Friday, 28 April 2017

Drugstore Empties April 2017

I bought these affordable products myself and used them up completely. They are all absolute winners and each of them cost under £4.

L'Oréal Kids Tangle Tamer £2.09
This is a deliciously fruity detangling spray which has a magical effect upon my long hair. You can spray it into wet or dry hair and then instantly comb or brush through even stubborn knots and tangles. It also smells beautifully of pear so is perfect to spritz on and freshen hair up at any time without adding any heaviness or greasiness. No need to rinse this out or get sticky fingers applying an oil or cream product, I highly recommend it.
Verdict: Gorgeous product to de-tangle and refresh your hair.

L'Oréal Absolute Makeup Remover £3.99
This is one of those dual phase makeup removers with two layers which you shake to mix together. It is affordable and does the job really well, removing all traces of makeup easily and leaving my skin feeling soft. This product is suitable for contact lens wearers and sensitive skin. I have already repurchased it as I love it for removing tough, waterproof eye makeup.
Verdict: Good value, effective makeup remover.

Treacle Moon Bath and Shower Gel The Honeycomb Secret £3
This bath and shower gel smells like Cadbury's Crunchie bars. The scent is strong in the bottle but fades quickly when you actually use the product in water. However, it still makes a fragrant and relaxing bath or shower, bubbling up into a good lather and leaving skin lovely and soft.
Verdict: Inexpensive body wash with a delicious scent.

Nivea Soft Moisturising Cream £2.45
There's always a Nivea Soft product in my empties! This tube is handy to keep by the sink (for after hand-washing) or in my bag (for on the go). I find it works better than any hand cream I have tried and it is affordable too.
Verdict: Soft, comforting cream containing Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil which works wonders on my dry hands.

Batiste Dry Conditioner £3.99
Everyone loves the famous Batiste Dry Shampoo, but this is their Conditioning Mist. You spray it onto dry hair to give a healthy shine and lovely, light fragrance. It doesn't weigh your hair down at all, just adds glossiness and smooths flyaway hairs. As with the L'Oréal spray, I use it to freshen my hair up after cooking or whenever I want to add a fresh scent. This Conditioning Spray feels completely dry in your hair and adds a shiny finishing touch to a sleek style or a healthy sheen to a messy bun. This product is now sold in different packaging (a white can with purple swirl design) if you are looking out for it.
Verdict: Great value dry spray which adds shine and fragrance to your hair.

Have you tried any of these products before?
Thanks for reading,
Find L'Oréal Kids Tangle Tamer here:
Find L'Oréal Absolute Makeup Remover here:
Find Nivea Soft 75ml tube here:
Find TreacleMoon Bath and Shower Gel here:
Find Batiste Dry Conditioner here:

Friday, 21 April 2017

Review: Boots Botanics All Bright Range

I purchased this selection of products from Boots's Botanics All Bright range myself, and have used them for over a month. The collection is formulated using Hibiscus plant extract and appeals to my love of all things natural. The toner, mist, hand cream and moisturiser all carry this disclaimer on the back which is worth noting: "This product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Use a sunscreen and limit sun exposure during usage of the product and for a week after use of the product has stopped." I always do use sun protection, but this is something to be aware of, especially for those of you with sensitive skin. Most of the Botanics All Bright range is priced at around £2.50.

Botanics All Bright Hydrating Day Cream SPF 15 for Dry to Normal Skin £2.50
This lovely little pot contains one of my favourite products from the Botanics All Bright range. It is a scented moisturiser with SPF 15 which makes my skin glow and works very well under makeup. It has a thin but gloopy texture if you can imagine such a thing, and is absorbed quickly, leaving my skin feeling incredibly soft.
Unlike most moisturisers I can feel the effects of this continuing to work all day long, and its ingredients really do seem to improve my skin's texture.
In this picture I am only wearing Botanics All Bright Hydrating Day Cream on my skin: no foundation or any other base product. You can see it gives my skin a glow and healthy, hydrated appearance on its own without looking greasy.

