Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Quick review: MUFE Full-coverage Concealer

You really need to take the name of this concealer seriously, when it says full-coverage it really means it.

I wanted something to target blemishes, without caking my whole face with a thick product. This concealer is thick but also creamy once you get it on the skin. It is easy to apply, but you do need to work quickly as it doesn't have that much slip and sets quickly.

Now when I say set, I also mean that too. It doesn't budge all day and seems to have held up to its water and humidity-proof claims. It is worth noting that I do set my makeup with a cheap translucent powder.

Because it is so thick you can't use it under the eyes without it settling into the fine lines. I have mixed it with creams and serums, but this has been a bit hit and miss, maybe it is just a case of blending really, really well, and most mornings I don't have time for that.

A little goes a long way and looking at my 15ml tube I expect it to last a long time. The colour selection is huge, but it does dry a shade darker so I would look out for that when making a selection. For reference, I'm shade 5.

You can buy Makeup Forever from Debenhams, here, and if you are in Oman there are dedicated Makeup Forever stores you can check out.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Heal Gel Intensive

If I'm honest, this has been lurking in the cupboard for a while. I was ready to dismiss it as an overpriced and overhyped fad after I purchased it to use on acne scarring and it did nothing.

Until last week when I was a bit overzealous in my attempts to get rid of spot and ending up not only making the spot worse, but also developing a large area of red, raw irritated, chemical burnt-like skin around it. I've done this before, I don't know if I will ever learn just to leave spots alone and let them heal in their own time.

So I pulled out Heal Gel and decided I would see if it worked better on such irritated skin. I'm glad to report, it did. I applied it three times a day, first thing in the morning, when I got back from work, and then before bed and didn't use any other products other than a very gentle cleanser. Of course, as part of the natural healing process it still scabbed, but I expected to see a bad scar in its place and, so far, nothing. I do still have some redness there, but I'm hoping that will continue to heal.

I wouldn't describe it as a moisturising product and I probably would have been fine to apply a moisturiser on top of it. I did notice that my skin felt a little dry and was flaky around the damaged area, but, no doubt, this a result of irritating it so much.

I have the Intensive version of the product, which is meant for general soothing and repair, but there are also formulations for the eye, face, and body. The Intensive version costs £37.50 for 30ml, and can be purchased from the HealGel website.

I was really pleased that HealGel did prove to be a good product in the end. The brand was created by  British plastic and cosmetic surgeons and a dermatological biochemist. As an ex-scientist myself, I'm always happy to see and support a bit of applied science.


Friday, 18 September 2015

Life hacks for curly hair

In case you haven’t guessed, that girl is me if I don’t treat my hair right. But, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to keep my curls manageable and looking good.

Treat and hydrate 
I think products are a bit trial and error, it depends on your curl type. Generally, going for shampoos that are SLS-free and hydrating is a good place to start. Curly hair is naturally dry so products should be ultra conditioning. Also treat your hair to those one-minute masks regularly and either a leave-in-conditioner or argan oil. I also occasionally use styling creams and I find that gel and cream formulations give me the best curls rather than a mousse. Again, personal preference you just need to have a play.

No brushes! 
Brushes just damage curly hair, and unless you want the frizzy untamed look (see the illustration) never take a brush to dry hair. My preference is a wide-tooth combs or fingers. I do have an exception to this rule though, and that’s the Wet Brush. Because it is designed for use on wet hair and you can only touch curly hair when it is wet, it works really well.

Squeeze, don’t rub 
Using either an old t-shirt or a microfibre towel, squeeze out the excess moisture from your hair. I actually tend to add product when it is still soaking wet, then use the towel to squeeze out the excess product and water. Regular towels tend to be a bit rough, especially if you are trying to avoid frizz, which is why rough-drying is a no, no.

Don’t touch! 
If you are going to let your hair dry naturally this is the most important rule. Once you have added product and scrunched, no more touching. Touching your hair in the drying process just increases the chance of frizz.

Although I prefer to let my hair dry naturally, if I use heat I also use a diffuser. I tip my hair over and let the large sections sit in the diffuser for about a minute before moving onto the next section. By tipping your hair over you have the added benefit of adding volume, and letting the natural shape of the curls form.

You can use a leave-in hair conditioner to revive curls or a curling spray. It’s actually better to wash curly hair as little as possible because it is naturally dry.

To keep curls still looking good after a nights sleep, you need to tie it into a very high, but loose ponytail. So you should end up looking like a pineapple. Admittedly, you do look a little silly, but the curls don’t get squashed and lose their shape and the morning routine is as simple as untying your hair and doing one of those slow-motion waves of the head.

Sleep on silk 
Well, this is just a bit of added luxury, but sleeping on silk will also help both your curls and skin.
Simple because they make your life a whole lot better!

First Utility very kindly drew the illustration for this post for me. They are running a social media campaign to find all the best life hacks, check it out on

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Dove Summer Glow Nourishing Lotion

I know I have been posting a lot of sunscreen reviews recently, so it might seem like I am anti-tanning. But if I am honest, I feel better with a bit of colour to my skin. At the same time, I find the fake tan routine a bit cumbersome.

So gradual tanners are a great for adding colour without the risk of streaks and orangey-ness from fake tanning and without the risk of burning when you live in an oven.

Dove Summer Glow Nourishing Lotion is a moisturiser with a hint of fake tan. It is a good moisturiser, the consistency is thick, but creamy so it spreads really easily on the skin and the tan is even, It doesn't smell like fake tan, which is a bonus. The colour develops quite quickly, within a day, and with one application I notice I am about one shade darker.

I particularly like to use this to on my neck to help even out my colour. My face is naturally lighter than my neck, so foundation just highlights this difference. By using gradual tanner on my neck, I can balance everything out.

The tan lasts for about five days before fading, assuming you aren't topping up every day. Obviously, the more often you apply the deeper the colour you get. The only downside is it takes a while to sink in, so I reserve this for application at the weekend or in the evening when I am not in a hurry.

Dove Summer Glow is on promotion at the moment for at Boots where you can get 3 for 2 (normally £5.25 each).

Monday, 14 September 2015

La Roche-Posay Serozinc

Every now and again a product with a lot of hype deserves it. Serozinc is one of them.

I've always struggled with sporadic breakouts, La Roche-Posay already have a fantastic spot product, which I have reviewed before, here.

Like the Effaclar Duo, Serozinc is meant for oily, acne-prone skin. And like Effaclar, I think Serozinc is a great product for keeping spots at bay and generally calming the skin down. The spray is a fine mist, which is refreshing and light on the skin. It is gentle, doesn't sting, and is non-drying. Because of these qualities I actually think it would be good for all skin types.

Zinc is great for acne, I remember the addition of a zinc and vitamin C supplement to my diet as a teenager was a complete game changer for my skin. Applied externally, it has soothing qualities and is a good anti-irritant, so that's why it helps tone down any redness and small spots to clear up quickly.

I use it every morning and night, after cleansing and before serums, moisturisers, treatment etc.

Serozinc can be purchased from Boots for £8.50, that gets you 150ml of product and I have been using it for over a month with no sign that it is running out anytime soon.


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Quick review: Bee Good Honey & Wild Mint 3-in-1 Cleansing Water

Bee Good Cleansing Water

I've sat on the fence when it comes to micellar water, I don't think they are that good at removing makeup, but as a first step they do start the job and I did buy myself a huge bottle of Bioderma recently for just that purpose.

I assumed a something labelled as a cleansing water was similar, but looking closer Bee Good's Honey & Wild Mint 3-in-1 Cleansing Water claims to dissolve make-up, cleanse and tone the skin in one step.

The first time I used the cleanser I liked it, it was cooling on the skin and although I wouldn't rely on it as my sole cleansing step, it did remove a most of my makeup. Then I took it over my eyes, and it stung. Badly. It's obviously not intended for eye makeup, I thought, and I didn't think much of it. Then the next day I went to use it again and actually read the bottle and was surprised to see that it claims to be extremely gentle on eyes. So I tried again, and again, it stung.

I think this issue is unique to me because no other review I've read has mentioned it. It's a shame because it would otherwise be an ideal travel companion when you want to streamline your skincare products.

Bee Good's Honey & Wild Mint 3-in-1 Cleansing Water costs 10 for 100ml and can be purchased, here.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Benefit Dream Screen

Benefit Dream Screen

Another SPF review today and this time an offering from Benefit. As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m keen at the moment on finding good daily SPF’s especially a facial one that works under makeup. Alpha-H’s offering is very good, but this wouldn’t be a very interesting beauty blog if I wasn’t the curious type when it came to trying new products.

Benefit claim that their Dream Screen, is ultra lightweight and that ‘you can’t feel it, you can’t see it, but it’s got you covered.’ And I would agree. It’s an oil sunscreen, which you immediately think won’t absorb into the skin and won’t work well as a makeup base. But, it does. That said, it doesn’t absorb quickly, you need to give it a few minutes, and the finish isn’t matte like Benefit claims.

It is meant to be an SPF of 45+, great for extreme temperatures, but it isn't waterproof so it's not one I would suggest for a poolside/beach holiday.

Dream Screen costs £25 and can be purchased online or from Benefit stores/counters.


Saturday, 15 August 2015

Life lately: Rediscovering beauty

Well, that was unexpected: I didn't realise that writing my last post would have quite the distancing effect it had on me. Then I returned to London and got completely side-tracked. But, on a positive note, it made wearing makeup fun again! The knowledge that it wouldn't melt off my face after five minutes made me more inclined to make an effort.

My first stop, literally hours off the plane, was Liberty. My sister had us both booked in for a makeover with Hourglass, and I quickly fell in love with their products (if you follow me on Twitter you will know some damage went down in my last week). I was assured by the sales staff that women in the Middle East love to wear their primer and Immaculate foundation (raising the question of why they don't sell the brand here?) because it is humidity-, heat-, and waterproof. I already put it to test while I was in London, now just to wear it, here in Oman and see if that is true.

GOSH matte lipstick
I also had a chance to make it to a GOSH event. Honestly, I've been to a few of their events in the past and, although I think their polishes are great, none of their makeup has ever wowed me, but their latest launches are impressive. Firstly, they have the most wearable and well-formulated high-street range of matte lipsticks launching, they deserve a post of their own, and they'll get one. They have also released some liquid foundation drops, which feel incredibly light-weight, the only downside is the colour shade selection, I'm the second to darkest shade, and I consider myself fair/medium skin toned.

Tarte, Lights Camera Lashes
Briefly, I want to mention the Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara from Tarte, I got this as part of the QVC TSV that came out back in June, and although the rest of the set was nice, this was the real star of the collection. You may have noticed I don't really do mascara reviews, and that is because I rarely notice them doing much. But I could use this mascara alone to lengthen and volumise my lashes, without feeling like I needed liner too. Bonus.

I should be back on track now with reviews and the like, although I realise I have said this many times before and failed, but the good intentions are there! Coming up later this week, the search of the perfect daily sunscreen continues...


Sunday, 5 July 2015

#youlookdisgusting and Why I Started Discovering Beauty

Four months before starting my blog someone told me that I was so ugly that if they punched me in the face you wouldn't be able to tell. Watching the #youlookdisgusting video reminded me of that.

Throughout my teens I had acne, not particular bad acne, I never saw a doctor about it, I just assumed that it would go away once I hit adulthood. The worst bit was the scarring; naturally my skin scars easily, but I didn't help myself by just picking at and irritating my skin. My acne was hormonal so I had this constant cycle of spots appearing then scarring, and then the process repeating again the next month. I hit my twenties and the acne didn't go away, which meant I carried that awkwardness and insecurity of my teens into my adult life.  I later discovered I had been treating my skin all wrong, with the wrong products.

