Thursday, 31 December 2015

Simple Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser

So for some un-fathomable reason this winter my skin as decided to throw two fingers up at me and go crazy, going from reasonably oily to dry and dehydrated.
If this wasn't bad enough I've been getting the worst breakouts of my life and while I recon it's due to hormones I really don't want to be slapping on an heavy moisturiser and making the problem worse.

I've been nearing the end of my Zelens Hydro Shiso Balancing Moisturiser and while it's nice it's not £55 worth of nice so I started doing my research to find a replacement.
My research was pulling up some pretty expensive suggestions and I was in no mood to pay just shy of hundred squid for it not work the way I expected it too and have it sit in skincare graveyard or become expensive foot cream so I picked this Simple one up in Superdrug on a whim.

There are two versions of this lotion, a light and a rich, I picked up the rich because like I said my skin is hella dry at the minute and unlike it's lighter sister did not include mineral oil. I left the shop questioning my sanity as to why I just paid £2 for a day moisturiser and had already convinced myself it wouldn't work, what can a say I'm a skincare snob!

I used it the following morning for the first time and my initial reaction was to re-check the box because I thought I'd picked up the wrong one by accident, the texture is super light and absorbs instantly which I wasn't expecting from a moisturiser labeled as rich, I was able to put on my makeup straight away.
The second thing that struck me was the God awful smell, I know it's "scent free" but as with all un-fragranced products you get a whiff of plastic which are the chemicals in their raw state before they are masked with perfume.

Bad smell aside this moisturiser really works at a very basic level, you won't get anti-ageing, resurfacing or sun protection or any other benefits for that matter but just a steady level of moisturiser to protect and soothe the skin.
I was actually surprised how well this hydrated my skin throughout the day without causing me to produce excess oil and it actually helped keep my makeup on longer than usual so a well spent £2 if I say so myself!

Would I re-purchase?
Probably no, because for one it's a huge bottle so it will last me ages and I prefer a product more targeted to anti-ageing but for now, while my skin is having a tantrum I will continue using it.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Lush Fresh Face Masks

It's been years since I shopped in Lush and the only reason that I went in there a couple of weeks ago is that I had loads of empty pots to redeem for fresh face masks, if you aren't familiar with what I'm talking about it's basically their recycling scheme where you give them 5 empty pots in exchange for a face mask.
I was just going to pick up my usual favourites Cupcake and Brazen Honey but got distracted by the newer members of the Lush family and went with those instead, to be fair you can't go wrong with any of their masks.
Lush have two types of masks, the fresh kind which need to be kept refrigerated and used within 3 weeks and the preserved kind which have the usual 12 month expiry that most Lush products have so keep that in mind when making a purchase.

Here's what I got:

 Cup O' Coffee
As a coffee addict it was an absolute given that I would love this one based purely on the smell but luckily it also works as an effective exfoliator, not so much as a mask.
The "scrubby" particles are ground up coffee beans which make it quite an heavy duty exfoliant without scratching my skin and because off all the lovely essential oils it's really quite moisturising too. Even though this is not marketed to acne prone skin I have found that it as helped clear up the breakouts I've been having recently and my skin tone looks a lot more even than usual and it looks like an heavenly coffee desert, what's not to like?

Don't Look At Me
Another exfoliating mask but this one uses ground up rice and is a lot more deep cleansing than the Cup O Coffee. I find this one is quite good for pulling out all the impurities from the skin probably due to the high content of kaolin and leaves my skin looking brighter and a lot less oily which is probably down to all the fresh lemon juice and citrus oils which are naturally astringent and you get to look like an Avatar for 15 minutes!

Rosy Cheeks
I didn't expect to like this one as much as I do because I like my masks to be quite heavy duty and feel like they are doing something to my skin (I like to feel the burn) whereas this is very gentle and soothing. 
It feels very refreshing while it's on and it set like a traditional face mask making it a lot trickier to remove but it's worth the extra effort as it makes my skin look so bright, takes out any redness and doesn't strip my skin like most clay masks do.

On a sidenote, I didn't realise how much Lush had changed, there are so many new products!
The one thing I'm really keen to try is their tattoo balm as I've heard it's so much better than using Bepanthen and I might pick up a chunk of Porridge Soap for old time sake.

What are your favourite Lush products?

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick & Lip Scrub

I'm gonna be totally honest here but until a few weeks ago I didn't have a clue who Jeffree Star was let alone that he had is own product line, I stumbled upon him while looking for liquid lipstick videos up on YouTube. 
After doing some research I realised that his line of products are rather popular and since I'm a sucker for a liquid lipstick I decided to give his line a try, obviously the shades I really wanted where sold out so I went with my second choices.

