Tuesday, 28 January 2014

REVIEW: REN Vita Mineral Active 7 Eye Gel

REN Vita Mineral Active 7 Eye Gel*
A light and cooling gel to treat, revive and brighten the delicate eye area, under or over makeup.

I always thought of eye gels as sticky pointless wastes of times in a skin care routine however some recent launches have definitely changed my view.

The REN Active 7 Eye Gel is a great example of a modern eye cream formulated as a gel, it does have it's benefits being in this form; it cools the eyes upon impact making a great addition to a morning routine, it's very moisturising but stays incredibly light so perfect under makeup and it's a great option for younger people wanting to use eye creams but don't need the promise of anti ageing benefits which is rare as most eye creams are definitely targeted at the more mature market.

I use the REN eye gel both morning and night; it hydrates and refreshes my tired eyes and does it without any stickiness or heaviness and at £20 (Link) does all this at a very reasonable price which reflects the market it is suitable for, why spend £100 on an eye cream when this is all you need?

Sunday, 26 January 2014

NOTD: Ciaté Strike-A-Posy Flower Manicure

Ciaté Strike-A-Posey Flower Manicure*
'Step into Spring's floral trend with the Ciaté London Flower Manicure. Using natural dried pressed flowers, a posy of colour can be applied and sealed directly onto the nail to create a beautifully blossoming effect. Scatter across your manicure or sprinkle onto a feature nail for a floral hit.'

Ciaté always manages to produce the most innovative ideas when it comes to nail design and even I was surprised to find that the flowers in this kit are actual flowers which gives such a delicate look and texture.

I love the look you can achieve with this kit and it is perfect for spring and summer nails, I can just see it paired with a maxi dress, wellies and big sunglasses at a festival. I think I prefer it as an accent nail rather than on each nail but that might be because I did each nail differently to show the variety of ways to use the flowers.

At £18 (Link) exclusive to Selfridges, you get a mini Paint Pot in the shade CandyFloss which is a gorgeous blue toned pink, the flowers, a full size Speed Dry Top Coat (which is amazing), a pair of tweezers and a nail file. The flowers are very delicate so you do need the tweezers but it doesn't take any skill to apply it's really is simple.

I can't wait to try the flowers over some other nail polish shades, what are your favourite Spring trends?

Friday, 24 January 2014

REVIEW: Laura Geller Balance-N-Brighten Foundation


Having oily skin can be a pain at times; although I remind myself on a daily basis that the oil prevents ageing it doesn’t stop me longing to wear products that promote ‘glowing’ skin and it tends to just look a mess after an hour.

Choosing a setting powder also proved a pain as anything targeted to oily skin tends to be matte which usually makes your pores look bigger and your skin look flat and dull. I used Bare Minerals original foundation as a setting powder for a long time and although it gave me the glow I wanted and helped the longevity of my makeup it made my pores look huge. I was randomly browsing QVC one night and bought the Laura Geller Balance n’ Brighten foundation as I used it when I was 18 and remembered liking it.

'Balance-n-Brighten Baked Color Correcting Foundation is a unique Baked powder that can be used on its own or combined with your favorite base for a flawless finish. Designed with swirls of soft tan and cream, its luxuriously smooth and silky texture helps offset ruddiness, brightens sallow tones, and balances most complexions.'

Although I haven’t tried it for an actual foundation I can honestly say this is the best powder I have used; I tried the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders and was extremely disappointed as I felt they did nothing, the Laura Geller does everything that I wanted the Hourglass powder to do; Sets my makeup ensuring it lasts all day, gives me a beautiful glow that doesn’t look at all oily and it gives the airbrushed effect making my pores look a lot less noticeable.

