Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Eylure Pro-Brow Dybrow Dye Kit

Having stopped getting my brows waxed regularly 18 months ago, due to the obvious skin damage this particular beautician was causing with her so-called HD Brow treatment, I have decided I trust no one but myself to nurture my sparse over plucked in the 90's brows.

For a good year now I have been covering them in castor oil at every opportunity and only tweezing the very obviously stray hairs, in a bid for them to resemble actual eyebrows in their pitiful natural state. I have also been dying them to help me see any natural patterns emerging and help me use less eyebrow pencil in the mornings.

Using a dye helps to darken any lighter hairs that the naked eye doesn't see, which helps my brows look fuller and gives me hope that they are actually growing back after decades of abuse. 

Here they are prior to dying-note the marked difference in shape and thickness, I truly have no idea how I managed to achieve this considering they were so symmetrical as a young teenager boohoo :(

I use the black colour and this is what comes inside the box; instruction booklet, colour cream tube 5ml (black), activator 10ml bottle, applicator (like a mascara wand/spoolie), a mixing stick and the plastic case has a well to mix the chemicals into.

It really is very simple to use- after cleaning and drying your brows, mix a 2cm line of colour cream with 5 drops of the activating solution in the well until creamy, apply to the brows with the spoolie (avoiding surrounding skin-I don't use Vaseline/barrier cream but the instructions strongly suggest you do), leave on for a maximum of 5minutes before gently wiping off with cotton wool pad soaked in water. Ta-dah! All done for 6 weeks, unless you use OCM (oil cleansing method) like I do, in which case I need to re-dye every 4 weeks or so.

Ten minutes every 6 weeks for better looking brows yes please! For your viewing pleasure here is a super flattering picture of me with the dye on ;and yes it does look like I have been using a sharpie!)

Bootiful! As you can see I have dyed well below and above my brows, this is because I want to get every damn hair available! My brows are so thin and non existent it is important to me that I catch every potential brow hair with the dye. I only dye my brows at night because I am left with a greenish-shadow having deliberately dyed the skin. It completely comes off with the following morning's cleanse though.  

Can you see a difference? I certainly do (in real life) and unless I suddenly wake up one morning with natural #browsonfleek I will keep using this dye for the foreseeable future. 

I have tried other brands, but for whatever reason Eylure seems to work better and I prefer the texture of the dye to others which are a bit thinner and I worry it may drip down/run as I leave it on for the maximum amount of time.

Nic from Pixiwoo recently did a video showing the process in action if you are still unsure as to the simplicity of it 

I have been AWOL for a very long time, my computer broke and I have just upgraded to a decent phone that enables me to use Blogger. I was using my Instagram as my main contact, and in doing so have become an addict! I will definitely use Blogger again now my phone is able to, but you will always be able to find me on Instagram and occasionally Twitter. 

Think I will have to trawl back through my Instagram and do short posts on the products I mentioned on there. Eeesh!

Love Caiti xxx

*This post is in no way sponsored/paid for, I purchased the product myself with my own money*

Monday, 19 January 2015


OK this isn't a typical post, but I have been relying heavily on SoundCloud for the past few months as my source of 'decent' music.

Yes I have turned into my Mother and think the majority of music I hear on the radio is utter pants!

I love that I can create playlists (mine are mood dependent) and get to hear genres that I would typically be oblivious to. My true love is all of the mashups- I never ceased to be amazed at the combination of songs that work so well when merged into one. One of my absolute favourites is this one a fabulous combination of the Prodigy and Enya!

SoundCloud is free and some tunes are available to download, others are listen only. Lots of DJ's share their sets and mixes, and many less well known artists and unsigned acts use SoundCloud as a platform to showcase their talents. A fantastic Cornish reggae group called Backbeat Soundsystem share their older and new material (check them out here) and  Cornish DJ Lord Jord who plays and mixes outstanding funk can be found here.

If you haven't discovered SoundCloud, do yourself a massive favour and spend an afternoon searching around on the site. If you already use SoundCloud feel free to follow me here and share your favourite tunes with me.

