Thursday, 31 January 2013

New Buys On A Budget

Hello lovelies, 

I've been very good but boring lately and haven't really bought much at all other than things that are necessities. I made my way to Primark this week and still didn't really manage to spend any money (go me!). Even though I hadn't been since before Christmas, there didn't seem to be anything different. I suppose this is a bit of a weird time of year where they're trying to shift the old to make way for the new. I have however picked up a few bargains this week:
Since I fell in love with S&G I've spent a considerable amount of time perusing the range in Boots. The other day (after having sniffed the sugar crush buttercream for the gazillionth time, boy is it good) I spotted this on the bottom shelf, with a reduced label marked £1.38. Now I fell out with dry oil sprays after using the Avon one and getting a huge oily patch on my duvet from letting my leg touch the bed.  However, I'm sure I can make an exception for S&G and since I live in shorts during the summer this should be pretty good :)
My skin is becoming the bain of my life, it's never great but has really been playing up lately. I've had breakouts left, right and center, and an oily t-zone combined with dry skin. Sounds a bit weird to have dry skin when it's oily, but believe me, it's possible! After trying several different moisturiser samples (and getting on with none) I decided to cut the crap and go with something stripped back and oil free. This had great reviews on the Boots website and was only £2.79. 
While in Primark the only thing I bought was this tank and shorts PJ set for a fiver. I didn't want to leave with nothing and if you spend as much time in your dressing gown as I do then you can never have too many PJs. 
Next up is this bag from  Matalan. We had a leaflet through the door saying it was going to be on offer from £12 down to £5 this week so I'd been waiting to go in and get one. It comes in black, tan, a pale pink and  grey and I really had trouble deciding which to go for because they were all nice. In the end I thought that this would go with the most things, but I think I'll probably go back and get another colour because I like it so much. 
Last but not least is this cowboy shirt dress that I picked up in Asda. It was only £1! so I really couldn't say no and although it doesn't look much here (these pics wouldn't do anything justice) the design is really flattering on me because it draws attention to my waist and gives me a bit more of a shape rather than looking straight up and down like a 12yr old boy. It's quite wimpy material but it feels really nice, has cute piping and looks good with leggings and boots. 

Lauren x

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

NOTD: Mavala Candy Floss

Hello Lovelies, 

I've been having rather darker nails recently and thought I'd go for something a bit on the lighter, more cheerful side when I painted them yesterday. I chose to use Mavala's Candy Floss which is part of their 'Delicious colours' S/S '12 collection. 
The quality of the polish seems to be pretty good, this is what two coats looks like. I was expecting it to be on the pale side but it's actually quite a bright bubblegum pink. Definitely a colour I'll get more use of in the summer. 

What do you think?

Lauren x

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Lush: The Comforter Review

Hello lovelies, 

If you were with me in December you may have seen my Xmas post which showed you that I received a  Lush 'Hello Gorgeous' gift set. A month on I've just got round to having a very long, indulgent bath using the comforter bubble bar. I have to admit to being way behind and never having used anything from Lush before. Well, clearly I've been missing out. I can honestly say I had the best bath ever this afternoon .

For a total newbie like me, a bubble bar is basically a solid form of bubble bath. You break a bit off and it looks like a pumice stone. To use it you crumble it under the hot water tap when you start running your bath. This one costs £4.25 and judging by the amount I used will last about 5/6 baths.

First impressions were that the bubble bar smells great, it's been sitting in my room making it smell lovely and now that I've broken a bit off it's re-awoken the smell. It's actually blackcurrant, but if I didn't know this then I wouldn't have been able to pin point what it was, only the fact that I love it. 
I was a bit sceptical as to whether it would bubble up, but it was fantastic and even when I topped my water up mid bath it was still creating bubbles. My bath water was also a really girly pink that didn't stain the bath or me. 

It's been a great intro the the brand and I can't wait to try out the other things in the set!
Do you have any Lush favourites?

Lauren x

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Review: Sudocrem - Not just for babies' bums!

Hello lovelies, 

If like me you suffer from more than your fair share of spots then you will have probably tried a shed load of products that claim to get rid of the buggers. Enter Sudocrem.
I'd been meaning to try this for ages after seeing it doing the rounds but finally got it a few weeks ago. I paid £2.25 for 125g in Superdrug but you can get it in all the usual places; Boots, Wilkinsons, Supermarkets, etc. 

Not having any little people around I've never had much to do with it and didn't realise quite how many uses it covers. As it's quite thick and white it gives you a bit of a ghostly look unless you rub it in well. I find it's just easier to put it on at night and let it work its magic. It definitely makes my spots appear calmer and tones down the redness of marks. I think it probably stops them from getting worse due to the antiseptic properties (at least it makes me think that!). It's really kind to skin and now I've tried it I expect it'll be something I'll always use. A little goes a long way and I can see this tub lasting for ages. 

