Thursday, 8 November 2012

Combating Tired Eyes

Early morning view at the elephant sanctuary

Long time no see! It’s been so long since I’ve sat down to write a blog post, since well before I went off travelling at the beginning of August. But I’m back and on a blog post writing roll!

My travels around SE Asia were amazing and I had so much fun. I learnt so much at the elephant sanctuary, where I was a volunteer, and will hopefully return there in the near future. I would love to do a whole post on the subject, please let me know if you'd be interested.

I’m now settled in London and it still feels so strange having Oxford Street on my doorstep. Luckily my bank balance hasn’t really been affected (so far!) but I have discovered a few new shops and some favourite new clothing items. I also completely under estimated how much time a PhD takes up and have been really struggling to balance work, socialising, hobbies and sleep. I think I’m starting to get into a routine and still get enough sleep.

So the main problem I’ve been had to deal with is having, on average, around 5 hours sleep a night. I’m a girl who needs her sleep and I can get very grumpy if I haven’t got my full eight hours! Not only that but a lack of sleep causes me to get very dark very puffy eyes. Not a good look. However I have found 3 products that I think have really helped to keep the zombie eyes looking a little less, well, zombie like.

The first product is the Kiels Eye Alert eye cream. Now this is actually from the Kiels men’s range, but if it works then what does it matter! This eye cream claims to be an energy booster to combat puffiness and dark circles and I definitely notice the difference when I use it. A little while after I pat it under my eyes I feel the skin start to cool and tighten but it feels so hydrating too. It’s a little pricey at £22.50 for 15ml but you only need the tiniest amount so it will last a good while. It’s definitely a winner for me.

Next is the YSL touché éclat in shade 1. I had never laid hands on this product until a couple of months ago (I know, shocking isn't it!). When I was in the duty free this summer I thought it was about time I checked this raved about product out and treated myself. This has been great at lifting and brightening the dark shadows in the inner corner of eyes. Ultimately this just makes me look so much more awake. I now realise why this is such a cult product and will definitely be keeping this in my makeup bag for the foreseeable future. 

Lastly is a product which I have mentioned before, my Look Beauty eyeliner in shade number 6. This is a flesh coloured eyeliner that I place on my water line. I love how flesh coloured eyeliners can help counteract redness in the eyes and instantly make you look more awake. This one is super soft and creamy so doesn’t drag on the eyes and lasts quite well. It’s definitely not the longest lasting of products but it’s not the worst either.

Swatches of YSL touché éclat in shade 1, top, and Look Beauty Eyeliner in Shade 6,  bottom

I think I’ve finally settled into a routine where I’m getting my usual 7-8 hours sleep a night so hopefully I wont be reaching for all these products on a regular basis. What are your go to products on those days when you could do with an extra couple of hours of sleep?


Rae xxx

Saturday, 1 September 2012

FOTD: Everyday Summer Makeup

This summer hasn’t been a great one in terms of weather. Lots of rain and little sun which isn’t the most enjoyable combination, but I live in England so what more can you do? I wanted to share with you my current go-to makeup look of late. I’ve never done a post like this before but I really love this look and wanted to share it with you. I’m by no means a makeup expert, but I love playing around with eyeshadows and (trying) to switch my look every now and again.

I’ve been toning down the amount of makeup that I have been wearing recently, settling for one all-over eyeshadow colour, if any, and brown kohl eyeliner instead of the two or three eyeshadow shades I normally wear with lashings of gel eyeliner. I’ve been enjoying the softer look, and the fewer products I have needed to use. I’ve also been trying to make myself feel a bit more summery, by switching my usual blusher for my Bourjois soleil bronzer, which I find provides a natural looking bronzed look (at least I’ve been getting complements on how tanned I look so I guess I can’t look too orange!). 

Here is a picture of everything that I used to create this look. I know that the amount of products shown still looks like a lot (and I was surprised when I gathered everything up to photograph!) but I find that it takes no time at all to apply and I can be ready to leave the house in around 5 – 10 minutes!

What is your go-to makeup look for summer?

Love Rae

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Project Pan: Update 3

It’s been a while since I’ve done a project pan update and I’ve got a stack of items which I’ve used up. I’ve now moved back home and my project pan is officially over, however I still have a lot of products and I definitely want to keep going on with trying to use them all up! I think I may try and do some monthly empties posts (maybe in video format, let me know what you think!). Anyways onto the update!

