Wednesday, 29 June 2016

I Got Lip Fillers!!!

I had looked into lip fillers a few years ago but dismissed it pretty quickly due mainly to the fact that a  lot of what a was seeing was bad jobs and the potential side effects.
I could easily over line my lips with liner and even out my mouth but recently I was getting bored of that and decided to look into lip fillers once again.
I got them done at Destination Skin where I'd originally gone into to ask about the Obagi Blue Radiance Peel and saw that they had lip enhancement on the treatment menu.
I absolutely knew I wanted Juvaderm as it feels more natural, the other option was Restylane which is "harder" and more noticeable.

Disclaimer - Why I Got Them Done
There's always a stigma behind getting any cosmetic procedure done to your face and while I'm not against it I'm not for it either if it's done for the wrong reasons or it gets out of hand and you don't know when to stop.
Don't get lip fillers or any other cosmetic procedure done if your doing it to please other people, because it's a trend or because you think you're ugly without them.
Do it for a confidence boost by all means but if you aren't happy with yourself getting your lips done isn't the answer.
I'm a pretty confident person when it comes to the way I look and have no problem going out in public with a bare face my hair scraped in a bun and wearing my gym gear.
Having plumper lips won't change than and neither will it give me a confidence boost because my natural lips are not something that make me self conscious, now give me a nice bit of adult acne and it's a whole different story...
I'm naturally quite a lazy person when it comes to beauty maintenance and in the same way that I have my keratin hair smoothing treatments done so that I can wash my hair without the need to blow dry it,  epilate my legs, arms and underarms once a week so that I don't have to shave every day I decided to give lip injections a try so that I don't have to line my lips on a daily basis, it's that simple!

The Consultation
I explained to the nurse how I feel like the sides of my top lip flip inwards and that I usually end up over lining my lips to give more symmetry and to even out the fullness so that it matches my bottom lip.
She explained straight away that someones natural lip shape is all to do with the teeth and natural bone structure of the face and that can have an effect on how your lips look.
I have both open bite and a slight overbite which I know is the reason why my top lip isn't even so this wasn't a surprise to me.
She explained how she can just even out the sides to give a more symmetrical look and that luckily I have a defined edges and cupids bow so it's an easy "fix" so to speak.
She also explained how most people go in with a certain expectation of how their lips will look like right from the get go and on some it will take more than one sitting to achieve that.
She then when through all the things that could go wrong and that it's not a pretty procedure and that swelling, bruising and the general feeling of being slapped in the face is to be expected.
Once you've had the consultation you are then given the option of either mulling it over for a few days or going ahead right there and then which is what I did.
I decided on the later because I knew that if I walked out there without getting my lips done I would have talked myself out of it. Not so much out of fear but more because for me it's not essential to me, I can change the shape of my mouth with lip liner and lip fillers for me are more of a "time saver" if the shape is always there then I don't have to create a new one when I do my makeup in the morning.

Once I'd confirmed that I was okay to proceed she slapped on a nice generous coat of numbing cream all over my lips and surrounding mouth area and left it on for about 20 minutes while we filled out paperwork. The numbing cream is lethal and you can feel it work almost straight away and all I could think about the whole time was "don't get any in your mouth or you'll have a numb tongue" and who wants that?
To be honest the whole numbing process is enough for me to know that the chances of me having this procedure done again are slim to none, I know that sound wimpy or whatever but it's just not pleasant.

The Actual Procedure
I braced myself for the first injection and felt absolutely nothing, okay let me re-phrase that, I felt the tiniest of nicks but on a scale of 1 to 10 it's about a two.
Then you feel the Juvaderm go in and without a doubt it's the weirdest part of the procedure by far, it's not painful or un-comfortable just very odd.
Now here's the worst part of the treatment, when the lidocaine sets in you lips go completely numb (the numbing cream is nothing in comparison) and you don't feel a thing which you'll be thinking "great, I don't want to feel a thing" but for me it was a big massive negative and one of the things that would put me off having it done again.
I couldn't feel the nurse touching my lip and I could no longer feel the product going in, I felt completely alien, as if one or more of my senses had been switched off and I didn't like it one bit!
Six to eight injections later and I could already see a couple of bruises forming and my lips where swollen but that is completely normal and something you need to be prepared for, this is not a lunchtime procedure and there will be some downtime required.
My lips bled a fair amount but not as much as I would have thought they would and I could tell straight away that I'm a "bruiser" good job I had the week of work!

What Did She Use On Me?
The nurse used 1ml of Juvaderm 3 which is an hyaluronic acid based gel that is naturally broken down by your body over the course of 3-6 months.

