Temple Spa Double Truffle

Temple Spa Double Truffle
Temple Spa's Skin Truffle was one of the first blog posts I ever wrote (you can read it here and cringe with me over the horrifically bad images) and it's a product that I've loved ever since. This velvety-soft, rich moisturiser always leaves my skin feeling super soft and refreshed and is sooooo good during winter when it's dehydration central.

They've recently launched a limited edition pot which features smaller sizes of both Skin Truffle and their night-time version Truffle Noir, which offers a great introduction to both products if you've not tried them before or the perfect travel companion if you're a bit of an addict like me.

Skin Truffle was awarded the highest ever score by Beauty Bible testers and is one of the few products I've tried that actually gives visible results from the first few uses. It incorporates diamond powder, gold and silk for an instantly illuminating finish to the skin, while the black truffle, grapeseed champagne and cocoa butter get to work longer term on dehydration, fine lines and dullness.

Truffle Noir is the night-time partner to Skin Truffle, featuring many of the skin-nourishing benefits but with a semi-matte finish. After all, no-one needs to 'glow' while they're face down into their pillows. It's great at helping the skin to renew overnight and has a velvety soft texture that feels incredibly luxurious. It's quite a rich cream, so is best suited to more mature skins or those that are dry and/or dehydrated - I think it would be a bit too heavy for anyone on the oilier side.

Usually Skin Truffle and Truffle Noir retail at £85 each for a 50ml pot, but the Double Truffle offer allows you to get 25ml of each product for £85. There's also a special offer currently running that enables you to choose a cleanser, toner AND mask when you purchase a pot of Double Truffle, all for the usual £85 price tag. Bargain!

You can find all of the the 'Truffle' products over on the Temple Spa website and from selected stockists.

Have you ever tried anything from Temple Spa before?

*contains PR samples


Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Rose review and giveaway

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy review and giveaway
Juicy Couture's latest fragrance launch, Viva La Juicy Rose, is a big hit in my books. It's a step away from their usual sweet scents, instead focusing on a slightly more grown up, rose based fragrance with a lovely fresh undertone.

As you'd expect from the name, rose notes feature heavily in the mid-notes of this scent but they've also layered up Italian Mandarin, William Pear and Jasmine Flower to help ensure it still keeps that young, fresh feeling so often associated with Juicy Couture. 

The bottle is incredibly blingy, featuring a pink ombre glitter finish, and a small champagne bottle charm around the neck. I suspect you'll either love it or hate the design - I'm falling into the 'love' category as it really appeals to my inner magpie.

Viva La Juicy is available from Boots, House of Fraser and Fragrance Direct with prices starting at £33,30 for a 30ml bottle. 

Win Juicy Couture goodies
Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy review and giveaway
I've teamed up with the lovely ladies over at Juicy Couture to give one reader the chance to win a bottle of the new fragrance plus a limited edition keyring which has been specially designed to match the new fragrance. There are also 9 runners up prizes, with each winning one of the keyrings.

To enter, simply complete your chosen entry methods via the Rafflecopter widget below. The winners will be picked at random shortly after the competition closes at 11.59pm on Sunday 13th March. Due to postage restrictions, entries are limited to UK residents only and please be aware that I will need to pass your address details on to the Juicy Couture team as they will be handling all deliveries.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tarte Rainforest of the Sea eyeshadow palette review

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea eye shadow palette review and swatches
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea eye shadow palette review and swatchesTarte Rainforest of the Sea eye shadow palette review and swatches
There was an audible ‘OMFG’ when I saw the Rainforest of the Sea collection from Tarte at a recent QVC press day. I mean, JUST LOOK AT THAT PALETTE. *fans self* The only slightly disappointing thing was learning it wasn’t being released until 23rd March, which felt like a hideously long way away at the time, but with a month to go, it’s time to get the date in your diaries.

Rainforest of the Sea features an eight shadow palette, a lip butter trio and also a liquid foundation and concealer. I’m putting money on the fact that the palette will be a sell out when it hits QVC – we don’t get enough Tarte palettes over here in my opinion and this one is an absolute beaut.

I’m going to say this right now, if you’re not a fan of gold/bronze shades, you probably will hate this (also, WHO are you?!). You might be thinking that it’s just another neutral palette and you’d kind of be right, but you really, really really need one in your life.

The eye shadow formula is buttery soft for a powder and has *just* the right amount of shimmer in it to avoid looking totally flat. Even the lighter shades give a decent amount of colour on the lids and they blend together easily, with no dragging on the lids.

Like all Tarte products, they’ve been infused with Amazonian Clay and their new Rainforest of the Sea complex, which soothes and offers defence against environmental factors that can affect the skin.

My current favourite colour combination is Sand all over the lid and socket, Mermaid smudged across the lid and then a little of either Starfish or Reef for added definition. It's unusual that I find a set of shadows that knock my trusty Naked palette off the top spot in my heart, but this one has managed to do it. I might have to buy a backup ready for when I inevitably hit pan on my favourite shades!

