Finding the Perfect Cruelty Free Perfume with Floral Street Scent Exploration Kit

It sounded like the most perfect perfume, containing every note that I like. I bought it and loved the fruity top note, as I knew I would…Then it changed. The middle note was very strong and I absolutely hated it! The bottom note was warm and musky which I liked but I’d had to endure the middle not for three hours to actually get there – gaaagh!

This is why I vowed never to buy a perfume a) without smelling it first and b) without seeing how it changed over time on my skin.

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Floral Street perfumes have three notes but they all mix together perfectly and immediately so no unpleasant surprises. The scents also last for hours and are noticeable without being over-powering. All their perfumes are vegan and no ingredients or finished products are tested on animals.

Floral Street offer this fantastic Scent Exploration Kit (£68) with 8 perfumes in 1.5ml tester spray bottles to eliminate any guess work. It comes with a voucher for a full size 50ml bottle, once you’ve picked your favourite scent (which also arrives in a recycled/recyclable cardboard box). If that sounds a bit pricey you can buy The Discovery Set (£14) to either help you decide which larger perfume to buy or to simply have a choice of handbag-friendly sized scents.

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I’m going to go through each scent and try to describe it in my own simple, honest (and slightly unknowledgeable) way.

London Poppy – This reminds me of every lads aftershave in the 90’s. The one’s the girls used to pinch because they were so unisex and fresh.

Wonderland Peony – Fresh, light, flowers of Spring.

Neon Rose – The air on a sexy Summer evening.

Wild Vanilla Orchid – Warm, sexy but natural. Nothing like an obvious perfume – more like the natural scent of someone you’re snuggled up to.

Iris Godess – I’m sorry but this is more like ‘Iris Grandma’. Next!

Chypre Lotus – About as subtle as a brick but incredibly sexy. Similar to YSL Belle d’Opium. Prrrr

Ylang Ylang Expresso – The scent drifting from a hipster coffee house. I’ll let you decide whether that’s a good or bad thing.

So the one I’m going to buy is….

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Wild Vanilla Orchid!

I have nothing like this in my perfume collection but I’ve always wanted something subtly sexy, which actually lasts on my skin.

Which one would you choose?

Chrissie

The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick

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I bought The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick (£8.00) in Luanda Peony as I wanted a neutral pink. I was also attracted to this particular lipstick as all of the reviews said how moisturising it was. A few reviews also suggested it wasn’t highly pigmented and I liked the idea of just a wash of colour for daytime.

It turns out that this isn’t a dusky pink but rather a deep cherry pink shade, which is very pigmented and bright! It is very flattering if you have green (or blue) eyes, so I’m good with that. Another thing which surprised me was the subtle shimmery effect. It doesn’t highlight any unevenness or look too frosted and 80’s so don’t let the word ‘shimmer’ put you off.

I do find the Marula oil content to be moisturising and it does glide on easily, with an even colour pay-off, even when my lips are dry in places. It was still visible after four pints which, for a normal bullet lipstick, was impressive. I am so glad this has a really subtle rose scent and doesn’t smell or taste like kids sweets like some lipsticks I’ve owned – urgh!

The packaging has a simple twist up bullet with a lid that clicks on and a clear base so you can actually see the colour you are buying.

  • Community Trade agreed
  • Buav (leaping bunny) approved.

 

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

The Basic Skincare Regimen That’s Made a Huge Difference

The reason for my delicate snowflake skin

As a (sometimes) beauty blogger I used throw an awful lot of different brands and products at my skin; no wonder it was so confused! It would go from too oily to really dry within hours and sometimes it would be oily but dehydrated at the same time. I was also eating a lot of dairy (the reason for so many spots) and gluten (the reason for redness, water retention and inflammation). Nowadays I eat a mainly free-from diet with just one cheat day a week and stick to these gentle skincare items.

My skins needs

My face doesn’t seem to shed old skin cells very well, resulting in dullness, blocked pores and poor absorption of products so a frequent radiance peel is so helpful! Although I don’t have sensitive skin, it does still get red easily because of allergies or sudden temperature changes so products that are calming and balancing are also a must. I feel there’s room to fit in a pampering sheet mask as recommended by the awesome Hunida over at Hunida’s Blog or a pink clay mask to reduce my pores, once a week.

The wonder products!

B. Miceller Water to cleanse twice a day. The least drying and most effective cleanser/toner I’ve tried.

Murad Intensive Radiance Peel, twice a week. Gentle enough for my skin with natural acids.

Nip+Fab Hyaluronic acid everyday. Helps skin to absorb moisture from the atmosphere and my moisturiser.

Weleda Pomegranate Body Lotion, everyday. The naturally occurring Vit C in this calms redness and inflammation. It’s also so light but hydrating my face loves this as well as my body.

Weleda Pomegranate Body oil, everyday. This has totally rescued my pout from cracking in drying central heating. Vit C also helps to regulate sebum production.

What are your everyday must haves?

Chrissie

Dying My Hair Peachy-Pink with Manic Panic!

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Does anyone remember ‘tiger stripes’ from the early 2000’s? Well I got a subtler version done as a base for my colour. My lovely hairdresser Maria informed me that the lighter you bleach your base, the lighter the colour will be, perfect for pastels. But if you want a more vibrant colour then leave your hair a rich gold tone to give your colour more depth. I got a few inches cut off too.

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I used Tish & Snooky’s Manic Panic semi-permanent colour in Pretty Flamingo, a pinky-peach, to colour some streaks but not others creating an effect like a Fruit Salad sweet. I’ve always wanted hair like that since being a kid! Now my hair has gotten naturally lighter I thought I should go for it.

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According to The Bloke, who generously volunteered to do it for me as long as he chose the music (Thin Lizzy) it’s creamy and easy to apply. Maria kindly gave me a tint brush which made it much easier. It’s left my hair soft, shiny and conditioned, even though we rough dried it to create a grungy texture.

Although I love the colour, I know it’s going to fade too quickly unless I dye it one more time for more depth. I think I’ll just do the top layer myself and then leave it at that.

Chrissie

 

The Body Shop, Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Conditioner

Made from Community Trade Shea Butter from Ghana Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Conditioner (£6.50, 250ml) promises to leave hair nourished, less prone to breakage and less frizzy.

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I have thick, coarse shoulder length hair which is excellent condition but looses it’s natural oils easily, even after using very gentle, natural shampoo.

I like the mild nutty scent and how creamy this conditioner is. My hair was left feeling incredibly soft and replenished. It was still a little frizzy but then I would never expect conditioner alone to sort this out. I always need to add hair oil after lightly towel drying my hair, no matter what conditioner I use.

The only problem for me is the size and the price, it’s either too small or too expensive. I can appreciate that the people who produce this in Ghana need a fair wage but maybe The Body Shop could take a little less profit? I don’t know but what I do know is that it’s too dear for me to use regularly with my thick long hair, even though a little does go a long way.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

 

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation V’s e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation (£16/30 ml)

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Pro’s

Medium build-able coverage and covers redness

Goes on easily with brush or beauty blender

Very long wearing

Very lightweight/natural feel

Non drying

Non greasy

Available in realistic skin tones

Easy pump action, let’s you choose the exact amount you use

Easily recycled glass bottle

Reasonably priced

SPF 15

Exact colour match as small colour sample on the website

Contains English Rose Water and Aloe Vera

Con’s

Way too matte. Doesn’t give a ‘fresh’ or ‘natural’ finish.

e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation (£9/14ml)

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Medium build-able coverage and covers redness

Goes on easily with brush or beauty blender

Very long wearing

Very lightweight/natural feel

Non drying

Non greasy

Available in realistic skin tones

Easy pump action, let’s you choose the exact amount you use

Easily recycled glass bottle

Very reasonably priced

SPF 25

Exact colour match as small colour sample on the website

Contains Vitamin A, C, & E, Grape Seed Oil, Pomegranate Oil, and Goji Berry

Con’s 

Almost too matte. Sadly, it doesn’t make skin look ‘radiant or dewy’.

The winner

e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation

It has ten more SPF than The Body Shop Fresh Nude foundation; works out slightly cheaper and contains more active ingredients for healthy skin. It changes over three hours of wear to look a little less matte, which I’m very glad about.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning my Beauty Cupboard

Seeing as it’s the first day of Spring and International Happyness Day, I decided to do something positive and have a product Spring clean. Sorting through your skincare and makeup stash was one of my tips in my post 6 Simple Beauty Tips Which Make a Big Difference what a good day to follow my own advice, ha!

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This was all of the skincare products I owned and as you can see they are pretty much all over the place, with face, body and hair, old stuff and new stuff all mixed up. After going through everything this is what I learned…

  1. I had so much oil! I could easily just use the same one for my hair and body and a lighter one for my face.
  2. Out of all of those products I only had one face moisturiser.
  3. I found products that had changed consistency or were nearly empty and all of those were expired.
  4. I still had tanning oil from my twenties! o_O
  5. I buy face masks because they are on offer in pound shops and NEVER use them.
  6. I thought I needed to stock up on miceller water and cooling eye gel as I was running low but then realised I’d originally bought them in two’s to save on postage.
  7. I had a stupid amount of body butter.
  8. I’ve rediscovered cruelty free beauty brands I’d totally forgotten about!
  9. I had bits and bobs from various razors and waxing kits that I stopped using ages ago.

I’ve reduced the above to a single crate and the cute wicker basket. The rest is either in the recycling, the bin or my dressing table so I actually remember to use it daily.

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Here is all of my makeup, apart from what I’ve thrown out and repeats of the same thing and yeah, it’s still a lot!

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Here’s what I’ve thrown out.

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A slightly smaller pile, heehee.

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Here’s my main big-ass makeup case, my daily makeup case and my travel/wash bag with miniatures and samples in. Here’s what I’ve learned…

  1. Even though I treat my makeup fairly well, there were still spillages and products that felt sticky – eeew.
  2. If it’s really broken, through the damn thing away! You are not Stig Of The Dump or a Womble.
  3. If it doesn’t suit your skin tone or texture and it can’t easily be mixed with something else, then throw it away or swap it/give it to someone.
  4. There are lots of reasons why buying two of the same thing can be a good idea but hoarding the same type of product, or buying several before you’ve even tried if the product works for you is not a good idea.
  5. How many golden-brown eyeshadows and copper-brown toned lip products can one person reasonably own!? Five eyeshadows and eight lip products it would seem ;0)
  6. I still have products I bought before I went totally cruelty free. That was TEN years ago!

As you can see, I still have the big makeup bag but now my little ‘everyday makeup bag’ includes the best of my base, mascara, tools, contouring kit (I missed out the wonderful Pixi contour kit in the first photo) and three eyeshadows and eyelinners that I rotate on a monthly basis. This means that everything is easy to keep track of/clean/sharpened, quickly to hand, and I don’t forget to use all of the lovely colours I own.

I hope this helps! Let me know if it has or if you also do some of the bad habits I’ve mentioned.

<3Chrissie<3

 

 

 

 

Nail Super Hero by Ciate

Nail Super Hero £9.60 is part of the Ciate treatment range (five in all) and has been formulated to strengthen weak and bendy nails, whilst hydrating them too.

The flip up cardboard packaging is quite novel, showing you just how much product you actually get for your money, although I’m not sure why the box is needed at all.

 

I’ve been using this for two months and I have seen a good improvement in the strength of my, usually very bendy, nails. They aren’t splinting or bending as much so any nail polish that I use is staying on longer. Considering I have the collagen disorder Hypermobilty Syndrome (which also seems to effect keratin) this is pretty amazing!

I like that Ciate have called this a ‘basecoat’ because when I applied four coats over the top of each other, over seven days, I ended up with a squishy, dull mess! I’ve since found out that there’s no need, as one coat lasts for up to two weeks.  It moves with the nail, rather than flaking of and dries down to a satin, rather than a shiny finish, so nail polish grips it easily.

Just what I’ve been waiting for all these years!

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

6 Simple Beauty Tips Which Make a Big Difference

 

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How to stop eyelashes clumping or looking spiky

If you have medium-to long eyelashes that are fairly straight, don’t use a mascara with added fibres or a thick formula. Curl and separate your lashes, then use a mascara which glides on easily and brush straight up (no wiggling from side-to-side). Apply no more than three coats and let them dry in between.

How to keep track of the makeup & skincare you own

So most skincare and makeup will have a little picture of a jar with a number on saying how many months your product will last for once opened but who can remember when they actually opened it? I write it on a little piece of paper and stick it on the jar with clear tape. I store everything in a wide, open basket with 3 smaller basket inserts to separate everyday skincare from pampering skincare and replacements (which I’ve stocked up on before the first product runs) so I can see everything I have with one glance.

For makeup I have an everyday-makeup pouch and a huge vinyl makeup bag, divided into sections which I store my going-out-makeup in. Again it’s easy to see what I have so I don’t keep buying the same stuff by mistake every few months! I store my makeup brushes in a sparkly pencil case because I’m allergic to dust so I can’t have them sitting about in the open, even though they are pretty pastel unicorn ones.

The order you should use your everyday skincare in

Get the most out of your products by knowing which order to apply them in so they compliment, rather than block each other.

Exfoliate: My skin is not great at goodbyes and likes to cling onto old skin, rather than letting it invisibly float off over the day like it should. To give it some help I use a gentle Glycolic Acid to weaken the bonds between dead skin and new skin. I have a weaker treatment that I can leave on and a stronger one which I leave on for ten minutes and then gently wipe off with a face cloth and then rinse my face. I found that no matter how many face scrubs I tried with the gentlest, tiniest granules my face would become bright red and my skin still didn’t feel smooth.

Serum then Moisturiser: Now skin is able to absorb the lovely things you are giving it. I use Hyloronic acid (which sucks in moisture like a sponge), swiftly followed by a light moisturiser. If you just use hyloronic acid on it’s own in a dry attmosphere, without using moisturiser after, there is a chance it can pull moisture from the deeper layers of your skin up to the suffice. You want to keep that moisture where it is and help it absorb MORE moisture.

Facial Oil: Sometimes there is a difference between dehydrated and dry. I can apply moisturiser and sometimes my skin sucks it up immediately or sometimes it just sits there but either-way, my skin still feels a little dry and looks dull, like matte paper. This is when I realise it needs oil. Another clue is when you’ve moisturised but your skin gets oily in the afternoon or evening. It new it was dry and wildly over compensated – oops! I tend to apply a light layer of oil all over my face – even around my T-zone (sounds crazy but give it a go) and on my collar bone – because that just looks nice!

Layering makeup and textures to get the best look for your skin

I’ve found you can have too much of a good thing – such as similar textures – and prefer to strike a balance by using a mattifying moisturiser with a lightweight foundation or a lightweight moisturiser and then a mattyfying foundation. Applying all mattes and powders or all liquids and shine can look OTT, in both directions so to avoid this, I love liquid highlighters and cream blush with matte foundation. Alternatively, a powder highlighter and blush when I’m using a very light BB cream or foundation to help it stay put. I’ve tried the Korean ‘glass’ skincare look and it did look amazing…For around 60 minutes before the makeup slid off and the shine – so much shine – stayed with a vengeance. I really do think that layering combinations of textures can give the most realistic, long wearing and flattering look.

Get ideas from makeup tutorials but never ignore your own eye/lip/face shape.

If I follow the usual Western eye shadow looks, all my eye makeup disappears into the folds of my eyes and I have giant highlighted brow bones. If I use ones for hooded eyes, then my eyes look rounder and you can see the eyeshadow but it doesn’t look like me and I think it’s actually playing down one of my best features! Now I follow normal smokey eye tutorials but I just extend the makeup up AND out, making sure to highlight where my inner corners curve inward to compliment the natural cat like shape.

If I applied blusher all over the apples of my cheeks I would look like a scary doll, no matter how subtly I applied it. I tend not to bring it inward too much and sweep it up and outward instead.

If I applied contour directly under my crazily-high cheek bones it would make the rest of my face beneath look way too long. I tend to lower it ever-so-slightly and then blend it out the lower down it gets.

Essentially, get all of the tips and ideas you want from others but do what works for YOUR face, after all, you know it best.

Give your skin the chance to do stuff for it’s self

I’m sure everyone has been in that vicious circle of using products that are too harsh and strip your skin – then your skin produces oil to try and balance i’s self – so you use tonner or cleanser and it dries out for a while and then the oil starts again. You should aim for balancing your skin, correcting it (gently) only if it really needs it. If you keep throwing all of these products at your face how will it know when it needs to act and how to regulate it’s self? It’s best to try and stick to a routine (ironically difficult for a beauty blogger who reviews everything) and every six months just to let it be for several days so it acts naturally and then possibly reassess what it needs.

Perfect example: My lips have always lacked natural oils and look dry and even cracked on a regular basis. Turns out it’s a reaction to allergies and central heating. As a kid I was slicked in thick lip balm; as a teen in kiwi lip balm from The Body Shop; in my twenties in Lancome Juicy Tubes lip gloss; in my thirties I’m using natural oils such as Almond and Hemp. The problem steadily got worse and worse however, until my bloke said “Stop using lip stuff so much. Try to anticipate when they might need it so you apply it before they are dry, otherwise let your skin sort it’s self out.” That was so difficult for a lip product obsessive like me. So I accepted looking like the walking dead and after five days it actually worked! My lips where naturally smoother and looked plump and hydrated.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts and any tips you’ve discovered yourself!

Chrissie

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

What the brand says….

‘The ultimate high gloss, high glow celebrity-skin-filter-in-a-bottle! This was born on the red carpet makeup, inspired by technology, for real life, in real time that looks amazing on-screen or off.

Smoothing airbrush polymers roll over your complexion for a poreless-looking, creamy finish.

Glossy Oil is a lightweight moisturising oil that reflects and adds light to your face where you need it.

Finely milled powders soft focus, makes lines and pores appear smoother which means it only ever looks as amazing in real life, as it does on camera.

Porcelain Flower Extract is a brightening ingredient derived from a Thai flower with natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to enhance microcirculation and brighten skin. 

Ideal for superstar-lit skin whether you want a subtle glow or a mega-watt complexion.’

What I want this for…

As you probably know, I have uneven skin texture thanks to having bad skin into my early twenties and I easily get bags (from dehydration/gluten indulgence) so big they carve two lines into my cheeks. I’m proud of how clear and fairly even toned my complexion is these days but I still need a hand with the overall texture and a little redness sometimes. I like CC and BB creams but find they can either be too pale, making me go from tomato red to an eerie green-yellow or they are too transparent and shiny. I chose Flawless Filter as it offers medium coverage, is available in a surprising amount of shades, and then there’s the whole ‘flawless filter’ part.

Before purchasing Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter £30 I read a lot of reviews; a huge amount said it very good but a few said it was awful but unlike me, they had dry skin.

The packaging…

I love the recyclable glass bottle but would prefer a pump rather than the doe foot applicator as it totally fails at applying this type of product and leaves a massive amount in the bottom, which you’d have to tip onto the back of your hand like 1990’s foundations.

The bigger problem with it…

Above; before using the product, makeup free in dim afternoon sunlight. Not too bad but not great either. Much worse, in fact when there’s a lot of contrasting light and shadow.

Here’s me wearing the product. Talk about unflattering – contrasting light! I’ve taken the photo in the same dull afternoon light but it’s still managed to highlight all of my pores, lines and the orange peel effect on my cheeks and even eye bags. Thanks for that Tilbury. I can see how it might work on me in blindingly bright California sunshine but even then, as soon as I went indoors it wouldn’t.

My conclusion….

I have to say the coverage is surprisingly good and the realistic skin tone shades meant that number 3 Light/Medium was perfect for me – not usually an easy thing.

If you have smooth skin but slight redness or dark circles this could be great for medium coverage and added radiance.

If you are older but have been lucky in the genes lottery this might be incredibly flattering for you.

If you are like me you really want avoid it, unless you want to use it as a very expensive highlighter.

On days where I’m very red, I use a full coverage foundation from ELF and I’ve started mixing a teeny-tiny bit Flawless Filter in with it, so my skin doesn’t look as matte and flat with just the foundation. I also use it very sparingly as a realistic looking highlighter on my cheek bones, collar bone and down the front of my shins.

Rating 2/3

🖤Chrissie🖤