10 November 2013

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara

If you're blonde haired like me you'll know how difficult it is to find a brow product that looks right. They're often too dark, too red or even too green. Leaving you at risk of creating a hideously over drawn, unnatural brow that just looks wrong. I'm pretty happy with the shape of my brow and only use brow products to add a touch more colour, a little definition and to keep them in place all day. And the Maybelline Brow Drama promises to do just that. I don't generally give in to brow product hype because it's just not really my thang, but Superdrug 3 for 2 got the best of me - story of my life - and I was looking forward to giving it a whirl.

The Maybelline Brow Drama claims to be the ultimate fashion finish for brows, with a no streak no clump formula. The innovative wand is bit like most other mascara/brow gel wands, but has a rounded pokeball at the end which assures you don't apply too much of the product to the brows and helps to comb, tame and shape them too.

It's available in three shades, Dark Brown, Medium Brown and my shade of choice Dark Blonde. As you can see from the picture above, Dark Blonde its a very light brown that doesn't contain too much dreaded red pigment and is almost a perfect colour match for me. The formula is light and gel like, housing just enough colour to add a touch of natural definition and shape to the brows. If your brows are particularly sparse or you like a fuller brow, I would recommend filling them in first then using this as a regular setting gel. But, if you're looking for something natural looking and just want to tame your brows and create an overall more polished appearance then the Maybelline Brow Gel alone should be enough on it's own. This product really does keep the brows in shape all day, but can become a little stiff if you've been heavy handed with the application. 

Although there's been mixed reviews about the Maybelline Brow Drama, I'm really happy with it. I would highly recommend for those who want a fuss-free brow product that'll keep them looking sleek and polished all day, or for someone with lighter hair looking for a bit of natural definition to the brows. Priced at a reasonable £4.99, pick it up from Boots, Superdrug or online

08 November 2013

MUA Undress Your Skin Foundation

When MUA brought out this foundation I pretty much turned a blind eye to it. I do quite like MUA generally, but a £5 foundation? How would my congested oily skin cope with that! You'll know by now I'm always on the hunt for a beauty bargain, and feel the high street has easily caught up with quality of the bigger luxury brands. I buy almost all my makeup from Boots or Superdug and I'm always on the lookout for a great deal.. With one exception. Foundation. I'm quite happy to spend £20, £30 even £40 on foundation yet I weep into my purse when I spend £4 on an eyeliner. I just feel that is something is going to be sitting on your skin for the best part of a day it's worth making sure it's not packed with all sorts of skin hating nasties.

What made me pick up this foundation? I don't even know. Well, I do know.. I was on offer for £3 a couple of weeks back, and that's a price you can't really argue with. I'd seen a couple of reviews, all relatively positive and just thought why not! The Undress Your Skin Foundation comes in a measly 3 shades, which is honestly pretty rubbish. If you fall into the very pale category or anything darker than olive skinned, you're going to have to give this one a miss because you're skin tone is not catered for at all. 

I chose the shade Beige which is a relatively good match for my skin tone. Shade range and unimaginative name aside, on to the actual foundation. It comes in a 30ml basic squeezy tube and is easy to dispense your desired amount, the foundation is ever so slightly runny but its hardly and issue. Applied to the skin, the Undress Your Skin Foundation creates a medium coverage base that lets the natural skin show through just the right amount. It leaves a semi-matte healthy finish to the skin which I rather quite like the look of now my skin is improving. I did have to conceal my undereyes and blemishes with the Seventeen concealer, but that's just a given. The MUA foundation does dry quite quickly, and although its a dream to blend at first I'd recommend being quick as when it starts to set its becomes very difficult move. 

