Month in Photos: August

Sunday, August 31, 2014
Sorry for the slightly overwhelming amount of photos, I don't usually have so many but this month had been pretty chaotic and amazing! At the beginning of the month I visited Slatterys with one of my best friends, I had almost 10 inches cut off my hair (to donate to the Little Princess Trust - post coming soon), I turned the grand old age of 22, shopping happened a lot, I bought my first designer bag and I went on a 14 night Royal Caribbean Cruise around Italy, Spain, France and Portugal with my family which was amazing! 

Firstly, you may have noticed if you follow me on Twitter (ofbeautyand) or Instagram (heathernixon4) that at the beginning of August I cut off pretty much all of my hair - before and after photos are on my social media accounts. I had almost 10 inches (approx. 24cm) cut off my hair! I am donating my hair to The Little Princess Trust again which is a UK charity that makes real hair wigs for children (free of charge) who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. I have donated my hair once before, to check out my post, click here

Also this month while on holiday I turned the grand old age of 22! My sister had her 19th birthday the day before our holiday. I am officially old now *cries* but for the actual day of my birthday I was in the incredible city of Florence/Firenze in Italy on holiday with my family. We visited Gibraltar, Toulon, Florence, Rome, Lisbon, Cadiz and Vigo on our Royal Caribbean cruise so if you are interested to find out more about the cities, what we did and OOTD photos then stay tuned. I have a lot of blog posts coming soon about each city we visited on the cruise, what I bought and my holiday beauty favourites - the posts will be live over the next two/three weeks. For latergram holiday photos check out my instagram. 

I didn't go that crazy while on holiday in terms of souvenirs as there wasn't that much but I did pick up some products from Kiko while in Florence and in Vigo, Spain I managed to go into a Sephora store (beauty blogger paradise)! I bought some Sephora own brand products as well as something from Makeup Forever. We NEED a Sephora store in the UK! 

My main purchase while on holiday was a Michael Kors bag! I had some birthday and holiday money and on the last day on the ship I bought the Michael Kors Small Travel Tote in Aqua which is really a mix between an emerald and teal colour. I love it and even though it was $228 it was cheaper than it would be in the UK. There was an actual large Michael Kors store on the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas ship which we stayed on! 

That was my august summary and monthly photos! Upcoming posts: Cruise Photo Diaries, August Beauty Favourites and lots of reviews! 

Review: Travel Beauty Picks

Thursday, August 28, 2014
At the beginning of August I published a post all about my initial impressions of some travel beauty picks I was kindly sent for review, click here to check out the post.  I have been testing the product while on holiday - I have a lot of travel/holiday posts coming soon! Here are my full reviews of the travel beauty picks I received!

*Guinot Moisturising Sunscreen Balm For Lips SPF20 (£13.95, 15ml): Before my holiday I created a 'mini-mergency' kit which I kept in my handbag that included a range of beauty travel picks and beauty emergency essentials including these two Guinot SPF products. The 50+ stick came in handy although the star product is the sunscreen lip balm! The lip balm smells so nice, it is thick and nourishing and smoothing. It was a lifesaver product while on holiday! Overall rating for both products: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

*Carex Complete Strawberry Laces Hand Gel (£1.45, 50ml): An essential for travelling! The scent is so much nicer than other hand sanitisers I have used (apart from the couple of bath and body works sanitisers I have). Very quick and easy to use on the go and it dries quickly too. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

*Ted Baker Mia EDT Purse Spray (£15, 10ml): This perfume was so handy while on holiday, I have actually used up the whole bottle and it will be in an empties blog post in a month or so. The bottle is so pretty as is the scent. It lasts well although it definitely isn't the most long-lasting fragrance I have tried. Perfect for travelling! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

*Dermalex Skin Treatment Cream for Rosacea & Couperose (£18.99, 30g): I have been using this cream for about four weeks on and off and it was a nice product to use. It applied like any other cream and it did reduce my facial redness although there was not a massive difference but a slight change. I think with longer term use it would work very well. ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

There are my travel beauty full reviews! Have you tried any of these products, if so what did you think of them? 

Empties #5

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I haven't posted an empties post for so long - maybe April last year! I have been storing empties for months and I have only just got round to reviewing and photographing them! This post contains a mixture of body care, hair care, skincare and makeup tools. 
Kerastase Cristalliste Hair Mask: I just have a sample of this hair mask and I managed to get one good use out of it and I really liked it. It smells really nice, it an expensive salon and it let my hair feeling super soft, smooth and detangled. I would consider buying it, even through it is probably quite expensive being Kerastase. ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

Cosmpolitan Beauty Foundation Sponge: I have gone through about five of these sponges over a couple of years and I really like them from liquid foundation. They are quite cheap, although the Real Techniques one is slightly cheaper. I dampen the sponge then press the foundation onto my skin, it is a fantastic way of applying foundation if you have dry/flaky skin. ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge: I thought this one would be a slightly cheaper dupe to the Cosmo one but it isn't, don't get me wrong I like it but it is not amazing. The Cosmo sponge even when damp is quite firm and this one is really squishy which I don't like, it makes applying my foundation a little messier and less controlled. I probably won't be buying this one again, I might get the Beauty Blender or the Cosmo on again. ★★★☆☆, 3/5. 

