All things beauty, inside and out. Written by Mrs Byrom

Battle of the BB Creams | Review

Hi beauty babes, I'm late to the party on this one but I finally tried a BB cream, or rather two BB creams.  I've made a video review of what I think of them.  I'm wishing I'd tidied up my trainers before I took this picture - lol!  You can find all my other videos on the my YouTube page, there's a link at the top of the page.

Here it is then, what a face!

Maria xx

Bodywash Collection | April

Hey there beauty bloggers, hope you've have a wonderful Easter and have been enjoying the warmer weather, today was gorgeous (forecast downhill from tomorrow though).  We've been out and about with the kids the last couple of weeks, hence the reason this has taken literally days to write and post.  They are back at school and pre-school tomorrow so hopefully I can get back on my blogging schedule once I've got a bit of peace and quiet!

Anyway, the purpose of today's post is to review some bodywashes as I've been using some different ones this month from my stock, I seem to have loads but I also seem to get through them quite quickly (I don't use them sparingly so they don't last long).   I love a bargain too, the Palmolive Mediterranean Moments was only £1.00 as it was on special offer but I'd definitely pay full price as its so gorgeous.

Baylis & Harding Rose, Ylang Ylang and Patchouli Body Scrub
Now, when I bought this I didn't realise it was a body scrub, I thought it was a bodywash, this is what comes with being harrassed by three little boys when you're out shopping, thanks kids!  Anyway, as body scrubs go this is quite nice.  It's got quite a potent aromatherapy sort of smell to it which is down to the Ylang Ylang and Patchouli (I'm not sure about the smell to be honest) and the scrub itself is good.  I find that some body scrubs are a bit too harsh which is why I tend to steer away from them, but this isn't, it does gently scrub your skin but doesn't strip it.  I probably won't use it every day but will definitely keep it in the bathroom for "scrub" days!  

Soho Soap Vanilla Smoothie Bath & Shower Gel
This is yummy.  I love anything vanilla, cocoa butter or coconut so this is perfect for me.  I'm trying to remember where I bought this from, I think it was Sainsburys or Tescos, actually it was Tescos, they had quite a few to choose from but I went straight for the Vanilla.  This has got a lovely smell and is very moisturising, the other good thing about it is that I have also used it in the bath, as a bubble bath, and it made the bathroom, and me, smell really gorgeous.

Dirty Works All Of A Lather Bodywash
I got this for Christmas but have only just started to use it.  The label states "All of a Lather" and it really does, very creamy and luxurious and perfect after the gym, makes your skin feel lovely.  It reminds me very much of the Soap & Glory range, not just the pretty artwork on the  packaging but also the smell of the product.  I really like Soap & Glory and this is just as nice.  I know this range is available in Sainsburys and they've got quite a variety of products, I'm going to have a proper look next time I'm in there. 

Palmolive Mediterranean Moments Argan Oil Bodywash
This bodywash is a limited edition and as I said above, another of my supermarket beauty aisle buys!  This is particularly lovely because its got my favourite Argan Oil in it.  Palmolive is one of my favourite bath and shower brands, I've been in love with the Milk & Honey one for years and years (particularly love the bath cream) so I knew this wouldn't disappoint.  I'm definitely going to buy this again for as long as its around.

Thanks for reading.


Goodbye Winter Skin | Garnier Review

Hey there beauty bloggers, I've recently changed my skin care products from Nivea to Garnier, a brand I've not really used before.  Here's a video post of what I bought and how I feel about them!

Hope you've been having a good weekend in this beautiful sunshine.


Favourite Beauty Products | March

Hey there beautiful people, I'm really late with the March favourites aren't I?  The boys are now off school and I've had visitors all week so I'm very behind with all my blogging and videos, but here's an attempt to rectify that situation!

March seemed to come and go so quickly I don't know why.  I did use lots of products and I bought lots as well but these are the ones that stood out for me and that I really feel are my favourites.

March Favourites

In Third Place ... is my Maybelline Color Show Nail Varnish in Urban Coral.  I've literally worn this for weeks.  Its such a gorgeous colour and seems to go with everything and is very hard wearing with only one or two coats.  The photo doesn't do the colour justice, it looks a bit orange, when it is, in fact, a very lovely coral colour.  I was so pleased with it that I got two others in the Color Show Range which I've yet to use but they were on an offer which was 2 for £5.99, too good to miss.  The only thing I would say is that I haven't used a base coat (because I'm lazy) and this varnish does have a tendency to stain your nails a bit, so its probably wise to use one, I'm going to next time.

