Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Need a balm for Winter lips? Try AVON Anew Lip Plumping Conditioner

Brrr, it's chilly out there today!  It made me think about what I use on my face because the temperature has dropped so much in the last couple of days that I've really had to re-think my skincare routine and the cosmetic products I use on my face. 

Regular readers to this blog will know that I am a little bit of a lipstick addict (putting it mildly), I always have been and rarely go out with completely bare lips but in the Winter I think it's even more important to cover your lips with a lipstick, gloss or balm when you go outside.  The cold weather can wreak havoc on your skin and make your lips really sore (I can vouch for this I did one dog walk at the weekend without anything on my lips and I've been suffering ever since).  When you twin this with being run down or having a cold (your skin is the first thing to dry out as your body diverts water elsewhere) then basically things aren't looking very good.  Those of us that get the dreaded cold sores are also at risk of an outbreak when we are run down or out in very cold weather.

See below for the review (scroll right down for the photo!)


Avon ANEW Lip Plumping Lip Conditioner


£9.00 (this is down to £5.50 in some Campaigns, keep an eye out).

What's it got in it?

SPF15 with plumping retinol and collagen

What colours are there?

Berry Tint (reddish)
Honey Tint (brownish)
Rose Tint (pinkish)


I'll be honest, I've never been one for lip balms, mainly because I find they don't give a great deal of colour and they rub off easily which means you have to reapply every five seconds (well, that's an exaggeration but you know what I mean).  I'm very impressed with this though, it gave a really good colour, I used Berry Tint as I wanted a reddish colour for this time of year, if it had been Spring or Summer I probably would have bought Rose Tint instead.

** Edit January 2019 - I no longer sell Avon but I would definitely repurchase this product, it's been great, Winter and Summer and I always have one in my handbag as a back up lipstick.  Also, I did buy Rose Tint as I said above and it doesn't give nearly as much of a pink colour as I'd hoped, it's very pale so I'll stick to the Berry Tint.

I wasn't sure of the price at first, personally I think £9.00 is a lot of money to part with if you're not sure of the product but then when you compare them to the likes of Revlon, Max Factor and Cover Girl etc, their lipsticks are a similar price so I can kind of reconcile that one and, having used this one I would purchase one in another colour, think I will get Rose Tint next. 

I have to say it did last quite a long while and, I'm pleased to report did not bleed into the little lines round my lips (something all ladies of a certain age will understand and be quite thankful for).  My lines aren't bad but they are there and there are some lipsticks that are a bit of a no-no now I'm getting older.  The retinol and collagen will have helped with the plumping out of the lines I think.  It's nice packaging too, quite sleek but feels substantial, I have been keeping mine in my coat pocket for top ups!

Love, Maria


Monday, 28 November 2016

Avon Gel Shine - Lavender Sky

I do love to review a nail polish and this has been one of my favourites throughout the Summer.

If you've read my other nail polish posts you'll know I hate chipping and that I've got weak nails.  I also like it to dry quickly.  Prior to this, the only "gel" effect I'd tried was Sally Hansen (which I still love) so I was hopeful that this would cut the mustard so to speak.

I was pleased that it did and I'm now on my second bottle!  Check out the photo below to see what it looks like on my nails.

Colour and Brush

I particularly like this colour 'Lavender Sky' because it's a little bit different from my usual pink nails but subtle.  If it chips a little you don't notice it straight away.  I must say though, I find it very long lasting and that's without the special Avon gel shine top coat which is well worth the money because it does give the polish extra shine and increases the time between coats.  I also like the brush as it's not too big making it much easier to be precise particularly when painting the hand you don't write with!

The Gel Shine Range

The Gel Shine range has been one of Avon's best selling products this year, it has no less than 31 shades to choose from (it started with 24 and they added a few more throughout the year) and the price is a very reasonable £7.00 per bottle though it is regularly on half price (which is the best time to stock up and try new shades).  I can recommend the colours Parfait PinkBarely There and Very Berry, these have been my staple shades this year, I've currently got Very Berry on my toes even though they're stuck under my socks and boots for the next six months!  I like that I can have nails that give a 'gel effect' without having to put them under a UV lamp, it's quick and easy which it's brilliant if you don't have much time.

Avon Gel Shine - Lavender Sky


Sunday, 20 November 2016

My Latest Beauty Haul (do not shop when you are fed up!)

The other day I went into Superdrug to get some headache tablets as having spent half the night up with my coughing 8 year old, my head was banging and I needed some assistance in making it stop.  So after my school run I took myself into town in the rain (which did not help my mood) and the plan was to pop into Superdrug, get the tablets, whizz into Sainsbury's to buy teabags, milk and bread and go home.

