Blog Sale

Sunday 8 June 2014

The quick, gentle, cheap way to cleanse

Evening all,

Hope you’re having a fab weekend and aren’t experiencing that awful pre-work Sunday slump that always seems to hit about this time. I’ve decided to indulge in an awesome pampering evening that’ll involve a face mask, hair mask, long bath and a copy of Glamour magazine but before that I wanted to mention a newly discovered favourite product…
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Every couple of years there seems to be a new type of cleanser on the market claiming to be the next best thing. We had the cleanse and polish ones, the balms, the powders and of course there are the waters; it’s hard not to be sceptical of this one I reckon but I’ve been using the Garnier cleansing water for a couple of months now and couldn’t be more impressed. Well unless Garnier had Tom Hardy come to my house each evening to gently but effectively remove my makeup using the aforementioned cleanser before making me a cup of hot chocolate and then scampering off home again but I think that may be asking a bit much, don’t you?

The whole point of this cleanser is that you can apply it to a cotton pad, wipe away any makeup, dirt and grime and that’s it – there’s no need to rinse. It works a treat and is extremely gentle but I always follow it with some Liz Earle cleanse and polish because not doing so just feels wrong to me.

I think this would be the perfect product for anyone who ends up sleeping in their makeup every night (which ages your skin 8 days for every 1 night apparently) because it takes seconds to use and can even be done in bed… Which I consider to be energy efficient as opposed to lazy 

On a normal day I don’t wear a lot of eye makeup; I’ll stick with shadow and mascara and I’ve found this removes them with no problems at all but if I’m going for a more dramatic eye look with a liquid liner, khol pencil and waterproof mascara then I’ll use an eye makeup remover before my cleansing water to ensure there’s no residue left over

As skincare products go this is gentle, easy to use and really inexpensive so it’s become an essential part of my skincare routine

Have you tried this yet? Or are there any other cleansing waters that you think I should try? 

Joy ♥

Tuesday 25 February 2014

3 super full coverage foundations

Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation 
Estee Lauder Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup for Face and Body
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Teint Corrective Fluid

Afternoon all and what a lovely afternoon it's been! Leaving work early + going to see The Lego Movie + tea and toast with lime curd = a very happy me. It really is the small things, eh? 

I continued my chilled out day by sorting through my foundations and binning a lot of the duds/empties, one of which was Vichys Dermablend (falls into the empty category) and it got me thinking that it's about time I did a post on high coverage foundations.
Actually comes in shades light enough to match my akin!
For daily use I know most people opt for a natural looking product that gives them that my-skin-but-better finish but there are definitely times when only a pigment dense, high coverage finish will do and when that's the case these are my 3 go to liquid foundations. They're generally described as camouflage or corrective makeup for face and body and are not for the faint-hearted ; if you find things like Double Wear to be too thick and heavy then you'll probably not be a fan

These products are a bit like super hard working concealers that you use over your entire face so likely not right for every occasion but you know how you sometimes want a completely even toned, unblemished blank canvas to work with? Well when that’s the case these deliver beautifully
Estee Lauder mid-blend

I hate recommending something and then finding out that someone has purchased it and been disappointed so I wanna be really clear about all the disadvantages of these foundations, starting with the fact that they don't look natural; even a small amount applied with a light hand and blended well gives a very made-up look (simply because natural skin is a mix of different tones) and this is even more apparent in natural light. Due to the thick texture these aren't quite as workable as a standard foundation so I'd advise to work quickly and get them evenly blended asap to avoid a patchy result. Also, the completely even-toned finish means you have to "add" your features again by using blush, highlighter etc otherwise you can end up looking like one of those featureless shop mannequins. They can also be quite drying on the skin so it's worth using a scrub to ensure that you don't have any areas of dry, dead skin for the product to cling to and then applying a good moisturiser. As for longevity; I have combination skin and these generally break down and separate around my t-zone so I don't wear them if I know I'm gonna be out for 8+ hours.

Estee Lauder - Fully blended
By this point I've probably convinced you that these aren't worth trying so lets get to the good points; the coverage is brilliant, so if you wanna go for a look that calls for completely flawless skin then nothing works better. Of course if you happen to have "problem" skin (spots, acne scars, rosacea, dark circles, hyperpigmentation, port wine stains etc) then the confidence these can give is invaluable. As a little goes a long way they last absolutely ages and of course on good skin days if you just happen to need a little extra coverageyou can use them as concealers and dab on where required

If you've tried any of these before or have any other full coverage foundations you wanna recommend feel free to mention it below :)

Joy ♥

Sunday 23 February 2014

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

Evening all, hope you’ve had a nice weekend. Mine has been fantastic because it’s included 5 episodes of Downton Abbey (Yeah, I’m always a bit late on the bandwagon when it comes to TV shows and can’t believe I nearly didn’t bother starting this one!) a few chapters of A Dance With Dragons and an afternoon nap. It might sound like the dullest weekend ever but sometimes I think there’s nothing better than doing, well, nothing… 

Like any truly gratifying weekend it also involved a little play around with some makeup and that got me thinking that I haven’t blogged in a ridiculously long time and I’ve really missed it. I think, in real life, people probably aren't too keen on me rambling on about how one concealer out-conceals its rivals and how there’s a new palette of nude shades they just have to try whereas here I can go on for as long as I like safe in the knowledge that you can just close the page if you’re sick listening to me.
After my hiatus I thought I’d start by discussing Maybellines Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser.  Which just isn’t. My pores aren’t particularly visible at the minute so shouldn’t be much of a challenge for any primer but this seemed to make almost no difference to their appearance. In fact I’d say that pretty much describes the entire product and its effects; it makes almost no difference.
Top: Baby Skin Bottom: Smashbox Photo Ready 

The texture is thick-ish and gel-like so reminds me a lot of Smashboxes Photo Ready primer which is an old favourite of mine but the similarities between the two start and end there. When I apply the Baby Skin primer it makes my skin feel a tad smoother but it doesn’t actually look any smoother so I have no idea why anyone would wear this by itself (as suggested on the bottle) I’ve tried it under a few different foundations and it hasn’t made them look any better when freshly applied, which is the least I’d expect from a primer. It also hasn’t improved the longevity of my makeup; in fact it’s made my mildly oily t-zone even oilier so I’ve ended up applying a powder throughout the day to keep the shine at bay

The plus points are the super cute packaging (don’t you just love the colour?) and the price (8 quid for a primer isn’t bad at all) but of course a low price isn’t much use if the product doesn’t do what it’s s’posed to.

A lot of people have raved about this since it was released so I’m guessing it must work well for some skin types but I regret buying it and definitely won’t be picking up another bottle. Especially when there are primers like Rimmels Fix and Perfect available; more of a better product for less money? Er, yes please 

Have a good week 

Joy ♥

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils

Good evening all :) Hope you're having an awesome week so far. I finished work at 12.30pm today and have spent the entire afternoon watching Bake with Anna Olson (I've never seen someone make such complicated pastry dishes look so simple!) and drinking tea; but it's been raining heavily pretty much all day so that's my excuse

Been meaning to do a post on the Urban Decay 24/7 liners for ages so now seems as good a time as any!
I love using colourful liners cos it's such an easy way to brighten up even the most simple eye look. I'll sometimes apply a fine layer of a nude shadow all over my lid and then finish it off with a really eye catching eye pencil or gel liner; a lovely look that takes no more than 2 minutes

At the minute I have 4 colourful shades and 3 of the black pencils but there are about a dozen colours available including an unbelievably gorgeous gold. It's so gorgeous, in fact, that I've gotten through 2 of them and haven't got round to buying a new one yet :)

One of my favourite things about these pencils is that the packaging doesn't lie - the colour you get matches the packaging exactly and these could genuinely be worn for a full 24 hours with no smudging or fading. Also, the texture is soft and creamy, almost a gel liner consistency, so you can draw the line without pulling or pressing too hard
From left to right : Woodstock, Ransom, Radium, Junkie and Perversion

Once a line has been drawn you get about 30 seconds play time before these set, at this point they'll be stuck fast and wont move till you get at them with some decent eye makeup remover

The only thing that I find slightly annoying about these is that the softer texture makes them more difficult to sharpen, I usually leave them till they're really blunt as I'm happy with a thicker line but if you like a super fine line and had to sharpen these all the time they probably wouldn't last too long!

Tuesday 16 April 2013

My favourite Argan Oil hair product

I guess I should start with a brief description of my hair so you can see how this works for me and if it might be suitable for you. My hair is a nightmare. I'm letting it grow and it's currently just below my shoulder blades; It’s fine, flyaway, dry and prone to frizziness. I'm allergic to hair dye, which is probably for the best because I reckon dying it frequently might turn it from hair-that’s-not-in-top-condition into actual straw :)

Because I wash my hair most days I'll usually opt for a nourishing or hydrating shampoo/conditioner and then something that will (hopefully) control the frizz and help protect against split ends. Like a lot of people my first experience of a hair serum was John Fridas Frizz Ease and I still like it but it's a little heavy and doesn't actually improve the condition of my hair over time

With the sudden surge in Argan Oil products a few years ago I've been slightly obsessed with finding ones that really work. My mum, sister and I went to Morrocco last year and I was ridiculously excited about buying actual Argan Oil from actual Morrocco! It turned out to be a complete let down, it would seem that Argan Oil isn't half as good used neat as when used in a mixture of other hair-fixing ingredients.

For Christmas my sister got me the Organix Moroccan Argan Oil shampoo, conditioner and serum and I absolutely loved them from the first use. The shampoo and conditioner get 8 outta 10 and that’s pretty much all I'm gonna say about them in this post as I want it to be solely about the serum which is a definite 10/10. I have to stress how little of this needs to be used for superb results - I have a tendency to think more is more when it comes to certain beauty products but any more than a pea-sized amount of this will leave my hair greasy. It's a 100ml bottle and I've used it at least 4 times a week since Christmas but there is still loads left so it's seriously economical

When it comes to brushing my hair after a shower Organix Argan Oil and a Tangle Teezer are an absolute must because it ensures my hair breaks as little as possible and gets rid of any tangles straight away. The serum ensures that when I blowdry my hair its smooth, silky and easier to manage - So much so that I think the reduced amount of time dragging a brush through it and straightening it into submission has left it healthier than it has been in ages!

