Category: Make Up

IPL hair removal: first impressions

Hair removal is the bane of my life. I appreciate that out of many things that suck around the world, hair removal is pretty trivial. That aside, it is a problem that needs regular attention if I am to conform to societies expectations regarding the female appearance.

I have wanted to try permanent hair removal for years, but the price and fear of pain have put me off. The other week though, iCandy in Bristol ran an offer on Groupon I couldn’t resist trying. The offer was to have a course of IPL sessions on the extended bikini line, probably the most painful and awkward place for hair removal procedures on the body. The thought of not having to do any hair removal on this area was too hard to resist, and so I took up the offer.

IPL: A quick overview

Incase you don’t know what IPL is, here is a quick run down: IPL (short for Intense Pulsed Light). It is not the same as laser hair removal, but it works in a similar way using light to cause the hair follicle to cease working. Laser hair removal is permanent where as IPL lasts for several years once a ful course of treatments has been carried out.

IPL is only suitable for people with medium – light skin tones and darker hair – which makes it perfect for me. Its the only time I think my pale skin and dark hair has ever done me a favour.

After having a patch test done on my hand, I was ready to have my first proper treatment:

My first session

I had my first IPL session yesterday. It was quite an odd experience. I want to document the process so that if any of you are thinking about having it done, you know what to expect.

First of all, you have to shave the area you are having treated 24 hours before the procedure, if you do it on the day of the treatment I was told that your skin is too sensitive and they wont carry out the treatment.

You have to wear a pair of disposable pants which are very unattractive, I guess you could skip the pants and go au naturel, but seriously, those positions you have to get into are not something most will want to do fully exposed in front of a stranger! These pants are worn to stop the gel that’s spread over the treatment area from messing up normal pants. The gel helps the light to penetrate the hair follicle.

The treatment itself takes only about ten minutes – it is amazingly quick. I was really scared about it hurting (as waxing is so awfully painful along the bikini line), but IPL is much more comfortable. Other people have described the sensation like an elastic band hitting the skin, but I didn’t feel that much discomfort. I found the sensation to be more like a very mild stinging nettle that disappeared almost immediately. I was given aloe vera gel to soothe the skin following the session. Since having the treatment I’ve not had any redness or irritation.

The machine that delivers the pulses of light is so powerful that you have to wear protective goggles while it is working. It really is very bright.

I have five further sessions to go, so I’ll be finished in five months time. Hopefully then, I will not have to worry about my bikini line for years to come! I will continue to update on my progress to let you know how I get on.

I paid £79 for six sessions on Groupon for six treatments. On the iCandy website it says that one treatment for the extended bikini line is £120 – so the Groupon deal was a serious saving.

Have you tried IPL or laser hair removal? How did it work for you?

Schwarzkopf Color Mask: Light Golden Brown

Much to my immense irritation I’ve been going grey, or rather white, since I was about 18. As the white hair has multiplied over the years I have struggled to find hair dye that actually covers white hair. Most hair dyes promise to cover ‘grey’ hair and don’t mention white, so there must be something harder to dye when it comes to hair without any pigment.

About four months ago I had my hair dyed professionally, and I had two shades put in to blend through my natural hair colour and help cover and camoflage the white hair. I was really pleased with the results, but the highlights were growing out and had started to look a bit silly. I didn’t want to spend £110 to get my hair dyed again, so I decided to brave a home dye kit once again… I found Schwarzkopf’s new ‘Color Mask’ kit on offer for £4.99 and decided to try it as I liked the sound of a hair mask.

Here is how I found the process:


Photos of hair

The extent of the white hair:

Photo of white hair

Schwarzkopf Color Mask in ‘Light Golden Brown’

Photo of a box of hair dye

Photo of hair dye results chart


Photo of hair covered in hair dye

The application was easy, however I didn’t notice any difference between the texture and consistency of this ‘mask’ dye compared with any normal dye. It was better than the drippy wet ‘foam’ dyes though, and I managed to easily cover my whole head without it dripping everywhere which was great. It did smell pretty bad – but then most hair dye does.


Photo collage of hair following dye

These pictures don’t accurately show the colour my hair has come out as because I couldn’t take them in natural light. I’m not particularly pleased with the colour as it is darker than I had wanted, and has red/auburn undertones rather than ‘golden’ ones. It HAS covered the white hair though! They still stand out as being different to the other hair, but not in such a stark way. This has really impressed me as I have found it so tricky to find a dye that can do this.

