Wednesday, November 29, 2017

New In Beauty and Skincare - All Under £6

As I gathered together my recent beauty purchases I realised that they were for the most part under £6 which is rather fabulous - although of course when you add them all up it's not so budget friendly but we'll overlook that for now!

Continuing with my current obsession with Aldi I threw their Activ Roll On Deodorant into my basket on a recent shop having seen reviews where people spoke highly of it and for 59p I thought it was an experiment I could afford. Thus far I'm pretty impressed. Whilst I do love Sure Maximum Protection it isn't the cheapest of products and I'm sure half is lost gathering in the holes of the lid no matter how clean I try to keep it. Whilst I don't think Aldi's will replace regular use of Sure it'll mix things up and add to Sure's longevity.

Sticking with the Aldi products, those of you who are regular Aldi shoppers will be familiar with their Special Buys, products that are released on either a Thursday or Sunday 'until stocks last'. They do make reappearances and range from the sublime to the ridiculous and their beauty and skincare ranges often cause bulk buying and stock piling from fans.

I really didn't need to pick up Lacura Mineral Powder and Aldi really isn't helping my streamlining of my make up collection but I was swept up in the moment. Having enjoyed using my Bare Minerals Powder Foundation this summer I thought, with a trip to the hot and humid Orlando next month perhaps this could be another 'dupe' (is Aldi becoming the new Make Up Revolution I ask myself).

First impressions were the packaging isn't ideal for the product. The lid is too deep to allow the brush easily sweep up the product and so I found myself tipping powder into the lid and back into the 'sifter' side to apply. The brush is also dreadful. I had heard mentioned that it shed and as I applied I thought I was doing ok until I went for a closer look and found a near on beard appearing. I'm currently on the fence with whether to put away till next Summer or admit defeat and clear space in my make up collection.

I have been using the Caviar Night Cream from Aldi in between other products but I really don't enjoy it. Despite not being a fan of Lavendar I thought I'd give their new version a try and it's another thumbs up from. Likewise the eye cream whilst not a replacement for my favoured Kiehls Midnight Recovery Eye helps avoid using either too quickly and cause a dent in the bank balance when it's time to replace. The Aldi offerings are both priced at £3.99, the cost of which can easily be hidden in my weekly shop.

The mascara's were another product everyone was raving about in the forums so I again decided to get involved. I have tried a mascara from Aldi previously and wasn't too impressed but these both had different brushes, the fuller type I like and were screaming volume. For £2.49 again it was worth trying them out.

I have since tried both products and been most impressed on arriving to the office and proceeding with my usual check under the eyes in the lift to remove any transfer that there was none. This is unheard off.

I do find the brushes a little too big that I get a lot of product on my lids, more so with the XXL Extreme Version and yet on my lashes there isn't so much. It's nicely defined and really does lengthen them but at the weekend I applied to one eye and the other with my L'Oreal Lash Paradise and the latter was certainly more evident and volumised although if you don't like that heavy look then you may indeed prefer Aldi's offering.

I don't think I'd necessarily look to replace either of these or 'bulk buy' as many seem to do when they are re-released but they were both worth trying and are serving me well currently.

Finally I was holding off hitting publish on today's post as I waited to have sampled The Ordinary skincare items; as weeks have passed and I've still yet to dabble yet am loving the foundation I thought I'd hope that publishing my post would finally give me the kick I need to add them to my skincare regime.
Starting with The Ordinary Coverage Foundation which I am loving and it's my go to foundation of choice at present.  I wouldn't say it's the fullest coverage foundation I own but it balances the bridge between natural and full nicely for me. I do find that it suits me better when my skin is on the oiler side, if not gets better throughout the day as my natural oils escape so I'd be conscious if my skin type was the end of either.
The packaging is fantastic and for its size and how frequently I'm using I expected it to be one of those products you think is a great price until you're replacing so frequently you should've invested in more expensive products but it's still going strong.
The Retinol and Vitamin C products I picked up completely consumed by the blog coverage until panic set in about how to use, ensuring SPF is worn and being wary of the side effects of retinol usage but I think I've done sufficient research to start adding them to my routine.
What products have you been buying recently?

