Thursday, January 31, 2013

January empties

One of my favourite posts to write-here are my January empties.  And I have loads this month!!  I've really been trying to use up half empty bottles and some of the travel size/sample size products I have lying around.

Empties stash!

Lets start with make-up......

Laura Mercier Shimmer Pressed Powder and Mac Blot Powder

Laura Mercier Shimmer Pressed Powder and Mac Blot Powder

Laura Mercier Shimmer Pressed Powder and Mac Blot Powder

Laura Mercier Shimmer Pressed Powde

It's such a shame Laura Mercier discontinued this fabulous bronzer.  It was the perfect shade for a pale girl like me (NW15!) and it wasn't shimmery like Mac Mineralise powders and it wasn't matte like Benefit Hoola.  I love it, it lasted me years and it could be used as a subtle bronzer or blusher.

Would I purchase again?  Yes in an instant, but its discontinued :-(

What have I replaced it with?  Shu Uemura bronzing powder in 01 although I am not really using bronzer at the moment

Mac Blot Powder in Medium Dark

It always surprises me that I am 'medium dark' in this range but this is a HG product for me.  I carry it with me every single day and its great for mopping up any excess shine during the day without clogging or clumping.  It's almost translucent, but if you are interested in this product its definitely worth getting colour matched by a Mac make up artist in store.  Also, when you hit pan on this it does tend to crumble away at the sides quickly making it difficult to use.

Would I purchase again? YES!  This is a HG product for me

What have I replaced it with?  Another Mac Blot Powder

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme mascara (sample size) and Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Feline Extravaganza

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme mascara

I got this mascara in my Estee Lauder Michael Kors Holiday 2012 set and my first thought was 'that's going straight in the bin!'  That's because I had tried it before and hated it-I found the brush too big to control properly and always ended up with mascara on my eyelid.  But coincidently the lovely Helene at Icaria's also posted the same day about this mascara and said how it was one of her favourites.  What was I missing out on??  So I gave it another try and it's fair to say I was converted!  Yes the brush is huge and I always had to do some clear up of mascara smudges on my eyelid but I loved the effect on my lashes- it really volumises and lengthens your lashes.  No clumping, zero fall out, buildable (I like 3 coats) and very little smudging even after 12 hours wear (and if you use something like Anastasia Lash Genius you get none at all).  I do not like a natural mascara look to be honest-I love thick, full, dark lashes.  And this certainly ticked all the boxes.

Would I repurchase?  No, but the only reason why is that I don't really like the brush and hate having to clean up mascara off my lid after applying eyeshadow.  But for the effect on the lashes it was fab.

What have I replaced it with?  Lancome Hypnose Star mascara

Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Feline Extravaganza

Firstly I adore the packaging of this mascara with its sleek black with gold animal print pattern.  It looks super-luxe.

I love this mascara, it does everything I want in a mascara-thicken, volumise and lengthen.  If I were to pick one negative it would be that I did get some smudging under my eyes at the end of the day.  But that was easily removed with a cotton bud swatched with eye make up remover.  And, like YSL Faux Cils it does dry out quite quickly and was more or less dry after 2 months daily use.

Would I repurchase? Yes

What have I replaced it with?  Lancome Hypnose Star mascara

Lets move onto cleansers

Kiehls Ultra Facial cleanser, Lilawadee Herb Cell Repair Thai Silk Cleansing Gel, Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser

I've said before that with cleansers I don't expect miracles, I just want products that clean my skin, aren't drying, don't break me out and don't leave residue on my skin.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser

I'm a big fan of Kiehls skincare-however this was a really unusual cleaning experience.  The Ultra Facial cleanser is a gel cleanser you apply to a wet face and then rinse.  But when you apply it to wet skin it sort of has this 'suction' effect to your skin as you're massaging it in.  It's not unpleasant in any way, it actually feels like it's getting all the make-up, dirt and grease off your skin and it washes off easily-it isn't 'stuck' to the skin.  In all honesty it's not my favourite Kiehls cleanser and actually I feel it may be more suited to mens skin.  Its fragrance free and suitable for sensitive skin.

