Wednesday, 31 December 2014

December Empties: Hair Care

I've never done an empties post before, but they are posts and videos that I always enjoy reading and watching.  I have been saving up products for an empties post for quite a while and I think I over estimated how much I needed to save for a the point that I will be splitting this post down!  Part of me thinks this would be much easier to make into a video, but maybe that's something I'll think about doing in the New Year?  We'll see...

I'll start with the hair products I've managed to finish.  I'm not too big on hair - I would love to have hair skills, but I'm absolutely, utterly useless.  I stick to the basics and hope something will work out for me.  That said, I seem to have quite a few empties from this category...

December Hair Care Empties Review

The Herbal Essences Uplifting Volume Dry Shampoo was something I was really excited to try as I finally thought I'd found a dry shampoo which I could switch from Batiste to.  Unfortunately though, it wasn't the case.  I haven't actually finished either of these two bottles, because the nozzle completely blocked on both cans.  One I thought might have been a dud, but two definitely makes me think it's the product itself.  I won't be repurchasing...I'll pop a full review up sometime soon.

I've managed to finish two leave in conditioners.  First up is The Bed Head Colour Goddess Leave In Conditioner and I've had this for quite a while.  It smells insane - it's a real caramel, fudgey scent and I absolutely love it.  This leaves my hair feeling silky soft and doesn't weigh my hair down.  I like it, and would own it again if I could find it, but I think if I was going to buy another leave in conditioner I would buy my next empty - the Milk Shake Conditioning Whipped Cream.  This smells like vanilla ice cream, and is a really light weight conditioning mousse.  It's amazing, and I would definitely buy this again.

The VO5 Give Me Texture Spray was something I was really looking forward to using, and it was okay...nothing special.  It gave my hair a bit of oomph, but I think that the spray was lacking some grit.  You need to set the style with hair spray to make it hold, and I'd rather it just be an all in one product without the need for hair spray.  I think I'll be looking into some other options as I can do all this with my Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo.

The Avon Advanced Techniques Oil was another one I really liked and will be buying again.  I don't order from Avon really, so maybe I'll ask around and ask somebody to pop it onto their order.  I don't think it's an oil - it feels more like a serum, but it's an amazing price for a product that really helps to smooth down any wispy bits and helps to make my hair look generally sleeker.

Finally the OSIS Dust It Powder was one I have really been loving lately.  It is a super fine, mattifying powder which adds texture and lift to my otherwise boring hair.  You can use it just shaken into the roots and rubbed in, apply it to damp hair for an intense lift, or apply to your hands and rub through the hair for some texture.  It's got grit and hold - it feels a little sticky, but nothing horrendous and I feel like I'll be needing another one of these asap...

Have you got any hair recommendations for me to try?

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Christmas Lush Haul

I feel like I might be the odd one out when I say that I rarely buy from Lush.  Don't get me wrong, I love browsing in there and could happily buy one of everything, but I just find some of it so expensive for what it is that I usually end up leaving with nothing.  I was very spoilt this year at Christmas and amongst all of my other bits and bobs, I ended up with a nice stash of Lush products!

The Christmas Lush Haul

I haven't had chance to try them yet, but I thought I'd show you what I've got!  The Lush sale is on at the moment, and if you are very lucky you might manage to grab something if it catches your eye!  I don't think I got too much of the limited edition stuff though, so that's handy if I decide I want to restock!

Lush Rose Jam Happy Hippy

First up, I got a bottle of Rose Jam Shower Gel, and a bottle of Happy Hippy Shower Gel.  Rose Jam is one I've heard so much about but never ever tried before.  It is limited edition unfortunately, but you can still try the scent in their Rose Jam Bubbleroon!  I'm not really big on rose scents, but this one is actually really pleasant.  It smells like sweet rose with a sharp floral scent coming from the geranium oil - really nice!  Happy Hippy is also amazing - it's really zesty and it would be perfect for waking you up in the morning!

Snowman Shower Jelly is the cutest thing I've ever seen.  I didn't realise it at first, but in the pot is actually a jelly shaped snowman!  It smells similar to my favourite Lush product The Comforter, but nowhere near as intense.  It's got the blackcurrant the same as The Comforter, but also has lemon and carrot oil.  This one is definitely a seasonal edition, but you might be lucky in the sales!

Lush Sandstone

Sandstone is the one that looks like a frozen chunk of chicken stew, but is actually an exfoliating soap - sorry, but it's all I can think when I look at it!  It's not the most attractive, but it smells insane.  I think it smells a bit like a Lemon Drizzle Cake - sugary, full of citrus scents and for some reason I can smell a kind of buttery scent!

Lush Sugar Scrub Jason and the Argan Oil Snap the Whip

The green dome is the Sugar Scrub Body Scrub.  I'm not sure this is a scent for everybody, but I really love it.  It has scents of ginger, fennel and lavender which I think smells a bit like liquorice or aniseed.  I'm definitely looking forward to trying this!

The pink circle is Jason and the Argan Oil.  It's a solid shampoo!  I've never had a shampoo bar before, so this is another exciting one I'm looking forward to trying.  It has the same scent as Rose Jam, and is said to balance the scalp as well as soften and strengthen hair.

You Snap The Whip is the black square.  It's a charcoal based in-shower body butter and it smells incredible.  Kind of like a sweet and fruity bubblegum!  I'm really trying to up my body moisturising game - this will be perfect for those days that I just want to get out the shower and get straight into bed.  It might even be good in preparation for tanning seeing as it is moisturising and exfoliating.

Did you get anything from Lush this year for Christmas or in the sales?  Have you tried any of these?
Hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and have an amazing New Year!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Making A Change: 2014 Mission Complete

It's been a while since I've spoken of my weight loss aims and progress.  It must be almost a year ago that I decided to bite the bullet and actually commit to making a lifestyle change; I wanted a body that I could be proud of, one that I'd worked for, and one that was healthy inside and out.

I threw myself in at the deep end and joined the gym and signed up for work out classes.  I went after work, and I've probably tried most of the classes that were available after 5:30pm.  I've done HIIT, VIPR, Spin, Fight FX, Body Combat and Body Pump classes, and even started doing Yoga.  Whilst I enjoyed most of them, I hit a plateau on my weight loss.  I started my journey weighing in at twelve stone ten, and stopped losing anything once I hit twelve stone - a weight I've regularly lingered at.  My classes got boring, and over Summer when the timetables were hit and miss, I ended up stopping going altogether.

