Saturday, 29 July 2017

Monthly Favourites: June

It's that time of the month again. And this month I've really struggled to pull together my favourites, not because I haven't been loving anything but a lot of what I've been loving has already been featured in a favourites or on the blog in general. However there were a few new pieces that I've been loving and a couple of non beauty favourites that I haven't been able to get enough of this month.

Let's start with the beauty favourites. First up is an oil from Rosie For Autograph. Her new Divine Miracle Oil is a stunning multi purpose oil that can be used in the bath, worn on the skin or in the hair. Scented with orange blossom, white flowers and sandalwood as well as containing vitamin e, camelina and sweet almond oil, this oil is absolutely gorgeous in the bath and scents the bathroom long after you've been in the bath. And whilst I've loved using it as a bath treat, the reason it's a favourite this month is for what it's done to my hair. A small amount of this run through the lengths and ends of my hair not only leaves it smelling divine but leaves it feeling smooth, soft and nourished. And it doesn't leave the hair looking or feeling greasy and that's down to it's lightweight texture and finish. It's the perfect product for an evening pamper.

Facial sprays/spritzs have been a big part of my routine this month and there have been two I've been loving. The first is the Pixi Vitamin Wake Up Mist. Containing Citrus Extracts and Lavender this facial spray can be used under make up to tone and refresh skin or over make up to hydrate and seal everything in place. It's orange blossom scent invigorates and energises the skin making it look brighter and more radiant. It's been perfect over the last couple of weeks in the heatwave the UK has had as it makes skin feel refreshed and cool but isn't too heavy or greasy feeling on the skin. However whilst I've loved it I'm not sure if I'd repurchase it when it runs out.

And the second spray I've been loving comes from Garnier. Their Moisture Bomb Multi Protecting Facial Spray with SPF 30 has been perfect for when I've been feeling lazy or not wanting the greasy feel of sunscreen on my face. Containing the same ingredients as the other products in the Moisture Bomb range, this spritz not only hydrates and refreshes the skin but protects it from both UVA and UVB rays. Now I know it's best to use a facial SPF but there have been days when I've just nipped down to the shops and don't want the feel of a somewhat greasy SPF on my face and this has been perfect for that. This spritz is lightweight but protecting and hasn't left my face covered in a nasty feeling film that makes me eager to wash away.

There have also been two moisturisers I've been thoroughly enjoying this month. The first is the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Cream. Containing Hyaluronic Acid and not a lot else, this lightweight cream instantly boosts skin's hydration without making it look too wet or oily. However it's not just an instant boost, it actually holds moisture into the skin for longer and releases it slowly when it feel skin needs it most. It's a lot like the Garnier Moisture Bomb Water Gel Cream just without the glow booster. I've been enjoying this on days when I'm not wearing make up to just make my skin look well hydrated, plump and healthy.

And the other moisturiser I've been really enjoying this month comes from Garnier. Their Moisture Bomb Recharging Night Gel Cream has been a saviour this month when my skin has been feeling dry and tight. It's lightweight gel texture is packed full of hyaluronic acid and pomegranate extract and adds an instant boost of hydration, leaving skin feeling moisturised, soft and supple to the touch. This isn't one for people with oily skins as it is a lot like drenching skin with water and will obviously only create more oil for those with combo/oily skin types. Normal, Sensitive or Dry skintypes will love this as it's results are instantaneous and because it's a gel texture it's cooling on the skin as well which has been perfect for the heatwave we've been experiencing.

A mask I previously hadn't enjoyed but have found myself reaching for a lot this month comes from Pixi. Their Glow Mud Mask has been a brilliant for giving my skin a detox without being to harsh or stripping. With the same formula as the Glow Mud Cleanser, this mask not only helps purify skin but revitalises and soothes at the same time. It's perfect for bringing out those pesky under the skin pimples that hurt for ages but never want to go away. I've enjoyed using this to really deep cleanse my skin when it feels like it's congested.

The only make up favourite I've been loving this month is this rediscovery from Loreal. I'm already a big fan of their Volume Million Lashes Feline Mascara and had tried the So Couture before losing it in my mess of make up. I wasn't initially impressed but when I was decluttering my beauty stash I discovered it again and fell in love with it. With a tapered plastic bristle brush this catches even the tiniest of lashes and lifts them up into a natural but defined curl that doesn't droop or fall after a few hours. It doesn't require a lot of work to make it look good and it's formula whilst wet enough to work with doesn't smudge or flake off when dried. For the time being it's definitely replaced my Miss Hippie Mascara.

A non beauty favourite of mine this month has been Lady Antebellum's new album Heartbreak. It's different to their previous albums but still has that catch to it that is completely Lady A. There is the obvious favourites such as You Look Good and Heartbreak which are amazing, catchy and will get stuck in your head for hours but it's other songs such as Army, Good Time To Be Alive and Big Love In A Small Town that are my real favourites. There is something about the tone of these songs that really stay after they've finished and I find myself humming to them even after they've finished.

And my other non beauty favourite is Munroe's new album Oblivion. Good Name is probably my favourite track on the album but I love all the songs and have had it on repeat since I downloaded it. If you haven't heard of Munroe, she's an amazing singer/songwriter who's more alternative and folksy but not in a weird way like some other more alternative artists are. All of her songs have a meaning behind them and all leave a lasting impressions which will make you want to replay them over and over again but will also have you humming them without noticing. I didn't think I could love anything more than I love her first self titled EP but this new album has just knocked it out of the park. Between this and Heartbreak my other music hasn't had a look in. I can't wait to see what she releases next.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Review: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

When Neutrogena released their Hydro Boost range I was instantly hooked. The gel cleanser soon became a go to item product for me and the exfoliating smoothing gel took a while to get used but is now my favourite exfoliator. And of course I had to try one of their creams. Now it took me a while to not only decide between the two but also to go out and buy it. But I finally got my hands on last month and I've been loving it.

The Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturiser is a lightweight yet powerful hydrating moisturiser that claims to leave skin feeling hydrated and soft to the touch for up to 72 hours. Claiming to feel like water on the skin, this cream is lightweight enough to layer under make up but can still work well with skin when applied alone. Containing Hyaluronic Acid and not a lot else, this cream works deeper into skin than most moisturisers and instead of giving skin a quick fix this works over a longer period of time to make sure that skin stays hydrated all day long.

My only bug bear with this product is the smell. It smells quite chemical like and whilst it's not offence it does sort of linger even once I've rubbed the product in and it's one of the reasons I don't reach for it as much as I'd like to. Other than that I'm actually a big fan of this product. It's lightweight and doesn't feel like it's clogging my pores or weighing skin down. A little goes a long way and once it's absorbed into the skin, skin is left feeling hydrated, plump and soft to the touch. And instead of working for a few hours before disappearing and leaving skin feeling drier than it did originally. No a good five or six hours can pass and skin will not only feel hydrated and soft still but will look plump, hydrated and glowing still.

There is another Hydro Boost moisturiser in the range called the Gel Cream. It's more of a cream than a gel so is richer in texture and feeling on the skin. If you prefer a cream over gel based moisturiser then I'd highly recommend checking that one out instead but if you're skin prefers more lightweight products then the water gel will be right up your street.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Summer Essentials: Make Up

So on Monday I shared with you my skincare summer essentials, it was posted first because obviously you put skincare on before you apply make up and it made sense to have the basics laid down before any make up goes near skin. So today I'm going to be talking you through the products I've been getting/will be getting a lot of use out of and I warn you now there is a lightweight theme throughout as anything to heavy when it's hot and humid makes me break out into a sweat just thinking about it.

I use primer everday whether it's hot or cold, rain or shine, so I'm not going to bother talking you through the ones I use on the daily. Foundation however is something I definitely have to change when the weather takes a warmer turn. I'm a big fan of high coverage foundations because I have redness and depending on the day and how my skin is feeling depends on how red my face is. But wearing something ultra covering and sometimes heavy on the skin when you work somewhere with no air con and it's 32C outside is a massive no no. And that's where these first two products come into play. Cushion foundations are practically my best friend during Summer. They're lightweight in texture, don't clog my skin and surprisngly don't budge even when I'm sweating balls. The Maybelline Dream Cushion is slightly higher coverage than some cushion foundations but if I'm extremely red then I find it comes in handy. It's thin liquid consistency means that it doesn't sink into pores or cling to any unsightly areas my skin my have. Sometimes my redness will peek through but that's what concealer was made for however a lot of the time that's not a bother to me as long as my skin can breathe and I can look somewhat put together.

The Loreal Nude Magique Cushion is even lighter in finish. It's more along the lines of a BB Cream but in cushion form. It has a glowy finish which works wonderfully to deflect attention away from any areas that don't look as good as the rest. This is perfect for those days when you want some coverage but you still want your skin to look like skin. It essentially just perfects over the areas you're not happy with and adds a healthy glow which most of us love in the Summer. The only problem that I find with cushion foundations is that sometimes you can't control how much product you're getting and end up using more than planned, that however is only a minor product and is undoubtedly outweighed by all the pros of these products.

This next product I can not live without and will definitely be repurchasing when it runs out. The Rosie For Autograph Sheer Finish Complexion Enhancer is a hybrid between a tinted moisturiser and a BB Cream. Like the name suggests, it's very sheer in coverage but still gives skin that perfected look. I am absolutely hooked on this stuff. It's perfect for my rare but increasing good skin days as it adds a light coverage and evens skin out whilst simultaneously giving skin a radiant glow as well as letting it breath. It feels slightly thick on the skin when you first applied it but when blended out; with fingertips nothing works as well, it feels like more like a moisturiser than a base product. It does last a while on the skin and doesn't fade awkwardly if at all. However because of it's glowy nature, if it's a ultra sweaty day then that glow will look like sweat and can if not powdered or blotted look quite horrific. But it's nothing a little setting powder or setting spray can't fix and then you'll be looking as gorgeous as when you first applied it.

Lighter coverage foundations means that imperfections have the oppotunity to shine through more but that's also where concealer comes in handy and makes the perfect accompinment to Summer skin. Now I use concealer every day but find it comes in more use when the weather is warmer and skin is craving those lighter bases. The Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is my perfect concealer, it's high coverage yet not heavy and can be used just about everywhere. When my redness is bad and nothing else covers it, this will which is why I enjoy using it so much with lighter finish bases. It blends out flawlessly and doesn't make my skin look like it's caked in extra product. The shade Fair is my perfect shade and can be used on blemishes, under the eyes or even along the tops of my cheekbones as a faux like highlighter.

Most days I can go with just a little powder to set my under eye concealer as well as a sweep down my t-zone but during the Summer I just feel like dumping the whole pot on my face.I used to be a big fan of pressed powders but as the weather has warmed up I've found myself leaning more towards loose powders. They just feel a lot lighter on my skin and even if I happen to sweat it doesn't go cakey or horrid looking. The Barry M Ready Set Smooth Loose Setting Powder is my go to loose powder at the moment. It is a white powder but has no colour transfer when you apply it to the skin and doesn't leave behind a white cast. It's very lightweight in texture and feeling on the skin, which makes it perfect to use both under the eyes and across the face. It never oxidises on the skin or settles into fine lines or open pores the longer I wear it. It also comes with a decent sized mirror and velour puff which makes it perfect for taking it on the go as well.

After powder there is one other product that I could practically bathe myself in everyday. That product is setting spray and whilst it may not control any excess oil or sweat (gross) my skin creates, it does hold my make up on my face and stops it from slipping off. My go to setting spray right now is the Collection Primed And Ready Make Up Fixing Spray. This is a very fine mist that is lightweight on skin and leaves behind a natural looking matte finish. It's mist doesn't drench skin and doesn't disrupt or smudge mascara or eye liner unlike other setting sprays out there. If you've been reading for a while you'll know I was a massive fan of the Maybelline SuperStay Setting Spray but it always felt heavy on my skin where as this one doesn't feel like that and it feels like my skin can actually breathe even though it's covered in make up.

During the Summer I know no matter how hard I try that my base is never going to look as fresh as it does in the Winter so I focus on making my lashes and lips stand out more. And that means big volumising mascaras that give me volume and definition without going over the top. The Loreal Miss Hippie Mascara is my favourite for this. It's barrel shaped bristle brush grabs onto each individual lashes and pulls them up into a stunning volumised, fanned out look. It's brilliant for making eyes look more awake as well as distracting from a not so perfect base. Even though it's not waterproof, it doesn't smudge or flake and is easily removed at the end of the day. This paired with my next product is enough to guarantee a good make up day even when you're not feeling it.

And my last Summer Essential is a bold lip. Rarely a day goes by when I'm not in some variation of bold lip. Red lips are obviously my favourite to wear but during the Summer I also branch out into bold pinks and oranges. And they have to be matte, I can't wear a glossy or sheen finish bold as I'd only end up with it smeared everywhere, so the more matte the better. Maybelline do a brilliant range of matte lipsticks, as do Stila and of course Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks get a lot of wear but the one I've been obsessed with lately comes from Barry M. Their Matte Me Up Liquid Lipstick in Paparazzi is the perfect red for Summer. It's a mix of a tomato red and a blue toned which means it suits a multitude of skin tones. It's lightweight texture means it feels like you aren't wearing a liquid lipstick and it's thin consistency means that it feels comfortable on the lips for longer. And when I've not been wearing this which is rare I've been trying out the new Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Lipstick in Firestarter which is stunning red as well as the Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kits which aren't as bright as this but are still as stunning on the lips.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Summer Essentials: Skincare

There's been a theme to some of my posts this month, all revolving around the warmer weather we've been having and finally saying hello to Summer. Today and Wednesday's posts are no different, both are going to be taking you through the products I consider essential to survive the Summer months and the sometimes inescapable heat.The majority of the time I'd jump straight into talking you through the make up I use to make myself look somewhat presentable throughout the warmer months. However today I thought I'd start with skincare because no matter the weather my skin needs that good foundation to work make up over top of so it can look as good as possible.

When it comes to cleansing I am big fan of cleansers that require warm water and flannel to be removed. And whilst there are a whole host of brilliant cleansers out there, in the warmer months you don't want one that will feel too thick on the skin and potentially clog pores causing later irritation. The Garnier Micellar Gel Wash is one of my go to cleansers when it's hot and humid. It's gel formula is lighter than other cream based cleansers and it's micellar technology grabs onto impurities and wipes them away without weighing skin down with excess product. It can be used to remove make up as well as on bare skin and is even suitable for those with more sensitive skins.

If you don't have time to a thorough cleanse or you're having a late night, micellar water is a better option for cleansing over other options such as face wipes. Simple have recently released a new version of their original micellar water. Their Water Boost Micellar Water cleanses skin as well as the original but also has the added bonus of giving skin a burst of hydration at the same time. I don't find myself reaching for a micellar as often as I do a proper cleanser but if my skin needs a refresh or it's a particularly late night, they definitely do what I need them to do.

Something about the warmer weather makes me use facial sprays a lot more than I do during the colder months. I think it's because they're very refreshing and can be taken on the go to give skin that instant boost it sometimes needs. My personal favourite is Liz Earle's Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer. Containing Aloe Vera, Calendula and Cucumber this works to not only refresh the skin but soothe it at the same time. It sprays quite a large amount of product out but it doesn't leave skin feeling drenched or sopping wet. It's the most refreshing spritz I've tried and a few sprays of this whilst I'm at work instantaneously makes my skin feel revived even if the rest of me is sweating balls.

Another brilliant spray comes from Pixi. It's not my favourite spray but the citrus extracts that are woven throughout the formula are very reviving and renergising. It's bit more hit and miss spray wise and too much can leave skin feeling more sweaty than soothed but it's not the worst spray on the market. I enjoy mixing the two together, especially in the morning so that my skin feels refreshed and awakened, ready for the day ahead.

Serum is an integral part of my routine all year round but when it's hot outside and you know that you're skin's going to be sweating within five minutes of leaving the house, you want something lightweight, that will let your skin breathe. Loreal's Hydra Genius Liquid Moisturiser is one of the best lightweight serum/moisturiser hybrids on the market at the moment. Containing nothing more that Aloe Water and Hyaluronic Acid, this works to give skin an instant boost of hydration as well as working deeper down into skin where it stays and releases slowly over time whenever skin needs that boost. It's perfect for layering under SPF and make up and it's lightweight texture doesn't leave skin feeling clogged or weighed down.

A new product that I've been thoroughly enjoying not only because it's hydrating and lightweight but also because it can be mixed with other products to create a blend that meets all your skin's needs. The new Simple Hydrating Booster is a serum based product that can be added to other serums and moisturisers to add a boost of hydration. This has been a saviour on the days where I haven't been using the Loreal as it's so easy to add to any other product I use. It's not as effective on it's own but paired with a lightweight moisturiser or a brightening serum it works wonders. I've found myself reaching for this more in the evening to rejuvenate my skin whereas the Loreal works better for me in the morning.

You can just use serum to hydrate skin but I always find it best to lock it in with a moisturiser over top so skin benefits from the products layered below. And whilst in the Winter when skin is slightly drier, rich moisturisers are brilliant, lighter moisturisers are the way to go during Summer. My go to everyday moisturiser is the Garnier Moisture Bomb Glow Enhancer Water Cream. It contains Pomegranate Extract and Hyaluronic Acid to really hydrate skin and leave it feeling hydrated all day long. It's peach colouring adds a glow to the skin which shines through make up beautifully and gives skin a lit from within look, without making you look sweaty. And because it's a water cream, it's incredibly lightweight on the skin but still effective.

And for days when I haven't been wearing make up (most days), there has been another water cream that I've been thoroughly enjoying. The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cream is a lot like the Garnier Moisture Bomb range wherein it contains Hyaluronic Acid and not a lot else and claims to slowly release hydration throughout the day. It's ever so slightly thicker than the Garnier which is perfect for those non make up days as it's a lot more nourishing and there is no worry about make up peeling or balling over top. A full review of this is coming Friday but I will say this has come in very handy with the hot, humid days we had at the beginning of the month.

The last skincare essential for me is actually an everyday essential but during the hotter months it's especially necessary for my skin. SPF for both the body and the face is a big part of my summer routine. As a kid I could spend hours laid out in the sun, loving the golden hue my skin would turn but as I've gotten older I've really come to hate the idea of sitting in the sun for many reasons. Firstly and most importantly for my health, we all know it's not healthy to sit in the sun for long periods of time but also because I'm just darn lazy and hate the idea of having to find another foundation shade to match a tan which probably won't last long. And that's where SPF comes in. For my body I'm very happy to use Superdrug's own brand Solait, it's not thick, does what it's supposed to do and doesn't break the bank. And considering I don't get a lot of my body out regularly, I don't see the point of paying big bucks for something that can sometimes be seldom used. For my face however it's a different story.

Having slightly reactive skin means that the wrong product can cause an instant reaction that could take a good week or two to soothe and clear. The Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Face SPF30 is one of the products that didn't cause that. It's lightweight, oil free, has UVA/UVB protection and is suitable for sensitive skins. It does have a slight white cast to it but it doesn't cause any flashback or is obvious on it's own or through make up. I actually quite like it as it seems to even my skin out ever so slightly and makes applying product over top easier. There are two versions of this product and I'd advise going for the one that looks more brown in tone over the yellow toned one. The yellow toned one is heavier and leaves a film like feeling on the skin which essentially leaves skin feeling absolutely gross after a full day in humidity.

And the other product I've been loving because it's quick and easy is the Garnier Moisture Bomb Ultra-Protecting SPF30 Face Mist. Containing the same ingredients as the rest of the Moisture Bomb Range (Pomegranate Extract and Hyaluronic Acid), this ultra fine aerosol mist offers hydration as well as protection from UVA/UVB as well as pollution. Sure such a fine mist doesn't seem like it would do a lot but it actually works and works well. Skin feel protected and hydrated but not drenched or clogged. It's perfect for taking on the go and using as a top up throughout the day and it's ability to be used over make up is just another tick in my box. I use this on days when I'm just nipping to the shops and feeling a bit lazy because I know I'm not losing any of the protection for my skin and am just really taking a shortcut to look after it instead.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Declutter: Make Up

Back in June I started redoing my bedroom, moving furniture, purchasing new pieces and purging through god knows how many things I didn't need or want anymore. And the one I've been holding on to for longer than others is my make up and skincare. But alas it can not stay and I thought that I'd give you look at what I'm going to be getting rid of either because I don't want it anymore or because it's run out or gone out of date.

I thought I'd be throwing away more primers than this as I've been on a bit of a primer journey but there are only three. The first I'm getting rid of is the Miss Sporty Insta Glow Primer. This is horrendous. A pale peach shade this doesn't prime skin, allow foundation to apply nicely over top and contains glitter particles that cling and highlight the wrong areas of the face. The next is the PUR Correcting Primer. This was actually an okay primer but it's too silicone based for my skin type and didn't allow any base product to sit nicely over top. And the last primer I'm throwing away is the Maxfactor Facefinity Primer. It's a nice primer but it's been in my collection way to long and needs to be thrown away.

For foundation/base products I have a lot to dispose of. A lot of them are BB Creams because they are the one base product I buy with high hopes and always end up bitterly disappointed. All the BB Creams you see are going because they don't match me. Either they come out of the tube darker than expected or they come out the same shade as my skin but oxidise horribly on my skin after a while. The B BB Cream is one of the better ones but it still doesn't look good after a few hours. The Loreal Nude Eau De Teint is a stunning lightweight foundation but is now too dark for me as I've stopped sunbathing a few years ago and am embracing the pale. The Maybelline Better Skin used to match my skin beautifully but it's been in my collection for a few years now and is now too pink toned for my yellow undertone skin. The Maxfactor Facefinity Foundation is just really old now and is too gross to put anywhere near my face. It's a lovely foundation and perfect for those who enjoy a light to medium coverage. And the same stands for the Bourjois CC Cream. I love this stuff and how it leaves my skin looking but it's been open way too long and I don't think it's sanitary to put anywhere near my face.

I don't do colour correcting so having these four MUA Pro Base Colour Correcting Creams sat gathering dust in my collection is a waste. I have literally only swatched these on the back of my hand and then put them in a draw and forgotten about them. Don't worry though, these aren't going in the bin, I'm going to offer them to my friends and family first to see if anyone wants them. And then I'm ridding myself of the Barry M Light Reflecting Concealer. I've had this for too long and it doesn't look very good in the tube. It's lightweight, light reflecting and doesn't contain a ton of glitter so I'm sad to see this go but for hygiene reasons I think it' best.

Powder time and there are just a few I'm getting rid of. Ones such as the MUA Pro Base Powder, Collection Sheer Loose Powder and the Boujois Healthy Balance are going because they've been sitting in my collection for far too long. The MUA Pressed Powder and the Maybelline Matte Maker are not horrendous powders but on my fairer skin it can oxidise on my skin. The Healthy Balance is a good powder but does have a tendency to shatter if dropped and when it gets to the end of it's life it can break easily which is why I'm throwing it away now before it ends up all over my carpet.

I did a cull of my setting sprays a little while ago but missed this one from MUA. It's nice but it doesn't wow me, unlike the Maybelline SuperStay Setting Spray or the Collection Fixing Mist. It has a lightweight spray that doesn't mess up make up or leave those horrid white dots everywhere like some setting sprays can. It's budget friendly as well but that said there are still better ones on the market that don't cost much more.

Before I started getting my eyebrows tinted I used to fill them in and one of my favourite products was the Sleek Eyebrow Pencil. Now though I don't need it and had actually forgotten that this was sitting in the bottom of my collection. The spoolie on the end is gross to look at and whilst there is still some pencil left I think it's been too long for me to finish it off without it being gross and highly unsanitary.

Mascara is something I have a tendency to hoard. For example I have about five on the go right now and will probably end up buying another one when I'm shopping this weekend. However there are six I will be saying goodbye because their either disappointing or they've dried up and need replacing. The Loreal Miss Manga Punky, Revlon Volume+Length and the Rimmel Scandaleyes Xtreme are going because they are just awful. The brushes leave a lot to be desired and the formula's aren't much better. The Barry M Showgirl Volume, Loreal Volume Million Lashes Feline and Rimmel Wonder'Full are brilliant and definitely on my repurchase list. They all have excellent brushes and their formula's whilst aren't the best of the best, they are some of the better ones on the market. They've all unfortunately dried up but I managed to get a really good amount of use out of each of them, something which is surprising considering how many mascaras I can have on the go at once.

Out of everything in this declutter there are only a few products I'd happily repurchase or even think about repurchasing. Out of the bases I'd happily repurchase the Bourjois CC Cream and the Maxfactor Facefinity, both have good coverage and give a skin like finish whilst still covering where it needs to. If they still sold the Loreal Eau De Teint I'd probably repurchase it but in a lighter shade as it's coverage and feel were amazing on the skin. Apart from that I'd probably only repurchase the three mascaras that I used to the point of drying out. All three do amazing things to my lashes and when they were usuable I found myself reaching for them constantly. Apart from those particular products I don't think I'd buy any of the others again. They didn't work for me but that doesn't mean that they won't work for you though, make up is always about personal preference.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Summer Lip Edit

Summer is well and truly here. Sunshine, clear skies and the distinct sound of an ice cream van are the only things you'll be finding in my local area and that is all I need to know that Summer is in full swing. And that can only mean it's time to break out those Summer Lips. So today I'm talking you through five of my favourite lipsticks for the Summer period.

Rosie For Autograph in Rosie Lips
A few years back I was really into bright pinks lips and the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Pink Pong was my go to shade. However since that Summer it's looked horrendous on me and no matter what I tried it didn't look like it did initially. So started the look for a new pink lip that I could wear not just in the Summer but all year round, that wouldn't change how it looked whatever the season. And that's when I found the Rosie For Autograph lipstick in Rosie Lips. This is more of a deeper pink that Pink Pong but it still has that wow power and never fails to lift my spirits when I wear it. It does have a sheen finish but that wears away to a semi-matte/satin finish that doesn't transfer easily or become unbearably uncomfortable the longer you wear.

Barry M Matte Me Up Liquid Lipstick in Paparazzi
When it came to choosing a red for this edit, it was extremely hard. Kat Von D does an amazing one as does Stila and Rimmel have just released a brilliant one as well. However I had to go with Barry M's latest lip offering. Paparazzi is a bright red shade that perfects skin, makes teeth look white and will garner everyone's attention. For a liquid lipstick it's very thin in formula and lightweight on the lips. Highly pigmented in one swipe, this take very little work to make it look good. It dries down to a comfortable matte finish and last long on the lips, with very little transfer when you eat or drink. And because it's so lightweight, it's easy to reapply or touch up without it balling up or cracking. Definitely a shade I'm getting a lot of wear out of.

NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Exotic
A slightly more muted shade that still makes pop but isn't as bold as the first two comes from NYX. Exotic is more of a peach toned shade that surprisingly suits paler skintones without washing them out. It's slightly thicker in formula than the Barry M but it still sits and wears beautifully on the lips. It can be slightly drying and uncomfortable but that all comes down to not having prepped lips well enough before hand. It can last a long while on the lips but does transfer slightly when you eat or drink and touch ups can be a little haphazard to say the least. Too much product and it'll crack or ball up and too little will leave it very obvious where you haven't managed to reach.

Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit in Runway
I haven't spoken about this next lip product a lot because when they were first released they were limited edition but now are a part of Barry M's permanent line. Their lips kits contain a lip liner and co-ordinating liquid lipstick. Runway is a deep pink toned mauve shade that also has hints of raspberry running through it. The lip liner is creamy and glides easily along the lips making it a dream to not only outline lips but also fill in the entire lip. The liquid lipstick is the same formula as the shade Paparazzi. It's lightweight, highly pigmented and dries down to a matte finish that isn't cakey or powdery in feel. Sure it will dry lips out and can be uncomfortable if lips aren't prepped well but when done well it's a gorgeous shade that'll last ages on the lips and will definitely garner you a good amount of compliments.

Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick in Kiss Of Life
And the last lipstick in this edit is an old favourite which you can see has been loved a lot. Kiss Of Life is a bright tomato red shade that suits all skin types and really makes a look pop. It's a matte finish lipstick but has more of a powdery feeling to it. It doesn't really make wearing it unpleasant but it is one of those lipsticks you can tell your wearing. It doesn't transfer and can easily be touched up without going cakey or balling up. It can be slightly drying on the lips but that again all depends on the state of your lips when you first apply it. But apart from that it's a stunning colour and one that I'll be getting a lot of wear out of this Summer.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Review: Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Masks

If you've been reading my blog for a while now then you'll know I'm a massive fan of the Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Masks. The original Moisture Bomb was amazing, the Green Tea a favourite and the Chamomile a necessity. And now they have added two more masks to their collection and let's just say, they are just as good, if not better than the originals.

The first of the two is their Super-Hydrating De-Tiring Mask. Contaning Hyaluronic Acid and Lavender Essential Oil, it aims to provide skin with intense hydration whilst reducing the appearence of fatigue. It's faint lavender scent is also there to relax the senses and gives a more luxurious pampering experience.

And the second is the Super-Hydrating Glow Revealing Mask. Containing Sakura Extract and Hyaluronic Acid, this not only hydrates skin but leaves it looking rejuvenated with a healthy glow. It has a slight floral scent to it but isn't too overpowering or irritating on the skin.

There is no way to chose which mask is better out of the two. The De-Tiring Mask is perfect to relax senses whilst reviving and rejuvenating skin. If you're more of an evening pamperer then this would be the mask for you, especially if you find it hard to switch off, this will help. The lavender scent will make you feel relaxed as a whole and could lead to you having an earlier night than planned.

The Glow Revealing Mask is more of a morning/beginning of the day mask. It makes the perfect base for make up as it leave skin looking glowy and that glow can and will translate through any make up you apply over top to give skin a natural luminous glow that looks healthy and perfect for this time of the year.

I've already said it but there is no way to chose between the two. Both of them wowed me and left my skin looking better than it has in a while. I will happily repurchase both of these masks alongside the others in the range. Your skin type and skin need will be the only thing you can use to help you decide between these masks but if you're a beauty junkie like me and I know a lot of you out there are, then you'll probably end up buying both anyway so I'm not going to recommend one mask over the other. I will say though that I highly recommend checking them out when you're next in your local Superdrug, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Top 5 Tips For Summer Skin

Summer is well and truly here. And whilst it's nice to have longer days, constant sunshine and memorable times with friends, we sometime we forget that Summer can take it's toll on us and our skin. My skin especially has suffered since the temperatures rose and it's taken a lot of patience and trial and error to get it back to a place where I'm happy with it. So today I thought I'd share with you my Top 5 Tips for happy summer skin.

Hydration Is Key
Now this is something I'm terrible at, I never drink enough water, I try but it just never works. However when I do manage to guzzle down my allotted two litres a day, I see a major difference in my skin. It looks brighter, clearer and even feels more supple to the touch. Sure waters not the most delicious taste wise but it is the quickest way to hydrate both your body and skin. With the UK heating up, I have been managing to work through two lites a day and I'm so glad I have. If plain tap water isn't for you, there is an array of flavoured waters out there that will do exactly the same thing. If you struggle to drink 2 litres a day, try picking up a 2 litre bottle of water from the supermarket and seeing how much you can drink in a day. Trust me, when you see it like that, it'll make you want to finish the bottle.

SPF Is Essential
If there is one thing I'm extra pedantic about during the Summer months, it's SPF. Facial SPF is an everyday essential for me anyway and I never go a day without it which means I'm free to focus more on making sure my body is protected. Now I'm not the best at remembering to apply SPF everytime I leave the house but for those days when I know I'm going to be out and about a lot then I make sure I'm covered, head to toe. And for my body I have to say I don't buy into all the big brands that claim to last all day long or stay strong even after being exposed to water. Superdrug's Solait Body Sun Lotions are just as good as any big brand I've tried in the past and I find that for a SPF they don't leave skin feeling like their covered in a film like other brands can. However the Solait facial SPF doesn't agree with my skin (too clogging) and not many brands do high quality facial SPFs. That's where Hawaiian Tropic and Garnier step up as brands. The Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Face with SPF is lightweight, oil free and works wonderfully under make up. It's also suitable for those with sensitive skins and won't clog pores. Or if that's not your cup of tea there is the Garnier Moisture Bomb Multi-Protecting Mist with SPF 30. It's aerosol formula and lightweight feel makes it perfect for taking on the go. Plus it can be used over make up without disruption and also boost skins hydration whilst protecting it at the same time.

Facial Sprays Will Be Your Best Friend
If there is one thing I can't live without during the warmer months, it's a facial spray. They're lightweight on the skin, a quick fix and ninety-nine percent of the time don't disrupt what little make up I have on. Refreshing, toning and hydrating all in one, a facial spray is a brilliant handbag product that you can use anytime. Brands such as La Roche Posay and Liz Earle do miniatures of their facial sprays which make them more travel friendly but if you can carry around a 100ml deodorant then I'm sure you have room for a 100ml facial spray as well. I always make sure I have a facial spray on me, especially when at work. No air con and a windowless upstairs make it very humid very quickly.

Cleanse, Cleanse, Cleanse
We all know how it is in the Summer. It's hot and as much as we try we can't always avoid the less than ladylike act of sweating. And that's where properly cleansing our face comes in handy. Whether you've been wearing make up or not, thoroughly cleansing skin is a big part of not only good skin in general but good skin in the Summer. Oily skintypes fair better with lighter gel based cleansers as not to clog the skin or cause it to create more oil. Dry to normal skin types can use oil based cleansers as they can replace the hydration and nourish deeper into skin whilst simultaneously removing all signs of dirt and grime. Garnier's SkinActive Botanicals line is brilliant if you're looking for a cleanser. There's a cleanser out there for everyone in the range and you can chop and change between the ranges to create your perfect skincare routine.

Keep It Light
And my last tip is to keep everything light. Skincare and make up, it's best to keep it light in the warmer months. Not only do you look like you have a natural summer glow about you but you don't have to worry about it running and looking less than perfect a mere twenty minutes after you've applied. And it does your skin the world of good. Heavier make up will more than likely sit in any open pores the heat/humidity has created and in the long run it's going to clog them up and create blemishes which is the last thing any one wants. Lighter layers not only will leave skin feeling more like skin but will give it a natural glow and will be easier to work with if touch ups are necessary. Skincare wise I'd advise trying any of the new breed of moisturiser on the market. Brands such as Neutrogena, Loreal and Garnier all have their versions of a water cream, which isn't just a big drink for skin but also lighter and more effective as they work deeper than the skin's surface and slowly work over time. That then helps the appearance of your make up and it's not going to look powdery or dry in places and if you use a cushion foundation or BB cream type product you'll have healthy looking skin without it feeling to clogged down or blocked up. Loreal's Nude Magique Cushion Foundation and the Rosie For Autograph Sheer Finish Complexion Enhancer are light coverage that can be built up where necessary without looking or feeling like too much on the skin.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Product Empties: July

It's product empties time again. Now I know it doesn't sound very appealing keeping trash to share with people on the Internet but if like me you're just extremely nosy it makes you want to know what that person is throwing away and if they liked it or not. My empties bin was overflowing by the time it came to taking the pictures. A lot of it is stuff I'd finished as the last couple of months passed but a big chunk of it was face masks, so I'm going to get those out the way first.

Let's start with what you know is going to be in this post. The Garnier Moisture Bomb Chamomile Mask is one of my all time favourites. Not only does it leave my skin feeling hydrated but it also soothes and helps reduce the appearance of any redness I have. These are always going to be in my empties posts as I use and buy them on the regular. I'm surprised I only have three in this empties but I have had other sheet masks that I've wanted to use to review or to just get rid of.

And alongside those I've used up some of the other Moisture Bomb Sheet Masks. Ever since Garnier released new masks I've been using the original less and less hence why there's only one in this post. The Green Tea Combination Mask isn't my favourite normally but a ridiculously hot spout has made these skin saviours. And then there is their new De-Tiring Mask with Lavender Essential Oil that I just had to try as soon as I brought it. It's just as nice as the Chamomile as it's soothing, hydrating but relaxing as well, making it perfect for an end of day treat.

A couple of sheet masks I used but didn't really enjoy were these Yesto Masks. I tried both the Cucumber Calming Mask and the Coconut Hydrating Mask but found they didn't really do a lot for my skin. Plus they didn't fit my face well and were flapping everywhere within five minutes of being on my face. I'd possibly buy the Coconut One again as it did seem to help with a breakout I was having but apart from that they didn't really wow me.

Another couple of sheet masks I used up to just get rid of our these two. The first is the Boots Ingredients Charcoal and WillowBark Sheet Mask. It was potent and I couldn't leave it on my face for the 15 minutes suggested. It didn't help my skin either and whilst it fitted my face much like the Garnier do, I wouldn't rush out to purchase it again. And the other disappointing mask I tried is this one from Nails Inc. It didn't leave visible results, it didn't fit the face properly and it's printed mask whilst cute, didn't look cute and ended up looking gimmicky. Definitely not one I'll be purchasing again, especially as it's slightly dearer at £5 a pop.

The Miss Spa Deep Clean Sheet Mask wasn't horrendous but didn't blow my socks off either. It didn't fit the face but was easy to cut and play about with until it did. It didn't sting skin or leave it feeling irritated like some deep cleaning masks can do but it didn't make me go wow when I took it off either. I'd probably buy this again and keep it for when I don't have any Garnier (never then) but I won't make it top of my to buy list.

Moving on from sheet masks I've also used up quite a few different one use masks. Four of them come from Garnier and I'd quite happily repurchase them over and over again. The Garnier SkinActive Masks are one use sachet masks, each aimed at a different skin need. My favourites are the four in front of you. That is the Juicy Mask, the Aqua Mask, the Volcano Mask and the Matcha Mask. Each one leaves my skin looking better than ever, each time I use them and I find myself reaching for them whenever I'm not using a sheet mask.

Another Garnier mask I've used up is one half of their Double Pure Active Self Heating Mask Sachet. I've used these for ages as I like how well they detox my skin and after each use it feels smooth, soft and treated. One pack is two uses so I never seem to go through them as quickly as you'd think but they really do work on the skin and at such an inexpensive price tag you can't blame a girl for having several in her mask collection.

Another couple of masks that I won't be repurchasing yet again come from Yesto. Don't think there's nothing wrong with the brand, there isn't and I love a lot of their products but these masks just did nothing for my skin. Both masks are mud masks; one containing Argan Oil, the other containing PrimRose Oil. Whilst they left my skin feeling supple and soft to the touch they didn't really meet the claims they had on the packaging and I felt because of the amount of product you receive in the sachet I wasted a lot of it.

Some products I did love from Yesto are their Two Step Kits. I picked up all four but have only gotten round to using two so far. The 2-Step Eye Kit wasn't my favourite purely because the under eye patches wouldn't stay in place but it did work to make my under eye area look better than it had been. The 2-Step Nose Kit is something I'd definitely repurchase. The cleanser worked well at opening my pores and digging deep to rid my skin of any dirt and grime whilst the charcoal nose strip really grabbed a hold of any blackheads I had and made them go bye bye. Definitely one I'd repurchase.

Under eye patches are some of my favourite things at the moment. And these ones from Rodial are my favourite. Their Dragon's Blood Eye Masks are a cellulose eye mask that work to hydrate and tone the under eye mask. They are pricier than others out there but the results are instantaneous and last for a good few days afterwards which is longer than some of the less expensive masks. Definitely something I'll be repurchasing soon.

I don't use face wipes to clean my face but they do come in handy for wiping down any spillages/swatches or taking my lipstick off after a long day. Since my last empties I've gone through three packs. The B Sensitive Micellar Wipes were nice but did tend to dry out quicker than others. The Johnson's Pampering Wipes were effective but had a strong fragrance and unfortunately strong taste as well. Whilst I liked them I wouldn't repurchase them just for that alone. And then there are the Simple Cleansing Wipes which are my favourite. Not drenched but not dry, these work wonders on anything I use them for and don't have a strong scent or taste that lingers afterwards.

Moving onto other skincare I've used up, I finally finished my Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. This is only a travel sized and I used it sparingly but loved it with every use. It's thick, nourishing and really breaks down make up without leaving skin feeling oily or greasy. I haven't been able to bring myself to purchase a full sized tub but I think with how much I love it I'm going to have to just bite the bullet at some point.

I've used up another bottle of my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. I have to have a bo
ttle of this in my collection no matter how many other cleansers I have on the go. One use of this and any irritation my skin may have is gone. Plus it breaks down make up and mascara brilliantly whilst nourishing skin. And as I write this, I realise I need to purchase a back up as I'm quite a way through my current bottle.

Something you see regularly in my empties is this Clean And Clear Deep Cleansing Lotion. I'm not going to bore you with the details but this is my go to morning cleanse as it really works to wake up and invigorate the skin. I'm pretty sure you'll be seeing another bottle or two in future empties as I'm never without one.

An eye make up remover I've finished is this Simple Dual Effect Eye Make Up Remover. It's a bio-phase remover that works to break down eye make up without rubbing the eyes too much. I like this for when I'm wearing a more heavy duty mascara that sometimes requires more work to remove. It contains oil but doesn't leave the eyes or the skin around them feeling greasy or oily to the touch. I'm already halfway through another bottle and will be stocking up whilst they're half price in Superdrug.

Nip And Fab do some of my favourite pre soaked pads of all time and usually there is a tub or two of their Glycolic Fix Pads in an empties but this time it's the turn of the Bee Sting Fix Toning Pads. These contains Bee Venom and Witch Hazel to tone and deeply nourish the skin whilst the Witch Hazel helps keep blemishes at bay. I absolutely love these pads as they really make my feel tighter and more toned after every use. I already am halfway through another tub of these and have a back up tub in my collection.

I finally finished my miniature of Alpha H's Liquid Gold. I received this in my M&S Beauty Advent Calender last year but because it's such a strong formula I've only just gotten round to finishing it. Containing a high glycolic acid content this works to tighten, tone and exfoliate the skin. I absolutely love how my skin looks and feels after using this but limit myself to using it just once a week so it doesn't strip or irritate my skin. I already have a full sized bottle I'm using and a back up as well. Thank god for Beauty Bay and they're brilliant two for one deals.

I finished a full size and a miniature of my favourite Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer. I love using this in the mornings to rejuvenate my skin and whilst we've been having these hot snaps I've loved having the miniature in my handbag for when things need a little refresh. I'm definitely going to be repurchasing both sizes again as this is the only thing that works well enough on my skin when it needs a refresh and cool down.

A mist I enjoyed but wasn't too sure if it worked comes from Garnier. Their new Moisture Bomb Ultra Protecting Mist contains an SPF of 30 and claims to hydrate skin whilst protecting it from UVA and UVB damage. It smelt like my childhood inhaler and seemed to run out quicker than it should. I have another one and am enjoying it but don't think it's as effective as it claims to be.

I finished my first bottle of the new Loreal Hydra Genius. Containing nothing more than Aloe Water and Hyaluronic Acid this is just one giant drink for skin. And because it's such a lightweight formula it's works deeper into skin and continuously hydrates skin for up to 72 hours. I have already opened a new bottle of this and I can guarantee that you'll be seeing a lot more of these in future empties, I can't get enough of it.

I finished another pot of the Garnier Moisture Bomb Water Gel Cream. This paired alongside the Loreal Hydra Genius is a hydration dream. Lightweight, glow enhancing and long term hydrating I love how this works with my skin, especially under make up. I've nearly finished another pot of this and I can guarantee a lot more of these will be appearing in future empties.

A pot of the Ganier Moisture Restore+ Night Cream was finished recently. This is no longer available in stores but I stocked up when they went cheap and am so glad I did. This is a lot like the Moisture Bomb cream in that it's very lightweight in texture and sinks into skin to work over a longer period of time. It also smells divine and strangely relaxes me after every use. I don't know what I'll do when I finally run out of these.

I finished a bottle of my Hawaiian Tropic SPF 30 for the face. This is my favourite out of the two variations available as it doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy or weighed down. I've lost count of how many of these I've gone through because I wear it every day, no matter the weather.

I finished not one but two of my Barry M Hydro Fix Primer Waters. Not only is this an amazing primer which works beautifully under a numerous amount of foundations but it's also brilliant at redampening your beauty blender when it dries up. It has been three months since my last empties so I'm surprised there isn't more of these but because of a couple of hot snaps and some dental problems I didn't wear a lot of make up throughout the month of June which probably kept my third bottle fuller than it would have been.

Another primer I finished was my Maybelline SuperStay Primer. This works in perfect conjunction with the Barry M Primer Water and keeps my make up locked in place all day. And I finished what may be my final bottle of the Maybelline SuperStay Setting Spray. I say final bottle because I've not only fallen out of love with this but I am enjoying using the Collection Fixing Mist a lot more as it's results are better than that of the Maybelline. However you never know, a few months down the line I may like this again. Having a favourite product can be a fickle thing sometimes.

A favourite product that never changes is the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. I've gone through two of these since my last empties and would probably have gone through a third if I'd worn more make up during the last few weeks. However I'm back to wearing it on a daily basis so I'm sure there will be more in the next empties.

A foundation I finished is the Loreal Nude Magique Cushion. I absolutely adored this when it first released last year but was disappointed when it dried up quicker than expected. So when the hotter weather started to appear I repurchased a new one and decided to finally part with this one which should have probably gone out a long time ago.

And the final product in this empties is a hair product. I don't feature a lot of hair products in empties because I just automatically just throw them away when I'm done but I actually remembered one this time. This is the Garnier Ultimate Blends The Sleek Restorer Balm. Packed with Cocoa Butter and Coconut Oil, this leave in conditioner is perfect for leaving through the ends of my hair to make them sleeker and more manageable. I already have another on the go alongside a couple more of their Ultimate Blends collection.