Monday, 31 May 2010

My priceless gift

Look at what a lovely friend made me for my birthday (belated) this year:

Both the card and photo frame is handmade by herself. She is so creative and talented (with a very good soul). It is such a beautiful and thoughtful gift - things like this I cherish more than anything. She put a picture of a bunch of us in the frame, and it is the loveliest thing I got this year.

This year was obviously the first one where he was not here. I went away so that I didn't have to be reminded of it. But my thoughts went away with me, and on the day of my birthday itself, it was pretty difficult. I thought of my sweet friend all the time. 

I have also thought of my sweet friend on his first birthday where he has not been around. I didn't have to think about what gift to get him, I didn't get to wish him a happy birthday. Gosh, its so hard. 

My heart does not feel like it is breaking every time I think of him anymore, but every now and then, it just hits me again like a cannon ball. This weekend,  I have been numb but its completely hit me again today. 

I love you my friend, my sweetheart. Best friends ya?

How unbearable must it be lose your soulmate? 

Monday, 24 May 2010

Montagne Jeunesse: 1. Passion Peel Off Masque

I picked up a few of the Montagne face masks from Superdrug over the weekend. Mainly because they were about 99p each, completely cruelty free and the size made it handy to take away on trips away. I picked up three different ones and thought I'd to a blog series to write about what I thought about each one and how my skin reacted to them.

Right... my skin is dry / combination. Its somewhat uneven around the mouth area and have some blemishes from previous spots and acne. I also have pores in the usual places. I also have hideous hereditary dark circles under my eyes. Not that my skin is awful, but its my fault for not drinking enough water. Oh, I also have hype-pigmentation. It can get congested so I need to make sure I exfoliate and cleanse my face regularly. Also, I suppose I should say, I left my teenage years - years and years ago!

Anyway, onto the first one - the deep cleansing 'Passion peel off' mask. It claims to gently peel away dead skin. The pomegranate and passion flower is meant to cleanse, purify and protect leaving the skin feeling fresh and radiant. It is recommended for normal, dry and t-zone skin. It also includes raspberry, grape, cranberry and vitamin E.

So how I prepared my skin was cleanse my face with scrub, use the No 7 exfoliater, and pat dry. I then used my fingers to apply a light layer across the face and neck. The package says to leave 10-20 minutes until dry. But my skin sucked in all the moisture within 5 minutes. I then slowly peeled it off and gently washed off any bits that remained stuck on my skin.

The consistency is very gel like and it goes onto the face very smoothly. The colour is quite fun - transparent strawberry comes to mind. The smell is a lovely, edible pomegranate fragrance which lingers under the nose when the mask is setting. Its one of those masks that tightens onto your skin, so you can't smile or talk too much. This is the first time in years I have used this type so it felt a bit odd.
Its quite a weird experience watching the mask peel off the skin. Its like that weird fascination of examining a pore strip after use! I finished off with a toner, my Caudalie Serum and a tiny bit of my goji berry cream. I have to say, my skin felt super soft and smooth. More imprtantly, it felt fresh and cleansed (although the nose area still felt a bit congested).

Because of the packaging it comes in, the mask was cool upon application (I'll put in in a fridge next time for and extra boost of coolness).

I will be able to get at least two uses out of this as a little goes a heck of a long way. Just make sure you put it in an airtight container after it is opened, and should stay fresh for a week. I put mine in a little plastic container where I think I got four for £1 at my local pound store. It did the job:
Link to their website here for more products

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Neutrogena face cleansers

Superdrug was having an offer on some Neutrogena products recently. I think it was 'buy one, get one free' thing. So I picked up these:
I have been using the 'Spot Stress Control' after cleansing my face at night, and the 'Blackhead Eliminating' in the morning. The Spot scrub comes in a very light colour, with slightly darker micro beads (top swatch on hand). It has Green tea and cucumber to help soothe skin.
It is meant to help unclog pores, which I have not found that it does. It is a decent scrub but nothing to write home about. The micro beads are pretty sparse and you have to work it well into the skin to feel any exfoliation. It actually doesn't feel that great on the skin so I don't think I will repurchase it again. The Blackhead Eliminating Scrub on the other hand comes up slightly better in my opinion. This one has more of an orange tone with darker orange mirco beads. It doesn't claim to have any 'buzz' word ingredients. But it oddly claims to keep blackheads at bay for up to three weeks. I mean, why only three weeks? What happens after three weeks??!
Anyway, this one is also an odd creamy texture, it also does not smell so great and feels pretty chemically. But the difference is that once it is washed off, my face almost tingles, and feels really fresh. I can't say that its made much difference to my blackheads (I have annoying ones on my nose and chin area), but it cleans well and overall is an alright product.

