Recent Purchases #1

recent beauty purchases

There’s something about picking up products you’ve been wanting to try for what seems like forever. It’s a bit like “YES! I finally have *insert product name* I’m finally going to look like Kendall Jenner/aspirationalgirlcrush”. Here are a few things I’ve picked up this past month. Most of them are things I’ve been wanting to try out for quite some time so I’m really excited about them.

I’ve mentioned several times that I’ve wanted to try the much coveted Anastasia Brow Wiz. I finally took the plunge and purchased this from BeautyBay. I picked up the shade Medium Brown and was a little worried as I was only going off internet swatches, so I wasn’t sure if it would suit me. However it could not be more perfect. It’s taking a little getting used to as I’ve used a powder for the last couple of years, but I’m getting the hang of it now.

Eye pencils seem to be my new obsession of late, so when I saw these Bourjois Colorband Eye Pencils I immediately needed to try them out. Luckily Boots were having a 3 for 2 on Bourjois so I picked up the shades Rose Fauviste, Beige Minimaliste and Mauve Baroque. Unfortunately the first time I came to try out the Rose one it completely snapped on me! so I had to go back to Boots and get another one. I’m really loving these pencils, they’re pretty much all I’m wearing to work as they’re quick and fuss free. Despite not wearing purple eyeshadow for a good number of years now the Mauve one has become my favourite.

I love my Alpha H Liquid Gold, I love the light stinging sensation it gives to alert me to the fact it’s dissolving my skin cells (err…gross!) and the glowiness I get the morning after. But I’ve had a yearning to try something new- these First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. I’ve heard great things about them and they’d be perfect for travelling. I’ve tried these once so far and they’re slightly different to the Alpha H in that instead of an immediate tingliness it sort of builds up after a few minutes. Nonetheless I did enjoy and will give these a bit more testing before I properly review them.

Everyone has surely heard of Philip Kingsley in the beauty world, he’s some kind of hair god! I was in Fenwicks in Canterbury around my birthday and I noticed they had a Philip Kingsley section so I went over to have a browse. I’ve had my eye on the Philip Kingsley Scalp Exfoliator for some time, but knowing what little success I have with hair products in general I opted for the smaller version. Having given it a trial, I’m impressed. The other PK item I got was the Body and Volume Cracker, which was leftover stock from Christmas marked down to £5 – Bargain! so I grabbed that and inside it had a tube of the Elasticizer- another product I’ve been wanting to try for some time now. It didn’t wow me as much as the scalp exfoliator, but then again I did apply it incorrectly and end up with limp hair so it’s not a true reflection. Note to self – do not put on roots!

What have you been buying this month? Have you tried any of these products?

Babyliss Boutique Salon Ceramic Rollers Review

Babyliss Boutique Salon Ceramic Rollers – £49.95* available at John Lewis

A few weeks ago I was sent these gorgeous Babyliss Boutique Salon Ceramic Rollers and I’ve been testing them out. I have to admit I don’t crack out the rollers very often as I have so little time for the waiting around part, but I do love the end result they give and I’ll always use them for special occasions and evenings out. I was excited when these finally arrived on my desk and couldn’t wait to give them a go. So what did I think?

The rollers come in a nice little case which holds both the rollers and the clips and has two lids to access each one. It’s quite compact (although not as compact as my travel ones) but not so bulky that you couldn’t take these with you if you were getting ready somewhere.

Inside there are 12 rollers which have a lovely velvety coating around the barrel of the roller and 12 plastic clips. I’m no pro with rollers in all honesty as seen by the pictures, and it’s probably because I don’t practice enough. However the velvety part of the barrel does make them quite easy to use as the hair doesn’t immediately fall off when you’re attempting to wrap it around.

They heat up fairly quickly so you’re not waiting around, but don’t be fooled into thinking the light on the front will come on when they’re ready else you’ll be waiting forever like I did! In actual fact one of the rollers has a little red dot that turns white when the rollers are ready.

What I loved most about these rollers and what made me choose them in the first place was the heated clips. With my other rollers they use pins and they can be quite fiddly to make stay in your hair and also hurt, plus they aren’t heated. With the clips the heat helps to hold the curl longer and the rollers actually feel more secure in your hair so you can bob your head a little more freely when dancing along to your favourite tracks.

My only gripe with these, like many other sets of rollers I’ve found is there’s not enough to do the sheer amount of hair that I have (it’s a lot!) and it’s really annoying as I usually end up having to curl the bottom part of my hair rather than wait till some rollers can be taken out and replaced.

As I mentioned before I love using rollers as my go to evening party hair style. Although you have the initial faff of putting the rollers in, once you take them out you just need to give your hair a little shake, add some hairspray and voila! Instant glam!

