American invasion: Maybelline Baby Lips


Slowly but surely the cult American beauty products are trickling over to our UK shores. Maybellines Baby Lips made the journey a couple of months back, everyone seemed to swarm to Boots and Superdrug to get their hands on them. I picked up 3 in Boots, and they have been camping out in my handbag, coat pocket and makeup bag since. I can’t say they are the best lipbalm out there but for £2.99 they are pretty darn good, giving a good few hours of hydration. Maybelline have just launched a slightly more pigmented version in the US called Baby Lips Electro, so maybe these will be making their way over to us pretty soon.


Winter Wardrobe: Essie Fall 2013


Essie’s fall/winter colours are out and they are a good-un. My winter nail wardrobe is complete. ‘After School Boy Blazer’ is a gorgeous deep deep navy blue, similar to Chanel’s ‘Blue Satin’ minus the shimmer. Great for the cooler days.
The other colour I picked up is ‘Twin Sweater Set’, a rich blood red. I have quite a few orangey reds but wanted a deeper warmer red for winter. Perfect. There are quite a few other great colours in the collection so let’s hope they do another mini set this season. You always hit the nail on the head Essie, and for that I thank you.

DIY Geranium Sugar Body Scrub – Smooth, smooth, smooth!

sugar body scrub diy

I love body scrubs, but absolutely hate the price of them. After making a DIY lip scrub (here) and seeing how easy it was, I set about making one for the body. Once again super easy! What’s also great about this body scrub is that it’s moisturising at the same time. I am super lazy and hate applying a body moisturiser once I’ve showered, but with this I step out if the shower with amazingly moisturised soft skin.

You only need four ingredients, and can tailor the mix to what you have at home. I used Geranium essential oil in mine, but you can choose any essential oil to suit you! Lavender, rose, peppermint, neroli, patchouli or ylang ylang would all work in this. I used a mix of raw coconut oil and almond oil, you could also use olive oil, argan oil, jojoba oil and sweet almond oil. I find it best to make a small amount and use this within 3 weeks, then make a new batch.

What you will need:

  • 1 cup of sugar (I used a golden caster sugar, the larger the crystal, the harsher the scrub!)
  • 1/4 cup of almond oil
  • 1/4 cup of raw coconut oil (if your coconut oil is too hard to mix, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften)
  • 8 drops of Geranium oil
  • A mixing bowl
  • A spoon
  • Container for your body scrub.

body sugar scrub ingredients


Measure out your sugar and oil.


Mix these together, then add in your 8-10 drops of essential oil.



Taa dahh!! All you have to do now is pop this in your container and scrub, scrub, scrub! Use with 3 weeks.


sugar body scrub diy


Apicare Lip Butter Review

apicare lip butter review

I first discovered Apicare last March when my boyfriend and I were in New Zealand. I desperately needed a new cleanser and moisturiser for the rest of our travels and luckily stumbled upon the Apicare range. We were at the Huka Honey Hive which is situated just outside Taupo (definitely worth a visit if you are over in New Zealand) who stock all things honey, honey skincare, honey liqueurs and mead, basically anything you could possibly make with honey. I fell in love with the entire Apicare range, unfortunately living out of a backpack meant that I had to limit myself! I chose their Cleanse Me 4 in 1 WashSaving Face Moisturiser and the Revive Me Beeswax Lip Balm. All of their range smells amazing, and everything is enriched with Active UMF 16+ Manuka Honey.

This is what Apicare say about their products…

‘Apicare The Original Active Manuka Honey Skincare Company produces simply the finest Manuka Honey skincare range that uses Manuka Honey a unique ‘naturally active’ product, to improve well being and lifestyle – a range that is natural, luxurious, indulgent, rich and healing and one that makes you feel wonderful. Apicare skincare is hypoallergenic and pH balanced and contain no Parabens, no artificial colours, no sodium lauryl sulphate and no propylene glycol etc. None of the products that we sell at Simply Manuka are tested on animals. Apicare are passionate about using only the best quality raw materials they can source and we hope that you enjoy Apicare skincare as much as we do.’

My mum was up at the Country Living Fair last week, knew I loved the Apicare range and kindly brought me these lip butters as a present. In this pack you get 3 different versions of the lip butters, mango and papaya, royal jelly and pollen, and pomegranate. They all have the same texture and colour but vary in scent/flavour which is very delicate. The lip butters all contain the amazing UMF 16+ Manuka honey, natural zinc oxide to provide SPF15 and are 100% natural (I’ve included a photo of the ingredients). There can be a slight grainy texture due to the beeswax when you apply them, but this soon melts away and you’re left with lovely soft hydrated lips. I highly recommend the whole Apicare range! I really want to try the Rich Day Cream and their Creamy Cleanser.

The lip butters are available from Apicare here for £7.5o each, or you can buy a gift set containing a lip butter and handcream for £19.50 here.

apicare lip butter review 2

apicare lip butter flavours

apicare lip butter

apicare lip butter swatch

apicare lip butter ingredients


DIY Coconut & Honey Lip Scrub!

diy sugar lip scrub

This week I thought I’d do a little DIY post. I keep reading about lip scrubs and how they are a great treatment for your lips, they clear dead skin and flakiness from your lips, leaving them smooth and moisturised. There is, however, no way I will go out and pay £10+ for one! This DIY lip scrub contains only 3 ingredients, coconut oil, honey and brown sugar. The fact that you have made it yourself means that you know it contains no nasties, so if you happen to lick your lips (it tastes amazing!) you know it’s completely safe.

If possible make sure that you buy the raw, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, not the odourless, flavourless type thats been refined. I got mine from a local wholefoods shop (Manuka Wholefoods). I brought quite a large jar as it’s really great for cooking and baking.


– 1 tablespoon pure coconut oil

– 1 tablespoon honey

– 2 teaspoons brown sugar

lip scrubs ingredients

You will also need:

– a tablespoon

– a teaspoon

– a mixing bowl

– an empty jar

lip scrub

Measure out your ingredients, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 teaspoons of brown sugar.

diy brown sugar lip scrub amounts

Pop the coconut oil, honey and sugar in your mixing bowl and mix until they combine.

brown sugar lip scrub bowl

diy brown sugar lip scrub mix

Taa dah! You now have your very own homemade lip scrub! Pop this is a small jar and it will keep for up to 2 weeks if kept in your fridge. You may have to remove it form the fridge 10 minutes before you use it so that it can soften a little. Rub a small amount on your lips in small circular motions, rinse off with warm water, apply your favourite lip balm and you’ll be left with baby soft moisturised lips.

brown sugar lip scrub jar

diy brown sugar lip scrub swatch

Are there any DIY beauty potions and lotions that you make?


High Street Series #2 – A little haul featuring Revlon, Rimmel and Seche Vite…

high street haul revlon rimmel seche vite

Once again Boots draw me in with their 3 for 2 offers… all I’d gone in for was a new top coat! I ended up with a few more products in my basket, Revlon’s Colorstay Lip Butter and Photoready Cream Blush, Seche Vite Top Coat, and lastly a Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow Stick.

revlon blush lip butter

revlon blush lip butter open


First up are two products from Revlon. I’ve never really brought anything from Revlon in the past, but they’ve really upped their game recently, their Nearly Naked Foundation is lovely and I find myself reaching for their products more and more. After hearing such great things about the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters and eyeing up the colours on various trips in to Boots and Superdrug I took the plunge and brought the shade ‘Tutti Frutti’, a vibrant coral. I have a slight addiction to coral at the moment, coral blush, coral nails, coral lips… all I need in the summer weather now!

I’m really impressed with the Lip Butter, it’s really hydrating and pigmented, great for those days when you don’t fancy a full-on lipstick. I find it has great staying power, I don’t have that shock of looking in the mirror and finding my lips outlined and no other product left, it just fades really gradually. There was one thing I was disappointed with though, and that was the amount of product. Less than an inch of product, and for a high street product at £7.99 I thought this was a little measly. That was my only complaint, so I will probably find myself buying a few other colours. Candy Apple, Juicy Papaya and Watermelon are on my wish list!

Revlon Colorstay Lip Butter £7.99

Revlon Photoready Cream Blush £7.99

revlon lip butter tutti fruitti

Next up is the Revlon Photoready Cream Blush. I got this in the shade ‘Flushed’, a really bright, slightly neon pink. This is extremely pigmented, I have a habit of applying my make-up in semi-darkness and had quite a shock when I got to work and looked in the mirror. I had quite a clown-like look going on! So the trick to this is to apply in daylight and used very little product. I apply this with my Real Techniques Stippling brush, I just make such a mess of things if I use my fingers to apply cream blush.

I’ve used this a couple of times and really wished I’d got the coral/peach blush instead, it could just be my current obsession with coral though! Like with the Lip Butters, I can see myself nipping to Boots and purchasing the coral soon.

revlon cream blush

revlon rimmel swatch

Left to right: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in ‘Tutti Frutti’, Revlon Photoready Cream Blush in ‘Flushed’, Rimmel Scandaleyes in ‘Bulletproof Beige’.

The other make up product that I got is a Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow Stick, I got the shade ‘Bulletproof Beige’, a shimmery champagne colour. Eyeshadow sticks seem to be the new craze, Clinique have just launched an eyeshadow version of their famous Chubby Stick. I was after an eyeshadow that would be natural and brightening, perfect for that fresh spring makeup look. It’s a creamy crayon consistency, very soft to apply. There were a couple of things that I was disappointed with, even applied on top of an eye primer it does tend crease after a few hours. It’s also the type pencil you have to sharpen, I was hoping for a twist up style pencil like the Chubby Sticks. I always find I lose quite a bit of product while sharpening. I won’t be buying any other colours of these, I much prefer the Maybelline Colour Tattoos (see my review of these here).

Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow Stick £5.99



The last product I got is the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, which is the actual the reason I went to Boots! I needed a new top coat, and I’d read really good reviews about this one, supposedly the best, holy grail of top coats. Annoyingly I’m really disappointed with this, I don’t know whether it’s my combination of base coat and nail polish that it doesn’t agree with, or just that it doesn’t work for me. It basically seems to make my nail polish brittle and more prone to chipping. I paint my nails in the evening, go to work in the morning and there will already be a chip, really irritating. It’s £9 as well, so not a cheap topcoat! This top coat also contains Toluene, a chemical that is known to cause ‘birth defects and other reproductive harm’. Sounds nice right?! There’s a good post about it on Lacquer Glamours blog here. Apparently the top coat contains such a small amount of Toluene so it is safe to use, but after finding out about this, using the product and not liking it, I think I may put this in the nail polish graveyard. I’ll be sticking to my trusty Sally Hansen.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat £9

seche vite

Thanks for reading!


High Street Series # 1 – A match made in eyeshadow heaven!

mua undressed palette

After falling in love with the MUA ‘Undress Your Skin’ Highlighter, being converted from make-up snob to high-street lover, I thought I would expand my collection of MUA. I’d heard great things about this MUA Undressed Eyeshadow Palette, apparently being *very* much like the Urban Decay Naked Palette which retails for £36. As I’ve said before on the blog, I’ve never been much of an eyeshadow girl. I’ve been easing myself in using the Maybelline 24 Hour Colour Tattoo eyeshadows, so instead of splashing out £36 for the Urban Decay palette, I went for the MUA Undressed Palette which retails for £4! I was quite sceptical thinking that the pigmentation would be useless and the consistency just too powdery. I was very wrong! They are truly amazing, have great pigmentation and amazing staying power. Most of them are shimmer eyeshadows, 3 are matte. The matte shadows aren’t as great as the shimmers, harder to get a colour pay-off from them. But for £4, I can’t complain. That means for £4 you pay roughly 33p for each eyeshadow, it’s almost too good to be true…!

I’ve been using the neutral colours, sticking with the nudes, browns and bronze. I’ve yet to be brave and use the blues!

mua undressed

mua undressed eyeshadow

mua undressed

mua undressed swatch

mua undressed swatch 2

mua undressed swatch 3

Whilst browsing the MUA products I noticed the Pro-Base Eye Primer. This is the perfect partner for eyeshadow. Once again it’s compared to the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (£15) but the MUA version being a fraction of the price at £2.50. It has a creamy gel consistancy. Once applied to the eyelids it’s a little tacky, I tend to apply this and then apply my foundation while this dries. You then have the perfect base for your shadows! I apply this in the morning, go to work and at the end of the day my eyeshadow is exactly how I had applied it in the morning, no creasing at all. Once again, MUA amazes me, well done!

mua eye primer


Are there any MUA products that you recommend? Or any other high-street brands?


February’s Bedside Beauties

bedside beauties must haves

I have such a routine when it comes to my nightly skin ritual, but remembering to moisturise my hands and lips before I go to bed? I am useless. For the last couple of months I’ve kept a small selection of products on my bedside table so that I have no excuse!

bedside beauties

 Boots Botanics Super Balm – £4.99

 Blistex Intensive Moisturiser – £2.63

 Neals Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Handcream -£10

First up is the lovely Neals Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Handcream which has proudly been gracing my bedside table. This was free with Marie Claire, but it available to purchase from the NYR website. It’s a beautiful hand cream, full of organic nourishing honey and orange essential oil. I massage a dollop of this in to my hands and wrists and wake up in the morning with lovely soft skin. It smells so divine, and it doesn’t leave that horrible ‘filmy’ feel that some hand creams do. I will definitely be repurchasing this one.

To nourish my lips overnight I’ve been using the Blistex Intensive Moisturiser. I would use this in the day time too, but it does leave the lips looking a little white so I’d keep this for evening application if I were you! It’s the type of lip product that has a cooling feel when you apply it, it has a very strong minty taste. This really has been a lifesaver for my lips recently, all this cold weather and heating hasn’t been doing my lips any good at all. Although I was just looking at the list of (scary looking) ingredients in this, I might just stick to next product…!

Another product I keep next to my bed is the Boots Botanics Super Balm (93% organic). This is from Boots organic range which is formulated in conjuction with Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. This is an all purpose balm to sooth dry skin. I tend to use this around my cuticles and on my lips. It does have a grainular texture but it’s once massaged in to the skin it turns in to a more oil-like balm. It contains wonderful Rosehip Oil along with Shea Butter, Sweet Almond and Argan Oil.


bedside beauties

Are there any must-have products that you keep on your bedside table that I need to know off?


My Daily Skin Care Routine

skin care routine

My skin is still fully in winter mode, hopefully spring will be on its way soon! This means my skin care needs to be all hydration, hydration, hydration. My skin turns particularly sensitive in the winter months which means I’m sticking strictly to products that aren’t going to irritate.

Most of my skin care is La Roche Posay at the moment, a French brand that’s amazing for people who have sensitive, intolerant skin. All of the range is free of parabens, includes thermal spring water, and best of all they are available from Boots. I also really love Bioderma, but as this isn’t readily available in the UK, La Roche Posay fills the gap very nicely indeed.

So here goes, my nightly skin care routine…

First I start with removing my make-up with a cotton pad soaked with Bioderma Crealine H2O Micellar Solution (review linked). Every blogger raves about this stuff, but it truly is brilliant. It fully removes my make-up, including waterproof mascara, in a jiffy. 

I then cleanse my skin using LRP Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser, it’s extremely gentle but still gives your skin a good cleanse. This is a milky cream consistency and is free of fragrance, parabens and preservatives. You can either use water or cotton wool pads to remove.

In the past I’ve never been a fan of toners, finding them all too dehydrating and strong for my skin. Before winter I found my skin was getting a little congested in places, I added this toner to my routine and I haven’t looked back since. LRP Physiological Soothing Toner is really great as it extremely kind on the skin and doesn’t contain any alcohol, this would dehydrate and leave your skin with that horrible tight sensation. This toner is fragranced, smelling very light, fresh and clean, but it is paraben free.

After toning, I have a quick spritz of Avene Thermal Spring Water and I’m ready for a serum! At the moment I’m using Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum, although I have been trying out Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate recently, which I love, so more to come on that soon! Back to the Avene Serum… I probably won’t buy this again, it’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just I can’t pinpoint whether it’s actually doing anything for my skin. Also for £17 I think the price is a little steep for what it is.

So the penultimate step is moisturiser, at the moment I’m using Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre. This is quickly becoming my holy grail moisturiser. It’s the perfect weight for my skin, smells lovely and my skin just loves it.


Finally, twice a week I use the LRP Physiological Ultra-fine Scrub to exfoliate my skin. As you can see from the following photo the particles are extra extra fine so not at all irritating on the skin.


All done and time for bed!

Are there any products you have in your nightly skin routine that I need to know about?






Makeup Academy Shimmer Highlighter – Review

illuminator high street dupe

Okay, I must admit, I used to be a make-up snob. Until this.

I’ve always brought high street make up, got home, used it and wish I’d saved my pennies and brought the high-end version. In the last couple of years however, high street brands have come on leaps and bounds. It’s starting to turn out that the high street dupes are the same is not better than their high-end sisters.

I’d being eyeing up the Chanel Poudre Signee de Chanel illuminating powder from their spring collection, but this is £46 and that was way to much in my eyes to spend on a highlighter. Especially as I have a substantial amount of highlighters already! I spotted the Makeup Academy ‘Undress your Skin’ Shimmer Highlighter (phew!) while I was browsing in Superdrug, and for £3 I couldn’t resist.

mua highlighter chanel dupe

Makeup Academy ‘Undress your Skin’ Shimmer Highlighter – £3, available from Superdrug

mua highlighter chanel dupe

Admittedly this isn’t exactly like the Chanel one, it’s more pink toned as opposed to gold. I really hate sparkly highlights, so this is great as it’s a extra fine shimmer, it doesn’t cake or sit awkwardly on the skin, it just looks like a really beautiful high-end highlighter.

mua highlighter chanel dupe

highlighter mua chanel dupe

I apply this using my Real Techniques Contour Brush to the tops of my cheekbones, a little on my temples and a tiny amount on the bridge of my nose.

£3 well spent!

Have you discovered any high street heros?