Botanics Instant Moisture Mist £4.29
This is a body mist, not a facial mist as I thought when I bought it. It's essentially a fast-absorbing body lotion in a can. It sprays out as a cream consistency, like a thin shaving foam, and it does sink into the skin very quickly. It has the same hibiscus fragrance as the day cream which I enjoy, and I think this will be a fantastic product for the Summer as the spray feels cooling and hydrating. In my local Boots this was recently in their discounted section for only £1, so it's always worth having a look there.

Botanics All Bright Cleansing Toner £2.50
I use this in the morning to refresh my skin and clean it thoroughly before I start my day. It feels as if it tightens pores and leaves my face squeaky clean with a refreshing fragrance. This is a great big 250ml bottle for £2.50.

Botanics All Bright Purifying Face Scrub £2.50

The exfoliators in this are crushed walnut shell and apricot seeds which gives the product a lovely, natural scent and texture.

It is recommended for use 2-3 times per week and for me it has had a noticeable effect, particularly around my nose where my pores benefit from a good cleanse and my skin has a tendency towards dryness.

Botanics All Bright Fast Absorbing Hand Cream £2.89
This hand cream has a thin consistency and the same floral scent as the rest of the range. It is more of a softening cream than a nourishing moisturiser, but it does smell fresh and has no greasiness so is handy to use when out and about.
Again, I found this on Boots's reduced items shelf for £1 so keep a look out for it if it is something you would like to try.

I like the packaging of the whole range with its delicate pink accents, and I think it is reasonably priced. On my dry skin the Hydrating Day Cream, Cleansing Toner and Face Scrub work together to give a genuinely impressive clear and brightening effect. This seems to be a great range for Summer but then ironically there is the concern that some of the products may make skin more sensitive to sun damage, which would ultimately put me off repurchasing. Have you tried anything from this range?

Thanks, as always, for reading,

Find the full Botanics All Bright range here:

Friday, 14 April 2017

Disappointing Drugstore Products

These products were all disappointing for me. They might work for you though, so please do let me know if you enjoy them! Luckily we are all different, with varying tastes and these are simply my own, personal thoughts.

Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream £5.50

These are very popular lip products and I do love their packaging and scent. But I find them difficult to wear. The formula is just SO matte that it makes my lips look and feel dry and flaky. I have tried plastering Vaseline onto my lips before applying these, scrubbing my lips and applying Soft Matte Lip Creams in thin layers with my fingertips, none of which helped. To make matters worse, I purchased this pale pink shade Tokyo which looks terrible on my skin tone and has been passed on to my blonde sister pretty swiftly.

You can see in this picture how uncomfortable it is to even smile once these have dried onto my lips! I am hanging on to the nude shades London and Stockholm because I love the colours and do wear them from time to time with a lip balm over the top but am always disappointed with their texture.
For an alternative matte lip, I recommend GOSH Velvet Matte and Kiko New Unlimited Stylo lipsticks which are in traditional lipstick form and comfortable to wear all day long.

Gosh Velvet Matte Lipstick £7.99

Kiko New Unlimited Stylo Lipstick £8.90

Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner £20 for full size

This is a sample size eyeliner which came in the beautiful Benefit Blushin' Babe powder set.
I had previously tried the Push Up Liner when it first launched years ago, as I do love a good eyeliner and I do love Benefit products in general. I didn't get on well with it at the time but thought I would give this sample size another try. Sadly I just can't get it to work well for me.
Too much product comes out, then too little comes out. The product itself is too wet and then it is too dry. In the time it takes me to fiddle with this little pen and its spongy nib, I can brush a line of black shadow onto my eyelid or draw an easy flick with a Collection 24hr Extreme Felt Tip Eyeliner. The blushes in this set were well worth the price though, and this was just an add-on, so I don't feel too bad as I let this liner go to a better home.

