Thursday, 30 May 2013

Victoria's Secret UK Haul

When I went to London earlier this year I went shopping in Victoria's Secret for the very first time.  I had about 20 minutes before the shop was due to close so I by passed the lingerie and headed straight for the fail safe items that I've heard so much about- the beauty products.  Everything smelt so lovely and from the moment I got there I couldn't wait to select some products.

I think Victoria's Secret are a little more expensive in the UK than in America, so I can't wait to travel there next year to buy check out their deals, but they still had some good offers on their products in the store I went to.  They had a deal where you could choose five products from the VS Fantasties Body Care line which I thought was great value for money.


I chose four fragrance mists and one body scrub and I'm really impressed with them all.  The fragrance mists last all day on my skin and smell incredible and strong.  I have been asked which perfume I'm wearing so often when I have these on.  They all contain aloe vera to condition and chamomile to calm the skin and senses.  The bottles are pretty big at 250ml and since the scents are long lasting and strong, you don't need to use loads, so these will last for ages. 

The fragrance mists I bought are:
    • Vanilla Lace- This is a sensual and seductive, warming fragrance that is perfect for evenings and the winter time.  It combines warm vanilla with sultry musk, which we all know is my favourite scent.  This fragrance mist smells deep and luxurious.
    • Midnight Dare- If you're looking for a lively fragrance that is fruity but deep then this is a really great choice.  Packed with juicy raspberry and sandalwood, this mist is just the right amount of fruity.
    • Pear Glace- I love how fruity and refreshing this fragrance mist smells.  This time, the fragrance mist is infused with sugared pear and casaba melon to create a really fresh, feminine fragrance.  This is the scent I spray on after a morning work out in the gym as it really makes me feel ready for the day.
    • Pure Seduction- Out of all of the fragrance mists I smelled, Pure Seduction seemed to be my favourite.  I say seemed to be as at this point my sniffer was all sniffed out so I wasn't sure which fragrance I was loving and which I was adoring but now that I've got them home, this is still my favourite.  This one smells so sexy and passionate.  Its a very romantic scent combining red plum with freesia giving it a fruity, floral smell that is just a little bit sweet and fun..
I loved the Pure Seduction fragrance that much that I chose to buy the Smoothing Body Scrub too.  The product itself isn't as long lasting as the fragrance mists as a little squeeze of the tube dispenses quite a lot of product but the actual scrub is brilliant.  Its a sugar scrub, really gritty and a fantastic exfoliator.  It is most effective when the skin is very wet and I find that it lathers up well, working hard to smooth the skins surface, even on the rougher areas of my body.  I really like this scrub and would love to buy some more as it left my skin feeling really soft and looking glowing.

I also picked up some of the Victoria's Secret gift sets for my friends birthdays that are coming up.  They all contain a 125ml fragrance mist, body lotion and body wash and come in a stripy canvas bag.  At £18 I think these make a great gift and Victoria's Secret were more than happy to give me a couple of extra sheets of tissue paper and some gift bags to put them in when I give them to my friends. 


The first set that I bought was the Love Spell collection.  I was initially attracted to this set as it is one of Nikki Phillippi's favourite fragrances and she talks about it loads in her Youtube videos.  Love Spell is fragranced with cherry blossom and peach.



The last set that I got was the Pure Daydream scent which again, includes a 125ml body wash, hydrating body lotion and fragrance mist.  I originally bought this for the gorgeous mint green striped bag but when I smelt the pink currant and orchid scent, I loved it- very girlie and summery.

So that's it for my Victoria's Secret haul.  I can't wait for my next trip to the capital so that I can shop some more!

What Victoria's Secret products would you recommend to me?

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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

My Dress Designing Journey Part One

Today marks the release of the first video of my dress designing journey with Simply Be.  The BLOGGER TAKEOVER features myself, Lauren from Pocket Rocket Fashion and Em from Oh The Places You'll Go designing our own dresses for Simply Be.

This video has been released on Youtube to depict the first stage of our journey- the initial ideas and I'd love it if you could watch it on Youtube, give it a thumbs up and even comment if you like what you see.



