Monday, 23 June 2014

Phil Smith Life's a Beach | Hair Review



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I've decided that I've just got to tell you about this little beauty of a hair product which is great for getting those beachy summer waves.  I started using Phil Smith's Life's a Beach Sea Salt Spray a while  ago after picking it up in the supermarket.  Its essentially a sea salt spray designed to give tousled, carefree summer waves and can be used on both damp and dry hair.


I mainly use it on damp hair after I've washed and conditioned it and then dry it sometimes with a diffuser (as they recommend) but mostly not, as I find diffusing time consuming so I just give it a bit of a blast with the hairdryer.  As you'd expect the more spray you use, the better the hold (more of a curl), I spray then scrunch a bit before using the hairdryer.  Its not gloopy but you do need to wash your hands afterwards.  The result is a head full of natural waves that you can get your fingers through, its not sticky and doesn't look unnatural and it helps with frizz too.


Originally, this product came in slightly different packaging and had a really nice smell, I think it was sort of like coconut which I loved.  Then the manufacturers changed it and the coconut smell disappeared which I was sad about as the fragrance really lingered and I could smell it on my hair all day long, the new smell isn't horrible but its not coconut!  Luckily for me, the bones of the product, and by that I mean how it styles your hair, didn't change so I was happy about that as I hate it when they change something for the better but I end up wishing they'd left it alone!  I have got through loads of this product few months, not least because for me it doesn't last very long, I suspect I might spray on a bit too much but I've also got quite a lot of hair so its not really a surprise.  However, the price is very reasonable, around £4.00 and very often is on special offer or two for one so I stock up when I can.

So Phil Smith's Life's a Beach is now one of my favourite products for curly hair, if you want beachy waves, its well worth checking out.

Maria
xx






Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The Power of Pilates | Little Video Chat

As you know I've mentioned before a few times how much I love my pilates lessons on a Wednesday evening.  I've been going to class with my lovely mother-in-law for nearly four years now, regardless of what's been going on in my life and and over that time pilates has always been there and has always helped me to relax and feel good even when times have been stressful.

I've had four teachers and my current teacher is amazing, she's lots of fun and really challenges us and gets the best out of her class.  A teacher you have a rapport with makes all the difference, plus she corrects us when we get it wrong which is exactly what she should be doing, how else are we going to learn?

So anyway, I thought I'd have a little chat with you about pilates and how I feel about it, and about how I've benefited from it and if you're thinking about joining a class maybe this video will help.  Now, I know it won't be everybody's cup of tea, but that's cool, please only watch if you want to.

Maria
xx

 

Gradual Self Tanners | The Review!

Hi beauties, I've finally got round to writing about the self tanners I've been testing for the past few weeks, its taken a while to get this one posted but here it is.

I'm very fair skinned and while that's not a major problem for me I do like a bit of a glow, particularly on my legs in the summer.  I've tried permanent tans such as Fake Bake and St Tropez and they just don't suit me, they are almost always too dark and make me look a bit odd, like someone with my colouring shouldn't be that orange!

This is why I really like the gradual moisturising lotion tanners.  They've changed a lot in the last few years, I remember the first one I tried, it was a Johnsons one, the smell was awful and I had to be careful to rub it in properly because otherwise after an hour or so I'd be left with tan streaks.  The problem with being so pale is that any hint of colour on top of my paleness shows, so I have to be careful with application.

Anyway, the last couple of years I've used Dove which has served me very well and I was happy with the smell and the colour and Dove is such a nice moisturiser anyway.  This year I thought I'd try something a bit different.  So I chose three (clearly I'm hoping for a long, hot summer!), they are


Fake Bake Sport
Garnier Summer Body
Palmers Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze




So now onto the review.

First up is Fake Bake Sport.  I bought this from Beautybay.com for £10 after reading really good reviews about this product.  Unfortunately it has to be said I don't agree with the reviews!  The smell is terrible, really strong.  Its got all this really good stuff in it, like Vitamin E and special moisturisers and its paraben free (which is good) but the tan was too orangey for me and, like I said, I couldn't stand the smell.  So I wouldn't buy this again.  I only used it once, so I've got a lot left! 

The next one I tried was the Palmers Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze.  This tanner is for all skin types, there's not a separate one for fair or dark.  It smells very much like Palmers Cocoa Butter (well, it would, wouldn't it) and though there is a hint of that "tan" smell its not unbearable, actually its quite nice.  I put it on my legs first and by lunchtime they were very definitely no longer the alabaster colour they'd been first thing in the morning.  Clearly, on pale people this stuff makes a difference quickly!  I only needed one application of this, I didn't put it on the next day as my legs were already quite a nice colour for me but if I'd had darker skin I'd have put on another lot and got a really nice tanned glow!   I made the mistake of not exfoliating properly so my knees were a bit orange but not drastic, but that's my fault, not Palmers.  I'm trying to remember how much it was, it wasn't much, about £4 I think, I got it in Superdrug but you can also get it in the supermarkets, I've definitely seen it there.  Its going to take me a while to get through this bottle but I'd definitely get it again.

Finally, I picked up Garnier Summer Body, I got this for £5 in Superdrug.  I'd seen an advert for it and I knew they did two types, a light one for fairer skin and a medium one for slightly darker skin.  I really like this product.  For a start the smell is nice, yes you can smell the tanning smell a bit (but you're never going to be able to get away from that until come clever person figures out a way to get rid of it) but a more overwhelming scent that of the fruit extracts that its got in it, I think its apricot or peach and its really lovely.  This moisturiser is fast absorbing so you can put it on quickly and its not sticky and does leave a really lovely glow, not overly dark so you are able to build up over a few days.  I also found that it took a while to fade, I had a couple of days where I didn't use it and my legs still looked good.  

So, in conclusion, my favourite out of the three is definitely the Garnier Summer Body, purely because I would use this daily as a moisturiser, as well as the benefit of a nice glow, you are left with a glorious nourished skin feeling whereas the Palmers, although really nice, is quite dark on me and I'd use this if I needed a "fix" i.e. lots of colour quickly!  I think the Palmers would be absolutely perfect if I had slightly darker skin though and again, a great moisturiser, as I love anything with cocoa butter in it.  

So there you go.  I'd be really interested to hear if you've tried any gradual tanners and which ones you recommend.

Maria
xx


Monday, 16 June 2014

My Five Minute Face or Make Up In A Rush!


Hey beautiful bloggers, I've been meaning to write up this one for a while now, as someone who doesn't have much time in the mornings (but then, who does?), I've pretty much perfected a 'five minute face' which I thought I'd share with you.  Its a natural look that I use quite a lot of the time and glam up with a bright lipstick when I feel like it!





So, these are the products that I use:

Step 1
After moisturising I start with my Witch Hazel Concealer, a trusty product I've been using for years.  Its not an under eye concealer, more of a blemish "controller".  Depending on the state of my face sometimes I need a little dot of concealer which takes literally a couple of seconds, other times I need 'A' Level Art to be able to cover everything up!

Step 2
Next up is my Pixi Primer, I recently did a blog post on this which you can read here if you want.  I love this primer and will use it all the time now.  Just need a couple of dots and it completely transforms my skin and really does give a beautiful base.

Step 3
After that its foundation time, I'm still using my No7 Lift and Luminate in "Cool Vanilla", the added bonus that this has an SPF in it so its perfect for this time of year, its not too heavy either which is another reason I like it.  I don't use a lot of foundation as I find that it accentuates my fine lines (and the not so fine ones!) so I use a little on my chin, nose, forehead and a touch on my cheeks and I use my fingers not a brush, I know this is personal preference, I've just never been able to get on with foundation brushes, its like I'm painting the spare room with emulsion paint, it always ends up looking too heavy on me.

Step 4
Next its eyes, I'm still having an affair with my Naked Basics palette so I use a pale one (either Foxy or W.O.S) over the entire lid then finish off blending the Naked 2 pale brown colour.  I'm definitely making an inroad into this colour, its quite worrying, I just know that I'll run out of this one first!

Step 5
Up comes my faithful friend Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara in black, either the normal one or the one with the curled brush (this is really great, if you haven't tried it, you should, check it out in my What's in My Make Up Bag video on YouTube).  My eyelashes are really pale so I just pop a couple of coats on both the upper and lower lashes and then finish off with an eyeliner, I always line after I've mascara-ed but that's obviously personal choice too.  At the moment I'm using my Ruby & Millie eyeliner, it looks black in the photo but its actually very dark blue.  Its a very soft kohl which is why I love it so much, I hate those liners that drag against your eyelids.

Step 6
Cheeks are next, I'm using three blushers at the moment.  First I dab a bit of my Revlon Cream Blush on (its called Charmed Enchantment), that gives a pinky flushed look.  Then I put a swoosh of Revlon Highlighter on, the one I'm using is called Rose Glow and finally finish off with a teensy bit of Smashbox cream highlighter on the top of my cheek bones, the one I'm using is a recent purchase from Amazon, called Aglow, it was a bit of a bargain, £7 which is quite good for a Smashbox product I thought.

Step 7
Lastly its lipstick which I do literally as I'm out of the door but its always after my breakfast and teeth clean which is why I'm not wearing any in the photo.  The one I'm in love with at the moment is a new purchase from Max Factor called Bewitching Coral, its actually really more pink than coral but I love it anyway.

So there we are.  As you can see from the stopwatch on my phone I did this in just under 5 minutes but to be fair I timed myself at least 6 or 7 times and sometimes I was a bit over 5 minutes and one time I was about 7 minutes but that was a heavy concealer day!

I'd love to hear any time saving tips you might have when applying make up, do let me know if you've got any!

Maria
xx





Sunday, 15 June 2014

Beauty Aware Weekly Round Up #4



Hey there beauty bloggers, long time no see, speak or read!  I've been away from blogging for far longer than I intended for various reasons, namely ill kids and half term but hey, that's boring news and here I am back with the Beauty Aware Weekly Round Up for a fourth time (which admittedly is two weeks after number three but there we are!).

Glossybox

So the first thing I want to share with you is that I this week I signed up to Glossybox.  I've been umming and arring for ages about whether to sign up for one of these beauty boxes and I did quite a lot of research beforehand.  I really liked the look of Glossybox, what swung it in the end was that I could unsubscribe at any time, so if I think they aren't worth the money and want to stop them, I can.  I had an email on Friday to say that it had been dispatched so it will be here next week, I'm so excited, I can't wait to see what's in it, I'll let you know what I think.


iPhone

This week was also the week that I finally gave up my Blackberry and got an iPhone.  My current contract ended and I was due an upgrade and I'd had nothing but problems with this last Blackberry which was a pity as I've had them for years without anything going wrong.  Anyway, long story short, I went down the iPhone route and I'm so glad I did, I love my new iPhone 5C (its blue).  One of the first things I did was get a cover for it though as it was immediately apparent that it would not last the week in my handbag without one!  I wanted something a bit different and I'd seen a Cath Kidston one which I really liked but it didn't fit and neither did the Radley one despite claiming to be suitable.  In the end I got a plain blue one from Tescos for £9.99 and its perfectly nice but I do need some sort of screen cover, which I'll probably get next week.  If anyone can recommend nice covers please do let me know!





iPhone 5C


What I've been wearing

This week I've been living in my Sainsburys dresses.  I recently discovered the Sainsburys TU range and I've bought three or four nice summer dresses from there.  They wash really well and the sizings seem to be true, by that I mean a size 14 which is what I am, is actually a 14 and not a large 12 or a small 16.  I'm doing a post on the Sainsburys TU range quite soon seeing as I'm wearing them a lot at the moment!  I've also been wearing a new nail varnish, from my favourite Maybelline Color Show range, this time the colour is No 342 Coral Craze.  I'm loving this colour as it seems to go with everything and quite a lot of my lipsticks are this sort of colour so its an easy colour to wear.


Maybelline Color Show 342 Coral Craze


Websites/Offers

Elf Cosmetics
Free shipping when you spend £10 or more and a huge range of SPF items, there's also loads of great bargains in the clearance section, about 50% off in some cases.

allbeauty.com
This is the place to go if you're after anything from Elizabeth Arden because there's a sale on, up to 80% off, so if you're running out of your 8 hour cream its definitely worth a look.

Monsoon
Ooh, I was really interested in this one, Monsoon have a sale on, there's some really nice tops and dresses online at the moment.  I also popped into my local Monsoon in town yesterday to have a look, there's a small selection in store as well but most of it seems to be online.  I got a great summer dress last year that I've literally worn again and again and I love to death.  I'm really hoping I can find another amazing bargain that I love this year.

I'm off now to catch up on my blog reading as I am way, way behind, the husband has taken the kids out for a couple of hours so it's just me and the dog, I'm off to get the kettle on.

Have a good week.

Maria
xx



Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Favourite Beauty Products | May

Hey there beauty bloggers, its that time again, time for the beauty favourites from the previous month.  This month I've made a video because I'm really behind on my blogging due to half term and poorly kids and it's nearly the middle of June so May feels like ages ago now.

As you can see from the photo, its a bit of an eclectic mix (yet again!) but these were the products I found myself reaching for again and again thus being given the prestigious award of "May Favourites"!


Hope you enjoy the video.

Maria
xx