Friday, September 5, 2014

Blogger Love

Lorac Pro Palette 2 link / Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette  link
As a blogger since 2007 I've seen many changes in the whole blogger world and community, some good some bad. I started blogging in a place where blogs were in the most part corners of the internet where you would post from a more personal place about what you had done at the weekend or share recent purchases and crafty makes. Of course some where always better than others but it was less about Pinterest styling than saying hey here's a fantastic carrot cake recipe.

Of course it's fantastic that blogging has now become a career choice and that so many people choose to start a blog and they have become professional platforms. I too have benefitted from working with brands and PRs, getting invited to some fabulous events and received payment for posts but there is some sadness for the days when blog buttons where shared rather than sold as advertising space and things seemed less competitive and comments were left not to say 'follow for follow' but to converse with the writer in some way.

Today I wanted to show some gratitude to one blogging friend, Grace from Pink in the City. We have been 'internet friends' for a long time. Sharing comments on blog posts and likes on instagram. A few weeks ago I posted a picture of the Tarte Rainforest After Dark Eyes palette on instagram venting my frustration at having finally decided to place a Sephora order was told that this item couldn't be shipped to the UK (it's limited edition). Next an email came from Grace to ask me my address and days later a box arrived containing not only the Tarte Palette but the famous Lorac Pro Palette 2 - both gorgeously wrapped I might add.

To say I was over the moon would be an understatement and I will admit that both those palettes were swooned over most of that evening. The accompanying letter contained the fantastic news that hopefully Grace would be in London next year and we would finally be able to meet. When I asked Grace if there was anything I could send by way of thanks she just asked that I enjoyed them.

In a blogging world where much is done to score page views and followers it was fantastic to be reminded of the real enjoyment that came from earlier blogging days where it was about the interaction with bloggers and making friends even if just over the world wide web. Gifts, giveaways and swaps were sent just because rather than to hit monthly stats or targets. I'm lucky enough to have met many blogging friends over the years such as Josie-Mary and those who I have yet to meet still speak with regularly such as Candypop or Mrs M to the more recent friends made with beauty lovers like Alice and Carissa to attend events so I consider myself lucky.

This post is in no way a critisim to anyone as we all must roll with the times and adapt to changes of which I too benefit and I applaud anyone that is making a success of their blog in whatever way works for them. That said this blog is my hobby and as such should be something fun. I want to remember that and not feel guilty if I spend Sunday watching tv and decide to have a day off from blogging because the reasons why I started and why I continue to blog are that I enjoy writing and the pleasure of interacting with people from all round the world. I know that the true readers of Florence and Mary will  forgive me for being too hungover to schedule a post one day or encourage me to take the week off so I can spend the weekend with friends and family and still be there when the next post goes live. 

So thank you to Grace for the amazing gifts and more importantly the timely reminder of why I started this blog. Thank you to anyone who reads and comments on my little place on the internet, it is always appreciated.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

It's Not You It's Me

Nars Laguna Bronzer / Orgasm Blush Duo link
Laura Geller Eyeshadow link
No one likes to hear those five words 'It's not you, it's me' but unfortunately they are the most appropriate for the products I'm going to talk about today, and I'm sure in the case of the Nars' duo that will be surprising to some.

I picked up the Nars Blush and Bronze Duo from Sephora last year as both had been on my list to try due to numerous posts from fellow bloggers of the holy grail status of Laguna Bronzer and Orgasm Blusher. This nifty duo was the perfect way to give them a try. It shouldn't be too much of a surprise that I wasn't a fan of the Orgasm Blush as I didn't have much love for the drugstore dupe, Sleek Rose Gold either. I'm not a fan of blushes that are too shimmery as they quite frankly do little for my older skin or appearance of my pores. Nars Orgasm was slightly better than it's drugstore equivalent and it didn't look dreadful on me but it was just never something I would reach for out of choice. 

Likewise with Nars Laguna I just didn't find it the amazing product that is so highly spoke of. Yes it was ok but it wasn't something I'd choose over my other offerings. Combine the two products being of blah status to me it was often left languishing in the back of my make up drawers. This past week I've brought it to the forefront in an effort to use on a daily basis and there's just no enjoyment for me and as I mentioned in yesterday's empties post it's time to pair back the stash and use the products I do use (of which there are still too many).  Not to fear it has gone to a friend who is a fan of these two Nars products and that's good enough for me.

I revisited my Laura Geller make up collection in this post and two particular old favourites were Pink Icing and Devils Food eyeshadows. Pink Icing was used in it's entirety from the duo and I'd subsequently repurchased a full size but as the make up collection grew they were forgotten. I tend to lean more towards palettes these days rather than singular eyeshadows, especially as I put my make up on during my train journey to work. For this reason I'm less likely to gather together multiple eyeshadows for the look I want and instead reach for the palette that has everything I need in one place so it's time for these to go on to a new home.

Are there any products you have in your collection that you feel like this about?

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

August Empties

Beauty Review

It's that time again when I dive into my empties bag and share with you the products I've used up this month. Some products I will have mentioned before so I will link up to the previous post to keep things short. Let's dive in.

Radox Passion Splash Shower Gel* link
Despite Mango Madness being my favourite scent last month it's Passion Splash that I finished first! There are multiple posts on Radox throughout this here blog so you'll know I'm a fan. I love their shower gels and find they work just as well for leg shaving duties whilst I abandon the L'Occitane Almond Oil due to fake tanning.

