SPAtopia London Argan Body Oil

Monday, 25 February 2013

SPAtopia London Argan Body Oil - £6.99 from Sainsbury's

I want to have a rant about the weather, now I know being typically British I always love a moan and moan about the weather does give me some slight enjoyment. But seriously, how cold is it in the UK at the moment? Last week I just couldn't get cold... I swear it is coming up to March, I mean spring, have you got lost? 

So because of all this cold weather has played havoc with my skin, it has become so dry and flakey. I think it doesn't help that I'm going from the heating to freezing cold. My usual body butter isn't cutting it at the moment and I need something which will really sink into the skin. This is great for locking in the moisture and keeping my skin soft and subtle. 

This Argan Oil is great for your skin it is full of antioxidants, vitamin E which helps repair your skin while reducing stretch marks and moisturising the skin. The thing which makes this body oil different from the rest and why I think it is one of the best out there is because it contains a combination of Argan and Tamanu Oil along with a fragrant blended of Lemon, Patchouli and Petitgrain which leaves a sweet smell on your skin whilst the Tamanu oil helps improve the appearance of the uneven skin tone. 

I think this product is such a bargain and I would love to get my hands on the entire collection because this has really helped rescue my skin at the moment. A little goes a long way with this product and it such a bargain. 

Have you tried any of these products? 

This Works: Clean Skin 5-in-1 Water

Monday, 18 February 2013

So I bought this cleanser a few months back and I only used it a couple of times because at the same time I bought a new bottle of Bioderma which is one of my all time favourite make-up removers. Now I have sadly come to the end of my Bioderma and have switched to the This Works water and to be honest I haven't actually notice a big difference between the two.

There is one thing which stands out to me between these products is that the Bioderma is a lot more sensitive around the eye area. I find that Bioderma doesn't sting my eyes as much as this one does. It makes the outer corner of my eyes sore after I have wipe any eye make-up off. I am not sure whether this is because the ingredients in this cleanser reacts with the ingredients of my mascara or whether it just isn't as gentle as some other cleansers. If I could I would have this my way I would have the This Works cleanser for my face and the Bioderma for my eyes but I never have the time to do this.

One of my favourite things about this product which I prefer from the Bioderma is the packaging. I like the sleek and modern and looks like it is from a higher price range. The lid has a tight clip and the product is a pump so you are less like to spill or put too much product onto a pad. It also contains rosewater which I am not a fan of due to its scent but with this cleanser, the rose smell is growing on me. The cleanser makes my skin feel fresh and super clean so I don't feel that I have to double cleanse. The water also contains elements of Mint in this water which helps keep redness at bay and it actually works which I was pretty impressed by.

Overall, I think the This Works cleanser is great for getting face make-up off and really working deep into the pores to decongest the skin and help brighten it. I would 100% be repurchasing this but I think it will always come in joint with Bioderma as I go through stages of using each one!

Do you have any Bioderma rivals? Have you tried any products from the This Works brand?

My ebay seller where I get my Bioderma from is here.

Botanics Hydrating All Bright Day & Night Cream

Friday, 15 February 2013

Since the rebranding of Botanics, I just can't seem to keep away from them. It doesn't help that they are always on promotion which makes it that little more tempting. Though having said that the reason I am pulled towards the brand for the price isn't just the main persuasion, they are great products. The fresh floral smelling pink creams blend and sink smoothly the skin. With hibiscus which acts as a brightening agent because of the flowers natural AHA's which exfoliates to help brighten the skin.

As most of my readers know, I don't like spending too much on products however I like products to have a high quality no matter how much they cost. I chose the hydrating cream as I have been finding that because the weather has been so cold my skin has become dry and chapped. I need a cream which nourishes my skin but doesn't sit on top of it, which these creams don't.

The day cream has an SPF 15 which saves times or putting too many layers of product on your skin especially as I tend to put foundation on afterwards.  You don't need to put too much on your skin as a little goes a long way. These are only 50ml pots, however I have been using them for the past 2 months and I am about half my way through them.

The night cream I think is my favourite of the pair because it feels kind of balmy as the formula is quite thick. However when smoothed onto the skin it doesn't take long to sink in by which time my skin feels soft and as though it has nothing on it. That is a personal favourite about any product, when it naturally enhances and you don't notice it but can see it working. Also I must had as well that both of these creams contain hyaluronic acid which helps your skin retain its moisture which is why you don't need too much all over and just focus on my dry patches.

