Thursday, 29 October 2015

Holly Stevens Lipstick Palette

I have recently tried a new lipstick palette from Holly Stevens Cosmetics.

First of all let me tell you about Holly Stevens Cosmetics. It is owned by Steven Hutchinson who aims to provide high quality designer make up without the designer price tag whilst attempting to challenge the beauty and fashion industry to prove that natural beauty is more attractive. Have a read of the inspiring story behind Holly Stevens Cosmetics here.

The main thing I love about the Holly Stevens Cosmetics range is that their make up items are all listed by hair colour, showing you which colours would compliment which hair colour best. I think this is a brilliant idea and have never come across a company who do this before.

The lipstick palette I have is 'Infinite Lipstick for Le Brunettes' which consists of three very subtle shades that you can wear for both work or play. When it comes to daytime lip colours, I often do tend to reach for the more subtle colours as I don't want to look too made up for work and prefer a more natural day time look. The three shades in this palette suit me perfectly.

First of all there is the colour 'Ponytail'. Ponytail is described as a light-medium bridal pink. This is a gorgeous pink shade which is perfect for wearing both in the day and at night. I have always loved pink shades when it comes to lipsticks and this one is just the perfect pink colour, not too dark but not too pale and has a lovely glossy effect to it.

Then there is the colour 'Too Sweet' This colour is a light apricot colour. This is the most sheer of the three colours and gives your lips a nice glossy shine to them with a hint of colour. Perfect for a more natural look to wear throughout the day.

Finally there is 'Sexy Heels'. Sexy Heels is stated as a glossy honey colour. This comes out a little less sheer than the other two colours and is a lovely nude shade with a slight glossy finish.

Overall I would personally say my favourite is 'Sexy Heels' as I tend to have used this colour up the most due to the fact that I am really loving nude colours this autumn.

                                     (From left to right - Ponytail, Too Sweet, Sexy Heels)

I find this palette perfect to carry around in my handbag with me. The fact it has its own lip brush inside to apply the lip colour makes it even better, as it doesn't take up much room in my bag and I can just top up whenever I wish throughout the day.

The palette is only £20.99 and I would strongly recommend it if you are looking for a subtle coloured lip palette to carry around in your handbag.

Has anyone else ever tried anything from Holly Stevens Cosmetics?

Love Lauren

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A cheap SLS free facial polish

I have been looking for a perfect facial scrub for a while now. I used to use St Ives Facial scrub for years, which as you can read in my previous post, I used to love it as I found it was the only scrub harsh enough to remove the dry skin from my face. That was until I realised it contained Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, as I am staying away from anything that contains Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, I decided it was time to stop using it.

I then discovered Neutrogena Visibly Clear Blackhead eliminating scrub which I reviewed for you all in my post here, this did work pretty good but didn't remove as much dry skin as I had hoped. When looking at the ingredients one day, I realised it actually contained methylisothiazolinone. This ingredient has been reported by the British Association of Dermatologists to cause allergic reactions to people with sensitive skin which in turn causes redness and itching. This is another ingredient I am trying to avoid as my skin is so sensitive, that I just can not take the risk anymore. I will try anything to try to tone down my red inflamed skin at the moment. I need to try to use products that are as natural as possible.

I was food shopping in Waitrose and I came across their own skincare range called 'Pure'. After looking through the products, I came across a facial polish.

The Pure Face polish contains natural ingredients, is fragrance free and is suitable for sensitive skin. As it contains natural ingredients it doesn't contain either of the two ingredients above. After having a quick look online at some of the reviews, I decided to buy it. The fact it was only £2.99 was even more of a bonus.

The ingredients are - Sodium Chloride, Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Coconut Oil and Tocopheryl Acetate.

I have used the facial polish as a face scrub twice a week for 3 weeks now and I think it is amazing for the money. It helps remove dead skin cells and leaves my skin looking radiant with no sign of skin irritation at all.

I don't really notice much of a smell to it, you do get a slight smell of coconut oil but that is about it. The texture is quite greasy and and has very small exfoliator beads throughout the product to help remove the dull dry skin on your face.

The only thing I will warn people who are considering buying this is that if you have oily skin, make sure you wash your face thoroughly after use as the polish leaves a small layer of oil on your skin afterwards. This is perfect for my dry skin and I see this as a bonus but if your skin is more on the oily side, be careful of this.