The Rainforest of the Sea palette comes with a double ended brush and retails at £30. It's exclusive to QVC, so keep an eye out for it on the shopping channel and their website on 23rd March when the collection launches.

Do you like the look of the new collection from Tarte?

*contains PR samples


Invisibobble spring launches

Invisibobble spring launches - Power and Nano
I honestly can't tell you how much I love my Invisibobbles. Since discovering them a year or so ago, I've become a *tiny* bit obsessed and they're the only hair ties I reach for nowadays.

There are so many ties on the market that promise a no-kink finish, but Invisibobble are the only ones I've found that actually deliver - you can leave you hair up in a ponytail all day and you still won't get that horrible hair dent when you take it out. They also don't snag, don't give me a headache and if you're clever enough (I'm not) you can do some amazing styles with just a couple of Invisibobbles and no grips.

Their spring launches feature a whole heap of lovely shades, as well as the very exciting Power and Nano bands. Power have been designed for all you lucky ladies with super thick hair - they're bigger than the standard Invisibobbles, so are great if you've previously struggled to make them work due to their size.

On the other hand, Nano are teeny tiny (about a third of the size of your normal Invisibobble) and are great for very fine hair, or for tying up the ends of plaits and updos, where a normal-sized one would look silly.

Each type of Invisibobble comes in a pack of three, costing £1.49 for the Nano and £3.75 for the regular. It might seem a little pricey for a hair tie, but they're so long-lasting and gentle on your hair it's really worth the extra few pounds. I've been using some of mine for a year now and they're still in great shape. I've yet to snap one and if they stretch out of size, you can pop them in warm (not hot) water for a little while and they should shrink back to their normal size.

You can find Invisibobble at Boots. Are you as big a fan as me?

*contains PR samples


Mother's Day gift guide - beauty

Selfridges Mother's Day beauty gift ideas
Selfridges Mother's Day beauty gift ideas
Selfridges Mother's Day beauty gift ideas
Mother's Day always seems to fall a couple of weeks after my Mum's birthday, so I'm always on the hunt for interesting gifts that don't just end up looking like a repetition of each other. As well as some very yummy chocolates, I'm going for a bit of a beauty theme this year - I don't think you can really go wrong with some nice fragrance or a makeup treat they wouldn't normally invest in.

With a little help from the lovely team over at Selfridges, I've pulled together a few ideas for Mother's Day gifts any beauty lover will adore.

A gift from Diptyque is always going to be a winner. Their luxury candles give off the most amazing scents and are well worth an investment. The smaller sizes will set you back £20 and will burn for around 25 hours. Roses is such a classic scent that manages to pull off rose without being too old school and also comes in a beautifully packaged rollerball fragrance (£32), which is the perfect handbag buddy. Diptyque skincare often gets overlooked, but it's actually really, really lovely. The Art of Body Care travel kit is a great introduction to the brand and contains a body polish, body wash, body lotion and a moisturising balm all in travel-friendly sizes.

Charlotte Tilbury is a brand that everyone seems to love, and I highly recommend their matte revolution lipsticks, which I think would be a great gift idea for Mother's Day. Charlotte's Skincare range not only looks super luxe, but promises amazing results for slightly more mature skin. The Magic Night Rescue Cream and Magic Eye Rescue Cream would work perfectly together and make an incredibly special present. Other skincare treats would have to be Clarins' Super Restorative Hand Cream and also REN's Glycolactic mask - I can't promise you won't want to keep them for yourself though!

For makeup loving mums, Giorgio Armani's Lip Maestro (£27) would have to be one of my top picks as they're so long-lasting and pigmented. My mum is a huge fan of Clinique's Chubby Stick range as it's so easy to use and looks great on all ages so I'll be wrapping up one of those this year and possibly teaming it with a bottle of her favourite Estee Lauder Pleasures perfume. Estee Lauder and Lancome mascaras are also going to be a big hit - try the Sumptuous Knockout or Grandiose.

The fragrance halls at Selfridges are somewhere you could easily spend hours trying to hunt down the perfect scent but my top two recommendations would have to be Jo Malone and Aerin. Jo Malone's colognes give you a great deal of choice and they can also be layered up to create your own individual fragrance combination. On the flip side, Aerin has quite a small range, but it's beautifully formed and while a little bit pricey, the EDP's only need a couple of spritzes to last you all day. The Mediterranean Honeysuckle (£120) is perfect for spring - it's uplifting and bright with a mix of light floral and citrus notes.

If you're near a Selfridge store, then I'd also recommend heading to the food halls - not only for a treat for yourself as a much justified reward for all that gift shopping, but also for some Maison du Chocolat Truffles for your mum. The salted caramel ones are to die for and should probably be renamed as 'food crack'. Ahem.

