Category Archives: Skincare

Empties #7

11 October 2016

beauty empties

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Shower Gel, £6.50
You probably know by now that the Soap & Glory shower gels are a permanent feature around these parts. This one is my favourite but I’m not averse to dabbling in other scents.

Repurchase? Already have

Soap & Glory Orangeasm Shower Gel, £6.50
As mentioned above, I do dip my toe in other S&G shower gel offerings. I feel like Orangeasm SHOULD be my favourite, but I always go back to Sugar Crush – probably because it evokes happy memories.

Repurchase? Maybe

L’Oreal Skin Perfection Day Cream, £14.99
I forgot I even got through this so I can’t imagine it set my world on fire. I do remember it being really velvety soft, almost like it contained silicone. It was pleasant enough to use but probably better suited to oilier skins.

Repurchase? No

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Oil, £11
I’ve been on a bit of a rampage to find the perfect cleansing oil. I liked this one but I feel like I’ve tried better. Also, I found it stung a little bit if it got too close to my eyeball. I did like the pump though, a little less messy than some others.

Repurchase? Probably not

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil, £10
Compared to the No7 cleansing oil I mentioned above, I thought this one worked better and took my mascara off a little quicker and didn’t sting my eyes. My only issue was the leaky pump and peeling label – I’m trying to get my life together and a sad looking bottle on my bathroom shelf won’t help matters!

Repurchase? Maybe

La Roche Posay Serozinc, £8.50
I stocked up on these in Paris last year before they came to the UK after hearing all the rave reviews. I do like it but I’m afraid I just don’t get the hype. It seems to me just a normal toner, but I must say I like the cooling aerosol spray. It’s one of those things I will probably keep using because I feel like I should, you know what I mean?

Repurchase? Maybe

Nivea Daily Essentials Regenerating Night Cream, £4.19
I’m not too sure how this made its way onto my dressing table, but as a very cheap and cheerful night cream, this one is fine. I’ve since graduated onto slightly more sophisticated night creams but my husband liked this one. It’s very thick and rich, so probably a good one for dry skin.

Repurchase? No

Frizz Ease Miraculous Recovery Conditioner, £6.99
Frizz Ease and I have had a life long affair and thing won’t be cooling off any time soon. I never use conditioners without a mask afterwards so can’t comment on how well this performs on its own, but I really like it. It’s one of many steps I take to tame my hair but it plays its part well.

Repurchase? Already have

Frizz Ease Miraculous Recovery Intensive Masque, £6.99
I really like this mask and do notice when I haven’t used it. It’s pretty rich and is probably too much for finer hair but I like to apply this very liberally to reduce frizz.

Repurchase? Already have

Boots Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Makeup Remover, £2.50
I always have a duo-phase eye makeup remover to hand and don’t stick to one particular brand. I did like this one though and will probably pick another bottle up in the future. It didn’t require too much rubbing to remove my waterproof eyeliner and is pretty cheap, so no complaints from me.

Repurchase? Probably

Sure Antiperspirant Shower Fresh, £2.10
Not much to say about this, does the job.

Repurchase? Yes

L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Oil-in-Cream x 2, £6.99
It should be pretty obvious by now how much I adore this tube of miraculous goodness – I use it pretty much every day. I use it on wet hair without fail, and also on dry hair when it needs reviving and I can’t be bothered washing it. It’s especially amazing when your hair is super frizzy, dry and dull. I pop this on the ends, whip out the curling tongs to ‘seal’ in the product and ended up with genuinely softer, shinier, sleeker hair.

Repurchase? Already have

Frizz Ease 10 Day Tamer Pre-Wash Treatment, £12.99
Honestly, I was so excited for this but I noticed zero difference. Plus with hair as thick as mine, you only get one use out of it, making it pretty expensive for what it is.

Repurchase? No

Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water, £10.50
I have quite a few of these to get through after last year’s Paris haul and use a splash every day, either in the morning to remove any leftover makeup that is still lingering on my face, or as a pre-cleanse in the evening. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this and say, the Garnier one.

Repurchase? Maybe

L’Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray, £3.98
A bathroom cabinet staple!

Repurchase? Already have

Nivea Essential Care Lip Balm, £1.65
I picked this up in Tesco of all places when my lips were dry and I didn’t have any lip balm in my bag and was surprised at how pleasant this basic little guy was.

Repurchase? Maybe

2True Mascara Clear, £3
What a find! I actually use this as a clear brow gel, and it gives amazing hold without shine or crispiness. Currently on sale on the 2True website for one English pound – one! Definitely better than the Maybelline clear brow gel.

Repurchase? Yes

Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Wiz Ebony, £15.50
I did a full review of this here, but basically I am never without this. To be honest these days I use the DipBrow a buttload more than this but the Brow Wiz is permanently in my handbag for on-the-go touch ups, or when I can’t be bothered going the whole hog with a pomade.

Repurchase? Already have

Soap & Glory Archery Brownie Points, £10
This is the one with the pencil and a felt pen, not a spoolie. The pencil was ok, if a little weak on pigment, and I didn’t really ‘get’ the pen. The colour on both sides was a bit off too. Nothing special all in all.

Repurchase? No

KIKO Volumeyes+ Active Mascara, £7.90
I reviewed this here, and really loved it, but KIKO is one of those brands I tend to forget about unless I happen to walk past a store, which is very often. Have a look – the results are incredible!

Repurchase? Yes

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara Intense Black, £7.99
Another review here. I liked it at the time but wasn’t blown away, but now I look at the pictures, I really like the look of it. I think I’ve just had a spate of very average mascaras recently and didn’t appreciate it at the time.

Repurchase? Probably

Max Factor Masterpiece Transform Mascara Black, £9.99
Usually I love Max Factor mascaras, but this didn’t do it for me. I found it lacking in oomph and didn’t offer much in the way of length. Definitely pick up the False Lash Effect instead if you happen to be hovering around the Max Factor counter.

Repurchase? No

YSL Faux Cils Volume Effet Babydoll Mascara Black, £25
I was actually planning on doing a review on this, but it ran out before I had a chance. I felt like I only got a few weeks out of this it which was disappointing. I thought it was good but it didn’t blow me away, you know? Considering the price, I’d definitely go for the KIKO instead.

GOSH Boombastic Mascara Black, £8.49
I love this stuff, and for the price it is amazing. I like to try new things but this is one of the few mascaras that I have happily repurchased a few times. Read the full review here.

Seventeen Falsifeye HD Mascara Black, £6.99
I reviewed this in full here, and needless to say I love it. This is proof that even cheap mascara can be amazing – another mascara that I have repurchased several times.

Repurchase? Already have.

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara Black, £14
I’d wanted to try this for ages and finally took the plunge. It was good but not amazing, so a little disappointing. I LOVE long and defined bottom lashes but I don’t think the Bottom Lash Mascara from Clinique is an essential purchase – you can get the same effect and faster with a regular mascara, however the level of control was nice.

Repurchase? No.

L’Oreal Super Liner Ultra Precision Black, £6.49
I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to these felt nib L’Oreal eyeliners, which is a shame as I remember this being pretty good. It made my eyelid pretty swollen and lumpy so sadly this won’t be a repurchase.

Repurchase? No.

So that’s another Empties post done – who else loves chucking out a big bag of finished products?!

Dry Skin Picks

15 June 2016

products for dry skinI don’t know about you, but I suffer from dry skin even in the raging humidity of summer – dry face, dry legs, dry arms, dry lips – you name it, I’ve got it. I literally can’t get enough of moisture-giving products, but even makeup and skincare designed for dry skin often isn’t enough for me. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered the best genuinely moisturising products that keep me from looking like an old snakeskin bag, and today I’m sharing these with my fellow lizard-like gals!

THE ALL-PURPOSE MOISTURISER
I keep banging on about this but A-Derma Exomega emollient cream (£10.50 for 200ml) for face & body is the only moisturiser I’ve been using on a daily basis since 2016 began. Now, if your skin is not very dry, I absolutely don’t recommend this stuff for your face, but if it is (or if it’s extremely sensitive or eczema prone), this will make your skin act ‘normal’ and will stop any dry patches forming when you apply foundation (I use this as a moisturiser, as a primer or to mix with foundation to make a tinted moisturiser). Also, if you get scaly legs, this stuff will obliterate that until the next time you shower – I can’t live without it.

THE FOUNDATION
I reviewed the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation (£32.50) in full here, if you want to learn more about it or see what it looks like on. A lightweight, glowy formula, this is one of the few foundations that doesn’t completely dry my skin out. It’s a light-medium coverage so it’s a good one for summer when you don’t want to cake layers of makeup on.

THE BODY SCRUB
Another discovery that I haven’t stopped using since last summer is Sanctuary Spa Ultimate Salt Scrub (£1.75 for 60g sachet) – man this stuff is good. If you like coarse, oily scrubs I can’t recommend this one enough. It comes in a big old jar but it’s also available in these super handy sachets, which are perfect for travelling. It makes my legs look and feel infinitely smoother (even hubby notices when I’ve used this) and again, banishes scaly skin until the next shower.

THE CONCEALER
Concealers are notoriously cake-central even on normal skin so when you come by a heavy duty concealer that doesn’t leave your face looking like you’ve dipped it in sand, you know it’s a keeper. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22.50) is probably the only concealer I’ve come across that covers my dark circles effectively without the need for an inch-thick layer of moisturiser underneath.

THE FACE OIL
Prepping dry skin for a day of slap ideally starts the night before with a good face oil. This Works Active Oil (£45.00) is the one I’ve been using, giving me a decent moisture hit along with anti-ageing properties. I don’t find it too greasy, and it leaves my skin with a subtle glow come morning.

THE LIP BALMS
I’ve included two lip balms as I couldn’t narrow it down to one. At bedtime, I like to use Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips (£12.00) (probably even more so than Nuxe Reve de Miel – it’s a lot more comfortable on the lips), which leaves my lips still moist come morning. Carmex Lip Tints (£4.49) are a dream to use, and are a great tinted lip balm if your lips are quite pigmented, and other tints struggle to show up. I reviewed the pink version here.

