September Beauty Awards

Hi there! And welcome to Mrs Strawberry Blonde’s September Beauty Awards – a.k.a. my monthly favourites which I selected from all the products I’ve written about this month. As always, I’ve also thrown in a few honourable mentions. 🙂 Now, let’s get to the actual favourites!

3rd place – Superdrug Naturally Radiant Renewing Night Cream
Superdrug Naturally Radiant Night Cream
This night cream is amazing and I will definitely repurchase it. It makes my skin look fresher, it’s very moisturising and it smells great too. If you’re in the UK, you need to swing by Superdrug and buy this cream.

Runner-Up – Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel
Superdrug Naturally Radiant Clycolic Overnight Peel
If you want to brighten your skin with the help of glycolic acid and fruit acids, this is the product to try. This glycolic peel feels great on my skin and it makes my skin look considerably more refreshed. I didn’t notice and tingling, burning or redness – just amazing skin. If you buy the night cream, buy the glycolic peel too!

WINNER – Astor Lipliner Pencil 014 Bronze
astor-lip-liner-014-bronze-1
This is my favourite lipliner. Ever. I usually wear it on its own – yes, instead of a lipstick – because I love the colour and the finish. This lipliner is fantastic and I’m glad I have more than one. 🙂

Now on to the honourable mentions! I really liked Garnier’s Ultimate Blends The Shine Revitaliser Shampoo & Conditioner with lemon and green tea. Garnier’s hair products usually don’t impress me, so these two were a nice surprise. Another hair duo I liked was Harmony Hair Indulgence Herbal Shampoo & Conditioner with ginseng extract.

I also love Yves Rocher’s Apple Star Anise Refreshing Fragrance Mist – which I’ve been using a lot this summer. And I just found my new favourite peel-off face mask – the delicious Montagne Jeunesse Pineapple Peel Off Mask.

What are your favourite products this month? Have you used any of the products that I used? Feel free to get in touch. And thanks for reading!

Mrs Strawberry Blonde

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100% Awesome – Astor Lipliner Pencil 014 Bronze A.K.A. The Perfect Matte Nude Lippie For 50p

Hi there! Today’s post is about my favourite lipliner, Astor Lipliner Pencil 014 Bronze. I found this fantastic lipliner at Poundworld – where it was part of a duo pack (yes, that’s 2 products for £1). And in fact, I own at least 10 of these lipliners. Why? Well, each duo pack contained 1 lipliner and 1 nail polish. I know I don’t have to say any more, but I’ll do it anyway… of course they had lots of different nail colours, and (unsurprisingly) I had to have all these nail colours. So I ended up with lots of lipliners!
astor-lip-liner-014-bronze-1
Now why is this lipliner so amazing? Ha, that’s easy! Look at it! The colour is the most amazing nude bronze with the most amazing velvet matt finish I’ve ever seen. I love it! And because of this I usually use this lipliner on its own. Yes, I use it instead of a lipstick. And all I need is a bit of lip balm as a base, and then I can start filling in my lips with this lipliner.

Sure, filling in my lips with lipliner takes a little longer than applying lipstick. But once my lips are filled in, I don’t need to blot, I don’t need to layer, I don’t need to do anything else at all! So I think applying lipliner doesn’t take much longer than applying lipstick. In addition, this lipliner usually lasts all day on me. On the rare occasion that it doesn’t, I can give my lips a quick and easy touch-up. 🙂

I would definitely recommend you buy at least one Astor lipliner and nail polish duo pack the next time you’re at your local discount store. But before you switch to your new lipliner-only-routine, make sure you use lip balm to keep your lips soft at all times. If your lips are dry, the lipliner will settle in the lines which, obviously, isn’t a good look. But if you’re a lip balm addict (I am!), you’ll be fine. 🙂

Mrs Strawberry Blonde

100% Vegan & Cruelty-Free – Superdrug Clearly Youthful Blemish Treatment Gel

Hi there! This summer I’ve tried lots of new products that promise clearer skin. I bought every product in Superdrug’s Clearly Youthful range, and I’ve already reviewed 3 of those 7 products. So let’s look at product number 4, Superdrug’s Clearly Youthful Blemish Treatment Gel.

How does it work? You’re supposed to apply a thin layer of this gel to your spot(s) twice a day. And what does this blemish gel do? It promises to soothe skin instantly, to reduce redness within 4 hours, to clear up skin within one week and to prevent further outbreaks with continued use. Does it work? If you read on, I’ll let you know.
Superdrug Clearly Youthful Blemish Gel
The first thing I noticed about this blemish gel is its strong smell. It’s chemical and unpleasant. It stinks. When I applied the gel to a spot for the first time, it started to sting and burn. I admit that the spot may have been too angry already, but let’s be honest, aren’t the angry spots the ones we want to take care of the most?

I’ve applied this blemish gel to several spots over several weeks and I don’t think that it helped with the redness or that it soothed my skin. It also didn’t speed up the spot-clearing process. If anything, I think that the spots I ‘treated’ with this gel took longer to clear up and that the pinkish post-spot marks took longer to fade. I think that’s because this blemish gel aggravated my spots as soon as it came in contact with them.

I won’t be using this blemish gel again. In fact, I’ve already binned it. Based on my experience I wouldn’t recommend this product. I’ve read a few positive reviews about it, so it clearly works for some people. However, I’ll stick to my nappy rash cream to treat the occasional spot.

Superdrug’s Clearly Youthful Blemish Treatment Gel is available as 15ml for £3.49. I bought it for half price when it was on special. This blemish gel is suitable for vegans and it’s 100% cruelty-free – it’s BUAV-approved and it carries the Leaping Bunny logo.

Mrs Strawberry Blonde

31 Days Nail Art Challenge – But Not In 31 Days!

Hi there! I don’t know how many nail bloggers read my blog. But I’m sure there are a few. And I’m sure everyone who has more than a passing interest in nail polish has heard of nail (art) challenges. I’ve wanted to take part in those nail challenges for years, but redoing my nails and thinking up manis (from day 11 it becomes more difficult) on a daily basis is something that has always put me off.

But you know what? I can still do a 31 days nail challenge. I just won’t do it in 31 days – I’ll allow myself a few months to do it. You could say it’s my lifetime nail challenge! 🙂 I also won’t stick to the given order, but I’ll decide what I want to do with my nails when I want to do a new mani. I hope I won’t have to skip any of the day challenges, but I might have to. In any event, I intend to do them all.
coll-1
Now what’s the challenge? I know there are variations to the ‘original’ challenge, but since it was the original challenge that got me interested, that’s the one I’m going to do! 🙂 Unfortunately I don’t know who came up with the original nail (art) challenge, so I can’t credit anyone, but if you google the matter, you’ll find hundreds (maybe thousands) of bloggers who’ve done it.

OK, here it is:

1 Red Nails
2 Orange Nails
3 Yellow Nails
4 Green Nails
5 Blue Nails
6 Violet Nails
7 Black & White Nails
8 Metallic Nails
9 Rainbow Nails
10 Gradient Nails

11 Polka Dots
12 Stripes
13 Animal Print
14 Flowers
15 Delicate Print
16 Tribal Print
17 Glitter
18 Half Moons My Husband’s Polish Picks (base colour + top coat)
19 Galaxies
20 Water Marble

21 Inspired By A Color
22 Inspired By A Song
23 Inspired By A Movie
24 Inspired By A Book
25 Inspired By Fashion
26 Inspired By A Pattern
27 Inspired By Artwork
28 Inspired By A Flag
29 Inspired By The Supernatural
30 Inspired By A Tutorial

Encore:
31 Recreate A Favourite I – 5 Blue Nails
31 Recreate A Favourite II17 Glitter
31 Recreate A Favourite III – 19 Galaxies
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I’m not entirely sure when I’m going to start with this challenge. I already have my next nail post sorted, but I think I’ll probably start within two weeks from now. And I’ll also try my best to work a few Halloween-themed manis into the challenge.

If you’re wondering about the photos in this post, they’re not part of the challenge, they’re just photos of manis I did previously. They’re here because I wanted to give you something to look at in between all those words. 🙂 Oh, and I won’t recycle these photos for the challenge. I guess this would be cheating, so I won’t do it. So instead you’ll get to see new manis!

Anyone else who’d like to do the 31 Days Nail Art Challenge as a one-off lifetime nail challenge? If so, please let me know. And as always, thanks for stopping by!

Mrs Strawberry Blonde

Garnier Ultimate Blends The Shine Revitaliser Shampoo & Conditioner

Hi there! It’s been a while since I’ve touched Garnier hair products. That’s because Garnier’s The Marvellous Transformer (which I wouldn’t touch again if you paid me) and The Silky Smoother (which smells great – but that’s all it does) disappointed me big time.

But when I saw Garnier Ultimate Blends The Shine Revitaliser Shampoo & Conditioner for £1 each at a bargain store, I thought I’d give Garnier another chance. If you read on, I’ll tell you what the shampoo and the conditioner are like.
Garnier Lemon Green Tea
The shampoo is very nice. It feels clarifying, but it’s not harsh. It actually feels great on my head! The conditioner is surprisingly good too. I didn’t expect much, but it actually detangles my curls nicely. And this 200ml conditioner is already lasting me for longer than the 400ml Garnier conditioners I’ve previouly had. Well done, Garnier. Seriously, well done!

