Month: September 2014

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadows

A new generation of texture, this buoyant, spongy formula provides coverage, colour and wear with a unique, flawless finish. The formula builds seamless coverage without heaviness or caking. Creamy to the touch and easy to apply and blend. Provides medium to buildable coverage for a soft wash of pearl or a vibrant pop of colour.

MAC dubs these as a lightweight formula with “electrifying pigment”. Most will find that these are a little too sheer and too shimmery for their liking. I always thought the Electric Cool formula was more about a color wash with a ton of sparkle versus the incredible pigment that MAC says they have. They have a sponge clay-like texture with a nice bouncy formula that feels creamy.

It’s like a really spongey cream that bounces back at you – weird, but wonderful and a true cream to powder finish. Enjoyable texture aside, the formula is a nice addition to the MAC range. It’s quite heavy on the shimmer but blends out nicely and lasts well (with a primer underneath). I have the shade Superwatt which sits in the taupe family, but I think Coil – a reddy copper – may be next on my shopping list. Unfortunately they’re making a limited edition fleeting appearance as part of the ‘A Novel Romance’ collection, so if you want to go and check them out, I suggest going ASAP.

I can see that these are really going to fly off the shelves!

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Bourjois Rough Edition Velvet Liquid Lipstick

Prepare for some serious raving here because ladies and gents I think I’ve found one of my favourite launches from this year to date. The Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipsticks. Now this may not be a revolutionary product, but Bourjois have stepped up and produces a kick ass formula that may or may not be my favourite of the bunch – with an eight-strong liquid lipstick line-up that delivers opaque colour in one quick sweep.

Now one thing to note is, that with this range you’ve really got to go bold or go home. The paler, nuder colours of the bunch didn’t really hit the spot for me, with some being borderline patchy – but the bold shades, oh my…

The name is a little deceiving as ‘velvet’ suggests a lighter finish, but let me tell you that once these have dried down they are full on mattes with an almost powdery finish. I love ‘em. Now where these win over previous formulas I’ve tried (Hourglass Opaque Rouge I’m looking at you) is that layering is not a problem. You can throw on as many coats as you like and things will never get flakey and messy.

The best bit is that these stains do not budge. Through eating, drinking, chatting, shopping, these really stay put. Not just an awful outline left, but the whole thing. The only negative… removal. This stuff is hard to remove, but that’s because it’s so darn good at it’s job. Top marks.

Like I said, skip the nudes and head straight for the brights. At £8.99 a pop, you’re in for a bargain.

My favourite… Grand Cru – a dark burgundy red.

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GlamGlow SuperMud

GlamGlow sure does know how to put together a good mask. I love their ThirstyMud mask and this one hit’s the spot too. It’s just lovely.

This formula was clinically developed by GLAMGLOW dermatological chemists to help fight all common skin concerns including breakouts, discoloration, black and white heads, razor bumps, and in-grown hairs. This powerful, skin-clearing mud visibly draws out dirt and congestion while a proprietary six-acid blend dramatically brightens and softens skin. It works to magnetically draw out dirt and pores with Activated-X Charcoal, leaving skin smooth and healthy-looking.

At GlamGlow, they love to pack their ingredient list with the weirdest and fanciest of formulas but in fact, it’s just a lot of different things together. It’s an active mud mask to clear your skin and to unclog your pores. It contains a 4.4% AHA and BHA blend for fast clearing results, “activated” charcoal and a very fancy clay that cleans out your pores to the max – and of course their patented TEAOXI mix with eucalyptus leaf and peppermint for clean, fresh and glowing skin. Some other ingredients are aloe vera, chamomile, marigold, cucumber and ivy that help to calm, soothe and heal your skin.

For me and my skin, this mask is like magic. It works like a charm and I find it not to sting as much as the black YouthMud one – remember Caroline Hirons’ words: stinging is good, burning is bad – But I don’t recommend it for the most sensitive skins among you, it’s a little harsh for thin or easily irritated skin.

When I apply a thin layer on clean skin (sometimes I target only my T-zone) and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, pores appear visibly reduced, super clean and as good as new. I’m really satisfied with the results of this SuperMud mask, for me, this is their best mask yet. I like YouthMud and ThirstyMud but this one targets my skin problems better than any other mask – ever.

