Monday, 27 July 2015

Lush Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub!

Hey everyone! Since its summer, not that the weather here is reflecting that very well, we're all wearing a little less clothing and believe it or not I might even wear a skirt at some point! I think the key to keeping skin looking nice and fresh in the summer is using a scrub every few days and moisturising daily to ensure you're skin stays nice and smooth, especially on the legs!

I decided to try a new scrub as I've been using the same ones for quite some time now. I love Lush products too, as they're all natural and generally they're awesome. This scrub is brilliant, I don't know why I didn't pick it up sooner. It has a really beautiful smell which is described as a fresh blossom scent, however, I think it smells very refreshing yet still has a lovely floral undertone too it. Its a sea salt scrub so its pretty intense, this is why I don't use it every day but on using it every few days it keeps my skin feeling super soft. You can use this on your scalp as well to add shine and volume to your hair, I'm yet to try this as my hair is pretty voluminous without giving it any encouragement but I really love how it has more than one use. Its a really lovely scrub so if you're in the market to try something new I highly recommend it.

Lush Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub - Available here.


Friday, 24 July 2015

Hourglass 'Ethereal Light' Ambient Lighting Powder!

Hey everyone! Today we're talking about a little bit of a splurge purchase! We all need to treat ourselves now and then (I feel like I maybe treat myself too often haha..) and I've been eyeing this up for so long that I thought I may as well just go for it instead of taunting myself any longer.

I already own Dim Light from the same powder range,  I've had it for quite some time and on my pasty complexion it makes for the perfect bronzer. Ethereal Light is a truly stunning powder, its much different to Dim Light in the sense that its a very pale in comparison. I bought this powder to set underneath my eyes and it does  a really brilliant job and doing so. Its a pale powder that blends out almost translucent but it has a super pretty sheen through it that really brightens the area. These powders are also super soft and finely milled so for someone like me who has pretty dry under eyes but still needs to set their concealer it doesn't make the area look cakey or dry. This also makes a really pretty highlighter if you're going for something thats not super intense. I love it for under my eyes as it gives a subtle highlighted effect without looking too white, as I'm pale finding something to highlight with can be quite the challenge so I'm super pleased that this performs well. The Hourglass powders are so beautiful, I have two already but I sense more coming my way quite shortly!

Have you tried any of the Ambient Lighting Powders?

Hourglass 'Ethereal Light' Ambient Lighting Powder - Available at Space NK


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Beauty Blender! (& Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge)

On a recent trip to Space NK (we all know how dangerous that can be!) I noticed that they had the coveted Beauty Blender by the till. I know many people love this so I decided to take the plunge and give it a go so I could let you guys know my thoughts. Note how I used my blog as an excuse to spend money.. haha! 

I've been using the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge for quite some time now and I really do love it, which is why I was so reluctant to try the Beauty Blender in the first place. Theres quite a big price difference between them too; the Beauty Blender coming in at £16 and the Real Techniques at around £6. However, for now I'm going to chat about the Beauty Blender and I'll come back to the differences later on.

You might be thinking to yourself, £16 is an outrageous amount to pay for a sponge and you're not crazy for thinking it I can assure you. In this instance though I'm going to say its totally worth it! Theres something about applying my foundation and concealer with a sponge that I really enjoy, I find it makes everything blend into the skin much more seamlessly and you're never left with any streaks. I also find I get a much more even coverage of makeup as bouncing it across the skin really does help distribute the product accordingly. For those who aren't sure how these types of makeup sponge work, essentially you run them under water (both sponges mentioned double in size when wet), squeeze them out in a towel and you're ready to go. The idea is that you bounce the sponge across your skin to blend everything in instead of dragging or wiping. 

I find when I use the Beauty Blender I can achieve much fuller coverage on my skin without it looking cakey or heavy, when I go fuller coverage when using a brush I find everything goes a bit streaky so this is a perfect alternative. Whats swayed me from the Real Techniques Sponge to the Beauty Blender is the texture of the sponges themselves. I feel like compared to the Beauty Blender, the Real Techniques sponge retains a lot more. By this I mean both water and makeup. This made me realise that when I use the RT's sponge I'm wasting a lot of product as its being absorbed into the sponge rather than my face. I noticed this when washing them too, the BB rinses out a lot quicker and not too much product comes out of the sponge but the RT version takes a lot more effort to get it clean and a lot of makeup comes out of this sponge when you clean it. The RT sponge also feels a lot wetter on the skin when you're applying makeup, whereas the BB just feels a little damp. 

The sponges are quite different in shape too, the BB is the classic egg shape with a pointed top which is super handy for bleeding in concealer and the RT sponge is a similar shape but with a chiseled, flat side. Personally the flat side of the RT sponge has never really been something I've been hugely fussy about but it is a nice addition. However the rounded base of the BB blends in foundation much quicker (in my opinion).

Overall I feel like the Beauty Blender is a winner, the firmer texture of the sponge and the less absorbent feel, for me, gives a much more flawless result.  I love the Real Techniques Sponge, but the Beauty Blender has blown it out of the water! Both are hugely versatile for any cream or powder products, I love them both for foundation and concealer mainly and I think I will continue to use both sponges for a long time.

Have you tried the Beauty Blender?

Beauty Blender - Available from Space NK
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - Available from Boots


Friday, 17 July 2015

Current Workout Playlist + Gym Essentials!

Hello everyone, today I thought I'd talk about something thats quite important to me: what I listen to when I'm at the gym. I could not even think about going to the gym if I didn't have my iPod shuffle or my phone with me!

I've been a member of Pure Gym since the beginning of the year and I was doing really well. I went to the gym about twice a week and I was pretty proud of myself. I did get a little ill in April/May time so I wasn't able to go for a while, and I missed it so much! I'm finally getting back into the swing of things so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts and feelings about the whole situation! Luckily for me, the gym is a 5 minute walk from work so I try go to before I head home for the evening. This doesn't always happen if I'm finished late and what not but I've been making the effort lately. 

I only have 5 essentials for the gym which might seem a lot but to me its the important things! 
1. Music. Either my phone or my iPod with some decent upbeat songs.
2. Deodorant. I don't think I really need to explain this one..
3. Body wash. For all the post workout sweat that needs to be removed!
4. Face wipes. To take of my makeup quickly before the gym and to refresh things afterwards.
5. Water. I always have a full bottle when I go to the gym and I make sure to replenish after exercising too!

My current playlist consists of some pretty good running songs right now.. Heres the top 15!
1. I Don't Like It, I Love It - Flo Rida
2. Shut Up and Dance - Walk The Moon
3. Lean On - Major Lazer
4. Runaway (U&I) - Galantis
5. I Really Like You - Carly Rae Jepsen
6. Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars & Mark Ronson
7. Too Close - Alex Clare
8. I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift
9. Single Ladies - Beyonce
10. Hold My Hand - Jess Glynne
11. Bills - LunchMoney Lewis
12. Cheerleader - Omi
13. Black Magic - Little Mix
14. Poison - Rita Ora
15. Hey Mama - David Guetta

Hopefully this inspires your workout playlist, let me know if you have any favourites to listen to at the gym!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Empties // Products I've Used Up!

Hello everyone! I hope you've all had a great week so far! Today I'm sharing some products I've used up, I'll let you know if I think they're worth it or if I didn't get along with them so well. I personally love posts like this so I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I'm going to enjoy writing it.

1. MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in 'Radient Rose' - This I used to reach for all the time, its actually a really nice highlighting pen. Loads of brands do these but I especially love this one as its really light weight on the skin and blends in really seamlessly and this shade has a nice pink undertone which matches my pasty skin quite nicely. I have purchased this over and over for a long time now and probably always will. I haven't reached for it in a little while but I can see my self digging it out quite soon.

2. Benefit Porefessional Primer - I actually really enjoyed using this little sample size, I've had a few samples of this but never actually bit the bullet and bought the full size. However, I do feel its the best primer I've used for minimising pores and reducing oiliness so I might have to pick it up soon.

3. Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder - This is a beautiful, finely milled powder for setting under the eyes and I really enjoyed using it. I'm currently using a translucent powder from MAC for my concealer but I'll definitely be going back to this as it really does add brightness to the face.

4. MAC Fix + Spray - Holy grail material for me. I literally couldn't go a day without this stuff. Its so refreshing and takes away any powder look I might have on my face as well as setting my makeup down for the day.

5. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm - This is a brilliant primer, it does exactly what it says: brightens and tightens. Admittedly its not the best for making my makeup last all day but it adds such a nice glow to my skin and really perks it up.

6. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water - Another holy grail product for me, it makes removing makeup such a breeze and I've genuinely lost count of how many bottles of this I've bought. I will forever repurchase this!

7. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer - I know a lot of people love this, and I do too but I don't think I would ever purchase the full size. I remember buying the full size of the light version and I kind of felt the same about it too. It feels great when its applied but genuinely I don't think it makes a difference to how my makeup looks or lasts.

8. Gosh Boombastic Mascara - This is like the drugstore alternative to Benefit They're Real. I don't like the Benefit offering as it hurts my eyes, dries out really fast and I can't get it off. This on the other hand gives amazing looking lashes but without all of the struggle. Its amazing!

9. Urban Decay Primer Potion - This is just one of those things that I will always use. I have mega oily eyelids and this keeps all of the creasing at bay, its an everyday must and I never feel sad when I have to buy a new tube as it literally lasts me forever. A little goes a long way.

10. Batiste Dry Shampoo - Lastly, another product I will always love. It really works well for me and I haven't tried another dry shampoo that I love as much. I don't see myself changing to use anything else anytime soon.

Have you tried any of these products?


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Soap & Glory Body Wash! (Rich & Foamous, Sugar Crush, Orangeasm)

I'm back today with a little review for you all. I've definitely missed blogging so its nice to be sitting down again writing a few words. I'm not particularly fussy when it comes to shower gel, to be honest, but theres something about the Soap & Glory offerings that always seem to take my fancy.

Firstly, they have some amazing scents. Theres pretty much no shower gel from Soap & Glory that I don't love the scent of. They also lather really well too, and we all know theres nothing worse than when a shower gel doesn't give you bubbles so this is a must in my book. In a body wash I also look for a scent that lingers, something that makes the whole bathroom smell great as well as hanging around on the skin for a little while too. My skin in relatively sensitive also, and these body washes have never caused my any issues. If your skin in super sensitive you might want to try a travel size bottle first just incase the scent is too much for you, but I personally get along with these just fine. I also love how big the bottles are, a whole 500ml lasts me quite some time meaning I don't have to replenish very often. They also have a super handy pump at the top which means accessing the product is nice and easy when you're in the shower. The scents that I chose here are probably my three favourites. Rich & Foamous is a creamy scent with almonds, its a great warming scent - especially in the winter. Sugar Crush is a really sweet, fresh, scent with lime and sugar which is lovely for everyday. Lastly, Orangeasm is a really zesty, refreshing scent which is a great pick me up on those early mornings! Added bonus to these body washes? They're pretty much always on 3 for 2 in Boots, meaning it works out about £12 for 3 bottles. 

Whats your favourite body wash?

Soap & Glory Body Wash - Available Here.


Monday, 6 July 2015

Garden Photography & My Internet Break

Sometimes we all need a break right? You may or may not have noticed that I've been a little quiet here on the blog and also over on my instagram too. To be honest, I've been super busy with work and getting things organised for my little trip away next week (which I'm super excited about). I hope you don't all feel neglected but sometimes its nice to just take a step back and enjoy whats around you. I decided to share some of my recent photos with you, I'm no photographer but I've noticed a massive improvement in my photography skills over the last year or so and I'm really proud of these photos. I hope you enjoy them and if any of you are wondering all these photos were taken on my Canon 700D (just with the kit lens), and edited with Photos (formerly iPhoto) on Mac.

I've got some super exciting things planned for the blog over summer, I want to share my more creative side with you all more regularly and I feel a little giveaway coming around soon too! I'm not sure what the prize will be as of yet but if theres anything that you make you super excited, I'd love to know your suggestions. I also have a few videos coming your way too so please check out my YouTube channel if you haven't already, I'll link you here or you can search 'claresloves'. Anyways, thats it from me today, I'll be getting back into the swing of things with the blog so stick around and more posts will be coming your way!

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