Posts tagged ‘skincare’

November 26, 2013

Hello again! Mineral makeup, anyone?

After having taken such a huge break from blogging, I’m just going to post something normal that will let me pretend that I’ve been here the whole time! I now work at the Body Shop, and a big part of my job is putting makeup on anyone who stands still long enough that I can catch them. It’s really fun, and it also lets me practise my makeup skills as well as allowing me to work with different kinds of products that I would otherwise have to buy and test for myself. I’m writing about a Body Shop foundation today, but this is just because I happen to use it on clients a lot; I’ve not been asked to write this, and my only motivation is that I wanted to mention it for myself. My boss doesn’t even know I have a blog!

A big deal at the Body Shop is mineral makeup. Obviously, as a more ethical and responsible company, the Body Shop want to be sure that they aren’t giving people lots of nasty ingredients that will be bad for their skin; the ‘Extra Virgin Minerals’ mineral foundation is made of 5 mineral ingredients, so it’s nice and simple (and talc free). The main reason that I like it though, is that it actually comes in a pale enough colour for my face! This is depressingly rare, as many of my pale-skinned sisters will attest. Clearly, it’s not offensive in the way that failing to cater for ladies & gents with much darker skin is offensive, but it is a royal pain in the behind sometimes when makeup companies or retailers think that everyone in the world is some variant of ‘medium beige’. So it’s nice to be able to give light-skinned girls a really pretty makeover that’s right for them, rather than trying to fob them off with orange stuff.

The coverage is medium, but buildable if you really work the product hard. It isn’t as full coverage as bareMinerals powder, not quite, but it feels lighter on the skin, which I know for a lot of people is a worthy tradeoff. I do prefer a fuller coverage personally, and it doesn’t quite glide onto the skin in the same way as more expensive mineral powders, but it is definitely adequate for most people. The packaging is the same, and contains the same 5g of product with a plastic sifter in the top. It’s just as messy when you’re in a hurry in the morning, which never fails to annoy me, but that’s probably my own fault!

On me, it stays quite matte for quite a long time. Again, this is impressive in comparison with the bareMinerals matte (which I also currently own), as this product doesn’t keep its promise for very long. Admittedly, I work hard under strong lights, so someone who isn’t always hot might not find it melts so much, but the Body Shop powder definitely stays put longer on me. (For example, I’ll work for a bit, then touch up with Body Shop mineral powder, then not have to touch up again for a LOT longer.)

Finally, I don’t feel that it clogs my pores or does anything bad to my skin, which is great as I am a bit acne-prone these days. I like a matte finish all year round, but especially in the autumn and winter, and oddly enough this is the time of year when I often reach for my mineral makeup. I think perhaps it’s because you get up in the dark, do your makeup in funny light, and don’t want anything complicated or tricky! Or maybe that’s just me (I’m almost impossible to drag from my duvet in these winter months). 

I apologise for the lack of a proper photo, but this stock photo of the product will have to do for now. Anyway, I think the Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals powder foundation is a great option for those who need something gentle for their skin, but prefer a matte finish and the ease of a throw-it-on powder that lasts on the skin. Also, it sells for £15 on the website, which is a reasonable price for a midrange foundation that should last you a good 5 months even with a lot of use. 

 

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April 18, 2012

Have Boots No. 7 Done It Again?

So I see that Boots have brought out a new anti-aging line for their No. 7 brand, “Lift and Luminate”. Intended for users of 45 years and older, they say it contains high levels of the same ‘miracle’ ingredient that caused the publicity & shopping sensation for their “Protect and Perfect” serum – I’m sure most people remember that! This seems like an attempt to whip up another storm like the previous one in my opinion as No. 7 already have countless anti-aging products in their several separate lines. If it gets any more confusing I can imagine people just buying at random.

Anyway, I’m only 21, so I can’t test this out; I can only wait and see the response among the ladies and gents that use it.  I’m just hoping that all these miracle ingredients lead to some actual miracles pretty soon – come on cosmetic/pharmaceutical researchers, you only have about 14 years until I become a willing customer! And heck, I’m already buying eye cream.

If you want to check out this new line, click the pretty picture:

image from mirror.co.uk

April 17, 2012

Tea, Glorious Tea!

This is a slightly off-the-cuff random post as I am procrastinating – I should be writing my dissertation, but I just don’t want to knuckle down and do it! So I’m having a lovely cup of tea and watching bad daytime TV instead.

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, and I really do notice how much better my skin looks and how much better I feel when I drink enough. It’s always better to have great skin than great makeup, in my opinion! But we also know that the 8 glasses of water myth is just that – a myth – because we get most of our daily water needs from our food, right? Well, that’s going to depend on the kind of foods we eat, and at the moment, I’m eating fairly badly and not eating as many vegetables as I should, which means that I’ll need to drink more to make up the amount. It’s always good to be conscious of these things – I’m trying hard at the moment, because I’ve not been very good at it in the past.

