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Wednesday 28 September 2011

5 worst cleansers I've tried

Good evening good evening good evening! I dunno about you but the unseasonably gorgeous weather has put me in a rather cheery mood. Not that you’d be able to tell cos this post is basically gonna be a rant about the most rubbish cleansers I’ve used over the last 6 months or so

Guess I should start with a little disclaimer because I know some of these washes are probably a godsend for a lot of people. Obviously we all have very different skin types that respond differently to different products but these irked me so much I wanted to mention it so please don’t take it personally if I’m badmouthing your Holy Grail cleanser! :)

My skin is normal/combination and blemish prone around my chin/jaw area. The reason I had such a problem with the following products is that they left my skin totally un-balanced and spotty around my jaw line. “Ah-ha! But she already mentioned have spot-prone skin!” I hear you cry… And yep, I definitely do but I’ve found that a half decent cleanser is enough to stop me breaking out whereas a rubbish cleanser will have me looking like a pimple-faced teenager within about 3 days of the first use Clean & Clear Morning Energy. I was surprised by how much I disliked this cos one of my all time favourite cleansers is from the same brand, it's the Clean & Clear Advantage cleanser
Solutions Hydra Radiance Refreshing Gel Cleanser. The creams and eye gel from this rage at AVON are actually pretty good but cleanser is horrid
Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 wash/mask. This isn't too bad when used as a mask a couple of times a week but the texture makes a dreaful pore clogging face wash
L'Oreal Perfect Clean Refreshing Foaming Gel Wash. I was surprised at how bad this is because I love the pink and clear versions of the same rangeBiore Clean Things Up Gel Cleanser. This stuff is seriously yucky. My skin manages to feel unclean but stripped and dry after I've used it. Kinda disappointing as I bough the night serum and moisturiser at the same time and they're both awesome :)

Tuesday 27 September 2011

bank-breaking skin care and makeup haul

Good evening all! Hope you’re having an awesome week so far!

Know what sucks about the interwebs? Being able to shop at any time of the day or night… I reckon it’s especially disastrous if it’s 2am, you can’t sleep and are particularly susceptible to ludicrously OTT claims about skincare items simply cos your skin has been playing up for a while

Er, yeah, as you can probably guess I got a wee bit carried away last week and ordered a few bits n pieces. Considering I’ll be living on beans and toast to pay for the following goodies I hope they’re worth it :) Bourjois Effect 3D lip glosses in shades 23, 29 and 20
Bourjois Gloss Menthol, brush concealer pen, and Touche Illuminatrice Highlighter in Rose Universal
Bourjois Regard Paillete sparkling eye liners in shades 34, 37, 31 and 36
Bourjois 1001 Lashes Mascara and Eye Pencil Duo (The pencil on the end is my existing one - it's getting too teensy to sharpen cos I've used it so much)
Jemma Kidd Front Cover Concealer in Fair and i-Tech Liquid Liner in Abstract
Pop 6 shade eye shadow palette in Purple
Molton Brown Soft Eye Shade in Waterlily (really excited about this as it's my first Molton Brown makeup product!)
Joshis Holistic Skincare; Gentle Exfoliating Scrub, Cleansing Emulsion and Face & Neck Serum
Alpha-H 15%Glycolic Hydrating Mask and Gentle Daily Exfoliant
MadMen seasons one, two and three. Still havent got round to watching this but it's been on my list for months!

Wow, time has just flown by this evening! It's after half 1 already so I better head to bed. Thanks for stopping by ♥


A while back I mentioned not being too keen on pink eye shadows cos they just make me look tired, ill, and just a bit scarier then I’d like :)
I hate the thought of eliminating an entire colour from my eye makeup collection so have been determined to make it work for me…
This is just a simple FOTD with a fairly bright pink shadow from Bella Pierre Cosmetics that I’ve toned down with a shimmery brown shade. Still not my favourite eye product colour but I think it turned out ok! ♥

Products used:

MUA primer
Smashbox second skin concealer in fair
Myface foundation in fair
Laura Geller baked blush trio
Miss Sporty fabulous lash mascara in xtra black
Laura Geller Lipstick in berry banana
Bourjois noir & blanc eye pencil
MUA eye shadow in shade 11
Bella Pierre loose powder eye shadow in resonance

Friday 23 September 2011

The key to flawkess makeup-free skin

I know Estee Lauder has a reputation as a middle aged womans brand… It’s not exactly cutting edge when it comes to colours, styles or even packaging but the products are so dependable I can’t help but adore them. What can I say, I’m 25 going on 47

I’ve used everything from the lipsticks and foundations to the perfumes and face creams and I can’t think of a single item that I haven’t liked. In my opinion one of the best face creams from the range is Day Wear; it’s one of my all time favourite scents because it actually smells of clean. Honestly it’s like freshly sliced cucumber with a hint of just washed cotton bed linen. Absolute bliss :)

As much as I love the original formulation I had to try the newer tinted version because I’d heard loads of good things about it and I’m pleased to say it’s about 100 times better than I expected. And I expected a lot
The bottle is great as it’s a squeezy tube as opposed to a jar which I find much more hygienic and practical cos I can throw it in my bag for use throughout the day. And it’s a massive 50mls as opposed to the usual cream/foundation size of 30mls so one bottle lasts a ridiculously long time

At first I wasn’t sure how it was s’posed to give my skin any colour as the product is white when it comes out of the bottle but there are teensy tiny particles which burst when you massage this into the skin, releasing a subtle touch of colour. The texture is gorgeously creamy but still light and really easily absorbed, leaving the skin feeling deliciously velvety and touchable
As for the coverage… every time I wear this I’m newly impressed by how well it adapts to the colour of my skin, giving a natural healthy I’ve-just-been-for-a-nice-lone-walk-along-the-beach glow that lasts all day

To me this veers between being a tinted moisturiser and a light coverage foundation because I can get away with using a dab of concealer around problem areas and then using this over the rest of my face without feeling that I need to finish off with a powder or anything
Oh and did I mention it’s also packed with anti-oxidants and has an SPF of 15 so it actually leaves my skin looking better the more I use it? Really doesn’t get any better than that ♥

P.S. If you’re really pale I think this might look bit orange so it’d be worth trying this in a store and then wandering around outside in natural light to see how the colour looks before investing £34 on it!

Friday 16 September 2011

All Rimmel FOTD - Marks outta 10 for the products

Happy Friday all!! Had a nice week so far? Mine has been pretty dreadful so I’m hoping for a great – and extremely relaxing! –weekend :)

I was doing my makeup during the week and noticed that I’d used the same brand for my foundation, concealer and eye shadow… Figured it’d be interesting to try finishing the whole look with only that 1 brand to see how it turned out. I’ve been doing it every morning and it’s actually got me using makeup that I haven’t even looked at since I bought it!

Generally I use the same old products fairly frequently cos if I’m in a rush (which is most of the time) I know they get the job done with minimal fuss. I’m gonna keep up this one-brand-makeup-look for a while and figured I’d let you know how I’ve been getting on with some of the products
Foundation: Stay Matte Foundation in true ivory. Like this a lot but it’s not quite as long wearing now that my skin is a tad oily 7/10

Concealer: Stay Matte dual action concealer in ivory. Didn’t expect much from this when I bought it but it blends better than most stick concealers I’ve tried and is pretty good at colour correcting problem areas 8.5/10

Powder: Clear Complexion: Love this powder and have been using it for years. Does a great job of absorbing excess oil and doesn’t leave the skin looking cakey 9/10

Blush: Lasting Finish blush in winter glow. Still not completely won over by this. It’s definitely not the worst product I’ve ever tried but it’s mediocre and not something I intend to wear often. There are far too many better blushes available 5/10
Eyeshadow: Glam Eyes quad in bold behaviour. Meh. Lets just say the colours look much better in the pan that on my lids 5/10