The shade range is a bit limited and does run slightly pink as it’s a brightening product, but I don’t think I will buy another setting powder as it is pretty perfect for me. At £28 (Link) it’s not a cheap product and you really are getting your monies worth I think as it’s excellent plus you get a retractable brush in the kit which is great for topping up your powder on the go.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

REVIEW: Aurelia Miracle Cleanser

Apologies for the stock photo
I have been taking probiotics for a few weeks and the concept does intrigue me; the idea behind including it in skin care is that it manages the level of inflammation which is the main cause of skin ageing; the products in the Aurelia range are designed to protect against ageing, regenerate cell metabolism and boost hyaluronic acid along with increasing collagen synthesis leaving you with glowing radiant skin.

The Miracle Cleanser is a cream cleanser which removes makeup and impurities, fusing probiotic and peptide technologies with BioOrganic plant and flower essences to hydrate and soothe dull and dehydrated skin.

This is a cleanser that would suit the most laziest of makeup removers out there, it removes all traces of makeup incredibly easily and gently as well as cleansing the skin (always double cleanse people). It's effortless and is so much better for your skin than if you use makeup wipes (and if you do I judge you)

For similar minded folk as myself who relish cleansing their face at night this is such an enjoyable cleanser to use, the smell of Eucalyptus is quite potent so incredibly calming after a long day and instantly relaxes me at the sink. Massaging it into the skin is a pleasure as the texture is lovely and smooth and doesn't sting the eyes at all; gentle yet extremely effective.

If you're weary of using an oil cleanser this is a great alternative, it reminds me of a more grown up sophisticated Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish with greater benefits to the skin. Given a choice I would definitely invest my money in the Aurelia Miracle Cleanser, you can purchase it from Aurelia (Link) and it is £34 for 120mls.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

NOTD: Essie Maximillian Strasse Her

I always say I don't tend to stay true to seasonal shades with my nail polish and this week is prime example, this polish was from Essie's Spring 2013 collection and is possibly one of my favourite polishes I have.

Maximillian Strasse Her is a pastel greeny grey with a slight hint of blue; it manages to be a very modern shade but not lacking in sophistication, I think the main element that connects my favourite nail polishes are that they seem to look different colours in different lights and this is very true of this polish; in some lights it looks like a pale khaki colour and in others a very light grey blue. It is very unique and I don't think i've seen a nail polish of a similar shade.

Of course because this post is approximately 12 months late you can't just nip into Boots to buy it but it's still available online (Link), well worth the purchase.

Are you looking forward to Spring and the lovely pastel hues?

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

ChanELLO

Now i'm not one for counterfeit goods, if Chanel ever did released an iPad case that looked like a Chanel Boy handbag I would totally buy the real one but they don't so I bought this and I love it.

I posted a picture on my Instagram account on Saturday and got a few questions about where I got it from so I thought i'd do a post. It was from Etsy (Link) and was about £20, it's really well made and looks so cool, you can also get iPhone cases in the same style which I will be getting! It took about 2 weeks to arrive as it is from China (shock Horror) but well worth the wait.


Thursday, 9 January 2014

REVIEW: John Frieda Full Repair

John Frieda Full Repair Shampoo and Conditioner *
I have had such an itchy scalp recently that I started looking for treatments to correct the very annoying condition but in doing so it dried my hair out considerably.

The John Frieda Full Repair range couldn't have landed on my door step any sooner; the shampoo manages to balance cleansing the hair and nourishing it very well leaving your hair soft but not weighed down or greasy. The conditioner really packs a punch and is on par with many deep conditioners I have used in the past but at a fraction of the cost, again it manages to nourish it and make your hair shiny without any heaviness.

If you're trying to cut back in January on your spending and in the market for some hair care I cannot recommend the range highly enough, the 250ml bottles (Link) are priced at £5.98 or they are available in 500ml bottles on offer for £6.74 (Link) which I think is a bargain.

What are your favourite budget buys for January?

Sunday, 5 January 2014

NOTW: Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe

I have had my eye on this nail polish for a very long time but never quite bit the bullet and purchased it; however as it was in the BeautyBay sale I decided it was about time to add it to my collection.

