Monday, 12 December 2011

November Favourites

Deary me, even for me this is a late monthly favourites!

No time like the present...

NYX Nude on Nude Palette
I really want to do a proper, in-depth review with swatches of this palette (most likely after Christmas when I should hopefully have the infamous UD Naked palette to do a comparison with!), so in the meantime I don't want to say too much other than in my opinion it is the best Naked palette dupe/alternative I have yet to come across. The shades are a mixture of warm and cool tones making it more accessible to different skin tones, and it's the perfect palette for day an night.
I got mine for £15 from TKMaxx.

Primark Blusher
I recently reviewed this gorgeous little tub of lovliness here, which I think speaks for itself, but I will say that other than appealing to my girlie side with the heart-shaped blusher 'beads' this is a beautiful light shade of pink that adds the perfect amount of colour and highlight to your cheekbones without being overpowering or too 'sparkly.'

W7 Nailpolishes
If you hadn't guessed from my earliest post on these beauties, I am obsessed with these nailpolishes from W7, which I picked up for £1.99 each from Savers. The staying power of them is not particularly amazing, but I'm blown away by the stunning colours/tone/depth of each one, and think they are amazing shades to add to your winter collection!
Watch this space for individual NOTD - i've already featured Metallic Mars (see link above)

17 BB Cream
Another product I was fully intending on reviewing before featuring it in my November favourites (and still plan to at some point!), I am again not going to let too much out the bag, but I will say I love this product for giving a really healthy glow to my skin, and you're likely to love it too if you like the Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint - from sampling the skin tint i'd say the products are very similar in consistency and coverage.

False Eyelashes (Any kind)
I've never really been into falselashes (and now i'm obsessed, I can't for the life of me think why not); maybe it was the fact I couldn't figure out the proper way to put them on, i'm not sure, but anyway I had ordered a pair from ELF a little while ago, and on Saturday while I had some time to myself I decided to make the effort to try them out. LOVE. Now i've got the technique nailed down, I've been confident in wearing them even on a daily basis, and have recently stocked up on loads of other pairs to try.
They make such a difference to your makeup look, and make me feel so glam!

Primark Boots (current stock)
I've only had these a matter of weeks but i've been wearing them to death as they're so versatile and go with practically anything.
A snip at £15, they're also available in dark brown and are still in stock so grab them while you can!

No7 4 in 1 Facewipes
A product I would NEVER buy at full price (a stonking £7.00 for 30 wipes), I recently picked these up for £2 using my £5 No7 voucher I had languishing in my purse.
I've been pleasantly surprised with these: they're larger than your average facial wipes, and are uber wet, which is what you need to 'properly' (if that's possible) remove make-up using a wipe.

Collection 2000 Cream Puff Matt Lip Cream in 01 Cotton Candy
You always know if Lisa Eldridge gives a product the thumbs up it must be a good 'un, so when she mentioned this product in one of her tutorials I knew I had to try one out.
Cotton Candy is a lovely matt pink shade, which doesn't dry out your lips and stays put for a long time. I've loved wearing it on a daily basis for a pretty, natural look.

Favourite blog:
I am constantly amazed at this lady's ability to unearth clothing/jewellery/accessory etc jems in jumble sales, car boot sales, ebay, charity shops (you name it). She updates her blog daily, and will astound you with her vintage finds and bargains!

Favourite book
The Hunger Games is part one of a triology of Hunger Games books (there's Catching Fire which i'm reading now, and also Mockingjay, the third book), and introduces sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem where the United States once existed. This is where a government working in a central city called the Capitol holds power. In the book, the Hunger Games are an annual televised event where the Capitol chooses one boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 from each of 12 districts for a massive televised battle in which only one person can survive.
It sounds brutal (and it is somewhat), but it's totally gripping and an idea which I am totally fascinated by.

What have you been loving this month?


