Friday, 24 April 2015

Gemporia: Ratanakiri Zircon 9K Gold Ring* Review | Jewellery

Hello everyone! I hope you had a lovely week! Today I'm very excited to be reviewing this beautiful 0.29ct Ratanakiri Zircon 9k Gold Ring* that was very kindly sent to be by the lovely team at Gemporia. Until recently, I had never heard of Gemporia, however I was soon sold by their wide array of styles, gemstones, metals and designs, as well as the encouraging brand ethics behind the sourcing of those materials. Not only does the brand work closely with the communities where the gemstones are sourced, (the stone of this ring being from Cambodia - how cool is that?!), getting actively involved in localized charities that support the health and education of those sourcing the materials, the brands ethos stresses that "beautiful jewellery shouldn't cost the earth", which I think is a wonderful attitude to have (and is quite a clever slogan!). The prices are absolutely amazing for the carat weighting and precious metals used, yet the quality doesn't at all suffer which I think is absolutely admirable as it makes the luxury of fine jewellery a lot more accessible to those of us who would like to treat ourselves to something special, but can't afford to fork out serious dollar. Unfortunately, I'm not able to wear high-street jewellery as the high acidity in my skin means that I'm prone to getting green fingers (eww!), so I'm always on the hunt for good quality precious metals that are budget friendly, which is why I'm so excited that I've now discovered Gemporia and their fabulous range!

What I love most about this ring is that it's small, delicate, and discrete, but it shines so brightly making it appear a lot more expensive than it is - some of my friends even thought they were diamonds! As soon as I unveiled it from it's little velvet pouch I just squealed with joy as it's exactly what I've been looking for and I think it'll make a lovely addition to anyone's ring collection. 

Whilst some might not like the thinness of the metal band, I personally love this, and I think it ties in perfectly with the ring stacking trend that everyone seems to be loving right now! I've worn this on it's own, and stacked with the other gold rings that I own; which is great because most of the time I don't have the patience or minutes in the morning to fiddle around trying to see what jewellery pieces will go together and with what I'm wearing. I just love how universal it's design has proved, and it just goes with everything which is fabulous! Again, I think that it's universal nature would make it a great gift for someone as I can't see anyone not liking or at least not finding use out of this ring!

What I also love about Gemporia is that they have a very generous 30 day money back guarantee, alongside frequent sales and live auctions where you can watch the prices of some seriously fine quality rings plummet during those temporary periods. What I love about this is, not only do the live auctions teach you a little info behind the value of gemstones in general, but you can treat yourself, without feeling at all guilty, with the reassurance that you can return if you decide you don't like it (Although, I somehow can't see that happening!).

Despite being an avid ring and general jewellery lover (more so than make-up - EEK, I know), I've never featured or talked about any of my pieces before and I'm not really sure why. Nonetheless, I was especially thrilled to work with Gemporia because, as stated above, I totally admire their positive nature towards providing good quality materials, and their inspiring attitude towards aiding the communities where they source their materials which I feel is especially important when working in developing nations, and something that I wish all companies would do. Also, I think that it's great that after all that, they still manage to keep their pricing affordable so I think it will appeal to many of you guys who are perhaps on a tighter budget or might be looking to treat yourself but don't want to splash out a serious sum of money!

Overall, I really love this ring and am so happy that it is now part of my collection, and I hope you enjoyed this entry too! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the ring I chose, or any others that you are eyeing up for yourself (I think it's safe to say that I'll definitely be making quite a few purchases from Gemporia in the future!) I really hope you all have a great weekend 
[ where there is currently 20% off everything at: (yaaaaay!!!) ].
Hannah x


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Cougar Beauty Products: Perfect Pout Lip Plumper* | Review

Hello everyone! I hope you've had a lovely week thus far! Today I have another product review for you, this time focusing on the 'Perfect Pout Volume and Shape Definition Lip Plumper'* by Cougar Beauty Products. Since Kylie Jenner came on the scene I feel as though it's become almost 'trendy' to plump up your lips at least a little. I have to admit, I am definitely not one for lip plumping as it's all too much fuss for me, and I haven't had much success in the past. I always used to hate liquid/gloss methods of lip plumping as I could never deal with the way that type of product would make my lips feel - y'know, all tingly and like they're on fire? Nevertheless, when Cougar Beauty Products contacted me to see how I'd like their lip plumper, I thought I'd give it a try - and oh am I so glad that I did! 

The 'Perfect Pout Volume and Shape Definition Lip Plumper' comes in a small tube packaging which means it's brilliant for carrying around when you're on the go. What I also like about the packaging is the applicator isn't the typical 'smear your lips all over this' type which usually makes this type of product disgusting after only a few of uses. Rather, this lip plumper possesses quite a precise applicator. I put a few dots of the clear liquid formula along my lips and just rubbed my lips together to disperse it evenly - no sticky packaging or fingers necessary thank you! 

Firstly, the best thing about this product for me is that the blood vessels in my lips don't feel as though they're exploding like a million suns as other products of a similar type have done in the past. It's soothing, and tastes a little like peppermint which is just lovely and actually feels quite refreshing when applied to the lips. I find that my lips did enlarge slightly, only slightly though, but to be honest I like that. My lips are already big enough for my liking, and I only really wanted a bit of omphh to the sides of my top lip which I feel this lip plumper achieved beautifully. I was left with plumper, fuller lips - but the effects were subtle. I like a natural look, which is why this worked for me so well. However, if you're wanting something that makes your lips ten times bigger then this isn't the one for you. 

Not only did it add subtle volume to my lips, my lips were left feeling soft and 'plump', as in the healthy kind of hydrated 'plump' which made it a pleasure to use. I felt as though I was wearing a gloss that just made my lips look simply better. On the product description, Cougar Beauty Products states that the Volume and Shape Definition Lip Plumper contains: "Vitamin E for antioxidant and moisturising properties, Corum and Pepper mint for heating and cooling sensation – creates a tingling effect." Whilst my lips did indeed feel moisturised, and I did experience a unique, soothing sensation, I didn't experience much tingling - which, as stated above is why I liked this product so much.

After a few minutes, it's glossy texture sinks into your lips ridding the lips of any shine, however, what I don't like about this product is the residue it leaves is a little too sticky for my matte lipsticks. I could still apply creamier lipsticks perfectly, but the mattes were just a big no no. That's my only tiff, and the price. I wouldn't pay £25.00 for this product. As mentioned earlier, it isn't really in my direct interests to try and plump up my lips because I do have prominent-enough lips for my liking anyway. In saying that though, this is the only lip plumper I've ever tried and liked, and it comes in efficient packaging which means that it will last a long time. You only need the tiniest blob and there's 10ml of product there so if you're in the market to try a new lip plumper that's both volumising and moisturising, I would say that this is worth the money when considering the amount you get. However, if lip plumpers are something that you're new to, and/or something you're just wanting to experiment with, I'd opt for a cheaper one! 

Overall, I really enjoyed using this product. I love that it didn't make my lips go all crazy and feel weird, and I love that the results were very natural looking, yet, there was a noticeable difference to the shape of my lips.
What do you use to achieve that 'plumper' shaped lip?
Hannah x

Friday, 3 April 2015

Lush 'Ultrabland' Cleanser | Review

As promised, today I'll be reviewing the all famous, yet vastly overlooked 'Ultrabland' (< link) from Lush - described as an 'Ultra-simple and ultra-effective' cleanser, which I have to say, is totally spot on. As stated on Lush's website, 'Ultrabland' is based on an ancient Greek formula for cold cream, which doesn't really sound all that enticing, but I really do feel that the simplicity of this cleanser is what I love most about it. Ultrabland is an emulsifying cleanser, giving it a thick, butter-like consistency. It includes a variety of natural oils such as rosewater, alongside beeswax and honey which grip onto any dirt and make-up on your face, breaking down even the most stubborn of mascaras (Benefit 'They're Real' I'm looking at you!) giving you an intense, satisfying cleanse. However, what's special about Ultrabland is that unlike a lot of other powerful make-up removers, it doesn't leave your skin feeling at all tight or stripped. Instead, you're left with smoother, plumper and healthier looking skin. 

This cleanser only has ten ingredients in it, which I have to admit made me doubt it a little at first. I think the main three ingredients that I feel have had the greatest effect on improving the condition of my skin are: almond oil - which hydrates the skin; honey - which acts as a natural antiseptic and exfoliator; and rose water - which I found helped calm any irritation and smooth any rough areas on my face. Not only does this cleanser deep clean, as well as lightly moisturise and exfoliate, it also claims to rebalance problematic skin within just four weeks of use and I'd definitely agree with that statement.

My skin has never looked this good (or at least, since I was a little girl). Whilst some redness still lingers around my nose, chin and cheeks, the level or redness has gone down considerably, and the general condition of my skin has moved from what used to be very oily, highly contrasting combination skin, to what I'd now consider normal most of the time. I do still suffer the odd dry cheeks and shiny nose, but they are no where NEAR as bad as it used to get. I really do feel that the moisture in my skin has become a lot more balanced over the past few months and there is no doubt in my mind that Ultrabland has played the greatest part in this transformation. I've had so many compliments on my complexion since I've integrated this cleanser as part of my daily morning and evening routine, and people have noted that I now have much brighter, 'glowing' skin which is just lovely as a dull complexion is always something that I've struggled with.

When using this cleanser, you only need to apply a small dollop to dry skin, then massaging it in in circular motions. Soon, the warmth of your fingers builds and it's butter-like texture turns into a clear oil that starts to break down and grip onto your make-up and any other dirt on/in your skin. When I feel that all of my make-up has been broken down, I simply grab a warm soaked flannel to wipe off the product and voila! All gone. I tend to go in with a second massage of Ultrabland after having removed my make-up, and leave it on for ten minutes whilst I brush my teeth and get read for bed to enable my skin to really benefit from the goodness of the natural ingredients inside. Since I've started doing this, the positive effects of this cleanser have vastly increased. I think just using something that requires you to massage it into the skin alone has had a beneficial effect on my skin because it really ensures that you're using a cleanser that is penetrating into the surface of, and clearing out your pores. Once again, I'll then lightly rub off the cleanser using a warm flannel, and most often or not I won't use another product on my face before bed apart from moisturiser and/or a serum. Even then, because this cleanser is so hydrating, I often find that if I leave it on a little longer than ten minutes that I don't even need to use a moisturiser afterwards as it's just so hydrating.

I just thought I'd mention here - the reason why I'll only use a flannel when removing this particular cleanser is because I've found that the rough surface of a flannel is far superior at picking up Ultrabland's thick consistency. A lot of people have in the past complained that this cleanser leaves a thick 'grease' like residue on their face but I honestly just think that's where they're using something much less abrasive to remove the cleanser such as a cotton pad or muslin cloth. Even though Lush themselves recommend that you remove Ultrabland with a cotton pad, I really wouldn't because it just doesn't take the product off your face (or I found that it didn't at least). 

Even though the smell can be off putting at first, I'd whole heartedly recommend that you at least try a sample of this cleanser. It really is 'ultra-simple and ultra-effective'. My skin is clearer, more balanced, brighter, and more hydrated. Whilst is hasn't fully got rid of any acne, blackheads or redness, it has vastly helped in controlling those impurities on my face and even though something so thick can appear nothing but daunting to fellow sufferers of clogged pored, do NOT be afraid of this. It really doesn't clog the skin at all and that is coming from someone who usually finds that as a real problem. I have been using this cleanser once-a-day at the very least since mid December, and it is by far the most effective cleanser I have ever used, despite its soft, gentle nature. I can confidently rub this into my eye area without worrying about potential irritation, and the simplicity of it's base, consisting of mostly natural ingredients is just amazing considering it has had far greater effects over other cleansers I've tried that rely a lot on chemical ingredients. Overall, I'd say this is an extremely underrated cleanser and one that deserves a LOT more attention - especially seeing as it's extremely affordable at £11.50 per 100g, which lasted me three months despite using it averagely two, sometimes three times a day during that period.

I'm sorry this was such a long review, but I honestly can't stress enough how much I'd recommend that you try out this cleanser. Even though I only picked it up during mid-December last year, I'd go as far as to say that this was definitely one of, if not my best skincare discovery of 2014.
PLEASE go and pick up a sample to try - I promise you won't regret it! (Access product here)

Hannah x


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