Would I repurchase?  No

What have I replaced it with?  Morning-Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel, Evening-Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

Lilawadee Herb Cell Repair Thai Silk Cleansing Gel

This was part of my Christmas present from the lovely Anna, my friend who has relocated to Bangkok.  This is another facial gel but much lighter than the Kiehls product.  I won't say too much about it because it's a Thai product that doesn't seem to be available outside of Thailand (although I have found it on for $25).  It's really lovely, light and leave skin clean and soft without drying-everything I want from a cleanser.

Would I repurchase?  Yes

What have I replaced it with?  See above

Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser (sample size)

I do love Clarins-I think their skincare is lovely, their body range amazing and their make up very underrated.

I've had a few tubes of this cleanser.  I love the simple white and red Clarins packaging-it is instantly recognisable.  This is a very light cream facial wash perfect for morning and evening use and is very mild.  I think it smells slightly 'soapy' but the smell doesn't linger.  This is exactly what I want from a cleanser-cleans your face, doesn't cause breakouts and doesn't leave my skin dry.  A great cleanser for all ages.

Would I repurchase?  Yes

What have I replaced it with? See above

The make-up removers....

Simple eye make up remover and Garnier Soothing 2 in 1 make-up remover

Simple eye make-up remover

Probably my favourite eye make-up remover EVER!  I love it because it's like water, non greasy and totally effective!  I can't buy this in Dubai so I bulk buy in the UK-I have 10 stashed away in the bathroom!  Perfect for sensitive eyes, light and refreshing and amazingly effective even on waterproof mascara.  If anyone asks me for an eye make-up remover recommendation this is what I tell them to buy.  And its cheap too!

Would I repurchase?  Yes, a million times over!

What have I replaced it with?  Another Simple eye make up remover 

Garnier Simply Essentials Soothing 2 in 1 make-up remover

This is my 2nd favourite eye make-up remover!!  This is bi-phase, oil and water and to me is very similar to Lancome Bi Facil.  What I tend to do is remove my eye make-up with this, cleanse my face with whatever cleanser I am using then wipe away any excess mascara/residue with the Simple eye make up remover because the Garnier one is quite greasy and the Simple one just ensures no residue is left so that you can apply eye cream straight away.  I find this extremely effective but gentle at the same time.  The bottle says you can use this on face and eyes but I would not use it on my face because it is quite greasy.  Again this is a supermarket purchase I stock up in the UK-I've got 8 of these stashed away too and will no doubt buy more in March!

Would I repurchase?  For sure!!

What have I replaced it with?  Another Garnier eye make up remover which I use in combination with the Simple

Eye products.....

Beauty Cottage eye masks, Kiehls Rosa Artica eye cream and Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Firm

Beauty Cottage Eye Mask Sheets

If you're ever in Bangkok I highly recommend picking up some of these eye mask sheets.  They are perfect after a hard day in front of the computer when you eyes are tired and sore.  Very highly saturated with product, they feel instantly cooling and refreshing.  From the Beauty Cottage stall at Central World at Chit Lom BTS

Would I repurchase?  Definitely, they are lush to use!

What have I replaced it with?  Nothing

Kiehls Rosa Artica eye balm

I used every drop of this rich eye balm but I am on the fence about whether I liked it or not.
It is pricey-it cost 34g for 14ml but 14ml lasted me 4 months using it daily in the evening.  It's very rich-it is enriched with Harberlea Rhodopensis, a rare flower that can survive for 31 months without water.  As soon as it is hydrated it comes back to life within hours.  The Balm aims to tighten and hydrate the eye area and to reduce the appearance of fine lines.

That's the blurb-the reality is that this cream is thick and heavy.  You need to use a tiny bit and you must warm it between your fingers before applying otherwise it drags on the skin, doesn't absorb easily and stings my under eye area.  I don't think this is suitable for sensitive skin and would highly recommend trying a sample from your local Kiehl's counter before you buy.

I love Kiehls but personally this one wasn't for me.

