Sunday 29 June 2014

Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil - Review


A few weeks ago I found myself at the Clarins counter in Debenhams (of all places) and had a chat to the lovely assistant about the Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil - she very kindly gave me two sample sizes bottles to try - told you she was lovely ...!

A picture of the Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil
A picture of the Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil
A picture of the Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil

Applied at night under moisturiser and described by Clarins as ...
"Moisture care for Dehydrated Skin. 100% pure plant extracts. This best-selling oil contains extracts of Rosewood, Patchouli and Blue Orchid to tone, revitalise and restore radiance to moisture-depleted skin. Hazelnut Oil helps prevent moisture loss and the formation of fine lines." (source)
Blue Orchid Oil has a most distinctive herbal aroma - smells to me like a medicinal potion put together in days of yore by a medieval practitioner! The scent hangs/wafts around for a while and I find it quite therapeutic - gets quite addictive!  It has a denser consistency - almost syrupy - than I was expecting and you literally only need a couple of drops - a little goes a very long way. You can apparently use on it's own (so the lovely Clarins assistant told me) or under moisturiser.  I've been using each night with a little moisturiser over the top - I say 'little' because the oil is so concentrated you really do use much less moisturiser.  How many more times can I say 'moisturiser' in this paragraph!

I'm loving this facial oil and my skin seems to do too. It's not broken me out and given the fact that I'm pretty stressed at the moment and definitely not getting enough sleep it's nothing short of a miracle that I don't resemble an old witch from the coven!  My skin feels hydrated, plumped, rested and soothed (even if my body doesn't!). It's my overall facial expression, posture and dark circles that give the game away!

So my obsession with facial oils continues. I'm hooked (told you it was addictive!) and will definitely be investing in a full size - think it will also be a superb product to use over winter. You can pick it up from various beauty websites as well as Clarins direct for between £26/£32 per 30ml.

Have you tried the Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil? What's your favourite facial oil of the moment?

Jen x

Friday 27 June 2014

Let's Get It On with Marvin!


I am cream crackered, absolutely cream crackered ...!  Work is positively mad, we are so busy and all working overtime, everyone has headaches - literally.  My job role has also been changed so I've been training on different procedures, rules, calculations, I'll get there eventually (she says!) but at the moment my brain is ready to 'do one' I can tell you!  Kids events are picking up with the end of term coming up, don't even talk to me about housework (I should be ironing instead of typing this post!). Have had to force myself out of the house down to the gym after work and blogging has had to take a bit of a back seat - which is doing my head in - but you can't let the house go to wrack and ruin whilst you take blog photos (so many photos I need to take) and write posts ... or can you??

So ... tonight I need to stop juggling all those sodding plates just for a  few hours and chill out - with pizzas and salad and red wine (maybe the latter in large quantities) and a bit of our Marvin ...

Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On ... 

Oh my goodness, what a tune, what a tune ... can't you feel your shoulders dropping as (some) of the stress leaves your body, whilst you listen to Marvin getting it on? Can't help but sing along ... 'Don't you know how sweet and wonderful life can be?' - yes I definitely need to remember this as I sit at my desk at work in a perplexed state ...!

Are you chilling out tonight? What's your favourite relax track?

Jen x

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Bourjois Cream Blush in Pink Sunwear - Review


This is my first little round pot of Bourjois Cream Blush ... I chose Pink Sunwear ... in keeping with the season and all ...!

A picture of Bourjois Cream Blush in Pink Sunwear
A picture of Bourjois Cream Blush in Pink Sunwear
A picture of Bourjois Cream Blush in Pink Sunwear

A golden salmony pink in colour when swatched, with an acceptable level of shimmer (but not in a glitterball way!) - it's like an all-in-one blush/highlighter.  It has a silken texture and glides on easily with fingers or brush over the old apples to give a sun-kissed and healthy glow - exactly what I'm after at this time of year! A little goes a long way - it works over a BB or full foundation and lasts really well throughout the day without going patchy - it even passed the 'sweaty office' test the other week! Definitely one for this year's holiday!

Here it is 'in situ' ... and please try to ignore the shiny conk in the foreground which is threatening to take over the entire universe - black hole style (and that's only half of it...!) ...

