Week In Pictures

Posted on: Sunday, 29 July 2012

Natural Ingredients: Why They Might Save Your Skin!

Posted on: Saturday, 28 July 2012

Image source
This year I feel like I've had a real beauty epiphany. It horrifies me to think that just a year ago I would happily trowel make-up on to my face without so much as a baby wipe to see its removal. Any moisturisers I'd buy, I'd buy for the price rather than the benefit, and I would never have dreamed of giving a second glance to the ingredients list. I scoffed at the price of high end cosmetic companies and had never heard of parabens (more on them later).

Yet here I sit, 12 months later, a convert not only to a diligent skincare routine but also to the benefit of organic, natural products. Having done my homework on the synthetic vs natural cosmetics debate, I'm converted for life. Our health is the most precious thing we have and compromising that, in my opinion, is not worth a quick bargain. Likewise, your skin is your most vulnerable organ (being the only one that's external, exposed to the sun and nasty free radicals - see
here for more info) and it's true that your skin's appearance is one of the biggest indicators of your body's overall health and what you put into it - hence why when I'm hungover, my skin swells and reddens. Not only is this grotesquely unattractive, but also completely representative of why binge drinking is massively detrimental to the body!

Natural cosmetic companies are on the up. A quick browse of rising search terms for "skincare" alone showed that "organic skincare" and "natural skincare" were two of the most popular terms. There's been a huge resurgence of herbal products on the market as the dangers of some synthetic cosmetics and the chemicals within them are becoming increasingly known. Whilst they may not show immediately negative results, a large school of thought exists that says it may be the cumulative effect of these that can cause a multitude of problems. By no means is there a conclusive study on the matter; the debate rages on.

One writer from
organicandeco.com.au says,
'I choose to err on the side of caution and only use ingredients that are beneficial to my skin and my health. There are many quality and beautiful natural skincare products available today...in 20 or 30 years, when the Jury is in and the verdict finds synthetic ingredients guilty of being detrimental to health, I don't want to look back and think "I had the chance to be using safe skincare all along, why did I not do it?"'
Personally, I'm in this camp. The basic differences between natural and synthetic cosmetics are stark: many ingredients found in make up and skincare products have caused cancer in animals which have been tested on (which I wholly disagree with). Every day products like shampoos and conditioners, as well as face creams, can contain tar colours, phenylenediamine, benzene and even formaldehyde. Many every day cosmetics also contain chemicals which wreak havoc with hormones, damaging the immune system and having potential effects on one's nervous and reproductive systems. Sounds scary? It is.

Loopholes exist in the cosmetic industry standards. Many of these cosmetics are allowed onto shelves and into bathroom cabinets because such dangerous ingredients cannot "reasonably" be removed. Kim Erickson and Samuel Epstein's book,
Drop Dead Gorgeous: Protecting Yourself from the Hidden Dangers of Cosmetics, examines how these dangerous chemicals get into our bloodstreams: inhaling hair sprays, perfumes and powders, swallowing lipsticks, and absorbing eye make up through the sensitive membranes of our eyes.

How far you choose to run with these warnings is a personal matter, and personally, I'm not going to throw out my hair sprays and eye shadows just yet. But for the time being, I'll do as much as I can to minimise risks, and going organic and natural for my skin care - though expensive in many cases - is more than worth it.

What are your views on organic and natural skincare? Do you read ingredient lists - and would you be put off by the presence of synthetic ingredients? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

MAC Heavenly Creatures Mineralize SkinFinish - Light Year

This weekend my boyfriend and I are in Nottingham, where I'm a student and live during term time. One of the major plus points is that Nottingham has a MAC store - when I'm at home in Hertfordshire the nearest is about an hour away, so I don't get to go as often as I'd like. A lot of people say they find MAC counters and stores quite intimidating with unfriendly staff, but there's none of that in the Nottingham store - I've always had a really nice experience there.

So the Heavenly Creatures collection was released this month for Fall 2012, and has some of the most beautiful Mineralize SkinFinishes, blushes, lipglasses and lipsticks that I've seen for a long time. Some of the recent MAC collections haven't been up my street (Reel Sexy for example) but this one is just gorgeous. I've started out with one MSF and I'm planning to grab a few of the lipsticks and blushes when I get paid next week. Click here to see a run down of the whole collection.

It was a toss up for me between Star Wonder, Light Year and Center of the Universe, but I went for Light Year in the end - described as 'peachy pink with gold shimmer'. I decided to go for a pinky shade because the majority of my blush products are coral tones, so I thought I'd be a bit different for a change!

MAC Heavenly Creatures Mineralize Skin Finish in Light Year

 Light Year is completely sold out online, and I managed to get the last one in the shop - hence the scuffed up box!

 This isn't a massively accurate swatch but it's the best I could do!

As ever, it's a beautiful shimmery finish with excellent pigmentation, and I think the colour is absolutely beautiful! I tried to capture it as best I could with my phone, but will do more pictures with my SLR when I get home.

Have you got any of the Heavenly Creatures collection? Any recommendations for what I should get next? I've got my eye on the lipsticks Cut A Caper, Fire Side and Venus.

Lips: MAC Pink Plaid & L'Oreal Rouge Caresse on inner section
Eyes: Maybelline 24 Hour Colour Tattoo - On and On Bronze/MaxFactor False Lash Effect

Revlon Sweet Boutique Competition Prize

Posted on: Thursday, 26 July 2012

If you are on Facebook, you may well have seen the Revlon Sweet Boutique competition that took place a few weeks ago: basically, you entered your name once a day for a chance to win one of a hundred lip butters, and on each day there was a different shade. I entered on most days and thought the winners must have already been notified, so I was delighted to come into work on Monday morning to an email from Revlon notifying me that I was one of the winners!

The shade I received was Tutti Frutti, a beautiful bright orange and one I've had my eye on. I already have Strawberry Shortcake and Peach Parfait and this will go nicely in my collection: I'm sure it'll be no surprise to hear that I absolutely love the Lip Butters (but who doesn't)!

It came packaged in this cute old school sweet shop bag with 3 sweets which I thought was a really nice touch!

Were you one of the winners of the Sweet Boutique?

Travel Beauty Essentials

Posted on: Sunday, 22 July 2012

This weekend my boyfriend and I took a little roadtrip for the weekend, and for the first time in a while I've had to narrow down my absolute essentials. Whilst I was tidying up my make up this morning I thought I'd take a few photos and put together this blog post of what I obviously consider to be my 'essentials' - hope you enjoy it! 

RealTechniques Core Collection, NARS Sheer Glow, Illamasqua Satin Primer, Mac Studio Finish Concealer
So for my face I brought my RealTechniques Core Collection which features the buffing brush, foundation brush, precision brush (for concealer, lipstick etc) and contour brush. This set is amazing. I'm always wary of buying into the hype, but these brushes really are fantastic. The buffing brush in particular is honestly about 10 times better than any foundation, stippling or buffing brush that I've ever used for my face.

At the moment I'm generally using Rimmel's Wake Me Up Foundation and I'm really enjoying it. I did have a little bit of NARS Sheer Glow left over and so as it's still my favourite foundation of all time I thought it'd be perfect to use that over the weekend.

My friend got me a sample of the Illamasqua Satin Primer for my birthday last week and so I thought I'd try it out this weekend, and so far, so good.

Finally I brought my beloved Mac Studio Finish concealer (which is not looking its best, but has lasted me over a year so far).

bareMinerals foundation, Benefit Coralista blush, NARS Albatross highlighter, a very broken NARS Laguna bronzer
First up is my bareMinerals powder foundation. One word for this: amazing. If you haven't tried bareMinerals before, then I couldn't recommend it highly enough. Quite pricey but lasts a LONG time - I know a lot of people use this as their only foundation but because I have some serious redness issues going on with my face, I need pretty high coverage, so I use this on top of my liquid foundation to set it.

I dragged my Benefit Coralista (I know it says Rio - I don't actually know why it does - the Coralista sticker came off and this was underneath it) out of the depths of my make up collection as I absolutely love it but haven't used it for ages. Coral blushes are my absolute favourite and this is on the more pink end of the coral spectrum and has a nice amount of shimmer, so I've really enjoyed using this again.

My NARS Albatross highlighter is something I use every day over my cheekbones, brow bones and down my nose. The tiniest dusting leaves the most beautiful glow and I have yet to hit pan despite having had this for well over a year - another really good investment if you're thinking about trying a highlighter or wanting to try out a NARS product.

Last is my horrendously battered NARS Laguna which got well and truly annihilated when my boyfriend trod on my handbag by accident. Devastating! But it still does the job and there's so much product left, I just have to be super careful with it (and use a different mirror).

