Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Nails of the Week - Guy meets Gal-veston

I changed my nail colour earlier than I normally do to fit in with the brief sunshine we had. This shade is by OPI and was part of the bundle I purchased from QVC last month. It is called ‘guy meets gal-veston’ and was part of the Texas collection.

It is a beautiful coral colour but what is most unique about it, is the fact that the colour can look completely different in different lighting, taking on a more orange or red tone. It has a cream finish and a wonderful shine. I really like the brush which makes applying easy without also getting polish on your fingers. The only down side was that I had to apply 4 coats to get the opaque level I wanted, since the polish is very sheer but thankfully the drying time between each coat was quick.

Because of how different it can look this is another difficult polish to photograph. I love the colour and have had so many people comment on how striking it is.


Saturday, 25 June 2011

Quick Review - Sally Hanson Kwik Off

I love this nail polish remover. You may or may not be able to tell from the photographs but I have had this for ages, possibly close to a year now and it is still going strong. I originally brought this for about £4, which makes is a huge bargain!

The polish works simply by sticking your fingers into the pot, which contains and sponge, rotating it and removing a polish free nail. This works very effectively and being acetone free there is no drying effect on the nails. For all polishes with the exception of glitters the polish comes off with that initial dip and swipe.

As you can see the sponge has broken down on the inside but considering it still works this doesn’t bother me. I have no idea at what point I should stop using this, but I assume when the sponge completely disintegrates or it dries out.

I brought the Sally Hansen version at a beauty outlet which just have random product stocks. I found a replacement by nailene which I brought for £2 at Tesco, but considering the Sally Hansen is still going strong I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet.

This comes high on the list of my favourite beauty essentials. The only downside to the product I can think of is that the container obviously doesn’t make it suitable for travel but I don’t consider that much of a con.


Nails of the Week - Rimmel Grape Sorbet

Grape sorbet is a beautiful dusty pink colour from Rimmel. I feel quite muted in my colour choices recently, I have had this polish a while and it has developed a thick consistency, ending up streaky when I applied it but still looks really pretty from afar! The polish was opaque in one coat and dried on the surface very quickly but stayed tacky for a little while after. I don’t tend to think much about polish matching my skin tone, but I can see that this one is very complimentary and looks lovely in the little bit of sunshine we have had!

My nail condition is slowly getting better using the OPI nail envy, and as a bonus my polish lasts that much longer chip free after applying a treatment coat every other day…….will have a full update soon!


Friday, 24 June 2011

GOSH light and shine

I received this item after winning a blog competition by Skin Deep beauty blogger, she has a great blog and I encourage all to check it out. So a huge thank you to her for the competition, it’s taken me a lot longer than it should have to write up this post.

The product I won was the GOSH light and shine lip gloss. The main feature of this product is the mirror and light built in which mean that you can apply your lip gloss in any circumstance. I love this type of gadget product so I was extra glad to win this.

The shade I received a lilac/purple (I am not sure of the official name) and has shimmers and initially I was worried it would be something I couldn’t wear. The gloss is quite thick but not as sticky as I would have expected which is a good thing. The smell is beautiful and sweet which I love. As you wear it, it feels very moisturising, also another bonus.

Although there is a hint of purple and shimmer the colour on the lips, the shade is completely wearable and I love how it looks, unfortunately photographing it is difficult, so I don’t have an image to do it justice, but hopefully you can see the subtle flecks of shimmer. I haven’t had a chance to test the durability of this yet, but I have never had high expectations of lip gloss, and this is just too pretty and fun for me to be disappointed with! These cost around £8.50 and I think considering the light element that is not pricey at all.

So a big thank you again to Skin Deep and of course GOSH too!


Monday, 20 June 2011

Sleek luminaire Highlighting Concealer Review

Since the avoir le peche palette, I have become a big Sleek fan. The newest addition to their collection is the luminaire highlighting concealer.
The claim is that the luminaire is 'A highlighting concealer with moisturising properties, Luminaire brightens dark circles, conceals blemishes, and fades imperfections leaving you instantly glowing and flawless. With five flattering shades to choose from, Luminaire is perfect for all skin tones providing a natural, dewy finish.’

