July 30, 2013

radox citrus shower gels

Radox recently set a blogger challenge with the theme of moments that uplift, energise and revive you to coincide with their new launch of zesty shower gels. I love blogger challenges as you all probably know by now, not the ones that have loads of terms and are only after the free advertising but the ones where brands really try to engage bloggers and get them to put their thinking caps on. I always think they make for the most interesting blog posts and so here we have my latest attempt. I took a trip to the Norfolk broads recently and whilst I was planning what to pack I realised what could ever be a more reviving experience than splashing your feet in the water after a long day on a boat in humid weather so took along the new shower gels for the trip. I also set up a jug of citrus fruit infused iced water and made friends with a swan who very kindly posed perfectly behind the shower gels, if all of that doesn't show of a zesty moment I don't know what does!

The shower gels are all certainly zesty indeed and are sure to awaken any morning zombie and to kickstart your day, the Revive (mandarin & lemongrass) and Uplifting (pink grapefruit & basil) versions are both I enjoy using but I'm not so keen on the scent of Energise (key lime & peppermint) but I think it will prove most popular for Men.

All of the Radox citrus shower gels are currently reduced to just £1 each on the Boots website.

July 29, 2013

bumble and bumble full form mousse

I've been using this mousse for the last few weeks and every time I use it notice a big difference in the amount of volume to my hair. I'm always on the lookout for products that claim to be volumising or thickening as my hair is pretty odd in that it's usually flat towards the roots and much thicker at the ends. Saying that I'm very lazy when it comes to hair products and figure that after washing my hair and blow drying it all I can be bothered with is hairspray and at the best of times some oil but times are a changin' as now I'm a full on hair mousse convert. It's easy to use, takes seconds to work through your roots and doesn't leave your hands (or hair) feeling at all sticky as with other mousses that I've tried before. Once you've applied a good amount to your hair then blowdry as normal and you will find that you have amazing body and thickness like never before but your hair feels product free and weightless. Best of all is that you will have thicker looking hair all day long and your hair won't return to flat as a pancake after just a couple of hours like when using a hairspray, and you won't be left with the horrible feeling of product build up either! It's rare for a hair product to impress me quite this much, but once I run out I will be purchasing a new can in a heartbeat for sure.

July 24, 2013

mac lipsticks for summer

As you will have gathered from the title this post includes rather expensive lippies but fear not as I will also be writing another version of this post featuring more affordable summer lip shades soon. My collection of Mac lipsticks seems to always be the first place I turn to when looking for a bright shade of lipstick, I love how unique they all are and how you can pull off a completely different look depending on which you are wearing. My all time favourite is probably Morange, it's a vibrant orangey red colour that anyone who likes a bright lip is bound to love.

VIVA GLAM NICKI  | MORANGE (loudmouth orange) | SHOW ORCHID (vivid hot pink) 
VEGAS VOLT (full power coral) | CANDY YUM-YUM (neon pink) | LADY DANGER (vivid bright coral-red)

July 23, 2013

mac 43 lashes

The Mac 43 Lashes are my favourite false lashes in the entire world, I've gotten through about three pairs over the past few years and come back to them again and again. I don't have great eyelashes, they are fairly short and even with mascara aren't anything special so whenever I put on a pair of falsies my make up always looks so much better. I love that with Mac lashes the band is so thin and flexible meaning they bend easily to the shape of your eye and stay put throughout the day without glue touch ups. There are quite a few other pairs that I'm a big fan of but these win over due to how naturally wispy they look and they just seem to be the perfect length too. The way that they are designed with alternating small bundles of lashes to large ones means they make you look like you just have naturally beautiful lashes rather than that you are wearing false ones, it's almost impossible to tell. If you want to see what they look like on then check out this post but I will wear them for another blog post soon too.

July 22, 2013

a day on the norfolk broads with sure

Yesterday I headed off for a day on the Norfolk broads on a rather fancy cruiser boat courtesy of Sure to portray how to keep cool on a fun day out. Although the weather wasn't it's typical summery self it was still hot enough to wander around in a playsuit and between bumping into yachts, getting caught in boat traffic jams and pulling up anchors that were stuck in the mud it's fair to say that keeping cool was definitely on the agenda. I had a truly lovely day and would highly recommend a day on the broads on days that the sun comes out to play. If you have a little dog as I do most boats are dog friendly too which means they can make friends with the ducks and have a look at the river up close, having my little fella on board definitely made the day so much more fun. I apologise in advance for the amount of posing in these pictures, but given a boat and a sailor hat what is a girl to do?

Onto the deodorant itself and this happens to be the one which I swear by and was already the one which has been my favourite for around a year now. I have a review up from a couple of months ago which you can check out here but to summarise; it really works. I find it moisturising on the skin, it lasts all day long and keeps you completely sweat free, and it smells good too.