This is an incredible nail polish, the base is a sheer teal shade and is packed with fine blue glitter with larger blue and green holographic chunky glitter pieces. It really is a stunning and very unique polish, I applied it over a navy polish as it is very sheer and it would have taken a few coats to be fully opaque.

Deborah Lippmann glitter polishes are priced at £17.00 a bottle which even I would find difficult to spend on a nail polish, BeautyBay have the whole line on sale with polishes starting from £12.00 which softens the blow and is definitely encouraging me to buy a few more colours but I must resist.

I seriously cannot stop staring at my nails, have you got a nail polish which has this effect on you? ... I definitely think this has gone straight into my top ten favourite nail polishes.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

2014: Goals

This is me looking to the future thinking 'stop eating so much, stop eating so much'
New year, new you blah blah blah; Resolutions, goals whatever you want to call them are usually dropped by January because people give themselves such ridiculous standards to keep up; I have serious commitment issues in life so I try and make mine as easy and attainable as possible.

Blogging:
Working full time and blogging regularly can be difficult as you have to stay very organised and give up free time that you might not want to at times. At the end of last year I really tried to keep on top of it and managed it by planning my month ahead of time and using my blogging calendar (Link) this year my goal is to post at least twice a week and maybe a video here and there as it has been requested a lot.

Exercise:
Yes I know pretty much everyone has this as a goal at the beginning of the year but it hasn't ever been mine and please note this is not 'do more exercise' as I don't really do any at all, I do have weight loss goals and this is definitely tied into it but i'm not making it a main goal as it is going to be a gradual change in eating and lifestyle but exercise is one I can introduce immediately as I have a cross trainer in front of my TV for me to jump on when watching a film as much as I can.

Reduce Fizzy Drinks
For some reason I seemed to drink loads of coke towards the middle and end of last year and I really do need to cut it out, one or two cans of Vanilla Coke a month is what I am restricting myself to and I should be able to keep up with this as I can't get hold of the stuff very often.

Buy Less Crap/Use Up Products
I have a stupid amount of products and as I try and review as many products as I can I tend not to finish one product before testing out the next which has lead to me having a silly amount so before purchasing new body and hair products I have to have finished something. I am not allowed to buy any leave in conditioners as I have a ridiculous amount.

Do you have any goals for the year? You must bully me and motivate me into achieving mine!

REVIEW: Halston Woman Amber Perfume

Halston Woman Amber*
'Halston Woman Amber is a sophisticated and deeply sensual oriental perfume of hypnotic precious amber and wood resins.'

I rarely try new perfumes as I tend to forget to use the perfumes I already own so buying a new one seems a little wasteful, call it laziness (which it totally is) but it just isn't a priority when I'm getting ready in the morning.

When Selfridges offered me the chance to try the Halston Amber for women I was determined to use it and had very high expectations because the description sounded like the perfect fragrance for me.

It is a very grown up fragrance with the base notes comprised of sandalwood and musk, the top notes of the perfume are fruity but not sweet which keeps it light on application, once they fade the middle notes are more floral with a distinct amber undertone. I describe it as grown up because younger women in general prefer sweeter fragrances and as you get older you begin to appreciate the more deeper scents and this is definitely one of them but is in no way grannyish (basically the smell of pot pourri).

I love this mix of fruits, florals, amber and musk; it certainly didn't disappoint me and the lasting power of this is fantastic, a couple of spritz's and you'll be smelling it on yourself all day. I have received so many compliments since I have started using it.

Design wise the box and bottle are pure luxe, the bottle has a real weight to it and it feels so luxurious and looks wonderful on my dressing table, I don't even want to throw the box away it looks so nice and I am not one for keeping boxes.

Priced at £81 for 100ml eau de parfum (Link) it is a little pricey but so worth it, you need very little so it will last you a long time and it is very unique something I am always happy to pay more for as I'm constantly smelling my other perfumes on people; I doubt many people will have this one.

Are you like me and hate smelling the same as everyone else? I think this could now be my signature scent.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

GIVEAWAY: 2013 Favourites

Welcome to Obsessed By Beauty, at the beginning of every year I run down my favourite products from the previous twelve months and seen as my blog has a brand new name I thought I would mark the occasion with a giveaway of those very products to say thank you to everyone for their continued support and loyalty. Any reviews I have written will be linked as I will be doing a little summary rather than a full review on each product.

Body Care Favourites


Philosophy in Egg Nog

I love the philosophy bath and shower gels (and have been known to use them as shampoos when i've wanted my hair to smell nice) their scent really does linger on the body and smelling like egg nog all day is pretty alluring I can assure you.

Rituals Hand Balm

This is a bit of a cheat favourite as I've had it for about two week, I received this in my Glossybox and I am truly 'wowed' by this product. It is made for very dry hands and it sorted out my dry cuticles in a matter of hours. It had to be in here as I am never going without it again.

Korres Body Butter in Fig

This is to die for, the formula is lovely and rich so it performs its job nicely without leaving residue and this smells AMAZING and has kicked off an unhealthy habit for hoarding anything fig smelling; I haven't ever eaten a fig but by god I love smelling like one.

Nails


Red Carpet Manicure Gel Polish System (Review)

I purchased this on New Years Eve last year and had a gel manicure on my nails pretty much constantly since then; as long as you remove it correctly it is none damaging and you have a perfect manicure for two weeks. Definitely my ultimate favourite for 2013.

Skin Care


Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Repair Balm

I always thought of Eight Hour balm as glorified horribly scented vaseline however the Lip Repair Balm really does helped chapped lips and has been my saviour during winter.

Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask

Skin care is very tricky in a giveaway because everyone's skin reacts differently to products but this is a fantastic product for all skin types. It helps congestion incredibly without drying out the skin leaving it clear and soft.

HealGel Face (Review)

Again a product all skin types can benefit from as it really does help to calm your skin if you have breakouts, hydrate if you have dehydrated or dry skin and just makes your skin look healthy.

HealGel Eyes (Review)

This is a fantastic eye cream if you have dark circles, it is perfect under makeup as it light and absorbs very well but it hydrates amazingly.

Makeup


BeautyBlender (Review)

I have to say I was very sceptical about this as it is so hyped up on YouTube but I was happy to be proved wrong and it is an everyday makeup essential for me now, it perfectly blends in foundation with minimum fuss and very easy to clean.

Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray

This again is an everyday essential in my makeup routine as I have oily skin however I think every skin type could use this because it can help the longevity of anyones makeup and also if you've over done it on powder it sorts the problem out perfectly.

BECCA Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector (Review)

My oily skin craves this and I had to include it in the giveaway; even if you don't have oily skin you could pass it on to someone who does and change their life (slight exaggeration ... only slight though).

Benefit They're Real Mascara (Review)

Curls, lengthens and separates, what more could you want. After two years since my first review I still love it just as much.

Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadow Palette (Review)

Since I purchased the palette I don't think i've used another eyeshadow since, they are so soft and the staying power is immense, as eyeshadow is so specific to skin tone and eye colour the winner of the giveaway will get to pick the shade of their choice.

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (Review)

These are possibly my favourite lip sticks on the market, they are fantastically pigmented and last and incredible amount of time on the lips, as with the eyeshadow palette the winner will be able to chose the colour of their choice.

Fashion


Rebecca Minkoff Moto Hudson Handbag

Ok so I don't technically own this as of yet (My Christmas money is burning a hole in my easily flammable pocket) because this was the year that I got my Hermés Kelly handbag but unfortunately for the lucky winner I couldn't exactly give one of those away so I thought long and hard about which bag to pick and I have to say I love the Rebecca Minkoff one. I really dislike the Mac bags so was surprised to see this one; I really do want it myself so thought my readers would share my taste, I love the oxblood shade as it is very versatile and will go with so many colours.

So on to the rules;


1. Follow my blog either on Google Friend Connect or BlogLovin'
2. Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
I hope you had a wonderful 2013 and here's to an even better 2014!