THE TINTED MOISTURISER
If you’re anything like me, you’ll rarely be able to muster up the energy to trowel on foundation on an average morning. However, if you feel like putting on a ‘lil somethin’, Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturising Balm (£36.50) is a dream. Another warning here – if you’re not a dry skin sufferer, this will make you look like an oil slick in 30 seconds flat. If you do have dry skin and just can’t find a tint that glides on, you need to give this one a try (plus it’s got SPF 25). I do have to powder my nose with this one as it gets a bit shiny throughout the day, but if you’ve suffered from dry skin your entire life, this is actually a novelty!

What are your dry skin picks? I’m always dying to try new ones, especially for my legs!

Review: The Makeup Eraser

28 April 2016

eraser 2eraser 3eraserHola chappies! Does anyone else get sucked in by that shelf in Boots displaying the ‘new in’ products? Well, a few weeks ago I was languishing in the snail-pace queue of probably one of the very worst branches of Boots in London and noticed the infamous Makeup Eraser. For those of you unfamiliar with matters of overpriced pink cloths, the Makeup Eraser claims to remove all your makeup with just water. No cleanser, no oil, nada. Needless to say I was sceptical but I’ll give anything a try if it means simplifying my nightly routine.

On first impressions, the Makeup Eraser is very soft and fleecy. There doesn’t appear to be any magical properties to it, but you do have to wash it before first use (I ignored this instruction at first but got a lot of lint in my eyes, causing temporary blindness so I wouldn’t recommend skipping this step). Now, on a regular day I wear some kind of base product, concealer, brow pomade, eyehsadow, eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara (non-waterproof) and lipstick – which is what I have on in the ‘before’ photo. So, as per the instructions, I soaked the Makeup Eraser with warm water and proceeded to wipe the makeup off my face. This is where the disappointment began.

The Makeup Eraser doesn’t seem to get fully wet, if you know what I mean? It almost feels like it’s coated in some kind of teflon or water repellent. It does eventually get wet but not soaked like a flannel would. Anyway, I carried on wiping my face and the base makeup came off easily enough, but the cloth REALLY struggled with my eye makeup. I had to really rub hard to get anything removed, thus tugging my skin. Things weren’t helped by the weird dry-but-wet texture of the cloth so it didn’t really glide. The makeup removal process was already taking way longer than I’d have liked so I called it a day. You can see from the’after’ photo that there’s still a copious amount of eyeliner around. In fairness, it removed my mascara pretty well so I’ll give it that.

Another issue I had was that I found the Makeup Eraser too soft. Personally I like the gentle abrasiveness of a cotton flannel to help my face feel really clean. My face just felt a bit grubby after using this, sadly. But, if you have sensitive skin you might like the softness.

The Makeup Eraser does wash extremely well, and you don’t get left with those murky stains that flannels get permanently riddled with. But, at £16.50, I was hoping for more than just an easy-to-clean cloth. It has since been relegated to my pile of flannels and I occasionally use it with a cleanser, but to be honest I almost always reach for a humble Asda flannel.

Apologies for being a Debbie Downer with this one, but do let me know if you like it or I’m just using it completely wrong. Surely I am?!

The Makeup Eraser is available at Boots and costs £16.50.

Hong Kong Beauty Haul

21 February 2016

hong kong haul
As promised, I’ve taken on the mammoth task of writing up my Hong Kong beauty haul. If anyone is curious, Hong Kong is an amazing place to shop for makeup and skincare. You’ll find many of the standard Western brands but also plenty of Korean and Japanese brands too, which I was mostly frothing at the mouth with excitement over. I did the bulk of my shopping in the flagship Sasa store in Tsim Sha Tsui (it’s a bit like Sephora) and the Etude House store in Causeway Bay. I went a tad mad with the old credit card but I justified it by telling myself I can’t get most of this shizz in the UK. I’m yet to try any of these products out, but I’ll be sure to write about any stand-out products as and when I use them. So, make sure you’re sitting comfortably, here goes!
hong kong haul 2
MASKS
In case you didn’t realise, East Asians are OBSESSED with sheet masks. Go into any Hong Kong pharmacy and you will find a butt load of masks – literally hundreds. I picked up some black head ones, some brightening ones and some moisturising ones. I’m especially looking forward to trying this ridiculous-looking ‘pig nose’ mask, and the little honey packs too, which contain honey (obviously), ginseng, cactus and angelica. Most of these masks have very little English on them so it’s a case of trying them out and hoping for the best. This is what I picked up:

