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Friday, 26 September 2014

KIKO Makeup Haul



I am so excited to share this small makeup haul as it is from KIKO Cosmetics. A brand that has been appearing quite a lot in the blogging world recently. So I decided to pop online and pick up a few bits for myself.

The first thing I added to my basket was the Queen of Hearts eyeshadow pallet in 03 Elegant Ebony


This has 4 really pretty, purpley undertoned, neutral shades. Just my kind of colour! I love the packaging too, it's really pretty and feels sturdy and good quality. 



They are soft and smooth when swatched and apply smoothly too but could do with a bit more pigmentation. I am yet to wear these properly, so I will have to update! 

Now, the main reason I placed this order..

I had heard a lot about these beauties online and was so excited to get my hands on them.
They are the Long Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks. *swoon* 



I picked up three shades:

No.37 (Burgundy) - The name gives it away. A beautiful deep, burgundy shade. Probably my favourite from the bunch! 
No.05 (Rosy Brown) - A pretty warm toned, pink, shimmery brown. 
No.04 (Golden Chocolate) - A deep chocolate brown.



They are beautiful. The pigmentation and wear on these are incredible! Again, I am yet to wear them properly but from what I have gathered from playing around with them, I am going to be completely obsessed. I already want to pick up a few more shades!



I will have to do an update post once I have tried all these out properly and give a more thorough review on them but I think I am going to be very pleased.

Have you tried anything from Kiko? If so, what did you think?

Thanks for reading!

Zoe x

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Empties #2



Today I am back with another Empties post. I love writing these as it actually motivates me to get through my hundreds of half used products! Okay lets get started...

Things mentioned in order placed in the photo (obvs) 


1. Bioderma- This is just a little baby size that I use to take away if I was staying at a friends house or anything. I love Bioderma and it is my makeup remover of choice and I currently have 2 500ml bottles in my collection, so it is clear I love this stuff! 

2. Klorane Shampoo with Camomile- Meh. I would not repurchase this as I did not see any difference in the colour of my hair. 

3. The Body Shop Organic Cotton Rounds- Such a boring empty but we all use them! I seem to go through cotton pads like water, its crazy. These are lovely and soft and I only used them on my face, at £2.50 a pack I did not want to waste them taking off nail polish or anything. Lovely quality, did not rip or leave little fluffs behind on my skin.

4. The Body Shop Tea Tree Blotting Tissues- I am so sad I finished these as I loved them and they are now discontinued! If I could, I could 100% repurchase them. They removed excess oil without moving or lifting away my makeup. 

5. Mini Clarins Extra Comfort Toning Lotions- I have already done a whole post about this toner and how I have purchased the full size, however, I still have a few more minis to get through before I open that one! A really lovely toner, highly recommend!


6. TRESemme Salon Finish Extra Hold hairspray- Again, a hairspray is a hairspray to me! This wasnt outstanding or anything, it just did the job. 

7. The Body Shop Earth Lovers shower gel- This product has been discontinued which I am quite sad about as I really enjoyed using this as it is super gentle on the skin as it does not contain any harsh ingredients or sulphates. I was never crazy on any of the scents this came in as they were all very herbal but I would repurchase this again if I could!

8. The Body Shop Rainforest Volume Shampoo- I love this stuff and will continue to repurchase it. I love that it cleans my hair really well without stripping it as it does not contain any harsh ingredients or sulphates. 

9. Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm- I loved this but now, I have gone off it slightly. I loved it enough to repurchase it but I have got about a quarter through my current tub and have stopped using it. I have gone off the more waxy texture and now look for something more oily and soft. This is still a lovely product and is great for someone who wants a fuss free cleanser!

10. The Body Shop Rainforest Volume minis- Oh... More shampoo! 


11. ELF Tone Correcting Concealer- I looove this stuff. Its super lightweight and undetectable on the skin. I have plenty more in my makeup stash to use!

12. The Body Shop Cleansing Gel in Mango and strawberry- My favourite hand gel ever. It smells so amazing and gets your hands clean without making them feel sticky or dry. Totally obsessed with these little guys.

13. Hydralouron- Already repurchased this wonder product and will continue to forever. The best hydrating serum around, so light and easily absorbed into the skin. 

14. The Body Shop InstaBlur primer- I am so obsessed with this stuff. I already have another one on the go and will forever repurchase this! My holy grail primer. 

15. The Body Shop Blueberry Scrub- This was so fun to use. It is like you are washing yourself with jam! It was full of real seeds and fruit pulp and the smell was amazing. The only thing is I went through it very quickly! The Blueberry is no longer available as it was a limited addition scent, however, you can still purchase the raspberry which is the same jam-like consistency! 

Okay, so that is all my empties for this post. 

Thanks for reading! 

Zoe x

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Save vs Splurge: Clay Masks



After recently discovering that clay, is in actual fact, one of the cheapest ingredients used in skincare, I decided to write a post comparing two masks.
One, high end. One, drugstore.

The Masks
I will be comparing the Una Brennan Tea Flower Deep Clean Pore Purifying Clay Mask and the Glam Glow Youthmud Tingle Exfoliate Treatment.

Price
Una Brennan Tea Flower Deep Clean Pore Purifying Clay Mask 125ml £8.99
(They have recently changed the name. I have compared ingredients on both and they are still the same.)

Glam Glow Youth Mud Tingle Exfoliate Treatment 15ml £25 (*heart breaks into tiny little pieces*)
or 50ml £49.50

Ingredients

Una Brennan
Aqua (Water), Kaolin, Silt, Cetearyl alcohol, Glyceryl stearate, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan stearate, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter), Mel (Honey), Persea gratissima (Avocado) oil, Phenethyl alcohol, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Sweet orange) peel oil, Citrus aurantium amara (Bitter orange) oil, Canaga odorata (Ylang ylang) flower oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Maltodextrin, Caprylyl glycol, PEG-20 stearate, Xanthan gum, Coco-glucoside, Citric acid, Salicylic acid, Glycerin, Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) extract, Nasturtium officinale (Watercress) flower/leaf extract, Urtica dioica (Nettle) extract, Sambucus nigra (Elderflower) flower extract, Potassium sorbate, Sodium benzoate, Amyl cinnamal, Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl salicylate, Cinnamyl alcohol, Geraniol, Hexyl cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Dipropylene glycol

Glam Glow
Aqua (Water), Montmorillonite (VolcanicMinerals), Kaolin (French Sea Clay), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (PurifiedClay), Polyethylene, Pumice (Micro Volcanic Rock), Camellia Sinensis Leaf(Green Tea Leaf), Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract (Green Tea), ChamomillaRecutita Flower Extract (Chamomile), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract(Marigold), Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract (Cucumber), Hedara Helix Extract(Ivy), Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract (Comfrey Herb), Lavandula Hybrida Oil(Lavender), Glycerin (Vegetable), Parfum, [Benzyl Benzoate, Hexyl Cinnamal,Limonene, Linalool], Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol,Hexylene Glycol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

Both have a lot of lovely ingredients in them, both containing a lot of fruit and plant extracts.
However, the main ingredient being the clay. Una Brennan has Kaolin. Glam Glow also has Kaolin. They both have the exact same key ingredient. 

Application and Wear
Both apply very similarly. I would say the Una Brennan is slightly thicker in consistency, where as the Glam Glow is smoother and spreads more easily.
The Glam Glow has chunks of what looks like seaweed in it (I think) where as the Una Brennan is smooth in consistency.
Whilst on the skin, they both feel again, very similar. Although, Glam Glow is meant to tingle (it is in the name after all) but I do not feel any sort of tingle on the skin when wearing this.
With the Una Brennan I sometimes feel a slight heat or stinging, this is due to the salicylic acid in the mask, something the Glam Glow does not contain.

Removal
I find the Glam Glow much nicer to remove. At almost just crumbles off the skin when you wipe it away using either a facial sponge or a flannel (I've used both). I really like that as I hate to pull and tug at my skin to remove a mask.
Una Brennan is more difficult to remove. I find that when it meets the warmth/moisture on the flannel/sponge it almost begins to melt again. This means I have to go over it several times to really wipe away all of the mask and due to it being thicker in consistency, this can take some time. I also find that my skin will look quite red after, due to having to wipe over it so many times.

Results
The results are so similar. Both give a very fresh, clean complexion. The main thing I look for is how it has removed any blackheads I have, mainly around my nose. I find that the Una Brennan really cleans them away, making my skin look completely smooth, with no visible pores or uneven texture. The Glam Glow did remove any blackheads, however, I felt I could still see larger pores around that area.
With blemishes, I never notice that much of a difference on them when using the Una Brennan but with the Glam Glow, it reduced a particularly annoying visitor that had set up camp on my chin. I noticed it was reduced slightly in size and the redness has gone down.

Overall Opinion: Save or Splurge?
I think, I am going to have to say save. If I had known before buying the Glam Glow that clay is clay and no matter how fancy they try and make it out to be, it is all the same and more to the point, very cheap to use in products, I would not have purchased it. Do not get me wrong, it is a good product, it works effectively but no better or worse than the Una Brenna and why pay £50 for a mask, when you can get the same results from a £9 option?

Thank you very much for reading this post and I hope you found this helpful!

Zoe x


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Top Tips for Healthy Nails/Cuticles


I love doing my nails and take the time do not only paint them nicely but to ensure my nails/cuticles are in good condition. I do this by using a variety of different products and techniques and thought it would be helpful to share them and show that you do not need to pay to go to a salon to get your nails done, you a can achieve healthy nails and professional looking results by yourself, at home. 


1. Get rid of dry,excess cuticles.
How? Use a cuticle removing gel/cream. These are quite easy to pick up from places such as Boots. I have the Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover and it works a treat.
You just pop it round your cuticles, leave for 5 minutes, push your cuticles back and watch all the dead skin roll away with it, then wash your hands! After, your cuticles will be smooth and have no dry skin bunched up around the base or edges. Yay!

2. Use a hand scrub.
This will help to further exfoliate dead skin/any left over excess cuticles. My top trick is super easy and cheap. I take a teaspoon of sugar and one pump of hand soap and mix them together in my hands. This makes a super effective scrub that I then rub around my hands and focus on my cuticles.
This is so effective in removing any dry skin that the cuticle remover may have missed and it also helps exfoliate the whole of your hands too! You can of course use a normal body scrub if you want.


3. Push your cuticles back regularly.
 Its important to push your cuticles back regularly to keep them neat and to stop them adhering to the nail bed (this makes them far more difficult to remove and doesn't look great.)
Always be gentle when pushing the cuticles back. Try and soften them first by using a cream/nail oil. This loosens them and makes it easier to push back and is more gentle on the nails.

4. Keep your cuticles hydrated.
I love the Almond Oil Pen from The Body Shop. This is a gel consistency and is dispensed through a brush applicator pen. Its so quick to use as you just quickly brush it over the nails and rub in. The gel consistency means it is easily absorbed and doesn't leave a greasy residue. Almond oil is fantastic at conditioning cuticles and strengthening the nails themselves. I apply this every night before bed and I have seen a huge difference in my cuticles, they aren't as dry and keep smooth and hydrated for longer.


5. Use a good hand cream. 
If I'm honest I don't really have a "holy grail" hand cream, I tend to just grab whatever I have in my bag at the time. Which is currently the Crabtree and Evelyn Pear and Pink Magnolia hand cream. I like this for throughout the day as it is light, easily absorbed but still nourishing. 


6. Use the right tools.
I like to use a variety of different tools to help me achieved neat and professional looking nails. A few are:

  • A glass nail file- Not only does a glass nail file make filling/shaping the nails a lot quicker and easier, it is also much more gentle on the nails and the chances of them splitting whilst filling is much less. 
  • A straight edge nail clipper- These help to get a much neater and square shape to the edge of the nail when cutting it.
  • A cuticle pusher- I mentioned earlier about pushing the cuticles back, to do this, I use a metal cuticle pusher. You can also get rubber or wooden cuticle pusher, rubber being the most gentle on the nails. I prefer a metal one as I feel it pushes the cuticles back more effectively. 


7. DO NOT nip your cuticles.
Now.. Cuticle nippers are a dangerous thing (Pictured above). I say this as I use to be obsessed with nipping my cuticles. Any chance I got Id have my cuticle nippers out and pluck away at any tiny piece of skin I could. NOT GOOD. Cuticle nipping actually causes the skin to grow in harsh and jagged, this making the cuticles dry and hard. Only ever nip your cuticles if you have a hang nail or a piece of dry skin that is catching/tugging.
By using a good exfoliator and a cuticle remover on the nails regularly, you should not have to nip away excess cuticles anyway.

8. Find a shape that works for you.
I, personally, adore a short square nail. I think it looks chic, effortless and clean. However, you may prefer oval nails, rounded nails, long nails.. The list goes on. I think it is important to find a shape that also flatters your hands. My hands are very skinny (I hate them.) and my fingers and quite long, so if I was to go for a longer, rounded nail, I would have witch hands. No joke.
However, that nail shape will look elegant and classy on a number of different people. It's just finding what shape you enjoy/suits you. (Below are just a few examples)



9. Use a treatment.
If you have severely dry, damaged nails and applying nail oil every night just isn't cutting it, you might want to try a more intense treatment. There are a variety of nail treatments you can get on the market, targeting towards many different problems (Splitting nails, dry nails, weak nails, flakey nails, bitten nails.. etc etc.)
So it is important to find a treatment that targets your specific problems.
One I think is a good all rounder is OPI Nail Envy. This works on strengthening the nails. It also helps them grow and reduces splitting/flaking.


10. Give yourself regular manicures to maintain the condition of your nails and keep them looking clean and professional. If you pay to get your nails done, maintaining the cuticle or giving a quick file will maintain the standard of your manicure for much longer, so you won't need to go as often!


So there you have it, my top tips for healthy nails and cuticles. I hope you found this post helpful and try out these tips for yourself.

Do you have any top tips for keeping your nails in great condition? Let me know!

Thanks for reading.

Zoe x