27 August 2015

The Body Shop Italian Summer Fig

Fig fanatics listen up. The new Body Shop Italian Summer Fig collection is truly delightful. I want to bathe in the scent all day. The whole range has that 'green', natural scent whilst still keeping a feminine element. The Italian Fig fragrance is more on the earthy side rather than girly. It feels quite grown up and more sophisticated than anything else I own. I adore the elegant packaging and chic black & white design. 

Italian Summer Fig EDT 50ml £18.00
If you're after an affordable fig fragrance look no further. This is my favourite product from the range and I can't express my love enough. The top notes compromise of grape leaves and crocus (I'm not too sure either). The heart notes are juicy Italian Fig and warm Tuscan Rose adding a sweet undertone to the fragrance. The beautiful scent ends with notes of Oakwood and Amber turning it into a fresh, light fragrance that lingers on skin. This is my new fig favourite - perfect for the warmer months as it's not overpowering. 
Italian Summer Fig Shower Gel £6.50
Described as a green, juicy fragrance this shower gel smells beyond delicious. It's exactly what I want on cool summer mornings and balmy evenings. The refreshing scent cleanses my skin beautifully leaving me feeling comforted and invigorated.
Italian Summer Fig Body Butter £13
This creamy formula is like silk for your skin. As with the other products from the range the scent is refreshing and not sickly sweet. It soaks into my limbs quickly and works best layered with the products above.

Are you a fig fan too? Check out the other products from the range here. I think I need to add the fragrance mist to my collection..

*post contains pr samples

24 August 2015

The 72 Hour Pamper

I love bank holidays. Extra long weekends were made for pampering. Why not stretch out your pamper session to last three days? I have collated a luxurious edit of at-home, spa-worthy products to aid your relaxation and rejuvenation. Time to turn your bathroom into a spathroom (see what I did there?).

- Begin by detoxing skin with a double cleanse. I like to use a makeup removing cleanser first following by something with skin-loving ingredients. My current combo is the No7 Gel Cleanser and the SK:N Exfoliating Cleanser.
- Follow this up with an indulgent face mask suited to your main skin concern. With a house move and starting a new job, this month has been a bit stressful and my skin has suffered. I'm reaching for the Temple Spa BeCalm* Soothing mask. This beautiful mask has a thick, creamy formula which helps to smooth, firm and calm sensitive skin. It's seriously hydrating and gives skin a dewy glow. Ingredients such as cucumber, liquorice and basil add to its repairing properties.
- Finish you DIY facial with a refreshing spritze of toner. A few firm favourites of mine are Serozinc, Avene and Jurlique.
- Allow your nails to breathe by going polish-free. Apply a nourishing cuticle oil such as the Nail Apothecary Cuticle Elixir*. This cute little bottle contains Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil which helps to moisterize and soothe damaged cuticles.

-Start of the day with a de-fuzz. I prefer pain-free methods such as hair removal cream. I opt for products suitable for sensitive skin like the Veet Natural Inspirations Hair Removal Cream*. This is suitable for legs and body and is specially formulated with Grape Seed Oil which is known for its softening properties. You simply smooth is on, wait 10 minutes and remove with the spatula provide. Such a quick and easy way to remove unwanted hair!
- Give hair a break from heat styling and treat your locks to a hair mask. I'm a huge fan of the L'oreal masks which come in an array of variants. You can leave this on for as long as you want, sometimes I'll keep in on overnight and rinse it out in the morning.
- Long term readers of MMU will know such how much I love a good body scrub. I personally don't think you can beat Soap & Glory. The scent, formula, price - the holy grail of body scrubs.
- It's always best to follow a body scrub with a hydrating body lotion. Lightweight formulas soak in quicker and don't leave skin feeling tacky. Right now I'm using the &OtherStories Body Souffle.

- Fool your family/friends into thinking you've had a weekend away with a little self tanning. Because of the body prepping you did yesterday your tan will look natural and streak free. My favourite fake tan has to be Cocoa Brown, I've expressed my love enough for it on here so won't go on.
- Don't forget to give your mouth a little TLC. At home teeth whitening kits are a great way to brighten your smile without a trip to the dentist. Results aren't going to be dramatic and will fade without continual use. The iWhite2 Instant Teeth Whitening Kit* promises results after just one use.I like how easy the disposable trays are to use. After one 20 minute session I can notice my teeth are slightly whiter, just don't expect drastic results.
- Before heading back to work, enjoy an indulgent shower with a luxurious shower gel. When it comes to indulgent bathing Roger & Gallet never let me down. Their newest Bienfaits Shower Gel* is a concentrated blend of juicy blood orange, mandarin, bergamot and lemon creating the ultimate citrus experience. The thick gel works into a light foam that moisturises and soothes skin whilst stimulates the senses.
- After letting your nails breathe for a couple of days it's time to continue the pampering using a nail buffer. I adore the neon nail accessories from Tweezerman which are never going to get lost in your handbag. The Smooth, Shine & Buff Block is ideal for home manicures. Each side is gentle on nails and provides long lasting results.
- Finish off your bank holiday pamper with a swipe of the Nail Apothecary 24k Gold Ridge Filler Treatment* on each nail. The Omega 3, Keratin Amino Acid and Lingonberry Seed Oil formula has gold flecks suspended in the treatment. This helps to protect nails from splitting and promotes healthy growth.

Let me know if you'll be taking part in a bank holiday pamper!

13 August 2015

Strobing With Drugstore Products

Strobing is the next big makeup trend. Heavy contouring has had its day and its time to welcome a new look. As the name suggests, strobing is about accentuating the high points of your face using the power of light. It's basically intense highlighting and I love it. The result is a very fresh, lit-from-within glow. It's like anti-contouring as it involves using lightening and highlighting products. The idea behind the trend is pretty simple, highlight any areas where light natural hits: tops of cheekbones, tip of nose, cupids bow and above brows. 
Here is my guide to strobing like a pro using drugstore products. 

1. Starting off with skincare apply a facial oil all over. I really like the Botanics Organic Facial Oil as it isn't overly greasy. An oil will help give your skin a nice glow and show you where light hits you best.

2. Strobing is all about layering highlighter to create a intense glow. Start off by patting on a liquid illuminator to the areas you want to emphasize. I recommend using the Seventeen Skin Wow Primer (not pictured as I've misplaced it!).

3. Once that is blended in tap a cream highlighter to those same areas. I use the Essence Cream highlighter as it blends in seamlessly and is really affordable. 

4. You could stop here but I like to finish of the look with a light dusting of a brightening powder. This helps to keep the glow in place all day. I took the lighter shade from the COLLECTION Contour Kit for this. 

Although Strobing is a lot simpler than a lot of the other makeup trends out there it does take practice. This look is all about layering and it's easy to go overboard. It's easy to go from looking glowy to looking sweaty. If you have oily skin I recommend using powders and avoid anything overly glittery. 

Happy Strobing! 

10 August 2015

Post Holiday Prep

post holiday beauty tips
You're home and the holiday blues have well and truly settled in. The only reminders of your holiday are that scar on your left shin (tried wild swimming pic.2) and the 473856 photos on your camera roll. To extend that holiday feeling I've pulled out the beauty products which claim to prolong that summer glow, restore your frazzled hair and soothe those sunburnt shoulders. 

Hair Mask
First things first, my hair needs some TLC. An after sun shampoo is a good start, Aveda and Wella do great ones. Follow this with a deep conditioning hair mask to restore hair. I'm currently liking the L'oreal conditioning balms. They come in huge tubs, smell divine and are extremely affordable. 
After Sun
Despite franticly applying SPF throughout the holiday I usually get caught out. Often it's when I'm on the beach and take a little nap (3. why did no one wake me?!). I love the soothing sensation of an after sun and have found a new favourite from The Body Shop. It's a little more exciting than your standard aloe vera gel; TBS Body Sorbet in Mojito is a cooling, lightweight gel which absorbs instantly. The lime and mint scent transports me back to relaxing by the pool, slowly sipping Mojito's (pic.4).
Glow Getters 
To help prolong your holiday glow make sure to moisturise your skin and apply a gradual tan to stop the colour from fading. It's also important to stay hydrated and to not take really hot showers. My two favourite fake tan brands are Cocoa Brown and Xen-Tan, I know I can count on these two to give me a natural looking glow. 
Hydrate Skin 
After a week of sun my skin is looking a little parched. To increase moisturise I'm reaching for my trustworthy Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum - a must-have product for dry skin gals. A little bit goes a long way with this, the lightweight formula sinks in quickly and rehydrates the skin beautifully.

Can I go back on holiday please? 

Further reading: Pre Holiday prepping...

9 August 2015

Summer Beauty Product Switch Up

summer beauty product tips
I feel like we have been cheated of a summer this year. It's now August and the sun has yet to make a proper appearance. Despite the lack of vitamin D I'm determined to make summer official with a seasonal skincare switch up. Do you adjust your beauty routine to fit in with the season? As soon as May arrives I hide away my scarf's, woolly knits, heavy foundations and dark lipsticks. May the following beauty bits inspire you to give your routine the sunshine treatment. 

Out: Powder blushers
In: Cream blushers
I wave goodbye to powders during the summer and opt for something lighter and creamier. I'm obsessed with creams in a stick form such as the COLLECTION Speedy Blush Sticks. A quick swipe of these on my cheeks followed by blending in with my finger tips is the easiest way to get a dewy flush of colour.
Out: Heavy EDP
In: Body mists
My beloved Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb feels too heavy for a BBQ on the beach with the possibility of skinny dipping and falling asleep on the sand. The Ted Baker Pink Body Mist is a soft floral fragrance which smells divine on a warm body.
Out: Body Creams
In: Body Sorbets/Souffl├ęs 
Although heavy moisturisers work like a dream on my winter-parched skin they are just too rich for the warmer months. I want an easy, quick formula that dries in an instant such as the Body Shop Body Sorbets. I like to change up the scent too and go for a lighter, refreshing fragrance. The limited edition Mojito range from The Body Shop was made for balmy summer evenings. The lime and mint combination helps soothe sticky, sweaty skin and smells good enough to eat (or drink).
Out: Lipstick
In: Lip crayons
I prefer brighter lips and tips in the summer. My go to combo has been pastel yellow nails and a glossy, coral lip. I like to rotate my lip products; majority of my lipsticks go to the back of the stash and come forward the tinted lip balms and crayons. Anything which offers hydration goes in my good books.
A summer switch up post wouldn't be complete without the mention of SPF. The La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Fluid is my go-to and is sun protection at its best. The formula is light enough to use on a daily basis and sits well under makeup. Unlike other sunscreens, this one won't clog pores or cause breakouts as it's non-comedogenic and fragrance-free. As well as having high spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays, it contains a high dose of of La Roche Posay's thermal spring water to soothe stressed skin - the Holy Grail of sun protection.
Out: Toners
In: Facial Mists
All year round I enjoy the soothing sensation of facial sprays but even more so during the summer season. I'll keep a mini Avene Thermal Water Spray in my bag, one in my fridge and one in my bathroom. These are life savers when the humidity increases - I spritz them with wanton abandon and glee.

Now we've got out summer beauty routine sorted we just need some sunshine. Come on UK, what you playing at? 

Further reading: What's in my summer makeup bag..

7 August 2015

TANGLE TEEZER Blow-Styling Brush Review

tangle teezer blow styling review
My TANGLE TEEZER and I have been together for three years now. We've had our differences and fall outs but there will always be a space in my haircare routine for the TANGLE TEEZER. The newest hairbrush from the brand is worlds apart from the original - it has a handle!

The TANGLE TEEZER Blow-Styling Brush is specially designed to make the process of blow drying your hair so much quicker and easier. It claims to offer the results of a salon blow dry in the comfort of your own home. The brush has a half paddle design and is made for those with short to medium length hair. The secret to its success is the teeth; they are quick-drying as the rapidly extract water from the hair shaft. It also has unique cleaning grooves which makes for easy hair removal and cleaning without damaging the teeth. Despite doing a great job at brushing through my thick hair I found the teeth could feel quite hard as the brush isn't very flexible. I'll often avoid blow drying my hair as it's so time consuming and leaves my hair looking fluffy. I decided to give blow drying another chance with the help of this and I could definitely notice a difference. My hair looked and felt so much smoother, there wasn't any awkward frizziness and flyaways were kept to a minimum. The only downisde to this product for me was that at times it felt uncomfortable to use because it has no cushioning. It is a little on the pricey side but it's a lot cheaper than going to the salon and I can tell by the quality this brush is going to last.

TANGLE TEEZER Blow-Styling Brush* £17.00 available from Boots here

6 August 2015

Current Skincare Routine: PM

You may have recently seen me ramble on about my morning skincare routine (catch up here if you missed it) and now it's time to share with you my PM skincare stash. Prepare for some serious gushing about facial oils.

I tend to use just one cleanser in the evening as I don't wear a lot of makeup during the day. If I'm wearing more, I'll quickly sweep on a gentle micellar water on my lids to help remove eye makeup; I like the Euercin DermatoCLEAN Micellar Cleansing Fluid as it doesn't sting my eyes like some do. As my actual cleanser, I'm currently using the SK:N Facial Exfoliating Cleanser*. This is a chemical exfoliator so doesn't contain any grainy bits. It uses Glycolic Acid and Glyerine to gently exfoliate the skin leaving it feeling softer and smoother - my skin has never felt so soft! I've noticed after using this products seem to layer up easier afterwards. I'll follow this with the same spray and eye cream routine as the AM but swap my moisturiser for something with more oomph. Firstly I'll tackle any blemishes with a treatment cream. I'm using the SK:N Blemish Control Lotion* on my T zone which reduces redness and inflammation by slowing oil production and reducing acne bacteria. The Salicylic acid-peptide combination of this has been clinically proven to decrease blemishes.The formula is very runny so a little bit goes a long way. In the evening I love to use a facial oil. I'll spend a good 10-20 minutes gently massaging it in whilst catching up on Youtube. The one oil I'll always return to is the Trilogy Rosehip Oil - now my third bottle of the stuff. I really enjoy using this before bed; the scent is calming, the texture isn't overly greasy and my skin just drinks the stuff up and thanks me for it in the morning. If I was suffering from dry skin I'd layer in a serum before using an oil, I highly recommend the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum for those with dry skin types.

After writing this I'm oddly excited to take my makeup off this evening and indulge in my PM skincare routine. My line up is currently missing a decent face mask so if you have any recommendation leave them below! 

Further reading: My morning skincare routine...

5 August 2015

COLLECTION Matt Lip Butters Review

COLLECTION  Matt Lip Butter Review

Are you ready for the 236th mention of COLLECTION on MMU? You can tell I'm smitten with the brand. There is a new product launch this month and it's worth shouting about. Matte lip lovers - listen up. 

Available in three must-have shades, Marshmallow Pink, Pumpkin Pie and Crimson Velvet. All of which are very wearable and effortless to apply. My personal favourite is the latter, a bright tomato red which is a nice accompaniment to my blue peepers if I do say so myself. For those who fancy something a little less in your face Marshmallow Pink is a natural, girly hue that suits all skintones. After a shade to offset your golden glow? Go for Pumpkin Pie, a beautiful bright, coral. I love all three shades and at just £2.99 a pop COLLECTION have your summer lip looks covered. 

As with wearing any matte lip product, prep is key. Make sure to gently exfoliate your lips beforehand and apply a hydrating lip balm. Having a good base will allow the lip butters to glide on with ease and help avoid prune pout syndrome. 

COLLECTION  Matt Lip Butter Pencils* £2.99 available in Superdrug and Boots now. 

4 August 2015

Current Skincare routine: AM

I was originally going to roll my morning and evening skincare routine into one post, however I obviously have too much to say on the matter so I've decided to split it up into two posts to avoid boring you.

Before starting I should begin by giving you some background information on my skin. My skin type is quite normal but I tend to get oily around my T-zone. I'm prone to blemishes especially around my chin which leaves those pesky scars behind. My skin goes through phases of being sensitive so I try to balance out using harsh products with something more gentle.

After waking up I'll splash my face with cold water before applying a cleanser. At the minute I'm using the Soap and Glory Vitamin C Facial Wash which is the perfect AM cleanser as it has an invigorating scent.  The product contains polishing microbeads that are super gentle and help give skin that morning glow. I have the old packaging as it now comes in a big bottle. Then I'll spray on a toner because I'm obsessed with them (and taking up 40% of my fridge space). I've been using Serozinc for a couple of months now and although it's hard to tell if it is doing my skin much good I do enjoy the refreshing sensation. As someone who was born looking tired I need all the help I can get when it comes to the eye department. I'm not loyal to any particular eye cream but I'm using and liking The Body Shop Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate right now. The roller ball applicator really helps to refresh the eye contour and reduces the appearance of my puffy eyes. Next up I'll apply a treatment product and currently reaching for La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+. I'll use the tiniest amount of this on any blemishes I have. I find this helps to stop spots from getting any worse and reduces redness. I'll choose my moisturiser depending on how my skin is behaving that day. Because my skin has been quite sensitive lately I've been using the Trilogy Very Gentle Moisturising Cream*. The fragrance-free and essential oil-free formula makes this soothing cream super gentle and great for when my skin is feeling delicate. The deeply hydrating cream contains natural spring water and chamomile which both help to comfort irritated skin. This also contains breakthrough botanical complex SyriCalm which reduces redness and inflammation, whilst protecting the skin's natural barrier function. I'll top this all off with an SPF; in the summer I reach for the big guns and wear La Roche Posay's Anthelios XL Fluid SPF 50. If you hate wearing suncream you'll love this.

Further reading: My evening skincare routine...

3 August 2015

COLLECTION Contour Kit Review

collection contour kit review
COLLECTION have really upped their game lately. With every new launch I fall deeper and deeper in love with the brand. You guys are in for a real treat later this year as there is going to be whole host of must-have new products. Say hello to cheekbones because launching later on this month is this lust-worthy contour kit.

First things first, don't you think it looks very Nars-esque? I love a good dupe and this little beauty gets a thumbs up from me. This sleek compact ticks all the right boxes. The bronzing shade is matt and perfect for enhancing the natural structure of the face as it isn't orange-y or muddy. The lighter shade is designed to be used as a highlighter. It offers a subtle shimmer without the shine, I put it under my brows, down the centre of my nose and to clean up any harsh contour lines. Both powders have excellent pigmentation and are finely milled making them feel much more premium. 

If you love the contoured look and want to channel Kim K on a budget - this is for you. 

COLLECTION Contour Kit* £4.19 available from Superdrug from August 26th and Boots from 2nd September.

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