Sunday, 23 August 2015

Summer Holiday 2015 Favourites ...!


Can I really be writing about this Summer's Holiday favourites already?  Doesn't seem like two minutes since I was rushing around like an idiot trying to get the packing done (getting all stressed out as I do every year!).  And then we were there ... South of France, gorgeous villa,  fantastic weather (30+ degrees most days!), good food and company - what more could you want?  And then we were back ... and it all seems like a distant memory ... so here are few bits that I snapped whilst we were on holiday that stood out for me  ...

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue - I knew this would be ideal for holiday and I was right! I only used a small amount to add a smidge of cover and it did a brilliant job of keeping in with the 'no make-up look' - will definitely repurchase for use again next summer. Full review here.

Vichy Ideal Soleil Mattifying Face Dry Touch SPF 30  -  I'll try and sneak a full review of this on here before  the Summer ends (which basically means sooner rather than later!) it did a good job  of helping me avoid that overly greasy feeling!

Mally Under Eye Brightener - this isn't only a summer staple - it's an all-year-round staple to help combat dark circles and under eye shadows! Reviewed here this particular pot was coming to an end so I just shoved it in my make-up bag as I didn't have a travel size to take. I've since reordered a kit with both the same size pot (which honestly seems to go on for a couple of years!) and a handy travel size which will be saved for next year's holiday!

Bourjois Cream Blush in Sweet Cherry and 1 Seconde Volume in Ultra Black - a couple of winners here from Bourjois! I reviewed Sweet Cherry last year here - it's a lovely natural looking everyday blush perfect for holiday. I'm about to write up my review of 1 Seconde Volume up but I think it will be a good one - say no more!

Philip Kingley Elasticizer and Daily Damage Defence and Color Wow One Minute Transformation Styling Cream - moving onto hair products!  I've used Elasticizer for years, this travel size came with a recent Elasticizer kit from QVC and is so convenient to use on holiday, just stick it on late afternoon, sit out in the sun to catch those last rays and then just wash out when you go in to shower - easy and effective!  The Daily Damage Defence is brilliant for reviving frizz prone hair, leaving it soft without any crispiness. Similarly the Color Wow Styling Cream smooths hair with a tiny bit of texture, yet doesn't weigh hair down or leave it sticky or greasy and you only need a small amount! I left my hair to dry naturally after mostly every wash on this year's holiday and these two styling products really helped to control the inevitable frizzies and stop me looking like an extra from the Hair Bear Bunch!

Batiste Blush Dry Shampoo - I picked up this travel size on a last minute shopping trip before we went.  It does leave a bit of white cast on darker hair if you spray too close but nothing that can't be 'rubbed out' once massaged in and helps to refresh and give hair a decent amount of volume at the roots. I'd buy again to take away!

Large sun-hat and and equally large box of French Rose - a couple of obvious favourites for a hot holiday ... I don't think I need explain why!

One more favourite ... (sigh!) ... the view from our balcony ... (further sighs!) ... lovely isn't it! 

What have been your holiday favourites this year?

Jen x

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Wedding Outfit Dilemma ... Part 1!


It's been a mad few weeks that's for sure (as you may have gathered by the sparse blog posts!) ... overtime, end of term for the kids, then holiday preparations were underway, had a brilliant time with the family in the South of France,  and now my brother and his lovely fiancee are shortly to be married ... so the madness continues! Good madness of course!

So ... wedding outfit ... I'm not a regular 'dress wearer' as you may know ... I tend to try to toughen things up with boots etc to play down the ladylike vibe (looks great on others but not so much on me!) but you can't really do that for your brother's wedding can you? Well ... I could but don't think my mum would be very impressed! And herein lies the dilemma ... an age appropriate dress in the correct colour that doesn't cost the earth ... with the right neckline, not too short, long, clingy, baggy or fussy ... don't want much do I?  Here are a few that have caught my eye from House of  Fraser, Debenhams and New Look - all images and links etc are from Pinterest here ...

Not sure whether to go for something floaty ...

or lace and floaty ... this one may be a bit too short actually ...

Or fitted lace ...

or something in between ...

I think this is probably my favourite, a bit more sophisticated but I love the style and colour ...

... and for some reason, although I'm not a flowery girl, this one from Ted Baker is calling to me ...

So what do you think - opinions please? Would you go floaty, lacy or fitted? I've ordered a few dresses so will showcase once I've had a trying on session!  I'm not even thinking about bag or shoes yet, that's another kettle of fish!

Jen x

Friday, 31 July 2015

Hauling in July ... !


