Image Map

The product that changed my opinion on BB creams

29 January 2014

I had a sample of the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector All-in-One BB Cream for Combination to Oily skin and I thought that I would give it a whirl last weekend. I had my doubts about it in terms of colour, longevity and coverage so I tried it on a Sunday when I knew I wouldn't have to leave the house for long.

Well do you know what...I was pleasantly surprised. So much so that on my way to work on Monday morning I passed Boots and had to buy it. 

The Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector for Combination to Oily skin has changed my view on BB creams, my prior experiences have left me shiny, orange-faced and wanting more coverage. Even the Maybelline Dream Pure BB cream (review here) for oily skin left me shiny after a few hours and the coverage wasn't great.

This Garnier BB cream promises anti-shine, to blur pores and imperfections, evens skin tone, boosts glow and moisturises all whilst providing SPF20 UV protection. I think that this product really delivers on all of these things and my skin looks far better at the end of the day than it does when I wear foundation. The coverage has kept and it hasn't gone all cakey like my foundation does sometimes.

During the evening on Monday I tried applying this on top of my makeup from the day to add a bit of a boost to the coverage and it applied beautifully on top of existing makeup. It didn't flake or cake and added some moisture and a glow back into my skin without being oily.

The coverage is really good for a BB cream, it manages to stay light and nearly non-existent on the skin whilst providing colour and coverage. Yeah the coverage isn't going to cover major blemishes, but that's what concealer is for...

Added bonuses are that its oil free and non-comedogenic, great news for those of us who struggle with our skin. I highly recommend this if you found the original version too oily, and I also spied an anti-ageing version and a sensitive skin version so there really is one for everyone.

The only downside to this product is the shade range...light or medium...that's it. Luckily the light is actually light which doesn't tend to happen with drugstore BB creams. They tend to be more orange toned but the Garnier one was fairly light and blended out nicely on my pale skin. 

Garnier goes onto claim that after 4 weeks skin would be less oily, pores would be minimised, imperfections appear visibly reduced and would be radiance improved so that's something that I will put to the test and report back on.

Battle of the Soap and Glory Powders

28 January 2014

When I went into Boots looking for a new translucent powder as my Rimmel Stay Matte had broke and crumbled once again (that packaging really is terrible) I was drawn to the Soap and Glory Powders. I couldn't decide which one to go for, 'One Heck of a Blot' or 'Kick Ass' so I got you do. Can we just take a minute to really appreciate those amazing names...Soap and Glory really do put a lot of work into the names of their products.

I couldn't decide between the two powders as I wanted a regular translucent powder like 'One Heck of a Blot' but then I really wanted to try the yellow toned 'Kick Ass' as it promised to smooth your face and it was something different to what I usually use. Cue waaaay too much money spent on powder in one afternoon. These powders were £12 each, so not the cheapest, but they had good quality packaging so hopefully I'd actually be able to get through the whole pan without it crumbling into a million bits. I've wasted so much money on Rimmel powders that do this!

One Heck of a Blot is your regular translucent pressed powder, promising shine control and oil absorption. This is described as one that is great for all skin types and comes in one translucent shade. I found that this lived up to the standards of the Rimmel Stay Matte and did an okay job of keeping shine at bay. It comes with a powder puff inside the compact which swiftly got thrown in a drawer as I prefer to apply powder with a brush. I liked it, it was okay, but I liked the Kick Ass powder so much more.

Kick Ass Instant Retouch Pressed Powder to use it's full name is a face smoothing and perfecting pressed powder. Soap & Glory whack in some crazy names regarding what's in this product, SuperBlur technology and Camouflawge 3DTM which I don't quite know what they are, but Soap and Glory do this a lot with their products. It promises real time retouching and it even suggests that you can brush it on under makeup as a primer...but I prefer to use it after. Despite it's yellow appearance in the pan it goes on translucent and I find that it really does help to smooth out the skin whilst providing protection against shine. I find that I am shine free for longer with the 'Kick Ass' powder compared to 'One Heck of a Blot'. The yellow tone actually looks more natural on the skin too as sometimes the whiter translucent powders can look a bit chalky on the skin.

Make-up goodies | Bobbi Brown & Laura Mercier

25 January 2014

This post has taken a while to make it out into the digital world as I've been busy and un-organised since getting back to London.

