Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Revlon Just Bitten™ Kissable Balm Stain: 001 Honey

I succumbed to this, who in blogsphere has not heard of the Revlon Just Bitten collection? And there was the fact I am a complete sucker for advertising - Emma Stone, she sold it to me - we have but our hair colour in common, but I still thought with this product, I could be her. Maybe not.

I am bowled over by this lip balm / stain - it does everything I want my lipstick to do and more. Super-easy to apply with the crayon tip applicator, as someone with a slight phobia of applying lipstick with a brush - this is ideal. It's so moisturising and continues to moisturise, where some lipsticks dry out. It just feels so nice on, making my lips soft and feel cared for. It lasts well, needing to reapply after a few hours, though saying that, the colour is still slightly visible, it just loses the glossiness. I chose shade 001 Honey, which is a beautiful heather pink, subtle and elegant. In fact, I'm really regretting not buying some more shades as this was on offer for £5.99 in Superdrug, £2 off its original price tag!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Top Two High End Foundations: Nars Sheer Glow & Clarins Skin Illusion

Having already written a post on my two high street foundations, I thought I'd follow this up with a post on my top two high end favourites. I'll hold my hands up, I'm a complete foundations junkie - I'll willingly try almost anything that gets a mention in a blog, and so,I found these two gems.

Nars Sheer Glow: Light 4, Deauville
This is my absolute go-to foundation when I want to feel better about myself - it gives my skin the most amazing finish - dewy, glowy, need I bang on? This much raved about foundation gives a medium coverage, that's buildable and not at all cakey. I usually apply this with my fingers - I've tried using a brush, though find it soaks up a bit too much product. The hydrating formula sits weightlessly on the skin and covers over imperfections like redness or hyper-pigmentation, giving a light-reflecting satin finish that lasts a good 6 hours, slightly longer if I set with a loose powder. I can't praise this foundation enough, if you fancy spending on a foundation, look no further - this is the one.

Clarins Skin Illusion: 107 Beige
I was brought up on Clarins, my mum is a massive devotee of the brand and I used to "borrow" her collection of products as a teenager. So, with my inherited fondness of this make, I've tried a few of their foundations in my time. My all time favourite was their discontinued True Comfort foundation, in a quest to find a replacement, I stumbled across this beaut. This is a light and silky formula that gives a gorgeous perfecting, healthy-looking, satin finish to the skin. It just about sees me through the whole day, with a little powder on the t-zone at lunchtime. It feels hydrating on the skin and gives me that radiant glow we're all searching for. Before I finish - I can't fail to mention the fragrance when applying this, I can't quite put my finger on it but it's certainly fruity, though I can't say I notice it linger. This is a definite star in the Clarins line-up, definitely worth a go.

Do you have any top foundation recommendations?

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Lighten Up - L'Oreal Color Riche Nails: Boudoir Rose

Ok, so I'll admit, I have a slight obsession with this nail polish. When i was picking up a lipstick in Superdrug today, I noticed there was a Buy One Get One 1/2 Price offer on L'Oreal cosmetics, it wasn't a hard to choose my 1/2 price second. With the ever so slight rise in temperature this weekend, I got a bit excited about the lighter shades of spring. Well, it's a little premature to start discarding the woollen layers of winter, but I thought a rosy pink would not look entirely out of place. Just 2 thin coats gives the most perfect dusky rose nails. As for reasons why I continue to by this L'Oreal polish, is it has great staying power - usually 3-4 days without chipping, I find the brush and formula easy to use and it's affordable, especially when it's 1/2 price. Boudoir Rose is a classic, easy-to-wear shade, the perfect colour to wave the January blues goodbye with.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Hocus Focus - Another Shining Star from Soap and Glory

I bought this on a whim, well, who wouldn't take advantage of a 3 for 2 offer in Boots? Even though I chose it in lunch hour haste, I was not disappointed. Soap and Glory's Hocus Focus says it gives a 'blast of brillance' to tired skin - check. It promises 'an instant visual flaw-softening lotion' - check, and to 'diffuse the appearance of large pores, wrinkles and uneven pigmentation' - check. It's a liquid skin brightener, with the most pearlescent shimmering effect.

The colour looks a bit scary when it comes out of the bottle (which, by the way, has a handy pump that dispenses just the right amount), it's quite white, very iridescent and very runny, but when applied to the skin, it's soft, glowy and just gorgeous. I tend to mix one or two pumps with my foundation, which instantly gives me a healthy looking glow to my skin, much needed at this time of year when I'm looking a bit grey around the gills.

