Saturday, September 21, 2013

Smashbox Photo Finish Blemish control primer

I am a huge fan of Smashbox products, especially their amazing primers, so when I spotted this new product I snapped it up without a second thought. I am an avid user of their classic Photo Finish primer, and this just seemed to be catered more closely to my skin type. I read realms of positive reviews before using, and it seemed to be the perfect partner for my blemish prone skin. This primer is described as being 'breathable' which is exactly what I look for, something that doesn't make my skin feel heavy and provides a good canvas for my foundation. And it also contains salicyclic acid, which is a good ingredient to look out for if you are prone to spotty skin, as it helps to calm and clear up.  All the boxes were ticked, the hopes were high and the expectations great. And it didn't deliver. I was really disappointed with the results! I hate to be negative about products but I used this primer for two weeks (Giving it a very fair trial) and I wasn't at all impressed. I found the texture to be very greasy and thin, unlike the original photo finish primer. The end result wasn't a velvet finish, but felt very wet and sticky. I tried using different amounts, but i found using less had no effect and using more made my skin feel damp. I also quickly realised that using this seemed to encourage my make up to melt into my face, leaving me looking very frazzled by the end of the day! Lasting power in make up is very important, and I felt bare by the end of the day when using this primer. I also felt let down by the lack of effect this had on helping to clear up my skin, it didn't feel help my skin to feel fresh but left me looking very sallow and dull. Maybe it's me being fussy but I think I'll stick to the original in the future. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Illuminating bases

No girl can deny that she hasn't looked at Millie Mackintosh's skin at some point and been incredibly jealous. Everybody loves a glowing complexion, and clear, dewy skin is the look every girl is aiming for. But in reality we don't have the time, or money (If only we could all have our own skincare range designed by Elizabeth Caroline), to get that kind of skin easily. So we have to improvise. In my attempt to get this sought after skin I have gone through quite a few illuminating bases. They go by several names, have several different price tags but all aim to do the same thing; give you a flawless finish. In order to save you time (and money) I've decided to cut out the middle man, and present to you my top three illuminating bases!

(L-R: No.7 skin illuminator, L'oreal lumi magique, Chanel sheer illuminating)

First of we have the cheapest of the bunch, L'oreal Lumi Magique Primer. This primer promises to enrich the skin whilst highlighting and adding contouring to the face. I found this product to be pretty good when applied to my cheekbones and under my brows, as it gave a very subtle glow. This is a perfect product for anyone who is a little nervous of highlighters (it is a very fine line between looking glowy and shiny) as it doesn't make you greasy and you can immediately see the effect it has on your skin. I definitely wouldn't use this product all over as it may make you appear a little ghostlike...

The second skin illuminator is a No. 7 product which is described as a 'Radiance boosting beauty fluid' (it definitely sounds scarier than it is!) This product is more of an all rounder, as it can be used as a highlighter on isolated parts of your face, or mixed with your foundation to give an all over glow. I tend to mix this with a CC cream, as it blends perfectly to give a lovely texture. It looks slightly sparkly in the tube which I was worried may result in me looking like I was on my way to an 80's disco, but it has a very subtle shine. The texture of this is thicker than any other base I've used, which means very little is needed to cover the face. This is great for an everyday make up essential, and the brush attached to the end makes it easy to apply evenly. 

My last illuminating gem is the best of the bunch, although unfortunately the priciest. Le Blanc De Chanel sheer illuminating base was a purchase I made after reading reams of positive reviews, and it is definitely an investment I don't regret. Not only does this product smooth out skin, making it feel and look fresh, it also helps to combat any redness or discoloring on the skin. The base is very slightly scented but is not at all overwhelmingly flowery, and has a silky texture. I tend to wear this product under a very light foundation, and it provides a perfect canvas! This sheer liquid is designed to be applied all over the skin, with a little extra on the areas to enhance. This is without a doubt the ideal purchase for anyone who wants beautiful skin without putting on layers of make up. Easy, effortless and with amazing results.

What are your favourite illuminators?

No. 7 Skin illumiator Radiance boosting beauty fluid - £11

Autumn essentials

Sadly summer is very slowly coming to an end. And as we say goodbye to the long sunny afternoons, poolside holidays and impromptu beach trips it's once again time to switch the beauty regime. As much as I love the Autumn, it does pose some serious problems. Frizzy hair, dry skin and tired eyes to name a few. So I have compiled a short list of my must have Autumn buys...

I'm going to start with a new life saving foundation I've discovered - L'Oreal True match in Rose Vanilla. This has been around for a little while and I've been tempted to invest for some time so when my everyday foundation ran out I decided to take this for a spin. It promises a flawless finish and it certainly delivers on this front. This foundation doesn't require you to use a lot as it has very good coverage. It blends amazingly without leaving blotches or streaky lines, and is ideal for everyday use. The range offers a spectrum of shades so it's easy to match to your skintone (although this can also be quite daunting trying to pick between two nearly identical shades!) Most importantly It is currently rescuing my dried out skin, giving me a very subtle healthy glow!

My favourite brand at the moment is without a doubt L'Oreal. I'm not normally a huge fan but the last few months have seen me reaching for several of their products. My most recent purchase is their Skin perfection purifying micellar solution (what a mouthful!) which has had so much hype surrounding it the last few months. I'd heard some rumours that this was similar to Bioderma (the holy grail of all skincare) and I have to say this is probably the closest us Brits have to the genius that is Bioderma. This product promises to remove make up and impurities whilst also toning the skin. This cuts out the middle man, as there is no need to tone after using this, just moisturise and go! It isn't greasy, it doesn't dry out the skin and it's really soothing on application. After only using this a few times I felt like my skin was much clearer and had a fresh appearance. 

The next product that's had me succumbing to the hype is something most of you have probably heard of. Of course it is (drum roll please) Maybelline Baby lips! The long awaited and much anticipated product from the U.S that has had shelves in Boots completely cleared. I was lucky enough to purchase without much hassle and had my pick of the bunch! The range has 6 different colours which have various smells and shades but I finally opted for 'Mint Fresh' which has no colour but a gorgeous minty smell. The balm is very moisturising without being greasy, and is great value for money. I can't quite grasp why there's so much hype around these but as lip balms go it is good quality, perfect for trying to rescue those dried out lips. 

My next favourite is a hair saviour which I've been coveting for some time now. I definitely don't take as much care over my hair as i should, so when i find a product that works (and has quick results - I am very impatient) I tend to cling on to it. I've always wanted to try a hair oil, but all the faff that comes with it filled me with dread. VO5 Hot oil first appealed to me because it does not require heating before application. You apply it to wet hair, leave for one minute and then wash off. With only one minute to work I wasn't expecting magic but the results were fantastic! This oil helps to moisturise brittle or dry hair without making it greasy. I was really impressed when after one application my hair was already softer and easier to style. I tend to use this once a week and will definitely be repurchasing now my first bottle is empty!

Last but not least I would like to introduce to you my latest spot fighting partner. My daily skincare routine always seems to fixate on trying to get rid of blemishes, and this Lush favourite Grease Lightening has made my job slightly easier! I've been looking for a spot treatment that's strong enough to fight spots without making my skin feel dry for sometime and this seems to be it. It consists of Tea tree and Witch Hazel, which combined seem to be the perfect soothing remedy for red or irritated spots. I've been using this every morning and evening, and so far so good! I would definitely recommend this for anybody who needs a little bit of help keeping their complexion clean and fresh.

What are your Autumn must haves?

VO5 Hot oil - £4.29
Grease Lightening - £5.95