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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

October 2013 Empties.

                                                                 October 2013 Empties.

 I feel like I am staring to make a little dent in my huge stash of samples this month. A very, very costly leaking roof repair means that there is very little spending money and so it is even more important to use what I already have. Some of these empties I would love to buy again, but right now spending is on hold.

 First up, the facial products. I have reviewed some of these products in full in earlier posts so I wont waffle on too much about them.

Docteur Renaud's Raspberry Cleansing Water (125ml) is a product that seemed to last for ever. I realy feel that I have had my money's worth out of this one. Lovely and cooling on the skin, I preferred to use this for removing eye make up than on my skin. Well worth trying if you get chance.

L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream (15ml). I used this as a night cream. Rich and luxurious. I really liked this and would love to repurchase when funds allow.

Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm (15ml) This is a very effective cleansing balm, but I wasn't keen on the texture of it. It has very fine exfoliating particles in it, and I prefer a balm to be smooth. Much prefer their face wash.

Melvita Rose Extraordinary Water (28ml). I love Melvita and this was a really nice product to use. I used this as  toner. It smells beautiful, it leaves the skin refreshed and is very moisturising too. Another Melvita product to go on the wish list.

S5 Illuminate Serum (10ml). This is a very similar product to Lancôme's Dreamtone and I would say just as effective. This sample came free with a cleanser I ordered and isn't quite the right product for my skin. I did notice a reduction in the appearance of my dark circles under my eyes with this. If you suffer with un even skin tone or hyper pigmentation this would be ideal for you. The product I really want to try from S5 is their renew serum.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (30ml) this little sample lasted just over 2 months of daily use. I loved this and would happily buy again.

Melvita Youthful Skin Cream (15ml) this is what I have been using as my day cream. Another gem from Melvita, it gives such a healthy glow to the skin.

Moving onto body care. First the Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector (30ml). By now I am sure you realise quite how much hand cream I go through. This was part of a set. It is very moisturising, I am just not keen on the hemp scent. I much prefer the Almond or Absinthe versions.

Essential Care Gentle Herb Shampoo (30ml). I really liked this. I am so impressed wit how soft and manageable this left my hair and that you don't need a separate conditioner after a while.

Kirk and Gardinaire Lime and Kiwi Body Butter (200ml). I love the smell of lime, and citrus based fragrances generally. This is the lightest body butter I have ever used, but was still very moisturising. I really enjoyed this product.

Weleda Millet Nourishing Shampoo (18ml). This is another really good natural shampoo, not quite as good as the Essential Care one.

Noble Isle Summer Rising Bath and Shower gel (75ml). This has such a light and fresh fragrance, which I caught the hubby pinching a time or two. I really like this shower gel a lot, but it is more than I can justify spending on a shower gel.


Body care part 2. Champneys Citrus Blush Shower gel (200ml). I have quite a weakness for Champney products. Nice and gentle on the skin, and smells great. I already have another as it was on promotion :)

Dr Bronner's Magic Soap (237ml). This might seem an odd choice for someone with dry skin, but this is one of the nicest products I have ever used. I plan to review it properly shortly, but this is something I will be buying again.

Ila Bath Soak For Pure Relaxation (50ml) this is another sample I have really enjoyed using, definitely one for a pampering session.

BalmBalm Indulge Bath and Shower Oil (5ml)was featured in yesterdays post, so you already know how much I loved this.

Gielly Green Hand & Body Lotion (50ml). I found this better as a body moisturiser. This smells so clean and crisp. I have been really impressed with the Gielly Green products I have tried so far.

Lastly Eve of St Agnes Rose Body Balm (sample). Fantastic as a body balm or as a really intense hand cream. This really soothed my eczema. I am very impressed with this product.

Have you used any of these products before? What did you think to them?


Monday, 28 October 2013

BalmBalm Indulge Bath and Shower Oil

                                                 BalmBalm Indulge  Bath and Shower Oil                                   
The Balmbalm Indulge Bath and Shower Oil was one of the items in October's Love Me Beauty box, and was one of the items I was most looking forward to trying. This is a 5ml bottle and is a full size product and is part of the Bijou Aromatherapy Bath & Shower Collection. You can either buy the full set of 7 bath oils for £24.99 or each individual oil for £6 each. They can be found here
All BalmBalm products are 100% organic and 100% natural and are not tested on animals. They are certified by the Soil Association, the BUAV and endorsed by Naturewatch. They also aim to be as green as possible by using recyclable packaging which is approved by the FSC, and manufactured by a carbon neutral company.
Indulge Bath and Shower Oil contains ylang ylang, patchouli, and clary sage essential oil. The bottle says there is enough product to last for 2-3 baths, but I managed to make it last four baths. Ylang ylang and patchouli are amongst my favourite essential oils and this bath product smells wonderful. Just a small amount in the bath is enough to make the bathroom smell like a spa. This really was a product I enjoyed using a lot. It left my skin nice and soft and feeling moisturised. Obviously this isn't a product I could afford to use everyday, but it is wonderful for a spot of pampering. This was a real treat to use and definitely something to go on the wish list for Christmas (that and the Indulge body oil). 


Saturday, 26 October 2013

Oxygen Purifying Honey Masque

                                                        Oxygen Purifying Honey Masque
When I saw this sample of Oxygen Purifying Honey Masque in September's Love Lula box I was really very pleased. Who doesn't love a spot of pampering, and a face mask is the perfect product to use in a spot of me time. If you fancy having a look at what else came in September's box you can see it here
Oxygen is a natural skincare company based in New Zealand. Their products contain
 only natural ingredients found in plants and essential oils. They are free from parabens or mineral oils.
I have used this mask one a week since September's box arrived, so a review is a little overdue. The main ingredient in the Purifying Honey Masque is their local Nelson active Manuka honey. This has anti- bacterial and anti- inflammatory properties as well as being highly moisturising.
I expected this to be quite thick in texture, but it is a fairly runny consistency. I have been pleasantly surprised at how little product you need to use, so the first thing I would say is that if you bought the full size it would last forever. With the main ingredient being Manuka honey, it does obviously smell of honey and has a light golden colour. I haven't found the fragrance overpowering though. Because the masque is slightly runny it applies very easily and dries to transparent film, which is easily washed away.
I found the masque comfortable to wear, it doesn't feel tight or tingly. and for me this has been a very welcome burst of moisture once a week. It leaves my skin feeling really soft, nicely rehydrated and generally looking healthier. I have really enjoyed using this masque and will be sad when I finally do finish the product.
You can buy the full size for £19.95 here

Thursday, 24 October 2013

NOTD Max Factor Red Bronze

                                                      NOTD Max Factor Red Bronze
 I have quite a few of the Max Factor mini nail varnishes lying around. I have always found them to be well priced and good quality. They sell for around £3.99 and come in a good range of colours too.

 Red Bronze is a really pretty shade for Autumn, reminding me very much of the leaves and the conkers. This is another nail varnish that has fine glitter particles in it. I do love a bit of sparkle, I just don't like the texture of full on glitter.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Senzimi Sensitive Cleanser and Moisturiser

                                               Senzimi Sensitive Cleanser and Moisturiser
A few weeks ago the lovely people from Senzimi were kind enough to send me a couple of sachet's of their Sensitive cleanser and Sensitive Moisturiser. The sachets themselves contained enough product to last for just under a week, so enough to give a feel for the product.
 Senzimi products are designed for people who have sensitive skin, or long term skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea. Their formulas do not contain sulphates, parabens or minerals and their content is largely natural (between 90 - 99%).
Senzimi Sensitive Cleanser.
This rich and gentle cleanser contains Jojoba oil, Aloe Vera, Chamomile Roman Oil and Lavender amongst it's ingredients. Jojoba is a popular ingredient in natural skin care due to it's likeness to human sebum. Aloe Vera  Chamomile Roman Oil and Lavender boast antiseptic and antibacterial properties which reduce inflammation and regulate the balance of oils in the skin.
I am very lucky that my eczema flare ups tend not to be on my face, but facially my skin is definitely dry. I really enjoyed using this cleanser. It is rich and moisturising without being heavy and greasy. It certainly felt very gentle on my skin, and it didn't leave any tightness across my face. It has only the faintest hint of fragrance.
This is a lovely product to use and if you do suffer with sensitive skin I could well imagine this to be a very soothing product. It is also extremely well priced, a full size 125mls sells for just £13.99. I am really impressed with this price tag for such a high quality cleanser. You can buy it here
Senzimi Sensitive Moisturiser.
Much as I enjoyed the cleanser it is actually the moisturiser that I am most taken with. It's pH content matches that of your skin. It contains Cucumber Extract, Aloe Vera, Rosehip Oil, Argan Oil and Oat Extract which all moisturise, repair and calm the skin. It also contains Olive Squaline for its anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties.
Although it was only a taster sample, this is one of the nicest moisturisers I have used. Given the list of ingredients you might expect this to be quite a heavy formula, but it really isn't. It is feather light. It absorbs so quickly and what I was most surprised to find, is that it has an absolute matte finish. I can't believe something as moisturising as this has a matte finish. I have quite a few things I need to use up, but I will be coming back to this moisturiser.
Again, this product is very reasonably priced. A full size 50ml sells for £15.99 and you can buy it here

Monday, 21 October 2013

Konjac Puff Sponge

 Konjac Puff Sponge
There seems to be big rise in the popularity of Asian beauty products recently, and this product is a real gem. I had seen these sponges on various websites, and had been very curious about them. I received my first sponge by the Konjac Sponge Company in September's SoukSouk beauty box and have been using it ever since.
For those of you who haven't come across this product before the Konjac is actually a type of potato native to Asia. It has an incredibly high water content - 97% apparently and the remaining 3% is dietary fibre. It is an alkaline product, also containing numerous vitamins. 
You are probably asking yourself why this would be used as a beauty treatment.
The structure of the sponge gives it gentle exfoliating properties, meaning that it will stimulate blood flow and encourage the growth of new skin cells. The alkaline nature of the sponge counteracts the acidity of the skin, helping to balance impurities. This sponge can be used by itself  or with what ever cleanser/face wash you desire.
On removal from the packaging, the sponge feels hard to the touch and needs soaking for a moment in warm water to rehydrate it. After care is very simple, just gently squeeze out excess water and leave it hanging to dry (although not in the shower cubicle). Konjac Sponge Company say it should last between 1-3 months and can be composted after use.
So, what did I think to it?
I have spent the last month really experimenting with this. I used it with the last of my DHC oil, with face washes, face scrubs, cleansing balms and just with plain old water. I really love this product. It is like nothing else I have ever tried. The Konjac sponge gives such a deep clean, but it is at the same the gentlest product I have used.
I find that if I use a flannel or a muslin cloth to take off a cleanser more than a couple of times a week, it is too harsh for my skin. It is not the case with the Konjac sponge, I have used it twice a day for the past month and it leaves my skin so soft. It is effective without any product, but I do prefer to use a little bit of something when washing my face. I have definitely noticed it makes your product go much further.
A month on, the sponge is still going strong and is showing no signs of wear and tear. Priced at just £6.99 this is a very affordable addition to my skin care regime, and think it will be especially beneficial to my skin over Winter. I have already ordered my replacement, I really do love the Konjac sponges, you can buy one here

Saturday, 19 October 2013

SoukSouk October 2013 Box

                                                         SoukSouk October 2013 Box.

   Souksouk is the newest addition to the beauty boxes I subscribe to, and this is the second box I have received from them. The products in the Souksouk box are all natural and organic, and for me this is a box to discover more organic products.

  The first two products Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Shampoo and Conditioner. Both of these a generous 60ml size. I have had a few samples of organic shampoo recently, so it will be very interesting to see how these compare. They both smell beautiful and I am really looking forward to trying these.
  A 10ml tin of Sweet Cecily's Almond and Avocado Face Cream. I am such a sucker for products in tins, and this packaging is so pretty. My skin loves almond and avocado oil, so I am really pleased with this sample. I have had a quick try of this and feels lovely on my skin. I am really looking forward to trying this properly.

  A 15ml sample of BareSkinBeauty Radiance Restored Face Serum. This is a very generous sample of a night serum. Being someone who has dry skin, I am a big fan of serums. This smells beautiful and I can't wait to try this tonight,

  An Avril Beaute nail varnish in the shade chococolat chaud. This natural nail polish has a 7 free formula and the shade is perfect for Autumn. Another product I am looking forward to trying.

  SoukSouk also send out their little green magazine with the box and I have really enjoyed reading through it. Their blog is also well worth a read to as there are some really handy tips on there.

  I am really pleased with this months box. I love skin care and I love trying new products. I see a couple of the skin care brands have try me kits on their websites and I love a try me kit as much as I love a beauty box. Obsessed doesn't cover it.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Birchbox October 2013

                                                             Birchbox October 2013

I apologise to all of you who aren't fans of the beauty boxes, as this probably seems a bit repetitive. You either love beauty boxes or you hate them, and obviously I love them. Today my Birchbox came. I have been really looking forward to this months as I had seen some fantastic spoilers.
Here is what I got this month.

A mini Dr Lipp Nipple balm. I have a full size version of this and I really like it. This is incredibly moisturising and is a nice size to stick in my handbag. I will definitely be using this up.

A 50ml tube of KMS Silk Sheen Styling Crème. This  light weight crème also gives heat protection. I am looking forward to trying this. I have had a couple of KMS products before, but they were for curly hair, so I ended up giving them to friends.

A full size box of Ultra Dex interdental brushes. As I have received a lot of things in this month's box, I think this lifestyle extra is ok. Not the star product of the box by any means, but they will get used.

A sample of theBalm's Stainiac. I have really enjoyed other theBalm products I have used and am really pleased to find this lip and cheek stain in my box. This is one of the items I was hoping to get.

A 7.5g sample of Dr Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant. A full size version of this sells for a whopping £67. This is something I could never justify spending that much money on buying myself, but I am really looking forward to trying this. I do like to try products like this, even though I know I won't be able to afford a replacement.
3 sachets of Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream. I have seen this product on quite a few websites and an rather curious about it. The sachets don't give much away about what it actually is, other than a being a natural product used to maintain healthy and glowing skin. I am looking forward to trying this, if only to find out what it actually is.

And finally, the one  most of us have been hoping for. A 14.7ml sample of Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser. As I have said previously foundation/tinted moisturiser/bb cream samples are products which I am usually a bit  nervous of, because they don't always match my pasty skin. This however, actually does seem to be light enough for me. I would have been absolutely gutted to get a Laura Mercier sample and it have been too dark. I am indeed one happy bunny and can't wait to try this properly.
As you might have guessed, I really love this box. There is a good mixture of skin care and make up, and the samples are all generous sizes. Happy days.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

October 2013 Love Me Beauty Box.

                                                     October 2013 Love Me Beauty Box.
My Love Me Beauty Box actually came at the weekend. I have waited until today for my review as I wasn't happy with one of the item and was waiting on a replacement arriving. I have had an initial try of most things in the box, so now is the time to spill the beans.

A full size Amie Bright Eyes Very Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. Don't worry it isn't really that frothy, one of my boys helpfully decided to give it a sneaky shake before I took the photo. I have tried this a couple of times, it seems a decent makeup remover. I really like Amie as a brand, so I am pleased with this.

An 18ml sample of Weleda Millet Nourishing Shampoo. This is the one product I haven't tried yet. Weleda is another brand I really like so I am looking forward to trying it.
      A 5ml sample of BalmBalm Indulge bath & shower oil. This should be enough for 2-3 baths. This smells absolutely gorgeous and is a real treat to use in the bath. I really like this product and will definitely be buying the full size.

