Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Monthly Favourites: December

I've never done a monthly favourites post but I thought I'd start. Technically this is from November but I've only got round to posting it. Sorry I've been such a shoddy blogger lately, I've been so busy with college and starting my new job, I promise I'll try keep up. I have a few posts lined up which I'll be posting over the month. Once again, I apologise for the horrific photo - the lighting is terrible in my house & ignore the logo coming through on my mattress. P.S. Hope you like the new layout of my blog.

Johnsons moisturiser: £4.07, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer: £4.99, Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation: £10.99, Vaseline Rosy Lips: £2, Simple Hydromist: £4.00

001. This moisturiser is so replenishing for my skin, especially now winter has arrived, my skin is getting drier and I've found that if I apply this twice a day, my skin feels so much softer and in better condition. There's a post coming up soon about this product!

002. Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer - I've been a fan of this product for years and have used it previously but totally forgot about it but seeing Corrie's video featuring it, I went out and bought it again and definitely not looked back. I love how long this product lasts and it's only £4.99!

003. Another product that is floating around the blogging world is the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation. I'd never heard of this product until I came across on a few peoples blogs and read rave reviews about it so when my previous foundation came to an end, I thought I'd give this a try. I like how this foundation isn't drying and the coverage is buildable. The only problem with this product that I find is that it gives a sheer finish whereas I prefer matte.

004. Vaseline is pretty much a winter essential and I love how rosy my lips look after applying this.

005. I could not love this product enough. The Hydromist is brilliant for adding a boost to your skin during the day or before applying moisturiser - which is how I use it. It can also be worn over make-up. I absolutely love this product and think it's great for giving my skin a boost and looking more refreshed.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Little Boots

A few weeks I posted a wishlist and featured these boots. I fell in love and constantly found myself going back to them so I bit the bullet the other day and finally ordered them and I couldn't be happier. They're not flashy, no designer name and weren't extremely expensive. They're just perfect for wearing in winter, the only shoes I own at the moment are Ugg boots (which are not rain proof anymore, water soaks through them) and a pair of Lacoste white pumps which aren't suitable for muddy streets. Anyway, these arrived this morning and I couldn't resist blogging about them. Just a note to anyone who's interested in the boots or general ASOS footwear - I recommend going a size up, I'm a 7/8 more a 7 but ordered these in an 8 and they fit perfectly. Can't wait to wear them out and actually have warm feet!

ASOS boots: £35

another note, has everyone seen the Breaking Dawn trailer? I'm so excited, I need to book tickets! I can't wait for the soundtrack to come out either, I'm a huge fan of the soundtracks, currently have all of them so far. I'm in love with this song by Christina Perri from the Breaking Dawn soundtrack, her music is beautiful, I definitely recommend a listen.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Professional Beauty 2011 at Manchester Central

Yesterday, I went to Manchester Central with college to attend the Profession Beauty exhibition which runs every year. At the exhibition, there are various stalls in the arena with loads of different companies. Some well known ones that were there yesterday were Dermalogica, Fake Bake, Decleor, Elemis and CND. Unfortunately for me, I got up early, rushed around and totally forgot my camera but I've taken photos of the products I bought and samples I received. One thing I really regret buying is a waxing kit and beauty case but silly me didn't take enough money, it was so easy to impulse buy! I apologise for the poor picture quality due to bad camera and lighting, it's so hard to take decent photos when it's getting so dark early.

First thing I purchased was a bottle of Fake Bake self tanner which only cost me £10. Items such as lotions and mousse's were more expensive but this one but they were still cheap. I had this one that I bought tested on my arms and I liked it so I thought I would give it a go. In the box comes the lotion, a spray top, a pair of latex gloves and a self tan mit. I'm very impressed with the mit - it's extremely good quality. I'll be doing a review on this item later on.

Another nail strengthener! This one apparently won awards from Cosmo so being gullible like I am - I purchased it. Another item I'll probably do a review on.
Nubar glitter nail polish. I originally wanted the silver one so I could use it as a top coat but the were sold out so got the next best thing which was purple! This bottle cost me £3.80, they were also running an offer for 3 for £11.

