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Thursday 27 September 2012

Burt's Bees | Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil

A while back now I won a giveaway prize off the very lovely Jodie. It was the first giveaway i'd ever won so I was a very happy chappy and I recieved some really great products to try. She's recently helped me with a blogger layout question and is just an all round good egg :) Of course, it goes without saying if you're after some new blogs to follow then hop on over.

'Bring your lips back to beautiful. This replenishing and hydrating natural lip balm is infused with the antioxidant goodness of pomegranate oil. It replenishes moisture to reveal smooth, healthy lips, while it coats them with a hint of color for an even-toned appearance'

I've tried Burts Bees briefly in the past (pre-blogging days) and I don't think i really appreciated what makes a good lip product. This has turned out to be one of my favourite lip balms to use - and I keep it on my bedside table to apply morning and night, and often throw it in my handbag for work. I usually suffer with dry lips but since i've been using this on a regular basis I've found them to be in much better condition. Unlike some balms that 'sit' on top of your lips, this one provides an instant moisture barrier that isn't greasy or 'slippy' - and due to the colour, doesn't leave an ugly white residue. It also smells delicious - subtle but really natural and sweet. I also love the fact that all the ingredients are 100% natural.The selection of balms have different benefits, which I think is really handy since at different times of the year I find other textures/types of balm work better - theres something for everyone: 'Rejuvinating', 'Nourishing', 'Replenishing' and 'Refreshing'. There's no doubt i'll be trying a few more Burt's Bees products now (I have my eye on the lip shimmers!) Thanks to Jodie for introducing me to such a fabulous brand! You can view the range of balms available here.

Which Burt's Bees products are your favourites?

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Recent Beauty Buys

Boots Vitamin E Eye Cream / Toni & Guy Sea Salt Spray / Revlon Lip Butter 'Creme Brulee' / Maxfactor 'Ruby Tuesday' / Barry M Dazzle Dust / Collection Polish in 'Big Hair' / Nyx Cream Blush '01 Natural' / Collection Blush & Highlight Cream Duo / Barry M Waterproof Eyeliners

As a beauty blogger, there's nothing I love more than nipping into Boots of a morning before a inevitable cruddy day at work, and treating myself to an array of beauty products to get my little bloggery mitts into. I often don't do beauty 'hauls' and tend to wait until I can review things separetly if they are worth a mention, but since I bought a few bits I thought I'd show you what I've been throwing into my basket of late! A few of these are old favourites, but there's a select few newbies in here that I've been testing the past fortnight or so (I bought all of this before my holiday) Hopefully you'll be seeing some of these in my monthly favourites or a review post very soon...

Monday 24 September 2012

A Compilation of Summery Floral Nails | Beauty & The Beach Competition

I was recently contacted by Charlotte from Travel Supermaket informing me about their 'Beauty & The Beach' competition for beauty bloggers. I thought this would be something really fun to do, and of course a great excuse to round up my favourite looks of the Summer.

I don't think I really need to tell you what kind of nail art i've taken a fancy to this summer, do i? A Cath Kidston inspired manicure has been my 'go to' look this year; theres just something I love about having little rose shaped dots adorning my nails in pretty pastel shades and having 'statement' nails to make a change from the usual flat colour. Suprisingly, they are rather easy and fairly simple to do - I'm sure you've all seen my posts on these nail looks by now but if not then click here to see my first post describing how I did this. You don't need posh nail art pens - just a selection of your favourites polishes and a pin or cocktail stick!

I love the fact they are so versatile - on a recent holiday I went for flourescent pink and orange roses - You really can go as colourful as you like with this look and i'll definitely be trying an autumn/winter adaptation at some stage, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

About the Competition -

1. Publish a Beauty and the Beach post on your blog with images of your best holiday nails, hair and make-up. You may enter just one of the categories or all three if you feel you have suitable photos for each.
2. Nominate 5 fellow bloggers to take part in Beauty and the Beach and let them know via Facebook or Twitter.
3. Closing date for entries is September 26th, 2012. Let us know of your entry by one of the following methods:
-Tagging the Facebook page in a post about your blog post from your Facebook page.
-Tweet them at @travelsupermkt including the #beautyandthebeach hashtag with a link to your blog post.
-Email them your entry at including a link to your blog post, your name and your email address.

What has been your favourite nail art trend this spring/summer?

