Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean

Sunday, June 30, 2013

I've seen this cleanser from Soap and Glory praised on several blogs now, and last week it managed to sneak its way into my skincare collection. In all honesty, I was completely drawn in by the promise of a gorgeous, fruity peach scent, and this is one aspect of the product that I'm still not sure about. Yes, it smells like peaches, but in a strange, minty, almost alcoholic kinda way. In fact, to me it smells like Peach Schnapps - perfect if that's a smell you love but I feel that it can sometimes be a tad nauseating. Most of the time I get on with the scent just fine (I am partial to a bit of Peach Schnapps, after all!), but I think that it could be a bit too much if I used this while hungover or ill! Most people seem to adore the scent though, so I'd definitely recommend a quick sniff of it in the shop.

Now, as you may have noticed, Soap and Glory are giving their skincare packaging a little makeover. The official launch is set for September, but some of the new style products are finding their way into stores now. I actually really like their overhaul, and although some people are going to be disappointed by the more minimal design, they've given the range a more grown-up, slightly clinical look which I'm a big fan of. They've still maintained a slight retro feel (and lots of pink!), but it's a lot more fresh and professional looking.

Somewhat trivial things out of the way, how does it perform? Firstly, the consistency of the cleanser is lovely - it's a creamy, light emulsion that literally melts into the skin. After washing away using a muslin cloth my skin is left smooth and soft, without any tightness or irration. Soap & Glory say that this cleanser also removes even waterproof makeup, but as I've been using it after removing my eye (and majority of my face) makeup with either micellar water or cleansing oil, I can't completely vouch for these claims. However, I can confirm that it does seem to get rid of any foundation that I may have missed pretty well! After a quick inspection of the ingredients it appears that this cleanser is completely paraben free and boasts some lovely ingredients like peach and goji berry extract - though it does also contain parfum and alcohol, so it may be one to stay away from if you have sensitive or very dry skin.

While this isn't the best cleanser I've ever used (that title sits firmly with Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish), I think it's important to remember that Soap & Glory is a high-street brand, and I don't think you're going to get much better quality than this for under a tenner. It's not one that I'll be running back out to repurchase straight away, but I'll sure I will happily pick up another bottle at some point - perhaps as part of Boot's seemingly ever-occurring 3 for 2 offers. If you're looking for a cheaper, everyday cleanser then definitely check this out, although if you're not a fan of Peach Schnapps I would maybe steer clear!

(Note: Peaches and Clean is currently out of stock on the 
Boots website due to the repackaging, however it is 
still available in most Boots stores.) 

Stila Convertible Colour Trio in Cool

Monday, June 24, 2013

I've been eyeing up the infamous Convertible Colours by Stila for quite some time, but always spent too much time um-ing and ah-ing over which shade to buy. That is, until a couple of weeks ago when I heard about their trio palettes and just knew that I had to own one. There are two palettes available, 'Cool' and 'Warm', each consisting of three shades - two classic favourites and one exclusive, limited edition shade. Perfect for an indecisive girl like me! I knew that they were selling out pretty fast so I headed straight to my local Space.NK and managed to snap up the last palette they had in stock, which luckily was the cool toned offering that I'd decided on. Clearly, it was fate!

The 'Cool' palette contains Peony, Lillium and Cherry Blossom, housed in sleek black packaging with a generous sized mirror for on-the-go touch ups. Cherry Blossom, the limited edition shade, is a cool toned pink. Lillium is a pinky-peach shade, and Peony is a slightly warmer, brown-toned peachy nude. All of the colours are very wearable and flattering, especially on my cool-toned pale skin. The Convertible Colours are marketed as a "lipstick and blush in one", and while they perform adequately on the lips, it's as a blusher that they really shine. The formula is creamy and very slightly glossy, giving a sheer, natural looking glow to the skin - although they are buildable if you want a stronger colour. Application couldn't be easier - I dab a small amount onto my cheeks and then blend with my trusty Real Techniques Stippling Brush, but they work perfectly well with fingers too. If I'm going for a natural look I dab some of the excess onto my lips and call it day! Fuss-free and fast - my kinda product. 