Your support means the world to me and this dress is for YOU, my readers, as much as it is for me.

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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

WhatLauraWore: Throwing on a Jean Jacket

When I want to wear a cute dress for a more laid back occasion, I opt for flats and a denim jacket.  It is casual, relaxed but still feminine and put together.  A look like this is all about keeping the colour palette in the same tone.  I've got lots of neutrals here like the peachy coral, tan and mid blue denim, there's nothing that's too bright that it steals the show or clashes.



WhatLauraWore:
Cropped denim jacket by Joe Browns at Simply Be
Peach Lace Top Skater dress from Desire
Tan clutch from Peacocks
Plaited tan belt from New Look
Leopard print sandals from New Look

What is your favourite way to create a casual outfit?

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Empties #13

The time has come for me to showcase my latest stash of empty products as once again my Glossy Box is filled to the brim of used up bottles.  There's quite a mix in here, some products I loved and would repurchase, some I wouldn't part with my money for if I'd won the lottery.

Lets jump right in...


Soap and Glory, The Breakfast Scrub- Available from Boots
I simply can't envisage ever being without this in my bathroom.  Soap and Glory's The Breakfast Scrub is the most delicious smelling body exfoliator that I've ever used.  It is really abrasive and quickly gets rid of all dead or dry skin.  Its very thick so takes a bit of work to get it going but it is so effective.  Read my full review here.

Dr Organic, Manuka Honey Face Scrub- Available from Holland and Barrett
This is probably the first product from the Manuka Honey range that I haven't been completely in love with.  It's nice but the exfoliating particles are a little too big for them to be effective, in my opinion as I find them to be quite harsh on my skin.  I wouldn't repurchase it but I did enjoy using it up, mainly because of its scent- all of the products from the Organic Manuka Honey range smell amazing.

Now that we've got the scrubs out of the way, lets look at my new favourite way to keep my legs fuzz free...

Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Shower Power Cream- Available from Boots
Before using this hair removal cream, I was convinced I'd be shaving my legs for the rest of my life.  I'd tried hair removal creams in the past but they'd burned like a bitch and left my skin incredibly sore.  When I first tried the Nair Shower Power Cream I couldn't believe how effective and gentle it was.  I've reviewed it in full in this post but to keep it short- I've already repurchased it twice since using up this tube.


Moving onto products that I've been using on my hair...

TIGI Bed Head Ego Boost- Available from Feel Unique
I really wanted this split end mender and leave in conditioner to work but in actual fact it was a pretty poor performer.  It lured me in with the promise of mending and protecting my dry and damaged ends from environmental elements, chemical treatments and styling, adding strength and elasticity, sealing my hair to make it look and feel healthy and enhance its shine but in actual fact, it didn't really do much.  Unfortunately, I didn't notice a difference with this product at all.  I wasn't expecting it to mend split ends as only a good chop can do that but from TIGI, I was expecting it to at least do something!  Needless to say, I'll not be buying this again.

Indola Innova Glamour Previous Oil- Available from Amazon
There's a full review of this hair oil in my March Favourites post as I used it religiously throughout March and April after washing my hair and before styling.  Whilst it is a good hair oil, I wouldn't say that it was great.  I've found other products like the Neal and Wolf blow dry balm (buy here) to be much more effective at smoothing and hydrating my hair when drying it, so I wont be repurchasing it now that its ran out, even though I did enjoy using it.

Xen-Tan Dark Lotion- Available from Feel Unique
I absolutely love Xen-Tan.  When I want a deep, dark tan that looks super natural then I turn to Xen-Tan's Dark Lotion.  Check out my full review of this false tan here.  I'll definitely repurchase this.


Pur Minerals 4 in 1 Pressed Mineral Make Up Compact- Available from Marks and Spencer
I honestly cannot rave about this powder enough.  It can be used alone or on top of liquid foundation and I am yet to use a powder that keeps my skin as matte and perfected as this one.  It is absolutely brilliant and I'll DEFINITELY be repurchasing this when I run out of my other powders.  I think this is going to be the powder that I wear on my wedding day.  Read my full review here.

