Thursday, 19 July 2012

Liz Earle Series: Instant Boost Skin Tonic

Another post in my Liz Earle series, another product down! I've had these things for a while now and definitely feel as though I now know enough to evaluate the effects they are having on my skin.

Toners are a bit of a sketchy subject for me - I haven't tried many and honestly that is because I didn't really believe in them. The one I was using for ages before I invested in Liz Earle was a Garnier, I can't remember which right now but it was in a blue bottle - maybe I'll do a post about it because it was a very good product.

However this post is dedicated to the Instant Boost Skin Tonic from Liz Earle. So far I like this but I can't honestly pin point or say I notice any precise differences in my skin. I know for starters it doesn't claim to be a toner, which is something I probably missed when buying because I do enjoy the feel you get after using a toner, that fresh 'toned' feeling (tried to think of another word to describe effects of toner other than 'toned' and failed) However this naturally active liquid formula is interesting in it's own way and gives a pleasant effect. In terms of ingredients this is a specifically an all natural product, which contains no alcohol which I think generally makes it better for your skin because it's less harsh. It also contains calendula, chamomile, cucumber and natural source of vitamin E to sooth and refresh the skin. I cant argue that it doesn't feel soothing and refreshing on my skin, it is nice to give your skin a treat once in a while but in all honesty I can't really define the benefits that it's given me so far apart from that it's refreshing to put on and smells nice - for that I could have splashed some scented water on my face and voila - same effect! Compared to my Garnier toner, I don't feel as though it tightens pores which is a negative for me, however it does seem to add some moisture and is probably doing good things for my skin but no drastic changes as of yet. A lot of toners can be drying on the skin (I did my research lol!) and this one definitely isn't, I guess if you use Cleanse and Polish, then the Liz Earle exfoliator it is  a great way of adding some moisture back into the skin and soothing it after a deep cleanse and scrubbing at removing all the grime and dead skin cells! The 'Instant Boost' that it claims to have is there in terms of being a great refresher but I guess I just expected more from this product. I do love the floral scent and the packaging, and if you have money it's a nice product to own, a treat for the skin, but if you're looking for specific results i.e. tighter, smaller pores, blemish control or something else then I would probably look elsewhere.

Overall a mixed review, this product has both good and bad points - I guess I will have to further update you on this as maybe I need to use it for longer to really notice the benefits - a contrast to the beginning of this post I know but I'm not going to give up on this product just yet! 

Emma xx

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Style Crush #1 Lana Del Rey

Last year I discovered Lana Del Rey. I loved her sound, her personality and her style and was so happy for her that she really shot to fame early this year. This can be classed as what you could call a girl crush - but no I'm going all lezzie on ya - it's more of the sense of 'Freaking hell, I would really love to be you' haha! Her album is something I can't go for long without listening to, it compliments so many other styles of music that I like that at least one Lana song features in every playlist I make. I wish I could have the chance to wear the makeup and clothes she has, be styled in such an elegant yet cool way - but a girl can only dream! She's graced the covers of Vogue and many other high fashion magazines. Plus Mulberry have named a bag after her, does life get better than that?

I love her modern twist on vintage inspired styles from the fifties, I love her thick long fake eyelashes and bold eyeliner, the way she wears her (often nude) lipstick in such a fashion I could never achieve as I'll never have lips that pouty! Her skin always looks flawless, her hair always looks bouncy and healthy and glossy and timeless and when styled I love the way it's giving a nod to the fifties/sixties beehives that I wish were more acceptable to wear in day to day life (Think 'National Anthem' video!)

She's so cool but tough yet sweet and pretty and quiet - I think her image speaks volumes and that she how she often says little, speaks quietly and softly, emphasise the statements of her songs. She is definitely one of my favourite 'Women of 2012' and I'd probably give my left leg to be her quite frankly.

I admire how she's stayed strong throughout criticisms and the bad things that come along with fame, there were a few live performances I heard where I thought, oh no she's surely better than this, but she's surpassed them in more recent things I've heard which again is great and gives the illusion of a growing artist. 

She's got real talent and amazing style so I thought I'd post a few pictures where I've loved her hair or makeup or clothes, and share my Lana love!

Imagine having a beehive and a pout to rival Lana's though - life would be bliss!

Emma xx

Friday, 13 July 2012

Liz Earl Series: Cleanse and Polish

It was obvious with any Liz Earle purchase that this would be one of my products of choice. It's well loved and has great reviews - and for good reason too as I really, really love it. 
You can get various sizes of this at various prices which is good, however I got the 100ml size hoping it would last me a while. The packaging is nice and simple keeping with the typical Liz Earle style and what I love about this 100ml size is that it comes with a pump for easy controlled application.

The idea of this product is simple, but so, so effective. You take a pump or however much is needed - I usually go for half a pump as my face is quite small - and massage it into dry skin. I like to leave it a minute to try and let it really sink it and thus you have the cleansing step. After the application, you take your hot and wet muslin cloth as instructed and gently buff away the cream as you buff you're also gently exfoliating which again is another great plus as it's removing all the dead skin and dirt. Ideally you use a different part of the cloth for each different part of your face - this is how you polish!

Sometimes, if I have a bit more time I use my muslin cloth and drape it over my whole face. The cloth has to be really hot for this. I feel as though it's acting as one of those steaming treatments like if you had held your face over a bowl of boiling water. It opens my pores and lets the product really tackle the dirt on my face and I generally feel as though this gives me a slightly deeper cleanse! You don't have to do this though - and I only do it occasionally so don't worry if you think it's weird!