I’ve managed to use up a few more of the Body Shop Seaweed Range: the cleanser and the night treatment. I do quite like the seaweed  range from the body shop. I think there are other cleansers and definitely night treatments which I prefer and so I don’t think I will be repurchasing either of these anytime soon.
Now another cleanser I have finished up is the Neutragena grapefruit daily exfoliating wash. I love this face wash. It smells great and I think it works really well with my skin. This face wash does contain small exfoliating beads but it is definitely a gentle exfoliant. Whilst using this I noticed that my skin looked so much better, I had fewer breakouts and my skin was less shiney. If you have combination skin then I would definitely, definitely recommend this. I tried to get hold of this again when I ran out but it was out of stock so I had to settle for the standard Neutragena daily exfoliating wash, which is good, but I’m definitely not as fond of.

I managed to finish a few makeup products. One of these was the Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer, which is an amazing concealer. I consider this to be one of my holy grail products and I think I will continue to repurchase this again and again! It lasts so well on the skin and covers imperfections really well. If you haven’t tried this and are on the hunt for a new concealer then I urge to try this one out!
The other makeup item I finished was a Rimmel Blush in Autumn Catwalk. This blush contained 3 different pinky peach shades, too matte and one shimmery one, which I used swirled together. I did really like the shades contained in this blush and the product was very pigmented and so a light hand was definitely needed. I think this was a great highstreet blusher and I would love to try out some more blushers from Rimmel.

Lastly I finished a sample of the Lancome miceller makeup remover solution, for eyes lips and face. This was the product which converted me from facewipes to micellaire solutions and I enjoyed how easily this removed my makeup at the end of the day. I have since been using Bioderma and have a large stock of this, but as Bioderma isn’t quite so easy to get hold of I would definitely consider repurchasing the Lancome version.

So that’s the round up of this project pan update. Have you used any of the projects mentioned, if so what were your thoughts? 

Love Rae

Sunday, 12 August 2012

July Favourites

 So August is here and it’s time for another monthly favourites! July was a busy month for me as I graduated from university, moved back home and spent a week in Germany. This month has flown by and I’ve barely had time to stop and catch my breath! Because of moving home I haven’t really switched up my makeup products and have been sticking to a lot of the same products which you saw in my last monthly favourites, but I have discovered a few new products this month too which I’ve really been enjoying using.

There haven’t been many new makeup loves this month. I’ve moved away from the BB creams and have gone back to my Clinique Moisture Surge tinted moisturiser. I love the light consistency of this tinted moisturiser and it really does moisturise my skin well. For mascara I’ve been wearing my MAC Dazzle lash mascara. I bought this when I was in Vietnam last summer as my lash tint had worn away and I hate how light my natural lashes are. MAC was a familiar brand to me and I bought it without really thinking. Initially I didn’t like the formulation as it was very wet and just clumped my lashes into one big clump so it’s been sat in the back of a draw. At the beginning of the month I thought I would give it another try. Once the mascara had dried out a bit it applied so much better and it now makes my lashes look really good! Lastly for makeup is a new product and it one of the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic. I bought this to wear for my graduation as I didn’t want to have to keep applying lipstick throughout the day. This definitely lived up to the job and I now reach for it on an almost daily basis.

For my nails I am currently obsessed with French manicures. I love how simple and polished it makes my nails look. To create this I have been using Essie Mademoiselle and Rimmel Tip Whitener, which together make the perfect French manicure. At the beginning of the month I ran out of nail varnish remover, so went out with the intention of picking up the new Bourjois miracle nail varnish remover, but it was out of stock. Instead I saw this little tub of Pretty Quick Instant nail polish remover which retails for around half the price of the Bourjois one. I love this little pot and it makes removing nail varnish so quick and easy!

This month I have been completely in love with the Burberry Body fragrance. This is just a free sample I got through Facebook, quite a few months ago now but this month I have been reaching for it almost every day. I’m going to be sad when this runs out as a full sized bottle is so expensive so I’m just going to enjoy it whilst it lasts!

Finally for body and skin care items I have been loving my Body Shop Warming Mineral Face Mask. When applied to the face it really warms up and I find after using it my skin feels so much softer and that it really helps to calm down any breakouts. Lastly is the Lush Lovely Jubblies breast cream. This is supposed to be a firming cream and can be applied all over the body (not just the breasts!). I find that it works really well under the eyes if I’ve not had enough sleep and I’m looking a bit puffy. I love the scent of this and how soft it leaves my skin afterwards, it’s very hydrating but doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy or waxy which I love.

So that’s it for my July favourites. Have you tried any of these products and what have you been enjoying this past month?

