Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Kinder Bueno Milkshake

The milkshake shacks in shopping centers are often a bit of a weak point for Chris and I. We've started to become quite fond of The Kinder Bueno Milkshake, but there's two main problems (three if you count the calories). The first is the queue - waiting for these kinds of milkshakes can be quite a long wait, as they make them all by hand. Secondly, the price, they certainly are not cheap with the consumer mark up. 

Chris had a bit of a revelation recently; we've got a blender we've got most of the ingredients. Why don't we try and make one at home?! My man can be quite the genius at times!

Here's how you can make your very own Kinder Bueno Milkshake! 

  1. Grab your blender and assemble your ingredients. You will need; a Kinder Bueno per person, milk, ice cream and some chocolate milkshake powder is optional. 
  2. Grab your Kinder Bueno(s), break the chocolate into chunks and place it into the blender.
  3. Add some milk, how much you will add will depend on the the number of people and how big your glass is. It's pretty easy, just play it by ear!
  4. Blend the milk and the chocolate together for one minute.
  5. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream per person.
  6. Blend again to taste, if you like a thick milkshake just give it a quick mix, if you like it a bit thinner, blend for around one minute.
  7. If you're a bit of a chocolate fan, you can add a bit of chocolate milkshake at this point - we've found that you don't always need it.
  8. Serve (preferably with a cute straw) and enjoy!

We were not expecting it to be as good as buying that from a milkshake shack, but let me tell you; it's potentially the best one I've ever tasted! Let it be said that it's not the healthiest snack out there, so enjoy this in moderation.

ps. we promise that we do make some healthy smoothies in our blender - not just the heavy calorific options! We have smoothies for breakfast every morning, recipes are coming soon! 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Tanning In The Shower With St.Tropez

Now this sounds like heaven for someone with a bit of a tanning phobia like me. I'm so pale and it's very rare that tanning goes well for me. St.Tropez have released their 'In Shower Tanning Lotion' which is a gradual tanning lotion, which you use in shower, weird right? 

St.Tropez claim their new product is perfect for the first time tanners out there. Purely because its so, so easy and requires very minimal effort. You simply jump in the shower and follow your normal shower routine, when you've finished turn off the shower and apply the lotion all over wet skin in circular movements. The lotion actually lathers a little, so you can use the lather as a guide for where you've missed. You then need to wash your hands and then wait three minutes. St.Tropez say you could use these three minutes to apply a hair mask or to brush your teeth. After the three minutes have passed, you then turn the water back on and wash off the lotion. Dry your skin by using a patting motion and then you're good to go, you can get dressed in your clothes straight away!

Of course, technically, this means you're not actually tanning in the shower, but I have to say I love the concept of it. Lots of people are complaining that the process is a bit of a faff and I agree it is. You have to turn the water off, apply the lotion, hop out of the shower, wash your hands and then stand naked and cold for three minutes. However, I have to say, that I actually find this a much easier way to tan than the traditional method. Once you've followed the procedure a couple of times, you become a bit of an expert at it! The only real problem I have is that I don't have a clock in my bathroom (does anyone?!) so I have to count three minutes in my head!

So what about the results? Well, as I've mentioned, I've found the product very easy to use. I rinsed my hands straight after applying the lotion and I didn't experience any staining on them. I've had no weird streaks on my skin and the tan seems to be covering my skin completely evenly. The only issue I've really had is I ended up with a couple of light brown marks on my ankles, where my skin is particularly dry. Of course, this is a gradual tanner, so I didn't suddenly look golden brown, but it's something that has built up over 3/4 times of using it.

The St.Tropez In Shower Tanning Lotion comes in a gorgeous squeezy bottle, which has a ombre blue colour pattern. The lotion itself is a cream colour, which feels really smooth and moisturising to the touch. The lotion is actually enriched with Sweet Almond Oil, which means that your skin feels hydrated and moisturised after you use the product. I've not needed to use any moisturiser or body butters after tanning with this in the shower.

The St.Tropez In Shower Tanning Lotion comes in a 200ml bottle and retails for £14.50, which means it's not the cheapest tanning product on the market. However, I have to say that I love the innovation of this and I love how easy it is to use. I think it's going to be a real hit on the bloggersphere! You can buy the St.Tropez In Shower Tanning Lotion in Boots (here)

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Double Cleansing With Vichy

I'm becoming hopelessly obsessed with skincare! This might sound like a very weird comment to make, but this is a pretty recent occurrence. Sadly I have to admit that playing with skincare never used to be my thing, but I've become a bit of a French Pharmacy addict. So you can imagine my excitement when I was given the chance to experiment with two cleansers from Vichy.

I've tried serums and makeup items from Vichy, but this is the first time I've tried their cleansers, so it's been a bit of a learning curve. Both these cleansers are from the Vichy Purete Thermale range, which is packed full of different textures and formulations - I had no idea that there were so many to choose from! The idea is that there is something for every skin type, so you should be able to find something that works for you.

First up we have the Beautifying Cleansing Micellar Oil*, which is completely new to me. I've tried a fair amount of cleansers; from foams, to gels, to micellar waters, but I've never tried an oil. What's interesting about this product, is that it's taking two 'hypes' from recent years and combining them together. The micellar craze has been huge, I for one have been completely sucked in, sampling lots of different products. They've taken the micellar idea and taken the oil craze and combined them together. 

