Tag Archives: pamper

OH MY GLITTER!

So, a little back story, I love makeup and a few years ago my path was brightened up when I cam accross a indie makeup company selling mineral eye shadows. I am an eyes girl specifically. I would come up with all sorts of combinations, blues with purples, pinks with greens, think peacock, then think of a box of over 100 colours to choose from. But around a year ago, I had a change in circumstance and I found myself starting to dress a lot more conservatively, including utilisation of my UD Naked 2 pallet. Now don’t get me wrong I do love UD but the pallet is safe. I was slowly being stifled, and became very unhappy. That is another blog post, but just to wind this up a little, I changed things up, I am a lot more happy. One thing that really was bothering me, despite all the makeup at my disposal, I had lost my mojo. Although, what I mean, is I lost my mojo for my day to day makeup. 

And not so so much of a secret, I am a glitter addict. As I have already said, I love to give small businesses a chance, and I especially love indie makeup companies. You see, there are some fantastic indie makeup companies out there, doing fun things with glitter, throwing rule books out of the window when it comes to colours and designs. But it can get expensive, when you take into considering exchange rates, postage and packing charges, and then custom charges it can become an expensive investment.

Et voila – the reason for this blog, I am pleased to introduce Oh My Glitter by Robyn – this is her Facebook page, Click Here

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I initially got sent a lucky dip eye shadow, a red which I was super pleased with as red is such a difficult colour to find. Now the eyeshadow is an unusual composition – It isn’t a loose powder, and it isn’t quite a dry pressed powder. It also isn’t waxy, in the same way that you will find the tattoo shadows. What they are is easy to use, beautiful to blend in a way that many traditional shadows are not, and really fun to apply. For example I apply the shadows equally with my fingers and a short tapered brush. They really are fun to experiment with. I placed an order after having so much fun with the first one for mermaid colours – that was my actual wording, and had some glitter shadows thrown in – this is the swatch of the second order :

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The shadow is really beautiful, you really only need a tiny amount, and it builds up fantastically, just keep blending it out until you have the coverage you wanted and then add layers until you get the required intensity. With the glitters now also available, you can layer up the base with a glitter which helps both pop. That said the glitters stand up all on their own – the above swatch is just one swipe. 

I cannot tell you how much fun with the eye shadows over the last week – up to and including using the normal blue and blue glitter as lip stick 🙂 

So if like me, you love supporting indie makeup brands, supporting small businesses… oh and did I forget to mention that the makeup is cruelty free and vegan? Please go check Robyn out – her facebook page is featured earlier in the blog. There are so many options – not only the colours, her basic and glitter shadows – but she does sample/tester posts and pallets. There is talk of doing subscription boxes as well. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. If you do try out her makeup out – please let me know what you think!

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I totally need Poison Apple in my next order! It looks gorgeous! 

 

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Shower like an Aussie

So, who here hasn’t used Aussie hair products? They are cute, funny, the suggestions on the back of the bottle on how to use the products are a much needed change from the usual ‘wash, rinse and repeat as necessary’. The philosophy is simple, natural ingredients from Australia that help you become the Goddess you always knew you could be. Or something along those lines. 

In the late 90’s there was an influx of hair products endorsed by celebrity hairdressers and we were slowly becoming more used to and happier to spend a little more money on our product. We were starting to come out of recessions and the idea that we needed to save every penny and wanted to be able to spend our hard earned cash on a little affordable pampering. This is the environment that Aussie Hair came in, we were ripe for a product that was new, different, that wasn’t preaching from an Ivory tower, and that was appealing to our new sensibilities that meant we wanted fresh, natural, organic. We wanted to get away from the things our parents used, from Head and Shoulders, Wash and Go and even from washing our hair with bubble bath or washing up liquid. We wanted to avoid unnaturally bright colours and chemical smells. 

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And now, who hasn’t used their hair products? They smell great, they do great! Use it little of often there must be a handful of people that have managed to avoid using the shampoo and conditions or at least been confronted by them in the bathroom.

So, here we are in 2016, and Aussie Hair have released shower gel. I don’t even know if it was really advertised, I am the sort of person that puts Netflix on and watches an entire series as background noise. I am assuming some advertising was done. And as usual, the philosophy behind them was sound, mimicking the hair products, four different types were released and CLICK HERE to see them on their website. The ingredients again are for the most part found in Australia and all have very different properties, be it moisturising or energising.

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Being the part time fan of the Aussie Hair products that I am, I was curious to see what they would be like, so when I was on my weekly shop, I had a look and found that, at £3.00 I would give them a miss. I am a big fan of looking after my skin, I moisturise religiously. But there is a limit to what I will use while standing in the shower, I just won’t buy into anything promising moisture while standing in water. So I gave it a miss, I always have plenty of shower gel on standby, and I was sure I wouldn’t be missing anything.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the body wash had gone down to £1 each. I grabbed one of each, I mean who doesn’t want a bargain. It was a weird situation, oh look I am getting a great deal. By spending the same amount I usually spend on the same product. I can’t really review the individual products as I have only started on one of the 4. It smells lovely though and does have a similar consistency to the shampoo. The only real different is the size of the bottle which is smaller than their hair range at 250 ml which is good for people like me who are blind as a bat. But then it is unfortunate as it is an average size for body wash/shower gel, it is significantly smaller than their more well known products and we are pretty visual by nature. The bottle looks smaller than my other gels. Because it is round and not flattened so even though I know it is the same nett weight… and the other issue is that it was over £3 standard price. You are being asked to spend the same amount of money on a smaller amount of product, that you spend on either washing or conditioning your hair. 

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I went shopping the following week. The price had reduced again to 75pence and only 2 varieties remained, so I popped one of each into my trolley. This week? nothing left. I had a quick look over the shelves as they had been replaced by another product but couldn’t see them. It seems that the store, like me, felt that although the product showed willing and had the best intention, it failed to deliver.

Like I said, the product itself is okay, I use it to wash my body. As long as I smell okay and feel clean, while avoiding an allergic reaction… I am happy. Do I expect to be more awake… yes, that is why I have a shower in the morning. Do I expect to feel moisturised, well that is what I rely on my body butter from the Body Shop to take care of. Body Wash to me is just that. I really don’t expect much from it, I wish I could afford to use something from Neal’s Yard, but I can’t so I don’t. I feel that it was a failed experiment, it was an idea, but actually when it comes to premium body wash, others got there sooner, and did it better. The shampoo came in at a time that we needed and were looking for something new and is firmly now in our beauty vocab for great smelling, and beautifully conditioned hair.

If you find it on offer, I would go for it, they all smell really lovely. I just wouldn’t suggest it is worth the price tag at full price. If you want to spend a little more money and be sure of using natural, organic products, The Body Shop, Lush and if you have a few more coins, Neal’s Yard are all excellent places to go.

If your hair needs TLC and you want it to smell great, Aussie Hair is a great place to start 🙂

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CLICK HERE for Neal’s Yard, CLICK HERE for The Body Shop and finally CLICK HERE

 

Oiling up at the Body Shop

So… I am getting older, it is a sad state of affairs but at some point I have to admit that I am no longer 21, and that as much as I might want to look as good as I do on line, real life doesn’t offer filters.

With that in mind, I popped into The Body Shop to try their new moisturiser. Actually, I had been sent the information and was curious. The next stop was to check in store, and speak to someone about that would be my best most. I am the sort of person who will go with something because the ingredients appeal or it smells nice and not always because it is the best fit for my skin.

I had a chat when I got in store and agreed to try the new Oils of Life moisturiser, the entire range can be found at The Body shop online here or in store. I was curious about the range as it did seem to be what I needed for my troublesome skin, and at no point did I feel pressured into buying. As an added bonus I was given a sample of the Oil and Night cream to try as well, with instructions to wear the oil under both the day and night cream.

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I, until very recently, have been rather reluctant to put oil anywhere near my face, I have combination/dry skin and it would just sit on my skin making me feel kinda grim. But times have moved on, these days we embrace oils! No, Honestly we do.

Now back to the review, the samples given were very generous (I still haven’t finished them!) and I was actually pleased with the results, putting oil on first thing then popping on moisturiser… I was pleasantly surprised at how little moisturiser was now needed. My skin genuinely felt better, more nourished. So of course, I had to try without the oil, and immediately I found that I had to tripled the amount used to cover the same area.

Now, as a combination the oil and moisturiser works really well, and you need a couple of drops of oil a tiny bit of moisturiser, so I would suggest that actually even with the cost of buying the combination of products, it will work out cheaper over time. It really does work, your skin feels fantastic.

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Now with regard to night cream, can I be honest… I don’t know how much I have let slip in previous blog posts, but I am really, really bad at taking makeup off. The only time I do a proper strip of an evening is if I am wearing a face mask, so I will be honest, I don’t wear night cream every evening. I love waking up to beautifully moisturised skin, but then I often have a shower within 30 mins of waking .. I will say though, that it does leave your skin feeling beautiful. I am somewhat on the fence about needing cream though. I do tend to wear coconut oil as a night treatment in the winter, and I don’t think that the cream is required.

My advice is that you should certainly give The Body Shop another look when it comes to their creams. This isn’t the shop with the perfume stands and kiwi lip balms of old (although, boy do I miss them) this is a shop that is embracing change, embracing new farming methods, fair trade, new ingredients and ways of working with both the environment and with communities to make it work for everyone. There are some really great new lines at the moment. And they are doing samples. So if you are unsure, and really want to give it a go at home, don’t be shy about asking!

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Love for Lush

So … this week is Valentine’s day, so I thought.. what could I do.. the AMAZING MothQueen Makeup has put together a gorgeous makeup look (which is pretty much the same direction I would have gone) and here is her video. I then though about pampering, which for obvious reasons, led me to Lush. Lush Northampton to be exact.

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The moment I walked into the store, I pounced on the poor, unsuspecting Elliott who happened to be near the entrance of the shop. I explained my intentions and direction I was thinking. And he immediately flipped it around. Instead of pampering yourself, why not pamper someone else? Share the love! I loved this idea and we immediately set about picking out some items.

We started with the bath bombs… obviously. Now I am generally a bubble bath kinda girl, the more bubbles the merrier! While I haven’t managed to get them to reach the ceiling – this is not due to lack of trying.. so when he reached for Lover Lamp, I wasn’t entirely on board with his reasoning. It smells divine though, a lovely sweet orange and vanilla scent which isn’t over powering and it has cocoa butter to leave your skin feeling beautiful. Perfect relaxing bath for one .. or two of you if you want to share.

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Now you could stop there, and I wouldn’t blame you. It is a gorgeous, milky bath that smells good and does good. But it is a special day, so make it that little bit more special – add a bubble bar slice. Now not just ANY one will do… You have to go big or go home … (although I would only recommend using these products in your own home…) UNICORN HORN IS BACK! YES! I have been waiting a year and why not add a third of the horn to your bath? It is the opposite of Lover Lamp, where the former is a pure, milky bath which will help you relax, Unicorn is bright and fun and will combine beautifully to help you feel happy and relaxed. Plus bubbles…. I mentioned the bubbles already didn’t I ? So off to a good start with this combination! 

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Now the next pick was a massage bar – well! What did you expect! There was a lot of debate and discussion about which one to pick, I wanted one that smelt great but wasn’t going to be off putting…  but still so many to choose from! In the end I went with Pearl, it has hints of rose, so perfect for a romantic evening and has ‘pearls’ in the bar itselfl so can be used to invigorate the skin! Perfect! I found the smell was pretty, but not in an over powering way so again it is perfect for most people and will leave your skin smelling beautiful! And you can use in in a few ways, the bars are designed to melt at body temperature so you can use directly on the skin, utilising the ‘pearls’ to help invigorate the skin, or rub between your hands and apply yourself to help the massage become that little bit more tactile.

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Now, by this time we were making our way to the back of the store and wondering what direction to go, and we.. backwards! FACE MASK! Now, if you can’t be silly with the ones that you love…. Personally i use my face masks in the bath, it is the only time I am still enough to enjoy! But given the context of the evening… this may not be advised! Now we decided on Catastrophe Cosmetic – a blueberry clay mask of power. It is a fabulous mask that ticks boxes, a good go to that is kind to most skin types, and will have your skin looking fabulous. So you can go either of 2 ways, you can use this as part of your prep, use the mask a couple of days before to make sure it is flawless for the big night in. Or you can both put the mask on as part of your big night in – it smells great but don’t mistake it for a dip for your corn chips! But if you can sit in the same room with your significant other while both wearing face masks… well! That is love! 

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Now the final part of my collection, lip scrub! I love a good lip scrub! Since I am a biter, I have to make sure my lips are properly prepped when I want to wear lipstick – now keeping in the theme – I picked The Kiss. Now unlike some of their other lip scrubs, which are all sugar… and frankly I spend as much time just licking off as I do scrubbing, The Kiss is a different creature, the scrub itself feels more like Hundreds and Thousands and leaves your lips feeling fantastic and has a little hint of pink. So, I would probably use this more as a prep product.

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But for a night in, relatively inexpensive, without all the worry of finding a table, will the food be good, what will the atmosphere be like? Just pop into your local lush, pick up these products and plan your own night – candles and alcohol (corn chips) entirely optional and up to person taste! 

I hope you have a fantastic weekend everyone – love you all!

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P.s on my page and IG account Beautifully Strange Makeup I occasionally have giveaways – they tend to be based on a few of my favourite things – I had a Valentines giveaway for a couple of lucky people. Now, I put together a lush gift set, I swapped out the fresh facemask with a couple from Superdrug (also vegan and cruelty free, check out their own product range) and I popped in The Kiss lip balm to complement the scrub. It was well received and I got the happy glow from making someone happy. Try it sometime, play it forward!

 

 

Make me younger

On last weeks show we discussed life hacks and cheats, I was challenged with putting together tips for looking younger… I cannot imagine why!

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Tips on using makeup to look younger

  1. Don’t use heavy makeup. I know we have all been there, convinced that we need to layer on makeup to cover imagined blemishes. But I have found that the older I get, the less I wear. It is aging to wear a lot of makeup, it settles in lines, and pores, it high lights the areas we want to avoid. Use a light foundation, and if you are worried about things like dark circles, use a light weight cream concealer and blend in well.
  2. Switch to a tinted moisturiser and translucent powders to help make your skin look younger – I would suggest using something like a colour matching BB or CC cream. They contain iridescent particles that reflect the light. They are a light liquid which will hug the skin and not highlight any lines. The translucent powder applied with a brush will help set the foundation for the day and control any oil without settling anywhere you want to avoid.
  3. Open up your eyes – simple things, don’t go heavy on the liner, just line your upper lid to give the impression of longer lashes, use a black mascara to help bring out whites of your eyes (no, seriously), use lighter colours in eye shadow during the day and If you must use liner on both lids, pencil half way and blend to the inside corner.
  4. This may sound old fashioned but using blusher and a complimenting lip colour during the day, will help keep you looking fresh. It is the trick we all grew up with, suck in the cheeks and apply the blusher to the ball of the cheek. Use a rose colour for both lips and cheeks – the cheeks will help give you a glow, and the lips will just give a natural colour that can start going as we get older – and you have plenty of tinted lip balms through lip velvets to choose from. Keep it in the rose spectrum as this is the most natural looking colour and pick darker shades the darker your skin tone.
  5. Going back to lips – lips change as we get older, not only do they loose their colour, but the shape can change. Use a lighter liner to give a better shape, and using a light colour will help reflect light and give the illusion of a fuller lip without looking drawn on. Again when you aren’t wearing lipstick, having a good balm is going to be your friend.
  6. A personal tip – brows. Eye brows frame the face, so it is important to look after yours – go get them looked after professionally. It doesn’t need to be expensive, and you will reap the benefits – get your brows tinted ones a month – a good technician will match it to your hair colour to make them look as flattering and natural as possible. A nicely shaped brow will help you stay looking younger.

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This doesn’t mean that you can’t still have fun with makeup – play around with colours, try different eye shadows, high light your best features. This is just a basic walk through on how to many your skin glow and not over load. One thing that I would also suggest, go to makeup counters, and see which do makeovers – I know Benefit do great ones, but off hand I can’t recommend any! Sorry! But it is a great way of exploring new looks and products. Never feel obligated to buy anything, if they offer a discount don’t fall for it unless you can use it on another day – you need time to see how the make up lasts and how you feel about it. And let us all be realistic, you can find dupes for many products, if you really like something you can try a cheaper version to see if you still like it before committing! And who doesn’t like a little pampering!

Reflexology

So … I am not sure if you have ever come accross reflexology, so before i introduce, and indeed review Steve Hunt, here is a brief history, provided on the Association of Reflexologists home page

A brief history of reflexology

Whilst the art of reflexology dates back to Ancient Egypt, India and China, this therapy was not introduced to the West until Dr William Fitzgerald developed ‘Zone therapy’. He believed that reflex areas on the feet and hands were linked to other areas and organs of the body within the same zone.

In the 1930’s, Eunice Ingham further developed this zone theory into what is known as reflexology. Her opinion was that congestion or tension in any part of the foot is mirrored in the corresponding part of the body

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Reflexology is a therapy that involves pressure placed on parts of your body, foot, ankle, face and ears. Some of you may had experienced the pressing of pressure points when having facials or even eye brow tidying. 

So really, it is a really, really, in depth foot massage. And who doesn’t … okay… yes.. you, right there in the cream jumper? Sorry! But they are amazing! Sorry you don’t like feet! 

I have had reflexology before, and it has helped me a lot – I have a few problems with my feet, up to, and not excluding my insistence that shoes are evil and spending as much time as possible, barefoot. And now I sound like a hippy… sorry ‘free spirit’ !

As I have said, this was not my first experience of reflexology, but for a few reasons I stopped going, so I jumped at the chance to have a taster evening at my friends home. If you are interested in organising a girls (or boys) night in with a difference, have a look at his home page

Reflexology for me, is like many other treats we use to pamper ourselves, it is about time out, relaxation, switching off. So it is about environment as much as anything else. The reason I would go for a reflexology session over another therapy session is that … it is a more overall well being session. You can of course discuss any target/problem areas, anything that is worrying you. But unlike … say a massage, where you relax but find that it will have concentrated on that sore shoulder, you genuinely feel like you are walking on air after a session of reflexology. 

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What happens at your first session? Well I had my taster session with Steve at a friend’s home ,so I can’t comment on his usual set up. But he has a reflexology chair (which I joking called expensive garden furniture – whoops) and made an effort to provide a calming environment, candles, soft music, and plenty of cushions and covers to help you stay comfortable. I am one of the worst at relaxing, and will chat or plot, go through my to do list, write blogs, in my mind while  I am supposed to relax. But it is relaxing and you are put at ease. I found that Steve went for a light pressure technique when he was working, unlike my last reflexologist. Neither method is better or worse but it might be something to consider when looking at therapies. In the same way some massage therapy goes deep into those knots, and some just concentrate overall. It will be a personal preference. 

Steve is very knowledgeable, he really does seem to enjoy his job, he explains every step of the process to you, what he is using, the methods, the reasoning, the equipment at every step of the way. He has a calm and relaxing manner which does certainly help. So, if you do want to give it a go, it will be worth having a look – his website is mentioned earlier, this is his facebook page and he even did a piece for LifeStyle:MK about how he got into reflexology : Lifestyle:MK New Year, New You

Getting that Lush feeling…

1013So I am writing this post about my skin. I like my skin, I care about my skin. It covers me, and keeps me together so I do try and take care of it. I have occasionally sensitive, dry skin for the most part (I am a water baby which doesn’t help) and have combination skin on my face which gets a lot thrown at it (makeup, special FX, latex etc) so I do try and treat it a couple of times a week with a face mask.

Last night I popped into my local Lush store, in Northampton as I was having a minor face emergency – you can relate to this I hope… you keep looking at the mirror all day, and the redness… it is spreading… it is isn’t it ?! Everyone can see it .. omg are they all too nice to say anything… you don’t want to make things worse by piling more makeup on your face…

So I was glad I saw a friendly face when I ran in last night. I made a bee line for the fresh face masks – I have used them all, over the years but …. wow.. there is a bright blue face mask… it drew my eyes .. but would it be the best one for my face.. or should I go for a more soothing one… but it is new. And blue, I mentioned it is blue right ? Don’t Look at Me is new to the Lush Face Mask Family.

So I discussed my concerns – my face was not actually that bad, I have been assured. Until I insisted at pointing at it repeatedly. But I digress – I was warned that some people have had a reaction to the face mask and so I was given a sample to try.

I have to be honest, I don’t always get along with exfoliants as they can be a little enthusiastic on my skin, with masks like Love Lettuce can be a little uncomfortable to remove. But in this mask, it was just a soft polish, no scratching or digging.. no holding your head under water and hoping for the best (never works, just no…). My skin felt fantastic afterward, both clean and polished and moisturised so a winner for me!

https://www.lush.co.uk/products/masks/dont-look-me

While we were discussing new products and skin, I was shown a new moisturiser, Magical Moringa – now I will say right now… I have occasionally dabbled with Lush moisturisers but never felt the product justified the price tag? They are good .. but there are better which are more economical? And that isn’t really a comment on Lush pricing, everyone’s skin is different and it is hard finding one that works. Especially if, like me your skin continuously changes.

Now, when I was shown the moisturiser, it had a strange consistency and honestly, reminded me of coconut oil, upto and including it melting into the skin. Now, I love coconut oil, it is the best way of removing makeup, and I use it as a night cream when my skin really hates me. But as a day cream? I have combination skin so I just saw my makeup sliding off along with my glasses!

However, it melts into your skin. I used it this morning, and my skin… my skin! I have pretty good skin for the most part, a couple of problem areas. But I couldn’t stop touching my face. It feels so … soft and … touchable?! I went with just the moisturiser, then liquid and powder foundation. I do wear primers usually to give a good base but wanted to see what would happen.

Throw out your primer. Well, don’t, use it up and then buy this moisturiser instead. It has left my makeup in place, my skin feels soft and smooth, I am so impressed. The oil that had initially melted onto my skin has left behind a perfectly balanced base of my makeup!

https://www.lush.co.uk/products/moisturisers/magical-moringa

Let us just say that next time, I will be buying full size products as I have been sold 🙂