Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Sharing The Blog Love This March

Sharing The Blog Love

It's that time of the month again where I share some of my favourite blog posts from the month that has passed and here they are today;

Goodbye Kitson - Whilst I couldn't care less about the Kardashians or any of the 'big' reality shows that are on at the moment, in my early teens I was obsessed with many of the US reality shows that had made their way over to us here in the UK. The Simple Life and Laguna Beach were the main culprits so this post by Rebecca conjured up so many teenage memories for me. Anyone who kept up with the likes of Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan at that time, would most likely remember Kitson. I always dreamed of visiting the store one day and I did pay a visit to the little store in the Orlando International Airport a few years ago but it just wasn't the same as the Kitson I had longed to visit when I was twelve years old. It's sad to hear that it's gone for good but maybe it's a good thing that Juicy Couture velour tracksuits, Von Dutch trucker caps and Ed Hardy t-shirts are no longer in fashion. Let's just pray that early 2000's fashion doesn't make a revival any time soon.

A Weekend In Paris - Part One - I discovered Amy's brilliant blog this month after she left me a lovely comment on my Chocolate With None Of The Calories This Easter post. Paris is somewhere I've always wanted to visit so to this post and part two made for fantastic reading. They've both made me incredibly hungry for macaroons, crepes and what looks like such a scrumptious cake. And I would say Amy, write about whatever you want to on your blog. I completely understand feeling like you have to have a particular niche or topic when it comes to blogging but once you start writing about what you love and want to share, it just clicks or at least it did so for me.

Paperchase Blogger Event - As someone who could spend hours wandering around Paperchase, this basically sounds like a dream event to me. I always find it really interesting to read blog posts on blog events and seeing all the great Paperchase pieces photographed so beautifully certainly made the stationery/homeware obsessive in me very happy. Why oh why don't we have events like that up here in Glasgow? That's a not so subtle hint to the Paperchase press team. Hehe.

Culottes & Leather - Every Spring/Summer when the shops bring out their latest releases one piece that always catches my eye has to be culottes. But for some reason or another I never pluck up the courage to take a pair, or several, in with me to the changing rooms to see how they look on me and my body. To say that Pam has nailed the way in which she's styled and wears her culottes would be a bit of an understatement. She looks so fantastic and I love the fact that she's paired them with leather and pops of red. And how amazing are her sunglasses?

A Brandy Melville Haul - Brandy Melville is a brand that so many rave about and yet I've never had the pleasure of checking out any of their pieces in person. But after reading Charlotte's post and seeing the pieces that she picked up it's certainly made me want to place an order sooner rather than later.

29 Random Things Every Girl Thinks When They Visit New York - Time for the obligatory New York blog feature in this month's Sharing The Love Post. It always thrills me when a blogger I follow, particularly when it comes to Instagram, starts posting from New York. Expect me to be glued to their Instagram feed like an obsessed fan for the duration of their trip. Well that's exactly what happened when Kat visited this month. Despite posting about her favourite food, what she bought and where she visited whilst she was in NYC, this post definitely made me smile and chuckle the most.

So what blogs and blog posts have you really enjoyed reading this month? Are there any blogs that you've discovered recently that you would like to share? And what blog posts do you have planned for the upcoming month/months?


Sunday, 27 March 2016

Chocolate With None Of The Calories This Easter

Chocolate Beauty Products for Easter

If you're anything like me, you've probably already consumed more mini eggs, golden eggs and chocolate bunnies than you'd care to openly admit. So today I thought that I would share some chocolatey goodness with you except this chocolate has none of the calories and will last a lot longer than any of your Easter eggs, particularly if you devour chocolate almost instantly, like I do. And the great thing is, all of these beauty products are at a price where you could simply switch out an Easter egg buy for one of these beauty buys. So let's get started. Here are some of the best chocolate related beauty products on the market at the moment;

Makeup Revolution Chocolate Eyeshadow Palettes Bars

First up we have two fantastic eyeshadow palettes from Makeup Revolution's I Heart Makeup range. Not only do these look like actual bars of chocolate but they're packed full of absolutely stunning shades, a lot of which you don't often see in traditional eyeshadow palettes. I really love the mix of matte and shimmer shades in both the Pink Fizz and the I Heart Chocolate palettes. And at £7.99 each you could definitely pick up one, or both, of these guilt-free.

A product that I've been in love with for many years now has to be the Bourjois Delice de Poudre Gold Bronzing Powder. As soon as I open it up I'm hit with that slightly artificial but perfectly sweet chocolate scent and it's the perfect shade for someone as deathly pale as myself.

Easter Chocolate Beauty Buys

Whilst I'm on the topic of guilt-free shopping, I have to mention these three brilliant beauty buys. Treaclemoon's Dusted Cocoa Heaven Bath And Shower Gel* has a scent that's truly out of this world. I often find myself just sitting sniffing the bottle of this as I wait for a bath to run. And at just £2.99 a bottle who can complain at that price?

