Coffee Skincare | botanicES Caffeine Skincare Review

I love coffee. I love the taste of it, I love a caffeine buzz, I love the smell – basically a warm flat white in a takeout cup is like a giant hug for me. So when I received a package from botanicES Natural Caffeine Skincare range, I was so excited I bounded to my Nespresso machine and popped a Kazaar in like a boss.

Anyway, what I received was three 15ml bottles, one face cream, one eye cream and one body cream. They have pumpy lids which I LOVE, as my last eye cream was a tiny pot from benefit and I spent 90% of the time I used it scraping excess cream out of my baby finger nail. So yeah I eventually concluded I’d rather have wrinkles.

But the botanicES eye cream was super easy to apply, and was really light and not at all ‘claggy’. I’m actually really keen to use eye creams regularly as looking after your skin from a young age is totes important, and ya know I’m staring down the barrel of 25 in one month’s time, so I really need to up my game.

I’ve had pretty good skin all my life, so I can’t comment on how the creams react to problem skin, but if anything mines a little dry, and it definitely helped give me a more hydrated, plump look. When I asked my boyfriend if I looked younger he said ‘yeah you looked like 19 the other day’. So you know, there’s a credential if ever you’ve heard one.

After applying the face cream and eye cream morning and night, and the body cream to my legs because, ya know, chlorine legs ain’t cute, my skin defo feels softer, and maybe this is weird but it feels like my foundation sits better and has better staying power. botanicES has given me a great even base to build on, without overpowering skin that’s genuinely just ‘normal’.

PLUS, the small bottles still last ages, and they’re perfect for traveling.

Only downside, they didn’t smell like coffee as I expected, but they do have a light, non-synethetic smell which probably comes from the olive and coconut oils in the base. It’s really nice to see coffee skincare in a form other than a scrub. I love love love coffee scrubs, yes you Frank, and you Lush Cup o’ Coffee, but these serum like skincare babes are the perfect addition to my collection.

Off to fire up the ol’ aeroccino for a foamy Voluto.

Ciao xx

Thank you botanicES for the products and Shopping Links for the collab. 

botanicES Eye Creme

The BEST Mascara I’ve Ever Had – Topshop DOE EYED LASHES

Hi all. Big news in the world of Coco. I recently gave up my eyelash extensions. *cry* After eighteen months of waking up and not applying any eye makeup, of having random strangers ask me how I got my lashes so perfect, of managing to avoid the dead eyes look on a hangover, I had to accept the harsh reality that it was also eighteen months of bleeding my bank account dry over a simple beauty non necessity. Something had to give, and sadly, it was the lashes. I let them all fall out, and began my hunt for a mascara to fill the void. My faith in mascaras is generally pretty low, but it seems after eighteen months away, things have actually improved!

I have always really liked Topshop’s makeup range, and find it is actually miles ahead of some premium brands in the beauty aisle, considering its a brand extension of a fashion retailer, and the prices are pretty reasonable. I had their original mascara, back in the day, but since then they’ve released a few. I really feel like I’ve missed some serious developments in my time away in lash land! I went for the DOE Eyed Lashes mascara, purely based on my usual investigation of how appealing the brushes look in the testers. It was £10, so a real bargain, and its really fantastic. I’m so glad that the first one I tried was perfect, and really works with my lashes. I always find that my lashes really struggle to stay curled up and voluminous all day. They can look great as I leave the house, but two hours later they’re flat and straight, and it looks like I’m barely wearing any at all. But two coats of this mascara holds me for several hours. Sometimes I touch up in the afternoon, but its not always necessary. It doesn’t smudge, but still comes off with wipes really easily. Overall, a 10/10 from me! I would definitely recommend it!

Here’s some photos of how well it worked for me. Give it a try for yourself!

First thing in the morning after two coats:

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At the end of a busy day:

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Homemade Hair Mask!

So, while I adore summer and have, in recent years, gone from ms slim shady (a shade fanatic) to a complete sun worshipper, my pet hate is the condition the sun leaves my hair in!!! This week, we popped down to my hometown in Bournemouth for some time on the beach and to visit my parents (yes, a meet the parents visit for poor boyfriend. Luckily my ex-cop father was too busy to meet. I definitely felt him breathe a sigh of relief at the news!). Anyway, upon returning to the big smoke, my hair positively resembled the cuisine of a fine donkey. Yes. Hay. Wirey HAY. The birds nest on my head carried more salt than my local chip shop, and my sand laden strands made me look like I had somersaulted through the Sahara. This, combined with a week in Lanzarote where while avoiding the sand attack thanks to the lack of beaches, I didn’t use conditioner on my hair at all, had left me in a knotty mess. I thought about dashing to Boots and buying a hair mask for some deep conditioning, but I find they rarely do more than my normal conditioner, so I turned my investigations to natural hair masks made from things I probably had in the cupboard at home.

