March Favourites

march faves ft nivea

So I missed my favourites month due to work load ect. so I skipped it, so this is a slightly combined monthly favourites as I am writing this slightly earlier than usual, as today I have just got back from an Easter Break. Hopefully I’ve had a good time and you’ve followed my adventure on Instagram, but it’s been a good month tons of seeing friends, my birthday and time away.

No 7 Pop & Glow Cream blushL'Oreal paris volume million lashes

Two of my biggest makeup favourites this month have already been mentioned on my blog but I still really love them first up is the L’Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes. I reviewed this initially in January and you can find the full review here , but I cannot get over how good my lashes look every day. If you have not tried this out yet I highly recommend you head straight to an L’Oréal Counter. My second I featured in my previous post which was my ‘Go To Makeup Look’, the No 7 Pop & Glow Cream Blush in Classic Rose, which just keeps me looking fresh faced and dare I say flawless.

A big love this month has been hand creams, I have a small body lotion in my purse and the pretty Ted Baker one on my desk and work. My favourite hand cream however has been the Nivea Smooth Nourishing Hand Cream, a subtle smell and it smells similar to a lot of other Nivea products probably closest in smell to the night creams etc. but most of all they are highly moisturising.

I’m finally back on the oval cotton pads and have been loving the ASDA Skin Systems Oval Cosmetic Cotton Wool Pads, these are really well made and don’t end up tearing apart. Also no more using loads and loads of cotton pads, if you haven’t tried these yet highly recommend trying out oval pads. I’ve also been loving the Boots Essentials Cucumber Creamy Cleanser and Toner I have been using them every morning and evening and my skin looks and feels so much better because of this. They are super affordable too which is great.

So that’s a little insight as to what I have been loving this month, hope you all had a great March and a lovely Easter weekend. I will be back on Friday with a peak into what I got up to on my Easter break.

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Go To Makeup

got to makeup

I was completely stuck on what to post and thought I haven’t done an ‘every day’ routine in a while, I much prefer these as I love known what people reach for and use every day. Also I always find it interesting to see what people do day-to-day as the difference in what people consider to be ‘essential’ varies. My ‘go-to’ makeup is what I wear daily to work, as weekends vary depending on plans from no makeup to the whole hog, so this is daily/work makeup routine.

go to makeup face ft nivea, rimmel and no 7

I feel like this product has started every single one my routines that I have done while having this blog but I don’t think my makeup sits right without it and it’s the Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer, really hydrating. At the moment I am using the Rimmel London Match Perfection Foundation in Light Porcelain, I love the Rimmel foundations as they really work for me and have a good colour range. This is a good medium with medium coverage so it evens out and isn’t too heavy. Then to finish off my base I use the Rimmel London Wake Me Up Concealer under my eyes, it’s a great brightening concealer although I always tend to have slight darkness I feel though this works well.

Awake and natural is my go to look at the moment, looking fresh faced and youthful while it doesn’t look like I’m trying to yet and a great weapon in my arsenal is the No. 7 Pop & Glow Cream Blush Stick in Classic Rose, not heavy in colour in anyway but it adds a great flush to my face. The other benefit of a cream blush is that it lasts all day, and this one blends effortlessly so not much needs to be done. Finally to lock it all in a use a light dusting off Collection Pressed Powder in Ivory, I don’t use a lot just enough to help make it last. Once my face is on I use my Body Shop Mango Lip Butter ready for whatever I choose to use on my lips once I’ve finished, so they don’t dry out.

go to makeup eyes ft l'oreal paris, collection and bareminerals

The the eyes are super simple too, I use the L’Oreal Paris So Couture Super Liner to line my upper lid. It’s a deep black, as well as easy to use and manipulate to create the desired line and thickness. I tend to keep it simple though with a thin line close to the lash line to help define my eyes. Then for my lower lash line I use the Collection Colour Intense Kohl Pencil, which is my all-time favourite pencil. It just adds a little bit of something, minimal effort which provides a good amount of impact. To finish the eyes I use two mascaras, the old favourite BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara for my lower lash line as I love the narrower brush, then on my top lashes the L’Oreal Paris So Couture Volume Million Lashes (psst! full review here). Two great mascaras which define and add volume, I just love my eyes in this. The lips are inconsistent some days I use just a lip balm, while others I mix it up it is fairly inconsistent and goes on a whim really.

What are your go to products? What products can you simply not get enough of?

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Review: P.S Love Nail Polish Fast Dry Spray

If you haven’t seen my recent Primark haul where have you been? (Don’t worry you can check it out here. Anyway in that haul I picked up the P.S. Love Nail Polish Fast Dry Spray which hopefully will speed up the drying time of nail polish and make life easier.

If your anything like me paint your nails can become a chore where your impatience means they quickly get ruined as I never leave it long enough to dry properly. I’ve wondered about the quick dry top coats and sprays and always wonder if they are worth the money but with this option being only £0.80 then how could I possibly go wrong . . .

So I picked out a nail polish I like that’s never done me wrong before, and I went for the MUA Nail Polish in Purple lovely colour but takes a few layers to build it up so this spray is ideal. So I put on the first layer like normal and let it dry completely on its own before using this spray between each layer and following the instructions, keeping the can so many inches away and not touching it for a minute afterwards. Which did leave the nails each time shinny and dry, so in theory it quickened it up but it didn’t feel like it, it felt like a lot of faff. Also I am unsure what I was expecting but it came out feeling oily while I was definitely expecting more of an alcohol spray, instead of oil. I am so glad I was doing it over a blank piece of paper for photo purposes instead of just generally like I might have done if I wasn’t reviewing it. The oil residue sunk straight into the paper making it look like something your fast food is wrapped in which isn’t pleasant. Although I haven’t tried it and don’t especially wish to I have a hunch this may mark/stain clothes, so use with care. I don’t think I will use this without paper underneath or something.

I’ve tried it a few times before writing the review and I have to say I am finding it doesn’t necessarily speed up the process of painting my nails, with all the stopping, spraying, waiting and cleaning off the residue. Also I’ve tried it with a number of polishes from MUA, to the Barry M Hi-Gelly Shine Polishes and within 24 hours my nails are all super chipper and most of the polish has flaked off even if they wouldn’t normally chip so soon which is a huge concern. I think my final verdict is that it does make it quicker if you need a few layers to dry super quick before a night/evening out but other than that I’d just say be patient. Doing your nails normally doesn’t take that much longer and for quick drying the Barry M Speedy Dry Polishes are amazing?

If you have tried any of the speed dry products let me know what you think of them and how they work in the comments. I still love the idea of quick drying nails but this budget option definitely isn’t viable.

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Empties #13

I’m trying to work out if my empties are often too long as I wait until I feel as though I have enough and then I ramble. So what do you think is best my current method or switching to monthly empties? Let me know in the comments as I am still a little torn about monthly empties.

Mark Hill De-Frizz Shine and Protect Spray: I’ve had this for ages and only just got round to using it, a heat protecting shine spray which smells great although I just love the Mark Hill products smell. Unfortunately they’ve discontinued this product but it doesn’t compare to my TRESemme heat defence spray also they spray went half way through and I had to move it to a different bottle. Would I repurchase: discontinued.

TRESemme Heat Defence Spray: On the topic of the TRESemme heat defence spay I have finished another one, I love this spray it last forever and helps keep my hair healthy and happy. Highly recommended. Would I Repurchase: always.

The Body Shop Blueberry Body Butter: I love the body shop body butters and the blueberry is no exception, it’s appeared in a few favourites and I am obsessed with this scent. Would I repurchase: yes.

Bath and Body Works Coconut and Lime Verbena (Body Lotion): My dad picked this up in the hotel when in American, and this has linked in my work desk draw since to keep my hands hydrated. Also I am so in love with the smell coconut and citrus is amazing and I’ve had loads of people asking what I’ve been using. Sadly we can’t get bath and body works stuff in the UK and my dad is only in America every 2/3 years with work.

Dove Go Fresh Revive Body Wash in Pomegranate and Lemon Verbena: I adore the Dove Deodorant with this scent and I couldn’t resist getting the shower gel, its sweet and fruity and so good. I also think its great combined with the deodorant as you’re not overpowered with multiple scents that don’t mix. Would I repurchase: yes.

Dolly Mixture Shower Crème in Rhubarb and Custard: It’s the month of shower gels or something, only because I don’t usually end up with two. Although it’s because I got two excited and used this and the Dove one simultaneously. As you know this appeared in my December Favourites and I could not get enough of it. Would I repurchase: yes for sure.

Rimmel London Match Perfection Foundation in 010 Light Porcelain: I have really enjoyed this foundation, lovely medium coverage and Rimmel London Formulas and tone tend to suit my skin. I also love have Rimmel do the super pale shades so I don’t have to worry about miss matching or it oxidising too much. Would I repurchase: yes.

Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer: I’m not going to bother much with this, it turns up in most empties. Love it end of. Would I repurchase: always.

No 7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water: I reviewed this back in January and absolutely loved it, you can read the full review here. It smells amazing but is on the slightly pricer size of high street cleansing waters. I love the pump packaging so I think I’m going to refil it after cleansing it with a different cleansing water. Would I repurchase: maybe.

Cuticura clean and fresh and cherry blossom hand gel (empties #14)

Cuticura Crisp and Fresh Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel: I pretty much have hand gel everywhere and this bigger one is from my work desk, I buy the bigger ones for work so I don’t have to buy as often and the convenient size matters less. Would I repurchase: yes.

