Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Polish by Barry M in Lychee

The Great British weather is less changeable than the colour of my nails. So, apologies for the number of nail related posts - it can't be helped, I have an addiction. I've never tried a Barry M nail polish before, but when I went to Boots yesterday to buy cotton wool (having given myself a firm talking to at the door and telling my self that I would not buy ANYTHING apart from the cotton wool) I ended up coming this Barry M Nail Polish too. Well done, me - but what the hec, it's gorgeous and was only £3.99. Well, who could resist this shade? Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Polish by Barry M in GNP 10 Lychee, is such a divine nude. Natural looking, subtle and elegant. Just perfect for Monday - Friday.

For such an inexpensive product, I was very surprised with the quality. The formula is just right, two coats and the finish was opaque, good for a light shade. It's lasted pretty well, I painted my nails on sunday afternoon, no chips, so far. The brush is pretty standard, quite thin and takes a few strokes per nail but perfectly functional. The finish is, as the name suggests, shiny, but not mirrorball-shiny, just right shiny. I am definitely going to buy some more shades in this range, who knows, with the official change in season just around the corner, I may even branch out frommy red and nude nail obsession and buy a nice pinky shade for spring. Who could resist at this price?

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Bourjois Smoky Eye eyeshadow Palette 04 Nude

Eyeshadow is never really my highest priority. I have a few I like, rarely branch out in terms of colour and actually if I had to live without it, it probably wouldn't cost me a thought. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of the smouldering smoky-eyed look, but I have a staple few graphite greys and silvers that achieve this – mostly from MAC, which repurchase time and time again. I have tried one or two of the Bourjois singles eyeshadows in the past, they didn't wow me and felt I was drawn in by the cute pot it came in. However, the sultry smoky look isn't for the office and I fancied a change from my normal slick of eyeliner.

Whilst browsing a few months ago, this little trio caught my eye (no pun intended). The shades in this Smoky Eye Palette are just delicious - a shimmery gold and metallic copper, alongside a deep chocolate brown that adds a bit of drama. I have worn the gold and copper on their own, when I have been short of time, they are perfect for everyday wear and they really make a blue eye zing. The darkest shade is also great to use along the lash line, a softer alternative to using a kohl pencil or a liquid eyeliner. There's a brief tutorial on how to apply the three shades together on the back of the packaging, can't say I followed these instructions, but its a nice touch, I guess. The packaging is pretty basic and the applicator is ok, personally I'd prefer to use a brush for eyeshadow. I do find I need to use quite heavily to get any depth of colour - they aren't overly pigmented. I don't use a primer on my eyelids and this does tend to last all day and doesn't gather in the crease line.

In all, a nice little palette that won't break the bank. They have a great shade range, six in total to choose from. Have you tried any of the Bourjois Smoky Eye Palettes?

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Rimmel London 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Rapid Ruby

A lady can never have too many red nail polishes in her life, it's an instant glamour fix and looks great all year round. I for one, have a LOT of reds, I am what you might call obsessed with red. I just LOVE a red nail and think nothing really says chic like it. This fabulous claret by Rimmel London is a the perfect shade for a no-nonsense chic nail. I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it - the 60 seconds polish is the business. It's my go to polish for a super-speedy DIY mani - there's a big tick in all the boxes - staying power, formula, brush, shade range, ease of application and best of all it's budget price tag! Go on, give it a go.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation

You can't avoid reviews on the Bourjois Healthy Mix range. I've already written a review on the Healthy Mix Serum and was curious to try the regular Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation, so at around £10, I thought I'd see how it stacked up against it's serum sibling.

Again, I picked shade No. 52 Vanilla, this suited my skin in the Healthy Mix Serum Foundation and rather than swatch again, I just picked the same shade. When I bought this it was the depths of December and if shade 51 had been available, I probably would have chosen it instead. My one bugbear about the shade range is all the lighter shades have a slight yellow undertone, not ideal for me. The formula is light and quite fluid, though not at all runny. I find it easy to work with and blend into the skin, generally using a buffing or stippling brush. It's buildable, though I find one pump of this foundation is enough for my whole face. The finish is somewhere between a matte and satin, when blended well it gives a flawless finish and isn't at all 'cakey'. Its moisturising and I don't feel it sitting on my skin. There's a list of fruity ingredients, it wasn't a selling point for me and I'm not sure I believe all their claims, but they give the formula a nice fruity scent, which is pretty short lived. It gives a nice evenness to the skin tone and for me, covers any redness in my skin. You can see how good the coverage is in the pics, my lovely blotchy red hand has been transformed. The staying power isn't fantastic - nowhere near the 16hrs claim on the packaging, though I feel it gets me through the working day, with a teensy bit of powder on the t-zone at lunchtime. I find a spritz of setting spray works better as a setting agent than a powder, I use my Eau Thermale Avène.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with this foundation. There's a very fine line of preference between this and the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation. If I had to pick one, I think it would be the gel based Serum. It gives a slightly more dewy finish and just seems to last a bit longer on my skin. Definitely a good budget purchase - if you haven't already, give it a go!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Kate for Rimmel: Lasting Finish Lipstick

As someone who really enjoys a good read, when trawling through many blogs, I tend to notice certain products trending. Yes, of course, there are the latest products available and those who blog about soon-to-be released products they have been sent to review, but there are some things that just seem to be written about time and time again. Kate for Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipsticks simply cannot be ignored, more than a year after their release, are still a very much talked about in the blogging world. I'm not entirely sold on the celebratory endorsement but I was curious about what all the fuss was about and felt it was only polite I tried them for myself.