So that's what happened.  Well, almost. 

In fact what transpired was a 40 minute stroll round Superdrug after picking up said medication and I ended up buying so much that I had to buy a carrier bag (don't get me wrong I don't mind paying 5p) as it wouldn't fit in my handbag. 

Here's the haul.

Revlon HD Lip Color (Seduction)

I was so happy with the other colours I've purchased that I didn't have to argue with myself too much about getting another and I'm really pleased with this one too. I chose the colour Seduction as it's nude but not too nude, I like it because it doesn't wash me out like so many paler lip colours do.  It'll definitely be a Lipstick Love ... post in the future.

MUA Matte single eye shadow

I've only got a few things from MUA but everything I've got I really like, MUA is also great value, this single eye shadow was £1.00 and is a great base colour for neutral days.

V05 Frizz Free Cream and V05 Smoothly Does It Serum

Always in the market for products that claim to make my hair frizz free and smooth these were a bargain because it was on a 2 for £4.00 offer

Anelco Beer Shampoo and  Conditioner

This was an impulse buy, I used to use beer shampoo and conditioner sachets years and years ago and I wanted to see if this was the same.  I've yet to try it.

Pack of 2 printed emery boards

A girl can never have too many emery boards, especially someone with nails like mine that are constantly chipping and flaking. 

64 My Little Star Baby Wipes

These were on special offer.  I always carry baby wipes in my bag even though my kids are no longer babies as they are amazing for sticky fingers, mouths and you can even use them to catch a runny nose if you don't have a tissue. 

L'Oréal Color Riche Gold Obsession Lipstick (Rouge Gold)

Ooh, it's a long time since I bought a L'Oréal lipstick but I'm having a bit of a lipstick obsession at the moment.  I've currently got several Avon ones on the go (I will review them), I just felt like I needed some different colours.  This one is a gorgeous shade of red with a gold shimmer running through it.  It's not a bright red, more of a muted cheerful red so it's not too in your face.  I've only worn it once but thought it looked really nice.  And I've always loved the smell of L'Oréal lipsticks too.

I think the Panadol are self explanatory!

As I drove home I decided that I did feel less like a bear with a sore head and as not a single tablet had passed my lips at that time, I decided that it was the act of buying the haul that had improved my mood and my headache.  I think they call it Comfort Buying, it's in the same category as Comfort Eating but with less calories. 

It was only when I got home that I realised I'd forgotten to go to Sainsburys so I had to go back later in the day!

I'm not sure when my next haul will be.  Probably after Christmas as I really need to concentrate on Christmas shopping from now on, I haven't done any at all.  I wish I could be one of those organised people that has it done by the end of August or at the very latest, October, but I'm not.  I leave it until the last minute and then just do it all in one go. 

Maria xx


Saturday, 12 November 2016

What's in the November Glossybox?

Oh look, is it  November already? I managed to miss posting about the October Glossybox but I'm right here with the November one so let's have a looksee what's in it.  Actually, if there are any other Glossybox girls out there I'd love to know if you got anything different in your boxes and what you thought of it. 

111 Skin Bio Facial Treatment Mask

111 Skin Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask
I've only just ventured into the face mask thing, years ago they were all gloopy and sticky and they made my skin sore but I've recently used a couple that I really like so it'll be interesting to try this one.  It's a full size product from www.111skin.com you leave it on for 20 minutes or more to really let it sink into your skin.  I'll report back.  This product is worth £20 so you know, quite pricey for a face mask, I imagine it won't be on my shopping list anytime soon but lovely to try.

De Bruyere Beauty Jumbo Eye Pencil - Bubble 07

De Bruyere Beaute Jumbo Eye Pencil in Bubble 07
A lot of my eye pencils are courtesy of Glossybox, there must be at least one every other month.  This would be a problem for some people but not for me because I love eye pencils and use them every day.  This one is a jumbo pencil (remind me to dig out the jumbo kohl pencil sharpener) which is great because you can easily put it all over the eyelid or just the lash line.  I've got a couple of jumbo pencils from Kiko Milano which I love, they are so easy to use.  Bubble 07 appears to be a deep green/grey colour so really Autumnal and should go with most looks.  This is a full size product RRP 15euros, for more information on the De Bruyere range www.debruyerebeaute.com/fr

Wilkinson Sword Raspberry Rain Razors

Wilkinson Sword Quattro for Women Raspberry Rain Disposable Razors
I have to admit I squealed with delight when I saw this, yes I know that sounds weird but I love it when I get a new razor to try because it saves me buying a new one!  All my recent razors have been courtesy of Glossybox (or Birchbox before I gave them up).  This one is disposable, you get three in a packet so I'm good for a little while now!  RRP for this product is £5.69 for packet of 3, website link is www.buy.wilkinson-sword.co.uk

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
What a great product to try, brilliant for me as I do have trouble sleeping (not falling asleep just staying asleep) so anything that helps me to sleep I'm willing to try.  This Works do some amazing products, I'm still in love with a leave in conditioner from one of last years' boxes.  This isn't a full size product but the RRP for the full size is £16.00 www.thisworks.com.

Ruby Professional Blending Brush

Ruby Professional Large Tapered Blending Brush
This has just fallen straight into my hands because I'm currently working on a blog post about make up brushes so I am pleased with this.  It's only in the last year or so that I've really sat up and taken much notice of make up brushes and how to use them.  This one is a blending brush and again, I have only recently worked out how to blend properly (courtesy of a YouTube video from make up artist Lisa Eldridge).  To check out the brush and the rest of the range go to www.shopruby.ie

A Chocolate

This is a chocolate called Raffaello.  I'm not a fan of receiving chocolates in beauty boxes, because I buy the box so I can try new beauty products not eat fancy chocolate.  I'm also not a fan of fancy chocolate, I prefer a Galaxy or a bar of Dairy Milk.  Sorry Glossybox, not happy.  Rant over!

Maria xx                                                             Related Post  What's in the September Glossybox

Monday, 7 November 2016

Thinking About ... Autumn

Autumn (my feet, my garden, boots from Marks & Spencer)

This is a bit of a lifestyle post, just some musings about Autumn really.  I'm not usually an Autumn person, I hate the dark nights and I'm not a fan of being cold either.  Other people like snuggling up in front of the fire and frosty mornings.  I would rather wear flip flops and have daylight until 9pm.
I should probably be a dormouse hibernating until Spring, that would suit me absolutely fine!

This year however, I've been really aware of the change in the seasons, I know that sound a bit naff but it's true.  I'm constantly trying to find ways of alleviating stress and I think it's important to step outside the moment sometimes and just be aware of your surroundings to clear your mind.  I've been so struck by how pretty Autumn is, the colours are really beautiful and I've tried to take photos of times when I've been aware of it.  It seemed to me that there are certain things that make me feel like it's Autumn regardless of the weather and the changing leaves so I have created a little Autumn moodboard (my first one - ever!).  Photos below, scroll down for the explanations.

Things that make me feel like it's Autumn

Top Row

Deeper lipstick colours
I do find that I change my lipsticks with the seasons, I wear a lot less pink and start to wear deeper colours that go with blacks and browns and deep greens. 

Snuggled up dog
This picture represents early mornings in the dark!  I took this one morning after I got out of the shower, my little Buddy was snuggled up in my bed.  He did not want to wake up and he did not want to go for a walk either.  He is basically laying exactly where I wish I was! 

Coat with a hood
I love this coat, I bought it last year, it's so snuggly and warm and I love the fact that it's got a hood and the furry bit round it.  Not only does it keep my ears warm it has been known to save my hair from 'damp frizz' on the school run in the mornings.  I need to dig this coat out again now it's getting much colder.

Dressing table lighting mirror
It's always more problematic doing my makeup in the latter months of the year as the lighting is so bad, I've got this mirror that has a natural light ring round it which does really help me to put the right amount of blusher on.  It's also got a magnifying mirror on the other side should I wish to scare myself and look at myself close up that early in the morning.  It's from Boots, I think it's a No7 product.

Middle Row

Casual Skirts
I do wear skirts all year round (when I'm not in my 'Mummy' clothes) but these are my favourites for Autumn and Winter, they are little corduroy skirts from M&S, button front and look great with 40 or 60 denier black tights and boots and a plain jumper.  I have been known to wear leggings with them as well when the weather is too nippy for tights.  They are super comfortable and they come to just above the knee so not teeny tiny but comfortable and practical too.

Heated Rollers
I don't know why but the only time I use my heated rollers unless I'm going out is during the Autumn/Winter.  I think it's because my hair needs more help during these months and it probably spends less time in a ponytail or scraped back than it does in the summer when it's warmer.  I've had these for a couple of years, I wrote a post about them a while back, they're great.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette
In the summer I tend to use more colour around my eyes, in the Autumn I go for more neutral colours, browns, golds and beige (I hate the word beige but you know the colour I'm talking about).  I've got several great natural palettes but I always go back to this one it's tried and tested and no matter how tired I am in the morning I know I'm always going to get a good result even if I'm applying it when I'm half asleep.  It's the only Naked palette I own though, I haven't got any of the others (yet). 

