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

Beauty Pie Plantastic Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm (with video)

 As cleansing beauty balms go, this is one of the best I've tried.  I've only had a Beauty Pie subscription for a few months but I've been super pleased with everything I've bought so far.  This product retails at £50 but for Beauty Pie members (who subscribe monthly) it costs just £13.93.  

If you want some information on Beauty Pie click the link and go to their website, it's all there and easy to read.

I like cleansing my face with a balm because it feels really clean afterwards and it gets all the make up off with one product rather than having to use a facewash, then a micellar water then a toner or whatever goes next.  So for me, it's quick and that's what I like because at the end of the day I just want to go to bed so I don't want too much fuss!

Ingredients include

  • Cold Pressed Rosehip Oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Apricot Butter
All this will help to cleanse, nourish and purify your skin.

My tips on how to use - and a video!

I use cleansing cloth or a soft flannel (one per day) and rinse it in warm water and gently remove the balm and the make up from my face.  Sometimes, depending on whether I've got a lot of make up on it takes a bit longer to get it all off.  I also get my eye make up off with it, even mascara.  The key is not to 'scrub' as this pulls your skin but to dab firmly to get rid of the balm and make up residue.  If your mascara is very stubborn it might be an idea to get a cotton pad and some eye make up removed and just do a couple of wipe with that before you put the balm all over your face, it'll loosen the mascara and make it easier to wipe off.

Here's a video I made of me taking off make up with the balm, it was the first time I'd tried it so I wasn't sure how it was going to go.  




Lisa Armstrong Collection for Avon

I need to talk about the new Lisa Armstrong for Avon range.

I've not ordered from Avon for ages, years in fact but recently a lovely school friend from back home has become a rep and you know you can order online on their shop page and then have it delivered direct to you?  Well I did that.  It arrived really quickly as well.

I could have bought more, obviously, but it was before Christmas so I thought I'd better start small with the first order.  So other than some Skin So Soft I ordered a couple of products from the Lisa Armstrong range.  Now Lisa (incase you don't know her) is famous in the UK for two things, first for being a top notch and highly rated make up artist who has worked on all sorts of TV and fashion shows (and the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing I believe, amongst other shows) but also because she used to be married to Ant McPartlin from Ant n' Dec and had the most awful time in the media when she was going through her divorce, bless her.



Light Up Concealer

So the first thing I went for is the Light Up Concealer because I did need a new concealer.  It's in pen form like Touch Eclat so easy to apply and I'd had something similar from Avon before so I thought it would be good.  The nice thing about this pen is that it does a lot of stuff, it conceals, it brightens, it's brilliant under eyes (because it's not heavy or thick) and you can also use it as an eye shadow primer.  So what's not to love?  It comes in several shades, I chose Shade 1 because I'm super pale and it's a good match.  So far I haven't used it as an eye shadow primer but it's worked beautifully for everything else.  Also it only costs £12 which is great for a really good concealer I think.

I only have one tiny complaint and that is that the brush is quite small and thin, I'd have preferred slightly thicker brush but it's minor and it won't stop me repurchasing.  Link to Light Up Concealer


All About The Base Priming Moisturiser

I bought this thinking it was a primer but really I do believe it's more of a moisturiser.  I guess the thought behind it was that it was a moisturiser that you could use as a primer too (voila - a 2 in 1) but I prefer mine separate really.  

So, while I am sure it does a brilliant job as a primer, I can't really vouch for that.  What I can vouch for however, is that it does work beautifully as a night cream.  I don't like night creams generally because they always seem to be quite heavy and don't sink in particularly well but this is really lovely.

It's made up of Vitamin C and Shea Butter and has a lovely scent.  I couldn't work out what it smelled like so I asked my kids and they came up with "summer candles" "lemon sherbet sweets" and "that mosquito spray we use" so I'm guessing it's tone is lemon 😆 - to be fair when they pointed it out they were right, it does have a lemon smell to it but not sickly, just very refreshing and quite cooling on the skin too, I thought.

This retails at £15 for 25g,  a little bit goes a long way too so it should last a while.  Link to moisturiser.











