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. 


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Lilac Leopard print...

Last weekends weather up North was amazing!! You could actually step outside the house without reaching for a coat. As the weather was so nice I took full advantage and spent both days in the sun. I couldn't find a maxi dress I liked enough to wear to the pub on saturday so I ended up wearing this pretty lilac leopard print skirt paired with a simple black tank top - perfect combination for the sun!

What I wore:
Black tank top: Primark
Leopard print skirt: George
Lace up boots: Peacocks
Bag: Michael Kors

Hope you all had a good weekend in the sun. 
I cant wait for Bank Holiday to get here!!!


Sunday, 27 April 2014

crystal covered sunnies...

So as summer is finally nearly here , I came up with the idea of adding some sparkle to some sunnies. I know crystals aren't everyones cup of tea but I love them and I thought glasses covered in crystals would look even prettier when the sun hit them. 

I bought a lovely plain pink pair for a reasonable price, ordered some rose coloured crystals and started attaching them to the glasses.  

It took me around 3 hours to complete but I think the time was worth it. I can not wait to wear them! Now all I need is some sun shine.  

What do you think? Are you a fan of sparkled items?


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Contour, contour , contour...

Contouring is probably the most popular part of a makeup routine at the moment, a perfectly sculpted face is something every girl lusts after (I know I do). I tend to contour my face more for special occasions than everyday just because it takes me a little longer than I can cope with in the morning. (There is NO time to contour at 7am...And I'm still half  asleep) I was going to make a video on this but haven't been able to find the time so, I thought I would show you in picture form of how I contour my face instead:

Contouring is the best way to manipulate the features of the face, each persons face has natural shadows which fall into certain areas. Contouring brings those shadows out and sharpens your bone structure.

Areas to contour:

Forehead and temples- to make this area look a little smaller
Hollows of the cheeks- so they appear sharper
Side of the nose - to make it look slimmer
The jaw line- to make this area look smaller
Under the lip - to make the lips appear fuller
Under the jaw- to make your face look slimmer

I haven't contoured all the areas listed above,  I have just concentrated on the areas I feel needed more attention:

I used the Bobbi Brown foundation and contour palette for this, I used a foundation colour which was much darker than my skin tone to contour and a concealer  that was lighter than my skin tone to conceal. I then used a well suited foundation to cover any areas that needed a little bit of coverage. 

I've noticed a lot of people start with a foundation base then contour on top but I don't feel it works for me, I just work straight onto bare/ prepared skin. 

(I use cream foundations- I find them easier to contour with as they are very blendable)

The marked areas are the areas I tend to concentrate on:

After I have marked out my face, I will use a damp sponge  to firstly blend the concealer and foundation in and secondly the contour. 
Once all the product is blended, I set the concealed/foundation areas with face powder and set the contoured areas with a matte contour powder (I use the contour powder from the sleek contour kit).

Once everything is set, I will use a slightly shimmery powder to highlight my cheekbones, under the brow and under my lip. 

TA DA! This is how it ends up looking:

What do you think?
Are you a contour fan?


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Trentham Monkey Forest

So the weekend before bank holiday me and my family made a trip to Trentham Monkey Forest for my niece's third birthday. We try and do something exciting every year and this year we picked here as it is something we could all enjoy.  Trentham Monkey Forest homes around 140 Barbary Macaques. 
They roam and live freely within a large area of forest. 
You are able to walk through their living area and witness how they interact. Walking through this area means you have to opportunity to come VERY close to them but it was a little too close for myself - I got a little scared. None the less, it was still a really good day and the monkeys were harmless they carried on as if the people staring and taking pictures of them weren't there. 
Its something I've never seen before and I didn't know anywhere like this even existed in England. 
It was a really good day spent with my family and a new experience I really enjoyed. 
Here are a few pictures from the day: