Monday, 29 December 2014

Disappointing Beauty Products #4

Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Facial Scrub (Supermarkets/Superdrug/Boots £3.99 for 75ml)
Simple claim that this " Oil Balancing Facial Scrub is a perfect blend of active ingredients and exfoliating goodness to remove dead skin cells, dirt and impurities. Clinically proven to reduce blackheads and blemishes in just 7 days. "
I used this as instructed but did not see any change in my skin or amount of blackheads. After 3 weeks I didn't see any changes and I felt that this was as ineffective as water. I was disappointed as I love this brand and the oil balancing ranged seemed perfect as it's for sensitive and oily skin. Unfortunately this didn't work for me.

The Body Shop Lip Butter in Honey Mania (The Body Shop £4 for 10ml/9g)
This does soften lips during the day but is not very moisturising. It feels similar to Vaseline in the fact that it acts as a barrier but doesn't feel soothing at all on chapped lips. The smell is very sweet but not off-putting. I'm currently using this to soften my elbows and around my fingernails and cuticles instead.

 Dr Organic Royal Jelly Lip Serum (£3.10 for 10ml Holland and Barratts)
The packaging states this is a  'intensely regenerating and revitalising' that 'instantly moisturises and restores the condition of the lips.'  I've never tried a lip serum before but  from this description I imagined it would be an intense moisturiser, but I this feels like a very light version of a lip balm.  I loved the smell fruity mango and ginseng and the fact it's organic with lovely ingredients such as organic royal jelly, Shea better, olive oil, African coffee tree oil and mango butter. It's also free from parabens, SLS, harsh preservatives and artificial colours. As far as the packaging goes I loved the tube it's more hygienic, although  stiff at first but then it gets easier to squeeze. However I was really disappointed, on the lips it made my lips feel dehydrated as if I've just eaten salt and vinegar crisps that have made my lips dry and uncomfortable from the salt. It also tingles a little this might be the ginseng or the bioactive effect it claims to have? Overall I would avoid this one.

No 7 Lash Adapt Mascara in Deepest Black (Boots £12.95 for 7ml)
I'm not sure if this is being discontinued or not. I loved this at first, it lengthens, adds volume holds a curl and suitable for sensitive eyes. The wand has a soft bristle brush. No 7 claim that this is a buildable mascara that can be layered without up to 6 times for more volume, which is does with minimal clumping.
The shiny silver packaging is gorgeous, and makes it look more expensive than it actually is.
The problem came when I wore it for my birthday and ended up with panda eyes when I got off the dance floor which ruined my photos, I was really annoyed. This is good enough for everyday use as long as you stay off the dance floor and avoid the gym and humid weather. For the price there are probably better ones out there

.No 7 Extreme length Mascara in Black (Boots mini sized. Full sized £12.50 for 7ml)
This mascara has a plastic bristled brush which No. 7 claim is unique because of it's flexible plastic bristles, it doesn't look different but does help to separate lashes, reducing clumping. No 7 also say that the brush helps to catch the small lashes in the corner but I think having bristles on the tip/head of the brush would be more effective. This mascara doesn't really have much of an impact, it adds a little length but in no way is it extreme. It doesn't give any volume to the lashes either. I would say this suits those who like lashes defined but are after a soft, natural look. This is also hypo-allergenic so suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. However I wouldn't buy again because there are cheaper mascaras out there that have more impact than this.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Things To do at Christmas & 12 Xmas events in London

  • Spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon cosying up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and tune into Channel 5 (Hallmark channel for the US) who have back to back Christmas movies.
  • Make a Christmas wreath-  See all the different ones to make and a guide to help on Youtube  here                                                           
  • Go ice skating-either the seasonal outdoor skating rinks or local ice rinks
  • Have a go baking gingerbread men, mince pies or Chocolate truffles-they make great gifts.
  • Drink Mulled wine and read a Christmas novel beside a proper fire.I 'm excited to read Lindsey Kelks Jenny Lopez saves Christmas on my kindle.
  • Take a winter walk whether this be a tour of all the outdoor Christmas lights on your neighbours houses or a jaunty walk through fields and fir trees.
  • Shop at a German Christmas market /craft market
  • Go Carol Singing or attend a carol singing service
  • Host a tree decorating /trimming party. This is an American tradition but like Black Friday it'll eventually be adopted here. This is a party for friends and family to decorate the tree together while drinking and eating baked cookies, cakes etc. 
  • See a pantomine, ballet or show.

12 Christmas Things To do In London 

Watch a Christmas/Winter film in a cinema full of snow at the Pop up screen cinema at 20 century Notting Hill are showing the following films Frozen, Home Alone 1 & 2, Love Actually (19th Dec Elf (23rd Dec) Scrooged, Nightmare Before Christmas, Muppets Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful Life and others. For More details see here 

Visit Hyde Park Winter Wonderland attractions include a giant wheel, magical ice kingdom, Christmas markets, a circus and ice rink. For More info see here

Winterville in Victoria Park features a roller disco, panto, ice rink and streetfood. Free Entry. For more details see here

Southbank Winter Festival (Waterloo) open until 11th January 2015  Christmas markets, christmas tree maze, express train, Slava Snowshow La Soiree circus and Burlesque, choir performances and cider Lodge  see here

Kew Gardens have a Night time trail.  Snowflakes will guide you through the tunnel of light, garden of fire, santa grotto and carols. for more info see here

Go Ice skating in the historic surroundings of Hampton Court Palace (see hereor checkout the ice rink meets nightclub at Somerset House (see here) or at the  Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens there's an ice rink as well as ice carving, a Christmas tree maze, street entertainers and food and drink see here for details

Go to see White Christmas at the Dominion theatre For more details see here

Go and see The Nutcracker Ballet at the London Colosseum until 4th January 2015. see here 

Disney on Ice 60 Disney Characters take to the ice to celebrate 100 years of magic
at the 02 Arena Greenwich 24th December -5th January. For further info see here

Hogwarts In The Snow  Leavesden (near Watford) It's not really London but not far to drive to. I couldn't miss including this Warner Bros Studio Tour where Hogwarts castle is in snow, the great hall is decorated for Christmas and the tour  includes a trip to the special effects department. Hogwarts in the snow tour goes on until 1st February 2015. For further info see here

Carol singing and concert music at  St Martins in the Field various concerts 11th-13th December and  18th -22nd December for more information see here

Visit the Ice bar central London (W1B) for a winter experience for dinner or drinks see here for more info.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Favourite Christmas Films

It's a Wonderful Life £10 Tesco here
 I've only watched this recently and I can see why this is such a well loved classic. The film is directed by Frank Capra in 1946 so it's in black and white but don't let that put you off! The film begins with Guardian Angel Clarence being summoned to help George Bailey who is close to suicide. All his life George Bailey has wanted to escape his small town to realise his dream of building big buildings and travelling the world. Unfortunately he's had to put his dreams aside for various reasons and a money crisis at his company Building and Loan tips him over the edge as he realises he's worth more dead than alive and wishes he'd never been born. Before he can throw himself off the bridge he spots a man drowning and goes in to save him. This man is Clarence who shows George what life in the small town would be like if he'd never been born. The town is worse off without George's kindness and generosity which previously had changed people's lives. This is a little like Dicken's Scrooge with mean Potter having a negative effect on the town while George learns his value as part of a small community. It's ultimately a feel good film (you have to see it to understand what I mean!)

 The Snowman/ The Snowman and the Snowdog £7 Amazon here
 A childhood classic animation of Raymond Brigg's children's book The Snowman. I remember being so excited when I could play this on the recorder in primary school! The original is sweet and the sequel is just as good. It isn't Christmas without hearing Walking On The Air.

