Sunday, 29 March 2015

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush

I was perusing the shelves in Superdrug the other day when I came across these little babies and instantly thought how similar they looked to the MAC Mineralize Blush and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush but for a fraction of the price.
I picked up 3 of the shades available but didn't think for one second I would love them as much as I do but they exceed both the MAC and the Hourglass versions.

The shades I got where:

05 Lovely Pink - a warm, petal pink with champagne marbling.
10 Nude Mauve - a darker, cooler shade of nude entwined with a lighter warmer nude.
25 Alluring Rose - a warm coral mixed with a golden bronze.

I'm kinda regretting not getting the other 3 shades as these blusher are beautiful and the quality is amazing especially for the low price tag, £8.99 but on 3 for 2 in Superdrug at the moment.

They apply and blend like a dream, give a gorgeous "lit from within" glow without shimmer or glitter overload and wear all day on me.
The only slight negative is the packaging, nothing wrong with the functionality but it's clunky and slightly tacky but the product inside more than makes up for it.

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush retail for £8.99 (currently on 3 for 2 in Superdrug) and are available in 6 shades.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

A guide on SPF

On Wednesday I came back from a weeks holiday in Fuerteventura, the sun was hot but the winds where high so it felt a lot chillier than it actually was, the result: a lot of sunburnt holiday makers!
I watched as some people where drowning themselves in Carrot Oil (why, oh why would you do this to yourself) while others decided to completely forgo sunscreen altogether quickly managing to resemble one of these:

While soaking up the sunshine by the pool, I was subjected to a presentation by the hotel resident "sun care advisor" my first thought was: who the hell trains these people?
She took 10 minutes to explain that both oil and water based sunscreens are bad for you as the texture is to light and will rub off on your towel or come off in the water and that the much thicker cream she was selling where better because they will stick to the skin and are made of angel tears and unicorn saliva. 
My second thought was: where's her tan? I mean nada, not even the slightest bit of one, great way of selling your products.

So naturally when I got back to the hotel room I felt it would be fitting to write a post on SPF.

1. Use SPF30 as a minimum and reapply every 2 hours, if you get wet reapply as soon as you're out of the pool/sea. On the face I would use an SPF50+ especially if like me you use a lot of resurfacing acids on a regular basis, they make your skin a lot more photosensitive and you want to protect your skin as much as possible. 

2. You will tan no matter how high your SPF is, the way SPF is meant to work is that it multiplies your skins natural sun protection by the number on the bottle. For example lets say your skin would naturally burn after 15 minutes in the heat with an SPF30 your skin is protected for 30 times longer which in theory would protect you for 450 minutes of sun exposure, that's 7.5 hours! Obviously that is impossible as it will rub or wear of way sooner than that so don't think you can buy an higher SPF and use it less often, you can't.

3. Try and limit sun exposure between 12pm and 3pm, it's when it's at it's hottest and when most people burn.

4. Don't skimp on the amount of sunscreen your using, you need to be able to feel the product on your skin, otherwise it's doing nothing. If you don't like a greasy or tacky feel go for a sports spray as these are generally lighter and more easily absorbed.
Also make sure you apply SPF underneath any straps and the banding of your swimwear, ideally apply your fist application of suncare in your hotel room while your naked, that way if your bikini moves a little your skin is still protected.

5. Don't forget SPF for you lips, trust me if you burn those you are going to be in pain for the rest of your holiday. The best one I've found is the Piz Buin SPF30.

6. Don't forget your scalp. I completely forgot on day one and while I luckily it wasn't sore it started flaking a few days in.
Try wearing your hair up and avoid a parting as it's asking for trouble.

7. Take an antihistamine if you are prone to prickly heat, my sister suffers from it badly and it can ruin your holiday if not kept under control.

8. Drink water like your life depends on it, lol. Well hydrated skin will keep its tan for longer and remember that you body will loose water far faster in an hot climate so make sure your getting your 2 litres a day, and no alcohol doesn't count.

