NOTD // Color Club Gold Rush

A very quick little review for you today but  I wanted to show you guys this Colour Club polish in Gold Rush, I received it in a Birchbox recently and it's really not one I'd normally go for but I was in a bit of a bind and needed something to paint my nails with quickly before heading for work and this seemed like the most neutral option at the time and I actually really love it, it's neutral enough for work but because of the shimmer it's still a bit more exciting than a plain nail, the brush on this polish is lovely, short and wide and perfectly coats the nail one one swipe, the formula is smooth and very opaque without being too thick. 

I'm really impressed with this and it's made me want to try more from Colour Club, I always see these in my local TK Maxx but normally just walk on by without a second glance (dead dramatic, me!) but I'd definitely give them a whirl next time!

What do you think of this?

Soph x

WISHLIST // Weekly Wishlist #1

Weekly Wishlist #1

Ok, so here's the first of a new set of posts I will be doing, I'm a big online shopper and quite often spend my evenings scrawling through websites so now I'm going to start pushing my wants onto you guys! Here's the first and I might have, maybe purchased some of these over the weekend. Hungover shopping is not good for my bank balance.

Let me know if you like this kinds of posts and I'll keep doing them! 

Soph x

REVIEW // Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream

So, I feel like at times this blog is an advertisement for Antipodes, but I can promise you I'm not sponsored or affiliated with them in anyway, I just really love their products and ethos and I haven't found a product of theirs yet that doesn't work amazingly with my skin, we also have a Wholefoods Market here in Cheltenham so it's very easy for me to get my hands on them now and as a result, a quick lunchtime break can turn into an Antipodes shopping spree pretty quickly. One of my latest finds is this Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream, it has Vinanza Grape which keep skin healthy & energized, Avocado Oil, which adds nourishment and Manuka Honey which is known for it's moisturizing but also anti-bacterial properties, all if which add up to make this such a lovely creamy moisture hit for your skin. It looks a little bit balm like in the pot which initially made me think it's going to be quite heavy for a day cream but it's surprisingly light when massaged in but still manages to deliver a lot of moisture. I've also found this is a really good base for makeup, my foundation looks a lot smoother and even when applied over this.

It smells so flipping good, as most antipodes products do, and none of it is because of any added fragrances that are going to irritate your skin, it's just down to the natural essential oils within their products. It's definitely got a Vanilla scent but a real vanilla scent if you know what I mean, like you are cutting open a fresh vanilla pod rather than the synthetic sweet vanilla scent you get in a lot of beauty products and it's also got the slightest hint of citrus in there as well which makes it nice and refreshing in the morning, this scent comes from the mandarin essential oil I think so it's not a full on orange scent. There's also rosehip hidden in the ingredients of this which is brilliant for helping to heal skin, so if you've had sensitive skin or any breakouts, the rosehip will help to prevent any scarring. Packaging wise, this comes in one of the brown glass pots, with standard Antipodes branding, I love these little glass pots, they remind me of old apothecary pots and are really handy to re-use when you've finished it up for making your own scrubs or face mask.

Overall, a it's a really lovely product and my skin seems a lot happier when using this, I'm currently using this and the Origins Make A Difference Treatment as my daily moisturisers (which is another lovely product) but I tend to reach for this more when my skin is playing up a little I guess, it seems to soothe it and even it out. If you're in the market for a new moisturiser and want to delve into the world of Antipodes, you can find it in a lot of the online beauty shops but BeautyBay have it on special offer for £23.99 right now so you can get it here if you're interested.

Have you tried Antipodes yet? What's your favourite product?

Soph x

REVIEW // Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Brightening Toner

The Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Brightening Toner was my first foray into the world of chemical exfoliants, which sounds a lot scarier than it is and it's that statement that initially put me off trying anything like this. If it had the word acid in it, I immediately thought it was going to burn my skin off. In reality, this toner is a lot less scary than some of it's bead exfoliating counter parts which can scratch and irritate the skin and I actually have to stay away from those kind of exfoliators, because I just end up with sore, red skin (aside from the Antipodes Exfoliator which is a wonderful product). I won't go into the full details of it but it uses fruit acids to break down the dead surface skin and wipes it away to leave fresh super soft skin, you must however use an SPF after using this product, because if you're skin may be more sensitive to harmful sun rays after using.

