Apivita, natural skin, hair and body care company originally from Greece, recently launched their products exclusively to Marks & Spencers in the UK. This launch came as music to my ears, a while ago I was sent a large box of samples but felt a little disheartened that they were only available overseas.
One of the most simple but important products in my skincare routine is lip balm, I own many balms and always have one in my handbag and on my person as I suffer from very dry lips...and...well, you never know when you may need super smooth lips!
Apivita have a range of seven lip balms in their 'Lip Care' range, each packaged in a small, portable and lightweight plastic tube. The packaging is quite overcrowded but remains really attractive, each balm has it's own shade and I simply adore the baby pink colour used for the Rose Balm packaging and formula.
The balm itself has a smooth but slightly waxy consistency, when you slick it across the lips it sinks in near immediately and nourishes my lips straight away. My lips are very dry and rough, the Apivita Lip Care made light work of smoothing out roughness and replenishing the fullness of my lips - after about a weeks regular use (about two applications per day) my lips were far less dry.
'Pink Rose' has a very natural scent of rose oil, it isn't overpowering and luckily does not remind me of Turkish Delights! Rose scents aren't a personal favourite of mine but the scent is so delicate I barely noticed it was there.
My one grump about this product is how long it lasts, one stick only lasted me around three weeks before I was needing a new one. Needless to say, I am looking to perhaps purchase the Blackcurrant balm which sounds delicious!

Apivita Lip Care retails for £5 (*) in M&S stores and online.
Well known psychologist and leading psychodermatologist Linda Papadopoulos recently launched her first skincare brand to tackle stress - known to be one of the key causes of prematurely ageing skin. Linda believes that a good skincare routine with products using the best ingredients helps to retain youth, health and vibrance.
LP Skin Therapy is a brand I've been getting to know well recently, as a psychology student and beauty blogger anything which combines my two uttermost passions in life is a winner! The range includes two face creams, a Multi-Task Day Cream and an Overnight Replenish Cream, keeping the choices simple and concise.
LP Multi-Task Day Cream is packaged inside a purple box which contains an attractive square container, it is quite large and bulky so doesn't travel well unfortunately.
Twist off the square lid and remove the mini protective plastic lid to reveal a delicious yet delicate scent of pomegranate (it's really truly scrumptious, I can't rate the scent more highly!) and the smooth formulation.
The Day Cream has a lightweight formula, it feels like a creamy gel and sinks in immediately on contact with the skin, without leaving a greasy residue behind. The product only has ten ingredients entirely and doesn't contain any nasties or anything harmful to the skin, just pure goodness. I only use a small amount smoothed across my face and neck in the mornings, I've been using the pot for 2 months and am barely 1/3 of my way through.
I use this in the morning once I've finished cleansing and toning, it immediately brightens my dull skin and smooths away any rough areas or dryness. I love applying this cream before I apply my makeup, I have even been finding myself skipping priming my skin because the formula plumps and smooths my skin so well.
Throughout each day I notice my skin remains looking bright and feels soft to the touch, I've started to notice my skin is feeling hydrated round the clock after continued and regular use.
Personally I don't feel the product has in any way helped me to de-stress, we all have our stressful moments, but the scent does help to relax but invigorate my senses at the start of my day.

I'm so impressed with this day cream that I'd quite happily label it faultless. Admittedly the packaging could be a little more practical for travel purposes but the results are brilliant. I would repurchase this straight away if it weren't for the price, so for now I must use as sparingly as possible!

