Wednesday, 29 August 2012

TK Maxx Bella Pierre haul!

On one hand I feel guilty about this recent haul but on the other it was just too much of a bargain to miss out on.

I know I have mentioned a thousand times that Bella Pierre is my favourite brand, I use their mineral foundation daily and almost exclusively (with the exception of dabbling with BB creams) for over 2 years.
So imagine my delight when my sister walked in with a Bella Pierre skin care set she found in TK Maxx for a bargain price of £35! I had been prepared to myself to spend over £100 for these, which I included in my 2012 wish list, so the 60% discount was a nice surprise.

After this, the mission was on to seek out more Bella Pierre bargains, which included the complete face kits, 9-eyeshadow shimmer stack and a lip kit. They also had some other eyeshadow trio kits, which I decided to pass on. 
I was lucky that the medium complete face kit contains my exact shade, however even if I did have to pass the foundation on to someone else the brushes, blusher, bronzer and more in the kit still make it excellent value for money.

I will of course be blogging about the individual items as I get a chance to test them out but in the mean time if you are a fan or want to give the brand a try I recommend checking out your local TK Maxx.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Liz Earle series: Sheer skin tint

It has been a while since my last Liz Earle series post but I’m back with a review of the sheer skin tint, which I have been using on and off since my trip to Dubai back in March.
 Looking back I am not sure what I expected from this product. I hoped that on holiday it would provide a good alternative to foundation, evening out my skin tone without being too heavy and not melting in the heat.

Unfortunately while I Dubai my skin broke out quite badly. I suspect that it was the water because my hair wasn’t in the best condition either. Anyway, this meant that something with only sheer coverage just wasn’t going to cut it for covering up redness. The product naturally gives a dewy finish, which in the heat meant that I looked very shiny, nothing that a dusting of powder couldn’t fix, but being shiny and red isn’t a good look. Suffice to say, I wasn’t loving it and was glad that I made a last minute decision to include my mineral foundation!

After I returned to the UK and my skin calmed down I gave the product another shot, but it just didn’t deliver the “perfect way to enhance your skin”. It really is sheer (hence the lack of face photos), but that left me wondering, whats the point? Even away from the heat here, the product still looked to shiny rather than dewy.

I use shade beige (02), which is the closest match to my skin tone but not perfect. The consistency is slightly heavier than a moisturiser and there is no smell to the product. I have applied with my fingers and a foundation brush, but personally, I tend to over apply with fingers and like to buff the product in.

If you are looking for any sort of coverage, this isn’t the product to try. Equally, if you are looking for something to enhance your skin, I would recommend a tinted moisturiser or a BB cream, which in some cases are cheaper and have added benefits. I think this is only suitable for those with a next to flawless complexion and to them I would say, lucky you, skip the tint!


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

First impression — Alpha-H liquid gold

When it comes to skin care, and even some makeup products, I like to test for a good few weeks before I make up my mind and finally write a review. So I thought it would be good idea to start a writing a first impressions posts, a week or so after having tried something to give you just that, my first impression, which can be used a base for comparison a few weeks on.
Alpha-H is a brand that I had heard of, but largely ignored, thinking that it was meant for older skin. After watching their presentation on QVC and hearing that it is a great brand for over 25s who are thinking about anti-ageing, I snapped up the today's special value, which included their landmark product, liquid gold.

You use liquid gold as you would a toner, applying after cleansing at night. However, that is then the last step on your skin care routine, which is ideal on nights when you are feeling lazy about your skin care routine.

The solution is made up of fruit acids, silk proteins and licorice extract, which are meant to jump start the skin’s metabolism, tightening enlarged pores and giving a brighter, clearer complexion. It is meant to be suitable for combination and oily skin types and as an acne treatment (when used with other Alpha-H products).

You really do see the benefits overnight, my pores look smaller, my acne marks faded and a recently breakout has cleared up very quickly. I have been using this every other night as stated, but what I have noticed is that by the end of the day my skin condition doesn’t look as good, so I am hoping with a couple of weeks use, my skin will improve overall.

Be sure to check back in a couple of weeks for the verdict!


Sunday, 19 August 2012

The blogging thing….

In the early days of my blog I wrote a post about why I got into beauty and makeup, what started off as an exercise to sort out my self esteem turned into much more than I could have imagined.

I don’t really know where I am going with this post but reading through bbloggers this evening and the subsequent post from BritishBeautyBlogger, as well as a post earlier in the week from Skinscrubs, has got me thinking about blogging in general.

Starting a blog is one of the best things I ever did, I have had some unforgettable opportunities and the change in my personality is something I never would have expected could be achieved from sitting alone in my room at night on my laptop. Adding my blog to my CV sparked conversations and lines of questioning in interviews that wouldn’t have come up otherwise and even better than that, secured me job offers. I’ve met and made what I consider to be true friends (Skinscrubs, Truly Madly Beauty, Miss Stylicious, Muslimah Beauty and CurvesColourSparkle, I love you guys!).

I’m not going to lie in the early days I was keen, some might label desperate, to get my blog known and share it with everyone I thought might be interested. I included my links on comments that I left on other blogs, which judging from the bbloggers chats is a huge sin (just for the record, I really don’t care if people do that on my blog). However, none of that was for freebies or to be included on PR mailing or guest lists but because I wanted to have interactions with my readers and Twitter followers.

An incident happened that made me close down my blog and all social media accounts for just over a week. In that time I realised just how much my blog meant to me, I missed it. So when I did reactivate it and carry on my attitude had changed slightly.

