Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Bath & Body Works Peach Cilantro Twist Candle

Earlier this month, I was sat at home on my weekend pretty much doing shopping, a bit of cleaning, watching The X Factor, lazing in my PJ's and drinking copious amounts of tea.  Meanwhile, my Dad was living it up with his friends in Las Vegas.  Something a little wrong with those situations, isn't there?  It should have been the other way around!

Bath & Body Works Peach Cilantro Twist Candle

But you know...silver linings and all that.  I wasn't going to be able to afford to go to Vegas, or America at any point in the future, so I made a very concise shopping list (two things!) of what I would like my Dad to bring back!  My Dad is very much a manly man, and I couldn't see him browsing the aisles of Sephora or Wal-Mart so I could get some American Beauty bits - instead, I simply asked for a nice candle from Bath & Body Works, and a Las Vegas mug.

Bath & Body Works Peach Cilantro Twist Candle

The candle he chose was Peach Cilantro Twist and I am so pleased with it!  It's the second candle I have had from them - my first being Leaves!  It smells absolutely amazing; really fresh, fruity and the scent really fills the room and the whole house if I leave the door open.  It also lightly scents the room if I leave the cap off the candle.  It's just so nice, and even Liam enjoys it when I burn it.  Before we moved in together, he was demanding that no candles were bought as they "just sit there and gather dust," but I think he is a candle convert!

The candle is a clean burner, but I do think that it's disappearing rather quickly!  I'm trying to use this candle sparingly - it really is so nice, and it's such a shame we can't get Bath & Bath Works easily in the UK!  My Dad said he loved the store, and even stocked up on some body lotions (?!) and aftershave for himself!

Have you tried anything from Bath & Body Works?  What's your favourite candle?

Monday, 29 September 2014

Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes

I can't even remember the last time that I actually bought a pack of facial wipes.  Ever since I started following Caroline Hirons, I have definitely kept completely clear of them and haven't touched them since!  A while back, I won another giveaway and managed to bag myself a goodie bag full of Yes To products!  I've never tried anything from Yes To before, so was really looking forward to trying some of their bits!

Yes To Cucumbers Face Wipes Review

I started with the Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Facial Wipes, which I first used after a night out to take my make up off when I was staying at a friends house.  I have to say that since switching to oils and balms to take my make up off, these wipes didn't remove my make up effectively at all, and definitely didn't do very well battling against the Benefit They're Real mascara!  (It'd take a good wipe to get that mascara off..)  The wipes actually left my skin quite sore, tight and a little bit stingy which was surprising as they're sold as soothing facial wipes.

I didn't think it was fair to just base my review on one use, and have used them again this weekend but I didn't use them to take my make up off; more of just a facial refresh whilst I was sat at home.  The stinging sensation didn't come back this time, and the wipe did feel a lot more soothing during use.  The towelettes are quite thick and a lot more luxury feeling compared to the Nivea/ASDA wipes I used to religiously use.  But my skin still did feel a little tight after use, although it did feel nice and smooth.

Yes To Cucumbers Face Wipes Review

Ingredients wise, these wipes are 98% natural which I am pretty impressed by.  The wipes are enriched with skin loving ingredients such as cucumbers to exfoliate, soothe and de-puff, green tea to help prevent break outs, and aloe vera for some much needed moisture.  They're also oil, SLS, petroleum and paraben free!

I don't think I'd rush out to buy another pack of these, and won't be using the rest of this pack very quickly either.  I think I will slot them into my gym bag to gently clear my face after I've finished sweating like a pig to try and refresh my face if I'm busy straight after.  I'm not a fan of cucumber, and the smell just isn't one for me - after a night out, I found the scent of these really hard to look past, but since using them more sober again, I can get over the smell and  it really doesn't last long at all.

Have you tried anything from the Yes To range?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Avon Advanced Techniques Moroccan Argan Hair Oil

The Avon Advanced Techniques 360 Nourishment Moroccan Argan Oil Leave In Treatment literally has the longest product name I have ever written on this blog...literally ridiculous.  I don't even know how you would fit that in the tiny box that you write the product name in on the Avon hand written order forms!  Joking aside, this is a hair treatment which I have had for quite a long time but have only started using again recently.

Avon Advanced Techniques Morroccan Argan Oil Review

I don't know why I stopped using this, as for the price (currently just £2.55 on the Avon website!), this really is a great product.  It is called a hair oil, but it feels a bit thicker than your normal oil, kind of more like a serum - it doesn't uncontrollably run around my hand, and doesn't leave behind an oily residue.  It has an almost fruity scent that is really pleasant, but doesn't linger once on the hair.  As far as ingredients go, I can't actually see anything on the website or on the bottle, but I don't imagine it to have a high content of Moroccan Argan Oil!