Sunday 23 September 2012

Primark Shoe Haul | Studded Boots & Houndstooth Slippers

 Studded Boots - £18 / Houndstooth Slipper Shoes - £8 - Both from Primark

I popped into Primark just recently before the late shift at work (dangerous territory I must admit - If i wasn't pushed for time I could have come away with much more), and treated myself to a couple of pairs of shoes. I'm starting to love Primark for their shoes just recently - they are definitely upping their game in the fashion stakes - gone are the days when I would avoid the shoe section for fear of getting lost amongst the racks of cheapy looking plastic ballet pumps! You still have to have a good look through, but the quality has definitely been improved and they often do some amazing copies of more expensive versions seen on the high-street. The studded boots are such good quality for the price and block heels are perfect for day wear with jeans or tights - I'm going to get some little ankle socks to wear with them. The slipper shoes will be great for lazy days with leggings or if i'm just driving to the shops and houndstooth print is making a comeback this season. I love the leather-look piping around the edges.

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Top 5 | Lipsticks - Corals & Oranges

Swatches L-R / 1. Topshop 'Charmed' / 2. Rimmel 'Coral In Gold' / 3. Topshop 'Infrared' / 4. Mac 'Costa Chic' / 5. 17 'Hot Flash' /

Coral is one of my favourite colours to wear on the lips, especially in the warmer months. I know that Summer is fast coming to an end, but I thought I'd do a little run through of my Top 5 Corals & Oranges of the season - along with a couple of my all time favourite coral tones that I wear all year round.

Topshop 'Charmed' - This reminds me so much of Mac's 'Ravishing'. This is very much your typical 'peaches and cream' shade and looks amazing when paired with a peach blush swirled onto the cheeks. This colour was from a collection at Topshop which I believe isn't available anymore, but they have very similar tones in their permanent range (see 'Ooh La La').

Rimmel 'Coral In Gold' - If a more frosted finish is your thing then this colour is a great one to opt for - I find it more suitable for day wear due to the subtle shimmer in it - which takes away the shocking 'block colour' effect. I did a 'Face of the Day' with this lipstick (a rather long time ago now) - if you fancy having look then click here.

Topshop 'Infrared' - Orange has definitely overtaken the classic red lip this summer. If you haven't heard of this lipstick by now then you must have been hibernating in a cave somewhere... This is the most flattering, vibrant orange shade and it's also suprisingly wearable. I usually struggle to get orange to work for me as I lean towards cooler shades, but this one seems fairly neutral and looks flattering on the lips with or without a tan. Topshop lipsticks are of fabulous quality and the range is constantly changing with new shades and seasonal specials - If you've yet to try one then I urge you to give them a go.

Mac 'Costa Chic' - This is my all time favourite coral - hands down. If, like me, you struggle to get along with oranges, then I find this is a far more wearable shade of coral due to the pink undertones. It's still a bright colour to opt for but I find it a very versatile colour for both day and night. I'll be wearing this shade well into Autumn - and it's also the one I reach for a lot on nights out. Super-duperly pigmented, lasts all day, and has a certain brightness to it that just lights up your complexion.

17 Supreme Shine in 'Hot Flash' - This little impluse buy has turned out to be one of my go to lipsticks this summer. This coral leans more towards a red/pink shade, so again, it's easier to wear if you struggle with statement orange tones. I find the texture of these lipsticks to be really light and moisturising - perfect if you prefer a less 'heavy' finish. It's a lovely bright shade that I wear both day and night, and it instantly brightens up your face.

Ok. So maybe this is cheating slightly - but there are 2 other products in the 'Coral & Orange' category I thought were worth a little mention...

Lord & Berry Lipstick Crayon in 'Mandarin' - I bought this off ASOS a while back now and I have my eye on a few other products from the range. This lipstick in crayon form is perfect for those of you who maybe aren't big fans of a traditional lippie - it offers more control when it comes to placing the colour - and is much more practical for on the go. The peachy shade is perfect for every day wear, and the finish is so moisturising and creamy (unusual for crayons - they're often known to be a bit drying) It glides on smoothly and effortlessly. Oh - and it smells of vanilla! Yummy..

MUA Intense Colour Lip Pencil - I have an array of these lip pencils. They're a bargain at just £1 and even come with a little sharpener in the lid.

What are your favourite Coral/Orange lip products?

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Haul | Primark, H&M

1. Ankle Strap Heels £12 - Primark / 2. Fold-Over Chain Bag £12.99 - H&M / 3. Studded Jumper £8 - Primark / 4. Floral Skirt £12.99 - H&M / 5. Bird Make-up Bag £2 - Primark & Nail Polish £2.50 - Primark

I've been after these strappy 'barely there' heels from Primark for ages. I originally had my eye on the colourful version but I went for classic black in the end as I thought they would go with more outfits - very Zara-esque and a complete bargain at £12! My favourite buy has to be the studded jumper from Primark; it's really lightweight so it's perfect for this time of year and will be great to shove on with a trusty pair of jeans or my AA Disco Pants for uni. The nail polish reminds me so much of Models Own 'Indian Ocean' which i've had my eye on all Summer - and for half the price I just couldn't resist this bargainous offering at Primark's till...

Sunday 16 September 2012

How To Maintain A Natural Tan

Swatches \ L - Charisma Skin Tint \ R - St Tropez Instant Glow

As some of you may know, I've recently just arrived back from a rather sunny week in Kefalonia and at the moment, keeping my post-holiday glow is top of my beauty to-do list. One thing friends and family tend to mention when I arrive back is how long I manage to keep my tan for. So, I thought I'd share my tan maintaining tips with you as over the years, I've developed a routine which seems to work for me, and keeps that 'just got off the plane' look for longer. Maintaining a natural tan is completely different to how I would maintain the look of a fake one - and it takes a lot more time and effort, but it's so worth it. Personally I can always tell when I have a natural tan, and even though fake tans on the market these days are amazing, I always do my best to keep any natural colour I do have as I find it looks better and more healthy than any product in a bottle can give me. I'm aware most of you have already been and gone on your summer holiday, but if you're a tan addict like me, then these are some good little tips to bare in mind for your next trip to sunnier climates..

Preparation: Before I go, I exfoliate like there's no tomorrow. Your skin constantly renews itself and if you make sure to exfoliate the top layers before you go, the longer it will be before it starts to renew - therefore keeping the colour in the layers of your skin for longer.

Avoid Burning: I know so many people who burn on purpose simply because 'it goes brown'. Yes, it does. But you'll also start to peel rather quickly - resulting in an uneven, patchy tan. I build up a tan slowly - start with a high factor sun tan lotion to avoid turning yourself into a lobster, and as your skin gets used to the sun, reduce the factor slightly. It takes me about 3 days into my holiday before I start to get a decent bit of colour. I never go below a factor 15 and I never use tanning oils. Unless you want to fry yourself, stay away from these.

Body Lotions & Tan Maintainers

Lancaster Tan Maximiser After Sun: I always pick up one of these in duty free. It's rather expensive for an after sun (around £16) but it's been a staple product to have in my suitcase for a few years now. It has no fake tan ingredients in it, but works with your skin cells to deepen the colour you do have. I use this whilst I'm on holiday and continue to use it as a general body moisturiser up to a week/fortnight after I arrive back. It's really hydrating so it helps to prevent skin drying out (You can read my full review here).

Garner Ambre Solaire After Sun Hydrating Tan Maintainer:
This after sun contains a low level self tanning ingredient. I use this alongside the Lancaster after I arrive home, as it blends into the tan you already have whilst helping to even out any patchy bits. 

Dove Summer Glow Nourishing Lotion: After around 2 weeks, there's no getting away from the fact your tan is going to fade - especially on your face and hands. Instead of whacking on the fake tan, I put a little bit of this on every other day. It gradually builds up a colour on the skin and is more moisturising than a bottle of normal fake tan.

The Body Shop Mango Body Butter: Really richly moisturising and thicker in consistency when compared to the other lotions mentioned in this post. I always, always apply this at night before I sleep, and I wake up with really soft and deeply nourished skin. I also apply before work so that when I'm running about in the shop all day, my skin still feels healthy and smooth. It also smells like Solero ice lollies...

Skin Tints

I find colour fades faster on my face as all of the make up removing, cleansing and toning means that the surface layers of skin are going to be removed quicker than anywhere else on the body. To keep it looking lightly tanned and in-keeping with the rest of my body I'll often apply a skin tint before or after applying my makeup. 

St Tropez Instant Glow Face Lotion: I find this best applies underneath my makeup, and provides a long lasting natural bit of colour.

Lush Charisma Skin Tint: You can read my full review of this here, but I find this best applies on top of my makeup. It contains a slight shimmer so is best suited to certain areas of the face rather than full on bronzing.