Dove Beauty Bath Cream: Dove is one of my favourite body care brands as they products just work really well and they smell amazing! I adore the original Dove scent and this body wash is so lovely, it doesn't strip/dry out the skin and it feels quite luxe on the skin. ★★★★★, 5/5. 

Boots Botanics Cocoa Body Butter: I received a set of these a couple of years ago and this is the last one I had and it was one of my favourites. The scent is gorgeous and comforting and it was just a really good, fairly quickly absorbing body butter. ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

Avene Rich Compansating Cream: I have kept trying to use this product on and off for about three years or so and each time I haven't been able to get on with it. My skin does become a bit irritated by this, the only times I can use this product is when I am completely eczema/sensitivity free which is quite rare. So I do have a little bit left but I have to throw it away, sadly as I love all of the other Avene products I have tried. ★☆☆☆☆, 1/5. 

There are my empties! Have you tried any of these products, if so, what do you think?

Review: Miller Harris Fragrance Samples

Friday, August 22, 2014

I was kindly sent some fragrance samples from Miller Harris which is a high end/luxury fragrance, body and candle brand. I received five samples to try which look so cute! I haven't tried any Miller Harris fragrances before but I have heard a lot of good things about them. I brought the fragrance samples on holiday with me in my 'mini-mergency' handbag kit - posts coming soon!

"A swirl of incense encircles dry and sensual woods in this dramatic arrangement of citrus, smoke and spice"

This scent to me is very musky, masculine but also slightly sweet so I think it would be a nice unisex scent. I would probably only wear this fragrance during autumn/winter or just in the evenings as it is smoky, woody and almost mysterious, if that makes sense! I don't really smell too much citrus in the sample, it is more of a potpourri, musky citrus scent combined with the smoky notes. Overall: ★★★★★, 5/5. 


"Inspired by one of the last remaining tuberose fields in Grasse. The plant's intensely fragrance leaves are at the heart of this scent"

This fragrance is in stark contrast to the previous one as it is very sweet, floral and quite candy/sweet smelling - maybe overly so, in my opinion. The scent is quite difficult to describe as on the one hand it is musky and rich, then it is also very sweet and floral. It is definitely feminine and suitable for summer evenings, however I think it could be a little cloying and sickly after a while. Overall: ★★★☆☆, 3/5. 


"A velvety rich fragrance inspired by the sensual dark side of the rose"

This fragrance is definitely very rich and velvety, the descriptions of the fragrance is pretty much spot on! Sweet rose notes combine with musky rich, slightly powdery notes. It is a nice combination and I think a unique take on a rose fragrance. Overall: ★★★★☆, 4/5.


"Created by Lyn Harris for the iconic Jane Birkin, this fragrance evokes the nostalgia of dusty libraries and old books"

Before reading the description for this fragrance I thought it had musky, magical, floral and slightly herbal notes then and after reading the description I can definitely smell an old book/wood scent mixed with musky floral notes - it is quite amazing how the scent of old books (or maybe an old country manor) can be captured and mixed with other notes to make a delightfully english fragrance. Overall: ★★★★☆, 4/5.


"Inspired by the dew and herby floral bouquet of an early morning walk on the island of Port Cros"

Along with the La Fumee fragrance this is my favourite out of the five I have tried. The fragrance is very fresh, clean and sweet, I adore this scent. It reminds me of a couple of other fragrance I have but it is a little more unique. The previous four fragrances have been quite musky, rich and deep but this one is incredibly light and airy. Citrus, floral and fresh - perfect for spring/summer. Overall: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

Overall, I adore all of the scents however my least favourite is the Noix De Tubereuse and my favourite two include: La Fumee and Fleur De Matin, the former would be a gorgeous autumn/winter scent and the latter a perfect fresh spring/summer scent. The fragrances are only samples so I cannot really test the longevity very well but they seem to last for a good few hours on my skin. They have made it into my travel handbag minimergency kit!

Have you tried any Miller Harris fragrances or body/candle products? What is your all time favourite fragrance? 

