Tuesday, 30 April 2013

#REVIEW- Barry M Gelly in Blood Orange

OKAY. I know I find a new nail polish to swoon over every week- but this time I mean it.
This time, I'm on to a game-changer.
Batty M Gelly Hi-Shine nail polish in Blood Orange, £3.99

I think the reason I like this nail polish so much is because it came as a pleasant surprise.
I reviewed the same polish in Grapefruit (I think on my old blog) and although it's nice, I didn't feel it lived up to the hype.
But when I saw Blood Orange on the stand in Boots, I was really taken with the colour.
Pastels, nudes, pinks, blues- they all come and go. But reds? Give me a red, come rain or shine, and I'm a happy, nail-polish-wearing bunny.
This is a real, true, classic red shade. But the shine and the longevity are the things that set it apart from other drugstore polishes.
And every polish addict who travels a bit knows what a pain it can be to lug around base, colour and top coat in your bag.
This cuts the process in half.
I've worn it from Thursday through to Monday without drama or fuss.
And the shine- oh, the shine!
Put simply, it's one of those 'can't stop staring at my nails' finds. And today's #Resolution is never to settle for anything less.

Friday, 26 April 2013

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Brush

Something REALLY ANNOYING happened.
I wrote out this whole post for you and thought I had scheduled it and turns out I have deleted it instead. Garrrrrgh. It is the stuff of blogger nightmares!
To anyone else I probably sound like an idiot.
So never mind, deep breaths, let's do it again.
Now, *moan over* we've all heard of the Clarisonic. And I'm sure, for those of you out there really in to skin, it is an essential tool and/or at the very top of your cleansing wish-list.
But at more than £100, for me, the wish-list is unfortunately where it's staying. For the forseeable future at least.
If only another brand would make something similar for people like us, ey? People who dream of getting down in to those pores and dragging out the dirt
Seems (On the surface of it, at least) that No7 have done just that.
mmm hhmmmm that's right.
Lo' and behold, the Beautiful Skin Cleansing Brush.

And it costs just a snippet, at £25. 
And oddly enough, I've had this since March 25. Which means I've tried and tested it for a good month before I've given you my thoughts. 
I know there are reviews of this floating about all over the place, but I didn't want to rush and give you an opinion that isn't of any real value just so I could get it out there with the masses, y'know? 

I should also point out (as may be obvious from my pauper's rant) that I haven't tried the Clarisonic. So this is coming to you from purely a 'how good is this product?' position, as opposed to a 'How does it compare?' position. 

Let me tell you in one word- okay, three- I really like it (alright I sneaked an extra one in there, but who's counting?!)

Let me tell you, if you haven't used anything like this before, it takes some getting used to. 
At first I was a bit like 'arrrrh! WHAT IS HAPPENING!' 
But this I blame partially on myself (I didn't use enough cleanser) and secondly on the fact a new brush head is a little abrasive. 
On the first use it did feel a little as though I'd cleaned my face with an electric toothbrush. Which would be a really weird thing to do. 
For anyone with sensitive skin, use this on the first setting, which is slower and ever-so-slightly-more gentle. 
I believe the official line from No7 is that anyone with sensitive skin shouldn't use it. 
The official line, for anyone else, is to only use this for 60 seconds at a time. 
But me, being me, I did what I always do and totally ignored this advice. 
I can't say I'm sorry I did. I mean, I have the face the size of a large dinner plate. Do you think 60 seconds is enough to get even half-way around this thing?! Silly No7. 

I know some people are saying they had a purge with the Clarisonic/ they didn't with this...But after the first few uses, I had a break-out. Especially along my jaw line. And I think that may have been to do with the fact this pulled out dirt I hadn't managed to cleanse out myself *high-five for clean pores*

Since then, my skin is genuinely the clearest it has ever looked. 
I'm not saying it's normal to be spotty at 24, but I'm coming out the closet and saying it- yes, I have my skin problems, yes I am officially a grown woman. And yes, I'm not the only one.
So by now, I'm kind of used to the old 'oh look, there's another spot. Joy' routine.
For the past month, however, I've had so many less of those moments. 
Which is, for anyone who has suffered or is suffering acne right now, a happy feeling I can not describe. 