Then we have two fabulous face masks from Superdrug. At just 99p each or 66p each if you take advantage of the 3 for 2 deal that they're currently in, there's no way that you could get a great Easter egg for that price. Both of these are masks that I've repurchased time and time again and they smell exactly like chocolate orange and white chocolate. So if you're a fan of chocolate orange be sure to pick that one up. Similarly if you're all about the white chocolate then be sure to go for that one or why not pick up both at that price?

Chocolate Beauty Products

Another incredibly affordable beauty must-have is Cocoa Brown's Chocolate Whip. I've sang the praises of Chocolate Whip in a previous blog post and again, I just have to reiterate how incredible it smells. You don't have to break the bank to indulge in the Bee Good Raspberry & White Chocolate Lip Balm* either. A running theme when it comes to this post, it also smells incredible but unlike some of the other products that I've mentioned thus far it tastes wonderful too. It might mean that I have to reapply it a little more often than I should really have to but when it tastes that good it's hard to resist licking your lips.

The only real indulgence or splurge in this post comes courtesy of the Too Faced Melted Chocolate range. Brown lip shades are definitely having a moment at the minute and if you fancy trying out the trend then I would definitely point you in the direction of these liquified lipsticks. I plumped for the Metallic Chocolate Diamonds shade but I've certainly got my eye on a few more shades from the range. If you're not sure if you can pull off the brown lip look, I would wholeheartedly recommend checking out all six of the shades to see which one or ones work for you and your complexion best. I can already hear my local Too Faced counter at Debenhams calling my name.

All that leaves me to say is I hope that you all have a fantastic Easter break whatever you're getting up to over the long weekend.

What do you think of the chocolate beauty products that I've included in today's post? Have you tried any of them before? If so, what do you think of them? And will you be eating your own body weight in actual chocolate this weekend? Or have you done so already, like I have?


Friday, 25 March 2016

10 Ideas For Ways To Spend An Evening Or Night In Orlando, Florida

How To Spend an evening or night in Orlando, Florida

When it comes to Orlando, Florida you really are spoiled for choice when it comes to how to spend your days there. Not only that but there are also some great places to visit as the sun starts to set on the Sunshine State. I've included 10 of my suggestions on how to spend an evening/night in Orlando and there should be more than a couple of ideas for a whole host of parties. So whether you're visiting with your kids, your best friends, your family or on your own, you should find something right up your street in today's Travel Tips post.


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

#PlayWithPop With Clinique & Zara Larsson

#PlayWithPop Clinique The Bare Look

Every so often a beauty brand comes up with an advertising campaign that I'm totally on board with and that's definitely what's happened with Clinique's #PlayWithPop campaign. Not only does it showcase some absolutely fantastic products but it does so in such an innovative and unique way.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple of months, I have a feeling that you'll be familiar with the face of the #PlayWithPop campaign; Zara Larsson. Her song Lush Life has basically been stuck in my head ever since I first heard it and I was a big fan of Never Forget You when it was released last year too. Well Clinique and Zara have partnered to create an interactive video that showcases four very distinct looks; Bare, Sweet, Vixen and Bold. 

Clinique #PlayWithPop Zara Larsson

The entire idea behind the video, the campaign and the four different looks is that just by changing their lipstick, a woman can instantly express a different emotion or side of themselves.

Clinique #PlayWithPop Interactive Video

For me, the one look that stood out immediately was The Bare Look.

Clinique Pop Blog Review

I'm definitely all about the natural look at the moment when it comes to my make-up so that's probably why I was instantly drawn to that look in particular. That and the fact that I'm a little bit obsessed with the way in which Zara's hair has been styled for that look as well. Why do braids never look as cool on me as they do on others?

The Bare Look consists of three stunning products designed to replicate Zara's laidback yet put together and natural look. There's the Clinique Lid Pop™ in Vanilla Pop*, which really adds brightness and shine to eyes. On the cheeks we have the Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop*. I tend to stick to pink shades when it comes to blush but I'm so glad that I've had the opportunity to try out Ginger Pop. Not only does it add colour to the cheeks but it provides such warmth as well. Can we just take a moment to appreciate how pretty the flower design is when it comes to these two products too! And finally we have the Clinique Pop Lacquer Lip Colour + Primer in Wink Pop*. Now this might just be my favourite beauty discovery in quite some time and that's really saying something considering the fact that I spend most of my time trying and trialling new beauty products for Ellis Tuesday.