A picture of Bourjois Cream Blush in Pink Sunwear

I must admit I am a little smitten with my Pink Sunwear!  A super-easy Summertime product that takes seconds to apply and helps me to look more 'human' and less 'zombie' (been having quite a few 'zombie days' - must be my dratted age!). As I said this has been my first delve in the world of Bourjois Cream Blush ... somehow I don't think it will be my last ... mark my words!

Have you had a bash at a Bourjois Cream Blush? What's your favourite Summertime blusher?

Jen x

Saturday 21 June 2014

Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine ... !

Bonjour and Happy Midsummer's Day!

I had a Twitter conversation last week with someone who is the exact opposite to me - loves the cold and darkness of Winter and hates the current light evenings and 'vile heat' - as she put it! Each to their own and all ...! I always feel a little melancholy when the longest day is over.  I am definitely a Summer-lover and don't want the days to shorten.  The sun, the warmth, the light, the long evenings ... seems appropriate to be playing this Summertime track today ...

Isley Brothers - Summer Breeze ....

Totally captures the atmosphere of Summertime for me this one - if I didn't have bad hay fever and a general fear of creepy crawlies I'd just want to lie on my back in a field - (without cowpats mind!) - gazing up at a cloudless blue sky (SPF on of course) - listening to Summertime music, winding down for a long, lazy, warm evening ... don't get many of those I can tell you!

What's your favourite Midsummer track?

Jen x

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Maybelline Big Eyes Volum'Express Mascara - Review


I bought the Maybelline Big Eyes Volum'Express Mascara (in black) a while ago - not long after it was first launched actually as it was on offer with a couple of quid knocked off.  Not sure why really as I've never really 'got on' with Maybelline mascaras and therefore delayed opening it up! It boasts a double-ended brush - the upper brush is designed to volumise and push the lashes up whilst fanning them out with a quick-drying formula. The lower 'micro-brush' is meant to grab and coat all those elusive lower lashes.

A picture of Maybelline Big Eyes Volum'Express Mascara
A picture of Maybelline Big Eyes Volum'Express Mascara
A picture of Maybelline Big Eyes Volum'Express Mascara
A picture of Maybelline Big Eyes Volum'Express Mascara

I don't think you can see from the above pics but the top brush has a twist to it so the bristles almost spiral around the wand (reminds me of Bare Minerals Lash Domination in that respect) - maybe it's that ol' twist that's the secret weapon?  The top brush is just the right size for my lashes - not too fat - not too thin and works (for once!) with the formula, which appears to be the right consistency. It fans the lashes out well and provides length, volume and definition.  It's smudge and flake proof and managed a whole day in the office last week during our '33 degrees office heatwave' without moving - so proper result there! I tend to apply two coats as quickly as possible as it does dry in no time and you have to work fairly quickly if you want to layer. You need to scrape excess mascara off the brush well, especially if you do come back for another coat later on - otherwise it will clump and you'll need to comb lashes through. It's easily taken off at the end of the day with a decent remover.  I have to say that although I can see the reasoning behind the lower brush, it doesn't really have the desired effect for me and I get far better results using the top brush on the bottom lashes. If anything, I've just been using the lower brush to add a bit of extra definition once my mascara is on just because it's there and I don't want it to feel left out!

Two quick coats here on usually non existent lashes (no idea what's going on with those mammoth frown lines - good aren't they?).

I'll admit this is my first success with a Maybelline mascara - 'Big Eyes' is great for everyday wear. It's been a pleasant surprise and if it sported just the one upper brush I'd readily repurchase at the full price of of £8.99... I may well do anyway and just ignore the micro brush!

Have you tried Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara? What do you think of 'bottom lash brushes'?

Jen x

Sunday 15 June 2014

NOTD - Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Nail Polish in Nymph


The Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish in Nymph is one of ten shades that Kate Moss apparently had a hand in 'creating'. It ended up in my basket when I recently went to Boots to pick up my new specs as it had £1 off making it £3.49 ...

A picture of the Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Nail Polish in Nymph
A picture of the Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Nail Polish in Nymph
A picture of the Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Nail Polish in Nymph

Rimmel say you can get up to 10 days of chip resistant colour ... you know what I'm going to say don't you? Yep ... I didn't get 10 days (I mean 10 days ... in my dreams!) but I got 3 days (with top and base coat) - which is good for me.  I can cope with 3 days.  The brush is wide and flat with slightly tapered sides (apparently it's a 'maxi' brush) but is easy enough to use (although maybe the stem could be a tad longer but maybe that's me being picky!) - the polish needs two coats (in this colour anyway), dries in standard time and has a lovely high shine to it.  I do love this colour - it reminds me of one of those lagoon type things you see in those balmy hot places!

