30 May 2013

HAUL | Illamasqua and LookFantastic!

Clearly I have no self-control.  It's been said before, but I'm admitting it now. I have a problem. A couple of weeks ago, Illamasqua had a flash sale - 50% off! I kid you not! How could any girl say no to that?! So I went a 'tad' crazy and purchased a 'few' things.


Illamasqua (L-R): Blush - SOPHIE, Lipsticks - Liable, Scandal, Eurydice,
Concealer, Blush - Thrust, Highlighter - Aurora Gleam, Blush - Excite, Skin Base Foundations 
Illamasqua Lipsticks (L-R) Liable, Scandal, Eurydice

Some skincare purchases were also made.  I have been eyeing up REN masks for a looooooong time, and I just couldn't resist any longer.  I needed me some REN masks!

REN Skincare Face Masks
I got the REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Mask and REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask from lookfantastic.com!

Over the next few weeks, I will be trying them out and will do a full review soon.

Have you tried any of these products?  Share your experience!
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27 May 2013

Review | Toni & Guy Nourish Reconstruction Mask

I love a good hair mask, in fact I just love masks.  I have quite fine, long hair and the ends are prone to dryness, so I have to ensure that I give them some TLC.  I used to use in-shower hair masks, but I got hooked on Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment about 18 months ago.  I will review it in full soon.





It has a very thick, creamy texture.  The smell is heavenly, I can't stop smelling my hair afterwards!  After shampooing, I apply this from the mid-length to the ends of my hair and leave it for 5-10 mins, depending on how dry my hair feels.  I try to leave my hair to dry naturally just to give my hair a break.  My hair is lovely and shiny afterwards.

Simply put, I am loving this at the moment!  It's available in Boots for £7.19.

Have you tried this?  What's your favourite hair mask?
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26 May 2013

Lust List | Skincare

I have been obsessed with skincare recently, and have been adding things to an already long list whenever I spot something on twitter or the blogs I read.  I will share a few of them today.



Cleansers



(L to R) Emma Hardie Natural Lift Moringa Cleansing Balm, Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser, The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser



Up until a few months ago, I was happily using foaming/gel washes due to my acne-prone, oily-combination skin to reduce the oiliness.  However, my eyes have been opened by Caroline's blog.  According to her, foaming/gel cleansers = NO NO!  Creamy balm cleansers = YES YES!  And her favourite is the Emma Hardie Natural Lift Moringa Cleansing Balm.  I do like the look of this, but the price £34.50 is a little steep for me.  So I researched further, and found Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser and The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser which is a favourite of Lisa Eldridge's.  I''m torn between these two and to be honest, will probably try them both out at some point!


Toners

Pixi Glow Tonic (image: beautymouth.com)


Now, I had actually eliminated this step out of my routine until recently *hangs head in shame*.  And I blame a consultant at Origins counter who told me once, it is an unnecessary step.  I'd really like her to meet Caroline Hirons! ;-)  

I have had my eyes on the PIXI Glow Tonic since Caroline recommended it, and it came in stock yesterday! *dances in joy* and I have placed an order today...what if it goes out of stock again? I couldn't risk it!


Moisturisers

Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturiser


Who knows whats's in your moisturiser? Anyone? No? Well, neither did I, until I read up about it on, guess where? Yep on Caroline's blog!

She explains about how pointless a moisturiser is that has mineral oil as an ingredient.  Now for the likes of you and me, look for Pertrolatum, Paraffinum Liquidum.  These are the ones I've identified, I'm sure there are more!  Mineral oil basically sits on top of your skin and doesn't moisturise your skin.  So basically like putting vaseline on your skin, you're only providing a barrier on your skin, not moisturising it.

Anyway, I've been looking into moisturisers without mineral oil (which are hard to come by) but I am interested in trying Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturiser.  Then I saw the price at £54 for 50ml - it'll just have to wait on my list a little longer!

Have you tried any of the products mentioned above?  What products are on your lust list?
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23 May 2013

REVIEW | Lush Oatifix Fresh Face Mask

Face masks with natural ingredients, what's not to love?  I really started getting into Lush fresh face masks last year when my skin was behaving badly and I was looking for alternatives.  Due to using various spot creams, my skin had extremely dry patches and makeup looked horrendous sitting on top of the flakiness!

