Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Reiss Delivery

YESSSS! My Reiss delivery came through the post today! I ordered online sunday evening and when I got home, the delicious box was waiting for me. Inside, carefully wrapped in tissue paper were my purchased garments. I haven't even tried any of them yet but gosh darn it, I will make sure they fit me! 
I got a jean dress which I thought I could layer with a cardy and or lace waist coat, and my recently purchases brown boots from Dorothy Perkins so that I will feel all cosy for the autumn season (which is my favourite time of the year). I love it and pray that it fits my ever expanding child bearing hips.

I also bought a lovely black skirt which is good for the office as well as evenings out. I thing I will team it up with a grey or cream jumper or wooly top. With maybe some pearls...
The back of the skirt has a golden zip detail to it as well. You might be able to see it in the second picture from the top. It seems like a lot of what I have been buying (clothes, shoes, bags) has some sort of zip or stud as part of the design to it. I think this 'trend' was last season, but as I don't tend to follow fashion trends (I would end up bankrupt otherwise!) anyway, this hit me late. But I'm loving the zip thing. I think it gives a feminine with an edge of 'hardness' look. 

As an example of 'studdy' things I have, here is the handbag that I am currently dragging around on my shoulders, its from Dune.

The Reiss stuff was on sale - and a very good sale. Check it out on their website. If you are a tiny size, you'll be able to pick up a crazy bargain from it.

Anyway, I'm off to try and squeeze into this dress and skirt - wish me luck!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Liz Earle Skin Repair Light Moisteriser

A sample of this was put in my last online Liz Earle order. I have a whole bunch of moisturisers to go through, and wasn't particularly excited about this one. For one, my skin is dry-combi, and this one is marketed for oily/combi skin so really isn't catered for me. Secondly,  it hasn't got SPF in it, and I've turned into a bit of a godzilla about it these days. 

I was going to pass this to my sister as I thought it wouldn't be suitable for me. But as the tube was lying on my dresser one morning, I thought I'd give it a quick try..... and my skin likes it.

It contains a whole bunch of natural Ingredients:
  • Avocado Oil - good source of vitamin E, magnesium and linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid and leaves the skin smooth and soft.
  • Beta-carotene - has antioxidant properties.
  • Borage Oil - Romans because of its use in treating depression. This oil is one of the richest sources of the essential fatty acid GLA (gamma linolenic acid), which helps to lock moisture onto the skin.
  • Coco-caprylate/caprate - is a light emollient oil makes it an ideal base oil when an almost dry non-greasy finish is desired.
  • Pro-vitamin B5 - helps stimulate cellular renewal.
  • Echinacea Extract - been used widely in herbal preparations ever since for anything ranging from colds and flu to skin conditions.
  • Glycerin –it attracts water, drawing atmospheric water onto the skin to aid hydration.
  • Hops Extract -  has astringent and toning properties.
  • Vitamin E - helps protect skin against free radical damage caused by pollution and the sun’s radiation.
  • Wheatgerm Oil -  contains high levels of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant.
Its really, really light which is ideal for my current skincare regime. I really wish I had discovered it during summer when the sun was scorching and I didn't need anything too thick on my face.


Currently, I'll tone and then use a serum ( about three days a week), then put on this moisturiser. It immediately sinks into my skin, leaving it feeling feel smooth, plump and alive. As my skin is initially dry in the morning, then gets oily around the t-zones towards the end of the day, I always felt that I had to used a rich cream. Maybe I do, but despite this moisturiser being very light, my skin doesn't feel tight after use. I've been at home all day and my skin still feels and looks fresh, and the t-zone is not too bad. 

Plus the smell is so delicious and soothing. I feel like my senses are stimulated when I massage this over my face and take the smell in. It is a lovely experience. Of course, when I go out, I'll slap on an spf on top of the moisturiser if the foundation I'm wearing on the day does not have it. The moisturiser starts off from £6.50 from their website.

p.s I didn't give this to my kid sister in the end, but I don't feel too guilty 'cos she can take what ever of mine she wants anyway!

