Thursday, 28 February 2013

B. Skincare Haul

Another little haul post from my spends last week.. I am now back on the wagon after breaking my spending ban. I didn't go crazy, I only bought a Revlon foundation, some Models Own polishes (which were paid for with Boots points so I'm not sure they count), a couple of cheap bits from H&M and the B. brand haul I'm posting about today. In total I don't think I spent more than £40, so I can definitely live with myself, and I'm committed to lasting for the rest of my spending ban so this will hopefully be the last haul post for a while..

I expect by now you will have heard of the new brand launched by Superdrug - B. I only heard about this brand after I'd already purchased one of their make up products - the eyebrow kit which I reviewed earlier this week. But after reading up on it I was really keen to try some pieces, especially from the cruelty-free skincare range! The Micellar Water was top of my wishlist, and because they had an free gift with purchase I couldn't resist picking up the B. Clean Melting Gel Cleanser too!

I like the packaging of these products - it's simple, minimalistic and clean, which is spot on for skincare. Although these are around the average price point for drugstore skincare I much prefer the way they are marketed in comparison to other similarly priced products - for example I got the pretty cardboard bag pictured above when I made my purchase which makes the brand feel a little more high end.I think Superdrug are marketing this new brand to a slightly older age range with more discerning tastes, which is reflected in their branding.

I picked up the Micellar Water and the Melting Gel Cleanser, £4.99 and £6.99 respectively. I am really intrigued to try both of these products as they seem unlike anything I've used before. The melting gel cleanser sounds especially interesting! You can buy these instore at Superdrug  or online HERE and HERE. I will be trying these soon and posting reviews in a couple of weeks' time.

Since I spent more than £10 on the B. range I got a free gift with my purchase - this 'Introduction to B.' kit which sounded really good, on paper. When I got this home and opened it up I was quite disappointed to find only one full sized product (the eyeshadow, I think is full sized) and then four other mini samples. You get a mini (and I mean tiny) B. B Cream (Light), B. Vitalised Eye Cream, B. Radiant Rejuvenating Serum, and the world's smallest lipstick (see more below). You also get a  voucher for £2 off the range when you spend more than £10 before the middle of April.

This is the B. Stunning Eye Shimmer in shade Golden Sand. I am not too keen on this colour, I'm not sure if I've actually worn gold eye shadow in the past 5 years ever but I guess it's worth a try! I might use this on nights out, and will be testing it out to review soon. I was happy with the size of this product at least.

And here is the world's smallest lipstick, the B. Rich Lipstick in Rose Quartz. I honest could not believe my eyes when I pulled this out - I've never seen anything so small! It is a bit of a joke really, and I would have much preferred a full sized lipstick as this is so small I didn't dare to swatch it just for the purposes of this post because I would have used too much of the product up! I guess looking at it as a whole the free gift is a nice gesture, but I can't help being disappointed by the size of the products. I'm never going to use the make up bag so it's a bit pointless.

Overall I'm excited to try these unique (for their price range) skincare products, and I will try out everything I received free and report back in due course. I really wouldn't recommend buying from the B. range with the sole goal of receiving the free gift as, in my opinion, unless you're mad keen on gold eyeshadow it's really not worth it.

Have you tried anything from the B. range at Superdrug yet? How have you found it?

ps. don't forget to enter my giveaway HERE if you haven't already, it ends on Sunday at midnight!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Mini H&M Haul - the blues

If you follow Bee's Knees, you'll know I'm currently on a spending ban but managed to completely flout this over a few days last week. On Saturday my boyfriend & I had intended to spend the afternoon at the Sea Life Aquarium on the South Bank, but after seeing the humungous queue and realising how very cold it was, we soon changed our minds and ended up on Regent Street & Oxford Street for a spot of unplanned retail therapy! I stopped off at the gorgeous H&M store on Regent Street (a new favourite) and bought a couple of bits..

This little skirt was only £12.99 and is actually really good quality, the shape is so cute as it sticks out quite a bit. It's short but perfect for wearing with a jumper and thick woolly tights to keep snug! I have already worn this and it's a firm favourite, and for the price you can't really go wrong! Similar available HERE.