I love this stuff… And I already ordered their newest innovation, the oil-to-mud PowerMud mask – I’m very curious about that one, are you?

The Good Hair Edit

I go through times where I struggle with the texture of my hair. I often find there is a halo of frizz which surrounds my head and sometimes nothing will tame it. After all these years I think I’ve finally cracked it with a trio of products that help to de-frizz, soften and protect my locks, the Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil collection from Bumble and Bumble.

This range contains a blend of six oils: Coconut Oil, Argan Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Safflower Seed Oil and Grapeseed Oil. These six featherlight oils, like B&B calls them, each have their own transformative properties. They help to soften, silken, tame, de-frizz, detangle and protect your hair. And I can say they do feel extremely light and nourishing at the same time.

Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo – A sulfate free shampoo infused with 6 featherlight oils to help soften, silken, tame, de-frizz, detangle and protect. This is perfect for you if you have dry, coarse, or brittle hair. This made my hair silky and smooth and not weighted down at all. Perfect for every day or every other day use – and it smells divine!

Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Conditioner – A deep conditioner infused with the same 6 featherlight oils. For the first time, the conditioner doesn’t come in the same packaging as the shampoo but I don’t mind, this tube is easy to use and it looks nice. A conditioner with oils in it? Risky business, especially when you don’t want your conditioner weighing down your hair but amazingly, this one is featherlight, just as it says on the tin. Before this one, I never came across a conditioner I could use every day. Now I can and I’m happy to do so because it makes my hair way more supple and less dry.

Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer – A primer for hair? This one detangles and protects your hair against heath and UV. Since the spray is also nourishing, I use it every day on the lengths of my hair to help detangle it and it doesn’t make my hair look heavy or greasy at all.

Have you tried this range?

Bobbi Brown Nude on Nude

If there’s anything that can draw me in it’s a palette. Nude on Nude is the perfect palette for a nude lover like myself, encompassing 12 blendable, buttery eyeshadows that work individually and paired together.

It’s a palette with twelve buildable shadows in three finishes for the ultimate sultry nude eye look. It features the best of Bobbi’s nude shadows in three tones (light, medium, dark) and three finishes (matte, metallic, sparkle) to enable endless combinations suitable for all skintones.

The shades are able to stand on their own but yet they’re buildable enough to get maximum intensity when you want it. There are five matte eyeshadows in Ivory, Naked, Birch, Truffle, Espresso, four metallic eye shadows in Golden Pink, Bare, Smoky Topaz, Golden Bronze and three sparkle eye shadows in Chiffon, Graphite, Gold.

It’s a beauty. In the US and the UK, the palette is available at major department stores and if you can’t resist it, I can only add that I’m over the moon with the pigmentation and the endless possibilities this gorgeous palette has inside. I will enjoy this for a very long time – and will definitely get my use out of it!

One Thing I’ll Never Be Without…

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo – is described as a dual action anti-perfection moisturiser for oily skin with irregular texture; containing niacinimide, piroctone, olamine, and LHA to help reduce skin imperfections and help prevent blocked pores and the development of future breakouts, leaving the skin looking clearer and smoother.

Personally I’d describe this as more of a serum than a moisturiser, the texture is thin and feels slightly tacky on the face while the smell is noticeably chemically, which is understandable considering the ingredients and the purpose of the product. I apply the serum in both the mornings and evenings after a full cleanse and applied with a light moisturiser over the top.

I don’t suffer an oily complexion or enlarged pores, instead I use this to prevent and protect against breakouts, and it really works. I find when I use this, any breakouts, blemishes, or cystic spots diminish and disappear far more rapidly. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo definitely helps repair the skin, reduce redness or irritations, and protect against developing breakouts.

This serum doesn’t have quite such a dramatically noticeable effect as Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector but it’s definitely a product worth investing in as a preventative measure against blocked pores and skin imperfections.

I’ll never be without a tube of the stuff – 4 down and I’m still going back for more.

The Charlotte Tilbury Edit

I’ve become obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury and her absolutely stunning YouTube videos – so it was no surprise when I fell in love with her range of beauty products. The branding is sleek with rose gold highlights, sharp lines, and beautifully rich colours; soft, subtle pinks, gentle corals, deep browns, strong metallics, and bold reds.

