Saturday, 30 June 2012

Look Beauty Eye Brightener Pencil | Review

Over the past week I've learned that it is essentially impossible to find a flesh coloured eye liner on the high street. If anyone knows where they are hiding, please comment below!

Of course, the concept behind these is that lining your water line with a black pencil makes them look smaller, so lighter colours open them up and make them look bigger and brighter. A few years ago I attempted to make this look work with a white pencil. Ouch. It didn't look natural in anyway and I quickly gave up.

Recently, I've been searching for one. Failing everywhere I looked, I went to Chanel. I had read that they did a really good one. But my local counter didn't have it. I was doomed.

Then, in Superdrug, as I was about to give up on my quest (and life), I spotted this. There was only one left, and no tester. Looks like people have been grabbing these up. They were also half price and a mere £2. I quickly grabbed it.

It is by Look Beauty, which I have never used before. It is not an area of Superdrug that I gravitate towards. I've not read any reviews about them so have no idea if they are supposed to be good or utter rubbish. They had some interesting-looking products though, so I might have to revisit.

This is called a 'Long-Last Liner.' I don't expect anything to last long on my waterline. But this lasts nicely. But that isn't overly important to me.. you can reapply throughout the day pretty easily, right? I was more concerned about the colour. Thankfully, I've found this to be a really natural colour, perfect for opening up your eyes. It is well-pigmented and creamy, so gets my seal of approval.

It also comes with a smudger on the end. I have no idea what the technical word is for such a device. So a smudger it shall henceforth be called. I will never use this. And I don't think it's very suitable for this type of eyeliner, which is probably just going to be used on the water line. But I can see how this would be useful with darker colours which you might line other parts of your eye with! It definitely saves carrying an extra brush around with you.

Left eye has eyeliner on, right one does not. Can you see a difference?

If you're looking for a flesh coloured eyeliner and like me have so far had a doomed search, check this one out.

Available : Superdrug, £4 (half price at £2 right now)

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Tanning Routine | Mini Reviews

I've always wanted to be a person who manages to stay on top of a routine ensuring that I am always sun-kissed and glowing. This never happens. But lately, I've been better at maintaining my bronzed appearance, so I thought I'd share what I do and the products I use.


Before I tan, I ensure to exfoliate thoroughly. I use Soap & Glory's 'Flake Away' which I am absolutely in love with. It's so thick, and full of so many little.. granules? Beads? Words escape me! Anyway, lots of those. It lasts for ages too. As well as using this before I tan, I try to use it twice more in the week. Patchy tan is not nice. 

Available: Boots, £7
In between exfoliating and getting out of the bath and then applying the tan, I moisturise! Recently I've been using a Burberry Body Lotion from a 'Burberry London' gift set. My theory is that strong smelling lotions will over power the smell of fake tan. This is untrue. I'm also not at all impressed with the lotion as it takes FOREVER to sink in and dry, which annoys me generally in life, but when I'm tanning it infuriates me on a whole new level.
I tan once a week with St Moriz tanning mousse in 'dark.' Doing so in the evening. I'm a super duper pale person and the only reason I opted for dark was because it was the only one in the shop at the time, but now it's the only one I ever reach for. I love St Moriz because it gives a nice colour. It's a dark green brown when you apply it so you know you're going to look more olive-y than tangoed. It also dries quickly and is easy to apply. Plus it's £3, which is more reasonable than St Tropez's £30. I've used St Tropez in the Past and while I've liked it, I get the same effect from St Moriz.

Available: Wilkinsons, £3. In N. Ireland and Scotland it can be found in Semi-Chem for a similar price. also sell it for £2.99
I apply it with a St Moriz mitt which isn't amazing, but does the job. I then stand around for a while, willing it to dry. And it does so, quickly. I then wait a couple of hours and go to bed. When I wake up I am a rather alarmingly.. intense colour. I then hit the shower and the guide colour comes off, leaving me looking more natural-looking.

Available: Wilkinsons, £3

That is my weekly tanning routine which I make few deviations from. One thing I may mix it up with though, it 'Garnier Summer Body.' I honestly think this stuff is pretty much strong enough to use as a one-off tan. If I'm off somewhere and my tan is fading but it's not yet time to top it up, I stick this on the night before. As I said, it is strong, and if you're pale, you will notice this. I've never applied this more than twice in a row because that is enough for me. I have no idea what colour you'd be if you used this stuff everyday. One downside is that it never really dries properly on me. I've found this with all of the Garnier Moisturisers. Sad face.