In Second Place ... is my new best friend, Nivea In-Shower Moisturiser.  This is absolutely gorgeous stuff.  I've said before that I'm lazy with body moisturiser which is why I was so thrilled with the Vaseline Spray on moisturisers but this is better again, because you put it on in the shower after your normal bodywash, rinse it off and then you're done, that's it.  Its definitely made a difference to my arms and legs, actually my legs in particular because they've been hidden under jeans or leggings all winter (out of sight out of mind, though I do shave them regularly - lol) but they were pasty and a bit dry.  Not any longer, still a bit pale but lovely and soft - hooray!  I am going through this moisturiser like nobody's business as I'm using it every day, but at the moment I notice that in most supermarkets and also Boots they've got it on offer with some money off so worth stocking up as its definitely going to be one of my shower staples now.

Finally, in First Place ... is the product that saved me this month, Garnier Roll-On for Eyes.  I've noticed this product in the shops before but I've never got any until now, partly because of the whole "under eye area is very delicate" thing and I did wonder if I should be rolling caffeine onto it!  However, I was very tired this month, getting over being poorly myself and various poorly children and not much sleep and I was looking really tired and no amount of Touche Eclat was helping!  I don't care about getting lines but I don't like looking tired.  So anyway, I spied this in the supermarket and thought I'd give it a go.  I am glad I did.  Its fab.  Its got caffeine and antioxidant grape extract in it and, as the box states, is "Anti Bags and Anti Dark Circles".  It worked for me, my eyes weren't dark but I did have some rather sizeable bags which needed to be sorted out.  Its in a really handy pen type container with a roller ball end.  The roller ball has a massage action which reportedly encourages drainage, it does seem to work so I suspect the mixture of the caffeine and the grape extract and the rolling does help the puffiness to reduce.  I wasn't sure whether to put it on before or after my make up and I've tried both and it works the same regardless so I keep one in my handbag as well incase I need a little top up during the day.  I should say that you only get 15ml which I guess really isn't very much and its about £10 which actually did sting a bit but it was worth it,  I don't use it every day, only when I feel I need a bit of help.  I also bought a Garnier under eye concealer at the same time but I haven't used that yet, that's for a future review.

So there we are, my top three products for March.  As well as being behind in my own blogging, I'm behind in reading everyone elses as well so I'm looking forward to catching up with all your March faves and other posts very soon.


Max Factor Flipsticks | Review of the Reds

I'm really excited about this lipstick, not least because I've been lamenting for ages about the fact that my best ever lipstick (Max Factor No 804) has been discontinued by Max Factor and I have been struggling to find a replacement for it.

I did a lot of research and eventually went onto the Max Factor UK Facebook page and interestingly someone had posted a question about my fave lippy and asked what they recommended as a replacement for it.  Max Factor replied that it might be worth trying the Max Factor Flipstick Colour Effect in Salsa Red.  They are a relatively new product, by that I mean you can still get them in the shops, you don't have to go online to get them.  They are a bit more expensive in the shops though, you can get them cheaper online.
Flipsticks are essentially double ended lipstick, can't get simpler than that.  I'm always dubious about these though because I nearly always find that I prefer one colour to the other and it seems such a waste to end up with a whole lipstick that hardly ever gets worn.  However, these colours have been chosen to compliment each other, you can wear them together, or alone, the light over the dark colour or vice versa.  I got two Flipsticks, the recommended one Salsa Red and another one called Gipsy Red.

There is a difference, Salsa is more coral/red, Gipsy is more orange/red.  Out of the two the one I prefer most is the Salsa Red, I put the dark colour on first then the light over the top as this is a better match for the colour that I was trying to replace but I have been wearing the Gipsy Red (perhaps a bit orange for me might be better as a summer colour) and I do really like it.  The staying power is pretty good, they don't wipe off immediately and they also don't dry your lips out either which is great.

The only downside is that because they are double ended they are a much thinner lipstick than normal and therefore I have to be careful not to wind it up too much as I'm afraid it will break, and also of course, I'm not sure it'll last quite as long but when they run out I'll definitely be replacing them so I guess that says it all!  I think they're about £8.99 in the shops, I got mine for less than that on Amazon but was careful to choose a supplier that did free postage!

There are other colours in the Flipstick Colour Effect range but I chose these two as I thought they would suit me most.  I'm a big fan of Max Factor lipsticks and these have definitely not let me down!


**Update January 2018 - these are no longer available in the shops, I have replaced these from Amazon and suppliers on eBay.

Pixi by Petra Flawless Beauty Primer | Review

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I have an on-off relationship with primer, I've tried a few, some I've liked, some I've bought again and some I would never buy again.  My latest primer tryout is the Flawless Beauty Primer from pixi by petra, I've had products from this brand before and really liked them, in particular a couple of good blushers that went on like a dream and actually stayed on all day.

I came across this primer when I was perusing my favourite website of the moment,, it was on sale and I was intrigued, it had really good reviews and in particular I liked it because its hypoallergenic, fragrance free and has got Vitamins A and E in it.  Also, all the other primers I've used have been clear, this one is slightly tinted.  I got No 1, Even Skin as I'm quite pale and I thought it wouldn't be too dark.

This primer is lovely.  It reminds me very much of one I had from Prescriptives (sadly now discontinued by Estee Lauder), the consistency is very light and not greasy, also unlike other primers it doesn't leave your skin feeling heavy and weighed down.  The tint is great, I do put foundation over the top but I think if I was on holiday I could get away with just having the primer on during the day, it does balance out an uneven skin tone.  It doesn't have an SPF and its not a concealer so that's still required but it went over the top of my concealer very nicely and my make up stayed on my face all day, no sliding off even at the gym!

This RRP's at around £20.00 but you can get it for less on the beauty Beauty Bay website.  I've photographed the blurb on the back of the box below, so you can see exactly what its got in it and what it does.

If anyone else has got a primer they love or recommend do let me know, I love hearing about what other people use.  Oh, and I've just remembered, I think you can get pixi by petra products in some of the larger Boots stores, I'm sure that's where I got my blushers from even though it was a while ago now.

Have a Happy Monday!


**update Jan 2018 - you can now buy this in Marks & Spencers online and in their beauty department in store.

Pantene BB Cream For Hair | Review

Hey there beauty bloggers, hope this weekend is treating you well.  Today I'm reviewing a product I've been using for a little while now.  Its a BB cream for hair by Pantene Pro V which claims to be a 7 in 1 perfector, an anti-ageing beauty balm for hair which professes the following advantages:  strength, shine, smoothness, lightweight nourishment, hydration feeling, damage repair and resilient tips.

Pantene Pro-V BB Cream

I've been using Pantene shampoo for a while now and I really like it so I was a bit intrigued when I spied this BB cream for hair, as it's the first time I'd heard of a BB cream that wasn't for your face. As with all Pantene products its got Pro-V in it and the smell is very similar to the shampoo.  It's a pump action container, the instructions are that you need 1-2 pumps in your hair, I use three because my hair is quite long and curly so generally always needs more product than they say.  I put it on after my leave in conditioner but only from about halfway down my head and then comb through to the ends.

I really wasn't sure this was going to work as I couldn't quite believe that it really did do all 7 things that it claims to but certainly I can say that my hair felt smoother and it was quite shiny too and it is a very light product, I didn't feel that it was weighing my hair down at all.  I don't use it every day, I alternate it with couple of other products but I do use it when I use my curling barrel because it seems to stop the ends of my hair from drying out so much.

Apparently, you can use it on dry hair as well, I haven't tried this so I can't comment yet!

I am also using another Pantene product for the first time (its new) which is a Fibro-Reinforcing Spray (these labels make me laugh, who came up with that one?!), which is for stronger, fuller hair, I'm not sure I'm overkeen to be honest, it but I'll persevere and review separately when I've decided how I really feel about it!


Bodywash Collection | March

I seem to have quite a lot of bodywashes on the go at the moment, I hadn't really noticed it but my husband made a comment about there being five of mine and one of his in the bathroom so I checked, and its true, there is more of me in the shower than him!  He asked why I needed so many and I said that with bodywash it depends what mood I'm in, sometimes I'm in need of the luxurious Moulton Brown, other times I need the one for sensitive dry skin, it just depends.  Subsequently, it takes me for ever to get any empties which is why I never do regular empties posts, I just don't have enough empty stuff!

Anyway, I thought I'd give a quick run down of my bodywashes and let you know what I think of them, here goes:

1.  Aveeno Bodywash
This is a lovely product, its completely clear and doesn't smell of anything but its got all sorts of natural products in it and its excellent for dry and sensitive skin.  I've used it on the boys, one of my sons has eczema and this really helps.  They also do a fantastic handcream which is well worth a try (my sister-in-law recommended it and I haven't looked back).

2.  Fenjal Bodywash
I think I might be in a minority here but I love Fenjal products, the fragrance just lingers for ages.   This bodywash is no different you can smell it on your skin for a long time afterwards.  The bath oil is also very nice (but slippery!), although I'm not keen on the body moisturiser as it takes ages to sink in and I can't be bothered to wait for it.  I try to get Fenjal when its on special offer in Boots which it is quite often, then I stock up!

3.  Moulton Brown Gingerlily Bodywash
Ahh, Moulton Brown, how much do I love you?  A lot is the answer.  Gingerlily (or Heavenly Gingerlily as it used to be called) was the very first MB product I  had and I loved every last drop of it. I never buy it for myself but I always ask for it for Christmas and Birthdays and I've dropped strong hints about it being Mother's Day next week!  I got this one for Christmas and as you can see I've used about half of it.  I use this when I'm in a bad mood and when I'm showering after the gym (and sometimes I am in a bad mood after the gym it depends on how many stomach crunches I've been made to do!), it does always lift my mood and it does seem to get rid of the aches and pains (though its possible that's in my head, of course - lol).

