Herbalism

It’s pretty clear by now that I’m completely in love with LUSH, and I particularly love trying our their face scrubs and cleansers. This time I picked up a tub of Herbalism!  It’s described as ‘a herbal combination of nettles and rosemary to balance and cleanse the skin, with almonds and rice bran to gently exfoliate’. It’s priced at £6.95 for 100g, and although you can get it in a bigger size, I don’t think I’d be able to up a bigger one before the use by date!

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It contains ground almonds, nettle, rosemary and rice vinegar extracts, chamomile blue oil and sage oil, all ingredients that are meant to soothe and cleanse the skin, and, as with the majority of LUSH products, it’s made with 100% natural ingredients.

First impressions are that I love the colour – it’s a brilliant, bright green! It also has a fresh, herbal smell – I can really smell the rosemary and sage coming through which is light and refreshing.

IMG_4316IMG_4319Like with a lot of the LUSH cleansers, you take a chunk of this product and mix it with a little water in the palm of your hand to create a paste, and then use it on your face and body as required. I love the control this ‘paste’ method gives you over how thick the product is – sometimes you want a really intense cleanse, and sometimes you just need a little lift!

Herbalism leaves my face feeling unbelievably soft and nourished, and is actually really lovely to use if I’m having a shower in the evening, as the herbal smell is very relaxing. The one thing I will say is that whilst it can remove base make up, it won’t remove eye make up, so it’s best to use something like Ultrabland (reviewed here) either before or after to properly take your make up off.

It’s a lot less grainy than other exfoliators I’ve tried from LUSH, and although I love a good, concentrated scrub, this will be nice for those days when my face needs something a little bit more gentle. It’ll be perfect to alternate with my Ocean Salt scrub, which you can read my review of here.

Let me know what you think of Herbalism, or if you’d like me to try out any other LUSH products!

Jessica xXx

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Express Your Selfie

The craze of ‘selfies’ has been growing over the past couple of years (the term ‘selfie’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013), and now in 2016, it’s bigger than ever before. People have different opinions on this trend, some love taking, sharing and viewing selfies, and others don’t. And then there are those who don’t really mind either way.

Now I’m a huge believer of people being entitled to their own opinions, and the world would be a very boring place if everyone felt the same about everything. But what really baffles and upsets me, is when someone bashes another person when they post a picture of themselves. On Instagram in particular (which is an app specifically designed to share photos), I’ve seen some really heartbreaking comments on pictures that people have posted of themselves, comments that are not only targeted at their appearance in a selfie, but personal comments about someone that that ‘troll’ doesn’t even know. It saddens me to think that someone can be okay with insulting someone like that, and get away with it because they’re hiding behind a screen.

In my opinion, being confident and comfortable in yourself is one of the best feelings in the world. It’s something that can take a person years to develop, and something that can take someone else seconds and a few words to completely tear down again. If someone feels confident enough to post a picture of themselves for the world to see, then that’s surely an incredible thing? Who is a stranger to bring a person down for feeling good about themself?

As someone who struggles with mental health problems, and battles daily with self-image, posting a selfie is a big deal for me, as I’m sure it is for the majority of people. There are some days I feel like the ugliest person in the world, and there are other days where I feel absolutely incredible. Everyone has good days and bad days, and I really think the good days should be celebrated, and not destroyed.

As an actor, people judge my appearance every day. My CV has a headshot, so my face is literally the first thing someone sees, before they even read about my qualifications or experience. I’ve grown accustomed to being told ‘you just don’t have the right look’, and it’s something I’ve learnt not to take to heart. As part of my training, I was taught to identify what I thought as ‘flaws’ as a ‘unique selling point’ (USP). For example, my big nose means that my face has ‘character’, and I can play Jewish – hurray! In the same way I can identify something I’m not overly keen about, I can also remind myself of the parts I do love about myself. For example, I might not be the biggest fan of my nose, but I love my eyes!

If you look at my Instagram, I’d say about 40-50 per cent of my photos are selfies, and I have absolutely no problem with that. In the same way I love feeling good about a picture of myself, getting likes and positive comments about it, I also love seeing other people’s selfies, and seeing how good someone else is feeling about themselves. When a friend of mine posts a picture of themselves, it genuinely makes me happy, because in that moment, they’re happy.

As yes, Instagram does provide filters, but so what? That doesn’t make a person any less beautiful in real life. People who wear make up are essentially wearing a ‘filter’ on their faces, but it doesn’t make them vain or narcissistic.

There’s a difference between vanity and self-confidence, and if someone doesn’t like you posting selfies, then that’s their problem and you shouldn’t let it stop you doing it. In fact, you should post even more, because it’s fun to annoy those people.

So, readers, keep posting those selfies. You’re all beautiful, and you deserve to feel like you are.

Jessica xXx

Seventeen ‘Easy On The Eye’ Eyeshadow Palette

IMG_3505 (2)IMG_3509 (2)Last week I was picking up a few bits in Boots, when the Seventeen make up display caught my eye. I’ve never used any of their products before, so I decided to give the ‘Easy on the Eye’ in Birthday Suit eyeshadow palette a try. I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve worn eyeshadow – it’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that I have no idea what I’m doing! This palette appealed because it was reasonably priced (£7.99), it had a selection of natural pink and brown shades, and it came with a little guide on how to use it! I also love the packaging. It comes in an eye-catching box, and inside is a sleek black palette with a great mirror and brush, and 11 beautiful shades.

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“A collection of 8 matte, shimmer & pearl powders, 3 metallic creams & 1 eye primer with dual ended applicator, mirror & get the look guide.”

