Blog Sale

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Top 5 mascaras for less than a fiver

When it comes to mascaras I don’t wanna have to choose one that offers volume over length or curl over colour. I want one product that does absolutely everything. It might seem a lot to ask but there are like a bezillion mascaras available so I’m constantly buying and trying new ones and although I dislike 90% of them (I’m almost as picky about mascara as I am about foundation) I have come across some real gems. With that in mind I figured I’d do a few mascara posts starting with 5 superfab finds that you can pick up for less than a fiver

Now I’m gonna let you in on a big secret provided you don’t go telling those germ phobic goody two shoes who follow all the right hygiene rules! I know you should dump a mascara 3 months after opening but I never do *Le gasp!* because I find some of the formulas are so wet that the mascara only starts to get good after 3 or 4 months when it’s dried out a bit. If I ever have an eye infection or something I’ll be sure to dump whichever mascara I was using right away but until then I’ll use them till I feel they need to be replaced :)

Aaanyway, my point – which seems to have taken an age to get to! – is that the following mascaras are great from the day they’re opened so I don’t have to wait around for them to dry out. Each and every one of these leave my lashes thick, dark, long and nicely separated. Also, they last all day without flaking or smudging – which is the very least I expect from a mascara!
Collection 2000 XXL Volume Sensation Mascara - £4.29
NYC Volumizing Show Time Mascara - £1.99
Collection 2000 Super Size Fat Lash Mascara - £2.99
Miss Sporty Fabulous Lash Mascara - £3.29
Primark Ball Games 360 Degree Mascara - £2.50

Feel free to recommend any mascaras that are awesome and cheap as chips but haven't been included here! ♥

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Shielo - Hair care that works

It’s nearly 2am. I had just decided to go to bed and this is what greeted me… Zoe is quite the little bed thief and I didn’t want to disturb her so I tucked her in and figured I’d do another blog post. Manipulated by a dog? Me?! Er, yeah, it would seem so. But she's soooo cute!
Anywho, I recently tried a few products by Shielo and wanted to rave about them a little so there’s no time like the present!
I used to believe that it didn’t matter what shampoo I used cos it just cleaned my hair. Which meant I’d happily fork out 20 quid on a good conditioner but would use a bottle of supermarket own brand shampoo that cost a pound or two. Oh how things change!

As far as the Shielo products go I can actually feel the condition of my hair improve by using nothing but the HYDRATE Moisturizing Shampoo. It’s creamy and rich but still lathers well so my hair feels clean but not squeaky clean (which I always find unpleasant as it makes my hair break more easily) The shea butter, hibiscus and vanilla cactus mean I can use this every single day without worrying that it’ll irritate my scalp or dry out my hair and leave it feeling more dry n brittle over time

This HYDRATE Vibrancy Conditioner does everything I could ask for… It de-tangles my hair as soon as I apply which means I can run a brush through it whilst it’s still wet – a cardinal hair sin! – without worrying that it’ll break or cause more split ends. My hair is left feeling seriously soft and smooth but not limp, which is so important because fine hair like mine can end up flat as a pancake if my conditioner leaves a residue

If I’m looking for a little more volume I’ll use the VOLUME Volumizing Conditioner which does what it says on the tin. Nuff said
Rather oddly my favourite product from this comapny is the Anti-Aging Smoothing Complexion Scrub. What with this being a hair-focused company I wasn’t expecting much from the skin care but this scrub is fantastic. As you can probably see from the picture above the little beads are perfectly spherical so they don’t scratch or irritate the skin. The ingredients include Aloe Vera Juice and Allantoin which means my skin is left feeling fresh and moisturised as well as really smooth

Right, I'm definitely going to bed now. Nighty night all ♥

S&G lipstick - liar liar pants on fire

Soap & Glory Fabulipstick Collagen Boosting Lipstick in Naked Beige
This is one dishonest lipstick. It lied to me on no less than 3 separate occasions and I must say I’m very disappointed.