After some google searches and a fridge and back-of-cupboard audit, I chose an amalgamation of honey, egg yolk, olive oil and avocado, which was great timing as I had half left from my lunch and was quite frankly panicking about what to do with the other half as I was on the clock before the inevitable browning commenced. So, as they say, two birds.

The ingredients apparently serve these functions, as far as my investigations have lead me:

Eggs – Use the yolk for dry hair, and the whites for oily hair, or the entire egg for normal or combination hair. I used the yolk for my haystack.

Honey – Honey is a natural humectant, so it traps and locks moisture, so its a great lift for sun damaged hair.

Avocado – The oils in avocado resemble the natural oils in our skin and scalp much more than any chemical packed product you’ll find in the store. Its perfect for taming and smoothing hair. I will tell you though, it is a real challenge to get out of your hair if there are ANY lumps in your mixture. Mine was quite lumpy, and I was picking the lumps out in the shower during my rinse. For the least hassle at rinsing, try and smooth the avocado as much as possible, into a paste.

Olive Oil – As you probably guessed, this one moisturises your hair and scalp a treat, though go easy if you have an oily scalp already.

Its as easy as that! Some mixtures I looked at used specific quantities, but I opted for a ‘squeeze of this and dollop of that’ method, and it worked fine! A splash of oil, a squeeze of honey, half an avocado, and one egg yolk. Mix everything into a bowl, smooth together, and apply to your hair right from root to end, and massage into the scalp, and leave for around 15 minutes, or as long as you can, and rinse. Its best to rinse with lukewarm or cold water, especially if you’ve used eggs, as the heat in hot water will cause them to cook, and you’ll have scrambled eggs forming in your hair. While it sounds hilarious, I can’t imagine its funny if it happens to you!

My hair felt instantly softer as I was rinsing, its been seriously tamed down and is much more manageable. I’m going to try and do one of these once a fortnight to keep it moisturised during the heatwave!

Have a good week ahead!

Ciao

Coco xx

#LashTag!

Happy humpday, everybody! Its Wednesday, and for those of you in the 9-5 world, its all downhill from here! Though I must address my dislike of this saying. It is richly marinated in ambiguity. I always thought it meant it was downhill from here, as in, downhill, getting worse. But as it turns out, it means the uphill struggle that kicked off 60 hours ago on the devil’s waiting room we call Monday, is over.

Anyway, today’s post is about EYELASHES, more specifically, lash extensions. I find this a topic open to great ridicule. You’ve got your haters (those who have either tried and hated, or who are repulsed by any word that is succeeded by ‘extensions’ – hair, nails, and so on), your veterans (like myself, who had them put on, took to them like a duck to water, and have never looked back), and the observers (those who either are oblivious to the fact that they exist – my dad, and every other male on the planet, really – or those who are fascinated by them but don’t know whether to join the craze).

I have to say, personally, they have changed my life! I first had a full set put on about a year ago, and have fallen completely in love with my natural looking, long lashes. Without sounding immodest, I get compliments on them all the time, and its a real time saver in the morning. I’ve been subject to extensive ridicule as to how much I pay for them, but I opted to go for Lash Perfect ones, which are quite pricey (£85 for the first set, and infills at £25-29, depending on therapist, every 3-4 weeks), but I love them. They work for me, and I loved my salon I got them done at, which, for the record, is Aphrodite in Westbourne, Bournemouth (just in case there are any South Coast readers out there!). I’ve seen both success stories and horrific failures of people who get other brands done elsewhere much cheaper, but I would love to hear about any lash extension experiences you have, and I will tell you why just now.

As you know I recently moved back to London, and I used the Lash Perfect salon finder to find somewhere in my local area to continue the upkeep of my pride and joy lashes. I found a lovely salon, who listed “Top Ups” as £22, so I thought I had hit the jackpot, and had found them cheaper in London of all places. Well. Take note. I’ve no idea what top ups refers to, but it does not mean monthly infills. Turns out they booked me in for a half set, which was £55!!! I must admit they were done beautifully, but £55 every three weeks is a complete joke, when I was getting the exact same lashes put on for less than half the price back home. I’m not usually one to succumb to the naivety that comes with London pricing, but really. Over double the price?! No siree!

Has anybody tried any other lash brands that are good?! Here are pictures of my lashes at the moment (this is about 10 days after infills, so they aren’t at their absolute optimum, but they’re okay). I need to find somewhere new, either for Lash Perfect, or for a new brand that still gives the natural look of these ones, instead of the tacky, fake, strip lash look that some give!

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Share your lash extension experiences in the comment box, or with me on Twitter @Scrambled_Emma!

(My twitter name isn’t doing a great job of protecting my blog alias, but its so much hassle changing it! My arrival on the bandwagon of OOTD hasn’t done the mystery any favours either though, )

Lots of love

the ever inconspicuous, Coco

This or That!

I was recently tagged by Golden and Sheen for the this or that tag, so here we go!

Make Up
Blusher or Bronzer:
Bronzer, definitely. It warms up any look, and there are so many different types to choose from. NARS Irrisistiblement is my fave!
Lipgloss or Lipstick:
Hands down, lipstick. I wear it almost every day without fail, and I think if you carry only one makeup item, it should be a lipstick. It completely transforms your face and can brighten you up any time.
Liner or Mascara:
It would have to be liner, as I don’t wear mascara because I have lash extensions!
Foundation or Concealer:
Without wanting to sound immodest, I’ve never really been cursed with too many blemishes, so I’m not really an expert on concealers. A good foundation sorts out my uneven skin tone, which is my biggest problem. I’m currently using Dior Airflash Spray On Foundation in shade 201. Its fantastic.
Neutral Eyeshadow or Colour Eyeshadow:
Neutral. I used to wear colours when I was younger but now they just cringe me out! I love earthy palettes like Urban Decay Naked.
Pressed or Loose Eyeshadow:
Pressed. Definitely. The inevitable face sprinkle that comes with loose powder is enough to put me off!
Nails

OPI or China Glaze:
I haven’t used China Glaze….I’m actually sinking in my seat as I am going to admit I haven’t heard of it. And here I am calling myself a nail expert. Oh the shame!
Long or Short Nails:
Short! Long nails break and snag my favourite clothes!
Acrylic or Natural:
Natural
Bright or Dark:
I like a bit of both really. I often do dark colour on four nails and a bright accent on the fourth finger.
Flower or No Flower:
No flower.
Body
Perfume or Body Spray:
Perfume. My designer faves are
Calvin Klein – Euphoria
Calvin Klein – Downtown
Marc Jacobs – Honey
Chanel – Coco Mademoiselle
But i’ve recently discovered high street perfumes that are really nice, too. Next’s £8 MILAN fragrance is gorgeous, as is Zara’s £12.99 range.
Lotion or Body Butter:
Lotion. Butters are too heavy for me.
Body Wash or Soap:
Body Wash. I love the body shop pink grapefruit range. Its so refreshing.
Lush or Other Bath Companies:
I’m kind of over Lush. I was obsessed with it in my teens but then I realised I was collecting an embarrassingly large collection of good-enough-to-eat bath bombs, and never actually using them. I think its one of those things. Its a good idea for gifts and first time buyers, but not a brand I would stick with.
Fashion:
Jeans or Sweat Pants:
Jeans!! Topshop Leigh and Joni are my saviours.
Long Sleeves or Short Sleeves:
I don’t like my arms much, so long sleeves. I think there’s something really elegant about a long sleeved dress or blouse, too.
Dresses or Skirts:
Dresses
Stripes or Plaid
Plaid, definitely. Stripes look great on some people, but not me.
Flip Flops or Sandals:
Sandals, mainly. Flip flops are for pool runs on holiday and thats it! Sandals are much prettier for every day wear.
Scarves or Hats:
I love hats but don’t have the confidence to wear them.
Studs or Dangly Earrings:
For some reason dangling earrings make me look chavvy! Seriously. They do. People laugh at me when I say it, and I’ve been branded ridiculous on several occasions, but if you could see me in them, you’d know what I mean.
Necklace’s or Bracelets
Necklaces. I always lose bracelets and they aren’t on show as much as necklaces. Statement ones can transform something plain.
Heels or Flats:
I would have to say heels, though I loathe wearing them really. I am 5’8″ anyway, so even with smallish heels I’m not far short of 6 feet tall! Hardly ladylike!
Jackets or Hoodies:
Jackets
Hair
Curly or Straight:
I alternate. I love straight hair, but mine is naturally wavy, so its my effortless style.
Bun or Ponytail:
A bun
Bobby Pins or Bufferfly Clips:
Bobby Pins
Hair Spray or Gel:
Hair Spray
Long or Short:
Long, definitely. I’d love to have really long, thick natural hair, but until then, I’ve surrendered to extensions!
Light or Dark:
I’d love to be blonde, but I’m going to rep the brunettes and say dark!
Side Sweep or Full Bangs (Fringe):
Full fringe!
Up or Down:
Down.
Random
 
Rain or Shine:
Shine
Summer or Winter:
Summer
Autumn or Spring:
Autumn
Chocolate or Vanilla:
Vanilla
I’ve tagged:
Tammy at Cheap Vogue
Bethany Jade at Birds Words
Sophie at Sophie Etc
Coco xx

September Glossy Box

Its that time of the month again. The time that brings Glossybox to my door, full of beauty goodies for me to try! This month’s box has by far been my absolute favourite…I can just tell I’m going to love all the products. Usually I wait until I’ve tried them to blog about them, but I have just this moment torn it open and I can’t wait any longer to share it with you!

This month was the British themed box, and lord knows I love anything and everything British. Red white and blue plastered smothered all over the box exuding patriotism as it engulfed the beauty goodies inside. Here’s a little peek…

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Clockwise from bottom:

Be a Bombshell Eyeliner Pen

Eyelure Preglued Lashes

Rimmel Blush Liquid Cheek Tint in 004 Sunkissed Cherry

Elizabeth Arden Untold Eau de Parfum 5ml

Tony and Guy Shine Gloss Serum

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Reviews to follow as and when I’ve tried them all!

Have a fab weekend xx

VINYLUX – saving the world one nail polish at a time

Okay, so, this is my second attempt at reviewing VINYLUX for you all. I wrote out a beaaaaautiful post yesterday, pictures sorted, links sorted, THE LOT. And what happens?! OH YEAH, wordpress deleted the whole thing. Cheers then! This is the thing with all this fancy technology. Its fabulous when its working, but the second it doesn’t – yes, I admit it – I throw my toys out the metaphorical pram and have a good old paddy. Hence why its taken my 24 hours to flush away the frustration and actually type the whole thing again.

So…here we go!

Last Thursday I purchased VINYLUX nail polish. For those who haven’t heard about it yet, its basically like Shellac, but without the lamp, as it hardens itself when exposed to natural daylight. You can also remove it with normal nail polish remover, without having to take a tedious trip back to the salon to have your nail beds hacked at with various scraping tools.

You buy the top coat, and then you can use that with any of the colours. Each bottle is priced at around £10, generally, and they’re all 15ml. I picked up a pinky colour called Gotcha #116, and I found it really lovely.

APPLICATION

You apply two coats of the colour (no base coat required), and then one coat of the top coat, and leave to dry. I found it dried pretty quickly, and didn’t smudge or gloop about at all.

DURABILITY

I have taken a picture of my nails on each day after I applied the polish, so you can see how well it held up under pressure. It endured a drive to London and back (95 miles from the South Coast), two pretty hard nights out (and the accompanying ‘getting ready’ process), countless tube and bus rides, a trek around Westfield, and the packing and unpacking of my suitcase. So, all in all, a pretty busy few days for a home mani to endure.

I was dubious about the product as I was wondering whether it was too good to be true, but I have to say I actually couldn’t be more impressed. Despite claiming to last 7 days, I only wore it for four, because my job doesn’t allow me to wear nail colour, so it had to come off, but it was still in such good shape by the end of day four I have no doubt that it would live up to its 7 day claim. If not more!

You will see a little chipping on my right index finger by day 3, but to be honest, my nail had broken a bit itself, so I’m giving the polish the benefit of the doubt.

day one

dayt wo

day three

day three chip

day four

REMOVAL

I was a bit worried because I had to remove the polish 10 minutes before my shift started, and I realized I hadn’t actually checked that normal remover would take it off! My beautician had told me it did, but the leaflet that came with it said it is best removed with CND’s own remover, so I started to panic! Luckily, my trusty beautician, Becky, was absolutely right. It came off really easily and didn’t stain my nails (even though no base coat is used!).

Overall, I was really really happy with this product. I would definitely recommend it to all fellow nail addicts (Emily, if you’re reading…I mean you!). It has revolutionized nail painting for me! If I was made of money I would replace all my colours I have already with VINYLUX ones, but sadly, with a collection of 100+ bottles, I can’t do that!

Check out all the colours available here. My next purchases, I think, will be Tropix and Azure Wish.

If you have any thoughts on VINYLUX, let me know about it!

I hope everyone made it through Monday!

All my love

Coco xxx