Forgotten products

Sunday, 31 May 2015

forgotten products 1

You know sometimes when you buy something new, get all excited about it, and then put it away only to promptly forget about it? Yeah, happens a lot, doesn't it? I was reading a post on Front Row Beauty (who has the most beautiful pictures, style and home EVER) when she mentioned a Dior setting powder, which triggered off a memory about the Dior Diorskin Healthy Booster Glow powder that I had totally forgotten, not to mention, the thought that I couldn't even remember where I had put it. In fact, I even gasped out loud in the office at the memory of it. How bad is that?

This then led me to think, just how much of my beauty stash had been forgotten, lying unused in a drawer somewhere? forgotten products 2 forgotten products 3

So off I went on a mini hunt through my Muji drawers to see what else had been lying about unused, and lo and behold, I had quite a few things sitting there slightly unloved. Pictured in this post are the things found only in those drawers, I couldn't stomach going through my skin cupboard or my desk drawer where I keep things I can't fit anywhere else.

From now on, I am going to try and pick something from my drawers every day that I don't normally use and aim to rotate that into my routine when I can. I strongly encourage you to do the same. If you're anything like me, then you will have bought something very similar to another item you already own, because you don't use it often enough to remember you even have it. It might also help with you save a few pennies by helping you avoid the trap of buying something you already basically have.

Right, now that I've got this post out of the way, time to be brave and check through my skincare cupboard.

P.S. I'm not sure I do want to use that MAC eyeshadow, look just how pretty it is!

Blemish busting: Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum

Saturday, 30 May 2015

evologie

As I'm writing this, my second bottle of this stuff is winging its way over to me, while I frantically try and squeeze the non-existent leftovers onto an enormous spot on my chin. I picked my original bottle up during my 'mostly disappointing' haul that included the Chantecaille moisturiser and cleanser, and this stuff has turned out to be one of the best recommendations I have ever had in a store. I'm not entirely sure how long this brand has been around, but I don't think it receives much press, which is a shame, because their Intensive Blemish Serum has been an absolute god-send to me and become a hero product in my routine.

I'll admit that there are lots of blemish fighting products out there, and on the face of it, this one may not look all that interesting when pumped out, since it is just a white creamy serum that leans slightly runny. I do find the fact it is a serum instead of the popular gel format quite a unique factor. More importantly, because it is in this format, you don't really get rolling, which is fantastic for me because I tend to put this under (and sometimes over if it's a biggie) moisturiser, and then makeup in the morning, and I don't have to worry about the annoyance of product rolling. This is something that happened to me with the Origins Super Spot Remover.

The serum includes the well-known spot fighting ingredients of salicylic acid and tea tree oil, but also includes their own secret 'Y3 complex' which going by the ingredients list on their website includes azelaic acid. This is aimed at getting rid of the keratin on skin that helps spot-bacteria grow (I'm not a scientist, so I'm not explaining it very well. Search for azelaic acid and you'll find much better places for an explanation on it).

So, does it work? Well, let's just say it does not magic my spots away. What it does do however is allow me to apply a targeted approach to blemishes, while significantly reducing the time that I have said spots on my face, and takes them down in size a lot much faster than any other spot treatment I've ever used.

There is a whole system that is available to buy, including a face wash, cream etc, which I have not tried , and I think it would be far too drying for my already parched skin. As far as I am concerned, the Blemish Serum will be the only product I will ever need from the range. I will admit that this serum is fairly pricy in its category, coming in at £28 (probably because it is a serum as opposed to a gel), but considering how much aggro I feel towards face 'horns' (as they're called in my house), it's a price I'm willing to pay for a hero product. If you're looking for an alternative spot treatment, then this comes highly recommended.

Now, Space NK, hurry up and deliver my one now. I've been reduced to unscrewing the top off and sticking a toothpick in to scoop out the last dregs of this.

Micellar water

Thursday, 28 May 2015

micellar water

Another 'spend or save' post here today. While I may have mostly given up on using micellar water in recent weeks, it doesn't mean I can completely take it out of my routine (it's convenient for using before I head to a post-work workout), so I thought I'd write up a quick post on a budget version against the beauty standard, Bioderma. Much as I loved Bioderma, and have sworn by it for the past two years, it isn't always the cheapest option. £15 for 500ml. Phew. I'm pretty sure it doesn't cost that much to make, so it's a pretty steep margin. You can find even steeper prices for them if you google around.

Thankfully, the 'high street' has cottoned on and you can now get as good quality as the Bioderma for much cheaper. I personally found the L'Oreal Skin Perfection Micellar Cleansing Water a little drying and uncomfortable to use, so have abandoned this one. I then turned to the Garnier version, which worked and felt very similar on my skin to the Bioderma Sensibio, and at £4.99 for 400ml, I'm not complaining.

