Saturday, 25 June 2016

Sephora Favorites Box Set Haul - Part 2

As I mentioned in my Sephora Favorites Box Set Haul - Part 1 post, I love the Sephora box sets as they are such good value.  Here's the other boxes that my sister and I bought:

Sun Safety Kit - Cost $27 (Value $103)
This has loads of great deluxe size samples that will come in very handy and the best thing is that Sephora will donate $17 from the sale of this kit to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
 Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit
  Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit
The box includes the following products:
  • Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF50 - 15ml
  • Supergoop Setting Mist With Rosemary SPF50 - 15ml
  • Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment SPF15 - 2.2g
  • Algenist Sublime Defense Anti-Aging Blurring Moisturizer SPF30 - 7ml
  • Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield SPF30 - 5ml
  • Tarte Tarteguard 30 SPF30 - 7ml
  • St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower - 50ml
  • Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion SPF30 - 15ml
  • Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Multi Rejuvenating Cream SPF30 - 7ml
  • Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Light/Medium Matte Bronzer - 2.5g
  • Dr Jart Premium BB Beauty Balm SPF45 - 5ml
  • Boscia BB Cream SPF27 - 10g
I bought mine in Sephora inside JCPenney, but you can also buy a similar one in Sephora here.

Beauty On The Fly - The Ultimate Travel Bag - Cost $42 (Value $118)
Sephora Beauty On The Fly - The Ultimate Travel Bag
Beauty On The Fly - The Ultimate Travel Bag

This box includes:
  • Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Conditioner and Shampoo - 40ml each
  • Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder - 14g
  • Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist - 15ml
  • Kate Somerville Skincare ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment - 15ml
  • Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Mini Deodorant in Pure Vanilla - 25g
  • L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil - 75ml
  • Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel - 10ml
  • Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation - 7ml
  • Origins Retexturizing Mask With Rose Clay - 30ml
  • Sephora Collection Triple Action Cleansing Water - 50ml
  • Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil - 5ml - Sadly this product leaked during the flight home so I only had about half of the product left.  Luckily it was in a plastic wash bag so it didn't leak onto my clothes.
  • Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen SPF30 - 7ml
  • Too Cool For School Egg Cream Sheet Mask - 28g
Again this is another great value box, with some really great brands for me to try out.

If you love mascaras then I heartily recommend Lashstash To Go which costs $28 (Value $57).
Sephora Favorites Lashstash To Go
 Sephora Favorites Lashstash To Go

The great thing about this box is that you get to sample 5 mini mascaras and then choose a full size of your favourite. The samples included are:

  • Marc Jacobs O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara - 3g
  • Milk Makeup Ubame Mascara - 7.5ml
  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara - 4.8g
  • Tarte Tartiest Lash Paint - 3ml (I chose this one as my full size)
  • Ciate Triple Shot - 5ml

Tarte Skincare Make A Splash Hydrating Skin Savers Cost $10 (Value $23)

This is a great stocking filler for the price.  It contains the following deluxe samples from the Rainforest of the Sea range:

  • Deep Dive Cleansing Gel - 7.5ml
  • Marine Boosting 4-in-1 Mist - 7ml
  • Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost - 10ml

Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic - Cost $75 (value $206)
I thought it was really good value and I was lucky enough to already have a $25 gift voucher for Sephora that I used.
Sephora Exclusive Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic
This box includes (all masks are 50ml):

  • Cucumber Gel Mask - Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator
  • Rose Stem Cell - Bio-Repair Gel Mask
  • Pumpkin Enzyme Mask - Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer
  • Irish Moor Mud - Purifying Black Mask
  • 25k Gold Mask - Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Mask
This box set is still available.  I think its really great value and I can't wait to try out each mask.

Sephora are always bringing out new box sets so keep an eye out for new ones as they are amazing value.


I bought these products with my own money

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Mario Badescu Skin Care Review

I had heard about Mario Badescu Skin Care products, but I had never bought anything from the range.   When I had the opportunity to visit an Ulta store in the US (you can read about my Ulta Haul here), I thought that I would buy some products from the Mario Badescu range.  I did not have any plans as to what I wanted to buy, I decided to check out the range in store and see what caught my eye.

