March 28, 2014
If you've been reading my blog for a while then you'll know that I was obsessed with Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains. So much so that I own nearly every shade and I've swatched them all on my blog before (you can see that post by clicking here). So, when Revlon released their new Colorburst range I was overjoyed and it wasn't long before I bopped down to Boots and chose one of their Matte Balms to bring home with me. I picked up the shade 'Elusive', which I'm wearing in the the above photo, and my goodness, this is a gorgeous lip product!
Revlon's Colorburst Matte Balms come in a large array of shades but most of them fall outside the colour range I'm comfortable wearing on a day-to-day basis. 'Elusive' looks like a mid, dusky, pink shade and it swatches completely opaque (as you can see below). For a matte lip product it isn't that drying and it is still very creamy. In terms of a comparison, I would say that Elusive has a similar creamy consistency to a cross between Sleek's Sheen Lipsticks and Rimmel's Kate Moss Matte Lipsticks but it is less drying than both the Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipsticks and Sleek's range of Matte Lipsticks. I can't feel Revlon's Colorburst Matte Balm on my lips as I wear it - it doesn't dry my lips out or tug them like some matte lipsticks can do. In fact, although it does have a matte appearance it feels very much like a Satin finish lipstick on the lips (opaque, creamy but not as drying as a typical matte).
Left to Right: Revlon Matte Balm in Elusive, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey, MaxFactor Colour Elixir Lipstick in Pink Brandy, Mac Cremesheen Lipstick in Fanfare, Lanolips Lip Ointment with Colour in Rose*.
I love the colour of 'Elusive', I think it is incredibly easy to wear and the colour lasts really well on me. When the product begins to fade it leaves a stain on my lips which stops the product from looking patchy or uneven as it wears away. This is the sort of no-hassle lip product that I love and I'd definitely recommend it. I'll definitely be picking up one of the brighter shades once the sun makes a full-time appearance here in Leeds, I think the brighter shades will look gorgeous in the summer! You can find Revlon's Matte Balms online here for £7.99.
Also - I'm wearing Bourjois' CC Cream in 'Ivory' in my photos today so you can get a sense of the colour and coverage (if you're interested, you can read my full review of Bourjois' CC Cream here).
Have you tried any of Revlon's Matte Balms yet? What do you think of the shade 'Elusive'?
March 26, 2014
Pictured above is my face clothed in just Bourjois' CC Cream - I want you to get a sense of its colour and coverage before I dive into a full review. My first impressions of this were pretty good. It swatches very pale (especially compared to some of Bourjois' other foundations) and it has a powdery texture that I thought might make it work well on my combination skin...
You can see that Bourjois' CC Cream doesn't cover all the redness in my cheeks or wash over some of my larger open pores (especially on my nose). However, it does offer pretty good coverage for something that feels so like as you apply it. I like to apply it with my fingers until it looks pretty natural and then do a once over with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush to give a really natural and perfected finish. The result looks really good initially - the CC Cream is really easy to work with and it blends well and offers a good colour match on me (if anything it might be a tad too light, which is unusual to find). It offers a really naturally glowing finish and although I've pointed out that it is on the lighter end of the coverage spectrum it does do a great job of improving the appearance of my dark under-eye circles and my rosy cheeks.
My finished make-up look featuring Bourjois' CC Cream in Ivory
However, what I find is that after I've worn this all day - I'd typically have my foundation on for ten to twelve hours - it really does disappear more quickly than is normal on my skin but it does so evenly and naturally, it doesn't leave my skin looking patchy. I also find that the formula really doesn't do much to control my oily t-zone (even when I've added in a primer to see if it makes a difference). After only a couple of hours I can feel that my skin is really oily and although this is normal for me, I felt as though it happened faster than normal when I was using Bourjois' CC Cream and what was also unusual is that I could really feel the oiliness. It's such a shame, I love the finish and the formula but unless I powder very regularly throughout the day I find it doesn't give me the longevity I'd usually look for in a base product. I'll definitely still reach for it but I'll be sure to have a powder in my handbag and I'll have to use it! Don't be put off entirely, just don't be fooled by the CC Cream's powdery finish - it won't help your oily skin. What it will do is make your skin look more even and the lightest shade Ivory is a great colour choice for those with very fair skin. You can find Bourjois' CC Creams online here for £9.99.