Would I repurchase?  No

What have I replaced it with?  A travel size of Origins Plantscription eye treatment from their Xmas Bauble

Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Firm (sample size)

I'd never ever heard of this product!  I can't believe I haven't because it is AMAZING!  I got this in the Latest in Beauty advent calender and I tried it out just to use it up to be honest.  But wow!!!!!!  It has a texture a bit like vaseline but without the stickiness.  It's fragrance free and smooths easily under the eye-the results are almost instant-smooth and brightened under eyes.  I was worried the texture would take a while to sink into the skin but it doesn't-its not greasy at all.  I think this was my favourite discovery of the year so far.  Definitely suitable for sensitive skin as its so moisturising.  Quite simply I am in love.  You can also use this product on the lip area too.  Love, love love!!!

Would I repurchase?  Yes, yes, yes!!

What have I replaced it with?  A travel size of Origins Plantscription eye treatment from their Xmas Bauble

The lips......

Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, Jouer Lip Enhancer conditioning lip treatment

Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

A total classic in my book!  I won't say too much about it as I reviewed this product here so click the link to get more info.

Would I repurchase?  Absolutely

What have I replaced it with?  Vaseline!  I seem to have 4 tins on the go at the moment and actually I don't even like it that much-have realised I much prefer a tube of lip balm over vaseline especially before applying lipstick.

Jouer Lip Enhancer conditioning lip treatment (sample size)

I received this in the Cult Beauty Goody Bag.  it was a tiny tube but it lasted absolutely ages!  This was also the first time I have tried anything from Jouer. This is a light balm/cream enriched with jojoba, shea butter and Vitamins A and C.  It's very very slightly tinted pink so leaves a lovely sheen on the lips.  Recommended as a night treatment but actually I used this in the daytime before lipstick-its a great base.

Would I repurchase?  Yes I think I would, it has also made me interested in trying more of the Jouer range

What have I replaced it with?  Vaseline

Body lotions and potions......

Soap and Glory Daily Smooth Body Butter, Clarins Extra Firming Body Lotion

Soap and Glory Daily Smooth Body Butter (travel size)

This body butter isn't as heavy as say a Body Shop body butter which makes it ideal for daily use whilst still being super moisturising.  It contains rosehip seed oil and cocoa butter.  Seem to be hearing lots about rosehip seed oil at the moment-need to investigate more!!  I love Soap and Glory's retro packaging as well.

Would I repurchase?  No, but only because I have so many body lotions

What have I replaced it with?  Jergens firming body moisturiser.

Clarins Extra Firming Body Lotion (sample size)

This is a velvety light lotion rich in plant extracts which help to restore elasticity and density.  I really like this lotion, whether it really firms or not it absorbs rapidly and feels lovely on the skin.

Would I repurchase? Generally I don't buy expensive body creams-saving my money for facial care and make-up-I could make an exception with this though....

What have I replaced it with?  Jergens firming body moisturiser.

Still with me?  Let's move onto hair

Umberto Giannini Morning After Dry Shampoo, Batiste Cherry and Jo Hansford Intensive Masque

Umberto Giannini Morning After Dry Shampoo

I am a big fan of dry shampoo's.  I have very fine, lifeless hair and I find a squirt of Batiste adds a little bit of body.  Love the packaging of this product, the actual product itself not so much.  Having said that, it works ok as a dry shampoo the day after (like it says on the tin then!) but it's not good on clean hair like Batiste is-it actually leaves hair quite lank and greasy.

Would I repurchase? No

What have I replaced it with?  Batiste

Batiste Cherry (travel size)

I won't blog about this every month because I do probably go through one a month but I am including it this month because I LOVE the smell-I love cherry!!  It's just so fruity and juicy!  Batiste is a HG product for me, it's great for adding body and texture to fine hair like mine and great for turning a 'can't be bothered to wash hair' mess into something passable!  Adore it!

Would I repurchase?  Totally!

What have I replaced it with?  Batiste, this is another product I stock up on in the UK, I bet I have 15 tins of it in the bathroom!!

Jo Hansford  Intensive Masque

This was another item in the Latest in Beauty advent calender.  My fair is fine and lank and gets knotty very easily-it's also long so I like to add an intensive treatment every now and then to make my hair super smooth.  Described as a 'little pot of magic' this intensive treatment contains keratin, sunflower extract to extent the life of coloured hair and strengthen hair by boosting the protein structure.  I was not impressed at all-even after leaving it on for the recommended 5 minutes I couldn't get a brush through my hair afterwards.  When I have tried other intensive masques my brush has gone through my hair like a hot knife through butter afterwards.  I'm also shocked to learn this costs £27 for 150ml.

