Sigh.

27 Mar

Image taken from weheartit.com

Feast your eyes, my friends.

NOTD and maybe something extra this evening.

Grumble Guts – A-Derma Cleansing Oil

21 Mar

 

Devil juice!

About ten days ago my skin went mental. It was flaky and dry like nobody’s business, so I hit Boots and grabbed everything that looked vaguely moisturizing. I bought a few other things too but because this stuff messed my skin up so badly I haven’t been able to really form a proper opinion.

I’ve been wanting to try a cleansing oil for a while now, rather then my Avene cleanser, as I was using that when I was suffering from some hormonal acne, and I now find it a bit too drying. My skin is combination, leaning towards the dry side, but recently its been really dry. This was marketed as being for “Extremely dry/atopic skin” and states on the box that its gentle enough to even be used on baby’s skin.

Big no no.

This product does have some pros – it’s not heavily perfumed, I like the packaging, and it takes off my make up well. It’s not as runny as I was expecting it to be, in fact, its actually quite thick and not that easy to spread on your face. It also left my skin feeling quite tight, which I thought was really strange seeing as its meant to be for dry skin.

The next day, my skin was covered in tiny little bumps. I thought maybe it was something to do with a new bronzer I’d bought, but these little bumps were even on my eyelids so that was out of the question! Throughout the day, my face felt itchy and at times, even a bit painful. Later in the week, my skin got really flaky, especially around my nose and between my eyebrows. NIGHTMARE!

I stopped using this and started slathering on moisturiser, at one point even resorting to slapping Nivea Creme all over my face! I’m not totally writing off this product as my skin is dry to begin with and it might work for more oily skins, but I resent the fact that it was marketed as being hydrating and gentle for use on extremely dry (note: not even just “dry” skin – “extremely dry”!) and in fact only worsened what I was suffering from originally.

I bought mine for around £8 at Boots. Displeased.

Budget Brilliance!

19 Feb

God, I love nail polish.

I’m not allowed to wear it at work which is a bit of a bummer, but that’s only two evenings a week. On the fateful Westfield trip where I splurged on Inglot (the brushes are rubbish! Review to come. So disappointed, I should’ve just bought MAC) L.A. Colors were discovered in some beauty discount store I forget the name off. Obviously this prompted delighted giggles, squeals of “shinyyyy!!!” and “99p!!!” and much running about.

I bought five. Hooray for cheap!

Above is the combination of a gunmetal grey shade called Tropical Storm (Look, just cos we cheap don’t mean we don’t get to be all enigmatic and OPI on yo asses) with “Sparkling Diamonds” laid over the top. Tropical Storm is nice, well pigmented (only needed two coats and it was pretty solid on the first) but Sparkling Diamonds is like OH HELLA YES. I think I may have shouted “Awwwwwww yeah” on application because I was stunned. The brush comes out looking a freaking Swarovski advert it’s so covered in sparkle. Sparkle which transferred to my nails with ease. A mixture of silver glitter and larger hexagonal silver sequiny things, the above layer of sparkle is basically one coat. I’M IN LOVE. They make me feel like my nails have jumped out of a bond film straight into real life.

Since I was a little heady from my delightedness, I decided to detail my ring fingers with a coat of Barry M’s crackle effect top coat. Mmmmmm mama. I realize my hands look a little over the top and kind of like I could purchase drugs with them, they’re so pimped, but I don’t care. They so niiiice.

AND 99p! 99p! God, I love cheap stuff.

My Perfume Collection

13 Feb

I’m really really fussy when it comes to fragrance, I find it very difficult to choose scents as very few on the market appeal to me. However, having said that, I couldn’t say that I have a distinct “type” when it comes to perfume – the ones I own are all quite varied. I absolutely despise most of the sickly sweet scents on the market, and find more and more often that everything I spray in department stores smells the same. I guess the ones I do own are probably because they were the only things that smelled different!

The first, and one of my all time favourites which I have sadly run out of, is Dior’s Midnight Poison.

