Beauty Review: Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Fix Set.

I bought the Nip + Fab set in my local Tesco over Summer because I kept hearing about Dragon’s Blood being amazing for dry skin. It is, fortunately, from a tree and not an actual dragon because not even amazing skin is worth getting near one of those with a needle. Hypothetically, of course because this isn’t Harry Potter. But this turned out to be almost as magical.

The set came with the Dragon’s Blood Fix Plumping Mask which is what I went to originally buy, and the Dragon’s Blood Fix Cleansing Pads. My excuse being that the set was only a couple of pounds more expensive and I’m a sucker for trying out anything that might help my skin.

I’m going to start with the eh product before I rave about the mask. These cleansing pads have all sorts of claims, like cleansing out pores and reducing redness, but they’ve been regulated to when I don’t want to use my face wash. I just don’t see any stand-out effects from them and the exfoliation aspect can irritate my skin sometimes.

But, I’ll use them up for when I don’t want to go through the rigmarole of face wash. All I have to do with these is wipe them over my face and rinse a couple times. Maybe I’m using them wrong and that’s why they don’t work for me but I hate the feeling of not rinsing after using this product, it just feels icky.

The mask on the other hand, hoo boy. I was sceptical when I first saw the clear gel after years of using the thickest emollients I could find, but when I put this on my face, I fell in love. And I just keep falling deeper and deeper. I’m almost out of it now and this is one of those rare times where I will make sure to buy a new tube before I run out because I can’t do a day without it.

It has all sorts of great sounding ingredients like hyaluronic acid for hydration, amino acid for brightening and the dragon’s blood for protection from the environment. But what matters to me is that it just works.

I have super dry skin. It’s my payment for never having acne I think. So anything that claims to help, I will buy. And even though this claims to be a ten minute mask, I use it as an everyday moisturiser. I did the same with the Origins Drink-Up as well. Give me all the hydration. It’s a gel texture that leaves a tacky feel to my skin but doesn’t look greasy, and my makeup applies over it amazingly. When I wear it overnight, I wake up with a glow and no dry patches in sight. Actual magic.

In short, this is a dream for anyones Winter skin but I’m going to use it year-round in gallons. I want to bathe in this. The very definition of a holy grail product for me.

Have you ever tried any Nip + Fab products? What should I try next?
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My Muji Haul: Skincare and Pens!

I went down to London over the Summer and took the opportunity to buy a few things from Muji without the shipping costs. My main interest was skincare, although I did make sure to stock up on my favourite pens! The shop makes me want to throw everything I own out the window and try minimalism, so I went in with a plan.

My Muji Haul

I’m really trying to get a fuller routine and address some of the skin concerns I have so after copious research I’m tentatively moving forward with a couple of Muji products that I’m hoping will make a difference. So what did I pick?

My Muji Haul: Skincare

For a more DIY approach to sheet masks, I picked up two packs of the Compressed Face Masks that come with twenty each. I’m really looking forward to trying out different toners and lotions to see if I can get a really nice effect with these. Plus, it’s fun when they soak up liquid and pop up.

The big items physically are the two 180 packs of Unbleached Cotton Pads! These are not only cheaper than the ones I normally pick up from Boots, they’re unbleached which just makes me feel a little better about using them on my face. Whether that makes any difference, I don’t know, they’re unbelievably soft and thick. Treat yo’ skin!

Before I headed off to London, my eye bags were so ridiculous I probably could’ve packed in them so I used my ‘Buffy the Eye Bag Slayer’s from Anatomicals. I really liked the effect and since Muji has some Under Eye Patches that, again, you add your own toner/lotion to- I thought I’d give it a go!

My Muji Haul: Skincare

I’ve had a pack of the Sensitive Skin Sheet Masks before and they are really nice. Sheet masks in general are a nice treat and coming in at under £2 each when a pack of 5 is £9.95, I decided to stock up on these. If anyone has any sheet mask recommendations, I am all ears because I love the relaxing aspect to them.

