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Photo Credit: The Body Shop

Our cult lip balm in a pot. Gives colour, flavour and moisture for more kissable lips.

At the cost of just £2, this product is a complete and utter bargain! Upon opening The Body Shop‘s Born Lippy – Raspberry, the waft of sweet raspberries filled my nostrils. I mean, it smells good enough to eat! Trying to avoid the temptation of eating the whole thing, I began by lathering it on my lips. Although my self-control was at an all-time high, I succumbed to the idea of a cheeky lick of my lips (for this review, of course). Anyway, I was surprised that it even tasted like raspberries too…

 

Once ‘Born Lippy’ was on my lips, I noticed that it had the look of a lip tint, the shine of a gloss and the feel of an ordinary lip balm. It hydrated, and conditioned my lips while giving them that sought-after “kissable”/”just kissed” look. One thing to note about this product is that it comes in a pot. This means that you’ll need to apply it with your fingertips – and the formula is quite sticky. Although my fingertips would stick together, my lips wouldn’t. Also, although it came in a 10ml pot, this goes a long way – mine, in particular, has lasted months! I’ve got a confession to make… I don’t just own the raspberry flavour, I own the Satsuma Shimmer  and Watermelon ‘Born Lippies’ too.

All of them do the same job, are packaged the same and have the same sticky texture but they each look, smell, and taste different. For example, the Watermelon one gives a nude-peachy shine while Satsuma Shimmer gives a orangey-golden glittery tint to the lips. Finally, it’s obvious that the Watermelon flavour would taste and smell like watermelons, while Satsuma Shimmer tastes and smells like oranges – that’s a given really…

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Photo Credit:
My Magic Foundation is a miracle in a bottle that transforms skin for all ages, skin tones and skin types. I have worked with laboratories for five years to create a “hyper-intelligent” formula that gives full-coverage yet feels completely weightless, with all the anti-ageing and protective benefits of a luxury skin cream. It conceals imperfections, glides on like a dream, and literally feels like a second skin. Whether your skin needs just a bit of perfecting, or you struggle with a frustrating issue like acne, melasma or rosacea, my Magic Foundation will give you a perfect looking skin day, every day!
Charlotte Tilbury‘s Magic Foundation was my top beauty buy of 2015. On the website, it’s described as a “miracle foundation that transforms skin of all ages, skin-tones, and skin types” – I couldn’t agree more.

 

Apparently, this product was five years in the making. Its “hyper-intelligent” formula covers imperfections beautifully but feels completely weightless on the skin. What’s more, it packs all the protective and anti-ageing benefits of a premium cream into a tiny 30ml bottle, meaning that you can wear it on its own – instead of your moisturiser.

 

Although the bottle is small, a little of this foundation goes a long way – providing that you use a good brush/beauty blender to spread it evenly. Personally, I find that this foundation is very easy to blend and has maximum staying power. So, whether you’re accidentally rubbing your face or walking out in the wind/rain, it doesn’t budge.

 

As you may know, I used to suffer from acne, so I’ve got plenty of acne scars (which this conceals very well). If your skin needs a pick-me-up or  you struggle form skin problems (like me) choose Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation because it’ll keep you skin looking “on fleek”.

 

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Photo Credit: Charlotte Tilbury

My secret’s out… Over the past 20 years I’ve been mixing my own age-defying skincare known in the industry as CHARLOTTE’S MAGIC CREAM. I’ve been testing it backstage for years and models and my regular clients are already hooked. It’s a secret mix of patented anti-age ingredients, a hyaluronic acid booster plus floral extracts that lift and transform tired skin in an instant! Think of a wilting flower that’s just been watered – skin is flooded with moisture for a glowing complexion in a flash, no matter how dehydrated or lacklustre your skin may look.

A break-through, multi-tasking ingredient, the BioNymph Peptide Complex, fights the ageing process on all fronts: it stimulates collagen production and cell energy and fights free radicals, to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and smooth the skin. A hyaluronic acid booster called Sodium Hyaluronate floods skin with moisture, re-plumping the skin. And an infusion of rose hip oil and vitamin E bring your complexion back to life. Whether you’re stressed at your desk, dehydrated after a long-haul flight or an all-night hedonist with hungover skin, cheat the appearance of 8 hours sleep with CHARLOTTE’S MAGIC CREAM, for a lasting dewy, plumped-up finish. It’s one of my seven wonders for your skin!

Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream is incredible. It may be expensive, but it lasts a very long time so it works out cheaper in the long run…

So, this cream costs £70 but is so worth it! I mean, you can’t put a price on good skin. It had been in the pipeline for 20 years, but now it’s finally out on the beauty counters of many prestigious department stores. Prior to unveiling the cream commercially, Charlotte had been using it on models and regular clients for many years. All of them were hooked, including me!

 

I mean, it’s not just Victoria who has a secret… Charlotte Tilbury’s got one too… But, what’s hers? This cream. It includes a secret mix of patented anti-age ingredients, a hyaluronic acid booster, and flower extracts to lift and transform tired looking skin in an instant. It leaves your skin looking lively with a glowing complexion, no matter how dehydrated your skin is.

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Photo Credit: Nip + Fab

Nip + Fab Viper Venom Micro Blur Primer [RRP: £19.95]

The latest addition to our Viper Venom range, the Micro Blur Fix works to prime, blur and mattify the skin, for an instant flawless complexion so you’re selfie ready.   This innovative priming serum contains a concentrated blend of high-tech ingredients to reduce the appearance of pores, diminish signs of oil on the skin and give an instant blurring effect for matte, selfie ready skin. The addition of wonder ingredient  SYN®-AKE also works to instantly freeze lines for a smooth finish.

What’s the secret behind a great selfie? This! Nip + Fab‘s Viper Venom Micro Blur Fix is the only primer you’ll ever need… Apart from the fact that it smells amazing (like all other Nip + Fab products), it primes, blurs and mattifies the skin resulting in that flawless picture-perfect look. Kylie Jenner [brand ambassador of Nip + Fab] describes this product as the go-to primer if you’re looking for “a dewy selfie look”.

The latest addition to Nip + Fab’s Viper Venom range includes “a concentrated blend of high-tech ingredients” which reduce the look of pores, and absorb excess oils to showcase matte, selfie-ready skin. Nip + Fab’s website states that the best time to wear this is directly after cleansing our skin, advising that we should leave it to sink in for five minutes before applying our make-up.

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Photo Credit: Nip + Fab

Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Serum [RRP: £19.95]

A lightweight serum that delivers an instant shot of moisture to dehydrated skin. Hyaluronic acid and delicate velvet flower blend together for an intensive hydrating effect that leaves skin feeling comforted and looking plumper with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles reduced.

A little bit of de-ja-vu never hurt nobody…  Now, we’re on to one of my favourite beauty buys of the moment! Nip + Fab’s Dragon’s Blood Fix Serum, enriched with velvet flower, is a lightweight serum that seeps into the skin quickly and effectively. Its main job is to plump and moisturise the skin. Voted ‘Best Intensive Hydrating Serum’ by Superdrug, Dragon’s Blood Fix sits perfectly underneath make-up but could also be mixed with a foundation of your choice – as I later found out.

Being someone who likes to experiment, I’ve tried wearing it underneath, on-top of as well as with my make-up [as mentioned in the above paragraph]. But, I’ve found that it works best with! I like to think of myself as a trend-setter so I decided to purchase the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops and mix it with Nip + Fab’s Dragon Blood Fix and the result was that of a high coverage tinted moisturiser.

 

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Photo Credit: M.A.C

M.A.C Studio Fix Powder Plus [Day, £22]

Studio Fix is a powder and foundation in one that combines good coverage with ease of application. Designed to be used dry, the powder and pigments create a matte, velvety texture. It contains Silica, which helps to maintain a matte finish by absorbing oils on the skin, as well as Talc to provide a smoother, less reflective, matte finish. The talc has been milled to a microscopic size to provide a beautiful texture while allowing the skin to breathe. It is available in a wide range of colours. It can be applied with a brush, sponge, or a powder puff.

As you know, I tend to have oily, combination and acne-prone skin. It’s relatively hard to find a foundation that doesn’t break me out. Although I prefer the feel of cream foundations, I’ve been using powder ones for a while now and they seems to get the job done. What’s more, they don’t break me out as they absorb all the excess oils.

