Current Loves From The Body Shop

25 October 2016

One of those brands I've loved and trusted for years - see this post for me rambling on about the excitement I felt when I got to go to one of their parties aged ten - is The Body Shop, and recently I've been loving so many items from them that I just had to sit down, grab a cup of tea and start typing this blog post. Some things are too good not to share!

Kicking things off with a skincare love of mine that has featured in countless posts and videos - even making it into My Favourite Beauty Products of 2015 video - is the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (£10). Originally an Amelia Liana inspired purchase, this is my weapon of choice for removing makeup in the evening as it easily dissolves the heaviest of full-coverage foundations and gently melts the most waterproof of mascaras without stripping your skin. It feels the opposite, in fact; we're talking a seriously baby-soft, nourished and protected complexion. Although I was a fan of the built-in pump it used to leak like an old tap which was quite annoying, but they've changed the packaging and I can happily confirm that this issue has now been resolved!

Another classic product that has had a packaging revamp is the Vitamin E Hydrating Face Mist (£9.50) which still has that nostalgic feel but with a modern twist, and I'm utterly obsessed with it. I know I use that word all the time, but how else would you describe physically not being able to walk past a product without picking it up and liberally spraying it across your entire face? Designed to instantly refresh and boost hydration levels, I've been keeping this baby on my dressing table but I'd be lying if I said that I don't move it from room to room with me as well. For example, right now it's on my desk as I write because all you need is a couple of spritzes and your skin feels calmed and soothed within seconds. I often find that some face sprays don't really 'do' much, whereas this one really does moisturise and has a heavenly soft rose scent.

Speaking of divine scents, the newly launched Spa Of The World Hawaiian Kukui Scented Candle (£15) is an absolute gem. I've been raving about How To Make Your Home Smell Like Paradise recently, and this is another fragrance that transports you to a desert island before you've even lit it. The packaging looks and feels triple its actual price and I find the candle itself to burn extremely well, emitting the most gorgeously warm and inviting scent. It reminds me of a beach holiday whilst simultaneously making me excited for the festive season which is an interesting mix that I thoroughly enjoy, and I definitely need to pick myself up the matching body butter.

If you're a beauty lover you've no doubt heard of multi-masking and The Body Shop have definitely hit the nail on the head with this trend, the idea of which is that you can deal with multiple skin issues at the same time by applying different masks to certain areas of your face. The combination I've found to be most beneficial is the Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask (£15) on my t-zone to draw out impurities and minimise pores, and the British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask (£15) on my cheeks to hydrate and soften. You apply these with their facial brush which is a lot of fun (even Will joined in with my pamper evening when he spotted me painting my face in the bathroom) and the results are fab.

Another skincare item that has been keeping my skin happy is the Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence (£18), something I hadn't heard of until recently and am now a firm fan of. With the extremely photogenic packaging aside, the product itself is an extremely lightweight and fast-absorbing lotion that sinks into the skin immediately and provides a beautiful base for makeup as well as offering SPF50 UVA and UVB protection. I recently went away to Manchester for a shoot and left my moisturiser at Will's but didn't panic, as I found this in my makeup bag and knew it'd perfectly hydrate and soothe my skin both AM and PM which is definitely a positive testament as to how good it is!

Finally, a product I've been seeing all over Instagram is the Instaglow CC Cream in 'Peachy Glow' (£14) which I've been using almost every day either under my makeup or mixed into my foundation. Both methods quickly and easily perk up the complexion and 'lift' the skin, making you look wonderfully glowy and in a word: healthy. As the seasons change from summer to autumn I often find that my skin can look a little lacklustre, and this is the ideal product for counteracting dullness and injecting a nice dose of sunshine!

You can probably tell from the length of this post that I'm really enjoying these The Body Shop goodies right now, so it's time for me end things there and make another cup of tea! Oh, and go on then, yet another spritz of that glorious face mist...

How To Have The Perfect Pamper Evening For Under £15

18 October 2016

I honestly live for a good pamper evening. In an age where we're constantly scrolling through various social media feeds and not always getting enough sleep, it's really important to ensure that you set aside some 'me time' to relax and recharge. Taking care of yourself, in my experience, also feels that little bit nicer when you've got some gorgeous products to hand but they can definitely add up to a substantial amount, and who wants to add 'did I spend more on beauty products than food this month?' worries to your list of concerns? With that in mind, here's how to have the perfect pamper evening without spending much more than a tenner. Let's begin!