A full size Lord & Berry Smudge Proof Eyeliner in Smoke. This is a really nice eyeliner. It has a lovely soft formula that is easy to apply and does stay put all day without smudging. I will enjoy using this product.
So by process of elimination that brings us to the fly in the ointment. Lord & Berry Scuba Mascara (full size)I had heard that this was a dry formula, but that is the understatement of the year. I found it to be completely bone dry and could not apply it at all. I really wasn't expecting it to be that bad. The eyeliner is nice, I loved the lipstick and liner we got a little while a go, so this must be a dud, right?
I emailed Love Me Beauty and got a response on Sunday night (I really didn't expect to hear from them until after the weekend) and they very kindly sent me a replacement. Unfortunately, it is just the same. Unfortunately the replacement mascara is also bone dry. When trying to apply this, it just made my eyelashes clump together, and just didn't show up on my eyelashes. I am so disappointed with this product, especially after I had really liked the other things I had tried.
If I had bought this mascara myself, it would have set me back £12, and I really would have been spitting feathers to get a product as poor as this. Especially considering the pretty steep price tag. As it stands I have paid £10 and p+p for 4 really good products, and have discovered just how good Love Me Beauty's customer care really is.
I think beauty boxes are a really good way of trying new products without spending a huge amount. There are bound to be some things I don't like, but equally I haven't wasted a lot of money trying them. One dud product certainly won't put me off Love Me Beauty.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Ciate Paint Pot in Island Hopping

Ciate Paint Pot in Island Hopping.
Following on from yesterday's Autumn lipstick post and since it is still so flipping wet and miserable I thought I would paint my nails a nice bright and cheerful colour.
Ciate Paint Pot in Island Hopping just seemed to fit the bill. This is a lovely burnt orange colour with very fine particles of glitter. Orange is usually a colour I struggle with. I find it quite difficult to get the right shade against my skintone, but I like this a lot. I have used two coats in the photo. The glitter adds a really pretty shimmer, but is fine enough not to effect the texture. I am not fond of full on glitter as I prefer a smooth finish.
This is the first Ciate nail polish I have tried, and I am really impressed with the quality. This has made me want the Ciate advent calendar even more.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Favourite Autumn Lipsticks.

Favourite Autumn Lipsticks. 
What a horrible wet, miserable weekend it has been. I think we can all safely say that Autumn is well and truly with us now. I don't think I can make my Summer colours last any longer. Which leads me nicely to some of my favourite colour lipsticks to wear in the cooler months.
As much as I like pinks, I am definitely more at home with reds, plums, browns and berries. I feel that these are the shades that suit my pale complexion the best.
I have swatched the lipsticks in the same order as the photo and they are Left to Right ;- Mac Plumful (lustre finish), Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede in Couture, Clinique Chubby Stick in Fuller Fig, Clarins Rouge Prodige in Pretty Plum and Essence in Wear Berries.
Mac Plumful is the perfect plum shade for me. It gives a lovely depth of colour without being too vampy and making me looked washed out. It has a nice creamy finish so it isn't drying on the lips.
Revlon ColorStay in Couture is more of a berry tone. Although the ColorStay has that slightly sticky feeling this is one of the most long lasting lipsticks I have ever tried. It gives a lovely matte finish without being drying. I am a big fan of the ColorStay lipsticks generally.
Clinique Chubby Stick in Fuller Fig has had a lot of wear. It is a really nice everyday colour that I will wear a lot to work. It is slightly more brown in tone than the photo shows. Lovely and moisturising, fades evenly to a balm. Perfect when you know you are not going to have time to reapply.
Clarins Rouge Prodige in Pretty Plum is one of my favourite shades of lipstick. It is a very soft plum shade. I love the sweet smell of this lipstick and how moisturising it is. Another good shade for daytime wear.
The last of my lipsticks is my newest addition to the collection. Essence lipstick in Wear Berries is more of a dark pink really, but it is such a pretty shade. I think I paid about £3 for this lipstick and for the price it really is outstanding quality. I was really pleased to hear that Essence were coming to our local Wilkinsons, especially since I live in a small town.
So there you go, my favourite Autumn shades. What colours suit you best and what else would you recommend?