Big big big China Glaze fan and for £3.95 per polish I wasn't about to pass up that opportunity. I picked up some dark shades because purples/blacks/greys are my favourite colours. I also purchased a top coat which was only £4.75! Really a bargain. L-R, the first one is a red shimmery polish, the second is a purple shimmer polish the same effect to the first one and the last polish is a dull deep red/brown colour. I tried my best to show the colours even with flash on. I'll do some swatches in a post later on.

I queued for over half an hour to have my skin professionally mapped and be recommended the best products for my skin. The woman first gave me a sheet explaining how the therapists map the skin then once the woman had seen me, she used some goggles with a light on to examine the skin and used the skin map sheet to recommend the best products to me. I took this sheet over to a counter and was given a product guide and a pouch full of samples specific to my skin type. I'm a huge Dermalogica fan and really love all their products!

Overall, I really enjoyed my day and will definitely return next year, this time with my camera and a lot more money!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Premium VS High Street

It's always a fight with myself when I go and try and purchase new skincare and I'm so easily pulled in by new beauty offers or promotions so I tend to be a sucker for anything the women at the counters tell me. But recently, I've stuck to these few products which I change and swap between depending on how I think my skin is feeling. So the real question is, out of the two, premium brand skincare or high street skincare, which is the best?

High street skincare:
I went out on a whim one day when I was in Body Shop and looking for a gentle face wash when I came across the vitamin E range. I'd seen that it was highly recommend to those who suffer from normal/dry skin so I thought I'd give this a go. At the time, it ran in a special offer when I could get the facial wash, day and night cream and a facial brush all for £20 so I snapped up the deal without really thinking about it. Another thing, cheap prices for a lot of items always gets the better of me.

The night cream which is shown at the top, I have hardly used. I personally don't like the cream or feel that it is particularly moisturising. When I first purchased this set, I stuck to the day and night routine with this set but found that when I applied the cream, it sat on my skin instead of soaking in leaving my skin feel greasy. The cream is very thick and not a lot is needed but I found that when I woke up the next morning, my skin still felt dry and tight.

The day cream I use before applying make-up, it's a good base and moisturises the skin well but the effects are not long term. The cream has a more runny consistency in comparison to the night cream and is more easily soaked into the skin but I found that later on during the day, my skin still felt quite dry. Overall, this cream is good but generally, it's only really good as a quick fix whereas I need something that will keep my skin moisturised for the whole day. Another disadvantage to the creams is that they do not contain an SPF.

Premium skincare:
Clinique's big beauty and skincare marketing campaigns make it easier for the naive such as myself to fall straight into their traps and come out of the store pounds down and a heavy bag in hand. This Superdefense cream is actually marketed as an anti-ageing cream and said to "fight the effects of emotional stress, which can damage skin with effects much like sun and pollution". Realistically this cream is not really suitable for me because I am 18 but it's never too early to start, right?

Again, this is a cream I've used a lot, I'm nearly at the bottom but a little does go a long way. Generally, the consistency of this was very rich and when I applied it to my face, my skin soaked it up immediately. The only downfall to this cream is that, if I apply too much it can leave my skin feeling greasy and looking shiny.
The cream is very moisturising and keeps my skin soft all day long. I find that this is a perfect base for foundation such as Double Wear which can be very drying. It also has a high SPF factor of 25. I really would recommend this product to anyone with very dry skin but only to apply small amounts liberally to the skin.

Everyone gets blemishes, spots, dry skin or a rash of some kind and these products are the most suitable products I own to combat the problem.

Sudocrem: If anyone hasn't used this, it's a life saver. It retails around £1-50-£5 depending on what size you buy, it's so cheap and so good at what it does. If my skin is ever irritated or I get a spot, I immediately apply this and within the next day, the problem has more or less vanished. On the traditional tub it does say that it is for nappy rash, bed sores and eczema, but it can be used to treat sunburn, rashes or scars. The consistency of this product is very rich white formula which requires a lot of rubbing in so minimal amount is needed, meaning that a large tub could last years.

Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream: This product is totally different in comparison to Sudocrem. When I visited the Elizabeth Arden counter at my local store, I asked the woman about the cream and what is it specifically targeted for, she replied that it is used to do the same job as Sudocrem and it can be applied to spots, sore skin or rashes and have the same outcome. The texture of the cream is very different to Sudocrem, it is more of a greasy gel a lot like Vaseline which means applying it to the face can make the skin look oily. The 8 hour cream retails around £20 in stores but does last a long time because of the minimal amount needed. Celebrities for years have been swearing by the 8 hour cream but personally, I find that this isn't for me. I only really use the 8 hour cream as a lip balm and rarely use it for dry skin around my face during winter. Overall, I wouldn't repurchase this product as I think it's too much money for what it does.

What are you favourite premium/high street skincare products?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Nail Magic Nail Strengthener

As winter comes in and the sun goes out, we're faced with serious Vitamin D withdrawal and cold weather and that means one thing - brittle nails. I'm a typical girl and love nothing more than pampering myself, doing my nails and painting them so when they break and split, I can't help but die a little inside.

The past few years, I'll hold my hand up and say I've neglected my nails. I've bitten them, had acrylics, worn false nails and then tore them off (pretty horrific!) and they've always been in bad condition, until I discovered Nail Magic.

It was my mum who first came across the product and she is the same as me, she loves getting her nails done and the abuse of nail glue over the years left hers, like mine, feeling very weak, so when she looked for nail treatments on eBay, she came across Nail Magic. I personally didn't have much interest at first, I thought it was just another bottle of rubbish pretending it can do your nails good. I've always used Nails Inc A&E which was recommended by my auntie but it's nothing compared to Nail Magic.

"Get the Ultimate Natural Nail Hardener, with 37 years of Excellence! Nail Magic is a unique combination of ingredients which stimulates healthy and beautiful nail growth while strengthening and conditioning weak or damaged nail tissue. The formula was perfected in 1960 by Martha Peterson, of Portland Oregon, a professional manicurist for 35 years. Nail Magic was used in beauty salons throughout the country for many years before being made available to the public. Nail Magic can be used as a base coat, top coat or clear enamel polish. Application is simple, usually requiring less than three minutes twice a week."

Application: Clean nails with nail polish remover to begin even if you're not wearing any polish, it removes any residue on the nail. Then apply 2 coats of the Nail Magic and wait to dry. Once dry, leave, then reapply 2 more coats the following day. On the 3rd day, remove all polish from the nail and then reapply again. After a week, you will see a dramatic appearance to the strength of nails. Continue the process for around 2 weeks. The Nail Magic should have drastically improved the strength and appearance of your nails. I personally always apply as a base coat before adding colour polish to my nails too.

My Verdict: This product is just amazing! When I first started a proper course using the Nail Magic, I had been in a obsession with false nails, applying and painting them, then if I got fed up, I would bite them off which tore layers of my nail off and the glue damaged my nails so I finally packed it all in and started with the course.
I have to say that this is the best nail treatment I've ever used, my nails are so much stronger, none have broken since applying the Nail Magic (touch wood) and it's definitely made my nails appear healthier. Admittedly, my nails need a lot more TLC and there still is a long way to go and from the photo, it doesn't look like they're very long, but to me this is a big improvement (I know my cuticles look dry also, I'm improving that too). I am so impressed with the appearance of my nails in such a short space of time. If your nails are in need of a treatment or you just want them to grow longer, I cannot recommend this enough!

In this photo I'm wearing the Nail Magic as a base coat and top coat.

Nail Magic retails around £9 depending on the shop and can be found on various internet sites such as eBay, One Click Pharmacy and Amazon.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Bonacure Repair Rescue Collection

The website claims:
"NEW BC Repair Rescue revolutionises hair care with the FIRST Biomimetic hair repair technology. BC Repair Rescue not only repairs the cells within the hair but also recreates the hair surface Biomimetically; for hair returned to its optimal level of health. BC REPAIR RESCUE; for a 100% Healthy hair surface, down to every last strand."

