30 Mar 2013

Super Facialist masks and facial oil review


I'd just purchased a new Super Facialist Neroli facial oil when I received two masks from the range to try out, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on all of them at once.  I've tried products from the Neroli Firming range before and really liked them, so I was keen to try the lifting treatment mask.  The Rose hydrate range is new to me, but I liked the sound of the intense moisture mask as I have been getting dry patches of skin during the winter months.

The Neroli firming facial oil has become one of my favourite skincare products since I first tried it last year.  I've already reviewed it here - I love the smell of this product and it feels so luxurious to use - like a mini facial - and it makes even waterproof eye makeup slide off.

I've used the *Rose Hydrate intense moisture mask a couple of times now.  It's not as intensely moisturising as the Origins overnight mask I've been using, but for a mask that you only need to leave on for five minutes and at half the price, it does a very good job.  It's a thick creamy mask that you apply onto cleansed skin and leave for five minutes or more before washing it off.  I've found that if I leave this on a bit longer my skin starts to soak the mask up in drier areas, so I've been using it in the bath and leaving it on for 20 minutes or so.  The one thing I found a bit strange about this mask is that it doesn't have a completely smooth texture - it's a bit grainy - like a very gentle exfoliator.  I'm not sure why that is, and it hasn't affected me using the mask, but I thought I'd mention it as it's not something I expected from the product.

My skin's been extra spoiled lately as I've also been using the *Neroli firming lifting treatment mask.  This is from the same range as the facial oil, so it has the same beautiful and luxurious neroli scent.  Seriously, any product that has neroli in it I seem to fall in love with.  If you like the scent as much as me it makes this mask a real pleasure to use.  It's a gel type mask that leaves a clear layer over the skin while you use it.  You leave this one on for a bit longer - 10 - 15 minutes - but I usually leave any mask on for at least that long anyway.  After using this my skin has a taughtness about it - the mask gives an instant but temporary firming effect, although we increased use some of that firming should become more permanent.  I've not tried it yet but you can also use this product as an overnight treatment by applying a thin layer under your nighttime moisturiser for a more intense treatment.

Have you tried Super Facialist?  I'm becoming a big fan.  

28 Mar 2013

Popbands by molly mabel - dent-free hair ties


How pretty are these *popbands by molly mable?  They're the cutest little hair ties which solve the problem of traditional bands leaving a dent in your hair and on your wrist.  Such a simple idea, it leaves me wondering why I didn't think of this.  

I was sent three of the more special popbands to play with - as you can see they all have a pretty jewel bead attached to them, but you can also buy them without.  I've been wearing the blue one to sleep every night and it's perfect for getting all of my hair up into a nice messy pineapple and keeping it there all night without feeling tight on my head.  

Being an every day hair washer, I don't maximise the benefit of dent-free hair the next morning, but I do when I wear these just putting my hair up for a bit during the day to get it out of the way.  

I think popbands are really cute and these embellished ones would probably be even more popular with younger girls - wouldn't these be a fab addition to a kids' party bag?  

The sparkly bead popbands I have cost £5 each, or you can get these patterned or glitter popbands in a pack of two for £6.  If you want something a bit more subtle for wearing out and about you can also get plainer popbands in packs of 5 for £6.

27 Mar 2013

Origins skincare favourites - Drink Up, Plantscription and GinZing


Since I started using Origins skincare last year I've found a firm favourite amongst their range of masks. The drink up intensive overnight mask is a product I don't stop raving about. I've even got my boss at work hooked on it! When you think of a traditional face mask you'd imagine quite a thick texture, a cream or maybe a mud style product and something that sits on top of the skin until you're ready to wipe it off. This is nothing like that. It's more like a thick gel consistency and when I apply it my skin starts to soak it all in. It has a lovely fresh fruity smell too, which is just as well as I couldn't go to bed with a product all over my face if it smelt bad. I apply extra around the edges of my nose as this is where I can get some really dry, cracked skin and this just works wonders. If I skip it for a few nights that area starts to become dry again, so I know for sure the mask is helping. I'm using it about every other night at the moment. When the weather warns up I might not need to use it so frequently, as I think these dry patches have been caused by the really cold weather but I'm not certain. If you have issues with dry skin I really recommend this - I have combination skin and although the mask is great for dry areas it doesn't aggravate my oily patches, so it's a winner.

GinZing eye cream is a product I'd been meaning to try for a while as I'd seen it mentioned on lots of other blogs before. I never get super excited about eye creams as I find it quite difficult to tell if they're working or not. With this one there's an instant illuminating and de-puffing effect, so that keeps my interest and inspires me to keep using it and have faith that it's keeping those mean little lines away. GinZing really brightens the dark areas around my eyes and by the time I've added makeup on top I can really see the difference and a bit of added radiance. It's not too heavy and sinks in quickly, so it doesn't disturb any makeup I layer on top.

*Plantscription is Origins' latest release and it's the second moisturiser I've tried from them. Plantscription has been developed with raspberry plant stem cell technology - I'm impressed even if I don't really understand it.  What I can tell you is that the Plantscription moisturiser has a super creamy and almost whipped consistency. It's the total opposite to make a difference which is like a hydrating gel moisturiser. Plantscription makes my skin feel really nourished as well as moisturised and my skin feels plumped. I like that this is an anti-ageing moisturiser which is also oil free.  A lot of skincare I try that's targeted at preventing wrinkles can sometimes be a bit heavy for the oilier areas on my face so I sometimes have to relegate them to night-time use only, but not with this one.  If you have a drier skin, this cream also comes in a normal version as well as the oil free one I've tried.  It also contains SPF 25 so I'll be all set once the springtime sunshine finally appears.

You can find Origins in Boots and John Lewis or you can buy direct from origins.co.uk 

Have you tried Origins?  What's your favourite product?

26 Mar 2013

In my shower - woods of windsor and organic surge


Being a bit of a product addict and usually being overrun with things I need to use up, I tend to keep different products in the shower from the ones I have next to the bath.  I even keep a different cleanser and face scrub in my shower! The latest things to join the crew of products in my shower are this shower gel from Woods of Windsor and and body lotion from Organic Surge.  

I can be a bit lazy with applying body moisturisers but I really like the benefits so to help remind me to use them I like to keep one nearby to apply when I get out of the shower.  The *fresh ocean light body lotion from Organic surge is light as the name suggests, so it's perfect for applying while my skin is still damp as it sinks in easily and quickly.  It's got a nice refreshing fragrance with lemon, rosemary and lime essential oils.  A moisturiser in a bottle is also much easier for me to use when I get out of the shower rather than a tub lotion too.  

The *Woods of Windsor shower gel in the scent Cedar Woods is a really pretty and traditional looking product.  It's a really nice shower gel that lathers up well and can also be used in the bath.  The scent is really pleasant even though it's not my usual style.  I would normally choose quite zingy shower gels that'll wake me up in the morning!  There's another one in their range which is bergamont and neroli scented and I really like the smell of that one as I always gravitate towards anything with neroli because it's one of my favourite fragrances.  

22 Mar 2013

Ciaté very colourfoil manicure in carnival couture


As usual, Ciaté are the first with yet another exciting new nail art trend.  Following the caviar, velvet, and sequin manicure is this new metallic foil effect called colourfoil.  In the set you get a full size caviar polish together with a variety of pretty foil sheets and a bottle of adhesive to make bright, abstract metalic designs.  

First of all you paint your nails with the coloured polish and wait for it to dry completely.  Once dry you can start creating with the foil.  The foil sticks only where you paint the adhesive, so you can play with creating different shapes and matches.  I found the technique works best if you paint on a very thin layer of adhesive and allow it to dry until it looks completely clear.  You then place one of the foils on top and where it touches the adhesive the foil transfers to your nail.   You can then paint on more adhesive and apply a different coloured foil and keep doing this until you get the effect that you want.  

In the images below you can see I tried two different looks with the same kit.  In the top photos I used gold, green and blue which gave a really bold result against the pink base.  I generally painted the adhesive in a thin vertical stripe down each nail so you can see each of the colours really well.  In the second look I picked less contrasting colours - pink, silver and gold - and I layered them up which gave a totally different and very sparkly look.  


I preferred the look with the contrasting colours but both looked really unique and everyone was asking me how I'd done my nails when I wore these.  

This nail art is really easy to do because you don't need to be precise at all - the randomness is all part of the look.  

The kit I have is called *carnival couture and it comes with a pinky polish in the shade kiss chase.  There are also two other sets which include different coloured polishes and foils.  You can buy them all at Selfridges and they cost £18 each.

What do you think of Ciaté colourfoil?

21 Mar 2013

Bronzed and bright summer look with kiko make up



This was my first time trying KIKO make up and I was given a selection of products to try.  I was both amazed and scared by the bright pigments, and I really wanted to find a way to make them work for me, so I thought creating a really summery look would be a good idea.  

I used the beautiful peachy *sunny coral pigment all over the lid up to my socket and I applied the super vibrant *breezy azure pigment along my bottom lashes.  I used the pigment dry for my lids and wet to get a more precise line with breezy azure.  

As I was going for a bright summer look I let myself get a bit crazy with *multi-tonal bronzer in hilarious honey and I topped with with *bold coral blush (the link goes to the other shades as this one doesn't seem to be on the site) which I absolutely love.  These multi-tonal products are great because you get three different colours in each, which you can either wear individually or swirled together.  I went for the swirled together approach with both products.  The bronzer does have a particularly deep tone in it, which is what has made me look seriously bronzed here, so for normal wear I'd probably just stick with the two lighter shades in that palette for my skin tone.  The packaging of these palettes is just gorgeous too - they could have just left them in plain mirrored compacts but the splash of colour really adds something special and it keeps drawing me back to using them.  

The other products I'm wearing in these photos are - Laura Mercier silk creme foundation, Lancome hypnose drama mascara (top lashes), Clinique bottom lash mascara (a very light coat on the bottom lashes so as not to detract from the liner), two colours from the Look Beauty brow palette on my brows and Maybelline color whisper in lust for blush on my lips.

What do you think - bit heavy on the bronzer?!  Would you wear such a bright eye look?

20 Mar 2013

Veet Precision Wax & Care review


As I've said before, I'm quite a fan of waxing, but that's mainly confined to waxing my legs.  When it comes to wax for brows or the dreaded upper lip area, my skin can be a little bit sensetive to cold wax strips and I can end up with a lot of redness and soreness.  I've never thought of using a heated wax on my face as it seems like a lot of effort for teeny areas, but this little wand from Veet has persuaded me to give it a try.

The *Veet Precision Wax and Care is like a wand the size of a large pen and it's quite an ingenious design.  One end holds the wax and the other end contains an aftercare cream which I think you really do need when it comes to the more sensetive areas.  You also get wax strips and a little spreader stick in the pack.

Heating the wax couldn't be easier, and you don't even need a microwave.   I just boiled the kettle and poured half a cup-full which was enough to submerge just the pink end of the wand into the water and a minute later the wax was ready to use.

The instructions say to apply a very thin layer of wax, but I think I was going to thin as on the first try or two I didn't seem to capture any hair, although I was working on teeny short hairs.  I used a thicker layer of wax and then I was in business.  I found the wax started to cool a little as I was using it, so I just put it back into my cup of hot water until it was all melty again.

I went over the same area of skin a few times to get every hair, so I did end up with a bit of redness at the end as I have quite sensetive skin.  I washed off any remaining wax with a bit of my hot water - very multi-purpose - and then applied some of the aftercare cream which felt very soothing and smelled nice too.

I preferred using this to cold wax strips as it seemed more gentle on my skin, the wax wasn;t overly sticky and almost all of it came away cleanly with each strip with hardly any residue.

Veet Precision Wax and Care is available in all the usual supermarkets and high stree chemists and at Tesco it costs just £4.99 which is a lot less than I expected - I though it might be about £9, so I would definitiely buy this when I run out.

Would you give this a go?

19 Mar 2013

Boots give it a go


On Friday I was lucky enough to spend a lovely afternoon with Boots checking out some new beauty trends for Spring at their 'give it a go' event.  The idea of the event was all about trying something you might not normally do, like rocking a red lip, a bright blue eyeliner or a new hair or nail look.  My friend Fei got her nails done and Jayne got an amazing victory rolls hairdo from Mark Coats using Bumble and Bumble products.  My favourite thing to give a go myself was the Orla Kiely glasses I'm wearing - I need some new glasses for using my PC at work and I think these are the perfect mix of geek and chic.  I'm also planning to try out that fabulous half moon manicure.  

I got to pick out some great new products to try at home, so I'll blog about those soon once I've given them a go!


Boots want everyone to give it a go and you can click here or on the image above to find out more about all of the instore play day events coming up this Friday in selected Boots stores.  You can also find lots more information and inspiration by checking out the hashtag #bootsgiveitago on intsagram and twitter.

18 Mar 2013

ghd sahara gold metallic styler review / how I style my side fringe (bangs)


I have naturally straight hair, but it's not at all sleek and if left to its own devices it would just have the odd awkward kink, so I've been using straighteners for probably more than ten years, and I've always owned ghds.  Before I received the new gold metallic ghds I was happily using my ghd rare which I've had for between three and four years.  My old ghds were still working absolutely fine even after all that time, but I noticed quite a difference when I started using the metallic styler, so it seems the ghd technology has certainly moved on and improved since I last bought a pair.  The styler glides through my hair much more easily and quickly and the plate edges are more curved so it's even easier to use the styler to curl as well as straighten.

As my fringe has been growing out I've started to wear it as a side sweeping fringe, so I thought I'd show you how I style it using ghds.  I've done this step-by-step, but I'm aware a lot of the steps are rather obvious!


1 - I start off by towel drying my hair and combing it through.  At this stage I'd also use a heat protectant and de-tangling product like Lee Stafford blow dry faster spray.

2 - Next I clip up the rest of my hair to keep it out of the way and section off my fringe

3 - my best fringe styling tip for a side fringe is to dry the hair on the opposite side.  It makes a huge difference in terms of making your hair stay put where you want it.  So the next thing I do is comb my fringe over to the opposite side.

4 - I then blow dry my fringe until it's completely dry whilst pulling it tight to the 'other' side.


5 - Once the fringe is all dry I brush it back to the correct side and comb out the rest of my hair.

6 - Next I blow dry the rest of my hair.

7 - Once all of my hair is dry it's time for straightening.

8 - I straighten the rest of my hair before I start on my fringe, taking 1 - 2 inch sections as a time and straightening from mid-way to the ends.  


9 - When I start working on the fringe, first I just straighten it all normally to begin with.  

10 - Once it's straight I then work on getting it to curve inwards towards my face by angling the ghds down towards my ear and turning my wrist as I reach the ends of the hair.  

11 - The best tip I have for using ghds on your fringe, whether it's a side fringe or a full fringe is to always keep the styler moving.  When I first got a fringe and used ghds on it I found I was getting like a line or a dent in the hair where I started straightening from.  To avoid this I pull the section of hair upwards and once it meets the styler I make sure to keep my hand moving so that the hair is never still for long enough to pick up any indentation.  

12 - Lastly I do a brief swipe over the front of my hair on the opposite side to my fringe to curve the ends of the slightly feathered cut I have.  I then add a bit of serum to the ends of my hair if it needs it (but not to my fringe) and have a quick spritz of hairspray to help keep everything in place.


And that's how it all looks when I'm done.  Easy!  

The ghd metallic styler comes with a coordinating pouch for storage or travel and a heat-proof mat and the usual extra long swivel cord I've come to expect from ghd which literally never tangles.  I wish my hairdryer had the same great feature.  

You can buy the *ghd sahara gold styler set direct from ghd and it costs £135.


Do you use ghds too?

17 Mar 2013

Little updates

Time for another update through the wonder that is instagram.  If you don't follow me already on there you can find me by searching 'fluttersparkle'.

 
 
 
1 - Playing which China Glaze Whirled Away
2 - The dangers of Boots online shopping
3 - daily face - I should do this more often
4 - trying out a new polish brand 
5 - even more pink nails using Kiko nail wraps
6 - a new toy to play with from Ciaté

 
 

1 - the awesomeness of Fudgeeos which I think are only sold in Canada :(
2 - Mmm peanut butter
3 - the creme egg addicition is back on
4 - nawww kittypillar cake

 
 
 

1 - my Mum would never get me a ball pond when I was little
2 - a good hair day using Enrapture rollers
3 - all the noses
4 - cutest slippers ever
5 - my fave flats
6 - my house smells amaaaazing now that I have this

 
 

1 - first trip to ping pong and I only took a snap of the drinks #fail
2 - best steak of my life at Gaucho
3 - cooked up a seriously unhealthy but uber tasty pork belly dinner for Mother's Day
4 - making my trademark strawberry margaritas for my besties

  
 

1 - made this tasty mint julep all by myself at coctail making class
2 - a cake I pretended I baked for my mum
3 - authentic dim sum in China Town
4 - explosive dessert

Oh so many food posts as per usual.  I need to do another 'healthy eating update' if only to confess that I've not been eating healthily at all.  Ooops.  Eating out is just too much fun.  I'm thinking about starting to do posts on London restaurants I go to and sharing snaps of what everybody ate and that kind of thing - good idea?  

My blog has been under the knife for a little face lift, so flutter and sparkle now has a brand new look.  I'm very excited about it and I hope you like it.  My blog surgeon of choice was Felicity from Pursuit of Felicity Designs - if you fancy a custom blog design I highly recommend her - I was being very fussy and she was super patient :)

As well as redesigning my blog's look and layout I'm also planning to give my photos a make-over.  I've finally decided to the the plunge and buy a DSLR next month after playing with Jayne's camera at an event on Friday.  If you want to see the photos I took of Jayne getting a modern victory roll hairdo (they came out rather well even if I do say so myself!) have a little look here - victory rolls up do.  

You may have heard this week that google reader is being dicontinued.  If you're reading this post in google reader right now, from July you won't be able to do that anymore.  From reading lots of tweets, most people seem to recommend the best alternative is bloglovin' and you can easily import your entire reading list from google reader with one click. If you want to follow flutter and sparkle on bloglovin' just click here.

And I'll leave you with a few posts that have inspired or interested me lately - have a happy weekend :)