Glo & Ray – A Review

 

Now, I certainly don’t claim to know all the beauty brands, and I definitely – despite my best efforts – haven’t tried them all.  So, when I was recently introduced to Glo & Ray, I would liken the feeling to that of a child on Christmas Day.  New toys to play with! Glo & Ray are a UK based company, and are available to buy online They offer a good selection of products, from CC Creams and foundations, to eyeshadows, lipsticks and makeup remover.  Their prices are a little more towards high-end products, rather than high street.

 

Glo & Ray

 

The products themselves feel high-end though.  The packaging is sleek and smart, and reminds me of Nars, but without the dirt-grabbing rubberised finish.  The eyeshadow quad is heavy and solid, and the lipstick is – dare I say it – sophisticated (not that I know the first thing about being sophisticated, mind).

 

 

Glo & Ray Mariposa Quartet Eyeshadow Twilight Nude 403

The Mariposa Eyeshadow Quartet in Twilight Nude (£12.50) is a shimmery little quad, in lovely neutral colours.  The shadows themselves are soft and easy to blend.  As much as I love shimmer shades, I do need at least one matte that can be used as a transition shade, so I can’t do a complete eye look with this quartet. Of course, they can be used alone to create a more natural daytime look – which I have done with great success.  However, with the addition of a matte shade, and perhaps another colour entirely, is where they really can add depth and interest.

 

Glo & Ray Lasting Sky Breaker Silk Eyeliner Champagne Pink 302

The Sky Breaker Lasting Silky Eyeliner in Champagne Pink (£5.50) is a neutral, but far from boring, liner.  It could do with being a little softer and less glittery, in my opinion, but the colour is very pretty. If you like to just draw a line and leave it then this eyeliner would be perfect.  I prefer a more messy un-done look though, and like an eyeliner that is easy to smudge, which didn’t really work with this formula.  I have tried it as a base for eyeshadow and found it a little hard to blend, so it is probably best used in the traditional way.

 

Glow & Ray Creamy Matte Lip Colour Venus 610

In contrast to the relative hardness of the eyeliner, however, is the gorgeously soft La Amo Creamy Matte Lip Colour in Venus (£12.00).  Firstly, the colour is just the perfect nude; not too pink, not too brown.  If you have read any of my previous posts,  you will know that I struggle with lipsticks.  My lips can be dry and sensitive, and I have yet to find a formulation that ticks all the boxes.  This little guy comes pretty close though – it is creamy, long-wearing and comfortable on the lips.  It survived through my lunch, without being clingy and drying.  And did I mention the colour?!

 

Overall, I have been really impressed with the little corner of the Glo & Ray world that I have tried.  I would recommend that anyone wanting quality products (errr, isn’t that everyone?) that aren’t tested on animals, give the range a try.

 

What about you, have you tried anything Glo & Ray?  What did you think?

 

*This post contains PR samples.  All opinions are entirely my own*

 

 

 

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H&M Beauty – Bath and Body Care

I have purchased both beauty products and body products from H&M in the past, with mixed results.  I love the powder blushers that I own, for example. On the other hand, I can’t say that I cared for the body mists.  The scents were nice enough, but just not potent enough to last any length of time.  Being the forgiving person that I am (mostly – I still refuse to shop at one particular high street store after they hacked me off nearly two years ago) I decided that I would give H&M another chance to wow me with their newly launched body products. I was placing an order online, so I had to rely on the descriptions, rather than my nose.

H&M Midnight Muse Body Scrub; Caribbean Crush Body Lotion; Caribbean Crush Body Scrub

The packaging is fairly simple; plastic tubs and bottles with paper labels stuck on.  Not exactly high end, but then again neither are the prices, and the contents more than make up for the lack of glossiness. The H&M Caribbean Crush Body Lotion and Body Scrub smell simply amazing, like fruity coconut cocktails on the beach.  The body scrub is very gentle. It is not really ‘scrubby’ enough for me, but I can see that some will love that it is not harsh.  The granules are a little bit too few and far between for it to feel like it is really sloughing off all the dead skin.  The body lotion though? Yum.  Apart from smelling good enough to eat, it leaves my skin feeling super soft and hydrated without any sticky or slimy residue.  I can apply after a shower and get dressed immediately.  Perfect for hot summer mornings (I think – if we actually have one of those I’ll let you know for sure).