After seeing the effect Charlotte’s Magic Cream has in her videos, I am convinced I need this cream in my life. A “break-through, multi-tasking” product that protects, hydrates, restores, transforms, and creates a plump, dewy, youthful appearance. The Dolce Vita palette is absolutely stunning with four neutral yet powerful shades that can be worn in so many ways. The Cheek to Chic Swish & Pop First Love Blusher is a soft, natural blusher that gives a beautiful glow to the cheeks and Filmstar Bronze & Glow Face Scult & Highlight provides the ideal contouring tool that appears to suit even pale complexions. Penelope Pink is a honey-pink shade that enhances the natural colour of the lips, while Lip Lustra Hall of Fame Lipgloss is a glossy, baby pink shade perfect for layering over lipsticks or wearing alone for a wash of colour.

Have you tried anything from CT’s range? 

A New Introduction

The past couple of weeks have been very exciting – we’ve been prepping for a new arrival – and after what’s seemed like months of waiting, yesterday we packed up and set off down south to collect our exciting little bundle.

We haven’t had a dog for just over 2 years; it was a big decision to make, but one that we’re very happy we did. Teddy is a Pug; his mum and dad were both black pugs, so naturally Teddy is black too, but he does have a little white neck stripe – he’s just so cute and small.

We toyed around with a couple of names before we met him. Originally he was Milo, but when we were driving him home he just wasn’t a Milo to us… so on the drive back home we flirted with a lot of different names, but finally settled with Teddy.

I’m absolutely in love with him already, and I’m so sad to be moving back to uni and leaving my mum and brother to settle him in. But he’ll still be there when I get back – and I’m sure mum will bring him up to visit too. He’s already gotten so big since the first time we met him, so I can’t begin to imagine how big he’ll be when I see him next!

Hopefully they’ll keep me updated with regular pictures – so I can update all of you lot too!

Beauty Myths

Make-up causes breakouts – Not cleaning your face properly causes breakouts. Or not removing your makeup properly and thoroughly can encourage the build up of bacteria and clog pores, causing breakouts.

Beige/salmon coloured concealers work for everyone – Your skin tone is personal to you, so what works for me, may not work for your skin tone. “Fit all” under-eye correctors never work for me because they’re too dark. If you want something effective it’s best to be colour matched for graduated concealers rather than opting for the one shade fits all types.

Expensive cosmetics are better than inexpensive ones – Some of my best makeup finds and favourite products come from ‘drug store’ brands. Just because something’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s better than something that’s easier on the pocket. Granted, most of the makeup I use day to day is high end, but that’s only because they’re things I have invested in due to their quality.

Hypoallergenic products are better for sensitive skin – Any product that says “safe for sensitive and hypoallergenic skin” really grates on me. Everyone’s skin is different – products that my skin reacts to might be perfectly fine for you, and viva versa. So something that is marketed as safe for sensitive skin really isn’t making any statement at all.

Make-up doesn’t get dirty – Nothing makes my skin crawl more than seeing dirty make-up products so I regularly clean down surfaces, drawers, and the products themselves to make sure everything looks brand new and germ free for as long as possible. Every month my storage gets completely emptied, disinfected, and washed down, with each individual product getting wiped over using cotton buds, baby wipes, and mild soap. Products that don’t keep well and can’t be cleaned (mascara and doe-foot applicators) get thrown away. This maintenance is important to prolong the life of your products and to keep things clean.

Wearing makeup every day is bad for your skin – Not really. As long as you remove your makeup properly and thoroughly cleanse you skin morning and night, your skin should be fine.

Drinking water hydrates your skin – When you drink water, it doesn’t go straight to the skin. It goes through the intestines, gets absorbed into the bloodstream, and is filtered by the kidneys. Then it starts to hydrate cells. So realistically, drinking water doesn’t combat dry skin. Moisturising does.

Hair products can eliminate split ends – Only regular hair cuts and limiting heat to the hair can prevent split ends, sorry girls.

You should never tweeze above the brow – Sometimes to achieve the correct brow shape tweezing or waxing above the brow is essential. Just don’t go crazy and make them super flat. Stick to just a general tidy up.

You can shrink pores – Pores are not doors, they don’t open and close. Products can only ever minimise the appearance of pores. Not shrink them. Realistically you cannot see your pores. The only person that can see your pores close-up is your optician – or your boyfriend. Your optician is looking at your eyes. Not your pores. And if your boyfriend is thisclosetoyou and notices your pores? He’s gay. Or not attracted to you. Or at best, rude. Rethink the entire relationship.

Your age is important when shopping for skin care – Skincare is important at any age, and using something that has anti-aging properties at 20 is not stupid, anti-aging products contain ingredients that are fantastic for all skin types at any age.

Age spots are part of the natural process of ageing – Dark spots are part of the natural process of skin damage from the sun. That is all.

Everyone needs an eye cream and moisturiser – Everyone needs to find out what’s best for them, and stick with it. You don’t have to have a cleanser, acid toner, hydrating toner, serum, moisturiser, eye cream, treatment and oil just to look after your skin. Work with what’s best for you.

People with acne should use acne specific products – Most products that are aimed at people with acne are foaming products that strip excess oil from the skin, during this process the skin produces more oil to replace the oil lost, therefore making the skin greasy and a breeding ground for bacteria.

Stinging means working – If you use a product and it stings your face, it doesn’t mean that it’s working. It means that it’s reacting with your skin and is aggravating the area. Stinging is a result of blood-flow to the area, this can be when a product is swiped over an area with an open wound (i.e. a spot) which is fine, because it removes bacteria. But when it stings your whole face and goes very red and angry it’s not so good, and probably isn’t the product for you.

If you have oily skin you shouldn’t use facial oil – Mineral oil, avoid? YES. Good, light, plant-derived oils? – no. They don’t clog pores, they nourish the skin you are now pledging to take care of and they do not break you out. Cheap, nasty, mineral oil used in heavy formulations may break you out when you are cleansing, not good oils. Check labels. Avoid paraffin, paraffin liquidum, mineral oil in ingredient listings.

Any other myths you can think of?

The Ultimate Sculpting Kit

Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Series Contour Kit

This palette of six sculpting and highlighting powders has caused a cyber-space furore, but don’t worry lovers, now you too can be the proud owner of razor-sharp cheekbones (I can hear the supermodels quaking in their stilettos). With both matte and sateen textures, this pro palette is perfect for emphasising your assets – eyes, cheekbones, nose and jawline – creating believably natural, grey-toned shadows where you want them, and exaggerating the ‘3D’ quality of your features. From chiselling cheeks to streamlining larger-than-you’d-like noses, it’s a make-up maven must-have!

The formula of the matte shades runs very smooth, they’re pigmented but not scarily so – and they’re really blendable too. Starting at the top right we have the matte baby pink along with the matte yellow – I’ve been using these under my eyes to set concealer and brighten up the face. They’re exactly what I’ve been looking for as something like a normal setting powder is too heavy under the eyes and starts to crease, plus my normal setting powder looks too dark under my eye area. There’s one shimmer shade at the top left which isn’t my favourite, it’s quite frosty and I far prefer my shimmer highlighters to be on the golden side.

Onto the contour row, the left and middle shades are the cool tones of the three, especially the middle. These are what you’d look to to create a fake shadow and really enhance the cheekbone. I’ve been using them with a smaller brush and just placing the product in the hollows of my cheekbones. The shade to the far right acts as a bronzer, warm and subtle, so I like to take a big fluffy brush and sweep this along my temples and down my cheeks.

All in all the best contour palette out there. And with the option to switch out the shades with the shades in the contour book it’s customisable too! 

With this palette you can contour like a pro – it contains six shades of neutral shadow, to help you put your best face forward. For contouring newbies, the premise is to create depth by ‘colouring in’ shadows, then brightening the ‘high points’ of your face where light would naturally strike – cheeks, chin, forehead and bridge of the nose.

Celebrities rely heavily on contouring to help them look younger, leaner and more ‘cheek-boned’ in photographs. You wouldn’t believe the difference just a little bit of artful contour application can achieve –defining, streamlining and creating the illusion of perfect symmetry. Get practising girls, this is one craze that’s certainly here to stay…