28 February 2016

February Empties

This week I'm back blogging with another round of empties. In my last empties post I talked about my New Year spending ban... Well that didn't quite happen, but I am continuing to make the conscious effort of using up what I have before I purchasing something new. So, I guess it's the thought that counts (bblogger justification for you) Here are my thoughts on my latest finished products...

I picked this Schwarzkopf Supersoft Repair & Care Shampoo up for only a pound during a quick dash around Home Bargains. I'm not going to lie, this isn't the most amazing shampoo I've ever tried, but it does do a good job of making your hair touchably soft and clean without leaving it with that squeaky feeling.

I've recently come to the conclusion that I will always need a micellar cleansing water in my skin care collection. You can't beat them for removing make-up quickly and efficiently without leaving that annoying residue behind that most cream cleansers do. This is Garnier's travel size version of their Micellar Cleansing water and it's a steal at £1.99. I have since bought their Pure Active version which I also really like, but honestly neither of them beat the Bioderma versions in my eyes.

Next up is a product that I've used up countless times and one that I will always have around. Witch's Blemish Gel is great for popping on acne, pimples, rashes, insects bites and anything of the like. It's fast acting and soothing, and I especially like it if I find I'm having a break out on my chest or back.

Both mascaras that I've finished up lately are fantastic value and readily available at Boots, which makes them super handy for picking up when I'm in need or replacements. The first one is Maybelline's The Rocket Mascara in Very Black. This is a great everyday mascara that you can layer up to create fab volume and length. The formula is glossy and like the name very black! It's usually on offer at Boots for around £7.99. The second mascara that I've used up in L'Oreal's Mega Volume Miss Manga Punky Mascara. This usually retails for around £9.99 and is my preference out of the two. I find this gives me tonnes of volume in just one coat and a much more dramatic look which I love for the evenings. I also prefer the bristle wand in this one compared to the rubber one in The Rocket mascara, bur both are great.

Last up is my travel sized tube of Origins Modern Friction. I have talked about this face scrub a few times before and I still absolutely love it. This exfoliator uses rice starch in a cream formula to gently remove dry, dead skin with ease. If you haven't tried this yet, then you really must. It's on the pricier side at £23 for 75ml but it's 100% worth it.

I'd love to know what products you've been using up and re-purchasing lately? xoxo


21 February 2016

A Few Updates To My Skin Care Routine...

I managed to established a good and balanced skin care routine for myself late last year that had been working really well for me, but I had been feeling that I was lacking a few things that I knew could take my routine to the next level. I had never been massively fussed on my skin care routine until last year, but as I got older I had sub consciously known that the better care I take of my skin now, the better it will be in later years. Your 20's are the decade to really implement good habits that will last a life time.

(Oscar approves of my latest acquisitions...)

First up is my Skin Doctors Youth Cell Eye Cream (£24.95). I had been on the look out for a good eye cream for a while, but I didn't want anything too heavy under my make up. I read a few reviews and discovered this Skin Doctors one. This has a lovely light texture and absorbs quickly into the skin, I also find it doesn't interfere with my eye make up which is a massive plus. It contains plant stem cell active ingredients to help delay the appearance of ageing. I unfortunately developed mild  eczema on my eyelids around New Year before I bought this and I'd hoped this might ease it slightly. Unfortunately it doesn't help it, so I currently only apply it to my under my eye area. If you're new to eye creams, I'd highly recommend this as an introduction.

Next up is my Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray (£22). I had the travel size version of this in my Selfridges Summer Beauty Box and I instantly became hooked. This is the first make up setting spray that I've tried but they are now widely available at the drugstore. I love that this one not only sets my make up, but keeps my shiny nose at bay too. I find I can't leave the house in the morning without a few spritzes of this on my face.

As well as being on the look out for an eye cream to add into my routine I had also been on the look out for a good quality cleansing oil. India (The Jewel Beauty) recommended I try Origins Clean Energy gentle cleansing oil. At £23.50 it's not cheap, but like all Origin's products it's formulated without parabens, mineral oil, synthetic colours and fragrances and without animal products, which is a massive selling point for me. This removes my make up with ease and leaves my skin feel clean, but not tight. I also think it feels really luxurious on your skin and I love the herbal scent. The only downside is that it doesn't come with a pump as standard, I had to purchase mine additionally.

My LaCura Caviar Day Cream (£6.99) was not an intentional purchase, but one that I'm so glad I made. I had heard of this Aldi dupe when it first came out in September and the hype surrounding it. It has been compared to La Prairie's Skin Caviar Luxe Cream (£298 for 50ml) but at a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough off the mark to snap up a pot up first time around. When I heard that Aldi had re-stocked I begged Garrad to pick me up two pots on his way home from work, one for me and one for India. Beauty Blogger issues... This is a gorgeously thick, emollient cream that is a fabulous base for applying make up. it doesn't leave my skin feeling oily in the slightest but it does leave me with a plump and fresh completion. I haven't been using this long enough to comment on its anti aging properties, but I honestly love it none the less.