I can’t think of a more subtle way to put this so I’m just gonna spit it out – it smells like sex. Obviously not in a gross way, in a “I feel so unbelievably sexy I could stop traffic right now” way. I think putting “Midnight” in the name is applicable because this is definitely a night time scent – as soon as I spray it everything gets all dark and mystical and Vampire Diaries on my ass. It starts off with citrus notes of bergamot and orange, mellowing into rose with a base of patchouli, amber and vanilla. I don’t normally like “vanilla-y” scents, but this blends really well, lending it a hint of sweetness, rather than making you smell like a candyfloss carny stand. It lasts absolutely all day, you can spray it in the morning and not need a top up, and I always always get compliments on my perfume when I wear this.

Next up, one that is technically a man’s scent. I’m quite often attracted to men’s perfumes, simply because they do tend to lean away from the cloying sweetness that is ever present in the offerings for women. This here is Fresh’s “Cannibis Santal” (OOOH naughty name! It does not smell like bong water. I promise.)
This follows a similar sort of pattern as midnight poison, opening with fruity notes of orange plum and bergamot, which fade to leave mid notes of patchouli and rose (do we see the similarity here..?) on top of base notes of musk, dark chocolate and vetiver. The chocolate lends the same sweetness to the equation as the vanilla, and this fragrance does make me feel all yummy and hot and full of sexiness, but I find it transfers better as a day scent. I’d be happy wearing this during the day, whereas Midnight Poison I sometimes feel is a little too “lady of the night” for day time. Not to say it makes you smell like a prostitute. Only a call girl. JUST MESSIN’. Anyway bottom line – it’s yummy smellin’. Doesn’t last as well as midnight poison but I have the titchy 30 ml bottle which is uber transportable for top ups.

My go to day time scent is Chloe’s Eau de Parfum. I’m massively lemming for the intense version. This has the best silage and lasting power of anything I know – people tell me they know which rooms I’ve been in because the perfume lingers. It really does fill the air around you without being overpowering or offensive, which is a pretty big feat if you ask me. I’m also in love with the packaging, anything faintly Art Deco has me totally hooked.
It opens with notes of peony, freesia, and lychee, moving into mid notes of rose, lily of the valley, and magnolia, on top of base notes of amber and cedar. As I’m olfactorily challenged, writing this review has made me realize I evidently favour rose scents with a musky base – who knew!? It sounds a bit sickly and floral from the notes but it’s a really lovely feminine light scent – and quite unique I feel as well. I was really disappointed by how little I liked the new Chloe fragrance after loving this one so much.

My old day time staple was Stella McCartney’s Peonies in Two.
Never really got the name of this one but I’m not selling it, I’m spraying it so who cares. It starts with peony notes (duh.) and what is described as “black pepper” but has always smelled more like red peppers, as in the ones you can eat – a bit citrusy but still with that peppery smell. Base notes are patchouli and amber (hello, my old friends). It can smell a little sharp if you spray too much at first, but that soon fades. It does need some topping up but overall its a goody!

Lastly, one of my favourites is another men’s fragrance! I like the women’s version too but Issey Miyake’s “L’Eau de Issey pour homme” is not only lovely smelling but reminds me of my dad.
A few of my guy friends got it recently which I’ve found a bit strange as they all smell like my old man! It was also launched in the year I was born so it just feels very personal – I know, that is so lame! Top notes of juniper, bergamot and lavendar, middle notes of sage, coriander, and freesia, with bases of sandalwood, cedar and moss. Nice clean looking bottle as well.

What are your favourite fragrances? I’m currently lusting after Vivienne Westwood’s Boudoir (bit different for me) and Naughty Alice.

Barry M Red Glitter NOTD

6 Feb

Mmmmm mama!

Helloooo my precious! I went to Westfield with a friend yesterday and had a gawp at the ridiculously expensive Deborah Lipmann nailpolishes now available in House of Fraser. At £18 (I think?) they are a little out of my price range – I find it hard to justify that amount of money to apply goop on my fingers, even if it incredibly pretty goop! However, seeing them got the glitter hunger going, so when I spotted this in the queue at Boots, I snatched it up!

I think Barry M Nail Paints are incredible value for money – they’re cheap, but apply well, have good pigmentation (of the ones I’ve tried) and lasting power. They’ve also got an incredible shade range, and often bring out on trend colours so you can’t really go wrong!

I wish I’d noticed this at Christmas – it makes me think of presents and trees and cinnamon – mmmmm yeah. Application was a breeze – I had to kind of smoosh the glitter around on the first coat to get an even layer but the second layer went on fine and amped it up to an opaque level of glittery goodness. Yes, the above photo is two coats. TWO COATS, LADIES.

Bottom line: I am impressed.

Available for £2.99 (Yes, you did read that correctly) at Superdrug.

Haulage.

3 Feb

So I popped into Selfridges with the mentality of “picking up a few bits”… Well…we all know how that one goes. Enter: Massive Haul.

Major Haulage

I’ll start off with the mascara. I had the Maybelline “The Falsies” Volum’Express when it first came out, in just the plain bright pink tube, so I picked up the new “Black Drama” version. I quite like the packaging, it’s got a pretty lace detailing round the top which appealed to the 5 year old girl in me. Obviously it’s not the most grown up thing you’ve ever seen but it’s bright which makes me happy!

The packaging!

The brush!

As you can see, the brush is curved to fit your lashes. I find this works really well to cover all the lashes, and although the brush is quite big, I didn’t find it clumsy or difficult to use. It does state that it’s clump-free, which I wouldn’t totally agree with. The formula is quite wet, so after one coat it is a little difficult to stop it from clumping, but its nothing a mascara comb wouldn’t sort out. Also, I feel it’s worth it for the fantastic length and volume that this mascara gives – it really is a “false lash look”! The only thing I don’t particularly like is the smell – a bit “chemically”, but it’s not a huge issue.

Clean lashes

One coat

Two coats

Please excuse the dark circles, I’d wiped off my undereye concealer for the swatches! I bought mine for £8.19 from Superdrug.

Moving on to the lip stuff,  after buying the Illamasqua Valentine’s “Succubus” lipgloss, my intense reading of other beauty blogs informed me that Sleek had come out with their own Valentine’s collection. Neither the blush or the polish interested me much, as the polish was a kind of standard bright red and the blush was waaaaaaaaaay too bright for me! But the tinted lip balm, or “Pout Polish” in Scandal totally floated my boat.


It doesn’t look like much in the swatch above, but it really does add quite a bit of kick to my natural lip colour. I was worried it would be really gloopy and stick from the the tester, but it’s quite a firm texture. It’s less “slippy” than Vaseline, just sits nicely on the lips and sinks in after a few minutes. It really does feel moisturizing and it’s got a lovely vanilla scent to it. It was £4.29 from Sleek at Superdrug.

Next port of action: 17’s Mirror Shine Lipstick in “Beehive”. I’ve been lemming this for soooo long, ever since Holly from YMBB posted about it.

Beehive


It feels really glossy and moisturising on the lips, it has a nice bit of slip to it which makes me worry it won’t last long, but it wasn’t expensive so not too much of a problem. The colour is lovely, a natural nude perfect for every day wear. Would look really nice with a pale pink gloss over the top – something like MAC’s “Underage” or “Fashion Scoop”. It was £4.59 from Boots.

The next lipstick is totally different. I picked up Revlon’s “Black Cherry” before Christmas, which I love – it’s the perfect vampy winter colour. My friend Anna has this lipstick (New Black, from 17) and as it’s a similar colour I thought I’d get it as well. I must say, the quality and pigmentation is nowhere near as good as Revlon, it was quite hard to build up the opacity. As I wasn’t using a lipbrush, I apologise for the messy swatch! I got mine for £4.29 at Boots.

17 New Black

New Black swatch

Like I said, the pigmentation isn’t great but the colour is lovely once you build it up. I could have applied more for an even heavier finish, but I quite liked it as it was.

Next up, Max Factor’s new “Weightless Foundation” in Raw Silk (45). It includes an SPF of 10, which is always good for palies like me. I have their second skin foundation which I like, but I find it doesn’t really last very long on me, and when testing this I noticed it had a more matte finish so I thought it might last me through the school day better!

Foundation swatched heavily on left, sheered out on right.

It seems to have a medium coverage, that could easily be built to full. It is supposed to have a “weightless” feel, and it seems to have a nice slip to it, suggesting it probably has quite a lot of silicone in it. I haven’t worn it for a full day yet, but I’ll upload a full face in order to show the blushes below as well at some point soon. It was £12.99.

So, speaking of blush, I picked up two of Topshop’s cream blushes, in Nutmeg and Flush.