In regards to the fragrance, I think Garnier got it slightly wrong (again). I would have expected (and preferred) a fresher and cleaner fragrance (more lemon, please). Saying this, the faint green tea and lemon fragrance isn’t unpleasant at all. I just think that a fresh, cool and maybe even tangy lemon fragrance would have suited the theme and the colour of the products much better.

All in all, I would recommend these two products! Like I said, I was pleasantly surprised! Garnier Ultimate Blends The Shine Revitaliser Shampoo & Conditioner are available as 400 ml for about £4 each or 250ml (shampoo) and 200ml (conditioner) for about £2 each. But obviously the smaller bottles have hit the bargain stores, so you might as well do what I did and pick up your shampoo and conditioner for £1 each!

Mrs Strawberry Blonde

Never Again! The Ultimate Beauty Duds – Part 1

Hi there! I’ve tried and tested countless products in my life. Most of them were good, some were great, and some were disappointing. So I thought I’d to a Top 10 (in no particular order) of binworthy products. 🙂 OK, here we go!

10 Gliss Oil Nutritive Shampoo & Conditioner

These two products did smell amazing. But they made my hair feel and look greasy within hours after washing it. Not good.

The conditioner is one of the worst I’ve ever had. It robbed my hair of its elasticity and flexibility, and I had to double-condition after each wash because detangling my hair was like the new ‘Mission Impossible’. Fortunately the conditioner only lasted 7 days (yes, this means I emptied the bottle in 7 days). In the end I used the leftover shampoo to wash my scarves – well, it smelled really nice!

9 Paperchase Blackcurrant, Strawberry and Cherry Lip Balms

Paperchase Lip Balms 1We all love Paperchase, don’t we? Quirky cards, cute stationary, lots of geeky gadgets (I might show you my cat lamp some time), button badges… and lip balms!

Whilst these Paperchase lip balms were moisturising, they tasted like… plastic!

That’s not OK when they promise you blackcurrant, cherry and strawberry flavours…

I tried to use these lip balms because I didn’t want to be wasteful. But I had to throw them out.

8 Miss Sporty Morning Baby BB Cream 001 Nude Radiance

Miss Sporty Morning Baby BB CreamMiss Sporty’s BB cream. I’m still laughing about this one!

I bought this BB cream to use it as a primer. I find the majority of primers too drying for my dry skin. And as I have eczema, primers tend to highlight my dry patches.

Some women with dry skin use BB creams under their make-up. So I thought I’d try a cheap one to see how it goes. I think it’s fair to expect certain benefits from a BB cream – sunscreen, moisture, a natural complexion… And this BB cream actually claims to moisturise skin, to erase imperfections, to make skin look and feel smooth…

And what did it do? First of all, this products wasn’t moisturising. I found it drying. And it doesn’t contain sunscreen – ? This BB cream also didn’t cover up any skin imperfections. It highlighted them! Simple redness turned into shiny redness.

And at the same time this BB cream made my skin look orange. And on top of that, this BB cream balled up!

7 Original Source Skin Quench Pineapple & Coconut Oil, Peach & Apricot Oil, Watermelon & Jojoba Oil

These three shower gels sounded really promising. Last year they were brand new – and they were on special. So I picked them up. These shower gels share a single benefit – they’re actually moisturising, but that’s it!
Original Source Shower 01
The Pineapple & Coconut Oil shower gel smelled like… almost nothing. It’s very, very faint. And from what little I could smell I wasn’t impressed. Below average. The Peach & Apricot Oil shower gel was horrible. It smelled like furniture polish. I’m not surprised this one was discontinued quickly. The Watermelon & Jojoba Oil shower gel was the winner of the three – because it smelled OK. Still, the scent wasn’t special at all and it was very faint.

6 B. Pure Sensitive Micellar Cleansing Wipes

Superdrug gave these away for free if you spent £5 on skin care. I ended up with four packs because I bought several skin care products in several transactions. Yes, I know how to get multiple freebies out of a single promotion. 🙂 However, these micellar wipes for sensitive skin aren’t great. They made my face tingle in an unpleasant way and they’re definitely not suitable for use around the eyes.
B. Pure Micellar Wipes
Another thing that grossed me out is that these wipes leave a film on my skin. Why Superdrug thinks these wipes would replace a face wash and a toner, I don’t know. And why Superdrug thinks these wipes prep the face for moisturiser and make-up, I’ll never understand. These wipes leave a sticky film and this film really needs to be washed off!