So - yes ... I think I'll be after some other colours from this range of polishes - they're a good price and last fairly well on. I do want to make a dent in my existing nail polish collection though (that's me being sensible) so may well hold off until Autumn - I have my eye on Punk Rock which will be a perfect Autumn/Winter colour!  But let's not wish the time away - I want to experience Summer first!

Have you tried any Rimmel Salon Pro polishes? What's your most 'long lasting' nail polish?

Jen x

Friday 13 June 2014

Birthday, Sportsday and Hot Day(s) ... !


Again it's been a totally crazy week ... my girl's birthday, which involved lots of shopping and food - lovely but manic and we're still not done with all the celebrations yet! School sports day which was also lovely but slightly poignant as it's my girl's last year at Primary. It's a whole school-day affair at a large indoor sports arena with all the usual races, together with gymnastic/cheerleader style dancing and a big relay race round the track at the end! My girl was the 'fastest girl in her year' - go girl! The entire school joins in from infants up to Y6 - watching all the tiny reception children today it's hard to believe my two were once that small (had a small tear in my eye!) - think they get tinier every year!

And ... as the weather has been hotting up last week so has the temperature in our office (broken air con) - up to 33 degrees no less - we have it on record! Yep the fire doors/exits have had to remain shut so we've all been sweating our bits off - literally! You walk in from the balmy weather outside into the sauna that is now our office and the heat hits you right between the eyes - similar to that feeling when you get off the plane at the start of a 'hot holiday' but far less enticing and without the cicadas calling out - yes - many pores have been well and truly opened up last week. I made sure I had a good deep cleanse, exfoliation and overnight hydrating face mask once I got home - you can't take the beauty out of this blogger!

It could not, therefore, have been any other tune other than Nelly - Hot in Herre (that's how he spells it!) ...

Luckily no one did take (all) their clothes off  although the dress code had been relaxed so people have been wandering round the office barefoot (imagine all the humming feet!) and in shorts (girls and boys) and strappy tops (just the girls mind!) and an ice cream van has been parked in the car park to distribute free ice creams to all staff - although my choc 'n' nut sundae was melting as soon as I got back inside ...! It's been an experience I can tell you.  Hopefully the air con will be fixed by next week and then we'll all be freezing - can't win!

How's your week been? Have your pores been well and truly opened? Any sweat stories to tell me?

Jen x

Monday 9 June 2014

Leighton Denny Expert Nails Kit!


Ok, this post was inspired by my lovely blogging buddy Gaelle, who is currently doing a series of 5 minute reviews over on her blog Lipstick Ergo Sum. I thought I'd try doing a mini post now and again instead of rambling on and on (once I start I can't stop) and I have so many bits to blog about that things are getting out of hand ...!

So without further ado and in an effort to not ramble (see I'm heading that way already) ... if you read my recent Wishlist post (here) you'll see I've been after the Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File.  Now - I'm not a regular 'TK Maxxer' so it must have been fate that I happened to wander in last week and spot this Leighton Denny kit ...

A picture of a Leighton Denny Expert Nails Kit

I must admit there were other sets available containing multiple polishes but this one was calling to me!  Contains Best Defence Hand & Nail Cream, One For All top and base coat, three mini polishes in Sophisticated, Supermodel and Baby Doll, Miracle Mist Speed-Drying Spray and small Crystal Nail File. I've heard that these files are meant to last a long time (unless you happen to drop it on a hard floor - best make sure I don't!).  All this lot was on offer at £16 - to buy the small Crystal Nail File alone costs £12.50 so what a bargain! Right I'm off to file my nails!

Have you tried any of these products? Are you a regular 'TK Maxxer'?  What bargains have you picked up recently?

Jen x

Friday 6 June 2014

Club Tropicana ...!


It's been another grand week of Club Tropicana in our office as the air con is still out of action and the entire office is glowing.   Never one to miss out on an opportunity I've decided I'm going to test out a few products for their sweat resistance properties - nice!

Anyway ... my friend is responsible for this post! She added one of our old favourites from Wham! on her Facebook wall and that got me going! So many Wham! tunes I could post about but Club Tropicana seemed pretty apt today.  I'd love to be out for a few cocktails (or drink of any sort really) tonight after the ridiculously busy week and especially with the lovely weather we've had today but my only outing this evening will be to take my daughter up to her school disco...and the only cocktail I'll be having is a mixture of painkillers for a headache and hay fever tablets (pollen is doing me in today) ...!