I obviously can't say it's all down to this brush, but I definitely believe it's had a part to play. 

I use this around three times a week as part of a really deep cleanse routine. And I make sure I take my make-up off before I put this anywhere near my face. And I also make sure I clean it thoroughly between each use. Germ-harbouring does not a good tool make. 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

#REVIEW- No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser

Ahh tight skin.
Isn't. It. Great.
Even if you have normal/ practically perfect skin, I'm sure you've suffered from tightness at some point in your life.
On your skin. ON YOUR SKIN.

As promised, I've got you a review of the NO7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser.
I know, I'm good to you.
But that's enough about me. Let's talk about the reason we're really here.
Tight Skin.
No, it's not because your skin is really, really squeeky clean.
Is it? Should a product make you feel like you can't move your face?
Or is it because you've been stripped of all your natural oils?

If you find yourself having this conversation in your head *let's be honest, it's definitely not just me*, then you'll want to keep on reading.

SO. As I wrote in my No7 Cleansing Brush post, I got this along with that. (Wow, great grammar there).
At first when I used it (with the cleansing brush), I was a little....meh.
I didn't really see that it was doing much. It doesn't really foam with the brush at all.
Although it is very gentle on the skin. And the brush can be quite harsh. So it balances that out.

It wasn't until I started using this as a cleanser on its own that I started to really love it.
I use this about three days of the week and alternate with my hot cloth cleanser.
First I remove my make up with L'oreal's Micellar Solution, just to make sure I'm not rubbing any nasties in to my face. Then I apply this to dry skin and watch it melt away.
It comes out of the tube as a gel-type paste. Looks a bit like wallpaper paste actually, but more yellow in tone. And smells nicer, obviously.
But on contact with the skin  it does (as the name suggests) it does melt. And it's a really nice experience, rubbing this in *Yes, I know how weird that sounds*
After a poopy day it's quite nice to pour a glass of wine, put on some Destiny's Child and take off your war paint with this- Ladies, ya'll know I'm right.

What It Says-
(Thought you could probably see for yourself on this one)

What do I think? Well, all in all, this definitely does what it says on the tin.
I'm not sure about this 'skin nutrition' claim. I guess they're trying to imply this feeds your face...but I tend to think you need to get your nutrients from foods, as opposed to anything you put on your face.
The best thing about this cleanser is there is no tightness after use.
As it says, it is especially formulated for people with dry skin. And although it might not seem an 'obvious' choice, the dry-skinned amongst us might want to consider No7 as part of their skincare regime. My sister has very dry skin but over the last year she's really got in to the range and I have to say, she looks more gorgeous than ever. And she's ageing better than me. Annoying when there's hardly a year between the two of you.

After using this my skin feels really clean and soft. Although I'm not saying 'no tightness' means you don't need a moisturiser.
It's just nice to finish up in the bathroom and not think 'arghh I need to slap some moisturiser on right this second!'

This costs £9 but you don't need a lot of product to do the job.
Although, I appreciate if you're on a budget that might seem pricey.
Especially, as some people think, it just goes down the drain.
But I tend to justify cleansers by looking at Lisa Eldridge. Every time I hear her talk about her (let's face it) fantastic skin, she always says cleanse, cleanse, cleanse! 
I don't think a good anti-ageing moisturiser is enough to push away the hands of time. You need to be getting rid of all the horrible guff that comes in to contact with your skin throughout the day.
No7 usually have a £5 voucher doing the rounds as well, so if I do have my eye on any of their products, I tend to wait until then- it makes this £4 and you can't say fairer than that.

Review By Numbers

Did it live up to it's promises?-5/5. Yes- but it took me a bit of time to get to grips with this. They do recommend you use it with the Cleansing Brush, but personally, I'd say that's not the best way to use it. Although it is gentle enough to balance out the abrasive nature of that product. And since using the two together my skin is clearer than it's ever been.

Packaging- 3/5- Simple, clean, does what it says on the tube. It looks quite classy, some might say *'some' clearly being me*

Value for money- 4/5-As I said earlier, a good cleanser is an absolute essential for me. Especially as I have a bit of a phobia of germs in my skin. Plus if you have a No7 voucher, what's not to love?

Recommend to a friend? Yes.


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Resolution- #Fade Flaws. Soap and Glory Hocus Focus

I feel that I should put a little disclaimer here- I've been using this product for a while now, it's been tossed from bag to bag, here there and everywhere- so hence the reason it's looking a bit tatty.
But who wants to read a review of a product that hasn't been tested properly, huh? 
Rest assured when you read my musings, they're honest and thought up over a serious amount of product-testing time *Yay for products*

One of my #Resolution quests is for skin so flawless it doesn't need make-up (oh, how a girl can dream).
You see all those slebs on the red carpet positively glowing from within. That's okay when you have a facialist and a chef and can spend several hours a day at the gym.
But when you're a little person who stays up until the early hours partyin'/blogging/ *cough* watching sex and the city re-runs*, sometimes, you've just got to fake it.

Hence where this little baby comes in.

Hocus Focus Visual Flaw Softening Lotion, £13

I got this as part of a gift and at first I was a bit like 'woah, why would I want a product that gives me moon face?! Great!' 
But I was wrong. And, I think, still suffering a hangover from my oily-skin days.
Not that I would dare to slap this on without any base. Because although it says it's 'flaw softening', I wouldn't say it is. Maybe I just have bigger flaws that most?! Who knows!
But what I do know is under foundation, this gives a gorgeous 'from within' glow.
And that, for me, is the ultimate covet-able celeb look.

I'm not sure how well you can see it in these photos (damn you light! Damn you camera!) but the product has an iridescent sheen that get this- isn't glittery.
I don't know about you but my ultimate fear of a highlighting product is that I'll look as if a small child has made a sparkly collage on my face.
I think the drugstore highlighter market has gotten so much better of late.
But sometimes I look at products and think '...really? Why *Brand Who Shall Remain Nameless* do you think I would wear this?!'
So if you too have a secret 'highlighter looks a bit obvious' thing going on, you might want to try this...
And especially if you too have MFF (Moon-Face Fear. Which I believe it effects many more people than let on).

Personally I much prefer this to Bright Here Bright Now (also by Soap and Glory). I think that one is supposed to be used more by itself (is that right? Help me out here!) But personally I don't have much joy with it.
FYI, you can find both products here on the Soap and Glory website, which is a place made of rainbows and flowers I like to spend some of my cyber time in.

For a 'drugstore' brand, some of their products can be a little on the pricey side. Fortunately for you, when I fall in love (with products. And clothes.) I tend not to look before I leap- and therefore I have quite a huge S&G stash in my beauty arsenal.
So if you're thinking of making a purchase but would like a review first *from someone who has nothing better to do...seriously* then let me know in the comments below : )

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

1 DAY REVIEW- L'oreal Nude Magique CC Cream

£10 isn't a lot of money.
But sometimes it can mean a much-needed dose of petrol or some food. And you have to choose those (unfortunately) over the latest make-up craze.
A harsh reality, and maybe one that's not addressed very much in the bloggosphere, but I'm going to put it out there- for most of us, that's the way it is.
So it stands to reason that before making a purchase of say, £10 and above, you want to do your research first.
Sometimes blog reviews can really help. Sometimes there's nothing better than testing the product yourself.
And this is how I felt about the L'oreal Nude Magique CC Cream.
I've spoken about my (at best, frosty) relationship with BB creams on the UK drugstore market.
So how would a letter down the alphabet make any difference?
Getting older, and (thank heavens) finally shaking off my 'acne-prone' label, I've been looking for much lighter bases. I don't want something that completely masks my skin. I want it to be able to breath, but with some enhancement (some days a lot of enhancement, let's be honest).
So I was grateful for the chance to try a product that promises 'anti-fatigue' along with a host of other benefits, without masking my skin.