July 19, 2013

esteé lauder pure color cheek rush shots

The Pure Color Cheek Rush Shots have just launched from Estée Lauder as part of their Summer Colour collection and come in a range of four shades, they are a water-light gel blush and come packaged in a chic little tube. I'm a sucker for pretty packaging and these certainly don't fail to impress especially given the pump which gives just the right amount of product for one application. I have to confess that I've never actually tried a gel based blush before and have only had a go with cream and powder versions until now so couldn't wait to try them out properly. I popped one pump's worth on the back of my hand and blended the product onto my cheekbones using my fingers, but I soon found that using a brush made the colour apply much stronger. As I have fairly dry skin I absolutely love these since they give my cheeks such a glow rather than them looking matte as with using a powder blush, they are buildable too so you can wear them in whichever way suits best. I hate nothing more than loading my face up with make up when the weather is hot and sticky so these are perfect for that too, they also last throughout the day so are perfect for Summer. I've realised that they will be great to carry in my handbag too and are so ideal for reapplication on the go as they are quick to use, compact and lightweight. As they are so different from any other blush that I own I'd definitely buy one myself if only for how good they are to use whilst out and about. The shades I tried out were 'Pink Patent' and 'X-Pose Rose' and although they are both beautiful colours my favourite has to be 'X-Pose Rose' as it's more pigmented and gives a brighter stain on the cheeks, but 'Pink Patent' would be great for lighter skin tones. Fuss free make up always goes down well in my book and I just love these to add a natural looking flush of colour to my cheeks.

July 16, 2013

beach bag beauty essentials

So last week I received what has to be one of the best packages that I've had through my door in a long time thanks to the lovely team at Pegasus. Inside was a stripy beach bag filled with summer themed products and even a brightly coloured beach towel, some bright spark must have had fun putting all this lot together that's for sure.

CUTICURA HAND WIPES AND CITRUS HAND GEL - £1.49: These are both ideal for festivals, beach trips, picnics or hot days out to keep your hands fresh and clean. The hand gel is particularly nice as it has a passionfruit and mango scent but also is a really compact size making it perfect to use on the go.

MUDD ORIGINAL MASK - £3.99 (full size): I used this the other night and whilst I don't struggle with bad skin it did seem to make my skin look brighter and more radiant without drying it out as some mud masks can tend to do.

DR. ORGANIC VIRGIN OLIVE OIL BIO BALM - £4.09: I tried this out as a lip balm and absolutely loved it, it feels a little oily but in a pleasant way that leaves your lips feeling nourished. It's a multi-use balm so can be used on dry patches of skin, cuticles and even to repair scars and stretch marks.

DR. ORGANIC ALOE VERA CREAM - £7.39: This buttery cream is ideal to use on sunburn or any irritated skin, I always get sensitive skin on my cheeks after being in the sun and applying this feels really soothing on my skin. It's very thick so only a small amount is needed but sinks into the skin easily and disappears with no signs of greasy residue.

SUNIN SPRAY-IN HAIR LIGHTENER - £4.77: I have super dark hair at the moment so can't try this out as of yet but can imagine it would be a great product if you have highlights or blonde dip dye. Once I go back to a lighter ash brown hair colour I will definitely have a go with this, probably next summer.

CORN SILK COMPRESSED POWDER - £8.16: I gave this to my Mum as she has quite oily skin so is always on the lookout for a good face powder. She's been really impressed with it so far and loves how it feels light on the skin yet blots away any shine. The powders are currently on offer at Boots for 2 for £12 too.

What are your beach bag beauty essentials?

July 14, 2013

how to: flicked liquid liner

I've been working at mastering the perfect flicked liner for a while now and have finally learnt the skills to get it right almost every time. In the past I've tried all sorts of cream, gel, kohl and liquid eyeliners but have been most impressed with the Collection Fast Stroke Eyeliner that I've been wearing for a few months now. The felt brush has the perfect balance between being flexible and sturdy with a pointed nib that creates the perfect flick every time. I found the liner super easy to use as the product is so pigmented and is wet enough to be easy to work with yet dries quickly and doesn't smudge. It creates a super dark jet black line that lasts throughout the day, so overall a big winner in my book. To create a base on my lids to draw the liner on I've been using Mac Painterly Paint Pot, it's a pinkish nude shade which gives just a hint of colour and really helps the black liner to stand out. Not only is it a great colour but it makes liquid liner apply so much more smoothly and because of this I've found it takes me half the time to draw on than usual, such a nifty little product. Last but not least to finish off my flicked liquid liner look I coat my lashes in Yves Saint Laurent False Lash Effect Mascara, it gives my lashes a great thickness yet leaves them wispy enough as to not weigh them down.

1. Apply the paint pot all over the lid by using patting motions, then paint on a thin line just leaving a small gap just at the edge.

2. Find where your lashes end and add a small line just there in the same angle as of your lashes and adjacent to your lower waterline. Once you work out the area to draw the mini line you will have the basis for the perfect look every time, this method always works brilliantly for me.

3. Join up the two lines and then fill in any space by following the end of your waterline and go over the larger line once more to give a darker look and to cover any missed patches.

