30 September 2012

Instagrunday #8

1. A congrats gift from my boyfriend - Elie Saab EDT :) 2. My new TOPSHOP Mighty boots - so comfy, so classy. 3. Another purchase, a Zara Tshirt with pleather sleeves, which I wore here 4. It's getting cold, the fluffy room boots are out! 5. My in-home office 6. Lauren Conrad's "Style" will hopefully get me out of my tshirt & ill-fitting jeans rut! 7. My new cult foundation purchase, MAC Studio Fix Fluid 8. What's been in my make-up bag? 9. Loving second day hair with Enrapture Totem Styler*!

Follow me on Instagram: @MakeYuUp


*Received for consideration.
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28 September 2012

The Best Thing I've Done For My Hair..

is strip back.

One of the reasons I started tying my hair up was because I would always end up disgusted and picking at my split ends. I think at one point in high school, I had a hair that was split in over - apologies for the gory details - 30 places - 30. Places. This led me into a frenzy of haircare products, none of which really ever worked.

Then came last September when I started controlling my monies and stopped spending money on hair masks, hair oils and treatments. I stopped straightening my hair because I was tying it up anyway, and most days I didn't (and still don't) brush my hair when it's dry. I probably picked up the blowdryer 10 times in this past year, straighteners about twice, and curling tongs perhaps a few more. And I learnt about parabens and SLS and started avoiding these.

These are the best things I could possibly have done for my hair at that stage.

 Although I'm not a hairdresser, I'm also not trying to sell you the products I've got stocked in my imaginary salon. I also realise everyone has different hair types and lifestyles. So take this with a pinch of salt, but I think this has really helped my hair over the past year. At the moment my hair is the healthiest, strongest and glossiest, and least split-end ridden it's been since I dyed it for the first time when I was 12 (idiot child).

It might sound scary but,
Here was my golden rule: Stop buying anything and everything (hair care) except shampoos, conditioner, and get yourself a wide-toothed comb.
*Treatments for one may not work, two they cost a lot of money, and three take up a lot of time.

I'm by no means preaching, but here are tips if you'd like to have a go..

a) Have one heat protectant and one hairspray - use the latter only for up-do's. It makes your clean hair last longer.

b) Wash your hair in the evenings or on the weekends as much as you can to avoid blow-drying. 

c) When you step in the shower: shampoo as usual, and for conditioner, apply it on your hair then brush through with a wide-toothed comb or a Tangle Teezer - this helps to not brush your hair when it's dry - when it's dry it's easier to tug and snap hair, especially without an emollient. Tie it up in a bun, and get on with your business. Washing out the conditioner is the last thing I do in the shower (I have been known to walk out forgetting about it but that was just once.. or twice..).

d) Find an up-do that you like so you stay away from straighteners and curlers as much as possible. 

e) Don't wash your hair everyday - make it last as long as possible, 2 or 3 days, especially if you live in an area with hard water.

f) Try to use nasties-free products. My favourites are Dr. Organics Virgin Olive Oil Range (around £5), Australian Native Botanicals (£7.50), Leor* (£9) and Naked* (around £4).

1g) And of course.. try not to dye your hair.

And that's generally what I did! Again, I'm not a professional, there are other hairtypes, and I'm not as style-conscious as most people, so this is probably extreme for some but I think these are good guidelines if you wanna give this stripping-back thing a go! Cut and paste perhaps. I'd thought my hair was beyond repair!

What are your haircare tips?
Any favourite hair products?


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*Received for consideration.
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26 September 2012

Today's Make Up Bag

Today was one of those days where I was flying from one place to another, and those are the days that I tend to carry around my make-up bag. Today's make-up bag looked something like this..

1. The Make Up Bag
My Mulberry Locked Cosmetic Purse in Oak, aka my pride and joy. This is my on-the-go make-up bag and I blimmin' love it - AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWSSSSS! (too much, too much).

2. The Face Base
We've got a few here - the MAC Prolongwear Foundation sample in NC30 which I was road-testing today (great coverage and finish, but sliding off my nose and settling in pores :( Not cool.), Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer in Medium which is great for both spots and undereyes, and the Chanel Poudre Universelle Compacte in Dore because.. it's awesome - read more about it here.

