Saturday, 27 July 2013

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze Body Lotion

If you're one of my regular readers, I recently blogged about one of my favourite gradual tan lotions which you can find HERE but when I was rummaging through the bathroom cabinet I came across Palmer's Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze Body Lotion. I've never tried it before so I thought I'd give it a try and see what happens!
"Builds & Maintains a Natural Looking Tan... For All Skin Tones"
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Gradual Tanning Moisturiser - £5.35- 250ml 
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Gradual Tanning Moisturiser - Back of Product
Close up of Product
The pump mechanism makes the product really easy to use and you can also untwist it to make sure you get all the last little bits out as well! Even holding the product whilst using it is quite easy at the bottle fits quite nicely in my hands and they're quite small.

The lotion is very similar is colour and texture to that of Dove's Summer Glow Gradual Tan Moisturiser - a golden yellow colour which looks and feels like a moisturiser. It rubs in very well too. I use a cheap and cheerful self tanning Mitt which keeps my hands orange free and that works well either using the product straight onto the Mitt or onto my skin. Some gradual tanning products I have used become quite sticky after application but this one was totally different! I waited 5 minutes after application and made my bed but that was it - no stickiness and it was nice and dry.

Sample Swatch of Palmer's Gradual Tanning Moisturiser
Palmer's are famous for their Cocoa Butter Formula. Therefore the product obviously smells of cocoa butter and it stays with you all day! The smell isn't too much but reminds you what you've got on and smells quite nice throughout the day.
I took a photo of my skin before application and another 2 days after and you can see the results! I am slightly wary though about applying more than 3 applications a week as I stared to go orange and it looked very fake!


2 Applications After
The only thing that disappointed me was the look of my skin, especially my knuckles and elbows. After a couple of applications as they became a little orange even though I hadn't used it on them. Also, after showering and drying off, the tan seemed to strip from my skin which made it looked patchy and streaky. What was a major turn off for me though was the transfer of the lotion onto my clothes. I always make sure my gradual tan lotions are 100% dry before getting dressed and therefore I was really disappointed when I took my white work shirt off and found orange stains all over it on the inside :(

Price; 4 STARS For a moisturiser and a gradual tan lotion the price is reasonable. Also, at certain times of the year, gradual self tan lotions are on promotion and you can try find yourself a bargain.

Promises; 3 STARS The lotion did build a gradual tan. although to me it didn't look natural. I looked orange and after showering it looked streaky and patchy. The smell was nice though and I did feel moisturised.

Ease of Application; 5 STARS The lotion rubbed in really easily! I used the lotion directly onto my self tan Mitt and also directly onto skin and both ways worked well. It didn't leave me feeling sticky or greasy.

Would I Recommend to a Friend?; MAYBE I think it depends what you're looking for in a gradual self tan. I found this product left me very orange, streaky and slightly disappointed compared to other gradual self tan lotions I've used, but I've heard great things about Palmer's and therefore I think it works for different people and your skin type too!

Monday, 22 July 2013

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Trip

Tuesday 10th July 2013
I haven't been to the zoo since I was a child of 12 so I was really excited to go back again this year! I've been to Woburn and Whipsnade and the difference between the two is that Woburn is a safari park where you can venture around the park in your car whereas ZSL Whispnade is partly safari but mostly on foot where you can look at the animals at your own pace whenever you want.
Me and my boyfriend, Simon ordered and paid for the tickets the day before we went. We chose to do this because we could plan what day we wanted to go according to the weather forecasts which worked pretty well! You can either order them online prior to your trip or at the gate on the day. As students, we paid £17.72 each, £35.44 in total.

When arriving we handed over our printed tickets and also had to pay a £4.00 parking charge which allowed us to exit the zoo car park when leaving. From Bedford, it took around 30 - 40 minutes to get to Whipsnade which is near Dunstable/Luton.
It was a bit windy at times and the sun did hide under some cloud in the morning, although once we started wandering around the sun started to come through and the weather was quite nice.

Chimps at the Chimp Talk
We had a zoo guide to keep track of where we were and first we went to visit the Chimps, where we listened to a chimp talk. We saw a handful of Chimps and we learnt a lot about all of their personalities and what food they like eating. On the other hand, we also learnt of the dangers of chimp heart disease and how some chimps are being hunted for their meat.

