Friday, 20 November 2015

Top 3 Products for October

I know I'm a little late with this, as we are half way through November, but I've been so busy starting my masters degree I haven't had time for anything else! I've not tried many products this month due to studying hard, but I do have a few that I have been loving.

Nars Velvet matte lip pencil in Damned

I saw this on a make up video by 'Vivianna does Make up' back at the beginning of October and loved the berry colour, so thought I'd treat myself (not that it takes much for me to buy make up!) I love the autumnal shade lipsticks and have never really branched out into the matte sticking mainly to sheer or velvet styles, so thought this was a great way to try it. I really like the lip pencil application as its so much easier to apply, and because it's a pencil you don't need a lip liner as well - which is always a bonus, as it's practically two products in one. The formula is easy to apply and the staying power is excellent, leaving a great stain colour on the lips as it fades. It's not drying as I thought it may be and the pigmentation is amazing. It is my new go to colour for day and night as you can go more natural with the make up and statement lip for the day or vamp it up with a smoky eye for a great evening look. A great versatile piece that I feel can justify the £18 price tag.

Collection illuminating touch foundation

I am a big fan of the illuminating touch concealer (check my previous post here). It's inexpensive and a great product, so I was perusing the beauty aisles in Boots and saw they have brought out a foundation from the same range. I went for cool beige as the porcelain shade looked a little light even for my pasty pale skin. So beware the shades do appear to be on the lighter side and you may want to swatch them first before buying. It is an excellent foundation and I have been using it everyday for work throughout October. It has a light to medium coverage, which you can build up, and gives a more dewy finish, which I prefer to the matte finish as I have dry skin. It isn't drying and wears well throughout the day. It is not the best foundation out there and I would definitely reach for my higher end foundations like Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua for an evening out - but for everyday it's a great find, especially at the £5.99 bargain price tag!

Phyto Phytokeratine extreme cream

This was in my LookFantastic birthday beauty box back in September. I didn't use it initially as I was pretty happy with my current hair care routine, but found it again at the beginning of October so thought I'd start using it. I wish I had used it sooner, as it has been a game changer as far as my haircare routine goes. It is a leave-in conditioner treatment for dry, damaged hair. You can use it before blow drying as a conditioner treatment and also provides heat protection for up to 220 degrees. I love the fact it offers a two in one product that helps repair your hair but also protects it when blow drying and straightening. I have been using it every time I wash my hair, and it is in excellent condition. I have just ordered another bottle as it has nearly run out and I can't imagine my hair without it at the moment! Not cheap at £26.50 for 100ml, but a little goes a long way and has really helped my dry colour damaged hair find a new lease of life.

That's it for October products and I'm well on my way to discovering new ones for November.

Rachel x

Monday, 26 October 2015

Autumn Primark Haul

I went shopping, again! Oops! I know, I know, I have a problem. But the thing with Primark is  everything is such good value that it's so easy to get carried away (which I did). I can justify this to myself that I've lost some weight (through healthy eating and exercise) and had to get rid of a lot of items from my wardrobe, so I NEEDED to buy a few more bits for Autumn (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

I love the Autumn, and I adore Autumn fashion and Primark is a great place to go to pick up lots of key pieces to see you through, plus the prices are amazing! I went a little bit crazy so here goes:

White cable knit jumper with metal detail

This jumper was actually featured in the most recent edition of Glamour magazine. It is a fab piece for autumn. I love cable knits as they are so comfy and cosy, but the metal detail on this really amps it up and makes it stand out from your usual plain cable knit jumper. I thought I'd wear this with skinny jeans and boots or even a little skirt - as I thought it was really versatile and I will definitely get loads of wear out of it.

Navy and red tartan knit skirt

I fell in love with as soon as I saw it. It is so cute and I love the fact it's made from a fine knit material as this makes it that little bit heavier and is a lovely shape when on (plus it won't be flying up exposing my knickers, Bridget Jones style, on a blustery autumnal day!) Again I thought this would be nice dressed up with a little navy shirt or look smart with a polo neck for a more smart everyday look.

Grey polo neck jumper shirt

I really like this style of top, not only is it a 'two in one' piece so you don't have to layer up, but I think they look smart and are practical at the same time.  It is light weight but being a polo neck would make it perfect for a chilly office on an autumn day. I am a fan of polo neck tops as I hate getting a chill down my neck, so this easily made its way into my basket.

