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

Sneak Peak into Good Ship Benefit

I have been wanting to go to this for AGES and yesterday I finally clambered aboard the Good Ship Benefit moored on the Thames. If you like make up and wine and cocktails and food then you’ll probably manage to keep yourself occupied. Wandering down the walkway I found myself thrown into a pink world filled with plush sofas, a brow bar and even pink gin – it’s what dreams are made of! 


There’s a mini Benefit shop on board, the opportunity to have your brows waxed (although if you get sea sick like me I would not recommend doing that!) as well as a restaurant and bar with seating on the deck where you watch life go by whilst admiring the London Eye. Dreamy…. 


The ship has been hosting a range of events throughout the summer from pop up events to films to yoga classes to bottomless brunches which is the perfect after school activity for any Benebabe! Sadly there weren’t any events when I popped by, but I took a few sneaky pictures so take a look and enjoy…. 

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

 

Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil

If you weren’t enough of a Benefit addict already then their new brow collection is sure to push you over the edge! Brimming with wonderful products from gels to pencils to brushes it really does look amazing, and I want to try it all!

I’ve never really paid too much attention to my brows (I’ve only had them waxed once…). I’m quite lucky that I have fairly tame brows where a tweeze here and there generally keeps them looking neat and tidy. I do however LOVE to fill them in because who doesn’t want fuller looking brows – it’s the secret to unlocking your youth after all!
So, when this new Benefit collection aimed solely at brows launched I jumped (literally) at the chance to give it a go. Luckily for me Elle magazine were offering readers a free Benefit Goof Proof brow pencil. The product is usually £18.50, and with the magazine at just £4, this was a bargain that I just couldn’t turn down!

 

I can safely say that the pencil itself really is one of the best brow products I’ve tried! It’s so natural yet it also really helps to fill in any more patchy areas. The product itself is really soft, and so easy to use (the clue is in the title) so if you make any mistakes it’s so easy to wipe those away and start again! And, on top of this the packaging is fab – Benefit have triumphed again!

 

Before:

After:

Star rating: 5/5
As this is a 9 piece set I’m desperate to get my hands of some of the other products, so watch this space! Would love to hear if you’ve tried any of the other products!
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

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

The Glamour Beauty Festival 

 
Yesterday I headed to what can only be described as a paradise. The Glamour Beauty Festival. The event runs all weekend, with brands from Rimmel to Liz Earle there with their own section offering amazing free treatments as well as great advice (I particularly enjoyed seeing how to really conceal my black under eye bags that you may have heard me moan about before…)

 The festival was held at the Saatchi Gallery, which admittedly I’d never been to (but definitely will be going back), where the aroma of beauty obsessives filled the gallery. There were four main sections; hair, make up, skin care and nails, where brands were set up ready to pamper and preen to perfection! I tried to get around as many as possible, but there was so much choice I just couldn’t!

 


 

In the makeup section I first headed to Laura Mercier where an artist showed me how to conceal my under eyes as well as any other areas of concern. I bought this little pot of magic, which amazingly concealed my sins from my work drinks the night before.

 I then headed to the Nars counter where I was shown how to properly highlight, contour and apply blush…


They developed this exclusive colour called Goule for the event which I absolutely loved, and so felt it was rude not to buy it….

After that, I headed to the skincare section. Balance Me were offering an amazing skin assessment service. I put my head into this box with curtains where there was a blue UV-type light with a small mirror.


The specialist then looked in from the other side to assess my skin. I had this done years ago before I underwent treatment for blemishes, so it really was amazing to see the difference it had made to my skin! The only issue she could see, which she said everyone would have, is the dehydration on my under eyes *grabs for water*. They had a pick and mix type shop, where 3 sample sized products were £10, so I bought….

I then headed over to Elizabeth Arden, where I had this amazing treatment which I sadly can’t remember or find the name of (if you can help please let me know!). It essentially looked like a mini spray tan applicator, which she filled with vitamins and sprayed over my skin. She then went back over when there was purely air pressure to massage the product in. It was supposed to be a ‘Madonna effect’, which for the rest of the day, my skin really did glow. I have to also say that on a slight hangover, this was the most amazing treatment! It was so soothing and refreshing that I asked her to do it again! She said they offer a 15 minute treatment for £15, so I would definitely pay for another.

They were the only treatments I had as the queues were fairly long, but I loved spending time just mooching around looking at products.

 

 

As part of the ticket you could also choose a talk to attend. I went to one where Jo Malone, Liz Earle and Thea Green (founder of Nails Inc) were talking about how they started and grew their businesses. It was so interesting and actually really empowering to hear about their journeys. Also, Liz’s skin was literally glowing from around 5 metres away, so I am SO excited to try the hot cloth cleanse and polish. Yes I finally have it!

Now for the best part, another perk of your ticket was that you received a goody bag full of amazing products (a lot full sized!). These are the fab things I received….

So stay posted as I’ll be posting a few product reviews of the great products I discovered at the event!

Would love to hear if anyone else was there and what they tried!

Thanks for reading 🙂