I've probably mentioned, on more than a few occasions, that my lips can get incredibly dry. As this is an issue that affects me and my lips all year round, I'm always keen to try out any lip products that claim to add that much needed moisture back into the lips whilst also providing some colour. The shade is stunning but not only that, there's absolutely no stickiness at all when it comes to this product. When a gloss is overly sticky it really is a dealbreaker for me so to discover that this lip colour + primer leaves my lips with a patent shine finish and a whole lot of colour coverage, really did make me so unbelievably happy. It's also incredibly comfortable on the lips and lasts for a good number of hours before I feel the need to reapply. This is the only product that's graced my lips since I first tried it a number of weeks ago and I have a feeling that it will be on my lips for the foreseeable future as well.

What do you think of the #PlayWithPop campaign? Have you checked out the interactive video? Which of the four looks is your favourite? And have you tried any of the products mentioned in today's post? If so, what do you think of them?


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Rosie For Autograph Make-up

Rosie for Autograph Makeup Review

Every time I go shopping, regardless of the street or shopping centre, I always find myself drawn to one shop in particular; Marks & Spencer's. In my teens I would begrudingly wander around M&S whilst my Mum shopped but now I'm the one insisting that we pay Marks & Spencer's a visit. One of the main reasons behind this has a lot to do with a certain Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. When she released her debut lingerie collection, for the first time in my life, I actually got excited about going bra shopping. Then she released equally stunning nightwear of which I own quite a bit. And last year she launched her own perfume and fragrance range. I even included her gorgeous fragranced candle in my last minute Christmas Gift Guide. Just when I thought Rosie's influence at M&S couldn't get any better she only went and released her very own make-up range.

As soon as I saw the first image of what she had planned I honestly couldn't contain my excitement. Rosie, rose gold packaging and make-up. Now that sounded like a winning combination to me and as soon as I tried the first product my original thoughts were certainly confirmed. I'll start with three of her stunning cream eyeshadow sticks* first.

Rosie for Autograph Cream Eyeshadow Sticks

Anytime I see a cream eyeshadow stick I instantly think of By Terry Ombre Blackstars. Despite swatching them on every single trip I make to Space NK I've never left the store with one of them and after trying Rosie's take on the cream eyeshadow stick I'm so glad that I didn't throw my hard earned cash at the By Terry versions. The shades; Almond Eyes, Feline Fox and Movie Star, are absolutely stunning. The consistency is creamy and buttery and the pigmentation and quality is on a par with some of the big beauty brands. You also have about 30 seconds to blend and smudge before they set. And at £12.50 each they're definitely much kinder on the bank balance than some other alternatives.

Rosie for Autograph Eyeshadow Palette

Whilst we're on the topic of eyeshadow, let me introduce you to an eyeshadow palette* that you really need to check out for yourself. In the shade Copper Gold Rush (there are three other shades to choose from too) we have four subtle yet unique shades. The shadows in this palette are just as creamy, blendable and pigmented as the cream eyeshadow sticks and with the palette you get the added bonus of a brilliant mirror as well. Each palette is £18 which again seems like a really reasonable price for the product you're getting.

Rosie for Autograph Cream Blush

My favourite blush of all-time, the bareMinerals Pop Of Passion, is a cream blush but I do tend to shy away from trying other cream blushes when I see them in the shops. Well there's nothing to fear with this cream blush* and the shade; English Rose Flush, is so so pretty. It's perfect for adding a little pop of colour to the cheeks without looking like you've just taken make-up advice from a clown, particularly as the blush sets matte. Again it's incredibly pigmented, a recurring theme when it comes to the range, so a little really does go a long way with this. There are three shades, each priced at £14.

Rosie for Autograph Lipstick

And last but certainly not least, we have one of twelve lipsticks in the range, in the shade Camisole Blush. Each lipstick* contains Argan Oil so they're incredibly hydrating on the lips. This is the kind of lipstick that I would happily wear all day. Does anyone else hate it when they can feel a lipstick literally drying out their lips or clinging to any and every imperfection? There's none of that with this lippie. The range of shades are totally swoon-worthy and I definitely got some Charlotte Tilbury vibes when I saw them lined up in store but at £14 they're almost £10 less than CT's but of a similar standard and beauty.

I'm already beyond excited to try some more products from the range. I've got my eye on the miracle concealer, mascara and Starstruck contour stick. The entire range isn't tested on animals. It's hypoallergenic, alcohol, fragrance and paraben free and suitable for vegatarians and vegans, something that certainly can't be said for every make-up line. 

Rosie for Autograph Makeup

I've got to say it, this is definitely my favourite brand/celebrity collaboration that I've ever had the pleasure of trying.

What do you think of the Rosie For Autograph make-up range? Are you as in love with the rose gold packaging as I am? Which of the products would you most like to try? And have you had a look at your local M&S beauty hall recently?

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Friday, 18 March 2016

The February Degustabox (With Exclusive £6 Off Discount Code)

February 2016 Degustabox

This month's Degustabox is absolutely jam-packed with products. As with every Degustabox review that I do, I have a fantastic and exclusive discount code for you to use to take a massive £6 off the £12.99 price tag. All you have to do is enter the code BLDEG15 when you register. 