Cuticura Cherry Blossom Hand Gel (Primark Exclusive): I love the Primark exclusive scents for the hand gels and they are inexpensive too, this was sweet and floral. Plus the packaging is so pretty, highly recommend. Would I repurchase: definitely.

So that’s all my junk for this time, actually some nice variation. If you enjoy empties, then check out my previous empties here, or look in the bar up the top.

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Social Media Update

As it was my birthday yesterday, and some bonus posts may be coming up later this week I thought I would take the time today to talk about what is going on with my social media and how to find out what is going on. If you didn’t know I use Twitter and Instagram and here’s what you get from them.

gwenllianblog twitter

Follow me on twitter to find out about new posts as soon as they go live, always up to date with the latest information. You can also see what I am doing day to day, chat with me and just all the other general twitter stuff. Finally you can start your Sunday morning with a snippet from my blog archive, handpicked by me.

gwenllianbranwen instagram

As well as they day to day pictures and find out what I’m doing my Instagram will also have a regular schedule of content in case you are curious.

Start your Monday mornings bright and early with me as I do #motivationalmonday. 7am (GMT) or near enough every Monday, I share a motivational or positive thought giving you something to think about as well as a little boost to your Monday morning. Or you can celebrate or cringe with me on Thursdays as I take part in #tbt every Thursday evening (8:30pm), something a little bit fun and it is a little insight into my life.

Finally on Sunday I will share an old post from my blog archive, where maybe you can discover something new or slightly different. I try to mix it up or pick related posts to current blog content or time of year.

So don’t forget to follow me and I will follow everyone back, make sure you don’t miss out when I am not on here.

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Collective Haul February 2016

Just thought I would do a nice little collective haul of all the bits and pieces I have picked up recently, some as and when and others actually on shopping trips although there hasn’t been enough yet to do individual hauls so I just thought I would combine everything together.

ASDA:  If you’ve followed my blog for any period of time you’ll know that the Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer for Normal Skin  is pretty much essential to me, I use it daily either as a moisturiser or a moisturising primer. Perfect under makeup or on its one. Small bonus I picked it up on offer at half price (£2.50). The other thing I picked up from Asda were Cotton Wool Pads (£0.99), not that this needs much explanation I was running very low and it’s so easy to pick some up on the way to work. There’s not much to say other that I love the generous pack size.

Lush Bath Bombs

Lush: I’m not normally a lush person, with often incompetent staff and my allergies I tend not to find it worth the effort but with a crowded shop and armed with my phone for  the ingredients list so I know what I can have. I finally picked up the Dragons Egg Bath Bomb (£3.50) which I have wanted to try for ages and finally decided to go for it, it’s meant to be super pretty and I cannot wait to use it. The other one I picked up was one of the Valentines bath bombs and its super cute the Lover Lamp Bath Bomb (£3.95), I’ve seen its super cute so I will use it shortly.

paperchase postcards

Paperchase: I’ve tried to motivate myself to drink more and work out more so I those the Get Fit Stickers (£1.50) would be perfect to stick in my planner and tick them off. Although in fact they are super disappointing, I’m using them and there are loads of 5 a day which is great but only two water intake ones and all of the others. I love the little postcards to and I thought these would look perfect in the clear plastic wallet that is in the front of my planner, so picked up the two which were 70p each.

Tiger Toothbrush Cover

Tiger: I love shopping in Tiger and it takes a lot not to buy loads of stuff I don’t need but I managed to show restraint and only pick up a 4 Pack of Tooth Brush covers (£1.00). Not exciting I Know but these are perfect for travel, the little plastic tubes are not always best depending on the toothbrush these are great as they are universal.

Body Care Footpacks

Bodycare: Finally two small repurchases from body care. Both things I have mentioned many times which are the Argan Oil Foot Pack and the Botantical Choice Eye Puffiness Minimising patches.

So have you picked up anything good recently, let me know in the comments below.

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Products Mentioned: Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer (ASDA, although widely available), Cotton Wool Pads (ASDA), Lover Lamp Bath Bomb (LUSH), Dragons Egg Bath Bomb (LUSH), Get Fit Stickers (Paperchase), Run Wild Postcard (Paperchase), Dream it, Believe it, Achieve it Postcard (Paperchase)

 

Botanic All Bright Micellar 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution

Boots Botanics Micellar Cleansing Solution

I’m slowly making my way through the all of the Micellar solutions on the market and putting them all to the test, today the offering is from the Boots Botanic Range. At the moment my two favourites are the No 7 Beautiful Skin  and Garnier Micellar water, so let’s see how the Boots Botanics All Bright Micellar 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution Compares.