I couldn't believe it when I spotted this blue body - I used to be a big lover of bodies a few years ago and wore them with high waisted shorts and skirts constantly. Perhaps I picked this up out of nostalgia, but it's a really simple, cute versatile piece that I'm sure will see me through the end of Winter, Spring & Summer! This electric blue is a real winner for SS13 too. £6.99 

A little basic to be featured in a blog post perhaps, but along the same lines I bought this cute basic vest for £3.99. You really can't beat H&M's simple vests!

Have you broken your spending ban? What did you buy?

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

B. Groomed Eyebrow Kit (blonde)

When I changed my hair colour a little while ago (I'm strawberry blonde-ish, previously brunette) I was faced with the mission of finding an eyebrow pencil to match my new hair. I had intended to head to the Mac counter in Brixton's Morleys but it just so happened on the day they were closed for stock taking so I desperately ran into Superdrug  hoping to find something to tide me over. I picked up a Collection eyebrow pencil (which is soon to be featured in a Slated post, so watch this space!) and the B. Groomed Eyebrow Kit in blonde. I had no idea at the time that B. was a new brand from Superdrug, I was blind with desperation and hoped it would be a match to my hair!

When I got it home I was so relieved to find it was a perfect match! And what I had originally thought was an eyebrow pencil was actually two ended and had a wax pencil at the other end! Incredible. I have been using this brow kit ever since and I love it! I am now curious to try the rest of the B. make up range (and the skincare, which I will post about on Thursday..) as I have been bowled over by the quality of this little £4.19 gem!

For the price the quality is really excellent - the pencil is the perfect softness for a brow pencil to give good, natural looking colour but without being so soft that the colour comes out really heavy. I love the brow brush, which I have used because it's so convenient! And the wax is really handy too, I don't often need to use this but it's nice to have on days when my brows are a little on the unruly side. And these three functions mean this is incredible value - for the same price other drugstore brands are only offering pencils.

I should probably mention that I also really like the B. brand and it's brand values - the cruelty free thing is obviously a big winner for me but I love how it's marketed as almost high-end but with a very affordable price point. And if the rest of the range is as good value as this, it's sure to be a winner!

Have you tried anything from the B. range yet? This eyebrow kit retails for £4.19 in Superdrug stores, and online HERE.

Monday, 25 February 2013

SAVE don't SPEND #7

Hi everyone. So, it's another week.. this year seems to be flying by and it's already almost March and we're onto the seventh post in the SAVE don't SPEND series - how has this happened? This week has been one of ups and downs for me - I've been a bit all over the place but made a firm decision on Friday to start over and focus on one thing - being happy. Then hopefully everything else will fall into place.. this may explain my blatant spending in spite of my spending ban...

8.13 - Holland and Barrett food shop
3 - Boots (water, Pepsi - the usual!)
£11.13 - total

8.50 - Paperchase (thank you cards and some stationary)
12 - Boots (present for my secretary)
£20.50 - total

12.70 - lunch at the Hare and Tortoise
£12.70 - total

5 - Wasabi lunch
6.99 - Superdrug (Revlon Nearly Naked foundation) - breaking my spending ban!
800 Boots Advantage points - 2 Models Own nail polishes - breaking my spending ban!
£5 - total (I haven't included the stuff I bought breaking my spending ban as it was funded with my £150 put away for a spending splurge when my ban is over)

11.98 - Superdrug (B. Micellar water & B. Gel Cleanser) - breaking my spending ban!
£0 - total (same as above)

23.97 - H&M (I will post about what I bought later this week!) - breaking my spending ban!
£0 - total (same as above)

19.38 - Sainsburys food shop
£19.38 - total

TOTAL: £68.71

This kind of makes up for going over £10 last week. I haven't counted the things posted in blue because I had £150 put to one side for when I finish my spending ban, and I have decided that my minor lapse this week (it could have been a lot worse!) will come out of that pot. This makes breaking my spending ban feel a little less catastrophic! I don't know how the boyfriend & I ended up on Oxford Street on Saturday afternoon but I did make a couple of bargain purchases from H&M that I will post about later this week. I'll also do a mini haul post sharing what I purchased from Superdrug in more detail..