So what exactly does the February box comprise of, well let's see;

Degustabox Discount Code

Now this is exactly up my street in terms of the products that have been included in this month's box. I've had more of a sweet tooth than I normally have, in the past couple of months so I was  over the moon to see so many incredible sweet treats included in the February box. First up we have the four Hartley's jellies. I'm already a big fan of their jelly range but it was great to try some new flavours as well as the 10 cal variety. They definitely make for guilt free snacking. Talking of feeling a bit guilty when consuming sweet treats, I've already devoured both Divine Chocolate Caramel bars and I can confirm that they were just as amazing as they sound. 

Back to some sweet products that don't make you feel too guilty about eating them all in one sitting. The Mr Kipling Cranberry, Orange And Oat Slices are so scrumptious but the fact that they don't look like your typical Mr Kipling treat makes me feel much better about indulging in one of them. Then we have the Beloved Date Bars, which again look a little bit healthier than the sweets that I normally snack on during the day. I've found that they're great to take with you on the go for when you need a little snack to perk you up during a long day. As a family we also can't sing the praises for Nutribix Wholegrain Cereal enough. They're basically like a crunchier and tastier version of Weetabix and you do feel quite healthy after starting the day off with a bowl of cereal instead of scoffing a couple of biscuits in a rush like I normally do in the am.

Degustabox Blog Review

Moving away from all things sweet but still staying in the snacking territory, we have two brilliant bags of what are essentially crisps. I knew that I already adored the Ritz Crisp & Thins as these are a regular staple in our house and the Sea Salt & Black Pepper flavour is just fantastic. I've been trying to cut down on the amount of crisps that I eat by treating them as more of a treat instead of an everyday necessity and these Sweet Chilli crisps from The London Crisps Co. are perfect for just that. I might have eaten practically the whole bag on Saturday night whilst having a bit of a movie night.

It was also great to find a bottle of Sarson's Malt Vinegar in this month's box. There's nothing better than chips drizzled in vinegar so I can't wait to put this to good use the next time that I have chips with my dinner.

Degustabox Review 2016

And last but not least, we have the drinks that were included in the February box. As I mentioned above, this month's box is absolutely packed full to the brim with products and great products at that. First up we have the Nari Palm Juice. This immediately appealed to my health-conscious brother who gave it his seal of approval. The same can be said for the VitHit Citrus drink. You're basically getting your recommended daily allowance of 8, yes 8, vitamins all for just 35 calories. I was definitely more interested in trying the J20 Spritz drinks. The flavours, Apple & Watermelon and Pear & Raspberry, are certainly the kind to catch my eye so it was no surprise that I loved them. 

Overall the February box was incredibly impressive. I can only hope that March's box will lead to as many exciting discoveries as this one.

What do you think of this month's box? Have you tried any of the products featured in February's box before? If so, what do you think of them?


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 Ultra Eyeshadow Palette

Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 Eyeshadow Palette

One post of mine that regularly pops up in my most popular posts widget is my review of the Makeup Revolution Flawless Matte Ultra Eyeshadow Palette. It's one of the few eyeshadow palettes that I actually use on a regular basis and I love it just as much now as I did when I first opened it. So when Makeup Revolution announced that they would be launching a Flawless 2 palette I was definitely intrigued and of course, excited.

Again, like all of the Makeup Revolution eyeshadows that I've had the pleasure of using prior to this one, the quality is absolutely fantastic. It still blows my mind that Makeup Revolution can provide products of this standard, with this level of pigmentation for the price that they do. Much like the Matte Flawless Palette, the Flawless 2 Palette is just £8. That works out at 25p a shadow. Now how incredible is that? Each shadow is incredibly buttery and soft on the eyelid and I really love that the shades in this particular palette are predominantly light and bright.

Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 Review

Usually when it comes to similar eyeshadow palettes you end up with one bright white shade and maybe a couple of lighter shades. I don't know about you but using a bright white shade to highlight with or to use in the inner corner of the eye just looks a bit off on me. The light shades in the Flawless 2 look natural and just so darn beautiful. I also love the fact that there's a mix of shimmer, both subtle and a little more sparkly and matte shades. It's unlike any other eyeshadow palette I've ever seen or own and that's what makes it a must-have for me.

What do you think of the new Flawless 2 palette? Were you a fan of the Flawless Matte palette? Have you tried Makeup Revolution before? If so, what has been your favourite discovery? And if you've not yet tried anything from them, what would be on your wishlist?