Available: Boots, Superdrug etc., £7-ish (usually on sale)

So far, I've been able to get away with applying St Moriz to my face. But I'm pretty sure it's going to break me out at some point. In an attempt to possibly curtail this, I do not leave it on my face overnight, but wash it off before I sleep.

I then use Simple's 'Sun kissed' moisturiser. I use this every other day throughout the week.  This gives a really natural-looking tan when used on its own, without the St Moriz. So if you want a face tanner, I say this is a good one to go for. One thing though.. this is supposed to be for sensitive skin, which mine isn't. But this stuff makes me face BURN. I end up looking like a tomato. I don't have that problem with other moisturisers. I probably shouldn't use it?

To ensure I don't end up a splotchy, patchy mess, I use St. Ives Apricot Scrub before I tan, and then 2-3 times a week in between. I cannot even express my love for this product sufficiently. It is like rubbing sand on your face. In a good way.

Apricot Scrub: Boots, Superdrug etc. £3.99
Simple sun-kissed moisturiser: Boots, Superdrug etc. £4.99


If you get dry elbows/knees/any part of the body, this Body Shop Hemp Balm has really helped me to counteract these areas. I try to apply it as often as possibly (twice a day). That way, when it comes to tanning, you aren't going to get bright orange elbows. Unless you like bright orange elbows, in which case, forfeit moisturising them and rock that look!

Available: The Body Shop, £1

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Superdrug Natural High- Radiance Balm | Review

I have no idea why I even bought this. I hadn't heard anything about it before but for some reason when killing time in superdrug, I decided to throw this in my basket.

I have mentioned before how horribly dry my skin is. As a result, I am always looking for ways to make it look like my skin isn't a similar texture to dry, dry sand. So I was pleased to discover that this product gives my skin a really dewy finish which I am in love with.

What it says:

"Naturally high in...
Organic Olive Oil
Smoothes, softens and tones
Witch Hazel
A smoothing anti-inflammatory
Nourishes and tones to improve radiance
Dermatologically tested
Contains light reflective particles to give an instant, illuminating lift to skin, leaving it soft, smooth and radiant"
It all sounds very good. And if you're like me and think "AAAH GLITTER!!" when you hear the term 'light reflecting particles'.. don't worry, there is no glitter in this product. At least not any that is visible to me in daylight, with my glasses on!

I find that this works great on its own or under makeup. It gives a gorgeous dewy glow to the skin and leaves it feeling velvety and smooth. I generally use this as a primer-esque product. I find that it just makes me skin more glowing and 'shines through' my makeup.

I haven't seen any extra benefits to my skin, but I definitely think that the name 'Radiance Balm' is accurate. I'm not claiming that I look in the mirror and say "My, aren't you looking radiant today!" But I definitely look a little more radiant than my usual dull self..

It also has what I find to be a pleasant smell. It isn't overpowering and because I seem to be completely incompetent, I can't really describe it. But if you've tried any other products from the Superdrug Natural high range, it smells like they all do.

According to the packaging for an 'extra treat' you can apply this in a thick layer over your skin and leave it on. I'm afraid to say that I haven't actually tried this. I probably should have before reviewing it on here. But I am happy with the one use I have for it.. making my skin look glowy and turning me into a radiant person!

Would you want to try this product or do you get your dewiness in other ways? Or maybe you don't even like the dewy look, in which case, this probably isn't a product you want to start using (in fact, I apologise to you for having to read this post).

£4.99 at Superdrug

Monday, 18 June 2012

Primark 'Ooh La La' Nail Foils | Review


I love it when a product I underestimated surprises me. Equally, I hate it when an item lets me down after I expected it to be amazing. Luckily, these foils fall into the first category.

I picked these up for a measly £1 when I saw them in the queue. This is where I do my most impulsive purchases in Primark. My eye catches something "Oh My God! That's only a pound?" GRAB. This has been my downfall in the past (some terrible nail polishes I won't even talk about further because they make me shudder) but occasionally I'm on to a winner. Like with these!
Disclaimer: I don't actually like the nail foil thing, especially now that it's summer. I like my pinks, pastels, mints. Not dark foils. But when in Rome,  eh. And by Rome I mean Primark.. buying things I don't really want.

So, on to the actual product. I've never used nail foils before so I can't compare them. How useless am I? But other brands seem to be quite expensive. And maybe I'm completely wrong here, but I can't see how the quality of expensive brands could really be much higher. They're just bits of papery stuff you stick on your nails? But as I said, I haven't tried them.
Application: Very straightforward.  I did cut my nails really short before applying them because for some reason I thought it might be easier? I was also getting bored of long nails. I simply "rubbed" the foil for 30 seconds or so, peeled it off and applied it to my nail. I then pressed down firmly on it to ensure it would stick. To tidy it up a little bit, I went over it a couple of times with a cuticle pusher so that it was flat and bubble-free. I then took a nail file to tidy up the ends. They didn't all come out perfect, but unless you had my nails right under your nose to scrutinize, they looked fine.
An hour or two after application
Wear: One nail did chip a little after a couple of hours but the other remained good. It was all going well for a day or two.. until I took a bath. When I was in the bath (didn't think I'd ever blog a sentence beginning like that) I noticed that a layer of what seemed like some sort of film had come off of one of the nails. From there it was all done hill. Once this layer of film had come off, the foils seemed like they were just paper and started breaking away.

For some reason I was expecting them to peel off, but they didn't do that at al. Instead they sort of rubbed off and eventually it was easy to scratch them off with my other nails.

After five days.. they started to go paper and disintegrate

I think these foils would be really great for a night out. Personally I like to do my nails at least a day before I go out because I like to wait a couple of hours between coats and it's just easier. But with these, you have to apply on to bare nails, so there is pretty much no preparation, except for removing what ever you have on them already. I'm pretty sure they would at least last a whole night out, and probably a couple of days afterwards.

I probably won't be trying out the more expensive brands, because these seem to work fine. I wish they'd bring them out in more exciting patterns, but they were only £1 so I can live with it.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Garnier Pure Active Exfo-Brusher Wash | Review

I reached for this for the billionth or so time yesterday and realised that I have to post about it.

The concept of it is a little strange. It is a cleanser with a brush attached to it. It's a similar concept to something like YSL's Touche  Éclat, where you pump the product into a brush and then apply it. It's not like Touche  Éclat at all though, of course. The cleanser and brush combination means that it is an exfoliator, as it gets deeper into your pores than a cleanser would.

Some people might find the brush concept a little unhygienic, but I haven't found any problems with it reacting badly on my skin. I imagine that as it's being covered with cleanser a couple of times of week, that it wouldn't become contaminated with bacteria? If you really hate the idea of the brush though, you can use it as a foaming cleanser with your hands.

I bought it at the end of last year so it's been in my life for about six months now, and I've barely used up any of the product inside. I don't understand. I've been using it at least two to three times a week for half a year, and it's still three quarters full. So for that alone, it's great value for money.

Other than its miraculous qualities of never being used up, I've also found it to be beneficial to my skin..which is probably a more important aspect of a skincare product.

After using this, my skin feels so soft and smooth that I cannot stop touching it. This in itself is not a good thing. Continually touching your face with your hands is considered a big no no. So maybe this product is actually harming my skin by making it feel so soft that I cannot stop "stroking" it? But it feels so good!

Now this next comment might seem a bit 'out there' but I'm just going to go with it for a bit.. In comparison to using the clarisonic, my skin feels a lot smoother after using this. I'm not saying this product is the equivalent of the clarisonic, or does the same job, but this definitely leaves my skin feeling distinctly smoother and fresher. (side note: I don't actually own the clarisonic anymore and was only using it for about four weeks when I did)

The packaging says that it 'helps reduce shine' which initially put me off buying it because, to me, that sounded like something oily skin would benefit from. My skin on the other hand, tries to pretend it's the Sahara desert, so I need all the moisture I can get. Fear not though fellow dry skin wearers, this does not dry my skin out. I cannot say that it won't for you either, but I wasn't completely joking with the Sahara comment, my skin is seriously one of the driest places on earth, so it shouldn't dry yours out either. As for you oily people, I'm afraid I cannot comment on how this would work for you.

This product did not break me out, which is great, so I can only say positive things about it. My skin wasn't in a bad state before I started using it, so I'm not going to claim that it has worked miracles on but it always feels smoother, cleaner and fresher after I use this. I've also noticed that any blackheads are minimised after I use it, but I don't think this is a long-term solution for the little blighters.