R xxx

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Holidays and Packing Tips

In just a few hours I will be heading off to the airport to spend 5 weeks travelling around North Thailand and Laos. I'm super excited and have been looking forward to this trip for the most part of the summer. Since starting uni I got the travelling bug and started to want to explore different countries, away from the usual family holidays to Greece. Last summer I went on my first backpacking holiday around Vietnam and, after a lot of saving this year, I decided to go back and explore SE Asia some more and spending some time working with elephants. I love travelling and there is so much more left of the world that I want to see. I wish flights weren't so expensive and holidays were longer but hopefully each year I'll get to explore more and more. 

So as I've been in packing mode for the past few days I thought I would share with you a few of my packing tips. I hope they are useful to you:

  • Product samples are your friends! They're small size means less bulk and it also allows you to try out new products which you might not get around to otherwise.
  • Lush solid shampoo and conditioner bars are great ways to reduce the size of your wash bag and stop me being paranoid about running out!
  • Take lots of hand sanitiser, you never know when you might need it!
  • You never need as many clothes as you think you will. Why take 15 t-shirts when 5 is enough?
  •  If you're going to a hot country do you need to pack your normal makeup bag. Eyeliner, BB cream/tinted moisturiser, and water proof mascara is probably going to be enough.
  • Take plenty of lip balm, preferably with SPF in it too. Burnt lips are never fun and very painful!
  • If flying long haul it's a good idea to wear flight socks. They might not be sexy, but trust me neither are swollen legs. This particularly applies if you like to sleep for the majority of your flight.
  • Lastly, some great advice from a friend to prevent you packing too much: for every item you leave behind, you can bring back two!

Over the next 5 weeks I have scheduled a few posts so that my blog isn't completely neglected. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer, whatever you are doing. I will be sure to write up a post when I'm back telling you all what I have been up to and any beauty products that may find their way into my possession from Duty Free! Do you have any holiday packing tips? If so I'd love to hear them!

Rae xxx

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Review: Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

First off, huge apologies for the lack of posts lately. A combination of life and a lack of inspiration struck and my blog got a bit neglected. However, after catching up on a hell of a lot of blogs and youtube vids, I've found my inspiration again and I'm back. So onto the review!

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish is one of the most raved skincare items amongst beauty bloggers. A few months ago Red magazine were offering a 30ml sample and muslin cloth with the magazine. Eager to try out this hyped up product I rushed out to get a copy of the magazine and try it out for myself.

The consistency of the Liz Earle cleanser is a thick cream, almost like that of a moisturiser. It has a slight herbal, minty scent to it which, while is a little strange, isn’t off putting. The cleanser is plant based and contains rosemary and camomile which are meant to soothe and balance the skin, in a similar way to the Lush Angels on Bare Skin cleanser I mentioned here.

The Liz Earle cleanser should be gently massaged into dry skin and then any residue gently wiped away with a warm, damp muslin cloth which provides gentle exfoliation. After the cleanser is applied my skin feels instantly cooled and soothed which I found to be nice when cleansing my skin after a long day. Now, personally I don’t like the muslin cloth. I find it to be too flimsy to provide any real exfoliation and much prefer using a bog standard flannel to buff the skin after applying the cleanser. This may just be because I’m used to using flannels as I know a lot of people really enjoy using the muslin cloths. 

I used this product for around 3 weeks and in that period of time I didn’t notice any dramatic difference to the appearance of my skin. I am aware at how short of period of time and know that many people have said this is the product which really helps their skin. If you managed to get a sample of the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish then I would definitely give it a try. I’m undecided as to whether I prefer the Lush Angels on Bare Skin cleanser or the Liz Earle one but I think I would definitely like to try a full sized bottle of the Liz Earle to see if it makes any difference to my complexion.

You can find the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish online here starting at £5.50 for a 30ml bottle and one mulsin cloth or in John Lewis stores.

Have you used the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish? What are your thoughts? Are you a fan of the muslin cloth?

Rae xxx

Thursday, 12 July 2012

June (and May) Favourites

The past two months have been pretty hectic with exams and preparing to move so sorry my monthly favourites post is so late. However I really wanted to get it out there and share everything I’ve enjoyed as I’ve found some real gems. I missed out on telling you about my May monthly favourites and so June’s is a bumper issue for you. 

The past few months have been fairly low maintenance when it comes to hair and makeup with lots of neutral, easy eye makeup and beach wavey hair. I’ve found my Nature Republic by Rose BB cream has been wonderful for those hot humid days we had here in the UK at the end of both May and June. It’s perfect for those easy days when you just can’t be bothered with the old primer, foundation routine and want something a bit lighter and a bit fuss free. To add a bit of extra colour to the cheeks I’ve been reaching for NYX blush in angel which is the perfect natural dusky pink colour.

