31 January 2014

Empties // December 2013 & January 2014

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With Christmas and New Years last month as well as 2013 favourites, my monthly empties post had sort of been forgotten about. I decided to pile two months worth of empties into one and I'll get back to normal for February.

When I'm writing my empties posts I always seem to say that I don't need to repurchase enter product name here as I already have a lot of others to use. I'm hoping that by the end of my spending ban I'll actually be able to say I need to go out an repurchase quite a few products as I'll have used finished a lot of products in my stash.

Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Scalp Mask  - Surprisingly I must have got about five uses out of this scalp mask when I thought I'd only get one use out of it. You dampen your hair and then apply the mask all over your scalp and leave on for ten minutes. This mask is designed for flaky scalps and I really notice a difference when I use this especially the eczema patches I have. Although it's called an exfoliating mask it doesn't contain particles like you'd expect so wont irritate sensitive scalps. Since my hair is already damp I use the Elasticizer by Philip Kingsley at the same time for extra benefit. I will definitely be buying another tube of this!

Original Source Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel - Why is it that I fall in love with all of the limited edition scents from Original Source? It was pineapple last year and now pink grapefruit this year. You can't beat these shower gels, they work great as a bubble bath and they all smell amazing. Needless to say I will forever be repurchasing these.

Inecto Pure Coconut Dry Shampoo - I got this dry shampoo in my July Glossybox and put it away in my stash as I don't often use dry shampoo. The night of my works Christmas meal I wanted to use one for volume and to refresh my hair so I reached for this one as I assumed it would smell nice. I go to spray it and nothing comes out, it didn't even spray any air!

Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser* - I really like the concept of this as I hate applying body lotion but I'm not a huge fan of the scent. It would be a lot better if the scent changed!. I would still buy it though, this one was a pr sample, as it's very moisturising and perfect for in the winter.

Boots Expert Build Up Removal Shampoo - Although this technically isn't an empty I thought it was about time it was thrown away as I'm sure it's out of date. I don't even want to count how many years I've had this as it's in the old packaging and they changed it at least a year ago! I used to love this back when I used a lot more products in my hair and heat styled it a lot. It's great to use when despite washing it, your hair just doesn't feel clean. Now though my scalp is extremely sensitive and dry that something like this would just irritate it so I won't be buying another bottle. I will do in the future though if my scalp changes!

Vichy Purete Thermale Micellar Solution - Although this micellar water from Vichy does not come close to being as good as Bioderma, it's still pretty good and up there in my top 5. It's removes make-up easily and doesn't irritate my skin. If it was on offer, I would buy it again but for now I'll stick with Bioderma. 

Phil Smith Dry Clean Dry Shampoo - I think I got this dry shampoo about a year and a half ago when Birchbox was still called Joliebox and I've only just got round to using it. So I reach for this one after the Inecto one not working and guess what, this didn't work either! I'm not sure if it's because I've had it for so long or it might have been a dud anyway but I wouldn't bother trying to buy another one and I'm going to stick with batiste. 

The Body Shop Olive Shower Gel - Despite hating the taste of olives, I absolutely love the scent of this olive shower gel. I used it in the mornings when I wanted a subtle scent that wouldn't mix with my perfume. This is another one I'd buy again but only if it was on offer. 

Seventeen Doll'd Up MascaraI had a voucher from Boots for a couple of pounds off this Seventeen mascara when it first came out so decided to give it a try and it's really impressed me. It sits in-between being a natural looking mascara and one that really makes your lashes stand out. It holds a curl really well and gives length and volume as well. It has a plastic wand which is what I prefer and no doubt I'll be buying another tube at some point.

Caudalie Hand CreamAlthough I didn't love the scent of this, unlike the first one I tried, I still love the formula and will be buying another tube again.

Antipodes Juliet Gel Cleanser* - I really loved this gel cleanser when I used it throughout the summer and when my skin was a little more on the oily side. It lathers really nicely but doesn't feel like it's stripping the skin. The scent is also amazing! Once the weather started getting colder though and my skin drier this didn't work so well and made my skin feel tight afterwards. So far this is the only gel cleanser I've really liked and I'll be buying another bottle next year but I'll only be using it in the summer months and saving my balm cleansers for the rest of the year.

Bourjois Nail Polish Remover Pot - When I first heard about this little nail polish remover pot I thought it would be a gimmick and not really work very well. I couldn't have been more wrong as I've used it so many times and have obviously finished it. I don't use this every time I remove nail polish, mainly when I've used a glitter polish as it makes it so much easier. This pot also works really well at taking off the Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips. I already have another pot from a Latest In Beauty box but I know I'll keep on repurchasing it.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips in Zip It! - You can see my NOTD of these here. I didn't love this design, I'm not a huge fan of silver but I'd buy other designs.