What's on your Mother's Day shopping list this year?

*contains PR samples


Budget beauty; Aldi Argan Oil collection

Aldi Argan Oil range review
Aldi Argan Oil range review
Aldi probably isn't the first place you'd think to go beauty shopping, but their new Argan Oil range will definitely change your mind. With prices ranging from £1.79 to £2.99 it's an absolute steal and a very good dupe for some higher end brands.

Argan Oil has been highly prized in Morocco for centuries and has often been called 'liquid gold' in the beauty world. Their new range features everything from shampoo to night cream, all of which contain decent quantities of Argan Oil.

My current favourite product has to be the Lacura Anti-Ageing Hand Cream as it feels super rich, but absorbs quickly into the skin and doesn't leave a greasy residue behind. The Carino Professional Oil Treatment with Argan Oil is also an amazing dupe for a MUCH pricier brand *cough* MoroccanOil *cough* and at less than a tenth of the cost, I'd highly recommend stocking up on this one!

I've not tested the day and night cream for long enough to give a long-term opinion on it, but on initial impressions I think these are great for normal to dry skins that need a bit of a moisture boost. The night cream is a little on the heavy side for my dehydrated, combination skin, but for more mature or drier skin types I think it'd be lovely.

I love the fact that Aldi have made Argan Oil products so affordable - it's often quite a premium product but they've made it so much more accessible and from what I can see on the ingredients lists, haven't had to skimp on quality either (the body lotion and shower gel both contain over 60% natural Argan Oil).

You'll need to be quick if you want to grab any of these product as their one of their limited edition Special Buys. You can find them in Aldi stores now, while stocks last.

Have you ever tried Aldi beauty products? Do you like the sound of this new range?

*contains PR samples


5 low-effort ways to eat more healthily

5 simple ways to eat more heathily
Is it me, or did January feel like the longest month EVER? Waiting for pay day in order to enable a much-needed Zara binge probably didn’t help matters, but I’m seriously glad we’re now well into February and I can pretend it’s almost spring.

If you started a January health kick and are still powering through, then I absolutely salute you. I’m still making a good effort with mine, but I can’t lie – a few cocktails and the odd brownie have definitely passed my lips. Sometimes healthy eating can feel like a bit of a chore, so I wanted to share a few tips on how you can make simple, healthier swaps, without feeling like you need to carry around a nutribullet and a kilo of chia seeds at all times.

Concentrate on adding in, rather than taking away – by adding more fruits and veggies to your daily meals and snacks, the chances are you’ll not only feel fuller, but you’ll also be getting lots of extra vitamins and minerals. Increase the portion sizes of your vegetables at each meal and over a few weeks you’ll soon realise that you don’t necessarily *need* all the rice/potato/chocolate/whatever. It’s not about concentrating on what you don’t want to eat, as I don’t think cutting entire food groups out of your diet is a good idea unless you have a medical reason to (just my opinion), but focusing on what you should add in instead.

Taste the rainbow – and no, I don’t mean Skittles here. The brighter your food, the more likely it's packed with nutrients, so aim to eat as many colours as you can throughout the day. Steer clear of the beige and go for plenty of greens, red peppers, butternut squash, aubergine, blueberries etc.

Make it yourself - ok, so I lied a little – this one does take a tiny bit of effort, but I promise it will be worth it. I think you all know how much I love cake and sweet food in general, but one way I’ve found to curb this a little bit is to allow myself sweet treats, but to only eat ones I’ve made myself. That way I know exactly what’s gone into it (even if it is a crap ton of butter) and can feel comfortable knowing it’s not full of random E numbers which no-one quite understands what they do. Raw chocolate energy balls are currently my favourite thing (recipe coming soon) as you can make a big batch of these at the weekend and then keep them in the fridge for the rest of the week. If they last that long that is.

Protein is your friend – whatever format you eat it in, protein is absolutely essential to everyday life. Protein is found in every cell across your body and is used by the body for growth and cell maintenance. It also takes a while to digest, so helps you stay fuller for longer, meaning less chance of that accidental Snickers come 4pm. Lean meats, fish, eggs, tofu and legumes are all great choices - try to have some with every meal if you can.

Try new foods at least 3 times - the first time I made overnight oats, I honestly thought I would vom. But I made myself power through and had it again the next day and I actually quite enjoyed it. It can take your tastebuds a while to get accustomed to new flavours, so I always aim to try things three times before deciding that I REALLY don't like it and it's not just a 'holy crap this tastes weird' thing that can happen initially (I'm looking at you olives).

What are your top ways to eat more healthily?


Tried and tested: high end makeup primers

High end primers from Too Faced, Dermalogica, Lancome, Smashbox and Clinique reviewed
High end primers from Too Faced, Dermalogica, Lancome, Smashbox and Clinique reviewed
A good primer is a game changer when it comes to a smooth-looking, long-lasting base but finding the perfect match isn’t always easy. Over the past few weeks I’ve been putting a whole heap of high-end primers to the test to find which ones really deliver. So whether you’re looking for one to help disguise redness or give you that dewy glow, read on – I’ve got you covered!

