Friday, 31 May 2013

Face of the day: Summer loving

I wish I could remember the ad that inspired this look. I remember seeing it and knowing I wanted to try it because it is wearable compared to a lot of makeup you see in adverts, and it looked simple enough for me to achieve.

In my opinion this look is crying out for summer sun and I suspect I'll be sporting this more than once when the sun does decide to shine. 
I started with the Naked palette on my eyes and a very simple and subtle smokey eye using the shade Sin on the lid and Buck in the crease, finished off with black eyeliner. 

On the lower lash line I used Bourjois Contour Clubbing waterproof eyeliner in the shade blue remix. It is a beautiful bright blue shade and I have loved wearing this recently as an edgy alternative to black eyeliner. The formular is soft and being waterproof I can wear it all day without worrying about it travelling down my face. 
On my lips I used a mix of Diego Dalla Palma’s coral lipstick, which I featured in a sample session a few weeks ago, and the Mirenesse perfect kiss glossy kiss I received in my first Birchbox. I'm still not convinced the DDP lipstick suits my skin tone but by adding the glossy kiss I was able to warm the colour up a bit and I really liked the result.

On the rest of my face I kept it fairly natural, I used Hello Flawless foundation by Benefit and lightly attempted to contour with Sleeks contour and highlight kit and finally added some bronzer. 

Can you tell which ad I was inspired by? If so, please let me know!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

L’Oreal Intenza Eyeliner 02 Golden Black

When I was 16 I had the most perfect black eyeliner, it was a pencil of black and gold. You might not imagine that it would be but it was perfect to wear on a daily basis, it wasn’t quite a jet black, but it wasn’t a dull brown. I loved it and I wore it down to a stub (I think I even have it somewhere out of sentimental value) but I have never found it again or anything like it.
So when I saw the L’Oreal gel eyeliner in Golden Black, I thought I might have found something close. In the pot, the L’Oreal liner looks like a deep black with gold shimmer but it is much more subtle when applied. The glitter is fine and barely noticeable on the lid and it is not a dark black. If you are looking for something bold then this definitely isn’t it, but it does give a nice subtle effect, which I love and it makes a change from regular black liner.

On the whole, I’m not a huge fan of gel eyeliners, mostly because I find them difficult to apply. The L’Oreal liner also comes with a good quality brush, which makes the application smooth and you can achieve as thin or as thick a line as you like, but it still takes practice to get just right (for me at least!)
I’ve been using the pot for a few months and I’m pleased to say that the liner hasn’t dried out. The wear is good on the lash line and it doesn’t stray but can be smudged out if you like that look. However, I wouldn’t recommend it on the waterline just because of the lasting power.

L’Oreal also offer the liner in a black shade and each cost £9.99 and can be found in Boots, Superdrug and supermarkets with a L’Oreal stand.

If you know where I can find my perfect gold/black eyeliner mix please let me know!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Dove Maximum Protection anti-perspirant

You know that one person you see on that rare warm day in the UK that is wearing a jumper and boots?

That's me.

I always get it wrong and miss out on the chance to wear summer dresses and not look silly. Not being dressed appropriately combined with rushing around and being cramped on the tube usually results in me being very over heated.
I'm not one of those fortunate girls that barely breaks out in a sweat, I do. Badly. And then I get paranoid. I'm convinced I'm stinking out the carriage or whatever room I'm in, and even though I'm reassured by friends that I'm not I'm left uncomfortable until I can get home and have a shower.

I've tried a lot of "48 hour” protection deodorant/anti-perspirant products, even those ones that you apply the night before and wash off in the morning, but they’ve never quite cut it. At one point I considered looking into having Botox under my arms because I found it so embarassing.

So it was with little expectation that I picked up Dove’s Maximum Protection Anti-perspirant on my latest trip to Boots.
The product is slightly different to use than a regular deodorant. It is a creme formulation and two turns of the dial is the recommended application under each arm. You apply at night and the product is meant to In the morning, even after a shower the And you can reapply if you want, which I do, mostly out of habit.

Since using this I haven't had any embarrassing moments and whereas in the past I have picked up whatever is on offer I know that I'll repurchase this whenever I run out.
This was displayed next to Sure Maximum Protection and the packaging and description is pretty much actually the same so I'm guessing that the results would be much the same. I made the decision to get this one because of the pomegranate and h scent, which is subtle but lovely.

The deodorant costs £5.30 for 45ml, slightly higher priced than other anti-perspirants but a small price to pay in my eyes for confidence.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Quick review: Filorga Sleep Recover Anti Fatigue Night Balm

A couple of months back, I attended an event for skincare brand Filorga, a French brand that specialise in dermo-cosmetics.