I certainly cannot be bothered with the hassle of rollers during the day but what I found as a great daytime hair style is the morning after you’ve used the rollers you can flip your hair upside down and fluff up the roots a little bit then pop it up in a voluminous pony tail – unless your hair is covered in drink/vomit/delete as appropriate – which makes it looks like you’ve made far more effort than you actually have. Perfect for if you’ve got to somewhere to be and you’re hungover.

Overall I am really impressed with these rollers. They aren’t too fiddly and pretty quick to put in and give really good results (when I can do it right!). I’d definitely recommend investing in some rollers with clips it makes them so much easier to use.

French Pharmacy Favourites

French Pharmacy Products

I feel that I’m always banging on about French skincare products and I suppose I am, as I’m obsessed with and do make up a large part of my skincare routine, but they are worthy of the praise lavished on them. These are my top French Pharmacy skincare products that I definitely couldn’t bear to run out and not have a back up they are that good!

Manual exfoliators were definitely in exile territory until the Caudalie Gentle Buffing Cream came into my life. I found that they would often cause my skin to break out days later probably due to micro tearing of skin, but when I tried Caudalie I was converted. It smells divine, is oh so gentle and does a bang up job of leaving my skin smooth and soft without causing breakouts.

I first picked up La Roche-Posay Serozinc back in September and I absolutely cannot get enough of this incredible toner, so it’s handy I picked up 4 bottles over there! It’s so light, gentle and soothing. I use it for all sorts of things as well as part of my daily cleansing routine and despite using it daily, I’m still on my first bottle!

I’m pretty faithful to my Origins masks but recently another face mask integrated itself in to my routine, and I have to say it’s pretty darn good. Unfortunately you can’t get Cattier in the UK at the moment as far as I’m aware but this Green Clay Face Mask is well worth picking up if you happen to be on the other side of the channel. It’s not meant to completely dry on your face so it doesn’t leave your skin feeling tight but still extracts all those horrible impurities.

It wouldn’t be a French skincare post without the much hyped Bioderma Micellar Solution. I usually use the Sebium version, but I picked up a Crealine version as the Sebium one has been irritating my eyes of late. It’s still one of the best makeup removers out there despite fierce competition from the Garnier Micellar Water and I absolutely wouldn’t be without one of these bottles on my dressing table.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ is one of the most raved about over the counter blemish treatments and I’ll tell you now, if you’ve not tried this yet you absolutely must! It’s a light texture, helps to either get rid of blemishes or bring them to a head but best of all, it fades red marks in quicksticks (or at least faster than they would without any treatment).

Finally to top off my skincare stash is the Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum. I still haven’t found any serum quite as good as this and that’s ok because it proves how bloody fantastic this is. It injects a healthy dose of hydration in to my skin so that I wake up with glowy skin without it being greasy, what more could you want?

What are your favourite French skincare products?

Maybelline Forever Strong Nail Polish Review

Maybelline Forever Strong Nail Polish in Berry Stain

Maybelline Forever Strong Nail Polish in Berry Stain swatch

Maybelline Forever Strong Nail Polish – £4.49

I’ve really been getting back into my budget beauty buys recently, probably because so many quality products are popping up at the moment. One such product is the Maybelline Forever Strong Nail Polish. I’ve heard Amelia go on and on about these nail polishes and it got to the point where I said to myself “girl you have got to try these out”. I picked up the colour Berry Stain for two reasons- one, I love purple and two, that particular colour was on offer.

It’s got a nice fairly wide brush and goes on easily. It’s also fairly quick drying and as it’s a gel nail colour, leaves a nice glossy high shine finish. In terms of living up to it’s 7 day claims, I tried it with two coats and no topcoat. I did notice some chipping after a couple of days – mainly on my right hand – which is probably due to the fact it’s my dominant hand. However the left hand remained intact, only showing minimal signs of tipwear after four days.

I’m actually really impressed in all honesty, it lasted longer than my usual polish without a topcoat so I imagine it’s staying power would be far greater with one. In terms of the actual chips themselves they’re not that bad and my nail polish definitely isn’t peeled off half my nail by the end of the week.

Ok so it might not last the full seven days, but I am actually quite impressed with this polish. It definitely lasts longer than most polishes I’ve tried before even without a topcoat and I’ve been pushing my beloved Essie polishes to one side for this so I may have to pick up a few more colours.