Introducing the October edition of the Look Fantastic Beauty Box, this month's theme is #LFPamper. Inside the box (which might I add is my favourite packaging they've ever done - all that soft blush pink and rose gold embossing makes me swoon) is a carefully selected handful of products all chosen to relax, treat and see you through the changing seasons. 

First things first grab your beverage of choice - I like peppermint or camomile tea when it comes to the evening but whatever floats your boat, bring it upstairs and pop it on the edge of the bath along with the free copy of ELLE you get in your beauty box whilst you turn the taps on. Whilst they're running, pour a little Mio Liquid Yoga Restorative Bath Soak (£26) into the stream of water and take a second to inhale the scent. This has been one of my favourites for such a long time as it's an incredibly relaxing mix of epsom salts, lavender, arnica and mandarin that instantly tells my brain 'okay hon, it's time to take it easy'. If you suffer from any aches or pains the mineral rich ingredients help to soothe and calm, and there's a Mio Liquid Yoga Candle if you fancy getting all matchy-matchy! 

Is a pamper night complete with a face mask? Nope, so unscrew the jar of Oskia Renaissance Nutri-Active Brightening & Resurfacing Mask (£49.50) and massage into clean, dry skin until it turns white. Containing AHAs to gently exfoliate and brighten, it gives a glow to the skin whilst helping to protect and soften. As we're really pulling out all the stops here to truly pamper ourselves, apply the Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel to your chest and décolletage - the formula is packed with glycolic acid, Vitamin C and Indian fig to unclog pores, which will work wonders if you ever get congested around this area.

Step into your gorgeously scented bath - you can also add the LUSH Bubble Bar in 'A French Kiss' at the same time as the Liquid Yoga if you'd like to amp up those lavender levels - and allow yourself to relax. If, like me, you like washing your hair in the evening then the next step is to treat your hair to the Alterna Caviar Moisture Intense Oil Crème Pre-Shampoo Treatment which you apply before washing, and what better time to massage it through than when you're in the bath? If replenishes dehydrated hair with a well-needed boost of moisture and my hair looks so sleek and shiny after using this, so work it from root to tip then have a flick through your magazine whilst you lay back and let your beauty products do all of the hard work for you.

After twenty minutes, step out - preferably into a super fluffy dressing gown like this cosy Topshop number - and gently remove both your face mask and your chest mask with a muslin cloth soaked in warm water. Pat dry with a towel, spritz with a mist of La-Roche Posay Serozinc Toner, press a few drops of the Caudalie Polyphenols C15 Overnight Detox Oil into your skin and finish with the NUXE Creme Prodigieuse Night Cream. Now it's time to rinse out your pre-shampoo treatment, wash, condition and braid it. You've probably been wanting to get into your pyjamas all day and it's finally time, so pop those on - these are my current favourites! - and jump into bed with a hot water bottle.

One of the best things about a pamper night is chilling out and watching a movie, so find a funny feel-good film (Just Go With It, Mean Girls, Stepbrothers - you know the drill!) and get cosy. Putting the Laura Geller Pout Perfection Waterproof Lip Liner in your makeup bag for a night that involves dancing and cocktails rather than Netflix and hot chocolate, instead plump for the Polaar Genuine Lapland Cream Lip Balm and then snuggle down.

And hey presto, there we have it - the perfect pamper evening without breaking the bank!

The Beauty Lover's Dream Website

9 October 2016

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I'm 100% an online shopper - and no, not just because it's not socially acceptable to stroll freely around a mall with your hair in a pineapple, no bra on and your duvet wrapped around your head - but because of the ease and freedom of it all. When walking past a beauty counter my instinct is to run towards it with my arms outstretched ready to swatch shiny new lipsticks to my hearts content, but I've always been a little shy of doing so and instead I prefer to head to websites like Beauty Bay.

As Europe's largest independent online beauty retailer, it's no surprise that Beauty Bay is a product junkie's dream. Stocking amazing brands that can be difficult to get your hands on if you're in the UK (like Anastasia Beverley Hills, Jeffree Star Cosmetics, Zoeva, Sigma etc) it's a one-stop-shop for all of your beauty needs and I'm forever browsing their What's New page to see the latest releases. I've been testing a really lovely selection of products from Beauty Bay, so I'm going to share my thoughts with you along with a wishlist!

