Monday, 27 January 2014

Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub

My lips have not liked these cold months, they are dry at the best of times so you can only imagine what they have been like recently. After speaking to a few people, the Lush lip scrubs were recommended so I decided to give it a try. In store, there wasn't a huge selection of flavours (?!) to try and Popcorn was the only scent I really liked.
The scrub comes in a small pot however only a little of the product is needed so its sure to last you a while! The scrub contains coconut oil and sugar, and leaves a lovely buttery taste on the lips. To use the lip scrub properly, you put a little on your finger and then gently rub in circular motions into the lips. Then lick the remainder of the scrub off, gosh that could have sounded a bit dodge. Anyway, the scrub is supposed to remove any dry skin from the lips,leaving them soft and smooth. Although the scrub does remove a lot of the dry skin, it doesn't seem to get to the larger areas, which is my biggest problem as lip products tend to cling to these areas.
I do like this product; it smells and tastes a-mazing, and it does remove most of the dryness from my lips with just a small amount of the product used. I think if you're suffering with chapped lips this winter, then I would recommend this however don't expect to get baby soft lips after the first use.

Has anyone else tried any of these scrubs?

Friday, 24 January 2014

Revlon Nearly Naked Powder

 Although I love my Rimmel Stay Matte powder, I wanted to try a new powder just for a bit of variety really. I have heard mixed reviews about this powder, however I am in love with the Nearly Naked foundation so I thought I would give it a go.
I picked up the shade 010 Fair, which is perfect for my skin tone. The powder comes in quite large packaging which is a bit of an inconvenience if you only have a small bag (on a night out for example). The packaging contains a small mirror and a little powder puff which is a cute little detail, however I stuck to my trusty powder brush!
On application the powder is glorious. It isn't at all heavy on the skin and doesn't look like you have been 'caked' in make up. I have received so many compliments on my skin when I have worn his powder. Its also brilliant for buffing out any unwanted bronzer or blush lines and just giving the skin a general flawless tone to it.
This is now on par with Stay Matte as my favourite powder, I really love it. The only thing I would change is the packaging as I would prefer something a bit more compact.
Has anyone else tried this powder?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Rimmel Apocalips in Big Bang

Last year Rimmel launched these amazing lip lacquers and in the Autumn they released a new collection of shades, including Big Bang. I already have the shades Galaxy, Out of This World, Nude Eclipse and Apocaliptic (see my post on those shades here) however I was after a really glossy red shade which would be perfect for any parties and nights out.
Big Bang is a beautiful orange toned red. It still has the glossiness of the Apocalips but creates an amazing bold lip which looks perfect with simple eye make up. The idea of the Apocalips is that they are, effectively, liquid lip sticks (if that even makes sense). They apply like a dream and have amazing staying power, even the gloss stays put! This has been perfect for me during the festive period as I've worn this out and haven't had to reapply, after a couple of hours my lips were still that glamourous bold shade of red.
I think this has become my favourite bold lip product, I love how glossy and bright it is and that it stays put for ages!
Has anyone tried this or any of the other new Apocalips shades?

Sunday, 19 January 2014

High End Beauty Wishlist 2014

So when I started blogging a few months ago, I wasn't fussed about high end products, in my eyes I could find something equally as good on the high street. However since this, I have realised that, yes there are pretty good dupes in the drug stores, but there are some products that I just have to try the real thing. So I thought would share with you some of the high end beauty products that I am desperate to try...

Urban Decay Naked Palettes
With the recent release of Naked 3 from Urban Decay, there have been hoards of reviews in the blogosphere and every time I read one, I feel like I'm missing out on something great by not having even tried any of the Naked palettes. I don't think Naked 3 is for me as it is a palette of rose-hued neutrals, however the first two are absolutely up my street! I'm not sure whether to just try the Naked Basics palette first or to just take the plunge and go for one of the larger ones. What do you think?
Nars Laguna Bronzing Powder
This bronzer made it to most of the 'Top Products of 2013' posts that I read during the New Year, and I have had it in my sights for some time now. The bronzer I currently use is one from Bourjois which I really like, but I have seen and read so many reviews about this product that I think the time has come for me to see if its really what everyone raves about.
Mac Vanilla Pigment
I have wanted this for such a long time now, I was going to buy it before Christmas but I persuaded myself to wait. I have tried to find similar products but nothing seems to come close. If anyone knows of any good dupes, please let me know. I think this would look beautiful as a highlighter to the cheek and brow bones or in the inner corners of the eyes.
Benefit Coralista Blush
I actually already have this blush, I received a sample of it a while ago and I have fallen in love! Its the perfect blush for me, and applies like a dream. Its a gorgeous coral shade, and gives your cheelks that subtle pink colour without being too extreme. So when my sample runs out, I might make this my first high end purchase!
Illamasqua Cream Pigment
I have seen this product on a lot of 'Get Ready With Me' videos, particularly on LLYMLRS's channel, and it seems like such a versatile product that I think I would be able to justify the price. I've seen it used a cream blush and as a lip product. I love cream blushers so would definitely use it for that and, as long as its not too drying, use it on my lips too.
Mac Lipstick
Would a highend wishlist be complete without this?! I have put off investing (yes, I do believe it will be an investment) in a Mac lipstick for sometime and although I am ready to make the purchase, I am a bit overwhelmed by the shade choices, there are so many! My local Debenhams stocks Mac makeup so I might just have a venture in there and swatch a few of the shades. I really like the lok of Crème Cup and Hue, I would want a shade that is versatile.
Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation
Another product I have seen pop up in many 'Get Ready With Me' videos, and I just need to know for myself if this really does create the perfect, flawless base. I did want to try Nars Sheer Glow but as my skin is already quite oily, I think it would be better trying this or the Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser. Again, this is a product I will go in store to swatch.
There are a few other products I want to try but these are the ones that have been sat in my wishlist for months now. I think everyone deserve treats every now and then, I work hard and I'm striving to make this year a happier one, and buying beautiful things makes me happy.
Does anyone have any reviews on these products? Leave links and I will check them out.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Bourjois Colour Boosts in Plum Russian

In case you missed it, the summer of 2013 saw the release of the Colour Boosts from Bourjois. They are basically dupes of Cliniques Chubby Sticks, glossy lip stains in the form of pencils. Theyre really easy to apply and, although the glossiness soon wears off, the colour stains the lips so the colour lasts a while. I already have the shades Orange Punch and Red Sunrise which were part of the summer releases.
When Autumn came, 2 more shades were released including Plum Russian. As you can see, Plum Russian is a deep berry shade which is perfect for the colder months as it has a warm feel to it. The packaging seems quite dark compared to the actual shade which isn't too dark so is perfect if you want a bit of  vampy lip but don't want to go all out goth/emo etc.
I really like the Colour Boosts anyway, and I've been getting a lot of use out of this Autumnal shade.
Has anyone else tried this shade, or any of the others?

Thursday, 16 January 2014

A Month In Instagram #1

So as part of my New Year post (which you can have a nose at here) I said I wanted to include more lifestyle posts on my blog. Instagram is my favourite social network, they say a picture tells 1000 words right? So I thought I would show you all my favourite pictures I have posted on Instagram in the last month....

As you can see, bit of a random selection; a few shameless selfies, some Christmas snaps and a couple of beauty/nail related photos. If you want to follow me on Instagram, I'm over at gemmaford.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Mini Lush Haul

Although I love Lush products, Lush isn't a store I generally venture into unless I'm buying a gift for someone as I think their products are extra special and make lovely gifts. So around the Christmas shopping period I popped into Lush to pick up some gifts, however their super friendly and informative staff 'persuaded' me that I need these products in my life. So lets have a look at what I bought...
Popcorn Lip Scrub
I have been after one of these for ages as I'm always reading about them on blogs etc. and with the weather leaving my lips in a horrid dry state, the time came for me to make my purchase. I wasn't overly impressed with the different flavours (I guess that's what they are called?!) but I fell in love with the smell of Popcorn. As you may or may not know, I am awful at describing scents, but this has a lovely toffee smell to it, which you can taste when the product is on the lips. I use a very little bit to exfoliate my lips before I apply moisturiser. It removes any of the horrible dry skin that lipsticks love to cling to, and just makes my lips feel and look smooth.
Feeling Younger Skin Tint
I was originally after a Lush pigment as I have heard a lot about them, but when I explained I wanted something to use as a highlighter the ever so helpful member of staff pointed me in the direction of this little beauty. I haven't used this yet but I did try the sample in store. The product itself is of a creamy consistency and is extremely easy to blend into the skin. Its a little thicker than some liquid highlighters, and is ever so pigmented so only a little is needed. I'm really happy I went for this in the end.
Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask
Another Lush product I have been desperate too try-Love Lettuce is a thick face mask that you apply and leave on for 5-10 minutes. Its best suited to normal-oily skin which is great for me. It has refreshing scent and leaves the skin feeling radiant and exfoliated. I would definitely recommend this to someone who is after trying a new face mask.
Karma Soap
I got this as a freebie and although I wouldn't normally buy a bar of soap, this one is lovely and has a beautiful, luxurious scent to it.
So there we have it. Although Lush products can be a tad pricey, they're great and so lovely to use.
Has anyone else had a recent Lush splurge?

