Thursday, 20 November 2014

Jack Wills | English Velvet Eau de Toilette

I'm one of those people who won't take a chance and buy a perfume without smelling it first. Even if the description sounds like the kind of notes that I usually go for, I just will not risk it.
I have about ten bottles of perfume; some about five years old (I probably should throw them out but they still smell the same as from new) some for day, some for evening, but I was looking at getting a little something to take me through the winter.
A recent trip to Cardiff saw me stop off at the Jack Wills store. After spraying ALMOST everything in Debenhams and Jo Malone I couldn't find one I liked that I'd already got in a similar fragrance. While my husband was talking to the sales guy (it turned out he knew his parents) I wondered off to the beauty section.
English Velvet has a hint of floral and warm amber, but I quite like the musky smell as I think I wear perfume mostly of an evening and this suits the colder months. I like the style of the bottle too, nothing fancy or outrageous just straight to the point. I think it looks pretty on my dressing table and it's light enough with a secure lid to throw in my handbag.
I purchased the 50ml at £29.50.

Rachel xx

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Bloglovin With Bloglovin ~ My Current Top 5 ~ Winter 2014

For the past 15 months I've been part of the amazing blogger community that is Bloglovin. For those of you that might be unfamiliar with it, it's simply a place to follow your favourite bloggers easily and also to find various blogs on a range of interests such as beauty, fashion, cooking, gaming etc...
I love to read (of an evening mostly) and settle into bed with my iPad and catch up on 'my feed' on my homepage. My current top five that I enjoy reading the most are listed below.
Lydia - Fuzzy Peach Drops I first came across Lydia on twitter a few weeks ago and I have been reading her new and old posts ever since. She's a fellow Mummy and lives in Cardiff and writes about beauty, baby and thoughts.
Sarah - Sarah Loves Makeup Sarah has a popular Instagram account and this is where I found her first when using #bbloggers in a photo I posted. Her blog has great photography and I love her daily looks and general layout of her page.
Allison - Allison Anderson I'm hoping most of you know who Allison is. She is a popular beauty you tuber and I especially love her tutorial posts and homeware hauls. Her photography is to die for and I can't get enough of her videos.
Lisa - China Doll Diaries Lisa writes in detail in her posts and I love her product swatches and has really great photography.
Grace - Graceyblossom Grace is another beauty blogger I came across on Instagram. I love her blog because it's fun, girly and gets to the point.

I hope that those of you reading this visit my current top five blogs. I think that Bloglovin is a great community and we should share and support each other.

Rachel xx

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Collective Beauty Haul ~ Autumn 2014

This is a little round up of some recent beauty items that I have purchased over the last few shopping trips that I thought I would share with you. Even though I have this blog and I try to post regularly, I don't all that often buy lots of beauty items together.
I'll start with my most recent lipstick which is by MAC in Naked Bud.  This was part of the Fantasy of Flowers collection and I purchased this as new from Depop. It's a lovely nude shade with buildable colour application. A very natural lipstick which I'm wearing mostly everyday.
When it comes to mascara I'm a bit of a whore. I have so many that I often forget what I have if I don't keep them in once place. My newest addition is the Wonder'full by Rimmel London. This formula contains Argan Oil for smooth clump free lashes and this is exactly what it does as I use this daily at present.
I haven't bought any single eye shadows for a while, as I tend to use my palettes but at two recent stops at The Body Shop I picked up these; Steel My heart which is a silver pearlescent and Melt My Heart a gold/brown pearlescent, both I've yet to use. The colours looked quite pigmented when I swatted them in store, so we'll have to see.
The other eye shadow is from Lancome which I bought from a sale shelf in Debenhams. I wasn't able to swatch it but I thought I would take a chance at £4.20. It looks a smokey green/grey shade. It says G20 underneath so this could have been a display only one, but was in new condition.
I was going to purchase the Clinique cleansing brush, but at almost £80 I thought this was way overpriced when I looked at it. As I'm a huge fan of the No7 range at Boots, I decided to purchase their version at £24.95. I'm using it everyday so I'll you know later on how I'm getting on with it.
Lastly is a product I've been wanting to get for quite a while as I've read/watched many beauty bloggers talk about how good the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector is. This was an online purchase from Space:NK. As with the cleansing brush, I'm using this daily so will let you know my thoughts on it.
Please feel free to leave your comments on my recent haul and if you have any questions about any of the products I've bought.

Rachel xx

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Body Shop Christmas Shower Gel Range 2014

Continuing with my festive shopping is my recent stop at The Body Shop to view this years Christmas goodies. I was hoping to repurchase the Gingerbread Sparkle range this year as I used last years goodies quite quickly, but sadly it hasn't been re-released for 2014. However The Body Shop never disappoint so I picked up three shower gels in this years festive scents.

Glazed Apple
For a Christmas scent this is quite sweet but not in a sickly way, It's actually quite crisp, fresh and mouth watering when I smell it from the bottle, so I'm hoping it will leave me feeling ready for the day when used. This is a clear/green consistency.

Frosted Cranberry
This is a subtle twist on the annual cranberry scent that is launched and again, I find this sweet but not over powering. This, like the Glazed Apple is a clear consistency in red.

Vanilla Brulee
This shower gel is creamy and looks more moisturising than the previous two. Very sweet scent with vanilla and a hint of caramel.

For 250ml the gels cost £4 which is good value on a limited edition range. As well as the shower gels there are complimentary products such as body butters, lip glosses, hand cream and shimmer lotion. There are also gift sets in beautiful packaging.

Will anything be on your Christmas list this year?

Rachel xx

Friday, 7 November 2014

Lush ~ Christmas In Colour 2014 Haul

With Hallowe'en and Guy Fawkes Night over, the countdown to Christmas can officially start, for me anyway. Although I find it crazy that some shops have already started to belt out the festive tunes, it's usually around now that I start my seasonal shopping.
When I met up with my best friend for lunch and a catch up, I had the intention to buy a few things as gifts...I ended up buying only two and the rest where for me, oops. Anyone else have this problem?

It has been quite a while since I visited Lush as it's not really a shop I frequently stop at, but I do rather like their Christmas specials. Here is a round up of my haul.

Luxury Lush Pud, £3.50
This bath bomb contains 21 ingredients with the main scent that I pick up being lavender. The pastel colours are bound to create an explosion of colours in the bath water.

Christmas Eve, £2.95
I love bubble bars as I find them great value for money, and that I never need a huge amount in the bath to create bubbles, so lasts me quite a while. The colours aren't as vibrant as it appears online, but a lovely smell and I'm planning to use this way before Christmas Eve.

Twilight, £3.35
I thought this was a Christmas special, but since reading the Lush site, I can see that it's in the permanent collection. I wanted to try this as I'm not having a relaxing sleep, where I feel refreshed in the morning. I always wake up at around 2am, look at the clock and doze for a while. I think this is because my daughter, who's now 4 used to wake for a feed. This claims to treat insomnia and aid a restless sleep...hey, give me three at once!

First Snow, £4.75
My friend recommended this as she had bought it for her daughter to wear for a Hallowe'en party. It's a pretty sparkly dusting powder that you can either apply alone or on top of freshly moisturised skin. A little goes a long way unless you want to look like Edward Cullen. I'm looking forward to wearing this for upcoming Christmas parties.

So that completes my Lush haul. I wanted to buy a few more like the Holly Golightly and Drummers Drumming but held off for today. Any products you've picked up that you can recommend to me?
You can view the complete Christmas range here.

Rachel xx

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

No7 Instant Radiance Under Eye & Match Made Concealers*

My regular readers will know how much I adore the No7 range by Boots, especially the Match Made Service and when I was asked to review their concealer range for my blog I already new that I wouldn't be disappointed.
My skin colour is Calico in the foundation shades which I blogged about here, so having already knew that, it was fool proof that the concealers would match.
The Instant Radiance Under Eye Concealer is quite creamy when applied and I feel it's the same formulation as YSL Touche Éclat and even has the same brush applicator, but way less in price at £13.50. This aims to disguise dark circles as does the YSL. The Match Made Concealer is thicker in texture and dries quickly when blended and is shine free to cover pesky blemishes and age spots. £7.50 in 17 shades. Both are available to buy now and currently on a 3 for 2.

Rachel xx

*PR Sample
Thanks to Melina and Lisa at Boots, Carmarthen

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Benefit b.right Radiant Skincare 6 Piece Intro Kit

I bought this set last summer as part of a promotion when I bought some make up, and after using everything all up I put the packaging aside and forgot about them until now.

The mini/travel set is ideal to be able to sample Benefit's Radiant Skincare line for a fraction of the price of the full size items. This kit lasted me just over two weeks with everyday use.

1) Foamingly Clean Facial Wash 8.9g - This has a really nice smell and lathers up softly. Cleanses the skin and removes make up. Full size 127.g for £17.50
2) Moisturize Moisture Prep Toning Lotion 8.9ml - Apply to a cotton pad after cleansing, claims to purify and smooth the skin to reduce fine lines. Full size 177.4ml for £23.50
3) Refined Finish Facial Polish 8.9g - Brightens the complexion by gently exfoliating to help minimise pores and reveal the skin's natural radiance. Full size 127.5g for £18.50
4) It's Potent Eye Cream 3g - Helps to fade dark circles and fade fine lines. Full size 14.2g for £24.50
5) Triple Performing Moisturising Facial Emulsion 8.9ml - Hydrates, protects and comforts the skin with SPF 15. Full size 50.3ml for £20.50
6) Total Moisture Facial Cream 8.9g - Tri-radiance complex to help develop the skin's reserves of water and reinforce the skin's moisture barrier to reveal a fresh complexion. Full size 48.2g for £27.50.

As I said, I used these over two weeks to give them a fair trial. I have to say, although I really liked the products and they left my skin feeling soft, I didn't notice a dramatic difference. Perhaps I needed to use them for longer but usually I know if a new product is working well after about four days.
To buy the full size products individually is extremely expensive at a total cost of a whopping £132. £27.50 for the moisturiser is something I'm not prepared to pay whether I liked it or not.
I'm not disappointed as I used up all of the products but I'm glad I didn't waste my money on the complete range at full price. On the Feel Unique website the 6 piece set has 80 5 star reviews, so I'm either missing something here or they're just being too kind to Benefit! I would give 3 stars as my skin was soft and I liked the packaging, but that's about it.

Rachel xx

(This was originally posted as a guest blog post @taylorscollectionn)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

L'oreal Elvive Nutri-Gloss Crystal Sparkling Shampoo

Well I have to admit that on this occasion I was sucked in to the packaging and the shiny sparkly bits that caught my eye...I know, I know, I shouldn't have but I couldn't resist the way it looked on the shelf in Boots, drawing me in, like a magpie I was.
My hair type is oily roots after two days washing with slightly dry ends, but this shampoo is for fine/normal dull hair. Anyway, I thought I'd give it a go.
The sparkles are water soluble micro crystals which illuminate the hair's surface making it silky smooth.

The shampoo does what it claims to do and as soon as my hair is rinsed, I can hear the squeak, and once dried, well the shine is incredible. As this shampoo is for fine/normal/dull hair types, it sadly doesn't keep the grease at bay, so I still use my favourite shampoo first which I talked about here.
L'oreal Elvive Nutri-Gloss is available from all high street chemists and is priced at £3.99 for 400ml.

Rachel xx

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Hello October

Image source: Google

As I'm writing this I'm lying on the sofa under a blanket, fire on and a candle burning. Summer has well and truly gone with the changing colours of the leaves and the colder air. Aside from Spring, Autumn is a favourite time of year of mine. 
I love walks with my daughter and the dog, kicking the fallen leaves and wearing warm layers of vests and cosy jumpers, with boots and chunky socks and a bobble hat. But most of all knowing that Christmas is on the way...Yes I did just drop the C-bomb!

Rachel xx

Friday, 3 October 2014

I Heart Make Up by Makeup Revolution ~ Blushing Hearts Blusher

Blusher, blusher, I heart thee! I have so many it's unbelievable that I probably have enough to last me two life times. So it was only a matter of time before I added another one to my collection.
Whist in Cardiff a few months ago I went to the grand opening of the Beauty Studio by Superdrug. It's a beauty lovers paradise for make up and hair care products, ear piercing, eyebrow threading to wash and blow drying your tresses. I had a good look around the store and started to swatch products from the large I Heart Make Up stand. I bought two lipsticks (which were presents) and a Blushing Hearts blusher for myself.


I Heart Make Up have produced three shades in the range but this was the one that gave more colour payoff on my skin tone. These blushers have been compared many times to the Too Faced Sweetheart ones which also come in a choice of three.