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Essential Care Gentle Herb Shampoo

Essential Care Gentle Herb Shampoo 


  I received this 30ml sample of Essential Care Gentle Herb Shampoo in September's Love Me Beauty Box. This is not your average shampoo. I thought I would share my thoughts on it.

  Gentle Herb Shampoo was the first shampoo that ever achieved Soil Association approval. It contains organic ingredients and natural cleansing formula. It is completely free from SLeS, ALS, artificial preservatives and salt. It has also been awarded a gold medal as the 'standout' winner in the prestigious Free From Skincare Awards this year and has won Janey Lee Grace's Platinum Award twice. Rightly so, Essential Care are incredibly proud of their achievements.

  Essential Care Gentle Herb Shampoo contains a mild cleansing agent which is made from sugar. This is as a much gentler alternative to the harsh detergent sodium lauryl(eth) sulphate. The shampoo also contains organic coconut oil,  organic aloe vera and organic biodynamic herbs. This product aims to stimulate healthy hair growth, relieve itchy and flaky scalps. Essential care report that after about a week of using this shampoo you should not have to use a separate conditioner.

                                        So, what do I actually think to the shampoo?

  I have to say that I have been very impressed with it. This shampoo is like nothing else I have ever tried. My hair is really fine and long. It needs washing every day because otherwise it would be greasy by the next day. First things first, this shampoo does not create a lather. I found the best way to use it is to apply small amounts to sections of my hair, massage it into my scalp and then give it a few minutes before rinsing off. I can't believe how soft and shiny this left my hair feeling. I am very impressed with this.

  How about those claims that after a week you may not need a separate conditioner? I was really keen to put this to the test. I have always had long hair and have always used conditioner (right from being a child) as my hair quite frankly looks like a birds nest without it. Even when I have tried 2 in 1 formulas they were never as good as a separate conditioner. I am very pleased (even if I am surprised to say) that this is absolutely true. This shampoo really was that good at moisturising my hair. This leaves my dead ends moisturised, my overall hair soft and didn't make my roots greasy. I don't want much from a product do I? The Essential Care Gentle Herb Shampoo really is a fantastic product and I can see why it has won awards.

  I have quite a few products I need to use up (damn you spending ban) but once I have got through them I will be buying the full size. You can buy a 30ml tester (which incidentally lasted me just under a fortnight of daily washing) a 200ml or 500ml size from the website here

Thursday, 10 October 2013

L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream

                                                L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream.
This 15ml sample of L'Occitane's Immortelle Precious Cream moisturiser was a freebie with Harper's Bazaar magazine a few months ago. This is what I have been using as my night cream for about a month. 
L'occitane describe the Immortelle Precious cream as being rich and smooth moisturiser. It is designed to smoothen skin by stimulating collagen production. With long term use L'Occitane claim this cream helps to fill in deep wrinkles, smooth and firm the skin and protect from free radicals. 
I think that the Precious Cream is probably a cream better suited to those with either mature or sun damaged skin, or if you have extremely dry skin. I have found this to be a very rich cream and at this time of year I have found it suits me better as a night cream. In Winter this would be fantastic as a day cream, but for me towards the end of Summer I have found the most benefit from using it a night.
I have really enjoyed using the Precious Cream. I have found it to be one of the most luxurious moisturisers I have used, and has been a real treat for my skin. It is incredibly rich, and so takes slightly longer to soak into my skin. I don't know how to describe the scent, but it does smell gorgeous. I can't really comment on how effective it is on filling wrinkles, but it certainly leaves my skin looking plumped and healthy by the next morning. I like this moisturiser a lot, and would happily recommend it to anyone with very dry or mature skin.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Love Lula Beauty Box October 2013.

