Monday, June 27, 2016

Lip Six


lipstick swatches

A week done back at work and the first Lip Six for a while-I do like doing these posts though so am going to start them again now that I'm back at work.

Top row (L) YSL Volupte Tint in Oil in 5 Cherry ma cherie (review-I love these so much) (R) MAC Mineralise rich lipstick in Grand Dame

Middle row (L) MAC Matte lipstick in Mehr (R) Buxom lipstick in Exhibitionist

Bottom row (L) Burberry Lip Cover in Primrose Hill Pink (R) NARS Audacious lipstick in Anna (review!)

Which is your favourite?

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

The review: Anastasia Glow Kit in Gleam


Anastasia Glow Kit in Gleam review

Anastasia Glow Kit in Gleam review

Highlighters.  Totally my shizz.  Remember when Anastasia came out with their first highlighters last year?  I was all over Starlight and Riviera and Starlight is still one of the most beautiful highlights for pale skin that I own.

Then recently they launched the 4 pan palettes-initially two launched and there is a third on the way.  The palettes are massive with 4 blusher size pans of highlighter.  Each one can be depotted really easily which is great because although made of cardboard, the palettes are quite large (but really sturdy) and they don't really fit anywhere into my make up storage.

What's great about the palette is that it's so versatile-used dry they're rather subtle, used damp with a sponge you can amp them up to 'I can see you from Space' proportions.  Each highlighter can be used on it's own on cheekbones, collarbones, on the eyes or to highlight the nose or brow bone.  Or you can get creative and make a bespoke highlight by combining shades together.

I've included swatches of the highlighters on my skin below-each used dry and taken in natural light.  My skintone is MAC NW15/NARS Mont Blanc/Estee Lauder Ecru and I don't edit my photos at all to be as genuine/authentic as I can.

Anastasia Glow Kit in Gleam review

Mimosa is a warm, champagne-y sheen that I tend to use with coral or orange toned blushers, placing it right at the top of my cheekbone where the blush ends-it's not too frosty and doesn't highlight pores.  It's the most golden in the swatches but it does pull quite subtle on the skin if used with a small brush and a light hand.  It does look slightly metallic when swatched heavily but it doesn't translate to the skin.

Anastasia Glow Kit in Gleam review Mimosa

Crushed Pearl is beautiful.  It's subtle enough for day time or the one you can layer on your cheekbones until you reach Tin Man-esque status. I really really like it and it's perfect for pale skin tones.  I also use this a lot to highlight under my brow.  This is the palest of the four and the undertone runs white making it good for my skintone and probably the most versatile in the pan.

Anastasia Glow Kit in Gleam review Crushed Pearl

Starburst is the one.  There is no way looking at it in the pan I would believe this seemingly pink toned highlight could be so so so stunning but it is absolutely my favourite highlight of the moment-and I own a lot of highlight! This highlight is so pretty on pale skin, it's the perfect 'white light' undertone, no glitter or chalkiness and a 'lit from within' ethereal radiance.  On pale skin this is bomb.

Anastasia Glow Kit in Gleam review Starburst

Hard Candy is the one I find hardest to wear and would only use as a blush topper.  It's very very similar to OC from the Urban Decay/ Gwen Stefani palette when swatched and has that very metallic-y pink/peach duochrome effect to it. It's a bit too much for daytime and as my clubbing days are long behind me, I suspect this will be the one I use the least.  I also find that because I have far from perfect skin, the highly metallic finish doesn't look great on me (hence why no photo of me wearing it!)

Being able to use three of the four shades on a daily basis has really impressed me in this palette-I bought it because I wanted it (new product launch lust should be a medical condition) but it's actually very versatile and wearable and something I'll reach for often.

Are highlighters your thing too?

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Four things I am using right now #6




Here's the sixth installment of 'four things I am using right now' where I give mini (kinda) reviews of things I am using every day right now. 

Hylamide SubQ eyes*

First up, the wonderful people at Deciem sent their Hylamide SubQ eye serum over for me to try and it's another product of theirs I can only say great things about.

The Hylamide SubQ eye serum is a cocktail of anti aging peptides and retinol wrapped into a light, liquidy serum.  The serum aims to address many 'eye related' concerns such as anti-aging, sagging skin/lack of firmness, dark circles and loss of hydration and it does so in a formula that is almost as light as water and absorbs instantly.  It sits perfectly under make up, leaving no residue or stickiness.  I like the pantone inspired simple packaging but I don't use the dropper mechanism-just like I don't with the Niod Photography Fluid.  I simply swipe the dropper under my eyes, a little bit really goes a long way with this serum.  I first read about this serum on Caroline Hirons blog and she criticised the packaging and Brandon Truaxe, the founder of Deciem responded to her criticism with an explanation as to the rationale behind the packaging-I have linked the post here and it's definitely worth reading his comments.  I also found another post where Brandon took the time to respond to almost all the comments on Carolines post-I wish all skincare companies were as engaged with their clients as Deciem clearly are.