What it Says

'The magic Smart Pigment Capsules in a feather-light apricot hydrator transform into foundation on application. Helps wake up the complexion. A perfect nude look with buildable light-weight coverage.'
  • I applied this with fingers, no primer and no other make-up on the face. 

Firstly, the texture is quite 'weird'. Yes it's creamy, but as you can see (if you look closely!) it's full of little beads. I assume these are the 'smart pigment capsules' and they pop on contact with your face- although I don't have the eyes of a hawk, so I can't tell you that's exactly what happened.
What I do know happened is that this transformed in to a foundation on the skin and (thankfully) didn't remain the same colour you see here.
I know other people have remarked it might have been a little dark for them, or a little too yellow-toned, but I found this to be a pretty good match for my skin.
It blended in easily and, quite frankly, as soon as I put it on, I knew it had transformed my opinion of the BB/CC situation. At last! A drugstore product of this variety that doesn't make me look like an idiot!
The only thing I'm not keen on is the smell. I can't even describe it (maybe I had an 'off' sample) but I'm not a fan. Chemically, plasticy...not natural at all. Which is ironic, because that's how it's supposed to make your skin look.
...With a little added je ne sais quoi, of course.

So I decided I would test this CC, so-called 'magique' cream at the time I look my most fatigued. That's right. On a Sunday morning.

At the beginning of the day....

At the end of the day... (with one little touch up mid-afternoon)
*As you can see, this is my happy face.

So, how did we get on?

  • WELL, as I said, I applied this without any other face products (a brave move, some would say). I'm not at my spottiest at the moment, but this did give good coverage to those 'oh dear' areas. It lasted well, although I did give it a little touch-up a few hours in after I noticed some lines (particularly around the eyes) had started to creep through. This feels comfortable on the skin and like you're not really wearing anything, which can be a refreshing change from those 'fully made-up' days. If you do need a little more coverage, applying this under foundation gives a nice glow to the skin. My boyfriend commented how nice my face looked when I wore this on an afternoon stroll (he didn't know I was doing this little experiment by the way, and I was so taken aback I almost fell over), so this is getting a thumbs-up from me.

  • Overall, I'm really impressed with this product. It's changed my mind and is now going to be a definite pay-day purchase. 

  • To anyone who, like me, is living on a bit of a shoe-string (let's be honest it's a lot of us and there's no shame in it, so I don't know why we don't talk about it more as a blogging community), it really is worth saving those samples you get in magazines/ asking for them at your local drugstore or beauty counter. A little savvy can stop you from making an expensive mistake.

Have you tried this product? What do you think?


Monday, 22 April 2013

#REVIEW- This One Light Hair Oil

Up until a year ago, I couldn't imagine any two words I disliked more in the same sentence.  'Hair' and 'Oil.'

Unless I'm mistaken and this is once again 2001, the slicked back look really isn't all it's cracked up to be. I mean SURE it's all over the catwalks and fashion magazines (and ironically the one below).
But we all know in every day life, greasy hair is a huge no-no. I mean, there's a reason dry shampoo is a gazillion-dollar market. Because when it comes to hair, mid-lengths and ends can be matt n messy or smooth and silky, curly or straight. Just leave the roots alone. 

Remembering the many (many) hair disasters I had as an adolescent (slicked back pony with two bits coming down at the front, anyone?) it was with trepidation that I read about the trend for 'hair oils'.

