Florabundance: February 2012

28 February 2012

February 2012 Favourites

February has absolutely flown by for me. I have been waiting for March to roll around for about 10 months - for this is the month I jet off for a 5 week trip to America! YAY!

Here's what I have been loving in February...

MAC Mineral Skin Finish in Blonde - I bought this in London at the start of the month and I have probably used it every day since. I was so excited for this to be repromoted with the Naturally collection, and it certainly has not disappointed me. I am a sucker for shimmery blushes and this fits the bill perfectly. First of all I swirl the brush around to mix the colour and apply it, then to finish off I take some of the pink side and dot it on the apples of my cheeks. Perfection :-)

Chanel Illusion D'ombre in Emerveille - Another product purchased at the start of this month. I'm surprised it took me so long to cave and get this in the first place! I already own two other Illusion D'ombres, and this has been a welcome addition. Perfect for those lazy days or days when I'm in a rush. Definitely a staple product for me.

Jimmy Choo Perfume - I dug this perfume out of my collection recently and fell in love with it all over again. It's sickly sweet and right up my street! (check out my rhymes... ha!) You can read my old review on this perfume here.

The Body Shop Banana Shampoo - ahh this product is so nostalgic, I used to use it when I was younger. Whilst I'm not so keen on the scent, I absolutely love how it leaves my hair. Squeaky clean and more shiny than usual. At £4 a bottle I don't think it's too badly priced either - this bottle is lasting ages!

Illamasqua Large Kabuki - wow, how did I live without this brush? I picked it up at IMATS for a bargainous £10 and I have been loving it ever since. I swirl it in my bronzer and apply it to my neck and chest to give myself a bit of colour. It is probably the softest brush I own too!

What have you guys been loving in February?

Lydia xox

20 February 2012

Aromatherapy Associates Bath and Shower Oils

Before discovering Aromatherapy Associates, I had never dabbled with bath oils and I have to say I never really understood them. I'm writing the review because it's safe to say my mind has absolutely changed and I am now a bath oil enthusiast!

My particular favourite is the Essentials set. In it you get 7.5ml bottles of Relax Deep, De-Stress Mind and Revive Morning. This set of miniatures will set you back £22 , however despite only being 7.5ml each you only need 2 little capfuls for an entire bath. They are ridiculously potent! I must have had about 12 baths with these and I still have more than half left in each bottle. Perfect for traveling and perfect as a gift :-)

Next up is the Light Relax Bath and Shower Oil. This is my favourite oil to use after a really busy or hectic day - especially when my feet are aching! At £37 it's not cheap, but if you are looking for a really luxurious bath time treat then it is perfect. Again, one capful is enough for an entire bath so this 55ml bottle looks set to last ages.

Finally, just a little disclaimer - I didn't purchase these with my own money. A few months ago I donated money to Nicoletta's JustGiving page, where she was raising money for Breast Cancer Awareness. As a result, I was entered in to a giveaway and I ended up winning a whole selection of Aromatherapy Associates products - lucky me! Now that I have tried them I can say I would absolutely pay the price for them as I think they are a fabulous luxury that is worth splurging on.

What are your thoughts on bath oils? Have you tried any?

Lydia xox

12 February 2012

Lush 'Buffy'

I recently repurchased my favourite Lush product, Buffy, and thought it was high time I blogged about it. As a past Lush employee, it's safe to say I've tried almost every Lush product going and Buffy is the one I have loved the most.

Buffy was originally called Buffy The Backside Slayer - because it buffs your backside and slays dead skin, resulting in super soft skin. I remember learning this at work on one of my very first days and it made me chuckle! Buffy isn't just for backsides though - I use it all over :)
Ground rice, ground almonds and ground adzuki beans are the gentle exfoliating ingredients in Buffy, but it's the cocoa butter and shea butter element that I really love - it is super hydrating and your skin will feel like you have just moisturised when you have stepped out of the shower. This is a massive pro for me because it saves the effort of applying an actual moisturiser - especially when I'm in a rush! I'd say this is perfect for the people who have a hard time committing to moisturising on a regular basis. You just scrub with Buffy in the shower or bath and voila, a perfectly moisturised body :)

A 50g bar costs £5.50 and a 200g bar costs £9.95 - next time I'll be splurging on the 200g for sure!

What's your favourite Lush product? I'd love to know!

Lydia xox

11 February 2012

IMATS 2012 Haul

If this feels like the hundredth IMATS 2012 haul to pop up in your blogger dashboard then I apologise! But I couldn't help but share my little splurge from the weekend :)

I had a great time at IMATS and went a little over my budget, but I just couldn't refuse a bargain - especially when I would have happily paid full price for the products!

On to the goodies -

I'll start with Illamasqua who were my personal favourite - they were absolutely the star of the show. It was ram packed at their stand - even at 9am when we arrived!

What I was most happy to get my hands on was some Medium Pencils - an absolutely steal at £2 each! I chose Cane (pale yellow), Feisty (red) and Obscene (Purple).

Intense Lip Colour in Femme (£5)

Sheer Lip Colour in Mina (£5)

Cream Blusher in Sob (£5)

Nail Polish in Propaganda (£5)

Large Kabuki (£10 - amazing!)

We also spent some time pursuing the Real Techniques stand. I already have the Stipling Brush so I just went for the Powder Brush in the end. It cost around the £8 mark and it is SO soft!

At the MAC Pro stand I took the opportunity to buy something I had wanted to get my hands on for a while - the Reflects Glitter pigment in Pearl.

Finally, at Make Up For Ever I bought their Full Cover concealer - another bargain at £13.

Now that I've written a post it doesn't seem like I bought that much - but it's definitely more than I'd ever buy on a normal make-up shopping trip haha!

As for my overall thoughts on IMATS, I thought it was great but I'm not 100% sure if I'd go again. The atmosphere just didn't seem right and the hall was far too large - I've heard that the smaller hall they used last year was much better as everything was more compact. However, it was great to see some bloggers, chat to some lovely people at the stands and bag some discounted products.

Did you go to IMATS this year? What did you think and what did you buy? Would love to hear!

Lydia xox

9 February 2012

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Foundation

Bobbi Brown's Extra Repair SPF25 Foundation is still a fairly new product on the market, and personally I have not heard very many things about it so I thought it could be useful to add my two cents and do a review.

The idea behind Extra Repair SPF25 foundation, is that over time it will help replenish and strengthen skin. I'll be honest though - that's not what sucked me in! My skin has been a little on the dry side this winter (very rare for me!) and the idea of a product was like face cream in consistency but provided me with decent coverage and some SPF seemed like a winning combination.

The foundation comes in a very luxurious jar, just like the skin care line - this is mostly likely because Bobbi Brown wants to market this product as more of a skin product as opposed to make up.

The shade range is excellent and I was very pleased with how the MUA matched me at the counter. She cleansed my skin and drew stripes of different shades to see which suited me the most. In the end we both agreed that 3 Beige was the best match.

How it looks in the pot - as you can see it is a very thick, creamy consistency. As someone that has normal skin with oily tendencies, you think I would run a mile! But in winter time, this is pretty much perfect for me - it nourishes my skin, does not emphasise my flaky patches and does not break me out. My only gripe is that the coverage is low and I find it hard to build - so this can only really be used as a day foundation for me.

Here's a photo of how it looks on me:

As you can probably tell, it is quite luminous. I only have Extra Repair on here with some blusher - no highlighter, no concealer, no powder. I find it makes me look so healthy with just the right amount of glow. It's a huge winner for me. I find the best method of application is with a bog standard foundation brush, but then blended out with your fingers afterwards to ensure no tell-tale brush strokes are present.

I am incredibly pleased with my purchase and I would recommend this if you are after a product that has more coverage than a tinted moisturiser. It would also work great for people with dry skin as it is very nourishing. The only downside is the price - it costs a whopping £36. I bought mine from John Lewis

Lydia xox

6 February 2012

January 2012 Favourites

January was a great month for both enjoying new products and discovering old ones - so this post has a nice mix of the two.

First up is Garnier's Intensive 7 Hour range - I have both the body and hand versions in the Mango Oil scent. I absolutely love both of these because they are extremely moisturising but soak in to the skin very quickly too! I'm not so sure my skin is left moisturised for 7 whole days, but I can definitely notice it for 2 days afterwards which is definitely a major plus point for me.
These are both on offer in Boots at the moment (£1.99 each!) and I am definitely stocking up before the offer ends.

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Genial has surprisingly been one of my most reached for lipsticks this month. It's a bright pinky-coral with a bit of a glossy finish to it. I mostly love how creamy and opaque it is. I'm totally looking forward to Spring and Summer and this lipstick is definitely helping me to get in the mood!

Clarisonic Mia in Pink is definitely the star of the month for me. I bought it with some of my Christmas money and I have totally fallen in love with it - it gives such a deep clean and my skin has really benefited from that. A more in depth review of this to come in the near future hopefully!

St Tropez Bronzing Mousse has been a great pick me up throughout January. I usually use it once every 7-10 days to give me a bit of colour. It's easy to apply and pretty much fool-proof if you use a mitt. A bit of regular exfoliation also ensures the tan fades evenly, unlike other tanners I have tried.

Finally, what with the hype of UD Naked 2 I was inspired to dig out the original Naked Palette and start using it more frequently. I love Sidecar all over the lid, with Virgin and Sin as highlights. I also love Buck for my brows and in the crease. So many gorgeous neutrals in this palette, you just can't go wrong!

Lydia xox