Mustard fine cable knit dress

This purchase was a little out of my comfort zone. The colour is not something I would normally choose, but I loved it and felt it was very season appropriate - so thought I'd give it a whirl. I really like the style, with the shirt collar detail - again I think this makes it a little smarter, but the knit means its still practical as well. Plus it's so easy just to throw on in the morning and go, always a winning factor with me. They also did this in grey and black, which I may have to go back and sneakily purchase ;-)

Collar detail grey jumper

Again this style is so easy to make you feel a little smarter but without sacrificing the warmth. The detail around the neck is so pretty (also means you don't have to think about jewellery, another time save!) I went safe with the grey as I felt it would go with a lot more but thy did do it in gorgeous autumnal burgundy and green.

Black high neck detail sleeveless blouse

I seem to have a theme in this haul with either neck detail or polo neck items don't I?? Ha, well this also seems to fit that theme as it's both! I really liked the metal detail on the neck and thought it would dress up an outfit easily and would go with absolutely everything. I like the 'Rock Chick' vibe and think I might wear it with my chunky boots and skinny jeans, with a smokey eye!

Burgundy cross front blouse

This is the perfect autumn piece in my eyes! I love the colour and style and think it works well for both day and evening. I've already planned to wear it with my leather skirt and a dark lip (I'm thinking NARS velvet matte lip pencil in damned) on an evening out I'm planning. I think it's the perfect transition piece from summer to autumn.

Black skinny jeans

These are a staple with me and I own loads of different colours. I like this style as they are low rise, which suits the blouses and jumper styles I like to wear. You can never have too many skinny jeans as far as I'm concerned!

Giraffe snuggle pyjamas

OMG, I cannot even describe how soft and snugly these pyjamas are! I bought them on a bit of a whim as I thought they were cute and silly, but I love them so much, they are so comfy and warm for the cool evening. I have told anyone who will listen how amazing they are and have already been back and bought a few more colour varieties in the style. At £7 these are by far my most favourite item I own right now!! I highly recommend them.

Rose gold travel mug

My morning coffee just got better! Rose gold, what could be better!

Maui & Sons dark chocolate coated coconut chips

AMAZING! I am a little obsessed with these and always stock up whenever I nip into Primark. They taste amazing and are a healthy (ish!) alternative to a chocolate bar, but they really do hit the sweet craving spot. They are £1 a bag and I sprinkle them on porridge or ice cream but more often then not eat them straight from the bag. If you love coconut give these a try, you won't regret it!

That's it! phew! I better stay in with my cosy pyjamas for the rest of October to try and avoid spending anymore money!

Have a great day!

Rachel x

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

YouTubers Special: New Make-up Mini Haul

I am an avid YouTube watcher. I can easily spend an evening getting lost in the world of blogs, make-up videos, fashion (and of course funny cat videos!). I have been a huge lover of the 'Beauty Gurus' on Youtube and have been subscribed to a lot of them for many years. Two of my favourites are Tanya Burr and Fleur de Force. I have been a fan for years and have used there advice and tips on many occasions. So I was excited when they both had new launches this month of there beauty lines and picked up 3 things from FeelUnique to try.

I have purchased a few of the Lip Glosses and eyelashes for the Tanya Burr line in the past and loved them, but I was most excited to get my hands on her new cheek palettes. They incorporate a bronzer, blush and highlight. I had a similar palette from Nars which I purchased a few years ago and loved so much, but sadly I hit pan on all the products and it went to the great beauty heaven in the sky :-(. I have struggled since to find any similar palette that I like as much. I have bronzers, blushes and highlight separately that I enjoy using but I loved the ease of having everything in one palette. Anyway, ramble over! This Tanya Burr Rosy Flush cheek palette reminds me a lot of my old Nars one and I had to give it a go. I adore it! The colour pay of is amazing on all the products, a little goes along way. The bronzer is perfect on my skin tone, not too muddy or orange and its only got a slight shimmer which I much prefer. The blush is a lovely peach colour (similar to Nars Orgasm) and the highlight is delicate with very fine milled shimmer as opposed to great big piece of glitter you often find in cheaper products. Its a thumbs up from me so far, and at £8 its a complete bargain! I am sure it will sell out fast, so grab it here while you can at FeelUnique.

Fleur de Force is probably my favourite YouTuber to watch. I love her style and her vlogs. She likes similar styles and make-up to me and I often purchase things she has recommended and am rarely disappointed. I was very excited to try her new lip glosses and the eyelash line she has collaborated with Eyelure on.