Review: LookBookStore Mint Faux Leather Bag

Monday, August 18, 2014
I was kindly sent a couple of items, of my choice, from the online store LookBookStore which have a wide range of clothing, bags, jewellery and accessories. I chose this bag as I have a bit of an addiction to bags and I don't have a bag in this colour. 

I have the *Lookbookstore Mint Faux Leather Bag ($41 USD) which comes with two handles, a shoulder strap, one large interior space as well as two extra zip up pockets either side of the main compartment. There is a little detachable strap with a clip at the end which I have been using for my keys - so I can find them quickly instead of searching through my bag for an hour. 

The bag is a gorgeous mint green/blue shade which is perfect for spring/summer and it has gold hardware that looks so pretty against the mint faux leather. I love the shape of the bag, it reminds of Zara bags - the winged shape is everywhere at the moment! There are four studs on the bottom of the bag which are really useful as the bottom of the bag will not get as dirty or marked over time. I would say that the bag is a medium size, it isn't huge but it is definitely not small. I can fit everything I need in this bag including my purse, iPad mini, iPod, notebook, snacks, my bridge camera, hand cream, beauty extras and more! 

I love the extra two pockets on the side, I use one for tissues/hair ties etc and the other for notes/receipts and pens. The zips feel well made, although the zip for the main compartment doesn't span the whole length of the bag which is a bit annoying as there is an open space at one end of the bag which someone could reach into. To help with this I keep my more valuable items at the other end and where possible I keep items in smaller bags inside the main bag! 

Overall, I am very happy with the bag, it makes a gorgeous summer colourful bag! I like the design and quality, for the price, and it fits everything I need and more. My only problem with it is the little padlock on the front which I don't like and the zip which doesn't span the length of the bag. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.


Have you bought anything from Lookbookstore? What do you think of this bag?

Review: Colorsport Lash-Gro Eyeliner

Monday, August 18, 2014

I am definitely a liquid liner lover, I have been since I was about 16 and I used to wear it almost everyday as a teenager - it probably looked like I had been punched in the eye! I have a post all about winged liner for hooded/deep set eyes, here. I was kindly sent this liquid liner to review and so far I have been loving it!
I have the *Colorsport Rapid Lash-Gro Eyeliner (Black, £14.95) which claims to give thicker-looking, fuller-looking and longer-looking lashes in just 8 weeks* The study the statistics came from included 17 subjects and the active ingredient in this liner was applied twice a day to the subjects lashes from what I can deduce from the text on the box - not a great start for the claims so far as the actual people buying it wouldn't really use a black liner in the morning then again in the evening everyday for 8 weeks. Also the number of subjects is very small.

The product is a combination of a black liquid eyeliner and an eyelash serum - the active ingredient is Capixyl 2.5%. The liner is supposed to be water resistant and smudge proof, here are my thoughts on the liner after using it for approx. two weeks. 

The packaging is nice, simple and easy to read. The tube is quite thin and light so it would be good for travelling. Although the applicator is a bit difficult to get out of the bottle and little drops of liner can fly out if you are not careful. The applicator is thin and quite long. The applicator in my opinion is a tiny bit too long and flexible. Also the applicator seems to pick up too much liner, I have been wiping of the excess on the side of the bottle before use. 

The formula is very smooth, very black and the consistency is thin/fluid so it is incredibly easy to get a completely black line. As the applicator is so thin you can apply the product very close to the upper lash line which is just fantastic. I have been using various forms of eyeliner since I was 13 years old and this is one of the nicest liquid liner formulas I have come across. It doesn't seem to feather or run, it doesn't drag the skin and it lasts well on me. It isn't waterproof but it is water resistant, although I wish the formula was waterproof then I wouldn't have to worry about potential panda eyes in public! 

It was easy for me to create a thin line and thicken it up, it was also very easy/quick for me to create a wing at the outer corners. Touching up areas to make them sharper (such as the outer corner flick/point) is super easy as the applicator is so thin. It is easy to control the applicator most of the time, although I wish it was a little shorter/less flexible then I would have even more control. 

Overall, I am very happy with the liner, I haven't noticed any lash thickening or lengthening effects although I haven't been wearing it for a long time and I think I would have to use it pretty much everyday to give it the best chance of working. As a liquid eyeliner for creating thin lines and winged liner it is fantastic and I would recommend it - even though in my opinion there are areas for improvement. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 


Have you tried this liner, if so what did you think of it? Have you tried anything from Colorsport? 

My 22nd Birthday Giveaway With Sewlomax

Friday, August 15, 2014

If I have managed to schedule this post correctly then today is the 15th August which is my birthday and I am now the grand old age of 22! I am currently away on a Royal Caribbean cruise with my family (lucky me!). I will be in Florence, Italy today so I thought I would celebrate with a giveaway! 
The giveaway will be open INTERNATIONALLY, the winner will be picked randomly the day after the giveaway ends. The prize for this giveaway is the Sewlomax Beach Huts Wash Bag (RRP £25) which can have a personalised message embroidered on the back of the bag! To enter just fill out the rafflecopter below. 