Lets start with the shade name; it’s called Naked Beige. Now I dunno about you but for me that conjures up images of nude toned lips. I’m think 2 or 3 shades darker (or lighter) than my actual lip colour would be an acceptable shade range but nope, this is brown. And I don’t mean a gorgeous neutral beige shade that looks lovely with a nice peachy toned blush, I mean brown. Like poopies

Next on the list of lies was the claim that this is a lip plumping product. Ok, it may have “collagen boosting properties with plumping pre-peptides” but it didn’t plump my lips one iota. Which would be fine if I wasn’t promised that it would!
Last of all it claims that it will give a soft, smooth, dewy, plump pout but guess what? Exactly! It does nothing of the sort! This is one of those creamy lipsticks that sinks into every teensy tiny little crevice on the surface of the lips and then bleeds out in no time. I’m 26 and am still fairly smooth-skinned and this still makes my lips look like cracked mud. My mum on the other hand is 54 and has smoked since she was a kid so I can only imagine how dreadful this would make her lips look… which really sucks cos the collagen-having-lip-plumping-qualities are exactly the kinda things that would appeal to people who are concerned about not-so-smooth lips
Because I have such faith in Soap & Glory I was really disappointed by this. Think I’ll stick to their lip glosses in future :)

Summary :

Cost - £9
Size – 3.5g
Shades available – 3
What’s good about it – The little Soap & Glory logo is carved into the lipstick which is very cute
Will I repurchase – Nope, wont even use the one I have again

Monday, 28 November 2011

The product no makeup kit should be without

Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer - shade 002
I think primers have to be one of the least exciting products when it comes to all things beauty – they’re just so… functional… and, you know, dull. Obviously I love the flawless long-lasting finish they can give my makeup but I just don’t find them to be the most thrilling thing to shop for, which is probably why I’ve stuck to the same ones for so long!

But I was doing a little shopping recently and got talking to a sales assistant who mentioned Rimmels Fix and Perfect Pro Primer. Her makeup looked so stunningly perfect that I absolutely had to buy it and try it out for myself

I should point out that this is shade 002 which is a white gel. The formula is different from the older version (001) which is an apricot colour. Aaanywho, this stuff impressed me no end so I wanted to give it a little shout out
The texture is beautifully smooth and is the perfect balance between gel and cream so it feels like it floats on the surface of the skin creating a barrier between my moisturiser and foundation. Talking of foundation… Because this dries almost instantly it’s a great base for all foundations, from powders to liquids

My skin is generally normal but can veer madly to oily or dry depending on whether or not I'm stressed out, eating the right food, looking after my skin properly etc etc and no matter how my skin has looked first thing in the morning this primer has done a fantastic job of keeping my makeup in place all day
The packaging claims that this:

smoothes - Which I can totally vouch for, my skin feels like silk after I’ve applied this
resurfaces - Don’t get that one – surely an exfoliater resurfaces?
Brightens – Yep, although there aren’t any shimmer particles or anything my skin definitely looks brighter
Mattifies – Really does the trick and even keeps my t-zone shine free when I’m having an oil-slick day
Protects – No idea how. There’s no mention of an SPF or any antioxidants

One of the best things about this has to be the price! It costs £6.99 for 30mls and when you compare that to the £28 that I pay for 30mls of Smashbox Photo Finish Primer it’s quite a bargain

Some crappy bath products - part 4

Soap & Glory Feel The Knead Massage Soap
I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting from this but if I was told in advance that it’s just a bar of soap that you rub on your thighs then I probably wouldn’t have bothered with it
The texture seems like a rather crap gimmick because the dimples wear down after about 3 uses and you’re left with a plain bar of soap. The whole point of this is that it’s s’posed to help with cellulite and I guess I’d have to be pretty na├»ve to expect it to leave me with smooth thighs after using it every day for a few weeks but if there’s one thing I dislike its products that advertise stuff they don’t deliver. Seeing how I’m constantly using new makeup and beauty products you think I’d be used to it by now but nope; I still get majorly annoyed and indignant if something doesn’t do what it says on the tin (tube, packet, box etc) My point is that this didn’t leave the skin on my thighs any smoother than my regular soap!
There are some teensy beads within the soap that are supposed to help exfoliate the skin but the beads are so few and far between I don’t think they exfoliate any better than shower gel and a puff