Would I repurchase? A definite no!

What have I replaced it with?  Nothing at present

And finally, miscellaneous products

L'occitane Winter Forest Candle and Philosophy The Gingerbread Girl shower gel

A couple of products left over from Christmas.  I loved this candle from L'occitane.  It smelled wintery and comforting.  I wouldn't normally review shower gel as I am very much a supermarket 'whatever is on offer' girl.  But I really did love this spicy, sweet ginger shower gel from Philosophy.  Christmas was a difficult time this year for a few reasons but every time I used this it was like a 'hug in a bottle'!

January losers

Lastly, I thought I would share 3 products that really are doing nothing for me and I won't be continuing to use

The losers of the month-Clarins Ever Matte Powder, Rosa Artica moisturisor and Origins Never A Dull Moment

Clarins Ever Matte Mineral Powder

Beautifully packaged in a gold compact, this powder contains a 'shine stopper' complex to control shine for hours and mattify the complexion.  But it just doesn't work for me and I've noticed the reviews on the website are not good either. It seemed to clump on my face so I ended up looking patchy-never a good look!  Having said that, I really really liked the Clarins Ever Matte foundation and it certainly hasn't put me off Clarins as a brand.  But for powder I'll stick to my Mac Blot Powder.

Kiehls Rosa Artica Youth Generating Cream

I reviewed the eye cream in this post as well and said I was on the fence-but the face cream gets a thumbs down from me.

The packaging is lovely, it comes in a big green glass jar so it looks lovely on your dressing table.  But I have a bit of a thing about moisturisors that come in a jar-every time you open it air and germs get in and I hate having to stick my fingers in-I just prefer squeezable tubes for hygiene reasons.

I knew this was a slightly heavier moisturiser than I would normally wear but I got it to try because I'm always in air conditioning and fly regularly which are both known as being drying to the skin.

Initially my skin was fine when I used it, but again you must warm this in your hands before applying otherwise you get white residue on the skin.  But after a while I kept finding I was getting really horrible spots round my chin and I narrowed it down to this moisturiser.  And as soon as I stopped using it, they disappeared.

Having said that, I suspect this would be a great cream for dry skin.  It contains the same ingredients as the eye cream and promises to firm, reduce fine lines, hydrate and give your skin radiance.  It does plump your skin and leave it feeling hydrated but it's too rick for my combination skin.

Origins Never A Dull Moment

This is a product I want to love-I keep buying it and trying it and every time am disappointed.  Why do I do this to myself??  And I know loads of people who love this-why I can't get on with it I don't know.

Ok so firstly, I hate the smell.  To me it smells like plastic and honey.  Strange combination I know.  Especially as apparently it doesn't contain either.  It does however contain papaya extract, apricot and ground mango seeds.  Secondly I hate the texture.  It's like rubbing honey with bits in it on your face.  I find it hard to wash off as it sticks to your skin.  When you squeeze it out the tube the granules in it look huge-and you would expect them to be abrasive and scratchy.  But they aren't, they dissove quickly as you scrub-in fact you can barely feel them at all.  And finally, it breaks me out.  On paper, it contains ingredients I love and I love Origins as a brand-I want to love it!!  But I can't.  I'm currently using Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant which seems much more suited to my skin.

And that's it-well done and thank you if you're still with me at the end of this epic post!!!  It's taken ages to write-do people enjoy these types of post?  Are they overdone? Do I do one next month??

Please link me to you empties post by leaving me a comment below-I love reading them!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

What I wore last week- the lips

Last weeks lips

Top row: (L) Estee Lauder Pure Colour lipstick in Candy, (R) Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait

Middle row: (L) Illamasqua lipstick in Drench, (R) Per-fekt Lip Perfection Gel in Hollywood

Bottom row: (L) Mac Amplified lipstick in Cosmo (R) Stila Lip Glaze in Jolly

Highlights and lowlights

NB, none of these shades are limited edition and can still all be bought today!