You start with your fully made up face, then simply take a few drops of the oil and rub it into your dry skin. As the oil starts to melt down your makeup, it turns into a creamy colour, which is a sign that it's ready to be removed. You then take a cloth and remove the oil from your skin, revealing your makeup free and beautifully cleansed skin. Your skin feels amazing afterwards, there's no grease in sight! The only thing I don't really like is that your cloths get very dirty, very quickly! The Beautifying Cleansing Micellar Oil retails for £13.74 from Escentual

The second cleanser is the Vichy Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel* which happens to be my favourite of the two. As the name suggests, it's a much fresher cleanser, which is something I really love about it. The cleansing gel is much more of a traditional cleanser, whereby you apply it to wet skin, massaging the cleanser all over your face. The Vichy Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel is a foaming product, it springs to life and starts straight to work. It feels to me like this cleanser cleanses right down into my pores and leaves me with skin that feels squeaky clean - but without that tight and dry feeling. 

I've used the Vichy Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel on it's own with my hands, but my favourite way to use it is with a cleansing brush. I use my Magnitone Lucid and the cleansing gel together and it feels like it does a really great job of cleansing the skin. The only thing I don't like is that this cleanser can have a tendency to sting your eyes a little, so I have to be a little bit careful. This cleansing gel retails for £12 from Escentual which makes it incredibly affordable

What is particulary great is that you can use these two cleansers on their own, or you can use them together as part of a double cleanse. If you're looking to treat yourself to some new skincare, Escentual are currently celebrating their French Pharmacy month, so you can save 1/3 on French Pharmacy products, including these Vichy products and many more! Click here to shop online!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Beautiful Nails In A Flash With Barry M

When Barry M launched the new Speedy Quick Dry collection, earlier this year and I immediately had to try it! The original collection featured a nine-piece pastel selection and carried a racing theme, in terms of the packaging and the names. 

Earlier this year I fell head over heels for this range and I knew it was only a matter of time before I tried some more. I headed to a Barry M counter because Barry M are back with a new selection of Speedy Dry colours for summer! Each polish still features a checkered flag as the lid and the names of the polishes still all follow the racing theme too. If you're interested in the new shades, I highly recommend checking out this blog post from The Nail Mail (one of my favourite nail bloggers).  

The formulation of these polishes still impress me no end! First of all they dry really quickly, so I tend to apply quite a thick coat! You still need two coats to get an opaque colour and they both dry with a really glossy finish. 

The colour range really is gorgeous, again I really struggled to pick just a couple to add to my collection. In the end I picked up one shade from the new collection and a colour from the old collection. From the new collection I chose 'Need For Speed' which is a gorgeous bring lilac shade, and from the older collection I chose 'Lap of Honour' which is a more pastel taupe shade. The Barry M Speedy Quick Dry polishes only cost £3.99 and they are available from Boots and Superdrug 

I brought both of these shades away with me as I think they are both holiday friendly. The colours are lovely and nobody wants to waste their holiday waiting for their nails to dry!

Friday, 19 June 2015

The Whipped Blush From B.

I've wanted to try something from B. for quite a while now. So when I saw the B. Sweet collection, I knew it was time to crack and try something. The thing that really caught my eye was the Whipped Blush, pretty colours and gorgeous packaging - what's not to love?

The B. Sweet collection was announced in February but launched in stores and online in April. The collection is candy inspired and was created with Cassie Lomas, the makeup ambassador for B. Beauty. The collection has special packaging and is paired with pretty summer shades, to create something lovely for summertime.

The B. Whipped Blush comes in two shades; Strawberry and Peach. I opted for Peach (after much deliberation) as I don't have many peach blushers in my collection. It comes in gorgeous mirrored packaging, decorated with pretty diagonal pink stripes and the B. logo. It might be a pain to photograph but it certainly looks gorgeous on my dressing table.

The B. Whipped Blush is exactly that; a creamy, whipped formula. It's incredibly light; I've found it works best when you apply it with your fingers, but it also works with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. It's a very pretty colour, but it's not very pigmented, so if you like colour that packs a punch, this might not be for you. That said, it's completely buildable and it adds a wash of colour which just looks like a healthy glow. 

The formula makes it great for summer holidays and hot weather, as it's not cakey and not too heavy. The B. Beauty range is also vegan friendly and boasts that they don't test on animals. Pick up the Whipped Blush from B. online and at selected stores for £7.99 (here). 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Thursday Tittle-Tattle #6

'Thursday Tittle Tattle', is a Hope, Freedom, Love blog series dedicated to breaking news of the beauty world. From time-to-time, Thursday’s blog post will be dedicated to news. I'll feature beauty and lifestyle news, events, discounts, and even a bit of fashion news thrown in too! Here are the things that have caught my eye this week:

Don't forget Father's Day
Father's Day is this Sunday, so don't forget to pick up your gifts and presents for the father figure in your life. If it helps, I've created a Father's Day Gift Guide (here) that features lots of alternative gifts!

