REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask

Another ridiculous name in attempt to make a product sound fancy and scientific. I’m onto you, skincare companies. This mask retails at £32.00 for 50ml on the REN website, and the description states:

“A blend of Glycolic, Lactic, Citric and Tartaric Acids, sourced from extracts of Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Lemon and Grape, work with Papain from Mexican Papaya to deeply exfoliate, decongest and purify the skin thereby smoothing skin texture and reducing the appearance of fine lines. Omega 3 and 7 nourish, soothe and repair the skin to ensure skin remains calm and soothed.”

Application

This stuff is bright yellow! And really slimy. Unpleasantly slimy. I put it on and immediately wanted to wipe the yellow mucus that was now covering my face. But I resisted and gave it the ten minutes it advises.

The Drying

I don’t know if this mask is supposed to dry, but it didn’t. It continued to feel like I had been the victim of the Ghostbusters’ slime for the entire ten minutes.

Removal

Thank God this was fairly easy to remove. A gentle wipe with a hot damp flannel did the trick. It feels like it should have dried and been a peel-off mask, but it’s not (I checked).

Aftermath

Immediately afterwards I didn’t notice any difference. It seems like all that repulsion at my own face was for nothing. I went and made myself a consolatory cup of tea. However, after a couple of minutes, my skin started to feel really tight and fresh. I looked in the mirror and the slime attack had miraculously evened my blotchy skin tone!

Overall

Okay, so if you can get past the weird grass/medicinal smell and the disgusting slimy texture, this is actually a really great mask. I wouldn’t use it more than once a week because I can see that it might dry your skin out if you overuse it, but my skin looks and feels really great. The blend of acids (that sounds terrifying) helps to get rid of any dead skin and leaves your skin feeling incredibly soft. It also did wonders for the pores on my nose, and after just one use I can totally see a difference. At £32.00, this mask is extremely expensive, however I would be more inclined to spend the money on this than on the Glam Glow Youthmud mask

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Glam Glow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment Review

Yes, ‘tinglexfoliate’.

So a friend of mine recently gave me some free samples from her work, and amongst them was a 5g sachet of this face mask. Now a 50g tub of this stuff retails for £49.00 on the Glam Glow website which lasts about 10 uses (that’s £4.90 per application!) I guess what I’m trying to say is that this stuff is expensive, but I’ve heard amazing things about the brand so I was really excited to try it out.

This particular mask contains volcanic rock, french sea clay and active green tea leaf. Fancy.

 

Application

It got a bit of an odd consistency for a face mask, it’s very gritty and there was a bit of fall out but all in all I loved the exfoliating element of this mask – it was like a whole two in one deal. And 5g is just the right amount for one application, so no shortfall and no wastage either.

 

The ‘Tingle’

Okay, I know this mask was supposed to ‘tingle’, but MY GOD. It burns. Really burns. And I don’t have a problem with sensitive skin on my face, so it’s extremely rare for this to happen. It burned so much that I had to resort to sticking my face out of the bathroom window to cool it down. This sensation only lasted a minute tops, but from a mask that’s supposed to make you feel like you’re in a spa, I was feeling far from relaxed with my head out of my window and a towel on my head for all my neighbours to enjoy. The burning went away, but the embarrassment will stick with me forever. 

 

The Drying

This is always my favourite part of a facemask, the part where your entire face is dry and you can’t even move your mouth. I get bored easily, so having an element of ‘this is cool, I can’t raise my eyebrows’ is always entertaining for me. And this mask did not disappoint. My face felt tight within three or four minutes. 10/10 for rock hard faceness.


 

Removal

This mask was surprisingly easy to remove with a hot damp flannel, and the exfoliating effect actually felt really nice. My face was a little pink, but I’m putting that down to the hot flannel.

 

Aftermath

OH MY GOD my face was tight. But tight in a ‘I feel ten years younger and ten times more glamorous’ way. I could not stop touching my face. It’s like it temporarily irradiated all of my pores and blackheads and imperfections, and I totally agree with its claims that it gives you ‘instant camera ready skin in 10 minutes’. I’ve never used a face mask that made my skin look and feel that good before. 

 

Overall

This mask is expensive. Too expensive. Not even a few hours of having a softy soft face can justify paying that much money for a tub of mud. But if you’re suddenly in the mood to spend an obscene amount of money of skincare, go for it, just be prepared for the burn on your face as well as the burning of a hole in your pocket.

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“Your Hair Looks Like it’s on Fire!”

So last Wednesday, I decided I was completely sick of being blonde and sent a picture of a girl’s hair I had seen on Instagram to my hairdresser, and by Friday, after three hours in the salon, I was a redhead once more.