Sunday, 13 March 2016

Rise And Prime With The Two New Additions To The Benefit POREfessional Family

New Benefit POREfessional Review

There are certain products that are synonymous with certain brands and that's exactly what the POREfessional Face Primer is when it comes to Benefit. It's one of those products that is universally raved about and quite rightly so. So when they announced that they were expanding the POREfessional range that's when things get really exciting. They added the POREfessional Agent Zero Shine to the POREfessional family in 2013 and the POREfessional License To Blot last year but they've not stopped there. This year marks the release of two brand new POREfessional products; the POREfessional Matte Rescue* and the POREfessional Instant Wipeout Masks*. So let's see exactly what these two new releases bring to the table;

Benefit POREfessional Matte Rescue

First up we have The POREfessional Matte Rescue. Unlike the original POREfessional, this isn't just a primer, this is a lightweight gel based primer and moisturiser hybrid. And unlike the original POREfessional Primer, it doesn't have that silicone feel to it. The blue gel sinks into the skin to become clear instead of sitting on the surface like a traditional primer would do and this makes for real easy foundation application thereafter.

Matte Rescue has been designed specifically to simultaneously absorb surface oil and shine, blur imperfections and pores and hydrate, all at the same time and I have to say, I'm certainly impressed with the way it's worked on my pores and T-Zone in particular. And don't be put off by the word matte. This definitely leaves you with a natural looking matte finish, instead of a flat matte one, thanks to the hydrating quality of the gel.

Benefit POREfessional Instant Wipeout Masks

Then we have the POREfessional Instant Wipeout Masks. First of all, how fantastic is the packaging when it comes to this product? Benefit always tend to hit it out of the park when it comes to the look of their products but this is on another level for me. And the packaging isn't just all about aesthetics. The little press button on each individual sachet releases the formula onto the sheet mask. You then peel the packaging apart to reveal a little Batman bat signal shaped mask. Due to the shape of the mask they do work best on areas such as the nose, forehead and chin but there's nothing to say that you can't use it on other areas of the face. They're also specially textured so one side of the mask is smooth whist the other has more of a woven texture to it and this means that you can use that side for some gentle exfoliation.

For me these work best on my nose as that's the one area where I get the most congestion when it comes to my pores. I love the added benefit of having an exfoliating side to the mask and these are a real hit for me. You receive eight masks in each pack so it works out at about £3 a mask which isn't too bad considering the fact that they're pretty revolutionary when it comes to the UK beauty market. I haven't seen anything even slightly similar in the drugstore or the department stores here. Have you?

If you want to try out the two newest additions to the POREfessional range but don't want to fully commit to a full size of each of them just yet, Benefit have released a brilliant POREfessional set named PORES AWAY. This includes mini tubes of the original POREfessional Primer and the new POREfessional Matte Rescue and one POREfessional Instant Wipeout Mask for just £15.50.

So what do you think about these two new additions to the POREfessional range? Do you struggle with enlarged and congested pores? And are you a fan of the original range of POREfessional products?

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Friday, 11 March 2016

New In From Invisibobble

Invisibobble Review

I've discovered some of my favourite brands and beauty products as a result of writing Ellis Tuesday, as you might be able to tell if you're a long-time reader and one of the best beauty discoveries that I've made has to be the Invisibobble. As someone with reasonably thick hair or just lots of it, my hair gets stuck up into a top knot or pony tail most days. 

Before I discovered Invisibobble my hair would always end up with a big kink or dent where the traditional hair tie had been in place. This kink or dent would be that bad that I would end up having to wash my hair again just to get rid of it. At this point I knew I had to try something else and I distinctly remember there being quite a few new and alternative hair ties on the market at that point. All promised to leave you with a no-kink finish but the Invisibobble was the only one that actually did just that. As a result, all I now wear in my hair are Invisibobbles and as if the original Invisibobbles weren't fantastic enough, Invisibobble have recently expanded their range to include two brand new Invisibobbles to cater to a whole host of different hair types.

Invisibobble Power Review

First up there's the Invisibobble Power*. As you should hopefully be able to tell, this is a larger and thicker version of the original Invisibobble. If you've got the kind of hair that literally snaps traditional hair ties (this has happened to me far too often), then the new Invisibobble Power is for you. 

It's essentially for those with the thickest of hair or those of us who like to have our hair ties secured incredibly tightly without the fear of getting that dreaded tension headache from doing so. It also works incredibly well at securing buns and top knots too.

Invisibobble Nano Review

In stark contrast to the Invisibobble Power we have the Invisibobble Nano*. These adorable little hair rings have been designed for the more delicate hair designs such as braids, pig tails and plaits. I'd also definitely recommend them to anyone with thin or fragile hair and for use on children's hair as well. Had beauty saviours such as Invisibobbles and Tangle Teezers been around when I was a child there certainly would have been less tears when it came to doing my hair for school.

