Thursday Showcase: Matt Corby

Thursday, 28 February 2013

I feel like I'm having a little bit of a midlife crisis in my little blogging world. I've been saying for a while now that I want to write more than just constant beauty product reviews, and after an amazing response to my last blog post regarding illegal teeth whitening, I've decided to introduce some new topics on here. I'm going to write about anything and everything that I care about, whether that's music, current affairs, personal posts and of course, there will still be plenty of beauty talk!

So today I'm debuting a weekly feature where I want to 'showcase' an artist/band that I've been loving recently, and you might find yourself discovering some new favourites or even old favourites!

 Matt Corby is an Australian singer-songwriter who was a runner-up on Australian Idol when he was just 16. Matt is actually signed to indie label Communion (co-founded by Mumford & Sons very own Ben Lovett), alongside the likes of Ben Howard, Gotye and Michael Kiwanuka. Considering Matt is just 22, I find his music to have such a mature depth to it and his voice is simply incredible. And let's face it, he's not exactly sore on the eyes! I've posted 2 YouTube links to his songs, the first one which to me is so beautifully raw, honest and sincere. It's completely stripped back so you can really appreciate his voice. The second song is different in that it's a little more chilled and relaxed. Everytime I hear it, I picture myself in the widest open space I can imagine, with nothing and no one around for miles, and with nothing to think about except the music.

I really don't know how Matt hasn't taken the UK charts by storm yet, he's one of my favourite artists right now and I hope we hear a lot more from him this year!

Did you know you can also follow me via Bloglovin or Twitter?

Beware: Illegal Teeth Whitening

Thursday, 21 February 2013

I have been wanting to write this blog post for a while now as I feel like this is an issue which needs to be spread and known about. Some of you may have noticed from my tweets that I had booked a teeth whitening session from Groupon back in January with Naturawhite where I thought I was getting a great deal - £59 for a 1 hour appointment instead of £300. Turns out this isn't really a special offer at all, and is the standard rate as advertised on their Facebook page. But that's another issue altogether.

I had a routine dental appointment at the beginning of the month and when I mentioned my whitening appointment to my dentist, she seemed concerned about the legality and safety of it so I decided to investigate further. Their website is lacking in specific information about the whitening procedure which should serve as a warning sign straight away. They fail to provide information regarding the chemical agent used to lighten teeth, which is something that I, as a consumer, need to know. If it's going to be used in my mouth, I'd like to know what exactly it is. Through an email exchange, I did ask which bleaching agent they used and the question was avoided. I asked again, and was eventually given an answer. They use sodium perborate which is pending a ban by the EU and it is already banned for use in cosmetics in Japan. A quick Google search instantly brings up several webpages detailing this chemical. I feel like this information should be made immediately available to any consumer on the Naturawhite webpage. If they believe it is safe to use, why do they not disclose it openly?

The legality issue surrounding teeth whitening is often confused. New legislation came into place at the end of October 2012 which states that only GDC registered dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists may carry out dental procedures. There are also several regulations regarding the use of hydrogen peroxide - products containing or releasing hydrogen peroxide cannot be used on those under 18, tooth whitening products containing or releasing hydrogen peroxide are only legal up to the limit of 6% and must only be administered by a dental professional. I have seen Naturawhite state that the age limit for their whitening treatment is 16. Naturawhite advertise their whitening as non-peroxide but the fact is that sodium perborate breaks down into hydrogen peroxide of levels up to 35% in some cases. This is obviously much higher than the legal limit of 6%. They have 'dentists' listed on their website, but a quick General Dental Council search reveals that these 'dentists' do not exist on the GDC list of registered dentists. This company also offers training courses which allow you to become a 'bleaching technician' - a mickey mouse 'qualification' which does not mean that you are a dental professional. What this means if that you, me or anyone can walk off the street, take this course trained by non-GDC registered dentists and then whiten your teeth with an agent releasing a dangerously high level of hydrogen peroxide.

Having been in touch with Naturawhite, I was offered little reassurance. I was not aware of the solid facts at this point, and was more worried about my personal appointment in March. I received rude responses verging on aggressive, I was fed false information and misled to believe that the General Dental Council acts to protect dentists but actually, it is there to protect the public. Naturawhite led me to believe that GDC members are 'attacking' them because they are undercutting them in the market and offering teeth whitening at a much more competitive price. I have contacted Groupon to request a refund under the pretense that they are selling an illegal service and after several strongly worded email exchanges, I have been successful in getting a full refund.

