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

What's in my make up bag and chat about Physicians Formula

I've been meaning to do this post for ages, its a What's In My Make Up Bag post.  I'm really nosey and I love having a looksee at what products people are wearing on a daily basis, we all have our favourites and ones we go to and can't do without don't we?

So here's mine.  I've done it as a video because it was easier to talk about them than write (I found I was rambling unnecessarily when I tried to write it).

Would be really interested to hear if any of you have heard of/used any Physician's Formula products, I picked up some lovely kohl liners in the USA when I was there in August and I seriously haven't looked back!







Hope you enjoy.

Maria
xx



My September Bodywash Collection (there's only three)

I haven't done a bodywash collection post for a while so I thought I'd let you in on what I've been using in the past month, usually I have quite a collection but this time there's only three.  I'm trying to cut down on the number of bottles in the shower actually they are tending to take over a bit but a girl's got to have a choice -right?




Right Guard
Shower & Lotion Pomegranate
This is a new shower gel that I picked up in the supermarket.  It's by Right Guard, who are generally associated with anti-perspirant/deodorant (in my case, my husbands deodorant!) so I was interested to try this one, not least because it purports to have a moisturising lotion included (not unlike many others) and as you'll know from my previous posts, I'm all for shower moisturisers as its hugely time saving in the morning when you're in a rush.  I have to say I wasn't disappointed, this shower cream does actually feel like an in shower moisturiser, perhaps less thick but you can definitely feel the moisturising properties nevertheless.  It also smells lovely, I prefer flower smells usually but Pomegranate wasn't offensive at all.  



Original Source
Vanilla and Raspberry
Earlier on this year I reviewed the mint Original Source, I liked it but its like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it as its quite strong.  The Vanilla and Raspberry bodywash smells like ice cream to me!  As with all Original Source bodywashes its lovely and moisturising and fairly well priced, they can sometimes be on special offer which is when I tend to pick them up.  The only thing I don't like about Original Source bodywashes is the bottle, I find them a really awkward shape and sometimes not that easy to open with wet fingers!  All in all this was a nice bodywash but I don't think I would necessarily go out of my way to buy it again as I do prefer the mint or lemon ones - they really do wake you up in the mornings.



Radox
Brazillian Fusion
Now this is really yummy.  I loved this and would definitely buy it again.  Its got a really refreshing, exotic smell, like flowers but not too sickly.  I do love my Radox though so perhaps I am a bit biased.  I love that they are always coming out with special editions and would buy this again.

I think though, out of the three my favourite is the Right Guard though, it is so much more moisturising than the other two, clearly the added moisturisers really do work!


Maria
xx


I've re-discovered ... Oriflame Neo Chic Lipstick

Hey there beautiful people, I thought I'd share with you a lipstick I've re-discovered from a while ago, its from Oriflame a Swedish online cosmetic company who have been around for more than 30 years (and are similar to Avon).  The colour of this lipstick is one of two Limited Editions from the Neo Chic range, its called Bright Pink, you can also get it in Fuschia.



To start with I really love the packaging, I love the fact that it comes in a little box and the pattern on the tube is so cute, it really looks like it should be much more expensive than it actually is, it cost £5.95.



My first thought when I saw this lipstick was "uh oh, its not going to suit me, look how bright it is" (which was a bit different from the colour online by the way, which is why I wasn't expecting it).  But I was pleasantly surprised, yes, it is bright but its not matte, its sheer and therefore the colour is muted somewhat and gives a lovely sheen on your lips, it also smells really nice, like that old fashioned lipstick smell.  Its also a very moisturising lipstick, it does fade fairly quickly but doesn't disappear entirely so you're not left with completely bare lips and with a quick swoosh you can reapply and it will look as good as new.




I'm definitely going to be buying more from Oriflame, either through a consultant or by signing up up as a consultant myself.  Has anyone else tried Oriflame, what do you think of their products?

Maria
xx

Chatting about ... Victoria Beckham, Beauty Boxes, Naked Basics 2 and my new Chanel lipstick

Happy Friday beautiful people, hope this week has been OK for you.

