Sunday, 25 May 2014

GIVEAWAY: A Treat in Time for Father's Day - Remington Vacuum & Groom Beard Trimmer

Earlier last week, Remington were on the hunt for "bearded fellas" to trial and test the Remington Vacuum & Groom Beard Trimmer*.  Liam swears by his Remington shaver, so I thought I'd put his name forward to give this a go!  It arrived super quickly, and he has been using it for his past few shaves.  I have absolutely no idea about male electricals, so I thought I'd just pass you straight over to him as a mini guest post from Liam!  If you can manage to stay tuned until the end, there's a little treat so that you can be super organised for Father's Day, or just earn yourself some girlfriend points!

Having already owned a Remington Beard Trimmer, I expected this one to be just as good and I was not disappointed.  It is however rather large; the size doesn't have any impact on the weight though, which is good because the light weight means it's good for travel.  It also comes with a handy storage bag.

When Carly told me how it had a built in vacuum, I imagined it to be really loud and have a large bag attached - it is neither loud, nor attached to a bag.  The vacuum is a small compartment built in just below the shaving head.  I wouldn't say that it's 100% effective at sucking up all the loose hairs, but it does about 88-90% which is good for cleaning up afterwards, as I usually shave in front of the mirror over the sink in my bathroom and hair gets evvverryywherrre.  When shaving, the adjustable trimmer glides quite nicely and smoothly over my face and creates no pull on my beard at all, and the vacuum produces a breeze on my skin which was a nice added bonus. 

Like a lot of guys, I don't like to have a clean shave as I end up looking like ten year old boy.  The adjustable guide on the trimmer is a decent size for quickly shaving, but it doesn't quite get to the same length as my old one which was a bit annoying, as I had to go probably 1mm shorter than usual.  The foil attachment is quite narrow and I imagine it would take a while to shave your full face, so I don't think this is the trimmer for a clean face kinda guy.  This shaver has loads of attachments which are useful if you like to style your beard or have quite a thick, full beard.  I don't really use any special attachments when I shave, but I did especially for this review.  I had a play with the narrow styler which was good, but I felt a bit unsteady with this.  I also used the foil for under my chin and neck which provided a nice close shave.  The colour is also nice!

All in all, I would say this is a pretty good beard trimmer and does its job well.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone who doesn't have a clean shave.


As promised, there is a little giveaway!  So if you are wanting to treat your man, or get super prepared for Father's Day, this giveaway is perfect for you!  To make this fair and square, I will be randomly selecting a winner from all eligible entries using Rafflecopter.  Coming from a girls perspective, this beard trimmer is an absolute God send.  It has come just in time for Liam and I moving in together, because if there is one thing that I can't stand, it's when Liam shaves and doesn't clean up every single hair after he's done!  I hate beard hair!

The prize will be a brand new, unused and opened Remington Vacuum & Beard Trimmer which has been provided by Remington.

This is a UK only giveaway, and the giveaway will end on Monday 9th June, so that I can get this posted out to you in time for Father's Day if you are wanting a gift for then.  There are two mandatory entries for this giveaway, which are:
  1. Be a follower of this blog via Bloglovin'
  2. Be a follower of CEE JAY ELL via Twitter - make sure you leave your Twitter handle so I can easily contact the winner!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The Remington Vacuum & Groom Beard Trimmer was provided for Liam's consideration.  All opinions have been completely honest.
The prize has also been gifted from Remington. 

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush

The latest addition to my Real Techniques brush collection is the Silicone Liner Brush.  It was the only brush I wanted from their newer collection which also includes some retractable brushes.  It's my first eyeliner brush that I've ever owned that didn't come with the eyeliner, and is completely unique to any brush that I've ever used due to it's silicone tip.  It's perfectly designed, and perfectly shaped for making eyeliner an absolute breeze, even the dreaded cat flick.

Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush Review

I am very much an eyeliner girl - I've worn it for as long as I can remember.  I wore kohl eyeliner panda style pretty much all the way through school, and since I calmed myself down, I've been opting for a slick of gel eyeliner on my top lids.  One thing I always struggled with though was the cat flick.  I could never ever get a smooth line using the fibre brush that came with my gel eyeliner, or even with felt pen style eyeliners no matter how fine the nib.

Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush Review

The silicone nib glides effortlessly across lids leaving behind a smooth, trail of eyeliner.  I have found that I need to put more product on the tip than I had done previously with other brushes, or the silicone kind of draws it, but wipes it away at the same time.  But, this can be good for the cat flick as you can faintly map out your line, and then layer up when you've got it right!  One of the reasons I find this brush so easy to use is the fact that the nib has some slight flexibility - I often find that some felt pens, or some harder brushes drag the skin which in turn staggers the line.  This is an absolute dream!  The long handle is also amazing compared to the brushes I normally get with gel eyeliners, you know the ones that are literally about two inches long?  Well, the longer brush gives you so much more control.

Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush Review

The silicone nib also means it's insanely easy to clean.  I literally clean mine after every use by swiping it across a lightly soaked cotton pad and it's as clean as the day I bought it!  I literally couldn't recommend this enough!  It's perfect, and to put it bluntly, you need it.

What's your favourite eyeliner?  Have you tried the Silicone Liner Brush?

Friday, 23 May 2014

Tagged: The Lip Product Addict Tag

A couple of weeks ago, I was tagged by Laura from Pink Frenzy to do The Lip Product Addict Tag!  So let's get cracking, and see what lip products I think are worth a mention!

What is your favourite balm/treatment?
It's probably not the best one I own, but I really, really love the Blistex Blast lip balms.  I have almost worked my way through a Raspberry Lemonade Blast, and have recently bought an Orange and Mango Blast.  They taste and smell absolutely amazing, and they always leave my lips nice and smooth!  I'll be popping up a post on these two sometime, because the love definitely needs to be shared!

What is your best eye catching red?
I think it will have to be my newest MAC lipstick, which is Relentlessly Red.  It's a beautiful matte shade, which is red but has a pink undertone.  I always get compliments when I'm wearing it, and it's not like any other red I own!  Plus, matte is eye catching on it's own without needed a unique shade!

What is your best drugstore and best luxury lip product?
I really love Topshop lipsticks; I only have two, but I love them both, and would happily buy more!  They are really comfortable to wear, last a long time and there is an amazing shade range!  The favourite from my two is Hazzard - I actually am on my second one because I lost one, and couldn't be without it!

I don't own too many luxury lipsticks.  The most luxury brands in my collection are MAC and Illamasqua.  I own more MAC lipsticks than Illamasqua, but Illamasqua are really daring with their shade ranges and cater for literally everybody.  My favourite, most worn shade is Magnetism, which is a gorgeous berry shade.

What is your favourite MAC lipstick?
I feel like I'm mentioning MAC quite a lot!  It's hard to choose a favourite, because I'm quite careful to only buy shades I'll love.  So my favourite and most worn MAC lipstick is Plumful.

What is your most disappointing lip product?
I'm not disappointed often, but I think my most disappointing product was the Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss.  They are just so sticky, and I can't bare to wear them!  It's such a shame, because I love Soap and Glory!

Liner.  Yes, or no?
I'm a half and half!  I don't wear it religiously, but I do like to wear liner when I am wearing a red lip.  I like having sharp definition, and it really makes a huge difference in how long your lipstick lasts.

What is your favourite lip gloss?
I'm not really a gloss lover, but I have been loving the Benefit Coralista lip gloss.  It's so natural, and doesn't feel like a gloss on your lips because it isn't sticky at all!

Something extra...what is your most worn lip shade?
My flat out favourite shade is a toss up between two.  I have worn these two so much, and they are both from the original Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains.  I love Rendevous, a bright orange, for Spring and Summer, and also love Honey, a gorgeous, rosey pink for every day.  I absolutely love the Revlon Balm Stains, and own a lot, but these two are my favourite!  I'm yet to try the newer gloss and matte versions though!

I tag...
You!  Leave me your links if you decide to do the tag, I'd love to see your answers!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo

My name is Carly, and I can't live without dry shampoo.  Specifically, I can't live without Batiste.

I stick to my favourites, which are Blush, Tropical and Cherry so...the majority of them, but a few weeks ago my Mum actually bought me one I haven't tried before.  This is the Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo and damn, this is bloody good.

It's your standard dry shampoo - I'm sure we've all used it, and if you haven't, don't waste your time washing your hair next time, and just spritz in some of this and you are good to go.  Anyway, it's your standard dry shampoo, but with extra volume.  I find that dry shampoo gives my fine, flat hair volume anyway, but this has some serious texture to it as well.

It feels a bit like a mattifying dust powder; a bit tacky (which dries down) and super matte, so it doesn't feel as easy to massage into the roots of your hair as your normal Batiste, but it really does the job well.  I struggle to get any volume or body in my hair because I'm too lazy to do anything in the way of styling in the mornings, but this makes it a breeze and even I can do it.  I don't think the volume lasts all day without a light cover of hair spray, but even without, a quick massage of the roots re-lifts the bounce you initially had.  The scent is nice, nothing special and I don't think it's as nice as their normal scents, but it doesn't last long anyway.

It's actually a pound more than the standard Batiste sprays, which is a little annoying...but I do think I might convert and buy this one from now on.  But at the same time...seeing as we've just bought a house, and are flat out skint, I might just aim to have one of these in my stocks!  I always get my Batiste from Superdrug because they always have the best offers there.  Right now, you can get the XXL for £1.97 instead of £3.99!

Have you tried the XXL Volume Batiste?  What's your favourite dry shampoo

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

MAC X Marge Simpson: Packaging Design

This post is  a little bit different...  I don't tend to blog about upcoming collections from brands.  I love reading what's coming up, but when a MAC collection is being released, my Bloglovin' feed is filled with the same thing - the promo shots.  Being a designer, when I heard about the MAC X Marge Simpson line coming later this year, not only did the beauty addict in me get excited for what might be coming our way, but my design intuition kicked in.  I instantly started imagining what I would do if I was working for MAC; what products would I release to represent Marge Simpson, and just as importantly, how I would package it.

MAC have been getting a lot more creative with their packaging lately.  Their latest collection, Alluring Aquatic, was a gorgeous, metallic turquoise with realistic 3D water droplets .  Although I don't own any of this collection, I was seriously in awe of the packaging and how MAC translated the theme of the collection through the selection.

I decided I would do a quick mock up sketch as to how I would package a MAC X Marge Simpson lipstick. I mentioned this on Twitter lately, and got some nice feedback.  I went straight for the obvious; The Simpsons is a well known animation - we've all watched it and we've all grown up with it!  The collection is a celebration of 25 years of The Simpsons!  They're older than me!  (When I was younger, I used to get an annual every Christmas detailing all the episodes!)  I wanted to bring the animation across in the lipstick packaging, and created a simplistic, recognisable figure of Marge.  I used the base of the lipstick as her green dress, the usual silver rim was replaced for Simpson skin yellow, and the removable cap is textured, bright blue Marge hair.  I also slipped in a sneaky orange MAC logo to act as a little reference to her necklace!

MAC Simpsons Packaging Design

I'm so excited for this collection, and I absolutely can't wait to see what they bring out!  I'm definitely hoping to get my hands on some of it, even if it's just one piece!  I hope you all liked my mock up!

What are your guesses for the MAC X Marge Simpson Collection?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Abel Organics Vintage '13 Eau de Parfum

I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but my freaking God this packaging is bloody gorgeous.  This is a limited fragrance from Abel Organics, and it is the Vintage '13.  The simple, recycled glass bottle is housed in protective, reclaimed oak casing with what looks like a little laser etched Abel logo.  It even comes beautifully wrapped in recycled paper packaging instead of a box!

A while back now, after declaring my love for the aesthetics, I was offered a small sample of Vintage '13 - only 2000 bottles of Vintage '13 were made, so I was very lucky to have obtained a vial!  It is a fragrance for both men and women, but the fragrance isn't one for everybody, and the brand are first to admit that.  I absolutely love it.  For me, it's definitely not a Summer fragrance, but for Winter, it's perfect.  With top notes of clove, bergamot and black pepper, middle notes of ginger, thyme and vanilla and base notes of Vetiver, Sandalwood and Amyris, this is warming, spicy and sensual.  Vintage '13 is believed to be the first 100% organic fragrance, produced with completely natural ingredients.

I want to say it's almost a Christmassy fragrance, but I feel as though I would wear this all the way through the colder months.  From the amount of Vinatge '13 that I had, I found that the scent was very long lasting and it even had the seal of approval from Liam - although, it's not one that he would wear despite it being a unisex fragrance.  At around £94 for 50ml, this isn't the cheapest of perfumes, so if you are interested, I'd definitely recommend ordering the sample vial for just over £4.  It is a lot to pay for a sample vial, but not as much as you would pay for the full size to not love it - the stockists of Abel are very select and there is only one in the UK, which is in London.

Whilst the fragrance might not be for everyone, I genuinely believe that Abel Organics is a brand to watch out for.  It is clear to see that each and every aspect of the fragrance has been carefully planned, and executed.  If studying Product Design taught me one thing, it's that translating your brand into your products is quite difficult, but the aims and values of the brand have been perfectly demonstrated in Vintage '13 and I can't wait to see what comes next.

Seriously, go and check out their website - the story of Abel and Vintage '13 is a really nice read and it's great to see a brand being so crystal clear in everything that they've done, as well as really setting out the journey of an idea for everyone to see.

Have you tried Abel Vintage '13?

Monday, 19 May 2014

Adventure Time: We Bought A House!

Today is the day I've been waiting for for what seems like years!  Liam and I have finally bought our first home together!  I've been absolutely dying to tell everybody the news, but we both decided to keep our plans under wraps until everything had been confirmed.  Well...I'm pleased to write that everything has all gone through, and we finally have a date for our move in!  We should get the keys to our first home on Friday!

Honestly, it has all come out of nowhere.  We had always planned that we would start looking for a house this year - it's been a year since I left University, and my job became permanent and contracted at the start of April.  We had intended to start looking, but did not at all expect to find something we loved so soon!

I might have given away some clues as my Pinterest board has been brimming with home décor ideas and DIY decorations and furniture the past few weeks, but I am so excited!  I can't even put it into words.  Liam and I have been together almost ten years, so finally living in a place of our own has been a very long time coming!  We've kind of lived together before, and by kind of, I mean I crashed at his flat when he was at University for five days a week so I could see him more as well as walk to college instead of having to get the train every morning.  But now, we have our perfect little house!  Well actually...we have a perfect little cottage!

With both Liam and I coming from a creative background, we both have so many ideas for what we want our house to look like!  Our cottage is eighteenth century, so we feel like we have a theme to keep, but we also want it to represent the two of us...'shabby chic' (I hate that phrase so much!) and vintage style just isn't our thing, so we're looking forward to giving a good twist on what is expected!  I don't know how you feel about design and interiors, but you can expect to see lots of wishlists, ideas and DIY's being thrown your way!  Now...bombard me with great websites for homewares as we are starting completely from scratch!

Any advice you'd like to give us?  Where is the best place you've found for bargain homewares?

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Models Own Speckle Collection

The Models Own Speckle Collection was one I was really excited about.  I absolutely loved the look of the Illamasqua I'mperfection Speckled collection, but never managed to bag myself any what with being a skint student when that collection was released.  Last month, Models Own released their own interpretation of the nail polish at a fraction of the price - hurrah!  Luckily for me, I managed to bag myself the complete collection (and another collection I'll save for another day!) on one of their Twitter giveaways!

Models Own Speckle Collection Review

I absolutely love the look of these nail polishes and have worn every single one of them.  The collection consists of five nail polishes, and I have worn and loved them all!  The polishes apply quite sheer, so two to three coats make them fully opaque and the finish is semi matte.

Models Own Magpie Dove Duck Goose Swan Swatch Review

Going from left to right on the swatches, we have Swan.  Swan is a really pretty pastel lilac, and I really like this shade.  Next is Magpie, which is quite a vibrant mint green.  It doesn't quite fit into the pastel category in my opinion, because a lot more white could have been added to get a true pastel mint.  Duck is the pastel blue, which is almost a cornflower blue.  Dove is the gorgeous pastel pink, which reminds me of strawberry ice cream!  And finally, we have Goose.  Goose is a bit strange for me, I still like it, but the shade is so unusual.  I think without the black flecks this would be a really nice custard yellow, but the black almost reflects back on it or something and I think it comes out a bit of a muddy yellow - almost like a pastel mustard.

Models Own Speckle Collection Swatch Review

The wear time I was initially really disappointed with, but soon realised that the problem was in my base coat.  Removing the troublesome base coat, I found that the nail polish lasted a good five days with minimal chipping!

I absolutely love these nail polishes - they're such an easy way to add an interesting effect to your nails without going for sparkly glitter or intricate nail art!  I think my favourite is either Magpie, or Dove!

Do you own any of the Speckle Collection?  Which is your favourite?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top and Base Coat

In one of my previous ASOS hauls, I managed to pick myself up a Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top and Base Coat for less than the cost of one bottle!  It was a huge bargain and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.

Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coat Base Coat Review

The Kensington Caviar Base Coat (left) was one that I had never tried before.  It is a pink base coat, which dries semi matte with a pink sheen...yep, a pink sheen.  It's such a shame, because the caviar extract in the base coat is both strengthening and nourishing, and I did notice some strengthening to my horrendously weak nails.  But the sheer pink can alter the shades of some of my lighter nail polishes, which I've been reaching for more now it's getting into the warmer months.  I don't think you could even get away with wearing just the base coat either, because the colouring applies quite unevenly and is obvious against the natural nail.

I'd tried the Kensington Caviar Top Coat (right) before, as I had a small sample in a Glossybox and really liked it.  I do still love the top coat, and it gives a really nice, high gloss finish and dries to touch dry quite quickly!  I have found that, like the base coat, if you apply this in too thick of a layer there is a pink tinge to lighter shades so thin coats are the way to go.  I feel like this works better without the base coat.  Since using the base coat alongside the top coat, my nail polish chips really easily in large chunks, or just peels up completely.  It's almost like the base coat is a bit like PVA glue, and it just peels up in one big sheet of nail polish which is actually damaging my weak nails and leaving them flakey and peeling.  Wearing the top coat without the matching base coat, I found that my nail polish lasted really well!

I think that next time, I'll just repurchase the top coat as a single, unless I can get the duo for cheaper than one like this time!  But I still don't think I can beat my Nail Envy...

Have you tried the Nails Inc Kensington Caviar set?

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Converted to Reverse Hair Washing

I have seen the word 'co-washing' thrown around the internet for a while now.  I first read about products specifically appearing for the purpose of co-washing - conditioner washing, in which you ditch your shampoo once or twice a week and just cleanse with a nourishing conditioner.  But I've more recently read about reverse washing - washing your hair with conditioner before you use shampoo.  Co-washing didn't appeal to me at all.  I have fine hair, which is pretty thin, it's naturally straight, a bit flat and does get greasy ridiculously quickly.  The idea of washing my hair in a rich conditioner just didn't make me think clean hair, it made me imagine grease, and lots of it.

A few weeks ago, I was feeling particularly daring and decided to reverse wash my hair.  I applied my conditioner, concentrating on the mid lengths and ends, rinsed and then worked my hair into a nice lather with my shampoo.  On drying I was actually really surprised.  My hair didn't feel dry at all and felt super clean.  I felt like I could see every hair strand where as normally it all blends together.  My hair felt totally smooth, and normally I have a bit of frizz but everything was smoothed into place!  I didn't notice any extra volume on my roots, but my mid lengths and ends, which are normally weighed down with conditioner residue, definitely had a lot more body.  My flat roots were easily fixed with some volumising hair mousse.

I'm completely a reverse hair wash convert, and have been reverse washing every single time!  My hair is getting all the nourishment from the conditioner still, but it's not being weighed down with any residue because shampooing after completely cleanses the hair.  If you have fine hair like me, or if you find conditioner too heavy, I'd completely recommend trying this because I think you'll be surprised!

Have you tried reverse washing?  What's your top hair care tip?

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Benefit Coralista Lip Gloss

I am not a major fan of lip gloss, so it has come as a surprise to me that I have found one that I really, really love.  Back in January, you might remember that I bought a bargain Benefit tin, which was the It's a Love Fest, set and inside was a miniature Benefit Coralista Lip Gloss!

Benefit Coralista Lipgloss Swatch Review

The reason behind my long hatred for lip glosses is obviously the horrendous sticky feeling that you are more often than not left with.  The Benefit gloss gives super shine, with the smooth feeling of a balm!

Benefit Coralista Lipgloss Swatch Review

The colour of this gloss is quite sheer, and gives me a gorgeous, natural shade to my lips with an ever so slight hint of coral.  I've been wearing this shade so much lately, especially on the days that I just can't be bothered with a face of make up.  It's so pretty for Spring and Summer make up looks.

Benefit Coralista Lipgloss Swatch Review

I love the miniature size of this, and it has accompanied me on both days and nights out.  I honestly think that I will be buying a full size version of this when this runs out, and will definitely be looking into the other shades!  Who knows, I might even have to treat myself to the matching blush...

Have you tried any of the Benefit Lip Glosses?  What's your favourite?