You will need to obtain permission from your parents/guardians to enter if you are under the age of 16 as I will need your postal address so I can pass it onto Sewlomax. Also as I am a Sewlomax ambassador, my readers get a 10% off code to use on the Sewlomax site (valid until 31st August): AMBASSADOR10

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! Remember to comment stating the text/message you want on the back of the bag, if you win! 

Sigma Affiliate Programme + Welcome Gift

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I noticed a photograph on Instagram of a blogger that had signed up to the Sigma Affiliate programme and they received a really nice gift and as I haven't tried Sigma products personally, I thought this was a great opportunity to try some products that have been sent to me and to give my readers sneak peaks of new products and offers/codes.
I signed up about three/four weeks ago and I was approved within a few days. I was sent an email shortly after saying my affiliate welcome gift was being sent to me! I was super excited and they sent me a USPS tracking link and I was able to follow its journey from Chicago to England. In the meantime, I added the affiliate advert on my blog sidebar, you may have already noticed it. It will change from time to time and it shows current Sigma offers. 

If you click the advert, it is tracked and if you buy something from clicking on the advert I do get a very small amount of commission - I always want to be upfront and honest with my readers and followers. You do not have to click it or buy anything, it's just there to show you offers and I am not really excepting to get any money from it. 

Onto the gift I received from Sigma, I was very kindly sent a Sigma Beauty Single Eyeshadow ($11) in the shade 'Oversee' which is a gorgeous metallic green shade that looks amazing but I can't find it on the website, this one looks similar though. I also received a Sigma Beauty Lipgloss ($10) in the shade 'Hint' which is a mauve colour with a milky lavender undertone. Finally, I received a full size Sigma F80 brush which is the one I hear EVERYONE talking about and I received a mini Sigma E55 Eyeshadow brush. 

I have tried all of the products and I am very impressed so far, especially with the gloss and the two brushes. The gloss looks a bit milky on the lips and it has really good pigmentation - it nudes out my natural pinky red lips and makes them look mauve and glossy. The gloss tends to last for a while too. The brushes are super soft, well made and they work really well without any shedding so far.

Overall, I am very happy with the free gifts I received, it is more than I thought I would receive. If you are a blogger or you have your own beauty website, I would definitely recommend signing up to the programme, you can find out more about it here - Sigma Affiliate Programme

If you have any questions leave them in the comments! Also if you want a full review of any of the Sigma products let me know. 

Review: Janina Ultra-White Toothpaste

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Another product from Brodie and Stone, this time it is a whitening toothpaste. I have tried quite a few whitening toothpastes and they don't seem to work on my teeth but this one seemed very interesting. Honesty as always, click here, to check out my disclaimer. 

I have the *Janina Ultra White Maxiwhite Toothpaste (£12.50, 75g). I love the packaging, it is simple but eye-catching and easy to read. The toothpaste is for adult use only, it is made in the EU and it claims to be a low abrasive whitening toothpaste. The toothpaste contains the whitening patented bromine complex which is a combination of natural enzymes from pineapple and papaya and hydroxyapatite to whitening and strengthen the teeth. 

I have been using it twice a day for about two, almost three weeks, and I find it a really nice product to use. With the whitening toothpastes I have used in the past they were gritty and had a very unpleasant taste and after taste. The Janina toothpaste feels and tastes like any other regular toothpaste - it doesn't feel harsh and it has a normal minty taste. I use the toothpaste with my electric toothbrush and I find it has made a difference, to an extent. The shade of my teeth has not changed massively but I do notice a difference and they are smoother too although I feel like the toothpaste is not harsh or abrasive at all which is fantastic. 

Overall, I have not experienced any sensitivity or negative effects with this product, it is pleasant to use, it has a nice taste and I do see some whitening effects, to an extent although not as much as I would like personally. I am most impressed with how gentle and normal the product is compared to other gritty, horrible whitening toothpastes I have tried. 

Have you tried anything from Janina? Have you tried any whitening toothpastes? 

The Hut Group Summer Picks

Monday, August 11, 2014
The Hut Group kindly sent me some summer beauty picks to test and review from the brands: Decleor, Stila, RMK and Redken. The Hut Group is the UK's leading multi-website online retailer, some of their websites include a couple of my favourites such as Lookfantastic, HQHair and Beauty Expert. 

