Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Maybelline "FIT ME" Range

Hello all, new drugstore makeup review for you today! I was watching telly last night and an advert came on for the new Maybelline Range "FIT Me", a new oil-free range that is meant to take the hassle out of colour matching and provide all the complementary products for your foundation. Today I was in Tesco and the range was on 3 for 2 so I thought I would give it a shot! Here are the three products I chose:
For my three products, I chose the liquid foundation, the pressed powder and the concealer. I was partly intrigued to see how a full 3 part system would work together and also it was a great deal! Of the shades in store, they did not have the very lightest two shades, which I might have originally considered. Thankfully I didn't as the 125 is perfect on my skin once blended in. This shade is the second one in the pink based tones, so probably I would have looked a bit ghost-like with the first one on! What I'm a bit bemused by is that the above three shades are meant to be perfectly matched with each other, but you can clearly see that the foundation is darker than the other two products. Here are the foundation and concealer next to each other on my skin:
foundation on the left, concealer on the right
To tell the truth, once the products are on together you can barely see any difference at all, but it somehow annoys me that "matching" products dont, well, match! Here is the powder:

The packaging for these items is hardly ground breaking but you can see they are trying to look a little more upmarket with the sleek black design. They look nicer than a lot of other affordable products, I was quite impressed with the overall look and feel of them. They're obviously copying Mac and Bobbi Brown a bit but I'm not bothered about that!

As for the performance of the products, the liquid feels light and is easy to manipulate but gives medium to high coverage (great for blemishes but can settle in fine lines a little). It lasts all day and when set with the powder offers a flawless, matte finish. The concealer has a slightly thicker consistency but blends well. It doesn't cling to dry bits and covers my dark circles without irritating my sensitive eyes (WIN).

Overall I am a fan of this system. I can put it on for work and I know I won't be more oily than usual, any blemishes are covered, and it lasts well all day. Re-application of the powder at lunchtime and I'm good to go! For the price these products are very good value, though a word of warning: the powder is quite messy for a pressed powder. The range also offers blushers, so I might check these out in future. Have any of you tried this range? What do you think?

Foundation: 8/10
Concealer 8.5/10
Powder 7/10

Friday, 12 October 2012

What my lips are loving: pearls and pink champagne!

Who can resist pearls and bubbles? If you can, you're a stronger woman than me. With the changing seasons and the winter chill setting in, I've started thinking about looking after my poor lips, which like to get all yucky and dry in winter. In order to keep them soft and pretty, I've been stockpiling goodies! Two of my latest favourites are my new lippie from the MAC cremesheen and pearl collection, and a limited edition Vaseline. Vaseline you say? Yes but not just any Vaseline :)

First up, Shanghai Spice from MAC.
I've blown this up so you can see how pretty the sheen is on this. The pearl in the lipstick is very delicate, not as obvious as I would have expected, but feminine and lovely. The shade itself is a delicate rose nude shade, it's a very grown up shade for me! 

This lipstick feels gorgeous on, very classy and Kate Middleton. I'm thinking nude heels and a navy dress (preferably with champers in hand). Talking of champers...
Look at that! Sorry I just had to put it in a glass, for the record I did polish it beforehand but it seems to have my grubby pawprints all over it lol. I saw this in the supermarket the other day and let out a little squeal of delight!

At the end of the day, it's just another Vaseline but it's so much more luxurious to carry about with you than plain old Vaseline. On reading the back, it actually does have alcohol and wine extract in it, and you can smell it in the balm.
The scent is rose based I'd say, but with a tingly sweet scent that definitely smells like champagne, it's lovely and lasts when you have it on. The tin claims that it tints your lips slightly, as you can see above the product is very light in colour, it makes no difference whatsoever lookswise once on. It does however feel lovely, smell delicious and the tin is super girly and decadent. On an aside, this looks great over Benefit's Cha Cha tint on your lips!

Well there you go, lovelies. Pearls and champagne for the weekend. It's Friday so pouts at the ready, if you want to give your lips a VIP upgrade, I'd recommend these products.

8/10 for the MAC as it could be more pigmented and 10/10 for the Vaseline as a favourite staple

Monday, 8 October 2012

Illamasqua Lipsticks- let's get bold

Hey guys, I've been horribly busy at uni, fourth year now so lots on my plate! But I'm back with some more lovely product reviews for you. What better to start off with than lipstick, everyone loves a good lippie!

