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Monday, 28 July 2014

Summer Skin Essentials

The beautiful summer weather today has inspired me to share my summer skin essentials. Now I didn't bother including an SPF here, but we should all know by now just how important it is to make sure that your skin is protected from the sun! The other obvious product that I didn't include was fake tan. It's not one of my summer skin essentials and probably never will be. I've never really wanted to use it myself (I'm scared of being orange) and would rather just embrace my paleness! Anyway let's get down to it...
Strawberry Body Polish - The Body Shop £10.00
Body scrub / polish
A good body scrub or polish if you prefer is the first step to achieving soft summer skin. Gently massaging it onto the body when you are in the shower will remove dead skin cells and leave your skin feeling super smooth.

Top tips
  • Don't scrub too hard (it'll make your skin red)
  • Don't use it every day (just 2 - 3 times a week will do the trick)
Product recommendation
I'm loving the strawberry body polish from the Body Shop. The scent is absolutely divine and it leaves the skin feeling soft, without adding a greasy film over the top like some scrubs tend to. Pick up a 75ml scrub to try for £5.00 or go full size (200 ml) for £10.00.

Blueberry Body Butter - The Body Shop £13.00
Body butter / lotion
Keep your skin soft and supple by using a body butter or lotion. There are so many different variations of skin moisturisers on the market today, but I prefer the thick, creamy texture of body butters. I try to moisturise after I've had my shower and then again at bed time (but it doesn't always happen). 

Top tip
  • Not got time to moisturise every day? Pick up a quick & easy product like the Nivea in-shower moisturiser or Vaseline spray and go
Product recommendation
I'm a huge fan of the Body Shop body butters. Strawberry is my favourite, but the blueberry body butter featured above is a close second. These have a lovely texture and sink into the skin so quickly! They are priced at £13.00, but they are often on offer or cheaper with discount codes. You can currently get £10.00 off when you spend £25.00 at The Body Shop online by using the discount code 'cool'.

Botanics Hydrating Day Cream SPF15 £4.99 (on offer at the moment £2.00) & Botanics Refreshing Eye Roll-on £8.99 (on offer at the moment £4.50) - Boots
Face and eye cream
In the summer time you don't want anything too heavy on the face, but it's still essential to use a good face and eye cream to hydrate the skin. If you are only in your late teens / early twenties, you don't necessarily need an anti-ageing eye cream. I prefer using something refreshing and brightening like the Botanics roll-on featured above.

Top tips
  • Gently massage moisturiser into the face using upwards and outwards motions
  • Be very gentle around your eye area. If you need to; gently pat your eye cream into the skin using your ring finger
Product Recommendations
Recently I've been loving the Boots Botanics range. The products are all really affordable and make use of natural ingredients. I particularly like the hydrating day cream (SPF15) which is really light on the skin and the refreshing eye roll-on which brightens the eye area, whilst also cooling and soothing it.

Sanctuary Spa Foot Butter - Boots £2.50
Foot cream / butter
No one likes to talk about feet, but if you are planning on wearing sandals this summer, you'll want to make sure they look nice! Using a foot cream or butter will soften the skin and prevent things like cracked heels.

Top tip
  • Pop a pair of socks on after you have applied your foot cream / butter. It works a charm!
Product recommendation
A lot of people love the Soap & Glory Heel Genius, but I'm personally not a big fan as I think it's a big greasy. I prefer the Sanctuary Spa Moisture Rich Foot Butter. It's nothing special (just your average foot butter) but it does everything it's supposed to and also has a lovely lavender scent.

What are your summer skin essentials?


Saturday, 26 July 2014

The Perfect Pink | Essie Eternal Optimist

If you read this post last month, you'll know I'm a huge fan of pink nail polish so I was thrilled to come across Essie Eternal Optimist, what can only be described as the perfect pink for every day wear. Eternal Optimist is a dusky rose shade that looks oh-so-sophisticated on the nails. Since I bought it a couple of weeks ago, it's all I've been wearing! I love the fact that it goes with whatever outfit I've got on that day and looks really feminine and classy.

On the downside it takes three coats for a streak-free finish, however it is really fast drying. I like to pop on the Seche Vite top coat afterwards to give it a super shiny finish and also make it a little more chip resistant. 