Nutmeg

Pinch

Aren’t they luuuurvely?? I forgot to photograph the front of the packaging, but you can see the boxes in the photo at the top. The lid has little sketchy black polka dots, and the case feels sturdy. Pinch is not true to colour in the photograph, in real life its more like a glowing neon pink, which sheers out to a bright powder finish on the skin. Nutmeg is what I like to call a “grown-up” blush – a neutral, toned down colour you can use to give yourself a bit of definition without too much colour. They both have a nice cream to powder finish, and are 4g each, which when you consider a MAC cream blush is 6g and £17, is quite good value for money. Considering how nice the packaging is, and the fact that they come with a mirror (which MAC’s don’t!), I consider them a bargain, to be honest! They’re nicely pigmented and easy to blend. You can pick one up for £6, from Topshop.

My skincare regime

3 Feb

I’ve always had relatively good skin, but nothing special. My main list of skin “issues”, if you can call them that, are annoyingly tenacious black heads, little red bumps across my cheeks and tiny little pimples in the crease of my chin. I’m not really sure of my skin type, but if pushed I’d say it was combination to dry – I tend to get greasy round my nose, t=zone and chin, but really dry and flaky across my cheeks and forehead. I think really what underlies the issues I have is general dehydration – I definitely don’t drink enough water and also the occasional social cigarette – not good!

I’ve also always been quite lax with my skincare – I’ve never really had a proper “routine” as such and tended to go down the lazy route of just taking off my make up with face wipes (I love the ones by Soap & Glory! So pretty!) and occasionally using an exfoliating scrub or face mask in the bath.
BUT, things have changed around here. For the last 2 months or so I have been diligently (Ok, not quite diligently – I have my off day every so often!) using the same products for a while. The improvement in my skin has been vast – I decided to properly start using a routine after two horrific cystic spots left me with a permanent dent in my nose and a horrid scar on my chin. I tend to suffer from hormonal acne – I’ve got a few blemishes at the moment for that very reason, but when normal and balance my skin has never looked so glowing, soft and smooth! I no longer have the little red bumps across my cheeks, my skin feels plump and soft, and although I still have a few blackheads hanging around they’re much better than they were. The only thing I can’t figure out how to fix is the chin area, but it’s a work in progress! Right… on to the products!

Above L-R : Bioderma Sensibio, Avené Clenance Soapless Gel Cleanser, Neal’s Yard Lavendar Water, Vichy Normaderm moisturiser, Soap and Glory “Greatest Scrub of Your Life”

Difficult to find, but worth it if you can. I got mine in Paris when I went over Christmas, I think it was around 10 euros per bottle. This is a godsend for people who wear waterproof mascara – I love my MUFE Smokey Lash but dread wearing it because of the effort to get it off – this makes it quick and painless!

Around £7 – A friend gave this to me, but I believe it’s now stocked in Boots.
My camera’s made this look really blue, it’s more of a turquoise green for reference! When I first started using this I felt like it wasn’t really doing anything but my perseverance with it paid off as it’s made my skin balanced and soft. It lathers up nicely and I like the smell.

£9.75 – Neal’s Yard Remedies
After cleansing I use this all over my face. It’s got anti-bacterial properties which I think is why I get less blemishes now, and it also really softens my skin. It doesn’t feel stripping at all and smells lovely. I feel like it hydrates my skin but that’s probably not true! I guess it’s a little expensive for a toner but I find most “drugstore” toners too drying or worryingly full of chemicals.

£11.74 – Available at Boots
This has such a lovely texture, it really sinks in quickly and leaves my skin feeling plumped and lovely. It’s supposed to help with pigmentation and acne scarring, the latter of which I have and it has helped sooth the redness in my skin. I’m normally left unimpressed with moisturisers but I feel like this one has made a visible difference which is why I’ve stuck with it. However, the pump tends to squeeze out more than you need so you’ve got to be careful with it. It should last me a while though. It smells really light and fresh too which I like!

£8.17 from Boots
Not my favourite exfoliator in the world, but I’ve had this tube for ages and I’m trying to use it up. I’m not massively keen on the smell, and sometimes I find it a bit harsh, but it does the job well enough. I probably wouldn’t repurchase, and a friend gave me a tube of Avené’s exfoliating scrub which I think I’m going to start using when this is up. I use this about twice a week, depending how I feel.

On that note… I’m off to wash my face!