Sunday, 12 January 2014

L'Oreal Skin Perfection Cleansing Oil

As someone who suffers with oily skin, the thought of using an oil based cleanser frightened me to death, however I decided to give it a go after speaking to a few different people. I have been using this to remove my makeup instead of a miceller water. On the bottle, it claims to instantly dissolve makeup (including waterproof). I have to say I don't think it does as good a job as a miceller water at removing make up-when I use my second cleanser there is still a considerable amount of make up left on my face.
I haven't noticed a change in my skin when using this product, its neither got any worse nor better, and I haven't noticed my skin become more oily than normal but I don't think I would risk using this product in the summer. It also says on the bottle that the product is lightweight and non-greasy, unfortunately I would have to totally disagree with this. I apply this to a cotton wool pad first and I find it doesn't absorb well at all. Its also feels very much greasy and heavy once applied to my skin, and my second cleanser is having the job of removing the remaining oil from the skin.
So overall I was disappointed with this product but I knew I was taking a risk with it due to its consistency. I will continue to use it however I think once the bottle is empty I will go back to my beloved miceller water.
Has anyone else tried this product? What were your thoughts? I would love to know!

Friday, 10 January 2014

What's In My...Gym Bag

So, like many of you I bet, January is the month that I get back on track with my diet, fitness, and just overall healthiness (not sure that's a word?!). Anyway, in an effort to motivate others, I thought I would show you all what I take with me when I visit the gym.

I recently upgraded my gym bag from the medium grip Nike bag to the large. Although the smaller one had a compartment for my shoes, this one is so much better for carting everything around in. I also added this Slazenger water bottle to my collection-I know these are supposed to cause food poisoning but I've never had problems with them before AND I have been washing this one after every use.

As you can see the bag has two compartments-the main part of the bag for all the bulky things I carry around like my trainers, towels, toiletries bag and gym kit. The compartment at the end is more roomy than it looks but I just put any loose bits in there so I don't lose them in amongst my gym kit and towels.

Face Wipes
I know this is incredibly naughty, but they are handy just to quickly remove any make up before a workout or before going swimming-no one likes panda eyes after all!

Tangle Teezer
My favourite brush has to accompany me to the gym. When I wash my hair it can get very knotty so this little beauty always comes in handy.

Does this really need an explanation? Basically I don't want to smell vile in the gym, and a smaller bottle is easier to cart around.

I use these in every shower I have. They're brilliant for saving shower gel as they lather up so much, plus they're great for exfoliating.

IPhone/IPod case and Headphones
I cannot work-out without some decent music and as none of my gym kit has pockets, this arm case is perfect for work-out sessions. Its also great for when I exercise outdoors. The only downside is its a bit of a pain to get my iPhone in and out of the case if I want to change a song or turn the volume up or down.

Swimming Costume
The gym I go to is linked to a spa so as part of my membership I get full use of the spa facilities. This includes a swimming pool so as part of my new year fitness regime, I am going to try to go swimming once a week. I'm not the strongest swimmer in the world but I want to try and improve that by swimming more often.

Gym Kit
I have a variety of clothes to work out in but this is what I normally go for-a pair of yoga pants, a sports top and, of course, a trusty sports bra. These trousers I got from H&M last year and I love them, they are so easy to move in. The top and the bra are both recent purchases from the Sports Direct sale.
I love these beauties. I got them a few months ago from a Nike Outlet store (they are included in a haul I posted here). They are so comfy and perfect for working out in. However they are very bulky so can be a pain if I'm using equipment with foot straps such as an exercise bike or a rowing machine.

Face Moisturiser
I have a selection of face moisturisers to choose from, but this is my current favourite. It is from Simple (which is one of my favourites anyway) and isn't greasy, and has a lovely fresh feel about it. After washing my face in the shower, I think its important to moisturise too, especially in these colder months.

Hair Oil
I use this after I have washed my hair just to add some moisture back into the ends. This one is the coconut beautifying oil from The Body shop which You can see my full review of here.

Another obvious choice I'm sure?!
Face Wash
I always take a face wash to the gym with me just to give my face a good clean after working out as, obviously, my face can get quite sweaty so its nice to give it a proper wash. I'm currently loving this one purely because of the scent-its very fresh and wakes me up a bit if I'm feeling tired after a work-out.
Shower Gel
Another obvious choice however I always pick a shower gel with a strong, refreshing scent because after a work out you may be a bit sweaty and pongy so a strong scent is a must really to feel squeaky clean!
Body Moisturiser
I don't always use the in-shower one but I've been loving this at the minute so I normally reach for this. However I do have a selection of moisturisers and body butters that I choose from to take with me to keep my skin moisturised, especially during these colder months.

Shampoo and Conditioner
I usually wash my hair at the gym, in fact I try to time my visits as to when I need my hair washing. The shampoo is one I've been using at the minute however I'm not sold on it at all, I definitely won't be repurchasing this. On the other flip of the coin, my favourite conditioners are back! I love Herbal Essences anyway so when I heard the classic range was making a comeback I did a little skip of joy for my hair (ok I didn't but you get the gist). The smell is so beautiful and these conditioners leave my hair feeling so soft and smooth, I'm so happy they have brought them back!
So that is it folks! I love posts like this purely because I'm one hell of a nosey parker. I hope you've enjoyed reading and that it has given you a bit of motivation to start working out-I swear just getting myself to the gym is the hardest part!
Does anyone else have a post similar? I would love to have a nose!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Seventeen Stay Time 18 Hour Concealer

In case you're unaware, Seventeen had a rebrand a few months ago, and with that they launched some new products including this concealer. I don't know if I am the only one, but I was eager to see how it compared to the Holy Grail drugstore concealer that is Collection Lasting Perfection.
I decided to pick a lighter shade than my skin tone, I think this works well with concealers, especially for under the eyes. On first impressions, this concealer isn't as thick in consistency as the Collection one yet it still has a lovely creamy feel to it. It has a typical doe foot applicator, I found this concealer extremely easy to work with and blend using a buffing brush.
After using it for a month or so now, I really love it. Some days when I don't want too heavy coverage I would much rather use this over Lasting Perfection, just because it seems a bit thinner and not so heavy on the skin.
This is a really lovely concealer, and is perfect if you're just starting to experiment with makeup as it is affordable, or if you're after a concealer with lighter coverage for during the day.
Has anyone else tried this concealer?

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Barry M Smokin Hot Palette

I have already tried the Barry M Natural Glow palette and wasn't impressed with that (see my review here) so after receiving this as a gift, I was pretty keen to see how it compared.
Like the Natural Glow palette, there are 6 eye shadows which all have a shimmery finish bar one matte finish, and a blush. The two pale shades are a white and a pink, both of these would be ideal as highlighter shades for the inner corners or under the brow bone. The other four shades are darker which, together, could be used to perfect a smoky eye look. There are two grey shades and two black shades, one of which is the matte eye shadow.
I really wasn't expecting much from these eye shadows as the other palette was such a disappointment, and this failed to change my opinion. The eye shadows are very poorly pigmented and their staying power is absolutely rubbish. This makes them really hard to work with, and are not ideal to create a smoky eye look for a night out due to the poor staying power.
The blush in the other palette I actually quite like as its the perfect highlighter shade, however this blush is deeper toned so couldn't really be used as a highlighter. Again, the blush is badly pigmented so a lot of the product is needed for it to make an appearance on the skin!
I am so disappointed with these palettes, I love Barry M and these have the potential to be great but they really aren't worth bothering with! I don't like posting negative reviews but its good to know what products to avoid.
Has anyone else tried this product? What are your thoughts?