I’m now using these wipes for swatches – so I use them on my arms only. And since then I’ve also noticed that these wipes leave a sticky film on my nails too. How disgusting is that? I think these wipes are useless at best because you need to wash whatever area of skin these touch anyway.

5 Poundland Make-Up: Make Up Gallery Colour Story Eyeshadows

Poundland ESI was so excited when Poundland launched its own make-up line. We were promised foundations, powders, blushes, lip gloss, eyeshadows, lipsticks and other make-up basics for £1 per item.

I ended up with one lipstick (the only wearable shade), one nail polish (glitter) and three eyeshadows.

The eyeshadows are rubbish. They’re chalky, they’re not well pigmented, and they’re not buildable at all. Definitely the worst eyeshadows I’ve ever tried.

4 Olay Regenerist Luminous Dark Circle Correcting Eye Swirl

Olay Regenerist Eye SwirlIf you read my blog regularly, you know I’m a total Olay nut. I love Olay. I’m an Olay girl!

So whilst I usually find Olay products excellent, this eye swirl disappointed me.

Olay Regenerist Luminous promises to fight signs of ageing and to make dark circles disappear.

Let me be clear, this eye cream didn’t do anything for me. I didn’t see any improvement in my fiine lines or my dark circles.

So whilst the shimmer particles in this eye cream reflect light and can make dark circles invisible, this effect is only temporary and it’s gone as soon as you cleanse your face.

Another problem is that eye cream is too rich. Because of this I couldn’t use it under my make-up. You could say ‘use a different foundation’, but I’m certainly not giving up on my holy grail foundation for an eye cream I don’t really like.

So in the end I could only use this eye cream on homeworking days (= when I don’t wear make-up) and before I went to bed. Not what I wanted or expected…

3 & 2 Sweet Snuggles Chocolate Vanilla Hand Cream & FCUK Pure Bodyspray

I lumped these two together because I tried (and disliked) them around the same time. And in the interest of recycling photos that I’ve already uploaded, I let these two stay together. Also, I don’t have these products anymore, so I couldn’t take photos even if I wanted to.
FCUK Body Spray & Sweet Snuggles Hand Cream
So, I really hated this hand cream. I used it once and it moisturised my hands well. But this hand cream had the most sickly sweet vanilla scent I’ve ever had the misfortune of smelling. The FCUK fragrance annoyed me just as much. The strong white pepper note reminded me too much of the raw meat smell at the butcher’s. And the drydown was all about violet and, again, sickly sweet vanilla. I just couldn’t stomach smelling these two products so they had to go.

1 MUA MakeUp Academy Matte Lipstick Lilac Belle

MUA’s matte lippies are probably the worst matte lippies out there. I’ve read a few positive reviews (?), but I can only guess the reviewers never had a decent matte lippie to compare MUA’s offerings with. Or they never actually tried the lippie. Or they found it rubbishy too, but didn’t want to be negative. Who knows?
MUA Matte Lipstick Lilac Belle
Now why is this lipstick so horrible? Well, this lipstick is very waxy. It’s almost impossible to apply it properly, it’s poorly pigmented and it’s drying. And because it’s so difficult to apply, my lippie broke off the first time I’ve used it. Rubbish!

So, this was the first edition of The Ultimate Beauty Duds. Like I said, the Top 10 weren’t in any particular order because I disliked all these products (more or less) equally. 🙂 I’m not saying that no one could ever like these products (some of them are probably still around). So if you do like any of these products, that’s good for you.

As always, thanks for reading!

Mrs Strawberry Blonde

100% Cruelty-Free – Montagne Jeunesse Pineapple Peel Off Mask

Montagne Jeunesse Pineapple Peel OffHi there! Let me tell you about my new favourite peel-off face mask, Montagne Jeunesse Pineapple Peel-Off.

This face mask works like all the other peel-off face masks out there – you apply it, you let it dry, and then you peel it off.

I think this mask leaves my skin feeling soft, clean and refreshed – which is what I expected.

However, I didn’t expect to fall in love with the fragrance. This mask smells absolutely delicious!

So if you love the aroma of pineapples, you need to try this mask. If you’re looking for a new peel-off mask, you need to try this one. If you’ve never had a peel-off mask, you should try it!

Another thing that’s great is that this mask is suitable for vegetarians, and that it’s BUAV-approved – it carries the Leaping Bunny logo which means this product is cruelty-free! So there’s no reason not to try this amazing face mask. 🙂

Mrs Strawberry Blonde