Thursday, 31 January 2013

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Gift Set

Just before Christmas I was suffering with extremely dry skin, not helped by my flat being so hot and too dry thanks to constant air conditioning. I saw a good review of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour cream on A Little Bird Told Me (link here) and decided to track it down and give it a go on all my various dry patches (mainly on my hands, at the side of my mouth and feet) .

I'd never paid any attention to Elizabeth Arden as a brand until this review and when I went into Boots to look for it I knew why. The counter was so old fashioned, it looked like something from Beverly Hills in 1989. I half expected Joan Collins to be stood there. The packaging's all gold, red and white and really outdated. It nearly put me off, but the lure of something to help my dry skin kept me interested.

All the individual products were £18 upwards and as I was undecided about which product I actually needed I decided upon a gift set. The gift set I chose included:

  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant 50ml 
  • Eight Hour Cream Intensive Daily Moisturiser 15ml 
  • Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturising Body Treatment 30ml 
  • Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturising Hand Treatment 30ml 
  • Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick SPF 15 3.7g

It cost £40 which is expensive to me, luckily Boots had a mega points offer on so I ended up getting £6 back in points which made me feel slightly better.

I've now been using the products since Christmas:

The main product to help with dry skin is the Skin Protectant, its a thick oily gunk, that's orange in colour. It smells really nice and coats well, however it doesn't feel like it sinks in, though the patches I've been putting it on have all improved so it must do! You only need a tiny bit so for the price its actually worth it. I won't need to repurchase for a long time but I definitely will when it runs out.

The next products I've been using are the hand treatment and daily cream. The hand treatment is nothing special, again it smells nice and rubs in well but I've not noticed any great difference from any other good hand cream. 

The daily cream is good, its thick and moisturises my face well, however it does sting slightly around my eyes so I probably wouldn't buy it again for that reason.

Finally the lip protectant stick has worked its way into my handbag. I like this for aesthetic reasons mainly, I get lots of fuss when I get it out to use, as people think its lipstick and then realise its a balm. It smells lovely (the same as all the other products) but wears off after around 30 minutes and then you need to reapply, so not really as moisturising or beneficial as I would like.

I've not managed to get round to the body treatment yet but I'm looking forward to giving it a go over the next week or so.

I've enjoyed using this kit and think the skin protectant is great, however that's the only product I would use again. I also think Elizabeth Arden really need to up their game with their packaging, I must have walked past their counter hundreds of times and never noticed it (or maybe subconsciously I was worried I'd end up Joan Collins-esque!) Try harder Elizabeth Arden!! 

Leanne x

Friday, 18 January 2013

Best Eye Make Up Removers

This post has been a while in the making. Before Christmas I asked for help from fellow bloggers about changing how I remove my eye make up. You can find that post here.  I had a few responses with different ideas so I set about ditching my eye make up remover wipes and trying out some other options.

Here are the products I tried:

Okay so you can see a pack of wipes in the photo! I admit I couldn't quite give them up completely so I did revert back to using them when I was on my travels or feeling lazy. They were a brand I hadn't tried before so I counted them as part of my research :)

In terms of eye make up I use: eye shadow (usually quite bright colours and often two or three different shades), coloured mascara (more often than not blue) and finally pencil eyeliner on my bottom waterline. My mascara isn't waterproof but I do find removing the pencil liner quite difficult so I was looking for a product that would make this job easier.

I used Kleenex facial cloths with the liquid products.

Here are my mini reviews of the products I tried:

 Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover

I picked this up from Superdrug and it cost me £1.49. It was the cheapest product I tried and is in two separate coloured liquid that you shake together. I liked the price and it did a good job of removing the eye make up. However the clear liquid didn't absorb into my facial cloth so I found it escaping most nights and me trying to do a rapid shake and squirt onto the cloth before it unmixed!! I like this product but found it a bit middle of the road. 3/5

Liz Earle Eyebright soothing eye lotion

Oh Liz, what a amazing lady you are! This is the priciest of the products I tried and it was definitely the best. I have problems with tired, dry eyes which I bring on myself by sitting at a computer all day! This product soothes my eyes, smells gorgeous and (even though its not actually an eye make up remover) does a fantastic job of removing make up gently. I will be purchasing another bottle soon. 5/5

Melvita Fresh Micellar Water

I got this from Latest in Beauty and it was a sample size. I'd heard a lot about micellar water so wanted to try it. I quickly realised this was rose scented and I didn't like the scent. It also was so gentle that it didn't actually remove the eye make up. Using water would have been as effective! I won't be making another purchase. 1/5 (mainly because I liked the packaging and its animal friendly)

Bioderma Sensibio H2O

This product crops up all the time on beauty blogs. Not to miss out I tracked down a bottle on ebay. It was the tiniest size and cost over £7! It has a lovely clean smell and doesn't sting my eyes. However its no more effective at removing eye make up than say wipes or the Nivea remover mentioned above. It also seemed to involve the same amount of rubbing across my eyes as all the products so unless it was easy to locate or very cheap I can't see myself starting to use it regularly. 3.5/5  

Kleenex Eye Make-Up Removal Wipes (24 pack)

Poor wipes - hated by most beauty bloggers but just so handy and easy to use that I can't refuse! 

For years I used the cheapest wipes you could get, mainly the ones from Boots essentials range when they were on 3 4 2  or 2 4 1 offers (that's a lot of numbers!) I've tried to move away from them but I do find myself coming back to them, tail between my legs apologising. 

I like this range of facial wipes Kleenex brought out. I'm not sure they've been that successful though as they seem to be phasing them out at my local Superdrug. They are cheap, don't dry my skin out and smell nice. I also like the packaging. I feel bad saying that as I can imagine skin experts throwing their hands up in exasperation but its the truth! 4/5

My conclusions...

I still don't feel that I've found the perfect product for removing my eye make up! I think for the time being I'll continue to use a mixture of the Liz Earle Eyebright and facial wipes until I run out and then try something different. So any suggestions are still very welcome...


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Boots 75% off sale - starts today??

I've heard a rumour that the Boots Christmas gift sets finally get reduced to 75% off today. I'm stuck at work but  does anyone know if this is the case as I'll be straight there after I finish if it is!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Starting out with Bloglovin'

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

But I'm not really sure what I'm doing!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Contact The Buzz about Beef and Beauty!

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I had some items from the Latest in Beauty advent calendar available for swops, but then realised I had no contact details on the blog!

Here is my email address in case you see anything that you fancy swopping:

Items I'm always interested in receiving as part of a swop:

Night and day face creams
Face masks
Face wipes
Face oil
Body sprays
Perfume samples
Nail polish
Hand cream
Bath and shower gel
Bubble bath
Bath oil
Bath bombs

Items that I'm likely to be swopping as I don't want them:

Skincare for combination skin (I've got dry skin)
Lipgloss, lipstick or lipbalms
Body lotions (I've just got too many!)
Body scrubs

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Superdrug bargains and a couple of random pics...

I was in Superdrug the other day (okay so I'm in Superdrug about three times a week since there's one only five minutes away from my work...) and spotted a 10p sale! It would have been rude to walk away without buying something so I picked up these bits and pieces. Two MUA nail polishes (one is great, the other is a bit dried out) and a hair clip for my face mask times at home!

In December I also sent off my first Flavrbox:

I got it using a half price code taking the price down to £10. I thought it was okay but not something I would subscribe to regularly as I found the products didn't really fit into my usual food consumption, so there's still quite a lot of them hanging around my kitchen! 

There were two boxes of crackers which I'm struggling to use. Some chocolates that are still in my fridge (they were chocolate covered fruit - I'd rather just have chocolate!) and a tin of rub that you can use on meat.

The thing I really liked was the jar of red pepper sauce which I finished this using this week and was very tasty with both cheese and on sandwiches.

For £20 a month I'd definitely rather go out for a meal or buy myself some nice luxury products of my choice!

I also bought this last week for 99p:

It's definitely only worth 99p! The two books were pretty poor, most of the recipes aren't really recipes at all - things such as 'how about making chocolate dipped strawberries with Cadbury Dairy Milk'! I also thought the magazine on the front was a proper magazine with more recipes, turns out it was just a leaflet trying to get you to subscribe to the rest of the series of cookbooks, no thanks! 
Did anyone else buy it? What are your thoughts on it?? x

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Chickpea and chorizo stew with roasted squash

The two things I love in life are pampering and eating. So while I see this blog as mainly about beauty, occasionally I like to throw in an odd recipe. Over the Christmas break I did manage to create a couple of dishes that I'll be doing again and didn't take too long.

Chickpea and chorizo stew (from Nigel Slater, link here)

3 onions chopped roughly
2 carrots chopped roughly
Garlic chopped up (as much as you want!)
Chorizo chopped into chunky pieces (again as much as you want!)
Tin of chickpeas
Tin of chopped tomatoes
500g of water (or roughly 2 x tins filled with water)
Olive oil

1. Start by heating up the olive oil and softening the onions, add in the garlic and then the carrots, cook these through for around 5-10mins
2. Put in a teaspoon of paprika
3. Then add in the drained chickpeas, tin of chopped tomatoes, the water and chorizo
 4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for around 45mins - 1 hour.
 Serve with crusty bread or like I did with roasted squash...
The roasted squash recipe is adapted from this one by Jamie Oliver and was a quick and simple to make. I think I made it a bit too spicy so I'd go easy on the dried chilli if you are using it!

Any other good chorizo recipes you can recommend? x

Friday, 4 January 2013

Another reason why I love REN...

This is turning into a bit of a REN love in isn't it?

BUT I just wanted to flag up a good REN experience I had during December.

I had ordered a REN gift set for my friend's Christmas present knowing that she also loves their products as much as me. However when the gift set arrived the box was a bit bashed up, and inside the plastic holding it together was ripped. I was worried she could get a nasty cut when opening it up (plus it didn't look very nice for a present).

Here is a picture of the damage at the bottom of the box:

So I emailed REN and asked if I could either send it back and get an exchange or just sent it back and get a refund. 

They did one better than that, emailing to say they would dispatch another gift set that day via recorded delivery free of charge!

So both me and my friend got to have a REN Christmas after all! :-)
Turns out though when we finally exchanged presents my friend clearly knows me too well and had picked this for me...

More REN loveliness! 

Finally and slightly off the subject and only because I've just come across this picture when finding the REN ones, here is my Mum & Dad's present to me for my Birthday just before Christmas, new Liz Earle goodies!
 I feel lots of reviews coming on! x

Thursday, 3 January 2013

What's by my bath this week...

There are three products by my bath this week and they are all by REN, which is no surprise really, as over the last few months I seem to have gone REN crazy!

Here are my mini reviews for them:

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash

I have to say even though I'd heard loads of good things about this wash I wasn't particularly amazed by it. I much preferred the REN seaweed and sage body wash which I used recently. I'm not sure rose is a scent I really like, its too floral to wash in, I like something a bit more herbal and refreshing in the bath. On a plus note for myself its more expensive than the other REN body washes so its a good job I wasn't convinced or it would be an costly preference!

REN Jojoba Micro Bead Invigorating Facial Polish

I love this! I only use it every few days but every time I do my face feels smoother and fresher. It has a slightly minted scent to it which feels very 'clean'. One mini warning would be that the beads can be rough so try not to get them in your eyes and wash them away thoroughly after use.

REN Ultra Moisture Cleansing Milk

I purchased this after noticing that normal soap based facial washes were drying out my skin. I quite like it but I don't feel it totally cleans my skin, hence why I've been using the facial polish (mentioned above) alongside it. I probably won't buy it again but am glad I've given it a try.

Have you used any of these products? Could you recommend another facial cleanser to replace the REN Ultra Moisture Cleansing Milk? x

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

YOU Beauty Advent Calendar - my thoughts

Now I know I'm super late with this, I had intended to blog throughout December, but a weekend in London, a few days in Northumberland, my Birthday the week before Christmas and then trying to keep up with work in between all of those things stopped me. So its now 2013 and I'm finally reviewing an advent calendar!

Here's my fully opened You Beauty advent calendar in all its glory:

Now if you read my last blog post you'll know I was super disappointed when the half price code was released just after I'd bought the calendar full price, so I have to admit the whole experience was a tad 'marred' but I still loved most of the items in the calendar. Here are my favourite products:

I liked the addition of a candle for pampering times and have been meaning to buy both an eyelash curler and nail file so they were great finds in the calendar. I'm also very happy with more Dermalogica products and to try STEAMCREAM.

Here are the products I'm just slightly impressed by:

And here are the products I'm really not bothered by at all:

If anyone is interested in doing a swop for these let me know, I'll put some details up about swopping in the next few days.

So overall after the initial excitement I have to say the YOU beauty advent calendar didn't quite live up to expectations. I think I'll still get it next year but I'll definitely hang on to get the half price code which I'm sure will be released!

I've also seen various blogger mentioning that in 2013 they are avoiding beauty boxes and using the money they would have spent on them to buy one item they actually want for the same price. I think I'll be trying to adopt this approach a bit more myself. Though I'm sure I'll succumb every now and then!

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