All in all I'd recommend it if you're after something that might make a difference. 

Lauren x 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

New Budget Buys Jan 2013

Hello Lovelies, 

Just some things I've been buying lately. All budget buys so nothing breath taking I'm afraid, but something to nosey at nonetheless! Something to look at has gotta be better than nothing.

I think I must be getting old as I really wasn't happy this year until I got a diary. Over the last few months of 2012 I got really into writing in my old one, just noting what I'd done that day so that I could keep track of things. This is the one I ended up with; nothing flashy, just an A5 day to page from Wilkinsons for £3. 
While in town I also used one of the vouchers I blogged about that came with the Soap & Glory Best Of All set. It gave you £3 off facial skincare. I decided to go for the Fab Pore Facial Peel which was already £8 down to £6 and with the £3 knocked off that only left £3 to pay.  If you have them then the first set go out on Jan 22nd - go and spend them ladies! I used it last night and was impressed - review coming soon.
Next up - something boring but essential. This one smells nice and is really gentle on my skin. It was super cheap too. I've found that if you use a print out advantage card voucher (in this case 25% off a deo) it will take it off the full price even if something's on offer. So instead of £3 something it was just 80pish. This works for other boring things like toothepaste too, which means more money to spend on pretty/fun things instead. 
I also needed to spend my £3 Body Shop card (the one from Glamour). I was in a real hurry in the shop and it was the last day so I opted for this fresh smelling watermelon and eucalyptus shower gel for £2.50. It sounds pretty good and is completely eco friendly. 
Last but not least, was this Palmers lip balm for £1 from Asda. My lips are really feeling the wintery weather and I like to have lip balms in my various bags and pockets whenever I need it. You can never have too many. 

...and that's it!

Lauren x 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Recent Empties January 2013ish!

Hello Lovelies, 

You must all know what an 'empties' post is, so without further ado...
Peep Show Mascara: Read my review here

Palmers Cocoa Butter - I've already repurchased, great at moisturising very dry skin and an addictive scent.

Skin Therapy Eye MU Remover - Another thing I've repurchased. I use this every night and it does the trick without irritating my eyes.

Vaseline Deodorant - I never actually ended up using this all. It is so strong smelling and used to make me feel like I was being asphyxiated, I got complaints from the family too for making the house smell of it!

Timotei Shower Gel - Cheap and cheerful. Probably wouldn't repurchase in a hurry, because I think I need to use less soapy and more moisturising shower gel (IYKWIM).

Sleeptherapy Shower Gel - This was wasted on me as I always shower in the morning. I needed a shower gel and it was hanging around from my days as an Avon rep. It's pretty good.

Dove Shampoo - I used this before and repurchased - it's really moisturising.

Boots Expert Scar Care Serum - This is the second tube of this I've finished but it wasn't really a repurchase as I bought them both at the same time on special offer because they were re-branding the product. I believe it's now called 'Scar Reduction Serum'. I used this twice a day over a pro-longed period of time. I'm not 100% convinced whether it was other factors, or just skin regeneration, but my scarring has certainly been calmed down *I have/had really bad purple/pinky scarring on my face, particularly cheeks*. It feels quite nice and soothing on skin.

That's all folks!

Lauren x 

Saturday, 12 January 2013

NOTD: Glittery Mauve

Hello lovelies, 

I haven't painted my nails since before Xmas but I thought I'd go for something with a bit of sparkle.
 I've used Avon Mirror Shine in Metallic Mauve with a couple coats of Chit Chat (Poundland's brand) glitter in Violet shade. They took ages because the glitter polish didn't dry very quickly, and it absolutely stinks, but it looks fab and you can't complain when it only costs £1. 

Lauren x

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Revlon 9429U Make-Up Mirror Review

Hello lovelies, 

There have been two things lately that have really made a difference to how I apply my make-up. The first is my Real Techniques brush set that I talked about the other day in this post, the other is something I asked for  and received at Christmas; this Revlon mirror. 
A decent mirror is something that I'd needed for a while. Even more so when it's so dark and dull in the mornings like it is here at this time of year. I originally had my eye on the No 7 one from Boots but when my mum offered to buy me this one for Xmas I wasn't going to say no! She got it at £25 on half price offer from  Very
I've now been using it every day since Xmas and have to say that I love it. It's so so handy for getting a good close up (scary at times!) of your face. I usually just use the normal side but the 3x magnifying side is really good for doing your eyebrows because you can see them so well to get individual ones out. It can be angled at almost any position, the only thing you can't change is the height (which I wouldn't expect anyway). I really like the fact that it plugs in so you don't have to worry about batteries and also that it's so easy to flick on and off. The illumination is excellent and I can see really clearly in the mirror in poor light. 
I'm very pleased with it and just hope the bulb will last or be replaceable when it does go!