New Invisibobble Range

To give you more of an indication of the sizes of the two new Invisibobbles, here are the three different sizes together, with the original Invisibobble in the middle. I would definitely recommend trying the original Invisibobble first, that's unless you have particularly thick hair or intend on doing some beautiful braids or intricate hair designs.

You can find the Invisibobble range at Boots, Topshop, Urban Outfitters, Feel UniqueSephora, Ulta and Nordstrom.

Have you tried Invisibobbles before? If so, what are your thoughts on them? Which size would work for you? And have you made any beauty discoveries that you couldn't go without now?


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The Look Fantastic #LFExplorer Beauty Box

Look Fantastic #LFExplorer Beauty Box

Last month I was over the moon with the #LFLoves edition of the Look Fantastic Beauty Box. Everything from the stunning box design, to the brilliant mix of beauty products, to the inclusion of a copy of Elle Magazine, won me over pretty much immediately. I wasn't sure that March's box would be able to live up to how I felt about February's box but I should have known better than to doubt the incredible team at Look Fantastic.

Here we have March's #LFExplorer Beauty Box. I'm absolutely loving the fact that both this month's and last month's boxes came with a theme and I certainly hope that this is a trend that continues as the months progress but let's get onto exactly what is included in the March Look Fantastic Beauty Box;

Look Fantastic Beauty Box Review 2016

As someone who suffers from rather dry and dehydrated skin I couldn't believe how many of this month's products were basically designed to deal with just that. A brand that I've wanted to try for some time now is First Aid Beauty so I couldn't have been happier when I spotted a tube of their Ultra Repair Cream nestled in the box. After using this for a few days I'm already obsessed with it and can't wait to try out more from the range, particularly when I head to the US later in the year. Basically if you have any dry areas or patches of skin that aren't co-operating, then this cream certainly provides that much needed hydration in such a short space of time. Another dry skin wonder; Codage's Masque Hydratant Moisturising Mask. At £42 for the full size, there was a little bit of me that was hoping that it wouldn't be that good but sadly for my bank balance it is. Then we have another fantastic Nuxe product. Everything that I've tried from them has left me thoroughly impressed and the same can be said for this anti fatigue moisturising cream. It's always really handy to have little sample sized tubes and bottles of these kinds of products to hand too.

If you saw my review of the Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution Make-Up Removing Wipes then you'll know that I'm certainly a fan of micellar waters but they're not always the easiest of products to travel with. This one from Caudalie is perfect for taking with you. So much so that I'm going to reserve using it until my next trip.

I also always appreciate it when beauty boxes step away from skincare to bring us some make-up related products. Lottie London are another brand that I've been admiring from afar but never tried yet after trying this brush I'll definitely need to go out of my way to try some more. And this lovely Revlon Colourburst Lip Balm was another welcome addition to this month's box. A little bit of insider knowledge but Revlon are launching on Look Fantastic very soon so it will be great knowing that I can finally add some Revlon pieces to my next Look Fantastic order.

On top of all that, there's another little added extra in the form of two Emergen-C vitamin drinks. This certainly ties in with the explorer theme and is a great way of adding some more vitamins into your diet. You'll also be drinking more water when making one of these up too, something that's obviously pretty good for you.

Elle Magazine Free With Look Fantastic Beauty Box

It was a real treat to have the March edition of Elle Magazine included with last month's #LFLoves box and as it was a Valentine's theme box I had a feeling that it was a one time only deal but I can confirm that for the rest of 2016 each Look Fantastic Beauty Box will come with the addition of the latest copy of Elle. Again, as I mentioned last month, when you consider the fact that Elle Magazine costs £4.10 on it's own and each Look Fantastic Beauty Box costs just £15 (or even cheaper if you were to subscribe), I have a feeling that you'll have to agree that that's good value for money.

What do you think of the #LFExplorer Beauty Box? Have you tried any of the products in this month's box? If so, what are your thoughts on them? And what do you think of the idea of themed beauty boxes?

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Monday, 7 March 2016

Bargain Drugstore Beauty At Direct Cosmetics

Despite the fact that I get to try a real range of beauty brands, from drugstore to higher end, thanks to Ellis Tuesday, drugstore beauty will always be my first love. However, a trip to somewhere like Boots or Superdrug can soon get rather pricey when you start adding up everything in your basket. As a result, I'm always looking for ways to get my hands on some of my favourite drugstore brands and products without paying full price. Don't get me wrong, 3 for 2's and similar deals can certainly reduce a shop by quite a chunk but I still normally end up spending more than I ever intended to. But that's where Direct Cosmetics have come to my bargain drugstore beauty buying rescue. I picked up a selection of products to show you exactly how much can be saved simply by switching from the traditional drugstore retailers to somewhere like Direct Cosmetics.