I've also seen lately the Nivea Daily Essentials receiving praise, and recent adverts for Simple's new micellar water lauch, so there are plenty of budget ones out there that can do the same job as Bioderma, so it's a good idea to shop around and try things out, because some might feel better for you dependent on how they feel on your own skin.

I have however included in the post picture a baby Bioderma bottle because it'd be great if the budget beauty ones started offering them up for travel. Also, who doesn't like dinky bottles for travel?

Barry M Sunset Daylight Curing

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

barry  sunset nails 2

I am an absolute polish-holic. I adore the stuff. Every time I clear out my stash, I always end up replacing what I've thrown out/donated with some more bottles. When I try to give my nail beds a rest for a day or so each week, I am always planning what to paint them next. The only problem is that I'm extremely clumsy and casual with my nails after I've painted them, so I inevitably end up with chips, wear, and sometimes smudges which normally leads to me taking the colour off and starting again. When I've thought about it, gel should really be the way to go considering its lasting power, but the amount of faff that goes into the process (both going on and taking off) has always put me off, not to mention the horror stories you sometimes read about the after-effects on nail condition. So when I came across the Barry M own take on gel nails, I was immediately intrigued and snapped up a colour.

The idea behind these is that you must use the colours in the system, followed by the specially-made top coat, and let your nails 'cure' under UV light. Although it's called 'Sunset Daylight', I'm pretty sure the curing process can work just as well under artificial light. You should then get the high shine and similar lasting power of actual gel nail polish from this.

Out of the seven colours in the range, I picked up You Drive Me Navy (the other shades also have awesome names), which on me is a very inky kind of blue that can look very dark in different lights. What I have really been liking about this particular colour is how even in lights where most other navy polishes will look black, this still keeps the deep blue tone.

The Daylight Curing Topcoat is something quite special as well, because it is probably the shiniest topcoat I have ever used. I wonder if I could just use it as a topcoat for all my other nail polishes as well?

The instructions tell you to apply two thin coats of colour, before applying the topcoat and letting it cure. The problem I did have with this is that the formula for the colour was rather thick and gluey (probably because it is meant to be a gel polish?) which made it really hard for me to paint evenly into what I would classify as a thin coat. As you can see from the pictures, it was so thick I had problems when I started off, leaving my thumbnail looking less tidy than the others. Also, whenever I use a topcoat within about 2 hours of painting my nails, I always get transfer onto the topcoat brush. Any suggestions how I can avoid this?

barry m sunset nails 1

The main picture shows my nails on Day 2 of this nail polish. Hopefully you can tell just how shiny they are. In terms of shininess, the top coat is really good at this. Are these polishes a replacement for gels? The short answer is: no. The long answer is: at the very least, they are not me/life-proof. By Day 3, I had tip wear on both hands. By Day 4, I had scratches across the surface of the polish on some nails significant tip wear on both hands, and Day 5 saw gouges and chips at the sides. When it gets to that point, it definitely is time to get the polish remover out. Fortunately, they come off in the same way as normal nail polish, so no hassle there.

While I think the idea of this new range is genuinely innovative and clever, it seems to fall short of its aim. If you're looking for a drugstore replacement for your gel nails, then this is not going to be it. Gel nails these are not. A normal nail colour, yes. The colour range is something that will probably be expanded in the future, and seeing as the colours are quite pretty, I think you won't be disappointed with the colours. Now that I've finished testing this range, I'm off to paint my nails a different colour. Hmm, the choices....

NARS NARS NARS

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Nars 1
If there's any brand that features the most in my collection, it's NARS. Thoough it's been facing stiff competition from Chanel in recent months, I always end u[ falling back to NARS especially when it come to colour products! I use so much of their stuff, and everyday there is very likely to be something by NARS that features somewhere on my face, whether it be a base product, or a colour product. In fact, I am so much in love with the brand that if I could only ever use makeup products from one brand in the world for the rest of my life, I'd choose Nars in a heartbeat. I thought I'd give a breakdown of all the NARS products that feature in my makeup stash, and write a full-on post later about anything that really stands out for me.

While I have yet to try the newest foundation, I have been a big fan of both the Sheer Matte and the Sheer Glow for some time. I've actually finished a whole bottle of the Sheer Matte (back when I was really into matte formulas) which s actually a big thing for me, considering how many bottles of foundation I have on the go. Both the Sheer Matte and the Sheer Glow were medium coverage on me with the ability to go really light (easier with the Sheer Glow) or to build up for a fuller coverage. I recently purchased the Tinted Moisturiser, since I was fooled by the weather into thinking Summer was on its way. This is definitely a much lighter base that gives some fairly decent coverage despite being less thick than a full-on foundation.