At £7.99 it's not the cheapest nail polish, but I personally think it's worth every single penny and I know that when I inevitably need to buy it again, I will! The fact it is a nude pink makes it ideal not only for the spring and summer, but autumn and winter too.

Eternal Optimist is the perfect every day pink and I simply can't get enough of it!


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Easy on the Eye | Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow Stick Review | Rose Gold

When it comes to applying eye shadow, I’m certainly no expert. I’m rubbish at blending and haven’t got a clue how to achieve the perfect smokey eye, no matter how many YouTube tutorials I watch. I like things to be as simple and easy as possible, which is probably why as soon as I tried the Rose Gold Rimmel ScandalEyes shadow stick, I fell well and truly in love with it.

Although there are many different eye shadow sticks available today, this is the first one I’ve tried and boy do I wish I’d got there sooner. It’s just so easy to apply; you simply run it over the lid (I like to put a little under the outer corner of the eye too) and then blend it out with your finger. Easy peasy.

The formula of the shadow stick is really creamy, allowing it to glide gently onto the eyelid without any tugging. Whilst you may think a creamy eye shadow stick would result in minimal wear time, it is actually the longest lasting eye shadow I’ve ever worn! It literally lasts all day without re-application and will still be there when you come to take your makeup off in the evening. It is also waterproof. I tested this when I accidentally left my makeup on when I went in the shower – oops! Whilst I did come out with panda eyes (I was wearing Benefit They’re Real mascara) the shadow stick was still firmly in place.

The only thing I don't like about this product is the fact it doesn't wind up. I don't think I own a sharpener that size so I'm going to have to go out and buy one - what a pain!

I can’t not talk about how beautiful this particular shade is – Rose Gold is one of my favourite colours (and I know a lot of other beauty bloggers love it too) – making this the perfect shade for me. I think it goes really well with my brown eyes, but I can imagine it looking beautiful against any eye colour. It also has a shimmer running through it and although shimmery eye shadows often end up irritating my skin (more on that in an upcoming post) thankfully this one doesn’t!

This particular ScandalEyes shadow stick is actually from Kate Moss’ range for Rimmel. I’ve loved using it so much that I’ve already gone and picked up another shadow stick from the main line, ‘Blamed Blue.’ If you are looking for an easy and long lasting eye shadow product, ideal for applying on holiday, on-the-go or wherever you happen to be, put this one at the top of your shopping list!

The Rimmel ScandalEyes shadow sticks cost £4.49 and are currently on Buy One Get One Half Price at Boots. Will you be picking one up?


Monday, 21 July 2014

Balance Me BB Cream Review & Beauty Voyage Competition

Balance Me BB Natural Perfection - £26.00*
For a while now I've been really going off foundation and wanted to find something that was lightweight and better for my skin. Having not tried a BB cream before, I was so excited when Balance Me kindly sent me their BB Natural Perfection SPF25 to try. Since I got it, I've not used my foundation once and it has quickly become my go-to face product.

What I like most about this BB cream is the fact it is made from 99% natural ingredients. It gives you the peace of mind that you are not putting anything dodgy on your skin that could end up doing more harm than good! I've found that since I've been using this, the breakouts I get on my chin haven't been as bad. I put this down to the fact that although my foundation covers up the problem areas, it also irritates them further, whereas the BB cream does not have the same effect.

Key Ingredients: Certified organic Aloe Vera, Titanium Dioxide, Castor Seed Oil, Kukui nut oil, Camellia, Abyssinian oil, Rosehip oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Blackberry Leaf, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Petigrain, Benzoin, Magnolia and Mica.

The Balance Me BB cream feels weightless on the skin and creates a luminous finish. I've always wanted my skin to have a natural glow and I feel like this product gives me just that. It makes me look awake and healthy, even on the days when I'm feeling rather dopey!

The coverage is very minimal, however I think it is perfect for summer and those who like me, prefer a natural look. I do still use a little concealer to hide some of my more obvious blemishes. The mica based tint is very warming and flattering on the skin. As a very pale girl I think it's the perfect colour for me, however Balance Me say it will suit a wide range of skin tones.

