Body Shop Pore Minimiser

(I realise posting from an airport and then vanishing for weeks can give an odd impression… Would have quite liked a long holiday, but was in fact busy with job applications and long shifts!)

So, I interrupt my leave of absence because I found a product that I literally want to shout from the rooftops about.

My make up lasts me til about lunchtime on a good day, at which point it just goes oily, shiny and generally falls off my face. My evening make up removers don’t get much to work with. I’ve tried powder, mattifying creams, and a glut of different foundations. All shiny.

Until now… Body Shop’s Tea Tree Pore Minimiser has mattifying pretty low down its list of objectives, but I can’t say anything about its pore altering qualities on a first go, so let’s talk matte. It’s a star. No drying, no flaking, and definitely no oiliness. My skin feels soft without being shiny, and it lasted a good twelve hours. Utter miracle!
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I’ve even tried it with a dewy foundation from Clinique and it keeps the shine to a gentle glow rather than a slick.

It comes in a 30ml tube which is almost flat, so it slips into an already overstuffed make up bag easily. And it’s only £7.50 at full price, or if you use this week’s 40% off code from VoucherCodes, a mere £4.50!

Now, downsides. It does smell of tea tree. If you’ve ever had to use anti dandruff shampoo, it’ll bring back all of those lovely memories. And it’s green, but that doesn’t affect your skin tone at all.

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I’m really happy to have found the perfect primer! Have you tried it? Any thoughts?

Packing for a weekend away

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I’m off to London for the weekend to meet up with the boyfriend and some friends for a bit of an adventure! This means a short hop with Easyjet and their joyful baggage restrictions… So I thought I’d show you my carry-on bag and it’s contents.

As you all know, cabin liquid limits are 10 items, 100ml or less, in a clear plastic bag. I have no idea how some bloggers spent the summer promoting plastic bags with designs on, I’m sure I’ve seen them be binned at airports… Either way, my bag is a John Frieda one that came with a mini shampoo, conditioner, and hairspray. They’re long gone now, but the bag lives on! It’s sturdy enough to survive the dozen or so flights a year that I do at the moment.

These are my ten items… (I took the pictures and then changed my mind slightly, sorry! The Clarins toner is staying home and my Collection concealer and LOreal foundation are going in its place.)

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From left to right: toothpaste, contact lens solution & case, Original Source mint shower gel (decanted), Rituals shampoo & conditioner (taken from the last hotel I stayed in!), Garnier Moisture Match, Clarins Daily Energising Cleanser, and LOreal micellar solution (decanted).

Seeing as I’m only away for two nights, I’ve tried to limit the size of each item, but I’ve done a week on cabin size stuff quite easily before. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to decant what you have, rather than buying travel size bottles of each product. Boots sell 50ml and 100ml bottles for just over £1 each, in a variety of screw cap/ squeezy/ spray types. I’m using a spray bottle for micellar solution and, if I didn’t have hotel miniatures, my shampoo and conditioner would be in 50ml screw cap bottles. I usually add coloured washi tape to each bottle so I don’t get them muddled up.

I have cheated slightly on the 10 items restriction; there’s perfume at my boyfriend’s house that I can pick up on the way from the airport to our little holiday place, but if I didn’t have that option I’d go for a dry perfume stick like this.

I always see loads of people try to put their entire make up collection in the toiletries bag, but it really is just liquids – my test is that if I can tip the open container upside down and nothing oozes out, it’s not a liquid, so mascara and lip balm are both going in my handbag. I’m not certain that airport security agrees with me, but they’ve not challenged it yet!

What do you take away with you for short trips? Any tips for packing super light?

Hair be a miracle product or two

Yes, that’s an awful pun in the title, I know. But I’m snowed under with uni work right now so this is a super quick post to shout-out two things that have absolutely saved my hair from being its usual fuzzy mess recently. 

Tresemme Split Remedy & John Frieda Perfecting Creme

I’ve used Tresemme hair products for years; their massive 900ml shampoo & conditioner bottles are a fab buy on a student budget, and their range of colour protect / repair / natural ingredients products has me spoilt for choice, but I’d never really explored beyond the basics. Split Remedy, a leave-in conditioner, has been a staple in my routine for the last few months now and it really does do wonders for my hair. Hair dresser appointments tend to involve me putting on an innocent face whilst the poor salon guy tugs at my knots with a comb and asks when I last had it cut (goodness knows why, when I look blank he magically comes up with a date that’s always several more months than a long bob should ever be left without a trim!). This time, there was no triple-conditioning of my hair and pointing me in the direction of fancy serums (though if he’d like to hand me a bottle of that Kerastase stuff that makes it all glossy, I’m up for that), and no cutting way more off because of all the split ends. There were no split ends. Can we have a moments silence for split ends, please? Tresemme have made them extinct. Two pumps of conditioner run through damp hair before attacking it with a blow dryer and I have silky split-free hair. See why I called it a miracle now? 

On the days I’m in too much of a rush to wash and dry before running out the door, John Frieda take over the miracle mantle. Secret Agent Perfecting Creme really does live up to it’s name – it’s like their Frizz Ease serum, but less risk of looking greasy. Love that it’s called Secret Agent, but it kind of is – just rub a tiny amount between your palms and comb through with your fingers and it does its job in a very unobtrusive way. It tidies away frizz to the point where I can leave my hair down instead of trying to hide away the messiness with a bun, without looking like I’ve used any product at all. I’ve had this tube months and it’s showing no signs of running out, a little goes a long way, and when I do reach the end of it I’m definitely repurchasing. 

What are your hair miracle products? 

The ‘not quite a spending ban’ isn’t working…

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I’m supposed to be sticking to the A Thrifty Mrs £100 challenge this year. Walking into Boots or Superdrug is definitely bad for this..

So, what’s in my haul? A nail polish, a foundation, two types of conditioner, and two serums. Oops. I might have also acquired a new iPod. Big oops. That isn’t in the £100 challenge though!

The nail polish is Essie Mojito Madness, which I’ve been dying to get for ages! I picked it up from eBay for under £4. It’s such a gorgeous green shade – and it matches my handbag nicely!

The foundation was also in a Wishlist post a while back: LOreal True Match. I swatched a few before purchasing and ended up with Rose Vanilla, which is a neutral (not too pink or too yellow) and on the pale end of the spectrum. It was in a 2 for £14 deal in Boots, and I got the LOreal Lumi Magique primer too, but that already has a new home via eBay as it really wasn’t suited to me.

The two conditioners are from Superdrug, and both their own brand; coconut oil, and tea tree/peppermint conditioner. A total of less than £3! I’ve read amazing things about coconut oil improving hair growth, and I really want to get mine long again. The conditioner is pearly and definitely smells minty!

The serums were a bargain. Clinique Laser Repair Focus was a free sample (2 weeks worth) from Debenhams, and Nip+Fab was on a clearance shelf in Boots so only £4.66 (RRP £14.95!). I’ve not tried the N/F one yet as its glycolic acid so I need to get a decent SPF day cream to go with it, even in autumn this far north!

What have you bought recently? Loving any of the products I bought?

Garnier Body Tonic || Review

Remember when I reviewed Body Shop Mango Scrub? And the Soap & Glory Flake Away? I said I had the ultimate in scrubs… And here it is!

Garnier BodyTonic Sugar Scrub and Lotion

Garnier Body Tonic Scrub is a sugar-based scrub with a really fresh lemon scent. And it’s a massive vote for tube over tub! Perfect for a shower scrub, as there’s no water leaking into your product and making it all runny.

It’s designed to be used a few times a week to remove dead skin cells (icky!) so you get softer skin. The granules are pretty rough, so I’m cool with not using this every day, and it really does leave nice smooth skin behind – not the scratched feel that you might expect from a tough scrub.

Did I mention the lemons? It’s so citrusy! I love that smell. Great way to wake up in the morning!

And you can make it last even longer (the scent and the smoothness) – Garnier have also got a lotion in the Body Tonic range. It’s supposed to be hydrating and firming. I suppose the first point I have to make is that the bottle makes me feel a little bit ripped off – it’s a 250ml bottle masquerading as something bigger because it’s tall and wide, but super slim! Though it’s still only around a fiver, so I can’t really complain.

As for the ‘firming’ claim – it contains seaweed extract and caffeine, which after a few weeks of regular use are supposed to tighten up your skin (it’s definitely not for your face!!). I can’t say I’ve really noticed much of an effect, though I did give it the superhuman challenge of tackling my thighs… But my skin generally feels silkier where I’ve been using the Body Tonic lotion.

It’s a very refreshing lotion to use; not the almost gel formula means it’s absorbed really quickly without any greasy bits.

I’m loving the packaging too – a really vibrant yellow really brightens up my bathroom! Oh, and the scrub is actually yellow too.
Have you tried either of the Garnier BodyTonic products? What did you think?

Weekly Wishlist #2

Wishlist #2

I really enjoyed putting together my August wishlist, so I’ve decided to make this more of a weekly thing – the hardest bit will be not throwing my credit card after everything on the lists! Got to admit I already splurged on the Essie polish on my last wishlist, I’ll show you it sometime soon!

This week I’ve gone for things I think would work well together – I’d totally wear these items on a date night with the boyfriend or for drinks with the girls.

The Whistles clutch has been on my dream wishlist for what seems like ever. I love the simple style of it, it’s subtle and classy. The only thing better than a LBD is a LBB – little black bag! And the slim profile of it means thinking about what you’re throwing in there; this is a phone/cards/keys/lipgloss only kind of bag!

I saw these ASOS shoes in the sale a while back and ummed and aahed for so long that they sold out in my size (if you have baby size 4 feet, though, go go go!! There’s still a few pairs left!). There’s way too much foot on show for me to wear these to ‘work’, but if you work in any kind of office job these would be fab, and they can totally pull off an evening out too. I love the grey faux-suede – my shoe closet is never without a good grey, they’re the ultimate in pairing with anything.

And my first choice for that anything item would be Topshop’s amazing forest tube skirt. Look at the colours! Look at the print! Are you already typing in your delivery address on their website too? Or is that just me? I think the print makes it a bit more forgiving if you wouldn’t normally think of squeezing into a tube skirt, so this is a great first foray into that look. And they’re actually really comfy – I have Topshop’s liquorice allsort tube skirt and wore it to a dinner where I knew I was gonna be walking out with the food baby of the century. Elasticated waistband ftw.

Ok, away from food babies and on to something more mature – Clarins make up. Yet these eye pencils are almost anything but mature; check out that turquoise. Demure it is not. It’s the purple I’ve really got my eye on, though, as I think it goes with such a variety of eye colours, not to mention picking out the purpleish tree trunks on that skirt.

To finish off that outfit, a little drop of silver in the form of this Oliver Bonas heart ring. Just a bit more interesting than a plain band, that tiny heart adds a touch of cuteness. And it’s under £20 – what more could you want?

What did you think to today’s wishlist?

August Empties – Soap & Glory, Dermalogica, and Elf.

Nearly the end of another month (seriously, where did August go? September had better be sunny, I don’t want to say goodbye to summer just yet!), so time for another empties post. Only a few bits and bobs this month as I just moved back to uni, so I left a ton of half-empties at home to re-try at Christmas.

Soap & Glory Flake Away scrub

Soap & Glory Flake Away – £2.50 from Boots

 I know S&G has an almost cult following, but I’m not sure I see the appeal. Flake Away was a very fragrant fine scrub, and I like the cutesy pink tub, but it was just a bit too much scent and too little grit for me. I bought the travel size tub (50ml) as a trial, but you only get 3-4 uses out of it. Flake Away is great if you love a gentler scrub though, and the bigger tub (300ml) is pretty good value.

Repurchase? Nope. Already got a fab new scrub lined up to blog about soon!

Dermalogica Clean Start toner

Dermalogica Clean Start All Over Clear – £22.50 (Clean Start kit with 50ml All Over Clear) from Dermalogica

Another teeny tiny product, this 4ml toner spritzer was in a goody bag from a UCAS fair alongside the cleanser (Wash Off) and moisturiser (Welcome Matte). The spray pump jammed very early on, so I’ve taken to pouring a little into my hand and patting it onto my face on particularly bad skin days. I was reminded I had this stuff by a great Guardian article on teen skin a fortnight ago, really made me want to try Elemis FreshSkin products actually! I might not be a teenager anymore but try telling my face that…

Repurchase? When the bank account is a little less red. Great for breakouts.

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ELF Studio Mineral Infused Facial Primer – £6 from eyeslipsface

At only £6 I thought this was the perfect intro to primers, and it’s been fab for providing a smooth base for foundation and possibly disguising pores a little. The pump system is tricksy though, there’s a good few facefulls left that I can’t get out. This was just the clear version, I see they’ve brought out Tone Adjusting Green and a Radiant Glow versions too, quite keen on trying the green at some point.

Repurchase? Probably not. I’ve not found a better cheap alternative yet, but I’m convinced it’s out there.