Monday, 29 September 2014

Twinings Sweet Green Teas!

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know that I adore green tea and have been drinking it for the past few years; not just because I like it, but because it's supposed to have quite a few health and skincare benefits too.

The other week I wrote about Twinings Double Mint Sensation and jovially remarked that Twinings were welcome to send me free tea to write about in the future. (Tea Fans, you can read that post here)...

...Well, Twinings happened to stumble across that post and very, very kindly sent out some samples out to me! So, today I'll be writing about three different flavours of Twinings Sweet Green Teas!

All three of these teas were released in Feburary this year, specifically aimed at those who disliked drinking green tea purely because of the bitter taste. So if you've ever tried green tea before and didn't like the bitterness, these new flavours are definitely for you!

My initial reaction upon opening the sachet was: 'Oooh!', because it smells AMAZING! Just like proper gingerbread. 

Upon drinking, the ginger notes became quite subtle but also wonderfully sweet and spicy. I genuinely kept on sniffing the tea whilst I was drinking it - it smelled that nice - It was like the smell you get when you've opened the oven after baking heaps of gingerbread men!

It's made with real ginger pieces and golden syrup flavouring... So the taste is gentle, spicy and sweet all in one. It's lovely!

Salted Caramel*
This was a tad too sweet for me, but don't let that put you off trying it...It's still a lovely tea! 

It's seriously sweet, but also with a slight salty kick to it... This is perfect for those who have a super-sweet tooth, because this tea will really satisfy that! 

Caramelised Apple*
This is definitely my favourite of the three. As soon as I poured the water into my mug, the overwhelming smell of apple hit me. It reminded me so much of the gorgeous aroma of toffee apples that you get at fairs.  

It tasted a little like Twinings Apple and Pear green tea (which I can sadly never find in shops anymore...) but with a lovely sweet kick to it. There's also a trace of cinnamon; which adds a little hint of spice to the lovely apple-y notes of the tea!

As an aside, Twinings state that all three of these teas should only be brewed for a maximum of two minutes, so that the delicate flavours aren't lost... (That's after you spend ages smelling the teabags like I did, because they smell so nice and I'm a bit odd).

You can buy these teas for £2.49 a box, or if you want to try before you buy a full box, you can purchase an individual envelope of the tea for the mere price of 25p... Which is frankly a bargain!

So if you fancy giving any of these tasty teas a try, you can buy them directly from Twinings Online Shop by clicking here. Go on, you know you want to!

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Teeny Disclaimer: Although these samples have been provided free of charge, this review remains subjective and any views expressed are entirely my own. See more in my disclaimer.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

I received this in my August Glossybox and promised to write about it properly! So here you are...

It's worth noting, before I start rambling, that I only received a sample size tube. The full-sized tub is much bigger than the tube in my pictures!

This is a pre-conditioning treatment; so you pop it on your hair before you shampoo. It's specifically designed for damaged hair; to rejuvenate it and give your locks more bounce and elasticity. (Hence the name...)  It's packed full of oils, silicone and Elastin to keep your barnet in better condition.

Apparently this was made especially for Audrey Hepburn; so surely it's good? She asked Philip Kingsley to make a product that would keep her hair looking healthy and shiny after it was coloured regularly during her film career.

This product seems to receive universal positive reviews, but you know how critical I can be... My hair did feel much softer after using it and it was definitely less frizzy; but it didn't do much in the way of detangling - My mane can be hard to tame at the best of times, so it would literally be a miracle product if it detangled too!

As an aside, something that surprised me was that there was no scent to the product. I'm so used to haircare products having various different scents, that it was a bit weird at first... And, apparently, Elasticizer also gives your locks UV protection, which is great if you're basking in the sun on your holidays or live in warmer climes! (Lucky you...)

It costs £28 for a full-size (150ml) tub, which is quite expensive, isn't it? I'm not sure that I could justify spending that much money on a pre-conditioning treatment regularly. This was the original product of its type, but there are a range of alternatives out there; many of which are cheaper if you're on a budget...

To apply: You wet your hair, apply evenly, work it into your hair, then cover your head with a shower cap (or cling film) and leave it for 10 to 20 minutes before washing out and washing your hair as normal.

Adding another step to your haircare routine isn't ideal if you're always in a morning rush like me. However, you can also use this as an overnight hair mask too. To do that: damp your hair slightly, apply a blob of Elasticizer through your hair and wash out in the morning.

It's recommended that you use the product a minimum of once a week to give it the maximum effect. Twice a week if you've got processed curly or frizzy hair.

My final verdict? It's good, but it's pricey. I would recommend it to people who suffer from really dry and frizzy hair, but it's definitely not a product for those on a budget.