MAC Bronzing Powder in Matte Bronze- Available from MAC
I have a bit of a love hate relationship with this powder as I love the deep matte colour that isn't orange toned, making it an awesome powder to contour with but I hate how quickly I use it up.  I literally hit pan on this within a month of use.  I've repurchased it several times now and I would again in the future but for the time being, I've gone back to using Hoola Bronzer by Benefit (buy here) for the time being as I think it lasts a little longer.  For my full review of MAC's Matte Bronze, check out this post.

Urban Decay eye shadow in Midnight Cowgirl- Available from Beauty Bay
I love this eye shadow as it makes a great highlighting shade for the brow bone without being too stark and in your face.  I'd repurchase this in the future when I need a new highlighter.  The powder is finely milled and feels creamy.  It applies like a dream and doesn't crease easily.  I find that Urban Decay eye shadows are loads better than MAC and I would buy many more.

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy- Available from Boots
My summer fragrance of 2012 was Viva La Juicy from Juicy Couture, as reviewed here.  I absolutely love this perfume.  It's so girlie, sweet and fruity, I love it.  This year, I'm wearing the Nicki Minaj Pink Friday fragrance as my summer time perfume which has some similarities to Viva La Juicy.  I'd definitely repurchase it in the future as it smells amazing and the bottle looks awesome on my dressing table!

What products have you used up recently?  How good are you at using up your products?
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Thursday, 23 May 2013

Dirty Works Vitamin C Brightening Mask Review

This month, I've been trying out the newly launched Vitamin C Brightening Mask from Dirty Works which is designed to get your skin glowing after the long, cold winter and ready for some summer sunshine.


The Brightening Mask from Dirty Works is an exfoliating gem packed full of this years beauty hero, Vitamin C, which gives skin its firmness and strength by helping it to produce more collagen and it encourages the growth of cells and blood vessels too.  Add to that some of natures best kept beauty secrets and you've got a powerful concoction in a tube!  There's Kaolin in there which helps to draw out impurities and dirt from the skin, so it's great if you suffer with clogged pores and blackheads or if your skin has excess oil, dirt and pollution, Goji Extract which is known for it's soothing and moisturising properties and Pomegranate which is rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C and helps the skin to repair itself and regenerate while slowing down the signs of ageing.
  
It's the combination of the Vitamin C with these ingredients that work together to create a mask that removes impurities and excess oil from the skin, without leaving it feeling tight and too squeaky clean, just feeling soft and looking bright.

The mask itself is salmon pink coloured and contains little exfoliating particles.  When I apply it, I make sure that I have cleansed my face first and then I apply a fairly generous layer by rubbing it into my skin in circular motions so that the exfoliating bits get to work on polishing my skin.  It smells amazing, very fruity, like tangerines so it is perfect for use during the summer months.  When I have an even layer on the surface of my skin, I leave it to sit there for about 10 minutes, usually while I use my hair removal cream (multi tasking is key in any busy girls lifestyle!).  I then run my hands under the warm tap and use my fingertips to polish off the face mask which will have hardened slightly on my skin.  This is where I really feel its exfoliating benefits.  My skin is left feeling clean, smooth and soft and looking clear and bright.  This is probably my favourite mask from Dirty Works from their recent releases and I'd really recommend it as a great budget face mask.

This mask retails at a purse friendly £4.99 for 100ml from Sainsburys.

Thanks for reading my review.  While you're over here on my blog, why not check out my latest giveaway by clicking here.  You could win some signed merchandise by boy band Blue.

What is your favourite face mask?
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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

SIGNED BLUE MERCHANDISE GIVEAWAY

It's mid way through the week, the weekend is fast upon us and I've got a giveaway for you all, days just don't get better than this.

The kind people over at Gala Bingo are giving 2 lucky readers of WhatLauraLoves the chance to win signed some merchandise from man-band Blue if they support their 'Winning Faces' campaign over on their Facebook.  Now before I tell you about my giveaway, let me give you a little information about this fun campaign...

Image Source

Gala Bingo have launched a nationwide search to find the individual whose face best encompasses that winning feeling that you get when you've just shouted house!  The competition winner, as voted for by the public, will get to meet Blue AND star in a Gala Bingo advert.