But having tested a few 'higher end' samples and liked, I've got to say- finally, nice hair oils have made their way in to the drugstore market. 

I got this on offer at Superdrug. It was £3 as opposed to £7 which (I think) it's creeped up to now *major sad face* But will I repurchase at that price? Well, let's read on and find out.

What it Says

Get your locks under control with This One, a lightweight, nourishing, smoothing and shine enhancing hair oil- use pre blow dry for taming frizz or after for finishing shine.

A short description, but packed full of buzz words- would this be the nourishing, smoothing, shining oil my dry hair was after?

I used it as suggested, taking one or two small pumps, rubbing between hands and running through the mid-lengths and ends of hair.
I'll be honest, I was expecting it to feel sticky or bunched together after blowdrying, but it felt neither.
It is very lightweight and the-morning-after-the-night-before, my hair just feels clean and fresh not bogged down by product at all.

I'm very interested in the ingredients, as this promises argan, pequi and jojoba all in one tube for a very reasonable price. Looking on the back of the product there are a lot of confusing names I don't recognise. I do see references to all three oils, but you have to wonder at the quality and/ or quantity of what's used.

But what am I expecting for £3? Overall I'm an impressed reviewer and lover of all things hair. I've been using this for around three weeks now and hardly made a dent, so for me, this was well worth the money.

Review by Numbers

Did it live up to it's promises?-4/5. My hair is smoother and more tamed without being weighed down or greasy. Success!

Packaging- 4/5- I really like the packaging. The bottle isn't too bulky, so it's easy to have one hand on your hair and another pumping product in a slap-dash or hurried manner. It's really light too, so would be great for traveling (and we all know how I feel about that!)

Value for money- 5/5-at £3 you can not go wrong. And if this is still on offer at Superdrug, I'd urge you to go and pick it up now. Go on, what are you waiting for?! For £7...hmm, well that is a price-hike, isn't it?! But I guess the whole point is to get you hooked.
So let's put it this way- I will always have a hair oil in my regime and I much prefer this to the other high-street versions- L'oreal's Extraorndinary Oil and Tresemme Liquid Gold.
Both feel like they're packing much more silicone than the This One one (my, that's a literary confusion)

Recommend to a friend? Yes.If you're looking to get in to hair oils you don't want to splash too much cash (what if you don't like it, afterall?) So I would definitely recommend you check out This One.

Have you tried any other products in the This One range? What do you think?


Saturday, 20 April 2013

Resolution- #Candy Crush

WHO wants to look glam/ pretty/ not-quite-as-rubbish-as-they-feel with a minimal amount of effort?

Who wants to be perked up with just a quick swipe and, if the time calls for it, no mirror? 

I do and I do to all these things!

So I got real and made a purchase I've wanted for ages but never had enough gusto to just go and buy. And boy, I know I'm jumping on the bandwagon a little late here, but this has (surprisingly) become my favourite lip product :) Yay. 

It's the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter. And the shade I have is Candy Apple.

Now, let me do a little explaining here- I'm a big lipstick girl. And more than anything, I love bright shades and colours.
'Light' and 'a wash of colour' just don't, well, wash with me.
Or so I thought.
As much as I'd heard rave reviews of these lip butters, they just didn't appeal to my sense of garishness.
Why go demure when you can go bold?! I thought. But then I really got in to the 'less is more' 'beauty from within' thing and I realised subtle can sometimes mean sexier.
Oh yes, I said that word.

Not only do I love the colour of this, I love the name- so American and also quite autumnal (which I know is completely the wrong season, but come October who'll be the one laughing?!*
*hopefully me

This fits so nicely into my every day make-up bag, as well as being nice for weekends/ dinners/ casual evenings out.
And it's so easy to apply, you don't even need a mirror (or the ol' back of a knife trick).
I also like how moisturising this is. The name 'butter' makes it sound a bit slippery, but it's not a bit. It doesn't slip and slide across your face and it has a lovely glossy yet not sticky finish.