MAC & Ellie Goulding 
This collection has caused a bit of a stir on Twitter but it's right up my street! I love the look of all the products and I love that the items are a bit more classic. I often find that the limited edition collections from MAC are too daring for me! I like the idea of having something a bit special, but something I will make use out of. The collection launches in December this year, so we've got a bit of a wait! You can see a bit of a sneak peak on Instagram here

Lisa Potter-Dixon Announces Book 
This is something I found really, really exciting! If you're unaware Lisa Potter-Dixon is the head of makeup, trend artist AND brow expert for Benefit. Last week she announced the launch of her first ever book! It's called 'Easy on the Eyes' and promises to bring eye makeup to every woman. What I love is that the book is split up into time sections, so it doesn't matter if you have 5 minutes or 30 minutes, Lisa will have the look for you! Lisa launched the book with a super emotional video (click here) - it really pulls at the heart strings. It launches on September 10th and will retail for £14.99. 

Latest In Beauty Capital FM 'Best of Summer' Box
Latest In Beauty is back with another fabulous beauty box! This time they've collaborated with Capital FM again to create the Best of Summer box. It's packed with 10 beauty items, including brands such as; Fudge, Hawaiian Tropic, MUA, Nails Inc and Colab. It retails for £17.95 and it's available now!

'Nail Pure' launched by Nails Inc
Speaking of Nails Inc, a few days ago Nails Inc announced that they were launching their Nail Pure collection. This is a collection of six polishes that all are in infused with oxygen resin complex. This means that they are completely air and water permeable. Nails Inc claim that they are still glossy, fast drying and high shine, infused with ingredients that encourage the natural production of keratin. Water permeable nail polishes are important to many, especially for religious reasons, it's great that more companies are embracing this! If you're particularly interested in nails, OPI also launched their Venice collection

Too Faced Cosmetics 'Born This Way' Foundation
The line between skincare and makeup is becoming more and more skewed, which I personally love! I love the fact that you can apply your makeup and still do great things for your skin. The new foundation from Too Faced is called 'Born This Way' and it promises to replenish dehydrated skin and make your skin feel younger, with the use of Coconut Water and Hyaluronic Acid.

'The Clothes Show' Rebrands
Here's something a bit different and really interesting! I've been to The Clothes Show three times since it's launch and it's progressively become a little boring to me. So I was really glad to hear that The Clothes Show has rebranded and is revamping the show. The layout of the show has been improved and they hope to improve the whole shopping experience. I'm excited to see what they can make of it! 


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

My Summer Essentials

I'm off on holiday VERY soon, which means I've been busy picking out some of my summer essentials to take with me. I thought I'd share this little mini summer edit, containing some of my favourite things.

Makeup Essentials
I've got three things here which are staples for my summer makeup routine. First of all I'm loving the ESPA Naturally Radiant Tinted Moisturiser (my full review is here), which has SPF 15 built into the formula. The name might be a bit of a mouthful but it's a light base which still gives good coverage. The best bit is it gives a real glow to the skin, it's so pretty! Next is the Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder from The Body Shop, it's been featured on my blog many times and it's just a stunning bronzer for lighter skintones. It's a good colour match and is buildable from a light glow to fully contoured cheekbones. The last makeup essential for me is a waterproof mascara, like the Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Mascara. This is an essential for pool days and just generally for hotter climates, as I find my mascara tends to run a lot more.

Skincare & SPF Essentials
My one skincare essential which I find really important at this time of year is the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask. Although my skin is much greasier in the summer, I find that sweating can make my skin really dehydrated. This is an instant way to inject life back into your skin, it's also good for flying long haul. The two SPFs I'm using this year are the Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Mist and the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Comfort Cream. I have two cans of the Dry Mist, one in SPF30 and one in SPF50, this is just a dry mist and it's so easy to wear on the skin. The Anthelios XL Comfort Cream is my SPF of choice for my face, its perfect for sensitive skin and its packed with SPF50+. 

Haircare Essentials
My hair tends to behave itself when I travel (famous last words?) so I try not to overload it with products. I take my Garnier Ultimate Blends Sleek Perfector Oil, which keeps frizz at bay (it also happens to smell like coconuts, which I love). This year I'm also taking the Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Reactivating Mist, which is great at giving your curls a lease of life at any point during the day. The last essential for me is the Invisibobble hairbands, which hold your hair in place without leaving a kink. These are perfect because you can hold your hair up in the day and then take it down in the evening without needing to restyle!

What are you holiday essentials? I'd love to hear all about them in the comments below. 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The Graze Sharing Box

My love affair with Graze goes right back to its launch, I was at University and having a few tasty snacks in my handbag was always a good idea. The business model was simple, a box of snacks delivered to your door as frequent as you like. The handy box fit through your letterbox and had four individual snack packs. Fast forward three years and I'd fallen out of love with the handy Graze packs. I'd moved house, cancelled my subscription and just hadn't felt compelled to replace it in my routine. 

However, a few weeks ago an email landed in my inbox. Introducing 'The Graze Sharing Box' containing my favourite Graze snacks but in a whole new format. The Graze Sharing Box contains five giant bags of your favourite snacks, which you pick from a very extensive list of over 40 snacks.

The snacks arrive in a handy box which has no glue or wastage and is completely recyclable. Inside the box you get five bags of snacks that are resealable, the bags contain roughly twenty regular portions of the Graze snacks. So you can share them with your friends and family, or enjoy them over several days all to yourself. 

