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Thursday, 29 January 2015

The Body Shop Bouncy Sleeping Mask REVIEW


The Body Shop Bouncy Sleeping mask, Sleeping masks, The body shop mask, skincare for oily skin, skincare for dehydrated skin

This little guy seems to be getting a lot of attention online, so I thought I would throw my opinion out there as well. As you know, I work for The Body Shop but this does not alter my opinions on the product. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Battle of the "Sorbets" - Caudalie vs The Body Shop


Caudalie's Moisturizing Sorbet was my holy grail moisturiser for months. I love that I found something to suit my fussy, oily, yet dehydrated skin type. 

It is a super light consistency, that instantly absorbs into the skin and provides a boost of hydration to my parched skin. Despite being so light, it gave my skin the moisture it needed to last it comfortably throughout the day. I love it. 

However, Caudalie is not the cheapest brand around and one tube of Moisturizing Sorbet was setting me back about £23 every few months. Ouch. I didn't really mind paying that as my skin loved it, until I found a much cheaper alternative...


Monday, 26 January 2015

KIKO Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick REVIEW (and Swatches)


A few months ago I purchased some goodies from KIKO.com. Today I thought I would fill you in on one of the best products I have discovered in a long time..

The Product

KIKO Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow 

Price

£6.90 (Currently on sale for £4.80) Bargain

What is it? 

KIKO describe's this product as:

"Stick Eyeshadow - Extreme hold for a blendable intense colour.
The creamy formula ensures extreme blendability of the line immediately after application.
Once set, the colour remains uniform and radiant for up to 8 hours, without streaking or smudging.
Water Resistant, Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow gives splendid, pure and vibrant colour tones.
Application is simple and comfortable, thanks to the special rounded stick and its ultra-smooth and light texture." 
What I Think..
I completely love these. They are fantastic products! KIKO have hit the nail on the head with their description as well, everything they is 100% true as they described. 

The quality of the product is outstanding. They are really buttery and smooth, allowing you to blend them really easily over the eye, either with your fingers or with a brush. They are beautifully pigmented, each having a gorgeous metallic/shimmery finish. 

The main thing I love about these though, is the lasting power. KIKO really got it right with the name "long lasting".. They look perfect all day. At the end of the day they look the same as they did right after you applied them in the morning. An 11 hour shift is a piece of cake for these guys. I actually stand in front of the mirror and can't believe how good my eye makeup still looks! It is worth mentioning as well, that I do have quite oily eyelids and most shadows do end up creasing/fading on me easily, even other cream products I have tried. 

But these really do not budge. They stay perfect. No creasing, no smudging, the colours does not fade either. They stay just as they were when you first applied them, all day. 
However, when it comes to taking them off, they aren't a nightmare to remove. I use an oil cleanser (Usually The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil) and gently sweep my fingers over my eyes (a little more rubbing around the lash line, as I wear a lot of mascara and eyeliner) and they are gone! As easy as that. 

The colours I own

I have built up a collection of 7 colours of the Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows: 

04 Golden Chocolate 
05 Rosy Brown
06 Golden Brown
07 Golden Beige 
37 Burgundy 
38 Golden Taupe 
39 Dark Taupe 

There isn't one colour that is a "dud". Every shade lives up to the same high quality in terms of pigmentation, blendability and wear. 

Swatches 


KIKO Long Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks swatches, KIKO Long Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks, KIKO long lasting eyeshadow sticks review, KIKO Long Lasting Eyeshadow stick swatches

KIKO Long Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks, KIKO long lasting eyeshadow sticks review, KIKO Long Lasting Eyeshadow stick swatches

KIKO Long Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks, KIKO long lasting eyeshadow sticks review, KIKO Long Lasting Eyeshadow stick swatches

There you have it. That is my review of the KIKO Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows. 
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. 

Have you tried any of the KIKO Long Lasting Eyeshadows? If you have, let me know what you thought of them in the comments below. I'd love to hear your opinions of them! 