Saturday, 10 December 2011

Review: ELF Dramatic Lash Kit

I am so hungover today. And in an attempt to make myself feel better (other than stuffing myself with junk food) I decided to go for all-out glam and put on some falsies:
I'd got these in my ELF haul a little while back for a bargain £1.50 (well actually 75p since it was the 50% off event), and never really got round to trying them out (putting on false eyelashes is a rather footery, time-consuming task for me), but since I had all the time in the world this morning, I thought i'd give these a bash.

(Please excuse the fuzzy photos. Like I say, I was hungover and slightly shaky in the hand. You get the jist.)

For being the 'dramatic' version on offer by ELF, I really like these for providing a really pretty, wide-awake look without being very obvious. I was really chuffed that even my Mum didn't notice them as fake eyelashes, and she hates eyelashes of the faux variety!

I put them on using DUO lash glue (wasn't even going to attempt using the glue that comes with them), and so far they've lasted all day without attempting to escape and crawl down my face*touch wood*.

I think I might make the effort to wear falsies more often - even if it is to make myself better through a self-inflicted hangover!

What lashes do you recommend?

Melanie x
Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Top Tips for Primark Shopping!

Now that we are in throes of the Christmas period, shopping can be a rather crazy/stressful process, and Primark (which can be a hazardous shopping environment as it is), can become even more chaotic than usual.

Shopping is meant to be a pleasureable experience (it's not called retail therapy for nothing), but some shops like Primark (and TKMaxx) are just asking for trouble: clothes on the floor, piles of shoes everywhere, massive queues....

After my most recent outing to Primark (during which time I ended up in a foul mood and only bought a couple of items - usually unheard of for me in Primark!), I came out thinking that it is a shop that definitely has to be tackled with some sort of strategy for optimum shopping results, hence this post!

So here's my guide to shopping in Primark - feel free to add your own tips in the comments section :)


1. Make sure you're in a good/neutral mood. There is nothing worse than trying to tackle people with pointy elbows, mums with prams, and often jumble sale-like conditions whilst in a bad (or emotional) mood, and it's likely to ruin the rest of your day (or at least the part of it spent shopping).
2. Find a primark near you of a good size, simply because the smaller ones are, well, crap. I'm quite lucky my nearest store is a split-level one, not too big, not too small, and if I want a MEGA primark I can travel a little further afield and go to either the Primark stores in Braehead or in Glasgow city centre.
Saying that, the biggest ones can also be a bit overwhelming, so maybe medium sized is the way to go!

3. Go first thing in the morning or midweek, simply and obviously because the store is far quieter, all the produce will be neatly set out, you'll get first dibs on any new stock, and the hangars should have the correct sized clothing on them (my pet hate)!

4. Go to Primark first - don't want to be hauling round other bags (unless you have someone to hold them for you - see point 5!) when both hands are needed!
5. Take someone with you - I always find that sometimes a second opinion is needed when it comes to Primark clothes, particularly when trying them on. Ideally this 'helper' should NOT a boyfriend/partner/fiance, as if my experiences are anything to go by, they'll generally just traipse round after you looking miserable and will say anything to get you out the shop!

6. Take a shoulder/across body bag so you can keep your hands free to rummage through the rails and hold your giant Primark basket.

7. Wear whatever you class as sensible, comfortable shoes that can easily be removed/put on to try on primark shoes, as more often than not you'll go to try and sit on the (frankly rubbish) seating provided in the store, and find that they are either covered in a mountain of shoes, or will have various individual's grans/mums/boyfriends/children sitting waiting there. If you wear (for example) ballet pumps or pull on boots you'll find trying on shoes standing up a bit easier.

8. Wear leggings, as they're not as bulky as jeans and you can try most things over the top without having to change out of them.

9. Wear plain tops (such as a white t-shirt or neautral vest top) and a nude coloured bra (ideally) so that, similarly to the leggings, you can try things over the top whilst still getting an idea of how the item of clothing will fit/look. With the nude coloured bra you can try on sheer blouses, for example, and see how they fit/look without having a big black bra staring out at you!