Today I'm chatting about all the beauty things that have popped up this week, the first being my backlog of beauty boxes.  I've got Glossybox from July and August, Latest in Beauty from August and a Glamour special.  The one pictured below is one I'm testing at the moment its the Latest in Beauty August edition, the contents of which were chosen by Josephine Fairley and Sarah Stacey, the lovely Beauty Bible ladies.  I've also done a video on the contents of this box and by the time you read this it should be uploaded to YouTube.  I'm doing another video once I've tested all the products, there's some really nice stuff in this box so its quite exciting.


The Beauty Bible Loves ... Latest in Beauty August box

Now you've probably already heard this but this week I became aware that Urban Decay had another Naked Basics palette out, aptly named Naked Basics 2.  It was released in the USA on 19 August and retails at $29.00.  I'm still totally in love with their earlier Basics so I'm thrilled there is another one to try, its definitely going on my Christmas list if I haven't caved and bought it myself by then!  This one consists of six shades, five of which are brand new and true to UD form they are all taupe based matte neturals which will suit everybody.


You can find out more about this palette by checking out the Urban Decay website 


Urban Decay Naked Basics 2



Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in "Boheme"

This is my new Chanel Coco Shine lipstick, (my only Chanel lipstick I might add!) which was a present from my mother in law and I love it!  At first I wasn't sure if the colour would suit me as its pink and with my colouring I have to be careful with pink as it can wash me out but this is lovely.  The colour is "Boheme" its sheer and very moisturising, its not long lasting but its not supposed to be so that's fine I just keep reapplying.  It reminds me of the look you get with a lip gloss but without the stickiness, major plus for me as I hate sticky glosses.






Finally, I've been keeping an eye on New York Fashion Week just because its all over the TV and the magazines.  I'm not into designer stuff (I'm not a celebrity or mega rich and it doesn't sit well on the school run) but I did like a lot of what Victoria Beckham was showing for her AW 14/15 collection, in particular the dress pictured above.  Now, taking away the fact that its over £1,000 I really like this dress, its very classic, I liked the length as well, flattering just below the knee.  It goes from size 6 to 14 though, (come on Vic, extend your sizings a bit) and the rest of the collection can be seen on her website www.victoriabeckham.com.

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Maria
xx




My Five Favourite Products For Curly Hair

Today I'm sharing five of my favourite products for curly hair, some I've recently discovered others I've used for a long time and keep going back to.

For anyone with curls that need to be kept in line, these five are definitely worth a try.




Charles Worthington Hair Healer Leave-in Conditioner
I've been using this for years, it's really one of the nicest leave in conditioners I've ever used.  It's sort of a balm rather than a cream and you don't need much.  I just use it on the middle part of my hair and comb through to the ends.  Its got a glorious smell and leaves your hair very soft but not heavy.  I've noticed in the shops recently that this isn't the most up to date packaging, its different now but I did a bulk buy a while back which is why I'm still working my way through this one!  I buy mine in Sainsburys and Boots and of course, its on the shelf with all the other Charles Worthington products.  




Leo Bancroft Glamorously Curly Control & Shine Cream
When I first bought this I didn't actually know who Leo Bancroft was, I had to look him up!  I haven't seen this in any other shop than Tescos but I am sure its available in other places and online.  Fantastic for frizz, it doesn't have a particularly strong hold (i.e. curl hold) but definitely tames waves and curls and lasts all day with the bonus of a nice smell too.




Pantene Repair & Protect Shampoo
I reviewed this a while back which you can read here it was actually my January favourite, but 6 months on it is still my most favourite shampoo and one of the few that does seem to control my hair.  The one pictured is for dry and damaged hair, quite often I'll get another one in the Pantene range which I think is for frizz control but either one of them is great.  I do find the conditioners quite heavy so I don't use those, I just stick to the shampoo and a leave in conditioner.





Phil Smith Curly Locks Curl Control Cream
I've already done a review on this product this year which you can read here but suffice to say this is still one of my favourites and always has a place on my dressing table.  Its also great to take on holiday as it does have a frizz control element which I really need for heat, damp and humidity!





Label M Curl Cream
I totally love this product, I've been using Label M Curl Cream for a long time now, ever since I started having my hair cut at Toni & Guy as they stock Label M products and recommended it.  The cream is quite sticky (but mainly one your hands not on your hair), once its dry you get a brilliant well defined curl hold which lasts all day.  I buy this from the Look Fantastic website now, its about £11 which is quite pricey but it does last for a long time because you really don't need very much.  I've also recently discovered the Label M Protein Spray which I will review separately once I've finished testing it, but so far so good!

I'm always on the look out for new products to try, if you've got any favourites please pop a comment below


Maria
xx

Soap Corner | Mandara Spa Honeymilk Dream

We use a lot of hand soap in our house, it has to be said.  I'm always on the look out for nice hand soaps and my most recent find is this one from Mandara Spa, I have to give my sister credit for this find, I've spent a lot of time at her house lately with her new baby twins and washed my hands a lot!  I absolutely love this soap.  Its beautiful fragrance consists of acacia honey and almond and lingers on your hands long after you've dried them.    Its elegant packaging does not look out of place in an ensuite bathroom or downstairs cloakroom.  Alas, my own cloakroom is continually filled with small grubby handed boys who need to get mud/felt tip pen/chocolate/general boy germs off their hands, so this lovely soap is completely wasted on them which is why I've put it in my own bathroom just for me to use and they can continue to use the no-nonsense, anti-bacterial stuff!



Mandara Spa Honeymilk Dream can be purchased from Sainsbury's for £4.00.  There are two other fragrances to choose from but this is my favourite.

Maria
xx


What's in the June Glossybox?




Hi beauty bloggers, my first post for a while as life's been a bit mad but I've been meaning to share the contents of my June Glossybox for a couple of weeks.

There are five products in the box, have a look below and see what you think.  For one reason or another I haven't tried them yet but they will be reviewed once I have.  I'm particularly excited about the make up brush, its such a gorgeous brush.






This is L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara in Black.  This looks really nice, there have been so many good reviews of this mascara, its full size and RRPs at £10.99.  I was really pleased that it was in the box, as you will know I'm normally a Max Factor mascara girl but I am excited to try this one.




I'm a girl with very few make up brushes so I was delighted that this Beautiful Eyes Flat Stiff Brush by Teeez Trend Cosmetics, this is a full size brush, isn't it pretty?  I can't wait to use it.





This is a Qi Gong anti-perspirant spray by Rituals (www.rituals.com), it smells yummy, more like a perfume than a deodorant.  Its infused with white lotus and yi yi ren and lasts 24 hours.  



This is a concealer quad by So Susan Cosmetics (www.sosusan.com), as you can see its a cute quad palette with soft blendable colours, its for minor blemishes and imperfections.  I stick with my Witch Hazel concealer normally so this will be great to try.




Finally, this is a base, top and nail strengthener from nailgirls (www.nailgirls.co.uk), I'm awful at remembering base and top coats and my nails are quite weak so another perfect product for me to try.  In fact, I'm off to do my nails now, so I'll let you know how it goes!


I'm thrilled with the June Glossybox and can't wait for the July box which should arrive next week according to the email they sent me yesterday.  I'll review all of these products once I've tried them to let you know what I think.

Happy Wednesday everybody!

Maria
xx

Phil Smith Life's a Beach | Hair Review



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I've decided that I've just got to tell you about this little beauty of a hair product which is great for getting those beachy summer waves.  I started using Phil Smith's Life's a Beach Sea Salt Spray a while  ago after picking it up in the supermarket.  Its essentially a sea salt spray designed to give tousled, carefree summer waves and can be used on both damp and dry hair.


I mainly use it on damp hair after I've washed and conditioned it and then dry it sometimes with a diffuser (as they recommend) but mostly not, as I find diffusing time consuming so I just give it a bit of a blast with the hairdryer.  As you'd expect the more spray you use, the better the hold (more of a curl), I spray then scrunch a bit before using the hairdryer.  Its not gloopy but you do need to wash your hands afterwards.  The result is a head full of natural waves that you can get your fingers through, its not sticky and doesn't look unnatural and it helps with frizz too.


Originally, this product came in slightly different packaging and had a really nice smell, I think it was sort of like coconut which I loved.  Then the manufacturers changed it and the coconut smell disappeared which I was sad about as the fragrance really lingered and I could smell it on my hair all day long, the new smell isn't horrible but its not coconut!  Luckily for me, the bones of the product, and by that I mean how it styles your hair, didn't change so I was happy about that as I hate it when they change something for the better but I end up wishing they'd left it alone!  I have got through loads of this product few months, not least because for me it doesn't last very long, I suspect I might spray on a bit too much but I've also got quite a lot of hair so its not really a surprise.  However, the price is very reasonable, around £4.00 and very often is on special offer or two for one so I stock up when I can.

So Phil Smith's Life's a Beach is now one of my favourite products for curly hair, if you want beachy waves, its well worth checking out.

Maria
xx






Gradual Self Tanners | The Review!

Hi beauties, I've finally got round to writing about the self tanners I've been testing for the past few weeks, its taken a while to get this one posted but here it is.

I'm very fair skinned and while that's not a major problem for me I do like a bit of a glow, particularly on my legs in the summer.  I've tried permanent tans such as Fake Bake and St Tropez and they just don't suit me, they are almost always too dark and make me look a bit odd, like someone with my colouring shouldn't be that orange!

This is why I really like the gradual moisturising lotion tanners.  They've changed a lot in the last few years, I remember the first one I tried, it was a Johnsons one, the smell was awful and I had to be careful to rub it in properly because otherwise after an hour or so I'd be left with tan streaks.  The problem with being so pale is that any hint of colour on top of my paleness shows, so I have to be careful with application.

Anyway, the last couple of years I've used Dove which has served me very well and I was happy with the smell and the colour and Dove is such a nice moisturiser anyway.  This year I thought I'd try something a bit different.  So I chose three (clearly I'm hoping for a long, hot summer!), they are


Fake Bake Sport
Garnier Summer Body
Palmers Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze




So now onto the review.

First up is Fake Bake Sport.  I bought this from Beautybay.com for £10 after reading really good reviews about this product.  Unfortunately it has to be said I don't agree with the reviews!  The smell is terrible, really strong.  Its got all this really good stuff in it, like Vitamin E and special moisturisers and its paraben free (which is good) but the tan was too orangey for me and, like I said, I couldn't stand the smell.  So I wouldn't buy this again.  I only used it once, so I've got a lot left! 

The next one I tried was the Palmers Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze.  This tanner is for all skin types, there's not a separate one for fair or dark.  It smells very much like Palmers Cocoa Butter (well, it would, wouldn't it) and though there is a hint of that "tan" smell its not unbearable, actually its quite nice.  I put it on my legs first and by lunchtime they were very definitely no longer the alabaster colour they'd been first thing in the morning.  Clearly, on pale people this stuff makes a difference quickly!  I only needed one application of this, I didn't put it on the next day as my legs were already quite a nice colour for me but if I'd had darker skin I'd have put on another lot and got a really nice tanned glow!   I made the mistake of not exfoliating properly so my knees were a bit orange but not drastic, but that's my fault, not Palmers.  I'm trying to remember how much it was, it wasn't much, about £4 I think, I got it in Superdrug but you can also get it in the supermarkets.  Its going to take me a while to get through this bottle but I'd definitely get it again.

Finally, I picked up Garnier Summer Body, I got this for £5 in Superdrug.  I'd seen an advert for it and I knew they did two types, a light one for fairer skin and a medium one for slightly darker skin.  I really like this product.  For a start the smell is nice, yes you can smell the tanning smell a bit (but you're never going to be able to get away from that until come clever person figures out a way to get rid of it) but a more overwhelming scent is that of the apricot and peach fruit extracts that its got in it.  This moisturiser is fast absorbing so you can put it on quickly and its not sticky and does leave a really lovely glow, not overly dark so you are able to build up over a few days.  I also found that it took a while to fade, I had a couple of days where I didn't use it and my legs still looked good.  

So, in conclusion, my favourite out of the three is definitely the Garnier Summer Body, purely because I would use this daily as a moisturiser, as well as the benefit of a nice glow, you are left with a glorious nourished skin feeling whereas the Palmers, although really nice, is quite dark on me and I'd use this if I needed a "fix" i.e. lots of colour quickly!  I think the Palmers would be absolutely perfect if I had slightly darker skin though and again, a great moisturiser, as I love anything with cocoa butter in it.  

So there you go.  I'd be really interested to hear if you've tried any gradual tanners and which ones you recommend.

Maria
xx


My Five Minute Face or Make Up In A Rush!


Hey beautiful bloggers, I've been meaning to write up this one for a while now, as someone who doesn't have much time in the mornings (but then, who does?), I've pretty much perfected a 'five minute face' which I thought I'd share with you.  Its a natural look that I use quite a lot of the time and glam up with a bright lipstick when I feel like it!





So, these are the products that I use:

Step 1
After moisturising I start with my Witch Hazel Concealer, a trusty product I've been using for years.  Its not an under eye concealer, more of a blemish "controller".  Depending on the state of my face sometimes I need a little dot of concealer which takes literally a couple of seconds, other times I need 'A' Level Art to be able to cover everything up!

Step 2
Next up is my Pixi Primer, I recently did a blog post on this which you can read here if you want.  I love this primer and will use it all the time now.  Just need a couple of dots and it completely transforms my skin and really does give a beautiful base.

Step 3
After that its foundation time, I'm still using my No7 Lift and Luminate in "Cool Vanilla", the added bonus that this has an SPF in it so its perfect for this time of year, its not too heavy either which is another reason I like it.  I don't use a lot of foundation as I find that it accentuates my fine lines (and the not so fine ones!) so I use a little on my chin, nose, forehead and a touch on my cheeks and I use my fingers not a brush, I know this is personal preference, I've just never been able to get on with foundation brushes, its like I'm painting the spare room with emulsion paint, it always ends up looking too heavy on me.

Step 4
Next its eyes, I'm still having an affair with my Naked Basics palette so I use a pale one (either Foxy or W.O.S) over the entire lid then finish off blending the Naked 2 pale brown colour.  I'm definitely making an inroad into this colour, its quite worrying, I just know that I'll run out of this one first!

Step 5
Up comes my faithful friend Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara in black, either the normal one or the one with the curled brush (this is really great, if you haven't tried it, you should, check it out in my What's in My Make Up Bag video on YouTube).  My eyelashes are really pale so I just pop a couple of coats on both the upper and lower lashes and then finish off with an eyeliner, I always line after I've mascara-ed but that's obviously personal choice too.  At the moment I'm using my Ruby & Millie eyeliner, it looks black in the photo but its actually very dark blue.  Its a very soft kohl which is why I love it so much, I hate those liners that drag against your eyelids.

Step 6
Cheeks are next, I'm using three blushers at the moment.  First I dab a bit of my Revlon Cream Blush on (its called Charmed Enchantment), that gives a pinky flushed look.  Then I put a swoosh of Revlon Highlighter on, the one I'm using is called Rose Glow and finally finish off with a teensy bit of Smashbox cream highlighter on the top of my cheek bones, the one I'm using is a recent purchase from Amazon, called Aglow, it was a bit of a bargain, £7 which is quite good for a Smashbox product I thought.

Step 7
Lastly its lipstick which I do literally as I'm out of the door but its always after my breakfast and teeth clean which is why I'm not wearing any in the photo.  The one I'm in love with at the moment is a new purchase from Max Factor called Bewitching Coral, its actually really more pink than coral but I love it anyway.

So there we are.  As you can see from the stopwatch on my phone I did this in just under 5 minutes but to be fair I timed myself at least 6 or 7 times and sometimes I was a bit over 5 minutes and one time I was about 7 minutes but that was a heavy concealer day!

I'd love to hear any time saving tips you might have when applying make up, do let me know if you've got any!

Maria
xx





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