First 2021 post and Lockdown 3.0

My last post was written in the summer, sitting outside in the sunshine on our trip to Spain.  We were so lucky to be able to get away last year when so many others had their holidays cut short or cancelled.  We are fortunate enough to have a family home in a very remote part of Spain so we holed up there for two week and only went out (masked) to the Supermarket and the beach.  Actually I think we did go to Marbella to the socially distanced shopping centre too otherwise I wouldn't have been able to go to Sephora (which would have been a shame ;-))

When I got back school started again (yay) and I had an entire notebook full of blog post notes and a camera roll full of prettily posed pictures (of products, not me) and I was full of enthusiasm for the autumn and how much I was going to write.  And then I didn't.  And then all of a sudden it was Christmas and we could only see one other family on Christmas Day.  And I realised that all my beauty thoughts had just flown out of the window in about September and I'd been limping for months, mentally, through the autumn and the ever increasing daily bad news about the coronavirus.  And then I realised, like most of the nation, (or actually, the world) I was really quite depressed.

Here in the UK we are now in our third lockdown, and while I completely understand the whys and wherefores behind it I must admit that there is no way I thought it would be like this when I was merrily creating blog posts in the beautiful Spanish sunshine!   

The other day I was walking the dog, it was freezing but it was sunny.  So I took some pictures of a little field near to where I live that's filled with sheep and lambs in the spring and is really pretty.  And it sort of gave me hope, hope that spring is on the way and that with the mass rollout of the vaccines maybe we really are in our last little bit of this virus nightmare.  

I think will be ok.  So have dug out my blog notebooks and started writing (in-between logging children onto Zoom classes and being asked 7,000 questions a day about things I don't understand) and started writing again.  

New posts are on their way.  But for now it appears we are late for a Geography Zoom so I need to go and log in.  Fair play to the school - they are definitely on it!

(In the meantime please check out this photo I took of the pretty field soon to be filled with daffodils and lambs). 





Sephora Haul beauty products from Sephora Marbella

I don't normally do haul posts because it's rare that I actually go out and buy a lot of make up/beauty products in one go.  However, I am here in Spain at the moment and there is a Sephora in Marbella so I decided to make the most of it, particularly at they do not have one in the UK!  It's a 50 minute drive from where we are to Marbella as we're out in the country so we made a day of it and took the kids out for lunch and they bought the latest X box game (hand on face emoji!!)



💙 I specifically went to get a couple of Milk products, also difficult to get in the UK and nobody is really shipping internationally at the moment so quite difficult to get your hands on.  I got two lipsticks and a lip cheek product.  I'd already got one of the lipsticks which is a balm really but it's so nice that I thought it was worth getting a second one and a different colour too.  I got Plushberry as the new colour and Bubble (which was the replacement).   The lip/cheek colour is actually a mini one, it's called Werk.  

💙 Next up is Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion.  Love this stuff.  It's anti-aging which I guess means smooths out lines etc and I can vouch that it does.  I'm a big believer in eye shadows primer for all sorts of reasons, not least because it really helps your product stay put all day!  The Urban Decay ones aren't heavy and they don't upset my eyes which are quite sensitive.  They also last quite a long time because a little bit goes a long way.

💙 I also got a Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil which apart from my Sephora one is the best pencil I've ever used on my brows.  It's extremely easy to use which is why I love it, it isn't too heavy so it's easy to get an even colour on both brows so they more or less match.  My brows are very low maintenance but they do need a bit of a fill in so this is perfect.

💙 It wouldn't be a shopping trip if I didn't get an eye shadow palette (or just a single!).  This time Sephora's own Eye Love palettes caught me out just before I got to the till.  They are very natural shades, perfect for every day but with one or two little sparkly numbers included to pazazz it up should you need to.  I opted for the Light Warm one first because that's my colouring but also got the Light Cool to try too, I think they will all look nice and perfect for everyday use because they are so subtle.  

💙 Lastly two eye pencils.  Also Sephora own brand.  Love these pencils, they are the best.  They stay on and don't drag your skin which is so important, particularly on older eyes where the skin is thinner.  This time I got Sephora Colorful contour eye pencil in Lavender Fields and another light gold colour only I can't find that pencil now!  I think it might be in the L'Occitane bag or my handbag, I will have to dig it out.  Hence only Lavender Fields is pictured.  They are waterproof so don't run and they are fine on my aforementioned sensitive eyes.  While I've been away I've been using one I got last time called Flirting Game (pictured) which is a sort of brown/shimmer.