The Gala Bingo site creates so many lucky winners everyday and for the first time, they are revealing who these visitors are by crunching data to find out who wins the most dosh out of all of those who visit the Gala Bingo site every day.  Did you know that the luckiest age for a woman is 37 and 58 for a man?  The best time of the day to strike it lucky is between 4am and 5am and the luckiest region in the UK is Central Scotland followed by the South West and Lancashire, with the luckiest town being Stoke on Trent.

Blues very own Anthony Costa commented: “This is a great, fun competition and we really would encourage people to get involved. We’re all really looking forward to meeting the lucky winner and performing a song or two at a special Galabingo.com event in June. Good luck to everyone, and fingers crossed you’re a winner too!”


Now onto my giveaway.  There's a signed tote bag and a signed mug up for grabs and there will be TWO WINNERS so read below to find out how you can enter.

To enter, all you have to do is:
Doing this not only enters you into my giveaway but it also puts you in with a chance of winning the main prize of a Meet and Greet with Blue themselves through

This giveaway is open to those in the UK ONLY.  It will be open until midnight on Sunday 26th May with the winners being announced on the next day on this blog post and on Twitter.

GOOD LUCK!!
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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

My New Look Summer Picks

Summer is fast approaching, as is pay day so I am getting myself fully prepared and doing some online window shopping before my favourite day of the month arrives.  One of my favourite places to shop is New Look so that is where I've started in my quest to update my wardrobe for the summer.  I don't want to buy too much as I'm on a fitness binge at the moment so I'm saving myself for buying holiday clothes before my trip to Zante for my hen week but that is AGES away and I need some summer in my wardrobe now!

I really need some casual items to wear during the day but I must admit I'm so tempted by their summer evening dresses.  I've decided to look at some casual dresses that could take me from the work place, to shopping with the girls, to an evening meal and cocktails out as the sun goes down.

Here's my picks:


We all know by now that I can't go from one summer to the next without a coral dress.  The Coral Crochet Collar Sleeveless Chiffon Dress (1) is a super cute,  romantic girlie number that would really be figure flattering with its nipped in waist and gently pleated skirt.  It'd look great with some summer sandals and a clutch bag.

Speaking of coral, last year I bought the Cut Out Racer Back Top (2) in coral and this year, I'm really tempted to get this gorgeous turquoise one too.  I'd pair this with some white linen trousers which are another wardrobe staple of mine in the summer time.

Another top that I love the look of is the Pink Hand Print Vest (3) which would look awesome with some denim shorts and flip flops.  Uber casual but very summery and festival chic.  Of course, this laid back look wouldn't look complete without some sunnies like the gorgeous Gold Leopard Print Pilot Sunglasses (4).

The Pale Blue Shirred Waist Sleeveless Dress (5) would make a gorgeous addition to my wardrobe.  I could wear it with some leggings and a cardigan for work and on the weekend, I'd wear it with a tan bag, belt and these gorgeous Tan Gladiator Cork Wedge Sandals (6) to create a feminine daytime look that would be perfect for shopping or lunch with the girls.

Whilst I really wanted to stay away from eyeing up another dress, the Navy Embellished Strap Grecian Prom Dress (7) has really caught my eye.  The shape is so feminine and will look killer on many figures.  I really like the look of white and navy together and the embellishments will sparkle perfectly in the early evening sunshine. Love it.

That's enough late night online window shopping for me.  I can't wait for pay day so that I can place my order.  You'll see some items appearing in my WhatLauraWore outfit posts very shortly!

What are your favourite pieces from New Look this summer?
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Monday, 20 May 2013

How to Look Wide Awake in the Morning

When it comes to ensuring you look bright eyed and bushy tailed in the mornings, the best advice I can give would be to have a good nights sleep the night before but when I work and blog full time alongside exercising and socialising, I very rarely take a spoonful of my own medicine and I am sure many, many of you are in the same boat as me.

Sometimes, when I haven't had my 8 hours, I need to fake that wide awake and raring to go look.  So if you'd like to find out how to look as awake as I do here, then keep on reading!