I’ve used this palette 4/5 times now, and I’m so impressed with the results! Here’s how I’ve been achieving a natural pink eyeshadow look, with almost zero effort and expertise!

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The palette comes with a dual ended brush, (which is so much better than the typical tiny sponge applicators you get with eyeshadows!), but I like to use a fluffier brush, so I’ve been using the Seventeen ‘Eyes’ brush, which I picked up for £1.99 from Boots.

 

 

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Before I do my eyes, I do all the rest of my make up. I know some people prefer to do their eyes before they even put their foundation on, but I’m so heavy-handed with my beauty blender I feel like I’d end up spreading eyeshadow all over my face when I put my foundation on!

 

 

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First off, I prime my eyelids with the eye primer provided in the palette. You can buy eye shadow primers separately from pretty much any make up brand, but because I never use eye shadow I’ve never felt the need to buy any! The primer in this kit does the job, and it’s easy to apply with your fingertip, helps your eyeshadow stay put and doesn’t leave your eyelids feeling greasy.

 

IMG_3625 (2)IMG_3649 (2)Next, I apply the metallic cream Pink Flush all over my lids, again using my finger tip. I like to concentrate the product in the inner corners of my eyes, as it acts as a highlighter and makes your eyes look wider and brighter, with a subtle hint of glitter. You could also use this on your brow bone just under your eyebrow arch as a highlighter to add a bit more shimmer to your look.

IMG_3788IMG_3778 (2)The first powder shadow I use is Gentle Pink. I use my brush to apply this all over my lids, making sure to blend from my eye socket up to my brow bone.

You should always start with the lightest shade as the base for your eyeshadow, because you can  gradually build the colour on top. Gentle Pink is a soft, delicate shade with a gentle shimmer that really brightens your eyes and acts as a great base for eye-popping colour. I’d be quite happy to wear this on it’s own with some eyeliner flicks!

IMG_3800IMG_3812IMG_3795Next I use the shade Sun Kissed Peach. With this one, I fill my eyelid, keeping it light in the inner corners and blending a darker colour out the outer corners. This is a matte shade, so the colour is more pigmented, so I’d advise starting off with a little bit on your brush and adding more if you need. Don’t panic if it looks a little bit dark when you first apply it – the trick is to keep blending!

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IMG_3891IMG_3867Finally I use Toasted Almond on the outer corners of my eyes, concentrating on blending into the crease of my eye and up top my brow bone to give it definition and a graduated look. This is a great shade to use last because it’s darker, but it also has a slight shimmer to it, so it’s not too intense.

IMG_3924IMG_3959To finish off the look, I line my eyes with Maybelline Master Ink Matte Liquid Eyeliner in 10 Charcoal Black. I like to use a nice, thin line, just to frame my eyes and compliment the eyeshadow, instead of my usual bold flicks.

 

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Finally, I use  Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara  in 1 Very Black to coat my eyelashes. I concentrate on my outer lashes to create delicate, fanned lashes, and also give my bottom lashes a light coat (I do this because my eyelashes are so fair, but if you’re lucky enough to be blessed with dark eyelashes, you don’t need to use mascara for your bottom lashes!)

So there you have it! My natural, pink eyeshadow look, that if can do it, anyone can! I would really recommend this palette to someone who, like me, has no idea where to start when it comes to eyeshadows! I love the soft, shimmery effect I get from these four colours, and I can’t wait to try out the others for a soft brown look! They also do an ‘Easy on the Eye’ palette called ‘The Big Smoke’, designed for creating that classic ‘smokey eye’.

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Jessica xXx

February LUSH Review

About a week ago I ventured out in the horrible weather with my sister to my favourite LUSH store to add to my ever-growing collection. I had done a little bit of research before I went, and made a list of the products I was interested in, some of which I ended up purchasing, and others which I did not.

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The products I didn’t end up buying were:

  • Herbalism – I still really want to try this, but I didn’t want to buy two facial cleansers and the shop assistant recommended I try Ocean Salt
  • Full of Grace – I’m still fascinated by the concept of this (a solid facial serum) but I’m worried it contains a little too much oil for my combination skin
  • Yummy Mummy and Prince Charming – I was really hoping I would like the smell of one of these because I still haven’t found a LUSH shower gel I like, but I wasn’t overly keen on either of them

I’d still love to give Herbalism and Full of Grace a try, so I’m not ruling them out just yet, and I’m still determined to find a shower gel that I really love the smell of!

Seanik (£5.95)

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This first product is a re-purchase. I reviewed Seanik in my January LUSH Review, and since then I’ve only fallen more in love with it. It has completely changed my haircare routine, just like I hoped it would, and I can’t see myself ever going back to liquid shampoos!

My hair usually goes limp and frizzy the day after I wash it, but after using this for a few weeks now, I’ve found I can leave longer between washes (which is much better for the health of your hair as it isn’t constantly being stripped of its natural oils) and my hair stays shiny and full of volume. I often find that after a couple of weeks my hair ‘gets used’ to a shampoo, and it stops having the same results as it did in the beginning, but Seanik continues to make my hair beautifully big and soft!

12654637_10153996086495337_2479310045446046492_nThere are loads of shampoo bars on offer at LUSH, but Seanik is perfect for my hair type, and I’m really starting to notice a difference in the overall condition of my hair. It’s helping me to really embrace the natural texture of my hair, plus I’ve found that it helps my colour last longer! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the different shampoo bars LUSH sells, my advice would be don’t be afraid to ask for help! The shop assistants are there to give you advice and they really know their stuff.