M.A.C‘s Studio Fix Powder Plus is one of the best daywear foundations I have ever used. I love it because it’s fragrant-free, and comes in a range of colours that won’t leave your skin looking ashy. The addition of Talc gives my skin a matte-finish. I found that this foundation sits on the skin really well, covering up all of its imperfections. I tend to apply it with Real Techniques‘ Miracle Complexion Sponge because it gives a more flawless coverage.

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Photo Credit: Rodial

Rodial Airbrush Make-Up [Night, £35]

A versatile, heavy duty foundation paste with buildable coverage, this is an absolute wonder product for achieving flawless, photo ready skin with airbrush effect. This unique formula offers ‘airbrush correction’ in one-step for perfect and instant camouflage with a satin-luminous finish. This thick creamy paste, despite the heavy coverage it provides, will feel lightweight on the skin and sits beautifully. Available in 4 shades. Shade 02 is ideal for those with a neutral beige, medium complexion with a slightly warmer tone.

Another bit of de-ja-vu, anyone? Back we go to this bad boy! I may not like the look and feel of this foundation in the daytime, but I love it in the nighttime. As I said in the previous post, Rodial‘s Airbrush Make-Up has a PVA-glue paste type of texture that is hard to glide on alone. Ideally, you’d need some sort of oil to liquidise it and make it easier to apply. I use The Body Shop‘s Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil and it works an absolute treat!

Once applied, you’ll notice that it gives a camouflage effect, covering up even the most minuscule of imperfections. It reveals amazing coverage even when the smallest amount of product is used.

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Photo Credit: Cargo Cosmetics

Cargo Contour Palette [Day, £36.00]

Contouring made easy! Trio of expertly coordinated shades and textures to contour, color and highlight the face.

I watch my fair share of make-up tutorial videos, and they all say the same thing… If you’re using a powder foundation, do not use a liquid or cream contour kit. So, seeing as I love to use M.A.C’s Studio Fix Powder Plus, it’s makes sense to use a powder contour palette… Enter Cargo‘s Contour palette!

This is one of those contour palettes that I cannot get enough of… Regardless of its price, this powder contour palette will be your best friend for life. It comes in the most beautiful array of shades, providing a sheer and an easy to blend coverage. I use Real Techniques’ Sculpting Brush to apply it as I find that it works the best.

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Photo Credit: Anastasia Beverly Hills

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit [Night, $40]

This best-selling, easy-to-use palette contains three highlighting and three contouring shades that work together to help you sculpt, define, and enhance your natural features. Create the illusion of higher cheekbones, a smaller forehead, a softer jawline, or a slimmer nose with these smooth, velvety formulas that blend seamlessly while imparting a subtle, dewy sheen.

Every MUA I know of seems to own an Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit. I mean, I sometimes cannot believe how much hype surrounds it.

I love this stuff. I’m not lying when I say that it’s one of the best cream contour kits out there. However, you need a lot of patience when applying this product. The best way to apply this product is with your fingers, and then blending with a beauty blender of your choice. Please bear in mind that this is by far the most difficult contour kit to blend.

I find that the sellotape trick works fabulously on this product! Start by sellotaping the areas of your face in which you wish to contour and highlight, then add the cream contour  on top, stripping the pieces away when finished to reveal fine sculpting lines ready to blend away. Without the sellotape trick, you’d find it extremely messy and difficult to blend.

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Photo Credit: L.A Girl

L.A. Girl Matte Pigment Gloss in Dreamy [Day, $5.00]

Blurring the lines between lipstick and lip gloss, Matte Pigment Gloss has already become a favorite of makeup artists, blogger and fans. These 16 bold shades provide rich, intense color in a flat finish for all day wear. The long wearing formula goes on as a high pigmented liquid and dries to a flat matte finish. Leaving lips colored in gorgeous velvety perfection that last and lasts.

If you know me, you’d know that I’m obsessed with these matte pigmented lip glosses. They come in 16 colours that last almost all day without transferring. I would say that you need to find a colour that’s right for you [from my experience] because not all of them look great on. Once you find the right colour for you, make sure you stick to it!

L.A. Girl‘s matte pigmented lip gloss is cheap, and very easy to apply using the doe-foot lip brush attached. Ideally, you’d need to apply two coats if you want to see the colour pop. If you wish to wear more than two coats, please be aware that the gloss becomes really sticky on the lips and won’t dry quick enough.