I admit this doesn't remove my dry skin as much as my St Ives Scrub did, but I would never go back, I do not want to aggravate my skin anymore.

If you are looking for a nice cheap facial scrub, the Waitrose Face Polish is the one to try. You won't regret it.

Has anyone else used anything from the Waitrose Pure range before?

Love Lauren

Friday, 23 October 2015

My week in Lanzarote

I have finally decided to tell you about my holiday to Lanzarote with my boyfriend. 

A month ago I had a last minute week away to Lanzarote to relax and get myself a tan. Whilst I managed to relax, despite the weather, I still didn't exactly get much of a tan. I am just destined to be pale forever. 

We booked our holiday through Thompson and at the airport decided to pay the extra £40 each to have the extra space seats. Callum is 6ft 3, so this was perfect for him and I loved it too. I will be paying this every time I fly from now on. 

In the airport I also couldn't resist all the duty free goodies! I love a good bargain. If you want to see what I purchased have a look at my duty free buys in my previous post.

The weather whilst we were there was very good, it was usually around 41-44 degrees and due to the wind I felt I never got too hot and bothered. 

The hotel was lovely. We stayed in Los Zocos Resort  which is in Costa Teguise. 

We decided to go all inclusive and the food was surprisingly so good! I am using quite fussy with food abroad and this time I just couldn't stop eating. Each night the hotel had a different cuisine theme, from Mexican to carvery to Spanish, the food was delicious. Plus they had all you can eat pancakes!!! I was in my element. This is probably why I managed to gain nearly a stone in weight in the week I was there! 

There was two bars at the hotel, both providing their own entertainment each night and both serving a variety of lovely cocktails for me. I personally preferred the ship bar where the bar itself is inside a ship. The cocktails there were made fresh and tastes beautiful. The other bar was more family orientated which wasn't really what Callum and myself wanted. 

The only criticism of the hotel was that they stopped serving drinks at midnight. Callum and I are only in our late twenties (well Callum is now 30) and we felt this was a little too early for our liking. We would have preferred to be able to stay out drinking until 2-3am. Due to this we often ventured out to local bars once the hotel bar closed. 

Throughout the day there was always something to do. There are two swimming pools, one which is nice and quiet and the other which is situated next to the pool bar which always had some form of entertainment going on. You could play pool games, archery, football and even rifle shooting. I personally preferred the pool near the pool bar due to the lively atmosphere and the close proximity to the free cocktails and pancakes. I spent most my time sunbathing reading my book and magazines or listening to my music, as you will have read in my holiday essentials post.

If you ever decide to go away to Lanzarote I would highly recommend this hotel. If caters for everyone, young couples, older couples and even families as they have various entertainment for children.

All in all I had a great time and feel like this was now a lifetime ago. I will have to book another holiday soon I think. 

Love Lauren

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

UU Hair Extensions

I have been using hair extensions now for over 10 years. They are definitely one of my biggest guilty pleasures. I have pretty thick hair anyway so I have always used them for length more than thickness as I just love long hair, the longer the better to me. I have tried pretty much everything; human hair, synthetic, clip ins, glue in and had way too many weaves sewn in. The one thing I am sure about however is that I prefer human hair extensions 100% over synthetic hair. It just looks so much more natural. So I was thrilled when UU Hair Extensions* asked me to have a look at their range of hair extensions.

I personally always choose 18 inch clip ins. They are the perfect length for the look I desire and the clip in hair extensions are the best way to wear hair extensions without actually damaging your hair. If you are looking for very long hair to your waist then have a look at their 18 inch hair weave.

The 18 inch Medium Brown(#4) Straight Indian Remy Hair Weave matches my hair perfectly. The hair is 100% Indian Remy Human Hair and comes straight but as it is human hair, you can curl or straighten it just like your own normal hair. For $77.55 (works out to be around £50) it is a very good price for the quality of hair that you get.

If you are looking for hair that isn't too long, then I would recommend trying the 16 inch hair weave instead which are listed here. These give a more natural look and would come half way down your back.

However if you want hair extensions and still unsure as to what to buy then have a look on their best selling clip in hair extensions.

The blonde hair extensions above are one of the top selling extensions and are from the more

luxurious range for $158.55.

The reviews for the extensions on their website are fantastic with the majority of the products being given 5 stars. I just wish I had known about this site before as I admit I have purchased some very bad quality hair extensions over the last 10 years.