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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Nail Whitening Tablets

My nails are horridly weak and yellow, and my toes especially are stained from the numerous dark polishes I keep applying. I wanted to give nail polish a rest for a short while without my hands looking like yellow witch's nails were stuck to them. So I cut them short and thought I'd try out Superdrug's own Nail whitening tablets. I think they cost about £2.99 for six.
The directions on the packet recommend that you use at least two tablets per hand, but I didn't do that. I just dissolved two tablets into a bowl and ducked both my hands in there at the same time. So the results? Judge for yourself below...
I did notice a slight brightness to the nails. Not sure it was picked up on the camera. The other thing is that my nails were soaking in warm water for a while so it might just be that they are cleaner! Anyway, I reckon I will try all the tablets out so see how much my nails improve. I put on some nail brightening varnish on top, and they looked alright and healthy actually. I did use them on my toes as well, and was pondering whether I wanted to subject you guys with my disgusting feet. In the end, I accidentally deleted the pictures (conveniently you might say), so my decision was made for me. I again put some brightening polish on top and went out in strappy sandals. They didn't look too bad - a girl actually said that my nails looked healthy. 

I've also bought some 'Talika Instant Manicure' stuff which I'm going to try out once I've finished with the tablets - will let you know how I get on with them!

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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Beauty Bloggers Backstage - 7 questions with The Makeup Snob

This month, my seven questions were to Sara, owner of The Makeup Snob. She has a really cool feature on her blog titled 'The Exit Interview' where she will give her opinion on something once she has finished the entire product.  Check it out. Anyway, here are her answers to my questions:

1. What is your typical skin care routine like?
I remove my makeup everynight with MAC Demi Wipes and neutragena eye makeup remover then wash my face with Body Shop Tea Tree face wash and moisturize with Origins Night-A-Mins. You will never believe my morning routine is completely different! Thats what happens when you buy way to many products!! I wash with Philosophy Micro delivery Exfoliating Facial Wash and wear Mac Lightful or Body Shop Seaweed Matifying Day cream during the day. Are you sorry you asked. Lol! jk :)

2. Do you have any pigmentation/ uneven skin tone? What do you do to combat it?
Yes! My skin has so many red undertones! I cant go anywhere without makeup. Most primers work great for me or Makeup Forever Face and Body Foundation does the trick all on its own too! 

3. How did you get started on your blog?
I was spending so much time on a popular makeup forum and was buying alot of makeup, so my blog was started for the main purpose of keeping track of my purchases. As time went on I just had so much fun talking about makeup and meeting other bloggers in the beauty community and chatting with amazing readers that I couldn't imagine ever turning back! 

4. What is you favourite high end and low end make up brand?
I love YSL. Everything I have tried has been amazing. But I cant bring myself to pay full price for anything from this brand. Luckily its often available though beautyticket or other similar sites.  For low end I have really been loving Maybelline lately. It was never something I liked much in the past but all the new products I have tried lately I have loved!

5. What do you think of facials - are they worth the money?
If you have the money they are a nice treat, but in my opinion if you daily take care of your skin they are not really necessary.

6. what three things are permanent items in your handbag?
my mac blot powder, mac buffer brush, and mufe black eyeliner- just in case... 

7. name three products you can't live without
Mac Shroom Eyeshadow, Philosophy Exfoliating Micro-Delivery wash and Bobbi Brown Brow Powder.

Check out my answers to her questions here.

Visit Beauty Blogs Backstage for more information

Saturday, 18 September 2010

More Batsiste stuff

I can't tell you how glad I've been to discover dry shampoo. My hair is so thick and heavy that it gets greasy pretty quickly. So I used to wash my hair every single day, and blow dry it every single day. Until I discovered dry shampoo a few months ago that is. I have already raved about my recent discovery of the original Batiste dry shampoo. Here are a few more from the Batiste family that I wanted to write about. They all do the same thing, leaving the hair look fresh, without weighing it down. But they each have different specialities.

First up, the coloured dry shampoo.
It comes in a black and a brown shade. You know how its easier to curl or style hair maybe a day or a good few hours after you wash your hair? All those ladies with very straight hair, will get it.

Well, with this product, it helps with the styling without having to use other hair products that can make your hair gunky. I have been recently dyeing my hair black, but my natural lighter roots, and past highlights come through once the dye starts fading. During the inbetween stages of redyeing I like using this as it helps give a natural two-tone effect to my hair.
Next, the Shimmer dry shampoo which comes in gold and silver. All I think of when I see this is... PARTY TIME! As the party season is coming up, this is ideal to use as a finishing touch to a look. It gives subtle shimmer, glitter to the hair where lights hits it. Pretty good for something which has cleansing properties unlike other products of like which can be damaging to the hair. It also comes off easily in the shower. I've used it on my body too and it stays on quite well.

