Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Bouncy Beauty Reviewed - The Body Shop's Sleeping Mask

Last week I posted about how 'bouncy' beauty is set to be big for 2015. Texture is key. The first brand to produce something like this and get me excited for what's to come is The Body Shop.
Part of their 'Drops of Youth' range, the Bouncy Sleeping Mask isn't really a mask in the traditional sense. It's more of an added moisturiser, the final step in your skincare routine at night. You don't have to wash it off making it super easy to use.
Packed full of Edelweiss stem cells and various oils, it deeply replenishes the skin whilst you sleep. But this trend isn't really about the ingredients - there's nothing new there. What is though is the 'bouncy' element.
Anyone remember Gak?! It reminds me of that. Except with skin goodness thrown in. When you open up the pot it's a perfectly flat tub of white goo.
Breaking through the surface can be a little tricky, which shows the strength of it's 'memory foam' texture! You don't need a lot of this stuff. When I was first trying it, I found it sticky on my face and taking a while to sink in but I think this is because I was using too much.
I've noticed a marked improvement in how moisturised my skin feels, which in this weather is much needed. It locks in all the moisture, and also the serum you apply beforehand so that the only way for the products to go is into your skin. Whether the bouncy texture element is a real innovation or a gimmick, I don't really care - I'm enjoying it and the results speak for themselves.
A winner. It is £22 in stores and online now
*PR sample

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Wash Your Frigging Face!!

A couple of weeks ago I was invite to the Simple #aboutface event. It was all about highlighting how December is all about enjoying yourself, January is about giving your skin some loving.
Some stats shocked me - almost half (48%) of women forget to take their make up off after a night out. Whaaaat?!?
So bad for your skin. I've always, even when after a really heavy night, taken my make up off. Usually not particularly thoroughly, but even just a face wipe will allow your skin to breathe and repair itself over night. Micellar waters are really quick and easy - there is no excuse. And you'll only be damaging your skin and making it worse by not removing the make-up, dirt and grime that builds up.

This time of year is even worse with the harsh weather, making many people's skin, mine included, very sensitive. Here's where Simple steps in with their gentle yet effective skincare range. I'll be testing out some products and seeing if my sensitivity gets any better, but for now I needed to tell you to wash your frigging face!
So please pleeeeease wash your face after a night out, for the love of your skin!!

Monday, 26 January 2015

NOTW: Only Fingers & Toes Coco

Taking my own advice from last week (see that here) my nails are now in a decent enough condition to be photographed!
So, also taking my own advice on making the most of January and wearing sparkly nail polish (see the rest of the list here) I plumped for the gorgeous Coco from Only Fingers & Toes.
As the name suggests it's a beautiful chocolate/coffee coloured shimmery brown-gold. It definitely changes as in different light. Really gorgeous - adore it!
Check it out further here - Only Fingers & Toes are pretty expensive compared to other brands but definitely worth it. 5-free, it lasts really well whilst also doing no damage to your nails or the skin around them.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

New Trend - Bouncy Beauty

Texture is a key word for 2015.
Cushion foundations, bouncy skincare...the ingredients are nothing new but the formulas are something special.
I was sent the new Body Shop Bouncy Sleep Mask (full review coming soon) and the texture is...odd. Not horrible, but just unusual. You really want to poke it. Called 'memory shape texture' it's taking memory foam into beauty!
And why not? Just the name conjures up visions of youthful, plump skin. A Korean trend, bounce balms are perhaps the next 'BB creams'! They are all about moisturisation on another level. Heavily moisturising, yet super light - there's something space age about them. And plenty more 'Western' brands are sure to be hot on the heels of The Body Shop.
Next up, cushion foundations. Coming from Asia (where else?!), this is where foundation is soaked into a sponge and you use another sponge to apply it. Apparently very popular out East, but why? The texture I tell you.
Apparently it makes the application incredibly light and very easily buildable. Also it allows for broad spectrum SPF to be added into the formula. Hello SPF 50 foundation that is also weightless!!! I am TOO excited about this. All the big brands are said to be launching cushion foundations later this year...stay tuned.
So bouncy textures are going to be huge this year. Skincare, foundations, Shu Uemura even has bouncy eyeshadows! Embrace the bounce people...

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

10 Things to do in January

1. Moisturise! Even for you oily skin folk out there, your skin will be working overtime to keep itself healthy. Going from hot and cold back to hot confuses the skin and means moisture levels run very low. Apply a richer night cream if you have one.
2. Exfoliate - this goes hand in hand with point number 1. No point moisturising dead skin! I prefer acid exfoliators to grainy ones - less likely to be too abrasive on my skin.
3. Protect again the elements - that wind is damaging. And unless you wear a balaclava (not a great look and people could mistake you for a bank robber) you'll have to find some other way to try to stop it whipping away at your skin. 8 Hour Cream (or something similar) is your friend here. Apply every day.
4. Lipbalm, but not too much. Another lovely thing this weather does is make lips crazy dry. But lips don't have any way to making their own moisture so we have to give them some help. I find the best ones, the ones that actually do something, contain lanolin. Lanolips, Dr. Lipp, etc - they would be my recommendations. Don't get obsessive over it though, there's a lot of evidence that you can get addicted to lipbalm and therefore need more just because you've used so much of it.
5. Keep feet looking good. It's so easy to forget about them - covered in tights, socks, boots - nobody sees them. But when that first sandal day comes (sooner than you think) you'll be quickly trying to get rid of chipped polish, hard skin, long toenails...eewwwww! Don't forget your feet this month.
6. Sleep - I'm a massive advocate of hibernation. But unfortunately we have to make a living so it's not really possible :-( Instead, make the most of the dark, long nights and for God's sake turn off Netflix and go to sleep!
7. Dry January...if you can. I'm not doing this, so I can't really talk, but alcohol is essentially a poison and one that wreaks havoc on your skin so if you can take this month off do it. You've got better willpower than me...
8. Masks - similar to point number 1 but on a more intensive level. Face masks, hair masks, even hand/feet masks - set aside a time each week, I find Sunday evenings a good pampering sess. Best to do when nobody else is in so you won't scare anyone!
9. Sparkly nail polish - probably the last month you can get away with this. Make the most of it, before pastels start taking over.
10. Stick to your New Year's resolutions. Whether this is getting down the gym, eating healthy, stopping smoking - most resolutions help your skin, hair and nails get healthy too so don't give up.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Bloggers Block