The problem is, there is such a high abundance of these companies and individuals operating. Be particularly wary of beauty salons who may employ one of these 'trained bleaching technicians' to carry out teeth whitening. If the individual is not registered on the GDC register (ask for their registration number and check it) then they are performing teeth whitening illegally. There are plenty of other companies like Naturawhite operating around the UK. They will spout information about how what they are doing is legal and if it wasn't legal, they'd be shut down by now. The fact is, this legislation is still fairly recent and the GDC are faced with a huge backlog of investigations. They have been successful in shutting down similar companies, and it is only a matter of time before the rest of these companies are investigated and shut down.

I can't speak for other companies, but my experience with Naturawhite has been entirely negative. I was completely blocked from their Facebook page when I questioned the legality of their company. Surely if they have nothing to hide, they would answer any queries rather than deleting evidence of them and blocking the individual from saying any more. It is quite obvious to me that they do not want the word being spread about this industry. Yet they claim to have 100% positive reviews and to be doing no wrong - they have 100% positive reviews because they delete anything negative from their social media platforms. If they are doing no wrong, why are they so vague about the treatment and why do they not address the issue and inform their customers about what is going on? It doesn't make sense and is too suspicious, which just confirms my initial concerns.
I was sucked in by a tempting deal and I feel like these companies are exploiting that fact. We can't resist what we see as a bargain, but it's just not worth risking your dental health. Please, don't be fooled by these companies and spread the word.

I urge you to join this Facebook page dedicated to informing people of the dangers of these illegal tooth whitening companies and who are campaigning for action against them. They provide information, links to relevant information and organizations and support for those of us who have concerns: Stamp Out Illegal Tooth Whitening.

More information:

Jasmine and Henna Fluff-Eaze

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

This is one of those products that I can see myself buying time and time again! It's a hair treatment which you apply to dry hair before washing it out. I usually leave it on for around 30 mins or however long I can stand the smell... It smells very strongly of jasmine, which I'm not a fan of, and the smell does linger for days. But the benefits my hair reaps from this product is so worth putting up with the smell! My hair is naturally wavy and flyaway once it's dry, but once I've used this my hair is frizz-free, smooth and sleek for about 3-4 days. This mask is primarily targeted to people with dark hair as it does contain red henna, but I have lighter hair (dark blonde/light brown) and I still love it. I feel like it is slightly pricey considering that I have to use around 1/4 of the tub per application and I have fine hair which is mid-length, so if you have longer or thicker hair then you'll need to use more.

But I'm on to my second tub of this, and that says a lot for me as I rarely stick to the same hair care products! As expected from LUSH, this contains lots of natural, fresh ingredients and essential oils. However, one of the ingredients is SLS so if you like to use SLS-free products then this may not be for you. But if you're after a hair treatment that works wonders for frizz and flyaways, then look no further!

Origins Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Treatment

Thursday, 14 February 2013


I'm warning you now, this is a seriously rave review. It's rare that I really love a skincare product, as I tend to chop and change products often but this product has well and truly earned its place in my skincare routine. This treatment from Origins is probably the most gorgeous smelling thing I have ever put on my face; it smells fruity and fresh and almost edible! I started using this at Christmas and when I first started using it, I wasn't overwhelmed. I was using it as a moisturizer rather than the treatment it's intended for. But over the past month, I've been using it pre-moisturizer and I love it. The consistency is a gel-cream, it feels light, absorbs quickly and really hydrates my skin rather than just temporarily masking the dryness like a lot of moisturizing products seem to do on my skin. It almost feels as if it locks in the moisture. At night, I follow this with my evening moisturizer and I use a lighter moisturizer in the morning. It leaves my skin feeling so soft, supple and over time, it seems to have helped with uneven skin tone and generally balancing out my skin's battle between being dry and oily.

I have sensitive, dehydrated skin and this hasn't irritated me at all. It actually seems to help soothe the redness I suffer from on my cheeks. I also get oily throughout the day, and this product hasn't exacerbated that for me. I really want to buy the whole Make A Difference range, now - this product has got me completely and utterly sold.