Have you tried Bourjois' CC Cream? What light-medium foundations do you like?
March 24, 2014
NYX's Powder Blush in the shade 'Taupe' has been on my beauty wish list for a short forever. On countless YouTube videos, and in endless blog posts, I've heard people singing its praises. For pale skinned ladies it is held up as one of the best (and most affordable) contouring products - and being a lover of some subtle face definition I just couldn't resist giving it a try.
In the two photos of me featured in this post you can see me wearing NYX's 'Taupe' blush on my cheeks and on my eyelids. It is a very dusky, mauve-tinted brown and it is incredibly subtle on pale skin and very flattering. I usually contour with Benefit's Dallas Boxed Blush (you can read my review and see swatches here) but Dallas is definitely more orange/brown than NYX's Taupe and it gives a very difference finish. I find that Taupe looks much softer on my skin and my make-up looks a lot more natural than when I opt for Dallas. However, the two wear very similarly on my skin. NYX's Taupe lasts just as long as Benefit's Dallas (if not longer) which at a very affordable £6 is pretty good going! I bought mine from 123HairandBeauty, an online store that offers free delivery on all orders (link here). To be completely honest, I'm besotted with the colour, the finish and the lasting power - NYX's Powder Blushes are fabulous and 'Taupe' is a really gorgeous shade.
In today's photos I'm wearing Revlon's Colorstay Foundation for Combo/Oily Skin in the shade Buff, applied with my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - until this week this has been my go-to base and you can read more about these two products in the post I wrote last week (click here).
Have you tried any of NYX's Powder Blushes? What do you think about the shade 'Taupe'?
Have you tried any of NYX's Powder Blushes? What do you think about the shade 'Taupe'?
March 23, 2014
Since I came back to Leeds in January I've been using Good Things Fresh Start Creamy Cleanser as my cleanser of choice and it's actually exceeded all the expectations I had for it. I've tried a couple of products from the Good Things skincare line (I featured their face wipes in my "Beauty Things I Like That I Probably Shouldn't" post) but the Fresh Start Creamy Cleanser is by far my favourite Good Things product so far.
First of all, the cleanser has the same berry scent as their Total Wipe Out Face Wipes which definitely endears me to the product. The cleanser is very creamy but it isn't too thick or heavy. I have combination skin (dry cheeks and an oily t-zone) and I found that using a cream cleanser really worked well for my skin. It didn't affect my oil production either way (so it isn't oiler or less oily) but it did really even out my cheeks and they're a lot less dry than they have been in the past.
When I use this cleanser I first take off the majority of my make-up with a micellar water - I like this one from Vichy (link here). I then apply one thick layer of the cleanser to dry skin and really massage it into my skin. I then use one of my Superdrug facial sponges - pictured above and you can find them online here - to remove the cleanser, I douse it in warm water and massage the cleanser off my skin. Once it is all removed I usually apply a thinner layer of the cleanser to my damp skin and repeat the process, massaging it in and then removing it with the other side of the sponge. Once I'm done my face is completely clean without being dry, red or irritated. I actually find that it leaves my face feeling nourished and soft.
All in all, I think this Good Things Fresh Start Creamy Cleanser is a complete bargain (it has lasted me about two months) and I'd definitely repurchase it. I'm having trouble finding it in my local Boots store (it's always out of stock) but I picked my bottle up from a Sainsburys when I was in London, so it is worth checking your local supermarket! You can find it online here for £4.99.
Other cleansers I've used and reviewed in the past:
Lush's Buche De Noel - (link here)
Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish - (link here)
Laidbare's DIY Two in One Cleanser and Toner - (link here)
The Body Shop's Seaweed Deep Cleansing Facial Wash - (link here)
The Body Shop's Tea Tree Cool and Creamy Face Wash - (link here)
Have you tried anything from Good Things before?
