Arbonne FC5 Skincare Review

When I was offered the chance to do a review of Arbonne products, I of course jumped at the chance.  Wouldn’t most of us bloggers?  Isn’t that what the end goal of all this for beauty bloggers? Get to test products for free?  Yes of course.  So, naturally I did what anyone would do and whilst waiting from my skincare to come from this company I’d never heard of before, I researched them.

It honestly came back with a bag of mixed reviews but I decided to withhold any judgment until I’d actually tried the product.  A few days later a little sample pack popped through the post with two tiny 3ml products to try for combination/oily skin.  The products were samplers from their FC5 complex perfection range of skincare.  One Purifying Cleanser & Toner and one Oil Absorbing Day Lotion with Spf20.

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The company is proud to announce themselves as a Swiss ultra-premium brand and the products are botanically based, Vegan Certified, PH correct, Hypoallergenic, Dermatologist Tested, Certified Gluten Free, Kosher Certified, Drug Free and Cruelty Free.  Therefore, no nasties.

I have used all the cleanser and toner over 3 separate washes, one of which was on my electric face brush.  It has a slightly citrus scent to me, which is pleasant enough.  It works into a foam nicely and cleanses the face.  I felt this was more effective when used with a brush.  It leaves a cooling feeling on the skin after with a slightly tingly sensation like mint which I’m assuming it has in it.  Again this was stronger when used with the brush.  It’s refreshing.  I was surprised that it also does leave your face feeling soft and oil free but not drying in any way.   As I said this was used three times so we are talking short term use.

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I left my face to dry naturally for 10 minutes before applying the cream which definitely feels thick, more like a night cream when applying.  It soaks straight into my skin without leaving any feeling of an oily residue.  Again a mild scented fragrance which to my mind smells citrusy (I promise you it’s not everything that smells citrusy!).  I actually really like the fact it has spf in but it won’t be to everyones taste.  It does leave a matte feel to the skin, as regards look, I’m not fully convinced I look matte but of course everybodys skin will react differently.  I does appear to hold the oil at bay though.  I used it as a night lotion and a morning lotion.  In the morning I was particularly impressed with how it stayed under my makeup, I put my usual spf over and primer but my makeup seemed to look smoother.  My skin felt lovely…I had a ‘pretty’ day if you know what I mean.

Overall, with nothing to expect I have been quietly impressed with both products.  I do have a facial wash which I’m happy with so not sure I would purchase the full tube of Arbonne Cleanser and Toner.  It is £19 for 118ml, however I may do in the future.   The cream is a different kettle of fish for me though.  I really liked it.  Even though it felt as rich and moisturising as a night cream it was a great day cream.  This is something I would give a try.  The Lotion is £31 for 50ml so it is pricey but then I tend to think some products are worth spending that little extra on.

Both are available from the lovely Maimie Yelland who sent me the samples.  You can contact her on Her website

Twitter @MaimieYelland

Email: maimieyelland@gmail.com

Web: http://maimieyelland.arbonneinternational.co.uk

Despite being asked to review these products I would like to state all opinions are my own.

Love Em xx

Retin A. Eternal youth?

 

Hey guys,

So I’m hitting a sensitive subject for many today.  Growing old!  I’m not going to get into the age thing, at the end of the day we are as old as we feel.  Some wish to age gracefully and some wish to prolong that youthful look at all lengths.  I hit 40 last year and I think I’ve been blessed with reasonable skin for that age but obviously all of us see close up changes that we are not entirely happy with.  Pores enlarging, wrinkles forming and more hooded eyes.

Anyhow, somewhere I managed to stumble across a seemingly affordable answer without getting into surgery or needles….enter Retin A.  Otherwise known as Tretinoin Cream.  It’s usually prescribed by a dermatologist for Acne or in the U.S. they sell it to the ladies that want to drink from the fountain of youth.  It is a form of retinoic acid.  The beauty of this cream is not only is it good for acne but when used regularly over time it can reduce the appearance of fine lines, sun spot damage and overall better the smoothness of your skin.

Therefore, after a lot of research I decided this is something I wanted to commit to and purchased myself a tube of the 0.05%.  They come in three strengths, 0.025%, 0.05% and 0.1%.  It is recommended to start on the smallest strength but whatever you do, you have to be exceedingly careful with the application.  Before applying, clean and wash your face, I use a gentle cleanser.  Then very important leave your face to dry for at least 10 minutes, after this time get a PEA size amount and pat or gently rub into your cheeks and forehead.  Then wash your hands.