Do you use hair extensions? Has anyone else tried hair extensions from UU Hair Extensions?

Love Lauren


*This is a sponsored post, however all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Friday, 16 October 2015

My Payday Wishlist

I have finally decided to actually use Pinterest, I know I am way behind everyone else I know. I just couldn't seem to get in to it.

I previously only used it to keep a record of the items I want to buy for my house. Then last week I decided it was time to finally actually make use of it. I am always seeing lipsticks or face creams online I want to try. Then when I decide to buy a new lipstick, I have forgotten which colour I had previously wanted.

I have now started to pin everything I see online that I want in readiness for payday two weeks today, which can not come quick enough to be honest!

I am going to show you today the few items that are the top of my current wishlist that I feel I NEED in my life.

First of all is the Fringe Rivington Chain clutch bag from Whistles. The photos on here really do not give it justice. In person this bag is AMAZING. It is perfect for a night out with friends or just for a nice meal with my boyfriend. It is now reduced from £85.00 to £59.50 as well in the Whistles sale.

Next on my wishlist is the new Givenchy Live Irresistible Eau De Parfum. I smelt this a few weeks ago in the airport and it smells beautiful.  It has a very pretty floral scent to it which is exactly what I look for in a perfume.

The next product you will probably think I am mad for not already having in my collection, the Original Beauty Blender. I have heard so much about this product for months but I just don't seem to have got round to buying it. Which I am not quite sure why as it is only £16.00.

Finally, there is Pixi Beauty Sleep Cream which at £27.00 is pretty pricey but I have heard so many good things about this cream. I have such dull dry skin and the cream claims to plump and hydrate the skin, so if it lives up to this and the reviews I have read online, then I will be a very happy girl.

What products are on your wishlist?

My page is here if anyone wants to have a look. It is still early days but I will be trying to add to it on a daily basis.

Comment the link to your Pinterest pages if you want me to have a look at yours :)

Love Lauren

Thursday, 15 October 2015

L'Oreal Hair Expertise shampoo and conditioner review

As you will have seen in my post here I decided to only use products that don’t contain sodium lauryl sulphate. If you want to know why I have decided to try to avoid sodium lauryl sulphate and want to know what it is then have a read here. 
I had been using the Moroccan Oil shampoo and conditioner for around about a year but when I decided to be sodium lauryl sulphate free and had a look through all of my products for the ingredient, I discovered Moroccan Oil unfortunately has sodium lauryl sulphate in it.
After doing some research online, I discovered that L’Oreal have a range of shampoo and conditioners that contain no sulphate, called L'Oreal Hair Expertise. Even more of a bonus, was the fact that the shampoo is only £5.99 at Boots, compared to me usually paying around £18.00 for my Moroccan Oil shampoo.  
I decided to buy both the shampoo and conditioner and have just finished my second bottle of each, so I thought it was time for me to review these products for you.

First of all the shampoo. I do like this shampoo. I find you only have to use a small amount and that is enough, even with my think long hair. It also is very foaming which surprised me considering it doesn't contain sodium lauryl sulphate, which is the foaming agent used in most shampoos. 

My scalp was still a little sensitive after use but it didn’t itch half as much as it did before. I would definitively recommend this product, and I have actually, my mother now uses it herself.
The conditioner however, isn't as good in my opinion. It may work perfectly for other people but for me it just didn't moisturise my dry and damaged hair enough. My hair wasn't as smooth and sleek as usual after styling. My hair looked slightly damaged and you could tell how dry it was, rather than disguising my damaged hair like most conditioners I have used. 

Bear in mind my hair is very damaged due to years of bleach, glued and sewed in hair extensions and being dyed every colour under the sun, so this conditioner may be perfect for you. It just isn't strong enough for me
Even though I am happy with the L'Oreal Hair Expertise shampoo, I am still trying out various different natural shampoo and conditioners to find one that suits my hair perfectly.
Have you used this shampoo or conditioner? Are there any shampoos or conditioners you would recommend that do not contain sodium lauryl sulphate?
Love Lauren

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Mascara mini samples review - MAC False Lashes Extreme and Benefit Roller Lash

 I ran out of my mascara about six months ago and found a couple of mini mascara samples in my make up bag. So instead of buying a new mascara, I thought I would test these out instead.

