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

Lipstick Love ... Max Factor Colour Intensifying Balm - Luscious Red

I love it when Max Factor release a new lip product, perhaps because they are my favourite brand for lipsticks, they never let me down.  I've been wearing a lot of lip balm lately as its still cold outside and I've also had a cold which basically renders a normal lipstick useless as it keeps coming off.

I happened upon these Max Factor Colour Intensifying Balms the other day in Boots (I only went in for paracetamol and tissues).  I remembered that I had seen them mentioned in a magazine (Look, possibly?) but other than that I don't think they have been very widely advertised, which is a pity because they are a really nice lippy product that will see you through the transition from Winter to Spring.

I chose Luscious Red because I am naturally drawn to reddish colours but there are paler colours in the range too.  Generally, I don't find balms particularly pigmented and sometimes they are a bit pale on my lips; not so with this one, it gives a good dose of colour with only one or two slicks and leaves a very pretty sheen.  It lasts about as long as a balm should and wears off gradually.  I loved Maybelline Babylips last summer and this is right up there with them.  My only slight gripe is that the packaging is a bit non-descript and if you're looking for a particular colour you have to really strain your eyes to find the place they put the little sticker that tells you what the name is (its the same with their Flipsticks which I reviewed last summer). Unlike their lipsticks they don't seem to print the name and number on the bottom of the casing, I'm not sure why. 

Result?

Regardless of that little moan, these babies are £8.99 in Boots at the moment (same pricing as Flipsticks and about the same as their Colour Elixir lipsticks), and true to form, I will be buying another in the same colour next time I go to Boots, just incase they don't take off and they don't end up being one of their longer lasting products!

Max Factor Colour Intensifying Balm - Luscious Red
A hint of Luscious Red

My Top 5 ... Beauty Product Websites



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Today I thought I'd share with you my top 5 websites for beauty products.  These are the sites that I am subscribed to (though there are many more!) so I get notifications pinging into my email inbox almost daily with special offers and good deals.




I really like Superdrug.com, my local Superdrug store is not a large one so they don't have a particularly large stock.  I find that browsing the online store is so much more satisfying because they literally have everything there and their sales, BOGOFs and half price items are easy to check out as they are in a separate list.  Recently, I got a couple of Zoella items from there (which actually haven't arrived yet but will soon, I hope).  The postage is free if you spend over £10 and lets face it, how easy is it to spend over a tenner in Superdrug?   I know I certainly don't have any problem for sure.  I've recently been looking at Make Up Revolution palettes and this site has a lot of choice.
 
 
 
 
Ah, my beloved BeautyBay.  I first found out about them a year ago and have had a couple of orders since and have never been disappointed with any of their products.  They always seem to have really good deals on if that's what you're looking for and a very wide range of products ranging from their own Beautybay Collection and the ever wonderful Max Factor to Ana Sui, Paul & Joe, Urban Decay, Elizabeth Arden and so on.  I've recently purchased a couple of Pixi by Petra products from there and am really pleased with them.  There's a good blog and if you're getting married a superb section on wedding make up too (wish I'd known about it 7 years ago!)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Another site with a lot of choice, particularly for hair products.  I have purchased both my Label M Curl Cream and my Curls Rock from there and at a much reduced price than you find in the hairdressing salons. 
 
 
 
Lots of choice here, products for home, hair, make up, face, body, nails, electrical and men AND an entire page dedicated to offers. If you subscribe to their newsletter you get first dibs on all the free gift information and sales news, I find these things worth knowing even if you don't take them up.  They are particularly good for the Kerastase brand, lots of variety and at a reduced price as well. 
 
 
 
I don't ever remember shopping at All Beauty so I was confused when I found they kept emailing me!  Then I realised they used to be called Cheap Smells (which I had subscribed to) so I'm guessing Cheap Smells took them over.  Personally, I find All Beauty a much nicer name than Cheap Smells!  Anyway, it's not all about the fragrances though if you do have a particular favourite it's worth giving these guys a look before you fork out mega bucks for it, they are particularly good around Christmas, Valentines, run up to holiday season etc, as they tend to have special offers around this time. 
 
 
Till next time everybody!
 
Maria xx


 




Clinique Chubby Stick - Plushest Pink

The Clinique Chubby Stick moisturising lip colour balms were released last year and were extremely popular, there were numerous reviews on them and they were pretty much all positive.  Personally, I really like Clinique, I haven't used a great deal of their skincare range but I've got several gorgeous Clinique eye shadows.  I also had an amazing Clinique lipstick that I loved and bought solely as a colour replacement for a Max Factor one that was discontinued, and we lived happily together until, sadly, Clinque decided to discontinue that colour as well. 

Originally I purchased this last year but didn't wear it very much, as you can see it is quite a bright colour and in the summer it didn't quite suit me, it is very pink which is lovely but as I'm fair and a red head I have to be careful with pink as it either washes me out or overpowers me.  Anyway, I re-discovered this the other day and it was on such a dull old day I thought maybe it would brighten things up.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that it clearly suits me better in the winter than the summer!  I've worn it a few times ever since so I think we can safely say that it's my current go to lippy.

As you can see from the photos its a glorious rich colour and the lipstick is very moisturising.  It's not one to choose if you want longevity in a lipstick as I found it wasn't particularly long lasting, perhaps that's because its more of a balm?  However it is easy to reapply and the 'chubby' stick form means it's great to pop in your pocket or handbag.  

The colour of this is number 05 Plushest Pink and costs £17.00 from www.clinique.co.uk.

Has anyone else tried these and if so which colours would you recommend, as I'm going to get another one.

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in "Plushest Pink" 


Applying Clinique Chubby Stick - in the dark ...


Clinique Chubby Stick - this is what it looks like in daylight!

My Saviour products for Winter lips!

This is just a brief post to show you a couple of products that are saving my poor lips from the harsh Winter weather.  

Burt's Bees

The first is a Burt's Bees lip shine which I got in the November Glossybox.  As I'm more of a lipstick person lip salves aren't usually my thing but this is lovely.  This one has got a slight colour to it so it gives a lovely sheen.  I also liked that it didn't come off straight away after drinking a cup of tea!  

I've been using it predominantly when I've been outside, school run, dog walking etc, as these are the times when I really feel the effects of the cold weather though central heating doesn't help either but I'm not switching that off! 

The nice thing about Burt and his Bees is that it's all natural ingredients and enriched with Apricot Wax which serves as a super moisturiser and also provides the sheer shine that you get with it.  I've also tried this over lipstick and it looks great as a gloss too.  This product costs £6.99 (full size, as is the one in the photo) and if you want to check it out online the website is www.burtsbees.co.uk.

Organic Lip Balm Superfruits

The next one is by Naked Lips, its the Organic Lip Balm Superfruits.  I've been using this one at night because it's a balm not a gloss and therefore its got all night to sink in and isn't sticky and doesn't smudge everywhere.  It does give a lovely shine but not in a sticky way so you could use it during the day as well.  Naked Lips boast all natural ingredients in this product, mainly from superfruits so you get all the benefit of the antioxidants that they've got in them.  This little beauty is 5 euros and can be purchased from www.nakedlips.eu.  Out of the two of them I'd probably buy the Burts Bees again rather than the Superfruits but that's because it's got a sheen to it so it's more like a gloss which I prefer and also it got a bit of colour to it.  But they're both gorgeous and perfect for this time of year.

Burt's Bees Lip Shine



Naked Lips Organic Lip Balm Superfruits

Quick Review on ... So Susan Concealer Quad

I received this So Susan concealer palette in a Glossybox last year, I think it was way back in the summer.  I hadn't really heard of So Susan before I subscribed to Glossybox but since then I've tried quite a few of their products as Glossybox really seem to like them!  

Anyway, this is quite a sweet little concealer palette, it's a quad of colours that will suit the majority of skin tones I should think as the concealers go from very pale to quite dark.  It is compact enough to go into my handbag during the day for top up situations too and is non-comedogenic and full of lovely, nourishing ingredients so it doesn't irritate the skin.