The reason I re-purchased it now isn’t because I had used my first one up, but because I’m going to be travelling around a bit soon and I wanted a spare one to keep in my wash bag!

Big (£5.95)
IMG_3458Since using a shampoo bar, I’ve been wanting to try out a solid conditioner, so I picked up Big. I chose this one because it’s supposed to be good for hydration and volume.

Being honest, the first few times I used this I was struggling to get any product, as it was quite hard. After 4/5 uses, it did start to soften up, and I got used to the texture, so my advice with this one is to persevere!

My favourite thing about this is it’s great for concentration on a particular area that needs a bit of love, for me it’s my ends, as you can just rub the bar straight onto your hair. It leaves my brittle ends incredibly soft and hydrated, and you can even use it on dry hair for a little bit of extra shine on those days in between washes.

I am still using a conditioning mask once a week (currently it’s the Rainforest Moisture Hair Butter from The Body Shop) for an extra splash of moisture, but I am starting to love this solid conditioner as much as my shampoo bar. I really want to try out the Jungle bar next, as it’s meant to be great for taming wild hair.

Ocean Salt (£7.95/120g)
IMG_3460I’ve been using Dark Angels as my daily scrub, and although I absolutely love the texture and the amount of exfoliation you get from it, I cannot stand the smell of it. Charcoal and Sandalwood are not a nice combination, in my opinion. So when I went into LUSH, I asked the shop assistant if there was anything with the same amount of texture but without the smell, and she recommended this!

This contains vodka*, limes and grapefruit oil and smells like a mojito! I absolutely love the way this smells, it’s perfect to wake you up in the morning.

If you’re like me and you’re a big fan of layers of mascara and eyeliner, it won’t remove your eye make up, but it does leave your face feeling clean, soft and refreshed, and you can use it all over your body if you wanted to!

I was advised not to use this every day because the salt content may dry out my skin, especially in the winter, so I’m alternating between using this and the remainder of my Dark Angels (which is lasting forever!).

*If you’re not keen on putting vodka on your face, it’s also available in an alcohol-free version.

Rub Rub Rub (£8.95/250g)
IMG_3452“Spring into softened skin with floral jasmine, sea salt and fresh lemon juice”. Now I’m not normally a massive fan of jasmine in anything, but it’s very subtle and complements the other scents really beautifully.

You can use it on wet or dry skin, depending on the level of exfoliation you’re looking for, and you can even apparently use it as a shampoo for a massive volume kick (which I haven’t tried yet but I’ll keep you posted!)

I love the consistency of this, and a little goes a long way because it’s jam packed full of salt for a luxurious scrub. Speaking of luxurious, I do think it’s a little on the pricey side, so I’m not using it every day.

One thing that I’m really excited about is that although I’ve only used it 3 or 4 times, it’s made a huge difference to the Keratosis Pilaris on my upper arms. This is a skin condition that’s basically like permanent goosebumps, and they can be red or, in my case, white in colour. They’re nothing to worry about, and they’re extremely common in young women (hurray for hormones) and people with eczema (hurray again), especially during the winter when your skin is naturally more dry, but I’ve never found a product that has worked as well on them! My arms has gone from being bumpy to almost completely smooth and I could not be more happy about it.

Love Lettuce (£6.75/75g)
IMG_3465.JPGI know, I know. I couldn’t wait to have five empty pots and get my Fresh Face Mask for free! I just love this product so much, and when I smelt the lavender fragrance in the shop I couldn’t resist!

The Love Lettuce mask is amazing for balancing out the skin’s natural oils, which is perfect for people with oily or combination skin like myself. It’s also incredibly exfoliating, and I find it really helps with blackheads.

Because it’s fresh, you have to keep this in the fridge to stop it going off, which also means that it’s extremely cooling and refreshing for your face.

It such a lovely weekly treat for my face, and not only does it smell incredible, but it leaves my skin glowing. If you’re a LUSH virgin, I would definitely recommend starting off with a face mask and maybe a bath bomb or two!

Not a massive haul this time around, but I really did my research before I went, and I made sure to get advice from the LUSH staff, who are always fantastic and really brighten up your day. Shout out to the lady in LUSH Exeter who helped out me and my sister, and gave a free soap to an adorable little girl who was very excited!

Jessica xXx

 

 

The Body Shop Haul: First Impressions!

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I love The Body Shop, but as someone on a tight budget, I often have to wait for promotions to be able to buy the products that I love. So when my mum messaged me last week letting me know that they were having an online sale, I immediately filled up my basket and placed an order. As well as some items being in the sale, they had a 40% off everything promotion and I have £10 in vouchers from my Love Your Body card, which meant I was able to purchase £74.50 worth of products for only £34.10, saving a massive £40.40! I’m not sponsored by The Body Shop so all the opinions are my own, and everything pictured here was paid for with my own money.

Here’s what I bought!

Satsuma Body Butter 50ml – £3.00 (RRP £5.00)

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This is the first thing I ever bought from The Body Shop years ago, and when I think of The Body Shop brand, the product that comes to mind first is their body butter range.

The satsuma scent is the one that I associate with my mum (shout out to you, Jane!), and I used to steal hers constantly when I was younger.

It’s a really rich formula with a fresh, energising fragrance. The moisturisation of this product is intense and long-lasting, and I particularly like to use it on my legs after shaving to keep them smooth and soft.