So what did I opt for? The first sachet and by far my favourite was 'Jaffa Cake' which is a mix of orange flavoured raisins, roasted hazelnuts and dark chocolate drops. 'Dark Rocky Road' which is cranberries, dark chocolate drops and pecan nuts. 'Copacabana' which is brazil nuts, dark chocolate drops and milk chocolate drops. 'Honeycomb Crunch' which is raisins, almonds and milk chocolate coated honeycomb. Last but not least is 'Honeycomb Flapjack' which is 8 rustic rolled oat flapjack fingers with honeycomb and chocolate drizzle. 

I kept sharing box at my desk at work and they've been so handy for helping me resist the vending machines. The Graze Sharing Box retails for £15, which I think is really good value. If you fancy trying out The Graze Sharing Box, you can click here

Monday, 15 June 2015

Hairbrush Innovation With The Befri Brush

I can never resist trying a new hairbrush, because I honestly feel like hairbrush innovation has come a long way in recent years. I used to walk into a shop and buy whatever was on offer, but these days I'm much more fussy.

When I was offered the chance to try the Befri Brush* I just couldn't say no, the whole design and innovation sounded so interesting and I had to give it a go. The Befri Brush is created by Nanokeratin System UK, claiming 'instant hair revival with advanced kinematic detangling'. The brush comes in a blue colour scheme, which I think is really pretty and easy on the eyes. It's very light which makes it easy for travelling and it has a good handle. The handle is particularly important to me, I often find that brushes can look great, but using them is a bit of faff. The handle on the Befri Brush gives you good control and you don't end up throwing it across the room mid-brush. 

The brush is a patented design, which has eight free-moving arms. You can see in the picture above that they are only joined at the bottom of the brush, the top of the arms move completely freely through the hair. This allows the arms to glide through the hair, to smooth out lumps and bumps with ease. As well as eight arms, the brush has 142 FlexiBristles that are anti-static bristles that have a conditioning effect on the hair.

You start by holding the brush in a vertical position, brushing through your whole head from the roots downwards. You then turn the brush and hold it horizontally, brushing through your hair again. You can use the brush both on wet and dry hair, but I can't say that this is a pain-free detangling brush. On my curly hair, there can be a bit of a pain particularly on stubborn knots and tangles, when my hair is dry. When my hair is wet however, it's a really nice brush, it glides through my hair without pulling or teasing at all. 

As well as using this brush on wet and dry hair, you can also use it when blow drying your hair. The vented structure facilitates the blow-drying process, as the holes in the brush allow the hot air to pass through. This speeds up the drying process and makes it a much quicker experience. 

Despite a little bit of pulling pain on stubborn knots, I'm really impressed with the Befri Brush. It does a really good job at brushing through my hair and I've found that it actually finds every knot and tangle, which other brushes tend to miss. The brush leaves my hair feeling really soft and it doesn't pull out my hair either, which I've found to be quite common with other brushes. Find out more about the Befri Brush on the Nanokeratin System website here

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Beauty Shopping With The Hut Group

Today I wanted to share with you one of my favourite places to shop for beauty products. The place in question is 'The Hut Group' - an umbrella group for a whole host of websites. The Hut Group launched in 2004 and have since launched a lot of my favourite beauty websites. These include Look Fantastic, Beauty Expert and even HQ Hair, all which form a huge amount of my online shopping.

What I love about The Hut Group is that you can pick up a whole host of brands under one roof. It makes shopping really simple and easy, as you don't have to go to lots of different sites to stock up on your beauty items. Pictured above are just some of the brands available from The Hut Group.HQ Hair is your one stop shop for premium beauty, not just great hair products. You can stock up on NARS, Trilogy, This Works, as well as great hair brands, including HIF, Redken, Paul Mitchen and Sebastian. One of my favourite products from HQ Hair is the Sebastian Volupt Spray*; spray this on wet hair to add masses of volume. It's not sticky or gritty, it just leaves your hair with lots of oomph.Look Fantastic is the next shop on my list and it's definitely one of my all time favourites. I've placed a lot of orders with this site, including 15 orders in the last 12 months alone (I know)! Some of my favourite brands from Look Fantastic include Redken, Jurlique and La Roche-Posay. However, more often than not, you'll find me stocking up on Seche Vite or Essie Nail Polishes. Seche Vite is my go-to top coat, I've used lots of different brands over the years and this tops them all. Look Fantastic also create their very own beauty box (link here), which is often packed full of great skincare and makeup products.Last but not least we have Beauty Expert, which tends to be my go-to place for pamper products. They stock This Works, Balance Me, Ole Henriksen and even Elemis. You'll often find me here stocking up on the Ole Henriksen Complexion Sponges, they are amazing for removing clay face masks. Another great product are the Elemis shower creams. I'm currently using the Skin Nourishing Shower Cream*, which is packed full of nourishing ingredients. I have this ready for my upcoming holiday, I know it will be great for reviving my skin after the plane journey.Do you have any shopping websites that you visit a little too often? I'd love to hear about them!


Saturday, 13 June 2015

The £5 Concealer That's As Good As MAC

I'm a huge fan of the Lasting Finish collection from Rimmel London. The foundation in particular is such a worth while purchase and it's very common in my makeup routine. When Rimmel London launched the 'Lasting Finish Concealer', I had really high hopes, luckily it didn't let me down.