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Products I Used Up | September 2017

Another delved into the pile of beauty trash I amassed over the past months starts with the usual regular appearances of Sure Maximum Protection* and The Wet Brush. Both are staples in my daily routines, although the former may be opted due to a new deodorant I've discovered recently so stay tuned for that in a later post. The Mitchum Deodorant mini is the usual type I have thrown in my bag for freshening up on the go.

I'd love to hear from other Wet Brush users and whether you have to change yours as regular as I do - especially as I don't think I have particularly thick knotty hair to battle. It's probably my only gripe that I do sometimes feel I'm replacing it every month or two but it does give me an opportunity to try out a new colour and there's nothing like a fresh new hairbrush.

Sticking with haircare and shampoo of the dry and regular varieties; Catwalk by TIGI Transforming Dry Shampoo* and John Frieda Sheer Blonde Honey Blonde Colour Illuminating Shampoo*. Both were products that worked as they should and I enjoyed using. You can read full reviews here and here but I suspect any repurchase will be made at John Frieda. As much as I loved the scent of the TIGI Dry Shampoo, I'll still with paying a few pound for the regular offerings.

The cooler temperatures means allowing my hair to air dry isn't so much of an option and it's time to reach for the hairdryer. When I was I powered through TIGI Bed Head Queen Beach Salt Infused Texture Spray* with it's beachy scent and more moisturising offering that left hair less crispy. I would repurchase again, and indeed would for my forthcoming holiday were it not for one or two other bottles lurking around I'd like to use up before the year is out. You can read my original review here.

I've been trying some new skincare items recently so we only say goodbye to Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner* and Lacura Expert Eye Gel. Interestingly and for transparency both these items were ones I loved in it's early stages but later started to find fault and hence there appearance in the basket. In the case of Dermalogica I think I was at fault and had allowed the product to hang around to long in amongst many other skincare products. At first it seemed fine when I reached for it again but the first tell tale sign with any product if the smell seems off it's time to get rid.

The Lacura Expert Eye Gel appeared in my April Favourites I liked it so much in it's early stages but as time went on I found it was a little drying and not quite doing what I wanted. That said a few other gel eye creams I've reached for I've found the same result so think in my older years I need something a little more powerful.

Two products I'm sad to say goodbye to are my Carmex Classic Wild Pot* and Revlon Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour in Devotion. Again I'm trying to use up lip balms I have in my collection before buying others but I really am missing Carmex although I'm not a fan of the pot. Stiletto nails do not create the perfect conditions for dipping fingers in but the product was fantastic at keeping lips moisturised.

Revlon's Devotion was my go to lip when I wanted some colour but I wasn't in the mood for the maintenance of a red lip, it also works well whatever the weather. I realised as I was wearing this week that it was becoming less easy to work with and dispense the product so I decided it was time to favour other products. I would repurchase but also as part of my decluttering I'm allowing myself time to discover if indeed I am missing certain products before hitting the repurchase button.

The ever present hand creams that I used up this month were again disappointments. Sorry for this months empties post appearing on the negative side but I guess thats how some months go. Weleda Almond Sensitive Skin Hand Cream* but as with Leighton Denny Best Defence Hand Cream* I found that my hands would not feel so moisturised after I'd applied. They were not dry in the same way as when they come out of water but I still find it was my usual experience.

*this post contains press samples and affiliate links

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Power of 3 | Hawaiian Tropic Fragrance Mist

Hawaiian Tropic Fragrance Mist

Did you know I have triplet aunties? Rather great especially if I tell you one is married to a twin but as fabulous as this little bit of trivia about me is it does prove problematic because come Christmas or Birthdays everything seems to be done in threes. Of course they are well of the age when quarrels wouldn't occur if one got something the other wanted but still, sticking with something of a theme always helps.

Of course I love 3 for 2 offers but also giftsets also come in handy as often I can split the products between my aunts (or indeed any family and friends celebrating) and maximise the gift budget for them, such is the case with the Hawaiian Tropic Fragrance Miss Giftset* I received this week.