*Decleor Daily Defence High Protection Tinted SPF (£29.50): I have been using this product as my foundation/tinted moisturiser for the past couple of weeks and I am kind of in love with it! It is basically a SPF 30 face cream that you use after your normal moisturiser and it is tinted so it provides light coverage. It says that it is non-greasy and matte but it definitely gives a moisturised sheen to the skin so even with my normal/dry skin, I have to apply a fixing powder. Even though it looks far too dark for my very pale skin, it blends perfectly and doesn't oxidise. The combination of this cream and the Essence Fixing Powder is my summer base dream team! I will be writing a full review on this product at the end of summer, it has already made it into my July favourites - here. I have to give this product the full five stars! ★★★★★, 5/5.

*RMK Nail Color (CL-14, £14): The only product I have tried from RMK is their cleansing balm which I love but I do hear the Pixiwoo sisters talking about RMK makeup occasionally. The shade in the bottle is a gorgeous vivid blood orange colour. It is a sheer polish but with three/four coats it has a good level of opacity although the more coats you apply the longer it takes to dry - it takes ages to dry with four coats! The polish is very quick and easy to apply, I love the brush and the packaging is gorgeous! ★★★★☆, 4/5.

*Redken Pillow Proof Two Day Extender Dry Shampoo (£11.85): I have the Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Spray which I adore so I was excited to try another product from the range. Sadly, my hair does not get along with ANY dry shampoo but this one works to an extent on my hair. It doesn't absorb that much oil but it does not leave a white/grey cast which is fantastic. ★★☆☆☆, 2/5 - it will probably work a lot better for others as my hair just hates dry shampoo!

Finally, I have the *Stila Stay All Day Foundation/Concealer/Brush Kit which is in the shade '04 Beige' which is far too dark for my very pale skin sadly so I cannot really review it but it looks interesting and it comes with a brush! 


Have you tried any of these products? Have you bought anything from The Hut Group or their websites? 

Review: Sweet Cecily's Handmade Lip Balms

Saturday, August 09, 2014
If you have been following my little blog for a while you will know that I am a bit of a lip balm addict/hoarder...my current total including these three beauties is 26, not including lip treatments. I have a whole wide Muji drawer just for lip balms, tinted lip balms and lip treatments, I may have a small problem (don't send help, I can stop anytime I want)...

I was very kindly sent the brand new *Sweet Cecily's Espresso Martini Lip Balm sample as well as two of their bestselling lip balms. Firstly, lets just take a moment to look at the beautiful wrapping and packaging, just gorgeous and so cute! As well as the new Espresso Martini balm, I also received two other cocktail inspired lip balms in the flavours Pina Colada and Mojito. 

Sweet Cecily's products are all handmade on the North Yorkshire moors using natural ingredients. The products are free from Parabens, Petrochemicals, harmful preservatives and SLS. As well as lip balms they make toners, face masks, face creams, hand cream, body butters and many more, including a make your own lip balm kit which sounds amazing and I think it would make a great unique gift.

*Sweet Cecily's Espresso Martini Lip Balm (£2.95, 10ml): This is the brand new lip balm flavour, it is not available on the website yet. I love coffee so this is the one I tried first. It is a brownish colour but it is clear on the lips. The balm is quite thick/hard int the tub which I like as it doesn't seem to melt but you have to warm it up a little with your fingers first. The balm is not very glossy which I love as I find a lot of lip balms are all gloss and provide very little hydration - not with this one. The scent is gorgeous, to me it smells like a mixture of coffee with a hint of chocolate. It feels very hydrating/smoothing on the lips and a little seems to go a long way. Overall: ★★★★☆, 4/5 - one star off as it taste a little weird. 

*Sweet Cecily's Pina Colada Lip Balm (£2.95, 10ml): Again the packaging for this lip balm is just adorable and the scent is sweet and summery. This balm is softer than the Espresso Martina flavour and it is a little glossier too. It smells like pineapple and creamy coconut to me, perfect for summer. It is easier to apply than the previous flavour and feels equally as hydrating, smoothing and nourishing on the lips. I have been reaching for this one quite a lot! The hydration seems to last for longer than I expected. Overall: ★, 5/5. 

*Sweet Cecily's Mojito Lip Balm: This one is my favourite out of the three that I have tried. The scent is very minty and refreshing, it is softer and slightly more glossy, like the Pina Colada flavour. I have been keeping it on my desk to top up through out the day. It is smoothing, hydrating and comfortable on the lips. This balm feels slightly grainy in the tub but it is smooth and glossy on the lips. None of the lip balm irritate my lips. Overall: ★, 5/5.

Overall, I adore the packaging and the brands ethos of being all natural and hand made which ensures quality and well designed products. The balms are really impressive (and I have tried a lot of lip balms!), they are smoothing and slightly glossy on the lips. I prefer the Pina Colada and Mojito flavours over the Espresso Martini flavour but that is just my preference. If you are on the go I think they would not be as convenient as a stick lip balm as you need clean fingers to use/apply this product. I would definitely recommend the Sweet Cecily's lip balms - I have my eye on a few other products from this brand. My overall rating: ★, 5/5!