Thanks for reading!

Zoe x 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Bye Bye, Dehydrated Eyes! New Eye Cream Duo.



Having a reaction to something always sucks. Although it especially sucks when it leaves you with big, crusty looking dry patches under your eyes. Yup, that's what happened to me! I started using a new eye cream and my eyes decided they hated it and punished me with the most horrible looking itchy, red, flaky.. You get the picture, it wasn't great!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

5 Makeup Collection Newbies




I have recently purchased a few new bits to be added into my makeup collection. Some are new releases and some are just new to me! 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Top 5 of 2014: Nails (Tools and Colours)


Sorry this one is later than the rest of the series. I wasn't 100% sure if I was going to do a nail category. 

But I was thinking about it and some of the best products I have discovered in 2014 have been for my nails so it would be silly not to!

I'm going to do top 5 tools, treatments etc and then top 5 nail colours.

Tools/Treatments 



1. Glass nail file- I genuinely do not know how I managed to do my nails without a glass nail file. By far one of the most useful discoveries of the year!
A glass file is so quick, easy, accurate. You're nails are completely reshaped and perfectly filed in minutes. Not only that, it is far more gentle on the nails. They are far less likely to split and break due to filing if you use a glass file. You can also file in both directions as well without damaging the nail. I got mine from TKMaxx so I'm not able to link it but you can pick up glass nail files in Boots etc. 

2. Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover- I love this for getting rid of dry, excess cuticles and just dry skin around the nails in general. I apply a generous amount and leave it to sit for a few minutes before taking a cuticle pusher and gently pushing back the product. With it comes all the dead skin and yuckiness that was built up around the nail. After, you'll have super smooth, even cuticles.

3. Almond cuticle oil pen from The Body Shop- This is the key to soft, hydrated cuticles. I apply this most nights before beds and it really has made a difference to my nails. They stay much smoother and hydrated for longer. It is also super easy to use throughout the day as the brush applicator makes it so quick and easy to just brush in and massage in. Also, because it is a gel/oil consistency, it sinks into the skin quickly, again, making it great to use on the go and throughout the day! 

4. Sally Hansen Mega Shine Top Coat- The. Best. Topcoat. Ever! I am so obsessed with this. Not only does it make your nail polish look super sleek and shiny, it dries it in SECONDS. I am always so impressed with just how quickly I can potter around and pick up things without having to worry about scuffing my beautiful, fresh mani! I can not recommend this top coat enough, it is probably one of my favourite purchases of the whole of 2014!

5. Straight edge nail clippers- Again, something so simple but it makes such a difference. If you like a square shaped nail, straight edge nail clippers are a MUST. I found mine in TKMaxx but I am sure you can pick them up quite easily. They make getting that near, straight edge very quick and easy. All you then need to do is file down the edges! It's great.

I KNOW I've already listed 5 but I had to mention another couple!

6. Pretty Quick Instant Nail Polish Remover - The ultimate lazy girls nail polish remover! Stick your finger in the pot, twist, twist, twist, DONE. It is so quick and easy to remove your nail polish this way. The formulation is also really gentle on the nails and doesn't dry them out or leave them sticky, so you can literally just run out the door after (I've had to do this a couple times before leaving for work in the morning when I've noticed my nails are all chipped and look awful, this is a life saver!)

7. SkinTruth Nail Polish Remover - If you aren't feeling super lazy and actually want to take your nail polish off the old fashioned way, this nail polish remover is FAB. It is acetone free, which is great for your nails as it doesn't dry the life out of them, yet removes colour in one swipe. I purchased mine from Sally's.

