Sunday, 27 April 2014

Review: Elemis Skin Brilliance Hydrating Skincare Treasures Collection

Today I have a long review for you of the "Elemis Skin Brilliance Hydrating Skincare Treasures Collection" that I've been trying out for a couple months now. It comes in a gorgeous box that I'm now using to store my crafty supplies and contains 4 of Elemis's hydrating products; a cleanser, a toner, a moisturiser and a scrub- a whole skincare routine in a box!






On with the reviews!





Lets get the negative out of the way first, okay? This sounded so good when I first pulled it out of the box, I love roses and anything that has 'rehydrating' in the title makes my dry skin sing. Unfortunately, I really dislike this cleanser. It's an odd creamy slick consistency that you massage on then remove the 'excess' with a damp cotton pad. I tried it this way and hated the 'film' feeling on my skin they boast about. After that I just used it like a regular cleanser and my skin still hated it, it felt dry and tight as opposed to rehydrated.
I feel I should also mention that when I first started using this I got an awful skin reaction, my skin felt like I had been burnt and it took a good two weeks of simple cleansing and witch hazel for it to go back to normal but I can't be sure it was this as I haven't had that reaction since.
Repurchase? No, I don't think so.





Then immediately onto the most positive! This is one of my favourite toners ever. I love Apricots, they're my favourite food and this smells exactly like them. I really look forward to this part of my skincare routine. This feels really good on my skin, I love toners for adding that extra bit of moisture after cleansing before I slap on my face cream and this does the trick. I'd prefer it to have a few less ingredients that I don't know how to pronounce but the fact it doesn't have alcohol in it puts it leaps and bounds ahead of most toners.
Repurchase? Yes! Oh my goodness yes!





A light everyday moisturiser that isn't too heavy and gets the job done? Sounds like a dream. I use this in the mornings under my make-up and my skin is still okay at night when I take it off. Unfortunately this doesn't come with an SPF meaning you have to put another product on top of this and for something claiming to be a day cream- disappointing.
Repurchase? Maybe! This wasn't a bad cream overall, I just wish it had SPF.





I like this exfoliator! It's a manual exfoliator meaning it has little gritty bits in it to remove the skin rather than being a chemical exfoliator which I prefer but it's not half-bad! It's does feel a little scratchy as the particles are in a cream rather than a gel but it does the job and makes my skin feel really smooth with no redness. I do sometimes feel like places are getting missed though because the particles are quite spread out in the cream.
Repurchase? Probably not, I prefer using my Clarasonic or a chemical exfoliant for a more thorough job.

Overall I'm glad I got to try these products and bar the cleanser, all of them are going to good use. You can't get this set anymore but you can get the products separately. The Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser is £21. The Soothing Apricot Toner is £21. The Maximum Moisture Day Cream is £38. And the Skin Buff is £27.

Have you ever tried these products from Elemis? What did you think?

Friday, 18 April 2014

Guest Post: Fiction Friday: Top Five Books of 2014 (So Far!)

Today I have another guest post for you from the lovely Siobhan who I've met in person and is absolutely as wonderful as she appears. She is sharing with you her top five books of 2014 so far, all of which I haven't read and now need too! So without further ado...



Hello friends!

My name is Siobhan and I write over at Siobhan Emma, which I started in December 2013, originally as a food blog, but over the past couple of months it has slowly started to morph into a lifestyle blog where I review my recent reads, write about the clothes and beauty essentials I love, as well as days out and everything in between...and of course I still write about food too.  I love it too much to not write about it!

As a fellow book worm, I will be taking over Fiction Friday this week for the lovely Imogen whilst she's on her jolly's, and today I would like to share with you my top five reads of 2014 (so far!).



My one and only Kindle read of the year so far, and which technically I started at the end of 2013, but I didn't finish it until 2014 so I'm classing this one as counting...I love it too much not to include it.  Personally I would save this read for the festive season, as this book consists of three love stories over Christmas time; Christmas Eve to be exact.  The stories are are written by three different authors, two of which are two of my favourite teen fiction authors, Maureen Johnson, and the King of teen fiction, Mr John Green.

I'm not usually one for love stories, but these ones are more heart warming than mushy, gushy, and I love that they're set on Christmas Eve, my favourite day over the festive season (Yes, even more so than Christmas Day...even if I do have to work!).  There are no twists or turns in this book, just three lovely stories to get you into the spirit of things and feel all fuzzy inside during the most wonderful time of year.



