30 August 2013

British Beauty Brands You Need To Try!

Britain. It's not all about big red buses and Prince Harry. We are also pretty damn good when it comes to beauty products. A few obvious brands come to mind such as Barry M, Rimmel & No7,  but i didn't want to talk to you about well-known brands as you most likely already have them in your make up bags! Instead, i've searched the UK (not literally) for some home-grown beauty brands that you really need to add to your wishlist...

Amie is a British skincare company which creates products with a youthful market in mind. Fiona Parkhouse is the brains behind the brand. Fiona originally created Amie for her own daughter, Samatha;  She had been experiencing oiliness and break-outs, but her skin was really sensitive and products already on offer only made it worse. As a result, Amie was developed with natural ingredients - none of the products contain parabens, mineral oils, sulphates or GM ingredients. As well as this the range is dermalogically tested. Their products are simple yet effective. I'm a fan of their Exfoliating Face Wash (pictured), which has a delicate scent and is gentle enough to use daily, as well as their Matte-Finish Moisturiser which keeps shiny skin away. I feel like not enough people know about Amie but they are really affordable and have a great range of products to suit different skin types.
Available online and in John Lewis and Waitrose stores.
ARK Age Aware Skincare
Unlike other skincare brands which target one particular age group, ARK skincare products are 'age appropriate' as they are divided into three age related categories: age prepare (teens to early 30's), age mantain (mid 30's to 50's) and age repair (50's plus). The range was developed over 4 years of research by ARK skincare founder Shula Starkey and Dr. Penny Kendall-Reed, a Nautropathic doctor and leading expert in preventative health and nutrition. I have been double cleansing with the ARK Pre Skin Cleanse and ARK Age Prepare Skin Clear Cleasner. The soap-free cleanser washes away impurities without leaving the skin feeling dry. Thanks to the natural ingredients such as Grape seed, Avocado and Kiwi oil in the Pre-cleanse, my skin is deeply nourished and protected against dryness.
Available from the ARK website here
Eyeko London
Nina and Max Leyking established Eyeko in 1999. Since then, Eyeko has become a firm favourite by make-up artists and celebrities such as Alexa Chung, Jennifer Lawernce and Gemma Arterton. The brand focuses on eyes, hence the name! Nina believes mascara "..is the one beauty product that can instantly transform everyone. We've got OCD when it comes to creating mascara - that's why we focus on the EYE in Eyeko". After 10 years of creating the best mascara brushes and formulations, these guys really know their stuff. I'm a huge fan of their Brow Gel and Skinny Liners.
Stocked in Sephora, Space NK, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and on the Eyeko website.
Since launching in September 2000, REN has quickly become a cult favourite amongst consumers worldwide. REN's main aim is to apply the latest discoveries in bio active technology to produce skincare formulations that boost the skin's natural processes of protection,repair and renewal. They use only 100% natural blends of essential oils and plant extracts. REN products are also free from sulphates, animal ingredients, parabens and synthetic fragrances. I love treating my skin weekly to the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask. Did you know REN means clean in Swedish?
Available online here and in Selfridges, Space NK, Liberty and John Lewis.
The first LUSH store was opened in Poole,Dorest in 1994. Mark and Mo Constantine founded the company initionaly in 1970 and they now have over 830 stores across the world. LUSH are known for making unique,handmade products such as their shower jellies, shampoo bars and bath bombs. LUSH products are 100% vegetarian, 83% vegan and 60% preservative free.
Available to purchase in LUSH stores and online.
A relatively new cosmetic brand which is based in the UK with the majority of goods produced in the UK. The name stands for As Known As and the concept behind the brand is an homage to the ritual of getting ready, putting your make up on and transforming yourself into a different person. I believe that the right make up can completely change your personality; it can give you confidence and has the power to change not only how you look but also how you feel. I love that A.K.A has managed to capture this in their collection. The range consists of good quality formulas in a wide variety of colours at affordable prices. I think you'll be hearing a lot more about this brand! I've fallen in love with their liquid eyeliner in grey blue.
Available online here
Viridian Nutrition
Viridian Nutrition is a UK based and family owned nutritional supplement company. Viridian are passionate about using the puriest ingredients , their products contain no nasty additives, no added sugars, colourings or artifical flavours ensuring their products are as pure and clean as they can be. As well as using organic, environmentally sourced ingredients, Viridian also has a charity donation programme. So far, £125,000 has been donated to charities such as NSPCC, Woodland Trust and Save The Children.
Available to buy on the Viridian website here
Beautyuk is a family run business which started out five years ago. They are an affordable, on-trend make up brand with prices starting from just £1.99. Beautyuk is often launching new products to keep up with the latest trends, ideal if you like experimenting with different colours and shades. Have you seen their new Posh Palettes? They look amazing, 'Eden' is on my wishlist!
Available at selected Superdrug stores and online here.
If you're a fan of natural, organic skincare products you'll love Dr.Organic. They are committed to creating unique products, all of which contain no parabens, mineral oils or GMO ingredients. The range consists of a wide variety of products including face masks, shampoo, bath oils, toothpaste and deodorant. Each product comes in different versions to suit individual needs. Some of these include lavender, olive oil, royal jelly, rose otto and tea tree.
Available at Holland & Barrett
Have you discovered any new British Beauty Brands? What ones are your favs?!