I like to use this after I've removed my makeup which I usually take of with Johnson's Baby Lotion. (Don't ask why, it's just something I've always done since I was younger as instructed by my Mum. I do realise I'm not a baby!) Or I use a facewipe first just to get the bulk of my makeup off. However you can just go straight in there with this as it's brilliant at removing makeup - even stubborn waterproof eyeliner. A big plus for me is that it doesn't irritate my eyes - I have really sensitive eyes so harsh fragranced products makes them sting, bloodshot and watery. Cleanse and Polish isn't overly fragranced too, I think it just has a subtle 'clean' smell. 

I've been using this for around three weeks now which I think is a fair trial. I will obviously update this if anything goes wrong or I decide I hate it but to be honest I don't think I could stray away from this now! It's is definitely becoming a staple in my skincare routine and as I use it both morning and night I see myself repurchasing very soon. It makes my skin look so much clearer and fresher, and it always feels beautiful after I've used this too - so smooth and that real 'cleansed' feeling!

Overall if you're looking for a cleanser and you don't want to fork out £20 + for a high end one - try this! It's definitely worth the money and although 'High End' I don't find it to be too expensive. There's no point in wanting your makeup to look nice if your skin isn't looked after properly and this is the first step.
Have you tried this? What are your thoughts?
Emma xx

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Wednesday Wishlist #3

As inconsistent as I have been with this, I have not been inconsistent with adding more things that I want to own and try onto my wishlist mentally. If only money wasn't an issue!

Firstly, we have an Asos bag. I recently got a really exciting present that I'm going to share with you soon, which would usually reside in a bag but I actually feel that none of the bags I own are nice enough for the item in question! I've kind of been looking at bags just to see whats out there and I love this black patterned satchel from Asos. At £30 I don't think it's too bad, now to just see the size of it - will my mystery present fit in it? That is the question!

Clockwise one we have the YSL Shocking mascara. I need it. It's had rave reviews and I already feel like it would be my 'perfect' mascara. However the price is high at £23 so I would really have to find a good reason to treat myself to it! Do you think it's worth it?

Next is a Stila blush, the cream ones in particular. Isn't the packaging sweet? I'd like to own all of them but a girl can only dream. After sampling one in Boots I've made it my mission to go back and actually purchase one but I cannot decide which shade I prefer. I quite like the bronzer too. To be honest I like the look of all of their products but hey ho!

I also really want to try the Revlon Just Bitten Lip Balm Stain thingy-ma-jiggy-bobbies. I love the idea of on the go colour, you don't have to be too fussed with precision and you can apply them sheer or build up the colour which I really like the idea of. I haven't looked at the shade selection for the UK yet so we'll have to see if I like any enough to buy, but ideally I'd love a coral/peachy toned one - I don't know if there is one but that would be a dreamy shade for my holidays.

Lastly is the NARS Sheer Glow foundation. I also really would like the Sheer Matte too - unfortunately there isn't a John Lewis or NARS counter in any other store near me so if I do decide to buy I can't try first or know my shade so I'll have to guess - rubbish! However I've never had a NARS product and although their eyeshadows have rave reviews I would like to build up my variety when it comes to picking a foundation in the morning as I like to change things up. I have no preference for matte/sheer/dewy/natural as long as they cover relatively well, aren't heavy or cakey and prove to be worth the money! Hopefully I can try on out in the near future :)

Enough window shopping from me, it makes me want to spend my money so badly. Which reminds me - I really need to get cracking on securing myself a job. Fingers crossed!
What products have caught your eye recently?

Emma xx

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Liz Earle Series: Unboxing

My skin has gone crazy recently and I decided it was about time to invest in a good brand of skincare products. For ages I've been using your Clearasils, Clean and Clears and various other pharmacy/drugstore/inexpensive things and a lot of the time they caused bad reactions or I could never find anything that worked for me (apart from exfoliators, love the one from Witch - their products seem to be some of the best I've tried, especially the Witch Stick for spots!) 

Anyway, I've recently had a nightmare breakout on my face and I look terrible. I still have a spot on my forehead reminiscent of a unicorn, it's that big! Plus I'm dying to get rid of all my blackheads, and clogged and large pores and hopefully just have really good, calm, healthy clear skin! This breakout has made me want to seek out something better and I've decided to invest in Liz Earle products seeing as so many people rave about her Cleanse and Polish. They had an offer on the website which meant you could buy a bundle of things for however many pounds (around £40 I paid but there are various offers they do and they change all the time!) I am dubious about having spent so much on these products but hopefully when put to the test it'll pay off.

In the next few weeks as I try out these products I'll be blogging about them too to keep track of my opinion and of course anyone who happens to stumble across my blog can have a nosey too. 

However as it is skincare this might take a few weeks as I don't want to use something twice and go 'oh yeah it's great' and then a week later my face falls off. (Not that that would happen but you know!) I basically just want to give it all a fair trial so you can see some honest opinions.

Here are a few sneak peek pictures of how everything came packaged. I must say I was really pleasantly surprised at how it was all put together and wrapped - so lovely and it felt like I was really unwrapping a luxurious bundle of products!

You may be able to tell from above (or not) but I got a few free samples too which I was also pleased with. I got a free mini cleanse and polish which I intend to take on holiday with me and samples of the Sheer Skin Tint in every shade. Included also was a makeup catalogue which looks like a painting shade book and a Liz Earle booklet about the brand. I also got another free muslin cloth so definitely a treat, felt like I was getting more for my money which was nice!

I'll be sure to keep you updated on these products as I progress - and what I actually got! I'm going to call it the Liz Earle series because I have so much!

Emma xx