If we start with the obvious, you have to admit that the Lasting Finish Concealer doesn't come in the nicest packaging. Concealers tend to come in pretty or sleek black packaging, but this breaks the mold. It comes in a bright red pot (which happens to match the packaging of the foundation) and you unscrew the lid to reveal the product inside. 

The concealer itself comes in three different shades; Ivory, Soft Beige and Classic Beige. I opted for Ivory, as it's the shade that I tend to be in all Rimmel products. The concealer is a very thick formula, so I find you need to warm it up a little on your hand. I dip my concealer brush into the pot, and swirl it around on the back of my hand. I then apply the concealer to the areas I need it. Once you've warmed the concealer up a bit, it becomes very lightweight and is easier to blend. 

I've found that the 
Lasting Finish Concealer works better on blemishes and imperfections, than it does under your eyes. Purely because the formula really is quite thick, so it takes a bit of blending. The concealer claims to have high coverage and it's completely true, I've never seen anything quite like it, especially on the high street. It covers blemishes and marks with ease! Once you've applied the Lasting Finish Concealer to your skin, it seems to almost set and it doesn't budge all day. 

I have the MAC Studio Finish Concealer in my collection and I have to say that the Lasting Finish Concealer is very similar. The only real advantage for the MAC concealer is that the colour is a much closer match for my skintone. Otherwise, this is a pretty good dupe and it's over half the price!

The Lasting Finish Concealer is available from Boots (here) and Superdrug (here) for £5.49. 

Thursday, 11 June 2015

An Update To My Brush Cleaning Routine

My brush cleaning routine does not regularly change. I feel like I've got it down to a fine art, using Baby Shampoo and warm water for the deep cleans. With the addition of the Bobbi Brown Brush Cleaner for spot cleaning in between.

However, I've recently introduced something new to the routine and I'm so happy. 
When I saw the Brush Egg featured on a few blogs, I immediately went and bought one. My old routine involved wetting my brushes, and swirling them in Baby Shampoo in the palm of my hand. However, the worst part of brush cleaning is the soapy, dry, wrinkly hands that you have afterwards. Baby Shampoo isn't the best thing for keeping your hands hydrated and soft. 

The premise of the Brush Egg, is instead of using the palm of your hand, you use the egg. The Brush Egg is made from Silicone and it has ridges and dimples, which allows you to scrub your brushes and remove all the traces of makeup. It's such a small, simple product but it really makes the world of difference. It certainly encourages me to wash my brushes more often!

The best part is that the Brush Egg on eBay is only £3.49 (link here), with an extra £1 for delivery. So it's really not a huge investment - you can get them even cheaper if you're prepared to wait for them to arrive from China!  

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Perfect Mist For Curly Hair

My natural hair is very straight and I've spent my life trying to inject it with a little bit of volume. These days I'm a curly hair girl and I've had permed locks for the best part of two years. It's a whole other world for hair styling and it's quite hard to find products that work. At heart I'm in love with the high street, I like to find a bargain. However, you quickly realise that there's a big difference in quality, when you compare to high end products. 

After trying a LOT of high street products and being somewhat disappointed, I decided to invest. I headed to Look Fantastic and I picked up a bottle of Bumble & Bumble Curl Conscious. It's a reactivating mist that you can use on wet and on dry hair and it's very impressive. 

It comes in a spray bottle and it's a very, very light formula. I choose to use this on second day hair, as I find that my hair just needs a light touch to bring it back to life. I spray all over my locks and I gentle scrunch my curls and everything just springs back to life. I probably use 3/4 sprays on each side of my head, if you use too much your hair can get a bit too wet.

I've never used anything quite like this, high street equivalents are very greasy and very sticky in the hair. The best thing is that you can use this at any time during the day, so you can reapply it before a night out, or mid-morning before a meeting. The only real problem is the packaging - it's a HUGE bottle so it's not really handbag friendly.

Bumble & Bumble Curl Conscious retails for £20.50, so it's quite pricey, but I think it's worth every penny. You can pick it up from Look Fantastic (link here), with free delivery included. 


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Fathers Day Gift Guide

I promised last week that I'd be back with lots of gift ideas for Father's Day and here I am! 

I wanted to start with some fabulous ideas that I've personally tried. First up is a gorgeous personalisation brand called 'Auntie Mims' - they have a huge range of wooden gifts, which they can carve with your own message. I've actually used Auntie Mims to buy a few gifts for Chris in the past and they've all been greatly received. In the picture below you can see the wooden spoon, which can come in a whole host of designs. These are perfect if your Dad cooks up a storm in the kitchen (click here to browse the collection). Another great gift are the Personalised Hammers which I think are perfect for almost every Dad! The hammers are great quality and you know the gift is going to get lots of use. Every time he picks it up, he's bound to think of you (link here)!

Another great gift for a foodie Dad is this apron from Qwerkity*. I recently shared a full review of this apron (link here) but I think it would make a great Father's Day gift. It has a great colour scheme and it's fun, whilst being informative. 

Another great gift I've spotted are the the IWOOT Gift Boxes! IWOOT make a whole load of different boxes, but they've created a special one especially for Father's Day (link here). The box includes a t-shirt and a mug, with a Star Wars theme.

