Wednesday, November 26, 2014

MICRO Pedi Gift Set with Nails Inc.

Before this year, I hadn’t heard of Boots Star Gifts - so imagine my surprise (and excitement) when I realised they slash the prices of their gifts in the run up to Christmas!
This is, by far, my best Boots bargain of the year! I came across it online, and was instantly taken in by the fab reduction. Normally, this comes in at £79.99, and I think I managed to pick it up for around £20. Really, this could have been a good little gift for someone else - but I couldn’t help but pick it up for myself.
As unglamorous as it may sound, my feet do tend to feel a little dry sometimes and I am always looking for a great product to leave them feeling super soft. I was keen to dry the MICRO Pedi, as it could quickly rub off any dry excess skin first - leaving me able to finish up with my favourite foot cream.
The MICRO Pedi is a little hand held device with what looks like a roll of sandpaper at the end. When you switch it on, the wheel starts to spin and… VoilĂ ! Banish those bad bits! I have suuuuper ticklish feet, so I was very nervous about using it, but I was completely pleasantly surprised. This was completely bearable for me. I did find that the Pedi seems to discover more dry skin, than you realise so - although it’s probably a given - make sure you use it in the bathroom! 
The other thing that immediately drew me into this product, was the three Nails Inc Polishes that are also included. I’m big on nail paint so, to get these with the Pedi for such a bargain price was great. Amazingly, they are all shades I don’t have yet too. If you haven’t tried Nails Inc polish before, they are of a really high quality, come in a variety of different colours - and they’re mostly named after fab little places in London.
So far, I’ve tried ‘Uptown’ which is a dusty pink shade - but I’m giving my nails a rest at the mo, and I think the other two will be great for some Christmas nail art. ‘Uptown’ had good longevity, and matched well with my pale skin tone. Stay tuned for my review of the other two…
All in all, I was really pleased with my bargain! That said, I’m not sure I would have picked it up with the £79.99 price tag. I love Nails Inc, but not quite that much! I’ve seen a few of these bundles around, so if you are looking for some foot R&R I’m sure there are some more reasonable ones around.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Glossybox UK - November!

If you’ve come across my blog before, you will know I’m a subscriber to Glossybox UK and take great joy in a cosmetic delivery each month!
In this post, I wanted to give you a little peak into what I got in this month’s box. Admittedly, there are a number of brands in this box I haven’t heard of before - but I’m excited to try them nonetheless!
1. LOLLIPOPS MAKEUP Eye Pencil - £11 approx
This is a bold black eye pencil, that appears easy to apply and blend. It’s a handy design, with a mechanism that you can turn to get more liner when it runs down. My pet hate with liner is that they don’t always last long - so I’ll be seeing if this pasts the test.
2. Burt’s Bee Lip Shine - £6.99
This a really super shiny lip gloss, that also seems to be really nourishing to lips. It’s a deep reddy colour, but doesn’t come out quite this vibrant. Glossybox recommends using it with one of the Burt’s Bee Lip Shimmers, so this might be worth trying too.
3. H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment - £27.50 for 50ml
I’ve never heard of this brand, let alone tried this product so I am interested to see what this is like. Its a cooling face mask which should be kept in the fridge for a couple of hours prior to use. The effect? Should be deeply hydrating for skin. I’ll be interested to see how this works.
4. MONU Skincare Soothing Hawaii Facial Oil - £26 for 100ml
I’ve tried the MONUSpa Warming Ginger Massage and Body Oil before, and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s like a body milk and, though I wasn’t that keen on the scent, it was really moisturising. I expect this one to be just as good so am keen to try it.
5. 2True Pro Sparkles Glitter Nail Polish - £4
This little pot of glitter can be sprinkled on to nail designs to add a touch of sparkle. I haven’t tried these before as I’m put off by the fact I think they will be pretty messy. However, with the festive season almost upon us, maybe it’s time to bite the bullet!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Soap and Glory: My Favourite Bath Time Duo!

Soap and Glory are one of my favourite cosmetic brands. I’m a late starter; I’ve only started buying their products in the last year, but they are definitely now a staple in my everyday beauty routine.
While I have perused their makeup products, it’s the bath time potions and pampering lotions I really come to rely on Soap and Glory for.   So, why am I such a fan? For one, I think their collection is of a really good quality. After use, my skin feels silly smooth and nourished - and the scents are great. I’m a sucker for matching things, so if I’m using one type of scrub - I definitely want the matching lotion!
My favourite combination comprises of the Smoothie Star bits;
Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub - This lovely little scrub looks like gloopy brown sugar! It contains organic cupuacu bio scrubs, bananas, almond and honey extracts - giving it a fantastically sweet scent. This has great exfoliating properties, yet isn’t too rough on the skin. It works best when your skin isn’t completely soaking we,so I flipped the shower off for a bit during application. While I normally use my scrubber for my exfoliators, this one worked best I found when applying with your hands. I’d really recommend using this, and I would say its worth the £8 price tag - it really lasted for me!
Smoothie Star Lightly Whipped Body Buttercream - I love this little gem, and the tagline always makes me giggle - it advises to rub the product on your elbows to get some seriously silky skin! I was really impressed with the moisturising properties, and this really helped to clear up some dry skin I had on my legs. My skin feels and looks much softer after I have used this. The formula is really thick, but easy to rub in and thankfully doesn’t have that greasy effect. This retails at £10.50, but if you’re a savvy shopper you’ll know that Boots often run 3 for 2 offers on Soap and Glory products - so you dip in with that! At Christmas, there are some fab gift sets so that you can try a bit of everything else too.
I’ve recently bought the ‘Rich and Foamous Bath and Body Wash’ (having normally stuck with ‘Clean on Me’), which goes perfectly with these too. 
What are your favourite Soap and Glory products?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My Homemade Kimono!