I bought this shampoo of the website Cheapsmells - which in a nutshell, is a website which sells beauty, perfume, skincare and haircare products at a discounted price, definitely look at the perfumes because they have some really good offers. Buying from the website meant the set was actually a little cheaper than buying it from a salon.
This shampoo is specifically designed for hair that has been chemically treated or bleached so when I had highlights (and ends of my hair were breaking off - booooo), I decided to invest in this set the salon were using. I have previously used the Colour Save shampoo by this range when my hair has been dyed brown and I definitely recommend that for maintaining colour and shine.

My Verdict:
Shampoo - The shampoo is very good, when you apply, it lathers up quickly and is very moisturising, almost like you don't need to condition because it makes your hair very soft but because my hair is dry, I do need to apply conditioner. If you're like me and you use a lot of shampoo, this is the shampoo to change you, you only need a good size amount in the palm of your hand because it rubs in very well. Lather then rinse or Lather, repeat then rinse depending on your regime.

Conditioner - I don't like the conditioner, it's very watery in consistency which is disappointing at £20 a bottle. I apply the conditioner just to my roots and then rinse. The shampoo out of the two appeared it was giving my hair more moisture and after I'd rinsed out the conditioner, my hair felt quite dry at the ends again and it felt like the product wasn't doing what I wanted it to.

I'm actually rather disappointed with this product, my hair is quite dry on the ends after having it bleached but the conditioner didn't seem to improve the condition of my hair, the shampoo made my hair soft but it doesn't provide the moisture my hair needs. I noticed a lot of product buildup on my hair from using the shampoo and conditioner, after washing well and leaving to dry and not styling my hair, I'd notice the next day it would start to look greasy and being someone with bleached hair, that's the last thing I expected. I don't think I'll purchase this set again but I really recommend the Colour Save for anyone with coloured hair!

If you are interested in trying this set for yourself, you can purchase it from selected hairdressing salons or Cheapsmells. I also know Sallys stock this product in the retail and salon size.

Monday, 29 August 2011

The Ugly Truth

Apologies for poor picture quality, my cameras not great and the lighting was bad.

Continuing my make-up post, here are my make-up brushes and the tweezers I use - The main two brands I use are Jemma Kidd and Bobbi Brown. The Jemma Kidd set was given to me as a birthday present when I was 17 (so I've had them a long time!), they were just bought from boots and came with a little pot but I keep them in my Starbucks mug. The Bobbi Brown collection was the basic set I bought but if anyone's looking to buy Bobbi Brown brushes, I strongly advise against it.
Out of the two sets, the Jemma Kidd collection is definitely better quality than the Bobbi Brown set. After washing the Bobbi Brown set, the brushes tended to lose shape and hairs constantly fall out of them, especially the white powder brush, whereas the Jemma Kidd collection stays in shape and good condition.

Foundation: I use two foundation brushes depending on which foundation I use, I tend to use the Bobbi Brown foundation brush if I'm wearing Estee Lauder double wear because the foundation clogs up the brush because it's very thick. The other foundation brush is just from a brand in Boots (Mister Mascara I think?) and retails around £6 (again, not entirely sure) but it's definitely better than the Bobbi Brown brush, and I use it to apply my MAC studio fix foundation. It has a little concealer brush at the bottom which I use when I apply my Boi-ing concealer.

Blush/Powder: When I apply bronzer I use the Bobbi Brown bronzing brush (1st brush on the left) to my cheeks and all over my face. If I'm wearing powder, I will use the powder brush - as I said before, when it's washed, hairs tend to fall out of the brush and can be left over my face which is annoying. The brushes don't blend well and sometimes I can look like a clown when applying bronzer.

