Sunday, 30 March 2014

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Micellar waters are all the rage now after Bioderma became every bloggers favourite, including mine. When the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water hit the shops, I was eager to try it out, after being an avid fan of Bioderma and not trying the L'oreal version, I couldn't wait to see how this faired to it's holy grail counterpart. It's very much the same as Bioderma and this really does melt off make up well but I don't know if it's the cotton pads I'm using or the product itself but compared to Bioderma, this just doesn't remove eye make up as good as Bioderma. When I've used Bioderma previously, it instantly melted off mascara but when using the Garnier version, I have to sit there with the cotton pads pressed on my eyes and wait for the mascara to melt. I can't really say much for removing foundation and the like as I tend to use this before my cleansing balm but on those super lazy days (yes girls, we've all been there) it seems to remove all my make up and leave my skin cleansed for the rest of my routine. I do use this on a morning as a quick cleanse before my skincare routine and make up. This is really gentle, doesn't irritate my skin and it doesn't strip the skin either. It's a great little product and a great high street alternative but personally, I think I'll always love Bioderma.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Skin Detox

We've all been there ladies, too many vodkas and a stuffy nightclub has left our skin feeling seriously dehydrated and a tad unclean for our liking. I've put together four saviour products for the morning after and a little supplement that will have our skin back to normal before that 7am wake up call Monday morning.

After a night out, I always make sure I thoroughly cleanse my face, remove those eyelashes and give my skin a damn good cleaning when I come home so on a morning, I just cleanse again using a hot cloth cleanser and my skin is ready for those face masks. The REN Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser* is my favourite at the moment, it's so soft on the skin, fragrance free and removes any remaining grime from the previous night. This teamed up with the cloth it comes with gets the blood flowing around my face and leaves my skin prepped for the second stage. Another wonder from REN and a new addition to my skincare collection is the Invisible Pores Detox Mask, this is a clarifying clay mask which I leave on my skin till it's completely dry then wash off with hot water, it does say rub off with your fingers when it's dry but I personally prefer to wash my face after. Whilst this is on, you see all the nasties coming to the surface and balances out any oil - I personally have dry skin but I find it's suitable for us dehydrated ladies. Once my skin has had a through detox, I move on to hydration and alcohol really does dehydrate my skin and leave it so dull so seeing as I spend the Sunday catching up with blogs, emails and Youtube, I apply a generous layer of the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial as a nourishing treatment then pack lots of the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask on top. Together these two really are a dry girls dream, since using these two on dehydrated days and in my evening skincare routine, my skin has never felt so soft and supple. Of course if you really want to pack your skin with hydration then water is your best friend, I am the worst water drinker *holds hands up* so I usually have to find hydration elsewhere.

And finally is my own personal addition, I regularly take a supplement of Centrum Women as I find I don't get all my essential vitamins and minerals. The tablet contains all the vitamins and minerals women need on a daily basis as well as Biotin and Zinc for healthy skin, hair and nails. I find when I stop taking these my immune system and skin really plummet so as an added pick me up after those alcohol fueled evenings, these really help me regain some normality back into my body and skin.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Neglected Products

I have a stash of make up products that have gone unloved and sometimes there's just a few products that I once loved that have now been neglected and put to the back of my collection. I suppose as my make up preferences have changed and I've learnt new techniques and tried new releases, what I once thought I liked, I no longer choose in my daily make up routine.

The Mac Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle is a cliche blogger purchase, I heard the rave reviews about this and as I was new to the highlighting step, I picked this up in a Mac haul back in 2009 and it's now an item neglected in my stash. The skinfinish is a good highlighter, for me, it's now a tad too shimmery and since seeing a photo of my on holiday looking like a disco ball, it's been unloved ever since. I now opt for the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder for a subtle, shimmer free highlight.

Another unloved face product I purchased was the Bourjois Bronzing Primer which I originally used as a Chanel dupe, of course the Chanel version will always be on my wishlist as it is aimed as an actual bronzer but this offering by Bourjois just didn't really seem to build up the right amount of colour and in terms of it's priming properties, well... It didn't have any. It's a product that has been sat in my drawer since summer but I will probably used it again as a complexion enhancer.

Hourglass is probably my favourite make up brand and I have lots of items from their range but I've really tried to love their Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipsticks, I have the shade Muse and I'm not sure if it's the colour, the consistency or the matte finish but everytime I apply this, I end up wiping it off and deciding against wearing it. You need a tiny bit of this and the finish really is mattifying which can look terrible if you're lips are on the dry side but in terms of wear, the middle area of the lips wears off first and looks stupid so if you wanted to wear this all day, make sure you carry it with you. I will try to persevere because it was pricey for an item I've never used but I'm not sure I'll ever learn to love this.

Rimmel are my favourite brand for eyeliners and they're always so pigmented, creamy and long wearing. I've been using the Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal in Nude for a while now and it's not a product I pick up on a daily basis. I can't make my mind up about this and although the pigmented, creamy consistency makes for an easy application, I'm not sure about the finish. A little bit on the waterline doesn't really do much but too much can make you look like you're trying to be a japanese halloween school girl (you know the ones), I've tried and persevered with this but everytime, I end up applying some black over the top. Unfortunately, nude eyeliner just isn't for me.

What products have you neglected in your stash?

Monday, 17 March 2014

Go To Lippies

Hands up if you own too many lip products! *Raises hand* Yeah me too, and half of them I don't even wear but here's a selection of mostly nudes with the occasional red lip that I reach for when I feel like jazzing up my make up routine... Because sometimes, that happens.

The latest addition and my favourite of the moment has to be the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella, a deep red offering in pencil form which makes application effortless and the lasting power of these things really is incredible. This suits my caspar skin tone perfectly and has been contributing to my latest fashion choices. I choose a simple monochrome outfit with a hint of Cruella on the lips and I'm good to go for the day.

Next up is a lacquer-lipgloss love, bit late on the bandwagon with these and after countless swatches I picked up the Rimmel Apocolips Lip Lacquer in Luna, a lipgloss slash liquid lipstick in a beautiful creamy peach shade is super easy to apply, these are up there with some of my favourite peachy shades but the lasting power of this isn't fantastic, but for those nights out and day to day wear, it's compact, fuss free packaging makes carrying it in my clutch or handbag no problem at all.

Then it's on to the traditional lip bullets, mostly which I have are from Topshop, the shades Pillow Talk, Whimsical and Saint are my most reached for lip products and have found have the most lasting power. Pillow Talk is a creamy pink finish which has a velvet finish as well as giving a hint of colour it moisturises the lips and gives a great day-to-night lip offering depending on how intense you want the colour. My favourite shade is Whimsical, a peachy nude in a matte finish, this lipstick has the best lasting power with buildable colour. And finally is my new addition to the Topshop lippy family, it's Saint, a velvet finish like Pillow Talk. This colour is very nude, which can look a bit 'concealer lips' depending on how heavy you apply it but lightly blended on the lips with my finger, this is a perfect match for a dark smokey eye. Of course what beauty blogger would I be if I didn't have a MAC lipstick, this one is in the shade Hue, a traditional nude in a frost finish. This lipstick has the right amount of nude with a hint of pink and gives my lips a glossy finish. The staying power of this isn't fantastic as it's more on the glossy moisturising side but I've found more often than not, I've chosen this to finish off my day to day make up.

So many nudes and one little red, who knows, maybe 6 months time I'll be a dark lip convert... Yeah right!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

The Haircare Dream Team

I love my beauty products, I love good make up and skincare finds but when it comes to haircare, my routine really is lacking in somethin' somethin' which tends to equate to flat, dull & lifeless hair. Yes I really am Pantene's dream consumer. But lately I've found a routine that packs it when it comes to nourishing my hair and two now holy grail products from Oribe that have left me maybe giving Cheryl Cole a run for her money.

The Tigi Bed Head Urban Antidotes - Recovering Shampoo & Conditioner* was a set I'd not really heard much about so when it came through the letterbox I was dubious to try it. FYI my hair is dyed brown with oily roots and normal ends and a sensitive scalp, yeah dream hair. I read the reviews on Look Fantastic and various blogs and the following morning washed my hair and followed my usual haircare routine. Did I notice any difference? Not immediately, the texture of my hair was vastly improved though and I was left with smooth and silky hair. I've noticed this hasn't irritated my hair or prevented the colour to fade any quicker. With continual use I can definitely say that the overall appearance of my hair has improved. In terms of my scalp, it doesn't irritate but my scalp is so sensitive I feel I need another shampoo to help this. Leave your recommendations down below girls.

Then it's onto the wonder two, both by Oribe (pronounced Orr-bay but I always want to say Or-reeb) and the first is their Volumista Spray, I picked this up in a recent Space NK haul after going to great lengths deciding between this and their Maximista Spray. Of course Anna recommended the Volumista and used it in her haircare routine video so I was sold. I use this post shower on damp hair, brush through then dry. The end result is a bigger blowdry than usual, nothing out of this world and I don't look like something out of John Frieda advert but it gives enough to make way for step 2... Which is of course the Dry Texturising Spray and girls, if you don't have this, buy it, buy it now! I've tried many volumising sprays, mousses and creams and nothing really does it like this does. A large bottle of this will set you back around £40 but if you're tired of searching for The One like I was, then this really is an investment. I use this as a finishing spray on first day hair to give my hair more volume and then on second day hair as a dry shampoo and it's enough to last me to day 3 before washing my hair. I particularly like using this on curled hair brushed out, backcombed a bit and sprayed to create a full bodied hair-do. I've not yet got the hair girls would dream of (search: Cheryl Cole) but with this current haircare routine, who knows.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial

I recently placed a Space NK order - it was payday - and in the haul I picked up this gem. My evening skincare has really been lacking in something lately, I pack on the hydrating products but there just doesn't seem to be anything that really makes a difference to the level of dehydration in my skin until now. I picked this up on various blogger recommendations and after multiple testers in store, I knew I had to have it. The Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial is a hydrating oil that I use post cleanse, pre moisturiser which claims to "firm and smooth out lines and uneven textures, helping to repair daily damage and imparting a healthy, dewy glow" and boy does it really work. My skin was in a dire state when I first purchased this, my skin was dehydrated, especially on my chin which was flaking and I had various breakouts but with continuous use every evening, my skin looks healthier, clear and glowing. I'd recommend this for any dry skin ladies who are the same as me and tired of tight, dehydrated skin. This stuff is expensive but comes in super sleek & travel friendly packaging and in my eyes £45/15ml for a good facial oil really is a small price to pay. I take one pump, rub together in my hand to warm up the oil and apply to my face and neck - one pump is all it takes. I find post cleanse it sits well on cleansed skin under my evening moisturiser and the next morning, it's like I was never a dry skin girl.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Therapie Himalayan Detox Salts

When these came through my postbox, I ran straight to the bath. Therapie kindly sent me a 100g pouch of their cult Himalayan Detox Salts* and after hearing their wonder claims to promise a good nights sleep, I couldn't wait to give them a go. I've had a rubbish time lately and my sleep has largely been affected so puffy eyed and exhausted, I ran myself a bath. In terms of the bath itself, the salts don't really do much in the bath except melt away and leave you in clear water. I followed the instructions, soaked my worries away for 20 minutes then got out and let myself dry "naturally". Now it's onto the sleep, did they work? They definitely did. I'll admit I did get up in the middle of the night to use the toilet but aside from that, I felt straight back to sleep after and had no worries sleeping at all or waking up in the middle of the night. I find these make you feel really drowsy and with the use of the bath salts, I had one of the best nights sleep I've had in a while. They're pricey, there's no denying that but for anyone that really struggles with sleeping or insomnia it's definitely worth an investment. The 100g pouch is great little starter for anyone who, like me, was skeptical and just thought it was all hype. All you need is a generous handful added to a hot bath and all your sleeping troubles are washed away...

Monday, 3 March 2014

Skincare Newbies

When these came through my letterbox, I couldn't wait to try them. It's no secret to anyone how much I love REN and considering my skin is in such a sorry state at the moment, I hoped these would give me the pick me up I needed. My first and favourite item I received was the Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser*. This is a typical hot cloth cleanser, the rich white cream smooths over the skin effortlessly and removes make up so easily. The cream is practically odorless and so gentle on the skin, if anything I find it really soothes the skin and once removed, the cleanser doesn't strip the skin and my face feels so refreshed. This also comes with a flannel which really removes every last scrap of make up, it's one of the best flannels I've actually used and definitely think REN should sell these separately. This is a lovely alternative to my cleansing balm on a morning, it's the perfect morning cleanser.

Now onto the V-Cense Youth Vitality Day Cream* and V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream*, a morning and evening combo which I've been reaching for daily in order to soothe my skin and pack it with lots of hydration. Both these creams are very similar, they come in a pump tube and both have the same scent - I will be honest and say I'm not really keen on the scent but once it's on the skin, this disappears very quickly - and have the same type of consistency. The night cream is formulated to hydrate the skin overnight and combat the first signs of aging. I can't really comment on the anti aging effect at the moment but for hydration this really does pack it. The day cream nourishes the skin just as well, sinks into the skin like a dream and acts as the perfect base for foundation. This combo really is the ticket for those dry skin girls and used in conjunction with the hot cloth cleanser, anyone can have soft, supple skin.

Have you tried anything from REN? What are your favourites?

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Monthly Favourites: February

February has been a bittersweet month, some good and some bad - mainly bad to be honest but I've got to pick myself up, dust myself off and get back on the saddle (so to speak). Anyway, here's hoping March isn't a rocky month and lets get onto the good stuff.

This months favourites pretty much accumulates what I've been wearing on my face all month. My first love this month has to be the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer and I really cannot rave about this enough! As someone who isn't familiar with primers, I couldn't believe how much I loved this. Yes this is your typical silicone primer which I usually stay clear of, I've tried Benefit's Porefessional and the Maybelline primer which are so thick in silicones it ended up in disaster, my make up smeared all over my face and left me a streaky patchy mess with my skin feeling awful. The beauty of the Hourglass primer is that, yes it does have your silicones in it but it seems to adhere to the skin so well and acts as the most perfect base for your foundation. Will I be purchasing this full size? Yes I will, it's an eye watering £50+ but I'm on a miniature sample that's lasted me since I got it and for something that works that well, it's worth every penny.

Alongside the primer, I've been using the Chanel Pro Lumiere Foundation. When I first bought this, I will admit I didn't know if I liked it. I found that on some days it oxidised on my skin and stuck to every dry patch in sight but since using this with the Hourglass primer and a good moisturiser, there's no dry patches in sight and my skin looks absolutely flawless. The smell of this reminds me of apricot Petit Filous which means it's a pleasure to apply too. If you've got normal/combination skin or have some dry skin, I'd give this a go but for those with oily skin, stay clear.

Next up are the products that have really been making my make up look during February. I first picked up the L'oreal Miss Manga Mascara after spotting it in Superdrug, I hadn't read much about it and I'd only seen the advert once on TV but the look of the brush really attracted me. I've been loyal to my Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes mascara for a very long time but at over £20 a throw, I needed a cheap alternative. This lasts all day, separates the lashes out to give the same doll eyed effect as the Lancome mascara and it's so easy to remove with my cleansing balm. Who knows if this will replace my love for Lancome but for now it's running in close 2nd.

Then is the beloved Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion - ladies if you don't have one of these, go get one. Even my auntie who isn't clued up with make up applied this and swooned, they really are that beautiful. Swatches don't do them justice but get a make up artist to apply it and you'll fall head over heels. I've a long love affair with Hourglass and all their products are amazing but this really is the peachy lovers dream.

And finally it's the nude lip, Mac's Hue has been gracing my lips at every possible opportunity. I love the finish of these, quite sheer and moisturising but it can be built up for a more pigmented fuller look. Mac lipsticks to me are a minefield but this is a trusty nude shade I know suits my skintone and doesn't make me look like a corpse...
That's always a bonus right?
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