Today I'm going to show you some of my go to products that I use when I need to wake myself up in the morning and some of my favourite fake it make up items that I use when I need to add a little extra brightening power to my face.


Shower Routine

I find that the best way to perk myself up in the morning is to start with an invigorating shower.  I stumble out of bed and head into the bathroom and whilst my shower is running, I use a Sanctuary Spa Body Brush from Boots to dry brush my whole body while the water is heating up.  As well as waking up the body, brushing has lots of benefits as it is an effective exfoliator, leaving skin smooth and glowing, it breaks up fatty deposits under the skin which helps with the appearance of cellulite, it aids lymphatic drainage, gets rid of toxins and stimulates blood circulation.


After body brushing, I tie my hair up in a top knot, pop on a shower cap and jump under the water for a quick wash.  My shower gel of choice on these mornings is the Original Source Mint and Tea Tree Shower Gel.  Packed full to the brim of real mint leaves, this shower gel is so awakening and invigorating as it leavings the skin feeling cool and tingling.  It clears and opens the air ways too, making it great if you're feeling a little under the weather.  At £1.15 from Boots, this is a great value, budget option.


Facial Washing Routine

Once I'm out of the shower and drying off, I like to wash my face using the Dr Organic Dead Sea Mineral Face Wash (£7.89 from Holland and Barrett).


This is my favourite face wash to use when I need something cooling to really revitalise my skin and wake me up in the morning.  I work the gel formula into my skin in circular motions and then rinse it off with cool water.  It really feels refreshing on my skin and leaves it feeling very clean without feeling tight and dry.  It is great for my oily skin but it is also suitable for combination, blemish prone and dry sensitive skin... so basically all skin types!  All Dr Organic products are free from parabens, SLS, artificial colours, fragrances and harsh preservatives so you know that you aren't going to be putting a whole host of chemicals onto your skin.  Instead, this contains lots of bioactive, natural and organic ingredients like Dead Sea Mineral Salt, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice which is great for calming the skin and getting rid of redness, Extracts of Bladderwrack and Kelp, Vitamin C and the following purifying essential oils- Bitter Orange Leaf, Orange Fruit, Mandarin Peel, Pine Needle, Thyme Flower, Wild Mint and Spearmint.  It is this potent mix of ingredients that work together to clean the skin, tone the skin and revitalise it, leaving it looking fresh and ready for the day.

Sometimes I'll follow up with a facial scrub too if my skin isn't looking particularly bright or if I have any blemishes or blackheads.


The scrub I'm using at the moment is the Dirty Works Pore-Fect Face Scrub (review here, buy here for £4.99) which has a strong kick of something I can only liken to mint or eucalyptus.  Either way, it is a very strong, refreshing kick to waken up my skin and it is pretty good at scrubbing out my pores too.


Skincare

After I've woken my skin up, it's time to make sure that it retains its wide awake and radiant appearance throughout the day and that starts with some skincare pieces.


The first of which being the Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Hydrating Radiance Elixir (£12.99 from Holland and Barrett) which is designed to rejuvenate tired and stressed out skin, which I often have.


This light weight cream gives a gorgeous radiant, natural glow to the skin.  It can be used underneath a moisturiser but I find that a little too heavy for my skin so I use it alone.  It absorbs quickly and effectively into the skin, leaving it feeling instantly hydrated, moisturised and nourished and that feeling lasts throughout the day.  It leaves my skin with a beautiful sheen and glow that makes me look awake and as though I've had my fair share of beauty sleep.  The Hydrating Radiance Elixir contains coconut, lemon peel and bergamot fruit oils, vitamin C, aloe vera leaf juice and extracts of algae, papaya fruit, mango fruit, cocoa seed, mangosteen, fig fruit and orange fruit.  My skin feels really soft after using this and when I have a tan, I feel perfectly confident going out without make up on, wearing this alone on my skin.

Moving onto the all important eye area, I use the Dr Organic Dead Sea Mineral Eye Rescue Rollerball (£8.99 from Holland and Barrett) which is the most effective eye product I've ever used in terms of reducing puffy, tired eyes.