I had wanted an Illamasqua lipstick for ages, I'm still in love with their packaging and entire ethos, and their bold colours really appeal to me. So I went for two of their brightest colours, Fetish and Encounter.

 Encounter (R) and Fetish (L)
I'll firstly start with Fetish as I was a little disappointed with the colour payoff with this shade as it's so bright in the bullet.
It's a gorgeous grape shade, vampy and dark, I had no idea where I would actually wear this but just wanted it regardless.

As you can see from the swatched, the colour comes off a little cooler on the skin, there is a warmth to the purple in the bullet, almost a magenta tone which is totally lost on the skin, it falls a little flat and one-dimensional, which is really gutting. It looks a little Morticia Addams to me sadly.

 I am particularly pale, but even so I cannot see this shade being particularly flattering on many skin tones. I'll play about with is and different looks so we'll see, but I'm skeptical!

On the other hand, Encounter is the most amazing 50's red. It's sexy, luscious and my new favourite red lipstick.
I am besotted with this shade, it makes me feel like a film star! The purple shade just shows every line on your lips and doesn't give the colour you want, but this one plumps and fills out your lips. My favourite thing about this is a lot of red lipsticks fade badly or stain your lips, but this one doesn't. It wears evenly and doesn't budge.

If you're looking for a new red lipstick for winter, I urge you to give Illamasqua a try, their website is here, check it out! If you have any questions about their products just let me know :)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Magnesium Bath Flakes: Fad or Miracle Fix?

Hey you lot! As the nights draw in and the rain beats down, winter is definately on it's way here in Edinburgh. I saw my first robin red-breast of the year, so have fished out all my wooly jumpers and fleece lined boots ready for the onslaught of snow and rain that is winter in Scotland! During such chilly times, I love nothing more than warm porridge in the morning, and an even warmer bath at night. When I'm not relying on my old faithful Lush products, I'm always on the lookout for new soaks to try. When in Whole foods the other week I saw these Magnesium Flakes for the bath:
I know a bath is good for the mind, relaxes you and can ease tired muscles, but I was intrigued by the "remineralisation" claim. Can a bath really provide your body with missing minerals and cure all manner of ailments? This sounds a little middle ages to me. This is what they say:
I may be the only one in this position, but I wasn't aware my magnesium levels were so dangerously low that they needed replenishing in any way, let alone through a bath! So, as I tend to do, I did a little research. If you type "magnesium" into Google, you will be met with a plethora of websites offering supplements and advice. It turns out magnesium is a vital mineral for our health, and our diet nowadays is containing less and less magnesium due to our foods being processed differently. There have been plenty of studies showing that magnesium supplements can relieve the symptoms of diseases such as depression, and lower the risk of coronary heart diseases and diabetes. Worth a try, no?
This whole packet is meant to be for one bath, which seems a little excessive, so I have spread it out over a couple of baths so far and may buy some more to add in with other bath products. The flakes are brittle and don't seem to have any sort of scent, and dissolve immediately. It could be a placebo effect, but I do feel a little more nourished as a result. Then again, I always feel better after a bath so it's hard to tell if it's a result of the magnesium or not.
There certainly seems to be some scientific evidence to support the beneficial effects of these supplements, and you apparently cannot overdose on magnesium. However the cynic in me will always ask is this just scare-mongering or do we really need all these so called "necessary" nutrients? I'm not sure but it makes me feel a bit safer, and it certainly can't hurt.

For a bag this size it was £2.75 and you can get these on Amazon and Ebay as well as through various supplement and health stores

Monday, 10 September 2012

Decleor Aroma Night Purifying Balm

By now, you would be forgiven for thinking that I'm a sucker for anything with essential oils in, and to an extent you're right! When I was a little girl my grandmother was an aromatherapist, and she worked from a room in her home, which also doubled up as my room when I went to stay. If I was ever tired, sore or stressed, she would give me a massage in the room (I had very tickly legs so tended to giggle alot), then I'd go to sleep on an old fold-down bed with springs that creaked. Despite the noisy bed and the anatomical pictures on the wall, I always got the best nights sleep in that room, soothed by the scents of lavender and ylang ylang.

Perhaps it isn't so surprising that these are the scents I'm drawn to and that make me happy, and why brands like Decleor, ESPA, Lush, Tropic Skincare are so good because their products ACTUALLY SMELL LIKE WHAT THEY ARE MADE OF! Not synthetic crappy perfumes thrown together to create a cheap replica of the real deal. You can't beat a good strong essential oil. Rant over, sorry got a bit excited there!

I love Decleor's products, but don't tend to review them as they are fairly expensive and most people already suppose they are effective. I have been talking to various people recently, however who have never even tried anything by the brand because it is fairly high end and they don't want to chance it not working, so I've decided to do a couple of reviews of my favourite products starting with this: one of their Aroma Night Balms.
 Basically you use this instead of a night cream, just before you go to bed you scoop out a tiny amount, warm it in the palms of your hands then smooth it onto your skin, working in circular movements. It helps to regenerate the skin overnight, moisturise and even out skin tone. Depending on which balm you buy, it will also combat specific skin concerns, this one helps regulate sebum for oily skin but there are also versions for mature skin, dry skin and other issues. 
The great thing about this balm is it is dry touch, so you don't feel as though you're slathering oil all over your face. It smells divine, and it really does make a visible difference to your skin when you wake up the next morning. I wouldn't say it completely solves my oiliness, but my skin feels very smooth, plumped and nourished. I would highly recommend this product for anyone who doesn't like thick creams before bed.
If you're unsure which of the products to go for, their bestselling is the Iris range, you can get the balm for night time and a serum which you apply in the morning. Neither are cheap, but they last for such a long time they work out fairly well over the long run. If you don't want to shell out without trying these first, your local Decleor counter will usually give you generously-sized samples to try (which is how I ended up getting obsessed with this product). Most John Lewis stores have a counter, so pop along and sweet-talk the staff for some freebies!

10/10 :)

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Tropic Skincare Body Polish

Hi guys hope you're all well! I'm nearly back at uni for my fourth year so have been working loads and blogging when I can, sorry for being a rubbish blogger! Anyway I have a review today of a new HG of mine, a beautiful Body Polish from Tropic Skincare. I was contacted on Twitter to ask if I wanted a free facial from a Tropic Skincare representative near to me. Unsurprisingly I said yes! I had heard of the brand before but didn't know too much about it. Their range is derived only from plants and has a very natural ethos. Check out their website here. Their products are vegan also, which is great.

At the moment the range is on the small side but each product has been carefully tested and I'd rather it was that way than having a large range which was ineffective. Various facial products were used on me during my facial and I have to say they all smelled amazing and my skin was left feeling very soft. But the thing that really struck me when I tried it was their Body Polish, and I just had to buy some before I left!
You can buy this product in two sizes, 100ml and 200ml. I have to say up front that for a body polish/scrub, there are cheaper ones out there, but I don't think you will find any that are nearly as good as this one. The 100ml is £14.95 and the 200ml is £19.95 so I went for the larger tub. Two months on and I'm still working my way through it!
These images were taken on a cloudy day and don't do the packaging justice so here is one from the Tropic Skincare site (I did NOT take this picture haha)

Ah much better! Anyway. When you open up the pot, all the sea salt has sunk to the bottom, with all the natural oils sitting on the top. I was given a spatula with this to mix it all up before using it. Once mixed, it becomes a moist yellow scrub with a fairly thick consistency. The oils are great as it means the scrub holds together well, and because they are plant oils they don't feel too, well, oily!
After mixing
You take a small amount of the mixed polish into your hand and smooth onto DRY skin, rub in circular motions then wash off. All of the salt but not all of the oils are washed off, leaving you with a very light layer of the smoothest, most stunningly scented oil on your skin. I used this just on my hands to try it out when I was there for my facial and could not stop running my hands over each other throughout my facial, that's how I knew I had to have it! The representative also told me that you can use this before shaving your legs and you don't have to use shaving foam/cream. I've tried this once and it works like a dream but you need to clean your razor after as the oil clogged it up a little.
all you need for silky soft hands!
They also do a face polish using rice instead of sea salt, it smelled just as divine so might get that next time as I'm so blown away by this product. The scent is luxurious, as though you are on an exotic island in a five star spa. It smells mostly of citrus fruits, patchouli, bergamot and a little bit of mint. That might not sound too appetizing but the effect is glorious.

I've ranted on enough now I reckon. You get the gist, I love love love this product. I wish it was a tad cheaper as I know I will end up buying multiple pots of this, but it is worth every penny and I'd still buy it if it was double the price. Sigh.

10/10 and a gold star :)

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Creme

Afternoon lovely readers! It's Friday! You know what that means, party time! Well not actually for me as I'm working tomorrow, but generally speaking it's the time for getting your heels on, having one too many Cosmopolitans and dancing the night away. But how best to shine on a night out? Slap on some highlighter. Whether you like to go for the disco-ball look or fancy a light smattering of glitter and iridescence, you can't go wrong with a bit of highlighter. After years of being faithful to Benefit's High Beam, I saw a makeup artist use this creme in a makeup video and was sorely tempted by it. Fast forward to the FeelUnique sale and it's mine!
Do you like the flowers? I was feeling girly so wanted some to spruce up the flat, flowers just make everything a little brighter! Anyway the highlighter has a classic black matt box, and the case is the same, it wouldn't photograph properly so I left it out as you can google it easily enough! You get a decent mirror inside it and you get 4.25g for £17.00 ( have 20% off at the moment).
This has such a beautiful sheen to it, I was worried it might be a bit gritty if there was a lot of pigment in it. Luckily I was wrong, the cream is very, well creamy! You know what I mean, it's very smooth and light to the touch and looks beautiful on, I'm very tempted to slather it all over me and attract various strange looks in the workplace...maybe I won't though.
This shade is called "Iced Gold", and I would class it as a pearly colour than leans towards ivory rather than silver. It's a very flattering, angelic glean and I'm in love! This will be my new go-to product when I'm feeling dull or under the weather. Or about to strap on the stilettos! Go buy this, now!!

10/10- yes really!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Spongebob Cleanface

Stupid title aside, this post is in fact about sponges. Konjac sponges, not the kind that speak and live under the sea and wear pants. Kid's tv programs are really odd, now I come to think of it.

Anyway, Konjac sponges have been used in Japan for over 1500 years to cleanse the skin in a natural, gentle manner. You can get different sponges for different skin types, some have clay added to them and some have charcoal or just plain. They are 100% natural vegetable fiber, and you can use them just with water or with a little bit of cleanser. I bought the Charcoal Bamboo Sponge, for oily and combination skin. This is how it arrived, looking very squishy and moist, which wasn't particularly attractive.
Regardless of the pretty rubbish packaging, I was quite excited to open this up and give it a go! According to the instructions the sponge must be soaked prior to use and left to dry hard between uses. It can be used to remove makeup or just to cleanse the face daily. It has a little string for you to hold it or presumably hang it up if you want to.
I think it looks a little like one of those "pet rock" things! It has a nice soft consistency, feels a little rubbery on the surface and squashes easily. I've used this twice now and am so far quite happy with the results. It leaves your skin soft and cleansed and my skin does feel a little less oily. But beware, this will NOT remove waterproof eyemakup well. It will just smudge it around after dissolving it into a sludge-like consistency and give you panda eyes. My advice it to take off your eye makeup first with a specific eye makeup remover, then use this. It would also be good first thing in the morning before you tone, moisturise etc. I'm going to use mine in the bath after the majority of my makeup is off.

These sponges each last around 3-5 months with continuous use, you can get them from FeelUnique here or the Konjac Sponge Company directly. FeelUnique have a sale on right now and free delivery, I got mine for £5.85, they are usually around £6.50. I think this is a really great product once you work out how to use it!

8/10 from me, let me know if you get one/have one and what you think"

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Live Beautifully!

Isn't that a nice sentiment? Live your life beautifully, I think there's a lot to be said for that. On that note, I was trawling etsy looking for unusual gifts for the other half's 30th bday and stumbled upon Live Beautifully, an American company owned by a presumably very happy couple who make all natural beauty. A distant bell rang in my head somewhere and I realised I had seen this company before on one of the blogs I read and seen the beautiful packaging as the parcel arrived. Much excited by this, I placed an order and waited eagerly for its delivery from America!
I love all the handmade touches they have added to the products and the packaging. Each of the products has a lovely natural scent made with real whole ingredients that work (they use organic oils). The packaging is inspired by an old French boutique and I think it is gorgeous. I also like the hand signed note saying thanks, really personal.
These are three of their beautiful lip balms, in sampler sizes. The large versions are 5 dollars each, but I got three of these little ones for $5 which seemed like a really good option if you just want to try them for the first time. I was drawn to the Southern Peach Rose firstly, it sounded like such a delicate feminine fragrance, and the other combinations sounded just as delightful, but I ended up with Sweet Strawberry Honesuckle and Creamsicle Dreamsicle. Check out their full range at their etsy store. There are some stunning scents available like Black Chocolate Berry and Cotton Candy Dreaming. The descriptions are lovely and so are the pictures. Everything feels very wholesome and classic. I've only tried the Creamsicle Dreamsicle so far but it's lovely. Quite light in consistency but soothing on the lips, a nice summer balm. Probably not thick enough for the winter or for very dry or chapped lips, but this would be perfect for a top up during the day or as a base for a lipstick. The scents are stunning, however and actually smell of what they claim to without smelling artificial or sickly sweet.

As you can see I was on a bit of a lip-product rampage! This is one of their whipped lip butters in Raspberry and Vanilla, it looks a bit like a sugar scrub but it's actualy a smooth salve with little bubbles of lip butter that burst when you smooth them onto your lips. This is slightly thicker and more moisturising texture than the other balms, and it also smells delicious! These are around $5.00 each.

I really like this company, I like their ethos, their handmade packaging and their lovingly made products. Check them out here! You can pay by PayPal through their etsy store, which is secure and very handy and their delivery charges are very reasonable.

*This post is not sponsored and all items have been purchased by myself

Monday, 13 August 2012

ELF Budget buys

Afternoon all, I have just won tickets to a whisky tasting tonight so I'm in a great mood! A lovely woman at my work agreed to cover the four hour shift I was supposed to be doing so a box of choccies will be heading her way to say thanks! Today I have a review of a couple of items from a recent e.l.f order I placed recently. I love e.l.f, their products are really good value for money, high performing products within cheapish packaging to keep the prices low. The items are available in America and the UK, not sure about where else, check out their website for more info. I ordered quite a few bits and bobs as they had a half price sale on,I'm still trying some of them out, but these two are items I'd never tried before.
I love cream blushers, and to be honest I was wondering why it was so much more expensive than many of the other items(£6.50 when many items are around £2.00), so wanted to see if it was any good! It's from their studio range, which is generally a little higher in price but the products are great. When the blush arrived I realised partially why it was a bit more expensive- it's MASSIVE. Like the size of your face. Ok not quite, but it's three times the size of most of my other blushers and you get a huge 15g of product which makes it positively cheap!
There is an awful lot of packaging, it's not the most portable item but the performance outweighs the bulkiness of it.
The texture of the blush is spongy, moussy as opposed to a cream as such, it's very easy to get out of the pot though when I've used a lot more of it this might not be the case. I think I'd start using a stippling brush once I get further down. The consistency is not too thick, and it blends very easily, sinking into the skin, making it hard to overload with blush. The shade I have is Vixen which is pretty highly pigmented so it's good you don't end up looking like a clown.
I would definitely repurchase this in another colour, it's a high quality product and you get a lot of bang for your buck :)
Next up was the tinted moisturiser in Porcelain. I had tried their Flawless Finish foundation a couple of years ago, and while it was a good foundation, it was a little too moisturising for my oily skin so I fancied trying this in case it was more suited to my skin type. It contains Aloe and Cucumber which are calming, and SPF20. This costs £3.75 for 25ml of product. I'm still undecided as to whether I'm impressed by this.
This is their lightest shade, described as being for very fair skin with yellow undertones, but when it is squeezed out it looks very yellow/orangey. The consistency of this is quite odd, it's like a paste rather than a cream, and quite gelatinous. I was really dubious of putting this on my skin, but in a rush to go to work one day I slapped it on with my blusher, and received a couple of compliments! It adjusts well to your skin tone and has a light to medium coverage. As this is a moisturiser it feels a tad shiny/sticky when first on, but once set with powder it didn't budge all day. Overall I reckon I'll need to wear this more often to decide if I love it or am just using it up, but initial results are good for day to day wear!

9/10 for the blusher and 6/10 for the tinted moisturiser. Have you ever tried elf, if so do you have any favourite items I should try? xx