Sunday, 24 May 2015

What did we do before Real Techniques?

Just taking a moment here to appreciate Real Techniques. Sam, Nic... big up ya bad selves! I own a lot of RT brushes, use at least one (okay five) every day but for some reason, haven't given them the air time they deserve. What did we do before Real Techniques? At that price point any price point, you'll be hard pushed to find a better brush brand. The quality, design, results... they're faultless. Who doesn't have an RT in their stash?

If there's one area not quite serviced in my brush stash, it's a highlighting brush. I tend to either use a blush brush or my Real Techniques Contour Brush, but if I've just been contouring with it, it can look a bit muddy... and a muddy highlight is no highlight at all! So my plan was to get the RT Setting brush £6.99 and make it a designated highlight brush, but this week Superdrug were flogging the three piece sculpting set, which includes the setting brush plus two bonus brushes, for just £12.99 (normally £20.99). The set contains;

The Sculpting Brush - The softness of this brush, you have to feel it to believe it! Medium sized brush head cut to an angle that perfect fits into the contours of the face. Soft but firm bristles that can be used for both liquid and powder contouring.

The Fan Brush - a super soft, small fan brush that softly sweeps on powders and whisks away any excess makeup for an even finish.

The Setting Brush- small and perfectly domed - perfect for a controlled dusting of powder or highlighter.

Like i said, what did we do before Real Techniques? Oh yeah, I remember... we applied badly. This set contains everything you need to effortlessly and seamlessly highlight and contour. Ultra high quality synthetic (cruelty free) bristles for pixel perfect results every time. Chapman sisters, I WORSHIP YOU!

Sadly the shamazing Superdrug offer has expired but you can pick the same set up on eBay for £13.95.


Friday, 22 May 2015

I've been using a new Cleanser... and it's not Liz Earle

Ssssshh! Don’t tell Liz, but I’ve been cheating on her. You know I’m a big devotee of Cleanse & Polish, but when I got the opportunity to try the winner of the “best natural cleanser” accolade at the Natural Health Beauty Awards, I strayed. As much as I love the whole Cleanse & Polish experience, sometimes I don’t have the time for a mini facial – especially on a work morning when I’ve hit the snooze button one too many times. Cue Ole Henriksen African Red Tea foaming cleanser* for a quick fix…

This luxurious foaming cleanser is enriched with anti-aging botanical extracts including antioxidant-rich African red tea and Vitamin C – so it smells divine – fresh and citrusy and is very refreshing. Ideal in the mornings when you need a little help waking up. One pump works up a good ol’ lather (despite containing zero sulfates – yeah) and serves the whole face. It’s strong enough to remove makeup, but gentle enough for even the most sensitive skins. My skin it pretty normal these days – not overly dry, not oily. I give Liz props for that! I worry that using other products will mess with the status quo, but this one actually has a very balancing effect. It leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean. Not tight but glowing. 

You know what, sometimes it’s good to mix it up. For me this one’s great for the summer months when my skin is less dry and in need of something a little less rich. It’s also fab in the morning – pump and go with a refreshing citrus tang.

This 45ml bottle costs just £6, a great way to test the water, the full size 207ml bottle retails for £26. Check out Debenham's current promotion - buy two Ole Henriksen products and receive this cleanser FREE


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Pop of Passion Lip Oil Balms – Slicker Than Your Average

Thought the whole lip-stick-lip-balm thang had been done? You aint seen nothing yet. The new Pop of Passion Lip Oil Balm from bareMinerals are slicker, glossier and more pigmented than your average tinted balm.

What’s different about Pop of Passion Lip Oil Balms? The clue’s in the title… they’re oil based. Making them decadent, rich, nourishing and lusciously glossy. The whole range encompasses 8 neutral to glossy shades, I’ve got Pink Passion* and Rose Passion*, but I’m already eyeing up Peach Passion, Plumbery Pop, Nude Passion... you get the jist!

Pink Pop Passion – A youthful pink. A real summer (and face) brightener.
Rose Passion  – a deep dusky blush shade.