10. Similar to above, try and wear layers of clothing rather than just a top and a coat, so that if you get too warm, you can slip off a cardigan or scarf rather than having to haul about a big bulky jacket. The only disadvantage to this is that it can add to your time when trying stuff on, but i'd rather that than looking like a frizzy haired, heat-rashed crazy person as I often do!

11.. Take a bottle of water and a small snack in your (shoulder) bag - it may technically be 'prohibited' by Primark, but I personally have been prone to fainting, and sometimes with all the lights, central heating, crazy changing rooms and hauling a heavy basket round I feel a bit light headed, and so a drink of water and a nibble of a snack in the changing rooms gives me a boost and stops me leaving the shop before i've even bought anything.

In the thick of it...

12. Don't use the classic 'primark head' - i.e. buying everything because it's cheap, for which I am often guilty as charged. If you get there early you've got all the time in the world to consider if it's something you'll really wear/use, and if you've got someone with you, you can ask their opinion. Primark might still be cheap compared to the likes of Topshop, but the prices have definitely increased, and so the cost of any unwanted/unused products will definitely add up.

13. Try everything on (unless you don't mind returning items), even if the queues are mahoosive and you can't face it, as Primark sizes vary crazily, and literally from stock to stock. I generally am a 10/12 but often find myself buying size 18 jumpers and cardigans. Doing this can also save you money, cause if you're like me you might buy something, find it doesn't fit, but by the time you go to return it you discover the returns period has ran out. oops.

14. Try and shop in a particular order. So for example when I first enter Primark and pick up my basket, I immediately look for clothes that can't be tried on out in the shop floor and must be tried in the changing room (i.e. jeans), and put these in my basket and go to the changing room. Then after that process,  I search for things that can be tried on over my current clothing - cardigans, jackets etc. Last but not least I have a look for accessories/jewellery/shoes/bags.
Doing it this way means when I go to the changing room i'm not weighed down with shoes, jewellery etc that I have to trawl through to find the stuff I want to try on!

15. Look at labels stitched into clothing and NOT at the sizing on the hangars.

16. Never assume that just because you’ve bought this exact item before, that it will fit the same as your last one did.  Sizes are more of a ‘guide’ than a definitive rule. Relates to point 13.
17. Never assume that all the garments on one clothing rail will be the same as the one on the front.  Dig deeper for the things nobody else has found!

18. Remember to look in the menswear department! I have found some amazing t-shirts, jumpers and accessories here, and women shopping in this area seems to be more commonplace nowadays (largely in part due to Barbara at The Persian Babe ha).

So there you have it, my definitive guide to Primark shopping. Like I said earlier, please leave me any of your shopping survival tips - the more the merrier!

Melanie x

Review: Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover

Evening all, first of all apologies for the recent drought in blog posts.
It's not that i'm lacking in post ideas (I literally have tons to come), but it's just time that seems to be against me - I feel like i'm literally doing my 'monthly favourites' post, and before you know it, it's time to do the next month's faves all over again!
However I'm determined to make the time for my blog/YT channel, as it's something I genuinely do enjoy.

Anyway, i'm back with a review today.
I'm not a fancy nail-artist or alike, but I do like having neat and tidy nails, and literally for the past few years i've been going to get them professionally done by the lovely Lee-Anne.

However she unfortunately has taken seriously ill (get well soon!) and has had to obviously cease carrying out her nail magic, and therefore (out of loyalty/laziness/need to save cash) I have been let loose on my own talons.
Generally I would not find this a problem (I'm rather nifty with a nail file and buffer), but it's the cuticles that get me every time. I have cuticles that keep growing back really quite far over my nails (my middle finger nail in the picture below is a prime example) and they take quite a lot of work to keep in check.
 I'm quite particular with my finger/toe nails (ESPECIALLY toe nails) in the sense that the thought of anything happening to them (i.e. heaven forbid, getting torn off) gives me the serious heebie jeebies, and even Lee-Anne clipping/trimming my cuticles makes me wince - therefore me trying to maintentain my cuticles myself by trimming them is totally out the question!

