Review: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser

Sunday, 29 September 2013

I don't know why my hands look so grey...! My original image has been distorted by Blogger :(

FOTD using Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser (No concealer)

I managed to bag the ultimate bargain when I bought the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser, as I got a 'bonus size' 200ml tube for an amazing £18 in the house of Fraser sale a few months back! This usually costs £33 for 50ml! I would have originally opted for the oil free version as my t-zone can get quite oily, but I couldn't pass up the bargain and thought I'd give this a go.

I absolutely love this tinted moisturiser for good skin days. It has low coverage, so I find it evens out my complexion but I can't get away without concealer. I was having a rare good skin day in the images above, but you can still see some of my blemishes on my chin and forehead and the redness around my nose is still visible. I have tried applying it using my fingers or my beauty blender dupe. Both methods work fine but I prefer using my fingers as I get slightly more coverage that way. It has quite a runny consistency and blends easily. It feels lovely on the skin as it isn't heavy and leaves you with a dewy finish, which makes your complexion look lovely. I always powder down the centre of my face, as I tend to get oily there.

My gripes with this product lie mainly in the longevity and coverage. On a work day, I need my base to last through the day for at least 9-10 hours with minimal touch ups. I wasn't expecting miraculous longevity, but even with powder this only lasts a few hours before I start getting shiny and it starts wearing away. I would also prefer if the coverage was slightly fuller. As this tinted moisturiser is pretty low coverage, it has to be reserved to good skin or non work days, which means it doesn't get as much love as some of my other base products. Occasionally after using this tinted moisturiser, I have noticed I get a few small whitehead type blemishes, so I feel that this may break me out slightly as well which is a bit annoying as my skin doesn't usually break out from makeup products.

I love this for non work and good skin days, despite the occasional breakout, and would definitely recommend this for less oily skinned gals and people who like dewy, light bases. I think it's a great product for summer or sunnier climates, as it has SPF 20. I may have to try the oil free version, as I've heard that has better coverage. Has anyone tried it and can vouch for the coverage/longevity?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: Nivea In-Shower Moisturiser

Thursday, 12 September 2013

After reading tonnes of rave reviews for the Nivea In-Shower Moisturiser, I have to admit I was underwhelmed when I started using the product.

I really liked the concept of moisturising in the shower, as I thought it would be great for saving time and effort. However, when you think about it, you're cutting out one pre-dressing step but adding one in the shower... So in effect it doesn't make that make difference, however it does mean you can spend more time in the warm shower - score - and it somehow feels like less effort than moisturising post-shower.

The Nivea In-Shower Moisturiser has a moisturiser like consistency and is easily massaged around the skin. It smells a lot like Nivea Creme (The moisturiser in the blue tubs), which is a pleasant and clean scent. The smell doesn't linger too long once washed off, so you needn't worry about it mixing with other fragrances. Note: Be careful when stepping out of the shower/bath, as the base turns into your own mini ice rink and gets super slippery! I have quite dry body skin, so I find that I have to use quite a lot of product to get adequate post-shower moisturisation, which has resulted in getting through this 400ml bottle pretty quickly. After rinsing, there is a slight residue on the skin. It feels like a layer of moisturisation on the top of the skin and while I'm not a fan of residue leaving products, this is just about tolerable in my books. Once I have stepped out of the shower and dried off, my skin feels very slightly moisturised (mainly due to the residue left on the skin) but I always feel like it could do with more. That either means using even more product in the shower (which doesn't feel economical) or moisturising again post shower (which defeats the point of this product).

I wouldn't recommend this if you have dry skin, but I think it might be good for people with normal skin. I also think that it's quite a good product for men, as the scent and packaging are fairly gender neutral.

Have you ever used the Nivea In-Shower Moisturiser?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

September Wishlist

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Clockwise from left: Yankee Candle Car Jar in Christmas Cookie, The Great British Bake Off Everyday Book, Charlotte's Magic Cream, Snake Upper Arm Cuff, Topshop Marnie Shoes, Soap and Glory Smooch Operator

With payday just gone and me being a busy bee, I haven't had a chance to mooch around my local shopping centre to spend some of my hard earned money. So I turned to the wonderful world wide web and have compiled a wishlist of things I want to spend my money on...

I passed my driving test in July and bought a car a few weeks back. I've been looking around online for a car air freshener, which looks nice and smells lovely. Yankee Candle Christmas Cookie is one of my favourite Christmas candles and I was surprised to see a few places still had these in stock. So I'm definitely considering buying one for my car, even though it's not Christmas season yet (Although I've seen some Christmas chocolates and mince pies start to appear in the supermarket...!)

