Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer

30 June 2012

I have never ever fallen in love with a product so quickly as this Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer. Ever. It's vary rarely that on the first try of something I dance around singing 'I love my skin' seriously. It did make me do this! After hearing Pixiwoo rave on about it for so many months, it was the only thing I have reeeally wanted in my more recent wishlist, and I took the plunge and bought it a few weeks ago. I went for the Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer, as I love highlighters and products that give a highlighting effect, and the shade is Warm Radiance.

First off, packaging: nice easy to use tube with a nozzle that lets you squeeze as much or as little as you like out - perfect. You get 50mls which is a fair bit, and the tube isn't small! Consistency of the moisturizer is extremely lightweight, which is what you'd usually look for in a tinted moisturizer. I bought this with Summer and my holidays in mind, and it will suit perfectly in the evenings or during the day if you need a little bit of coverage, but nothing that will have you feeling caked. I've got it on my face now, and have been at athletics all afternoon, and my skin doesn't feel oily, greasy or heavy due to product, so it does its purpose well. It's not as thick as your average creamy moisturizer and is much thinner, but this is a bonus as it spreads so well and easily over the skin. If you have dry skin like me, your skin really will see the benefits of it being a moisturizer. The feature for this particular tinted moisturizer is the fact it's 'illuminating' and not the standard Laura Mercier one. The finish gives you a dewy, light complexion and you can definitely see a brighter effect to your face. You get a hint of sparkle due to the luminous effect, and in the sun you really get a bronzed but natural effect. This item isn't oil free so oilier skin types might not get on so well with it, but for the effect, you could use the oil free option that Laura Mercier offers in the tinted moisturizer collection and then use a highlighter afterwards. Longevity is pretty darn good I must say. Generally, it has been lasting me from 7am till 5pm, and if I'm out after work then I can touch up with a little more, but generally I haven't needed to. It also has that all important SPF 20 which is always a bonus.

This tinted moisturizer retails for £33, and some might think it a little steep for something that doesn't give fuller coverage, but if that's the reason, then you should really be looking for a foundation. For the results it gives as a lightweight, tinted, illuminating moisturizer, it truly works. I bought this item with Summer weather and holidays in mind, and my GOD has it worked so far. I couldn't recommend it enough. The only downside is the fact this version only has 5 shades which could be a let down for some, but fortunately, Warm Radiance is a perfect match for my skin and blends so beautifully well. I'd recommend hopping to a Laura Mercier counter and getting matched for the tinted moisturizers as sometimes the shades can look a little dark, but because they blend so well into the skin, you'd be surprised at how well they match and adapt to different skin shades! Would I buy this again? A million times yes. I can tell this is going to be more of a summer weather product (I'm going to buy the original LM tinted moisturizer for winter so it doesn't look too dewy), but it is totally £33 well spent.

-Tamsin xxx

Personalised Bag from The Friendly Party Bag Co.

26 June 2012

Meet my gorgeous new canvas bag, complete with personalisation! I'm absolutely in love with it and it comes from The Friendly Party Bag Co. This lovely company tries to create products that everyone will love, whilst helping the environment by recycling and not using plastic bags. Plastic bags do more harm than good and we are all offenders for this..don't try and pretend! Every plastic bag takes at least 400 years to bio-degrade, some possibly taking up to 1000 years which means not one single plastic bag has ever bio-degraded awful is that? Not to mention the fact that thousands of marine animals die every year mistaking plastic bags for food. I always try to say no to plastic bags and use a bag for life or pop the item in my handbag, but for when I can't do that, this is where my new personalised bag is going to come into the picture.

The Friendly Party Bag Company do fabulous party bags for kids (take note yummy mummies!) but they also do these fab personalised bags. 100% recycled cotton and completely free of chemicals..what could be better? Oh only the fact it has a very Cath Kidston'esque' personalised letter on the front. I absolutely love it and am definitely going to get use out of this bag loads. Tonight, it's coming with me to my zumba class so when I stop by the shop on the way there to get my mandatory bottle of water and banana, I can pop it in the bag, along with my towel. Perfect. It would definitely fit A4 documents and folders in it too, so great for school or the train to work.