Stila Stay All Day MATTE'ificent Lipstick in 'Brulee' (£15)
You all know that a new lippy is one of my greatest joys in life! Despite being a brand I've heard a lot of great things about, I haven't tried many products from Stila before and this lipstick is definitely up my street. With an incredibly lightweight formula that is still hanging around after multiple cups of tea, it feels smooth to apply and comfortable to wear whilst offering an impressive amount of colour payoff. I'd describe it as a dusky mauve-toned caramel, and its gone straight in my makeup bag - love the slimline gold packaging!

LA Splash Lip Couture Waterproof Liquid Lipstick in 'Ghoulish' (£9.95)
Speaking of dusky mauve-toned mattes, this LA Splash number is similar in colour to the Stila one with a lot more of an ashy, grey undertone... maybe that explains the shade name! I found the application to be really easy which isn't always the case with liquid lipsticks, and whilst it's fairly drying I didn't get any flaking or gathering. It's one of those products that makes me feel very 'Instagram' - if only I could nail contouring and fleeky liner, hey!

GD Basics Matte Eyeshadow Palette (£19)
A matte eye is one of my favourite go-to looks and I'm always on the lookout for a new matte palette. I'd never tried GD Basics before and this eight-pan palette didn't disappoint! I was quite surprised to see that at least three of the shades definitely had shimmer in them, but it's that very fine shimmer that barely translates in person or in photos so you still get that chic matte look and I actually found it gave the shadows a much more expensive, luxe look. The quality is great - easily blendable and buildable, and I think there are a lot of really classic yet modern shades in here which is a steal for £19!

LA Splash Art-Ki-Tekt Waterproof Slim Eyeliner (£11.25)
I've been trying my best to get into eyeliner this year as it's a look I truly love but have never mastered myself, and the easiest most 'beginner friendly' products I've found have had extremely thin, brush-type nibs like this LA Splash one. Even a novice like me can get a really precise line and whilst I'm still not at the wing stage, it gives me a lot more definition and it's a real pleasure to use. How gorgeous is the packaging, too?

Eye Öf Hörus Liquid Define Liner (£15)
If you like felt-pen style eyeliners, I'm sure you'll absolutely love this - the formulation is so long-lasting and didn't budge all day, yet came away easily with an oil cleanser in the evening which meant I didn't have to rub my eyes at all. Personally I found it a little trickier to get to grips with, but I was seriously impressed by its lasting power and how intensely black it was. It's definitely one that I'll be practicing with!

Having heard so many amazing things about this product and seeing it in the UK Beauty Shortlist Awards for Best Mascara I was so excited to try it, and after doing so I'd definitely recommend it. I'm such a fan of plastic brushes as they have the ability to give you a length, volume and a beautiful fanned-out look without a clump in sight, which is exactly what this does. Packed with Moringa Oil, antioxidants and vitamins, it's a mascara that has made me stray from my usual favourites and I adore that it gives maximum effect with minimal effort.

GD True Colour Satin Lipstick in 'Plum Noir' (£11)
Okay, this colour is pretty much Halloween heaven! October 31st is only a few weeks away and this time of year always inspires me to experiment with my lip colour and try something more fun and vampy. 'Plum Noir' is, as the name suggests, a deep blackcurrant plum shade with burgundy undertones and is a satin finish, which is my favourite as it's the perfect balance between matte and sheen. Although the colour isn't for the fainthearted, the creamy finish makes it surprisingly more wearable and I think this would look really cool worn with a flawless base, winged liner and highlighted cheeks.

Art Deco Fixing Powder (£11.75)
To set everything in place, I've been reaching for this powder and really love how lightweight it is. It works especially well on oily to combination skin and it definitely worked wonders to combat my shiny t-zone, helping to keep oil at bay throughout the day whilst also helping my makeup to last as long as possible. I have actually used it to try baking for the first time ever as well - I tap out some of the product into the lid and pick it up using a damp beauty sponge, pressing it underneath my eyes and below my contour whilst I finish off the rest of my makeup then buff it away with the...

Spectrum A01 Large Powder Brush (£9)
I can't quite explain just how soft this brush is so you're just going to have to try it for yourself, and I promise you're going to love it! The shape makes it extremely easy to apply product in just the right area and it never picks up too much, which allows you to expertly bronze and powder your skin. As previously mentioned, I also use this to sweep away any excess fixing powder and it's one of those brushes that you never want to stop running over your face. I only wish it was in their Marbelous packaging, as the bright blue, pink and purple design is stunning but doesn't always go with my Instagram!