3. Colour.. what does it rhyme with?
I usually have a few lipsticks and glosses with me, but that lives in the inner pocket of my bag (you can probably guess what the lipstick was anyway - 10pts for people who get it correct!). Otherwise I carried around my NARS Blush in Torrid - great for brightening up your face, as well as my new Estee Lauder Pure Colour Eyeshadow in French Vanilla which I have been adoooooooring! See swatches of that here.

4. The Necessities
I usually carry around my eyelash curlers, but seeing as I have my lash extensions from Boudoir Lashes* in at the moment, I carry around a mascara instead - this is the Maybelline Hyper Curl Volum' Express Mascara. It looks different from my usual one because this one isn't waterproof! Then I've got my Travel-size Sigma F50 to use with aforementioned powder face products.

So there you have it! Quite basic, but I think I used everything except the concealer and foundation to top up and freshen up!

Do you carry around a make-up bag all the time or just sometimes?


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*Received for consideration.
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24 September 2012

Haul! MAC, Australian Native Botanicals, Essie..

It's not often I do a haul, because the OCD side of me doesn't like not having a specific 'topic' or 'title' to put hauls under, and I do tend to pick up one bit at time. But seeing as I'd picked up a few things since my move, I thought it wouldn't hurt to make this the "The First Month of Living Here Haul".. haha or not, you get the gist.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that I've hauled other bits since I recorded this video early last week.. so maybe I'll find another category to do a haul in! I'm hoping to do more videos as I've found a good setting (similar to my Dude, Where's My Bun post) - so do keep your eyes out, and don't forget to subscribe to my channel :)

Lastly, I just want to draw your attention to the left of the screen - I've put icons of social media platforms you can follow me on, so do have a browse if you fancy!

Have you tried any of the things I've hauled?


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22 September 2012

Because I Needed Another Eyeshadow..


Last week when I went to Bicester, I saw this beautiful eyeshadow at the CCO - French Vanilla Pure Color Eyeshadow by Estee Lauder. I've been wanting a pale gold eyeshadow for a while so this was a pleasant find - but given my heavy purchases that day, I skipped.

Aaaand of course I couldn't get it out of my head, and ended up spending a fiver more than I could've! At £16.50, it's the most expensive single eyeshadow I've bought but I think it's a beautiful colour, the formula seems soft and blendable and the packaging is absolutely stunning. It's slim, golden and I'm super impressed that even with it being a single eyeshadow, it comes with a mirror and applicator. I'm really excited to try this out and see how the formula compares to other eyeshadows. With MAC and Chanel leading my favourite eyeshadow formulas, this has a high bar to meet!

I think and hope this will be a keeper :)

Have you tried any Estee Lauder eyeshadows?


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21 September 2012

Arm Disco: Cutey Shamballa Bracelets

Shamballa bracelets have popped out from nowhere and are now practically everywhere and imitated by many, making me reminiscent of the 'tattoo' bracelets that were so popular when I was about 7. The depressing thing is a few of my readers may not even know what they are! Kudos if you do, children of the 80's/90's!

Anyway, shamballa bracelets. I personally always thought they were so pretty to look at, but never knew if they were 'me' - I usually wear toned down, simple jewelry and I felt this would be too statement and too 'in yo face'. Surprisingly, I've come to really like my shamballa bracelets from Cutey.

They can seem a bit bulky, especially with the beads going all around (there are some from elsewhere that only has 3 beads, for example), and I think the sparkles aren't to everyone's taste. The beads actually look like a hardened ball of clay with a lot of gems stuck to it, and Cutey has assured me that everything is made by them - which is so so cool!

I do think can be a bit showy, and make a usually dressed down person like me feel slightly nervous. But I've seen people on the tube wearing it really well - whether it's to dress up a simple LBD or as an everyday jewelry. But I think it's much less about the shape that determine the image but rather, the colour you get - for me, I found the gold one to be perfect for everyday despite feeling the white one was a bit more glam and showy.

Tastes aside, if you're interested in getting a shamballa bracelet, look no further than Cutey. Although I haven't tried any other shamballa bracelets, I can fully recommend these for several reasons.

Firstly, the quality. I'm not a very gentle person and whatever I wear goes through its fair share of bumping and scratching, but I haven't had a single gem fall off in the time I've worn mine. Also, the adjustable straps are very secure, and you will never worry about the bracelet falling off. I found that the straps one on my gold shamballa bracelet was a bit TOO tight, but it's softened with time. it can be difficult to open and close, especially with just one hand. But I prefer that than for them to be too loose!

Secondly, the presentation. Your bracelets will come with a cute black tag that says 'cutey' and in a lovely mesh black bag. Perfect for gifts - for your friends, other half or for yourself of course!

Lastly.. this:

I could not believe it when I first walked outside and saw what I like to call, the rainbow disco party on my wrist aka "arm disco". These should really come with a warning: "You will obsessively stare at your bracelet, occasionally stretch your arm in awkward angles just to get it in the sunlight, and look very odd in public". Seriously - oh my.

I HAD to record a video because there was just no way my writing could possibly explain the beauty of these bracelets catching the sunlight. Even the video doesn't do it justice - there's much more big sparkles, and they are not white - they are RAINBOW COLOURED. RAINBOW. COLOURED. It was especially surprising for me because the gems are single coloured in any other light.

Jewelry is a really difficult thing, and tastes differ dramatically. And like I said, these shamballa bracelets are not something I'd usually go for, but like me, you may be surprised! I've really been enjoying the gold one on its own - I find the browny tone makes it quite subtle and easy to wear with anything. I find the white one slightly too bright for everyday especially when it's reflecting rainbow-coloured sparkles, and it's really quite glamorous - I have a wedding next month, so I'm thinking it's more suitable for something like that!

Cutey has loads of different colours, so it's really up to taste. They have one where each bead is a completely different colour - red, green, blue, orange - which brings down the 'glam' element and pushes the 'quirky' and 'cute' and would really be nice for everyday! I'm definitely eyeing this one up next! Then they have ones where it's alternating gold and white, and that looks super glam.
Image from Cutey

 But whatever colour you choose, I can assure you that you will be buying a beautifuly, high quality, and very highly entertaining piece of jewelry. I was really quite impressed. Although they aren't cheap at £18.99, some shamballa bracelets can set you back a few hundred quid. These are definitely a great compromise of affordability and quality, with a great range of colours to suit your tastes!

You can check out the rest of Cutey's range including charm bracelets on their website.

Do you have a shamballa bracelet?
Do you remember tattoo bracelets?!


*Received for consideration.
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19 September 2012

Dude, Where's My Bun?

Me and my hair - we go way back. Starting from the baby mushroom haircut my boyfriend will never let me live down, to a teenage shoulder length bob, and now finally, to a long layered hairstyle.

You may have noticed recently, that this long hair has been making more and more appearances on my YouTube, and my high-bun has slowly been disappearing from the public eye.. well, here's why.

Everyone asks me why I tie it up, and to be honest if I weren't me, I'd probably be asking me as well. I have long, thick hair which a lot of people consider a blessing, and don't get me wrong, I know I'm lucky. But if you have it, you also know it's stupidly tangly, always in the way and more than anything, it's blimmin' hot. A portable, ubiquitous head-sauna, I think is the apt description. So yes, a high-bun is my first instinct when I wake up in the morning.

Cue a few weeks ago, I was en-route to my internship when I checked my Twitter on the bus - I probably let out a little squeal as I found out I won Gemma's giveaway for an Enrapture Totem Hair Styler. The coveted hair tool that has done its rounds in both the blogging and YouTube world was going to be mine!

I was cheekily rubbing my hands together, thinking I got out of paying the £75 that I believed I would've totally regretted paying.

But how wrong was I? I hadn't realised that it would've been worth it.

Because oh my - I have never had so much fun with my hair. I have never before curled my hair as much or enjoyed wearing it down so much.  It's easier and faster than ever, because the Totem Styler is so well designed.

1. Firstly, the three heated plates (see picture below) let more heat penetrate per vertical section of hair than a single long plate, making the process faster and allowing people with thick hair to curl bigger sections without compromising on the curls.

2. The swivel cord doesn't leave arms in a tangled mess.

3. The individually adjustable temperatures of the three plates let me create different sized curls on one section of hair. The 1-2-1 works so well for me because the 1s maintain the image of big curls, but the 2 keeps the curls from sticking out too much around my cheeks and emphasizing my humongo bongo face. I used to be so scared of big curls until now!

4. And with my hatred of hair product build up, even without hairspray, the curls stay in and throughout the day, fall out nicely into big, lovely waves.

So now I know - yes, you are paying for the novelty, but you are also definitely paying for the quality of the product as a whole. The creators of this tool have clearly done their homework, and smoothed out the niggles faced by their competitors.