The first product to catch my eye was the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Darling* and a lot of that had to do with the fact that it was just £1.99 (a saving of £6 on the RRP). This is such a lovely shade and at the price I couldn't leave it behind. Another bargain lip product that I stumbled across was this one from Max Factor. I couldn't really believe it when I saw one of their Lipfinity Lasting Lip Tints for just £1.65 (a saving of £6.34). This one, in the shade Passion Red*, is absolutely stunning and I'll definitely be trying more from that range in the not too distant future. And the final lip product that I came across was one that I'd been wanting to try for a good while now. Something about the Super Stay 24 Hour Wear Lip Colors from Maybelline caught my eye when they were first released but I never got around to trying them, until now. This Bold Matte shade in Fire Coral* is just £3.99 instead of £8.99 so I definitely don't feel guilty about trying it out.

One product that I'm always a little hesitative about trying is drugstore foundations but this one sounded like it could be right up my street. The fact that the shade is called Rose Porcelain already had me feeling pretty confident in my purchase and I'm definitely impressed with this L'Oreal Lumi Magique Light Infusing Foundation* so far. This didn't come with as big a saving as the lip products did (it's £7.99 instead of £10.99) but it all adds up, savings wise, when you're ready to check out. 

And last but not least we have this fantastic eye shadow set from Bourjois*. I'm a big fan of Bourjois' Little Round Pots Eye Shadows so when I saw this set I was already sold to be honest. Then I noticed the fact that the entire set of three shadows was just £8.99 instead of £20.97! When you take into consideration the fact that buying just one of these Bourjois shadow pots will set you back £6.99 on the High Street, it was safe to say that I was seriously impressed. I also love the stunning neutral shades that are included in this set.

With even more brilliant brands such as Rimmel, Sally Hansen, Too Faced, OPI and even Hard Candy on the site, I'll definitely be checking out the prices on Direct Cosmetics before making my next trip to Boots or Superdrug.

What do you think of the savings? Have you tried any of the products in today's post? If so, what do you think of them? And what drugstore brands are your favourite?


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Mother's Day Takeover (My Mum's Picks)

In a similar vein to when my Dad took over the blog for Father's Day last year, as it's Mother's Day today I asked my Mum if she would like to share some of her beauty must-haves and products that she would always repurchase and she was more than happy to oblige. So today it's Ellis Tuesday but with quite a bit of input from my Mum, who I must say has given me some great notes on why these are her best beauty picks.

Me and my Mum definitely share some favourite products and brands, which might become pretty apparent in today's post, starting with one of our all-time favourites; Soap & Glory. The Calm One Calm All Bubble Bath is silky smooth on the skin as is the Hand Food Hand Cream, plus both smell absolutely incredible too, which is always a bonus. Glow Job is great for adding some colour, rather than applying foundation, especially in the warmer months and a little definitely goes a long way.

Skincare is something that you don't need to spend a lot on according to my Mum. Instead of using expensive creams, lotions and potions Astral Cream has worked wonders for my Mum over the years. That many years that it's now probably nearing 40 years since she first started using it and she barely has a wrinkle. The L'Oreal Revitalift Eye Cream is great for dabbing on before bed and leaves her under-eyes feeling fresh and revived in the morning.

When it comes to make-up these are the three products that always appear in my Mum's daily make-up bag. According to my Mum, the Body Shop Colour Crush Shine Lipsticks are by far the best on the market. This one, in the shade 03 Pink Charming is the one she reaches for most. It gives plenty of moisture, a glint of glitter and a stunning sheen. The reason that I'm probably as big a Maybelline fan as I am has a lot to do with my Mum. The Great Lash Mascara was the first one that I ever tried when I was a teenager, on my Mum's recommendation. We both love The Eraser Eye Concealer  and as you might be able to tell from the photographs, it's certainly a well-loved product.

Something that me and my Mum both share is our frizzy hair. Now that almost sounded like a poem, didn't it? Hehe. Her current favourite is the L'Oreal Elvive Smooth-Intense Anti-Frizz Shampoo. It actually works on the frizz and leaves the hair silky smooth, doing exactly what it says on the bottle.

The one fragrance that my Mum always returns to, regardless of what's new to the market, is Estee Lauder's White Linen. As soon as I smell it it instantly reminds me of her yet it's still subtle and light.

And of course, who doesn't love Lush? My Mum's definitely a bubble bar kind of person and this one, Karma and The Comforter are her absolute favourites.

Last but certainly not least, it's the Styfile. This is something that sits beside her either at home or at her desk at work. She's seriously never without it and seems to file her nails on an almost constant basis.

All I've got left to say is Happy Mother's Day Mum! And a big Happy Mothers Day to all of the Mum's out there!

Do you share any of my Mum's favourites? Did your Mum pass down any brilliant beauty products when you were growing up? And does your Mum have any beauty favourites to share?


