Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Nominated For A Liebster Award...

Hello lovely people! A little while back I was nominated twice for a Liebster award by the blogging lovelies that are: Nyss from Miss Nyss Beauty Magpie & Bec from Right-Up-My-Street.

I hadn't heard of this award until people had nominated me but the word 'liebster' is an endearing German word that means dearest or favourite. The award itself is an award for bloggers with under 200 followers who deserve some recognition, who can then go on to nominate other bloggers for this award.

It's lovely to be nominated and I can't wait to nominate others for this award (below)!

There are a few rules for those nominated to follow:

*  Post 11 random facts about yourself (this is stated on some rules and not on others, but you might want to do it just for fun :)). I did a recent (ish) post on random facts about me, so I thought I would link it here.

* Answer the questions that have been set for you by whoever nominated you for this award.

* Choose 11 bloggers with under 200 followers to nominate for this award, link them in this post and let them know they have been nominated by commenting on their blog/tweeting them.

* Create 11 new questions for your chosen bloggers.

* No tag backs.

Here are my answers to the questions Nyssa set for me:

1- How long have you been blogging for and why did you start?

I started blogging in June 2011, shortly after I started making videos on YouTube. Through YouTube I got to know other vloggers, aswell as people on Twitter who blogged aswell as vlogged or who just blogged. I generally like writing, so I thought this would be something I'd like to do and I did like the idea of not only getting to express my opinion on certain things but getting to know people through blogging and the opportunity of working with companies. I like everything that comes with blogging; getting to know some lovely people, working with companies, expressing my opinion and there are some amazing opportunities that come with blogging. I take pride in my blog and in the fact that I am honest within my posts and only work with companies if I am generally interested in such item/product that they have to offer, whether it be good or bad within my review/feature.

2- What is on the top of your beauty product wish list?

Hmm, at the moment it isn't anything too expensive to be honest. I like using cleansing waters and there has been a lot of hype about the Bioderma cleansing water. So I am waiting for it to come to my local Boots so I can get some with my points :).

3- What would you do if you won the lottery?

If it was a big time, life changing win then I'd pay off any debts, including any my mom, sister and dad have, along with Si's fam aswell. I'd give them some to spend too. Then the first thing me and Si would do is pay off all our wedding stuff, including a honeymoon (if we won before the marriage) and then travel the world :). Ooh good's gotta happen one day, right?

4- Do you wear make-up every day?

Not every day, no. If I'm just around the house, sometimes I just wear moisturiser, but other times if I'm feeling a bit 'bleurgh', I will use a BB cream. When going outside the house I usually wear make-up, but again there can be days when I'm feeling good and just wear a BB cream. It depends on how I'm feeling.

5- Is there one product that you wouldn't want to live without and think everyone should try?

Ermmmm, since using it I've been absolutely loving Maybelline's Dream Fresh BB Cream. I've re-purchased it a couple of times (basically every time I've run out) and I think it's fab. I love how lightweight it is, it is oil free (which I tend to love in any beauty product) and its coverage is pretty decent, maybe with a little concealer in certain areas over the top. Sometimes I just wear this on its own if I want a bit of make-up on but not too much. I would definitely recommend people try it. You can buy it from Boots here for £7.99.

6- What is your favourite type of blog post to read?

I do like personal posts, not because I'm nosey or anything, ha :-o, but because I think they invite you to get to know a person better. Sometimes, personal posts can strike up a convo and a great friendship. I like hauls aswell, I like to see what's out there and especially kitsch, quirky hauls with unique items. I love things that are a little different!

7- What is the most you have ever spent on a beauty product and what was it?

I think the most I have ever spent on an individual beauty product is £33 and that was for Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua foundation. I have only bought it once, but loved it and will definitely re-purchase it, probably so I have it for my wedding.

8- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Ooh this is a hard one as me and Si love travelling and we have been to some lush places. America would be a major choice in this decision, maybe Los Angeles or California. It would be hard being so far away from family though, espesh my mom. I'm still getting used to being just 20 mins down the road from her ha ha!

9- Do you prefer Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?

On the whole, I prefer Summer, without a doubt.

10- What are you most looking forward to this year?

Well a big thing has already happened this year, two things actually: we have moved into our own place and booked our wedding abroad, so earlier on this year those were two things which were exciting and I was looking forward to. Now I am looking forward to organising everything to do with our wedding really, we have also got a few special occasions to go to this year, weddings mainly (one where I am a bridesmaid :)), so we are looking forward to those too. It will be good to see Si starting uni aswell to get into teaching.

11- Do you have a guilty pleasure, if so, what is it?

What some people call trash TV is a guilty pleasure of mine, I love all the reality shows! Baby food aswell, I like eating it, but it feels wrong. I also love Yorkie bars and a cuppa t of an evening as a treat...dip it in, chocolate melts, eat it, melts in mouth, mmmmm!

Here are my answers to the questions Bec set for me:

1- What is your favourite fashion mag to read?

My favourite fashion mags are Now, Company and Grazia.

2- What is your favourite social networking site and why?

Twitter! I love the easiness and straightforwardness of Twitter and just feel it's a great place to connect with other bloggers or vloggers, aswell as companies. I suppose Facebook does the same but I don't like Facebook in general to be honest and hardly go on there for my personal profile. My Twitter is separate though and was set up for what I do in terms of blogging and writing and of course general chat with lovely peeps :).

3- What was your latest high street purchase?

A few weeks ago I bought a few plain and bright pocket t-shirts from Primark, just because I don't have many casual, loose t-shirts and wanted some with the hot weather to tuck into shorts/skirts.

4- How did you first start and get into blogging?

This question is similar to Nyssa's first question. See answer above :).

5- What are your plans for the summer?

My plans for the summer at the moment are to continue doing things to our new flat, organising wedding stuff for our wedding next year, continue to blog (more!) and go to loads of parties and weddings that are coming up :).

6- What is your job status and position?

My trained vocation is as an administrator, particularly in the care and unemployment sector. At the moment though I am working freelance, as a writer. Now I am living within the centre of our town, I do want to try and find something else part-time, whether in admin or something different, maybe just retail. It's just finding a job for starters and then finding a job that I can enjoy and be happy in. I know sometimes you can't be picky, but it's important that you enjoy where you work and are happy there the majority of the time, there's no point wasting your life being miserable in a job. Been there, done that and never again. I am not naive in any way, I know most people go to work not wanting to, but there are some people that enjoy where they work and that's what I mean and hope to find.

7- What is one make-up piece you couldn't live without?

Probably Maybelline's Dream Fresh BB Cream or Collection 2000's Lasting Perfection Concealer. Love these products! Has anyone else used them?

8- Topshop or Zara?

I think I'd choose Topshop, mainly because we have one in our town centre, so I do actually go in there. I haven't been in a Zara for yonks and don't tend to shop online that much, especially not at the mo...trying not to splurge cause of our wedding!

9- What is your favourite thing about blogging?

I enjoy getting to know lovely people, mainly via Twitter but other platforms too. It's a fab feeling knowing people follow your blog or follow you on Twitter because they are interested in your blog and what you write about. I also love getting comments, they make my day and I love replying. So, my favourite thing overall is the lovely people you get to know/meet through blogging/getting your blog out there.

10- What is the first song on your I-pod/music playlist?

I'm looking on my I-phone, as it's right next to me. The song is...'About A Girl' by The Sugababes.

11- Do you prefer outfit posts inside or out and why?

Erm, I don't particularly mind to be honest. I suppose outside there can be some beautiful surroundings and I have seen some gorgeous backgrounds. Overall, I don't mind though. I wouldn't not look at an outfit post because it was inside, put it that way :).

My nominees
Laura from Elle Dees Beauty
Alana from Alana Gets Healthy
Charlotte from Blot And Reapply

My 11 questions for my nominees
1- What one piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to start blogging?
2- If you could only do your make-up or hair every day for the rest of your life, which would you pick?
3- What's your favourite scent?
4- What's your favourite drink (soft or alcoholic)?
5- Bikini or swimsuit?
6- What's one thing you are proud of doing in your life?
7- What's your favourite savoury or sweet dish?
8- What's your favourite type of post to write?
9- Large group of friends or one or two really close friends?
10- What's the best thing that's happened for you since blogging?
11- What's your favourite film?

Don't forget to comment below with the link to your 'Liebster Award' post, I'd love to read your answers! You can tweet me aswell @GemsGemz86.

Thanks lovelies!
Gem XxOo

Friday, 2 August 2013

Pick Of The Bunch: Cleansers...

I do enjoy using a cleanser and properly cleansing my face rather than using baby wipes/make-up wipes. Don't get me wrong I do use them occasionally, just for convenience really and there are some really nice ones out there with aloe or camomile in them that seem to be lovely for my skin, but overall I do prefer and enjoy to use a proper cleanser.

As far as I can remember, before I started blogging I just used to use wipes. Obviously I washed with water, but in terms of getting make-up off, I am sure I just used wipes. I can't remember using any proper facial cleansing products before I started blogging :/. Naughty girl I know some of you will say! Ha. Anyway, after reading recommendations and trying out cleansers, using vouchers to lower the cost of a cleanser or receiving cleansers to try out, you can imagine I've tried a fair few now!

I wanted to do this post just to put out there some of the cleansers I have tried and the good points aswell as any bad points I've found with them! I am going to be including cleansers that I have continuously been using, i.e have finished the bottle, maybe re-purchased and have had enough time to see if it works for me.

FaceB4 Daily Cleansing Foam

Some of you might have heard of FaceB4 but if not it might be because it's quite a new brand. Their cleansing foam is a 2 in 1 which consists of a cleanser and a toner. They come out as one product but you can see the two separate bottles when you look underneath the bottle (see picture below). The formula of the cleanser has been dermatologically tested and kills bacteria, tackles blocked pores, reduces excess oil and helps prevent spot and blemish breakouts. Following extensive independent tests, results show that this cleanser is proven to be the UK's most effective anti-bacterial wash. It is said to expertly kill the spot causing bacteria 'propionibacterium acnes' and beats, hands down, all other leading anti-bacterial face washes currently sold in the UK (these results are based on a tester group of 250 males and females and compared/tested against 17 well-known leading skincare brands for problem skin).

Initially when I received this the first thing I thought was how cool to have a cleanser and toner in one, which could potentially save money but of course time. I always feel with problem skin products that I can't really review them to their full potential because I don't have really bad, problem skin. I know there are people out there that have skin that affects their confidence and finding something like this that could really work for them is a god-send. I have redness and the occasional breakout, which is usually hormonal, so luckily I don't have to deal with spots on a daily basis. I'd love to hear from anyone who unfortunately does and has used this product! Anyway, the product is designed to help 'prevent' spots and blemishes, so I still thought I would trial it and see what I thought. I feel for a good enough amount to cleanse your face, a couple of pumps are needed. One pump I didn't think was enough and not only this the formula isn't thick and it doesn't have a lot of consistency to it, so it does literally feel like you're putting nothing on your face. So a couple of pumps is ideal and the foam is light, airy and doesn't have any weight or heaviness to it when you put it on your skin. I wasn't sure about this aspect as I like something with a bit of texture and feel to it normally when it comes to cleansers. I guess I like the luxurious feel of a cleanser without the price tag!

During my time using this cleanser, I did still break out but like I said it was always hormonal. I don't know the ins and outs but I feel rather than bacteria, these are triggered by something else. However, I may be wrong! There's a lot going on at the moment aswell with moving into our own place and organising our wedding abroad for next year, so stress may have been on the cards a little. However, I will say that these breakouts didn't seem to 'stick around' for as long as they might have done, which is always a bonus as putting make-up on when having a breakout is a mare and one doesn't like it, ha ha! It's fragrance free and it doesn't dry your skin out, especially when used in combination with its second stage to the cleansing process product, which is the FaceB4 After Cleansing Serum.

The soothing, rejuvenating serum contains vitamins A, B, B5 and E to help maintain spot free skin. I must admit I did really LOVE this product, so much so that I would re-purchase it (I haven't run out yet as a little goes a long way). It's hard to explain but at £14.95 each from Boots, I wouldn't necessarily re-purchase the cleanser, simply because I don't really have 'problem' skin to the point where I need anti-bacterial products that much. Also when looking for or re-purchasing a cleanser, I tend to go for the price point of £10 or under. However, the serum is almost like a moisturiser and I really noticed a difference when using it!

The serum still helps to prevent blemishes but I think more so when using it with the FaceB4 Daily Cleansing Foam. I used it in the morning after cleansing with their cleanser and last thing at night after cleansing with their cleanser and it kept my skin smooth and soft all day. When I woke up in the morning, I almost felt like I didn't have to put any more product on, my skin was that soft. It also feels quite cooling in a way, it feels like your skin is taking a deep breath of air, it's a really nice feeling! Although both products are fragrance free, I did feel the serum had a slight smell to it which is hard to describe :/ but once on the skin no smell was noticeable. I loved how the serum made my skin look radiant and bright and enhanced my features. When putting this on in the morning before my make-up it seemed like it acted as a highlighter on my cheekbones, it added a nice glow. It's not greasy at all, I really did like this product. The cleanser is 100 ml and the serum is 30 ml and both are £14.95 from Boots, they are also suitable for all skin types. You can see more information about both products on their website. FaceB4 products aren't tested on animals.

Pro Formula Radiance Hot Cloth Cleanser (Tesco)

I am a fan of hot cloth cleansers and one of my faves has always been the Boots No.7 Hot Cloth Cleanser. I have re-purchased this several times, it works great for my skin and I really enjoy using it. I have written a review previously on this, which you can see here. The Tesco Pro Formula Radiance Hot Cloth Cleanser didn't fail to meet my expectations, it was thick and luxurious, smelled great and had added green tea and vitamins for skin benefits.

The Tesco Pro Formula range has products to suit all skin types and the radiance range is for normal/combination skin with added green tea which prevents premature ageing (bonus!). It is designed to cleanse and purify the skin, whilst providing gentle exfoliation when used with the muslin cloth, removing the last traces of everyday dirt and make-up. The cleanser is hypo-allergenic and contains Vitamin E to protect and repair the skin. Boots No.7 Hot Cloth Cleanser is usually about £9.95, where as this Tesco version is just £5 and honestly it feels just as good. It does come with a muslin cloth aswell, so you aren't missing out there. It didn't break my skin out (which I always worry about with trying out new products so often), didn't dry it out and left it feeling clean, make-up free and baby soft :). I love the smell of it, it's probably because of the green tea, which I like to drink anyway, but it smells almost herbally.

I always feel with hot cloth cleansers that it's like you're in a spa, getting a facial. I love it! I've also been using their Radiance Tired Eyes Roll On, which is just £3 (15 ml)! It's lovely when kept in the fridge to perk you up a little and refresh around the eyes. It also has added green tea, so will help with any early fine lines you might have around the eye area and keep you looking young. It's lovely and cooling!

The cleanser is 150 ml and like I said is just £5 from Tesco in-store or online (I can't seem to find it online atm). These products haven't been tested on animals.

Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser and Biore Warming Anti Blackhead Cleanser

I had to include both of these Biore cleansers because I couldn't pick a favourite, but in this nice weather we are having in the UK at the moment, the ice cleanser is AMAZING! As you are using it, it cools your skin so when you wash it off you get an instant oomph of freshness! It's like when you have a strong mouthwash and you spit it out and you're like 'wow!' Don't get me wrong I like the above cleansers but when it comes to feeling extra clean, this is a fab product. Although you feel clean with the above cleansers you don't feel cool and vibrant clean if you get my drift. It feels like you're having a deep cleanse from within! You'll have to experience it to understand what I mean but at £3.74 (200 ml) from Boots I think it's a steal for how it makes your skin feel. It removes over 99% of dirt and oil that can cause blemishes and contains the blemish fighting formula, salicylic acid. It is also oil free, which I personally love in any beauty product! When using this I really noticed a radiance within my skin, which just encouraged me to use it more and repurchase it!

Image courtesy of Biore.

The Warming Anti Blackhead Cleanser on the other hand is just as good but the total opposite of what I've described above. This cleanser has a self heating formula that warms as you massage it into your skin to open pores and cleanse away any pore clogging dirt or oil. It's lush and when washed away you feel so fresh and like you've had a real DEEP clean. Again, when using this I can see a difference, I love that with products but then again who doesn't?! For there and then noticeable results, these two products are bang on in my opinion. This cleanser is also £3.74 (100 ml) from Boots, what a bargain!

Image courtesy of Biore.

I feel the ice cleanser has more in it than the anti blackhead cleanser because it is more for everyday use, where as the anti blackhead cleanser could be used once a week or so to deep cleanse and open and clean your pores. It works to remove over 90% of dirt and oil from the skin's surface and helps to reduce skin flakiness in just a single use, it is also oil free! I love these Biore products and I feel that for the price you are getting a really good product and treatment every time you use it. These cleansers are also ones I have re-purchased because I like them so much. They have a whole product range that you can read more about on their website. These products aren't tested on animals.

So, for now those are the cleansers (and some accompanying products) that I've been using recently!

* What are your thoughts on any of the above if you've used them?

* Otherwise, what is your go-to cleanser that you love to re-purchase?

Thanks for reading lovelies!
Gem XxOo
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