9. Use an aftersun that will help boost the melanin in your skin, they work a charm. You skin will appear darker quicker and it will keep you moisturised and stop you peeling. The best one on the market is the Lancaster Tan Maximiser.

10. If you don't get a tan fake it! It's far better for you to use self tanner when you get home from you holiday than to lie in it for hours on end and damage your skin.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Foundation Friday: Estee Lauder Double Wear

I remember buying a bottle of Double Wear a few years ago and absolutely hating it, it was cakey, highlighted every little dry patch, the colour was "off" and it felt very sticky on my skin.
Well since then Estee Lauder Double Wear as gone trough a re-formulation and this new and improved version is amazing!

Here's Lauder's description:

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup.

#1 Foundation in the UK*

15-hour staying power. Flawless all day.

This worry-free, long-wearing foundation makeup stays fresh and looks natural through heat, humidity, nonstop activity.

Won't change colour, smudge or come off on clothes.

Feels lightweight and comfortable.

Now the flawless look you see in the morning is the look you keep all day.


It's lasting power is second to none, I can put this on in the morning and it will look exactly the same when I go to remove it in the evening, it also keeps my blusher and bronzer from fading or looking patchy.
It doesn't break down around my nose and chin which is where usually my foundation fades the fastest and it doesn't transfer to my clothes or phone. 

The finish I would say it is medium/full coverage depending on application, use a stippling brush for less coverage and a buffer brush if you want more, it dries down quite quickly tough so you might want to do your face in sections. 
Even though it's high coverage it it still looks natural, I do not use any powder to set and the finish is matte but luminous. This is the perfect foundation for someone who is oily to combination that wants a flawless finish, if you are dry stay well clear as it will cling to any flaky patches. It's also not great on mature skins as it as a tendency to sit in fine lines.

One other major plus point is the shade selection, the website list 31 shades so no matter what skin tone you are you will find a match.

The shades are broken down in 3 categories:

W = Warm (yellow undertone)   1W1 Bone, 1W2 Sand, 2W1 Dawn, 2W2 Rattan, 3W1 Tawny, 3W2 Cashew, 4W2 Toasty Toffee, 4W3 Henna 5W2 Rich Caramel, 6W1 Sandalwood. 
N = Neutral (peach undertone)   1N1 Ivory Nude,1N2 Ecru, 2N1 Desert Beige, 3N1 Ivory Beige,  3N2 Wheat, 4N2 Spiced Sand 4N1 Shell beige, 5N2 Amber Honey, 6N1 Truffle. 
C = Cool (pink undertone)   1C0 Shell, 1C1 Cool Bone, 2C1 Pure Beige, 2C2 Pale Almond, 2C3 Fresco, 2C4 Ivory Rose, 3C2 Pebble, 4c1 Outdoor Beige, 5C1 Rich Chestnut, 6C1 Rich Cocoa, 6C2 Rich Mahogany.   

I use shade 2N1 Desert Beige as my winter shade and 2W1 Dawn as my summer shade. It's also worth mentioning that the shades don't oxidise, so as long as you get your match spot on there no chance of walking around town later looking like an Oompa Loompa. 

Estee Lauder's Double Wear retails for £29.50 and is available in 31 shades.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

25 Question Tag: Facts About Me.

1. What is your middle name?
I don't have one.

2. Share you favorite subject in high school.
Science even though my teacher was such a cow.

3. What is your Favorite drink?


4. What is your favorite song at the moment? 
Right now it's Rihanna's Birthday Cake but the remix with Chris Brown.

5. What would you (or have you) name your children?

I'm more likely to become the Prime Minister of the UK than have a child any time soon so I'm gonna skip this one. 

6. Have you  participated in any sports?
I used to play volleyball for my schools team when I was younger but I don't play anymore.

7. What is your favorite book?
50 Shades of Grey, haha (there was sarcasm in there somewhere) 
The Hunger Games all the way.

8. What is your favorite color?
Does black count as a color or is it a tone?

9. What is your favorite animal?
Dog all the way.

10. What is your favorite perfume?
Chanel Coromandel is my all time favourite, I adore the stuff. 
Currently though I've taken a shine to Creed Virgin Island Water, it's summer in a bottle!

11. What is your favorite holiday?

Anywhere sunny. 

12. On a scale from 1 – 10, rate your childhood.

13. Have you been out of the country?
Yes, I love a good holiday.

14. Do you speak any different languages?
Sort of, I was born in Italy and lived there for the first 13 years of my life. When I moved to the UK I stopped speaking Italian so I guess now I'm out of practice but I can understand most of it if I'm listening in to someone else speaking it.

15. Do you have any siblings?

Yes, one younger sister who's absolutely hilarious and should have her own comedy show.

16. What is your favorite store?

River Island.

17. What is your favorite restaurant?

Turtle Bay, they do the best Caribbean food and their cocktails are amazing!

18. Did you like school?

No, I really didn't. 

19. Who are some of your favorite YouTubers? 

Jenna Marbles is without doubt my absolute favourite YouTuber, I swear if we ever met we would become friends instantly. 
Other I like are Bart Barker, NigaHiga, Madeyewlook and the SHAYTARDS.

20. What is your favorite movie?

Right at this moment Divergent. I'm literally counting down the days till Insurgent, I'm so excited for it it's untrue and it as absolutely nothing to do with 2 hours of watchingTheo James (okay, maybe a little bit, lol)

21. What are some of your favourite tv shows?

I don't really watch TV so I don't have a favourite TV show.

22. PC or mac?

Well I own a mac currently but I would probably go back to PC if I needed to buy a new computer.

23. What phone do you have?

Iphone 5c

24. How tall are you?

5ft1 and a half, that half an inch makes all the difference (that's what she said, pmsl)

25. Do you have any pets?

Yes, two dogs. A Chiuhuahua and a Yorkshire Terrier.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Foundation Friday: NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

If I was made to choose one foundation above all others it would be NARS Sheer Glow. I love the coverage and finish and the way it seems to look better as the day wears on instead of breaking down on me and disappearing by midday.

So when I heard that NARS had released a new foundation I rushed out to buy a bottle, surely if I love Sheer Glow that much I'm going to like this?
I was wrong, very wrong and I've since returned the product since me and it just don't get along.

Here the official description from the NARS website:

Full, natural-looking coverage with unexpectedly weightless, 16-hour wear. Highly pigmented and perfectly balanced, this breakthrough formula builds and blends effortlessly with just one drop—the result of exclusive innovation uniquely designed to deliver long-wearing full coverage, weightlessly. Shake, pump and blend in sections for complete coverage that's completely natural looking.

Pure Innovation. Exclusively NARS.
Weightless Long-wear Technology delivers up to 16 hours of wear, while always feeling light-as-air. Featuring advanced flexible polymers and first-to-market treated pigments.

  • Advanced flexible polymers move with the skin, providing extraordinary breathability and comfort.
  • First-to-market treated pigments weightlessly deliver long-wearing, complete coverage without ever masking for perfected, natural-looking skin.

Even Tone Technology is designed to instantly neutralize redness and dullness, while working long-term to reduce the appearance of discoloration for more even, uniform skin.
  • Gold and green pigments in a perfect 4-to1 ratio optically manipulate how light reflects off skin's surface, evening the complexion for instant luminosity. Green pigments negate redness on contact, while gold combats dullness.
  • Scarlet Spiderling Root Extract helps reduce the appearance of discoloration and reveal brighter, more even skin over time.
92% felt the foundation provided coverage without masking*
93% thought it felt weightless*
90% said it felt comfortable and breathable*
*based on an independent consumer study after one week of use.
It claims to last 16 hours wear while feeling weightless and providing full coverage that is natural and not cakey, for me it was the complete opposite.
I found within 3 hours the product had started to break down around the nose and whenever I touched my skin some of the foundation would come off, every time I used my phone it would be covered in foundation when I'd finished.
It made my combination skin type feel and look oily but at the same time highlighted any patches of dehydration and the full coverage formula made my face look flat and one dimensional, I looked like I was wearing a mask.
I used it 4 days in a row, with powder, without powder, with primer, without primer and it just did not want to work for me.
I was told to buy the same shade that I am in Sheer Glow (Fiji) but it oxydized as the day progressed, I literally could not wait to get home and wash my face.

I think if you have absolutely prefect "normal" skin you might like this product but any other skin type stay well clear.

The foundation retails for £32 and is available in 20 shades.
  • Scarlet Spiderling Root Extract helps reduce the appearance of discoloration and reveal brighter, more even skin over time.
92% felt the foundation provided coverage without masking*
93% thought it felt weightless*
90% said it felt comfortable and breathable*
*based on an independent consumer study after one week of use.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Skincare Basics: Cleansing, Toning and Moisturising

Today I'm gonna talk to you all about skincare, more specifically the very basics of skincare that a lot of people overlook.
One of the most common concerns with people skin is the lack of radiance and that their skin feels congested and dull and 9 times out of 10 it's because the wrong routine is being used.
Now I'm going to preface this by saying that genetics plays a huge part in how your skin looks and drinking 2 litres of water a day is going to help keep your skin clear and hydrated however if you are using face wipes and not moisturising, your skin is not going to look it's best.
While I could probably write a 200 page essay on skin I've decided to keep this simple and just concentrate on the very basics for now.

The most important step in your skincare routine and the one that most people get wrong. 
Yes, you need to cleanse every day, morning and evening, simple as that. 
If you're are wearing make-up  a "double cleanse" is necessary, the first will remove your make-up and the second is to clean your skin.
If you are using facial wipes, baby wipes or soap, please stop! You do not realise the damage it's causing because you can't see it right now but trust me in 20/30 years time you will and you'll wish you listened to me, lol
Wipes do not rid skin of make-up, instead they "smoosh" your make-up from side to side while leaving a lovely residue behind which will clog your pores, soap on the other hand is too alkaline and will dry your skin out. 

To cleanse your skin effectively of all make-up you need to be using a balm or oil on dry skin, massaging it into skin for a couple of minutes (this will boost circulation) and then removing it using a facial flannel or cloth. Then you can go in with a milk, cream or gel product to deep cleanse the skin and leave it feeling refreshed. 

A quick note on micellar waters. I use them as a pre-cleanse to a balm when I'm wearing long wear make-up or to remove eye make-up not as a cleanser, they aren't strong enough. 

What a toner does is restore the PH balance of the skin, refine the skin texture, add a dose of moisture to the skin or to help balance an oily complexion. 
What a toner doesn't do is remove the last traces of make-up or cleanser and close the pores. 
If you can still see make-up on that cotton pad when you've reached the toner stage then you haven't cleansed properly also pores do not "open and close" they can look smaller if you use the right products  but they will not disappear. 
Think of using a toner as a primer before moisturiser, you skin will need less product and your moisturisers performance will be enhanced. 

A note on toners with alcohol. They are okay on certain skin types (a lot of people will disagree with me on this one), if you're dry and dehydrated stay well clear but if you are more on the oily side then you might find it helps control shine and your skin will feel less congested.

A basic moisturiser will protect your skin from the outside environment (weather, pollution, AC or central heating) but will also add a dose of hydration and allow you make-up to go on a lot smoother. 
Even the oiliest of skins need moisturiser it just a case of getting the right product for your skin type. 
As a general rule an oily skin will love a light lotion or gel while someone with drier skin will prefer a cream or balm. 
If you choose a moisturiser with an SPF please bear in mind that it might be adequate protection for a day out shopping in the mild UK sunshine but not two weeks in the caribbean, so you might need a separate SPF.
If your daily moisturiser does have an SPF you will need a product without one for night time use as you skin can do without the added chemicals of a sunscreen at night.

Remember that the products you're using don't have to cost a fortune they just have to be suitable for your skin type, if you're not sure what that is go and have a facial and let a specialist asses your skin.