20 Oct 2014

CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture.

I was literally giddy with excitement when CV Skinlabs launched into the UK a few weeks ago on Cos Natural. They're a brand I've heard so much about, especially from the lovely Britanie. My skin is on the sensitive side and is easily irritated by harsh products so of course a brand designed specifically for healing, treating and soothing sensitive, dry, irritated skin captures my attention. The range consists of four products, the Calming Moisture, Restorative Skin Balm, Rescue & Relief Spray and Body Repair Lotion. When I got the opportunity to review the Calming Moisture I was kiiind of excited though I wasn't sure what to expect.

The Calming Moisture is a light, soothing moisturiser for your face, neck and scalp. It gives instant relief if your skin is sore, dry or in anyway unhappy. I was worried this would be a really thick, rich moisturiser but was pleasantly surprised (and so relieved) to discover it is light and has quite a thin texture. I still do find it too moisturising to use it during the day - even with mineral foundation on top which usually sucks moisture like a sponge - but my skin isn't dry at the moment. I suspect it will be a great day moisturiser when winter arrives.
Instead I've been using this at night, sometimes on its own after toning as it really is nourishing enough, or mixed with a drop or two of whatever facial oil I'm using that night (usually the pacific face oil or kahina argan). It sinks in rather slowly and if I apply too much I'm left a little greasy but again its been crazy warm these past few weeks and I suspect it will be a different story soon.

My favourite way to use this, and when I see the best results, is when I use it after a deep cleansing clay mask, something like the May Lindstrom Problem Solver. It feels so soothing after an intensive mask and replenishes lost moisture with ease (this is the only time my skin drinks this stuff up) leaving my complexion really calm, no redness in sight.
The ingredients are all natural, with aloe vera, squalene, turmeric extract, jojoba, chamomile, camellia and ginger. CV Skinlabs say this is ideal for skin that has just been treated with a chemical peel, waxed, microdermabrasion and more and I can see why as it's so... neutral and inoffensive for skin, it does it's job and it does it well.

The Calming Moisture is £45 for 60ml, which if you regularly buy high end little 30ml pots of moisturisers you'll know you're getting an amazing deal. You only need a small amount each time as (cliche) a little goes a long way! I honestly am in love with this stuff and I know if you have sensitive, dry, combination or just SKIN you're going to love this too. To make life easier you can pick up a free sachet from Cos Natural and from what I can gather you don't have to be making an order and can just pick it up on its own! try it!

Next on my list is the body lotion and rescue & relief spray which both sound amazing! I've tried a sachet of the body lotion and it's one of the nicest I've ever tried. CV Skinlabs, I am impressed.

16 Oct 2014

Positive Vibes.

I've had this blog post open for days now trying to figure out what I wanted to share. I don't share too much of my personal life on on my blog these days other than the odd picture here and there, I like to remain a mystery (hahaah!) but I really wanted to share something and have a little natter, seeing where my typing takes me.

Since graduating the boy & I have had some really difficult months just waiting and waiting for things to get better (aka jobs) we were adamant we didn't want to end up moving back home so did something completely crazy and moved into a dream apartment in a building that we've been eyeing up for years. The budget was tight, like, really really tight, beans on toast tight but we've been doing okay for several months now, and while the novelty of our cool apartment has worn off (I'm over that big window guys, it's draughty!) we're looking forward to the future.
Things are looking up finally this month and we may even be getting a cat (omsdrshbghwb!!!) and taking a trip to London in the new year! plus it's my birthday on Monday! & I love birthdays. Especially my own ;)
Michael has also started to learn to drive again after having to stop when money got tight & we're so excited to be real grown ups and get a car next year, he's like a giddy school boy already shopping for what car he wants, ha! pass your test first, mate! meanwhile I'm busy shopping for cats.

