Book Review: Trust Me by Gemma Metcalfe

I have been absolutely spoiled when it comes to books these last few weeks. It seems like each one I pick up is at least as good as the last – if not better. Let me introduce you to another of those books.

Trust Me is a fast-paced, tension-filled book from Gemma Metcalfe. It tells the story of Lana, a call centre employee in Tenerife trying to sell holidays to the island. With the pressure of getting fired on her back if she doesn’t make a sale today, Lana calls Liam. What she didn’t know beforehand was that Liam was intending to kill himself that very moment. Lana wants to keep Liam alive and Liam wants to tell his story to someone before he dies, resulting in a book filled with unravelling secrets both never thought they would share.

This book caught my interest right away and I couldn’t wait for a spare moment to make headway with it. There are basically two main characters in the book, Lana and Liam, and the story alternates between the present time and their past. The book is short and easy to read and continues this back and forth structure throughout. Now, if you had just read those two last sentences the word ‘boring’ might have popped to mind. But this is a story which will keep you turning page after page after page. And best of all? It is a truly a unique story, something the thriller genre can often lack.

Why was this such an addictive book? Because it just kept you guessing. I don’t think I have ever read a book with so many well-plotted twists and turns, all of which I never saw coming. Even the very last pages had me shocked. But, Trust Me wasn’t just about shocking the reader. The character development was great for a short book. I really found myself empathizing with Lana and Liam and even found myself becoming emotional during certain scenes. I needed to find out more about them so, again, I was completely sucked in.

Basically, you just have to get yourself a copy of this book. It will make your heart race, your spine tingle and your eyes want to race on and read faster than you can keep up. This is a fantastic debut from Gemma Metcalfe and I can’t wait to see what she delivers next.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Trust Me by Gemma Metcalfe

Book Review: Trust Me by Gemma Metcalfe

Empties Post #3

Finally, some more finished products to show to you! Lately I have been buying way too many cosmetics and toiletries that there is not enough time to use products to the end. It will be a hard struggle, but I will get through, at least for the sake of Joyful Antidotes. Let’s kick off with these 5 products.

Catrice Cosmetics Multistyle Matt Eyeliner

Catrice Cosmetics Multistyle Matt Eyeliner

Catrice Cosmetics Multistyle Matt Eyeliner

I think this is the first product which has appeared in one of my empties posts which I truly felt disappointed with. The eyeliner has a pretty sturdy tip which is what drew me to it in the first place. I initially used it twice in one week and was pretty satisfied with it. After that, however, it completely dried up and would barely draw on my bare eyelid, let along over any eyeshadow.

Rimmel Volume Flash Scandaleyes Mascara

Rimmel Volume Flash Scandaleyes Mascara

Rimmel Volume Flash Scandaleyes Mascara

The inclusion of this product will come as no surprise to returning readers. Long story short, I absolutely adore it and will most certainly purchase it again. Click here for a more detailed review.

Dove Repair Shampoo/Conditioner

Dove Repair Shampoo/Conditioner

Dove Repair Shampoo/Conditioner

The Dove shampoo range is another product I have often raved about. I buy it almost every time I need a restock, and so far there hasn’t been another which has rivalled Dove in terms of price and quality. Usually repair shampoos/conditioners are a shot in the dark, but these actually left my hair feeling significantly healthier after just a couple of uses.

Simple Kind To Skin Micellar Cleansing Water

Simple Kind To Skin Micellar Cleansing Water

Simple Kind To Skin Micellar Cleansing Water

Past posts will reveal me as a massive fan of Simple. Following success with the Garnier Micellar Water, I just had to try the Simple version when it was released. Although a very good product, I found that it didn’t remove my make-up as well as the Garnier version, and also seemed to dry out my skin.

Nivea Soft Moisturizer

Nivea Soft Moisturizer

Nivea Soft Moisturizer

Nivea Soft has rekindled my love for the brand. I don’t know why I ignored this product for so long as it is a perfect fit with my skin. I use this every night without fail. I was happy enough with the fact that it doesn’t irritate my skin, but what really sold me was how soft it leaves my skin from the moment I apply it right until the next morning.

My Summer Beauty Essentials

One thing I don’t like about summer is the changes it makes to your body, whether it be allergies, sun burnt skin or, my most hated, dehydrated skin and hair. However, while once my mornings were spent despairing about flaky skin and straw-like hair, over the years I have become more prepared for the warmer months and found some products that get me through. Anybody suffering from these issues should read on and hopefully you will pick up a thing or two!

A good moisturizer

After sampling many, many moisturizers, I think I have found one which will never let me down – Nivea Soft. This product is perfect for rehydrating your skin and is very reasonably choice. After just a couple of days of use, your skin will become noticeably softer. It is very reasonably priced too – winner!

Nivea Soft Moisturizer

Nivea Soft Moisturizer

A facial scrub

Before you go slapping bucket loads of moisturizer on, it is necessary to remove any dead skin using a good facial scrub. I use the Simple Kind To Skin Smoothing Facial Scrub but whichever you use will be perfectly fine.

Simple Kind To Skin Smoothing Facial Scrub

Simple Kind To Skin Smoothing Facial Scrub

Don’t forget your body

As important as it is to keep your face hydrated, it is equally important to look after your body. Be sure to pick up a body scrub….

Alterra Body Scrub

Alterra Body Scrub

….and a nicely fragranced body lotion

Any body lotion will do, just be sure to rub it in well and often.

Bebe Young Care Soft Body Milk

Bebe Young Care Soft Body Milk

Use SPF

Using sun cream during the summer (in fact all year round) is a given. But most people tend to forget one crucial area, the face. In my opinion at least, it is hard to remember to sun cream on underneath your make up. Solve this problem by using a foundation with SPF. I use the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation which has SPF 15 and is also a light weight formula.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

Keep your makeup on

It is equally as hard to prevent makeup sliding down your face when the sun is scorching the sky. I think there is no way to really stop this from happening, but investing in a decent primer can help. I like to use Clinique City Block Sheer. This also has an SPF of 25.

Clinique City Block Sheer

Clinique City Block Sheer

Your hair gets thirsty too

Even more so when you dye it. There are plenty of products out there which help re-hydrate your hair but my favourite, and the most natural, is coconut oil. Try it once to feel the difference and end up becoming hooked!

Coconut oil

Coconut oil

What products are a summer “must have” for you?

My Top Nail Varnish Brands

I have become more and more obsessed with make-up over these past few months. I was always a fan but when I moved to Berlin, a city where the look is pretty natural, I found myself using the bare minimum. Cosmetics are now back with a vengeance so expect many more beauty posts on Joyful Antidotes. Let’s start with a lowdown of my favourite high street nail varnish.

Topshop’s make-up has reached a ‘coveted’ status on my scale during the short time it was introduced to me at Christmas. Their nail varnish range retails at roughly €7 per bottle and is more than worth it. I picked this bottle up in the sale and wasn’t very optimistic due to its pale colour. However, it only needed one application and lasted for a reasonable amount of time without getting chipped.

Topshop nail varnish

Topshop nail varnish

This nail varnish from P2 Cosmetics in a similar colour range to the Topshop product shown above, but has more of a bridal feel to it. Priced at approximately €2 a bottle it is considerably cheaper, however, the quality lacks a little. At least two coats are needed to get the most out of the colour. Nevertheless, it does stay true to its ‘Last Forever’ name and last five days or more when applied. Other P2 Cosmetics nail varnishes are also good, but I found this range the best so far.

P2 Cosmetics nail varnish

P2 Cosmetics nail varnish

Essence is a range that most people are familiar with, especially because of it very attractive pricing (€1.29). I buy a lot of my varnishes from Essence due to their massive colour range, however, the product is prone to chipping. Not that I can complain or anything because you do get what you pay for, but I do feel this range is best for those who like to change colours every couple of days. Admittedly, this won’t stop me buying from Essence as the overall quality for money is acceptable.

