Florabundance: March 2010

29 March 2010

Mini Lush Easter Haul

Hi everyone! Haven't seen many posts or videos (if any!) about Lush's Easter treats so I thought I would share with you my little haul from about a week or so ago!

Honey Bun Ballistic - £1.90
I bought two of these Honey Bun's and have used the first one up - it smelled wonderful (sweet and very similar to a lot of their honey-based products) and left my skin feeling extremely soft! This was perfect for a relaxing bath.

Fluffy Egg Ballistic - £2.75
This will be a big hit with any Snow Fairy fans out there, because it smells exactly like Snow Fairy! What a nice treat! I couldn't get enough of Snow Fairy at Christmas so I HAD to get the Fluffy Egg! I only bought one and have yet to us it - I'm saving it for Easter Sunday :-)
I imagine I will LOVE this, so I am going to stock up too.

Hippy Chick Ballistic - £1.85
This is a very zingy, fresh smelling bath ballistic. I bought two of these and used one last week - I used it in the morning because I could tell from it's scent that it was going to be good for waking you up! It turns the water a pale yellow, but the scent isn't that strong sadly. It was nice - but I definitely won't be stocking up on any extras!

That about sums up the Easter collection. The main thing I have left out is the Happy Easter Eggs, which are giant egg bath ballistics which contain a bubble bar and soap inside. They come in yellow and pink (which is also Snow Fairy Scented!) and cost £9.95 - you can check them out here!

Lydia xox

24 March 2010

Nars Sheer Glow - Why It Didn't Work For Me

Hey everyone, hope you are all having a good week.

This (lengthy!) review on Nars Sheer Glow won't be a happily-ever-after review like just about all the other blog reviews you can find on this foundation. Sadly, for me, it didn't work.

I bought this foundation in February, and it was the first Nars foundation I had tried out - I had very high hopes after all the raving reviews.

To begin with, I got off on the wrong foot with this foundation because the MA matched me up as Gobi - which made me look so much more paler than I already was! Unfortunately, due to department stores unnatural lighting I bought it because it looked like a good match in the mirror.
Once I got the foundation home and applied it myself the next day, all I could see was a ghost-like complexion staring back at me in the mirror!

As this foundation is deemed 'sheer glow' I didn't really want to apply any powder - it was already pretty matte on it's own! But to add more colour to my complexion it was necessary to dust some MAC MSF Natural on top. This also helped it's staying power majorly.

Despite those negatives, I did enjoy the light coverage of the foundation which I found very buildable - handy to cover up imperfections.

So all was well and good. I was quite enjoying wearing the foundation - it was a nice change to all the heavy foundations I had worn in the past.

BUT... then the dreaded thing happened. I broke out in under the skin spots. This is not normal for me, never has a product before resulted in a breakout - never mind cystic ones!!!
As first it was just one spot, so I persevered and continued to wear the foundation daily. Soon I realised that for each day I wore the foundation a new cystic spot would appear.

With 5 painful cystic spots on my face, I knew it was time to quit using Nars Sheer Glow. And that's where my experience ends. I am incredibly narked at the fact the MA said "blah blah blah this foundation is *insert fancy word here which I can't remember* so it will not cause you to get spots!" - PFFT shows what he knew! Ugh!

At £29 a bottle, I am very disappointed that this foundation didn't work for me.

This review is not to show Nars the brand in a negative light at all. I just felt it was necessary to do this review - because this foundation has been painted to be fantastic - but the reality is, it is not all rainbows and butterflies. I'm not telling you to NOT buy it - I'm just offering you a little insight into my experience for you to take on board.

Hope this was helpful. Be sure to let me know if this has happened to you too - surely there must be others out there?!

Blog soon,

Lydia xox

18 March 2010

Intensive Hair Conditioning

Hi everyone! Hope you are all having a good week.

Today I decided to blog about what products I use to intensively condition my hair. I use an intensive conditioner on my hair once a week, sometimes twice if I have the time. Each time I do it I will use one of the three products below:

(L-R) Raw Virgin Coconut Oil, Lush H'Suan Wen Hua, Lush Retread.

Coconut Oil
This is a really inexpensive way to deeply condition your hair. I bought my tub at a health store for just £3.40! It is a tub that will last for what seems like a lifetime too! Make sure you buy the SOLID Coconut Oil. What I do is scoop a baby potato sized amount out of the pot, and rub it between my hands so that it turns into oil. This can get messy, so I do it over the sink. As soon as it melts into an oil, I run it through my (dry) hair - starting at the ends as this is the place that needs the most hydration. I slowly work my way up to the roots, but don't concentrate it too much on them as it can make your hair look greasy even after it's washed out!
What I do then is leave it on overnight, tied in a bun. I cannot stress enough the need to put a towel - or preferably two- down on your pillow. Mine seeped through the thin towel I had put down and I awoke to a greasy, oil infused pillow case underneath - argh!
To wash this out, I shampoo my hair twice and then condition as normal. Simples!

Lush H'Suan Wen Hua
This is probably my most favourite deep hair conditioner ever! A lot of people dislike the scent but I think it smells wonderful! At £8 a tub, it is on the pricey side - and to be totally honest it only lasts about 3 or 4 goes. But I'm incredibly pleased with the results it gives me, and therefore I am willing to pay the price!
This deep conditioner is to be applied before shampoo and conditioning. I apply this when I wake up in the morning, leave it on for about 20-30 minutes, then wash it out with shampoo and conditioner as normal. This isn't heavy feeling after it's been washed out - as some deep conditioners can often make your hair feel. It also claims to encourage hair growth if you massage it into your scalp when applying it - this is a BIG plus for me! And I kind of feel like it has helped my hair grow to its maximum potential.

Lush Retread
Dubbed as Lush's 'tripple strength conditioner' - this is meant to be the daddy of all deep conditioners! I'm not so keen on the scent of it, but it is pleasant enough. This is my least favourite of the three, but by no means do I dislike it. I have to like it a certain amount, to justify spending £8 on a tub! This tub lasts a lot longer than H'Suan Wen Hua by the way - despite containing almost the same amount in a tub - it is a thinner consistency and therefore a little goes a long way.
I use this in replacement of my every day conditioner, after shampooing as regular. I like to use this on days when I don't have a lot of time! It's quick, convenient and does the job nicely.

So there are my 3 favourites!

What deep conditioners do you all use? Is there something I desperately need to check out? Please do let me know!

Lydia xox

15 March 2010

FOTD + OOTD Mon 15/03/10

Hello everyone! I always have loads of free time on a Monday due to a lack of lectures, so I decided to do a FOTD after seeing a reader comment request a look with Mac's Brule eyeshadow being used. This is for you, Sara!

FOTD below -
MAC Studio Fix Fluid NC15 - applied with MAC 188 brush
MAC MSF Natural in Medium
Benefit Coralista Blusher
Benefit Speed Brow

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
MAC Brule e/s applied all over lid and up to the brow bone
MAC Patina e/s applied to inner 2/3 of the lid
MAC Mulch e/s applied to outer corner and crease
Rimmel Sexy Curves mascara
MAC Powerpoint Eyeliner in Engraved to lower lash line

Top to bottom (below): Brule, Patina and Mulch.
And this photo below is for Sara - how Brule looks on it's own - I applied it to my entire lid up to the brow bone. As you can see, it is a VERY close match to my skin colour and isn't very noticeable. But I do like it as a highlight because it's not shimmery in the slightest. This is very subtle, in a good way.

Dress from New Look

It's really sunny and warm in South Wales today, so I wore this just with a navy Topshop cardigan and plain black pumps.

Lydia xox

14 March 2010

A new love.. MAC 188 Stipling Brush!

Hello everyone! The other week I was at MAC, getting re-matched for the Studio Fix Fluid and fell in love with how the 188 stipling brush she used gave me such a light application - who knew SFF could look so natural?!

I'd heard lots about the 188 and 187 through blogs and was always curious to give one of them a go.. so I bit the bullet and bought it!

I truly feel like this is the BEST Mac brush I have ever purchased. £25 well spent.

MAC 188 below: (the white part looks a bit grey in this photo for some reason - must be the flash!)

What I use my 188 brush for... my Studio Fix Fluid shown below.

I am now a NC15. I originally was NC20 for years, then got told I was a NW20 in September - but NW never felt right for me. I am pale but have warm undertones and tan well, so I don't get why I got matched as an NW but hey ho I have my NC15 now and it is a PERFECT match :)

I'm also very pleased that with the new 188 brush, I can wear SFF in the day time because it gives me such a light application - it barely looks like I'm wearing foundation - yet it looks flawless at the same time! It's so natural looking that it has swayed my mum to order the Sigma 188 (she goes berserk when she sees how much I spend on Mac brushes!)

Finally, the last thing I got at Mac was an eyeshadow pan in Brule. Pretty boring colour choice, but I know it's going to be well used!

What are your recent loves?

Lydia xox

12 March 2010

Slightly Delayed February Faves

Hiiii everyone. Been meaning to do this blog post for days and only now, at 3.10am after finishing an assignment, am I getting round to doing it!

So here are my February Favourites:

1. MAC Lipstick in 'Snob' - this is a well-blogged about lipstick here in the beauty community, but I never used to own it untill about a month ago! I fell in love with it instantly.. it's the perfect cool light pink shade that doesn't look too pale or too pink.

2. Tweezerman Mini Pink Tweezers - I bought these a few weeks back after hearing so many good things about Tweezerman tweezers. Usually I get my eyebrows waxed every month (more like every 6 weeks.. my eyebrows grow back very slow for some reason!) but this month I decided to skip the wax appointment and pluck my brows myself. I followed the shape that I have from getting them waxed and it was pretty easy. The tweezers were definitely the best I've used - but I must admit my experience is pretty limited. Would hugely recommend these though.

3. Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser Normal/Combination - I've been using this cream for about 6 weeks now and I love it. It isn't too heavy or too greasy, but it's not too drying either. It's a nice, light cream that soaks in pretty quickly and keeps my face hydrated all day. I use this every morning before I put my make-up on. At £16 a 50ml jar, it's pretty cheap considering it does the same job for me as other higher end brands do.

4. MAC Blusher in Pink Swoon - this was my first ever MAC blush and it still remains the blush I reach for the most. It's just an easy colour to wear - not too flamboyant, but pigmented enough to see you're wearing blush. I guess it's my staple everyday blusher, especially when I'm in a rush.

5. Nina Ricci Perfume 'Nina Ricci' - I picked this up in Debenhams about two weeks ago because I fancied a change from my heavy Chanel Chance. I picked it up because it smells GORGEOUS and it wasn't too pricey either. I've enjoyed wearing this every day, it's much more lighter than what I'm used to though so I notice it disappearing a lot quicker than my Chanel. But apart from that, it's great - very summery too! I would definitely repurchase to keep in my collection!

So that's it for this month. Not many new discoveries and loves really.

I've enjoyed reading everyone else's favourites - sorry for being so slow this month!

Lydia xox

6 March 2010

Make-up Swap with Nikki (cocobella)

Hey everyone! So on Friday I received a lovely lovely package off the gorgeous Nikki (http://cocobellabeauty.blogspot.com) - for some reason blogger is not letting me tag it as a link aghh!

We decided to do a USA/UK swap because we both wanted to get our hands on some things in particular!

She sent me two Sephora by OPI nail polishes - Meet For Drinks (left) and Metro Chic (right)

Above - Meet For Drinks. It's such a beautiful berry red! I know there are a lot of berry red nail polishes around but this colour is so unique and definitely not like any other nail polish I have in my collection! I love it A LOT :)

Above - the infamous Metro Chic. Love this shade - nothing else needs to be said!

Nikki also sent me four NYX Jumbo Eyshadow Pencils which I was very very keen to try out!
Top to bottom: Milk, Yogurt, Iced Mocha and French Fries.

Above - with flash. Below - without flash in natural light.

L-R: French Fries, Iced Mocha, Yogurt and Milk.

Below - swatches. Same order as above.

These NYX jumbo pencils are amazing! I have been playing around with them and have worn them both as a thick eyeliner, and as an all-over lid colour! They are so pretty :)

Just like to say a huge thanks to Nikki, and I hope my parcel makes it to her soon!!!

Lydia xox

2 March 2010

FREE Bare Minerals 15 Day Sample (UK)

Hi guys, I found this offer online and thought some of you might be interested!

If you print out the voucher on the link below you can get a free trial 15 day sample of Bare Minerals SPF15 Foundation at your local Debenhams counter!

I'm so happy they have put this offer on - I was very keen to try Bare Minerals to begin with!

Lydia xox

p.s. sorry this is a UK only offer!

FOTD / My 5 Minute Make-Up Routine!

Hi everyone! I haven't done a FOTD for a while so I thought I would do one today seeing as I had some spare time on my hands!

I got ready in such a rush today so I thought it was a good idea to combine my FOTD post with my '5 minute make-up routine'.


Products Used:
Foundation: Nars Sheer Glow in Gobi (I'm becoming a big fan of this!)
Powder: Mac MSF Natural in Medium - on my t zone
Blush: Benefit Coralista
Brows: Benefit Speed Brow
Mascara: Rimmel Sexy Curves in Brown/Black (loving this again recently!)
Eyeliner: Mac Powerpoint Eyeliner in Engraved
Lips: au natural!!

So a very plain look for me today - but it's all I can manage to do when I'm strapped for time! This routine is super safe and it's good to have something like this for days when you are rushing around like a headless chicken.

Lydia xox