Sunday, 30 June 2013

June Favourites

Hi guys! I am really happy to be back and blogging after a few days off. Today's post is my June Favourites - I know every blogger says this but seriously, it's the end of June? What happened?! Time is flying by this summer and soon it will be August and moving time (I have equal amounts of sadness and excitement about the move at the moment!) More about that later...

This month has been quite low-key for me in terms of beauty products. I haven't really bought anything exciting and have been sticking to what I know. Although it's summer in the UK the weather hasn't been that great so I haven't been using as many 'summer themed' products as I usually would in June, hopefully that will change in July!

First up is hands-down my number one product of the month - the Botanics Soothing Eye Make Up Remover. You might recognise this from my Kensington High Street haul post HERE. My old No7 eye make up remover ran out a week or so ago which meant I could crack open this bad boy, and from the first use I was seriously impressed. It's quite an oily formula but it is so good at removing make up I don't care! I will post a full review of this soon (it definitely deserves one), but in the meantime you can get this from Boots for £3.99 online HERE or instore.

Soap and Glory Glow All Out Lumizing Face Powder featured in my 2012 favourites post, so it may not surprise you that it's back again for June! For pale gals like me it's just the perfect subtle, peachy colour to wear in the summer but it's also a beautiful highlighter that lasts all day. For some reason in warmer weather I don't like to wear as many product on my face, so to have a blush and highlighter in one is a winner! You can read my full review of this HERE. Soap and Glory Glow All Out is £11 from Boots online HERE or instore.

June has been a busy month for me - between viewing houses and family birthdays I have been travelling up to Leeds quite a lot. The MUA Artiste Palette is fantastic for travelling as it has eyeshadow, blusher, bronzer and highlighter all in one so it really saves on space. Obviously you're quite limited in the looks you can create but for a weekend in Leeds with my family this is just what I needed. You can read my full review HERE. The MUA Artiste Collection Palette is £6 available online direct from MUA HERE, from Superdrug online HERE or in your local store.

If you're a long time reader of Bee's Knees, you'll know that I am a Marc Jacobs fragrance girl through and through. But when I happened upon the Chloe fragrance with 20% off on the Debenhams website, I just couldn't resist! Chloe is a fragrance I've been lusting after for years, it's the perfect subtle, old fashioned girly scent and the bottle is beautiful. This was a new-job present to myself, otherwise I would have never spent so much on myself! I'll do a full post on this soon but you can pick it up from Debenhams (or other perfume shops) for £52 HERE.

June has seen me getting back into reading in a big way, primarily because of all those bloody train journeys! My favourite book of the month has to be Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I'm not usually a fan of 'thriller' type novels but this one stands out from the rest. It's excellently written and really draws you in, with a few twists and turns in the plot to keep you guessing. I really recommend this if you're looking for a book to take away on holiday with you. £3.85 from Amazon HERE.

Finally, my 'random' favourite of the month has to be eBay. As you know I'm moving house in August, from a tiny London one bedroom flat to a huge three bedroom house! This means we need to buy new furniture, which could work out to be really expensive. I'm sure you know I'm a bit of a bargain hunter and have been trying to source as much of our furniture second hand from eBay to save pennies - and it's worked out quite well so far! Furniture costs so much money, especially if you buy it new! The bonus of eBay is often the furniture you get is a bit more special and quirkier than the usual stuff you can get from IKEA. Obviously I'm only human and we will be making an IKEA trip but we're trying to get as much as we can second hand first.

PHEW. So there are my June favourites! What do you think of my picks? What have you been loving this month?

Monday, 24 June 2013

Give Me a Break

Hi guys! I just wanted to let you know that there might not be regular daily posts on Bee's Knees this week. As you know, I am going through a career move and a house move this summer and I'm finding it really difficult to juggle finishing off my current job and planning the move up to Leeds, not to mention staying on top of my blog. Working full time and running Bee's Knees is a carefully balanced exercise at the best of times, and I can assure you these are not the best of times! I'm hoping to have some time next weekend to get some posts written but in the meantime, please bear with me!


Sunday, 23 June 2013

MUA Pro-Base Conceal and Brighten Kit

Hi everyone! If you're a follower of Bee's Knees you'll know that I have had some trials and tribulations with concealers in the past. My under eye circles are my least favourite thing about my face and maybe even my whole body! Unfortunately I am genetically predisposed to have under eye circles so in terms of skincare there isn't a whole lot I can do about them. Instead I turn to make up in the hopes of covering them up!

