Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Loving & Loathing - Week 76

Whoops! You blink for a second and you've missed a week. I'm very sorry for the lack of post last week, but something very special has happened. Yes, something that only happens once in a person's life and changes the way you see life forever. That's right, I've discovered Game of Thrones ;-) I've also been binge-watching it, so pretty much anything else in my life has slipped by the wayside. With that and the Rugby World Cup, well how can a girl get anything done around here? Normal business will be resumed from now on though.

This week I'm bringing you a pretty wide variety of products, including a brand new favourite from Lush and a Loathing that I really hope has been improved. Dive on in...



L-R: Maybelline Color Tattoo, Lush Bath Bomb, Miss Sporty Lip Liner, Accessorize Nail Polish


Loving

Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Eyeshadow in 65 Pink Gold
RRP £4.99 (Buy)
I have a couple of these lovely cream eyeshadows and they all get a big thumbs up from me as they're so easy to apply and very longlasting. They are also incredibly pigmented and easy to apply - basically it's everything you want from a cream eyeshadow. They can also be used as a base for powder eyeshadow to prolong their wear time and to enhance the colours. I haven't got round to it but I'm planning on using this underneath some of the shades in my beloved Naked 3 palette from Urban Decay; rose gold on rose gold? Yes please! The one slight downside of this shade is that it isn't quite as metallic gold as I would like, and is pretty much 80% pink, but it's a gorgeous shade nevertheless. I'd also recommend Metallic Pomegranate as another gorgeous shade, and I've just picked up Turquoise Forever to try out.


Lush Bath Bomb in Intergalactic
RRP £3.95 (Buy):
Blast off into funky? Thanks Lush, I might just do that! Don't ask me why, but Lush is one of those brands that I think is brilliant but never seem to get round to buying. I really need to sort that out though, as every product that I've been given from friends I absolutely love, and this is possibly the one I love the most so far! Anything that makes my bathwater glittery definitely gets my vote. I rarely use bath bombs as I love the bubbles from bubble bath, but I'll definitely be buying this one again as it's just gorgeous. One of the best things about Lush is that they have info on their website about all the ingedients they have in their products - in this case, peppermint, grapefruit, vetivert and cedarwood oils. No, I'd never heard of vetivert either, but apparently it's a tall grass and is "restoring and relaxing". Whatever the ingredients it smells incredible, and it even contains popping candy. Popping candy! Whatever next? For the best experience you should probably use the whole bath bomb, but as you can see from the main photo I've used half, because I'm stingy. I've tried The Experimenter as well which I also loved (though not as much as this one, obvs), and am looking forward to trying more from them - the citrusy Dragon's Egg is next on my list - yum!


L-R: Maybelline's Pink Gold, Miss Sporty's Bubble Gum
Miss Sporty Mini Me Lip Liner in 070 Bubble Gum
£2.95 (Buy)
This is one of those products that I've no idea where it came from! I'm lacking in the lip liner department, and really only own a nude Calvin Klein one and red ones by Guerlain and Nyx. Still, serendipity brought me this beaut, as it turns out it's the absolutely perfect colour to go with all of my MAC pink lipsticks...and there are a LOT. If I was surprised how pretty this colour was, I was blown away by how good the quality is. Let's face it, Miss Sporty is a brand I was not likely to consider as, and I don't think I'm alone here, it does come across as a bit cheap, tacky and aimed at teenagers. I'd definitely give some of their other products a go, however, as this lip liner is fantastic quality - even lasting longer than my lipsticks in some cases! At less than £3 it's an absolute bargain; sadly I don't think it's available in stores anymore but the link above will take you to Amazon, where you can still grab it!


Loathing

Accessorize Nail Polish in Fairy Dust Glitter
Oh how I wanted to like Accessorize's Nail Polishes. Their makeup line is amazing, but this is the third nail product I've tried from them and the third which is poor quality. It's a stunning pinky-coral with glitter, which is a colour right up up my street, but it started to flake off within 24 hours. Very frustrating and not what I had hoped for. It's such a shame, as it's a colour I would wear over and over again, but who has the patience to only have 1 day's wear out of a nail polish? I know that Accessorize have relaunched their nil varnish line this year and I'll probably try one out but considering the bad experience I've had with this range, there's very little chance that I'd try more than one.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Loving & Loathing - Week 75

It's Tuesday...whoops! I have no idea how I managed to miss my last Loving & Loathing slot (aka, the whole weekend) but I would never deprive you, so better late than never! The next installment will be on time (promise!) and I've got a review coming to you this week - maybe even two. So stick around folks, we've got some good ones on the way.

I have some lovely picks for you this week, as I discovered an awesome new conditioner and have also dug out some tried and tested favourites for you. There's also a dud which may surprise you, as it's from a much-beloved brand! Read on to find out more...


Top: Concoction Conditioner
Bottom L-R: Revlon Liquid Quick Dry, MUA Lip Tint, MAC Mascara



Loving

Revlon Liquid Quick Dry
RRP £6.49 (Buy)
Since the discontinuation of my beloved Save The Nail 45 Second Top Coat, I had been pining for a replacement to dry my nail varnish in double quick time. Enter Revlon's Liquid Quick Dry. It means that I have the freedom to use any top coat and not have to scour the shops to find something which dries quickly and performs well. You can just brush on once your top coat is mostly dry, and it'll leave your nails dry in a minute or two. Like the Save The Nail Top Coat, it leaves your nails completely dry - no more worrying about smudging your nails! It won't protect against ruining your nails if you've put your varnish on too thickly, and you may find a small dent or fabric imprint if you've done this, but if applied correctly it's a godsend. For years I would have to sit as still as possible trying not to smudge my nail polish, and even running my fingers under cold water. This product eliminates all that nonsense completely, and is even very well priced. It's now something I don't do my nails without!


Concoction Creme De Concoction Conditioner  - Cashmere & White Lily
RRP £16.00 £6.40 (Buy)
I popped this in my basket when I bought my GHD V Gold Max Kit (which you can covet here) as I thought it sounded lovely. I was right! It smells absolutely gorgeous, and has a faint salon-type scent to it too. Famous for their ShampYou Mixology range, Concoction is a brand I'd never tried before; however I'll be stocking up on this conditioner. It contains Orange, Lemongrass and Patchouli essential oils, and doesn't contain any parabens. Yay - you know by now how I hate parabens. There are a couple of features that I'm a bit ambivalent about; firstly the lid is frustrating as you can simply push one side down and the other end easily pops up, but the opening is so tiny that it's hard to get the super-thick conditioner out! The other thing is that it's an "Ultra Moisturising" conditioner - so much so that it does leave my hair a little flyaway as it gets so soft. On the plus side, the condition of my hair after just two washes using it is miles better, so I think I would use it sparingly like I would a hair mask. I don't know whether this range is being discontinued, as this is is the only product from Concoction on the website, but the price drop on Look Fantastic suggests it might be. The link above will take you there, but be quick as I may end up buying them all!


MUA's Peach Dream
MUA Sweet Sheen Lip Tint in Peach Dream
RRP £2.00 (Buy)
This is one of those MUA products that's just spot on, and is so affordable too. When I decided to try this on a whim early in the summer (at that kind of price they're very much an impulse buy), out of the six lovely shades on offer I thought this looked the prettiest. It's very moisturising but has a gorgeous hint of peach colour - ideal if you don't want a heavy lipstick or have dry lips. At the moment it's permanently in my handbag as it's ideal to grab when you're on the go, and since I never go without at last some colour on my lips it's the ideal compromise. There's every chance I may end up with all of them (particularly since MUA has 3 for 2 offers all the time), but I currently have my eye on Cherry Bomb and Coral Reef.



Loathing

MAC False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara
RRP £19.00
I managed to get this cheeky mini freebie by filling out a survey for MAC, which was awesome as I love to receive samples. It's fab to be able to try out goodies before buying them...and in this case before spending £19! The effect that the mascara gives is quite good, and thickens lashes a reasonable amount; the problem I have with this is that it flakes. This is one of the cardinal sins in the mascara world, and many that I've tried at half the price don't do this. Considering its price point it's set firmly in the 'premium' category so I really would have expected something better and as MAC is one of my favourite brands I'm doubly disappointed. If I'm going to spend stupid money on a mascara then I'd rather purchase my beloved Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara, or even Benefit's They're Real, which is a comparable price and an excellent product. This is the second mascara by MAC that I've been disappointed with - I also found the Zoom Lash version underwhelming - so I doubt I'd give any others a try.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Loving & Loathing - Week 74

Ha. Another Loving & Loathing on time. You didn't see that one coming, did you? I almost wrote that I won't make a habit of it, but actually I hope I do! Now I'm in more of a routine with my blogging it's becoming as rewarding as it was at the beginning. Long may it continue!

This week has been a little harder than usual to try and write, as I had a tough job picking my products. At the moment there are plenty of products that I hate, but ones that I love are thin on the ground. However, I pulled up and old favourite, and discovered two new ones almost by accident. Read on for this week's picks...



Top: GHD Brush
Bottom L-R: Rimmel  Nail Polish, Nyx Lipliner, Duo Eyelash Adhesive.





Loving

GHD Paddle Brush
RRP £20.00 (Buy)
I recently bought the GHD V Gold Max Styler kit from Look Fantastic (which you can find here and was an absolute bargain), and this brush was part of the set. You may remember from my most recent YouTube Empties Video that I'd thrown out my old faithful Body Shop brush, and while I enjoy my Tangle Teaser-style brushes from BeautyBay, my super-long, thick, unruly hair really does need something more substantial to tame it. This just sweeps through my hair effortlessly, making short work of any knots and leaving my hair feeling so much more sleek than any other brush I've ever used. I'm a champion of spending money on a decent brush as they will last you a very long time and while £20 seems very steep for a brush, if it does a great job and will last for ages then it's money well spent in my book. So far, this brush is highly recommended and I'm looking forward to trying this when I blow dry my hair straight and see if it makes a difference.


Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish in Peppermint
RRP £4.49 (Buy)
This is one of my favourite pastel nail varnishes ever (high praise indeed!), and it's by a brand that I don't often buy. Rimmel is one of those brands that throws up a product every once in a while which I end up buying and turns out to be exceptional. The colour is absolutely gorgeous - somewhere between turquoise and mint - but doesn't have that factor where your skin can look a little washed out, as pastels can often have. This is a colour that looks absolutely incredible with tanned skin too and is so pigmented that just one coat will give you full coverage, though I always apply two anyway. It also has great longevity on your nails - okay maybe not 10 days like the bottle claims (do any polishes last that long?!) but you can get a good three, sometimes four days from it. In short, it's a great product at a great price and assuming that Rimmel didn't change the formula when they changed the bottles, I'll be back for more!

Nyx Retractable Lipliner in Sienna
RRP £4.50 (Buy)
Nyx is one of my favourite American drugstore brands, though you won't have heard me talk about them for a while as I've not bought any Nyx products in a while! I pulled this lipliner out of my drawer when I was going to wear one of my favourite red lipsticks (MAC's Russian Red) instead of the normal Guerlain one I use. I must say I was incredibly surprised at the great quality of it; the liner was a little crumbly but I'm putting that down to the fact that it's been sitting in my makeup unit unused since the dawn of time, probably. It has phenomenal staying-power - even outlasting the lipstick, which I champion for it's amazing pigment and longevity. Best of all, it's pretty much a spot-on match for Russian Red, so as you can imagine I was delighted about that. There's nothing worse than having 90s Porn Star Lips! The cherry on top of the cake of this brilliant little lipliner is that it's retractable, so no pesky sharpening for us. There's also a wide array of other shades that I have a sneaky suspicion may get tried out by me too!



Loathing

Duo Striplash Adhesive
RRP £4.49
Remember being at school and absolutely hating the smell of that Copydex glue? I mean who caould forget it - it's VILE. Well that's because it's latex-based, and so is Duo's eyelash glue...you can see where I'm going with this. To put it bluntly, the stuff absolutely stinks - so much so that when I first opened the tube I had to text my Makeup Artist fried and ask her if it had gone off! Alas, apparently that is its normal fragrance. I could overlook that (as when it dries the smell goes) were it not for the fact that it's also a shit product. It takes FOREVER to dry, leaves stringy bits everywhere and barely holds my eyelashes on. I don't wear falsies all that much, but I picked a pair at the beginning of the summer and wore them out all day. The lash had come away from the inner corner of my eye, and no amount of pressing it firmly back down would make it stick. I made the rookie mistake of not popping one of those mini glue tubes you get with the lashes in my bag for emergency touchups, so for the whole day I could see it out of the corner of my eye. RAGE! You would think that an eyelash glue which is stocked by MAC would be great, but it's just terrible. Annoyingly, my favourite Revlon glue appears to have been discontinued, though I did pick some up on eBay recently which works an absolute treat. However, the aforementioned MUA friend, Hollie, recommends House of Lashes eyelash glue - mostly because it comes in fruity scents!


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Monday, 7 September 2015

Loving & Loathing - Week 73 - Nail Varnish Special #5

Well I made it through last weekend...just! My cousin's wedding was brilliant and there was much dancing and merriment, plus one or two drinks. I got up at 6am that day and made it to bed at 6am the next morning - I've only just about recovered! Basically, a good time was had by all...

So here we are with another Loving & Loathing, and since last time I tried to quantify my nail polish collection I lost count somewhere around 200(!), what better excuse to have another Nail Varnish Special? The three brands with a thumbs up from me this week have been longstanding favourites of mine, but you may be surprised about which one I disliked. Get yourself a cuppa, and then maybe do some online shopping...?





L-R: OPI Nail Lacquer, Jessica Custom Nail Colour, Barry M Nail Paint, Nails Inc Nail Polish
(Sorry about the shockingly bad photo quality!)


Loving

OPI Nail Lacquer in 50 Years of Style (Ford Mustang Collection)
RRP £11.50 £8.95 (Buy)
OPI sure knows how to do a gold nail varnish. In fact I have 3 or 4 gold nail varnishes by them (a girl can never have too many, am I right?!) and they're among some of the best-performing polishes I own. Happily, this offering in the Ford Mustang collection is no exception. The colour is so shiny it almost looks like a foil effect polish, and the tone is so warm and buttery that your tips look like they're glowing! As with all the other gold polishes from OPI that I own the wear time was excellent, with it lasting 3.5 days with only minor wear to the tips. In fact, by the time I came to remove it, the polish had barely chipped at all. I may well now make it my personal mission to acquire ALL the gold nail varnishes that OPI has to offer (you can see how much I loved another one that I own, All Sparkly and Gold from the Mariah Carey collection here), as all the ones I already own have performed really well. OPI is one of my favourite brands for a reason - they continually come out with beautiful new shades, and in general they wear very well, but this one is exceptional. Not only that but although it's discontinued, if you fancy buying this for less than a tenner then click on the link above which will take you to Nail Polish Direct, who have it in stock!


Jessica Custom Nail Colour in Gingersnap
RRP £10.50 (Buy)
Jessica is one of those brands that I wish I owned more of. I've known about them for years (from back in the day where I actually could afford to get manicures) yet I've only ever purchased a couple of colours from them. This is possibly because they're a salon brand and therefore I have dupes from other brands for most of the colours on offer, so any polish I pick up from Jessica has to be different and a bit special. This one, Gingersnap, is aptly named - it has a real air of a bronzey-ginger colour about it, although has sadly photographed very badly. This is the kind of shade you'll love in Autumn through to Winter - the shade is reminiscent of turning leaves while the metallic warmth also makes me think of those speciality coffees you get at Christmas. Okay, maybe I'm reading too much into a nail varnish colour, but it certainly is very beautiful. The wear time - as with all Jessica products I've encountered - is excellent, and while I believe it may be discontinued, I've managed to find it for you on Amazon. Now don't say I don't do anything for you ;-)


Barry M Nail Paint in Countess
RRP £3.95 £2.95 (Buy)
Barry M is, hands-down, one of my favourite nail varnish brands ever, primarily for their consistency and huge range of colours and effects. Sure, you'll get a dud now and again (I'm looking at you, Aqua Glitter), but on the whole their wear time is simply brilliant for the price. I bought this when the textured polishes first came out, as I love the effect combined with the glitter. One of my favourite ever nail varnishes is one by SEVENTEEN (which you can read about here), and luckily it wasn't a one-off - Countess is just gorgeous. It's a deep purple with antique gold glitter running through it and the texture almost gives the effect of sandpaper, giving your nails a fun extra dimension and making them really stand out. PRO TIP: wear time is comprised a little, but due to the rough texture you can simply blob on another bit quickly and no one will be any the wiser! I'm definitely up for trying more in this range. And hey, if you've already decided to buy the aforementioned OPI polish from Nail Polish Direct, you can snap this up too and save yourself a quid. MAGIC.



Loathing

Nails inc Nail Polish in Kensington High Street
Nails inc is one of those brands that's so hit and miss that I'm really losing patience. However, the company did rebrand around 6 months ago and cleared all their old stock, and the couple of varnishes I have had from them since have fared a little better on the quality front, so I'm not writing them off just yet. I do have a lot of their older polishes which are great, but unfortunately this is not one of them. You can tell from the picture that it applied very streaky so was really hard to work with, but it also chipped within 24 hours and left a stain on my nails despite using a base coat. In the incredibly competitive world of nail varnish there's no room for a polish to perform as badly as this, particularly from such a high-end brand. This has subsequently been discontinued, and not before time.


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Friday, 28 August 2015

Loving & Loathing - Week 72 - Under £10 Special!

What, another Loving & Loathing post...ON TIME?! I know, I must have had a bang to the head or something. But as I'm going to my cousin's wedding tomorrow (congratulations, Jack and Charlotte!) and catching up with a Uni friend and her family the next day (word, Jennie), I thought I'd get you this edition out nice and early so you can read it at your leisure over the Bank Holiday Weekend. And as it's a Bank  Holiday and payday for lots of you, I've found you some real bargains to spend your pennies on. In fact, all the products I've chosen will give you change from a tenner - bargain! And if you've been mucked about by HSBC and not been paid, creep into your overdraft and buy something to cheer yourself up ;-)




L-R: MeMeMe Skin Illuminator, Boots Foot Softener, Original Source Shower Gel, ImPRESS Nails



Loving

MeMeMe's Pearl Pink
MeMeMe Beat The Blues Skin Illuminator in Pearl Pink
RRP £5.95 (Buy):
This is rumoured to be an absolute dupe for a very similar product from a well-known high-end cosmetics brand...alright, I'll say it  - it's meant to be a dead ringer for Benefit's High Beam. Not having that particular product to compare the two, I'm judging MeMeMe's highlighter on its own merits, and I'm delighted to say that it's an excellent product. The photo to the right shows it in 3 stages - applied with the brush, semi-blended and blended - with the latter giving a beautiful, subtle pearly shine. This is the second product by MeMeMe that I've tried and been really impressed with (you can read my review of their Cherub's Blush tint here), so I'm definitely thinking about getting more of their things - perhaps one of their eyeshadow palettes next time. If you don't want to spend the extra £13.55 on Benefit's High Beam then give this little beauty a go; with a product as good as this there's no need to pay more!


Boots Intensive Foot Softener
RRP £5.99 (Buy):
Tipped off by my bestie Josie on this wonder-product years ago, this still remains my go-to foot product to date. The cream is incredibly thick, and as you massage it into tired, dry feet you can already feel it working wonders. I use it before I go to bed and by the time I wake up in the morning my feet are already so much softer. My feet are ridiculously dry and cracked, so I am embarking on a campaign of warfare against them to make them nice and smooth; this lovely lotion will pay an integral part. It's a nice big 150ml size and because it's so rich you don't need masses, meaning that the tube lasts for absolutely ages. It's also a great price, so what's not to love?



Original Source Lemon & Tea Tree Shower Gel
RRP £2.30 (Buy):
Ooh, I do love an Original Source shower gel - they're always super-fruity and smell so edible! You may remember how I love the Raspberry & Cocoa version as I said in my January Favourites video (which if you haven't seen you can check out here) and while may not be quite as scrumptious, it still smells incredibly good. I love citrus scents for morning showers as they really wake you up, and since The Body Shop's Sweet Lemon range is now defunct, this definitely has to be my favourite lemon shower gel. It never fails to amaze me how strong and lovely Original Source's fragrances are, and I've not found one yet that I don't love. They also now have a moisturising range called Skin Quench, and I'm dying to try the Pineapple and Coconut, as well as the brand-new Cherry and Jojoba fragrance. 



Loathing

Broadway ImPRESS Nails
RRP £7.99
These press-on nails came in lovely shade named Kiss & Tell (I think - I no longer have the packaging!)...and that's about the only good thing about them. Broadway claim that they last up to a week, which is laughable; mine didn't even last an evening. One pinged off during dinner, and another when I was in bed. I couldn't be bothered to fiddle around with nail glue, so I just took them all off in a fit of pique. Considering they are meant to be self-adhesive, I shouldn't have to mess with glue at all as they are designed precisely to cut out this sort of nonsense. The nails were also a touch on the small side as well so they felt a bit tight, and looking at a review on Boots' website I'm not the only one who thought that. If they'd been a quid for a market there would be no harm done, but being just shy of £8 is ridiculous. The leftover ones in the photo have just gone straight in the bin.


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Loving & Loathing - Week 64 - Blusher Special!

Here's a special edition that I haven't covered before, FaB Girls, and therefore I thought it's high time we had a chat about blusher! Depending on the shade you choose, you can alter the entire tone of your makeup look, and you can find blush in any shade you fancy. May I present some of my current favourite blushers, and I think you'll appreciate the three different formula types! Naturally, there's also one to avoid, so get yourself a cuppa and enjoy!



L-R: MeMeMe Cheek & Lip Tint, Illamasqua Powder Blush, Bourjois Little Round Pot, e.l.f Blush.


Loving

MeMeMe's Cherub's Blush
L-R= swatched, blended.
MeMeMe Cherub's Blush Lip & Cheek Tint, RRP £5.50 (Buy): To my knowledge, Benefit might not have been the first to manufacture dual-use tints, but certainly their Benetint range is currently the most popular on the market. Whilst I don't own the original, I do own Posietint (which I love, and you can read the review of here) and while the longevity of MeMeMe's version isn't quite as good, it's certainly very good value for money. With Benetint coming in at a whopping £24.50, you'd be completely forgiven for wanting to save nearly twenty quid and sacrifice just 0.5ml and buy Cherub's Blush instead. I never wear these tints on my lips as I don't like the way they feel, so this review is based on the cheeks only. You can see from the picture that just a little of this product goes a very long way, and you can of course add as much or as little as you want depending on complexion or desired effect - I personally tend to pop a couple of dots on my cheeks, blend out with my MAC Duo Fibre 130 brush, and then add a little extra if needed. If you want to give Benetint a go but don't fancy taking out a second mortgage then why not give MeMeMe's offering a go?

Top = Bourjois' Nude Velvet
Bottom = Illamasqua's Ambition
Illamasqua Powder Blush in Ambition, RRP £21.50 (Buy): This is one of the more expensive blushers in my collection, but I love the finish and silky-smooth application that you get from Illamasqua blushes. This shade is described by Illamasqua as a "neutral, (with) shimmer finish", but for me it comes out as a delicate, muted berry shade with just a hint of gold glitter - absolutely perfect for Autumn! Team this with a berry lip or chocolate-brown and gold eye shades to capture the spirit of turning leaves. A lovely colour, amazing formula, and a very welcome addition to my makeup collection.

Bourjois Little Round Pot Cream Blush in 01 Nude Velvet, RRP £7.99 (Buy): I do love a nice cream blush, as I find they tend to give a more natural finish. Enter this lovely shade from Bourjois, which isn't a brand I own a lot of, but will definitely contemplate buying some more of these blushers! It is super-creamy, incredibly easy to blend, and the shade is absolutely stunning; it is that perfect nude blusher which would look great on anyone and with any makeup look. This is one that should be a staple of everyone's makeup bags! I use the aforementioned MAC Duo Fibre 130 brush to blend out, as it's my preferred brush for cream products. It's another product where you don't need to use masses, so it'll last for ages. Even better is that, at the time of writing, the link above will take you to Superdrug.com, which has this on offer for just £5,99! Yay!


Loathing

e.l.f Blush in Tickled Pink, RRP £3.95: If you've been reading my blog for a while then you'll know that I really love e.l.f as a budget brand, but this is sadly a product that really fell short for me. It looks like a lovely shade, and as it's from the same range as the brilliant and pigmented Glow (which I reviewed here), I thought that the quality would be comparable. Unfortunately this wasn't the case. If you're porcelain-skinned then this may well work on you, but I found that this wouldn't even show any colour when swatched, let alone applied to cheeks. Even rubbing a finger over and over didn't yield much payoff, and forget me trying to photograph the swatch. Very, very disappointing.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

My 4 Day Detox Diary - Super-Healthy and Scrumptious Smoothies!

Hi all! Today I'm going to talk to you about detoxing, which I have a real love/hate relationship with. My regular four-day detox ends today, which is something I coerce myself into doing once in a while. I also did back in June and for three days a couple of weeks ago, and as I wrote down all the details of June's detox, I thought you might like to learn more about why I do them and what I consume.

Firstly, I must stress that I don't detox to lose weight. It can be a pleasant side-effect, as I am less bloated and my stomach shrinks, but primarily it's to rid my body of as many nasty toxins as I possibly can, and to generally get myself into a much healthier frame of mind. I also have to take quite a large amount of medication a day, so I find it's good for body and soul to eschew processed and otherwise more unhealthy foods, and just eat very clean for four days. The book I am using, Collins Gem 48-Hour Detox, suggests that you can maintain the detox for up to 30 days, but I'm not a sadist, thanks. Therefore I do it for 4 days, as it gives you a good kick up the bum and gets you into the right frame of mind without it getting really depressing. I plan on changing my diet completely, and have decided to do this once a month.