Weight Loss Goals Polar FT7

Five weeks ago, I found my motivation again.  I started a new work out routine which I found on Simply Shredded and it's The Ultimate Female Training Guide.  I'll start by saying that shredded isn't what I want to be, and if you read the article and training routine you'll understand that I'm not going to turn into a massive muscley beast following this plan.  I've been doing less cardio (not even as much as this plan is suggesting, which I'm aiming to slot in soon!) and a lot more weight training and I've finally fallen off my plateau.  This week I've hit the lowest weight I can ever remember being.  I'm down to eleven stone making this years weight loss one stone and ten pounds!

I feel like it's been a long time coming, but I'm finally feeling spurred back on again.  My aim was to get to eleven stone, and I've made it!  My strength has improved through out the year, and I can actually do press ups now.  My next goal is to master the pull up unassisted!  It's the little goals a long the way that help you keep going if your weight goals seem so distant!  I don't want to focus my next goal entirely on weight - sure I'd love to have my weight start with ten stone because I don't remember being that light, but I want to improve my fitness, and improve my body shape through eating cleaner and focussing on my exercise because it's not all about the numbers on the scale.

In the New Year, I'm even planning to start Dad is always asking me to join him in little races, but I've never dared.  It was actually Anna from Vivianna Does Make Up who has inspired me to start getting a move on with some running - her fitness journey has been amazing to watch, and I've loved seeing her go from a gym hater to someone who is getting up ridiculously early to exercise.  I don't know if I'll ever do that, but well...we'll see.

So, come January I'm cracking out my new Polar watch that I got from my Dad for Christmas, and I'm going to start using the Nike Running App that I've had on my phone for months and never used.  2015 will be my year.

What are your fitness goals for 2015?

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Miss Sporty Peel Off Base Coat

I don't wear glitter nail polish often, but when I do, I am always filled with instant regret when it comes to removal - I hate removing glitter nail polish.

I'd seen that OPI had released their Glitter Off Base Coat not too long ago, but with an £11.75 price tag I just couldn't justify putting that into my basket just yet.  I went on the hunt for a more affordable version and found Miss Sporty's Peel Off Base Coat in Superdrug!  It's also available in Boots, but was sold out when I came to buying unfortunately.  Through out December though, Superdrug Beauty Card holders get free delivery on all orders so I managed to pay just £2.29 and get free delivery!  It's currently £1.99 in Superdrug too if you did want to try it for yourself.

Miss Sporty Peel Off Base Coat Review

Now...I loved the idea of this.  Hassle free glitter nail polish removal - sounds amazing, right?  I have to say it just wasn't!  I painted my nails with a generous layer as instructed and waited for it to dry - the base coat applies white and eventually dries transparent.  I'd say the drying time is in excess of fifteen minutes which isn't ideal for speedy manicures.  The base coat smelt, looked and behaved exactly like PVA glue.  The finish of the base coat was semi-matte and I actually loved the finish of just the base coat alone.

My glitter polish applied as normal (I chose Butter London's The Black Knight - the perfect glitter for a subtle nod towards the festivities, and definitely one to keep back for NYE) and lasted on my nails approximately three hours before I had fully lost an entire nail of it's paint - it was completely bare!  It lasted perfectly through a meal out, but when I came home and started actually using my hands for more than eating, it just wasn't having any of it - my first polish removal was quickly followed by another two, before I eventually just peeled off the remaining manicured fingers.

Maybe this is a case of you get what you pay for, but in short - this is great for a quick Christmas meal with work that doesn't require much use of your hands.  But, you might as well buy a small bottle of PVA glue as it's cheaper and seems exactly the same.  The Miss Sporty Base Coat also sports some similar ingredients to that of PVA glue so don't waste your money and instead save your pennies for some foil for the more traditional method of glitter polish removal!

What's your method for removing glitter polish?  Have you tried the OPI version?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

INM Northern Lights Holographic Top Coat

There are eight sleeps to go before Christmas is here!  I can't believe how quickly this year has gone, and how ridiculously excited I am feeling for this years festivities!  I've been embracing all things Christmas this year; my decorations were up at the end of November, I've had my Christmas jumper out at least once a week at work since December, and I'm definitely pining for all things sparkly.  Enter the INM Northern Lights Gold and Silver Holographic Top Coat*.

INM Northern Lights Review Swatch

I didn't expect it, but I have to say that I am honestly in love.  I might even go as far to say that this is all I will be wearing for the rest of the season.  The holographic aspect wasn't what I thought it would be like.  I was expecting it to be full on holographic like these, but I am actually kind of pleased that my expectations were wrong as I'll be getting so much more use from these now!

INM Northern Lights Review Swatch

They need a good shake up, but I have been wearing three coats of this on top of Nails Inc Regent Street with a base coat of the OPI Nail Envy and it's so pretty.  I've had so many compliments when wearing the INM Top Coat - it's such a subtle sparkle that is added to the nails.  The particles of glitter are micro fine - you can't feel any grains once it has been applied, and compared to other glitter polishes I own, it's an absolute dream to remove.  

I will put it out there right now - you don't need to own both of these top coats.  Despite owning both the gold and the silver version, the difference once applied is very hard to spot.  I've applied the silver top coat on the bottom swatch, the gold one is the top swatch and both swatches are applied onto Regent Street.  Both have micro fine holographic glitter particles suspended in the high gloss top coat, which reflects purple, green, red and blue - the photos really don't do this justice, I just couldn't capture it right!  I have included a photo where I focussed my camera on the background, so you can see the out of focus reflections which are representative of the colours that shine.  The gold top coat has micro gold glitter, and the silver has micro silver glitter as you'd expect.  

If I'm inspecting really closely, I notice that the particles are slightly larger in size in the silver top coat than the golden one, but both are still micro glitters.  After three coats of each, the gold top coat appears to be slightly more dense with the glitter.  I can also see that there are more blue holographic particles in the silver than in the gold - but seriously, my nails were pressed against my eyeballs to really spot these minute differences.  I'd personally opt for the silver top coat; the silver particles make the top coat appear that little bit brighter!

INM Northern Lights Review Swatch

The formula of this is really something.  The holographic particles are actually suspended in one of INM's best selling top coats, the Out the Door top coat.  It might just be my new favourite top coat, and I am probably going to purchase this after my current one has ran out.  It dries really quickly, dries super smooth and looks really glossy.  I don't know if anyone else gets this, but I always wake up with hair/bed sheet imprints on my nails in the morning, and with this I was seriously impressed because they were still completely smooth!