The dye hasn’t left my hair feeling as glossy as dyes often do. It’s dryer and feels like it needs a lot of care to keep it looking shiny.

I would use this dye again, but in a lighter shade, and I think I would do an intensive conditioning treatment straight afterwards to help replenish it.

Have you had any luck with home hair dye kits? Can you recommend any brands that do a good job of covering white hair?!

L’Oreal Dress Up In Diamonds Gift With Purchase

Photo collage of the L'oreal dress up in diamonds gift set

Here is a quick post about L’Oreal’s current gift with purchase available at Boots. You can get this box of goodies when you spend £15 or more on any L’Oreal makeup. According to Boots it is worth £28, so it’s quite a bargain! Boots also have gift with purchase deals on No7 and Max Factor.

This box contains:

  • Volume Million Lashes Diamantissime mascara in ‘Black Diamantissime’ – Full size
  • Color Riche 325 Lipstick in ‘Ferric Fuchsia’ – Full size
  • Color Riche 820 Nail polish in ‘Crystalissme’ – Full size
  • Revitalift Total Repair Moisturiser – Sample size tub
  • True Match Foundation in ‘Golden Beige’ – Sample sachet
  • Nude Magique BB Cream in ‘Medium’ – Sample sachet
  • PLUS: a voucher to save £2 off True Match foundation in Boots

I went into Boots to get another L’Oreal Caresse lipstick after I bought a really ridiculously bright one (Impulsive Fuchsia) by accident – I loved the formula just not the colour. When I saw this deal was on, I immediately chose two of the lipsticks so I could get this little box. Is it just me that always falls for this sort of deal?!

Anyway, I needed a new mascara so this made it worthwhile and the lipstick and nail polish are going to be stocking fillers for my sisters.

Have you got one of these boxes, or maybe you got the No7 or Max Factor ones? Maybe you are better able to resist these deals?

Helen E Lip Crayons & Glosses

Photo of Helen E lipgloss and lip crayon pencil

Helen E is a brand I was completely unaware of until I saw a stand in Debenhams (in the Bullring in Birmingham). It appears they are in the process of transitioning to become a more accessible High Street brand, after predominantly selling online or at beauty events and to beauty schools. I’d say their products are in a mid price range, not cheap and not designer price tag either.

Two of the products I picked up as part of an introductory offer, were a lip gloss and a lip crayon. I blogged about them in my epic haul post a week or two ago. I’ve now had chance to test them out, and wow, I am really impressed!

Photo of Helen E lip crayon applied alone, and with lip gloss
Left: lip crayon in ‘Pomegranate’ worn alone, Right: Lip crayon worn with Glamour Colour Gloss in ‘Redcurrant’

Lip Crayon

The lip crayon I chose is in the shade ‘Pomegranate’, which is a deep berry shade. Its a chunky pencil, and is really easy to wear. I love the formula – its soft and goes on easily, and it really lasts. I have been wearing this on its own to all my Christmas parties as I love the matte finish. I can’t rate this highly enough, and I’m planning to add several more of these to my collection in the New Year. Love it.

These crayons cost £8, however I bought mine as part of a deal where I got 3 products for £10 (what a bargain!).

Glamour Colour Gloss

The gloss I picked up is in the shade ‘Redcurrant’ and it goes perfectly with the lip crayon. Its a great lip gloss that’s really comfortable to wear. It’s not super sticky and its also quite moisturising, and it feels light to wear (not heavy and gloopy).

The shade Redcurrant is really wearable – I have been wearing it alone and on top of the lip crayon and I love it. These glosses cost £10 each, but mine was part of the awesome 3 for £10 deal in Debenhams. I’m really wishing I had bought more from that stand as I am so pleased with these!

Action shots!:

Photo of me wearing the lip products
Left: On my way to a craft fair, Right: Going to my work Christmas party

Have you heard of Helen E cosmetics before? Have you tried any of their lip products?


Epic Autumn Make Up Haul

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin…

I’ve been a busy-bee throughout October and November, mainly with my job which has been taking me all over the country; Sheffield, Leicester, Milton Keynes etc. I travel by train, and sometimes this means I have an odd hour here or there while I am waiting for a connection, and so I take a long-overdue lunch break. The following haul is the result of these short ‘breaks’ and mainly was bought in Birmingham at the Bullring and the Palisades shopping center (its connected to New Street Station).