Enter stage left Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover:
The box blurb describes it as:
  • Fast-acting Formula with moisturising Jojoba extract, antioxidant Kiwi extract and nourishing Wheat Protein.

  • Deeply conditions delicate cuticle skin and loosens excess cuticles

  • Reveals a clean surface to apply varnish

  • I had actually been searching for the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover, but for some reason is only available in America, and from what i've heard is rather industrial in strength (apparently it can even be used on calluses...!), therefore when I happened across this (what I presumed was) similar cuticle remover gel in Superdrug for around five pounds, I thought i'd give it a go!

    The instructions on the box state:
  • Apply a thin strip around your cuticle and wait for 1-2 minutes (Do not exceed 8-10 minutes)

  • Using the flat end of the pusher tip, gently loosen and push back the cuticle

  • Remove residue with warm soapy water

  • Now i've used this product several times since I purchased it, and at first I was very good and strictly adhered to the instructions, removing it after about 3 mins but to no avail/effect. Since then i've actually been a bit of a daredevil (ha), leaving it on for about 10 minutes (the scandal), and although when I first remove the product I do initially think that my nails look neater and tidier, it becomes apparent that my cuticles haven't actually changed at all!

    I'm rather disappointed in this product's performance, especially given that it's sister product (the American 'instant' cuticle remover) gets such rave reviews. I know that other people (such as Viviana) really like it, so maybe it's just my stubborn cuticles and i'll have to get them professionally tended to!

    Have you tried this? And more importantly, do you have any tips to help me and my cuticles?!

    Melanie x
    Sunday, 27 November 2011

    NOTD: W7 Metallic Mars

    I'm actually cheating with this one a little, as it's not so much a Nail Of The Day, but of the week (i.e. I put it on like last Wednesday and have only just got round to doing this post!)

    If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that a couple of weeks ago I tweeted about buying 5 nail polishes from Savers for only £1.99 each:
    L-R: Metallic Saturn, Metallic Neptune,Metallic Jupiter, Metallic Mercury and Metallic Mars
    The picture doesn't do these little beauties justice; they are all metallic shades (with Mercury and Jupiter having very finely milled metallic particles through them for extra pazazz), and are stunning, stunning colours - I got so excited when I saw them (and the fact they are all named after planets in the solar system. ahem). I also think the bottles are very similar in size/design to that of OPI polishes.

    This week I have been wearing Metallic Mars, a kind of deep wine/burgandy/bronze shade:
    (Please excuse the horendous state of my nails, but this pic shows how the colour changes in different light: my ring finger looks bronze whulst the middle and index fingers are more wine-ish).

    This particular polish is rather thin in consistancy, and on the first coat it hardly shows up on your nail - it actually took 3 coats of polish to get it this opaque - but it is very fast drying.

    Length of wear isn't that amazing - about 3 days before chips appear (and that's with a top coat) - but the colours are so lovely and perfect for this time of year that I don't really care!

    I'm not sure where officiall stockists of W7 are, but like I say I got mine in Savers and i've noted that TK Maxx are selling sets of them now, so it's worth having a look about.

    What do you think?

    Melanie x
    Thursday, 24 November 2011

    My Heart's Desire

    Sometimes the prettiest of things can be found in the unlikliest of places... this case - Primark!

    This was a checkout-queue purchase, which I actually grabbed thinking it would be a highlight, but it's actually a really girly soft pink blush with a hint of shimmer in it that looks really pretty blended out over cheekbones.
    It's quite sheer, so there's no danger of very obvious dark blusher if you happen to go in heavy-handed the first time, and is very buildable.
    I also LOVE the fact the little blusher 'balls' are shaped like teeny tiny love hearts!