I used this on my hair in the blazing heat of Sofia at a wedding, and it made my hair sparkle without looking like a disco ball.

The last one I wanted to mention (my favorite), and perfect in combination with the original, is the Nude dry shampoo. It is a talc-like powder which you massage into the roots to give it a lift.  It seems to soak the oil from the roots and somehow make it evaporate without leaving any residue. You can place it in your palms and then apply, or be more concentrated by using the nozzle and applying directly to the hair.

My hair hair been spared the torture of washing and blow drying that it has endured for over a decade now with the introduction of dry shampoo. Also, they are all under £3 each - a bargain for such a great product!

You can buys these in Boots, Superdrugs or go directly to the Batiste website for more information on their entire range.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Caudalie face creams

I know that I wasn't very enthusiastic about Caudalie's best seller Vinoprefect Radiance Serum, but that didn't mean that I dislike the entire line. Along with the serum, I was given two 9m samples of their 'Day perfecting Cream SPF15' an their 'Night Correcting Cream'. What they are meant to do is what I long for dearly-
  • regains bright, radiant complexion
  • Eliminates dark spots and prevents the appearance of new ones
Obviously I don't have enough of the products to say that they have made any real difference. But these little tubes have lasted me a long time (a couple weeks).
Top one is the day cream, bottom is night
The day cream is my favourite of the two. The consistency is just the right thickness for my skin and feels so good applying it. The smell is all natural and organic. It also seems to be a really good base for my make up. I really, really like this product and will probably but a full size once my other moisturisers have been used up (I have a heck of a lot of small samples to try out that that are usually put in as free gifts when I have ordered stuff on line).  It is however a rich cream, so might not be suitable for the younger skin, and I myself have also been alternating between this and a lighter moisturiser. 

The night cream is good also, the consistency is far more 'lotion-ey' compared to the day cream, and absorbs almost instantly into my skin. I haven't used the night cream much because I am still using up my Home Health Goji-berry cream. But from what I've used, I've liked. I'm loving the grape scent of the products also.
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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

No7 Skin Illuminator

I love this highlighter, but I absolutely detest the packaging.
This goes for £10.50 for 30ml, and comes in two shades - peach and pink. I picked up the peach shade. It really is a lovely thing. Rich and creamy, with a two tone appearance. I use it over my cheek bones and under my brow bone as a highlighter even in the day time, and it doesn't look too overdone. You can also use it all over the skin under foundation to give it the same effect as a MAC Strobe cream, but I haven't been brave enough to do this because I fear it might be a bit too shimmery. You need less of the product than the amount shown in the picture for highlighting the areas of your face.

Despite my love for this product,  I don't now if its worth the hassle of repurchasing this again because of the packaging it come in.

You twist it one way to open, one way to close. Fine so far. The problem come to squeezing to gloop out. No matter what I do, too much product comes out and it goes to waste. The brush attached is too big for highlight and when it dries, the remaining product just cakes up, making it virtually impossible to get anything out the next time round. No matter how much I clean it with a tissue before I put it away.

The product gets embedded inside the brush which isn't visible in these pictures. I think two thirds of this product has gone to waste because of the stupid, ill thought out packaging.  I've just got really frustrated with it because my clothes and table have been stained with this product shooting out of the tube.
It looks awfully pink the camera, but its not really like that. I kept this picture to show the shimmer and two-tone effect
What I've done, it pour the remainder of what I have left into these jars so that application is more manageable.
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Monday, 6 September 2010

Anne Semonin

Anyone ever heard of this Anne Semonin? I hadn't until I stumbled into my hotel room at 5.30am when I was on holiday. I was far too tired for the Eve Lom cleansing ritual (which I normally love doing as I find it pretty therapeutic) and picked up the soap supplied in my bathroom to wash my make up off before I put on some cream and slumped into my bed.

I woke up a few hours later for breakfast and touched my face noticing how soft it was. Then I remembered. I had used this before I went to sleep:

I took all the soaps (along with the shampoos and conditioners) and shoved them into my suitcase to bring them back home with me. I am a typical Ross Geller who takes what ever possible from hotel rooms. Shameful I know.