Boredom, fatigue and long-hours has done this to me!


Here is my very first foray into Topshop’s make up range:
Collage of make up bought in Topshop

1. Topshop Lip Crayon in “Secret Party”

This crayon is a bright and sparkly shade of pink-fuchsia. When I swatched it in-store I made a little squee sound as the colour and sparkle was so pretty. It had to be mine. I’ve not worn this out yet (its definitely a party shade and not a work shade for me), but I will do a proper review once I have put it through its paces – hopefully at my work Christmas party.

2. Topshop Nail Polish in “Dark Knight”

This is such a beautiful glitter polish – it charmed me with its similarity to Deborah Lippmann’s Across the Universe. I’ve bought this to make nail polish jewellery, as there is a lovely deep quality to the jelly blue polish which will look stunning when layered. I’ve not tried this on my nails yet.

3. Topshop Nail Polish in “Mercury Rising”

Again, this is another purchase inspired by nail polish jewellery. This glitter changes colour in different lights, which will make it perfect for using on jewellery as it will help to add interest as well as catch the light. I’ve not tried this on my nails yet – but it will probably be what I wear to my office Christmas party.

Boots & Superdrug

A collection of goodies bought at different times over the past couple of months. These have been impulse buys: often when I have forgotten to bring something with me to a meeting. All of the items here were bought as part of different in-store offers, like the Boots buy one, get one half price and Superdrug’s three for two deal. So, its not as naughty as it may at first appear. At least that’s what I am telling myself.

Collage of makeup bought in Boots and Superdrug

4. Sleek Corrector & Concealer Palette in shade “2”

I bought this in a rush, and meant to buy shade “1”. I’ve not really had a chance to play with this properly. It is a smidge too dark for me, but the pink-toned shade will probably work fine. Its a lovely little palette though – small, sleek and sturdy.

5. Sleek i Divine Palette in “Oh So Special”

I bought this after loosing my favourite “Au Naturel” palette, and because I am still hoping it will turn up, I didn’t want to buy a direct replacement and this one appealed to me. I love these palettes. They are great value and not too shimmery. I’ve only been using the more natural brown and beige shades so far. I’m very happy with this collection and love the packaging, especially the mirror in the lid which comes in very handy for doing my make up on trains (an all-to-frequent occurrence!).

6. L’oreal Rouge Caresse in “Impulsive Fuchsia”

I bought this when I was really pushed for time, and I thought I was buying a lighter shade. I was quite shocked by how bright this shade is – its a really potent fuchsia! I have worn this once or twice, its not an everyday shade for me. I love the texture and the finish of this lipstick. I wish I had actually picked up the lighter shade I was looking at as I would wear this a lot if only it was lighter and less attention-grabbling. On a side note: this shade appears very differently in different lights, it sometimes even has a blue-tinge.

7. Rimmel Stay Glossy Lip Gloss in “Plum Rocks”

I’ve become a little obsessed with finding the perfect plum lip colour for winter, and this was the product that got me started. I haven’t bought anything from Rimmel for a long time, I have always been quite disappointed in their products, and I don’t like Kate Moss so I avoid them. This pretty, sparkly plum gloss caught my eyes and I have worn it LOADS since I picked it up. Its not too sticky and it feels really nice on my lips. It’s got multicoloured teeny-weeny glittery sparkles in it that are not too OTT for everyday. Loving it.

8. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in “Honey”

I finally gave in and tried these much-hyped lip crayons, and I love them. I’m using ‘Honey’ a lot for everyday ware. Its a really natural shade, but just adds enough colour. Perfect. The only criticism I have about these balm stains is that they smell just like dental floss does which is a bit strange. Could be much worse though! My verdict is they are worth the hype and are worth their £7.99 price tag, but they are even better when bought as part of a three for two offer.

9. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in “Crush”

This is part of my obsession to find the perfect plum lip colour. I like this shade a lot, however, it does have a tendency to slide about on the lips if I’ve put a bit too much on. I really like the packaging of these balm stains – it feels nice and sturdy and safe to keep in my handbag (no lipstick-lip-off calamities, I’m looking at you Boots 17!).

