Tuesday, 30 April 2013

April Instagram

Peek 'a' Boo | Mmm doughnuts.. | Sunshine and cerveza | Banksy got Mum's wheelie bin!? | Cutty Sark | Burger feast at Byron | Pearl Lowe for GlossyBox | Starbucks fix | Blossom on the trees | Play time with the little one | The 'hottest day of the year' | Breakfast on a beautiful morning |

Follow me on Instagram: beautyblahblahblah

Tamara x

Monday, 29 April 2013

Salon Review: Hectik Hair

Hectik Hair is a chic and stylish unisex hairdressers situated  in Bromley, Kent that offers fantastic hair services in styling, cutting and colouring. It has a professional team of highly qualified hairdressers who strive to give immaculate service to their clients on a day to day basis. The interior of the salon itself is beautifully modern and you could easily mistake yourself for walking into a top central London hair boutique. Hectik Hair has an uplifting atmosphere with top chart hits from the likes of Rita Ora and Avicii playing in the sound system and incredibly friendly staff who you can have a good old chit chat with. 

I had initially purchased an online deal from wahanda.com which entitled me to a cut and blow dry for just £20 and since my hair had recently been misbehaving I thought I would book an appointment sooner than later. On my visit I was greeted by a friendly member of staff at the front desk and despite showing up slightly early for my appointment I was seen to within minutes by Style Director Dominic who welcomed me with a smile and an upbeat attitude. I ran through exactly what I wanted done and he seemed completely confident about my requirements so I knew I was left in good hands.

My hair was given a brilliant cut and finish, I have been freed of my awful split ends and a great deal of weight has been taken away from my thick heavy locks. I now have much more shape to my barnet and it has become much more manageable.

Hectik Hair uses and sells products from KMS California, ghd, Cloud Nine and Goldwell

Colour and highlight/lowlight services prices start from £24.95*

The salon has excellent opening hours offering services until late and if you have a rather busy lifestyle you can fit an appointment during your lunch break, my visit was less than an hour so you'll have plenty of time for a quick wash, cut and blow dry. You can get 50% off any service on your first visit to the salon and special deals can be found on the Hectik Hair website. 

Many thanks to my stylist Dominic and Managing Director Vas

For further information you can visit: http://www.hectik-hair.co.uk/

Or follow on Twitter @HECTIKHAIR 

35 Market Square, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1NF

Tamara x

NOTE: I was not paid to write this review, it was entirely my decision to write about my experience. I was granted permission by the Managing Director to write this piece and all photographs have been approved. 

Empties of the Month

(Left to Right)

RITUALS Magic Touch
Such a beautifully scented body lotion this has been a real treat for my skin. Made with natural ingredients including Rice milk, Shea butter and Cherry Blossom it's gentle on the skin with a soft creamy texture that feels wonderful when applied. I like to use this after a hot bath or shower to lock in moisture whilst leaving my skin fragrant. 

THE BODY SHOP Tea Tree Pore Minimiser
I purchased this product after it was recommend by Corrie as one of her favourite products of last year. I always like to keep shine at bay and this has helped to mattify my skin and reduce the appearance of pores and so I have been using this as a base before applying my make up everyday. I've really benefited from the Tea Tree selection at The Body Shop, I regularly use the 'Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash' and the 'Tea Tree Blotting Tissues.'

DOVE Nourishing Oil leave-in conditioning & care spray
This has been my holy grail this Spring and I have been using it so excessively simply because of how much I love it! It's like summer in a bottle, it smells absolutely gorgeous and is enriched with Almond, Argan and Coconut oils. I have been using this on damp hair before styling, simply spraying onto my locks for an extra conditioning boost. My hair instantly becomes smoother and tangle free without feeling weighed down or sticky.

LIZ EARLE Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer
I'm grieving slightly over the fact this has now run dry as it has done my skin so much good. Along with the 'Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser' this was part of the 'Liz Earle Skincare Starter Gift' set which I received at Christmas last year. This is a lovely and lightweight toner which I have found to be really effective at evening my skin tone and reducing redness on my face. It has a delightful, subtle fragrance of Aloe Vera and Cucumber which instantly cools the skin. 

NO 7 Beautiful Skin Foaming Cleanser
The 'Beautiful Skin' range for normal/oily skin by No 7 at Boots has been a breakthrough in my personal skin care routine. This is an inexpensive product that I would highly recommend for those with oily skin types seeking to control shine. It leaves my face feeling cleansed and refreshed daily ridding any excess oil and dirt, I have also found this product removes make up incredibly well too. My skin feels much more matte after use and I think this product is much more reliable than premium branded skin care I have previously tried. 

MONU Night Renewal Complex
I've been making an effort to use up forgotten skin care samples hidden away in my draw, one of them being this 'Night Renewal Complex' facial moisturiser from Monu. This isn't anything special it acts as an average moisturiser and I definitely wouldn't purchase the full sized product it has, however, been practical for popping into my weekend travel bag when staying over at the boys house. 

BLISS Blood Orange + White Pepper Body Butter
This body butter is just perfect to use for Spring/Summer as it has a deliciously vibrant, zesty fragrance of Blood Orange. The product melts into the skin leaving it super soft, it has a smooth, light consistency and revitalises my skin so well. As this is a citrus scented lotion I think it is perfect for to use on summer days or to take on holiday. 

Tamara x

Saturday, 27 April 2013

10-Day Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup Trial

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup - £27.50 30ml

Although I'm pretty settled with my current foundation choice, Lancome's 'Teint Idole Ultra 24H'I still can't help but think there could be something even better out there for me. I often struggle to find the perfect foundation that gives full coverage and that is kind to my oily, blemish prone skin. 

Over the past week or so Estée Lauder has offered a 10-day trial of the 'Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup' for a limited period, so I dashed into my nearest Debenhams store to get my colour match and of course my 4ml sample. I've heard  positive things about the 'Double Wear' foundations so I had high hopes for this one although I was a little hesitant due to a past bad experience with Estée Lauder's Invisible Fluid Makeup. Despite being completely won over by the trial sample  I was greatly disappointed once I had purchased the full sized product. The consistency was ridiculously thin regardless of how much I shook the bottle and it broke me out terribly!

Nevertheless I thought I'd give the brand a second chance and so I put the 'Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup' to the test. The product is available in 30 shades to suit all skin tones and my match was 'Dawn'. The formula is wonderful on my oily skin as it allows my skin to breathe under the surface even on the most humid of days and with the recent hot weather we've had in London it's worked a treat. It's long lasting and I never felt the need to touch up during the day, it gives such full coverage that doesn't budge the slightest. Although this is a durable foundation I wouldn't consider it to be the best for day to night wear, it'll do good for up to 12 hours however if you have a long night ahead after a day at work you may need to reapply. I also found that a little goes a long way with this foundation, I simply dab dots onto my cheeks, nose, chin and forehead then blend in with a brush to give a lovely even, natural look to my skin. 

I would definitely recommend the 'Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup' for those with oily, blemished skin longing for full coverage and a shine free complexion. This is a matte finish foundation so it wouldn't suit anyone seeking a dewy glow for their skin. I think this could possibly be my new foundation favourite it ticks all my boxes and I rate it highly. 

Tamara x

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

GlossyBox: Spring Fever

I think it is fair to say that all of us 'Glossies' have been lusting over this month's beautiful box, exclusively designed by fashion and textiles siren Pearl Lowe. The inspiration for this box was Pearls' personal love for all things vintage and floral, a perfect representation of the Spring season . 

CRABTREE & EVELYN Somerset Meadow Hand Therapy 
This is a wonderful hand cream soon to be launched at the end of this month by Crabtree & Evelyn, whom I have always been aware of but have not yet owned anything by the brand. This product was a delightful addition to my box and has now found a permanent home in my hand bag so it's always at close reach. The lotion is delicate on the hands and is perfectly moisturising without feeling greasy or heavy on the skin. It is beautifully scented with Shea butter and Macadamia nut oil whilst enriched with both Vitamins C and E.  

NIP +  FAB Dry Skin Fix Body Butter 
Nip + Fab body butters are utterly gorgeous, they come in scrumptious scents and leave skin feeling soft and pampered. I received the butter in 'Pistachio Sundae' which I currently own as a a full sized tub, it has a 'good enough to eat' fragrance and a vibrant colour of green. The lotion melts into the skin well and leaves my body deliciously fragrant. Since I already own the full product I may give this sample away as a gift or save it for travel occasions as it is such a useful size to pack. 

ILLAMASQUA Medium Pencil
This is actually my first Illamasqua product and admittedly I wish it had been something I would get more use out of. This is a multi-purpose pencil, it can either be used on the water line of your eyes or as a lip liner to give definition. I was slightly baffled as I found that the shade of the pencil could only really work for my lips and in no way for my eyes. The shade I received was 'Strumpet' which is a strong red which would in no doubt work to line lips but I can't even imagine outlining my eyes with it.

YVES ROCHER FRANCE So Elixir Yves Rocher Eau de Parfum
Honestly I wasn't expecting much from this perfume but I was beyond surprised when I first gave it a sniff. This is a sultry, floral fragrance consisting of Patchouli, Tuberose and Vetiver wearable for both day and night. A true statement scent sure to attract attention and reward you with compliments. 

ESSIE Nail Laquer
I adore this nail polish! It was literally love at first sight as soon as it stared back at me from inside the box. This is shade 'Bikini So Teeny' which is a powder blue with a hint of lilac which I think is a lovely shade to wear in the sunshine. It's almost comparable to Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine shade 'Blueberry' but of course without the glossy appearance. The polish itself is extremely durable and applies well onto the nails.

Tamara x

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pore & Shine Daily Scrub

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pore & Shine Daily Scrub - £2.99* introductory offer at Boots

So yet again I've been drawn into buying another mattifying skin care product. This is the recently launched 'Visibly Clear Pore & Shine Daily Scrub' by Neutrogena, developed to target problematic skin helping to reduce pores and leave the face free from shine.

The product has a delicious fruity scent of Tangerine and Lime which help to refresh and rejuvenate the skin in an instant. This is a daily use product but I've chosen to use it around every other day to avoid my skin becoming dry as I have always found that using mattifying products too often rids off all oil and not just excess oil alone. When it comes to facial scrubs I really like the consistency to be gritty and tough enough to unclog my pores effortlessly however the micro-beads of this product are rather soft and I found I really needed to work them into my skin with my fingers to feel their effect. The product rinses off well with water without any residue being left behind. My skin definitely feels much more matte after use appearing smoother and grease free, a perfect surface before applying my make up for the day.

Although this scrub is pleasant to use I wouldn't rate it as a top choice and I'm undecided on whether I would repurchase it in future. I think it is worth giving a go if, like me, you have oily skin and are seeking an inexpensive mattifying solution. 

Tamara x

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express Waterproof Mascara

Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express Waterproof Mascara - £7.99

Maybelline mascaras are never really an option for me, I find them quite average and I think the result claims are always exaggerated. The 'Rocket Volum' Express' mascara is the latest to be launched and promises to give lashes up to 8x more volume in an instant. I was actually given this by my Mum who had tried it herself beforehand but was left disappointed, nevertheless I thought I'd see whether it worked for me. 

On first impressions I was immediately put off by the plastic applicator, I really dislike brushes such as this one and straight away I knew I wasn't going to get on with this mascara. This is supposedly clump-free but I found there to be quite a few small clumps that built up as I applied the product, especially on my lower lashes. Since this is the waterproof edition of the 'Rocket Volum' Express' it is quite tedious to remove, a facial wash and water really isn't enough for the the mascara to budge, despite finding a few lashes had been pulled out in the process, so I had to follow up with a make up remover. I find that small bits of the the product get left behind and irritate my eyes regardless of my best efforts to take it all off. The only thing I do like about this mascara is the black intensity of the product, my lashes do appear more defined and much bolder however it doesn't live up to it's '8x' more guaranteed impact.

Tamara x

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

St Tropez Naturals Self Tan Lotion

St Tropez Naturals Self Tan Lotion 200ml - £26.59 £5

As you may know I'm always keeping an eye out for beauty at a bargain and once again I thought I had found a cheap and cheerful treasure. My local Boots usually has some nifty reductions and on this particular visit it happened to be tanning products, one of which was this self tan lotion from the 'Naturals' range from St Tropez. This lotion regularly retails at £23.99* and I was stunned to see it going for just a fiver so of course I had to purchase it! It wasn't made clear on the packaging whether this was an instant or a gradual tanner and there was no indication of what the tan intensity of the product was (normal to medium/medium to dark) so buying this product was a bit of a gamble. I soon came to realise this was is a gradual tanner to be used 2 or 3 times a week depending on how much you wish to build up the tan.

'Naturals' is a range consisting of completely natural ingredients and specifically suits those with sensitive skin. The key element of this range is Vegetan which is considered to be a 'naturally derived self-tanning ingredient' sourced from vegetables. The range offers products for both the face and body all promising a natural glow for your skin.

The self tan lotion itself is much too thick for my liking, it was rather a struggle to spread across my skin so much so I had to use a regular body moisturiser with it just to ensure it had been applied evenly with no risk of streaks appearing later on. Although the thickness is off-putting the lotion doesn't weigh heavy on my skin and I wasn't left feeling sticky or greasy like I usually do from tanning lotions.The scent is very unusual and in no way as pleasant as the regular St Tropez tanning range. It has a strong herbal like fragrance upon application but to my disappointment a few hours on I began to notice that typical biscuity fake tan smell on my skin which I really wasn't expecting from this product. Results began to show around 2 or 3 hours later and admittedly they were quite average, there's certainly no 'wow factor' about this lotion and I'm amazed at how high it retails for what it is. All in all my skin does appear evenly bronzed but the lotion just doesn't give the most convincing 'natural' tan. After around three days the tan did begin to fade so another application was required.

I had high expectations for this lotion and I'm gutted it hasn't turned out to be a self tan marvel and I will probably use it only occasionally. Lucky for me that I only paid a small price for this product but I am sure those who bought it at £26.59* felt a little cheated. I now wish I opted for the self tan milk as it is apparently much more light weight on application but in future I won't be repurchasing from the 'Naturals' range.

Tamara x

Friday, 12 April 2013

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - £4.19

OK, so it has taken me a ridiculously long time to jump on the 'Lasting Perfection Concealer' bandwagon but hey better late than never right? I purchased the all famous concealer whilst it was on offer at Superdrug for around £1 less than the regular retail price and I thought it was about time to see what all the fuss is about. Unfortunately the only shades in stock were the lightest and darkest out of the four skin tone choices , 'Fair 1' and 'Deep 4', and since I wasn't patient enough to wait and come back another time I opted for No 1. I generally tend to pick a concealer slightly lighter than my skin tone since my foundation is usually a little darker so it balances out. 

I don't have the fairest of skin tones so this did turn out to be rather too light for me personally although under foundation it isn't so much of an issue but I think shade 'Light 2' would be a better match for me and maybe even shade 'Medium 3' once I have tanned over the Summer. My face doesn't feel weighed down or caked with make up, the product itself blends incredibly well onto the skin, using either brush or my fingertips, without looking streaky or patchy. Blemishes are instantly disguised and overall my skin has a much more flawless appearance. Honestly, I have found this inexpensive high street/drug store concealer to be much more effective than some of my higher end  products so once again beauty at a bargain has come up best!

The one thing I'm not too keen on is the package choice for this concealer, I find that too much of the product may get left behind around the inner edges and just go to waste. Overall I must admit this has probably become my go to concealer and I will definitely be repurchasing it in a shade better suited to my skin tone. If you haven't already (although I'm sure you have!) do give this product a try it does really live up to it's expectations.

Tamara x