Friday, 27 December 2013

Sleek Face Form - Contour, Highlight and Blush


'With multi-tasking elements such as contour powder, highlighter and/or blusher or bronzer, Face Form is the ultimate face definition kit in one neat compact designed to suit all skin tones.Please note: Face Form in Fair and Light come with contour powder, highlighter and blush. Face Form in Medium and Dark come available with contour powder, highlighter and a bronzer.'

It's no secret, I love contouring more than any other part of my makeup routine.  It's mainly because I have a massive moon face once I put on foundation, and nobody wants a moon face.  Anyone with skin like my own will know how daunting it is to contour your face - you constantly buy bronzer after bronzer and usually end up looking like you have some sort of skin condition - It's either orange, patchy or dirty looking.    Then there's the shimmer - even the matte bronzers I've used just love to put that little bit of shimmer in there.  The light hits it and bam, moon face again. 

Until I got this bad boy.  The Sleek Face Form - I am in love. 


The Sleek Face Form kit is a palette with a bronzer, highlight and blush, and comes in four different shades to suit your skin tone (Fair, Light, Medium, Dark).  I, of course, have the Fair one - being that I am 99% sure I'm in some way related to Caspar the friendly ghost.

I apply the contour powder first (you can see where I apply it in my How to Contour and Highlight blog - here), then highlight, and then blush.  I always do the highlighter before blush so that it doesn't give a solid stripe, because the blush blends over it a bit and softens it for a more natural look.

The bronzer in this kit is perfect for pale skin - it isn't orange toned, blends really well and gives a shadow effect to the face rather than an orange stripe.  I apply mine using an ecotools tapered blush brush, or a real techniques contour brush - depending on how strong I want my contouring.

The highlight has a slight pinky tone and gives a nice sheen to the top of the cheekbones, tip of the nose and cupids bow, without making you look like you just high-5'd a disco ball with your face.

The blush is a lovely pink with gold tones, it's really subtle and gives a nice healthy glow, and can be built up to give more of a dramatic look.  Again, I apply this with my ecotools tapered blush brush (because it is THE softest brush in all the land). 


I've had this kit for almost 6 months, used it every single day and have only just hit pan on the bronzer - the highlight and blush are still going strong!  It hasn't broken me out at all, and stays on all day.

I will definitely be repurchasing this when I run out - at £9.99 for 20g of high quality product, it's a bargain.  And the packaging is extremely convenient when you're getting ready in a rush.

The Sleek Face Form kit is available to purchase from SleekBoots and Superdrug.



As always, thanks for reading and if you've tried this product, or found my review helpful, leave a comment below! You can also like my Facebook page to be updated with new posts, or follow my blog on BlogLovin' 



Rach xo

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

My NSpa Daily Skincare Routine


NSpa is a brand of skincare, bodycare and haircare created by the experts at the UK's Number 1 Day Spa - Nirvana spa.  The products are all dermatologically approved and paraben free, and none of the products or raw ingredients are tested on animals.  

After trying out the NSpa Beauty Rituals Beauty Box, I picked up a few more of their products and have fallen into a skincare routine that works perfectly for me, and my skin has never looked or felt better.  I've even switched to a light/sheer coverage foundation. I never thought that would happen! 

The Beauty Rituals Skincare range is a 4-Step system with multiple options for each step, which allows you to create a skincare routine completely tailored to your own personal needs and preferences. The first step is Cleanse, second is Exfoliate, followed by Treat and then you finish up with Moisturise.


For my cleanser, I use either the Melting Cleansing Gel, which you can read my review of here, or the Ultimate Cleansing Tonic, which I tend to use the most.  It's a one-step cleanser which is half water based and half oil/silicone based. You shake it up, squirt it onto a cotton wool pad and well, wipe your face until your makeup's all gone.  It has Witch hazel for toning and Ginseng for moisturising, so my skin is left soft and healthy rather than tight and dry.






Step 2 is exfoliate, and the product I use most is the Skin Renewal Gel.  It has no exfoliating beads, but uses natural fruit extracts to exfoliate instead.  Orange, lemon and bilberry extracts break down dead skin cells and leave my skin smooth and fresh.  And it's gentle enough that it does the job without irritating my sensitive skin!


The third step is Treat - my favourite step and probably my favourite NSpa product!  I use the Deep Hydrating Facial Oil.  It comes in a 50ml bottle with a dropper, and you use about 3 drops for your entire face and neck.  Again, it uses natural oils to give your skin a well deserved treat - Baobab oil, rich in vitamins A, D, E and F helps improve skin elasticity, Rosehip oil helps restore and strengthen, whilst Avocado and Jojoba oils rehydrate and condition the skin.  It's not too greasy, you only need a tiny bit as it goes a very long way, and it keeps my skin soft all day.  I honestly think that this product has something to do with my acne scars having lightened over the past month or so.  I love it.