The Dead Sea Mineral Eye Rescue Rollerball contains Dead Sea Mineral Salt, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Brewers Yeast which increases the oxygen consumed by the cells and therefore helps to energise the skin around the eye area, Rhodiola Root Extract which helps to reduce fatty deposits and boost cell metabolism, Betaine which helps to control excessive fluid build up and therefore reduces bags, Bladderwrack Extract, Kelp Extract, Bitter Orange Leaf Oil, Orange Fruit Oil, Mandarin Peel Oil, Pine Needle Oil, Thyme Flower Oil, Wild Mint Oil, Spearmint Oil, Vitamin E and Vitamin C.  All of these organic ingredients come packed into a squeezy tube with a metal rollerball on the end.  It feels so cold to the touch and the product inside is really cooling so it the combination of the two do a great job at reducing puffiness and dark circles and making tired eyes look more awake.  I think this product works an absolute treat- I have never used anything that comes close to it!  To use, I simply roll it onto my eye area in light circular motions and then I dab in any excess liquid with my ring finger.  I leave it for a minute or so to really settle into my skin before applying make up.


For an extra awakening boost to the eye area, you could apply a second eye cream on top- I would recommend the Origins GinZing eye cream (Review Here, Buy Here for £21) as it is salmon coloured with reflective particles so it will cancel out any discolouration and further brighten the eye area, making your eyes look even more awake.


Make Up

When it comes to really tired days, there is only so much our skincare can do to make us look and feel wide awake.  Sometimes we have to fake it too and for those days, there are two products in particular that I turn to.


The YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Highlighting Pen (£25 from Boots) in Shade 1 (the original shade) is an absolute staple in any tired girls make up bag.  Used under the eyes, this creamy highlighter helps to banish dark circles immediately making you look instantly more awake.  It can also be used down the centre and sides of the nose, on the cupids bow, brow bone and cheek bones to highlight the face.


A more purse friendly option would be the George at Asda Under Eye Concealer (£3 from Asdathat I have reviewed here.  It is just as good at brightening as the YSL Touche Eclat but it is more opaque so it is great at concealing enlarged pores and covering up large areas too.

Another way to make you look super wide awake is by using a white or flesh coloured eye liner in the waterline.


Personally, I find white eye liner to be a little harsh so instead I opt for the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in 005 Nude (£3.99 from Boots).  This stays in my waterline all day and does a great job at making me look more awake as the nude colour makes my eyes look wider and bigger.  This is the first Scandaleyes liner I've bought and I'm so impressed with it- very creamy and long lasting, I love it!

Another couple of tips I would give for making your skin look wide awake using make up, would be to create a light reflecting, youthful base with a skin perfecting foundation, light reflecting powder and highlighter.  Make your eyes look wide awake with a light shimmery shadow on the lid and by curling your eyelashes to make the eyes look more open.  Stick to light pink shades as these give you a pop of colour but don't darken your face, potentially making it look more tired.



My picks would be the Garnier BB Cream in Light as a base with the YSL Touche Eclat under the eyes.  A dusting of the Gentle Light Powder from Clinqiue over the top with a pop of colour on the cheeks from MAC's Well Dressed Blush and a bit of serious highlighting with the beautiful Dior Nude Shimmer Instant Illuminating Powder.  I'd apply a wash of colour in the form of Benefit's Velvet Eye Shadow in Bo Peep across the lid, with the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal liner in Nude in my waterline.  I'd fill in my brows using the MUA Eye Brow Pencil in Brunette to frame my face and open up my eye area and to make my eyes look even bigger, I'd curl my lashes with my favourite MAC eye lash curlers and apply lashings of my NYX Doll Eye Mascara (review here) before slicking on some of the Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Tint and Balm.

In actual fact, I've recreated my wide awake routine today using all of these products and I've applied all of the make up products above to create this look.  I had a pretty late night last night so this is very appropriate and I'm sure you'll agree I look pretty awake!