The Laura Mercier Colour-To-Go palette in Natural Nudes has been used daily since I receive it as a gift at Christmas. Its the perfect palette with a little bit of everything without compromising on quality. I apologise for getting this post up late as it now seems to be out of stock everywhere but you still might be able to find the odd one lurking around.

This palette is perfect for a weekend away or popping in your bag for top-ups throughout the day. The top layer contains 3 neutral eyeshadows (a matte cream, a shimmer bronze and a slight shimmer dark brown) and a dark brown Tight Line Cake eyeliner. The lower layer contains a bronzer and a blusher, both gorgeous shades that would suit most skin tones. Then popped in the gap across both layers in a mini lip glace in a neutral pink shade. Add in some foundation, concealer and mascara and that's your make-up needs sorted.

My other prized Christmas gift this year was this Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Antigua. Yes you read that right, this is a bronzer...a pink bronzer. Its perfect for pale skinned girls to give you that  natural flush of colour instead of muddying up your skin with a brown bronzer.

It's an absolutely gorgeous colour with a hint of a shimmer. It really does create a healthy, natural illuminated glow. You can sweep it on like a bronzer, or build it up a bit more on your cheekbones and use it as a blusher.

Yet another gorgeous nude palette | Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

24 January 2014

Smashbox have well and truly delivered on their shade range in the Full Exposure palette. What appealed to me was the assortment of matte and shimmer shades. There are 7 shimmer shades ranging from a pale beige right through to a rich grey, and then 7 coordinating matte shades again ranging from a pale beige to a deep black.

This palette serves my love neutral eye make-up mixed up with the odd smoky eye day, it has everything that I need.

There are no fancy-schmancy names here for the different shadows, just S1, S2, S3... and M1, M2, M3...Here's the low down on the shades:

  • S1 - Chocolate Brown with Golden Shimmer
  • S2 - Deep Golden Brown with Golden Shimmer
  • S3 - Soft Gold with Gold and Silver Shimmer
  • S4 - Light Tan with Gold and Silver Shimmer
  • S5 - Golden Wheat with Gold Shimmer
  • S6 - Mid-Slate with Silver Shimmer
  • S7 - Rich Grey with Multi-Colour Shimmer
  • M1 - Warm Chocolate Brown
  • M2 - Mid-Tone Brown
  • M3 - Soft Mid-Tone Tan
  • M4 - Creamy Beige
  • M5 - Soft Light Taupe
  • M6 - Ashy Dark Brown
  • M7 - Suede Black
This palette looks gorgeous but for me the shimmer shades don't deliver...the glitter particles in all of them except S4 are quite large and scratchy. I find that the shimmer shades aren't very pigmented and the glitter tends to fall out quite a bit. As for the matte shades these perform better.

The addition of a dual-ended brush is a nice touch to this palette, and for once the brush is actually quite decent in comparison to the usual sponge applicators. The extra additions that came in the box with this palette are a real bonus...a travel size version of Smashbox's Full Exposure mascara and a handy guide on how to apply eyeshadow for you eye shape.

A lot of Boots stores are now selling Smashbox cosmetics so you might be able to pick this up in your local store. Alternatively you can find it on the Boots website here or order direct from Smashbox here for £36.

A skin saviour: Alpha-H Liquid Gold Discovery Collection

22 January 2014

I received this set as a gift for Christmas, so I have been using it for about a month now and I thought it was about time that I shared my thoughts with you.

I've was considering buying the Alpha-H Liquid Gold but when I saw this collection on Cult Beauty I thought that it would be a good opportunity to try out a few of their other products without committing to the full size.

Here's the low-down on the products:

Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera: This is creamy cleanser that removes make-up, including waterproof mascara, cleanses and balances your skin all whilst leaving it super smooth and soft afterwards. It contains Aloe Vera to soothe the skin and Vitamin E to hydrate - A perfect accomplice to the drying Alpha-H. It can be compared to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish that I regularly use so I think I'll be sticking to that- it's cheaper.

Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid: This product has gained a cult following in the beauty world and rightly so, after the first night that I used it my skin looked considerably better. This overnight serum claims to works wonders on fine lines, wrinkles, pores and acne. Whilst I can't comment on the fine lines and wrinkles I definitely noticed an immediate difference in the tone of my skin, active blemishes and scarring. It really is worth the hype.

