Beauty

Becca under eye brightening corrector

20170912_150419

When I posted a photo of the Becca under eye brightening corrector recently, I received many comments asking about this product so I thought I’d write a mini review.

20170912_150602

One of my main skin concerns is dark circles under my eyes. I’ve tried so many different products that claim to help but unfortunately most of them fail to live up to their own claims. This under eye corrector from Becca is one of the few products that actually helps.

20170912_150534

The corrector is pale pink in colour & has a creamy texture. The product feels nice around the eyes & doesn’t dry my skin out. I’m pleased to report that the product doesn’t settle into fine lines around the eyes either.

20170912_150143

The packaging of the product is very sleek & compact. I love the rose gold colour of the lid. It’s lightweight too, making the product ideal for travel & already bulging makeup bags!

IMG_20170627_192757_581

I got this product as part of a value set but the RRP of this product individually is £22, which in my opinion is rather expensive, especially for the small size (4.5g). However, I’ve been unable to find a good high street alternative so for now this is the best the industry has to offer.

kateiscoveting)_-1158114119

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you use to help combat dark circles in the comments.

Advertisements
Standard
Beauty

L’Oréal Pure Clay Face Masks

20170804_164656

I have a confession to make. I love face masks. I have tried so many & love how they make my skin feel. They can make such a massive difference to your skin if you pick the right one.

When I first heard about the new range of clay face masks from L’Oréal I was really excited to try them. I love that their new range caters for a whole host of skin concerns including blemishes, oiliness and dullness.

20170808_163240

There are five different masks in the new collection & each one contains three pure clays along with other carefully selected ingredients. The three pure clays that all the masks contain are: kaolin, montmorillonite and ghassoul. These ingredients help to eliminate impurities, absorb excess sebum, eliminate imperfections and clarify the skin.

20170808_164254

The first mask I tried from this collection was the detox mask. The mask is black due to the fact it contains charcoal, which acts like a magnet to draw out impurities. The mask has a creamy texture & cleanses deep down into the skin to clear pores and detoxify the skin. I was really impressed with this mask as my pores were noticeably smaller. My skin felt so clean & wasn’t dried out.

As I was suffering from a break out on my chin, I thought it was a good time to try the blemish rescue mask. This mask contains marine algae extract, which is known for it’s anti-blemish properties. The mask targets deep down into the pores, to unclog blackheads & clear imperfections. My skin was left feeling fresh, pure and soft.

20170808_163507

I have a combination/oily complexion so any product that promises to reduce excess sebum is always high on my list to try. The purity mask also has a creamy texture & contains eucalyptus extract, which is known for it’s purifying properties. After using this mask my skin felt mattified without feeling dried out.

20170808_164359

My skin is often left looking dull so I was excited to try the glow and bright masks from the range. Both masks are very similar. The texture of both is grainy & not as creamy as the other masks. The masks work by exfoliating the skin to remove dead skin cells and reveal brighter, more radiant skin. My skin did look brighter & more glowy after each use. If you like the Origins original skin retexturizing mask then these two are great budget alternatives.

20170804_164457

Overall I’m really pleased with all these masks. They all had a pleasant smell & had a positive impact on my skin. I will continue to use them & I’m sure I’ll be repurchasing. The masks retail at approximately £10 each but I got mine on offer for £7 each.

Thank you for reading. Let me know what your favourite face masks are.

Standard
Beauty

July GlossyBox

I’ve been a loyal GlossyBox subscriber for over two years now and in that time I’ve received amazing boxes, good boxes and less than average boxes, but I’d say most were at least good. I was particularly impressed with this month’s offering so I thought I’d share a review with you.

The actual box that the five beauty products arrive in is usually a light pink colour with bold black writing on but I like it when GlossyBox do one off boxes. This month we received a one off box called “Hello Summer”. The design is very simple yet so pretty. I love the font they’ve used.

20170719_113815

The first product I noticed in the box is definitely a new favourite; the Spectrum small fan A10 brush. I’ve used Spectrum brushes before but I’ve never tried their fan brush before & I love it. On first impressions the brush looks so pretty & feels so soft. It looks like the sort of brush a unicorn or mermaid might use. This brush applies highlighter like a dream & now I won’t be able to apply highlighter without a fan brush. The fan brush can also be used for dusting on face powder. One of the best things about Spectrum brushes is that all brushes are cruelty free.

20170726_180724

As soon as I discovered spiral hairbands I was hooked. They are so much better than hair elastics or regular hair bands because spiral hairbands don’t damage or pull hair. Anything that prevents breakage and split ends is a winner in my eyes! I was chuffed to find two spiral hairbands in my box from Papanga as I like to keep one in every bag. I love that spiral hairbands come in lots of different colours.

20170726_181054

After sun lotion is an essential in summer time. We all know we should wear sun cream but sometimes we get caught off guard & after sun really helps when your skin is feeling hot and sore. I recommend wearing SPF on your face daily no matter what season it is to avoid premature ageing but if you do get burnt then the MonuSpa soothing after sun lotion in this month’s box can be used on face as well as body. This particular after sun is suitable for all skin types and contains aloe vera, shea butter and vitamin E. It’s also good to know that this product is against animal testing as well as being considerate to the environment and it’s made in the UK. It’s another thumbs up from me, GlossyBox! 20170719_113656

Lip balm is a handbag essential at any time of year. The Cutebalms macaroon tint balm in crushed berry doubles up as a cheek tint as well as a lip balm. The deep pink shade looks beautiful on the lips & feels moisturising without being sticky. It smells good enough to eat too!

The final product in this month’s GlossyBox is the Bellapierre banana setting powder. I’ve never tried a banana powder before so was keen to give this a go. Powder has made a comeback recently thanks to beauty bloggers and Youtubers who sparked a facination with the baking makeup trend. I’m yet to try the baking technique but will definitely be giving it a go. This banana setting powder has a yellow hue that helps to counteract redness, discolouration, blemishes and dark circles in paler skin tones & creates beautiful highlights against olive and dark skin tones. Sounds like a multitasking hero product to me! I used this product as a finishing powder over the top of my foundation & concealer. This product is a keeper!

20170719_113543

To read my post about the May 2016 GlossyBox copy this link into the address bar: https://kateiscoveting.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/glossybox-may-2016/

 

 

Standard
Beauty

Spacemasks

20170629_161723

My boyfriend often tells me that I stress & worry too much. He says I need to relax more but that’s much easier said than done! I’m the sort of person who worries that they worry too much! So When the lovely Harriet from Spacemasks offered to send me one of their masks I thought it was well worth trying.

20170621_165955

Spacemasks are eye masks that are intended to aid relaxation. They only have two ingredients (essence of jasmine and iron powder) so you know there aren’t any nasty chemicals lurking inside. To use the mask you simply put it over your eyes and pop the clever little loops over your ears. Within minutes your mask will start heating up ready to relieve tiredness, eye strain and puffy hayfever eyes. The heat will last for roughly 15 minutes but the out of this world calm feeling you feel will last much longer! 

20170629_161001

The mask starts to heat up as soon as you open the packet because the oxygen molecules in the atmosphere react with the mask’s iron particles in a natural heat exchange. Proving that beauty and science are perfect partners.

20170711_094901

I used my mask after a particularly hectic day & I must say I was very impressed. The first thing that struck me was the beautiful aroma coming from the mask. It wasn’t an overpowering scent but smelt very soothing & relaxing. It was the kind of scent you might expect to smell at a top spa. I lead down on my sofa as I gently placed the mask on my eyes & fitted the loops around my ears. The heat on my sore eyes felt so soothing and relieved a lot of my hayfever symptoms. Before I knew it I had drifted off to sleep. When I woke up I felt so rested and peaceful. I even slept better that night too.

20170629_161245

Each mask is single use but you don’t necessarily have to throw it away after use as you could use it as a regular eye mask in bed if you don’t already have one.

20170621_165909

It’s safe to say that I really enjoyed using my Spacemask & will definitely end up buying some. If you want to try Spacemasks head to http://www.spacemasks.com The masks are priced at £15 for a box of 5.

20170629_161421

Standard
Beauty

June Empties

I have never done an empties post before but I’ve been left with a fair few empty bottles this month so I thought I’d try something different.

I’m a firm believer in looking after your skin so I tend to get through quite a few skincare products each month. This month I have two empty bottles of toner and one empty bottle of micellar water. To remove makeup I usually have a quick swipe of an oil based makeup remover (such as Take the day off by Clinique) then I use a micellar water before cleansing with my trusty Cleanse and Polish by Liz Earle to remove all traces of makeup. No panda eyes here!

20170627_135045

My first empty is the Kind to skin micellar cleansing water by Simple. As a teenager I used the Simple cleansing wipes everyday but now that I’m (a little) older I know that wipes don’t do a good enough job so I switched up to the micellar water. This micellar water contains no artificial colours or perfumes plus it does contain multi vitamins so it’s ideal for sensitive skin like mine. I love how simple yet effective this product is; it’s just as easy to use as wipes but much better for your skin & far more effective at removing stubborn makeup. I use this to help remove eye makeup too as I know it won’t sting my eyes. My skin always feels nice & soft after I use it too. I’ve been using this micellar water for many years now & I won’t be stopping any time soon.

20170627_162646

Liz Earle are one of my all time favourite skincare brands & their Instant Boost Skin Tonic is amazing. I get through a lot of this toner and it’s definitely one of my favourite products. The first thing you notice about this toner is the beautiful soft floral scent. It’s heavenly! The product smells very natural & not of chemicals at all. It is also alcohol free, contains no animal extracts & is made here in Great Britain. Liz Earle are famous for using naturally active ingredients & their tonic contains: aloe vera, calendula, cucumber, geranium and vitamin E. All of these are fantastic for the skin and calendula is particularly good for redness & rosacia. Toner is a great step to have in your skincare routine as it helps to prepare the skin for moisturiser plus it removes the last traces of dirt that your cleanser might have missed. The second toner in my stash of empties is the Calming face toner by Naobay. This toner is an eco certified organic product and it’s not tested on animals. I really like the simple packaging of this toner & the wooden lid fits in well with the brand. For the first two weeks I really enjoyed using this toner & was very pleased that it didn’t irritate my sensitive skin. However, by the third week the toner had gone mouldy! Yuck! I read a few online reviews & comments and it turns out this is quite common. If this product had a better shelf life then I’d buy it again but I don’t feel that two weeks is long enough & the fact it went mouldy was really disgusting.

20170627_161135

When I went to Bristol a few weeks ago to buy a hoover I ended up in Lush (as you do), and I was given a sample of their Curly Wurly shampoo. I was given enough for two applications. My first impressions were pretty good. It smells quite tropical & particularly of coconut. The texture is a bit strange compared to other shampoos as it’s much thicker and has coconut flakes in it. The texture is more similar to a body scrub than a regular shampoo. You need to rub the product into your palms before applying to your wet hair. Once the product is in your hair you will need to rub the product quite a lot as it doesn’t lather like other shampoos do. It’s also better to leave this product in your hair for about 10-15 mins before rinsing. I followed these instructions and I did find that this shampoo worked well for my hair type (thick naturally wavy/curly hair). Next time I’m in Lush I might have to pick up the full size!

20170627_134929

Next up is the Batiste light & blonde hint of colour dry shampoo. I prefer this product to regular dry shampoo as it helps lift my natural hair colour and doesn’t leave a grey residue. Dry shampoo is a beauty essential for most of us on those days when there simply isn’t time to wash, dry & style your locks. I love that Batiste is very purse friendly too!

20170628_171440

Ever since Percy & Reed burst onto the hairdressing scene in 2007 I’ve been obsessed with their products. My absolute favourite is their Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm. I’ve got through countless tubes of this product & I couldn’t live without it. This product is a leave in balm that preps & primes your hair ready for all your styling products. It gives you more control & results that last longer. I find this product really maximises definition & helps to tame flyaways too.

20170627_162741

Finally, it’s The Breakfast Scrub by Soap & Glory. My favourite things about this scrub are the gorgeous scent of maple and it’s creamy moisturising texture. This tub lasts for ages and makes a real noticeible difference to the skin. My legs & arms feel so soft & smooth after using this. Generally I use a body scrub once a week after shaving to remove dead skin cells. It removes old fake tan too. It’s perfect for Summer when you have to bare those pins!

Thank you for reading! What products have you finished this month?

Standard
Beauty, Fashion

What’s in my handbag?

20170621_135110

We often see headlines shouting facts & figures at us about how carrying too much in our bags is detrimental to our health and specifically to our backs. This is one of the reasons why I started carrying a smaller handbag many years ago & started carrying a LOT less stuff. The other reason was that after my accident I physically couldn’t carry a big heavy handbag anymore. So here’s what’s inside my handbag…

20170621_134512

One of the most important things is my purse. The purse is from Radley & I’ve had it for over 5 years now. I love it so much and I’ll be really sad to see it go when it does eventually give up. The purse has lots of card slots and I’ve managed to use all of them up thanks to my many loyalty cards! Obviously I also keep cash and my debit card in here, which both probably get used more than they should! I always have loads of discount vouchers stuffed in too. It’s safe to say that I’m a sucker for a bargain.

IMG_20170608_165102_091

One of my beauty essentials is my Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream lip balm. I carry it with me everywhere as it’s one of the best lip balms I’ve ever tried. I discovered it after winning one in a competition & I’ve gone on to buy several after that. It has such a moisturising formulation but doesn’t feel sticky plus it’s long lasting too. It’s one of the few lip balms that actually makes a real difference to my lips. The packaging is simple but sleek and it’s really lightweight. The only down side is the price. Unfortunately it is quite expensive but I stock up when it’s on offer.

As well as lip balm I usually carry a lipstick and lipgloss with me too. The shades change depending on my mood and look that day but one of my favourite lipsticks is the Clinique Pop lip colour and primer in 04 Beige Pop. It’s a beautiful pinky nude shade & feels nice on the lips too. The lipgloss in the photo is the Sexy Mother Pucker lipgloss in Rose & Shine by Soap & Glory. The lipgloss is a bit more pink than the lipstick but the two shades go well together. I love the minty fresh scent & tingling feeling you get when you apply this lipgloss.

20170621_145007

Tissues are always useful but never more so than during hayfever season! If like me you find yourself endlessly sneezing then tissues are extremely handy. I picked up a multi pack from Poundland a while ago & they had pictures of Disney Princesses on them; I was thrilled as they satisfied my practical side as well as my childish side that still adores anything Disney!

20170621_135043

The little purse with beach huts on is my pain purse. I use it to hold my painkillers & medication. If you live with a chronic illness you’ll know how important it is to have painkillers to hand at all times. Unbearable pain can strike at any time so it’s important to be prepared! I choose this pretty purse for my pills as it reminds me of happy memories & it’s important to remember the good times when you’re feeling rubbish.

20170621_134723

To my partner & family this isn’t news but I am a little bit OCD about germs & bacteria so I take antibacterial everywhere I go. I know to some this might seem a bit weird but I feel so much more comfortable after I’ve used this gel. This one smells of strawberry laces, so that makes it even more appealing to me.

Now that I’ve started using Invisibobble hair bands I can never go back to using those horrible scratchy things I used to use. Invisibobble hair bands not only look cool & come in a wide range of colours but most importantly they don’t hurt or damage your hair when you take them out.

20170621_135130

As with most millennials I love my phone & I carry this in either my bag or a pocket if I have one. I have the Samsung Galaxy A3 & I love it. It may not be the most hyped up phone but personally I think the camera on it is really good (I take all my blog photos with my phone) plus everything is easy to use. I always carry a pen too as it has proved very useful on many occasions & you never know when you might need it. Keys are also a handbag essential buy there’s not much to say about them!

20170621_144915

Finally, I’d love to talk to you about the actual handbag. It’s so beautiful yet practical at the same time. The bag has 3 different compartments plus smaller zipped compartments too for your phone & keys. The straps are perfect for wearing on your shoulder or carrying in your hand. I don’t currently use this bag everyday as I like to keep it for special occasions. I tend to use it for evening wear & meals out. This bag looks so similar to the Chanel 2.55 yet is just a fraction of the price. I was amazed at the quality of the bag & it has proved to be durable so far. This bag is also available in nude & white and is called Marsaille. To get yours visit http://www.boutiqueofmolly.co.uk and use code KATEISCOVETING20 to get 20% off the entire site!

20170608_141639

What do you have in your handbag? I’d love to know what you buy from Boutique of Molly! Thanks for reading x

Standard
Travel/Lifestyle

A Guide To Cruising For First Timers

IMG_20170528_143536_712

It’s that time of year when everyone seems to be planning their summer holiday, panicking that they haven’t booked yet or suffering from holiday blues if like me you had your summer holiday a bit earlier than everyone else. My boyfriend, Jon and I hadn’t had a proper holiday for a little while until we went on our cruise. This was mainly due to my health (for full details read my post here). So after an eventful few years we decided to book a holiday together as we knew we needed it & deserved it. We wanted a holiday that would be interesting enough to keep us entertained and I really liked the idea of seeing lots of different places so a cruise sounded perfect for us. Going on a cruise was a fantastic experience for us both but there were certain things we wish we’d known before we went, so that’s why I decided to write a post about cruises for anyone who hasn’t been on one before.

20170507_143548

Once we decided we definitely wanted to go on a cruise we started searching online for the best deals & once we found some that we were happy with we decided to go to a travel agent to get some advice. If you haven’t cruised before then I thoroughly recommend doing this. Our travel agent was really helpful as she’d been on several different cruises before & could not only tell us a lot about what to expect but could also price match the cruise we wanted. Flicking through travel brochures can often be a lot easier & more pleasant than trawling through loads of different websites too. To begin our search we used the Planet Cruise website as we could compare lots of different cruises all in one place. Planet cruise is a great place to start so that you can get an idea of what to expect for your money.

20170510_135019

We decided to go on a P&O cruise around the Mediterranean for 14 days and our ship was called Ventura. Our destinations were: Alicante, Barcelona, Marsaille (was supposed to be Cannes), Florence, Rome, Cartagena and Gibraltar. We choose P&O because we’d heard good things about them plus we didn’t need to get on any flights. Instead we could just board the ship in Southampton & set sail from there. Some of you may prefer to fly in order to miss out on some of the sea days. Sea days are when the ship is traveling to your next port & you are out at sea so you can’t get off the ship. Sea days are good for relaxing & exploring the ship but personally I wouldn’t want too many of them. On sea days the ship is obviously much busier than when you’re in a port so meal times can get quite busy, as can pools & other public areas.

20170510_115601

Before you set sail you’ll be given details for your cruise personaliser, which is a website all about your cruise. It will give you information about packing, maximum weights for your luggage, your itinerary, how to book excursions and more. It’s worth knowing that if you choose to set sail from Southampton you’ll be allowed a much more generous luggage allowance than if you choose to fly. With P&O you can also take drink on board with you, including alcohol & soft drinks.

IMG_20170428_115731_207

Getting to Southampton was pretty easy for us as we’re only a couple of hours away but if you live further afield then you can choose to take a coach rather than driving. We had parking included in the price of our cruise but this is something to consider if you do decide to drive.

IMG_20170522_145521_421

You will be given a time to arrive at the terminal by your cruise operator and generally you do have to stick to this time but we arrived just over an hour early & they did let us through. So it’s worth trying if you are a little early.

IMG_20170517_142212_113

Once you’re on board the ship will seem overwhelming at first but you will get used to it after a few days. There are maps located all over the ship to help you if you do get lost & you can also ask a member of the crew for help.

IMG_20170524_091800_667

Every day on our cruise we received a newspaper called horizon & this publication tells you about all the events & entertainment happening on board that day. For example it will tell you what shows are on in the theatre that evening as well as handy information such as restaurant opening times. This newspaper is delivered to your cabin each evening ready for the next day.

IMG_20170527_234457_190

When our ship arrived in a new port it docked quite early & people were generally allowed to disembark from around 8am so it’s worth being up early to make the most of your day. Our ship left the ports between 4-6pm each day with the exception of the last port (Gibralter) when the ship left at 1pm. Before you set sail you will have the option to book excursions around each of your destinations. As we hadn’t cruised before we booked excursions for most places but found that we didn’t really need to unless the port was a long distance away from the place we wanted to visit. For example we needed to book an excursion to Florence because the ship docked in Livorno and it was an hour & a half coach journey from the port to Florence. That journey would have been far too expensive by taxi. So if the port is close to the town/city then you don’t need an excursion as you can do the same activities that the excursions offer yourself.

IMG_20170521_104109_717

P&O like guests to be quite smartly dressed and have dress codes in most of the restaurants. The dress code each night was either evening casual or black tie but you could avoid dressing smartly if you wanted to by just eating in the buffet restaurants. For evening casual my boyfriend wore a polo top & chinos with smart shoes & I either wore a dress, skirt and a smart top or trousers and a smart top. For black tie my boyfriend wore a tux and I wore a cocktail dress or smart evening dress. There were 4 black tie nights over the course of our 14 night cruise. Personally I really enjoyed getting dressed up for dinner & hogging the mirror for an hour to do my hair & makeup (Haha, sorry Jon!) If you can’t look & feel your best on holiday then when can you?

IMG_20170518_103000_437It’s also worth knowing that the large majority of passengers on board a cruise ship are (how do I put this?) over a certain age. The vast majority are in their 50s/60s/70s and beyond. I’m only pointing this out because I know that this would seriously bother some people. It didn’t bother us too much but it would’ve been nice to talk to some other couples our own age. However we did talk to some really lovely older couples. If you’re after a young party atmosphere then this might not be your cup of tea!

All meals are included in the price of your cruise with P&O but you have to pay for all drinks (excluding water & fruit juice at breakfast) on board. This can get quite pricey over two weeks so I recommend stocking up on your tipple of choice from a shop in one of the ports or bringing some with you. The prices of drinks on board are about the same as most bars. For example cocktails are roughly £5 each, mocktails are £2.65 each and soft fizzy drinks are about £2.50 each.

IMG_20170527_111808_395Our cruise had a great variety of entertainment on board in the evenings including singers, comedians, dancers and west end theatre style shows. I would advise that you arrive within plenty of time for these shows as the venues do fill up very quickly! I highly recommend that you do see the theatre shows on board as they are amazing & will really add something special to your holiday. One of the shows we watched was all about musicals & featured music and dance routines from many different productions.

IMG_20170516_092049_600

I think that’s about it for now but if I think of anything else I’ll add it in later. If you have any questions then please feel free to leave a comment or tweet me @KateIsCoveting. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Standard