Helen E

All these goodies were bought in Debenhams as part of an introduction to the Helen E brand – they had some special deals on that made all these goodies much more affordable. I got the Skin Smoother, eyeliner, lip crayon, and a set of latex free make up sponges for £20, and then they had a second deal on where you could buy any three items for £10. The lady at the counter gave me an extra shimmer powder because I had bought the other two deals. Brill!

I am yet to use these properly, but once I have I will share more about what this brand is like. In the meantime you can see more on their website:

Collage of makeup bought from Helen E at Debenhams

10. Helen E Eyeliner and smudger in “Black”

A standard black eyeliner with a smudger on one end. Not much to say on this as I have not even swatched it yet.

11. Helen E Lip Crayon in “Pomegranate”

I swatched this one in the shop and loved the colour, it is exactly the shade I had been looking for. It will complement the plum lipsticks and glosses I have been collecting.

12. Helen E Lip Gloss in “Redcurrant”

This is a lovely colour, and I am looking forward to trying it out properly. First impressions are good, but I’ve not worn this out yet so I don’t know what the wear time is yet.

13. Helen E Skin Smoother – one shade fits all

This is the product that attracted me to the Helen E stand in Debenhams. Its a balm-like product that blends on the skin and adapts to complement most skin tones, from light through to medium/dark. Its really silky in texture and feels nice on the skin. I have only tried this on the back of my hand as I type this, but I will definitely be doing a proper review of this soon as I am really hoping it will be a winner when it comes to travelling light.

14. Helen E Shimmer Eye Powder in “32”

These cute little hexagonal pots are fantastic. The range of colours available is awesome, and they are all super-pigmented. This particular shade is a shimmery dark brown.

15. Helen E Shimmer Eye Powder in “26”

This is a really surprising dark black shimmery powder. It is proper intense black and you need hardly any to get a really strong look.

16. Helen E Shimmer Eye Powder in “30”

This is a shimmery lime green with yellowy/golden undertones and like the other shimmer eye powders has excellent colour pay off.

H & M

Here are some nail polishes I have picked up to use in my nail polish jewellery. Although I already have an epic nail polish collection, these four offer me something a bit different to work with on the jewellery. I’ve always been really impressed with H & M nail polish and it is great value for money.

Collage of nail polish bought at H&M

17. H & M Nail Polish in “Purple”

A fine glitter polish which catches different colours in the light.

18. H & M Nail Polish in “Gold”

A purple glitter fest: strands of holographic glitter, fine purple glitter, and some larger blue glitter thrown into the mix.

19. H & M Nail Polish in “Silver Frost”

A chunky silver glitter with finer micro glitter in cute Snow White packaging. I’ve bought this one to use in place of my super expensive Deborah Lippmann ‘Today was a Fairytale’ polish.

20. H & M Nail Polish in “Make Me Blush”

A pale frosty pink polish with little micro glitter speckles in it. Very cute and girly with the Snow White packaging.


I finally did it, I went to the M.A.C counter and actually got a foundation fitting. I’ve always been really intimidated by the counter as the staff can wear some pretty scary makeup, and it can seem like its a bit of a secret club. I’ve gone and done it now (I was spurred on because Debenhams had a 10% off deal, so I paid less that the prices I have listed here).

Collage of makeup bought at MAC

21. M.A.C Lipstick in “Plumfull”

I’ve heard Essie Button raving about this lipstick, and I’m hoping it may fullfil my quest to find the perfect plum lip colour! I only bought this yesterday so I cant comment on it yet. I am a bit too excited to own my first M.A.C lipstick!

22. M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder in “Light”

This is a lovely, silky and light powder that sets foundation beautifully. My only criticism of this is that it doesn’t come with a mirror in the lid. Its not a deal-breaker ladies! (Don’t get it? YOU NEED TO WATCH 30 ROCK NOW!).

23. M.A.C Face and Body Foundation in “N2”

This foundation excites me! Its a bang on match colour-wise for me and it really lifts my face and complexion. Its buildable, and doesn’t feel heavy, and it has a fresh smell to it that smells clean. I am looking forward to using this and properly testing it out, but I am already impressed.


Phew! That’s quite a lot I have listed here, there are still a few things I left out namely magazine freebies (Nails Inc & Models Own) as well as more standard everyday stuff like medicated winter lip balm (Blistex is a life saver).