L'Oreal Rouge Caresse lipstick, NARS Super Orgasm Illuminator, MAC neutrals palette, Topshop black eyeliner, YSL Singulier mascara, Benefit Bad Gal Lash
For my lips I brought my L'Oreal Rouge Caresse lipstick in Impulsive Fuschia (stupid name - in my opinion), and nothing else. I like this because you can put on a few dabs for a really subtle colour or go all-out for a more dramatic look, so it works day and night.

The NARS Illuminator in Super Orgasm should really be up there with the skin products, but for neatness' sake it's here. I apply this after my foundation and concealer for an all over glow and I think it looks so pretty - one of my favourite products ever and another one that will last forever.

For my eyes (and brows) I brought my MAC Neutrals palette which has the colours Omega, Wedge, Woodwinked and Brun. These are my go-to eyeshadows pretty much every day and I absolutely love them. I only brought two brushes with me: a simple shadow brush (I wasn't planning on any intricate or heavy eye make up so this one brush does everything) and a brow brush.

For eye makeup brought my Topshop kohl liner, YSL Singulier mascara and Benefit Bad Gal Lash (which I hate on its own, but use it as a second and third coat after the YSL).

L'Occitane Angelica Hydration Cream, Bio-Oil, Caudalie Beauty Elixir, Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, Jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream
The L'Occitane Angelica Hydration Cream came from the June JolieBox and it is absolutely amazing. That's high praise from me when it comes to skincare as I honestly think so much of it is style over substance, but this has really impressed me. It retails at £29 for 50ml too which I think is steep but reasonable for a product of its quality so I will probably buy it after my sample pot runs out.

Bio-Oil is a bit of a marmite product, but this has lasted me about 6 months and I've loved it. It's done wonders for firming up my tummy and it smells really good too. I brought this with me because I use a few drops every night on my stomach area and massage for about 10 minutes and I honestly think it does me the world of good.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir is one of the most harped on about products out there so I won't say anything about it other than I brought it with me and use it to tone after cleansing and set my make up, and that people who say they like it for "refreshing" their face need to find a less expensive means of doing so!

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish is another product that has been done to death so I will leave that one too.

Finally is the Jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream, another product given to me by a friend and one that I am absolutely loving. It's a rich formula that sinks in beautifully and leaves my skin feeling really supple and hydrated.

I also brought with me but didn't photograph L'Oreal Elvive Nutri-Gloss Light Shampoo and Conditioner which is amazing, so if you haven't tried that I really recommend it and it's usually on a buy one get one free offer at Boots/Tesco etc.

What are your travel essentials?

French JolieBox!

Posted on: Saturday, 21 July 2012

So with last month's (horribly late) June JolieBox, I won a free French edition box, which I was really excited about. And I'm even more excited now that I've received it - it's an amazing box. This was in fact a January JolieBox I received (guessing they had extra stock as a few others who won this also got the January box). Having scoured the French website to have a look at some of the more recent boxes, I couldn't be happier that I got the January one, because I think it's not only full of brilliant products but it's a box that you can believe is way over the value of what you pay for it.

As ever, the JolieBox comes with a magazine. Obviously this one was all in French but I tried to read as much as I could with my very basic grasp of the language!

I always think the exterior of the JolieBoxes look a bit tattered - this one more than others - but as I end up using them for storage I don't really mind.

This was a nice little extra - a JolieBox pocket planner, which would have been far more useful if I'd have got it in January given that there's only about 4 months left of 2012...nonetheless it's really sweet and I will keep it in my handbag to see if I get any use from it!
First up is the winning product of the box for me. This is from Lierac, and is their Initiatic Energising Smoothing Cream. It's designed for normal to dry skin (bonus for me) and prevents the first signs of ageing. On the French JolieBox website a lot of women have commented that they didn't want anti-ageing products, but this is specifically designed for the very first signs of ageing which, depressingly, begin to take effect in your early twenties, whether they materialise visibly or not. It's formulated with camellia oil, shea butter and goji berries - which is the reason I love this so much. Goji berries are one of the most effective ingredients for early anti ageing products (and Asian women swear it's the cure for male sexual dysfunction, apparently!), and are absolutely packed full of vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids. It's also the main fragrance within the product, really fruity and fresh and it sinks in to the skin beautifully without that heavy greasy feeling that I loathe in moisturisers.