Maybelline The Nudes Palette £10
This was a bigger disappointment as £10 is about as much as I have spent on one drugstore purchase and I had high hopes for these nude eyesahdows. The colours look so perfect for wearing every single day, and indeed they are exactly the shades I do choose. But not from this palette! I use Tanya Burr's Birthday Suit palette and Makeup Revolution's Light & Shade or Chocolate Bar eyeshadows (all less expensive than this!).
I must have only used this Maybelline selection a handful of times. The shadows just don't seem to translate well onto my eyes. They seem far too much hard work to apply and to blend, and now when I see this sitting in my drawer I have negative associations with it so never pick it up. Writing this post has inspired me to try to get some use out of it though and maybe I will find a way to make it work. Watch this space!

Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Foundation £5.99
I was very excited to try this foundation, as Collection make the famous Lasting Perfection Concealer and some other great face products. This costs £5.99 so I was expecting a pretty good formula. Collection claims that "this 6-in-1 foundation primes, conceals, covers, smoothes, protects and mattifies and Provides flawless coverage with innovative skin-lock technology for up to 16 hour wear with SPF20 protection". The packaging looks great and it pumps out a good amount of product. It does mattify the skin and stay in place.
Blended onto my hand

However, I think this lightest shade 01 Porcelain looks orangey on me, and the foundation takes a lot of blending into the skin. I feel very aware of it on my face and to me it looks obvious and cakey. I will continue to give this a chance and try to lighten the colour by combining it with other face products.
It works better for me mixed with L'Oréal Nude Magique BB Cream in Light which makes the foundation easier to blend, but overall I am disappointed that it doesn't perform well on its own.

Do you agree with me about any of these products? Or are they your absolute favourites?
Thanks, as always, for reading,
Find Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner here:
Find Maybelline The Nudes palette here:
Find Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Foundation here:
Find Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream here:
Find GOSH Velvet Matte Lipstick here:
Find Kiko New Unlimited Stylo Lipstick here:

Friday, 7 April 2017

The Best Of Drugstore Purple

Today the spotlight is on some beautiful purple products, ranging in price from £2.99 to £6.99.

Maybelline ColorSensational lipstick in 365 Plum Passion £6.99

Maybelline ColorSensational lipsticks are some of the most creamy and pigmented from the highstreet. This vibrant purple has a pretty sheen and is so comfortable to wear.

It is colourful but not too bright: overall a reliable, moisturising lipstick which will put a spring in your step whenever you wear it.
Verdict: Creamy, hydrating lipstick.

Tanya Burr Enchanted Dream Eyeshadow Palette £5.99
This quad of eyeshadows has a berry-purple theme and is lovely for creating soft, mauve eye looks. The packaging, as with all Tanya Burr's palettes, is beautifully designed. With a heart-shaped mirror and the addition of a fabric tab on the lid, it is as pretty as a picture.
The actual shadows are not as pigmented as those from some drugstore brands, but work well together and provide a whole look in one box. Perfect for anyone starting out with makeup or wanting a subtle, daytime purple look.
Verdict: Not as easy to work with as Makeup Revolution shadows but you do get a whole purple look in a pretty box.

Maybelline Color Drama Velvet Lip Pencil £4.99
These Color Drama Velvet Pencils are some of my favourite lip products. They are a lipstick in pencil form which you can sharpen (they fit into the larger end of my Boots sharpener) and so apply very precisely. Some of the colours in the range are slightly drying, but this shade Berry Much is comfortable to wear all day.
The pigmentation is intense and leaves a stain on the lips as it wears off, so they are great to apply in the morning and forget about for the rest of the day. If you are looking for rich, darker purple which stays in place for hours without crumbling or flaking then give this a try.
Verdict: Intense lip colour in a handy pencil.

Kiko Ultra Glossy Stylo £4.90

Kiko lip products are so well formulated and packaged, they are a joy to use. These Glossy Stylos are essentially luxurious, tinted balms. Similar to Max Factor's Colour Intensifying balms but in my opinion much more effective and half the price.
So easy to slick on and so pretty to look at, these are great for dry lips and for giving a tint of colour on the go. I love this purple shade and there are pinks and nude colours available too.
Verdict: Comfortable balm with a pretty tint.