Liz Earle Skin Repair for Dry/SensitiveGoing back about 6 years, Liz Earle Skin Repair was my favourite moisturiser and the only one I used. I had the lighter version for oily skin and it worked wonders for how my skin was then. I bought the dry/sensitive version about a year ago as this is my skin type now.  I do like it but I found it a bit of a struggle to use it and actually finish it. It was a nice cream to mix with oils but on it's own it wasn't very impressive. I wouldn't buy another tub of this version again as I've since found better moisturisers.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - I love this pre-shampoo conditioner and the way it makes my hair feel and look. After I use this my hair feels incredibly soft and is a lot less frizzy. I got a lot more uses out of this small tube than I was expecting and will be buying the full size.

Nuxe Reve De miel Lip Balm - Dare I say it, when I came the bottom of this pot I was sort of bored of this lip balm. It just didn't seem to work as well as when I first started using it. I have a million other lip balms to use and am currently liking the By Terry Baume De Rose better.

OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil To Go - This was the perfect cuticle oil to keep in my bag or on my desk at work as it's fuss free. It smells really fresh and reminds me of cucumbers. I don't think I'd buy this full price but if I found it on offer then I'd buy it again.

Rebel Nails for Toes - I found these nail stickers quite tricky to use as you have to heat them up with a hair dryer before applying. My toe nails are also tiny so I had to cut these up which then messed up the patterns. I got these in a beauty box but I wouldn't buy them.

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30 January 2014

January Beauty

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With the new year, a few changes and new found enthusiasm for my blog, I've decided to re-introduce monthly favourites. August last year I decided to stop the monthly favourite as I was struggling to put together the posts and found myself using and talking about the same products. Not wanting to force myself to write them I took a break. I really enjoyed putting together my 2013 favourite posts and looking back on all the products I loved throughout the year. I had gaps though towards the end of the year when I wasn't posting favourites which I was a bit disappointed about and don't want the same thing to happen again this year.

I'd never owned a Juicy Couture perfume before this one and wasn't even sure that I'd like the perfumes. A sample of Viva La Juicy Noir was in a beauty box and I fell in love with it instantly.  The notes are berries, mandarin, mara strawberry, honeysuckle, gardenia petals, jasmine sambac, amber, caramel, vanilla and sandalwood. I have a rollerball of the original Viva La Juicy which I love but the Noir version is even better.

My mascara of choice at the moment is Clinique High Impact and gives me natural looking lashes that are defined and lengthened. I included it in my 2013 favourites and am on my third tube, definitely my most repurchased mascara.

Caudalie's Premier Cru The Eye Cream is the most expensive eye cream I've bought at a staggering £50. I would never normally spend that much on an eye cream as it's a step I don't always do in my skin care routine but I completely fell in love with it when I got a tiny tube of it. I used every single drop of the mini tube and really missed using it when it was finished. It was also one of the only products that helped the eczema patches around my eyes. Whilst browsing the Feel Unique sale at Christmas I saw this eye cream and a tube of the face moisturiser for only £40 which I could not resist buying. You only need to use a tiny amount so although expensive, it's going to last me a very long time.

Another expensive and luxurious product, By Terry Baume De Rose. After finishing the Nuxe Reve De Miel lip balm and not loving it as much as I used to, I just had to try this cult product. It's definitely worth the hype but one you have to look away when handing over your bank card to pay for it. It smells amazing, the packaging is gorgeous and it works a treat.

What's your favourite product at the moment?

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29 January 2014

Skin Care Diary // January 2014

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Dior Instant Cleansing Water // La Roche-Posay Water Spray // Trilogy Cream Cleanser // Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner // Queen Eye Restore Cream // Weleda Calendula Face Cream // Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment // Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

At the start of the month I had extremely dry patches of eczema on my cheeks so all the skin care products I used are very hydrating and moisturising but still very gentle. Luckily my skin calm down after a week or two and most of the dry patches have disappeared. I've recently written more in depth reviews of a couple of these products so I'll link to those blog posts.

What's been your most used skin care product this month?

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28 January 2014

Mini Reviews 13 // Four Face Masks

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Elizabeth Arden Hydrating Mask* // Hydrating face masks are my favourite type to use as dryness is one of the biggest problems when it comes to my skin. This one from Elizabeth Arden is hydrating but also helps to reduce redness and calms the skin. You apply a layer all over the face and leave it on for five or ten minutes then rinse away. It does say you can tissue off the mask but I always prefer to rinse it off. £5.32 for 100ml.

Borghese Fango Active Mud For Face And Body // This is a face and body mud mask although I've only used as a face mask. I got this for my birthday after Fleur raved about it. You only need a tiny amount so this tube will last me a long time! As I have sensitive skin I only use this on my t-zone which is the oiliest and most congested part of my face and I haven't had an issues with it reacting to my skin. After I've cleansed and open the pores of my skin I apply a thin layer and leave it on until it dries. I removed it with a damp Liz Earle sponge which helps to remove the mask and also exfoliates the skin slightly at the same time. This mask really does work and clears pores and just makes your skin look fresher. £25 for 7oz or £50 for 17.6oz.

Aveda Intensive Hydrating Masque // I've raved about this face mask from Aveda a lot on the blog recently so I'm not going to go on about it too much here. It's perfect for those with dry and sensitive skin, which is basically my own skin. You apply a thin layer all over the skin and leave it on for about ten minutes before rinsing off and your skin is left feeling incredibly soft and moisturised. You can also use this as an over night mask which I'm yet to try out. I just can't get past the idea of the mask just rubbing on the pillow and all over your hair while you sleep! This is also a great mask to use during a flight as it's clear and no one will be able to tell. Plus as it's so hydrating it will counteract the dryness from flying. I feel like you get a lot product for what you pay so the price doesn't seem to bad. I've used this a lot and it looks like I hardly have! £25 for 150ml.

Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Face Mask // This is the newest face mask to my collection and one that is aimed at reducing redness and calming the skin, which is does really well. I love the serum and moisturiser from the Mega-Mushroom range so I knew I'd like the mask just as much. This is the most expensive mask at £35 for 100ml which although I really do like the mask, I just don't think it's quite worth that much. If it was £25 like the other two masks are then I'd say it would be. Once I've finished this tube I don't think I'd repurchase it as the First Aid Beauty Oatmeal Mask does a very similar job and is cheaper.

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27 January 2014

Beauty Box // Glossybox January 2014*

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Yu Be Moisturising Skin Care // I'm already a huge fan of this Japanese moisturiser and it's great as a night time hand cream or for dry elbows. I already have the full size so I'll be putting these mini tubes in my handbag.

balance Me Super Toning Body Wash // This is another product I've tried before and really like.

The Vintage Company Tweezers // I love the print of these tweezers and although I don't need another pair, I'm sure I'll still enjoy using them. I'll probably put these in my travel wash bag as tweezers is usually the thing I forget to pack when I'm going away.

Anatomicals Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer Wake-Up Under Eye Patches // I've wanted to try this type of eye mask for a long time but it says on the back of the packet not to use if you have sensitive skin, which I do. I think I'll be passing these onto my mum who I'm sure will like to try them out.

Vaseline Moisturiser // I would have preferred to see a mini bottle of the new spray and go moisturiser from Vaseline but I'll still use it.

Overall not a bad box but nothing that impressive either. Did you get the same products as me?

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26 January 2014

Sunday Pamper 012

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The other weeks Sunday Pamper was rose themed and this week it's fig. I already had the Laura Mercier Fresh Fig Honey Bath and quickly ordered the quartet from Space NK when it was in the sale a few weeks ago so I could use them all together. Although it doesn't always happen, when I can I try to use the same scented bath products so I'm not mixing a lot of completely different scents. Now I can use a bubble bath, shower gel, body cream and perfume and smell just like a fig. Perfection! If I wasn't on my spending ban I'd probably buy the fig body scrub as well.

This week I'm doing another nail detox to try and strengthen my nails so I'm ditching coloured polish and instead applying OPI's Matte Nail Envy. To help hydrate my cuticles and nails in general as they're looking a bit worse for wear I'm going to follow up with a couple of drops of Jessica Phenomen Oil and the Laura Mercier Fig Hand Cream. So I can pretend it's the summer and not really pouring down outside I'll be painting my toes this incredibly bright neon green. It's Colour Club London Calling and is so bright it nearly glows in the dark!

For hair I'm keeping it simple and trying out the Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment Plus for the first time which I got for Christmas. You warm a little bit into your hands until it turns into an oil and then distribute it all over dry hair. You leave it on for twenty minutes and then shampoo and conditioner your hair as normal. I'm sort of hoping I don't fall in love with it as it's incredibly expensive for how little product you actually get.

Finally for tonights pamper session I'll be applying the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask. This is an old favourite and the mask I always reach for when my skin is feeling a bit sore and irritated. The oats in it really help to soothe skin and is especially good for eczema. It's also a good one for dry skin!

Are you planning a pamper session tonight?

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25 January 2014

Week In Photos 162

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week in photos 162 rottenotter rotten otter blog 6 week in photos 162 rottenotter rotten otter blog 4 week in photos 162 rottenotter rotten otter blog 5 week in photos 162 rottenotter rotten otter blog 3 week in photos 162 rottenotter rotten otter blog 2 week in photos 162 rottenotter rotten otter blog 1 Sorting out the nail polishes I don't want anymore // Another bunch of tulips! // A refreshing bottle of ice cold coke // After lugging this chair downstairs // Favourite part of my room // Wardrobe clean out // Obsessed with Living Etc magazine.

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24 January 2014

Shopping The Stash 002

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It's been about a year since my last shopping the stash post and with me currently trying to finish a 100 day spending ban it seemed like the perfect post to write. Without being able to buy new beauty products I've been trying to get more use out of what I have and discovering products I may have forgotten about.