Colours


1. Essie-Fiji - OBVIOUSLY. I am just so in love with this colour. A short, squared off shape, with this colour is, to me, nail perfection! It is so simple, yet eye catching. Simple and clean, yet unique at the same time. I love it. If you read my post earlier in the year, you'll know that Essie actually changed the formulation and colour of Fiji. They took away the white base which is what made it so unique and eye catching and made it over all, more pink. I am still holding onto my original bottle as I don't think I will ever be able to get rid of it even if it is unusable because I just love it so much! (Considering how much I LOVE this colour I am very surprised that I can not find a photo that I've taken of a mani with it? You all know what Fiji looks like though, right?!) 

2. The Body Shop Colour Crush Nails in Gorgeous Grey - This was quite a late discovery in the year but it instantly became one of my all time favourites. A stunning taupey, grey, purple, that doesn't look like much in the bottle but when on the nails, it shines. It is so pretty! I think the slightly more purpley undertone is what makes it more wearable and different to other grey polishes. I simply love it! It again, is super classic and sophisticated and looks great on a short, squared off nail.


3. Korres Nail Colour in Peony Pink - I went CRAZY for this colour over the Spring and no wonder- it is so stunning. The perfect sheer- yet buildable, baby pink. It is so feminine and pretty and like all these polishes, has that effortless classy look to it. I have several of these colours in my collection but Peony Pink is by far my favourite. I love it so much when I applied it for the first time, I immediately went online and bought a back up! Now, THAT is saying something. Korres actually have a really beautiful selection of nail colours, I feel they deserve more hype as they are lovely products! I am keen to try some more colours for myself.

4. Nails Inc (for Glamour Magazine) in Hanover Square. I got this colour with Novembers issue of Glamour Magazine, which obviously, is no longer available. However, I am still mentioning it as they have an almost identical colour in their core range called Kensington High Street.
This is a stunning, deep, beery shade that is perfect for Winter. I had to force myself to use different colours as I found myself re-applying this shade every mani. The formulation is very thick and glossy and is opaque in one coat.


5. Topshop Matte Nails in Sober (Can't find online. Sorry!)- I haven't actually worn this colour since the Summer, as it is about as "Summery" nail polish wise as I get (I really do not like bright, neon shades. Ew.) It is a really gorgeous pastel peachy/pink, leaning more on the peach side. It is a matte formulation but I always apply a topcoat on top, as matte finishes aren't really my thing wither (Again, ew.)
It's one of those colours I always found myself just staring at when I had it on my nails. It's just so pretty! It's like the grown up version of Barry M's Peach Melba. It's a little more subtle and more pastel.


Cheating again! But I couldn't forget Essie's Urban Jungle. A super chic, opaque nudey/beige/pink. Similar to Fiji but more on the neutral side of things. So pretty and clean on the nails. One of those colours I always get compliments on when I wear it! 


Oh and also The Body Shop nail colour in Frosting Fancy* is AMAZING. So similar to Fiji but warmed up with a little more pink. Brilliant forumulation, opaque in 2 easy coats. Love it! 


Okay, so there you have it! My top nail tools and nail polish colours for 2014. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. What were your favourite nail care essentials and nail polish colours from 2014? I'd love to know in the comments!

Thank you for reading.

Zoe x



 Disclaimer: I work for The Body Shop. However, all opinions about products from The Body Shop are 100% my own and do not reflect the opinions of those at The Body Shop. Any product given to me for staff sampling has been marked with an *. Any product from The Body Shop not marked, will have been purchased by myself, with my own money at a staff discounted price. All my opinions are completely true and honest. 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

My 2015 Blogging Resolutions

1. Post More Often - I started slacking a lot toward the end of the year. A lot of it was to do with the fact that I work in retail and at Christmas time, I barely had the time to breathe never mind sit down and write a blog post. But excuses aside, I am making a point to blog more often.

2. Be Less Rambly - I find, looking back, that I tend to be a bit rambly in my posts. Which is super boring. No one liked a rambly blog post about toners, or whatever. Cut it down, be more to the point. NEXT!

