Saturday, 25 August 2012

A Review: Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream

Hello! Back in June I received the Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream as part of my SheSaid Beauty Box, I've had plenty of time to use it and I'm ready to report back with my thoughts!

So first of all, this product is 98.8% natural. It's part of the super moisturising range by the brand Balance Me, which is for very dry skin and is supposed to help minimise the appearance of stretch marks and visible signs of ageing, formulated with shea butter, sweet almond oil, karageenan gum, kukui nut oil, and 2 ancient skin ingredients, benzoin, which the Egyptians used in the embalming process before mummification (sounds a little scary!) and yarrow, which is meant to be what Achilles used on his soldiers in the Trojan war! Sounds pretty exotic right?! Some weird and wonderful sounding ingredients in there, and still, it's all made in the UK!

At first, I squeezed a little bit more than a pea sized amount, 2 peas perhaps, onto my hand and rubbed it in - my standard hand cream procedure. I've got to say, I didn't really like it, it was thick, sticky and took over an hour to sink in. To be honest I thought "oh great, this is not what I was expecting or looking for, what a let down."

Then I came at it with a different approach, I did the same as before only this time, right before I went to bed, and put some of the Body Shop's Organically Gown Cotton Moisture Boost Gloves on top. This way I didn't have to deal with the stickiness and I would hopefully get the moisture and soft hands that the description promised! Whilst the gloves helped things, and I've got to say, my hands did feel soft, they didn't feel super duper soft, which is what I'd expect from, lets face it, a slightly more expensive hand cream. After a couple of uses I did notice more of an improvement but my hands still didn't have the super soft texture I was looking for (and they're not horrendously dry). I think this might be one to stick with and use daily to see better results, but I haven't been blown away so far.

I do really like the smell of the cream though, it's a strange herbally sort of smell, with what I think is lavender but it really makes me think of an English countryside spa (not that I've ever been to one!) And I do like the packaging, the standard squeezy tube (although I do prefer a pump dispenser) in a nice sunny yellow colour, it's a pretty one to have out on your dresser!

Overall I might purchase this in full size, but I probably want to see if I can find a better product first. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice product and I do like it, but my optimism tells me that there are better products out there for my money (hopefully). I love the smell, I like the exotic sounding and interesting ingredients, I really like that it's made in the UK and it's 98.8% natural, that's all ticking boxes for me. The price is middle of the range at £14.50 for 100ml (or £6 for the 30ml size that I have) and the packaging is my sort of style. I just haven't been blown away by the results, I'm sorry! I really wanted to love this, but I've got to be honest, it was okay, it's fine, definitely not one for your handbag, more of a nightstand product due to the fact that it takes so long to sink in, but I'm not overly convinced it's so great at softening and moisturising.

Have you tried this product? What did you think?
Eleanor x

Friday, 24 August 2012

Lush's Dragon Egg Bath Ballistic

Hello! So the other day I had my first bath ballistic experience. I know, I'm 19, it should have happened long ago, believe me when I say I'm as embarrassed for me as you are! I LOVE passing Lush while I'm shopping, it always smells divine and makes me want to go inside and, well... buy things! But I do find the sales staff in there quite scary, they're so persistent, I always feel really shy when they approach me and it just makes me want to run for the door.. If you can't tell, I'm the sort of shopper that likes to be left to browse at my leisure, so the service in Lush really isn't my cup of tea, don't get me wrong, I know the staff have to do that and they probably don't want to, but I just feel really uncomfortable when I go in!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I had some lush vouchers to spend so I braced myself and went in! I wandered around looking at all sorts of bubble bars and body butters (anyone else thinking that Lush is obsessed with B alliteration?)  I could see the lady that worked there watching me, but I think she sensed that I was a bit awkward and she didn't come over, which I was greatly relieved by!
In the end, amongst other things I decided to try the Dragon Egg Bath Ballistic, I pretty much just played it by what I liked the smell of rather than what I wanted from my bath so what to expect was a complete surprise!

Dragon Egg is pretty big! It's white with colourful sort of discs (which the lush website informs me are supposed to be dragon scales, clever!) and has a citrusy scent which is what I was drawn to.

I cut mine in half because it was sooo big! I thought I could make it go a little further and make 2 baths out of it. Inside I discovered the different layers that make up the Dragon Egg, there's orange with a gold core! I dropped half of the ballistic into my bath after I had finished running the water and stood watching it fizz, there was white creamy foam with swirls of orange that all ended up as gold, glimmering water, and it smelled amazing!