Because it doesn't contain silicone you don't get that heavy duty 'smoothing effect' silicone packed eye creams can give-you may need to apply something heavier on top if you seek that smoothing effect before applying make up on top.  Silicone though is just a temporary 'filler' with no real skin improving benefits.

You get a lot of technology and science for the price point of £28 and this is an eye product I would happily repurchase and use-it's a brilliant all rounder.

Tom Ford Illuminating Primer

I didn't buy this primer-my best friend Danielle gave it to me after she didn't like the consistency of it.  And I have to be honest I am a little on the fence.  It's £54 which is obviously very expensive for any make up item and at the price point would hopefully be something I raved about.  It's housed in a double walled cylinder that squeezes out a teeny tiny bit of primer when pumped-TF is obviously helping us ration this product for the price.  I like the fact that I can see how much product has been used (and more importantly how much is left in the cylinder!)

The primer does feel quite slippery (almost greasy) on the skin and leaves skin with a veil of radiance-there is no glitter or shimmer-it's just illumination.  The primer claims to contain ingredients that improve the texture and tone of the skin and enhance cellular repair.  If you're looking for hydration or oil control or a primer that increases the longevity of your base then you're unlikely to get that from this primer-you're just going to get a smooth and illuminated canvas on which to apply your foundation.  I have found my foundation sits nicely on top and it's umm nice.  But it's not phenomenal.

I compared it to two of my favourite illuminating primers and found BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl to be pretty much an exact dupe-the tone of the TF is slightly warmer/more yellow toned but you really wouldn't see that with foundation over the top.  The base is slightly pearlised and leans much more yellow compared to the whiter than white L'Oreal Lumi Magique which is also much runnier in consistency.  The BECCA is almost half the price of the Tom Ford though so personally, I would go for that one.  The Lumi Magique is a brilliant drugstore option and I really love it for an illuminating base.


Omorovicza Cleansing Foam

The Omorovicza cleansing foam is also a perfectly nice, lightly whipped mousse cleanser that is perfect for a light morning cleanse and rinses cleanly.  What stops me repurchasing, like the Tom Ford, is the steep price tag and the lack of any visible benefits to using it.  It's £44 and I bought it because it was recommended for 'easily upset complexions' which is definitely how I would describe my skin type.  This cleanser is marketed as a 'suitable for all' cleanser that clears congestion, soothes sensitivity and redness and combats dryness.  The key ingredients-Copper Gluconate works to purge pores and detoxify, White Lupin revitalises and Apple Pectin provides long-lasting hydration and suppleness.

It's not a heavy duty enough cleanser to use as a make up removing cleanser and for me it definitely sits in the 'morning cleanser' category.  It doesn't strip the skin but I didn't find it particularly softening or balancing, or clearing or detoxifying.  For £44 it should be amazing and I should love using it but I just dont't.  I will say though that a little goes a long way and it is lasting a long time!

Bourjois Radiance Reveal concealer

I bought this serum concealer when my Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Corrector finished and I loved that Bobbi Brown one so much! (although admittedly it is about the only thing I do love from Bobbi Brown though....)  The Bobbi Brown is a corrector rather than a concealer but I really liked the consistency so I thought this Bourjois one might be similar.

I don't personally love the Bourjois version-although the texture is nice and fluid, I find it much heavier than the Bobbi Brown version and that it can crease under my eyes.  My major problem though is the shade is far too yellow for me-and I have bought the lightest shade available.  The shade is relatively close to my natural skintone so it doesn't really conceal and brighten the area.  The fluid consistency means it's not really suitable for concealing blemishes so this is a bit of an all round miss for me.  I've seen a lot of positive reviews but this just isn't for me.

Have you tried any of these products?

*This post contains an eye cream gifted to me by Deciem.  Thoughts and opinions are of course, my very own.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

WIN-Jaclyn Hill/Becca Champagne Collection Face Palette

Becca Champagne Glow palette giveaway

Becca Champagne Glow palette giveaway

To say a huge thank you to everyone who supports me and my blog I have a limited edition Jaclyn Hill v Becca Champagne Collection Face Palette to give away.

Rules:

1-Please enter via the Rafflecopter widget below

2-The prize will be a brand new Jaclyn Hill v Becca Champagne Glow palette as pictured above.