Degustabox February

Degustabox February
Degustabox February Whole Earth Three Nut Butter
Degustabox February Melba Thins
Degustabox February Lily O'Briens Cocoa Cookie Crunch
Degustabox February Lemon CakesDegustabox February Laimon Fresh and Peanut hottie

It doesn’t feel that long ago that I wrote last months post, but here we are again with the February Degustabox. I’m always excited to open my box each month although I wasn’t as excited with the contents this month as I have been in previous months, I just felt that I didn’t get as much for my money and I didn’t actually like many things. Also it was slightly irritating as I’ve just gone on a strict diet to get rid of this post birthday indulgence, so boxes filled with cake and chocolate isn’t the best but alas! I can’t blame Degustabox for that!

Whole Earth Three Nut Butter
I’m yet to try this but as I’m a massive fan of nut butters, I can almost guarantee I’ll probably love this. It has cashews, hazelnuts and peanut and contains no added sugar so it’s pretty good for you!

Beet It Sports Bar
I was very intrigued by these interesting additions. These are actually flapjacks made with oats and high concentrated beetroot juice. I’ve never heard of beetroot improving energy before so this is new to me but I’m looking forward to trying one before a workout to see whether it has any impact. I’m a little worried about the taste as although I like beetroot, it has that earthy taste which may be bizarre in a flapjack.

Melba Thins
If these are anything like the Finn Crisp crispbread I received in January’s Degustabox then I will definitely love them. I initially wondered how much use I would get from Melba toast as I’m not one for dishing out canapés on a Friday evening dahhhling, although sometimes I wish I did. I do however, like that they give you suggestions such as cheese or thinly cut meat which I could definitely enjoy as a late night snack. I’m yet to try these so I can’t comment on whether I’d buy these again but if I had to choose between these and the crispbread, so far the crispbread wins hands down.

Schwartz Flavour Shots
I was slightly disappointed to receive these as I received the flavour shots just a couple of boxes ago albeit different flavours, and the one I tried of those I wasn’t much keen on.

Lily O’Briens Cocoa Cookie Crunch
I’ve not had Lily O’Briens Chocolates for years but I remember how good they were so I was excited to try these and they didn’t disappoint. These cocoa cookie crunch remind me slightly of Dairy Milk with Oreo, but nicer! I’d definitely grab these again!

American Muffin Company Lemon Cake Bites
These lemon cake bites are probably my favourite item from the box. I wasn’t sure initially whether they’d be much good as I have to admit I haven’t eaten any gluten or wheat free cake type products for many years and I remember them to be quite dry and crumbly and well, just not as good as a real cake. Let me tell you though these are amazing! Incredibly moist and perfectly lemony- as good as a homemade slice of lemon cake and you couldn’t even tell they were gluten and wheat free. I’d honestly recommend these if you’re trying to eat less gluten or if you have an intolerance!

Peanut Hottie
At first I thought this sounded quite delicious, I’m a huge fan of peanut butter. In fact I like to eat it out of the jar with a spoon so I thought this would be right up my street but after trying this I wasn’t very keen on it. It definitely smells peanutty but it was just…strange. I think I’ll stick to my Cadbury’s hot chocolate.

Laimon Fresh
Laimon Fresh is a light sparkling lemon lime and mint soft drink made with 100% natural ingredients. I personally hated this drink, I hated the mint flavour of this which ruined it for me, otherwise I think it would have been nice. I gave this to Harry and he didn’t seem to mind it but I definitely won’t be buying this again.

Jack Links Beef Snack
This reminded me of the pieces of beef jerky you get from the supermarket. I liked the taste but I didn’t really like the texture but Harry enjoyed it so I think he would probably buy it again, but I wouldn’t.

I’m slightly disappointed with this box, it’s been a bit of a hit and miss with me and there’s not many items I actually enjoyed. Hopefully I’ll receive better items next month otherwise I may have to reconsider my subscription.

Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk Review

Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk

Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk – £15.00

Sometimes it’s difficult to write a post, like in the case of this one, which has been sitting in my drafts for a while now and its usually because I’m ambivalent about the product. In the case of the Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk well, I don’t dislike it by any stretch, I just find it’s rather an unremarkable product in my eyes.

I picked this little tube up on a whim while I was in France. I was eager to try out more from Caudalie’s range and this cleansing milk with sweet almond and cornflower sounded promising.

It has a very light creamy texture- almost gel like- which melts into a milk upon contact with water, which I found lovely. I don’t really care much for the smell to be honest, in fact it does remind me slightly of sour milk. In terms of cleansing it does a good job leaving the skin cleansed without feeling dry or stripped.

I am a little disappointed however, mainly because I usually like everything Caudalie has to offer but this let me down as it didn’t wow me in the same way others did. it’s not to say it’s not a decent product but I won’t be repurchasing as I have other cleansers that I prefer.

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