There weren't any bubbles and I was worried that the glittery water would leave me looking like a disco ball, but it hardly transferred at all! And I've got to say that I wasn't bothered by the lack of bubbles at all because the iridescent gold water was so mesmerising and beautiful!

the water looked prettier than this in real life, I promise
After the bath, my skin felt so soft and the smell of Dragon Egg lingered all day! I kept sniffing my arm to check whether I could still smell it... weird I know...
I also found out from the lush website that their ballistics contain essential oils and butters to moisturise the skin, and that they were originally invented because bubble bath actually irritates the urinary tract in some women and children! Gross I know, but it's nice to learn new things! Lush also only use vegetarian friendly ingredients which I think is great! And of course everyone knows that hey don't test any of their products on animals!
This is definitely not like anything I've tried before and I can see that now I've tried a ballistic there's no going back, I really loved dragon's egg and I can't wait to use up the other half. I couldn't recommend this enough if you haven't tried it, it's my birthday soon and I know exactly what I'll be asking for!

Have you tried Dragon Egg? What did you think of it? I'd love to hear other people's favourite Lush products to give me an idea of what to try next!
Eleanor x

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Glossybox August 2012

Hello! This month, to celebrate the Olypmics (I'm so sad they're over!) Glossybox put together an International Superstars box, which sounded very exciting, and I love the design on the front of the information card! Here's what I got in my box...

Alessandro Pro White Original Effect Polish from Germany - Now, forgive me, but I'm really not the sort of person to get over-excited about clear nail varnish, apparently this also whitens the nails... Meh, I'm not so thrilled to have received this, it's something I probably won't get a great deal of use out of and I'd prefer to have received something else, but I'll give it a try, you never know, I might like it!

Valentino Valentina Assoluto Eau de Parfum from Italy - I'm not particularly over the moon to see yet ANOTHER 5ml perfume sample in a beauty box, I mean, is it just me or do they occasionally give these out in Selfridges and John Lewis? I know I've been handed a fair few for FREE, so I'm not too happy about paying for one to be sent to me in a box, maybe I'm being greedy, I don't know... I do however quite like the smell of this one, it's not exactly my typical type of scent, but it's nice, I like it! A little bit floral, but not too heavy, slightly sweet, it's nice.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil from Japan - The most exciting product in the box for me, I haven't heard of this before, it looks interesting and I'm excited to try it out! I think this is along the same sort of lines as products like Bio Derma, but it looks like a little more oil and a little less water, it's described as revolutionary and the best makeup remover ever, I'm very pleased that this is in my box!

Vera Valenti L'ombre a Paupiere Margarita from Spain - This is a little eyeshadow palette that contains 10 shadows in shades of brown, green and beige, I'm not wowwed by this, I'm not drawn to any of the colours, I actually don't really like the greens, and half of one of the shadows has smashed and covered the rest of the palette with green dust, great! haha! I'll have a go with it, I might like it better on!

Lipcote from the UK - Oh Glossybox, I already have one of these! I've got to say though, I would have been happy to get this if I hadn't already got one. As it happens, I haven't yet tried mine out and this has reminded me that I need to, if it's good then I suppose then it's a good job I have a backup!

Glossybox Lipstick in Glossy Pink - I'm not really sure how I feel about this, I don't really enjoy receiving Glossybox own brand products, I'd rather get another sample from another company (sorry Glossybox!) the colour looks okay, a naturalish pink, a little bright which I'm not keen on, I don't know, this is kinda blah, where have the days of Burberry miniature lipsticks gone?! *cry*

Ahh if you couldn't tell I'm feeling a bit underwhelmed by this box, I was really excited by the theme and thought it held such potential for some great products and brands to be featured, but the products I received really weren't the sort of thing I had in mind. I'm not sure whether the beauty box has had it's day, recently I've been getting unimpressive box after unimpressive box and I'm not too sure if I can justify my subscriptions for much longer, I definitely feel that this time last year they were much more exciting and hopefully they can get back to that very soon rather than continuing to fill boxes with clear nail varnish, perfume samples and their own brand products..