3-The giveaway will be open from Monday 20th June until 20th July

4-The winner will be emailed on the 21st July

5-The winner will be chosen by the Rafflecopter widget

6-This is an international giveaway

7-No substitute prize/cash equivalent will be offered so please only enter if you want to win the palette

8.  No purchase necessary (apparently this is a legal requirement to be stated for giveaways)

9.  The winners name will NOT be published on social media unless they give their express consent to me to do so (apparently another legal requirement)

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


 
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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Current morning skincare routine-the supercharged version

Morning skincare routine

***Warning-long rambly post about skincare ahead***

I recently saw a skincare item that was described as being good for 'easily upset' skin and I thought that was a brilliant description of my own skin.  I've talked about my skin concerns a lot in the past and specifically how my skin changed since having major surgery following my cancer diagnosis  I believe that my hormones play a massive part in my skins behaviour as all of my issues are localised to the jaw/chin/neck area and mostly on the right side of my face.  Some of you will know I have just been though another big operation and this time I have had my right ovary removed.  I will be interested in the next weeks and months to see how my skin adjusts to a lower production of hormones and coping with one ovary.  So far my emotions seem to be pretty much in check despite the loss of 50% of my hormone production but I am a really emotional person so I need to keep a close eye on that situation.

The reason for this post is to share my skincare routine in the morning currently as since my surgery recently, following an initial flare up of my easily upset skin (which I am attributing to general anaesthetic/ stress / adjustment of hormone levels / not being able to shower for 5 days and using a skincare routine of purely Bioderma) my skin seems a lot more settled and calm.  I've reintroduced one product that I used a few years ago and at the time it had a massive impact on my skins conditions immediately but I totally forgot about it, repurchased it about a year ago and it's been in my skincare stash since.  And using it again has had a massively positive impact on my skin over the past 3 weeks.  I've been using nourishing and hydrating products to try and bring my skin back to life and add hydration and radiance whilst soothing and calming the skin-sounds like a tall order but this supercharged routine seems to be doing just that.


Cleanse

There are currently 3 products in my shower for cleansing-one I use daily, one I use three times a week and one I use once a week.

Emma Hardie Moringa Foaming Cleansing Wash-My daily morning cleanse.  I used to use the Emma Hardie cleaning balm but I found the texture to be really inconsistent-sometimes my tub had gritty granules in it and sometimes it was totally smooth and it put m off.

However this lightly whipped mousse is the perfect refresher for skin in the morning.  Personally, although it is recommended for make up removal on the Emma Hardie website I would not use this for that purpose-I need an oil or a balm to get my make up off.

I apply one pump to dry skin, massage lightly and rinse off.  It contains rose, neroli, jasmine and orange essential oils to balance the skin and pumpkin fruit enzymes (a natural AHA or chemical exfoliant) and Moringa extract to brighten, add radiance and lightly (chemically) exfoliate dead skin cells.  My skin feels refreshed, balanced and soft after using and doesn't feel dry or tight.  I also think although this costs £34, because you need only one pump, it will last a long time.

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask-This is the product I have reintroduced into my skincare routine and it is amazing and I love it so much!  Ok so I will give you my laypersons take on it and then google some actual real life technical stuff on it.  This is a pink gel that you apply to very slightly damp skin and within seconds the pink gel reacts with the water to foam and so you look like you have a face covered in shaving foam.  You leave on for 5 minutes (I tend to cleanse with the EH first then put this on and then wash/wash and condition hair/shave) and then just rinse off.  It rinses cleanly, no need for a flannel.  Any spots I have just seem to disappear really quickly and I haven't had a spot since using this-and I have used it every 3 days for two weeks.  And that makes me super happy and my skin is so soft after using.

Ok so the actual science behind it is that this floods the skin with oxygen to brighten, clarify and revitalise skin.  It also contains hefty doses of Vitamin C and E which help boost radiance and hydration giving healthy glowing skin.

I get that this is a surface treatment rather than a skin penetrating treatment but I have seen a tangible visible difference by reintroducing it and I am hooked!  It is expensive, I bought mine from Feel Unique who usually run a discount code.

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser-I have to admit to not being blown away by Tata Harper products so far.  I tried the Nourishing Oil Cleanser but I just felt it was ok and overpriced.  I bought all three cleansers when I was in the US last year as they are cheaper there than the UK (and are not in Dubai) and I didn't realise at the time that this was a traditional exfoliating cleanser with granular bits in it.  I have steered clear of these for a long time now, preferring chemical exfoliants on my face.  But the grains in this are really really small so it doesn't feel harsh/stripping at all.

I use this just once a week maximum just to slough away any dead skin cells, particularly when blemishes are drying out.  It's packed full of interesting ingredients: Willow bark which is naturally rich in salicylic acid, something my skin really responds well to; Aloe Vera, well renowned for its reparative and skin soothing properties to quickly combat irritation, inflammation and relieve sensitivity; Pink Clay to draw out impurities from the skin and minimise the likelihood of blemishes while apricot seed kernels provide gentle, physical exfoliation so skin feels smoother and looks polished.  It's 100% natural and contains no detergents or alcohol.


Eye serum and toner

After my cleanse (after whichever one I use) I have two simple steps-an eye cream and a hydrating mist.  I am not using an exfoliating toner in the morning at the moment.

Hylamide SubQ Eyes*-My eye serum is a great all rounder which addresses pretty much all your under eye concerns such as ageing, dark circles, puffiness and fine lines.  The texture is almost as light as water and it absorbs immediately leaving no residue behind.  Make up sits really well over it too.  I really like it because it's perfect for every day use. 

First Aid Beauty Vitamin Hydrating Mist-I love a good facial spritz and this is a great one for using in the morning because it has a nice powerful spritz to it, the toner isn't too wet and it feels cooling and soothing on the skin.  The mist is infused with aromatic extracts that claim to energize and invigorate skin.  I have the 50ml size so it's perfect for throwing in your handbag or gym bag or in your travel bag if you're taking a flight and FAB say it can be used to set make up too.  I can't say I have seen any tangible results but I just like to spritz my face in the morning!

Oskia Renaissance skincare review

Serum and moisturiser

I've been trying out the newest additions to the Oskia Renaissance skincare line for about 8 weeks now and I am loving both of the products Oskia kindly sent to me.  Bear in mind my skin is so 'easily upset' that sometimes all I look for in a skincare product initially is that it doesn't break me out!  But if a product does break me out I tend not to keep using it and unfortunately, as much as I love love love the Renaissance cleansing gel from Oskia, my skin didn't like the Renaissance Mask and every time I used it I did break out around my chin.

So I was interested to see how I got on with these two new additions, the Oskia Renaissance Brightlight serum* and the Renaissance 360 Supreme Cream*.

Oskia Renaissance Brightlight-Intensive pigmentation and dark spot serum-I've used a hefty amount of the serum and I really like everything about it.  I use a full pipette on my skin and it has enough slip to it that you can massage it in without pulling at the skin.  It does have a slightly tacky feel to it but once you top up with moisturiser (and I have used this combined with a couple of different moisturisers apart from the Oskia) that feeling completely disappears.  The star ingredient is ‘Nanobright', a unique, encapsulated liposome that combines vitamin C, arbutin and glutathione with Swiss garden cress, niacinamide, glycine and sulphur-derived MSM to penetrate the skin and visibly fade pigmentation whilst battling old acne scarring.  This is where I see the most improvement in my skin-particularly around my chin.  The serum also contains naturally occurring fruit enzymes to gently exfoliate (I spot pumpkin fruit, passion fruit, lemon, pineapple and grape oils in the ingredients) and eliminate the dead skin cells that cause a dull complexion.  The serum also contains ingredients to support your skins overall health-elasticity, resilience and strength.
I don't personally really have any dark spots or hyper-pigmentation, the benefits I see are in my skins overall health and the fading of old blemish scars.

The packaging is brilliant as well-the pipette dispenses just the perfect amount and there is no dripping or wastage.

Oskia Renaissance 360 Supreme cream-Before starting my make up I finish my skincare routine with two pumps of the moisturiser from the range.  This was the product I was most concerned about using because it is a relatively intensive cream and I was worried it would clog my pores-I usually go for a water based, gel textured moisturiser.  My fears were totally unfounded though and my skin feels calmed, non greasy and plumped.  I've had no problems at all with it breaking me out or it interfering with my make up-I hate it when skincare causes make up to 'pil' on top of it but that doesn't happen with this cream.  The Renaissance 360 Supreme cream is a moisturiser specifically targeting concerns about ageing such as fine lines, loss of elasticity and dullness.   The formula contains Oskia's signature MSM (here's a link to the benefits of MSM) and the Nanobright complex that is in the serum.  It also has Cactus extract to calm irritation and hyaluronic acid to attract and retain moisture.  My skin literally drinks this moisturisor up, making it the perfect end to my current supercharged skin routine.

I'd love to know if you have tried any of these skincare products and if you feel they benefit your skin as much as I do?

*This post contains items gifted to me.  Opinions are of course, as usual, my very own

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