The Body Shop Chamomile Sumptuous Butter Review

I find makeup removers very hit or miss. They often irritate my sensitive skin and occasionally break me out (depending on how curmudgeonly my skin is being). The only makeup removers I find that consistently perform well are micellar waters, and even they aren’t 100% without fault (they often leave traces of foundation and NUXE’s micellar water left with with a constellation of whiteheads across my jawline). The Body Shop Chamomile Sumptuous Butter is not like that.

The Body Shop Chamomile Sumptuous Butter Review

I’ve dabbled in creamy cleansers (I had a brief and tempestuous affair with Liz Earle’s celebrated Cleanse and Polish) but have found them fiddly and time consuming to use. I saw some pretty good reviews of The Body Shop’s cleansers, so after finishing my Garnier micellar water, I decided to try one out – The Body Shop Chamomile Sumptuous Butter.

The Body Shop Chamomile Sumptuous Butter: Let’s review, shall we?

I’m pretty divided on the packaging. It looks nice and travels well, but something really grosses me out about dunking my fingers into the pot to rake out the product. I guess some may recommend using a dinky little spoon or spatula, but I’m not that refined – I’d rather just use my gross sausage fingers. I also never know where to start: do I just go straight for the middle like a greedy degenerate, or do I romance it a little and work inwards from the edges? Do circles even have edges? I’m pretty sure they don’t. I’m confused right now, so let’s talk about something else.

CONSISTENCY! Let’s talk consistency. The product itself really does live up to its name. It really is quite buttery. It actually reminds me a little of coconut oil in that it’s solid until you warm it up with your fingers (you know, when you’re gouging it out of the tin).

A little goes a long way. I apply a small amount* to my face, it turns sort of oily/buttery, rub it around a little, and all my makeup dissolves. It works on my Shiseido foundation which is a bastard to remove, and also on my mascara, leaving no traces behind once I’ve rubbed a wet flannel all over my face.

It’s worth mentioning you don’t even need to use a flannel because it’s water soluble. Just splash your face with some warm water and you’re good.

Perhaps best of all, it doesn’t irritate, not even just a little bit. It feels like nothing, even though it’s scented. What’s great is it also doesn’t break me out – in fact, my skin has looked its best since I started using this.

It also lasts. I bought a pot last June (that’s 8 months ago) and I’ve only just bought a new pot. That’s with 5-6 days a week use. Pretty impressive.

Overall Rating:

I’m going to give The Body Shop Chamomile Sumptuous Butter a 10/10. That doesn’t happen often, but this is a product I can see myself staying loyal to. I couldn’t recommend this enough, and I will continue to buy it as long as it’s on the market (do you hear that Body Shop? Don’t you dare take my one true love away!).

Dealing With Nightmare Hair

I thought it would be a great idea to go from light brown to firey copper (maybe with a few flashes of blonde, ’cause I’m a wildcard like that) to shake things up a bit, and to really get into the Autumnal vibe. This is what I was thinking:

Pretty cool, right? I’ve never done anything interesting with my hair (which is naturally golden brown), and now that I’ve got the funds, I thought I’d be a little daring. I booked an appointment with a friend of the family who does hairdressing from their home, showed them the colours I was after, and psyched myself up for the big change. This is what my hair looked like originally:

Not awful, but in need of sprucing up. Unfortunately, there must have been some sort of miscommunication with my hairdresser because they ended up dying my hair a bright burgundy red. Totally not what I was after, and a colour I’d never dream of dying my hair. I was mortified, of course. I couldn’t tell Hairdresser I hated it because they were a family friend, but I didn’t want red hair. I was reassured it would wash out and fade to a burnt copper, but I’m pretty sure the result I wanted could have been achieved without having to dye my hair red and letting it fade.

Excuse my gross, makeupless face. 10 points for the Jurassic Park tee though.
Excuse my gross, makeupless face. 10 points for the Jurassic Park tee though.

Okay, so it wasn’t the worst colour ever, but it totally wasn’t what I wanted. It also had streaks of white through it, where Hairdresser put foils in (these were supposed to be the flashes of blonde through the copper). I decided to put a colour stripper on it. I got the Colour B4 Hair Colour Remover in extra strength just incase:

Image source: http://www.superdrug.com/medias/sys_master/front/prd/8841690906654.jpg
Image source: http://www.superdrug.com/medias/sys_master/front/prd/8841690906654.jpg

Stripping the colour was a lengthy, stinky process. You have to leave this on for an hour, rinse your hair for 10 minutes, shampoo with the “buffer” for 1 minute, rinse that for 5 minutes, then shampoo with it again, like you would a normal shampoo. Lengthy? Yeah. Stinky? Holy yes it was. Did it work? Absolutely! I ended up with half-arsed blonde hair with some highlights (not unlike Princess Anna from Frozen, which almost tempted me to keep the colour!). 10/10 for this product for removing every trace of red.

Could have been worse. Even so, I thought it would be best to put another dye on – I used Nice N’ Easy in 8WR, Natural Golden Auburn.

Image source: http://www.boots.com/en/Nicen-Easy-Permanent-colour-8WR-Natural-Golden-Auburn-Former-shade-108-_1445710/
Image source: http://www.boots.com/en/Nicen-Easy-Permanent-colour-8WR-Natural-Golden-Auburn-Former-shade-108-_1445710/

I was worried it might go a weird trying-to-be-blonde-but-gone-ginger-instead colour, but it ended up looking much darker than on the box – which was a great thing for me. Here’s how it looked:

This is a lot more like the colour I wanted to go in the first place, but very similar to my original hair colour – £55 spent just to get my hair pretty much the same colour it already was, which could have easily been achieved with a £5 box dye. I wasn’t best pleased.

I’m going to have to save up to get it done properly again, which will most likely cost me upwards of £50 again.

Tips:

– Try not to change your hair too drastically if you’re worried about damaging your hair, because if you don’t like the colour, you might end up stripping/bleaching it again, which puts a lot of strain on the follicle.

– Go to a reputable salon if you want something complicated.

– If it goes wrong, Colour B4 is an excellent stripper, but go back to the salon and tell them you don’t like it – chances are, they’ll strip it for you for free, or at a discount.

 

Lush Handy Gurugu Hand Cream | Review

I’m one of those people who can’t stop picking at, biting, and generally making a mess of their nails and cuticles. The skin around my fingers is like an old, freyed dishcloth, and I fucking love peeling my brittle nails. Why yes, I am aware that this is making me sound like a total minger. I can handle it (pun intended, lol) because I’ve recently found the only hand cream that saves my mitts from total destruction: Lush’s Handy Gurugu cream.

Yeah, I know Lush gets a lot of stick for their skincare, which, to be honest, is essentially the poorly formulated concoctions of misguided “whole Earth” fanatics who preach the fallacy of “natural is better” when often it really isn’t…ahem…but some of it is actually very nice.

I’d stay well away from most of their facial skincare products because a lot of them contain unnecessary irritants purely for the “natural” factor (iris, lavender and lemon juice, to name but a few), however I have found their hand care is amazing, especially when used as an overnight treatment, and is the only hand cream which fixes my dry cuticles, hangnails, and brittleness. I’m a big fan of Handy Gurugu, but I also use Helping Hands, however that one is a bit greasier and not quite as rich (if that even makes sense).

Handy Gurugu smells lovely and earthy/fresh and the consistency is is very thick and rich, and a bit textured – like there’s little beads or grains of oil or something in there, but you can’t feel them once its’s all rubbed in. It can take a little while to absorb, but it does’t feel greasy, as such, just…moist. Lovely. It’s also quite a nice pale green colour.

The packaging, as always with Lush, is a bit meh. I always found Lush’s little black pots and paper wrapping very gimmicky, trying to recreate the feeling of a farmers market because Lush’s products are so fresh and natural and good for you! It’s pretty gross sticking your grubby hands into the little pots, not to mention impractical and fiddly (that comment applies heavily to their shower products and face scrubs, which often get ruined by water). 

After applying this a few times, my hands feel super soft, hydrated and nourished by the end of the day. An extra helping before bed time, and my hands are transformed by morning. I love it.

Consistency: Thick, rich, very hydrating and nourishing.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5, feels lovely and actually quite calming on my hands.

Price: £7.95 for 100g tub

Overall Rating: 8/10. I think this is best used as an intense treatment rather than an everyday hand cream, not just because of how rich it is, but because the packaging is not very handbag friendly. I’ve had to buy one tub for at home and one for work, which is actually quite pricy. I would much prefer it in tube form because it’s more practical and hygeinic, but this is still a wonderful product and deserves the high rating.

August Birchbox!

I signed up to Birchbox last week, so this is my first experience – how exciting! When it came yesterday it was like Christmas. (No really, I was that excited.) I’m just going to give a quick overview of each product, then I’ll give a full review of each of them once I’ve given them a trial. Maybe. If I feel like it.

The theme of this box seems to be holidays – is that what Brichbox does? Have a little theme for each box? If so, that’s pretty cute. I approve already.

First of all we have Number 4 Lumiere d’Hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect, which is a leave-in conditioner spray. I’ve tried it once and I quite like it! I used it as well as my normal conditioner, which I don’t think I was supposed to, but my hair still didn’t feel heavy, just very, very soft. Like a kitten. I like it. Not sure it’s worth the £20 price tag, but I guess I’ll just have to try it some more and see.

Next up is the Dead Sea Spa Magik Refreshing Bath Shower Gel. I’ve used this a few times and it’s…okay. Sure, it smells good and cleans my disgusting, work-sweated body, but would I pay over £7 for a shower gel? Probably not.

Okay, this next one, I’ve only sort of tried. By which I mean I used, like, a drop on my face to test for sensitivity. It’s the Nude ProGenius Omega Treatment Oil, which you use as a sort of intensive moisturizer before bed. I checked the price, and ho-lee shit, the full size bottle is £58! I’m not sure how much you get for that, but I wouldn’t pay £58 for a litre of what is essentially a bottle of apricot kernal oil (which you can get for less than £5 on Amazon). Plus, most of the oils used in this are quite comodogenic, so it’s likely to give you blackheads if you use it too often. Definitely not worth the hefty price tag, in my opinion. 

I also got Wild About Beauty Powder Eyeshadow in….I’m not sure what shade, because I don’t have it to hand, but I have used it and I quite like it. It’s a dark gold shade which is very shimmery – not sparkly, shimmery, which is why I rather like it. It’s a nice product, blends well and looked good all day. I’m not sure if I’d buy it though, ’cause I’m not much of an eyeshadow person; one Urban Decay Naked Palatte will do me just fine.

Also in my box was Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator. I haven’t used this yet ’cause I don’t want to try any more new skincare products this week (currently trialing a new moisturiser) and to be honest, I am a little worried it might not suit my sensitive skin, but I will try it when I’m ready and I will review it.

The lifestyle product included is the first chapter of The Proposal by Tasmina Perry, which I will read on the train to go visit Monsieur Raptor tomorrow.

My Verdict: Hmm, I’m not sure how I feel about this particular box. No brands I’ve heard of, and a few disappointing products, but I’ve read a few reviews on other blogs, and the general consensus seems to be that this box has not been the most impressive, so I’ll continue with my subscription and see what September’s box has to offer. 

 

I Bloody Love Autumn

Satisfyingly crisp.
Satisfyingly crisp.

This is one of my favourite times of the year: end-of-August-almost-Autumn. I get so excited when the temperature drops and there’s a bite in the air, the leaves looking a little fragile and I debate with myself whether or not it’s socially acceptable to wear gloves and scarves yet. 

I’m one of those people who loves Autumn/Winter fashion (cosy, cable knit jumpers; snuggly boots; coats and scarves…I could go on), and counts down the days ’til Christmas. I think about halloween costumes in July. I love the smell of bonfires, the crackle of dry leaves under my feet. Frost is my best friend.

One of my other fave things about this season is that makeup seems to stay in place so much better. The drop in temperature and lack of humidity means no more foundation sliding off your face and no more panda eyes from mascara that can’t stand the heat.

But. Yes, but: It also means that it’ll be Winter soon, and you know what that means, right? Dry skin. Chapped lips. Brittle hair. Boo 🙁

So I’m going to make the most of this lovely transitional period between Summer and Autumn, when it’s neither disgustingly hot, or uncomfortably cold, and experiment a bit with my makeup, so I know I can leave the house and it won’t have slithered off my face by noon. 

Wish me luck.

X

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion | Review

Apologies for the poor quality photo/mood lighting. This was taken at night under the light of a single candle. (Are you swooning yet? I bet you’re swooning.)

Aveeno’s Skin Relief really is the shit. It’s my disgusting, scaly, reptilian face’s BFF, and I couldn’t live without it. Proper desert island product, this. If my skin is having a tantrum – be it facial or bodily – then I can just slather this nectar of the Gods on and it’ll calm down immediately, and will be fully placid and docile by bedtime. It has, like, 5 ingredients (might be backwards exaggerating, but you get me), and no perfume, so there’s such a slim chance you’ll get any kind of reaction from it. Hell, I get this stuff in my eyeballs all the time and I’m still alive to tell the tale (with no tears, might I add).

It’s so cost effective as it’s pretty cheap, a little goes a long way, and it comes in big tubes and pump bottles (if you’re into that sort of thing). It’s meant to be a body moisturiser, but I use it on my face because it’s so gentle and non-comodegenic, so it doesn’t break me out. While it’s quite a thick moisturiser, it’s not at all greasy, and sinks in very quickly. I will point out, however, that it leaves a weird, sort of tacky feeling. I don’t find it unpleasant, but it’s not great for applying makeup over.

I prefer to use this, then put another moisturiser (usually whatever I’m trying at the time) over the top if I’m going to wear makeup, so I get the hydration from Aveeno, and then the texture of whatever the other moisturiser is. Absolutely great for night use, or for when you’re not getting ready straight away.

Definitely a product I will continue to use for a long time. Currently the only moisturiser that I use every day without fail.

Have you tried Aveen Skin Relief?

Consistency: Quite thick, but not greasy. I thought it was due to it being more water-based than oil-based, but looking at the ingredients, the last ingredient is water – which means that’s the ingredient with the lowest concentration. So what do I know, eh?

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5 no reactions whatsoever, can use it on my nastiest eczema flare-ups, and it actually calms them down

Price: Usually around £5.50, but often on offer

Overall Rating: 9.5/10. Half a point taken off because I don’t like the feel of applying makeup over it straight away.

Benefit Brow Zing | Review

I should have realized at the tender age of 13, when I first started dying my hair an unflattering shade of dark brown, that I am, and always will be, severely lacking in the eyebrow department. Born with dark blonde hair, and with tiny, wispy little golden brown eyebrows, I should really have started penciling them in a lot sooner than I did (the ripe old age of 19), especially with a hair colour 4 shades darker than my natural one – which only made my pathetic excuses for eyebrows look even sillier.

I often lament the weakness of my eyebrow game, but thankfully, I have become more equipped to deal with the frustration of having wiggly little maggots, as apposed to big, fluffy caterpillars for brows (come to think of it, neither sound attractive, but the latter was supposed to sound better…).

I used to just add some brown eye shadow to make them look more substantial, but I’ve recently upped my game and experimented with these little brow kits you can buy. I find pencils make my brows look too artificial, so I much prefer these kits which come with two compartments: one filled with a waxy substance, the other with a powder. You can use both, or just stick to one. 

Okay, so this is my review of Benefit’s “Brow Zing” kit. It’s great. Does the job, makes me look like I actually own a pair of eyebrows, stays all day without smudging, sliding off, doesn’t irritate etc. My only gripe is that you can buy pretty much the same product at E.L.F. for 5x cheaper (Benefit’s is £24.50; E.L.F.’s is £3.95).

The only real difference is that the Benefit one comes with a cute little pair of tweezers. Admittedly, the quality of Benefit’s brow palette is better, including the design, the actual make up, and the brushes…but is it worth paying the extra? It all depends on your budget. If you can afford the cash to spare, go for Benefit; if not, then E.L.F.’s is a great dupe. Personally, I would probably not repurchase and just go for E.L.F.’s version instead.

Consistency: Part wax, part powder. I love the wax – it stays all day and looks great on its own or with the powder, and vice versa.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5

Price£24.50

Overall Rating: 8/10

E.L.F. Mineral Infused Face Primer (Green – Colour Correcting)

Okay, this is one of E.L.F.’s primers, as mentioned in my NARS Sheer Glow review. It’s the green one, which is supposed to neutralize redness in the skin. This doesn’t’ feel like an expensive primer – because it’s not – but I love this stuff. I actually find it much better than Benefit’s The Porefessional (which is, like, 3x the price, and stings my skin). I’m not really sure about the colour correcting claim as I don’t see any difference after applying, and I have a lot of red in my face, but my makeup glides onto it and stays put all night, and it doesn’t sting like a lot of primers do (yeah, Revlon, I’m throwing you some serious shade right now).

All round great product, especially for the price. I’ve had it about 7 months and use it a lot, and there’s still plenty left.

Here’s a picture of what it looks like straight out of the bottle…

…and rubbed in (it doesn’t look green, I swear!)

Consistency: Lovely and smooth, applies beautifully even over moisturiser (which can make some primers go funny and roll off my skin in bits, like little face-slugs).

Sensitive Skin Suitability: There is some tingling, but not enough to cause me any worry. 4.5/5

Price: £6.95. Total bargain.

Rating: 8.5/10 (points taken off for tingling and colour correcting claims).

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

REALLY LONG REVIEW ALERT!

Oh, NARS Sheer Glow. What am I to do with you? I have such mixed feelings about this foundation; it’s like a boyfriend you know is no good for you, but you stick with him because he’s cool and popular, and just that little bit edgy. You think you can change him, but you know deep down you can’t. Similar is my experience with NARS Sheer Glow.

You know Zoella, right? Me too. Not personally, of course, but I occasionally watch her YouTube channel. Well, one day I happened upon her “Everyday Makeup Routine” video, where she used NARS Sheer Glow. I thought her skin looked amazing, so I did my research on the brand, looked at a few other reviews of this foundation (which were almost universally positive, except for Wayne Goss, who describes many of the same problems I had with it).

Anyway, I decided to go get a sample and try it out for myself. On the same day, I bought Guerlain’s Lingerie De Peau (review to follow shortly), so I was using that on a daily basis, and thus didn’t get the chance to try NARS Sheet Glow properly. Alas, Lingerie De Peau stopped working for my skin after a few weeks, so I decided to trial Sheer Glow properly.

First things first: obligatory “no, it’s not particularly sheer or glowy”. Yes, the name is misleading. No, that doesn’t make it a bad foundation. Glad we’ve got that bit out of the way.

I was matched with the colour “Deauville”, which is “light with a mixture of yellow and pink tones”, but I found it very yellow. Upon first try, it was lovely – great, light consistency, no scent (a winner for me and my anti-social skin) and the colour match was pretty good. It dries pretty quickly, so you have to work fast (not a bad thing, ‘cause I bloody hate waiting ages for a foundation to dry!). I applied it over my moisturiser and set off for work. Happy days…

…for a few hours, until it broke up, looked patchy, and slid off my rancid, greasy face. I tried not to judge it too harshly, as we’re currently in the midst of a heatwave, so I decided to try it again the next day with a primer. And it worked amazingly! Didn’t have great staying power again, as it was blisteringly hot and gross out, but that’s to be expected. I put it on at 7:30am, and by 1:30pm it still looks good. By 5pm, it’s still there, but starting to fade. That’s still a good 8 hours wear, so I’m happy with its performance.

I used it with ELF’s colour correcting primer and it worked perfectly. It doesn’t have a scent, which is great, and it doesn’t have an SPF, which I actually love – this means it’s great for a night out because it has no titanium dioxide, which is the ingredient in SPF that causes a white, ghostly face in pictures (flashback). I prefer to add my own SPF via moisturiser, so this is a big winner for me.

I caved and bought a bottle on the Friday and, interestingly, the same sales assistant (who was a delight, by the way – no sarcasm), matched me with the colour Mont Blanc, which is for pink undertones. I’m not sure how I feel about the shade match, so this review may be updated in a few days (or even in a few weeks when the weather is back to normal, and I can give an accurate judgement).

Colour: Deauville/Mont Blanc. Loads of shades available – try theTemptalia foundation matrix or Findation if you’re buying online, both tools are very helpful and pretty accurate at matching you with a colour.

Consistency: Although marketed as a dry-skin foundation, it has a pretty dry consistency and is therefore not very moisturising, so be careful as it’s reportedly a bit of a bastard for clinging to dry patches.

Staying Power: It lasted about 8 hours with a primer. Very impressed.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: Great so far, very gentle on my skin. 5/5

Price: £31.50 for 30ml

Overall Rating: 8.5/10