March 21, 2014
As soon as the sun reared its head last week I couldn't stop thinking about coconut scents… 90% of the time I'm really not a 'coconut' girl, but the rest of the time I just love a bit of tropical goodness. I raved about an Original Source obsession of mine in a blogpost last year (you can read that by clicking here) and now I'm obsessed with the Coconut version. Original Source shower gels are so cheap and cheerful but I do get through them so much more quickly than other shower gels but that's probably because I can't get enough of their scents! If you're a coconut lover then I've previously reviewed a couple of other coconut scented things - Dirty Works' Coconut Caress Body Butter, Korres' Coconut Milk Body Butter and Superdrug's Coconut and Shea Body Butter but with mixed success… I actually think Coconut scents can be hard to get right so kudos to Original Source because I'm loving this one.
Are you coconut crazy or do you steer clear of the scent?
March 19, 2014
I didn't think that a make-up sponge could revolutionise my beauty routine, but this little beauty from Real Techniques has done just that. I've been a fan of the Buffing Brush and the Expert Face Brush for about a year now, but nothing has given me the flawless finish I've been after like Real Technique's Miracle Complexion Sponge.
I'm usually one to opt for a light base - a BB cream or sheer foundation. I like my skin to look as though there isn't any product on it, and I've always found it hard to make full coverage foundations look even remotely 'natural' on me. One of the foundations I really struggled to make work for last year was Revlon's Colour Stay Foundation for Oily Skin in the shade Buff. With a Buffing Brush it went on too thickly and always end up wearing away unevenly. However, in January I started to use it with Real Technique's Miracle Complexion Sponge and I knew I had discovered a winning combination.
You use this make-up sponge but soaking it in water until it roughly doubles in size, you wring out the excess water and then use the different contours of the sponge to apply foundation across your face. I like using the flat side of the sponge (pictured above) and stippling the foundation into my skin (a fancy way of describing a bouncing motion, you bounce the sponge onto your skin and the product slowly and builds up). I find that the finished result is a flawless finish. The high coverage Revlon Colour Stay Foundation is sheered out enough to look very natural but still offers a good level of coverage and the foundation lasts very well - from 8/9am until 9/10pm - and when it does fade it does so very evenly.
I waited a long time to review this make-up sponge but I'm glad I did. It's worth taking the time to find the right foundation to match the tool and I'm clearly onto a winning combination as this has been my go-to base for about two months now! All in all, I'd highly recommend the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge and I think I'll probably pop out soon and buy a couple more…
What brushes/tools do you like to use to apply your foundation?
March 17, 2014
Lush's Roots Hair Treatment is an absolute delight to use. I chose to pick it up because in 2013 I'd had some issues with hair loss (entirely linked with work stress) and my hair is now much finer and more delicate than it used to be. I was looking for a hair treatment that I could use on from root to tip that would leave my locks healthier and that perhaps might even help stimulate hair growth. Roots is exactly what I was after and it hasn't ever disappointed me.
March 16, 2014
L'Oreal's Extraordinaire Liquid Lipsticks have been getting some serious hype since their release. After my disappointment with Rimmel's Apocalips (since I started blogging I genuinely haven't disliked any other lip product as much as I do those) I was seriously wary of all lipstick/lipgloss hybrids. However, it was EssieButton's constant praise of them that finally got my attention, and my goodness when I fell for these I fell hard…
I'm not a massive fan of the packaging (I'm almost certain that the label with the name of the shade will peel off pretty quickly) but it is suitably dinky and travel friendly - the lid will never pop off in your handbag! The applicator isn't the best when it comes to precision, but it does a pretty good job. I actually find these Liquid Lipsticks very easy to apply, I've even re-applied Rose Symphony without a mirror with absolutely no trouble. The applicator is soft and spongey, feel sturdy enough to last and delivers the right amount of colour for both my lips.
For me, a little goes a long way. I love the super glossy finish that the product has on first application (see my hand swatch below) but I find that patting the colour into the lips offers a slightly more wearable looking colour (see my FOTD at the bottom of this post) plus it reduces the chance for the colour to smudge or bleed. The glossiness fades after about forty-five minutes and leaves behind an even, bold stain which is the same colour as the gloss. After about an hour and a half the colour fades to a slightly lighter pink, but I still find it incredibly flattering (I'd say that it is closest to the colour as it appears in the first image in this post).
I am in love with the formula of these liquid lipsticks. They're absolutely gorgeous, super easy to wear and I've gotten tonnes of compliments whenever I've worn Rose Symphony. It is the perfect colour for anyone who isn't too keen on a bright shade but still wants something a little bit noticeable and pretty. I'd highly recommend it and I'll definitely be looking into getting a couple more shades over the next few months. You can find the whole range online here for £8.99.
Also - for anyone interested in the new Bourjois CC Cream, I'm wearing the shade 'Ivory' in my photos today so you can get a sense of the colour (I'll be reviewing it once I've worn it a few more times).
What do you think of Rose Symphony? Do you know of any other lip products similar to L'Oreal's Liquid Lipsticks?
March 14, 2014
photo credit superdrug.com, lush.co.uk, feelunique.com
1 L'Oreal Glam Shine Stains in Lolita and Milady - £7.99 each
2 Bare Minerals Ready Eye Shadow Palette in 'The Truth' - £25.50
3 Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in 115 - £7.99
4 Lush Feeling Younger Skin Tint - £12
5 Lush Emotional Brilliance Translucent Face Powder - £12
Despite having gone shopping on Monday make-up is still on my mind! But when isn't it! I also want to take this opportunity to let you know that I'm looking to do a Q&A post in the upcoming weeks - if there's anything you want to know about me personally, about my experience with blogging, about university like (I'm currently studying towards an MA) or anything at all just leave me a question in the comments and I'll try and give full answers in the upcoming blog post :)
March 13, 2014
Today I'm going to be talking about something a little different from usual! If you didn't already know, I'm seriously pale - luminously so. When it comes to "tanning" products I'm usually very cautious and opt for subtle, gradual tanners (like this one). However, I know a lot of people out there who are much more comfortable with jumping in at the deep end and going for a rich glowing faux tan. One area of concern when it comes to tanning can be the face. A lot of my friends who use fake tan don't tan their face and just use a darker foundation. However, doing that means that you can pretty much never go make-up free anywhere - which just wouldn't work for me. Dr. Dennis Gross' Alpha Beta Glow Pads* are a great solution.
March 12, 2014
Oh my - hauling goodness alert… I went on a bit of a shopping spree with a friend on mine on Monday and I came away from Superdrug and Boots with a whole array of gorgeous goodies. I've spent a while thinking about the gaps in my collection (as well as considering which of the new releases I wanted to try out) and today you can see first hand what I settled on. My local Boots store had some notable absences on their stands. I missed out on a new Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer and I couldn't find Seventeen's Stay Time Concealer or the Highlighting Primer. Although I am well and truly "shopped out" for now, I am still in the market for those items - if I can ever find them anywhere! For now, take a peek at the bits I did manage to find!
I feel like I picked up a little bit of everything - and the new lip products are especially exciting me! I'm looking to feature more "face of the day" style posts showcasing how I wear my make-up - so if you prefer seeing people wearing the make-up they talk about in their blog posts then I'd definitely check back in over the next few weeks. Let me know in the comments what products you'd like me to review first!
March 11, 2014
Quite a while ago I made a little order from the Body Shop taking advantage of one of their many 50% discount codes. Today I'm going to be showing you what I bought and briefly letting you know how I've gotten on with the products, what I like or dislike about them and if I'd recommend them to others. I don't often do haul and review posts altogether like this but I let the haul post go too long without publishing it so now it makes sense to make it into something a bit more substantial.
The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream
I've gotten through a couple of pots of this night cream before and I really highly recommend it for sensitive or dry skin types. I find it really restores my complexion to looking its best and I always look back very fondly at photos of my skin when I've been using the Body Shop's Aloe Range - it just has more of a glow to it. The Night Cream is very thick and hydrating but it doesn't break me out or irritate my skin at all. I find that a pot tends to last between two-three months if I use it every single night and I would use it in conjunction with the day cream unless you have oily skin like I do in which case I'd recommend either of the Body Shop's Seaweed moisturisers for use during the day.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Clearing Lotion
This is another product that I'm repurchasing, I used a small tube of this up last year. I find that it is a really budget friendly spot treatment and I like to apply it to any blemishes that appear or that I feel appearing to help clear them up quickly without overly drying out my skin. It's a great product, really affordable and I think it would suit many skin types as it isn't too strong. This is another one of those staple products from the Body Shop that I always recommend.
Last year I finished the Moringa Beautifying Oil which I really enjoyed and I couldn't help but repurchase it in the Satsuma scent. I love the Body Shop's Satsuma range, I'm tempted to get everything in this scent that I possibly can! My flatmates always compliment me after I've applied this as the scent does linger for quite a while and people tend to like it. I love the body oil's long lasting hydrating effects too. I apply it on wet skin after I shower and my skin stays soft all day long. I'd happily repurchase this over and over and I'd definitely recommend it.
The Body Shop Muslin Cleansing Cloths
I bought these to use in conjunction with the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter and these Muslin Cloths are the only part of my order that I'm disappointed in. They're quite scratchy and I feel as though they aggravate my sensitive skin when I use them. I gave them a good try but I really don't feel like they've very nice to use. I much prefer my Primark flannels or my Liz Earle Muslin Cloth* which is a lot more gentle on my skin. I wouldn't buy any more of these and I wouldn't recommend them.
The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter
Now, this is the product that I get asked about the most. It's an oil cleansing balm that melts make-up and dirt off the skin before you lift the product off your skin with a muslin cloth/flannel/sponge. I really loved the texture of this balm cleanser when I first tried it and it's very gentle on my skin which is great. However, it isn't as nourishing as other balm cleansers that I've before but that makes it good for people like me who don't have dry skin and don't need a really hydrating cleanser. But it might leave those with dry or very-dry skin a little bit disappointed. I find it great at removing my make-up but I don't like to only use this when I cleanse, it does tend to replace a micellar water or make-up remover and I would then cleanse again afterwards with a gel or cream cleanser. This isn't because the Body Shop's Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing butter can't deeply cleanse skin, it is just a preference of mine. I'll happily continue to use this cleanser but it hasn't been a revolutionary addition and I'm not sure at the moment if I would repurchase it, but I am enjoying trying it out.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it's helped you work out if these are products worth you trying. I'd love to hear any recommendations you have of products from the Body Shop that you think I should try - I feel as if I'm slowly making my way through the entire store!
March 09, 2014
After reading so much about the Effaclar Duo I was more than keen to put the new Effaclar Duo [+]* to the test. I haven't tried the original so I can't make any comparative comments, but I will say now that the Effaclar Duo [+]* has seriously impressed me thus far. I've been using it for about five weeks now and the effects that it has had on my skin have been noticeable (if not dramatic). I'll begin by explaining how I use it and then explaining the results it has had for me.
The Effaclar Duo [+]* is a pretty light feeling gel-creme and I apply it all over my t-zone (which is where most of my clogged pores and blemishes tend to occur) and under my chin, and then I topically apply it to my cheeks as and when any blemishes occur. I use it in the mornings and evenings but I do use a facial oil on my cheeks and on the skin between my eyebrows because I have combination skin and, unlike my t-zone, those areas need intense moisturisation which the Effaclar Duo [+]* alone doesn't offer. However, on the rest of my face I have found it to be sufficient to use by itself.
What I have found is that over the last five weeks my open pores (especially on my nose) have noticeably shrunk in size and my skin has been left looking a lot smoother and clearer. I've also noticed that I've had fewer breakouts on the areas of my face where I apply this - the only actual spots I've had have been on my right cheek, an area which I only topically apply the Effaclar Duo [+]*. However, when I've used the product on these blemishes they have faded more quickly and the dark marks that I often find get left behind by spots have been less severe and fade much more quickly than I'd normally expect. The Effaclar Duo [+]* hasn't broken me our or dried out my skin, it has just worked as a very gentle spot-fighting agent and my previously very congested skin has been eased considerably.
For the price, £15.50 in Boots (link here) or £10.33 on offer in Escentual (link here), I think it is a remarkable product and I would highly recommend it to anyone suffering from congested pores or frequent blemishes. My skin still behaves as though it were a teenager and the Effaclar Duo [+]* has managed to get it seriously under control and to me that speaks volumes!
Have you tried the Effaclar Duo [+]? What do you use to banish spots and refine pores?
March 06, 2014
I've been using a TangleTeezer for about nine months now and as much as I love it I think I've stumbled across a better option…
Macadamia's No Tangle Brush* has really impressed me so far. For one, it has a handle which makes it easier to use than my TangleTeezer but I also think that the plastic bristles on the Macadamia No Tangle Brush are better suited to my mid-length/long hair as the bristles are a little bit thicker and longer than the ones on my TangleTeezer. I don't have have thick hair but I do have a lot of fine hair and I feel as though the Macadamia No Tangle Brush works its magic more quickly on my hair. I use it on wet and dry hair - when my hair is damp (after I've towel dried it) I use this brush before applying any hair oils or serums and when my hair is dry it works perfectly well at taming my unruly locks. It's an all round good egg and it's become the brush I reach for every day.
I really like Macadamia products, I've reviewed Macadamia's Healing Oil Spray (link here) in the past which I've since used up along with an entire bottle of their Nourishing Leave in Cream - both of which I'd recommend. The No Tangle Brush hasn't left me disappointed and it has very quickly become a daily essential of mine. You can find it at HQHair.com for £7.95* along with the other Macadamia products I've mentioned (link here).
What hair brushes do you like using? Have you tried any of Macadamia's products before?
March 04, 2014
It might still be a bit of grey and gloomy outside but spring has officially sprung on my nails! I was very kindly sent one of the Deborah Lippmann polishes from their spring collection called 'Flowers in Her Hair'* and it has sent me into a pastel reverie. It's a very light green shade with just a touch of blue to it and it has a gorgeous glossy finish. I had to layer it up (my swatches show three layers) but I think to achieve the best finish four might have been best. However, the polish dries quickly and I had no problems with streaking or smudging. When it's time for sandal weather here in the UK I'm going to be lacquering up with this over and over again. For me, 'Flowers in Her Hair' is just the perfect spring shade and you can find it on LookFantastic for £16* with free world-wide delivery.
If you're looking to make a transition into spring shades I'd highly recommend Deborah Lippmann's nail polishes, they're wonderful quality and the bottles look really adorable and dinky among any polish collection. There are other gorgeous colours too - another one which has caught my eye is 'Build Me Up Buttercup', a gorgeous milky, pastel yellow which you can find here.
What spring polishes are on your radar?
March 02, 2014
When these two primers were first released I practically skipped out of the house to pick them both up. Although I have combination skin I can really testify to the powers of illuminating primers - they have the power to cover so many sins, especially the chronic sleep deprivation that post-graduate study has led me into. For instance, I've been incredibly impressed with L'Oreal's Magic Lumi Primer which has been an almost daily staple of mine for the last year. However, there is something a little off about these two Bourjois primers. I really don't feel as though they perform at the same level as I've come to expect from Bourjois products. I love Bourjois' Clubbing Eyeliner and their mascaras but these two primers just don't do that much for my skin. They don't really extend the wear time of my make-up and if anything I find that they both are detrimental to it! The matte primer was especially disappointing as it really did very little to help my oily t-zone, whereas because I didn't expect the illuminating primer to help mattify it couldn't let me down in that way.
When I wear the matte primer without foundation I find it works better at controlling shine but it doesn't seem to perform all that well when layered under make-up. The illuminating primer offers a very pretty pink glow (which is different from L'Oreal's primer which offers a white, opalescence) and it does brighten up the drier areas of my face quite well. I will continue to use both of these products albeit somewhat half-heartedly. I had very high expectations (and this may be to blame) so I can't help but feel a little bit let down. Whilst these are by no means bad products I don't think they testify to Bourjois' normal high quality and I wouldn't repurchase them.
Have you tried either of these primers? What make-up primer would you recommend I try instead?
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