Sleep Recover Anti Fatigue Night Balm is the newest addition to the range and is intended to be used to invert what Filorga refer to as the 'V lines of fatigue’ so that skin/face looks younger and less tired.
Filorga say that the balm is compensating skin care that takes advantage of your sleep to regenerate the skin and fight against signs of fatigue. These are things like under-eye shadows, puffiness and the appearance of tired, drawn features (the down-ward V).
The balm is intended to be used every night, after cleansing. It has a light texture, smells lovely and fresh and absorbs into the skin well.

As directed, I applied this on to a clean face each evening. My skin did feel smooth and soft in the morning but having used it for a couple of weeks I still didn’t see any major improvements in my skin overall.

I suspect that I am not at the right age to see what this product has to offer. I have the initial signs of skin ageing but nothing major yet.

There isn’t a link yet online but Sleep Recover and other Filorga products can found in Marks & Spencer beauty halls.

Have you tried any products from the brand? I think the meso-face peel will go on my to purchase list.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Nails of the week: Barry M Lychee and Striplac

Shockingly this is my first nail post of the year and for that you get me talking about two quite different polishes in one post as compensation.

 The first is one that I *borrowed* from my little sister, Barry M’s Hi Shine gell effect polish in the shade Lychee.
Lychee is a light nude shade and although I think this would be better suited for someone with a lighter skin tone than mine, it still works as an every day, subtle colour. The application is slightly tricky, you need two thin coats for the polish to be opaque and there is the potential for streaks because it begins to dry almost immediately.
At this point I've been wearing it for 4 days and I'm still chip free — Barry M are usually good for their wear time anyway but this is particularly impressive.

The gelly polishes cost £3.99, the same price as the regular range and can be found at Boots, Superdrug and online.

On my accent nail there is something different all together. If you follow me on Twitter you would have seen that last week I tweeted an image of Allesandro striplac.

Striplac is similar to Shellac, with two major differences. It is a home system and the polish can be peeled off.

At the event we all had the chance to apply the polish to one nail ourselves. The application was simple, a UV base and top coat was applied in between two layers of polish, curing the polish with a UV light in between each layer.
The polish lasts for up to 10 days at which point the polish is meant to peel at the edges and you can strip it off. I was told that because the polish is coming away from the nails there is no chance of doing damage but that if you tried to peel it off before this point then you could.

I have been wearing the polish for 9 days now and it has just started to come away at the edges.

Striplac comes as a kit including a UV-LED lamp, a red peel off polish, a UV/LED base and top coat, cleansing pads, 4-step file, cuticle pusher and instructions and costs £129. Additional shades of polish cost £15.99.

If you are someone who regularly gets Shellac or any other type of salon nails done you would very quickly get your moneys worth out of this system. It wouldn't be the best option for me but I would definitely choose this over regular Shellac when I next go away purely for how convenient it would be to peel the polish off rather than go back to the salon to remove it.

What's your view on peel off polish? Or will you be sticking to good old Barry M?

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Birchbox May 2013

So this month’s Birchbox has arrived and it is inspired by the idea of getting ready for your own red carpet moment this summer.

Inside the box this month there is….

Make Believe shimmer lip gloss (full size £10)
I am aware of the Make Believe brand, I have the bronzer and my sister is a fan of the tinted moisturiser but this lipgloss leaves me a bit underwhelmed. I don’t have a tan at the moment, so I feel there is nothing to ‘enhance’ and I suspect this is a product they added to the range just to include a lip product rather than because it is something special. You never know though, I may be pleasantly surprised.

Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Facial Moisturiser (sample size — full size £42)
I am always on the hunt for a good moisturiser so samples are very welcome. This will be my first experience of this brand too and I am glad that the sample is a decent size for a thorough test.

OPI Nail Lacquer (sample size — full size £11.50)
Such a cute little bottle but such a shame about the colour. It’s white or grey, I can’t tell. It doesn’t say red carpet to me, I would expect a colour that is in this season. Hopefully it will be more impressive on the nails, but I suspect it may well end up as something I use for manicure tips rather than an all over colour.

B/Attitude Body Souffle (sample size — full size £24)
Generally I don’t like body moisturiser samples but I immediately opened this up to give it a sniff. The scent is fresh but sweet and you can see the souffle texture. I expect this to be a treat to use even though I am unlikely to be persuaded to so much on a body moisturiser.

Kusmi Tea Detox Tea (lifestyle extra — full size £13.85)
Of the whole box this was the sample I was most excited to see. I tend to go for English tea but I know that I should incorporating more herbal teas. This is a blend of mate and green tea, flavoured with lemon and lemon grass and is meant to help rid the body of pent up toxins and boost energy, which is very much needed right now as I lie in bed with a cold! If it tastes good I’m sure I’ll repurchase.

Doctor Duve Anti-Ageing and Firming Eye Cream (beauty extra, sample size — full size £115)
A sachet sample for an eye cream in particular is pretty useless, unless the effects are immediate or overnight there is never enough product to do a full trial. I can understand why the sample isn’t bigger though, the full size product is £115!

I’m in two minds about this box, I know I’ll use everything but it doesn’t scream ‘red carpet’ to me or really excite me. What do you think?

If you are interested in subscribing to Birchbox more information can be found on their website and this month they are donating 30% of all sales in the e-shop to Fashion Targets Breast Cancer! 


Monday, 13 May 2013

Sample session: diego dalla palma lipstick orange pink

This cute lipstick sample from diego dalla palma came in Carmine beauty box last year.

When I first opened it, I immediately threw it aside thinking that the colour wasn’t really ‘me’. But I’m going through an adventurous phase and with the odd rays of sunlight shining in the UK I thought I would give it a try.

The shade is number 32, orange pink. The colour is almost peach, and a great half way option for a true orange/coral lipstick. I’m not convinced it suits my skin tone but I think it would look great on darker skins.

The lipstick has a lightweight, soft and creamy texture. The pigmentation is good and one swipe is enough for a good colour with a subtle sheen.

The lipstick feels moisturising and I barely noticed wearing it. The only thing is that it is not particularly long lasting, not that this bothers me too much when it comes to lipsticks. The description on the M&S website says that the lipstick can be made to last longer by dabbing the lips with a loose powder before application.

The ingredients list begins with caster seed oil and various waxes, which explains the moisturised feeling. It is meant to contain anti-ageing agents and is 100% fragrance-free.

The lipstick costs £15 and can be found at Marks & Spencer. The price is a little more than I am willing to pay, but I can tell the difference in quality compared to cheaper brands.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

No! No! Hair removal system review

I thought it was about time I write my review the No!No! Hair removal system. Having attended an event recently that had nothing good to say about the device I thought it was worth blogging about my experience, because even though I am not now hair free, I did notice some difference.

I'm not going to go into the design and features of the device because I own an older model and I know that it has been updated since.

I purchased the No!No! in 2010, before I started my blog, for about £160 from QVC. I was already having IPL treatment under my arms and for the cost of three treatments I could, in theory, remove all my body hair with this device so it seemed like a good deal.
The device is known as hot-wire, and is meant to work by conducting heat through the hair, affecting the hair follicle and eventually stopping the hair growth cycle.

A huge advantage of the device in my eyes is that the process is completely pain free. The instructions state to move the device at a steady speed over the skin, in the opposite direction to the hairs, and then buff away the hairs.

As the wire passes over the hairs it burns it off at skin level. This means two things, it smells and hair grows back quickly.

I personally never found the smell of burning hair too offensive. In fact, it made me think the device was doing something. I would open a window or light a candle and the scent would disappear soon enough. I know having spoken to others that they hated the smell and it was off putting to using the device.

The reason hair grows back quickly is because, like shaving, it is only removing the hair at the skin level.

My use of the No!No! was always sporadic. I would use it every other day for a week on my lower legs, then once or twice a month, then fewer. It was easy to use but using it a few times a week was time consuming and you really need to commit to a routine.

After a few months I noticed that my legs were very patchy. I had some areas with no hair growth at all and others where the growth was slow.
No, I don’t usually treat my inside arm but I thought you might appreciate an image of the device in action!
And that is the point I am at today.

For me the No!No! seemed to be doing something and with regular use I would have expected the results to only get better.

The cost, compared to other hair removal devices, is reasonable but it does need you to repurchase the hot wires — not that it is obvious when you should do this — so it is not a one off payment.

At the event I attended they summarised some data that suggested the No!No! is no more effective than shaving when it comes to hair removal. Without seeing the paper I wouldn't want to comment on the results. But it is obvious from using the device that it does shave your hairs, but whether or not it is conducting heat down the hair I do not know — we were told that hair is not a very good conductor of heat.

However, because I have experienced results to an extent I remain undecided. If you already own it, try using it regularly and see what happens. If you are looking into buying a hair removal device I would suggest reading around and if your budget can make it going for one of the laser based devices, which have more positive reviews and research to them.

Have you used any permanent hair removal methods and if so, how have they worked out for you? Also if you would like to know more about my experience of IPL just let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 6 May 2013

The Skin Regime

I have always been on a mission to create beautiful skin. I actually managed to get pretty close but going back to college and the stress of the course meant my skin broke out and has now scarred badly and I feel like I am back at square one.

So when I was offered a chance to read The Skin Regime and have a test of the routine, I jumped at it.

The author of the book, Dana Ramos, is a skin care enthusiast and her book presents a way of reversing sun damage and ageing and achieving beautiful skin using an inexpensive home skin care routine.

The routine is based around weekly skin peels that you would usually have done professionally and using a simple, gentle products in between the peels for a period of 6 to 12 weeks. 
The book is written in a simple and fun style, I managed to whizz through it after a day of commuting. After an introduction (which you can read free on the website) it dives in to how you can create beautiful skin and explains who the treatment is and is not suitable for. There is then a chapter on maintenance — including what to do if you don’t want to try peels — and some advice on how to show off your nice skin (make-up talk). There is also a chapter on treatments beyond the regime, things like fillers and liposuction, and whether or not they can actually work. Finally there is a chapter looking at the regime on the rest of your body and how it differs from the face.

I was sent a small sample of peel to try, and although I was a little nervous using it and convinced I had done something wrong, the next day my skin felt very smooth and looked a little clearer. I still have a long way to go in terms of clearing up the scarred areas but I do believe that over the suggested 6 week course the routine would work.

I am hoping to continue the regime for a few weeks and share my results with you. In the mean time if you want to learn more about The Skin Regime and see before and after photos as well as an amazing photograph of the author without makeup, take a look at The Skin Regime website.

You can also follow on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Nude

When white and pink eyeliner became the waterline trend I tried them and hated the look, rather than looking brightening the colours drew attention to my waterline and, in my opinion, looked odd.

But I still wanted to achieve that bright-eyed, awake look.

Cue Rimmel's scandaleyes eyeliner in nude.
Rimmel say that the scandaleyes liner range has long lasting shocking color intensity with an ultra smooth and creamy formula that glides on easily. Waterproof, smudge-proof, sweat-proof, heat-proof, humidity-proof and scandal-proof. It is dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested and is safe for sensitive eyes.

Nude from Rimmel is something I believe will suit medium to dark skin tones that want to achieve that brightening effect and that didn’t get on with white/pink eyeliner. The colour is a light peach-nude and the formulation is soft and creamy making it lovely to use on the waterline.
The wear is good, lasting at around 7 hours in the waterline before disappearing. Even though it is a waterproof formula I had no trouble removing it at the end of the night. This is a win from me and it means that these days I'm opting for nude eyeliner on my waterline during the day rather than black for a more natural/day friendly look.

The liner costs £3.99 and can be found in Boots, Superdrug and supermarkets with a Rimmel counter. I suggest waiting for a 3 for 2 offer and picking this up along with my holy grail black eyeliner, Rimmels exaggerate waterproof eye definer, and another product of your choice :-)

Of course you can choose any combo you like!  Let me know what yours would be.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Sample session: GlamGlow tingling and exfoliating mud mask

Having tried the other mask in the GlamGlow range last week I thought I would give the star product a try. GlamGlow say that their tingling and exfoliating mud mask delivers both instant and cumulative results and leaves your complexion revived and glowing for 3 days after each application.

The benefits include:
  • Skin collagen synthesis for a noticeable 3 day glow
  • Brighter, radiant skin in minutes
  • Leaves skin noticeably soft and smooth
  • Multi-level resurfacing exfoliation
  • Penetrates into the deepest layers of the skin to soften fine lines and wrinkles
  • Tightens, tones and lifts the skin
  • Relieves dark circles and minimises pores
  • Absorbs impurities without removing natural oils
  • Suitable for all skin types, ages and for both men and women
  • Contains no artificial colours or fragrances
The mask is dark grey/green in colour and has a gritty texture with some larger bits also thrown in.

I applied a thin layer and the mask immediately started to dry, which made the application difficult. The texture is like sand, so rubbing it into my skin I felt a bit concerned that it might be too rough.

After a few minutes the tingling began and this lasted about 5 minutes, at which point the mask had dried completely. The tingling is intense but not uncomfortable to the point that you wonder if you should remove the product.
I left the mask on for 15 minutes in total before removing with a damp face cloth. Again the texture felt like sand but this is the exfoliation step of the treatment.

Immediately after my skin looked bright and clear and felt so smooth. My face did feel tight, but not uncomfortable and this was easily fixed with face oil.

The next day my skin still looked bright and clear and my scars lighter. On day two my skin still looked bright and clear and my pores less noticeable and the same on day three.

A big factor for me when using face masks is the luxury/treat element. I can't say that I enjoyed using this but the results after one use were so impressive that I would be tempted to purchase a full size tub.

Starting at £22.50 for 15ml of product (there is also a 50ml tub), it's not a cheap mask, but a little produces good results and based on the immediately results, I believe that over time my skin the mask would provide the cumulative effects that it promises.

GlamGlow can be found in online and in Space NK and M&S stores. You can also purchase the sample I had for £4.99 from the GlamGlow website so you can try before you buy.

Have you tried GlamGlow? I'm always on the hunt for the ultimate face mask so let me know what your favourite is.
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