La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo REVIEW

 I’m sure most of you will have heard about the latest wonder product somewhere in the blogosphere, but does it really live up to its skin saviour label?- La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo.
Now, I haven’t got acne or particularly bad skin, but I am prone to the odd blemish. Drawn in by the hype, I totted down to my local Boots to test out but ended up eagerly rummaging through the shelves of 3 different stores before I managed to get my hands on a tube. At £13.00 for 40ml, you don’t get a huge amount for your dollar, but a little really does go a long way.
Effaclar duo is described as a solution, suitable for all skin types, which aims to reduce the appearance of imperfections and purifies pores using its 4 active ingredients.“Niacinamide and Piroone Olamine help reduce severe local imperfections by purifying the skin and protecting against breakouts developing. The LHA/Linoleic Acid combination helps unclog pores by eliminating dead cells responsible for their obstruction. These active ingredients are combined with soothing and anti-irritating La Roche-Posay thermal spring water.” (La Roche Posay Website) - Wow, that was a mouthful.
I popped a tiny pea sized amount of the light textured gel formula all over my face and neck before bed that same evening and left it to work its magic overnight. On application it did give a little tingly sensation, but wasn’t irritating at all.
I experienced immediate results the next morning; not only had my skins texture improved, but its overall appearance - it felt baby soft, and the slight redness around my nose had completely disappeared! My love for the product quickly grew as I continued using it religiously morning AND night for the next couple of months until it then became a staple in my skincare routine. I use the Effaclar Duo as a serum underneath my morning moisturiser and find my make-up applies flawlessly, whilst keeping any pesky blemishes at bay.
However, as a girl with “Normal” skin, I do find that the formula can be a little drying at times and therefore will often switch it up with a richer moisturiser or just pop the gel on specific areas where I feel I need it the most.
Have you tried the Effaclar Duo solution yet?

Justine x

Lip Balms SOS

As we venture into the cooler months of Autumn, lip creams and balms are essential in keeping lips moisturised and in tip top kissable condition. These are my SOS products that I quickly reach for when my lips are in need of a little TLC.

Blistex Relief Cream
My lips are extremely sensitive to the seasonal changes, both cool and warmer temperatures, and occasionally I will suffer from a coldsore. Blistex relief cream helps bring medicated relief to sore, cracked, chapped lips - the typical oncoming symptoms of a coldsore. It contains Camphor to soothe discomfort, Lanolin to protect and Peppermint Oil to add a taste of freshness. It can be easily applied as it is packaged in a small squeezy tube - no greasy hands!
Carmex Original
This little yellow pot is a hero product in rescuing and hydrating dry lips. Once smothered on, lips feel a little tingling sensation, from the menthol ingredient, followed by an instant soothing cool feeling. This iconic pot is a beauty must have and is loved by celebs worldwide - it can be used alone or under lipsticks as a moisturising base. Carmex is also available in a squeezy tube for easy, mess free application and in cherry flavour for those who are put off by the medicated scent!
Nivea Pearly Shine
The Nivea tinted lip balms are perfect for the kinda’ days when lips are in need of moisture, yet you are unwilling to part with your colourful lipsticks. This particular shade ‘pearly shine’ leaves lips silky smooth with a beautiful light pink shimmer whilst protecting against UVA and UVB Rays with its SPF 10! At £1.99 these are a bargain!
Lip Scrubs
Lip scrubs are something I’ve never really had much interest in - occasionally on a Sunday night I’ll whip out an old toothbrush and give them a little attention. The Popcorn Lip Scrub by Lush is a popular product talked about in the blogging world - a tasty, sugary lip scrub that you can lick clean! Sold! I may have to make a cheeky purchase to see for myself what all the hype is about.

Do you have any staple lip SOS balms & scrubs?

Justine x

The Challenges of University

September marks the start of Academic Term and for many the ‘leaving for University’ countdown begins. It is an anticipating yet exhilarating time for most as they await the freedom to be able to choose to do what they want whenever they want. However, the excitement can be quickly dampened with anxiety and fear as many will be living independently away from family and friends for the very first time.

Leave Your Past Behind & Live Your Future 
Packing for University can be a long winded and difficult task if not effectively planned in advance. Attempting to condense 18 years of belongings into a couple of suitcases and then away into a small room the size of a cardboard box is a challenge - often filled with distractions as you prefer to opt for a trip down memory lane. Jotting down a well thought out list prior to packing is important to ensure only the essentials are included. 
TIP - items such as kitchen utensils can be bought in your future University town, as shared kitchens all too often end up with five kettles and no toaster, or dozens of knives and forks but no plates! I would highly recommend taking decorative pieces such as personal photo frames, cushions and bed throws which create a homely atmosphere and are much more valuable than hefty amount of clothes which will undoubtedly be purchased during a much needed friendship bonding retail therapy shopping trip.

Feelings Change, Memories Don’t
 Moving away to University and starting a new life in a different environment can be exciting but also extremely overwhelming. Having to leave behind close friends and built relationships to become a single anonymous individual in a crowd of hundreds can have a high impact on emotions.
 TIP- Firstly, always remember that you are not alone in feeling this way. Feel free to take frequent trips home at weekends or around your timetable -even invite family/friends to your new gaff. If you feel that the regular contact is only prolonging your homesickness, try to keep yourself busy by getting out of the house as much as possible and surrounding yourself with others - a Student Unions Bar always has its door wide open and Clubs/Societies are eager to recruit new members.
After a jam packed Fresher’s week of deprived sleep, endless amounts of alcohol and takeaway meals, you may have only had time for a glimpse of where you will be living over the next three years. Beyond the campus and SU Bar sits shops, restaurants, bars and local history waiting to be explored. Don’t limit yourself to the confines of a University Campus - use local transport to discover what the area really has to offer.

True Friends are Hard to Find,
Harder to Have & Impossible to Forget 
Sharing accommodation with randomly picked individuals who have not chosen to live together can bring lots of tension- housemate’s end up feeling obligated to make friends with each other even if they have completely different interests. House sharing tends to bring out people's irritating little habits such as the inability to wash up or operate a vacuum cleaner, hogging the bathroom or fighting over whose turn it is to buy the toilet paper. Your cosy house of four suddenly becomes a cramped house of five or six, as various lovers start moving in unexpectedly. The smallest niggles in the world can become the most important and can cause major tension. 
TIP: If rifts occur, use your common sense - let the situation calm down and when ready, speak to the person, explain your views and listen to theirs. If talking doesn’t solve the situation and living in the same house becomes unbearable, seek help with University advisors who may offer an accommodation referral. Always remember - never rush into signing a contract for your house for the following year. You may think that they are your best friends in the beginning, but friendships quickly change. Broaden your friendship groups outside of your living space with other course or social activity groups with your own similar interests. 

Marc Jacobs - Sunshine EDT 50ml (Limited Edition) REVIEW

Most of you will be familiar with Marc Jacob’s fragrance portfolio; their eye-catching, feminine and edgy fragrance designs, particularly their bestsellers The Daisy and Lola series’. Their latest release, ‘Honey’, has rapidly captured the attention of the blogging world.
Today I am going to be reviewing their Limited Edition ‘Sunshine’ release whilst it is still available in shops and online to buy. I know we our saying our final goodbyes to the sunshine, and trying to cling on to our sunnies, sleeveless tops and skirts for as long as possible before we hibernate beneath our multitude of layers, but this fragrance could be used throughout the year by all you fruity scent lovers.
This particular bottle was a cheeky Airport Duty Free Purchase- does anyone else always feel obliged to buy a new ‘holiday fragrance’ each year? I do!

I was casually browsing through the vast array of branded bottles, whilst a huffing and puffing boyfriend was tugging my arm trying to drag me to the nearest bar, when I stumbled across the new Honey release. My nose wasn’t too impressed with the new scent but my eyes were drawn to another bottle topped with a multi-coloured daisy bouquet - Sunshine.
This everyday fragrance is a mixture of fresh, fruity and floral infusions which include Guava and Red Currant juicy fruits mixed with blushing Musk’s and wood based notes.
Top Notes: Red Currant, Guava, Juicy Mandarin
Middle Notes: Lily of the Valley, Violet, Lychee
Base NotesApricot Skin, Blonde Woods, and Musk’s

This 50ml bottle sits and sparkles on my dressing table waiting to express its mood-brightening infusions. The staying power is excellent with minimal application - 2/3 pumps are sufficient to prolong the scent throughout the day without the need for reapplication. If you are the type of person who likes to carry summer scents through to the autumn season then this is fragrance is definitely for you.
Purchase a bottle here

Justine x

How Much is YOUR Face Worth? TAG

I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and not only take part in the popular ‘How Much is Your Face Worth’ TAG, but also give you all a little sneak peek into my everyday makeup routine.
Essentially, the purpose of the TAG is to put together a list of all the makeup items that are slapped on to your face on a day-to-day basis, do a little product research, make a note of the cost and then total it all up (and gasp!).
Some of you may think the volume of makeup I have listed below is a little OTT for an everyday face, but for me it’s a routine which I feel most comfortable with and have perfected to a speedy 30 minutes. I do occasionally have an odd make-up free day, but I generally prefer the all or nothing look.
Here goes …

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer (Fair) :£4.19
MAC Face & Body Foundation 50 ml(C1) :£21.50
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (Transparent) :£3.99
Nars Bronzing Powder (Laguna) :£26.00
ELF Studio Eyebrow Kit (Ash) :£3.75
NYX Eyeliner Collection Noir (Black) :£6.50
Bourjois Volume Glamour Max Mascara (Black - Waterproof):£9.99
Bobbi Brown Long -Wear Gel Eyeliner (Black) :£17.50
MAC Powder Blush (Pink Swoon) :£18.00
MAC Lipstick (Crème Cup) :£15.00

Total :£126.42

WOW, that’s an expensive face!
When I tossed all of my everyday products out of my obviously pink Harrods make-up bag ( It’s a good job I didn’t have to include the price of that too! )ready to list, I gulped at the sight of so many high end items! I’d usually label myself as drug store kinda girl with a handful of high end luxurious - but glancing at this list oh boy how I’m wrong! I think it’s about time I popped into Boots to experiment with some cheaper alternatives.

How much is YOUR face worth?

Justine x

August Favourites

I can’t believe today is the 1st September! Bye bye summer *sniff*.
Today I will be rambling about a handful of products I have particularly enjoyed using over the past month. I have to admit that they are mostly holiday related - enjoy!

V05 Miracle Concentrate
“argan oil miracle in a bottle”
This hair oil has been a staple of mine this past month as I am desperately trying to rescue my severely dry locks after 2 weeks of 30oc + Greek sunshine. I mostly use this on the ends of my damp hair after a bath/shower to lock in moisture before blow drying. I only purchased this as a cheaper alternative to my Moroccanoil® Treatment and it’s a steal at £5.19 I love the scent, it doesn’t leave my hair feeling greasy & it’s in a pink bottle!

Collection 200 Lasting Perfection Concealer
“Ultimate wear concealer” “full coverage for up to 16 hours”
This concealer probably doesn’t need much of an explanation as I imagine most of you will have it sitting comfortably in your make up bags. For those of you who don’t, this concealer can very easily rival the high end brands such as Mac & Bobbi Brown in terms of coverage and price -£4.19. This past month I have pushed my Foundation to one side and have popped only concealer on minor blemishes. I always repurchase the lightest shade as not only does it match my fair skin perfectly, but also doubles up as a highlighter on days when I’m slightly more bronzed.

NYX Liquid Black Liner (BEL06 - Collection Noir)
“A distinctive applicator that makes precise lining and defining of the eyes smooth and easy”
I must have been wearing a black winged eyeliner look every day since the age of 17. Over the years, I’ve experimented with many different brands of pencil, liquid and more recently gel eyeliners - low/high end.  I have only recently parted from my Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner to this little beauty. With gel and pencil liners, I always found that the colour transferred onto my eyelids as the day went on, and I’m not a makeup re- touch up kinda girl. This liquid eyeliner from NYX is super black, doesn’t fade throughout the day, it has the finest brush for really fine application and is a competitive price at £6.50 - a must for all linerholic.
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