Application 9/10

Super easy, smooth, slick application… and because they’re sheer, no need for a mirror.

Pigmentation 8/10

A sheer wash of vibrant colour that can easily be built up to more intense stain.


Melts into the lips for an effortlessly smooth feel. In no way sticky, tacky or even balmy and remains very hydrating.

Finish 8/10 

Enriched with Jojoba and sunflower oils, they provides a natural, high gloss finish that lasts.

Longevity 9/10 

Much more long-lasting than your average tinted lip balm! The wear time has blown me away and even when the shine does eventually fade it leaves behind a pretty stain of colour that lasts, and lasts.

Overall , it's a big thumbs up! I’m pleased to say they're not just another tinted lip balm. Decadent, nourishing and delivers luscious colour that looks as good as it feels. An easy wearing, low maintenance lipstick that lets you rock a bright pop of colour without being too in-yer-face. If you're a bit of a lipstick phobe... this is for you!

Available in the UK from June RRP £16... watch this space!


Saturday, 16 May 2015

Big Bumper Beauty Favourites

The I haven't done a favourites for absolutely ages favourites. I really admire bloggers that muster up favourites post every month. I mean to, but I'm just not that disciplined. Here's a collection of my latest loves and can't-be-withouts...

bareMinerals Smoothing Face Brush £24 here

Come to mama! I saw this brush at the Complexsion Rescue launch and couldn't take my hands off it. Seriously the girls had to watch me in case it accidentally (on purpose) fell in my handbag. It's become my does-it-all brush over the last few weeks - great for foundation, concealer, cream blush, liquid bronze. Okay, it clearly deserves its own post so I'll not say much else... Except I didn't steal it. I bought it legitimately.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Rose & Lavender (Available in the Cleanse & Polish trio) 

So they took my favourite cleanser and made it even more yummy! To my knowledge Liz has only made 3 Limited Edition cleansers... And this was the only one I hadn't laid my hands on so when it was relaunched to celebrate Liz Earle's 20th anniversary I had to try it. It's every bit as good as the traditional cleanser (full review here) but it has amazingly intoxicating lavender and rose aromas. Perfect in be evening or in the bath when you've got time to breathe the goodness in... And relax! It's such a shame this is limited edition.

Gillette Venus Snap Portable Razor £9.99 3 for 2 Boots

This is genius! A bit like suitcases on wheels, I wonder why it took so long to invent this? A full size Venus head on a short handled razor, all contained in diddy little case... Perfect for travelling. No more reaching into my toiletry bag and getting a nasty scratch.

Nails Inc The New White £14 here

Sick of me going on about these yet? But they have pretty much been on rotation on my nails for the last two months. Soft, white based polishes with pretty pastel tints... perfectly summery!

bareMinerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener £22 here

bareMinerals you're killing me! My new go-to does-it-all concealer. Makes for a beautiful, air brushed like complexion, full review here.

Benefit Curl Power £19.50 here

Bin the eyelash curlers because this one does it all. It curls, it lifts, it lengthens and it boosts. I'm still a huge fan of They're Real, but there are times when I don't want all out volume. This one's my go-to when I want sexy, glossy, curves. Review here

La Roche Posey £4.50 each, 3 for 2 Boots here

A damn good hand cream for a damn good price! I picked this up in Paris (remember my City Pharma Haul) and it's since gained a coveted position on my bed-side table. I slather this one every night, it's light-weight, fast absorbing, non-greasy and extremely moisturising.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz £15.50 here

Confession time, I've been holding out on you. This has more or less replaced dipbrow as my brow go-to and I forgot to tell you... sorry. It's an ultra fine, twisty up brow pencil that mimics natural brow hair and fills in the sparse patches. Fuss free and super quick - it's shaved minutes of my morning routine. 

Okay, so now I've remembered why I don't do a monthly favourites... IT TAKES SO LONG! Hope you've seen some products you like? Let me know what you've been loving lately.