Have you tried anything from Sweet Cecily's? What would your perfect lip balm flavour be? 

Review: Monu Skincare Collagen Cream

Thursday, August 07, 2014
Finding a good moisturiser is quite a battle for me as my skin to normal/dry but very dry in some areas and my t-zone can be slightly oily, I also have sensitive skin due to eczema flareups - yep, its complicated alright! But over the past year or so I have found some fantastic moisturisers that tick all of the boxes for me, including this one. I was kindly sent this facial moisturiser to test from the skincare, makeup, body care and tanning brand Monu! I haven't tried anything from Monu before and this cream was the recommended one for me. To check out my disclaimer, click here.

I have the *Monu Moisture Rich Collagen Cream (£22.50, 50ml) which contains marine collagen and evening primrose oil. This facial moisturiser is suitable for dry, very dry or dehydrated skin. Other ingredients include: shea butter, blackcurrant seed oils, geranium essential oils jojoba oil, carrot root extract and more! Monu products are suitable for sensitive skin and they are not tested on animals, they contain no animals derived ingredients, sulphate or synthetic colours. 

I love the packaging for this product, it looks quite expensive! The cream itself is a white thick cream which smells amazing - to me it smells like those foam banana/fruit sweets I had as a child. The cream is very smooth so it applies quickly and easily to the skin. It absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue on the skin. The moisturiser provides a perfect boost of moisture and it doesn't irritate my skin. I find that my skin stays hydrated all day after using this product, I use it as my day cream and it works very well.  Also a little goes a long way so I think this tube will last me for a good couple of months. 

Overall, I am very happy with the moisturiser and with the brands stance on good ingredients and their cruelty free ethos. I would definitely recommend this moisturiser to those with dry or dehydrated skin. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5!

Have you tried any products from Monu? 

Review: Botanicals Balancing Detox Mask

Tuesday, August 05, 2014
I am always on the hunt for new, natural skincare products and the brand Botanicals ticks that box! Botanicals is a multi-award winning natural skincare and bodycare brand with products that are cruelty free and suitable for vegans. I was kindly sent the *Botanicals Balancing Green Clay & Avocado Detox Face Mask (£18.95, 60g). Firstly, I ADORE the packaging - the bag it came in is so cute and it is a really nice touch! The product packaging is equally as lovely, it looks and feels really quite expensive. 

The mask contains "mediterranean green clay which helps draw out impurities and eliminate dead skin cells. While cold-pressed avocado and jojoba, rich in essential fatty acids, leave your skin feeling soft, smooth and clear." The mask is a typical green shade, it feels a little gritty when you first apply it but it smoothes out almost into a green oil on the skin - which doesn't sound great but it is! The mask smells very natural, fresh and grassy to me, I actually love the scent of this mask! 

As this mask does not contain water, it is more concentrated so you only need a small amount and I find a little does go a long way. It smoothes onto the skin quickly, easily and it massages into the skin nicely. The mask doesn't slip off the skin, it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin and it just works well. I have only been using it on my t-zone as the rest of my skin is normal/dry and I find it leaves my skin very smooth, refreshed and very cleansed without being stripping or harsh. I very very rarely get spots or breakouts so I cannot comment on how well this mask would perform in the long term on more breakout prone skin but for me this mask is definitely a winner. My sister who has more combination/breakout prone skin than me has tried it twice and she likes it although she hasn't noticed a massive difference in her skin personally so far. 

Overall, I am very happy with the mask, it simply works very well  for me and I adore the packaging as well as the brands ethos of being cruelty free and as natural as possible. This mask contains 70% organic ingredients, it is made in England and the packaging can be recycled. I would definitely recommend this mask and the brand in general, I have a few products on my wish list already including the lavender and chamomile hand salve and the organic hydrating toners! My overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

Have you tried anything from Botanicals? What is your favourite face mask?

Review: Newtons Chiropody Sponge + Scrub

Monday, August 04, 2014
My summer holiday is fast approaching and I will be wearing a lot of sandals and open shoes so my feet need to be summer ready! I have tried a few body scrubs as foot scrubs and they work well but I have never tried a specific foot scrub. I was kindly sent these two products to test and I have really been liking them so far. 

I have the *Newtons Foot Therapy Anti-Bacterial Polishing Foot Scrub (£2.99,  75ml), I find this size bottle is great as it would definitely be travel friendly. The scrub contains tea tree, spearmint and natural pumice and it is made in the UK. This scrub is currently 99p on Fragrance Direct!