So today's post is a bit rambly, but the #Resolution behind it is to wear this as much as possible because it's freakin' lovely.
And also to tell you, if you haven't already, to go out and get yourself one. Especially since this is just £5.99 at Superdrug at the moment.
Because I'm very glad I read those blog posts and paid attention too :)  

Friday, 19 April 2013

NOTD- Rimmel Kate Salon Pro

 Owwwwww! :( I think I've fallen in love again.

That's right. A new nail polish has entered my life. How did that happen?! 

Well personally, I blame Kate Moss. Because if she didn't keep making those darn alluring adverts in which she wears some, quite frankly, excellent Rimmel products, then I'd have more money in my pocket and more room in my nail polish drawer!

But who said life was easy, eh?

And quite frankly, I couldn't wait to share this polish with you today.

Prepare your eyes for gorgeous colour...

THAT'S RIGHT. It's the 'Kate Moss' Rimmel Salon Pro lycra nail polish, £5.49.

This is very much a dupe for Essie's Hip-anema. In fact they are an exact colour match (and the names aren't exactly at opposite ends of the scale, either).

As soon as I saw promos for this polish, I knew I had to have it. Is there a more perfect summer-yet-good-for-brightening-up-winter shade?
I'm sure the formulation is not much different from the old Rimmel lycra-pro nail polishes. And some of the colours and names are even the same.
But new editions, like this baby, make the collection worth a fresh look.

This colour is a bright red-orange that looks different depending on the light...

See? One minute it's red the next it's orange...my brain just can't keep up!
And my brain can't seem to get any work done because I am so busy staring at my nails.

Formulation wise, I've had four days of wear out of this (with touch-ups) and now it is starting to look a little shabby.
The bottle promises up to 10-day wear, which isn't ever going to be a lie because just one day can be classed as 'up to' 10, you clever people at Rimmel, you.
This says it has a 'gel-like' finish and I'm 'mmm-ing' and 'ahh-ing' as to whether I agree.
The pessimist in me wants to say this is just a made-over version of the old lycra pro polishes.
The optimist wants to say that a) they were excellent anyway and b) just look at the colour

What I do know is that this polish is uber-glossy. You really could get away without a top coat with this.
They give you a generous amount, too.
Everybody knows that anything from the Rimmel 'Kate' range is going to sell well. They could have used that totally to their advantage and given as little as possible for the same price. And it still would have been well-received.
But they didn't. And for that, I applaud you, Rimmel.

In fact, I applaud you upon every aspect of this nail polish. I love it.
(and if you'd like to see how far back my unhealthy obsession with Rimmel polishes goes, click here)

 Have you tried any of these polishes? What do you think?


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

What's in my...Travel Bag

 I travel quite a bit (Oh, don't I sound like the glamourous-jet-setting type).
Well, it's not that glamorous, and let's just be honest here- travelling can be such a faff. 
Packing, unpacking, preparing for every scenario- 'Will we be going out out this weekend? If so I'll need heels!...And then hangover clothes...What about lunch on Sunday? Accessories? Oh sweet lord I need a lie down!'
The last thing you want to do is drag a load of full-sized products around with you.
I know a lot of people like to decant their things in to travel bottles, but that just doesn't work for me.
Is it just me, or are those travel bottles a real liability? I've had moisturiser-leak disasters on thrice occasions. THRICE. And that's just not okay. Even if it's baby lotion, I don't want to lose it. Or have it all over my bag.
So just for fun (cos I'm cray that way), I like to carry actual-travel-size products. I don't know why I like buying them so much! I think it's because that thing of going to the counter in Boots and being like..that's right! I'm a globetrotting go-getter!....*going to Barnstaple for the weekend...*

1. Nivea Soft Moisturising creme
2. Simple Kind to Skin Moisturising Facial Wash
3.Wet Ones Antibacterial Wipes
4. No7 Nail and Cuticle Creme
5. Simple Kind to Skin Moisture Boost Hydro Mist
6. Batiste Dry Shampoo in Blush

My top tip is that a lot of these products (and more) are available at Poundland, so if you fancy a cheap treat for looking lovely on the go, there you, er, go. 

If you'd like to see reviews of the products mentioned above, let me know below.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Resolution- #Hand Care

None of us are getting any younger. Unless your name is Benjamin Button. In which case you may well be getting younger. So you needn't take any notice of this post.

With the exception of Ben, none of us are getting any younger. Least of all me.

I feel like I'm accelerating through life at a rapid pace and there is never enough time and always too many wrinkle-making worries.

Then again, this is the girl who cried on her seventh birthday because she wanted to stay six.

Unlike my seven-year-old self, the solution these days isn't tears. So I've been swotting up with The Anti Ageing Beauty Bible. It just has lots of great tips about cleansing, skincare, nutrition, meditation. I feel more glowy just reading it. If you'd like to read, you can find it here

One of the things I never (stupidly) thought about before reading this book was the way time can weather on the hands. Hands are probably the most used part of the body. Try and think of something you do where your hands aren't heavily involved.


Yes the skin might be thicker than on the face, but those babies go through a lot of wear and tear. I apply hand cream all the time. But before I read this book, I didn't consider that just might not be enough.

SO today's #Resolution is to get a real good hand care regime going.

I thought I'd take you through my steps.

#1 Once a week or so, I make sure I take off my nail polish properly and give my hands a good clean. For this I use a nail brush (this one is £1.59 at Superdrug) and some cream Dove Soap.
This helps to get rid of dry skin- I have a lot of hand skin issues, which I will address in a later post. The cuticles and the skin around the nails tend to get a lot of wear n' tear. And no one likes a hang nail.

This step for cleansing your hands is really cheap. A nail brush will set you back close to a quid and a nice soap costs even less.

#2 The skin on your hands and body sheds just as much as your face (mmmm, attractive). So once a fortnight, I take a dab of exfoliator (at the moment it's the Neutorogena Visibly Clear) and scrub it across the backs of my hands, fingers and wrists.
You don't want a product that's too harsh. Equally, you don't want to be too rigorous. Hands are used for everything and if they're red raw, it's going to cause you problems.

*This exfoliator rubs smoothly in to hand skin

#3 The next thing I use on naked nails is a nail and cuticle cream. At the moment, it's the No7 version, I think I reviewed this on my old blog (?) and I really like it. It goes on so nicely, sinks in and feels like it's actually doing some good. Unfortunately it's not cheap, but if you're doing this on a budget the drugstores have plenty to choose from. (If you'd like to see a review then let me know in the comments below and I'll pick my fave budget versions for you).

*please excuse chipped nails. I know there is no excuse. But I was just about to take this off, I swear!
#4 Okay, so the next (and my favourite step) is the painting. I have a GAZILLION nail polishes. You'll be seeing the full collection soon. I say full, but it's always expanding...so what I mean is the 'most up-to-date collection at this moment in time, before I go to Boots again'. 
Aside from just liking pretty colours, I have pretty damaged nail beds. So for me, painting is a bit of a necessity. 
To even out, condition and prevent staining, the next step is always a base coat. 
My favourite top n' bottom duo is currently the one by Collection.
I think they do a sterling job, considering the little amount of sterling they cost.

#5 Once the polish is dry (not hard dry, but not smudge territory), I apply a dab of oil across the cuticles, skin and hands.
I love the Superdrug Vitamin E oil, which I also use as a moisturising treat on my face once a week.

#6 Now, the world is a pretty germy place. Offices can be a hot-bed for infections, just waiting to pounce at any moment. So I always have some antibac and lotion on hand, for my hands.