The Midnight Muse Body Scrub  has a slightly ‘darker’ scent (I will warn you right now that describing smells is not my strong suit).  It is fragranced with vanilla bean and amber, and has the same rice and olive granules that the Caribbean Crush has.  Again, not for those wanting a really good scrub in the morning, but I think it would be great for sensitive skin.  Overall, I think the body products are fantastic value (£3.99 each for the scrubs, and body lotions )  H&M also offer other scents; in addition to richer body creams for £5.99.

I also purchased some makeup products, which I will be sharing with you very soon.

 

Have you tried anything from the new H&M body range? What did you think?

 

 

 

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Lush T’eo Solid Deodorant Bar: No Sweat?

First just a little warning: if you find it unsavoury to be discussing sweat and body odour on a (mainly) beauty blog, then you may want to stop reading now.  Or maybe you have an aversion to the word ‘armpits’? Oops, sorry.

Anyway. I can’t say I was specifically looking for a new deodorant when I stumbled on this funny little bar on the Lush website.  The reviews for the Lush T’eo Deodorant Bar were mostly positive though, so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try something a little more natural for a change.  After being mesmerised for about five minutes by the video of someone applying the deodorant, I decided to buy it.

 

Lush T'eo Solid Deodrant

 

Lush do describe it as an Anti-perspirant, but I can’t agree with that; it definitely doesn’t stop the sweat.  The idea is that it soaks up the sweat, and therefore nasty odours, with the all natural ingredients.  The bar itself smells like fresh lemons, and it’s solid but flaky, so expect a bit of fallout.  It can be a little bit scratchy on the old pits too.  This doesn’t bother me because it is short-lived, but it may aggravate sensitive skin.  Being dry and a bit dusty, when it is rubbed on the armpits it does leave a white layer behind.  This can transfer to clothing when dressing, but brushes off easily enough.  On the plus side though, there is no drying time – so no sticky pits! Yay!

Most importantly though, how does it perform? My main concern was that it would not cope with sweat effectively, with it being summer, and with me being a sweaty betty.  However, I have found that it manages extremely well.  Yes, there is still sweat (sorry), but I have noticed no odour whatsoever.  I have used it every day for over two weeks, and in that time I have walked; energetically cleaned the house; worked out, and chased kids around.  All with plenty of sweat (look, I’m trying to be honest here) but no smell, other than lemons.  I am seriously impressed with the T’eo deodorant, and I cannot see me giving it up in the near future.   Especially knowing that Lush products don’t contain any nasty chemicals, and are not tested on animals.

 

Have you tried a natural alternative to the humble deodorant?  If so, what has worked for you?

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Latest in Beauty – Capital Beauty Box

Latest In Beauty , if you are not aware, is a little different from the usual beauty box.  They offer individual boxes, instead of an ongoing subscription. There are usually around 6 boxes to choose from, containing both full sized and sample sized products. This particular box was put together with Capital FM, and is the Best of Summer box, apparently containing all the must-have beauty products for the summer.  I purchased this at the reduced price of £9.87.

 

Latest In Beauty Capital FM Summer Beauty Box

 

What’s in the Box?

Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Balm – Berry (full size)

A slightly tinted lip balm, that offers SPF 15.  The colour is a sheer glossy pinkish red. On first impressions, I can definitely smell the Shea butter, mixed in – weirdly – with the scent of Vicks VapoRub. I’m not sure how I feel about putting that on my lips….

 

Carmex Moisture Plus Berry Sheer Tint

 

 

Carmex Moisture Plus Berry Sheer Tint Swatch

 

Colab Sheer and Invisible Dry Shampoo – Paris Floral Fragrance (50ml)

Dry shampoos are a staple in my world, not only to refresh day old hair, but also to add texture when styling.  I often find though, that the fragrance is too strong and will give me a headache half way through the day, so I am looking forward to trying this one out. I have also heard great things about Colab.

 

Colab Dry Shampoo Paris Floral Fragrance

dr.organic Organic Dead Sea Minerals Bio-Plasma Mud Mask (100ml)

This looks like a typical mud mask; thick and grey.  It promises to be anti-ageing, detoxifying and rejuvinating.  I will definitely be giving it a try: I am very anti ageing, and I could do with being rejuvenated.

I Love….Perfectly Peachy Bath & Shower Creme (10ml)

This is a sample size, and is in association with CoppaFeel.  The sachet comes complete with tips to check yourself, and warning signs to look out for in the breasts.

 

I Love...Perfectly Peachy and dr.organic Dead Sea Mineral Bio-Plasma Mud Mask

Fudge Urban Hair Art Spray – Violet Haze (125ml)

Now this.  This is an instant colour spray for the hair. It is a fun way to add some temporary colour to the hair, without making a full commitment. My husband once told me that if I dyed my hair purple he wouldn’t be able to look at me, so next time I need some peace and quiet, I’ll be reaching for this little can.

Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish – Mercer Street (8ml)

I love a good Gel nail polish, and although I have tried other Nails Inc polishes (with great results) I have never used one of their Gel polishes.

Fudge Urban Hair Art Violet Haze and Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish Mercer Street

 

Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Ultra Radiance – SPF 30 (100ml)

I’d like to say I’ll give this a go.  However, I think the one day of sunshine that we enjoy in the UK has already passed me by.  This is a good size bottle though; perfect for popping in a bag for a day at the beach.

 

Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection SPF 30 (2)

 

Malin & Goetz Trio – Cleanser, Moisturiser and Lip Balm (10ml, 10ml and 5ml respectively)

I have actually used these products before, as samples free with a magazine.  The lip balm is lovely, and I love to apply it before I put makeup on, then by the time I get to lipstick I am fully hydrated. It acts as a perfect base for lipstick, if you suffer from dry lips.  These little luxury sample sizes are also great for a weekend away.

 

Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Cleanser, Vitamin E Face Moisturizer and Lip Moisurizer

 

MUA Mega Volume Mascara Waterproof Black

MUA Mega Volume Mascara (full size)

I am really looking forward to trying this, as part of my ongoing quest to find the perfect mascara.  Maybe this will be the mascara that will stop me in my tracks and give me long, fat, fluttery lashes.

 

MUA Eyeshadow Palette - Poptastic

MUA Eyeshadow Palette - Poptastic Swatches

MUA Eyeshadow Palette – Poptastic (full size)

I have two other MUA eyeshadow palettes, and they are both fantastic quality, so I hope this will be a great addition to my eyeshadow palette addiction collection.

Overall this is a great value box, especially at the discounted price.  Personally, I like the surprise element of subscription boxes, which you don’t get with Latest in Beauty.  However, as a way to get hold of really excellent samples (and some full sized products) to try out, I think it is fantastic.

 

What do you think, have you tried any of the Latest in Beauty boxes?

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Models Own Chrome Eyeshadow Palette : A Review

If I remember correctly, the first time I saw the Models Own Chrome Eyeshadow Palette was on Instagram.  I pretty much decided I wanted it then and there, which is a daily occurance in the world of Joyful Things.  It took me a little while to track it down, but track it down I did.  Models Own is only stocked in Superdrug stores, and online (here and here).  My local Superdrug didn’t have it, so eventually I purchased it online.  I have had a chance to have a little play, and thought I would share my opinion here with you.

 

Models Own Chrome Palette-2

 

Models Own Chrome Palette

Although the actual palette is much smaller than I expected, it is excellent quality for the price (£5.99). It is good and solid, and closes with a satisfying click.  The six cool toned cream shadows range from a very glittery white, to a deep brownish bronze.  Being creams, the chrome eyeshadows are not the most user friendly.  The colours are soft, highly pigmented and blendable though, and I think it is worth the extra preparation to use them.  I would recommend anyone with lids that are on the oily side priming the eyelids properly, in order to minimise creasing. I don’t suffer from oily lids, and, even after setting with a powder shadow, I found that I had more creases than a pair of linen trousers on a hot day.

 

Models Own Chrome Palette Swatches

 

Some may consider the metallic colours a little too much, but I personally love them all.  I am not someone who shies away from glittery eyeshadows – I proudly wear shimmer on my eyes on a daily basis.  This is probably breaking all the rules – because I have moderately hooded eyes, and because I am over 25 – but I genuinely don’t care.  Life would be pretty boring if we followed the rules all the time wouldn’t it?

So, if you are looking for some bright shimmery eyeshadows for a very reasonable price, and aren’t opposed to using creams, then I don’t think you will be disappointed with the Models Own Chrome Palette.

Tell me, have you tried this eyeshadow palette, and did you like it?

 

You may also want to read: My Top Three Eyeshadow Palettes

 

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Review: Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara

I have been on the lookout for an amazing mascara since the beginning of time.  Not to brag, but I am blessed with pretty decent lashes, however that doesn’t mean I don’t want them even bigger and longer. I have yet to find the perfect mascara, but that certainly doesn’t deter me from excitedly buying new ones every time I enter a makeup selling establishment.  My latest purchase is the Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express (here)

Maybelline Colossal Volume Express Mascara

Maybelline claim it will give colossal volume (9x the volume no less), with no clumps.  This mascara, although perfectly acceptable, did not give me colossal anything, and not even 2 times the volume, let alone 9 times.  The brush is quite large and nondescript, the formula is quite wet (and therefore heavy) and the smell is weird.  In fact, the scent is so strong I can smell it when it is on my eyelashes – which just seems so wrong.

  Now, generally speaking, I am a huge, you could even say colossal *snickers*, Maybelline fan.  I always gravitate towards the Maybelline stand before anything else when shopping, and would probably use my last £10 on something from them, over any other brand (assuming the kids didn’t need, like, food or anything).  So, I was disappointed that the Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara did not live up to Maybelline’s claims.

Having said all this, the price is decent (£6.99) and for someone with shorter lashes it may actually work. That may sound odd, but my lashes – although long and dark –  don’t hold a curl well (unless I go sans mascara).  Because of this I prefer a slightly dryer formulation that gives me length and fatness, without weighing my eyelashes down.  Maybe I will wait until this one dries out a bit more, then perhaps we can be friends.

In the meantime though, the search continues.

Do you have any mascara recommendations? Please let me know below! Or tweet me!! @JoyfulThings_J

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Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask – A Super Hydrating Face Mask

 

Who doesn’t love a good face mask? It can be a great way to relax and unwind, while giving your skin a much needed treat. I like to have a collection; sheet masks, moisturising masks, clarifying masks.  You name it, I’ve tried it.  My favourite at the moment, though, is the Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask.

 

Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask

 

It is described by Clarins as being specially designed for dehydrated skin.  The texture is more like a night cream, and it smells fantastic (although sensitive skin types may want to give it a miss).  The idea is that you smooth a thin layer on, leave it for 10-15 minutes, then wipe the excess off.  Fairly typical for a face mask really.  I like to apply it in the evening, after cleansing and toning.  My dry skin drinks it up, and there isn’t usually anything left to wipe off.  The difference with this creamy mask is that it is so light it doesn’t leave a greasy or sticky residue; it simply plumps and hydrates. By the morning I look like a new person.  Well, maybe just a well-rested version of myself.  Because it isn’t heavy, it doesn’t cause blocked pores and spots either.  One downside is the price (if only everything were free….*daydreams*) but a little goes a long way, so – depending how generous one is with it – a full sized tube would last a very long time.  I only have the little sample size (15 ml) and have used it multiple times, and have yet to run out.

If you are suffering from dry dehydrated skin then the Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask could be for you.

 

Do you have a favourite skin treat? Let me know in the comments below!

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A Luxurious Deep Clean – Clarisonic Mia 2

There are some purchases in life that are impulse buys: see it, want it, buy it. Then there are others that, for whatever reason, require a little bit of research first.  For me, the Clarisonic Mia 2 falls into the latter category.  I spent approximately 98 years researching it before I went ahead and dropped a ridiculously large amount of money on my very own sonic cleansing brush. I did manage to use a discount code, so didn’t pay full price.  But still.

 

Clarisonic Mia 2

The Clarisonic brushes are designed  to deep clean the skin so well that fine lines and pores are less visible, and  all products will be absorbed even better.  There are a variety of brush heads, for all types of skin, from oily to sensitive, and even a ‘Cashmere Cleanse’ brush head for mature skin.

I have the sensitive head on mine, and it feels very soft and the bristles are flexible.  My main concern, other than the eye-watering price, was that it would be too severe for my (sometimes sensitive) skin.  I have never had any sort of negative reaction, although I wouldn’t recommend using the liquid cleanser that Clarisonic provides – it’s just nasty.

Although the Clarisonic brushes are not technically exfoliators, the Mia 2 leaves my skin clean, soft and glowing.  It isn’t a chore to use either – and this comes from someone who wishes that their skin was self-cleaning – I would actually describe it as pleasant to use.  It’s quite relaxing, like a mini facial massage.  To use, simply wet the brush and face, then put the cleanser on the brush (any sort of foaming/ creamy cleanser will do), or directly on to the face.  Turn it on (duh), and then using circular motions, gently rub the brush over the forehead for 20 seconds;  then chin and nose for another 20 seconds; then each cheek for 10 seconds at a time.  The Mia 2 has a timer, so will buzz when each time period is up, so no counting is involved. It is -apparently- gentle enough to use twice a day, and is -definitely- waterproof, so can be used in the shower.

I mainly use mine on the evenings when I have worn a full face of makeup (removing eye makeup first), because I feel confident that it will deeply clean.  The proof is in the pudding (err, I mean cotton wool pad); when I follow up with toner, the cotton wool comes away clean, without a trace of foundation on it.

 

How do you get a deep clean?  Do you think expensive gadgets are necessary, or just a waste of money?

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A Tool to Make Washing Brushes Less of a Chore? Yes Please!

 

Hands up if you hate washing your makeup brushes… I realise you can’t see me, but my hand is waving madly in the air.  I really dislike doing it, and the thought of it actually makes me a little cross.  Ridiculous? Probably, yes.  Anyway, while browsing Amazon looking for something completely unrelated, this intriguing little gizmo popped up in my recommended items. This tool has made washing my make-up brushes easier, and slightly  less painful.

 

DSC_0135
The BrushEgg

It is a little rubber sleeve that fits over two fingers, and it can be used to aid the cleaning of brushes.  The process couldn’t be simpler; just pop some soap/brush cleaner/baby shampoo on the end of the brushes (or directly on the BrushEgg) and rub it over the little grooves on the flat side of the rubber egg-shaped tool.  It creates a lovely lather, and all the grime and makeup can be washed away never to be seen again.  There were no instructions included (I like instructions, they are my friend), but according to the item details on Amazon, the technique is to create lather with the little nubbins (that is the technical term, in case you are wondering) on the end, and then use the grooves to agitate the bristles and give them a good clean.

 

DSC_0140

 

Using it is a little awkward; it is a pretty tight on two fingers, but too spacious for just one.  I was doing a mass clean when I used it, so it did get a bit uncomfortable towards the end of the process.  It definitely made cleaning my brushes easier and quicker though, as opposed to rubbing each brush on the palm of my hand, as I usually would.   There doesn’t seem to be any damage to the bristles, although it is quite soon to say for sure if regular use will be too harsh. The best thing about this tiny tool though? The price: find it for between £1 and £5 online.  This one cost me £1.40 from Amazon. It really is a good egg (yeah, I went there).

 

Have you ever tried anything like this? Do you use any other useful tools for the dreaded task of brush washing?

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Review: Soap & Glory

I shared with you recently my first impressions of a couple of new moisturisers.  I thought I would share a more detailed review, now that I have a feel for them.

 

L-R Speed Plump, For Daily Youth
L-R Speed Plump, For Daily Youth

 

Speed Plump:   Soap & Glory claim that this moisturiser will actually smooth out lines and wrinkles.  I wish that this were the case, but I guess that is a bit too much to ask for a £13 product.  However, this is a really nice moisturiser, that creates a soft, glowing base for makeup.   It smells great, is light (despite being formulated for dry skin) and it is very pleasing to apply. The name suggests it will leave skin plumped and hydrated, and that is exactly what it does, in my opinion. It somehow keeps my afternoon oily forehead under control, while also hydrating my dry bits all day long.  Speed Plump is one of the nicer day creams I have used in my time, and I may well repurchase it when I have finished this tube. I have been slightly afraid of parabens for a long time, so the fact that this cream is a paraben-free zone makes me very happy.  All in all a great find.

 

For Daily Youth:  I have been using this as a night cream, because the Lush serum bar that I had been using had a little accident.  Alright, if you must know, I left it on the windowsill and it melted.  Now, usually I like a nice rich night cream – which For Daily Youth is not – so I wasn’t sure if it would be too light.  However, I have found it to be just right for the summer, particularly after my post workout shower, when I don’t like to feel too hot and slimy (it takes me a good hour to cool down properly, even after showering.  Nice). It also smells like peaches and cream, which makes applying it a joy. For Daily Youth contains lots of hard working ingredients, and apparently ‘features our exclusive SUPERLUMINOUS™ BIOPEPTIDE COMPLEX ‘, along with ‘HIGHDRATION™ 365’ which quite frankly sound made up, but I would say that it softens and hydrates, so I am happy.

 

Have you ever tried and Soap & Glory skincare?  What is your favourite daily moisturiser, or night cream?

 

 

 

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!*