When it comes to the add-your-own face masks, I wanted to try a few things out that I’ve already got, but I’ve been learning more about skincare and building up from my very basic cleanse-tone-moisturise into something more substantial. Including a humectant toner to help my skin soak in my moisturiser. So- the Moist Essence Lotion was added.

I have a headband that keeps my hair out of my face when I wash it, but it has velcro on it, which sticks to my hair. It’s one of those little annoyances that happens everyday so replacing the band with this stretchy one has just cut that out of my morning and evening.

My Muji Haul: pens

And lastly, pens! The Muji pens are my absolute favourite ever since I discovered them on Angela’s blog years ago. They’re cheap, easy to write with and don’t bleed through paper, my ultimate pet-peeve. But the 0.5 nib was getting a little thick so I picked up the 0.38 in my three most used colours.

Have you ever bought Muji skincare or pens? Doesn’t the shop make you want to try a minimalist lifestyle?


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Beauty Review: Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel!

So I’ve had this in my ‘review box’ for way too long. I actually had the Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Organic Formula Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel Patented Two-Step Anti-Aging Treatment* (try saying that ten times fast) for a year? But honestly, I was a little scared to try it. Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Organic Formula Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel Patented Two-Step Anti-Aging Treatment is a very intimidating name. But I finally woman’d up and tried it, and the results? Well..

Beauty Review: Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel
Review Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel

I’ll start by talking about the application which it was pretty simple. Each sachet had a square face wipe to apply in circular motions. I opened step one, followed the instructions and it tingled but wasn’t uncomfortable. It stung as I went over my forehead for the second time but compared to some other face peel type products I’ve tried that burnt, it was fine. I waited two minutes, then went over with step two that seemed to be more cleansing. It had that kind of foaming feel some face wipes have so I presumed this was to neutralise step one. As instructed, I didn’t rinse and waited about half an hour before slapping on some moisturiser.

So what about the results? Well, my skin feels smoother. Thanks to my oil cleansing routine and just having alright skin in general I wouldn’t say I had many complaints but the smoothness and brightening effect this has had is impressive. My skin is taking on moisturiser and other products really well and for the first time in a long time, when I put on foundation- my nose didn’t have that flakey look I hate.

But the million dollar question is- would I buy? Right now, no. I’m a poor university student and at £22.95 for 10, I just can’t afford it. But it is going on my wishlist for when I- ya’know, have a job. The results for sitting and rubbing my face while watching Netflix was incredible and I can see these being really effective used over a couple of months.

Have you ever tried the Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Organic Formula Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel Patented Two-Step Anti-Aging Treatment? Would you?

*I received this in a goody bag at a bloggers event. Link is an affiliate link which means if you buy them, I get a tiny bit of money at no extra cost to you!

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Best Dry Skin Skincare for Winter!

Winter has rolled around again and while it isn’t as horrendously cold as I was expecting, the wind is whipping around and the rain is being blown into your face the minute you step outside. It’s getting pretty rough on my dry skin. I did a best harsh Winter skincare post last year and thought I’d update it with a few things I’ve discovered this year!

Water. Water. Water. Oh- and some more water.
Yeah, I know you’ve heard it before and I know in Winter we all really want a cup of hot chocolate instead but water really is a dry skins best friend. Your skin is the first place that inner health problems show, if your skin is dry- you’re probably not getting enough hydration. Carry a bottle around everywhere you go. I have cats so glasses and cups are a no-go unless you want a little wet nose stuck in your drink but I rate bottles anyway. Portable and reusable bottles are much better for the environment, this is a great list if you have no idea where to go but personally I didn’t really rate the Bobble bottle. However, I love my Camelbak Groove that I bought from Amazon for £18.70.
And because it’s winter, you don’t need ice because water from the tap is cold as heck!

Witch Hazel toner.
I bought this Witch Hazel toner from my local supermarket after having a pretty painful allergic reaction to a face mask and wanted to only use natural basic products on my face until it calmed down. I’ve been using it since then and keep coming back to it even though I have a fair amount of other, more expensive and with impressive claims, toners in my collection. I love it for Winter especially because the wind and rain really make my skin hurt and this soothes it.