Here's a quick peep at the Models Own polishes I picked up from Boots using my Advantage Points (2 for £8!)

Are you on a spending ban? How are you getting on? I hope you're doing better than me!

Slated: MUA Eyebrow Pencil in Brunette

This is the first post of the day - my usual SAVE don't SPEND will be up this evening but I've been meaning to get this review up on the blog for weeks so here goes!

The MUA Eyebrow Pencil was one of the many products I picked up in my big MUA haul a while back. I currently use Soap and Glory Arch De Triumph on my brows to fill them in as they are quite fair in comparison to my hair (brunette at the time of review).

The pencil is very long as it also features this little brow brush on one end - adding extra value to the product I first thought! I already use a brow brush but it's separate and I thought it would be handy to have a brush and brow pencil in one!

Here you can see the pencil on one end and the brow brush on the other!

I swatched the pencil as I'm sure it looks different on my brows in comparison to other people with different complexions and with thicker/thinner brows. Hopefully this is helpful! I bought Brunette but you can also buy Blonde. It's a very dark and soft pencil - it would be great if it was an eyeliner but I found it too soft for a brow pencil. Too much product ends up on your brows and it's literally like you're drawing them on. It's far too soft and the colour's way too dark for me!

I've posted a photo of one of my brows with the S&G pencil I currently use (left) and the MUA brow pencil on the right. I think this really shows how dark it is and how wrong it was for me! I felt like a cartoon character wearing this and wiped it off with a face wipe as soon as I'd taken this photo - it was embarassing!

Overall I would slate this eyebrow pencil from MUA. Even though it's a bargain at £1, I really can't see how it would work and be a good product as even in a paler shade more suited to my natural brow colour, the pencil is way too soft and would still make my brows look too defined and fake. Not a fan.

Have you tried this product before? Was this brow pencil a better match for you?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

NUXE Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm - in stick form

Happy Sunday evening everyone! I hope you're all having a lovely weekend. You might have read my rave review of the NUXE Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm a month or so ago. I was really impressed with this allegedly HG lip product, and I've been using it religiously ever since! However the 'original' product comes in a gorgeous glass jar, which is somewhat impractical for travelling around with. I decided to try out the same product but in stick form to see if I would love it as much, and here's my review!

Although it's exactly the same product, I think the stick version feels a lot less thick and luxurious on the lip. I'm almost certain that the formula must have been changed if only just a little to make the balm more 'solid' for the stick, and so it doesn't apply to the lips as smoothly.

Another thing worth mentioning is that I found I had to reapply this more often than when I use the pot. I said in my original review that reduced reapplications was one of the big bonuses of this product for me, so I was disappointed that the stick version seems less effective. That said, when compared to other 'stick-form' lip balms this is still a definite winner for me, and I will definitely repurchase so I have one handy in my bag for lip emergencies!

If you like the sound of this product, it retails for £5.50 and you can pick it up in all sorts of good beauty stores, including Feel Unique HERE. Alternatively, if you'd like to win it for FREE make sure you enter my giveaway for the chance to win HERE!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Exquisite Lingerie Wishlist

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I used to work at La Senza when I was a student and it was such a good job! This was back in the days when they used to wrap everything in tissue paper and pop your purchases into little buttermilk yellow bags with a handful of scented beads... I probably owe my awesome gift wrapping abilities to the hundreds of customer's purchases I gift wrapped during my time at La Senza! The generous staff discount made me a lingerie addict (it hasn't worn off several years on!) and I also learned how to bra fit, which is a skill I am glad I have!

My bust is actually a pretty awkward size - I have a small back but large cup size so it can be difficult to find places that sell my size and in pretty styles! I was happy to find several D+ bras on Exquisite Lingerie - a new site which essentially acts as the middle man between you and out of this world beautiful lingerie from brands such as Agent Provocateur. As I'm a bit of a lingerie junkie, I have picked a few of my favourite pieces from the site below for you to have a peep at! Enjoy.