The INM top coats cost £9.35 each, which in all honesty, I do think is a bit expensive.  That said - the top coat formula itself is one of the best I've tried, and the fine glitter is like nothing I already own.  You can find them on Jica, and I've just spotted that they do a mini set of both the silver and gold holographic top coats as well as a small plain Out The Door top coat for just over £7!

Have you tried anything from INM?  What do you think of these top coats?
*Both the Silver and Gold INM Northern Lights Top Coats were sent to me for consideration.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White Black Toothpaste

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I am absolutely petrified of the dentist.  I've made it to 23 and have yet to have anything done to my teeth - no fillings, no braces, no nothing - and I am dreading the day that the dentist turns to me and tells me something has to be done.  I do have three or four baby teeth that are still firmly in my mouth, because I don't have big teeth there to push them out - because of how delicate they are, I have to make sure that I really look after my teeth so these aren't the first to go!  Apart from dreading fillings, I want white teeth, but don't want to have to resort to using harsh chemicals that could damage my teeth and enamel.  When The Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White Black Toothpaste* landed on my doorstep a while back now, it really caught my's the glossiest toothpaste I've ever seen and it's black.

Beverly Hills Perfect White Black Toothpaste ReviewThis toothpaste is made with activated charcoal which helps eliminate bacteria, freshen breath and also helps to remove and prevent deeper stains caused by tannins found in things like tea and coffee.  The charcoal helps to gently remove the stains whilst keeping your enamel in tact, which is perfect for me as my tea in take has definitely risen since the cold has started setting in.

Beverly Hills Perfect White Black Toothpaste Review

I've been using this for over a month now and I don't have a full on Hollywood smile, but I do feel as though this toothpaste has made a difference on the whiteness of my teeth.  My teeth are feeling clean, and are looking naturally whiter than before which I can only imagine to keep getting better with continued use.  My only downfall is that I often get sensitive teeth, or a singular sensitive my sensitivity does come back when I don't use a specific toothpaste to help with that.

I'm not particularly loyal to any toothpaste, but I would definitely buy this again.  I honestly don't think I would pay the full price of £4.99, but I'd pop this into my basket if it was on offer!  The Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White Black Toothpaste is currently less than half price at Superdrug priced at £2.48 if you'd like to give it a go!

Have you ever tried anything like this before?
*The Beverly Hills Perfect White Black Toothpaste was sent to me for consideration.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Guess Who's Back...

Hands up...who continued singing along with my title!  It's been a while hasn't it...sorry about that!

I don't really have any legitimate reason for being absent for so long from my blog.  It's been very busy at work the last few months which definitely had something to do with it, but I could have made time to at least drop in a hello so I'm sorry about that!  Thank you all for sticking with me, and hello to the new followers I've gained despite not actually updating!

I feel a bit crap that I've missed out on all of the Christmas posting opportunities again this year.  My laptop has completely died now - sad times.  I'm currently tapping away on Liam's laptop hoping that he won't notice that I've downloaded plenty of new imagery and a copy of GIMP onto his laptop to edit my photos.  I had Photoshop on mine, along with all of my layouts for my wishlist posts etc so that makes me a bit sad that I'll have to recreate something similar!  I don't really know how GIMP compares to Photoshop either having used that for so long - anyone use this?  Please leave your tips in the comments below!

Apart from that...I do have some pretty good news!  Liam and I celebrated our ten year anniversary together at the beginning of the month.  2014 has been a pretty awesome year.  We bought our first house, celebrated ten years together and, just throwing it out there...Liam asked me to marry him.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster

Back in July, I went on holiday to Spain.  In preparation for maintaining my tan, I bought a gradual tanner from Dove (you know the one I mean...) and had my heart set on a Clarins treat for on the way home from duty free - the Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster.  I feel a bit odd applying a self tanner to my face that isn't specificially designed for facial use.  I just don't feel like a body tanner can be as good for my blemish prone skin as a specifically formulated facial tanner.

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster Review

The Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster is one we've probably all seen over the Summer months.  I know for a fact I would never have heard about it had I not read rave reviews on it from other bloggers.  It comes in a small bottle, which was definitely smaller than anticipated; I'll talk in sizeable terms that we can all probably relate to - it's the size of a MAC lipstick.  The box itself makes the product out to be a lot bigger than it actually is, which I also think is a little naughty.  The bottle is a small glass bottle, with a small flexible button on the base which pushes out drops of the product from the concentrated nozzle at the top of the bottle.  It's really easy to use, and is actually pretty nifty in terms of how precise you can be when dispensing the product.

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster Review

The product itself though...I'm just a little disappointed I think.  I think I thought the product was something different.  The idea is to use two to three drops of the concentrated liquid daily mixed within your moisturiser or serum to build the colour, and then one drop after your desired colour is reached to maintain a colour.  It's not that it's a bad product; it works beautifully.  It's seamless, streak free, doesn't make me break out and the colour given doesn't sit in my pores - but I just thought that the colour would be more noticeable?  Like you have put a self tanner on?  I usually work with Xen Tan, and the results there are beautiful - I love the colour I get from that.  This is literally exactly as it's described on the bottle - a glow.

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster Review

The Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster provides a very subtle glow.  If you use this and suddenly stop, you won't go patchy and your "tan" won't look uneven.  The effect is a healthy glow, and to be honest I think it's perfect for bringing a bit of sun to the skin during the Autumn weather.  I don't think you'll look obviously tanned like you've been abroad for two weeks using this - it's just nice.  I haven't felt the need to change my foundation shade, let's put it that way.  I do feel pretty radiant in my complexion after using this, so I would feel a bit more comfortable going bare faced instead of feeling a bit dull with my Winter skin.

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster Review

Whilst I do like the nice healthy glow it does provide, I want something that I can apply at the same time as I apply my more instant tans like Xen Tan, so my face will match my tan when I wake up in the morning without having to apply a body tanning cream or mousse to my face.  Or at least a gradual tanner which is a bit more noticeable than this so I am a similar colour to when I use my Dove gradual tanner.  It's not that I don't like this product, it's just I don't love it as much as I thought I was going to because I expected it to be a lot more noticable in terms of colour.  I can imagine myself buying another in the future though; it really is a great pick me up if your skin is looking a little dull!  I have found it cheapest on Escentual for £15.80.

Have you ever been disappointed with a blogger hyped product?

Friday, 3 October 2014

The Body Shop Tea Tree Body Wash

I've said it before, but as embarrassing as it is, I'll say it again - I get quite bad body acne.  This said, it's no where near as bad as it once was.  I've done the rounds of tablets from the doctors, and whilst they worked at the time, I've found that my spots always manage to come back.  I was diagnosed with cystic acne on my back and sometimes chest, which the doctor suspects is hormone related.  My spots are back again, but not nearly as bad - just the odd one every so often, with smaller, red bumps in my skin.  Since stopping my tablets, I've added The Body Shop's Tea Tree Body Wash to my shower routine.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Body Wash Review

I've been using this body wash daily in the shower to wash my back and any other areas that are becoming blemished, and I do think it's doing something good for my skin.  Tea tree is known to have antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which makes it ideal for getting rid of unwanted bacteria and any excess oils on my body - being a sweaty betty, and general oily skinned lady, the body wash is certainly doing a world of good for clearing my back and keeping the really bad spot break outs at bay.

The Body Shop Tea Tree wash itself is really refreshing, and leaves my skin feeling nicely cleansed, but not at all stripped or dry.  It's a green gel, and a little does go a long way!  I think that The Body Shop are kind enough to let you know that, because the packaging is quite tough to squeeze out a mass of body wash.  I've had this since June, and I'm only just starting to think that I need to buy another bottle.  The Body Shop have it priced at £6 a bottle, which for a body wash is more than what I would normally pay - I usually just buy whatever is on offer at the time.  But The Body Shop always have an offer running, and I can usually get this for 40% off!

I'll definitely be repurchasing this, and to be honest, I can't imagine not having a bottle of this in my stash.  If you struggle with body blemishes, I'd definitely recommend giving this a go!  I like to team this body wash with the Boots Tea Tree Back Spray, which I spray onto dry skin after I have got out of the shower.

Have you tried The Body Shop Tea Tree range?

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Bath & Body Works Peach Cilantro Twist Candle

Earlier this month, I was sat at home on my weekend pretty much doing shopping, a bit of cleaning, watching The X Factor, lazing in my PJ's and drinking copious amounts of tea.  Meanwhile, my Dad was living it up with his friends in Las Vegas.  Something a little wrong with those situations, isn't there?  It should have been the other way around!

Bath & Body Works Peach Cilantro Twist Candle

But you know...silver linings and all that.  I wasn't going to be able to afford to go to Vegas, or America at any point in the future, so I made a very concise shopping list (two things!) of what I would like my Dad to bring back!  My Dad is very much a manly man, and I couldn't see him browsing the aisles of Sephora or Wal-Mart so I could get some American Beauty bits - instead, I simply asked for a nice candle from Bath & Body Works, and a Las Vegas mug.

Bath & Body Works Peach Cilantro Twist Candle

The candle he chose was Peach Cilantro Twist and I am so pleased with it!  It's the second candle I have had from them - my first being Leaves!  It smells absolutely amazing; really fresh, fruity and the scent really fills the room and the whole house if I leave the door open.  It also lightly scents the room if I leave the cap off the candle.  It's just so nice, and even Liam enjoys it when I burn it.  Before we moved in together, he was demanding that no candles were bought as they "just sit there and gather dust," but I think he is a candle convert!

The candle is a clean burner, but I do think that it's disappearing rather quickly!  I'm trying to use this candle sparingly - it really is so nice, and it's such a shame we can't get Bath & Bath Works easily in the UK!  My Dad said he loved the store, and even stocked up on some body lotions (?!) and aftershave for himself!

Have you tried anything from Bath & Body Works?  What's your favourite candle?

Monday, 29 September 2014

Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes

I can't even remember the last time that I actually bought a pack of facial wipes.  Ever since I started following Caroline Hirons, I have definitely kept completely clear of them and haven't touched them since!  A while back, I won another giveaway and managed to bag myself a goodie bag full of Yes To products!  I've never tried anything from Yes To before, so was really looking forward to trying some of their bits!

Yes To Cucumbers Face Wipes Review

I started with the Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Facial Wipes, which I first used after a night out to take my make up off when I was staying at a friends house.  I have to say that since switching to oils and balms to take my make up off, these wipes didn't remove my make up effectively at all, and definitely didn't do very well battling against the Benefit They're Real mascara!  (It'd take a good wipe to get that mascara off..)  The wipes actually left my skin quite sore, tight and a little bit stingy which was surprising as they're sold as soothing facial wipes.

I didn't think it was fair to just base my review on one use, and have used them again this weekend but I didn't use them to take my make up off; more of just a facial refresh whilst I was sat at home.  The stinging sensation didn't come back this time, and the wipe did feel a lot more soothing during use.  The towelettes are quite thick and a lot more luxury feeling compared to the Nivea/ASDA wipes I used to religiously use.  But my skin still did feel a little tight after use, although it did feel nice and smooth.

Yes To Cucumbers Face Wipes Review

Ingredients wise, these wipes are 98% natural which I am pretty impressed by.  The wipes are enriched with skin loving ingredients such as cucumbers to exfoliate, soothe and de-puff, green tea to help prevent break outs, and aloe vera for some much needed moisture.  They're also oil, SLS, petroleum and paraben free!

I don't think I'd rush out to buy another pack of these, and won't be using the rest of this pack very quickly either.  I think I will slot them into my gym bag to gently clear my face after I've finished sweating like a pig to try and refresh my face if I'm busy straight after.  I'm not a fan of cucumber, and the smell just isn't one for me - after a night out, I found the scent of these really hard to look past, but since using them more sober again, I can get over the smell and  it really doesn't last long at all.

Have you tried anything from the Yes To range?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Avon Advanced Techniques Moroccan Argan Hair Oil

The Avon Advanced Techniques 360 Nourishment Moroccan Argan Oil Leave In Treatment literally has the longest product name I have ever written on this blog...literally ridiculous.  I don't even know how you would fit that in the tiny box that you write the product name in on the Avon hand written order forms!  Joking aside, this is a hair treatment which I have had for quite a long time but have only started using again recently.

Avon Advanced Techniques Morroccan Argan Oil Review

I don't know why I stopped using this, as for the price (currently just £2.55 on the Avon website!), this really is a great product.  It is called a hair oil, but it feels a bit thicker than your normal oil, kind of more like a serum - it doesn't uncontrollably run around my hand, and doesn't leave behind an oily residue.  It has an almost fruity scent that is really pleasant, but doesn't linger once on the hair.  As far as ingredients go, I can't actually see anything on the website or on the bottle, but I don't imagine it to have a high content of Moroccan Argan Oil!