Have you tried these? Can you recommend any Botanics favourites?

My Big Fat Diary: Week 5

Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Hello Girls,

Week Five: 

After all of your wonderful comments last week and all the tips that you gave me I just felt super motivated to start this week. At first I was a bit apprehensive about blogging my "weight loss" journey because to be honest I know how easy I find it to fall of the wagon and I thought that this blogging series would turn into a failure because I would give up or be embarrassing because I would come across as lazy or I would just lie about what has really been going on and tell you all what I think you would want to hear. And I am so glad that I haven't done any of these... well actually have been slightly embarrassed by the lack of effort that I have put in but your comments and tips of motivation and support have really pulled me through whereas I think if I was doing this solo, I would had just failed. However I was a little bit disheartened this morning when I realised that I had only lost another pound and I know it sounds silly but I did have a little cry because I felt as though I had put a lot of effort in this week and it didn't pay off as well as I would had hope. I was thinking that I had lost around 2-3lb because of my size but I hadn't. Anyhow a lost is still a lost. 

Lost: 1lb

Food: I have been really good at not eating too much rubbish this week and I even had a couple of cheeky trips to Nandos but rather than having my usual Chicken burger, chips, halloumi cheese and garlic bread (I know carb central... I just love their rolls).  I have been having a half a chicken with salad and halloumi cheese, because we can't skip out all the things we love and it is amazing. Myfitnesspal has become my new best friend and I am religiously noting down everything that I am eating and even planning in advance what to have just so I know to make the right choices. 

Calorie Target - 1500 per day/ 10,500 for the week. 

Calorie Intake - 9, 172 for the week - which means I wasn't too naughty about what I have been munching on. 

Fitness: It is true what they say that once you get the bite for fitness you really do go for it. I am not going to lie it wasn't easy nor was it pretty, however I feel better for it and that has got to count for something right? I ached and the next morning I moaned but I picked myself up and changed up my routine just to make sure that I wasn't just focusing on the same muscles. This seemed to really help with the making me less achy in the morning. 

Exercising Target - 3x 1 hour exercise per week 

Actual Exercising - This week I had the bite for it - I did 2 gym sessions, 1 body conditioning class and 2 swimming sessions (100 laps).  

Mood: I have been feeling good this week, I feel positive about myself. A lot of things seem to have started to change, my hair is in better condition (probably due to the vitamins that I am taking), my skin is clearer (probably due to the vast mounts of water which I am drinking) and I am just in a better mood and have so much more energy which is a bigger plus too. 

If you want to see the background behind me and my weight see this post (includes pictures)  

Any healthy "grazing" snacks that you can recommend?


Mass Empties #2

Monday, 11 February 2013

Will Repurchase 
Dove Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner (See Full Review Here)
For how cheap that this product is, I am in love. I am dreading the day when they rebrand the product because I know they will change the formula. Companies always do this and it is really annoying. This conditioner is probably the first one that I have used in a long time where I can say it makes it silky smooth. 

Lush BB Seaweed Fresh Face Mask 
If my skin is going through "time of the month" hell then this is the mask which usually sorts out my skin. I find it really clarifying and calming. I tend to have to use it after my spots have kind of come out because I find if I use it before they have erupted then my skins tends to burst out into a spotty nightmare. However, it makes them fade really quickly and relieves any redness too. It is a spot hero. 

The Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub
Coconut is my favourite scent especially for my body, that aside from citrus ones. This scrub from The Body Shop because is not too abrasive to use everyday but it scrubs enough to really work into the skin. That and the smells lasts ages (though I do pair it with the coconut body butter) which probably helps but it is definitely delicious. 

Lancome Tonique Douceur Hydrating Toner
I can't wait to get paid because my skin has been missing this already. I love this toner and it is one of my favourite thing for my skin. It smells of Parma Violets and just sinks into my skin beautifully. I don't really know what to say other than it is amazing!

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation (See Full Review Here)
For a high street brand, this foundation is flawless and just blends into my skin beautifully. It has great coverage but isn't cakey. I can't wait to repurchase this but I am currently trying to use up some older ones first however it is definitely on the cards especially when summer time comes around. 

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment 
I am still not 100% sure whether this actually makes your hair grow but I do think it helps. If that makes any sense. But aside the fact that it might not make your hair grow it is great at conditioning it and putting back into good condition. I use it for my "Sunday Head" where I cling film wrap my hair for about 2-3 hours. I may not look sexy but my hair does especially after I wash it out!