The only bad thing I’ve got to say about this product is that it feels tacky on the lips. Although it didn’t dry my lips out, the gloss dried up on my lips instantly and begun flaking off towards the end of the day. But, for $5, it’s a complete and utter bargain!

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Photo Credit: Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Red Carpet Red [Night, £23]

Create the illusion of fuller, wider lips with my Matte Revolution – for lips that look lit from within. It’s a trick I use all the time on photo shoots, using lighting trickery, pigments and powders, and have been working for years to re-create this effect in the slick of 1 lipstick. Now everyone can create this full, matte lip effect in a long-lasting, buildable, hydrating formula – it’s the matte lipstick of the future! Exclusively enriched with Lipstick Tree extract which protects lips and is a natural anti-oxidant, and Orchid Extract which soothes and hydrates for a soft, buildable cashmere finish. Available in 10 modern-matte shades for all skin tones – 1 for each of my signature looks. Red Carpet Red is a true ruby red to bestow Hollywood style wow-factor – think Scarlett Johansson, Marilyn Monroe and Michelle Williams

My favourite lipstick ever is from Charlotte Tilbury‘s range of Matte Revolution lipsticks! I’ve got one in the shade: ‘Red Carpet Red’ and I can’t be without it… Although I’ve chosen Red Carpet Red, there are plenty of other beautiful shades to choose from. I wear it both during the day and at night [when I’m out] and I get complimented on it everywhere I go. Matte lipsticks work best on my lips because the smooth-look suits me more than that of the shiny.

I may have tiny lips, but this lipstick creates the illusion that I’ve got fuller and wider lips in a flash! The only bad thing I’ve got to say about it product is that it does smudge and transfer pretty easily, I found out in the most embarrassing way. I’d smile at people with bright red teeth [from the lipstick] and as you can imagine, that’s not a good look! Other than that, I’m obsessed with it and can’t get enough. My top tip would be: make sure you schedule check-ups regularly when you’re out – this’ll eliminate embarrassing situations where you’re smiling at someone with bright red teeth!

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Photo Credit: Boots

MaxFactor Masterpiece High Volume Mascara [RRP:£9.99]

Finding a high impact volumising mascara that doesn’t leave your lashes looking clumpy and clogged can be a challenge.  Masterpiece Max Mascara is he next generation of mascara.  It delivers bold, thick lashes with up to 400% volume* but defines and smoothes at the same time for a surprisingly, sleek effect.  One swipe of its high tech IFX brush gives a chic, catwalk finish in seconds – no wonder it was the official mascara of Milan Fashion Week! For beautifully framed eyes check out Masterpiece Mascara, also available as Waterproof.

I refuse to change this mascara because: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’… MaxFactor‘s Masterpiece Max Mascara is perfect for my naturally long-ish eyelashes. With two coats of this stuff, all my lashes get covered and are lifted/curled to reveal even longer-looking lashes. Being a lover of thick eyelashes, I promise that no mascara will give you a thickness as good as this one does!

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Photo Credit: Lush Cosmetics

LUSH Tea Tree Water [RRP: £8.50]

Keep skin clear and refreshed. Tea tree is antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial, so can help keep away the bacteria that can cause spots. Grapefruit is rich in vitamins and is also lightly astringent on the skin, whilst juniperberry is antiseptic and helps keep skin clean and clear. Use any time of day to keep skin refreshed, or to remove traces of makeup or cleanser.

Third time lucky – #DeJaVu, please welcome the Holy Grail of all Toner Waters… There’s not much to say about this product apart from: it’s perfect. I am loving LUSH‘s products at the minute and am starting to use everything from there. Whether it’s their bath bombes, lip scrubs, cleansers, masks or toners, I guarantee you won’t find a brand as natural and cost effective.

Anyway, back to Tea Tree Water, I spray this stuff on to set my make-up and bizarrely, it leaves my skin looking as though I’m not wearing anything. I find that it also gives my skin a natural glow… So, if you’re looking for a spray that sets your make-up in place and absorbs quickly – this is your jam!

Again, I give these products 5***** because I don’t think my make-up would look as good as it does without them!

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Me since using John Frieda

I’ve always had a love affair with my hair, since I was a little girl… Although my natural hair colour is dark brown with a red tint, I’ve dyed it a hell of a lot to the point where it’s lost its identity. My experiments include adding highlights, lowlights, dying it red, ginger, plum, midnight blue, you name it – I’ve tried it. However, I’d never really thought of dying it blonde, until last year!