I don't really care for spending a fortune on hair care; as far as shampoo and conditioner goes, I usually just buy whatever is on offer at the time.  But more recently, I have found that I needed a little something extra to add to my routine to keep everything that little bit neater.

My hair is naturally straight, but always has that annoying halo of frizzy hair just everywhere, and seems a little more unruly since I bleached the ends.  The Avon Argan Oil really smoothes all that down and leaves my hair looking neat, really shiny and definitely easier to brush after I've dried my hair.  My hair doesn't feel greasy after use, and doesn't look or feel like it has any extra product in it.  My hair is quite lacking in volume as well, so I was worried that an extra product would take out any "volume" I had, but it is so light weight!

I apply a small amount of this to the lengths of my hair when it has been towel dried, and then continue as normal.  An oil was something that I never really thought I'd like to apply to my hair - my hair gets greasy really easily, and the last thing I thought I'd want was an oil.  But on using this, my hair has become so much more manageable and just feels so much nicer!  I'm pretty much out of this bottle now, maybe a few more applications left in this bottle, but I definitely think I will treat my hair to a second!

When was the last time you bought anything from Avon?

Friday, 26 September 2014

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream

You know when you get a sample sized product?  How often is it that you actually buy the full size?  For me, it's really not that often.  One product that I bought though as soon as I ran out was the Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream.  And let me tell you...I won't beat around the bush here.  It's bloody good stuff.

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream Review

The Wonder Eye Cream claims to soothe, brighten and lift the eye area - check, check and not entirely convinced, but the other two do such a good job, you know what?  I'm not bothered if it lifts or if I would even notice if it did.  This is the first eye cream that I have actually loved to use; I always (used to) buy an eye cream with the best intentions of slotting it nicely into my skin care routine, but always used to get bored quite quickly of applying them - I'm a lazy girl, and I like things to be simple and quick!

Containing an extensive list of skin loving ingredients (hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, carrot oil, rosehip oil, chamomile, cucumber oil, witch hazel...), this is an eye cream that I just can't get enough of!  If I have had a tiring few days, this re-energises my eyes and makes me look more awake.  I feel like it has a slightly zingy scent to it - maybe a faint bit of a citrus or ginger?  And the scent even helps to lift me into feeling more awake!  I feel as though it erases any dark circles, and completely smoothes over my skin.

It absorbs quickly into the skin, but still leaves it feeling really moisturised and...just amazing.  I love it so ridiculously much.  It comes in a tube with a pump making it easy to dispense the perfect amount - one pump is more than enough to do both eyes.  The only thing that I don't like is that the tube is opaque so I can't see when I'm running out!  I have the fear that one day, I'll go to do my morning or evening pump and be out...cold turkey on the eye cream.  And then...just maybe then, I think a tear or two may be shed.

At £20, it's not your cheapest eye cream, but this is by far the most effective eye cream I have ever used.  Maybe when I am a bit older, I might have to invest in something different, but for now, this is just perfect!  I just can't get enough of this Wonder Eye Cream.

Have you tried the Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream?  What's your eye saviour?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss in Buff

I've said it before, and I'll say it again...I'm not really a lip gloss person.  Notice the really in there...  When I was younger, lip gloss used to be the only thing I owned for lip products.  But even though I had a decent stash, I used to hate wearing them.  They were far too sticky, and that's something that has always stuck with me and probably is something that will always be in the back of my mind when buying a lip gloss.  That's why I'm always surprised when I try a lip gloss and actually like it.

MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss in Buff Review Swatches

The MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss is one of those lip glosses that has passed my tests, and actually manages to make its way onto my lips.  I've been wearing this quite a lot lately, which says something about its stickiness seeing as it's now getting a lot windier and I'm not getting clumps of hair sticking to my lips so it looks as though I'm sporting a rather badly groomed moustache.

MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss in Buff Review Swatches

I have the shade Buff which is a really wearable shade; it's a brown based lip gloss with a hint of peachy pink.  It blends effortlessly into my lips, and looks like a really natural shade - one of those classic 'my lips, but better shades.'  It gives them some subtle definition, and I can only imagine how much better this could look had I lined with a nude liner!  (Note to yourself a nude lip liner...)

MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss in Buff Review Swatches

Something that surprised me was how much I liked the applicator wand.  It's so so long that if this shade was a bolder colour, I'd really struggle to apply accurately to my lips.  But for this nude lip shade, it just feels strange to hold, but strange in a good way!  I really like it!  It's a doe foot applicator, and it transfers just enough product for a clean application - I like to use two dips, one for each lip, with a little rub together afterwards!

This lip gloss is sold as a plumping lip gloss, and I just don't find this remotely plumping at all.  It doesn't give me any sort of tingle to my lips like other plumping glosses have, but I guess with all lip gloss you do get a little bit pouty...but not an involuntary pout with Buff!  I also found that it had a little bit of a synthetic taste, not really any particular flavour either, so that could be something that could be better about it.  At the same time, this lip gloss costs just £2 and I'd definitely be prepared to pay that again for this lip gloss!

Edit:  I checked today on the MUA website...turns out Buff is now in the sale for an even better bargain - just £1!

Are you a lip gloss lover?  What's your favourite nude lip product?

Monday, 22 September 2014

Nails Inc 2013 Autumn Winter Collection

It's getting cold now; the knitwear has come out, my coats are out at least once a week, my boots are firmly on and I've got out my fat socks for in the house.  Alongside all of this, I've been shunning my pastel and coral polishes in favour of darker, richer shades.  Whilst browsing through my collection, I came across this unopened gift set from Nails Inc!

Nails Inc Autumn Winter 2013 Collection Swatches and Review

I actually won this on a Twitter giveaway last year, but for some reason or another never got round to using it, but I really love the shades!  Inside there are four full sized nail polishes which are; Old Bond Street, St Martins Lane, Oxford Street and Regent Street.  

From top of the swatches to the bottom; Regent Street is a dark wine shade with brown undertones to it.  I think it has that quality to it where in some lights you can really see the red tones within, but in other lights you can see the browns.  I really love this shade, and it is definitely one that matches this seasons trend of Oxblood!  St Martins Lane is the shade I have had most use from, and is a bold purple grape shade.  Oxford Street is a more unusual shade, and has a real toffee tone to it.  Old Bond Street is a gorgeous deep blue with almost a purple tone to it.    

