Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Balance Me Radiance Face Oil Review

I have previously tried the Wonder eye cream from Balance Me but wasn't all that impressed so when I was looking at their website at something else I wanted to try and I spotted the Radiance Face Oil. I've tried the Liz Earle Superbalm in the past which is a similar sort of thing so I thought I'd try this as it claims to enhance the radiance of skin as well as soften and smooth. As I have combination skin I was a bit wary about putting oil on my face and ending up with a greasy fish oil skin! But apparently oil on oil is balancing so it won't upset your skin.
This is £30 for 30ml from the Balance Me website which isn't cheap but at the same time this is a luxury product so it's not going to be the cheapest of products. Plus it's a decent sized bottle and you literally use 3 - 4 drops a time so it's going to last a while.
So I've been using this for a week now and I couldn't be without it now! I'm absolutely 100% in love with this oil! I was pretty worried I'd end up not liking this and it either breaking me out or leaving my skin itchy and inflamed. Instead it left my skin super super smooth, clear from any blemishes or spots and with a lovely glow. I don't know how it's done it, maybe it's the chamomile and all the other oils but it has literally done wonders with my skin. It's so conditioned but not oily or greasy. I've also noticed that the annoying under the skin spots that I usually get are completely gone and the fine lines around my eyes are also less noticeable.
As the ingredients are all natural it's great for sensitive skin like mine and a little goes a long way. I've not used a moisturiser in the evening since I've been using this and I don't think I need to. It's pretty sad but I can't wait to take my make up off in the evenings so I can get this on my skin! It's a really luxurious product and a gorgeous treat for any skin type!
Definitely a re-purchase for me, although the price tag is a bit more than I'd expect to pay I love what it's done for my skin. So glad I've found this product as it's now partly of my daily skin care routine.
Which balance me products do you use?
Have you tried any face oils?

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Avon - Anew Clinical Cream - AF33 Review

As the new "miracle wrinkle" cream from Avon was promoted and advertised left, right and centre I couldn't avoid reading about it and becoming more curious. Lucky for me my sister Kate is an Avon lady *ding dong Avon calling!* ha ha.
I did a little research and was surprised at the claims this cream had to make. First off they say that in clinical trials 100% of the women who tried this product showed results within 14 days - pretty convincing I'd say! This gel cream is supposed to be the new super dooper break through cream in fighting fine and deep wrinkles. It was the fastest selling cream from Avon and has say that results are achieved with ongoing use over weeks and I guess to keep the changes up you need to use it continuously.
I don't have deep wrinkles as I'm still in my twenties (only just!!) but I've started to get a little frown line across the bridge of my nose and crows feet probably from laughing too much which I don't really mind but if I can keep them at bay for a few more years then I will.
The packaging is ok, it comes in a sleek mirrored bottle with a pump dispenser. Although it looks quite sleek it's also prone to get sticky finger print marks all over the bottle so I often find I'm wiping it down with a tissue or cloth to keep it clean looking. I know, yes I might be a bit obsessive about this but it's so annoying!
For a 30ml bottle you're looking at around £20 depending on what offer they've got on at the time. With this order I *received* a little free make up bag containing some miniature goodies. The reason I put little asterisks by received in my previous sentence is because I've not actually received it yet! My sister says it's still on order but it's not due till later in the month - boo! I know what the little bag contains as a couple of my colleagues got theirs but I'm still looking forward to trying the freebies.
The cream itself is kind of a gel formulation and goes a looong way! Literally one pump is all you need, I learnt this after overusing it on several occasions and having to smear it over my partners face to use it up! He loved it really!  :)
Now for the results, I've been using it for about 3 week now and can definitely see a difference in my frown line and the expression lines on my forehead. I've had to stop putting it near my eyes as it has irritated them a bit, but that's pretty much standard with me nowadays. But other than that I'm quite impressed with this, it's sort of on a par with the Perfect and Protect Serum by No7, if not a little bit better.
My only gripe is that it takes a while to sink in and I find I need to apply it a while before bed or my face sticks to my pillow. But really apart from that issue and the packaging style I can't say anything bad about it. I'm pretty sure I'll re-purchase this and I don't think it'll be for a while as it looks as if this bottle will last a while.
All in all a good purchase which appears to live up to expectations and claims!
Which "wonder" product do you use?
Are you a fan of Avon products?