In the Spring of 2015, I decided to dip-dye my hair before going on holiday because I wanted that sun-kissed look and feel to my hair. I enjoyed being “half-blonde” so much that when I got back, I decided that I wanted the full transformation. Not being one to wait around, I booked an appointment with my hairdresser and had it done straight away.

Now, this post isn’t about hair dye nor is it about how to begin the transition from brunette to blonde… Instead, this post is about how to maintain your blonde locks after dying them – as well as a chance for me to proclaim my undying love for John Frieda (the haircare brand, of course). John Frieda is a celebrity hairdresser and the founder of the John Frieda salons and product ranges. But, in 2002, John Frieda sold his product businesses to Kao Corporation, a Japan-based company. Although Frieda sold his product ranges, they’re still available to buy across America, UK amongst other countries.

When I was a redhead, my go-to shampoo and conditioner came from his Radiant Red Colour range. My hair gradually became glossier and more radiant with the colour feeling better enhanced after each wash. I used the Brilliant Brunette range throughout my time as a brunette and found that they gave an added richness to my hair as well as leaving it smelling sweet like chocolate. So, it’s no surprise that I had to buy the Sheer Blonde Go Blonder range when I completed the transition to blonde…

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Photo Credit: John Frieda

I’ll begin by discussing my favourite product – the Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray. Whether you’ve highlighted your hair or are a natural blonde, this product is amazing! Your hair will appear at least two shades lighter after just one use. What’s more, it’ll leave your hair feeling soft, looking shiny and photo-ready. A tip when using this product would be to spray it all over your hair before styling and/or going out into the sun. The heat from the sun or styling appliance will further lighten your hair, giving it that just coloured look.

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Photo Credit: John Frieda

Although I love them all, my second favourite product has to be the sulfate-free Sheer Blonde Go Blonder conditioning treatment. I love this stuff because it repairs the hair, and the more you use it, the softer and more manageable your hair becomes. John Frieda recommends that you apply this onto your hair after shampooing for three minutes (if you’re using it every day) or for 15 if you’re using it once a week.

We all know that dying our hair often leaves it dry, malnourished and brittle. If this is the case, hairdressers often recommend that you try a Brazilian Keratin treatment which repairs from root to tip, helping to restore its strength thus making it easier to maintain. However, if you end up going ahead with the keratin treatment, you won’t be able to use shampoos, conditioners and hair masks which contain sulfate. Therefore, John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde Go Blonder conditioning treatment is the perfect option.
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Photo Credit: John Frieda
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Photo Credit: John Frieda
Lastly, onto the Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Highlight Activating Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner… One thing to note about this is that there are more than one version of this shampoo. I’ve opted for the highlight activating one (which comes with a pump) because it lightens and moisturises the hair too. Although these shampoos have sulfate in them, they’re amazing. Mine last a hell of a long time and hold the colour in place pretty well. The rest is a given really, it cleans, and leaves your hair silky smooth.

 

P.S. These products are not to be used as a means of changing your hair colour. They’re simply there to lighten and brighten your blonde shades, enhancing and locking in the colour that’s already there.

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Photo Credit: Fullips

Finally, a tool for fuller, healthier-looking lips without the injections or chemicals.  Small enough to carry in your makeup bag, simply use the Lip Enhancer before applying your lipstick or lip gloss.

Here is something that is an essential tool to any make-up bag. Fullips Lip Enhancer is my favourite way of getting naturally pouty, plump lips in seconds… All the way from America, but available on eBay, Fullips costs a mere $14.99 – compared to the price of injecting our lips with fillers.

Essentially, it’s a plastic cap [which comes in three shapes] that you place on your lips and suck into until it sticks. Once it sticks, you’ll start to feel a pulling sensation as though your lips are being suctioned. Leave it on for 15-30 seconds and then release by placing one finger in between the cap and your lips — viola!

If your lips are still not as pouty and plump as you want them to be, you can perform the action again, keeping it on for longer until you get your desired effect. However, the longer you keep it on for the likelier your lips are to bruise.

Once you’ve got the lips you’ve always wanted, you can go ahead and apply your gloss or lipstick straightaway. Don’t worry though because the plumpness lasts for hours after using Fullips.

I own a Fullips Medium Oval [as seen in the picture above]. Fullips Medium Oval can be used vertically or horizontally to target both or just the one lip. I’ve tried this product out and can officially say that it actually works without damaging your lips. I’m not going to lie, it takes a while to get used to – but once you get used to it it’ll become a staple in your make-up routine.

A little bit of advice: exfoliate your lips and the surrounding area before you use this tool to reveal smoother, softer lips. Oh, and, please wash it before and after use! #BeHygienic

For more information about Fullips, watch this video. It’ll give you insight into the company’s background and shows you how to use the lip enhancer because moving images speak louder than words, right?

Finally, I give Fullips 5***** because since turning to it for help, I cannot see myself completing my lip-look without it.

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My Fullips result

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Photo Credit: LUSH

This is a light, cocoa butter-free moisturiser that doesn’t sit on the skin or overload it. It vanishes completely, leaving beautifully soft, lightly fragranced skin. It’s ideal for using in the morning under make-up, or to refresh you during the day. Essential oils of lavender, neroli and geranium oils help to balance the skin and give it a light scent.

Never in my life have I been as obsessed about a product as I am about LUSH‘s Vanishing Cream. I could write paragraphs and paragraphs about how amazing it is and that still wouldn’t do it justice!

This cream is the single best thing I have ever received in my whole, entire life. You must think that I’m extremely sad to be singing the praises of a materialistic object, but I cannot tell you how long I have been searching for something as good as this. I mean, I’ve only got a sample of the stuff but I’m already completely hooked.

Allow me to explain why I’m so over-excited about this product… After just three applications, I have noticed that my acne scars have faded considerably! What’s more, it’s soothed my breakouts and prevented more from forming.

The full list of ingredients are as follows: Linseed InfusionWater (Aqua)Rose WaterLavender Honey WaterOrganic Cold Pressed Grapeseed Oil, HoneyStearic AcidOrganic Jojoba OilWitch Hazel ExtractFair Trade Shea ButterCetearyl AlcoholTriethanolamineCamellia OilLavender OilNeroli OilGeranium OilGlycerineTincture of Benzoin*Geraniol*Limonene*Linalool,  PerfumeMethylparabenPropylparaben.

If you need other reasons to buy this product, I’ve got plenty more advantages coming up… It hydrates your skin for 24 hours [tried and tested], it’s a great base for make-up, and the product lasts a heck of a long time as a little goes an actual long way. For example, even though I’ve applied it on three separate occasions, I still have most of my sample left.

All in all, it smells like lavender, glides on like a dream, keeps breakouts at bay while soothing rogue spots and fading current acne scarring. There are absolutely no downsides to this product as far as I’m concerned.

I give this product 5♡♡♡♡♡ because hearts beat stars any day of the week…

RRP: £18.95

 

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Photo Credit: Bootea

I’ll perform a much needed, intensive cleanse of your digestive system to help achieve the results you want. I’ll leave you feeling energised and motivated to reach your goals.

Last year, I wanted to lose weight desperately in time for my holiday. I tried everything from eating healthy, weight loss tablets and the gym but nothing helped – so I tried Bootea as a last resort.

Although teatoxes generally get a lot of bad press, that doesn’t stop the big names in showbiz from endorsing them. Yes, they can be damaging to our bodies in the long run… But, if you stick to the guidelines and don’t overdo it – they can be really helpful!

One thing to note about teatoxes is that there are plenty out there, all of which claim to do the same thing i.e. shift the weight. Each teatox has its fair share of pros and cons, today I’m focusing on Bootea’s.

Let’s begin with a bit of background into the brand… Bootea is a British health supplements company that strives to promote an active, healthy and balanced lifestyle. It’s one of the very few firms that discourages its customers from going on a diet, as it believes that the best way to lose weight is to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

According to the website, Bootea uses only the most natural of ingredients for our bodies. All of its ingredients are pure, natural and preservative free.

As with even the most herbal of products, there are always going to be some side-effects. Bootea’s side-effects include nausea, vomiting or prolonged diarrhoea.

The aim of Bootea is to give you the boost you need to get back on track with your healthy eating and active lifestyle. The ingredients used in our teas have been used for centuries for health and wellbeing purposes but it is only now we have finally brought all these unique ingredients into one perfect, rounded product. Teatox is a fancy word we use to describe the way the body goes through a natural process of elimination, by removing unwanted ‘toxins’ & built up waste matter, from your body via the lungs, kidneys, bowels and skin.

Okay, so each box includes two types of tea – a Daytime Detox to be drunk in the morning, and Bedtime Cleanse to be drunk at night.  The pyramid-shaped teabags seemed to be of high-quality and included first class ingredients.

Daytime Detox includes: Chinese Oolong tea, mate leaves, ginger root, fennel seeds, lemongrass, dandelion leaf, ginseng root, gotu kola leaves, nettle leaves. Bedtime Cleanse on the other hand includes: Senna leaves, peppermint leaves, fenugreek seeds, liquorice root, burdock root, hawthorn leaves, valerian root, psyllium seeds.

REMEMBER: the Daytime Detox has ingredients which assist you to reach your fitness goals [including caffeine] while Bedtime Cleanse acts as a laxative, cleansing your colon from the inside [excluding caffeine].

The way it works is, you should drink a Daytime Detox every morning and a Bedtime Cleanse every second night (starting on Day One). Pour a cup of nearly boiling water over the teabag/s and let it infuse for 3-5 minutes before drinking – this’ll also help it to cool down too, of course!

In terms of taste, Daytime Detox is no different to your bog-standard green tea while Bedtime Cleanse reminds me of pure peppermint tea. However, if green or peppermint tea aren’t sweet enough for you, Bootea recommends adding some natural sweeteners.

Okay, let’s talk effects! Although, being honest, I didn’t get much of an energy boost [as stated on the website] from Daytime Detox, I did feel lighter and less hungry after drinking it. As far as the Bedtime Cleanse is concerned, I spent a lot of time in the toilet the morning after – so I guess the laxative part is true to its word.

Did it work? Yes, I can actually say that together with a healthy lifestyle, I managed to lose 10kg in 14 days. Would I do it again? Probably, but not straight afterwards as that isn’t recommended.

If you want to try it for yourself, you can purchase it from Holland & Barrett or online costing £19.99.

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My result with Bootea

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Me in #Balmaination

You may remember that H&M collaborated with Balmain, last year. Well, I was one of the lucky few who got the chance to purchase a piece from the collection. I queued up like everyone else to buy at least one of the products from the exclusive range.

Although I originally wanted the velvet Black and Gold beaded dress (as seen on Kylie Jenner), I tried it on and realised that it wasn’t the one for me. Instead, I opted to go for the Emerald Green velvet dress (as seen on Ellie Goulding). I was won over by this figure-hugging dress because it made some parts of my body look slimmer while accentuating others.

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Kylie Jenner
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Ellie Goulding

Anyway, enough about me, let’s get down to the real reason why I’m writing this… It was revealed last month that H&M has seen a 10pc surge in sales over the Christmas period – beating its rivals. The Swedish company which is famed for its fast-fashion but low cost clothes more than doubled its revenue in December, 2015 in comparison to November and it is suggested that H&M x Balmain may well be the reason!

Having said that, last year wasn’t the first time that H&M joined forces with a premium brand. In 2014, H&M collaborated with Vera Wang on an exclusive line. But, the collaboration with Vera Wang wasn’t as popular as last year’s #Balmaination. Why is that? Well, it’s probably down to the fact that the Kardashians/Jenners were heavily publicised wearing the most luxurious of pieces from Olivier Rousteing’s collection in that year.

 

The Balmain x H&M collaboration was announced at the Billboard Music Awards in May, 2015. Of course, a fashion frenzy followed and everyone counted down the days until November 5th, when the collection was unveiled to the public both in store and online.

 

November 5th came and I headed down to Central London’s Oxford Street to purchase my chosen garment. But, I wasn’t ready for what I was about to endure… Millions of people were queuing up outside the store. The queue was almost a mile long. Apparently, people had been queuing up from the night before, and were given wristbands which allocated them a time to enter the store.

 

I waited patiently until it was my turn, but was one of the last to go in. The whole Balmaination section was bordering on empty, and the crowds outside were becoming hostile. Then, out of nowhere I heard screams as people started forcing their way into the store trying to enter. H&M was forced to close as the shop assistants and managers feared for their safety.

On my way out, I heard that people were checking H&M’s online store, to see if anything was available. But, by that time everything was all sold out… When I got back home, I read that people who had bought something from the range were selling them online for double, triple, or quadruple the price.