But this post isn't about that. It's about my face to face moment with a troll. I don't want to go into the how's and why's of that situation but, the fact is, I believed that person because they were only telling me what I felt deep down anyway. After that day I resolved to never feel like that again, and step one in making me feel beautiful was to sort out the external, my skin, and I wanted to document that so Discovering Beauty was born.

Discovering Beauty has always been about exactly what Emma (My Pale Skin) wrote on her blog: believing in myself and never letting anyone tell me that I am not beautiful, even if that person is me. It was never just about the beauty products, it was always about my journey to feeling beautiful inside and out.

It has been over four years since I started my blog and over 10 years since I was a teenager and I would be lying if I said I was completely confident about my appearance -- I will always have some permanent scarring as a reminder -- but I'm getting there.


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Riemann P20 Once A Day Protection

I do care about my skin, I really do, and I want to protect it from the sun, but, I hate applying sunscreen. I'm not sure why because I am happy to take care of the skin on my face, but I just don't have the same urgency with the rest of my body. Let me know if you can relate.

So once-a-day solutions should be ideal for those lazy like me. Reimann offers a few strengths of SPF I have the SPF20 and SPF30.  The SPF 20 is a thicker pour solution, and SPF30 is spray. I'm not sure why there is a difference, but I prefer the pour application for making sure I apply plenty. That said, this may have changed by now, because I have using my back-up supplies from February last year! 

I'll start with the good, I like the gel/liquid like application since this makes it is easy to spread, and it doesn't start streaking or going white when you sweat or go in the pool. It also doesn't apply badly when the skin is wet.

On the cons side, it doesn't smell good, it is alcohol based from what I can tell, and despite that it takes a while to soak into the skin.

If you are on a holiday where you are walking around all day, then this is ideal. Or if you are just the sort of person who forgets to reapply. That said, I have burnt using this when swimming. It is extremely hot here (40+) and swimming all day just increases the risk of burning. I really needed to reapply frequently, and I probably should use factor 50. So that's just a cautionary note if you are hoping to rely on this totally, you shouldn't, especially if you are in visiting somewhere extremely hot.

You can buy Riemann P20 Once A Day Protection from Look Fantastic, here, starting from £9.70.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Links I love #3

1. 30 Ways to use Coconut Oil
I had no idea there were so many ways to use coconut oil. I think I will give oil pulling a miss though.

2. True Crime Podcasts
I eventually jumped on the Serial bandwagon and loved it! Now I miss it, but this lists gives me a crime fix while I wait for the series to return.

3. 10 Breathtaking Places You Have Never Heard Of
I warn you that you will get a serious case of itchy feet after reading this post. I'm pleased to say I have visited one of them.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter

Have you ever purchased a product out of annoyance? Because what you really wanted wasn't in stock? Having heard so many good things about the Camomile Cleansing Oil from The Body Shop I really wanted to try it, they do sell it in Muscat but it hasn't been in stock for weeks and I got fed up and decided to try the butter instead.

A first look it doesn't seem like you get much product for your money, the cleanser is housed in a compact metal tin, which would be a great size for travel, but just looks like it would be finished in a couple of uses. But, a little goes a long way. The cleanser itself is quite waxy and once you pick the product up it warms in your hands and becomes an oil that feels lovely on the skin. It works really well to remove all makeup, including eye makeup and mascara.

The instructions say to rinse and even though it is oily, it rinses well, but I still prefer to use a cloth so that I am sure I don't leave behind any residue. It leaves the skin feeling clea, but not stripped, so I would say it is more suited to normal/dry skin types.

The Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter can be purchased from The Body Shop for £12.00 for 90ml.


Thursday, 25 June 2015

Protection Plus Daily SPF 50+ By Alpha-H

Unsurprisingly, since moving to the Middle East finding good sun protection has been high on my beauty priority list. The sun is intense here so using a high SPF is crucial: I am yet to go outside for any length of time without going a little red.