This was my first official book of 2014.  This book was recommended to me as a great read for feeling inspired during the new year, so as soon as I finished reading 'Let It Snow', I got my nose stuck straight into this.  Although I really struggled through the beginning of the book, it was so worth the struggle of that first part to get to the truly inspiring parts for me.  Elizabeth's memoirs of her time in India and Indonesia are so beautifully written.  She has really inspired me to see more of the World and experience life more.

Again this isn't a book with twists and turns, as these are the memoirs of Elizabeth's journey through life after her divorce, and I really felt like I went on the journey with her.  At the beginning of the book you really feel for her as she describes the pain she is going through with her extremely rocky divorce, then as you get towards the end of the book, you can practically feel the happiness beaming out of the book.  This is a really great read if you're feeling a little lost in life and need a little inspiration.



I had never heard of Ruth Ozeki until I came across this book in a blogger book club I am a part of.  A tale for the Time Being is read from two perspectives. There is the main character Nao, where it is as if you are reading her memoirs that have washed up on a beach and are found by Ruth, who is the other characters perspective you read from.

I'm not actually a huge fan of Ruth's character, as I found her to be quite mean to her poor partner Oliver quite a lot of the time, but luckily for me, as the book was written as if Ruth was also reading Nao's memoirs as well as you, the focus was mainly on Nao's character, who I just found enchanting, and at times tragic.  Some of the stories she tells you are heart breaking, and at times cover pretty heavy subjects, but to balance these out are the stories of her and her grandmother, and I couldn't help but smile at these stories.  There is a slight hint of fantasy in this book as well, which always gets a big thumbs up from me!

What I love most is the message in this book, which I can't really tell you without pretty much telling you the entire story, but it definitely put things into perspective for me.



Ahhhh 'Wonder'...what a wonderful read.  This is such a feel good story, reminding you that us humans aren't all bad.  August was born with a severe facial defect, and the book takes you on his journey from being home schooled to being a student in a public school, and how he copes with being thrown into all of these new situations that he has never had to deal with before.

This is another book based on a number of people's perspectives; August, his sister, his friends, and even his sister's boyfriend, which actually opened my eyes.  You got to see how August's condition not only affected him, but those close to him as well.  Sometimes we can forget that although conditions as severe as August's will obviously affect the person who has to live with the condition, but it will affect those around that person and care for them as well, just in different ways, and it's good to be reminded of these things sometimes.

I won't give the ending away, but I'm not going to lie, the ending brought a little happy tear to my eye.



Oh Lord...it's THE book.  The book that has broken hearts all around the World!  And come June we have to sit through a whole film of it!

I put off reading this book for so long because I knew it would make me cry, but with the film release looming ever closer, it had to be done...and what a wonderful, heart breaking story it is!

Hazel Grace Lancaster is terminally ill due to cancer, and whilst attending one of her support groups, she meets Augustus Waters, who completely turns her World upside down, thus starts the amazing love story that is Hazel and Gus, which ends far too soon for my liking, however, completely not in the way that I expected, and if anything, broke my heart more than I was anticipating!

This book is an emotional roller coaster, so if you are yet to read it...prepare yourself!

So there you have my top five reads of 2014 so far.  I hope they've given you some ideas of what you can read next, and if you have any recommendations for me, then please throw them my way!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Guest Post: Sleek Blush by 3 Palette in Lace Review

Today I have my first guest post for you from the beautiful Helen who we have heard about before on my blog here. She is talking about the Sleek Blushes that I think I need now! Make sure to check out her blog as well. Less of me talking, onto Helen…

Hi everyone! I'm Helen from over at Beautiful Curiosities! Imogen kindly invited me to write a post for her blog whilst she's away on her holiday. I couldn't resist taking the chance to talk about one of my newest purchases - the Sleek Blush by 3 Palette in Lace. After being thoroughly impressed by Sleek's Face Form kit, I decided a larger variety of Sleek blushes was essential. *cough* Really I just can't resist pretty things *cough*.

Anyway, onto the palette. The Blush by 3 palettes are identical to any of the other Sleek palettes: a professional-looking, but not so practical (it shows up every mark ever) slim black palette. The back of the palette shows you the shades included as if you're looking at the palette from above. In the Lace 367 palette there are: Crochet (a highly pigmented matte orange), Guipure (a salmon pink with gold shimmer) and Chantilly (a highly pigmented matte red).


