Review – L’Oreal Nude Magique Cushion Foundation

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This was a classic case of “YouTube Made Me Buy It”.

For the last year or so, I’ve been really into watching YouTube videos, even more so than traditional blogs. And every now and then, you get a particular product which is EVERYWHERE. Everyone is talking about it, everyone is raving about it, and everyone must have it.

One such product was the L’Oreal Nude Magique Cushion Foundation. A few months ago, it started popping up as a dupe to the Lancôme cushion foundation, and every video I watched, there it was. YouTubers couldn’t stop talking about it.

Wow, I thought! This must really be something if all of these people are loving it!

So on a lunchtime trip to Boots I spied it in my shade and popped it in my basket.

Even then, I was a little concerned about it, mainly because of the price. It’s £14.99 for 15ml of product, which when you think about it is REALLY expensive, especially for a drugstore brand. A usual foundation comes in 30ml, so in reality it’s £30 for the same amount of product that you would normally get in a foundation bottle.

I started using it, and initially loved it. It did what it said on the tin – a sheer, buildable, glowy base product which smoothed out my skin tone and was lightweight – perfect for summer.

However, very quickly I began to notice that I wasn’t getting as much product on my make-up sponge when I dipped it in. And by quickly, I mean within about a week. I flipped the sponge over (as the foundation pools at the bottom) and all was well again… For about a week.

The problem with this product is that it dries up ridiculously quickly, and it pretty much useless after about a month. Had I paid a fiver for it I wouldn’t be too bothered, but I didn’t.

SO disappointed was I about this product, I had to share it. I don’t like to write bad reviews about products but this one was so bad I felt I needed to. DON’T get tempted by it!

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Beauty Review – No7 Beautiful Skin Eye Make Up Remover

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I work outdoors so ALWAYS wear waterproof mascara. No-one wants to be caught in the rain, with smudgy panda eyes from their mascara running everywhere!

This presents its own problem though: removing it.

For years, I have used and loved Bi Facil by Lancome. This is by far my favourite waterproof eye make up remover, however at around £25 a bottle, it’s not cheap.
I’ve been looking for an alternative for a while now, and I think I may have found one!

The No7 Beautiful Skin Eye Make Up Remover is suitable for all skin types and comes in a 100ml bottle (perfect for carry-on if you’e travelling). It has two layers, a clear layer and a blue layer. You shake the bottle vigourously to get the two to mix, then pour a little of the solution onto a cotton pad. I like to hold the pad over my eyes for a couple of seconds, before wiping the make up off.

This product really does remove all of your make up in only a couple of wipes, with minimal dragging across your eyes which can lead to dreaded wrinkles.

It is a little oily, however I use a cleanser or micellar water afterwards to remove any residue, so that doesn’t bother me. Plus, I would say it’s no more oily than the Lancome version.

The only downside to this product in my opinion is the packaging; there is no dispenser at the top of the bottle, just a normal bottle opening, which means you need to be careful when putting it onto a pad and you can sometimes use too much.

The normal retail price of this is £8.50, which in itself is cheap compared to its more expensive counterparts. However, Boots often run promotions when you have spent a certain amount in store, you get a voucher for £5 off No7 skin care – so I got my bottle for only £3.50!! Absolute bargain.

I would still probably go for my trusty Lancome if money was no object, but I have to say there isn’t much between the two and for the price, the No7 is fantastic value.

You can visit the Boots website and buy it here, and at the moment all No7 products are on a 3 for 2 offer!

Have you tried this before? What’s your favourite eye make up remover?





Sassi Holford Bridal Boutique Taunton

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This is predominantly a baking blog, but I do like to mix things up a little bit and let you know what I’ve been up to. We’re getting married in December 2014, and whist I don’t intend to turn this into a wedding blog, I thought it would be nice to include a few posts about that.

I recently was lucky enough to visit Sassi Holford’s Bridal Boutique in Taunton, and had such a great experience I just had to share it.