It feels like forever since I did a haul post so this is a big one ... although all this lot wasn't just bought in one go but rather in dribs and drabs over the last month-ish ...!

Starting off with hair ... yes well ... now that I've had my hair cut into a short bob I've decided I want to grow it into more of a 'lob' (my daughter says this is all I ever do ... cut it off then try to grow it ... grow it then cut it off again and so on and so forth!). Anyway, I've invested in a couple of appliances for starters ...

A picture of the July Haul

I needed a new hairdryer after my old one packed in ... ummed and ahhed for ages and in the end decided to go for a professional brand (more on that later) so went for the Diva Professional Veloce 3800 Pro from Amazon. And also the Babyliss Dual Big Hair Rotating Hot Air Styler which, in contrast, was an impulse buy after I saw the demo on QVC and decided it was the styling tool for me - so far so good!

A few clothing buys ...

A picture of the July Haul

This lot was bought fairly recently ... the softest off-white top ever from The White Stuff, navy linen blend dress from Gap, long sleeve basic t-shirt and another 'fluffy thing' from Next (have one in grey and how I love it for softness and warmth during the colder months!) all in the sales! The only non sale item was my new leather bag - a bargain from TK Maxx - I'm in love and can't stop gazing at it - I've never had a 'handbag fetish' but this could be the start of a bad habit!

A picture of the July Haul

Flowery print gypsy top (not sure it's me as I don't usually do the flower or the gypsy thing but my mum likes it!) and khaki utility skirt from the New Look sale.  Also got hold of a pair of thin khaki trousers from New Look (only £9!) and was unsure whether to keep or not as I'm rarely out of my jeans but the opinion was an outright 'keeper' when I asked for opinions over on Instagram!

Next up a few beauty buys ... some essential and some treats ...!

A picture of the July Haul

The essentials ... (in my book anyway!) were the Vichy Ideal Soleil Mattifying Face Dry Touch SPF 30 as I fancied something non-shiny on my kite this holiday and  Bourjois Bronzing Primer - it's meant to be a dupe for the Chanel Bronze Universel, which I have loved in past years so we'll see how it compares!
The treats ... Original Source Coconut and Shea Butter Shower Cream and Mandara Spa Shea & Coconut Body Butter on offer in Sainsburys and Rimmel Wake Me-Up Concealer (although this could be deemed as essential as I should never be without an under-eye concealer!), Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lipliner in Spice and Natural Collection Eye Liner in grey.

A couple of footwear items ...

A picture of the July Haul

Can't stretch to Birkenstocks this year so these will do me nicely from Primark at only £4! And finally  ... my JuJu Reilly sandals - a bargain in the Office sale at a tenner - they are so comfy - I could shop for hours in them (but I won't!) ... I want another pair!

So that's me done for a while, must try to be good now although my brother's wedding is coming up next month so that could be a problem!  What have you bought in July?

Jen x

Friday, 24 July 2015

Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse DD Creme - Review


After a fair amount of dithering around on my part (what's new) I eventually got hold of the Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse DD  Creme from M&S back in April ... there was an offer on ... it was an excellent deal ... a no brainer ... you can read about it here if you feel the need! Nuxe is not a brand I would normally look to for this type of product but I'm so glad I did! Think it was SPF30 that first attracted my attention, it's meant to moisturise for up to 8 hours, beautifies (good grief I need some of that!) and protect the skin from daily assaults such as oxidative stress, pollution, UVA/UVB".  So all in all a pretty good dose of 'Daily Defense' for the old hide wouldn't you say?

A picture of the Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse DD Creme
A picture of the Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse DD Creme

Nuxe say the DD can be used either instead of or after moisturiser.  I apply over moisturiser as it has a tendency to sit in the pores on my chops if not ... and believe me I do not want an additional emphasis on my chops at my time of life!  The texture is surprisingly creamy and thicker than I expected and because of this I find it's much easier to buff in with my flat kabuki brush rather than fingers. The coverage can be built up and to my mind has more of a 'light foundation' rather than 'tinted moisturiser' look, although it doesn't have a heavy feel to it once on. It evens out skintone and lightly masks imperfections (of which I have many!) but with a natural, dewy finish rather than flat matte vibe.  It does seem to keep the moisture levels up - I haven't noticed any tightness or dryness as the day goes on and fades away evenly without any patchiness.  I should point out that T Zones will want to shine through but it's nothing that a bit of powder (or mineral veil in my case) can't fix but I do tend to save the Nuxe DD for non work days as I'm lazy/can't be nipping to the loo or sitting at my desk sorting out my shiny bits once I'm at work!  

