Saturday, 31 December 2011

O.P.I Avoplex

Nail & Cuticle Replenishing Oil

I've had a couple of minature bottles of Avoplex over the years and I have to say, I'm yet to come across a better nail nourishing treatment! According to the inclosed leaflet, Avoplex can be applied to not only nails and cuticles but also to dry skin and calluses to restore moisture and natural lipids. Also, because it doesn't include any lanolin, mineral oil or petrolium based ingredients, it's great on artificial nails too.

I work in a children's nursery and, alongside the frequent washing, I'm constantly applying alcohol gel to my hands and I've found that my skin and nails have really suffered as a result. Due to the fact I can't wear nail polish at work either, my nails peel terribly and are extremely weak. Anyway, moaning aside, I've found Avoplex really useful! You just splash a couple of drops onto your cuticle each day, rub in and voila! Nice nourished nails. And as an added bonus, it smells pretty good too. Hoorah for Avoplex! Another amazing product from O.P.I!

Benefit 'they're Real!'

I have to admit, since the release of 'they're Real!' I was desperate to try Benefit's new mascara. With its impressive claims of length, volume, curl and longevity I had great expectations, and when I tried it yesterday, I wasn't disappointed!

The mascara applies smoothly and, to my surprise, without clumps. It has a sturdy brush that gathers the product evenly and at the on the tip it has bristles that fan out in opposing directions. The box suggests that you start applying the mascara by using a 'wiggling' motion up through the lashes whilst holding the brush horizontally, and to finish it recommends holding the brush vertically and pushing upwards to create a curl and separate the lashes.

I followed the suggestions and was very pleased with the results!

Check out Benefit's new mascara at

Happy New Year! =) x

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Soap and Glory 'Big Splendour' Gift Set

Soap and Glory - what a delightful brand. I've been a huge fan of theirs for some time now and I've tried various products from their range including soaps, moisturisers, scrubs, hair conditioners, cellulite busting potions and lipgloss, and I have to say, I've rarely been disappointed.

This weekend I picked up a Christmas bargain in the form of the Soap and Glory 'Big Splendour' gift set which was reduced from £60 to £25 in Boots. I was doubly excited as for the past couple of years I've missed out on their Christmas releases, so when I saw the huge towers of Soap and Glory bags stacked inside the entrance of the store I needed little persuasion to grab one and hotfoot it to the tills.

This is what the packaging looks like this year, along with an extra photograph of the initial view when the bag is unzipped;

The bag does come with a cardboard sleeve wrapped around it bearing the name 'Big Splendour', but I forgot to save it for this photo - sorry!

The set contains 10 full-size products, some of which I had not tried before so I was very pleased that they were included.

I thought I'd give you a little breakdown of each, so here goes...

Clean On Me; This moisturising shower gel claims to include body lotion to keep skin soft and supple and, I assume, ultimately save time. The creamy gel formula foams well and has a wonderfully fresh, clean scent that, to me, is the signature fragrance of Soap and Glory. It leaves my skin feeling soft and lightly scented, and best of all, a little goes a long way.

Calm One, Calm All; Similar to the Clean On Me shower gel, this bubble bath has the same delicious scent and also boasts the benefits of added body lotion. It really does what it says on the tin and after bathing your skin feels hydrated and smells devine.

Heel Genius; I hadn't tried this menthol smelling foot cream before, and I have to say that I've really enjoyed using it so far. I am partial to a bit of foot moisturisation, and this tube has now found a permanent home on my bedside table. The cream has a light, almost gel-like consistency, that doesn't cause my feet to stick to anything and everything within a metres radius. I've also found it works wonders on my nursery-worn hands!

Pulp Friction; By far my favourite product in the Big Splendour set, Pulp Friction Body Scrub is a delight to use. Unlike the other body scrubs I've used in the past, this product foams as you rub it in which is a welcome change from the usual sandblasting experience I've often found with traditional jars of sugar or salt scrub. On top of this, it smells amazing and leaves your skin feeling super smooth.

Hand Food; I've had several travel sized bottles of this rich, scented handcream in the past (that have been included in smaller gift sets) and although I can't fault it for its skin-softening qualities, I do find it a little too fragrant to use on an everyday basis and therefore I usually save it as my 'fancy' handcream. It has a thick, creamy texture which isn't too greasy, and I find just over a pea-sized amount is sufficient for silky smooth hands.