The all-rounders
These bad boys do it all – giving you a smooth base to apply your makeup to and ensure it stays put for longer throughout the day. Lancome’s La Base Pro gives a velvety soft, even finish to the skin that really helps your makeup glide on. It’s a touch heavy on the silicone so avoid if you’ve found that can break you out, but I really love the final finish this gives my makeup. Clinique’s Universal Superprimer is also a great bet for everyday use – it keeps my makeup looking fresh for hours on end. If you prefer an oil-free formula, Diego Dalla Palma’s Face Perfecting Primer is the one to choose - you’ll get a lovely smooth finish with a semi-matte effect.

The hydrators 
Dehydrated skin can make even the best of foundations look dreadful, so I find that switching to a more hydrating primer in winter can really help combat the effects of central heating and the English weather. Dermalogica’s new HydraBlur primer really sinks into the skin, plumping out fine lines and leaving it feeling super soft with a semi-matte finish. You do have to use a little more than you might with other primers, but it’s well worth it! Smashbox’s new Primer Oil is an interesting concept – it’s definitely the first oil primer I’ve tried! Apply a few drops about 5 minutes prior to doing your makeup and it gives dehydrated skin a much needed moisture boost as well as helping your makeup stay put throughout the day.

The colour-correctors
Slightly ruddy cheeks are the bane of my life, so I’m rarely without a colour correcting primer on standby. My eternal favourite has to be Dermalogica’s Redness Relief Primer as it doesn’t give off that hideous green tinge so many anti-redness primers do, but I’ve been giving Clinique’s Colour Correcting Redness Primer a try and also find it really good. Instead of the usual green tone (which traditionally balances out the red), they’ve used yellow pigments to soften the appearance of redness in the skin. Be careful not to use too much as it can give an unnatural yellow tinge if you slap it on like I did the first time, but used in small amounts it’s a dream. They also have correcting primers for dullness, discolouration and sallowness, so there’s a solution for virtually everything!

The glow-givers
A glowy base is always a winner in my books and I was so impressed with Lancome’s La Base Hydra Pro that I almost didn’t bother with foundation on top. It has a very slight sheen to it, giving your skin a wonderful, ethereal glow to it – just use it with a liquid foundation to ensure you get the best results. Too Faced’s new Hangover primer is great if you’ve overdone it the night before (or just haven’t slept very well!) as it has a brightening effect on the skin. It includes coconut water to help hydrate and revive and is also silicone-free, so definitely one to try if you prefer to avoid silicone-based products.

What are your favourite high end primers?

*contains PR samples


L'Oreal Infallible Matte Max Lip Pen

L'Oreal Infallible Matte Max Lip Pen review
L'Oreal Infallible Matte Max Lip Pen review
L'Oreal Infallible Matte Max Lip Pen review and swatches on pale skin
It's not often you come across a product that genuinely divides you, but I honestly can't make up my mind whether L'Oreal's new Matte Max Lip Pens are an amazing idea or if they're edging towards a fail.

The concept is different to anything I've tested before - they're lip powders that are applied with a pointed sponge, with a layerable coverage. There are six shades in the range, covering everything from a nude pink right through to an unusual purple. Each one can be used alone, or mixed with the others to create custom shades or an ombre look.

I've been using 002 Virgin all week (pictured above) and absolutely love the colour, although I do find it takes a bit of effort to get the stronger shade I was after. The sponge applicator works surprisingly well to give an even coverage of pigment across the lips, although it's not great at getting a defined lip line and tends to leave things a bit fuzzy around the edges. Most of the pigment seems to end up on the sides of the applicator, so you need more of a rolling motion to apply it evenly. 

Despite being a powder, you're not left with a powdery finish to the lips - they look matte, but in the way a lip stain does, rather than a dusty effect. They also don't dry your lips out in the way some traditional matte lippies do - I virtually forgot I was wearing it for most of the day; it feels so light in texture and almost invisible to the touch.

Wear time for me averages around 3-4 hours, so not bad at all. If you are planning to invest in one of these, I'd recommend starting with one of the lighter shades as they seem to be a little more forgiving to the application issues than the darker ones.

These will be hitting shelves over the next few weeks and are £6.99 each.

Do you like the look of the Infallible Matte Max Lip Pens?

*contains PR samples


Maybelline Baby Lips Balm & Blush

Maybelline Baby Lips Balm & Blush review
Maybelline Baby Lips Balm & Blush review
After the huge success of Maybelline's Baby Lips it was only a matter of time before they expanded the range. Baby Lips Balm & Blush are the latest thing to launch and combine a multi-purpose tinted balm that can be used on the lips and the cheeks.