I don't really care for spending a fortune on hair care; as far as shampoo and conditioner goes, I usually just buy whatever is on offer at the time.  But more recently, I have found that I needed a little something extra to add to my routine to keep everything that little bit neater.

My hair is naturally straight, but always has that annoying halo of frizzy hair just everywhere, and seems a little more unruly since I bleached the ends.  The Avon Argan Oil really smoothes all that down and leaves my hair looking neat, really shiny and definitely easier to brush after I've dried my hair.  My hair doesn't feel greasy after use, and doesn't look or feel like it has any extra product in it.  My hair is quite lacking in volume as well, so I was worried that an extra product would take out any "volume" I had, but it is so light weight!

I apply a small amount of this to the lengths of my hair when it has been towel dried, and then continue as normal.  An oil was something that I never really thought I'd like to apply to my hair - my hair gets greasy really easily, and the last thing I thought I'd want was an oil.  But on using this, my hair has become so much more manageable and just feels so much nicer!  I'm pretty much out of this bottle now, maybe a few more applications left in this bottle, but I definitely think I will treat my hair to a second!

When was the last time you bought anything from Avon?

Friday, 26 September 2014

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream

You know when you get a sample sized product?  How often is it that you actually buy the full size?  For me, it's really not that often.  One product that I bought though as soon as I ran out was the Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream.  And let me tell you...I won't beat around the bush here.  It's bloody good stuff.

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream Review

The Wonder Eye Cream claims to soothe, brighten and lift the eye area - check, check and not entirely convinced, but the other two do such a good job, you know what?  I'm not bothered if it lifts or if I would even notice if it did.  This is the first eye cream that I have actually loved to use; I always (used to) buy an eye cream with the best intentions of slotting it nicely into my skin care routine, but always used to get bored quite quickly of applying them - I'm a lazy girl, and I like things to be simple and quick!

Containing an extensive list of skin loving ingredients (hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, carrot oil, rosehip oil, chamomile, cucumber oil, witch hazel...), this is an eye cream that I just can't get enough of!  If I have had a tiring few days, this re-energises my eyes and makes me look more awake.  I feel like it has a slightly zingy scent to it - maybe a faint bit of a citrus or ginger?  And the scent even helps to lift me into feeling more awake!  I feel as though it erases any dark circles, and completely smoothes over my skin.

It absorbs quickly into the skin, but still leaves it feeling really moisturised and...just amazing.  I love it so ridiculously much.  It comes in a tube with a pump making it easy to dispense the perfect amount - one pump is more than enough to do both eyes.  The only thing that I don't like is that the tube is opaque so I can't see when I'm running out!  I have the fear that one day, I'll go to do my morning or evening pump and be out...cold turkey on the eye cream.  And then...just maybe then, I think a tear or two may be shed.

At £20, it's not your cheapest eye cream, but this is by far the most effective eye cream I have ever used.  Maybe when I am a bit older, I might have to invest in something different, but for now, this is just perfect!  I just can't get enough of this Wonder Eye Cream.

Have you tried the Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream?  What's your eye saviour?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss in Buff

I've said it before, and I'll say it again...I'm not really a lip gloss person.  Notice the really in there...  When I was younger, lip gloss used to be the only thing I owned for lip products.  But even though I had a decent stash, I used to hate wearing them.  They were far too sticky, and that's something that has always stuck with me and probably is something that will always be in the back of my mind when buying a lip gloss.  That's why I'm always surprised when I try a lip gloss and actually like it.

MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss in Buff Review Swatches

The MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss is one of those lip glosses that has passed my tests, and actually manages to make its way onto my lips.  I've been wearing this quite a lot lately, which says something about its stickiness seeing as it's now getting a lot windier and I'm not getting clumps of hair sticking to my lips so it looks as though I'm sporting a rather badly groomed moustache.

MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss in Buff Review Swatches

I have the shade Buff which is a really wearable shade; it's a brown based lip gloss with a hint of peachy pink.  It blends effortlessly into my lips, and looks like a really natural shade - one of those classic 'my lips, but better shades.'  It gives them some subtle definition, and I can only imagine how much better this could look had I lined with a nude liner!  (Note to yourself a nude lip liner...)

MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss in Buff Review Swatches

Something that surprised me was how much I liked the applicator wand.  It's so so long that if this shade was a bolder colour, I'd really struggle to apply accurately to my lips.  But for this nude lip shade, it just feels strange to hold, but strange in a good way!  I really like it!  It's a doe foot applicator, and it transfers just enough product for a clean application - I like to use two dips, one for each lip, with a little rub together afterwards!

This lip gloss is sold as a plumping lip gloss, and I just don't find this remotely plumping at all.  It doesn't give me any sort of tingle to my lips like other plumping glosses have, but I guess with all lip gloss you do get a little bit pouty...but not an involuntary pout with Buff!  I also found that it had a little bit of a synthetic taste, not really any particular flavour either, so that could be something that could be better about it.  At the same time, this lip gloss costs just £2 and I'd definitely be prepared to pay that again for this lip gloss!

