Monday, 4 July 2016

Beauty Box Journey - Birch Box #4

Yes, you read right this is #4 of the beauty box journey! Me being me, I left it too late to cancel my subscriptions for this month so I will be receiving a 4th box for each subscription. I'm secretly happy that I forgot because it means I get one more box of each to look forward to *silently cheers*. 

This month's Birch Box is a bit different. Instead of the usual box, it is a drawer-style box in two designs; either palm trees or pineapples, I got palm trees. It just gives a summery feel as soon as you open it. The box looked pretty full so I was excited to go through it!

The first product that caught my eye was the Cynthia Rowley Brightening Illuminator. I think this got my attention because I received a kohl eyeliner from this brand in my second Birch Box. I had never heard of this brand before then but I love the eyeliner so I'm really looking forward to using this. It is basically a liquid highlighter and my first impression when I tested it on my hand is that it's beautiful - a really bold shimmer so I imagine you should use it sparingly!

Next, I received a Percy & Reed London Hairspray. I've never heard of this brand before but I really like their style of packaging. I always use hairspray so this will come in handy plus it's the perfect size for travelling!

I have tried a couple of products from Monu Spa now and I've been pleasantly surprised; this product is their Enriched Body Cream. With summer being here, I am really enjoying moisturising my body so I will definitely be trying this. It has a real spa-like scent to it so I can imagine it will be really relaxing. 

I have had a couple of Jelly Pong Pong products in various boxes over the years and I can genuinely say that I have not liked one of their products yet. I really like the style of the brand but it just seems really poor quality and cheap. In this box was their Paradise Pigment Lip/Cheek Cream in Cake Pop. I have to say that the product smells really nice and when watched it has a lot of pigmentation in it. It may be a bit bright for me as it's a kind of fluorescent pink but I will still try it. It does seem a better quality compared to the other products I've tried so there may be hope yet! Even if I did like the product, it is a little annoying that for delivery to the UK Jelly Pong Pong charge £4.95 and Birch Box don't have a lot of their products for sale too. 

Next, I got the Absolution Creative Apothecary Le Nettoyant Pureté which is a gel cleanser which claims to get rid of any tightness some people may feel when cleansing. It is mainly made up of natural ingredients and is a gentle way to remove makeup and deeply cleanses. I've never used a gel cleanser but have always fancied it, so I'm excited about this product. 

Finally, I received another skin care product. I thought it was a bit strange to receive two cleansers; personally, I don't mind because I really like trying out skincare but I feel like a lot of people will be a bit disappointed by this. This product is the Aïny Pure Lumière Gommage Pureté Eclat Visage which is a gentle face scrub. You're supposed to use this a couple times a week to help create smooth and radiant skin.  I'm a big fan of face scrubs and go through them so fast so I will no doubt have a review for this product soon. 

So that is officially my Birch Box's finished (genuinely this time!). I've really enjoyed the Birch Box's - there is a lot of great quality products that I have grown to love and bought thanks to the samples in this box. 

Read review one, two and three!

Thanks for reading!

Lorah x

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Friday, 1 July 2016

Summer Favourites 2016

I am currently writing this blog post from a lodge on the edge of Loch Lomond and the weather has been incredible. Today was 26 degrees which is so good for Scotland! My view is amazing too:

I wanted to capture my favourite summer products to share with you what I'm loving whilst enjoying this gorgeous weather. These are products that I have been using and that give me that summer feeling - let me know down below what the weather is like near you! Hopefully just as nice as here.

The first product that I absolutely love is the St Ive's Blemish Fighting Apricot. Since using this scrub  every time I shower I have noticed a real different in my skin. It looks brighter and is definitely clearer. I love the scent of this and it's not too abrasive on my sensitive skin. I feel refreshed once I've used this and it really does remove any excess oils from my skin, perfect for a fresh clean face. 

Another shower staple for Summer is L'Occitaine's Pivoine Flora Shower Gel. The scent is so light and floral, it's beautiful. The scent lingers on your skin for hours after, it's the perfect summer shower gel. I received this in my first My Little Box

I've been trying out quite a few tinted moisturisers as it's been coming into the summer months and I have liked a few, but this one is by far my favourite. I love the light fruity smell of the Beauté Tinted Moisturiser for Legs and it adds a lovely tanned colour - unfortunately you can only receive these products in their beauty subscription boxes as they don't currently ship to the UK. I received this in my second My Little Box. 

My opinion on body oils as dramatically changed the past couple of weeks - I've gone from not even giving them a chance to really loving them. I got this Baija Body Oil in my second My Little Box. When I saw it I loved the packaging but was disappointed when I read what the product was. The fragrance is Jasmine Green Tea and at first I didn't like the smell. I decided to apply this one day after a shower because my view had recently changed on body oils after trying the Hawaiian Topic Tanning Dry Oil and oh my lord, I love this product. The scent smells so different on the skin than it does in the bottle - it smells so light and floral whereas in the bottle it smells quite strong and sickly. It really does leave my skin feeling soft and smooth. 

Now I'm going to talk about some might be grossed out about - feet! My feet usually have hard skin on the heels and it irritates me when I actually get the chance to wear flip flops. Avon has a foot scrub which is perfect for summer - it smells exactly like Piña Colada. The scrub leaves my feet smooth and soft and smelling amazing. It looks as though Avon have discontinued this as I can't find it online anyway, you'll just need to take my word for it!

Nothing says summer like a gorgeous highlight - this is by far my favourite highlighter and I have been in love since I bought it. MUA's Undress Your Skin Highlight is just £3.00! It was mentioned in my April Favourites and I'm still loving it - it adds a beautiful subtle highlight to your skin and it's perfect for the summer weather. 

Last but by far not least is my favourite summer scent. This is a fairly new addition to my collection but it is possibly one of my favourite perfumes so far - definitely my favourite that I have received in a beauty box. This is another product I received in my second My Little Box - it is the Courreges La Fille De L'aire perfume. It's a really mature but citrus scent and it's gorgeous. 

I've really enjoyed blogging with my beautiful view - I wish I could do this every day.

Thanks for reading!

Lorah x

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Friday, 24 June 2016

Beauty Box Journey - Glossy Box #3

Another Glossy Box arrived through my door today and the box is so nice. It's a black and white box with a New York Scene. The inside colour scheme was a fluorescent orange - so cute! 

The first product I saw was the Hawaiian Tropic Protective Dry Oil SPF15. I'm not going to go into much detail because I've written an entire review on this product which I will link. When I saw it in the box, I put it to one side and moved on as I didn't think I liked body oils! 

I received the newly released Revlon Super Length Mascara. I always use Maybelline mascaras, purely because I think they have a great consistency with their products. I don't think I've ever used a Revlon mascara and if I have  it was a long time ago. I love the packaging with this, the bottom half is a velvet-y texture and I love the shape of the tube, very different. The wand is pretty thick and it narrows as it goes up. The wand actually reminds me a little bit of Benefit's They're Real Mascara - looking forward to using this. I'm pretty happy to have received this brand in my box. 

I have been looking for a perfect nude pink lipstick to wear for work and in my box was an Absolute New York Cream Lipstick in a gorgeous nude pink. Just what I was looking for! It smells amazing, like caramel, and when swatched on my hand it is a lovely creamy texture. 

I have never heard of the brand Bee Good, but I received their Pump and Firm Moisturiser. The bottle has an absolutely tiny nozzle which means you can only squeeze a little bit out at a time. It's a really cool cream which would be really nice to cool and calm the skin. It smells of lemon and honey so really fresh. Although I don't have mature skin, I will still try this product out. 

The last thing beauty product I received was Hair On Hair Bands. These are the plastic bands which don't pull your hair or crease it, I've been sceptical of these for ages but I can confirm that after a couple of uses i'm converted. 

I also recevied a small bag of salted popcorn which unfortunately I don't like so donated to someone else!

Compare to my first and second boxes!

Thanks for reading!

Lorah x

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Carrick Spa, Loch Lomond

The 10th of June 2016 marked Ross and I's 5 year anniversary. We spent the whole week at a gorgeous lodge at Loch Lomond; the same one Ross had surprised me with for my 21st last year. The lodge itself is quite remote and so we decided to book a spa day for the day of our anniversary. I have only ever had treatments at beauticians but not an actual spa and Ross has never had a massage, ever (what is with that?!). We picked The Carrick Spa because we have had good experiences with The Cameron House which is the restaurant owned by the same people and we know the brand is professional and high quality. We had a look on the website and decided on the packages that we wanted. 

Note: As you can imagine I wasn't allowed to take any photos from in the actual spa so I've added in any that I managed to take but there aren't very many - sorry!

When arriving at the spa we were greeted by a lovely young girl who then showed us upstairs to another reception. We were given some flip flops and had a quick tour of the spa before being taken through to the changing rooms. The changing rooms were really clean and fancy; there was a section for hair/makeup which provided hairdryers and straighteners, separate toilets, showers, changing rooms and a section just for lockers. In each locker you were provided with the cosiest robe and towel - they were honestly the fluffiest things I've ever felt.

Once ready Ross and I went to explore! We decided to start on the bottom floor and work our way up the 'Thermal Journey'. The ground floor inhabits a standard swimming pool and a Jacuzzi. We didn't try out the Jacuzzi because there were people in it and we were lucky enough to have one back at the lodge so we didn't feel left out!

The middle floor was home to the Hydro Pool, Steam Room, Sauna, LED room and a couple of another style of hot rooms which I can't remember the name of. We both loved the Hydro Pool - it was a large round pool with different sections such as a section for bubbles, one for whirling and another which had a giant tap that gushed water out. The pool was roasting and I felt so relaxed being in there. We went into the steam room which Ross loves but I'm not a fan of them; I always feel like I can't breathe properly.

The top floor is probably my favourite part of the Thermal Journey, it was the Infinity Pool. The Infinity Pool is a medium-sized pool (you could fit about 10 people comfortably) which is heated. The pool is situated at the very edge of the roof, giving you incredible views of the golf course that surrounds you. At one point it was just Ross and me in the pool and it just felt surreal and I felt so lucky to be experiencing it.

Once we had finished in the Thermal Journey, we received a free lunch at the Spa Dining. The offer had described this as a 'light lunch' but it really was anything but. They had so much variety on the menu and you could pick two courses. I chose the Chicken Ceaser Salad and the high tea for dessert and Ross got the Mac N Cheese and the Salted Caramel Profiteroles. The food was delicious and it was such a massive portion!

After our lunch, we had our treatments which were possibly the most exciting part - a real treatment in a real spa! My therapist was a lovely girl called Laura who put my nerves at ease; being a larger person can make you a little nervous about stripping off. Laura was nothing but kind and helpful to me and I really valued that because without knowing she really eased my nerves and make me feel comfortable. I had chosen the 'Nature, Be A Part Of It' package and I'm so glad I did. Laura started off by asking me how I want to feel when I leave either energised, revitalised or relaxed; I chose relaxed and she made up a wee concoction of essential oils and had me smell them, it was lavender I think. She continued by giving me a salt and oil scrub on my back, before asking me to turn round and she did the front side of my body. I was then left to shower off before I received a hot stone massage. I'm not the most experienced in beauty treatments but I can honestly say that it was the best treatment I have ever had. I came out feeling over the moon and so relaxed.

Ross chose the 'Free Me De-Stress Spa Day For Men'; he received a full body deep tissue massage and an Indian head massage. Whilst I can't type for him, I can feedback that he whilst he found it strange to begin with (a stranger touching his body!), once he got into it he found it really soothing. He had a really lovely therapist too and he enjoyed his first treatment. So much that he's asked me to book us another spa day already!

When we were leaving the spa I bought a beautiful candle which had been created especially for The Carrick Spa and the scent was in citrus shores - oh my lord it smells so good. When we got back to the lodge I actually fell asleep for a couple of hours because of how relaxed I was. The plan was because it was our anniversary that we would dress up and have a lovely home-cooked meal but because we were so tired and relaxed we ended up having it in our pyjamas! It was lovely anyway. 

I would really recommend The Carrick Spa for a spa day if you're ever in the area or fancy a wee day trip away - the service and hospitality there was incredible and the treatments were so relaxing and professional. I will definitely be booking again - we're so luckily to have such an incredible place so close to where we live!

Thanks for reading!

Lorah x

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Monday, 20 June 2016

Beauty Box Journey - Birch Box #3

My third and final Birch Box has come! I'm kind of sad that my research into beauty boxes is drawing to a close as i've really loved having these deliveries to look forward to. This month's box was such a cool design - it was a scratch away box and you had the opportunity to win a dream holiday. The only negative about this was it made an absolute mess! So I just kind of scratched off what I could to ensure  I hadn't won (I didn't *sad face*) then gave up.

The first product I received was the Eyeko Black Magic Drama and Curl Mascara. I've never heard of this brand before (this has changed since writing this! Check this out) but I really like the shape of the wand and i'm excited to try it.

Next I got the Philip Kingsley Prep Polishing Balm. This is a frizz free styling balm which can be used on either towel dried hair before blow drying or dry hair to smooth your hair down. I love the brand Philip Kingsley but have never tried this polishing balm.

I received a small tin of PuriSkin Resurfacing Cream by Vanessa Blake Cosmetics. I've never heard of this brand before but I'm really intrigued to hear more about this product. It says that it can help acne scars, blemishes, stretch marks, bruises, burns, split skin and more. I'm really interested to see if this can help my blemishes and stretch marks. I really like the texture; it starts off as a thick cream but thins out as your massage it into your skin.

I also got some Sarah Chapman Skinesis Spot Stickers. These are tiny translucent plastic stickers that you place on spots to prevent more dirt getting to them, it also helps you to stop touching them. They also contain ingredients that help to calm, soothe and speed up healing. I only got 3 stickers but i'm already contemplating purchasing more because i'm really interested to see if this is a product that works because if it does, i'd be very happy!

The fifth and final product I received was the Ole Henriksen Brightening Cleansing Cloths. This packet is really cute and the wipes smell amazing. These can be used as makeup removers but I think it would be quite refreshing to use them after removing my makeup to brighten my skin and clear any stubborn dirt that may still be on my face.

Last but not least I received a Birch Box Spectrum Collections Unicorn Tears Wonder Sponge. I actually gave this away because I have tons of beauty blender style sponges. I gave it to my friend who had never used a sponge like this before and she is really enjoying using it - she says it changes her foundation so much. 

So that's the last of my Birch Boxes! I've really enjoyed receiving these and I really liked this month's box. I will be writing one final sum up of which box I feel has been the best value for money so keep your eye out for that.

Compare to my first and second!

Thanks for reading!

Lorah x

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Friday, 17 June 2016

Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner Review

I don't have a 'usual' magazine that I buy; instead i'm very heavily influenced by what free beauty items comes with them. This month I bought InStyle and the free gifts were either an Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner or the Eyeko Black Magic Drama and Curl Mascara. I'd actually received the mascara in my third Birch Box not long before so I chose the eyeliner. 

As you all know, i'm very loyal to my Kat Von Dee Tattoo Eyeliner, it's just the best product i've tried so far. My first impression of the Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner was that it really lived up to it's name, the applicator was really thick and I was a little apprehensive about how neat I was going to be able to do my liner. I tested it on my hand at first and I was really impressed with the jet black colour and also how nice it glided. After a couple of seconds I ran my finger across it and it had dried completely and didn't smudge - so far so good! 

When I got round to trying this out as part of my full makeup I was utterly impressed by the ease of applying it. I even might go as far as to say this is easier to apply that my Kat Von Dee. The thick nib makes it easier to apply and it doesn't pull my eyelid as it applies, it just flows across. I managed to perfect my flick first time (a very rare occasion) and off I went! 

The only negative to this eyeliner is that after a while it did start to transfer onto the top of my eyelids and I couldn't even wipe it off with my hand as it had dried in. This is what sets it apart from an amazing eyeliner because despite it being easy to apply, if it doesn't stay put and transfers then it's not as good as a lot of other products. 

It's such an easy product to apply and i'm so disappointed that it didn't stay put as I really did want to like it. I'll definitely still use it up but I will make sure I have a makeup wipe at hand to remove the transfer. Hopefully if they ever reformulate the liner they might make the lasting power better!

Thanks for reading!

Lorah x

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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Empties June 2016

I love reading/watching beauty blogger's 'Empties' because you know that they have used the whole product and have not just been paid to review a product they've never used. I've had a box in the corner of my room for the last couple of months that i've been saving up to share you with all - so here we go!

I used the Avon Advance Techniques Strength and Protect Shampoo because a lot my hair breaks off and falls out in the shower. Whilst I enjoyed using the shampoo (it lathers well and it has a pleasant minty smell) I don't feel like it helped to strengthen my hair. You can usually get this shampoo pretty cheap so I would recommend it as a every day shampoo but don't expect any wonders.

Garnier is a brand that we all know and trust. Although I wasn't impressed with their Ultimate Blends Conditioner; this product contains coconut oil and cocoa butter to restore the sleekness to your hair. I felt like this conditioner stayed in my hair once washed off and made my hair greasy. It was quite a cheap conditioner that I picked up in a rush, so I think I just got what I paid for. This would possibly work better for someone with dry or brittle hair.

Another hair care product and ones that I really liked using are the travel sized bottles of TRESemmé Moisture Rich Shampoo and Conditioner for dry or dull hair. Whilst I don't have dry hair, I do think it's a wee bit dull so I tried these samples that I had lying about. I liked using the shampoo and I really loved the conditioner. My hair smelt incredible for hours after using it and it left my hair feeling so soft and shiny. It really did make my hair look alive again instead of dull and boring. Whilst I loved this product, I know that TRESemmé have lots of great products so I will try a couple more. 

The last hair product I have is the Naobay Protective Hair Mask Volume Conditioner which I received in my first Glossy Box. This was a full-sized product to sample which I loved, it gave me a chance to actually make an informed view about it. This conditioner was nice and I feel it did add a little bit of volume to the ends of my hair; they didn't look as thin and strawy. I have used other conditioners since then which I have felt have worked better but it was a nice product to use. I wouldn't be in a rush to buying it again.

I got the Rituals White Lotus & Yi Yi Ren Foaming Shower Gel Sensation in my first Birch Box. When I was writing my post about that Birch Box I mentioned that I love the Imperial Leather Foam Burst Soaps and I wanted to see how the Rituals Shower Gel matched up the it. On price, Rituals is more expensive at £8.50 for 200ml versus Imperial Leather at £3.00 for 200ml. I genuinely think that the Rituals Shower Gel lathers up better and the scent lingers on the skin afterwards. I think that on a day-to-day basis I will stick to the Imperial Leather Shower Gel but I might buy the Rituals one for when i'm feeling a bit more luxurious! They have an offer on at the moment where if you buy two shower gels you can get one free - a great time to try them out. 

Another product I received in my first Birch Box was the Korres Cleansing Emulsion. This was a nice cleanser to use and despite the product saying 'all skin types' I think it would be perfect for someone with dry skin because it is a really creamy texture. For my oily skin, it didn't work wonders but it did leave my face feeling clean. I don't think i'll purchase again but i'll maybe have a look at other Korres products that would be more suited to my skin type.

I love the line Planet Spa by Avon, all their products feel so luxurious and are great to use if you feel like a good old pamper. I have been using the Fantastically Firming Body Polisher when showering to exfoliate my skin. This is quite an abrasive product so definitely don't use it if you have sensitive skin. I really enjoyed using this and it left my body feeling so soft and smooth - although because of it's brown colour it was a bit of a nightmare to clean it from the shower! It didn't really have any kind of smell to it. Whether it had any firming properties, i'm not sure, but I will look to buy this product again.

The last product I have is the Dove DermaSpa Summer Revived Body Lotion. This is a tinted moisturiser that claims to give you your daily dose of bronze whilst giving your skin the moisture it needs. There is no doubt in my mind that this product does exactly what it says it will do, the only issue I found is that even the fair-medium product was still a little too much for my skin. It would be okay if it built up slowly, but after only one use I was already a few shades darker. Even though this is a moisturiser, I would moisturise beforehand too especially on any dry patches on your body. But aside from that, I really liked this. It smelt amazing and not at all like fake tan and it left my body feeling silky and looking healthy. I will 100% be buying more of this for when the Scottish sun disappears again!

So there you have it, all my Empties from the past couple of months. I really enjoyed doing this post because I got to reflect back and decide whether to add any of these products to my repurchase board on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!
Lorah x

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