    They were originally around £2.50, but have been marked down to a pound, which makes me think they might be discontinued, so next time i'm in Primarni i'm grabbing a few more - they've make fabby little stocking fillers too :)

    Melanie x
    Monday, 21 November 2011

    Review: Asda Skin System Eye Makeup Remover

    Nowadays, whenever i'm on the lookout for new beauty products, 3 main creteria apply:
    Cheap (in price)
    Preferably cruelty free/not tested on animals

    This little number could well tick all those boxes:
    The Skin System Eye Make-Up remover is only £1.50 for a whopping (for an eye make-up remover) 150ml, and is widely available in Asda stores.

    All suppliers used in the production of Skin System products are based within the Europe Union and have been audited within the last 2 years by an independent 3rd party to an ethical standard. 
    Asda state as part of their policy that 'Asda is against animal testing and funds research into alternatives', although one has to bear in mind that this policy may only apply to the finished product, not the actual ingredients which may have been tested on animals, which is rather disappointing. Asda have yet also to adhere to a FCOD (Fixed cut off date) scheme.

    Launched in September 2011, the range includes basics such as cotton wool pads and facial washes, to more niche, complx products such as wrinkle filler system - all at very reasonable, affordable prices.
    All of the Skin System products contain the Algisium C2 Complex which works to improve the appearance of your skin by stimulating cell regeneration, activating collegen synthesis and protecting against free radicals to fight the first signs of ageing.

    The Eye Make-Up Remover is suitable for sensitive skins as it is free from parabens, fragrance and artifical colours, and contains Vitamin E, white tea, shea butter and aloe vera leaf juice.

    The specific ingredients are:
    Aqua - water
    Glyceryl Stereate SE - emulsifying agent
    Isopropyl Palmitate - palm oil based emollient
    Stearic Acid - fatty acid
    Propylene Glycol - Synthetic liquid substance that acts as a pentration enhancer
    Cetearyl Alcohol - mixture of fatty alcohols
    Glycerin - fat/oil component
    Decyl Oleate - naturally occuring fatty acid that makes make-up removal easier
    Tocopheryl Acetate - Vitamin E
    Butyrospermum Parkii Butter Extract - Shea Butter
    Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract - Green Tea
    Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder - Aloe Vera
    Carbomer - thickening agent
    Triethanolamine - strongly alkaline substance used as surfactant and pH adjusting chemical
    Disodium EDTA - type of preservative
    Sodium Benzoate - preservative
    Sorbic Acid - preservative
    Potassium Sorbate - preservative
    Phenoxyethanol - preservative- used as an alternative to parabens
    Ethylhexylglycerin - conditioning agent and (surprise, suprise) preservative

    Unlike the majority of oil-based eye make-up removers, this cleanser is of a cream substance, and quite a thick one at that, which means you only need a tiny (pea-sized) amount at a time (and therefore meaning it will last you yonks!)
    The directions on the bottle instruct you to apply the make-up remover using cotton wool to remove all traces of make-up, but i've found that gently massaging it with my fingers around (closed) eyes for a couple of minutes and then gently wiping away with a cotton pad does the trick really well.

    Despite the list of (what seems to be) largely chemically-based ingredients (then again, most beauty products these days are), I'm actually really impressed with this make-up remover.
    It powers through my mascara and eyeshadow far better than even the Bioderma Crealine H20 cleansing water did; a product that is considered HG material for models, professional make-up artists and the like the world over.

    I think i've found a (better) £1.50 alternative!

    Have you tried any of the Skin System products?

    Melanie x

    Friday, 4 November 2011

    October 2011 Favourites

    It's officially less than 8 weeks until Christmas. I don't know whether to be uber excited, or uber scared - it's my last Christmas as an unmarried woman eek!

    Anyhoo, onto the good stuff - what have I been loving in the good old month of October?

    Tesco All About Nails polish (L-R: Bronze, Emerald, Cocoa), 99p
    I nearly overlooked these little beauties whilst browsing in Tesco for the new Vivo range, but luckily I happened to glance up and, ta-da!, there they were, all lined up in a wee row of their own.
    There was actually an amazing array of colours on offer, but I opted for these 3 metallic shades as they're the perfect on-trend/Autumny-Wintery colours, and I LOVE them. The colour pay off is really good after two coats, and whilst they do require a top/base coat to increase their staying power, i'm not too fussed as i'm really pleased I got these beautiful shades for less than a pound each!