I like the smell because it’s quite herby and fresh so it’s nice to use but the texture of the bubbles is nothing special. I’d much rather spend my hard earned pennies on L’Occitane soap which lasts at least twice as long and feels at least 10 times nicer. It’s much more cost effective too because a 100g bar of L’Occitane soap (which costs £4.50) lasts me a couple of months whereas this 125g Soap & Glory bar (which costs £5.11) only lasted a few weeks
I know this might seem like an odd thing to mention but this stuff dries in like cement…I don’t use a soap dish so the first time I used this I set it (still soaking wet) on the corner of the bath. When I went to use it again the next day it was pretty much welded to the bath and I had to wedge a knife under it to scrape it off. So, uhm, if you’re planning on getting this and don’t have a soap dish it might be worth investing in one :)

Summary :

Cost - £5.11
Size – 125g
Does it work? – Works as a nice smelling bar of soap but nothing more
Will I repurchase? – Nope, I can think of more enjoyable ways to waste a fiver

Some crappy bath products - part 3

Natural Collection Vanilla Body Scrub
When I was a teenager I swore by the Natural Collection stuff from boots! The packaging was always super bright and the scents really appealed to me because they were fresh, fruity and totally over-powering (I wasn’t one for subtlety!)

Some of the products have held up brilliantly and I’ll still use them nowadays so when I’m wandering around Boots I’ll often pick up a few things from the range. Over the last couple of months I’ve been obsessed with vanilla so have bought dozens of vanilla scented products … Unfortunately I haven’t come across many scrubs so when I spotted this one by Natural Collection I had to have it!

This is actually one of the most rubbish scrubs I’ve bought in, oooh, 5 years? It’s just dreadful in every possible way. The smell is gross cos it’s so chemically and it’s so un-vanilla-ish that I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the wrong product in the bottle

It gets worse though… the texture is really runny and doesn’t lather up at all so I have to use loads of this to actually give the beads a chance to do their job. The beads are fairly scratchy and because the liquid isn’t very creamy I just end up feeling like I’ve been rubbed all over with a pumice stone and water. Not normal water though; water that smells like yucky fake vanilla

Summary :

Cost - £3.17
Size – 200mls
Does it work? – Not for it’s intended purpose. However I’ve found it gets the limescale off my bathroom taps like nothing else
Will I reuse? – Not even if they were giving it away

The perfect lip product for £4.29

Sleek Pout Polish SPF15 in Frosting

It's been a long time since I got so excited about a lip product but this is the single best thing I've bought in ages! This one teeny pot is a lip gloss, polish, tint, balm, conditioner and coffee maker all in one. Ok, that last one is a slight lie but even without the ability to make a nice cappuccino this is definitely worth having
Typical of the Sleek range the packaging is plain and simple so it didn't exactly jump out at me when I was browsing in Superdrug but once I spotted the ridiculously bright girly pink shade I just had to have it! In the pot the colour is a tad - dare I say it - tacky. Possibly even tarty. Fear not though! It’s beautifully subtle and pretty once it's actually applied and because it's quite sheer it's the kinda colour you can apply on the go without a mirror
The texture is completely different to what I'd first expected, it's really silky and slick as opposed to thick and sticky so it's something I'm happy to wear constantly. Probably a good thing considering it contains jojoba oil, shea butter, almond oil and avocado oil. Oh and did I mention the SPF15? So it does good whilst looking good. Hurrah! :)
Thanks to the fantastic £4.29 price tag I've picked up a few of these Pout Polishes but Frosting is definitely my favourite

Summary :

Cost - £4.29
Size – 10g
Shades available – 11
Is it any good? – Gives a gorgeous wet-look finish, feels fantastic, smells heavenly and adds a touch of colour. So that’d be a hell yeah
Will I repurchase? – Absolutely

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Some crappy bath products - part 2

Philosophy Vanilla Birthday Cake Shampoo, Shower gel & Bubble Bath
I actually feel kinda guilty writing this post as this was a rather thoughtful birthday present from a very very good friend of mine. But he doesn’t read my blog so it’s all good :)

When I unwrapped this I thought it was the best gift ever. The Philosophy packaging is gorgeously simple and I love the recipe for a vanilla birthday cake on the front. On another shower gel in might be weird but on one called Vanilla Birthday Cake it’s beautifully apt

Unfortunately I decided to actually use this and it all went downhill from there...

