Friday, 31 August 2012

L'Oreal INOA Colour Capture

L’Oréal Professionnel broke new ground with INOA, L’Oréal Professionnel’s first no ammonia,
permanent hair colour – and now they’re bringing us another amazing and innovative new
smartphone app, INOA Colour Capture.
Using augmented reality and geolocation technology, INOA Colour Capture sends users on a mission to capture thousands of virtual INOA colour bubbles in participating salons across the UK and Ireland. By capturing a bubble, consumers can win a luxurious INOA Hair Colour service or a fantastic INOA Colour Care sample pack at all participating salons.

On September 3rd, thousands of these bubbles will be released across the UK and Ireland where consumers will be able to capture virtual  bubbles on their mobile phones in three exciting ways.

These virtual colour bubbles represent two different types of prizes:

♥ Over 15,000 INOA Nationwide complimentary colour services available in salons Nationwide

♥ Over 90,000 INOA colour care sample packs (one shampoo, one masque & one conditioner)

When a prize bubble is captured the winner can make their INOA colour booking or collect their INOA sample pack from salon, depending on the bubble captured. There are 3 exciting ways of capturing the bubbles Street view, Map view and List view as below:

The bubbles are under wraps at the moment but you can register your interest in downloading the app
at right now. Get ready – there’s going to be an explosion of colour when all the
bubbles are released! The iNOA colour bubbles won’t be around forever though; INOA lovers will only have until September 30th to capture them and win these great prizes!

♥ ♥ ♥

I've already registered and will definitely be getting the app. Looking forward to popping a bubble or two! What are your thoughts on this new generation of brand interaction?

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Monday, 27 August 2012

Sunday Shopping Stash

So, I totally didn't go wandering into Boots for two things and coming out with £40+ worth of stuff. Oh no. But you know, 10 points per pound and a cheeky scan of a double points coupon - what's not to love?

First up, I was in need of a new shower gel and I decided to branch out and get something new. I loved a previous Radox Shower Smoothie so I decided to try a new scent which smells heavenly! Very fruity and conjures up images of sunnier climbs. I can dream eh? I picked up a new Spa shower cream which is perfect for relaxing, its got a lovely mellow scent. Pretty sure these were buy one get one free :D

I spent a while perusing the cosmetics aisles and I knew I definitely needed to try Revlon's answer to Clinique's Chubby Sticks. I picked up Crush as it was the only one that stood out for me and I know I'll get a lot of use out of this in the winter months. I'll try and do a comparison post as I also own a Chubby Stick. On a whim, I picked up the Collection Gel Eyeliner in Teal and a Balmi Strawberry Lip Balm which I am loving! It's so small and cute!

Now, I'm not usually a L'Oreal fan and I haven't bought anything from the brand since my teens. Quite a long time ago! Having seen May's post where she mentioned the Colour Riche French Riviera polish, I had to pop this in my basket. I also got Luxembourg Gardens that I'd seen on Liloo's blog an absolute age ago. I'm a sucker for a gift with purchase (aren't we all?!) and if you currently spend £15 on L'Oreal you can pick up the new Nail It, Gloss It, Wing It kit, so I bought a Rouge Caresse lippie in Tempting Lilac which looks gorgeous. Having left the vast L'Oreal stand for pastures new, I was sucked in by an end of aisle promo board and knew I absolutely had to have the Infallible Shadow in Innocent Turquoise. The GWP was surprisingly packed full of goodies! There's two full sized Colour Riche polishes with some nail guides, a full size Super Liner and a full size Glam Shine gloss. Plus you get a sachet of True Match foundation which of course is too dark for me, and a sachet of the Nude Magique BB Cream which comes in Medium. I previously swatched the lightest version and my hand turned Tango orange. I kid you not. Also tucked in the box is a 'how to' guide for nails, lips and eyes. I'll definitely be trying out the mani on the box!


L-R: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush, L'Oreal Rouge Caresse in Tempting Lilac, L'Oreal Colour Infallible Shadow in Innocent Turquoise, Collection Lasting Colour Gel Eyeliner in Teal, L'Oreal Glam Shine in Magnetic Nude Glow, L'Oreal Superliner Luminizer in Brown

♥ ♥ ♥

I also managed to test Lady Gaga's debut fragrance, Fame. It smells absolutely gorgeous and a steal at £25 for 25ml or £32 for 50ml. I'm determined to get it with my Boots points. Only 70 to go!

Have you been shopping lately? Picked up any good bargains?

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Blog Sale

Just a quick post today to say that my blog shop has been updated with new items and I've reduced lots of prices. So why don't you go and bag yourself a bargain?

There's lots to choose from including MAC, Liz Earle, Kryolan, No 7 etc.