The 5 shades all have different undertones, I selected L02, the second lightest shade which was the most neutral. The concealer comes in a click-pen dispenser with a fibre brush tip which allows you to close to the lash line when applying under the eye. I don’t particularly like the applicator, since I find it difficult to control how much product comes out, finding that one pump isn’t enough and then ending up with more after pumping too much! 

This colour works very well for me around the eye area, but would be too light for use as a blemish concealer. The glowing properties (which is not shimmery) in my opinion makes it more suitable for under the eye. I like to put it in a triangle shape under the eye, and get that signature ‘Kardashian' chiselled cheek effect.

The concealer is quite a thick consistency, which I like for covering marks but under the eyes, it ends up being hard to spread. It dries quickly that it is difficult to blend it where you want it. Using on its own I needed two layers and there was a tendency for it to settle in fine lines, but this can only be seen up close.
I forgot to take an image without eyeliner for a better contrast, but as you can hopefully tell the
darkness in the inner corner of my eye is  considerably lightened 
To get the best result I apply a small amount on top of my Garnier eye roll on concealer. This provides a good base and an initial level of brightening, before the luminaire then gives it the wow (which is the only way I can think to describe it!). It’s not ideal, since I would rather use the one product, but I suspect this could be solved by a change in the formula which would make easier to spread.

At £6.49 it’s cheaper than the Garnier I used previously and is the first product I have used which has given a brightening effect without looking obvious.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

FOTD - Smudged liner

I am hitting a bit of a makeup rut, wearing the same safe look every time.

Using what I already own I decided to go for strong cheeks and lips and attempted to do smudged liner, which is a look I love on other people but have never managed to master, until now?

Bella Pierre mineral foundation, mememe blush rouge, sleek rose petal, black eyeliner and a lot of smudging using a clean angled brush.

Whats your tip for getting the perfect smudged liner?


Saturday, 18 June 2011

TK Maxx Haul

Normally I am good at resisting the urge of retail therapy, but I am not even going to pretend I have felt guilty about this last spree!

Browsing TK Maxx, I usually find a lot of beauty goods, but most of the time they have been tampered with and I walk away. The prices are excellent, with some great savings to be made on branded goods, which is exactly what you would expect from the store. On this occasion, I walked away with all these goodies!

From left to right:

Sanctuary spa Kyphi nourishing shower oil. I am a sucker for anything with the words Egypt or Egyptian. I have used a shower oil in the past and really liked it, this contains lotus and argan oil so I am hoping it will smell lovely and feel very luxurious.

Biosen remineralizing cream and exfoliator. I haven’t heard of this brand before but the packaging drew me in. Each are meant to contain an active mineral complex, combining ingredients based on Japanese spa philosophy. The creme has a retail price of £25 so I having always been curious to test out an expensive cream it seemed like the ideal opportunity.

Bella Colore mineral eye colour collection. Another brand I have never heard of, the collection contains 5 eyeshadows in neutral tones, 2 brushes and a black and brown eyeliner. My brown eyeliner was missing so I got this for a bargain price of £13. Amazon is retailing this at nearly £40! I will do a review/eyelook soon.

Tigi Big Head Foxy curls shampoo and conditioner. This is a brand I have heard about for a while but never tried so I thought it was time. I never realised it is sulphate free so will be good to compare to the organic surge products I am using now.

EcoTan accelerator. I have used a similar product in the past which was from QVC, although I intend to cover up the majority of the time on my holiday later this year, a little bit of colour would be nice. Plus the big bottle size means that it will be enough for my mum and sister also, who I know will help themselves!

7 items for less than £50 is quite a bargain in my eyes, plus I know eventually I will get through all of these. If you have tried any of these products let me know what you thought of them.


Thursday, 16 June 2011

Quick Review - Boots Organic Cleansing Balm

I tried out the Boots Organic Cleansing Balm after a recommendation. I must admit I have always ignored the Boots own range, for no good reason but I am really impressed with this product and would want to check out more of the range. This product is actually 92% organic ingredients so ticks off my want of more natural products.

The cleanser is packaged in a tub, presented in a box which also contains a muslin cloth. The cleanser is a semi-solid consistency, much like wax, which when you pick up and rub between your palms, melts, and applies easily to the skin. Over time crystals do form but these easily melt away and you are warned of this in the packaging. Only a small amount is needed, making it great value for money since it will last a long time.

As you have probably guessed, it is a hot cloth cleansing system, and the balm is removed using the muslin cloth. You do have to use the muslin cloth to remove, since much like wax, water alone won’t remove it (and therefore this does not work with my clarisonic). After a few uses the muslin cloth feels as though it has wax over the surface. Having used Liz Earle previously, I prefer the muslin cloths she supplies, since they feel as though they remove the balm better and have more on an exfoliating effect.

The balm has a lovely lemon/citrus scent, and the instructions suggest that once you have applied it, to leave the cloth over your face as a relaxing treat, which it really is. It cleanses well, removing makeup and eye makeup, but as I mentioned previously it is better used with the Liz Earle muslin cloth rather than the one supplied. From the first use, my skin felt really soft, smooth and clean.

This will definitely be a cleanser I repurchase and take away on holidays since I do miss using my clarisonic, or I may use this in the morning and use the clarisonic at night for a deeper cleanse. It is great quality and value for the price (£6.63) and although I cannot compare it to other balms, as a hot cloth cleansing system it is on a par with Liz Earle, who only gets ahead slightly, since I don’t get the same paranoia about leaving cream residue on my face as I do the balm.


Monday, 13 June 2011

Quick Review - Samy Big Curls Defining Cream

Another curly hair product review, after trying out the Samy Joouge curl creme I was keen to try out more of the range. Unlike the previous cream I reviewed, this can be used on wet hair for styling.

The bottle states that the creme amplifies curls adding volume, texture and shine and that it is formulated to define, separate and extend, to create frizz-free curls which keep their shape and last all day. The creme is also meant to help decrease breakage also and not add stiffness or weight to the hair.

I love this creme. What has most impressed me is the result I get when I was my hair in the morning and allow it to dry naturally (see pictures). Usually drying my hair this way gives me looser curls, I assume because of the weight of the hair, so I opt to wash my hair before bed and let it dry naturally while I am asleep, so there is no influence of gravity!  With this product, my hair felt so soft and the product left no residue or ‘crunch’. As you can hopefully tell from the pictures, my curls were well defined, with minimal frizz and good volume too.

The creme smells lovely, it reminds me mostly of orange peel. My only problem with the creme it is that it is too fluid, which was the same criticism I had of the Avon gel, so I don’t know if this is becoming more standard. I apply this the same way I would any other hair creme, rubbing a small amount in my palms and working through all my hair, and scrunching before leaving to dry. I make a point of not touching my hair if I can avoid it during the dying process, which also prevents it frizzing. 
A 170ml bottle is £5.10 but I notice on the Superdrug website that there is a promotion for any two products in the range for £6.99.


Sunday, 12 June 2011

Pictures over text?

It’s been a while since my last Sunday nights post but tonight beauty bloggers chat on twitter got me thinking, and I wanted to pose a question for my followers and hopefully get as much feedback and comment as possible.

I personally have always written a blog which I would like to read, which seemed like a good strategy, since surely there must be others like me!  So I tend to have a lot of text and hopefully enough detail to fully review something, as well as some pictures to attract people too. I know there is a higher ratio of text to pictures. But what do you like to see? Generally what do you like and not like seeing on my blog? And, therefore, what would you like to see more or less of?

All suggestions/comments are welcome, and I will do my best to fulfil any post requests.

Also if you have stumbled across my blog for the first time, I would love your opinion, what do you like to see and what would make you come back?