Overall they are both are okay products.

One similar product I would like to mention here is the Clean & Clear Blackhead clearing scrub. This is ace. The beads are just the right size, it made me feel like the blackheads were actually scrubbing away and spots were kept at bay when I used this. With the Neutrogena ones, I saw spots still appearing
on my face. The only reason why I stopped using this was because it was a tad drying for my dry skin. But I think I might get this again when my other scrubs have run out. I remember whenever I went with a friend to New York when we were younger, he used to always pop to Dwayne Reed to pick a couple of Clean & Clear stuff. During then, I don't think Clean & Clear were available in the UK. 

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Mac Lustreglass in Springbean

I've never been fussed about Mac make up and don't really rave about it to my friends. But slowly it has begun to dawn on me that I have accumulate a heck of a lot of Mac stuff without realising it.

Anyway, this post is about another Mac product. This time a Lustreglass in 'Springbean'. I was given this pretty little duo ages ago:
The top 'greeny' one is springbean, and the bottom one I think is called 'love nectar'. I am not sure as the writing has all rubbed off. I really liked the springbean, mainly it was an unusual colour to pull out of my bag - it gives a great conversation piece! As you can see, it looks a light yellow-green with gold glitter on it. Once you apply it however, it is quite subtle and the glittery flecks give a nice dimension to the lips. So Once I was scraping along the sides of the tube, I went ahead and bought the full size version. It costs £12 for 4.7g. Which I think is pretty expensive. I am using my tube very sparingly because I can see it running out very quickly if I use it as my other lip glosses (i.e as  a lip balm).

The website says that it gives a pearly finish which I think is probably true. What I like about it most is the effect it gives over any lipstick. I have swatched four colours from my Clinique Pink Ribbon Lipstick Palette to demonstrate the vibrancy it gives off over each colour. CS = Colour Surge Lipstick, LLSS = Long Last Soft Shine Lipstick:
The lipsticks are all very shiny anyway, but with the springbean over is, it gives an almost diamond-esq effect which makes the lip look more voluminous and plump. 

Definitely a lovely product to get any lipstick look glamorous. See the way the light picks up some of the sparkles? Glamorous!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Burts Bees lip balms

I went browsing round my local TK Max one lazy Saturday afternoon, looking for a vintage looking leather jacket. I had no luck but my eyes started roaming around the make up and skincare section. There were some really well-priced things I would have bought, but there are some really inconsiderate people out there who rip into the packages, stick their fingers in it and just leave the product ruined. It really gets on my nerves when people destroy something so senselessly like that.

Anyway, mini rant over, I saw the pack of Burts Bees lip balms in a pack of three. Each stick normally costs about £3.49, but the whole pack was priced at TK Max for £5. So I quickly snatched it before anyone  could defile it. It had three separate 'flavours'; Replenishing pomegranate oil, Beeswax and Honey.
Burts's Bees whole philosophy is natural ingredients.

Their website says on the pomegranate balm says "Burt's Bees Natural Pomegranate lip balm contains 100% natural ingredients for a truly moisturising experience. Replenishing and conditioning, this beautiful balm contains rich oils to help your lips look healthy and hydrated. Packed with antioxidants, this natural pomegranate lip balm coats lips with a subtle rosy hue, for truly luscious-looking lips."
The Honey one smells very sweet and just like raw, organic honey. It goes on the lips clear and very moisturising. I'd like it a lot if the smell was not so sickly sweet. The Beeswax one smells very cooling and refreshing.... just as the label says! Very 'pepperminty'. This is nice as it leaves my lips all tingly. But I've had to resort to using it as a night conditioner because too much comes off on application, and leaves a white residue on my lips (which you can imagine how awful that looks). You may be able to get a sense of how it breaks off from the picture - its the one at the bottom. 
I have tried the pomegranate one before and it is definitely my favourite. The smell is not as overbearing as the Honey one and it is VERY moisturising.It doesn't transfer as red on my lips as it shows on the stick. But it leaves a nice, healthy sheen to my lips. This is the one I have at my desk at work. Deffo one of the best lip balms I've tried. I tend to find some non-organic lip balms can just  leave a film of moisture on my lips and once that rubs away, it can make my lips feel even more dry. But with natural products like Burts Bees, it feels like my lips are getting nourished beyond the surface, leaving it smoother for longer. 

Having said all that about the Beeswax stick, I had bought the 'Beeswax lip balm tin' a while back and loved it. I kept the tin after the product finished because I thought it was so, so cute!

Monday, 17 May 2010

RIP Sweety Pie

This is my favourite lipstick that is sadly discontinued, as is the entire beautifully packaged, Pout cosmetics line. I bought it off a discounted cosmetics website with a whole bunch of Pout eyeshadows. The eyeshadows were rubbish, but I dearly wish I had bought more of their lipsticks. This is called 'Ultra Glossy Sheer lipstick in Sweety Pie'. This is how it looked like when I bought it:
It came with the cute pouch which I still have. I love, love this. It goes on like an almost transparent, pink sheen. But gets more vibrant the more layers I put on. I have very small lips, pigmented lips and this just makes it look more plump and very healthy.
I wanted to put all these very similar pictures up in memory of my beloved lipstick, which is almost finished. I don't think you can get this anymore, and I could kick myself for not picking up more of these when I has the chance. So long my lovely lipstick, you made me look fresh in my worst days, and made my lips stand out in photos. I will always remember you - and keep your casing in memory.


Saturday, 15 May 2010

Clinique Almost Bronzer SPF 15

I had to mention this lovely little product that I got during a bonus time ages ago. This is what's left of my precious little sample size:
And this is what you would get if you bought the actual size:

The website says:
'Sheer bronzing duo protects with broad-spectrum SPF 15. Versatile formula lets you customize and build your bronze from sun kissed to suntanned. Provides a natural look all-year round. Long-wearing. Oil free. For all skin types.'
This is bloody fantastic. I am not a huge bronzer fan simply because I just don't know how to use it. But because the duo is very soft, it goes not pretty subtle. I was given the sample in 'light/medium' and I thing its perfect for me. The little angled brush it came with it (it is different to the one in this pic), glides perfectly under my cheek bones to give it a subtle definition. The lighter one is a great highlight. I just think its great to wear at daytime for a natural, glowy and healthy effect. I use the colours individually or swirl both colours together - what ever takes my fancy on the day. 

I'm especially loving it at the moment because I've still got a tan from holiday and my foundation isn't matching so well. So a quick sweep of this over my face just warms me up. 

The full size is definitely on my wish list for when the next bonus time comes around. Plus it comes with spf 15 - what more could you want??!!
£22 for full size.

Monday, 10 May 2010


Sometimes, I think loneliness is what I fear the most in the world. I can be surrounded by people, and yet I'm the loneliest person in the world.

People always seem happier, more content and settled than me. The advice I give to others, I never take. I think most people that meet me, like me. But none of them really know how jumbled my head is. I don't think I can be happy for too long - I just end up finding small faults to make me sad.

He has been in my thoughts a lot over the last few days. I even tried to think of scenarios to contact him. But luckily I found some inner strength and didn't. I do wonder whether he still thinks of me, and what he feels when he does. But the joke is, I don't even want him anymore so why am I wasting my time in these thoughts? Force of habit I guess - and it seems like I like being self destructive!

Maybe I am incapable of being loved as I am incapable of falling in love?

MAC multi purpose Creme Colour Base - Pink Shock

With flash:
 Without flash:
This is a permanent pro product which you can get for the Mac website or one of their pro stores (I think I picked mine up from the Carnaby Street branch). 

It is a:
'Versatile and multi-purpose, Cream Colour Base can be applied directly to bare skin, or layered over foundation, moisturizer, or powder. Smooth and easy to apply with a brush, sponge, or fingers-colour effects range from a light veil to highly dramatic, depending on method of application.'

I remember going with my cousin to the store, and we pottered around, swatching and giving ourselves a quick make over with the products. She picked up a whole bunch of things and I got jealous so started looking to see if there was anything I could use that I haven't already got. It was the colour in 'Madly Magenta' that initially caught my eye. But they didn't have a fresh one in stock, so I made-do with the 'Pink Shock'. And I haven't regretted it. 