Edit:  I checked today on the MUA website...turns out Buff is now in the sale for an even better bargain - just £1!

Are you a lip gloss lover?  What's your favourite nude lip product?

Monday, 22 September 2014

Nails Inc 2013 Autumn Winter Collection

It's getting cold now; the knitwear has come out, my coats are out at least once a week, my boots are firmly on and I've got out my fat socks for in the house.  Alongside all of this, I've been shunning my pastel and coral polishes in favour of darker, richer shades.  Whilst browsing through my collection, I came across this unopened gift set from Nails Inc!

Nails Inc Autumn Winter 2013 Collection Swatches and Review

I actually won this on a Twitter giveaway last year, but for some reason or another never got round to using it, but I really love the shades!  Inside there are four full sized nail polishes which are; Old Bond Street, St Martins Lane, Oxford Street and Regent Street.  

From top of the swatches to the bottom; Regent Street is a dark wine shade with brown undertones to it.  I think it has that quality to it where in some lights you can really see the red tones within, but in other lights you can see the browns.  I really love this shade, and it is definitely one that matches this seasons trend of Oxblood!  St Martins Lane is the shade I have had most use from, and is a bold purple grape shade.  Oxford Street is a more unusual shade, and has a real toffee tone to it.  Old Bond Street is a gorgeous deep blue with almost a purple tone to it.    

Nails Inc Autumn Winter 2013 Collection Swatches and Review

The formula has been really easy to apply - two coats for a completely even finish, but you could probably get away with doing one on all except Old Bond Street!  I think it's just habit to do the second for me to be honest.  The finish is very glossy, and just looks so perfect for the new season.  I always feel more glammed up with a high gloss nail.  The wear time is pretty good too!  I managed four days before I got my first chip.

I'd definitely recommend picking this up whilst you still can.  It's currently on sale on Beauty Bay for a bargain of £15, which is just £3.75 per polish!  This years 2014 collection looks just as nice, but with lighter shades, in the new Nails Inc packaging and you only get three but with 14ml instead of 10ml a bottle.  (Still a shame to be a shade down, but I love the dusky pink!)

Which shade is your go to shade for Autumn/Winter?

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Autumnal Baking: Peach, Apple & Rhubarb Crumble

The last few weekends, Liam's Mum has given us a big bag of home grown rhubarb so the obvious choice  to us was to make a Rhubarb Crumble!  I initially browsed for some other recipes to use it in, and came across a Rhubarb Upside Down Cake which really took my fancy, but Liam wasn't a fan.  Even though he doesn't really do puddings - he loves the classics, and now it's coming to Autumn, a hot treat seems reasonable!

I didn't realise just how easy it was to make a crumble, so I thought I'd share with you how I did it!  I added in some extra fruit, because our smoothie maker broke last week so we've had a lot more fruit left at the end of the week - the first time I made one, I added in victoria plums, and this week I added in a couple of apples, and some flat peaches!

I'll point out now - I'm no food photographer, and to be honest, I hate it when you follow a recipe and it turns out looking nothing like the photo from the recipe.  Here you've got a proper home cooked recipe, complete with photos of how mine turned out from a novice baker!  (I'll stop with my baking excuses now!)

You will need:

     110g BUTTER
     180g PLAIN FLOUR

Peach, Apple and Rhubarb Crumble Recipe

You want to start by pre-heating your oven to 180, and then start chopping up your fruit.  I chopped my rhubarb to around two inches in length, and was sure to peel my peaches and apples.  After throwing everything into my crumble dish, I sprinkled six tablespoons of caster sugar and four tablespoons of water across my fruit.  The recipe I was following did ask for eight tablespoons of caster sugar, but it was way too sweet the first time we tried it - especially with all the sugar from the fruit!  I will probably try lowering the amount of sugar again next time just to see if it's even needed at all!  I roasted my fruit for around ten minutes to soften them up a bit.

Whilst your fruit is roasting, you can start on your crumble topping!  Add your butter, demerara sugar and flour to a bowl and start massaging it through your fingers until you have that crumble texture and all of your ingredients have been mixed.   By the time you've done that, it should be almost time to take your fruit from the oven.  After your ten minutes are up, sprinkle your crumble topping over the top and bake for around forty minutes or until the topping has changed to a golden brown!

Peach, Apple and Rhubarb Crumble Recipe

Well...I love puddings, so I really enjoyed this; I served mine with some hot custard!  I'd definitely make another, and next time I might try an apple crumble with a bit of cinnamon in!  Leave a comment below if you've got any recipes for some Autumnal cooking as I'm starting to feel very cosy, and have been craving all sorts of traditional home cooked meals!

What's your favourite Autumnal dessert?