Autumn/Winter Budget Beauty 

I did a post like this for summer, so I thought it was only right to do something similar for winter! I’ve chosen nine products that are great budget items to see you through the winter season in style, so enjoy…

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1. Revlon Nail Polish in Vixen, £6.49

This nail varnish is probably my all time favourite ‘drug store’ purchase. Firstly, I absolutely love the colour. It’s a gorgeous autumnal plum which is perfect to take you from daytime and into the evening! I also think the quality of Revlon nail polishes is great. The consistency is always really smooth and lasts a good few days (with a top and base coat) before starting to chip. If you want something to ‘autumn’ up your beauty routine this is my top recommendation!

2. The Body Shop Vitamin E Cream, £12.00

Our skin always need a little TLC during the colder months, and layering up your moisturiser is the easiest and most affordable way to do this. I love this Body Shop vitamin E cream, firstly because it suits all skin types. Secondly, vitamin E is an antioxidant for the skin (so really helps to protect and repair), which also helps to slow the ageing process! Alongside this, the shea butter and aloe vera also combines to make it a really soothing cream on the skin. Whilst this is one of the higher priced products here, the good quality ingredients included really do make this great value for  money. Plus, all Body Shop products are vegan, natural and cruelty-free which makes investing in this brand even more worthwhile!

3. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm in Pomegranate, £3.69

This lip balm was featured in my summer beauty bargains as well because it’s just so great! In my opinion it’s the best lip balm out there. It’s super nourishing, has a gorgeous pink tint to it and most importantly, is friendly on the bank balance! This is the perfect accompaniment to your make up bag especially during the winter months when heating and cold weather causes your lips to dry up.

4. St. Ives Blemish Fighting Apricot Scrub, £4.00

This was the first face scrub I ever used and it still maintains it’s superpower status in my eyes. It’s gentle on sensitive skin yet really penetrates to uplift dead skin and remove impurities and at £4.00 it’s a steal. It’s oil free and has 100% natural exfoliants which is why it’s so amazing for your skin. Use this once a week, or twice if you feel your skin needs it, to help fight the combination of heating and cold air, and, those winter nights where you cake your face in make up to hide the fading tan!

5. The Body Shop Down To Earth Eye Shadow Quad in 54588, £15 (trust me, it’s worth that little bit more!)

My first ever eye shadow set was from The Body Shop. Does anyone remember when they came in a clear box with four small cubes? This blue colour palette is a winner for me because it compliments my skin tone (and makes my blue eyes pop), and is perfect for those Autumn nights out! You can build as dramatic a look as you wish for the nighttime with the darker colours or opt for a subtle shimmer during the day with the silver. The colours are really pigmented (especially when wetting the brush), and although this is the steepest product here, I really do think this is great value for money, as it will easily carry you into next year.

6. Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Starry Eyed, £4.99 

If you know me, you’ll know I love a plum lip, so I have hunted high and low for both budget and items to splurge on, and this Rimmel number has come top of my list for the budget end! I firstly absolutely love the colour (I compared it to a Burberry colour last year) because whilst it’s dark, it has a gorgeous warm undertone that makes it perfect for taking you from daytime to nighttime. As well as this, the quality is great. It’s nourishing, long lasting and doesn’t dry out my lips which is impressive even for an expensive lipstick! A big thumbs up all round for this product.

7. Rimmel Glitter Bomb Nail Polish in Mistletoe Mischief, £3.99

Everyone needs a bit of glitter in the build up to Christmas and this nail varnish is the perfect fit – it’s called Mistletoe Mischief which just says it all! I love a glitter polish because you can either use alone or over another colour; and, my personal favourite, I love to apply messily at the top of my nail to give an edge to the normal  all over glitter nail.

8. Superdrug Dead Sea Purifying Clay Mask, 99p

With the temperature dropping and heating being blasted out it’s no shock that our skin can tend to get a little clogged up with make up and sweat. This face mask is one of MY FAVOURITE cheaper alternatives to use to help unclog the pores (I’d say it’s the budget version of the Kiehls face mask which I’ve reviewed here). The clay helps to really dig deep and draw out those impurities, whilst the cool eucalyptus helps to soothe and nourish skin. My skin always feels refreshed after using this mask, and at £0.99 per packet, i think it’s a fantastic bargain buy.

9. Soap and Glory Hand Food, £6.00

This hand cream has featured in one of my reviews before, but I can’t leave it out! It’s the perfect formula for dry, neglected hands as the shea butter, macadamia oil and marshmallow extract (yum!) combine to create a lovely, nourishing formula that delves deep to soothe the skin. It also absorbs really well into the skin, so you don’t need to use much to see it working its magic!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and found some of these suggestions useful! I would actually recommend these products whether you’re on a budget or not, so let me know if you test any out!