While on holiday and lounging by the pool/beach all day the requirements for a sunscreen are pretty basic -- protect skin -- but when you live in a hot climate you need something that does that and sits well under makeup. And that is exactly Alpha-H's Protection Plus Daily SPF 50+ does. At this stage I will add this: this is my everyday moisturiser, and although it is ridiculously hot and sunny I make sure my sun exposure time is minimal and don't actually reapply this throughout the day.

I use this as the last step in my skincare routine, on top of my moisturiser. The SPF is tinted, but this doesn't translate on the skin at all. It sinks in quickly doesn't leave a film or tacky layer. It also doesn't seem to "melt" over the course of a day (I'm sure everyone can relate to those sun protection creams that ball up or settle on your nose after a time). My makeup lasts considerably longer while I am wearing this compared to a regular moisturiser/SPF combo, so I skip any primer step now. It would add though for the best result, give it a good few minutes to sink in; I usually brush my teeth then start with any makeup application.

Although it is not described as a moisturiser, dry skins don't need to worry about it causing dryness and, equally, oily skins don't need to worry about it feeling greasy either.

It does work out on the pricey side for everyday use, but can you really put a price on protecting your face?

You can purchase the moisturiser from Cult Beauty and QVC, at around £36 for 50ml.

p.s I have used this when out in the sun for longer periods and I did go a little red, partly because I was naughty and didn't reapply, and I did also swim. The formulation isn't waterproof so if you are thinking of using this for beach/pool-side use then you will either need to reapply much more frequently or pick up a waterproof sunscreen. 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Links I love #2

 I really set myself up for failure when I start new features, let's pretend I didn't miss a week, ok?

Here are some links I have loved in the last (few) weeks.

1. Raising a Traveling Tribe: The Downside of The Wind in Your Hair
As an expat I can completely relate to the sentiments in this post. Often I feel like I am missing out on huge aspects of my families lives and it makes me sad.

2. What Next?
This a post from a college friend of mine, we did our journalism course together. Being someone who hasn’t quite figured it out career wise, I know where she is coming from. I think her ideas for the future are fantastic and I really hope she gets to write more. If you leave a comment (you should) let her know I sent you; her blog is fantastic.

3. Things I’ve Learnt Living With A Boyfriend
Clearly I’ve had a very reflective week based on my reading! Having only started living together with my husband after marriage, the lessons are the same.

4. 4 Things Tidy People Do Every Day (Besides Make the Bed)
I don’t know how he does it but my husband can make the whole house a mess just sitting in the same spot all day. Any tips I can find to keep our home presentable are much appreciated.

5. Bringing On Labour: Why the Sudden Rush?
Maybe I am in a pre-nesting phase, but I have loved reading Ruth’s (A Model Recommends) blog on pregnancy. She is such a fantastic writer and this post in particular had me giggling.

6. Clarins Everlasting Foundation+
Back to some beauty, this post by Beauty Geek really had me wanting to test Clarins foundation. The hunt for something long-lasting continues and this sounds just right.

Please share with me any must-reads and I’ll do my best to make sure I don’t fall behind again next week!

Friday, 19 June 2015

Vaseline Spray and Go Body Moisturiser

I do love when you come across a product that changes how you feel about all products in the same category. I have never been a fan of body moisturisers. Sure, I encountered one or two in the past that I really enjoyed using, but none got me into the habit of regularly moisturising my body: until I tried Vaseline Spray and Go moisturiser.

It was an impulse buy when I returned to the UK last year. I shower in the mornings and this appeals to the side of me that would rather spend an extra five minutes in bed than moisturise. The spray produces a fine, almost liquid-like mist, that works from all angles so I am able to apply the moisturiser to my back. The instructions say to rub in after spraying, but you can skip this, and then you are done. No stickiness, not greasiness, no downtime. Simple.

Now I do have to add this, is it the best moisturiser out there? Probably not, but the fact that that I am now moisturising is only a good thing. My legs, in particular, get very dry and itchy, and while I still suffer from that a little it is considerably better than it was. I even feel like my legs look in better condition too: my skin is less dull looking.

Vaseline Spray and Go is available from Boots for £4.99/190ml, here. There are three variations of the scent, I have Aloe Fresh, which is barely scented. There is also Cocoa Radiant (cocoa butter) and Essential Moisture (oat extract) . It seems to be running out quite quickly even though you feel like you are applying very little product. That said, I have caught my husband using it too!

If you are in Muscat I am glad to report that you can get your hands on this from Sultan Center, but you will pay a premium I seem to remember it being around 5 OMR (UK people that works out at about £8.50). I won't be repurchasing at that price and even though I am someone who doesn't like body moisturisers I seem to have accumulated a lot of them so I really should work through those first!

If you have recommendations for a must have body moisturiser let me know.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Wet Brush

As a rule I stay away from brushes for my curly hair; combs are more gentle with the curls and you would never take a comb or a brush anywhere near dry curly hair unless the frizzy look is your thing. So the only option is to style your hair when wet, but brushing wet hair is also meant to be a no-no as it's more prone to breakage.

As a curly-haired girl, you can see my dilemma. So when I was asked if I would like to try a brush intended to be used on wet hair it sounded like the perfect option.

The Wet Brush, well it's like a traditional brush, except that it has thin and flexible bristles that feel surprisingly soft and gentle on the hair and scalp. It has been a long time since I've had a brush on my scalp and I always remember them being very scratchy and uncomfortable, but The Wet Brush almost felt like a massage and that is meant to stimulate circulation at the follicle. The design of the bristles is meant to allow pain-free detangling, which I found to be true.

It can be used on dry hair too, but as I mentioned you can't do that with curls as it just ruins them, so I haven't tried.

The Wet Brush cost varies depending on the size, colour and shape you choose, but they start from £7.99 on Look Fantastic. If you are after my metallic purple colour though, that is exclusive to Sally's and costs £8.99.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Pretty Honest by Sali Hughs

I actually preordered this book and didn't intend on writing a review having seen so many over social media when it was published. But seven months after its release, and having already read it cover to cover, I find myself dipping in and out of it: sometimes to remind myself of something, and other times just because Sali is such an engaging writer.

Briefly, it is a beauty book, but not the picture book kind. Pictures are actually rare, and it is actually a series of mini-essays about various topics, some you would expect, like acne and makeup application, and others that aren't really touched upon, like pregnancy or beauty in illness.

Sali takes a refreshing approach, she is frank but humorous and, what I like most of all, never preachy. Before this book Sali always made the distinction between beauty and the beauty industry, that you could love beauty and at the same time be critical of the industry, oh and actually think about other things too. She maintains that stance and along with her personal anecdotes and advice you get the sense that you are having a conversation with a really good friend.

Oddly, I liked the chapter about teenage beauty the best. It is the type of thing I wish I had read as a
teenager and I made sure to make my younger cousin read it so that she would hopefully 1) know it's ok to enjoy makeup and experiment and 2) not cover her lovely skin with a thick foundation when she doesn't have to.

I don't think this is just a book for beauty fans, the beauty novice would enjoy it too, which makes it a fantastic gift for any woman. It covers everything from the basics (knowing your skin type and cleansing) and also covers more advanced makeup skills, like contouring and perfecting that eyeliner flick.

You can purchase the book from Amazon or WH Smith. The softback isn't available yet, but the hardback is beautiful so go for that.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Inglot O2M breathable nail polish

I haven't worn nail polish in what feels like forever; I forgot how happy it makes me looking down at my nails when they are coloured. It's almost like colour therapy.

I purchased Inglot O2M based on the claim that it allows nails to "breathe" and because at the time it was released it caused a bit of a stir as some would claim it is suitable for Muslim women conducting prayers. I'm not going to get into a theological debate; let's keep this superficial and just talk about the pretty colour, shall we? (If you are interested though, this article is a good start).