In terms on longevity, without primer you're looking at an 11 o'clock oil slick. But teamed with my favourite Witch Primer it performed better, and only needed a light dusting of lunch time powdering to keep it in place around my nose and forehead. By the end of a full day the MUA foundation usually looks ok, it did seem to looks a little patchy in places and had worn off in others but this may just be me as my skin has an issue with getting foundation to stay put. For a £5 foundation, honestly it's excellent. I would deem the Undress Your Skin Foundation as a great weekend foundation, something that would be great for a mid-day shopping trip or a lunch date.

If you're on the look out for an inexpensive foundation, its worth taking a look at this when you're next in Superdrug. Or available online, here 

12 October 2013

Witch Anti-Blemish Skin Clearing Primer

Like foundation, I have a real issue finding a primer I actually get along with. The primers that are readily available now generally tend to be heavily silicone based with a balm like texture, that glide over the skin filling in pores and smoothing fine lines. The problem I have with these sorts of primers are that they do nothing in terms of aiding longevity, and the silicone base cases me to break out terribly. I'd given up on primers for around a year deeming them an unnecessary addition to my routine, until I discovered the Witch Anti-Blemish Primer.

This skin clearing primer, packed with skin loving Witch Hazel, is totally different from your standard silicone-based primer. The white thick but light cream formula looks and feels more like a moisturiser, and smooths easily over the skin - Leave to 'set' for 20 seconds and you've got the perfect base for following foundation. Comparing this to a traditional primer, you don't get that unusual slippy balmy feeling, but something more like a light barrier that that your makeup can sit on without clogging up your skin. Throughout the day, the Anti Blemish Primer seriously helped to 'lock' my makeup into place and extended the wear of my makeup by about 5 hours! My t-zone stayed looking matte, which no other product has been able to achieve before.

In terms of aiding to the recovery of my blemishes I can't say it has made a huge improvement, but it hasn't made anything worse or blocked up my pores at all like other primers have and I am really enjoying using this primer and would recommend to anyone who has a dislike for silicone primers or has trouble with oily skin. If your skin is normal/dry I would either steer clear of this primer or only use it only where you felt you really needed help with oil control as opposed to the entire face as you may find it a little drying.

Overall, this primer has quickly become a firm favourite, and I can't begin to tell you how happy I am to find a product that actually works! Available from Superdrug (currently 1/3 off) priced at £6.99.

10 October 2013

No7 Natural Blush Cream in Romantic

I made the decision last year to ditch the matte products and cakey foundation and embrace my oily skin. I would pile on the foundation and drown it in 20 reapplications of heavy power throughout the day, thinking it was making me look flawless and airbrushed - Where in actual fact I just looked ridiculous and cakey. I've upped my skin care game this year, and although I'm nowhere near ready to go sans makeup, I've been able to cut down on the amount of makeup and what makeup I use on a daily basis. I've always steered clear of anything creamy, dewy or highlighter-y in an attempt to avoid emphasising my already oily skin, but I found myself craving that healthy glow that others pulled off so beautifully. When I decided to delve into the world of creamy glowy products, I never looked back. And if there is one item that will create a dewy, healthy glow like no other its cream blusher and this peachy pink pot of perfection is no exception. 

The No7 Natural Blush Cream in Romantic is the most perfect shade of peachy pink, which is my fail-safe colour choice that I never stray far from. On the cheeks it adds a very subtle wash of colour that injects just the right amount of life and health to the face, although it's nowhere near as pigmented as my beloved Stila Convertible Colour, the Natural Blush Cream makes the ideal no-makeup-makeup blush that lifts the cheeks with just the right amount of dewiness and colour. To apply, I have been using the ELF Powder Brush for a slightly more intense finish or the Real Techniques Stippling Brush for a more natural look. The No7 blush doesn't have incredible staying power, and will last around 3 hours on the cheeks before reapplication is required.

The No7 Natural Blush Cream in Romantic is priced at £8 and is available from Boots, and at the moment if you buy two products you get a free lip set - which I am loving!