I chose the colour 'Starry Night'. It is a beautiful plum colour which is perfect for the Autumn. I adore it. The colour payoff is amazing, its not too sticky but gives an amazing shine and is really comfortable to wear. I have had so many compliments from people when I wear it, and have recommended them to a lot of people to try. I have already place another order for a few more colours as I think they are that good and at £6.99 they are very affordably priced. There are lots of other great looking things in her line, have a look here.

I also purchased the eyelashes in the style 'Fleur loves lashes'. They are half lash false eyelashes, which I much prefer, not only because they are easier to apply (I am terrible at applying false eyelashes, it takes me ages!) but I also much prefer the more subtle yet pretty look that is achieved. These lashes are fabulous, they are light and the band is very thin and makes them look even more natural when applied. They also feel great quality and are competitively priced at £5.25. These are my new go to false lashes and I have already stock piled ready for the upcoming christmas party season!

Thats my little mini review and haul. Hope you enjoyed it! Till next time.

Rachel x

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Top 3 Products for September

It's that time again, another month gone! This year is going to be over before we know it!

I do love Autumn, leaves turning golden brown and crisp (but cold!) days. Plus I adore Autumn fashion - skirts, tights, boots and cosy jumpers before winter kicks in and it's the less flattering array of thick thermals!

It's been a busy month work wise again, but I have managed to try a few new products and have my top 3 to share with you.

TRESemmé Expert Selection runway collection 'Get Sleek' Hairspray

As I mentioned in my last blog (check it out here:, I have been trying a new hairspray this month. I have been converted! It is a truly fabulous hairspray. Holds a style brilliantly but is soft to touch and brushes out easily. The nozzle is slightly different to most hairsprays and acts more like an aerosol deodorant in application, which means you get a more even distribution of product. I would highly recommend trying this product. It's still on offer at Boots, with 3 TRESemm√© product for £9. I may have to stock up as this is a great deal as it retails around £5.99!

Cheeky freeze frame make-up setting spray

I got this on a whim when I was making, one of my frequent, ASOS orders. I haven't used a setting spray in a while and I've never heard of this brand before so thought I'd give it a whirl. I'm glad I did. It is a brilliant little product. Having the same consistency of most, more expensive setting sprays, and gives a light mist without drenching your face. On the days I use this (I sometimes forget as I do my makeup at 6.30am most days!) I really notice how much longer my makeup seems to last. This is excellent for me as I can work 12 hour days and like my makeup to have some staying power and this certainly seems to give it an extra boost. I would recommend giving it a try as I found it to be just as good as the Urban Decay setting sprays - sadly it's no longer available to purchase on it's own from ASOS but they do some great sets where it's included. I also may have to try out a few more from the 'Cheeky' range as they are relatively inexpensive and I really like the minimal but cool looking packaging.

Revlon colorburst lip butter in Sugar Plum

This is a re-discovery from last Autumn. I love deep plum lips during these months, but due to work, find that a very bright or deep colour can be a bit much for my everyday look, but I still like to enjoy a darker lip. These Revlon lip butters are amazing! The consistency is so soft and comfortable on the lips, plus you get just the right amount of colour and sheerness, so that it doesn't appear over the top. This colour is the perfect Autumn plum shade, I have a number of lipsticks from the range, but this is by far my favourite - I am so glad I pulled it out of my collection as it's, quite literally, put a big smile on my face. I have also found them on offer at Boots, 3 for the price of 2. I may have to see what new colours they have introduced..... ;-)

Well, that's my top products for another month. Hope you have a great week.

Rachel x

Saturday, 19 September 2015

My Current Haircare Routine

As I mentioned in my last blog, I have been struggling recently with dry, frizzy hair. I think its due to a combination of a damp summer mixed with air conditioned and heated hospital working. I also have to have my hair tied up for work and I think this has caused some damage recently too :-(.
 I have tried a few different product combinations and have finally discovered one that leaves my hair feeling soft, silky and sleek plus seems to have rectified any damage that has occurred.

I start off by using the John Frieda Luxurious volume touchably full shampoo and conditioner. It is for coloured treated hair as my blonde hair is sadly out of a bottle and not Au Natural. It lathers up brilliantly which I love in a shampoo as I always feel it is cleaned better when you get that luxurious lather. The conditioner leaves my hair feeling soft and easily manageable too, I tend to brush the conditioner through with my tangle teaser to make sure it is evenly distributed and this also gets all the knots out without pulling on the hair. It smells great too, not too strong but just a nice subtle floral scent. My hair just seems to love this combination and believe me I have tried a few recently!