 Singin' In The Rain £5.30 Amazon here
 While not actually set at Christmas this film is often broadcast on tv around Christmastime. Starring Gene Kelly, this musical is slick, funny and fun to watch. It follows the transition from the Silent movies to the talkies, a move that provides the movie studios with a big problem- their female star cannot sing and has a terrible voice. I love the Make Them Laugh scene with the dancing and somersaults (there's a Glee version of this with Mr Shue and Mike doing the acrobatics.) Altogether a wonderful feel good movie.

 Bridget Jones's Diary £2.74 Amazon here
 From catching Mark Darcy's eye across the New Year turkey buffet to kissing on the snowy London street at Christmas (sans trousers/skirt as you do), Rene Zellweger plays Bridget Jones and all her lovable flaws to perfection. Not to mention you have a choice to drool over Colin Firth or Hugh Grant.

 The Holiday £2.75 Amazon here
 You don't have to fancy the pants of Jude Law to like this film: I'm living proof of this (Yes I know I'm odd, but his charms fail to impress me.) I love the idea of a holiday house swap, and this film follows two women at Christmas frustrated with their loves lives, impulsively booking a holiday on a home exchange website. Iris (Kate Winslet) moves into Amanda's L.A. house in sunny California as Amanda (Cameron Diaz) arrives in the snow-covered English countryside. After arriving at their destinations, both women find the last thing either wants or expects: a new romance. Amanda is charmed by Iris's handsome brother Graham (Jude Law) while Iris mends her heart when she meets film composer Miles (Jack Black.) I recently watched Trading Christmas (2012 on Five on demand here) about a holiday home swap gone wrong but while I loved the story I prefer this film because the acting of the male leads is much better.

 The Christmas Secret see Channel 5 on demand here
 This T.V. film stars Bethany Joy Lenz from One Tree Hill and is based on the book by Donna VanLiere. Christine Isley is having a bad week. After stopping to save a women's life she is fired from her job for being late. She is also facing eviction and her ex husband is taking her to court over custody of their children. She has also lost a star shaped locket which she holds precious because it links her to her father who died before she got to know him. The grandson of the lady she saved is trying to track her down to give her thanks but due to circumstances and a few misunderstandings along the way they keep missing each other or never actually get to know each other properly. However Christine may actually have more family around her than she realises.  The film relies heavily on co-incidences that are a little unrealistic even in a small town but I love this film it's very sweet and Bethany Joy Lenz is believable as the single mother and hasn't aged much since her One Hill Tree days.

What are your favourite Holiday/Christmas films, are there any that I should watch? Tell me in the comments below?

Friday, 5 December 2014

MakeUp Revolution Salvation Palette Run Boy Run & Vivid Blush Lacquer Liquid Blushes Review

Desire- unblended semi dried

These liquid blushes are similar to ELFs HD blushes in their packaging with the air tight pump dispenser. However I haven't tried ELFs HD blush to compare the two. The bottles are small but you only need the tiniest bit. The consistency is a thick slightly creamy liquid (See picture above un-blended) which blends easily so you don't need to use much.- about a quarter of a pea or third of a pea. I've tried various brushes to apply these the best were Bobbi Brown's foundation brush and the Zoeva 122 petit stippling brush. 
However it is so easy to over apply so I make up I have powder or foundation brush to cover any excessive blush. You have to be careful when pushing down the nozzle so that it doesn't give you more than you need and end up wasting the product. Additionally sometimes if it hasn't been used in a while the blush may have dried blocking the so a clean pin is needed to unblock it. These packaging issues aside I really like these. The blushes dry fairly quickly (if you use a small amount) but it does give you enough time to blend them, but once it sets its hard to remove are long wearing. It dries to a matte finish and both are very pigmented but once blended it looks pretty natural on the face but they do show up and I think these colours would suit most skin tones, although black/women of colour may need something darker and brighter. For the price (£3) these are brilliant. They can be found here at Make Up Revolution or at Superdrug Online.