Breakfast

Of course, make up and skin care aren't the only ways to perk you up in the morning.  Starting your day the right way with a good breakfast is often a way to wake you up from the inside out.  Drinking a coconut based drink like VitaCoco is not only great to hydrate you but to increase your energy levels too as coconuts contain oils that are quickly and efficiently turned into energy and help to stop you from feeling sluggish and tired throughout the day.  I like the pineapple one the most.  If coconut water isn't your thing, try a glass of ice cold water with a squeeze of half a lemon to perk you up.  I'm not one for eating a large breakfast but it really does make a difference to the day.  I tend to have a slice of granary toast, which has a low GI and is therefore packed full of slow release energy, with either a chopped banana, as they're packed full of energy, or a soft boiled or poached egg which is a great source of protein, full of amino acids and keep you feeling full for ages.  On a weekend when I have more time I'll sometimes add some spinach to my toast and egg.

So that's it, I'm all out of tips on how to look wide awake in the mornings.  If you have any tips or miracle workers of your own then do let me know, I'd love to learn more.


What are your favourite wake me up products?  How do you make yourself look more awake in the morning?
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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Bleachin' My Tash

Having sat down to write this post, I know its going to be one of those awkward, slightly embarrassing to write ones... but one that'll help others in the same situation too and for that reason, it's worth writing.  I thought writing about hair removal cream was a little personal but it went down a treat with you lovely lot so today I'm talking 'tashes.

My hint of upper lip hair, with make up applied
Now we can't get away from the fact that the vast majority of us girlies are prone to a little upper lip hair.  Most facial hair doesn't cause us much concern but for those of us who have excessive or dark hair, it can be something we're concious of and concerned about.  I'm not sure which category I'd personally fall into, as I don't have dark hair and I'm not excessively hairy but for about the last year I've started to get a bit of a complex about the hair on my upper lip.  When I told my friend Ray about my moustache worries she thought I was seeing things but it is definitely something I've become concious of, not so much in photographs but in natural light when I'm wearing make up and it has been making me feel uncomfortable, so I've decided to do something about it.

I've looked into lots of different treatments in terms of removing the hair like upper lip waxing but aside from the fact that it would sting like a bee, I wasn't willing to take the risk on stubbly regrowth, the same goes for facial hair trimmers and shaving.  I've also looked into safe laser hair removal which would be the most permanent option for all areas of my body (imagine never having to Nair my legs again!) but for the time being, I'm trying out bleaching.


I bought the Jolen Creme Bleach from Superdrug on recommendation from one of my work colleagues.  It is a hair lightening product that is designed to lighten dark hair on the face, arms, body and brow.  I've used it here on my   The packaging itself looks as though the product is trapped in a decade that time forgot- I certainly wouldn't have picked this product up without my friends recommendation.

Patch Test
Whenever you're doing any sort of facial hair tinting, it is important to do a patch test first to make sure your skin agrees with the product- no one wants a scabby allergic reaction now do we?!  I popped a 50p sized amount of the mix onto my inner arm and washed it off after ten minutes and then waited a day to see if there was any redness or irritation caused by the cream- thankfully there wasn't and I could get down to business.


Getting Started
Inside the Jolen Creme Bleach box, you get a little plastic tray and spatula, a pot of creme and a pot of accelerator powder (which looks a little suspicious), as well as an easy to follow instruction booklet.  To mix the creme bleach, I scooped a quarter of a teaspoon sized amount of the accelerator powder onto the card and double the amount of the creme onto the tray and mixed them together.  It wasn't as messy as I thought blending them together would be but I did use it on top of a wipe clean glass surface anyway as the tray you get in the box is a little small.


Application
First, I washed and dried my face, then I applied the Jolen Creme Bleach using the spatula to the area that I wanted to bleach, making sure that the area was fully covered.  For a giggle, I also applied it to my eyebrows to show you how to lighten part of your brows.  I've been growing them out, so to speak, as I'm getting a celeb brows treatment (similar to HD brows) in a couple of weeks time.


Developing Time and Removal
I left the Creme Bleach on for ten minutes, timing it on my phone as I watched a Youtube video.  During the ten minutes, my skin wasn't irritated by the lightening cream, my skin felt ever so slightly tingly on my top lip but it didn't hurt or burn at all.  I was a little worried that I'd put too much on as a little fell down from my top lip, like in the above photograph, but the rest didn't.  To remove the cream, I used the spatula and scraped the cream off and put it back on the little tray.