4.  Argan 5 Super Creamy Bodywash
This is a relatively new find for me, I'm a little bit obsessed with Argan Oil products at the moment, in fact I'm in the process of doing a post on them, not sure if it'll be a blog or a video on YouTube I haven't decided yet, but suffice to say my latest addiction is for All Things Argan Oil.  Seriously, I see it then the next thing I know it's in the trolley/basket and that's it.  I don't even look at the price (though I should).  It was no different with this bodywash, I was in Waitrose, actually I only went in for a packet of blueberries and a litre of skimmed milk so heaven knows how I came out with this, but I did.  And, I am GLAD I did because its truly gorgeous and I love it.  The consistency is fairly thick but not splodgy (do you know what I mean?) and its brilliant for dry skin, it also smells lovely.  I think this one was nearly £8 but did see it the other day down to £5 as it was on special offer (another stock up!).  Anyway, highly recommended, and watch out for my review on the other Argan Oil products.

5.  Mandara Spa Honeymilk Dream Shower Cream
I own a lot of Mandara Spa products at the moment, I did quite well at Christmas!  Among other places you can buy Mandara Spa in Sainsburys, they do a wide range of products, body creams, washes, shower gels and those little travel size tubes as well which are great for taking away.  This particular one is the Honeymilk Dream, which is really beautiful, it feels very luxurious and it leaves your skin very soft and smells really pretty.  I bought my sister some for her birthday and she loves it too.  Sometimes you can get really good gift sets which are well worth the money as Mandara Spa is really good quality.

Overall, I think I prefer flowery bodywash scents to fruity ones, though anything with Mint and Tea Tree in it definitely wakes me up!

Do you have any favourites that you always go back to?


Max Factor Glossfinity Nails - Midnight Bronze

Today's post isn't very long but I felt the need to share with you my most recent nail varnish finding because I am SO pleased with it!

Max Factor Glossfinity

Last week I got this Max Factor Glossfinity nail polish in Boots, I was immediately drawn to the colour because I'd had a Revlon one a while back that was a very similar colour which ran out and has now been discontinued (story of my life).

The colour of this one is number 60 Midnight Bronze. 

Glossfinity in 'Midnight Bronze'


What I love about it is that its got a lovely shimmer to it, and also, get this, I put two coats on last Friday and its still going strong.  I've just remembered that I didn't put a base or a top coat on either so I think that's pretty impressive.  I've had a couple of little chips but that's it.  The bottle says "Glossy Nails for up to 7 Days" and actually that's true and in my experience that almost never happens so I'm really pleased.

There are 26 signature shades of Glossfinity and I will certainly be buying some more, I've got my eye on a really nice purple one!  I think they are really good value for £5.99.  Here's a link to the Max Factor site if you want a quick look at all the other colours.

Max Factor Glossfinity Nails

I didn't see all 26 colours in Boots but they definitely had a good range.

Love, Maria

Sweaty Betty Gym Clothes

Hello beauty bloggers, this is my first post in a week, I've had yet another cold (boring, boring) and now I'm looking after my youngest whose managed to catch it too and is endlessly coughing.  Roll on Spring and the warmer weather, that's what I say!

Sweaty Betty Pilates Socks

Anyway, I've decided todays post is going to be about fitness clothing, ever since I started the gym in January I've been doing two sessions a week, plus my pilates lesson so I've needed a bigger turnaround of fitness clothes.  I love Sweaty Betty, their fitness clothes are fun, lovely colours and the fit is great.  I particularly like their tops because they are longer in the body which means they don't ride up (I hate that).  If you take a look at their store they've pretty much got something for every activity, from yoga and pilates to aerobics to running.  Gym clothes used to be so dull (black, navy blue etc) now they're much more fun and you kind of feel like you've dressed up to go and get sweaty!

I absolutely love these grey leggings with the little grey fitted skirt, my pilates teacher has them and she looks great.  The leggings I'm wearing for my class at the moment are from M&S (because I know they are long enough and won't shrink) but I really like those grey ones, I may have to invest!

I bought this vest top from Sweaty Betty online, there's a choice of several colours, I've got the powder blue, a black and a coral one, the material is very soft and I've been layering them on colder days then when I get too hot I can just take one off!  They are £20 each, and I have to say wash perfectly.  They also haven't shrunk in the wash!  I'm 5ft 9" and I got the Large (which is pretty much a size 14) and it fits really well.  I've done a little video showing what it looks like in real life, hope you like it.


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