Thursday, February 28

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo

If you're an avid blog reader like myself, then I'm sure you've read enough reviews on La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo* to last a lifetime, but just incase you're not, here is my two cents on this blemish busting delight.

When this product first started being raved about, I was quite lucky in the sense that I didn't need to try it; my skin was clear of any blemishes and although I always tend to have pore issues, they weren't going through a very bad nor clogged up stage. However, I would say that over the last six weeks or so, my skin has been playing up a little and areas that I have never really had any complaints about, seem to have unfortunately been a little blemish prone and angry. After a couple of weeks of complaining and not really knowing what would work to get my skin back under control, I decided to put this Effaclar Duo to the test and see if it really was worth all the hype I had read.

It's a light cream-gel texture that works to unclog the pores by eliminating the cells causing the blockage and includes ingredients that help to eliminate any imperfections and fight against bacteria. I followed the instructions and applied this to my whole face, day and night, which at first seemed to work well and I was pleased how it sat underneath my make up, however, I did start to notice that some areas, particularly my nose were becoming quite dry. 
Not wanting to over do it on my skin and potentially cause further problems, I decided to change the routine and use a smaller amount only as a part of my evening regime and since then it has begun to work perfectly and has certainly helped to revert my skin back to its "normal" state.

This didn't zap any of my spots as such, but it definitely calmed down my blemish troubled areas and has helped put a stop to my areas of reoccurring issues as well as hormonal breakouts which is great. After using this continuously, my skin begun to look a lot clearer again and I, like most people, am really impressed.

The only problem with it was that I found it to it quite deceiving in that it doesn't look particularly drying or harsh, but with my nose area becoming substantially drier, I would personally advice that you go easy with it at first and use minimal amount of product, which is all that's necesary anyway.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo costs £13 for 40ml and is available to buy in Boots.

Have you tried this product? I would love to know your thoughts.

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Jacava London Toffee Apple

Before I start to introduce the Summer bright shades that have recently been added to my nail varnish collection, I thought I would share with you what has been one of my favourite classic Red shades over the past couple of months.

Jacava London is a reasonably new brand that offer a range of nail varnishes that are all free of eight nail nasties; including no Formaldehyde, no Camphor, no DBP, no Toluene and additionally they are animal friendly. 

Although I find the smell pretty strong, which I haven't really experienced in a nail polish for quite a while, Toffee Apple* is a beautiful Red and although it is a little darker in real life to how it seems to have photographed, I have found it to be one of my most worn darker Reds.

Seeing as ingredients that often benefit application aren't included in the formula, application is really nice and drying time is super impressive, which is a something that I personally find to be a big factor when determining a good nail varnish from a bad one.

One thing that I'm not so keen on is the packaging of Jacava Londons products. I find the very extravagant and long bottle top does make application surprisingly comfortable but it's not really to my taste and is a little too over the top, taking up more space than I find necessary. 

Jacava London polishes are available online and cost £14.50, which I personally do find pretty steep with "high end" polishes that are also nasty-free, being available for a similar price.

Have you tried any Jacava London polishes? Is Toffee Apple a shade you would wear?

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Tuesday, February 26

REN Sensitive Skincare

Although I'm in no way an expert when it comes to skincare, I have grown very fond of it and love nothing better than to try new products on the market and recommend them to both you and my friends and family. It can sometimes be a little tricky though as of course, we all have different skin conditions and so what is good for me may not necessarily be great for you. Quite a few of my friends and family suffer with sensitive skin and although I tend to opt for quite gentle products anyway, sensitivity isn't really something I suffer with and although I've managed to find some products that have worked great, I haven't ever come across a whole range that I have felt confident enough to highly recommend to them. 

When I was introduced to the REN Sensitive Skin range I was pretty impressed with the line and what the products offered and since, have pointed many of my friends in the direction of the six products.

REN created the sensitive range with one thing in mind, to create products that were free of skin-unfriendly ingredients that would work towards their 'Three P' motto- performance, purity and pleasure; improving the condition of sensitive skin for all ages and training it to be less sensitive, soothed, calm and hydrated. 

One in three people suffer with sensitive skin and I know from those close to me, that they often find it hard to find products that they feel confident to use and with the average lady using around 200 different ingredients in their skin regime per day, it's important that the right products are picked. 
 Free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, petrolatum, silicones and synthetic fragrance and colours, I think the ingredients that REN uses are pretty impressive and if you do suffer with sensitive skin, I think they're worth a look.

The range consists of
REN Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk- 150ml £18
REN Hydra-Calm Cleansing Gel-150ml £17
REN Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream-50ml £27 
REN Hydra-Calm Youth Defence Serum-30ml £38 
REN F10 Smooth and Renew Mask-50ml £20
REN Joboba Microbead Purifying Facial Polish-150ml £18 

REN products are available to buy online and in Selfridges, Liberty, Space NK and John Lewis. 

Do you suffer with sensitive skin? Have you tried any of these products?

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Monday, February 25

Maxitone Sculptress 'Thank You' Moment

Now here's a word I didn't think I would ever mention on my blog- diet. I've never been a fan of the word and being a bit lazy when it comes to the whole thing, it's never been something I have ever really stuck to and find it to be a little over and misused. 

On New Years Eve, I decided that this year would be the year I started to be a little more sensible with my food intake and the year that I would swap the frequent trips out for unhealthy food for trips to gym instead. I wasn't overweight, but I've never really been very healthy and working as Cabin Crew, eating not the most health-friendly of meals at crazy hours, it really had started to take its toll on my body and I think spread over a fair while, I put on about a stone to what I found my ideal weight. 

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Saturday, February 23

Headmasters Colour Sale

I've been contemplating a little change with my hair for a little while now and on Tuesday I was kindly invited down to Headmasters in Mayfair for a Cut and Colour to celebrate their Colour Sale which begins on the 24th February.

I had my hair done by Headmasters very lovely Colour Director, Siobhan Jones, who was super understanding of the look I wanted. I wanted to lighten my hair similar to how it would naturally lighten in the sun, so Siobhan stripped some of the existing colour and then worked through my hair with some bleach throughout the front and random mid-lengths and ends, which is where the sun would naturally hit. After taking my hair a couple of shades lighter and popping on a Toner, my hair is exactly how I wished for it to be. In terms of the cut, I had a few inches taken off the length and then had it cut into, with a few choppy layers for some texture. I'm so pleased with my hairs new look and think the shape of the cut suits the colour absolutely perfectly.

If you fancied treating yourself to a new look or if you just need a little refresh of colour, Headmasters 50% Colour Sale starts on the 24th February and will be running until 16th March 2013. 
Headmasters have more L'Oreal Colour Experts than any other group and to find your nearest salon, visit

Do you like my new hair style? Will you be popping along to a Headmasters salon for a hair treat?

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Friday, February 22

ghd Candy Collection

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Thursday, February 21

February Birchbox Dinner of Discovery

Earlier on this week I was invited to a rather mysterious event held by the Birchbox UK team and although I'm usually rubbish at surprises and like to know exactly what I'm doing, it was a very lovely evening and we were all treated absolutely beautifully.

We were met at Liverpool Street station by the team that were armed with our Birchbox name cards and whisked away in the Pink Birchbox taxis that have been making their way around London over the past week. A little unsure of quite where we was going, when we pulled up on a back street in Shoreditch, I must say I was somewhat confused. We were led up to a studio homed behind a graffitied Silver door, which was the coolest little work home space I think I have ever been to.
With tables full of Champagne and Nail Products, we were treated to Mavala Manicures and pampered to perfection whilst discussing beauty products with the American Birchbox team.

After a couple of hours and a maybe a few too many top ups of Champagne, we were whisked away once again in the pretty taxis back into Central London, where we were treated to a beautiful dinner at the Newman Street Tavern. Over three courses with great company, we were gifted Februarys Birchbox and untied the bow to see what we would discover this month.

Inside my box was:
Gerda Spillmann Bio Fond Cream Foundation
Korres Guava Shower Gel
Nick Chavez Beverley Hills Plump 'n' Thick Leave-In Thickening Mist
Vichy Limited Edition Thermal Spa Water
Eboost Natural Energy Booster
Birchbox Eyelash Curler

I think it's pretty safe to say all of the products in Februarys Birchbox are pretty cool and I can't wait to give them all a go, especially the Nick Chavez Thickening Mist, which I heard really great things about from the US team!

Birchbox subscriptions costs £10 per month.

Are you a Birchbox Subsciber? Does this box appeal to you?

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Waitrose Cinnamon Cakes and Ginger & Clementine Bath Crémes

I'm pretty sure I posted about these two products a couple of years ago, but evidence of that seems to have disappeared which is a shame because for the past few years, these two Waitrose Bath Crémes have been my favourite bath time bargains that I have continually repurchased.

Both Cinnamon Cakes and Ginger & Clementine are an absolute dream and smell just as you can imagine. Though Cinnamon Cakes is perfect for a sweet treat and probably my favourite of the two, I do find it a little harder to get hold of and so tend to use Ginger & Clementine more, which is just as lovely. It's super refreshing and they both fill the bathroom with the most amazing scent.

They're not super beneficial for the skin but they add that element of a super bubbly luxurious bath at an incredible price. Each bottle contains a massive 750ml of product, for the superb price of £1.49 and honestly, I can't tell any difference between them and high end bath cremes that I have been known to pay ten times the amount for.

Cinnamon Cakes and Ginger & Clementine are available to buy in Waitrose stores and online.

Have you tried either of these products? Will you be popping into Waitrose next time you fancy a beautiful bubble bath?

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Wednesday, February 20

Sisley Gentle Make Up Remover for Face and Eyes

When it comes to removing my make up, a product that comes high up the list in terms of convenience and quick removal, whilst also being gentle on my skin is always going to be a winner for me. I like to use a product that does a brilliant job at removing my make up quickly, without compromising my skin and a product that has been working beautifully well for me over the past few months is this Sisley Gentle Make Up Remover for Face and Eyes*.

Though it is easily the most expensive make up remover I have ever tried and probably ever will try, it is a really nice product to use and the feature that first caught my attention is the pump which I find super convenient and wish more products would use. I know picking up a bottle and squeezing a little product out is far from difficult but I'm all for a gimmick and love that after a couple of simple hassle free pushes of my cotton pad, I am left with the perfect amount of product.

I find this works beautifully at removing my make up and leaves my skin feeling so great and looking clean and matte afterwards, but I do find it doesn't work as great at removing my eye make up as other removers I have tried, which is a shame. As well as that factor, I have sadly found that once or twice it has led my eyes to sting a little, which isn't so great, even though it is said to be safe to use on sensitive eyes. Though that put me off for a couple of days, it hasn't stopped me from using it in the long run as I rarely wear a heavy eye and my pros vastly outweigh the cons.

I find the natural fragrance of the product is quite strong which isn't perfect for my personal taste, but it is said to work for all skin types including sensitive.

This handy pump bottle of Sisley Gentle Make Up Remover for Face and Eyes is quite pricey and like I said probably the most expensive make up remover I'll ever use at £69 but if you fancy a treat it is available to buy at Sisley counters in Selfridges, Space NK and Liberty.

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Tuesday, February 19

Remington Keratin Therapy Pro Volume Ceramic Brush


However I decide to style my hair, a little bit of volume is always necessary and having naturally quite flat hair I find the only way to achieve the quick bit of volume or bounce that I desire, is with heat. Since my hair has got a little longer I have really relied on styling tools for a quick fix and although I know too much heat is super naughty, I just can't help myself at the moment.

I've gone through a few stages with tools over the past couples of years starting with the straightener, indulging in a little tong and falling in love with heated rollers but have recently ended up using and loving a tool very similar to something that got me through my school years (though a lot more fancy)- Remingtons Keratin Therapy Pro Volume Brush*, which is essentially a brush that has a Ceramic heated barrel to help give you long lasting volume in a super easy way.

It really couldn't be any easier to use to achieve a beautiful bodied bounce for your hair. With the power button offering two simple heat settings, 120°C or 180°C, it is so simple to work and used in the motion just like you would a brush when blow-drying, the heat styles your hair to create volume and a slight curl or wave if thats what you're after. I'm so lazy when it comes to blow-drying my hair, but find if I rough dry it now or even if I leave it to dry naturally, this fixes all problems in a super quick time.

The Ceramic coated barrel is actually "advanced" in that is is infused with Keratin Micro Conditioners which help prevent heat damage and damage up to 57% and provide a smooth and professional looking finish for the hair.

When I first used this, I must admit I did get a little carried away and ended up getting it slightly tangled in amongst my hair which was a huge panic moment for me, but since having a little play with it and figuring out what works best for me and realising that I have to pretty much keep it moving without too much hair surrounding the barrel, I've found it so easy to use and it is now an essential in my hair routine.

This Remington Keratin Therapy Pro Volume Ceramic Brush is available to buy nationwide, although I have found it cheapest for £22.99 in John Lewis and currently on a special offer in Boots

Do you have a go-to styling tool? Have you tried anything from Remingtons Keratin Therapy range?

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Sunday, February 17

Bourjois Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix

I've spent the last couple of days in the city capturing some of what has been going on in and around London Fashion Week and yesterday met with the Bourjois team, who were at the Handpicked Media LFW Suite in the fabulous One Aldwych, offering make overs and an insight into the trends that hit the runway at the Zoe Jordan Show on Friday.

With flawless, radiant bases standing out on the models it was no surprise to me that the foundation used for the perfectly polished looks in the shows was Bourjois Healthy Mix. I'm personally really fussy when it comes to foundation and it's fair to say I don't like to stray too much, however when I want a fresh looking face with great coverage, Healthy Mix has been a go-to for me over the past year and when trying it for the first time I couldn't believe I had left it so long.
I know so many "foundation snobs", similar to myself that find this foundation a must have and if a radiant, fresh, dewy like finish is what you strive for; then I highly recommend this foundation.

With my love for Bourjois Healthy Mix clear, you can probably imagine how extremely excited I was when I was introduced yesterday to the new Healthy Mix. New in both look and formula, Healthy Mix is now even fruiter with extra Apricot to give you a beautiful radiance, more Melon for extra hydration and a little added Apple for youth protection. Promising to keep your skin luminous and hydrated for 8 hours, Healthy Mix also works to keep you flawless and evened out for up to 16 hours, which although I personally find to be quite a big claim, I do love it and find it has always lasted a fair while on me.

Something I really like about Healthy Mix is the shade range. Though it isn't massive, it is made up of 8 shades that have a really nice balanced mix of Yellow and Pink undertones which is something that I find great for a drugstore product. 
I tend to usually stick to MAC because I like the range of Yellow toned foundations (NC) and know I get on with them, but I find shade 53 and 54 in Healthy Mix work great for me. 

 The new packaging is something that really appealed to me. Although I love the foundation, the plastic packaging has never really grown on me and although it was great to manage to squeeze out every last bit, I find the new pump bottle a lot more attractive and look forward to adding it into my collection.

The new Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix costs £9.99 and will be available in March.

Have you tried Bourjois Healthy Mix? Are you pleased that they have repackaged it and mixed up the formula a little?

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Wednesday, February 13

Laura Mercier Créme Smooth Lip Colour in Mango

Laura Mercier is a brand that I am growing ever more in love with and after experimenting with a few of their products over the last year, I would put them towards the top of my favourite make up brands list.

Though lipsticks are the first product I usually go for, surprisingly, it has taken me until now to try one and fortunately, with a shade that is quite different to others I have and one that will be perfect for Spring/Summer.

This Laura Mercier Créme Smooth Lip Colour in Mango* is a dream to work with and aptly named, applies to the lips perfectly smooth and trouble free. Though I wouldn't say it's necessarily as bright as how it comes across in the swatch and is slightly more muted, it is still a fresh and vibrant shade that I can only describe as a creamy mix of Coral and Pink Red tones. The pigmentation is incredible and in the swatch pictured above is in fact just one quick sweep of colour, which shows how brilliant the pigmentation and how well the lipstick applies.
Included in the formula is Pure Olive Oil and Vitamin E, which work to keep the lips nourished and smooth and it works a treat. My lips don't feel too dry after wearing this for a long time, which is especially nice with this kind of shade.

I read somewhere that these aim to be super long wearing and free of bleeding and sitting in lines and although the colour does last a fair few hours on my lips before any need of attention, the colour does unfortunately bleed on me a little, although no more than any other Red or brighter toned lip.

I really like this lipstick formula and am keen to try Arabesque, which is a Pink Nude that has been released into their Spring Summer 2013 collection.

    Laura Mercier Créme Smooth Lip Colour lipsticks cost £20 and are available online and at Laura Mercier counters in Liberty, Space NK and Selfridges.

What do you think of this shade?

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