You can buy Philip Kingsley Elasticizer from Feel Unique (for £27.50) by clicking here.


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Social Experiment Gone Wrong

If you read yesterday's post, you'll probably understand what on earth I'm about to talk about. If you didn't, click here to catch up!

Sam Pepper is in deep trouble. His latest three videos have led to an abysmal decline in popularity and reputation. Firstly, he groped some girls. Secondly, he got a girl to grope some boys. Thirdly, he came out and said: 'It was all a social experiment, guys!'

Whether or not he's saying that just to cover his back, I don't know... However, he didn't apologise, he didn't elaborate and he certainly failed to acknowledge everything that was kicking off; instead choosing to tweet several times about pizza... Maybe if he'd have posted the second and third videos earlier, before things had a chance to escalate, none of this would've happened?

I think what he was trying to prove is that people would be less outraged at a man being sexually assaulted. Who would be less outraged? It's still abhorrent to grope anybody you don't know.

Irrespective of gender, groping a stranger is totally unacceptable. 

We can only speculate as to whether he was caught out and thought that he'd better try and cover his tracks by claiming it's all an experiment, or whether he'd planned all three videos far in advance.

Essentially this is just one huge ill-judged mess. What's important is that it has highlighted the need to take a stand against both male and female sexual assault. I'll repeat: Irrespective of gender, groping a stranger is totally unacceptable. I'm just not sure that Sam Pepper's done this in the right way; which is why there's understandably such a massive backlash...

I'll be back tomorrow with something a little less serious! I promise!

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Sam Pepper's Controversial Video

Unless you spent your weekend in a wi-fi free cave, you've probably heard of the whole debacle involving the YouTuber, Sam Pepper's, latest 'prank'...

If you were in said cave, here's what happened: Basically, Pepper walked the streets armed with a fake hand; and then proceeded to grope random attractive girls in the street with one of his real hands, before blaming it on innocent bystanders. After that, he forced the girls into a hug. All of this he filmed and uploaded to YouTube as his latest video entitled 'Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank'. Nice...

It's worth noting that the video has since been deleted from YouTube, however, it's already caused a significant amount of damage to Sam's reputation.

The hashtag 'ReportSamPepper' has been trending at the weekend on an international scale. YouTubers from across the world have also been vocal in opposing this video. Pepper's even been banned from the huge YouTube event VidCon as a result.

Now, don't get me wrong, Pepper may have made a stupid mistake, but he's in the public eye and any mistake is going to be magnified significantly. The fact that he seemingly uses his position as someone who's 'Internet famous' to force himself on random women is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. There's a sense of entitlement that emanates from his videos: That he gets what he wants because he's Sam Pepper of YouTube.

Maybe Sam has totally misjudged this whole situation and genuinely never meant to cause any harm, but the silence that has since prevailed has spoken volumes. He has completely failed to acknowledge anything or, despite a huge Internet backlash, apologise.

In a self-appointed position of fame like he's in, he needs to stand up and be a responsible role-model. What kind of example is he setting to his viewers? 'It's okay to grope women, as long as you say it's a joke!'

I'll be honest, I'd never even heard of him until quite recently. I saw him as a guest on an E4 panel show and they showed a clip of one of his other videos: The one where he wanders the streets kissing random girls. I was a little perplexed by that and I'm not going to lie, I thought it was a little bit iffy.

We shouldn't be living in a world where it's okay to grope random people in the street under the guise of 'comedy'.

It's not funny that at least one of those women featured in the video was visibly distressed. She uttered more than once that she didn't like it... Yet Pepper still uploaded this footage. Why? I've no idea...

...If this video is deemed socially acceptable then it perpetuates the patriarchal myth that women are nothing but sex objects.

Thankfully, the consequent backlash proves that it's not a respectable thing to do and that it definitely won't be tolerated.

To the people who think this is just a harmless joke, imagine it's your mother, sister, girlfriend or daughter that's getting groped by a random stranger. You'd be furious wouldn't you? So why should it be alright if it's in the name of 'comedy'?

I'll calm down now. I promise.

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Monday, 22 September 2014

Chit Chat Blusher

Behold, Ladies and Gentleman, for I am here to discuss a blusher that cost ONE POUND. Yes, really...

...Poundland have their own cosmetics range. Who knew?! Chit Chat is the seriously premium cosmetics brand from the chain where everything costs the hefty price of £1.

It's not actually that bad. That's a compliment. I really didn't expect a great deal from a product that cost so little, but it's not bad at all.

It really isn't the most pigmented of blushers available, but for a pound, what do you expect? That does mean that you have to use a little more to get a visible effect... But again, for a pound, is that really such a terrible thing?

The shade I tried is 'Blossom'. It's really subtle, quite shimmery and has a bit of a highlighting effect; which is great if you're looking for something a little less 'matte'.