3. More Variety - Even though my most popular posts and the ones I always get compliments on out of the blogging world are my skincare posts, I'd like to start writing more about different things. Still sticking with the beauty theme but maybe more about makeup, hauls etc.. I will obviously continue to post (a lot) of skincare posts as that is my favourite thing to write about, I just want to mix it up a bit too.

4. Improve My Photo Quality - I find taking photos really difficult and it can also be the main reason I might not upload a post, if I feel my photos aren't up to scratch. I take my photos with my iPhone 5 and try and make the best out of what I've got but sometimes feel really pressured (by myself) to improve the look and quality of them. And also, I want to improve the over all look of my blog! Get a custom layout, things like that... That may take a while.

5. Stop Comparing My Blog To Others - Probably one of the main issues smaller blog writers have is comparing their little space to someone's super popular, super professional blog that they've had for 5+ years. But that's just it- they've had it for a long time. They've worked on it really hard and the success has come with time. "Don't compare your start, to someone else's middle." Or whatever the saying is....

How To Actually Get Rid of Blackheads



An article popped up on my Facebook page the other day called "How to get rid of blackheads." 

And I clicked on it. Why, why, why...

Well.. I won't go over the whole article with you but let's just say the ideal way to remove a blackhead is not to "use PVA glue as a DIY pore strip!" *faints* 

So, at the haunting thought of anyone actually going to Tesco to pick up some glue for their DIY pore strip, I thought I would write this post on how to actually get rid of blackheads in hope that even one person reads it and puts down the glue. 

Seriously... GLUE!?

Okay, so..

What are blackheads?

Blackheads are not dirt. They do not mean you are dirty or have an unclean face. Relax. Blackheads are dead skin cells and sebum (oil) that have been trapped within a pore. The reason they are black is because they have oxidised. Simples. 

How NOT to get rid of blackheads

1. Scrubs - Keeping in mind that blackheads are not dirt there is no need for you to scrub away at them with the harshest, grittiest scrub you could find in Tesco, on your way to buy the glue for your DIY pore strip. (Seriously, it makes me wince.) 

Scrubs will not do anything apart from irritate the skin, cause redness and broken capillaries. Not a good look. Put down the scrub. Please. 

2. Pore Strips - A pore strip will temporarily remove the blackhead by pulling it out of the pore, however, it will not keep it away. In fact, it kind of just leaves a big inviting hole for more bacteria, oil and dead skin cells to gather in together and have a party. Not ideal. (I can't talk about the glue again... I just can't.) 

3. Extractions - Unless it is done professionally, I personally, do not recommend removing blackheads yourself. You can by blackhead removers easily but I find these far more effective for removing whiteheads. I find you have to apply a lot of pressure over the blackhead to actually remove it, which can cause damage to the skin. Most salons that offer facials will be able to do extractions, that is probably your best (and safest) bet. It will cost money to get it done but the results will be worth it. 

How to ACTUALLY get rid of blackheads 

Key ingredients to look out for:

Salicylic acid is your best friend when it comes to getting rid of pesky blackheads for good. I have talked about this ingredient 107463526 times on this blog already but juuust in case you missed it, Ill quickly run over what it does one more time:

Salicylic acid penetrates down into the pore, breaking down congestion from within the skin. It is known as a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid). It works amazingly at removing blackheads but also, just over all congestion within the skin. 

Glycolic acid is also your best friend (whether you have blackheads or not!). This is an exfoliator but it is in a completely smooth, liquid form. Which means no harsh scrubbing at the skin, yay! Glycolic acid is an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid)

Glycolic acid melts away dead skin cells that are on the surface layer of the skin. It also kills bacteria. This will help to keep the skin clean and fresh, meaning there is less dead skill cells to get trapped in your pores causing blackheads. Glycolic acid is also great for reducing scarring (which is great for people who are left with marks/pigmentation from acne) as it is shedding old, dead skin cells and revealing new ones. 
Your skin will look much brighter, be healthier and feel smoother. 