Bargain Alert - June Magazine Freebies

I’m not going to lie, I only buy magazines when there is a good freebie involved. I just never make the time to go through them properly and I always feel a little bad when I see the amount of paper that gets thrown into the recycling.

Anyhow, this seems to be the month of the magazine freebies, I have never brought so many in one go, but at least my reading material on the train for the next week or so is sorted! 

Glamour are giving away sample size Benefit goodies again, I was surprised to find the whole selection on the shelf of my local newsagent, since the last time Benefit goods were involved the shelves were bare everywhere! I chose ‘highbeam' since I have always wanted to try it. I love highlighters so this was an easy choice.

Marie Claire are offering either a mineral eyeshadow or eyeliner by Inika. I opted for the eyeshadow, which is the shade gunmetal, over the grey liner. This is a beautiful colour, a pretty shimmery dark silver. Also by opting for the eyeshadow, by using a wet brush you can also use the eyeshadow as a liner. The feel of the minerals is so smooth, having not heard of Inika before, I definitely want to find out more.

Red magazine are giving away Jemma Kidd Makeup School, Hi-shine silk touch lipgloss. I chose the shade “petal", a peach-pink nude. The gloss is a really nice consistency which applies smoothly and is not too sticky, but disappointingly I think this shade may be a little light for my skin tone.

Finally, Harpers Bazaar is giving away a full sized Leighton Denny nail polish. I was very keen to try it out and at this point this has now also become my nails of the week post. I chose the shade supermodel, which is a greige colour. Although I have a few of these I am yet to find my perfect one, and this comes close to being just that. The consistency is quite thick, and potentially you could get away with the one coat if you were in a hurry. I found that it began to dry very quickly, and I needed to coat the whole nail at once or there was a risk of streaking it as you tried to cover any other areas. It dried completely quickly, and I love the colour as a work-friendly neutral shade. The formulation is not ideal in my opinion, and that is the only down side. I love the design of the bottle, very slick, I find it odd that from the design you can tell that this is a more expensive polish.

All these are available now for the next month, as long you can find magazines without the freebies missing! If you have already taken advantage, what shades did you pick up?


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Quick Review - Witch Concealer Stick

I picked up the Witch concealer stick (shade natural) on a promotion, hoping that it would replace my ELF studio concealer pencil and brush as my go to concealer. Being Witch, the concealer contains witch hazel and therefore, is dual action, acting to fight blemishes at the same time as concealing them.

The concealer is in retractable form, in a sleek silver pen, which makes it perfect for travel, without worrying that it will break. The formulation is smooth and creamy and applies and blends easily and lasts well without a primer. The shade is little lighter than the ELF light concealer but still works well for my skin tone, and I believe any other medium toned person. I am not convinced that it will adapt well for very fair or dark skin tones.

Although it does work well at concealing spots and marks, I have not found that it helps to fight blemishes, with even small spots still remaining after a few days of use.

At £4.99, it is reasonably priced as a concealer, but I would still opt for the ELF studio since that does help to reduce spots and the appearance of marks in the longer term. 

Monday, 6 June 2011

EOTD NYX One night in Morroco

A lazy sunday face of the day. This is one of my go to eye looks with subtle cheek colour and no lip product. 

I brought the NYX One Night in Morroco palette from at the start of autumn last year. I have to admit it was initially a case of being drawn in by the name, having a love of Morroco, but the palette has turned out to be a great buy. I won’t do a full review or swatches since I know it is no longer available on the website for people in the UK, and I am not sure of availability in the USA. The shadows are great quality for the price, with great pigmentation and are long lasting. I love that all the shades are matte which makes a refreshing change, since the majority of palettes contain minimal matte colours if any. I am keen to try out more NYX products, so recommendations are welcome. 

You can probably tell from the indentation the colours I use the most and for this look! For the day, I keep in simple and use three of the four colours on the bottom row. The fourth shade all over the lid, and the third in the crease. If I wanted to make it darker and more smoky for the evening, I use the second shade concentrated in the outer corner. I use the first colour in the row as a highlight on the brow bone and in the inner corner. Simple and I think very pretty.