Oatifix Fresh Face Mask


What Lush says about Oatifix:

"A mask for dry skin. 
Bananas are a very rich oily fruit – so are perfect for a mask that is trying to get goodness into dry skin. Also in here is illipe butter to moisturise the skin and leave it supple.  
Oatmeal, ground almonds and kaolin bind the ingredients and act as a very gentle scrub to lift dead skin away and leave the face looking brighter. A soft fragrance based on vanilla absolute finishes off this nourishing mask."

Oatifix Fresh Face Mask

It smells quite sweet and has the texture of porridge basically.  When applying make sure you're standing over a sink, because it IS messy.  It kind of peels of your face as you're applying it.  I would not recommend walking around the house with this on your face, as it will keep falling off your face.  I wasn't happy with this aspect.

Now for the efficacy of the product, I applied it on cleansed skin and left it on for 15-20 minutes and rinsed off with tepid water.  My skin felt really soft after washing my face, no tightness whatsoever!  I do think it reduced the flakiness of my dry patches, so it is effective.  However due to the messiness of application, I have been put off repurchasing unfortunately.  

I loved the results, and I do think if you have dry skin it would be good.  So a 'mid' thumbs up from me ;-)

Have you tried Oatifix?  Is there any better way of application to avoid the messiness?
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19 May 2013

REVIEW | Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder

Truth be told, I wasn't ever a bronzer girl.  I always stuck to blushers and never even delved into contouring.  Last year that all changed.  In the spirit of trying out new products, I decided I'm going to find out what contouring is all about.


Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder, £23.50

One lovely Saturday morning, I went into Boots and spoke to someone at their Benefit counter.  The lady there did a mini makeover, essentially teaching me how to contour.  Now, the novice that I was, I thought all bronzer had some shimmer in it, and I'm not a lover of shimmer in face products.  However when she used the Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder, I was amazed at the result!  It was matte and it wasn't orange-y in the slightest.  It didn't look unnatural on my skin although it looks quite dark in the box.  I was sold!

Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder, £23.50

I have been using it for a good few months now, and I have to say it's a definite favourite.  You can dust it over your face with a fluffy blush brush for a sun-kissed tanned look, or go for a more defined contoured look with a little more colour with a MAC 109.  I would advice to go easy with it, as it's rather pigmented. Better to start with a little colour, and you can always  build up if you want more.

Benefit, you've done it again.  A perfect matte bronzer for a bronzer novice like me.  Have you tried Hoola or any other similar bronzers?
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18 May 2013

REVIEW | Revlon Powder Blush

Wow...the British summer is truly here, isn't it?  It has been raining non-stop since last night. Not impressed.  The silver lining is that I'm not going anywhere, so more blog posts! Yay!

Today I've got two blushers I'd like to show you.  I got these a couple of weeks ago and these were my first Revlon purchases.  For some bizarre reason, I do not own a single piece of Revlon cosmetics!  I needed to remedy that!

Revlon Powder Blush: Tawny Peach (left) & Berry Rich (right)



Revlon powder blush comes in four colours: Sandalwood Beige, Smoky Rose, Tawny Peach and Berry Rich.  I went for the Tawny Peach and Berry Rich. Tawny Peach is, well, a peach blush.  And the Berry Rich is a more darker pink toned blush.

Revlon Powder Blush: Tawny Peach (left) & Berry Rich (right)


I have used them both a few times now and sadly I wasn't blown away.  They are not very pigmented, so the colour doesn't show up that well when applied.  But if you're looking for a subtle, no-makeup glow - this is your thing.  I prefer the Tawny Peach, because I am obsesses with peach/coral shades.  Can't get enough frankly! I digress, moving on.

Revlon Powder Blush: Tawny Peach Swatch

Revlon Powder Blush: Berry Rich Swatch

As you can see from the swatches, not amazing pigmentation.  I had to really rub (that sounds odd..) to get the swatches above!  But like I said, if you don't want a really 'made-up' look, a few swipes of this will leave you glowing! Almost like a highlighter.  I apply this with my Real Technique Blush brush (full review here).

My search for my staple blush continues.  I have a few more up my sleeves to show you over the next few weeks, so hang tight!

Have you tried the Revlon Powder Blushes?  What's your favourite this summer?




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16 May 2013

REVIEW | La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Extreme Face Fluid SPF50

Summer is finally here (well, sort of).  Although technically you should be wearing sun protection all year round, summer is definitely when my conscience kicks in and makes me feel guilty for not wearing any!

Previously I used to rely on the SPF in my moisturiser and foundation to protect my face from the sun.  I never liked the thick, overly greasy texture of sun creams used on the body, so never used it on my face.

Cutting to the chase, couple of months ago I was watching Lisa Eldridge's favourite sun protection for the face.  She mentioned La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Extreme Face Fluid.  I was all ears as I love LRP.  The French know their skincare, fact!


La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Fluide Extreme Face 50ml


La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Fluide Extreme Face 50ml

(I wrote the date I opened it as SPF deteriorates over time)

This provides protection from UVA/UVB and is water-resistant.  Also contains no parabens (as per the packaging)!

I picked this up and started using it straightaway (although it was snowing at the time...)!  The texture is really light and it is quite white, so blending is required.  I feel you heave to blend it in quite quickly otherwise it dries up on the skin.  So I tend to pour a small amount on to my fingers and blend one area of my face at a time.  I usually apply after my serum and moisturiser, and give it 5-10 minutes before I apply make-up.

I really do like it as it gives a matte finish.  And someone with my combination-oily skin loves anything that has a matte finish!  Make-up sits really well on top and doesn't make my skin oily over the day.  A little goes a long way so you don't need to use a lot.  Overall, I am loving this.

What facial sun protection do you use?
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15 May 2013

REVIEW | Real Techniques Brushes by Samantha Chapman

Real Techniques are a range of makeup brushes by Samantha Chapman of Pixiwoo.  If you don't know who they are, where have you been hiding the past few years?!  They two sisters who are makeup artists and you can google for more info.

Real Techniques Core Collection includes 4 full-size brushes + case:
  • detailer brush: precision cut to effortlessly conceal problem areas; or, use with lipstick for long-lasting shape and definition
  • pointed foundation brush: Use with liquid foundation to build custom coverage
  • buffing brush: ideal for full coverage application of powder and mineral foundation
  • contour brush: delicately applies highlighter to contour or create sheer, soft-focus finish
  • panoramic brush case is a 2-in-1 case + stand
Real Techniques Blush Brush, Stippling Brush and Core Collection Set (from left to right)
As you can see, the stand accomodates the blush brush and the stippling brush too.  It's a struggle to close the case once you add extra brushes to the stand, however if it's standing up, it's great!

First and foremost I must tell you, how soft these brushes are!  O M G, the blending power of the buffing brush is truly amazing, sometimes I just keep on blending just to feel the softness a little longer (yes, I just admitted it.).

The buffing brush is undoubtedly my favourite, the stippling brush being a close second.  I have used the detailer brush a few times and I think it's handy for dotting on concealer.  I haven't really used the foundation brush as I have been using the buffing brush for foundation.

Real Techniques Blush Brush, Stippling Brush and Core Collection Set (from right to left)

The stippling brush is on par with with the buffing brush.  Blends in foundation beautifully.  I find that my skin is not as oily afterwards if I blend with the buffing/stippling brush compared to a normal foundation brush or my fingers.  I haven't tried the stippling brush with cream blush, but from what I've heard, it does the job perfectly.

The blush brush is another winner!  I've basically stopped using my Dior Backstage Blush brush since I bought this.  It applies powder blush like a dream!  Lovely and soft and you can't be hard handed with this even if you tried.  So there's never really any danger of over applying blusher.

Initially, I was a little sceptical about the handle of the brushes, as they are rather chunky.  But having used them for over a month now, I haven't really noticed them to be any different. 

I will say, if you are going to invest in a set of brushes - you should definitely look into these.  For the price tag, these are truly excellent tools. Simply put, I heart them! 

Have you used any of these brushes?  How has your experience been?

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14 May 2013

REVIEW | Clinique All About Eyes Eye Cream

It has to be said, Clinique is a favourite brand of mine.  I have pretty much used everything they have ever released.  As soon as their Bonus Time offers are on in any department stores, I'm there!  I've used Clinique All About Eyes for a good few months now, this is my second tub of the stuff.

Clinique All About Eyes, 15ml

Clinique All About Eyes, 15ml
It's a light, creamy texture, not too thick.  I tap it around the eye area with the tip of my ring finger (as it has the lightest touch).  It doesn't sit on top of my skin and sinks in well.  As for the claims of reducing circles and puffiness, I am not sure how effective it is as I don't have dark circles.  I do have puffiness if I don't get enough sleep and I think this definitely helps.  I just love how light and absorbing it is! You don't have to sit around waiting for it to sink in before applying your make-up.  I feel it binds with concealer well, so it doesn't accumulate in the creases under your eyes.