I have this Muji drawer set sitting by my mirror so it's really easy to grab all the products in the morning especially if I'm in a rush. A couple of my daily essentials which I was already using include Clinique High Impact Mascara, Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara and Too Faced Shadow Insurance. My lipstick choice at the moment is Mac Creme Cup, a lovely natural pink that I haven't been using enough recently.

A product I completely forgot I had but loved when I first got it is Benefits Eye Bright which is a pink eye liner pencil. I have very pale skin so nude eye liners can look a little bit orange and obvious so defeats the object really. This pink pencil on the other hand looks really natural and my eyes always look brighter when I use it. I use it to line my water line and the inner corners of my eyes.

Despite how much everyone raves about Mac eye shadows, they're probably my least used so I'm going to put away my Naked palettes for now and use this quad. On an everyday basis I just use one colour all over the lid so although all four of these are neutral and pretty similar they're definitely the sort of colours I reach for most. Clockwise; Dazzlelight, Et Tu Bouquet?, Sweet Lust and Bisque.

A recent purchase is the Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curlers which I haven't used as much as I thought I would. Hopefully having these in the top drawer will mean I'll actually get my moneys worth! Another Mac item I've hardly used since buying it is the Paint in bare Canvas. I use this as an eye shadow primer or just on it's own to quickly even out my lid colour. I've had this for such a long time that I'm sort of thinking if I don't use it now and quickly it's probably going to be going off soon.

My first Ole Henriksen purchase and a recommendation for eczema on the lips is the African Red Tea Exfoliating Lip Salvation. This doesn't seem to exfoliate the lips but it's a very nice lip balm and gives a hint of red to the lips. It also smells fruity!  A blush that I want to get more use out of is from Liz Earle in the shade Nectar. This is a lovely pink shade that blends in beautifully and looks natural. I don't know why I haven't used this much as it really is a nice product.

Finally a product that I haven't used, apart from testing on my hand, since it came in the first ever Glossybox is Nars Orgasm Illuminator. This product definitely scares me and I'm not sure how to use it properly. Is it a high lighter or a cream blush? Can you mix it in with your foundation? I'm going to have to do a little bit of testing out and watching some Youtube videos but hopefully I'll find a use for this product.

 Do you need to shop your stash? Or are you good at rotating your product?

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23 January 2014

Project Sample Use Up 014

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L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil x2 - Apart from the hair oil from V05, this one from L'Oreal is the only drugstore version I've tried. I was really impressed with it and will be buying the full size once I've finished the others I have. I apply it to towel dried hair and it smooths down my hair which means it's less frizzy and just feels less dry and damaged.

L'Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate - I already have the full size of this so I used this sample up pretty quickly as it's such a nice moisturiser. It smells amazing, of almonds as the name suggests. It also has a sort of gel cream texture which I really like and find it sinks in a lot better.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate - Finally I can tick this product off my to try list! I've wanted to try it for ages but the samples have always been out of stock when I've gone past the store. It feels like a dry oil on the skin and I use it instead of a serum and follow up with a moisturiser. It's early days but I have already treated myself to the full size.

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream - All these samples seem to be of really hyped up products in the beauty world! I really like how this eye cream brightens up the under eye area and is the perfect pairing for make-up. I was also surprised at how much product was in this sample sachet, I managed to fill up a mini tub! I'm really happy with the Caudalie eye cream I'm using at the moment so wont be purchasing this.

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream x3 - This has been on my want to try list for years, probably since I first started blogging and first heard it being raved about. I have to say, this hasn't wowed me which I thought it would have. It's a balm like cream but I find it doesn't sink in easily and am left with greasy skin no matter how little I apply. I'm just glad I was able to try these samples first and didn't just go ahead and buy the full size.

Kiehl's Creme De Corps Body Moisturiser - This is another one that I've wanted to try for a really long time but I really liked this moisturiser. I liked that it didn't really have a scent which is nice for my sensitive skin or if I wanted to apply perfume afterwards. I won't be rushing out to buy the full size as it's expensive but I'd like to at some point, maybe once I've used up all the other body moisturisers I have.

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22 January 2014

Wardrobe Redesign

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Despite only posting about this now, I actually finished this DIY back in September. Somehow this post worked it's way to the end of my drafts folder and I've only just come across it while I was deleting things.

I've had the same wardrobe since I was seven. I am now twenty-three. It's a good size for when you're seven and your clothes are tiny but I've struggled to fit all my clothes into it since I was a teenager. Not wanting to loose precious space in my bedroom by getting a bigger wardrobe I've got round it with some drawers in the bottom and using the space under my bed.

I have also hated the pine wood for several years but with the hopes of moving out of my parents I haven't wanted to buy something new if I didn't need to. An easy and cheap way to get rid of part of the pine was to cover the doors with sticky back plastic. I've done this before turning an old desk into what looked like a marble top.

A quick trip to Taskers to buy the plastic and B&Q to buy the door handles I was able to get started. If you want to do this yourself it's definitely a two person job and I had the help of my mum.

  • remove the doors and lay them onto something that elevates it off the ground
  • wipe clean to remove dirt and oil and leave to dry
  • cut plastic roughly to the shape of the doors. You want as little excess plastic as possible as it's easier to stick down this way
  • start attaching the plastic to the door from one end while the other person is smoothing it down with a cloth, this removes bumps and bubbles. This needs to be done slowly
  • once the front of the door is done carefully fold the edges down and neaten the corners
  • attach the door back onto the wardrobe and add the handles.
Since changing the doors I've tidied up the top of my wardrobe and everything it looking a bit more grown up,I think this is just because it's been my wardrobe since I was a kid, and a lot less cluttered. 

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21 January 2014

Mini Reviews 012 // Estee Lauder // First Aid Beauty // Priti NYC

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Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair - This has to be the most expensive skin care product I've bought to date. I bought the 50ml bottle which had a shocking £58 price tag but I did use money I won from my works lottery so I don't feel too bad about it. Just don't get me thinking of buying another bottle once this one runs out. As the name suggests, I use this at night as I prefer something a little lighter in the mornings, for that I use Caudalie Vinosource SOS Serum. I'm not someone who worries about anti-aging products but I bought this one because of how many people rave about it. I bought it in the hopes that it would help fade scars from acne and eczema as well hydrate my skin and for it to looks less red and irritated.

I really like how this feels when I apply it and I only need to use a tiny amount. This has done everything I hoped it would and more to my skin and I'm really glad I took the plunge and bought it. It really hydrates the skin and hasn't irritated my sensitive skin and I find it really helps to heal spots and scares they may have left behind. The new version is now called Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II which has a new and improved formula and is meant to be even better. £48 for 30ml or £65 for 50ml.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask - This has quickly become one of my favourite face masks to use when my skin is horribly irritated or stressed. The oatmeal in it is what helps to calm down the skin as well as being very moisturising, it's also perfect for eczema. It has an oatmeal/porridge scent which you'd expect and actually has oats in it which sort of exfoliate the skin as you apply it. I apply it, wait 10 minutes and then rinse it off. As it's quite a lumpy mask I find the best way to remove it is to just wash it off with water, no muslin cloth. Once removed I'm left with visibly calmer skin, especially if it was quite red beforehand and any dry patches have disappeared. I bought it from Beauty Bay for around £15.

Priti NYX Soy Nail Polish Remover - I've never tried a soy nail polish remover before I bought this one, I didn't even know it existed before I saw it on Cult Beauty. In true me fashion I didn't even check the size of the bottle before buying it and only when it arrived did I realise I'd just spent about £16 on a tiny bottle of nail polish remover. I regretted it immediately but there wasn't really anything I could do as it was my own fault so I got on with it and used it.

The ingredients in this nail polish remover are soy ester, corn ester, orange oil and vegetable glycerin. You're probably wondering how few ingredients can remove nail polish and I thought the exact same thing until I tried it and it removed every last trace of nail polish. It doesn't work well on glitter polishes so I save this for cremes. It also leaves an oily residue on your fingers and nails, although feels nice and moisturising thanks to the orange oil, it doesn't work if you want to apply a nail polish on top. Even after a hand wash they can still feel a little greasy so I save this for days when I know I don't want to apply a polish.

Overall although it's a great nail polish remover, with the speed that I seem to go through a bottle, it's just way too expensive. Glad I've tried it though and I'll enjoy finishing the bottle. A smaller bottle, 56ml, is now available from Cult Beauty for £7.50.


20 January 2014

Beauty Box // Birchbox January 2014

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With the start of the year, Birchbox have made a few changes and the most noticeable is how the box comes and the products packaged. I really liked the drawstring bags that used to hold the products as it was a nice change to the shredded paper and meant I could re-use them for a variety of things.They have now started to use tissue paper without the shredded paper so the products are free to role about and aren't sitting nicely when you open the box like they are with Glossybox. Here's to hoping the cheaper packaging means that the products inside the box might be better?!

Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Conditioner // If you read my blog regularly then you probably know how much of a fan I am of Philip Kingsley products so I'm always happy to see them in beauty boxes. I haven't tried this conditioner before but it sounds good!

Rodial Glamtox Night // I'm pleased to have gotten the night version as my skin is really dry at the moment. The formula is described as super-hydrating and plumps fine lines. It's a gel and feels extremely light on the skin and sinks in immediately. Excited to see how I get on with this although it's £90 so I wont even be thinking of buying the full size. If you do the maths, this 15ml sample tube is worth £45 which is crazy to get in a box.

Premae Anatomy Nurtients Instant Renewal Body Oil // I've loved using body oils recently so this is a welcome addition to my cupboards.  I really like that it comes in a spray bottle as I find I use less product and it sinks in better. It hasn't got much of a scent so a good one if you're using another bath product that is strongly fragrant. It also sinks in really quickly.

