Wednesday, August 31

My Liz Earle Skincare Products

I started using Liz Earle's skincare back in April when I had finally had enough of my problem skin. I was using a mix of Clinique, Benefit and The Body Shop skincare which wasn't helping. My skin was dry from the alcohol in Clinique's toner, and every time I washed my face it was tight and uncomfortable- not how your skin should be. I used so much moisturiser to compensate but it wouldn't sink in, and I was left with rather awful flaky skin that made applying foundation horrific. It did knock my confidence and I knew I had to change something, so after seeing so many rave reviews for Liz Earle I bought myself their Cleanse, Tone & Moisturise system..

I bought the Summer Skincare Essentials Kit which is £41 for the entire set of Cleanse & Polish, Skin Tonic and Skin Repair Moisturiser as well as a four piece tester kit in a cute little Liz Earle makeup bag.  All I can say is since using this skin care system my skin has completely changed. I always had quite large pores, but due to my super dry skin I couldn't really do anything about it. I used the alcohol in Clinique's toner to practically burn my pores which didn't help at all, and I was left with quite oily skin underneath what felt like a layer of dry skin. I'm now left with combination/oily skin that is controllable and smooth, but I haven't got rid of my large (and easy to clog) pores. It's something that's getting better as we speak- lets say I'm still working on it!

Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser: This product has an amazing cult following from bloggers, and was featured in my June Favourites post here. Anyone who knows anything in the blogosphere will know just how massive this product is amongst us all, and it's so easy to see why. You get this with two muslin cloths which you use to gently exfoliate while also taking away oils, makeup or dirt- it's not harsh on your skin and gives you that slight exfoliation your skin needs to replenish skin cells. It's also super moisturising, and doesn't leave your skin feeling tight and uncomfortable. I've heard this to break some people out but I haven't experienced anything like that, but did get a few extra spots for the first week when it was removing impurities. It lasts me up to a month and a half to use up an entire tube by using it morning and night (1 pump per use). You can either get it in a pump dispenser or a squeezy tube (200ml)- but I've been using the pump dispenser. This is my last bottle so I may fork out and buy the squeezy tube this time!

Gentle Face Exfoliator: This product is in a cream coloured packaging unlike the Cleanse & Polish, which shows it's not a part of the Cleanse/Tone/Moisturise group. It's not an essential and is an additional product to your routine. I use this exfoliator around 4 times a week depending on how much my skin needs a good scrub. It's extremely gentle and creamy so doesn't strip your skin, and the tiny jojoba beads aren't as rough as apricot kernels which are used in a horrific face scrub I won't mention. The first time I used this I couldn't believe how soft it had left my skin, and the results haven't deteriorated since then. This isn't really a necessary product but one I wouldn't want to be without, I'm so glad I had the chance to tried it.

Instant Boost Skin Tonic: This is a product not to be named as a toner- because it doesn't contain any alcohol and instead is stuffed full of Vitamin E, Cucumber Extract and Chamomile. It doesn't dry my skin when I apply and instead leaves it yet again moisturiser. It's not stripping and doesn't sting (as it's alcohol free), but instead just leaves my face feeling refreshed- removing all the last bits of makeup/oil that wasn't removed with the Hot Cloth Cleanser. I also have this in a mini spray bottle, from the Summer Essentials Kit, which I use to refresh my makeup during the day when my face is feeling a bit dull! I know a lot of people don't think this is a necessary but it keeps my skin looking healthy.

Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion: You can see my review of this here- but if you can't be bothered to click the link I'll give you a run down. This is definitely a luxury product that you don't really need in your skin care system but it's a nice extra to have. I put a little bit of those on two cotton wool pads and lie them onto my eyes, waiting two-three minutes before removing. I suffer from horrible puffy eyes in the morning and along with my Garnier Eye Roll-On this helps combat them, therefore stopping little kids running away from me shouting 'mummy look at that zombie'! It's a product you'd buy to treat yourself but only when you have the extra money to spare.

