Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Autumn Style Autumn Style



I love the Autumn/Winter seasons. I love the colours, the makeup and the style. One of the things I look forward to every year is buying a cosy new scarf and hat. This year I was lucky enough to be contacted by the lovely people at Folklorique who offered to send me a set to review for you all. 
Folklorique began when it's owner Ina, found herself torn between her conflicting passions for old and new, traditional and futuristic, trendy and eternally fashionable. She started her business hand picking products which she discussed with the young artists creating them, some being designed and produced from scratch especially for her shop. Ina believes in crafts as a way of giving back soul to the things we buy and wear. Everything she selects is made with stunning quality, by talented artists she is very proud to represent. To look at the diverse range of products Folklorique offers, check out the website here.
When my set arrived, I was really happy to see that not only had I received a hat and scarf but there was a pretty little matching pair of mittens too. What do you think?





Unfortunately this particular set is not currently showing on the Folklorique website but it is from a collection by Alice Hannah. Alice Hannah is a London based fashion design company set up in 2007 which specialises in quality accessories. If you want to see more from Alice Hannah, her website is here. I really like the design of this set. The monochrome black and grey works perfectly with my wardrobe but the black knitted bow and jewelled embellishment gives it that special touch. I particularly loved the presentation of the set. It came in this pink mesh bag - how special is that? Don't you think it would make a stunning gift?

 
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Monday, 29 September 2014

My Lip Augmentation Experience with Emervale Lips My Lip Augmentation Experience with Emervale Lips


Those of you who read my post about what I got for my birthday (here) will remember that my beautiful (and generous) daughter paid for me to get lip augmentation. That may sound like an odd present but she knew that I was pretty sad about the effect the ageing process was having on my lips. What some of you may not know is that as you age, your lips get thinner, your cupids bow disappears and your mouth droops at the corners - depressing right? Particularly when like me, you love lipsticks and the brighter the better. My wonderful girl knew that this was really starting to get me down and despite being a student and working two jobs for the latter part of the summer, she spent a huge chunk of her wages  on this gift to me, knowing that it would not only help me look better, but would help me feel better too. Rebecca had her own lips done about a year ago now, which has left her with a  gorgeous full smile which looks amazing. She got hers done at a clinic in Glasgow called the Peppermint Group, which was originally a private dental practice but now specialises in a variable of injectibles and other non invasive treatments. She was really happy with hers and so it was decided on Saturday 28th just 6 days after my birthday my lips would be getting the makeover they badly needed. 
On the morning I woke up very excited but a little apprehensive. I wasn't just scared that it would hurt, I was scared I would end up with lips that looked like Jessica Rabbit's. Scared or not though, it was too late to wimp out. 
Just time for a quick pic before I left.


The Before...
My Lips Before Augmentation with Emervale Lips

Any thoughts of not going through with it were quickly dispelled by this picture. My lips are uneven, I have no cupid's bow and barely any top lip at all. Resolve stiffened, we drove to the clinic  in Bath Street in Glasgow and minutes after filling out the form, I found myself sitting in a chair ready to begin. 


The During...
My treatment was carried out by Rita, the Clinical Director with Leeanne a non clinical director and aesthetic consultant standing by offering advice and suggestions as we went. I felt really lucky to have both of them involved in my treatment and was confident I was in safe hands. My appointment began with a consultation which was really helpful. I was booked in for 1ml of Juvederm Smile but when I was advised that 1ml of Emervale Lips would give a better result, last longer and cost almost £100 less, I gladly agreed to go with that option. I was asked what my concerns were and my treatment was tailored accordingly. Finally it was time to begin. First Rita injected round the outline of my lips, then into each point of my cupid's bow. She then injected into each corner of my mouth to encourage them to turn upwards. Lastly she injected into the body of my lips, concentrating on my bottom lip. I was a little concerned about this as it was my upper lip I was most unhappy with but Leeanne explained the reasoning behind it. As a child, your top lip is naturally one third and your bottom lip two thirds of the total volume of your mouth. In more recent times, many of the celebs have been going for the the Porn Star Pout which is usually half and half, and a lot of young girls have been following suit. I realised that it is that half and half proportion that gives the obvious "I have had my lips done look" which was the look I wanted to avoid. I decided to just relax and leave it to the experts. When she was happy with how my lips looked, Rita used the solution she had left to soften the lines at the corners of my mouth.  And then it was done!