Velour Lip Scrub - Strawberry Gum 
Holy crap this smells amazing! I'm actually not too sure if I should scrub my lips with this or get a spoon and eat it, it smells exactly like fizzy strawberry laces and they are one of my favourite sweets.
The packaging is the cutest thing I've ever seen and the jar feel secure enough where it won't leak all over the place like most lip scrubs do.
In terms of how well the product works this is without a doubt the best lip exfoliant I've ever used, the sugar is super fine which means it really slough off any dead skin and it's not oily which means it doesn't leave that weird greasy film on the lips that makes lipstick application become a mission.
My lips have been soooooooo dry this winter but one application of this as made them look normal again!

Velour Liquid Lipstick - Prom Night, Anna Nicole & Celebrity Skin
I'm about to make a pretty bold claim here but these are one of the best liquid lipstick on the market that I have tried thus far!
Unlike many of my other favourites which have a more moussey texture these are a true liquid which does make application slightly more tricky but totally worth it because once they are on they are on all day no matter what you do with you mouth, hey, no not like that, you filthy minded people, lol.
They feel completely weightless on and dry to a completely matte finish without sucking every little bit of moisture out your lips they also don't do that weird thing that most liquid lipstick do where they come off from the inside of the mouth first.
They wear pretty much all day, 6 hour in and it still looked freshly applied with minimal wear and that's after a couple of coffees and a light snack.
Packaging wise they are adorable and I'm not one for a lot of pink anything but the design just works so well and fits Jeffree Star to a tee.
One thing I don't like is the smell, it's straight up burnt plastic and it makes me gag but luckily it goes once the product is dry.

Prom Night

Hello Malibu Barbie lips! This is hot pink bordering on neon and I'm not usually a big fan of those sort of colours but I love this one.

Anna Nicole
This is a bright tomato red, in some lights it look more orange and in other lights it looks more crimson but it's a beautiful shade non the less. This is going to be a shade that I get more wear out of in the summer as it just screams holiday and sunshine.

Celebrity Skin
This is your standard beige nude shade that would work on most skin tones and I believe it's one of the most popular shades.
This is the kind of colour that I wear most days so it's a complete no brainer that I was gonna love this.
Also if you are familiar with nude liquid lipstick you will know that they have a tendency to apply and look patchy or wear un-evenly but this one doesn't do that.
On a side note my Celebrity Skin smells like Pepto Bismol and I'm not sure why, lol.

Get yours on the Jeffree Star website and they ship worldwide! 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Hall of Fame: Alpha H Liquid Gold

If there ever was an award for "product that I've used for the longest time" this would win it hands down! I've lost count of how many bottles of this miracle liquid I've gone trough and remember when the packaging used to be white and grey and there where only an handful of products in the range.

I originally picked this up to help fade any old acne scars and it worked a treat now I use it for it's glow giving properties, this is literally an overnight facial in a bottle.
After one single application you will notice smoother, brighter more luminous skin and your makeup will glide on like silk. With prolonged use fine lines and wrinkles will be softened, pigmentation will fade and the complexion will look clearer and more even toned.

I feel like this was the first of the "at home" AHA/glycolic acid type of products to be released on the market and for me still the best and I've tried everything! I always joke that Alpha H should be paying me commission because I recommend it to everyone, lol.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Foundation Friday: Chantecaille Just Skin Anti-Smog Tinted Moisturiser

Okay so first of all you may all have noticed that it's not Friday so yea, I'm late, sorry...
Secondly it's Foundation Friday and I'm featuring a tinted moisturiser, I kinda feel like it's cheating a little bit but the products a good one so it's worth a mention.

I remember a couple of years ago when this product had some major hype behind it mainly due to it being Millie Mackintosh base of choice, I tried it back then but didn't really think it was worth the £58 price tag.
Having tried it again more recently in a different shade I realised that the reason why I didn't like it the first time round was because of the colour match, Alabaster is just way too light for my skin. Having recently got it in a darker shade I can really appreciate the beautiful formula instead of focusing on me looking washed out.