When you look at it, it's deceptively pale. My photo definitely fails to give the paleness justice. I thought that such a light shade would struggle to stand out at all. However, as you can see from the extreme close-up*, it's definitely visible.

Poundshops and I have a bit of a tenuous relationship because they're brimming with bargains, which is great, except I'm a bit of a snob... But I'm definitely willing to swallow my pride if products like this are on offer. It's honestly quite good for the price and I am considerably more impressed with it than I thought I would be.

I do believe that there are an array of different shades; so there's plenty to cater for everyone, regardless of skin tone!

Get yourselves down to the pound shop and grab a bargain! (If you're not a massive snob too, that is...)

*Where I appear to be pulling a weird face. I'm blaming my LED camera light; it's way too bright to be able to pull normal faces in photographs.

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*I lied. Sorry.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Surely you've heard of this? I've been meaning to mention this in my monthly favourites for ages, but keep on forgetting! So, here is a proper post all about it...

Real Techniques are a brand that I am really beginning to love and trust. I've already mentioned the sponge in my June Favourites. Which, if you've not already read, you can find here.

I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that this makes your foundation look amazing. Products which you'd usually apply with your fingers look ten times better when applied with this brush. According to Sam Chapman, one of those behind Real Techniques, you can use this to apply powder and blusher too.

The brush is made from synethic bristles, which are 100% cruelty-free, just in case you were worried about having animal testing on your conscience. The bristles are also firm and broad, which makes it perfect for applying both liquid and cream foundations. It seems to be really soft and gentle too, which ensures that it doesn't aggravate any dry or sensitive skin patches.

The handle's quite chunky so it's relatively easy to grip; and it's made of Aluminium, so isn't heavy at all. Just in case you were previously struggling under the extreme weight of your old makeup brushes...

You can really buff the product into your skin without it looking 'cakey' by the time you've finished. (I don't want the nickname 'Cakey Katie'...) This brush is absolutely great for preventing over-application of foundation, which is so easy to do with your fingers. The finish it leaves is beautiful and this is the only foundation brush I've ever used that doesn't leave streaks!

Granted, it looks quite small, but you can quickly apply product across your whole face with ease. It's also not like traditional foundation brushes: The bristles are a rounded bundle rather than a flat bunch of lacklustre fibres.

Back in the day, before I discovered Real Techniques, I applied foundation with my fingers... A sin, I know... However, I've used this pretty much every day since I picked it up in July. I wash it weekly and it's still in perfect condition. Bristles aren't falling out (which is one of my pet hates) and it's not deteriorating in any other way.

Brushes from the Real Techniques range are colour-coded too, which is really handy!
Gold = Base brushes. 

The brush costs £9.99 in Boots, which I know is quite pricey; and that's what initially dissuaded me from buying it, but... Once you've tried it, you realise it's genuinely worth the price!

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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Katie Writes: Now on Facebook!

This is pretty much a self-explanatory post, to be honest! You can now become a fan of Katie Writes on Facebook! How exciting is that?

(Not very, you could argue, but please don't; because I'll cry if you do).

So, those of you who aren't on Bloglovin', Instagram or Twitter can now get updates straight through Facebook. Become a fan and get my incessant ramblings delivered straight to your news feed...

Go on! You know you want to!

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Monday, 15 September 2014

Review: Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

 On Friday when I reviewed some foundation I called it 'Foundation Friday' and I'm not ashamed to call today 'Mascara Monday' either...

To call this an understated product is such an understatement. It's one that I've overlooked for years, if I'm honest. It's one of those great 'traditional' mascaras that's been on shelves for as long as you can remember and that's really stood the test of time.

The packaging, for starters, is something that's really quite hard to miss. It's a bit...garish, potentially? Bright pink and lime green...? Although, maybe I shouldn't be judging this book by its cover.

Maybelline have a good history of making bestseller mascaras. Great Lash is cheap, it's good and it does exactly what it says on the tin... Even if that 'tin' is so brightly coloured that you practically need sunglasses just to glance at it.

The brush is pretty bog standard. (Not bog brush. Don't apply your mascara with one of those, please. Imagine the germs, not to mention the panda eyes.) It's fibrous, not a 'show-off-y' plastic one and the shape is pretty standard too. As you can see from the third picture, I've compared the wand with Max Factor's False Lash Effect. The MF one has plastic bristles, as opposed to Maybelline's traditional fibre ones.

If you prefer a chunkier wand, you might be better off with a different product. Although, this would be great for coating your lower lashes, even if you don't use it for anything else.

There aren't even weird or science-y boasts about this product and with some of the stuff that cosmetics companies come out with nowadays, maybe that's a breath of fresh air?

