Florabundance: 2013

10 October 2013

September 2013 Favourites

I used to be so good at keeping up with monthly favourites; they're one of my favourite posts to write and read but I have been terrible - so sorry! But I'm here now, at 6.45am (dedication hey), writing my September 2013 favourites... That's all that counts right?!

The L'Occitane Ultra Rich Foaming Bath has been my Sunday evening treat for the past few weeks. It's so lovely and gentle, creates lots of bubbles and doesn't dry my skin out like some cheaper bubble bath products. I am a bit of a Lush fanatic as you may already know but it's nice to have a bottle of good old bubble bath to hand for times when you run out or fancy something non-fussy! It's a also a whopping 500ml bottle which sells for around the £20 mark - really good value for a L'Occitane product.

Antipodes are a brand I've heard a lot about and I was really intrigued by their natural ingredients so I decided to order my first product to see how I get on. I chose the Aura Manuka Honey Mask which has been a godsend for my bad skin lately! It's not at all drying, it feels quite hydrating so it is amazing that it also helps with spots. I think it will be a Winter staple for sure. 

The only blusher I have really been using since the end of August is the Nars Oasis blusher which I have surprisingly completely fallen in love with. When I bought it I envisaged it to be a nice neutral blush that I could wear with a bright lip or on days where I can't be bothered to fuss. I was really wrong though because Oasis is beautiful! I find it makes my cheekbones look really chiselled and has a slight beautiful sheen to it. 

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation has been my foundation of choice lately, it is so light and runny in consistency yet it provides very generous coverage (I'd say medium) and looks so natural - not too dewy, not too matte - the finish is perfect for me. I wear shade 2.0 which I find to be a very near perfect match. 

As for nails I'm just totally loving red. And Essie of course - as always. I recently picked up Essie Twin Sweater Set from the new Fall 2013 collection in Boots. It's a lovely berry red and I can see myself getting plenty of use out of it! 

What have you guys been loving last month? Can't believe it's October... I love this time of year! 

Lydia xox

19 September 2013

L'Oreal Ever Pure Colour Care and Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner

I know the L'Oreal Ever Pure line has been out for a while and I am late to the bandwagon on this but oh my I am so so happy with them that I just had to dedicate a blog post to them! 

First off the bat, the packaging is great considering they are a drugstore line. They are metallic squeezy tubes which will be great for using up the last of the product when you get to the end. They are also just pretty to look at haha ;) of course not a sole reason to purchase them but hey it's a bonus.


In total there are so many different variations to choose from depending on your hair type. I decided to go with Colour Care and Smoothing because my hair is highlighted and frizzy. 

After using them both together consistently for 3 weeks I can say that they definitely leave my hair looking and feeling sleeker but they do not weigh my hair down at all which is brilliant and a bit of a breakthrough for me. I usually don't get along well with most drugstore hair brands. I have thick hair but it gets oily at the roots very quickly and I have to be careful with shampoo I use. Creamy formulas tend to make my hair look lank and oily within hours but fortunately this shampoo is creamy but manages to totally clean my hair and leaves it feeling light and freshly cleaned. It leaves no residue behind either which I can often have issues with - this only adds to my oily hair woes! I should also note that despite being sulphate free, this shampoo does lather really well. The conditioner is pleasant but nothing outstanding - it does the job well and it's nice to use a matching conditioner anyway. I find the conditioner has a more minty scent to it which is lovely and refreshing. 

Overall, I would definitely recommend trying these out. I am really impressed by them. I can't say I am going to use them religiously for the foreseeable future but I will enjoy using them up and probably will repurchase one day. 

Have any of you tried any of the other variations from the Ever Pure line? I would love to know which ones you went for and how you felt about them. 

Lydia xox

18 September 2013

the Balm 'Put a Lid On It' Eyeshadow Primer

I've always liked the idea of eyeshadow primers and I know from experience they do work, I once used Urban Decay Primer Potion religiously but for the past 2 years I have really been scrimping on it. On a whim I decided to order theBalm's offering whilst it was on offer on FeelUnique.com because the other theBalm products I have tried have all been fantastic. Put a Lid On It has been no exception! 

It's a thin gel-like consistency that is nude in colour and feels weightless on the lid. It is very similar to the UD but I personally feel like I get better results from theBalm's offering. My eyeshadow never creases with this stuff, not even after a very long work day. At full price the UD Primer Potion is £15 for 11ml, whereas at full price theBalm Put a Lid On It is £14.50 for 11.8ml so it is slightly better value too. 

If you are in the market for a new eyeshadow primer I would definitely recommend looking at this as an alternative to Urban Decay or Too Faced! It is available from FeelUnique.com for £14.50 with free worldwide shipping. 

Hope you all have a good day! 

Lydia xox

13 July 2013

Warm Weather Essentials

Blogging two days in a row? God, I really have found my blogging mojo! 

I've not long come indoors after spending yet another lovely afternoon in the garden basking in this gorgeous weather we are having in the UK at the moment. I came inside and took a shower to cool down and then applied my favourite light body lotion - The Body Shop Coconut Milk Body Lotion. I really love this stuff, it is very thin in consistency and I would definitely describe it as a milk rather than a lotion. 

Why I love it? It sinks in strait away, feels adequately moisturising, smells absolutely gorgeous and leaves the skin with a lovely sheen. Perfect for warmer weather and balmy nights! 

It should be a given that my other essentials are sunscreen. I would much rather be a paley-face than burn to a crisp. Even in the UK I always wear SPF30. I used to wear lower and I could still get away with it now but I feel better knowing my skin is fully protected. 

My favourites are Piz Buin 1 Day Long SPF30 for the body and La Roche Posay Anthelios AC SPF30 for the face. 

The Piz Buin does what it says on the tin which is just brilliant and so convenient. 

The La Roche Posay is great both under make-up or alone but it does give a slight white cast. It is great for oily skin as it isn't greasy at all and it is very thin in consistency. It doesn't feel like I am wearing sunscreen at all really - would really recommend! 

Other essentials include ice cold water, a face mist and a good book! 

What about you guys? 

Lydia xox

12 July 2013

The Balm Cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer Review

Hello everyone! Long time no blog. I haven't really been in the mood to blog at all the past couple of months but for some reason today I just had the urge! I have snapped a few photos and planned a couple of posts so hopefully it won't be radio silence from me yet again after this post...

The product I want to talk about today is Mary-Lou Manizer from the Balm Cosmetics. Being a brand that isn't exactly well heard of in the UK, I was a little apprehensive to blindly order a product online but considering this only cost £15 from FeelUnique.com I figured it wasn't a huge waste of money if this turned out to be rubbish. 

As it turns out, this product isn't rubbish at all - it is absolutely fantastic! It is a gorgeous pale champagne toned highlighter that is incredibly pigmented. I am so so impressed! This has now replaced the Dior Amber Diamond highlighter in my daily routine - something I had used religiously for almost 2 years. That is quite a big feat in my opinion and speaks for itself about how great this product is. 

Below - a swatch from just one swipe. 

Below - how pigmented the powder is after one light touch. These photos totally speak for themselves hey!

I am so in love with this product, I cannot sing its praises enough. I strongly recommending trying it if you love a good ol' highlight like me. Some people might reserve something like this for a special occasion or a night out as it a little 'bam!' in your face but I personally love it and feel comfortable wearing it every day. I am always asked how I get my cheekbones to look so glowing - well this is how people! 

In regards to Dior Amber Diamond - yes I still love it but it creates the exact same results for me as the Mary-Lou Manizer so I will probably not repurchase it again as it is double the price! 

After a good experience with my first the Balm product I am now keen to try more - please let ,e know if you have any recommendations! 

Lydia xox

28 April 2013

April 2013 Beauty Favourites

For the first time ever I actually don't want to say the predictable bloggers line "how fast has this month gone?!" Honestly, this month has absolutely dragged for me. Any month that has 5 Mondays in it is enough to make me sad. 

Despite the long month, I have really been enjoying some beauty products and so I guess I should share them all with you...

Laura Mercier Body Souffle in Ambre Vanille - I got this small jar in a set of 4 in the Christmas sales and have slowly been working my way through each jar. I have to say that Ambre Vanille is my absolute favourite and a cut above all of the other scents in my opinion! It smells delicious, very sweet but not sickly sweet. Texture wise, this is so silky and luxurious - a real treat to apply after a bath. I also love that it absorbs in to the skin very quickly, leaving your skin with a velvet feel. I am totally buying this in full size, despite the shocking price tag!

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation - I have had a love/hate relationship with this foundation since the very start. The fact that I am half way through my second bottle must surely show it can't be all that bad though hey?! I am currently going through a love phase with this and have gravitated towards using it this month more than usual. It is lovely and light with decent coverage, definitely a foundation for better skin days.

Dior DiorShow Maximiser Lash Serum - I was a bit skeptical about this product to begin with but after hearing so many people rave about it I couldn't ignore it any longer. I bought this tube back in March and I've been hooked since the first application! It really plumps up your lashes and makes any mascara work well. I have found it also really helps your lashes hold a curl, which for me gives it big bonus points.

Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick - It's no secret that I love a hot pink lip but I rarely wear one in the day because I don't have time to re-apply and I always worry about smudging. Well, that was until I bought the Revlon Balm Stain in Lovesick. It stays put on my lips for hours, doesn't smudge and feels very hydrating on the lips. I have been rocking a hot pink lip for almost 2 weeks straight now! 

Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil - I'm not sure this is the all time best cuticle oil out there (I've long been loyal to the Nails Inc cuticle oil pen) but it is a good price for a good amount of product. I have been brushing this on to my cuticles then massaging it in every other night just before bed for the past month and I've barely made a dent in it! 

What have you guys been loving in April?

Lydia xox

21 April 2013

Estee Lauder Eyeshadow Duo in Raisins

Lately I have really been loving the Estee Lauder Eyeshadow Duo in Raisins. This little duo has had quite a bit of buzz in the beauty community over the past few months and so naturally I had to buy it! I have to say that it hasn't disappointed at all, both colours are beautiful and well pigmented.

On the left we have a shimmery pale pink. It's quite similar to MAC Naked Lunch but I think it's more of a natural pink. This is great as a 'wash all over the lid' type of colour.
On the right we then have a gorgeous shimmering brown. To me it looks similar to MAC Sketch with a bit more shimmer to it. It definitely has some purple in there which is great for me as I have brown eyes and I find that browns with some purple to them are really flattering. I also think this would look beautiful on green eyes.

Both shadows are so buttery and blend effortlessly. They also work so well together, this is all I need most mornings for my eye shadows.

The duo has 4.5g of products and retails for £23. A little pricey but totally worth it I can assure you!

Lydia xox

30 March 2013

Monthly Favourites: March 2013

Oh March, where on earth did you go?! I can not believe it is April on Monday. I swear it only feels like Christmas has just gone! Perhaps it has something to do with this god awful cold weather we can't seem to shake here in the UK?

This past month has seen a lot of products come and go in to my daily routine, so it only seemed natural to include the new ones that have taken the place of past staple products.

REN Hydra Calm Cleansing Milk  - After trying out the REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask last month I decided to dip my feet further in to the world of REN Skincare. I was very tempted by the Cleansing Balm but I decided it sounded too heavy for my oily-prone skin and instead I went with their Cleansing Milk. It is very light and gentle on the skin but it gets rid of every last speck of make-up including liquid liner. What a god send! It was also decently priced at around £20 - a lot less then the balm.

Tigi Headrush Shine Spray  - I bought this recently after seeing the gorgeous MissShariMakeUp mention it in her hair care routine and I have to say I have been thoroughly impressed with it. As I'm sure many other blondes will know, it has hard to make blonde hair shine but this stuff really does the trick. I spritz it on clean dry hair from quite a distance and then smooth it through. You can pick this up on CheapSmells.com for just under a tenner - definitely worth a go!

Nina Ricci Nina Perfume - An old favourite that I recently repurchased. It is sweet, super girly and quite lightweight due it being an eau de toilette. This is perfect for day time, especially if you don't want to waste your heavier, more expensive perfumes just for work.

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint - This has become my base of choice lately, it has all the things I could want in a daytime base - lightweight, matte but not flat and decent coverage whilst still looking natural. At £29, it was an expensive risk to take by blindly ordering it online but I am really loving it.

I hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend, I have been off work since Thursday and I'm not back in until Tuesday so I am having a lovely little break.

Lydia xox

2 March 2013

February 2013 Favourites

Well hello! I have to start off by saying I'm incredibly disappointed in myself. I started blogging back in April 2009 and I don't think I ever missed a monthly favourites until recently. I've made a mental promise to myself to keep up my monthly favourites for the rest of 2013. 

Anyway, let's not dwell on the past hey, here are my February 2013 favourites...

Macadamia Deep Repair Masque - I bought my first tub back in early December and it was love at first use. It smells amazing, makes my hair feel amazing and yes, in general, it is just amazing. It's pretty pricey but considering I pretty much use this for every hair wash (3 times a week) it has lasted well as I only run out of this first tub on Thursday. I have since bought a new tub on Amazon (much cheaper than anywhere else, surprise surprise) and I look forward to carrying on our love affair...

Nars Blusher in Deep Throat  - this is an old favourite I have rediscovered lately and I just can't get enough of it. It's very similar to Benefit Coralista in that it is shimmery and incredibly flattering but this is a bit more pink than coral. I have even got my mum hooked on this - she has requested it as a birthday present!

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil - I was sucked in to all the blogger hype around this product and finally caved in. I am really enjoying using it, particularly for shaving my legs, but I have to say it doesn't smell of very much (contrary to many reviews?!) which has disappointed me as I'm a huge fan of almond scented products. I decided to stick it in my favourites because it is a nice luxury product that I use on my Sunday pamper sessions, but I'm not entirely sure I'd repurchase.

MAC Lipstick in Speed Dial - another old favourite that I have rediscovered. A lovely pink that isn't too overpowering or too pale. I think I may have worn this to work every day this month! I have also read that it is a Holly Willoughby make-up bag staple, so even more reason to slap it on.

Chanel Chance Eau Tendre Twist Purse Spray - this has been my favourite scent for almost a year now and on pay day last month I decided to invest in the purse spray version. It is so handy to keep in your handbag to freshen up on the go and I love that it comes with 3 refills with 20ml of product, so you get 60ml altogether. You can also buy the refills separately, so it will be cheaper next time too!

Clarins Ever Matte Pressed Powder - I had been using the Laura Mercier loose powder to set my make-up for a few months and decided I needed a pressed compact for touch ups. I promptly ordered the Clarins Ever Matte on a whim and I have been so impressed with it! It is the best pressed powder I've ever used to control my oily t-zone. I powder at 6.30am and I honestly see no shine until around 2pm. It's really impressive and I'm glad that I discovered it accidentally, I will absolutely be repurchasing this for the foreseeable future!

REN Invisible Pores Detox Max  - I go through phases with face masks, sometimes I use them frequently and other times I completely push them aside. Recently I was on a face mask kick so, again, ordered this REN mask on a whim. It is an old school clay formula which leaves my skin feeling really clean and detoxified. It does help a little with my pores too, moreso when paired with my La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo afterwards.

What have you been loving in February? If you have any recommendations let me know!

Lydia xox

24 February 2013

Lush Brightside Bubble Bar

As soon as I saw the new, limited edition Brightside bubble bar in store I knew I had to buy it. 

In Lush's own words... "Everything's bright about this bubble bar, from the swirling orange and red colour to the juicy citrus fragrance. Simon calls this scent the 'Triple Orange', and it's easy to see why - close your eyes and you can imagine you're lying in a sunny orange grove."

I think the description is spot on. The scent is so juicy, I feel like I'm laying in a big bowl of OJ! It's certainly uplifting and awakening - perhaps an ideal product to use for a morning bath. I have used it once in the evening and I found it didn't help me unwind ready for bed, the scent was literally too energising if that makes sense. It also turned the water a vivid orange and created a huge mass of bubbles - not exactly soothing but very impressive and pleasing to the eye!

I also wanted to note that the Lush sticky label suggested that this bar is 'big enough for 2 baths' - heck, I've chopped this up in to 7 generous pieces and I think this is one of Lush's better value products as it's so large.

I imagine this bubble bar will be a hit with Lush fans and I hope that it will become a permanent fixture...

The Brightside is in Lush stores and online now for £4.25.

Lydia xox

9 February 2013

Current Foundation Loves

I have a terrible issue with foundation - the issue being that I simply cannot stop buying them because I am constantly on the hunt for something better. Of course, I am rarely completely satisfied with a foundation and as a result keep buying them. I currently own somewhere around the 20 mark - eek!

Lately though I seem to have settled in to a routine with foundation and as a result, I haven't been coveting any others and I certainly haven't bought any new ones either! I thought it was high time that I blogged about these wonderful foundations that appear to have tamed my addiction.

Without further ado, I present to you my weekday foundation and my weekend foundation....

Dior Forever Foundation is my go-to weekday foundation of choice. It's an old favourite of mine and after rediscovering it in early January I can see exactly why I loved it so much. It's a dream for oily skinned gals - long wearing and semi matte. It also offers impressive coverage considering the very light fluid consistency it has. I usually apply 2 pumps of this with my fingers which results in medium-verging-on-full coverage. The finish looks so natural on the skin, but it is quite obvious you are wearing make-up which I think is going to be case with any high coverage foundation.
In terms of staying power - I apply my foundation at 6.30am with a light dusting of translucent powder and I return home at 5.30pm with my foundation still fully intact - a long day indeed and this foundations lives up to all its promises. It does get a little luminous in the t-zone after around 7 hours but I quite like the finish so I don't bother to touch up with some powder.

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat is my go-to weekend foundation of choice. It's the absolute opposite of Dior Forever, which would be a nightmare for me at work but it's the perfect weekend option for me. I must warn you that it is incredibly light in coverage, very dewy and only lasts around 5 hours before a touch up is needed. I like it though because  it makes my skin look so fresh and healthy, which is a welcome change for me considering that I usually have to wear matte foundations for long days. Being so dewy means that it doesn't last for very long but this is why I love it for the weekend as I usually only nip out for a few hours. It also looks very natural and not too try-hard which again, is perfect for the weekend. I apply two pumps with my fingers and it disappears in to the skin perfectly. I then have to follow up with a heavy duty concealer on any blemishes, but it's worth it for how gorgeous it makes my skin look.

What foundation(s) are you loving right now and why? The inner foundation obsessive in me would love to know.

Lydia xox

10 January 2013

2012 Favourites: Make-Up

Hello everyone! It's almost the weekend and I'm in a jolly good mood this evening so I have decided to finally write up the make-up part of my 2012 favourites. 
I have been putting this off for a few days as I just cannot get any good lighting to take photos in, so I apologise in advance for these pink-tinged photos....

Foundation: Jemma Kidd Light As Air is hands down my all time favourite foundation and I would have included it as my sole 2012 favourite foundation if it wasn't now discontinued *weep*. It is a generous medium coverage that has just the right amount of luminosity. The closest thing I have managed to get to HG is the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation which is a wonderful texture, photographs beautifully and has very good coverage.

Concealer: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage has been brilliant for covering up spots with one tiny dab and Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch has been a god send for my under eye circles - not to mention super cheap!

Blush: This has to be the MAC Mineral Skin Finish in Blonde from this years Naturally collection. I picked this up in London in February after IMATS and I have used it religiously ever since. I sometimes stray and use other blushers, but I always come back to this.

Eyeshadow Palette: Although I bought Naked 2 this year, it is last years UD Naked palette that has won it for me. I found myself reaching for it more and more as the year went on. I love how pigmented UD eyeshadows are, I just wish they didn't have such bad fall out, however I can agree to look over that!

Singular Eyshadow: Stila Kitten is one of the most beautiful eyeshadows I have ever seen. It's incredibly pigmented and looks equally gorgeous as an all over eye colour or an inner corner highlight.

Mascara: Benefit They're Real has just totally blown my mind this year. It is so damn good! It gives me super long lashes and holds a curl well.

Eyeliner: Maybelline Master Precise - the name is pretty self explanatory, this nib is super precise and it makes eyeliner application a dream! Possibly my star product of 2012, it's that good. If you're an eyeliner novice, I'd really recommend you try this one.

Lipstick: 3 lipsticks have been on heavy rotation - Chanel Bonheur, MAC Shy Girl and Revlon Lip Butter in Sweet Tart.

I really struggled to cut down my favourites this year and now that I've written this it doesn't even seem like I had that many for make-up!

Lydia xox

6 January 2013

2012 Favourites: Skincare and Haircare

Happy new year everyone! I know we're 6 days in but I just haven't been able to spare the time to sit down and write up a blog post. There's no way I'm missing the obligatory yearly favourites post though! Oh hell no! 

This year I have decided to split it up in to 2 posts as I have so many products to feature. This post will be skincare and haircare. 


Make-Up Remover: Bioderma Sensibo H20 for the face; Garnier Fresh Essentials Grape Eye Make-Up Remover for the eyes. Both feel like water and take my make-up off like a dream.

Moisturiser: Origins Make a Difference + has worked wonders for my skin. I use it day and night mostly. Embryolisse has been my saviour for drier skin days.

Cleansers: Soap and Glory Peacges and Clean for the evening if I'm wearing heavy make-up. Origins A Perfect World is great for the morning.

Serum: Estee Lauder Advance Night Repair has probably been my favourite skin care product discovery of 2012. For me, it really speeds up the process of healing spots.


Shampoo: Aussie Mega and Pantene Ice Shine - both high street options that work great for me. Aussie Mega is more clarifying, whereas Pantene Ice Shine is great for every day without weighing my hair down.

Leave-In: Unite 7 Seconds and Moroccan Oil. I usually switch it up between the two - both wonderful at keeping my hair sleek and untangled.

Deep Conditioner: Matrix Conditioning Balm for a really intense hair treat. Macadamia Deep Repair Masque for every day deep conditioning - I use this for almost every hair wash.

Are any of these part of your 2012 favourites?

Lydia xox