Although I've listened (and danced) to this tune on many an occasion over the years - must admit it's been a while since I watched the video. Pepsi and Shirlie are looking lovely as ever -  bit of a shock seeing our George and Andrew in their little white pants again after all this time but there you go ...!

Right must pop off and straighten my girl's hair for her disco, we don't make a habit of it but as it's a special occasion for her ... she's bouncing off the walls with excitement ...!

What's your favourite WHAM track?

Jen x

Wednesday 4 June 2014

May Empties ...!


So now we're into June and the very last school term ... even my son recently commented that this year is passing by really quickly!  Just a few empties from last month then ...

Liz Earle Hand Repair - all finished up. Although I  do like this hand cream it doesn't stretch as far as I'd like for the price so I'd only repurchase in a kit. Full review here.
Emma Hardie Natural Lift and Sculpt Firming Eye Serum - I've been faffing around with this bottle for months to get the product out! Unfortunately I'll not be repurchasing - my full review is here.
Sanctuary Spa Body Butter - this was included in a three part Christmas set which was half price in the Boots sale so an absolute bargain. Love these body butters, they go on easily and smell great! What more can I say?
Bare Minerals Original SPF 15 Foundation in Medium Beige - my go-to foundation on work days - love it! Have used it for years (obviously not this particular pot!) and can't believe I've not blogged about it properly yet (having said that there are loads of products that fall into the same category!). Have a couple of spare pots in my stash so no need to panic!
Nuxe Reve de Miel and L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Creams - love the pair of em!  I have a little stash of mini L'Occitane hand creams courtesy of my mum and the Nuxe handbag size was part of a cheeky little Nuxe kit last year. They're both soothing and softening and I'd buy again.
Philosophy Summer Grace Eau de Toilette - this was a January sales bargain from the year before last. It's another one of those that makes me want to constantly sniff my wrist - love it. Smells very clean to me and the scent really lingers. Now ... living with my hubby I have to say I am more than familiar with lingering scents but this is definitely one I would not want to leave the room for!! 

I've always been a bit of a Dairy Milk girl (although I am partial to Terry's Choc Orange!) and am obsessed with Fruit & Nut at the moment (I should point out that I did not devour this all in one sitting - it was consumed gradually over a week and I even let the hubby have a couple of blocks - so generous am I!) - I will most definitely be re-purchasing ... !

What products have you used up this month? Are you in the Dairy Milk field or do you sway towards Galaxy?

Jen x

Sunday 1 June 2014

No7 Instant Radiance Concealer - Review


I've used the No7 Instant Radiance Concealer on and off for a few years. Originally only two shades were available, there now appears to be a third darker colour, however after swatching I stuck with my usual Shade II ... comes in at £13.50 but I had a No7 £3 off voucher ...

A picture of the No7 Instant Radiance Concealer II

The Instant Radiance concealer includes light reflecting particles which are meant to give the impression of having had 'a good night's sleep' (can't remember the last time I had one of those!) and is meant to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.

It comes in a click pen with a brush applicator - I use the brush to dot the product on and then blend in (I use my fingers). I've tried it on it's own but it just adds a wash of translucent colour which doesn't cover my dark circles enough and can look a little grey at times. It's quite a light, creamy fluid but layering it on too much can make it sit in my fine lines and just draw attention to the old bags! It works really well, however, when used sparingly in the inner corners of the eye area and over the top of my colour correcting concealer - adds that bit of extra brightness and radiance.  Swatched and blended below ...

A picture of the No7 Instant Radiance Concealer Shade II

I do tend to use this more often when wearing my contact lenses - ie when my eyes are more exposed to the big wide world and need that extra bit of help. It lasts a few hours on and the pen is handy to shove in my make-up bag for any touch-ups during the day (oh dear how wrong does that sound!).  All in all I do like this product for it's highlighting properties and adding a 'finishing touch'.  It's just a matter of finding how it works best for you I guess and if used correctly it does a good job of freshening up my eye area. I've read that this works in a similar way to the YSL Touche Eclat - if I ever get to compare I'll let you know!

Have you tried the No7 Instant Radiance Concealer? What's your favourite way to use it?

Jen x

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