The design reminds me a little of the cult US lip balms from EOS which also have a semi-spherical design. The clear lids make it easy to see the colour of the product, which comes in very handy as you can instantly see which shade you've picked up.

The balm itself feels very hydrating and gives a light wash of colour on the lips. If you don't like bold shades, don't be put off by the brightness of the product - they're much softer than they appear!

Although they're pitched as a multi purpose product, I don't think these will work very well on your cheeks if you tend to be more oily as the finish is quite sheer and will only last an hour or two. On the flipside, they actually work quite nicely for drier skin as they help add a bit of a glow with a bouncy looking finish.

I love the fact that these are so easy to use - you can apply straight from the dome or dab on with a finger and blend. I'll be keeping one in my handbag for quick lip and cheek top ups - Innocent Peach is my favourite shade out of the four, although Flirty Pink comes a very close second.

Baby Lips Balm & Blush are available now in 4 different shades, priced £4.99 each.

Have you tried these yet? Are you a fan of the Baby Lips range?

*contains PR samples


Budget beauty: the best makeup brushes from Crownbrush

The best affordable makeup brushes from CrownbrushThe best affordable makeup brushes from CrownbrushThe best affordable makeup brushes from CrownbrushThe best affordable makeup brushes from Crownbrush
I’ve featured Crownbrush a few times before, as I think they have an amazing range of makeup brushes, all at really affordable prices. A little while ago, I headed out for afternoon tea with their team to stuff our faces on cake and take a closer look at their top ten brushes. As you can imagine, choosing just ten out of the hundreds they have on offer is pretty tough, but this superstar line up are their most popular sellers, along with a couple of makeup artist favourites that had to be included. I’ve chosen a few of my favourites that I think you really NEED to add to your brush collection – you won’t regret it, promise!

For the eyes:
C475 Silicone Angled Liner – I normally stay away from gel liner as I find it a bit messy, but this ‘brush’ is an absolute genius for getting a really close, fine line. The silicone tip is flexible without being too soft, so you can hug the line of your eye with ease. It’s also so quick to clean, making it a total winner in my books. £4.29

C441 Pro Blending Crease – Buy several of these. Just trust me, you really won’t look back once you do! It’s really versatile as you can use it to apply shadow, blend and even for applying concealer if you need to. It’s got just the right amount of fluffiness to it, blends eye shadow like a dream and is a seriously good dupe for a much pricier MAC 217. £4.29

For the face:
C473 Studio Pro Contour - This flat topped brush makes contouring seem so much easier. It’s just the right shape to fit under your cheekbone and the short, dense bristles means it works really well with either powder or cream products. Follow up with the C405 to help blend out your contour shades and your set to go. £10.74

C405 Angled Contour – I suspect we all have at least one brush this shape in our collections already as it’s so versatile! Crownbrush’s is no different – it’s the perfect size and shape for anything bronzer/blusher/highlighter related and works really well to blend out anything applied using your C473 Studio Pro Contour. £8.91

C406 Large Duo Fibre/C436 Mini Duo Fibre – With a mix of natural and synthetic bristles, these duo fibre products are great for all your base/concealer needs. The Mini feels slightly firmer than the Large, but both give a really even finish to the skin, especially when used with a liquid foundation. £9.99/£7.94

Have you tried anything from Crownbrush before? What are your essential makeup brushes?


L'Oreal Infallible Blush Sculpt contouring blushers

 L'Oreal Infallible Blush Sculpt review
L'Oreal Infallible Blush Sculpt review
L'Oreal Infallible Blush Sculpt review
L'Oreal's spring launches focus heavily on the sculpting trend, featuring everything from a two in one foundation palette through to a lash sculpting mascara. I'll be showcasing a few of my favourites from the new collection over the coming week and wanted to kick things off with these rather lovely sculpting blushers.

Each Blush Sculpt features three complementary shades of powder blusher, with a light, medium and dark shade. Not only does this give you three blushers for one price (bargain) but it allows you to add a greater dimension to your makeup without having to go down the traditional contouring route.

The lightest shades work really well as more intense highlighters along the tops of cheekbones, with the mid and darker shades more suited to the apples of your cheeks to create a natural looking flush. For a very natural finish you can blend all three together and sweep over the skin. There's a subtle sheen to each of the shades, so won't appeal if you like a completely matte finish but it's nowhere near as shimmery as many of the blushers I've tried before.

There are three shades to choose from, Soft Rosy, Nude Beige and Soft Sand, with each retailing at £7.99 (although I think Superdrug has a 3 for 2 offer on right now).

While I think these are a fantastic idea, I'm a little disappointed about the size of the middle shade in each pan. The design of the palette means it's not very easy to target individually - it's only really big enough to use with an eye shadow brush!

Aside from that small grumble, I'm all over these like a rash and they're staying firmly in my 'keep' drawer for the forseeable future!