If your Dad is a bit of a fitness freak, or perhaps he could do with a bit of fitness encouragement, M&S is the place to go! M&S are celebrating the launch of the FitBit in stores and online. They've also got some other great offers, including a lot of great gifts under £20, I love this 'Breakfast In Bed' set. However, the best deal that M&S have is their gift box for £19.50! You can grab a pair of shorts, a polo shirt and a card all for £19.50 (click here), bargain!

If you're looking for a more sentimental idea, I have a few ideas! Maybe your Dad is a little bit older, or perhaps he's just a fan of walking and being outdoors. If so, I love the idea of these personalised Ordnance Survey maps - because I've learnt recently that not everyone has a smartphone! You can plan a new route for a family day out, or pick your a family favourite for a real keepsake for years to come. Something else that I think makes a great and sentimental gift, is the glassware from Spaceform. They have a whole host of designs, including some special pieces for Father's Day. Another great gift is this 'Your Life In Pictures' book that you can buy from Prezzybox. All your favourite pictures and memories, all wrapped up in a lovely book. 

Being a beauty blog, the gift guide would not be complete without a few beauty related gifts. Why not treat your Dad to a new aftershave? Maybe he needs a topup of his favourite scent or maybe he might want to see something new. If you're looking for a few beauty treats but you're on a budget, the L'Oreal Paris For Men range is fantastic! They do everything from skincare to deodorant and they actually work! 

As always Paperchase are packed with amazing cards and gifts - I love the creative cards they come up with for every occasion. They are well worth checking out! You can shop online (here) or just pop into a store. 

Gifts For Dad - Father's Day 2015


Monday, 8 June 2015

Looking Glass

I haven't shared a nail post in a little while, so today I'm back with a beautiful polish. This is Ciate's 'Looking Glass'. Ciate is one of those brands that always impress me when it comes to ideas and formulation. They innovate in the nail world, but their products are never a let down. 

Looking Glass Ciate

I love the packaging from Ciate, it's so simple but it's elegant and pretty. So much thought has gone into the design of the bottle, Ciate designed it to sit comfortably in your hand, for maximum control when painting your nails.  I love the long black handle, as again it's so easy to use and the simple 'crowning' black bow really finishes it off. The brush itself is great too, it's a flat brush which gives you flawless application. 

Looking Glass is one of those shades that looks like nothing in the bottle, but when swatched it's really surprising. In the bottle it just looks like a standard glitter polish, but as you can see, it's got a gorgeous holographic effect. The formula dries really quickly, so application is very easy and it's quick to get multiple coats if you're in a rush. I love this polish on it's own, but it also looks great when you apply it over other colours.  

You can buy Looking Glass from Ciate directly (here) - be quick if you like it, it's currently in the sale! 

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Impressive & Affordable Mascaras

Whilst there are some things I splash out on in my makeup collection, mascaras are on of those things that are incredible on a budget. When it comes to mascara I never look further than the high street. Here are four mascaras that are incredible when you're shopping with tight pursestrings.

The Mascara For Extreme Volume
Potentially my favourite of the four is the Bourjois 1 Seconde Mascara. The brush of the mascara is spherical which means there are bristles on each edge. This allows you to wrap every single lash in a 360 degree motion, which actually makes a world of difference. It gives you extreme volume and there's not a clump in sight!

The Mascara For Length
If you look for length from your mascara, I highly recommend the Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara. This mascara has thin little brush, the formula is packed with little fibres which extend the length of your natural lashes. Rimmel say that this mascara can extend your "lashes by up to 99%" and I'm inclined to agree. The length you get from this is phenomenal and each lash is perfectly defined. 

The Gimmick Which Actually Works
This is another Rimmel London mascara, but this time it's the Wake Me Up Mascara. It's a fresh new launch from Rimmel and it's the newest addition to the Wake Me Up range. This mascara is a bit of a gimmick as it's actually scented. Yep, scented! It smells like cucumber, which is something a little bit different. One coat of this gives you volume and defined lashes, but the result isn't particularly dramatic.  

The Waterproof Version
I don't wear waterproof mascara on a daily basis, but I do like to stick up when I'm going on holiday. Sadly a lot of waterproof mascaras can be a bit disappointing, but I'm a big fan of Maybelline's Collasal Volum' Express Mascara. This one has a fabulous formula which gives you lots of volume, but it doesn't give you panda eyes in the swimming pool! 

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Must Try Brands

Must Try Brands This Spring, spring, #SpringHasSprung, essie, The Library of Fragrance, nars, bobbi brown,

When it comes to the beauty world, there’s no denying that we’re swamped with choice. Every season brings a wealth of new releases and Spring/Summer 2015 is no different. However recently there are a few brands that I’ve fallen head over heels for, so I thought I’d share them with you today!

NARS Cosmetics
NARS certainly isn’t a new kid on the block! However, as my makeup collection expands, their products are some that I keep going back to. I’ve recently added two of their Lip Pencils to my collection, as well as the Laguna Bronzer. Their products never cease to amaze me! They might be pricey, but the quality is fantastic and the results are too!

There’s no doubt in my mind when I say Essie is my favourite nail brand. I can never resist picking up a new shade whether I’m browsing the aisles of Boots or shopping online. They make some beautiful shades for Spring time and their pastel shades are second to none! Recently I’ve fallen back in love with Bikini So Teeny and I’ve purchased Strut Your Stuff.

