Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Not so Aesthetically Pleasing?

Hello! just a quick post to assure you all I am currently exploring ways to make my blog a bit easier on the eye so to speak. I'm struggling with exactly how to make it look more appealing and fancy but as soon as I find out how I will get to it! I hope it would make reading my blog a bit more pleasant for you all :) 

Given my 'newbie' status if any of you have any tips or experiences you could share that would be amazing. How did you go about making your own wonderful blogs more unique and beautiful? 
I really want the visual element of the blog to match the content in terms of how much effort I put in! 

Thanks for taking the time to read this short post :) 
all comments and advice would be really helpful! 

Much love, 
                    Natalie xxx

Saturday, 23 February 2013

My Origins facial experience

 Hello! I recently went for a facial at my nearest Origins counter and thought i'd let you all in on my experience. I'll start off just by saying I had a ball of a time and this is going to be a very positive post :) It's my honest opinion and believe me it's not a sponsored post. 

The facial service is a complimentary service Origins offer to ALL their customers, it's totally 100% free. that's right, you heard me.. FREE. And with no obligation to buy products I found myself asking "WHY have I not done this before?!

It was an utter delight to be pampered and enjoy the facial experience. The Origins worker was just lovely and very easy to chat to and asked me to fill out a form about my skin type so she could pick the best products for the facial. I had to write down my usual skin rountine and things like that so she could best fit the facial.

As it began she placed a hair wrap around my head to stop any product getting into my hair and tipped my chair back so I could truly relaxxx. She used the custom-designed range of products on me and talked me through each of the products as she was doing it. I can't even tell  you how therapeutic and relaxng it was. She used everything from serums to exfoliants to face mask to lotions and eye masks and creams. The products smelt absolutely amazing and it was just great. She even suggested I book myself in each month seeing as it's free! We had casual chat throughout the whole thing and it was all in all a pleasant experience. I think I'm going to make an appointment for my mum, it's the exact kind of thing a stressed out mum would love!

I became more familar with the ethos of the brand during my experience and how they're completely paraben free and very keen on being powered by nature. I think this is a really great concept and totally important when it comes to what we're putting on our precious skin. 

As the facial came to an end she sat down and showed me everything she'd used. She then asked if I'd like a sample of anything and I went home with a few sneaky samples! I am particularly enthused about their Gin Zing eye cream and I think I'll be enjoying that! I might go back and pick up the full size if it impresses me :) 

She put my samples in a little tester box and gave me a sheet on which she'd ticked all the products that had been used incase I was interested in the future. And if that wasn't pleasing enough she gave me the hair wrap she'd used as a little gift! I'm throughly impressed by Origins customer service and this excellent service that they offer. It's a great way of getting to really know the brand and find out if you might want to use it in the future! I love that there was no pressure to buy anything also, I don't like it when you feel intimidated or pressured by sales people.

I recommend you all try this out! what have you got to lose? 

My goodies from the experience

My personalised form with the products used
The Origins ethos

And that's about it! Have any of you tried out an Origins facial? 
Had any great or not so great facial experiences? 

comments welcomed!
Thanks for reading :)

Much Love, 
                           Natalie xxx

Friday, 22 February 2013

Nailed it.

Hello all you lovely people! 
I thought I'd do a quick post on my favourite nail polishes of the moment. You'll be able to see i'm a Nails Inc London fan, they apply like a dream. So without further ramblings..

 These are my current absolute favourite nail polish colours. When I went to write this post I realised I was totally lacking in pretty pink shades and shocking colours.. I'm going to have to sort that out VERY soon. Any recommendations?

This is the cult shade 'For Audrey' by China Glaze, it's a beautiful Tiffany blue. Looks adorable on the toes! 

This is 'Porchester Square' by Nails Inc. The camera doesn't really pick up the true colour of this polish. It's got like a heathery-purple undertone. A very chic and sophisticated nude. I was waiting in a queue for the toilets today in the shopping centre (glamourous) and much to my delight the woman behind me paid me a compliment on this colour. yay!

This is 'Sweet Pea dream' by Avon. It's a nailwear pro+ polish and it's a lovely pastel pink. It has gold shimmer in it that's really quite lovely. I will say however it takes a couple of coats to show up true to colour - never ideal. But I love it none the less!

This is a Maxfactor polish.. I think this one was called 'blissful blue' or something to that affect (I can't quite remember. sorry!) You can't really see in this photo but it's a holographic polish so it has a lovely affect on the nails in different lighting.

This is my signature red polish. It's called 'Tate' and as you can see it's by Nails Inc. It's a beautiful bright red which adds drama to pretty much any look. I find red nail polish very classic and an easy way to make a statement without feeling lilke you want to dash back home.

This is a deep holographic purple called 'St Marks Square' by Nails Inc. Purple is my favourite colour so I guess a purple polish was a given.. I love this one especially!

This is a more pastel-esque purple. It's '407 - Venus' by  Rimmel.. it's a very old polish which probably needs thrown out. But I can't stop myself slapping it on occasionally!

The final shade is 'The Thames' by Nails inc. This aptly named grey polish is once again very chic and sophisticated. The neutral shade is very easy to wear and I have it on at the moment. Sometimes I slap on a glitter coat on top just to make it exciting! but all in all a beautiful colour. Nails Inc are famed for their nudes!

So there's my post for the nail polish addicts amongst you out there. 
hope you all enjoyed! :)
I would love to hear what your favourite nail polishes are?

                       Natalie xxx

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Skin Delights - My Routine


Deepest apologies guys for my absence but my latop is STILL broken and i've had to resort to using the main computer which is about 109024268 years old and rather tempermental. But what can I say, I just couldn't keep away from the blogosphere.
I thought a skin rountine post would be a fitting return and I hope you find it interesting! :)

 Just a small disclaimer - I'm not a specialist or anything like that and these products are what I've found to work for my skin type. Of course everybody's skin is different but these are just a few products I've found to work especially well for me. Nobody is obligated to rush out and buy them and they may not work as well on your skin type. Just letting you all know! Oh and as always, this isn't a sponsored post.

From the offset I shall let you all know that I have pretty normal/combination skin. It changes constantly. Sometimes I suffer from an oily T-zone with clogged pores and I get dry patches in other places. Sometimes I get breakouts across the bottom of my chin - it tends to vary from season to season. My skin isn't overly sensitive but I have a fair amount of redness across the centre of my face due to me being very fair with pink undertones. I also get fairly blue/purple hues under my eyes.
I felt it was only fair that if I was going to do a skincare post I should probably let you all see the condition of my skin.... a photo is probably the best way to do this. 

*Cue scary no-makeup-on hideous photo* The things I do for you guys..

The lighting was about as natural as I could get it. Sorry i'm a camera novice. My camera also isn't the best possible quality so it's not a real high definintion close photo - i'm aware of this. I do have very visible pores I promise you. As you can see my skins not perfect but I think i'm doing pretty good atm. What I would say is I don't have acne or problem-prone skin. So if that's you my skincare routine probably isn't gonna be great for you. If this helps anyone at all though that would be great :)

So.. here's a shot of the current products in my regime. As you can see I like to keep it reasonably minimal. I know that sometimes if you use a shed load of different things they can all start to counteract or sometimes cancel eachother out. You will also be able to tell I'm a Liz Earle convert. The products are just great and after an enthusiastic recommendation from my boyfriend's mum (Who then went on to gift me some products for christmas - eeek! ) I found myself firmly in the Liz Earle fan club.


These are the basic things that I don't tend to change up much. I add some things in occasionally like a face mask or something (currently loving LUSH skincare's 'cupcake' mask), but because they're not a permanent fixture I decided to keep it to the basics. 

 My cleansing tools of choice

These are what I use in conjunction with my products. Nothing very special really. Just some 'Simple' face wipes to get all the grime/makeup off before I cleanse properly. This means I know my cleanser is really getting in there. I know face wipes are rather naughty and alot of skincare gurus detest them, but to be quite honest I can't always be bothered doing a full cleanse if it's late and they work all right for me. I like these ones in particular and tend to buy them when they're on offer.. gotta save those pennies :p I use the muslin cloth with my cleanser and the cotton pads to swipe some toner across my face. simples.

God I love this stuff. 
It didn't win lots of beauty awards for nothing. It's also highly raved about across the beauty world. Everybody whos everybody seems to have their hands on a bottle of the ole' hot cloth cleanser. I personally love it. It's creamy and gentle and pretty easy to use. You massage one or two pumps onto dry skin over face and neck and then rinse a pure muslin cloth in hand-hot water and wring out before gently wiping off the cream. It leaves your skin looking radiant and thoroughly cleansed in my opinion! 

The website says: Ideal for your morning or evening cleanse, this formulation works on every age and skintype, offering concentrated yet gentle cleansing power.Our plant-based cleanser has a two-phase action. Phase one is the cleansing. Free from mineral oil, it has a rich and creamy texture and swiftly removes all traces of face and eye make up, even stubborn mascara. Phase two is the polishing. Polish off the cream using the pure muslin cloth to gently dislodge dead skin cells and help reveal clean, soft and radiant skin.
Naturally active ingredients include eucalyptus and cocoa butter for smoother, cleaner skin.

I agree. A 100ml bottle will set you back about £12.75 which I think is pretty reasonable given the quality. Oh and the scent is pretty blah. It just smells quite 'natural' really. Nothing too perfumey or strong which I personally think is great when it comes to facial products. 

 This is the next step in my regime. I simply put some on a cotton pad and swipe across my face. It really helps brighten up my complexion and refreshes me. Sometimes I'll do this just during the day to prep myself up a bit. 

The website says: This heavenly floral-scented, non-drying toner refreshes, soothes and brightens your skin. Gentle and alcohol-free, it also adds a fine layer of moisture.
Pour onto a cotton wool pad and sweep over face and neck after using Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. Alternatively spritz over face and body to revitalise at any time.
Naturally active ingredients include aloe vera to revitalise and soften and calendula, chamomile, cucumber and natural source vitamin E to soothe and refresh the skin.
Suitable for all skin types

 What I will say is that I LOVE the scent of this. It's really lightly floral scented and it's just delicious. You have to smell this stuff. Sometimes I just grab it and give it a good whiff, it's amazing. The bottle also lasts you ages because you only need a small amount. A 200ml bottle like mine will cost you about £12.50 on the website. Once again I think if you're looking for a high quality product it's a good price to pay!

You'll see i've stepped away from my beloved Liz Earle for my exfoliant, for the simple reason that I just love this St Ives one. If you have sensitive skin this probably isn't for you. It contains quite decent sized kernels which can be quite abrasive. It means you really get a good scrub on and slough away that dead skin...yummy. I just love the feeling of really getting into those pores and it also smells pretty fruity which I love. It also contains Salicylic acid which is known to be really good for your skin and blemishes. This particular one is also oil free :) I'll use this about 2-3 times a week depending on how my skin is at the time. You just use it like any other exfoliator - moisten your face with water, massage it over your face and rinse off. Volia! 
The best thing about this bad boy is that it's only £4.29 in Boots (UK drugstore). So for that price i'm more than happy to stick with it. I love what it does for my skin :) 

 I use the one specifically for Normal/Combination skin but they also do ones for different skin types if you're interested. I usually just put this all over my face after i've done all the other stuff to add some moisture into my skin, unless I'm using my Origins mask which I will tell you about bellow. It has a nice consistency, it isn't too thick and it sinks in fairly quickly. It has the same kind of plain 'natural' scent. At £18.97 however for this 50ml jar (!!!) I think I might test out something different next. But there is no denying it's a bloomin' good moisturiser.

The website says:  This perfectly balanced moisturiser softens, smoothes and conditions skin for a naturally healthy-looking glow. Rich in natural actives, including borage oil (a rich source of the essential fatty acid GLA) and natural antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin E to replace lost moisture and help protect against dryness. Massage into face and neck, morning and night, after Instant Boost Skin Tonic. Naturally active ingredients include borage and avocado oils to moisturise and smooth

 This is quite a different product to the rest. I first heard about it through a couple of youtubers (Viviannadoesmakeup and Lily pebbles - check them out) who raved about it and got me interested. I was suffering from some dry patches at the time and really needed some help. I looked up some reviews online and soon found out lots and lots of other people loved it too. I took the plunge and payed out the £20 it cost... that hurt. But I will say right now it was worth it. You apply it all over your face before you go to sleep and during the night your skin literally drinks it up. I woke up with plump skin which was unbelievably soft and supple. It also smells like apricots which is a delicious bonus. Go down to your nearest Origins counter  and smell this baby, you won't regret it. I use this just when I need it which is usually about 2 times a week. I think this is quite possibly my favourite product of the lot. 

The website says:  Helps skin feel smoother and hydrated
Skin depends on water for its youthful functioning. But all day long, skin loses vital moisture. And the busier you are, the more it loses. This intense moisture replacement mask deeply quenches compromised moisture reserves and builds a reservoir for tomorrow. Japanese Seaweed repairs skin's barrier to prevent future dehydration and signs of premature aging. 

There's not much else to say about this product other than I just love it. 

This was a pretty recent purchase as you can see but I've used it a good few times (The thing just never seems to go down!) and it's found a place firmly in my routine. It smells unreal and tastes amazing too. You pretty much just rub it over your lips to get off all flaky skin (mmm) and your lips are left baby smooth. Then you just lick it off your lips.Simple as that! I've found it's great because lipstick looks horrible on dry flaky lips and this provides an excellent base along with some lip balm. I do this every night now. It'll set you back about £5.25 from Lush.

 The website says:  Our lip scrubs are made from castor sugar to act as a gentle scrub and jojoba oil to be wonderfully moisturising but light enough not to leave you feeling greasy.
Keeps lips in tip top condition, for kissing, pouting, talking or anything else you wish to do with them. Provides a great base for lipstick, which looks much better on smooth prepared lips.

So that's it! thanks if you've stuck along with me up until this point and read the entire thing. I know it's long but I felt I had to get it all out there! Skincare is a complex thing. 

Just incase anyone was interested the nail polish i'm wearing in this post is Porchester Square by Nails Inc!

Thank you all for reading :) 

What are your skincare saviours? what works best for you?
I would love to read some comments from you all :)
Much love, 
                         Natalie xxxx