The smell is incredibly fake and nothing like proper vanilla. Ever have cherry sweeties? Ones that smell nothing like cherries but because you’re so used to the taste and smell being associated with cherries it becomes the norm and you don’t actually compare the sweeties to the real fruit? Well this is a bit like that… the smell is obviously s’posed to be vanilla and as long as you don’t expect it to smell like the real thing then it’s fine. Havent actually eaten it so cant attest to the taste though

The texture is totally bland, doesn’t create a particularly nice lather and doesn’t leave my skin (or hair) feeling soft. What have I missed? Oh yeah, as a bubble bath it’s below average cos the bubbles aren’t all luxuriously thick and creamy, as you get with even the most basic drugstore brands like Nivea and Dove. I guess I just expect more from Philosophy as I absolutely love some of their products but this is just a big bottle of meh

Summary :

Cost - £14
Size – 480mls
Good points? – Looks nice sitting on my bathroom shelf. It’s massive so if you like it it’ll last ages
Bad points? - Please see above. And it’s massive so if you don’t like it it’ll last ages
Will I repurchase? - Nu-uh

Some crappy bath products - part 1

balance Me Super Moisturising Body Wash
I’m always trying new bath/shower products… I have some firm favourites that I keep in case of emergency (yep, I mean you yummy Elemis goodies) but apparently variety is the spice of life n such so I have a constant rotation of shower gels, bath foams and body scrubs. Most of them aren’t worth writing home about, but the ones I’ve tried recently have been surprisingly crap. I say surprisingly as these have all got pretty good reviews online so I had great expectations

Let’s start with a product I got free with a magazine; Balance Me which has the tagline “Soak up softness while you bathe”. I’d love to. I really would. But this stuff not only leaves my skin feeling parched it actually manages to do so without leaving me feeling clean (and if there's one thing I want from a shower gel it's to be left feeling like I've actually washed!) One of the things that attracted me to this was the claim that it’s so creamy that you don’t need to moisturise afterwards… Aye, right. Not only did I moisturise but I used my Elemis Body Oil cos I knew a regular cream just wouldn’t cut the mustard

Now I’ll always try to see the best in products so I figured I’d mention the good points; this is made with 99% natural ingredients – there’s no parabens, sulphates, petroleums, mineral oils etc. Which is all fantastic news if you only go for natural products but to be honest I’ve used other natural body washes that are 100 times better than this. The orange bottle is quite nice. So that’s a plus :)

Summary :

Cost - £12.25 for 260mls. I got mine free with a magazine and still think I was ripped off
How does it feel? – watery, loose, gel like, unfoamable (totally a word) and not particularly pleasant
Will I re-purchase? - No

Friday, 25 November 2011

Another fab nude collection

NYX Nude On Nude Palette
I‘m not entirely sure what it is about nude palettes but I always seem to be drawn to them. I mean I certainly don’t need 25 slight variations on a pale gold shimmer or matte taupe but I can’t resist adding more n more to my already ridiculously large collection. Bet I’m not the only one though :p
I guess what I’m saying is that if you already own a nice nude palette like Urban Decays Naked or Too Faced Natural Eye Collection then you probably don’t need this. If, however, you’ve been on the lookout for a gorgeous selection of nude shades then this is definitely worth picking up!
There are 20 eye shadows and the range of shimmers, mattes and iridescent shades is fantastic… I like to mix it up a bit cos I think changing the texture or finish or an eye look can be as dramatic as changing the colour. Talking of colour! (see what I did there?) the shades range from bright white to jet black so it’s as easy to create a seriously sexy smokey eye as it is to create a simple pretty daytime look. Although one usually takes me about 3 times longer than the other
Now all that good stuff I’ve mentioned would’ve been reason enough for me to get this so when I saw the little pull out drawer with 10 gorgeous lip colours there was absolutely no way I couldn’t buy it! As a general rule I never bother with these iddy biddy squares of lip gunk (I can never quite tell if they’re lip sticks or glosses!) cos they’re usually too dry and too difficult to carry around to re-apply but this has been an exception to the rule! I love the colours so much that I’ve been wearing them every day and because the palette is so small I’ve been popping it in my bag so I can touch up my lipstick when necessary :)

How did I live without this?