Back to the polish and the beautiful shade. I chose shade number 698 as it was the most "summer neutral" shade for me. By this, I mean that it is bright enough for spring/summer and compliments any outfit, yet it is not so garish that you would feel uncomfortable wearing it to work. It is a pink/coral with a slight sheen to it.

The application is the almost perfect. It does need two coats, but the application is streak free and pretty effortless. I was done in with my base coat and two thin coats of polish in about 15 minutes and the dry time is quick too (living in an oven probably helps though).

I did buy the O2M base coat, but at £11 each, I decided I would skip the top coat. Without a top coat though, here I am at three days in with some minor wear on two or three tips.

If it wasn't for the price I would probably go back for more, but I could gladly stick with just this shade on my nails for a very long time. If you have O2M do let me know if the formulation of the other colours is as good as this one.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Current skincare and makeup, less is more?

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit my skincare and makeup routine has been lacking recently. I'll blame the weather.

That said, my skin seems to be looking better for it. My makeup application these days is minimal, part laziness, part not having learnt how to make makeup stay in place for any length of time in 40oC+ conditions. So all I use is Bourjois CC cream (which seems to be never ending), Smashbox BB cream concealer, a bit of bronzer, and Benefit's Gimme Brow, and I'm done.

Skincare wise, I'm still using my Kiehl's cleanser, I am so impressed with how little of this you need to clean your face. I use it both morning and night, and because my makeup application is so little during the day I only need one cleanse to remove everything. I also haven't been using my Clarisonic and have just been using my hands or a flannel depending on my mood.

I also use La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo+ morning and night now as a moisturising/treatment step. This product has holy grail status to me now as I am pretty sure it is the main reason my skin is clear. I haven't had a major breakout in a while, and when at night I notice small, red spots have started to surface by the morning they are gone.

I also recently introduced Bioderma's moisturiser and I am, so far, really enjoying it. It is light, almost serum like, and considering that it is so hot now and air conditioning is on full-time it has helped with some dry patches that have been developing.

When I know I will be outside for any length of time I also apply Alpha H's protection plus daily, which is my SPF step. I have a full review of this coming up, but, in short, I love it. It is non-greasy and also acts a great primer.

Keeping it simple seems to be working for me at the moment. Does anyone else find this?


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Links I love #1

I read a lot throughout the week, blogs, newspapers, magazines, and a mix of everything from beauty and lifestyle to politics and current affairs. So I thought it would be nice to start showing some love and sharing those really good reads, the ones I end up saving in my inbox or on Bloglovin so I can come back to them again and again. I'll stick to beauty on the most part, but if I find something else really good I'll share that too.

1. Be Awesome to Somebody
The world can sometimes feel like a pretty heartless place, so I really enjoyed this post by Hair Romance about one person giving back. I won't give it away, I'll let you enjoy it for yourself.

2. Makeup forever to launch in the UK
Grace at allthatslap made me add a few things to my Makeup Forever lust list. Luckily for me, they do sell MUFE here.

3. Debate: Are you ever too old to be a beauty blogger?
Kat at Tales of a Pale Face asked a really thought-provoking question this week on age limits to beauty blogging. Admittedly, I had never thought about it before, maybe because I still think of myself as younger than I am! The comments are also very interesting.

4. Colour-Pop Eyeshadows: The best $5 you will ever spend
It's been a while since I have indulged in eyeshadows, I really do have enough, but these swatches from Stacey at Expat Make-Up Addict have me very tempted. 


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Dubai beauty haul

beauty haul MUFE Sephora
For a bit of a change of pace, we visited Dubai last weekend. It's a five-hour drive from Muscat, and it feels like entering another planet; the contrast between the places is so huge. Having not purchased any beauty products for six months -- I'll pause and let you take that in for a moment --  I was keen to see what was new and treat myself for being so restrained for so long.