After I have slightly towel dried my hair I put on pump of the Mark Hill MiracOILicious moroccan organ oil through the ends (too much at the roots makes my hair a bit flat and causes it to feel greasy quicker). This product was in my recent Top three products of August blog, and I still love it now. It really does seem to leave my hair feeling shiny, soft and silky.

My next step is to use a heat protector. Coloured hair gets damaged much quicker especially when exposed to heat so I never miss this step as not only do I always blow dry my hair but I tend to straighten my hair after washing, otherwise it gets a bit wild the next morning when I try to style it for work. I have been loving the Schwarzkopf got2b guardian angel 220 degrees heat protection. I have used this product on and off for years after seeing Fleur from Fleur De Force rave about it a number of years ago. I have tried others high end end and drug store in-between but I always come back to this one as it really does feel like it protects my hair amazingly.

Once my hair is dry and straightened I like to spritz it with a bit of hairspray just to keep my fringe in place and stop and fly aways. I had been loving the John Frieda continuous control firm hold hairspray, (featured in my Top 3 Products of July blog) which is definitely a brilliant hairspray. However, I was lured into a new purchase by something new and on offer in Boots. Its the TRESemme expert selection runway collection get sleek hairspray. I have been converted! It is a truly fabulous hairspray. It holds brilliantly but is soft to touch and brushes out easily. The nozzle is slightly different to most hairsprays and acts more like an aerosol deodorant in application, which means you get a more even distribution of product. I would highly recommend trying this product (It will probably feature in my September favourites too!).

Once I have got my style in place I'm good to go, with soft, sleek manageable hair. I am loving the result of this product combination and I recommend anyone struggling in the post Summer to Autumn weather with dry, unmanageable hair to give this combination a try.

I find that washing my hair only once to twice a week helps to reduce damage and frizz , so I like to use the Co-Lab Rio dry shampoo between washes to refresh my hair. It really is the best dry shampoo in my opinion and I no matter how many different ones I try I always come back to it. It does not dry my hair out and really does make it appear fresh.

Thats it for today, until next week. Rachel x

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Look Fantastic Birthday Beauty Box

I have always been a big fan of Look Fantastic, and since the launch one year ago have intermittently purchased they're monthly beauty box. I've always been relatively impressed with them as they generally provide a good selection of products. It was with this in mind that I decided to go for the 1st Birthday beauty box for September.

I was expecting great things with it being a birthday box, but if I'm honest was slightly disappointed. The products included are good quality and are all things that I will use, but I was left a little underwhelmed. They're are no make up products which I find a little disappointing, as I would have thought they'd want to showcase pieces from all of the departments that they stock, especially with it being a special edition box. Nether the less the products are all great quality.

Caudalie vinosource

There are 2 Caudalie products in the box this month, both sample sizes. They are the Vinosource S.0.S Thirst Quenching Serum and the Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet. I have used Caudalie products before and always been impressed with them. I am a big fan of their beauty elixir. These products claim to increase hydration and reduce redness and sensitivity. I have dry skin so am always wiling to try products that aim to hydrate the skin. The weather here in the UK is changing to a lot cooler (not that we've had much of a summer), so will definitely be trying these out this month as my skin may need a little bit of rescuing.

Codage scrubbing cream

This is a brand I have not heard of before, so I am very interested to try this product. Again this is a sample sized product. I have used Philosophy 'micro delivery' peel before, which has a scrub base and loved the results, although found it a little time consuming as you need to use two products. This seems a similar idea, claiming to eliminate dead skin cells and smooth the complexion. I love the feeling you get after exfoliating the skin but always worry it will leave my skin even dryer, so will be interested to see how my skin reacts to this product.

Bliss fabulous foaming facial wash

This is another sample sized product, which would be great to use for traveling. Bliss is a brand that I have heard off but never used any products from them before. I have wanted to try them but they are expensive and I have never heard enough good things about them to take the plunge, so I am excited to see what this is like. It says it's a 2 in 1 cleanser and exfoliator, that removes makeup while gently exfoliating the skin. I'll be interested to see if it really does remove all my make up as I usually have to either use a cleansing oil or balm before a facial wash to ensure that all my make up is removed.

TanWorx Tan Maintainer

This is the only product I probably won't use for what it is intended for. I don't tan (pasty white skin remember!) and I don't have a tan to extend so its not something that I will fully be able to see any results from. I will however probably use it as a moisturiser, as it is made by Monu skincare which I have used their 'skin perfector' moisturiser before and really liked the formulation.

Professional Sebastian shampoo and conditioner

I like the fact you got both the shampoo and conditioner, as I hate it when you just get one or the other as I am a firm believer in using the same shampoo and conditioner combo (not necessarily because they are always better but because my OCD likes me to use the same products!) Again these are sample sizes. I received the strengthen and repair shampoo and conditioner. My hair at the moment is going through a dry, frizzy stage so I am looking forward to trying these and seeing if they can fix my frizz. I have used Sebastian products before and the shine define flexible hairsprays is one of the best I have ever used, I just can't justify the price tag to repurchase it as it is not a cheap brand to buy from.

Phyto Phytokeratine extreme conditioner

This is the only full sized product in the box (at least I think it's full size, if not it is definitely a deluxe sample size). It is a leave in conditioner treatment for dry, damaged hair. You can use it before blow drying as a conditioner treatment and it also provides heat protection for up to 220 degrees. I like the idea of a two in one product that helps repair my hair but also protects it when I blow dry and straighten my hair. I have used Phyto's repair creams before and found them to be brilliant for dry, frizzy hair, so I am pretty sure I am going to really like this product.

That's it for what I received in this months beauty box. It was very skin care and hair care heavy, which isn't a bad thing as I am always wanting to try out new beauty products of any kind, but I am disappointed that they did not mix things up a little more. I did also received a few vouchers worth around £40, for money off different products which was a nice addition as well this month, plus you get 20% of any of the full sized products of the samples received in the box if you want to purchase them after trying them out.

I think next time I get the urge to splurge on a beauty box I will try a different beauty box to Look Fantastic, but they are definitely up they're for one of the best beauty boxes on the market, especially as they don't charge a monthly subscription service or postage. If you fancy giving this box a try they are still available to order from Look Fantastic.

Until next time, Rachel x

Monday, 7 September 2015

Top 3 Products for August

It's the end of the month again! We haven't had much of a summer but I am so excited for Autumn. It is my favourite season, I love it when the leaves start turning and the berry colours which all start popping up around this time of year.

Anyway, back to my top products for August. I have had a fairly quiet month, been really busy at work but I have still had time to find some products I love.

Mark Hill MiracOILicious Moroccan Argan Oil

My hair has been feeling a bit dried out this month, I have been going to the gym a bit more and the humidity combined with this seems to have an adverse reaction on my hair! I picked this up on a whim as it was on offer in Boots (you know how much I love an offer!) I use it after I have washed my hair before drying and styling and it feels amazing! I only use one pump to make sure I don't overload, but a little goes a long long way. It makes my hair feel soft, silky and manageable, which has been brilliant after the gym, especially with the increase washing of hair washing that this incurs! I have used Moroccan Oil before and I think this is a great alternative at a fraction of the price, a great drug store find in my eyes and one I intend to keep using.

Origins Clear Improvements - Active charcoal mask

I think the gym and humidity has had the same effect on my skin as it has on my hair, as it's felt a bit dull and dry. I love the Origins overnight moisture mask, but felt I needed a bit extra now and again, so thought I'd try another of their products in the hope it would have the same effect, and it did! I've been using this once or twice a week dependant on how my skins feeling (and how much time I have) and it really has made a big difference. I have had less break outs and my skin has been looking glowy and fresh. It is a bit messy to use as it is very thick and obviously black in colour, so make sure you don't use it near anything white (a mistake I made initially, but it does wash out easily), it dries relatively quickly and washes off easily. I am really impressed with this product, another 5 star from Origins and I will definitely be on the look out for more Origins products to try as we go into Autumn and Winter to keep my skin in great condition.

Seventeen Falsiefeye HD Mascara

I saw a review on this ages ago by Wayne Goss (Goss Makeup Artist on YouTube) but never got round to trying it out. He raved about how amazing it was for a drug store mascara at lengthening lashes and giving great volume. I wanted to try a new mascara as I often like to switch about, as I think I have a bit of a mascara addiction. I was browsing in Boots where they had an offer on Seventeen products, so thought I would give it a go. It is AMAZING! Not only does it give great length but it lasts all day at work without flaking. I am obsessed with it (and even went and bought it in brown as well). If you are after an affordable drug store mascara that it brilliant, I recommend giving this a try! A five star product at an affordable price, thanks Wayne!

That's it for another month of top products! Looking forward to Autumn and seeing what September has to bring.

Rachel x