Finally, the lovely assistant gave me a really nice free gift of a Flower By Kenzo eau de perfume milky soap.  It smells DIVINE!  

I've taken some photos of what I bought so you can see it in close up. 💙 Oh, and there's a quick video of the goodies I made for my YouTube channel, click here to see it.












Tarte - Rainforest of the Sea palette review and tips

I've got a couple of Tarte palettes, this one, prettily named "Rainforest of the Sea" and another called "In Bloom" which I'll do a post on another time.  I've been using this one a lot recently because it's very light and good for summer. 

Rainforest of the Sea feels like a very luxurious product, mainly because the compact is quite heavy and feels substantial.  It's also got a really pretty lid in mermaid colours, blue, turquoise and purple.  There's also a mirror which in my opinion is is invaluable.


Here are my thoughts on this sweet little palette ...

  1. For a base I use the pale colour Sand and put either Mermaid or Wave over the top.  You can see the names of the colours on the photo below. 
  2. Seashell is a lovely pinky/gold colour and is really pretty by itself or on top of a darker colour.
  3. Abyss and Reef are excellent for adding a bit of colour to the outer corners and for a top and bottom line as a liner.
  4. MY TIP 💚 The colours are quite pale so to build up colour you need to load the brush a bit.  I found there was very little fall out too and it did stay on my lids.
  5. The thing that drew me to this palette is that there are a mixture of darker and lighter shades, some with a little shimmer, some more matte.  
  6. You get a shimmer, not a full on massive, disco-glittery sparkle!
  7. MY TIP 💚 It's also a good beginner palette, nothing too heavy, variety of subtle colours but darker shades that can be built upon to create smoky looks or darker eyes if required.  
  8. MY TIP 💚 Good for older eyelids like mine (post 45) use an eye shadow primer to promote longevity and even out lid colour before putting a pale matte shade on then layering with a slightly darker colour in the corners/crease. 

As a brand, Tarte aren't readily available in the UK unless you go to the QVC website and even they only sell certain products.  I had to send away for it but the Tarte website is great and they seem to have loads of items on sale most of the time so it's worth a look. 


Tarte Rainforest of The Sea




Tarte Rainforest of The Sea





Hawaiian Tropic Suncream tried and tested

I remember when sun cream used to be thick and sticky.  In the 1980's when Factor 20 was about the highest you could have I remember being slathered in the stuff by my Mum in order to fend off the pesky sun rays that shot through the melting ozone layer and attacked my pale-as-anything skin.  When you have red hair it's a dead cert that you're not going to even get little bit tanned, just burned and therefore wearing a high factor cream is a no brainer.

As I got older and we all knew more and more about the connection between the sun and burning and skin cancer I was so glad my Mum had insisted on the slathering of the dreaded thick Soltan from Boots.  I have to say I did like the smell of it, I still do, it reminds me of happy childhood holidays which is so, so precious.

However, these days, I've moved on from Soltan and it's sticky thickness.  In fact, I'm a bit of a sun cream connoisseur, I know what works best for me.  One of my absolute favourite brands is Hawaiian Tropic.  They have an amazing range (I go to the big Boots stores to peruse the shelves) and there's something for everyone.


Hawaiian Tropic, SPF 15, 20 and 30


I've got three I go for on a regular basis.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Air Soft SPF 30
In a pump action bottle, cream with a lovely moisturising feel but also thick enough to feel like when it sinks in your skin will be protected.  Not sticky!

Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection SPF 20
This one is a speedy spray, which is always a good thing, it covers quite a big area as well.  I have to admit that sometimes I worry that the sprays aren't as good because the liquid is finer but it never seems to make any difference, it's always worked, no burning from this one so far.

Hawaiian Tropic Golden Tint SPF 15
I love the golden tint in this one.  I wear this on my legs mainly, in the Spring months when the weather isn't hot and there the UV rays aren't very high.  It just helps take them from alabaster to normal redhead person pale and it's moisturising in the process.  It does stain clothes though so it has to be totally sunk in before you dress.  Also it's not a gradual tanner it's a wash off.