    E.L.F. Zit Zapper £1.50
    I bought this on a bit of a whim when trying to get the contents of my basket to above £30 (or was it £40?) to qualify for the last 50% off offered by E.L.F., and reckoned that since it's usually sold out I better add that bad boy to my basket pronto to see what the fuss was all about (and I was getting it for 75p. I do love my bargains).
    It's packed full of spot-fighting ingredients (...I sound like a Clearasil advert), with a little roller ball mechansim that makes it easy to 'dispense' the right amount of product.
    I wasn't expecting big things for this, but it really works: you can literally put it on a troublesome spot at night, and the next day it's completely flattened making it far easy to conceal.

    E.L.F. All Over Colour Stick in Lilac Petal, £1.50
    I'd heard mixed reviews about these little (they're definitely little - much more than I thought they would be!) colour sticks - such as that they dry out really fast - but I decided at 75p i'd give them a go (I purchased this and a kind of highlight shade).
    I love using this over tinted moisturiser on days I just want a really fresh-faced, natural look as it gives a really pretty glow to your cheeks, and provides a perfect base for powder blusher if needed.

    Boots 17 Starry Eyes trio in Galactic, £5.49
    I actually bought this along with the famous beehive lipstick in order to 'qualify' for a free Femme Noir giftset (pics/review to come and some point) - yes I am a sucker for freebies.
    It's a really stunning trio of metallic (not glittery) eyeshadows, which have good staying power (unlike some other 17 eyeshadows these aren't powedery thankfully), as well as a wow factor!

    George (Asda) Shimmer Me! Brick in 04 Heaven Sent, £4.50
    I think it is immediately obvious what this is a pefect dupe of (Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick for anyone who needs help guessing!), therefore I had no hesitation at picking one up from my local Asda for only £4.50 (compared to £20-odd for the BB Bricks).
    George have recently expanded their range from 3 basic shades (there were 6 different ones to choose from in my branch), but I decided to opt for this peach/pink/coral based product as I've found that bronze-based shades can make my pale skin look a bit 'muddy.'
    Like the BB Shimmer Bricks, this adds a beautiful lift and glow to your cheeks, and I personally think it packs a bit more colour than the BB bricks.

    Asda Skin System Eye Make-up Remover, £1.50
    After the recent death of my Bioderma Crealine H20 Cleansing Water, I was on the hunt for a new eye make-up remover (preferably cheap and not tested on animals), but never thought I would find it in Asda!
    You get a mahoosive 150ml for your money, and it's a really gentle yet effective cream make-up remover (which I've used as an all-over facial cleanser once or twice) - i'm impressed!

    E.L.F. Studio Eyebrow Kit in Ash, £3.50
    I can't believe the difference defining/shading/filling in your eyebrows actually makes, therefore i'm really glad I bought this little 'kit' as part of my last E.L.F. haul.
    I actually thought the Ash shade would be too light for me, but it's actually perfect: the gel fills in my brows without being too dark and therefore glaringly obvious, although I don't use the lighter powder as i'm not really sure what it's for!

    Eyeko Grafitti Eyeliner Pen (Black), £5.50
    I got this as part of a little set from TKMaxx for around £8, and i'm really loving it so far: for someone who's not the best at applying eyeliner on my top lid, the felt tip applicator helps achieve both fine and thicker lines, and it really doesn't budge (however i've not tested it in monsoon-rain conditions as yet).

    Favourite Blogger: Fee at Makeup Savvy
    I can't for the life of me understand why this girl's blog didn't win an award at the Cosmo Blog Awards! I'm assuming most of you know of Fee's blog as it is rather amazing, but if not she's a beauty blogger (as well as very talented photographer and nail art designer) who focuses on inexpensive, 'drugstore' products - right up my (high)street!
    Her posts are really original and often quite thought provoking, and her photos can make even the most mundane products look stunning!

