AA Skincare: Seaweed and Aloe Refreshing Eye Gel Review

AA Skincare were kind enough to send me a bottle of their Seaweed & Aloe Refreshing Eye Gel to review – although I was sent the product, this post is not sponsored and all opinions are truthful and my own.

I hadn’t actually heard of AA Skincare before, so I was interested to find out a bit about them.  They are a new natural skincare range from Amphora Aromatics.  They are a UK-based company (Bristol) and it’s always nice to support UK businesses where possible.  Their mission statement is to “supply their customers with wonderfully natural, effective products at affordable prices” – and from what I’ve seen on their website, the prices really are affordable, with most products at well under a tenner!

This skincare range combines essential oils with natural ingredients.  I like trying natural skincare products, as it’s obviously not good for your skin to come into contact with too many chemicals and artificial ingredients.

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The product arrived super quickly, and they kindly included a sample sachet of Tea Tree Gel, which can be used to calm insect bites and ease fungal infections.  Something I would definitely take with me on holiday if I can manage to get away this year (please, health gods, work with me on this one!!)

The packaging is nice and simple, in muted cream and green, which do well to fit in with the company’s natural image.  The gel comes in a pump bottle, which is my favourite packaging – so much easier than messing around unscrewing lids, and it is easy to dispense just the right amount.  My favourite part of the packaging is that the pump lid swivels round and can be locked into place, so that nothing comes out – perfect for travelling!  You don’t often get little things like that from such affordable products.

Now, I have to say, I was initially a little confused at what the product was for… it is called ‘Refreshing Eye Gel’ which sounded to me like an eye treatment (similar to an eye cream but in gel form).  It was only when I read the box that I realised it could be used to remove eye makeup.  A little confused, I turned to their website, which says that it is a multi-purpose gel which can be used to remove eye makeup but also offers rehydration for the delicate skin around the eyes and can even be used to cool the whole body after time in the sun.

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The gel itself is clear and light green, with a very mild but pleasant scent.  It would be really nice if you kept it in the fridge and used it cold, to refresh your eyes.  I’m going to try this next time I have a headache!

Used to remove eye makeup

I didn’t like this best to remove my makeup, but I think it depends what kind of makeup you wear.  I have been wearing fairly heavy eye makeup if I leave the house recently – primer, several shadows, eyeliner, mascara.  To be fair, it did remove my eye makeup, but took longer than a standard eye makeup remover.  I had to almost massage the gel into my eyelashes to get my mascara off.  If your main priority is using natural ingredients (or you just don’t wear much eye makeup), then you may like this for that purpose.  If you wear more eye makeup and your priority is removing it easily, you might not.

Used as a cooling leave-on eye gel

I like the gel used as a leave-on eye gel – especially cold, straight out of the fridge!  Not only does this feel really nice, but it is nice to know that it is natural and has lots of benefits.

Used on the body

I like the gel used on the body, again out of the fridge would be nice if you’ve been out in the sun. Aloe Vera is known to be effective on sunburnt skin, so this would be great if you’ve caught a bit too much sun!  I don’t get out much due to being unwell, so I haven’t tested it on sunburn (and hopefully never will lol!) personally.


Overall, I like the ethos and natural approach of this company.  Using natural ingredients where possible is always a good idea, as skin isn’t meant to have so many chemicals used on it, like we do in modern life!  I also think the prices are extremely affordable, as often natural or organic skincare can be quite expensive.  I would definitely like to try more from this brand.


Are you a fan of natural skin products?  Have you tried anything from AA Skincare?  Let me know in the comments box or follow me on social media!

Freedom Makeup London – New Brand: First Review and Swatches!

Hi everyone

We have a new makeup brand in the UK!  I’m very excited about this brand as it’s really affordable, meaning I can afford to try out lots of their products and let you know what I think of them.

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Freedom London is by the same people behind another of my favourite affordable brands, Makeup Revolution.  They describe this sister brand as “a new professional makeup brand to challenge and inspire you – selling professional performance makeup at with outstanding quality at affordable prices”.  I heard a lot about this brand before they launched, and they talked a lot about it being for professionals, so I expected a much more expensive, high-end product range, but what they have released is around the same price, if not less, than Makeup Revolution.  I would say that a lot of what they offer is very similar to Revolution and also to MUA, but hey, the more affordable makeup available, the better, I say!