So Did It Hurt? 
I had been told that the solution contains a small amount of novocaine and that any discomfort would reduce after the first couple of injections but to be honest that was not my experience. I had also been told it didn't really hurt and again, I can't really agree. For me it did hurt, a lot, a nasty stingy kind of pain, but to be fair, I always have been a real coward. It wasn't unbearable though - I just dug the nails of my right hand into my left arm to distract me, breathed deeply and thought of lipstick. Simple...


The After...
My Lips After Augmentation with Emervale( Not Juvederm Smile)
I took this picture as soon as I got home to show you the immediate effect. I was really pleased although looking at it now I can see that my lips were still swollen which has given an uneven effect particularly to my bottom lip which had the most work. Although you can't see it here, I had some bruising at a couple of the injection sites but nothing that couldn't be covered up with lipstick. Overall I could easily have gone straight back to work - this truly is a lunch break procedure.

The Cost...
Inclusive of consultation, aftercare, product and treatment the total cost of my Emervale Lips was £300 which for a treatment which lasts for 12 - 18 months is not bad. 

And Now...
My Lips After Augmentation with Emervale( Not Juvederm Smile)

It is now two days later and I am thrilled. I don't feel like I have new lips, I feel that I have my own lips back, the lips I had years ago before age took its toll. I love how natural they look though I do think the treatment has made a noticeable difference. I certainly notice every time I look in the mirror, every time I put my makeup on -  I LOVE them!

Oh and my husband is besotted with them too :-)

Have you every had (or thought about) lip augmentation? What was your experience?

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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Giveaway - Sterling Silver Jewellery By Alexi Giveaway - Sterling Silver Jewellery By Alexi







I like a statement necklace as much as anyone - those big, bold, pieces that demand attention and are the focus of any outfit. Sometimes though, I look for something different from my jewellery, something more romantic, more sophisticated, more feminine. Recently I was introduced to Alexi Accessories, a brand new British jewellery brand making stylish and sophisticated jewellery at affordable prices. I was lucky enough to be offered a piece of their jewellery to review and after much deliberation, I settled on this classic, timeless little star. I have always been attracted to the star, a symbol of truth, spirit and of hope and this one is perfect, outlined with cubic zirconia which adds a bit of sparkle to any outfit. Just look at the quality of this item. The photographs really don't do it credit, I couldn't capture the way the light is reflected by the stones, but you can see the quality of the necklace with each stone individually set. The piece is available in gold or rose gold vermeil but I chose the clean sophistication of pure sterling silver. I absolutely adore this necklace, it is so dainty yet still very noticeable. What do you think? Do you like it as much as me? If you do, you can purchase it for just £53 from Alexi Accessories here or enter my giveaway below to win one absolutely free. This giveaway is open to my readers where ever they live - I love you all x


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Blogger Tag The Blogger Tag



Yay it's a tag. I haven't done one for ages but I love reading them on other blogs so I was really chuffed when one of my favourite bloggers, Lauren, over at An Impatient Scottish Girl tagged me to do the Blogger Tag. So lets get to it.



 1. What is your favourite beauty product?

My favourite beauty product is ACID. I love the way it keeps my skin looking fresh, minimising scarring, discolouration and clears any congestion. 



2. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

I would love to visit Japan. I find the differences in in their culture really fascinating and would love to experience it for myself.


3. What is your all time favourite brand?

For me it has to be Mac. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that everything they make is the best but for the price, I think the choice of colours, formulas and textures is second to none. I love Mac.


4. Do you collect anything, if so what is it?

I started with lipsticks, then it was eye shadow palettes and now it is skincare. I am obsessed with skincare.