Sharing the Love #1

Sunday, 10 February 2013

I've decided to start doing a weekly post to almost coincide with the Sunday #bbloggers chat on Twitter. I always find so many amazing blogs that I haven't read before, so what I want to do is to compile a blog post after the chat on Sunday evening and give a few blogs a mention on here and encourage you all to check them out! The #bbloggers community is always in need of some extra sharing the love, and I feel like this would be a more informative way of doing that rather than shout-outs on Twitter.

So, here we go!

Danielle's blog is predominantly a lifestyle and fashion blog, and from what I've seen so far I'm going to have serious outfit envy from following her blog!
Vicky's blog is packed full of informative beauty reviews alongside a friendly writing style and some great photographs. Definitely one to check out if you're a beauty addict!

Charlie's blog intrigued me as soon as I clicked on it. She features a variety of beauty, lifestyle and fashion posts which I think is great! I don't think I'll get bored of reading her blog anytime soon!

Lucy's fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog offers clear photographs, informative reviews and a bloody gorgeous, girly layout which I can't get enough of! 

Jo's blog offers a stunning layout with some lovely graphics and her photographs are so well-taken it hurts. Serious blog envy here!

Let me know if you check out my favourite blogs from tonight's #bbloggers chat, and why don't you link to some of your favourites too?

Look Beauty Loud Lips - Toffee Cup

I've been searching for the perfect nude lipstick for months now and I think I've finally found it. I bought this online when Look Beauty had 50% off, so this only cost me £3.50 which is a complete bargain considering the quality of the lipstick. It's pigmented, super creamy and not drying on me at all. I found that most nudes I tried either washed me out as I'm quite pale, or were too brown-based but Toffee Cup is the perfect nude for my skin tone. It seems to add just enough warmth due to the peach tones, and I love wearing this with a smokey eye as it's so understated. The one thing I really dislike about these lipsticks is the packaging. They have a metallic close which isn't particularly strong, so I can't just chuck this in my bag and know that it will be 'safe'.

What is your perfect nude lipstick? Have you tried Look Beauty's lipsticks?

Looking for Alaska

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Looking for Alaska by John Green - £5.03 from Amazon
This isn't a lipstick review - yes, I'm shocked too! This isn't a book review, nor will it be a regular feature or series on my blog but simply me sharing some beautiful quotes with you from one of my favourite books. I don't want to give anything away, hence why I'm not reviewing this book because I went into it without knowing anything about it, and I'd recommend anyone else do the same.

In short, this book moved me to tears, made me laugh and ultimately broke my heart. And that is what I love in a book. There were several occasions when reading this book that I had to put it down to wipe my tears away, to question things not only in the book but in my life, to sit back and appreciate what was in front of me and always had been. John Green seems to have an uncanny knack of capturing emotion both within the characters, and within the reader and I can't wait to read more of his work. I am in complete and utter awe of his writing abilities and style. Parts of this book still resonate with me today, months after reading it and, to me, that is the sign of a bloody good book and a bloody good writer.

Which book did you last read and if you have it to hand, I'd love to hear a line from it!

Look Beauty Fresh Cheeks - Guava

Friday, 1 February 2013

I'm a recent convert to cream blushers, and this little gem from Look Beauty is fast becoming my go-to blusher. There are 3 shades in the Fresh Cheeks range and I decided to buy Guava and Melon when Look Beauty had a 50% off sale across their entire range. Guava looked like the most subtle of the 3 colours, but it offers a lot more pigmentation than I expected. The consistency is creamy and easy to work with, and it leaves a dewy finish on the cheeks which is lovely for adding a subtle glow. I usually dab this onto the apples of my cheeks with the Real Techniques stippling brush, blending outwards towards my ears and find that it can be built up to quite a bold colour or, as I prefer it, a natural flushed cheek. As it leaves a sheen on the skin, I do like to finish this with a very light dusting of pressed powder just to set it but it doesn't seem to flatten the colour which is great.

You really need the tiniest amount of product, so I can see this lasting me a long time! Look Beauty also currently have a sale on a lot of their products, and these cream blushers are currently £3 instead of £5!

Have you tried any of Look Beauty's products? What do you think of cream blushers?


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