‘Born Lippy’ Stick Lip Balm: Pomegranate – £1.80 (RRP £3.00)

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This lip balm has a really sweet, fruity smell that would be perfect for the summer. It has a subtle hint of red which is perfect for when you don’t want to wear lipstick, but you want your lips to have a touch of colour.

It feels very moisturising on my lips, and has left them feeling very soft with a lovely shine.

I don’t think it will be replacing my EOS lip spheres, but it’s the perfect size to keep in my pocket at work.

Satsuma Hand Cream 30ml – £2.40 (RRP £4.00)

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This hand cream has a more concentrated smell of satsuma than the body butter. It contains satsuma oil which gives it a really zesty, citrusy scent that I absolutely love.

It sinks into your skin really quickly, and leaves them feeling lovely and soft. It has a very light-weight, non-greasy formula which is perfect for a hand cream.

The 30ml tube is the perfect size to throw into your handbag for on the go. I’m never without hand cream, and I think this is going to become a firm favourite!

Papaya Shower Gel – £1.80 (RRP £4.00)

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I bought this because I was running out of shower gel, and this one was in the sale. It’s not a scent I think I’ve ever smelt while shopping in The Body Shop, so I thought I’d give it a go!

It has a really lovely, fruity smell, and genuinely does smell like papaya. It lathers really well and I think this bottle will last me quite a long time.

It’s a little too fruity for the winter, so I think I’m going to save it for the summer as I think it’ll be the perfect accompaniment to a cool shower!

Satsuma Home Fragrance Oil – £2.40 (RRP £4.00)
FullSizeRender (18).jpgThis is the last satsuma scented one I promise! This is a re-purchase for me, as it’s a scent that I think is perfect all-year round to fill your home with!

A few drops go a long way, and it isn’t long before the gorgeous, full-bodied scent fills my flat.

I love fragrance oils as an alternative to scented candles, and this bottle is going to last me a lot longer than a candle would!

Eyelash Curler – £3.00 (RRP £5.00)
FullSizeRender (1)FullSizeRender (2)Another re-purchase is this eyelash curler. It’s great for giving your eyelashes a lift before putting on your mascara, and I love that it comes with a replacement pad.

It also looks a lot nicer than a lot of the plastic curlers you get on the highstreet, and at £3.00 in the promotion, it was an absolute bargain. I probably should have replaced mine a month or so ago as the pad had worn down quite a lot, so I’m glad I was able to get this for a reduced price.

Coconut Oil Hair Shine – £3.30 (RRP £5.50)

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This is the product I was most excited to try. I’m a big fan of the Garnier Ultimate Blends ‘The Sleek Perfector Oil’ (you can read my review of it here) which contains pure coconut oil, so when I saw this I had to try it.

It’s a solid that turns to oil under the warmth of your fingers, so all you have to do it rub a little between your fingers and smooth onto your hair. It’s had really good reviews for giving shine and smoothing down frizz and flyaways.

The only thing I’m not keen on is the smell. I hate coconut, and being a natural product without other added fragrances, it has a very strong smell of coconut that is going to take a little bit of getting used to.

Rainforest Moisture Hair Butter – £4.80 (RRP £8.00)

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This is a product that I always buy when The Body Shop is having a sale or a promotion. It’s a conditioning mask that is perfect for hair like mine that struggles with being dry and a bit damaged.

It’s a really rich, thick formula, so you don’t need a huge amount to saturate your hair. It says to leave it on for at least five minutes, and I like to use it at the same time as a face mask so my hair get a good 10-15 minutes of the treatment before I rinse it off. It contains oils and honey that are really nourishing, and it has a light, fresh scent.

Pink Grapefruit Body Puree – £4.80 (RRP £8.00)

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Since my wonderful friend Meg introduced me to the Grapefruit Body Butter, this has been my favourite-smelling range in the whole Body Shop collection. I can’t get enough of this zesty, citrus smell that lasts all day long, and it brings back memories of my beautiful friend and picnics in the park at uni.

I love the pump on this bottle: it’s great for people like me who are often too lazy to moisturise.

The puree has a lighter texture than a body butter, so it’s perfect for the summer when you want something that’s going to be absorbed quickly but still feels super nourishing.

Africa Honey & Beeswax Hands & Foot Butter – £6.00 (RRP £10.00)

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First off, I love this packaging! Not only does it look really fancy on my dressing table, but the jar is also re-usable!

I get really dry hands and feet, and I’m constantly searching for something that’s going to give them a really thorough moisture boost. I’m really looking forward to seeing if this product can make a difference.

My first impression is that its a really thick butter, but it seems to absorb fairly quickly into my skin which is always a plus.

It doesn’t have a strong smell of anything really, which is actually what I prefer in a foot lotion.

Liquid Eyeliner in 01 Black – £5.40 (RRP £9.00)

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This is my all time favourite eyeliner, and whenever I can get it for a reduced price (because let’s face it, £9 isn’t cheap), I always try and get a couple.

I can’t speak highly enough of this product. As someone who does winged eyeliner every day, I was so happy when I discovered this a couple of years ago.

It’s smudge and crumble resistant, and it gives a bold, long-lasting colour. It lasts all day and night, and I never have to touch it up.

I love the fine-pointed applicator, and the fact that it’s contact lense friendly is a massive plus for me, because it means if I ever do accidentally get it in my eye and under my lense, it isn’t going to make me feel like my eyeball is on fire.

So that’s it! 12 products for less than half price, and I couldn’t be happier with them!

Thank you for reading, I hope I’ve given you some ideas about product you might like to buy from The Body Shop.