Does anyone agree with me? Have you been feeling uninspired by your beauty boxes recently? Let me know!
Eleanor x

Friday, 17 August 2012

Makeup Haul: MUA and Bh Cosmetics

Hello! I am actually on a spending ban at the moment, partly because I horribly overspent the past few months and need to claw back some pennies, but also partly because I just have soo much makeup and clothes so it'll be nice to try and get some good use out of the things I already have whilst I'm not buying anything new (expect a few shopping the stash and review posts) but I was a little bit naughty just before my ban started and put in these 2 orders that I have to show today...

The first was from the BHCosmetics website, which is actually an american site but they ship all over the world and they were having a sale so everything was pretty cheap! I haven't really heard much about the brand to be honest but I remember FleurDeForce saying that she really liked their blush brushes, so obviously I had to check them out! Here's what I bought:

6 colour contour & blush palette, eye and lip primer, eye blending brush, all-over face brush, 10 pieces deluxe makeup brush set in wood colour, kabuki brush with pouch.

My order came within about 7-10 days and I was expecting it to take much longer, so I was really impressed by how quickly it came, it was also really well packaged with plenty of cushioned wrapping which was all recyclable! Which I thought was really great! So far I've been really impressed by everything, so expect some reviews in the near future!!

Next was the MUA order I put in last week, I went on the website mainly because I keep reading good thing after good thing about their eyeshadow palettes and when the undressed palette was in FleurDeForce's monthly favourites for July (can you tell that I love her?) I thought, "just do it, get it." So basically, I did. I went on the website just to have a look t the colours in the palette really but ended up making quite the order after being greeted by a 25% off facebook offer (it'd be rude not to!!) So this is what I got:

Love hearts lip balms in great lips, sweet kiss, hot lips and kiss me, lip booms in O.M.G and doin good, eyeshadow 12 shade palettes in heaven and earth, undressed and dusk til dawn, extreme curl mascara in black, gel eyeliner in fairground, angled shadow liners in black, auburn and gunmetal.

The order came in around a week, which I thought was fine considering I got free postage and the eyeshadow palettes were given extra care in the packaging so they didn't break which was great!

So yes, I have more than enough to keep me going through my ban, it's going to be a painful couple of months that I can't spend for, I've already got a growing list of things to get when I'm allowed to spend my money again, I'm terrible, I know

Sunday, 12 August 2012

She Said Beauty Box August 2012

Hello! I'm here with my (late - sorrysorrysorry) SheSaid Beauty Box post about the August box! This is the 4th box I have received in my subscription, and I have been very happy with the past three (see what I got in May, June and July) and not so happy with the glossyboxes I've been sent (see what I got in May, June and July) but August seems to have been a month of reversals, I've got to say I was a little more pleased with glossybox - they still haven't wowed me, but we're getting there - and I was quite disappointed with the SheSaid Beauty Box that I was sent... Anyway, I'll show you what was in my box!

White Glo Professional Choice Toothpaste - Toothpaste. Toothpaste? TOOTHPASTE?! This month in a beauty box I got toothpaste?! As soon as I saw this I knew it wasn't going to be a good box, and it's not even full size! A sample size toothpaste. really shesaid? really? I am not impressed by this at all. toothpaste to me is just boring, even the whitening ones, I just really don't care all that much about them, so I was not pleased in the slightest that this was in there. In my beauty boxes I want exciting things, pretty and maybe a bit frivolous or more expensive than I'd usually buy to treat myself! I do not, want toothpaste.

Balance Me Rose Otto Intensive Lip Salve - For me this was really the only redeeming product in the box, I finally have this after my epic search through every Glamour magazine I could find last month and not being able to track this freebie down. I'm so glad that this was included because it's had some really great reviews and it was so annoying that I couldn't find it (yes I know I could have just bought it, but really, who wants to spend £12 on a lip balm?!) so thank you for that one, I really am looking forward to trying this out.

Redken Color Extend Radiant-10 - I really really want this to be useful to me, I really do, but I don't have coloured hair! I was pleased to see redken in the box because I know how good they're meant to be, it's just unfortunate that this product isn't suited to my needs so that's disappointing, but kudos for the redken brad inclusion shesaid.

Papier Poudre Rachel Powdered Paper - This is a sort of blotting paper that is powdered, I quite like the packaging, I've got to say,not that interested in the product itsself because I don't like my makeup to be too powdery and my face doesn't tend to get so oily that I need to blot it, but I'll try them out and it's another brand my eyes have been opened to via the medium of the beauty box, so I suppose that's one good thing to come of it!

Absolutely Flawless Nail Foils - I was sent the metallic silver foils with a black leopard print design, they're nice enough, I still want to try them out to see if they're any good and if they are have a look at the other designs  to see if there are any that I like, but this design just aren't really my cup of tea and I find them a little bit tacky or cheap looking (sorry!)

4711 Eau De Cologne - This was really strange, the bottle was absolutely tiny! It didn't say on it what it was, so I had to have a look on the card to find out: it's a perfume. I'm just going to come out and say it, I don't like the smell of this, it's just not my kind of thing, it's way too heavy, so if you like that sort of thing then check this out.

So for me this month's box was a disappointment, but to be honest it wasn't because the products were bad ones, it just so happens that they weren't suited to me this month and I guess that's the chance you take when you sign up to beauty boxes, you're never going to love everything... The toothpaste though, what was that about? Not cool.

Maybe my expectations are a little high after being so pleased with past boxes? What do you think of this box?
Eleanor x

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Monthly Favourites: July 2012

Hello! OH MY GOD IT'S AUGUST!!! Half the summer has gone. Where has it gone?! I don't know... *sob*

Anyway! On with my favourite things of July!

So firstly, I have Olympic fever. There, I said it. The Olympics has to be my biggest favourite this morning, I've been loving it! I have barely watched anything else that's been on the t.v, there's always something I want to watch on! I've been particularly enjoying the women's artistic gymnastics, the synchronised diving (especially the mens, mmmmm...) the swimming, the equestrian, the canoe slalem, the fencing, it's great! I'm actually watching the equestrian team showjumping at the moment, me and my sister have been glued to the equestrian coverage for days as we're quite the horsewomen haha! So yes, the London 2012 Olympic games have been one of my favourite things this month!
My next favourite for this month has been magazine freebies! There's not a whole lot to say on this because I have already written a post about it here, but I have loved how many magazines have had great freebies this month! Another favourite that I've already written a post about here, is this month's Glossybox. I hadn't been too happy with what Glossybox have been sending me in their boxes recently, but I was quite happy with what I was sent this month, and I have seen that other people got great products like the Nuxe dry oil, and the Paul Mitchell awapuhi moisture mist. I think Glossybox included  great selection of products this month in their various boxes and I'd have been happy to receive any of them!

So for my more beauty related favourites, this month I have continued to love my Figs&Rouge Pomegranate Balm, I've been applying it almost every day, I have also been wearing my VIVO baked blush in the shade peaches and cream every day and I LOVE it!! I have already written a post all about how much I love it here that includes some close up swatches etc. I've been using my E.L.F studio blush brush every day as well to apply my VIVO blush and it does a really nice job! I've also been using my Garnier BB cream almost every day in July too because I haven't felt like wearing too much on my face because it's been a bit humid here in the UK!

So that's what I've been loving in July! I've got a couple of ideas in the pipeline for a series or two, so hopefully they'll be popping up here and there in the near future, and I'm currently on a spending ban because I have way too much stuff and not a great deal of money, so, it makes sense to stop buying more stuff... haha! So some shopping the stash type posts might be appearing too, and reviews and all sorts of things basically!
Eleanor x

Monday, 6 August 2012

Liebster Blog Award!

Hello! I was very surprised and thrilled to receive an email yesterday with a comment from the lovely Claire telling me that she had nominated me for a liebster blog award! This was so unexpected because I've only been blogging for the past couple of months!
The award is basically about "discovering new blogs and helping those with less than 200 followers to get recognised." and here are the Rules:
1. Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.
2. They must also answer the 11 questions the ' tagger ' has set for them.
3. They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
4. They must then choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers and tag them in their post.
5. These lucky bloggers must then be told.
6. There's no tag backs.

11 Things about me:
- I am at university studying ancient history.
- I am a major politics geek and regularly go off on passionate rants about various political things.
- I am completely fascinated by a few different areas of philosophy like religion, metaphysics and epistemology.
- I did ballet dancing for 16 years and wanted to go to ballet school to be a professional ballerina (it was too expensive *cry*).
- I can read Ancient Greek at a basic level.
- I love playing video games, especially on co-op with Matt, and my favourites are the Halo series, Fallout3, Little Big Planet and Resident Evil.
- I enjoy writing lists.
- I am 100% addicted to Made in Chelsea (I can't deal with it not being on tv!) and the channel 4 gypsy programmes (guilty pleasure).
- I eat way too much chocolate - I'm just finishing off a bar as I write this... oops!
- I am allergic to caffeine.
- I am about 5'2" and I hate being so short!