Finally, I moisturise.  I use two products for this step - the first is the Youthful Eye Cream, an intensive moisturiser for the delicate eye area, that still feels super light and absorbs really well.  It's a tiny pot and it lasts a really long time because you need so little.  I can feel a difference as soon as I put it on, and it really helps to refresh my eyes after a long day at work looking at a computer screen.

The second moisturiser I use is the Night Repair Cream - a silicone based, very rich moisturiser with ceramides, ginseng, Vitamin E and sweet almond oil to make your skin feel super super soft and hydrated.  It's a light pink, very thick cream, and a little goes a really, really long way.
The great thing about this product (apart from that it works really well, obviously) is that it has a dual purpose that NSpa could really make a lot of money from if they decided to - being silicone based, it makes an AMAZING primer.  My makeup glides on over it and stays in place all day.  And I don't get annoying dry patches, because my skin's so moisturised.  Double winner.

All of these products are available at ASDA stores, or on the ASDA website, and are currently on offer for an amazing 2 for £8.  I cannot recommend these products enough!

As always, thanks for reading and if you've tried the products, or found my review helpful, leave a comment below! You can also like my Facebook page to be updated with new posts, or follow my blog on BlogLovin' 



Rach xo

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

NSpa Beauty Rituals Beauty Box Review











Skincare is something I reeeeally try and keep up with, but generally skincare = lots of money, and if it's not lots of money, it's lots of chemicals and irritants disguised as rejuvinating, revitalising, refreshing and resurfacing goodness.  But my skin is so sensitive that even the high end stuff, like Elizabeth Arden, just breaks me out and makes my skin gross and teenage again, so I'm always a bit sceptical when I try something new, and pretty much feel like buying skincare products is the equivalent of throwing away my money.

So a couple of months ago I was walking around ASDA and saw that they had an NSpa range, and didn't even think twice about buying it, it would break me out and it'd be a waste, but then my boss pointed out that it was paraben free, and I looked closer, and the ingredients were just so nice! I picked up one of their beauty boxes with 4 products for £10, and decided to give it a shot - It's not like paying £30 for a face cream that would destroy my face, and at £2.50/product, it wouldn't be too bad if I hated them.

Spoiler alert: I don't think I'll ever use a different skincare brand. Oh My God, I love this stuff.



I'll run through the basics of NSpa before I go into detail about the products I have, for those who - like me - had never really considered them as a 'legit' skincare brand, and thought they were more of a 'supermarket's own' type of thing.

NSpa is a brand of skincare, bodycare and haircare created by the experts at the UK's Number 1 Day Spa - Nirvana spa.  The products are all dermatologically approved and paraben free, and none of the products or raw ingredients are tested on animals.  

It's a 4-Step system with multiple options for each step, which allows you to create a skincare routine completely tailored to your own personal needs and preferences. The first step is Cleanse, second is Exfoliate, followed by Treat and then you finish up with Moisturise.




So the beauty box that I got came with a melting cleansing gel (which sounded great seeing as I've completely cut out foaming face washes), a hot cloth polish (the one I was using previously was discontinued, sadface), an illuminating beauty serum and a brightening day cream with SPF 15.  They're all 50ml tubes, a pretty generous size for a trial-type product.

It's packaged in a really cute white box, tied with a bow, and opens up at the top in a way I can't describe with words, I'd need to use my hands, but it's really unusual and a nice touch.  The products are all individually wrapped in tissue paper and it makes the whole unboxing feel extra special.  It would make a lovely christmas or birthday gift!




The melting cleansing gel comes out of the tube as a gel (duh), you massage it into your skin in small circles for about 2 minutes, and it breaks down into an oil, which is so so good for removing makeup, and then you use a little bit of warm water so it turns milky, and wash it off.  My skin has never felt so clean without feeling tight and dry.

The hot cloth polish is really nice - it comes out as a thick creamy paste-y type of consistency (?) and you massage it onto dry skin, again in small circular motions.  I like to leave mine on for a few minutes to let it really get into my skin, then then rinse the muslin cloth (included in the box, and with the hot cloth polish bought alone) in hot water, wring it out and wipe away the cream.  There's a video on the NSpa YouTube page which shows the best way to do this, and I found that pretty helpful - they have videos for most of their products showing how to use them.  It leaves my skin so smooth, and again, doesn't dry out my face - the formulation is gentle enough to use daily as it uses natural fruit oils and citric acid to exfoliate rather than harsh synthetic chemicals.


Next up is the Illuminating beauty serum, which you apply 1 pump of to a clean face, after exfoliating.  It gives a nice glow to the skin and can be used over makeup for a pick-me-up part way through the day, without ruining your makeup.
And the Brightening Day Cream is applied as any other moisturiser would be, and is super light and non-greasy.  It has sooo many natural fruit oils and works really well for any skin type.

The box is currently on offer in ASDA for £8 and is DEFINITELY worth picking up, either for yourself or as a lovely christmas gift (the packaging is adorable) or if you don't fancy the sound of all of the products, the full-size ones are available at 2 for £8 at the moment, too!

So it's safe to say I loved that box, and instantly felt the need to pick up more products - which I will review separately to this, as it's getting a bit long and I'm sure everyone is sick of me by now!


As always, thanks for reading and if you've tried the products, or found my review helpful, leave a comment below! You can also like my Facebook page to be updated with new posts, or follow my blog on BlogLovin' 


Rach xo


Monday, 4 November 2013

October 2013 Glossybox Review



Glossybox is a monthly subscription of 5 high-end beauty product samples (with some full-size products sometimes, too) for £10 + £2.95 p+p)


You can earn Glossydots by reviewing the products in a quick survey, or by inviting friends, and redeem points for a free box.  Each survey is worth 50 points, and 1000 Glossydots = 1 free box, so if you review 5 products a month, every 5th Glossybox should be free.  You get 200 Glossydots for every friend that signs up and places an order. 

The October box was yet another disappointment from a formerly great company, and after opening this box, I immediately unsubscribed.  I'll keep this blog short, as there really isn't much to say about any of these products.







First up was Eva Professional Mystic Diamond - a hair oil that uses argan oil and diamond powder to supposedly nourish and regenerate your hair and give it extra shine power.  It made my hair pretty greasy, which I guess is almost the same as shine?  The sample was tiny so I couldn't possibly say if continued use would 'regenerate' my hair, but it all sounds very sci-fi to me so I think I'll stick to my BiOrganics hair oil.
RRP. £22.70/100ml, Expensive, probably not worth it.














Next is Cherubs Blush Cheek & Lip tint from MeMeMe, a brand that I actually loathe.  All of the products I have had from them have been poorly packaged, barely pigmented and not worth owning.  I tried it out nonetheless, and stick to my opinion of the products.  It hardly had any colour, zero staying power (how can they call it a stain???) and felt like gritty water.  Not nice.  RRP. £5.50/12ml.
















I also got a product from Monu, another brand that Glossybox keep insisting on including.  This time it was an illuminating primer.  It has SPF 15 which is the only redeeming feature I could find.  It didn't do a good job of priming my skin, and was quite drying.  RRP. £24.95/50ml.



















Next was Harmony Multi-Vit Serum from Premae.  I had to get my glossybox out and check that I'd actually got this because I couldn't remember it at all.  Turns out I did -  The packaging is bright yellow and looks really cheap and tacky, not something I'd pick up off a shelf.  I've used it a few times now since re-discovering that I had actually received it, and it feels pretty nice on the skin - light and quite refreshing, but it doesn't seem to do very much at all.  My make up doesn't last longer, and my skin doesn't feel any smoother, but it hasn't broken me out which is a plus.  It is a really nice idea though, a primer that acts as a shield against the chemicals etc in your makeup, but maybe just use makeup with less chemicals and a primer that works well? Each to their own though.  RRP. £22.50/50ml.













Finally, to top off the massive disappointment that was this box, it couldn't really have been anything other than a perfume sample.  I got a small sample of Killer Queen by Katy Perry.  It's nothing special really.  RRP. £38.50/100ml















And that concludes my Glossybox reviews!  I have just ordered a Latest In Beauty box, so I will be reviewing that once it arrives, and I have a TON of other stuff backed up waiting to be reviewed, but life has been pretty hectic recently, so I'm a bit behind!  I promise to be better from now on, though!







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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

September 2013 Glossybox Review

Glossybox is a monthly subscription of 5 high-end beauty product samples (with some full-size products sometimes, too) for £10 + £2.95 p+p)


You can earn Glossydots by reviewing the products in a quick survey, or by inviting friends, and redeem points for a free box.  Each survey is worth 50 points, and 1000 Glossydots = 1 free box, so if you review 5 products a month, every 5th Glossybox should be free.  You get 200 Glossydots for every friend that signs up and places an order. 