One way I like to do this is to drink black tea. It has recently been found by the US Department of Agriculture that the levels of antioxidants in black tea are actually very similar to those found in green tea, which so many health junkies swear by. Plus, black tea is good for your teeth and heart, and contains much less caffeine in one cup than coffee does. It’s warm and comforting, and quenches thirst much better (in my opinion!) than other hot drinks or even flavoured squashes, which aren’t so great due to their high sugar content.
The only thing is that, like green tea, it should be enjoyed without milk to make sure that you’re getting the benefits. I love my tea like this, as my family like it this way too and so I’m used to it, but if it tastes too thin or bland, try adding a squeeze of lemon juice.

My favourite types of tea are citrusy Earl Grey, delicate Rose Congu, spicy Chai and delicious Darjeeling!
I love tea so much that I have to have an especially huge (and happy) Paperchase mug to drink it out of:

Are there any other tea-lovers out there? 😀

April 5, 2012

Review: Coryse Salomé Renaissance Multi-Vitamin Cream

White round pot of face cream

image from cheapsmells.com

I bought this cream at a massive discount from http://www.cheapsmells.com (the picture is a link) – it’s RRP is £25, and I got it for £7.95. Coryse Salomé is a luxury French brand that specialise in anti-aging skincare, and although I’d like to think that 21 and a half is a little too early to be concerned about anti-aging stuff, I wanted to try this brand (especially at such a good price!) and so I bought something that said it was suitable for all skin types.

It has a lovely light texture, and also has a gorgeous smell. It’s not a natural smell though, so if that kind of thing bothers you then you probably won’t appreciate this product. It does feel quite rich to me, not too much so at the moment, but I would definitely say that oily skin or even the oilier side of combination skin should stay well away! I use this as a night cream only, and it does leave a bit of a shiny layer on my face when I’ve applied it. I’m not the biggest fan of this, but I can get over it – it does make my skin feel well-cared for, at least! However, when I wake up, my skin always looks amazing. My skintone seems more even; my face feels comfortable, as though I only want to apply my lightest gel moisturiser; basically, I feel like this stuff leave me with “tinted moisturiser skin” in the morning, rather than “oh dear reach for the Revlon Colourstay” skin! I suspect that the anti-aging stuff in it does have tightening properties, as my face feels so smooth and even and…different.

I love this cream! I’m seriously considering buying a backup, as cheapsmells.com seem to mainly sell things that are old stock, or discontinued – I don’t want to run out of this! 5 stars.

* * * * * 🙂

March 19, 2012

Alert! Sin Binning An Entire Range!

The Body Shop – Seaweed range.

The last 2 days, my skin has been going crazy. At first, I thought it was because of my Boots No.7 tinted moisturiser – and I was about to be very upset! But then I realised what it was. It was the last item I have left from the Body Shop Seaweed line; the “Pore Perfector”.

I bought a couple of things from this line a few years ago, and they all irritated, broke out, or actually burnt my skin. The pore perfector never seemed to provoke a reaction, so I kept it – but I hardly ever used it. This weekend, I used it 3 days in a row and this is the result! Lots of tiny little spots that are clearly a reaction, rather than a spontaneous breakout, and only in the places I used this product. I’m very upset as my skin has been near-perfect for months now, and this feels like a regression back to the days when I couldn’t go outside without a thick layer of Revlon ColourStay to cover my skin. Those were not fun days. My self-esteem was terrible.

All I have to say is, stay away from the Body Shop Seaweed line! I do not have sensitive skin at all, and I hardly ever react to anything. But now every single item I’ve bought from this range has caused seriously negative responses from my skin. I can only recommend that you really steer clear. However, I know that some people will not react in this way, or may even like it – of course, or it wouldn’t have got through testing. But I would tell my friends not to buy it, and so I’m telling you guys too!

I don’t like panning products as comprehensively as this, but sometimes…it just has to be done!

March 11, 2012

Review: SkinFood Peach Sake BB Cream

Pink tube of BB cream

image from bbcreamboutique.com

In my endless search for a good tinted moisturiser, I have of course been trying out a BB cream or two. In my previous post I wrote about the new UK Garnier version – this one, however, is the genuine article. SkinFood are a South Korean brand, which is where the whole BB cream craze started, and they make a huge number of different products along these lines. I bought this one from yesstyle.co.uk, who provide the UK and USA with products shipped from Asia.

