Bourjois Java Rice Loose Powder

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Celebrating their 150th anniversary this year, Bourjois have released two products: one a brand new adjusting blusher and the other a re-release of a favourite from their back catalogue, the Java Rice Loose Powder, first released in 1879.

This is an illuminating loose powder that, given the fact that I usually prefer the matte look, I didn’t think I’d like, but I got swept up in the wave of excitement surrounding the product and decided to give it a try.

The packaging is mostly what attracted me to the product. It’s just looks so vintage and typically French and, as it turns out, its handy and practical as well. The swivel top took some getting used to but now I find it really easy to control how much product comes out and if I manage to get too much out, the screw top means it wont fall out and be wasted when the product is stashed away in my make up bag.

The only way to describe the smell is so typically Bourjois. Its a lovely scent and its one of my favourite things about the product.

In the pot, the powder has a pale pink hue that becomes transparent when blended in properly. Its so easy to apply. I’ve been using an average blush brush to apply the product as a highlighter on my cheek bones and the bridge of my nose. Its perfect as a highlighter. Given my usual avoidance of things with a bit of shimmer, I’m surprised by how much I love this. The shimmer is the perfect amount. In fact, I would hardly call the effects shimmery but, rather, the powder gives the perfect glow and radiance and when I use it I seem to have a luminous and glowy complexion.

The texture is perfect as well. It feels so silky and velvety. I can honestly say that its become one of my favourite products in my make up back, and a massive plus is that when its applied to the t-zone, its great at oil control.

As far as I know the item is a limited edition and available for £9.99. Fingers crossed Bourjois decide to keep it in their line permanently!

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European Jetsetter

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I know I’m not the most regular at posting blogs but I started to find I was enjoying my nice little routine of sitting down and blogging if I found I had a bit of time to myself. Either that or watch Modern Family. But, the past few weeks I’ve found myself busier than ever, mostly because of work. So now I find myself sitting in a hotel room in Amsterdam, having survived my first time driving on the other side of the road, and facing a week of up to 14 hour days working all over the Netherlands.

I’ve never been to the Netherlands before and Amsterdam is on the top 5 of my list of places I want to visit, so its a shame that I won’t actually have the chance to have a look round the place, but I’ll try my best to grab an hours break from work in every town I’m in so I can actually say I saw a bit of the place!

I’m going to be working in Europe, mainly France, through the week (flying out on Mondays and coming home on Fridays) so unfortunately I’m going to be even busier than I usually am. Ironically for someone who studied Languages as a Degree, I have always found it very hard to be away from home, and changes in my life recently mean it’s even harder now. I hate to admit it but when I was dropped off at the airport earlier today, I may have had a little cry. But my theory is that if I work hard now then things can only pay off, can’t they?

The other thing that is stressing me out is that I have to drive to get around this week. I avoided having to get a car for when I’m in France by working out hotels right next to the stores I’ll be visiting (I work for a sports fashion retailer) and working out trains/metro lines to take to get to hotels. But, sadly and gladly, I’ll be working in two different Dutch towns a day, so it wasn’t possible to use public transport to get around. As most of you will know, we drive on the other side in good old Blightly. For some reason we love to be different and this is the one time I’m wishing we were the same as the rest of the world and get to drive on the life? right? I don’t even know!! Tomorrow I have a 2 hour drive to Eindhoven in the early hours so there will probably be no car that I can follow to make sure I’m in the right lane! Fingers crossed for me please !

On a plus side, I know I’m so so lucky to be getting paid to be travelling and hopefully, if I do a good job, then I’ll be getting something really decent out of it. Plus it can never be a bad thing to get to peruse Duty Free and Sephora on a weekly basis can it?!

The Body Shop Seaweed Skin Care Range

ImageI’ve been on the look out for a reasonably priced mattifying cream and after talking myself out of spending £40 on the Premae Harmony Creme Balm (which is amazing), I clocked these products in the Body Shop. I don’t usually think to ever go into the Body Shop but for some reason I decided to have a browse and I’m glad I did. They had this set of products in an offer for £32 for the complete set so I decided to give it a go.

The range is made using bladderwrack seaweed that grows in clean waters off the south-west coast of Ireland and is ideal for combination/oily skin. It promises to help restore skin balance and control excess oils to help give you a shine free, matte finish.

In the set, I received the following items:

Seaweed Purifying Facial Cleanser, £8 for 200 ml

This clarifying lotion helps to remove make up and excess oil. It is massaged onto the skin using fingertips and then removed in circular motions using a cotton pad or a muslin cloth. I’ve found that I prefer to use a cotton pad. It feels light, smells lovely and it does help with oil control, but I’ve found it doesn’t completely remove all traces of make up. My face doesn’t feel clean or totally fresh after using it and I’ve found I definitely prefer to use a facial cleanser that is rinsed off with water.

I don’t think its worth the price tag in terms of removing make up, but it does help with oil control.

Seaweed Clarifying Toner, £8 for 200ml 

This is a good toner. It helps clear the skin of any make up that resisted the cleansing stage but it is definitely not eye friendly. Its quite harsh on the old eye area and stings quite a bit so I wouldn’t recommend using it on this area. But it does what you expect from a toner.

The only problem is I seem to be getting through it quite quickly, so it will need repurchasing quite often but it is good for combination/oily skin types.

Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator, £9 for 75 ml

I tend to use this product once or twice a week and it definitely hasn’t replaced my Liz Earle Gentle Exfoliator. It has a gel-like consistancy with grains that give your skin a good scrub, without being harsh at all. My skin feels extremely clean and fresh after using it.

The scent, unfortunately, isn’t at all like the scent of the other products in the range. It is so heavy and strong, and not at all pleasant so I don’t like to use it that much. Other than that though, it great. Its just that its a massive con for the product.

Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream, £10 for 50ml

This moisturiser is oil free and gel like in texture. It feels really greasy at first but mattifies almost immediately when rubbed into the skin. Due to the texture, a little goes a long, long way so the 50ml will probably last for a long time. The matte effect lasts all day and my skin is a lot less greasy at the end of the day. It doesn’t dry my skin out at all and it feels really soft and moisturised throughout the whole day.

The scent is lovely. Its really light and fresh and makes it even more of a pleasure to use.

Seaweed Clarifying Night Treatment, £11 for 30ml

As I have oily skin, I tend to stay away from night treatments/moisturisers, as they are usually too heavy. But this serum is perfect. It’s light and helps to balance the skin and reduce oil, yet it still hydrates and my skin is so soft after using it.

As its a serum, a little goes a long, long way and you only need the tiniest amount of product. It does exactly what you want it to.

If I were to pay for these products individually at the full price, I would think that other than the day cream and night treatment, they are slightly overpriced. But other than the cleanser and the exfoliator, I will definitely be repurchasing them. It’s the perfect skin care regime perfect for oily skin.

All products are available here from the Body Shop

GOSH Growth Mascara

Next up on the list of products I’ve repurchased from my subscription to Beauty Boxes is the GOSH Growth Mascara I received in June’s GlossyBox.

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This mascara consists in active ingredients that are meant to encourage the growth of longer lashes in just two weeks. I mentioned it in a post about what I’d received that month and when I saw it I just thought “As if” and put it away in my make up draw and sort of forgot about it. I use Benefits They’re Real mascara and I love it, so it would take a special mascara to tear me away from it.

But, after semi-permanent lashes left me with bald eyes, I decided to give it a go and I was pleasantly surprised. The rubber wand is brilliant. It has one side with short bristles that allow you to get as close as possible as the lash line, giving volume, and the other side has longer bristles to lengthen the lashes. The size of the brush means that you can apply the mascara evenly and without those pesky clumps.

As a mascara it’s pretty decent. I like to use it as a first coat underneath They’re Real because I like my lashes to look quite dramatic, but it’s definitely good enough to use as a mascara on it’s own. Its gives lashes good length and volume so it’s definitely good enough to use on it’s own.

As far as encouraging the growth of lashes is concerned, it definitely delivers. Within a couple of weeks my lashes had completely grown back and more had grown too. Whilst I don’t think its lengthened them, its definitely added a lot more volume.

Another plus to this is that its also free from any parabens. Yay!

It’s available here at Superdrug for £8.49.

Maybelline Baby Lips

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This Summer saw the arrival of the long awaited Maybelline Baby Lips lip balms that have become an extremely coveted product across the pond and I was well and truly swept up in the hype. Promising 8 hour hydration and at £2.99 a go, how could I resist? Especially with packaging that cute and colourful. Boots had an offer at the time for 3 for 2 so I decided to treat myself to three of the little beauties:

Intense Hydration

I had a difficult decision to make over whether to buy all three of the tinted balms or let myself have two and this one and this one won. As I’ve mentioned I suffer quite badly from cold sores and my lips can be in a bad way when I’m getting over one so an Intense care lip balm is always a must for me. So far so good with this one in terms of keeping my lips soft and hydrated.

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As I have a ridiculous amount of pink coloured lip products, I went with Cherry Me, a red tint, and Peach Kiss, a peach tint. They smell amazing and the colours are gorgeous. They are perfect for wearing during the day and the tint in them is just the right amount.

All of these balms promise 8 hour hydration and I must say that it definitely doesn’t live up to this. Reapplying every couple of hours is necessary if you still want to feel the balm and pretty much as soon as its worn off then the benefits seem to go with it. But at £2.99 you can’t really complain, as when it is on the lips it feels amazing. It applies like a dream. Its so soft and more glossy than I expected it to me so glides on perfectly.

Given the pricing, it’s suprising that the balms are made of decent ingredients such as vitamin E, shea butter and aloe. However, they are also made up of petroleum and its no secret that this is more like a barrier for the lips and provides no real or long lasting benefits.

For £2.99 each though, and usually cheaper with offers in Boots and Superdrug, they are so worth it and I think every girl needs at least one of these lovely lip balms in their handbags, if not them all!

Philosophy: Purity Made Simple 3 in 1 Cleansesr

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I subscribe to both GlossyBox and Birchbox and my initial plan was to blog about what I receive in each box, but that can be a bit samey. Also I don’t always try everything I get, if it doesn’t interest me then I won’t use it, so I’ve thought it’d be better to write about the products I actually purchase after sampling them in the box.

First up we have the cult skin care favourite from Philsophy, the Purity Made Simple 3 in 1 cleanser, which I received in the August GlossyBox and as soon as I started using it, I knew I had to make this an essential part of my daily skincare routine.

This cleanser is meant to act as a one step, 3 in 1 product and promises:

  • to act as a make up remover, cleanser and toner
  • deep clean pores and eliminate make up build up
  • natural oil extracts help condition skin
  • fragrance free

I’ve been using this in two different ways: to double cleanse my face after using the brilliant Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser; and also on its own when I can’t be bothered spending too long cleaning my face. To apply, the instructions are to “massage a “size of a 20p piece” onto a lightly damp face, massage for 30-60 seconds, rinse and pat dry. Follow with an appropriate treatment and moisturiser.”

I’ve been following this up with the Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Toner and Mattifying Day Cream/Night Treatment, and my skin looks and feels great. I think the psychology of using a foaming, soap like product has made my skin feel so much cleaner after giving it a good wash, and it’s definitely less greasy at the end of each day. Another massive plus is that it is so gentle. Its definitely eye and contact lens friendly, and it doesn’t make my skin feel tight in the slightest, which is what I usually experience when using a foaming product as my skin can decide to be quite sensitive sometimes. My skin is also helped by the fact that its fragrance free. Fragranced products usually cause breakouts in me like I don’t know what.

As soon as I started using it I could feel its benefits. I was suffering from an unsightly breakout on my chin at the time and a couple of uses of this and it was almost completely gone.

It terms of make up removing, I’ve found that it doesn’t completely remove stubborn eye makeup but it does make it a hell of a lot easier to remove with a bit of toner and a cotton pad, which means the area around my eye is being treated a lot better! Other than that I haven’t found any other trace of make up on my face after using it, even when I use it on its own.

I received a 30ml sample in my GlossyBox and I still have a quite a lot left in my bottle. Its available in three different sizes:

  • 90 ml for £8
  • 240 ml for 17.50
  • 480 ml for £28.80

We were also given a voucher for £5 off the item at any Debenhams store in the GlossyBox, so I put this to good use and purchased the 480ml bottle. I highly recommend trying this product and Debenhams are giving out the 30ml bottle as samples so get your hands on it and try it!