14 December 2010

Lush Christmas Collection: Bearded Lady & Christmas Eve

Continuing on with Lush's Christmas collection of delectable bath goodies...

Bearded Lady Bubble Bar - £2.50

This cute bubble bar contains moisturising oat milk, fresh avocado and banana, jojoba and almond oils - an assortment of delicious ingredients to soften your skin in the bath. Once again, crumbling half a bar was sufficient for an eruption of lots of big, silky bubbles. The scent is subtly delicate with a hint of citrus...lovely!

Christmas Eve Bubble Bar- £2.60
Lush's Christmas Eve combines jasmine and ylang ylang for a relaxing floral scent which made a nice change from the usual sweet scents I'm drawn to. This bubble bar features Irish moss powder to form a soothing, softening gel and the oils are good for caring for sensitive skins. Christmas Eve creates bubbles galore and the bath water turns a deep blue (if you can see it beneath all the bubbles!) I'll definitely be stocking up on these for more soothing, relaxing baths. It's one to bring out the candles for!

9 December 2010

A Fabulous Faux Fur Coat OOTD

When faux fur recently came into fashion, I didn't really have an opinion about it. And then one day, the swarms of fur surrounding me in every high street store I visited lured me in and I slipped one on to see how it looked. I loved it. There's something about fur that makes you feel very glamorous. It's also very snug and warm which is a bonus in this weather. Although the temperature was around -8'C when I wore this outfit, the sun was shining so I had to pop on my Oscar de la Renta sunglasses (a bargain from TK Maxx) and I felt like a film star!

In an ideal world, I would have worn this coat with some heels, but I didn't want to encourage frost bite on my toes so thick winter socks and boots were required.

Faux fur coat: New Look
Blouse: Mango
Scarf: Oasis
Jeans: Primark
Over-the-knee socks: H&M
Boots: Primark

I also have a beautiful caramel and cream coloured fur gilet which I'll be donning in the near future. I love faux fur!

8 December 2010

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation & Concealer

I've always been an inexpensive foundation girl. Mostly because I couldn't afford anything more as a student, but also because I didn't believe paying more resulted in better quality. How wrong I was. I tried my first high end foundation just a few months ago, with the foundation of choice being Estee Lauder's Double Wear. I've heard amazing things about this foundation for years, but at £25 for a bottle it was just too expensive to even consider buying whilst I was a student.

With a large colour collection of around 20 shades, there's a match for everyone, whether you have cool, neutral or warm undertones. I love that there's a whole shade range for each undertone and I could pick perfect match for my skin. A common problem I've had with cheaper foundations is that they always seem to be a little too pink for my skin tone, and so I could end up with a mismatched face and neck.

The shade pictured above is Tawny-3W1, the ideal match for my skin when I'm (fake) tanned. Now it's Winter and my skin is more fair, I should really buy this foundation a shade or two lighter, but I've found mixing Tawny with a little bit of a paler foundation in a different brand is the easier and cheaper option and does the job well. 

I apply using my MAC 187 brush which gives a beautiful flawless finish with no streaks. The coverage is medium to high with a matte finish, just how I like it! This is by far the best foundation I've ever used, I adore it. Not only does it apply beautifully, it gives an absolutely flawless finish and lasts all day. My makeup looks so perfect that when it gets to bedtime, it feels wrong to take it all off! The only thing that lets this down is the bottle. There's no pump so things can get a bit messy and I suspect I waste a lot of product as it's difficult to control.  

Estee Lauder's Double Wear Concealer is available in 5 shades and I chose Medium for a middle of the road colour. This is a full coverage concealer that covers any dark shadows well and again, lasts all day. The only problem I have is the strong smell which is not very pleasant. But if this is what I have to put up with to perfectly conceal blemishes, I don't mind too much and it wears off after a while.

Here's a FOTD wearing Estee Lauder's Double Wear foundation and Double Wear concealer...
(If you'd like to know which other makeup products I've used, click here)

I do still love (some) cheaper foundations. Mabelline's Dream Satin Liquid is an absolute favourite of mine and I only have good things to say about it. However I definitely have a new appreciation for more expensive foundations and think they're well worth splashing out on. I have tried a few other high end foundations lately (Lancome Teint Miracle and the popular NARS Glow) so I may review those when I've had time to properly test them out.

Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation is priced at £25.00 for 30ml and Double Wear Concealer is priced at £18.00 for 7ml.

Available to buy from Boots, Debenhams and House of Fraser

6 December 2010

P&G Beauty Live Stream

P&G, who are responsible for some of the most well known beauty brands such as Max Factor, Olay and Pantene, are hosting their first ever live stream this week. This is a great way for all those interested in beauty - whether that are bloggers or consumers - to interact with and question beauty experts from their favourite brands. 

Date: Tuesday 7th December
Time: 6pm

Presented by Head & Shoulders ambassador Emma Willis, the live stream gives you the opportunity to see and hear all the latest news from the P&G brand ambassadors as well as submit live questions to the brand ambassador of your choice.

Sign into the live stream and you'll have the chance to hear brand news and meet ambassadors & P&G experts including:

Max Factor: Caroline Barnes - Award winning makeup artist
Olay: Kathy Rogerson - P&G Technical Expert
Oral B: Dr. James Russell - TV Dentist and Oral B Ambassador

To take part, simply click this link http://www.pgbeauty-live.com, add in your e-mail address and create a password. Once the stream is live, you can submit questions to be asked using the comment box below the video window.

I'll be thinking up some questions to ask on the day, how about you?

*This is a sponsored post

5 December 2010

Ragdale Hall Health Hydro & Thermal Spa

A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to visit Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa. Located in the rolling Leicestershire countryside, Ragdale Hall combines state-of-the-art facilities with the charm of traditional Victorian architecture to create a luxurious and relaxing health spa. 

Recently voted Best Spa in Europe, I was expecting to be impressed when I visited Ragdale and I wasn't disappointed. The grounds are absolutely beautiful... 
I had a bit of time to spare before my first treatment so I had a wander around the thermal spa.

As well as the main pool...
 ...the thermal spa features an indoor/outdoor waterfall pool...
...a Volcanic Salt Bath...
...a Candle pool...
...as well as a Thought Zone, Colourflow Cave, Scented Room, Rose Sauna, Cave Shower and Experience Showers (with options such as thunderstorm, waterfall or light rain-complete with sound effects!) It was fun popping into each room to discover what delights were in store. After exploring the thermal spa for a while, it was then time for my treatments...

Clarins Signature Massage - 70 mins - £70

After meeting the beauty therapist, we discussed whether I'd prefer a 'Chill Out' or 'Wake Up' massage and whether there were any areas of my body which were particularly tense. She took time to explain which oils she'd be using along with their benefits and which areas of the body she'd focus on first. The slow and relaxing massage definitely melted away any tension and left me feeing very chilled out and a snoozy.  

Banana, Papaya and Strawberry Body Polish - 40 mins - £49

This treatment sounded so delicious I couldn't resist choosing it! Designed to smooth and hydrate the skin, the fresh ingredients were warmed and applied to my body, with each section being wrapped afterwards. When I was completely covered, I was suspended in the warm cocoon of the dry flotation. As I was being immersed I did suddenly wonder if I'd feel horribly claustrophobic being unable to move my body and covered in a blanket of water, but I went with it and found it very relaxing.

Whilst in dry floatation, I had a scalp massage using a sumptuous blend of essential oils. After washing off the body polish, the treatment concluded with an application of soothing Shea butter moisturiser. The beauty therapist advised I leave the oil on my hair for at least half an hour to allow the oils to penetrate. The only problem was, she didn't advise me how to get the oil out of my hair, and so I had to turn to Twitter for advice as three hair washes later, I still had oily locks.

Both the treatment rooms had lovely luxurious decor so it felt like a real treat. Even the bathrooms were a delight to visit with their lovely wallpaper and furniture. I had a really enjoyable day and it was a perfect setting to take time out and unwind. Whether you are looking for some pampering, a romantic weekend away or a fun day out with your girlfriends, Ragdale Hall is the perfect destination.

Spa Day packages range from £69.00 to £179.00
For more information, visit www.ragdalehall.co.uk

4 December 2010

Lush Christmas Collection: Sugar Plum Fairy, Candy Cane & Snow Fairy

 If you love anything pink, sweet and girly, these products will bring you much joy and happiness!

Sugar Plum Fairy Scrub - £1.95
Lush describe this scrub as having the same fragrance as Fairy Jasmine and Christmas Carol from last year's Christmas collection with a fruity, marzipan twist. All I know is that it smells delicious!

I prefer to break off little pieces to use in the shower rather than take in the whole thing. It crumbles nicely and gently exfoliates with the sugar gradually dissolving in warm water to reveal the plum kernel oil which leaves softer, smoother and more silky skin. I love it!

Candy Cane Bubble Bar - £2.35

This bubble bar smells AMAZING! I urge you to go to your nearest Lush store and sniff it. A delicious combination of sweet candy and vanilla. I only need to use half a bar of Candy Cane for masses of big sweet bubbles and as a bonus the water turns pink.

Snow Fairy Shower Gel - from £3.25

Snow Fairy has become somewhat of a cult classic and I can see why. With a bubblegum and candyfloss scent, a girly pink bottle and iridescent sparkles in the shower gel, what's not to love? This is a delight to use in the shower, it lathers up well and leaves the bathroom smelling of loveliness! If you haven't already tried it, I recommend you do so!

2 December 2010

Girls With Attitude False Eyelashes - Short & Sweet

Following on from the FOTD I posted the other day, (click here to see it) here's my review for the false eyelashes I was wearing. I'm a big fan of false eyelashes. They can widen and brighten the eyes and add a bit of glamour to a makeup look. I first spotted Girls With Attitude whilst browsing in Boots, and at just £5.00 a pair, I couldn't resist buying some. Girls With Attitude offer a variety of false lashes in different lengths and styles, so whether you are wanting natural definition, longer lashes or something a bit more dramatic, there's a style to suit everyone.

When the company contacted me a couple of weeks later offering me the opportunity to try some of their lashes, I was keen to experiment with some different styles to the ones I'd bought previously. My lashes are already quite long so when choosing false eyelashes, I look for a pair that add volume rather than length. Girls With Attitude have a whole selection of eyelashes named Shorties, perfect for someone like me! The first pair I tried were Short & Sweet...
I love eyelashes that are slightly longer at the outer corner, they're ideal for creating a feline eye. 

Included in each pack of eyelashes is a small tube of glue and a teeny little brush to apply it with. I must admit, I had a bit of trouble applying these lashes. The band is a lot more flexible than I'm used to, so I couldn't control them as much as I would have liked. The inner corner (the bit I always struggle with!) took a bit of re-gluing to stop it from sticking up from my eye.

As you can see, part of the false lash on the right isn't even in contact with my eyelid-not good! However, I know with practice I'll get a lot better at applying these.

As for how they look, I love them! They give me fluttery, voluminous eyelashes that aren't ridiculously long and fake looking so I could wear them in the day. 

I have a few other pairs which I'll be trying out at a later stage...a pair from the Natural range and a couple which are more dramatic from the Glamour range.

Girls With Attitude false eyelashes are available to buy online here and also at Boots.