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Does it all Concealer & Highlighter

It's not often I get excited about concealer. As far as make up goes, it' one of the least glamorous pieces - functional, yes, exciting, not-so-much! But that was before I discovered Stroke of Light Eye Brightener...

I'm kinda crushing on bareMinerals right now. Ever since I went along to a live demo and subsequent make over I've made all kinds of new discoveries from a brand I've previously overlooked. One of the most stand out products so far is Stroke of Light Eye Brightener £22. This one really does do it all. Conceals dark circles, hides imperfections, highlights skin and even covers blemishes. It's amazing under the eye, seriously improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and the best thing is, it doesn't sit in them. The texture is so dreamy, it's creamy but not thick or cakey. It feels lightweight but packs decent coverage and doesn't set or dry out, which is so important to me. People rave about Nars creamy concealer, but for me, that one does set and dries a little... especially under the eye area. The eye area is so delicate and sacred, you have to use a concealer you can trust and that's the best thing about bareMinerals... It's doing good whilst it's looking good! It's also an amazing highlighter if you're doing the full contour/highlight (apparently Kim K is a fan). It catches the light wonderfully and has a magic blurring effect, air brushing imperfections for a flawless finish. It's so good, I'm happy to forgo foundation and just use this (as per the pic above) when I need just to hide the imperfections and go.

Stroke of Light comes in four shades, i'm wearing Luminous 02 which has a light yellow undertone making it the ideal antidote for blue/purple toned eye bags. It's similar to MAC Prep & Prime Highlighter, one of my all time fave highlighters, but this is less yellow and slightly thicker and more creamy, lending itself as a concealer and highlighter.

Stroke of Light Eye Brightener £22 Luminous, light reflecting and blends to perfection! What's your favourite concealer/highlighter?

*p.s. excuse the brows... this was pre-wax.


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Bold Is Beautiful - Brow Raising Money For Charity

You know my motto - It's all about the brows! I don't say that lightly, I really am brow obsessed. I don't care what the rest of me looks like as long as my brows are on point/on fleek/brow game strong (or whatever the kids say these days). Understandably the thought of someones else touching le brows makes me very nervous and that's why I normally do them myself.  However, I've been on a major grow back mission since Christmas. I've been using a RapidBrow (pssst. IT WORKS, more on that soon I promise), imposed a tweezer ban and basically ended up looking like Sandy Cohen's love child. No bad thing, but I wanted to get a bit of shape back in there, and along comes #BoldisBeautiful

The Bold Is Beautiful project is Benefit's latest endeavour (remember Brow March) to raise money for women and girls. Throughout the month of May Benefit will donate 100% of the profits from brow waxes to two very worthwhile charities - Refuge, empowering women and children who experience domestic violence and Look Good Feel Better, helping women and teenagers with the visible side-effects of cancer treatment. Pop along to your nearest brow bar for a Benefit brow-over, as well as supporting the charities, you'll also be rewarded with an amazing freebie - a full size Gimme Brow worth £18.50 (see my review here).

So, I womaned up and went along for my brow wax at my local Boots. Not to over dramatise things but I'd had a negative experience with a Benefit's Brow Bar in the past (I was scalped, it wasn't pretty) and was slightly nervous letting them loose on my arches again. But they did a brilliant job - I'm so happy with the results. I told the girl I didn't want to lose much of the thickness, I just needed some help with the shape. She waxed away the wild stragglers - I wasn't joking about the tweezer ban, and set about putting in some shape. She took my arches higher, adding a slight point and trimmed the bushy bulbous. I have really thick, course hairs with massive roots so I get pretty red and sore afterwards. Last time around I also got some nasty pimples so I decided to forgoe concealer and just have a little aloe vera gel. It meant I had to walk home with a very red face but it did the job and my skin's healed quickly. It's amazing the effect brows have on the face. This re-shaped has been like a mini face lift for me - I'm so pleased I took advantage of the Bold is Beautiful campaign - who knew your arches could support women and children!

#BoldIsBeautiful Have you been for yours?

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