Friday, 12 October 2012

Gorgeous Claireabella Canvas Bag Review!

For a while now I've been seeing a few people either on Facebook or Blogger with these beautifully designed bags from Claireabella! The brand has increased hugely in the last 12 months and it seems like the new "it" item to have. I fell in love with these girlie bags instantly and knew I had to have one - despite my bag collection overflowing already! But these aren't your average bag, you get to design the little character on the front, making them perfect for a gift or a little treat for yourself! When you design you "mini me" on the bag you can choose from different hair colours and styles as well as eye colour and the outfit they are wearing. The website itself which you can view here is so easy to navigate round and the whole process of designing the bag is really fun as you can add or change lots of elements.

Not only can you design your own bag but you can also put the cute little character on phone cases, hoodies, mugs, lunch boxes, note books, and diaries amongst other things! Definitely a great idea for Christmas presents this year. I decided to go for the canvas bag as I prefer this style bag and it was quite a bit cheaper than the Jute bags. The canvas style bags are £14.99 plus p&p and the Jute bags vary from £24.99 - £39.99 depending on what size you order.
The fun part of this is choosing your characters hair style, colour, outfit and eye colour. There are 12 different outfits to choose from and they range from really simple casual jeans to a smart little cocktail dress! Another great thing is that there's an option to for "bridal" and "pregnancy" themed clothes which is a great idea for one of my friends who is newly pregnant.

I had to wait 3 weeks before the cute litte pink parcel arrived (the waiting nearly killed me I was so excited!) but it was worth the wait. The bag itself is a very standard canvas shopping bag but the character printed on the front was just perfect! I chose a character with a bright purple dress with matching bag and glass (I like to think of it as Champagne! ha ha), big blue eyes and long brown hair. As you'll probably realise all of the Claireabella characters are based around their huge eyes with long lashes which makes them look so stunning!
I was really impressed with the detail and care that has gone into the design, I didn't expect it but they have also added little diamantes either side of where my name is and dotted around the character! I love a little bit of sparkle so this is perfect for me! I can't wait to start using this and initially got it for when I'm shopping but I think I'll end up using it more often - just to show it off if nothing else!
My favourite bit about this bag is that it's so personalised (not exactly what I look like but I can work towards that!) and unique to me. The writing and print of my name is funky - you don't have to have your name on the bag, you can pretty much have anything. You order through a website called Toxic Fox which you get re-directed to through the Claireabella website. I'm 100% going to get a Jute bag at some stage once I've got a bit more money as I'd probably use a larger one to carry around my UV nail lamp and polishes when I'm going to different peoples homes to do nails.
What do you think of the Claireabella bags?
Which design would you get?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Balance Me Eye Cream ~ Wonder Cream??

In last month's Glossybox I received a tube of the Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream which is said to be "soothing, brightening and lifting" for the eye area. I don't know how much this little tube retails for but I think it's available in places like Boots - but weirdly I couldn't find it on the Boots website to add a link in! Anyhoo, I've heard some good things about the Balance Me range and a few months ago there were a fair few reviews on them after one of the glossy magazines did a freebie.
I'm quite particular about which eye cream I use and generally stick to one particular brand, most recently I've used one from Dior. But as this was in my Glossybox I thought I'd give this a try for a while. 
 As this cream is "lifting" I put some on my eye lids and below my under eye area before I went to bed. I used this for about 5 nights before I got any results. The results.... red and sore eye lids! Seriously both eye lids were sensitive to the touch, bright red and very very dry!! I'm absolutely convinced it was this cream as I haven't changed anything else in my beauty regime at all. I've read that one other blogger has had similar sort of issues with this cream so I know I'm not alone (or being overly sensitive!)
I'm quite surprised this cream has had this effect on me like it has. I know I'm usually a sensitive little thing but this has got to be a record in how sensitive I am to a product! So I can't give a glowing report to you readers, I can just advise you use with caution...this stuff is toxic!
How have you got on with Balance Me products?
Which eye creams do you use?

Friday, 5 October 2012

In Pursuit of Volume #2 Vo5 Plump It Up Backcomb Spray and Mousse

So if you've read my first post on my search for volume in my long locks then you'll know that so far I've not found the answer to my prayers. I try to read a reviews before I buy I product that is new to me so I had a good old google before I purchased these and found the reviews to be split between good and not so good. But I decided to give them a go anyway.

I got the V05 Plump it up Dry Backcomb Spray and Weightless Mousse on an offer for 2 Vo5 products for £5 in Superdrug. I do backcomb my hair for nights out but as it's quite fine I worry about the damage it's causing to my hair so if I can avoid backcombing I will! Day to day whilst I'm at work I'm not overly bothered about doing too much to my hair but I would love to give my hair a bit of a lift and some shape and not have it stuck to my head!

The backcomb spray is kind of like a dry shampoo in formulation but colourless. It contains Collagen to add fullness and volume and you spray this directly into your roots and kind of work it through with your fingers a bit. This is supposed to give a backcomb effect but without the risk of damage to the hair. I tried this on day old washed hair and followed the directions exactly. What I found was that it did give a bit of volume (not much!) but you have to push the hair up with your fingers to get the product to work and by doing that my hair just looked messy and un-brushed! It's an OK product if you like the messy look but it's really not me. What I probably will use this for is for backcombing - I realise this defeats the object of trying to find a product instead of backcombing but this product sort of creates a bit of a "grip" so it will probably help to keep any backcombing in for longer and not drop so quick! The scent is also really nice so that's a definite plus.

The Mousse looked good enough to eat when I sprayed it out of the can - don't worry I resisted! :)
But it did look really light and fluffy so it lives up to it's name of being weightless. There's no real directions on the can as to whether you apply this in dry or wet hair, so naturally I tried both! Neither worked or showed once inch of volume! Literally nothing! I was expecting to see some change, a little lift, oomph, height...but nothing. I can't say I've used much mousse on my hair in the past so I'm not sure how this even compares to a regular mousse. I do try to find a positive in any product I try or review but I've really struggled to find any with this one! It doesn't really do what it's intended to and I feel pretty let down with what I thought would at least do something.

So, sorry ladies (& gents) I can't share with you a miraculous discovery or an answer to lifting our limp locks! But I'm hot on the case and already have some more volumising products lined up to try, watch this space!

Can you recommend any volumising products?
Any tips to get our hair any higher?


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Primark Haul - Blouses & Bags!

Whilst on a week off from work we had a little trip to the shopping centre in Southampton which pretty much has all the shops I usually go in, including a good sized Primark. I've recently moved all my summer clothes into the other wardrobe and noticed a few gaps in my winter wardrobe that needed to be filled. Enter Primark!
I fell in love instantly with this owl printed blouse with the stud detail on the collar. Just hope I don't get any "nice hooters" comments! Haha!

I wasn't sure about this one when I first saw it on the hanger as I'm not a big animal print lover at times but this looked so lovely on, especially with a black skirt or skinny jeans.

I really love lace and the colour of this blouse against the black lace is really striking! All the blouses were £12 each and are long sleeved and slightly sheer.
I have been lusting after this bag for weeks but the Primark near me hasn't had them in stock - so gutted! I love clutch bags for nights out and this one is so much cheaper than the Topshop version. I would've loved to get the black version too but they didn't have it in stock either so settled for this nude version which is just as gorgeous! I'm still contemplating going on eBay for the black version as there are a few on there at the moment but I resent paying double the price than I would in the shop.
This faux leather jacket was a bit of a uncertain buy. I've never been sure about fake leather and worry that it will just look cheap and nasty. Once this jacket is on it looks really good and is also very flattering and only cost £25 but I'm still undecided as to whether or not I'm going to keep it
 - what do you guys think??
What are your recent Primark bargains?
Let me know what you think of the jacket - good or bad!

In Pursuit of Volume!! Aussie Aussome Volume Shampoo

This will be the first of a few posts on my pursuit of big hair! My hair is pretty fine and lacks volume - something I absolutely hate about my hair. I had hair extensions for years to thicken it up but had them all taken out earlier this summer. So now I'm left searching for an alternative to give my hair a bit of ooomph!
I really like the Aussie products, particularly the way they smell so sweet. This is £5.99 from Boots but is quite often in the 3 for 2 offer.
The shampoo itself smells amazing and a little goes a long way and lathers brilliantly. It contains hops (the stuff that goes into beer) so it gives a gorgeous shine to the hair and made it super soft and in great condition. But did it give my hair any volume is probably what you want to know?!
Nope. Nothing. Zilch. Flat as a pancake.
This would be ideal for someone wanting a really nourishing shampoo but as a volumising shampoo this did nothing to my locks and if anything it left it feeling more flyaway because it was so nourished!
It's not like I expected this:
Or even this:
But this would've been nice:
But sadly no, I can't report any lift on my barnet whatsoever! Boo!
Maybe I have to lower my expectations a little bit but there's got to be a product out there that can give me some height without having to backcomb, I'll just have to carry on looking!
What volumising Shampoo do you use?
What are you tips getting some lift to your locks?

Dark Circle Solver ~ No7 Vitality Eye Roll-on

I've always suffered with under eye dark circles and remember years ago a woman on one of the cosmetic counters saying "it's hereditary dear". NOT what I wanted to hear! My lovely Mum has quite dark circles under her eyes and to be told it's hereditary and there's nothing that can be done is sort of gutting really!
I have tried a few products here and there for this, as well as trying to get my 8 hours sleep and drink a ton of water but nothing has really ever made much of a noticeable difference. I kind of gave up at one point but then I had one of those No7 vouchers from Boots a few months ago and decided to spend it on something to help with my black eyes!
The thing I like about it the most is the roll on effect as it feels as if your gliding the product across the skin and not pulling at it. The roll on also helps to stimulate circulation which is great for the under eye area. It's also a plus that it's hypo-allergenic as those of you who read my blog regularly will know my skin is very sensitive!
The formulation is quite fine and dries fairly quickly so you're not left with a ton of it swimming around your eyes. This little 15ml tube has lasted me for 2 months and I use it nearly every night so it's well worth the £12, especially when you use one of those vouchers.
I have definitely seen a difference in the darkness under my eyes, particularly in the socket area where I most needed it. I have also noticed that if I go a couple of nights without it, it does start to show. The whole area under my eye does look brightened and a less tired. Definite re-purchase in my opinion and would highly recommend it to anyone!
What eye cream do you use?
How do you deal with the dark under eye circles?

Monday, 1 October 2012

Pretty With A Punch Got A Facelift!

So you may (or may not!) have noticed that my blog has had a complete make over recently! Gone is the standard blogger template and in its place it a beautifully designed new template along with new font and colour scheme!
The lovely new look of Pretty with a Punch is courtesy of the lovely Felicity from Pursuit of Felicity.  I had seen she'd done a make over on another blog I read and back in August I contacted her to see if she could do anything with mine. When I first set up my blog I had to learn a lot about Blogger by reading forums online and I also had some help from some fantastic bloggers. But I felt I had done all that I could without some help with the technical side of things, like changing the template, fonts and adding bits and pieces here and there.

When I contacted Felicity she was brilliant and gave me all the costs upfront with what she could do for my blog. She set a date to start work on my design and also how long it would take her - she kept to this schedule exactly! She was wonderfully professional and set me some initial homework to provide her examples of what colours, fonts, design and layout I'd like. Then she pretty much did the rest! I then received a mock up of her design and was able to give feedback about things I wanted to change and what I was happy with.

We emailed back and forth about the finer details (plus a picture for my welcome portrait) and finally I emailed her my log in details and she installed the new face of Pretty with a Punch all the way from the other side of the world in Australia!

I'm so happy with the result and feel my blog is now a lot more user friendly as well as being more personal and individual to me.

I would highly recommend Felicity if you're thinking of having any work done to your blog, whether it just be a few changes or a complete overhaul. She's super friendly and creative, not to mention an absolute gem!

Thank you Felicity!! xxx

- Pursuit of Felicity -

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