Caiti xxx

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing mini's (from Marks and Spencer)

Having long been a fan of Philip Kingsley's Elasticizer I've often looked at their other products but always walked away, purely due to the price tag. I have never bought a designer/high-end shampoo or conditioner, I like most of the drugstore/budget ones I have tried so have never been able to justify a splurge to myself. Then Marks and Spencer sent me a 20% off email....cue hours of filling up my online basket pretending I was able to afford it all! Instead I settled on this cute wee box;

Philip Kingsley Soft and Shiny Try Me Kit Moisture Balance shampoo, Moisture Balance Conditioner, Elasticizer
The Soft and Shiny Try Me Kit contains 20ml tubes of Moisture Balancing shampoo, Moisture Balancing conditioner, and of course Elasticizer.
This kit cost me £4 from Marks and Spencer (free delivery to store), and was a great way for me to actually try a posh branded shampoo and conditioner. It is a real shame that it isn't easier to pick up proper trial sized high end products like this, I would love to try some of the TIGI line and the much raved about Kerastase brand but I am not prepared to pay A LOT of money on something that may be no better than a supermarket's own brand/value product.
Philip Kingsley Soft and Shiny Try Me Kit, Moisture Balancing shampoo, Moisture Balancing conditioner, Elasticizer
The shampoo is clear with a slight yellow tinge, it has a slight herbal scent to it but it is not revolting. Once the shampoo is lathered up, the scent changes to a pleasant 'clean' smell. The lather is creamy and effortless, this was a surprise to me and a lovely experience. The shampoo rinses out extremely well and doesn't leave that horrid squeaky clean feeling, not does it leave my hair feeling coated in silicone (I always think THIS is going to happen!).
The conditioner's scent is almost non-existent and is coloured white. It feels just like any other conditioner to be honest, however, I have substituted my hero Aussie 3minute Miracle conditioner and I do prefer the combination of the Kingsley products together. They do seem to work beautifully together, and I can get to day 3 without washing my hair using them (as opposed to washing every day- I need my hair to feel clean, smell good and shine like the moon on a calm sea!) which has never been achieved using drugstore products. I don't have greasy hair, neither is it particularly dry, I would describe it as 'normal' (the neurotic owner not so much!).
The Elasticizer is a real Marmite product; some swear by it (me!!) and some people can see or feel no benefit in using it whatsoever. Personally I use it at least once a week, whack a whole heap ontop of sprayed wet hair and leave it on for as long as possible (all day and overnight when possible) before washing it out. The instructions say at least 10 minutes before shampooing, but I would really recommend leaving it on for at least 40 minutes (optimum time for the hair shaft to absorb the product). It makes my hair feel softer, look bouncier and shinier and even my husband notices the is a pricey item though, and I really think it needs to be used regularly for its full effect to be seen, which obviously is going to cost serious money in the long run. I would be prepared to keep paying for the effects though-luckily I have quite a few mini tubes from previous beauty boxes I was subscribed to last year, and some that came free in magazines (yes I bought the magazines purely for the Elasticizer!), so don't need to shell out just yet.
Overall I enjoyed this wee taster box and will absolutely be keeping an eye out for the Moisture Balancing range being on offer (Christmas sales woohoo!) as I'm actually missing the products now they have been used up.
This particular kit is no longer available on Marks and Spencer's website, but these are.
What are your experiences of using high-end/professional hair care ranges; are there any that really stand out (positively and negatively)?
*UPDATE- I couldn't go back to using other shampoo's so brought a 200ml bottle from and a 75ml of the conditioner (I have short hair so don't need a big bottle). Feel Unique also have the try me kits that M&S no longer have in stock for the same price. To be a complete enabler I recommend looking at the Half Discount website for codes (and signing up to the Feel Unique newsletter for their very good sales). Happy shopping :0)
Caiti xxx
*Products purchased with my own money*


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Current skincare routine 2014

I'm rapidly heading towards the ripe old age of 35, and have never taken my skincare so seriously as I do now. My skin went a bit loco when I hit 30, and when I was 33 I had acne (cystic nasty acne on my chin, chest and back) for the first time ever....I was not impressed! I'm assuming it was a toxic combination of hormones and the copious amounts of hideous medication I had started (and remain on), but trawling the internet on the subject it seems to be a common occurrence amongst 30 something's to have a total skin nightmare. I also discovered the Goddess Lady Caroline Hirons and her no nonsense advice has really changed my skin for the better.