 At the end of May I purchased the Louise Young LY24A fine eyeliner brush. This brush is amazing and makes putting on gel eyeliner a dream! I’ve toned down my eyeliner a bit going back to brown for summer and so have been using my Elizabeth Arden gel eyeliner. When I’m not reaching for the gel liner I’ve been using my Stila Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Moray which adds a touch of colour to my eyes without smudging throughout the day. 

On the lids I’ve been reaching for my Soap and Glory Lid Stuff palette in What’s Nude pretty much constantly after leaving it neglected in the stash for quite a few months. I’ve developed a bit of an obsession for matte eyeshadows and this palette really hits the spot, especially for a neutrals lover like me! To complete my eyes I’ve been reaching for the Majolica Majorca Lash King Mascara which stays put all day and makes my lashes look so thick and long. 

At the end of the day I like nothing more than removing my makeup with a Kleenex cleansing tissue soaked in Bioderma. The tissues are so soft and the Bioderma removes my makeup so well that I’m sure I will never be returning to face wipes again. I’ve also been loving using sheet masks every couple of weeks which leave my skin feeling very refreshed and hydrated, and making me look rather ghastly in the process!

I’ve developed a deep love for Steam Cream. So much so that I’ve used an entire little tin of this super nourishing, super hydrating moisturiser for face body and hands. It’s currently on sale on ASOS for £9 and I’m tempted to pick some up. Especially as the packaging is so pretty!

After watching Anna’s video on her favourite spring polishes I had to pick up Essie's Absolutely Shore and I’m so glad I did. It’s such a beautiful mint green colour and Essie polishes have such great formulation so this is a definite winner for me. Unfortnately this is not pictured above as I left it at my parents but I think it’s going to get its own little post very soon! I also love my Oriental Princess cuticle cream which has really helped to transform my dry cuticles over the past few months. 

For my hair I’ve been loving the beachy look which I’ve been achieving by running a 10p sized piece of Schwarzkopf Osis Loopy Form Curl Cream through the ends of my hair when wet and then plaiting my hair into pigtails. I leave this for a few hours then undo the pigtails et voila beachy hair which lasts until my next wash.

So that’s everything I’ve been loving the past couple of months.  What have been your favourites recently?


R xxx

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Question Wednesday: Hair

So it's that time of the week again for the Question Wednesday Blog hop hosted by Nykki. This weeks questions are all about hair and come from the lovely Miss L from Beauty by Miss L. I have a love hate relationship with my hair. Some days it behaves and others it just sticks up everywhere and doesn't do what I want it to. 

- What is your natural hair colour? Are you happy with it?
My natural hair colour is light ginger. I do like it but I wish that it was a more intense colour at times, especially in the summer when the colour washes out from being bleached by the sun.
- Do you dye your hair? If yes then do you do it yourself or go to a salon?
I dye my hair when I fancy a change. This is probably only around one a year and usually done at home with my mum. I have a lot of fun doing it this way and it doesn't break the bank as much. I have had highlights done at the hairdressers but nothing more than that.
- What is your must have hair care product? 
Heat protectant. I blow dry my hair at least twice a week and would hate to think the damage it would cause if I didn't. My favourite is the GHD heat protectant as it smells so good and really stops my hair drying out.
- What is the worst hair care product that you have ever used?
Tresemme foam dry shampoo. I bought it as it looked such an interesting product and it just makes my hair more greasy rather than less. I've tried using less product, more product, towel drying, hair drying and no matter what I do my hair ends up a sticky mess :(
- Do you have any good tips or homemade recipes for long and pretty hair?
Make sure you get it cut regularly and eat a balanced diet. If I'm having an off week with my diet then I definitely notice my hair is less shiny and gets greasier more quickly. I also use a Wonder Oil, a nourishing hair oil, which I picked up at Holland and Barratt as an overnight hair treatment every couple of weeks.

So that's the round up of questions for this week. If you want to join in the hop over to Nykki's blog. What are your hair care secrets?

Love Rae x

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Review: Lush Skincare Part 2

I recently put up a post on my Lush skincare experience, which mainly focused on the Angels in Bare Skin Cleanser. This is the follow up post on the Breath of Fresh Air Toner and Imperialis Moisturiser. If you haven’t read it already I strongly recommend you do so as it contains all the (slightly gross) details on the nature of my skin.