There's been a lot of negativity and horrible things happening online lately, both in the blogging & youtube world & it made me want to step back a little because daily life was hard enough to deal with! I'm channeling positive vibes though now, the sun is shining and warming up the flat, thank god, and I just ate my fave breakfast/lunch of bananas & almond butter on toast. Today is going to be a good day, I've decided. I'm even making roast chicken for tea.
Speaking of youtube I'm really really trying to pluck up the courage to film a proper first video, though I have no idea what it should be. I want my channel to be about anything and everything, maybe even with the odd vlog but I don't know if M is on board with that, he's not very enthusiastic with photography, let alone video ahahah! I've been telling him for years he should be a gaming youtuber with the amount of time he used to spend on his xbox whilst watching hours of youtube videos, but he always made excuses, pah! He could have been "youtube famous" by now and we could live in a mansion *this is me not holding a grudge* ;D
While I love blogging we all know it's the most fickle, overwhelming place to be. I feel like the worlds smallest fish swimming in the worlds biggest shoal (nice fish analogy, well done self) who can't swim fast enough anymore to keep up. Maybe I need my own advert on television, it would be really boring though. Girl blogs at home in pyjamas, follow along for a few minutes reading entertainment a couple of times a week! Adventure! Excitement! Scrolling! Wow!

P.S. I made these last night and I died and went to heaven in a bowl of hot cookie dough. That could explain my ridiculously good mood today, I suggest you try them and see if your mood improves too.

12 Oct 2014

Soup & A Sandwich

Who doesn't love a good soup and sandwich combo? I sure do. I made this for my dinner the other day and it was so damn good that I actually exclaimed "OMG I am such a good cook!" true story ;) 
The soup is a butternut squash soup with a cheese and ham grilled... cheese? toastie? I followed a super basic recipe for the soup as I've never cooked with butternut squash before. And the cheese for the sandwich a special caramelised onion cheddar (I think, lost the sticker) from the cheese counter in waitrose.. it's delicious and cost me £1 for a little 70g wedge. Worth it. 

For the soup:
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
3 small carrots (or 2 medium/1 super giant carrot)
2 small onions
Chicken stock
Salt & Pepper to taste.

Dice up those carrots and onions real good, I cheated and shoved them in the food processor to reduce them to tiny fragments in 3 seconds flat.
In a large pan add a spoonful of butter and your chopped butternut squash and cook for a few minutes before adding the onion/carrot mulch. Cook for a few more minutes then pour over 500ml hot stock and cook until the squash is tender. Carefully transfer to a blender or use a stick blender and blend until real smooth. Add more stock or water if the soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper, it was super sweet so I used a tonne of pepper but it WORKED and was delish.
A spoonful of creme fraiche would be so good to serve, but unfortunately it's not something we casually keep in the fridge. I think next time I'll also add a small chopped potato to tone down the sweetness.

For the grilled cheese:
Butter the outside of your bread, shove some filling in there and cook in a pan, slowly on a low heat until golden, gooey and glorious.

Dip sandwich in soup and exclaim you're such a damn good cook.

10 Oct 2014

Fuchsia Lips For Fall.

lily lolo lipstick rms beauty lipshine ilia beauty lip conditioner review
lily lolo passion pink swatch

Lately I only seem attracted to berry, purple-y or blue toned pinks.. a.k.a fuchsia! (I totally had to google how to spell fuchsia oops). Luckily with the weather turning colder berry lips are back in, not that it matters to me when shades of makeup are "in", but it's good to know perhaps I'm a tiny bit with it for once ;)

I've never been much of a lipstick gal, so it makes sense that only one of these is a traditional lipstick formula as I have no patience for meticulously applying my makeup. I'm more of a slap it on and go kind of person.
Fuchsia as a shade really brightens up my complexion and makes it seem like I've put 100x more effort into my makeup and appearance than I actually did. The colour just makes me happy.
I did some swatches on my hand for you to get an idea of pigment & colour etc, sorry they're not on my lips but I couldn't be bothered to do five different lip swatches! At least I'm honest...

lipstick swatches lily lolo passion pink ilia beauty jump rms beauty sacred
From L-R - Silk + Honey Custom Gloss, Lily Lolo "Passion Pink", ILIA Lip Conditioner "Jump", Burt's Bees "Rhubarb" and RMS Lip Shine in "Sacred"

I think the colours are a tiny bit off from my camera, but I've tried to make them as true to life as possible. They look a little too red though. 

The Silk & Honey gloss is the only gloss I like these days, and maybe I'm biased because I made it myself but it feels so lovely on the lips and the colour is so unusual for a lipgloss. It's the darkest of the lot and can be built up but I like to apply just a thin layer as I still do find lipgloss to be such a fuss.  
Next up is the Lily Lolo Passion Pink Lipstick, the colour of this is really in yo' face but the formula makes is so easy to apply, it's REALLY moisturising and has a lot of slip, it's almost like a balm. It transfers and wears off really easily because of this but it's a fun shade and a bargain at £8.99. I adore Lily Lolo at the moment, so affordable for natural makeup, and if I'm not careful my entire makeup bag will be LL soon! ;) 

Onto my fave of the bunch though, the sheer but stunning ILIA Tinted Lip Conditioner in Jump, a summer limited edition shade (that you need to JUMP on asap). I couldn't not leave this once I saw it person in the summer and have considered buying a backup as I'm scared to use it and run out forever! It's sheer, yes, but really very easily buildable into a vivid magenta shade that I love. The formula is a little more waxy and stiff compared to my other tinted lip conditioner but I like this as it means the staying power is better. The price reflects the quality but I don't mind one little bit as I'm a smitten kitten.

Next in line is the Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Rhubarb. My first time trying a Burts Bees lip product & I love, the colour is fab and again easily buildable, with a minty tingle that I'm addicted too and the nourishment of a lip balm. It looks very different in swatch but I think the colour is closer to ILIA when on the lips. It's been my go-to lately as my lips are quite chapped and this is basically a lip balm with colour.
Lastly we have an RMS Lip Shine in Sacred, even though their shade Sublime may have been more fuchsia appropriate, this was an easier colour choice for me as sublime is terrifyingly pink! One day I will pluck up the courage and buy it though as it's a beauty! 
The formula of the lip shines is so unique, it's like dipping your fingers into a pot of solid lipgloss that warms instantly to your touch. Sacred is described as a "rosy red" but there's definitely a lot of pink in there. If you want true red from RMS then the lip2cheek in Beloved is the one. Lip shines are glossy, moisturising and oh so pigmented, everyone needs (atleast) one in their stash as they're so unique.

Do you own any of these shades?

5 Oct 2014

Blue Labelle Marula & Amaranth Facial Oil.

I'll admit I hadn't heard of Blue Labelle before I was approached to try a sample of one of their new biologique oils, but I was definitely intrigued. I'm a face oil fan and am baffled by anyone who isn't, you can't go wrong with natural, organic, potent, healing oils on your mug, you just can't (obviously pick the ones that are suitable for your skin type though - I may write a post on that soon).
Blue Labelle, founded in 2011, is a range of beautifying oils for your hands, face and body. Their oils are 100% natural, with the new biologique oils being 100% organic too.

I was lucky enough to be sent the Marula & Amaranth Face Oil* (10ml) which is for all skin types including us sensitive skin gals (and guys!). The 10ml bottle is only £9 which I think is absolutely amazing for all cold pressed organic oils, and the full size 30ml is £22!
I've been using this regularly for a few weeks now & I'd say my bottle is just at the halfway point, so even for a sample size it's going to last you quite a while.

The oil itself is a pale yellow colour and smells faintly of lavender, it's not overpowering but lovely and soothing come bedtime. It's quite a thin consistency and sinks in easily to skin, not too quickly that my skin is drinking it up, but within an hour it's all gone. I don't have dry skin though so if you do you may find it's different for you. The base oils are jojoba and sweet almond, I've been wanting to try some pure jojoba for ages to help unblock the pores on my nose and I know it takes weeks to see results so I'm glad I have this to see if if will help before I decide to pick up some pure jojoba.
There's also camellia and chamomile which are both soothing and calming on the skin and are the reason I've been reaching for this oil when my skin is feeling irritated and hormonal. It's particularly lovely after a double exfoliating & cleansing mask treatment as this oil completes the little treatment session by calming redness and replacing loss moisture.
Lastly there's marula oil which is an extremely  precious and nutrient dense oil and Amaranth extract which has a high squalene content - good for protecting and promoting skin renewal.

All in all this is a bit of a do-all wonder, especially for the coming colder months & I'd suggest it to anyone with fussy combination, dry or sensitive skin.
Have you tried Blue Labelle?

Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil*, Prunus dulcis (sweet almond) oil*, Camellia oleifera oil*, Marula sclerocarya birrea oil*, Amaranthus caudatus (amaranth) CO2 extract*, Chamomilla recutita (chamomile) CO2 extract*, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil*, Daucus carota (carrot) seed oil*, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf CO2 extract*, Limonene‡, Geraniol‡, Citral‡, Linalool‡.

*Certified organic at source. ‡essential oil constituent.