LP Skin Therapy Multi-Task Day Cream retails for £35/45ml (*) from LP Skin Therapy online and KMI Club.
Cleaning makeup brushes can be an arduous task at the best of times, but it must be done to keep your brushes clean and dirt free. Dirty makeup brushes can deposit unwanted oils and dirt on your skin which could result in blemishes! I try to make a good effort with washing my brushes but even the most fastidious of us can fall by the way-side at times, I try to wash my brushes after three or four uses and always find myself reaching for my MAC Brush Cleanser.
Brush Cleansers act as a 'deep clean' for brushes and disinfect the fibres as they condition - leaving your brushes feeling silky smooth and prolonging their life.
My bottle of Brush Cleanser is well loved, a new bottle will be full with a pink liquid but mine has only 1/3 left. The Brush Cleanser is packaged in a translucent plastic bottle, to dispense simply press the button on top and tip the bottle to release the product. I do find a lot of product is released at one time which can cause for a little wastage unfortunately, I would have preferred the design of the packaging if it came with a spray-top. I've transferred a little product into my own spray bottle for spot cleaning in-between deep cleaning.
The product has a very liquid formula, I either put a small amount into a dish and place my brushes into it or add a few drops straight onto the brush bristles and massage it through - it will not lather at all but have no fear it is working into the brush! Then I simply wash it away with some cold water to seal the bristles.
I apply this product after using Johnson's Baby Shampoo, I find using the shampoo alone leaves my brushes feeling a little dry to the touch, once I've added a few drops of the MAC Brush Cleanser I notice even more dirt coming away from my brushes which hadn't been cleaned with shampoo alone and they feel softer to the touch.
The scent is very strong and quite off putting in the bottle but once the brushes have been washed the scent isn't detectable at all, the brushes are left smelling very fresh and clean.
When I use the MAC Brush Cleanser I notice my brushes dry quicker and hold their shape better also, which is very important to me for keeping my brushes in good condition. I consider this product as the 'conditioning' product following 'shampooing' for my brushes, and I can whole heartedly say that it does work very well.

I don't think I'd go so far to say the MAC Brush Cleanser is an essential for everyone when cleaning your brushes - a simple baby shampoo works fine - but I enjoy using it to thoroughly clean and disinfect my brushes and I will purchase it again. I'm in a habit of using it now and don't feel my brushes are thoroughly clean if I skip it as a step!

MAC Brush Cleanser retails for £8.50/235ml from MAC stockists such as MAC online and Debenhams.
Nail Wraps have become the talk of the nail industry, they're a quick way to add pretty patterns and designs to your nails without a flaw in sight.
Elegant Touch, the UK's leading nail care brand, recently launched their own set of 3D nail wraps, which are a new take on the original nail wrap phenomenon. 3D nail wraps are much like 3D nail art, they stand out from the nail and have that extra wow-factor.
Elegant Touch Nail Wraps are packaged in an attractive cardboard sleeve, which has all the instructions for application on the back. Inside you will find a plastic sheet with 18 nail wraps to ensure there is the correct sized wrap for your nails.
I found these nail wraps unbelievably easy to apply, the instructions are effortless to follow and don't require you to ruin the condition of your nails before you apply the wraps with intense use of a nail file. Application took me about five minutes, and to remove the excess wrap from the tip of the nail a standard nail file filed away with ease to reveal quite a smooth and even finish.
'Candy Sprinkles' are multicoloured candy dots formed in a golden outer casing on a clear wrap bed. I dislike having my natural nails show through when it comes to nail wraps and colour, so in these photos there is a coat of Orly 'Kiss The Bride' underneath. I've pictured a full set of nails with the wraps for the fullest effect, but they look great used on your ring fingernail only for a 3D accent nail effect.
The nail wraps have worn for around four days and are still going strong without any chipping or peeling, but I did fix them with a top coat.

Elegant Touch 3D nail wraps retail for £6.99 per sheet (*) from Debenhams, Superdrug and other Elegant Touch stockists. I found them in Tesco online and in store for £4.66!
Protecting your hair against heat is the fundamental step for achieving better condition, protected hair when using heated appliances. Even the heat from hair dryers can be incredibly damaging to the hair, which isn't useful for ladies like me who aren't a fan of the wash-n-go look but want to grow their hair and reduce split ends. I simply can not stress how important protecting your hair from heat is, even the summer sun can be damaging to our precious locks.
Removing all use of heated appliances is the best way to improve the condition of your hair, but if like me you just can't let go of your appliances completely, I recommend Tresemmé Heat Defence Styling Spray. Heat Defence is the only protecting spray I've trusted for a good few years, it offers protection up to 230° C of heat - one of the highest celsius protections on the market.
The defence spray is packaged in a tall plastic tube which follows a similar design to the Tresemme range - a black tube with coloured lettering. This tube isn't so ideal for travelling in your handbag but a miniature 60ml bottle is available, I own two of these also because they're so handy for staying out at a friends or for holidays.
To release the product simply press the safety button inwards and pull back the spritz mechanism with your finger. The nozzle sprays a nice wide veil of product onto the hair, I find four spritzes across my hair is more than enough then work it through the lengths with my fingers.
You only need to use this spray once, on wet or dry hair, and then you can apply as much heat as you desire. I usually limit myself to a hairdryer and straighteners or just one of the two, and prefer to apply it on wet hair.
The formula is a thin dispersible liquid, which disperses through the hair with ease without depositing any sticky or tacky residue. It isn't noticeable in the hair while it's applied or once it has dried, and doesn't leave the hair feeling greasy or damp if applied to dry hair.
What I love about Tresemme Heat Defence is that it does exactly as it claims and more. Every use protects my hair against heat and helps my hair dry a lot quicker whether it be naturally or with a hair dryer. I find when I don't use this defence spray my split ends feel dryer, more visible, and my hair feels quite coarse to the touch after applying heat. The spray also boosts shine in the hair and leaves it feeling touchably soft.
The scent is quite neutral and reminds me of a classic salon scent, it's very pleasing and leaves my hair smelling attractive all day.
What most pleases me about the product is its longevity, one bottle lasts me a good few months even with regular, weekly usage.

