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.
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