This is the Love Demi bra - the thing that really grabbed me about this was the shape of the bra. This is so different to the usual style I wear, but it looks like it would still offer a good amount of support for ample bosoms! It's very delicate at the same time as being sexy, I love it! £95 - Click!

A more traditional plunge bra, this shape is my go-to bra for when I need a little boost and a good shape. I think plunge bras are fantastic and incredibly versatile, if you get one that fits you properly there's no reason why you can't wear one every day (like me!) This is the Margot Bra and will set you back £110. I adore the colour of this and I think it will suit all skin tones - plus it's one of the key colours for S/S13! Click!

Moving on to nightwear, this slip holds a special place in my heart. It reminds me of a slip they sold at La Senza when I worked there, which was pure silk and very expensive (to my student self) and I always coveted it but never could quite justify buying it. That slip haunts me to this day, and this stunning Novah Slip looks like a dead ringer for it, except a million times better! The lace detailing on this would make me feel like a princess, it's just beautiful. There are no words! Definitely a treat though, as it's priced at £295 which may be a little out of my price range...

Another piece from the Novah range, this is the Novah French Knicker. Now, if you're a lingerie geek (like me and some of the girls I used to work with), you'll know that the 'french knicker' as we know it from the British High Street is actually a very poor cousin of the true shape and style of a french knicker. This offering from Agent Provocateur is more similar to the authentic style, and I absolutely adore these knickers as they look chic, sexy but really comfy too! I'm definitely a comfort-oriented girl when it comes to undies - hey it's a bonus if they look nice too but when it comes down to it if they aren't comfy they're not getting worn! These little beauties look super comfy but they wouldn't instill a Bridget-Jones-pant reaction if your significant other happened upon them during some impromptu horizontal fumblings. Lush. £125 - Click!

What do you think of my selection of luscious lingerie? Are you a bit of an addict too?

(supported by Exquisite Lingerie)

Spendthrift Saturday #7

YAY it's the weekend! And what a week it has been, it feels like it's lasted longer than just 5 measly days! But boy am I glad it's Saturday. My plans for the day include heading to the Sea Life Centre with my boy to have a gander at all the gorgeous sharks (I love sharks!) and then a lazy evening kicking back and watching Perks of Being a Wallflower. If your Saturday plans involve online shopping, then make sure you save where you can with the discount codes I've dug out for you this week!

A repeat from previous weeks, but it's a long running one and worth reminding you about! Save 25% on the highest priced item in your basket at H&M with code 0241.
Expires - 1 August 2013

Use code VC35 to get 35% off your order at The Body Shop
Expires - 25 February 2013

When you use voucher code VCFEBBE you will save 15% off your order at Beauty Expert
Expires - 3 March 2013

Save 25% on orders at Dorothy Perkins when you use DPFW2
Expires - 24 February 2013

Let me know what you've bought, and happy saving!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Fabulous Nails #28

I must confess that today's Fabulous Nails is quite festive (and I'm aware it's not Christmas!) but I love greens, reds and metallics throughout the winter so I don't really restrict festive nails to December anymore!

I used my Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine polish in Watermelon (2 coats - this is thick stuff!) as a base and my fabulous Revlon Gold Sequins that I got free in December when I bought my Mum 3 Revlon polishes (3 for the price of 2).

This is actually my first Revlon polish - when I used to work at Boots I lusted after them but every time I ended up buying a Barry M dupe instead as they're half the price. This is also the first Gelly Barry M I've tried and I really liked it - it goes on really opaque and thick. A word of caution though, the entire end of one of my nails chipped off (the polish not the nail itself) after a day, which I think is because of the thick consistency of the polish.

What do you think? Have you tried the Gelly Barry M polishes yet?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Just another girl that wants to rule the world

Oh how I have been itching to tell you all about a new top that came into my life recently! You probably know that I'm on a spending ban right now, but I somehow managed to persuade my boyfriend to buy this beautiful blouse for me... he's a keeper! This stunning blouse was only £14 from George at Asda (the G21 range) and I LOVE it!

It's made from a sheer cream chiffon fabric, which is usually a no-go for me due to my rather disproportionate sized bosoms (floating chiffon can make me look a touch pregnant due to the lack of fitting around the waist) - BUT this is fitted at the bust with elastic which makes it ideal for me! So it fits at the bust and then the rest of the top floats down to just below the bum, creating a gorgeous silhouette when worn with skinny jeans or leggings!

I adore the peter pan collar and little neck tie - it's these pretty little details which I think make this top look far more expensive than it is! The cuffs are also elasticated which give the sleeves a gorgeous bell shape when worn. I haven't taken this off since it arrived, wearing it with a little cami underneath or under a jumper - it's so flexible and simple to wear! And for only £14!

This top is available from George at Asda  instore or online HERE.

Are you tempted to treat yourself?

Follow via: hellocotton  Bloglovin  Bloggers   Twitter   Facebook

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

I Want Never Gets... Hair Products

Evening all! Welcome to this week's IWNG - which is all about hair products! You'll probably already know that I recently underwent a pretty big change to my hair and had it dyed a subtle strawberry blonde.. I LOVE it and I'm itching to go lighter already but the only downside of my new 'do is having to be careful with the products I use. My hair isn't bleached so it's not in the worst condition, but it is a lot drier than it was pre-dye... and because it's curly it's even more important to keep the moisture locked in! So hair products have been on my mind a lot - take a peek at some of my wishlist faves!

A Tangle Teezer is probably the most raved about hair item in the blogosphere - every single beauty blogger seems to own one and love one! I've actually never tried one before so it's high on my wishlist. Especially for only £8.16 from Buy Hair. Click!

This Tigi leave in conditioner sounds ideal for my lovelorn locks - hydrating, nourishing and natural it's everything I'd ever want! & I love the name - Let It Be - and the packaging. For only £5.76 I have to say it's really tempting me to break my spending ban! Click.

Again, a leave in conditioner from Tigi but this pretty little Ego Boost is all about adding strength and elasticity to your hair. This sounds perfect for me as my curls really do need to be strong and stretchy to give me some real bounce! £8.16, it would be a real investment from Buy Hair - Click!

...Tigi again sorry! It's just a brand I've heard so many good things about but I've never tried it! Perhaps I should add this to my end-of-spending-ban wishlist! This is a 'Curl Amplifier' so I'm curious to see what it would do with my curls. I'm fairly happy with my haircare routine at the moment in terms of controlling my curls and reducing frizz, but I am always trying to add more volume and this sounds like it might do the trick! £10.80 - Click!

Which hair care products have you been craving lately?

(supported by Buy Hair)

Follow via: hellocotton  Bloglovin  Bloggers   Twitter   Facebook

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Soap & Glory Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser

I have had this cleanser for quite a while now but it's often been pushed to the back of the shelf in favour of my usual Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser. But recently I decided to use this one up before going back to Liz Earle, so here are my thoughts after using it for a good few weeks!

As you probably already know, I am a big fan of Soap & Glory and so I was keen to test out their hot cloth cleanser. I think there are a lot of these kind of skincare products out there at the moment, with the Liz Earle being the most famous as a HG cleanser.

This is a really creamy cleanser that comes out of the tube feeling quite (for want of a better word) 'stiff' but it melts into the skin when applied. I have used this product alone with a muslin cloth, and also in conjunction with my Clarisonic Mia. I find it to be a really gentle cleanser that never fails to remove all my make up, and although it smells different, the effects are very similar to Liz Earle. I'm not sure my skin feels as smooth and clean afterwards in comparison to Liz Earle, however if I use this with a toner afterward the results are much the same.

Overall, for a cleanser that retails at £10 for 100ml (compared to Liz Earle which is £12.75 for 100ml) I think it's worth a try, especially in the colder months of the year when your skin is a little drier and more sensitive. The creamy texture really feels like it's nourishing your skin. However when you can get the Liz Earle for only £2.75 more, it's up to you whether you decide to stick with S&G or go for the pricier option, in my opinion there's really not much in it!

You can buy this cleanser for £10 from Boots in store or online HERE. If you'd like to try this product out for FREE, click HERE to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a 100ml tube and a S&G cloth!

Follow via: hellocotton  Bloglovin  Bloggers   Twitter   Facebook