I find this works best if I rub a pea-sized amount between my hands, apply it evenly to damp hair starting at the ends and then I work my way up so there's almost nothing left on my hands by the time I get to the roots. This way the ends are well coated and there's no risk of the roots looking greasy and flat when it's dry. The smell is light and inoffensive so there's little chance of it interfering with any perfumes or lotions I'm wearing.

Being a bit of a product junkie I will still be trying out other hair serums and oils cos the grass is always greener n all that but Boots have these in a 3 for 2 offer at the min and they're only £6.99 each. I think I'll have to pick up a few as 18 months worth of hair treatment for £14 is just too good to pass up!

Monday 15 April 2013

3 of my most used eye palettes

The only product from the Accessorize line that I've ever bought and disliked was a lipstick, every other item has totally surpassed my expectations and best of all are the eyeshadows. Whether I'm using the singles, duos, trios or palettes I'm always impressed by the quality as they're better than a lot of premium shadows that I've paid 5 times as much for!

The 3 palettes below are probably more used than any others in my collection - including the NYX, Urban Decay and Stila ones - because there's such an array of colours I can create pretty much any look without digging through and looking for other shades that'll compliment the ones in the palettes.
Lovely Day - great selection of wearable shades and you can see how each vertical column of colours is like a little mini quad of complimentary shades that would create a full eye look - very nice touch I think!
They've become a bit of an everyday essential because no matter how early I get up I always end up rushing around like a headless chicken, (I have been known to brush my teeth, put my socks on and make tea all at once) leaving less time than I actually need to do my makeup. This morning was a perfect example as I wasn't due to leave the house until 7.30am so got up at 6am and still only had about 10 minutes to throw some cosmetics at my face and hope it turned out ok. Thanks to the blendability of the shadows in the Lovely Day palette I actually looked alright and not at all like I'd applied the shades whilst on a moving train (as would be the finished result with lesser quality shadows!)
 Exposed - a mix of neural shades 1/3 matte and 2/3 satin/shimmer
I reckon this is one of the most underrated brands on the highstreet. The shadows are fantastically pigmented; when you apply the the colours they are pretty much identical to what you see in the pan, even without a primer. They blend easily and are a great consistency - not crumbly enough to disintegrate when you dip your brush into them but not dense and compacted enough to mean you have to dig a hole in them and keep going back for more to build up any colour.
You Are Everything - Full of gorgeously vibrant colours that look as good on as they do in the pan

As a huge fan of highstreet shadow palettes I'm always on the lookout for something new to try but no matter what I get my hands on I always come back to these! 

Other stuff :

Availability : Sold in superdrug stores and online
Price : £8.95 for 32 colours (I know, right?!)

Sunday 14 April 2013

New L'Oreal Glam Shine Stain Splash

I'm ridiculously fussy when it comes to lip products; they're always too glossy, greasy, thick, drying or just an overall disappointment but I've always been a huge fan of the Color Riche lipsticks so figured I'd give L'Oreals new gloss/stain a try. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice this is…

The packaging is super cute and different from all the other glosses available at the min so top marks there. The Applicator is a tear drop shape (same as the Glam Shine ones if you've tried those) and makes for fairly precise application as the point of the applicator can be used to line the lips with the product and the wider part of it is plenty big for filling the lips in quickly.

I really like the smell cos its so sweet and yummy it makes me wanna just lick this off the minute I apply it... Probably not a good thing for anyone who doesn't like scented products though!

As a general rule I'll always go for a natural pretty pink shade if I'm buying a new lip product. I know it's really safe and dull but it means I'm (almost) guaranteed to like the colour even if the actual products turns out to be a bit naff. This was no exception - I opted for Romy which is one of the most subtle and wearable colours of the 8 shades available.

First time I wore this was to work on an 8-4 shift. I applied the gloss at about 7am and it felt fairly nice; a very thin layer gave a subtle colour to the lips and it was surprisingly shiny without looking thick and tacky (my pet peeve when it comes to lip gloss) After about half an hour the texture became slightly sticky, though not uncomfortably so. I had a cup of tea and a few grapes at about 9am and after that my lips started to feel pretty dry. I assumed they would look cracked and "patchy" but when I looked in the mirror they were actually still shiny and moist looking - surprising considering it felt as if the gloss effect had worn off!

I've worn this every day since and I just like it more n more so I'm gonna pick up a few more shades

The stain remains on the lips for hours but it would need to be topped up with another coat or a lip balm as it definitely feels dry and tight after a while. This reminds me a little of the old 2 step long lasting lip glosses where you'd paint the colour on and then use the clear balm throughout the day to keep your lips from feeling like dry, cracked clay (which they always did in the end) But this is far more comfortable and definitely in my list of top long-wearing glosses! ♥