I like my eyelashes to be thick black and long, basically as close to false eyelashes as possible. I have never managed to find the perfect mascara for me and have been on the hunt for years which is why whenever I do go out with friends, I usually have to wear false eyelashes.

The first of my samples is MAC's False Lashes Extreme Black. The name of this had me filled with such high hopes. The mascara unfortunately does not give a false eyelashes look at all. If does give an extreme black colour as the name claims though which I do like. I was expecting huge thick long lashes and the mascara just didn't live up to my expectations. However, if you are looking for a good every day mascara which isn't too over the top then I would recommend you give this a try.

My second sample is Benefit's Roller Lash. I have read so much about this online on various blogs and websites. I love the wand on this mascara, it really separates each lash, not leaving any clumps behind. My eyelashes look a lot longer and thicker which in turn really open up my eyes.

Overall, I would say the Benefit a Roller Lash was my favourite of the two mascaras by far which really surprised me as I really believed I had found a winner with MAC's False Lashes mascara.

Would I buy either again? I wouldn't buy the MAC mascara again but I would possibly buy the Benefit mascara. However, it still isn't my dream mascara so I will continue my hunt for a mascara that will give me the dramatic look I am seeking.

Does anyone have any recommendations as to what mascara I should try next?

Love Lauren

Friday, 9 October 2015

Ways to de-stress and sleep

I seem to find myself getting stressed very easily these days. I am not sure whether it is how busy it is in my job or whether I am just a stressful person in general. As a result of this, I often struggle to sleep at night. It can take a good couple of hours after getting in to bed before I finally drift off and when I finally do manage to sleep, I then seem to wake up constantly throughout the night.
This post is to help other people in similar situations. I am going to talk to you about products and methods I have used that I find help me with my stress levels and help me to switch off at night.
Firstly, I have recently been trying a 30 day meditation course which I think it really helping. I am currently half way through and I will fill you in with my progress in full once I have finished. So far though, I find that if I meditate before bed then it does help my mind become free of thoughts which in turn makes it easier for me to fall to sleep once I get in to bed.
I also find that lighting a lovely smelling Yankee candle in my room in the evening helps calm me down too. Candles such as Lilac Blossoms and Fluffy Towels work best for me, use whatever candle you find has a relaxing aroma to it. This is especially perfect when you are in bed reading a book before you want to fall to sleep. Which leads me on to my next point, reading.

Reading before bed helps relax me so much. I always try to turn off my laptop, television and put my phone down by 9.30-10.00pm. The bright lights in your laptop and television screens stimulate your brain and trick your brain in to thinking it is still daylight, causing your brain to stop producing the hormone melatonin which makes us sleepy. Reading a good book instead is the perfect way to calm your body down. I am currently reading the book 'A Street Cat Named Bob' and I genuinely find that when I read before bed instead of watching Netflix or blogging away, it really helps me switch off faster instead of tossing and turning for a good hour.

De-cluttering your room and workspace also helps with de-stressing. I feel so calm when my room and desk at work are all nice and clear, compared to how worked up it gets me to see clutter build up. It sounds silly but you really don't understand how much this can help you stay calm and relaxed. 
One final thing I would recommend is the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. Now I don't know whether it works as I believe it will work or whether it actually does work. Either way, I find this really helps me to fall asleep. I spray my pillow a couple of times with the lavender scented spray as I am ready to doze off and I am dreaming away within minutes. I will review this product in full soon for you all.

Does anyone else have any other ways or products that helps them de-stress and sleep? 
Love Lauren

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Treatment Mask

I haven't used a facial mask for quite some time and a month ago I thought it was about time I actually found one that I can't live without.

After hunting online reading review after review on various different face masks, I came across Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Treatment Mask. I have been trying to find more natural skin care products and this face mask is 99% natural.

The ingredients are - 'aqua (water, eau), ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, glyceryl stearate, parfum (fragrance)*, propanediol, salvia sclarea (clary)extract, lactobacillus, astrocaryum tucuma seed butter, trichilia emetica seed butter, cera alba (beeswax, cired'abeille), citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) peel, polyamine sonchifolia root juice, helianthus annuus(sunflower) seed wax, lecithin, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, maltodextrin, tocopherol, xanthan gum, glycine soja(soybean) oil, stearic acid, sodium PCA, zinc PCA, potassium stearate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol, amyl cinnamal, eugenol, hydroxycitronellal, linalool *natural fragrance / parfum naturel'

It claims that the formula is scientifically proven to provide intense hydration while helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  I have never tried any Burt's Bees products before but I thought if it lives up to what it claims to do then I will be a happy bunny.