Nailberry L'Oxygéné Oxygenated Nail Lacquer in 'Simplicity' & 'Elegance' (£14.50)
Pricey but extremely pretty, these nail polishes are really something special! I wore mine for at least four days without any chips which is impressive as I'm constantly tapping away at my keyboard for hours on end or doing the washing up. They have a lovely silky texture that dries quickly, which means that you can do your nails whilst watching Gogglebox without ending up with messy cuticles and a ton of annoying smudges. 'Elegance' is a nice soft pale ballet pink, and 'Simplicity' is my favourite as I love those elegant, polished mocha nudes.

Having tried and fallen in love with such a wonderful selection of products and as Beauty Bay stock a ton of my favourite brands, the top five items on my current wishlist are: Anastastia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, Dr Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner Blackhead Extractor,  Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator, Too Faced Perfect Lips Liner and Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm. I'd better get saving my pennies!

This post is sponsored by Beauty Bay. All opinions are 100% my own and honest. Affiliate links have been used. For more information, please see my disclaimer here

The Best 5 Products From Benefit's New Brow Collection

7 October 2016

The highly-anticipated drop of Benefit's latest brow collection was something I was really excited about and I couldn't wait to see the sexy silver packaging as well as the array of added shades. After receiving the products I was left with a few questions, however: a) where do I start? b) what will I actually use? c) who knew there were so many products you could put on your eyebrows?! I thought some of you might've been in the same boat and felt slightly overwhelmed by the sheer number of products, so I'm gonna break things down and shed some light on what can stay on the shelf and what needs to make its way into your every day makeup bag pronto.

The Easy, Fool-Proof Brow Pencil
You might have seen me raving about Soap & Glory's Archery 2-in-1 Brow Pencil countless times and the new Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil (£18.50) is virtually the same product - which might actually be why I like it so much, come to think of it! With a nifty little nib that's the perfect shape for both naturally filling in sparse areas and drawing fine hair-like strokes without ever having to sharpen, it's holy grail status for me thanks to its convenient packaging (I see you, spoolie on the end!) and professional results.

The Under-Arch Glow-Getter
I'm always popping a tiny bit of The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer on my pinky finger and running it along my browbone to match my glowy cheekbones so it was natural for me to gravitate towards the Benefit High Brow Glow Pencil (£17.50), the shimmery version of the original matte High Brow. A gorgeous champagne colour with a subtle hint of pink, it adds definition to your brows and light to your face in a really naturally pretty way.

The 'My Brows Ain't Going NOWHERE' Set
If you've got naturally fuller brows or you're like me and you never touch yours so they have a tendency to get a little wild, this is like invisible, non-flaking eyebrow glue. I used to look in the mirror and realise that my brows were sticking up in about four different directions after pulling a turtleneck on, but that's a thing of the past since discovering the Benefit Ready, Set, Brow! (£18.50). The name makes me want to do a Mel & Sue from Bake Off impression, and the product itself is a winner. If you can't stand being able to feel makeup on your face then you might want to move along, but if you want your brows to stay in don't-move-a-muscle place then buy it, apply sparingly and do an ASOS turtleneck haul.

The Time-Saving Old Faithful
Ah, Benefit Gimme Brow (£18.50). I just love you. After years of use I can quite happily say that it's one of the best eyebrow products on the market, and if I was pushed to choose one brow item to use for the rest of my whole entire life then I would 100% choose this. The tiny wand makes it incredibly easy to wiggle through your natural hairs, coating them in fibres and immediately making your brows look more full, defined and polished. My favourite thing about this is that it genuinely looks like you've filled in your eyebrows with a pencil then set them in place when really, you've brushed through them in a matter of seconds.

The Stay-All-Day Definer
Benefit Ka-Brow! wouldn't be my first choice as I'm definitely not talented in the brow department (seriously, how do people do those 'ombre brows' that you see all over the Instagram Explore page?!) and feel much more comfortable with a pencil or a tint, but after giving the waterproof cream-gel formula a whirl I'm practically converted. I still love the ease of a pencil, but for photoshoots and events where I want to look more put together I've been reaching for this as it gives you a much thicker and more defined finish. It comes with a built-in angled brush which is pretty cute, but if you still find it a little fiddly then your application is going to be much more controlled with a full-size one like this.

Overall I think Benefit have done such a fabulous job with this brow launch, I love that they've added a ton more colours to their range (I'm Light 2, fyi) and the packaging is gorgeous. Some of the products seem a little gimmicky to me - I'm looking at you, Browvo! and 3D Browtones - but that's not to say that they don't have their place... brows are a real 'thing' these days, after all!