Sunday, 31 August 2014

August Favourites....

I cant believe its September tomorrow, I feel like this year is wizzing right by. Summer has been amazing, we luckily had a good few weeks of lovely weather which is pretty rare for up north but I've loved every second of it.
 I've found it a little difficult to pick out a few favourites for this month but have narrowed it down to four and 1 recent purchase that i'm really loving. 

Loreal - Lumi Magique Pure light primer - When summer comes around i always look for products that make my skin look glowy.  Unfortunately my skins been really bad recently with a lot of break outs which leave scares so I've been trying anything that can make it look a little healthier.  I picked this little gem up from boots a while ago and have used it literally every day. Its a illuminating primer that leaves your foundation looking gorgeous and  healthy. I apply it  generously all over my face, colour correct any red blemishes/ acne scares then layer foundation on top. Its light weight, allows application of products to go on smoothly and feels amazing. Its an amazing base for summer and will make skin look healthier and i bet it will look great through winter as well. 

Beauty blender - I wrote a first impressions post on this a few weeks ago but I still think its great so decided it deserves a little mention. It applies foundation and concealer so well and never leaves makeup looking cakey.Its easy to use and cuts my foundation routine down by alot!  It also washes really well, i use shampoo as i do when washing all my makeup brushes and found that it doesn't soak up as much product as my other sponges would.  The one thing i will mention that I don't like about this is the stain my foundation has left on the bottom of it but i suppose this cant really be avoided when using liquid products. 

Nivea lip butter - caramel cream - I picked this up because i forgot my lip balm one day for work, I actually only got it because it was cheap and cute but its great.  It smells exactly like caramel and I want to eat it! Its moisturising and soothes cracked lips really well which will be a great with winter coming up .It acts as a great primer for lipstick and I've found that it keeps my lips moisturised a lot more than other lip balms would when wearing matte lipsticks. 

MAC - Springsheen - Springsheen is a coral/ pink blush with a gold sheen through it, Its one of my favourite blushes i have purchased from MAC; it leaves an amazing rose flush to the cheeks and looks great on many different skin tones too which is a great bonus for any makeup artists kit!

Red Rose - MUA - Superdrugs MUA range is affordable and really good quality for the price, its probably the reason I keep going back to check out the new products. This is a new favourite but I'm obsessed with it so thought I'd mention it anyway. Its a pretty red shade which looks best when applied with two coats but I think the reason I love it so much is because it reminds me of a nail varnish my mum used to wear when I was younger, I think its just so pretty and sophisticated. 

What are your August Favourites?


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Quick review: nspa Melting Cleansing Gel

My skins decided to be a real pain recently, unfortunately its partly hormone related so there's not too much i can do about it but I sure am trying! I went on a search for a daily skin care routine I could stick to, to see if it would improve my skins condition and came across nspa products in asda. I didn't want to spend too much on anything that may not work for me so I picked up the box that contains the four step products. The box contained a cleanser, clay mask, treatment and moisturiser. 
Today I'm going to do a little review on the cleanser because its been working so well for me and deserves a share...

'To create the bliss of a true spa facial, begin your 4 step beauty ritual with this gentle yet effective cleaner. Packed with moisturising ginseng and vitamin E, as essential oil of neroli, it glides effortlessly without dragging the skin, then emulsifies to remove makeup and impurities'

How you use it: 

Apply a generous amount of product to dry skin (I use circular motions to work this in), then rinse off with warm water. Whilst rinsing, the gel will turn into a lovely milk and cleanse the face leaving it feeling clean and refreshed. 

I think this stuff is amazing , priced at only £6.00 it is affordable and on the cheaper side compared to some luxury cleansers on the market. I use it once in the morning and once at night, at night it removes my makeup, very well may i add. Since using this my skin has improved dramatically. Obviously I have been drinking a lot more water and eating healthier but for skin care this product has been brilliant. It doesn't dry my skin out, my break outs have been reduced dramatically and any blemishes I had have kind of just disappeared. I know you are aware that as this works for me it may not work for you but i really wanted to share this as its been so helpful to improving the condition of my skin. It also smells nice, as do all the nspa products I own. I really do feel like I've been to a mini spa after using nspa products and would recommend a little try if your on the look out for a new cleanser or just new skin care products in general. 

Have you tried this?


Sunday, 3 August 2014

First Impression - Ben Nye luxury banana powder

I kept seeing youtube videos on this little gem but never thought to purchase it because i thought it would be a bit on the expensive side but guess what, its not!! 
I purchased this for £11.50 - BARGAIN! Unfortunately i cant remember or find where i ordered it from so sorry about that but, if you search google for any uk sellers plenty come up.

When i first opened the package I thought the tub was tiny, its a clear plastic tub that clearly displays the powder which is very yellow and very fine. Apart from the size of the tub i was excited to try the powder as its supposed to highlight and brighten your under eye area. 

After taking the lid off I almost immediately noticed the dispensing holes were way to big, when you tip the bottle to allow the release of powder the product literally just falls out. It's not good, it wastes a lot of product unnecessarily and I feel as if I'm just throwing money away! 

I use my beauty blender and a soft powder brush to apply this. When using the beauty blender I pour some product into the lid and press it into my under eye area. It gives a good coverage and does in fact leave the under eye area looking a lot brighter than usual. On the downside, I found the product makes any fine lines stand out but I just have to keep sweeping the powder away to make them look less obvious. When using the brush i will sweep a little of what ever is left in the lid and powder any other areas that need setting/ highlighting. 

I found the powder to be very fine, finer then any other powders i have tried, on application it almost blurs any blemishes I have but this is probably because the yellow colour of the powder is counteracting the red in the blemish but I'm not complaining if it's helping.

The powder doesn't feel cakey at all and will last a full working day. The powder doesn't help oily skin but does appear to make makeup look a lot more matte throughout the day. 

Apologies for the pictures, had to use my iphone. 

Overall my first impression of this is that its definitely worth purchasing. I prefer it to my other powders and it photographs really well. It highlights the under eye area and keeps my makeup looking matte throughout the day. I was at first a little gutted at how little the tub was but a little bit of the powder really does go along way so I'm not too worried about that anymore. The only downside to the product is the packaging - the dispensing part is terrible, I think rethinking the dispensing section would be a massive improvement. To fix this problem I'm going to have to cover it with some tape and put a few finer holes in there to avoid wasting so much product everyday. 
I'm not too sure of how this would work with other skin tones but I'll be trying it on my sister soon so will be able to give an update as she is a little more tanned then i am so i'll let you know how that goes. 

Have you tried this yet? 
Do you like it?


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Update on session 3 of laser hair removal...

Session number 2 concluded in me decided that i wasn't pressing the device into my skin enough so this time round i did . It hurt. Session 2 took place 2 weeks ago and at that point my legs were showing small signs of progress. My lower leg hair is a lot thicker then any other body hair but nearing the end of the two week wait towards session 3 my lower legs were literally stripy. There are more bold patches on my lower leg than hair so i am really happy with the progress. 

Upper leg - the upper section of my leg is really smooth, hardly any hair is growing there.

Bikini line - the hair is sparse but its not obvious enough to see a massive difference. 

Arms - growth on my arms has slowed down, the hair is growing back very patchy and it is really obvious that the laser is doing a good job. 

Under arms - Again this is the same as the bikini line, i think its because the hair is a little thicker here. There are small patches where the hair isn't growing back but its not too obvious that any progress has been made. 

Overall the results of session 3 for my legs and arms is great. I think with a few more sessions, hair growth on my legs will be very limited. Pressing the device into the skin has definitely made a big difference, it hurts a little more but its nothing that bothers me too much and honestly its doing the job so I don't mind at all. 

I'll update again in two weeks


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

First impression : The beauty blender...

I think I'm probably one of the last people on the planet to try this but i thought I'd write my first impression of it anyway. 

I purchased two sponges from amazon for £18.73 which also included postage.
I've just had a quick look online and it looks as if i got a bit of a bargain, the seller i bought them from is called Live Salon, if you put that into amazon the products will pop up. 

So, my first impression of the sponges were that they were really tiny egg shaped, neon pink sponges with a pointed tip which was probably for reaching the corners of the eye. 

When i first picked one up it felt really spongy and light weight which made me think they may expand to quite a large size when damp and i wasn't wrong. Once dampened in warm water they expand to double the size , you can see the comparison in size below.

Left: Dry            Right: Damp 

I dotted foundation around my face and went straight in with the sponge using a bouncing motion to blend the foundation out. It picked up the product well and blended it evenly. It didn't leave me with a harsh caked layer or leave the foundation broken up as it sometimes does when using a damp sponge. When i finished applying, my foundation looked a lot better then it has recently and i was really surprised of how changing your method of applying a product can change the finished look of it so drastically. 

For concealer i use the collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer. 
I applied a v shape of concealer under my eyes and used the pointed part to blend this in. It blended the concealer out perfectly and got right into the corner near my tear duct which was a nice change because with my other sponges i wouldn't be able to reach that area easily. 

Overall opinion: 
I'm happy i purchased this, i wish i had before and i kind of regret spending my money on any other sponges. The sponge blends foundation and concealer out perfectly, no caking and its just easy to use. the sponge expands to double the size and doesn't soak up much product which is a massive plus because sponges that soak up product is just money down the drain. 

I've not cleaned this yet but think i may just purchase the cleanser for it from amazon as i want to get as much use out of it as possible.

Have you tried the beauty blender yet?


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Phillips Lumea - first impressions - laser hair removal at home

If there was a day that i didn't have to wax anymore I'd take it. With summer here and the weather being surprisingly lovely I was just totally sick of having to wax and wait for the hair to grow back and be long enough to wax again. 

So i started looking into getting my hair lasered but found it was a little pricey. Instead i started researching into at home laser removal systems and read some really good reviews claiming some home laser systems do work well.  I obviously wasn't under the impression that it works for everyone but thought it was worth a try. 

I did a lot of research and came across this little cutie - Phillips Lumea compact, its the smaller version of the Philips SC2003/00 Lumea IPL Hair Removal System which had some really good reviews so I was really interested in buying this.

After a lot of research I decided to purchase it as its compact and rated really well. Some reviews even said they started noticing small results after 2 sessions of use so i quickly went on a search and purchased it from the boots website with 10% off at the time. I bought it for £180.00, this is alot of money but i thought if it does work and will reduce hair growth on me it would be a good investment. 

(I'm nearing session 3 now but wanted to write a quick review of my first two uses of this)
How does it work? 
 The description reads : 'Apply lumea every 2 weeks for the initial 4-5 treatments . 
In between treatments hair sheds naturally and regrowth is inhibited. 
Repeat the treatment when needed'

It also claims that studies have shown hair reduction in as little as four bi weekly treatments, which sounds promising!

How to use it:
 You shave the area you want to laser before hand and then turn the laser on by holding the button on the back down. I have to use setting 4 or 5 as my hair is thick and dark so this intensity works best for me.  (The table on the back of the box explains skin colour and which intensity will work for you- it also states that its not suitable to use on every skin tone) 

Hold the device to your skin with the flat lighted side firmly pressed on to the area you want to start lasering. Press the oval button on the front down, it will flash. You have to repeat this process whilst holding the laser down to the area, moving it along in order to cover the whole area as it flashes. 

Session 1 - first impression: 

I found it was easy to use but obviously it takes a while to cover a large area as it is a small device. As I'd never used anything like the before I was a little worried about how it would feel but it wasn't too bad. I didn't use the 5th setting as i was finding 4 a little intense - it felt like a hot rubber band snapping against my skin , a little uncomfortable but less painful than waxing. I waited 2 weeks before repeating the process.

The areas I have worked on are: 

  • Full Leg
  • Full arms
  • Underarms
  • Bikini line

After the 2 week wait I hadn't noticed any hair growth reduction, I knew this wasn't an instant thing but still felt a little gutted to be honest. 

Session 2: 
I repeated the steps - shave and laser. I went up to setting 5 this time and it was a bit uncomfortable but not too bad. Again, it takes a while to do a full leg but I was hoping the time taken on this would pay off. 

As I said I'm nearing session 3 right now, yesterday I noticed two small areas on my legs where the hair hasn't grown back. They are only tiny areas but its some success! I read a review somewhere that says you really have to press  the device into the skin so i will  be sure to do this next time. 

I can say that the area I find most sensitive is my thighs. I sometimes have to stop and start the laser just because I feel really uncomfortable when using it. When i feel like this I just turn the intensity setting down to 3 and carry on. 
I will update on the results of session 3 in about 2 weeks.


Thursday, 10 July 2014

Smashbox Studio Skin Foundation Review

 30ml / 1 fl. oz

I've been trying out a lot of foundations recently as my skin has all of a sudden become oily, so I took a trip to boots about 2 months ago and purchased this. 

Smashbox studio skin claims to be oil free,  has 15 hour wear and is hydrating. It was a bit on the pricey side at £28.00 but i thought i might as well give it ago as i have halo powder from smashbox and absolutely love it. 

I use shade 2.1 which I believe is a perfect match for my skin tone. when i was at the counter they had a good sized variety of colours so if your after one, there should be a shade to match your skin tone. 

The packaging looks smart and sleek. Its a glass bottle, so if it gets a little messy you can easily wipe it clean. It also has a pump which i personally think is great because its just cleaner and more hygienic but I'm a germ freak so I think all  liquid foundations should come with a pump.


I apply this to the back of my hand - i do this with any foundation i use. 
The consistency of the product is a little thin but its not to the point that if you shake your hand it will slide right off. 

I apply this with a wet sponge (real techniques sponge) i find it applies better this way as it gives a natural looking finish compared to when applying with a buffing brush. Using a brush tends to make it look a little caked, so i tend to avoid that. As I said i used a damp sponge to apply, it blends well this way but I find the product needs to be blended in really quickly so i try and get it blended as soon as possible.  I only apply one layer because i feel like that's all i need but it is a buildable foundation. 
When i first got this I tried layering it to cover my full face but it just leaves my face looking very caked and pretty awful so i just build on top of any red areas and find this works really well to disguise any imperfections.

The longest Ive worn this is for around 11 hours, It stays on all day and doesn't move at all.  If your hugging someone it wont transfer on to their clothes which is also a massive bonus because you don't want to be cuddling someone and then have to apologise for getting foundation on them , its happened to me and I'm sure its probably happened to most other women - life's hard sometimes. 

It doesn't leave me feeling too oily at the end of the 11 hours too which is a bonus for me because my face has started to get very oily recently with the warm weather.  I apply a thin layer of halo powder to set the foundation which i find keeps it in place.


I think its a really good foundation for the price. The packaging is nice - it comes with a pump which i think is great. The bottle is easy to clean also. Application with a sponge works better for me and leaves my skin feeling alot less oily than i normally do with other foundations.  It also photographs really well so I'd say its a perfect foundation for a night out or for special occasions if your going to be taking a lot of pictures. It doesn't wash my face out and leaves the skin looking really healthy and clean. 

With my skin being a lot more oily recently i tend to try and steer towards matte foundations, I wouldn't say this is matte as it leaves a slight sheen to the skin but i believe this is the hydration part of the foundation showing though so i don't mind it at all.