It is really drying, so be prepared for your skin to take some adjusting.  Start by applying just once a week and just use a regular moisturizer the other day.  I started using mine at approx beginning of February, may of been earlier actually and just last week I’ve got to the point where I now apply it every other night.

It removes layers of the outer cells and increases the amount of collagen that is found in the layers of skin so it does create flaking skin.  This at times can be VERY frustrating.  In general people say, it only lasts up to 6 weeks but I still get the flaking occasionally.  I do not put the cream on my chin or nose as it seems to get into your skin and spread around itself but if you directly put it there it will flake badly.  This makes makeup impossible to put on at times.  The other thing you must do is wear a sunscreen preferably 60+spf, mine is currently 30+spf so i definitely need to up this as we have started to get warmer weather this month.  This is necessary due to the increased sensitivity to the sun you get with the cream.  If you don’t wear it you will basically undo any of what you are trying to achieve.

Does it bring eternal youth?  Well, I can honestly say if you look at some people on You Tube that have used it religiously over time they look fantastic.  There was a 61 year old woman that I saw a video of today who has used it for 28 years!!  She looked A-mazing.  No wrinkles at all.  We all know that no treatment unless you have surgery is permanent, and that has risks, likewise, if you stop using retin A your skin will over time revert to normal.  But I definitely think you lose nothing by trying it.

I wanted to take pictures at the beginning of my journey but even now I shall look back in a year and see if its worth it.  Do any of you lovely readers use this?  Or perhaps you haven’t heard of it yet.  I’d love to hear what you think.

 

Love Em xx

 

MakeUp Geek Foiled Eyeshadow Reviews

Hi Guys,

So I’m back again with a quick review of the lovely Make up Geek Foiled Eyeshadows.  I started buying these last year straight from America but you guys have it easy now as you can pick them up from Beauty Bay for I think about £8 and the regular shadows are around £5.  To be honest, Marlena, the girl whose business it is does not charge a big shipping fee from the US so I personally think you’d save money from cutting out the middle man but that’s up to you.

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I love these eyeshadows…every single one I have (not just the foiled) is super creamy and just such good quality.  These have such a good pay off when you swatch them and there is no fall out, my only gripe is that when you swatch them they are to die for, spot on, however the colour on your eye looks better when you use your finger to apply and is less intense with a make up brush.  I can’t figure out why this is and it is remedied by applying a squirt of fix plus to the tip of your brush but it shouldn’t need it.

I’ve left a picture below of the foiled swatches.  I have 12 of the foiled ones and then a Z palette of regular ones to.  The names of these from left to right are as follows: High Wire, Starry Eyed, In the Spotlight, Mesmerised, Showtime, Magic Act, Whimsical, Grandstand, Flame Thrower, Charmed, Jester and lastly Houdini.

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They each hold 1.8g of eyeshadow in a magnetic pot which makes them easy to store.  The Z Palettes are available at Amazon UK.  I personally really thing you get a lot of ‘bang for your buck’ with these shadows and would highly recommend trying them.

Love Em xx

March Favourites

So, I’ve been remiss with my blog whilst on holiday, however, I’m back now just in time to give you a run down on my March favourites.

My first fav is my Too Faced bronzer.  I treated myself to this at the beginning of the month and am in love with it. I picked the chocolate soleil which is a medium/deep matte colour.  It’s the perfect shade for my skin and every time I open it I smell it, well, it just smells heavenly!  So, if you haven’t got one or swatched one yet…go and try it.

 

The second thing is my Clarins honey lip balm.  The correct name for it is Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil…a mouthful!  But for the regular people its very similar to a lip balm.  I waited for this as they didn’t have it in stock at our local shop, problems of living in a small town!  Anyway, when I got to the airport they did have it there and….bonus, it was tax free!  (Only by £3 but not to be sniffed at, it was a glass of wine on holiday.  I flipping love this stuff.  I used it everyday.)  My lips are really prone to drying out which is super annoying but this stuff is just awesome.  It feels slightly tacky at first but then that feeling disappears and it stays on for a good while before having to reapply.  It’s really hydrating.  I have no chapped, flaky lips.  I would HIGHLY recommend this to anyone that is always having problems with dry lips…it is the bomb in my humble opinion.  They do it in a choice of honey or raspberry, which are both lovely.

I got a teeny tiny sample of the Frat Boy blusher by The Balm in my birchbox and it is pink, it’s pigmented so a little goes a long way but I also have used that more than I care to admit this month.  Its a perfect pink for the Spring and I think I will be buying the full size version of this when I run out.

 

I also got some from acrylic drawers and a lipstick holder from Muji and Ebay as I was needing a little more storage.  I wasn’t sure if they would just become dust collectors but I really like them.  They are a super size to fit quite a bit in without taking over the room and they are sturdy.  Also stackable so will keep my eyes out for more of their products in future.

That is it for now as I haven’t tried everything I actually bought.  Have you got anything this month you fell in love with or really hated?

Marching on to new things to try

I can’t believe where this month is going.  Is it just as I get older that time goes faster?  Or are you feeling how are we in March already too?

One thing I told you guys I’d love to try but just don’t have the cash was the Artis brushes.  However, I accidentally came across a similar shaped one on eBay for pennies.  I think it was £2.75 which for that if I don’t like it can just chuck it in the bin.  It’s really dense and small.  It’s rather bizarre as expected but only tried it once so am holding judgement until I’ve used it a bit.

 

The other thing I have heard alot about is Vitamin C serum being super for your skin.  I picked mine up from Amazon.  It’s not as thick as I imagined it to be.  But again I’ll try and include it in my skin care routine and see how it goes.  If it does impressive things I shall let you know!

 

I also love the Rimmel wake me up concealer so have fancied trying a drug store foundation too for a while and when I saw this on offer in Asda for £5  i thought I’d give it a go.   Have any of you got this?  Infallible seems really popular but I’ve heard good things about Borjouis Healthy Serum too.  I mean how many foundations does a girl actually need?? But in my defence they are my favourite beauty product at the moment.  I also got a free 7 day trial of YSL foundation…not sure when that offer finishes but great way to try it.

I got a new Mac lippie Ruby Woo to add to my collection.

 

I picked up a bomber jacket from Boohoo.  I thought it would be great to take on holiday as it’s alot lighter than my regular coat but still padded and has warmth to it.  A steal at £20.00 with free delivery.   And i picked up some black jeggings from M&S for £22.50 which I thought was really good value as the material is great but they have belt hoops and a button which make them feel more like jeans.

I also discovered Depop!  Am I really late joining the bandwaggon on this?  I managed to pick up a Coloured Raine matte lipstick in Marshmallow which reminds me of something.  It’s got a grey undertone to it, I’m not sure what it will be like on :-/ and I got a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in Very Victoria to try.  That is one app I will have to be careful with..there you can actually get the Becca highlighter by Jacyln Hill but I am not spending anymore this month so maybe next.

Also, has anyone seen that my favorite make up brand Urban Decay have just released some highlighters, bronzers and new shades of foundation in the good ole USA.  When are we getting it here??? They have one called sin which just looks so gorgeous and is a champagne colour.  I’ve seen their pictures under Instagram if you were wondering.

 

Have you had any good finds or new bits this month?

Love Em x

 

Colorpop Lippie Stix Review

Back again to do a promised quick review on this lovely box of Lippie Stix.  I’m in the UK but managed to get a mini haul a while back from a ‘Go Send’ service I told you guys about on a separate blog.

Treated myself to this in their December sales and I can’t remember how much I paid but I do know it was cheap…similar to our Boots/Superdrug prices.  Well worth the money!  I got a box called Vixen which had 6 different ones to try and an additional one called ‘Lumiere’ which was Kathleen Lights lippy (You Tube).

They arrived in a gorgeous box with a mirror inside, I was super impressed with the packaging and it keeps them all together.  See picture below…

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Lumiere, Last Call, 54, Ruffle, Jingle, Night Owl and Plastics.

They are held in really thin and tall casing in comparison to a standard lipstick but I like them.  It’s actually really easy to hold them because of this.  The formulas are all different, a bit like Mac lippies, there is matte, creme and pearlized.  I took swatches of them all for you and the colour pigment pay off is good on every single one.  There were a couple that dragged slightly, lumiere and ruffle, both mattes.  One is so creamy it could possibly break if you wound it up to high, the pearlized one called 54.