                                                     Love Lula Beauty Box October 2013.

Love Lula is always the first of my beauty boxes to arrive. Here are my initial thohts on the box of goodies I received this morning. In this month's box I received one full size product and three samples. As with all the beauty boxes it varies from month to month the size and type of products you receive.

A 1.5ml sachet of Dr Hauschka Melissa Day Cream. This should be enough for a couple of uses. Not enough to get the full benefits of the product, but will happily use this. I have tried a couple of products from Dr Hauschka and have really liked them. The sample comes in a little booklet which tells you a bit about the brand and the benefits of Melissa in skincare.

A Mendill  Tangerine Organic Towelette. This is a completely organic alternative to a hand wipe. I have seen these on quite a few beauty blogs lately. Although it isn't something I am likely to buy, it's nice to get a sample of this to see what all the fuss is about.

This is the full size product. Lavera Beauty Balm 6in1 Tinted Moisturiser. I have had a couple of samples of Lavera moisturisers before and have been really impressed with them. I have to say I am a bit nervous about this as generally I struggle with tinted moisturisers/foundation. Being very pale I often find them too dark. The product smells lovely, but it does seem a bit dark. Having said that, I haven't tried wearing it yet, so I may have to eat my words yet.

The final sample is a 2ml sachet of Santaverde Light Aloe Vera Cream. This is a new brand to me. The cream can be used day or night. Aloe Vera is a fantastic natural beauty product and am looking forward to trying this.
Overall I don't think this is my favourite box from Love Lula but I am pleased with the things I have got. It will be interesting to see how the tinted moisturiser does turn out. Could this be something which challenges my preconceptions? We will see.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara

                           Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara.
I am really making an effort to finish some of the samples I have collected over the past few months. This sample of Estee Lauder's Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara came free when I bought a lipstick online.
Did you know that when you buy anything from that you can choose 2 samples from the choice of 4? Being the scrooge that I am, I always look for ways of making my money go further (especially with premium brands). Sample choices vary, so it's worth looking to see what this weeks offers are.
Anyway, I am wandering, back to the mascara. Estee market this sample as being a 10 day supply, but in my experience this size tends to last about 6 weeks, so they are good sample sizes. This is a very good mascara I my opinion.
 It's formula is fairly wet, which I like. Wetter formulas do not dry out as quickly, meaning that your mascara will last for longer, and also it feels softer on applying. The wand is nice and soft too. I don't like things to be hard and scratchy on my eyelashes, it gives me that horrible feeling you get when someone scrapes their nails down a blackboard.
Although this isn't a waterproof formula, once on it stays put and doesn't run or smudge. I like this for work as when I am in and out of people's homes I don't want to worry about getting raccoon eyes if I get caught in the rain.

I have applied the mascara on the photo on my left eye (2 coats) and have left the right without mascara. As you can see my eyelashes are baby fine without mascara. The Double Wear gives a good amount of length and volume. It's enough to make my eyelashes look nice and full and still remain natural looking.
I am really enjoying using this mascara but probably won't buy the full size as I prefer either Lancôme Hypnose or Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara

Sunday, 6 October 2013

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.

I thought I would share with you what I have been recently using as my cleanser. This came ages ago in a beauty box, but you can actually buy this 30ml sample from the DHC website for £4.50 here

DHC is actually a Japanese online company, and has quite a cult following across Asia. It uses olive oil as the foundation of it's skin care ranges, and does not contain parabens, unnecessary colourings or fragrances.

 Deep Cleansing Oil contains vitamin E and olive oil. As with most cleansing oils, you simply massage a small amount of the oil into your skin and then rinse away. Because this product is water soluble it turns into a milky lotion as you rinse it away.

I have been using this little bottle of Deep Cleansing Oil for just under a month and still have about a third of the bottle left. I know a lot of people worry about using oil on their skin because of the fear of it being too heavy, but that really isn't the case. Oils are good for all skin types, for those of us with drier skins they are very nourishing, and for those with oilier they are actually quite balancing.