Estèe Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Foundation

Ask someone for a foundation recommendation, and I can guarantee Estèe Lauder Double Wear will get suggested more than once. And it's pretty easy to see why, Double Wear has a huge cult following and is one of the best selling foundations in the UK - Everyone seems to have it, had it or wants it. It promises an impressive 15 hour wear time, medium-full coverage with a natural semi-matte finish - Seriously, what's not to love about that!

I've been wearing foundation since year 7, which yes may seem young now I look back at it, but I started getting spots, blackheads and acne aged 10 and it had a serious effect on my confidence just before I started high school. I dread to think what I must have looked like, but I felt good so it doesn't really matter. Now aged 21 I can say I have tried almost every foundation available in my quest for perfection, but astonishingly I've never bought the same foundation twice. 

I started using Double Wear about 2 years ago, after reading countless claims and even odes to this so-called holy grail foundation. I went to the Estèe Lauder counter in Cardiff, and honestly had the worst counter experience ever, but I was so excited to try out this foundation I didn't let it bother me. When I used this the next day, I was pretty underwhelmed by it - It was just a very standard looking foundation, medium coverage, hard to blend and with no pump making it extremely hard to use. I would say it took around 12 attempts to get this to work for me, using different primers, moisturisers and application techniques before I had cracked the code to making this just about work.    

I found Double Wear very hard to blend into the skin, you have to be quick as it dries and almost sets which means it won't move.. So start with a decent moisturiser and a primer to help it blend a little better. The foundation sets a natural-matte finish, which is great for oily skins but not so much for dry as it will emphasise any little patch of dryness you may have. It looked quite flat on my face, which had to rectified with blush and highlighter as it seemed to totally wash me out. On my oily skin, I found that this foundation fell into any fine line I had and cracked around my eyes which subsequently aged me about 20 years which as you can imagine isn't at all a good look. On the plus side, this foundation lasts on the skin like no other. It will last you 9-5 with only the slightest touch up of power required. When removing this foundation I would seriously suggest a double cleanse to remove all traces of the long wearing formula, otherwise you're looking at pore-clog central.  

I don't think I'll buy Estèe Lauder Double Wear again, almost £30 for a pretty basic looking but long wearing foundation isn't really worth it in my opinion. Which means I'm still on the hunt for 'the one' so your suggestions are very welcome!

08 October 2013

MUA Matte Palette

Top row swatches - almost non existent!
Bottom row swatches

I can't be alone in saying that I am a total sucker for a new palette. All that make up prettiness encased in it's own beautiful packaging, practically begging to bought and allowed to grace your dressing table - It's sometimes impossible to say no! MUA have been the Dons of pretty budget palettes and bargain shadow dupes for over a year now, providing us with pretty good quality items that rival the high end counterparts.

The Matte Palette is the latest offering from MUA, this timeless palette features 10 gorgeous neutral matte shades designed to create endless looks for every occasion. The warm and cool tones of each velvety shade can be worn alone or blended together for a custom cashmere soft finish! The 10 shades included in the palette are Unwrap (white), Butter (cream), Bare (Nude), Taffeta (Peach) , Fade (brown), Penny (bronze), Chino (taupe), Truffle ( chocolate), Fog ( dove grey) and Smoke ( black)

As you can already see from the swatches above the top 4 shades are very poorly pigmented, I don't know whether it's because they are just lighter shades and they aren't really coming through properly but they seriously lack pigment and all four shades look almost identical which is a little bit pointless. The four lightest shades serve well as blending out other colours, or softening out a smoky eye but don't create much colour besides that. The bottom five shades on the other hand have blown me away! They're soft and buttery, and so pigmented. The colours blend like a dream and stay put for hours without moving even without primer. The shades are perfect for creating a little day time glamour or full on evening drama, and the 3 brown and beige-y shades also double up as brow colours! 

Priced at only £4 its kind of hard to say no to the MUA Matte Palette, if you're willing to look past the lack of pigment in the first 4 shades. Available here from the MUA website.

01 October 2013

L'Oreal Skin Perfection Put To The Test

Like many, I was naturally intrigued when I saw this new L'Oreal range advertised. The simplistic adverts boasted claims of 'photo perfect skin', which is something I'm sure all of us would strive to achieve. I'd come to the end of my current day cream, so picked up the L'Oreal Perfecting Day Moisturiser and Advanced Correcting Serum from Savers. It's not often I buy something, especially skin care, without reading one hundred reviews about it and making sure it would 100% be suited to my very picky skin. 

When I brought them home I looked for a couple of reviews online, but being a relatively new product there wasn't really much out there about it. I had a read of the box, so I could at least get a general feel of what this product was supposed to do. You can see from the above picture that L'Oreal promises some pretty bold claims - And I've decided to put them to the test!

For four weeks, I will use nothing but L'oreal Skin Perfection serum and moisturiser and will write a follow up post at the end of the month to see if they live up to the claims.

Skin texture is a problem I suffer with massively, I have very large and open pores, uneven skin tones and a generally lack-lustre completion. I am really interested to see how these work out for me, and what they can do for my needy skin.

Tune in in four weeks time to see how I get on!

23 September 2013

Deborah Milano 24 Ore Velvet Eye Shadow in Ocean Blue

During last weeks #BBloggers chat on Twitter, we were discussing what were we most looking forward to in Autumn. Cosy knits, gingerbread lattes and nights in under a duvet were just a few of the things that were mentioned, and my goodness don't they all sounds dreamy. Along side this, someone also mentioned looking forward to wearing rich jewel toned eye shadows, for that ultra glamorous twist on the classic smoky eye. If like me you're dying to don the luxe jewelled eye trend, I've have come across the most perfect shade for doing so.

The Deborah Milano 24 Ore Velvet Eye Shadow* in Ocean Blue is the perfect shade of midnight blue, it's vibrant yet sultry with a subtle frost finish giving it that jewel finish that's perfect for Autumn/Winter. The shadow itself is seriously impressive, as you can see from the swatch above the 24 Ore Velvet Shadow is unbelievably rich in pigment and looks very striking even when used without a base or primer. The Deborah Milano shadow is also ultra bendable and almost buttery to the touch, which means it's blends like a dream onto the eye and with following shadows. On the lid, Ocean Blue lasted around 5 hours on my oily lids without a primer and a full 8 hours when teamed with Too Faced Shadow Insurance!

The beauty of this formula is that is can be used wet or dry depending of the level of intensity desired, and the navy blue shades looks totally gorgeous as an intense eye liner when teamed with polished skin and a nude lip. 

If you've fallen for this shade as much I have, it's available online on the Deborah Milano website here priced at only £5.50! 

Note - if you follow me on Twitter you'll know I've broken my nose and I have subsequently got two black eyes, I was planning to do a make up look with pics on this gorgeous shadow but the photos looked odd due to the swelling and bruising  If you are interested in seeing this shadow used in an make up look, please let me know and I'll do it when I have recovered!

20 September 2013

Look Beauty Baby Blue Eyes Mini Makeover Palette

After seeing that everything on the Look Beauty website was half price, I treated myself to a little (big) spurge on the site and got lots of goodies I've been wanting to try for a while and totally took advantage of the offer while I could. Before said spurge, I'd only tired a couple of things from the Look Beauty stand in Superdrug and I was suitably impressed by everything I had used and eagerly awaited  my huge order to arrive. Whilst browsing the site for items I wanted to snatch up, I came across this Baby Blue Eyes Mini Makeover Palette and I honestly couldn't believe it was down from an already bargainous £6 to a measly £3! For 6 beautiful eye shadows, 4 pigmented lip colours and a blush it was a deal too good to miss.     

This mini palette houses some of the most beautiful colours I have seen, and it's hard not to fall in love with it. The 6 stunning eye-shadows are joy to use, they're pigmented, soft and totally bendable and last well on the lid when used with a primer. The colours are aimed at blue eyes beauties, promising to enhance the natural blue-ness and make the eye colour pop! But I say this pretty palette is suited to anyone, and is sure going to be a hit this Autumn with all those rich copper metallics. Don't tell me this doesn't scream Autumn to you?!

The 4 lip colours are incredibly pigmented, and look beautiful work alone or mixed together to create your own perfect custom shade. They're quite thick and very opaque, which means they stay put on the lips better that your standard lipstick. The same thing goes for the autumn peachy blush, it is unbelievably rich in pigment and lasts well on the skin.

If things couldn't get any better, Look Beauty ship FREE across the world! I seriously cannot recommend this palette enough, and I seriously suggest picking one up whist it's still £3.

Available from most Superdrug stores or online here

30 August 2013

Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free Foundation Stick

I've had pretty good luck with Maybelline products this year - Their mascara are always on point, the Colour Tattoos are worth every penny and the Fit Me range was impressive too. Naturally when I saw the Fit Me foundation stick in Allure Magazine I was intruded, all day coverage with a shine free finish.. Sounds pretty perfect, right? When it was finally released in the UK I practically ran to Superdrug to get my swatch on and put this to the test. 

The Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Stick is gel stick foundation with an 'anti-shine' core that absorbs excess oil, helping to create that shine free matte finish. The foundation stick is incredibly soft and creamy when swatched, and as you can see from the picture its actually every so slightly dewy which was unexpected but very welcome. Since this was my first experience with a pan stick foundation in a very long time I was a little unsure how to actually apply this, so I just drew a couple of squiggles on my face and blended with my fingers.

For some reason it took a little longer that most other foundations to blend into the skin, it looked a little streaky and didn't seem to sit very well on the skin. The coverage was light-medium which was pretty disappointing, and immediately fell into every single fine line and pore on my face. When it settled on the skin it emphasised all my imperfections - flaky skin, dry patches and large pores in places I didn't even know I had them. After a couple more attempts of different methods of application, I just could not get this foundation to work for me at all.

If you're on the lookout for a new foundation, I would give this one a miss to be honest. But if curiosity gets the better if you like it did me, have a little swatch and see what you think. The Maybelline Fit Me Foundation is priced at £8.99 and available from Boots and Superdrug.  

29 August 2013

Hydraluron Moisture Booster

When a product is this hyped, where do I even begin? For the last couple of months this little tube has been on every skincare expert and bloggers lips, it's been sold out in stores and has been recommended endless times. It very quickly became the latest 'it product' and received the highest praises from all the Queens of skincare. But what actually makes this product so good, and does it really work?

For those of you who don't know Hydraluron Moisture Booster is loaded with a pure grade of hyaluronic acid, and hyaluronic acid is the nuts for hydrating, plumping, and softening the skin as it can attract and hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Hydraluron also contains a bio-engineered strain of marine red algae that causes mild, controlled stimulation of skin turnover, which ensures the thorough penetration of its hyaluronic acid content to the skin. While it makes a positive difference to skin hydration from first application, with regular use, Hydraluron improves the skin’s own ability to retain moisture by providing below-the-surface hydration. This means that you should need to use less of your usual moisturiser on top of it to maintain optimum hydration levels. 
What drew me to this product is the fact that it's not moisture, it's pure hydration. The exact think my oily-but-dehydrated skin was literally crying out for. The weightless clear gel doesn't overwhelm my oily skin, but instead it quenched it and created the perfect base for foundation. It is seriously lightweight stuff, it honestly feels like water once applied to the skin. The second thing that drew me to Hydraluron is its promises to help heal acne scaring and improve suppleness, another area of my skin that could really do with some work. The catch, it'll set you back £24.99 - A little over my general budget for only 30ml of product.
After using this for twice a day for around 2 months, I can 100% say - yes - Hydraluron is worth the hype. The texture, tone and quality of my skin are seriously improved. My oily-but-dehydrated skin feels fresh and soft, and looks healthy and supple and has basically brought life back to my lack-lustre skin.
If you quite fancy the sound of this snap a couple (yes, a couple) of tubes up in Boots whilst its priced at a slightly more reasonable £16.66 - you will not regret it. 

21 August 2013

Summer Makeup Want List

Natural Collection Solo Eyeshadows in Willow and Asteroid

Natural Collection at Boots is a brand I have been using on and off for years, like most people my age, Natural Collection was one of the first make up brands I started to use around aged 12-13 due to it's extremely reasonable pricing and overall natural and thus foolproof colour selection. Everything in the range is priced at £2 and under making it outstanding value and one of the cheapest high street brands available, and these two bargain Solo Eyeshadows have crept their way into my daily routine.

Willow, a cool-toned shimmery champagne, makes the perfect tear duct and brow brown highlighter and a brilliant base for following shadows. Its softy pigmented so gently brightens and awakens the eye when swept across the lid, or can even double up as a highlighter for the face! Think something along the lines of MAC Naked Lunch, and you get the idea.
Asteroid is that perfect neutral brown we're all searching for, it's a warm-toned shadow that's super soft and bendable. It boasts beautiful flecks of gold alongside a subtle shimmer throughout, creating a something quite eye-catching. Asteroid is little something between MAC Twinks and Bronze, but not as rich in pigment. 

On the lid, neither shade has spectacular pigmentation or staying power. But its something that I'm more than willing to over look considering the price, and can easily be fixed with with a touch of primer. I've been using either Urban Decay Primer Potion or Too Faced Shadow Insurance underneath and the shadow has stayed intact for the best part of a full working day. 

These shadows are available in store at Boots, and are priced at £1.79 or 3 for £5

24 July 2013

Ojon Revitalizing Mist and Full Detox Shampoo

What I forgot to mention in my Ojon Rare Blend Oil post, is that I got an absolutely amazing deal on an Ojon set in the Cosmetic Company Outlet in Cheshire Oaks which included the Rare Blend Oil, Revitalizing Mist leave in conditioner and Full Detox shampoo. I don't usually invest much money in hair care products but this offer was honestly too good to miss out on. Full price the products would have cost a staggering £70 (!) but I snagged them for a bargainous £21, which is less that the price of just one product. I've been using both these products for just over a month and I have nothing but good things to say about them.

Ojon Dry Recovery Revitalising Mist - (£20.50) This leave-in conditioner hydrates, smooths, de-tangles, revitalises whilst still leaving the hair light and bouncy and incredibly soft. Some leave in conditioners can leave hair a little stiff and tacky, but the Ojon Recovery Revitalising is a totally weightless formula. It leaves the most beautiful lingering scent of soft and sweet creamy honey on the hair which is really beautiful. To use, you give the bottle a good shake to mix and spritz 4-6 times around the end of wet hair and style as normal. Looking for this online I do believe it has been re-branded and repackaged since I bought this, although it does seem the fantastic formula has stayed the same. 

Ojon Full Detox Detoxifying Shampoo - (£21.00) Having fine, dry hair I do tend to use a lot of products to give my hair some life and keep a style in place but that subsequently means dreaded product build up that the likes of regular shampoos just can't quite handle. The Ojon Full Detox Shampoo deeply cleanses to remove impurities and product build-up whist being gentle enough to not strip hair of vital moisture. I use this detoxifying shampoo once every two weeks for a super special deep cleanse, and it works amazing well. It has a fresh and light fragrance, which just adds to the clean feel of the shampoo. Also, If you're an extension wearer and you wash your extensions, I seriously recommend this as it'll leave them looking as good as new!

If you're lucky enough to live near a Cosmetic Company Outlet, all I can say is go go go! They stock Ojon, MAC, Clinique, Smashbox, Bobbi Brown.. Ok, its heaven.