  • Combos Skin Brightening Dual Booster Masks
  • Etude House Skin Note Deep Moisturizing Mask
  • Etude House Skin Note Brightening Hydrogel Mask
  • Etude House Black Head Remover Dual Sheets
  • Etude House I Need You, Honey! Wash Off Packs
  • Holika Holika Pig Nose Clear Black Head Kit
  • Hadatuko Eye Masks

hong kong haul 3
EYE MAKEUP
Hong Kong is the place to go if you’re looking for false eyelashes, especially natural looking ones. There were so many varieties that are harder to get hold of in the UK, like bottom lashes and outer corner lashes. I also bought some brush-on false eyelash glue which could be handy for on-the-go applications. I’ve no idea if this stuff is waterproof like my usual Duo adhesive but I’m sure it will go the inevitable Friday night post-happy hour sobbing test. Mascaras are pretty big business in HK too, it took me an age to settle on the two I ended up buying, one being a fibre mascara. This is what I bought:

  • Canmake Glitter Powder Frosty Clear
  • Canmake Lasting Multi Eye Base
  • Koji Charming Kiss Eyelash Glue
  • K-Palette 1 Day Magic Fiber Mascara Black
  • Sasatinnie Bling Bling Mega Eyes Mascara Black
  • Koji False Eyelashes No.5 Little Feminine

hong kong haul 4
NAILS
I didn’t go too wild in aisles of the nail section, but I did choose this fabulous looking cuticle pen. It pushes, it trims and it dispenses cuticle oil, so I’m curious to see how well it works. Usually I run a mile when I see any hint of rhinestone but these Swarovski nail art gems caught my eye. I think a couple of them would look beautiful with some nice nude nails. I picked up:

  • Sasatinnie Gel Topcoat
  • Jewelry Stones Art 3D Rubber Art Collection
  • GR Collection 3-in-1 Cuticle Pen

hong kong haul 5
SKIN
Does anyone know if this Maybelline makeup remover is available in the UK? This stuff is awesome! I was in desperate need of an oil based makeup remover and saw this. It’s a dual phase formula and it lifts off stubborn waterproof eye makeup SO EASILY. I’m kicking myself for not buying more of it. I’m also champing at the bit to slap on this ‘mermaid skin’ gel onto my ruddy winter skin. In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure what it does but it’s got a whopping SPF of 50, and anyway, who wouldn’t want the glow of fish scales on their face?! I bought/received as free samples:

  • Lepoze Heat Clear Cream
  • Maybelline Clean Express Total Clean Eye & Lip Makeup Remover
  • Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel
  • Etude House Collagen Moistfull Cream
  • Etude House Collagen Moistfull Emulsion
  • Etude House Collagen Moistfull Facial Freshener
  • Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Samples

hong kong haul 6
LIPS
Surprisingly, I displayed a decent amount of restraint in the lip product department. I was intrigued by these L’Oreal lip tints that are in powder form (a similar version are making their way to the UK I hear). A nice idea but lips must be buffed smoother than a baby’s behind before you put these anywhere near your face. Etude House had some nice lip products too, the lip liner is especially creamy. All in all, I picked up:

  • L’Oreal Tint Caresse Tulip Blossom
  • L’Oreal Tint Caresse Peach Blossom
  • Etude House Rosy Tint Lips 07 Tea Rose
  • Etude House Soft Touch Auto Lip Liner 01 Soft Rose
  • Princess Majoca Lip Scrub

hong kong haul 7
TOOLS
By no means do I need another Shu Uemura eyelash curler but these cost half as much as they do in the UK so I thought I’d pick up a spare set. I also bought a metal lash comb to help sort out over-zealous mascara application, and a lip brush with a lid for my handbag. I bought:

  • Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
  • Shishida Seishindo Metallic Lash Comb
  • Lu.Face Lip Brush

And there we have it. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products out, or if there’s anything in particular you want a review on. Like I mentioned above, I’ll write up posts about anything that’s especially good (or, God forbid, shockingly bad).

Bye for now, gals and guys!

Empties #6

25 November 2015

beauty empties

My hoard of empties seems to get larger and larger each time…but that’s probably less to do with using more products and more to do with not being able to muster up the energy to write up this particular post! But the longer I leave it the more the monster will grow so let’s get started – it’s a long one.

Soap & Glory Foam Call Shower & Bath Body Wash, £6.50
At any given time, there is a Soap & Glory shower gel in my bathroom. This one smelled good and was definitely foamier than some of the other S&G shower gels. I didn’t use it in the bath so I can’t comment on that regard. I might pick it up again at some point but for now I’ve gone back to Sugar Crush which is actually less foamy but smells amazing in the morning.

Repurchase? Maybe

Johnson’s Daily Essentials Gentle Eye Make-up Removal Pads, £3.19
I completely forgot I ever had these which probably implies they didn’t leave a lasting impression. I do remember them being very gentle and soft and slightly on the drier side – definitely not like the oily versions you normally get. I just don’t know if I can be bothered removing eye makeup separately to the rest of my face.

Repurchase? Maybe

Veet Face Wax Strips, £6.29
Yes, that is two packs of 20 strips you see there. My ‘tache can be an unruly beast and these wax strips sort it out in no time. They’ve got a good amount of grip and don’t irritate my skin. I won’t go as far as saying they don’t hurt (they do) but it’s not unbearable.