I’m not going to pretend that seeing that I have a new follower doesn’t make me happy, because it does. I work hard on my posts, I spend a huge amount of time writing and taking pictures for what takes all of 30-60 seconds to read, so if I then gain a follower or two, or better yet, get comments, it can make my day.

I really like being a beauty blogger and I write a blog that I want to look at and want to read. I like that I don’t have the pressure that other, more experienced or “bigger” bloggers, might have when it comes to being the first to let people know about something or even feeling the need to have something up every day. I also realised that it is important to stay true to who you are, I’m never going to be someone who has a lot to say on Twitter, if you ever meet me you will see I am not particularly loud or opinionated so it just wouldn’t suit me to be that way online.

Anyway, having said that I am not particularly opinionated, I guess I wanted to get my two cents worth out there! There is a lot of wise stuff said on bbloggers when it comes to how to think about your blog and once the conversations are said and done, I hope that it is taken on board.

Finally to my readers, I sincerely love you guys! Of course I love my blog, but you make it better.


Nails of the week: Rimmel Rose Libertine

I haven’t had a nail post for a few weeks having struggled with a new brand that chips before I’ve had a chance to take a picture…more on that in another post though.

So I decided to go back to a brand that hasn’t disappointed me so far.
Rose Libertine from Rimmel is a pretty, muted rose, pink shade. It is bright and summery without being garish, which makes it suitable for an office environment if you are someone who needs to be conscious of these things.

The polish dried pretty quickly, it doesn’t live up to the 60 second claim (or the one coat claim) and needed two coats to become opaque. It is also worth mentioning that I really like the brush, I have found it much easier to paint the edge of my nails without also painting my fingers too.

Four days on and there is only a slight bit of wear at the tips, which is perfect considering I always try to stretch my polish to last for a week.


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Keeping your skin hydrated

In terms of skin care, dehydration can be a really big issue. I decided to write this post because hydration becomes a particularly big issue for me during Ramadan, when over the course of the month I fail to take in enough fluid and physically I start to feel and see the effects of this.
This isn’t skin but it is what I imagine dry skin to look like
Of course the best solution is to drink plenty of water, little but often after breaking fast. However, there are a few products I turn to for help.

Typically the first thing I will notice is that my lips begin to dry and chap. To try and combat this, first and foremost, I try not to lick them! I also use a lip balm regularly throughout the day and at night. I’ve run out of my Blistex intensive but this is the product I would recommend because it really does transform the condition of your lips overnight.

My legs also become extremely itchy when I’m dehydrated. I usually apply a moisturiser or oil straight after a shower, when my skin is still damp. This allows the oils in the moisturiser can trap the water in the top layers of the skin.

Lately I’ve been using Jergens daily moisture, which absorbs quickly into the skin and does not leave a sticky residue and it smells pretty good too.

My skin is already dry so my routine doesn’t change much. My current cleanser is This Works: clean skin. I managed to pick this up at a reduced price in Boots and have really enjoyed using it. It is very gentle and smells of rosehip oil. I have got into the habit of double-cleansing, which I have found helps to keep my skin clear. The cleanser also contains eucalyptus and frankincense, which have antibacterial benefits and probably explains why I have noticed that redness in my skin is reduced after using the cleanser.

During the day I have been using the Mememe moisturising face base followed by Body Shops skin revive from the vitamin C range. The skin revive adds a much needed glow to my skin and makes me look a lot more awake and fresh than I feel.

At night I use Bio Oil, which may be one of my favourite products of all time. Apart from smelling amazing it can make my skin feel rehydrated overnight and does not break me out. It works well on the face or body, but if you do use it on your body, you do need to let it sink in before getting changed.

Finally, as if I needed an excuse, I treat my skin regularly with a hydrating face mask. The quickest and easiest mask I have at my disposal is the Liz Earle intensive mask I have blogged about previously. However, I suggest picking up face mask that promises hydration and indulging in 20 minutes of chill time.


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

July empties

Unfortunately my empties post is looking a bit empty this month. Mum very kindly decided to do a sweep of my room taking with it the pile of rubbish I had been collecting for this post.

I’m not going to lie there was a fall to my knees “nooooooo” moment, quickly replaced by laughing at the fact that only a beauty blogger would collect rubbish in the first place and then be upset about it once it’s gone!

I only remember two of the items I had — Tropic cleanser and Witch pressed powder — but otherwise here are my empties for this month.
Tropic moisturiser (and cleanser) — I reviewed this range recently. The cleanser is something I would consider repurchasing but not the moisturiser.

Liz Earle conditioner — I was going to review the shampoo and conditioner as part of my Liz Earle series but the post won't say much more than I will here, which is that I really don’t like these. I've had a mixed experience of natural based hair products and these products fall under the category of not leaving my hair feeling unclean and dry.

The shampoo leaves my hair feeling like straw and the conditioner does not feel like it is compensating for the lack of moisture. Instead I end up using argan oil and/or a leave in conditioner to get the moisture back. The conditioner doesn't have a very pleasant smell either.

I've probably gone over the acceptable 6 month limit with these mascaras from No7 and Estee Lauder. The Estee Lauder illusionist mascara is good at separating and lengthening lashes and I loved the sample size for keeping my handbag. However, neither of these are stand out enough for me to consider repurchasing them.

So there it is, short but sweet this month. As always please feel free to share your links below.
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