On top of all this moisturising and colour maintaining (it is a lot of work - I often moisturise up to 3 times a day), I also makes sure I'm taking care of my skin on the inside by drinking lots of water to help skin stay hydrated. I avoid exfoliating or taking any long, hot baths for as long as possible. I start the moisturising routine whilst I'm on holiday and make sure I apply it before I'm due to fly home, as the air in planes often drys out skin considerably. Whereas before, a natural colour might last up to a week or 2, I find I keep mine for up to a month before I have to use any fake tan. Obviously, this all depends on your skin type and how much you tan - I have olive tones in my skin so I tend to go quite dark - this isn't going to work for everybody but it will certainly help to keep any colour your skin has developed over the course of your holiday.

Any other tan maintaining tips for me/products to try?

Thursday 6 September 2012

Estee Lauder Smoothing Creme Concealer | A New Favourite!

 Estee Lauder Smoothing Creme Concealer | £17.50 
 'For all skintypes. Disguises dark circles, lines and shadows. Soothes, moisturises and protects'
I've been after a new concealer for a while now and I've tried my fair share of them, let me tell you. None of them to date have ever beaten my trusty C2000 Lasting Perfection - atleast, that was until I tried what Estee Lauder had to offer. 
I don't like how concealers tend to look 'cakey' or obvious when reapplied so I've been on the hunt for one that stays put all day and looks natural - I might be concealing all matter of sins but I don't want everyone else to know that! This tube of amazing-ness is my new holy grail product and I've not touched my C2000 since (sorry little fella). 

I suffer really badly with dark circles and dull complexion around my eyes - I wanted something that would combat this at the same time as being suitable for covering any blemishes. This covers my under eye circles and imperfections like a dream and looks flawless and natural, at the same time as lasting most of the day without the need for constant touch ups. It's really soft and smooth to apply and really does give a perfect finish. It also doesn't feel heavy; the consistency is spot-on and doesn't feel like it's sitting on top of your skin like most concealers i've tried and it gives a beautiful dewy finish. It also doesn't look at all cakey or dry no matter how many times I reapply - which is great for me as if I ever have a minute to touch-up, my concealer is the first thing i'll top up. That said, I sometimes don't need to apply any more throughout the day anyway - it has been one of the most long lasting products I've used for covering blemishes and dark circles. All of these points combined make for the perfect concealer for me.

Admittedly, your purse might not like you for a while, at £17 a pop it is definitely more of a pay day treat but a little goes a very long way and I know for a fact I won't need to replace this for a good few months (unlike buying a new tube of my cheaper alternative every month - thus saving me muchos pennies). If you're a fan of Estee Lauder's skin makeup range (Double Wear Tinted Moisturiser is also amazing by the way) then I really recommend this concealer. 

Whats your favourite product from Estee Lauder's range?It's fast becoming one of my favourite brands

Monday 3 September 2012

August Favourites

I've struggled to narrow down my monthly favourites this time around; I've discovered so many new products just recently that it's been rather difficult to pick just a few but these are the ones I've been reaching for non-stop at the moment. Here's some mini-reviews of the month to pick and choose as you please and sink your little bloggery teeth into...

Sanctuary Pore Refining Toner | £2.55 (Mini) £8.99 (Full Size) - I've been super duper impressed with Sanctuary's skincare range. Surprisingly reasonably priced, yet luxurious and good quality. I picked up the range of minis available before a recent holiday and have almost ran out - I'll be repurchasing all of them no doubt but my favourite of the lot has to be the toner. It smells really gentle and relaxing and really helps to remove excess makeup left on my skin after cleansing. My skin feels really soft and clean afterwards and isn't left feeling dry. I really, really love this.

The Body Shop Deep Sleep: Dreamy Pillow & Body Mist | £10 - This has been a firm favourite of mine for a couple of years now, but I've found myself reaching for it every night recently. I've not been having the best time at work the past few weeks and I've been feeling quite stressed and altogether a little bit restless - I often struggle to sleep at night if I'm feeling like this and this product helps me to feel a little bit more relaxed.  If you often find yourself tossing and turning and saying hello to every single hour on the clock face through the night then I really recommend you try this. It's been a little life saver and I find the smell really relaxes me - it contains camomile and essential oils to help you feel sleepy and soothed. I spritz it over my pillow and pyjamas before bed after a nice hot bath and breathe deeply for a few minutes afterwards and falling to sleep has been made a bit easier for me. I'm a little bit addicted to it right now and it's lasted me ages. I'm not even half way through yet and I've used it every night for about 3 months now.