Firstly, I was absolutely over the moon when I first got this baby out of the box – the shade is right for my skin! In fact, it’s a lot more close to my skin tone than many products that are made for the UK, so that was a revelation. I am a very loyal yesstyle.co.uk customer now that I know so many Asian products cater for my skin colour – seriously, if you’re as pale as I am, look into it. The second thing that I liked was that even though it looks like a tube, it actually has a pump top attached, which is much less messy and generally very convenient. It also dispenses the right amount of product, as you don’t need much of this stuff – another plus in my book. The product smells yummy, although the scent is very synthetic, so if you’re not a fan of nice-smelling things, this could put you off. However, it’s a very light scent, and is definitely not noticeable at all once the cream is on the skin.

The coverage of this BB cream is fantastic – better than the Garnier version, and much greater than any tinted moisturiser I’ve tried. I’d definitely say it’s on the foundation coverage scale, which I’m pleased about. It feels very nice on the skin; not drying, as I feared (it mentions “pore” and “sebum” somewhere) and not oily either, managing to give a nice finish without shine or flaky patches! There’s also an SPF of 20 which is obviously a major plus. It wears for a really long time, even without being set with powder. In fact, I went out earlier and suddenly had a panic when I realised I didn’t have my face powder on me – then thought “Oh never mind, at least I have my Peach Sake BB cream on!” which proves how much confidence I place in it!

Overall, a very nice product indeed. It was a little painful paying the £16 for it, but I certainly don’t regret it now that I know what it’s like, and I would strongly consider repurchasing when I run out. Could definitely become something I rely on! 5 stars! Yay! 🙂

March 10, 2012

Review: Garnier BB Cream

So I lied, I didn’t post as soon as I said. Sorry! In my defence, I had a job interview to prepare for – it’s all done, as of this morning, so here I am! *puff of smoke, jazz hands, etc.*

The first thing I’ll talk about is the Garnier BB Cream, I know a lot of people have been talking about it recently as it was among the first of the UK/chemist brands to jump on the BB bandwagon. I’ve heard a lot of bad things about this product, but I’m actually quite impressed, given that it’s relatively affordable and manages to come in a shade that’s more or less similar to the colour of my face! (This is rarer than you might think!)

Aside from the “light” shade actually being wearable for me, I really love the smell of this product (though for those who dislike/are allergic to scented products, you might want to steer clear). I just think that having a nice light scent can really enhance the enjoyment factor in using a product and makes me feel that it’s good quality – totally all in my mind, I know, but still!
Coverage-wise, it’s not at all bad; it probably has more coverage than the lightest foundations that I own. This is a plus, but it does come at a slight price. I do find that I can feel this stuff on my face; nothing major, certainly not like having a full face of high-coverage foundation + powder, but it’s not the unnoticeable light dream I was hoping for! It may be due to the fact that Garnier are trying to cater to many different skin types with this cream, and so what is perfect for someone else is a little oily on my face. I just don’t feel that it fulfils the “moisture” part of the BB cream promise for me; rather than moisturising, it sits on my skin in a layer like a light foundation. The finish is nice though, especially when first applied, so I’m not complaining too hugely about it.

The wear time is not amazing, partly because of my personal experience of it being slightly too oily – it has a tendency to rub off quickly. (Not visibly or onto anything – it just doesn’t stay.) Basically this stuff is lovely if you want a natural, nearly makeup free day, but if you’re going to be out all day at work with no chance to touch up your makeup I’d reconsider. However, someone whose skin suited the product more may not have such issues.

I’m still glad I got it, and I will continue to use it, but it’s not going to become a staple. 3*!

February 28, 2012

Anybody want some tinted moisturiser?

I have the Nivea Daily Essentials Tinted Moisturising Day Cream and the Stila Oil Free Sheer Colour Tinted Moisturiser SPF 30, both of which are the wrong colour for me. The Nivea only comes in one colour, which seems very dark to me but is probably not that dark to someone who doesn’t glow in the dark like I do – it blends pretty well, and is decidedly warm-toned. The Stila is shade “light 03”, which is just a touch too dark for me, but is still pretty fair, and lighter than the Nivea one.

The Nivea has a really lovely finish to it on the skin, and smells gorgeous (I like the Nivea scent – that’s what it is). The Stila is a bit less matte and has no scent at all. Both are 50ml; the Nivea one has been used once, plus tiny blobs taken for colour testing. The Stila one has not even been used once – it’s just had a tiny bit taken out for colour testing too.

If anyone wants either of these,  just comment on this post. If more than one person asks, I’ll pick one at random. If no-one bagsies them, I’ll probably give them to friends; they’re not really worth selling on eBay. If no-one wants them though, they might get chucked out – so speak now! 🙂

That’s it really! Drop me a comment if you fancy some free tinted moisturiser! 😀

February 28, 2012

Inital Impressions: Elizabeth Arden Sheer Lights Tinted Moisturiser

My tinted moisturiser quest is still going on, as I’ve been disappointed by all those I’ve tried so far, including the shock failure of Vichy’s Lumineuse Sheer Radiance. (More on that story later.) I am determined to find a tinted moisturiser that I like, that isn’t Laura Mercier – I’ve never tried this mythical product, but I’m a student and I simply refuse to spend that much. There has to be something else out there that I will get along with!

My dearest, most loyal friend eBay recently supplied me with this – the Elizabeth Arden Sheer Lights TM – for many fewer pounds than it would have cost me at RRP. (I may have gone on a slight eBay TM spree, actually.) It arrived today, and so of course I had to try it out immediately. This is the highest-end TM I’ve used so far, and I have to say, I’m actually quite impressed. I’ve become almost jaded and cynical, expecting every product to be bright orange and hideous, but this is actually a rather normal, non-scary beige colour. Of course, it’s not quite as light as I’d like, but nothing ever is. It blends in well, and the colour looks entirely natural on my skin. A little of this baby goes a long way, which I’m pleased about too. Value for money is a big deal! Another bonus is the SPF 15 that it contains.

One of my pet gripes about TM in general is that it’s either a moisturiser or a tint, but rarely both, and hardly ever a good both. This is at least a decent moisturiser for my skin. I did apply an extremely light gel moisturiser 5 minutes beforehand, because I would usually anyway, especially as it’s winter, but the Elizabeth Arden could probably have held its own without that. It sank in moderately quickly, which is actually what I like – too fast and it’s not doing the job – and my skin now feels soft and supple, but not at all oily. In fact, it feels like I have nothing on – which is one of the key things I want a TM to do. So, it wins there!

Ladies who want good coverage are obviously not going to be interested in this product anyway, but I have to say that it has evened out my skin tone very well, much more efficiently than my Stila product. It has also given me a slight touch of natural colour, which I’m surprised and pleased by. Honestly, if it was orangey or too dark, I would be the first person to complain – it isn’t at all. It’s just…nice.

Now for the “lights” part. It is illuminating, and if that’s what you’re after, it does its job really very well. It is subtle, but effective. I am not a huge fan of shimmer in my products, and there is some in this, there’s no denying it. However, it’s not scary-Twilight-vampire-Revlon-Photoready glitter. It just makes your skin glow. I like this, though I thought I wouldn’t – another win for Lizzie Arden there. I might dab a bit of powder across my forehead to tone it down a little, but it’s not necessary, just personal preference.

I can’t say how it wears yet, of course. From the feel on my skin, I’m expecting a little shine to break through later, but that it’ll generally wear quite well and problems will be very minimal. Until my Boots No. 7 TM arrives, this one is definitely the winner! (Not that the competition is particularly stiff; I’ve had to give away the last 2 I’ve tried!)

Yay, tinted moisturiser! I genuinely feel that my skin looks nice today because of this product. I hope it lasts!

February 18, 2012

Review: Sin Binned Product Alert! – Nivea Tinted Moisturiser

image from amazon.com

I’ve been looking for a good (but preferably cheapish!) tinted moisturiser for ages now. I have the Stila oil-free one, and I don’t mind it, but I would prefer something with a touch more coverage and with a less shiny finish! So when I saw this baby in Boots for about £8, I obviously couldn’t resist. I quite like Nivea Visage skincare as it is, so I was pretty confident I’d get on well with it.

Firstly, there was no open tester tube in the shop, so I couldn’t stick any on my hand to see what the colour was like. I hunted around, but then realised upon closer inspection of the packaging that they only actually make one colour – a truly frightening (as I discovered at home) dark brown. It does, obviously, lighten up considerably upon blending, but if you have pale skin, you can expect to be using hardly any of this and blending like a loony in the morning to make sure you don’t have brown lines on your face. I was seriously unimpressed by this fact.

Secondly, I do have something good to say about this product – I love the finish. It sinks in quickly and is beautifully matte, but not so much so that it looks fake or powdery. It really does look lovely on the skin (provided you are naturally the colour of a brick).

Thirdly, the worst thing about this moisturiser is that it broke me out. I am still slightly amazed by this, and I mean to try it out again just to be triply sure that it was in fact this product that did it. It was the only thing I’d changed, so I’m fairly positive, but it was just so unexpected it shocked me. Nivea, breaking me out? However, I’m certain enough that I’m not going to try it while I’m at uni – I’ve been waiting to do it during Reading Week, which is starting now.

I am very upset that my hunt for a repurchaseable TM has to continue! I’ve bought the Vichy Sheer Lumineuse one, and I have high hopes 😀

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