4. Curl your lashes and add a couple of coats of mascara but keep your lashes looking wispy and flirty rather than too thick and heavy. I don't usually use any product on my bottom lash line apart from a small amount of mascara as I find it suits the look best.

July 09, 2013

seaside splash glossybox

I was just out sunbathing in the garden when the postman rocked up and handed over this Summer themed Glossybox and although the sun was setting I thought it would be best to get this post up sooner than later. I absolutely adore the design of this box, the aqua blue background and orange coral just scream Summer in the best way possible. Once I opened the box to find the products inside I was so impressed with everything included and can imagine that I will love each product, it's definitely the best Glossybox that I've ever received. I'm most looking forward to having a go with the Inecto Coconut Dry Shampoo and Anatomicals Facial Spritz as these would make great staple products for the hot weather.

ANATOMICALS SPRAY MISTY FOR ME FACIAL SPRITZ - "This facial spritz with calming lavender and refreshing peppermint extracts helps rehydrated and calm skin. Wonderful every day, during flights, at the beach, in the city or in the office."

ALTERNA HAIRCARE BAMBOO STYLE BOHO WAVES TOUSLED TEXTURE MIST - "Your perfect 'Seaside Splash' Summer companion! Forget perfectly primped hair, and instead opt for effortlessly tousled, 'just-back-from-the-beach' waves with this weightless mist. Adds texture, volume and healthy shine to all hair types."

CIATE LONDON PAINT POT IN - "With a range of on-trend Summer shades, you'll be hitting the beach in style. Ciatés wide range of amazingly pigmented and long-lasting shades guarentees a flawless, even finish every time."

COOLA MINERAL FACE SPF 20 ROSE ESSENCE TINT - "Coola Organic's Suncare Collection is hypoallergenic, free of parabens and packed with antioxidants. It provides complete UVA/UVB protection and fights free radicals, while soothing, toning and minimizing pores."

INECTO PURE COCONUT REFRESHING DRY SHAMPOO - "Looking for a quick pick-me-up on your way from the beach to the bar? Inecto's Coconut Dry Shampoo instantly refreshes hair between washes, adding body and texture, and - most importantly - leaving your hair smelling irresistibly fresh and exotic."

Don't forget star violet beauty readers get an exclusive discount on their order by using the code: AFFSVB20OFF

look nail pop in catsuit

One of my favourite nail polishes to wear recently has been this beautiful turquoise glitter shade, since I dyed my hair the colour 'blueberry crush' I seem to be obsessed with all shades of blue. I had this hidden in the back of my drawer for a while and had forgotten what an amazing polish it is and can now imagine that I will be wearing it for weeks on end. The polish suits my olive skin tone perfectly and when the sunlight catches the glitter it looks truly special and unique, not forgetting the fact it's really easy to apply and lasts well. I did already write a post on it last year but the pictures weren't that great so I thought I'd write another one to do it justice. 

All nail pops are currently half price when bought from the Look Beauty website, so stock up while you can!

LOOK NAIL POP IN CATSUIT - £2.50 (usually £5)

July 08, 2013

yves saint laurent touche eclat gift set

Just a quick post today (it's far too hot to not be out sunbathing) featuring a fab gift set from Yves Saint Laurent. The set includes some of their most popular products including the ever raved about Touche Eclat and False Lash Effect Mascara, both of which are favourites of mine. Basically you are paying for these two products and get a Mini Eye Pencil and sample sizes of Forever Youth Liberator Eye Cream and Top Secrets Eye Make-up Remover for free. The reason I like the set so much is that it makes for an amazing gift as there are five products in total to try out and along with the shiny gold packaging of the box who wouldn't be thrilled to receive this as a gift. I will be reviewing everything in the set shortly so look out for those posts.

July 07, 2013

pegasus beauty summer showcase event

Last week I popped along to the Pegasus Beauty Summer Showcase Event and thought I'd let you know about some new launches and products to look out for. I was there for a couple of hours and got to hear about lots of exciting things that I hadn't heard about before, it's always great to have the chance to chat with brands first hand and to ask lots of questions. 

I got talking with a lovely lady representing the brand Collection and was really impressed with the new ranges that they are soon to come out with especially the Gothic Glam collection which is right up my street. They have also just released a range of Lip Laquers which are rumoured to be a cheaper alternative to Rimmel Apocolips so I will be keeping an eye out for those, not forgetting the 'Does It All' mascara which will retail at under £5. 

Next up I heard all about Steamcream and of how they make the cream that goes into the array of tin designs. They use only a small number of key ingredients and fuse them together using a steaming process and the cream is all made by hand in their kitchens.

Manuka Doctor also have an amazing new line of products that are set to release later in the Summer which I will have all of the details and plenty of reviews coming up on as I'm their official blogger! I had a quick look at the products and from what I could tell I think the Radiance Serum will be a big hit and is what I'm most looking forward to having a go with. 

Do you have your eye on anything from these new launches?