Now onto 'colour', which NARS is fantastic for. I think NARS are really well-known for their blushes and lip products, but they've also got a great selection of eye colours, so that's pretty much the whole 'colour' part of makeup covered.

The Lip Pencils are definitely standout products from their line up. True, they might not be the only ones in the beauty business offering lip-smacking colour in a thick pencil format, but I think they certainly popularised it first. Both the Velvet and Satin pencils are fantastic, giving great colour pay-off despite the difference in finish. While the Satin pencils don't have the same lasting power as the Velvets, they are as easy to apply, and have creamy texture that sits nicely on the lips. In all honesty, I don't much mind lipsticks that don't stay on the lips, because it's not much effort to reapply.

As for their blushes, my all-time favourite blush is by NARS, and I have 4 in total, if you include the one in my all-in-one Face palette. Amour may have been my first foray in NARS blushes, but Douceur is my true love. My heart breaks every time I use it though, since it appears to have been discontinued. *weeps uncontrollably*

nars 2
Now, here come the parts where I think NARS really excel, their palettes. They are always creating and offering up eyeshadow or face palettes that are a great way to dip into NARS if you've never tried any of their stuff before, or just a NARS addict like myself. I'm certain they pay attention to demand as well. Their And God Created Woman palette sold out so quickly, I was devastated I missed out. Then a few months afterwards they brought it back as a Space NK exclusive, and now via their website, it seems to have become a standard. Then who could forget their NARSissist palette that caused so much fuss last year?

If there's only one criticism I have of Nars, it's that they don't label the colours in their palettes. I think I'm not the only one who would find it really helpful if they did. As you can see, I've gone ahead and used a thin white pen to write them in, so I've found a way around this complaint.

My NARS collection may be pretty extensive already, but I've got a (mostly lip product) full wishlist still to get through. I think it might just be time for me to buy that extra storage for it all now.

Update: I just happened to look in my drawer at the Virtual Domination Palette which happened to be upside down and seen that they have actually LABELLED the colours. Progress!


Real Techniques Sculpting Set

Saturday, 23 May 2015

sculpt set 1
I expect you have seen this making the rounds lately, as whenever Real Techniques release a new brush or brush set, the beauty world sit up and notice. This set contains a brush that is exclusive to this set, as well as two others, one of which I've been meaning to get for the longest time.

The set includes the following: 1. Sculpting Brush: 'features a wide, angled had specifically designed to help create defined contours'. 2. Fan Brush: exclusive to this set, it 'softly sweeps on powders and remove excess makeup' 3. Setting Brush: the key to completing any look with a controlled dusting of powder or highlighter', and the brush that's been on my wish-list for a while.

The Sculpting Set al come in the standard Real Techniques presentation format, with the main handle a certain colour dependent on its function, and a rubberised handle end. The one difference is that the main handle colour is metallicised (is this a word? If it isn't, it should be).

sculpt set 2
While I'm glad I got this set because it means I got the Setting Brush at last, I'm a little sad because I still haven't really worked out how the other two fit in as 'sculpting' brushes. The Sculpting Brush is far too big and wide to do a proper contour on my face. Also, I found it a bit hard to use for sculpting. The head is slightly rounded so it only picks up colour on the centre part of the brush unless you bend it about, and then the bristles of this very dense head bend further out to the side that has longer bristles. I personally think it would do better for buffing in foundations and base products.

As for the Fan Brush, I had high hopes for it, and decided to pair it with one of my most pigmented blushes. Unfortunately it seemed to cause fallout in the pan which I've never had before, and spread the colour in too wide an area on my face for comfort. I will try experimenting with this blush to see if it will go well with any other blushes or highlighters I have.

The Setting Brush however is everything I hoped it would be. With a compact head, it means I can use this to apply powder I concentrated areas, which is really great if I'm trying for a glowy-look all over, but need a bit of help on my more oily areas.

If you are in the market for another base brush and a really good setting brush then this set is worth getting, or if you're desperate to try the exclusive Fan Brush. If you're only looking to get one out of the regular two then I would say you are better off buying them individually. It is still great value for money however if you just want to add to your brush collection, as when I got the set, it was £20.99, but Supedrugs have since (a week later, *cries*) reduced the price to £13.99.

Handcream hangups

Thursday, 21 May 2015

hand cream 775 I have dry hands. Always have done. I remember being in secondary school and always carrying lip balm and handcream in my rucksack (back in the days!) no matter what. When I started university and began chopping and changing my bags, I would normally have a handcream in every single bag I rotated between, along with one that was permanently sat on my desk. Working in an office has made me no different, and looking at the picture above, the OCD I have about having handcream with me wherever I go doesn't seem like it's leaving me any sooner.

The thing is, I'm extremely picky about them, even if I do consider them one of my boring staples. I am particular about smell, texture, and greasiness, which means I've already made the search all that much harder for myself!

My current handcream wardrobe consists of:

Malin+Goetz Vitamin B5 Hand Treatment: possibly my favourite of this bunch. With a light almond scent, and a nourishing feeling, without being excessively greasy, this does make my hands feel hydrated. I still leave marks on things if I touch them soon after applying this, so it's still not the ultimate cream, but it's definitely one I've been going back to.

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Cream: One of the greasier options in my list, and also one of the strongest smelling. I definitely left handprints around after using this! Also, the metal tube has a tendency to split at the sides, and I found bits of cream squeezed out over my bag. Not something you want happening when it costs £19 a tube!

The Body Shop Soft Hands Kind Heart: I bought this tube on the spur of the moment when I was at the counter, and completely regret it. I am happy that the Body Shop donates £1.50 from sales to their foundation for charity purposes, but it's just not for me. Though the formula is light and fairly non-greasy in comparison to others I have used, I find the smell absolutely vile. It reminds me of a very expensive tuberose candel I bought that gave me a severe headache after five minutes of burning. Having this smell on my hands, wafting around me as I push my hair out of the way etc (I'm amazed how often I have my hands within smelling distance!) just means that this is a no-no and I'll be giving this away to someone instead.

Lanolips Antibacterial Hand Cream: if you travel on public transport, then you probably will want to carry one of those antibacterial handwashes that dry while you're rubbing your hands together, and also dry out your skin. Well, why bother carrying that, when you can have something that gets rid of bacteria while also moisturising at the same time? The Lanolips antibacterial cream does just that (I sound a bit like one of those sales channels), with their trademark use of lanolin to protect hands. I think that this is a good one to have during winter, because it's quite thick, but it definitely is the greasiest of them all in this list, so don't use this when you're handling anything fragile!

Hand Chemistry Triple-Function Hyaluronic-Rich Hydrator: my newest and wordiest-named handcream. The hyaluonic acid craze has made its way to handcream, which makes sense to me, as it's put in skincare with the aim of retaining moisture. This is a very light handcream, and completley non-greasy, which I find very liberating. It also has a lovely smell, which reminds me of mojitos for some reason! I don't find it as hydrating as my Malin+Goetz cream, but it's still early days, and so far I've been happy keeping this in my handbag.

Considering how picky I am about them, I expect my handcream experimenation will carry on, but in the meantime, I'm pretty happy with the Malin+Goetz as well as the Hand Chemistry cream. If I find any others, I'll be sure to add them to the blog.

All the curlers

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

eyelash 1
Prepare for a mini essay on one of my most used tools: eyelash curlers!
Everyone has either owned/own/wanted the Shu Uemura eyelash curler at some point in their 'beauty' life. It was one of my first beauty purchases, looong before I even became interested (obsessed) with beauty. You may even have dabbled with other brands, like the Shiseido, or the Japonesque curlers which I have.

The sad situation is you know when you want to love something but you just can't? Well that's the unfortunate case for me with these two.

I didn't get on with the Shu's: yes they definitely gave curl in the completely fluttery and, dare I say it, gorgeous sense, but I always found that they pinched and hurt my eyes. I mean seriously hurt. Maybe I was doing something wrong? The other thing that bothers me a lot about the Shu Uemura's is the refills, or rather, lack of them. Apart from the single one that comes with the curler when you first buy it, I don't think you can buy refills, and you are forced to buy a whole new curler. This arrangement strikes me as quite cheeky, because I like to buy my tools and have them until they break. If the curler itself isn't broken, why would I want to buy a new one? All I want is a refill pad! (If I am wrong and you are able to buy refill pads, please let me know, I'm happy to try them out again)

The Japonesque, on the other hand, just don't curl in the same way as the Shu Uemura's, but they gave lift. When I say lift, I mean that they seemed to curl my eyelashes up next to the roots, not through my lashes. This was good for my pointy-down-stick-straight-thin lashes because it kept my mascara off my face and helped reduce the panda-eye effect. While I wished I could get the fluttery-ness of the Shu's, I was happy using these until one day, less than 3 months in of owning them, they broke randomly. Cue a very angry morning trying to get ready and some ranting.