I decided to try the MUA Pro-Base Conceal and Brighten Kit when I saw it on offer in my local Superdrug. It was only a couple of pounds so even if it didn't work, I haven't lost much! I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with MUA because some of their products I adore and use every day (their eyeshadow palettes for example) but others have been complete disasters for me! 

The Pro-Base Conceal and Brighten Kit comes in practical white packaging with a clear lid so you can see the product - which I like. There are three different shades of concealer here, which I think is aimed at allowing you to mix them together to create your own blend suited exactly to your skin. But here comes my first complaint - this is the lightest shade available (porcelain) but the except for the middle colour the other two already look way too dark for my pale skin!

Here are the shades swatched on my pale skin - I think you can see already that this isn't going to end well because even the lightest shade is marginally too dark for my skin tone. The formula of these concealers is quite creamy and oily, which I didn't like either. It makes them easy to blend with each other but even when used with a setting powder I just found they slide right off my skin and I was left with a bit of a messy face after a few hours. In fact I would go so far as to compare this product to the Soap and Glory Kick Ass Concealer (review HERE), which I also didn't get along with. Maybe it's my skin that doesn't like this formulations, but it just doesn't compare to the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (review HERE).

So overall I was quite disappointed - this product didn't work for me because of both the dark shades and the formulation. Obviously this is my own personal experience and other people might find it amazing and it suits them perfectly - if you're interested in this I recommend trying it in store before buying.

You can buy the MUA Pro-Base Conceal and Brighten Kit for £3.50 online from MUA HERE or from Superdrug in your local store.

Have you tried this concealer? How did it work for you?

Saturday, 22 June 2013

B. Pure Micellar Water

Hi guys! So today's review is about a product I have been using now for almost 3 months! I always find with skincare products that you need to have used them for quite a while before giving a meaningful review, so here goes!

This is the B. Pure Micellar Water, which first feature in my skincare haul HERE and then it even made it into my May favourites HERE. I'm sure you can already guess that this is going to be a positive review!

This is the first micellar water I've tried - it's a product I've heard plenty about (as has anyone who reads beauty blogs), specifically the Bioderma one. However when the B. range was launched as a cruelty free brand at Superdrug and I spotted a micellar water I knew I had to pick it up to try first. I wasn't quite sure how to use this at first because I'll admit that aside from eye make up, I never used to remove my make up before cleansing. SHOCK HORROR. No really. As a relative newbie to the world of make up (I only started wearing things like foundation and blush at the ripe old age of 21), I am also pretty new to the skincare rituals you need to remove it and keep your skin healthy.

So I started using this to remove the make up on my face, after using an eye make up remover to get rid of my eye make up. I squirt a little bit onto a cotton wool pad and lightly skim over my skin allowing the magical micellar water to lift off my make up without really having to scrub. I go over again with a new pad and then potter off to cleanse and brush my teeth! Although it's a new step in my before-bed routine, it's not a time consuming one and I have noticed a real change in my skin since I started properly removing my make up.

The B. Micellar Water has been a real saviour for me - although I can't give a completely comprehensive review because it's my first micellar water, I can say that it's a light and easy product to use, even on my somewhat sensitive skin. Although it does leave some residue on your skin that's not a problem for me because I cleanse almost immediately afterwards. It does have a slightly strange smell to it but that doesn't bother me either. And for only £4.99 compared to some of the more expensive micellar waters available, I would definitely recommend you give it a go if you're intrigued by the concept!

You can buy the B. Pure Micellar Water for £4.99 from Superdrug online HERE or in your local store.

Have you tried any micellar waters before? What do you think about them?

Friday, 21 June 2013

New Voucher Codes for Bee's Knees!

Hi guys! So you may have noticed a new addition to the Bee's Knees blog - a cute little widget now lives just to the right hand side which will show five different up to date voucher codes for you to use - clever huh? After the success of my Spendthrift Saturday posts, when I was contacted about hosting a voucher code widget on Bee's Knees I thought it would be the perfect match!

The voucher codes are all sourced from and automatically update so only current valid codes will show. This will be much easier and fool proof compared to my previous Spendthrift Saturday posts, and it means I won't have to sacrifice a day's post in order to share money saving tips with you all!

As I pride myself in being an honest blogger (especially when it comes to being compensated for my blog), you should know that I will receive a commission if you purchase something using a voucher code from my blog - kind of like affiliate links (which I also use). I have to stress that any potential income possibilities are not my motivation in adding the widget, I honestly think it's a great idea and hope it will help you save money! Big thanks to Red League Media for coming up with the idea and contacting me in the first place! 