We then went on to see a Moose, a pack of Wolves and had a few silly photographs! We made our way to the Giraffe enclosure where they were feeding and had a few close up photos of the family. They are so tall and their skin and patterns are so beautiful you forget you're in a zoo!

Lion Enclosure
After a short walk, we arrived at the Lions. After seeing such large and dangerous animals on television, you forget their size and how dangerous they can be and you never think you'll be feet away from them. We saw the large male sunbathing on top of a small hill and after standing for a minute or two, a female came over to the glass to say Hi. It was a bit scary to have a huge cat walk up to the glass, look at you and walk past you so close, so that was one of the most memorable parts of the day.
A peeping Meerkat
 Then we came to the Meerkats. We only saw one at first with his little head popping out the top of his 'house' and then he started to scamper down and have a look at us. The little sounds they made were really cute, similar to a high pitched quick humming sound. After a look, his fiends came down and had a look so there were a good few that came to say Hello.
 We walked around a bit more and saw a few other animals including Hippo's with their baby, Lola who was born in August 2012. The next part of our visit was in my opinion the most scary and the one thing that will stay with me for a while. Including us, there was another couple having a look at the Cheetah and then a young couple and their toddler came through. The cheetah was at a distance until it saw the child and then started walking towards the glass quite quickly. The Cheetah showed his teeth and was eyeing the child up and even though there was strong glass separating us from the animals, it was quite scary seeing a big strong cat at such a close distance!

Cheeky Cheetah
Asian Rhino and baby
Whilst making our way to the Asian Elephants, we saw some Flamingo and their brightly coloured feathers, long necks and knobbly knees and an Asian Rhino and baby  enjoying their sprinklers! The Asian Elephants were quite a distance away, but we caught a glimpse of a few of them holding each others tails, showing a keeper their feet and then joining the rest of their friends. They looked so at home and it was nice to see such a large enclosure for the to act naturally in. The Asian Elephants, along with the Chimps and Asian Rhino, have all featured in ITV's 3 episode documentary 'The Zoo' which features ZSL Whipsnade and ZSL London Zoo.

Asian Elephants
Coming up to lunch time, we saw another big cat; a Tiger. He was very close to the fence and we got some great pictures of his markings and teeth!
Close up to the Tiger
We made our way to the Birds of the World show and on our way we say some Sea lions and them playing under the water. It looks green and dirty but it's actually really natural and healthy for them. Another memorable part of our visit was the bird show. We sat around a tiered ring and the keepers and birds were shown on the grass area. The birds included brightly coloured Parrots of all kinds a Bald Eagle and a Barn Own. The birds flew around the ring and high into the sky showing off their huge wing span's and their bright colours. One little Parrot had such a loud personality, quite literally, that if you clapped and shouted loud enough  he flew closer to you, he also said bye! It was a great experience.

Bald Eagle
 Drawing our visit to a close, we headed to the Discovery Centre which housed all the small creatures from a couple of crocodiles to ants and spiders. This part of the visit wasn't my most favourite, just because I'm not a huge fan of creepy crawlies. But it was good to see the ants carrying leaves all around their pipes around the Discovery Centre and some Squirrel Monkeys munching on some food!
After noon we wanted some lunch and sat near the Hullabazoo Adventure Play Area, which was opened earlier this year especially for children. It's a great meeting place for schools and for children to rest and have a bit of lunch as it's situated in the centre of the zoo. Another great attraction near the centre of the zoo is the Jumbo Express - a set of two steam engine trains which take you around parts of the zoo which can only be accessed via car. You can see Elephants, Rhinos, Yaks, Camels and many more throughout the safari adventure and costs approximately £4.00 for adults and £1.00 for children.
Lastly, we made a short walk to the Penguins. We arrived just in time to hear the Penguin Talk and see their feed. Again their water was green but this is entirely healthy and natural for them. We were told about sustainable fish farming and how to identify each Penguin from their unique black markings on their chests with a little help from their unique numbered metal badge on their wings.