Jessica xXx

 

Garnier Ultimate Blends ‘The Sleek Perfector Oil’ Review

As someone with naturally curly hair, I am in a constant battle against frizz and dry ends. I also dye my hair every 6-8 weeks, and have been doing this for the past 8 years, so I’m really aware that my hair needs a little bit of extra care to keep it in good condition.

Something that has been an absolute hair saviour recently, especially over the winter, has been the Garnier Ultimate Blends ‘The Sleek Perfector Oil’ with pure coconut oil. It’s specifically tailored to dry, frizzy hair, and claims to nourish hair, protect it from heat styling, tame frizz and flyaways, boost shine and leave your hair smelling ‘divine’.

image2 (2)After every hair wash, I dispense two pumps between my palms, rub my hands together and apply evenly throughout my damp hair, concentrating on the ends where most of the dryness is. You can also use it on dry hair which makes this product extra versatile!

This product is amazing. It smooths down my frizz without weighing it down, and gives my hair shine without leaving a greasy residue. It’s also perfect for people who struggle with unruly curls like myself, giving me more defined curls rather than my natural wavy mess. On the very rare occasion that I find the patience to straighten my hair, it protects it from heat and leaves it unbelievably soft and healthy-looking!

As someone who absolutely hates coconut, you’d think I wouldn’t like the way this product smells, but it’s actually a really light, subtle smell. The oil contains cocoa seed butter as well as coconut, which balances out the scent well and leaves it smelling really lovely.

The product retails at £9.99 and you get 150ml in a bottle. In terms of hair oils on the market, it pretty affordable, and because a little bit goes a long way, it lasts for absolutely ages! It’s also a great alternative to Argon Oil. To go with this oil, there is also The Sleek Restorer ShampooThe Sleek Restorer Conditioner, and The Sleek Restorer 1 Minute Treatment. I’ve tried all of these products in the past and love them all, especially the 1 minute treatment, and would definitely use them again in the future. Boots often have great deals on these products, so keep an eye out!

Jessica xXx

Get Ready With Me!

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In this blog I decided to do a step-by-step ‘Get Ready With Me’, showing you how I take achieve my daily make up look. This is the kind of make up I wear every day, it’s really versatile and perfect for someone like me who wants to make as little effort as possible- I know it sounds like a lot when you break it down like this, but it normally takes me about 30 minutes to do. Every product shown here (apart from the two Lush ones) were bought from Boots, and the majority of them are extremely affordable, with the exception of the Benefit products. I should also say I’m not sponsored by any of these brands (but I wish I was!)

Before I apply my make up, I cleanse and tone my face with LUSH’s Ultrabland and Tee Tree Water. These are great for removing any leftover make up residue and they help to balance the skin’s natural oils. I’ve been unwell this week so I’ve got a bit of a breakout on my forehead, so the antiseptic properties of the toner water are really good for helping calm that down.

IMG_2496I then moisturise my face with Simple Kind to Skin Protecting Light Moisturiser SPF 15 (£4.35/125ml). This has a great, non-greasy texture and absorbs really quickly into my skin.

I also use Simple Kind to Eyes Soothing Eye Balm (£3.65/15ml). This is soothing and cooling under the eyes, which are a definite problem for me.

 

IMG_2581IMG_2590I think it’s really important to use a primer before applying your make up. I currently use Barry M Flawless Brightening Primer (£5.99/30ml) which is bright purple! It sinks so quickly into my skin and leaves it really smooth. It contains hibiscus which is great for an even skin tone, and is a great base for keeping your make up looking fresh and lasting longer. It also helps to reduce the appearance of pores.

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IMG_2607Next I like to use a BB cream. I swear by Rimmel London BB Cream Matte in Light (£6.99/30ml). I have quite an oily T zone, so this is great for mattifying. You can wear it as a base for foundation or alone. It’s SPF 15 which is fantastic for protecting the delicate skin on your face from UVA and UVB rays. It claims to minimise pores, even skin tone, mattify, control shine, smooth, sooth, conceal dark circles, help prevent blemishes and provide all day coverage.

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IMG_2656I’m always changing up my foundation. The latest one that I’m loving is Maybelline Superstay 24H Foundation in 05 Light Beige (£8.99/30ml). It’s a really affordable, medium coverage foundation that lasts all day without transferring or rubbing off. It doesn’t crease too much around the eyes which is one of my pet peeves, and I don’t have to keep powdering throughout the day. This is great if you’ve got combination skin like me: it controls shine but doesn’t dry out my skin. It’s also a really good match for my skin tone, which is rare because I’m so pale!

IMG_2684IMG_2727The next product I’m loving at the moment is the Maybelline Instant Anti-Age Eraser Eye Concealer in Light (£7.99). This is a great buildable, non drying concealer that you can use for dark circles, blemishes and basic highlighting. In my opinion, it’s a bit on the pricey side for a concealer, but you only need a little bit so it lasts for ages.

IMG_2746IMG_2767Now I’m no expert in the whole ‘contouring’ craze, but the Maybelline Master Sculpt Contouring Palette in Light/Medium (£6.99) is great for novices like myself. I usually only use the bronzer in this palette, because I prefer to use a liquid highlighter. It’s a subtle colour and blends well, while providing buildable colour. And it gives me cheekbones! Hurray!

IMG_2791IMG_2808I’ve used the same blusher for ages now: Rimmel London Lasting Finish Soft Ciolour Blush in 020 Pink Rose (£3.99). It gives me a lovely, natural tint to my cheeks and it blends really nicely. I naturally get quite flushed, so I tend not to use a massive amount of blusher, but this just adds a nice bit of colour.