This is described on the boots website as:

‘This cleansing solution feels as gentle as water on the skin, to dissolve make up, unclog pores and remove impurities. Skin feels toned and smooth in one easy step. No rinsing required for use on the face, eyes and lips. Hibiscus is nature’s brightness booster and a wonderful hue of pink. Natural AHA’s from the flower act as mild exfoliators to help leave skin smoother and brighter. Our beauty scientists have worked with the world experts in plant science at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (England), to bring you beautiful, plant powered skin care that’s proven to work.’

The packaging is relatively plain and simple but the bottle is an easy shape to store and small bonus super easy to decant for travel, although it’s not overly large in the first place. However I like the simple design and although it’s nothing fancy it works and tells you everything you need to know. The simple flower design also reflects the ranges link to Kew Gardens which I think is a nice touch.  The only thing I can say is it’s probably easier to get too much or to spill than others due to the wider top, this isn’t a big deal but is worth keeping in mind if you are prone to spilling.

On first impressions it’s not as good at removing makeup as my beloved No7 or Garner options but maybe I’m setting my standards too high and should review it for what it is, a makeup remover. As I used it more I appreciated it for what it was as it removed makeup well, although you did need slightly more than other brands micellar water and it cleared my skin. I just think other products work better.

I brought the Botanics All Bright Micellar 3 in 1 solution on offer for £2.24 and it offers good value for this price point. However the full retail price is £4.49 for 250ml (£1.80 per 100ml), which offers worse value than the Garnier Micellar Water which is £4.99 for 400ml (£.83 per 100ml). Yet the Boots Botanics offers much better value than the No 7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water at £9.50 for 200ml (£4.25 per 100ml), although there are regularly No 7 vouchers at Boots.

Comparing all 3 in terms of value and quality of product I wouldn’t recommend it, the product is okay but with better products costing similar and offering better value for money I’d look elsewhere. With Ganier now offering several Micellar Waters for different skin types skip the Boots Botanics and go for Garnier.

Have you tried any of the Boots Botanics range and how do they compare for you? What are your favourite Micellar Waters?

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Primark Haul

It feels like a while since I last did a pure Primark haul, and seeing as I managed to pick up a number of bits it only seems right to bring back the Primark Haul, after all who doesn’t love Primark? So I picked up some bits I needs, some pieces for my Easter break and then somethings I really could resist and that I’m way too lazy to think of an excuse of why I wish to buy them.

primark grey tshirt and black jeans

I managed to pick up a perfect little outfit from Primark really although both are fairly diverse pieces. When I first felt the Grey V Neck T-shirt (£4.00) I knew that I couldn’t leave without it, slightly oversized and it feels unbelievably soft it could easily be worn for pjs or lounge wear but I think it will be great to travel in or run errands. I love primark jeans super stretchy and comfortable as I’m not much of a jeans person I prefer the stretchy fabric and I love the high waist on the Super High Waistted Skinny Jeans (£10.00), I mean it lives up to its name and keeps everything in check. These are great pieces on their own or could make a great everyday outfit.

Although I have enough socks I love the Supersoft Ankle Trainer Socks 3 Pairs (£2.50) so much I had to buy another pack, these really are super soft and don’t loose that softness when they are washed which is amazing. Affordable, soft and comfy socks what more could you ask for. I also picked up a 5 pack of footlets (£2.50) which are always so overpriced everywhere else and these work out at 50p each. I wear them almost daily for work so a second pack is useful and I also keep a pair of them in my bag at all times. Highly recommend them if you wear a lot of pumps or heels, they add comfort, reduce smelly shoes and are a great price. I also picked up another pair of 120 Denier Tights (£2.50), once again these wash really well despite the low price and as I wear tights a lot I can always do with another pair.

I always check out the P.S Love/cosmetic area at Primark and I have had some great luck in the past (check out my swatch post here), I picked up some more P.S. Love Egg Shaped Makeup Sponge (£1.00 £0.70) which were reduced although they have some new shapes I hope these aren’t discontinued. I use my egg sponge daily and try to clean it daily, I tend to buy a new one every few months I could use them longer but I like changing them regularly as I think its more hygienic to do so. I also found the P.S. Love Nail Polish Fast Dry Spray (£0.80) I didn’t even know they did it but I could resist especially at the price and cannot wait to use it. I’ll make sure to review it as if it really works it’s a bargain.

The last 3 items are really underwhelming, first up a 5 pack of toothbrushes (£0.75) they are actually decent toothbrushes but I picked some up for travel just to have fresh toothbrushes  Finally I picked up two hand gels, I love looking at all the different scents that primark do and I managed to find two I haven’t tried before Cuticura Peach Delight Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel and Cuticura Candy Apple Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel which will end up in their various places like my bag, desk draw, car ect when my current ones run out.

So that’s everything I picked up at Primark, have you guys found any Primark treasures recently let me know in the comments as I love it when Primark have completely irresistible items.

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