The official instructions for use

A lot of reviews I've seen for this complain about how difficult this is to use. Luckily I saw these reviews before I used mine so I worked out a good way of using it:

-First I wet the brush, this helps it lather up more when the product is on it
-Twist the lid so that the product is able to be released
-Then I tip the bottle, but not so that it's upside down, and squeeze gently, this releases some of the product onto the brush head
-I then put it to my face and worked it in circular motions
-I don't press too hard as I think the will squish the little rubber bristles and mean that it won't work properly
-I do this until it's all lathered up on my face and rinse

The top twists 90 degrees and locks back again in place,
so you don't accidentally waste any product
A good angle for squeezing..

If you haven't tried this product and are looking for some new skincare then I'd really recommend this. The application seems a bit gimmicky but it's a product I'd definitely repurchase- although I'm not sure I'll have to as I don't think it's ever going to run out.

Available from Boots, Superdrug etc. for £7.99

(I have written so many long-winded posts recently and am making a conscious effort to minimise this in future.. if you read all of this then congratulations)

Monday, 11 June 2012

Barry M 'Touch of Magic' Lip Paint | Review

This isn't a new product, but when I bought it about three months ago, I hadn't heard loads about it.

It's one of those lipsticks which apparently "adapt" to the colour of your skin. I don't know of this is true. It seems to come out a similar shade of pink on everyone.
What I love most about this lipstick is the hideous green colour it is in the bullet. It reminds me of the green ketchup you used to get. It just looks wrong. I always like pulling it out before I put it on to see people's reaction. It's usually one of bewilderment or just plain disgust.
Photographed on hand immediately after application
Photographed ten minutes after application
This thing is a true stain. Good luck getting it off your lips, because once it's on there, it doesn't want to budge. If you're like me and struggle to keep a lipstick on your lips, this will be perfect for you. It's probably good to use this with a careful hand, because if you end up going crazy and getting it everywhere, you might look like a clown for the rest of day, or have a lot of scrubbing with some makeup remover ahead of you. Because it's a stain though, you're not going to be needing to reapply in a hurry throughout the day, one application in the morning should see you through.

I find that the colour grows in intensity over time. Immediately after applying the colour does not appear to be that strong, but when you check it again five minutes later, it is a lot brighter and more vivid. I don't know if this is a good thing or not as generally I like to see the finished result of a makeup product after I've applied it.

Perhaps because of this, the application can sometimes end up a bit splotchy and uneven.
This is far from a natural colour, but when you're wearing it, it doesn't look like there's anything on your lips. Your lips just appear to be naturally bright pink..

I personally love the colour and think it's the perfect shade and formulation for summer. I personally hate wearing thick heavy lipsticks when it's hot outside, but with this you feel like there's nothing on your lips, and you won't need to reapply throughout the day.

Available from Boots and Superdrug for £4.49

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Sleek Rose Gold Blush & Contour Kit | First Impressions

Just a quick post from me to share two things that I finally got my hands on today. I mentioned in a blog post here that I've been searching for Sleek's Rose Gold blush for months now. Every time I'm in town I always check Superdrug in the vain hope that it will be there, it never is. For some reason I can't find it on the Superdrug website and it always seemed to be sold out on Sleek's website (I just checked now and it's actually available).

I'd considered getting the blush palette in 'Lace' which has 'Guipere' in it, which seems to be very similar. No Superdrug I've been in (three) has sold these and I've never gotten around to ordering it online- I just checked the Sleek website and it's actually sold out.

I was so sick of not being able to find it that I'd even wondered if they'd let me just buy the tester of 'Rose Gold' in Superdrug..

I think someone else may have just got fed up of it always being out of stock, as the tester was missing when I went in today. However, in the 'Rose Gold' section there was a blush! I didn't get my hopes up as I thought someone might have left a different one in its place. But no, it was the real deal. It was also the only one left!

I then checked the contour section, my shade 'light' is always sold out wherever I look. But today they had one in stock. So I grabbed it. I never even really wanted it that much, but when I could never find it for months on end, I decided needed it. Ha! Well, I thought I should probably just grab it in case I can never find it again. I felt like fate was on my side today, and I didn't want to disappoint fate by rejecting what it had given me. GOOD GRIEF, the absolute crap I will tell myself to justify buying something!!

Now, here are my photos of my lovely new purchases and a couple of swatches. I won't go in depth about the products, but you can read a great review of 'Rose Gold' with a compairson to 'NARS Orgasm' here and the contour kit here if you wish!

They both seem like nice products. They are not chalky, have great pigmentation and are very nice colours. I honestly do not need another bronzer or highlighter, but I think they might double up nicely as eyeshadows.. again, just justifying buying unnecessary beauty products.

So, if you've been searching high and low either of these products like I have, now might be the time to look.. again!