For me, one of Rimmel London's big selling points is it's affordability, at around a fiver, these lipsticks are such good value for money. The formula is great and fairly long-lasting, maybe not the 8hrs it claims, I'd say more 3 or 4. They feel moisturising and nourishing, they aren't at all sticky or tacky on. The shade range is fantastic and there are a number of shades available in a matte finish. I picked up the following three shades and I'm seriously impressed with all of them.

Kate for Rimmel: Lasting Finish Lipstick 03
This is a nude shade, perfect for the polished look. It's not so nude it's undetectable and certainly doesn't give me that washed-out, where have my lips gone look some nude shades can. an amazing shade for everyday wear.

Kate for Rimmel: Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick 101
This pretty posey pink is perfect for spring. A light shade that brings light and life to the face, it's matte finish is perfect accompaniment to a fresh-faced dewy look and won't detract from those highlighted cheekbones.

Kate for Rimmel: Lasting Finish Lipstick 22
This bold red is a very brave move for me, I'm generally not, I repeat NOT a red lipstick girl. Well at least, I wasn't until I tried this. For me, not an everyday hue, but this deep and sumptuous red is just perfect for a night out - it will almost certainly turn a few heads!

Have you tried any of the Kate for Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipsticks?

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Budget-Friendly Skincare from Nivea

We've all been there – spending what feels like an age trying to remove stubborn mascara, sometimes it just will not budge. As I see the years rack up, I am becoming much more conscious about the delicate skin around my eyes, dragging a cotton wool pad relentlessly over mascara clad lashes is just something I simply do not do and the use of an eye cream has become part of my daily skincare routine. If you have a similar philosophy, these two budget-friendly buys from Nivea will see you right.

Nivea Visage Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover
I LOVE this product. Nivea® Daily essentials Double Effective Eye Make-up Remover has a 'two-phase extra strength formula' and is suitable for all skin types. It really does the job and doesn't sting the sensitive skin around my eyes. Give it a good old shake and the two parts mix resulting in a refreshing formula, that when applied to a cotton wool pad and wiped gently across the eye, removes every last scrap of mascara and doesn't leave you with the oily residue some other eye make up removers do. For extra stubborn waterproof mascara, I tend to lightly press a soaked cotton wool pad and after a few seconds it just melts away! At £3.29 from Boots, this is a real bargain.

Nivea Visage Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream
The next from the Nivea line-up is an eye cream, I'm not ancient, nor am I massively into anti-aging products, but as I get older I am particularly conscientious of dreaded crows-feet and fine lines appearing around my eyes (who isn't just a little bit worried?). I believe that taking care of yourself – getting plenty of sleep, eating well and staying hydrated play a bigger factor in the anti-aging process, but as most beauty addicts, I am a sucker for a product. This eye cream is light and refreshing - you only need a little, patting under the eyes and gently towards the nose, overloading this area of the face with any product won't do you any favours. It leaves the skin under the eyes soft, smooth and moisturised. Whilst any fine lines I have around my eyes have definitely not disappeared and I do still require a touch of concealer for dark circles - my eyes do feel happier. Who knows, maybe with more prolonged use, I might even look younger! I bought this for around the £10 mark in Boots, much more purse friendly than most eye creams on the shelves.

Have you got any skincare recommendations for the eyes?

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Garnier Miracle Skin Protector: BB Cream for Combination to Oily Skin

I picked this up by complete accident. Having used the infamous Garnier Skin Naturals BB Cream, I stupidly thought they'd just revamped the packaging and without reading, chucked this in my basket in the manner of a girl who knows exactly what she wants. When I did take the time to read the words on the tube, I realised that this BB cream was for combination to oily skin types – hence the difference in packaging. Not the one I'd bought before. But as it happens, this was a rather fortunate mistake for me, in the end that is.

I definitely don't have oily skin, but I do have the most atypical combination skin – throughout the day I see the shine creep into all the wrong places, especially t-zone area, in particular on my forehead, nose and chin. If I have the time or inclination, I do dust with a bit if powder at lunchtime. And then of course, there are the dreaded dry patches - nicely highlighted by using the wrong products. So as I'm the combi type, it tried using this anyway, I'd bought it and thought I at least had to give it a go.

Two things I noticed immediately were the colour and the consistency. It's much a much lighter shade than the original 'light' bb cream – in my opinion, much more suited to fairer skin (I have included a comparison) Consistency wise – it's much more of a liquid than a cream. I applied as I did the previous BB cream I had bought from Garnier, with fingers to the whole face. Wrong. A whole face was totally OTT, I was ghostly-pale and the mattifying properties clearly did not achieve a glowy look, more one-dimensional. However, as mentioned above, this spur of the moment purchase was not all bad. I watched a recent Lisa Eldridge tutorial where she used this product in a rather genius way . . . as a base and only on the areas where the shine creeps in. The result is fantastic, totally eliminating the lunchtime shine. Have you learnt any good tips from the make-up masters? Please share!