Showing posts with label liz earle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label liz earle. Show all posts

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

NOTD: Liz Earle Strengthening Nail Colour in Pure Poetry

Liz Earle are shortly going to be adding nail colour to their already popular colour collection.  As you'd expect for the Liz, the colours are all classic - there are some neutrals, some vampy reds, and some petal pinks - you won't find any neons or glitters in this range.  

Whilst the range isn't the most exciting thing in the world, the polishes are exceptionally good quality - I've worn Pure Poetry for over a week now, and I have barely any tipwear to show for it.  I count that as pretty good for a deep, sultry red.  The texture is medium thickness, spreads easily, and starts drying quickly - and the SHINE!  The gloss you can see in the photo above is all polish, no topcoat at all.

Pure Poetry will launch at the end of August, alongside the other twelve named-for-roses polishes in the collection, and will cost a mere £7.50 - a small price to pay for great application, great wear, and great shine.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating our copyright.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Cold Weather Essentials

I got back from a week long skiing holiday yesterday, and bloody hell was it cold in the Alps.  Cold and dry - my lips chapped within an hour of arriving, and my skin absorbed any moisturiser applied in just a few moments.  Luckily, I'd packed some super moisturising products to try to protect myself from the cold weather.

Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream* is the best handcream ever, in my mind.  It absorbs quickly and leaves the hands velvety not greasy.  Perfect for quick moisture on the go.

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm is a decadently rich balm cleanser which leaves the skin soft and hydrated.  Given the delicate packaging, I scooped a bit into a Muji travel pot rather than taking the jar with me.

Clinique SPF40 Face Cream* is a great facial sunblock for holidays - it's not super light or designed to be worn unobtrusively under makeup, but is rather a rich cream which provides protection from UVA and UVB rays whilst keeping the skin moist.

Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate* is a gloriously rich facial oil - a single pump is enough to generously coat my face in the aromatic oil in the evening, and by morning, it's all been absorbed, leaving my skin soft and hydrated.

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Lip Care SPF20 is a nourishing lip balm in a stick format which is perfect for applying on the slopes.  It also has SPF20, which is great - protecting the lips against the sun is often overlooked.  It has a thick, waxy texture which lasts a fair while on the lips.

Dove Purely Pampering Almond Cream with Hibiscus Body Wash* is a very creamy new body wash from Dove which lathers gently and leaves the skin feeling soft and clean even without moisturiser.  The light almond and hibiscus scent fills the bathroom but doesn't linger on the skin.

So, thanks to the products above I returned from the Alps with skin which wasn't overly scaly.  Unfortunately I also returned with a bruised coccyx thanks to a record four falls during my trip, which made me feel very glad for the three boxes of Neurofen I also packed.  Oh well.  Win some, lose some.

What are your cold weather favourites?

* items marked with an asterisk are PR samples

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Review: Liz Earle Botanical Essence No. 15

This sleek white box contains the second of Liz Earle's forays into fragrance.  Botanical Essence No. 1 was a light, fresh, citrus scent: great for summer, bursting with fruit and sunlight.  Nice, but not really my kind of thing.  No. 15, however, is right up my street.  It's a deep, rich, almost gourmand oriental fragrance, and I kind of want to eat it.

It arrives encased in a sturdy cardboard box which folds out to reveal both the perfume bottle within and a detailed breakdown of the ingredients used in its making.

The bottle itself is a very minimalist affair - a simple cream bottle with a glass top, it bears Liz Earle's name and logo, the name of the fragrance, and that's it.  

As for the scent itself, it's absolutely perfect for winter.  Warm, rich ingredients like tonka bean and vanilla are tempered with woody, earthy vetiver and cedarwood.  Add spice, such as clove and pink pepper, and you get a fragrance that evokes evenings by the fire with a mug of mulled wine, the scent of some kind of delicious cake floating in the air.  It's a little bit foodie, a lot comforting, and it's exactly the sort of scent I turn to come autumn.  There's something about it (probably that tonka bean and vanilla combo) which draws a parallel with my absolute favourite (and much more expensive), Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille.  I'll definitely be repurchasing.

Find it at the Liz Earle website, where a 50ml spray bottle will cost you £45.

Disclosure: PR sample

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Liz Earle launches Limited Edition Cleanse and Polish for the Prince's Trust

Liz Earle's cult favourite, Cleanse and Polish, has been released in limited edition packaging with the addition of Rose and Lavender essential oils, perfect for calming both you and your skin before bed at night.  It's in aid of the Prince's Trust, more specifically their Tomorrow campaign, which matches young entrepreneurs with iconic mentors with the aim of inspiring the next generation.  Liz has been mentoring Rebecca Taylor, 26, who overcame unemployment with the help of the Prince's Trust and now owns a beauty salon.

The special edition Cleanse and Polish is in stores and online now whilst stocks last, and costs £19.75, of which £2 goes directly to the Prince's Trust.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Review & Swatches: Liz Earle Natural Glow Bronzer and Healthy Glow Powder Blush in Peony

Liz Earle's new makeup range has been going from strength to strength since it's release last year, gaining fans for the soft, easy to wear colours and the buildable, easy to use textures.  The Natural Glow Bronzer and Healthy Glow Powder Blush products are no exception.

Packaged in the signature deep blue, sparkling plastic compacts, the larger size contains the bronzer, and the smaller the blush.

The compacts are solid and well made, with a good sized mirror in the lid.  Both products are embossed with the brand's name.  The textures are soft and silky, and both powders are easily picked up with a soft fluffy brush - they're not so soft that you get a small dust cloud or any crumbling, though.

Left: Natural Glow Bronzer
Right: Healthy Glow Blush in Peony

Swatched, you can see just how sheer Natural Glow Bronzer is.  The swatch isn't particularly heavy, making it obvious that the shade of this bronzer is actually rather light and soft - it's definitely layerable, but I can't see this working on deeper skintones at all.  Medium skintones will need to do a fair around of building up before the effect is noticeable.  For me and my pale skin, though, it's just the right shade to give subtle definition without a lot of effort - I have to be careful to apply bronzers very softly to avoid looking overdone.  Not a problem with this bronzer, though.

Peony is described as a soft raspberry, perfect for a natural flush on dark skintones.  It also works applied very gently on lighter complexions, giving a great pop of strong colour- which is something I personally really like in a blush.  Pigmentation is much higher than with the bronzer, but the soft texture is the same.

No idea what's going on with the attitude in this photo, but it does give you a good idea of how these products look applied.  The bronzer gives good contour, and still looks quite subtle, and the Peony blush adds a pop of bright colour on the apples of the cheeks.

As nice as these products are, I can't really muster a huge amount of enthusiasm for them.  At £16.50 for the blush and £19.50 for the bronzer, I think they're lovely, easy to apply, soft products which are suitable for a pretty natural look, and don't require a lot of makeup know how to choose and use.  And therein is the problem for me - I like my makeup more intense, my colours brighter, and my products more edgy.  For me personally, then, these aren't essential - but I can imagine my Mum (who loves makeup, so long as it's easy to use) and my brother's girlfriend (who didn't even know what highlighter was until recently) would love them.

Find Healthy Glow Powder Blush and Natural Glow Bronzer on Liz Earle's website now.

Disclosure: PR sample

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Liz Earle eye pencil - blacker than a goth's coal scuttle

Liz Earle's new makeup range is awash with natural, neutral tones that subtly enhance the face and its various features - which is pretty much as we'd expected. But of the items I've tried from the range, the eye pencil is the one I've really been impressed with. It's surprisingly far from neutral and subtle. In fact, it's really, really inky black.

It's not the usual gel waterproof finish I go for (UD 24/7, Gosh Velvet Touch, et cetera), rather it's an old-school kohl style eyeliner that will smudge during wear - and not necessarily in a bad way. But it glides on as smoothly as any gel liner I've tried, and is perfectly inky black from the first touch.

I'm really impressed with this pencil. I'd love it more if it were a gel liner, but given that this is Liz Earle, high-tech products were never going to be the emphasis. It offers gentle, smooth application and maximum pigment. If you love a bit of black kohl on your waterline, do check this out.

Liz Earle eye pencil, £11 for 1g from Liz Earle online. Brownie points to Liz for featuring a model on her website who has visible eye wrinkles and hasn't been photoshopped into oblivion.

You can also check out the full range at Liz Earle stores and selected branches of John Lewis

Disclosure - PR sample

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Review: Liz Earle Botanical Shine Treatment for Frizzy, Coarse or Very Dry Hair

When Liz Earle released her long awaited hair care products last year, I fell in love with the Botanical Shine conditioner, finding that it's rich, slippy texture was a fabulous way to detangle and condition my dry, curly hair, particularly for a silicone free product.  So when I heard that Liz's next hair product was a treatment conditioner, I jumped at the chance to give it a go.

I was expecting the treatment to be an outrageously rich and thick affair, and so I was quite surprised to find it to be a medium thickness fluid, much like the original conditioner.  I also was surprised to find that it didn't have as much silky slip to the texture as the conditioner does either.  It took a reasonably large squirt to saturate the mid lengths and ends of my hair, and I had real trouble detangling with it, particularly the extra tangly bits at the nape of my neck.

Left on for twenty minutes, it did indeed leave my hair soft and shiny, but given the angst I went through to get it well distributed through my hair, I was expecting more.  I'd still far rather buy the original Botanical Shine conditioner - it's cheaper, easier to distribute through the hair, and leaves the hair feeling lovely.

If you'd like to try Liz Earle's Botanical Shine treatment, you'll find it at the Liz Earle website, where 150ml will set you back £14.

Disclosure: PR sample

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Review: Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint

Liz Earle's first foray into colour marks a complete departure for the brand, packaging wise.  Where the main skincare line is packaged in cool, light colours, Sheer Skin Tint is encased within a deep blue tube which sparkles in the light.  This particular shade seems set to become a signature for the colour line - the colour has been registered and now, much like Selfridge's iconic yellow, can't be used by another company.

Inside the packaging lies what I would describe as a light coverage foundation.  I've heard it described as a tinted moisturiser, but I'd definitely disagree - I've tried to apply it alone without moisturiser, and it's just not moist enough to be worn on bare skin.  Over moisturised and primed skin, though, it's lovely - it blends beautifully across the skin, leaving the complexion looking fresh, even and natural.

Sheer Skin Tint will be available in three shades; I've been using the lightest of the three, which is a very good match for my skin.  The sheerness of the product helps the shades to be relatively forgiving, according to Liz Earle, and most skin tones should be able to find a match from the three available shades.  That said, the deepest colour is comparatively light, so it's unlikely that this product is going to appeal universally to all women.  More shades may appear in the future, though.

Left: bare skin; right: with Sheer Skin Tint

I really like the finish this product leaves on the skin.  It's absolutely natural, with nothing powdery or obviously made up in the finished texture, and whilst the finish is distinctly non-dewy, there is a definite glow to the skin once applied.  It lasts pretty well, too - I've worn it for a full, sweaty London day, and not found my skin completely bare in the evening.

All in all - an impressive lightweight foundation, which leaves the skin looking and feeling natural and healthy, made all the better by Liz Earle's signature cruelty free and naturally sourced ingredients list.  Sheer Skin Tint will be released in September, and will cost £21 for 40ml.  If you're tempted, you can sign up at Liz Earle's website to get the details of the release as soon as they're available.  

Disclosure: PR sample

Monday, 1 August 2011

July 2011: This month, we have mostly been wearing...

Another month, another selection of products we've been particularly loving.


1.  NARS Multi Protect Primer SPF 30 (£24)*
It's been hot and sunny for at least part of this month, and I've really appreciated the high SPF and lightweight feeling of this most excellent primer.  My tube is running a little low, and I'll definitely repurchase when it runs out completely - so rare to find a high SPF primer that doesn't leave a white cast, or sit heavily on the skin.

2.  Crown Brush Metal Madness Palette (£24.99)
As a lover of metallic eyeshadows, my heart flips a little every time I open this palette.  88 metallic finish eyeshadows, in flattering colours, arranged in tiny little dots.  Perfect.  I've actually had to force myself to use other eyeshadows!

3.  Dove Spa Thermal Therapy Night Cream (£30/50ml)*
This gel textured night cream is incredibly light, and incredibly hydrating.  I'll be writing up a full review soon, but so far I'm impressed with how well hydrated my skin feels in the morning, with absolutely no residue or heaviness.

4.  Nailtiques Protein Formula 2 (£15.50/15ml)
When my nails started peeling, this was the one product that everyone recommended.  And it's incredible - it's been slowly repairing my nails over the past month.  It's not an overnight miracle, and you really do need to apply it fairly frequently to get the benefits, but if your nails are weak and peeling, this is definitely worth a shot.

5.  The Body Shop Satsuma Body Polish (£9/200ml)
The zesty sweet satsuma scent the Body Shop use in their products is absolutely gorgeous.  It reminds me of using the original satsuma bubbles as a teenager, and never fails to make me feel clean and refreshed after use.  This body polish is a wonderfully gentle scrub - it does contain rough particles, but there really aren't that many in your average palmful.  It foams gently on the skin, too, making this a perfect everyday shower product that keeps you both clean and smooth.


1. Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (£11.75/100ml)*
I've renewed my relationship with this after receiving a new tube. It's tremendously satisfying to use with the cloth, and I've found that it leaves my skin very calm, soft and clean, even when it's oily and irritated. For the price, it's an incredible bargain. Try it, if you haven't already.

2. M Lab Anti-Aging handcare SPF20 (US$60/104ml)*
This was sold at Harrods, but now seems to have disappeared from their site. I've been wearing this at night with a pair of cotton gloves, as I've found my hands getting particularly dry this month. Normally that's a winter phenomenon, but whatever the season this rich, emollient cream is good at restoring elasticity and smoothness.

3. Philosophy Eternal Grace (£32/60ml)
I love most if not all of Philosophy's Grace series, but this is the one I've been reaching for most often this month. It's a light, breezy scent perfectly balanced between floral and citrus, and guaranteed to make you feel fresh and cheerful.

4. Stila Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser SPF 30 (£22/50ml)
A light-textured, blendable TM with decent coverage and a good SPF for summer days. It also comes in a very practical squeezy tube - ideal for rushed mornings.

5. Andrew Collinge Weightless Volume Mousse (£4.29/200ml)*
In an attempt to inject a bit of volume I've recently started running a small amount of this through my hair near the roots before blow-drying. It definitely makes a difference, and is light and non-sticky. Unlike some other mousses I've tried, there's no sacrifice on hair texture with this one either.

* denotes press samples

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Review: Liz Earle Healthy Beautiful Skin Facial

I've had many facials in my time.  I credit my glowingly clear wedding day skin to regular monthly Darphin treats, which cost a bomb but gave me incredible results.  I've also had some duff ones - including those which ran too short, or which were administered with onion breath.  So when I tell you that my recent experience at the Liz Earle flagship store was absolutely the best facial I've ever had, I'm basing my comparison on a wealth of experience!

Tucked away in the Duke of York Square, a little pedestrian square of high end boutiques, the Liz Earle store and treatment rooms are light, bright, and airy.  Beneath the spacious and well stocked shop floor lie a total of seven treatment rooms, each named after bays on the Isle of Wight, the brand's home.  The treatment rooms manage to be both roomy and cosy at the same time, with soft lighting and a clean colour palette bringing a tremendous sense of calm.

I've often said that it's the little things that really make a good facial great.  The Liz Earle treatment rooms are full of those little touches - a proper lockable cupboard with hangers for your clothes, a ledge for your handbag, and a space to tuck your shoes away.  And the bed!  Far from the usual flat treatment bed, the Liz Earle beds are electronically controlled and give excellent back and knee support.  Add an electric blanket, plenty of cushions and throws, and I knew I was in for a treat before the therapist had touched my face.

Cuddled up in the warmth of the bed, I was given a comprehensive consultation on my skin, asked what I wanted from the facial, and any specific concerns.  After a thorough cleanse, tone and exfoliate, the therapist brought out some Superbalm and started the facial massage.  The Healthy Beautiful Skin facial makes a big deal out of this- at least half an hour of my facial was dedicated to targeted sculpting massage, concentrating on my forehead, where I'd highlighted some fine lines I was worried about.

I admit it, I fell asleep.  I might even have snored.  After the facial massage, a mixture of masks was applied to my face, and I was treated to a very thorough and effective neck and shoulder massage.  I absolutely adored it - my shoulders, which were achy and tense before the treatment, were left relaxed and unknotted.  And extra brownie points for not rushing out of the room while the mask is left on, too - a personal bugbear!

After an application of moisturiser, eye cream and lip treatment, I was left to ease myself out of bed at my own pace.  My skin looked fantastic immediately after the facial - plumped up, smooth and radiant, and that glow hung around for a couple of days afterwards.  Needless to say, I left the Liz Earle treatment rooms feeling incredibly relaxed and thrilled with the facial - and indeed, I've already rebooked for six weeks time.

The Healthy Beautiful Skin facial at Liz Earle just off the Kings Road in London costs £65 for an hour - well worth every penny in my mind.  I'll definitely be a repeat customer!

Disclosure: I was lucky enough to be treated to a complimentary facial as a preview of the service.  

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Review & Swatches: Liz Earle Sheer Gold Shimmer

Liz Earle's Sheer Gold Shimmer is described as "light, refreshingly scented gel", containing lots of golden glitter suspended in it, to give light and sparkle to the face and body.  Perfect, then, for summer evenings when you want a bit of shimmer on your skin.  It certainly is light - a small dollop smoothed across the skin goes a bit further than I'd thought, and leaves the skin feeling refreshed and looking sparkly, with absolutely no residue whatsoever.  This is definitely a product to use for the effect rather than any skin benefit!

A splodge on the skin shows the density of the golden glitter - I was a little bit afraid of the sheer amount of glitter in this product when I first squeezed a dab out of the tube, but luckily due to the spreadability of the gel, you end up with a subtle, dispersed effect.  The glitter itself is also very fine; there's no gritty feeling to this gel at all.

In the sunlight, you can just about see a subtle golden gleam on the skin.  Very wearable, and a lot less glittery than I'd thought it would be!  Once the summer gets going properly, I can see myself using this on my collarbone (and perhaps my shins if I'm brave enough to get my lily-white legs out of their tights) for a pretty sheen.  I'm not too sure, though, that I'd use this on my face - whilst the effect is subtle, it's probably still too sparkly.

If you'd like to try Liz Earle's Sheer Gold Shimmer for yourself, you'll find it at Liz Earle stores, concessions, and via the Liz Earle website, where a 50ml tube will cost a very reasonable £8.95, and a smaller 15ml tube will cost £4.60.  What do you think?  Like a bit of shimmer for summer, or scared of looking glittery?  Tried this product yourself?  Let us know in the comments!

Disclosure: PR sample

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Review: Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser Normal/Combination

Liz Earle's Skin Repair Moisturiser is described as a "perfectly balanced moisturiser", and the product blurb claims that it softens, conditions, and smooths the skin to help promote a healthy, glowing complexion.  And that's pretty much it - no anti-ageing, no brightening; it's a plain and simple, basic moisturiser.

I've been trying out the normal/combination variety for about a month now, and that description is pretty much on the nail - my skin feels well moisturised, soft and smooth.  The little niggling dry patches I've noticed around my hairline feel less dry, and the slightly drier skin on my cheeks feels comfortable.  Impressively, I've noticed that whilst my dry bits are left feeling quenched and hydrated, my oily nose and chin are left feeling moisturised but overly so.  I've not noticed any excessive oiliness throughout the day, either.

As good as this product is at balancing moisture levels between different areas of the face, the melting, quickly absorbed texture of the cream makes it relatively easy to overapply, particularly if you're used to using a thick layer of moisturiser.  Whilst medium thickness itself, the cream is incredibly spreadable and silky, goes a lot further than you might expect.  I've had to school myself to apply only a little at a time, then to add more if if doesn't quite spread across my whole face.

All in all, this is an excellent, balancing moisturiser for normal to combination skin - provided you don't take a great big dollop out of the tub in one go.  At £17.60 for 50ml, it's not too expensive either - my tub lasted about two months, which is pretty reasonable for the price.  If you're looking for a no frills, effective moisturiser, this one is definitely worth a try.

If you'd like to try this product out for yourself, you'll find it at Liz Earle's website, where 50ml will cost £17.60 - you get a choice of a jar or tube, and both a smaller size and multi-packs are available.  What do you think?  Tried this moisturiser?  Like the simplicity of single function creams, or do you want more from your products?  Let us know in the comments!

Disclosure: PR sample

Friday, 1 April 2011

March 2011: This month, we have mostly been wearing...

The LBR round-up of recommendations is back. Has it really been a month? Here are the products that have been particularly impressing us day to day during March.


I know I picked a Clinique mascara last month, but really, what can I say? This one's superb. It's got another fiendishly ergonomic brush design that somehow manages to have both bristles and a comb. And the tube is as sleek and black as the resulting lash effect. 

Lately I've been trying to make all my skincare purchases SLS free, with the inclusion of bath and shower washes. This one's great - it has the signature Sanctuary fragrance and leaves skin very soft and smooth.

I bought this to tackle an allergic reaction to something around my eyes, but now that it's cleared up I have stayed in the habit of using this as an eye cream. It's very emollient indeed, and contains mineral oil, so not one for the oily-skinned. Great for me though.

How do they do it? This is a completely new order of lip balm. It's a clear liquid-gel that has an intensely slippy, very adherent but totally non-sticky consistency and quenches dry lips completely. Apparently it contains fatty acids. It's incredible.

Just a really lovely, high-quality, flattering eyeshadow duo in shimmer lilac and deep moss green. I think I said it all in my review last week


1.  Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeliner (£13 each, or £60 for 15)*
Having received the anniversary set as a sample a while back, I've had to buy a few more of these gorgeous liners.  Incredibly smooth, well pigmented, and long lasting, they are the best eyeliners I've ever used - and indeed, I'm now using at least one a day.

2.  Compeed Blister Plasters (£4.18 for 5 medium plasters)
I'm not quite sure whether this counts as a beauty product, but it's an absolute essential.  I've been breaking in three pairs of new shoes this month, and I've had a couple of blisters which have been very effectively healed by these miraculous plasters.  They adhere well, staying on the skin through baths and showers, and shrink blisters without painful popping.  I've now got several packs hidden around the house.

3.  Illamasqua Nail Polish (£13, 15ml)
Having been impressed with the staying power of Radium from the Toxic Nature collection, I had to splash out on Velocity and Snap - a dusty mauve and metallic pewter respectively.  Both are beautiful, unique colours, with an excellent finish, which almost apply themselves.

4.  The Body Shop Bath Gloves (£4)
The ultimate in lazy-girl exfoliation, as I explained rather gushily in my review.  They make shower gel go further, and you get beautifully scrubbed soft skin just by washing normally, albeit with gloves on.

5.  Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser Normal/Combination (£17.60, 50ml)*
This cream manages to have a rich, balm-like texture which effectively moisturises the skin without feeling too heavy or encouraging oiliness.  I've been using it for a couple of weeks and so far so good - my skin feels moist and hydrated and not overloaded with product.  Full review coming up in a few more weeks!

What's rocking your world this month?  Let us know in the comments!

*denotes press samples

Monday, 28 February 2011

February 2011: This month, we have been mostly wearing...

We decided to do a round-up post to give some love to our day-to-day workhorse products - the ones we might not be raving about in our reviews, but that still hit the spot having passed the test of time (well, been in favour for a month or so at least).


1. Clinique High Lengths mascara, (£15, 7ml)*
This mascara has a curious bendy green comb for a brush that reminds me a bit of a blade of grass, or a grasshopper's leg. On a more practical note, it's great for precise, right-to-the-roots application and gives a pure black glossy finish.

2. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (£11.75, 100ml)
Initially a review sample (see original review) that I said I wouldn't repurchase, but that won me over with its outstanding performance over time. Kind on my irritable, dry winter skin, reliably making it softer, brighter and smoother. Still not in love with the eucalyptus smell, but it really, really works.

3. Poshe Super-Fast Drying Topcoat (£8.50, 15ml)
Just like Seche Vite, it delivers a hard-wearing glossy shine and dries at remarkably high speed (as the name suggests). Unlike Seche Vite, it's free from demonised ingredients Toluene and Formaldehyde.

4. Pout Flush Blush in Rampant Rose (discontinued)
Tragically discontinued English-Rose pink cream blush, which comes in a twist-up stick format. The link above is to Makeupalley's reviews of it. You can sometimes pick these up on eBay - definitely worth pouncing on if you see them.

5. Naked Coco de Mer bath foam (£3.99, 300ml)
Luxuriant bubbles, indulgent scent, and no drying SLS to be found anywhere. Naked are miracle-workers, particularly given the low price. I've been using this together with the Coco de Mer shower gel for a couple of weeks now and am totally smitten.


1.  The Body Shop Banana Conditioner (£3.99, 250ml)
Smelling comfortingly of my teenage years, TBS Banana Conditioner is rich, smells glorious, and is silicone free.  And cheap.  I'm already buying backups.

2.  Too Faced Shadow Insurance (£11, 10ml)
I'll be reviewing this one in depth at some point, but so far it's managed to control my oily lids surprisingly effectively - definitely on a par with UDPP.  Also, I love the tube packaging.  No waste!  I'll be trying the Glitter Glue variety next.

3.  Smashbox Halo Powder (£42 for 21g powder and brush)
I've had this product for ages.  A soft, slightly glowy powder which doesn't cake and adds a really pretty luminosity without shine.  It apparently is also anti aging, but I don't really care about that... I just like the finish.  Also, you grate the powder as you need it - genius!

4.  L'Oreal Studio Line Curl Power Mousse (£3.56, 200ml)
I know it's really 80s and all, but I just love mousse.  Strong hold mousse shapes my curls into proper S bends and ringlets without frizz, and I can always scrunch the crispiness out.  This one adds plenty of shine, and is silicone free.

5. NYX Powder Blush (£7.95 UK/$5.95 US)
I have this in Silky Rose and Raisin, and I'm staggered by the pigmentation.  They're on a par with my MAC and Cargo blushers - a single dip onto the blush is enough to give the cheeks a beautiful touch of colour.  They blend brilliantly too.

What products are you loving this month?  Let us know in the comments!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Treats (for you) for Valentine's Day

Yes, it's all a load of commercialised hype designed to make single people feel lonely. I feel slightly traitorous to my fellow single people even posting about the dreaded "V". But one good thing about Valentine's Day is that it gives brands a reason to come out with some love-themed limited editions that might make your heart beat a little bit faster. Here are a few I recommend...

Lush have brought out "It's Raining Men", a new shower gel with a honey-sweet scent. It's almost identical to their "Honey I Washed The Kids" soap and will fill your nostrils with a syrupy OTT blend of caramel and light floral notes as you shower. I bought a little one of these to treat myself and am enjoying it very much. Prices start at around £4 for 100g. (I can't check the prices at the moment as the Lush website has unfortunately been hacked. Hope you get everything sorted soon, Lush!)

Vaseline have just introduced these limited Pink Tins for the big V. Each one contains four variants of the standard Vaseline Lip Therapy pot. At £7 it's more expensive than buying individually, but you do get the highly collectible oversized pink tin to keep your trinkets in (read hairgrips, rubber bands and old bus tickets in my case). You can find these now at branches of Morrisons and Superdrug.
For a gift that will just keep on giving (yes, I went there), treat yourself to a year of beautiful soft skin with Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish Subscription service. C&P is rightly hailed as a skin saviour and is one of my go-to products when I feel that my skin's not at its best. It's a cream cleanser with a punchy eucalyptus scent and a gentle, soothing action. Each month you (or your chosen gift-ee) will receive 100ml of Cleanse and Polish plus two muslin cloths to use with it, in a zip pouch. It's good value at £159 for 12 months.

Finally, a more extravagant purchase is Diptyque's Rose/Eros candle pair. Two limited fragrances, each with a very different take on a rose scent. One is light and flirty, the other deep and sensual. I'd happily spend a night in with either of these. £55 per pair (4.7oz each). More info at

Monday, 22 November 2010

Review: Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask

Disclosure: PR sample

Liz Earle's Brightening Treatment Mask claims to instantly revitalise the skin within just a couple of minutes.  Formulated for dull skin, it's labelled as being unsuitable for sensitive skins: it uses some fairly intense ingredients which have been known to aggravate sensitive skin, such as witch hazel, camphor oil and white clay.  Applied to the skin and left for just one to two minutes, this tingly mask draws out impurities and wakes the skin up, leaving it refreshed and with a natural glow.

I decided that the best possible time to test this out was the Sunday evening after my friend's hen party, which had seen me up til 3AM dancing, and imbibing a fair few lemonades.  Naturally, my skin was looking and feeling just as tired as its owner, so I pulled this tube from my cupboard and gave it a shot.

The mask itself is creamy and spreadable, and has that thick, unctuous consistency common in masks containing clay products.  After the required two minutes on my face, the mask had tightened noticeably, and I'd noticed a distinct tingling sensation, which is normal, according to the tube.  I removed the mask with a dampened muslin cloth to find skin that was looking much brighter than it had before.  My skin also felt incredibly clean, and a little bit tight with it - a good shot of moisturiser is definitely needed after using this mask.

All in all, a great mask to give you a temporary lift if you feel your skin is looking dull.  It certainly made me look more human post-hen-party, and given that it takes effect so quickly, I'll definitely be using it again in the mornings when I'm struggling to get going.

If you'd like to try Liz Earle's Brightening Treatment Mask, you'll find it on Liz Earle's website, where the starter pack, containing 50ml of mask and a muslin cloth, costs £12.75.  I really like that you can also grab a smaller travel size, ideal for a trial run or two, which costs £4.75 for 15ml.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Review: Liz Earle Botanical Shine Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair

Disclosure: Provided as a PR sample

Liz Earle's new haircare range has finally launched, no doubt to the excitement of the 20,000 people who have pre-ordered.  I've been trying out the Botanical Shine conditioner for Dry or Damaged hair, which is fabulously silicone free and thus suitable for my silicone and SLS free regime.  Because it's for dry hair, it's more moisturising than I would use for a co-wash, so I've been using it as a regular conditioner on my midlengths and ends.

Firstly - this conditioner, unlike many silicone free offerings, has plenty of slip.  It glides through the hair easily, and you don't need massive amounts to saturate the hair.  I really can't begin to explain how happy the slip factor makes me - with some silicone free conditioners, I have to spend ages rubbing conditioner through my hair to get it all covered.  Not so with this.  It's so silky and slippy that I actually checked the ingredients a second time just to make sure there really were no silicones in it.

It rinses out of the hair very easily, and leaves the hair feeling light, well moisturised, and not at all coated.  My hair, once dry, was incredibly silky and shiny - and indeed, this is the first time I've used a silicone free conditioner that replicates the ultra silky feel that a silicone based product lends to the hair.  I absolutely love it.

I will definitely be repurchasing this, most likely before I've even finished off my current bottle.  I also intend on trying one of the lighter conditioners for co-washing.  Whatever happens, this is going to become a permanent part of my regime - softness, silkiness, lightness, and silicone free?  Pretty close to perfect.

I thought I'd also mention that I gave the Botanical Shine shampoo to my husband to try out, since I don't use shampoo.  His verdict?  "Smells like hippies and makes my hair clean".  Useless boy.

If you'd like to try Liz Earle's haircare out for yourself, you can buy it now at Liz Earle's website, where the shampoos and conditioners will set you back £7.50 per 200ml tube.

Friday, 11 June 2010

15th Anniversary Savings at Liz Earle

On June 15th, Liz Earle will be celebrating their fifteenth anniversary by "going back to their roots" and selling their iconic Cleanse and Polish product at the price at which it originally launched.  You'll make a saving of £3.50, as the original launch price was £9.50 - and today's retail price is £13.

The offer is available for one day only, the 15th June, via the Liz Earle website, so if you're a fan of Cleanse and Polish, mark this one in your diary and stock up!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Focus On Feet: Liz Earle Foot Scrub & Foot Repair Moisturiser

Disclosure:  the items reviewed here were supplied by PR.

As we crawl steadily towards what's looking like a pretty hot summer, footcare comes to the fore, particularly as the sandals and flipflops emerge from the depths of wardrobes all over the land.  We'll be writing a few foot focused posts over the next couple of weeks - and we're starting with two Liz Earle products designed to refresh and pamper hard working feet - the Foot Scrub, and Foot Repair Moisturiser.  Firstly- one of my favourite things about Liz Earle is the attention to detail in order fulfilment.  Everything arrives beautifully wrapped in tissue paper, and it really makes me feel like the company is pleased to have me as a customer, which, in a world of faceless corporations, is something quite special, in my mind.

Anyway; on to the products.  The Foot Scrub is pumice based, with a menthol-based scent.  It's quite a thick product, and a small dab contains plenty of scrubbing particles, so you don't really need a lot of it.  On application, the first thing that hits you is the scent - it's very, very intense.  If you were to use this in the morning, it'd certainly wake you up!  The presence of the menthol also serves to make the feet feel tingly and fresh as you work the scrub in.

After use, my feet (which are chronically ignored and a bit worse for wear) felt smooth, fresh, and noticeably softer.  While the scrub isn't hugely effective on very hard areas of skin, it does deal very well with areas of dryness.  I think my favourite thing about it is the menthol-y freshness - I've taken to using it after a full day of walking, and have found it to be very refreshing for tired feet.

The Foot Repair Moisturiser continues on the same theme, with its peppermint scent and shea butter base.  I particularly liked the packaging of this one - the tube ends with a pump, so you can more effectively control how much you dispense.  A few pumps is all that's required - the cream, while not massively thick, is very emollient, which means that a little goes a long way.  On application, you get the same refreshing feeling that you get with the scrub.

The product sinks into the skin very quickly, which I really liked - I hate having to sit around waiting for my feet to stop feeling slick.  My feet were left feeling soft and smooth, although again the cream wasn't particularly effective on very dry areas.  I've been using this every couple of days and have found that my feet are in general much softer than they were before - this is definitely a good maintenance product.

At £12.25 for 100ml of the moisturiser, and £10.25 for 100ml of the scrub, these aren't a budget friendly buy, but given that you need so little each time, I would imagine that they'd last a fair while.  If you'd like to try them for yourself, you can get them from Liz Earle's website - and smaller sizes are available too, which is great if you want to try them out without the commitment of the larger sizes.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Review: Liz Earle Mineral Sun Cream SPF20

Disclosure: this was a PR sample.

Liz Earle's newest sun product is a mineral based sun cream which claims to be light and non-greasy, and works by reflecting UVA and UVB rays away from the skin.  So far, so standard, right? The unique selling point of this product that it contains titanium dioxide, which is the part of mineral makeup which makes it such an effective physical sunblock - this is the ingredient behind the cream's "mineral" moniker.  As with all of Liz Earle's products, you also get natural ingredients, and the inclusion of skincare ingredients such as shea butter to condition the skin.

Being a pale skinned person, I am no stranger to sun cream, and regularly slather myself with anything up to an SPF 50 during the summer.  Over the years I've been through a variety of brands, some of which manage to be very light despite high SPFs, and some of which have been thick and gloopy.  Unfortunately, the Liz Earle Mineral Sun Cream falls into the latter category.  Firstly - this is very thick cream.  As you can see, dispensing the product onto your hand results in a blob which holds its shape, indicating that this isn't the lightest and thinnest of creams.  It also has an unfortunate mushroom-y colour, which makes it look a bit unappealing to use.

I found that as I tried to rub it in, it didn't really sink in particularly quickly.  Instead, it felt more like I was just moving the cream around on top of my skin instead of spreading it evenly over (and into) the skin.  After a good five minutes of rubbing, I finally felt that it had absorbed into the skin enough for me to get dressed.

On the upside, I found that there was no white cast left behind where I had applied it.  On the downside, I felt sticky.  The sticky feeling did eventually dissipate, but it took far too long - a couple of hours, by which time you'd need to reapply.  I also tried it on my face, and found that the cream is far too heavy for facial use - it doesn't sink in properly, and the sticky feeling is still there, which doesn't exactly make for a good makeup application on top.

For me, this level of heaviness and stickiness is pretty much unacceptable in a cream with SPF 20 - I've used SPF 50 creams which are smoother and left my skin feeling uncoated.  For that reason, this is not something I'd be prepared to use again.  Perhaps if your skin is drier, or if you have a problem with conventional sun creams and need a more natural block thanks to the titanium dioxide, this will serve you better. For me, though, this gets a thumbs down.

If you'd like to try it for yourself, you can get it from Liz Earle's website, where it will cost you £18.50 for a 150ml tube - a smaller, handbag sized 30ml tube is also available for £6.50, which would be a great way of trying this product out.
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