Halloween is a big deal in this house, firstly it's my Mum's birthday and the day after my youngest son's birthday and secondly the boys really love dressing up and going trick or treating.  Actually it's not proper trick or treating it's pre-arranged with family and friends we don't knock on random doors.  In recent years the boys have persuaded hubby and I to get into the spirit of things and dress up too.  Hubs is very good at costumes, I only have two that I switch between, one is a witch (complete with dress, wig and hat) and the other one is a cat which is basically wearing all black, black wig and drawing cat eyes and whiskers on my face.  The picture on the board is of two of the boys the year they were a Power Ranger and Mike The Knight.  It was taken a couple of years ago, they are much bigger now.

Bottom Row

Both of these pictures have been taken recently, the first was the first time it was frosty, I thought it was really pretty with the frost sitting on the leaves like that.   Then I checked out the car and realised the de-icer was required (not so happy about that).  The second picture is of a tree that I pass on my school run twice a day, in fact I pass it every day as it's just by the entrance to the road in which we live.  I should explain that I love trees, I don't know why.  This tree is huge, it's got amazing leaves and is a very good indicator of where we are in the year, I always know when it's Spring because it's one of the first ones to show signs of leaves and now, as you can see, they are turning deep green and gold before they fall.  This photo was taken a week or so ago.  As of today there are more leaves on the ground than on the tree, infact the path and part of the road is covered and the dog had a field day snuffling round in them on his walk this morning.

Happy Autumn everyone!

Maria xx


Saturday, 29 October 2016

FOTD on 29 October 2016

Here's another FOTD for you, I decided to ring the changes a bit today, I scrabbled around my make up drawer and decided to use an eyeshadow palette I haven't used for a long time, namely Urban Decay Naked Basics.  It's an old favourite of mine from about two years ago, you can see from the photo that it's very well used!  I'm also wearing my Revlon HD Ultra Matte Lip Color in Devotion, I've got three different colours of these now and I love them.  They are on my list of recent purchases to review in the near future!

Products used are listed below:

Urban Decay Naked Basics eyeshadow palette
Benefit Blusher - Hervana
Benefit Blusher - Dandelion
Hard Candy Sheer Envy Pamper Perfecting Primer
Revlon HD Ultra Matte Lip Color - Devotion
Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara - Black
Kiko Milano Intense Colour eye pencil - No 11 (Blue/Green)
Revlon Concealer - Light Pale
No 7 Lift & Luminate Foundation (not pictured)

Maria xx
Link to FOTD 3 October blog post


Friday, 7 October 2016

Lipstick Love ... No7 Classic Rose

We're going back a few years for this latest Lipstick Love, I think I bought it around 2008.  At the time I was going through a No7 phase, I was constantly in Boots trying and buying (I also had a thing for their eyeshadow palettes around that time).  I've just realised that if I bought it in 2008 it's 8 years old which means that I probably should have ditched it by now for hygiene reasons.  Oh well. 

No7 Classic Rose is one of my all time favourites. 

If the word "Rose" is in the name of the lipstick I'm drawn to it like a moth to a flame.  Something inside my head goes "ooh that might suit you" and that's because pretty much all Rose based lipsticks do suit me and I know they'll look nice. 

So why do I love this lipstick?  Here's why:

It stays on.  I do love a lippy that doesn't need re-applying twenty times a day.

Classic Rose is both a Winter and Summer colour which means I can wear it all year round.  Some of my other lipsticks, particularly the pinky based ones I only wear in the Summer as they don't look as good when my face is super pale.

The colour and non-drying consistency.  It's a matte lipstick (though not overly matte) which means that the colour is quite deep but it's subtle.

I always judge a lipstick by how I feel about replacing it when it runs out.  So would I replace No7 Classic Rose.  Yes, I definitely would!

Love, Maria


Thursday, 6 October 2016

What's in the September Glossybox?

Yes, I know it's October but I've only just got round to unearthing the September Glossybox from under a huge pile of post.   I kind of feel like September whizzed past and I don't really know where it went, does anyone else fee like that?

It's got to be said that I do actually love the boxes as much the products inside the boxes, I re-use them to store my make up (and my gym socks - don't ask) in.  September's came in a beautiful red box, that's because the contents of the box were chosen by Annabel Meggeson who is the Beauty Director of Red Magazine.

The contents of the box are:

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
Philosophy Amazing Grace Firming Body Emulsion
Revlon Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat
Vitamasques Hydro Face Mask
Rodial Smokey Eye Pen

I love trial sized mascara's as I always feel it's a risky business buying a brand new mascara because what if you use it once and hate it?  The trial ones are great, they're small enough to try, if you like it you can buy a full size one knowing that you're going to wear it.

Firming Body Emulsion - I giggled when I saw what this was called because emulsion to me is stuff you buy from B&Q and put on your walls not your body.  But anything that's got the word "firming" in it is definitely worth a try so I shall be enjoying testing this particular emulsion out.  Plus it's much less boring than the one from B&Q.

This is perfect for me as I'm really into my top coats at the moment.  I've been using an Avon one and one I got from the Professional Beauty Show by Sparitual.  Anything that prolongs the longevity of a nail polish is fine by me as I can't stand my nails being chipped. 

I've no idea what this is except it's a face mask, an actual mask for your face.  I'll report back.

You can never have too many eye pencils in my opinion, I've got loads.  Black is always welcome as it's versatile and I've tested this on my hand and the tip is really soft so will be good for a smoky eye but also for lining the upper lash line which I like to do sometimes as it finishes off an eye look perfectly and as I don't wear false lashes (I've never got on with them) it helps my mascara define the eye area.  I did a bit of research on Rodial as I hadn't heard much about them, their site looks really good!  www.rodial.co.uk. And this pen is a full size pen and is worth £17.00!  I'd better not lose it.

Related post What's in the June Glossybox

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Make Up of The Day (5 October 2016)

I'm really loving doing the FOTD's this week!  Although there's no photo of my actual face today as I got distracted by the kids and forgot to do one.  So it's more of a make up of the day rather than face I guess.   I decided to wear my Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude foundation as I didn't sleep well and needed the extra coverage this morning.  I love it because it glides on so beautifully with a brush and stays put all day.

The Laura Mercier pencil was one I got in a set last Christmas, they are mini pencils in five different colours (the colours are blue, purple, black, brown and sage).  Laura Mercier pencils are lovely as they are very soft and don't drag at your eyes which is important but they are also easily "smudgeable" which is great for a smoky eye look!  The Sleek palette is one of three that I own, I particularly like this one because it is very natural and all the colours are useable.  Plus it's mineral based.  Combined with the Kiko eye base it does stay put all day too - bonus.

The MUA Shimmer Highlight has been a favourite of mine since the Springtime.  At the time I was watching loads of YouTube videos on how to contour and but I never actually managed to make it look right so I gave up but I was learning loads about highlighting at the same time so I bought this MUA highlighter and have never looked back, I love it.  I get loads of comments on it as it's subtle but so pretty.  It's also extremely good value, about £3.00 I think.  Definitely one I'll replace when it's finished.

Products used are listed below:

Sleek i-Divine eyeshadow palette (601- Au Naturel)
Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara (Black)
Avon ANEW Vitale Primer
Kiko Milano Eye Base
MUA Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlight (Pink Shimmer)
Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede Lipstick (095 - Finale)
Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude Foundation
Laura Mercier Longwear Crème Eye Pencil (Sage)
Smashbox Soft Lights Blusher (Prism)

Review on Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude Foundation
Review on Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede Lipstick


Monday, 3 October 2016

FOTD on 3 October 2016

Not much writing in today's post, just a few photos, I thought I'd do a Face of The Day or FOTD.

Products I used today are pictured and listed below.  It's an interesting mix of some of my beloved favourites like the 2000 Calorie mascara and newer purchases like the ANEW Vitale primer and the Cover Girl Simply Ageless foundation which I'm smitten with.

No7 Mini Eye Palette (Shades taken from popular No7 colours)
Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara (Black)
Kiko Milano Eye Base
Avon ANEW Vitale Primer
Cover Girl Simply Ageless 3in1 Foundation (210 Classic Ivory)
Smashbox Soft Lights Blusher (Prism)
Benefit Hervana Blusher
No7 Shine & Tint Lipgloss (Ballet)
Revlon Concealer (Light Pale)

FOTD products 3 October 2016

No7 eyeshadow palette

Benefit and Smashbox Blushers

No7 lipgloss and Revlon concealer


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Collection Field Day nails - Peony

So here's another one to add to the pink nail polish collection, this one is called Peony and it's from Collection (they used to be called Collection 2000).  I got it in a Glossybox earlier on this year and I've only just used it.  I wasn't sure of the colour at first, this isn't the sort of pink I'm drawn to, if it were a lipstick I'd reject it because it would be the wrong shade if you know what I mean?  It's not bright pink, it's not pale pink its 'in-between' pink and it's not always 'me'.  But, it was in the box so you know, I thought I'd try it. 

Pink, Pink, Pink!

As I've probably said before I've got a really large collection of pink nail polishes, I'm just drawn to them, I don't know why.  This one definitely needs two coats as one coat is almost see through and was a little bit patchy, I maybe didn't shake the bottle before I applied it, I don't know.  Two coats was much better, and I put a glossy top coat over it as well to stop chipping and to give extra shine.  It lasted longer than I thought it would considering the first coat was really thin so I was pleased.  I'm still not sure about the colour, I might have to wear it a few more times before I love it as much as some of the others I own.  What do you think?  Do you like the colour?

Incidentally, there are three colours in the Field Day Collection, Heather, Peony and Peach Blossom and cost £1.99, I think this is a really great price for a basic polish that you can wear every day.

If you like reading about nail polishes click on the related posts below.

Love, Maria

Related Posts

Why I love Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
Barry M Nail Varnish and a MAC Lipstick
Max Factor Glossfinity Nails | Review


Sunday, 25 September 2016

Summer Tan - what I used to fake it this Summer!

This is a short and sweet post to show you which products I used to feel less pale on holiday (even though I've been back for just over a month).  We had an amazing week in Southern Spain but it was super hot so the Factor 50 came out and I hid under a big hat in the shade.  I managed to fake a tanned glow by using a combination of the three products below and I was really pleased with the results which I thought I'd review below incase anyone's having a late summer holiday or whizzing off somewhere gorgeous in October half term.  Sadly, for me, these products have been wiped at the nozzle and put away in a dark place until the sun (and my legs) come out again next Spring.  Bye legs, bye tanning products, hello leggings and tights!

Hawaiian Tropic Touch of Color with Factor 15
I first used the Hawaiian Tropic a year ago and I reviewed it then.  I still love it.  I'm on my second bottle now, click here to read the full review.  I'm completely addicted to the smell, it smells like holidays, I love it.  The one in the photo is one I purchased in Florida earlier this year, my original one was from Boots in the UK.

Garnier Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer
If I'm honest I bought this quite a long time ago, used it once then it went back in the cupboard.  I found it when I was sorting out and decided to use it.  It was only after I'd sprayed it on my legs that I had the sudden thought that there might be a best before date on it and it might have gone off but by that time it was too late, whatever would be, would be.  Luckily for me it hadn't gone off and there were no orange after effects.  As I'm really quite pale I only needed two applications for it to change the colour on my legs, and even though I took it away with me I didn't use it as I topped up with the other products.  I'll probably buy another one next year.  It was easy to apply and it even though I'm usually terrible at applying fake tan this was easy and I didn't miss any bits.

Dove Derma Spa Summer Revived Body Lotion with Tanning
Check this out!  Dove have come a long way in the last ten years, remember the original Dove tanning lotion that smelled like biscuits even after it was long dried (it wasn't only Dove, the Johnson & Johnson one was bad too).  Well, this is nothing like that one.  It feels more like a luxury body lotion than anything else and sinks in straight away.  To be honest I'd use it as a body lotion anyway, regardless of the tanning element, it really did make my skin feel lovely and soft.  I found that the moisturising element was really long lasting and it didn't smell at all bad. 


Monday, 1 August 2016

Amie Deep Cleansing Face Mask

Hello beauties, it's been a while but I thought I'd write this post on a product that I'm really loving at the moment, it's the Amie Spring Clean Deep Cleansing Mask.  To be honest, I'm not usually one for face masks, in the old days I found them a bit slimy and they used to really dry out my skin, or worse, make it all red and sore so I hardly ever used them.  I'll admit they've come a long way since then, there's a mask for everything, dry, oil, sensitive and even ageing skin.

Who is Amie?

The Amie range was created by Fiona Parkhouse for her then teenage daughter Samantha, who was experiencing what we all do at that age, breakouts as well as sensitive skin.  Fiona used to work for Estee Lauder so she knows a thing or two about skincare.  Amie was on the market predominantly as a teenage skincare range but clearly everyone is able to use it (I'm testimony to this in my forties!).  Amie is made up of purely natural products therefore there isn't anything in it that will irritate your skin.  Anyway, the reason I'm talking about this one from Amie is because I was really surprised at how good it was.  The Spring Clean Deep Cleansing Mask is designed to sink deep into your pores to get rid of oiliness and blemishes.  I was doubtful about the blemish thing at first but actually all my blemishes looked much better after I washed off the mask, I think the peppermint soothes the skin and also tightens pores.

