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!