I have tried many products over the years (one of the reasons I decided to start blogging) and have eventually found products that work for me, and my previously dry and dehydrated super sensitive skin with some nasty jaw-line and chin huge spots thrown in for good measure. Thanks Mother Nature.

CLEANSER: My absolute favourite is Superdrug's Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser. It is a cream but has a slight balm texture to it, and is so comforting on my face. It has a slight herby scent to it, but a pleasant one, and is a dream to massage into my skin.

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser

I don't use it for eye make-up removal, instead I use Garnier 2in1 Eye and Face Make-Up Remover (lovely bi-phasic mascara munching stuff!) or Avon Extra Lasting Make-up Remover (oily goodness that really does remove every scrap of eye make-up).

I also don't use the muslin cloth that comes with it; call me old fashioned but I only use flannels! Muslin cloths just don't give me the same 'clean' feeling, and flannels are thicker so I can use both sides if I need to without transferring wiped off product back onto my face. I use a new flannel each morning and night-luckily I have tonnes of them in various colours and states (hate throwing holey and frayed ones away, they literally have to be falling apart for me to do so!).

The cleanser claims to "awaken skin's natural glow" and I haven't seen any demonstration of this, however my skin is calmer and hasn't reacted even in the slightest to this product, which is more important to me than achieving a glowing radiance.

This cleanser really is super fantastic, so much so that I actually cut open the squeezy tube (nice design too!) to get the last bits out! I have never done that for any other product, not even super expensive ones.

Overall a cheap but nourishing cream-balm cleanser with a light scent and plenty of oooomph to remove make-up. I use it morning and night with a flannel, and don't intend to go looking for another cleanser any time soon.

TONER: If you read Caroline Hirons' blog (or watch her now on You Tube *Bob's your uncle*) you will know I am not talking about old skool toners. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you need to visit her blog and unearth the differences and why it is now OK to 'tone' after cleansing (you would have stripped every piece of natural barrier from your skin if you used to use the old skool ones, which is why I didn't use them).

Dr Organic Rose Otto Skin Toner from Holland and Barrett

So once my face is cleansed and rinsed, I swish a cotton pad with Dr Organic Rose Otto Skin Toner from Holland and Barrett to prep my skin for acid toning (yep Aciiiid!). There is no alcohol in this toner, and it is hydrating and smells gorgeous. I hate the scent of 'fake' rose, but this stuff smells good. Really good.

ACID TONING/EXFOLIATING: By far, this is my favourite step in my skin care regime. In the morning I use an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid, such as glycolic acid) to help skin cell renewal and diminish age lines. I am currently using Pixi Glow Tonic which has a distinctive scent that I can't put my finger on, but you get used to it pretty quickly.

Pixi Glow Tonic

In the evening I use a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid, such as Salicylic acid) to keep pesky spots/invisible under the skin bumps away. I have seen a huge improvement around my jaw-line and chin where the unwanted visitors used to congregate despite my protests. The BHA I am currently using is Paula's Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Targeted Blemish Relief Toner 2% Salicylic Acid and it has cleared up the marks left from the cystic acne beautifully.

Paula's Chocie CLEAR Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution 2% Salicylic Acid
If acid toning/acid exfoliation is a new concept for you, there are some super helpful guides from Paula's Choice here and here and here.
**Note- Caroline Hirons' advice is to use a hydrating spritzing toner post exfoliation, however I personally prefer to use my hydrating toner before exfoliating. No reason why, it's just what I do**
 EYE CREAM: I am head over heels in love with Balance Active Formula Snake Venom Eye Cream absolutely smitten in fact!
Balance Active Formula Snake Venom Eye Cream
This stuff is wonderfully hydrating, without upsetting make-up application, and doesn't cause millia. It has softened my crows feet and got rid of the tightness I used to feel by mid-afternoon when using other eye creams.
SERUM: The serum that beat all others hands down is the Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum. It is pricey, but Boots tend to have brilliant offers on Indeed Labs products periodically so wait for them and stock up then. My dry and dehydrated skin totally transformed into hydrated and comfortable skin (with no flaky dry patches around my nose and temples) after using 3/4 of my first tube morning and night.
Indeed Labs Hydraluron Serum Hyaluronic Acid

The hyaluronic acid retains moisture, and over time you will need to use less moisturiser....I really thought this was utter tosh until I used the product. I no longer have to use heavy duty moisturiser (Oilatum, Skin Food, aqueous cream), I can use 'normal' moisturiser which is great for make-up application. I use a pea sized amount all over my face (including eyelids!) and another pea sized amount for my neck and décolletage. I think it is unlikely I will switch serums, this really is a precious skin care staple/Holy Grail product.

MOISTURISER: Now my skin is behaving itself impeccably, I am trialling many moisturisers and tend to use which one works best with my foundation choice (powder or liquid) of that day. One I have been reaching for quite regularly is Good Things Manuka Honey Daily Moisturiser which smells delicately of delicious honey. It can leave a bit of a sheen on my skin (I prefer the matte look) if I use too much, but my husband always says I look lovely when I have been heavy handed and retain the I'm trying to embrace the slight sheen, but cannot deal with the 'dewy' 'glowing' or 'moist' look. Ever.

Good Things Manuka Honey Daily Moisturiser Youth Protect Royal Jelly Bee Venom

I'm enjoying testing out moisturisers, it is a real novelty for me, so I cannot imagine I will still be using this particular one in a month or so. That does not mean this isn't a lovely moisturiser, because it is, I'm just revelling in having the chance to finally use pretty much any moisturiser I fancy. I am currently using this moisturiser both day and night.

I spend my money on acids and serum, and save with my cleanser, eye cream and moisturiser. SPF on the other hand is not about price, but how it sits on my skin and reacts with my make-up.

SPF: I use SPF all year round, every day. I choose to use at least factor 30 and one that had UVA and UVB protection. I am super pale and up until this summer have had to hide from the sun due to hives and distressed skin from the sun (no burning, but very tight unhappy skin).

I don't really like SPF in my moisturiser because I'm concerned that it will react with the SPF protection I get from the pure SPF I apply after my moisturiser. I used to use Clinique Super City Block SPF 40 but the 'subtle' yellow tone of it made me look jaundiced on non-make-up days. I then tried La Roche-Posay Anthelios Face Comfort Cream SPF 50 but found it too heavy on top of my previous heavy duty moisturiser......but I have now discovered a total winner....

Soap and Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF50 the fabulous Soap and Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF50 a true hero in my eyes. I was initially put off when I tested it on my hand in Boots as it was tinted, however it is completely colourless/totally invisible when it is rubbed in. I can't even feel it on my skin once applied, and it does not affect my make-up in any way whatsoever. S&G products are pretty much always on offer in Boots so I have stocked up to see me through winter and into spring. If you haven't tried this I really recommend doing so.

**SPF 30+ broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) is imperative when using acids as they are revealing lovely new skin cells, and if no SPF (or poor quality, low rated SPF) is used you are just damaging those lovely new skin cells, thus wasting your money on acids. Also, if you are trying to avoid skin cancer and slow the ageing process down, there is nothing better than broad spectrum SPF daily. Every day. Yes even in the UK!**

I wasn't expecting this post to be so long, congratulations (and thank you!) if you have made it to the end. I hope this inspires and helps anyone who is looking to switch up their skin care routine, or even to start one.

Caiti xxx

*Products purchased with my own money*

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The Liebster Award

The lovely Becki Lewis from Beauty & the Brunette kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award, in a nutshell it is a way of welcoming new bloggers (with under 200 followers) into the blogging community. Needless to say I was really touched, and being a very nosey inquisitive person enjoyed reading Becki's previous answers to the many questions she had been asked by other bloggers nominating her see here and here.