OSMO Deep Moisturising Shampoo* link
You can find the full review for this shampoo here but in short I'm a fan. The only downside is not being able to pick up this product in local stores and I'm not really one for ordering beauty online.

Clinque 7 Day Scrub link
If you read my review here you'll know whilst I had use for the 7 Day Scrub it wasn't something I'd rush to repurchase. That said my evening skincare regime has been shocking recently and I really feel a good scrub is in order.

Soap & Glory Calm One link
Sad to say that I wasn't a fan of this bubble bath from Soap & Glory. I didn't find there was any scent to speak of which is important to me when I'm having a soak in the bath and surprising for a Soap & Glory product.

Sure Maximum Protection link
Another product I've mentioned on numerous occasions and reviewed in full here. Safe to say this will be perpetually emptied and repurchased.

Clinque High Impact Lipstick in Rosette link
I received this lipstick as part of a bonus time gift and really enjoyed using and the colour and thanks to it's petite size is the first lipstick I've used up in some time. I used the lipgloss (in Kissyfit) sporadically with and without the lipstick but if it came to repurchasing it would be Rosette I would choose.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer -  link
Unfortunately it looks, or rather smells like the use by date of this product is up. This has been a concealer I've enjoyed using for my under eye area but last week I noticed there was a unpleasant smell so it was time to add it to the empties pile. Not having used this product in it's entirety due to a small number of other concealers in rotation has further cemented my view that it's time to pair back the make up stash to ensure minimal wastage.

Barry M Cor Balmy Tinted Lip Balm link
I'm on the fence about this product even more so as I threw this into the empties photography having brought home from work as I wasn't enjoying using it but applying as I type this paragraph I'm reluctant to get rid. It is certainly moisturising and the shade Jam Jar is rather pigmented for a lip balm, even a tinted one. For work it was ideal to bridge the gap between lipstick reapplication but I found it a little messy and wasn't reaching for it enough. I think I'll keep it on my coffee table for another week or two yet and see how it fairs.

Sleek Brow Stylist Pencil in Medium link
There was instant panic when I wound up this eyebrow pencil to realise that I had finished it as it was completely unexpected despite it being on of my favourites over the month. I'm having something of a brow moment lately and found this eyebrow pencil from Sleek a great product for those not too lazy days when I use something like BROWdrama from Maybelline but ones that I haven't got the time or inclination to pay complete attention with the thinner Brow Wiz from Anastasia (which I'm also having a reignited love affair with). I have since repurchased as you will see in a forthcoming post and comforted to have it back in my make up bag.

Murad Skin Perfecting Primer link
I mentioned this primer from Murad in my round of those in my collection here and took to using this on a regular basis as such a small bottle I thought I would get through it quite quickly. As I mentioned in the previous post this was a nice product to provide a base for any foundations and the like but with a very light coverage to even things out.

Nina Ricci La Tentation de Nina Eau de Toilette link
Mum brought my this perfume created with Laduree for my birthday earlier in the year and whilst I was swept up in the cute bottle (apparently based on the tale of a girl who has bitten an apple and succumbed to the ultimate temptation, doesn't that sound familiar!) and loveliness of macaron's. Unfortunately if I'm honest whilst I didn't dislike the smell it was a little too sweet for my usual tastes  and not something I would repurchase. In an effort to use it throughout the Summer I think I bored myself of it even more although my niece and friends were fans of this fragrance so don't let my more heavier taste put you off.

Palmers Eventone Dark Spot Corrector* link
I don't have much issue with dark spots that I need correcting but those I have definitely saw improvement from using the Eventone Dark Spot Corrector from Palmers. The packaging of this product is great in that it has a pump which dispenses just enough of the light gel like fluid for us on the skin. The only downside to this product is the heavily artificial fragrance which I didn't enjoy at all and was the only reason I'd not repurchase. If only their skincare had that lovely cocoa butter scent.

L'Oreal Age Perfect Refreshing Toner link
I'm as equally in love with this toner - which you would have first seen in my Morning Skincare Regime post here - as I am Liz Earle's Skin Tonic and have since repurchased both so I can split between my morning and evening regimes. Definitely one to try even though it pains me it's for 'mature skin'!

Well it doesn't look like I kept that as short and sweet as I'd initially intended but you will have had plenty to read about a varied selection of products. Don't forget to link me up to your empties post, I'd love to read them.

*PR Sample

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lush Brightside Bubble Bar Review

Lush Brightside link
I should have learnt after the gorgeous bath in Caesars Palace on my trip to Las Vegas last year that a bubble bath is a worthy addition to the toiletries I take on holiday with me but alas it was overlooked when I visited Hawaii and with the gorgeous Halekulani Hotel's bathroom it was time to head to Lush and rectify that.

Lush Bubble Bars are perfect for holidays rather than a bottle as you will have just enough for two or three baths during your stay and as you can see from the picture above just a third of the Brightside bubble bar created an abundance of bubbles for me to soak in whilst enjoying a glass of champagne.

Brightside bubble bar is a citrus burst of sicilian mandarin, bergamot and tangerine which make for the perfect holiday accompaniment and where better to lay back and relax than on holiday in a luxurious bathroom. 

As my mum and I head once again to Caesars Palace it's time to seek out the nearest branch of Lush so I can stock up for another soak in the tub.

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