I've been using the shade Blackest Black, but you can also buy Black/Brown, if that's more your cup of tea. There's also a waterproof option on offer too, for those who prefer that! They like to call Blackest Black 'Ultra Noir', because it sounds quite posh.

It's not going to leave you with lashes that look too dramatic, which makes it great for using as a daytime mascara. Like with Rimmel's new Wonder'Full mascara, you might need something with a little more 'oomph' for nights out. Also like Wonder'Full, it also promises to condition your lashes. I'm not sure whether or not it's worked for me...

There's nothing special about it and maybe that's what makes it so good? Brand after brand bring out new mascaras that claim to do all these fancy things for you and sometimes they fail to deliver. With this you're unlikely to be disappointed because it doesn't bang on needlessly about giving your lashes loads of volume or making them look false.

Now I will admit that I did suffer from a little bit of smudging under my eyes after a few hours. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know how much I despise smudgy mascaras... It wasn't too bad and seeing as the mascara's so cheap, I'm willing to let it off. I even managed to get away without suffering from the dreaded 'clumpiness', which is brilliant for such a budget mascara.

Great Lash retails for £4.99 and it is a little smaller than your average mascara tube... Size isn't everything, after all. You can pick it up in drugstores and probably even the odd supermarket too!

If you're looking for a good mascara that's not going to cost the earth, then this is one to seriously consider.

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Saturday, 13 September 2014

Twinings Double Mint Sensation Tea

I'm a green/herbal tea addict. I'll be the first to admit that. So, I thought I'd discuss something a little different for a change... Just in case you were bored of me banging on and on about makeup.

If you hadn't already guessed, I'm talking about this relatively new tea from Twinings: The Double Mint Sensation. Or Intensely Double Mint. Whatever you want to call it. It's basically peppermint tea, but also with added peppermint oil, so that's where the 'double' bit comes from...

If you're in dire need of a warm, but seriously refreshing beverage, this is a great one to try.

You get 20 sachets in a box. I love the fact that they come in sachets rather than unwrapped bags, because it's easier to take them out and about with you. You can take them to work, or just leave one in your handbag in case you get an emergency case of 'tea-withdrawal'.*

*It happens a lot to English people. Don't judge us, okay?

You probably don't even need to brush your teeth after drinking this, because your breath is so minty and fresh. I would clean your teeth anyway though... So that they don't end up going rotten and falling out...

The longer you leave the bag in, the mintier the tea is, obviously. Twinings advise you to infuse for 3-4 minutes, but leave the bag in longer if you want a seriously minty kick.

Dear Reader, this post isn't sponsored. Having said that, if Twinings see this and want to send me free tea, they're very welcome. HINT HINT.

If you fancy trying it, you can buy a pack for £2-£2.50 from any UK supermarket!

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Friday, 12 September 2014

Review: Revlon Colourstay Foundation

Ooh, I suppose you could call this Foundation Friday, couldn't you? If you like alliteration as much as me...

You lucky lot. Two foundation reviews in as many days! I bought this a few months ago from Superdrug, but felt that even the Normal/Dry skin one was quite drying on my skin, so it was retired to the 'redundant makeup shelf'. I rescued it the other week and decided to trial it especially for you lovely readers. 

For starters the formula is quite gloopy. You really have to work it into your skin to get good coverage and you have to be quick while applying it, or else it gets streaky... I applied this with my lifesaver AKA. the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.

The foundation comes with a screw lid, without a pump dispenser, so you literally have to pour it out onto the back of your hand. Which is, of course, potentially messy and you run the risk of suffering from spillages and wasting the product if too much comes out at once. It's not ideal, is it?

However, it is REALLY long-lasting. Revlon claims that it lasts for 24 hours, but I don't wear my foundation for that long so can't confirm this. Who does?!

The product comes in two types: Normal/Dry and Normal/Oily. I'm using the former rather than the latter. Revlon are catering for essentially what are two different markets with the same product. Aren't they clever?

There are a great range of shades! You know what I'm like, constantly moaning about how cosmetics companies fail to deliver adequate products for super-pale people... So it's great that Revlon, like Rimmel, are leading the way of drugstore brands catering for really pale skin. I've been using 110 Ivory; the lightest shade, of course...

You definitely don't need a primer to give this foundation extra staying power, but may need one to mask the appearance of fine lines - which it can sink into a little. So, if you suffer from the odd wrinkle here and there, it's maybe better to pop some primer on underneath to stop it sinking in to those fine lines. I do...

I've found that the product offers medium to heavy coverage. It can sometimes feel a bit too heavy on my skin. I like my skin to be able to breathe properly under foundation and this is sometimes a bit too much for me. Which aptly brings me to my next point...