The packaging is extremely similar as well as the appearance of the way the blusher is domed shaped. The Too Faced ones cost a whopping £24 but the one I picked up is a mere £4.99 at Superdrug, and best of all the staying power is incredible. I definitely heart make up!

Rachel xx

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Handmade Letter Embroidery Hoops From Etsy

On my last annual leave I decided to have a bit of a clean out of clothes, shoes, make up and nik naks. I was also looking to add a bit of colour to the walls in the house too without having to paint them - yet anyway! I love taking pictures and putting them in frames. I adore vintage finds and anything handmade. This led me to the wonderful world of Etsy...
It was actually only in August that I ventured onto the site to have a proper look. I'd always gravitated towards but after typing in 'handmade fabric letters' in google I was taken to images of products being sold on Etsy. After a quick search on the site I stumbled across the shop Rachel & George based in Stockton-on-Tees.
The letter embroidery hoops stood out for me as they were something I hadn't seen done before, and rather than one hoop design that the shop made, I thought the three would look great on the wall leading up the stairs.

The only problem was that the seller was offering two initials and an '&'. I wanted the two initials for my name and my husband but wanted to include our daughter more than anything. I contacted the seller via the site and sent a message asking if they could change the & to an M. I had a quick response from Rachel (great name) the same evening saying yes no problem, but the fabric and size would have to stay the same. Brilliant!
They arrived five days later, extremely well packaged with a handwritten card thanking me for my purchase. The hoops are so well made and the fabric really pretty with the colours suiting my decor. They cost £40 and £3.50 shipping. I love how they look with the quirky stitching and have really brightened up the stair wall. There are other designs available from Russian dolls to teapots. Do check out Rachel & George's shop. The feedback that others have left about the products are 5* and I have done the same.

Rachel xx

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

MAC Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator

The MAC Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator is the one product that constantly remains in my shower as I use it about fours times a week. I've been using this for quite some and is a repurchase. This was made permanent about two years ago due to its popularity. 

It consists of natural volcanic ash and fine sugar crystals that leaves my skin really soft, feeling tighter with pores unclogged.

I actually find this quite messy, so I only use when I shower, as when I used to wash it off in the sink, the black soapy water would go everywhere.
It's quite a fine consistancy so if you have sensitive skin I would be surprised if this would irritate it.
This is currently the only skincare item I have from MAC. It is pricey at £22 for 100ml but I don't need a great deal to wash my whole face. Slightly more that the above picture usually does it.
This exfoliator suits my current skincare regime that I bogged about here.

Any other MAC skincare products you recommend?

Rachel xx

Friday, 19 September 2014

No7 Match Made Lipstick Service Plus Bonus Gift*

As my regular readers would know, I absolutely love the No7 range by Boots, so when I was asked by the lovely ladies at my local counter to come in and try the new Match Made Lipstick Service, I jumped at the chance.
Let me begin by explaining what the service is. Boots are the first with the innovative device that reads your skin colour precisely and then matches it to one of their skin true shade foundations and concealers. From your skin true shade it is now possible that a range lipstick shades can be recommended to suit your skin tone.

My skin true shade is Calico which I previously blogged about here. I use the Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation. There are 17 skin true shades and once you have been matched you are given the corresponding card with the various lipstick shades.

My colour Calico has 11 Moisture Drench shades and 8 Stay Perfect shades in the lipsticks


I decided to try Pink Hint in the Moisture Drench range. It's a dusky pink colour and probably one that I wouldn't have picked up and tried on. The sales assistant also applied a Precision Lips Pencil prior to the lipstick in the colour Pink.

I was very pleased the colour and the staying power was pretty good of about two hours. Now that I have been given the Match Made card I can now choose some other shades now that Autumn has arrived.
Currently running until 30th September, No7 are offering the Exquisite Eyes Gift Box worth £26 when you buy any two No7 cosmetic products. 

Eye Colour Brush
Lovely Lashes Mascara
Stay Perfect Eye Shadow - Top shade in the Forest Fruits Trio
Stay Perfect Metallic Eyes Pencil in Purple.

A great gift box that you can either keep yourself or give to someone special, the choice is yours!


*PR Sample
Thanks to Melina and Lisa at Boots, Carmarthen