Bobbi Brown
Whenever I’m looking to treat myself to something nice, I always head to the Bobbi Brown website (especially since it's just been redesigned). They make products that can be staples in anybody’s routine, yet they are packaged so beautifully. I can never resist Bobbi Browns Limited Edition collections, recently I picked up the Pink Cheek Palette from The Hot Collection (review here) and I'm currently eying up the Shimmering Sands Eye Palette

Library of Fragrance
This is the newest brand to gather my attention, but they’ve quickly populated my beauty wish list. The Library of Fragrance create unique fragrances which aim to capture a single scent. I’ve recently tried Peach, which is deliciously fruity and perfect for this time of year. If Peach doesn’t sound like it’s up your street, you could try Coconut, Mango or even Pizza!? (yes I did say Pizza).

Hope, Freedom, Love

Friday, 5 June 2015

The Hourglass Dupe from Max Factor

Since I recently shared the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blusher as one of my favourite all-time purchases (see here). I thought it I would share my thoughts on the gorgeous Max Factor dupe. 

I've actually not had a great deal of exposure to Max Factor before. Their products do not normally appeal to me, but I could not resist this beauty! The Creme Puff Blush is a little compact blusher, which comes in six gorgeous colour. The compact is a baked formula and it's made up of lots of 'multi-tonal pigments’. The pigments are all marbled together, which looks so pretty and it's much like the Hourglass equivalent.

The shade I picked out was 'Gorgeous Berries', which I love as it's deep berry shade, which is also great for sculpting. I apply this to the top of my cheekbones and it adds a gorgeous contoured effect! All the different coloured pigments gives it some real depth, it's something a little different and a fabulous multi-purpose product. I apply the Creme Puff Blush to my cheeks with the Real Techniques Multi Task Brush. You can apply it with a light hand and have a really pretty subtle highlighter effect sheen of colour. You can also build it up to create a real flush of colour. 

The packaging is really simple, I love the plain black compact. It's paired with a clear lid (with gold detailing) which lets the prettiness of the blusher shine through. The size of the blusher makes it a perfect, travel-friendly purchase.

The Creme Puff Blush retails for £8.99which is fabulous value, it's a fraction of the price of the Hourglass blusher and there's no real drop in quality. This blusher has definitely opened my eyes to the Max Factor world, I'd love to hear your product recommendations below. 

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Thursday Tittle-Tattle #5

'Thursday Tittle Tattle', is a Hope, Freedom, Love blog series dedicated to breaking news of the beauty world. From time-to-time, Thursday’s blog post will be dedicated to news. I'll feature beauty and lifestyle news, events, discounts, and even a bit of fashion news thrown in too! Here are the things that have caught my eye this week:

Escentual French Pharmacy Month

Another month and another great offer from Escentual. It’s French Pharmacy Month again and this time it’s a big one! Not only can you save up to 1/3 on your favourite French skincare, they are lots of things to win too. Keep an eye on Escentual’s Twitter page to stay in the loop and check out their website for the offers.

Gradual Tan in the SHOWER by St.Tropez
Tanning for your summer holidays just got a major shake up! This brand new product from St.Tropez allows you to achieve tanned skin, just by adding a product to your shower routine. You complete your normal shower routine, turn the water off, apply the lotion to your body, wait three minutes and then wash it off! I actually have one of these in my shower as we speak, so I’ll be sharing my thoughts in due course! It’s only £14.50 so I think that’s actually pretty affordable! 

New Glycolic Fix Products from Nip + Fab 
I recently tried the Glycolic Fix pads from Nip + Fab and I was a huge fan, so I’m really excited that there are two brand new extensions to the line-up. The new line up includes the Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme and the Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel. Both these products sound amazing but I’m personally most excited by the Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme. They contain more glycolic acid and they’ve been enhanced by the addition of Salicylic acid. These products are ONLY available online from Nip + Fab so don't miss out!

New Beauty at SpaceNK Plus TWO great offers
SpaceNK have launched lots of new beauty products this month. The new releases include the stunning Ambient Lighting Bronzer and the Dual Intensity Blushers from NARS. They also have two great offers which include a freebie from Deliah and double SpaceNK points!

The Glamour Summer Edit 
The Latest In Beauty boxes are incredible popular on the bloggersphere and the Summer Edit from Glamour Magazine is set to fly off the shelves. It’s packed with goodies including the Vita Liberata Trystal Minerals, Pixi Glow Tonic and an SPF from Eucerin.

Kendall & Kylie for Topshop
Kendall & Kylie Jenner’s Topshop collection is officially available to buy! Think simple summer clothes created with LA style in mind. There are slogan jumpers, gorgeous prints and demin shorts. Perfect beach wear! Shop the collection here.

Harvey Nichols Introduces Loyalty Scheme
Yep, you heard that right, Harvey Nichols finally has a loyalty scheme! You will get one point for every pound spent in the UK online or in store. You can then unlocks special rewards which include anything from smoothies to lavish dinners. There are four tiers to the scheme; Silver, Gold, Platinum and Black; so it seems to follow a Sephora type system.

KIKO Miami Beach Babe Collection
I’m yet to try KIKO as a brand but it’s incredible hard to resist this new collection. It’s called the Miami Beach Babe Collection and it’s stocked with bronzers, eyeliners, mascaras and some adorable polka dot lipsticks! It’s available online and in KIKO stores.  

