Garnier Express 2 in 1 Eye Make-up Remover

Regular readers of Beauty Toolkit will already know that I am a big fan of the Garnier 2 in 1 Eye Makeup Remover. Its oil and cleansing water formula ensures quick, fuss-free removal of even the heaviest of eye make-up. At £3.25 for 200ml, it definitely falls into the drugstore bracket and I personally find it extremely long lasting (definitely value for money). I was scouring the shelves one Saturday afternoon to repurchase when I noticed it was out of stock. Sitting next to its usual spot was the New Garnier Express 2 in 1 Eye Makeup Remover. Eager to try an updated version, I popped it into my basket without hesitation.

In terms of size, you are noticeably getting less solution (125 ml) for a slightly higher price (£3.49) - However, it promises to remove make-up quickly, yet efficiently, whilst protecting the lashes using a non-greasy formula. Enriched with naturally derived Arginine, it leaves a protective layer on the eyelashes so they feel cleansed, yet cared for. Simply shake the bottle to mix the two phases together, apply a few drops to a cotton pad and hold against the eye area for a few seconds, allowing time for the make-up to dissolve. Gently wipe from the inner corner moving outwards and repeat if necessary. The formula is even suitable for us contact lens wearers! 

I love the new purple shaded formula, and can definitely notice a difference in terms of greasiness (or lack of). However, I have only been using it for the last week or so, and I am already nearly half way through the bottle. I don’t agree with its added ‘express’ tag, as I find it just as effective as the original version. I haven’t been so disappointed that I wouldn’t go out and re-purchase again, but I definitely would choose the original before this ‘express’ version when given the option. I am currently on the hunt for a drugstore cleansing oil that is gentle enough to use on the eyes and face. If you have any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated!

Have you tried the new Garnier Express 2 in 1 Makeup Remover? Do you have any cleansing oil recommendations?

The Me-Time Tag

Oh I do love a good bloggers TAG! - thank you to Jenny for inviting me to ramble away about all aspects of my ‘me-time’ routine. I would definitely categorise myself as a people’s person, but on the other hand, I thoroughly enjoy quiet time after a hectic week at work. I think it’s extremely important to set as much time as possible aside each week to have a good old pamper sesh. I would like to nominate Hannah and Gillian (and anyone else who would like to take part) who are both fabulous girlies with fantastic blogs that I love reading - be sure you check them out! 

1. What do you watch or read during me-time?
More often than not, I can be found lounging on the sofa scrolling through my Bloglovin’ feed on my iPad, catching up on missed beauty posts from throughout the week. Reality TV is also my guilty pleasure and includes the cringe worthy shows such as Geordie Shore, TOWIE and Real Housewives that I can’t help but watch! Aside from technology, I also really enjoy reading books/magazines; I am currently reading Sali Hughes Pretty Honest and loving it! (A definite must for all beauty lovers).

2. What do you wear during me-time?
#nobra - may be a little TMI, but I cannot fully relax until that bad boy has been taken off. During the colder months I will always reach for my fur-lined onesie and a pair of fluffy socks, but in the summer months, a comfy pair of shorts, vest top and a pair of my faithful Havaianas will suit. 

3. What are your me-time beauty products?
I will always begin with a hot bubble bath, cleanse my face with a current favourite oil/balm and exfoliate with my St Ives Apricot Scrub. I will then moisturise my body and blast some tunes with a face mask on before finishing with a generous scoop and massage of my Origins GinZing Moisturiser on my face and neck.

4. Current favourite nail polish?
I included my current favourite shellac colour in my January Favourites which you can read here. Bluesky ‘Ruby Sparkle’ - a deep red glitter that I just don’t want to switch from as we approach the transition into Spring!

5. What do you eat/drink during me-time?
Lemon & Lime sparkling water (addicted) with lots of ice and some brie and crackers!

6. Current favourite candle?
I’m Justine and I’m a candleaholic; I am currently burning a large 3-wick vanilla candle from Matalan which I obsessed with. I also have a pack of rose scented tea lights from Ikea which I love burning in my collection of holders.

7. Do you ever have outdoor me-time?
Paul and I try and spend as many Sunday mornings as possible on various walks within Wales. It is such a good feeling having a ‘blow-out’ and really getting the heart pumping, before returning to a well-deserved Sunday Roast. I love the outdoors, and even a leisurely stroll around the Historic Chester Walls of an evening really works wonders.

8. Would you ever go see a movie alone?
I would never say never, but can’t imagine myself doing it!

9. Favourite online store?
Amazon and eBay are quite possibly my most used websites . Beauty-wise Look Fantastic have really upped their game, and their service, availability and delivery is fantastic. In terms of online fashion stores, I Love ASOS, Miss Guided and Boohoo.

10. Anything to add? What else do you like doing during me-time?
Cleaning! I know its lame, but de-cluttering and organising in my own time, at my own pace, is extremely therapeutic. I always find that I get a better night’s sleep when everything is clean & tidy.

Be Mine Valentine

Valentines Day is definitely a 'holiday' that Paul and I like to celebrate; even if it is just sitting down to a home cooked meal and spending some quality time together. In the early days, we would make a bit of a fuss, and would get all dolled up for a posh meal and a few glasses of champers. Fast forward 7 years (and being a Rugby Widow) our day was spent apart, but we did sit down later for a Nandos Takeaway. Even though I didn't get to see him for much of the day, my make-up was appropriately themed, so I thought I would share the key products I used.

I am currently enjoying my break from shellac nails and making the most of having the opportunity to re-paint my nails every couple of days! It has meant I have been able to rediscover some old favourites and this weekends pick was Essie's Jam N' Jelly £9.35 on my fingers and toes. It is a gorgeous rich, fuchsia pink with a slight shimmer - one of my ultimate summer favourites. 

I'm not much of an eye shadow lover, but on special occasions I like to push the boat out and experiment. I decided upon this shimmering Bourjois Intense Eyeshadow 01 £6.99 as it is neutral enough for daytime wear, yet has a sparkling edge. It is a highly pigmented gold shade which is extremely easy to blend out due to its silky formula. (FYI it is ophthalmologically tested so great for us contact lens wearers!). 

The Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Lovesick £7.99 is a staple in my make up bag. As you can see from the photo, it is extremely loved, and is brought out on pretty much a daily basis (come rain or shine!). These chubby sticks are perfect for everyday or special occasions as they are super easy to apply and top up on the go. I especially love them for meal dates as they are super pigmented yet don't transfer or smudge - winner!

The Rimmel London Wonderfull Mascara £5.99 is a relatively new discovery that I am currently testing out. It promises full, conditioned volume without clumping due to its Argan Oil formula. The ultra flex brush allows easy application from root to tip, and I must say, so far so good. I absolutely love the rose gold packaging and the lightweight feel of the product on the lashes - review to follow

Finally, a perfume favourite in the form of Nina Ricci - La Tentation de Nina which I have reviewed here. Not only is the eye-catching bottle a fabulous shape and colour (pink & gold), the fragrance is divine.

How did you spend your Valentines Day? Did you use any particular products?

Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo

Don’t get me wrong, I love the feeling of clean, freshly washed hair. However, most days I am sporting a rather voluminous up do and silky soft hair is often unmanageable and seriously hard work to deal with. I have got into a regular routine of washing my hair twice a week and reaching for dry shampoo on those desperate days when I am in need of taming the grease. As I have extremely blonde hair, I have quite often used talcum powder, as not only does this whiten yellow-ish roots, but also soaks up excess oil. Up until now, Batiste has always been my go-to, but I have recently stumbled upon the Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo Mega Instant.

Aussie have released 3 different products in their dry shampoo range; Mega Instant, Colour Mate and Aussome Volume. Each are infused with their classic Australian Jojoba Seed Extract (believed to naturally condition your hair) which helps create its unique scent. Aussie promise to revive dull, greasy hair and transform it into fresh, foxy locks in a matter of minutes.

This dry shampoo doesn’t leave unsightly white powdered marks in the hair (pet hate for dark haired girlies out there), or leave it feeling weighed down. It smells incredible (as do all Aussie products) and definitely transforms greasy hair into clean, manageable, volumised locks. Priced at £4.99 for a large 180ml bottle or £2.29 for 65ml, it is definitely not a budget product, but if you are looking for quality teamed with results, this can of goodness ticks all the boxes. 

Have you tried the Aussie Dry Shampoo range? What are your thoughts?

Eyebrow Routine | Very Fair

Eyebrow Queen I am not. It has only been the past couple of years since I have really started to get into my brows and have tried and tested many a product for all us extremely fair haired girlies out there. I was born with non-existant eyebrows and have grown into an adult with non-existant brows (sigh). On the bright side, I have found a couple of fab products which are extremely easy to use (especially for amateurs) and are a light enough colour to experiment with, in order to avoid dramatic product overload which can often look unsightly. 

When I first began my hunt for the perfect fair eyebrow kit, I remember stumbling upon Shannon from Shaaanxo on YouTube and she raved about the ELF Eyebrow Kit in ash (image:right) as she felt it was the best match for her newly bleach blonde hair. It's container is divided into two; pigmented wax and a complimenting setting powder, added with a double sided brush to help arch your brows easily when filling them in. This duo set in an inexpensive and affordable way of experimenting with brows, especially for first timers. I ended up switching up the included brush with the Real Techniques Detailer Brush as I found the longer handle a lot easier to work with.

MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Fling (image:left) is my latest holy grail brow product and is now a staple in my make up routine. Its self-sharpening, fine pencil tip is great at creating delicate brush strokes when filling in eyebrows. I follow the natural shape of my brow and extend them slightly using a light hand. When getting ready for a evening occasion, I tend to add a little more pressure in order to deepen the colour. Not only does this help frame my face, but gives a little more depth in photographs! 

Eyebrows are definitely still very new to me, but I am enjoying experimenting with different types of products in a variety of colours to find my perfect match. I definitely prefer the natural brow look, topped up with a light product. 

Do you have any brow recommendations? 

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