Friday, 11 October 2013

Review: Origins Facial and Mask Marvels

Origins Facial

So as you may or may not know it was my birthday on Thursday 10th October and as a little birthday treat to myself I booked in for a relaxing facial at the Origins counter in John Lewis.
I have had Origins facials before and absolutely loved them so I was really looking forward to this, and it definitely did not disappoint!

My skin is currently quite dull and I'm suffering from blocked pores (too much drinking wine and eating rubbish I suspect) so I wanted something to brighten my skin and sort out the bumpy surface which isn't looking so great!

One thing I really like about Origins is their customer care system where customers' details are stored, along with their purchases and information so that whichever Origins counter you go to, they always have your information. This is great if someone is buying you a gift, or if you forget exactly which products you've used before.

So back to my facial, the consultant asked me loads of questions about my skin and what I wanted to get out of the facial, so she could really tailor the products she used to my skin's current needs. She used the following:

Cleanser- Dr Weil Mega-Bright skin illuminating cleanser
Exfoliator- Modern Friction
Toner- Dr Weil Mega-Bright skin illuminating treatment lotion
Mask- Drink Up Intensive
Serum- Dr Weil skin illuminating serum
Eye Treatment- No Puffery cooling roll-on
Moisturiser- Dr Weil Mega-Bright skin illuminating moisturiser
Eye Cream- Plantscription anti-ageing eye treatment

Review of the products used:

I love the Dr Weil Mega-Bright range, I've had a facial using these products before but didn't invest in them as it's quite an expensive range, so I really enjoyed using them again today as they're so nice and light and they really do instantly brighten my complexion. I've had a sample of the serum before and I will definitely be investing in it soon because for me, it really helps get rid of little scars left by picking spots (gross I know but I really can't help it!)

One thing that surprised me during my facial was how quickly my skin absorbed the Drink Up Intensive hydrating mask. Because my skin is quite oily I forget that it still needs hydration, so I was surprised to see that after the consultant put a thick layer of this mask on, my skin pretty much absorbed it completely. 

I also really enjoyed the No Puffery cooling eye roll-on treatment, as I do suffer from puffy eyes and it soothes them immediately. I will be doing a separate blog post on this product though as I did receive it for my birthday from my lovely work pals :)


I went to my facial intending to buy a Clear Improvement mask, to help clear my blocked pores, but when I got there I saw that Origins have already launched their Christmas gift sets yay! Last year they did an amazing mask gift set containing 3 of their amazing masks: Clear Improvement, Out of Trouble and Drink Up. I was hoping they had this gift set in again as I have just run out of the Out of Trouble mask, however this year the Mask Marvels set doesn't contain that mask any more! For some reason Origins have replaced Out of Trouble with another Drink Up mask, so the set now contains: Drink Up, Drink Up Intensive and Clear Improvement.
This is still a good buy though as a 100ml tube of Clear Improvement is £22 whereas the gift set contains three 75ml masks for £25 so I thought I may as well spend the extra three quid and get two more masks...bargain!

So Origins came up trumps yet again and I had a lovely relaxing facial and some gorgeous products to try at home.

Are any of you Origins fans? What are your favourite products?

Love Alex xxxxxxxx

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Review: Benefit B. Right Skincare Foamingly Clean Cleanser & Refined Finish Scrub

 Review: Benefit B. Right Skincare

So as promised I'm back and blogging more regularly :) Nice quick little review for you today.
I don't know about you but I feel like I'm always looking for new skincare to actually do what it says and make my skin look amazing. This is an absolute priority for me at the moment as for some reason my sun-cream on holiday brought my skin out in loads of spots and totally blocked my pores so I feel really rubbish about it at the moment.
Now although Benefit are well known for their amazing make-up products, they aren't a big skincare brand, but I've used their It's Potent eye cream and absolutely loved it so I thought I would try their cleanser and scrub and see if they're as good.


First things first I think the packaging of the boxes is really cute, I love the colours and the names of the products as well. I'm not as keen on the actual bottles inside because the plastic they're made out of picks up dirt and grime straight away so they can get a bit scruffy looking. However they're easy to use squeezy bottles that stand up easily on their lids. 


Foamingly Clean costs £17.50 and Refined Finish costs £18.50. I think this is reasonable and about what I would expect to pay for skincare from a premium beauty brand. 

Does it work?

Foamingly Clean:

I have combination skin so I like a cleanser that gives a really squeaky clean feeling and the Foamingly Clean cleanser definitely gives that. A tiny little bit goes such a long way and it foams up with water to make a really rich lather. It also smells really clean and fresh. Benefit claim this is a brightening cleanser and will make skin look more radiant and it does actually work, my skin does look brighter already and I've only used it a few times. Another good thing about this cleanser is it actually does remove your make-up without really stinging your eyes.

Refined Finish:

I love using exfoliating products anyway because I think they make your skin feel so fresh and smooth, but I LOVE this product! The exfoliating beads are really small and gritty so it gives such a good scrub without feeling like it's actually ripping your skin off. It also contains seaweed and clay so it's supposed to help draw out impurities and refine pores which definitely appeals to me as I struggle with open pores. My skin felt so smooth from just using this scrub once and it's really helping get rid of that horrible bumpy feeling you get when your pores are blocked. This scrub also smells really fresh, with a botanical sort of scent.

Overall I'm really impressed with both of these products, I've definitely noticed an improvement in my skin from using them, and I've found them really nice to use.

Have any of you tried Benefit's skincare range?


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Holiday Makeup Looks

Hi lovelies! So sorry I haven't blogged in so long, been super busy but I've got loads of things in the pipeline that should make some really interesting blog posts.
First of all I've been on a much needed holiday to Tenerife which was AMAZING, I was definitely ready for some sunshine and sangria! Being on holiday gave me a great idea for a blog post as well, because I always find holiday makeup can be a bit of a nightmare to get right.
I've created two holiday looks, using a lot of the same products, to show how you don't need to take your entire makeup bag on holiday to get loads of different looks.

Softly smoking eyes with pale pink lips

I absolutely love this look because it's quick and easy to do, and really looks like you've made a lot of effort. It goes well with any outfit and I think it suits a laid back ponytail hairstyle.

Breaking the look down:

  1. Primer- Benefit Porefessional
  2. Foundation- MAC Studiosculpt 
  3. Concealer- Benefit Erase Paste
  4. Bronzer- Chanel Soleil Tan du Chanel (Bronze Universal)
  1. Primer- Benefit Stay Don't Stray
  2. Shadow- MAC Snowglobe Palette in Sultry shades Lightfully, Fun! & Trax (limited edition Christmas palette)
  3. Liner- Benefit Magic Ink
  4. Lashes- Eyelure Katy Perry Oh Honey! 
  5. Brows- Benefit Browzings in Dark
Lips & Cheeks:

Lips- Benefit Lip Plump & MAC Angel
Cheeks- Benefit Watts Up highlighter & Guerlain Terracotta  Blondes (04) bronzer

Peacock inspired smoky eyes with coral lips

This was my favourite makeup look of the whole holiday because I think the colours work really well together and look gorgeous with a tan. I never usually use blue shades I always stick to browns and black but I think this rich navy blue works really well with brown eyes.

Breaking the look down:


As above, I didn't want to take loads of makeup on holiday so I kept my base and cheeks the same all week as you can't really go wrong with a luminous foundation and bronzer.


  1. Primer- Benefit Stay Don't Stray
  2. Shadow- Benefit Sippin n' Dippin (discontinued cream peach shade), Lancome 604 Color Design Night Strass (Navy blue powder)
  3. Liner- Benefit Magic Ink
  4. Lashes- Eyelure Katy Perry Oh Honey!
  5. Brows- Benefit Browzings in Dark
Cheeks & Lips:

Cheeks as above, Lips- Benefit Lip Plump & Barry M Lip Paint 54

I tried a few new products this holiday and I think I was most impressed with the Katy Perry Eyelure lashes because they looked dramatic yet natural and were incredibly easy to apply, they also lasted several applications and still looked fresh. 

I'm thinking about doing more makeup tutorials and maybe video tutorials, is that something you would like to see? If so what kind of look would you be interested in?

Hope you like these new makeup looks!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Beauty Tutorial: Simple Day/Night Look Using Benefit Products

Hi everyone! I've decided as well as doing product reviews I am also going to treat you all to some makeup tutorials as well, because I often find I'm asked the same beauty 'how to' questions and this is a perfect way to answer them.

First up, I am going to show you how to create a simple, easy to achieve look which would be perfect for daytime or evening.

Step 1: Base

Prime the skin using a combination of Benefit That Gal and POREfessional. I like to mix these two primers because then I get the benefits of both. The POREfessional instantly erases any open pores and keeps makeup looking fresh all day, while That Gal brightens the complexion.
POREfessional-£23.50 That Gal-£21.50

Excuse my ghostly pale face!
After priming the skin, apply your chosen foundation to the skin using a foundation brush.

Step 2: Concealer

To brighten the eye area, mix brightening treatment Benefit Ooh La Lift (£16.50) with light reflecting concealer Erase Paste (£19.50) to create a super light reflective concealing potion. Apply to under eye area in a 'magic V' shape, this helps highlight cheekbones and deflect light away from dark circles.

Step 3: Cheeks

For a natural easy contoured effect apply Benefit Watts Up (£24.50) to the cheekbones and browbone to highlight. Then use Benefit Hoola bronzer (£23.50) underneath cheekbones to emphasise the cheekbone. Blend the highlighter and bronzer shades together with a peachy blush, I used Benefit Coralista (£23.50).

Step 4: Eyes

Apply a primer specifically for the eye area, I like Benefit Stay Don't Stray (£19.50) because it can be used all around the eye area and really makes sure any eyeshadow stays put without creasing all day (and night). 
Once the eye area is primed, apply a cream eyeshadow as again this won't crease, I've used Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Sippin' n Dippin' (£14), a peach parfait shade. This shade would suit any skintone or eye colour, and looks gorgeous both worn alone or as a base colour for say a bronzed smoky eye.

After applying the eyeshadow, use a liquid eyeliner to give the eye instant definition, this can also take the look from day to night. I like Benefit Magic Ink (£14.50) because it has a precision brush so you can get a really neat flick, it is also a glossy black so doesn't smudge or rub off on the upper eyelid which is such a pet hate of mine!

Finally apply 2 coats of the world's bestselling mascara Benefit They're Real (£18.50). Now I have found this mascara I would never use anything else because it really does deserve its title, it is AMAZING!

Step 5: Eyebrows

Defining eyebrows instantly frames the whole face and makes you instantly look more groomed. I use Benefit Browzings in Dark (£22.50) as previously I would get through a brow pencil per month! Although this might seem like a big investment at first, I have had my kit over a year and it still hasn't run out so it's saved me a lot of money in the long run.

Step 6: Lips

Apply a nude pink lipstick to finish the look, I used Benefit Shy (£14) as it is the perfect daytime shade. It also looks gorgeous at night time with a dark smoky eye for a pale 60's style lip.


What do you think? What other looks would you like to see me demonstrate?


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Review: UTan Body Sculpting Fake Tan by Ultimo

Hi lovelies! SO sorry I haven't blogged in about a million years, Christmas has been unbelievably hectic but I have some pretty big news...on Christmas day I got the most amazing surprise...I got engaged!!!
Before I opened my presents Ben got down on one knee and presented me with the most beautiful engagement ring...ok that's not technically how it happened. He was acting all weird and knelt down and I just kept going 'get up stop messing about!' over and over again! Then I opened the bag (yep he gave me the entire bag because he was all nervous and couldn't unfasten it to get the box out) and I just went 'you're not joking!!!' To be fair though nobody tells you how you're meant to react to a proposal! It was amazing and romantic and I am SO happy anyway.


Ok so now I can stop hyperventilating with excitement I might just start with what this blog post is actually about, one of my favourite things in the world, FAKE TAN!!!
I am constantly on the look for a new fake tan to aid my quest to be super bronzed, so I just HAD to try the new Ultimo fake tanning range, designed with body sculpting technology. Obviously this appealed to me even more because not only is it meant to give you a golden glow, it's also meant to make you look thinner! RESULT!

Utan £28.50

Utan comes in different formulas, mousse or lotion, as well as gradual tan and wash-off shimmer tan. The shades vary from medium to dark, and I liked that they have names too, like the medium tan lotion is called Marbella Gold. Because I can't be bothered faffing about with a natural looking gradual tan, I went for the darkest lotion...Ibiza Extreme. I thought I would apply this tan before my work Christmas party, fully expecting to slap it on and wake up looking 7 stone lighter and a wonderful shade of mahogany.

Now to start with, this fake tan costs £28.50, (you can buy it from John Lewis)so I fully expected it to pretty much apply itself then tell me how gorgeous I looked. This was not the case, it doesn't even come with any gloves! I thought this was a bit tight for an expensive tan to be honest. Another thing, described as a lotion, this tan is definitely a gel. When squeezed out it looks identical to Fake Bake Extreme Darkest Self Tanning Gel...and it's just as much of a ballache to apply. The instructions suggest you apply it using gloves, they don't mention that, like with the Fake Bake version, you have to move at the absolute speed of light to rub it in because it starts to streak pretty much immediately. I was absolutely petrified about what I was going to look like in the morning, because I went to sleep looking like streaky bacon! 
However once I showered off the base colour, it was pretty even and a decent dark colour, which was a massive relief!

On the plus side, the tan has a really dark guide colour, so you can definitely see where you're rubbing it. It also definitely only needs one application, which is brilliant as I HATE watching all my hard work wash down the plughole and knowing I've got to do at least 2 more applications until I'm brown enough to go out!

Now with regards to the 'body sculpting technology' I noticed NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER.

The next time I applied this tan I adopted a different approach to avoid the streaking and difficulty rubbing it in. I applied it using gloves as suggested, but then used a mitt to blend straight away to buff off any streaks and help the tan to spread around more easily. This worked MUCH better, but you still need to apply quickly to avoid streaks.

Overall I would say it's a long lasting fake tan which gives a decent colour from one application, but it's not easy to apply so if you're new to tanning it would be one to avoid. Next time I would try the mousse version instead as they tend to be easier to apply. 

Here are a few photos of me wearing the fake tan, so see what you think for yourselves. 

Let me know if you've tried Utan and what you think to it!
Happy New Year!