Sephora Express/Instant Nail Polish Remover

 

 

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When I was working in France towards the end of last year, I found myself with chipped nail varnish that was too much for even me (I have a bad habit of leaving my nails for weeks on end and not dealing with the chips), so I popped into Sephora whilst in Lille and picked up a nail varnish and this Express Nail Varnish Polish Remover. I’d heard only good things about the Bourjois version but as this was cheaper in the store, decided to give this a go. Bourjois, like most things in France to be fair, is disgustingly expensive.

I was not disappointed in this. I’ve only ever really used cheapish nail varnish removers, usually with acetone, that leave my nails quite weak and the skin surrounding them feeling a bit malnourished and dry but this seems to do the opposite. Sticking my finger in a pot with a sponge soaked in nail varnish remover, I was expecting to be needing a lot of hand cream afterwards, but not at all. It feels quite moisturising, not at all drying, and it certainly doesn’t give me the feeling that it’s harsh on my nails.

And in terms of removing polish? It amazing. No hard work is required. Simply put your finger into the hole in the sponge, give the bottle a twist or two, and all signs of varnish is completely removed. It even makes an easy job of removing glitter polish, with no signs of the glitter damaging the sponge thank God. Perfect.

Unfortunately, as this is considered a hazardous material for shopping, us UK ladies won’t be able to order it from the Sephora site, but if you ever find yourself in the US or Europe, pick it up! I can’t compare it to the Bourjois one as I’ve never tried it, but I will say that I have no urge to ever try it as this is just so good.

Now, I’ve just checked the site and it turns out that the European stores have different names of products then the US stores. The product is available here from Sephora US and is called Instant Nail Polish Remover. There is a different Express Nail Polish Remover on the site so don’t get them confused if you are buying them in the different nations!

 

What I got for Christmas

Well that’s it, it’s over for another and this Christmas I was so lucky and got spoiled rotten! I thought I’d share with you a few snaps of what I was treated to.

First up we have my beauty products.

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I now have enough Soap & Glory to last me a life time. I’n not sure about you, but I was a bit disappointed that the majority of gift bags this year from Soap & Glory didn’t have full sizes of the Clean On Me shower gel. I’m a massive fan of the traditional Soap & Glory scent, but most of the products this year are more fruity, not that I’m complaining!

I also got Mac lipstick in Cyber. I’d caught this shade on a photo of my boyfriend’s friend, and begged him for weeks and weeks to find out what shade it was. He refused to tell me and the little gem bought me it as a surprise Christmas gift.

And I can’t wait to try the Origin’s face masks I got from my Mum and Dad. I’ve read so many good things about them so can’t wait to give them a try, especially the Overnight Mask.

I’d been lusting after the Real Techniques brushes as my brush collection is very, very basic and I was treated to the starter packs from my boyfriends parents. And I finally got hold of the Naked 3 pallet!! I’d sent my mum out for it the day it was released and had begged her to let me have it as soon as she got it, but she made me wait! And finally I have it! I haven’t actually used it yet but I’ve had a quick swatch of the shades and they are truly gorgeous.

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I also got a gorgeous pair of sheepskin slippers off my aunty from a brand I’d never heard of: Snowpaw. They are so comfortable and cute. I’m debating whether to put them away to save for my holiday to Florida in April along with the many pyjamas I received.

My boyfriend’s parents also bought me a scented candle set from Lily Flame which smell amazing.

And how gorgeous is my book! Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books and I’d spotted this leather bound copy in Waterstone’s a few months ago and fell in love. My boyfriend surprised me with this and the King Charles Spaniel Calendar (He says that’s the closest I’m getting to having a real one).

So there’s my presents! I plan on blogging a lot more in the new year so have a perfect head start on products I can review!

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and I wish you all the best for 2014!

xoxo

Soap & Glory Solar Powder

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Bronzer is a staple part of my make up routine. Mascara and bronzer were the only make up products I used when I first started to wear make up so when I don’t use it, for some reason, I feel naked. For years my bronzer of choice was Bourjois Delice de Soleil and I never used another product. But now, oh how things have changed.

I have an extremely pale skin tone. I don’t know what shade I am in MAC, which seems to be the point of reference for all beauty bloggers, but I’m usually buying Ivory shades. So, naturally, its extremely hard to find a bronzer that gives a nice natural colour. Now, back when I was using Delice de Soleil I was a massive fan of the old fake tan. I used to apply it every night and now, when I look back at pictures, I wish I’d listened to my friends who told me time and again that I constantly smelt of the stuff and it was a little too much. But after ending my love affair with the artificial sun-kissed look and embracing my pale skin tone (I’d like to think I now look like an English rose), Delice de Soleil was just far too orange in tone for me. So I was on the look out for a new bronzer.

About two years ago, I was having a nose at the Soap & Glory make up range and came across their bronzer, Solar Powder. There was probably some sort of 3 for 2 offer on beauty goods on at the time so I decided to give it a go and I am so so glad that I did. Solar Powder is a mix and match, multi-shade bronzer with two different toned powders.

I like to use a basic powder brush to run over the two powders, more so on the paler one, and I find that it gives a perfect, subtle hint of colour to my face. For times when I have a bit more time to spend on putting my make up on, which isn’t often, I concentrate the brush more on the darker shade and use it for contouring my face.

It applies like a dream. Swirling the brush lightly over the pan gets just the right amount of product onto the brush. On the first use, there is a shimmery overspray over the powder, but just swirl the brush around a few times and it’s disappears so theres no need to worry about the powder being shimmery.

With the two toned powders, I can find the perfect colour for my skin tone. Its not orange at all and genuinely does give a bronzed look, rather than a tangoed look. Saying that, I can’t imagine it working well on darker skin tones as its not at all overpowering on my pale face.

I love this product. Love, love, love. But my only problem is with the packaging. The design is typically Soap & Glory and retro, but its made of cardboard so it gets very grubby, very quickly and for the price of it I think they could definitely package it better. But ladies, if you’re pale like me and want the perfect bronzer, then this is the one for you.

You can find the bronzer here for £11 or at Boots, where there’s almost always some sort of offer on on beauty products.

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!

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!