Well I'm going to propose you try a different brand, one that you have possibly never heard of at all. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present the Koji Curving Eyelash Curler.
eyelash 2
Koji Makeup is actually a well established Japanese makeup brand that has its origins back in 1927, and were apparently the original manufacturers of false eyelashes, so for anyone who likes a set of falsies, you have them to thank. With this kind of history, it's not surprising that they do good eye products, and these eyelash curlers are all kinds of wonderful. Apparently these curlers are hugely popular in Japan, and considering eyes are a huge part of the beauty looks there, these curlers must be good, right?

I decided to google around for a replacement, and came across a review for the Koji curler and was intrigued. The review itself seemed very positive, the pricepoint was very reasonable, and as importantly for me, you can actually buy refill pads. I took me to eBay (where Asian Cosmetics is a big market) and ordered myself one. Less than two weeks later, my new curler landed in my mailbox and excited doesn't even cover how I felt.

The first thing I noticed was the case that came with it. Yes, that's right, it came with it's own case, making it easier to take travelling, sans the worry of crushing and breaking the curlers. It also came with a bag of four refill pads, which is fantastic.

As for the curlers themselves, they're quite different to both the Shu Uemura's and the Japonesque ones. The curler section is very wide and flat compared to the other two, and rather than being flat, it has a bit of a diagonal slant. Also, it's a little larger overall, which you might think is a problem, but it is really easy to hold. It was designed with the aim to let you curl your lashes while having your eyes open, and I find this actually works for me, so I can see what I'm doing while still wielding what can look like a scary tool round my eyes. eyelash 3
Now, most importantly: the results. These curlers are ahhmaaaaaazing. Really. Truly. Admittedly, they don't give as curly a result as the Shu Uemura's, but what they do is lift up and out the eyelashes, making them look really long, with a little bit of curl, so you can say they combine the best part of the Shu's with the Japonesque curlers, and then add some.

I read in passing that really, you do need to change your curlers and not just the pads, but the Koji means I can use these for at least a year or more, before changing, and at a better price than the Shu's. At this rate, I'll be sticking to the Koji curlers forever. Who knew, I'd find love in a curler, it'd make me write my longest post yet!

Moisturisers aren't just for the face

Sunday, 17 May 2015

body moisturiser 775
So this won't be an utterly revolutionising post, because it's about something that's fairly routine for some people, but I wanted to talk about the importance of moisturising. Not for the face this time, but for the body.

This post actually came about when my boyfriend's sister turned to me one day, knowing that I have a (big) interest in skincare, and told me she had just heard that moisturising and general skincare for your body was as important as looking after your face, and she had only just started moisturising her body. She then promptly backed away from my expression, which I think was a mixture of shock, confusion, and a bit more shock thrown in. To someone who has suffered from eczema all their life, the very idea of not moisturising my body scares me. I will never not moisturise after I shower or bath. I can't even think about doing it. I tried once and lasted less than five minutes before having to run for some body cream.

Now, if you really really don't like moisturising, then fair's fair, everyone has their own preferences. To me, it's just second nature. I'm of the opinion that if you are willing to spend money on cleansers, serums etc for your face, then you obviously care about your skin, so why not invest another five minutes on the rest of you?

If money is a factor that plays into your decision not to moisturise your body, then think about the amount of cash you fork out for the basics for your body skin is normally far less than what you spend on facial skincare. Of course, if you do want to spend a little more, than that works fine, but you really can get all your body skincare for less than half the price of a serum. A shower gel, body scrub, and a moisturiser will set you back about £20 (or less). If you really don't like using body butters/moisturisers, or don't remember to use one after washing, then maybe a shower oil is an option for you, as this will clean and moisturise at the same time.

Yes, I know, not the most exciting post, but I just felt I had to talk about a really important skincare step, even if it's not a very sexy subject. Moisturising the body isn't just a thing for helping out any dry parts today, tomorrow, or next week; it's a step that will keep on helping as each of us get older. No, it's not going to stop aging, but it's definitely going to keep you looking and feeling a lot better in your own skin. Now that I've been talking about body moisturisers for this post, I'm off to slather a bit more on now.

Skin thoughts #1

Thursday, 14 May 2015

be kind 775

This is a very quick last minute post that came to me while I was washing my face, which I thought would be best if I got out of my system as soon as possible, so forgive me if it doesn't seem very structured and quite rambly!

Last night I was fortunate enough to make it into the Clinique event featuring the ever fantastic Caroline Hirons. She is one of my blogging 'idols' (cue girl-crush sentiments). Not only is she a very funny and grounded person, she honestly wants to help everyone that comes to her with a question, and for that I have vast respect for. Though the queue to see her was very long, and the event was five hours long, she was absolutely determined to see everyone, while still giving them a good little session so that we could all get our questions out to her, and she could give advice and recommendations. In fact, a little after I joined the queue, she came out to assure us she was doing her best to speak to everyone, before dashing back in to continue her one-to-ones.

One of the main things I got out of the evening (apart from a mini skin check and great advice, which I think I will write about at a later date) was the fact that we all seem to see the worst in ourselves when it comes to our skin. A little ahead of me, a lady was absolutely convinced that she had blackheads, and had been scrubbing away at her skin to get rid of them. Caroline stared at her face for a good while, and declared her mad in the nicest way possible. When the lady insisted they were there, Caroline called over one of the Clinique consultants who also looked, and who couldn't see anything. The lady directly in front of me came to speak to Caroline about acne, and to be honest, I didn't even notice any when I was talking to her. Both of these women were really pretty in my opinion, and yet they were convinced there was something wrong with their skin.

As for me, when I got there, I declared that I needed help for all my spots, and dealing with the scarring from them. Well, it turns out, though I may be blemish prone, it's more a hormonal thing, and I am not even that acnaic. All the creams, treatments and my washing regime was geared towards my absolute conviction that I was really acne-prone and that I had bad skin. The truth is, I don't have bad skin. Yes, it's a bit dehydrated, and yes I will keep on getting spots here and there, but that's life. The problem here really was my own self-belief that I didn't have nice skin.

And you know, I think that was something that the ladies ahead of me felt. I don't doubt they are extremely intelligent and great people, but they too had the irrational belief that because their skin was not absolutely perfect, and did not match up to the skin we see advertised in the world around us, there was something wrong with them. I don't doubt that everyone who thinks about their skin feels the same way at some point or another.

The point I'm trying to get to is that we are always so hard on ourselves about our own appearance, that we can sometimes become obsessed by the smallest thing that we think is 'wrong', and we then have our vision of ourselves obscured by this, that small something gets blown up out of proportion in our minds. I don't want to say that these small things aren't necessarily there, and we are being overdramatic and exaggerating. What I really want to say (very badly) is that it probably isn't anywhere near as bad as you think, and that we should try to stop being our own worst enemies, and be kinder and friendlier to ourselves.

This has turned into a really long and far ramblier post than I had imagined, and I'm not sure I really got to the crux of my thoughts, but I hope that after reading this, you understand what I'm trying to get at. Everyone is beautiful, we just need to remind ourselves of that.

To spend or not to spend? Face Moisturisers

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

face cream 775

No, I'm not saying DON'T buy them. Far from it. I am absolutely obsessed with moisturising my face morning and night. I feel completely and utterly wrong if I don't. What I want to know here is what you think and what I think I ought to be paying for a moisturiser and what I think I'm getting out of that money.

I've currently only got 3 moisturisers currently in use in my beauty cupboard at the moment: the Pai Geranium and Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream, the Chantecaille Flower Harmonizing Cream, and the Vichy Normaderm Night Detox Cream. These three cover the spectrum in price completely, with the Vichy starting the bar at £15.00 from Boots, and the Chantecaille cream selling at almost £90. Eighty-eight pounds to be exact. Eep. I bought it in a total moment of casual weakness when I was feeling a low about my skin and it was payday. The Chantecaille is just an extremely overpriced plain moisturiser in a pot, which doesn't really show up any results on my face, which makes that moment of weakness more irritating than ever. I'll keep on using it until I finish but I definitely can't wait for it to be used up so that I can make space for something more worthwhile.

In total contrast to this, the Vichy night cream is probably the best moisturiser I have ever used. I use it as directed as a night cream, and I am so happy that I made space for this tube of goodness in my cupboard. Since I've introduced it into my skincare, the number of spots I get has reduced, it absorbs quickly into my skin, and all the while still feels hydrated. Don't get me wrong, I am not blemish free completely, and I don't think I ever will, but I truly believe this is helping, and I think I'll always make sure to have a tube in the cupboard as backup.

As for the Pai day cream, this comes in at £34 and is a perfectly nice moisturiser for the day, but has one problem for me: the smell. It's a really strange smell, one I can't really describe, other than it makes me think of saliva? I know, that sounds absolutely horrible, but I can't think of anything else when I put it on. I'm hoping it was just the tube I got, because it's nice enough to use. I think I will go back and see if it smells any different, but there are a few other creams I want to try out anyway, so this is not high on my repurchasing list.

So there you have it: my experience of the price spectrum of moisturisers. I think moisturisers, as with all beauty, is very subjective, so if you find one that is working for you, then stick to it, but for me, I've proved to myself that expensive isn't always the way to go.