Friday, 4 March 2016

Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Today's post should hopefully serve as a last-minute reminder to any of you who aren't aware or have completely forgot that this Sunday is Mother's Day here in the UK. I've got a couple of last minute gift ideas to share with you which should hopefully work for many different Mums and there's still more than enough time to have your gifts delivered before Mothering Sunday arrives.

Appleyard London Review

First up are flowers. I don't think that you can really go wrong with a beautiful bouquet of flowers when it comes to Mother's Day. Bonus points if you know what your Mum's favourite flowers are. 

Instead of picking up a bunch at the local supermarket/petrol station, why not treat your Mum to an arrangement of blooms that look as though you've spent hours selecting each and every individual stem? This bouquet from Appleyard London is so pretty and packed full of stunning stems, flowers and even a few sprigs of berries. It's the Secret Meadow bouquet* for reference but they have a whole host of lovely flowers and bouquets to choose from for a real range of budgets. The best thing; you can order right up until Saturday night for Mother's Day delivery and you can also save 33% on your Mother's Day flowers by using the discount code BLOG33.

Partylite Spring 2016

I've mentioned it before and I'll mention it again but in our household/family, giving the gift of a candle or even just something candle related, is the way in which we show our love for one another. Regardless of the occasion or celebration, you can pretty much guarantee that someone will receive a candle. 

Partylite's Spring collection* really is ideal for Mother's Day. One of my Mum's favourite Partylite scents is Berry Blossom so the fact that it comes in a gorgeous two-wick GloLite large jar is absolutely ideal. We've certainly been impressed by Partylite's Large GloLite jars in the past with most lasting around 50-60 hours. 

Then there's the beautiful porcelain butterfly tealight holders. It's always nice to have a little tealight or two burning and these house the wild lemongrass tealights (as pictured) perfectly. And last but not least we have the decorative fragrance sticks and a lovely little white ceramic flower holder to keep them in. Partylite's fragrance sticks are a recent discovery for us but they're definitely something that we'll be trying again. Unlike traditional incense sticks or similar products, you don't even light these sticks but they're so full of fragrance. These would work particularly well if you're buying for someone who likes the scent of candles but not the worry of having to remember to blow them out.

Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Set

When it comes to beauty, the one area that my Mum spends the most time and attention on is her hair so this stunning set from Paul Mitchell* at Look Fantastic would certainly be right up her street. The gift box is as equally brilliant as the products that are enclosed and the fact that it's rectangular, definitely makes it an easy present to wrap this Mother's Day. You can also order right up until 9pm on Saturday night for next day delivery from Look Fantastic and they have so many great Mother's Day gift ideas to choose from.

Chroma Stationery Review

Stationery is always a good shout when it comes to Mother's Day gifting and it couldn't be more perfect for my Mum this year. As she's taking partial retirement in a couple of weeks time, I thought that I would commemorate the day by creating a personalised notebook* from Chroma Stationery. This way she can note down all of her plans for her days off, of which there are already quite a few and it's something that she can keep for years to come and get a lot of use of.

Fun and unique Mother's Day cards

And last but certainly not least, a great card. Depending on your Mum's taste and sense of humour, there's a card for her thanks to Jolly Awesome*. These are just some of the fantastic selection available and you can even pick up your Jolly Awesome card at Scribbler this weekend.

What are you planning on getting your Mum this year? Or have you already done your shopping? And what do you think of my Mother's Day picks? Plus, how funny are the Jolly Awesome cards?


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Maybelline Baby Lips Balm & Blush

Maybelline Baby Lips Balm & Blush

Does anyone remember how excited we all got for the release of Maybelline Baby Lips here in the UK? I certainly remember checking my local Boots on an almost weekly basis to see if the wonder lip balms, which had already been released in the US, had made their way over here. I've read mixed reviews when it comes to the original Maybelline Baby Lips lip balms but I really like them, with my absolute favourite being of the Dr Rescue variety. So when I heard and saw that they were adding new products to the Maybelline Baby family I was pretty excited to say the least. 

Maybelline Baby Lips Balm and Blush

Maybelline have long been my favourite drugstore beauty brand. It was the first make-up brand that I ever tried and I think it all started with the Dream Matte Mousse to be fair. Who else remembers caking this on when they first discovered make-up? Anyway, back to the new releases and the tinted hybrid that is the Baby Lips Balm & Blush*. Available in four shades, as shown, the products come in a shape not too disimilar to the eos lip balms but unlike eos', these provide a hint of colour to both the lips and the cheeks. 

If you have drier skin, like I do, these work perfectly to add a nice flush of blush to the cheeks. I'm not sure how well they would work on particularly oily skin though. And don't be put off by the rather bright shades, they definitely give more of a hint and sheer pop of colour.

Maybelline Baby Lips Balm & Blush Review

At just £4.99 each I would definitely say that these are well worth trying.

What do you think of these? Which colour stands out to you the most? And are you a fan of multi-purpose products?
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