Click here to shop :)

♥ ♥ ♥

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Friday, 17 August 2012

August Glossybox: The International Superstars Box

The August Glossybox* is all about hero products from around the world that have cult status in their native country.

First up we have an eye shadow palette from Spanish brand Vera Valenti. It looks cheap and tacky (sorry to all you Vera loving Spanish Senoritas). There are a few good shades in there but I wasn't an overwhelmed Olivia if I'm honest. And it would seem its not just the UK that are plagued with those terrible eye shadow applicators. Although they do come in handy for ombre nail art!

Following on from the Glossybox branded accessories I've received of late, they've branched out into cosmetics and we have the first Glossybox lipstick in Glossy Pink. Its not what I'd call pink but it is a good staple lip colour. It has that generic lipstick smell - know the one I mean? - it doesn't look particularly glossy and it feels a bit greasy on the lips. Not one for me I'm afraid.

Carrying on the lip trend and flying the flag for the UK is Lipcote. I actually bought a bottle of Lipcote a few weeks ago, and I won't lie, I hate this product. It stinks, it tastes absolutely vile and its about as useful as a chocolate teapot. And don't get me started on the horrible splayed brush applicator.

Next up we have the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil from Japan. Sceptical Sandra has come out of her box again. Oil on my face to remove make up? I haven't yet tested it on my face but I have swatched stuff on my hand and removed it with this. It takes a bit of elbow grease but it works. Also in August's box is the All For Eve Eve's Balm. According to the insert, its not flying the flag for any country but I suspect its a third UK product. This is at least the third multi-tasking balm I've received in a Glossybox. Come on chaps, some variety please! Eve's Balm has that lovely, soothing scent and it's moisturising without being greasy. Perfect handbag size and good for using on cuticles I find.

The only product I'm actually intrigued by in this box is the Pro White Original Effect Polish from German brand Alessandro. Its an optically brightening polish with an anti-yellowing formula for radiant white and gleaming nails. Any nail polish addict like myself will know how hard it is to obtain white natural looking nails when they barely ever go without polish. I can't wait to see if prolonged use will help! I'll keep you updated.

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you received the August Box? If you're from any of the listed countries, let me know if you think of the products as cult products - are they must haves?

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* PR gift - disclaimer

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

July Glossybox: The Festival Edition

This is the first of two Glossybox posts this week as the August box has just landed on my desk!

I think this has been the first Glossybox that I've been disappointed by. Don't get me wrong, I think a festival edition is a good idea, I just thought it'd have more festival appropriate products in. I'm thinking multi-tasking products. I'm no festival goer, but I just think the choice of items could have been better. Anyway, on to what was in the box!

I'm a bit funny with skincare samples. They tend to sit unused and unloved for ages basically because I'm a bit of a sceptical Sandra really. I mean I love the current products I use, so why would I want to change and try something that might potentially upset my skin? However, things like this are great for sticking in my make up bag if I'm going away for a night and I'm being a space saving Stella*.

*I'll stop with the names soon. Maybe.

Monu have been a recurring brand in Glossyboxes past and I seem to have amassed a few products from them. The green Calming Cream claims to tone down redness on the face which I am a bit prone to sometimes. I've used similar products before that just don't work and I can't say this amazed me. Can't really see how it's a festival product but maybe that's just me? Also in the box was a Collin Regenerating Collagen Gel. I'm no droopy Daphne** by any stretch of the imagination so again I don't quite see why this was included considering the target market of Glossybox.

** Or not ;)

Now on to the items that I'd expect to find in a festival edition of Glossybox!

The two products that really excited me were the Jelly Pong Pong Lip Frosting and the Kryolan Satin Powder. I'd not tried anything from Jelly Pong Pong before and I was sucked in by the cute packaging. But that's where my excitement stopped. Although the lip frosting is a beautiful almost hot pink shade, it is very heavily scented of, no not Irish Cream Pavlova, but Bubblegum. Pong whiffy. (See what I did there?) Not my cup of tea at all. My inner disappointed Dot*** turned her nose up in disgust. The Kryolan Satin Powder faired slightly better. It's a lovely bright peach shade with added shimmer that is a lovely summer colour, perfect for those lazy days when you want a wash of eye brightening colour. It reminds me a teeny bit of MAC Melon pigment. Check it out in the swatches at the end of the post. Kryolan are a great brand and I'd love to see their products in future boxes.

*** Nah, having too much fun with these

The final product in the July box was a texturising sea spray from Paul Mitchell. Spritz, scrunch, go. Easy peasy lemon squeezy volumised, festival appropriate hair with an interesting scent of ginger.


Top to bottom: Jelly Pong Pong Irish Cream Pavlova Lip Frosting, Kryolan Satin Powder in SP333 heavily swatched, Kryolan Satin Powder in SP333 blended out

Top to bottom: Jelly Pong Pong Irish Cream Pavlova Lip Frosting, Kryolan Satin Powder in SP333 heavily swatched, Kryolan Satin Powder in SP333 blended out

♥ ♥ ♥

Which products would you have liked to have seen in this box? Do you have any festival going faves?

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♦ PR gift - this has no reflection in the content of my post

Monday, 13 August 2012

Review: Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

Continuing on my quest for increased staying power in my make up, I was lucky enough to receive Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray in a giveaway that I won absolutely ages ago from Safiyah

All Nighter promises to keep your make up in place for an 'unbelievable' 16 hours with a just-applied look thanks to it's groundbreaking, hypoallergenic formula which was created in an exclusive partnership with Skindinavia, who, incidentally make the world's best selling make up setting sprays. As I've mentioned before, I do have sensitive skin, so I was pleased to see All Nighter is hypoallergenic and I haven't experienced any irritation. 

Urban Decay claim that All Nighter keeps make up looking just-applied all day thanks to its Temperature Control Technology which means your make up won't melt when it's hot and humid or become dehydrated when it's cold. Pretty amazing huh? Not only that, but they claim it feels weightless with a micro-mist that distributes product evenly all over the skin. 

I apply my make up as usual and set with a very light dusting of powder before gently misting All Nighter over my face, after a good ol' shake of course. Urban Decay recommend applying in an X and T formation. I just lightly spritz my face any old how to be honest. All Nighter is weightless, dries instantly and keeps my make up looking perfect all day regardless of what the weather's doing. And that's amazing considering our changeable weather here in Blighty. I don't tend to use this every day, but I do use it if I know I'm going out or will be having a particularly long day and it keeps my make up looking incredibly flawless all day and all night. No need to cart a make up bag around with me. Thumps up! 

Available from: Debenhams
Price: £19.00
Size: 118ml


Product: 10/10
Price: 8/10
Packaging: 10/10
Overall: 9/10
Repurchase: When I run out, yes.

♥ ♥ ♥

Do you use a setting spray? Which products do you use to help increase the longevity of your make up?

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Friday, 10 August 2012

Review: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat

I'm always on the look out for products to help prolong the life of my foundation. In my latest quest, I've been using a mattifying moisturiser. I've heard many people mention how good La Roche-Posay are, so back in June when Boots were having a mega 3 for 2 skincare deal, I picked this up. Quite a bold move for me to spend £15 on a moisturiser I hadn't heard much about but I'm pleased to say it does exactly what it says on the box!

This product is designed to work on oily sensitive skin. It claims to have an oil-free blotting effect texture with a proven long lasting mattifying effect resulting in moisturized, mattified skin immediately which works excellently as a make up base. Prolonged use in mornings and/or evenings claims to refine skin texture, tighten pores and slow down sebum production.

Let's break that down. I'll start with a bit about my skin. First thing in a morning, my skin is fine but if I don't set my foundation I get shine in the usual places along my T-zone as the day goes on. My skin has always been a bit sensitive so I always make sure I use something that isn't going to irritate it. I tend to only use this in the morning after cleansing. I let it sink in for a few minutes before applying my foundation. It leaves my skin soft, hydrated, matte and is fine to apply liquid foundation over.

Recently I've been rotating four foundations and I've used this moisturiser with each one. To give you a rough idea of an average day, I'll apply my base make up around an hour before I go to work, sit in an office for 8 hours (and often run around like a yo-yo) and then toddle off home. I like my foundation to look good until I at least get home so I can touch it up if I'm going out. Or you know, take it off ASAP and lounge around in my PJs. Don't judge ;)

So, on good skin days, I've found Effaclar Mat works incredibly well under Kryolan Ultra Fluid Foundation (set with a light dusting of Kryolan Anti-Shine Powder). I've mainly been using and loving it under Missha BB Cream (again set with a light dusting of Kryolan Anti-Shine Powder). This has been my day to day base combination and it works incredibly well. I will have to use an extra dusting of powder if I go out but thats just my skin and let's remember I'm not a huge fan of the dewy look. I'm trying to embrace it but its just not happening! If you read my Illamasqua Light Liquid Review you'll know that the longevity of that foundation is my bug bear. I'm pleased to report that Effaclar Mat does help to make it last longer. Now, you know I'm one to jump on a beauty bandwagon so recently I purchased the much-hyped YSL Touche Eclat foundation. I was a tad wary as some people have said its not for oily skin but I have to say, using Effaclar Mat and a light dusting of powder helps it to stay on my skin for a full working day.

I didn't have a problem with my skin texture before but I've noticed my skin feels really soft and smooth lately. I haven't really noticed a difference in my pores. I don't have large pores but if you look closely you can see them. I would say it has had an impact on sebum production - any residual shine I do get appears much later during the day compared to before I started using this product.

A quick note about the packaging, it comes in a lovely slim tube with a flip lid. Give it a gentle squeeze and you can easily control how much product comes out. This becomes a pain when you're coming to the end of a tube as the bottle is firmer towards the base and I found the plastic lid kept coming off. A minor niggle really!

As I said, I use this product every morning and I've found my tube has lasted around a month and a half. You literally need a small pea sized amount to cover your whole face so it's quite good value.

Available from: Boots (larger stores) & Escentuals (currently on offer at £12.75!)
Size: 40ml
Price: RRP £15


Product: 9/10
Price: 8/10
Packaging: 9/10
Overall: 9/10
Repurchase: Already have!

♥ ♥ ♥

Congratulations if you got to the end of that epic review! Do you use a mattifying moisturiser? Do you find they make a difference to the longevity of your makeup?

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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

NOTD: Essie Topless & Barefoot

I think this polish may have become my favourite 'go to' polish to use when I'm lacking inspiration. It's such a beautiful nude. Simple and elegant and I can't stop looking at my nails. Its not often that happens for me!

In the above photo I'm wearing 2 good coats of Topless and Barefoot and I've used Illamasqua's Base and Top Coats - two products I absolutely cannot live without. If you want a super shiny, long-lasting mani then I recommend that you get this awesome duo for your collection :D

♥ ♥ ♥

Do you have a favourite 'go to' polish?

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Friday, 3 August 2012

These are a few of my favourite things

♥ Illamasqua Powder Blush in Naked Rose
A beautifully pigmented neutral beige pink blush that is perfect for every day wear. I've been wearing this every single day since I got my mitts on it!

♥ Illamasqua Nail Top Coat
I *think* I've found the perfect top coat. Glides on, seals polish incredibly well for a long lasting wear and I haven't experienced any shrinkage. And no gloopiness. Take *that* Seche Vite.

♥ GOSH Catchy Eyes Mascara
If you like long, defined lashes that can hold a curl, this mascara is for you. It really enhances my lashes better than any other mascara I've tried recently. My only gripe with it is that it transfers from my lower lashes but I find that with most mascaras.

♥ Lanolips 101 Ointment
I received a sample sachet from a blog sale and I fell in love so quickly that I rushed out to buy a tube at the earliest opportunity. I use this on my lips and its my perfect lip balm and it's great popped over the top of lippie in place of gloss as its non sticky but leaves a gorgeous long lasting shine.

♥ Burts Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
This totally takes the crown for best cuticle cream ever. It moisturises and hydrates without being greasy which is a welcome change to the previous cuticle creams I've tried. And it has the most beautiful zesty lemon scent!

♥ ♥ ♥

Which products have you been loving lately?

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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Things I learnt in July 2012


001. Plastic bags wrapped around exhaust bags smell.

002. I dislike disorganised people.

003. Sometimes I feel undervalued, and take things to heart way too much.

004. Praise. Well hello, its been a while!

005. Fifty Shades is every bit as good as people say it is - don't knock it until you've tried it

006. I need to shake the whole not being 100% cool with being home alone thing...

007. I make the most amazing brownies. Nom nom.

008. Life is whizzing by at an alarming rate.


009. I get so frustrated with people who cannot do their own job properly!

010. Spiderman is not a cool film to see if you dislike spiders and reptiles.

011. Its bliss when you're not being hassled every 5 minutes by an interfering busybody.

012. I have a RIDICULOUS amount of nail polishes...

013. Watching YouTube gurus always helps me learn something new

014. Cream blush works over powder. Who knew?

015. Ombre nails are a lot easier to do than I thought!


016. Mondays at work can be chilled. Who knew?!

017. Flat foundation brushes never work for me.

018. London never fails to amaze me!

019. I most definitely require at least 8 hours sleep.

020. I cannot resist the temptation of an iced latte!

021. The escalators at my local Odeon are scary :/

022. Hyacinths smell beautiful

023. Turns out I am recognised as a valuable asset.
024. Illamasqua Collide polish is a compliments winner!

025. Urban Decay Naked 2 is a beautiful palette

026. I need to reevaluate my nail polish collection - too many unloved bottles

027. Premier Inn beds are amazing

028. Lyme Park (aka Pemberley if you're a Pride & Prejudice fan) is beautiful

029. I get bored of shopping too easily

030. Haddon Hall (or Thornfield if you're a Jane Eyre fan) is gorgeous. Shame Mr Rochester wasn't there ;)

031. Crossaints for breakfast are a perfect way to start the day

♥ ♥ ♥

How was July for you?

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