Current Face Brush faves

Sunday, 10 May 2015

april foundation brush 775
I have a plethora of foundation brushes. At the current count, it stands at 7. SEVEN. I don't even know why I need so many, and yet I use practically all of them (apart from one, which I'm still trying to get used to). Some are great for full coverage, some are good for quick work, others powder, etc but I always find that I use them consistently. If any are similar in style and function, I tend to rotate them each week after my weekly brush cleanse.
With the weather warming up however, I've found myself sticking to 3 lately while I use lighter bases, and they are the:

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush: This is a great alternative to the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. With a dense head, this is great for any bases that need buffing in. What I really like about this brush is the domed shape of the head, which means I can buff this over my eyelids and get into 'corners' like my nose area really well. I've been using this with my base of choice of late, the NARS Tinted Moisturiser.

Sephora Professionel Contour Blush Bronzer Brush 43: Admittedly this brush says it's for contouring and blush, but its head is a bit too large to serve this function on my face, and instead works as a brilliant powder foundation brush for me. It's very soft, with a large flat surface that picks up powder really well, and distributes product very evenly. I use this with my Bobbi Brown Skin Weightless Powder Foundation on days I feel a bit greasy.

Louise Young LY34 Super Foundation Brush: My quick face brush, I like using this with my very liquidy foundations like the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. It has a very large rounded head, which somehow lends it for buffing foundation in as well as 'brushing' it on. If I have one complaint, the head is so dense and large, it takes a bit more effort to clean this properly at the end of the week.

MAC collection: Toledo

Thursday, 7 May 2015

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MAC collections seem to pop out every few months now, and several at a time, to the point I don't know what's coming other than the major launches such as the current Philip Treacy collaboration, and the Cinderella one that everyone and their mother (apart from me) bought. There was also the Chinese New Year one which I heard nothing about, and only noticed because I happened to look in through the windows of the Covent Garden store while I was getting my lunch, which naturally meant I completely missed out on my picks by that time. Some collections I curse for not seeing or knowing about on time, others I shrug and forget about. Not so with the Toledo collection.

Yes, this collection came out some time ago, and has been replaced in store by the Philip Treacy collection, but the news of this instantly caught my attention, and had me desperately checking in through the windows to make sure I got my hands on something, and that constant checking paid off.

Looking through pictures, I knew beforehand I had to get the Ripe Peach Blush, which I've read about and deemed mythical and legendary. I managed to get one of these, and also snapped up the lipstick in shade Victoriana, to add to my already large collection of reds and totally didn't need, but hey, a girl's got to have lipstick, ok?

First thing's first, look at the packaging! I love the quirkiness of it. The contrast between the white packaging to the red and black design makes it look really unique. The texture of the packaging is not smooth like the normal MAC packaging, but faintly rubberised, which makes me think of NARS packaging. Not great for keeping pristine, especially as it's white, but I don't intend to carry about the blush with me in my bag which collects bits (eugh) and I can live with the lipstick casing getting a bit marked, because it's mostly going to sit in my carry around makeup bag.

Let's look at that blush first. Ahh, Ripe Peach. As I said before, I never owned the original Ripe Peach, only read about it and saw the pictures, and wished in retrospect I had bought it. I don't know what the original one was like so I can't do a comparison, but I can say that I do like this blush. I find it quite a hard textured brush, ie, when I swirl a brush in the pan, it doesn't pick up all that much product, so I have to go back in, swirl again, apply and repeat depending on the intensity I want it. Also, it seems to lean a bit more orange than I would like right now, but it's quite a brightening blush, and I can't help but feel happy when I put it on.

toledo 5 775
As for the lipstick, Victoriana is a very bright pink-toned red. I think of raspberries when I look at it. It's a very creamy formula, which means it's very easy to put on, but somehow it doesn't really slide. Yes I got a few marks from my lips during the day around my mouth (that's what you get when you accidentally poke yourself in the face) but the colour stayed on my lips very boldly for about 4 hours until lunchtime, whereupon after eating, it turned into a very strong stain. It's not the most unique colour out there, I'm sure that everyone already has just such a lipstick. Apart from me, until this one funnily enough!

I didn't feel like anything else from the collection appealed to me as much as these two items, so I'm happy that I stuck to just these. The collection is still available online here, so if you're interested, do go check it out!

A bit about me

Monday, 4 May 2015

Hello 775

  1. My permanent beauty obsessions: nail polish and lipsticks. Can't help myself. GIMME.
  2. I didn't wear any makeup apart from the odd eyeshadow once or twice before I was 19 and in university. ^O^
  3. I wasn't interested in facial skincare until 2012. At all. Nope, na-da. It's been downhill for my bank balance since then.
  4. Until my skincare revolution in 2012, I used the dreaded facewipes. I told Caroline Hirons this to her face. I thought she was going to explode.
  5. I have NERDY hobbies. These include computer games, and knitting. Complete opposites, but they do point out to the fact I enjoy being an extremely premature granny.
  6. I have eczema and sensitive skin which does affect what I put on it a LOT. It also can affect what I wear clothing wise, what I use to wash my clothes etc. My sister very kindly calls it 'being a speh-shul flower'.
  7. I wear glasses all the time. If I don't, I squint and walk into things more than usual. My boyfriend calls me a blind mole when this happens. Charming.
  8. I also have irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS for short. This affects my day-to-day life, can make me really ill at times, and may be something I write about.
  9. I have sensitive (of course), combination skin that is blemish-prone. SO HARD TO WORK WITH.
  10. Bring back Nars Douceur blush.
  11. I'm not very good with sickly sweet smells. Eugh.
  12. I have been wearing too much black and grey in the past few years. I need to put colour back in my wardrobe.
  13. Flannels please. No muslins here.
  14. I am petite. That is the nice way to say I have trouble reaching things on the top shelf at Sainsburys unless it's right at the front.
  15. Bring back Nars Douceur blush. Please.
douceur and brush

New from April

Sunday, 3 May 2015

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Extra post today, I thought I'd just quickly show off my very recent additions. Pay day is always the most dangerous day of the month!

YSL Rouge Pur Couture 52 in Rouge Rose/Rosy Coral: I got round to watching the Lisa Eldridge video on her Korean haul and Beauty look, and remember her talking about the lipstick that got sold out after featuring in a Kdrama. Oddly enough, my phone then presented me with an article by Shameless Fripperies about said lipstick, and after reading that, I went straight to Google it. An image search brought up the Kdrama in question (Man from the Stars, I may very well have to watch it because the styling looks great, even if I'm not the biggest Kdrama fan) as well as an image of a similar gloss. In less than five minutes after that I had it ordered from Boots for next day store collection. I have since read the actress never actually wore this shade, but meh, it's a gorgeous colour which I've already featured in my April favourites despite being less than a week old in my makeup stash. It's bright, bold and really perks your complexion (and mood) up.

YSL Gloss Volupte in No. 203 Corail Gandoura: I also got this as a result of the above Google image search. When I got onto the Boots website, I had only intended to get the lipstick but then I saw that there was a 1000 bonus point offer when you buy two YSL products, and that was that. I haven't had a chance to try this out all that much because I've been wearing the lipstick instead, so I'll report back my thoughts on this later.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil: I expect if you read Caroline Hirons at all, you will have seen her post on this earlier this year and been waiting in anticipation for it to hit the shelves. Well it's done so recently, and the same day I popped into Space NK to buy it, it's featured a few times on my Instagram feed. I've used it a few times already, and initial impressions are good, but I'm going to give this a few more weeks before I give my full thoughts.

So these are my recent purchases. I'm hoping to keep my spending for the next few months to a minimum with just these and a few Korean beauty purchases, because I want to buy some new fitness gear (obsession after beauty) and have to pay for a trip to Amsterdam in June. Have you guys bought anything new for your stash?

April Favourites

Apr favs 775

First favourites post!

This past month, I've been really appreciating or enjoying the following:

NARS Tinted Moisturiser in Alaska: I finally caved into buying it, and got matched to the wrong shade *cries*, so after looking like I'd gone sunbedding for my face only with the shade St Moritz, I went back and bought the shade up and it's a match. This is great for the change in temperature.

LJH Tea Tree 90 Essence: It's early days but I am loving using this on my skin right now. With the power of tea tree in, but none of the scent, this is getting in at those blemishes. I want to do a proper review of this later once I've had a bit longer with this.

NARS Lipstick in Heat Wave: an old favourite that I normally pull out when the sun begins to show itself a bit more. A bright orange-toned red, I love how long lasting the formula is, and it's definitely one of my favourite reds.

Nails Inc Nailkale in Duke Street: for the past year or so, I've been searching for the perfect grey-toned lilac/lavender nail polish, and I think this might be it. A perfect spring pastel, this lasted on my nails for just under a week which I'm relatively happy with.

Max Factor Crème Puff Blush in Nude Mauve: I've already written about this in a previous post, so check that for my full thoughts. A light dusting of this compliments the brightness of NARS Heat Wave.

YSL Rouge Pur Couture in 52 Rouge Rose/Rosy Coral: this is actually a very very new addition (only this week!) so probably shouldn't be included in the April favourites but I've been wearing it every day since I got it. I'll do a full review of this at some point, but for now, I can tell you that when I'm not wearing NARS Heat Wave in the brighter months, I'll be wearing this. This is a lovely neon coral pink which just cheers me up every time I catch my reflection!

These have been my standout April favourites, what have you been enjoying lately?