The Nuxe DD is available in three shades - light, medium and dark.  I have the medium, it's quite rich in colour when swatched but once blended in it marries in well with my own light olive skintone and although you can't tell from the pics below (it was a dull grey day and I don't think my camera white balance settings were correct) it does warm up and give the complexion a bit of a 'glow' once on ... do not ask me why I look happier in the 'before' pic rather than the 'after' ... should be the other way around! 

A picture of the Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse DD Creme

So ... all in all I think this is a winner and a product I'd definitely like to repurchase - it's like skincare and make-up rolled into one. I think it's ideal for a bit of cover in summer when you want more than a tinted moisturiser and will be great in winter to protect, hydrate and give skin a bit of oomph once the winter pallor sets it (yep that won't be long will it!).  It doesn't break the bank at £21/30ml but I've noticed Nuxe have 30% off selected products on their own website here - which brings it down to a very tidy £14.70. I'm having to restrain myself as you can imagine! 

Have you tried the Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse DD Creme? Are you tempted by a bit of 'Daily Defense'? 

Jen x

Sunday, 12 July 2015

June Empties ...


So ... June has come and gone ... it was a really busy month with my girl's birthday and my boy's confirmation at church as well as bashing my nose in at the gym ...  as you do! A few empties here then ...

A picture of June Empties

Gatineau Melatogenine Refreshing Cream Cleanser - love this cleanser, it's a bit of a multi-tasker which you can read about in my full review here.  The super-size tube lasts for ages and I've already repurchased!  

Dove Youthful Vitality Thickening Essence and Charles Worthington Strength and Repair Pro-Heat Milk - these two were included in my 2014 favourites. I do dip in and out of other 'thickening products' but seem to come back to the Dove Thickening Essence - this is my third bottle! Also just cracked open my third of the Charles Worthington Pro-Heat Milk - I tried to manage without it for a couple of weeks but my hair had other ideas so I caved in and got myself another - full review here.

John Frieda Full Repair Hydrate and Rescue Shampoo and Deep Conditioner - another couple of my hair stash used - only another 100 or so to go now (joking!).  I quite like this range - it does leave hair smoother, maybe causes a little build up though so I have to switch my products around. Annoyingly ... I'm still left with a bit of the standard Hydrate and Rescue Conditioner (does everyone have this problem?) so will have to use with another shampoo - no shortage there! I'm not even thinking about repurchasing  as I have so many other products to use up and am completely ignoring the fact that there is also a Strengthen and Restore category from this same range over on the Boots website!

E45 Repair and Protect Overnight Hand Cream - my stash of hand creams is similar  to my haircare products - ok maybe not quite as bad but it's a healthy stash!  This is a really good one for sore hands - applied before bed it's not too thick, thin or sticky. It moisturises well, is non- stingy (so important!) and leaves hands soothed and soft!

M&S Formula Sensitive Eye Make-Up Remover - I picked this up in desperation when I had run out of my usual Gatineau Floracil and didn't expect much but it's a really good little product - does a great job of eye-make-up removal and is a decent price at £3.50/100ml, I've since got hold of some more Floracil but I'll definitely use this one again.  Apologies for being a 'doubting Thomas' M&S!

Sainsburys Coconut Body Wash - cheap and cheerful - sometimes on offer at £0.75, smells fine and gets the job done- what more is there to say!

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil - I'm gutted that this has come to an end after many months - I do love my facial oils! Will definitely repurchase - you can read my full review here.  

Seventeen Lip Crayon - this was part of a Christmas kit and I love it - or rather loved it! It's balmy and moisturising with a hint of nude colour but not stickiness - one you can apply without a mirror and it's been a staple in my handbag for months. As a result I've lost the lid and now the shade name has worn off and I can't seem to get a similar one from Boots so I've blown it really!

Benefit Rollerlash and Maybelline Lash Sensational - I've been impressed with the both of these ... reviewed here and here. I could kick myself for not picking up an extra sample size of Rollerlash when it was a magazine freebie,  it's so easy and effective - I may have to break my 'expensive mascara code' and treat myself to the full size! Maybelline Lash Sensational is also a good one that has been compared to Roller Lash - it takes a bit more work as it can clump and as the tube has been coming to an end it's got even clumpier so it's time to move on!

So ... those are June's empties ... I don't even want to think about July's because then we'll be coming to the end of Summer ... nooooo!  Have you used any of these products? What have you used up last month? 

Jen x

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