I've been blogging for quite some time, on and off - I had a big break when I went travelling around the world (I'm not *that* dedicated!). Recently though I took a couple of months out from my blog. I think this happens to quite a few bloggers every now and then; it's as though you fall out of love with blogging.
Having a blog takes up a lot of time. Taking pictures, writing the post, engaging on social media, attending's like a second job. Not that I'm complaining about that part - nobody has forced me to do this, I have chosen to have a blog. And for the most part I absolutely love it. I enjoy writing, being creative, meeting fellow bloggers, interacting on Twitter, getting news of the latest beauty products...the list goes on.
Yet, towards the end of last year it seemed like my blog was becoming a chore. And I was just bashing out product review after product review in order to put out something. Anything. I felt the pressure was on. However, all this pressure comes from myself. I know I'm a small fish in the blogging world; if I stop blogging for a while nobody is really going to be affected. Yet I felt I had to be blogging as much as possible.
So I took time off. At first I felt guilty, and then I realised it was much needed. I needed to get my love of my blog back. It's only natural to compare yourself to other bloggers. Sometimes it can be very disheartening - you see bloggers who have only been doing it a few months with far more followers than you. How?! Did they buy their followers? What are you doing wrong? Maybe you're just not as interesting as others? So many pointless questions!
The truth is there is no right way to blog. No formula for getting lots of followers and becoming a 'big' blogger. And honestly, I'm not sure I'd want that anyway (thinking in particular of the Zoella book drama). Getting bogged down in figures and stats is what leads to this bloggers block. So, I'm going back to using my blog for what I started it for in the first place - to share my love of the beauty world...I'm back!
Tell me I'm not the only one who has felt this way?

Monday, 19 January 2015

Best Nail Care Products

Unfortunately my nails are going through a rough time at the moment so they are definitely not photo-ready! Instead of nail polish, here are my top products for getting nails back to a healthy state. This weather is no good for them!
Nail Oil - Dr. LeWinn's Nourishing Oil
Didn't really think an oil could do too much but this has to be my number one nailcare product. I have this at home and work and try to rub this into my nails and cuticles as much as possible. It really does help, especially when skin is particularly dry this time of year. £9.35 from Feel Unique
Hand Cream - The Body Shop Absinthe Hand Cream
Again, another home and work essential. Really thick yet not sticky, it's gorgeous. Who knew absinthe was good for skin as well as for drinking. Treat yourself, it's only £5! In stores and online
Nail file - Stylfile
Not one for a gimmick but I do love this, it's so simple and easy. Plus it means you can't go too crazy with a nail file and saw them to death like I've seen so many people do! Check out the full range here
These are the top products I'll be using constantly this week to get my nails back to being pretty enough to be photographed!
What are your top nail care products?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

What to Buy in SpaceNK

Oh SpaceNK how I love thee.
I've had a £90 gift card burning a whole in my purse for months. But I didn't want to waste it; I waited until the Christmas sale so that I could get more for my money!
So what did I go for?
First up, the gorgeous Laura Mercier Soufflé Body Crème collection. Rich, luxurious body lotions with the most amazing scents. I've tried them before and love them ALL - please go buy them immediately. It would make a wonderful present or just a lovely treat for yourself.
Then, as a candle obsessive I got two! The SpaceNK candle in Mediterranean Fig and LifeNK candle in Parsley Mint. Both smell incredible, I have yet to light them as especially Parsley Mint is quite summery.
One of my great skincare faves is REN. I have dry, sensitive skin so this sensitive skin travel essentials kit seemed perfect for me.
Finally, perhaps a bit boring but a definite essential, I needed more under-eye concealer so spent the last of my giftcard amount on the Becca Radiant Skin Concealer. I can't leave the house without mascara and definitely not without covering my dark circles!
There you go. £90 exactly, think I did pretty well don't you?!

Monday, 12 January 2015

NOTW: Nails Inc Old Park Lane

Haven't done one of these for a while! The first Manicure Monday of 2015, and it's a polish I've been wearing for a couple of weeks now as I'm loving it so much.
Old Park Lane from Nails Inc is a beautiful rose gold colour.
You could get away with just one coat of this but I just do two out of habit. Beautiful, classic yet still trendy - I can't get enough of this shade!
I have a mini one that I got in a Nails Inc set, but you can buy a full size one at Debenhams here

Monday, 5 January 2015

What I Got For Xmas

A bit late (didn't take my laptop home) but here are the presents I was lucky enough to get this Christmas.
I can't wait to read Sali Hughes' Pretty Honest and Lena Dunham Not That Kind of Girl. I also got a champagne opener - anyone else really scared of opening them?!
Candles. Lots and lots of candles...
I adore it all! Hope everyone had a wonderful Xmas...