The texture is really creamy blends on really well on the cheek. It's fine on the eyelids as a base but what I use it most for are the cheeks and lips. Considering the intensity of the colour, you'd think its something to wear on a party night. But I actually use it quite a lot in the day time. You just need to pick up a tiny amount on the brush (I use the 116 mac blush brush) and it blends out really well giving a doll-like effect on the cheeks. I also apply a small amount on the lips with a brush and I feel that it gives me an instant youthful pick-me-up. Although I do need to wear a lip gloss over it because it is a tad too drying for me after a little while. I love the way you can build the colour to make it subtle or completely dramatic. This is actually what I wore a lot in autumn to work and it wasn't too much and I honestly reach for it quite often. 

I love, love this and considering that it is multi purpose, its worth the money. 

One thing I should mention is that not all the cream colour bases are multi purpose. For example, some are not suitable for the eye or lip area. So make sure you ask at the store and read up on what you can use each colour for. I think it cost me about £12. 

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Sunday, 9 May 2010

elemental herbology Deep Cleanse Summer Body Wash

A couple of friends got me this body wash (amongst other things) for my birthday recently, they picked it up from a Space NK branch. 

The packaging says:
"For a silky smooth, clear and calm complexion all summer long. Our sebum-quenching, ultra-smoothing, mineral-charged purifying body wash will help your skin regain its equilibrium"
It contains
  • biodynamic algae (in think this means organic sea stuff) 
  • green tea
  • fruit enzymes (I think is what will make the skin look more 'glowy' on the surface
This wash costs £16 for 200ml from Space NK, and comes with a very good quality exfoliating mitt. It smells very herbal with fruity tones which will probably make it a pleasantly refreshing experience in the shower in the mornings. 

The whole philosophy of this brand is dedicated to botanical, mineral and marine products with anti-oxidants to help to help with the maintenance of healthy skin. 
The product itself has a gel like consistency which lathers up pretty well and a little goes a heck of a long way. I like showers gels because I can use it with my hands or on a pouf for a quick wash or I'll use a mitt or loofah for a deeper, scrub and exfoliation. So it ends up being multipurpose.

I gotta say, I'm really liking this. When I use it with the loofah, my body feels like it is getting a proper clean though, and it is also really massaging. I came out of the shower feeling really refreshed, squeaky clean and ready to combat another day in the polluted city air.
Since getting this, I've realised that I tend to neglect taking care of my body properly. I tried a bliss scrub once when I was staying at a friend's house, years ago, and I still remember how good my body felt. It is quite pricey, but if I cut back on buying lunches during the week, and start bringing food in from home, I may just be able to justify the luxury!

elemental herbology website

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

What helps me sleep: Bach Rescue Night

I have had trouble having a decent night's sleep for years now. Its got worse over the last couple of years, where I've got only a few hours sleep a night. You can only get so many sleeping tablets from the doctor's and even then they prescribe as a last resort. Whenever I've gone on holidays abroad, one of the things I always look for is sleeping remedies (I know, its a wierd thing to bring back as a souvenir). I have usually found that although some work, I do end up feeling drowsy and groggy the next day.

A while ago, I spoke to an assistant at Holland & Barrett about my sleeping problems. Another assistant came over and the three of us had a right little conversation about it on the shop floor. They must have looked at my face and dark circles, and realised this poor lady really does need help! They suggested this:
It says that the:
"Rescue Night is a unique combination of the flower essences of Rock Rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum (Rescue) with White Chestnut to aid a natural night’s sleep."

It comes with a dropper and you just place a couple of drops on your tongue. This is definately the best natural sleeping remedy I have every tried (and trust me, I have tried a LOT in my life). When I use it, I get into bed, and just relax into good sleep. It doesn't always give me the recommended full 8 hours but what ever hours I do get, I find that it is solid sleep and just enough for my body. The best thing is, that I don't feel groggy and tired the next morning which means I don't get told off at work - hurrah!