5. Early bird or night owl?

By nature I am a night owl but I work office hours and try to fit in exercise and a little blogging before work so get up at about 06:15 every day. Doesn't come easily though.


6. Tea or coffee?

I gave up caffeine about a month ago so mostly water with gallons of peppermint and chamomile tea.


7. What is your favourite TV show?

Right now I am watching 24 and loving it. We watch at least one episode every night. I have to admit to being a little bit in love with Jack.


8. If you could travel to any era what would it be?


Definitely the 60s. I love the music, the fashion and the ambience. I think I am a hippy chick at heart. 


Oh I loved doing this tag - who will I tag next, let me see. I tag Karen from KP says, Hayley from Tea Party Beauty and  my new favourite Laura from A Life With Frills. Enjoy!
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Friday, 26 September 2014

What I Got For My Birthday What I Got For My Birthday


So most of you know by now that Monday was my birthday and it has to be said I was spoiled rotten. I was wined and dined all weekend with all of my family around me - bliss!
I wasn't sure whether I should write this post, I know some people consider it boasting. But hell I am SO happy with the pressies I was given, and so grateful for them that I wanted to share them with you. 
So I will...


Isn't this beautiful, I regularly commute to Edinburgh by train so have had my eye on one of this for a while to keep in my handbag for blogging on the train. My original ipad was so heavy I hated carrying it around. The mini is so dinky and cute I will take it with me everywhere.

I recently had my purse eaten by a fox so I was thrilled to open up this little beauty from Kath Kidston - isn't it pretty?



And isn't this cover for my ipad mini just the cutest thing ever? I am actually in love with it.



And look at these treats. The prettiest of notebooks, a perfume from Zara called Nuit which is gorgeous, an Urban Decay brown liner and a simply DELISH mask from Lush.



On the subject of delicious, I just love facials, massages and trips to a spa so this voucher was received with squeals of excitement.


'You can't have got lips', I hear you say - but you would be wrong. My darling girl bought me a token for lip fillers for my birthday and I am so excited about it. I have an appointment on Saturday so look out for me on twitter looking like a trout lol. 




Isn't this cute? And super useful too...



I doubt this needs any introduction but just in case I have readers from Mars, let me explain. My birthday weekend each year is the weekend Apple release their newest iphone and every year I fall for the hype. 

My name is Jules, I am addicted to Apple....



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Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Pomegranate Anti Ageing Range from The Body Shop The Pomegranate Anti Ageing Range from The Body Shop


It's no secret that I am obsessive about skincare. I have been since a very young age. I was that teen who had a full routine including serums and eye cream at just 13 years old and this early interest in all things beauty has continued into my middle years. So when I was contacted by the Body Shop and asked if I would like to review some of their anti ageing skin care line, I literally squealed with delight. The Pomegranate range has been specially formulated to address the signs of ageing, helping the skin to feel firmer, and softening the appearance of lines and wrinkles. I really love the plum packaging of this range, isn't it gorgeous? Perfect for this time of year.  




The first product I tried from the range was the Pomegranate Softening Cream Cleanser. I immediately noticed it's wonderful fragrance, a quite unusual sweet perfumed scent that I absolutely loved. The texture was pretty special too, a light whipped cream that was an absolute pleasure to massage into the skin melting away the day's makeup and impurities. You can remove the cleanser with cotton wool but I am a face cloth kind of girl so I like to wipe it away with a hot cloth. I am really impressed with the way the product left my skin feeling - soft, plump and very hydrated. 



The second product I tried from the range was the Firming Serum. This product is a very different texture from the Cleanser - a light semi translucent gel - but it has the same delicious fragrance. As I patted the serum onto my face and neck, I felt an instant tightening effect. As well as firming ingredients, the serum is hydrating, but I like to layer it under my usual day and night creams to give my skin a real moisture boost. 

I have only been using these products for a couple of weeks so obviously it is too soon to comment on how well they will live up to their promise to increase firmness and decrease wrinkles. What I have noticed already though is how clear my skin looks and how soft, plump and hydrated it feels. 

Will I keep using them? 
Till the very last drop!

Highly recommended...