 

The swatches from top to bottom are Lumiere, Last Call, 54, Ruffle, Jingle, Night Owl and lastly Plastics.  They have a scent to them which is familiar but pleasant.  I am super impressed with these.  They all have staying power, I had to really use a lot of make up remover and rub my arm to get the swatches off.  I’ve also worn two of them and nothing really stays on my lips to much but these did.

We need Colourpop to come to the UK!  I would highly recommend trying them.  Have you any of their other products are they as good?

Love Em x

My Mac Lipsticks…the story so far

Can I just say…I only have 5 😢.  My #maclipstickgoal is considerably higher.

Out of the five I do own, the first one I got treated to I thought I would love but alas I don’t and that is snob.  I do love the formula though, it is a satin, my only one and its creamy but stays on for a good while.  It’s not entirely disagreeable so I don’t want to get rid of it but I find it too garishly pink for my taste, like a barbie pink almost 😑.  It was a present so it is here to stay but little used.

Because of the ‘mistake’ with the first one I asked a friend to recommend the second.  You may at this point be thinking just try them but where I live is nowhere near a Mac store….there is very little choice so it’s generally done online by recommendation.  My second choice was the staple which has to be my favourite, Velvet Teddy.  It’s a nude but leaning to the browner end.  It is matte in formula so stays on and would compliment all skin tones I think.

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From top to bottom. Ruby Woo Creme Cup High Tea Velvet Teddy Snob

The third one I searched in a Mac store in Bruges last year.  It was my first time in one and I was blown away by the choice.  I honestly felt a little overwhelmed so browsed around but felt it was hard to pick unless you had something in mind which I did not.  I swatched High Tea and took note of the name and ordered it when I got home.   Out of all of them it’s not easy to show on camera what it’s like.   It’s a lustre, very sheen, light but catches the light.  I like it as it’s almost like a balm and I love my balms! But you have to reapply it a lot as it slides off.

My fourth was found on You Tube, I watch this girl called Dramatic Mac, her real name is Aisling, and she has a very mellow Irish accent.  She has a love of nude lipsticks and one of her favs is ‘Snowcap’ by NYX which I also love so this is one of her other favs. So it’s called Creme Cup.  I really like it, it’s a cremesheen which is not unlike the lustre.   It has pink tones rather than brown but not overbearing and feels soft on your lips.

And last my new purchase Ruby Woo.  A classic, again under recommendation by another You Tuber.  This one is a matte also and for this reason alone it will last longer than my others.  It is a true deep red which for some reason I am drawn to more than pinks.  Check out the swatches.  It does however bleed a little so a lip pencil will help with this and of course with any matte lipstick try dry brushing your lips so any dead or flaking skin is removed.

My next purchase I think will be Viva Glam II which is another nude!! I do love my neutrals.  Which have you got?

Love Em x

 

March Birch Box Review

 

Hi Guys!

This blog is all about Birch Boxes.  Some lovely lady told me about them on here the other week.  I’d never known they were available in the UK.  I’d heard of Glossy Box but to cut a long story short I got myself subscribed and I’m on my 2nd box already as I was fortunate to have a rather late delivery of February’s.

So I am loving these boxes.  If you’re anything like me there is way to much choice at times and it can be fazing when it comes to picking up a new brand and paying full price for a large item you may not even like.

This month I got 6 items all catered to my age 😟 and what I had a preference for.  Everyone’s I’ve seen is different.

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The first thing I got and I love is ‘This works’ Pillow spray.  Can I just say I would NEVER buy something like this, it wouldn’t even cross my mind but I love it! I even went on to see how much they were, not only for me but it would make such a nice gift.  It smells of Lavender (soothing) primarily with Camomile (relaxing) and Vetivert.  You just shake it and spray on your pillow and I really think it works.  Super little product.

 

Second, I got an anti-aging serum (definitely needed *cough cough*).  This is made by Crea-m which I’ve never heard of…I’m unsure about this one.  You apply after cleansing but before moisturizing.  It has a pleasant smell slightly vanilla to me, sweet.  It’s a gel format and takes a few moments to dry.  Whilst wet it has a sticky feeling.  My skin did appear plumper in the morning but I am using tretinoin (well trying) and that could of given me the plumper look.  I’m going to persevere but the jury’s out on this.