Many of Makeup Revolution's Salvation palettes contain eye shadows that are very similar to each other. I chose Run Boy Run over the others because it was the least similar to the Redemption Iconic 3 palette I'd purchased previously. The Salavation palettes are limited edition palates and Run Boy Run contains a mixture of neutral and brighter colours that are wearable on a day to day basis.

The packaging is simple but looks sophisticated with rose gold lettering on a shiny black case. There seems to be a Charlotte Tilbury rose good lettering trend at the moment. It has a good sized mirror and is bigger than the Sleek and MUA palettes(16cm long by 8cm wide and 1cm thick)  housing many more eye shadows (18 in all). Overall it looks more expensive than it is, a thumbs up for the pretty packaging, something which is often sacrificed in order to maintain a lower price point in budget make up brands. The packaging is sturdy and not too big so would be ideal for travel such as for weekends away, being able to create anything from brown, taupe and pink daytime neutrals, blue, grey,  brown and purple smoky eyes and bright pop of colour with the cranberry 'Break out from Society' shade. I like the mixture of colours as it makes it more versatile to use.

 There are 12 shimmer shades and 6 matte shades in the palette. The shimmers are full of pigmentation and are easy to use and pick up on the make up brush. I'm impressed with the longevity of the colours in the first and second row lasting 8 -9  hours, nearly all day on my oily-ish lids without fading and that's without an eye primer! The last row contains six matte shades, from white to warm browns and then cool taupes and a black. These seem to be the neutral shades. The first two shades (Follow Me and Head To The Hills) were difficult to swatch, with Head To The Hills being difficult to show up especially as it's close to my skin colour. These need a primer to stay on and are softer and chalkier than the others, to be honest this row is wearable and usable  but a little bit of a disappointment compared to the amazing quality of the others in the palette.
This is tremendously good value £6 for 18 shades! For the amount of colours and the quality of the shadows (the 6 shades on bottom row aside) you are getting a lot for your buck! Since these are limited edition palettes I'd snap them up while you can.

Salvation Palette Run Boy Run £6 from MakeUp Revolution (which ships internationally) and Superdrug online and instore.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Never Ending Beauty Gift Guide feat 63 Items!

At the end of each section there is a list of  clickable links that will take you to the products. Enjoy!


* Back Friday offer
** and free gift

EDITOR BEST VALUE PICKS- Anna Sui Lip Pallete £14 and BellaPierre Palettes £14

Lancome Hypnose Mascara Set £22.50  Lancome Juicy Tubes Set £20 Benefit Fun Sized Flirts £26.55

Stila Merry & Bright £20  Jessica Lighten Up Gift Set £18.90 Urban Decay Black Magic Pencil Set £27

theBalm Shady Lady Special Ed £26  Ren Radiance Gift Set £30   Real Techniques Nic's Pics £25.40

Pixi Ultimate Beauty Kit £29.50   Lipstick Queen Liquid Assets £30   Nars Laser Cut Pallett £31.50

Nars Tech Fashion Lipgloss Set £22.50 Nars Digital World Lip Pencils £32 Mac Keepsakes Smoky £32

EDITOR BEST VALUE PICKS MAC Keepsake Compact £32, Nars Laser cut Pallette £31.50,
Pixi Ultimate Beauty kit

Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette £42 Paco Rabanne Lady Million £48  Hourglass Ambient Blush Palette £56

Laura Mercier Palette for Eyes&Cheeks £45  GHD Ltd Ed Rose Gold Styler Set £130 By Terry Baume De Rose Collection £55

YSL Multi-Usage Col. Palette £69  Estee Lauder Ultimate Makeup Kit £50 Zoeva Rose Golden Brush set 65E

Deborah Lipmann Ltd Ed I've Gotta Be Me £45 Trish Mcevoy Power of Makeup Collection £130 YSL Radiant Makeup Set £49.50

EDITOR BEST VALUE PICK Estee Lauder Ultimate Make up Kit £50

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