This particular toner is probably one of the mildest of the toners currently on the market but it works really well with my sensitive skin and doesn't cause any irritation, it just makes my skin look younger, tighter and smoother, using Tamarind Fruit extract to exfoliate the skin and white nettle to tighten pores. I tend to use this on a cotton wool pad, after I've cleansed and before I moisturise, it takes away any trace bits of makeup left on my skin and buffs away any dead skin (Nice!), After using this, I find I wake up with more even skin, both tone and texture and any potential breakouts seem to have calmed down. It does state to use this only once or twice a week, I use it more than this because it is very mild but you need to test it on your skin to see what works best for you, I use it maybe 4 times a week and that seems to work quite well for me. 

It's a whole new area for me, but I really love using this and the effect it has on my skin, I now really want to try the Pixi Glow Tonic and the Alpha H Liquid Gold. You can pick this up here for around £25, which seems steep initially but you only need a tiny amount and it's not something that you will use everyday so it will last.

Do you use an exfoliating toner? Any others I should be looking out for?

Soph x

REVIEW // Butter London Nail Foundation & Hardwear

I picked the Butter London Nail Foundation & Hardwear up as part of a set in TK Maxx, it was around the £18 mark for these 2, a full size nail polish, I got No More Wait-y Kate-y and a little sample size of the Baby Powder nail polish remover and a nail file. A complete bargain as I'd actually just been eyeing up a Butter London polish in Boots for £12 about 15 minutes before. One of these I like, one I'm not so mad about, we'll begin with my least favourite so we don't end on a negative note. 

The Nail Foundation is good in theory, it's got a slight, sheer beige colour to it so can be worn alone and dries to a semi-matte satin finish, all of which is fine but I just don't find it does much, I've used it without the top coat and it just didn't do anything to help prolong the nail polish, there's not really a whole bunch more I can say on this really, I don't hate it, I just don't really like it and I don't think it did much, I'm going to keep trying with it because I really want to like it, I love Butter London, the packaging, the formula, the fact that they were one of the first to come out with the 3 free formula (No Formaldehyde, No Toluene, No DBP Colour and No Carcinogens) but this just didn't do it for me, I'll let you know if I have a change of heart.

The Hardwear Top Coat on the other hand is really brilliant, it gives the same effect if not better as some of my other favourite top coats, such as Sally Hansen's Mega Shine and Seche Vite but without any of the nasty chemicals. One coat of this and my nails are dry within minutes and look super shiny. The brushes on Butter London polishes are old school regular polish brushes, not tapered and wide like the likes of Essie or Rimmel but they work amazingly well because they're long and compacted together so you get a smooth, even finish.

If you have a TK Maxx near you, I'd have a look for this little set because even without the Nail Foundation, it's a bargain and the Nail Foundation may just work for you.

What do you think of Butter London polishes? 

Soph x

REVIEW // Optrex Eye Revive Moisture Mist

A quick little review for you today, I was sent this Optrex Eye Revive Moisture Mist by BzzAgent a couple of months back and when I received it, I didn't really think much of it, I thought it seemed a bit gimicky and that it couldn't really do anything that regular eye drops couldn't do but I've been using it non stop for the past few months and it's been really brilliant. As both a contact lens wearer and a hayfever sufferer this has been a bit of a god send during this spring heatwave that we've been having here in the UK, I simply spray this over each eye and leave to settle for a few seconds and within a minute or so, my eyes feel soothed, refreshed and revived. I also tend to use this after a long day in the office or travelling back from work to perk my eyes up, I wear my contacts most days and can leave the house at around 7am and not return until around 8pm so this really helps as my contact lenses tend to feel quite dry and gritty in my eyes after about 8 hours and this really eases that. It also helps when my hayfever starts to kick in, it doesn't obviously cure the itchy dry symptoms, but it does help to ease those symptoms when I'm out and about.

I've really loved using this and will definitely re-purchase, another bonus is that this has a much longer expiry date, most eye drops have to be used thrown away after a month because of potential infections but I believe this can be used up until the expiry date on the bottle (mine has an expiry date of 2016) so although it's not the cheapest, I actually find it's cheaper than buying the eye drops because I don't need to re-purchase every month.

You can find it here for £15.99 (or in most chemists) but Boots have buy one get one 1/2 price on selected healthcare at the minute.

Have you tried this? 

Soph x 

REVIEW // Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning

I'm a bit surprised I haven't reviewed this little beauty before, it's the Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning it's one of my favourite primers, in fact, scrap that, it's my favourite make up primer. But, not only is this just a primer, oh no no, it's actually a fake tan for your face as well, I was dubious about trying this initially for that very reason, I'm a pale girl and I tend to embrace the pale pretty much all year round and have never been one for fake tanning really, I have never found one that doesn't streak or leave me looking like a patchy wotsit. So, I didn't think this would work very well for me especially as I don't fake tan the rest of my body but I wear a lot of SPF on my face, I work from home and my desk is directly in front of the window so my face is always at the mercy of the elements, I started to notice last year that my the rest of my body was starting to tan and not my face and I'd read so many good reviews on this that I decided to give it a whirl. 

Consistency wise, this is a like a Mousse, Gel & Balm hybrid, that massages into the skin to give a really subtle hint of colour and leaves the perfect base for makeup,I get so many compliments on this when I'm wearing it about how well I look or that my skin is glowing, seriously, I pull this out when I'm feeling a bit down just so I get complimented. It doesn't leave my face noticeably darker, it's just a really subtle natural colour that could probably be built on if you were to use this everyday to get a darker colour, I use it maybe 2 times a week and that kind of works for me. It blends into skin really well and because it has a caramel colour, it's easy to see where you're applying so you don't end up with a two tone face, my skin can be quite sensitive to these kinds of products but I've had no issues with this, it didn't clog my pores or cause any irritation.

My only real issue with this is that I can smell that fake tan smell and it does linger which I think is something Clarins could have potentially tried to cover up a bit, I do have a particularly sensitive nose though so I can smell EVERYTHING and I know a lot of reviews think this doesn't smell so it might be worth checking it out to see if it bothers you or not, it really wouldn't put me off re-purchasing this, I loved this so much though that I picked up the sister product (and the original Instant Smooth product) Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch which is basically the non tanning version, I actually don't like it half as much as I like this one, firstly it's half the size, Self Tanning comes in a 30ml pot while the perfecting touch is only 15ml and it just doesn't give me the same flawless look that the self tanning does, I do still use it but I definitely favour the self tanning, it's also made me want to try the Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Cream which looks like a similar product but for the body.

Anyway, you can find this here for only £15.20 at the moment if you're interested in picking it up.

Have you tried the Instant Smooth range before, what did you think? 

Soph x

REVIEW // Dr. Jart Water Fuse Beauty Balm

I wore the Dr Jart Water Fuse BB Cream virtually for the whole of last summer then winter came around and it was tossed aside for the YSL foundation that gave a little more coverage, I'd actually forgotten I had this until I moved house recently and unearthed it in an Ugg boot (I had clearly, literally tossed it aside) but since finding it again, it's the only thing I've been wearing on my skin, I love the finish this gives and because my skin is pretty clear at the moment, it gives the perfect amount of coverage as well, evens out skin tone and adds a hint of color to my skin but still looks really natural and as if I'm not really wearing anything. 

Because this is from the Water Fuse collection, it's super moisturising, I do use a moisturiser as well but if you were in a fix and didn't have any, you could go without,when first applied, it looks a little greasy and shiny but give it a minute or two and it settles down to give a dewy, freshly moisturised look to skin. I apply this with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, I used to use the Real Techniques Stippling Brush but I prefer the finish with the Buffing Brush, it's a lot more natural and blends a lot more evenly, I tend to kind of press the product over my face using the brush then blend it in with a circular motion making sure I blend down onto my neck as it does have a little bit of colour.

This has SPF25 but I do tend to wear an SPF under it as well for maximum protection but again if you're travelling light or are in a fix, it offers that protection as a bit of an all in one product. I didn't massively get into the BB trend when it first came out, I tend to wait until the hype has died down so I can fully assess whether things are right for me but I really do like this product and I have already re-purchased this and got my mum using it.

I've struggled to find this in Boots stores recently but I got it online for £12 which is 1/3 off at the minute if you are interested in picking it up.

What are your thoughts on BB creams? Worth the hype?

Soph x

REVIEW // Maybelline Master Smoky Eye in Smoky Chocolate

Today, ladies & gents, I present to you the Maybelline Master Smoky eye pencil in the colour in Smoky Chocolate, I've been using this eye liner over the past year or so and it's the only one I really reach for these days, which is a bit of a turn around, I've worn eyeliner since I was around 11 or 12, my Sister started me off by putting a little triangle of black on the outside of my waterline which grew into me lining my waterline with the blackest of black eye liners forever more, my favourite used to be Urban Decay's Zero, I don't think I'll ever not line my eyes in this way, I have quite big eyes and I get a lot of compliments so I think subconsciously I was just making one of my best features stand out. Now, I'm not sure what happened but last summer I just started to feel like the black liner was just a little bit too harsh so I decided to move to a brown eye liner and I honestly can't believe I didn't do it sooner, I have green eyes, quite a deep emerald green really and the brown works so well to just make the colour pop a little bit more.

This particular colour is the best I've found so far, some of the brown eye liners, particularly in the drug store eye liners can look a little bit muddy almost, and a little bit washed out but this one is a really deep, chocolate brown. It blends really easily and is really easy to smudge it out, I tend to line my water line, flicking out slightly at the corners and slightly smudge underneath to get a kind of smoky eye without having to apply eye shadow (I'm a lazy, little human). This does actually come with a little sponge applicator at the end for smudging it out, but I have my technique down so don't tend to use this, if you're new to eyeliner though, this will be really handy for blending it out. 

It's similar in size as well to my all time favourite eyeliner, the old version of Benefit's Bad Gal eyeliner, which was short and fat (now, sadly re-packaged to a regular sized pencil) but it means that it works really well for getting that smudged out effect from the waterline to the under eye because the tip is wider. I've also found that this is the best eyeliner to use with contact lenses, all others so far have left product on the lens or under it which looks very odd.

If you want to give this a go, you can find it in most chemists or supermarkets but I picked mine up here for £5.99 and it's also 3 for 2 on Maybelline at the moment in Boots!

Have you tried brown eyeliner before? What do you think? 

Soph x

GIVEAWAY // Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask

So, whilst perusing some Antipodes products recently and perhaps, maybe, possibly, definitely purchasing a few items (keep an eye out for reviews soon) I decided to pick up one of my favourite products, the Aura Manuka Honey Mask to giveaway to one of you lovely people, this mask is amazing for all skin types, it's super moisturising for those with dry skin yet with the addition of Manuka honey and it's anti-bacterial properties, it's brilliant for problem skin too! I've done a full review of this here.

I'm keeping this giveaway simple, the only mandatory is that you follow me through either GFC or Bloglovin, all other ways of entering are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open internationally and will run for just over a month.

Good luck and get entering! :)

Soph x

REVIEW // Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

This is a little bit of a random review for me if I'm honest - The Maybelline Great Lash Mascara was one of the first mascara's I ever used, purchased by my sister, I absolutely loved it - I've always been a fan of long black lashes and plenty of eyeliner, more so than wearing lipstick and I'm very particular about Mascara, I like Volume, Length, Black and zero clumping. I haven't used this mascara for probably about 6 or 7 years maybe but I found a new one in my stash while moving house and for nostalgia reasons, opened and used it straight away and I've fallen back in love with it, big time. So, this isn't the normal type of Mascara that I go for these days but I've found it gives a really lovely natural look to the lashes, you do have to work with it a bit to build it up but once your finished, you have lashes that are perfectly separated with extra length. I tend to lean towards using this for work or if I'm having a very low key makeup day because it doesn't give that dramatic, bold effect I get with my other Mascaras which I actually quite like, it's nice to have for an everyday simple look. The brush is suprisingly tiny on this which makes it really good for getting to all the lashes and really good for the lower lashes as well, in fact, even if I'm using a different mascara for my top lashes I tend to pull this out for my lower lashes because the brush just works really well for them. I love the packaging, it's always had this retro green and pink packaging, which I love but the thing I love the most about this is that it's under £5 - I'm not sure when and why Mascara's started getting so expensive but some of the drugstore brands are over £10 these days which is a little crazy, although I have a high end mascara review coming up which is over the £30 mark *shudders* but yes, this is a lovely mascara and if you want natural, pretty lashes, give this a whirl.

You can pick it up here for £4.99

Have you used this? What do you think? 

Soph x