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My next product was a full size Colour Enhancing Lip Balm.  Made by Arrow…again a new one on me but I am a lip balm kind of girl.  I’m slowly changing but because I suffer from chapped lips and have a habit of occasionally biting them I’m always wearing balm.  I really like this balm as it changes colour to your PH meaning everybodys is different.  It has a slightly minty smell to it.  Considering the full price is £11 and the whole box is £10 its a bargin.

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This other full size product is a brow gel.  I know eyeko do a really good one.  I have two brow gels myself Milani and L’oreal but I got the darker in L’oreal and although it sets better than Milani it has fibres in it which as the day progresses can seem more and more noticable.  Because of this I was very happy to try something else.  This has a small wand/spooly on it which I like.  It dosen’t get bitty and the gel holds unruly brows well in place.  I like it.

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My last beauty sample was the Beauty Protector Beauty Cream Body Lotion.  It has a lovely sweet scent and is nourishing, however, because it’s a little size I have used it as a hand cream.  My hands get dry, especially in the Winter due to central heating, having my hands in water and I have had better creams.  It isn’t very hydrating as within 15 minutes of putting it on I feel like I need to reapply, but maybe I’m being unfair in my assessment of this as it isn’t advertised as a ‘hand cream’ alone.  On the plus side its got very pretty packaging.  Aside from that I would not look to repurchase this.

So that’s my full box.  I’m not reviewing Februarys but I was really pleased with that one too.  I would highly recommend getting one if you haven’t tried it.  The bonus is you can cancel if you don’t feel you’re getting anything that is really for you.

 

Love Em x

 

My Favourite Foundations

Hi Guys,

 

I wanted to do a small blog on my favourite foundations and tell you why I rate them as much as I do.  Firstly, you should be aware that I have combination skin so these won’t suit everybody.  I’m also aware they are all high end foundations. I’m sorry about that.  I have tried low end but not yet found one I love as much…saying that I’ve only tried a couple.  I heard L’oreal infallible is rated highly.  Perhaps you can let me know which are good?

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One of my first that I bought was under recommendation, the Estee Lauder Double Wear.  This is a full coverage foundation and is my least fav out of these four just because its a very heavy foundation, on the plus side it does not budge.  The consistency is thick so little is needed but I find that if I reach for it, it would be a Winter foundation or if my skin was bad and I wanted the full coverage.  I know alot of girls highly rate this foundation but I think as it was my first full coverage one it was too much for me, it obviously works for alot of people but I’d opt for the new Kat Von D Lock it Foundation.

 

I only recently got Kat Von D’s foundation via a ‘go send’ service that I heard about on You Tube.  You are given a full American postal address so can buy things from Sephora, Kat Von D, Colourpop ect and have them sent into your ‘locker’.  Then they send you a picture of them unwrapped and you can release the items to be sent over tyo the UK or Ireland, wherever you want I think.

Anyway, I had to kind of guess which shade I would be but I really wanted to try it.  This is another full coverage foundation, but its light…lighter than Double Wear.  the thickness does’t sit on your face the same.  It’s creamier and easily blendable.  It doesn’t shift (using a primer and setting powder or spray), but it drys quickly.  I also get dry patches on my chin area which it does show up but then any full coverage foundation would.  It doesn’t oxidize on me and I feel like it is hydrating.  Whereas the Double Wear definitely had more of a drying effect.  I really like this, I don’t always need full coverage because I think they can look cakey quickly as well but this is a good quality foundation that works well on my skin.

The other two are both lighter coverage.  For me I’d say the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is medium coverage.  I wanted to try a completely different kind of foundation and I love the fact its lighter.  Even though it’s for luminosity and I have oily skin, it’s never come off-slid off my face.  It feels silky, it doesn’t settle into my pores and I like the lightness and texture.  I would definitely buy this one again.

The Urban Decay Naked is my latest foundation purchase.  I honestly think that foundations are one of my favourite beauty products.  I’m always in search of the perfect one and I also adore every Urban Decay product I own.  This is my ‘go to’ and I can already see my bottle going down.  It is light coverage but its buildable if you want a thicker coverage.  It is like a cream on top of the primer and feels truly weightless.  There is no oil in this foundation…yeah for all us oily skinned girls and yet it looks bright and slightly luminous. Its matte but also slightly dewy.  Its my all time favourite so far and I would highly recommend it.  I’m going to be wearing it all Spring I think…

Em x