Whilst at university, my hair was red, brown, black, platinum blonde, green (accidentally), red, orange, red and then blonde. I’ve been that same shade of blonde for three years now, with the exception of a few temporary Bleach London experiments with pinks and purples. And lately I’ve not been feeling myself, and I’ve been remembering a time when I had confidence flowing out of me like nobody’s business. And it’s when I had red hair. Soooo…

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My hairdresser is incredibly talented, and made the experience even more exciting/terrifying by turning me away from any mirrors or reflective surfaces from the moment she rinsed the dye out, so I had no idea what it looked like until she had cut, dried and styled it. And if that wasn’t enough, Bizzaz use completely cruelty-free Paul Mitchell products. Amazing.

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It’s okay to be completely obsessed with my own hair, right? I’ve not felt this good in a long time. I finally feel like me again. Everything is falling into place: I’ve moved into a lovely new home with one of my oldest friends, I’ve just secured an amazing new job at the University of Exeter with an actual salary, I’ve been working on my music, and my hair is ON FIRE. Life is good.

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Aleena at Bizzaz, you are a magician. My hair is stunning and I absolutely love it. If anyone wants to change up your look and have a total hair transformation, go to Bizzaz in Exeter. Even if you don’t live in Devon.

New Things Are Happening!

The past couple of weeks have been absolutely crazy, so I apologise for my complete silence on this blog! So many things have been happening, so I thought I’d give you a quick update!

IMG_5453 (2).PNGFirstly, and most excitingly, if you hadn’t already guessed from my Twitter and Instagram (or had me bang on about it to you in person) I have a new job! I’m going to be spending my summer working for the University of Exeter in the accommodation office as an Accommodation Office Administrator. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s basically a Student Advisor specialising in accommodation. I’ll still be working part time in the pub (I’ve grown quite attached to it and the spare cash will be nice), but I’m so excited to have a normal Monday-Friday 9-5 job for the first time in my life! XD The only problem is, my wardrobe consists of jeans, trainers and black work shirts, so I’m going to have to get a some ‘office appropriate’ clothes!
13072880_474319639434427_6832856377466583397_oSecondly, I’m in a play! I’m going to be a busy bee this summer! I’ve been cast in Sun and Moon Theatre’s production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona as Lucetta, so all my spare time is currently being used rehearsing and learning lines (one reason I haven’t blogged in a while!) It’s one of Shakespeare’s first plays, and a lesser known one too, but we’ve given it a bit of a modern(ish) twist by setting it at a university in the late 50s/early 60s. I’m absolutely loving the rehearsal process (it’s been a while since I’ve done some theatre!) and I can’t wait to watch it all come together. If you want to come and show your support, we’re showing on:

  • 11th June at 4pm at the Cygnet Theatre (Exeter)
  • 23rd June at 7.30pm at The Queen’s Theatre (Barnstaple)
  • 26th June at 2.45pm at The Queen’s Theatre (Barnstaple)
  • 6th August at 12pm at The RSC Dell Open Air Theatre (Stratford-Upon Avon)
  • 6th August at 3pm at The RSC Dell Open Air Theatre (Stratford-Upon-Avon)

You can also like Sun and Moon’s facebook page to keep up to date with everything!

IMG_5430I spent my weekend in Birmingham with my family. Not only was I celebrating my new job and Ben’s (my sister’s boyfriend) birthday, but most importantly we all went to the opening night of Made Up, the two woman show that my sister is starring in. It’s on at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre until Saturday, and then it’s going on tour until June 11th. I might be biased, but it’s fantastic, and I’m extremely proud. If you fancy seeing my sister looking like an alien, an old woman and many more in the space of 70 minutes, here’s a link where you can find all the dates 🙂

IMG_5302Next I thought I should touch on my Vegan Challenge. A lot of you have been liking my Instagram posts about it, and asking me how it’s going, so I thought I’d answer everyone on here. It’s going amazingly well. It’s been so much easier than I thought it would be! I’m absolutely loving trying out new recipes (I’ve discovered quinoa and it’s changed my life) and I’ve taken much more of an interest in food now that I have to actually think a bit more about what I’m eating. It’s also really helped my lactose intolerance. Before I would often ignore it and eat that bar of chocolate or have that slice of cake even though I knew it wouldn’t be good for me. Now I’m being forced to find alternatives, and it’s really opened my eyes to the dairy-free alternatives out there. As for whether it’s going to be a permanent change? I’m not sure yet. I’m just over halfway through my challenge and I’m yet to make up my mind, but needless to say I’m loving being vegan for now! Alongside being vegan, I’ve also been really getting into the gym. I joined my local Anytime Fitness and I’m (slowly) starting to enjoy exercise again. It’s a good job, since I’ve got my Race for Life 10km in two months!

Phew, that’s all for now! I promise to be better at blogging from now on, and  I’ll have a new beauty-related post up soon!

Jessica xXx

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

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

 

 

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