It was such a great day out seeing amazing animals where some are critically endangered and rely on educating the public about illegal animal trades etc. The ticket prices are very reasonable for a great day out and there are a few cafes and restaurants to catch a bite to eat too. You can bring lunch yourself in a cool box if you wish, although you have to carry this around with you as you cannot leave the zoo to return to the car as you will not be given re-entry. The gift shop is quite expensive but it all goes towards helping the animals and keeping the upkeep of the zoo. Plus, I didn't want a soft toy and so spent £1 and a penny to get my penny stamped as a token of my visit!

Overall I am so glad I visited Whispnade Zoo. It is one of the most memorable things I have done this year and I would recommend anyone of any age to take the opportunity, if you can, to go and visit.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

MUA Pro-Base Face Fixing Mist

Weather creates havoc with our hair, makeup and skin and when it comes to mid day, we never seem to look the way we did when we left the house!
I've heard and seen girls use hairspray on their faces to hold their makeup in place throughout the night, but to be honest - I'm not a huge fan of that! So when I had a bit of spare cash at the beginning of the week, I thought I'd try out Makeup Academy's Pro-Base Face Fixing Mist.
"All Day Long Wear...Fixes your makeup in place all day long. Protects against heat, humidity, cold and windy conditions"
MUA Pro-Base Fixing Mist - £5 - 50 ml
 The Pro-Base Fixing Mist is part of the same collection to that of the Pro-Base Primer and therefore has the silver/grey background with black and purple text. The little spray dispenser bottle makes it easy to hold and use whilst applying the Fixing Mist. It's also re-fillable, so you can use the bottle for something else afterwards if you want!
Back of Product - Bold text
What really stood out for me was that the aims of the product were ticked and clearly shown in bold so that they stood out when you read them! I loved this and gave me a little more confidence of what I was looking for when reviewing it throughout the day!
 The Fixing Mist is clear and looks and feels just like water. There is a slight smell of something but nothing too cosmetic or fragranced in my opinion. When sprayed onto the face, the mist isn't sticky and doesn't make your skin stiff like hairspray. Spraying liquid at your face will always catch you by surprise, but the mist is very light and dries really quickly. It also leaves the skin slightly moisturised and hydrated so that if you're looking a bit too matte in the morning, the mist will leave your skin with a subtle dewy look!

I've been using the Pro-Base Fixing Mist for nearly two weeks now and my days have consisted of working all day in heat and humidity, walking in the wind, shopping and trying clothes on and I can honestly say it has surprised me! I've been pleasantly surprised by how well it has worked - my makeup is noticeably fresher when I get home after work than before and has also given me more confidence throughout the day with how I look. A Big Thumbs Up.
Price; 5 STARS £5 is a great price, whether it's for everyday use or just to use when you have an important day ahead or off for a girly night out! Plus, you can use your NUS Student Discount to save 10% too!

Promises; 4 STARS The Fixing Mist adds subtle moisture to my skin, combating the matte effect well and my makeup is noticeable fresher when I get home after a long day at work or long day out shopping! Quick, simple and easy to apply and isn't sticky at all!

Ease of Application; 4 STARS The mist dries well and quite quickly, although I'm always a bit sceptical about anything liquid coming into contact with my makeup in case it runs! MUA advise that the Fixing Mist is sprayed at arms length, and when prayed at first it is a bit jumpy!

Would I Recommend to a Friend?; YES I think the Pro-Base Fixing Mist is GREAT to help hold your makeup in place throughout the day. You can use it all day everyday, or just for those long girly nights out or when you have that important meeting at work! A bargain and worth a try!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

MUA Pro-Base Face Primer

The Summer sun and higher temperatures are great, but like all weather - it affects our makeup wear. I like Makeup Academy products, but I have never tried their Pro-Base Face range. So when i saw their Pro-Base Primer and Fixing Mist I thought I'd give it a go! This post features MUA's Pro Base Primer.

My makeup routine doesn't involve using any kind of primer, just a good moisturiser so I was quite excited about using something different to see if it improved my skin complexion. The packaging is simple, black and purple text - easy to read on the grey tube. The tube is easy to hold and use, so squeezing out the last little bits isn't too hard, and plus I find cutting the tube open to get every last bit out helps too!

