Thursday, 30 August 2012

Desk Beauty Essentials

With the weather being so unpredictable at the moment, the little bag of tricks I take to work with me every day could quite easily start to brim over with lotions and potions.  I try my best to keep the amount I cart around to a minimum, but there are a few things I have to have with me to look and feel fresh throughout a long day at the office.

Hand Cleansing Gel - Desks can be dirty places so this is an absolute essential.  If I'm going to be touching my face or having something to eat I want my hands to be squeaky clean.  My current favourite antibacterial gel is Hand Maid by Soap & Glory (£2.50 from Boots, but often in 3 for 2 offers), I love it for its fresh fruity scent.

Hand Cream - Handling lots of paper and washing my hands a lot always leaves them feeling dry so a good hand cream is never far from my reach.  My favourite at the moment is Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter (£6.25 from Lush), a little goes a long way with this stuff, it moisturises really well and smells amazing, like lemon sherberts!

Facial Toner/Spritz - By the afternoon when I'm feeling a bit tired and a bit hot, I like to give my face a squirt of a nice toner.  It helps to freshen me up and keep me feeling lively for the remainder of the day.  The current bottle I carry around with me is Caudalie Beauty Elixir (£9.90 from Feel Unique).  I did a full review of it not long ago here.

Lip Balm - When I'm at work I like to have a tube of lip balm with me rather than a tub or tin for obvious hygiene reasons.  Having fuller lips, it's also really important to keep them hydrated.  My lip balm of choice for work is Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm (£3.69 from Boots).  I particularly love it for its minty fresh scent.

Lipstick & Powder Compact - Simply because I never know when I'll need to touch up my makeup for a meeting.  My current powder is MAC Studio Careblend (£20 from MAC) and my lipstick depends entirely on what I've picked up that morning.

The last, and by far the most critical, desk must-have for me is a big bottle of water.  I easily get through a litre and a half during the working day, so rather than buy bottles all the time, I've invested in a bottle with a filer integrated into the cap.  Good for me and for the environment!

What are your desk essentials?

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

When it comes to the world of natural skincare products, Trilogy is one of those brands I’d always wanted to try, but had never seen in a skincare shop or department store until I went to Newcastle at the beginning of July (you can find my haul post here).

Founded by two sisters in 2002, Trilogy’s passion for high performance natural skincare and commitment to sustainability and the environment is very clear and counts amongst the many reasons I wanted to try the brand.  Now I’ve had a chance to sample a few products from their range, I really regret not seeking them out sooner.

Probably Trilogy’s best known product (and the one I’ve been thoroughly trying out) is the Certified Organic Rosehip Oil.  Rosehip oil in general is quite well known to be high in essential fatty acids and vitamins A and C, and looking at Trilogy’s website (here), their oil has had some pretty impressive results in clinical trials; reducing the appearance of scars by 41%, stretch marks by 43% and wrinkles by 23%.  I was very excited to try it!

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

The oil itself is golden in colour, very lightweight, has no distinctive odour and a few drops in the hand go a very long way.  I’ve used it every day since I bought it as part of my evening skincare routine, applying the oil in upward strokes before my moisturiser, and found it absorbs very quickly, and in 6 weeks I’ve used around ¼ of my 20ml bottle.  The packaging, a dark glass bottle, feels quite luxurious and almost apothecary-like and the glass dropper makes it very easy to use just the right amount.  I’ve been using the oil on my face, neck and décolleté, so while there are certainly no stretch marks to contend with, I do have a few fine lines and scars that I hoped the oil would work on (I was a very clumsy child!).

As I haven’t been using the oil both morning and night as is suggested I hadn’t expected speedy results so I was really surprised to notice my skin looking much brighter and quite a bit healthier about 10 days into using it.  Still using it every day, this effect hasn’t diminished at all and if anything, my skin feels plumper and better hydrated.  My skin tends to be normal to dry, and while in the past some facial oils have given me congestion after a few days application, I haven’t experienced anything like that with the Trilogy oil.  I’ve even started using it on my body, mixing a couple of drops in with my usual body moisturiser.

My long term hope is that using the oil will plump out some of the fine lines on my forehead and improve the appearance of some scars I have from cold sores (and one or two from falling over and bashing myself as a little ‘un) but even with the results I’ve had so far I’m very impressed and will definitely repurchase.  Next time I’m going for the 45ml bottle, along with a few other goodies from their range.

Have you tried Trilogy products before?

What is your favourite natural skincare brand?

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

I won a giveaway!

The lovely Hayley at wifelifebeautyxo held a giveaway recently to celebrate reaching 100 followers, and last week I was lucky enough to be picked out as the winner!