I know its a lot. I feel a bit embarrassed by the volume of stuff I have collected over the past couple of months. I wont be buying more for some time… its not even like I should have bought most of this! I have a lot of things to use up, try properly or bin if its a dud. You can expect some more in-depth reviews coming up over the next weeks.

Over and out!

Blog sale! Glossy Box & Jolie Box Goodies

I’m selling some of my excessive collection of unused beauty products on eBay at the moment. I have several collections of goodies listed already, and I will be adding more over the coming week or two. All the goodies I am selling are unused and new: I might have opened a box to take a look at something, but I have not even swatched any of these.

Here’s a sample of what I’m selling:

Photo of a box of cosmetics
JolieBox filled with lots of goodies! View on eBay

Photo of a box of cosmetics and skincare products
Another JolieBox packed with goodies! View on eBay

More for sale soon!

I’ll be listing more items soon, so stay tuned to eBay. At the moment I have only listed costs to post within the UK, but I will post to Europe if you contact me first and agree a cost with me.

MUA on offer at Superdrug

Superdrug currently have an offer on the already great value MUA cosmetics range: if you buy any MUA product you get the choice of a free lip gloss tube, or a free lip gloss wand! Many of MUA’s cosmetics are just £1 each, so you can get a really nice little collection of goodies for very little cost.

Here is what I picked up this weekend:
Photo of eyeshadow palette and lip glosses

The palette is one of MUA’s many new products called ‘Undressed’, its a lovely combination of natural colours that are a bit cooler in tone than their ‘Heaven and Earth’ palette. It is clearly inspired by the Urban Decay Naked palettes, but at just £4 (currently on offer in Superdrug for £3!) it is a winner in terms of price points! It has a mix of shimmer and matte shades amongst it’s 12 pans and comes in the normal MUA palette case with an applicator.

The shorter, square-tubed lip gloss is one of MUA’s new ‘Intense Kisses High Intensity Gloss’ and is in a shade called ‘Quick Kiss’. SIDE NOTE: I’m pleased MUA have started to give their products names rather than just numbers as it makes it so much easier to remember what I have in my collection!

The lip gloss is a lovely brightish pink.

The freebies:

MUA Lip Gloss tube in shade 5: a glittery and slightly bubble-gum shade (usually £1) free with any other MUA purchase.

MUA Lip Gloss wand in shade 3: a rosy-toned pink (usually £2) free with any other MUA purchase.

The Over Stuffed Awards 2012

My own awards, for my favourite things from the past year! DISCLAIMER: The selection process for these awards was totally bias and not objective in any way of course, as these are my personal favourites. Hope you enjoy them!


Illustration of a badge saying 'Skincare winner'

Winner: Lancôme Galatéis Douceur Cleanser

Photo of a bottle of Lancome cleanserPrice: £21 per 200ml
A beautifully gentle cleanser that makes my skin feel amazing. It softens the skin and moisturises it, without making it feel too sticky. I like to double cleanse on hungover days and it makes me feel a lot better! This stuff is magic, plus a little goes a long way.

Winner: Lancôme Tonique Douceur Toner

Photo of a bottle of Lancome tonerPrice: £21 per 200ml
This toner doesn’t dry my skin, it leaves it lovely and refreshed like I’ve had a facial. It smells nice and fresh and not strong or overpowering. My skin feels wonderfully clean once I have used this, and like with the Lancôme cleanser, you don’t need much – it lasts for ages too.

Winner: Mary Cohr Pure Environnement Moisturiser

Photo of Mary Cohr jar of moisturiserPrice: £52.50
This little jar of moisturiser is quite expensive, however I really believe it is worth it. It sinks into the skin ever so quickly and leaves my face feeling better than it naturally does. It calms my skin down and generally just perks it up. I’m sure it makes my skin look more radiant too, and my makeup applies much better when I use this in the morning.

Runners up

The products that didn’t quite make the cut:

Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator
Smells wonderful and does a good job, and it feels lovely to use…but just not quite award-worthy.

Make Up

Illustration of a badge saying Makeup winner

Winner: Colour Me Beautiful Morning Light Foundation

Photo of a tube of foundationPrice: £17.00
I think this is the best foundation I’ve ever tried. It has great coverage without being heavy, plus it feels quite moisturising too. Despite it’s limited range of colours, the shade ‘Oyster’ happens to be a perfect match for me, which is why its winning this category! (I did say that these awards were totally bias and subjective!)