I have been using this scrub every other time I have a shower/bath for the past two weeks or so and I have been loving it. The scrub is a greenish colour and it smells like minty toothpaste. The scrub is really...scrubby, it contains a lot of grains that actually exfoliate well. I find it to be similar in texture and how well it exfoliates to the soap and glory flake away body scrub (which I love). It scrubs well but doesn't feel too harsh and it doesn't irritate. The scrub leaves the skin smooth and looking a lot more normal than before! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

I also received the *Newtons Foot Therapy The Original Chiropody Sponge (£1.99). I have never tried a product like this, I didn't think anything like this existed! It is a very hard black sponge that you soak and rub into the skin - I thought it would become softer when you soak the sponge but it is a hard block of sponge. I find it did work well, although it was a little too harsh/hard on my feet. I think this product would work a lot better on those with very, very dry feet. Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3/5. 

Overall, I am happy with both products although I would definitely use the scrub more. After using either of these products I apply a very generous amount of body butter to my feet and then put on clean socks which is a great way of giving the skin am intensive moisture boost overnight!  

Have you tried any products from Newtons? What do you think of these products? 

July Beauty Favourites

Monday, August 04, 2014

Usually I have around 6-8 favourites per month but this month I have a lot more than that - I have 13 beauty product favourites this month, with a couple of items left out otherwise I will not be able to fit them all in the photograph and the post would be even longer! July has been a month of beauty product finds that I have been using daily and loving!
Makeup: Oh gosh, were to start! Lets begin with Essence cosmetics, they have just launched in the UK and I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch event last month (check out my post, here) and I have been testing out all of the products I received. The two incredible, stand out products from Essence for me have been the All About Matt Fixing Powder and the Stay All Day Concealer, both of which I would highly recommend. Staying with the face products, I have been loving the W7 Matte Bronzer this month to give some warmth to my very pale skin. Now onto lips, there have been not one but two lip balm loves this month - the EOS Pomegranate balm and the Malibu Mango Lip Balm SPF30, I adore them both and they are super hydrating! I have a lipgloss favourite (I never thought I would type that), it is from W7 and it is a natural shade (shade number 05) and it makes my lips look fuller and glossy. The last makeup favourite is a Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede Lipstick in 'socialite' which is a gorgeous 'my lips but better shade', it is so easy to wear.

Skincare: I don't know whether to class this next favourite as a skincare product or as a makeup product but it is the amazing Decleor DD Cream which is an SPF30 lotion that is tinted so it does give light coverage - it is lovely and it adds some sun protection, it is perfect combined with the Essence Fixing Powder. I have two facial moisturiser favourites for the month on July, first up is the new Hydraluron Moisture Jelly which I won in an Indeed Labs twitter giveaway at the beginning of the month - I have been using it as my day cream and I love it! Secondly, the Nivea Sensitive Night Cream which is the best night cream I have ever tried. It is like a comforting blanket over my dry, sensitive skin! 

Tools, Haircare + Body: I won a seven piece brush set from Spectrum Brushes this month and I love all of the brushes (I have already posted a review of the set, here) and my favourite brush has to be the blush brush, it is amazing for contouring and bronzer. Spectrum brushes are cruelty free which is fantastic! A haircare favourite of the month is the Moroccan Oil Frizz Control Spray which is a miracle product, it is the only product I have tried so far that actually reduces frizz and helps keep it at bay! The final favourite for July is the My Trusty Little Sunflower Cream which I have been using multiple times a day as a hand and foot cream - it is fantastic, super cheap and profits go to patient care, click here to read my full review. I have actually just used up the bottle, it is super quick to absorb and it smells heavenly.

There are all of my favourite beauty products for the month of July! Have you tried any of these products? What are your favourite beauty products currently?

Month in Photographs: July 2014

Sunday, August 03, 2014
Well July has been a very random month! I have had a blog makeover which I love, I have been shopping, I've had a lot of items sent to me for review this month, meeting up with friends a LOT, visiting the Manchester Police Museum, winning competitions, I became a Sewlomax Ambassador, I became a Sigma affiliate, Patisserie Valerie with Yasmin, contact lens check up, my twitter account was hacked, friends birthdays, I am now an author for the website Hype & Genius and Bitchy Online - finally, I had some blood tests this month and I had a ultrasound scan of my ovaries...as you do. 

Firstly, I had some blood tests taken this month as my doctor thought I had PCOS and today (26th July) I had an ultrasound scan of my ovaries which I was super scared about but it was perfectly fine. The scanner person said at the time that I do not have cysts on my ovaries (TMI) but I still have higher than normal testosterone levels (all women have testosterone in them). I have to wait and see what my GP says about the results but it will probably be after my holiday. 