If you want to find out more about the Pomegranate anti ageing products from the Body Shop, check out their full range here.
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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Weightloss Wednesday - Ditch the Diet Update Weightloss Wednesday - Ditch the Diet Update



Motivational Quote

So two weeks into my new eating plan, I thought it was time for an update. If you read my blog regularly you will know that a couple of weeks ago I made the decision to go sugar free. I also decided that for the next two weeks I would cut out caffeine, alcohol, gluten and dairy - partly to give my system a reboot and partly to see how each affected me. If you missed that post, check it out here.
Big decision, radical changes - so how did it go?
I'm not going to lie, for the first few days, I found the whole thing  very, very challenging. I suffered headaches, cravings and really struggled finding things to eat. I was determined to stick with it though and so did what I always do when I am struggling with something, I sat down with my Macbook, a notebook and a pen and got organised. I knew that, to get rid of the cravings, I would need to keep my blood sugar balanced so I decided I would eat little and often. I planned to have breakfast at around 7:30, snack at 10:30. lunch at 13:30, snack at 16:30 and dinner at 19:30. I drafted a menu outlining exactly what I was going to eat every day for the next week and wrote a shopping list of everything I would need. This worked perfectly. Within a day of starting to eat this way, the headaches and cravings disappeared. I still have sweet things in the house for the family but whereas before if there was a packet of biscuits in the house I literally obsessed over them till they were gone, now I just don't even think about eating them. 
It has been a revelation!  
There have been so many other changes too. I've noticed that I have more energy and that my energy levels have been consistent throughout the day. I fall asleep more easily and the quality of my sleep has really improved, no more waking up throughout the night. My moods have been more even and my stress levels are definitely lower. I have been trying out lots of new skincare recently and some supplements too so I can't be sure if its diet that has been making the difference but my skin has been looking really good. Best of all I have been losing weight without counting calories or worrying about portion sizes and my stomach is so much less bloated. Result!!
At the end of the two weeks I had some decisions to make. I was committed to a sugar free lifestyle and that included processed carbs but the rest was an experiment and I had to decide where to go with it now. Before I had made a decision, my birthday came around with three meals out planned over that weekend. In the first meal I mainly stuck to plan but had two small glasses of dry white wine which I diluted with sparkling water. I felt great the next day. The second meal was a lunch and I stuck exactly to plan. The last meal was with my husband and I had some cheese and oatcakes as well as two large glasses of wine. The next day I paid the price with a badly upset stomach. You live and learn and that lesson was what I needed to help me make some decisions moving forward.
I will of course remain sugar free and continue to avoid processed carbs. I see no reason to reintroduce caffeine, I am loving my fruit, mint and herbal teas and am addicted to my iced waters with slices of lemon or a squirt of flavour - more about that below. I have decided to reintroduce gluten slowly as I really don't think I am intolerant to it but will continue to minimise my intake of wheat. I think it was the dairy that caused my digestive problems today and so I will continue to drink unsweetened almond milk and although I may occasionally eat yoghurt and cheese, they certainly won't feature very often in my meal plan. I will never be tee total but I am going to restrict alcohol to special occasions. 
So that is my eating plan moving forward and I am really happy with it. I am confident that this is a way of life I can stick with for life and that as a result my health and well being will continue to improve while my weight decreases until I reach a healthy weight for my height.

I have been sent two new products this week to review for you guys. The first is something I thought was behind me forever when I gave up sugar and that is sweeties- but not as you know them. 


Slim Fruits
Slimfruits are similar in texture to Fruit Gums. They are made with acacia gum and real fruit juice, and are sugar free, fat free and carb free. They contain just 2 cals per sweet and are 40% natural soluble dietary fibre so really help to fill you up. They come in different flavours including Peach Melba and Rhubarb and Strawberry. My only reservation would be that they contain sweeteners. I am quite sensitive to sweeteners and I did detect a chemical aftertaste. I am also worried that they might rewaken my cravings for sugar and so have decided that they are not for me. My daughter though uses sweeteners in her tea and she declared them yummy, so you may very well enjoy them too. 
Slimfruits are available from Boots, Holland and Barrett and other High Street retailers at less than £2 for a box. Check out the website here.