Vasanti Detox Nutrient-Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser // This is probably the only product from the box that I wont be using. It smells like it has perfume/fragrance in it and that usually irritates my skin, especially with how sensitive it is at the moment.

Benefit POREfessional Primer // I've already tried this primer before and still have a couple of mini tubes from magazines so pleased to have another tube. This primer is great at minimizing the look of pores and it really does help make-up to last longer.

Itsu Miso Soup // I'm pretty happy to have this sachet of miso soup and that it's actually suitable for vegetarians. The only thing is, it doesn't say how much water you need to add so going to have to do a bit of google-ing.

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19 January 2014

Sunday Pamper 011

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I woke up this morning with extremely dry and sore hands so I knew what todays pamper session would be focused on: hands & feet. This past week I've done a nail polish detox after taking off the gel nail polish last weekend and the ends of my nails looking a little flaky. So this weekend I'll be doing a full on manicure including filing, shaping and buffing my nails into a nice shape and good condition. The Body Shop Nail Block is a must have product to keep your nails looking nice especially when you're not wearing any nail polish. After a quick buff your nails will shine as if you're wearing a top coat.

Again this weekend I'll be using the Jessica ZenSpa Pedicure Balanced Stimulating Mint Foot Masque which I really do love. It makes my feet feel extremely smooth and dry skin free and it's just a really nice experience to use. Definitely recommend!

After painting my fingers with OPI DS Reserve and Ciate Cupcake Queen on my toes I'll be applying a thick layer of balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream and This Works Perfect Heels Rescue Balm. Both are two of my favourites and really help to get rid of my dry skin. I think I'm going to try to applying OPI Reserve between a gel base and top coat in the hope it works better than last time.

Are you doing a pamper session tonight?

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18 January 2014

Week In Photos 161

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week in photos 161 rottenotter rotten otter blog 8 week in photos 161 rottenotter rotten otter blog 7 week in photos 161 rottenotter rotten otter blog 6 week in photos 161 rottenotter rotten otter blog 5 week in photos 161 rottenotter rotten otter blog 4 week in photos 161 rottenotter rotten otter blog 3 week in photos 161 rottenotter rotten otter blog 2
On a blogging roll // The candle of choice this week // Along with the perfume of choice // Still my favourite car boot find // Latest In Beauty order after it went missing for weeks // A major tidy and declutter is happening today // Obsessed with rings at the moment // New flowers.

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17 January 2014

Brand Over View: Trilogy

brand over view trilogy skin care cleanser toner moisturiser oil rottenotter rotten otter blog
Firstly I just love the packaging of Trilogy products with the glass bottles and simple design. They look really good on a dressing table or on display in the bathroom.

Cream Cleanser - This cleanser probably gets the least use out of them all but only because I'm preferring a balm cleanser at the moment but I still really like and enjoy using it. It's pretty good at removing make-up but I like to take my eye make-up off with a micellar water, just like I would do with any cleanser. I use this cleanser when my skin is dry and feeling more sensitive than usual as it's very gentle and calming. You massage a pump or two on damp skin and then rinse off using a muslin cloth. After cleansing my skin is never left feeling tight or dry, instead it's left feeling moisturised and soft. £22.50 for 200ml

Hydrating Mist Toner - This is the toner I reach for when my skin is at it's driest but also when it's been quite sensitive and irritated. Although you don't notice instant results with this toner I find it really relaxing to use and it helps my serum and moisturisers to sink in better. It's not an essential product but one I always like to use. £17.50 for 100ml.

Very Gentle Calming Fluid - This can be used in a number of ways; as a serum underneath moisturiser, in between serum and moisturiser or as a lightweight moisturiser on it's own. It's aimed at skin that reacts to pollution, prickly heat, skin irritations, hormones and adverse reactions which basically describes my own skin. The key points for me is that it's fragrance-free and alcohol-free as they're the two things that my skin reacts to when it comes to products. This has become a key part of my skin care routine and I'm really glad I discovered it.

You can read my full review here. This is now named Very Gentle Calming Serum but I'm not sure if it's still the same product or if they've reformulated it. If they have, I only hope it's for the better! If anyone knows please let me know! £28.50 for 30ml.

Certified Organic Rosehip Oil - This was the first Trilogy product I tried before I went on to buy the others as it was raved about my a blogger/youtuber but I can't for the life of me remember who it was. I really need to write these things down! This oil has become a staple over winter as my skin has been extremely dry. I've been using this on it's own or mixed in with my night time moisturiser and both work really well. You can also use this as a body oil and I like to apply it to the areas I get eczema like the crease of my elbow for an extra bit of moisturising after I've had a bath. I do make sure I don't have any broken skin though when I use this as it says not to on the label.

This oil is also really good at healing spots so when I feel or see one appearing then I just put a dab of this on it. It doesn't magically make spots disappear but it does help to heal the skin so they don't leave a scar. £16.50 for 20ml or £28.50 for 45ml.

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16 January 2014

NOTD: Zoya Blaze

Supplies used... 
Red Carpet Manicure Prep
Red Carpet Manicure Structure Base Coat
Zoya Blaze // two coats
Red Carpet Manicure Brilliance Top Coat

For this weeks manicure I decided to try sandwiching a normal nail polish between the Red Carpet Manicure gel base and top coats .Lets just say, it didn't go to plan! Beforehand I read through Jessica's step by step guide and it seemed simple enough. Apply and cure the gel base coat, apply your chosen nail polish and wait an hour for it to dry then apply the gel top coat and cure it. I did all this, even waited a full hour while watching tv, but even after curing the top coat my nails weren't completely solid and I was able to dent the polish with my nail. I'm not sure where I went wrong or how long the polish will last but we'll see. I'm going to attempt it again next weekend with a different polish and see if that works out better.

Onto the polish itself, Zoya Blaze is from the 2012 Ornate collection. Winter isn't the best time to show off this holographic polish as we haven't had much sun recently but you get the idea of it. The formula reminds me of a jelly polish as the first coat is very thin but it's turn opaque after the second. This polish is also really glossy on it's own without a top coat. You can see my NOTD of Auora from the same collection here.

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15 January 2014

The Repurchases 003

Recently I seem to have discovered a small collection of products that I keep on repurchasing. This time around it is the Stellar Face Balm from balance Me which has become an every day staple for me. The eczema on my face flared up badly a month or two ago, especially around my eyes, and I've had incredibly dry flaky skin which nothing really helped. Not wanting to go to the Dr's and be given yet another steroid cream I ordered a tiny tub of this face balm. It was only a couple of pounds and if it didn't work then I wasn't loosing out on too much money. Plus it's full of good ingredients!

As soon as I used it for the first time I knew it was a winner and it really helped to get rid of the dry patches. My eczema was still there but at least my skin wasn't dry anymore which will eventually help the eczema to go away. With my eczema comes sensitive easily irritated skin and this balm really helps to soothe my skin and reduces any redness. I've been carrying the little pot around with me in my bag and this tub has been sitting by my bedside table so I've had it with me at all times. Once the mini pot runs out I'm planning on decanting some so I can carry on keeping it in my bag.

If you've been suffering with dry skin this winter and have tried everything with no success then give this a try.  It might work as well for you as it has for me! The 7ml pot is £5 and the 50ml pot is £18.

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14 January 2014

The Sale Purchases

2013 sale purchases rottenotter rotten otter blog
2013 sale purchases laura mercier fig set rottenotter rotten otter blog 2013 sale purchases laura mercier almond coconut milk set rottenotter rotten otter blog
I absolutely hate clothes sale shopping whether it's in person or online but I'm a sucker for beauty sales. You can probably tell from these products and others I've mentioned over the past few weeks. The three main sites I ordered from where Cult Beauty, Feel Unique and Space Nk. Everything that I bought had been on my wish list and I would have bought for the full price. Even better was that everything was at least half price!

It looks like Cult Beauty have now stopped selling Fig + Yarrow products which is a shame. I'm not sure if it's a temporary thing or if it's permanent though. Anyway I managed to pick up the Floral Milk Bath and the Meadow Bath & Body Oil before they disappeared and at a bargain price. I think the two of these equaled the full price of just one. I love the packaging of all the F+Y products and how they look in the bathroom. Both smell really nice and are perfect for the winter as they're very moisturising.

Another bath oil, sensing a theme here? This time it's from rituals, a brand I've only tired a couple of products from. The Hanami Heaven Organic Rice Milk & Cherry Blossom Milky Bath Oil (award for longest name?!) smells amazing and a few drops turns your bath water extremely moisturising. The Ginkgo's Secret Caring Hand Balm has been my go-to night hand cream recently and may over taken the space of Aesop's hand cream, for now at least. The rituals hand cream is extremely moisturising but it doesn't leave your hands feeling too greasy so it's also good for the day.

In previous years I've heard about the Laura Mercier sets going down in price after Christmas but I've never bought any myself. Until this year that is. I'm huge fan of fig scent products so how could I resist the Fig Bath & Body Quartet?! The set includes a body wash, perfume, hand cream and body butter.

Next up from Laura Mercier was the Almond Coconut Milk duo which included bath salts and a body cream. These smell good enough to eat and I can't wait to use them together. Everything from Laura Mercier is packaged so well and would make perfect presents. Luckily I'm keeping these for myself!

So I feel like I'm all set for bath & body products for the next year! What did you buy in the sales?

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13 January 2014

NOTD: Red Carpet Manicure in Parisian Chic

notd red carpet manicure at home gel nail polish Parisian Chic rottenotter rotten otter blog
Supplies used... 
Red Carpet Manicure Prep
Red Carpet Manicure Structure Base Coat
Red Carpet Manicure Parisian Chic // two coats
Red Carpet Manicure Brilliance Top Coat

In the Red Carpet Manicure Gel Polish Pro Kit was Red Carpet Reddy, a red creme. I wanted another colour from RCM that is a staple colour I knew I'd get a lot of use out of, a mint green.