Product Recommendations

All these products contain Salicylic acid, some in stronger amounts than others. 

I've talked about this mask a few times already (It recently had a name and packaging change but it is still the exact same mask), I wasn't that keen on it at first but now, it is my go-to mask if my skin is feeling congested and gritty. It flushes out blackheads with one use and improves the over-all texture of my skin, making it smooth and even.

My last post was all about this guy, so if you want a more detailed review, click here
A great, affordable toner for reducing blackheads and congestion. It is rather strong and does contain alcohol, so go easy with it. I only use it a couple times a week but even then, the results are great!

Again, I've talked about this product so many times already but it is a life saver. This is where it all started for me. This single product made a huge difference in my skin. So much that I barely need to reach for it any more, it has improved my skin that much. 
It completely wipes out congestion within the skin in a couple of days. I now only use it now and again, to keep my skin topped up. It really is a miracle product that I will always have on hand in my collection and recommend to everyone

Keeping the skin balanced 

You might be tempted at first to cover your whole face in all these products but please don't. Work these into your routine, spacing them out throughout the week. Even though salicylic acid is great ingredient, using too much can dehydrate the skin
I use the toner a couple times a week. The mask once a week. And the Effalcar Duo as and when I need it. I never apply these products one after another. It is too much for the skin.  You need to keep the skin balanced with moisture, so make sure you are using a good, hydrating moisturiser in the day or facial oil at night. 

Also, if you find that your skin is only effected by blackheads and/or congestion in specific areas on your face, you can just apply the product to that area. You by no means need to cover your whole face in any of the above products if you feel you do not need to. 

Okay, so that is my post on how I effectively get rid of blackheads! I hope this post was helpful and gave some of you a better understanding of how to get those pesky blackheads under control. 

If you try out any of the products I have mentioned, please let me know how you get on with them! I'd love to know.

Thanks for reading.

Zoe. x

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

An Affordable Acid Toner (For congested/blemished skin)


I am back talking about yet another form of acid toner. What a surprise! This time, however, it's super affordable, easily available and a brand that I would usually pass by.

This is the Visibly Clear Blackhead Eliminating Cleansing Lotion by Neutrogena. Shocking, right? 

I do not know what made me pick this up in Boots, I just did and I'm quite glad 'cause it is kind of great. 

I expected it to just be loaded with alcohol (which it does contain but I'll talk about that later) like a typical "spot reducing" toner from a drugstore brand. So I was rather surprised when I saw salicylic acid come up as one of the main ingredients. For £3.99 I decided to give it a whirl. 

It is pretty strong. I only use it once, maybe twice, a week.
And because it has a higher amount of alcohol I always, ALWAYS follow up with a toning lotion (Clarins Extra Comfort), serum, moisturiser or oil (depending whether I use it AM or PM) to counteract any dryness it may cause. It does contain also glycerin, which will also help to keep moisture and hydration within the skin. 

It works really, really well. I notice the biggest difference in blackheads, especially on my nose. The are far less visible and less gritty feeling. The salyclic acid really works in penetrating into the pore and flushing everything out, leaving my skin texture far smoother and more even. 

The skin feels very fresh and clean after. I think someone with very oily skin would really like this as it gives the skin that clean feeling without stripping the skin of its natural oils. 

As it contains salyclic acid it will also help to reduce overall congestion within the skin, as well as preventing spots from surfacing in the first place. 

I wouldn't use this if you had very sensitive skin or active acne as the alcohol could make the skin irritated/angry, which is never good. Normal spots, yes. It will work a treat. 

However, I'd say everyone else would be fine as long as you follow up with a nice calming, hydrating oil/moisturiser of some sort. 

I hope you found this helpful! If you give this toner a try, please let me know what you think. 

One of my next posts should be about ANOTHER affordable toner but this time, it's all about hydration! 

Thanks for reading. 

Zoe x