In the end, I mostly bought products to sort out a problem with my skin while I was on holiday.  I had gone to one of Disney’s swimming parks (Typhoon Lagoon) and managed to forget to reapply sun cream during my visit.  Whilst I didn’t end up with a red face, the lower half of my face became very dry and started peeling which wasn’t an attractive look.  I didn’t take any moisturiser with me for sensitive skin and the oils and serums and creams that I did take with me made my very sensitive skin sting and go bright red.  In the end I picked up 2 products from Mario Badescu that I thought would help with my sensitive skin and 1 product that just intrigued me.

Mario Badescu Skin Care Review

Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater – this was just a very nice cooling spray that I could spray on my skin regularly when it was looking dry and feeling tight.  This cooled my skin right down, was very gentle and kept my skin hydrated.  It only cost $7 for 118ml which was a bargain (The cheapest I have found it online is £5.95 in the UK).  This product is cruelty free and paraben free.

Keratoplast Cream Soap – this is an oil-free cream cleanser for dry, sensitive skin.  As with moisturisers, all the cleansers that I had brought with me on holiday were a bit too much for my sensitive skin.  Again this cleanser felt very gentle and cooling and made my skin feel less tight and dry.  This cost $12  for 177ml (Cheapest in the UK was £10.50).  This product is not tested on animals.

Both these products really helped my skin go back to normal within a few days of using them.  Take my advice, keep applying sunscreen when you are swimming as my skin really did look and feel awful for a few days.

Mario Badescu Silver Powder

The final product was Silver Powder which I have to admit just sounds weird so I had to buy it.  This product is supposed to immediately diminish blackheads, unclog pores, absorb oil and tighten pores in the t-zone area.  I suffer from blackheads on my nose, so I thought this would definitely be worth a try.  It contains calcium carbonate, kaolin and zinc oxide, so it's really just a mud mask in powder form.  You dip a water dampened cotton wool ball in the powder and press onto nose, chin or other areas where the pores are clogged and remove with a toner after 10 minutes.  It's a little messy due to the powder, but I like the results as my pores looked less noticeable as the impurities have been drawn out of the pores.  This costs $12 for 28g (Cheapest in the UK was £10.25).

Mario Badescu products are available online (Beauty Bay) and instore and online at places like Harvey Nichols and Liberty  (the prices are cheaper in the US as expected).  I haven't left links to any of the sites as the prices were somewhat different on each site, so it's best to do a price check online for the various products to get the best deal.

One other thing to mention is the packaging which is quite plain and almost medicinal.  I like it as there is no need for fancy packaging for products like this and if they work, then I would rather be spending my money on the actual product rather than over the top packaging.

Overall I am very happy with the products that I purchased and will definitely be trying out more in the future.

I bought these products with my own money

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Sephora Favorites Box Sets Haul - Part 1

I love Sephora and it's usually the highlight of any shopping trip to the States. What I love the most is the Sephora Favorites Box Sets, as they are really good value.  I went on holiday to Florida in May with my sister and we bought loads of box sets between us, so we can take advantage of the amazing value and share out the goodies between us.  It's a great way of trying out loads of expensive products without breaking the bank.  I was especially impressed with the box sets that were available in the Sephora store that was in JC Penneys at Florida Mall as they had quite a few box sets which were exclusive to JCPenneys. Here's what I bought (along with my sister):

Power of the Petal - Skincare powered by Plants, Fruits and Flowers - Cost $38 (Value $100).
Power of the Petal
Power of the Petal
This box included the following products:

  • Boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil 13ml
  • Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream - 7ml
  • Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask - 20ml
  • L'Occitane Pivoine Sublime Skin Perfecting Cream - 8ml
  • Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation - 7g
  • Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Cleansing Gel - 60ml
  • Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence - 15ml
These are all deluxe samples from some amazing brands, so I can't wait to try them out.

Bronze Bares-All - Bronzy Neutral Essentials - Cost $40 (Value $115)
Bronze Bares-All
Bronze Bares-All
This box included the following products:

  • Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Trail Blazer - 4.5ml (full size)
  • Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Opal - 2.4g
  • Formula X The Colors Nail Polish Revved Up in Rose Gold Metallic - 4ml
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Copper - 1.64g (full size)
  • Nars Cosmetics Bronzing Powder in Laguna - 2.5g
  • Smashbox Cosmetics Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner in Penny Lane - 0.28g (full size)
  • Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Park Ave Princess - 1g
  • Vita Liberata Tinted Tan Mousse in Medium - 25ml
These bronze products are absolutely perfect for summer. I can't wait to use them.

Classic Beauty - 6-Piece Sampler with 4 Full-Size Favorites - $39 (Value $120)
Classic Beauty Sephora Box Set
Classic Beauty Box Set
This was from Sephora inside JCPenney.

This box included the following products:
  • Bare Minerals Blush Golden Gate - 0.85g
  • Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector Opal - 10ml
  • Buxom Lash Mascara - 6ml
  • Nars Cosmetics Lipstick in Dolce Vita - 3.4g (full size)
  • Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner - 0.5ml
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Scratch - 1.5g
This is a great selection of wearable products from some great brands.

Paint It Pink - Beauty Essentials in Your Favorite Shade - Cost $40 (Value $122)
Paint It Pink Sephora Box Set
Paint It Pink Sephora Box Set

This box included the following products:
  • BeautyBlender (Full Size)
  • Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Rose Gold 2.4g
  • Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascara - 3g
  • Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in Baby Love - 8ml
  • Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in French Kiss - 3.6g (Full Size)
  • Make Up For Ever Artist Plexi-Gloss 202 - 3ml
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Blissful - 1.5g
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Scratch - 1.5g (Full Size)

This is another great box, with products from really great brands.  So glad I bought this one.

I have to admit I did buy quite a few box sets, so look out for part 2 of my Sephora box sets haul coming soon.


I bought these products with my own money

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

My Empties June 2016

I thought I would do a quick post on the products I've used up over the last few months.  I am back on my spending ban for a couple of months so it's giving me the chance to shop my stash as they say.
Schwarzkopf Q10 Plus BC Bonacure Hairtherapy Time Restore Satin Spray - I didn't notice any real benefit from using this product so not one I would repurchase.
St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Tanning Lotion - I like the idea of this product but it didn't work at all so definitely wouldn't repurchase.
Percy & Reed No Oil Oil for Thick Hair - This is a nice enough serum, but I probably would not chose it over my favourite Frizz Ease serum.
The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Fragrance Mist - Japanese Cherry Blossom is one of my favourite fragrances and I love this version by The Body Shop as it's a light floral fragrance that's great for summer.  I would definitely repurchase this although as usual I have to use up all my other body sprays first which probably means I won't need to buy any more for another 5 years.
Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths Brightening - These are nice cleansing wipes, but a little expensive at £12 for a full size pack, so I would not buy them unless there was a really good offer.
Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo - I bought this as I was suffering from an itchy scalp at the time and it did provide some relief, so I would buy it again if I had the same problem.
Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Gel - I wasn't keen on this product.  I didn't like the gel consistency and the smell was abit off putting.  I wouldn't repurchase as I didn't notice any benefit to my skin.
Bath & Body Works PocketBac Pumpkin Cupcake Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel - I love these hand gels, they have so many lovely fragrances and they don't take up loads of room in my bag. This one has a sweet baking smell (does that make sense) just like you have some cakes baking in the oven.  These are on my must buy list whenever I visit the US.  Depending on the time of year they offer different fragrances.  I got these around Halloween.
Superdrug Optimum Phyto Deluxe Comforting Night Cream* - Read my review of this product here
Youth To The People Kale & Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Age Prevention Cleanser - Read my review of this product here.
Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Velvet Body Milk - I love this perfume fragrance, but I would only buy the body milk as part of a box set.
Kneipp Herbal Bath Stress Free Mandarin & Orange - This product smells absolutely gorgeous in the bottle but once it's diluted in a bath it doesn't really hold its smell so not something I would be bothered about using again.


I bought these products with my own money  unless * where I received it free but the opinions are my own.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

NYX Cosmetics Haul

Thankfully NYX Cosmetics are now available in my local Boots branch in Leeds, but it was not as easily available prior to my Holiday in May, so I was happy to pick up some NYX Cosmetic products on my recent trip to Orlando.  I visited an Ulta Beauty store and here's what I bought.
NYX Cosmetics Haul
NYX Lip Primer in Nude ($6.99) - This is a clear balm in pencil form that is very easy to use and primes your lips prior to applying lip products.  I use it before liquid lipsticks as I have quite dry lips and it works really well, to keep the product from drying out my lips and stopping it from looking patchy.

NYX Eye Shadow Base in Skin Tone ($6.99) - This is a creamy concealer like product. I applied it with a brush on my eyelids and also used it as a concealer under my eyes and I found that it brightens the dark areas under my eyes and does not cake and crease.  I have applied powder eyeshadow and cream eyeshadow over this base and it definitely enhanced the staying power of both products.  I have quite oily eyelids so I wasn't sure if this sort of creamy product would work for me, but it really did help my eyeshadow stay in place and avoid creasing. 
NYX Eye Shadow Base
A swatch of the NYX Eye Shadow Base
NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Push-Up ($6.99) - I have wanted to try out a liquid lipstick for ages, but I really wasn't sure if they would work for me as I have dry lips and I get through a lot of lip balm trying to keep them looking smooth and feeling moisturised.  I needn't have worried as this nude liquid lipstick applies really well and it doesn't dry out my lips instantly.  I used the NYX Lip Primer underneath and the liquid lipstick lasted really well and did not go patchy at all. Push-Up is a pink nude colour, rather than a yellow nude so it doesn't wash me out. Considering that a lot of brands charge $20 or more for liquid lipsticks, this NYX product at $6.99 is a bargain and you can afford to buy more than one.  One thing to note is that I was wearing this product while eating and drinking, so I wiped my mouth a few times and the lipstick stayed put.
NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick Push-Up
A swatch of  NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick Push-Up
Overall I am really impressed with all of these products especially for the price. As usual they are more expensive in the UK.  The Lip Lingerie is £6.50, the Lip Primer is £6 and the Eye Shadow Base is £5.50.

I will definitely buy some more NYX products when my spending ban has finished.

What NYX products have you bought?

I bought these products with my own money

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Ulta Beauty Haul

I have wanted to visit an Ulta Beauty store for ages, but have never come across one on my travels to America.  I recently visited Orlando and was happy to find out that there was an Ulta store within walking distance of Mall @ Millenia, so I made plans to include it in one of my shopping days away from the theme parks.

There were a few brands that I wanted to check out in Ulta - NYX, Mario Badescu Skincare and Shea Moisture.  I spent the better part of an hour browsing the store which is good, because while I was in there the heavens opened up and the rain was so heavy that there was no way I could walk back to Mall @ Millenia without getting soaked.  Luckily there were lots of great brands to check out.  Here's what I bought in Ulta.
Mario Badescu Skincare
I had heard about Mario Badescu Skincare, but had never come across any products.  They are all reasonably priced so I bought the Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater ($7), Silver Powder ($12) and Kerotoplast Cream Soap ($12).
Shea Moisture hair products
I have tried out a few Shea Moisture hair products before, so this time I thought I would try out the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner (all $10.99). I know they stock the brand in Boots, but I always find it easier to spend money when I'm on holiday.
I had heard about Pacifica on Caroline Hirons blog, so I wanted to get a couple of things to try out from this brand.  I bought the Hawaiian Ruby Guava Body Butter ($15) and an Indian Coconut Nectar set ($18) which included body butter, perfume roll-on and natural color lip tint.
Ulta Florida Haul
I was happy to see that they stocked the NYX brand, although some of the products that I wanted were not in stock.  In the end I picked up Lipstick Lingerie in Push-Up ($6.99), Lip Primer in Nude ($6.99) and Eye Shadow Base ($6.99). I went into Boots in Leeds recently and they now have NYX in stock. They have a really big range and there were loads of people browsing when I was there so it seems very popular.
Buxom Lip Cream in Dolly & NYX Lipstick Lingerie in Lipli
Buxom Lip Cream in Dolly & NYX Lipstick Lingerie in Lipli
I also bought a Buxom Lip Cream in Dolly ($20) and a Zoya Pixie Dust Polish in Vega ($10).
Zoya Pixie Dust Polish in Vega
left with 1 coat right with 2 coats
I also printed a coupon online to get $3.50 off a $10 spend and a free travel sized It's a 10 miracle leave-in hair product 60ml (just google Ulta Coupon 2016 to find some up to date coupons).

I will be posting reviews of some of these products soon.

I bought these products with my own money