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I decided to buy a small selection of products to test out, so that I could give you a bit of an overview.  I didn’t buy any base/face products as I’m really happy with what I have at the moment, but I got some shadows, lipstick, lipgloss and a liquid eyeliner to see what I thought of them.  Warning – this post is pretty photo-heavy, but I know I personally like to see swatches of products to decide whether to buy them, so I thought they would be useful for you.


Mono Eyeshadows – £1 each

Gilded 216 Mono Eyeshadow

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Nude 206 Mono Eyeshadow

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Gilded 218 Mono Eyeshadow

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Brights 228 Mono Eyeshadow

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Mono Eyeshadows Overview

At just £1 each for 2g, these are an absolute bargain.  It would be hard to beat that price for an eyeshadow.  The slightly domed packaging feels sturdy, and I like the fact that the lid is clear, so you can easily find the one you’re looking for.  They look very much like the MUA single shadows.

There was a bit of variance in quality, I found.  The two lighter metallic shadows were a little less pigmented, and initially leave a lot of glitter but not much colour on the eye.  They are buildable though, and once built up, look really bright and pretty.  The pigmentation of the purple shadow is relatively good and it feels like a really silky powder to the touch.  My favourite is the copper shadow (Gilded 218) which has excellent pigmentation and applies perfectly.  This one looks fantastic, and you would never guess it was so cheap!

Overall, I think for the price you can afford to buy quite a few and find out how well they apply.  I would definitely repurchase Gilded 218.  There is a huge choice of shades on the website, helpfully sectioned into different finishes/types (eg. nudes/brights).


Pro Melts Lipgloss – £3 each

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I wanted to buy lots of these, but my lip product collection is getting out of hand so I limited myself to just one, to see what they are like!  As always, I was drawn to the purple of the collection, but don’t worry – there are a lot more wearable shades available (oh, and a navy blue…)!  Mine is in the shade Wanted.  These Pro Melts are like a melted liquid lipstick but with a gloss finish, which is quite unique.  Most of the liquid lipsticks I’ve ever tried are a matte non-budging formula, so it is nice to find something with the intense pigmentation but still moisturising and glossy.

I’m not crazy about the colour (my own fault for choosing it!) – I think I tend to suit darker purple shades and this is definitely more on the lilac side, but it’s a fun colour to have in my collection.  The formula is lovely – it’s rich and creamy, with a lovely smooth glossy finish.  It didn’t dry out my lips at all.  As it is a gloss, of course you will have to reapply – you can’t really get glosses that last past a few hours.

I will definitely invest in a few more wearable shades from this range in the future.  It’s worth noting that there is also a range of Pro Butters, which are just as pigmented, but described as ‘creamy, buttery and lightweight on the lips’.


Pro Lipstick Now – £1 each

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119 Adorn

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117 Juicy Lips

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Pro Lipsticks Overview

My opinion on these lipsticks has changed from first swatching them/trying them on to now, after I have actually used them properly.  Initially I was a little disappointed, as they weren’t as pigmented as I expected.  I had to go over the swatches 3 or 4 times to get them to show strongly enough for these photos.  Yes, they are only £1, but I have similarly cheap lipsticks from Revolution and MUA that are much more pigmented.

Since using them properly, I have come to actually quite like the fact that they are a little more sheer and subtle.  I don’t have many subtle lipsticks, so it’s nice to have something a little different, especially in the summer when you want lighter makeup.  I found these lipsticks really moisturising and a little like a balm.  I came to like the fact that you don’t have to top them up really carefully with a mirror, you can just reapply like a lipbalm and it should look fine.  I think these would be great for when you want something on the lips, but don’t want to look to overdone – maybe for work etc.  I can imagine myself buying more shades in the future.

Pro Line Ultra Black Liquid Eyeliner – £1.50

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I have never got the hang of liquid liner – it always seems to transfer everywhere, run, look wobbly etc.  I gave up on it years ago, and never came back to it, especially because I have such shaky hands!  Recently though, I have been wanting to give it a try again, as it applies much better over eyeshadow than felt liner does.  Since my favourite Eyeko felt liner ran out, it seemed a good time.