So, to sum up: versatile, beautifully coloured, and extremely wearable. What's not to love? I've been using this little palette non-stop since it came home with me and I'm certain that I'll continue reaching for it most days throughout the rest of the summer. You can pick up a palette for £23, which I think is decently priced considering a single shade (containing a little more product) costs £16. Whether you're already a fan of the Convertible Colours or a newbie like me, I would definitely encourage you to check these lovely little gems out. You won't be disappointed! 

Instagram #7

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Possibly the palest feet in existence / The top of our building from the park outside / Hugo / Yo! Sushi box / Krispy Kreme / Cute little magic star necklace / Quite a few beers in Brewdog / Desk essentials - candle, Neal's Yard hand cream, Fresh brown sugar lip treatment and Melvita Rose Floral Water / Throwback Thursday - Times Square by night, December 2012 / Burrito bowl / Alpen from a wine glass, 'cause I'm classy like that (and all the bowls were in the dishwasher...) / Honey yoghurt, almonds, strawberries and blueberries. 

Next Just Pink Perfume

Monday, June 17, 2013

My first introduction to Next's Just Pink perfume was as a teen, when I received it in a gift set one Christmas. Back then, I would drown myself in various body sprays and the odd scent from my mum's stash, so having my own fully fledged perfume in my arsenal was a big deal. I used this a lot, finished the bottle and then just kind of forgot about it, until a few weeks ago when I found myself testing the perfumes in Next and rediscovered it. 

Let's get one thing straight right away, Just Pink isn't a complex or particularly exciting perfume, although that's not to say it isn't pleasant. Described as a "fresh green floral fragrance with soft fruits and pink blooms", it's a young, girly and clean scent. When I sprayed it in Next I was hit with waves of nostalgia, and I decided to buy it immediately. I picked up a gift set for a tenner, which features a little bottle of the perfume as well as a roll-on and a solid perfume. The packaging is lovely and really suits the scent - it's simple, feminine and has a classy feel to it. At first glance, you really wouldn't believe it was so cheap. Although I bought the perfume for sentimental reasons, I've really been enjoying using it. It's a simple, fresh and unfussy scent that is perfect for days when I want to just spritz something on and go without thinking about it too much, and I love that it comes with a roll-on for on-the-go touch ups. The low price also means it's not one that needs to be used sparingly, which I like - I can spray it throughout the day to my heart's content and save my more expensive, complex perfumes for evenings and special occasions. 

If you've never checked out Next's perfumes before I really recommend you do. They have some lovely scents at very reasonable prices - perfect for a gift or simply a little treat to yourself. While they perhaps don't boast the lasting power or depth of more pricy perfumes, they're ideal as a fuss-free daytime fragrance and for between £5-10 a bottle you can't really go wrong. I miiiight have since added a couple of their other scents to my collection... 

Recent Purchases: Lifestyle Edition

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Every now and then, I buy things that aren't make-up or skincare related - shocking, right?! I'm not really the biggest fan of clothes shopping, so when I'm not scouring the aisles of my local Boots and House of Fraser I'm most likely looking at pretty decorative homeware, bags, books or candles. I think I've picked up some nice bits over the past few weeks (with some absolute bargains in the mix!), so I thought I'd share my findings with you guys. 

One of my favourite recent purchases is my new bag, which I picked up in Primark for a steal at £12. I've been on the lookout for the perfect brown bag lately and this structured tote ticks all the boxes. It's simple, stylish and about a third of the price that you'd pay anywhere else on the high street. Primark, you did good! Moving on, I popped into Wilkinson's recently and picked up an artificial bunch of daisies for £2.50. I've had an empty vintage style bottle lying around for a while that was just too pretty to throw away, and now that it has been suitably spruced up with the flowers it makes a very pretty DIY jewellery holder for some of my earrings and bracelets. Pictured with the flowers is my new BRĂ„DA Laptop Support from Ikea. It is, in a word, brilliant. I can now sit comfortably in bed or on the sofa with my MacBook propped up sturdily in front of me - genius! The two books came from HMV, and were in the sale for between 49p and £1.99 each. I can't resist books at the best of times, and with these being cheaper than most magazines these days they were purchased pretty swiftly. Finally, I bought four candles. Three came from Home Sense - two by Pecksniffs and one by Rodial. Rodial are well known for their luxury, cult skincare and when I saw that their candle in "Lounge" was £6 (originally £45!) I just had to try it. I bought the Pecksniffs candles for their amazing, authentic scents - I have "Cut Grass" and "Morning Coffee" (both around £5) and they smell exactly as you'd hope. I've had the former burning for most of the past week and it's been keeping the summery mood going in our flat even during the dreary rainy days. Lastly is a gorgeous honey scented offering which I bought from Ikea, along with the pretty glass holder - both of which came in together at around the £5 mark. 

What do you think of my little haul? Have you bought anything amazing recently?

Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Max Factor's Miracle Touch Creamy Blush is an amazing, purse-friendly little pot of loveliness that I have been reaching for non-stop recently. For me, cream blushers beat powders hands down in the warmer months as they give a really subtle, dewy flush on the cheeks - perfect for effortless summer days. I have Max Factor's offering in the shade Soft Pink, an incredibly pretty and universally flattering colour which gives my cheeks just the right amount of rosy glow when applied with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush. For a high street product this is impressively pigmented, especially on my pale skin, so a light hand and a bit of blending during application is a must, though once it's on it stays put for hours. It applies pretty well with fingers too, and the teensy pot could fit into the smallest of handbags with ease, making it a great choice for those of you who like to carry your products around for touch ups during the day. As I just mentioned, the pot is very small. Photographs online don't seem to capture the size realistically, and I almost missed this at the bottom of the Max Factor stand when I was searching for it in Boots; however the pigmentation means that you really don't need to use much and I reckon that the fantastic quality of this blush makes up for the less than generous size. I'm really loving using this, my only wish is that they had more than four shades out - I know that I would be all over a coral version!

Pug Life #3

Monday, June 10, 2013

Short and sweet Hugo post this time around; I just couldn't resist posting this little series of photos from the weekend! Here is Hugo doing what pugs do best - falling asleep. If he's not eating or being generally naughty, Hugo is asleep. He reluctantly gets up with my boyfriend and I most mornings and then has a mid-morning nap, which lasts until around 2pm. He then treats himself to an afternoon nap. Then an evening nap. Oh, to be a pug! His favourite sleeping spot, as you can see, is our bed, followed closely by the bathroom where he creates his own little cosy nest of towels and dirty laundry. He has his own dog bed - two in fact - so we really shouldn't let him snooze wherever he pleases, but honestly, could you refuse that face?!

MAC Lady Danger

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Let me introduce you to my latest MAC love... Lady Danger. A beautiful orange toned red that is perfect when paired with big sunnies in summer for a retro, pin-up vibe. I picked this up from MAC a few weeks ago. I actually headed to the counter with the intention of buying Morange, but was a little surprised by just how orange it is in the flesh so decided to grab this instead - and I'm so glad I did. Although I feel slightly as though I'm cheating on Russian Red (MAC's deeper, blue toned red and my all-time favourite red lipstick), this has taken a firm place at the front of my lipstick collection for the coming summer months. 

Lady Danger has a matte finish which I think really compliments the shade. As with all matte lipsticks, it is on the dry side (although MAC make some of the more hydrating matte lipsticks I've used), so it helps to prime your lips with a scrub and balm before application; however, the plus side to the formula is that once it's on it really stays put - it has lasted me a good six hours without touch-ups. As with all MAC lipsticks, this lipstick is fantastic quality, very highly pigmented and has that lovely subtle vanilla scent. I've seen it on a variety of skin tones from very light to dark - the orange tones are pretty strong against pale skin, but on darker, warmer skin tones it appears a little more red, however it's one of those wonder products that seems to look good on everyone. If you fancy a lipstick that gives a bold, cheerful pop of colour in the summer then I honestly couldn't recommend Lady Danger more. 

Revlon Baby Stick in Pink Passion

Thursday, June 06, 2013

I really love the lip offerings from Revlon and think that they stand head and shoulders above other high street lip products. Their lip butters and balm stains are some of my most loved staple make-up products, so I was intrigued when they brought out this new product recently. The Baby Stick, slightly strange name aside, sounds extremely promising on paper - a dual-use lip and cheek tint that, according to, delivers a "matte effect with high pigment color [that is] great for on the go". I was put off purchasing one when they were first released, due to reading some pretty unfavourable and disappointed reviews, but Superdrug currently has a 3 for 2 offer on so I was able to pick one up for free to put it to the test myself.

Firstly, I completely disagree with the "matte effect" and "high pigment" claims. In my experience, this tint is very low pigment and gives a slightly dewy effect on the cheeks. If you're looking for high pigment then this is definitely not the product for you. I picked up the shade 'Pink Passion' as it looked the brightest on the shelf, but I still have to spend a considerable amount of time building it up to a decent colour on my skin - bear in mind that I am also extremely pale, so if you have a darker skin tone this will be even more difficult. I don't mind the effect that it gives. It's a very subtle wash of colour that I find works better on my lips than my cheeks, due to the almost waxy consistency. It could work for days when you don't really want to wear make-up but want a very slight tint on your lips and cheeks, but if you're going for a full made-up look then I would stay clear. For this reason, I think I may pack this for my holiday next month - I'm not planning on wearing much make-up during the day and this is subtle enough that it could be thrown in a handbag and applied on the go for a verrry natural, sheer hint of colour. 

I really hate to contribute to the negative reception that this product has received but the formula is rather disappointing, especially as Revlon lip products are usually so consistently high quality and impressive. The Baby Stick has a very poor colour pay-off and is definitely not up to scratch in terms of formula. I'll probably get some use out of it but I definitely won't be rushing out to buy another. Pink Passion is by far the most pigmented of the bunch, so if you're interested then that's the shade I'd recommend. I just hope that Revlon will pay attention to the poor feedback and perhaps re-release these products with an improved formula and higher pigmentation because the idea is awesome, it just unfortunately doesn't work too well in practice.

Instagram #6

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Favourite hand creams - L'Occitane Honey and Rose Petals / Hugo and Starbucks Refresha in bed / Amazing fillet steak / Eating out / I am slightly addicted to Nutella / Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask (review here) / Sleeping pug / Shamelessly posing with a Starbucks / Hugo having a good ol' sniff of his feet / Fruit salad for lunch / Space.NK tempting me with catalogues in the post / New favourite perfume - Lolita Lempicka Si Lolita. 

Dove Hair Therapy Leave-In Conditioning & Care Spray

Monday, June 03, 2013

Dove Hair Therapy Leave-In Conditioner is an incredibly lightweight conditioning spray that can be used on wet or dry hair for a dose of moisture and nourishment. The bottle consists of two separate liquids - containing almond, coconut and argan oil (which make this product smell gorgeous) - that you blend together before application by shaking the bottle. I like to use this before blowdrying, spraying it evenly over towel dried hair and combing through to detangle and soften things up a bit; but it's also great on dry hair too, especially on my second-day hair that has a tendency to get dry at the ends. As far as lasting improvement goes, this isn't a product that's going to make a huge difference in the long-term, but at a very affordable £3.39 for 200ml it's perfect for a quick fix. I can definitely see myself using this a lot throughout the coming hot summer months. 

And Katie © // QUINN CREATIVEs