Whilst I know the leaves are turning brown and falling from the trees and if we were all playing drinking games every time someone mentioned how 'Autumnal' they were feeling or that they'd just picked up a Pumpkin Spiced Latte we'd all be needing a detox clinic but I'm still not quite ready thanks to my trip to Florida next month and as such loved receiving the 'scents of summer'.

I will admit I wouldn't necessarily head to the shops and think 'oh I need to buy a fragrance mist' or body spray as I have a healthy perfume collection and that ticks the box for me, but thanks to press samples I receive as a blogger (which this is) I do find I often have a body spray of some description lurking around which I reach for on weekends when lazing around in pyjamas or of an evening post bath when I climb into bed so maybe in the future it is something I would seek out.

The Hawaiian Tropic collection of fragrance mists are indeed all pleasant to use and then scents do provide, depending on your preference for the fragrances, a significant wear time with a smell that isn't too synthetic or heady.

Golden Paradise* is perhaps my favourite but I think it is very much due to the 'creamy coconut' scent that will instantly transport you to any Summer holiday you've had. Sunkissed Dreams* fggg feels like your more traditional perfume thanks to lotus flower and sheer musts and Summer Dreams* will be one favoured by those who love scents of passion flower and mango.

As I've said these aren't products I would typically reach for or indeed the type of scent I favour in a perfume spray or mist but they are quite enjoyable and I will definitely be ensuring I keep one for myself for those lazy days when I need to perk myself up.

Hawaiian Tropic FChristmas

Are you a fragrance mist user?

*this post contains press samples and affiliate links

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Aldi Candles | A Jo Malone Dupe?

Aldi Jo Malone Candle Review

It's quite likely if our paths have crossed recently that you would have heard me wax lyrical about the joys of Aldi and indeed noticed a smattering of Aldi products starting to appear on these pages.

Whilst my Aldi love is in full force in recent months I was only dabbling at the beginning of the year and as such the realise of the candles being hailed in the press as dupes for Jo Malone had escaped. Luckily for me Aldi heard pleas from their customers and have now made them part of their standard range so I was able to pick them up for myself to try and see if indeed they were worthy of their dupe status.

On first impression you can't argue where their 'inspiration' has come from and indeed the fragrances are matched with Jo Malone offerings. Of course the biggest difference is the price tag. I've never treated myself to a Jo Malone candle - I'm prone to burning money at whim but the price of Jo Malone candles makes even me bulk. At just £3.99 I was happy to experiment with Aldi's offering.

I picked up each of the scents, Lime Basil and Mandarin, Blackberry Bay and Pomegranate Noir and started with the latter being my favourite scent from Jo Malone. On initial sniff the candle did indeed have that familiar scent but it wasn't as strong as I'd expected. When I use just a capful of the Pomegranate Noir Bath Oil my whole flat literally fills with the scent like no other product I've used before so I expected, even if not as strong it would still have some power behind it.

I lit the candle and nothing and I was disappointed. I belong to an Aldi group on Facebook and as with anything of it's type opinions were divided between those stating the candles had no scent, certainly in comparison to the first release which created such hype (and inflated prices on eBay) and others stating how fabulous they were. As I say for me there was nothing.

Now I am a smoker so I appreciate that any scented candle is fighting with cigarette smoke so I thought it could indeed be my 'testing conditions' but having conversations with friends and family who also tried them out they too fell the same.

I even added a dash of my Jo Malone Shower Gel to the wax to add a little punch and it did help but defeats the object somewhat.

I have since burnt the additional two scents and they were perhaps 'even worse' than Pomegranate Noir as I can smell nothing as they burn which is a shame. Even last week I saw someone shopping in Aldi with a friend, picking up a candle and declaring 'you need this in your life' so I presume she has a much better experience than I.

They have since released reed diffusers and in recent months I've had more positive effects from them in my home so I'm looking forward to trying those and hopefully finding a much better result but I will keep you posted.

Scent qualities aside as a candle they really to burn cleanly so it's just a shame they let down on scent. I will make do with stocking up on Bath and Bodyworks Mahogany Teakwood candles when I'm in the US next month - now that is a strong candle that works a treat for me.