This one wasn't as easy to apply as Red Carpet Reddy, it wasn't as opaque and quite watery. I really should have done three very thin layers to build up the colour but instead tried to do two thicker coats. I only wore Parisian Chic for a week as I wanted to change to the red for Christmas but my manicure was still in perfect condition when I took it off.

I'm so glad I bought the RMC set as it's been great to not have to worry about my nails chipping and having to paint them every other night. It's expensive but if you can find it on offer like I did then I'd really recommend it. Next up is trying to sandwich an ordinary polish between the gel layers and see how long it lasts.

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12 January 2014

Sunday Pamper 010

sunday pamper 010 rottenotter rotten otter blog
I'm keeping todays Sunday Pamper simple and with only one scent and brand, rose and Ren. I bought this gift set in the Space Nk sale as it was half price and the bath and body oils have both been on my to-try list for a long time. I love these sort of sets that allow you to try a variety of products you might not have thought to try other wise. They also allow you to test out the products first before buying the full sizes.

My plan for tonight is to run a hot bath and use the bath oil then read and soak for a long time. I'm not sure if I'm going to use the body lotion or the body oil yet. I think I'm going to see how moisturising the bath oil is and then either follow up with something lighter or heavier. Needless to say, these all smell amazing. A true fresh rose scent, not old lady or perfume scented.

I'll also be painting my fingers and toes tonight but I haven't decided which colour or if it should be gel or normal nail polish. Any suggestions on colours are welcome!

Although this gift set isn't available in the Space Nk sale it is available from Ren online and there's a discount code which expires today. Use "giftset" to get 30% off giftsets.

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11 January 2014

Week In Photos 159 & 160

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New Years treats // New perfume // Hate throwing away empty perfume bottles // Finally took the plunge and ordered this balm in the hope it helps my eczema // Actually blogging at my desk, this never normally happens. 

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10 January 2014

Project Sample Use Up 013

project sample use up 013 rottenotter rotten otter blog
Weleda Oat Replenishing & Millet Nourishing Shampoos - I never would have thought to try a shampoo from Weleda but these two are actually really nice. I only got two uses out of each but they didn't seem to irritate my sensitive scalp so I might have found another brand of shampoo that I can use. I prefered the Millet version as it was slightly more hydrating but they are very similar.

Bioderma Micellar Solution This mini bottle of Bioderma was taken away with me on a long weekend away back in November and it came in very handy. I should have worked out how long this bottle actually lasted but I'd say at least a week if not more of using it to take my eye make-up off.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluide x2 - As the name suggests, it's like a lotion and for that reason, I wouldn't buy the full size as it isn't moisturising enough. If you have oily skin, perhaps this could be a good day cream as it's very light?

Urban Decay Naked Lip Gloss - This tiny tube of lip gloss came with the Naked 2 palette. I really like the design of the packaging but as you can see, it is impossible to get all the product out as it's a squeezy tube. I'm not a huge fan of lipgloss but this was ok. It was slightly sticky which meant it stayed in place for a decent amount of time and is a really nice colour. I wouldn't buy the full size though as I know I just wouldn't use it.

Caudalie Permier Cru The Eye Cream - As you can see I've used my tube squeezer on this tiny tube just so I could get every last drop out. From the first time using this I completely fell in love with it. It's an anti-ageing eye cream which isn't really important to me at the moment but it's extremely hydrating but feels very light on the skin. For the past month or so I've had horrible dry eczema patches all round my eyes and this is the only cream that hasn't irritated my skin even more. Once I've finished the other eye creams I have then I'll be buying the full size and hiding my eyes at the cost of it.

Thiery Muglar Ailen PerfumeI've found quite a few of these one use samples in magazines recently so I had a good chance to try out the perfume before I bought the full size to make sure I liked it. If you've seen my Christmas present suggestions post then you'll already see that I've bought a bottle of Ailen. A rich floral woody amber containing jasmine sambac, cashmeran wood and white amber.

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09 January 2014

Skin Care Diary // December 2013

Through out each month I'll be keeping a skin care diary and jotting down what I use on an every day basis. At the end of the month I'll tally up what has been used the most and share the products with you. 
La Roche-Posay Micellar Soltuion // La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water // By Terry Baume De Rose // balance Me Stellar Face Balm // Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Cream // Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm // Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Serum // Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream. 

Again, this month the eczema one my face has been driving me crazy and I've had dry flaky skin for the majority of the month. Because of my skin issues I minimized the amount of skin care products I used and stuck with what you see here each day. My skin was very sensitive and irritated so it just needed hydrating and simple products. The spotlight product this month is the Caudalie eye cream which I've completely fallen in love with and managed to grab at a bargain price from the Feel Unique sale.

Which skin care product is your most used?

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