Anyway, I have also been shopping this month, I didn't think that I bought too much stuff but looking through the photos to create my 'july collective haul' post, I realised that a lot of money has been spent...oops but...it was on sale and it is mostly for my holiday (justified). I have also received so many items from brands and PR's to review this month and I had a not very nice experience with a PR person this week which left me quite insulted!

I am now a Sigma affiliate (I received an amazing gift for joining, post coming soon) and I was chosen as a Sewlomax ambassador which is super exciting and I have a code for my readers to use (AMBASSADOR10). I am also a writer for the website Hype & Genius now as well as a beauty writer for the website Bitchy Online. Speaking of more writing, I have started writing my own novel/book! I don't know if it will amount to anything at all but I might as well try! Also I had an internship interview this month, I am still waiting to hear back. 

I have been loving watching sport this month with the World Cup 2014 (which was amazing and I am not a massive football fan), Wimbledon and now the Commonwealth Games - England have done so well already! 


Favourite TV and Youtube of July: QI, River Cottage and the Youtubers I have been loving include, Julia Graf, MakeupTIA and Rachael Jade Annear



The last bit of news is that I am going on holiday next month which will include my 22nd birthday (I'm old!). I'm going away from the 9th until the 23rd August - I will have some posts scheduled (hopefully that will work out) and I have a birthday giveaway on the 15th August, which is my birthday! If you email me between the 9th - 23rd I will get back to you on the 24th August. 


I hope everyone had a great month and stay tuned for some exciting review posts and a giveaway on my birthday (15th August)! 

Travel Beauty: Initial Impressions

Friday, August 01, 2014

I am going on holiday for two weeks in August on a Royal Caribbean cruise (lucky me!) so that means travel beauty products and attempting to pack lighter than usual...or not! I asked on twitter over the past couple of weeks to see if any brands want to be involved in this travel beauty feature of mine and I received a far bigger response than I anticipated, honesty as always, click here to check out my disclaimer. Here are some travel beauty picks, perfect for summer holidays in the sun!
*Guinot Moisturising Sunscreen Balm For Lips SPF20 (£13.95, 15ml): I find that I am very lazy when it comes to SPF even during the summer but one area I neglect that needs SPF too is the lips! I have been using this lip balm for days when I am going to be outside and it feels thick and nourishing on the lips. It has a vanilla scent/taste which I love and it does feel very protective. I can't wait to try it fully on my holiday!

*Guinot Stick Anti-UV Sun Defence SPF50 (£19.30, 8g): Even when I do apply SPF in the summer it is usually nothing over SPF30 which as I am super pale, isn't enough. My shoulders and nose are the places that can burn easily. I think this SPF50 stick will be perfect to pop in my handbag. I have tried it a couple of times and it is super quick and easy to apply and even though it looks a little greasy on the skin makeup applies fine over it. I am definitely going to get a lot of use out of it, especially for my nose and shoulders. 

*Ted Baker Mia EDT Purse Spray (£15, 10ml): I have been contemplating buying a Travelo (a travel atomiser for fragrance) but I would be worried about potential leaking. However, I don't need one now as Ted Baker have a range of four travel size purse sprays! I have the Mia scent which has notes of rose blooms, freesia, lemon, raspberry, black current, patchouli and amber - it is a gorgeous fruity floral scent. The packaging is incredibly beautiful and feminine.

*Dermalex Skin Treatment Cream for Rosacea & Couperose (£18.99, 30g): I don't think I have rosacea but I do have eczema occasionally and redness in my skin. I have tried a couple of green tinted, redness creams in the past and they haven't worked. I have been using this cream for the past week or so and it applies smoothly, it doesn't irritate my skin and I haven't seen any redness reduction yet but I will report back after my holiday at the end of august - I have high hopes as I have heard so many good reviews of this product.

*Carex Complete Strawberry Laces Hand Gel (£1.45, 50ml): Over the past year or so I have been a bit phobic about germs and keeping my hands clean but most hand sanitisers smell horrible (unless you can get bath and body works in your country). This hand gel however smells like strawberry laces/strawberry sweets/candy which is amazing. I think this anti-bacterial hand gel will be perfect for my upcoming holiday and it is so inexpensive!

Essie Professional Routine Kit (£5.99): Last but not least we have some mini nail polishes. I bought this kit from Fragrance Direct as it was reduced to around £5.99 which is an amazing bargain as the kit contains a mini base coat, top coat and polish! I think more nail polish brands should bring out mini versions of their polishes and base/top coats as they are just easier to travel with. 

There are my travel beauty picks for summer! I will have a full review of all of the items (as I am going to take them on holiday with me) when I get back from my holiday at the end of august. 

Have you tried any of these products? What are your travel essentials?