Sassi Holford has two boutiques – one in Taunton and one in London. The Taunton branch have a great selection of dresses, from designers Sassi Holford, So Sassi, Benjamin Roberts and Eliza Jane Howell. Each designer is different enough that you’re not trying on the same sort of dress over and over, but they all have their own style and the four collections complement each other perfectly. They also sell a small but perfectly formed selection of bridesmaid and mother of the bride dresses. Sassi Holford herself is a self-taught deisgner who has been designing dresses for over 30 years. ALL of her dresses are hand made to order right there in Taunton – no imports from China here, thank you very much.

I have tried on A LOT of dresses without finding “the one”, so was getting a little exasperated with the process! As soon as I stepped into the boutique I was met by Kristine, the manager. She instantly put me at ease and was so friendly. She really made me feel welcome, like I was to b trying on dresses in my own front room (albeit a very luxurious and decadently decorated front room!).

Kristine is a real pro; she’s been in the business since she worked as a Saturday girl at the tender age of 16, so she really knows her stuff. She asked the perfect questions, and I felt that she really listened to me and understood what I wanted (you may think that this is a given, but when you’ve visited as many bridal shops as I have, trust me when I say it’s rare!).

Nothing was too much trouble – Kristine took me through what she thought would suit me then allowed me to choose what I would like to try on. After each dress she asked me what I liked and disliked then used that to choose another dress for me.

I was being quite picky and was starting to despair when Kristine suggested one more for me to try on… And what do you know, I loved it!!

As I was admiring the dress in the mirror, who should come over to give me advice but Sassi herself! So I got to have a good old chat with the actual designer of my dress – what an amazing perk! You can tell this woman is great at her job and loves it, why else would she be in the boutique on a Saturday? It’s clear that she’s passionate about her designs and finding the perfect dress for each bride.

I left with a beautiful notelet with details of my dress, feeling all warm and fuzzy. This was, by far (even if I had not have found my dress), the most fantastic and professional visit to a bridal boutique I have experienced. From the knowledgable and friendly staff, to the relaxing and beautiful surroundings, and of course not forgetting the exquisite dresses, it was start to finish a fantastic morning.

If you’re in the market for a wedding dress, I would definitely make this top of your list, whether you visit Taunton or London I’m sure you’ll have as great an experience as I did.

You can visit the Sassi Holford website here for more information.

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Stop Press! Nails Inc Mega Deal For One Day Only!

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I wouldn’t say I’m a beauty junkie as such, but the one thing I do love is my nail varnishes. I probably have in excess of 50 at home *hangs head in shame*. I don’t get to wear them as much as I’d like to at the moment as my job doesn’t allow for it, but I like to pamper my nails when I can.
One of my favourite brands is Nails Inc. I love the way they apply, the variety of colours and their staying power. But at £11 per bottle it’s not a cheap purchase, so I try to only buy the colours I really love.
Nails Inc occasionally have AMAZING one day sales and as luck would have it, there’s one coming up tomorrow!
The deal is 8 nail varnishes for £20 – full price that would cost you £88!!
Nails Inc haven’t confirmed exactly which shades are in the set yet but they are going to be from their Pastel Power set – there are some really fab shades in there.
This is a complete bargain for those who love their nail varnishes. Also, Nails Inc varnishes make great presents – in the past I have given two or three complimentary shades as a birthday gift.
What’s more, P&P is normally £3.95, but if you use the code FREEDELIVERY you can get.. You guessed it… Free delivery!
So, Friday 21st February, put it in your diaries. You’ll need to get in there quick as sets run out quickly.
You can visit the Nails Inc website here. Remember, the deal won’t go live until Friday. Good luck and let me know if you order them!

January Birchbox Contents

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If you read my last post, you’ll know that I have recently received my first ever (and possibly last) Birchbox.

I won’t go into it all again – I had enough of a rant last time! I’m a stickler for good customer service and won’t settle for anything less. And Birchbox, in my opinion have fallen far below the standards I would expect.

However, it’s only fair that I give the box a good try, and so I thought I’d give you a little run down of what I received and my thoughts on each product.

First up, it’s the Bee Kind Body Lotion with honey and organic chamomile extracts. Personally, body lotion isn’t one of my favourite things to use. It’s something I should use more often, but I tend to end up with loads of half-used body butters and such like. This sample size is probably enough for two applications. I really liked the smell of it, and it was so moisturising, particularly on my legs where I often get very dry skin, especially in the winter.
Would I buy it? No, because I wouldn’t get the use out of it. But I don’t have any real complaints about the product and it was pleasant enough to use.

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Next was the Blanc Cachemire Creme de Jour Protectrice – this is a French brand which I have never heard of and seems to be very hard to get hold of in the UK. It’s a day cream and came with a handy little card telling you about it because all of the packaging is in French! This was quite an average product – it sank in really quickly and moisturised my face without leaving it feeling greasy, but I was a bit put off by the smell. I can’t really tell you exactly what the smell was… You know when things just smell a bit “natural”? Know what I mean? Anyway, not my thing.

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The smell of this next product, on the other hand, was a winner for me. The Lavera Basis Sensitiv Hand Cream had a gorgeous smell – I asked Mike what he thought my hands smelled like and he said “sweets!”. And that’s exactly what it was like – it smelt like Refreshers! Yummy. The cream absorbed really quickly into my hands – I hate it when hand cream lingers and you end up not being able to do anything for ages. This wasn’t that way inclined and as such will be finding a home in my handbag.

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I’ve tried Benefit’s Porefessional before and really liked it – it seriously works. It does what it says on the tin – it smooths out your pores and mattifies your skin leaving it looking flawless and airbrushed. You can use it on its own or as a primer under your foundation. I would definitely purchase this, in fact having this sample has reminded me how much I love it and it may well be on my list next time I’m shopping!

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The next item was a Philip Kinglsey Moisture Balancing Conditioner. I’m a conditioner fiend. I use it every time I wash my hair, and slather it on. With this sample, there wasn’t a lot there so I was actually very conservative with how much I used, and I only applied it to the mid section and ends of my hair. My first impressions were very good – initially I didn’t notice any difference from my normal conditioner, but then Mike commented “Have you straightened your hair? It looks very shiny”, so I thought, Great! It has actually done something! I was quite happy with it until today – one day later and my hair is REALLY greasy. Now, considering I only used a small amount, and I can normally go for up to three days before my hair gets greasy, that doesn’t bode well. I’m sad to say I won’t be using this again.

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The last, and slightly random, item in my Birchbox was some Itsu Miso Soup. I must be the only person in the world to not have tried Miso soup! It’s a healthy, vegetarian paste which you can make into a soup or use to flavour marinades. I’ve been looking for some recipes to try this out on and think I will be soon making a vegetable noodle soup – I’ll keep you posted on the outcome!

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So there you have it. A pretty average box. All the samples were quite small sizes, and after reading other beauty blogs and seeing the great items they’ve had in their boxes over the past year, to say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

Glossybox here I come!

My First (And Last?) Birchbox Review

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Have any of you ever tried out any of these monthly beauty boxes? Birchbox, Glossybox, Love Me Beauty? You pay a set amount per month, generally around £10, and get a box of beauty goodies each month to try out. It could be make up, skincare, hair care, accessories… Anything really!

I love to have lots of samples of different products to try out so when I first saw this on Hannahhotcakes blog I knew I had to try it out. Hannah subscribes to Birchbox and posts a review on each product she receives. I liked the idea of this so last month I signed up to Birchbox. It cost me £10 plus around £2.95 postage.

I waited excitedly for my package to arrive so that I could try the items out and write my own blog post.

How disappointed I was. I waited for almost two weeks for delivery, and when nothing came I contacted Birchbox to let them know. Annoyingly, there is no obvious phone number on their website so I emailed them. They reassured me that they would send another box which would arrive shortly.

Well over another week later and no box!!! I emailed them again and requested my money back. They gave me a full refund, but with no real apology, or phone call, despite me having requested a call back on three occasions.

