31 January 2014

Beauty Challenge - Month 1


I'm sorry if this is like every other empties post in the blogging world, but ya know this is more for me. See my original Beauty Challenge blog post here. The photos have gone a bit crap for some reason, i don't even upload to blogger so who knows. 

So what have I used up this month?

My favourite conditioner has to be John Frieda Full Repair Conditioner, I remember when it did the blogger rounds and I thought it really couldn't be that good. But my hair loves it! Very moisturising and leaves my hair tangle free and doesn't even weigh down my ridiculous mane. The added big bottle and pump make it even easier. I was actually quite sad to use all this up as it meant moving on to other conditioners in my bathroom like VO5 Revive Me Daily Conditioner. This did nothing for my hair. In fact I almost had to use a 1/3 of the bottle each time to even get a comb through my hair. But it was only a quid in Asda.

I am not usually that picky about shampoos, they all seem to do roughly the same job on my hair. My favourite has to be John Frieda Colour Protecting Shampoo which helps keep my red hair red. Sometimes I feel shampoos strip the colour from my hair but this helps keep it nice and shiny. I've also eventually used up all the hair dye conditoners and shampoos I had in a box saving for when I go places, but always forgot.

Makeup / Skincare
Beauty products are my biggest downfall. I can easily go into Boots and spend £20 in one fatal move. Not this month. I am slowly making it through my stupidly big stash of foundations I bought in the quest for "the one". First up is Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation in 51 which is a perfect colour match for me but I have two problems. It lasts about 3 hours top on my skin, it sinks in and vanishes. Second I am positive it is causing my skin to break out so bye bourjois healthy mix serum foundation. (Seriously, what is the difference between the two). YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation in BD20 is a perfect summer foundation for my skin, this shade is slightly off but I will defiantly be repurchasing in the summer months as it really wakes up my skin but find it too dewy for winter when I just want to have lovely matte skin.

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer turned to water while being un used in my drawer for a month or two so it is being thrown straight out. It was an okay illuminating primer but I have a MAC version I prefer. Maybelline Baby Lips Intense Care was a bog standard lip balm, nothing special except bright packaging. Oh and it melted while in my work uniform pocket.

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask this mask is amazing. It is full of fruit acids which help exfoliate your skin, it has a jam like texture it is very sticky to apply. But my skin loves it! My skin looks clearer and brighter even after one use. Only problem is the price. £30. I actually resisted using the last use of this for as long as I could but that's it, all gone.

St Tropez Body Polish came in a gift set, nothing special just a exfolater. Body Shop Chocomania Shower Cream is one of my favourite scents, I love washing in chocolate. I have done a full review of this range here.
Last but not least is one of my favourite scents, Gucci Guilty Black Eau De Toilette. My boyfriend actually picked this out for me. I find it almost impossible to describe fragrances, my best would be a dark fruity number. I find it quite sweet but dark at the same time! Sad to see it go but I do have quite a perfume stash to work my way through.

..and what have I bought?
Well I've been very good, ish.
Herbel Essence Shampoo and Conditioner - 2 for £4 in Asda
Soap and Glory Fab Pore Mask - £6.67
MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation £21.50 (i know. I KNOW)
MAC Eye Brow Pencil in Spiked - £13. (i lost mine on NYE somewhere..)

total - £45.17. And I'm actually quite ashamed. Must do better in February.

28 January 2014

Soap and Glory Fab Pore 2-in-1 Facial Pore Purifying Mask & Peel


First things first, what a ridiculous product name. But we shall move on from that. This is a deep cleansing face mask from Soap and Glory. Recently they repackaged alot of their skin care with much simpler designs and some reforumalated products. This mask promises to "to give exhausted skin its fresh back". Whatever that means. It has a strong minty smell, so stay clear if you hate that. It contains beta-hydroxy acid (or BHA) to help exfoliate your skin, unclog pores and generally give your skin a good cleanse. It promises to shrink pores and soak up excess sebum. Basically perfect for blemish prone oily skin. It contains Kaolin, clay, which my skin loves when it is particularly angry.


I tried to take the photos in the exact same light but it had got a little darker by the time I had washed the mask off but as you can see my skin does look brighter and slightly less red. 

So does it work? I applied it on my unhappy ill skin. Left it in for around 20 minutes and washed off with a flannel and hot water. The mask contains rice microbeads which exfoliates your skin further when you rinse it off. While the mask is on you get a slight tingle but nothing too severe. When washed off my skin felt really clean and fresh, as well as been incredibly smooth. Now it isn't the best face mask I have ever used, but it was lovely to brighten up my complexion. Something I would probably use before a night out or even mid week after a few hospital shifts when my skin needs a good cleanse.

This was on offer in Boots at £6.67, usual RRP £10. I think I would probably purchase the Sanctuary 5 minute Thermal Detox  next time again, I love the warming sensation on my face and does a slightly better job at giving my skin a good clean. 

08 January 2014

Gel Cleansers

 N Spa Melting Cleansing Gel (£4.80 / 100ml) - No 7 Melting Gel Cleanser (£6 / 100ml) - Clarins Pure Melt Cleasing Gel (£15.60 /100ml)

 I love a good cleanser, over the last couple of years I have tried many cleansers. My favourite has to be Emma Hardie's Cleansing Balm but at £34 for 100ml it was something I could not justify repurchasing. Since then I have moved onto cheaper gel cleansers that beautifully remove makeup and impurities from my skin.

My first foray into gel cleansers was Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel, I have used up two or three of these beauties. It removes all my make-up instantly and is easily washed off with hot water and a flannel leaving nothing but clear skin. It is still an expensive habit, with my new beauty budget I just can't justify my £19.50 habit.

Next up is No 7's offering, is their Melting Gel Cleanser. Contains rosehip oil to help lock in moisture and turns from a gel to a milk when washed away. I found it doesn't remove make-up as well as Clarins offering and feels to leave a film on my skin even after a hot flannel. It costs £9 for for 150ml so is a bargain, especially with the five pound off vouchers that Boots are forever giving out. It has lots of rave reviews on the Boots website. I find it best to use after a make up remover / micellar water and not as a first cleanse.

Lastly, and my true bargain favourite. N-Spa products are exclusively available at Asda. The Melting Cleansing Gel contains avocado, apricot and neroli oils. It has a faint fragrance but nothing too offensive. My skin has not reacted to this, it removes make up beautifully and is £6 for 125ml. 

As much as I love the Clarins offering, I think I am going to be switching to the N Spa Cleasing Gel for the future! 

05 January 2014

A Very Merry Cocktail

4 14 11

I know, I know. Christmas is over. Done. Christmas trees thrown out (hope you recycled it!) Too many people are going Dry January (go you!) and asking for sponsorship (boo, just donate the money you'll save not drinking to charity and shut up).

But anyway. We have a slightly different Christmas, my parents usually work as I will when I qualify. A family of medical professionals means at least one family member will be working. This year it was my dad, so while he was off driving an ambulance around we visited family members, walked the dogs and then proceeded to make cocktails all day. Only one cocktail is photographed as we then drank too many cocktails. Thanks to my sister mixing up cups and mls (really, 25ml and 1 cup? not the same) some were far too strong.

Our favourites however were our versions of a Raspberry Daiquiri and a Mai Tai, all made in a boston shaker but i'm sure could be just mixed together in a pitcher.

Raspberry Daiquiri (serves 2!) 
Muddle a big handful of raspberries a cocktail shaker until smooth. Add 100ml / 4 shots of white rum, juice of half a lime, 25ml of sugar syrup, add lots of ice and shake until the outside of the cocktail shaker is completely cold and covered in condensation. Double strain  into martini glasses. Garnish with a piece of lime and rasberries! 

Mai Tai (not really, we didn't have almond syrup and just kept adding more juice)
In a cocktail shaker add 50ml white rum, 50ml dark rum, 25ml of triple sec over ice. Add juice of half a lime and 85ml of both orange juice and pineapple juice. Shake and serve over ice in a tall glass

Back to reality now of 5.30am starts, though am excited to put together our own little bar. Just ordered myself a cocktail shaker. Hope my boyfriend enjoys a school night cocktail.


03 January 2014

Beauty Budget Challenge

It turns out I, like so many, are spending far too much money on beauty products I really don't need. Some are gifts but my biggest downfall is succumbing to the 3 for 2 offers in Supermarkets and Boots. They can be good ways to spend money but instead of just buying one pot of something I end up with 3 and have quickly spent double the original amount. It sounds thrifty but I am just stockpiling body butters and blushers with no end in sight. A Thrifty Mrs started a 1 year / £100 Beauty Challenge and I have decided to start something similar. I however have not set a limit but some slightly different rules for myself.

No buying anything new
I have shower gel everywhere, I may have even placed a cheeky Boxing Day Lush order which is yet to arrive. No buying shower gel I use all of this up. No more dry shampoo until I use the 4 bottles I have. You get the idea. Try and clear out my cupboards and boxes. This also means no new foundation until I use up my stash, this is the hardest bit for me as I've just found my perfect match in NW13 from MAC but still have a fair few numbers of foundations that will do just as well in the mean time. 

Stop with the expensive products I don't need
The problem with reading many many beauty bloggers is you start to feel like you need all these £30+ fancy potions and creams. Except they on the whole don't pay for all these potions and creams. It is unattainable to keep up with all the products that have fallen in their laps / onto desks. (A post on this another time). I know what works for my skin, I know a cream isn't going to remove my scars over night. 

No more nail varnishes / eye shadows / blushers
I have plenty of all these products, I do not need any more. I've had a huge clear out of nail varnish that had gone all gloopy. I cannot wear nail varnish most of the time due to placement so it is a waste of money.

I know I know, that monthly post that so many beauty bloggers do but if will keep me going throughout the year. 

In summary, stop wasting money on beauty products I do not need. Wish me luck!