Face Soap And Clarity; I've used this foaming face wash for three days now, and although it makes my skin feel very clean and slightly tingly, I'm yet to be convinced. I'm not overly keen on the smell (which is difficult to describe, but has subtle notes of menthol) and I find it's consistency a little sticky. Ah well, you can't win them all!

Off Your Face These facial cloths claim to cleanse and also exfoliate your skin, if you apply a little extra pressure. They are said to be infused with Soap and Glory's Poreshrink-RS™ which may, with regular use, reduce the appearance of large pores. They smell of very little, are of a good size and are made of seemingly good quality cloth, as cleansing cloths go. I have to admit that I don't usually use facial wipes unless I'm in a hurry as I prefer a good old fashioned wash with soap and water, so instead of using these wipes alone, I've been using them as an additional step before applying my moisturiser. I'm yet to see any results in terms of pore shrinking, but alas, I shall persevere!

Mist You Madly; I love this body spray! After getting out of the shower last night I treated myself to an all over spritz, and the sweet, feminine scent was a lovely addition to my going-out preparation. This was the first time I'd used the fragrance and I found it was not at all overpowering, and in fact, complimented my perfume.

The Righteous Butter; I've used this body butter before and I'm often lucky enough to receive a tub on my birthday each year. Its scent is typical of Soap and Glory and its consistency is wonderfully rich and creamy, leaving the skin feeling smooth, hydrated and fragranced. As an added bonus, if ever I feel I'm in need of a bit of colour (an embarrassingly frequent occurence in my life), I like to mix a small scoop of The Righteous Butter with a blob of my Rimmel Instant Sun Shimmer, for those Oh-my-God-I-look-like-a-Vampire emergencies.

Sexy Mother Pucker in Candy Gloss This gorgeous shimmery lipgloss has turned out to be just what I needed in my makeup bag. The delicate candy pink gloss is laced with fine sparkles that almost appear irredescent in certain lights, and of course it contains the lip-plumping ingredients associated with the Mother Pucker range that claim to boose your pout. It's long lasting, but be warned - it's a bona fide hair-sticker. In fact, I'm pretty certain I could use it as a Pritt Stick substitute, given the right occasion, so I'd definitely advise applying after going out in the wind. However, despite this slight negative, I really do love it and I'll certainly be using it over the festive season!

And that concludes my monster Big Splendour review! If you've stuck with me this far, I salute you; thank you!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year! x

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Poppy King's Collection for Boots No7.

For decades, the classic red lip has been a statement of confidence and glamour; two words that could never be used to describe my boring, pallid pout. My pale, freckled skin has never really screamed ‘lipstick’ to me, and on the odd occasion I’ve felt the urge, I’ve always opted for muted shades of raspberry or plum, which I think you’ll agree, are nothing to write home about. But a few weeks ago, during my monthly Boots haul, I stumbled upon the No7 counter and its enchanting limited edition collection, courtesy of the successful entrepreneur and lip colour queen, Poppy King.

As soon as I saw the display, my eyes were immediately drawn to the candy-coloured spotted boxes, and I just had to take a closer look. There are seven shades in the collection ranging from barely-there, subtle colours of pinky peach, to rich, pigmented tones in deep reds and burgundies. And there, amongst those tempting shades was ‘History’, and after a quick swatch, I knew I’d finally found a pale-friendly red!

‘History’ has a smooth, almost creamy texture which initially feels lovely on the lips, but after a short while, I've found it has a slight tendency to become a little dry so I like to pat a layer lipbalm over the top after applying. I don’t find its colour overpowering - a quality which would have put me off immediately before purchasing - but instead I feel its rich berry red pigment is demure enough to wear comfortably during the day, yet distinct enough to be noticed. I now find I'm able to wear a red lipstick which doesn’t give me the heebie-jeebies, and which gives me a much needed injection of colour and life into my everyday makeup.

As well as my purchase of History, I also decided to try Intrigue; a semi-opaque colour with hints of soft brown and a dash of pink. This shade is more my usual style and I just couldn’t resist picking it up for my collection! I find that both lip colours have fairly good staying power, but I do feel I need the odd touch up every now and then, particularly after food and drink. Having said that, I feel quite ladylike reapplying, so I need not complain.

Overall, I'm very pleased with my purchases - the range is definitely worth giving a go!

See Poppy's collection here!