1. What and who was your biggest inspiration when it comes to blogging?
One of my biggest inspirations was my best friend Jen, she doesn't have her own blog, but we always talk about makeup together and different products, and our conversations inspired me to start a blog and share my ideas with other people too! But I found Zoe's blog inspired me into wanting to start me own too as well as Katie, Anna and Louise.
2.Your all time 3 favourite makeup items?
I would have to say, concealer (because oh god do I need it!!) mascara and highlighter.
3. Style icon?
The Olsens, I know it's boringly obvious, but it's true! Alexa Chung, Cara Delevigne, I love Olivia Palermo's style, and Lauren Conrad, Margherita Missoni, I love Louise Thompson from Made in Chelsea too.... I could go on!
4. Heels or Flats?
If I could only wear one then probably heels but I do tend to wear flats more often... gah, I don't know!!
5. Favourite beauty youtuber/blogger
favourite youtuber: Barbara (thepersianbabe) favourite blogger: Alexandra (The Wall Flower)
6. Current makeup splurge?
I recently bought the Stila in the Light Palette!
7. Most disappointing makeup product?
Probably the revlon lip butters? I don't really know!
8. Biggest achievement to date?
Probably my A-level results and getting into uni!
9. Favourite high street makeup brand?
I'd have to say either Sleek or Revlon I think...
10. Hopes for the future?
To graduate with a good class in my degree, to live in a nice house, and to be happy and healthy!

Since writing this post, I have also been tagged by Grace!! So I've answered her questions too:

1. What is your favourite food type?
Definitely Oriental,it's a bit of a toss up between Thai and Japanese!
2. What is your childhood memory?
When I was about 4 and my dad built this huge blue teepee in the garden in the summer, it was really nice and hot and I would sit in it and eat my lunch and play in the school holidays.. haha!!
3. What is your most treasured piece of jewellery?
I have a few, a swarovski bracelet, a links of london necklace and a pair of sapphire and diamond earrings, they're all very special to me
4. Who is your girl crush?
I love Victoria Beckham, and K-Mid. They're both so elegant and beautiful and sophisticated and poised. I do have quite a few girl crushes though haha!!
5. If your fire alarm went off what would be the one marerial item you would risk grabbing?
This one is really hard! Erm... maybe my phone? I can't really think!
6. What is your favourite accent?
7. What one fashion item would you buy if you could afford it?
The Jeffrey Campbell cosmic Litas, or a Burberry coat, they always do the nicest A/W outerwear
8.  Where is your dream place to live?
England, it's lovely here!! I would like to spend some time in Cali though
9. What is your favourite hobby? ( other than blogging ofc ;) )
I looove yoga and pilates, I used to dance a lot which i loved and I wish I still had time for it, and I like horseriding when I can too
10. Who is your favourite beauty 'guru'?
I think I'd have to say Anna, I think she seems like such a nice person and she comes across as really friendly in her videos and on her blog, and I always find what she's saying really interesting. I could sit and watch her videos for a long time, and anything she says she likes, I have to go out and get some immediately haha!
11. Why did you start blogging?
I just really love reading blogs myself, and watching youtube videos and I love makeup and clothes and skincare, so I thought, maybe someone will want to read my thoughts on these things? And apparently some people do! Which is lovely :)

My 11 questions to the people I tag:
1. What is the one beauty product you couldn't leave the house without?
2. Where do you get your style inspiration?
3. What is the number one beauty item, and number 1 fashion item on your wishlist?
4. Your favourite high street shop for accessories?
5. What is/was your favourite subject at school?
6. Who is your favourite beauty/fashion youtuber/blogger?
7. Your favourite magazine to read?
8. Describe your style.
9. If you were to change your hair in any way, how would you have it?
10. Describe your signature makeup look.
11. What colour lipstick are you always attracted to?

The Beautiful Bloggers I'm tagging:
Another Georgia
and Selina!

Go check out all these blogs if you aren't already subscribed and share the love, they're great! So that's all from me today! And a huge thank you to Claire for tagging me! :)
Eleanor x