If you're a blogger and interested in using the widget, click HERE to go directly to the site and sign up. (NB I will receive a referral fee if you mention Bee's Knees when you sign up)

Please let me know what you think about the widget in the Comments, and I'd love to hear if you've managed to nab some online bargains with the voucher codes!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

MUA Undress Your Skin Illuminating Foundation

Hi everyone! If you're a long time follower of Bee's Knees you'll know that liquid foundation is a relatively new concept for me, having started out in the world of make up using mineral foundations. But then I tried the Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation (review HERE) and I haven't really looked back!

When MUA launched their Undress Your Skin range I decided I wanted to their their foundation offering, which came in the form of the Undress Your Skin Illuminating Foundation. I popped into my local Superdrug and swatched the lightest shade - Porcelain - which I was pretty impressed to find matched my skintone perfectly! Into my basket it went..

Now I have to start out by saying the packaging of this foundation is pretty awful. Although the squeezy-bottle type thing is handy and useful (and a little bit more practical than the Revlon glass bottle) it is just ugly and cheap! I don't understand why they couldn't have put the foundation into a container that made it look a little bit nicer as opposed to something that is so blatantly a drugstore product it's a little embarassing. So bad first impressions for sure.. 

... but that's where my criticism of this product ends. This is quite a high coverage foundation, as you can see above, and I use it on days when my skin isn't up to much. However if you apply it to your face with your fingers (like I do), and then blend it into the skin using the Real Techniques Buffing Brush (like I do) it looks beautiful. The colour is such a good match for my skin that it just looks like my skin, but better!

This is the foundation blended in to the back of my hand - I think the lack of visible veins demonstrates nicely how this is quite a heavy foundation. Although I don't understand why MUA have branded this an 'illuminating foundation' - because I don't think there's anything illuminating about it. It's quite a matte foundation, but works really well as a base for a full face of make up - so in my opinion it doesn't need to be illuminating because I can do that myself with some highlighter. As a regular foundation though, it's awesome. It stays on all day, helps all my other make up stay in place too, and just makes my face look very 'done'. I love it!

Overall I would recommend giving this a go if you're on the market for a full coverage foundation, or if you haven't managed to find a foundation that's pale enough for you. At only £5 it's a good product to have in your stash for occasions when you want to look a bit more made up, or are having a bad skin day. You can buy the MUA Undress Your Skin Illuminating Foundation from MUA direct online HERE, or from Superdrug online HERE or in store.

Have you tried this foundation before? What did you think?

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Good Things Deep Clean Blackhead Exfoliator

Hi everyone! Today's post features a skincare product that I have been using religiously for years, and have only just got around to reviewing for you! No joke, it's been at least two, maybe three years since this first came into my life, and I've been repurchasing like a madwoman ever since. Ladies and gentlemen, please give your warmest welcome to the Good Things Deep Clean Blackhead Exfoliator. (bit of a mouthful, although I don't recommend you eat it..)

Good Things is a brand I can really get on board with. Their values are all ones that I take seriously; their products are gentle, natural, free from chemical nasties and cruelty free. Add to that how this face scrub is a delight to use on a morning in the shower, and its delicious smell and you're on to a winner.

Although I do use creamy cleansers on an evening before I go to bed, on a morning I like to use a face wash or scrub in the shower which will quickly and effectively leave my skin feeling clean, fresh and ready for the day. This scrub has been doing that, as we've already established, for years. It has small beady-things it in which manually exfoliate your face but it's not so rough that you can't use it everyday. It works really well to get rid of impurities and brighten your skin up when you step out of the shower. I'm not sure about whether it does get rid of blackheads because they're a blemish I've just learnt to live with - despite the products I use they just don't seem to budge!

I'm not really sure what else I can say about this product without sounding like a crazy person? Just try it for yourself - the range is now available not only in Boots (online HERE or in store), but also some supermarkets. I know for certain it's been on offer a few times in my local Sainsburys, which means it's super easy to get hold of. And for only £4.99 it's not going to break the bank - my current one has lasted at least 3 months now and it's not done yet!

Have you tried anything from the Good Things range before? Are you a fan?

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Tuesday Tales #7 - Update

Hi guys! Today's Tuesday Tales post is another little life update, following on from my last one a couple of weeks ago (HERE if you didn't catch it). So much has happened in the weeks that have passed, I'm mega excited to share it with you.

First things first, if you follow me on Twitter you may already know that I received some exciting kitty-related news a couple of weeks ago. Clementine has been living on her own in my flat for almost a year now, and it's reaching the stage where she's getting a little bored of her own company and needs some more stimulation. We had always planned to add to the family once we moved someplace bigger, and I am delighted to tell you that two gorgeous kittens will be coming home with us in August! I visited them on Saturday and they are just the most delightful, cheekiest and downright gorgeous kitcats I have ever seen!