The rest of my face was my usual foundation and I tried out a plum tone blush by No 7 (from their christmas box palette), which I love but was not very long lasting.

UPDATE: 20-June-2011 I noticed this palette is back on the website for anyone interested. As a quick review, I love this palette, the matte shades are beautiful and completely wearable for a day or night look. They are all very pigmented too and as a bonus a nude eye base is also provided, although the positioning of this in the palette means that it The size of the packaging is just right and is great when travelling. There are 4 lip shades in a drawer below, which I don’t like or use that much but again for travel these could come in useful. The palette is a bargain at £10.99 and is quite easily my favourite palette. Do let me know if you would like another post with some swatches on there.


Friday, 3 June 2011

Nails of the Week - Amber

This week I chose what I consider to be my ’neutral coloured’ colour. By that I mean that it is colour, but not one that is too bold or unsuitable for the office.

This is one of my favourite shades, as you can tell from the bottle! It was one I claimed from my mums collection of nail polishes so I have no idea where it originally came from or how much.

The shade is amber by Zoya, it needs two coats and dries in a average time. Unfortunately again my nail condition isn’t doing it justice, and it is very difficult to photograph, but it is a beautiful peachy/orange shade, with a golden sheen to it. It lasts well as long as I use a top coat. I think it’s a unique colour and I haven’t seen many other colours like it by other brands. I hope I can find it again when it finishes!


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Good Things Skin Products…. The review

Good things are a brand designed for young skin which are free from parabens, mineral oils, SLS and animal ingredients. The packaging is fresh and pretty and what initially attracted me to it. Each of the products is made with particular super fruits, which suit the purpose of the product. For example, avocado oil and fig for their moisturising properties and plenty of different fruits rich in antioxidants are used throughout the range.

After a browse on their website, I have found out I am a year outside of their target age group, but hopefully this shouldn’t impact too much on the experience I have had with the products.

I have been using the cream cleanser, eye, day and night cream for over a month. The cleanser is the only product which even after using it all, I am undecided about. It took just over a month, using twice daily to get through the tube. The directions state that you should rub into the skin for a minute and remove with a flannel. However, although I did this on occasion, I mostly used it with my clarisonic. It cleansed well enough, and was not drying to the skin. I did not like the smell, which was quite artificial for something with big letters on the front saying ‘grape and pomegranate extracts’.

The eye cream is light and absorbs really well. The scent isn’t overwhelming, and although I can’t say I have seen any dramatic differences to my eye area in the time I have been using this, I do like it.

The day cream, similarly to the eye cream is light and absorbs very well into the skin. My face feels smooth and moisturised throughout the day, again the scent with this isn’t strong.

The dream cream night cream is my favourite product of the collection, it is just the right consistency, only being a little thicker than the day cream and absorbs well into the skin without feeling heavy. From the first use my skin felt very moisturised and soft in the morning. The smell is artificial (in fact there is very little difference between the scents of each of the products), but luckily it doesn’t linger. The instructions state that this can also be used as a face mask, by applying a thicker layer on and leaving for 10 minutes, which I think is a nice bonus feature.

With all of the products, I can tell I have a good few more months use out of them, since so little is needed, making them great value for money.

My skin condition has got better in terms of dryness, in fact, I am now noticing that my forehead is oily at the end of the day. However, since I am travelling on the underground every day, I don’t know if the London air is the reason for that effect, rather than possibility of skin condition changing so rapidly with the use of a product. I have also noticed, a few smaller breakouts under the skin, not unsightly in comparison to the past, but enough to be bothersome. The range doesn’t say anything about being non-comedogenic, only that it is dermatologically tested, which has no meaning at all! I suspect that some component of one or both of the moisturisers is to blame, since that sits on my skin for longer.

All that being said, I am glad to have tried the range, but aside from the eye cream wouldn’t want to repurchase anything else or even give the other products in the range a try. I would like to start switching to more natural based products, but this range doesn’t go far enough for me and hasn’t delivered.

Any recommendations as to what to try next?

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