Saturday, 31 August 2013

Holiday Impressions August 2013 - Berchtesgaden, Germany

Just a couple of pictures capturing the beautiful days I spent in Berchtesgaden and the surrounding mountains!

Do you enjoy mountain holidays as well?
If so what's your favourite destination?

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Costume Jewellery: Silver-look Ball Bracelet


Imagine my delight when I spotted this pretty bracelet in the display case while waiting for my Ark Age-Aware Deluxe Facial and at £9 it would have been wrong not to!

What really appealed to me was that the little balls were sized differently aiding movement and beautifully reflecting the light.

It closes with a small carabiner and consequently, the width can be adjusted accordingly

The bracelet looks great worn with short sleeves but will look equally fantastic with a black roll neck once the seasons change!

This bracelet and loads of other super cute jewellery choices and handbags are available from Body Therapy in the Attic in Prudhoe, Northumberland.

I for once am extremely pleased with my jewellery bargain which I am sure I will enjoy for the foreseeable future!

Do you like costume jewellery?
If so what's your favourite item?

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Friday, 30 August 2013

Present/Gift Idea for starting Uni!

As my fiance's oldest niece is starting uni this autumn we thought a little (surprise) good luck present was in order!

And this is what we came up with:

So basically we got her a little vintage looking alarm clock with a very prominent 9 to assist her in getting to lectures on time seeing that no family or massive bloodhounds will be doing the job of kicking her out of bed in time (not that she is known to sleep in of course...) and a little minnie-mouse inspired make-up bag filled with a selection of cute little goodies.

The alarm clock is from Ikea and retails at £6 (However, even though I only bought it yesterday, it does not appear to be currently available on their website - they do, however, have a similar - and slightly cheaper - one).

And now moving on what we filled the little makeup bag (currently sold at Primark for £2) with:

  • Maybelline Babylips in "Peach Kiss" - you can't go wrong with a nice, peachy moisturising lip balm (£2.99 - and Maybelline is currently on a "3 for 2" Offer at Boots)
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr in "Permanent Taupe" (£4.99) - this is my absolute go-to eyeshadow for a quick, flattering and lasting wash of colour. Ideal when rushing off to lectures!

I know I would be really pleased to receive this - so I'm hoping this will go down well, be a nice surprise and come in useful!

I have to say that I really enjoy selecting presents and trying to choose something suitable!

Have you created a "starting Uni" present/gift bag?
If so what did you put it?

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Home Deco: Ikea Tindra Scented Candle in burnt orange

When I went to Ikea yesterday to pick up bits and pieces for some new bookshelves to go up above and next to my desk I also accidentally on purpose acquired a beautifully autumnal scented candle.

 Now I am not normally a scented-candle person - in fact it would be fair to say that the smell of 90% of scented candles cause me to make faces worth of Cara Delevinge (I'm looking at you fake cupcake scented offenders...).

However, when I picked up my new purchase in passing to give it a cursory test sniff as I was drawn to the beautiful burnt orange colour which made me think of crunching through autumn leaves, I was pleasantly surprised by its subtle and slightly spicy fragrance.

Not only does this little beauty smell fabulous but it retails at a  bargainous £0.95.

The candle is 8cm (3 1/4 in) high and will burn for 30 hours and once the it has burned down the glass can be used to hold a tea light.

Unfortunately, it is sold out online.  However, the Ikea store near the Metro Centre in Newcastle had plenty of stock left and according to the store finder tool most stores have still stock left.

Whilst I would not say that I am now and out and out convert to the scented candle cult, I have to admit I am distinctly looking forward to lighting it in the coming months!

Do you like scented candles?
If so what's your favourite one?

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Friday, 23 August 2013

Review - Bebe More Beautiful Eyes verschoenernde Augenflege (beautifying eye cream)

As I have loved Bebe's Young Care line for years I was excited to pick up this eye cream which is part of their new line Bebe More which is targetted at the non-teenage market.

And this is what the brand says about its target group:

"Mit der Zeit veränderst nicht nur du dich, sondern auch deine Haut, ihr wollt beide einfach ein bisschen mehr als früher. Du fühlst dich zu erwachsen für Teenieprodukte, aber noch zu jung für Anti-Age Pflege. Du suchst die Gesichtspflege, die zu dir und deiner Haut passt."

(And in English:
As time passes it is not just you but also your skin that changes.  Both of you just want that little bit more than in the past.  You are feeling to grown up for teenage products but still to young for anti-aging skin care.  You are looking for skin care products which suit you and your skin.)

Bebe More Beautiful Eyes

According to the brand the eye cream has been tested by ophthalmologists, is fragrance and paraben free and suitable for sensitive skin.

Having tested out this eye cream for a week twice a day (in the morning and in the evening after cleansing my skin) I am extremely pleased with it.

My skin  is dry and sensitive and I am wearing contact lenses most of the time so I am always careful to try to avoid irritating my eye area.