The BB cream also contains a natural physical SPF - a titanium dioxide based sun filter, which blocks out both UVA and UVB rays - essential for protecting your skin from sun damage and signs of ageing.

All in all, The Balance Me Natural Perfection SPF25 cream is a wonderful product that I will definitely be repurchasing in the future. It'll also be ideal for barely-there makeup days on holiday - I can't wait!

Speaking of holidays, Balance Me are running a Beauty Voyage competition throughout July and August. Basically what they want you to do is snap your favourite Balance Me product on your travels (abroad or staycation) and share it with @Balancemebeauty using either the #balancemehome or #balancemeaway hash tags, depending on your location. They'll be picking their favourite image each week and the winners will be sent Balance Me goodies! I'll definitely be entering!


*PR sample

Saturday, 19 July 2014

My love / hate relationship with the Tangle Teezer

I've had my Tangle Teezer for a long, long while and it's come to the point where its most definitely past its best. I have that sort of fine hair where I swear you only need to look at it and a knot will form! I always find myself apologising to my hair dresser and swearing that I did brush it before I left the house. For years I had spent ages combing out the knots (and enduring the pain that came with it) until I came across the Tangle Teezer. 

Now it's fair to say that me and this funny shaped hair brush have got some sort of love / hate relationship going on. I LOVE the Tangle Teezer for it's ability to glide smoothly through my hair, banishing the knots as it goes. It really is wonderful for that. I also love the fact that it is small and compact, meaning I can just pop it in my handbag and even clutch bags on a night out. However that small, compact size comes at a price - there is no handle! I can't tell you the number of times I've burnt my fingers trying to brush my hair with the Tangle Teezer whilst blowdrying or it has slipped out of my hands and flung straight across the room. It makes me one very angry Megan.

So Tangle Teezer, I like you but I don't love you. Maybe if you got a re-tractable handle we could be friends again.

 Anyone got any hair brush recommendations for me?
I hear the Michael Mercier Detangling brush is quite good!


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Boohoo Ideal Festival Blogger Challenge

A couple of weeks ago asked me to participate in their Ideal Festival Blogger Challege. Whilst festivals aren't really my thing (I'm just not a tent and portaloo sort of girl) I was more than happy to share what would make my perfect festival. Check out my answers and festival outfit inspiration below.

I would share a tent with...
My best friends of course! Who else?

My headliners would be…
Ed Sheeran, Arctic Monkeys & Taylor Swift (A random bunch there!)

….. would be free for all attending.
Mojitos! That’s probably a bad idea.

The item that I could not go without would be…
Dry shampoo - I can’t stand having greasy hair!

Wellies or Wedges?
I’d like to say wedges, but we all know if it’s a British festival it’s going to be wellies (not willies as I have accidentally typed and deleted about three times now) all the way. Though looking at the question below, I could have my ideal festival on a beach so actually let’s go with wedges (or sandals to be more practical).

Beach or Field?
Oh a beach, how nice would that be?

The theme would be…
Hawaii! Grass skirts, tropical prints and floral garlands. Perfect!

Celeb spot of the weekend would be…
Kit Harington. Dream. Come. True.

This is what I would wear...
Lace Skater Dress // Coin Necklace // Friendship Bracelets // Comb-in Hair Colour // Floral Crown
What do you think? Would you come to my festival?


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

My beautiful garden

It's not very often I do lifestyle posts, but today I really wanted to share some photographs of the beautiful flowers in my garden. Every time I go outside to take photos of the beauty products I'm reviewing, I always find myself taking snaps of the stunning and colourful flowers too. We don't have the biggest garden in the world, but my parents have worked hard to make it dreamy. My dad has handmade some wooden planters (he's a clever bean) and my mum has put time and effort into carefully planting and nurturing all of these pretty flowers. It just goes to show that you don't need a big garden for it to be beautiful.

I can't wait to have my own garden when James and I move out again. I definitely think I'll be roping my parents into helping me though. Whilst I love flowers and plants, I am not so fond of the little creatures that live in and around them! Such a scaredy cat.

For more flower pictures and other random snaps follow me on Instagram & Twitter.


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