Friday, 3 January 2014

2013 Favourite Beauty Products


2013 is over! Am I the only one who thinks this year has gone waaaaaay too fast?! This year has been one of the hardest I've had to face yet, however one of the few good things that came out of this year was A Little Gem,  and with that my love for beauty has grown enormously! I have discovered a lot of amazing products this year, aswell as disovering some amazing bloggers along the way.  Some of the products I have featured in this post I have done full reviews on so I will leave links if you fancy checking those out. So I think I'll get straight to it...
Nivea In Shower Moisturiser
This product had a mix of reviews when it was released earlier in the year. It was a product I was keen to try but never got round to it till quite a while after its release. I suffer from very dry skin on the tops of my arms/shoulders so am always after a good moisturiser. Plus moisturising in the freezing cold is one of the worst things ever! I have continued to buy this and use it at most shower times and I have noticed a big difference in my skin, especially on the dry skin on my arms.
Seventeen Wow! 3 Way Highlighter
Seventeen had a bit of a rebrand a few months ago and as part of this they launched a number of new products including this amazing highlighter. This highlighter is beautiful and so easy to work with. It leaves a lovely, natural-looking glow to the skin. I use it over my foundation on my cheek bones, forehead, bridge of my nose and cupids bow. I have heard some say they use this as a primer too as it gives a lovely radiant all over glow. I have done a full review of this lovely product here.
Tangle Teezer
As soon as I discovered Beauty Blogging, this was a tool that very quickly made its way to the top of my wishlist. This year I have worked hard to get my hair in better condition and tried to help it grow a bit more. Every blogger and their dog has this beauty of a hair brush so I had to try it, and oh boy am I glad I did! (Note to self-must use the phrase 'oh boy' more often.) Every three months I have my roots done with bleach and this leaves my hair awfully dry and therefore becomes tangled very easily, however with this baby its no problem! I have never used a brush like this that smooths any tangles without any pain or discomfort. If you have long hair I would absolutely give this a go! See the full review here.
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
This was my go-to product of the summer. I suffer from oily skin on my face and in the heat, liquid foundation has no chance. However teamed with this beauty, my make up stayed beautifully in place and kept the shine at bay. As you can see from the photos above, I have hit pan (*sad face*) however a new unopened powder is ready and waiting to be used. If you suffer from oily skin too, then I would definitely give this a go!
Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Blemish Stick
I don't tend to get many spots however when I do they seem to hang around forever! I picked this little gem up in Boots on a 3 for 2 and I haven't looked back since. As soon as I can see a spot or a blemish beginning to show, I put a bit of this on before bed and by the time I wake up the spot/blemish has disappeared. Its the best spot treatment I have ever used, if you're a teenager going through that dreaded spot phase then I would definitely recommend using this. Its cheap and extremely easy to use. I have done a full review on this that you can check out here if you wish.
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Real Techniques brushes have been one of my favourite beauty discoveries of 2013 and I found it very hard to pick just one that has been my favourite but I had to go with this one as it has changed the way I apply make up completely. I never used to think about using a brush to blend in foundation however using this brush, my foundation is left looking flawless and even. If you have never tried a Real Techniques brush then definitely give it a go. A good start would be the Core Collection. You can see my review for this brush here, and for the core collection here.
Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara
A bit of a strange favourite for 2013 as I don't pay too much attention to the mascara I use but I had to include this as I literally use it every day. It doesn't leave my eye lashes lumpy and doesn't flake so is great for every day use. It also has a lovely long wand which I find much easier to use, especialy for the lower lashes.
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
This is definitely up there with beauty bloggers holy grail products and I can absolutely see why! For a cheap price tag, this concealer is pretty darn fantastic. It has a thick creamy consistency and yet is very easy to blend. I use this under my foundation for dark circles and any blemishes before I even out my skin tone with the foundation. This is the best concealer I have ever used by far, and I use it almost every day. I cannot fault it whatsoever.
Collection Fast Stroke Liquid Liner
Until about 4 months ago I never wore eye liner but after months of reading blogs and watching youtube videos, I decided to pluck up the courage and go for it! I wanted a good liquid eye liner but didn't want to spend too much in case I didn't like the finished look. Collection is a cheap and cheerful brand so that's the reason I picked this product up. Ok, I don't have anything to compare it with, but I love it! I have recently picked up the brown shade aswell. The liner is really easy to work with (I have even mastered flicks with it!) and stays put for ages!
Wella Oil Reflections
This has probably been my number one product of 2013. It has completely changed the condition of my hair. I started using it about 6 months ago and since then I have noticed a huge difference in the condition and length of my hair, and have also received a great number of compliments on my hair. My mum got this for me as she is a hairdresser, but I think it retails for about £14 or so. I use it after washing and towel-drying my hair. It has a beautiful scent to it and just feels luxurious when I apply it to my hair. To see my full review click here.
So there we go, my top procuts of 2013! I've loved discovering beauty blogging and, with it, lots of lovely new products. Its hard to explain my passion for it to someone who doesn't frequently read blogs or blog themselves. It was very very hard to narrow down my favourites collection but thse are the products that I have continuously used and, as yet, I have not been let down by them.
What have been your top products for 2013? Have you been loving any of these?