Sunday 3 February 2013

YSL Cream Blush in Passion Red

I've been saving my Boots Advantage Points hard recently and today I found myself in there with £51.11 to spend! 


I have been on the hunt for a new cream blush after my Clarins Instant Light Blush in Vitamin Pink expired (my favourite product of 2012 - wish they would bring it back!) and nothing has really taken my fancy. There's a few on the market just now, but I don't like the gloopiness of the Stila ones and I really dislike the powderyness of the Bourjois ones.

I adored the range of colours available from YSL and for once, the counter assistant left me alone to have a go at trying all the shades. Some of the shades are really, really bright in the pot (like ultra neon) and you really need to test these out; if not on your cheek, definitely on your hand.

The texture of the blush is a springy and gel-like. If you think the tester pots seem a little dry, don't worry, your own actual pot is much 'wetter'. The colours are SCARY in the pot, but as you can see from the pics below, they blend out lightly and softly, with no worries about visible dots where you've applied it.

I'm really impressed with the texture and the shade range. This shade is No 6 'Passion Red' from the permanent line. I really wanted No 7 'Rose Quartz' from the Spring Look collection, but it was out of stock. I think though, these are so good, I will nip to John Lewis & pick up the other one too and stash it away. They are £29 which is obviously fairly pricey, but hey. It's YSL. If it was a £5, everyone would have one!






Tuesday 22 January 2013

Bobbi Brown Extra Balm Rinse

Sometimes the best products are those that sneak their way into our lives, without us really placing too many expectations on them and this is certainly one such product!

When I bought the Bobbi Brown foundation palette, the website offered me a selection of special offers to choose from, including a sample of the Extra Balm Rinse. The picture showed the full size, which is 200mls (£42) and stated the sample would be 30mls. I honestly thought I would get a few sample sachets; I did not expect to get a miniature version of the actual packaging! This 30ml pot is about the same size as a regular moisturiser pot.


It took me about 2 weeks of it sitting in my bathroom cabinet before I even bothered to try it out. It's for super-dry skin and since my skin is generally normal, I wasn't that fussed about it. However, all you need to do is unscrew the lid, stick yer nose in and breathe in deeply and you'll be hooked! It's GORGEOUS! It smells exactly like Lemon Curd, which is perhaps not to everyone's taste, but I think lemon is the perfect all-year round smell (it's as festive as it is summer fresh). I actually (and unbelievably) had whooping cough over Christmas and the citrusy smell was the perfect tonic to my sore face, chest, nose etc).

The texture is like a very soft balm. It sits as a solid in the jar, but is very gooey and soft once it's in your hands. The 'instructions' are to soften a small amount in your hands for a few seconds and apply all over to dry skin. I suppose, in a way, it works in a similar way to 'melty face oils' - you know, the ones that turn to emulsion when water is added? It does that - it takes a little bit of warmth and work to move it across dry skin, but once it starts to warm up it spreads easily. My preference is to then sweep it off my face with a hot flannel, especially as the heat then reinvigorates the smell all over again!


In terms of it's performance, I've found it brilliant at melting off my makeup and it's been perfectly fine to use around my eyes, even removing my mascara (I don't know how well it would fare removing waterproof mascara). If I have heavy makeup on, I will do it twice, to ensure it's all removed but I think this is just a mini-ocd.

Because it's aimed at those with super-dry skin, I find my skin feels very comfortable after use and I don't feel like I immediately need to rush to the cabinet to get my moisturiser. At the same time, my skin doesn't feel 'cloggy' like some dry skin products can, it still feels nicely refreshed and soft.


Overall, this product has been a massive winner for me and testament to that, I have since received a full-size jar as a birthday present. However, I wont be needing to crack that open for another few weeks. I've used this 30ml pot twice a day, almost every day for about 6 weeks and it's still going! Excellent value for money!

Sunday 20 January 2013

Iceland 2012

Last year, husband & I decided to accompany husband's friend Steve to Iceland in November to attend the annual music festival 'Iceland Airwaves'. When it was first mentioned to me, I immediately had images of a frozen Glastonbury in my head and thought 'eh there is no way I am doing that!' but actually the festival is held indoors across several locations in the city of Reykjavik.

I'm not a particularly big live music fan (although I used to be when I was younger, even having actually attended Glastonbury at the tender age of 16 which I'm sure almost gave both my parents coronaries), but husband is, so I figured it would be a good chance to see Iceland, thinking it would be a bit of a 'one-off' trip. But the festival was actually amazing!! We arrived on the Thursday and picked up our wrist bands, which had to be worn all weekend to gain access to the gigs. Within a couple of hours, I'd knocked back a few ciders and we were bopping away to some (slightly unusual) trance-y folk-y bands.

Of Monsters & Men; one of the highlights of the weekend

There were approximately 250 acts across the whole weekend and we saw some really awesome bands, including Of Monsters and Men, who were incredible. Steve also managed to cross off a bucket list item which was going to see Sigur Ros. The whole festival was brilliant; the atmosphere at every gig was amazing; there was no fighting, people were friendly, queued for toilets politely, even the cloakrooms were unattended - you just hung your bag & jacket up and it would still be there, untouched, 6 hours later. Truly brilliant!

