Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Goodbye 2013...

For 2013 the watchword was Ombre, it seemed people couldn't get enough. From ombre lips, ombre nails and finally the ombre hair/dip dye look. It was also the year of lip crayons and lip stains- from the original Clinque's chubby sticks to Laura Mercier, Stila all the way through to Revlon, Topshop, Rimmel, Model's Own and Boots Seventeen. CC creams took over from where BB creams left off and became just as popular. Fibre lash mascaras also maintained their popularity (a trend I stayed away from since I'm a contact lens wearer.) The long awaited Urban Decay's Naked 3 palette debuted and sold out. And Mac made Rihanna their spokesperson... yet again.

In my opinion the most over hyped products were Rimmel's Apocolips lip gloss (great name shame about the taste - it was like warm cucumber) and ELF's cream blush and bronzer (the bronzer was positively orange.) The most under hyped products were ELF's Long lasting eye colours, Bourjois cream blusher and Zoeva's make up brushes.

For me personally, it was the year I wore more lipstick (instead of gloss) discovered threading and started wearing nail polish again.

That's it folks...Happy new year and welcome 2014!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Disappointing Beauty Products #3: Blusher Edition

MUA cream blush in Dolly Priced £2 (3.2g) from Superdrug
I bought this blusher for the summertime to give a healthy peachy glow to my cheeks.
The packaging is basic but the price reflects this. It's a lovely colour and has a good creamy consistency and is easy to apply with fingers.Unfortunately I have my suspicions that I'm allergic to an ingredient in this (either the Ozokerite  or Paraffinum Liquidum/mineral oil in this) as it stung and tingled unpleasantly when applied. This also occurred in another cream blusher from another drugstore brand and so I've finally narrowed down the culprit.  I can't comment on how this lasts through the day as I couldn't wear it for that long. Generally I love MUA and appreciate the fact they print their ingredients on the packaging-so many companies don't do this which is so annoying. However if you are looking for a cheap cream blush and aren't allergic to these ingredients give this a go.

Benefit Posey Tint (trial size reviewed here 4ml. Normally £24.50 for 12.5ml)
This was a freebie from a magazine (Glamour) and I was eager to try this out.
The trial size bottle looks so cute and has a brush attached to the lid like a nail polish. I found it easier to apply than the body shop lip and cheek stain. It doesn't really taste of anything (which is my book is good I'd rather have no taste than a bad taste) and it smells a little sweet and a little chemically but it's very subtle.Unfortunately this was the wrong colour for my olive skin tone, this would suit blondes with light-medium skin tones. I'm probably suited to the original Benetint, however the mango one sounds interesting. I would recommend you try before you buy and if you are olive skin toned I would give this a miss.

The Body Shop Lip and Cheek Stain in Rose Pink priced £10 (8ml)
I got this free with a another magazine but I wasn't very impressed with it. Despite a cult following I felt that it applied blotchy on cheeks and on the lips it applied and dried very unevenly and blotchy. Perhaps this was due to the new doe foot packaging (though this should give you more control) instead of the old rollerball which others claimed was better.I may have had a slight allergic reaction to it as well since made my lips sting and tingle which I did not enjoy at all. This 'effect' wasn't stated as part of the product, i.e. the deliberate lip swelling tingle which is designed to plump up lips.It's a shame as the taste and flavour of this was nice and I really liked the result it gave my lips, a  'just eaten cherries' colour. This  definitely shows up as a stain but appears very natural and not overdone. However I feel that there are better products out there.

All in all I prefer cream and powder blush to liquid blush which I find easier to apply but perhaps this is due to lack of practice. I think cream blushers look the most natural and I'm still not sure about cheek and lip tints. I've recently bought ELF angled blusher brush which I read is good for applying liquid blushers. I may give Benetint or Daniel Sandlers' Watercolour blush a go, both of which are very popular.

Marks and Spencer's Wanderlust Limited Collection Blusher Review

I saw this on a beauty blog and had to have it. I had to order this online as the ones in store were all spoiled. It's no longer on Marks and Spencers' website but you may be able to find them in store. Currently they have a 3 for 2 on selected items and a 50% off sale on other items. The full price of this blusher  is £6.

I haven't tried any of Marks and Spencers make up before but the packaging on Limited's Wanderlust collection are so pretty.The box is gorgeous and it's a two toned blusher- a pinky-peach background and the darker purple  deer, applied together the blusher is a bright purple pink colour.

 I don't have such a colour in my collection so thought that this would be a good shade to try.
The only problem is each time you use it you erode/smudge the deer picture however it's purpose is to be used as a blusher after all...


Christmas Reads...

Christmas Films....

Christmas Food....

 Christmas Reads

Dickens at Christmas by Charles Dickens- This is an anthology of  Dickens's (Christmas themed) stories. Rather than extracts from books this is Dicken's complete Christmas works in full.
It includes the classic 'A Christmas Carol' as well as lesser well known books (and harder to find stories) The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain. Additionally there are eight short stories that were written for periodicals: A Christmas tree, A Christmas dinner, What Christmas is as we grow older, The seven poor travellers, The poor relation's story, The child's story, The schoolboy's story, and Nobody's story. A perfect book for Dicken's lovers.
I heart Christmas by Lindsey Kelk- I love Lindsey Kelk's I heart Series- I like Angela the main character and her best friend Jenny, there's always lots of alcohol and embarrassing escapades involved.

Calling Mrs Christmas by Carole Matthews- Unemployed Cassie has a brain wave of being a Christmas PA, charging for services such as wrapping presents, decorating trees and catering Christmas parties. A rich and handsome client Carter asks her to accompany him and his children on a dream Christmas holiday she had planned for his family...which would mean leaving her partner Jim behind to deal with her fledgling business. Her descriptions of the extravagant  Lapland holiday sound so lovely it makes you yearn to be there yourself. The preface describes Matthew's research for the book included going to Lapland herself and seeing the amazing Northern Lights. The book is also written from Jim's perspective and his job as a prison worker.

Christmas Films

Bridget Jones Diary- From catching Mark Darcy's eye across the New Year turkey buffet to kissing on the snowy London street at Christmas (sans trousers/skirt as you do), Rene Zellweger plays Bridget Jones and all her lovable flaws to perfection. Not to mention you have a choice to drool over Colin Firth or Hugh Grant.

The Holiday- I love the idea of a holiday house swap and this film follows two women at Christmas frustrated with their loves lives, impulsively booking a holiday on a home exchange website. Iris (Kate Winslet) moves into Amanda's L.A. house in sunny California as Amanda (Cameron Diaz) arrives in the snow-covered English countryside. After arriving at their destinations, both women find the last thing either wants or expects: a new romance. Amanda is charmed by Iris' handsome brother Graham (Jude Law) while Iris mends her heart when she meets film composer Miles (Jack Black.) Even though I don't fancy Jack Black or Jude Law (yes I know I'm weird) this is a sweet film which I love.
Singin' In The Rain- While not actually set at Christmas this film is often broadcast around Christmas time. A Gene Kelly classic, this musical is slick, funny and fun to watch. I actually prefer the Make Them Laugh scene with the dancing and somersaults than the famous Singin' In The Rain Scene. Altogether a wonderful feel good movie.

Christmas Food...

Baci- These taste like Ferrero Rocher chocolates they contain nuts) but they come with little quotes and advice like a Chinese Fortune cookie. They are available in selected delis and also small packs at Cafe Nero.
Panettone- I don't like traditional English Christmas pudding and prefer instead Italian panettone with custard.
And Finally Christmas Wishes...

I have my eye on this 'book bag.'
 The 'Arabian Nights book purse' from NovelCreations Etsy It's handmade from a leather edition of Arabian Nights with a choice about the type of handle (clutch/messenger on as pictured.) It costs about £36.33

The other item on my wish list is the long awaited Urban Decay's Naked 3 Palette £37 available at House of Fraser and Debenhams

Monday, 2 December 2013

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation Review

"16 hours radiance-boosting, even revived complexion. Vitamin rich fruit therapy. Instant anti-fatigue. Undectable coverage.  This gel formula foundation with a treatment serum contains 3 super-fruits: lychee, goji and pomegranate. The vitamin and anti-oxidising super-fruits erase signs of fatigue, even out the complexion and revive its radiance: +69% more radiance after 4 weeks of use! Its instant melting effect and semi-matt finish blend in with the skin colouring, even skin tone naturally and erase blemishes.Hypoallergenic, non-occlusive, it respects the skin’s balance"

Product- 30ml/ 1 fl.oz No. 53 Beige Clair/Light Beige £10.99 (6 shades)

This foundation, if not all of Bourjois foundations lean towards the yellow tones, although it would be nice to see more than 6 shades available (the healthy mix foundation is 8 shades.)
It is also lightly perfumed and smells sweet although it is very subtle, I have asthma and am very sensitive to perfumed products especially on my face but this was fine.

Packaging- This should have a red cap but unfortunately I lost it. Generally I think having a red cap stands out (I think it's supposed to match the berries pictured on the front) and I think the bottle is heavy duty plastic, it's transparent so that you can see the colour of the foundation you're buying. The best thing is that it has a pump which gives as much or as little as you need and so is more hygienic.

Performance- This liquid foundation gives light coverage and dries to a semi-matte finish. It looks a little dewy. The 'gel foundation' feels smoother and silkier on hands than Bourjois 10 hours sleep effect foundation but it is not watery. Its fairly lightweight on the skin.It covers red areas and small blemishes but I'm not sure that it would cover acne or acne scarring.
As well as being hypo allergic this foundation seems to be non-comedogenic (does not seem to block  pores) although it is not labelled as such. I feel confident putting this on and around my nose which tends to attract spots and gets congested and it's fine, it never makes spots worst or create new ones, no breakouts. It lasts about 8 or so hours on my skin without powder.

However I'm not sold on the 16 hours radiance boosting or the 69% more radiance in four weeks- where did they come up with these numbers? Perhaps they did carry out tests, but I did not see any radiance on my skin or feel any benefits from the vitamins and the lychee, goji and pomegranate. However I guess it's nice to know that it contains these healthy ingredients which you're putting on your skin.

I've used this for at least two summers (I've gone through two bottles) and have realised that this doesn't match my skin colour! It's more orange and darker than my skin, I guess this might be okay if I wore fake tan and it would match but I don't. The colour makes the foundation really obvious and fake, but perhaps if it was the right colour it wouldn't. It also often cakes and clings around dry areas like around the nose, so a primer would be good. (I used E45 a nourishing moisturiser but this wasn't enough.) I mainly apply this with my hands.

I've decided to use this up by wearing it for evenings when the colour is not so obvious. I love the fact that it never blocks my pores. However I won't be repurchasing this as I feel there are better foundations out there. Also I've realised that you can use a cream foundation throughout the year changing the coverage by how you apply it e.g. with a damp sponge or brush.

This foundation is good for those with yellow skin tones with combination/normal skin seeking out a drugstore/high street foundation and want a light coverage. If the right colour is chosen it can be good for summer months when you want a lighter foundation.

This is not for you if you have bad acne/acne scarring or want a heavier coverage. If you have dry skin I recommend a primer before hand as well as a very good moisturiser. If you have oily skin this may not last the whole day without powder and you may suit a different foundation.

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