I do like this for everyday use, makeup sits on it beautifully and it hydrates the skin around my eye really well.

What is your eye cream of choice?  Have you used Clinique's All About Eyes?
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HAUL | Boots, Space NK, Debenhams & Asos!

I went for a facial on Sunday at Eldon Square, Newcastle at the Shiseido counter at Boots.  I ended up purchasing the Shiseido White Lucency Refining Softener, 150ml.  I have had hyperpigmentation for a good few years now.  However until recently, I haven't really looked into products to address this concern.  So when I mentioned this, the lovely Shiseido lady suggested this to me.  This is basically a toner, which should fade pigmentation caused by sun/breakouts.  I'll review this once I've used it properly for a few weeks.

Also. I realised that there is a Space NK store at Grainger St. - how did I not know this?!  With this knowledge, I made sure I popped in to the store to buy everything have a look.  I was looking for something with glycolic acid to again, address my hyperpigmentation concern.



The very knowledgeable assistant there, helped me to find something that may be the answer to all my prayers!  I ended up buying the Cane+Austin Retexturizing Treatment Pads.  This has 10% Glycolic Acid in its formulation, and essentially is a chemical exfoliator.  I have been following Caroline Hirons skincare advice religiously since I discovered her blog, and manual exfoliators are a No-No!  I have used this for 7 days now, and will do a full review after I've used it for a month (skin renewal cycle and all that!)

I needed a moisturiser, and again I trolled through Caroline's website and found the Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion.  She wouldn't have mentioned it, if it had mineral oil in it, so this was a winner for me.  It's the first time I'm using Aveda's skincare, so will let you know how I feel about it.  Second Debenhams purchase was a MAC lipstick, I just could not resist this any longer! It's the MAC Vegas Volt.  It's a lovely orange coral colour and I've had something like this on my mind for a while!  Very excited to use this!

Lastly, this was definitely a ReallyRee enabled order from Asos!  They had a flash sale over the weekend and I could NOT resist.  I got a couple of dresses which would be perfect for the summer. 

So that's it for the month....I shall try very hard not to purchase anything for the rest of the month! 

Have you indulged recently on any beauty/fashion purchases?
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12 May 2013

REVIEW | Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

I have lost count of the amount of raving reviews I have read/seen of this product.  Initially I was a little sceptical due to the shade ranges available and thought the shades maybe too light for me.

Last week, I visited Superdrug and noticed they had the darkest shade No 4 (Deep) available, so I swatched it on my hand.  It seemed okay, and for £4.19 I wouldn't lose much if it was too light! Once I was home, I tried it on some blemish scars I have and it was a perfect match! :)

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (Shade: Deep)

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (Shade: Deep)


I was over the moon!  It conceals and brightens perfectly under my eyes, and also hides all the imperfections I have.  I am going to be honest, I haven't reached for my MAC Select Moisturecover concealer as much.  

It's creamy, hydrating and doesn't seem to cling to any dry skin.  Available here.

Two words - Love it!  Share your favourite concealer!
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11 May 2013

REVIEW | Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer

Around Christmas time, I had a makeover session at a Boots Smashbox counter with a friend.  We were both SO impressed by the products used on us, we both went back.  I'll be honest I've never tried a lid primer before (blasphemy, right?!).  I used to just put my eye shadow on and go about with my daily life, accepting the fact that a couple of hours later, my eye shadow WILL accumulate in the creases of my lid.  My eye lids are possibly THE most oiliest part of my face.  So, you can imagine my surprise when this didn't happen after a full day of shopping!  I had to have this!

Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer
Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer

This is from the Smashbox Try It Kit, available here.  I'm sure there is a bigger size available.

I have tried it with MAC eye shadows and MUA eye shadows and it didn't make a difference!  My eye shadow stayed on perfectly, even with smokey eyes!  It's a slightly beige coloured cream and and a couple of dots are enough for one lid.  It blends in well and you can put your makeup on almost straightaway.  It conceals any sort of redness you may have too!  Needless to say, I'll be rushing out to purchase this, once this is empty. :-D

Take home message?  I've been converted!  From now on, I shall never even think of putting eye shadow on without a primer.  What is your favourite lid primer?
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