Tag Archives: Beauty

Beauty Review: bareMinerals Prime Time

24 Jan

Primers are those secretive little creatures that many have heard of but few know their intentions. I’ve only recently been introduced to the primer world and my oh my what a wonderful world it is.

You may think it a gimmicky, nonsense tool conjured up by the beauty companies for you to part with yet more of your pennies pounds on purchasing yet more make-up products. I thought the same, until I tried it out.

I’ve tried some 2-in-1 type primers before; where you get a foundation or a serum which includes a primer base within it but it wasn’t until I went the whole hog that I realised the true benefit of these curious critters.

I heard some great reviews for bareMinerals Prime Time so popped it on my Christmas wish list. Luckily, Santa my sister listened and I received a whole host of make-up goodies on 25th December including the gorgeous little black box of magic.
bareMinerals Foundation Primer Review

I tried it out straight away on Christmas morning. After the daily routine of cleansing, applying eye cream and moisturising I then delved into the teeny package. I really like the pump bottle of this product. One full pump is all you need for a complete, even layer for your entire face and neck. So, you know you’re using the right amount each and every time. No wasters here!

The texture is silky smooth and ultra-lightweight. It’s a creamy, serumy consistency that isn’t sticky or greasy and soaks into your skin quickly.

Once applied, you won’t see a huge, if any, difference to your skin. It’s only when you then apply your foundation that the true magic of this beauty bottle appears like a genie from the lamp.

With Prime Time you need a lot less foundation than you used to. A little smidgen of foundation goes a long way thanks to the silky base. Your foundation appears a lot more smoother and diminishes dryness, fine lines, blemishes and excess oil.

The pink, almost glittery colour exemplifies the true meaning of the ‘light-reflecting particles’ phrase so many beauty companies try and fob you off with. It really shines through to create a bright, healthy-looking glow. It helps to create a more natural look whilst simultaneously helps to cover up blemishes and dark circles more easily.

As with all bareMinerals products, it’s a mineral based formula meaning it doesn’t sit heavily on your skin and lasts a heck of a lot longer than most other brands.

bareMinerals Foundation Primer Review

Although small, it’ll last a lifetime*. I’ve used this most days since Christmas and it still feels pretty full.

It really is foundation’s long-lost soulmate. I don’t know how I every coped without it before now. I will never use foundation without using primer first, and that is a vow. Think of them as Richard and Judy, Ant and Dec, Hayley and Roy, Leon and June (you know, off Gogglebox); one simply doesn’t exist without the other by its side.

* Ok, well not exactly a lifetime, but a really, really long time.

~x~

Beauty Review: Santa’s Lip Scrub

17 Dec

My lips get awfully dry and tight in the winter. With dead skin falling off likes leaves from the trees, it’s certainly not a good look as you pucker up under the mistletoe. However, yanking it off just results in more pain, blood and an unruly stinging sensation – not so good for mistletoe fun either. With my lips taking a battering from the cold and bitter winds, applying lipstick also becomes a nigh-on impossibility as it just highlights my crackling lips even more *sob*. Then, as I was attempting to start my Christmas shopping earlier this month, I found this little miracle – Santa’s Lip Scrub by Lush Cosmetics.

Santa's Lip Scrub

You dab a teeny amount of the sugar scrub on your lips and rub generously to exfoliate and smooth away any dry bits. Made with caster sugar, coconut oil and extracts of cherries and dates, you scrub and soften to reveal truly kissable Christmas lips.

The coarse sugar works to buff away dry skin on and around your lips and smooth out any lumps and bumps on the softer parts, perfect for treating areas where the weather has dehydrated them and leaving a perfect base for a thick layer of hydrating lip balm before you go to bed or just before you put on your lipstick so you don’t have any straggly bits for it to cling to.

The fizzy cola flavour tastes just like the sweet shop favourite and liking it off your lips is just as fun as applying it. It also comes topped with a few edible sugar hearts, which is a really cute addition.

Santa's Lip Scrub Hearts

This festive treat is a perfect stocking filler for all beauty junkies out there, or just the dry-lip-types too. I happen to be both so I think I’ll keep this as a little Christmas present for myself! At £5.50 a tub, it comes in at a reasonable price and, as you only need a teeny bit per use, it will last you for ages!

With Lush, you know you’re getting a reliable product that isn’t filled with any harsh chemicals or artificial crap. It’s all natural goodness. I can’t step foot in that shop without sniffing and ooing at all the amazing, innovative stuff they have on offer.

They also have a limited edition ‘Santa Baby’ – a gorgeous cherry red lip tint. It dries a nice matte shade meaning minimal smudging or wearing off. It is the ideal partnership to go with your new scrub or a great little gift set for a friend for just over £10.

Lush also do an array of other flavours too such as, Popcorn, Bubblegum and Mint Julips. They all smell good enough to eat and do a great job in creating soft, kissable lips. Time to pucker up!

~x~

Beauty Review: E.l.f

8 Dec

Eyes lips face, or Elf cosmetics as it’s known, is an affordable online make-up brand. Although it’s based in New York, it has now reached international success, largely due to their website.

The inexpensive cosmetics line claims to sell high-quality products for a fraction of the price. So I put it to the test.

Benefit’s She Laq is a make-up miracle. I included it as one of my fashion and beauty essentials because I can literally not live without it.  If I didn’t have this beauty wonder, I would simply, point-blank refuse to put eye shadow on. You brush the magic little potion onto your eye-lids, leave to dry, and then apply your eye shadow. And that’s it, you are set for the day knowing at no point will your eye shadow run, fade, crease or disappear. It’ll be with you ’til the bitter end. Sadly, for some profound reason they have decided to discontinue this genius product. So, after hunting high and low for a replacement, I found this. And at £3.75 it’s more than £15 cheaper than Benefit’s so I gave it a go.

Elf Makeup Lock & Seal

True to word, this elf number is eye shadows’ little helper.

Unlike She Laq you apply the Makeup Lock and Seal on top of your eye shadow (alternatively, you can mix it in with the eye shadow but I prefer the former). When I first applied the product it stung – it really, really stung – so beware not to get it into your eye. It is a lot more watery and a lot less sticky than She Laq. I applied it onto black eye shadow first thing in the morning to monitor the staying power easily. It did keep my eye shadow on all day without much creasing, smudging or fading. However, because you apply it on top, or with, your eye shadow, it is a lot harder to use multiple colours. Although it’s certainly not as good as She Laq, it’s a very good alternative, and comes at a bargain price. Unlike She Laq it also increases the intensity of your makeup colours. Black eye shadow sometimes becomes a lot greyer when applied to the skin. Once you brush this over the top it instantly becomes jet black again, more exaggerated, defined and extreme. It dries really quickly and makes my eye shadow stay put. I’m so happy I’ve found an alternative, now I can wear eye shadows again!

Elf Contouring Blush and Bronzing Cream

One thing I hate about bronzers is that most contain shimmer/glitter which isn’t needed when you’re trying to create a contouring effect and only attracts unwanted attention to something that is meant to be an illusion. When I saw this contouring set I immediately hit the purchase button. They have two palette options; I went for the St. Lucia colour.

The bronzer is completely matte and creates that perfect shadowiness you need to create the effect of more defined cheekbones.  The cream is so much better than any other powders I’ve used. As you apply it with your fingers you can actually feel precisely where the hallows of cheeks are and therefore where best to apply it. It’s also so much easier to blend and build coverage, and you only need a smidgen to create a big effect – so this will last forever! The pinkier blush is to be applied on the apples of your cheeks and it subtly brightens up your face, creates further dimensions, and develops a healthier glow. For just £3.75, this is a makeup must-have – I love it!

Elf All Over Cover Stick

This All Over Cover-Stick is a lot smaller than I thought it would be. It only costs £1.50 so it’s still a true budget buy.  It’s way too thick to be used all-over as a foundation but it’s not light enough to conceal and highlight the under-eye area (I went for the lightest shade too). It’s more for larger problematic areas of the face you want to camouflage. It smells gorgeous and is really smooth and creamy but doesn’t blend too well and can stick to blemishes rather than hide them. It looks quite cakey and sits on the skin rather than sinks into it. For a better effect mix it with a serum or moisturiser on your hand and then apply for a silkier finish.

Overall, elf is full of gorgeous little creatures that give a great helping hand in your makeup routine. To visit the website just click here.

~x~

Beauty Review: Ojon

28 Nov

Ojon Review

After trying Ojon’s hair treatment a while back I have been an avid fan of all things Ojon ever since. They’re always running brilliant offers on their website and in selected stores (last year they ran a great promotion where you took in an empty bottle of shampoo or conditioner from any brand and swapped it for full sized bottles of their shampoo and conditioner set) so it’s always worth taking a peak at their website.

Last month they gave away a free full sized bottle of ‘Rare Blend Protecting Treatment’ (RRP:£23) when your bought any other product, and with postage being completely free, I couldn’t resist.

I’m a sucker for serums so this ‘Instant Restorative Hair Serum’ (RRP: £16) instantly caught my eye. My hair is ridiculously frizzy so I need all the help I can get in taming my mane. This 25ml bottle aims to strengthen hair against breakage, fix flyaways and tame frizz, as well as restoring shine and softness. After washing my hair and blot drying it with a towel I worked it through the ends of my hair. It comes with a little pipette so it immediately brings back fun memories of science class. At  first I thought this was a really handy bit of kit to ensure you’re always using the correct amount. Rather than an ambiguous ‘coin sized’ or ‘pea sized’ amount, with this, I thought, you just fill the pipette and you’ll know you’ve used the right amount every time. – Wrong. You should only apply one to two drops – not a whole pipette full! After re-applying the correct amount second time around, it left my hair silky smooth and it really did tame frizz and bring back the shine. It also makes it easier to style and looks more glossy and salon-like. It did, however, make my hair feel a little greasy and made it quite volume-less and flat so I would only apply a drop or two to the very tips of my hair in future.

Ojon instant restorative hair serum

So, onto my freebie. I straighten my hair everyday so I will always invest in anything that says ‘protect’ or ‘treatment’ to safeguard all the injuries caused. This spray bottle claims to help hydrate, condition and detangle to prevent breakage as well as protect hair from heat damage. With styling products you can see results instantly, however, when it comes to treatments and preventative products – results aren’t very clear. So it’s hard to say whether there is a noticeable difference or not. Nonetheless, I would recommend this product for all the good that it’s doing behind-the-scenes. It smells heavenly and keeps your hair moisturised without weighing it down. I shake it up and spray this all over my hair – from root to tip, just before blitzing it with the hair dryer. It smells good, looks good and does good.

ojon rare blend protecting treatment

And voila! With these two products I’m left with soft, shiny, fizz-less hair that’s nourished and healthy. Perfect.

For more about hair, click here.

~x~

Beauty: Aldi BB Cream

20 Nov

I’ve previously written about my love affair with the budget beauty buys offered in Aldi and Lidl so when Aldi asked if I would like to review their BB cream I was overjoyed.

When Aldi launched their first Lacura BB cream at the end of last year it immediately created a buzz in the beauty industry. However, I was too late in catching onto this beauty wonder that I never got to join in on the buzz. *sob*

Fortunately, Aldi have just announced that, due to popular demand, they are bringing their BB cream back – for one week only – starting from Thursday 21st November (that’s tomorrow!)

Aldi BB Cream

If you’re looking for a no-make-up-make-up-look, this is your fella. It’s really subtle and natural looking that it gives your skin that much-needed lift and brightness without having to cake the stuff on.

The creamy texture is ultra-light and silky, it absorbs into the skin easily and quickly without clogging up your pores or drying out your skin.

It comes in two different shades – Medium and Light. I went for the Light version, and my-oh-my it is a match made in heaven. It blends in with my skin tone seamlessly; there’s no orange lines left on my jaw line and it gives me that extra kick of colour without making me look like a TOWIE member or leaving me to look like a member of the Addams family.

Aldi BB Cream Review

The best thing about this product is that there’s a whole host of benefits. It combines 24 hour moisturiser with an SPF 15 UV protection along with soothing fine lines, concealing imperfections and brightening up your complexion.

The result is a really natural, fresh look that evens out your skin tone without changing your natural colour. It’s all about enhancing your skin rather than changing it. It’s more of a dewy effect rather than a matte finish and allows the natural dimensions of your face to shine through. For me, I need a little more help in the ‘concealing imperfections’ department. It hasn’t got a high enough coverage for me to wear it alone so I top it up with an extra thin layer of foundation and some concealer under my eyes.

However, this BB cream is ideal for the summer months. When I’m on holiday I tend to always go for a more natural look so this will be perfect for my beauty regime abroad. It will keep my sun-drying skin moisturised, it has the essential UVA/UVB filter system and gives my skin that extra lift so I look naturally sun-kissed.

Whichever BB cream you decide on, it’ll be low in coverage but high in skincare benefits. I’ve tried a great number of BB creams now and, I have to say, this is one of my fave. The texture wins it for me as it’s really creamy and light without being either too wet and oily or too dense and dry.

This is the ultimate cheater’s product – for the gals who want to look like they’re not wearing make-up but can’t bear not actually wearing any.

So, make a note in your diary now to get yourself down to Aldi sometime this week and stock up before it’s too late! Oh and did I mention it’s only £4.99! *bargain*

For more about Aldi’s beauty range head to: This page. 

~x~

Beauty Review: Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation

7 Nov

stay matte foundation advert

As the wind becomes cooler, the nights are extended and the frost begins to settle on our windows, it’s time to face the fact we are entering winter.

Bikinis have been thrown at the back of the wardrobe for their 7 month hibernation, sunglasses are sat in the drawer gathering dust and debris, and any sign of tan has been firmly wiped off my skin.

I love winter. We can stuff ourselves full of mince pies and Quality Street treats until we feel satisfyingly sick because we don’t have to worry about our bikini-bod-diet for a good 6 and a half months. We can blame our spots, frazzled hair and dry skin all on ‘ the changing of the weather’ – is that even a thing? And we don’t have to lather on the fake tan just so our legs look comparably normal to the sun-goers.

On my quest to embrace the winter spirit, I tootled down to the shops to renew my foundation colour. Even though I slap on the sun cream (to the subsequently slap on the fake tan), I do get a tinge of natural colour on my cheeks in the summer. As the months endure, my skin shade becomes lighter and more translucent by the second. The foundation I wore on my holiday won’t look or feel right once the minus temperatures kick in. It’s essential that when the season’s change your skincare and make-up routine changes too. The orange look of July is out and we welcome in the paler hues of December.

I chose to go with Rimmel’s new Stay Matte foundation in True Ivory 103.

Rimmel Stay matte Foundation Review True Ivory

My naturally shiny, spotty T-zone is mattified and camouflaged.  It’s ultra-light yet has a high coverage – perfect for me.

It states on the bottle ‘liquid mousse foundation’ and that’s exactly what it is. I’ve tried Maybelline’s Dream Matte Mousse, and although I really like the consistency and coverage, I found that it could sometimes dry out my skin quite a lot and leave me with odd little flaky bits peeling off my face. This however, is silky smooth without being oily, yet matte without being dense. I sometimes find liquids can be quite greasy, while mousses can be cakey. This is neither.

Serum or primer is a must pre-application of this foundation as I find that without these, the finish can be quite texturised and, although it covers spots amazingly, it can highlight small bumps on the skin and cling to healing blemishes. A small amount goes really far so you only need a smidgen for a full application, and it’s best to apply quite thinly (you can always add more!).

It gives an even, soft finish and you don’t need much powder as this does most of the shine-control work for you. It minimises redness of blemishes and softens dark circles almost as well as concealers, and feels powder-light. As the coverage is quite high you need to blend in some blusher to give a more natural look to your skin tone.

It stays put all day and, in my opinion, is one of the best foundations around at the minute. It only costs £5.99 and Boots often have great offers on for Rimmel to get some 3 for 2’s, price cuts or a free gift.

If you’re struggling to find a paler foundation that’s matte, has a good coverage and is a reasonable price, this is your guy. There are 6 different shades available, so go ahead and renew your foundation colour and embrace your winter shade!

Have you tried this product? Let me know what you think :)

~x~

Fashion: What does it mean to you?

6 Aug
 
In the eloquent words of Coco Chanel, “I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.” The power and importance placed upon the style industry, in today’s world, has subsequently sparked debate concerning the superficiality of fashion and its purpose within everyday life. With bountiful designs on the catwalk starting to be recognised as aesthetically pleasing pieces of ‘art’ – is it that clothes merely act as a materialistic surface or does the embodiment of style and trends reflect a connection with the deeper, inner self?
Characterised as the conscious arrangement of colours, shapes and movements in a manner that affects our sense of beauty, ‘art’ has naturally extended its scope to the sensational and innovative world of fashion. Through the fabrication of fascinating, evocative and avant-garde garments, designers strive to create beautifulness and magnificence; with the ultimate goal of producing a positive and up-lifting impact on the world we live in.

As a creation of beauty, it would be foolish to believe that fashion is not significantly established on a surface level – yet surely an emotional connection exists, as well?

Think about the spring in your step when parading a new pair of fabulous heels, or the excitement in the pit of your stomach when you catch sight of an incredible dress in a shop window! The power of fashion is how it makes us feel; it stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the conception we have of ourselves or the image we want to have. As Ralph Lauren expresses, “I don’t design clothes. I design dreams.” Without a doubt, the style industry is a world of imaginings and fantasy; one which has the capability to recreate new atmospheres and, so, manipulate our perception of the world and how the world sees us.

The notion of clothing as a means of communication with the outside world has meant that fashion has developed into a crucial part of self-realisation. For that reason, the way in which we choose to dress, directly functions as an extension of our personality. As individuals, we are proudly saying ‘this is who I am – this is my culture- this is my profession’, through the symbolic nature of fashion. Ultimately, the style world enables a person to break the barriers of conformism and, alternatively, connect with something that resonates within them. Fashion, unquestionably, is an expression of identity.

Even those who have little interest in fashion, what you choose to wear – unconsciously or otherwise – gives the people around you a sneaky peak into your personality and frame of mind. It’s true, how many times do we snuggle into a sweatshirt when we’re feeling relaxed and laidback?

It’s not about people being a slave to fashion; it’s the way in which fashion serves people. Miuccia Prada wisely reflects,“Fashion is an incredible instrument, because it’s an instant way of saying and seeing things. People on other fields envy the speed of fashion and its ability to capture things, and even if it’s superficial, it’s still telling you something.” It seems that the style industry will always amaze and inspire us through its glamour and sparkle, but only because it connects with the people they design for. In the face of fashion, identity is everything.

Do you agree?
~x~