I'm so pleased with the little bundle of goodies I received today (the post office were lightning fast with the delivery) and just want to say a big thank you to Hayley, the parcel was wrapped so safely and the card I received was really sweet.

Here is what arrived today...

MUA Undressed Eyeshadow Palette, Lipstick, Model's Own Hedkandi Nail Polish in Ibiza Mix
MUA Undressed Eyeshadow Palette - I hadn't expected how fan-flippin-tastic this palette would be.  I've swatched all of the shades, the pigmentation is great and the colours look really wearable for every day.

Model's Own Hedkani Nail Polish in Ibiza Mix - Love, love, love it!  I can't wait until I actually have some time to put this on properly.  The mix of chunky and small glitter in different colours is just fab!

MUA Lipstick in Shade 3 - The first lipstick by MUA I've ever tried.  It's a beautiful shade of bright-deep pink, and the texture is surprisingly smooth on the lips.  I'm really quite impressed and I can see me reaching for this over my usual favourite (Rebel by MAC) quite often.

I'm completely over the moon with what I won, and getting all of this through the post has inspired me to run my own giveaway soon.  Watch this space!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Beauty Haul

I actually thought I'd been really good recently and hardly spent any money on beauty at all.  My illusions were quickly shattered however, when I started taking photographs of what I've bought recently for this post.  None of this was bought in one go, it's been at least four or five weeks, but still I'm slightly taken aback by what I've got...

Lush Shampoo and Real Techniques Brushes
Lush Rehab Shampoo - My current favourite clarifying shampoo.  I probably only use this once a week or once a fortnight so a 250ml bottle like this one lasts me ages.  It has quite distinctive odour, very herbal, but quite fresh.

Lush Curly Wurly Coconut Shampoo - I got a free sample of this a few weeks back and was quite impressed with how it moisturized my hair and gave a bit of definition to my natural curls.  I hope I get on with it well in the long-run.

Real Techniques Blush Brush - I think I'm becoming obsessed with Real Techniques.  I bought the core collection and powder brushes months ago, and use nearly all of them daily; so when I got Nars Laguna bronzer in Newcastle (see that haul here) and wanted a new brush to use with it, I couldn't think of a better way to go than this blush brush.  It's just so soft!

Real Techniques Starter Set - I literally just bought these today, so have yet to use them yet, but I think it's safe to say the obsession with Real Techniques will continue.

MAC Foundation, MAC Lipstick, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable balm Stain
MAC Studio Sculpt SPF15 Foundation in NC25 - This is the first MAC foundation I've ever gotten on with.  Getting the application right was a bit of a learning curve since this is the first gel-based foundation I've used, but now I've got it I get great medium coverage while still looking natural.

MAC Mineralize Concealer in NW20 - Great for under my eyes, it doesn't crease, and buying it in the pink tone helps counteract the darkness under my eyes.

MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in Light Plus - I don't use powder very often, but when I do, I like something really light in texture like this.  I can't say anything about the skincare benefits it's supposed to have but it's a nice enough powder.

MAC Lipstick in Syrup - Yep another MAC product, I must be stopped!  I normally like my bright lipsticks, so this was a bit of a departure for me.  Syrup is very like my natural lip colour, maybe a touch darker, so it's really wearable and goes with a lot of eye/blush combinations.

Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Peach Melba - I bought this because I saw a lot of beauty bloggers had raved about it, I've only used it once myself but the shade is pretty universal and I'm hopeful it'll be good.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick - the only thing I've bought recently that I really don't like that much.  I don't mind the shade so much and the colour does last, but every time I've applied it, my lips have tingled and almost stung, and I just really don't like that sensation.

Well, I think that's more than enough beauty purchasing for now, and I've got plenty of reviewing to do.  I'm now on a spending ban until some of those reviews happen!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

New Camera...

Since I started writing this blog, I've been really unhappy with the pictures I've been taking, so with that, and my burgeoning interest in photography, in mind I went out and got myself a new camera.

I tried a couple of different electronics shops around and about in York, but finally settled on Jessop's as it has a good reputation and really helpful staff.  I went in with less than half an idea of what I wanted/needed and came out very pleased with my new camera, the Nikon Coolpix L810 (here it is if anyone wants to have a look).

I went for a bridge camera in the end because I'm nowhere near confident enough yet to be using a DSLR but still wanted some cool functionality and good results.  Anything beyond point and shoot in auto mode is pretty new to me so I've been spending a lot of time in the last week experimenting with different modes (macro is my new love!) and getting some results that I'll be proud to start posting.  (Below is one of the random close-up shots I tried, I thought it turned out quite well)

I've got a lot of posts written that are just waiting for me to start adding pictures and I can't wait to get started with them!

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