The Sculpt Collection is launching gradually into Boots and Superdrug stores over the next few weeks. However if you don't want to wait, you can find the Infallible Blush Sculpt online from Boots now.

*contains PR samples


NIOD Photography Fluid review

NIOD’s Photography Fluid is having a bit of a moment right now. After its launch on QVC near the end of last year, it’s proved to be so popular that they’re struggling to keep up with demand. After hearing the lovely Stacey raving about it (and purchasing bottles for half of Dubai as it’s so damn good), I knew I had to get it on my face. Pronto.

In reality, Photography Fluid is a creamy, white serum that’s uses ‘light-refracting prisms and topical photo-finishing technologies’ to make your skin look amazeballs in photos and in the actual flesh.

They recommend you apply it underneath liquid foundation but the bottle also states you can use it instead of your normal base product. While it definitely gives my skin a more even finish, it’s not tinted in any way, so I suspect that the majority of us will use in underneath other products rather than alone.

There are no instructions on how much to use or where to place it, so I’ve been pretty liberal in my application and shoved it all over my face. Waste not, want not, right?

The final result has been pretty impressive. Not only have I ended up with that ‘glow’ I’ve always been searching for with my foundations, but it manages to do so without making look obvious that it’s down to a product, rather than just REALLY good skin. There’s no weird shine or greasy look – you literally GLOW. Think a really good highlighter, minus any sparkles.

Avoid getting slap happy with too much powder as it will dull the effect, but other than that, I don’t really have a bad word to say about this product. More instructions and a slightly better bottle would be great (the pipette design doesn’t work very well as the formula is so thick) but after a few days trial and error I’m totally in love and planning a bulk order.

At £20 a bottle, it’s still really affordable and well worth the investment. The only struggle is finding it in stock – you need to keep an eagle eye on the QVC site to track one down!

*features PR samples



Glossybox review February 2016

Glossybox UK February 2016 review and contents
Glossybox UK February 2016 review and contents
Glossybox UK February 2016 review and contents
Ah Glossybox…your February box looks so pretty and pink but I’m sad to say that the most exciting thing inside you is a razor.

The theme for this month’s box is ‘Beauty Soulmates’ tying in nicely with the fast approaching Valentine’s Day. While the box might have a very pink feel to it externally, inside there’s a nice mix of makeup and beauty tools. Unusually there’s not a single skincare product included for once, which makes a nice change, but if you’re a skincare junkie you might feel like you’re missing out a bit.

Overall, it’s a good value box as all of the five products are full-sized, but in general I’m feeling a bit ‘meh’ about the contents. Aside from a very handy (but not very exciting) Wilkinson Sword razor, everything seems to be from the usual selection of repeat brands that Glossybox favour. And while they might be really lovely brands, receiving the same ones month after month starts to feel a bit repetitive.

Browtician’s limited edition Love Skull tweezers look like a great alternative to premium brand Tweezerman – the funky packaging definitely sets them apart from your usual drugstore tweezers! Nicka K and Naobay are both Glossybox regulars, but they’ve switched up the products a little this month with a smoky brown liner and an organic hair mask/conditioner.

There’s also an MUA Power Pout Lip Glaze included in each box, with a choice of 6 shades. Mine is called ‘Hush’ and seems to be a very sheer nude, which I’m quite pleased with as I’ll be able to use it on top of plenty of other lip colours for added shine.

From a value point of view, I think this is a great box as the contents are collectively worth over £35, but I suspect there are plenty of subscribers out there that have got a bit bored of the brand repetition and if Glossybox don’t mix things up a little in future boxes, they may see customers going elsewhere.

Glossybox costs £10 per month (plus postage) and can be ordered via the Glossybox website.

Do you subscribe to Glossybox? What do you think of this month’s box?

*contains PR samples



NARS Velvet Matte Skint Tint review and swatches

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint review and swatches on pale skin
NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint review shade Terre Neuve and swatches on pale skin
NARS Velvet Matte Skint Tint Terre Neuve review and swatches on pale skin
A new launch from NARS is always something to get excited about. After spotting Velvet Matte Skint Tint at a recent event, I virtually ran over to the NARS stand to get a better look. (possible a little too much fan girl at that moment. Aaaanyhow…)

Velvet Matte Skin Tint is the latest addition to their collection of bases and perfectly covers the middle ground between their tinted moisturiser and the cult Sheer Glow. It’s a light to medium coverage liquid foundation that offers an oil-free, matte finish, while still giving your skin just the right amount of glow.

There are 12 shades in total, covering a pretty good spectrum of light to dark. I’ve been colour-matched to 0 Terre Neuve, which is part of the light range and has a slightly pink base to it and I have to say, it’s a pretty good colour even on my washed-out winter skin. If you’ve previously been matched up to their tinted moisturiser, the shades seem to be virtually identical, however they do differ slightly to their other ranges.

A little bit of Velvet Matte Skin Tint seems to go a long way – you can get quite decent coverage with just a few drops. You’re also able to build it up a little if you have areas you’d like to target. That said, if you prefer a full-coverage product I’m not sure this will be for you, but I’m absolutely loving the way it evens out my skin without making it look massively made up.

For an oil-free product, it’s lovely and hydrating and I’ve managed to get a good 8 hours wear out of it. NARS have also packed in an SPF30, which is great for an everyday product, but do still add an extra SPF if you’re out and about a lot!

Stick to the tinted moisturiser if you have very dry skin, but for normal/oily/combination skins I reckon this is a winner.

You can find Velvet Matte Skin Tint exclusively at Space NK until March, priced £30.

*contains PR samples


The skincare shelfie: on rotation

One of the great things about blogging is that you often gain access to lots of new products that you might not necessarily have thought to try before. My bathroom shelves feel like they're in a state of constant movement - new products in, old products out (with a few exceptions that I cling on to and repurchase regularly). Here's what's currently on rotation...

I'm pretty fickle when it comes to eye makeup removers, so will often buy whatever's on offer in Boots. Nivea's 2 in 1 formula is a tiny bit on the greasy side, but I'll forgive it as it dissolves my 17,000 coats of mascara with minimal effort. Once all the eye makeup is off, the rest of my face gets a look in with either Oskia's Renaissance Cleanser *massive emoji heart eyes* or Bee Good's Cream Cleanser.

If you have dry/dehydrated skin I'd opt for the Bee Good as it's quite rich, but the Oskia one will work for any skin type. If I could used the word 'Bae' without wanting to vom, Renaissance Cleanser would be my all season Bae. It's not a good cleanse without the help of a warm cloth so I have a stash in my bathroom at the ready - Primark extra fluffy flannels for the win (none of this scratchy muslin cloth crap).

Night-time = oil time when it comes to moisturising as far as I'm concerned. I'm rotating between Goldfaden MD's rather fabulous (but pricey) Fleuressence, and Madara's Radiant Energy oil. Fleuressence has really saved my skin from it's usual chapped patches and oily bits this winter with its soothing, hydrating formula, whereas Madara's oil is great for waking up with brighter looking skin.

In the mornings, I'm currently using Elemental Herbology's Vital Cleanse which has a slight orangey scent thanks to all the skin-brightening vitamin C they packed in. It's a very gentle foaming cleanser that's great for getting rid of all the overnight skin grimness, but won't leave you with that horrid squeaky skin feeling.

I follow up with a generous helping of This Works Light Time Skin Plumper, which has a rather fantastic brightening, plumping formula. If you stayed up too late Sunday night feeding your Netflix addiction, a few pumps of this and no-one will be any the wiser. Elemis' Pro Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment is my go to eye product at the moment - it's lightweight but really gets to work on fine lines and dehydration. My bottle is almost empty and I'm definitely considering a repurchase.

What's your current favourite skincare product?

*contains PR samples


3 beauty products you never knew you needed until now

little know beauty products you need to try
There are so many great products out there that it's often hard to uncover the hidden gems that don't get much coverage. I'm making it my mission to discover these gems, whether they're from unknown brands or the big beauty giants. These three are my first edit - I'd love to hear if you have any secret beauty heroes you think we all need! 

Korean fringe stabilizers - my fringe has almost grown out now, but I really wish I'd known about these bad boys a few months ago! The team at BeautyMart make it their mission to stock the best beauty products from all over the world and these weird little things from Korea are absolute genius. They're like a flat velcro roller that can be used to keep your fringe out of the way while you cleanse/apply makeup/generally just feel the need to free your forehead. They don't look particularly attractive, so are an 'inside the house' product but hot damn they're useful. And they're £3.50 for a pack of 2, so won't break the bank.

Lancome Cils Booster XL lash primer - most lash primers are notoriously rubbish, usually leaving you with white painted lashes that go flaky and crispy when you add mascara over the top. Not this one though! My very lovely friend Kelsey introduced me to this on a recent visit from New York and after getting over my lash envy, knew I had to have it for myself. Yes it's white, but it brushes on very lightly and adds fantastic length to lashes with none of the clumps of any others I've tried. It's a little pricey for what is essentially a base coat, but it really is worth the extra cash and step in your makeup routine. 

Colour Wow Root Cover Up - if you colour your hair, this stuff is absolute genius for keeping your roots looking good in between dye sessions. The water-resistant powder brushes on at the roots for a really natural finish and lasts until you wash it out. They have seven shades in the range, so a good match for most standard colours. I've even seen this demoed on highlighted hair, it just takes a little more time to fill in than one block colour.

*features PR samples 


Real Techniques Brush Cleaning Palette review

Real Techniques brush cleaning palette review
Real Techniques brush cleaning palette review
Brush cleaning day is basically my worst nightmare. Yes I love having clean brushes but holy crap it takes a lot of effort that could be better spent doing something more interesting like baking brownies or trying to find green juice recipes that don't resemble pond water.

The Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette is the new kid on the block and I'm going to tell you right now, just do yourself a favour and go buy one. Right this second (well, after you finish reading this review). 

A. It's pink. B. It's affordable  and C. It makes cleaning brushes so ridiculously quick! No more washing foundation brushes several times to make sure they're clean - they're done in seconds and with minimal effort. Boom.

To use it, wet your brush, apply a small amount of your chosen brush shampoo (you can use the matching Real Techniques brush cleansing gel to great effect) and then rub your brush across the knobbly bits for a few seconds. The smallest ones work great on eye and lip brushes, with the larger sizes being best for bigger brushes, but there's no reason you can't just rub it across the entire pad quickly. Be amazed at how much gunk comes out of your brush, rinse well and leave to dry.

It's so much quicker than doing it all by hand and for anyone with a lot of brushes to wash I honestly can't recommend it enough.  I haven't noticed any issues with bristles splaying after use or changing in brush shape and it seems fine to use with natural fibre and synthetic brushes. All they need to do now is create some sort of brush drying machine and brush washing day suddenly becomes 'brush washing 5 minutes'. 

You can find the Real Techniques Brush Cleaning Palette at Superdrug priced £12.99. All Real Techniques products are currently on a buy one get one half price offer, so it's basically free. *enabler eyes*

*PR sample


Lancome 'From Lancome With Love' spring 2016 collection

Lancome Spring 2016 collection 'From Lancome with Love' review
Lancome Spring 2016 collection 'From Lancome with Love' review
I feel like the next few weeks are going to be an expensive time for beauty lovers as there are so many new launches being released! The Lancome spring collection blends the prettiest of illustrations with some sugary pastel shades, all of which just scream 'buy me'.

Their Rouge in Love lipstick formula has been given a spring makeover with three new shades. This semi-sheer, hydrating lip colour is so easy to wear and makes the perfect daily lippie. I'm most drawn to the 408 shade which is a punchy pink with a slightly blue tone, but the coral/apricot shade would look amazing on anyone with a warmer skin tone.

The Parisian illustrations really give this collection something a little different. You can find them on the compacts of the My Parisian Blush, which have a soft, bouncy texture to them; the My Parisian Pastels palette, which mixes multi-purpose cubes of eye, cheek and lip colours; and also on a special edition compact for their Miracle Cushion Foundation. Packaging addicts like myself will no doubt need at least one of these to add to their collections - I'm going back for a My Parisian Blush as soon as I can get to a counter!

While yellow has never been my first choice of nail polish colour, I'm loving the 149 shade from Lancome - it's somewhere in between a pastel and a bright and will look amazing with a hint of a tan come summer. There are four shades to choose from in the spring collection - my money's on 146 which is the pink shade above. After all, who can resist a really good candy pink? These have a lovely glossy finish and only need two coats to be fully opaque.

The 'From Lancome With Love' collection is available now and can be found online from Lancome. Selected products will also be available on counter. Prices start at £13.50.

Do you like the look of the spring range from Lancome?

*PR samples


Beauty trends - how much do you spend on makeup?

How much do you spend on lipstick each month? Would you describe yourself as a mascara addict? Or do you have a penchant for nail polish?

A recent beauty bloggers twitter chat touched on how much we spent each month on products and while I originally thought my spend would be about £30, I did some working out and realised it was probably double that! Weirdly I feel slightly put out when I finish up things like toothpaste and have to buy a new one, but think nothing of a new luxury lippie come pay day. Buying essentials just seems so dull in comparison!

Recent research from Beauty Bay has revealed that where we live in the country plays a big part in how much we spend on certain products. As a nation overall we absolutely love our brow products and makeup brushes - with one in four beauty purchases being brow related (a direct result of many a girl crush on Cara Delevingne maybe?).  On a local level, Essex girls are steering away from the fake tan and instead spend more on nail polish than any other UK city. In contrast, beauty addicts in Scotland spend the most on foundation, whereas those in the South West seem to love a bit of lipstick, spending 4% more than the national average.

I've spent a good hour playing around with the new Beauty Bay beauty trends map. It's really interesting to see how the trends in our favourite products change based on where we live, although from what I can see, everybody loves a good brow (I feel like I'm slightly letting the side down by spending most of my money on mascara and eye liner, ha ha)!

I suspect our favourite celebrities and the rise of bloggers and vloggers has definitely had an impact on how trends have changed over the past few years. With things like contouring and strobing being hot topics within the beauty world, it's no surprise that we're spending more on decent makeup brushes than we used to do a few years ago. It'll be interesting to see how this changes over the next 12 months - I think things like fake tan and lashes will become less and less popular as we all hunt down more 'natural' ways to enhance ourselves.

What beauty products do you spend the most money on? Would you say it matches up with the research from Beauty Bay?

*written in collaboration with Beauty Bay 
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