Tresemme Heat Defence Styling Spray retails for £4.69/300ml from Tresemme stockists such as Tesco, Boots, Superdrug and Wilkinson. Keep your eye out for Tresemme offers in store as they hold them regularly, that's when I snap up my Heat Defence Spray!
Revlon introduced their 'PhotoReady' range earlier this year - a capsule range of eight products for flawless skin in any light. The range contains reflective pigments which help to add luminosity and glow to the skin, and aims to work well with flash or regular photography.
The Airbrush Mousse Makeup is a newly released product into the line of PhotoReady products, defined as a 'Step Three' product after priming and concealing. The makeup is available in six shades and can be used as an all over foundation or just in particular areas such as under the eyes. I personally like to use this as an all over base before applying highlighter.

PRICE: £12.99

CLAIMS:  'Get an airbrushed finish with Revlon’s light-as-air mousse makeup. Press button gently to deliver a lightweight air-infused foam mousse that blends seamlessly. Photochromatic pigments minimize the appearance of flaws for a smooth, pore less look' - Revlon Online

AVAILABILITY: Revlon stockists such as Boots and Superdrug

PRODUCT: The packaging of the foundation feels professional, it has a lightweight design which makes it nicely portable without weighing down your handbag or luggage.
To dispense the mousse, press the button on top of the tube gently. I found this design a nightmare to use, no matter how gentle I am with the button it releases enough product for at least three applications, therefore wasting a lot of foundation.
I've never used a mousse foundation with a consistency quite like this before, once dispensed the mousse begins to increase quite considerably in size and 'bubbles' right before your eyes, when you touch it it splays into a thick foundation-like formula (see photo two, above).
As the formula increases in size so much and forms a thick consistency in seconds I recommend squirting a small amount onto your hand then transferring it to your face with a finger or a brush. I use my finger to apply this makeup as a brush soaks up a lot of product making for even more wastage.
If you're looking at the above pictures and having a bit of a panic, fear not, the formula blends well and is no where near as cakey or thick as it appears in the above pictures once you have portioned out the right amount of product before applying it to your face.
As you can see, once applied with a finger to a clean area of skin the formula provides excellent coverage and even adds luminosity to the skin. The foundation manages to hide all my imperfections such as dark circles and redness in one layer, and builds further with ease on days where I need coverage over blemishes. The finish is very professional, verging on an airbrushed look without appearing too cakey or obvious.
Wear-time is around eight hours before I begin to experience patchiness, what most disappointed me is that my skin became increasingly oily throughout wear - even powder couldn't prevent the oiliness developing!

'Natural Beige' is a little too dark and dare I say 'orange' for my skin tone, but when I have a tan it blends nicely with some bronzer. The shade has yellow undertones and a sheer, matte finish. In natural light the shade appears fresh and bright, and I'm pleased to report that under flash photography it produces no white caste.

RATING: 7/10 - For a high street product this 'foundation' is not bad at all, my only qualms lye with the design of the pump and the fact that my skin can feel a little greasy a few hours into wear. If you're not ready to splash out on the Estee Lauder Double Wear this makes for a fantastic alternative.
Cleansing is a popular topic throughout the beauty community, its that fundamental step in our skincare routine which makes for fresh and clean skin before toning or applying moisturiser - a step followed by almost all of us, male or female.
Micellar Water has recently become a popular method of cleansing, and for some has replaced the more traditional 'hot cloth method'. I've been testing both methods over the past few months and have now compared both methods to decide which is best for me.

Hot Cloth Cleansing: involves washing the face with warm water, applying a foaming cleanser and then wiping it away with a warm muslin cloth or flannel. This is a very traditional method and is easy to do, but it does require some time and effort.

Micellar Water: involves applying the formula to a cotton pad and sweeping it across the skin, then replace the lid and throw away the dirty pad. This method is perfect for me after a night out when getting to the sink is the last thing on my mind (oo-err) or when I'm quite simply feeling lazy, so lazy that I keep this by my bed within reaching distance with cotton pads at the ready.

Hot Cloth Cleansing: The most popular and possibly well-known hot cloth cleanser is the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, but any foaming cleanser is ideal for a classic cleansing routine. I own the Liz Earle Cleanser and you can see my full review here, but at the moment I am using Manuka Doctor ApiClear Foaming Cleanser. There are a whole host of cleansers available on the market, foaming cleansers tend to be most popular and are my personal preference.

Micellar Water: My personal favourite Micellar Water is Etat Pur, you can see my full review here.

Hot Cloth Cleansing: The formula generally depends on the one you purchase, but the formula of my foaming cleanser has a thick consistency which foams on contact well. You only need to use a small amount because the formulation foams so well, a result I find with most hot cloth cleansers.

Micellar Water: A smooth and liquid formula, some may contain visible oil, mine however does not. Micellar Waters are available as an oil-free formula or regular formula, which you can pick depending on your skin type. I find the regular formula fine for my combination skin type as a little oil helps to remove eye-makeup also. I find I need to use about two teaspoons of product, so I do get through this quicker than my foaming cleanser.

Hot Cloth Cleansing: Flannel or muslin cloth, you can use cotton wool pads but I find this method irritates my skin and wastes a lot of pads. Muslin Cloths are thin and have a more abrasive surface for gentle exfoliation, whilst flannels are a thick towelling material which sweeps away product quickly. Personally I use a flannel every day then a Muslin Cloth twice a week for exfoliation.

Micellar Water: Cotton wool pads, I prefer to use the Boots Extra Large Cotton Wool Pads and find myself only using one.

Having used both methods for a couple of months I have now been able to decide which method is best for me - both methods! I find traditional hot cloth cleansing relaxing and a nice end to my day, but when I don't have the time or am feeling a little lazy my Micellar Water saves the day.
I do admit, my skin feels a lot cleaner after Hot Cloth Cleansing compared to Micellar Water cleansing, and when I tone my skin after I notice a lot more dirt on the pad after using Micellar Water alone.
Neither method brought my skin out with breakouts, but this obviously is based on choosing cleansers which aren't too harsh against my skin.
Cleansing generally noticeably improves the appearance of my skin, if I don't cleanse and simply remove my makeup and clean my skin with a makeup wipe I develop quite severe breakouts and my skin tone becomes more even and less smooth to the touch. Micellar Water has completely replaced face wipes in my skincare routine, and I am making more of an effort to regularly cleanse with a Hot Cloth to open and cleanse my pores.

What is your chosen method? Do you have a different cleansing routine entirely? I'd love to know your thoughts!
Vichy is a brand with 80 years of experience in developing face, body and sun care products for reaching a more youthful and glowing complexion. One of their most popular and well known collections is a makeup range called 'Dermablend' which helps to cover and even skin tones which may be damaged, scarred, acne-prone or discoloured. The capsule range consists of only three products - a concealer, foundation and setting powder; the shade range is exactly the same across the entire range.
Glossybox recently sent out the Vichy Dermablend Starter Kit for customers to find their perfect Vichy shade. Vichy aren't a brand which I personally view as easily accessible, they're only just starting out with their UK website and aren't that easy to hunt down in stores, so this kit is ideal for some at-home swatching before committing to one shade of full sized product.
I've swatched each of the shades here individually to help those who don't wish to purchase the starter kit or who may not have received the kit in their Glossybox.
TOP L-R: 13 Light, 12 Opal, 11 Porcelain
BOTTOM L-R: 14 Nude, 15 Sand, 16 Bronze
I found it hard to find a shade to match my skin tone completely, the shades all have a yellowish undertone to them which made them hard to make a true match, this may be a trouble especially for those with a pink undertone to their skin. The shade which matches up closest for me is #13 'Light'.
The coverage of the foundation is extremely full, it's ideal for covering scarring and discolouration but those with a normal skin tone are warned to steer clear! I found the formula to be creamy and soft to the touch, but quite noticeable on the skin unless blended to within an inch of its life - I also feel if you use a little too much it can appear quite cakey so less is definitely more! The formula lasts all day on the skin and doesn't slip or crease, it does however transfer quite easily. I found this most enjoyable to use as a concealer, when worn as a foundation it felt quite heavy on my skin, and did leave my skin with a greasy residue at the end of the day.

Vichy are presently developing their UK website, but the Corrective Cream Sticks are available right now at Escentual for £16.50 per stick (RRP: £19.00) and the Foundation retails for £13.15. A starter kit has an RRP of £4.50 but is available on Escentual again here for £3.80.
The Little Bubble Co are a small company who retail bubble baths and shower gels on the high street; all their products are vegetarian friendly and not tested on animals (hurrah!).
A few weeks ago I posted about the original Vanilla Biscuit Shower Gel from The Little Bubble Co, but recently I noticed another scrumptious offering from the range - Vanilla Biscuit Shower Gel 'With Scrubby Bits'.
The shower gel is packaged in a plastic tube which has a squeeze-dispense mechanism for releasing product, giving you a good control over how much you use. I don't find myself needing to use more than a walnut sized amount because the formula lathers so well.
The product has a gel formulation with small scrubby particles, they aren't abrasive or saturated in the formula but make for a good scrubbing session and leave the skin feeling silky smooth.
I use shower scrubs once a week to prevent over-scrubbing my skin, but the Vanilla Biscuit Shower Gel With Scrubby Bits can be used every other day as the grains aren't so coarse. Regular use leaves me with smooth skin with no scaly or dry areas in sight, I'm in love with the feeling of constantly smooth skin.
Once again the smell alone of this product has won me over, the sweet scent of freshly baked biscuits is simply scrumptious and lingers on the skin for hours. I think I'm a little addicted to the scent of this!

The Little Bubble Co Bath & Shower Gel is available in Boots stores for £2.99, I've heard you can pick these tubes up in Home Bargains for less than £1!
Montagne Jeunesse are rapidly becoming my favourite face mask brand, for a high street product which is so available the results are very impressive and the range is vast enough for there to be a little something for everyone!
While Lisa from Golden Glow is taking some time away from blogging I've written a guest post for her about the Montagne Jeunesse Cucumber Peel Off Mask - a delicious offering for anyone looking to calm their senses whilst cleaning and cleansing their pores!

See the full post over on Lisa's blog here.
New Cid Cosmetics are a London based professional cosmetics brand who are popular with makeup artists and do not test on animals. Their range includes everything you need for a full face of makeup, a full set of painted nails and accessories.
From their vast range of cosmetics is the i-Colour Cream Eyeshadow pots which launched this year, available in eight different shades claiming to be simple to blend and crease free.
The i-Colour shadows are packaged in small cardboard boxes which house pots of eyeshadow with twist-off lids. The size of the pot is ideal for travel, and is just the right size for you to dip your finger or brush into nicely.
The texture of the shadow is bouncy to the touch and feels just like a mousse, on contact with the skin it sets and dries in an instant, giving a creamy finish. 'Zinc' looks like a shade which would have a gritty texture, but fear not, it doesn't! I prefer applying these shadows with my finger as I find a brush doesn't distribute the product as smoothly as I would like.
'Zinc' is a black cream shadow with small flecks of silver glitter, the glitter isn't gritty and blends into the formula extremely well. On one application the black hue isn't as true black as I'd like, but again you can build the formula to get a truer black. 'Zinc' is ideal for a smokey eye look, but I've been most enjoying it as an eyeliner! I use a skinny liner brush to apply the shadow along my lash line for a bold line with a shimmery finish - ideal for evening wear.
Without a primer the shade faded slightly after around four hours but with primer (I use Urban Decay Primer Potion) the formula once again the shade stood the test of time. I didn't experience any creasing with this shade.

New Cid Cosmetics i-Colour pots retail for £14 (*) from these stockists and New Cid Online.
New Cid Cosmetics are a London based professional cosmetics brand who are popular with makeup artists and do not test on animals. Their range includes everything you need for a full face of makeup, a full set of painted nails and accessories.
From their vast range of cosmetics is the i-Colour Cream Eyeshadow pots which launched this year, available in eight different shades claiming to be simple to blend and crease free.
The i-Colour shadows are packaged in small cardboard boxes which house pots of eyeshadow with twist-off lids. The size of the pot is ideal for travel, and is just the right size for you to dip your finger or brush into nicely.
The texture of the shadow is bouncy to the touch and feels just like a mousse, on contact with the skin it sets and dries in an instant, giving a creamy finish. I prefer applying these shadows with my finger as I find a brush doesn't distribute the product as smoothly as I would like.
'Tourmaline' is one of the most gorgeous eyeshadow shades I have ever come across, in the pot it leans slightly coral, but when swatched it switches between a coral-pink and gorgeous silvery-gold shimmer with a frosty finish. The pigmentation is good and again can be built for a stronger colour. I most enjoy wearing this shade alone, it's ideal as an all over base and looks great in the summer sun. This shade is an excellent dupe for Chanel Emerveille I believe.
Without a primer the shade barely faded, and with primer (I use Urban Decay Primer Potion) it lasted right up until I removed it. I'm also glad to report I experienced no creasing whatsoever.

New Cid Cosmetics i-Colour pots retail for £14 (*) from these stockists and New Cid Online.
New Cid Cosmetics are a London based professional cosmetics brand who are popular with makeup artists and do not test on animals. Their range includes everything you need for a full face of makeup, a full set of painted nails and accessories.
From their vast range of cosmetics is the i-Colour Cream Eyeshadow pots, available in eight different shades claiming to be simple to blend and crease free.
The i-Colour shadows are packaged in small cardboard boxes which house pots of eyeshadow with twist-off lids. The size of the pot is ideal for travel, and is just the right size for you to dip your finger or brush into nicely.
The texture of the shadow is bouncy to the touch and feels just like a mousse, on contact with the skin it sets and dries in an instant, giving a creamy finish. I prefer applying these shadows with my finger as I find a brush doesn't distribute the product as smoothly as I would like.
'Crystal Quartz' swatches to a frosty, shimmery gold hue - it's an all season shade which looks beautiful in bright and natural light. It has a medium pigmentation but can be built for a stronger colour, I think it works wonderfully as a base or crease colour and blends out beautifully.
Without a primer the shade lasted for around four hours before fading a little, but remained strong and visible up to six hours. With primer (I use Urban Decay Primer Potion) the shade lasted right through until I decided to remove it. What most dampened my spirits about this shade is that after four hours I noticed it creased a little, not heavily so but still noticeably - I don't have particularly oily eyelids so I was surprised. A remedy for this I found was to fix the shadow once applied with a little powder.

New Cid Cosmetics i-Colour pots retail for £14 (*) from these stockists and New Cid Online.
Bioré skincare are a brand I've been using ever since my first spot developed, they're a slightly higher priced brand than other high street skincare products but I always get fantastic results from them. Bioré recently rebranded themselves with new packaging and two new ranges - complexion clearing and makeup removing - in addition to their already well established 'Deep Cleansing' range.
Before Bioré rebranded only regular strength 'Deep Pore Cleansing Strips' were available, but as the rebrand begun 'Ultra Deep Pore Cleansing Strips' emerged, offering an even deeper clean than ever before! Both are now available to purchase, but I personally prefer the Ultra Deep Strips.
Pore strips are ideal for those of us with problem blackheads and oily pores around the nose.

PRICE: £7.99 for a box of 6 strips

AVAILABILITY: Boots, Superdrug, Sainsbury's and ASDA

CLAIMS: 'Maximum strength nose strips remove stubborn, pore-clogging dirt, oil and blackheads as they refresh and purify pores' - product packaging (as pictured)

PRODUCT: It's difficult to comment on the product aesthetically as I prefer the old packaging (as featured here) compared to the new white packaging, which I think makes Bioré merge into all the other skincare products rather than stand out. The strips are packaged in a cardboard box, which holds six sachets wrapped individually for freshness and ease of portability.
The strips are double sided, to use them simply peel away the fabric strip from the plastic sheet and apply the shiniest side to a wet nose - the fabric side should be visible and will feel firmer when the strip is ready for removal.
For cleansing my pores and removing oil and blackheads I swear by these strips, I've been using the original strips for years and have been enjoying the Ultra Deep Strips even more. They're delicately scented of tea tree and witch hazel, which sometimes I find to be a little overpowering but not at all in this case.
While the strip is applied you should feel it tightening around your nose and tingling gently, it's barely noticeable and not at all uncomfortable. I recommend pulling the strip away slowly, as they dry quite tightly to the skin so do pull and sting a little. Once removed you can actually see the dirt and oils that have been pulled away right in front of your eyes (gross, but nice to see a product working), after every use my nose area looks cleansed, has fewer blackheads and is completely oil free. Obviously the strips don't remove every visible blackhead, only the predominant ones, but I find the strips show better results when applied to a really warm nose so I apply them straight after cleansing with hot water.
Continued use of these strips has resulted in smaller pores and less blackheads around my nose, which is my main reason for being a very happy and returning customer to the Bioré range. I only use one strip once a week to prevent over-stripping my nose of its natural oils.

RATING: 9/10 - These strips work little wonders on my skin and live up to all the claims made, my only disappointment is the rather steep price tag!

The Bioré Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips are on offer for £4.99 per box in Superdrug stores and online right now!
Weleda have been providing pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and dietary products for over 90 years, with a promise to use and source natural ingredients where possible.
The Weleda Pomegranate range recently won the prestigious CEW Eco Beauty award, which recognises brands for moving towards true stability and great sustainability within the environment.
'Pomegranate firming care' from Weleda is aimed mostly towards 40+ skin, but the Body Oil is a product marketed towards all.
The Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil is packaged in a bright red box with gold lettering, inside you will find an information sheet and bottle of oil. To dispense the product, simply twist off the cap and pour the product straight into your hand. I would personally prefer a pump-dispense mechanism to give better control over the release of product, but this is only a minor and personal matter!
When first using this product I got it completely wrong (note to self, read full application instructions in future...) - I applied it to dry skin which resulted in sticky, oily skin! Having read the instructions properly, I realised the oil is to be applied to damp skin following a bath or shower immediately. When applied correctly the oily formula sinks in quickly, leaving the skins surface with a gentle sheen and no signs of greasy or oily residue. You only need to apply a small amount, I'm impressed that such a small amount goes such a long way.
It is claimed that the Pomegranate Oil accelerates skin renewal by 50% in just two weeks of use, suggesting it is perhaps more suitable for more mature skin to reap the better benefits. Regardless, after one use my skin feels nourished and smoothed, and after two months of continued use my skin feels firmer and has a smoother, more even appearance.
The formula has a sweet but not sickly nor artificial scent of pomegranate, it's very fresh and fruity which means I love using this in the morning to wake me up and invigorate my skin.

If you're a fan of sweetly scented products and you're looking for a body oil with long term benefits such as firmer and more even skin, the Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil may be ideal for you!

Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil retails for £19.95 (*) from Weleda online and other Weleda stockists such as local pharmacies, I found it on lookfantastic.com for £15.95 here.
Barry M are becoming more and more popular since their drive for creative, fun and energetic television advertising; I have to say the 'Things that make you go 'mmm'' advert is very catchy indeed!
In my last post I wrote about Twist and Out nail polish remover, which featured my painted nails...I can reveal they are painted with Barry M 'Coral'.
'Coral' doesn't swatch to true-coral shade, it lacks a very gentle red/pink undertone and leans more orange - personally I would describe this shade as 'Tangerine Coral'. The shade itself is bright and bold, applying completely opaque in just two coats. It's an ideal shade to transport you to that summer feeling on both your fingers and toes.
I find Barry M polishes vary in their wear-time depending on the formula, 'Coral' lasts a good four days before chipping or showing visible tip wear.

Barry M Nail Paints retail for £2.99 each from Barry M stockists such as Boots and Superdrug.
Instant nail polish removers recently boomed in the nail care market when Bourjois released their Magic Nail Polish Remover. It's no secret that the dip and twist concept is nothing new, it's been about for years, but now it seems it's finally getting the recognition it deserves.
Unfortunately I found the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover to be a little too pricey and it dries out my fingernails, and while on the hunt for an alternative I stumbled across Emily from the Budget Beauty Guide's post about an 80p wonder alternative.
With so many lotions and potions available to us in the beauty market, the good old bar of soap seems to be left lurking in the corner - unloved and forgotten. Modern day technology and an increased awareness of bacteria seems to have shunned away our bar of soap in replacement for shower gels and hand gels in liquid form.
LUSH, leading retailer of vegan/vegetarian friendly products and users of natural ingredients where possible, sell an array of delicious soap bars and recently launched a 'Save Our Soaps' campaign. The campaign, in essence, is a battle to stop total replacement of bar soaps with liquid soap dispensers. You can read more about the campaign here.
Having thought about it properly, soap dispensers and shower gels produce a lot of waste packaging and generally don't last as long as a bar of soap. As a health conscious person, I personally shy away from a bar of soap for one reason - I dislike the idea of everybody putting their hands on the same bar of soap. To overcome my personal worry, the answer is simple, have my own bar of soap (revelation of the year, I tell you).
For the following month I'll be switching completely from bottled, liquid soaps to a bar of soap, and will report how the change went in a months time. My chosen soap is LUSH 'Rock Star', which I picked up in my local LUSH store.
LUSH soaps are cut to size based on how you would like from an oversized soap slab, and are then wrapped in tissue paper to keep them fresh. 'Rock Star' is a bright pink soap, if you're lucky enough your piece may feature a star shaped soap too (it all depends on where the piece is cut from the original soap slab, my piece unfortunately doesn't have one, boo!).
'Rock Star' produces a creamy lather on contact with water, it has a very smooth consistency and glides across the skin instantly. Straight after use I am left feeling clean and refreshed, the only difference I notice between using a soap bar and liquid soap is that the bar takes a little longer to use.
I do find the soap itself can be slightly drying, as like many soaps it contains Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, so to combat this I always follow-up with a moisturiser.
What I love about LUSH soaps is that they are soft enough to be cut with a clean, sharp knife, making your soap last that little bit longer and go a little further! I usually cut my larger piece into four or five smaller pieces and portion them around the house, for example, I'll place a piece in my bathroom to wash my hands and a piece in the shower to wash my body.
'Rock Star' has a very overpowering, sweet and sickly scent when sniffed as a bar; the strong scent may be slightly off-putting for some but for those who can bare it I say stick by it! Once the soap is wetted and massaged into the skin it deposits a delicate scent of sweet candy sugar over the skin which isn't overpowering at all. It makes a great replacement for my beloved 'Snow Fairy' shower gel, which is a limited edition Christmas-time exclusive from LUSH, once it's gone it's gone until next Christmas unfortunately.

LUSH 'Rock Star' Soap retails for £3.25/100g in store and online exclusively to LUSH, in store you can choose how much you want so prices vary depending on the size of your piece.

Will you be joining the Save Our Soap campaign and switching from liquid to bar soap, even if it's for a short period of time? Let me know your thoughts!
Batiste are the leading brand for dry shampoo, with a range of 14 dry shampoos available in high street stores. Batiste recently won my Battle of the Dry Shampoo contest, and is it any wonder why! At such an affordable price with such impressive and immediate results, Batiste are my number one go-to dry shampoo brand. With three sizes available you can have your Batiste on the go or on your beauty-shelf for those days where wash and go simply isn't an option.
The three latest releases from Batiste are Cherry (*), Lace (*) and Wild (*) - three different scents for three different personalities!

Batiste Cherry launched back in February this year, ideal for your sweet-side! It has fun and fruity cherry design which reminds me of retro prints with cherries all over!
The scent is slightly artificial, but smells delicious in the hair; it's sweet and fruity, lingering in the hair all day.
'Cherry' sprays a white powder into the hair, which you then rub in and brush out to reveal soft, revitalised and clean looking and feeling hair!

Batiste Lace is the newest release, launching just last month, it's elegant scent is ideal for your more feminine and seductive side. The bright pink, lace endorsed design captures the essence of what the product is about perfectly.
The scent is soft and very feminine and not at all overpowering, it has a slightly powdery note to it. It reminds me of scented beads which you keep in your underwear draw (LaSenza and Boux Avenue spring to mind).
'Lace' sprays a white powder into the hair, which you then rub in and brush out to reveal soft, revitalised and clean looking and feeling hair!

Batiste are running a competition to celebrate the launch of Lace, where entrants can win a £500 shopping spree with MissGuided! To enter, click here (closes July 31st 2012).

Batiste Wild is the oldest of the trio, it came to our shelves last November. The packaging is bang on the everlasting animal print trend, and is perfect for your wilder side!
The scent of Wild is possibly my favourite Batiste scent to date, it doesn't smell like a dry shampoo at all! It's spicy and musky and smells realistic too, again lasting in the hair all day.
'Wild' sprays a white powder into the hair, which you then rub in and brush out to reveal soft, revitalised and clean looking and feeling hair!

Batiste is available from all these UK stockists in store and online for £1.52/50ml, £2.99/200ml and £4.99/400ml.
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