Repurchase? Already have

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, £13
Apparently loved by makeup artists the world over, this is a pretty rich moisturiser. I wouldn’t use this every day (I don’t think it has any SPF) but I love this under a heavy base of makeup. Because I’ve got dry skin, most primers don’t really work for me so I use this instead. It creates the perfect base but it might be a bit rich for oily skin.

Repurchase? Already have

Biore Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, £7.99
These never stop being grossly intriguing, and they get the job done. I like to indulge in these pore strips once every few weeks to smooth out the surface of my nose. I’ve tried cheaper brands but always come back to these.

Repurchase? Yes

Indeed Labs Hydraluron Facial Serum, £24.99
I had high hopes for Hydraluron after the beauty world went a bit mad over it. I didn’t feel like it added anything to my skin, and definitely not any extra moisture. I used it daily until it ran out and couldn’t detect any improvements in my skin, which was extra disappointing considering the £25 price tag.

Repurchase? No

Korres Wild Rose Brightening & Line Smoothing Serum, £30
This was my first foray into face serums. It was fine, and I did feel like it added a bit of moisture to my skin. I’m not sure if my fine lines were reduced but I did notice a little bit more radiance. I just didn’t feel wowed by it so the search for the perfect serum continues.

Repurchase? No

L’Oreal Elnett Precious Oils Hairspray, £3.99
Not too much to say on this one, I’ve been buying Elnett in its various varieties for over a decade and don’t see myself stopping. The precious oils one adds a bit of shine, but to be honest I couldn’t tell much difference between this and the other regular versions. I have bought it again in the large size as I get through these cans pretty quickly.

Repurchase? Already have

Dove Beauty Finish Anti-Perspirant, £2.99
Does the job, smells good. Not a lot more to say on this one.

Repurchase? Already have

Sure Cotton Anti-Perispirant, £2.10
Ditto. I’m not particularly loyal to any deodorant but I do like these compressed cans.

Repurchase? Probably

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-up Removing Micelle Solution, £10.20
I have a LOT of bottles of these to get through after picking them up in Paris earlier in the year. I’ve been using Bioderma every day and it does a nice job of removing most of my makeup without irritation. I will say that after I’ve gotten through my stash, I will probably go back to the Garnier version.

Repurchase? No

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, £4.99
I think this was one of the first micellar waters on the market after Bioderma sent everyone into a frenzy. To be honest, I think the Garnier version is just as good as Bioderma, and you can’t argue with that price.

Repurchase? Yes

Champneys Super Rich Cleansing Balm, £15.00
I really liked this but I have a feeling it’s being phased out (it’s not in Boots anymore). It feels truly luxurious and is a gorgeous second-cleanse product. It’s one of those that starts off as a solid and melts into an oil on the skin. Leaves the skin clean, soft, nourished and moisturised. Also smells more expensive than it really is. Review here.

Repurchase? Yes

Boots Botanics All Bright Hydrating Day Cream, £4.99
This was quite a thick little cream and was a decent moisturiser, considering the price. I didn’t notice my skin looking any brighter though, and didn’t feel excited to use it in the mornings, if you know what I mean?

Repurchase? No

Sanctuary Spa Radiance Exfoliator, £10.50
My go-to facial exfoliator. Sensitive skins might not like the scrubby bits but this leaves my skin SO smooth, soft and bright. I love that Sanctuary Spa products do what they claim without the high price tags. A truly underrated brand in my opinion. Plus this comes in a tiny travel size – I take it everywhere.

Repurchase? Yes

Sanctuary Spa Fresh-Faced Purifying Wash, £9.00
This is one of the few non-exfoliating face washes that leave my skin smooth and bright. I like to use this with a hot flannel as a second cleanse. Sometimes I try out other face washes but I’ve come back to this several times.

Repurchase? Yes

Una Brennan Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Brighten Cleansing Oil, £10.99
Another product I forgot about! I remember loving the orange scent of this, and it took my makeup off easily. I don’t think it irritated my eyes too much (but I do think the Body Shop’s Camomile cleansing oil feels gentler on the eyes).

Repurchase? Maybe

Yes to Grapefruit Brightening Facial Wipes, £3.99
My skin is by no means sensitive but I found that these stung the hell out of it. I wasn’t sure whether to feel scared or impressed that something was finely able to irritate my skin! I didn’t dare use these near my eyes, and they dried out before I’d finished them, which is a shame given that there’s a proper lid.

Repurchase? No

Nivea Facial Cleansing Wipes Travel Pack, £1.39
These were how face wipes should be! Easy, quick and gentle. I like this travel pack for weekends away and because there are only seven wipes, I got through them quickly, meaning they didn’t have a chance to dry out.

Repurchase? Probably

Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel, £20.50
I really liked using this with a hot cloth and it was ok removing eye makeup too (it did cause a tiny bit of irritation but nothing major). It feels luxurious and leaves skin nourished and soft. Not an essential but nice to have nonetheless.

Repurchase? Probably

COLAB Sheer & Invisible Dry Shampoo Tokyo, £1.99
I don’t really get on too well with most dry shampoos but loved this one. The sheer formula is a godsend for brunettes and gets rid of excess oil really well. It also adds a little bit of volume at the roots which is never a bad thing.