 "Flawlessly evens out complexion"
"Wear alone or under foundation for a long-lasting finish"
MUA Pro-Base Primer - £4 - 27ml
MUA Pro-Base Primer Reverse

MUA Pro-Base Primer Swatch Sample
The primer is creamy but really light and is absorbed well into the skin. I applied the primer after moisturising and before applying my foundation to help prolong the wear of my foundation. It doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy or dry and there are no problems applying my foundation afterwards either. I have noticed a difference in my skin whilst using the MUA Pro-Base Primer as my skin looks more even and feels fresher.

After working a full day and coming home, my makeup doesn't look fresh anymore and if I was asked to go out to eat etc. I would need to re-apply my makeup. However, after using the primer after coming home from work, my skin and makeup does look and feel like it has lasted longer compared to before - I love it. It gives me more confidence throughout the day concerning my skin tone and makeup.
Price; 5 STARS £4 is very reasonable for the results and the product. I used my NUS Student Discount card to receive 10% off. so £3.60 is even better! Great price, great product. Great value for money.

Promises; 5 STARS I used the primer under my foundation to help pro long my foundation wear and I did notice a difference. My skin looked fresher and more even and the cream was really light and refreshing on my skin.

Ease of Application; 5 STARS The formula is really light and is absorbed well. It didn't leave my skin greasy or dry and was easy to use whilst in a rush.

Would I Recommend to a Friend?; YES MUA's Pro-Base Primer is incredible for the price. I found it evened my skin tone and helped prolong my foundation throughout the day.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

NIVEA BB Cream 5in1 Beautifying Moisturiser

I've always been a bit sceptical about Blemish Balm creams and there are a few out there and I wasn't really sure whether or not to dip my toe in the water and try them. Although, when I found Nivea's 5in1 Beautifying Moisturiser BB Cream at a bargain price, I thought I'd give it a try!
"See and feel beautiful skin ... with minerals, pro vitamin B5 and a hint of colour. SPF 10"
Nivea BB Cream 5in1 Beautifying Moisturiser - Light - 50ml

Nivea BB Cream Back of Product and Box Packaging
Nivea claim that their BB Cream has 5 main properties;
  1. Evens skin tone, refines the appearance of pores and provides a matte effect.
  2. Covers imperfections such as blemishes, signs of fatigue, dark eye circles, reddish skin colour and fine lines.
  3. Illuminates complexion, boosting skins natural glow.
  4. Provides light, fast absorbing moisture.
  5. Helps to protect the skin from sunlight induced environmental influences and premature ageing with SPF 10.

Nivea BB Cream Sample

Nivea advise that the BB Cream is applied in the same way as a moisturiser - after cleansing and applying in small circles, so there's no new routine to add to your current morning makeup routine.
As well as being applied in the same way as a moisturiser, it also looks and smells just like a moisturiser/foundation. However, it does smell a bit 'cosmetic' - like makeup and not fragranced with fruits or citrus extracts etc.
The colour is described as 'Light' even though your hands never show the true colour of your facial tones, it is rather dark to be described as light. I've read that some girls use BB Creams as a sub for foundation in the Summer so that it doesn't look too heavy, but it doesn't cover my blemishes and patchy skin very well and I would therefore prefer something with more coverage. It also left my skin quite shiny which was a bit of a disappointment as I was looking forward to the matte effect  so I had to add powder as well.

Price; 5 STARS I bought this from a friend at £2.99 which I'm pretty sure is cheaper than from the high street. As it was a fraction of the price compared to others I ahve seen in stores, I thought giving it a try wasn't bad.

Promises; 2 STARS When I heard that BB Creams are somtimes used as a sub for foundation in the Summer, I was quite excited to us it, but I was really disappointed as it didn't give me enough coverage to cover what it promised - red blotchy skin, dark circles etc.

Ease of Application; 5 STARS Applying the BB Cream was very similar top a mosituriser or my own foundation so it was really easy to apply and take off as well.

Would I Recommend to a Friend?; MAYBE I wouldn't recommend BB Creams with no coverage as in my opinion you might as well just use a moisturiser. Although I haven't tried other BB Creams and therefore would consider trying others with other properties.

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