    Favourite YouTuber: Becca at Voussontbeauetbelle
    I can't remember exactly how I found Becca's YouTube channel but i'm so glad I did - she's as funny (if not funnier) as the likes of ZozeeBo and Sprinkleofglitter, and if you like haul videos then you'll LOVE her channel, especially for the likes of Primark, Topshop and H&M.

    What have you been loving this month?

    Melanie x
    Friday, 28 October 2011

    Product Use-Ups - Would I Buy Again?

    I've suddenly came to the end of so many products that my bathroom shelf can't cope, so before I put them in the (recycling - where applicable!) bin, I thought I'd give you  a quick run-down/mini review on each, and whether or not i'd buy them again now i've used them up - my version of 'Project Bathroom', if you will!

    Boots Vitamin E Gentle Eye Cream with SPF 15
    This was meant to be a stand-in product that I grabbed one day in Boots, but it has literally lasted me FORVER! It's lovely and light, easily and quickly absorbed, and has the bonus of an SPF 15, as well as only costing about £3 (it was so long ago I can't remember!)
    Would I buy this again?
    Yes, I probably would. It has served me well, and as far as I can tell it's helped stave off the wrinkles!

    Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-In-1 Wash & Mask
    I remember buying this clay-type wash/mask after Sara (SWalker Make-Up) and Laura (Buy Now Blog Later) raved about it, and at first I didn't get what the fuss was, and stashed it away after a few uses. However I started using it again (I evidently had used up whatever other morning product I was using!), and really liked it this time around.
    Would I buy this again?
    Had it not been for the fact that Neutrogena test on animals (thumbs down), I would indeed repurchase this.
    It's reasonably priced at around £4 for 150ml, and has lasted a long time as (when using it as a face wash), you only need to use a little at a time each mornng. Since i've finished it I have noticed a few spots appearing, particularly on my forehead.

    Bioderma Crealine H20 Cleansing Water
    I bought this after all the hype surrounding it recently by bloggers/YouTubers/Make-up Artists etc (yes, I am a sheep. I feel no shame), and at first I didn't really get what all the fuss was about, but now that i've finished it, I can appreciate what a good performing product it is. You can read my full review here (I also did a YT review here if you're interested, but it's much the same as the blog version!).
    I would love to say yes (the reasons for which you can read in my review), but as with the Neutrogena face wash, Bioderma do test on animals, and given that i'm trying to avoid any products which have been tested on animals, I personally won't be buying it again for this reason.

    No7 Age Defence Cleansing Balm
    I decided to try this cleanser out when I had a £5-off No7 voucher one day I was in Boots, as I hoped it would be a highstreet alternative to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. You can read my full verdict here, but in short it is a cleanser that has done it's job - although I will say the name 'cleansing balm' is somewhat misleading as it's a cream-consistency cleanser!
    Would I Buy This Again?
    It's a toughie. I'm inclined to say no as i've not found it to be a completely outstanding, holy-grail product, and there are so many other cleansers out there to try! I guess if I was strapped for cash, had a No7 voucher to spare, and really needed a cleanser I might pick one up again.

    Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo
    As you might have guessed by now, i'm a complete sucker for anything in beauty ads, blogger reviews and so on, and Herbal Essences with their (occasionally cheesy) brightly coloured adverts are no different. I decided to buy this shampoo and the conditioner (and hair mask...) when they were on offer in the hope I would too be swinging my shiney mane of hair about like the ladies on the telly, but alas I can't say i've noticed any difference (sad face).
    The Herbal Essences brand is also packed full of SLS chemicals (which make your shampoo foam up, for example).
    Would I buy this again?
    I've developed a rather tight, uncomfortable and sometimes itchy scalp, and I can only put it down to this shampoo. I also don't like the fact it's so packed full of chemicals, therefore I won't be buying it again as I want to find more naturally-sourced products for my hair.

    Mitchum Deodordant
    A rather boring, everyday item, but one I feel is rather important! At around £3 Mitchum is a tad more expensive than most deodorants out there, but it is often recommended by doctors, and it does work in terms of odour control and everyday freshness (although I don't think anything can keep you 100% dry).
    Would I buy this again?
    I will and I have! I often pick this up when it's on special offer (in stick, roll-on and spray forms), and I also love the fact that it is made by Revlon who don't test on animals. Bunnies rejoice!

    Johnsons's Baby Lotion
    An old classic which I loved using as both a body moisturiser and facial cleanser. It smells amazing, is good value for money (and you can pick it up almost anywhere, from supermarkers to pound shops), and it's pink!
    Would I buy this again?
    Again the animal testing factor comes into play. As much as I love this moisturiser, there are equally good products out there (such as my yummy Palmer's cocoa butter) which aren't tested on animals, and therefore until Johnson and Johnson invest in cruelty-free testing methods, then it's a no from me!

    Maxfactor Second Skin Foundation
    I remember buying this from Fragrance Direct after reading how much Fee at Make-Up Savvy loves it, and my verdict is that it's a good summer time foundation; for those days when you want the sheer glowy look of a tinted moisturiser with a tiny bit more coverage.
    Would I buy this again?
    I prefer my foundation to have a bit more coverage than this, and as you will see from my review, it does wear off a bit during the day. I think i'll keep my pennies for my Revlon Colorstay!

    Maybelline One by One Volume Express Mascara
    Another product that i've reviewed , I this mascara is nice for an every-day pretty look, but I wouldn't say it's particularly volumising or dramatic. After all the hype surrounding each of Maybelline's mascaras I was slightly disappointed with this one.
    Would I buy this again?
    No, partly because i've got about 3 other mascaras to get through, partly because I didn't find it that good, and also because Maybelline are animal testers (if you haven't guessed that has become a big factor for me when choosing products now!)

    Coleen EDT
    Celebrity perfumes are not something I go out my way to buy, and I usually end up with a load of them after Christmas time, this one included. I'm rubbish at describing scents (you can find a description of it at Perfume Point ), but it's quite sweet, yet not over powering, and whilst i'm not in LOVE with it (as I am with Angel by Thierry Muglar, yummy), i've actually had quite a few compliments on it, which I found surprising.
    Would I buy this again?
    For those 'interim' times where i'm just about out of my favourite 'posh' perfumes and need an everyday fragrance that I can spray all over whenever I like, I actually think I might buy another bottle of this, especially since you can pick up a 100ml bottle for around £10.

    Have you got any products you've used up and rate/hate?

    Melanie x
    Would I buy this again?
    Saturday, 15 October 2011

    Review: George ShimmerMe!

    A few years ago I never would have thought to look in Supermarkets for my make-up, but nowadays Supermarkets have really stepped up their game and are producing some really fantastic own-brand beauty products - and George at Asda is no exception.

    Ever since I used up my Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick (and could never justify the expense of buying another one), i've constantly been on the hunt for a good quality yet inexpensive dupe, and believe I may well have found it in the George Shimmer Me! Shimmering Brush-On Powder; a snip at £4.50.

    This gorgeous little number is actually quite similar to the BB Shimmer Brick in terms of size and sturdy packaging (except the lid is clear, whereas the BB Break is black all over).

    There are currently 6 shades in the Shimmer Me! range at the moment, ranging from pinky/peaches, to more bronzed colours and shades - although I find bronzers can make my (very) pale skin rather 'muddy' looking, so I opted for the fabulous No.4 Heaven Sent shade.

    The little description on the back suggests the individual shades can be used as a brow highlight or eyeshadows, or swirled together with a blush brush for an all-over glow/pop of colour on the cheekbones, which is how i've been using it.

    The product is beautifully pigmented, and gives a really lovely effect with good staying power.

    I salute George at Asda for this product, and thoroughly recommend it as an excellent BB dupe!

    Melanie x