With #GBBO on the tellybox again, I've been in the baking spirit. My baking skills are average at best, so I figure you can't go wrong with a bit of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood showing you the way into the world of baking.

Charlotte Tilbury released her range of makeup, skincare and brushes earlier this month and I have been swooning at some of the range after seeing swatches online. However the thing I have been seriously lusting after is Charlotte's Magic Cream. It's definitely pricier than I would usually spend on a moisturiser, retailing at £70 but if I recall correctly, Charlotte refers to it as 'a pushup bra in a jar' - Now who wouldn't want that for their face? As the Autumn/Winter months approach, I know my skin will be in need of something to give it a boost and I think this might be it.

I really like the look of upper arm cuffs on nights out, especially if you're wearing something sleeveless. I think it's a great alternative to your typical wrist wear, but I haven't seen many to buy in store recently. I spotted this on eBay for less than £2 and managed to purchase this in less than 2 minutes.

These Topshop shoes look lovely for the upcoming Autumn months. I love the subtle nod to monochrome and animal print with the dalmation dots on the heels. I can picture these transitioning well into Autumn with a pair of skinny jeans or cigarette pants.

I am a complete lip balm junkie. I currently have about 4 in my handbag and am lusting after this Soap and Glory one. I haven't heard many people talk about this one, so who know if it's any good... But I gave it a sniff in Boots and it smelt bloody amazing!

What are you lusting after at the moment?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

(Images from,,,

NOTD: Papaya

Sunday, 1 September 2013

2 coats of Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in 'Papaya'

Papaya is a perfect muted creamsicle orange for summer. I've been wearing it lots recently on my fingers and toes over the past few weeks. The formula is easy to use, each coat dried quickly and this was fully opaque in two coats. I'm always impressed at how well these Barry M Gelly polishes last on my nails and this one didn't disappoint, as my nails remained chip free and shiny for a few days. These polishes are a bargain at only £3.99. I also have Greenberry and Prickly Pear, but I am definitely going to have to take a peek at some of the other colours in the range.

What do you think of the Barry M Gellys?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Project Empties #26

Saturday, 31 August 2013

This month's empties consisted of a lot of skincare items - Hydraluron, Ten Instant Lifting Cream, Superdrug Deep Cleansing Mud Mask, Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm (the HUGE 200ml tub!) and Alpha H Liquid Gold. The majority of these products I loved and would definitely repurchase - some I already have - However, there are two items that I don't think I will be repurchasing. The first being this Superdrug Deep Cleansing Mud Mask. When I used this, I didn't feel like it did anything to my skin, let alone deep cleanse it. I've been getting into using masks more recently and I really like clay masks, so I will be on the lookout for a new one to try. I was thinking possibly the Origins Clear Improvement mask... I also don't think I will repurchase the Hydraluron, as I didn't think this product was as amazing as others seem to find it...

I also finished the Nioxin Shampoo from the System Kit 2, which I am definitely going to repurchase as I have noticed since I have stopped using the Nioxin system and the L'Oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer, which I really liked when I bought my first tub, as it smooths out your skin making foundation application lovely, but recently I have been preferring a primer that has better mattifying and makeup prolonging properties, like the Body Shop one I reviewed recently.

Amount for the piggy bank: £12.00

What did you finish this month?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

From L-R: The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser, Partially blended

I ordered this online when The Body Shop had its 40% sale a few weeks back. The Tea Tree Pore Minimiser usually costs £7.50 for 30ml, which I think is fairly reasonable. When I opened the package, the tube was smaller than I thought it would be! Does anyone else find that happens when you order online? I think the packaging is great for travel though, as it's nice and compact. I also like that it's in a tube as it's more hygienic than a tub.

On use, straightaway you get a very strong whiff of tea tree. I personally really like the smell, but if you don't like the smell of tea tree, then this might not be for you. However the smell passes quickly. I only apply this to the places I get oily - forehead, nose, sides of my nose and chin and I find that I need approximately a pea size amount to cover these areas. It's easy to blend in and makes your skin look slightly paler over the applied areas, before settling to clear.

As soon as you apply it, the skin looks matte and feels soft. My pores look smaller and my skin looks smoother. By lunch, I usually have shine and my base usually wears away fastest on and around my nose. But after using this primer, I find that my skin doesn't get that shiny even 7 hours later! I still get some slight shine on my nostrils, but my forehead is fine. My make up lasts so much longer when I use this, which is a god send, especially when it's hot. I've never really been a big fan of primers, but boy am I glad I found this!

What is your favourite primer?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: Tresemme Platinum Strength Range

Thursday, 22 August 2013

After hearing people rave about the Tresemme Platinum Strength range for months, I decided to pick these up on my weekly shop as they were on offer in Tesco. I bought the shampoo, conditioner and deep conditioning treatment. Before I get started, my hair type is naturally wavy and can be quite dry. My day to day hair care routine is pretty low maintenance and involves very few products and little heat. Every now and again, I will blow dry or straighten my hair but for the most part, I just leave it to dry naturally.

There isn't much to say about the usability of these products. They act like any other - The shampoo lathers well (thanks SLS), the conditioners give your hair lots of slip when applying and they all rinse out easily. These products have the typical Tresemme smell, which is pleasant and not too overpowering.

After using these products, my hair feels soft and manageable, even when my hair dried naturally and without any additional products (e.g. oils, leave in conditioners, etc). I feel like my hair doesn't get as frizzy either. When my hair is styled, I see even better results as my hair is soft, sleek and dare I say it, looks shiny and healthy. I have however found that my hair, especially my fringe, gets greasy quite quickly. And since stopping using Nioxin, I have noticed a lot more hair falling out when brushing and washing it.

The deep conditioner is nice for an extra boost of moisture. I found the consistency to be quite similar to the conditioner and I find I use quite a lot each time. I use this once a week and after use, my hair feels so lovely and soft. I really want to try the Instant Rescue Shots, which are also part of this range.

I'm really impressed with this range, especially as it's so affordable and easy to access (i.e. you don't have to buy online). I'm not convinced that it has repaired 2 years of damage, but it definitely makes my hair feel soft, healthy and swish-able.

Have you tried this Tresemme Platinum Strength range before?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Sinful Colors Nail Polishes (Easy Going and 24/7)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Sinful Colors was released in the UK a while ago and I hadn't heard much about the brand before, but was intrigued as they only cost £1.99 and the stand in my local Boots had so many pretty colours on it. I bought 'Easy Going' a while back, as it is supposedly a dupe of Essie 'Fiji' and then I recently bought '24/7' as the bright highlighter pink colour drew me in!

Easy Going

2 coats of Sinful Colors Nail Polish in 'Easy Going'

Easy Going is a milky, peachy pink colour. I read somewhere that it is a dupe of Essie Fiji. I don't own Essie Fiji, however from comparing swatches online, Easy Going looks peachier than Fiji, which has more pink. The formula is quite runny and thick and I found the formula a little difficult to work with, as when you apply too little to the brush, it looks streaky and if you apply too much, it didn't dry fully.   I've used this polish a few times and I've found that the number of coats required can vary between 1-3, depending on how much you have on the brush. I didn't apply a top coat and I found that the colour dulls a little after a few days. I tried a matte topcoat over the top to compare the dullness to a matte effect and found the dullness doesn't quite go as far as matte, but it definitely loses its glossiness. With a matte top coat, the colour is very reminiscent of calamine lotion! I found this lasted really well on my nails with minimal chipping.


2 coats of Sinful Colors Nail Polish in '24/7'

24/7 is an amazing bright highlighter pink shade. I couldn't stop staring at my nails when I was wearing it! I think this colour is perfect for summer, as it would look amazing with a tan. I found the formula of this to be quite thick and runny as well and on the first coat, the colour was rather streaky. This took two coats to become fully opaque and the polish dried quickly to a matte finish. Even though applying a white polish under neon shades makes the colours pop more, I didn't apply a white polish underneath and have still found the colour to be super bright and neon. I was disappointed as this had chipped quite heavily after two days (N.B. I didn't apply top coat, so that may be a factor in how long the nail polish lasted), but that won't stop me from wearing this colour as I love it.

I would definitely recommend checking out the Sinful Colors nail polishes if your local Boots has a stand. I don't think every Boots does though.

Have any of you tried Sinful Colors before? What other shades would you recommend?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: Beauty Blender Sponge Dupe

Monday, 5 August 2013

I bought this 99p dupe of the infamous Beauty Blender sponge from eBay (search beauty sponge) and I have fallen in love with using this to apply my base.

Before use, you have to run it under the tap and squeeze a few times in order to get the water distributed through the sponge and it increases in size by about 50%. I like to squeeze out any excess water and give it a shake before use. One disadvantage of this would be that you have to go to the sink before applying your makeup and if you and your family/friends/boyfriend/girlfriend/etc fight for bathroom time in the mornings, this may not always be practical. I imagine you could use a spray bottle of water, but I haven't tried this. When the sponge fully dries, it reverts back to its original size. Don't try to use it when it's dry, like I did, as it doesn't work half as well as when it's wet and it stains the sponge.

I pump out my foundation onto the back of my hand and apply using the sponge and a dabbing motion. The sponge is egg shaped, so you can use the round base for the majority of your face (i.e. the big bits of face like your cheeks, forehead etc.) and turn it over to the pointed section to get in under your eyes, around the nose, etc. If you want to see it in action, I use it in one of my recent Youtube videos. I find that I use more product when using this sponge and it can be a little more time consuming than using a traditional foundation or buffing brush, however I absolutely love the finish it gives. You are left with a flawless base, with no streaky lines or cakiness. I find that my makeup lasts longer when using this and I can get better coverage over my redness or post-acne marks, as you are essentially packing on the pigment into your skin, rather than spreading it out on top. You can also use this with powder, which I don't do regularly, but it gives a similar effect to using a powder puff and is great for setting concealer in place without moving it from the area you have concealed.

It's important to wash the sponge frequently, as sponges can harbour bacteria especially as the sponge gets damp. I usually wash this after 2-3 uses. It's super easy to wash, however I did find that it stains with foundation occasionally.

I am in love with this method of applying my foundation. I would definitely consider investing the £16ish for the Beauty Blender, however for now I am content with my 99p dupe.

How do you like to apply your base products?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: TEN Instant Lifting Cream

Saturday, 3 August 2013

I had never heard of TEN before, but when my dad brought some of their moisturisers home, I thought I'd give this TEN Instant Lifting Cream a whirl. Fast forward almost 1 year and I am currently working through my second jar of this moisturiser and I thought I would let you know my thoughts about it.

The packaging is nothing to write home about, but I quite like that it's simple and fuss free. I really enjoy using this moisturiser. It's got a light cream, almost gel like consistency and it absorbs into the skin very quickly, leaving my skin feeling soft with an almost satin-like finish. It has a triple hyaluronic acid complex, which I have found to really hydrate and balance out my skin. I find my t-zone gets less oily and I definitely have less dry patches on my cheeks. As I'm only 22, I don't have fine lines or wrinkles, so I can't comment on how well this works to lift my skin. But my skin does feel super soft and hydrated after use.

The only thing I didn't like about this moisturiser is the smell, as it's highly perfumed. I can't quite pinpoint what it smells like, but I'm quite fussy about fragrances in skincare and when I first started using this, I would limit breathing through my nose as I couldn't stand the smell. Eventually you get used to it, however the smell does linger a bit on the skin, so if you don't like fragranced skincare products, this might not be for you.

Have you ever tried any TEN products?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Project Empties #25

Friday, 2 August 2013

I have been trying to downsize my product collection for well over a year now, but have never really had much incentive to do so. I recently saw Kat (from Tales of a Pale Face)'s Use it Up challenge and decided that it would be the perfect incentive to use more products up. It involves putting aside a little money every time you finish a product (I have decided on: 50p for samples, £1 for full size products and £2 for high end products). I imagine that it would add up after a few months and it can go towards something nice, which is always lovely!

We always seem to have a tube of this St. Ives Apricot Scrub lying around the house and even though it's super abrasive, sometimes I use a small amount to get some manual exfoliation. It is easy to overdo it with this product, so I think I might be on the lookout for a less abrasive scrub or I will try to use the rosehip seeds that came with my Emma Hardie cleansing balm more often, as when you add them to a cleanser, it gives a similar consistency.

I really enjoyed using the Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash. It had a lovely scent and had a nice creamy consistency. It works really well with my Clarisonic and leaves my skin feeling as soft as a baby's bottom. I also really enjoyed using this Nioxin Cleanser for hair type 2. I have a full in depth review of it here, if you want to read more about the set I got.

I got this Origins Make a Difference Moisturiser in a store swap sometime last year. I gave in an old moisturiser jar and received this in return. To be honest, I didn't think much of the moisturiser. It was pleasant, wasn't too heavy and had a nice scent. But at the same time, I wouldn't say it was that remarkable. I thought the Clarins Hydraquench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase was nice. It has quite a runny, watery consistency, which I really liked. My skin felt soft and hydrated after use and I'm definitely considering buying the full size version of this along with some of the other products in the range.

Amount for the piggy bank: £6.50

What have you used up this month?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Project Empties #24

Monday, 1 July 2013

Over these past few months, I have been finishing less and less products. In May, I finished one and throughout June, I only finished two. What's worse is that my beauty stash seems to continually be growing! Argh!

I really liked the V05 Miracle Concentrate Elixir with Argan Oil. It's a great purse friendly hair oil, which smells lovely and doesn't leave your hair feeling too oily. I found this 50ml bottle lasted me ages as you really don't need a lot each time and the dropper allows for more accurate dispensing. I found that it made my hair feel softer if I applied it before blow drying and it was great for taming a little bit of frizz.

I loved this Tresemme Restructuring Deep Conditioning Mask. You get a lot of product for your money and the tub lasted me AGES. It left my hair feeling so soft and never weighed down. My only gripe is that it is in a tub and it isn't that practical in the shower. (Please say I'm not the only person that manages to get water in their hair product containers, even when the shower is turned off?!)

I forgot I had these Origins High-Potency Brightening Peel with Fruit Acids pads for a while and recently started using them again. They're super easy to use and I definitely saw some skin brightening as I was using the remaining pads twice weekly until they ran out. I have a full review of them here.

What did you finish throughout June? Can you believe it's July already?!

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Goodbye Google Reader

So today is the day. Google Reader will be no more after July 1st. I'm quite sad about this as I use Google Reader to keep up to date with the blogs I follow and have got used to the format etc. This past week, I've been trying to get used to BlogLovin' in preparation for Google Reader's demise and it is taking a bit of getting used to. If you use Google Reader, I just thought I would let you know that you can import your Google Subscriptions to BlogLovin' here, in case you hadn't done so already. Also, if you would like to continue being updated with my beauty ramblings, you can follow my blog and keep up to date with my posts on Bloglovin' here.

I hope this helped a little, so you don't miss out on any of your favourite reads.

What do you use to keep up to date with your favourite blogs?

xoxo, Joy

NOTD: Pop Fiction

Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Miss Sporty stands in Boots aren't usually ones that I linger by, but I was intrigued by this bright cobalt blue shade, which looks quite similar to Nails Inc's Baker Street. The polish was really easy to apply. The formula wasn't too thin or too thick and I found the colour was generally opaque with one coat. I did two anyway, partially out of habit and to make sure all the colour was even. The nail polish is part of Miss Sporty's quickdry range and I found that it dried fairly quickly, which is great as I hate hanging around for nail polish to dry! I loved the brush of this! It's quite reminiscent of the new Essie diffusion line brush or the Rimmel 60 Seconds range brush and I really like that it's wide and flat, making painting the nails quicker and easier. The polish lasted well on my nails. I removed it after a few days for work, but I did not experience any chipping during those few days.

I have been seriously impressed by Miss Sporty Pop Fiction, especially as it only costs a measly £1.99 for 7ml. I recently popped into Boots in my lunch break and picked up a pretty yellow one, which I think will be lovely for summer. I'm sure you'll see it pop up in a NOTD soon!

Has anyone else used any nail polishes by Miss Sporty before?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

REN Summer Skincare Masterclass

Monday, 24 June 2013

I went to a REN Skincare Masterclass at Liberty on Thursday and I've never been to anything like this before, so I thought I'd share my experience with you. It was held in the gorgeous Heritage Suite on Floor 3 in Liberty. Liberty is seriously the prettiest shop ever. Sigh. The room had pretty displays focussing on the Radiance range and had oranges dotted around in bell jars, which I thought was a nice touch. In conjunction with this, there was juice, probiotic chocolate and alkaline orange cupcakes laid out for everyone. The class began with skin expert David Delport informing us about the background of the brand (Did you know REN is a British brand? I didn't!), before telling us about the Radiance line and the Anti Aging products that REN have. I really liked that we had the chance to learn more about the products in depth and feel the texture of each product as they were discussed.

Afterwards, we gave ourselves mini facials... That meant taking off my makeup in front of strangers - Something I definitely wasn't expecting to do! We got to try the products that an evening skincare routine would consist of and also the new BB Cream. Along the way, David gave us little tips about the best ways to use the products and how to give yourself a shiatsu facial massage. I'm glad I was able to try the new BB Cream. Apparently it sold out within two weeks! When I first pumped some out, it looked scarily orange but it somehow blended into my skin seamlessly and left my skin looking more even and dewy, without looking cakey.

Before we left, we were given a cute black canvas tote and a pack of mini samples, which I thought was a nice touch and I was excited to see a mini sample of the BB Cream, which I am looking forward to trying over an extended period of time!

After the class, we were taken back downstairs to the Beauty Hall to pick some products. The class cost £35, which was redeemable against any products bought on the day, so I decided to get the Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Face Mask (£30), which I have been dying to try for ages and the Clarifying Toning Lotion (£18).

I had a lovely time at the masterclass. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that wants to know more about REN or skincare. Keep an eye out on the beauty events on the Liberty website, as that's how I came across this masterclass and I assume they might do more in the future.

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipsticks

Friday, 21 June 2013

From L-R: Sloane's Plum, Berry Queen, Nude Delight, Notting Hill Nude, Aubrun Breeze

Rimmel's Moisture Renew Lipstick in Nude Delight lipstick is one of my favourite nude lipsticks and I have repurchased it twice already. As I love Nude Delight so much, I decided to buy up a few more of the Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipsticks on Fragrance Direct as they were a bargainous 99p!

I really like the formula of these lipsticks. They are easy to apply and are not drying on the lips. I find that they're not the most long lasting lipsticks, but I don't mind too much as I usually expect moisturising formulas to last a shorter time on the lips. The lipsticks have a strange smell. It's not that unpleasant, but it definitely isn't as nice as the vanilla-y MAC Lipstick scents. I am not a big fan of the packaging... While purple is my favourite colour, I find the packaging to be a little garish and quite bulky. That being said, the bright packaging does make it easier to find the lipsticks once they've been thrown into the abyss that is my handbag.

When I first opened Sloane's Plum, I was thinking that it would be a shade that would be relegated to the back of my makeup drawers as the purple hue of the bullet scared me! But on the lips, it becomes a really pretty plum colour. If you want to see what it looks like on the lips, I'm wearing it in my latest Youtube video. Berry Queen is your typical blue toned red. It's a lovely shade, which I think would suit all skin types and it also makes your teeth look super white! As I mentioned before, Nude Delight is a gorgeous peachy nude, which I looove. While I don't usually like pink toned nudes, as they make me look a little dead, Notting Hill Nude has the right amount of pink and brown mixed in to create this gorgeous 'my-lips-but-nuder' colour. It's fast becoming a contender for my favourite nude lipstick. Auburn Breeze looks different on the lips to the bullet. It's a nice 'my-lips-but-better' colour,  but isn't my favourite as it has a bit of a glittery sheen to it.

Have you ever tried any Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipsticks?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

I bought this REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser (Longest alliteration cleanser name ever?) a few weeks ago, as my skin was feeling a little temperamental and was breaking out left, right and centre. This cleanser is marketed by REN as a "purifying, antibacterial cleanser formulated to combat and help prevent breakouts and blemishes" (From - which sounded like something my skin needed. I have been using this cleanser for the past few weeks and I thought I would share my thoughts on it.

The ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser is clay based, as the name suggests, but it is surprisingly creamy. I usually use one pump and massage it all over my face after I have cleansed with the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm. It spreads around the face nicely and is easy to massage. The product has no fragrances, which I like as I don't like using perfumed products on my face. I've found this super gentle to use and I've put it around the eye area without any irritation. After washing it off, my skin doesn't feel dried out or tight. It leaves my skin feeling refreshed and clean. With daily use, this has definitely helped clear up my breakout and helped to balance out my skin, which I am so happy about. This cleanser costs £18 for 150ml, which I think is reasonable as you get a large amount of product. I bought mine from Salon Skincare, as they were selling it for 10% off (making it £16.20).

I really like REN, as their skincare is 'clean' and does not contain things like parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance and colours, etc. I don't know that much about deciphering ingredients, but you often hear that you should avoid products with parabens, mineral oil, etc, and my theory is the less, the better. I am definitely going to look into more of their products and I even came across a REN Skincare Masterclass, which is at Liberty tomorrow and managed to get booked onto a session, which I am super excited about.

Have you tried any products from REN?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

NOTD: Pistachio Ice Cream

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

3 coats of Makeup Academy Nail Polish in 'Pistachio Ice Cream'

Hello everyone, how are you all? It's been a while!

I picked up this Makeup Academy nail polish from Superdrug for the bargain price of £1. I was drawn in by the new packaging, which has a similar resemblance to Essie packaging and I loved the look of the pretty minty green colour, which is one of my favourite colours to wear on my nails during the Spring and Summer.

The colour looks slightly more green in the bottle, but the nail polish is a really pretty pastel mint. The colour is very similar to American Apparel's Office, which is one of my favourite mint nail polishes. The formula of this nail polish was quite thin and runny. It applied very streakily on the first coat and became generally opaque with a few sparse patches on the second coat. I found applying three coats gave perfect opacity. The brush is very small and thin, which is not my favourite type of brush as I prefer the wider brushes which are easier to use. I found that each coat dried quickly and the polish has lasted well on my nails (even without a top coat). I've had it on for 3 days now and I only have a little tipwear.

Have you tried any nail polishes by Makeup Academy?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: Indeed Labs Hydraluron and Pepta-Bright

Saturday, 18 May 2013

I bought these products from Indeed Labs after they were given a thumbs up by Caroline Hirons, which basically meant that they were automatically added to my mental shopping list. I really like the fuss-free packaging and the tubes, as it's convenient and hygienic to use.

Hydraluron (£24.99)
After reading Caroline's cheat sheet about dry/dehydrated skin, I was convinced that my skin was dehydrated, as my 'symptoms' seemed to fit into the dehydrated category. So I thought: 'Brilliant, Hydraluron will be a much needed moisture boost for my dehydrated skin'. The texture is a gel, which sinks into the skin quickly and doesn't have a scent. Hydraluron has been raved about by a lot of people, but I was disappointed when I used this as I don't feel like it made any difference to my skin. I used it daily in the morning for about 4 weeks, but I haven't been using it for the past week or so and don't see any difference between when I use it and when I don't.

Pepta-Bright (£29.99)
My opinion of Pepta-Bright is the opposite of Hydraluron. I absolutely love this product and it definitely works. Pepta-Bright has a cream like texture and sinks into the skin quickly. I didn't find this broke me out at all. I've noticed that my post acne dark marks are not hanging around as long as they usually would and my skin tone is looking a lot more even overall.

Have you ever tried products by Indeed Labs?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

N.B. Please remember skincare is subjective. Something that may work for me, might not work for you and vice versa.

Review: Nioxin System Kit 2

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

My hair has never been thick, but it had recently been feeling really thin and damaged. I also felt that I could have made a wig using the hair that fell out when brushing or washing my hair! I have tried to combat this before by doing the '4 Week No Heat' Challenge and using products, such as the Lush New Shampoo Bar, but this time I decided to try the Nioxin System Kit 2, which is designed for fine, natural hair which is noticeably thinning. I'd read good reviews about this and it claims that '70% of users notice thicker, denser looking hair in 4 weeks'. I have been using this Nioxin Kit for over 1 month now and thought I would give you a run down of my thoughts on it.

The kit comes with a 150ml Cleanser, 150ml Scalp Revitaliser and 40ml Scalp and Hair Treatment - aka a shampoo, conditioner and leave in treatment. I felt that for the price of the system (Around £25), you don't get a lot of product, however the shampoo and conditioner have lasted for a month and half so far (I wash my hair with these products 2-3x a week) and I feel like there's still about half left in the bottle. I think the leave in treatment will last me ages, as I don't use much each time and I will continue to use it even once the shampoo and conditioner are finished.

The Cleanser is a green, gel like texture which kind of reminds me of a gel facial cleanser and the Revitaliser is a typical, white conditioner consistency. They both have a subtle minty smell, which isn't my favourite, but isn't too overpowering. The Cleanser lathers well and my hair felt clean, but not stripped and the Revitaliser gives the hair a nice amount of slip once applied. The Scalp and Hair Treatment is a foam-like texture, which you apply all over the scalp. I was a bit sceptical of putting it near my roots as I was worried it would make my hair greasy or feel like there was product build up, but it didn't. I was unsure how many pumps to use each time, so I generally stick to 2-3 and hope for the best. The instructions say that it "may cause temporary redness and a warming sensation following application", which scared me a little when I read it, but I have never experienced this.

During the use of this kit, I have also stopped using heat on my hair. I still blow dry my fringe, but I don't use my straighteners or curlers unless I'm going out. After using this system, my hair feels quite dry and I feel like I don't need to wash my hair as often. Every now and again, instead of using this every time I wash my hair, I have been using it twice a week and using another shampoo and deep conditioner the other time.

The Nioxin System claims to "deliver 5 effects for thicker looking hair":
1. Reduces hair fall due to breakage - I have definitely noticed that I have less hair around the shower drain after washing my hair.
2. Delivers denser-looking hair - I feel like my hair retains its natural bounce a little more and looks more voluminous. Due to less styling of my hair, I have found that my hair doesn't look as flat either.
3. Amplifies hair texture - I think that by making my hair feel drier, it has given my hair some texture. My hair no longer has that silky, slippy, first day hair feeling and instead retains my natural wave quite well.
4. Helps strengthen hair resilience against cuticle damage - In combination with using less heat on my hair, I have noticed that I have less split ends.
5. Cleanses excessive sebum from scalp - This has definitely happened, as I feel like my hair is quite dry and I feel like I need to wash my hair less often. I usually try to combat this by using a hair oil through the ends to try to help my hair retain some moisture.

I am happy that I have been using this kit. My hair will never be thick, but I have seen some great results. I am sceptical about what will happen once I finish these products and if I don't continue using them, as a lot of hair thinning products require constant use and results stop after stopping use. I will do an update a few weeks after I finish the products if there is anything to note. I can't see myself using this as my only shampoo and conditioner combination as I like to chop and change the products I use, but I would definitely repurchase the products. The kit is a great way to try these products to see if they're for you and I think you can buy each of the products individually in bigger quantities, which is also useful. If you're into SLS free and natural products, then this range will not be for you as you can see the ingredients list, above, is fairly extensive.

Have any of you tried this Nioxin System Kit?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

NOTD: Prickly Pear, Florals and Polka Dots

Friday, 10 May 2013

'Another NOTD already?!' I know my last post was also a NOTD, but I change my nail polish fairly frequently and I am so in love with this colour and my little attempt at nail art, that I had to share it with you.

3 coats of Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in 'Prickly Pear'

Left: Berry Ice Cream, Right: Prickly Pear

I resisted buying Prickly Pear for as long as I could. When it was released, I knew it was one of those colours that I would love. It is a pretty light purple, which I would say is slightly darker than your typical pastel lilac. The colour is similar to Barry M 'Berry Ice Cream', which is another of my favourites, but comparing them side by side, you can see the difference in colour tone. The formula was easy to work with and needed 3 coats to become fully opaque. The colour is super glossy, even without a top coat. It has lasted well on my nails so far and there are no chips yet.

Nail art and I are not best friends. However I was inspired by Milly's pastel floral nails in her recent post, so I decided to give it a whirl. The technique she linked to was a tutorial by Corrie and it really was as simple as pi. I think the whole nail art process took less than 5 minutes. I didn't trust myself to decorate all my nails, but I threw in a little polka dot design and really like how it turned out. I didn't use any fancy dotting tools or stamps - I just did a few circular blobs of Essie 'Off The Shoulder' using the brush and then swirled in Sinful Colors 'Easy Going' with a cocktail stick, before dotting mini leaves and polka dots using the same cocktail stick and Barry M 'Greenberry' and finishing off with a top coat. Simples.

Have you tried any Barry M Gelly nail polishes? Do you like nail art?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

NOTD: Greenberry

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

3 coats of Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in 'Greenberry'

I picked up a few Barry M Gelly nail polishes from Superdrug after initially trying to resist buying them. They were on 3 for 2, so I couldn't really pass them up, could I?! I chose Greenberry as I don't have any other colours like this. The colour is a gorgeous, vibrant Tiffany blue kind of colour with a tinge of green. I am currently wearing this on my fingers, but I think this would also look great on the toes with a pair of sandals or paired with a gold accent nail. The polish applied extremely streaky for the first coat, but became opaque on applying the second coat. I decided to do three coats for optimum opacity. The formula is really easy to use. It applies nicely and dries fairly quickly. The colour is really lovely and glossy, which I love. It has lasted fairly well on my nails. I hada few chips on the tips after a few days, but nothing too major.

Have you used the Barry M Gellys before? I also picked up Prickly Pear and Papaya, which I'm excited to try!

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: Botanics 100% Organic Face Oil

Monday, 6 May 2013

I bought this Botanics 100% Organic Facial Oil from Boots for £4.99 (half price, original price £9.99) after deciding that my skincare routine was severely lacking a facial oil, as it was feeling rather dry and flaky a few weeks ago.

I currently use a few drops of this face oil every evening and occasionally in the morning if my skin needs that extra moisture boost. I like that it comes with a pipette to distribute the oil, as you can choose how many drops you need with minimal wasteage.

The facial oil has a strange smell. It isn't offensive or overpowering, just slightly strange. I think it may be the smell of rosehip, however I don't know what rosehip smells like, so I won't assume anything... I found that I got used to it quickly and don't mind it that much now.

The oil is a little thicker and isn't as runny as the Vitamin E Facial Oils that I have used in the past. I find that it doesn't sink into my skin that quickly and sometimes sits on top for a while (leaving you looking rather glossy), before finally sinking in and leaving my face feeling soft and moisturised. I did not find that this broke me out at all. This has really helped to get rid of any dry, flaky patches on my skin and I have noticed that my post acne marks are lightening and going away quicker (I think this in combination with some of the other skincare products that I've been using lately).

I think this facial oil is great and it has become a firm favourite in my skincare routine. The price is brilliant, especially if you catch it on offer and I love that this is an easily accessible brand, so you can just pop to your local high street and don't have to wait for online deliveries.

What's your favourite facial oil?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy