A 'small change' purchase

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The worst part about reading blogs is seeing products that I want but simply can't afford... talk about dangling a carrot! I know that lots of you are in the exact same position as me so today I'm bringing you something which you should be able to go buy without any guilt or real damage to your bank account, I like to call it a 'small change' purchase; one which you could probably buy with the money you find lying around your house/car/old coats and bags...

Powder Brush £4 Wilko

Wilkinsons (or 'Wilko') isn't a place you'd expect to find some decent beauty tools/products but since the recent launch of Essence and Wilko's very own tool line, things are looking up for the high street chain. It looks like they might have taken a little bit of design inspiration from another high street makeup brand launched by two very popular makeup artist turned Youtubers with the sleek black handle and bronze colour block handle and the quality of the brush is certainly one of the best I've ever seen, especially for the money. 

As you can see the brush is very dense, with hues of red running through the black bristles creating a kind of ombre effect. It is so incredibly soft, like so soft I could just sit and stroke it (at the risk of looking a little bit weird). The large surface area means that you get plenty of product on and it makes powder application an absolute doddle; I've only used this with a pressed powder but you could use it with a loose powder and I would imagine the results are just as good. I compared this to the Real Techniques powder brush and I do think the handle is slightly more ergonomic than this one but the bristles on the Wilko brush are much softer.

So what I'm basically trying to say is that you need to get yourself to a Wilko's store or have a look on their website. Even if you don't need a brush, you need to see how soft these are!
Have you seen Wilko brushes yet?

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How the La Roche Posay Effaclar Anti-Blemish System worked for me

Monday, 29 September 2014

I started using this at the end of August so I think after 4 weeks I've used it long enough to know how it's working for me. I did a post about it here but just to recap it's a 3 step kit consisting of a foaming gel cleanser, clarifying toner and a corrective serum type product. As you'll all probably know, I've been battling with acne and blemishes since I was 13 and although my skin has cleared up considerably I still get the odd 'attack' and at the time of starting to use this my skin was having a meltdown so it was the perfect time to put something like this to the test...

La Roche Posay Effaclar 3 Step Anti-Blemish System £32.50 Boots

Did it help to reduce blemishes?

I'll start by saying that I have been using this through two 'cycles' so therefore I should have technically had two menstrual breakouts on my chin within this time. However, I have actually only had one spot which was anything to shout about which is VERY good for me. The only thing it hasn't helped with is blackheads, they unfortunately remain unchanged and still continue to plague my nose. tsk.

Did it improve the appearance of your skin?

I used to have quite a bit of redness from acne scarring and I think this has improved, I could now get away with a lighter foundation if I wanted to as it doesn't take as much to give an even colour all over my face. The reduction in excess oil was also noticeable without drying my skin out which is a refreshing change because some products which claim to reduce oil will strip your skin within an inch of it's life!

What did you think of the individual products?

Foaming Gel Cleanser: I'm not a fan of foaming cleansers and I have to admit that my opinion hasn't really changed because using this meant that I had to use a separate eye makeup remover (I'm all about the quick and easy cleanse) and although my skin did feel clean when I used this I couldn't help but go back to my old favourite Bee Good Cream Cleanser for my night cleanse. However, I decided to use this just for my morning cleanse as I never need to remove eye makeup in the morning and I think it really contributes massively to the reduction of oil on my face. 

Clarifying Toner: I really, really like this. Toner was always the step I tended to skip in any skincare regime but I forced myself to remember to use this while I was trying out this kit; it's clarifying but not drying and it does do a great job of removing any residual cleanser or grime from your face. Lots of blemish fighting toners on the market are full of alcohol which can strip your face of natural oils which can then make it over produce oil (ain't nobody got time for that!!).

Effaclar Duo +: This has been the main game changer for me, I've been using it as a primer after moisturiser and I really love it. It is absorbed instantly by my skin without leaving it feeling tight, and although it doesn't fill your pores (like some primers do) it does give you a great base for your makeup to stick to.

What were your overall thoughts of the kit?

I think kits like this are all about making them work for you and I would say that if you struggle with blemishes and problem skin then you would find a way to make each of these products work in your favour. Although I don't use the cleanser morning and night as the instructions suggest you should, it works much better for me just as a morning cleanse. At £32.50 for a full skincare system I don't think you can go far wrong with this and you also can't buy the toner separately which for me is a reason to buy this kit in itself! 

If you are struggling with your skin and you're at the end of your tether thinking you've tried everything then I really do recommend La Roche Posay; it's gentle yet effective stuff and it doesn't break the bank.

Have you tried any La Roche Posay products?

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Discover a New Blogger #4

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Written by Yaya, a Mexican-American expat living in the UK, My Dreamality is a collective blog of all the things Yaya gets upto in her life. With her clear photography and quirky 'expat musings' posts (see about her post about the English Obsession with Chips... so true!) this blog brings something different every time there's a new post so it's always fresh and never same old, same old which is very refreshing!

I first found Maddie's blog by watching her Youtube channel (one of the very few which I watch every time there's a new video!) and I was impressed with how down to earth she was. I really love blogs where you can tell the person is totally real; I know we all try and perceive that we live the perfect life but the truth is that we often don't! Her recent post about an oddly named Topshop blush really made me laugh and her video about when Toni & Guy ruined her hair really made me feel her pain (by the way, Maddie if you're reading this, you really should have gone back and kicked up so much more of a fuss!). 

If you love high street fashion then you will definitely love this blog. Alice's 'Fashion under £50' posts are amazing for finding the latest bargains on the high street; in each of these posts she does a series of outfits which are all under £50 which is great if you like to live on a budget because there's generally something for every occasion. This isn't just a fashion blog though, there are also baking posts, music and beauty thrown in there too but it was definitely the fashion under £50 posts which caught my eye! Finding a blog which features stuff I can actually afford always pleases me :)

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Do's and Don't's of Fake Tanning + An Exclusive 45% off code for Vita Liberata NKD SKN

Friday, 26 September 2014

It's not often I get to share exclusive discount codes on my blog but today I have a code for all my readers to get an incredible 45% discount on all products on the NKD SKN website. As we kiss goodbye to the 'summer' Vita Liberata have launched a brand new collection of fake tan products. NKD SKN is the latest luxe tanning range created with girls on the go in mind. If you don't have time to be waiting for a fake tan to dry and develop then NKD SKN is for you.  

NKD SKN Tinted Tan Mousse in Medium* £8.22 (Full price - £14.95)

It's all well and good finding a great new tanning product but if you aren't sure how to fake tan properly then even the best tan isn't going to work for you so here are a few do's and don't's of fake tanning...


Exfoliate! - Although this is arguably the most important step in tanning, I also think it's one of the largely ignored steps! Exfoliation gets rid of the dry, dead skin cells which is often the cause of a patchy tan. In particular, knees and elbows should be paid attention to as these are often where patching occurs. 

Use a tanning mitt to apply - Don't use a regular glove or a sock (!) because the tan will soak through onto your hand and to be honest you might as well have just tanned with your bare hands.

Use circular motions - Another kind of obvious one but this helps to make sure that you don't go all streaky!

Go bottom to top - Make sure you tan your feet and legs first, that way you don't smudge your arms when you're trying to tan your bottom half.


Forget your fingers/hands/feet/toes - I'm guilty of forgetting to tan my fingers and hands, the tell tale tide line around your hand is one of the most common tanning mishaps. However, use sparingly and wipe your hands/feet with a slightly damp cloth following application.

Use moisturiser right before - using fragranced products like moisturiser can interfere with the DHA which is what helps your tan to develop. Make sure you moisturise once your tan has developed but don't mix the two!

Tan straight after shaving/waxing - I think hair removal is best done 24 hours before tanning as if you tan straight after waxing you'll probably end up with little brown dots where the tan has sunk into where the hair was... not a good look!

About Vita Liberata NKD SKN...

There are 3 different types of NKD SKN tan in 2 different shades; medium and dark. I've tried the Mousse version but they also do an instant wash off tan and a liquid developing tan. Even without the 45% discount the products are very affordable at just £8.50 for the Instant Wash Off Tan, the Tinted Liquid is only £10.00 and the Mousse formula is just £14.95. 

You see instant results when you first apply this so you can see exactly where you've been with the tanning mitt, it doesn't streak or patch and it dries instantly so you don't have to wait 10-15 minutes to put your clothes on which is great if you always leave tanning until the last minute. It also doesn't have that tell tale biscuit smell; it has a very slight smell but nothing offensive and nothing which would be noticeable to anyone else (literally your nose has to be on your skin to smell anything at all and usually my husband moans when I get in bed smelling like a biscuit but he never said a word). I'm quite fair skinned so medium is dark enough for me but if you're more olive skinned or you want a deeper bronzed look then I'd suggest going for dark. 

If you would like to try NKD SKN then you can use my exclusive discount code BEAUTYBUTTERFLY45 to get 45% off at the checkout on the NKD SKN website.

Let me know what you think if you decide to try it!

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Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipsticks - My Thoughts

This probably won't be the first, or the last time you see Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets featured on a blog, bloggers have gone pretty mental for them so I thought I'd also give my 2p on them. They come in 8 different shades and the formula is a highly pigmented, matte liquid lipstick. They kind of remind me of a Limecrime Velvetine but the formula is actually nicer and they're more forgiving when applying as they don't stain your skin.

The two colours I chose are 'Hot Pepper' (perfect bright, orange toned red) and 'Nude-ist' (a slight rose toned nude). As you will see, Hot Pepper does look quite daunting and it wouldn't normally be a colour I'd go for but surprisingly I do actually think it suits me and there aren't many reds out there that do! Nude-ist isn't what I'd call a traditional nude shade because it's so wearable, I think the word 'nude' conjures up this image in our heads that it's going to be a wash-out, concealer type shade but this is so different. If you're looking for a winter shade but you don't think you can quite pull off a dark shade of plum then this would be a great starting point. Admittedly, they both look better with a liner; I've been using Rimmel 1000 Kisses liner in 'Spice' for the nude shade but I have yet to find a good match for the orangey red.

It's fairly easy to apply and it's buildable so you can layer it up for an extra bold look or you can just do a thin coat if you just want a wash of colour; I personally like to layer it up with 2-3 coats. The matte formula is quite a weird one to get used to especially if you're not used to matte lip products. It applies like liquid but dries completely matte with very little smudging or transferring and it can feel a little dry. I actually found that the nude one was a little more drying than the red but that could be partly due to the liner. I'm often tempted to soften things up a little with a balm but it would probably ruin the whole look, I guess with any matte lip product there is going to be a level of dryness because of course matte is a 'dry' look whereas obviously a gloss is a wet look... am I making sense?

Basically, what I'm trying to say is thatI really enjoy wearing both of these shades and I can deal with a bit of a dry feeling because I love the shades so much and I think they wear really nicely, you don't have to constantly reapply and they don't sink into the cracks of your lips or anything like that. I'm actually eyeing up one more shade which is 'Grand Cru', it looks like a really nice deep plum shade which is perfect for autumn/winter. Oh and did I mention they're only £5 in Superdrug at the moment...

Have you tried Rouge Edition Velvets yet? Let me know what you think...

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GHD Hair Tools - Worth the Splurge?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

ghd straighteners have been a part of my life for a good 7 years, I'm onto my second pair (because Jason stood on my first pair, that was not a good day) and they've been going strong for 4 years so far. Everything about them just screams quality to me. They might be fairly slim in design but they are solid; after 4 years of straightening they aren't showing any signs of wear other than the ghd logo has rubbed off a little bit and they just don't look as pristine as they did. The coating on the actual plates is still in good condition and they still run smoothly down my hair. The salon length cord is also another aspect of them which I love; it makes it so easy to use them even if your mirror is a way from the plug socket. The ones I have are an older version of the IV Styler which are actually the cheapest of the designs at £89.00 but if you want to have a go with GHD straighteners these would be the place to start. They're the ones which you'll find in most salons and that speaks volumes to me!

After having a ghd Air hairdryer on my wish list for long enough I finally decided to buy one last Christmas. I had heard lots of people say how they were far superior to any other hairdryer they've used. The 2100w motor makes it a powerful drying tool and definitely makes a difference when you've got long/thick hair which usually takes ages to dry; using this has probably halved the time it takes me to dry my hair. I wouldn't say that it helps to stop it going frizzy because I don't think it does but like the straighteners, the overall design is sleek, sturdy and obviously good quality. Possibly a little on the pricey side at £89 and I daresay you could get an equally as powerful hairdryer for a fraction of the price but I'd be questioning how long it would last. 

Now onto the paddle brush. Before I continue I know that £20 is a lot for a hairbrush but you would not believe the amount of brushes I've been through because lots of them just do not stand heat styling or detangling the knots in my hair. For me, the ghd paddle brush is every bit worth the £20 I paid for it. None of the bristles have fallen out or misshapen under the heat and not one bit of the design has come at all loose. The plastic handle is totally solid whereas some cheaper ones just feel hollow and although it's solid it's not heavy or uncomfortable to hold. If you have thick, long or unruly hair then I highly recommend the paddle brush, it makes brushing so much more pleasurable. 

In answer to my initial question, yes ghd tools as a whole are worth the splurge if you can afford them. In my opinion, the straighteners especially, are far superior to any others I've used. When the sad day comes that I have to replace them I would be tempted to go for the new Eclipse styler which is more expensive but it looks amazing. The fact that I've spent a small fortune of my own money on these products is testament to how wonderful I think they are.

Do you own any ghd tools?

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Moroccanoil Hair Treatments

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

I've gone on and on about products which claim to perform miracles but fail to deliver results; i'm a firm believer that split ends cannot be repaired as the hair is already broken; unless you glue it together it ain't going back! A couple of years ago I tried Moroccanoil Light and aside from the price tag, really liked it. In a moment of late night/early morning madness I made a bit of an impulse purchase from Feel Unique because I was feeling at the end of my tether with my dry frizzy hair...

I've gone on and on about products which claim to perform miracles but fail to deliver results; i'm a firm believer that split ends cannot be repaired as the hair is already broken; unless you glue it together it ain't going back... but you can help to improve the appearance of your damaged locks! Moroccanoil has an amazing reputation for being really effective on damaged hair making it smooth, soft, shiny and manageable. 

The two products I chose are to repair and hydrate my hair. The Intense Hydrating Mask is meant to be used a couple of times a week as a conditioning treatment which you apply to towel dried hair and leave to work for between 5 and 7 minutes. I chose not to go for the 'light' option because the ends of my hair are pretty bad, I just make sure I only apply this to the bottom half of my hair and I rinse thoroughly. It smells lovely and doesn't weigh heavy on my hair at all, it's just left feeling silky smooth. 

I use the Moroccanoil Treatment on the ends of my hair just before drying and also after drying to smooth things out further. Even though I got the light version last time, I think I actually prefer this original formula. Even though it is heavier and I wouldn't recommend it for fine hair, it is perfect for my thick hair. It smells gorgeous and does a far better job than any serum I've used; serums don't penetrate beyond the surface of the hair whereas this oil really feels like it's a deep treatment. 

I got the mini versions of both of these products because I didn't want to splurge on the full size, which would have cost £56.60, instead I only paid £21.10. Obviously it's better value for money if you know you love them and you're definitely going to use them religiously but if you're just looking to try some Moroccanoil products (or you simply can't afford the full size) then these versions are perfect!

It might be a pricey brand but I do love Moroccanoil. Have you tried anything from the range?


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