Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Rituals Hand Balm - Ginkgo's Secret

Today I am reviewing Rituals Ginkgo's Secret Extra Rich and Repairing Hand Balm which retails for £10 for 75ml, but I got mine with a 25% discount. 
Firstly I would like to apologize for the state of this product, my blogging ways still haven't got any better and should really know by now to photograph a product before putting it in my handbag for it to be bullied by all the rubbish in there.
Way back in November I was in Rituals buying a present for my mum and I was having a sniff around. As you do. And I ended up leaving with a brand new hand cream.  I don't know how it happened to be honest as I'm not really a massive hand cream fan. 
Anyway, I believe I was taken in by the scent. It smells AMAZING, like not even like oohh this is alright. No! A-MAZ-ING! You know when you see holidays being advertised and there is always someone being massaged? This is how I imagine that massage to smell. Ok, bit weird but you get what I mean. Not at all overpowering the scent is more elegant than anything. 
Quality wise I think this holds its ground. It is rich, thick and creamy which sinks into the skin beautifully and doesn't leave that annoying sticky residue. My hands always feel so soft after using this product, it definitely soothes rough, dry skin. I love the packaging as well. Simple yet really effective. Also, who doesn't like it when skincare comes in a box?

This cream contains Ginseng, which according to the box is a symbol for immortality, I am assuming this is what the healing ingredient is, and Ginkgo Biloba which is used to strengthen the blood vessels. I used to keep this in my handbag, as I mentioned, but now I keep this by my bed and apply it every night before going to sleep. I feel I get better results this way as our bodies work the most at night repairing skin cells and all that lovely stuff it does for us. So due to the fact it has healing ingredients, logically I think it should be used to aid our natural healing process.

I haven't tried too many things from Rituals but what I have tried, I have loved. Their products are so luxurious, I think they are perfect as gifts or even to treat yourself.  I really love the Pink range too called Ayurveda (good luck asking for that). A brilliant thing about Rituals is that they always seem to have some form of offer going on.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Primark and H&M Haul - What Spending Ban?

I may have broken my spending ban a little, but oddly enough its with clothes again and not cosmetics and makeup. Something strange is going on.  These are purchases from Primark and H&M.  I personally love Primark hauls as it is the only way of knowing what kinds of things are in store as they don't have an updated website with all their stock.
Black and White Aztec Top - £4
 Grey Peplum - £3 Sale
Sheer Alphabet Blouse - £12 (Primark is definitely upping their prices)
Black Sheer Blouse - £5
Beige Cardigan with Shoulder Detail - £14 (again a few years ago, this would have never been this price)
Navy Jumper - £5
Seamfree Built in Cup Top - £5
Black Asymmetric Dress - £7 Sale
Coral Skater Dress - £13 (there are identical versions to this in Miss Selfridge for a lot more)
Green Shorts - £2 Sale
 Headband - £1.50
Eyelash Curlers - £1
Back combing Brush - £1
 Water Bottle - £2
Pack of 3 Flannels - £2.50
Hair Doughnut - £1
 Studded Handbag - £6
Sandals - £6 each

While H&M had 20% student discount, I thought I would take advantage.
Yellow Blazer - £30
Mint Green Jumper - £15
Grey Skull Dress (looks so much better on) - £15

I prefer to do hauls showing each item as I have done here, but let me know if it is too picture focused. 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

You probably don't need to me to tell you how the Real Techniques brushes have basically claimed world domination on the makeup brush front. I took a while before purchasing any as I know how some things can be massively over hyped so I thought I would bide my time and take a step back.  
Real Techniques is a brand created by Samantha Chapman, who is a professional makeup artist and one half of the Pixiwoo sisters over on YouTube. There is also a Real Techniques channel if you want to see how Samantha herself uses these brushes. 
I decided to go for the Expert Face Brush out of the whole collection for two main reasons. Firstly, I am really into having a perfect base at the moment so I am loving new foundation brushes (but I didn't want the buffing brush from the core collection).  And secondly, because though I wanted to see what people said about the brand, I wanted to try out a brush that I hadn't really seen a lot about as I wanted to form my own opinion without all the hype around the specific product.
To begin with, this is going to shock a lot of people, I didn't really see the massive hype about it. It was soft, dense and applied my foundation nicely, but I didn't get the 'WOW this is amazing' feeling. Before this, I had been using a Coastal Scents Flat Top Kabuki and didn't really see why I would prefer this over that brush. I do however, really like the design, the gold handle and the thicker base for it to stand up independently, really makes them seem unique. The brushes are colour coordinated into groups, gold to get the perfect base, purple for eyes and pink for face brushes.
In terms of the brush itself, it was only after I had washed it that I started seeing what people had been saying.  Don't get me wrong I never thought this was a bad brush or anything, I thought I would be getting better results. After washing there was no shedding and it dried very quickly considering how dense the bristles are. I now saw a better finish, it is meant to give a slightly more opaque coverage than what the buffing brush does, just for reference. I really like the finish that I get with the Expert Face Brush, blends beautifully and evenly, I find it works with a stippling motion too for the areas that need slightly more coverage. Though I use mine to apply liquid foundation, it can be used for cream products too. I have cream foundations that I really enjoyed using this with, and I found that unlike some other brushes it doesn't retain that much of the product so you don't waste as much. 
I would definitely say if you are looking for a foundation brush you should try and get your hands on this brush. I say try because it took me 4 attempts at various different Boots before managing to nab the last one from the shelf. At £9.99 I wouldn't call this dirt cheap, but I think for the quality, versatility and finish that you can achieve I think this is worth the money.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Goodbye Google Reader

So you may have heard that as of July 1st Google Reader will be no more. This means that the 'Join This Site' button with the pictures of the followers will no longer exist on anyone's blog. Many followers will be lost from everyone and it is very frustrating for bloggers that have worked so hard. 
Everyone is probably going to be doing a post like this so I am sorry if this seems really repetitive. If you enjoy my blog please follow me on other media platforms so you don't miss any of my posts when that fateful comes. 
Remember to spread the word as I don't want anyone to lose the support that everyone has built up.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Relaxing Day At The Spa

All the way back on my 21st birthday, my amazing friends surprised me with a voucher for a facial and aromatherapy massage at a Dove Spa.  A couple of weeks ago I booked my session and off I went to be pampered. It was my first professional massage so I didn't really know what to expect. 
When I first arrived I was shown to a seating area and had to fill out a form. It was just checking for health problems or if I have had any surgery. The waiting room was lovely and fresh looking. There were some sale products on a little table which I had a look at and a jug of water for us to help ourselves to. I felt relaxed as soon as I walked in there.
I then had a skin diagnostic, these are free and available to anyone I believe. I found this so interesting and I'm not a big skincare buff. A little machine was used to test the hydration, moisture, skin pigmentation and skin elasticity. I also answered some general lifestyle and skin questions so that the sensitivity of my skin was analysed.  I found the elasticity of my skin the most fascinating, and the woman could tell me what side of my body I slept on due to the skin on the side of my face. I was told that based on the tests and question, my 'skin age' (it's too embarrassing to say) and that I should be wearing a minimum SPF of 30. The results showed that I should be using products more suited to my dry skin as the moisturiser that I am currently using is for sensitive skin. I was really impressed with this service and everything was explained nice and clearly for me.
I went on to have my aromatherapy massage which was definitely the best half an hour of my life. The woman that I had was really friendly so I felt really comfortable and at ease.  She asked me if there was a certain place on my back that I would like more attention with, and I told her that I had been having really back neck ache. It was weird because she moved something in my neck, and she told me that it was a knot and my neck felt very tense. I found out I had lots of knots in my neck and back so that would be why I kept pulling my neck out when I stretched. Since I've had my massage I haven't had any pain my neck at all, some people might think it's all psychological, but I honestly believe she has helped it 100%.
Lastly, I had a facial, to be honest I preferred my back massage. I think there are more techniques that can be used on the back, whereas the face is smaller so all the motions are relatively the same. I did really enjoy it though and she used some really nice products on me. I was so relaxed and I loved having the hot towel wrapped over my face (I'm being serious). I would recommend both of these treatments I was really very impressed.
As I said there were products that were used during my facial, and these were chosen by the woman to match my skin type, so this is why the skin diagnostic is important. She also recommended to me various products that she thought would be really good for me and my skin. I was interested in the eye cream as she had scared me a little about my wrinkles. I did feel that they pushed the products a little bit which is what let the whole experience down.
I obviously don't know how much the whole thing cost as it was a present but for more information visit the Dove Spa Website. There are 21 spas across the country, for me I did have to travel a bit as there it's one immediately near me, but it was worth it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this and would definitely book again. I think this is a lovely gift for a friend or mum. I am also very grateful to my friends for this experience, I honestly just expected a card a maybe a drink from one or two of them. They really surprised me and I love them all for it.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

February Favourites

I didn't wear a lot of makeup towards the end of the month so these are manly items that I was really enjoying before I got ill.  
No7 Essential Moisture Cream - I've had this for a while and seem to dabble in and out of it mainly because I wasn't a fan of its thick consistency. Since putting this in my Project 10 Pan I have learnt the importance about using the right products for my skin type. Having dry skin means I have had to get used to using a thicker formula than before and so now I really like this and can see a difference in my skin.