The eye cream's consistency is light yet moisturising, I applied it generally around my eyes up to my eyebrows and underneath my eyes extending outwards to my hairline.  

It had a pleasant consistency which was easy to distribute and sank in quickly.

The eyecream and make-up
Having let it sink in for about three minutes I applied concealer to the under-eye area which went on smoothly.  I found the Bebe More Beautiful Eye's compatible with wearing eye make-up without affecting its staying power.

How the skin in my eye area felt
My skin felt well moisturised throughout the day and I experienced no irritation or redness. I did not feel the need to add additional moisturiser during the day.

My concluding thoughts on the product:
I love this eye cream and how it made my skin feel. I think it does really bridge the gap between very light eye care and the more heavy anti-aging products.

In my opinion this is a fantastic product* and I will definitively pick up other products from the range to see whether they would make a good addition to my skin care regime.

This has been put on my list of products to repurchase the next time I'm visiting Germany!

Unfortunately this product range is currently only available in Germany or Austria!

* Obviously, everybody's skin reacts differently to products so care should always be taken when trying out new products - especially in the eye area.

Do you use eyecream?
If so what's your favourite one?

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Review - L'Oreal Color Glanz Intensive Mask and Leave-In Conditioner

Ever since a bit of a colour disaster two years ago my hair is extremely dry as I had to have hair colour which had turned out black (it was meant to be a medium toned brown...) professionally removed. Now the hairdresser did a great job but ever since then my hair has gone from very fine, super shiny and uncomplicated to very dry and high maintenance.  

If I want shine I now really need to work for it and I'm consequently always on the hunt for a product/products to dramatically improve the condition of my hair!

(Luckily the effectively bleached bits are in the process of growing out but as my hair is about down to my shoulder blades its taking its own sweet time)

As maybe mentioned before the "El Vital Sofort-Aufbau-Kur Color Glanz" is one of my favourite leave-in conditioners and I have repurchased it religously over the last three years (this is basically my go-to leave in conditioner).  This time round I have also bought the "El Vital Intensivmaske" (L'Oreal Elvive Color Protect mask) which I have tested in conjunction with the leave-in conditioner.

The intensive mask comes in a red plastic top with a screw top. The design is functional and allows to easily scoop out the product. 

The jar contains 300ml of product.  I have used this 5 times so far applying the product very genorously from the roots right to the tips of my over shoulder-length hair and have used up half the jar so far - so you should be able to get around 8 to 10 applications out of this for mid-length hair (more for short hair) which in my opinion results in a very favourable cost per use ratio.

I have tried this out with a couple of different shampoos and found that this intensive mask performs incredibly well on my hair.  

I left it in between 1 to 2 minutes and even after this short time my hair felt completely detangled and smoothed down.

After towel drying my hair carefully (just pressing it, no rubbing) I massaged approximately a hazelnut-sized amount of product all through my hair focusing on the lengths and smoothing it over the top layers of my hair.

Both air drying and blow drying my hair I got ultra smooth and frizz free hair with a nice shine to it!  

I found that the combination of the rinse out intensive mask and the leave-in conditioner left my hair soft, shiny and manageable and gave it a healthy appearance!

My Verdict

I absolutely loved the intensive mask and the leave-in conditioner! They work together beautifully.

They are a fuss-free, effective way to give colour-damaged, lackluster hair a quick infusion of shine!

They work beautifully with my hair especially considering that it is currently on the damaged side.

I will repurchase both of these!

And I have added the shampoo in the line to my mental "wishlist" to try out as well!

Overall, fantastic products which performed very well for me and with which I am very pleased. 

Do you enjoy using L'Oreal Elvive Color Protect products?
If so what's your favourite one?

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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Review - Balea Young Shower Gel and Body Lotion (DM own brand) "Naschkatze"

I picked this duo up in DM because I was really drawn to the colourful packaging and the quirky design (and it does look good on my shower shelf).

The pink coloured shower gel is of a slightly runny consistency so once you have squeezed some out of the bottle, it needs to be lathered up pretty sharpish as it will otherwise just end up on your shower floor!  It does create a nice leather and I feel it does get you clean efficiently.  

However, my main issue is with its smell: On the bottle this is advertised as a "fragnant cherry experience" - not only have I been completely unable to relate the smell to any type of cherry found anywhere in nature but it is cloyingly sweet.  When lathered up the smell sometimes (not always) develops a very noticeable chemical undertone. The shower gel's smell does not linger once it has been rinsed off which in this case is a good thing!

The matching body lotion is of a creamy consistency, is easy to distribute, sinks in quickly and leaves my skin with a velvety soft feeling which lasts easily for six or seven hours.  This is not a super rich consistency but a nice light moisturiser for the summer months.

The smell is similar to the shower gel i.e. no actual discernible cherry smell but just a sweet vaguely fruity smell.  In contrast to the shower gel the body lotion does not have the strange chemical smell which is a definite plus.

My Verdict

Whilst I liked the body lotion and felt it did a decent job it was let down by its partner in crime the shower gel (nothing wrong with its cleaning properties) but it was severely let down by its smell!  

Consequently, I would not repurchase this (the bottles still look great though)!

Friday, 16 August 2013

DM Haul - Face & Body Products (Overview)

Bonjour! Guten Morgen! Gruezi!

Having now returned from my European jolly with significantly more beauty-related luggage when I set out with (as clearly you can't by anything of this kind in the UK - NOT (disclaimer: this is obviously meant to be heavy irony) as there are some products which are not available in the UK or I like the European version better or they are significantly cheaper!

Plus of course the added benefit of being "exotic" on account of being unavailable or hard to obtain over here!

This is going to be a brief overview post followed by a more in-depth review of the various products I purchased in my favourite German drugstore: DM!

Shower & Body Care

I was excited to pick up the limited edition  Balea Young Shower Gel and Body Lotion (DM own brand) "Naschkatze" because I loved the snazzy design of the bottles with cats and cherries and I'm looking forward to trying out these two products which are new to me!

I picked up these two shower gels because I needed to stock up for after gym purposes (I have earmarked the Balea Men Wake UP Call Duschgel for this and because its limegreen colour looks offensively fresh and revitalising) and the Nivea Men Pure Impact one is intended for sharing with my fiance (so that he has access to a reasonably "manly" shower option...) and as I have yet to be disappointed by any Nivea product I try I thought this would make a good unisex option! (Another deciding factor was the persistent heat wave in Germany in the last couple of weeks which made anything gel like and refreshing looking a much more appealing option when any cream products).

Whilst we are still in the middle of summer (and a very nice one at that) I have still taken the opportunity to stock up on my two favourite body oils from Alverde (Germany's most popular organic cosmetic brand).  I have purchased both of these several times over the last years and am looking forward to tying out the "Relax Pflegeoel Wildrose Sandorn" and the "Cellulite Koerperoel Zitrone Rosmarin" as both oils have made my skin super soft in the past, improved its texture and as an added benefit the lemon oil (Zitrone) came with a free full sized Alverde mono eyeshadow in the colour "Sand".

Hair Care

I also took the opportunity to stock up on my favourite leave-in conditioner from the L'Oreal Color Glanz (called L'Oreal Elvive Colour Protect in the UK) range which is available in the UK with annoyingly the exception of the leave-in conditioner (sort it out L'Oreal). This leave-in conditioner has been a firm favourite for years as its formula is non-greasy, easy to apply, does not weigh my fine hair down and adds shine and just makes coloured and damaged hair just that little bit more manageable and shiny.  This time around I also picked up the matching colour protection mask so I'll see how that goes! Can't wait to try it on my hair after four weeks of bright sun and hot temperatures drying it out spectacularly...

Face Products

I picked up a a Nivea day cream as I was after a light hydrating product to wear under makeup and on its own - as this Nivea moisturiser was a firm favourite during my teens I'm really looking forward to revisit it (and see how my skin and/or the formula has changed)!

Additionally - as variety is the spice of life - I also picked up two Bebe Young Care moisturisers, a brand I really enjoy and always make a point of picking up when visiting either Germany or Austria. I opted for one Bebe Young Care moisturiser for dry skin and another one for sensitive skin. I tend to rotate these so I'll see how it goes!

Lastly, I picked up an eyecream from the Bebe More range promising "Beautiful Eyes".  I'll be interested to see how I get on with this cream as my eyes are quite sensitive due to the fact that I am wearing contact lenses. I hope the reality matches the promises on the packaging! it'll also of course be interesting to see howa product from the new Bebe More range performs as the introduction of this range is of course a response to the fact that the brand recognises that some of their core customers are not teenagers anymore and it is branching out accordingly!

Dental Hygenie

When at home I always pinch Blend-a-med tooth paste of my father (the classic variety which is pretty sharp so if you get anything on your tongue you will know about it...). So I was super excited to spot that the company had branched out and now offers various options: I bought "Complete plus - milde Frische (mild freshness)", "Complete plus - Kraeuter (herbs)" and "Complete plus - exta frisch (extra fresh)" for all of which I am having high hopes!

Furthermore, I picked up one of my long-time favourite Odol breath freshner spray which is a godsend when on the go and not a fan of chewing gum (I loath chewing gum). It basically is amazingly minty fresh breath in a (tiny) can - it even puts up a credible fight against yummy garlicky food!

What I did today:

I sorted to my German health and beauty purchases for the purpose of blogging about them and reviewing them.

I seem to have successfully recovered from a nasty bout of gastorentotic flu which is not ideal when travelling on an overnight ferry...

What I did not do was sort all my washing out but one has to have something to look forward to!

I also just bit the bullet and registered for a BA (Hons) Language Studies: French and Spanish with the Open University so that is going to be exciting (and hard work) from October! Woo!

Do you enjoy shopping at
If so what's your favourite brand/product?

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