Anyway, they don't seem to have this soap on their website, and I don't even know if its meant for the face, but I really like it. But maybe not for every day/ Looking at how little ingredients it contains, makes me confident that it won't be too harmful. The other things on their website looks interesting, so I might peruse a bit more and pick up a couple to try out.

My only regret is not picking up more from the hotel!

The holographic effect on the soap is so cute!

Its perfect to store in my spare Lush container!

If anyone else has tried out Anne Semonin products, would be interested in hearing of your experiences

p.s the soap smells lush well!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Bargain Buys

I popped into my local pound store to buy some containers and envelopes. I came across an L.A Colours make up stand that was selling everything for 99p. I've never used any of their products before, but I have read about them in other blogs, so thought I'd pick up a few things. I bought five products for £4.95 - bargain!
First up, a blue mascara. I've never tried one before, and thought why not try it out with a mascara that costs less than a quid? The brush is nice and fat. Will try it out tomorrow morning for work.
 Next up, a lip liner in 'mauve'. The stand did not have any testers for any of the products, so I chose this without knowing what it really looked like. I've tried it already, and its fine. Really creamy and lasted on my lips for hours, even after lunch.
They also had a vast array of nail polish. Its pretty hard to control myself from buying loads of things when I think I see a bargain. As I end up spending lots of money. But I was good this time and picked up only three nail polishes. I'm in a neutral colour mood on my nails these days so, I'm pleased with the way they look. The pictures show two coats on the nail. I have only used these polishes for the purposes of swatching for this post, but they seem bog standard and should last a few days without chipping. It makes no difference on my nails - all polishes chip on me after a couple of days.

I also picked up two strapless tops from Dorothy Perkins for £4 each, and a khaki (my favourite colour at the moment) top from Primark from £8. Funny how a primark top cost two DP pieces of clothing!

I've been loving strapless tops this summer. You don't get horrid tan lines, you can easily dress them up or down (with a cardy, or open shirt) depending on the time of day.
I'm liking studs at the moment as well - especially as we are heading into autumn, so my clothing will naturally start getting less 'flowery' and 'girly'. The belt is another purchase from Primark a couple of years ago, £1.50 I think. Primark is such a hit or miss. Usually, I stay away due to the inconsiderate shoppers throwing clothes they don't want on the floor (I really feel for the assistants there). Its always heaving with customers, that I can't bear going in. But as I was passing by it yesterday, it didn't seem as busy and messy. I saw this, and thought it was a nice casual top to wear for drinks next week.

In this weather, all I'll probably wear all three tops with skinny jeans. But If on holiday, I reckon they'll look alright with some black or denim shorts as well.

So I think I did well, all these products mentioned in this post for a total of £20.95!

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Beauty Bloggers Backstage - 7 questions with Retrovidasbeauty


This is a long overdue post.

LiAnne from Sparklecrack Central has a site called the Beauty Bloggers Backstage which provides beauty bloggers an opportunity to get to know each other better.

I was given the pleasure to ask seven questions to Meredith, the mega-brains behind retrodivasbeauty. I've posted my questions, and her answers below.

If you want to join  Beauty Bloggers Backstage, have a look at this site for more details.

1. I am obsessed with getting flawless skin. Any recommendations?
I'm the girl that will always tell you to spend far more on skin care than you do on makeup. I think everyone should be exfoliating at least twice a week, and microdermabrasion is my new obsession. There are so many great kits out there that don't cost a week's paycheck.

2. How long have you been blogging for and what got you into blogging?
It's hard to believe that I've been blogging since 2007. I went to college for journalism, and decided that since the print world was dying, I needed to find another way to make my living. So I went in a completely opposite direction and took up blogging as my creative/writing outlet. It's turned out to be an amazing journey full of wonderful people and exciting opportunities.

3. What is your favourite foundation, mascara and blusher?
I adore Make Up For Ever's HD foundation, and have recently discovered Revlon's Photo Ready foundation which is a close second. My go-to mascara has always been DiorShow, but I am also loving Flirt!'s new It Curl formula. For blush, no one beats Nars - it might be expensive, but it lasts forever and always gives the best color payoff. I'm a huge fan of the Crazed shade.

4. How do you get rid of blemishes / acne scars?
Salicylic acid, every day, at a 2% concentration. That is the only way to banish blemishes for me, and microdermabrasion really helps with older scars and discolorations.

5. Have you found any eye creams that actually helps get rid of dark circles?!
No. But when I do, I will be telling absolutely everyone about it. However, the closest I have found is Erno Lazslo's pHelitone Eye Treatment. It has vitamin C in it, which really does help a little bit. Bliss also makes a fabulous eye cream that helps called Youth as We Know It Eye Cream. Wonderful stuff. But the secret to getting rid of dark circles is concealer - the absolute best is Cle de Peau. You will never, ever use another concealer again.

6. Do you wear sunscreen over your moisturiser but under your foundation? Does it cause any problems with keeping makeup in place when you do use the sunscreen?
I am a sunscreen fanatic, so I use it every day. I try to find products with sunscreen already in it so that it doesn't add another step to my routine, but that doesn't always work. However, I've found Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer sunscreen that feels like a light layer.

7. Where is the best place to shop for beauty products in the US - Virginia Beach and New York?
We don't have much of anything here in Virginia Beach! Just a Sephora at the local mall. However, heading up to New York is a totally different story - so many brand boutiques, such as Lancome and Mac, plus amazing department stores with unique and different beauty lines. Barneys is probably my favorite, with Saks Fifth Avenue coming in a close second. Beauty junkies shouldn't miss Space NK, Bergdorf Goodman, Aedes de Venustas for fragrance, Bond No. 9 for unique NYC-inspired fragrance, and Rickys NYC for fun.

Check out their website, they are both very good

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Liz Earle Vs No7 Cleanse and Polish

Both have the same concept for cleansing, but one has been around for much longer and not as easily available as the other. 

First up, the infamous Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser is £13 for 100ml and includes 2 muslin cloths. 
It contains 100% natural ingredients which include:
  • Beeswax (Cera alba)
  • Chamomile Essential Oil/Extract (Anthemis nobilis)
  • Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao)
  • D-panthenol (pro-vitamin B5)
  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • Glycerin 
  • Hops Extract (Humulus lupulus)
  • Rosemary Essential Oil/Extract (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Fill a basin with hand-hot water.

Apply 1 or 2 pumps onto dry skin and use your fingertips to gently massage the cream over your face and neck. Work in circular movements from the centre of your face outwards. Massage over your eyelids and eyelashes last to avoid spreading eye makeup over your face.

Rinse the pure muslin cloth in hand-hot water and wring it out so it's damp, not wet.

Use the muslin cloth to wipe off the cream using a clean section for each part of your face. Place a single finger inside the cloth to thoroughly clean more awkward areas such as around the nose. Rinse the cloth thoroughly during cleansing.

Rinse your skin in cool water and carefully pat dry using a soft towel. Rinse the muslin cloth thoroughly and allow it to air dry naturally.

What I think
I've been using this for over a year now, and has really helped with not breaking me out and keeping the skin calm. This cleanser smells divine, and is an absolute pleasure to use. The consistency is almost whip-like, and feels like luxury on the skin.

I recently ran out of the Liz Earle and I just happened to be at Boots (surprise surprise) in Bond street armed with one of those wonderful £5 off vouchers. I saw their version of the cleanse and polish and thought, why not? Its called the No7 Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser, which usually goes at £8.75 for 200ml. With the voucher, I only paid under £4 for mine, so bargain for me!
 Directions are similar to Liz Earle
This cleanser is much thicker in comparison, the best I can describe it is a thicker version of Johnson's baby lotion. It almost smells like that as well. The smell is definitely not as pleasing and uplifting as our Liz Earle. It does feel less natural and heavier on the skin. Plus the smell is a bit chemically. Not surprising really, as the ingredients between the two don't compare at all (except for Glycerin). Having said that, it left my skin feeling soft, supple and most importantly, not too tight or dry.

Both packaging is pretty similar, as they both come in a tube with a pump dispenser. However, the No7 is slightly transparent so you can see how much product is left. Whereas you don't get that with Liz Earle, which is a little annoying.

I would say Liz Earle's is the original and mother of all hot polish cleansers - present and future - but I was pleasantly surprised by this cheaper version. I would most surely recommend having one of these in the bathroom (or bedroom, or wherever) to use a couple of times a week.

One thing I wanted to note is that I do still need use and eye makeup remover in addition to the cleansers.

In general, hot cloth cleansers seems to be my favourite of the cleansing methods, Just whole ritual of using it and how it feels on the skin.

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