Have you tried the Aldi candles? I'd love to hear if you had better success than I did.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

New In Beauty | October 2017

As I mentioned in Monday’s post whilst things have been quiet on these pages I have been behind the scenes putting some new and old products through their paces and two old favourites are Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser in Aloe Sooth* and The Breath Co Toothpaste

The former is the perfect for lazy girls like me those in a hurry who don’t enjoy the laborious process of applying body lotion but still want to feel the effects of using one. I can leap from the shower, running late for me train and still find time to literally ‘spray & go’. Whilst I can forgive a sticky body lotion if I have time on my hands or indeed am simply climbing into bed, when I’m pulling on a pair of tights I do not want a battle on my hands so I’m grateful that Vaseline Aloe Fresh is not sticky at all and does dry quickly without making skin feel drying. Again often spray bottles struggle when manipulated, or just simply upside down but again, I have no battles on my hands and whenever I use this bottle I question why I bother with anything else. 
Recently I decided it was wholly unnecessary to have numerous small tubes of toothpaste sitting in my travel sized stash so decided to use those I had up (leaving one to be used and replaced as needed). I wish I could not appear so sad to ‘miss’ a toothpaste but I did notice the absence of The Breath Co. Toothpaste which I have used and repurchased many times since I was first introduced to it. £9 is ridiculously extortionate and I always look out for it when it is on offer and at a reduced price because love can only go so far. 
I’m a big fan of citrus scents but sadly in the form of Aqua Citra Perfume* it wasn’t for me. This is not through fault of the perfume itself, I’m neither a fan of Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin as I prefer something a little more woody, musky and even manly. If you are fan of this type of scent then I’m sure will like this as did a friend who was able to benefit from my passing over this fragrance which has enjoyed wearing and smells delightful on her. 

As I’ve said when I’ve previously mentioned this is the least ‘toothpaste-y’ toothpaste I’ve used and not one that offends the taste of the first drink you have post brushing yet as a smoker I find it tackles all the things it needs to for my filthy habits. 

Superdrug Natural Radiant Glycolic Toner* has caused something of stir recently as it's been hailed as yet debated as impossible to be a dupe of the blogger favourite Pixi Glow Tonic. Obviously the biggest draw is the more affordable price tag (currently only £2.95 at Superdrug) but is it any good? 

I will not claim to be a skincare guru but thanks to my experiences with testing various products for my blog I do have some amateur knowledge and have found that glycolic acid is a saviour for me, especially as someone that can be slack with their skincare regime, particularly at times when I should be more diligent. 

Simply put glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliator that can be used on a daily basis depending on your skins tolerances and needs and will help any dullness to the skin for a more radiant appearance. I have dehydrated skin and throw in a hangover or two and my skin can become almost snakelike but the morning or even a day or two later a sweep of glycolic acid can start to repair the damage I have caused.

I find that 'at my age' and due to my skins tolerance I can and do prefer more hardy glycolics but that is not any way a critism for Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Toner which is a comfortable dose for daily use and still performs to a high standard. In fact, before I layer on serums and moisturisers using the glycolic toner immediately shows a positive change in my skin - and I'm all about immediate gratification. 

If you're new to glycolic toners and chemical exfoliation then this is a great way to test the waters for only a few pound. 

It was only yesterday a friend at work and I were commenting how we will push our beauty treatments to the extreme; hair should be cut in six weeks, oh I'll give it eight. Such was the case recently when my balagye was taking on a brassier colour and dry as a bone and I was debating on which hairdresser to visit. Luckily I received Lee Stafford Coco Loco Hair Oil* to help me push my hair to its limit.

Despite my balayge making my hair dryer I am still somewhat reluctant with oil so I ensure to concentrate on on the ends. Coco Loco Hair Oil is fabulous both for its size, scent and pump applicator. It isn't messy and I don't find myself wiping my hands after I've run it through my hair.

The old greasy haired brunette I once was still worries about using an oil in my hair but the difference it made to the appearance, sleek and shiny and almost like I just stepped out of a salon. Having since had my dye job refreshed I reach for the oil sporadically when I feel like things need an extra hand although I find the oil lighter enough I could reach for it ever day and not overload my hair. 

*this post contains press samples and affiliate links

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