My review is sliiiightly late this month, but for a good reason - the box was rubbish and I have had NO motivation to write about the products whatsoever (that's a good reason, right?)  So I'm going to make this short and sweet.

 First up, the Toni and Guy Classic Shine and Gloss Serum.  This is a 30ml bottle (which I think is a good size for a serum, as it lasts a looong time) with a pump action, so you can easily control how much you get out.  It pretty much does what it says, but I find that if you use as much as the instructions tell you to, your hair will look and feel greasy, so if you do decide to spend the £7.19 on this product, use it sparingly.

Next, the product I dread getting every month, the bane of my Glossybox experience (and possibly my entire life), false lashes.   I'm tired all the time, I don't get enough sleep and my eyes generally aren't all that awake.  If I wear false lashes, they touch my eyebrows.  The only ones I can wear are half lashes or the shortest individual ones, but to be quite honest, I like my natural lashes (with a generous coating of mascara, anyway) so PLEASE, Glossybox, don't send me false lashes.  They will sit in a box with all my others that you have sent to me, and will never get used.  These ones are from eyelure and are pre-glued, which is probably handy for people who can use them.  I wouldn't know if it helps, because I can't wear them.  RRP £5.09.





Third, a felt tip eyeliner from Be A Bombshell, a company I'd never heard of before.  It worked SO WELL for the first 2 days! I had a lovely, precise, opaque line with a perfect point on the wing.  And then it dried up completely and now I can't use it.  RRP £9 - Personally I wouldn't pay £9 for 2 days of eyeliner.















Next was a tube of Rimmel Stay Blushed Blusher in the colour Pop of Pink - I don't find it to be anything worth shouting about, and wouldn't spend the £4.49 for the 14ml tube.  It has a strange consistency, somewhere between a gel and a cream, sort of like a paste, and it just doesn't feel nice at all.  It doesn't blend well with either fingers or a brush, and isn't pigmented enough to be worth putting on, in my 
opinion anyway.











Finally, the one redeeming product in the box (there's always one) was - and I never thought I'd day this - a perfume sample.  It was a sample of Elizabeth Arden Untold.  I love Elizabeth Arden perfumes.  They're amazing, and this sample came in a miniature version of the most beautiful bottle, curved glass with a quilted pattern, ahhhh I love it.  And it smells so.  damn.  good.  Floral and fruity and light and just the most perfect scent. I think this will be going on my birthday wishlist, at £48 for 50ml it's actually a pretty good price for the chance to smell like this every day.  








All in all, another pretty disappointing Glossybox, I would cancel my subscription now but my next box is free thanks to my Glossydots from the surveys from the last few boxes, so I will give it one more month...  Step up your game, Glossybox!





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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

August 2013 Glossybox Review



Glossybox is a monthly subscription of 5 high-end beauty product samples (with some full-size products sometimes, too) for £10 + £2.95 p+p)


You can earn Glossydots by reviewing the products in a quick survey, or by inviting friends, and redeem points for a free box.  Each survey is worth 50 points, and 1000 Glossydots = 1 free box, so if you review 5 products a month, every 5th Glossybox should be free.  You get 200 Glossydots for every friend that signs up and places an order. 


The August 2013 Glossybox had a high-flyer's theme - 'Your Travel Kit for the Summer', with products from various places across the globe.


First up in the box was a make up remover pen from Brazillian company Ócéane Femme, which I'd obviously never heard of before, what with them being from Brazil and all.  It's a pen with make up remover liquid inside, and disposable nibs.

You can use it to clean up eyeliner, lips, smudges of mascara - anything you want to correct really - and it does the job very well! You don't need to go over and over the area, it comes off in one clean sweep, so you can get a really sharp winged eye, or very defined lips.

The nibs do absorb the product that's been removed, but the pack comes with one nib in the pen, and 3 spares, so it's no big deal if one gets dirty.

I'm not sure what retails at, because I can't find anywhere that stocks it! But however much it is (within reason), it's worth it.







Next up in the box was something I've never really understood the appeal of - eyelash curlers.  

These particular ones are from Emite, a Swedish brand.

They're black with a red rubber bits (does anyone know what they're called?), and are apparently the only curlers to have the handle angled away from the curling mechanism so that you don't have to touch them against your face and ruin your base make up.
They work really well and have become a part of my everyday routine, whereas my old ones barely ever saw the light of day.

The RRP is around £20, and they are available to purchase from Emite Makeup.







Third in the box was a 2-in-1 eyeshadow/liner pencil from Glossybox's favourite brand, Jelly Pong Pong.  I won't lie, I was hoping for any colour other than black, as I've got PLENTY of black eyeliners and eyeshadow, and I wanted to try a colourful waterline. The purple one looks beautiful.  But of course, I got black.  

I did try it in the waterline and will be completely honest in saying that it does not work at all.  At all.  Yeah, it puts some colour down, but then it separates and looks grey and gathers in the corners of your eye for a mascara-gloop look.


It works fine as eyeliner on the lid, and can be smudged and layered to create a smokey eye eyeshadow effect, but I wouldn't label it as an eyeshadow.Not great.  Its RRP is £10.50 and there are so many better eyeliners on the market for less money.  




Trèsemmé also featured in this month's box, with a product not yet available in the UK - Keratin Smooth 60 Second Conditioning Treatment Shot.  It's a tiny little tube (15ml) of intensive conditioner designed to restore and repair damaged hair, leaving it smooth and strengthened.

It does an alright job, my hair was nice and soft, but I can't say that it felt much stronger - it's hard to tell from 1 or 2 treatments, which is all the small tube allows for (on long hair, anyway).

The only downside I can think of, other than the teeny tiny amount you get for your money, is that the tube has a break-off end rather than a screw cap, or even just a normal shampoo bottle cap, so you can't reseal it at all.

This product is not yet available for purchase.





The final product in the box was a tube of Urban Veda Purfiying Facial Polish.  

Urban Veda are a natural, ayurvedic skincare company.  They are against animal testing and all of their products are approved by the Vegetarian society.  All of their packaging is recyclable and all bottles are made from post-consumer recycled plastic.

The facial polish contains natural pumice as an exfoliant, cold pressed neem oil and essential oils to remove impurities and treat blackheads.  The antioxidant rich botanicals work in synergy with naturally astringent herbals and collagen-boosting extracts to reduce excess sebum, tighten pores and hydrate the skin.

It smells very refreshing, with tea-tree and spearmint being the main scents, exfoliates really well and has been helping to clear my skin of the endless hormonal outbreaks that have been popping up recently.

Whilst it is £8.99/125ml, I would say that this is definitely a product worth the money.  A little bit goes a really long way and it gets the job done.  Available to purchase from urbanVeda.co.uk.

The August box was definitely a step up from the string of disappointing boxes I've received recently, and I'm looking forward to seeing if the September box impresses me as much as this one has.





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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Figs & Rouge Tinted Lip Balm - 100% Pure & Natural?

As a lot of my regular readers will know, I aim to buy more natural products when it comes to make up - paraben free, organic and ethically sourced as much as possible.

Obviously there are some exceptions to this, but if I see something advertised as natural, I will pick that over the other products available.

So I was happy to find a pure and natural tinted lip balm in the June Glossybox.  I used it for weeks, almost every day, assuming it was full of good stuff that would make my lips soft and lovely.

And then I showed my boss at work, and she took a look at the ingredients, something I'd not even thought to do seeing as '100% PURE, 100% NATURAL' was plastered all over the tube.

Here's what we discovered:

Cherry Blossom Tinted Lip Balm - Ricinus Communis Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Copernica Cerifera Wax, Parfum, CI 45380, CI 15850, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene.


Ricinus Communis Oil - A fancy way of saying Castor Oil.  Castor Oil has a high concern rating for irritation when it comes into contact with skin, eyes or lungs.  Something you'd want to put on your lips?

Hydrogenated Castor Oil - You can read a fantastic blog post here by TheSmartMama which explains the process that makes hydrogenated castor oil so unnatural and definitely, catagorically, not pure.

Copernica Cerifera Wax - Wax from the leaves of a Carnauba Palm, a plant native to Brazil.

Parfum - I HATE that products can simply list 'parfum' or 'fragrance' on their ingredients list!  it covered such a wide range of potential ingredients which each have their own ratings as allergens and irritants.

CI 45380 - a synthetic dye produced from petroleum or coal tar sources, which are continuously tested on animals due to their carcinogenic properties.

CI 15850 - as above, with the main function being as an ingredient in hair dye. RESTRICTED IN COSMETICS USE.

Benzyl Alcohol - An allergen, classified as 'expected to be toxic or harmful to non-reproductive organs' (including skin).

LimoneneA scent ingredient and solvent naturally ocurring in the rind of citrus fruit. Upon storage and exposure to sunlight and air, limonene degrades to various oxidation products which act as skin and respiratory irritants and sensitizers. (EWG.org)

All I have to say is, how can a company be allowed to market a product as 100% PURE and 100% NATURAL, when it is NEITHER of those things?

I'd be interested to see which other 'natural' products aren't quite as natural as they claim to be... Please share your thoughts below!






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