Soap and Glory Powders

Soap and Glory was created by Marcia Kilgore, also founder of Bliss Spa and FitFlop, in 2006 and have is a range of bath products, skin care and makeup, available at Boots.

Having heard rave reviews on the powders in the range, I was intrigued to try them out, especially as I’m already a massive fan of the bath products (I own a couple of bits of skincare but am yet to really try them out in full) and the Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss sticks.

While Boots was doing a 3 for 2, I picked up the One Heck of a Blot face powder and the Glow All Out, plus a Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Raplumzel. There is also a powder bronzer in the range (Solar Powder), but I didn’t buy that one – I’m super fair and sadly all bronzers seem to make me a bit oompa loompa faced.

The Glow Powder is absolutely beautiful, a real quality product at a good price point. It gives a lovely, very subtle glow to the skin and after using a big fluffy brush to apply to the tops of the cheekbones and a very light dusting down the centre of the face I can see a marked difference in the mirror – everything just looks a little brighter and more healthy. It isn’t a shimmer powder, there are no large shimmer or glitter particles, so I think this is a great choice if you’re looking for something to give a bit of a sheen and glow for the day time, as there’s isn’t a hint of glitterball about it, just luminosity. There is next to no colour payoff with this, so I’d definitely wear it on top of a touch of blusher. You can see how much I love these by the lack of lettering in the photo – I’m a bad blogger and should’ve taken the photo before using them!

The setting powder is also a really lovely quality, very finely milled and doesn’t cake at all on the skin – something which has often puts me off face powder products – so makes it a good one to consider if you generally prefer to use a spray such as Urban Decay De-slick. I tend to have an oily t-zone, with my forehead in particular being a bit of an oil slick by the end of the day and I found this powder did a really nice job of controlling the oil production and keeping my foundation in place (no minor miracle – it has usually disappeared by lunchtime). I think most women use or need a translucent setting powder, and I would highly recommend this one.

I’ve been using both products every day since I picked them up, which I think is a testament to their quality, and I really would rate them on a par with Benefit (who, based on the packaging, are clearly a brand which inspires Soap and Glory).

Although these products are certainly not the cheapest options on the high street, I think the quality is really fantastic for the price point, and combined with the really cute packaging I think they make a really nice choice if you’re looking for something a little bit more special for your dressing table.

On a side note, I think Marcia Kilgore sounds like quite an inspirational woman and entrepreneur and is someone I’ll definitely read more on.

The powders are priced at £11 for Glow All Out and £12 for the One Heck of a Blot and can be picked up from Boots, online and in most larger stores.

Empties #1

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Time for my first round of empties! No make up this time, just some hair and skin care products.

Neutrogena Visibily Clear Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub

I picked this scrub up one day when Superdrug was out of my usual, and this was on offer (I also bought the moisturiser from the same range). This has such a gorgeous fresh, fruity smell which I think makes this a lovely morning cleanser. My skin is a real mix of types – sensitive, prone to spots, dry and oily so it’s always a bit of a miracle to find something that actually works! This has left my skin feeling really clean, much brighter and with fewer blemishes. A definite repurchase!

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Creamy Oil

Until I started working on this post, I hadn’t even realised that two of my empties were from Neutrogena – I might check out some more items from the range, seeing as these two have been big hits.

I think I’m on to my third bottle of this – it’s super-moisturising but sinks in really quickly and isn’t too scented, so a great choice if you’ve got dry, sensitive skin – the packaging doesn’t feel particularly luxurious, but who cares when it delivers great results?

TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Conditioner 

I picked this up when it was on offer in Boots, along with the shampoo (which I accidentally recycled before taking the photo). I quite liked this at the start, but as time went on I felt it was weighing my hair down and getting a bit too heavy. I used up the shampoo on my hair, but finished the last of the conditioner off as a shaving gel replacement, when my King of Shaves was finished. I’ve tried a few TRESemmé products, but I just don’t think they suit my hair although I know other people have had great success.

King of Shaves Super Gel Ultimate Shaving Gel 

Another non-glamorous purchase, but a necessary one! The skin on my legs can be pretty sensitive and I sometimes get an un-slightly and sore shaving rash – not with this stuff though. It feels really gently, and I by far and away prefer the gel texture to a traditional shaving mousse – for one, it creates far less mess in the shower! Again, this will be a re-purchase.

Let me know what products you’ve recently finished up – and whether you’ll be re-purchasing! – in the comments below!

Monthly Favourites #1 – July

Well, we’re now into month eight of 2013 – where is the year going!?

I thought I’d do my first monthly round-up of favourite products, and there’s a mix of make-up, skincare and haircare this time round.