This product is also a great highlighter, you only need to use a little, adding the perfect luminosity to the cheekbones. As with all the Soap and Glory products I have tried, Hocus Focus smells amazing, lightly scented with rose and bergamot, for those aren't keen on strong-smelling make up, don't fear, you don't notice when it's applied, the shimmer is much longer lasting than the fragrance. This is a super-duper product and certainly makes me feel and look much brighter on a dull winter morning!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

L'Oreal Color Riche Nails: Beige Countess (Shade 104)

With the glitter and glamour of the festive season now Well and truly over, I'm sticking to nail colours that aren't fancy or glitzy - just make me look like I'm taking care of myself in miserable old January. L'Oreal's Color Riche in Beige Countess, fits the bill perfectly. I love this polish (you may have noticed) it's moving in on my love affair with My Essie collection. This colour is the the most subtle and delicious nude. This shade takes 2-3 coats, it's quite a thin formula so each coat dries quickly and the brush is really easy to work with. It lasts a good 3-4 days without chipping, I'd also add a top coat too for a longer wear. I just love this nude, perfect for a little touch fuss-free elegance. Have you given up the glitter this Jan? What's your favourite low-maintenance nail colour of choice?

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Eau Thermale Avène : Extremely Gentle Cleanser and Skin Recovery Cream

In the chillier months of the year, I find my skin is sensitive and more prone to redness and dry patches. Needing a lot more TLC than usual, I reach for more gentle products, that don't strip my skin of the little moisture it has left. My favourite super-sensitive cleanser and moisturiser duo are from Eau Thermale Avène, having just repurchased - I thought I'd write a quick post.

Eau Thermale Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser is just what it says it is, this cleansing milk is, gentle. The formula is oil-free and more of a liquid than a cream - which you would expect, as the highest ranking ingredient is the spring water it's named after. It feels refreshing to massage into the skin, melting away make up. It's a rinse-free formula, so just needs wiped away with some cotton wool, leaving the skin soothed and moisturised. It's also gentle enough to use to remove eye make up, so no need to use a separate product. As someone with sensitive skin, I really rate this product, I like the fact it is soap free and made from mainly natural ingredients. The only bad thing I have to say about this product is it can take more than one application if you wear a lot of make up. I find after just one, I do need to repeat the cleansing process to get rid of every last scrap of make up.

I tend to use Eau Thermale Avène Skin Recovery Cream alongside the Extremely Gentle Cleanser. I find when I do need to be a bit more careful about what products I'm using, this is the perfect duo to calm and soothe any irritation. This is a rich and hydrating cream, that aims to restore the skins natural moisture levels. I definitely see a difference in my skin when I use this as a moisturiser, I haven't noticed to have any impact on redness, but it does make my skin soft and supple. I probably wouldn't use this cream if your skin type is more on the oily side, it's definitely more suited to the drier complexion due to the richness of the formula. As above, I only have one negative - the lack of an SPF sways me to use this as a night cream, I'd just prefer my day moisturiser to offer UV protection. Saying that, Eau Thermale Avène do have daily moisturisers with sun protection, so I should probably invest.

In all, having sensitive skin is a bit of a bore at any time of the year, I think this is a fabulous brand for those with suffer with issues such as dryness and irritability, especially in winter. Do you have any recommendations to combat any dreaded winter skin problems?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Top Two High Street Foundations: Rimmel Match Perfection & Bourjois Healthy Mix serum

I'll be honest, I've always been a bit of a snob when it comes to foundation, tending to spend a bit more rather than less. However, since starting to read so many beauty blogs, I've realised there are some great products out there for a fraction of the price, that are used and trusted by those who really know their stuff. Realising that I can save a few pennies is always good, so here are my high street favourites:

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation: No. 102 Light Nude
This Rimmel purchase took me back a few years, the first foundation I ever bought was from this brand, in fact, as was most of my make up back then. I read a huge number of raving reviews on Rimmel's Wake Me Up foundation and so gave it a whirl. I was sorely disappointed, the finish was lovely and I was impressed, my skin, on the other hand, was not as I found it reduced me to a bit of a spotty mess. It was with hesitation I decided I'd give the Match Perfection a go. I waited for the breakout, and waited, and was pleasantly surprised when not a single spot raised its ugly head. The finish is lovely, it's dewy enough to give me a fresh-faced look, but not super-shiny, for me it's similar to MAC's Studio Sculpt. The formula is thicker than expected, but easy to work into the skin - I use a buffing brush and find it blends well and gives a medium coverage and lasts a good 6 hours, slightly longer if use a primer though I'd prefer the finish without.