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Roger & Gallet Launch Their First Perfume

Roger & Gallet launching their very first perfume was always going to be a special event. Well, 2015 is that special time and the Fleur de Figuier Eau de Parfum is finally a reality.

The Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier scent has holy grail status in my collection. I've definitely made no secret of this on my blog in the past. I find that everything from Roger & Gallet just feels so special and the brand really takes you on a journey. From the Fragrant Water, to the moisturiser, to the hand cream, I love everything. So when I heard the news that Fleur de Figuier was being made into a Eau de Parfum, I was damn excited! It's pretty strange because I don't eat figs and before I was introduced to Fleur de Figuier I had no interest in them! However, now I can't get enough of any beauty product with a fig theme!

The perfume itself is encased in a pretty glass bottle, it has six angled sides and it's finished with the classic Roger & Gallet gold detailing. It was a simple purple label, which shares the name of the fragrance and some pretty floral pictures. The Fleur de Figuier Eau de Parfum is a brand new fragrance composition, distilled with precious essences and of course, candied fig. Inside the fragrance we have a combination of; Fig Pulp, Mandarin, Pink Peppercorn, Patchouli, Musk, Fig Accord and Violet Wood. 

So official notes aside, what does the Fleur de Figuier Eau de Parfum smell like? It's deliciously sweet and it's really fruity. However, it's all underpinned with a floral, musky finish. For me, it's literally my perfect scent, it's everything I look for in a perfume! The Fleur de Figuier Eau de Parfum is available from Escentual. It's quite pricey for Roger & Gallet, retailing for £40, but I honestly think it's worth every penny! 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A Gift For Dad From Qwerkity | Father's Day Gift Guide

June is home to Father's day, but don't fret! If you're still looking for Father's Day gifts, I'll be sharing some cool ideas over the next couple of weeks. Today I'm tackling the dad who is a bit of a foodie! If your dad is a fan of cooking, food, BBQ's, or even just a lover of meat; I think he'll love this Meat Cuts Apron* from Qwerkity

Qwerkity is a website specialising in unusual, practical and fun gifts for people of all ages! They split out their gifts into categories, so whether you need a present for Dad, a gift for a keen traveller or something special for Mum; you'll find something that suits. I LOVE websites like this, for me, they tend to take the stress out of present buying! 

My boyfriend is actually a bit of a foodie himself and I've found it incredibly difficult in the past to find aprons for him! They are often too girly, too embarrassing or just a bit lame (not everyone wants an apron with someone naked on the front!) All joking aside, he's had to settle for very boring aprons in the past! However, the Meat Cuts Apron has changed that! 

I love that this apron is cool, informative and it's not too embarrassing to wear in public. The apron features the official names for lots of cuts of meat all on a man-friendly grey and white colour scheme. It's simple and it's not too over-the-top! As soon as this landed on my doorstep, I showed my other half and he loved it! He's normally not bothered by stuff like this, so that really is a sign of approval! 

The apron retails for £17.99, which makes it affordable - we always budget £20 for Father's Day, so this leaves us spare a couple of quid left for chocolate! It's made out of 100% cotton, which means it's really good quality and it washes well too (I've tested it myself). I think this will be great from BBQ season, right through until Christmas day!

Hope, Freedom, Love

Monday, 1 June 2015

May Beauty Favourites

Months come and go but one thing always remains the same. My favourite blog posts to read (and write!) are favourites posts! It's really handy to have a quick roundup of everyone's favourite beauty items, many of which often make their way onto my shopping list.

May Beauty Favourites

So I'm here once again to share my beauty favourites with you all - I've got a bit of a mixed bag this month! First up is my new favourite foundation, the Infallible 24 Hour Matte Foundation by L'Oreal. This foundation is beyond words and it really deserves the hype that has been surrounding it in recent weeks. A flawless matte finish, that isn't cakey or powdery - it just looks like skin. It covers a whole heap of imperfections and it lasts whatever the weather - this is definitely coming on holiday with me!

The Real Techniques Sculpting Brush is brand new to the Real Techniques family. It's designed to sculpt your cheekbones for that perfect contoured look. The best bit is that you can use this with cream and powdered products, so it's a perfect all-rounder. It's only £9.99 too, so it's completely affordable!

Next we have two high end products, the first is an old favourite of mine; the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow. Another product carrying huge hype and it really doesn't disappoint! I've had this in my collection for well over a year and I've recently rediscovered it. It gives a beautiful glow to the cheeks and it's packaging is far too pretty! The second high end product is the By Terry Kohl pencil in the shade 'Bronze Generation'. It's a dark black/brown shade with some subtle shimmer running through it. It's really soft, which means applying it is really easy and it's easy to blend out too!

Last but not least we have the GHD Final Fix Hairspray. I was actually gifted this in my goodie bag when I attended #TheLiveShoot a few weekends ago. I took it with me to Birmingham as it was the perfect travel size and I was really impressed with it. It's a really fine mist and it sets your hair in place, it did wonders for my full fringe which has a habit of flying all over the place.

That's my favourites for the month of May, I'd love to hear what your favourites are in the comments below!

Hope, Freedom, Love
© Hope, Freedom, Love | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig