Saturday, 8 March 2014

Mini Drugstore Haul

Hi everyone!

Firstly, I must make an apology for the lack of activity on this blog for the past week or so. I've been so busy with work and studying, so the blog has been put on the back burner for a while. However, it's finally the weekend, and I have a whole day stretching before me (which no doubt will be gone in a flash) to get some blog posts made and scheduled to prevent another hiatus!
Anyway, in to the proper post!
Last week I stopped by Boots with the intention of picking up cotton wool pads and nothing else. Needless to say this did not happen, and of course I ended up getting sucked in to the three for two offer on beauty and skincare. As a result of this, I ended up walking out with three new body and skincare products (in addition to what I went in for).
First up is the Vaseline Spray & Go body moisturiser, which I have been wanting to try ever since I saw Fleur De Force mention it in one of her videos. It claims to be fresh, non greasy and moisturise in seconds, allowing you to put your clothes on straight away. This was a big selling point for me, as I tend to be quite rushed in the mornings and usually neglect to moisturise my body, dreadful I know, resulting in dry skin on my legs in particular.
The spray function makes the product so easy and quick to use, as the lotion comes out in a really fine mist, enabling you to rub it in to the skin in one easy swipe, something I find tends to be hard with the thicker formulas. It also has a lovely fresh scent,and leaves your skin feeling soft and refreshed.
I should also mention that I suffer from psoriasis, especially around my elbows. I was really pleased to find that the Spray & Go has not irritated it at all, and has even helped to clear up the dry and sore skin which I was previously suffering from.
I tend to only use this product in the mornings as I am getting ready, as I prefer to use a thicker, more luxurious product in the evenings, but I have found this to be the perfect solution to my laziness!

Next up is the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. I have heard several bloggers talking about this product as a dupe for the Bioderma cleansing water, which I am yet to try. Seeing as I tend not to use cleansing waters or wipes to remove makeup at the end of the day, I was slightly skeptical about whether this would provide a deep enough clean. However, I have used this a couple of times in the mornings to remove any traces of eye makeup from the night before, and have so far been pleased with the effect. This is also amazing value at  £4.99 for an estimated 200 uses. I agree with the description as an "efficient and easy to use product that cleanses and removes make up gently in 1-step" but would not use it as a complete replacement for my proper cleansing routine.

The last, and possibly my favourite of the three products, is the Garnier Moisture Match 24H Revitalising Hydrating Gel. I suffer from extremely dull and lifeless skin in the mornings, and find that conventional cream moisturisers weigh down my skin and tend to make it appear more oily. However, the gel formula of this moisturiser does exactly the opposite, brightening my skin without any shimmer or glittery effect, which I love. It's fast absorbing, and even helps to keep my makeup in place throughout the day!
I have definitely noticed a difference in my skin since starting to use this about a week ago, and would definitely recommend it to anyone with dull, dry skin prone to oily patches!

Once again, sorry for the lack of posts, and thank you for taking the time to read this! I hope it was useful in some way,

Elspeth xox

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Drugstore Hit or Miss? MUA Matte Lipstick

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the makeup line MUA, it is a range of really affordable cosmetics (prices ranging from £1 to around £8) launched fairly recently, I'd say in the last 8 months or so, and available in the majority of Superdrug stores across the UK.
I have been trying out quite a few of the MUA products, and have come to love many of their £4 eyeshadow palettes, some of which provide excellent dupes for the Urban Decay Naked and Naked 2 palettes (what's not to love?!)
I love a matte lip, and am equally partial to a classic nude lipstick, so I have been meaning to give their lipstick line a go, and with a price tag of only £1 how could I possibly refuse?
The variety of colours is very limited, with only 5 shades available at this time, ranging from nudes and peachy pinks, to one darker berry shade. There was only one lipstick left at my local Superdrug, and that was Totally Nude. To be honest, I probably would have opted for this shade anyway, as I have been on the hunt for a good nude lipstick for a while now.
MUA Matte lipstick in Totally Nude
Given the tiny price tag, I didn't set my hopes very high, but was still rather disappointed with the lipstick. Whilst the colour is nice and pigmented on the stick, once applied or swatched to the skin, it comes off very sheer and does not last long at all. I found the application to be difficult, as the formulation is very stiff and thick, making it pull on the skin of your lips, and it emphasized the smallest of dry patches or cracks making your lips seem dry and unappealing (as you can tell by the pictures). The same effect was found even with a very moisturizing lip balm applied before hand (I use lanolips banana balm). The only redeeming feature is that it works reasonably well as a base for a light pink or nude gloss, however this somewhat undermines the idea of a matte or nude lipstick. I would probably use the lipstick if it had a larger price tag, but at only £1 it is not a huge loss if it doesn't get used at all.
The Lipstick with gloss applied
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this particular lipstick, and given that the majority of problems lie with the formulation and not the colour, I won't be rushing out to purchase any others from the same line.
However, I would still encourage people to check out some of the other MUA products, particularly the eyeshadows, which have been a favourite of mine for some time now.

Value for money: Tiny price tag at only £1, but still not worth the money.
Pros: very affordable, good amount of product
Cons: Hard to apply, extremely drying and lack of pigmentation.

Drugstore Hit or Miss: unfortunately this one's going to have to be a MISS. 

Elspeth xxx

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Skincare Review- Soap and Glory 'The Ultimelt'

I stopped by my local Boots store about two weeks ago to pick up some cold and flu remedies (good old British weather) and obviously couldn't leave without picking up yet more skincare items. As per usual, I was drawn to the Soap and Glory stand by the splash of pink and white packaging and cute slogans, and the Ultimelt hot cloth cleanser caught my eye.
My much loved Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish cleanser ran out a while back, and I hadn't gotten around to repurchasing, so thought I would use the opportunity to try out some alternatives with the hope of finding a drugstore dupe. The Ultimelt ticks the boxes in terms of price, retailing at £10 for 100ml (the Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser is £14.75 for 100ml + muslin cloth)
The description states that Ultimelt contains naturally invigorating essential oils - a blend of orange, lavender, clary sage, rose and geraniumg and is paraben free, which is always a plus for all you skincare-a-holics such as myself!
As is to be expected with all Soap and Glory products, the packaging is lovely and the cleanser itself is really easy to use due to it's toothpaste-style tube. There's something about their recent packaging revamp that makes me really trust their products. What I really loved with this is that it includes one muslin cloth in the box, which is great as mine are beginning to look a little past their best to say the least!

I have been using this product most days for the past two weeks (I like to alternate with my Balance Me cleansing balm) and overall  have been really happy with the effect on my skin. The cleanser is really easy to use, as well as feeling quite luxurious as you massage it in to the skin, and the muslin cloth step is a nice addition and helps to really clean out your pores as well as giving a gentle exfoliation. I find this really helps to leave your skin feeling squeaky clean and free from makeup, although I am yet to try using it to remove stubborn mascara or eyeliner. In terms of the scent, it's almost identical to the Liz Earle cleanse and polish, with a really pleasant yet subtle natural smell.
Another major positive to this cleanser is the many natural ingredients and essential oils including sweet almond, orange and lavender, (although some people are sensetive to these, so be careful) which have really helped to clear up my skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth. Whatsmore, having done a quick comparison of the ingredients between the two cleansers, they actually seem very similar, the only slight difference coming in the use of varying essential oils. 

Overall, I am very pleased with this product, and it has definitely earned a place in my daily skincare routine! I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a slightly cheaper alternative to the Liz Earle cleanser, or for anyone who just fancies a change!

Value for money- Very good given the volume and quality of product.
 Price- £10 for 100ml from 
Pros- Lovely natural smell, leaves skin feeling super clean and soft.
Cons- Takes a few swipes of the muslin cloth to remove all residue, both other than that, none :)

Have you tried the Ultimelt cleanser? Let me know your thoughts down below!
Elspeth xxx

Friday, 7 February 2014

Latest In Beauty - Hip & Healthy Box

So here it is, my first blog post! It's been a long time coming, but I've finally got around to setting up a blog. It's still early days, so bear with me as I get to grips with the whole process, but I am very excited to be embarking on this new journey.
 Today I'd like to share with you one of my most recent purchases. Unlike many of the other bloggers who have written reviews on this box, I had never heard of either Hip and Healthy or Latest In Beauty, and goodness me, I have been missing out all this time!
The box retails at £9.95 with an extra £3.95, making a total of just under £14 a huge bargain for so many great products (especially with an estimated product value of over £50!)
First impressions were very good, it arrived beautifully packaged, with cute pink tissue paper, complete with a self love inspiration 'be the best version of you' sticker to seal the package. It was jam packed full of goodies to kick start the new year (although I might be a little late on the new years resolution band wagon). One of the best things about the Latest In Beauty boxes is that the website allows you to check out the products within the box before you buy, but this doesn't detract from the excitement of opening it up!
The Hip and Healthy Box comes with a range of beauty and health related products for you to try, and in my opinion, the products have been very well selected (a full list is available on the Latest In Beauty website). 

 This box was perfect for me, and served as a great introduction to the world of superfood powders and natural multi-vitamins, as otherwise I would have no clue where to start!I've been including a small amount of the Teapigs matcha powder in my breakfast smoothies, and I've really started to feel a difference in my energy levels throughout the morning.
Another of my favorite products from the box was the balance Me daily essentials cleanse and smooth face balm. I've been meaning to try out a cleansing balm for a while now, but have been apprehensive out of the fear that their oily qualities would irritate my already oily skin. However, this cleansing balm does the complete opposite, and has really helped to clear up my skin and is an absolute dream at removing waterproof eye makeup.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this box to anyone who wants the opportunity to try out new and exciting beauty and health products without the commitment of a monthly subscription.

Value for money- Excellent!
Range of products- Great balance of health and beauty related products
Pros- Perfect for newbies to the health and fitness world, great price and beautifully packaged.
Cons- None :)

Elspeth xx