Essence nail varnish

Essence nail varnish

Rival de Loop are a brand on the same price level as P2 Cosmetics and Essence. However, they are certainly the best of the bunch. Rival de Loop offers a pretty of range of classic colours, while their sister brand, Rival de Loop Young, have a range of bright colour youngsters will love. For such a low-priced product, these varnishes are very good quality. They don’t need a lot of application and give a good few days without chipping.

Rival de Loop nail varnish

Rival de Loop nail varnish

Kiko is a great place to buy any sort of cosmetic, offering products and colours which are very similar to MAC, but at a much cheaper price. I can’t remember exactly how much, but their nail varnishes are usually priced around the €5 mark. The colours are extremely vibrant, no more than two coats is needed, and it has pretty decent lasting power.

Kiko nail varnish

Kiko nail varnish

Finally, ending the post as my favourite nail polish brand, is Revlon. Revlon was never a company I was drawn to but I got a free bottle of their nail varnish with perfume a couple of years back and since then, I can’t rave about them enough. The product can be around the more pricey mark of €10, but they are certainly worth it. The varnish applies so smoothly, the colours are beautiful and they last the longest out of any other brand mentioned here. This is definitely my top recommendation when it comes to nail varnish.

Revlon nail varnish

Revlon nail varnish

Which brands do you use? Can you recommend any to me?

London Beauty Haul June 2015

This is the first time I had to separate one shopping spree into two hauls. I don’t know if I should be proud of that fact or worried about how much money I spent. Like I said in the first part of my London haul, I bought a LOT of stuff. Usually I don’t purchase so many beauty items but my sister was with me who is a bad/wonderful influence. This haul might be a little excessive on the lipstick front, but I hope you enjoy anyway.

Rival de Loop

Rival de Loop eyeliner in 'Natural'

Rival de Loop lip liner in ‘Natural’ – €2.00 (actually bought in Berlin)

Makeup Revolution

Topshop

Revlon Colourstay Longwear Enamel in 'Stormy'

Revlon Colourstay Longwear Enamel in ‘Stormy’ – £4.00

MAC

MAC lipstick and lip liner in 'Heroine'

MAC lipstick and lip liner in ‘Heroine’ – Total of £23.00 (duty free)

Have you tried any of this products? What was your favourite?

Beauty Review: Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

It has been ages since I published a beauty review. In fact, the last one I did was on the InstaNatural Rose Water Facial Toner and Organic Argan Oil back in the beginning of May. This just dawned on me this morning as I was applying my make-up and thought “I just have to do a review of the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation”.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

Long term readers of Joyful Antidotes will know that I have always been all about the Clinique Repairwear Foundation.  So much so that it was the only foundation I wore for the last 8 years. But as I became more interested make-up, I felt it was time to shake things up a bit and the first brand I looked towards was Rimmel.

What does the foundation claim to do? According to the Boots website, it has a: “moisturising texture, applies smoothly and leaves skin feeling soft and comfortable all day. Gives an instant flawless, natural-looking finish!”. You know what? They are actually telling the truth!

I have particularly dry skin meaning that I have to be careful of the foundation I use. Not once have I had a problem with flaking while using this product. It does leave my skin feeling soft, most likely due to its lightweight texture which sometimes has me forgetting I am wearing make-up at all. Like the name suggests, the foundation also leaves me looking more alert. This is not a figment of my imagination as this has been commented towards me a number of times whilst wearing the product. I also feel that it is much more natural looking on than the Repairwear. However, there is one aspect where I feel Repairwear wins; it offers much better coverage for less product.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation, shade True Ivory

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation, shade True Ivory

Overall, I am happy to have found a quality drugstore foundation suitable for my skin. I use True Ivory which I have been told is the best shade for me, however, I would like to experiment with some paler colours. I stock up on the Wake Me Up Foundation everytime I go home to make sure I can never run out. Any others out there who are stuck in a Rimmel-free city like me, some of their products can be purchased on Asos.

What has your experience with the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation been like?

Empties Post #2

My second empties post is here! I have used up quite a few products in the last few weeks. Each of them I really liked and I can’t wait to share them with you.

The Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream was a product I recommended for sensitive skin. I found it very effective for exfoliating the skin without aggravating it too much. I would say that it was slightly aggravating rather than not at all as I think it is impossible to find a scrub which will have absolutely no effect on red, sensitive skin. I would repurchase this again but it would depend on my budget as I found the much cheaper Simple Kind To Skin Smoothing Facial Scrub equally as competent.

Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream

Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream

I absolutely love these Dove shampoos and conditioners. The ones in the picture specifically work towards repairing damaged hair, but they have a wide range of treatments on offer from dyed hair, to oil care and dry hair. It is most likely that no shampoo will ever totally repair your hair. However, when using these Dove products, I did find that my hair felt much smoother and healthier after each wash. They are a complete bargain at just €1.75 a bottle too!

Dove shampoo and conditioner

Dove shampoo and conditioner

This is a bit of a random one but I thought I would add it as it is very seldom one can say they really love a body wash. First of all, the smell of the Palmolive Aromatherapy Shower Gel is so good, and it lingers for some hours after you shower. Some people say that this shower gel is drying but I didn’t find that a problem at all. I can’t remember the exact price but it was definitely under €2. A little goes a long way as well so one bottle will last quite a while.

Palmolive Aromatherapy Shower Gel

Palmolive Aromatherapy Shower Gel

I have loved the Britney Spears perfumes ever since they were first released. The Fantasy Midnight is one of favourite fragrances and I am gutted that my bottle is empty. This has a beautiful fruity smell where plum and cherry scents are blended together perfectly. It is not an expensive perfume at all but it stands us well against others in the higher price range. The smell lingers all day and is one certain to draw compliments.

Britney Spears Fantasy Midnight perfume

Britney Spears Fantasy Midnight perfume

I have also just used up the Boots Botanics Cleansing Toner All Bright. I am really gutted about coming to the end of this as we don’t have a Boots here so I will have to wait until August to repurchase it. I was so happy when I found this as it is another product which doesn’t irritate my skin! It leaves me feeling nice and fresh, especially considering that it removes any traces of make up my remover may have missed. I am not normally one for using a toner, but this product has reminded me just how good they can be.

Boots Botanics Cleansing Toner All Bright

Boots Botanics Cleansing Toner All Bright

Are you a fan of any of these products?

Beauty Review: InstaNatural Rose Water Facial Toner and Organic Argan Oil

InstaNatural kindly offered to send me some more of their products to try and after the success of their eye gel, I thought ‘why the hell not?’ I wanted to choose two products which would help with my problem areas at the moment – my hair and skin. This led me to the Rose Water Facial Toner and the Organic Argan Oil.

InstaNatural Rose Water Toner

Rose Water Facial Toner

100% Pure, Natural Moroccan Rose Water Ultimate Facial Toner by InstaNatural

I had heard some great things about rose water, but it was never a product that I ever really used. However, given the chance to use a version which had no chemicals, preservatives or artificial fragrances, I jumped at the chance.

The product claims that it is suitable for all skin types, but past experience has made me become wary of such statements. I am happy to say, however, that the rose water did indeed work well with my skin and was not the cause of any breakouts, a common occurrence when I try a new product. After a few days of applying the rose water to my face, I noticed a difference in my skin. It had become softer. I also found the toner to have a calming effect on my skin, particularly in those instances where I was forced to use wipes to remove my make up. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a reduction in redness by using this product but I think there is nothing in existence which will even my skin tone. Nevertheless, and satisfyingly enough, it did help with closing my pores. In addition, the product has a beautiful smell, and sinks in quite fast to the face meaning that moisture can be applied pretty quickly if in a rush.

InstaNatural Organic Argan Oil

Argan Oil

100% Pure, Certified Organic Argan Oil by InstaNatural

The organic argan oil from InstaNatural is another 100% pure product with no fillers, binders or artificial ingredients. I chose to use the oil solely on my hair, even though it is also suitable for facial application. This is because I didn’t want to use too many new products at once on my sensitive skin. Once a week, I apply the oil (a generous enough amount but a little does go a long way) to my hair and leave it in overnight. My hair is so silky the next day when I wash it out! I wouldn’t say that it has totally combated the frizziness of my hair, but it certainly has improved the condition and makes it feel much healthier.

What natural products have you been using lately?

Review: Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara

I know, I know. Another mascara review and no surprise, it is another Rimmel product too. I just can’t help myself, I really love Rimmel at the moment. Plus, it is easy for me to try various different brands of mascara when I know they won’t disagree with my skin, which can often be the case with other cosmetics or skin care products. Now that I have justified my actions, on to the review we go!

The Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara – what is it supposed to do? Well, as the name probably gives away, this mascara is a throwback to the 60s when it was all about thicker, fuller eyelashes. Rimmel state that it will provide a look similar to that of false lashes, and most importantly, one without clumps.

IMG_1775

I am a big fan of the retro packaging.

When I first started slapping this on every morning, I wasn’t overly impressed. Not that it wasn’t good, it was, but I didn’t find it any different to some other products I had tried. The problem was not the mascara though, it was because I wasn’t looking at the finished effect hard enough. I switched back to another mascara for a few days for testing purposes and found that in comparison, the Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara actually gave me much fuller and thicker lashes. I wouldn’t go as far as saying my eyelashes looked the same as if I were wearing falsies, but it certainly made my eyes look more open and alert.

IMG_1779

IMG_1777

I think my favourite thing about this product is the wand and the wonderful curl it gives my lashes. While I wouldn’t necessarily say my eyelashes are short and stumpy, they certainly do not look as if they are ending above my eyebrows when I use any other product.

IMG_1776

Also, while the Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara is not waterproof, it does have lasting power. After at least eight hours of wear, I end the day which my eyelashes still boasting a strong hold, and very little is no fall out under my eyes. For the modest price of €8.99, this is definitely worth picking up.

For a really full, dark look, I recommend putting at least two coats of this mascara on. If you choose to do so, I would also recommend brushing through your eyelashes with a clean wand as this is not necessarily a ‘clump-free’ product.

What mascara have you been using lately? For another top Rimmel tip, check out my review of the Rimmel Volume Flash Scandaleyes Mascara.

March Primark Haul

A Primark haul really needs no introduction. All I can really say is that there are some great items in store at the moment, and I am really surprised at how I managed to restrain myself and leave with so little. Primark are offering some beautiful, on-trend pieces for the summer though, so no doubt I will find myself enjoying a return visit in the next weeks.

The main reason I went to Primark in the first place was for these jeans. I originally wanted an indigo pair, but as they were not in stock, I settled for these which will also be nice when the sun finally comes out. There are more or less a copy of the Topshop ‘Joni’ jeans at a much cheaper price. On first impressions, they are a perfect fit, true to size and have a good stretch allowing for comfort.

IMG_1938

Super High Waist Skinny Jeans – €13

The need for some new gym gear also fuelled my trip to Primark. I am not really fussed when it comes to what I wear, once the clothing is comfortable and practical. These pieces are made using quick drying fabric which will be really convenient when I need clean gym clothes in a short space of time.

IMG_1939

Vest Top and Shorts – €5 each

I have been trying to use accessories more and more to style clothing recently, and decided to try my hand at incorporating funky stockings. These sets were a very reasonable price so not a lot is lost if things don’t go to plan. I also needed some new gym socks and a liked the pop of colour on these.

IMG_1941

Left – €3, Centre – €1, Right – €3

I have heard a lot about the P.S Love range through the blogosphere lately so decided to give this hot pink lipstick a go. I found it to be very pigmented and long-lasting – it stayed on my lips with very little wear through a five course meal! It is more than worth the money and I will certainly be trying some of the other products in the range.

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P.S. Love Deep Colour Ultra Shine Lipstick in ‘Hot Pink’ – €2

Have you been shopping in Primark lately? What are your favourite items in store at the moment?