IMG_2816IMG_2839Next: the brows! I was relatively late to the brow game, but now I feel completely naked without them. I’m naturally quite fair, and my eyebrows are very patchy. The two products I use are Benefit Brow Zings Eyebrow Shaping Kit in Light (£24.50) and Benefit Gimme Brow Eyebrow Gel in Light/Medium (£18.50). These products are quite expensive, but I absolutely love them, and after trying what seems like hundreds of brow products, they’re the closest match to my natural colour. The Brow Zings has a pigmented wax for shaping, and then a natural-shaded powder for setting. I then use the Gimme Brows to add fullness and keep the hairs in place. It’s also waterproof which is great- no one wants their brows running down their face when it rains.

IMG_2849IMG_2863I prefer a liquid highlighter, so I use Rimmel London Good To Glow Highlighter in 001 Notting Hill Glow (£4.99/25ml). You only need the tiniest amount of this, and it’s really good for people who want a natural glow. I use it on my cheeks and brow bone to add a bit of dimension and radiance.

IMG_2886IMG_2901When I want a little extra coverage, I like to use Max Factor Facefinity Compact in Porcelain (£10.99). This has SPF 15 and can be used alone as a powder foundation. I use a light dusting to mattify my make up and add a bit more coverage. It doesn’t dry out your skin, and if I do find I need to sort out excess shine on my face later in the day, a little bit of this sorts it out really well.

IMG_2927IMG_2938Moving onto eyes now. I’m not a bit fan of eyeshadow (mainly because I’m not very good at it!), but I do like to sweep a little bit across my lids before applying my eyeliner. For this I use Revlon ColorStay Shadowlinks in Oyster (£2.99). This adds a touch of sparkle and is a non-creasing powder. It also acts as a primer for my eyeliner and stops it smudging onto my upper lid.

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IMG_3004IMG_3018I’ve done the same eyeliner flicks since I was 16, and I’m really picky about the products I use. I’ve been using The Body Shop Liquid Eyeliner in 01 Black (£9) for years, but it’s such a pain to get hold of. They only ever seem to have it in brown in store, so I normally bulk order it online which ends up getting pretty expensive. Last week I decided to try out the new Maybelline Master Ink Matte Liquid Eyeliner in 10 Charcoal Black (£4.99) and it exceeded my expectations. Not only is it almost half the price of The Body Shop one, it’s pretty much a dupe for it! The pen is slightly different, but it’s a nice fine tip that’s perfect for winged liner. It’s a long-lasting colour that doesn’t crack like a lot of liquid eyeliners, and after a particularly bad anxiety attack last week, I can now tell you it’s cry-proof!

IMG_3053IMG_3164Being fair-haired, my eyelashes are really blonde, so I’m obsessed with mascara. My all time favourite is the Benefit They’re Real Mascara in Black (£19.50), which I currently layer with Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara in 1 Very Black (£7.99). I start with a coat of Maybelline, then Benefit, then Maybelline and then Benefit. I also use the Benefit one for my bottom lashes. It might seem crazy to layer them like this but I’ve been doing it for years and it’s become a habit!

IMG_3120To make sure my make up stays in place, I use the Maybelline Superstay 24H Setting Spray (£6.99/75ml). This is lightweight, quickly absorbed and refreshing and extends the wear of your make up. I’m one of those people who used to use hairspray (yes, hairspray!) to set my make up, so I’m so happy to have found an affordable setting spray that actually works!

 

To take this look from day to night, I can simply add a red lip. I start off with EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Vanilla Mint (£6.50) which smells incredible and leave my lips lovely and soft.

IMG_3177IMG_3190I then like to line my lips. For this look I used Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Liner in 540 Hollywood Red (£3.99) – they do one in the same shade as the lipstick I use but I’ve run out! This is perfect to prevent the colour of your lipstick bleeding into your skin, keeping a nice clean line for your lips.

IMG_3206IMG_3217To finish off, I use my absolute favour lipstick: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in 547 Pleasure Me Red (£6.99). I’m completely in love with this formula and the colour, and I currently have three of them (one for my make up stand, one for my handbag, and one for emergencies!). It’s a creamy, moisturising lipstick that gives a fantastic, bold, long-lasting colour that I find really suits my complexion. So if you ever see me out with red lipstick on, 9 times out of ten this is the one I’m wearing!

So there you have it! These are the products that I use every day, and I love every single one of them! Thanks for reading!

Jessica xXx

January LUSH Review

I’ve recently become absolutely obsessed with LUSH. I love not only their products, but their ethics. I’m no vegan, but I love the ethics of LUSH, so I’m totally up for supporting a brand that not only refuse to test on animals, but that talk about it so proudly.

So here are the products I’ve used/been using over the past 8 weeks. I’ve decided to rate them out of 5 in terms of:

  1. Smell
  2. Texture
  3. Effectiveness
  4. Value for money
  5. Overall rating
Ultrabland

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I had heard so much about this product, so it seemed silly not to give it a go. This is actually my second pot, and I can honestly say it’s changed my entire skin care regime. You only need to use a small amount, and I use it in the mornings to make sure my makeup has a clean base, and most evenings to remove my makeup. I now find I hardly ever use facewipes (apart from the rare occasion I’ve been out drinking and need a quick way to take my makeup off that doesn’t involve standing upright), which I’ve found is not only better for the environment, but much better for my skin. I have combination skin, which means my T zone can get really oily. Before I tried this product I thought it was completely ridiculous to use an oil-based product on my skin, but it actually helps to balance my skin, stopping it producing excess oil that it feels it’s lacking. This has become a real staple in my routine.

Smell 3/5

This product doesn’t really have a smell, so it’s difficult to give this a fair rating. It’s not amazing: a little reminiscent of play doh, but it’s not unpleasant. It’s just average.

Texture 4/5

Ultrabland is so silky and soft on your skin. It can sometimes feel a bit greasy, especially if you’re using it to take your makeup off rather than applying to bare skin, but overall it feels lovely.

Effectiveness 5/5

I think I’ve made it clear by now how much I love this product. Since first using it about 8 weeks ago, I’ve seen a real difference in my skin. It’s less oily, less dull-looking, and my gigantic pores have shrunk dramatically.

Value for money 5/5

The first pot I bought was the 45g one, which is £7.50. Now that I know how amazing it is, I’ve moved on to buying the bigger 100g pot for £11.95. In 8 weeks, I’ve got through the 45g pot and about a quarter of the 100g pot, which saying that I use it every day (and often twice a day), I’d say a little goes a long way!

Overall rating 17/20

Overall, I am completely in love with Ultrabland, and I can’t see myself liking another cleanser more any time soon. It’s amazing. Try it.

Dark Angels

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Having used a few charcoal-based face masks before, I knew that it was a great (if unusual) ingredient to use in skin care products. It’s especially good for unclogging pores, and Dark Angels is no exception. I use it every morning in the shower, and I always feel like I’m getting a really deep clean.

Smell 0/5

It’s sad, but I really have to mark this product down on the smell. I know charcoal isn’t the nicest smelling thing in the world, but other charcoal products I’ve used have managed to mask the smell a lot better than Dark Angels does. Some mornings the smell is very over-powering. It supposedly has sandalwood and rosewood oils to give it an ‘earthy’ smell, but I’m really not a fan. The only saving grace is that it doesn’t leave a smell on your skin, so you only have to stomach it for the 30 seconds you’re using it for.

Texture 4/5

I’m always on the lookout for really good exfoliators, and I’m often disappointed in the roughness of the products I buy. Dark Angels does not disappoint on this front. You take a tiny piece and add water, making it into a paste, and it turns into this amazing, gritty exfoliator that feels like it’s actually doing something.

Effectiveness 3/5

I do love it, and I always feel like I’m getting a deep clean from it, but it doesn’t remove residual eye makeup as well as other exfoliating cleansers I’ve used. My skin always feels really lovely and soft after using it, so it must be doing something!

Value for money 4/5

I paid £6.95 for a 100g tub, but you can also get it in a 250g tub for £17.35! I’ve been using this product every day for three weeks now, and I think I’ve used around a quarter of my tub, so a 100g tub would last me around 3 months (which is about the time it expires anyway).

Overall rating  11/20

I do really like this product, it was something that I’d never even heard of at Lush so I thought I’d give it a go. I haven’t noticed a massive difference in my skin, and although I love the amount of texture in it, I don’t feel like it does a lot more than my normal face wash. Maybe if it had a better smell I’d be more inclined to re-purchase, but for now, I’m on the fence.

Mask of Magnaminty

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I think I first learned about this product after watching a video from ‘Beckie0’ called ‘TOP TEN LUSH PRODUCTS!’ In this video, she advises you to buy the self-preserving mask which contains honey, over the not-self-preserving which doesn’t, so that’s what I did! The mask is tailored towards people with breakout prone skin, which isn’t really my skin type. I’ve never really struggled with acne, but I do get the occasional ‘face demon’ as grav3yardgirl would call them, so I thought this would be a useful product to have on hand for those occasions. I’m actually wearing it right now!

Smell 5/5

I am completely obsessed with mint-smelling products, and this is no exception. It’s packed full of peppermint oil, and when I was in the Lush Exeter store with my sister buying this, I kept going on about how it smelled so good that I could literally eat it. I love it.

Texture 3/5

Now I love exfoliating skin washes, but I struggle to like the texture of an exfoliating mask. I like the traditional thick face masks that go hard after 5 minutes so you can’t move your face. I don’t know what it is, but I always feel like the less you can move your face, the more a face mask is doing. Which is obviously completely wrong but I can’t help it!

Effectiveness 2/5

I don’t know if it’s because I just don’t get that many breakouts, or it’s just not suited to my skin, but I honestly haven’t noticed that much of a difference in my skin. I’ve used it about twice a week for three weeks, and it does leave my skin feeling soft and refreshed, but it hasn’t really made a difference to my face demons.

Value for money 3/5

I bought the 125g pot for £5.75, and you can also get a 315g pot for £9.95. I feel like even though there are mask I prefer from LUSH, for the right person this could be really good value for money. To be honest I’d pay that much just to be able to smell that glorious peppermint smell.

Overall rating 13/20

It’s a nice mask, and my skin feels amazing after I’ve used it, but I think I’ll be trying out another face mask next time more better suited to my skin type, rather than repurchasing this one.

Tea Tree Water

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I bought this because I’d seen it on my sister’s bathroom shelf, and was totally curious.  It’s described as ‘antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial’ and is basically a toner. I love that it’s in a spray bottle, it makes it so easy to use, and reduces the need to use cotton wool to apply it to your face. You can literally just spray it a couple of times on your face and that’s all you need. I use it every day after cleansing with Ultrabland.

Smell 3/5

I wish this smelled more minty! Or at least citrusy, since it’s got grapefruit in it. It’s got a kind of medicinal smell to it, but it’s not overly strong or unpleasant.

