Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (black) - £11

Bottom eyelashes are sometimes forgotten about. We talk about finding a good mascara which lengthens and thickens top eyelashes but little attention is paid to the bottom. Before I made this purchase I would use my regular mascara and swipe it across my bottom lashes to complete my eye makeup. However half way through the day my mascara underneath my eyes would be down my face or just look clumpy/messy.

This mascara is designed specifically for use on the bottom lashes, it has an average sized handle and mini sized bristles which allow you to coat those hard to get lashes on the bottom lash line. The size of the brush also helps to reach into the corner upper lashes, those that are hard to reach with a normal sized mascara brush. The product is waterproof - a necessity when using on the lower lash line I would say, so it doesn't smudge or flake upon application. The mascara is not designed to thicken, lengthen or add volume but not something we look for when coating our lower lashes. It is a 'long-wearing' formula and does last all day.

The product is ideal when you are travelling or just to pop into your handbag for touch ups on both upper and lower lashes. I think when I run out I will keep the wand and use with other mascaras as this is the most impressive aspect of the product rather than the mascara itself.

This is the first time I have tried a makeup product from Clinique, i've heard the under eye concealor is also good. What Clinique makeup would you recommend?

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Skincare Routine

I've finally found a skincare routine which my skin seems to agree with. My skin is the clearest it has been in years, and I put it down to these little beauties as well as doing a few other things (which I mentioned in this post - link). It isn't perfect and i'm still searching for a good night cream and mask to use alongside these products, but I would recommend each of these items if you have oily/combination blemish prone skin like me.
Bioderma Crealine H20 Micelle Solution - Everyone and their dog uses Bioderma so I wont go into it too much, I don't use this on a daily basis as my main cleanser takes off my makeup well enough. However I do use this on lazy days or days I'm wearing a lot of makeup as it cleans the face so easily and doesn't irritate the skin. I buy mine from this ebay seller - link.
Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm - See my review here - link. My favourite cleanser removes every last trace of makeup, even waterproof mascara without any rubbing and tugging at the eyes. The product is so lovely, it feels nourishing and doesn't give the tight feeling you get after using alot of other cleansers. I apply a little balm on my face, let it sink in then use a damp flannel to remove the excess along with the makeup. I will double cleanse with this on the evening unless I haven't worn makeup in the day (usually only on sundays).

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner - See my review here - link. My favourite skincare item of the bunch is this. It has really helped to brighten my skin and reduce the blemishes. I do use this everyday although Clarins advise using it once or twice a week.
Hydraluron - This is the serum I use both morning and evening after my toner. I've been using it for about two months now and it definitely makes a difference to my skin. It makes my skin more hydrated and allows any moisturising products used afterwards to work their magic. I will do a proper review soon, but for now check out Caroline Hiron's rave review here.
Ren Matte T-zone Balancing Day Fluid - The moisturiser I am currently using both day and night (yes I know it's a day moisturiser)....I haven't found a night time moisturiser which isn't too heavy for my skin so i'm still on the hunt. This product is good for minimising oiliness in the T zone and gives a good base for applying makeup in the morning. Out of all my skincare products this is the only one which I might not repurchase, I like it but don't love it. I don't feel it is moisturising enough as it is too light for my skin. I need something with a bit more oomph which also mattifies oiliness. Any suggestions for either day or night time moisturisers?
Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil - See my review here - link. I use this about once or twice a week as I feel it is too heavy for my skin to use on a daily basis. Before I go to bed I rub about 5/6 drops of the oil in between my hands before smoothing onto my face. When I wake up my skin feels so soft and has absorbed the product leaving my skin more plump and glowing in the morning.
I am very happy with my current skincare routine but need to find a good night moisturiser that I can use daily which is hydrating but won't break me out. I am also yet to find a mask which I find to be effective (either for clearing blemishes or hydration/radiance - FYI I have tested REN & Origins masks which I do use regularly but they don't wow me. Any suggestions?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Pre Birthday Haul

It's my 25th birthday on Wednesday so my parents gave me some money to go and treat myself. Typical me, I spent it all on makeup! The Karen Millen bag contains a top which was a birthday present to myself (I just had to). I got a few bits i've been wanting to try for ages and also spent alot of the time getting hints and tips off the MUA's at the different counters. Here's a quick list of the things I picked up;

MAC Fix + I've never tried this product but i've wanted to for ages, i've had a quick spritz ontop of my makeup today and I really like how refreshing it is and the glow it gives to my face.
MAC Lipstick in Chatterbox A beautiful pink shade, I cannot wait to wear it.
MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre I saw this on Lisalisad1's latest friday haul youtube video. It's supposed to provide a base for your eyeshadows to allow their true colour to 'pop' out.
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Rose Ivory I'm getting bored of using bourjois healthy mix so purchased another product i've never used from my favourite makeup brand.
Nars The Happening Eye & Cheek Palette I originally went to the Nars counter to purchase Laguna, but after talking to the MUA about the makeup she was wearing (gorgeous) she pointed out this palette which contains both Laguna and Orgasm as well as 4 eyeshadows in Night Star, Gstaad, Kuala Lumpur and Coconut Grove. All for £45 which I thought was quite a good deal. This is my favourite purchase of the day.
Look Beauty Blush in Flirt I first saw this on llymlrs beauty blog. I love how she does her makeup and this is one of her favourite shades. I like my blush shades to be quite pigmented and this definitely is, can't wait to try it.
Look Beauty Lip Liner in Toffee Cup An impulse buy, there wasn't even a tester but i've been looking for a nude/baby pink liner for a while. For only £2 I didn't really care.
There were some other products I was dying to try but I couldn't really justify buying. Including Aveda Pure Abundance Style Prep, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Balm & a few more MAC products.
I will do separate blog posts on each of the products purchased when i've had chance to use them. Do you own any of these products? What are your thoughts?

Monday, 18 February 2013

Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colour Pink Blush

Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colour 'Pink Blush' - £20 LINK

Laura Mercier's description... 'In one smoothing swipe, the crème formula envelops lips in rich colour with a semi-lustrous finish. The cushiony, lightweight texture feels comfortable, while pure Olive Oil and Vitamin E nourish lips. Features an elegant, modern case with a metallised finish.'

Let me just start by saying this is my favourite lipstick ever! Quite a bold statement I know. Firstly lets start with the colour, a 'pink blush' shade which gives a pinky nude effect to the lips. It definitely creates a 'my lips but better' look. I am drawn to shades which lighten my naturally pigmented lips (which I really dislike), think similar to MAC hue (LM is slightly pinker) and Natural Collection Rose Petal (LM is less drying) - both of which are two lipsticks I rate highly. I do think this shade suits my light/medium skintone but as with other light nude shades it may wash you out if you're skin is darker.

Not only is the colour beautiful the application is so creamy and moisturising I feel like i'm applying lip balm rather than a lipstick. The product glides on upon application and leaves a similar finish to MAC's cremesheen lipsticks - slightly glossy. The lipstick is not particularly longlasting, I would say it lasts about 3 hours which I find is typical of most brands.

 Excuse the quality of the photo and the messy hair (getting the roots done on thursday - much needed)

This is the only Laura Mercier lipstick I own and i'm determined to get more. Have you tried this range? Any recommendations??

Sunday, 17 February 2013

This Week #3

3 for 2 on the new Barry M Gelly Nail Paint - lovely colours and last quite a long time without chipping.

My neighbours posted this through the door - Nothing better to do.

My valentines meal out (with my single friends) meant we were forced to eat heart shaped food.

Cup of tea, two sugars please

My friday night - rock n roll.

Quite a quiet week, the calm before the storm. The rest of the month will be spent celebrating my birthday and going on holiday to Iceland. Exciting.

How was your week?


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner

Clarins is one of my favourite brands for skincare. Every one of their products I've tried I have loved. I have never used a toner in my daily routine before so thought I'd head to Clarins to make a purchase. The lady at the counter advised me that this toner was not for daily use but for use twice a week to brighten and exfoliate the skin. After recently running out of my Alpha-H Liquid Gold, I thought this may be a good match - something which would help to clear my skin as well dealing with dryness.
I decided to ignore the advice I was given and use the product every day, after all it does say 'gentle' exfoliator. I use after cleansing every night by swiping over my face with a cotton wool pad. The toner is a clear liquid which smells quite chemically - not spa like (which is what I expected) but don't let the no frills put you off, after a month of use every night my skin is much smoother and brighter! I wouldn't say this toner is an alternative to Liquid Gold because it is MUCH more gentle on the skin - my skin seems to love it.
Clarins claim that the brightening toner contains;
'Tamarind for gentle exfoliation - eliminates impurities and dead cells. Boosts the skin's natural exfoliation process. White nettle to refine enlarged pores - smoothes and refines skin texture with its astringent benefits...revives complexion radiance and increases the effectiveness of skin care applied afterwards'
This exfoliator contacts alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) which I feel has helped clear my skin and reduce my acne scars. After application my skin feels smooth and soft - flakiness disappears and it helps to even out my skintone. Although I use the toner every day, I wouldn't recommend this if you have sensitive skin, but for me daily use works well - I just need to ensure I wear a good sunscreen underneath my makeup.
This has become a staple in my routine, I will 100% repurchase. You can pick it up from Clarins for £25.
I've been thinking of booking myself a Clarins facial for my birthday but having never had a facial before i'm quite hesitant. Have you had a facial at Clarins before? Would you recommend?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sleek Pomegranate 923

Blusher is an item of makeup which I can't go without, as long as i've got some blush and tinted moisturiser i'm good to go. Since going blonde i've found that I can look quite pale and washed out if I don't have blusher on - so I love my blushers to be quite pigmented. Sleek products are very pigmented and you only need a tiny bit of product to give a flushed look to the cheeks.
One of my favourite Sleek blush shades is Pomegranate. This colour is a berry/wine shade, perfect to wear during the colder months.

Sleek describe their powder blushes as 'Highly pigmented blushers to brighten and define cheekbones, available in 10 shades. These silky-fine and long lasting blushers create a subtle and radiant glow and suit all skin tones.'
I would agree that their blushers are long lasting and give a subtle glow. This shade looks quite shimmery in the pan but once applied to the cheeks you are left with a slight shimmer but nothing which shows up your pores. I find that with Sleek blush colours I can skip the highlighting stage on the tops of my cheeks as these products give a similar effect.

I love Sleek packaging. I have had this blusher for a few months now so unfortunately mine is starting to look a little tatty. I always have a sleek blusher in my bag, not only for the product itself but for the big mirror inside, it's perfect for touch ups throughout the day. Sleek's packaging as always is very simple but effective. If you're unsure about which shades may suit you, head over to Sleek's website as they give swatches of each of their products for fair, medium and dark skin.
Sleek blushers are £4.49

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Skincare Saviours - Diet

My skin hasn't been having the best time lately after a few months of overeating and drinking. I recently moved into my own place which meant I have been eating out alot and all the wrong things. A few housewarming gatherings have meant I have consumed a few too many bottles of wine too. Although I am happy with my current skincare routine (post to follow soon), no matter what creams/lotions I used I had many big/painful spots that didn't seem to budge. I decided to try to work on my diet to improve the appearance of my skin. For the last four weeks I've changed 3 things in my diet which I believe has done wonders for my acne.

1. Replaced cows milk with non dairy (Soya / Almond) milk: 
I've read many articles which connect milk and acne, something to do with the hormones in cow milk creating more I don't know if I fully believe this but thought it was worth a try. I don't drink much milk anyway but whenever I fancy a cup of tea/coffee/ bowl of cereal I've been using an alternative. Non dairy milk also has a longer shelf life too, which is useful. Both Soya and Almond milk have their own health benefits too;

SOYA MILK - Made up of plant protein and essential fatty acids.
ALMOND MILK - Full of calcium and vitamin E.

2. Drinking green tea:
I've begun to enjoy the taste of green tea. It took some getting used to because I love my English Breakfast Tea with milk and two sugars. I discovered this blend of green tea with lemon and love to drink a cup every morning. The health benefits to green tea are endless, in skincare terms; it is said to help to fight inflammation, rejuvinate skin cells and fight free radicals. I have at least one cup a day.

3. Fish Oil Capsules:
I started taking fish oil supplements after reading Caroline Hirons blog - link On her acne cheat sheet she recommends taking fish oil to improve the appearance of I did. I take between 1 to 3 capsules per day with a meal. If you struggle with swallowing tablets you may not enjoy taking fish supplements, look at the size of these bad boys below.

Within the last four weeks the appearance of my skin has improved dramatically, the only problem is I can't pin point exactly which thing is reducing my acne or whether it's a combination of all three. I've also been using a new exfoliating toner so it also may be something to do with that! I'm just going to stick with what I'm doing, my scaring has faded and my blemishes have significantly reduced. I'm not saying these three items will get rid of your acne but they've helped me, so maybe worth a try!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Umberto Giannini Glam Hair Backcomb In A Bottle

A few years ago when I was a brunette and addicted to clip-in hair extensions, my hair could never be 'too' big. I would backcomb my hair to no end using a small comb, not only was I damaging my hair but the result did not look as great as I thought - think messy and fake looking. Nowadays I still love volume but not the frizzy look that backcombing tends to give. My hair is naturally quite fine so I do need in some help in gaining a little oomph!

Backcomb In A Bottle certainly does what it says on the tin, providing 'instant miracle volume and sexy texture'. I use this product after i've curled my hair with a conical wand to give that extra bounce and volume.

The product comes in an aerosol bottle which you spray into your hair like you would any hairspray. I tend to spray onto my hair from the middle to the ends - i'm careful about piling too much product onto my roots (to prevent greasy hair). I then use my hands to scrunch the ends of my hair to let the product work its magic. I dont use BCIAB on a daily basis but I find it an essential when I'm going out and decide to curl my hair. I've nearly come to the end of this bottle now and will 100% repurchase - i've found nothing like it for creating texture and volume.

Despite the volumising effects this product gives there are a couple of cons; 1 - The smell is quite overpowering, it constantly makes me cough after applying to my hair. It's quite a chemical smell (I can't describe smells?!) I'm just not a fan. However I can live with this because the smell does not linger on the hair after use. And 2 - The product can cause the hair to look and feel quite crispy and clump parts of the hair together if too much is used - A reason why I don't use on my hair when I wear it straight, it just doesn't work so well.

For me the pros outway the cons, Back Comb In a Bottle has become an essential product in my haircare collection and now I wouldn't be without it. If you want big, voluminous hair without the damaging effects of backcombing then this product is for you, you can pick it up from Boots / Superdrug for about a fiver.

Do you have any other recommendations for products which will create volume on my naturally fine flat hair?

Saturday, 2 February 2013

This Too Shall Pass


Sometimes life just takes us by surprise, our mind responds to the things that happen to us and most of the time we have no control. I'm talking about stress and anxiety. Personally I am a worrier, if I'm not worrying about the situation I am in, I worry about things that may happen in the future. 

Although sometimes I feel like life is getting on top of me, I try not to let my anxiety affect my life. Here are a few hints and tips I try to remember when I begin to overthink things;

- Keeping Busy
Negative thoughts seem to come to the forefront of my mind when i'm having a night in on my own. It helps me to have plans or if not to keep myself busy eg, taking up a new hobby, cleaning, phoning friends. By doing so it keeps me focused and prevents me from overthinking by taking my mind off negative thoughts.

- Talk
Rather than bottling everything up it helps me to talk to someone about my worries. I find that usually it's a case of getting something off my chest, and the people I speak to tend to give great advice. I also find that if my worries are caused by one person and they are bothering me, it helps to just tell them rather than letting them get me down. 

- Positive Quotes
Keep a journal or create a Pinterest of motivational and uplifting quotes (Here's mine - link). When i'm feeling low, they instantly pick me up.

- You have a Choice
Remember, you always have a choice. 'If things around you don't change, then change the things you're around'. If you find you are always worrying about the same thing or are unhappy about the situation you are in then make efforts to change it. (Hate your job? Get a new one or quit (I've done this). Relationship problems? Talk things through or end the relationship. Money problems? learn how to budget, get a second job. There are ALWAYS solutions and there are ALWAYS other people in the same situation. 

- Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Out
For godsake get out of your pyjamas, have a shower and put some makeup on. Then get your ass out of your house and start living. Nothing good can come from moping alone in your own dirt all day when you're feeling down.

Another thing which helps to improve my mood is by making a list of things that have made me happy each week (remember my Monday Blues post - link). Below is my list for last week;

- I've had the flu all week - I forced myself into work until friday when my parents stepped in and told me to rest. They let me stay at their house, looked after me and made sure I went to the doctors. I am feeling much better this morning.

- Sun shining through my bedroom window in the morning means i'm getting excited for summer - beer gardens, holidays, sunbathing.

- Payday yesterday YAY!

- Enjoying healthy food. My favourite meal of the week being salmon, cous cous and roasted veg.

- Planning the interior design of my new house, my room is still a blank canvas so i'm looking forward to filling it with beautiful bedroom furniture.

- A customer at work saying to me 'What's your star sign?' me: 'Pisces, why?' 'Because I like to know the star signs of people I get on with' - awww bless.


These are just a few tips that have helped me. How do you relax or deal with anxiety? What things have made you happy this week?