Vo5 Miracle Concentrate Elixir with Argan Oil | £5.99 - I'm aware I am SO late on the bandwagon with this product, in fact - I think I skipped the bandwagon altogether... I've learnt my lesson - never again shall I ignore such a holy grail, affordable product. I've only discovered this recently and I must admit I was hugely sceptical about it at first, but now I don't know how I ever lived without it. I know theres heaps and heaps of reviews on blogger about this little beauty but let me just say that it has saved my hair from split-end misery and my barnet has looked in the best condition it has in a very long time since using. I pop this on every time I wash my hair and I've noticed a significant change in the amount of breakage and my hair feels soft and smooth all the time.

MUA eyeshadow in 'Shade 30' | £1 - I've loved Urban Decay's 'Half Baked' for ages now - I love gold shades on my eyelids as I find it's best suited to my eye colour (greeny-blue) but I fancied something a bit more This colour is just what I've been after and I've been so impressed with the pigmentation of the product. The price is amazing and I think they are on par with some more higher end brands I've tried in the past. I apply this over an eyeshadow primer and my Maybelline Colour Tattoo shadows and the colour doesn't crease or fade all day - I've had so many compliments on my eyeshadow just recently and I've been using this over my UD Naked Palettes this month (never thought I would say those words...) Really recommend these - not chalky in the slightest, wear time is really good and the pigmentation and application is faultless for what you pay. 

Revlon Photoready Cream Blush in 'Pinched 100' | £5.99 - I'm loving cream blushes at the moment and this one has been my firm favourite all month. I wasn't keen at first, mainly because the colour is quite subtle and needs to be built up to the required depth but the formula is perfect for me - the best formula I've tried - and I was determined to make it work for me. I usually get put off cream blush because I find them too greasy or sticky and just generally a bit of a faff, but the consistency is really soft and smooth and doesn't leave you with shiny cheeks at all (if you've tried Topshops Cream blushes then this is very similar!) It takes me a couple of goes to get the colour to my desired effect (I find applying with my fingers works better than a stippling brush) but the colour looks really natural and blends effortlessly - giving a beautiful, smooth finish. If you prefer super-pigmented blushes (I used to until I found this) then you might not like these so much. You will probably need a quick re-touch along the way but if you're after a daytime blush that looks natural and flawless in finish - I'd really recommend.

p.s If you're reading this, I'm most probably sipping on summery cocktails in Greece right now - I'm only away for a week but I must apologise in advance for any lack of comment-replying. I'm not being a bad blogger - I promise :)

Sunday 2 September 2012

Pre-Holiday Clothing Buys | Sugarhill Boutique, Topshop, H&M, Primark

Some of you may know through Twitter that I'm off on holiday again on Tuesday to Kefalonia in Greece (if any of you have ever been please tell me what it's like and drop me a comment!) - unfortunately, I'm working right up to when I go and today has been the only chance I've had to stock up on any new bits to take with me. Needless to say, I used this day to the best of my ability and came home with some bargains (and very sore feet from running round shops..ouchyy)

1&2 | Sugarhill Boutique Dress | £59.99 £17.50 | Ark (sale) - Well, I was one rather happy bunny to pick this dress up! I've had my eye on it since I first saw it and I never gave in and bought it. Luckily, when having a good ol' rummage through the last of their sale bits today I found it - the only one left, in my size, and reduced to a rather purse friendly price! It was fate that I was meant to have this dress in my life and sitting prettily in my wardrobe, obviously. It's an off-white cream colour and has the most beautiful detail - such a versatile little dress and I can't wait to wear it.

3 | Maxi Dress | £46 £13.50 | Topshop (sale) - This dress is perfect for my holiday - it's such good quality material and looks and feels really classy. It falls beautifully and looks amazing on.

4 |Neon Coral Lace Babydoll Dress | £14.99 | H&M - This will look amazzze with a tan and I can't wait to wear it in the sunshine. It's so bright and girly and a style that I tend to go for.

5 | Peplum Top | £5.00 | Primark - I've been after a peplum top for a while but didn't want to pay the earth for something that I might not be wearing next year - this version from Primark is a steal for a fiver and I'll be wearing this with skinny jeans or my disco pants.

6 | Clutch Bag | £10 | Tesco - Tesco you little rascals! I went in to buy some foundation and came out with this little bag too...oops.