Eye liner: Exaggerate eye liner in black. Absolutely brilliant. Incredibly easy to use, lasts ages, is a proper black as opposed to a washed out grey black so I really couldn’t fault this 10/10

Mascara: 1-2-3 mascara in black. Not keen on this at all. Gonna do a full review soon cos I’d like to rant about why it’s a bit rubbish 4/10

Eye liner: Exaggerate liner in Ocean. Works fantastically well and is a really nice change from black and navy. The texture is fairly creamy so it’s easy to apply and can be smudged but also stays put all day 8/10

Lips: Infinite Colour in wear it well. Every time I use this I expect it to work wonders but I’m always left liking it a little bit less. Too drying on the lips and the gloss coat needs to be re-applied every 5 minutes (I wish I was exaggerating) to keep my lips from feeling all dry and cracked 3/10

Thanks for stopping by. See you again soon ♥

Wednesday 14 September 2011

little lunchtime haul

I really shouldn’t be allowed out during a regular working day… I have this tendency to veer towards Boots, Superdrug and House Of Fraser (basically anywhere that sells lovely beauty products) So on Monday I hit the shops on my lunch hour and picked up some bits n pieces cos I needed some eye makeup remover. The other stuff just jumped into my basket when I wasn’t looking. Seriously
Eyeshadows from the Sue Moxley range at Superdrug; shade 9 and shade 3
Boots Natural Collection vanilla body scrub
Bourjois lipstick in shade 76 ... Not brave enough to actually wear it outdoors yet :)
MUA eyeliners in Jade Jewell, Turquoise and Royal Blue
Revlon Colorstay mineral lipgloss
Sleek pout polish in pink cadillac
Bourjois eye makeup remover. The reason for my shopping trip :)

Sunday 11 September 2011

Makeup disaster and NOTD x3

Good evening all! Hope you had a nice weekend… As you can probably tell from the pic of Zoe it was all go in my house :) Spent ages in the park with Adryen and the pooches cos apparently a hurricane is gonna be hitting the UK so if the weathers as bad as expected I’ll probably be stuck indoors every evening

I was watching 24 earlier today (yeah, I’m a teensy bit behind everyone else!) and decided to try a few different colours on my nails. They’re all from the NYC In A New York Minute range which is easily the best new nail polish I’ve tried this year
Times Square Greenwich Village
Spring Street

I’m not exactly skilled when it comes to polish application but this makes it unbelievably easy… it’s totally self-levelling so all I have to worry about is staying inside the lines and it generally looks grand when I’m done

At the minute Superdrug have a 3 for 2 offer on the NYC stuff so I’ve bought quite a few bottles of this as they only cost £1.79 each. 3 gorgeous polishes for under £4… bargaintastic, eh?

Know what really sucks? When you absolutely love a product, have just written a very complimentary review about it, only to drop it and have it smash all over the floor rendering it pretty much unusable :( That’s what happened to my fantastic Laura Geller blush last night. I’m just coming to terms with the loss but it’s been rather upsetting *sniff*

Saturday 10 September 2011

Amazing Laura Geller blush

Baked Cheek Dream Highlight and Blush
This baked blush came in the Vanilla Nudes collection I got from Laura Geller recently. I wanted to do a quick post on it because it’s beyond awesome and the colour is one of those universally pretty shades that manages to suit pretty much every skin tone. Oh and it's called Neapolitan - I'd have bought it just for the name :)
I hadn’t expected much from this because I’m generally not a fan of the blend-in-the-pan blushes that have a few different shades but I’ve actually enjoyed using each of the colours separately too… the highlighter is gorgeous on the brow bone, on the cupids bow, in the corner of the eye and, er, on the cheeks as a highlighter (but I guess that one goes without saying) and of course a quick swish in a circular motion in the pan is perfect for getting a pink/peach shades for an every day simple blush shade
One of the things I dislike about powder is how it can look cakey and heavy even if you only apply the smallest amount but this is so finely milled that it doesn’t sit in the pores or look thick on the skin. It’s incredibly natural and easy to use because it blends more easily than I’d have thought possible
The only negative? This came with a collection that I got from QVC and I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else so once I run out I’ll have to buy the whole set again! Though considering I’ve used this loads recently and have barely made a dent in it I reckon it’ll be a while before I have to shop for another one

Friday 9 September 2011

The scent most favoured by men?

When it comes to perfumes and body lotions my favourites are the ones that smell like food. Nothing beats the smell of yummy oranges, cherries, cinnamon or strawberries! My latest purchases have all been scented with vanilla, which has gotta be one of the best smells ever. Honestly I think it's right up there with freshly cut grass and coffee first thing in the morning, the only problem with it is that the smell means I'm constantly craving sweet foods (like vanilla ice-cream funnily enough)

And of course when it comes to delicious smelling body stuff few places rival The Body Shop. I got myself some bath and shower gel, body lotion (they don't do a vanilla body butter. What’s up with that?!) and perfume. I've been really impressed by 2 of them and fairly impressed by 1
The shower gel smells like heaven and is seriously economical; it's so concentrated that I only use about a teaspoon of it to wash my whole body. Twice. It creates a lovely lather and a tiny squirt of it under running water is enough for a fab bubble bath
The perfume (well, eau de toilette) is one of the most complimented scents I've ever used. It actually smells like proper vanilla pods mixed with vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with crushed vanilla cookies. So it's a wee bit vanilla-y. It's not the most long lasting perfume I've ever worn but by the same token it isn't one of those scents that enters the room before I do (giving people headaches and dizzy spells for good measure) so it suits me perfectly and is a good replacement for Fantasy by Britney Spears, which I've been using for years
Last of all we have the body lotion which is was the most disappointing of the 3 products. It smells absolutely edible and is quite fluid so doesn't take much time or effort to apply. Unfortunately once it's been applied it takes an age to be absorbed! I'm always left with a moist residue all over my body - It's not exactly greasy but it's just…well, kinda moist and just sitting there on top of my skin not getting to work with all the moisturising it's s'posed to be doing! The smell lasts a while and it's definitely helping with the dry areas around my knees and elbows but it's not the best body lotion ever

I was wearing the lotion and perfume the other day and one of my friends said she’d read that vanilla is the most favoured scent by men all over the world, which is apparently why a lot of perfumes use it as the base note. Rather surprising I thought cos I figured floral scents would be most widely liked. So I asked Adryen what his favourite smell is and know what he said? Yup, vanilla. Not the most scientific experiment or anything but still!...

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint - At long last!

I'd say 99.9% of the people I speak to who have tried Liz Earle fall in love with the brand straight away and end up extolling the virtues of the products to anyone who'll listen (talking of which - if you haven't tried the Hot Cloth Cleanser you really must!) Anywho, the nice people at Liz Earle sent me a bottle to try as the new Sheer Skin Tint SPF15 is being launched this month

Fans of the brand know that they can rely on the products to keep their skin clean, well-balanced, moisturised and looking it's best with very little effort. I actually learned this from Sarah, my 16 year old sister, who is pretty much obsessed with the range and literally doesn't use anything else on her face. I got her the Ultimate Hamper for Christmas '09 and she was still using a lot of the products almost a year later… The goodies aren't ridiculously expensive or anything but she has to save her pocket money to buy the essentials every few months so that'll probably give you an idea just how much she doesn't wanna go without 'em :)

With that in mind I think I can safely say that this is one of the most anticipated products I've come across in a while; It's Liz Earles first foray into the world of makeup, albeit a very subtle one! This is a sheer skin tint with SPF15 and is a perfect blend of skin nourishing yummyness and a subtle sheer dewy tint that adds a nice glow to the skin
I think the best thing about this is how it helps even out my skin tone and gives a radiant finish to my face without actually feeling like makeup. It feels like I'm looking after my skin in the long term (thanks to the avocado oil, borage seed oil and vitamin E) as well as making it look a million times better in the short term. I know a lot of people have referred to this as a tinted moisturiser but I'd say it's more of a very sheer foundation, mostly because I wouldn't wear it without applying my moisturiser first

Being someone who normally wears pretty heavy coverage foundation I wasn't sure if this would work for me on a day-to-day basis but I've actually really liked the sheer look because I feel finished but not too dolled up

The texture is smooth and creamy, making it the perfect product to apply with your fingers. In fact you could apply this without even looking in a mirror - like when you're on the bus to work after hitting the snooze button 4 times then just sleeping right through the alarm altogether. Yeah, wasn't the best start to today - and it still ends up looking nice!

But onto the most important thing… Does it actually last?! After wearing this all day I can usually see where it's faded around my nose but impressively my t-zone is shine free and my skin feels lovely, not overly dry or greasy as it can with other tints and foundations. For anyone who wants the look of a really sheer coverage foundation that feels like a moisturiser then I think this could be just the ticket
As you can see the texture is quite thick...
...but blends unbelievably easily...
...and just leaves a nice subtle glow...

Price : £21 for 40mls

Shades available : Bare, Beige, Beach (I’ve been using the beige)

Bonus : If you order a bottle from the website they'll send you 3 samples - one in each shade - so you can try them to see what suits you best and then just return the unopened bottle for a different shade if you've made the wrong choice

Sunday 4 September 2011

Free All About Nude Quad

Eyeshadow + Lipstick + awesome free All About Nude quad = happy smiley face!

I always find it really satisfying to use makeup that didn't cost me a penny which is probably one of the reasons I've really enjoyed this little All About Nude quad from 17. I got it when I picked up an eye shadow and lipstick from Boots... 17 have one of those buy-any-2-roducts-and-get-the-quad-free offers. If I’m honest I like the freebie so much I’m tempted to buy a few more things so I can get a quad for my sisters as little stocking fillers. I know Christmas is months away but you can never plan too far ahead! :)
Now that I've finally gotten my braces off (WOOHOOOOO!!!!) I'm pretty much obsessed with wearing lipsticks and glosses as I’ve kinda veered away from them for the last 18 months. Braces might be practical but they're definitely not the prettiest things ever. I'm making up for it now though and have bought about, oooh, 20 lipsticks in the last 10 days, with these little 17 ones getting a very respectable 8.5 outta 10 for their all-round superbness. My most recent purchase is called Bon Bon (swatched below - left) it’s a lovely rich nude shade that isn’t much darker than my natural lip colour; perfect for making me look finished but not too made up
This iridescent shimmery taupe (swatched below - right) eye shadow looks a bit bland in the pot but looks a million times nicer when it's actually applied. I've been using it as my all-over-lid shade for about a week now and have just been topping it off with a darker shade in the crease. It's one of those shadows that has reminded me just how good some of the lower priced drugstore products can be as there are plenty of light shimmery taupe shadows in my collection that cost 10 times as much but aren’t nearly as gorgeous
As for the quad…
The gold shade in the palette is really pigmented and looks lovely on, I’ve been using a teensy pencil brush to apply it just under my lower lash line as it really widens my eyes and is a nice change from the browns and blacks I normally opt for. At first I thought the cheek colour was just a plain powder but it’s actually a beautiful pink cream with a subtle hint of gold sparkle through it

I hadn't even intended to use the little lipstick square it but it's rather nice on! I generally find these little lipstick and lipgloss squares a bit useless as the colour payoff is rubbish and they're just annoying to apply thanks to being brushless and wandless but this is an exception… it's pigmented, pretty, easy to apply, long(ish) lasting and not too sticky so I don't mind smearing it on with my finger :)
The only square I'm not too keen on is the pink eyeshadow. I find any pink shadow can be a nightmare to use because it can leave me looking ill and tired. And a bit mouse like. It might be my imagination but because mice often have red eyes any sorta pink eyeshadow leaves me looking suspiciously like Brain from the Animaniacs
An interesting look but not really what I'm going for