To be honest, I've been using the same concealer for a long time so I was a bit dubious about trying something different, after all, concealer is a base and if you don't get the base right then it has an effect on your entire face doesn't it?  I was worried that it wouldn't "stick" i.e. it would slide off and my blemishes would be revealed rather than concealed, not a good look!  But I needn't have worried, as well as only needing a teeny bit of this (it'll last a while) to cover up, it also stayed put pretty much all day, well as long as my other one does and that's all I was asking for anyway.

I'm not usually particularly struck by the packaging of beauty products.  I know some people are but I'm generally more bothered about the actual product rather than the presentation but I have to say that I think So Susan have got this right, its just really classy, I really like it.

This So Susan concealer palette costs £18.95 from www.sosusan.com the website is great some of the products cost more than others but it is worth a look.  I did quite well to get this through Glossybox as it is a full sized item.


So Susan Concealer Quad


Beauty Habits & Products I Recommend

So we've managed to get to the middle of the month so not long to go until February and Valentine's Day and Pancakes (yum).  Recently, I've been thinking about my beauty habits, my regime, what products I use and why I use them and I've realise there's some things I always do and don't really veer from, does this happen to you as well?  I thought you might like to see my little list so here it is!

💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙 💙

1.  When I find a lipstick I really like and know I'll want to replace I always go out and buy another one immediately, I got so tired of running out of my favourite lipstick and then finding it had been discontinued, this happened to me a lot a few years ago and it was so disappointing!  So now, when I find one I really like and know it's going to be around for a while I replace it straight away.  Saves the disappointment later on!

2.  As my hair is quite curly I don't brush it and I use a wide tooth comb on it when it's wet to comb it through.  A hairdresser recommended this to me years ago and I've stuck with it ever since.  It stops frizz and helps with the whole split end thing.  They are really inexpensive from Superdrug and Boots.

3.  I absolutely love Sudocreme, not only is it good for nappy rash and other child related ailments, its brilliant for spots, eczema, dry skin, cracked heels (yuck) and I also use it for blisters in the summer when my shoes have rubbed and I'm in full limp mode!  It doesn't cost very much and a large tub lasts for ages and ages, I always get the large tub as I have three accident prone little boys who are always falling off their scooters and bikes so it gets used a lot!

4.  This is a weird one, I've realised I always wear a hairband on my wrist for my ponytail emergencies.  I've got a lot of hair and when gets in the way, I like to know I can tie it back immediately when I need to.  The only problem is that I have to be careful as its not good to have a band too tight round your wrist, it does bad things for circulation.

5.  I've only started doing this in the past year and I think I blogged about it at the time, but I always use an in shower moisturiser now, they're really good and save time in the mornings.  In the summer I use a spray on one as well.  The best in shower one I've tried and loved is Nivea and I particularly like the Vaseline spray ones, they do three different ones, the cocoa butter one is gorgeous. 

6.  I always use a rosewater based toner as the astringent ones are too harsh for my skin.  Not only does it smell nice it makes my skin feel really soft and smooth and is fabulous for getting off the last of the make up, including that stubborn bit of eyeliner that gets stuck in the corners of your eyes.   

7.  Another hair based one, Argan Oil.  A while back my hairdresser used some on my hair and its never been so smooth.  I'm a bit of a self confessed Argan Oil addict actually not just for hair but body washes and hand creams too.  But the Argan Oil for hair is magnificent, it also lasts for ages because its not one of those products that gets used every day and as its mainly for the ends of your hair not the roots you don't have to use much.  The one I use is Morrocan Argan Oil which I think I got from Waitrose but I know you can get it in Boots too.  It's about £6.00 but like I say, it does last quite a while so it's worth it.  I have been using it quite a lot recently as this weather is no fun for hair.

Photos below of some of the products I've mentioned.  

Nivea In Shower Moisturiser, the cocoa smells lovely

Vaseline Spray & Go Body Moisturiser, sinks in really quickly

Sudocreme - My Hero!

Max Factor Flipstick - loved this so much I went out and got another one the next day

Hello 2015! Its New Year Resolution time again!




Yikes, it's that time of year again, New Years Resolutions.  I should probably start with a review of last years just to see if I kept them.  Oh well ok, I didn't keep them for long, but never mind, let's just  start again ... New year and all that.