I got my money back, but about 3 days after that I received my box… Which had been opened but was still intact as far as I could see. The items I received were OK but nothing special, and I didn’t really feel, had I actually paid for it, that it was worth a tenner.

Overall, I was really unhappy with the service from Birchbox, and have cancelled any further subscriptions with them.

Would any of you recommend any monthly boxes I could try? I’m thinking of possibly trying Glossybox next.

I don’t expect that Birchbox will care about this bad review because customer services doesn’t seem to be high on their list of priorities. But I have to say, after all the fab products I have seen on other beauty bloggers’ pages I was so disappointed in my experience 😦

I will be doing a small review very soon of the products I received… But for now… Sad face 😦

Soap and Glory Review

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Ever since I tried the Peaches and Clean cleanser by Soap and Glory a few years ago, I’ve been hooked. I love everything about the brand; the smell, the packaging, the products themselves… I *may* have a slight obsession.

Every year Boots do a gift set in their Christmas range and for one week in December it’s normally reduced to half price. I know it’s a long way off but remember this for next year and grab it if you see it! It contains most of my favourite S&G products.

But what about the rest of the year? Well, Boots often run 3 for 2 offers on Soap and Glory products, or money off, so it’s worth keeping an eye out and snapping them up when they’re on sale.

That’s just what I did a few weeks ago and I thought I would share my opinions on the products I bought – the Beauty Sleep Accelerator, For Daily Youth Foamy Moisture Facewash and Puffy Eye Attack Turbo Boost Hydragel. These were on 3 for 2 and I got the cheapest item free, which was the Facewash. I didn’t post about these straight away as I wanted to give them a fair chance, but here’s what I thought:

Beauty Sleep Accelerator
This is essentially a night cream, although it’s also advertised as an intensive moisturiser to be used on flights as well. It claims to drench your skin in moisture, instantly hydrate, and give your skin a dewy and youthful appearance.
The best thing for me about this moisturiser is the smell; it has the distinctive S&G signature fragrance and is lovely and fruity and fresh. It DOES hydrate your skin very well and I’ve found it great for keeping my skin moisturised overnight, especially when it’s feeling particularly dry when I’ve had the heating on.
However, I did use it by accident in the daytime one day, and I really noticed it; the cream didn’t sink in very quickly at all. Even after a few hours my skin felt greasy and like it had a layer over it, plus it was really shiny. So, my verdict – use it as a night cream and it’ll be great, but never use it in the daytime!

For Daily Youth Foamy Moisture Facewash
For me, this was a bit of a “meh” product. It was fine, but nothing special. Considering it has “foamy” in the name of the product, it seriously disappoints. Ok, it lathers up a little. But I wanted a FOAMY facewash, and foamy it is not. It cleans your face, yes. It gets rid of make-up, yes. But for a normal price of £9 it’s certainly nothing special, I’m glad it was the free item out of my 3 for 2. Also, it smells a little of tea tree, and, whilst I appreciate that’s personal preference, I’m not a massive fan. I’ll continue to use it but I wouldn’t re-purchase.

Puffy Eye Attack Turbo Boost Hydragel
Ok. This was the star of the show. I’m not really one for eye creams or gels, but I knew that I may need a little extra help over the Christmas period with all the parties and late nights so into my basket this fell. And I’m so glad I did!! I really could see a difference within a short period of time after using this. I used it all around my eyes, sparingly. A little goes a long way! It absorbs into the skin quickly and cooled the area, perking me up straight away. I’ve taken to using this twice a day (and sometimes in between if I’m really tired!). Buy it. You won’t regret it.

Sadly, the products are no longer on 3 for 2, but Boots have got an offer on at the moment with money off all these products. Click on the names here to go to the website:

Beauty Sleep Accelerator
Foamy Moisture Facewash
Puffy Eye Attack

I’ve just purchased the Glad Hair Day shampoo and conditioner so I’ll let you know how I get on with these once I’ve given them a whirl!