Stur water enhancer

The second item I was sent for review was a box of Stur Liquid Water Enhancers. This product was invented by a man for his wife when she was pregnant with their young twins and needed to drink more water. The concept is simple, you add a dash to a glass of water to add natural fruit flavour. Again this product contains no sugar, calories or fat but in this case no artificial sweeteners either, instead they use natural stevia to add sweetness. In a future weight loss wednesday post I will be doing a full post on the benefits of drinking water but we all know we should and this product makes it a pleasure instead of a chore. It also tastes absolutely delicious. The packaging is superb - each tiny bottle contains 30 servings but is small enough that you could throw a few in your handbag. If you are trying to lose weight, manage diabetes or improve your health, then this product is for you. Check out their website here.

Now it is time for some stats. This week I have lost 3lbs making a grand total of 27lbs lost with 23lbs to go - woohoo!!
                                                           
So what are my goals for next week.  As well as sticking to plan, I have decided to exercise at least three times and thought I might slowly reintroduce running into my life. It may be pretty tough but it needs to be done, my fitness levels are a joke so wish me luck and check out next week's weight loss wednesday post to see how I got on!
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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Lippylikes is No More Lippylikes is No More


Almost a year ago now, I started Lippylikes and blogging has become more than a hobby, it is my passion. I started blogging on the spur of the moment, I had been reading blogs for years and one day after talking about it for a bit, decided to stop talking and start blogging. I chose the name in a matter of minutes and although I am very fond of it for all it represents, I have in the last few months started to feel a little constrained by it. I definitely like my lippy, always have and always will but I am equally obsessed with skincare, style and more recently nutrition and fitness. So I decided it was time for a change. I will continue to write about exactly the same things as before but under my own name, Julie-Ellen.
I hope you will continue to read and chat will me as always.
Love Jules xx

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Monday, 22 September 2014

Lucy's Lotions Rejuvenating Night Oil Lucy's Lotions Rejuvenating Night Oil



Today I want to introduce to you a brand new company founded by the lovely Lucy and appropriately named, Lucy's Lotions.
Although the company is new, Lucy has been making skincare products for years and her aim is to produce products which look great and do exactly what they say they will. This is Lucy's very first range of products and each product in the range will suit all skin types, is free of parabens, suitable for vegans and has never been tested on animals.

The product I have been trialling is the Rejuvenating Night Oil which is a blend of 6 different oils designed to rejuvenate tired or damaged skin. It is perfect for this time of year, when our skin is recovering from the effects of too much summer sun.


Ingredients

  • Argan Oil - contains high levels of essential fatty acids  to promote cell renewal.
  • Avocado Oil - to soothe and repair climate damaged skin
  • Olive Squalane - to maintain the moisture balance of the skin
  • Vitamin E - to soothe moisturise and soften
  • Grapefruit Oil - rich in antioxidants to repair sun damage
  • Mandarin Oil - helps fade scarring and blemishes


Packaging

I really like the packaging Lucy has used, the dark glass bottle helps keep the active ingredients fresh while the pipette dispenser makes application easy and hygenic.


Impressions

I have been massaging this oil onto my face, neck and décolleté every night for the last couple of weeks. It smells so incredible that I find myself inhaling deeply as I apply it. This might not be as daft as it sounds (and looks), because Grapefuit Oil and Mandarin Oil are both said to relieve stress and low moods. Despite being an oil this product doesn't feel cloggy at all. Best of all by the morning it has wholly absorbed leaving my skin feeling AMAZING! Seriously I love this product, I feel like it works a little miracle overnight giving me brighter, plumped up skin by morning. This is a product that will remain in my routine until the very last drop has been used and given the size of the bottle, that could be a long time away.

If you want to check out Lucy's Lotion's (and you should), you can find all the products from her first range here.