Texture 5/5

It genuinely feels like your just spraying a bit of water on your face, and it sinks in so quickly. I can start applying my moisturiser pretty much immediately after spraying this because it just goes straight into your skin.

Effectiveness 4/5

I have noticed a clear difference since using this. I often suffer from red patches on my face, and it really calms them down immediately. It also helps to control the oils on my T zone, which is always a plus for me.

Value for money 4/5

I bought the 100g bottle for £4.50, and it’s also available in a 250g bottle for £8.50. It’s a bit more difficult to tell how much you’re getting through, and I feel like it would be very easy to use it all up very quickly, depending how liberal you are when you spray it on your face. I tend to use about 4 sprays each time I use it.

Overall rating 16/20

I’ll definitely be repurchasing a toner water from Lush, and I would love to try one of the others they have on offer. The Tea Tree Water has completely replaced my Body Shop Seaweed Toner. It’s just so much less faff, and I’m all for products that reduce the amount of time I have to spend on my skincare routine.

Seanik

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For ages I’ve wanted to try a shampoo bar. I’ve heard so many good things about them, and I’m notorious for buying shampoo, getting halfway through it and getting bored and buying something different. My shower is littered with half-empty bottles. Seanik contains seaweed, sea salt and lemon to give shine and volume, two thing which my hair often lacks, so I thought this would be the perfect one to try out first!

Smell 3/5

I did smell a couple in the store that smelled amazing, so this had a lot to live up to. It’s a nice, subtle smell. I can smell the lemon in it, and the hints of jasmine, but it’s not over-powering.

Texture 4/5

It’s tricky to give this a ‘texture’ rating, so I took into consideration how well it lathered which I was pleasantly surprised with. It’s literally like a bar of soap, you can either rub it in your hands to work up a lather and then apply that to your hair, or rub it straight into your hair for the same effect.

Effectiveness 4/5

I’m definitely a shampoo convert, and I now totally get it when beauty bloggers say that they wouldn’t go back to liquid shampoo. It leaves my hair soft, shiny, and I have noticed a difference in volume.

Value for money 5/5

I have a feeling this bar is going to last me ages, and I paid £5.95 for it (and £2 for the reusable tin to keep it in). £5.95 might seem like a lot for a little shampoo bar, but I’ve been using it for 3 weeks and it hasn’t got any smaller, so I think it’ll last me ages! And if you think about it, you spend about £4 on a bottle of shampoo that probably doesn’t last as long.

Overall rating 16/20

I’ve been completely won over by this little shampoo bar, and I can’t wait to give some of the other ones a go! I’ve not tried any of the solid conditioners yet (I’m trying to use up all the random bottles I have scattered around my bathroom), but I’m definitely open to giving one a go.

So overall, I’m loving the products I’ve purchased recently from LUSH. I’m totally in love with the brand, and I fear it would be very easy to spend an awful lot of money in there! One thing I love is that if you’re not sure on a product and you don’t want to buy it and run the risk of hating it (they’re not cheap!), they’re happy to give you little sample pots to take away and try before you buy. Another helpful hack is that once you’ve used up five tubs or tubes (unfortunately the spray bottles like Tea Tree Water aren’t included), you can take them into store and get a free fresh facemask! It’s a great incentive to recycle, but please make sure you rinse your pots out first, as apparently it’s not uncommon for people to bring in mouldy pots… Not nice.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog: I’d love to do more beauty-related posts and maybe even some YouTube videos, so watch this space!

Jessica xXx

 

 

My Name is Jessica, and I’m Addicted to Piercings.

DSCF2887-2 (2)Ever since a very young age, I’ve been fascinated with the world of piercings and tattoos. I love how creative people can be with them, and I’m always intrigued to know the stories behind people’s body art and modifications.

For a few years now, I’ve been steadily cultivating a “nice collection” – as my new piercer put it – of piercings. I currently have 14, which may sound a lot to most people, but I had two done yesterday and I’m already planning when and where my next one will be. And I don’t plan on stopping any time soon, although I do tend to leave at least 6-8 months between visits to the piercing shop, to allow my new ones to fully heal before putting my body through it again. I don’t have any tattoos yet, but it’s kind of inevitable that it’ll develop into that at some point (sorry mum).

I don’t do all this to be cool, or to get attention or provoke a particular reaction. I know that a lot of people aren’t a massive fan of them, and that’s cool with me, just as long as you don’t base your opinion of me on your opinion of piercings. I can’t pinpoint the exact reason I do it, because to be honest, I hate having them done. I’m rubbish with pain, (the way that giant needle feels being punched through your skin and then ripped out again, only to have a piece of foreign metal screwed in its place, is an indescribable and horrendous experience) and every time I go, I’m always described as a “bleeder”, which is never comforting to hear when you feel like you’re about to pass out.

I guess it all simply comes down to the fact that I love the way they look, and therefore I love the way the make me feel. It might sound strange, but the more I get, the more comfortable I feel in my own skin, and the more confident I become. They’re a little piece of my body where I feel free to really express myself.

So if you don’t like piercings, I’m sorry. Sorry that you let the way myself and so many others choose to look offend and upset you. No one is forcing you to have them done. If someone can’t choose what happens to their own body without being judged, then there is something very wrong with the world. If you think they’ll regret it, then it’s their decision to regret, and you can say I told you so then. Also, on a side note, I am of the opinion that if you have your earlobes pierced, you are in no way entitled to provide an opinion about someone who has their everything pierced.

Sincerely, the human colander.      ❤