In a nutshell, I love this liquid liner!  In theory it has a felt applicator, but it is extremely fine and flexible, so feels like you are actually applying with a brush.  It is a lovely intense black and a little goes a very long way.  Using this was the first time in years I’ve successfully applied a non-wobbly liner to my top lash line with liquid!  I’m converted – cat flicks, here I come!

This is also available in waterproof black, but no other colours as yet.  I would definitely repurchase this.


My overall opinion is that the range is very affordable and offers quite an expansive range of products, considering they have only just launched (there is much more than I have featured here – base products, powders, palettes, brushes etc).  If you’re a makeup junkie like me, you’ll understand the excitement of a completely new brand!  I feel like I will still turn to MUA for individual eyeshadows and Makeup Revolution for some things, but I will definitely repurchase from this brand in future.


Finally, here’s a look I created using Gilded 216, Gilded 218 and Nude 206, together with the Juicy Lips lipstick.

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Will you be trying anything from Freedom?  What do you think of my products?  Let me know in the comments or follow me on social media!

Outfit of the Day (OOTD): Hellbunny Dress – Unicorns, Skulls & Cupcakes Galore!

I had to share this outfit with you – one of my best friends bought me this dress recently, as a 30th birthday present.  She said she couldn’t imagine a dress ever being more ‘me’ – and I can see why!  It is pink, with cupcakes, skulls and unicorns – perfection in a dress.

Dress: Hellbunny

Cardigan: Criminal Damage

Hair Flower Crown: New Look

Shoes: New Look

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Makeup: Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, MUA powder, Benefit Hervana blush, MUA brow mascara, Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadows, Primark False Lash Mascara, Lush Liquid Lipstick.

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The Outtakes….!

I had to share this one as I look so annoyed haha.  This was when my husband immediately started taking photos whilst I was still adjusting my straps!

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What do you think of the dress?  Would you wear a unicorn dress at 30?  Why not, I say!  Let me know in the comments box or follow me on social media.

Nails of the Day (NOTD) – Nails Inc Uptown and Barry M Socialite!

Hi everyone!

I’ve had a lot of feedback on my Nails of the Day posts, and they seem to be really popular.  I of course want to give you guys what you want, so here is another nail post!  I received this Nails Inc polish in the shade ‘Uptown’ in my May Love Me Beauty subscription box.  It’s a really nice subtle, neutral pink shade.  Something that would be perfect for work, or low maintenance nails (as it doesn’t show up too badly if it chips whilst you’re out and about). 

Nails Inc Uptown and Barry M Socialite

Nails Inc Uptown and Barry M Socialite

As it is quite a muted shade, I decided to liven things up a bit!  I did an accent nail (or as I call them, a feature nail!) in glittery pink.  I chose this gorgeous Barry M shade in ‘Socialite’, which I received for my birthday from a friend. 

Barry M Socialite

                     Barry M Socialite

The Nails Inc nail polish was easy to apply and had a lovely, creamy texture.  It actually lasted slightly longer than the other Gel Effect one I have in ‘Bond Street’ (review here), which I was pleased with.  Bond Street chipped literally the day I applied it!  This lasted a couple of days (so I would hope for better with a gel effect really, but at least it lasted longer than Bond Street!)  The Barry M glitter was easy to spread out and not too chunky, as some glitters are.  It was annoying to remove, as all glitter polishes seem to be, but they’re worth it for the prettiness!

Nails Inc Uptown and Barry M Socialite

                      Nails Inc Uptown and Barry M Socialite

Although I haven’t paid full price for either of the Nails Inc Gel Effect polishes, I do think they should be longer lasting at £14 each [update: now £15 each)! You can find Uptown here* and Socialite here*.


What do you think of this colour?  Have you tried the Nails Inc Gel Effect polishes?  Let me know in the comments, or follow me on social media!

Fashion: Boohoo Clothing (Mini) Haul!

I used to buy a lot of clothes, but I have much less spare money these days.  I tend to try to make use of what I’ve already got, just updating with a piece here and there.  However due to my (rubbish) M.E, I have put some weight on lately, meaning some of my smaller clothes aren’t fitting at the moment.  So I’ve been forced to buy a few new basics (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!)

I have never actually bought anything from Boohoo, but I saw a few things YouTuber Keira Rose picked up and really liked the shape of the vest tops she’d bought from there, so I thought it might be a good place to look.  Sure enough, they had the vest tops I liked in a range of loads of different colours!

I bought three ‘Alice Swing’ vest tops in black, purple and coral.  They were really reasonably priced at £6 each.  I also bought a ‘Rosie Kimono Style Cardigan’ in grey, which you can see below.  This was just £8.  I think Boohoo’s pricing seemed really reasonable!

This is the purple vest top with the grey cardigan.  The fit of the vest tops is nice and loose, great if you’re like me and don’t like things to be tightly fitted to your stomach!

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This is the coral vest top with the same cardigan.  It’s really nice and light, perfect for summer.  The only thing I would say is that the vest tops come up pretty short on me (shorter than I would usually like), but I am very long in the body with short legs (even at 5ft 7″!)  I wouldn’t like this if the vest tops were fitted, but as they’re loose and I wear high-waisted jeans anyway, I don’t mind.

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Overall, I was really pleased with the quality and price of the items.  Even better, delivery was free!  I’m not exactly sure why, but perhaps because I spent over £20.  They arrived quickly and were really well packaged.  I would definitely shop there again in future.


Have you ever shopped at Boohoo?  What do you think of my mini haul?  Let me know in the comments or follow me on social media!

What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) – 16 June 2015!

Hello and welcome to another What I Ate Wednesday!  As usual, although posting on a Wednesday, this is what I ate all day on Tuesday.

Now this is going to be a bit of an unusual one because without going into TMI territory, I was woken up really early on Tuesday with a bad stomach.  It calmed down in time for me to eat breakfast but then flared up again quite badly for the rest of the day.  I would never usually eat toast for lunch, but I just couldn’t really face anything ‘proper’ to eat, but knew I needed something to keep my blood sugars up!

Breakfast

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For breakfast, I had some raw (as in uncooked by me) porridge oats with an Activia Rhubarb yogurt stirred though.  I then chopped up some fresh strawberries and sprinkled them on top.  This is sort of what I switch to in the warmer months, when the thought of porridge isn’t appealing!  I really like the oats like this – the yogurt takes away the chewiness but having the oats keeps it filling and good for keeping your blood sugar stable.

I recently had a look at what was in season in the UK and tried to meal plan my foods around it a bit, and strawberries were on the list as being in season now.  You can tell, as even the economy ones taste really sweet and juicy!

Lunch

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Definitely not my most photogenic lunch but hey, I’m being honest!  As I said, I had a bad stomach so didn’t really want anything to eat but I get low blood sugar if I skip a meal, and it makes me feel awful.  Marmite on toast is a bit of a childhood comfort food for me, and something I can still eat even if I’m not feeling great.  This was made with Hovis Best of Both and lots of marmite – I don’t believe in spreading it thinly!  With the whole Marmite love/hate thing, I can just imagine people cringing at the screen right now, haha.

Dinner

It was bad timing to get a dodgy stomach as we had tickets for a meal last night and would have lost our money if we didn’t go!  A local bar/brewery, The Refectory, were holding a 5-course tasting menu with a rhubarb theme and matching beers.  I absolutely love rhubarb so I was excited about this!  As I was so unwell around my 30th birthday, I didn’t get chance to celebrate with my  husband, so we decided to go to this as my belated birthday celebration!

We didn’t know what would be on the menu, but I had let them know I was vegetarian, so I knew I would be able to eat whatever I got.  Here’s what we had:

(This is the standard menu – where there is fish or meat, I had pretty much the same dish but vegetarian).

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_20150616_211125  This is a rhubarb vinegar shot – yep really!

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The food was all fresh, delicious and beautifully presented.  I didn’t manage all my matching beers, but my husband helped me out there!  I would definitely recommend The Refectory if you are local.


What do you think of my rather strange day of food?  Are you a fan of rhubarb?  Let me know in the comments!