Over the summer, I spent ages trawling through shops and across the internet to find myself the perfect kimono. 
I wanted a nice patterned navy blue one, with a little bit of fringing on the bottom. I know this sounds a tall order and just a little bit specific, but stocked one just like it - though I sadly was a bit too late in getting to pick one up.
A little while after this, I came across a photo on Facebook from an especially creative friend who had whipped up her own. It was made of a light chiffon material with a floral pattern, and I was really impressed. I asked about how she had created it, and she directed me to Elle Apparel’s blog.
I was still a little in doubt about my own abilities, but I headed over to her page for a little look anyway. Elle’s blog is fantastic; I’m a sewing novice, but her instructions are so clear and concise that even I found it possible to follow.
Armed with Elle’s instructions, I set about finding myself the perfect fabric. Elle used a silky fabric, and typically I favoured these when I looked online. However, my skills weren’t up to scratch so I thought I might do better cutting up material that was slightly less slinky.
After some consideration I went with a nice floral material. Elle seems to cut hers out straight from the fabric, but I chose to make a newspaper pattern first. That way, I had something to go by if I decided to make another. From start to completion, I’d say it took me maybe two weeks. Thought I have to admit, I didn’t donate all that time to the sewing machine.
All in all, I’m really pleased with my end product. I had a few bumps along the road, and my ability to cut in a straight line is a little lacking! That said, I am really pleased with my first attempt and I’ve had a few compliments from friends - and even one order!
If you want to find out how to make your own, head over to Elle’s blog at:

Thursday, November 06, 2014

My Holiday Essentials - The Perfect Face Base!

If you’re an avid reader of my Twitter feed (I tweet under ‘@amorellie_’, if you aren’t already following), you will know that this week I have traded in busy city life for a little break away. While I’m enjoying a restful few days, I’m also trying to give my skin a little bit of a break.
In my normal day to day, I am definitely guilty of wearing more makeup than I need sometimes. It’s not that I have particularly bad skin, but I am just into my routine of applying foundation and powder every day - even at weekends. I’d probably it more down to a confidence thing, and liking having my ‘warpaint’!
This week however, I’ve been trying to give my visage a little break. That said, there are three little products that I haven’t quite been able to say no to. 
Bourjois Paris 123 Perfect CC Cream - retailing at £9.99
This one was a complete chance buy. I’d been looking at trying out BB creams, but was taken in by this instead. It’s ‘Colour Correcting’, containing green, apricot and white pigments to create an even finish and toning down any redness. It’s very hydrating and also contains SPF 15. I love this as an alternative to foundation as it is such a lightweight formula, and does wear quite well. This is a perfect little holiday companion, as its more like a clever tinted moisturiser. It affords me coverage without feeling thick on the skin - giving my face a little chance to breathe. 
Body Shop Born Lippy Pot Lip Balm in Watermelon - retailing at £2.00
A friend included this in a lovely little birthday hamper of beauty bits she had picked up for me, and it’s now a permanent fixture in my makeup bag! With the weather getting colder, these are great for keeping your lips in tip top shape. It also helps that they smell amazing - I’m loving the Watermelon one.
Body Shop Shimmer Waves in Coral - retailing at £16.00
This second Body Shop product, and was recommended to me by a friend. I wanted a bronzer that was multi tonal and not too far on the orange side. This shade is great for my pale skin, and this week I’ve just been lightly dusting it over my cheekbones in favour of my best Benefit blusher. I’d never spent this much on a bronzer before, but I would definitely use this again. I’ve had this for about three months now, and it still looks barely used. I would thoroughly recommend this, and it also comes in Bronze and Blush to suit all skin tones and requirements.
What are your favourite holiday products?

Monday, November 03, 2014

No7 Match Made Lipstick Service

On Saturday, during some pre holiday shopping, I made a little pit stop at Boots to try out the new Match Made Lip Service.
I have quite pale skin, so I normally spend a fair amount of time poring over the beauty aisles looking for a lippy that doesn’t wash me out. When I heard about this new service, I was really keen to see which shades I would be matched with.
I went to the Portsmouth branch, and was served by a really friendly lady called Jade. She wiped off some of my foundation and then used the device to find my perfect skin tone. She then found the matching No7 Foundation, and reapplied it where she had rubbed mine off.
From the existing match, she found that my skin tone fell into the ‘Calico’ group. There are two types of lipstick; Moisture Drench and Stay Perfect. Moisture Drench is a moisturising satin finish lipstick with SPF 15, while Stay Perfect is a strong colour which lasts for up to 8 hours.
Initially, I thought there would be a single match for each skin tone, so I was pleasantly surprised to find there were actually 19 colours to choose from. Jade then asked me which ones I wanted to try. I probably picked out around 4 colours at first, and these were all brought out for me to try. The first one I tried on was really not my colour - a fuschia pink that was just too bright!
After exchanging some concerned looks with my boyfriend (who kindly escorted me and helped me with the colour choosing), I moved from the pink shades to coral. The tones were a bit more muted, which I think is the best for me. Eventually, the colour I selected was Auburn Whisper.
Its a cool rouge colour, and I think it really adds a bit of colour to my face. It is from the Stay Perfect range, and the natural colour combined with matte finish really works for me.
I would definitely recommend using the service; there is something quite exciting about having your own tailor made makeup. For the service that is provided, I don’t think the lipstick is too expensive. That said, I probably be buying every shade!