Let's start by going through the food and drink that the book suggests you should avoid. I am using it as a guideline; if I have to include something then I don't beat myself up about it. I am a notoriously fussy eater and if I didn't eat some sort of meat I would starve, so I am including grilled chicken breast into the "allowed" category. I don't eat lentils or pulses or anything like that, which makes it harder to feel full. Also, I have only just discovered that Cornflakes are full of crap (I never thought to check!) so while I ate them in my detox below, they're now a no-no. Here's what the book suggests you cut out:


  • Caffeine (chocolate, cola, coffee, tea etc)
  • Meat (red or white)
  • Dairy (cow's cheese, milk and yoghurt. Note: this doesn't include any products from goats or sheep, as there's something to do with the enzymes that sets them apart. Therefore, milk, feta and halloumi etc from sheep and goats are a-ok)
  • Wheat (bread, pasta etc)
  • All processed foods (pizza, crisps, ready meals etc)

Annoyingly I have misplaced the book, so this is what I know from memory. You're encouraged to eat as much fresh fruit and vegetables as you like, as well as being able to chow down on pulses, soya products, brown rice, fresh soups and juices...if you're not as picky as me there's plenty of delicious meals you can prepare! You can also drink as many fruit, herbal and green teas as you want. Another important point when detoxing is to ensure you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated -  and the health and beauty benefits of that alone are obvious! The book also recommends you take a good multivitamin for the duration of the detox in case you're missing out on the essentials.

Here's what I consumed for the 4 day detox. I'll also tell you what you might expect in terms of cravings and good or bad side effects.


Day 1
01/06/2015

Cravings = none.

I ate:
  • 1 banana
  • Various herbal, fruit and green teas
  • Pecan nuts and pistachios
  • Handful of raisins
  • Strawberries
  • Grilled chicken breast and salad

The first day can be easy and hard in equal measure. I don't tend to get cravings but if you drink a lot of coffee like I do, you could start to suffer from caffeine withdrawal. Try and avoid taking pain relief if this happens; distract yourself with a fruit tea and drink a whole load of water to get through it. My chicken breast has been grilled with nothing but spicy Season-All on it, and it's tender and delicious.



Day 2
02/06/2015

Cravings = chocolate

I ate:
  • Bowl of cornflakes with raisins and soya milk
  • Handful of raisins.
  • Various herbal, fruit and green teas.
  • Grilled chicken breast, feta cheese and salad.
  • Glass of 100% orange juice.
  • 1 banana
My sweet tooth isn't as prominent as it used to be, but this is normally the time where I start to want some chocolate. No other real cravings though, and having the chicken, feta and a big salad gives me the variety I need in a meal. The lack of coffee is starting to kick in too, so by this point I feel pretty tired, and a little grumpy.


Day 3
03/06/2015

Cravings = coffee

I ate:
  • Bowl of cornflakes with raisins and soya milk
  • More raisins.
  • Celery
  • Various herbal, fruit and green teas.
  • Salad with feta cheese.
  • Cup of tomato soup.
  • Glass of 100% orange juice.
This meal may look huge but there's a mass of salad under that feta! As this is the time of the detox I start to really feel hungry, I bulked my meal up with a small cup of tomato soup. I also start to really want coffee, but thanks to all the water and healthy food I feel much more awake at this point. I also feel far less bloated than before which, since I have Crohn's Disease, is a nice change!



Day 4
04/06/2015

Cravings =  Pasta

I ate:
  • Bowl of cornflakes with raisins and soya milk
  • Various herbal, fruit and green teas.
  • Homemade fruit smoothie.
  • Salad with grilled halloumi.
  • Cup of tomato soup.
Ordinarily by this point I've more or less had enough of detoxing and am glad it's the final day, although on this occasion I felt bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! Do people even use that expression anymore? Anyway, I actually felt that I could have gone on for another day but by this point I was looking forward to pasta the next day far too much. Still feeling the hunger, but not as badly as before. I also made myself a fruit smoothie for the first time, which is something I now actually do at least twice a week, and also incorporate vegetables such as celery, spinach, carrots and kale. These don't tend to affect the flavour but contain far less sugar than fruit so they're good for bulking out your smoothie. If you add kale or spinach, your smoothie will turn a less than appetising shade of green though!

Smoothie:
1 banana.
1 apple, peeled.
2 handfuls of frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries).
Topped with orange juice.



To summarise

My biggest problems are the hunger pangs (because let's face it, I have the appetite of 2 people), as well as regular cravings for chocolate and coffee. Occasionally I crave pasta too, which is something else I adore. Overall I feel great after a detox, as it really forces me to reassess what I'm putting in my mouth. The ultimate goal is to break my reliance on food for emotional reasons; once that happens I am confident that I could sustain a detox for much longer, and quite probably give my entire diet a massive overhaul.



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Do you have any questions about my detox, or want to share your own experience? Join in the discussion below or on our Facebook page.


I'm off to dream about coffee...



Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Loving & Loathing - Week 71

Holy British Summertime, readers! I can't keep up with this weather! One minute it's torrential rain, the next it's nice and sunny. I know my blogging is about as reliable as English weather at the moment, but I have a few posts planned and two videos to edit, so I'm trying to get myself into a good routine. Loving & Loathings  will be on weekends, and I am going to try to do 1 or 2 other posts a week, as well as at least 1 video - two if I can manage it! I'm WAY behind with my favourites...

Anyhow, welcome to this L&L edition, which includes a palette that I am really excited to tell you about as it's both amazing and great  value for money. In fact, the weather is so miz that I reckon you should rush out and buy it to cheer yourselves up. It just makes good sense - if you can't be bronzed naturally due to the lack of sun, you may as well fake it till you make it!




Top L-R: Makeup Revolution Palette, The Body Shop Body Lotion, NARS Lipstick.
Bottom: Manuka Doctor Facial Wipes.



Loving

Makeup Revolution Golden Sugar Ultra Blush Palette
RRP £6.00 (Buy):
Makeup Revolution is a highly-consistent high street brand which offers awesome value for money; the only products I've tried from them that I don't love are their £1 lipsticks, which is fair enough! This palette has been on my wishlist for a while, and I hadn't been able to purchase it sooner as it's constantly out of stock on the Superdrug website. It was well worth waiting for as this palette is ridiculously good value for money, working out at just 75p per shade! It's a fantastic go-to palette for your blush, bronzing and highlighting needs, as it contains shades suitable for each. There's matte and shimmer, light and dark colours - even some gorgeous marbled shades, and you can get so many looks from just this one palette. Some of the shades are more pigmented than others but they're all very buildable, so you can apply as lightly or heavily as needed. PRO TIP: I swiped it by making sure that I clicked on the link to the product page which notifies you when a product is back in stock, so as soon as Superdrug emailed me I bought it. It's a real must-have if you're going away and don't want to take a whole load of products due to its versatility. I love this so much that I'd go as far as saying that if you only buy one palette this summer, make it this one!



The Body Shop Atlas Mountain Rose Body Lotion
RRP £10.00 (Buy):
I got a gift cube of this scent from the lovely Josie for my 29th birthday, which included the body lotion and the shower gel, and as I have so many toiletries I only just got round to trying this recently. It's so beautifully scented and really smells of roses, unlike many other products which just smell perfumed. The fragrance is also not too heavy, as again you can find other products where the rose scent is overwhelming. I tend to prefer body butters to lotions as they usually sink into my skin better, but the consistency of this is very good. I used it on my legs when I'd shaved them that day, and it was very soothing, as I'm prone to getting dry and sore skin after shaving - and that's if I'm lucky! I think I'll plump for the body butter once I've got through some of my other body butters, as I have them coming out of my ears at the moment!


NARS Semi-Matte Lipstick in Funny Face
RRP £22.00  (Buy):
NARS' Funny Face
No, I hardly need a new fuchsia lipstick, but they're different tones of fuchsia - honest! ;-) I love the finish on this, as I adore a matt finish, which makes this just a bit different from the scores of other pink lipsticks in my drawer. Described by NARS as "wonderfully fun fuchsia", it's a little darker and therefore not quite as bright as a lot of other shades that I have, so if you're looking for a fuchsia colour which isn't shockingly bright, you may have found it. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with NARS, as they are outrageously expensive and some of their products can be sub-par, but when they get it right you can find some real gems. This is a classic example. It's fairly long-lasting and doesn't dry my lips out, plus the muted fuchsia shade makes it great for day or night. If nothing else, it's a pop of colour on a typically British Summer day!



Loathing

Manuka Doctor ApiClear 3-in-1 Purifying Facial Wipes
RRP £3.49
Due to a shortage of No7 vouchers to purchase my usual facial wipes (I'm not paying £7 thanks, Boots), I decided to give another brand a try in the hope that I could find a great backup, or even a replacement! I plumped for Manuka Doctor; their ApiNourish range smells absolutely incredible, so I thought this would be the same. As the ApiClear range is designed for blemish-prone skin, I thought they would be really good; in fairness they're okay wipes but the big problem is the scent. It. Is. Awful. It smells nothing like the ApiNourish products, which have a lovely warm, honey scent to them, and I can't even begin to describe how terrible these wipes smell. I'm using them (whilst holding my breath and quickly wiping a Nip & Fab Glycolic pad over afterwards) simply because I feel it's a terrible waste not to. I certainly shan't be buying these again, and also won't be trying any more ApiClear products! I'll be happy when they're all used up and they are no longer a blight on my bedside table.

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