It's About Prime Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Underbase

This stuff is so awesome I feel it should be considered the 8th wonder of the world. It actually does exactly what Soap & Glory claim it will but then goes above and beyond to do more awesome stuff that you’d never expect. It even smells delicious. I mean there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever to be concerned about how a primer smells, but still… Just one more thing to add to the list of what makes this primer awesome. Right, I’m gonna stop saying awesome now…
I think we all want the same thing for a primer so here’s a list of all the good things it does;

Evens the skin tone on my eye lids, even when I’m tired and they’re a disturbingly bright shade of blotchy blue

Stops my eye shadow from creasing

Makes my eye makeup last all day

Contains fine line reducing ingredients and even though I’m not particularly long in the tooth just yet it means I don’t have to worry about makeup sinking into any teensy creases

Makes my eye shadows look brighter more “true” - they actually look like they do in the pan – as opposed to diluted versions of the same shades

Looks beautifully iridescent and pretty so can even be worn by itself on no-makeup days when I still wanna look fresh and, you know, awake :)

Comes in two different shades so you can use one for a light day time look and one for a darker more smokey look

Smells good too

Summary:

Shades available – Smokey Eye Primer and Bright Light
Cost - £8
Size – 5ml
Does it work? – Absolutely
Will I repurchase? Already bought a second one “just in case” In case of what I’m not entirely sure but I felt like I needed to own a spare

Sucky Soap & Glory blush that sucks

Soap & Glory Love At First Blush
Know what sucks? Being sure a product is absolutely, definitely, totally, for-sure, 100% gonna be brilliant and then finding out it’s actually kinda rubbish :(

Everything about this blush appealed to me; I fell in love with the packaging, loved the name and have adored every Soap & Glory product I’ve ever bought but unfortunately I found the blush totally meh and a bit blah

Because I'm so pale I was a bit worried that this would be ridiculously bright and clown-like on my cheeks but the opposite was true! The colour is so light that I had to keep going back to the pan to get more product and it still looked more like a dusky pink highlighter shade than an actual blush. Which would be fine if it was called a pink-toned highlighter but if I pay good money for a blush then I expect a blush!!
I like the little shimmery white slivers cos the shade is nice as an under-brow and inner-corner highlighter, very handy if you're on the go or just couldn't be arsed using loads of separate products when you're getting ready. But again; if I wanted little shimmery highlighters then that’s what I would’ve been shopping for!

I think the colour is grand as a highlighter, the texture is ok and the price is too high. So it would seem the dreaded day has arrived. I’ve bought a Soap & Glory product I don’t like :(

Summary:

Shade - Pink, Pop, Pearl
Cost - £11
Size – 7.5g
How high does it register on the crappy scale of crappiness? An impressively bad 9 outta 10
Will I repurchase? – Nope, not likely

Sexy Mother Pucker XL - best plumping gloss ever

Sexy Mother Pucker XL Extreme-Plump Gloss
Hi all, long time no post, eh? :) Things have been a bit manic recently so I haven’t had much time to blog…

Of course that hasn’t stopped me making mental notes on all the stuff I’ve been using over the last few weeks so this weekend might turn into a bit of a reviewathon! I figured I’d start with Extreme-Plump; one of the Sexy Mother Pucker glosses by Soap & Glory

I’m totally loving the new S&G cosmetics range and picked this up as soon as it was stocked in my local Boots… even though that was only got it a few weeks ago I'm down to the last few mls at the bottom of the tube. Not cos it's a particularly small tube but because I cant stop using it!

My lips are really thin and when I use this gloss I don't actually see any difference whatsoever. Now you might think that'd be enough reason for throw a bit of a strop and toss it aside, vowing never to buy it again, but nope, the sensation it creates is awesome enough for me to keep using it. It's not that cooling-tingly-menthol feeling that comes with most lip-plumping products, in this case it's more of a warming pins n needles feeling… kinda like the warmth you get from sucking on clove rocks or cinnamon swirls

The first time I felt this start to work (takes about 30 seconds or so after application) I figured my lips must be twice their normal size so couldn't wait to have a look in the mirror but they hadn't changed a bit! A little disappointing but the sleek clear gloss is actually extremely pretty so I'm more than happy to apply this on its own or over a darker lipstick

The tingling sensation is really, really intense…more so than any other lip plumping product I've ever tried, which means that although this might not make my lips look fuller they certainly feel fuller, making it well worth splashing out on!