I chose shade 102 Light Beige, which was the most suitable out of the 11 shades available, its a touch too dark for me in the dead of winter, but in summer when i have a bit more colour in my cheeks, it's almost perfect. Rimmel claims this foundation has 'Advanced Smart-Tone Technology' that is supposed to help the foundation adapt to your skin colour for an 'undetectable' finish. I'm not sure if this is the case or not, but it's certainly earned me a fair few compliments on my skin and I'd say its great, affordable, everyday foundation that I will definitely repurchase.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation: No. 52 Vanilla
This foundation had so much hype, it seems it was almost rude not to try it. Given the endless number of amazing reviews this product had behind it, I had very high hopes for it.

My first impressions weren't as great as i had hoped. I bought it on the hop, having a particularly bad skin day and needing a quick fix before I headed for drinks after work. Though, giving it a second chance and applying with a brush rather than my fingers, I began to get what everyone was raving about. It gives a flawless, natural finish, that's glowy and fresh. It's gel based formula is light and easy to blend and build coverage. It feels moisturising and light on the skin, lasting most of the day - though I definitely have to set with powder, especially on the t-zone. I bought shade 52, Vanilla, which is perfect for my skin tone - to be honest, it doesn't really look like I'm wearing make up at all. Another definite repurchase for me!

What are your favourite high street bargain beauty buys?

Friday, 11 January 2013

L'Oreal Color Riche Nails: Addictive Plum

What better to do on a freezing January evening, than pamper yourself a little with a D.I.Y manicure. I have had this nail polish a while, but have favoured metallic and bright reds over the festive period, now the New Year has come, I'm back to picking easy-to-wear, everyday shades, that make me look groomed but not over the top. L'Oreal's gorgeous Color Riche polish in Addictive Plum is just the ticket, the perfect claret / burgundy red. The packaging is chic, a dainty bottle with a gold lid, small but perfectly formed, ideal to slip into your make-up bag without taking up loads of room. The formula and brush are easy to work with, you can get away with just one coat but two with a clear top coat, lasts 3 - 4 days on me without chipping. I'd definitely recommend and will be picking up a few more shades. What's your favourite go-to shade for everyday wear?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Pixi - Endless Silky Eye Pen in No. 3 Black Tulip

I read a lot of positive reviews on this eye pen and whilst Christmas shopping on Carnaby Street, decided to pop into the lovely Pixi shop and buy one.

I usually stick with a brown or black eyeliner, bright colours just aren't my bag, but to break from the norm (well, just a little) I chose Black Tulip - a gorgeous navy / blue black colour. It does come in some slightly more adventurous shades, including the most beautiful Teal shade, which if you like something a bit brighter, I know would look really pretty.

The best thing about this product for me is the texture - silky by name and by nature. It goes on like a dream, which for me is a mega plus point, theres nothing worse than feeling like you are dragging an eye liner across your eyelid. Another tick is in the staying power box - this lasts from morning to night, and is pretty budge-proof. It also looks great nice if blended out a little, for a subtle smoky eye, though you have to blend immediately after application as it sets, giving the staying power I just mentioned. The formula is also super-pigmented, so gives a really strong line and deep colour.

When it comes to eye make-up, it's important to me that it's hypoallergenic (which this product is) and free of anything the might irritate the sensitive skin around my eyes, being free of any nasties that might cause irritation - another big tick for Pixi!

Being the first Pixi product I have tried, I am pretty impressed and will definitely be purchasing more of their products. Have you tried any Pixi cosmetics you can recommend?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

R.S.V.P. - Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow / Liner

I got this as a housewarming present form my best friend (!) not knowing what to pick me for my new place, she went for the failsafe option of buying me some make up - you could say, she knows me too well!

I don't wear many cream eyeshadows and I am a big fan of Benefit Cosmetics, so I was excited to try this out. It claims to be a long-lasting cream shadow / liner, that's blendable, smudge-proof and crease-proof. This goes on like a dream, as the formula is silky and luxurious - R.S.V.P. is a gorgeous champagne / pearly oyster shade, it looks more of a pinky shade in the pot, but comes out as a nice subtle neutral colour perfect for everyday wear.

The really nice thing about this Shadow is it's really buildable, by adding a few layers and a smoky liner it also suits for a more dramatic evening look. I haven't tried using this as a liner as I would prefer to wear darker browns, greys or blacks along the lash line, but it is nice when you add a dot of this colour to the tear duct area to brighten the eyes.

Best of all don't seem to need the help of a primer - which I would need with a powder shadow - it lasts from morning to night without having to reapply. I have to say - after a full days wear, it does crease slightly on my eyes, but this is only if I build the colour with layers.

In all - I really like this product and am looking forward to trying some of the other shades. Have you tried it yet?