This 'Upcycled Bag' retails for £12..what a great idea for a present maybe? You can find there website here and also their eBay shop here. I'd highly recommend this lovely, the items come wrapped so beautifully you don't want to open them! There's no cons ladies..just pros with this fabulous idea.

-Tamsin xxx

The Lazy Manicure

19 June 2012

This is my go-to manicure when I've had lots of bright colours or glitters on my nails over the week, I need a little break from the neons and precise painting and I just want to chill and do my nails really quickly with a nude, almost see-through effect. I call it 'The Lazy Manicure' as it really is so quick and easy that you do feel like you should be spending a little more time on your nails, but the truth is, it's so good and looks so effortless that the guilt is bittersweet!

Firstly, I start by using my four-way nail file - the four sides to this spongy rectangle are the steps you follow: shape, smooth, buff, and polish. I use this file when I want to do it quickly and I don't particularly want to spend the time doing my cuticles etc. It's quick, effective and does the job. I then use a base coat of OPI Natural Base Coat (not pictured) which just helps protect the nail from staining and keeps the nails strong. 

I then use OPI Hearts and Tarts and I usually use about three coats as I like my nails to look nude but glassy. Hearts and Tarts has that wonderful 'my nails but better' look. It's not opaque, but not clear, and has the most wonderful sheen but oh so subtle pink sheen when it catches the light. The formula is outstanding and it applies like a dream..I can't recommend it enough. Essie 'Limo-scene', 'Fed Up' and 'Delicacy' would all be good dupes for OPI Hearts and Tarts.

After this, I apply a coat of OPI Top Coat (not pictured) which adds another gorgeous shine and finish to the nails. Once dry, I moisturise my hands with L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream and I'm good to go. It's as simple as that and takes probably less than 10 minutes. Soft hydrated hands and beautiful shiny nails in no time at all.

-Tamsin xxx

Heel To Toe 'Moisture Rich Foot Masque'

17 June 2012

We're getting into the..shall I dare say 'Summer months' and our feet are usually on show a lot more than usual due to wearing flip flops and gorgeous sandals. We're on our feet all the time and it occurred to me the other day that I probably don't spend enough time pampering my feet as I probably should. When it comes to feet on blogs, a lot of people hate looking at them - don't worry I'm not going to bare my feet for the world to see, but I am going to tell you about a product I've been using this last week which has changed my feet completely.

Heel to Toe is a product of Sally's beauty supplies and I'd always overlooked it before, but while browsing the other day, I made myself buy something for my feet to give them a little bit of TLC. I went for the Moisture Rich Foot Masque for a bit of a more intense treatment. With scents of lavender, peppermint and avocado, it smells fresh and not too perfumed. The masque itself is quite a thick formula. It won't just trickle out of the bottle easily. I'd recommend shaking it before taking off the cap and then you should be able to squeeze out the masque. The idea is that you put the masque on your feet, wrap in a towel for 10 minutes, and then wash off in warm water. I used about a 50p size of the masque on each foot, massaged into feet paying special attention to the heels and then wrapped in a towel. After washing off, my feet felt like a baby's bum. No joke. My slightly cracked heels felt moisturised and hydrated, and then it made it easier to scrub the heels after. The masque has kept my feet and heels feeling a lot more moisturised since I've used it, and my feet look in a lot better condition, especially when the fake tan is on!

I bought the little 60ml travel size bottle as I wanted to try it out first, and I will definitely be buying the full size bottle when I've finished the little one up. I'm going to use the masque once a week during the Summer months I think to keep my feet in tip top condition. This size is perfect for travel too so would suit anyone going away on holiday..your feet will definitely need it with all the chlorine, salt water, sun and sand! The best news is that this little bottle is only £1. Yes really..£1. I've decided to be kind and if anyone would like to get their hands on the 60ml bottle if you don't have a Sally's near you, I'm happy to buy it and send it to you for £2 (£1 for the bottle and £1 for postage). If anyone is interested, just tweet me (@titchtamsin) or comment below :) I have a Sally's a 1 minute drive from me so I'm happy to help :)

-Tamsin xxx

Storage: Patterned tins

15 June 2012

I picked these fab tins up the other day in Tesco. They were £4.95 I believe which is great value for 3 good size tins, with an added decoration on. I'm overly patriotic and am completely in love with my home city, so these tins suited me perfectly with the London Red Buses on, not to mention the cute Grenadier Guards. You could use these tins for any makeup brush storage, mascaras, hairbrushes etc, but I didn't buy these tins for anything beauty related. I bought these for dog treat storage :) In the big tin has Max's food (he eats dried puppy food) and it fits a whole box in which is great. I have a little scoop for it which sits inside and is really convenient. In the middle tin are Max's 'milky bones' which are one of his fav treats. The smallest tin has any dentastix and rawhide treats in. They fit the purpose and look fab in the kitchen, whilst showing support and respect for London and our Armed Forces. What more could you want :)

You could of course use these sorts of tins for any type of beauty storage or food storage. Hope this gives you a little bit of patriotic inspiration!

-Tamsin xxx

Hair Raising #ClynolGrip Competition

13 June 2012

When Immediate PR tweeted about a competition to create a 'hair raising' hairdo with Clynol Grip Extra Strong Hairspray, I was beyond game! I love creating new hairdos and I'd never tried any hairspray from Clynol so it seemed like a great opportunity. The competition prize is to win tickets to Thorpe Park. Now I've been to Thorpe Park well over 100 times and just love it there so much..adrenaline junkie..I admit, so I decided to see if I could feature a little of Thorpe Park in my will be explained later! I knew I wanted to go for a 1960s style hairdo if I could, so out came the kirbygrips, hairbands, and of course, the Clynol Grip.

Firstly, I must say I love the design of the Clynol Grip. It's silver, sleek, nothing too over the top and promotes what I would say as being a typical salon product. Extra Hold hairsprays can often be quite sticky and overbearing, and at first when I sprayed it I thought my hair was never going to move. But after using a GHD paddle smoothing brush, my hair didn't feel sticky at all and I could style it quite easily. Now, back to the Thorpe Park in my hair idea. The ride Stealth is a bit of a trademark to Thorpe Park - fast, thrilling and high rise! This is my take on it:

What do you think? My 1960s bouffant bun cross Stealth hairdo?! I can't see it on the runway anytime soon, but it was fun to do! Here's how I achieved it:

*Split hair in half (top and bottom) and tie the bottom bit up for now
*Flip head over and spray roots with Clynol Grip
*Backcomb and flip head back up (you should have caraaaazay hair now..if not, keep backcombing!)
*Smooth using a smoothing paddle brush
*Gather hair and push up from the back, creating a very large bouffant/beehive effect
*Pin with (a million) kirbygrips
*Take bottom half of hair and twist into a bun (should be quite a small bun)
*Pin into place with more kirbygrips
*Spray with a generous amount of Clynol Grip

Hopefully you can see the effect I was going for. I wanted big big height in the bouffant, representing the height in the ride Stealth, and 'secureness' and strength from the Clynol Grip. I will admit I threw my head around wildly afterwards and not a hair moved from my head. Hopefully you can see how many millions of kirbygrips I had to use in the photos above! As far as buying this hairspray goes, I would 100% buy it again. I have so many problems with hairspray's not holding my hair, especially when I curl my hair, and this kept my hair so secure for hours. At £7.15 for 300mls, I think it's brilliant value for money, especially as it's intended for salon professional performance. I also need to add that the scent of the hairspray wasn't crazy toxic like some hairsprays can be. Usually my dog is coughing and spluttering along with me, but he happily sat on the bed watching me as I created the 'do' (probably thinking, wow you look caraaazay).

I hope you enjoyed my entry for the #ClynolGrip competition. It was brilliant fun to do and it was just as fun taking out all the kirbygrips ;)

For more info on Clynol Grip, go to the Clynol Website. To purchase, you can find it on Feel Unique, Hair Supermarket and Beauty Bay.

-Tamsin xxx

Caudalie S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum

11 June 2012

Caudalie is one of the more recent beauty blogger hypes, and for good reason too. I personally find skincare important and I've often found that quality is indeed what you need to get the best out of your skin, and so I don't mind paying a little more for a skincare product. Caudalie is priced quite well for the results you get I think, and widely available which is a bonus. I think one of my fav things about Caudalie, is that not only was it created by childhood sweethearts, but the main ingredients are from the vines you get when growing grapes - wine anyone? I was fortunate to receive this SOS Thirst Quenching Serum from Glossybox after winning a competition and after using it for about a month, I thought it was time to give my thoughts.

Packaging is typically Caudalie - minimalist, glassy and to the point. Personally, I love the glass bottles and although they do clunk a little in your makeup bag if you're on the move, they do look high quality. My bottle is a 30ml bottle, and over a month I've used about a third, which isn't too bad when you're using a product twice a day. Caudalie recommends to use twice daily, morning and evening, before your moisturiser which I've been doing. Now, I have dry skin so this product sounds perfect, and the truth is, it IS perfect. My skin has felt so revived since using this. It feels glowy, fresh, and most definitely hydrated. The consistency is very runny and milky, and a little stretches a long way. Plus, because it's so runny, it's very light on the skin and doesn't feel  like you're doused in product.

Would I buy again? Definitely yes. Fortunately I have over half of the product left which should last me until July/August I hope, but I'm happy to pay £26.10 for this life saver. You can buy it from Feel Unique and you get a free gift at the moment..tempted? I'd certainly be if I was near to running out! Has anyone else found this to be a miracle product for dry skin?

Also - apologies for not blogging in over a week. The Jubilee weekend seemed to take up so much time, and then we were busy moving house over 3 days - photos to come as soon as I can! Also, I'm really close to 600 followers - how exciting! Giveaway to come if I get there :)

-Tamsin xxx

Herbalife NouriFusion Eye Gel review

1 June 2012

A while back, I was sent a couple of NouriFusion products from Herbalife. This is my first of three reviews. The eye gel comes in a squeezy tube, perfect for getting a good application of the amount of gel you'd like to use. It's hygienic and easy which is always a good thumbs up. I have quite sensitive skin around the eyes and have to be careful on what I use around it or I get serious stinging and watery eyes. This gel proved to have nothing that would hurt my eye area at all which was really great. It's very cooling and almost aloe vera-ish, so you get a real soothing feel when you use it. Plus, it does have a slight green tinge to it! Another good thing is that it's suitable for all skin types..hooray! In Herbalife's NouriFusion range, they have a great use of Vitamins A, C and E which are all great for the skin, locking in moisture, preventing premature ageing, boosting the skins immune system and regulating skin pigmentation, so you can be certain you're getting a good deal here and not just a mere cooling gel for the eyes.

For this good deal, it's £24.70 which isn't cheap, but some skincare products are a lot more expensive so it depends how you want to look at it. For sensitive skin, I'd recommend it. If it worked for me, I'd love to think it would work for you as my eye area is crazy sensitive. However, please remember that everyone's skin is different so bear this in mind. I'm almost at the end of the tube and it's making me sad! I think I may repurchase, but probably for my holiday in December - I think it would work really well in cooling and soothing after a day in the sun :)

-Tamsin xxx