Summary:

Colours available - Clear only
Cost - £10
Size - 10mls
Does it work? - Doesn't do exactly what is says on the tin
Will I repurchase? - Oh hell yeah :)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Soap & Glory does makeup

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer in Light
Phew! So glad to see the back of today. I think it’s about time we just banned Mondays. Well, Mondays at work anyway :)

Ever since trying Clean on Me a few years back I’ve been a massive fan of all things Soap & Glory so I can’t even tell you how excited I was to see the new cosmetics range! I’ve been trying the various products over the last few weeks and haven’t been disappointed. One thing I really really like is the concealer…

This little pot of awesome is the best makeup purchase I’ve made for a while. The name and package meant I just had to have it; like all Soap & Glory products it looks so good I’d happily buy this for display purposes only :)
The black plastic pot comes in two little tiers, the top one houses a pressed translucent powder and a tiny velvet sponge which is used for setting the cream product. As a general rule I don’t bother using a specific setting powder for my concealer but I like that the option is available!
The bottom tier holds a mirror and 2 different shades of cream concealer, one for the under eye area and one for the rest of the face. The product looks deceptively firm in the pan but the texture of these is absolutely scrummy… almost mousse-like and luxuriously creamy so they blend brilliantly and leave a smooth finish that looks very natural
Unfortunately there are only two shades available; light and medium. Luckily the light version suits my skin tone perfectly but I reckon loads of people will have to miss out on this cos the appropriate shades just aren’t available

As to whether or not this is good value... I’ve found myself comparing it to Benefits Erase Paste, mostly cos the under eye section of this has that same slightly salmon-pink tint to it. There over 4.4 grams of actual concealer in the Kick Ass compact which is how much you get in a tub of Erase paste. When you consider that Kick Ass includes a setting powder and costs £9.50 less I reckon this will be my go-to concealer in future

Sunday, 13 November 2011

A new mascara that I actually like

Scandaleyes by Rimmel
Good evening all! Hope you’ve had a nice weekend. Mine was seriously uneventful and involved a couple of great films (A fist full of dollars and Bridesmaids) and a couple of rubbish ones (13 Ghosts and Alyce) I’d intended to do a little makeup shopping but just didn’t get round to it :(

Aaanyway, a few weeks back I treated myself to some new mascaras and I’ve since noticed that Scandaleyes has been advertised everywhere so figured I may as well review it cos I’ve been using it every day since I picked it up

There are about a million and one things I hate about this mascara, from the packaging to the ridiculously over-sized brush and even the wet formula but it (somehow!) still manages to work

I’m never gonna be won over by these chunky, brightly coloured tube designs – damn you falsies for starting the trend! – but I’m always on the lookout for newer, more awesome mascaras so am happy to overlook the hideousness of the packaging for a half decent product

When I first opened this mascara I could hardly believe how much formula had managed to gather and goop all around the tip of the wand (see pic below!) it kinda seems like a waste of product cos I have to wipe it off on a tissue every single time I pull the wand out of the tube!… And talking of the formula… It’s way wetter than I’d prefer but not so much that it clumps my lashes together so I can definitely ensure each lash is coated in colour without worrying that I’ll end up looking spidery-leggy
Is it just me or do mascara wands seem to be getting bigger and bigger? If the trend continues like this I reckon we’ll be able to use the wands as hairbrushes by the year 2016 or so. I’m not totally against big brushes or anything, I just find they’re generally hard to work with and have a tendency to do a great job on my middle lashes but the ones on the inner and outer corners are left looking a bit sparse and pathetic. What I like about this brush is that I can use it to brush my lashes again and again and no matter how often I do it they still don’t clump, which means that I can actually define each and every lash from root to tip without going over them with a little comb. Although with a brush this big I never bother using it on my lower lashes… I have to be so careful that it ends up feeling too much like hard work :)

Oh and if you’re anything like me and find wet formulas a total nightmare to work with I’d definitely recommend opening this and giving it a little time to dry out slightly as it makes it a hundred times easier to use!