Becki's questions are as follows:

1) Do you have a favourite beauty/fashion magazine? I haven't bought a magazine for years, however I do really enjoy flipping through Dare magazine from Superdrug and Health and Beauty magazine from Boots. I also subscribe to TWO magazine (online) from the Pixiwoo sisters.

2) How long have you been blogging for? I wrote my first post in March 2014 and have been sporadically posting ever since.

3) What's your favourite foundation? My favourite liquid foundation is LancĂ´me's Photogenic Lumessence, as it is the closest match I have ever found for my super pale cool toned skin, and doesn't make my dry/dehydrated skin look worse. My favourite powder foundation is Clinique's Superpowder Double Face Powder, again the colour match is great and best of all it doesn't cake up or make my skin even drier. I tend to use the powder more than the liquid as it is quicker to apply, easier to blend and I prefer the more natural look (and my freckles still show through if I don't use too much).

4) Is there one type of product you can't stop yourself from buying? Pretty much anything that Boots or Superdrug sell to be honest! My husband doesn't like me going in there alone as I always spend too much, same with Lush, Home Bargains and Hobby Craft. Ooops. It's more fun dragging him around with me though, plus he can carry the basket leaving my hands free to pick up more items :0)

5) What's your current favourite item of clothing? I just got a beautiful grey/beige/brown waterfall jumper from ebay, which is stunning and gets the seal of approval from my children and husband- translated to 'age appropriate' rather than my usual hoodie obsession!

6) Bold or Nude lips? On me definitely nude, I like muted and soft pinks/browns/mauves, however I love seeing girls with really bold dark colours like blue and purple. I would love to still be able to rock that look but my lip lines are too deep and sadly I look ridiculous.

7) What's your favourite TV show right now? Melissa and Joey. The kids and I have been watching it on E4 over the summer holidays and we all love it. It finished last week and we are not impressed!

8) Why did you start blogging? I'm currently off sick from work and having some harsh medical treatment, meaning I'm rarely able to leave the house. So I was spending ages catching up on blogs and You Tube videos that I never really had the time to keep up with whilst I was working, and thought blogging would keep my mind active and give me 'a happy place' to escape to prattling on about beauty! That is why my blog isn't a professional one, I blog when I feel up to it and when it suits me. It is purely for pleasure.

9) What was the first make-up product you used? My Mum's Rimmel lipstick! I was a toddler and did a pretty good job of applying it apparently! I played with her make-up until I was about 7 years old then saved my pocket money to buy products from my friend's Mum's Avon catalogue. When I started secondary school I spent every weekend in Superdrug and Boots with like minded friends, and when I started working I would go on a spree every pay day. I think I may have a problem?!

10) Who is your celebrity style icon? I have two- Victoria Beckham for her clean lines and beautifully fitted but not tarty style, and Sarah Harding for her casual effortless chic. Both for their short hair styles.

11) What's your favourite restaurant? Not a restaurant as such, but a pub that serves gorgeous food called the Logan Rock Inn in a tiny west Cornwall village called Treen. If you are ever in the area it really is a wonderful idyllic pub tucked away with a sun trap garden and incredible service. 


My 11 questions are:
1. What is your favourite perfume and why
2. Scented candles or wax/oil burners?
3. Favourite flower?
4. If you could have permanently great hair or great skin, what would you choose?
5. Describe your ideal day.
6. What is your dream car?
7. Current favourite skin care treatment?
8. Who is your celebrity male and female crush?
9. What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?
10. If you could have magical powers, which one would you choose?
11. Why and when did you start blogging?
I nominate:
 Karen from And So To The Mirror
Monica from The Green Eye Effect
Danielle from The Dolled Up Diary
Molly, Sophie and Paris from Cosm(etics, )etc.
Chris from My Happy Place
Sophie from Floral Sophie
And of course anyone reading this is more than welcome to join in!
I look forward to reading your answers, and thanks again to Becki for getting me involved :0)
Caiti xxx


Saturday, 16 August 2014

Snake Venom Eye Cream from Balance Active Formula

So I was in Home Bargains, drooling over all of the hair and beauty aisles, and spotted Snake Venom Eye Cream from Balance Active Formula. I am down to my last eye cream sample from various beauty box subscriptions I was signed up to last year, and have been looking for a cheap but moisturising eye cream that wont upset my sensitive skin. As this eye cream was only £1.89 for 15ml, I grabbed it thinking that it would probably end up in the bin didn't!!

Balance Active Formula Snake Venom Eye Cream

This eye cream does not contain snake venom, and the packaging clearly states '...a snake venom-like neuropeptide'. How refreshing to see a company use non BS, clear as day, truthful spiel (and in big readable letters!) on their packaging.

The active ingredients are Syn-Ake (the snake venom-like neuropeptide) which claims to soften the look of wrinkles and reduce expression lines, and EyePro 3X which claims to reduce under eye bags and dark circles and boost collagen production and hydration. The product is also paraben free and contains a small amount of lactic acid.

I don't suffer from under eye bags (yet!) nor dark circles, but I do have some beautiful laughter lines rapidly appearing. My main need in an eye cream is continued hydration and for it not to upset my sensitive skin. I would dearly love the crows feet laughter lines to disappear, but am well aware that unless I'm prepared to have Botox injected it's never going to happen. I would just like them 'softened' and to look better by being hydrated.

This eye cream is utterly fantastic for what I want an eye cream to do. My eye area is instantly soothed and moisturised on application, the cream does not affect my make up and I have not had one iota of sensitivity since starting this cream 3 months ago. I cannot comment on any of the under eye claims, but I can certainly vouch for the hydration claim. Even at the end of the day my eyes feel comfortable, and there has been a definite improvement in the softness of my under eye area. I use it day and night after cleansing and application of serums and before moisturising. My laughter lines do look better and less harsh, but obviously they are still there. I use this cream all over my eyelids and have no intention of looking for another eye cream as this is,by far, the best I have tried in years.

I cannot believe how good this cream is whilst being so cheap! You can check out their other products here and if your local Home Bargains does not stock it, you can purchase from here or look on Amazon.

I will definitely be trying out some of their other products, if anyone else has please let me know what you think.

Caiti xxx

*Product purchased with my own money*

Friday, 15 August 2014

Superdrug Superberry Mud Mask

I am nearing the end of my beloved Sanctuary 5min Thermal Detox Mask which although pricey (around £10), has lasted me around 8months per 100ml tube. I only apply it to my T-zone and use it once or twice per week. I have also started using it on my teenage son's T-zone to help combat newly emerged oily/blackhead prone/upset skin.

Not wanting to spend £10 on future masks (as now sharing with aforementioned son) I picked up the Superdrug Superberry Mud Mask on my last online haul.

Superdrug Superberry Mud Mask Exfoliator

It is a china clay based mask with exfoliating raspberry seeds (I don't recommend using this mask as a scrub!!) and contains 'antioxidant rich Superberry Extract to help protect the skin from free radicals' which makes no sense to me whatsoever, but it smelt nice so I bought it!

My skin does not like this mask at all. It felt fine when I put it on all over my face and wasn't particularly uncomfortable, however when I washed it off, my face looked sunburnt and was very sensitive for about 3 days afterwards. I have dry sensitive skin (which was dehydrated until I finally managed to combat that-blog on my new skincare regimen to follow) so I shouldn't have really put it all over my face, but I'm an 'all or nothing' type of person :0)

My son's skin did not react in the slightest to this mask, in-fact it definitely cleared up his face and I could see his skin becoming less oily for a few days. He has (reluctantly) continued to have this slapped on his T-zone every Sunday and will continue to until it has run out.

So I've reasoned with myself that I should not try a new one for me until this Superdrug one has run out, incase my skin doesn't like it and I end up using it on my son.....ooops I seem to have placed an order for the Sanctuary 5min Thermal Detox Mask! No guilt though as I used my Boots Advantage points ;0)

Caiti xxx

*Products purchased with my own money*