The second big piece of news is that we found a house! Although we're only going to be renting, we're moving to an unfurnished place so it will feel more like our own home. I managed to fall head over heels for a house I saw on the internet a little while ago, and after sending Neil and his Mum around for some provisional vetting we ended up securing it before I'd even set foot in the place! I did eventually make it up to view the house on Saturday, and it is b-e-a-utiful. Just perfect, and there's so much space! And a garden. What  more could a girl want?! Project 'Furnish Our House With Secondhand Furniture' has now commenced though as I attempt to find some half decent sofas and a pretty sideboard on eBay...

Last but not least, I have decided I'm going to buy myself a car when I move! In London there hasn't really been a need for me to drive or have my own car, so I sold my car when I moved down here three years ago. Moving back means I will need my own wheels to get to and from work, amongst other more exciting destinations, and so I have made the decision to fulfil a lifelong, childhood dream of mine and get a MINI! I can't even express in words how utterly stoked (excuse the Americanism but there isn't a word in English!) I am to be able to do this for myself... it's unreal. 

So that's it. Three massive pieces of life news in one post - phew! I hope you don't perceive this as bragging, I'm just overflowing with happiness at the moment and excitement at what the near future holds. I hope you don't mind me sharing! Stay tuned for more updates and follow me on Twitter (@ElspethDaisy) to be with me every step of the way!

Monday, 17 June 2013

SAVE don't SPEND #17

Hi guys. Apologies for the lack of a SAVE don't SPEND update last week - I've been really busy with work and life in general lately so I didn't have time to post my spending diary. If you're interested, I will be posting a little life update tomorrow for the Tuesday Tales post, so keep an eye out!

2.50 - food shop
£2.50 - total

4.50 - food shop
£4.50 - total

5.89 - reordering my Motions Foaming Wrap Lotion
£5.89 - total

4.45 - lunch
5.50 - food shop
17.99 - new cat litter tray
£27.94 - total 

£0.00 - total

15.00 - takeaway
£15.00 - total

0.00 - NOTHING!
£0.00 - total

TOTAL: £55.84

I am so happy! My spending diary is finally below my £80/week budget - hooray! I have been trying really hard to not spend any unnecessary money. Having the big move in the summer feels like a fresh start for me and I am determined to reduce my debts as much as possible beforehand. Long may it continue! 

Are you trying to save money? How is it going for you?

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Fabulous Nails #45 - potential Nails Inc Baker Street dupe!

Hi guys! Today's nail look is one I've been dying to post about for weeks! I'm sure you'll have seen and heard of the gorgeous Nails Inc Baker Street polish - it's an electric blue that's to die for. But what if I said I'd found a £5 dupe...?

This Topshop Nails is in the shade Varsity, and after comparing it to Nails Inc Baker Street in a Boots store I have to say it's a pretty close match in the bottle! Obviously I don't own Baker Street so I can't compare the two side by side on the nails, but it's close enough to justify spending £5 on this little gem!

It's already one of my favourite nail varnishes - not only is it a stunning colour but the formula applies really nicely as well and stays chip free for long enough to keep me happy! Overall I'm really pleased with this polish and would urge you to give it a try too if you're looking for a stand-out blue to add to your collection.

You can buy Topshop Nails in Varsity for £5 in your local store.

What do you think of these blue nails? Are you a fan of Topshop nail poilishes?

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Gosh Velvet Touch Lipstick in Exotic

Hi everyone! So today's post is about a lipstick that you might recognise, because it was featured in my May favourites post (HERE). I bought it a little while back but it has become a firm favourite for Spring, I'm seriously loving orange this year!

This is my first Gosh lipstick, in fact it's my first Gosh product! After reading some rave reviews from a number of beauty bloggers I was always tempted by their lipsticks, but I never plumped for one until I saw Exotic. I think it's pretty obvious even in the tube that this lipstick is something pretty special..

As I said, despite being a porcelain princess(!) I am really into orange lips at the moment. They just brighten up my whole face and teamed with a more coral toned blush can work really well in sunnier weather. Even without a tan, this makes my face look summer-ready.

It's the perfect orange! The consistency is brilliant, it lasts on the lips for a good 3-4 hours without a touch up (reapply more frequently if you're eating, obviously) and it's not drying. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's moisturising, but it definitely works fine on my dry lips provided I pop on a slick of lip balm 10 minutes before applying lipstick.

