighting line-up of Zinc Oxide (it reduces oil and is an anti-inflammatory), Sulphur (to kill bacteria and promote healing) and Camphor (to reduce irritation and calm the skin). It has a medicinal scent that's a bit like Sudocrem (which also contains Zinc Oxide), but I didn't mind it at all.

When drying on my skin, the mask felt very cooling. This cold tingly sensation continued after I had removed the mask and my skin felt clean and refreshed. I would definitely recommend trying this is you are suffering from problem skin- what have you got to lose?

You can buy a full 100ml tube of the Origins Out of Trouble mask for £23 from www.debenhams.com, or you can do as I did (if you too don't think you'll need to use it regularly) and buy it in 5ml single-use pods. Debenhams were selling 4 of these for £5, but they are out of stock at the moment. I hope they are bringing these back!

Have you tried this mask before?

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Thursday, 22 October 2015

TURNING MY PHOTOS INTO HOME ACCESSORIES



I take hundreds and hundreds of photos every year for my blog, but once the posts have been and gone and they've been shared across my social media, they get lost in the ether and forgotten about. So, I decided to turn some of my favourite photos from this year's blog posts (along with a few free printable inspirational quotes) into accessories and artwork for my home. These pretty photographs now have a whole new life!



First, I created a set of six personalised photo coasters (£9.99 for 6) with Snapfish. For these I used a variety of beauty and lifestyle images from my blog and some free printable quotes from the beautiful blog Oh So Lovely. I am now using these coasters for a variety of purposes throughout my home. I love the 'Girl Boss' and '#Blogger' ones that I keep on my desk to keep my drinks away from my work.


I can be quite clumsy and regularly knock things over or spill things. Just yesterday I dripped nail varnish on my duvet cover. I used a photo I took of some Nails Inc polishes to create a coaster to keep with my nail paraphenalia, so that I can use it as a mat for under the bottles when I'm painting my nails.



Also, since we are on the subject of spillages, these coasters make great spoon rests when you are baking; stopping the mixture getting all over your worktops. I love one of the images from a coconut oil baking post that I did, so I used this to make a coaster that can join me on my future baking adventures.


One of my favourites is this 'Bra Off. Hair Up. Sweats On.' printable quote that I also found on the Oh So Lovely site as it sums me up perfectly when I'm at home. I therefore decided to turn it into a coaster that has pride of place on my bedside table to house an array of beverages.


Finally, I wanted to make some photo bunting to hang around my office to inspire me to take good images for this here blog. I love Polaroid-style prints, so when I found out that Cheerz do a box of them (30 for £12.95), I just couldn't resist. You upload your photos to the site, or choose from Instagram and Facebook, then add your captions. Cheerz print them all out for you and deliver them in a snazzy keepsake box. I then just used some ribbon and some pretty bow paperclips to create the garland.

Has this inspired you to get creative with your photographs?

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