I'm not sure if this causes spots... Or if it's just coincidence that I've had breakouts the last two times that I've used this. I really don't know, but if you do suffer from quite bad acne, it might be better to look for something a bit 'lighter'.

The only definite problem that I've experienced with this foundation is unfortunately a big one. It seems to have aggravated my eczema. If you've never read my blog before, I'm a bit weird and suffer from eczema on my eyelids... This basically means that I have to be careful with regards to beauty products. I have noticed tightness around that area and after wearing it I had to crack out the hydrocortisone cream for the first time in months.*
*Dear Reader, do not put hydrocortisone cream on your face... You're not supposed to! The only reason I do is because the doctor told me to... And doctors scare me... So I do what they say.

The finish, with a light dusting of ELF HD Powder on top, is a matte one. I've even had compliments on how good my skin looks when wearing this foundation! In addition to this, it doesn't really oxidise or get ridiculously oily on my skin (in certain oilier areas) after a few hours... A huge bonus and saves me from dragging blotting papers around with me everywhere, just in case the dreaded shininess occurs!

You can pick this up for £12.99. So it's quite good value, but is hitting the top end of the high street foundation price range.

I would honestly recommend this to anyone, as long as you don't have problem skin. It's a really fantastic, but very overlooked, foundation.

So, to recap...

  • Shades for those with deathly pallors!
  • SPF 20,
  • Long-lasting,
  • Leaves a lovely matte finish.
  • Potentially drying,
  • Quite heavy on skin,
  • Lid could equate to spillages and messiness,
  • Potentially spot-causing.
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Thursday, 11 September 2014

Review: Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation

I've heard so many great things about this foundation. I've seen loads of blogs lauding it and YouTubers raving about it. So, with all the hype about this product, I was keen to try it out for myself... But did it live up to my high expectations?

To answer the above question, 'Yes and no', but mainly no... I bought this quite a few months back, I tried it once. It made me look orange. I put it aside on the 'redundant makeup shelf' and left it well alone; for fear of being mistaken for a satsuma should I leave the house wearing it.

I have obviously used it a handful of times since, but every time I catch a glimpse of that orange mug of mine, I regret not using something more 'deathly-pale'. It looks orange straight away; not like it's oxidising on my skin after application. It's just way too dark, I'm not exaggerating. You only have to look at that picture above for proof.

I tried 'No. 51 Vanille Clair', which is the lightest shade on offer. I'll be honest, being exceptionally pale does not make it easy to buy any foundation or concealer products; but I swear some cosmetics companies take the mickey a bit. 'Ivory' and 'Porcelain' are still normally bright orange...

There are so many foundations out there that I would love to try that are just too dark for me. This, unfortunately, is one of those. I heard such great things about it and it didn't look too orange on my hand under the bright lights of Boots, so I thought I'd take a risk...

...It kind of backfired, because as I'm sat writing this whilst wearing the foundation, I look like I've just waltzed off the set of TOWIE: the irradiant orange hue to my face is quite hard to miss. (I took my dog for a walk like this too. The milkman saw me... Hopefully he didn't think I'm the lovechild of David Dickinson and Gemma Collins).

I do like this foundation. It's feels moisturising on my skin, without looking too oily or shiny. That's a hard balance to find and Bourjois have done it very well with this product. I just wish that they made it in lighter shades. I daren't use this foundation without having fake-tanned myself up to the eyeballs; or else I have the dreaded 'orange-face-white-everything-else' look going on, which really isn't good.

On the plus side, it looks quite natural (in texture) and it feels quite light and airy on my skin, despite it giving quite good coverage. It's easy to blend into skin with just your fingers, although I'm sure it'd work just as well with a brush or sponge. It's quite 'liquid-y', so you've got time to really work it into your skin before it dries, unlike some other thicker foundations.

Bourjois boast that this product has fruit in it and if fruit's good for you dietary needs, it's got to be good plastered all over your face too, right...?

I would recommend this product to anyone who isn't ghostly pale or has really dry or really oily skin. That narrows down the market a little, but I'm sure Bourjois still make shedloads of money from this otherwise great foundation.

  • Skin-Loving ingredients,
  • Readily available in high-street stores,
  • Moisturising without being oily,
  • Relatively cheap at £9.99
  • Way too orange for me (which I'm honestly disappointed about),
  • Too small a range of shades to cater for everyone,
  • Scented - Which may irritate particularly sensitive skin,
  • Potentially clings to dry skin patches.

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Review: Rimmel Wonder'Full Mascara

*Ooh, shiny new mascara alert.* You know me, I'm incredibly picky when it comes to mascaras... So will this self-professed 'wonderful' mascara live up to my high standards?

