Soap and Glory Once Upon a Lime...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Once Upon a Lime is the third and final gift set I picked up from the post-Christmas Boots sale. I've always associated Soap & Glory with their 'Original Pink' fragrance - that girly, sweet scent that first made me fall in love with the brand years ago. Since then, I've also fallen for the delicious brown sugar and oat scented 'Cream Team' range; but before now I'd never tried anything from the 'Sugar Crush' family. When I saw this set for half price (£9), I knew it was the perfect chance to introduce myself to the range. 

The gift set includes a body scrub, body wash and body buttercream, all in a delicious zesty lime scent. Soap & Glory describe the scent as "a mouth-watering blend of kaffir limes, sparkling lemons and juicy mandarins complete with a gourmand base of sweet vanilla musk and coconut oil." It's a really refreshing, invigorating scent - perfect for early morning shower as a pick-me-up. The scent is strong and lingers a little, especially after using the buttercream - good news for some, although I know some people aren't fans of scents that stick around. It's something to keep in mind, anyway! As far as the actual products go, they all work really well. The body wash is thick, creamy and leaves the skin feeling really soft and clean. The scrub is effective without being harsh on the skin, and makes your skin smooth and smelling delicious. The body buttercream is the perfect last step - it's a thick and luxurious cream that absorbs quickly and leaves skin soft and moisturised. 

Unfortunately, I think you'd have to be extremely lucky to find this gift set in store right now. I know my local Boots is currently on the very last of its remaining Christmas stock, with no Soap & Glory in sight; however every product from this set is available individually year round. If you're a fan of zesty, refreshing scents then I'd definitely recommend you give this range a go!

Soap & Glory Eyes Box

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Eyes Box is a lovely little makeup gift set from Soap & Glory, containing a generous six 'Lid Stuff' eyeshadow shades, along with a mascara and kohl eyeliner. I snapped this up for half price (£8) in the Boots post-Christmas sale - a pretty awesome deal considering the Thick & Fast mascara alone is worth more than that! 

The eyeshadow shades - Black Gold, Dandy Plum, Minky, Smokin', Wild Blue and Vanilla - are right up my street, minus the bright blue which, while pretty, is just not me. Still, there's a lovely selection of neutral shades included that can be used to create a brown-toned smokey look. My favourites are Minky - a gorgeous shimmery pale champagne/bronze and Dandy Plum, which is a deep berry toned brown shade. As far as pigmentation goes, these eyeshadows are okay. Not the absolute best I've tried, but for the price they're definitely good enough. The Thick & Fast mascara is one that I've tried before, and it's one I've enjoyed getting reacquainted with. The brush is huge and gives lashes tonnes of volume without being clumpy. My only issue is that given the size of the brush, it can be difficult to reach the roots and the smaller lashes on the inner corners of the eye, but as far as volume goes this one's a good 'un. The Smoulder Kohl eyeliner is fantastic. I don't currently own a kohl liner - I'm a liquid liner girl through and through - but this has opened my eyes a little. It's ridiculously pigmented and smudgy. Perfect for a dark smokey eye. The set also comes with a brush, which I've tried once and found it a bit too small and flimsy feeling, although I'm never impressed with the included brushes in sets like this. At least it's not a sponge-tipped one - shudder.

I have to keep reminding myself that this cost £8, which is pretty amazing value for money. If this set is still available in your local Boots sale then I would definitely recommend picking it up, although even at full price it's a nifty little set.

Soap & Glory Be Your Own Gloss

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Be Your Own Gloss is a lovely little gift set released for Christmas 2013, consisting of five adorable miniature versions of Soap & Glory's popular Sexy Mother Pucker lip glosses. The shades included are Candy Gloss, Clear, Punch Bowl, Half Naked and Yummy Plum; and they all contain S&G's "plumping microspheres" and an "exclusive microcirculation-stimulating extracts" which visibly enhances lip volume. The glosses all have amazing scents, including chocolate orange, vanilla, chocolate cherry and buttered popcorn... Yum. When applied the first thing you will notice, besides the gorgeous flavour, is the slight tingling sensation on your lips. This is supposedly the formula working its magic and making your lips look plump and voluminous. I honestly don't think that the results are hugely noticeable. There is a slight difference, but I tend to find my lips appear bigger when I'm wearing lip gloss, anyway. I don't expect completely life changing results from a high street product, though, so it's not a disappointment.

Included in the set is one clear gloss, and four tinted glosses. The tinted ones aren't massively pigmented and don't claim to be, but they do offer a nice sheer wash of colour, and in one case, subtle sparkle. I love the finish of these glosses - they make the lips appear really plump and juicy, and the formula is thick and quite sticky which means it stays put for a while. This does mean it's probably not the best gloss for a windy day, as I can imagine the whole pesky hair-stuck-to-lips thing occurring... Not the best look!

I'm definitely glad that I bought these glosses - I love the cheeky name, gorgeous scents, and I'm even a fan of the weird tingly, pins and needles effect they have on the lips! I only have one or two lip glosses in my entire collection so it's nice to suddenly have five shiny new options for when the mood to wear gloss strikes. And, this set only cost me £7 - half the RRP as it's one of Soap and Glory's Christmas 2013 gift sets that are currently half price at Boots. Bargain!

Soap & Glory Be Your Own Gloss - £14 (or half price in Boots stores)

EcoTools Fresh & Flawless Five Piece Complexion Set

Saturday, January 11, 2014

When it comes to make-up brushes, I am a Real Techniques girl through and through. Every single brush in my collection, bar perhaps two, is Real Techniques, yet lately I added five brushes by EcoTools into the mix. It was a completely impulsive buy, spurred on by two things. One, I'd read a good review of the set a few days earlier; and two - just look how cute they are! 

Firstly, these brushes are miniature sizes. This perhaps isn't obvious in photographs and could disappoint people who purchase online, so I'd recommend having a look at them in your local stockists before buying to make sure you know exactly what you're getting. The good news, though, is that this makes these brushes absolutely ideal for travel. Included in the set is a Flat Concealer brush, Buffing Concealer brush, Precision Foundation brush, Complexion Blending brush and Full Powder brush. 
I've used all five of the brushes and while they're all well made, good quality brushes with lovely soft bristles, there are some that stand out above the rest for me. The Full Powder Brush is great for a light dusting of setting powder, and the size ensures that you don't overdo it and end up looking cakey. The concealer brushes are fabulous, too. The flat version is a good alternative for your finger and is great for targeting specific areas and blemishes, while the Buffing Concealer brush (easily my favourite of the lot), and is perfect for blending in under-eye concealer to achieve a really flawless finish. I do like the Complexion Blending brush, but find it a tad small for initial application of foundation. It's a good option for touch-ups throughout the day or for travelling though, as long as you don't mind taking a little more time with your blending. The only brush I haven't found much use for is the Precision Foundation brush. I image this could work well for difficult to reach spots, such as the areas around the nose, but I've never got on too well with flat foundation brushes and just haven't found myself reaching for it.

For just over a tenner for five brushes, this set is really incredible value for money. The brushes aren't all totally mind-blowing, but there are two or three winners in there that make the price more than worth it. And to top it all off, EcoTools are a lovely, natural company with a passion for both "beauty and the environment." Have you ever tried EcoTools brushes?

You can pick this set up for £11.99 from Feel Unique or your local Boots. 

Soap & Glory Half Price Gift Sets at Boots

Thursday, January 09, 2014

We all like to indulge in a bit of post-Christmas sales, and for me Boots is one of the first places I head when I'm after a good beauty bargain. With 50% off all Christmas gifts, it's the perfect time to grab a gift set (or three). Soap & Glory are always spot on with their gift offerings, and this year was no exception - from body products, to makeup and skincare, there really is a gift set that will suit everyone. I was slightly naughty and purchased three sets: Be Your Own Gloss, Eyes Box and Once Upon a Lime. I'm currently writing up individual reviews but just thought I'd give you all a heads up about the great deals first, just in case they happen to sell out over the next couple of days - although my local Boots seems to still be pretty well stocked so it's not looking too likely! While I would recommend hunting out the Soap & Glory section first, there's loads of other fabulous gift offerings so it's worth a good browse in store. In total, I bought £48 worth of S&G products for £24, and that includes a full sized Thick & Fast Mascara worth around a tenner. I'd definitely recommend a trip to your local Boots to see if you can grab yourself a bargain!

Instagram #17

Thursday, January 02, 2014

I've been loving this brush set from EcoTools - review coming shortly / Chorizo roll and mulled wine at the Manchester German Christmas Markets / Starbucks frap / Throwback Thursday - me at Disneyland Paris / Dyed the ends of my hair pink courtesy of Bleach London / Possibly my favourite meal ever - fish tacos / Christmas tree in the lobby of our building / Urban Decay Naked 3 - still absolutely head over heels in love with this palette! / Lunch at Katsouris Deli. 

Also, my apologies for becoming a bit of a sporadic blogger over the Christmas period. Lots of travelling, working, seeing family and several bottles of wine kept me very occupied! My New Years resolution is definitely to be more organised and blog more regularly. I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and fantastic New Year!

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And Katie © // QUINN CREATIVEs