Hawaiian Tropic selection of sun protection creams

I'm in Spain now with my family and it is VERY hot.  VERY.  It's been hot in the UK but we've had warnings here about extreme temperatures.  I'm not sure even all three of these combined would cut the mustard against the burning rays so I intend to stay in the shade and well out of the sun.  We have to quarantine for 14 days when we get back as it's the rules but the sun is such a nice change from the non-summer we seem to be having at home

Note:  All the products listed above can be purchased in Boots (www.boots.com) however I am not sure if they still do the Golden Tint, this can definitely be found on Amazon and in drugstores (Walgreens, CVS etc) in the States.


Clinique Cheek Pop - Melon Pop

Meet my new Clinique Melon Pop blusher.

The Clinique 'Pop' series has been around for a few years now, with this aptly named Cheek Pop you can 'pop' a bit of colour on and go.  The colour is 'Melon Pop' somewhere between the colour of water melon and that other orange melon that I can't remember the name of right now.

This is different from most of my blushers which are big enough in the pan to swirl a massive brush in so I was wondering if I'd be able to use it what with it being quite small.  The pattern on the product is so pretty part of me didn't want to use it as I didn't want to wear it away!  However, these things are bought to be used so I tried it at first with a smallish blusher brush (medium Real Techniques, one that they would use for contouring maybe) and it worked, I managed to get good coverage and because the colour is not highly pigmented it's easy to layer and work in and gives a lovely healthy glow.

Definitely a summer blush for me to wear while my skin has a bit more colour during the sunny months, the next colour up is Ginger Pop which is lovely but darker so quite stark if you have pale skin, however probably nice on holiday once a few freckles have emerged!  Melon pop is more subtle I think.

I bought this one from my favourite online cosmetic store Look Fantastic, it was £18.00.  If you click this link HERE you can see the details and the other cheek pop colours available, there's some nice pink ones too.


Clinique Cheek Pop 'Melon Pop'

Melon Pop from Clinique



The Summer Beauty Bag from M&S

On a recent trip to M&S I was pleased to see the return of the Summer Beauty Bag.  I've had one the last couple of years (though I think they were boxes rather than bags) and I've been really pleased with them.  In order to get one you had to spend at least £25 on clothing, home or beauty products in store and the bag itself cost £15.  They were so popular this year that they sold out very quickly!

This time round the bag is clear which is good because it will make an excellent travel toiletries bag, I love it when you can actually see what you've got, I hate rummaging round in dark bags for stuff!

The bag boasts several full size products and doesn't disappoint.  Moreover it's got everything you need for summer, infact, there are some really nice products in there.



One of my favourites are the WOW hair products, there's a mini shampoo and conditioner to try.  WOW is quite expensive so nice to have a miniature to try before you buy.  There's also a full size Pixi product, an eye pencil.  Anything from Pixi is always very welcome!  And I was really happy to see the REN face lotion tonic given that I have started using my REN moisturiser again this week (pure coincidence).  There are two sunscreen products, one from NUXE which is a factor 50 for your face and the other is an M&S product, their sun products are called Sun Smart and this is an after sun face mask, soothing and hydrating with hyaluronic acid.  All dermatologically tested too so we are good to go.

There's a nice lip gloss too.  Not usually a fan of lip gloss, I find most of them too sticky but this one is really light and pretty and perfect for holidays, it's got a bit of a shimmer to it.  

Full list of the products listed below
  • Percy & Reed Volumising No Oil Oil (for hair)
  • REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic 50ml
  • M&S Beauty Sun Smart After Sun Face Mask
  • Nuxe Sun Melting Cream SPF 50
  • M&S Seasalt and Freesia eau de toilette 50ml
  • Pixi by Petra Endless Silky Eye Pen (black noir)
  • Autograph Colour Shine Lip Lacquer (Sorbet)
  • PURE Super Hydrate Day Cream SPF15
  • Color WOW Color Security Shampoo
  • Color WOW Color Security Conditioner
  • L'Occitane Verveien Shower Gel 70ml
  • £5 off voucher when you spend £20 or more on M&S beauty






Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick - Poesie

There are some days when only Estee Lauder will do.

Today is one of them, I am SO tired today!

This is Pure Colour Envy No 215 Poesie.  It's adorable.  It's also quite a lot like the other lipsticks I own in terms of shade, that rose/pink colour, I seem to gravitate towards that colour.

I absolutely love Estee Lauder lipsticks, they feel and look so luxurious both in the casing, which is substantial and gives a satisfying 'click' when you close the case and in the consistency.  Also they glide on, don't drag your lips and they don't bleed into mouth lines either (so far, anyway!).

I actually can't find Poesie on the Estee Lauder website so maybe it's discontinued, however, it looks exactly like this one which is a Special Edition called Rebellious Rose and appears to be a bestseller at £27.

I only own three Estee Lauder lipsticks.  I might have to rectify that ...!

(If you want to watch a quick YouTube video I made about this lippy please click this link HERE)






Nine months on - catch up post

Recently, I've been waking up at 4am and just thinking about 'stuff' when really I should be trying to get back to sleep.  I really should because I don't function well if I wake that early and I'm grumpy all the next day but anyway ...

One of the things that popped into my head recently was the fact that I've not posted anything on the blog for ages.  I checked just now and it was November last year which basically means about 9 months or so, right?  That is a long time.  I think the last three months have just gone like a flash but really slowly at the same time if that makes sense.  Sometimes I still think the Coronavirus pandemic is like one of those nightmares where you wake up sweating and thinking 'that was awful' but then there's this relief when you realise you're ok and none of it is real.  The problem is that this is real - too real, and much more so for some than others.  I've been very lucky, locked down tight and everybody I love safe and well.  My heart breaks for others that can't say the same.

In a way, it feels a bit churlish to be writing about something as trivial as external beauty products when there are far bigger things on people's minds right now, but on the other hand writing this is a bit of escapism for me and it might be for others reading it so I'm going to go ahead and start publishing again.  It's possible that I need this to morph into more of a general-life-but-mainly-beauty blog/diary now, I'll see how it goes.

One thing is for sure, it'll be an escape from homeschooling three children.  I'm not a fan of homeschooling to be honest.  I find it massively stressful and the kids would probably prefer me not to do it and I have thought about just ditching it and saying 'guess what, we're starting the summer holidays a month early' but I just can't find it in myself to do that, rules are rules and the rules say we need to hang in there to the end so we are!  I might have to lie down in a dark room for 2 months when we're done though.  Hardest job I've ever had to do so hats off to ALL teachers, past, present and future.

Beauty-wise, I've kept on with the daily make up despite some days (most) not leaving the house, when we were on full lockdown the most excitement I got was a twice weekly trip to Sainsbury's and a dog walk to the park (which was stressful trying to avoid contact with other dog walkers when your dog is straining at the lead and desperate to chat to his canine friends!).  There were some days when I wondered why I was doing it then I realised that I use it as my 'battle face' i.e. ready to face the day, make up is part of my routine and therefore it's on for me not for anyone else.  And besides, I like putting make up on, I find it soothing.  I'm not saying it was a full face with a smoky eye but just to make myself feel a bit more presentable and able to decipher the GCSE poems that they are making my poor Year 10 son read (poems and me 👎 - sorry son).

I haven't bought many products as I've been trying to get through and use the things I purchased last year, I went away a lot so was able to do a few Sephora trips, duty free, things like that and subsequently stocked up.  My intention was to write about them which obviously I didn't do!  So perhaps I'll try to get through some of them over the next few posts.

It's felt good to write again, I will definitely be back.


April 2020 - this was the day GCSE algebra blew my mind ...



Label M Protein Spray for hair

I love writing about hair products, I'm always on the look out for a holy grail product if there is such a thing.

I've been a fan of Label M's Curl Cream for a long time now but I have recently discovered their Protein Spray.  The one pictured below is just a little 50ml tester spray which I thought I'd try it before I bought a full sized one.  Tester products as it's a great way to find out if you like the product before you invest, it's particularly good for products that are a bit on the expensive side.

Does It Work?

Unsurprisingly, Label M Protein Spray didn't disappoint me, it smells gorgeous,  "a moisturising blend of jasmine, sweet pea, vanilla, wheat and soy" and is used on towel dried hair as a leave in conditioner.  My hair felt really shiny and strong (that must have been the protein), I was particularly pleased because my hair doesn't have much of a shine to it no matter what I put on it! I've also used it as a pick me up on dry hair. 

The Label M Range

The Label M range is really quite extensive and was designed by Toni & Guy for use in their salons.  I have also used the Curl Spray but prefer the cream as it gives a more defined curl and I think it has a nicer scent.  Label M can be purchased from Toni & Guy salons but it is quite expensive, so I tend to find it online where you can get it a bit cheaper.  The 250ml bottle is better value but if you're travelling the 50ml is very handy as its easy to transport.  My regular leave in conditioner is John Frieda's Frizz Ease, so I will continue to use that and probably use this a couple of times a week or when my hair needs a treat. 

Label M Protein Spray

EcoTools make up brushes

These EcoTool brushes are a recent addition to my make up brush collection (which has grown considerably since I realised I hadn't bought any new ones for years).  

The ones pictured are a mixture of the Fresh & Flawless Complexion Brush Set - £11.99 for a set of 5 brushes and the EcoTools Duo Eye Enhancing Set blending and shading brushes - £6.99 for two brushes, double ended.  

Brushes (clean ones!) really do make a difference to the application of make up and the overall finished look.  Before I bought these I'd been using a mixture of Laura Mercier, MAC and Bobbi Brown brushes as well as a Ruby & Millie brush which just goes to show how long I've had them as Ruby & Millie are not in business as a brand any more (more's the pity, though I believe Ruby Hammer has got some).  I now have an entire collection of brushes from different brands and 

ecotools make up brushes

These brushes are made of natural materials and are very soft and glide effortlessly across your eyes and face, the handles are made of bamboo so are very light.  The range of brushes is fairly extensive and extremely good value.

I took the Fresh & Flawless Complexion Brush Set on holiday (hence the photo of them on the sunbed) as they were in a very handy case that I just put in my bag.  When I got home I washed them gently in Baby Shampoo and flat dried them over a towel on the radiator overnight and they were good as new in the morning.  Really pleased with this purchase.  

Easy and pretty eye shadow from Make Up Revolution

After reading good reviews for this Make Up Revolution palette on blogs and on the Superdrug website, I have to say that I am adding my thumbs up as well.  I was really struck with the size of it compared to the superb price.  I asked myself, is it really possible to get this many eyeshadows for under ten pounds AND for there to be so many rave reviews about them?

Turns out it is.

Redemption Pallete - Romantic Smoked

This Make Up Revolution palette has been on my eyelids for the past week and a half.  I haven't finished testing all the shades and playing about with it but what I have used I've been really pleased with (except for the purple colour on the right hand side which did not suit me at all, my colouring not a fault of the palette).  I'm rarely as super-pleased with a palette as I have been with this one.

What you get

There are 12 shades, half are frosted and half are matte so there's a lovely mix of shades and colours and they are easily mix and match-able, lots of day and night looks here and great colours for smoky eyes too.  I also used the black as a liner on the upper lid against my lashes and underneath, its not too porous so it doesn't give a harsh line it's more blended but you can build it up if you want.  These shadows are pretty long lasting too, particularly with a good eye primer which I always try to use now, it just smooths things out a bit and increases the longevity of the colour.

Basically, a good general palette that I think would pretty much suit most people and definitely worth the money.


Make Up Revolution - Romantic Smoked


My favourite is the lilac colour, fourth one from the right




* This post was originally posted 9/3/15
* This post was edited and refreshed 28/10/19

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

Winter skin sucks.  Well, mine does.  It's dry, patchy, tired, pale, dehydrated, I could go on ... but I won't.  Thing is, that I think most people struggle with their skin in the Winter so it's not like I'm alone in this but I just find it a bit depressing at an already quite depressing time of the year.  

Anyway, I'm working my way through some skincare saviours that I've been using for a while.  They aren't completely getting rid of the dry skin problem but they are alleviating it a bit.  One of these products is Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm.

Take your make up off!

I love taking my make up off at the end of the day.  I would never go to bed with make up on no matter how tired I am, I can't sleep if I don't feel like my skin can breathe.  While I'm usually a face wash kind of girl (with a swipe of micellar water to get the last little bits of make up off) I do use a balm a couple of times a week because I find that it really softens the skin and gets rid of the all the grime.

Moringa Cleansing Balm - what to do

I've no idea why it's called this but it smells really nice.  You don't need much, there should be a little spatula thingy in the box.  So, this is what you do.

💙 Rub the balm into your face (massage it rather than scrub!). It should dissolve the make up, I also use it round the eye area, I'm not sure if I should but it's great for getting mascara off and I haven't had any ill effects (though best not do this if you've got sensitive eyes or whatever, obviously).

💙 Then, leave it a couple of minutes to sink in.  It'll feel a bit greasy but that's when it does its best work!  While it's sinking in get a face cloth and dampen it in warm water.  Then place the cloth on your face and gently wipe the balm off, the make up should come with it.  I have to rinse the cloth, squeeze it out and repeat a couple of times before its completely clean and then I take a separate cloth and wipe my eyes.

💙 Take another face cloth and dab the face dry.  No rubbing as it drags the skin.

Ta-da.  Skin is left feeling clean and soft.  Here's a YouTube video from Emma Hardie so you can see what she does.  Emma Hardie video

Price and where to buy

Now, there's no doubt that this is a glorious product, high end and very useable, does what it says on the tin etc.  However, the price is high, I would say really, for most people because it's £47.00 for 100ml which is quite a small pot and about £67.00 for 200ml.  So it's not something you can bung in your basket without a thought, you know?  But then, I think there are these really nice treat products that you can save up for, or request for birthday presents or ask for a gift voucher so you can put it towards it.  So I think overall, whilst pricey I it is worth it but it's on the list of things I ask for and save for rather than an everyday staple.

You can get it online, in Marks and Spencer beauty department and now on Amazon too.





What's in the September Glossybox?




I can't believe 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 as storage for my make up and other stuff.  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 laughed 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

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

So here is a post to show you which products I used to feel less pale on holiday.  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.  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, Hawaiian Tropic Touch of Colour.  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, some of you will 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. 


Self tanning products




Phil Smith Cocolicious Shampoo & Conditioner


I've been a fan of Phil Smith products for a long time, which you'll know if you've read any of my posts on his other hair products.  Until now though, I'd never gone for a shampoo and conditioner.  

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.  

I loved the coconut smell, which along with anything that smells like Vanilla is my absolute favourite.  

I also liked the consistency of the product, 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. 

The first time I used this was I 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 this in Sainsbury's in the UK but there's a lot more information about Phil's 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

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!



Sally Hansen Miracle Gel - Shock Wave

When I assessed my nail polish collection the other day I 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

Lipstick Love ... Pixi By Petra Shea Butter Lip Balm


It's been a while since I've written a Lipstick Love post so today I thought I'd show you this one from Pixi by Petra.  It should be noted that I love this one so much that I am now on my second one and I only discovered it about a year ago!

I first discovered Pixi on beautybay.com and became a big fan of their Flawless Primer but now I'm even happier because M&S now stock it as part of their beauty department which means that I can buy it online and in store now.   I was amazed the other week when I went in, M&S have had a total overhaul of their beauty section and now there are lots of well known brands both high end as well as the old favourites.

Anyway, this is about Pixi by Petra Shea Butter lip balm.  I find balm's can be a bit wishy washy in colour, not so with this one, it's a lovely deep pink colour which you can build up into a very strong pink should you so wish.  The balm part is really good, it isn't sticky or overly glossy so it doesn't slide off your lips, in fact it doesn't transfer easily, I find it does last quite a long time.  There are several colours in the range but this is the one that suited me most because it was a stronger colour, the one pictured is called Ripe Raspberry. 

Since I bought this I've also purchased a Pixi concealer quad which I have used far more than I expected to and will definitely re-purchase, it's a stable part of my concealer collection now. 

Pixi can be purchased on their own website www.pixibeauty.co.uk or on www.beautybay.com and in M&S stores too.  I'll definitely be adding more of their products to my ever growing cosmetic and skincare collection in the future.  I would love to know your Pixi favourites if you've got any too.


Pixi by Petra Lip Balm
 
  
 
Pixi by Petra Lip Balm ... on me!
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