This year I'm keeping it simple so I'm going to:



Drink more water

I say this most years but this year I am definitely going to do it because I am sure that I don't drink in enough and it's partly the cause of my headaches which are becoming more frequent and I know that I am dehydrated.  Plus, water is so good for your skin, especially in the Winter because the cold weather and the central heating really dries it out.  

Clean my make up brushes

I'm rubbish at this usually, but I've bought some special cleaning stuff to clean my make up brushes, one is a spray which you can use if you want to just give it a quick spray and another is a special shampoo for a deeper clean when you have more time.  I haven't done it yet but when I do I'll let you know how it goes!  

Hang my clothes up

Now, I feel a bit of a hypocrite about this because I am always nagging my kids to hang things up (well, the older one anyway the little ones can't reach) and I have to say that I do hang their stuff up really nicely.  Perhaps that is the reason then, that when it comes to my own clothes, when I take them off I pile them somewhere before I fall into bed rather than hang them up.  A consequence of this rather annoying habit is that I eventually end up with a (really neat) pile of clothes that I have to spend ages putting away because a) I can't find anything and b) the pile is falling over and making a mess.  Its totally ridiculous.  So this year I'm going to just do it, it only takes seconds and will save a lot of time in the long run.


I'm not making any resolutions about fitness or exercise (though I need to lose half a stone as I've put a bit of weight on and half my wardrobe doesn't fit now which is really annoying) because who needs that pressure?  I'm the sort of person who doesn't respond well to "diet" pressure its better if I just eat sensibly and don't think too much about it.  But I have invested in a new Davina McCall DVD which I am very excited about and can't wait to get started once the kids are back at school next week.  I can't leap around in the front room with them around as I get interrupted and that's just annoying!

So a very happy 2015 to you all, I'd love to hear what your resolutions are too.

Maria
xx







A Year of Blogging ...

So, 2014 was my first full year of blogging, I started in October 2013, got sidetracked by kids and Christmas and didn't really pick it up again until January.

Initially, I started blogging to keep my creative juices flowing, in early 2012 my husband and I adopted three little boys and I went from working full time in a busy office to being a full time mum.  I love being a mum and I love being at home with them but there is a part of me that needs to think about stuff other than washing, school runs, Lego and Peppa Pig!  I'm also completely outnumbered, everyone in the house is male including the dog and there's little old me with no-one to discuss girly stuff with, hence once I'd stumbled upon the beauty blogging community I was keen to be a part of it.







What I've loved ...

What I've loved about blogging apart from all the new products I've discovered is that the beauty blogging community surely must be amongst the friendliest, everybody is so nice and supportive which is lovely.  I've also loved really thinking about what products I'm buying and why I'm buying them, was it on a whim, because I saw an advert, because it was recommended in a magazine or by other beauty bloggers or because I got sidetracked in Sainsburys and picked up the wrong thing!  The fact that every time I put my face cream on I am thinking about it, what I like/don't like, if I'd recommend it or not and if I agree with what others are saying about it.  I've been wearing make up for a number of years now and this last year is actually probably the first year I've ever really thought about why I'm applying it the way I do and if I could do it differently.  


What I've discovered ...

I've discovered a few things, firstly that its the first time since I left University that I've been able to be properly creative, its been quite scary as nobody really knows how their blog will be received and you are sort of putting yourself on the line but its been great.  I also found a writing style I didn't know I had so that was quite cool!  Probably the most important thing I discovered is that just being yourself is so important, not only for your writing but for the whole blog, what you include (by that I mean certain links, or maybe advertisements), it is a photo of yourself to the world so you've got to be happy with the layout and presentation.  I do feel like my blog reflects me and I'm happy with that, so that's good.


What I might change ...

There's always room for improvement though!  I've been thinking about what I might change next year, I'm still trying to post more often, (some months are easier than others) and I need to find a better photo editor than the one I've got presently as next year I'm going to try much harder with my photos. 

So here's to 2015, another year of beauty blogging looms, how exciting!  I hope you all have a Merry and Peaceful Christmas and thanks for reading all my posts this year.

Maria
xx



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


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