Friday, 11 May 2012

Five Favourites Friday: No7 ♥

One of my favourite British brands has got to be No7. Most of the time, they come out with some quality stuff, but they can have their misses - but then what brand doesn't every once in a while? 
Although sometimes their products can be a tad over priced, when bought with their £5 off vouchers, you definitely get a lot of value for your money!

Right.. onto the good stuff then!

These eye liners are perfect for a pop of colour, they last for ages, and come in green, purple, and dark blue. I love how soft they are; they've never irritated my eyes and glide on smoothly. They cost £7.75 a pop, which is standard for No7.

I also used to like their Amazing Eyes Pencil in Black too, back when I first started dabbling in make up - good for any newbies out there thinking of trying some! 

This dinky little thing is not only purse friendly, but also comes with a lid that's attached to it - which is good so you don't lose it, and also more notably a little plastic stick that you can use to get out any eye liner from the sharpeners blade! I love that! I mean, how many times have you had a nip breaking in your eyeliner sharpener and wasn't able to take it out? The little plastic pick can then be stored in the actual sharpener too, so you don't lose it and will always have it on hand! Genius.  

Oh, and the sharpener is pretty good too. :P Hasn't made any pencil of mine snap yet this past year I've had it - the only thing I think that could be improved is that they could have added a hole for larger pencils too.

Another bonus is the price: when bought with the £5 off voucher, they only cost 75p! So next time Boots are running that offer, I highly recommend you get in there and snap one up for yourself! ☺

Sturdy, reliable, a good weight, definitely not flimsy. Fits the shape of my eye perfectly, and I always end up with perfectly curved lashes after using it. I've never had any lashes fall out, nor had my eyes hurt by these. Retailing at £7.25, I'd recommend these to anyone - it's worth it even without the voucher IMHO. 

Next up are eye brushes.. I've decided to count them as one because I just couldn't choose between them!☺

I have two of these - that is how much I love them! Designed to apply gel liner, you can use this on your lid and waterline, without irritated either. I always get a precise line with this no matter how much of a rush I am in. This, just like the eyelash curler, costs £7.25 - only £2.25 when bought with the £5 voucher! 

Another thing I really like about these brushes are the resealable packaging. I keep all my eye liner brushes in the pouches they come in. They're very handy indeed!

I don't wear eye shadow much, and when I do it's very little and only on special occasions, which means I don't have very many eye shadow brushes. I have an EcoTools one that came as part of a set, and this one. Fluffy, but dense enough, very good for blending, not too big for my eyes, and rarely sheds. This also costs £7.25, just like the eye liner brush. ☺

No7 have a habit of coming out with some pretty good spring collections! I loved last years lipstick to bits - it was the perfect MLBB (my lips but better) colour and when I came across this years collection in Boots I decided to swatch it just to see.. and I am so glad I did because this smells of CHOCOLATE. :O I tell no lie.

On top of that this is so moisturising, I don't even need to use lip balm underneath.
It provides a sheer, glossy coat of colour, so it's not as in-your-face, and is actually just a little pinker than my natual lip colour, which I really like! ☺
I honestly would have shown you last years one aswell, but I think it's lost somewhere in the endless depths of my handbag.. >.<

Anywho, I do believe that's quite enough babble for one post! 

What are your favourite No7 products?  (^__^)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Sugar Face Scrub Recipe ♥

Ever had those days when your skin is just feeling a bit.. well.. dull? I've been having a week full of those lately.. paired with a few pesky dry patches. So I thought I'd bust out my favourite remedy for it - this easy peasy lemon squeezey sugar face scrub!


♦  Sugar - I use normal, everyday, granulated sugar, as I find that brown sugar is too harsh for my skin because the granules are larger.

♦   Sweet almond oil - This oil is rich in Vitamin E, has a pleasant but not overpowering smell and absorbs into the skin easily. It helps reduce scarring, smoothing the skin and improving your skin tone.

♦   Freshly squeezed lemon juice or from the bottle if you prefer (optional) - Lemon juice is good for lightening acne scars when used on a regular basis.

(Yes I am aware that that is a very odd shaped lemon.. but I couldn't find one that was normal shaped! >.<)

Aaaaanyway.. onto the method!

1. Add five tablespoons of granulated sugar to a little tub or jar. I'm using a plastic tub with a screw top lid because I feel it is more secure :)
2. Add four tablespoons of almond oil.
3. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice (optional).
4. Mix with a teaspoon until it forms a slightly thick, gritty, white paste. Add a teaspoonful more of almond oil if you feel the texture is too rough.

The result should look something along the lines of this:

How do I use it?

- After washing your face with your cleanser, take a little dollop of the scrub and spread it around your palms and fingers, before massaging it on your wet cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead, avoiding the eye and under-eye area.
- Make sure you wash it all off with cool to lukewarm water, and pat dry, before applying a light moisturiser. You won't need much because of how hydrating the sweet almond oil is.

Bonus tips!

- Don't scrub too hard, let the sugar do the work for you. Scrubbing too hard can irritate your skin and make it sore.
- Do not use lemon juice if you have sensitive skin.
- You can use this up to 2/3 times a week.
- If you do not have sweet almond oil on hand, you can substitute it for olive oil. I prefer sweet almond oil because I find it absorbs into the skin better, and I don't feel like I need to wash my face with cleanser again.
- You can use this as a body scrub too, but don't forget to moisturise after!
- I also gently use this on my hands when they're feeling a bit rough, before patting them dry and using moisturiser such as The Body Shop's Hemp Hand Protector.

Let me know how you get on if you try it! 

Monday, 7 May 2012

No7 Beautiful Skin Eye Make-up Remover vs Garnier Skin Naturals Simply Essentials Soothing 2 in 1 Make-up Remover ♡

About a couple of months ago, having run out of make up remover, I decided to head over to Boots to pick some up - and as there was a 3 for 2 offer on at that time (and me being the indecisive person I am) - two make-up removers and a new moisturiser ended up in my basket. And wow was I glad they did because I found one of the best eye make-up removers I've ever come across.. not to mention one of the worst!

They both have a make-up removing oil (which is blue) and a cleansing water (which is clear). In order to use them both together, you have to shake the bottle until they have mixed, before soaking a cotton pad with it and wiping it gently over your face and eyes to remove your make-up.

The No7 Beautiful Skin Eye Make-Up Remover is for, as the name suggests, eye make-up removal, and boasts that it is suitable for 'all skin types'.

The Garnier Skin Naturals Simply Essentials Soothing 2 in 1 Make-up Remover is for both eye and face make-up removal, and claims to be 'suitable for even sensitive skin'.

First up.. the No7 Beautiful Skin Eye Make-up Remover. Sigh. Despite my wish to love it just as much as I love all the rest of my No7 products, I have to say that this is pitifully bad. And when I say bad I really mean bad. It pains me to say it, because I love No7 as a brand.

This was far too oily; I felt the need to wash my face with cleanser straight after using it. I might as well have used oil to take it off - and if I did use actual oil to take it off, I doubt it would have clogged my pores as much as this did. It left a film of oil all over my eye area - it felt so uncomfortable!

It was so uncomfortable it put me off it after the very first try, but I thought I should test it out a bit more - and I did, for approximately three weeks in fact - but alas, it was the same every time. It's now on my Project 13 Pan, that's how bad it is!

 When using this, I needed quite a lot of product just to take off eye liner and one coat of mascara. I had to use two make-up remover pads just for ONE eye - ridiculous - which means this gets used up really fast. I had only been using it for ten days when I had only worn eye liner, and I had used up about a third of it. A third!
And even with all that on the make-up pad, it would still tug at my eyelid, and make it sore.

You can even tell how oily it is by looking at the bottle - not just on the inside but the oil from the cotton pad transfers to your fingers and then consequently onto the bottle. 

One other thing that I dislike about this was that it has an open neck, which means it increases the chances of me spilling it all over myself. When I first bought it, I was pulling at the white part of the lid, thinking it would pop off and have a little pump underneath or something. I almost hurt myself. >.<

About the formula: when using this, after I've shaken it, I have to get it on the cotton pad ASAP, as it separates very quickly - this annoys me quite a bit as I don't like to waste time shaking a bottle every single time I need to use some more. It takes me around ten minutes taking my eye make-up off with this thing. Never buying this again!

Next up, the Garnier Skin Naturals Simply Essentials Soothing 2 in 1 Eye Make-up Remover. This, in the words of one Ronald Weasley, is bloody brilliant.

I've been using this for about a month and a half now, and I have to say that this is by far my favourite make-up remover ever! You only need to use a little, and I must say it is true to it's name - when you put the wet cotton pad on your eye it is so cool and soothing you just want to sit there with it forever. 

It is not oily in the least, and you can use this all over your face and it will leave your face feeling completely clean. 

You know those days when you're just too tired to wash your face? Don't lie we've all been there :P
Well whenever I have one of those days, when I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open, I use this. I can honestly say that the morning after, my skin feels perfectly fine. No dry patches, no super oily patches. Doesn't block my pores, nor leave a film of any kind. I don't even need to moisturise after - this is most likely due to the fact that it is alcohol free. 

I can honestly - hand on heart - say that I've never come across a make-up remover that leaves my skin feeling so good after using it.

In terms of design, you can see that the top is miles better than the No7 make-up remover. It helps regulate the amount of liquid that comes out far better and more easily than the No7 one, and it's cap satisfyingly clicks shut to prevent any accidental spillage.

Compared to it's No7 counterpart, when shaken it does not start to separate almost immediately - it stays mixed for a good minute before it starts to separate, which is excellent for when I'm feeling lazy (which is most of the time..heh.)!

And in conclusion...

.. I'd have to say that the Garnier is a clear winner this time, folks.
Not only do you get 200ml as opposed to the 100ml you get from No7, it costs less too - £2.99 compared to £7.75! So you get more for your money, and a better product too.

What's your favourite make-up remover? Have you tried either of these? ☺

Disclaimer: All products were bought with my own money unless stated otherwise. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Modestly Stylish: Blue ☺

Modestly Stylish: Blue ☺

Modestly Stylish: Blue ☺ by themaryfairy featuring Batwing Shirt

Wal G Striped Belted Top from Bank - £23  River Island white rope belted lightweight maxi skirt- £30 Dorothy Perkins tan ballerina boat shoes  Debenhams white tasselled tote bag - £25  Pieces Black Pieces Tortoiseshell Sunglasses from Fashion Union -  £14

Am I the only one who is wondering when the rain is going to stop? I for one, can't wait until I can start wearing my maxi skirts again ♥ at least not without freezing to death and/or coming into the house looking like a wet, bedraggled cat that's been left out in the storm overnight. (-__-)

Anyone else out there longing to pull out their summer clothes yet? Or is it just me? 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Benefit: Tan About Town Review

Now I'm not usually one to impulse buy, but when I saw this at the till at Boots when out shopping with a good friend of mine the other day, my eyes lit up and I literally jumped and squealed 'I WANT THIS!' right in front of the cashier..
And yes.. he did look (and laugh) at me like I was a 5 year old child.
Not that I particularly cared at that moment in time. I mean come on.. just LOOK AT IT!

Mini Benefit stuff! Everything is better mini-sized. EVERYTHING. Seriously. Just looking at it makes me squee. Also, with sample sizes like these, I find it easier to find out if something I want will suit me, without spending too much on something I may not end up even liking.

Anyway, onto the products! The kit includes a mini Benefit BADgal Lash mascara, travel sized Hoola bronzer, a mini Some Kind-a Gorgeous foundation in Medium, and a free maker-upper voucher.

Now, I know what you're thinking - she's asian.. why does she want a kit called 'Tan About Town' when she's already naturally tanned? Yeah.. my friend thought that too. :P But the thing is, I've always wanted to try this foundation because it seemed like it was a good match for me..

..and it is! It's colour is actually not unlike my Urban Decay Surreal Skin Cream to Powder foundation in 'Dream', which is a perfect match for my skin.
That is where the similarities end though, I'm afraid; its consistency is more gel-like than cream, and it is light to medium coverage (as opposed to the medium to full of the UD's). While it is good at concealing redness, it doesn't offer as much coverage as you want from a foundation. It also has a tendency of clinging to dry patches of skin; and for this reason, I would only recommend this to anyone with relatively clear, normal to oily skin.

(As you can see.. I took no time in testing it out :P)

Next up is the Hoola Bronzer; weighing in at 3g, it is dark enough to show up on medium skin.
I have to say that this is incredibly soft and blendable.
I recommend using this lightly with a contour brush in the hollows of your cheeks - it help give just the right amount of definition to your face.

 The only thing I don't like about it is the rather cheap, plastic packaging. It feels kind of flimsy.. and I'm scared the pan will fall out if I'm not careful! 

Next up is the BADgal Lash mascara, which comes in a standard 4g/0.14oz mini tube
It's brush is HUGE - similar to the Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara and the Soap & Glory Thick and Fast Mascara. 
The formula is not very thick IMHO, and gives a decent, natural curl with a couple of coats. I absolutely love this - I thought it'd give me scary looking lashes like the Revlon one does, but it didn't - it looked like I had naturally thick, curly lashes. ♥

Overall, I think this is good value as it contains some of their best selling, cult products in sample sizes, which means you get to try without spending £60+ on something you might regret! I got this for £9 at Boots - definitely worth it for just the mascara and the bronzer if you ask me. 

I couldn't find the set anywhere online, but you can get the full sizes of the BADgal Lash Mascara here, the Some Kind-a Gorgeous foundation here, and the Hoola bronzer here - you even get a free Benefit Cha Cha Tint Mango-Tinted Lip & Cheek Stain Miniature worth £7.00 with any Benefit purchase!

Have you got a favourite Benefit product? 

Disclaimer: All products were bought with my own money unless stated otherwise. All opinions are my own.