Thanks for reading X

Sunday Reviews 

This is the second instalment of my Sunday reviews, where I share three products I’ve beeen testing over the past week (as a have a fair few samples to get through). This week I’ve been testing a N07 bronzer, the Caudalie Beauty Elixir and the Polaar lip balm, so keep reading to see how I got on…

N07 Bronzer in Golden Sand 

I received this as part of an exciting delivery from the Boots team and it does not disappoint! I’ll start with the look: the pattern of the bronzer is so pretty and makes it look much more expensive that it actually is! I remember seeing a Clarins bronzer earlier in the year that had the same ‘wow’ factor, so I was already impressed before using it. The product itself, whilst having a subtle shimmer actually gives a great colour when built up. As I have fully succumbed to dressing for winter, by dressing entirely in black to mourn the loss of summer, I need something that’s going to give me a boost, and this does exactly that! It’s gives you a glow without being too in your face and compliments my pasty skin, which is fantastic. And, it says it suits sensitive skin which is a win win!

It’s a 5/5 for me. The gorgeous glow it gives combined with the beautiful pattern makes this a winner for me!

Caudalie Beauty Elixir 

There’s no two ways about it; I love this beauty elixir! I’ve been reading about this for some time and being hailed as ‘the secret of make up artists’ I knew I had to try it. So, I decided to invest when I was at duty free recently and I’m so glad I did! It’s not only gorgeously refreshing on my skin, it helps to tighten pores AND acts as an amazing setting spray for my makeup. I’ve used this everyday as the final stage to my make up routine and I’ve definitely noticed a reduction in the oiliness of my skin at the end of a long day. I’ve also found that my make up lasts longer generally, which is fantastic news (especially for after work drinks)! This beauty elixir is also amazing on flights. I used it every couple of hours on a long haul flight recently which did wonders to my skin. I felt so much more awake, and I didn’t come away with that horrible dry/greasy feeling. If you don’t have this, I thoroughly recommend investing!

5/5 for me. It’s an all round winner (plus it smells amazing) !

Polaar Lip Balm

If you follow my blog you’ll know that I like a lip balm or two, so it takes a lot to impress me. But I have to say, I was quite taken with the Polaar lip balm. I received this as part of my Look Fantastic beauty box last week and as it’s ‘the genuine Lapland cream’ I knew I had to try it straight away! It’s super nourishing on your lips and has a great consistency that isn’t too thick, but still gives a really intense moisturised feeling. I did find that the more I used the more I felt I had to apply as my lips dried out easier, so I would say that more is less. Another thing I would have liked (although this is completely personal preference) is for there to be a tint. As I have pale skin, my lips have a tendency to go especially pale when cold, so a gorgeous pop of colour would have been great.

It’s a 3/5 for this one. It’s a great treatment for dry lips, but I still prefer other balms.

Hope you found these mini reviews useful – thanks for reading 🙂

X

This Week’s Tried and Tested 

Each week I’ve decided that I’ll try a selection of some of the endless testers I seem to have accumulated on my travels firstly to clear some space in my room. And, of course for you lovely lot!

 

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Intensive Moisturising Hand Cream 

This is undoubtedly one of the best hand creams I’ve tried – and I don’t throw those words around often! It is so intensely moisturising that my hands have the loveliest, dewy effect. They weren’t particularly dry before, however after being in constant 30 degree sun for a week they needed a little extra TLC. The formula absorbs so easily into the skin and doesn’t leave any kind of sticky residue; plus, as it says on the tin it really does give your hands moisture lasting 8 hours and over! I also love this for moisturising my cuticles and keeping my nails extra healthy. I can’t fault this hand cream so it’s a 5/5 from me!

 

REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist
This mist is a hard one to review as I haven’t got round to inventing my time machine, so I can’t tell you the long term benefits. However, what I will base it on is how my skin and make up felt after using. I have to say my make up stayed looking fresher for a lot longer than usual, and I didn’t get the usual oiliness that I would around 3pm when my body kicks into its sleep mode at work. Also, it’s a great spray for giving you an extra dewy look or simply to freshen up your skin throughout the day! I guess with this one you just have to trust that the experts know their stuff about protecting your skin from polluting agents and go with it. If anything it’ll give you great skin for perfecting those selfies! I would rate this product 4/5

 

Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm
I always feel like I’m cheating on my favourite products if I swap, so I felt that testing this was bitter sweet because of my love affair with the OGX coconut milk serum. But, I must admit that I actually quite liked this! It’s not the best hair product I’ve used but it certainly helped condition my hair and helped nourish my damaged ends. I used a small amount on towel dried hair all over, focusing especially on my ends which gave it an overall healthier look and softer feel when blow drying compared to not using any product. My first criticism of this product is that it felt quite heavy when styling. I don’t like the feeling of having product in my hair so I struggled to get to grips with this. I kept touching my hair as it felt quite unnatural! Also, because of this I was dubious to put much on my roots, so it didn’t help to control my frizz. I will use up the rest of this tester but I’m afraid I probably won’t invest in this again, so it’s a 3/5 for this product.

Best of British Look Fantastic Beauty Box

I finally did it. I subscribed to a beauty box! If you follow me or in fact I follow you, you’ve probably seen me comment about desperately wanting to try out a beauty box but being unsure whether to. I was ordering another product from Look Fantastic, and the subscription box popped up just as I was about to check out, so I went for it! Yes, I’m your typical easy sales customer.

I have to say, I am so glad I did because I really was like a child on Christmas when it arrived. The box itself firstly is beautiful and what’s inside… well that’s just as beautiful! Not only did it come with six miniature products to test out (eek), it also came with a September issue of Elle (which annoyingly I’d bought that day…). It also comes with a short booklet giving you a little more information about the products included as well as some other interesting beauty bits. I opted for the 12 month subscription, and honestly, a year of receiving these little boxes of heaven really is going to make me one happy customer.

So what’s inside….

  • Ren Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist – the beauty world is buzzing over the word ‘anti-pollution’ so I’m really excited to try out a product that is aimed at protecting your skin from the stress of harsh environments. I work on one of the most congested streets in London so I will really put this to the test!
  • Renu Lip and Eye Active Lift – As you may know, I love a good eye cream so throw one my way and I’m yours. I haven’t used this brand before so I’m intrigued to see how I get on with it.
  • Bloom and Blossom Rejuvenating Facial Spritz – I have two 8 hour flights coming up soon and I know this will be amazing at hydrating my skin whilst helping to keep me look slightly more normal. It’s also perfect timing for the (supposed) heat wave we’ll be having here in the UK!
  • Percy & Reed Wonder Balm – My prayers have been answered. After a week in the sun the ends of my hair are feeling very sorry for themselves, so a treatment like this is sure to work wonders!
  • Balance Me Congested Skin Serum – I recently tried a serum that my skin hasn’t taken to too well, so although I’m nervous, it will be interesting to see how I get on with this…
  • Bee Good Vanilla and Honey Lip Balm – I can’t count how many lip balms I own on about five pairs of hands, so I’m giddy to try one I don’t already own!

As I only received this today I haven’t had time to properly test and trial these products, but I will most certainly keep you up to date with them in future posts.

Would love to hear recommendations of any other great beauty boxes. But please be gentle. I think I’m addicted….

x

 

Happy Birthday to Me & Vogue!

Happy Sunday everyone!

I’ve just received a notification from WordPress saying ‘Happy One Year Anniversary’ which has shocked and quite frankly scared me! I really cannot believe where that year has gone….

Another big birthday I’m sure a lot of you will be aware of (and that possibly out does my blog’s first birthday) is the big 100 for Vogue which is extremely exciting. London is awash with past Vogue covers, with everyone from retailers to restaurants to arcades celebrating this momentous occasion with gorgeous displays. Amongst some of the celebrations there was the Vogue 100 exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery which was fantastic but has sadly closed now! And over this weekend, the Vogue Festival is taking place; which, I was lucky enough to attend yesterday!

When you imagine a tent in the middle of a park, scarring memories of a damp-ridden, cold Glastonbury tent come streaming back; but oh no, not at Vogue! Nestled within Kensington Gardens is the most beautifully white structured tent that is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. Upon entering, you’re welcomed by a hallway of past Vogue covers where it was selfies galore! The hall itself was a gorgeously bright, open plan room, where the clear roof gave a lovely natural quality to the space. Within it, there was a space where style and beauty talks took place; an extremely popular pop-up shop where exclusive items were being sold alongside a counter for book signings and t.shirt personalisations. I knew I was in a Vogue wonderland when the portaloos were constructed of a beautiful wood laden with Elemis products to cleanse and moisturise your hands before stepping out back into the madness!

Walking through, I then entered my heaven – the beauty hall. If you read my blog regularly you’ll have seen when I visited the Glamour Beauty Awards, and it was reminiscent of that. The stands you were able to pamper and preen yourself to perfection at were: Jo Malone, Bobbi Brown, Tom Ford alongside a Kerastase braid bar and a nails bar which sadly my shellac meant I couldn’t visit! I took full advantage of the offering visiting all (bar the nails bar) and had a great time! I even got to have a one to one with Bobbi Brown make up artist Hannah Martin which was so exciting where she shared some great tips and tricks of the trade!

I then signed up to a beauty masterclass of ‘How To Launch Your Beauty Idea’ with leading industry experts which was so much more interesting and useful than I had imagined! I scribbled note after note whilst listing to Annalise Fard, Director of Home & Beauty at Harrods. Marcia Kilgore, founder of Bliss & Soap & Glory amongst other things! Kathy Phillips, founder of This Works. Anna-Marie Solowij, founder of Beauty Mart and Vogue Beauty Director, Nicola Moulton. There were other talks throughout the day which involved the likes of Kim Kardashian (amazing!), Charlotte Tilbury, Lisa Eldridge, Alexa Chung and many more!

It really was a great day where not only did I get to pamper myself, but I really did learn a lot that I hope will stand my in good stead for where I hope to be in the beauty industry! If any of you lovely lot were there I’d love to know what you thought!

Thanks for reading! X

The Power of Multi Masking 

 
Have you guys tried multi masking before? I always feel like I’m giving my skin a mini facial by mixing my lotions and potions (not literally) to find a method that suits me. Multi masking really is such a great way to give your skin a deeply tailored treatment. It’s pretty simple – you use a treatment per area of your skin dependant on your needs (it’s difficult to tell but I’ve used a different product on my chin to the rest of my face on the picture above). It’s fantastic if you have combination skin as you can focus in on specific areas of concern with a particular product without the worry of irritating a more sensitive area.

In my case, my chin is definitely the more oily part of my skin, and is particularly hormonal at the moment, so I’ve used my favourite Kiehls clay masque (review here) to tackle that oiliness. The rest of my skin does not need such an intense masque, so I’ve used Biore pore strips on my nose to really help lift and remove any lurking residue; and then finally, I’ve used the Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask with pink clay as again I didn’t need something as heavy as the Kiehls masque, but I still wanted something to really help brighten my forehead and cheek areas. Plus I didn’t want them to feel left out!

I leave all on for the same time and then cleanse off using warm water (after peeling the nose strip off). I then finish with my moisturiser and eye cream and am left with super smooth skin that hasn’t been irritated in certain parts. I do still love slathering my face in the same treatment for a quick fix; however, if your skin is feeling particularly sensitive or you are looking for a great way to tackle lots of skin concerns at the same time, I would really recommend this technique!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Balance Me Samples 

  
If you’ve read my last post you’ll have seen that I went to my absolute heaven over the weekend – The Glamour Beauty Festival. Whilst there, I had a skin consultation with Balance Me after which I was recommended a few products to try. There was a pick and mix set up (which was amazing), where I chose these three smaller sized products for £10.

The first I was immediately drawn to was this Wonder Eye Cream (as it did sound wonderful…!). I absolutely love my Kiehls eye cream (review here) but I was really interested to see the difference between the two products. What I love about this is that it absorbs straight into the eye area without leaving any kind of greasy residue. It’s also really light when applying which is lovely and refreshing on the eye area. I went a few days without using my Kiehls under eye cream to try and make sure that the area wasn’t affected by it when testing a new product. The first morning after using my eye area did seem a lot brighter, and it was definitely less puffy! After continued use the area does feel and look healthier, so I would be happy to buy this again.


The second product I went for was the Restore and Replenish Face Cream. Again, I’m really quite happy with my current moisturiser, but I was really intrigued to see how my skin would react to a different product. Compared to my usual everyday this is a lot thicker which I didn’t think my skin would take to, but it actually has! It takes more effort to work into my skin, but because of this it definitely feels more luxurious when it’s on. My skin feels so protected and nourished, which probably is a result of the ingredients, but the consistency also definitely helps this! It promotes natural collagen production where the hyaluronic acid helps to provide instant skin plumping and soothing benefits. The aloe vera and rosehip oil helps to soothe irritated skin, and there’s even blackberry leaf extract which protects skin again environmental damage and premature ageing. I’ve only been using this at night time as I think my skin suits a lighter moisturiser in the day to let it breathe, but for an evening treatment, this is amazing! I make sure to thoroughly cleanse my skin, and then use this as a sumptuous, nourishing product to really give my skin the TLC it needs after a long day at work. The best way to describe my skin in the morning after using this is plump! It’s so smooth and feels really hydrated. A massive thumbs up for me on this one!


The final product I decided to test is the Radiance face mask. This is so different to how I expected it would be. For some reason I imagined this to be similar to my clay-based mask I use (read review here), however it reminded me of a cleanser in its texture, where the exfoliating beads also add to the feeling. You only leave this on for around 5 minutes and then gently wash off. The exfoliating beads in this are so lovely to massage into the skin as you feel like you’re getting a really good deep clean. The lady at the counter said this was perfect to use in the morning whilst brushing your teeth, however my skin was quite red after using so I think I’ll only use at night time. I also only used on my t-zone as I didn’t want to upset my more sensitive areas. I had a couple of small blemishes appearing on my nose the evening I used this, but the morning after they were gone! Another great product by Balance Me!
I would definitely buy all of these products again, and would recommend to anyone with sensitive skin as the natural-based ingredients really act to soothe and protect.
If you’ve tried any other products from this range I’d love to hear! 
X