Organic Peppermint, White clay and Lime Butter

It's pH balanced and paraben free and comprises organic peppermint (that's the bit I think helps the blemishes), white clay and lime butter.  It smells lovely.  I always do it before I go to bed, leave it on for 10 minutes, wash it off then go to sleep, then my skin has all night to breathe.  I use it about once a week but you can use it twice without it drying out your skin.  I was pleased to see that it washed off really easily, you just splash water on your face and it dissolves.  I find it leaves my skin really soft and feeling clean, like every last trace of dirt has just gone.  I'm pleased that I found this because it was an impulse buy (like most things I try!) and it's worked out really well, I would definitely buy it again.  It's relatively fuss free and that's how I like my skincare.

Now for the information bit.  It's £5.95 and you can find it it in Waitrose and in Boots too.  I've just remembered that I bought the Amie face wash at the same time so I need to go and try that now.  I think £5.95 is probably quite a good price for a face mask given that it is 100ml and does last for quite a long time, personally I don't use very much but obviously that's my preference.

So in conclusion ... Amie, designed for teenagers but can also be used by forty year old women.


Amie Deep Cleansing Mask

Make up free and all face masked up!


Monday, 13 June 2016

New Avon Adventure

Today I realised that I haven't blogged on this page since March.  Yes March!  It's now the middle of June.  Then I started thinking why this was.  Well, we went on holiday for two weeks at Easter, actually we went to Florida which was amazing and in addition to all the cool holiday stuff I found time to take myself off in the car to the mall and go beauty shopping.  I picked up quite a lot of beauty goodies, nearly all of which I'm not able to get in the UK so I felt very pleased with myself.  I'm intending to review all of these items over time so watch this space. 

Avon's new matte lipstick

The other reason is that a few weeks ago I started working as an Avon rep. I've loved Avon ever since I was a teenager, my first ever kohl pencil was a blue eyeliner which I still have (can't bring myself to chuck it away) and over the years I've had lovely products from them, not least my favourite teenage perfume Far Away which they still produce and is their best selling fragrance!!!

So, as you can imagine I have been quite full on with getting the business off the ground.  I'm a rep not a sales leader, this means I don't recruit people but just sell as it's the products I'm passionate about and want to be involved with, at least for the moment.

I've got an online store and a Facebook page and Facebook Group and I'm loving working on it.  If Avon is your thing please click links below to check it out.  You can order online from my store or if you prefer flicking through a brochure I can send you one.  Just email me on byrommaria@yahoo.co.uk

Link to my online store is http://www.avon.uk.com/beauty-aware
Link to my Avon Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/Avonbeautybymaria/

I'll be back soon with some of those reviews on the holiday products.  I'm particularly in love with a Cover Girl foundation ...

The aforementioned CoverGirl foundations ...


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Beauty Month of March

We are nearly in April and I haven't posted a single blog post!  March just disappeared in a flurry of hectic life and poorly kids (and poorly me), and this is the first proper chance I've had to get something down on paper as it were.

I guess this post is a something and nothing post, it's really just a little catch up as I will review everything properly over the next few weeks.  Since I last posted in February I have been the recipient  of a Birchbox and a  Glossybox, purchased hauls from  Kiko Milano and Superdrug (Make Up Revolution palettes) and am super pleased with a new blush from Pixi by Petra and a couple of Rosie for Autograph products.

Part of my haul ...

I've probably got enough eye shadow to last me until I'm 80 now.  The thing is, I do use it all and I get bored so quickly that it's good to have a variety to choose from.  Is it just me?  Luckily they are all affordable palettes, I've just remembered that I got one from Barry M as well (not pictured) which I will try out as well.

White Chocolate - from Make Up Revolution
Make Up Revolution

I also did a little beauty haul for my holiday (I'm going on Saturday).  I used to buy shoes when I was stressed and fed up, it seems I've switched to make up ... yikes!

I can't seem to resist those little travel sized toiletries although I know they are overpriced and I always buy too many and don't use them all up. 
Beauty Aware now on Instagram!

I keep meaning to ask, have you caught me on Instagram yet?  I've got an account for this blog now which is good because my personal one is really just pictures of my family and various sunsets (I'm mad about sunrises and sunsets, not sure why).  I do post photos quite regularly of my face when I'm having a good make up day and products too.  If you fancy following please click on the link at the top of the page, alternatively you can find me on http://www.instagram.com/beauty_aware


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Phil Smith Cocolicious Shampoo and Conditioner

If you've read my previous posts you'll know that I'm a mega fan of Phil Smith hair products so I was quite excited when I saw this shampoo and conditioner the other week. 

It's got to be said that I do think that this shampoo and conditioner truly are 'Cocolicious' (love that name), it really ticked a lot of boxes for me.  For a start it smells like coconut, which along with anything that smells like Vanilla is my absolute favourite.  Secondly, neither the shampoo or the conditioner are too thick, by that I mean they are easily rinsed out.  I find that sometimes products that are for dry or stressed hair take ages to rinse and I'm never sure I've got it all out and I hate feeling like there's a lot of residue.  Not so with this product.  Thirdly, I first used this when I was staying at my Mum and Dad's and they live in a hard water area so I always find my hair reacts differently when I wash it at their house.  I was really pleased to find my hair so soft once I'd dried it, in fact so happy that I left it at their house to use next time I visit (I bought some more for home). 

Speaking of where you can buy this, it seems that it's exclusively in Sainsburys supermarket in the UK, the bigger stores to the widest range of his products, that's where I first discovered Phil's products.  There's a lot more information about the shampoos and other products  on the website www.philsmithhair.com

If you'd like to read my other Phil Smith product posts, please see links below. 

Phil Smith Life's a Beach Hair
This is a sea salt spray product for 'beach hair'.

Phil Smith Curly Locks
This is a curl cream for soft curls.

Phil Smith Cocolicious Shampoo and Conditioner

Monday, 22 February 2016

Disney and a little bit of make up

So here I am typing this from very sunny, sometimes rainy Florida where we are on holiday as a family, taking advantage of half term and whizzing off for some sun.  I've been coming here for a long time now and I love it, Disney isn't everybody's cup of tea but we've had a great time and if I could have dressed up as Cinderella and taken part in the parade, I would have!

As well as theme parks I've also had time to do a bit of shopping.  I love the stores here because they sell stuff that's completely different to the UK so it's always interesting to compare products and prices and I love finding new discoveries and recommending them to my family and friends, the choice of health and beauty products in the US supermarkets is amazing and I'm going there tomorrow to see what I can find (that probably makes me a bit sad, oh well).

We did go to the mall outlet the other day where I ditched the hubs and kids (sent them to sports shops) and went off by myself to do a little cosmetic shopping.  It was quite nice not to have someone telling me they were hot, needed a wee or a drink or the whole "he hit me" scenario which you get with young children and I was able to peruse to my hearts content without being interrupted.  I found some excellent bargains in the Elizabeth Arden shop where there were several buy one get one free deals and in the Clarins shop also, where I could have done some real damage but managed to restrain myself.  As I rarely buy Clarins in the UK it was a bit of a treat and the prices were really good as most of it was last years' range or excess.  All authentic products though so definitely a bargain.

I also found a fantastic cosmetic shop which sold brands like Bobbi Brown, MAC, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Origins, Smashbox and others.  I was there for AGES!  I think they thought I would never leave.  I did buy a few bits from there but again I was on a bit of a budget so I couldn't go mad so I had to choose the products that I thought I needed or would be interesting to try rather than just sling stuff in my basket.

I'll be reviewing a lot of these when I get home, I've popped some pics of my little haul below so you can see what I got.

We are off to the EPCOT centre this afternoon no doubt to stand for ages in queues for signatures of characters, but that's what you do when you've got a five year old obsessed with Mickey Mouse!


Thursday, 4 February 2016

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel - Shock Wave

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I assessed my nail polish collection the other day and realised that most of them are pink, light pink, dark pink, red-pink and cerise but definitely all pink.  I love pink nails for every day because they are colourful but not too in your face, and the chips are easier to disguise!  I loved Rita Ora's Rimmel "Sweet Retreat" so much that I wore it for months!

Recently though, I've been wearing Sally Hansen products, and I'm just a little bit in love with her Miracle Gel Polish.  There are 48 colours to choose from (although it won't surprise you to know that I've just used pink so far). 

Here's the link to the Boots website where you can buy them.

The overall finish is that of a gel manicure and to be honest I was suspicious because how can you really get that without all the stuff they use in the salons? 

The blurb on the Boots website says "The only true 2-step Gel Manicure with no UV light needed"and it does seem to be a bit too good to be true but it has to be said that you do get a lovely finish.   What's more it doesn't take a lot of scrubbing with remover to get it off, a couple of wipes per nail and you're done. 

I do one coat which lasts several days and then go over the top which makes it last another two or three so I'd say you could easily get a week out of this with it still looking fresh.  The colour in the photo below is "Shock Wave" and though there isn't a photo of it actually on my nails the colour in the bottle is a true reflection of what you'd get on your nails.

Well worth £9.99 I think and I'll definitely be buying more.   

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail P:olish

Shock Wave - by Sally Hansen
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