The price (£6.49) is a little more than I usually like to pay for drugstore lipsticks, but given the gorgeous colour and the impressive quality I do not regret my purchase! I really recommend this shade if you're looking for something bright to last throughout the summer. You can buy Gosh Velvet Touch lipsticks from Superdrug online HERE on in your local store.

What do you think to Gosh products? Which is your favourite? Are you a fan of orange lips too?

Friday, 14 June 2013

Avon Haircare and Beauty Haul

A few weeks back now I ran out of my trusty Avon shampoo and conditioner and had to place an order for some replacements! Because there were so many good offers on at the time it turned into a bit of a haul, so today I'm sharing with you what I bought...

It turned out to be quite a bit, heh. On the right you can see the two sun lotions I nabbed in anticipation of warmer Summer weather. I will be reviewing these very soon so stay tuned! They were £3.50 each down from £5 each so bargainous! (Link HERE).

Here you can see just how much I enjoy buying in bulk! I bought the regular sizes of the Advance Techniques Colour Protection shampoo & conditioner (reviewed HERE) as part of a set for £5 which included a deep conditioner that will hopefully work wonders on my dry, dyed hair. I also purchased the larger size of the shampoo because it was only £2.99 (on offer, usually £4.50 HERE) which represented really good value! It's a good job I love this range so much because I won't be running out of it anytime soon..

Whilst on the site I noticed the Avon Illuminating Face Pearls (pictured in the first photo) were reduced from £9 to £5 (link HERE). I've been on the hunt for a good new highlighter for quite a while so I eagerly popped it into my online basket. I also noticed the Super Shock mascara was on offer too, £5 down from £8.50. I've used this mascara before and really liked it so I've stashed it away to use when my YSL mascara dries up (link HERE). Finally I (quite randomly) bought this eye make up remover, which was £4. I'm not quite sure why I purchased this but I'll be using it and reviewing it in due course (link HERE).

What do you think of my beauty buys? Have you bought anything from Avon recently?

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Dealing with Keratosis Pilaris

Hi everyone! So today's post is a little bit different. Keratosis Pilaris ("KP") is something you might have heard of before, or perhaps you've never come across it in your life! It's basically quite a common skin condition that results in rough red bumpy skin. Both my sister and I have had KP on the tops of our arms for as long as I remember, and when we were younger it caused us both to be self conscious about our arms. Now I'm a little older it bothers me much less, but I've also come up with some simple ways of reducing the appearance of KP on my arms. If you have KP I hope this helps you manage it too!

Here are the products I'm featuring in today's post. Unsurprisingly they are all either exfoliators or moisturisers. The best way to tackle KP is to exfoliate regularly and use a good moisturiser afterwards.

The Soap & Glory Pulp Friction scrub is my go-to exfoliator for the tops of my arms. In summer I will use this every day to keep the bumps from reappearing but I do get a little less strict in the winter when I can cover up with layers and knitwear. Pulp Friction is ideal for everyday use as it's not too intense and it foams up easily, making exfoliation a quick and easy part of your routine. (£8, available from Boots online HERE or in store)

I always follow this exfoliation with a moisturiser - my daily choice is the Palmer's Cocoa Butter (one of my all time Holy Grail products, review coming soon), but on the weekends when I have a little more time I use a thicker moisturiser like the Soap & Glory Daily Smooth (review HERE). This takes longer to sink in but it does a remarkably good job at softening the skin and keeping KP to a minimum. The Daily Smooth is £8.50 available HERE, Palmer's Cocoa Butter is £5.30 available HERE.

Now if my KP has flared up or if I have a special occasion coming up that I need to be arm-confident for (what an odd expression!), I resort to this product. I do not recommend you do this every day, or even weekly, but sometimes when the going gets tough, the tough use a Philosophy foot scrub* on the back of their arms! This foot scrub (reviewed HERE) is absolutely bloody fantastic when used as a foot scrub, but when you use it on your KP it's also pretty darn fabulous. It's a quick fix to get rid of the bumps on my arms, but I do not use this more than once every 3-4 weeks maximum. Using Footnotes is always followed by slapping on a really thick intensive moisturiser to stop the area from drying out. Philosophy Footnotes is available for £23 as part of a set HERE.

If you follow these tips you will find your KP is much more manageable and less noticeable. It's not a cure, and the redness will still be an issue at times but generally this has changed the way I feel about my arms and I no longer think about KP very often at all!

I hope this post has been helpful if you suffer from KP too. Please share your tips and tricks in the comments below.

*PR sample