Might Repurchase
Radox Moisture Soak Bath Therapy
I am a little bit of a bath snob as I love my Lush products, I know that they aren't the most cost effective but they make my bath times that little bit special. I don't dislike Radox it just makes the bath time less special, but I find it handy to always have a bottle in my cupboard just incase my Lush stock has run out. It smells nice and bubbles up -  what more do you need from a bath. 

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Daily Miracle Treatment
Again this is another product which I liked but not loved. It did a good job and what is was supposed to but didn't make my hair feel out of this world. Good but definitely no miracle. 

Ralph by Ralph Lauren
I love this summery scent - I have used it on and off for years. I love how fresh it is and it is light too. The only thing that annoys me slightly is that it the scent doesn't last for as long as I would like but after using it for a while it doesn't become a stronger scent. 

John Frieda Full Repair Shampoo 
This was a thick shampoo which felt like it was making a difference too. I always find that I focus on getting a great conditioner and tend to forget the shampoo, when actually the shampoo is probably the most important. I love how thick this is and the smell of it too. 

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor
Now I know so many people who love this product, I would probably go as far as saying that I like this product but I don't find it amazing. I find that it is quite heavy in my hair and I have to spend ages washing it out. However, once I have taking the time to rinse it, it is okay. I might look into trying this again - any tips would also be helpful :) 

Won't Repurchase
Oral-B Complete Extra White Toothpaste
I don't know why but this toothpaste gives me such bad breath well at first it is really minty but then leaves a horrible taste in my mouth. Would not recommend or buy again.  

John Frieda Full Repair Conditioner
I wasn't impressed by this as much as I was with the Shampoo because I didn't think that it was nourishing enough for my hair. It didn't treat it as well as I would have expected this conditioner to do. 

The Body Shop Peppermint Pumice Foot Scrub (See Full Review Here)
This is going to be too much information and probably be a little grim but I have quite bad skin on my feet and I need a scrub which is really thick and feels like it is shredding the hard skin off. The scrub is quite squidgy and doesn't have thick corse grains. 

Lee Stafford My Big Fat Healthy Hair Shampoo (See Full Review Here)
This was one of these products which I was just rushing to get rid off and I wanted to finish it. I just wasn't impressed with it at all. I can't say what I didn't like because I don't know it just made my hair feel crappy to be honest. 

Lancome Anti-Stress Moisturising Cream
This was a nice little sample and I quite liked it. I found it too thick to use as a day time cream but not thick enough for a nighttime cream even though I used it as that. It made my skin feel hydrated and calmed the redness but when I looked in to buying it but it was way too expensive considering I wasn't wowed by the product. 

L'oreal Super Liner Luminizer in Green
This was easy to apply and gave a really nice consistent line and at first I liked the sparkly green shimmer in it. There is nothing wrong with this product at all but I just generally prefer black eyeliner one which is higher in pigmentation. 

I think that this is my last big empties as I have used up most of my half filled items. Are you a sucker for half using products?

Lush Sea Spray

Sunday, 10 February 2013
Lush Sea Spray - £9.95

Hair Naturally Blow Dried (taken from iPhone):

Hair Naturally Blow Dried with Lush Sea Spray (taken from iPhone):

I once used a Sea Salt Spray when I was younger and it dried out my hair massively. I then saw on the grapevine that a lot of people have been using Salt sprays to enhance their natural curls. From that I bought the L'oreal Studio Matt & Messy Salt Spray (see post), I quite liked it but I was keen on the smell - which is I find off putting. So then a friend of mine recommended Lush Sea Spray and said it was one of the best that she had used, and to be honest I agree.

The first thing I can say about this spray is that is isn't one of the cheapest. It is around the £10 mark for a 100gram bottle. I can't quite detect what smell it is but I think it could be Rose but I wasn't sure, though it is my favourite scent but smells much more natural than the L'oreal. This spray gives me more definitive curls than the L'oreal which kind of gave me a "scrunched" look. It also doesn't make my hair feel heavy or thick with product unlike some others and also allows my hair not to breathe so after a day of having it in, it doesn't feel drying. Plus it brushes out too which is a bonus.

I think that this Sea Spray is great and a god send because it saves me so much time of curling. I know it doesn't give me the perfect curls but it really helps just give my hair a boost which makes it perfect for my 'last minute' rush to work.

Have you tried this? Or recommend any curling products?

Strawberry Nutella Heart Poptarts

Saturday, 9 February 2013

So I decide to make these at the weekend in early prep for Valentine's Day. Now don't get my wrong I'm not the biggest lover of Valentine's Day at all and I think we could do without in society as it puts a lot of pressure of everyone. Coupled up people feels as though they should be doing something really romantic whilst single people are made to feel lonely. Both sides aren't that great. But I do love things which have heard on them and that are pretty cute. Which when I saw the recipe for these I thought great! 

Strawberry Nutella Poptarts

Makes: 6 Poptarts

1 package shortcrust pastry
6 heaping teaspoons Nutella
6 heaping teaspoons strawberry jam
2 large strawberries
Granulated sugar

1 egg yolk & 1 teaspoon water (for the egg wash: not pictured)

Preheat oven to 180°C and greaseproof the baking tray (I have no greaseproof paper so I just used some butter - worked fine)

In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water. Set aside.

Roll out pie crust till it's relatively thin. Cut into rectangles, re-rolling the dough as needed. You should end up with 12 rectangles.

On each of the 6 remaining rectangles, spread 1 heaping teaspoon of Nutella, leaving a 3cm border around the edges.

 Then top the Nutella with a layer of strawberry jam, again making sure to leave a 3cm border.

Take 6 of the rectangles and cut out a heart in the center, using the strawberries carved into hearts as a guide.

Place a strawberry carved heart on top of the strawberry jam layer, in the center of the rectangle. Top with the pie dough with the heart carved out of the center.

Seal the edges with the prongs of a fork and brush with egg wash mixture. Sprinkle heavily with coarse sugar.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool for 5 minutes and then serve!

I hope you liked this post, it's something different... but I got the idea from The Novice Chef Blog. 

Hope you enjoy :)

My Big Fat Diary: Week 4

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Hello Girls,

Week Four: 

I can't believe it is like six days into February and I haven't posted yet... to be honest I could come up with a million reasons why but the biggest truth is that I have just been lazy. Any of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram will know that on Monday, I started a new job. So I have gone from doing part-time hours (very sparse part time hours) to doing a full 9-5.30 job. So in the run up from last week I have been trying to do as much possible before I started work... by as much possible I mean anything to defer me from going to the gym. Though to be honest I know I have only been working since Monday but it is baffling me how anybody who works full time fits in the gym... very "fat girl" of me  to think that. I need to stop with this "lazy girl" attitude.

Lost: 1lb

Food: The beginning of the week started off really good and the weight began to melt (or at least I felt a lot less bloated) but then I became busy and connivence took over. I mean don't get me wrong I have started to become very self conscious of the amount of calories that I am having and I need to make time to sit down and plan my food for the week, especially my lunches and snacks. That is one good thing about working full time is that you can plan you weeks meals, when I was part time I didn't know what I was doing from one day to the next let alone what I was going to eat. Though I am proud that I am under my weekly target... I just need to get the balance between calorie counting and exercising right! 

Calorie Target - 1500 per day/ 10,500 for the week. 

Calorie Intake - 10, 494 for the week - which means I was only 6 calories under my weekly... However I have tried really hard to maintain my 1500 a day which I think is why I have only lost a pound. 

Fitness: I wish I wasn't so lazy but I am... though I keep blaming in on the fact that I have no routine to my life and now I have a routine... I'm still not doing much about it. Though I guess this week is the testers of my routine and most normal activities ie blogging have been out the window. 

Exercising Target - 3x 1 hour exercise per week 

Actual Exercising - None. Though I have been walking A LOT more... I have about a 10minute walk into and out of work. Then I take the stairs (4 flights... impressing) haha but that kills me if I am honest. 

Mood: If I am totally honest, my "diet" has been the last thing on my mind this week... I have been worrying about my job and then whilst at work been worrying about the actual work I am doing. However, I have become more aware that I am now sitting down all day (typical office job) apart from printer/toilet/drinks trips. I have also noticed that I like to pick in the afternoons and realised how hard it is to dodge the chocolate and biscuit givers of the office. I know I am only 3 days in but I really want to find myself a routine which includes exercise and vitamin taking.... lots of it. 

If you want to see the background behind me and my weight see this post (includes pictures)  

So if any one works full time or has a super busy life can you give me a few tips... though they have to be do-able!