Every last scrap of this is removed when you rinse away, it honestly doesn't leave any residue at all. This really is very gentle on the skin, it has made my skin feel so much softer and smoother. I am sure that massaging a product into your skin helps the overall effect, but this cleansing oil is still a lovely product to use.

I find that it takes away most of my makeup very easily. The only exception to that has been my Clinique mascara, which to be fair even Bioderma doesn't remove it first time. This cleansing oil is fragrance free, so if you are not fond of scented products, or just have very sensitive skin generally this would be an ideal product. I have enjoyed using my sample of Deep Cleansing Oil and would recommend it highly.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

TheBalm Swiss Dot Blusher

                                                      TheBalm Swiss Dot Blusher.                                                            

 Way back in July I received a sample of TheBalm Instain blusher in Swiss Dot in my Birchbox. I was really pleased to receive a sample of  TheBalm as I had heard such good things about their products. If you fancy seeing what else came that month you can see it here here

Initially when I first saw the shade I thought it might be a bit too dark for my pasty skin, and I am pleased to say my initial doubts proved to be unfounded. I have worn this blusher almost daily since it came and I love it.
As you can see from the swatch, the blusher is very highly pigmented, but it blends so effortlessly. It's texture is so fine. This is one of the nicest blushers I have used. On me, it gives a lovely natural flush, as though I have caught the sun. It is pretty longwearing too, lasting for most of the day. Despite using it almost daily I have barely made a dint in the product, so I can see it lasting me another good 6 months 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Latest in Beauty Samples

                                                             Latest in Beauty Samples.
Over the Summer Latest in Beauty have had some fantastic samples for sale and I have bought quite a few bits and bobs from them too. If you haven't come across the Latest in Beauty website before it is well worth investigating. You can either buy a collection of samples in one of their great boxes, choose a mini beauty box of three sachet size samples, or simply pick and choose which ever deluxe sized samples you want. Latest in Beauty do require that you sign up and create a profile but this is all free and literally takes a few minutes. If you order a deluxe sample you can only buy it once so as to give others opportunity to try things.
I have quickly come to love Latest in Beauty, they have had some great collections see my post on Summer Nails here I have also bought some fantastic samples from them, allowing me to try much loved products at a fraction of the price.
I thought I would share with you some of the things I bought over the past few months. Most of these products I have been saving for the cooler months as I suspect that this is when I am going to get the most benefit from them. The cleansing balms in particular will (hopefully) give some much needed nourishment to my Winter skin.
Melvita Nectar Bright  Brightening Cream (15ml sample) and Nectar Bright Brightening Exfoliation Mask (15ml sample) I have really enjoyed all the Melvita products I have tried so far, and am keen to explore the brand further. Samples are a great way of trying a brand without spending an absolute fortune. These aren't available on the website any more, but I think I paid about £6 in total for both of these.
L'Occitane Creme Divine  (15ml sample) is still available when I looked on the website this morning. I paid £4 for this. Considering that a full size 50ml pot sells for £72 this was a complete bargain. It's almost a third of the full size product and I will be able to get a good feel for the product for a fraction of the price.
I am really excited about this one. It has comes with an awful lot of good reviews and I really want to know if it is a s good as everyone says. A 5ml sample of Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm. I paid £5 for this and again when I looked earlier today it is still available. A full size 50ml of this sells for £46. This may seem quite a lot to pay for a 5ml sample, but you only need a tiny amount of product, so this sample should last 10 days or so. Ok so it's not enough to get the long term benefits of a product, but it's enough to decide whether I like it enought to shell out £46.
Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm (15ml). I bought this for £6, and was so excited to be able to finally get my hands on this. A full size 100ml will set you back about £34. I am very sorry, but this sample didn't hang about for long on the website and is no longer available. Quite possibly one of the most raved about products in beauty blogs and I need to know if it lives up to the hype.
Have you tried anything from Latest in Beauty? What have been your favourite products?