Skin Repair Moisturiser: I'm going to talk about the big 50ml tub before I go onto the light version, as this is the moisturiser I first bought when finally deciding to use Liz Earle. Even though I had extremely dry skin I ended up getting the Normal/Combination moisturiser as I thought the Cleanse & Polish and Instant Skin Tonic would be moisturising enough. I'm so glad I made that decision as they definitely were enough to keep my skin healthy. I really love this moisturiser and always go back to it on days when I'm feeling a bit worse for wear, but it's still a bit too moisturising for me. Since finding out I actually have Combination/Oily skin I've switched to the lighter moisturiser which is more suitable to my skin type. I found with dry skin this definitely fed my thirsty skin but since it's changed I am left with a little bit of moisturiser still left on my skin, as it can't all sink in. I've found another use for it though- applying it in quite a thick layer and leaving for about 10 minutes, then removing any product that's left with a tissue. Talk about a deep moisturising treatment!

Skin Repair Light Moisturiser: Unlike the original tub, this moisturiser is lighter and easier to absorb into my skin without leaving it overly moisturised. I usually one 1 or 2 tiny pumps of this to cover my entire face, and then use the other moisturiser on my neck where my skin is super dry. I've heard many people say they don't think the Skin Repair Moisturiser (light or normal) is very effective but I have to disagree, it's the best moisturiser I've ever used. I would never ever go back to my Benefit or The Body Shop moisturisers even if you paid me! I think this pump tube will last me months and months, so I won't be repurchasing it anytime soon. I just wish there was an indication of when it's nearly empty as I don't want to run out without notice!

Spot-On Treatment: I haven't been using this very much as I've stopped getting so many blemishes and now only have the odd hormonal spot. I can't judge the product on it's spot-defeating-properties until I have used it more but can tell you a little about the product. When opening this roll-on you are hit with the smells of Tea Tree and Lavender, which I won't lie are very very strong! I'm guessing the roll-on has the same aim as the Garnier Eye Roll-On to defeat puffiness by using the cool roller ball which drains the excess liquid? I will have to report back in a few months to tell you just what I think of this product.

I can vouch that Liz Earle is the most amazing skincare brand I have tried so far in my life- that's not n over-exaggeration in the slightest. Yes it's swaying on the expensive side but when you pay a little extra for healthy skin, you don't need to spend as much on corrective makeup. Since using Liz Earle's products I've been able to conquer my fear for light coverage and have actually been out and about wearing just tinted moisturiser -shock horror-. This may be a small step for you, but for someone who has lived in a full coverage foundation to try and cover her skin for the last 3-4 years it's a major step for me. I've also found my foundation sits nicely on my skin to give me a more flawless look, and it sticks around longer- like it has a better base to stick to! (booonnnuuusss)

I can't say enough good things for Liz Earle- not because I've been sent a few things from them and love their PR, but because their products have literally given me the most healthy skin I could have ever imagined. No, I don't have perfect skin (I still suffer from the odd hormonal spot and a few larger pores) but it's a completely unbelievable difference to my skin back in February when I was told at a MAC counter my skin was in horrific condition! I can now walk around makeup free without worrying too much about how awful I look.

You can buy Liz Earle products from her website, and from QVC.

This is what works for me- but just because a certain product works for me, doesn't mean I can guarantee it working for you. I received all the above products mentioned from Liz Earle except the Cleanse & Polish and Skin Repair Moisturiser. Two products (Skin Repair Moisturiser Light & Instant Boost Skin Tonic) were replacements of used up products I had bought from them with my own money. All opinions are 100% honest as usual, and being given the products makes no difference to my views. Sorry for such a long post!

Saturday, August 27

GCSE Results!

A Chamilia charm bracelet and card I was given by my Gran

A hideous photo of me before going to Pizza Hut with friends the day before results

The only photo I've shared of the May Ball- Elisha, Harriet, Moi, Emily, Abby and Anna

I was hoping to post this yesterday, but was a little too busy celebrating to grab my Macbook! I woke up at the glorious 8am, ran into the shower, did my makeup and got changed- ready to pick up my results at 10am. I was a nervous wreck and even cried before turning up to school, what an absolute baby..

I met Harriet (hello if you're reading this) at the front entrance to the school and we walked in together with the rest of our group. I was shaking, and was even caught of camera by BBC Spotlight looking like a bag of nerves. One of the girls, Emily (head girl) was on BBC Spotlight screaming how pleased she was with her results; along side Harriet who has also got great results. They both had straight A*s and As! Congratulations girls!

Here are the results I opened, I can't describe how ecstatic I was:

A* in Child Development
A's in English Language, Geography, DT Textiles
B's in English Literature, Art & Design, Science, Additional Science and ICT (equivalent)
C in Maths (Higher Level)

.. As you can see Maths isn't my strongest point, as I was actually predicted a B. I prefer subjects like Geography and Child Development where you are learning about a topic, rather than how to do a certain equation. That's just how my brain likes to work I guess!

I'm really happy with my GCSE results and can happily say I'm now going to college in September to study Photography, Media Studies, Business Studies and Sociology! Now comes the hard decision of buying a bag for college..

Tuesday, August 23

Plaits & Pins

queue awful macbook photo that won't zoom enough for my liking. boo! 

Yesterday I plaited my hair into 5 plaits as soon as I had washed it, letting it dry naturally without brushing it. It took almost 6 hours to properly dry but the results were worth it in my opinion. When I woke up it was gorgeous and wavy so I brushed it out a little and ta-daa! For someone who has flat-as-a-pancake hair that's quite thick (but looks thin) this was pretty much an achievement. A hair achievement in its own right. I've been pinning up different sections to make my hair look even messier/thicker and can report that it went well. Compared to my natural hair this looks awesome, I just wish I'd plaited it further towards the roots but I guess I've learnt for next time. 

I'm thinking of wearing my hair like this for results day, but up in a messy wavy bun. I think it'll look dead 'just got outta get bed looking like this', which is exactly the look I go for on a day to day basis. I just wish I did wake up looking like a goddess!

Monday, August 22

500(+50) Giveaway Winners!

I can't thank you all enough if you entered my 500(+50) Batiste & Tangle Teezer giveaway, and for all of you who went the extra mile to tweet or link my giveaway! It's so nice to see just how many people actually participate in my blog and decide to leave a comment. If I could give you all giant hugs now I definitely would.

I have chosen my lovely winners, and the two gorgeous ladies who were cherry picked by me for their answers to the question 'What is your favourite season and why?' are..

Adrienne (Sunday Girl) and Lauren (Love Laugh Lauren)

Congrats ladies, you'll both have a Batiste Blush 400ML & Pink Tangle Teezer coming your way!

Adrienne's answer: 'My favourite season is Autumn, I'm a little (okay a lot) obsessed with Halloween. I'm not even kidding when I say I have a halloween cardigan that has a haunted house on it with working noises! I've said to much....'

Why I chose her answer: This answer made my sides split, no kidding. I can just imagine her going to Tesco in a cardigan that makes noises. Imagine how scared all the little kids would be! I secretly really want one now.

Lauren's answer: 'My favourite season is winter. I've been a keeno skiier since I was tiny and I love how many memories i've accumulated over the years from my various skiing trips. nothing beats chilling in the mountains in front of a fire with a hot chocolate- cliche I know but gorgeous all the same :)'

Why I chose Lauren's answer: During secondary school I actually went on a skiing trip, but I hated it. I don't like going fast and it was just one huge fail. I do however remember that on the day I wasn't feeling well, my favourite teacher got me a hot chocolate in a little restaurant on the mountains. It felt really weird spending the day with her, but we had an amazing time!

Char (CharFMB), Lauren (Gotta Love A Trier) and Jade (Fashion & Beauty Disaster)

I used Random.Org to pick the winners of the Batiste XXL, and these are the gorgeous girls that were picked. I hope you all enjoy and that it's made your day that little bit cheerier! Congrats ladies, you'll all have a Batiste XXL 200ML coming your way!


If you could all email me (address in the sidebar) your Full Name and Address to me that would be fantastic. I'll then pass these onto Batiste and Tangle Teezer so they can ship you the prizes!

Aussie Summer Party Pack Winners

It's finally time to select my winners for the Aussie giveaway I hosted on Friday! The lucky 7 girls who win receive a Summer Pack and a chance to go to the biggest Aussie event yet. I won't be attending this as I am under 18, but for those who win congratulations! I'm sure you'll enjoy wearing your flip flops like me, and eating your fizzing candy..

I had to use a thimble to stand it up, ever so coool of me. 

The winners are (drumroll please):

Lorna Rose        Caz        Sarah        Laura        Amy        Wendy        Angie

edit: as only 2 winners got back to me, the winners were selected via twitter. sorry to those who were too late, but I had to give the entries in within a certain time.

Congratulations girlies! Expect an email from me shortly, or if you're super lovely you could simply email me your full name and address..

Sunday, August 21

Living in Cornwall

 registration plates and phone number blurred for personal protection etc

I went to my dad's lock up yesterday (just down the road) to take photos of his Mercedes van he's putting on eBay. He keeps a few odd things there so it's basically his garden shed but quadrupled in size! It's a really lovely place just to walk the dogs and I'm usually found down there reading a book looking out over the river when I have nothing else to do.

It's nothing amazing but definitely makes me feel grateful for living in Cornwall, even if I do live in the main city. Compared to cities up country it's a village- it's quite small and you can walk from one side of town to the other in under 5 minutes. But to me it's the big city and I can't really imagine living anywhere else! 

Saturday, August 20

Boudoir Prive Thoughts

 I've seen quite a few of these posts, but wanted to add my own opinions into the mix. I am guessing we all know about Boudoir Prive now. It's just a beauty selection box full of high end samples for £10 per month, blah blah blah. I think it's quite obvious to see the packaging looks similar to Glossybox, but with a different audience in mind. The Boudoir Prive box is more for the experimental lady who is willing to try out tea bags and unknown (but-never-the-less-high-end) brands! Where as the Glossybox is for the more brand conscious girl who would rather pick up her favourite products from Debenhams after work.

Sachajuan Conditioner, Olavie Antioxidant Body Butter, Jane Ireldale Purelash, 
Babor HSR Lifting Extra Firming Cream, Etat Libre D'orange Archives 69 & Rein, Bloom Tea.

As for the actual presentation, it's very glamorous but a spitting image of the Glossybox with a few minor changes. They could have made better effort to present the brand as one of a kind. I do however love the leaflet that comes with the box- with 6 different categories for the products (e.g. lifestyle, hair). I also really like 'half price code for three friends' that's included with the leaflet, it's a fab idea for making their brand known by word of mouth.

Overall, I am not amazed by the Boudoir Prive box! I love the products I received, but nothing has wowed me. I haven't a clue whether I should unsubscribe from this or the Glossybox as I don't need to be subscribed to both. I really like how this company have taken a slightly different route to Glossybox, but still believe they could have been a little more original. 

If you think it appeals to you, you can use the code 1BOX12! It's only available for 3 people to use though so you'd better be fast. 

I paid for this myself, so was not sent it as a PR sample.

Sleek's Nude Collection & Swatches

Here are a few photos of Sleek's new 'Nude' collection, which I think is probably their best yet. I definitely prefer this Au Natural palette to the Oh So Special as the colours are just gorgeous. It will definitely give my UD Naked Palette a run for it's money. This collection is also permanent (!!) which I'm quite happy about as they were definitely missing a sturdy neutral palette.

I'm in love with the packaging, so.. well.. Sleek?

The Au Natural palette (£6.49) is full of taupes and plum shades, with a good few highlight colours mixed. As usual you have a matte black shade while the rest of the palette is a mixture of both mattes and shimmers. This will definitely be a great palette for A/W.

Here's a swatch of the Suede blusher (£4.29) on my rather flabby looking hand.. I blame it on the camera angle. This is a matte blush which I'm quite happy about and is SUPER pigmented, just like all the other Sleek blushes I own (outdated collection here). Although I do really like this shade, I'm not sure it will be all that flattering on my rather pale skin tone. I have high hopes though!

FYI I don't have an orange finger nail, it's stained from nail polish!

Onto my favourite release, their amazing Pout Polish in Bare Minimum (£4.29)! I have about 7 Pout Polishes already and bought Bare Minimum quite a few weeks ago in Superdrug. They had released it early so I quickly snapped out up, only to be sent one earlier. I absolutely love this, so much so that it was mentioned in my July Favourites post. It is giving Sugar May a run for it's money. 

Will you be buying from the collection when it's released at the end of August?

You can purchase these products -when released- from Sleek's website

I was sent these products to review/mention, but my opinions are 100% honest. I just luuurve Sleek.

Thursday, August 18

Happy Aussie-versary! *CLOSED*

I have a gorgeous giveaway to show you all, where you could win...

♥ An aussome (see what I did there) summer party pack!
♥ One Aussie-versary Limited Edition Product! (decided if you win)
- Take The Heat: Shampoo, Conditioner, 3MM, Heat Protection Cream or Heat Protection Spray.
- Miracle Moist: Shampoo, Conditioner or 3MM.
- Luscious Long- Shampoo, Conditioner, 3MM or Leave-in Conditioner.
♥ And best of all.. All those who receive packs will have the opportunity to take part in a challenge, with the chance of one person winning 10 tickets for themselves and 9 of their friends or followers to our HUGE Summer party in October! This will be the biggest, most exclusive aussie party yet – one night of celebrations that CANNOT be missed!

To enter you must:
♥ Comment below telling me YOUR reasons to party
♥ Include your email address and twitter/blog link in your comment
♥ Read the T&C's below
♥ Realise the closing date is 19th August 00:00 BST (Midnight tomorrow) 
♥ Winner will be announced by Tuesday 23rd!

Terms & Conditions:
1. This competition is open to the Aussie Angels online communities
2. Winners must be UK Mainland residents and aged 18 years or over
3. Winners of the giveaway are to be chosen by Aussie Angels
4. To enter, community members must write a blog post, OR comment on an Angels’ Giveaway blog post, stating how they qualify for a Summer Party pack
5. To qualify for winning the Summer party pack, they must have something to celebrate (there are no restrictions on their reasons for celebration)
6. Selection criteria: Each Aussie Angel will select their own 7 community member winners. Selection is entirely at each Angels discretion
7. The Promoter will not be liable for applications not received, incomplete, delayed or damaged. Last date for receipt of entries is Friday 19 August 2011
8. There will be up to 7 winners per Aussie Angel
9. Winners must be chosen and notified in writing, by the Angels, by Tuesday 23 August 2011
10. The Angels must also notify Aussie, in writing, who they have chosen, by Tuesday 23 August 2011
11. A list of the prize winners will be available on after this date.
12. The prizes are as stated and cannot be transferred, sold or exchanged. There is no cash alternative. Only one prize per household. No bulk or third party entries accepted
13. Summer Party packs will be sent by Aussie, and all delivery costs covered by Aussie
14. By entering this competition, entrants agree to be bound by the rules and by any other requirements set out in the promotional material.
15. You must be a follower of this blog.
PROMOTER: Procter & Gamble UK, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 OXP

Good luck girlies! ♥

Friday, August 12

Sudocrem Review: Skin Care Cream

Ways to use Sudocrem: On spots/ acne, cracked heels, dry elbows/knees, dry cuticles, shaving rash, removing product swatches from my hand, eczema or any other skin conditions, after a bikini wax (not my one, got it from Google!), after using an epilator, sunburn, heat rash, blisters, as a face mask (5 minutes then remove excess), and nettle stings.

This new version of Sudocrem (£2.11/30g) is a non-medicated skin care cream that's less greasy and lighter than the original Sudocrem we know and love. I've been using this daily and am half way through a small tube, even though I don't seem to use much. I usually warm this up before applying as it can be thick and unworkable- then apply after my Liz Earle Skin Tonic but before my Skin Repair Moisturiser. I use this on any areas I think may be likely to break out, or on any dry areas I can see. It works quick and effectively without leaving a film over the skin.

I never would have bought this myself, but am pleased I've found out about it. It's a new must-have!

I received these three tubes of Sudocrem to review but opinions are 100% honest as always

Thursday, August 11

Lucky, lucky, lucky

I seem to be having amazing luck recently and have been winning quite a few items from friend's blogs and beauty company's twitters. I want to write this post to say thank you to the people's who sent me these items as giveaway prizes and to show how much I love everything! As I seem to be having good luck I have decided not to enter any more giveaway for quite some time. I am happy with everything I have received and don't wish to win anything else, that would be pretty unfair. So what have I won?

This post is not to brag but to thank the lovely ladies I have won from; no rude comments please.

Gem's Blog
I entered Gem's giveaway to win a MAC Lipstick of my choice and had no idea she would send so many other little things too. I chose the colour Angel as I begrudgingly walked away from it on my last trip to MAC. I am in love with my Topshop necklace which I have christened 'the blogging necklace' as I seem to always wear it when blogging. I was also so happy to receive some MUA and Topshop makeup! Unfortunately Gem didn't realise I didn't wear earrings and she's made me hate that I'm allergic to most metals as these earrings are so gorgeous. Any ideas of how to use them?

Hannah's Blog
I've been a reader of Hannah's blog for longer than I can remember so thought it was lovely when I won her giveaway. I was given her favourite lipstick, Pink Mallow by Natural Collection that I have been loving and wearing quite a lot. I was also given a No7 Eyeliner in Royal and a Montagne Jeunesse Exfoliating mask which I've been dying to try but wanted to wait to take photos! I shall be using this tomorrow I think.

Abby's Blog
After winning a Filofax for my mum from Abby I also won a Witch Concealer- a product I was eager to try out. I've never used Witch before but since receiving this and a Witch Primer from their website (not pictured) I have bought two more products from the company, showing just how much I love them. I absolutely love this concealer, and it's my go-to cover up in the morning!

Cat's Blog
Quite a few weeks ago now (oops) I received, from Cat's amazing blog, a Batiste Nude- one of her favourite types of Dry Shampoo. I can see why she loves this, and I don't see much difference between the powder and the aerosol. I still prefer my Tropical Batiste which I think is Cat's favourite too, but so glad I have this.

Glossybox's Twitter
When I saw Glossybox having a little competition to give away two products from Rouge Bunny Rouge I jumped at the chance, even though I knew little about the brand. I am so glad I entered now (as is the lovely Lauren) as I have now found my perfect eyeshadow. I haven't really used the Flamenco/Duende Liquid Blush and Gloss Duo but have been using the Rouge Bunny Rouge Eyeshadow in Unforgettable Oriole almost every time I wear eyeshadow. It's a weird mix between Phloof! and Naked Lunch but with a peachy undertone like All That Glitters.

Pantene's Twitter
I won the Smooth & Sleek shampoo/conditioner duo for a 'Tip Of The Day' on Twitter but cheekily haven't tried them out yet. I'm keeping them for my travel wash bag when I go to London in September- but still dying to try them out.

Scratch Card Win
I've only ever bought a Scratch Card once so can't believe I won £20 on my first go. Obviously mum has bought me one before, but I've always had to split the winnings with her. All £20 of this is now mine! *evil laugh*

The Swatches

Have you been lucky enough to win anything fabulous lately? Thanks so much to all the girlies I've won these lovely things from!