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Skincare

Nuxe – Reve de Miel Lipbalm

I picked this up when I was in Marseille for the day a few weeks ago, along with some other French skincare pieces. This lip balm is amazingly moisturising, but (and this is my favourite feature) completely matt and not at all shiny. I’m not a fan of shine on my lips, and hate the slippery, gloopy feeling you get with so many lip products. This smells and tastes great as well, so it’s hard not to lick it straight back off again!

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado
As part of my skincare revamp, I was on the hunt for a simple, effective eye cream that didn’t break the bank and this fitted the bill perfectly. I’m only 28, so I don’t need anything too powerful yet, just something to keep the area feeling fresh and hydrated.

This product has an interesting texture – when you first take a little from the pot it feels very rich and thick, but if you work it between your fingers it turns into a more water-like texture which is really easy to massage into the delicate eye area. I’ll definitely be re-purchasing this one!

Nivea Shower Gel with Oil
I love these – they feel so moisturising and smell gorgeous – like a far more luxe product! They are usually priced at £2.50 per bottle, which I feel is a bit steep as they’re so often on offer – I just stock up then.

Haircare
Toni and Guy Cleanse Shampoo and Conditioner for Fine Hair

I have pretty fine hair, though lots of it, and I’m enjoying using shampoos designed to add some body and oomph, and stop it clinging quite so tightly to my head. This Toni and Guy pairing had left my hair feeling so clean, soft and smooth and with a bit more substance to it – really loving these, and think I’ll repurchase and alternate with my other favourite, L’Oreal Ever Riche, in the fine dry hair variety.

Make-up
Soap and Glory – One Heck of a Blot Face Powder and Glow All Out Luminizing Powder

I’m loving these so much this month, I’m not going to talk too much and instead I’m going to do a full review tomorrow!

Nails
Barry M Jelly Nail Paint in Lychee and Guava

It’s no major surprise I’ve included these I suppose, as the whole blogosphere has been going crazy for these. I will say that I find the texture does take a bit of getting used to, as it is very thick and you can only do one layer at a time (if you try to go straight back over to touch up any area it seems to drag – it needs to be completely separate coats with time to dry in between) but the colour pay-off packs a punch, and the finish is super glossy. These didn’t last massively long on me, but no nail polishes do sadly. I tend to get bored and want to change the colour anyway!

Fragrance
Miller Harris, L’air de Rien

I’d been lovingly smelling this every time I went into Space NK, but couldn’t quite bring myself to splurge the cash on it. A few weeks ago I was browsing the Space NK online sale, and there it was – half price! For reasons unknown in retrospect (why didn’t I go for the bigger bottle!?) I ordered the 50ml size. I also dithered over the candle but didn’t take it – now I wish I had, as it would make a beautiful home fragrance too.

This scent is a stunning oriental fragrance, with notes of oak moss, neroli, amber and vanilla. I just can’t stop smelling my wrist when I wear this – it is undoubtedly one of my all time favourite fragrances – I think the dry-down is really unusual and wearing this perfume makes me feel sophisticated and chic.

Let me know your July favourites in the comments below!

Smoak at the Variety Bar

IMAG0601What can I say? Meaty, meaty goodness abounds at Smoak at the Variety bar.

Smoak is not immediately obvious, hiding as it is in a wee corner of the Variety Bar, but it is without a doubt worth seeking out. We went for pretty much opening time on Sunday as I’d hear horror stories about them running out of the goodies way before closing – imagine!

The surroundings aren’t salubrious, and no doubt there are wads of chewing gum under the table and a sticky floor but you go here to enjoy the amazing meaty treats.

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The Guadelupe Peak and 3 Mini Sliders, plus a basked of nachos

I went for the Guadalupe Peak, a colossal tower of pastrami, pulled pork, BBQ brisket, slaw, pickles, onions, spicy mayo, jalapenos, sauerkraut, Emmental served in a brioche bun with a side of nachos. Ian went for the 3 mini brioche sliders, with a mix of brisket and pulled pork.

From the first bite, there is a massive explosion of flavour and texture – soft meat, melted cheese, a bit of a crunch from the sweet and spicy jalapenos. This food took me straight back to being in the States in 2011, where I tasted the best shredded brisket ever, at Hearst Castle (not a place one would suspect of such tasty meaty treats),  from cows reared on the estate.

As Ian is in the food industry and I’m a bit of a foodie, being able to watch the chef at work in the compact (i.e. tiny) kitchen was a real kick, and I can honestly say that this was one of tastiest and most enjoyed meals we’ve had out in a long time.

One word of warning – perhaps don’t go here if you don’t want your companion to see you with a giant soggy bun in your sauce-covered hands, and with a good dribble of meats juices running down your chin. And certainly don’t go here if you haven’t got much of an appetite, as portions are generous.

Smoak seems to be another display of the Man vs. Food effect currently taking over Glasgow’s eateries, but I am complaining? I am heck – bring on round two!

Ps – news hot off the press, Smoak are now going to be serving at Pivo Pivo on Waterloo Street as well!