Collection Extreme 24hr Felt Tip Eyeliner £2.99

This is a great quality felt pen style eyeliner, and one of the most affordable. It applies smoothly and make it easy to create a flick simply by pressing the tip against the eye.
These are available in brown, black, teal and purple, all of which are extremely pigmented. I find that the teal shade has a tendency to smudge but the others stay put all day long. The purple is a lovely shade which looks subtle on its own or more vibrant alongside purple eyeshadow.
The tip of the pen is very precise and I find it smoother and more reliable to use than a traditional pencil. If you store these flat they stay pigmented for many months and are a great drugstore product.
Verdict: Best felt pen eyeliner I have tried.
In this picture I am wearing the Tanya Burr Enchanted Dream eyeshadow palette, purple Collection eyeliner and Maybelline ColorSensational lipstick in Plum Passion.

Thank you for reading,

Find Tanya Burr Enchanted Dream eyeshadow palette here:
Find Maybelline Plum Passion lipstick here:
Find Maybelline Color Drama Velvet Lip Pencil here:
Find Kiko Ultra Glossy Stylo here:

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Blue Sky Tag - 11 Questions

 I was so surprised and thrilled to be included in my first ever blogger tag by the fabulous Joanne who writes Lipstick n Leopardprint.

She answered 11 questions herself and then nominated 11 people to answer another 11 questions, and so it goes on. It's a great way of finding out more about people and also of discovering new blogs and friendships. Joanne asks:

1. Tell me your three desert island beauty products
I would choose a BB Cream, an eyebrow kit and lip balm.
On most days I wear this L'Oréal Nude Magique BB Cream in the shade Light as a base.
It is so quick and easy to blend into the skin and whilst it doesn't give much coverage, it evens out my skintone and makes me look more awake with minimal effort.
An eyebrow kit is an essential for me. I would take this one from Natural Collection to a desert island as it contains everything I need and it would fit easily into my pocket.
Any lip balm would do but I prefer a thick, nourishing one like these Chapticks which I can usually find in a poundshop as a set of two. Bargain.

2. Tea or coffee?
I like a mug of nice, strong coffee in the morning with just a splash of milk.

3. Favourite current song?
This was the most difficult question to answer! I tried to think of lots of cool tunes I could mention, but the honest answer is that I am still a '90s girl at heart and currently listening to the Brand New Heavies on repeat.

4. What have you learned from blogging?
I have learned that just as with fashion and makeup, you have to find out what suits you. Some things work and some things don't but as long as something genuinely works for you it will be authentic and be appreciated.

5. What's one quote you live your life by?
I try hard to remind myself that you can't change the past and that the future is unknown, so my energy is best spent in the moment.

6. Favourite budget brand?
I love Boots's Natural Collection brand which is fantastic value with all items priced at £1.99, and also Essence have a fabulous range. But I am going to say that my favourite budget brand is Makeup Revolution. Their choice, price and quality is just spot on.

7. What's your favourite flower?
I love daffodils. They are such a happy, burst of Springtime colour and of course the national flower of Wales.
6 year old me!

8. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you choose?
I would stay exactly where I am in North Wales. It's definitely my Comfort Zone. And these photos were all taken just metres away from my front door. What's not to love?

9. How would you spend your most perfect day?
I would spend a sunny day at my favourite seaside destination of Tenby in Pembrokeshire which holds many happy family memories.

10. What's your favourite perfume?
In the colder months I like to wear this Avon perfume which smells of marshmallowy cosiness and reminds me of some of the Soap & Glory fragrances.
In the warmer months I love this light body spray from Victoria's Secret. It smells of holidays and happiness. Both these fragrances last all day on my skin and are great value.
11. Tell us one of your bad habits
Spending money on makeup when I have plenty.

I am nominating these bloggers to answer my 11 questions if they would like to:
I would like to know:
1. Why did you start writing a blog? 
2. Which is your favourite season?
3. How would you describe your style?
4. What is your favourite treat to eat?
5. Tell us something that you do to relax
6. Do you have any pets?
7. Lipstick or lipgloss?
8. Is there a makeup or skincare brand that you have never tried but would love to?
9. What makes you laugh?
10. What was the last movie or TV series you loved?
11. What would you like to achieve 2017?

Thanks for reading, and huge thanks again to Joanne for including me in this tag,