Make-up has a whole new meaning for me since moving to the Middle East; frankly, it's not so fun. The heat here means makeup just melts off your face no sooner you step out the door. After watching a video by Lisa Eldridge about pinpoint concealing, I decided that is the approach I need to take: a light base to even, and a thick, full-coverage concealer for the problem areas.

So with this in mind I picked up a few things.

MUFE aqua brow and full coverage concealer
The first stop was Makeup Forever, which is available in Muscat, but the staff are so unhelpful (to the extent that they don't even acknowledge you have entered the shop) that I haven't actually tried anything yet. I know the HD foundation is meant to be good, but I picked up the Full-coverage Concealer (shade 7) and Aqua Brow (shade 23). I 'm not sure if the Aqua Brow is something I can get used to, I expect it will need a lot of practice, but on the day the makeup artist did such a good job of making it look easy (and my brows amazing) that it had to be purchased.

NARS tinted moisturiser, Sephora Cream Lip Stain, Sephora Airbrush

Next was Sephora, and I picked up the Nars Tinted Moisturiser in the shade L3 Groenland, which I really hope I have matched myself to correctly. I had a rather useless sales assistant who thought it was appropriate to match me to my hand rather than my face.

I also picked up another shade of the Cream Lip Stain (shade 6). I discovered my love for these after my last trip, although I heard they have changed the formulation so we'll see if the love remains with this shade. The shade looks a little light in the image, but it is actually a mauve/brown colour.

Finally, I also threw into the basket, rather impulsively, the Sephora Airbrush Foundation brush (number 58). I have, and love, the concealer brush, and this feels exactly the same, but it is a rather odd pointed shape. Having used buffing style foundation brushes for so long, it will be interesting to see how this compares.

So that's it, a modest haul from Dubai. I really want to hone in on products that really work for me. I feel like I have a good collection when it comes to skincare, but not so much when it comes to base products.

I feel it was quite a modest haul considering how long it has been since I purchased anything new. Look out for full reviews soon.


Tuesday, 19 May 2015


So far, so good with the 'enjoy my makeup more' pledge. I had a good old session of piling products on my face the other night, and considering that most of the things were the new products I had been hoarding, I thought I would share my thoughts so far.

After years of eyeing the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick, I took the plunge and it's finally mine. I remember first seeing it in John Lewis over 10-years ago when I started university and wanting it ever since. I always resisted because of the price and I would purchase everything that looked vaguely similar in an attempt to save the money. I chose the bronze shade and having now used it I wonder if it is too "dirty" looking, or maybe I just piled too much on. I will experiment some more and post a full review later.

I also played with two shades of the Bourjois Roue Edition Velvet. I actually own a third shade, which was my first purchase, and I have had the review in the drafts folder for months, but I loathe the colour on me so much that I didn't even want to put it on to take a picture. The two colours I have now, Nudist and Don't Pink of It, are much nicer, and while I am still not convinced I like the formula, I know I will attempt wearing these more.

Now, me and eyebrow pencils have a bit of a turbulent history, I won't dig out my end-of-year photos to show you why exactly, but let's just say I was a bit heavy handed. So I then stuck to powder, and more recently tried a gel. I don't really remember what prompted me to purchase Kiko's Precision Eyebrow Pencil; a comparison to the Anastasia Brow Pencil, perhaps? I tried it out with my lightest hand, but it didn't really add much in the way of definition. I'll keep playing though, I expect there is a fine line between a light and natural and a heavy-handed drawn in look. In the meantime, tips for using an eyebrow pencil correctly would be much appreciated.

I haven't been liking my current supply of base products recently, the colour just seems off for all of them. My Urban Decay foundation and Bourjois CC cream are a touch too light, and my Bella Pierre Mineral Foundation seems orangey. Living in this heat and humidity I want something that lasts all day and is light, but still offers coverage and something that has enough of a shade selection that I should be able to find a perfect match. Suggestions are welcome.
© Discovering Beauty | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig