Barry M Coconut Infusion Gel Nail Paint in Lemonade and Aloha

Barry M Coconut Infusion Nail Paints

It feels a bit weird to post a review, almost 3 weeks after one of the items appeared in July favourites. However I promised a review, so here it is where I focus on the numerous aspects of these nail polishes opposed to the love of a yellow polish for the Tour De France.

Over the year I have owed many Barry M Nail Polishes from a variety of ranges and finishes, and it is my number one affordable brand as I have found it reliable and good quality over the years. The Coconut Infusion range launched last year, but no colours took my fancy at the time. The Barry M Coconut Infusion range is described on the Barry M website as: “Its unique, caring blend of Coconut Water and Coconut Oil gently hydrates and nourishes nails while delivering a beautifully smooth, gel-like glossy manicure. Enriched with anti-oxidizing properties, the strengthening benefits of patented Hexanal and Vitamins B & C, nails will be repaired and replenished, resulting in a brighter, healthier looking, long lasting finish. Its exclusive High Reflective Resin System offers lustrous shine, fluid coverage and amazing depth of colour.”

The two colours I picked up were the beautiful pastel yellow shade, Lemonade, as well as the fun vibrant pink of Aloha, capturing once again the fun and lovely names that often come with Barry M (I’m a sucker for a polish with a good name). So how did these colours shape up:

Lemonade: Can we take a second to appreciate how bright and summery this shade feels? I never used to be sold on a yellow polish, but I am now convinced it is the ultimate summer shade. The shade is lovely to apply, although I found the first layer can look a touch streaky, after coat two or three the colour and application is seamless and has a high gloss even finish. I was also so impressed with the lasting power of this polish, often lasting 4-5 days without touch ups which is long lasting for me.

Aloha: Contrasting to Lemonade, Aloha is a vibrant pink which although is summery I feel it is a shade which can be pulled off all year round. The Aloha has a slightly more pigmented, which is often the case with the darker/richer shades and you can get away with wearing one coat if you required. For the best results, I found two coats worked best for a high gloss and pristine condition. Unfortunately, I found the lasting power with this, only lasting 1-2 days before having to reapply which is a shame especially after such good experiences with the lemonade.

Overall, I’m generally impressed by the two nail polishes I have, and would definitely recommend trying out the range if there is something you want. The formulas are slightly variable in terms of longevity but the finish is high quality, the colours are beautiful and it’s nice to apply so weigh up what you want out of a product.

Gwen

Review: Anne Semonin Eye Express Radiance Ice Cube

Anne Semonin Dark Circle Reducer

On Tuesday I shared with you the contents of the Latest in Beauty French Box, and I promised some reviews for the items inside. I must say out of all of the products the Anna Semonin Eye Express Radiance Ice Cube has to be the one that instantly peaked my interest and without hesitation was the first item I tried out of all the amazing goodies.

According to the packaging the Anne Semonin Eye Express Radiance Eye Cube is described as: “For an instantly brilliant eye contour area! Formulated with marine spring water rich in trace elements and mineral salts with a proven action on skin firmness and hydration. Specifically developed for the delicate eye area, the Eye Express Radiance Ice Cubes contain Ginkgo biloba for stimulating micro-circulation, gourd extract for instantly soothing tired, stressed eyes, hyaluronic acid for plumping up fine lines and wrinkles and bioflavonoid for visibly improving under eye circles. Plus the extract of Tephrosia purpurea, an innovative botanical neurocosmetic ingredient, stimulates the release of beta-endorphins, generating a sensation of skin relaxation and wellbeing.

It is recommend to use the ice cube in the morning, to brighten and lift your under eyes before the day starts. Which although is a perfect idea in principle, remember to fish out the radiance ice cube from the freezer first thing in the morning is not necessarily the easiest thing to remember. Eventually yesterday morning while I was waiting for the kettle to boil for my morning cup of coffee, I actually remembered to get it out and that I had planned for this review to go up today. Perfect timing really, so I rescued the little pod out of the freezer and from a life amongst garlic bread and salmon fillets to wake my face up that morning.

I have to say the little bag is perfect size wise, and its delicate and soft meaning you don’t mind rubbing over your face especially the more delicate area around your eyes. I felt a little bit silly at first rubbing this ice cube in a bag under and around each eye and down the side of my nose, as directed. After a while I felt like I could see my eyes looked less sunken and tired but as it was 6am I forgot to take photos so I have no idea. The actual treatment is cooling and refreshing, really waking you up first thing and it feels like such an indulgent treat really.

I doubt I’d use it regularly but it felt nice as a treatment every so often, it also didn’t change makeup application and I used the same amount of product so it’s not a miracle worker but it does feel nice. It feels a little bit wasteful after 5 minutes of rubbing it all over my face, half of it was still left in the bag and unfortunately, I had to throw it as it cannot be hygienic or practical to refreeze it. So, if I’d have paid for it I would definitely would have found it to be very wasteful.

The Anne Semonin Eye Express Radiance Ice Cube can be purchased from retailers such as Cult Beauty and retails for £45 for 6 pods, approximately £7.50 per pod. Personally, I feel like it is overpriced but it is luxurious and even if I’m not convinced by it I loved trying it out.

Gwen

xx

Latest in Beauty – The French Box

Latest in Beauty - The French Box

It feels like 12/18 months ago beauty boxes were everywhere, but I feel like they have disappeared a little bit. I never bit the bullet, I’m aware you could cancel at any time the spending money monthly with no guarantee of liking the products made me unsure although I loved the idea of trying out new products. Over the past 12 months I have kept checking back at the Latest in Beauty, as well as a monthly service where you pick samples they also over collections, which can order on a one-off basis. I have been curious over a few but with a 50% off sale as well as an enticing French Box I couldn’t resist. Without hesitation, I whipped out my card paid the £12.50, (plus p&p) and the box landed on my desk in the next couple of days

I will look to review some of these items in more detail, but for now here is a rundown what is in the box and the general idea of the item.

Latest in Beauty - The French Box - L'Occitane & Melvita

L’Occitane Shower Gel in Jasmine & Bergamot: Melvita L’Or Bio Huille Extrordinaire

Latest in Beauty - The French Box - La Roche-Posay & Embryolisse

Embroyolisse Lait-Crème Concentre La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo

Latest in Beauty - The French Box - Anne Semonin & Bourjois Paris

Anne Semonin Eye Express Radiance Cube ● Bourjois Paris Aqua Blush in Berry Nice

Latest in Beauty - The French Box - Roger & Gallet & Nuxe

Nuxe Precious Scented Shower Oil ● Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier Replenishing Body Lotion

Latest in Beauty - The French Box - Lebon & Institue Esthederm

Institut Esthederm Eau Celluair Celluar Spray ● Lebon Cap Ferrat Mood Toothpaste (in Fresh Mint)

Latest in Beauty - The French Box - Kusmi Tea BB Detox

Kusmi Tea BB Detox

The box is valued at £50, whether it is or isnt worth that, there’s is a lot of samples that I cannot wait to try. The only downside is there isn’t an information card, as I’d love to have some sort of information in the box about the products but I just refereed back to the website and read the packaging so its neither here nor there. As my first experience of latest in beauty and of a beauty box im pleased and excited to try them out, also with the collections on the website its good if you want a beauty box every so often without the commitment of a subscription. Currently available on the Latest in Beauty website, price is reduced from £25 to £12.50, p&p charges apply and while stocks last

Don’t forget to let me know which items you want to know more about, I’m excited to dig in and see what these little French beauties can do.

Gwen

Review: Barry M Flawless Mist & Fix Makeup Setting Spray – Matte Finish

Barry M Flawless Mist & Fix Setting Spray Matte Finish

We all want our makeup to last, whether is for a night out, long day or ensuring it withstands the heat/weather we all want to stay looking perfect all day. I am always on the hunt for a budget friendly setting spray and with an offer on a Boots a bit back, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try something new. The Barry M Mist & Fix Setting Spray comes with two finishes either Matte or Dewy, personally I prefer a matte finish which is the one I will be reviewing here today. So, what’s the verdict on the Barry M Flawless Mist & Fix, Makeup Setting Spray Matte Finish?

First and foremost, the packaging a topic I usually start with as its always the first thing that attracts you to a product and really makes a huge difference to what you think of it. I must say I find the packaging for the setting spray a little lack lustre, the spray bottle itself is what you’d expect so it’s not where I am disappointed. Within a few days, the label started to peel off, a thick tacky label which is unattractive and makes me want to hide the bottle away. I am aware the aesthetic is very much Barry M but it’s made me realise that other brands such as Primark make a much more sophisticated and more aesthetically pleasing item for the same price point.

There’s no hidden tricks, with these products just a simple mist on the face and your makeup should stay all day. This product has a nice light mist which isn’t too wet or too big droplets which will affect the integrity of your perfectly applied makeup. What I will say is the spray does not spread too far so you need to make the effort to spray round your face opposed to two pumps and your gone. For the budget end through I rather make the effort to ensure coverage rather than have a non-light mist so I can deal with the compromise for such a low price point.

Now the most important thing, did it keep my face matte and my makeup last all day? The result, well kind of. I don’t tend to have an issue with oiliness so the fact my face was still matte at the end of the day wasn’t a huge surprise but I am currently preferring a matte finish to a dewy one, which influenced my decision process. As for the long-lasting effect? It was somewhat there, I did put it properly to the test trailing it on a hot day, and one of those days at work where I never seemed to sit down at my desk for any longer than 5 minutes. Both occasions my makeup held reasonably well, staying reasonably well but it was clear that my makeup had started to wear away on my forehead and some other spots. A full-on day or heat, just isn’t in this products capability and I think I maybe expected a little too much of it. Where I am really finding a love for this setting spray though is when wetting by brush before applying powder based products it just adds something extra to the colours and the staying power of what I wear so it will be put to good use.

Unfortunately, the Barry M Flawless Mist & Fix Makeup Setting Spray, Matte Finish didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Let me know in the comments which setting spray I should try next, I’m looking for that holy grail item so I cannot wait to hear your opinions.

Gwen

xx

July Favourites

July Favourites ft Barry M, Rimmel, Freedom, Kiko

It’s almost the end of the month which means that is favourites time again, I would do the typical blogging monthly favourites kind of thing but in all honesty, I feel too lazy this month so let’s get on with it.

July Favourites ft Rimmel & Barry M

I think my co-workers must think I am developing an obsession with yellow, as since July 1st right through the month I have worn nothing but yellow nail polish as a little nod to my favourite sporting event the Tour De France. I’ve used a combination of Barry M Coconut Infusion Gel Nail Paint in 707 Lemonade and Rimmel London 60s Nail Paint in 432 Chin Up Buttercup, and my go to way round is to have Lemonade as my base colour with the slightly darker/bolder Chin Up Buttercup as my feature nail. Just a subtle nod that only I am aware of.

July Favourites ft Catrice, Freedom & Kiko Milano

Now onto the makeup I have been loving this month, I have been keeping it fairly light mainly concealer, bronzer and eyes keeping a fresh face look for summer. It’s not simply for embracing summer, I just find the fresh face look works for summer as my face is not melting. To add definition but nothing too much I have loved the subtle combination of Kiko Milano Water Eyeshadow in 201 Rosy Taupe on the lid, and adding Catrice Eyeshadow in Touch of Rose for some definition. Super subtle, but summery and light. Despite using less makeup I’ve been loving doing my brows with the Freedom Eyebrow Duo in Medium Brown, which I reviewed earlier this month and you can see my full verdict here if you wish to know more.

To finish off the minimal makeup, I have found that I’ve been enjoying the George Tint N Pout Tinted Lip Oil in 01 Barely There, initially I wasn’t sold on this which you can see the review I did a few months back. The non-heavy, non-committal nature of this lip product though meant I could top up through the day as much or as little as I want to, keeping my lips hydrated and my look fresh with not a huge amount of effort or thought. (Sorry not pictured I only realised at the point of scheduling).

So that is what I have been loving this month, what have you been loving throughout July let me know in the comments as I love checking out new goodies.

Gwen

xx

July Collective Haul

As July winds down, it means just one thing its time for my monthly haul and favourites (which will be up Friday), lets delve into all of the goodies that I picked up this month

July Collective Haul - Collection Concealer & Rimmel Nail Polish

Asda: Asda, the one stop shop for all my essential and not so essential makeup items. I probably pick up more than hauled but it’s when I remember. As always, I picked up another Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair 01 (£4.19), one day I may try something new again but not just yet. I was also on a mission the end of June/start of July to find a fun yellow nail polish, to embrace summer and have some mini Tour de France support and the first yellow shade I found was the Rimmel London 60 Seconds Super Shine Nail Polish in 452 Chin Up Buttercup (£2.99). It’s a supper fun, and bright yellow and although I prefer the one I found shortly after I’m glad I have this to mix up my nail polish collection.

July Collective Haul - Barry M

Boots: For the first time in a while I’ve shopped in Boots mainly because I don’t get into town much these days, there is a very small Boots near my work but it’s not worth shopping in as it holds very few lines. As I knew what I wanted I ordered online and picked up in store for free. I wanted a few Barry M items and with a 3 for 2 offer at the time I simply couldn’t resist. He main reason for the order was this delightful pastel yellow shade Barry M Coconut Infusion Gel Nail Paint in 707 Lemonade (£4.99), a perfect shade to embrace summer and my love of the Tour De France. I picked up another of the coconut infusion range as my “free item” , choosing the Barry M Coconut Infusion Gel Nail Paint in 714 Aloha (£4.99) which I felt was so fun and summary I just couldn’t resist and I love Barry M Nail Polishes. A summer must have for me is a setting spray, so I thought I would give the Barry M Flawless Mist & Fix Makeup Setting Spray Matte Finish (£4.99) its affordable and a matte finish is always a winner so I will put it to the test shortly.

The Body Shop: Once again in July The Body Shop did there 40% off everything including sale items, so with my mum we both purchased a few bits. This time all I wanted was a few more body sorbets and I simply couldn’t resist these delicious summer scents. I cannot wait to start using the The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Sorbet (£3.10) and The Body Shop Pinta Colada Body Sorbet (£3.10)

So, those are the bits I picked up over the course of July, did you guys get anything good? I’m planning to check out the summer sales shortly so August may be a shopper happy month.

Gwen

xx

Review: Freedom Brow Duo in Medium Brown

Freedom Medium Brown Duo Brow Powder

This review has sat waiting to be written for a few weeks now, I’ve been putting it off for no reason other than laziness. I think you may have seen this in one of the last few months’ collective haul, so I have managed to get some use out of it and fully ready to write a full review up. So how have I found the Freedom Duo Brow Powder in Medium Brown?

I will admit now although I love to fill my brows with powder, this is the first time I have actually brought an actual brow powder. The Freedom Duo Brow Powder seemed like a perfect first attempt as the two colours were both cool shades that could be used independently or mixed to make the ideal brow shade to suit my hair colour.

The duo comes in a nifty little compact, that you never would guess was so affordable as it looks sleek as well as been well made and durable. I also love the fact there is a little mirror, I’m not sure it is really practical and I don’t know who tops up their eyebrows on the go but it is so nice to have and makes the whole compact feel more expensive.

Now for the actual product, the freedom brow duo actually comes in a variety of shades, and I found the medium brown not only suited me most but had the largest contrast between the light and dark shades covering a wider range of shades if you mix it. If I am feeling daring I could wear the darker shade on its own but on a day to day basis I mix my brush across both the colours to make my perfect brown shade. I just apply with an angled brush to neaten up my brows and fill them up, I’m by no way a brow professional but it just gives them that little bit more umpf and make me look more put together with minimal effort. The most amazing thing is that, despite only been a powder I have found that my brows stay all day, even when my other makeup starts to fail in the heat.

If you want an affordable brow option, something easy and affordable or just want to try something new, I would definitely recommend checking out the Freedom Duo Brow Powders there is a shade for everyone and even at full price its only £3.00 so you have nothing to lose.

Gwen

xx

Live: Day in the Life

Start as we mean to go on? Nah I had such aspirations, but it is now 1 am on Tuesday morning and I’ve written nothing as I’ve got so distracted by watching old full set shows of my favourite bands on YouTube, that we seem to be in this position.

So I came up with a fun idea to make up for the lack of proper post. Tomorrow (Wednesday 12th), I will be posting a live Day in the Life on my instagram all day, join me as I go to work, get ready and hit the gym for my weekly pilates session. Just be sure to check out my instagram account throughout the day from 7am, find my account here.

Untitled

Hope to see you there!

Gwen

xx

 

 

Review: The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops in Lightening

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops Lightening

We’ve all had a foundation that isn’t quite right, whether our skin tone has altered with the time of year or its impossible to find the right shade in your budget. Worst of all with foundation which I experienced recently, which a foundation I had been buying for years no problem has now started to oxadise and go orange on my skin. Can The Body Shop Shade adjusting drops save me?

According to The Body Shop website the drops will: “If you have light to medium skin you may find your foundation looks too dark or orange. A concentration of white and pink pigments in our Lightening Drops helps neutralise yellowness while lightening. Simply add a drop to lighten light to medium shades.

I’d like to start with saying how much I love the packaging, but I am a sucker for a simple design and a glass bottle. I also enjoy the rubber tip and pipette for application as I should provide more control on product volume. Saying that the pipette feels like more of a design feature rather than a practical applicator and from looking online I do not seem to be the only person who struggles with this. I have found that it is much better to simply wipe the product on the outside of the pipette on to the back of my hand to mix with my foundation. It is such a shame that it fails as it is such a good idea, and should work really well in principle but it doesn’t. I personally feel as though the sucker is just not powerful enough or its not made for the viscosity of the foundation, so either it needs a whole rethink or an improved pipette.

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops Lightening Swatch

The product itself is simply beautiful. I’ve tried it with a larger variety of foundations covering a variety of coverage and consistencies, so far having nothing less than great results. The lightening drops combine well with all of my foundations, without effecting the integrity of the foundation which was concern initially. It also didn’t seem to have any impact on the lasting power of products so all in all a good product.

I’m so glad I picked this up, as I do sometimes struggle to find the right shade and this provides a lot of customization to colour of foundation. If you struggle to find a pale enough shade, or simply constantly pick up the wrong shade this will ensure you get use out of the products you buy. The packaging and application is a bit of a dud, so hopefully they will change it but the drops themselves are a huge life saver

Have you tried The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops in Lightening? If so how did you get on? Similarly have you tried the darkening drops as I am curious about those too.

Gwen

xx

July Mind Re-Set

2017 is disappearing before our eyes and my mind needed a little reset. In recent months, my blog has slipped with not keeping up to my schedule, which I hope to amend this month. My lapse on the blog isn’t from lack of content or ideas, its trying to balance work and life, while still feeling motivated to write my blog. A blog I love creating content for, but as something with minimal returns than good feelings and a lovely community it sometimes feels difficult after a stressful and busy day at work to come home and spend the hours it takes to compile the blog posts.

This past weekend I took the few days out I probably needed, escaping on a last minute weekend trip to the picturesque Cotswolds. Taking the time to turn off from social media and the internet and enjoy the countryside. More than anything dramatic, I just needed a few days to switch off and just relax.

For just over 48 hours I detached from social media, and simply enjoyed walking, eating good food and spending quality time with those close to me. So with this little mind re-set I’m not fixed, there is not miracle but I some clarity on what I want to do and better planning my times.

So here’s to a better July, well fingers crossed anyway.