Body Butters & Lotions | My current Favourites

Body butters and lotions are what keeps are skin moist, hydrated and smooth throughout the day and are extremely essential, for me anyway, post wash. Throughout the years I've used many different brands and types of body lotions, but as well as frequently trying new ones, I notice myself always reaching for my 4 favourites shown below. 

I just love Soap & Glory products, they're so appealing to girls like me, and I know you shouldn't just buy something because of the packaging but it really doesn't hurt to love the look and result of the product your using. Luckily, as many of you will know, Soap & Glory have made some rather amazing products for great prices, including 'The Righteous Butter', which is infamous for it's hydrating properties and a smooth finish. I cannot complain about this body butter in any way and would recommend it for any skin type. The added bonus of this body butter is that it's not full of chemicals or 'unknown substances' it actually contains two vital ingredients for healthy skin; Shea Butter and Aloe Vera. Awesome right?

Buy the Righteous Butter here.

Another favourite of mine is the Victoria's Secret PINK Sweet & Flirty Body Lotion. I have always relied on Victoria's Secret to provide me with the most gorgeous smelling lotions and fragrances I can get my hands on, and they never fail me. It goes without saying that someone who likes Victoria's Secret a lot would keep going back again and again for more products, but I don't kid myself if something is simply ineffective just because I love the brand. There are other things you can get there, lingerie perhaps? So trust me when I say this body butter is a breath of fresh air on my skin and you can't beat it's long lasting effects. You may wonder what makes this lotion 'flirty', well they claim it's the Sugar berry and Grapefruit as well as a good dose of Aloe, Oat and a healthy combo of Vitamins E and C. So if you want healthy skin that looks and feels great, then I strongly urge you to try this.

Buy Sweet & Flirty here.

Ballet Beautiful by Mary Helen Bowers | Review

I'm going to go straight to the point. This workout series by trainer and professional ballerina Mary Helen Bowers is simply excellent. It is unlike anything I've done before, and it challenged my muscles more than I'd have ever expected. And if I'm honest, I wasn't really expecting it to be any good at all. I've always wanted to do ballet, but I'm one of those girls who didn't do it from a young age so sadly I could never pursue it later, right when I actually wanted to do it. Hence, despite my doubts, I was lured in by the idea of being able to do ballet-style exercises at home, with an expert like Mary.

Review | La Roche-Posay Effaclar Astringent Lotion Micro-Exfoliant

   I love toners; they're refreshing, soothing and highly beneficial for my skin. I always feel that once I've used a toner, especially a good one like this, my serums and moisturisers that I apply afterwards are far more effective than just applying them at any time. I came across this particular toner (because La Roche posy do quite a few) on a trip to Boots (typical) and not knowing anything about it, I had to enquire. The lady's there are very helpful and can offer tips from their own first hand experience of using certain products. They told me that Effaclar is blemish reducing and great for your skin (no matter what skin type you have). The price was very reasonable at only £11 for a 200ml bottle, so I decided to take the plunge since I'd run out of my previous toner (which was also bright blue!).

    Like always I'm going to bang on about how amazing Caroline Hirons is, and how her advice should be put in some sort of beauty bible or something. Well, Caroline recommends the use of two toners; one Hydrating (alcohol/acid free) and one acid/alcohol tonic. This toner does contain alcohol and works nicely alongside my Caudilie Beauty Elixir* which is hydrating. The recommended method to apply an acid based toner is via cotton pads and hydrating ones should be sprayed on with a spray bottle (you can get cheap empty bottles from your local drug store). So, after a deep cleanse, morning and evening, I apply this and continue as normal with my routine. 

    This toner is great for anyone looking to prevent breakouts, tighten pores (as shown above) and clear your skin of any impurities left over from make-up or dirt accumulated during the day. It does a fantastic job and is a welcome staple in my skincare routine; I will continue to buy this toner until I find something better. 

    As I write this I'm in a cramped hotel room in the middle of France fanning myself with a brochure; it's so hot in here! France, as regular readers may know, is my favourite country and a place I see myself living in soon (if dreams really do come true). So, being here in France I can stock up on my favourite French pharmacy brands which most definitely includes La Roche Posay (and Bioderma of course); I really don't want my time here to end! Sadly, I'll be back in England in a few days, and I'll miss this place like hell.  But, I hope this review was helpful, and that you find a toner that works well for you like this does for me.

Get this product here.

*this is a very recent purchase, so I will be reviewing it soon.

Mini Origins Haul

   If your a regular reader of this blog then you'll know that Origins is one of my all time favourite beauty brands along with Omorovicza and La Roche Posay, but it's not very often that I get a gift like this. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask is something I've been lusting after for ages, so when I received this in a blue tasselled gift bag, you can only imagine my happiness; I was smiling from ear to ear.

     I can't wait to try this product out, it says to use it 2 times a week or however many times you like, which is nice because unlike some brands (who just want your money) Origins aren't forcing you to use it up too fast; another reason to love them. In the past, as you may know, I've used two of their masks; Clear Improvement Charcoal and Out of Trouble masks, but this one is more of a leave on overnight treatment, which I LOVE. 

      On top of the infamous Drink Up Mask, I also received a small (extremely cute) sample of the Plantscription Anti-aging serum, which I have heard a lot of positive hype about and I've been eager to try it. I know I'm only in my late teens, but there's always a background sense of fear in my mind that if I don't catch the ageing process early, I'll catch it too late. Therefore, a nice sample size tube to see if this makes any difference, is a great way to establish whether an anti-aging serum is really necessary yet, what do you think?

  I will certainly be letting you know how I get on with both Origins products this month and if I do love the mask as much as I hope to, you'll be seeing it in my August favourites at the end of this month guaranteed. Let me know about any of your favourite Origins products and any other products you love.

If you'd like to get yourself the Origins Drink Up Mask and try it with me click here, or for any other origins products click here.

Glamour's gorgeous gift for beauty lovers this month

    Isn't it just great when a magazine has a free gift that you actually really want? Is it just me or do most free samples always end up watery or the nail polish is a ridiculously stupid colour you would never wear. As you can tell I've never trusted magazines (even the best ones) to provide readers with free gifts actually worth trying, so I'm always skeptical when a cheap magazine claims their gift is worth somewhere in the region of £30 or more. Unbelievable right? 
   Well, this months Glamour has significantly shrunk my skepticalities because it's free gift is genuinely amazing. A product top of my all time wish list is the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion +, so when it cropped up on the cover this month as a free gift (considering the magazine is only £2) of course I grabbed it without hesitation. Admittedly I'm not a Glamour Magazine reader, I'm very set in my ways so I just stick to Vogue and Elle (oh get you!), therefore I had my doubts about whether or not to trust a magazine I've hardly every purchased. But it must be Britain's No.1 women's magazine for a reason right?

      I love trying new products before I break the bank getting the full sized versions, so that I can test it on my skin. Even the most highly anticipated or raved about products may not be compatible with your skin type and could do more harm than good. I always believe you should never force your skin to accept products just because they're really expensive and high end or loved by celebrities; the price tag or a celebrity endorsement does not mean it will work for you. If your skin doesn't like something your putting on it, it will let you know in a not so nice fashion. Breakouts, rough, dry patches and overall dull looking skin can be signs the products you're using are no good. So, it's times like these when you must sieze the moment.
     Last night I tried the Clinique moisturiser for the very first time, in the place of my regular Soap and Glory moisuriser and it rocked! Not only did my skin soak up all the moisture, but in the morning I had a beautiful glow to my complexion that I'd never seen before. This has just pushed me over the edge now; I have to buy this thing. I never thought I'd be saying this but thank you Glamour (and Clinique of course) for enlightening me further and making my skin smooth and bright. 

    So to all of you who have the same doubts as me about free samples and gifts in magazines (and anyone else reading), just this once take my word for it and get this one, because of all the free gifts out there right now this one has to be no.1 priority for you.

Have a nice day!

Surprise Find | H&M Bees Wax and Jojoba Oil Lip balm

Quite a few years ago I had a rather obsessive fixation on H&M's clothing and lingerie collections, partly due to an over indulgence from distant relatives who caught on and bought me numerous gift cards like there was no tomorrow. Whilst in love with their sartorial collections, I knew never to trust their somewhat basic attempts at a cosmetics collection, which is probably why you don't see the likes of Gisele or Beyonce them advertising ever. But I'm not just basing my judgement on their lack of cosmetics endorsement, I actually tried a few products in their range and either broke out in spots or felt no effect what so ever (watery creams and plastic-y 'stuff').

So lesson learned and I never touched another H&M beauty product again. UNTIL, I found this flowery tube hidden amid the rubble (literally rubble, H&M can be so untidy sometimes!) and picked it up, intrigued and lured in by the fact that it was (of course) pink, organic, and suited my make-up bag rather well. Now this was at least 3 years ago, and only recently have I realised how good it really is! I took it to college and shared it out whenever I was asked if I had a lip balm spare and those who used it always said how great it was, and, of course, I agreed like I knew exactly what I'd purchased and why. Hence the pen marks and ragged appearance.

 I'm still not sure what brand it is, it says 'Ecocert' (never heard of it) and it says 'H&M' so I guess it might be a small company making cosmetics for H&M from time to time. It doesn't sound British or American, so I'm at a total loss really. As you may be able to tell it's got very little left in it since I had my sudden 'realisation' of it's brilliance and persisted to use it twice a day, every day for the past few months. It's actually become part of my morning and night time routine; after moisturising i'd put it on and it lasts for hours! I don't have to use any other lip balm throughout the day and I wake up with plump, pink, supple lips; just how you want them really (a smooth base for a nice lip gloss or lip stick right?). This is probably due to the surprisingly amazing ingredients; Jojoba Oil and bees wax; thats as organic as it it gets! You can see why I'm raving about it now can't you? A younger me purchased this on the spur of the moment based on the colour scheme alone and now, the older me is thanking 15 year old Jess. What are the chances of this actually happening? By now your probably thinking 'why is she still rambling on about it, it's only lip balm!' This is why I have a beauty blog.

It's great to have gotten that off my chest! It's taught me that you only really see the true worth in something when you didn't expect miracles from it. Life lesson learned. Comment with any similar stories or experiences, and whether you've come across this diamond in the rough in your local H&M like I did, I actually don't know if they even sell it any more, but if they do it's dirt cheap and very worth it.

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