You may well have seen Georgia May Jagger sashaying around making eyes at people while wearing this mascara on the TV ad recently? She was advertising this in style; as she does with all new Rimmel products, except when Kate Moss feels like sashaying in instead...

Anyway, back to the mascara... I picked this Boots a couple of weeks ago because I'm not ashamed to say that I'm hopelessly addicted to mascara.  It costs £7.99, but I bought on offer for £5.99... Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be on offer anymore. Sorry!

It contains argon oil, which seems to be everywhere at the moment! It claims to moisturise your lashes while you're wearing it. Impressive, if you've got dry lashes. I wouldn't be able to tell you if it's worked for me or not... I genuinely can't comment because I've not really used it for long enough. I've been using it on and off for less than a fortnight, so it's perhaps no where near enough to have had any effect...? 

I would say that this is perfect for a day look, but you'd maybe need something a tad more dramatic for night time. It's really great for giving my lashes length, but it's not that fantastic at giving them loads of volume. That's fine for daytime wear, but at night, you might want a mascara with a bit more kick.*
*Don't kick your eyes.

The one thing that I really dislike about this mascara is the smudging. I know that not everyone necessarily has this problem, but I do unfortunately get this with a lot of mascaras. And it really dissuades me from using this one. Even if I curl my eyelashes to give them lift, the dreaded smudging still occurs. If you're lucky enough not to struggle with smudging, then I'm sure you'll love this mascara! It's just not ideal to have to keep on checking your eyes in a mirror throughout the day, to ensure that you haven't turned into a panda.

The brush is slightly similar in feel to Benefit's They're Real's - Albeit a bit fatter and without the 'ball' of spikes at the end of the wand. There's no clumping either, which is fantastic! One great thing about this mascara is that it's easy to create a slightly cat-eyed look, if that's your cup of tea...

(...People aren't going to mistake you for a moggy, but it looks eye-catching... Get it? Ha.)

The packaging, as you can see, is a copper-coloured curved tube. Rimmel always go the extra mile to ensure that their products catch your eye. Even if it does make it a little harder to photograph for your blog...

Unfortunately, this mascara is only available in Black. There's no Black/Brown option, which I tend to opt for if it's available. I don't think that Rimmel offer a waterproof version either.

N.B. As a complete, self-confessed grammar pedant, the name irritates me ever-so slightly. I'm sure that Rimmel are trying to say that it makes your lashes look fuller, which it does, and also wonderful... I get that, but it doesn't stop me being a Grammar Nazi about it...

So, to recap...

  • Great for daytime wear,
  • Offers fantastic lift to lashes,
  • Cheap,
  • No clumping.
  • Unsure if 'conditioning effect' actually works,
  • Not available in Black/Brown or Waterproof,
  • Plastic wand - Not ideal for those who prefer fibre brushes.

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Monday, 8 September 2014

August Favourites!

Yes, it's that time of the month again. (No, not that one...)

Belatedly, here are my favourite products from August 2014!

Tangle Teezer
I was only introduced to this quite recently, when I had my hair cut. The hairdresser suggested that I'd benefit from one... I don't know quite how to take that...? Anyway, I was put off by the hefty price (£10.99) but ever since I caved and bought one, I seriously haven't regretted it.

I've been using this every day and I even took it to London with me last month. It's great! Mine's bright pink and literally glides through my hair. As an aside, you can't actually use this while you're drying your hair. It's made of plastic and obviously it would just melt...

I would definitely recommend this to those of us with lovely long locks, which are also prone to getting knotted! It's a Godsend!

You can buy Tangle Teezer from Boots for £10.99 by clicking here.

Coconut Oil
I've found myself asking over the past few weeks why I've never stumbled across this before? It's amazing! 

You can use it as: A hair mask, face mask, face wash, eye cream and goodness knows what else. It's so versatile! One 125ml pot of this cost me £2.25 and a little goes a really long way.

I've mainly been using it as a hair mask overnight. You just scoop some out of the tub, rub it together between your palms to warm it slightly and smear it over the lengths and ends of your hair. By the time you wash it out in the morning, your hair will feel beautifully soft and more manageable.

You can buy Coconut Oil from Superdrug here.

ELF Zit Zapper
For the millionth time, I'll remind you of the fact that I've recently had an awful breakout... (Yawn). I've been using this in my bedtime spot-zapping routine. At £1.95, it's so cheap, but definitely worth its weight in gold!

The Zapper contains salicylic acid, which is proven to kill those horrid zits. A little goes really far and it's got a rollerball so it's incredibly easy to apply. At £1.95, you really can't complain!

You can buy this wonderful product for £1.95 by clicking here!

Garnier Micellar Water
I know that there's a lot of controversy surrounding micellar waters and whether they're actually good for your skin... But I've tried a few and I like this one. It seems to glide over my skin, readily taking my makeup off at the end of the day. This particular product is also designed for sensitive skin, so it doesn't irritate those delicate parts of your face.

A 400ml bottle normally costs £4.99, but it's on offer at both Boots and Superdrug at the moment - So get it while it's on offer! Garnier claim that 400ml equates to 200 uses; I'm not sure whether that's true, but it's quite impressive if it is.

It washes your skin really gently and this is one of the better micellar waters that I've tried.

Garnier Micellar Water is now £3.33 at Boots, click here to get it now!

Rimmel Wonder'Full Mascara
This is a brand new mascara from Rimmel. I've actually written a full review of this, which is coming very soon, so I won't go into too much detail.

You know how picky I can be about mascaras, but this isn't bad. 

It retails for £7.99, but I bought it on offer a couple of weeks ago. It contains argon oil, which is everywhere at the moment; and is designed to condition your lashes while you're wearing it.

It gives my lashes nice length, but doesn't go overboard on definition and volume. I would recommend this as a great daytime mascara, but you might want something with a bit more 'oomph' for nights out.

You can get this new mascara from Boots by clicking here.

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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Feel Unique Goodies

Feel Unique have had a fantastic sale recently with some HUGE reductions. In addition to this, they sent me an email with a 10% off code. So, with such extensive discounts, I definitely had to buy some bits and bobs! 

Tanya Burr Nail Varnish
I've been after some of this for a while. It's an exclusive range by 'Eye Candy', but all the products were devised by Tanya Burr herself. I bought this in the beautifully bright shade 'Be Bright, Be Happy, Be You'. Tanya has named every single shade after something that means a lot to her, which is a lovely personal touch to all of her nail and lip products.

I've not actually tried this yet, although I am planning to very soon. Promise. When I do, I'll let you all know how I get on with it!

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
Ooh. I was quite harsh in my review of this the other week, wasn't I? As I recently mentioned, I've had a terrible breakout recently and I had run out of my first tube. I thought it was definitely worth repurchasing while it was on offer. After all, it is sometimes a skin saviour! 

In the end, I got about £2 off its regular (hefty) £15.50 price.

Móa The Little Green Balm
 This is such an understated product and has myriad uses. Okay, so at £4.99, it's quite pricey, but it's a great treat and a little goes a long way. It's 100% natural and also very green, as the name suggests. 

I use this for when my skin's desperately in need of some moisture, especially around my nose when I have a cold. It's absolutely wonderful for healing dry and sore skin quickly and you can even drink it as a tea too!

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick By Kate Moss 
It's ages since I've had one of these lipsticks, so I thought that I'd buy one while it's on offer. I bought this product in shade 16, which is a lovely coral-y colour.
(I swear I currently have an obsession with coral lipsticks).

 To me, it smells of watermelon? Maybe that's just me...? It's quite a moisturising lipstick, which is great considering that it only costs £4.49 (full price). I normally find that 'long lasting' lipsticks tend to dry my lips out horribly, but thankfully this doesn't feel too drying.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Review: Seventeen On The Spot Foundation

If you're a fellow zit-face like me, you'll relish the opportunity to try products that boast about their spot-killing capabilities. Does this product live up to my ridiculously high foundation standards? Read on and find out...

I turned to this foundation a few days ago, despite having owned it for a couple of months, because I've had another horrific breakout. The product contains salicylic acid, which is great for fighting spots. As you can see, it claims to clear your skin within four weeks. To me, that's an exciting prospect and I thought it was well worth a try!

I bought the foundation in Soft Ivory and I'm not actually sure whether this is the lightest shade or not. For some reason, it's defined as the second lightest shade... However, comparing this and Porcelain, the so-called lightest shade, Soft Ivory was the one that actually looked a bit lighter. As you can see from the second picture, it still looks terribly orange on my fair skin... I daren't leave the house wearing it again, for fear of people thinking I'm a star of TOWIE.

I like the consistency of this foundation, it's not too watery or too thick and gloopy either. It gives quite a matte finish and it's reassuring to think that it could be helping to eradicate those nasty spots whilst you're wearing it.

The packaging does say that this foundation offers a full coverage. I'm not sure it does for me. I had to use quite a lot of product to reach a finish that I was happy with. I'm not normally one for slapping loads and loads of foundation on, but it took a lot of this to cover blemishes and red patches properly. Even after applying, I wasn't that convinced that it left a particularly full or heavy coverage.

The tube, 30ml, isn't that big. Considering that you have to use a fair bit to get good coverage, it might not last all that long. (Surprisingly, it's actually the same size as a bottle of Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation, but looks far smaller).