Winner: Sleek i Divine palette in ‘Au Naturel’

Photo of Sleek eyeshadow palettePrice: £7.99
I love this palette so much: all of the shades in here are really practical to use for everyday and are very flattering. I also love that there is a good mix of both matte and shimmer shades in here, plus a good black shadow. I’ve used and used this palette and think its the bees knees.

Winner: Benefit Get Even pressed powder

Photo of face powderPrice: £22.50
This is the best pressed powder I’ve ever tried. It locks foundation in place and really evens out any rogue skin tones brilliantly. I have the lightest shade and it works well on my pale skin. It doesn’t work all that well on bare skin, when it can make pores more visible, but when used over foundation, it rocks.

Winner: Benefit Hervana blusher

Photo of a box of blusherPrice: £23.50
This is such a pretty box, and a pretty product that always makes me smile when I use it. The shade the four pinks make when used is a perfect, natural, cool-toned flush. I love that it doesn’t look too strong too quickly too.

Winner: Benefit Porefessional primer

Photo of a tube of primerPrice: £23.50
This is really, really neat stuff. It’s by far the best, most effective primer I have ever tried, and it works miracles on my terrible open pores. It’s just amazing how it blurs away horrible pores and creates a smooth and even base for makeup. Brilliant stuff!

Winner: Essie Nail Polish

Photo of a bottle of pink nail polishPrice: £7.99
Essie make the best nail polish! It goes on like a dream, is perfect in two coats, is so shiny you don’t have to use a top coat, is very chip resistant and lasts for ages. I’m in love with this polish.

Runners up

The products that didn’t quite make the cut:
Bourjois 3D Effect lip gloss in Rose Hypothetic
This is a great lip gloss as far as lip glosses go – it has amazing staying power, and this shade is very natural and pretty. The only downside, which stops it getting an award is the stickyness. Its certainly not the stickiest gloss out there, but its noticeable.

Boots 17 Mirror Shine Lipstick in Belle and Flirtini
These are brilliant lipsticks for the price and they feel lovely to wear, as they are like a combo of the best bits of lipsticks and glosses all rolled into one. They are not getting an award though for two reasons, firstly, they don’t last long at all and I can’t be bothered with endless re-applications, and secondly, the lids to the lipsticks have a tendency to become loose and just drop off while they are in my makeup bag. Getting fluff, or worse, on a lipstick is just no good.


Illustration of a badge

Winner: Original Source Mint Body Scrub

Photo of a bottle of mint body scrubPrice: £2.50
I love this body scrub! It smells really fresh and clean and is lovely to use everyday. I’ve found it has really helped to sort out the skin on my upper arms that has a tendency to be bumpy.

Winner: Garnier Intensive 7 Days moisturiser

Photo of a bottle of moisturiserPrice: £2.99
This is such a brilliant and cheap moisturiser! It really does do what it says and locks in moisture for days. I use it a couple of times a week and it is working wonders on my skin.

Winner: Korres Paeonia Vanilla Amber Pear perfume

Photo of a square bottle of perfumePrice: £29.00
This is an unusual scent, floral, but not sickly and I love to wear it almost every day. It doesn’t last that long on the skin, but I forgive it as it smells so lovely! I also love the square bottle shape.

I’m still searching for…

  • The perfect lipstick
  • The perfect lipgloss
  • The perfect concealer
  • The perfect eyeliner
  • The perfect face scrub
  • The perfect shower gel
  • The perfect shampoo
  • The perfect conditioner

Pampering at Neal’s Yard

The lovely ladies at Neal’s Yard Remedies invited me to attend a special bloggers night at their Bristol branch on Whiteladies Road last week. The theme of the evening was to promote their range of bee-friendly products and their mother and baby ranges.

Neal's Yard blue glass bottleNeal’s Yard has always been a special shop to me. It’s products all smell divine and come packaged beautifully in lovely blue glass bottles and jars. I always used to buy their massage oils, however since moving away from Clifton/Redland I have stopped shopping there as I’m no longer so close to Whiteladies Road. I was really pleased to go back and see all the new products they now have, especially their natural cosmetics range.

Bee Lovely

The ladies from Neal’s Yard explained the history and background philosophy of the company and it’s products, which put their new range of ‘Bee Lovely’ products into context. They explained how many of their customers find them during pregnancy when they become aware of how the products we use can contain many artificial chemicals that our bodies absorb, and therefore during pregnancy, also get absorbed by the baby. Mothers-to-be want to use products that are not going to contain anything potentially harmful to their baby, and so seek alternatives to the products they use on their skin and body. Following pregnancy many mothers then choose to continue avoiding unnecessary chemicals. Therefore, the new Bee Lovely range is designed to be used for the whole family, safely and at the same time be fun and effective.

This has made me question my choices of skincare and haircare products, as I do often doubt the effectiveness of natural ones and often just buy whatever takes my fancy, is new or is on offer in Boots. Should I be thinking about these things more and questioning whether or not man-made chemicals are as good or better than nature in reality? I need to do some more research about this, try some products, compare them and get back to you on that.

Display stand with Neal's Yard Bee Lovely products on it
Neal’s Yard ‘Bee Lovely’ range: 5% of each sale goes to charities that support bees or bee keeping. Neal’s Yard are also running a petition, that aims to stop strong neonic pesticides from being used on crops that kill bees.

Here is what Neal’s Yard have to say about the petition:

DDT is a chemical pesticide that was used widely across Britain, Europe and the US – until it was shown to have chronic effects on the nervous system, liver, kidneys and immune system. It was banned in Britain in 1984.

Neonicotinoids are 7,000 times more toxic than DDT

Neonicotinoid pesticides have been linked to the dramatic loss of honeybees around the world. British beekeepers have lost up to 80% of their hives in recent years, more than any other country in Europe.

Hand cream bottle label

I received a lovely goody bag that contained their Bee Lovely hand wash (above), a shampoo for babies (given to my boss who has a newly born son), and samples of some of their most popular products.

I was also very taken with their range of natural cosmetics that were completely new to me. Their natural-coloured lip glosses particularly appealed, as they have such a good selection of wearable colours:

Photo of a line of lip glosses

I bought the shade ‘Damson’ and have been enjoying wearing it. It’s not a sticky gloss, it has more of an oily consistency. It reminds me a lot of Elemis’ lip balm in texture and smell. It doesn’t have great staying power, however it does make my lips feel conditioned so I’m quite pleased with it. Not sure if its worth £9.50, I will have to see how much use I get from it!

OMG. Reflexology.

Neal’s Yard were also giving taster massage and reflexology sessions, and I have to say, in all honesty, the reflexology session has changed my life! The relief was immense, after just 15 minutes I felt as relaxed as after a half hour massage. I have booked myself in for a whole hour long session. I cannot wait.

Latest In Beauty CEW UK Beauty Awards 2012 Box

Pink box from Latest in Beauty

This is the most recent box from Latest in Beauty, and its AWESOME. It’s made up of eight samples of award winning products and was a bargainous £8.95 (+£2.95 P&P). It is such good value as the samples are all generous sizes and it works out a lot cheaper than other sample boxes. Plus, all the goodies in the box are all top quality and there are no ‘fillers’. The box is still available on the Latest in Beauty website, though not for long!

Check out the goodies!:
Photo of the products inside the Latest in Beauty CEW UK box

The box contains the following items:

  • Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare Cleanse & Polish
  • Percy & Reed No-Fuss Flawlessness Dry Conditioner
  • Elle Saab Le Parfum
  • L’Occitane Immortelle Brightening Hand Care SPF 15
  • Nails Inc Porchester Square nail polish
  • Elemis Pro-Collagen Body Cream
  • Mont Blanc Legend Eau de Toilette
  • Benefit The POREfessional

The selection of products is excellent, the only exception I’d say is the Mont Blanc Legend sample as it’s for men and the other products are aimed at women so it’s a little out of place, but that is hardly a criticism.

Latest in Beauty send out their boxes really fast – I think this one arrived two days after I ordered it, which is really impressive. I am starting to think that Latest in Beauty are the best sample box company out there, as they are so reliable and offer such good value. The other sample boxes can be a risk due to the lack of control in what products you receive, but with Latest in Beauty you only buy the boxes you like the look of.

I’m really looking forward to trying the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish and the Elemis Body Cream (I’m a massive fan of Elemis skincare). Have you got this box? What did you think of it?