Prices vary in shops, but I found it to be the cheapest in Holland & Barrett (£5.29 for 10ml)

Monday, 3 May 2010

Laura Mercier primer and powder

I was browsing around the beauty counters in Selfridges a while back, looking for a foundation primer and transulcent powder, and settled on the Laura Mercier ones. Firstly onto their primer:
I picked up their hydrating version (they also have a normal and oil-free one). As you can see from the picture above, it has a lotion texture to it but goes on transparent once applied. The website says:
  • Specifically created for dehydrated and/or aging skin
  • Nourishes the skin with a moisture-rich vitamin formula to soothe and refresh while conditioning the skin
  • Holds water in the skin throughout the day, preventing it from evaporating
  • Vitamins A, C and E act as antioxidants and protect the skin from harmful, aging effects of the environment
  • Use alone without foundation to increase skin's brightness, luster and texture
  • Cooling Foundation Primer - Hydrating in the refrigerator is refreshing for the skin & reduces puffiness
I use about a 20p size - which is quite a lot - and rub it on my palms and then smooth it across my face. I wait a couple of seconds for it to sink in and they apply my foundation/concealor. I have swatched the primer on the back of my hand, and applied a foundation lighter than my usual skin tone (my post holiday tan makes this foundation colour look crazy on me) so that it shows up on camera.

The stripe at the bottom it the one that has the Laura Mercier primer underneath whilst the top one is on its own. Without the primer, the foundation blends in much more better and smoother. But but then, I have found this to be the case for any primer I have used. I don't think it helps make my foundation last all day as it claims but it does help provide a brilliant smooth base to apply my make up. 

It costs an eye watering £27 for 50ml but it does work pretty well in the sense that it doesn't seem to suck out any of my natural oils at the end of the day (which can make my skin look very tired and dull when I take my make up off). So the ingredients must be doing their job. Also this tube has last me for well over 5 months. Considering the price especially, I don't think I will purchase it again unless there is sale or great deal going on. Actually, I'm not sure about primers in general. There is one more primer (that costs much less) I want to try after I finish this one and if this one does not work, I probably won't bother getting another primer again. Though the Clinique City Block alleges to be a primer, and this is something I tend to get every summer. 

The Transclucent pressed setting powder cost me £24 for 28oz, and will probably last me a lifetime (its hardly made a dent in the last six months and I use it all the time).

I LOVE this. I have never carried a face powder around with me before this. What it claims to do:
  • Contains the highest quality French "Cashmere" Talc and a unique light-reflecting ingredient that creates a "soft-focus" on the face
  • Increases the overall wear of makeup
  • Controls unwanted shine without drying the skin
  • Oil-free
And guess what, it does exactly that! I use it in the mornings with a kabuki or big powder brush to set my foundation. Then thoughout the day, I'll press on a small amount on my t-zones and it just  revitalises my make up look to make it look refreshed. 
I've applied the powder over both swatches of foundation, and you can see it helps the colours blend to my skintone better. I don't like using coloured powder in case I end up looking caked throughout the day. So this one is ideal for me, I'll certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a good quality translucent powder. It doesn't leave white powdery marks, it just does exactly what it claims to do.

I've tried other Laura Mercier products in the past, and overall I think the stuff is pretty good. I love the whole concept behind it, and I think I will start putting a bit of my wages aside every month to to invest in her products (I wanna try out some of the skincare line as well)!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Palmer's Olive Butter Formula with vitamin e

Just wanted to give a quick mention to these gems.
The lotion cost me a bargain £3.22 for 250ml at Superdrugs, and included a free concentrated version in a 1.7oz tube for hands, elbows, knees and feet. Here are some details from the lotion from the web:
"With Vitamin E. Organic Olive Oil for healthy skin. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Made with Certified organic olive oil. Palmer's Olive Butter Formula™ has the power to transform your skin. Extra Virgin Olive Oil takes care of your skin three ways: Unique lipid structure moisturizes instantly. Loaded with antioxidants to keep skin youthful. Emulsifies on contact for superior skin smoothing. As this creamy lotion penetrates, skin immediately feels soothed and softened. Absorbs quickly and leaves skin visibly improved.

As my skin is quite dry (especially during the hot weather), it does not soak as easily into my body as it claims. However it is totally worth that extra little bit of effort. It leaves my body moisterised for the rest of the day, with a lingering fragrance which I love. I love this smell and sometimes will apply it to my hands just so that I can have a sniff of it! I've actually used nearly all this tube up. To demonstrate the thickness of the products, I have swatched them on my trusty arm. The bottom swatch is the concentrated cream, whilst the top one is the lotion......
Although they both do look thick, it doesn't leave my body feeling sticky or heavy as some lotions may do, and its packed with good stuff that I'm sure my skin will look better in the long run. In fact, it makes my skin feel fresh and more clean. Having said that, the smell may be a bit too overwhelming for some, but personally I love it, and it will probably be a staple product in my inventory for a long time.