First thing first: get a darker shade than what you think you need! My new shade Glow looks heaps darker than my skin tone when you first swatch it but once it's blended in it looks perfect, for some reason the lighter shades look so off on my complexion and make me look grey.
The formulation of this is quite phenomenal, it has a thick creamy texture but it blends so easily and gives the most natural, radiant finish to the complexion, they aren't kidding by calling it Just Skin it literally does but better and more even.
Coverage wise this is sheer but not so much so that it wont cover everything, it will even you out but you will still need concealer in areas where you need more coverage.
I also find this works great as a tinted primer as it makes foundation go on so much smoother and gives a more luminous finish.

So if you are in the market for a new tinted moisturiser and your crazy enough to pay silly amounts of money then look no further!
You can find Chantecaille Just Skin on Space NK

Review: Kaplan MD Perfect Pout Lip Mask & Balm Duo

The past few weeks my lips have been drier than the Sahara Desert and nothing I seem to be usingon them is working, even my BITE Beauty Agave Lip Mask is having no effect whatsoever, I mean nada!
I had heard about this product a while ago (apparently Jennifer Lawrence is a big fan) but didn't want to spend £60 on the full sizes so when I saw this little "try me" kit on Cult Beauty I had to get one.

I will say that my initial thought when I first got this was "damn, these are tiny" but after trying it for the first time I quickly realised you need so little product that you should get 20-30 applications out of the mask and probably far more with the lip balm.
They are way more generous than they look!

Before I tell you what I think of the product lets see what Kaplan MD have to say:

Dr Kaplan created Perfect Pout as a powerful, yet simple, solution to naturally fuller, more youthful lips. In just two simple steps, the LIP 20 Mask & Balm Duo works to:
  • Redefine the lip contour
  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles on and around the lips
  • Quench lips with intense cellular hydration
  • Exfoliate dry, chapped skin
  • Protect against sun damage with SPF 20 sunburn protection
  • Plump and enhance natural lip fullness

Lip 20 Mask
A luxurious gel-creme mask that instantly trasforms the lips. Papaya enzymes gently dissolve away dry, flaky skin while the exclusive complex of 22 certified organic extracts, marine collagen peptides and two types of hyaluronic acid plump the lip contour  and infuse the lips with intense cellular hydration.

Lip 20 Balm 
The first complete anti-ageing lip treatment that hydrates, repairs enhances natural fullness and protects with SPF20 - all in one.

Does it live up to it's claims?
Yes, it does but on a temporary basis. Now I will say that I've only used it 2-3 so it may be too early to judge it's long term, cumulative effects but it really does visibly plum the lip leaving them looking smooth, soft and just overall juicier than before. It also exfoliates effectively without irritating the lips.
The lip balm portion of this duo is nice enough but nothing special so if I do re-purchase (which is very likely) I will splurge on the full size mask alone.

How to Use:
Step 1 - Apply a generous layer of LIP 20 Mask to the entire lip contour and 1/2 inch beyond lip line. Expect a mild tingling effect. After 3-5 minutes, tissue off

Step 2 - Immediately follow with LIp 20 Balm to seal in hydration & protect with SPF 20 sunburn protection.

You can find Kaplan MD Perfect Pout Duo on Cult Beauty

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Foundation Friday: Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation

Like I've mentioned before I love the concept of a stick foundation but rarely do I find one that works for me. They generally tend to sit quite heavy and cakey and they never seem to "absorb"into the skin giving quite an un-natural plasticky look.
Sadly this is no exception!

I wanted to love this product so badly but it didn't work for me at all. Not only did it look very obvious on the skin but it didn't last for shit!
Two hours in and I was oily, we are talking "could fry an egg on my face" oily and I'd set with powder. Four hours in and the product had started to break down from around my nose and mouth, by the time I was ready to take my makeup off there was hardly anything left it had disapered, along with all my blusher and bronzer, I looked a mess!

If appearance and longevity wasn't bad enough this blocked my pores like nothing ever as before, a huge new spot every single time I wore this and loads of little whiteheads to go with it!

Now if you can get this product to work for you then brilliant, it does have some nice qualities. It blends easily, you don't need a lot of product and it's full coverage but the negatives far outweigh the positives for me on this occasion.

If you fancy giving this a try it retails for £29.50 on the Bobbi Brown website.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick

Hi guys, today we will be talking about Urban Decay's latest lipstick launch their Matte Revolution Lipsticks.
I live for a good matte lipstick but when these first launched a couple of months ago I had absolutely no interest for them based on the fact that when swatched they looked too glossy, I'm used to more of a liquid lipstick formula and those dry super matte.
However I kept seeing all the amazing reviews online and decided to go and try them properly, I love them but these are not matte by my standards!
I would say they are more of a satin finish which becomes more "matte" the longer you wear them, have complete, opaque coverage in one swipe, feel creamy and comfortable on, they don't dry out and get crusty looking and most importantly they do not dry out my lips.
Another major bonus is that they don't feather or seep into the lines of my lips which most other lipsticks do, once you apply these they stay on with minimal fading. Even after a cup of coffee most of it was there and the only place where it had faded and needed a touch up was the very centre of my lips.

The collection features 9 shades and while I liked most of them these two stood out the most for me:

This is always sold out and for good reason! It's a gorgeous darker nude leaning towards brown with a cool undertone. On my skin tone this should not work but somehow it does and I'm very pleased with it! 

I absolutely love this lipstick! I debated about getting this for a fair few week because I was worried that I would find it hard to pull off but I've worn it so much that I've actually made a considerable dent into it. 
It's the darkest lipstick I own, a deep blackcurrent shade with a strong purple undertone which looks amazing against fair skin. Completely unique to my collection and I'm glad I finally got it!

Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick retail for £15.50 and can be found on Urban Decay and Debenhams  

Monday, 30 November 2015

Lipstick Queen Cupid's Bow in Nymph

Lipstick Queen is one of those brands that I look at every time I'm in Space NK, swatch all the products, have a think about it but never actually pick anything up.
I was having a little browse the other day and these lip pencils caught my eye, in particular the shade Nymph as it looked like the perfect peach without being to pastel which washes me out.

I love the ease of application, these are essentially your lip liner and lipstick rolled into one, they have a super creamy texture but dry down to a satin finish, stay put all day and feel comfortable on the lips. 

They come in a selection of 8 shades and retail for £20 at Space NK 

Saturday, 21 November 2015

The £4 primer that really works! Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm

If you ever watched Nikkietutorials you will know how she's been raving about using this aftershave balm as a primer for months and for months I've been purposely looking right the other way, how could a product designed for men work well on us women?

I was wrong BIG TIME!

Not only is it an amazing primer it also works well as a light moisturiser/serum, you oily gals will love this!
The reason why it works so well as a primer is because of the high content of glycerin which will attract moisture and bind it to the skin, in turn this will help your makeup stick to your face and stay put all day.
I've tried a lot of primers and most the time I wonder why I even bother using them because they don't make a drastic difference to my foundation longevity but not with this Nivea Men Post shave balm.
My makeup wears like iron and where I would normally get shiny at the 4 hour mark I can go all day without any powder touchups, in addition to that my skin just seems to look healthier and more radiant when I use this product.

For the people who are concerned about smelling like a dude, don't worry it's not that bad! It's scented faintly of mens cologne, I barely even notice it and it dissipates within a couple of minutes.

One last bonus, it works as an excellent post shave balm for us girls too, I know who would have thought?
But no seriously, I hate shaving my legs because they get so irritated and dry afterward and no amount of lotion can fix it but this takes out the redness in seconds!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Foundation Friday: Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation Stick

I've never been a huge fan of stick foundations for one main reason: they are usually too greasy and slip of my face faster than Usain Bolt at the Olympics.
I decided to give this a try after all the rave reviews saying it was better than it's liquid counterpart and it is, actually it's pretty friggin amazing!!!

The new Ultra HD formula is designed to look invisible on 4K camera and look undetectable to the naked eye which I would have to agree with, this foundation looks like real skin. 
I find I don't need a lot of this to achieve full coverage, it blends beautifully, doesn't accentuate dryness or pores and looks natural even under close scrutiny.

I have shade Y245 and it's perfect, it might not look like it from the swatch above but my face is a completely different shade to my hand. 
I apply this using a dense buffer brush as the texture is too creamy to use anything too flimsy, set it with a little bit of powder and I'm good to go, surpringly it does not break down on me throughout the day and stays looking fresh. 

Is it better than its liquid counterpart? 
On my skin it is because it gives me better coverage and it lasts longer but if you like sheer to medium coverage and you have dry skin you will like the liquid version equally. 

Makeup Forever Ultra HD Stick isn't available on counter yet in the UK but will be launching January 2016 

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Nano Keratin Treatment Review Update!

It's been 4 months since I had my keratin treatment and you might be wondering what I think of it now that it's pretty much worn off and I'm due for another one.
Four months in and my hair is pretty much back to it's weird wave pattern and kinky texture when left to dry naturally, if I blow dry it it will fall relatively smooth without the need for my GHD's so I wouldn't say it's completely washed out but it's getting there.
I've had a love/hate relationship with this treatment and while I love how smooth, frizz free and manageable it's made my hair there are cons too.

Con number 1: My hair got greasier faster which meant having to wash my hair more often. Now the more you wash your hair the quicker the treatment fades so this can be a problem, dry shampoo is your best friend! 

Con number 2: Being restricted to using certain shampoos only and by certain shampoos I mean the Nano Keratin ones and I can't say I'm a big fan of them. They made my hair feel coated and un-clean, in the end I had to start using my Purology (also SLS free) every few washes to make my hair feel "normal" again. 

Con number 3: My hair would clump together and look quite piecey and it would lack volume. I found I had to use a volumizing mousse to counteract this little problem and would have to brush my hair more often to make it look fluffy. 
I also found my hair was more staticky but could not figure out if this was because of the treatment of because of the products i was using.

Despite the cons I am booked in for another one in a couple of weeks time because I would rather deal with flat, greasy hair than a mop of frizz. 
I hate doing my own hair, HATE IT and this treatment makes it bearable, it means if I can't be bothered to do my hair I can sleep on it wet and it still looks decent.
They do say that the effects are cumulative so the more you have them done the longer the results will last for which actually does make sense. 
Was it worth the money? Yes, because it does work but I do think it's slightly overpriced, having said that I can see myself getting a keratin treatment every 4 months until something better comes along.

On a side note my sister who has naturally very curly, frizzy hair had one of these done (not at the same place I had mine) and it didn't last at all! We cannot figure out if it's because it's completely washed out way faster than it should have, different hair type and porosity or if it wasn't done as well as mine!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Another Sephora Haul!

Dear Credit Card, I'm so sorry that I've abused you again but Sephora made me do it!
I actually think the worst thing that ever happened to my bank balance was when Sephora started offering international shipping, yes it's not the cheapest but lets face it you US people get all the cool stuff while us English folks either get it late or don't get it at all!
So with that said and a few limited editions I just had to have this order was placed and my bank account shed a few tears!

(Opal, Champagne Pop, Blushed Copper) 

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Champagne Glow $34 (£23.51)
The very reason this order happened in the first place and I can't even explain to you how much I love it! The quality of this palette is amazing and while at first you might think that the shades they have selected are an odd combination they work perfectly together. 

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Opal Glow On The Go $20 (£13.83)
I picked this up thinking it had the liquid and cream version of Opal but when I got it I realised that the little baby compact is actually the powder version and since I already have that in full size I don't need this. It will be going to the little sister for Christmas and hopefully she won't read this.

(Cafe, Torte)

(Coulis, Aubergine)

Bite Beauty Best Bite Rewind $25 (£17.29)
This is a brand you cannot get in the UK and yet their products are fantastic and everything I've tried I've loved. 
This little set comes with 4 of their Matte Creme Lip Crayons in a slightly smaller size than usual which is perfect for travel and 3 of the shades are exclusive to this kit.
I've only tried Cafe on my lips so far and I loved the way it dried matte but didn't look dry or cakey like some matte lipsticks can look.

Kat Von D Lolita Lip Duo $19 (£13.48)
I love Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick and Lolita is my favourite shade by far so naturally it was obvious that I would pick this up as it as a mini of Lolita and Lolita 2 which is a slightly warmer, peachier version. 
I love them both and I wish they would offer mini duos in all the other colours too.

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Marvelous Mauve $14 (£9.68)
These are some of my absolute favourite liquid lipsticks so I picked this one up because I wanted a more natural everyday shade as I already have a few of the brighter ones. 
Love how they feel on the lips, love the scent and love the shade selection!

Sephora Collection Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Colour in Petal $16 (£11.06)
Obviously I was going with this whole "matte lip trend" and picked this little one up to try. I would say these give more of a satin finish but last like a matte, this stuff didn't budge! 
I can see myself picking up more colours from the range.

Sephora Collection Jem and The Holograms Truly Outrageous Liquid Lipstick Set $25 (£17.29)
This was a bit of a "whim purchase" I'm not gonna lie but I picked this up because it was part of the Jem Collection and I used to be obsessed with that cartoon when I was little. 
I've not opened this yet and might never open it, it's a collectors item alright!!!

And because I had enough Beauty Insider points accumulated I picked up one of the Bite Beauty Lip Lab Trio in Kir Royal and for 250 points, I'm well impressed!

Now I'm gonna try and stay off Sephora for a while or I might need to cut my card up!

Thank you for reading. Don't forget subscribe and leave me a comment xx