Last up is my most recent acquisition but what seems to be my little saviour. As I mentioned earlier I have developed eczema on both my eyelids, I have been doing some research and found that it's not un-common to develop small areas of eczema in localized areas across the body and sadly mine had developed on my eyelids. Despite it being mild, I haven't been able to wear and eye shadow or liner for the past few weeks and it can become sore and irritated as the day goes on. After quickly discovering that my Skin Doctors Eye Cream wasn't helping and neither was good old E45 cream, I had to look for an alternative solution. In my research I stumbled across The Skin Shop's Dry Eye Gel. This product came with tonnes of reviews of people suffering with the same condition as me, and raving about how well this little product had helped. And at £6.95 I didn't have much to lose by trying it. This eye gel is a very light moisturising gel containing the active ingredient Cardiospermum and it has been specifically developed for use around the eyes. It is designed not to aggravate any existing conditions and it helps maintain healthy skin. Like my Origins cleanser it contains no animal products and only uses natural ingredients. This so far has worked miracles compared to anything else I've tried. Fingers crossed it provides a long term solution.

I'd love to know if you've tried any of these products and if they've worked for you. Please also leave me any skin care recommendations in the comments below, I'd love to hear what's been working for you lately... xoxo


14 February 2016

'I've got a lovely bunch of Coconuts...'

Since moving into our own house last year, my boyfriend and I have been buying home-wares like crazy. I've always loved home furnishings and interiors, and I've always decorated my bedrooms from floor to ceiling. But now I have a whole house to play with, I'm in a whole new decorating ball game, and it's awesome!

Wall art has been on my agenda lately and I've been on the lookout for some Instagram-esq quotes to hang around the house (I do love a good quote... ) and Coconut Lane has been the answer to my prayers.

Established in October 2015, this new company is a bloggers dream. They sell gorgeous pieces of unique jewelry, iPhone cases and fabulous framed quotes. I was fortunate enough to be contacted by the lovely Jess, their CEO and Co-Founder to join them as a #CoconutQueen Ambassador. This enables my awesome readers to receive 20% off orders, and gives me the opportunity to guest blog for them, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for me!

I fell in love with the quote 'Live, Laugh, Love, Brunch' as it kind of sums up mine and my boyfriend's personality, life is nothing without any of these, especially brunch! Plus I think it looks great framed in our kitchen.

I also couldn't resist their Queen Crown ring in Rose Gold, at £9 it was just too pretty to pass up. I'm still into #RoseGoldEverything and I think this looks gorgeous with my faux Cartier Love bracelet.

Be sure to use lippyinthecity20 at the checkout to receive 20% off all your Coconut Lane purchases, I'd love to know what you go for!


07 February 2016

Environ Collagen Boost Facial Experience at Karma Beauty: The Review

So far 2016 has been non-stop and life has been pretty hectic to say the least. I love keeping myself busy and working hard, but when the opportunity comes along for a little 'me time', I'm not one to turn it down. It's all about the balance, work hard, play hard.

This week my Mum and I were invited to experience an Environ Collagen Boost Facial at the wonderful Karma Beauty in Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan. We felt like we had been working a little too hard recently so we jumped at the chance of a little bit of pampering.

When we arrived we were greeted by Mel and her team who offered us drinks and the chance to relax whilst we waited for our appointment. The salon has a relaxed and cosy feel and we immediately felt at ease. We couldn't wait to experience our facials!

Karma Beauty is situated just off the main high street in Cowbridge and benefits from private parking and late night appointments. Perfect for a mid-week after work treat.

Before we got started Mel explained to to my Mum and I the benefits of the Environ system and what results we were likely to expect. The Environ Collagen Boost Facial is a vitamin A and peptide-packed treatment that promises to boost collagen, soften fine lines and tighten lax skin.

Environ was developed in the 1980's by Dr Des Fernandes who has been rated amongst the top five plastic surgeons in the world. He was the first to use Vitamin A in high enough dose that help counteract the harmful effects of the environment, pollution and stress, and create radiant, visibly improved skin.

Through intensive research he discovered the essential role vitamin A plays in skin health. He became determined to create a skin care range that would maintain healthy skin, especially as the incidence of sun-related skin disorders was growing worldwide.

Mum and I shared a treatment room so we had our facials side by side which was lovely, it enabled us to chat and discuss our day whilst enjoying the treatment.

Mel started off by removing my make up with a cleansing oil that felt amazing, she then used the same product for a second cleanse to really clean and hydrate my skin. After my double cleanse I had a mixture of collagen and vitamin A brushed all over my face and neck. This was an usual sensation as it had a cool, jelly like consistency. 

It was massaged into my face using an Ionzyme DF facial machine which uses a small, flat ended metal wand to penetrate the high doses of vitamins and collagen into the skins surface, it almost feels like an ultrasound on your face

After 10 mins, what was left of the collagen and vitamin A was removed with a gorgeously warm towel. Then to finish  I was treated to a moisturizing face, neck and shoulder massage which was heavenly.

Mel then left Mum and I to come round to our senses and brought us a glass of chilled water to hydrate. When we went back to reception the team had prepared individual treatment sheets outlining the different products that had been used on us, and what skin care they would recommend to us going forward. 

A week after my Collagen Boost Facial, my skin is still glowing and radiant. I have found that my usually pesky dry patches are fading and my skin appears plumper. Even my friends have been noticing the difference! I will definitely be back for another treatment soon, I'm 100% an Environ convert.

Call Karma Beauty on 01446 771649 for more information or to book your Environ Collagen Boost Facial today.


Thank you so much to the lovely Mel and the girls at Karma Beauty for inviting me along to experience their Environ Collagen Boost Facial. The facial I received was for review purposes and complimentary, all opinions are my own.
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