Unfortunately, the weekend we were there, 'Sandy The Super Storm' had finally carried across the ocean and was settling on Iceland's shores, causing extreme winds (I actually got blown into the road, in front of a car!) and the wind chill was down to -10. The weather in Iceland is usually around the same as it is in the north of Scotland, so this was a bit chillier than we'd expected, but we battled on in our thermals! However, due to the extreme weather, many of the activity trips that are very popular had to be cancelled for safety reasons, which meant there was no ice treks or snow-jettting. 

One of the trips we did manage to squeeze in on the Saturday morning was the 'Blue Lagoon Chill'. The Blue Lagoon is geo-thermal spa, set out in the volcano fields just outside of Reykjavik and each year, during the Airwaves festival, they have their own gig; a DJ playing chilled out dance, while everyone in their bikinis and ear-muffs chills out and dances in the waters!

It was a pretty chilly dash from the doors into the water, but once you're in, the lovely warm (and sometimes very hot) water kept you toastie! I did have to get out though after about an hour because although my body was roasting, my head was frozen!


The lagoon itself is enormous and if you don't fancy a dip, you can have a bite to eat in the restaurant, have a spa treatment, or just walk around taking some snaps.



Everyone I know that had been to Iceland before recommended eating at least 1 hotdog whilst we were there and I didn't let them down. Truly some of the best hotdogs in Europe!


On our last day, we went on the 'Golden Circle' tour, which is a whole day trekking around the south of the country taking in 3 major sights; ├×ingvellir National Park, (which is pronounced 'thing-vit-lar, kind of) the site of Iceland's first parliament, Gullfoss Waterfalls (pictured below) and the Geysir geothermal fields (last picture). This was an incredible day out of the city and a fab way of seeing some of the main attractions. The Geysirs in particular were amazing - every few minutes they would erupt! 

We were really lucky on this day too as we were the only 3 people booked onto the trip, meaning we had the guide all to ourself (who was amazing) and we were more or less able to pick & choose what we wanted to do. We finished off the day with a trip to Fontana hot spring and dinner at a nearby restaurant. We had hoped to be able to see the Northern Lights that night too, but the weather was just too awful!




I can't recommend Iceland enough - it has so much to offer and even if you aren't interested in the outdoorsy stuff, the city centre is beautiful, the cafe culture is amazing and there is a *lot* of shopping to be had! 

The people are so incredibly friendly and don't worry about the language, everyone's english is perfect, to the point where you can't tell if they are Icelanders or British! Having said that, because of my colouring, I was constantly mistaken for being Icelandic, which made some conversations a bit awkward when all I could manage was 'thanks' and 'hello'! 

For beauty junkies, you'll be in heaven - Iceland has an incredible range of marine beauty brands and hundreds of spas. Your skin will thank you for a weekend over there!

If you are interested in the music festival, I'd highly recommend buying your tickets early as they can sell out, depending on headline acts. 

If you have any questions or comments, please just leave me a message below!

Saturday 19 January 2013

It's my birthday!

(why do I look so shiny! I wasn't even the slightest bit sweaty!!)

It's my birthday! 

Today I am off to the Aberdeen 'Your Wedding' exhibition as my first official day with Preen. Sarah and I are going to be mini-makeups & demonstrating airbrush foundation, so if you're there, come & say hello!  

Thursday 17 January 2013

HD Brows

*Before this post goes any further, it's important that I disclose that I am now working at Preen Beauty in Aberdeen, as a resident MUA. I have been a client of theirs for years & have done dozens of posts where their treatments have been featured. I have always paid for my treatments and this post is no different...*


As I am naturally very blonde, I basically have no eyebrows. None that can be seen anyway! This pic below shows my brows in their most natural state. It's difficult to see, but they are actually quite full, but because the hair is so blonde, they are invisible.

Over the years, I have become quite adept at dying & waxing to suit whatever style I fancied that week & have become very experienced at getting the shade not too warm. I remember the very first time I had them done in a salon, they were just dyed brown - they were orange beacons for about 2 weeks!


Anyway, I had always shrugged off HD Brows as an unnecessary treatment for myself, since I was so confident in maintaining my own. That was until my friend Lisa decided to treat herself to a trip to Preen for her birthday and her treatment of choice was a brow-pamper! After I saw hers, I was filled with brow envy and vowed to try it out myself!

I had mine done on Friday (so about 5 days, depending when this goes live) and it's the best thing to happen to my brows, ever! I have to admit, I wasn't sure how it could be any different to the dye I use at home, but it seems to have grabbed onto much more of the hair, making them look much fuller. Sarah took the time to blend & dye 2 or 3 times to achieve the right shade for me, so I didn't just end up with 'black' or 'orange'. After the dying session, my brows were shaped with a waxing, then threaded to get all the baby ones, then last, but not least, the stubborn ones were plucked out with tweezers. And this is the result! I have filled in at the very ends to sharpen up the tips, but I love how the hair is still distinguishable, not just a big dark block. 


This will set you back around £25-£30 with many salons offering a discount for a return trip.