Why was everyone going crazy over Balmain? I think it’s the price reduction that clinched it. I checked on Balmain’s website, and dresses are sold at ludicrously unaffordable prices (for working class people). So, seeing that prices were being reduced by H&M meant that there was a higher demand.

My star rating for Balmain’s #Balmaination would be 5***** I absolutely love this dress and cannot wait to show it off on a night out…

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Photo Credit: Toni & Guy

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best at looking after my lion’s mane. Over time, my hair has become very frizzy, dry and coarse – making it almost impossible to brush. To top it all off, I bleach it every six weeks as a means of maintaining my new hair colour… So, as you can imagine, I needed something that’ll inject some form of life into it, returning it to its former glory. That’s when I heard about Toni & Guy‘s Nanokeratin Treatment…

At a whopping price of £130, this Nanokeratin treatment is said to bring hair to its optimum health whilst reducing styling time by 80%. Apparently, this intensive treatment is also meant to make the hair easier to manage, lasting up to 12 weeks.

Yes, it’s pretty expensive, but Toni & Guy are one of – if not the best hairdressing brands on the high-street. Plus, if you think of how much it’d cost to have a salon blow-dry each week for 12 weeks, it works out a lot cheaper!

The two-hour long treatment starts with the usual wash [to give it a deep cleanse] and blow-dry [because the formula needs to be applied on dry hair]. Then, the hairdresser will mix up the formula made up of hand-selected vitamins and essential oils; it is then left to soak into the hair 45 minutes.

This mixture is designed to deeply penetrate into the most tiny of fibres in order to activate what’s called the: ‘inner hair cortex’, creating a shield that protects against environmental elements such as UV rays and other aggressors.

Once the mixture has absorbed into the hair, you’ll notice that it’ll feel straw-like to touch. But, when the hairdresser returns to blow-dry it into the hair, that’s when the magic happens! After blow-drying, the hairdresser will go over it with straighteners to lock in the vitamins. Your hair will feel a bit greasy afterwards, but that’s just from the treatment’s residue.

If you go ahead with this treatment, be prepared to not wash your hair for three days. Try not to get caught in the rain, and wear a shower-cap when showering. Also, please be aware that you cannot use shampoos and conditioners that include sulphate in them. As far as I’m aware, label.m [a Toni & Guy branded hair care brand], produce the best sulphate-free shampoos, I use Diamond Dust. Having said that, your hairdresser will recommend the right one for you.

A top tip post-treatment would be to reduce the amount of times you wash your hair. The less times your hair is exposed to water, the longer the treatment will last. I mean, mine lasted the full 12 weeks because I washed my hair once p/w.

To conclude, this treatment is most definitely worth every penny. I recommend it to those who have lost their hair’s elasticity. I promise that your hair will feel smoother, shinier and softer to touch, conditioned and healthy from deep within…

I would like to give this treatment a 5***** because I’ve tried it twice and would never go back to ordinary hair care treatments.

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Photo Credit: Dove

Late last month, I begun taking part in the Dove Beauty Bar challenge – which entails washing my face with nothing but the soap for seven days. Now, I’m very late in the game because this was a trending topic in the #bloggersphere years ago. But, I found a bar of Dove’s soap lying around the house recently and thought that I’d give it a go.

Every morning, I’d wake up and wash my face with Dove’s Beauty  Bar, doing the same at night. I’ve got to admit that this was the first time that I’d used soap on my face  – as I’m used to liquid cleansers. However, I’m a firm believer in the saying: ‘there’s a first time for everything’.

According to research, Dove had previously released an advert where women washed their faces with nothing but the Beauty Bar for a total of seven days. They were prohibited from looking in the mirror so that they’d become more receptive to the changes in their skin since using the soap. Although I’m not brave enough to spend a week without looking in the mirror, I tried the challenge nonetheless but hated every second…

Let’s start off with the positives – the bar is soft, smooth, pure and very luxurious! Other pros include the fact that it’s cheap to buy and easy to use. The negatives? It dries my skin out quickly and the moisturising effect wears off soon after. I also found that the soap irritated my extremely sensitive eyes.

All in all, I wouldn’t recommend using this product on your face. Having said that, it’s great to wash your body with! I’d give Dove’s Beauty Bar 1* because it just didn’t work for me…