I didn't realise this picture blurred when I looked at it on the camera! Anyway it's not massively aesthetically exciting so I'm not going to bother taking a new one. It's a sample of the Clarins Gloss Prodige and I got the colour 04 Candy which is a deep dusty rose colour. Very pretty and smells great so I will definitely be using this. If you want to see the full sized product it is here and a clearer image of the JolieBox sample is on their website here.

I'm a huge body oil fan so this was another absolute winner for me, made even better by the fact it's from Dr. Hauschka, a much-loved German skincare brand who I absolutely trust. This smells beautiful and although it's only a 10ml product in a rather unexciting clear bottle I will get good use from it.

This is a beautiful, rich leg and foot cream from Natura, a Brazilian company whose major focus I believe is the use of the Cacau plant which grows there. This was a generous 100ml product so I assume it is full sized, and I've used this a couple of times and really loved the results. It's very intensive  and so it's the kind of thing I would use before bed rather than during the day. Very happy with this.

Evidently I was not having the sharpest of days when I took these photos as I forgot to photograph this final product individually, so have had to crop it from a bigger picture. Again, it's not the best looking of bottles so you aren't missing much! This is a Science et Mer toner made with 98% natural ingredients. It smells beautiful - reminds me of that Oceanus range that the Body Shop used to do way back in the day. This is a really lovely toner, very clean and fresh and not sticky at all so you don't have that greasy residue you get with a lot of toners.

So that's the January French JolieBox. It's not available for purchase anymore as far as I know but I thought I'd post this anyway as I always like seeing the contents of beauty boxes past and present. This is much better than any UK JolieBox I've had, which is disappointing, but I do still think it is the best Beauty Box on the market.

Have you ever had a French JolieBox? What do you think of this one?

JolieBox July 2012

Posted on: Thursday, 19 July 2012

After last month's fiasco, it was nice to get this month's JolieBox hassle free, and I'm really pleased with the box's contents - it's a nice mixture of everything bar make up, but that's fine by me. Here's what was in my box...

Etat Pur Biomimetic Skincare Express Purifying Mask RRP: £7.50
This is billed as an intensive face mask designed to purify the skin by absorbing toxins, impurities and excess sebum in the skin. Whilst Etat Pur are a well-respected brand, I wouldn't call this a 'luxury' product per se, but I'm interested to try it out. There are two Etat Pur products for this month's JolieBox and I'm pleased I got this one as the other is designed for oily skin and blemishes by the looks of it.

Essential Care Organic Rose Moisturiser Full Size RRP: £19
This was what I received as the 'special extra' item included by way of an apology for the shambles that was the June JolieBox (the delivery, not the products, which I loved). I was a bit disappointed because some of the other products are great (Taaj Micellar Water, RMK primer etc), and this is a teeny little bottle. Nonetheless I'm all for moisturisers so I will enjoy using this I'm sure, and it's very well reviewed.

Wen by Caz Dean Sweet Almond and Mint Cleansing Conditioner Full Size RRP: £24.95
A decent (but not full) sized product, this doesn't have such rave reviews but some absolutely swear by it. JolieBox say it is "bursting with natural herbs and botanicals, this single-step cleansing conditioner leaves hair looking and feeling deeply cleansed and nourished at the same time". I'll report back after I've tried it.

Nailgirls Mini Polishes from the Medal Collection in Gold & Bronze Full Size RRP: £10.50 each
These are miniatures from Nailgirls' Medal Collection, which is inspired by the Olympics and features Gold, Bronze and Silver. I'm pleased with the two colours I got as I got a beautiful silver chrome from the Essie Mirror Metallics collection for my birthday. I'm looking forward to trying these out - I particularly like the look of the muted gold polish.

JolieBox Toe Separators
Another weird freebie like the nail file from the June box. I suppose these will come in useful!

Jane Iredale Tantasia Self-Tanner Full Size RRP: around £25
Described as "a moisturising gradual self tanner for the face and body that provides instant, healthy looking colour", this is a pretty measly sized sample. I've been looking for a face self tan for a while and since this will probably only just about cover my mug I think that's all I'll be able to use it for. Nice to have a tan product in the box, mind.

So there we have it - the July JolieBox. Whilst I'm happy with the contents, I don't think they're as good as the June selection, but they more than made up for the issues of last month with speedy delivery and a nice little extra to say sorry.

Have you had your JolieBox for this month? What do you make of the products?

Month in Pictures

It's been a while since I've done a Week in Pictures post, so I've decided to do a more apt Month in Pictures post! I love looking at everyone's Instagram photos and like to do my own almost like an online photo diary. Hope you enjoy having a nosy!

Dangly heart photo frame, yet another photo of my cats,
my boyfriend enjoying a tiny glimpse of British summer, Moustache party

Multicoloured caviar nails, Glamour freebies,
Lebanese food, double rainbow

Brights, mini haul,
Wet walk, magazine and beauty storage
Hope you're all having a lovely July and enjoying the tiny bit of sun we're seeing every now and again!

Harriet x

Beauty Questions

Posted on: Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions taken from Georgia Loves's blog here.

What is your skin type?
Normal, in the sense that it's neither oily nor particularly dry, but I do have an uneven skin tone due to broken capillaries (genetic, thanks mum). So my bare skin, whilst unproblematic, is not the prettiest of blank canvases!

What is your morning skincare routine?
I only do my thorough skincare routine once, and that's in the evening, so for mornings it's a splash of warm water, a light moisturiser and then make up, followed by a spritz of Caudalie Beauty Elixir.

What is your evening skincare routine?
If I'm exfoliating, which I do two or three times a week, I use Elemis FreshSkin Skin Glow Exfoliating Face Wash. I then cleanse with Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, tone with whatever's lying around (sometimes Simple, sometimes Science et Mer), and moisturise with a variety of different creams (at the moment I'm loving the L'Occitane Angelica Hydration cream from the June JolieBox). I normally spritz on some Caudalie Beauty Elixir before hitting the hay. Twice a week I use my Decleor Hydra Floral Anti-Pollution Mask which smells lovely and really freshens up my skin.

Do you exfoliate?
Oops. See above.

What skincare products are on your shopping list?
At the moment I have so many to get through that I'm not thinking of any new purchases at the moment. 

What is your favourite product that you use?
Cleanse & Polish has to be a firm favourite for me.

What is your favourite face mask?
My Decleor Hydra Floral Anti-Pollution mask, though it's more of a cream and often I'll just leave it to soak in rather than washing it off.

What moisturiser do you use? A variety. At the moment I'm using both the ones from the June JolieBox—the L'Occitane Angelica Hydration cream and the YonKa Pamplemousse moisturiser.

Do you use an eye cream?

No, not at the moment. My redness problems are particularly bad across my eyelids so I like to be as gentle as possible with them.

Do you or did you have acne prone skin?
No, I've been very lucky.

How much money are you willing to spend on a skincare product?

It depends how good it was. If it was absolutely life changing then probably a lot. But because my skin doesn't really require majorly specialist attention I'm not keen to spend that much on products at the minute. That's why I like the beauty boxes!


What foundation do you use?

NARS Sheer Glow, but at the moment I'm using up Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation which I really love too.

What is your favourite concealer?
MAC Studio Finish.

Do you know your undertone colour?

What do you think of fake eyelashes?
Great when used properly!

Which mascara do you use?
Max Factor False Lash Effect. Nothing else comes close in my eyes.

What is your favourite MAC product?
Their eyeshadows and lipsticks. If I had to choose from those, Woodwinked eyeshadow and Girl About Town lipstick.

Which brushes do you use?

My brush collection is an absolute jumble sale—a mixture of MAC, Bobbi Brown, and some completely random ones! I've just ordered the Real Techniques Core Collection which I'll review as soon as possible.

What are your thoughts on primers?

I used MAC Prep + Prime Skin for years and it's very good, but my foundation sits just as well and lasts just as long over a light moisturiser, so I tend to just stick to that now.

What is your favorite eyeshadow/palette?
My MAC neutral palette that I put together myself (Omega, Wedge, Woodwinked & Brun).

Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?

Both, but not usually together. And it's not strictly liquid: I use gel (MAC Blacktrack and Bobbi Brown Chocolate Shimmer).

What is your favourite lipstick?
See above!

Do you wear lipgloss?
Yes—a lot!

Do you prefer bronzer or blusher?

Ugh, touch choice. Well bronzer I suppose because it's dual function—contouring and bronzing! But I can't go without blusher either.

Do you like to contour?

See above. I keep getting ahead of myself!

Do you use drugstore or high end cosmetics?
Mostly high end, some drugstore. I'm a bit of a make-up snob :(

What's the worst makeup crime you've committed?
Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse misuse and overuse as a 14 year old!

Do you prefer bold or neutral shades?

Which celebrity always has great makeup?

Whilst I'm not a massive fan of her look, I always think Katy Perry looks really flawless. Cheryl Cole's make up always looks pretty good too.

If you could leave the house wearing only one item of makeup, what would you use?

Do you think you look good without any makeup on?

No. I think I'm passable with just foundation, but because of my redness, I think it makes me look like I'm a) really hungover or b) really ill.

What is your favourite makeup brand?

Which makeup brand do you think is overrated?
Errrm possibly MAC although I do like the majority of it.

What's the most you'll spend on an item of makeup?
Around the £30 mark for a top quality foundation.

NARS Jungle Red Lipstick

Posted on: Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Finding the perfect red lip for your skin tone, I think, is one of the biggest revelations a girl can have. Is that sad? Probably. Anyway, NARS Jungle Red has been my staple red lipstick for over 18 months now, and I have nothing negative to say about it (at a push, it is slightly drying, but fine if lips are primed with a balm). The formula is smooth, matte but not too matte (MAC's Matte formulas are culprits of this - often so matte it's like dry paint) and to me a pure, cool-toned red.

If you've read my blog, you'll know I'm an absolute sucker for NARS, so it's no suprise that they have produced my favourite lipstick. I also saw Kristen Stewart wearing it. And even though I think Twilight is an absolute crock of shit, if it's good enough for her...

NOTD: Essie 'Tour De Finance' & OPI 'Nothin' Mousie 'Bout It'

Posted on: Monday, 9 July 2012

These were two colours I'd had my eye on for absolutely ages, and when payday came I finally splurged (I actually picked up about 5 polishes and was going to do a haul post before this but I couldn't resist so I'll have to do that one tomorrow).
Essie Tour de Finance is a beautiful blue toned fuschia: probably my favourite shade of pink in one bottle. By any stretch of the imagination, I'm not a girly girl (though this post would somewhat negate that statement) so hot pinks are mostly off the menu when it comes to nail polish, but this is so beautiful. I'm absolutely smitten by it! Tour de Finance was released with their Spring 2012 'Navigate Her' collection, of which I picked up one other, and it's a satin finish so looks very pretty and polished.

OPI Nothin' Mousie 'Bout It layered on Essie Tour de Finance
 Further adding doubt to my 'I'm not a girly girl' claim, this nail polish is any pink, glitter or sparkle lover's dream. It's from the OPI Vintage Minnie Mouse Collection, which as a whole I am not a big fan of (but is great if you like pink and red), but as soon as I saw swatches of this I knew I couldn't go without. You know when you just know?
As you can see, it's a sheer glitter polish with tiny glitter particles and bigger heart particles. It takes a bit of adjusting to get the hearts placed where you want them, but in my opinion it is so worth it. I can't stop looking at my nails, even if it is a bit OTT.
Both formulas are fantastic and apply easily, and I didn't find Tour de Finance streaky at all. Bear in mind, though, that it is NOT part of the Essie diffusion line (most of their collections aren't) so has the old-style thin brush, which actually does not bother me like I know it bothers some. 2 coats of Tour de Finance and 1 coat (plus some fiddly heart confetti adjusting) did the job just right!

Do you have any guilty pleasure nail polishes?

Glamour Freebies - August 2012

Just a quick one - if you haven't heard/seen already, Glamour magazine are doing a Balance Me giveaway this month. Balance Me are a great brand who focus on purely natural skincare and are the freebies on offer are a Pure Skin Face Wash, an Eye Cream, a Balancing Face Moisturiser and an Intensive Lip Salve. They're worth about £11 each so if you buy 4 mags that's £8 spent for £45 worth of products - not bad! I've only picked up one and got the moisturiser but I'm keen on the lip salve so will be keeping my eyes peeled!

Have you picked up any Balance Me freebies with glamour this month?

Update 19/7/12: I'm sad to say I haven't got on very well with this product. It felt a bit drying in comparison to my other much-loved moisturisers and my skin felt quite tight. I don't know if this is something to do with it being for combination skin, but I doubt I would have any discernibly unusual results if that was the case. I'll give this another go soon and update again on my progress. I know others have loved this product and the other freebies on offer have been given rave reviews so don't let this put you off. Plus, at £2 for the magazine, if you don't like it it's not too much skin off your nose!

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