The directions are as follows - Cleanse skin and apply a thick layer of the mask all over the face and neck, leave for 5-10 minutes then remove with a tissue.

I have been using the mask twice a week and leave it on for ten minutes before wiping it away with a muslin cloth and then massaging the remainder of the product in to my skin. I then follow this by using my normal face cream.

I pleasantly surprised with how good this mask actually is. My skin after the treatment is ridiculously smooth with no dry skin in sight. I suffer from very dry sensitive skin and my skin is so hydrated after use and compared to pretty much 99% of skin products, it actually doesn't sting my sensitive skin when applying it.

The mask is a thick white formula with a slight fruity smell to it.

I'd say this is probably the best product I've come across in a long time to help keep my dry skin at bay. It really is s miracle cure!

I can't really comment on whether it has helped with the appearance of fine line me and wrinkles as I have only been using it for three weeks.

If you have skin that is in need of hydration, but this product. You won't regret it! It will be perfect to fight winter skin! You  can buy the mask here for £19.99.

Do you have a face mask you can't live without?

Love Lauren

Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Versatile Blogger Award - My nominations

I was so happy this afternoon to be nominated by the lovely Girl Abroad for The Versatile Blogger Award, check out her amazing blog here. This seems like such a great way for bloggers to support each other and help promote their favourite blogs. As soon as I read that I had been nominated, I just had to join in as it is a bit of fun and nice to see people of the blogging world praising others.

If you are nominated by myself or any other blogger, this is what you have to do:-

1. Thank the person who nominated you and comment on their blog.

2. Include a link to their blog.

3. Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

4. Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you have recently followed or follow regularly.

I have completed 1 and 2 above.

Here are 7 facts about me:-

1. I love animals, especially cats. I am sure I will end up a crazy old cat lady one day.
2. I have a Law Degree and a post-graduate diploma in law and I am currently working as a Trainee Solicitor. My dreams are slowly coming true :)
3. I live in Birmingham, England
4. During my law degree I was lucky to spend 6 weeks working in a law firm in Texas, USA and not only visited prisons, I also visited death row and interviewed inmates there.
5. I have only been blogging now for a few months but I love it and feel I am slightly addicted now.
6. I have a strange obsession with Britney Spears and would love to see her in Las Vegas.
7. My favourite film is Mary Poppins.

Now it is time to list 15 blogs/bloggers that I have recently followed or follow regularly. In no particular order:-

1. Ela BellaWorld
2. Linda Libra Loca
3.Lauren Barden
4. Pink Porcelain Doll
5. Made in Mauve
6. Abigail Alice X
7. Chocolate and Sunset
8. Happirella
9. Jennifer Jayne
10.  Fix Me in Forty Five
11. Samantha Series
12. Coffee at Midnight
13. Jade's Little Blog
14. Perla Sancheza
15. The Urban Obsessions

Hope you find another blog above for you to follow and love :)

Love Lauren

Saturday, 3 October 2015

My duty free goodies

You can't go to the airport without having a look around all the duty free items! 

I somehow managed to spend most my time in the MAC store during my last trip to the airport. 

I thought I would go for more Autumn colours and ended up buying two eyeshadows, a lipstick and an eyeshadow brush. 

Let's start with the eyeshadows. First of all I decided on 'Coppering'. This is an orange copper colour and perfect for an Autumn make up look!

Next I decided to buy 'Ricepaper'. This is a peachy gold colour with a frosty finish. I have always heard so much about this colour so I had to purchase it and try it myself! 

I then decided to buy an eyeshadow brush to use with my new eyeshadows as my previous one was a bit worse for wear. I bought the '239' eye shader brush. 

I seem to find it impossible going to MAC without buying a lipstick. Due to hearing so many positive comments about 'Velvet Teddy' I decided to buy it. Yes I know you probably wonder why it has taken me so long to purchase this colour and I really don't have an answer for this but I am so happy that I have finally have!

So there are my duty free buys. I will review the products once I have used them a few times. 

Does anyone else go duty free crazy at the airport? What do you usually end up buying?

Love Lauren