Repurchase? Already have

Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover, £4.99
Still with me?! This pot has ruined me. I’ve never gone back to regular nail polish remover and don’t intend to. This is quick, easy and perfect for the lazy girl.

Repurchase? Already have

BeautyBlender Solid Brush Cleanser, £14.00
Speaking of lazy girls, the BeautyBlender solid cleanser is the only thing I use to clean my makeup brushes. It cleans them SO quickly and you don’t have to faff around with other bits and bobs. You simply wet the brush, swirl into the soap and rinse. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm Pink Tint, £4.49
Great lip balm, looks more like a gloss but without the stickiness. I have brownish lips and this is one of the few tinted lip balms that shows up as the colour it’s supposed to. It’s got the standard Carmex tingly feeling so if you’re into that, this is your guy. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Blistex Lip Brilliance Blushing, £2.59
I didn’t find this overly moisturising and wasn’t too keen on the shimmery red colour. Very average!

Repurchase? No

Rimmel Glam’Eyes Liquid Liner Black, £5.29
Another one I’ve been going back to for years. By far the ‘wettest’ eyeliner I’ve come across, meaning it glides on extremely smoothly. It’s great for the outer half of the upper eyelid if you want a very fine, precise flick, anywhere else, you are guaranteed smudging.

Repurchase? Already have

Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara Black, £9.99
Call me controversial but I think Bourjois trump Maybelline mascaras by far. This mascara was one of the few hyped up mascaras that I believe lived up to expectation. Great volume, great length and great staying power.

Repurchase? Already have

Soap & Glory Archery 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush Hot Chocolate, £8.00
This is the closest thing to Anastasia Brow Wiz I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried more eyebrow products than is deemed healthy. The colour is slightly too chocolatey (only very, very slightly) for my eyebrows but it’s got a similar consistency to the Brow Wiz. When I’ve run out, this is usually my back up.

Repurchase? Maybe

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil Nude Perfection, £4.99
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. This is one of my favourite lip products of all time. The formula is perfect, the colour is perfect and the sharpen-able design is perfect. I would happily spend £20 on this which is why I find the £4.99 price tag mind boggling. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Anastasia Brow Wiz Ebony, £15.50
My go-to brow product on the days I don’t use the DipBrow Pomade. A forever repurchase, and completely worth the money. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner Black, £7.99
And last but not least…another product repurchased for years. The formula is smooth and creamy and stays in place for a decent amount of time. I like that it’s super black and super matte. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Phew! And there we have it. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them.

Empties #5

30 March 2015

beauty emptiesI have quite the glut of empties today – does anyone else get a fuzzy feeling inside when you throw away a mountain of rubbish?

Radox Muscle Soak, £2.00
Not sure if this eases muscle ache any more than normal bubble baths but pleasant enough although nothing to right home about. Everyone has a bottle of Radox in their bathroom right?

Repurchase? Maybe

L’Oreal Elnett Hairspray, £2.60
I’ve tried countless other hairspray brands and this is the only one that doesn’t make my hair sticky and crunchy.  Forever repurchased – I’m never without it.

Repuchase? Already have

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme, £30
I have a strained relationship with my hair and don’t feel like it deserves high end products. However, for this cult product I’ll make an exception. I bought this pot after trying out a travel size, and was hooked. It genuinely makes me hate my hair a little bit less.

Repurchase? Yes

Garnier 2-in-1 Express Eye Makeup Remover, £3.49
I was neither here nor there with this. It’s one of those bi-phase solutions which you have to shake up. It did a decent enough job of removing eye makeup without too much effort but was a little greasy. Nonetheless, one of the better drugstore options.

Repurchase? Maybe

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash, £6.50
Out of all the S&G body washes, this one is my most repurchased and probably my favourite. It’s fresh and uplifting and the bottle lasts months, depending on how often you wash yourself.

Repurchase? Yes

Soap & Glory Orangeasm Body Wash, £6.50
Again, very fresh and zesty. I thought I’d like this more than Sugar Crush, and whilst it is indeed, orangeasmic, I think I just about like Sugar Crush more.

Repurchase? Probably

Avene Eau Thermale Micellar Lotion, £13.00 for 200ml
Not a lotion, just a water. I honestly can’t tell the difference between most micellar waters. Does what it says on the tin, and this tiny size was great for travelling and lasted forever (probably because I haven’t done much travelling). But there are cheaper options that do the same thing.

Repurchase? No

Murad Vitalic Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser, £28 for 150ml
I got this in a set, so not one I’d buy individually. Apparently foaming cleansers are to be avoided like the plague so I’ll probably steer clear. It was an ok cleanser, did the job gently but it didn’t blow me away, especially for the price. Also, I think it has been renamed to Pore Reform Daily Cleansing Foam, otherwise it has been discontinued.

Repurchase? No

Lush American Cream Hair Conditioner, £4.50
This is one of those conditioners that doesn’t feel like it’s doing much in the shower but when your hair has been dried and styled, the softness and shine is incredible. I’be only ever used this in conjunction with the Lush Braziliant solid shampoo so I’m not sure which is the praise worthy party. Maybe both?

Repurchase? Yes

Boots Time Delay Daily Cleansing Micellar Water, £4.49
This has a suspiciously high rating on the Boots website but I suspect those reviewers haven’t tried other micellar waters? I said most are similar but this is one that I hated. So much so I chucked it away when there was still half the bottle left, which is unheard of for a hoarder like me. It stung my eyes and felt weirdly sticky on my skin. Bizarre.

Repurchase? No

Sanctuary Spa Radiance Exfoliator, £2.99
I’m never without this exfoliator and always stock up on the travel sizes. It’s nice and scrubby without being overly harsh but really gives my skin a good polish. Makes a visible difference.

Repurchase? Already have?

Boots Botanics Rosewater Toning Spritz, £5.99
I really grew to love this and now it’s gone I miss it. It’s refreshing, hydrating and is perfect for wiping away the last traces of makeup after cleansing. I don’t even like rose that much but this was a joy to use. Apparently it visibly tightens pores but I don’t have a pore issue so can’t verify.

Repurchase? Yes

RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum, £41.00

I need to do a review of this but this stuff genuinely works. My lashes are a fair bit longer and definitely fuller, but I find you have to keep using it to hold onto the benefits.

Repurchase? Already have

Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm Pink Tint, £4.49
One of the few pink tinted lip balms that actually show up on me. Lovely colour, minty and moisturising. I also like how it’s relatively quick to use up – there’s something very satisfying about finishing a product.

Repurchase? Already have.

Nair Argan Oil Facial Wax Strips, £5.69
I’m not especially loyal to one waxing brand but I liked the look of these. However, after using them, I wasn’t any less mustached than before. These literally pulled out about two hairs and lost their stickiness after the first yank. Next please.

Repurchase? No

Boots Cosmetic Cotton Buds, £1.40
Another constant repurchase. Here’s a tip (literally) – make sure you get the ‘cosmetic’ buds, not the normal cotton buds. The pointed end is perfect for cleaning up botched winged liner and too-fat eyebrow tails.

Repurchase? Already have

Superdrug Cosmetic Cotton Buds, £1.39
Exactly the same as the Boots ones, I just pick them up from wherever is easiest at the time.

Repurchase? Yes

Dove Beauty FInish Anti-Perspirant, £2.99
Does the job, smells good and doesn’t sting. I get through these pretty quickly.

Repurchase? Already have

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Balm, £9.50
Don’t let the name fool you – this is most definitely not a balm, it’s more like a cream. This was ok, it left my skin feeling very moisturised and clean but stung my eyes horribly so not a good one for removing the last traces of mascara.

Repurchase? No

Philip Kingsley Re-Moisturizing Shampoo, £17 for 250ml
I don’t usually spend much on shampoo but this is genuinely one of the very few shampoos that actually felt moisturising on my coarse, dry hair. I’m in two minds about this as I’m pretty happy with my cheaper Lush option at the moment and I focus on conditioners and masks more when dealing with my dryness.

Repurchase? Maybe

French Pharmacy & Makeup Haul

23 March 2015

french beauty haulApologies for my hiatus, I was busy getting married and mini-mooning in Paris! I had the BEST time but I know how boring weddingy stuff is if it’s not on your radar so I won’t go on about it. Anyway, I was more excited to get to Paris and feverishly raid the pharmacies and Sephora. Looking at my bounty, I’m both shocked and appalled at myself for not going more wild in the aisles. However, I am rather pleased with my purchases and got my mitts on a lot of products I’d been fantasising about.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
I already have this in a smaller size but it was a bit cheaper in France so I popped the larger tube into my basket. A nice and basic moisturiser for underneath foundation and great for travelling.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc
Apparently it’s sacrilege to set foot in France and not load up on this spray-on toner so I bought three. I’ve just started to use it to see what all the fuss is about and so far it’s a pleasant enough spritz, much like the Avene thermal water, just a little saltier. I’ve got some blemishes on my forehead so I’m excited to see if this magic water clears them up.

Bioderma Micellar Solution
Need I say more?

Caudalie Beauty Elixir
I’ve resisted giving into this for the longest time and still don’t really understand what it’s supposed to do but it was 7 or 8 Euros so of course I was going to buy it. Looks like a good one for the summer.

Caudalie Moisturising Toner
This French skincare haul seems to be full of things that have a very vague purpose. I’m not massively into toners but there was something about this one that caught my eye so I’m looking forward to incorporating this into my skincare routine.

Makeup Forever HD Foundation
This is what I was most excited about and despite a very dubious matching process with A LOT of language barrier issues, I came away with the perfect shade for my skin. I used this for the remainder of my time in Paris and it was flawless. I’m excited about using it more.

Makeup Forever HD Loose Powder
I’m not a big powder kind of gal but while I was getting the companion foundation, I had to stick my finger into this powder. And let me tell you, it was like stroking the undercarriage of angel kittens. I’m waiting for a decent night out with lots of sweaty dancing to put this to the test but holy moly, this stuff is special.

Review: L’Oreal Skin Perfection Anti-Fatigue Perk Up Cream

9 February 2015

loreal skin perfection anti fatigue perk up cream review
loreal skin perfection anti fatigue perk up cream reviewloreal skin perfection anti fatigue perk up cream review
More often than not, I don’t have time to faff around with trowelling on foundation in the mornings so I’m always on the lookout for a quick-fix option. If you ever read my review on the Garnier Miracle Skin Cream, you’ll know how much I love it, so I thought I’d try the L’Oreal version of a very similar product.

I’ll cut to the chase – it is extremely similar to the Garnier one but with one main difference. Whereas the Garnier cream has a yellow tone to it (which I like), the L’Oreal one is a lot more neutral/beige in colour. This will get a big ‘huzzah’ from a lot of women because the yellow thing just didn’t go down well with a lot of people. They both come out as thick-ish cream with tiny balls of pigment which burst when rubbed into the skin (this sentence makes me feel ill).

L’Oreal Skin Perfection Anti-Fatigue Perk Up Cream looks and feels great on my skin. It give a little bit of coverage, makes my dark circles a bit less intense, evens out my skintone (making it less yellow) and gives my skin a healthy glow. I usually finish off my base with some under-eye concealer and the effects hang around for the whole day. I will say that I end up with a few rogue balls that get caught in my eyebrows so I sometimes have to comb those out but apart from that, it is a doddle to slap on. In my ‘full face’ photo, I have just this cream on and concealer under my eyes as my base – there is absolutely no foundation.

Again, like Garnier’s Miracle Skin Cream, L’Oreal Perk Up Cream comes with SPF 20 which I feel is enough for me, especially in the winter. I had a workout in the strangely hot sun yesterday after using Alpha-H Liquid Gold the night before for the first time – I did have fears that my face, that was in direct sunlight for an hour, would be burnt off, but I had the Perk Up Cream on which seems to have provided enough protection.

If you like the effects of the Garnier Miracle Skin Cream but find the colour a bit off, I’d really recommend L’Oreal Skin Perfection Anti-Fatigue Perk Up Cream. It does indeed perk up the skin and if you have decent skin already, you’ll probably be happy to leave the house with this as your base.

L’Oreal Skin Perfection Anti-Fatigue Perk Up Cream is on offer at the moment in Boots, available for the bargainous price of £7.99.

Review: Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment

17 December 2014

glamglow supermud reviewglamglow supermud reviewHere ye, here ye. Today’s review is of the fairly overexposed Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment – which I’d relentlessly been hearing about and agonising over the decision to buy it. But as Aristotle himself said, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I snapped up the 30ml version as part of a gift set at Marks & Spencer a few months ago which came with the Youthmud (I can’t remember exactly how much it cost but there was an offer on, making the set cheaper than buying the Supermud on its own – so keep your eyes peeled at M&S – they have surprisingly good beauty offers on now and again.

I’ll cut to the chase as all of you are probably aware of the ins and outs of the Glamglow mask. I’ve used this a couple of times and have enjoyed it each time. You can see from the photos my forehead and nose are a little less shiny and the pores on my nose look a bit smoother. It does leave my skin clean, soft, smooth and ready for makeup application, albeit a little on the dry side. However, I’m going to go against the masses and say that, for me, Glamglow isn’t necessarily worth the price tag. BUT I will point out that I have a pretty anal skincare routine and quite honestly, there isn’t a lot that will make my skin any better – it’s at its best ever right now. Nevertheless, I’ll keep using this before big nights out to get my skin as soft and smooth as possible.glamglow supermud reviewglamglow supermud reviewglamglow supermud reviewUnless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll know that most people rave about this mask and they’re probably justified. All I’d say is that if you’ve already got great skin, this isn’t necessarily going to stand out from the crowd as much as you were expecting. In all honesty, the Una Brennan Super Facialist Pore Purifying Clay Mask (review here) will do a very similar job at a fraction of the price (and without having to stick any curious fingers into any pots).

Apologies for my close-up gormless resting-face.

Please let me know how you got on with this mask – anyone else a bit on the fence?

The 30ml version is available a little cheaper at £34.99 from Look Fantastic here.

Review: Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover

16 August 2014

nivea daily essentials eye make-up remover

More and more budget brands are doing bi-phase eye makeup removers and I’ve been quite the floozy when it comes to trying them. I’m already a fan of the Daily Essentials range from Nivea (well, I’ve tried one other product – the Hydration Primer, review here) and I picked this up for the crazy-ass promotional price of £1.79.

I’d say this eye makeup remover sits somewhere in the middle of the L’Oreal version and the Garnier. It’s much less greasy than L’Oreal but more effective than Garnier. It takes off my eye makeup really easily (although I don’t use waterproof mascara), requires absolutely no scrubbing and doesn’t leave a greasy film. Definitely a repurchase.

The only downside is the sheer speed that this separates again after shaking. We’re talking maybe two seconds so you need to rather nimble-fingered. But at that price it wouldn’t be fair to demand it all.

Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover is available now at Boots for £1.79 (usual price £3.59).

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