Oil Cleansing.
I did a whole post on oil cleansing earlier this month that you can read that here but the basics is that instead of cleanser, you rub oil into your skin then wash it off. It’s affordable, there are certain oils that are amazing for dry skin- I personally switched to Argon oil and Sweet Almond oil in the Winter- and it’s natural. There’s nothing shady in a pure oil!

Strong Moisturisers.
My pick is the Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream. Don’t let the name fool you, a day cream this is not. This is thicker and stronger than any other moisturiser I’ve ever used and packs a mighty punch. It even beats last years pick of the Origins Drink Up Intensive mask because it is just so moisturising. Definitely not for the faint hearted or the casually dry. I got mine last Christmas and it’s lasted all year, you can get a tube here if it sounds like something you need!

Carry around a multi-use hand cream.
I get dry hands in winter, but I also find that my arms get dry really easily so rather than a super expensive hand cream that I use sparingly, I like to have something a little more reasonably priced that I can slather all up my arms without guilt. I’ve been trying out the Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream* and it’s exactly what I need. You can get it in a 100ml tube here but it also comes in a set with the Rose Otto hand cream. I have an obsession with rose so this is on my to-buy list!

What works for your skin?

*Post contains affiliate links. I was sent the Balance Me hand cream to try, this has not changed my opinion and I am not obligated to talk about it.
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Why I Love Oil Cleansing!

Let’s talk about Oil Cleansing. This is the method of cleansing the skin where instead of using a balm or a gel or a wash, you cleanse your face with oil! It basically works by the science that like attracts like, oil attracts the oil in your skin and when you wash it off, the oil on your skin and all the gunk comes with it. I’ve tried cleansers from £4 to £40 and this is my favourite method of cleaning my skin.

Why I Love Oil Cleansing! Sweet Almond Oil on a Flannel

I really love this way of washing my face for a few reasons;
One. The first time I did it, my pores became the clearest they had ever been since I knew what pores were.
Two. It’s affordable, all you need is an oil which I get at my local health store for around £6 and a flannel which you can get three of at Primark for £2. That’s it. That bottle will last about two months in my experience.
Three. Instead of feeling stripped or dirty, my skin feels clean and nourished after I’m finished.
Four. Long term, my skin has been- great! I didn’t have terrible skin in the first place but I look at my foundation now and can’t imagine ever finishing a bottle because of how little I use to get a flawless look.
Five. No chemicals or general nastiness. There’s one ingredient. One. I feel a lot better using one ingredient on my face that I know where it came from then twenty that I can’t even name.
Six. It’s customisable. If your skin is having a bad week or needs a boost as it sometimes just does then you can reach for an essential oil to mix in. Here’s a pretty extensive list!

To do it, I get a few drops of oil on my hands and massage it into my skin, makeup and all. Then with a hot damp washcloth I let it rest over my skin to open my pores. After a couple seconds or minutes depending on how long I have, I just take the wash cloth off and wash off the oil. I’ve used Jojoba oil, which is the oil closest to the skins oil and is great for temperamental skin but at the moment I’m using sweet almond oil as winter is so drying. I also have Castor Oil for when my skin needs a really good cleanse. Don’t think it’s just for dry skin! There’s a lot you can read about the benefits and pros of oil cleansing for all skin types, I just wanted to throw my two cents in and hopefully get more people trying out this pretty neat way of caring for your skin.

Have you ever tried Oil Cleansing? What do you think?
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A Sephora Haul from Rome!

While I was in Rome you know I had to pop by Sephora even if I was battling with a miserable cold and wanted to stay in the comfy comfy hotel bed. Because that’s what beauty bloggers do. If you have the opportunity to go to Sephora, you go. Even if you sniffle all the way there.

I think I was pretty restrained! I went in with €30 and came out with some change which was good for me.

The first thing I saw when I walked in was a stand for the Formula X nail polishes that everyone in America has had for ages and this green glitter, ‘Drawn to You’, was calling to me. I love green and I love glitter. It was the most expensive thing I bought at about €15 but it is a beaut.

Speaking of glitter, my nail polish remover pot was taken from me at airport security *sobs* so I went to go look for another one and when I saw that this one was specially for glitter- notably the most difficult thing to remover ever- I had to get it. At around €9, it wasn’t the cheapest on the market but if it gets my glitter off easy then it’ll be totally worth it.

The kitten came to say Hi while I took this picture and actually fixed the white balance problem I was having so! Near the checkout I saw these Sephora own brand sheet masks and the rose one stood out to me. I love the scent of rose as well as it being my middle name, and since winter is coming up- a ‘Ultra Moisturizing and Brightening’ mask sounded like a winner. It cost just under €4. I’ll report back if it’s any good.

Have you ever tried any of the things I got? What would you get with €30 at Sephora?
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Beauty Review: Elemis Skin Brilliance Hydrating Skincare Treasures Collection

Today I have a long review for you of the “Elemis Skin Brilliance Hydrating Skincare Treasures Collection” that I’ve been trying out for a couple months now. It comes in a gorgeous box that I’m now using to store my crafty supplies and contains 4 of Elemis’s hydrating products; a cleanser, a toner, a moisturiser and a scrub- a whole skincare routine in a box!

On with the reviews!

Lets get the negative out of the way first, okay? This sounded so good when I first pulled it out of the box, I love roses and anything that has ‘rehydrating’ in the title makes my dry skin sing. Unfortunately, I really dislike this cleanser. It’s an odd creamy slick consistency that you massage on then remove the ‘excess’ with a damp cotton pad. I tried it this way and hated the ‘film’ feeling on my skin they boast about. After that I just used it like a regular cleanser and my skin still hated it, it felt dry and tight as opposed to rehydrated.

I feel I should also mention that when I first started using this I got an awful skin reaction, my skin felt like I had been burnt and it took a good two weeks of simple cleansing and witch hazel for it to go back to normal but I can’t be sure it was this as I haven’t had that reaction since.

Repurchase? No, I don’t think so.

Then immediately onto the most positive! This is one of my favourite toners ever. I love Apricots, they’re my favourite food and this smells exactly like them. I really look forward to this part of my skincare routine. This feels really good on my skin, I love toners for adding that extra bit of moisture after cleansing before I slap on my face cream and this does the trick. I’d prefer it to have a few less ingredients that I don’t know how to pronounce but the fact it doesn’t have alcohol in it puts it leaps and bounds ahead of most toners.

Repurchase? Yes! Oh my goodness yes!

A light everyday moisturiser that isn’t too heavy and gets the job done? Sounds like a dream. I use this in the mornings under my make-up and my skin is still okay at night when I take it off. Unfortunately this doesn’t come with an SPF meaning you have to put another product on top of this and for something claiming to be a day cream- disappointing.

Repurchase? Maybe! This wasn’t a bad cream overall, I just wish it had SPF.

I like this exfoliator! It’s a manual exfoliator meaning it has little gritty bits in it to remove the skin rather than being a chemical exfoliator which I prefer but it’s not half-bad! It’s does feel a little scratchy as the particles are in a cream rather than a gel but it does the job and makes my skin feel really smooth with no redness. I do sometimes feel like places are getting missed though because the particles are quite spread out in the cream.

Repurchase? Probably not, I prefer using my Clarasonic or a chemical exfoliant for a more thorough job.

Overall I’m glad I got to try these products and bar the cleanser, all of them are going to good use. You can’t get this set anymore but you can get the products separately. The Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser is £21. The Soothing Apricot Toner is £21. The Maximum Moisture Day Cream is £38. And the Skin Buff is £27.

Have you ever tried these products from Elemis? What did you think?
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Beauty Review: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm!

This is the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm and boy, is that a unnecessarily long name! But it is a good product, so if it feels the need to have a nine word name then so be it.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm!This comes in a gorgeous plastic tub that reminds me a lot of the famed Rêve de Miel by Nuxe but nowhere near as heavy which is great if you want to travel with it or have it in your bag because even though it looks cute, it won’t weigh you down. I do feel like it doesn’t need to be so big for the amount of product in it but hey, we can’t have everything. It’s what is inside that counts.
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm openSo inside it a quite soft balm that goes on easy and I have a thing where I can’t stand anything sticky or slimy on my lips at all- lipgloss, lipbalm, it all gives me the creeps. And this is definitely quite balmy on the lips. Not thick or tacky but you can feel it’s there, it doesn’t sink in very quickly. But this I can deal with because the results are worth it. Soft skin. Any dry, chapped, sore or irritated lips from the winter weather just smoothed away with one overnight application. It does also have a slight tingle to it because it has mint in it and a whole lot of other great ingredients. But if that is something that would bother you then steer clear.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm swatchI just thought I would add a swatch for good measure just because in the pot it does look orange/coral but that doesn’t translate on the lips. It just adds a nice glossy sheen. I do use it at night though because lipstick doesn’t go over it well, something lighter would be better.

The only other downside is the price. £20 for 10g is a little out of my budget personally but if you’ve tried drugstore and it just isn’t working for you then this might be a good option for you. You can get it here!

Have you tried the ‘Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm’? What is your night time lip balm?

*I received this at the Midsummer Meet in Manchester but this hasn’t altered my opinion and I am not obligated to write about it on my blog

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Blogmas Day 2: Best Harsh Winter Skincare

With Winter comes skin trouble but the cold has finally set in to the point where even my winter skincare isn’t cutting it. The wind is whipping round my face every time I open the door and the chill has crept into my little attic home where the radiators often fail. But here I have a couple products that may help, if you are struggling like me with dry painful skin.

Products I recommend for winter skincare

Origins Drink Me Up Intensive!
I normally use this as an overnight mask once or twice a week, but in the winter it gets pulled out every day or every other day. I talked about this on my old blog twice here and I still love it. I slather this on, breathe the gorgeous apricot smell in deep and go to bed. When I wake up my skin is moisturized, soft and plumped up, ready for makeup. Perfection. 

You can get it from Boots here!

Hand Cream, my favourite at the moment is Laidbare’s ‘In Safe Hands’*!
Ah, our hands. They really get the brute of the winters strength and hand cream often lies forgotten at the bottom of my bag. But! My tip is to put them everywhere. Spread out your hand creams, depot if you don’t have a unnecessarily large collection like mine and leave them in handy places. On your desk, by your bed, by the sink, next to the kettle, anywhere you can think of, and apply every time you see them! Your hands will thank you for it.
You can get Laidbare’s offering here!

A thick lipbalm, I recommend the Nuxe Reve De Miel or Lush’s Whipstick.
These are for overnight, a nice thick layer that has sunk in by morning and leaves you with soft lips ready for the days lip product, rather than dry cracking lips that don’t accept moisture. If you get in a good habit of applying lipbalm and hand cream before bed, it can actually help your sleep hygiene and routine, helpful come Christmas Eve! And both my recommendations smell like Chocolate Orange. Yum.

You can pick up Nuxe here and Lush’s offering here!
Lush’s Lemony Flutter!
The best cuticle balm ever. Thick, lemon sherbet scented and you can use it on your elbow and knees and any dry spots that need major moisture as well. I’ve even been known to use a little on my forehead and nose where I get really dry. It is a godsend. I can’t say enough great things about it.
You can get this from Lush here!

I know it’s hard when the outside is cold, you don’t feel like guzzling down water like you did in the summer but you still need your 8 glasses a day. Personally I like to sit at my desk in the morning with a few cups of tea, then in the afternoon I switch to green tea, all the while carrying around a bottle of just plain tap water. But there’s something so comforting about tea in Winter that I just can’t explain. Either way- Drink something!

What are your Winter skincare must-haves?

* This was received at the Look Fantastic Mid-Summer Meet. I am not obliged to show it on my blog and I have since bought two more tubes with my own money because it’s damn good hand cream.
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