Lauren x

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

DIY: How I Wash My Brushes

I don't know if this comes off as a little big headed telling you how I do this? I'm by no means a pro at anything to do with make up, but I just thought I'd share how I take care of my beloved Real Techniques brushes because I would have liked a post like this when I first got them. 

I want my brushes to last as long as possible, but also know that it's important to clean them to avoid bacteria building up and various other obvious reasons. So that meant I needed to buy a brush cleaner. This was a whole new world to me and to be honest I kind of grudged the idea of spending money on one. I mean there are much prettier things to spend your money on, right ladies?

Fortunately I learnt that baby shampoo is gentle but effective enough to clean your brushes, before I forked out on a fancy pants cleaner. I expect the ingredients are pretty similar really. I bought good old Johnson's baby shampoo. 

Cleaning the brushes is dead simple, I literally just use lukewarm water and a little of the shampoo then brush the brush about (if that makes sense!) in the shampoo in the palm of my hand. I just keep rinsing the water away and brushing about until the water runs clear. 

That's it! You need to be careful not to get water in the ferule if you can help it so for this reason I try to keep my brush bristle end downwards while washing and also when they're drying. I don't know about other brands but if I wash my RT brushes at night they're always dry by the time I want to use them in the morning. They clean up really well, like new almost and they smell nice because of the shampoo. 

I know other people have different ways and it's all about what works for you, but this is how I do it and it works pretty well.

Lauren x

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Real Techniques Core Collection Review

Hello lovelies,

It seems ages ago now that I told you I'd finally bought the RT Core Collection set. Before buying it I read several reviews (thank you blog land) and couldn't find a bad word said about it, so here's another by someone who's been won over by these brilliant brushes.
L-R: Buffing, Pointed Foundation, Detailer and Contour brush.
The Core Collection Set
The set is one of a few by Real Techniques and consists of four brushes which are designed to help you achieve a flawless base. The brushes themselves are all made from synthetic taklon bristles that feel incredibly smooth and very soft on skin. They're also very light to hold because of their aluminium handles. The brushes come in a black case (great for travelling) which doubles as a stand.

Contour Brush
At the moment I don't pay much attention to contouring (although I should because I know it can make such a huge difference) but I do use this to sweep highlighter in a few places and it's really good. It picks up a lot of product so I have to remember not to be heavy handed and to blend.

Pointed Foundation Brush
I don't use this brush much, purely because I prefer to apply my foundation with the buffer to really blend it in. If you like to use a proper foundation brush then this one is excellent quality and it's definitely a fall back for me.

Detailer Brush
This is quite a small brush that looks like your typical eye shadow brush. I hate the doe foot applicator that comes with my concealer so I use this instead for slapping a good amount on under my eyes or over spots.
This gives me a lot more control over how much concealer I want to apply and where I want it. I often feel like I'm painting with this brush. Being a detailer, it's just the right size for under eye patch ups and for covering pesky bits of blemished skin. Rather than just blobbing the product on in a thick lump, this allows you to spread it thinly or build it up.

Buffing Brush
This was the one that drew me to the collection, I was after a brush that I could use to apply liquid foundation and I'd narrowed it down to the expert face brush or this one, which is only available as part of the set. I weighed up my options and decided that spending a bit extra to get 3 more brushes was too tempting not to do.
This is the main brush I use. I put a few blobs of foundation on my face (cheeks, chin and forehead). Starting with my cheeks I start spreading the foundation around using circular motion and just do this repeatedly on the different areas of my face until it's all covered.
I also use this after applying my blusher. I like to just give a quick couple of sweeps over the blushed area to ensure that it's blended in well.
I can honestly say I don't know what I did before I had this. It just makes it so much quicker and easier to apply my foundation and the effect is excellent. I never used to feel like my make up was applied well but now I have this I don't even need great light to do my make up as I can be totally sure that it's all blended in well and I've not got the dreaded streaky make up look!

As I've said I was only really after the buffing brush, but now that I've got this set I'm really impressed with the general quality of the brushes and how well they work. I definitely get the most use out of the buffer and detailer, with the least used being the foundation brush.

There's more info about how to use the brushes on the Real Techniques website.

I bought my brushes from Amazon for just under £20 but they're also available at Boots and several other online retailers.

Lauren x