The Result
I am really happy with the result- my hair in these areas has been left lightened and pale and my skin looks exactly as it did prior to the treatment,  with no redness or irritation present.  The instructions advised putting the cream onto the tray after removal in case you didn't find the results to be light enough and wanted to reapply but I didn't need to do this.  Its a great economical tip though, that it can be used again.


I'm not sure how much the photos show the results as I don't find my camera picks up the area too much in my photographs prior to tinting but to the natural eye, I can definitely see a difference and I feel so much more confident now.  I wouldn't use it on my eyebrows again, simply because I prefer to have them waxed but I will definitely be using it again on my upper lip and would definitely recommend this product.

After, with make up
I got the 30ml tub for £4.49 from Superdrug as I didn't know whether it would work or if I would like it but when I repurchase this, I'll go for the larger 125ml tub for £10.29 purely as its more economical.  For those with very sensitive skin, there is a mild formula with aloe vera too so if you need a little hair lightening but need something that's very gentle then I'd go for that one.

What facial lightening products have you used?
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Friday, 17 May 2013

Pink Friday

Spring is definitely here now and the summer months are fast approaching, so it's time to switch up my fragrances and opt for something a little sweeter than my cold month scents.  I've been trailing the beauty list of The Hut and finally found my signature summer fragrance for this summer...

This year, I'm going for Nicki Minaj's first release, Pink Friday.



Speaking about her debut fragrance, Nicki Minaj is quoted as having said, 'Pink Friday is a celebration of my life at this moment; it is a reflection of me as a creator, and an expression of me as a woman'.  Well, just like Nicki Minaj, this perfume is super girlie and bold.  The bottle is certainly outrageous like Nicki Minaj herself, being over the top and in your face- it definitely makes a statement on my dressing table!  Pink Friday is a sweet and fruity floral scent that really packs a punch but it has those gorgeous musky base notes that you all know I love and I swear by.  I like a perfume that is strong, makes a statement and is long lasting, and Pink Friday certainly is.


The fragrance itself contains top notes of star fruit, boysenberry and Italian mandarin, heart notes of lotus flower and jasmine petals with a base of creamy vanilla, caramelised pear, sensual musks and woods.  If you like Viva La Juicy (which is one of my FAVOURITE summer perfumes), Escada's summer releases or Britney Spears perfumes, then I think you'd like this.

Pink Friday is one of those fragrances that makes me feel summery and girlie, I love wearing it.  The perfume would make a great gift for girls and women particularly in their teens and twenties, as well as for fans of Nicki Minaj.  The packaging alone is to die for- super super girlie, very pink and very cute!



I have the 50ml bottle which is available for £29 from The Hut and there is also a larger 100ml bottle for £39 and a small 30ml bottle available for £24 again from The Hut.  There's also a hair mist and body lotion available which are great for layering the scent to make it deeper and last even longer.  The fragrance alone is pretty long lasting as a few spritzes on my pulse points leaving me smelling gorgeous all day while I'm out and about or at work.

Have you tried the Nicki Minaj perfume?  What did you love about it?
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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Cherry has a Baby!


I always get excited when my favourite products are made in miniature so I'm sure you can imagine my delight at discovering that Batiste Cherry is now available in travel sized!

I reviewed Batiste Cherry in this post, when it was first launched at the beginning of last year and it quickly became one of my favourite scented dry shampoos from them.  It's fun and cheeky fragrance is perfect for the summer.  It smells naturally sweet, not sickly and artificial.  When sprayed onto oily roots, it leaves a soft fragrance behind and banishes grease, leaving the hair looking revived and refreshed.  The handy 50ml size is perfect for popping in your day bag when for refreshing your hair on the go, in your clutch bag when you're on a night out to give your hair a bit more oomph and volume, or in your travel bag when you're going away for the weekend to keep your hair fresh in between washes.

It is available for a purse friendly £1.55 from Amazon.

What are your favourite travel sized items?

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