By the end of the day, I caught sight of my reflection before I was about to wash this off. I genuinely looked terrible... Embarrassingly so. The foundation had descended into various orange patches dotted around my face. It was unbelievably patchy, to the point where I looked a little like I'd applied it in the dark. (Which I hadn't, obviously... I applied it in the light with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush).

Another problem with this foundation is that it did go a bit funny when I applied my setting spray. I wear setting spray pretty much every day and don't normally experience any problems with it. This foundation doesn't seem to get on with it. It's quite hard to explain, but I guess that it just 'unsettles' it a little and takes ages to dry afterwards. Now, I'm not sure if this is what made the foundation look patchy in the end, but I didn't notice patchiness at all initially.

I can't really comment properly on whether this foundation does clear your skin up after 4 weeks, like it says, because it's just so dark, I daren't wear it every day. I can't go out looking like a patchy Wotsit every day for a month, can I?

At £6.99, it's honestly worth a try if you suffer from breakouts and you're not too pale. I just hope others fare better with this foundation than I did...

So, to recap:

  • Spot-fighting ingredients,
  • Lovely matte finish,
  • Cheap,
  • SPF 15.
  • Potential patchiness,
  • Too orangey for me,
  • Quite a small tube,
  • Need to apply quite a lot for good coverage.
Have you tried this foundation? Did you like it? Comment below and tell me!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Liebster Award!

A few days ago I was nominated for the Liebster Award by the lovely Rachel. Check out her blog here. And yesterday, I was nominated again by Mariam too! And you can check out her blog here! Thank you to both of you for nominating me!

Here are the rules!
  • You thank the person who nominated you by linking to their blog,
  • Post 11 facts about yourself,
  • Answer the 11 questions the nominator gave to you,
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers,
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees,
  • Let your nominees know by getting in touch with them.
11 Facts About Me:
1.) My birthday is in August. 
(I've got the same birthday as Terry Wogan, which, of course, makes me exceptionally cool...)
2.) I studied at the University of Derby.
3.) I'm a quarter German.
4.) I had braces from the ages of 18 to 22! (Yes, really...)
5.) I passed my driving test with one minor... (It was the second attempt though...)
6.) My favourite ever comedy is Green Wing, which few people have heard of.
7.) My dog's called Cookie.
8.) I have a car called Clive the Corsa...
9.) I enjoy writing lists far too much.
10.) I'm only 5'4", so most people tower above me.
11.) And finally... I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with social networking...

Seeing as Rachel nominated me first, I'm going to answer the questions that she gave me: 

1) What is your favourite perfume? 
I've been using Lacoste Joy of Pink recently, which I love. I've also been trying out Ghost Eclipse which smells gorgeous too and might well be a new fave!

2) What is the next beauty product you intend to buy/would love to try?
I would love to try Chanel Lumiere Foundation, as I've heard so many people raving about it! It's just a shame it's so expensive! (I also want to try Benefit's new eyeliner...) The list is endless!

3) What is your favourite trait about yourself?
Kindness...? Although it sounds boring, I'd like to think that kindness goes a long way.

4) Who is your role model?
Probably my Mum/Nana/Grandma, as trite as it sounds. 
(Kind ladies, but not to be messed with...)

5) Are you a morning or a night person?
Definitely a night person. I don't function in the mornings AT ALL without copious amounts of caffeine. 

6) What is your most repurchased beauty/haircare product?
That's a really tough question! I think it'd probably be Max Factor's False Lash Effect Mascara, which is the best mascara I've ever encountered!

7) What is your favourite quote?
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.” - Albert Einstein.

8) What has made you smile today?
Finally getting my Internet connection back after days of it being down/ridiculously slow! And watching one of my oldest friends doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge... (She's also nominated me - Thanks Laura!)

9) What is your favourite makeup brand?
I can't decide! Probably Rimmel? Judging by how many Rimmel products I've reviewed over the past couple of months... I love Max Factor too and if I'm feeling flush: Mac.

10) What skill would you like to learn?
I would love to be musical and play an array of instruments, but unfortunately I am literally terrible at playing any instrument and singing too!

11) What is one thing you are proud of?
I'm really proud of making it through Uni and graduating with a 2:1 degree! 

I nominate:

The 11 questions for my nominees are:

1.) What's your favourite skincare product?
2.) Who's your favourite author?
3.) If you were stuck on a desert island and could only take one item, what would it be?
4.) What made you want to start blogging in the first place?
5.) What five things make you feel happy?
6.) What's your favourite TV show?
7.) What is your favourite shop?
8.) If you had an endless budget, what would you buy?
9.) What's the best meal you've ever had?
10.) Shower or bath?
11.) And finally... What's the tale behind your blog's title?

Thanks for reading!
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