30 January 2012

The Beauty of Valentines

Christmas now seems to be long gone, but with Valentines Day rapidly approaching who doesn't like to be spoiled all over again?! But don't fret girls, if you haven't yet found that certain someone to shower you with gifts, I have found you the perfect presents you can treat yourself to! So whether you are planning to spend the night in with your man, with a group of girl friends or are just planning some 'me (pamper) time' there should be something suitable for everyone. Here are a few brands which have released some products in time for February 14th..


LUSH
Even though I'm a big LUSH lover, I've never tried any products from their Valentine's Day collections. So this year, I decided to grab one of everything that caught my eye, it only ended up being 4 things but I can't wait to try them out. Some of these products are new for 2012 and some you may recognise from previous collections..

Leap Frog Bath Bomb - How cute is he?! This fizzy amphibian is scented with sexy fragrances of sandalwood, jasmine and rose, and I've only just discovered that his bright red pout is actually a mini lip tint!
Magic Mushroom Bubble Bar - While the red top of the mushroom is smells like vanilla, the stem and spots are scented with strawberries, creating a delicious strawberries and cream combo when popped into the bath. What's great about this is that you can break it up and get at least 2 uses from it, crumble it under running water to create a mountain of bubbles!
Love Potion Massage Bar - Made up of soft cocoa and shea butters, Love Potion is fragranced with LUSH's best selling Love perfume which contains a light apple scent and citrus top notes. What makes Love Potion different to other massage bars is that it contains cornflour as an ingredient to absorb excess oils leaving the skin moisturised but non greasy. 
Sweetheart Soap - Containing a sensual blend of mandarin, vanilla and jasmine, when used on wet skin Sweetheart builds up into a gorgeous creamy lather. 

See what else I bought from LUSH in my recent YouTube video HERE!




GlossyBox
After the amazing Christmas GlossyBox, I was so excited to receive a second special edition box especially for Valentines. Instead of the usual baby pink, the box was a very hot pink and as always, was beautifully wrapped and filled with generous sample sized goodies!


My first reaction was ''OHHWH! I wanted the CLARINS products!'' (Yes I took a peak at Gemsmaquillage's GlossyBox post before I got mine!) Nevertheless, I'm really pleased with what I got..

Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner (Plum) - Loving the new Eyeko packaging for starters, although I've never tried any of their products so I really look forward to trying this, especially as it's such a beautiful deep purple shade.
Orly Nail Lacquer - One of my favourite nail brands, this is a mini version and in the shade 'Ruby'.
Weleda One Step Cleanser & Toner - I enjoyed using the Weleda Pomegranate Rejuvenating Body Oil from a previous GlossyBox, so I believe this two-in-one product will be interesting to try!
FAB Gentle Body Wash - Not a brand I've heard of before, I would have preferred another makeup or skin care item but it's a great travel size product all the more!
Murad Skin Perfecting Primer - I've never discovered a primer that I actually enjoy using so this will also be interesting to try, and I like the fact that this claims to leave a 'dewy finish' to the skin.





Denman 
I must admit, up until now I had never tried a product by Denman. The D3 Classic Styling Brush in particular is well known for its half-round, anti-static rubber pad and is an essential for professional stylists in salons all over the world. A limited edition release, just in time for Valentines Day, is the Denman D3 Kiss Brushes, available in pink, red or black and each come adorned with lipstick 'kiss' prints. The smooth, round-ended nylon pins provide maximum grip and control on the hair whilst styling, ensuring a smooth, shaped and polished finish. 

I usually tend to brush through my hair before washing it, as I know it can be damaging to do so whilst wet. I then blow dry my hair, and finish by running the brush through it again. I found that even with a few knots and tangles, the Denman brush glided through my hair and de-tangled without causing any pulling or breakage. The unique 'tear drop' shaped handle provides better grip as it slots perfectly into the palm of your hand and as previously mentioned, the bristles are smooth, but also firm, almost giving you a scalp massage whilst combing through the hair. I even know certain members of my family who have used the same Denman brush for years, which just goes to show the durability, quality and longevity of their products.

This funky new addition to the Denman family is handbag friendly size and just something a little more different and fun compared to your regular hair brush! Don't miss out ladies, it won't be around for long and is only available whilst stocks last - get your hands on one HERE

*Denman kindly sent me this product to review. As always my thoughts and opinions are completely honest*

Happy Valentines Day!

28 January 2012

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation vs Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum

When it comes to my skin I do tend to splash out a little more on products that I know are much better quality, this goes for skincare but also base makeup in order to achieve flawless, perfect looking skin. In the past few years, I seem to have spent more and more money trying to find a foundation which does exactly this, some of my favourites being MAC Face & Body and Nars Sheer Glow. When there became a sudden hype for the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation, I was a little sceptical, 1) because it was a drugstore brand and 2) because it was £10 for a drugstore brand, and I couldn't help but think would I rather put that money towards a high end foundation that most probably wouldn't disappoint me? After a while I caved in and eventually picked one up. Even with the first application, I quickly realised I couldn't have been more wrong with my assumptions, this foundation was incredible and I have since learnt not to set my standards so high! 

Not too long after Healthy Mix was released, the Healthy Mix Serum hit the shelves, so of course I had to see if it lived up to the original. After giving it a fair test, I feel I can express my honest thoughts and opinions, and also compare them to one another.


The Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation is available in 8 shades and I believe they have catered quite well for most skin tones. Having said that, I have the palest shade from the range in 51 Light Vanilla and I wouldn't feel safe in saying that it's light enough for very pale skin. The colour selection for the Healthy Mix Serum is slightly more limited with only 6 shades to choose from. I actually picked this up a shade darker in 52 Vanilla, which I'd say is probably the better match out of the two for my skin, although once blended in, the difference is only slightly noticeable.

L-R Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation 51 Light Vanilla , Bourjois Healhty Mix Serum 52 Vanilla 


Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation 51 Light Vanilla
It was difficult to compare the colour in both photos as they were taken on two separate days and lighting was different, but you are able to see how the foundation sits on the skin and the effect that it gives.


Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum 52 Vanilla
As previously mentioned, I believe this shade works much better for me. My favourite brush to apply both foundations with is the Sigma Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki F80, it gives such an 'airbrushed' finish.

I'd say both foundations have a light-medium coverage, however very build-able if a heavier application is needed.  The Healthy Mix Serum is more of a gel texture compared to the original foundation, but both are extremely easy to apply and blend, resulting in a semi-matte finish giving the skin a beautiful, radiant glow. 




The Healthy Mix Foundation claims to contain natural fruit extracts, such as apricot for radiance, melon for hydration, apple as an anti-oxidant and ginger for energy. The Healthy Mix Serum is also based around vitamin rich fruit therapy, containing lychee, goji berries and pomegranate which give an instant anti-fatigue effect. They have the same refreshing, fruity scent which is heavenly to apply to the skin, unlike other 'paint' smelling foundations!

Both foundations claim to last for up to 16 hours on the skin. To be completely honest, there aren't many occasions when I would wear a foundation for that length of time, so I guess I can't truly comment on that. However, I would say that at around half the amount of that time you would need a touch up if you did want it to last longer, possibly a swipe over the face with setting powder, especially if you have a more oily skin type. 


As far as packaging goes, both come in pump form, which enables much more control when dispensing the product. The Healthy Mix Foundation is packaged in a plastic bottle, as is the Healthy Mix Serum, although the plastic is thicker almost like glass (I actually thought it was!) and is slightly taller and more slim but both contain 30ml of product. 

Overall, I don't favour one over the other, for the price you pay you just can't beat it and I can honestly say the quality is as good as high street branded foundations. For now, I will just swap between the two, when it comes to repurchasing I guess I'll just take it in turns with which one I buy! Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation (£9.99) and Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation (£10.99) are available from most Boots or Superdrug stores in the UK. 

Have you tried either of these yet? What are your thoughts and opinions?

Jessica 

17 January 2012

New Year, New Hair!

I tend to have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my hair. I always get complimented on it's natural colour and how silky smooth it is, however, when it comes to styling it is extremely difficult and never seems to do as it's asked. I've been through plenty of bottles of styling products and used various hair appliances in order to change my look up a little, but nothing ever really worked for me. I discovered the Babyliss Waving Wand a few months ago and decided to give it a try after hearing so many great things about its simplicity and end results, and I must say, I haven't been fooled. I've always found curling my hair to be a bit of a faff, I could never get the gist of it, I guess I can say I'm just more of a makeup kind of girl! But the Babyliss Waving Wand really is a pleasure to use, it gives me the exact look I've always aimed to achieve and the results even last into the next day.

After receiving a few requests asking if I could film a tutorial on how I create the loose, bouncy waves, I felt more than confident in doing so and eventually got round to uploading the video (click HERE to see!)                  


It was only then when I was editing and watching the video back, couldn't help but think how god damn awful the remainders of my ombre-d tips looked. A whole 4 months growth later and it looked as if I have just dipped the ends of my hair into some household bleach. I was umming and arring as to whether to upload the video and in the end I did, purely because I wanted longish hair to be able to do this particular tutorial with and so the next morning I woke up and thought, it's got to go. I managed to get a last minute appointment at my local hairdressers and had it all cut off (the bleached ends I mean!) and I couldn't feel more happier now that it's gone!

It's definitely a good 3-4 inches shorter, a bit of a shock when you've had long hair for a while I tell you! But I really like it, I felt the need for a change and everybody always says I suit shorter hair. I also had some more longer layers cut in and feathering around the face, I find it gives my hair much more body and definition.


Are you aiming to make any drastic hair changes this year? :-)

Jessica 
 ♥

14 January 2012

Alternate half moon nails

I'm sure you are all aware of the 'half moon' manicure, where the nail is painted with one colour, then gone over with another leaving a small gap at the base of the nail to allow the underneath colour to show through. If you look at the base of your natural nail you will see a slight half moon shape and that is where this manicure trend get its name. Not all half moon manicures however, are curved into a semi circle shape, some are painted straight across, some are more pointed. A new style of a half moon manicure that I recently came across (excuse me if I'm really behind on this!), was worn by Kelly Rowland in the More Milk campaign, where her half moon manicure alternated in colour.

 L-R OPI We'll Always Have Paris, OPI Mad Hatter


She wore a silver glitter polish and a deep purple, which I chose to recreate. Her nails however are a lot longer than mine, and although I've described it as a half moon manicure, hers were more like half of one colour and half of the other, the line across the middle of the nail. 

I like it, I mean it's not exactly wearable for every day but for an evening or event I think it's fun. The only thing when it came to applying the purple over the glitter was that it left an uneven finish. Glitter is not necessary though, for a more toned down look, two matte colours would also look great.

Jessica 

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