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Sunday, 21 September 2014

Winter Proof Your Skin With The Delarom AcquaConfort Cream Winter Proof Your Skin With The Delarom AcquaConfort Cream







I really like winter. I like the clothes, I like the makeup and I LOVE the food. What I don’t like is the effect the colder weather and central heating have on my skin. So this year, since I noticed the very first signs of Autumn, I have been taking steps to winter proof my skin. 

Exfoliate
In winter your skin is constantly renewing and all that dead skin needs to come off or quite simply your moisturiser will just sit on top, doing you no good at all.  This year I have tried to up my game with regard to exfoliation, both manual and chemical, and on Thursday I posted about the cleanser that's allowing me to do both, in one easy step - here

Repair
I am a big believer in the saying "you are what you eat" but at my age, sometimes my skin needs a bit of extra help. Since the middle of August I have been trying out a liquid collagen supplement to repair and restore my skin from within and I posted about that here.

Protect
I know its important to get as much moisture into my skin as possible in the winter but I really hate the way heavy moisturisers feel on my face. Instead I look for products that contain Hyaluronic Acid. What this wonder ingredient does is pull water out of the atmosphere and into your skin. The best bit about it is that although it is seriously hydrating, it will actually make your skin LESS oily. 

I have been trialling a new moisturiser, the Delarom AcquaConfort Cream, which I was sent by online retailers, The Hut.  I have now used this product every morning for almost a month and thought it was time to share my thoughts with you. 

Delarom is a scientifically advanced yet natural cosmetic line. With over 40 years of experience in aromatherapy, this eco-friendly brand primarily uses Mediterranean ingredients and valuable essential oils, which combined with advanced patented biotechnology gives fantastic results.

The Acquaconfort Cream is a very light-textured moisturiser which is simply packaged but helpfully comes with a pump -so much more hygenic than sticking your fingers into a jar. The ingredient list is really impressive - organic aloe vera, vitamins A, C and E, mineral salts, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, jojoba oil and of course Hyaluronic Acid. The product smells utterly delicious as you would expect given the brand's background and the ingredients used.  Texture- wise, I would describe this as a lotion, it absorbs really quickly but all of those special ingredients pack a powerful punch and my skin is left feeling instantly hydrated and beautifully soft.  
I have really enjoyed using this moisturiser and it will definitely keep its place in my skincare routine. 

You will find the Delarom AcquaConfort Cream on the Hut's website here and if you are thinking of ordering, The Hut delivers worldwide and offers free p&p for orders over £20. 







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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Beauty from the Inside Out - with Skinade Beauty from the Inside Out - with Skinade



Skinade Collagen Drink

Skinade Collagen Drink

Skinade Collagen Drink


Every year, as Summer turns to Autumn and my tan starts to fade, I find myself a little unhappy with how dull and sallow my skin looks. This year I decided to try to tackle this problem head on and get my skin in tip top condition before Winter sets in, with all the challenges cold weather and central heating pose. You guys know I love me some serious skincare, but my curiosity was well and truly piqued when I was asked to try Skinade. I will be honest I had never heard of this product but I was excited to find out more. I did a quick google search and found out that it was an anti-ageing collagen drink developed by leading UK scientists that promised to boost the body's natural production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. Sounds great right? 
When the box arrived, I was really pleased to receive 30 days worth of product. The product came in two types of packaging, small bottles which were ready to drink and sachets of concentrate which were really useful for travelling.

Ingredients

  • Marine Collagen – Sourced from fresh water fish, so low in sodium and mercury free
  • MSM – Which prevents cross linking of the collagen bonds, preventing skin aging
  • L-lysine – An essential amino acid that is known to repair and rebuild collagen as well as cells renewal.
  • Vitamin C – A potent anti-oxidant that inhibits the activities of free-radicals and aids the natural production of collagen.
  • Vitamin B complex – Which nourishes the skin and adds radiance.
  • Omegas 3 & 6 – Sourced from organic flax seed, helps to balance oil production in your skin.
I really liked the taste of Skinade, it tasted fruity, like peaches, so I drank it straight as a juice first thing in the morning but you could easily add it to a smoothie or your muesli if you preferred. 

I loved the idea of skincare from the inside out - I kept using all my usual lotions and potions but felt I was giving them a turbo charge. I also loved knowing that your body can absorb twice as much collagen from a liquid as it could from a tablet or capsule.

After a month of using Skinade, I really feel my skin has benefited. It feels soft and hydrated to the touch, and has a nice healthy looking glow. I actually went to work yesterday with no foundation, concealer or powder on and I NEVER do that, although I must admit I added a bit of blusher and some lippy.

Skinade recommend taking its collagen drink every day but if I am honest at £3 a bottle and slightly more than that for each sachet, that is not really possible on my budget. I did really enjoy using it though and will definitely consider using it again whenever I feel my skin looks like it needs a bit of extra TLC.

To read about Skinade, visit their website here 




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Friday, 19 September 2014

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

Murad AHA BHA Exfoliating Cleanser


Every beauty lover should be into their skincare. Without a decent canvas, even the most beautiful makeup just isn't going to look that great. I have always taken care of my skin but as I have got older, it has become something of an obsession. I read up on all the latest technology, try all the new releases and have a cupboard in my bathroom full of lotions and potions. One product I neglected until quite recently was cleanser. I would willingly spend mega bucks on serums and moisturisers but quite happily settle for a cleanser popped in the trolley when I was doing my supermarket shop. But when I thought about it I realised how illogical that is. Unless my skin is properly clean, anything I put on top, just isn't going to work - so arguably a cleanser is the most important part of any routine. Having realised that I started paying more attention to my cleansers and found that I actually needed more than one. Sometimes I like to use a soothing balm or oil, other times I prefer a refreshing gel or a miscellar water and sometimes I want something with a little more oomph. When I was sent the AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser by Murad I knew from the name that this was a good one. First up, Murad is a very scientific brand, founded by a world renowned dermatologist for his wealthy Los Angeles clientele which has won many awards internationally. Secondly I love using acids on my skin. As we get older our skin renews much more slowly and that is why it can look tired and dull. Using products containing acids like AHAs and BHAs helps speed up that renewal process leaving our skin looking fresher, brighter and more radiant. What's not to love?
The Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser claims to polish away surface oil and locked in impurities to improve brightness and purity and reveal a more youthful you. It is an unusual mix of mechanical and chemical exfoliators. The mechanical exfoliation is achieved by the jojoba beads, the smoothest beads I have ever felt, not scratchy in the slightest but enough to give you that satisfying feeling of having really scrubbed your face clean. The chemical exfoliation is achieved by a trio of acids - Salicylic, Lactic and Glycolic – which improve cell turnover by dissolving dead skin cells leaving your skin looking clear, bright and smooth. I absolutely adore this cleanser. Although very effective it never leaves my mature skin feeling stripped or dry, instead it feels clarified and ready for the next stage of my routine. I use oils on my skin at night but for the last few weeks I have been using the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser around three times a week in the morning and just love how amazing my skin feels afterwards - so soft and with a radiant glow. My daughter has oily skin and suffers hormonal breakouts and this product work perfectly for her too, balancing her skin, leaving it clean and clear. Oh and the best bit? After using this product both of us noticed how much better our makeup looked.
I got my Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser from Beauty Expert where a 200ml tube costs £35.00 here. Not cheap certainly but it would last for months and in any event, what price good skin? 

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Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Body Shop - Wild Argan Oil The Body Shop - Wild Argan Oil


A Tin of Wild Argan Oil from the Body Shop

The underside of a tin of Wild Argan Oil by the Body Shop

An open tin of Wild Argan Oil by the Body Shop showing the golden balm inside

Is it just me or have the Body Shop really upped their game recently? In the last week or so, I have tried quite a few new products and been really impressed with them all. Today's product is the Wild Argan Oil which was sent to me by the lovely people at Fort Kinnaird Shopping Centre in Edinburgh. Fort Kinnaird is an amazing place with a huge variety of shops including the Body Shop. I love shopping at giant malls like this where you can park your car and spend the whole day browsing to your hearts content, under cover, with plenty of places to stop for something to eat or drink 
Anyway back to the product. I really didn't know what to expect from this product. I love Argan Oil and have used it often on my hair in the past but it has always come in a bottle. This product came in a TIN! A beautiful rose gold tin actually which was the roughly the same size as the body butter tubs but much less deep - the perfect size for slipping into your handbag. When I opened the tin the first thing that struck me was the smell. The smell of this product is absolutely gorgeous. I wish I could describe it properly for you but I can't place it exactly. It is a sweet, rich, almost almond like scent that I just can't get enough of.  
But it was the formula of this product that surprised me most. This may be Wild Argan Oil but like Coconut Oil it is solid at room temperature, giving it a balm like consistency. 
I should also add that the Body Shop source their precious argan nuts from the remote Atlas mountains of Morocco. The nuts are then hand picked, hand cracked and slowly pressed making the purest and most radiant Community Fair Trade Argan Oil. This trade with the six Targanine cooperatives provides women with a fair and regular income, helping them raise their living standards and increase their independence. Knowing all this I really wanted to love this product but to be honest when I got it, I really wasn't sure what I would use it for. Because it looked so pretty though, I left it out on my dressing table and within a few days I found myself using it for all sorts of things. I use it on my cuticles to soften and hydrate them. I use it on my elbows and heels whenever they feel rough or dry. I slick a little on my eyebrows to condition them while keeping them in place. I use it as a lip balm to hydrate my lips and add a gentle sheen on days when I am not wearing colour. I warm a little between my palms and smooth it over my hair to add shine, applying more at the ends where my hair is a little drier due to the bleach. Honestly this product is already my most used out of everything in my stash. It is a super-balm and at £8 for a tin that will last me pretty much forever, it quite frankly is the bargain of the century. Seriously do yourself a favour and buy one, you won't regret it! 
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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Weightloss Wednesday - Swimwear for a Curvy Figure by Marisota Weightloss Wednesday - Swimwear for a Curvy Figure by Marisota


So as you all know I have been losing weight for a while now and am about half way to my target. I am obviously really happy about that and motivated to reach my goal. I am determined though not to put my life on hold while I lose the weight. We have all been there though haven't we? We have all heard our inner voice whispering 'Don't buy a size 14, buy a 10 and slim into it' and then 'Don't go out tonight, you have nothing to wear and will look like a whale next to your skinny friends, wait till you've lost another stone!' 
This time I am determined to enjoy the journey, to buy clothes that fit and flatter me at every weight so I can look and feel great in myself. 
One of the most challenging times for those of us with curvier figures is when we go on holiday. I have spent so many hours in changing rooms trying on swimwear with no idea what to choose, hating the image staring back at me from the mirror. It makes me so sad to remember the holidays I spent worrying about how I looked in my bikini.  I hate to remember the times at the swimming pool when I was scared to get out of the pool in case people laughed.

Well NO MORE!!!

Marisota are a branch of JD Williams, UK's leading home shopping company. They offer a huge range of clothing and specialise in fashion for woman with curves. Marisota understands how daunting it can be, choosing swimwear when you are self conscious about your body and decided to create this clever infographic to help us choose the perfect one piece, bikini or tankini to flatter our curves and makes us feel confident and fabulous.


Shop the Marisota plus-size swimwear collection

I don't know about you but I can't wait to check out the Marisota swimwear range to keep me feeling and looking great throughout my weightloss journey.



Talking of which, it is time for a wee update on how this last week has gone. You may remember my last weight loss wednesday post (if not, read it here). In that post I told you how I was ditching the diets and totally rebooting my eating pattern with a fortnight sugar free, gluten free, wheat free, alcohol free and dairy free. Sounds hard right but ten days in and I can honestly say it's been a breeze. I have lost all the weight I put on during my holidays and even a couple of pounds more. Best of all I have slept well, felt full of energy and my skin has never looked better. I will do a proper review next Wednesday when I have completed the full two weeks but in the meantime if you want to see what I AM eating, check out my instagram here. 















































































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