Nails Inc Autumn Winter 2013 Collection Swatches and Review

The formula has been really easy to apply - two coats for a completely even finish, but you could probably get away with doing one on all except Old Bond Street!  I think it's just habit to do the second for me to be honest.  The finish is very glossy, and just looks so perfect for the new season.  I always feel more glammed up with a high gloss nail.  The wear time is pretty good too!  I managed four days before I got my first chip.

I'd definitely recommend picking this up whilst you still can.  It's currently on sale on Beauty Bay for a bargain of £15, which is just £3.75 per polish!  This years 2014 collection looks just as nice, but with lighter shades, in the new Nails Inc packaging and you only get three but with 14ml instead of 10ml a bottle.  (Still a shame to be a shade down, but I love the dusky pink!)

Which shade is your go to shade for Autumn/Winter?

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Autumnal Baking: Peach, Apple & Rhubarb Crumble

The last few weekends, Liam's Mum has given us a big bag of home grown rhubarb so the obvious choice  to us was to make a Rhubarb Crumble!  I initially browsed for some other recipes to use it in, and came across a Rhubarb Upside Down Cake which really took my fancy, but Liam wasn't a fan.  Even though he doesn't really do puddings - he loves the classics, and now it's coming to Autumn, a hot treat seems reasonable!

I didn't realise just how easy it was to make a crumble, so I thought I'd share with you how I did it!  I added in some extra fruit, because our smoothie maker broke last week so we've had a lot more fruit left at the end of the week - the first time I made one, I added in victoria plums, and this week I added in a couple of apples, and some flat peaches!

I'll point out now - I'm no food photographer, and to be honest, I hate it when you follow a recipe and it turns out looking nothing like the photo from the recipe.  Here you've got a proper home cooked recipe, complete with photos of how mine turned out from a novice baker!  (I'll stop with my baking excuses now!)

You will need:

     110g BUTTER
     180g PLAIN FLOUR

Peach, Apple and Rhubarb Crumble Recipe

You want to start by pre-heating your oven to 180, and then start chopping up your fruit.  I chopped my rhubarb to around two inches in length, and was sure to peel my peaches and apples.  After throwing everything into my crumble dish, I sprinkled six tablespoons of caster sugar and four tablespoons of water across my fruit.  The recipe I was following did ask for eight tablespoons of caster sugar, but it was way too sweet the first time we tried it - especially with all the sugar from the fruit!  I will probably try lowering the amount of sugar again next time just to see if it's even needed at all!  I roasted my fruit for around ten minutes to soften them up a bit.

Whilst your fruit is roasting, you can start on your crumble topping!  Add your butter, demerara sugar and flour to a bowl and start massaging it through your fingers until you have that crumble texture and all of your ingredients have been mixed.   By the time you've done that, it should be almost time to take your fruit from the oven.  After your ten minutes are up, sprinkle your crumble topping over the top and bake for around forty minutes or until the topping has changed to a golden brown!

Peach, Apple and Rhubarb Crumble Recipe

Well...I love puddings, so I really enjoyed this; I served mine with some hot custard!  I'd definitely make another, and next time I might try an apple crumble with a bit of cinnamon in!  Leave a comment below if you've got any recipes for some Autumnal cooking as I'm starting to feel very cosy, and have been craving all sorts of traditional home cooked meals!

What's your favourite Autumnal dessert?

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Mini Mentions: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

Sometimes it's hard to commit to buying a full sized product, either because you aren't sure if you're going to like it, or it's just too much money to risk buying a full size for it to not work as you had hoped.  Sometimes, you might just get a decent sized sample in a monthly beauty box and have managed to test it enough so that you have something to say about it - a mini mention perhaps!

This sample size of the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil actually came in a Glossybox that I got sometime last year!  I had never heard of DHC at the time, and back then never dreamed of adding an oil to my already oily skin.  It's safe to say it was shoved to the back of my drawers, never to see the light of day again until recently.  I went to Spain in July and was aiming for light packing, which is when I rediscovered this little bottle of goodness!

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Review

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is something I have heard of now -  a lot.  Turns out it's a beauty cult classic which originates from Japan!  You put a small amount of this oil onto your hands and massage onto your dry face; I found that it easily removed all of my make up and even managed to dissolve my waterproof mascara.  I didn't break out which says wonders for me, as on holiday SPF usually just has a disaster with my skin (back especially, but let's not go there...) so I think it managed to thoroughly cleanse my skin including any unwanted SPF in the evening.  It also rinsed off very easily, and left my skin feeling cleansed, smoothed and not at all oily.

The scent of this is a little strange to me.  I'm not the biggest fan of it, because it's made with rosemary and olive oil and I don't love the smell of olive oil.  It also reminds me of cooking, and I just can't get it out of my head that it smells like cooking oil in a greasy way.

Whilst I like this cleansing oil, I don't love it as much as I thought I might considering it's done its rounds like Bioderma.  I think I'll be sticking with The Body Shop's Camomile Cleansing Oil purely for the fresh, light floral scent that one has!  You can try the same 30ml sample that I have from Escentual for £4.50, or take the plunge with a larger size from £11!

Have you tried the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Wednesday Wishlist #7: Homeware Wishing & Cheeky Reader Discount Code

As you know, I recently (I keep saying recently, but in actual fact it was May I moved in...still can't believe how quickly time has gone!) moved into my first home with Liam!  Whilst we've bought all of our main pieces of furniture, our house doesn't quite feel like a home yet because it's lacking in all the nice little decorative pieces that make our house ours.

Ask Her Friends Discount Code

A few weeks ago, I remembered a website I came across a while back called Ask Her Friends!  It is an online shop with lots of gorgeous little pieces on!  It's designed to be a one stop destination where people can go to find a gift for women - the story behind the website is quite funny, but what a clever idea and I know plenty of men that will appreciate this service!  This aside, I'm looking for things to put in my house!

Ask Her Friends Voucher Code Discount

I have found these glass box lanterns which I really, really love.  I think these would look really nice in my fireplace in the guest bedroom.  It's all open brick, but can't be used - so these maybe stacked on some cool books or something would look really nice in there, or failing that, the window sill!  We don't have any furniture in there yet apart from a bed, but I imagine when we get a really low bedside table, they'd also be nice there too!  For £16.99 I can't go wrong here can I - simple, and will literally look amazing anywhere.