I reviewed Estee Lauder Candy here and said I hated it-but guess what-it's really grown on me!!  Also I love the sleek gold packaging.

I love the colour of the Illamasqua lipstick in Drench but I hate the formula!  It's very drying and I couldn't get it to go on evenly at all.  I think this may be relegated to the back of the drawer for some time.

Finally, I tried the Per-fekt Lip Perfection Gel for the first time yesterday and I was so shocked at the result.  I had expected this to be a kind of coloured, glossy lip balm-it has moisturising and priming properties but it is SO pigmented.  I loved the colour which was a blue based red (great for making teeth look whiter) but I had to apply it with a brush so that I got a perfect application.  It sinks into the lips like a balm and feels dry (not drying) on the lips so isn't like a gloss.  It's a very unique formula that I haven't come across before.  I also own Paramount which is a pale pink and far less pigmented.


Tom Ford Emerald Lust-and a dupe!!

Before we start, just a warning that this post is really photo heavy!

I had to have this Tom Ford Emerald Lust palette as soon as I saw Lisa Eldridge making up Bip Ling with it in her party make-up youtube vlog.  I had been hankering after it for ages before that but at £62 it's an awful lot for an eyeshadow palette-especially an eyeshadow palette that doesn't contain everyday neutrals which I would get a lot of use out of and ONLY contains 6g of product in total.  Yes, 6g.  My other Tom Ford palette contains 10g so this is 40% less product for the same price.  This is also a new formula, although in a 'newer for the better' way given the reviews I have read online-notably from Christine at Temptalia

The packaging is sleek and shiny Tom Ford cool classic.   Brown with gold trim and with 'Tom Ford' embossed on one end.

Before I review the product this is a two in one, double whammy post because I think I have found an extremely reasonably priced dupe for this product for an incredible £6.50.

I came across this palette whilst watching another youtube vlog-this time from Makeup By Tiffany D who is a US beauty blogger.  This video was a drugstore make up haul and she featured the Wet n Wild Colour Icon Eyeshadow collection in 'Blue Had Me At Hello'.  In the video she showed how incredible the pigmentation was on this palette.  It looked really similar to some of the colours in the Tom Ford palette that I HAD to track one down.  BUT, I am well aware that Wet N Wild is currently not available in the UK, neither is it in Dubai but guess what?  I found it on here.  It comes from the US but I ordered it and used my Aramex Shop and Ship account to get it to me and I was super impressed to have it in about a week.

Outer packaging

You don't get a box with the Wet n Wild-but it reminds me of a CD case and is hygiene sealed.  But actually I quite like being able to see the shadows in the palette and the clear casing.

The 2 palettes side by side

I'll be honest-I am not one for drugstore make-up generally but I like this palette a lot.  Firstly I like the little make-up tutorial on the back showing you how to best place the shadow.  Secondly I love the fact you get 8 shadows-frosted white, baby blue, silver/grey, turquoise, blackened navy with shimmer, navy with shimmer, matte black and black with glitter.

Here are the swatches...first up Tom Ford

(NB in the Wet n Wild palette I have swatched the 4 colours I think are closest to the Tom Ford palette.  They are the frosted white in the top left corner and the turquoise second row down on the right. Tthe paler blue is the hardest to dupe but I have gone for the pale blue in the top right of the palette and finally the dark blue I have swatched is the 3rd row down on the right hand side)

Tom Ford swatches, no filter, natural light, dry, no primer

Tom Ford swatches, no filter, natural light, applied wet, no primer

Tom Ford swatches, no filter, natural light, swatched dry, over primer

I swatched with primer as it is my personal preference to use primer with most eyeshadows.  My primer of choice is Clarins Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base.  This to me, knocks spots off any other primer I have tried and does not get the press it deserves.

These shadows are beautiful, so pigmented and buttery.  No fall out at all when swatched.  So pigmented you probably wouldn't need to use a primer.  Applied wet they are really intense and look truly amazing.  They look and feel velvety and are a pleasure to apply and to wear.

And here are the Wet N Wild swatches...

Wet n Wild swatches, no filter, natural lighting, applied dry, no primer

Wet n Wild swatches in natural light, no filter, applied wet, no primer

Wet n Wild swatches, natural light, no filter, applied dry, over primer

Look how amazing these are!!!  The turquoise and the darker blue are almost an EXACT match for Tom Ford.  Again you wouldn't need a primer as they are so pigmented.  I am so impressed to be honest.  When swatching, the only shadow with a little bit of fall out was the frosted white-it's quite crumbly.  But the rest of the shadows are smooth and buttery and easy to apply.

Below I have swatched the whole palette over primer-I am totally in love with the turquoise and the 2 darker blues, the pigmentation is awesome.  I did find that it was hard to pick up the shimmer in the black shadow but there is a difference between the matte black and the shimmer black swatches in daylight.

For the price, you truly cannot go wrong with this Wet n Wild palette, I'm hugely impressed and this is a brand I would love to try more of.  It would be amazing if they would bring the brand to the UK for starters, I am sure it would fly off the shelves in Boots and Superdrug.  I've heard other British beauty bloggers talk about Wet n Wild so I am sure there would be a demand.

Tom Ford is pure luxury, his products are probably the most expensive make-up items I own.  The shadows are sublime, the pigmentation amazing and the application a dream.  But I really think Wet n Wild have pulled it out of the bag here and made an exceptional product.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sara Happ V Lush-the Lip Scrub

It's winter-season of dry flaky skin, central heating and extreme temperatures.  Or if you live in Dubai like I do its still winter but slightly warmer at 27 degrees but the effects of air conditioning can be super drying on the skin.

One area that I always find suffers is my lips and I find myself religiously applying lip balm to keep my lips soft and smooth.

But sometimes, balm is not enough and we need to do some serious TLC work to keep lips in tip top condition and this is where a lip scrub can come in handy.

Here I put two the test 2-a luxury brand and a high street brand-Sara Happ versus Lush.

Sara Happ sounds like my kind of girl.  Obsessed with beauty products and everything to do with lips since she was a Girl Scout, The Lip Scrub was invented by Sara in her own kitchen after googling lip scrub and getting no results.  Sara aims to make products she herself can't live without.  The Lip Scrub currently comes in 7 different varieties-Peppermint, Vanilla Bean, Brown Sugar, Creme Brulee, Green Apple, Red Velvet and Blood Orange.  How utterly delicious!  I first saw this brand on the Selfridges website and lusted after the Red Velvet (as I LOVE the cupcakes!) but it was out of stock so I got the Green Apple.  I love the packaging-it comes in a glossy green cardboard box with a white ribbon tied round it.  Contains sugar, petrolatum, grape seed and jojoba oils.  1oz costs £20 and you can purchase Sara Happ from Beauty Bay (where I found my red velvet one) and Selfridges.

Lush invented their lip scrubs to ensure lips were well primed before lipstick and left lips super smooth and moisturised.  Currently in 2 flavours, bubblegum and mint julips but I have heard a rumour that this Popcorn Christmas 2012 special edition will become part of the permanent line.  A more simple formula for this scrub-caster sugar and jojoba oil.  1oz costs £5.25.

Sara Happ The Lip Scrub texture

Lush Lip Scrub texture

The Lush scrub was the first scrub I tried and the smell is divine.  It's very sweet and caramel-y.  The texture is very very fine and doesn't bind together well-in fact I actually found it difficult to scoop out of the glass jar as the formula is so dry like sugar.  And because of that I almost felt like I was rubbing a sugar doughnut over my lips.  It's completely safe to eat this formula and in fact Lush say you should rub this products gently into your lips and lick the excess off.  Personally I couldn't bear to do that and I just wiped it off with a damp flannel.  This scrub is very grainy and abrasive and removes all dead skin cells quickly but afterwards my lips felt tight and parched and in desperate need of lip balm.  But they did feel smooth and well exfoliated.

The Sara Happ scrub smells less sweet and the apple version smells crisp and sharp and fresh.  Sara Happ recommend that you apply a generous amount to your lips, rub and then remove with a tissue.  The texture is much nicer-the grains are set in a gel (probably the petroleum) and so its much easier to scoop out of the tub and to apply and feels somehow less 'messy'.  Again, this feels abrasive on the lips and removes dead skin and afterwards my lips felt less tight than when I used the Lush one and not so parched.

The Winner??

I love the Sara Happ-I love the smell and the consistency and I feel it's gentler on the lips than the Lush formula.

Both scrubs do the job undoubtedly and Lush is much cheaper than Sara Happ but I honestly think the Sara Happ is worth every penny for a luxury treat.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

BabyFace cream-a Thai exclusive!

So as you may know I recently went to Thailand to see my lovely friends Anna and Dan at their new home in Bangkok and then flew to Phuket for some R&R.

Anna told me about this cream she had seen people talking about on the tripadvisor website-a facial moisturiser that seemingly you can only buy in Koh Samui and Phuket.  Even though it is made in Thailand it is not available in Bangkok (although there are other versions of it, they just don't sell the real deal) or outside Thailand.  Having said that, the ladies on tripadvisor forum (most ladies from Australia) seem to buy it by the suitcase full and sell it back in Australia.

And those ladies absolutely rave about it-saying how soft and plump their skin was-I had to get some!!!

The secret ingredient are stem cells from, wait for it, a rather yucky sounding sheep placenta.  Stem cells basically are fantastic for cell renewal and regeneration.  The other ingredients are collagen, vitamin A, vitamin E, sweet almond and grapeseed oil.

The stockist in Phuket is a shop called Beauty Land and despite Anna finding us directions for it we walked and walked from one end of Patong to the other in the searing heat of the day.  I was literally about to give up and sent an SOS message to Anna who quickly re-googled the shop, got more directions and guess what-we were literally 30 seconds walk away.

Its obvious this cream is sold by the bucket-load to tourists because as soon as I walked in the lady said 'Babyface?' and led me to the shelves.  She also offered me a discount if I bought 6 boxes or more.

This cream comes in 2 varieties-normal/oily and dry and I bought 4-one for Anna, one for my mum, one for me and one for a giveaway I plan to do in March.

I have just finished my last moisturiser so I have started using this today-my first thoughts are its very light yet creamy and feels silky on the skin and absorbs into the skin really quickly.  However, Anna has been using it since I brought it back to Bangkok and I asked her the other day if she was still using it and her message back said "Yes I have and I LOVE it!  It is so nice and light and makes my skin so smooth.  I actually just thought vainly this morning when I was in the gym how nice my skin was looking!!!!"  Love it!

Best of all these cream costs only 3500TB which is about GBP7.  I'll do another review once I have had time to trial it properly but if you do happen to be travelling to Phuket or Koh Samui then this really is a must buy!

Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti Blemish Mask-the review

I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of face masks.  I find them messy and generally I find them really difficult to wash off cleanly.  And there is nothing worse than putting a face mask on and waking up next morning to discover you've got spots.

So why did I buy this one?  Well actually I didn't intend to in all honesty.  I had the intention of buying the much raved about Parsley Seed Mask also by Aesop but this one somehow also fell into my shopping cart whilst browsing Cult Beauty.

Who are Aesop-well they are an Australian skincare brand launched in 1987 committed to providing the very best skin, hair and body products with a focus on anti-oxidant and plant based properties.  Their packaging is almost clinical and old school pharmacy like.  This mask is in their signature brown glass jar with a cream and brown label.  I think it looks sophisticated and simple and a great addition to any bathroom.

I wanted the Parsley Seed mask primarily because since the end of December my skin has been annoying problematic with spots.  And those horrible spots that seem deep rooted and painful and last forever.   I spotted this clay based mask which contains chamomile (famous for its soothing properties) tea tree leaf (antiseptic) and evening primrose (healing) and it also contains rosemary, sage and lemon peel and decided to give it a try.

This mask doesn't promise to cure acne.  But it will help to treat eruptions quickly without drying out or stripping your skin.  And I have to say that is exactly what it did.

So it's clay based but it doesn't go on as you would expect a clay mask to.  Its pink/brown in colour and spreads very easily.  I found it slightly lighter in texture than something like the Origins A Clear Improvement and almost like I was spreading chocolate mousse on my face!  You can use this as a full face mask or on a small area only.  It feels lovely on this skin-very cooling and tingly-but tingly in a nice way not in a pins and needles painful type way!  It also has a slight tightening effect as the clay dries.  You only need to leave this one for 10 minutes according to the instructions but I left mine on for about 15 and when I went to wash it off the clay had turned grey apart from the places where your skin is most oily where it remains the brown colour-you end up looking like you're wearing camouflage!

And washing it off is an absolute doddle-seriously-this just melts away on contact with water-no rubbing required unlike other clay masks I have tried in the past.  Truly effortless.

My skin was left velvety soft afterwards and the next day the pesky spot on my chin that just would not disappear had all but gone!  I was thrilled.  I have used this mask twice now 7 days apart and currently my skin is completely blemish free.

This face mask has converted me back to using them regularly, I am thrilled with my first experience of an Aesop product and I definitely want to explore more of the range.

Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti Blemish Mask retails at £33 for 60ml (approx 7 to 10 applications I estimate) at Cult Beauty


Friday, January 18, 2013

Mac and Rimmel haul!

Thanks to Adrienne at the brilliant The Sunday Girl I knew almost to the second when the new Apres Chic collection from Mac went online in the UK.  Mac in Dubai leaves a lot to be desired-it seems to be a good 6 weeks after the UK launch of any collection that it slowly rolls into the Dubai store at snails pace-and worst of all, asking when new collections will be launched is always met with blank stares.

Decided to treat myself to a little haul based on the swatches I had seen on Temptalia and for one of the products, hype alone.  I sent this Mac order from the UK website to my mum in the UK who then forwarded it on to me in Dubai.  She also got me a Rimmel Scandaleyes in Nude after I moaned I couldn't find it in Dubai-my mum is great!

Bought on hype alone-Mac Stereo Rose (relaunch)

Mac Stereo Rose

Mac Stereo Rose, Mac lipstick in Apres Chic, Mineralize tinted lip balm in Rosy Romance

Swatches l-r Stereo Rose (heavily swatched), Apres Chic, Rosy Romance

Stereo Rose

Mac 116 tapered brush and Mac Scandaleyes in Nude

Mac Mineralize Skin Finish Powder in Stereo Rose

So I have bought this product purely on the hype!  A sell out in 2010 and now a relaunch in 2013 (that now again seems to be sold out everywhere!!).  I've read online that every blush is slightly different because of the baked effect and the golden/coral veining and that some die hard Stereo Rose fans will only buy this product in a store so they can seek out their preferred 'veining' in the product.

So what is it?  Well its a blusher but its MASSIVE!  It's the size of the normal Mineralize skin finish compacts and I can't see mine every running out!  Mac describe it as a coral with golden/bronze shimmering nuances' but I agree with Adrienne's analysis in that it runs more pink than coral.  As you can see, mine isn't very very heavily veined but you can see the gold running through it.  It's quite heavily pigmented and personally for me I will be using it with quite a light touch and it is quite shimmery as with all mineralize products.  It almost reminds me of Nars Orgasm-I'll be interested to see how they compare as I am a HUGE fan of Orgasm and its my go to evening blush.

Mac lipstick in Apres Chic (cremesheen)

I love Mac lipsticks and own far too many!  This is described as a pink based brick red and is definitely right up my street!  Again this seems to be sold out online at the moment.

Mac Mineralize tinted lip balm in Rosy Romance

These liquid lip balms provide a pop of colour and mirror like shine.  Rosy romance is described as a bluish plum with subtle pink pearl.  It's nicely pigmented as you can see from the swatch.

Mac 116 Tapered Brush

I bought this brush as I have been looking for one to apply highlighter and this was recommended.  Am not sure if it's going to be perfect (am open to other recommendations!) but if not it will work well as a blusher blush.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl liner in Nude

This seems to need no introduction in the beauty bloggers world as it seems to have a bit of a cult following.  I'll be using it on my waterline to brighten the whites of my eyes-the nude colour is much less harsh than using white kohl.

Have you tried any of the Mac Apres Chic range??
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