Eyes: I regularly wear eyeshadow and I use different brushes depending on the eyeshadow effect I want to achieve. When I apply a white eyeshadow base I use either the Bobbi Brown brush or the bigger of the two Jemma Kidd brushes to cover my whole eyelid then I use the pointed Jemma Kidd brush to blend it into the crease of my eye then when I apply darker colours to my eye, I use the smaller of the two.
For my eyebrows I just use some tweezers, I've no idea what brand they are but they are good. Ideally I would like a pair of tweezerman tweezers.

To clean my make-up brushes, all I use is a mild shampoo, cleaning them twice, rinsing and leaving on my windowsill to dry.

I seriously need to invest in a new set of make-up brushes, do any of you have any recommendations? I know MAC are the holy grail of make-up brushes so they may have to be my next investment.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Everyday Make-Up

This is the make-up I use everyday, it's nothing overly fancy, just the essentials!

Foundation: If I have any blemishes or spots, I use Benefit Boi-ing concealer which admittedly is a little dark for me but blended well it does the job, it's really industrial. Then depending on if I'm out all day/going out on a night I'll wear Estee Lauder double wear (Shade Ecru) so it lasts all day, the foundation really does what it says but if I don't moisturise beforehand, it looks very cakey. If I'm just popping out into town or want a light coverage, I wear MAC's studio fix (Shade NC15) which gives a more natural lighter coverage which is build-able.

Blusher/Bronzer: I'm more of a bronzer type of girl and I use the MAC Surf, Baby! bronzing powder (which I blogged about previously), the bronzer is really light and very golden so I usually apply it to my cheekbones, forehead, nose and neck.
Out of my collection of blushers, NARS Orgasm is definitely my favourite because it gives a soft peachy look without being too pink and in-your-face, the colour is very subtle so that's why I like it. You can tell by the pot that I don't use it often but if I choose blusher, it's usually this one.

Eyes: I usually wear neutral colours such as white/cream eyeshadow base and then golds and browns to create a neutral smokey effect. I prime my eyes with Benefit's Lemon Aid - I've yet to try Urban Decay's Primer Potion so when this runs out, that'll be my next purchase - but the Lemon Aid is very good, you don't need a lot, I just lightly rub it over my eyelids then apply my eyeshadow and it lasts all day/night. The two eyeshadow palettes I use are just basic ones, the main one I use is a Body Collection set which I was given as a present ages ago, I never used it because I thought it would be rubbish, but actually, it's really good and heavily pigmented. The second is just one from Rimmel which I think is useless, you really have to apply a lot of the eyeshadow to get the colour to show but it's not brilliant, I'm sure there are better high street brands which sell better quality palettes. I only really use the white for a base. I'm quite interested in trying MAC's eyeshadows, can anyone recommend them?
For mascara I use L'oreal's Telescopic Mascara in Carbon Black, which is my mascara of choice and I've sworn by it for years now. If I'm wearing false eyelashes, I usually apply eyeliner which is the Eyeko Graffiti eyeliners - It's my favourite eyeliner I've bought so far, the pen style makes it easier to apply the eyeliner and the nib is small and pointed so good for apply in the corners of eyes and creating flicks.
I've got quite mousey brown eyebrows which I fill in with a cheap eyebrow pencil which I got from a local make-up shop, I just apply it to my eyebrows and blend with an eyebrow brush.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

MAC Surf, baby! Bronzer

Summers here! Even though in England it doesn't seem so. Mac have launched their summer 2011 collection called 'Surf, baby!' I was shopping in Meadowhall yesterday and in desperate need of a bronzer, so off I tottered to the MAC counter and asked the make-up artist if she could recommend anything, and she pointed me in the direction of MAC's latest collection.

Surf, baby! in Lush-light Bronze
The bronzer appears quite dark in the case but it's actually very light. It's a very fine powder so overbrushing then applying to cheeks makes you look like a clown so approach it with precaution. The bronzer gives you a bronzed glow and really good for enhancing cheekbones and jawline.
The packaging is super cute with hibiscus flowers on the front and a stripe pattern on the case. The bronzer compact also has a mirror so it's great for on-the-go. All in all, money well spent!
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