Before I used this raved-about tool, the Enrapture Totem Styler in my mind, was for gung-ho hair people, or for people who curled their hair a lot. And for these people, I think it's unquestionable that the £75 is worth every penny.

But if you are neither like I was, I still don't think you should write it off, especially if you have thick hair that slows down your styling, or if certain curl sizes have never quite worked and you've always wanted to take more interest in your hair. Yes, it's expensive for something you aren't sure will work/you'll use so maybe wait until it's on sale (Argos and Curry's are the ones to watch!), but I think it's likely that you will find the Enrapture Totem Hair Styler as useful as I have!

I am so stumped at myself (partly because I choose to publish these pictures). I couldn't thank Gemma and Enrapture enough for hosting the giveaway!

Say hi to the happy hair Yu - peace indeed.

What are your hairthoughts? Are you happy with your hairstyle?
Have you tried anything from Enrapture?


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*I won this product for free in a giveaway by the lovely Gemma.
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18 September 2012

The Face Box.

Although my past attempts at Project 15 Pan have fallen short, I always still have the goal of finishing products on the back of my mind. You also get to know yourself in terms of what you're willing to do, and what you will never do.

For example, I've learnt that I can't go cold turkey. If I like a product, I can force myself to use it everyday but anything less is futile - so I don't bother trying to force myself and wait until I naturally want to use it! Considering my need to wear something different everyday has dwindled, I've instead started throwing things in a box that I wear everyday in attempt to finish some products off.

My first step is always the Hardy Candy Sheer Envy Primer. This is one I'm trying to use up, but only because I'm trying to minimise down to one primer. I really actually like this primer and can highly recommend it. It's been separating recently because of how long I've been using it so it may be in the bin in a few days, but I find it a favourite to mix with my Illamasqua Rich Liquid foundation.

Apologies for banging on about my dry skin, but that would be the reason why my foundation of choice has been the YSL Touche Eclat Foundation in B50. This is really lightweight, doesn't matte out my skin as it catches the light nicely, it hydrates and adapts really well to my skintone.

The MAC Studio Finish concealer has been pushed aside for a more hydrating liquid formula of Maybelline's Age Rewind Concealer in Medium. Sadly, this isn't available in the UK but fear not as I find this isn't as flawless as many people say. I can't deny its hydrating powers and I love how it doesn't dry matte, but I still find correcting to be more effective under my eyes. Which is why this has been great for blemishes and redness, but I sometimes find it dries a bit patchy!

As usual, my undereye circles have been helped by the Bobbi Brown Correcter in Peach. I've found that while this does well in covering the circles, there's a really specific way of applying it that makes it work well. I still think it's quite heavy for the undereyes but it's almost gone!

My brows are always filled with my HD Brows Palette in Foxy. The ashy shade just matches my brows perfectly - I've hit pan on this actually!

To bring more light to my skin, I've been dabbing on some MAC Cream Coloured Base in Hush on my cheek bones with my finger. It's stunning and I can't believe I haven't used this in ages! It really catches the light and gives you a nice sheen. I've been preferring this to my Dior Amber Diamond, as I haven't been wearing any powder and the MAC is slightly less shimmery than the Dior.

MAC Fix+ is my newest addition to my collection and so far I've liked it but haven't found it as useful as I thought I would! I bought it because I used to think YSL Touche Eclat Foundation wasn't long-lasting, so I'd powder then pop on some MAC Fix+, but my skin is that dry that the foundation hasn't been sliding anywhere!

As usual, MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre has been my staple eyeshadow primer. 

I was trying to use up my L'Oreal Telescopic Waterproof Mascara, because it's just not my favourite. It's a fantastic mascara and if it wasn't for the Maybelline Volum' Express Hyper Curl Cat Eyes mascara, I would be swearing by it. But with my new lash extensions, I haven't been wearing mascara and this has gone in the bin since.

On the corner there is my favourite cream eyeliner - the Clinique Brush On Cream Liner in 02 True Black. I always loved it for its blackness, its longevity and how long its stayed moist for (have had this for a year now!). But it truly truly impressed me when I accidentally left it open for a few hours, and it didn't effect its performance at all. This stuff means serious business.

I just can't seem to keep my hands off two blushes, and the first is the MAC Style. It just gives a lovely peach glow to my skin, with a nice golden sheen. It's not the most pigmented so it's best used with something dense like a MAC 109, but because it isn't, it lets your skin show through, giving it that natural-looking quality that a lot of matte MAC blushes lack. Otherwise, I've been using the Liz Earle* blush which you can read more about here.

Before my lash extensions, my eyelashes were curled by the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers. Nothing has changed since it won my Product of the Year 2011! :)

Lastly, on its last legs is the Rimmel Sunshimmer Bronzer in Medium Matte. It's been crushed for ease of use and bless it - it's still going strong! It's turning a bit orange for me as my skin pales out with the weather, but it's still a great budget bronzer :)

So that's my face box in the past few weeks!

Any favourites?
What do you do to use up your make-up?


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*Received for consideration.
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16 September 2012

Instagrunday #7

1. Dissertation is done-zo! 2. Cool chain curtain at Wahaca 3. Go-to high-bun & nude face look :) 4. Mini post-dissertation treat 5. Amazing results from the Enrapture Totem Styler 6. Mildred's vegetarian restaurant for friend's birthday 7. Paralympics! 8. Bicester village :) 9. Bicester village Michael Kors purchase.


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15 September 2012

Review: Liz Earle Healthy Glow Powder Blush in Nude 03

When I didn't get on with Liz Earle's Sheer Skin Tint, I was absolutely gutted. I had liked the skincare range and had high hopes for her make-up line, and felt like we just weren't seeing eye to eye. But after a temporary "break up" we are back together in the form of a firm blush bond..

I was ecstatic when this came through my post, as many bloggers have been singing the praises about this blusher in various colours. I've always looked for a nice nude blush too, so I was even more excited to try Nude!

The Shade..

I couldn't possibly put the beauty of this shade in words. In the pan, it's like a really muted peach, but it's a true nude with a mix of peach, pink and beige, and your skin will pick up some shades more than others depending on your skintone. On my warm-toned skin, it pulls slightly pinker than what you seen in the pan (the camera didn't seem to pick it up well either, but you can kinda see it around the edges!). And oh my - is it a stunning shade!

This truly nude and 'customised' nature makes your skin look so naturally healthy and glowing - they could not have named the product better! It's also a perfect shade for school, work or interviews for a toned-down look, or even nights out when you're playing up your eyes.

What makes it even more natural is the finish, which is matte but with a natural sheen - again, exactly what the product name impliesOn days where I'm quite dehydrated, I find it pulls slightly too matte and can appear dull. So I usually use it on my more normal or slightly oilier days, or stipple on some MAC Fix+ to really pull on that natural glow!

The Formula..

The formula is incredibly easy to use. It may feel slightly powdery at first, but I've never really noticed any fall-out on my cheeks at all. The consistency is really soft, but it takes a bit of blending for that soft look! The pigmentation is at a perfect level where you aren't scrubbing the product on, but you also aren't frying your brain cells trying to get a natural application.

The Packaging..

The packaging is actually one of my favourite parts about this product, and a huge part of what drew me to it (yes yes, superficial, I know!). The patent-pending Liz Earle navy with blue speckles is just so classy but unique from the classic black, and the small size and incredibly slim compact is perfect for storage and on the go. You can also tell it's very sturdy and high quality. And since any company that bothers to put a mirror in all compacts gets a high-five from me - Liz Earle is sufficiently high-fived up.

This product does what exactly what it says on the tin, and does it so well - it gives you a "healthy glow" with the lovely finish as well as this shade in particular.

The universality and glow that Nude gives really makes it one that'll benefit anyone's collection! I seriously can't believe how naturally glowy it makes my skin look, and I absolutely love it! I genuinely couldn't rave about this blusher enough, and don't feel my words do it justice.

This week sees the launch and completion of Liz Earle's colour range - including a foundation! I'm too excited!

Have you tried any Liz Earle colour products?
What is your favourite nude blusher?

This blusher is available from QVC, John Lewis or the Liz Earle website for £16.50.


*Received for consideration.
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12 September 2012

Skincare Routine: For Dehydrated, Combination, Acne-Prone Skin.

In an attempt to be a 'glass half full' kinda gal, I decided to take advantage of the complicated skintypes I've had in the last month or so and make my first skincare routine video, in case others go through a similar phase. I'm pretty content with what I have right now (after the whinging, blabbering and moaning) so hopefully these mini-reviews will give ideas for you for your perfect skincare routine :) I'm not a skincare expert or anything these are just what works for me.

Did not realise the amount of Origins stuff I've been loving!
Have they replaced Clarins as my go-to skincare?

This routine has definitely helped with my hydration levels, and my skin is coming back towards the 'normal' side of things right now, with even a bit of shine coming through on a busy day! After having experienced the other side of the fence, I must say that for me, I think I may have the better deal - dehydrated and dry skin is very difficult for someone that likes a natural finish!

What are some of your favourite skincare items?
Have you got your skin all figured out?


*Links and items received for consideration are in the YouTube description box.
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11 September 2012

Review: Leor Shampoo & Conditioner

As you may know, I'm a fan of stripping back chemicals. When it comes to skincare, haircare and bodycare, I do my best to avoid parabens, sulfates and PEGs. The brand new brand Leor, fits this bill completely.

The thing about avoiding these chemicals, is that often, a brand may not include one but use the other, or they may test on animals, or the rest of the ingredients aren't necessarily natural, they're just not carcinogenic. However, it seems that Leor has jumped all these hurdles to bring a very truly natural, and stripped back product.

Firstly, the presentation of this brand is fantastic. Your product will come in a black jiffy bag which I find a nice, classy touch to everything! The packaging is fantastic - aluminum bottle with a stylish black pump, and a very simple and elegant label that doesn't peel and wither off in the shower. The pump also screws off so you can use the last drops of the product!

The bad news first..
There is no lying when I say that you need more product than most shampoos/conditioners (it's extremely expensive per usage for me personally at £9 per bottle and about 6-8 washes), it smells very strongly of hemp, and your hair isn't smooth and easy to work with when wet.

Now for the good news..
But the results are just fantastic. Unlike a lot of nasties-free hair products, my scalp wasn't drying out and my hair felt noticeably stronger and healthier than ever. Once the product is rinsed out and your hair is dry, you really couldn't have guessed that this product had none of the infamously harmful chemicals in it whatsoever.

This truly truly makes you realise how much crap there are in products that contribute to making your experience better and cosmetically fixing your hair, but are damaging it at the same time. We like foamy, we like nice smelling, and we like luxurious, and a lot of that is done with ingredients that are suspected of giving you cancer or effecting your reproductive system in the future. What are we prioritising here?

My verdict..
Not gonna lie - it's so hard to use, it doesn't smell too nice and very costly for each use. And to be honest, there are other shampoos and conditioners out there without the nasty chemicals that don't have these problems. However (and this is a massive 'however'), I think this one produced the best results, and is the only shampoo I've ever used that I felt tangibly strengthened my hair. Coincidence? Perhaps, but it's a great coincidence!

Who would I recommend this for?
I think everyone should try this product at least once - it really opens your eyes to how unnecessary and damaging some chemicals can be. But I would especially recommend this for damaged hairholidays, for short hairs and for people who like the smell of hemp.

Once I have a steady income, I can see myself purchasing this more often because the results are just incredible, and something I'd like to keep!
I'm hoping as a new brand, Leor will continue to reinvent their formulas to make this less costly and perhaps easier to use if they can do so without compromising the ethics!

What are your favourite nasties-free hair products?
Have you tried Leor products?

Check out their full range on their website :)


*Received for consideration
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10 September 2012

Review: LP Skin Therapy Uplifting Facial Water

I never really submitted to the "freshener" trend. As a girl who usually struggles keeping the oils off her face, I wasn't really up for adding more liquid or dewiness to it throughout the day. However, it's like my dad says - once you experience one thing that you think works really well, your mindset completely changes.

LP Skin Therapy Uplifting Facial Water

My my, where to start. This is the (mini-sized) brain child of psychodermatologist Dr. Linda Papadopoulos (you can read more about when I visited her lovely home here), and has its place in her skincare line as a toner. However, it's so much more.

So what does it do..?

The thing that sets it apart from other toners, is because of its functions on the go. I use this throughout the day on days when I'm not wearing make-up, and when my skin is feeling grubby as the day goes on. It's a quick-fix as it removes the grime without tightening your skin like cleansers do, and it's so easy to use on the go because of the high-quality spray. However, I really experienced the best of this product when I was on the plane - it was perfect to restore moisture, and to freshen up.

Don't get me wrong, as a toner, it's brilliant. I spray a cotton pad with this, and run it over my face after I cleanse, and it makes me lose hope in all cleansers - I kid you not, this thing picks up EVERYTHING. It's simply incredible.

On top of that, it hydrates and freshens with aloe vera and hibiscus extract, and also contains cortisols which will trick your skin into believing it's not stressed and will therefore reduce the symptoms of stress on your skin.


It smells amazing. It smells of orange blossom, which Linda's grandma used to boil and clean the kids' faces with when they came back from playing outside. It reminds me of holiday, representative of a warm climate, and for me personally, it's a scent I've smelt before perhaps in the Philippines - but I can't exactly put my finger on what. It's a relaxing, refreshing smell, and part of LP Skin Therapy's aims to reduce stress levels in your skin.

Any final thoughts..?

I simply couldn't rave about this product enough. It's an absolute godsend for people who want that freshness during the day - both in terms of smell and effect, this product absolutely delivers both. Although what I have is the mini size that comes in their trial kit, I can wholeheartedly say that I will be purchasing this in full size.

The 120mL Uplifting Facial Water comes in the most gorgeous packaging, and retails for £15, which I think is a bargain compared to most fresheners on the market. You can also try the whole line for around £20 on QVC, or alternatively purchase products on KMI's website.

Linda will be on QVC tomorrow, 11th of September at 7pm if you fancy learning more! :)

Have you tried LP Skin Therapy?
What are your favourite fresheners?


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6 September 2012

Sorting Out My Life: Post-Move, Post-Disso.

I'm finally at the bottom of my checklist. With my postgraduate dissertation handed in on Monday, and my move two weekends ago, I've dwindled down my 'to-do' list to finding a job. Amidst all this, organising and unpacking in the flat has been pushed to the back of the list, but I thought I'd do a quick post on what my set-up has been like, and hopefully, what it will be like in the future :)

Skincare Cupboard

This is probably the most organised (ish) part of the house. We've luckily got two cupboards so Ben isn't limited to the 1/16th of the cupboard that I could make free if I struggled! The top shelf contains body/hair/other tall products, the middle has full-sized products and oils, and the bottom shelf has tester or smaller sized stuff. Surprisingly, I've been using mostly the bottom shelf recently! My most recent exciting find is the Origins A Perfect World Moisturiser with SPF 25.

Vanity-ish Area

We were lucky enough to have all our furniture come with our flat, and this chest of drawers has been serving as my vanity. No no, not ALL of it is full of make-up - just the one drawer you see there :) And yes, Glossyboxes pretty much did all my make-up moving for me! I hope to organise the contents depending on the type of product, but I think I'll be using them as separators just like this :) My most recent exciting rediscovery has been the MAC 187!

That's pretty much it for beauty I'm afraid! We've got loads of bookshelves in the living room that I've been putting books including beauty ones in, and I've picked up a clear file and a notebook to organise my blogging after reading this great post by Amy.

My camera at the moment is on a break as my card reader has been sat on by a certain male occupant of this flat (ahem), but luckily said occupant has a camera himself so that's what I've nicked and used today!

I hope you guys are well - I'm off to wish Lisa a happy birthday, then to go see the athletics finals at the Paralympics! What are you all up to? :)

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4 September 2012

Review: John Frieda Thickening Blow Dry Lotion

When I look at photos of the 80's or the 90's, I think - what on earth kind of trends were going on?! But I suppose in 20 or 30 years time, young people will look back and think -  "volume is just so old school."

But seeing as we only have 20 or 30 more years, I say we embrace it. I'm constantly on a hunt to make my flat hair bigger - but I'm also very lazy so it has to be easy, and I hate product build-up with a passion. So anything that promises big hair with ease is worth trying in my books. This time I tried the..

How does it work?

When my hair is damp, I spray this onto the roots of my hair, massage it in, and the blowdryer goes on. I do find that while it’s wet, my scalp kind of itches but that goes away as it dries. I also noticed that my fingers weren’t sticky even after all that, so I was quite impressed.

I think the point that really made me want to try it was that it's also a heat protectant - I never use heat protectant for blow drying so I thought this may protect my hair when I do!

Does it work?

To a certain extent, it does. I find that the word “volume” is a slight exaggeration, and I would describe it something more of a “lift”. So if you want going-out, Cheryl Cole, va-va voom beehive hair - this isn’t it. If you want a natural, everyday “enhancement” - this is a good shout. 

I know, I know, I don’t sound completely sold.

It’s because I’m not. As a person with really thick, fat hair, I found that the lift didn’t last very long. It lasted an hour or so, and it was back to being flat. Which is why for me, I think it’ll be better for use on days when my hair is especially flat, or before doing some sort of hair-do - it gives you that initial lift so you can shape it and keep it in a styled way.

My biggest sticking point, however, was the build-up. The build-up in my hair was unbearable for me. I found my hair getting really sticky after about two days. If you’re used to washing your hair every other day, I can’t see it being too big of a problem. But I personally try not to wash my hair that often because my shampoos dry my scalp out, so once every 3 days, and this made that pattern quite horrendous to maintain.

Who would it work for?

Again, I have very thick hair that is generally very stubborn and weighed down. So to get anything to give me volume is a task and a half. Anyone with this kind of hair, I wouldn't recommend this product to. People with normal, thinner or finer hair may find that it works, and that it gives an enhanced lift that lasts - but that's of course speculation. And again, people who have a more constant cycle of washing hair than myself may find this easier to work with.


In theory, this stuff is fantastic - volume, heat protectant - it's perfect, so it's worth a shot if you're interested in that kinda stuff. But it didn't work for me. I think this is something I’ll keep for especially flat hair days and for days where I have “hair dos”, as for me, it’s much too subtle and high maintenance for everyday use. Definitely a no purchase, sadly!

You can get the John Frieda Luxurious Volume Thickening Blow Dry Lotion in Boots and other stockists for £5.89. You can see the rest of the Luxurious Volume range on their site.

Have you tried this Blow Dry Lotion?
What's your favourite way of getting volume?


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2 September 2012

Instagrunday #6

What a week (or 2) it's been! 

1. Still trudging with the dissertation.. it's over soon though! 2. Finally got my hands on BareMinerals Matte! :) 3. It was hailing in Liverpool St.. in August! 4. Met the creator of Miracle Skin Transformer, Sarah McNamara! 5. Our new flat (& the boyfriend!) 6. Amaaazing Tiger Lily candle from Country Candle Company 7. I made a pig-shaped icecube.. 8. FOTD! 9. *Let's MakeYuUp* on Facebook!

How's your week been? :)


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1 September 2012

Skincare Overhaul: The Dehydrated Skin Wishlist

When Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua looks cakey, face powder feels like talcum powder on your skin, and your face feels like it'll crack when you smile - it's time for an overhaul.

Seeing as my skin has been very dehydrated for over 2 weeks now and my mini sizes that I was using in my Skin 1 - 0 Yu post has been running out, I feel it's time to invest in full-sized products.

Here are some of the products I'm hoping to recruit to help me out:

1. Origins Vitazing (£27)
I'm actually completely out of a full-sized moisturiser, as I was operating on a 1-in-1-out system for a while! At the moment I'm using a sample of the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Daily Facial Lotion and Origins' A Perfect World SPF 25 which are both lovely, but I wanted something just for hydration. Seeing as Origins Vitazing is so popular, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity!

2. MAC Fix+ (from £7.50)
I've contemplated getting this in the past, but seeing as I had combination skin most of the time, I felt I didn't need it. But it's renowned for its powers to reduce the "powdery" look, so I think this would be perfect for days where I still want the coverage and the staying powder of a foundation, but not the caked, dry, crackly feeling on my skin (as if we'd ever want that, right?).

3. Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser in Warm Radiance (£33)
I've been uhm-ing and ah-ing over getting the coveted Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturiser, but when I swatched it, I could tell instantly that it would be too matte on my "new" skin (and expensive! Maybe one day when my skin goes back to being combo). So after some research, I found this one by the queen of tinted moisturisers, Laura Mercier, that would help me get that glowy look that I love and need so much. I got it applied in store today and was unsure - but now that I'm home and it's settled on my skin - I am completely sold!

So I think that's a good start! But it also brings it up to about £70 - which is quite a lot, considering I still haven't chosen a serum or a night cream!

The candidates for the serum are the Apivita Natural Serum with Aloe & Hyaluronic Acid  or the Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum that I had a sample of (mini review in the skin post linked above), which are both around the £30 mark.

As for a night cream, even after a few week's worth of research, I can't for the life of me find one that has unharmful ingredients, is for hydration and not in a tub. My candidates include the Jurlique Moisture Replenishing Day Cream or the SpaceNK Life Picture Perfect Facial Moisturiser.. but I'm not 100% sold on either!


For those of you with dehydrated skin, what do you recommend?
If you've tried any of these products, what are your thoughts?


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