Fun Fact: hyaluronic acid is naturally present in our bodies and works as a moisture magnet to retain up to a 1000 times it's weight in water. It's also present in most high tech serums and moisturisers and is the quickest and most effective way of saying goodbye to dehydrated skins.

Before pic: just goes to show how good I am with lip liner!
The right side of my mouth completely slopes down so I have to over line to even it out.

After pic: don't be fooled, the bruising and swelling was way worse in person!
I could have given Donal Duck a run for is money!

Immediately Afterwards
My lips look super swollen and I can see a couple of little bruises appearing on either side but I can see that the shape is evened out, I can't wait to see how much worse they look the next day which is when most of the bruising makes an appearance.
I know that this isn't the final look and that they will de-puff a fair bit over the next two weeks but at the same time it's quite hard to visualise what your gonna look like when at the minute you looked like you've been punched in the mouth!
They feel kinda numb the whole day which again is quite normal but they aren't particularly painful unless I pucker my lips and surprisingly eating and drinking is okay even though I feel like I'm being overly cautious.

Day 1 
I woke up to cartoon lips, they where that swollen! It can be quite alarming but I was told to expect this, they also felt quite hard and the left side of my lip is bruised. I'm surprised that I've had no pain, uncomfortable definitely but pain wise I've had nothing.
Because I have no shame I went out in public, in broad daylight looking like this and without a shadow of a doubt people either think "she's had her lips done" or "she got in a fight on the weekend" because my mouth does not look normal at the moment.
I can move my lips as normal eating, drinking and talking is fine but I find when I'm brushing my teeth I'm being so overly cautious as to not catch the inside of my mouth.
This is also piss take day where my sister as done nothing but make quack sounds and tell me I look like a duck, thanks!

Day 2
I'm definitely less swollen today than I was yesterday and my lips feel a lot softer and more pliable, I can roll my lips together and they don't feel "normal" in the slightest!
The bruise is still there and is probably going to be there for the next few days but I can cover it quite easily with lipstick. Speaking of lipstick, I tried my usual lip liner on today and my lips looked indecent, like we are talking pornstar mouth! So it's safe to say that I will be opting for the less is more approach until the swelling as gone down completely.
I'm also having to apply lip balm far more than I did before but I think its because my lips are just extremely dry from the trauma cause by the procedure.

Swelling is definitely slowly going down but I still look like I've been slapped in the face and the bruising is still there but now fading from purple to a nice shade of red raw.
The most concerning thing at this point as that they still feel "hard" I think this is the part that I wasn't prepared for, they feel kinda rubbery and I'm hoping that this feeling will go away.
Look wise I just can't make my mind up, when I look in the mirror I feel like I look so different and not like myself, but at the same time I don't dislike them. One thing I do love is how smooth my lips look, I have always had the kind of lips that look wrinkled even when they are not but this procedure as completely changed that.

Day 7
They are starting to look somewhat normal but still feel kinda numb and very rubbery.
There still some swelling but most of it as gone down but the still look rather ridiculous when I wear lipstick.
Without lipstick, I personally think they don't look bad but my mom and sister hate them!
With lipstick they still look huge but not completely ridiculous like they did at the beginning of the week, Jenna Jameson job is safe, lol.
People I know can quite clearly tell that I've had my lips done but wont actually ask me about them which is quite funny, they just stare.
It's fine people, ask away, it's not like I'm gonna lie about having them done!

Two weeks 
It's taken a full two week for them to feel normal and all of the swelling as now gone leaving me with a noticeably plumper pout that does not look fake or over the top, or at least to me it doesn't.
Obviously if you look at before and after pictures there's a difference but then again who would have them done for them to look exactly like they looked before?
I most definitely do not need to over line my lips any longer but the best part is that they look symmetrical without me having to do anything to them!

Final Thoughts
I suppose the first thing I should address is would I have them done again?
Honestly, as of right now, I don't know! I do really love the way they look, especially when I'm not wearing any lip products, I would never have not worn liner and lipstick for work before this procedure whereas now I'm quite happy with just balm or a clear gloss.
However I am not sure if the cost and the downtime is really worth it for me. Despite being warned I really struggled with the first two week of having them done, I was expecting them to go down and feel normal so much quicker than they actually did.
The deal breaker here will be how long they last, the first time you get them done they supposed to last 3-6 months depending on how quickly your body breaks the hyaluronic acid. The second time you have them done they should last 4-8 months, third 9-12 months because your lips will have a slight build up of product as it can actually take up to 18 months for all of the product to go.
I feel like if I can get a good 6 months out of this set then I might just get them topped up but anything less than that and I don't think I can psyche myself up for another two weeks of discomfort, what can I say I'm a baby!

Would I recommend them to you? Yes, but only if you are getting them for the right reason and know your limits!
If your getting them for a confidence boost, great! Maybe you love lipstick and you just want bigger lips, cool! You have an un-even lip line that you want to fix, brilliant!
But if you are completely un-happy with yourself and your image then this isn't the answer.
Also be prepared that they might not look like you thought they would and that it may take more than one session to get the lips you want.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Kiehl's Aromatic Mist in Fig Leaf & Sage & Vanilla & Cederwood

I'm a huge fan of Kiehl's skincare (especially the Calendula Foaming Cleanser) but have never really tried any of the fragrances, actually to tell you the truth I wasn't even aware that they did fragrances!
So while I was browsing one of their counters the other day I came across their line of Aromatic Mists and was immediately drawn to these two scents purely on description alone.

Fig Leaf & Sage
A stimulating fusion of Fig Leaf and Sage with underlying hints of bergamot, citron and thyme. 
The notes of fig conjure up images from the south of France with it's lush countryside, where and unusually distinctive fig essence renowned for it's uniquely fresh green, crisp scent is found. 
this fig aroma was blended with the essence of herbaceous sage, an evergreen herb with a sweet nutty scent, evocative of the northern Mediterranean coast.

I adore most fragrances that have fig as a main note so picking up a bottle of this was a no-brainer but actually it's very different to all the other figgy scents I love.
The fig in Kiehl's Fig Leaf & Sage is very sweet and warm, more fruit than leaf if you ask me whereas the likes of Dyptique Philosykos are very green, fresh and distinctly leafy. 
When you first spritz it though the first note that hits you is the sage, it's strong and very aromatic but completely disappears within the first 10 minutes. As for the other notes in the description they are practically non-existent so this is pretty much fig and nothing else which I love but not everyone does.

Vanilla & Cedarwood 
A seductive fusion of Ugandan Vanilla and Cedarwood, heightened with a hint of iris, which gives way to rich amber. 
The creamy vanilla in our blend owes it's unique aromatic character to the exotic vanilla orchid grown on small, sustainable farms in Uganda.
This warm and sensual aroma was fused with smokey cedarwood to add a complex, balsamic character reminiscent of tobacco farms in the southern United States.

Vanilla is probably my favourite note in a fragrance followed very closely by tonka bean however it can be very cloyingly sweet and overpowering. Vanilla and cedarwood as the creaminess of vanilla but without the cavity inducing sugariness which is balanced with the best cedarwood note I've sniffed so far. 
Cedarwood usually gets right at the back of my throat and makes me sneeze uncontrollably for hours, this one doesn't and isn't as sharp or dry as most other cedarwood scents.
If you like Chanel Coromandel or Dyptique Eau Duelle you will love this one!

I will say that they are probably not the best fragrances when it comes to longevity on the skin and they are quite basic, lacking the complexity of most of the other fragrances that I own and love but having said that I still love them!

The whole range of Kiehl's fragrances can be found on the Kiehl's website and retails for £25.50

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Best Of Becca Blushed Radiance

I'm back!!! I think I officially win the award for most sporadic blogger of the year, actually make that century!
Basically life got really busy and blogging took a backseat. I went on holiday at the end of March and when I got back I was offered a new job and I've been busy with that ever since also I've been feeling un-inspired, there are so many blogs out there that it's hard to write without sounding like a million others.
On a side note and I think I've said it before, you can't have a full time job and a full time blog it's just impossible!
So I'm back and back with a good one because I have some Becca goodness to talk about.

Today we are talking about the Becca Blushed Radiance Kit which includes a selection of radiance boosting minis which are perfect for travel.
Speaking of travel I picked this up with the sole purpose of bringing it on holiday with me because it includes small sizes of two of my favourite products, the Backlight Priming Filter and Opal Highlighter.

The products are tiny, smaller than I thought they would be but if you've ever used a Becca product you'll know that a little goes a long way so they should last a while, especially the powder products.
Lets get onto the individual products.

Backlight Priming Filter 
More than just a primer, it's the secret behind the iconic BECCA glow. Infused with three unique filtering luminescent pearl, this lightweight fluid crates a smooth canvas and acts as an instant filter. Blurs imperfections and gives skin a healthy, luminescent glow.

I already have the full size and love it! It gives the skin a healthy radiant glow without looking overly shimmery or shiny. One of the best primers money can buy and especially good for dry, dull skin types.

Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight - Moonstone

A sheer liquid highlighter that veils skin in a soft pearlized glow. Apply to targeted areas including cheek bones, brow bones and bridge of nose.

I've never been a fan of liquid highlighters and this is not exception. Don't get me wrong, if you like a subtle sheen to the skin than this is great but I like an intense shimmer and liquid or cream products are just too light for me.
I'll probably end up using this mixed into my foundation to add radiance.

Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed - Opal
A creamy luminous powder that veils skin in a soft pearlized glow with a lustrous velvet finish. Sweep across face or apply to targeted areas including cheekbones, brow bones and bridge of nose. 

If there's one thing you should get from the Becca Range it's her powder highlighters, they are a cult product for a reason! Opal gives an intense shimmer to the cheekbones and the texture is super creamy and easy to blend.
I have a full size of Opal so this baby one will be kept exclusively for travel.

Mineral Blush - Flowerchild
A delicate powder blush. Create perfect cheeks with this effortlessly buildable formula that features micro-fine minerals and antioxidant vitamins to achieve a naturally flushed look for all skin types, even the most sensitive.

I've never tried a Becca blush before now but I have to say I'm really impressed! The pigmentation really surprised me because I expected it to be really sheer and it wasn't, I tiny little dab was all I needed and the lasting power was great too.
Flowerchild would suit most skintones as the peachy pink hue is pretty neutral but on darker skin tones it might look a tad bit ashy.

Best Of Becca Blushed Radiance retail for £28 and can be found on Cult Beauty.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Foundation Friday: Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer

When this foundation first launched at the beginning of last year I had absolutely no desire to try it, something about it screamed gimmick. The whole 2in1 foundation/ concealer thing is very rarely ever done right and the doe foot applicator just didn't do it for me.
Add that to the fact that I never have been able to find a shade of Clinique foundation that suits my skin and you can't blame me for avoiding this.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when my skin decided to once again go ape shit crazy on me and break out like it's never broken out before I did what I always do and started searching for a fuller coverage foundation.

On a side note: I had to pay a visit to my doctors because acne at the ripe old age of 32 is just plain wrong and it's starting to get me down! The lovely GP could have cared less really because "skin problems" aren't really an illness and prescribed me Duac, this is after I explained that I already use benzoyl peroxide and it dries me out which is why I can't use it anymore.
Five days into using Duac and my skin is clearer but also drier than a 90 year old nun's vagina so I guess I'm back to square one!
Thank you NHS!

Getting back on topic, I started doing my research and this Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation kept popping up and most of the reviews where all positive so off I trotted to my nearest counter in search of a sample.
I used that sample once and bought the full sized bottle the very next day! I was blown away at how it made my skin look because considering it's full coverage it still looks like real skin and for once they have my shade!
Please Clinique, if you are reading this, NEVER DISCONTINUE THIS PRODUCT!

Shade Selection 
There are 21 shades ranging from very fair to moderately deep however most of them run on the peach/pink tone, that's not to say they don't have yellow tones but theres few and far between.
I was able to find a match with Linen and Golden Neutral would be perfect for when I'm tanned.
From what I can understand the shade range is divided into 3 groups: P is for pink undertones, N for neutral and G for golden however I would say the neutral shades are more yellow and the golden shades are more peach.

Bottles nice and what you would typically expect from Clinique but I'm not a fan of the doe foot applicator, for me it just makes it messier and I would have rather had a pump.
Still, it's what inside that counts so I can live with it!

Coverage & Finish
Clinique I don't know how you have done it but you managed to create the most full coverage foundation on the market that still looks natural and skin like!
I need the tiniest amount for it to cover everything, blemishes, un-even skin tone, hyper pigmentation I mean the lot and the best part is that you can't see it on the skin!
You can also use it as a concealer though I choose not to as I love my Urban Decay Naked Concealer too much to give it up but I've tried it under the eyes and it works really well.

I tried it with a buffer brush and that was way too much coverage for me however it still looked natural.
I liked it with the beauty blender which probably gives the sheerest amount of coverage but I do think a stippling brush works best for this.

Think the lasting power of Double Wear and then multiply it by ten and even then you're still not even close to how well this lasts!
I can put this on in the morning and it will look the same, I mean EXACTLY THE SAME when I go to remove it in the evening.
It doesn't budge and that means my blusher, bronzer and any other face product that I'm wearing stay looking fresh too.
Hands down the longest lasting foundation I've tried and believe me when I say I've tried loads!

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Conceal retails at £25 and you can check it out on the Clinique website.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream

RMS claim that their coconut oil is extracted using a special technique (unlike refined or cold pressed) which keeps the lauric acid contained within the product intact. They don't go into detail as to what this process but whatever it is it works because this is infinitely better than the usual coconut oil you cook with.

My preferred method of usage is as a cleanser, it will quite literally melt off even the most stubborn make up in seconds flat and unlike other coconut oils it removes easily without leaving a filmy residue just soft happy skin.
As a facial moisturiser it's okay but I do prefer argan oil for that purpose and while I love using coconut oil as an hair treatment this is  far too premium to waste so get the cheap stuff for that!
Texture wise it's not as heavy as cooking grade coconut oil, feels a lot smoother and not as lumpy so I guess you do get what you pay for here in terms of quality.

So if like me you are crazy enough to spend £12.50 on "fancy" coconut oil then give the RMS one a try!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Kiehl's Creme De Corpse Grapefruit Whipped Body Butter

For some strange un-fathomable reason my skin as been dry this winter, I'm talking sahara dry to the point where it feels rough and feels tight and itchy.
I've always been more on the normal to slightly oily side so I've not adjusted well to this new skin change and I'm not a big fan of putting on lotion because I find them sticky and the application quite frankly bores the tits off me. 
So the fact that I've had to start applying cream to my arms and legs as not been welcomed and I started searching for something that I would enjoy using.

I've know about the Kiehl's Creme De Corpse Whipped Body Butter a while ago but the price tag was keeping me from making a purchase until I found the grapefruit scented version in the Selfridges January sale for £16, bargain!
I'm glad I waited and didn't pay full price! Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely product but at £36 it's so very overpriced for what is quite a basic but very pleasant moisturiser. 

As you can see I kind of looks like butter, like the kind you put on your toast in the morning but thankfully nothing like it in texture.This cream is pretty much spot on and somehow manages to be thick and very moisturising without the sticky or greasy feel that I hate so much. 
It's easily absorbed, makes my skin feel velvety and the grapefruit smells is very refreshing but if I'm paying almost £40 for a body product of any kind I want it to do more, be anti-ageing or something.

This is very simple moisturiser which I will enjoy using up and wouldn't complain if I recieved it as a gift but won't be buying again myself!

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Foundation Friday: EX1 Cosmetics Invisiwear Liquid Foundation

As a naturally ghostly white Italian girl I can understand the struggle of finding a good foundation for my skin tone. Being pale means most visits to a beauty counter end up with me being colour matched to a lovely undertone of pink when I'm actually very yellow which usually means me having to choose my own foundation shade.

This is where EX1 Cosmetics steps in because every product they do is catered for mediterranean or asian skin tone which naturally pull very yellow or olive.
I come across their foundation some time last year and instantly loved it and have since tried a few of their other products.
Invisiwear is a lightweight, light diffusing foundation that is oil and fragrance free and gives a natural, undetectable "second skin" finish and I would have to say that those claims are all true.

shades 100, 200 & 300 with flash

shades 100, 200 & 300 in natural day

Shade Selection
Not the best but at least they do have a light shade to suit us fair skin people. Out of the five shades I picked up three because at the time I'd been on holiday and my skin tone was constantly changing.
Because of the limited colour selection you might need to pick up a couple and mix them but they are affordable enough to do so.

Very pretty and surprisingly high end looking! I'm a sucker for anything rose gold so this was right up my alley.
The pump isn't the best because occasionally it can be a bit stiff to use but I'm prepared to overlook that.
I also love how as you use the product the mechanism in the bottle pushes the product upwards so you can see exactly how much product you have left.

Coverage & Finish 
It as a thick gel/cream texture which I really enjoy and this is a solid full coverage which can be sheered out either by applying less or mixing it with moisturiser.
For such high coverage it looks surprisingly natural on the skin and dries down to a satin finish.
Another good point is it doesn't catch on any dry patches or accentuate un-even texture on my skin so it gets an A+ for that!

This foundation works well with pretty much every method of application, buffer brush great, stippling brush excellent, but applying with a beauty blender makes it look seamless and gives it a little bit of an added glow.

Good enough to rival Estee Lauder Double Wear, in fact probably a little bit better! I can apply this in the morning and it will look exactly the same 12-14 hours later when I go to remove it, with NO touch ups!

It isn't as readily available as other brand especially if you live outside of the UK but both lookfantastic and beautyexpert carry the range and usually have 10% off and FREE shipping!