This Spineless Adventure Classics Print is unlike anything I had ever seen before.  I really love the idea of this as it's an entire book with the text so small that it fits onto one rather large page.  Typography prints are something I'm seeing a lot of in homeware sections, and I'm just not really a huge fan, but this one is completely different and has The Lost World novel on one page.  I will probably buy my own frame from elsewhere, but this would fit really nicely into my dining room, above my bookshelves opposite my T-Rex head.  

These metal sphere fairy lights are also taking my fancy.  They'll probably end up in the guest bedroom again, because I want a mint and metallics theme running through there.  I think these will pair up really nicely with the chunky low bed I recently bought.

One thing I didn't think I'd find on here because I was so interested in the home section were these gorgeous pair of origami crane earrings.  I have my lobes pierced three times in each ear, but currently wear no earrings - I love the 2D origami bird, and love the geometric shape!  And they're safe to use for those who get sore earrings using cheap studs!

A bit more of a luxury purchase now, and I might have to crack this on the Christmas list and I would have to be very lucky to receive it...the Jo Malone Air of Luxury Gift Set.  This contains a Wild Fig and Cassis Candle, a Red Roses Scent Surround Spray and my favourite scent ever...the Pomegranate Noir Scent Surround Diffuser.  Need I say more?  Jo Malone smells bloody amazing.  Especially Pomegranate Noir.

Now!  Onto the best bit.  Ask Her Friends have kindly offered to give my readers a discount when buying from their store!  Don't worry - this isn't a sponsored post at all, and I'm not being paid/gifted with anything if you fancied buying something to treat yourself or someone else, I'm just here to share with you my favourite bits from the shop, and offer you some tasty discount!  Hurrah!

Enter the code CEE for £5 to spend at Ask Her Friends
Enter the code JAY for £10 off when you spend £30 or more!

The discount is valid until midnight on the 31st October 2014, soooo what are you waiting for?  I hope you find something you love!

Have you been on Ask Her Friends before?  Don't forget to share with me what you've bought!

PS.  Beauty Lovers...they also stock some Chanel, Charlotte Tilbury, Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown...y'know...don't want to enable or anything, but you might want to check out that beauty section!

Montagne Jeunesse Hot Chocolate Face Mask

Good day fellow beauty lovers.  It has been a while hasn't it...sorry about that!  I haven't got anything particularly exciting to report, I've just been a bit quiet lately despite having so much to write about!  Unfortunately, my laptop has completely broken now so blogging has taken a step back because I can't edit my photos as I would like to!  And what's a blog post without photos...  I've managed to get something done on Liam's laptop though, so here I am!

Montagne Jeunesse Hot Chocolate Face Mask Review

I thought I'd ease back in, and start with a review of a new face mask I have been trying in recent weeks.  It's the Montagne Jeunesse Hot Chocolate Face Mask!  I actually bought a few sachets of these before I went on holiday to Spain, because I spotted them in my local Wilkinsons for a bargain ten pence!

I'll be honest...I usually bypass anything from this brand and honestly only bought a few because they were ten pence!  I hate a face mask in a sachet because I find them to be so messy, and I think that you get a lot more product than you actually need, so it goes to waste unless you are having a girly gathering or can persuade your man to swipe some across his chops.  I also really don't like the design of the packaging - for me, there is just so much going on and it's all just a bit busy for me.

Montagne Jeunesse Hot Chocolate Face Mask Review

Packaging aside, I really enjoyed using this face mask.  I haven't used a sweet scented face mask in what seems like forever, and usually opt for the more refreshing cleanses.  This one smells exactly like a melted Terry's Chocolate Orange, and it looked good enough to eat!  It is made with dark chocolate and orange oil, which give it the amazing scent, but also contains Mediterranean Clay which helps to give your skin a deep clean whilst the oil softens skin.  The Hot Chocolate Face Mask is also self heating, and I absolutely love using a face mask which warms the skin.  I think that a warming face mask is all the more pampering, and helps you to feel super relaxed!

Montagne Jeunesse Hot Chocolate Face Mask

It seems quite runny when first getting the product out of the packaging, but once applied to the face it doesn't run or drip off.  I even went for quite a thick layer too to make sure I got a fully opaque finish to my skin - I think that face masks are all the more fun when they actually mask your skin!

I'd definitely try this again, as it left my skin really nice and smooth and after a couple of uses, and I've noticed that my t-zone is a little less congested!  My skin after use is also a lot less oily!  But I just really wish that it came in a bottle!  I had noticed a few bottles of masks coming from Montagne Jeunesse, but looking on their website, the Hot Chocolate wasn't one of them unfortunately!  You definitely can get two applications from a sachet, but because it's such a messy application, storage isn't particularly easy!

Have you tried anything from Montagne Jeunesse?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Wednesday Wishlist #6: The Christian Louboutin Nail Polish

Just look at it...
Christian Louboutin Nail Polish Rouge Louboutin
Source: Christian Louboutin

I can't stop thinking about the Christian Louboutin Nail Polish...literally nothing can get that out of my head.  I've settled for the fact that I don't need anymore nail polishes, and I've even grasped that I'll never own a pair of Louboutin shoes, but the fact that I don't really need this is just something that I can't get my head around because at this point in time, it's all I need.

The new nail polish though is just all kinds of beautiful.  It's a home accessory  that would sit beautifully on display in my bedroom, combined into the perfect red nail polish; I honestly feel like if I splashed out the £36 for this shade nothing would leave my fingers tips until Spring 2015.  You can't get more of a glamorous red than Christian Louboutin.

There will also be around thirty other shades including nudes, noirs and pops, but that's a wishlist for another day...

Shortest Wednesday Wishlist ever.  There is nothing that I want more this week.  Just this...please.

What is on your wishlist this week?  Will you be splashing on this luxury nail polish?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

L'Occitane Extra Gentle Shea Butter Lotion For Hands & Body

I've never bought anything from L'Occitane before - I technically still haven't.  The L'Occitane Extra Gentle Lotion For Hands & Body is a moisturiser that sits on the sink in the bathroom where I work, and it's something I'm secretly starting to love!

L'Occitane Extra Gentle Shea Butter Lotion For Hands & Body Review

It's a Shea Butter lotion, but I don't think it smells like other Shea Butters I've tried.  I think this one stands out to be a touch more perfumed, yet really fresh!  If I had this at home, I'd be cracking it out after hopping out the shower in the morning, because it smells amazing - so clean!  When I use it at work, the scent is a real pick me up and lasts quite a while before disappearing.

The consistency is a lot more fluid compared to most of my other moisturisers.  It comes out of the pump really easily - thumbs up for the pump application - and a little does go a long way .  Last week, I had a random bout of dry skin across my legs and forearms, to the point that they looked a little scaley despite not feeling particularly dry - I massaged a pump of this on each limb and any dryness was instantly eradicated!  Everytime I have used this lotion, it always leaves my skin feeling perfectly moisturised and refreshed.  As well as shea butter, L'Occitane have also used honey extract and oat milk to really help soften and smooth your skin, as well as discourage any skin irritations.

L'Occitane Extra Gentle Shea Butter Lotion For Hands & Body Review Ingredients

The lotion absorbs into the skin really quickly, which is ideal for me.  I'm really not a fan of using a hand cream at work in case it leaves a residue - I hate drawing and using my tablet at work with sticky hands!  I always feel dirty if there is any stickiness, because I feel as though dirt sticks to the stickiness of my hand cream...anyone else think like that, or is this just crazy, clean Carly coming through??  (This hand cream also is described on the back of the bottle to help the effects of dryness from excessive dream!?)

At £17.00 for 300ml, it's not the cheapest moisturiser you could buy, but it really is a treat for the skin!  I'll definitely be picking myself up a bottle, and will be checking out what else L'Occitane have to offer.  Before this, they weren't a brand I've ever ventured into, but I've been left seriously impressed!

Have you tried anything from L'Occitane?  What are your recommendations?

Friday, 8 August 2014

Popup Paris WizzNadine Diamond Candle

This week has been a bit of an exciting one around where I live.  You may have seen on the news that a diamond was launched "into space" with a helium balloon, which then popped and landed on the ground.  It formed a finders keepers treasure hunt for the diamond, housed in a small, steel box, and it landed within a five mile radius of where I actually live.  Queue the excitement, constant calls from my sister giving me updates, and me wishing it just happened to land in my back garden - did I mention it's worth £12000?  Well...I haven't found it, and as far as I'm aware nobody has, but I might not need to look far for a diamond as I have this.  (Believe'd know if I'd found it!)

This is a Popup Paris candle!  I actually got this candle as a Christmas gift from Liam, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I actually lit it.  It was safely stored in a drawer ready for when we got our house together, which at the time, I didn't think would have been this quickly!  Popup is a brand that I have only ever seen on Firebox, but after reading up on their website, they are a company led by two young men who seem to be full of fun - just have a read of the Popup About page!  One from a family of diamond merchants, and the other from a family of financiers.

I have the scent WizzNadine (was listed as Grenadine when Liam bought it!) and I have to say it smells absolutely beautiful, and I'm so pleased that Liam chose it.  He did really well, considering he bought it blind online!  It smells really sweet, yet a bit powdery - kind of like Love Hearts!  It's light, and sweet but doesn't overpower the room.  I think when lit it's almost a subtle hint of fresh sweetness.  On the website, it's described as "mouth watering, and mischievous" and "its sweet fragrance will bring you everlasting moments of tenderness!"  Not totally convinced on that one...but nevermind!

The Popup candles are extra special, because one in fifty contain a diamond which could be worth a £1000 depending on which size you get!  Mine is a small version which cost £19.99 - it's really small, so gets lit rarely, but it also comes in a large version which costs an almighty £49.99.  I haven't found a diamond in my candle just won't be a £12000 diamond, but if that one doesn't turn up under my nose, here's hoping for one hidden in my living room!

Have you tried Popup candles?  Have you ever found a prize in a candle?

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Lipstick Queen Aloha

I have been wanting to add Lipstick Queen's Aloha to my collection for absolutely agggges, and I finally convinced myself to do it whilst watching one of Estée's YouTube videos.  You know one of those occasions where you bargain with yourself - "That looks gorgeous...I swear if that is that lipstick again, I'm getting it right now."  Well it was, and low and behold, it went into my basket and promptly arrived through my letterbox last week!

Lipstick Queen Aloha Review Swatches

First impressions of the lipstick was that it is a lot smaller packaging wise than other lipsticks that I own.  The packaging is gorgeous though; a bright orange, metallic tube with a lilac Lipstick Queen logo.  If you're after that satisfying lipstick click, you won't find it here, but you do have to put a tiny bit more force to wedge the cap into place.  I also think the packaging is slightly more weighted, so helps give it that higher end feel.

Lipstick Queen Aloha Review Swatches

Aloha is part of the Endless Summer collection, and it's the perfect sheer cherry red.  It applies perfectly, and it's not completely necessary to crack out a mirror every time you want to reapply.  The colour builds easily if you wanted to put on a bit more of a pop (see below - left is one swipe, right is two!) but will only build to a medium sheer - you won't ever get full opacity.  It's great for every day wearing and I wear this a lot for work.  I love lipstick, but nobody I work with tends to wear make up, so I feel as though strutting in with an opaque lip would be a bit OTT (I've even mostly cut back on my usual cat eye!) but a sheer lip is perfect for me!

Lipstick Queen Aloha Review Swatches

It feels to me like a really glossy lip balm; similar feeling to the Soap & Glory Gloss Sticks, except not remotely sticky at all.  Aloha has a blend of Vitamin E and Candelilla Wax, so it really does feel like a nice lip balm and leaves lips beautifully moisturised.  It also has an SPF 15, so is perfect for Summer wearing!  I only wish I had this sooner so that it could have accompanied me on holiday!

Wear time is pretty good for a sheer lip, but it's not amazing as you'd expect.  I noticed that the balm feeling did last for around an hour and a half, but the noticeable tint left after three hours so I needed to reapply at lunch time but that's no biggie.

Lipstick Queen Aloha Review Swatches

I really, really like this lipstick and I'd love to buy more from the collection (particularly Stoked!) but at £18.00 a lipstick, it's just not something I could justify again, especially because it's essentially a tinted lip balm!  I think that it's just too much money for me to be able to afford to stock up on, but I do love it and wear it a lot more than most of my other lipsticks.  I managed to buy mine at £15.50 from Feel Unique when they had a 15% discount site wide, but it's also in stock at Space NK.  Even though I won't be rushing to buy more from the collection, I'd buy another Aloha instantly if I ever ran out!

Did you pick anything up from the Endless Summer Collection?  What's your favourite sheer lip shade?