28 August 2013

BlanX White Shock toothpaste with LED light: review

If you read my recent iWhite teeth whitening kit review, you'll know i'm on the hunt for whiter teeth. Today i have another product which claims to help whiten teeth.

The BlanX White Shock toothpaste comes with the BlanX MicroWhite LED light. The toothpaste contains ActiluX which is a non-abrasive, peroxide free formula that reacts to light all day long. I love the idea that  the more your smile the whiter your teeth will get!

The coolest thing about this toothpaste is the LED light it comes with(and is the main reason i wanted to try it!). It fits onto the toothpaste tube so every time you use it, it lights up. The purpose of the light is to strengthen the ActiluX. BlanX say the more light the toothpaste receives the more whitening power it will have. The LED cap is reusable so when you've used up all the toothpaste you can hold onto and use it again. The toothpaste itself it quite normal. It's blue, has a minty taste and leaves my teeth feeling cleaner!

After the first few uses i didn't really notice much difference in the whiteness of my teeth. However, after a week of using this my teeth were looking slightly whiter. After brushing my teeth i held the LED light to them for one minute twice a week. Now i've come to the end of the toothpaste i do think it works but not a great deal, i'd say they are one shade lighter. My teeth are slightly whiter and it didn't leave them feeling sensitive. If you wanted to give this a go don't expect too much, it's only a toothpaste! I'm undecided if i'd re-purchase this or check out a different one! You only get 50ml which is quite small for a toothpaste and it lasted me one month.

BlanX White Shock Toothpaste is available from Boots, RRP £7.49 currently on offer for £5.62

What teeth whitening products do you recommend? 

21 August 2013

Colour Xtreme blue hair gel: review

Crazy coloured hair is something i've wanted to experiment with for ages. After browsing Pinterest for some inspiration, i found plenty of snaps of celebrities rocking the blue hair trend. Most recently Miley debuted a blue pixie cut. I'm not braze enough to go full-on blue like Katy Perry or Azealia Banks but Rita Ora's blue dip-dye looks quite....normal? Here's how i got on with the Colour Xtreme blue hair gel...

I like it! The gel was really easy to use but things did get a little messy (see here!) so make sur you use gloves and wear an old t-shirt. I used a brush to stop there from being a harsh line to the dip-dye. The blue is quite bright but it washes out straight away and didn't stain my hair - perfect for experimenting! I used up about half the bottle for this look. I feel braver after trying this out and want to try something more permanent, watch this space!  

Colour Xtreme hair gels are available online here and retail at £5.10 

Would you dare to try blue hair or do you think it's too Marge Simpson? 

20 August 2013

Meet my advertisers: August

image source
Can you believe it's already the middle of August?! I love discovering new blogs to read, each month i have a selection of brilliant bloggers in my sidebar and it's time to share with you their lovely blogs...

Wand Included
Like most of us, Tasha is a little bit obsessed with clothes and make up! She regularly posts about products she's used up, giving in depth and honest reviews each time. I love reading her hauls and OOTD's for some shopping inspiration. Check out her July Empties post - this girl gets through a lot of products!

Confessions of a Makeup Addict
Youtuber,freelance makeup artist and beauty blogger Stephanie regularly posts about products she not only loves but also dislikes.Her posts are really informative and extremely helpful. Stephanie is fairly new to Youtube but she's got some great tutorials on there - check them out here. I found Stephanie's comparison of three different lip crayons very interesting!

Megs Says
A British beauty blog packed to the brim with wishlists and honest reviews. I love that Megan blogs about affordable beauty and after reading her in-depth reviews i mentally add products to my wishlist! The latest product Megan has persuaded me to get is the Seventeen Stay Time concealer which she reviewed here.

I hope you've found yourself some new reads. Don't forget, if you'd like to advertise on here packages are available from £3! Leave a comment below or visit here for more info.

18 August 2013

back to basic essential beauty

I like buying beauty products, it's a bit of an unhealthy addiction really. Most days i have a 'go hard or go home' approach to beauty - primer,foundation, highlighter,multiple concealers, two mascaras, blusher,bronzer oh and all the brushes! Sounds awful, but i weirdly look forward to doing my full routine! However some days beauty isn't fun and I just go back to basics.

Sometimes, beauty is boring. I don't buy deodorant based on it's fancy packaging, i buy it because i need to and probs wouldn't have any friend if i didn't. Toothpaste and mouthwash are monthly re-purchases for me but they don't get my heart racing like a new foundation (omg have you seen the new Bourjois Happy Light foundation?!). I wanted to share with you my beauty essentials - ok, so they aren't very exciting but these products DO work and i reach for them (nearly) every day. 

Oral B Precision Clean Brush Heads x4
I invested in an electric toothbrush this year and i haven't looked back since. I much prefer using this now to manual brushes, these do make your teeth feel so much cleaner. I pick up my brush heads from Amazon as they are a lot cheaper online then in shops. 
Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat
With a new colour on my nails each week they need protecting with a base coat to prevent staining. I picked up this one from Revlon recently because it dries quickly and has a nice thin brush. 
Wilko Cotton Buds x 300
I've blogged about these before, 39p for 300 in the Wilkinson baby section - can't go wrong with that!
Listerine Stay White Mouthwash
I never really used to use mouthwash but i'm trying to up my teeth cleaning routine. Stay White from Listerine does what it says on the tin. My teeth get white spots on them after using this so it must be doing something!
Mitchum Advanced Control Roll-on
My current deodrant of choice which works fine for me. I have no favourite when it comes to anti-perpsriant, but i want to try the Sure one that you put on before bed next. 
Boots Clean Off Nail Polish Remover 
The.Best.Nail.Polish.Remover.Ever. Seriously, this stuff is good & it's so in-expensive. 
Lidl Cotton Pads x120
I'm not fussy when it comes to cotton pads, i don't care if they are quilted, double faced or made from natural fibres hand-picked by fairies- i just use them to pour on toner so i don't want anything fancy. I have no idea if they are any better or worse than other brands but they do the job nicely. 

What are your everyday essentials? 

17 August 2013

six different back to school hairstyles

The summer is nearly over as September looms around the corner. I normally spent the summer holidays bored but they always went too quickly! Back in the day we used to have to wear our hair up, so i've chosen six up-do's for you to re-create at home; whether it's for school,college,uni or work.

1. Rope Braid Ponytail
This look reminds me of the model's hair in 'Blurred Lines' & i love it! This braid is really easy to do and works best on those with long, un-layered hair. Check out my tutorial on this here - i did a side rope braid but the technique is the same.
2. Wavy Side Ponytail
For this look you'll need a curling iron and some salt spray to add texture. Simply part your hair to the side, curl one inch sections, spray in some salt spray and scrunch with your hands for messy waves. Scoop your hair to the side and tie in place.
3. 50's inspired high ponytail
I love this look but it does take a bit of time, so no lie-ins! Check out this step-by-step guide on how to re-create the style yourself.
4. Messy bun
Wearing your hair in a bun is perfect for those i-should've-washed-my-hair-last-night days. Firstly, gather your hair together as if you wear doing a ponytail. Then twist your hair into a knot and secured in place with some bobby pins - easy!
5. Five Strand ponytail
This braid is a little more complex than the standard one, but it looks so cool! It's quite hard to explain how to create this so i recommend watching this youtube video and giving it a go. Once you've got the hang of it, everyone's going to be asking you how you did it!
6. Fishtail braid plaits
I first saw this look in Company magazine and knew straight away that i wanted to re-create it. If you already know how to fishtail braid, this is a really quick and easy look to try. Once you've secured the braids in place, loosen them with your fingers and pull out a few strands around your face.

What look is your favourite? Let me know if you have a post requests in the comments below! 
picture source 1,2,3,4,5

16 August 2013

so i hold two fingers up to yesterday #notw

On my nails this week  - two coats of Collection in Lemon Sorbet (£2.99) layered with a glitter top coat from OPI in Rainbow Connection (£12.00). I spotted in Boots the other day L'oreal have launched a really good dupe for Rainbow Connection called Sequin Extravaganza and it's so much cheaper! Loving highstreet make up at the minute!

14 August 2013

Primark haul August

Popped into Primark a couple of weeks ago for a few items. I wanted a small handbag just for everyday use as all my others are quite big. This titch brown satchel,£4.00, is perfect size for my phone,purse & a couple of lipsticks! The flamingo shirt ,£7.00, was from the men's section; sometimes I prefer the mens tops to the womens! I went for XS and it fits me fine. Black socks, not very exciting but only £2.00 for 7 pairs! I needed some cheap sunglasses because I always end up losing/breaking them. These clear round ones were only £1, I'm going to customize them - post coming up soon. These high neck crop tops,£2.50, remind me of something the Spice Girls would've worn(i was baby spice!) I've seen a few #fbloggers wearing these tops & they look really nice so I picked up a grey one to try out the trend. 

Just a little haul, have you bought any bargains from Primark lately? 

12 August 2013

iWhite teeth whitening kit review

iWhite review
iwhite whitening kitiwhite
Like most people, i'd love to have whiter teeth. My dentist keeps putting me off getting my teeth professionaly whitened so i have been searching the high street for some home treatments. The newest offering which launched in Boots last month is the iWhite teeth whitening kit.

This kit is natural & hydrogen-peroxide free making it ideal for those with sensitive teeth. It comes with 10 pre-filled trays which are ready to use straight away. I much prefer this method to previous ones i have used in the past which require boiling and messing about with syringes. Unlike other whitening treatments, iWhite actually strengthens teeth because of the calcium technology it contains. The one size fits all tray fitted me perfectly however when my sister blogging assistant tested it out she said it was too small for her mouth. To use you just pop it in your mouth for 20 minutes and pray no one knocks on your front door.

iWhite claims this will whiten teeth up to eight shades. After using this for 5 days in a row as recommended for optimal results, my teeth did look whiter but not as much as i was expecting. I drink a lot of tea and my teeth are naturally a bit discoloured, iWhite left them looking one/two shades lighter after use. If you want that hollywood white smile this might not be for you. However, if you do normally suffer from sensitivity after using teeth whitening kits you may want to check this out. If you wanted to see some before & after pictures have a little look at Andy's review here.

Available at Boots

Would love to hear what are your favourite teeth whitening products!

*pr sample

9 August 2013

beauty haul August 2013

Sanctuary Body Souffle £11.00
Soap & Glory Scrub your Nose In It £7.50
No7 Facial Wipes £7.00
Simple Body Polish £2.10
Botanics All Bright Night Cream £4.99
Amie Matte-Finish Moisturiser £4.95
Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep £3.49
Amie Radiant Dawn Face Wash £4.95
Oral B Precision Clean Brush Heads £9.00
Blanx White Shock Toothpaste £7.49

Review of a couple of the products coming up soon, let me know if you want to see anything in particular! What have you bought lately?

6 August 2013

DIY nail polish/make up storage idea

Stuck for where to store your nail polish? So was I. Make up/nail varnish/beauty product storage is my little obsession. I love browsing through Pinterest at how others store their cosmetics & also homeware posts are my favourite to read at the minute. I've been a bit carried away with buying nail polish lately, someone stop me! I needed a new place to store my nail polishes neatly and I found this old cabinet in our house. I knew this would make a perfect nail polish wardrobe but it didn't look very pretty so i had a search through the garden shed for some bits. Here's a tutorial on how to create your own nail polish display!
1. Find yourself an old cabinet, you can pick one up from a charity shop, car boot or maybe you have an old one at home. 
2. You will need; Gloss paint. Go for gloss finish over matte as this wont flake off, i went for white but you can choose any colour you fancy. White spirit to clean your brush with. Lastly an old rag to dust the cabinet with.
3. If you can separete the cabinet peices, this will make it easier to paint. Lay it on some newspaper before painting. 
4. Use a smaller brush when painting near glass to make it easier. Gloss take a few hours to dry so put the kettle on and catch up with your favourite blogs!
5. To decorate the background i ripped up a Cath Kidson catalogue and glued it to create a patterned college.
Ta-da! This would look really nice with lipsticks in too. Let me know if you decide to give it a go, would love to know how you store your beauty bits!

3 August 2013

my thoughts on: Eyeko London

I've been trying some Eyeko London products lately and i wanted to share with you how i got on. I've not tried anything from the brand since their re-launch in 2011. I know the re-brand didn't go down well with some because they increased prices as they moved from Superdrug to Harvey Nichols. I must admit i prefer the newer, high-end packaging to the old cute anime look the brand had. 
I tested out the mascaras first. I LOVE the tube packaging they all come in, why don't all brands do this? It reduces waste and stops the mascara from drying out. Out of the three i tested (curvy,black magic & skinny) my favourite had to be Black Magic £18 (pictured above). The brush has a gentle curve to it which helps to curl lashes, the brush is quite big but not too big. The soft bristles separate lashes easily and the colour is jet black. 
Eyeko Skinny Mini Brush Mascara £15 (closest) has a long thin brush. The wand doesn't get much excess mascara on it, leaving lashes clump-free. I found this added length to my lashes but i prefer them to look a little thicker. The Eyeko Curvy Brush mascara £15 was the only product i didn't get on very well with. The unique ball-like brush made it tricky to coat each lash, i found it didn't give me a lot of control.

Each mascara uses a unique conditioning formula which blends Keratin and Shea Butter for long-lasting lashes but at the same time is still easy to remove. I found with all the mascaras i tried, they didn't flake or crumble. I really like the cute guitar pick that comes with each mascara, a little unnecessary some may say but i end up with mascara everywhere - eyelid, nose, cheek, elbow... so by using this as a shield for my eyelids has really helped! 
Brow Gel is a must-have product for me. I need it to keep my unruly eyebrows in place! This is a good one because the brush is quite small and the gel is tinted, which helps to define brows. The only thing with this is that you have to scrape off excess before applying because you do get a lot on the brush. The has become a daily essential for me but the £18 price tag really puts me off!
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner £10, one of Eyeko's best products. Alexa Chung uses this eyeliner to get her signature cat eye look. The flexible felt-tip nib makes this really easy to use. I have the shade Black which is a true jet back, it also comes in brown, blue, olive and purple.

Overall, Eyeko has impressed me. My top picks would be the Black Magic mascara and the Skinny Liquid liner. Eyeko isn't particularly cheap but the products are good quality. Have you tried anything from Eyeko before, how did you get on?

You can purchase Eyeko from Harvey Nichols, ASOS and the Eyeko website. 

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