Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Yon-Ka Alpha-Complex | Review

I've reviewed some Yon-Ka products before on my blog and was pretty impressed with those products.(Review here) I was kindly sent the Yon-Ka Age Correction Alpha-Complex* to try out but don't let the age correction part put you off. After reading up about it, it sounded like a fab product that would help my dry, dull skin. 

Although it's recommended for maturer skin that wants to battle those pesky wrinkles and fine lines, it also advertises that it's intended for tired, dry, oily and dull complexions and give it a radiance boost. It works by gently eliminating the dead skin cells that are sitting on your skin and it's supposed to even out texture and help with acne scaring as well. It's recommended that it's used only once a month, 3-4 times a year which sounds insane to me! Can something really be that fabulous after only one use every month?

It's a gel texture that appears yellow in colour in the bottle but dispenses clear. The bottle is beautiful, frosted glass with the writing all over, it's beautiful and does look fab in the skincare collection but I really can't say anything else great about it.

I've used this once every month for 3 months and haven't noticed anything different at all. I apply it at night time and come morning, nothing is different. My skin doesn't feel any different and it also doesn't appear more radiant. 

Since you're only supposed to use this 3-4 times a year, I really don't see how it works. I technically only have 1 month usage left and I haven't even made a dent into the product. I noticed on the bottle that it has the sign that means it should be discarded after 6 months of opening it. I use about 2 pea size amounts when I use this and if I'm throwing it away at the recommended date, then I don't see the point. That's a huge amount of product to throw away and also, if you bought this, you might as well have thrown the £66.00 it cost straight into the bin.

I hate writing completely negative reviews but I like honest posts and wouldn't recommend this to anyone from my experience. Saying that, I am going to give this to my sister (her fashion blog is here) and see if it helps her skin at all. I'm just curious to see if it helps her.

Sorry for the moany post today but I hope it has helped you.
Have you tried any Yon-Kat products?

*PR sample

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sunday Smoothie Series | The Green Tea Berry Smoothie

Week 7 | The Green Tea Berry Smoothie -

If you're like me and hate the taste of green tea normally, then you'll love this smoothie. You can not taste the green tea at all which is perfect for me and my taste buds. Green tea is really good for you as it's filled with antioxidants and has loads of health benefits too. It's such a shame that I really hate the bitter taste of it on it's own as I would happily drink it every morning to get the goodness into my body. Luckily the berries really takes away that bitter taste.

This recipe does make roughly two servings so if you only want one serving just cut all the ingredients in half. Because the green tea is hot from when it was brewing, you can add ice to your smoothie to make it more refreshing. This is another fab smoothie for the mornings as it really fills you up and keeps you full for a while.

I'm going to start trying some scary sounding recipes as of next week, scary being vegetables that you wouldn't necessarily think to put in a smoothie such as cucumber, celery and possibly broccoli so stay tuned for that!

 What's your favourite smoothie recipe?

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Bare Minerals | Quick Change Brush Cleaner | Review

A few months back I ran out of my beloved MAC brush cleaner and asked on Twitter if anyone had any recommendations. I was told by the lovely Gemma that the Bare Minerals Quick Change brush cleaner was perfect for spot cleaning and also that it smelt amazing. I made an order about 5 minutes after she told me and awaited eagerly for it to arrive. I love the MAC brush cleaner, it's perfect for spot cleaning but I don't like ordering online as I hate the courier company they use so I thought this would be a nice change.

You can pick it up for £10.00 from BeautyBay but I'm pretty sure mine was on offer when I bought it. You get 110ml of product and it comes in a really hand spray pump. That's what's missing from the MAC one, the spray makes everything so much easier and doesn't spill everywhere. 

You spray the cleaner onto tissue or a cotton pad until it's thoroughly dampened, I have found that takes quite a few pumps, about 5-6 before it is wet enough to clean properly. It's great at cleaning eyeshadow brushes that have been used on powder products, it gets the colour out really well and doesn't damage the bristles on the brushes. I have found that that it doesn't work very well for cream products however, I tend to have to wash them properly with Johnson's baby shampoo as this cleaner just doesn't clean it well enough. 

What I like most though however is the dry time, the brushes are dry in about 10 minutes and it's fab! It's so annoying having to wait around for an hour for brushes to dry but that's not necessary here. The smell is also amazing too, just like Gemma said. I don't even know where to begin with how to describe it but it smells amazing, so clean and fresh. 

Although it doesn't clean cream products all that great, I don't use them that often anyway so it doesn't bother me. I love how quick and easy it is for other brushes, the dry time is brilliant and the scent is great. It doesn't dry out or damage the brushes in any way and you don't need to rinse your brushes off afterwards, I am very happy with this brush cleaner and so glad I decided to give it a try. I also think this would be perfect for make-up artists to have in their kit!

Have you tried the Bare Minerals Quick Change brush cleaner? What's your favourite?

Friday, 18 July 2014

Make-Up Revolution | Salvation Girls On Film Palette | Review & Swatches

I recently posted my first impressions on the items that I was kindly sent which you can read here. Make-up Revolution has taken the beauty world by storm. With it's affordable prices and huge variety of products, it's a great brand and definitely deserves all the attention it's getting. They asked on Twitter which products would we like to see in the making, I and lots of other people said a contour kit and they made it! It's incredible how they listen to their followers and deliver, it's fab! I can't wait to try it out.

It's hard to say which is my most favourite product out of the products I have but the Salvation Girls on Film palette* is one that I have used non-stop since I got it. It's only £6.00 which is just incredible. The palette has 18 eyeshadows in total, 12 being shimmers and 6 being matte. I love that there's a variety of shimmers and mattes as in other palettes - Naked's I'm looking at you, there's only 2-3 matte shades. It also comes with a double-ended sponge applicator but I never use these because I'm rubbish with them.

I've always been a bit of a palette snob, I've stuck to my Naked 2 and Naked 3 since I got them but am so pleased with this one. They have a 32 eyeshadow palette called Flawless that looks so beautiful, the shades look stunning. The following swatches show just how beautiful these shades are.

Walking Hand in Hand | Heads Turning | Camera Rolling | Take Your Picture | Polaroid Heaven | Made a Million

Bridge at Midnight | Lights Flashing | Frenzy All Down Your Spine | Lipstick Over the Lens | Smile Wider | Hold Tight

Give Me Shudders | Shooting Star | One in a Million | So Bright | She's Falling | Girls on Film

Smile Wider all over lid | She's Falling to deepen the crease | One in a Million transition shade for crease | Lights flashing and Walking Hand in Hand on the inner corners | Smile Wider on the lower lash line.

The pigmentation of these shades is just stunning. Although in the swatch Girl's on Film doesn't show up as boldly as the rest, it's the perfect nude shade for my lid if I'm feeling a more subtle look. All the matte shade's are soft and smooth to apply, they don't appear patchy at all. Lipstick Over The Lens, Smile Wider and Hold Tight are definitely my favourite shades, the pigmentation is so bold and bright, they look amazing on the eyes. 

All the shimmer shade's have very little fallout and the pigmentation and vividness of each colour is just beautiful. All the swatches are without primer, I never use primer in my swatches so that just shows you how amazing they are alone. I sometimes don't even bother with primer myself when applying to the eyes as the shadows stay all day without creasing and the colours are still beautiful and intense.

I really can't fault this palette. The packaging is cute and compact and easy to store. It has a mirror inside which is the same size as the lid. This palette has really made me want to own every single palette they have. For the money you're getting an amazing quality product that I've found is sometimes lacking with more expensive high-end brands. Why splash out now that Make-up Revolution is about? Okay that was cheesy but if you're on the fence about trying the brand or this palette has been on your wishlist for a while, I'd say definitely give it a try, and order away!

Have you tried anything from Make-up Revolution? What are your thoughts on the brand?

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Adventure | Wild Camping in Dartmoor - Day 2

As you all know, I recently went wild camping in Dartmoor and you can read all about our first day here. After a very wet first day and heavy rainfall throughout the night, we woke up and were surprisingly chipper. Our trip was getting cut short due to all our belongings getting soaked. We had a long hike ahead of us but didn't leave camp util gone 12 as we settled down for coffee, hot chocolate and toasted bagels before we set off.

On the first day we didn't see anyone, and we never saw any other people camping. It's quite eery as you're unsure if people are about or not. Seeing someone in the distance makes you feel a little at ease, knowing that someone else is around and you're not the only ones in this huge, vast space. During the night we did hear something past, we assume it was some wild ponies as we heard some noise, hoofs and our pots and pans clatter, quite scary but exciting too, being surrounded by nature. 

Anyway, we walked down towards the reservoir which was about 20 minutes downhill from us but once we arrived, we realised the opening was on the other side and we didn't have time to go there so made our way back up the hill to the entrance of the forest. The picture above with the gate is the entrance, it was surrounded by moss covered walls and trees, it looked like a little fairyland. 

Just outside of the entrance we hiked up the hill towards the wall but stopped on a big boulder for lunch. It was a lovely view, hills in the distance with sheep and cows grazing, the sun had come out that day but wasn't hot enough to dry all our clothes, it was a lovely spot. We settled down for some pasta with sausage and it was amazing, along with the view it was the perfect lunch.

Dartmoor has actually been farmed since prehistoric times. A history junkie like myself was so amazed when I finally saw the stone circles (pictured above). There's evidence of Neolithic remains (c3500BC), Menhirs, stone circles and ruined villages scattered all over the moor. Above are photographs of Grey Wethers Double Stone Circle, some of the stones were restored in 1909 but they have been there for a long long time before that. The exact purpose of stone circles is still unknown, but still a fab site to see. We did walk past Hartland Tor on our way back to the car but we sadly didn't have time to hike to the top and have a look round.

We ended up wasting 1.5 hours trying to cross the river, the same river we had crossed the day before. From all the rain the previous day the river was higher and some of the rocks we had used to cross beforehand were now under water. We tried various routes before cutting our loses and following two other people on the side we were on.

I'm glad we didn't manage to cross the river as it was amazing on the other side. The previous day had been quite foggy and therefore we couldn't really see the view but in the clear day, it was incredible. I adore the picture above, it's just stunning.

Once we were back at the car, we drank our weight in water. During the hike, as it was a hot day we were using more water than the day before and were running low but we made it back before we ran out. We decided that we would drive to the spot that we stopped at on the first day. Finish were we started if you will. This is when we busted out the marshmallows. I've never roasted marshmallows on a fire/stove before and it was so fun. We did have two packets but the ones attached to my cousins bag must have fallen off somewhere, we didn't realise until we went to put our bags into the car, so somewhere in Dartmoor there's a full pack of marshmallows waiting to be eaten! We finished with some coffee, and some pictures of the beautiful view. The road into Dartmoor is straight over loads of rolling hills so I suggested watching the sun set before making a move. Best decision ever.

We pulled over at the top of another hill, grabbed some sweets and music and sat on the side of road watching the sun set. M83 (my new favourite band) playing in the background, it was the highlight of the trip. Even now, when I listen to certain songs, it takes me back to watching the sun set below the moors. Looking all around, not a power-line in site, a farm house dotted here and there and miles and miles of rolling hills, Dartmoor is so tranquil, so utterly peaceful and incredibly beautiful. It's really hard to describe and the pictures really don't do the place justice, it's the best trip I've ever had. We had our struggles and it was sadly cut short, but we will return one day, for 2-3 nights and explore the rest of this beautiful place.

This trip seriously chilled me out, it relaxed me so much as although I did cry in the tent the night before because I was so wet and miserable, it was all worth it for the second day. Roasting marshmallows, everyone chipping in with their awful puns, having a laugh with my family, it was a great experience. After my Nanma passing, this is really what we all needed, she would have absolutely loved Dartmoor, and I like to think that she was there with us too, especially when we were watching the sun set.

Although this trip was very tiring for us all both mentally and physically, it has really made us want to do more! We were planning on going back next month, however research of other places has got us itching to explore somewhere new, so from the 9th-11th August, we will be hiking in the Brecon Beacons in Wales and I can not wait. Two days in this idyllic place has turned me into a nature loving hippy that wants to explore everywhere and nothing is going to change that.

 Would you recommend anywhere to go wild camping? What's your fondest memory from a holiday?


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