Many of the toners I have tried in the past have been targeted towards combination/blemish prone skin. However even toners that are targeted toward more normal skin I find strip my skin leaving it feeling cleansed but quite tight and dry. My skin decides to counteract this by producing an excess of oil. Fun. The Breath of Fresh Air Toner I picked up in Lush is probably the first toner I have used which doesn’t do this. This toner is actually formulated towards dry skin and so after applying the toner to my skin it feels cleansed but not stripped or dry, just like how I imagine normal skin should feel like. The product contains sea water instead of alcohol which I feel helps make the product less stripping and drying.

Breath of Fresh air comes in a handy spray bottle which dispenses the product in a fine mist. When we had the brief heat wave over here in the UK at the end of May I reached for this as a cooling spray. It really helped in the heat, cooling down my skin and feeling me refreshed. It’s definitely my Holy Grail toner and I will be running to repurchase this the moment it runs out, which thankfully doesn’t look to be anytime soon!

Lastly I received a sample of the Imperialis Moisturiser. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of the product but I can assure you that it looks very similar to that seen on the Lush website here. While the moisturiser is supposed to contain the same balancing products as those found in the cleanser and toner, I found it to be too rich to use as a day cream. Throughout the day I found my skin became very shiny and a little too hydrated. I then switched to use this at night and found the rich formula to be more appropriate. While this product was an effective moisturiser I don’t think I will be purchasing it again.

So that’s the round up of the Lush skin care items I have tried out. I’m pleased to say that the two products I purchased were definitely worth it and while the sample of the moisturiser wasn’t for me, I’m glad I had the chance to try it out. The service I received in Lush was amazing and if you have any skincare problems I would definitely recommend talking to one of the very knowledgeable staff in your local Lush store.

You can get hold of the Breath of Fresh Air Toner in store or from the Lush Website for £3.75 for 100g or £7.00 for 250g as well as the  Imperialis Moisturiser for £11.95 for 45g.

Love Rae

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Review: Lush Skincare Part 1

Towards the end of April I wandered into Lush in the hopes of finding some products help manage my hair. As well as coming out with a new shampoo and conditioner to try, I also ended up purchasing some skincare items. I’ve never tried Lush hair care or skin care products before and was very eager to try something new. As I’ve now finished using the cleanser I picked up I thought I would share with you my opinions on the skincare items. 

First of all I should tell you about my skin type. I would describe my skin as normal/combination with the oily areas mainly being around my nose and spreading onto my cheeks a bit. I have to be very careful with what products I put on my skin as products which appear to be fine for other people with oiler skin (such a Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua foundation) just make my oiler areas even worse. I’m also prone to the odd spot here and there but nothing too severe luckily. I’ve been on the hunt for a set of products which will clean my skin well without stripping it, or adding too much moisture which seem to make my skin go into oil overdrive!

I relayed this lovely account of my skin to the very helpful sales assistant in Lush who suggested that my skin needed balancing and produced a range of cleansers, toners and moisturisers which would help to balance out my skin and hopefully keep those oily patches at bay. A lot of these products contain rose, lavender and camomile which I was told would all help to soothe and balance my skin while cleansing it deep down. It sounded like a winning combination to me and so I purchased the Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser and the Breathe of Fresh Air Toner. I was also given a small sample of the Imperialis Moisturiser to try. I was going to give a review of all 3 products here but it all got a bit too long so you can find an additional review on the toner and moisturiser here.

Angels on Bare Skin is a cleanser with a clay like consistency. I’ve personally never used anything like it and found that the best way to apply this was to dampen my skin first and then take a small pinch of the product and massage it into the skin. When the water mixes with the clay the consistency of the product becomes thick and milky, much more familiar to what I’m used to! Within the clay there are pieces of lavender which, in addition to help balance out the skin, also provide some gentle exfoliation which I found to help buff away any dry patches and keep my skin looking bright.

I used Angels on Bare Skin for around 5 weeks and once I had gotten to grips with applying the cleanser to my skin I really enjoyed using it.  Over the 5 weeks I noticed that my skin was generally much better behaved. The oily patches were far less oily, the number and frequency of blemishes had reduced and in general my skin was just looking a lot healthier. I’m currently trying out the Liz Earle cleanse and polish (which contains similar ingredients) but would definitely go out and repurchase the Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser again. At only £5.95 a pot it isn’t too bad on the wallet either. The Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser can be found in Lush Stores or online here.

Have you ever tried any Lush skincare items? How did you get on with them?