Liquid Gold Perfecting Daywear: Claims to be skincare and make-up in one...but the make-up claim is pushing it a bit. The bronzing beads just give you a bit of a glow, if you have near-perfect skin then this might conceal those imperfection but this certainly doesn't even give a light coverage. That being said I still love this product as a serum/primer. It is packed with glycolic acid, licorice and hyaluronic acid all which work together to resurface, minimise pores and hydrate and plump the skin. It helps my skin stay shine free for longer through the day I swear! Definitely going to be repurchasing this.

Liquid Gold Intensive Night Repair Serum: This is what I use in place of the cult classic Liquid Gold every other night. The liquid gold is only supposed to be applied every other night so this is a gentler alternative to use on those nights. It is packed with skin-loving ingredients designed to even out skin-tone, increase collagen levels and minimise the appearance of pores. An all round good serum.

Essential Hydration Cream: A simple, classic hydrating moisturiser. This works well with the Liquid Gold as it soothes and repairs the skin. It hydrates, soothes and reduces redness all whilst balancing the skin. This makes it suitable for all skin types from those that are dry and sensitive all the way through to the more oily ones. I'm not sure that I'd repurchase as I've found another, similar  moisturiser that I'm currently to follow soon.

So there you go...if you've been thinking of trying something from Alpha-H check out their collections as I have come across quite a few. This will give you a chance to try out a few of their products and find out what works for you. I've been using these products, some more than others for nearly a month now so they are decent sized products that will last a few weeks so that you can really get a feel of how your skin reacts to them.

This collection, the Liquid Gold Discovery Collection is available from Cult Beauty for £39.95.

Another Beauty from The Body Shop: Honey Bronzing Powder

19 January 2014

I'm a member of The Body Shop's Love Your Body scheme which gives you all kinds of benefits such as 10% off purchases, free gifts throughout the year, and other exclusive offers.

One of the free gifts comes in the form of a £5 voucher to spend in store during the month of your birthday. As my birthday was this month I headed into the store armed with my £5 voucher.

I came out with this gorgeous matte bronzer. The Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder is £13 but as I used my birthday voucher and got the 10% membership discount it only cost £7.20. How gorgeous does this look? The honeycomb pattern makes me not want to use it and ruin it.

What I love about this bronzer is the fact that it is matte which makes it really easy to wear during the day and it is perfect for a natural make up look. The other thing that drew me to this product was that the shades are so subtle, they're not like your typical orange-muddy bronzer, making them perfect for pale-skinned girls. I got the lightest shade, but they do 4 shades all of which are within the same subtle, non-orange shade range.

This type of colour is perfect for a natural sun kissed glow, or for the all important contouring everyone is talking about.

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser update

18 January 2014

As promised in my original post here is an update of how the Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser performs.

My initial thoughts were that it was an 'alright' primer. It seems to do the basic job of smoothing and mattifying the skin and make up seems to last a bit loner than usual when using this. However my opinions have changed after using it for a few weeks for long days at work.

I find that the silicone-rich formula makes some make-up slip and slide off my face instead of making it last longer. Also during busy, sweaty commutes and rushing around London it doesn't hold up well in terms of keeping oil at bay.

After using it for about a week my skin started to break out a bit more than usual. Obviously I can't purely blame this and it could have been something else that I was trying but the Baby Skin Primer did seem to make my skin oilier in general despite the initial mattifying effects  and I can't help but think that the silicone-rich formula was personally bad for my skin.

However if you normally like a silicone formula as a primer and your skin isn't oily then this may be a good, affordable option for you.

Personally though my all time favourite primer is currently The Body Shop's Tea Tree Pore Minimiser which despite being a silicone based formula it feels thicker and has a freshness to it. Being designed for blemish prone skin I don't have to worry about it breaking me out and it really does create a smooth base for foundation with minimised pores.

The Body Shop Sale Haul

16 January 2014

The time has flown by since my last post! London has once again consumed me and I have been busy working and sleeping and more working and sleeping.

One thing that I have had a bit of time for is perusing the January sales online. When an email popped into my inbox saying that there was an extra 30% off sale items at The Body Shop I was on their website within minutes.

I had already bought my beloved Almond Body Butters in the sale a few weeks ago...check out my post here, but when I saw that there was another 30% off them I just couldn't resist stocking up with 2 more! That's how much I love them.

Whilst I was browsing the sale I found a few more items that I wanted to try, and if I spent £20 I would get free delivery so I stocked up on a few more essentials in the sale. For £21 I managed to get 9 items for less than the price of the 2 Body Butters full price.

Here's what I bought:

Almond Body Butter, Was £13, Now £3.50! I couldn't resist this deal. These Body Butters are limited edition and they only seem to come into stores once or twice a year so grab a bargain while you can.

Almond Bath and Shower Gel, Was £4, Now £2.10 I've never actually seen this before in stores so I am exciting to try the shower gel in my all time favourite scent from The Body Shop.

Cranberry Joy Linen, Room and Body Spray, Was £6, Now £2.80 This is from their Christmas range which is why it is reduced, but this Fresh Berry scent doesn't necessarily smell like Christmas so it can be used at any time of the year.

Rainforest Balance Haircare Kit, Was £4, Now £2.10 I always like to have a few miniatures in for weekends away, I have already tried the radiance range for coloured hair and liked them, but I went for the oily hair range this time. My hair tends to get oily and I am hoping that this set will mean I only have to wash my hair once whilst I'm away for a weekend. Did I mention they also contain no silicones or parabens.

White Musk Perfume Oil, Was £4, Now £2.80 White Musk weirdly reminds me of my early teenage years. I think I had a white musk body spray from the Body Shop and I've not smelt it since. When I saw this perfume oil for only £2.80 I had to get reminisce. Perfume oils last longer than other types of fragrance so hours later when I catch the velvety mush scent I am reminded of those times. Another bonus of these perfume oils are that they are alcohol free and perfect for use on sensitive skin.

Coconut Hand Cleanse Gel, Was £2.50, Now £1.75 Another one of my favourite scents from The Body Shop is coconut. I usually carry around a hand sanitiser so having one that doesn't have a strong alcohol smell was appealing. The Body Shop do other scents too, I think that the satsuma one would smell amazing too.

Large Nail File, Was £2.00, Now £1.40 At this point I was just trying to find items to make my basket up to £20 so that I could get the free delivery. I've already got one of these nail files and they do the job. Love the cute mint green colour too.

Ultra Fine Bath Lily, £1.50, Now £1.05  The bath lily that I currently have is starting to unravel and has seen better days. I was just going to buy one of these in Tesco's with the weekly shopping as I normally do, but  this one was on sale and this lovely bright shade of orange I added it to my basket.

Now up to £21 and with free delivery I thought I better stop browsing. There were a few more things that I wanted but I have a £5 off birthday voucher for being a Body Shop Love Your Body Member to use in stores so I would save them for using with the voucher.

Get yourself over to the Body Shop's website now and check out their sale as there are some absolute bargains on there. If you are someone who is super organised then you could buy some of the gift sets for birthday presents throughout the year, and dare I say it...Christmas presents for next year in this sale.

UPDATE: The Body Shop now have 40% off all items, including sale items and free delivery on orders over £5! Grab yourself even more of a bargain than I extra 10% off and you don't have to spend loads to get free delivery.

I've got my hands on the Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

02 January 2014

I went into Boot yesterday, merely just because I was passing. What other excuse do you need? And I happened to stumble across the Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore EraserIt immediately went into my basket as I had been looking for it online but it wasn't available yet. I'm not sure what the official release date of this was but even now its still not available online and I can only link you to the page where you pop in your details so that you can be notified when it is released. If I was you though I'd get on down to my nearest Boots store as chances are you might be able to find one in there right now.

As I wanted to let you all know about this right away I've only actually used it once, but first impressions are good. It is a light, silicone based, colourless gel and goes on smoothly. It has performed well today, in terms of smoothing, mattifying and keeping my foundation in place but I have had a pretty relaxed day as I'm still away for the holidays. Once I get back into the swing of things in London it will be put to the real test- long days, sweaty tubes and generally rushing around London all day. I'll update you on how that goes in a few weeks. 

I bought this for £7.99 at Boots, but I'm not sure if this is the introductory price or the price that it will be all  of the time, but either way its a very affordable primer. 

Like I said currently on the Boots site you can only sign up to a waiting can find this here, or head out to your local Boots to see if they have it now.