All three of the shades included are easily buildable. I did notice that Crochet and Chantilly have a slightly more powdery texture than Guipure, presumably because of their matte formula. The shimmer in Guipure becomes more apparent in direct sunlight. 

Onto some cheek swatches:
Apologies that the swatches aren't as fantastic as they could be - my laptop stupidly desaturates all of my photos and I had some trouble making them comparable to the original photos taken. I think you can still tell the difference between each of the shades though, so hopefully they're still helpful! I'll make the pictures XL to help out a little bit! The colours are also more obvious in a slightly darker room.

Chantilly:
I think most people would agree that this is the most wearable shade for every day use. For days when you just want to add a hint of non-shimmery colour to your cheeks. I love how natural a couple of layers can look. I look instantly healthier!



Guipure:
As expected due to its formula, Guipure is a very delicate pale rose colour on the skin with a subtle gold shimmer. It's very similar to the blush included in the Sleek Face Form Contour palette (in shades Fair and Light), which has been recognised as a dupe for the Nars Orgasm Blush. This blush would require quite a few layers to build up the colour, as it's much less pigmented than the other two shades (as is visible in the pictures below). It can, however, be worn on top of the other shades if you want a more highly pigmented, shimmery look.



Crochet:
And the real surprise of this palette - orange blush doesn't look as bad as I was expecting on my yellow toned skin. Once applied, crochet becomes a much more delicate peach colour (depending on the number of layers applied, of course), and I think it could be the perfect shade for the summer months!



And there we have it! A comprehensive, and hopefully helpful, guide to the Lace palette. I've not been disappointed by this palette and I'm sure it's going to become a staple in my make-up routine!

Have you tried any of the Sleek palettes before? Got any recommendations?

Helen x

Friday, 11 April 2014

Fiction Friday: Books I'm taking on Holiday...

Today I'm off to Florence for two weeks, in fact I'm writing this in the airport. Today I thought I'd show you the books I chose to bring with me for my trip. Even when I wasn't reading a lot- holidays were the one time that I read more than any other time, probably because the lack of wifi. So picking holiday books is a nightmare. I want easy books, hard books, sad books, happy books. So…

I think I have all my bases covered. Shatter Me was a given since I'm doing a buddy read of it, so was Lexicon* which I have been reading for about a week and is an incredible book. My friend Aime demanded I take Uglies and when I asked on instagram, Lianne said I should take Flowers for Algernon that I hauled here, Game of Thrones and Woman in Black. I needed my dose of Tolkien so brought along The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring. My brother is going to be around for the first week of my holiday so I had to bring John Dies at the End because he keeps telling me to read it. I won The Ruby Slippers* and The Undertaking* from Goodreads and they've been calling to me ever since they arrived. I am Legend and Dolores Claiborne will cover any need I have for a scary read. And The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Muddle Earth cover any comedy needs.

And of course a guidebook. Times like these make me wish I had a kindle. 

Have you read any of these books? Do you have more restraint than I do when packing? 

*I won these from Goodreads, I'm not obligated to talk about them on my blog,

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Thank You to Helen!

Just a short post from me today! Last week I had some amazing luck and won Helen's 50 follower giveaway for some Lush goodies and some chocolate and sweets which have- mysteriously disappeared. Helen is a super sweet blogger who's blog I actually found via the UK Black Milk Facebook group and I was absolutely thrilled to win.

I got a little carried away with the props but look at how dang cute!



So thank you again to Helen and I urge you all to go and check out her blog at Beautiful Curiosities! <3

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Sample Review: GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment!


The hype! The hype! I'm always a little hesitant when a product has a huge hype because 9/10 they just fall short. Revlon Lip Butters, looking at you. So there was no way I was going to buy the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment at £40 for a tiny tub. But I was given this sample in a French Sephora and thought I would give it a try. Side note: I love that they give out samples, Boots needs to start doing that.





I don't have problem skin but I like a good cleaning every now and again because once in a while the products I use for my dry skin feel like they're not soaking up as well because my cleanser is oil based, my masks are oil based, my moisturiser is oil based and it just a lot of oil.



So I ripped open the sachet and slathered my face in the weird dark grey goop (technical term) and waited, sending several selfless to my friends making various faces. It dried to a pale grey but left me with really attractive dark grey dots on my nose where I presume it was sucking out all the oil from my pores. I then took to the bathroom where it washed off really easily and sat down in front of my magnifying mirror to have a look.

The Result? My pores did seem invisible and my skin felt tight but not too dry, but after moisturising and sleeping, this effect all but vanished. My skin looked just like it had before I did the mask. Maybe it's something you need to use repeatedly but you'd hope the results would last longer.
My friend Ashley has this mask too but has combination skin and she liked it, it made her skin a little dry but worked pretty well.

Am I going to buy it? I don't think so. My funds don't quite stretch to a £40 face mask but I would be very interested in looking into similar face masks that can make my pores disappear like that for days I need my pores to go away!
Have you tried this mask? What did you think?

Friday, 4 April 2014

Fiction Friday: Books I Read in March!

It was not a good month! Call it a slump, a wall, a plateau, whatever, I just wasn't reading much this month and every time I picked up a book I would read maybe five pages and put it down again. I even gave up on a book. But I have two  books and one  book so at least it wasn't a complete disaster!




I have a thing for late night radio/ radio talk shows. I think it comes from loving the TV show Frasier as a kid. But when I was googling around for something radio show based, I found the Kitty Norville series which you will have seen me haul here! The main difference being that Kitty is a werewolf and the radio show is a talk show for the supernatural- werewolves and vampires basically. I wasn't expecting a huge amount from these books though. I was kind of expecting the same kind of thing as the True Blood books- especially with a Charlaine Harris quote on the front. I was guessing it was going to be a fun, supernatural, trashy kinda read. But I was pleasantly surprised. Any book that manages to reference Paradise Lost on the 7th page is not to be treated like a trashy novel because damn. I was taught the first two books at school and that is not a book I would manage to reference easily.
It was fun while managing to deal with some pretty dark stuff with pack dynamics and growing up as a werewolf, and kept me reading long into the night.


Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Yes, I am twenty. I'm an adult. I can read what I want! You may remember me kinda hauling these books and I decided to relive my childhood while reading something easy and enjoyable. And it was, it didn't suffer from the Princess Diaries problem of no time passing as this book covers a year and is much more like a diary. It was funny and reminded my a lot of my school experiences at that age, horrifying as they were, with boys and my ugly school uniform and friends.
My only issue with the book is the rather problematic references to LBGT people which reflects the time is was written (1999) and unfortunately now. I'm not sure I'd let my future kids read it just because I don't think I'd want them thinking like that. But as an adult I can see the problem and know better.


Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent*
This book was original, and what I mean by that is that I have never read a book quite like this. Written from several peoples perspective, I read this book in one day and had a constant sense of unease as the story unravelled. It's hard to explain this book, I would recommend this to someone looking for a bit of a psychological creepy read but beware if you're someone sensitive to issues such as domestic abuse because that is the overlaying storyline.
"Oliver Ryan is a monster."


A book I gave up on was Insurgent by Veronica Roth, the sequel to Divergent that I reviewed here. I got 256 pages in before I put it on my Paused shelf on Goodreads so I gave it a good try and maybe I'll pick it up later but I just couldn't read it any longer, it was making me sad to see it on my Currently Reading. It's such a hyped up book and so many people love it but I just couldn't. 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

*I won this from a Goodreads giveaway, I'm not obligated to talk about it on my blog, I just read it this month.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

(Late) Fiction Friday: Shatter Me Buddy Read!

This post is a couple of days late but it's April Fools so… Surprise! This month (April) I'm going to be doing a Buddy Read with the lovely Lianne from Literary Diversions!





We chose to read Shatter Me since the trilogy has just ended and it's been getting such rave reviews but neither of us had read it! This is the first book in the Young Adult dystopian thriller trilogy and it has a  4.05/5 rating on Goodreads so I'm pretty excited to give this a read. I'm hoping this book will match the beauty of the cover!

"Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior."

Sounds fun, right? And here is Lianne's video about it. Information about the Buddy Read starts at 2:20!



If you want to join us we're going to be reading about 13 chapters a week and I'm going to be posting updates as we go, with a big joint review at the end of the month!

Have you read Shatter Me? What did you think?

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