Models Own Northern Lights - Part of the Wonderland collection that was released in September I tried for ages to get hold of this but was sold out. I am not normally a fan of glitter nail polishes as they can take so long to get off. I made an exception for this shade as I really like it and looks really nice. You can see a NOTD using Northern Lights here.

HD Brow Kit - I received this back in the Summer via a Glossybox subscription. For me, this is one of those products that you don't realise how good it is until you use something else. I went back to my ELF brow kit and it did nothing for me. I prefer using powder over wax or pencils nowadays, it looks the most natural. This kit is lovely, mine is in shade Foxy, and all 4 matte shades can also be used as eyeshadows. I use the lighter brown shade for everyday and the darker shade for nights out because it balances out the fact I would be wearing more makeup than on an everyday basis. 

Maybelline Eyeshadow - I don't even remember buying this but I found it when I was rooting around for items to include in my Project 10 Pan, which seems to be taking over my life according to this post. Anyway, I really like this and I'm not saying it is a complete dupe but it does remind me a little of Sin by Urban Decay. It has more of a purple undertone and it sheerer but it is easier when travelling to take one single shadow than a full palette.

Sleek Blush by 3 Lace - I love this little palette of blushes, really good quality and lovely vibrant shades. I know Sleek love a bold colour but I really hope they bring out a more natural palette for everyday use. The red can be a bit scary at 9 o'clock Monday morning.

L'Oreal Caress Lipsticks - I love these and are probably my favourite lipsticks for a sheer moisturised look to my lips. I love the packaging, the shade range and how lovely they feel on the lips. I have a few of these now so I am planning on doing a collection/review on these as they are perfect for the warmer months when you don't want anything too heavy.

Friday, 8 March 2013

NOTD Simple Nude Twist

As much as I love nail varnish, and trust me I have my fair share of shades, I never get round to applying any. Last month I was determined to have something on my nails. I kept it simple but this is what I was sporting a lot in February.
 I applied Maybelline Forever Strong in Rose Poudre on all fingers apart from my ring finger. Then Models Own Northern Lights on the ring finger. I love this trend when it's subtle.
I only used one coat for each shade, so for a more opaque finish a second coat would be needed. I also finished off the Rose Poudre with a Sally Hanson topcoat.
This lasted about 4/5 days which I thought was really good.
What have you been wearing on your nails.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Life Through a Lens #3

February started off really well, however towards the end of the month I became ill with glandular fever (over exam time which wasn't ideal.) I love using this as a diary for me to look back on so I have included some random memories this month.
1. I love a good takeaway, me and my boyfriend spent a weekend in just relaxing. So naturally neither of us wanted to cook.
2. For a while we have also been a little bit addicted to Millies Cookies, they are amazing. We managed to collect our stamps and got 4 free, I think it was.
3. This month I also had a cheeky lunch time trip with my boyfriend's mum to Pizza Hut, and I have a new favourite. King of the Coast! Go try it, but not if you aren't a fan of king prawns.
4. I also had dinner trips with some friends. On place was a lovely cocktail bar/restaurant in Essex.
1./4. I had a week of being a bit pamper mad where I painted my nails and made my own spa night complete with a relaxing bath.
2. This was sparked by my spa treatments at the Dove Spa which I will be doing a post on next week.
3. The Valentine's Box from Glossybox was so pretty this month I had to include it. To see what I received this month click here.
Valentine's Day was amazing, my boyfriend never fails to not surprise me in some way. Actually, we celebrated it on Friday 15th this year as we couldn't see each other on 14th.
I didn't know until Valentine's that my boyfriend had actually arranged anything and even then all I knew was that we were going to London.
1. I got into the spirit and wore a rose gold/purple eye look.
2. It turned out that my boyfriend had bought us tickets to see The Lion King at the theatre, it was absolutely amazing and I cannot express how lucky I am.
3./4. The last two pictures are some of the bits I got for my boyfriend, we normally don't get big presents so I warned him he was going to be disappointed with my offerings this year.
Sorry for all you Valentines haters that thought you had heard enough for one year.
1. My spending ban kind of went out the window clothes wise as I found some bargains in Primark, post to be up soon.
2. I have been really ill this month with tonsillitis so I've been taking it slow as I've had exams and don't want to get too stressed.
3. My new yellow blazer from H&M, I used my Unidays discount and got this 20% off. I'm looking forward to the summer when I can whack this bad boy out.
4. Still without breaking my spending ban, Maybelline have 3 for 2 on in Boots. So me and my Boots card made some purchases.

I love seeing these so let me know if you do updates.
© Buttons and Bows X. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig