Sunday, 31 May 2015

Review: Tea India Vanilla Chai Teabags

I use chai tea bags to make chai lattes. They're a little too strong for me to have just with water. Anyways, this chai tea is infused with vanilla which is perfect for a nice, creamy chai latte.



Anyways, I saw these in Tesco and decided they'd be perfect to make chai lattes with. I heat up my skimmed milk in my Nespresso milk frother and pour it into my mug. Then I leave the chai tea bag in there and infuse it for around 5 minutes.

Et voila! Perfect chai latte. Well these tea bags worked really well and the vanilla added a nice rich element to the drink as well as it being spicy as I'd expect. The chai spices are very pronounced in this drink which I love!

I'd recommend these tea bags to all if you are into chai lattes. They're gorgeous and perfect for cold nights infront of the fire :)


£££: £2.95

Friday, 29 May 2015

Beauty Wishlist - June 2015


Here's what I'm lusting after for the month of June!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara £19: I've heard great things about this mascara and it looks so cute. The packaging is beautiful and the wand looks pretty promising. I love my lashes to have lots of volume as well as being separated and I think that this mascara would do this for me!

Urban Decay Lash Subversion £15.50: I've yet to find a lash primer that works for me. Lash Subversion actually conditions your lashes too so I'd love to try this. Urban Decay make great products, I have never been disappointed by their offerings so I'm really intrigued by this primer.

Mac Wash and Dry Powder Blush £20: I've already ordered the Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden so this is next on my list from the Mac Wash and Dry collection. It's beautiful.

Too Faced Melted Lipstick in Peony £20: I've wanted to try one of these for a while and the colour of this one is so perfect. I wear lip product a lot more often in the summer and pink is my most worn colour.

Real Techniques Blusher Blush £9.99: I enjoy using the Real Techniques brushes that I already have so I think that this would be a nice addition to my collection.

Benefit They're Real! Push-up Liner £18.50: I've read mixed reviews about this product. I love Benefit's They're Real! Mascara so here's hoping that I love this just as much. 

Mac Face and Body Foundation £21.50: In the summer, I go through loads of this foundation. It's absolutely amazing, like seriously. It's great to apply just before a party or a night out in the summer when it's too hot to wear full-coverage foundation. It really does make your skin glow. I recommend this product to all - it's my favourite product from Mac by far.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Review: Heath and Heather Green Tea with Orange Blossom (Holland and Barrett)

I drink green tea on a daily basis so when I saw that Holland and Barrett had brought some new teas out, I couldn't really resist. They're all organic too!

I decided to try the Green Tea with Orange Blossom first as I love oranges and I thought that it'd be nice to drink in the morning to give me a little energy boost. Also, it may also be nice to drink iced in the summer.


It tastes just as I expected it to. It has a lovely orange flavour which isn't too overpowering as the green tea balances it well. I would recommend this tea if you love oranges like I do!

£££: £2.49

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Review: LUSH Sultana of Soap

Sultana of Soap is one of the softest and most creamy soaps I have used. The addition of coconut oil and dried currants, apricots and cranberries makes this soap one of the most moisturising, luxurious soaps that Lush offer. It's incredibly creamy and creates a thick white lather, it really is a joy to use.



The scent is slightly fruity and a little coconutty, it's very relaxing. It's lovely to use in the bath after a hard day at work, the scent is quite delicate and gentle. 

Despite being a soft and creamy soap, it has excellent lasting powder as long as you don't expose it to water needlessly. I'd recommend this soap to all, it's such a dream to use and doing so leaves me feeling relaxed all evening.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Review: Liz Earle Nourishing Botanical Body Cream

Now, I'm someone who looooves body creams. The ingredients list of this Liz Earle body lotion got me pretty excited so I had to go ahead and give it a whirl.

Shea butter and avocado oil help to nourish the skin and lock in moisture. I use avocado oil regularly on my hair so I was eager to try it out on my body. This cream also contains echinacea and hops extract as well as orange, lavender and geranium essential oils. It smells beautiful and fragrant and soaks into the skin well. 


I enjoy using this body cream and I'm impressed by the mostly-natural ingredients list. I do feel like it locks a lot of moisture in for a couple of hours after using this. However, I was expecting to be wow-ed because of the price tag and although it is a pleasure to use, I personally do not see me repurchasing it due to the price. 

Do not be put off though! It's a great body cream which has a beautiful scent. I just expected miracles and I probably shouldn't have.

£££: £19

Friday, 22 May 2015

May Chit Chat

I've not made a chit chat post in a while, so I thought I would have a little ramble. I have a new job now so I'm in the process of leaving my job at Holland and Barrett. I'm kinda sad about it but pleased too as I don't think the company offers a healthy environment for staff. I've actually made a video about my experience working for Holland and Barrett but I'm not sure whether to upload it - it's been requested but I'm still unsure. So I'll go from working 2 jobs, to working a completely new job! Lots of change to go on soon then...

I've been spending my free time reading the Game of Thrones novels. I'm really enjoying them, they're really up my street. It makes a change from reading the factual books I normally go for. History books are my thing, I can't get enough of them! I've struggled to find time over the past few months though with working 2 jobs. I suppose that's what public transport is for.

In other news, my soft toy collection is getting a bit out of hand. They take up most of the bed now as well as occupying the shelving in my room. When I move out, I guess I'll have more room for them. Like I've had to put my My Little Pony Ty collection in storage as I ran out of room. It's sad :( 

This time next year, perhaps me and my boyfriend will have our own place. That would be nice. Anyway, I'm gonna go ahead and go. I have work in the morning, need to get my beauty sleep. (lol) xoxoxox

Review: Samy Fat Hair Amplifying Mousse

I spotted these products in Superdrug and I was pretty intrigued so I went ahead and bought a few of them. First I will be reviewing the mousse!

Mousse is a product which I have had a love/hate relationship with in the past. As my hair is long and wavy, I like the way that mousse tames my hair a little bit and sets my curls in. However, I hate how it can make the hair crunchy and sticky. I like my hair to be touchable and soft and mousse kinda destroys that - my hair tangles easier with mousse too.



This mousse claims to repair the hair due to the inclusion of taurine, inositol and avocado extract. I love the idea of hair styling products which actually condition my hair and help it to stay healthy.

I think my expectations for this mousse were too high though as it's pretty sticky. I imagined it to be a dream to use but it's not really. It makes my hair look cute like all other mousse though. Perhaps the conditioning ingredients will have beneficial long-term effect ... hopefully!

I would recommend this is you need new mousse as it works well. Don't expect anything extraordinary though as it's just regular mousse really.

£££: £5.99


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Recipe: Vegetarian Neapolitan Pasta

I thought I'd share one of my favourite pasta recipes with you guys. It's so simple and easy - as well as being super fresh. 

Ingredients
Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Fresh Mozzarella Ball (remove from its liquid, squeeze out any further liquid with kitchen paper. Place it in a bowl lined with kitchen paper and covered with cling film. Do this at least 30 mins before preparing your meal and keep in the fridge)
Fresh Vine Tomatoes (halved)
Olive Oil
Pasta


Method
1. Cook your pasta as per the packet instructions. Ensure that your mozzarella is prepared before this.
2. Meanwhile, half your tomatoes and fry them in a frying pan with a little olive oil.
3. Once they are softened, tear up some basil leaves and stir them into your tomatoes.
4. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and transfer it to your frying pan.
5. Turn off the heat on your pan, tear up the mozzarella and combine.
6. Serve!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Review: Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm with SPF 15

I really don't know why I hadn't tried this lip balm sooner! I love the Palmers range, I use their solid body moisturiser regularly and have done for years. Even my boyfriend likes it. I enjoy using this in summer due to the SPF - need to protect those lippies!


This lip balm has the same gorgeous scent as all the Palmers Cocoa Butter range. It melts when you apply it due to the warmth of your lips - sinking in well. It's a great lip balm which is to be expected from Palmers - all their products are staples. Use this before lipstick to get a flawless application, or on its own to treat intensely dry lips.

£££: £1.89 (amazing value!)

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Boots Diet Coke and L'Oreal Promotion 29 April - 26 May

I'm just letting you guys know about a pretty great promotion that's going on in Boots until 26 May 2015. When you buy a 500ml bottle of Diet Coke in Boots, you get £5 off a L'Oreal Paris Color Riche L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick. 

These liquid lipsticks include an oil blend of argan oil, lotus flower oil, camelia seed oil and rose canina fruit oil. So while your lips look fab, you're actually conditioning them which I think is great. 

I'm planning to pick up Rose Symphony when I head into town tomorrow :)

(photo from boots.com)

£££: £3.99 (RRP £8.99)

Monday, 18 May 2015

Polyvore Collage: Barbie

Barbie outfit


Wildfox sweatshirt
veryexclusive.co.uk


Short skirt
£12 - sheinside.com


Kate spade shoes
£62 - shopbop.com


Chanel handbag
£3,090 - farfetch.com


GUESS rhinestone necklace
£15 - guess.com


Hot pink jewelry
£12 - cafepress.com


Smashbox matte lipstick
£13 - beauty.com



Review: Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels

Skyn Iceland is a fab company that offer a range of paraben-free beauty products. One of their products in particular caught my eye and I picked up a pack of 8 pairs from M&S. They are cooling gel eye pads which contain Co-enzyme Q10 and Ginkgo Biloba. Having worked at Holland and Barrett for a long while, my interest was certainly sparked.


I was already aware of the benefits of Co-enzyme Q10 for skincare. It aids in the repair of the skin by boosting the production of collagen - protecting the skin cells from oxidative stress. The Ginkgo Biloba tree is actually a living fossil native to China, possibly dating back over 270 million years. I have been recommending this product for memory (cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer's and Dementia) and circulation in my job. I didn't know that Ginkgo had any benefits in terms of skincare but it makes sense as it aids circulation. So the idea is that it will reduce under eye circles and puffiness by promoting circulation.

I really love this product, I've found that it really does calm down my under-eye area. I use these pads before a night out or after a particularly long week at work when I'm not looking my best. They really do de-stress my skin and relax me. They are so cooling and just a pleasure to use!

I have found that since using these weekly, my under eye bags have definitely reduced in severity. I don't really need to apply concealer under my eyes in the morning like I used to, unless I want them to look super brightened.

I recommend these to all. Even though they seem expensive, you get 8 uses out of them and it's much cheaper than going to the salon or spa despite the quality and results being just as good!

£££: £25 for 8 pairs

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Review: MUA Heaven and Earth Palette

When I was first experimenting with makeup, MUA was one of my go-to brands. It offers impressive quality for a fraction of the price of other brands. Their core range is £1 per item, with their most expensive item being £4. 

MUA is a great brand for if you're starting out with makeup and want to try a few different things. You can get your hands on a decent kohl liner, liquid liner and a gel liner for around £5. So you have good opportunity to try out different types of products to see what suits you!


Anyway, on to this review. This is a 12 shade eyeshadow palette full of neutrals - and all the colours are very highly pigmented. Excuse the state of my palette, it's been travelling with me a lot and its got a bit bashed about.

I think this palette is great for everyday looks. I like to wear eyeshadow to work, and these are great. As the palette is only £4, I don't feel wasteful wearing these daily. I wouldn't compare the quality of these shades to Mac or Urban Decay as they're very soft and some are a less pigmented than others.

They are great for everyday use though and they are not to be sniffed at for £4. The palette is kinda flimsy and some colours are better than others, but if you're starting out with makeup or want some eyeshadow for work then go for these!

£££: £4

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Review: Provamel Almond Milk

Provamel is my favourite brand for almond and other nut-based drinks. I use them with my breakfast instead of milk, or to make chia seed pudding. Almond milk is great in smoothies and overnight oats too.

I love to use Provamel Almond Milk in coffee and tea as it doesn't separate like the Alpro one does. It's organic too as well as being ethically sourced which is always a plus. And obviously it's vegan!


The Almond Milk comes in 2 varieties - Sweetened and Unsweetened. I go for the Sweetened one as Agave Syrup is used which is perfectly healthy. It makes it taste a lot better in my opinion.

The ingredients list is nice and short which I love: water, almonds (7%) and agave syrup (3.8%). If we compare this with the Alpro one which has:

water, sugar, almonds (2%), calcium (tri-calcium phosphate), sea salt, stabilisers (locust bean gum, gellan gum), emulsifier (sunflower lecithin), vitamins (B2, B12, E, D)

So, the Provamel milk has over 3 times more almonds than the Alpro milk. I much prefer the Provamel milk and it's definitely worth the price difference.

£££: £3.49

Saturday, 9 May 2015

How to: DIY LUSH Fun Shower Cream

I've been looking for new ways to enjoy my LUSH products for a while and gave it a go last week. So if you want to make a nice, creamy shower gel out of your Fun then go ahead and try this out.

Ingredients
1 bar of LUSH Fun (I used Snowman Fun)
Unscented shower gel (I used Sanex 0%)
1 empty bottle
1 large bowl 
1 mixing utensil
1 funnel
A small amount of hot water

Instructions
1. Crumble the whole bar of Fun into your bowl, ensuring that there is no large lumps.
2. Add around 2-4 tablespoons of very hot-boiling water and mash it all up with a fork or any other mixing utensil. Mix it until it forms a smooth paste.
3. Add unscented shower gel until your mixture reaches your desired consistency.
4. Ensure that your product is mixed nicely and has a smooth creamy consistency.
5. Use the funnel to transfer your mixture from the bowl into your bottle.
6. Enjoy!

Yes my Fun is grey! This is because I used the Snowman Fun which has very potent black dye in it. This doesn't bother me though, it's kinda cool looking really.

I've really enjoyed using my Fun Shower Cream - I plan to use my Pink Fun soon and make more. I wash my hair with this stuff and it leaves it feeling lovely and soft.

Friday, 8 May 2015

YouTube!


So I might be making the odd video on YouTube to go with my posts on here. I'm considering filming the odd Vlog too and maybe just talking about things that are important to me.

My URL is www.youtube.com/abbiscarlet if you're interested.

Here's my first video. (It's super short and kinda bad but hi anyway!)


Thursday, 7 May 2015

Review: LUSH The Godmother Soap

This soap is super moisturising and it has the most beautiful scent. It smells like turkish delight, it's really sweet but not in the same way as Rock Star or Snow Fairy.

It's advertised as a hand soap because it's incredibly nourishing due to being packed full of coconut oil and rapeseed oil. I like to use it all over my body though - it's great for cheering me up when I've had a hard day.


I'd recommend this if you're into sweet scents and would like a moisturising soap. It doesn't really lather as much as other LUSH soaps, but this doesn't really bother me. I always make sure to have a chunk of this beauty in.


£££: £3.10 per 100g

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Review: Smile Sciences Teeth Whitening Kit

I've been looking to whiten my teeth for a while, they are kinda stained from drinks and food over the years. I have never gotten around to it as it's so expensive to whiten at the dentist and I can't really justify the cost.


I never really considered using home whitening kits as I got the impression that they either aren't very effective or they damage the teeth and gums. A couple of months ago I started watching reviews of a kit by a company called Smile Sciences (based in the USA).

Seeing lots of reviews eased my mind a little and I became intrigued about this kit after seeing some pretty amazing before and after pictures. I decided to go ahead and try this kit and here is my review.


Here is my before and after. I used the kit twice to get these results and they are noticeably whiter. I wouldn't say that they are 10 shades whiter though which is what some reviewers claimed.

Included in the kit is a syringe of solution, 2 teeth guards which you form to fit your own mouth, 2 vitamin E swabs, a touch-up pen and a UV light to activate the whitening process.

I went ahead and moulded my guards and lined them with a thin line of solution. I put them in my mouth along with the UV light. I waited 20 minutes then rinsed my mouth with cold water.

Me during the whitening process, looking incredibly impressed

I am really pleased with the results, considering the kit can be bought pretty inexpensively. My mouth did get cut a little bit on the inside and its fairly uncomfortable to have something bulky in your mouth for 20 minutes but I'd say it's worth it to get good results.

It's available from www.smilesciences.com and there's coupon codes all over the internet and even from their website to reduce the price down to $29 including shipping. I'm based in the UK and it took 3 weeks to arrive.

I've also done a video review on this as well which is a little more brief but here it is:


£££: $299 or $29 with coupon code which is easily accessible