Wednesday 28 August 2013

Elemis Pro Collagen Body Cream Product Review

Elemis Pro Collagen Body Cream available here

I'm really enjoying trying out Elemis products at the moment and I'm dying to try out the FreshSkin sets.

However, right now we're talking about the Elemis Pro Collagen Body Cream.* 

The product itself

What is it?
A body firming cream

How much does it cost?
£51 for 200ml

What does it claim to do?
"This decadent new Pro-Collagen formula combines mexican skin tree, amino acids and padina pavonica with exotic babassu, castanha and bilberry seed oils to help restore skin cohesion and visibly tone the body. The result is a beautifully smooth, luminous and firmer looking body. Helps to smooth out crepey skin texture. Deeply hydrating. Improved skin contours. This new formula is designed with lattice technology and a unique complex of marine extract padina pavonica, amino acids and exotic oils to give you advanced anti-ageing results for your body. Lifts and firms with an "invisible stocking effect". Tones the skin by helping to restore cell cohesion. Helps skin recover from environmental damage. Illuminates the skin with a youthful radiance."

Close up - look for the sparkles!

The verdict
I applied this as directed using circular motions into cleansed, dry skin morning and evening. The product itself is a quite thick, lovely warm gold colour cream.

Not only does it sink in very easily and feel soft, it leaves skin feeling comfortably moisturised without any residue. It as if you hadn't mositurised at all in that skin feels natural after application, as if it's just your skin as it should be.

Compared to the areas which hadn't been moisturised, skin appears softer, smoother and more even. Skin looks and feels softer and firmer. The illuminating effect comes from the tiny gold particles within the cream itself as well as the colour of the cream and leaves a lovely warm glow on skin. Excuse the extreme close up but hopefully you can see the gold particles on the hand picture above!

Overall, this is wonderful luxury product that leaves skin looking illuminated and feeling hydrated. A luxury product that I'd personally save for evenings out and special events.

Have you guys tried out any of the Elemis range?

Monday 26 August 2013

Monday Manicure Barry M Textured Nail Effect Nail Polish Ridley Road

Barry M Textured Nail Effect 2 coats (taken at night)

Barry M Textured Nail Effect 1 coat (taken in the day!)

As you saw in my birthday present haul post, I was really lucky to receive this as a gift*. The textured nail effects from Barry M are a much cheaper dupe of the Nails Inc concrete nail polish. I haven't tried the Nails Inc, but here's my thoughts on the Barry M version.

First off, I adore this colour! Pastel mint green nail polish is one of my favourites and Nails Inc Haymarket in particular. This however has got to be the most perfect mint colour without too much blue interfering with the pastel yumminess. Also, I actually think this shade works better in this matte finish than it does in a gloss. But I digress.

I've shown you a picture of how it looks at one coat and how it looks at two. I've heard a lot of bloggers say that they thought it needed three coats to get a good finish, but I was happy with two. 

The effect is really weird. To me, it almost felt like I was wearing falsies because my nails feel so alien! It's almost like sandpaper but not as scratchy :)

The only think to be careful of is that they mark really easily and mine ended up a bit grubby because my makeup rubbed off onto it.

The colour goes on smooth and then dries to this effect, I have no idea how but it's magic! Also, it dries pretty quickly which is always a bonus.

Overall I really love this polish for a special event or night out especially. At £3.99 I think it's definitely worth trying out and it's a fun way to experiment with colour and texture.

Have you tried any textured nail polishes?

Saturday 24 August 2013

Bodhi Escape Travel Kit review - Neroli Luce Face Oil, Jasmine Falls Shower Gel and Moisturiser and Flora Paradiso Massage Oil

Recently, I was lucky enough to meet Elijah from Bodhi and receive this just released Escape Travel Kit.

Bodhi Escape Travel Kit available here

This is the first time that I've been introduced to Bodhi products, so it seems only fitting that I use this post to introduce the brand to you lovely readers.

Bodhi is a British eco-luxury skincare brand founded in 2010 with a focus on using natural and organic products and aromatherapeutic fragrances.

Onto the technical bit: "We select ingredients that are ethically sourced from sustainable origins. Our products are naturally free from harsh synthetics – no petrochemicals, no sulphates, no parabens. We do not use synthetic colours, synthetic fragrances or animal ingredients. We do not condone animal testing and all our products have been tested on and evaluated by a volunteer panel of human testers, not animals."

I have to admit, this was all news to me. Although I'd seen Bodhi on the Harvey Nichols shelves, I hadn't realised the aromatherapy benefits of the products and the commitment of the brand to using natural products.

Onto the products themselves. Contained within the set is:

Neroli Lucé Revitalising Face Oil
Jasmine Falls Relaxing Bath & Shower Therapy
Jasmine Falls Relaxing Body Moisturiser
Flora Paradiso De-Stress Massage & Body Oil

For an individual review of each product, keep reading.

Neroli Lucé Revitalising Face Oil

A beautiful warm saffron coloured oil, this is full of beautiful natural ingredients including Jojoba and apricot kernal oil and is designed for normal, combination, dull, tired or blemish prone skin. Used after cleansing and toning and serum application but before moisturising, this is a real nourishing product. I have to admit, at first I struggled to see any difference. But then something happened. About two weeks into testing I began to see an improvement in skin texture and my uneven skin tone appeared more even hydrated from within. My advice? Persevere!  Personally, I didn't see results overnight but it's worth the wait.

Jasmine Falls Relaxing Bath & Shower Therapy

Jasmine Falls has got to be my favourite fragrance from the collection. Jasmine is my all time favourite scent and I adore this exotic floral scent. Straight from the bottle, the Jasmine is not necessarily the first thing to hit you as it has been blended with lavender and other essential oils. Just like a fragrance, the shower gels comprise top notes, heart notes and base notes, meaning the scent changes from when its in the bottle to when it's on your skin.

Perfect for a relaxing bedtime bath or shower, the jasmine scent sits on your skin and smells just divine.

Jasmine Falls Relaxing Body Moisturiser

Just like the shower gel, the Jasmine Falls moisturiser is a beautiful exotic, relaxing fragrance. Perfect for layering with the shower gel, I love using the moisturiser after the shower gel to increase the staying power of this beautiful scent. With shea butter and coconut oil, this is highly highdrating and leaves skin feeling so soft you can't help but touch it!

Flora Paradiso De-Stress Massage & Body Oil 

Blended with ylang-ylang, lavender, atlas cedarwood and apricot kernal oil, Flora Paradiso is a relaxing floral fragrance. Breathing this in, a different element of the scent is revealed to you one after another. Although it is a clear massage oil inspired by ancient Balinese massage rituals, it works especially well on dry skin after showering. It promises to leave skin glowing and that it does! Heavenly.

Once I'd learnt a little bit more about Bodhi, I was smitten by a brand that is so committed to using the best natural and organic ingredients. I was struck by the quality of the products and it's only by using them for a while that you really get the sense of what the brand is all about. The essential oils and aromatherapy element to the products only adds to the overall feeling of using a product that is good for not just your body, but mind too.

I adore this set and think it's worth the price tag of £34. Perfect for anyone looking for an introduction to Bodhi.

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Jimmy Choo - A very Chic win

A few months ago I had the good luck to win a twitter competition held by Chic & Seek.

After umming and ahhing over a few things on the site including a Mulberry bangle, Anya Hindmarch bag and Bex Rox bracelet, the special offer of 30% off shoes a few weeks ago gave me a nudge towards these Jimmy Choos.

And here they are! This fabulous pair of snakeskin Jimmy Choo wedges is perfect for summer, for walks around town to a glamorous evening outfit, I think they're versatile and will work with anything.

A big thank you to Annabelle and Tara in particular at Chic & Seek for the gorgeous shoes and fantastic customer service. The guys there were really helpful and friendly throughout the order process and I am so in love with everything on the site! 

If you haven't been on already then go and check out Chic & Seek for some beautiful designer shoes, bags and accessories. What's on your wishlist?

Monday 19 August 2013

Monday Manicure: Barry M Gelly Nail Paint Papaya

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint in Papaya* GNP13 available here

You might have spotted this little number in my Birthday Present post, can you tell that everybody loves Barry M? I didn't even ask for nail polish or Barry M but my friends must know me too well because everyone who bought me polish bought me Barry M!

I digress, I've already tried out the Watermelon shade which is the darkest Gelly shade available, now onto a much more summery colour. Papaya is a fabulously fruity peachy orange shade with a high shine finish. I could have used 3 coats to get a better finish as this wasn't perfect at 2 coats and a base coat.

I adore this colour, I think it's perfect for high summer and the colour is literally juicy. It came off really easily too and lasted just under a week. These are such good value it looks like I'll be working my way around the entire Gelly range at this rate.

Which is your favourite shade?

Monday 12 August 2013

Monday Manicure: Barry M Magnetic Nail Effects in Magnetic Violet Product Review

Hi guys! So this post is going to be a bit different, in that it's both a Monday Manicure and a product review.  I'm ashamed to admit it but this is the first time I've tried out a magnetic nail polish. They've been around for a few years now but I just didn't feel compelled to buy one. However, one of my fab friends got me this for my birthday and so I've finally had the chance to try it out for myself.

Barry M Magnetic Nail Effects in Magnetic Violet* NP329 available here

The hype
Magnetic polishes have been around for a while but in researching this post, I learnt a lot. For a start, I had no idea that they come in different patterns. The panels on the magnetic top (in this case the horizontal lines) are actually a representation of the effect the magnetic will leave on your nails. In the Barry M range for example, there's chevrons, stars, waves, diagonal lines and more to choose from. What's even more fun is that you can swap the lids around and use them on different coloured nail polishes from the range to get even more colour/pattern combinations!

Things I learnt a) the magnetic lid comes off the actual lid b) the pictures/lines mean something!

How to apply magnetic nail polish
Here's the directions according to Barry M. 

1. Shake the bottle well to ensure magnetic particles are evenly distributed throughout nail paint
2. Apply a basecoat and then apply one coat of your magnetic nail paint and allow to dry
3. Apply second coat and IMMEDIATELY hover the magnet over the nail for 5 to 10 seconds and watch the effect appear
4. Once dry apply topcoat

I followed these to the letter (although I skipped the topcoat to see what the finish is like and I heard some topcoats don't agree with these polishes and destroy the effect) and here's what I ended up with.

A few commonly made mistakes with these polishes are:

Holding the magnet too close to the nail (smudge alert!)
Not holding the magnet close enough (no chance of the pattern coming through strong enough)
Moving the magnet whilst holding it to your nail (this creates a weak/blurry pattern)

As you can see, my nails didn't come out perfectly. For a start, the design didn't cover the whole nail because my nails are quite domed which means I need to try and move the magnet around the whole nail (side to side rather than just directly above). Also, how close you hold the magnet to the nail makes a difference to the pattern, as it will be darker and stronger the closer you hold it to the nail.

For a first attempt I don't think this is too bad but I'm definitely up for trying out some different shapes and colours especially. I also heard that you can use normal magnets on these to give different shapes. Cue me going to the fridge and testing out about 20 different magnets to see if it's true. Well, whilst the small round/square magnets just created a bid splodge in the centre of the nail, the larger ones were pretty impressive, creating horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines. The larger block magnets (where the whole of the back is covered in a magnet) even gave lots of really thin lines. Definitely worth a try!

How have you guys been getting on with magnetic nail polish?

P.S - If you're not interested in the magnetic effect and just want to see what the colour looks like on its own, this one's for you!

Sunday 4 August 2013

Green People Fruit Scrub Exfoliator Product Review

One item in our fabulous goody bags from the Brum Blogger Meet was this Fruit Scrub Exfoliator from Green People*. We were so lucky to receive some wonderful products on the day so I'll be making my way through them to bring you more product reviews over the next few months.

Green People Fruit Scrub Exfoliator available here

Green People produces natural body care products, which are free from aggressive ingredients or synthetic chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, alcohol (ethanol) and synthetic fragrances or colourants. With an emphasis on organic and over 100 products, including this one, certified as organic by the Soil Association in the range, it's a great way for people to learn about natural face and bodycare.

What is it?
Green People Fruit Scrub Exfoliator

How much does it cost?
£11.95 for 50ml or £4.95 for 25ml.

What does it claim to do?
An effective natural exfoliating facial cream for deeply-cleansed, radiant skin. Now in easy-squeeze tube!

For all skin types
Removes dead skin cells and impurities for a glowing complexion
Softens the skin and retains natural oils
Delicious, light scent from natural ingredients
Alcohol-free and balancing

The verdict?
I used this on make up free, slightly damp skin without having cleansed first. Applying just a bit more than a pea sized amount, I massaged this onto my skin and tried to use circular motions where possible. The product itself is true to the name and very fruity indeed, although I thought it smelt quite like grapefruit. A rich, creamy product with small round natural kernels suspended inside, I found this to be effective at tackling areas of dryness, sloughing off dead skin cells.

Although it's recommended for use 1-2 times a week, for me personally I could use this 3-4 times a week quite easily as it is quite gentle. 

It tackled smaller areas of dryness well and left my skin feeling soft to the touch and radiant.

Overall, a good value general use exfoliator with cleansing benefits thats great for all skin types.

Thursday 1 August 2013

#VintSetFest - Vintage/Blogger/Event - Warning Picture Heavy!

Last week I headed over to one of my favourite spots in Birmingham, The Custard Factory for #VintSetFest.

Organised by TigerBamComms and The Vintage Set, the event was a meeting of vintage, blogging and generally wonderful peeps.

There was so much to see and do that I barely took any photos, sorry! However I'll share with you a few that I did take.

Here some of the highlights:

A Q&A with the managing director of Macadamia Hair - Nick Shillabeer, Samantha Bennett SD Manager of Asos Marketplace, Nicola Darling & Frankie Payne from Clothes Show Live and Nancy Miguel the senior makeup artist at Make Up London Academy and styling competition

Nails by Rosie who was offering a free nail art design for one nail. I've seen her nail art on Instagram and adore her delicate and creative designs but there was such a queue I couldn't get mine done.

The Macadamia Oil stand - yes, I did buy something!

Lots of fabulous clothing and jewellery from The Vintage Set and Love Without Measure

The decor - hay bales, graffiti art and more

The candy bar - candy bracelets, bon bons and my favourites, foam shrimps

Music from New Killer Shoes - they were fantastic

The Bed Head stand - I resisted

The BBQ - I totally missed this

The fabulous wristbands (these are all over twitter and instagram)

Hair styling from The Depot Birmingham - again, such queues!

UpCycling challenge from ReThink ReMake ReLove - upcycle a collar, decorate a sunglasses case or make your own bracelet.

Smoky eye tutorials from the Make Up London Academy

The goodie bags - immense!

Hook a duck - this got cancelled because the ducks kept running away from us

There was  professional photographer at work on the night, if you'd like to see his shots they can be found here, and EtailPR took some pictures too.

I had a great time catching up with Florrie from Intrinstically Florrie who kindly took some outfit shots for me (I'm always forgetting to take a camera) so I'll post those later. There were also some lovely girlies taking shots of everyone outside so if anyone knows where those are, let me know! I also got to have a chat with Mish from Mishmreow (hello!)

I do wish I'd been able to meet more of you wonderful bloggers so if anyone wants to say please do leave me a comment so I can check out your blog and say hi over twitter/instagram.

A huge thanks to the girls from TigerBam. I had such a good time at the event, you did such an amazing job and I'm looking forward to next year!