At the moment, I've got my mitts on the Neal's Yard Bee Lovely Hand Cream. This was free with Marie Claire a while ago and once I got round to using it properly, I was really impressed. It's such a nice product to keep on your desk or pop in your handbag because the fragrance is uplifting and rubbing a dollop of this in can provide a well-needed moment of calm in a crazy environment.

I use Carex Protect and Plus gel to ward off nasties because unlike other antibacterial gels that irritate my psoriasis, this isn't drying, doesn't sting, and absorbs really quickly.

 #7 You know what they say- Prevention is better than cure.
We all know the one about eating right and staying healthy. But let's face it. Sometimes there are occasions when you just want a bar of chocolate and not a carrot. So to make sure my nails are getting what they need from the inside, I take a supplement.
I am going to do a 'comparison' post of these Tesco Skin, Hair and Nails tablets with the Perfectil version (probably featured in Fitness Friday, so look out). I know some people might think supplements are a waste of money. But these cost £3 for 30- the price of your average daily latte. And I like to make sure on days I am having a binge (hello, EVERY SATURDAY), I'm still at least getting some nutrients!


Monday, 15 April 2013

REVIEW- Nivea BB Cream

With summer on the way (PLEASE, please say summer is finally on the way?!) it's time to put away those heavy-duty lotions and potions in favour of something a bit, well, lighter.

I have been on the look-out for a drugstore BB cream that lives up to my (not even very high) standards for a while.

I just want something that, essentially, does what it says on the tin.

But every time, they fall short of my expectations.

And the biggest downfall is always the colour.

I just don't get how drugstore foundations have really accelerated in recent years, with a good range of colours.
And yet BB creams don't seem to have got beyond 'light' 'medium' and 'dark'.
I know we're talking high street, so we can't expect miracles. But there are some really great drugstore products out there. So surely it wouldn't take too much to add in a few shades that might actually suit anyone who isn't an Oompa Loompa?

Unfortunately, the 'colour problem' is the one and only downfall of this Nivea BB Cream.

I picked it up in Tesco for a ridiculously cheap price- literally about £2. I bought it for my holiday because (knowing already about the 'colour problem') I thought once tanned, the light shade might just be okay.

*Sorry it's a bit messy- a sign it's been tested well, eh?

What It Says-

5in1 Beautifying Moisturiser
  • Evens
  • Covers 
  • Illuminates
  • Moisturisers 
  • Protects your skin
Instantly perfect looking skin with minerals, ProVitaminB5 & a hint of colour. SPF 10.

First of all, SPF, so that's good. Because I am ageing at a ridiculous pace, I can't go out of the house without one. But SPF 10 just won't make the grade

This is definitely moisturising, yes. It has a really nice texture, is creamy and smells nice. 

Unfortunately a 'hint of colour' is a bit of a hint of a lie. 

Because, unless your natural skin shade can be likened to 'red brick', this is just way too dark. 

As I said, I was tanned when I applied this (just with fingers, nothing fancy) and at first I thought mmmm not too bad. 
But by the middle of the day, when I made the mistake of looking in the mirror, I JUST. LOOKED.DREADFUL. 

My shiny face, with concealer having run for its life, had an orange tinge that made me look about 50. The product had settled in to my pores and highlighted my wrinkly bits. 

Which is a real shame, because everything about this product is great. The price, the formula, the way it looks on the skin when first applied (and vigorously blended). 

But at the end of the day, what's the most important feature of a product you put on your face? 

The colour. 

As you can see, it gives a really nice illuminating finish. Unfortunately this doesn't last.

Review by Numbers

Did it live up to it's promises?-3/5.It is moisturising and illuminating and when first applied, it does blur imperfections. But that just doesn't last.

Packaging- 3/5- They give you a generous amount of product for the price, but the bottle itself isn't particularly eye catching.

Value for money- 3/5-£2 for a good BB cream is a bargain. Unfortunately you will only think this if you're an oompa loompa.

Recommend to a friend? Yes. IF they improved their shade range. As it stands right now, I just couldn't.