Friday, 17 April 2015

Sponsored Video: NIVEA Sensitive 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water


Nivea-Sensitive-Micellar-Water-Cleanser  
My friends are probably fed up listening to me bore on about cleansing, but paying more attention to this skincare step has had a more positive impact on my skin than many others I’ve tried. While balms, oils and flannels are at the core of my regime, 9/10 days, micellar water is involved - for initial makeup removal before I cleanse my skin or eye makeup removal on a cotton pad. The latter is mostly about #SavetheFlannel!

Lately I’ve been using NIVEA Sensitive 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water - part of NIVEA’s Daily Essentials Sensitive range, designed to help reduce redness, tightness and dryness - all of which I suffer from. I picked this up in Boots for less than £2 (on offer from £3.69), significantly less than the £10+ I usually spend on micellars.

It contains Provitamin B5 to help skin retain moisture and support surface skin cell regeneration, while Natural Grape seed oil helps reduce tightness and dryness. As the name suggests, Nivea Sensitive 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water may be used on sensitive skins - and doesn't contain perfumes, parabens or colourants. It removes most makeup easily, leaving my skin comfortable.

Nivea invited some of the top UK beauty vloggers (Lily Melrose, Patricia Bright, Kaushal, and Alix from I Covet Thee) to test it out and share their opinions about the product on You Tube, which you can click to view below.




Find out about the NIVEA Daily Essentials Sensitive range on Nivea’s website or follow them on Facebook / Twitter
 


This post was sponsored by Nivea. All thoughts are my own.


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

BD Trade Secrets: Budget Beauty Picks

Best-of-Tesco-BD-Beauty-review

As someone who mostly shops online, I was late to discover Tesco’s new look beauty halls and may have audibly gasped when I stumbled across one in Belfast (Knocknagoney). I’d just popped in for cotton wool pads and deodorant, yet there in front of me were rows of shiny beauty stands that wouldn’t look out of place in Boots or a department store.

I’ve since been trying out some of Tesco’s Barbara Daly line, now revamped as BD Trade Secrets. I dabbled in these products when I first got into beauty, about a gazillion years ago, but in recent months it’s re-launched with a new look, name and formula - some wrapped up in more glamorous packaging than I remember. Originally launched with makeup artist, Barbara Daly (in 1998, wow), the new improved collection was created with another MUA, Abby Ireland.  

Tesco-BD-Beauty-Dreamshine-swatch

My personal favourites are the Dream Shine Highlighter, Pure Matte Lip Melt in Independent and lipliner pencil in Sugar & Spice - swatched above in this order. Dream Shine, £7.99 (as seen in my March Favourites) comes in a pretty gold tube with a pump applicator and is a shimmery cool beige, pearly cream that works well on my complexion. I’ve shown it swatched heavily to give you an idea of the colour, then lightly next to that.

Pure Matte Lip Melt, £5.99 seriously impressed me and looks stunning on (I thought I had a pic of it on my lips but can’t find it for love nor money - if you’d like to see it leave a comment below & I’ll share one on Twitter or Instagram). Likewise, the lipliner pencil, £2.99 is soft, creamy and really well pigmented… the colour is more nude and less brown than it looks here, the perfect natural nude shade that I’ve been reaching for a lot.

The full line up photographed at the top includes Va Va Boom mascara with an arched wand which scared the life out of me but actually applies very well; Light-Effects concealer highlighting pen in #2 (too dark for me) and Flawless Primer (which I discovered softens fine lines when a little is gently patted over makeup or on bare skin).

While luxury makeup will always be my favourite, budget brands are absolutely catching up and I’m repeatedly impressed with the quality of some, so expect to see more scattered among my posts soon. And next time you’re in Tesco, check out BD Trade Secrets and let me know what you think - or have a look online here. (PS a little bird told me the products are made in the same factory as Charlotte Tilbury makeup - interesting!).

 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Hylamide SubQ Advanced Serum: Eyes & Anti-Age

Hylamide-SubQ-Anti-Age-Eyes-Advanced-Serum 

Remember how I raved about Deciem Hand Chemistry in this post and told you I was so impressed that I was considering using the products on my face? It happened. But the good news is that Deciem has gone one better and released new skincare products specifically for the face. Hylamide SubQ Advanced Serums launched in Boots today, promising results in 5-10 days - and having tried them out for two weeks I am happy (& slightly stunned) to concur that this claim is spot on.

There’s more coming soon (look out for a Booster Series in Summer), but the first two products to be released are Hylamide SubQ Advanced Serums - one for the Eyes and one for the face called Anti-Age. If you’re not familiar with Deciem, it was set up by the founder of Indeed Labs, Brandon Truaxe, and was Boots fastest-selling new brand launch, going on to win multiple awards.

Brandon made a very good point about skincare ingredients which really resonated with me: ‘While ingredients are truly important, a world-class chef and I can make a dish from the exact same ingredients with very different results (mine will be better!)… formulation absolutely matters.’

I have spent a lot of time researching the science behind these products, which I won’t go into now, but you can read for yourself here if you wish. To summarise, Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum is for ‘multi-depth rehydration and visible reduction in lines and irregularities’, while SubQ Eyes is for ‘immediate and longer-term visible correction of under-eye ageing, puffiness and dark circles.’

What’s different about these products is that they have been designed to penetrate skin at an effective level, unlike many others which contain molecules too large to penetrate the skin, or so small that they literally slip through without effect. Hylamide is formulated to target the 3 important skin layers and subcutaneous layers at once. 

Whoops, I said I wouldn’t go into the science but I’m so intrigued by all of this, not least because of the results I’ve seen on my own skin. You know how much skincare I test and that it takes a lot to impress me, but this really has - and I’m particularly pleased that the mid price point is so reasonable - neither cheap or extortionate.

Hylamide-SubQ-Anti-Age-Eyes-Advanced-Serum-blog-review 

Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age is a clear, lightweight serum that sinks in immediately, leaving my skin feeling hydrated and looking glowy. It has minimal scent and leaves no tacky residue.

Hylamide SubQ Eyes is a slightly more dense, milky serum, which also sinks in quickly and has a subtle tingly sensation (not at all uncomfortable). My only niggle about this one is that product collects a bit around the mouth of the bottle, as you may be able to see under the edges of the cap in my pic above; a minor thing that doesn’t interfere with product performance - I’m just flagging it.

Both operate with a pipette, making them extremely hygienic and easy to use. I purposely haven’t changed anything else in my skincare regime since using these, so that I can measure their effects accurately. Not having mentioned any of this, I visited my (skin and skincare obsessed) sister, who asked what on earth I’d been using as my skin looked so well and so smooth (she also said she couldn’t see a single line, but I took that bit with a pinch of salt!). 

The main changes I’ve noticed are that my skin looks brighter and my pores seem smaller. This is physically impossible, I know, as pores can not shrink, but they’re less visible. Fact. A temporary effect of the product I imagine, but one that I think most of us would embrace!

Enough raving? I think so.

Hylamide SubQ launches in Boots today: SubQ Eyes, £23 | SubQ Anti-Age, £30

Monday, 13 April 2015

Benefit Dew the Hoola: Review & Swatches

Benefit-Do-The-Hoola-set-QVCBenefit-Dew-the-Hoola-review

Meet Benefit Dew the Hoola, a liquid version of the top selling Hoola bronzing powder. This doesn’t launch until 2016, but Hoola fans can get their hands on it now as part of a QVC UK exclusive. Dew the Hoola is a matte, sheer liquid bronzer that can be worn alone, over foundation or layered under Hoola bronzing powder. Perfect for anyone who wants to warm up their complexion in a really natural looking way, the matte finish will be a big selling point, just as it is with Hoola bronzer.

 

DO THE HOOLA BEYOND BRONZE KIT

 Benefit-Do-the-Hoola-set-contents-QVC 

Dew the Hoola is one of 5 luxe sized Benefit minis, part of QVC’s Do the Hoola Beyond Bronze Kit. Pictured above from left, these include Hoola Ultra Plush Gloss, They’re Real Mascara, Benebalm, Hoola Bronzer with a dinky brush and star of the show, Dew the Hoola.

 

SWATCHES

Benefit-Dew-the-Hoola-swatch-swatches-colour-blog-reviewBenefit-Dew-the-Hoola-swatch-swatched-on-skin

Benefit Dew the Hoola - before & after

As you can see, the finish is completely matte and sheer - a wash of sunkissed colour that blends easily and is pretty much undetectable on the skin. My swatch shows one light layer of product, which can be built up a little for a slightly deeper colour, though I prefer to add depth with the Hoola bronzing powder. The difference looks quite subtle in these pics and is more obvious in real life, though still natural looking and I think this will work well on light to medium skins. In terms of colour, you can see from the blob of product that the tone is quite golden, slightly warmer than that of the bronzing powder, which is one of the most cool toned I’ve tried.

I have been wearing Dew the Hoola across my cheekbones and temples, just as I would bronzer, but imagine I’ll get most use out of it as a wash of colour all over my face (where I don’t tan) in Summer. It’s easy to apply either with fingers or a brush, though I prefer to do so with a stippling brush.

If you fancy trying Benefit Dew the Hoola before it launches next year, you can pick up QVC’s Do the Hoola Beyond Bronze Kit now for an introductory price of £23.16 here (it will be £25.50).

 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

YSL Touche Éclat Blur Primer & Beauty Confidential

YSL-Blur-Primer-Review  

I’ve reached an age when a bit of a blur is a beautiful thing. Add a little sparkle to the mix and suddenly ‘blurring’ seems positively glamorous! As a long term fan of YSL base products (Touche Éclat foundation is a personal favourite; the highlighting pen not so much), I couldn’t wait to try the new YSL Touche Éclat Blur Primer. As the name suggests, this is designed to blur pores and fine lines, even skin tone and prime skin for makeup, helping it last longer. Here’s how I got on…

YSL-Blur-Primer-glitter-photo-pic

THE SPARKLES: These sparkles will put some people off and - I imagine - draw even more in. They appealed to me but I was also a bit nervous about looking like a glitter ball. Like all of the Touche Éclat range, this product is about boosting radiance - and while the sparkles play some part in that, their effect on the skin is much more subtle than I had expected. If I look very closely, I can catch the odd twinkle, but since most people (thankfully) won’t be looking at me via a magnifying mirror, this isn’t an issue. With the addition of foundation, the effect is even more subtle.

PRODUCT PERFORMANCE: Touche Éclat Blur Primer does minimise the appearance of pores on my skin and gives a slightly smoother overall look. Personally I would only use this under foundation, which I find applies more evenly on top - and definitely has better lasting power. I only need half of my usual single pump of product (I’m still using Clarins True Radiance), which I guess helps justify the price of this product. It doesn’t ‘set’ like some primers, but moves slightly when foundation is applied on top. This doesn’t affect its performance and I didn’t experience any balling, with those annoying flaky white bits that some primers can produce, just a lovely silky finish.

SWATCHES

YSL-Blur-Primer-swatch

You can see the fine sparkles suspended in the primer - this is a single pump of product, more than enough for my entire face (half a pump is actually enough).

YSL-Blur-Primer-applied-on-skin

The sun did come out between these two shots; annoying as it changes the light, but on the plus side this highlights how subtle the sparkle looks on my skin. It is there, but I honestly barely notice it under foundation. I think you can also see that there is an overall more radiant finish to my skin in this shot. For me, the performance is what really matters - and I’m very impressed by that.

If you’re thinking of investing in YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer, now is a good time as it’s included in House of Fraser’s Beauty Confidential offer. This means you can get £10 off 30 top sellers at House of Fraser when you buy any other beauty product until 17 April 2015.

YSL Touche Éclat Blur Primer, £29.50 (or £19 as part of Beauty Confidential). You can see all 30 products included in the offer here.

Monday, 6 April 2015

My Top 3 Perfumes

Narciso-Philosykos-Blackberry Bay-blog-review

My taste in perfume has changed quite a lot over the years - and while I don’t dislike any of those that I once wore, I’m now drawn to a completely different type of scent. I once had two distinct types: rich, leathery orientals like Jo Malone Dark Ginger and Amber Lily or D&G (Red); and skin scents, like Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Liquid Nude or Laura Mercier Fresh Fig (there are LOTS more, but we could be here all day).

Fresher, brighter fragrances seem to be my thing these days and while I always love to try new ones, I can’t resist the allure of Diptyque Philosykos, Narciso Rodriguez ‘Narciso’, and Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay. Here’s why…

 

DIPTYQUE PHILOSYKOS

Diptyque-Philosykos-review

If I could only wear one perfume forevermore, Diptyque Philosykos would be it. I’ve known this perfume for many years as my sister and close friend both wore it and obsessed over it, but I didn’t get it until I bought my own. Even then it wasn’t instant love… at first I liked it, but soon grew to love it. Philosykos is a fig based scent and to my nose, is juicy-sweet, woody and fresh in equal parts. Uplifting, calming and invigorating all at once… how can that even be possible? 18months on, it’s love at every single spritz and I can’t imagine ever tiring of it. FYI that’s a long-term perfume relationship for me as I’m very fickle, get bored with/ go off scents easily and usually love to switch them up a lot. I’m curious to try another Diptyque scent now and have lost so much time sniffing them in the corner of Space NK, so would love any recs you might have.

Diptyque Philosykos £58 (NB mine is in the old bottle shape - new one is even prettier)

 

JO MALONE BLACKBERRY & BAY

Jo-Malone-Blackberry Bay-review

Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay is not a million miles from Philosykos. It’s less sweet and skin-like, but has that uber authentic outdoor air about it that I love. The bay comes through strongly at first - in a gorgeous herbal hit that’s unlike anything else I’ve tried. I chose this for a Christmas gift and have just noticed that I’m halfway through the *bottle; seriously regretting that I didn’t get the larger size at the time (I did choose to get the smaller one AND a coat instead so really not complaining!). The blackberry notes contrast beautifully with the bay and this is a feel-good perfume that evokes  a sense of freedom and memories of countryside walks.

(*I photographed these in Feb, it really is half empty now!)

Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay £40

 

NARCISO RODRIGUEZ NARCISO EAU DE PARFUM

Narciso-Rodriguez-Narciso-White

I’m a huge fan of Narciso Rodriguez scents for both men and women - and hoped I’d love Narciso Eau de Parfum as soon as I saw pics of the bottle online. I mean, look at it.  Here’s another look…

Narciso-Rodriguez-Narciso-perfume-review-edp-parfum-White

It’s like an ornamental piece of sculpture, suspended in glass. Very different from my other two favourites, this is more of an original me scent, with a modern twist. Warm, sensual and intoxicating, this is my evening perfume, though I did love wearing it on the coldest Winter days and imagine it will also work well in the Summer heat. It starts out as a heady floral (gardenia and rose) but settles to an elegant sweet, musky wood - of the grown up variety. No surprises that it contains some of my favourite notes: vetiver, white musk, amber and cedar. This is really something special and I’m very grateful to my lovely sister for treating me as she knew how much I wanted it (thank you if you’re reading P! xx).

Narciso Rodriguez Narciso Eau de Parfum £32 (15% off)

What’s your favourite scent at the moment? Please leave me a comment below! You can read about more of mine by clicking on the Fragrance tab at the top of this page.

 

I’ve just received details of an event that any Ireland-based perfume lovers out there might be interested in - a one-day perfume-making event where you can learn about what goes into perfumes and make your own scent to take home! It’s happening on Saturday 9th May in Dublin, hosted by perfumenotes.ie with Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

New Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet

BourjoisRougeVelvet-Spring-2015

It was music to my ears that Bourjois has released three new shades of Rouge Edition Velvet, first launched this time last year (see my ode here). Regular readers will know how fond I am of this long lasting liquid lipstick with a comfortable matte finish, to the extent that they made my 2014 Favourites. I’ve been wearing the new shades a lot lately and my favourite is the one that’s open above, So Hap’pink.

Bourjois-Rouge-Velvet-So-Happink,Dont-Pink-of-it, Beau-Brun-swatches

From top, Beau Brun - a deep rust, Don’t Pink of It - nude pink and So Hap’pink - mid pink with warm coral tones… not your typical Spring shades, but all very wearable. So Hap’pink is one of those brights that’s really easy to wear for day time, adding a lovely pop of colour without looking like you’re heading out clubbing (as if, *snigger*). Don’t Pink of It is a really pretty nude and although I prefer nude lips with more of a sheen, I’m happy that this one works well with my skin tone.

I photographed these swatches 10 mins after application to give you an idea of how they look when settled on the skin. The ones below are after 20 mins - and as you can see, they look slightly more matte, but don’t dry to a crisp like some mattes do. I smudged them out a little to demonstrate that they do still move - and that they can be used as a stain. Note that once the bulk of their colour wears off, these do stain the lips, but not in a bad way… it’s all part of the lasting power. Beau Brun seems to be a slightly wetter formula than the other two; I haven’t worn this one as much as it’s more of an Autumnal shade to me. 

Bourjois-Rouge-Velvet-So-Happink,Dont-Pink-of-it, Beau-Brun-swatch-swatched-review,photos 

I highly recommend Hot Pepper, Ole Flamingo and Pink Pong from last year’s collection. I’ve worn them at least once a week over the past year and they’re still going strong - part of the beauty of rarely needing a touch up as the lasting power is so good!

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets, £8.99 are available at Boots & Superdrug, currently on 3 for 2 at both.

 

Sunday, 29 March 2015

March Beauty Favourites: Makeup, Hair & Skincare

March-Beauty-Favourites-Spring-2015-makeup-skincare-hair

I’ve been a bit lax on posting about my favourite products lately and sometimes catch myself raving about the latest thing and realise I’m not sharing enough about the ones that make it into my everyday stash. If I was to share all of those bits, we’d be here for days, so believe it or not this is a heavily edited selection of the beauty products I’ve been loving this month. Maybe it would be easier if I made this a weekly thing…

I’ve divided everything into makeup, hair and skincare - these are the products that have made my heart beat a little faster this month…

MAKEUP

Smashbox-Double-Exposure-Palette,Soap Glory-Solar-Powder,Bobbi-Brown-Calypso-Blush-palette

A mix of old favourites and new releases that moved straight to favourite status and ended up being used every day. As you can see. You don’t mind if my makeup looks a little loved do you? I think it’s kind of endearing, like an old teddy. Kinda.

Ok, starting bottom right and going clockwise, we have:

Bobbi Brown Calpyso Cheek Palette: 2 matte and 1 shimmer blush in pinky coral tones that work beautifully both separately or swirled together; lightly (with a duo fibre brush) or as a bright pop of Spring colour.

Soap & Glory Solar Powder (on 3 for 2) had to be mine after I heard multiple bloggers rave about it. I now know why - its cool tones are very flattering on pale skin and give such a natural finish. The darker shade works as contour; the light adds subtle warmth and mixed together they add a lovely bronze that doesn’t look ridiculous on my Winter pallor.

Smashbox Double Exposure palette was my first foray into the brand’s eye shadow and boy am I impressed. Velvety, buttery soft and beautifully blendable in a mix of matte and shimmer day to evening shades. This isn’t the last you’ll be seeing of this. Out of all this month’s favourites, this is hands down my Number One recommendation.

BD Secrets Dream Shine Highlighter is part of Barbara Daly’s repackaged collection for Tesco - and gives a subtle, glowy highlight rather than in your face glitter. It’s a liquid cream with a pump mechanism and looks lovely alone on cheek and brow bones, or mixed with foundation for a radiant look.

KIKO Crystal Eyeliner in 02 Technological Brown is a metallic taupe with fine shimmer, which adds definition and a pretty sheen while looking soft and natural. It comes in a twist up pencil with built in sharpener, sets quickly and has brilliant lasting power, akin to others at 2-3 times the price. I also have the Reflect Burgundy shade (dark copper-plum) and will definitely buy more of these.

Bare Minerals Frame & Define Brow Styler in Universal Light is a repurchase of an old favourite. Brilliant for blondes (similar to the lightest Anastasia Brow Wiz), this twist up pencil has a spoolie at one end, is quick and easy to use and lasts all day on my brows.

Real Techniques Bold Metals Pointed Crease brush gets better the more I use it - or the more I get used to using it! I use this a lot for applying precise colour in the crease as well as blending out liner. The point applies the colour while the sides blend it softly and it works well on a half open eye. Oh and it’s super soft.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in So Hap’pink is my favourite of 3 new colours in this line. It’s a lovely everyday bright that adds a pop of really wearable colour that isn’t too in your face - stronger than a nude, softer than red or fuchsia. I’ll swatch all three for a separate post this week.

Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer in Light Beige has floated in and out of my stash for months and become a daily staple as it’s really the most versatile concealer I’ve tried. It’s the only one I have that works equally well on under eye shadows, redness and blemishes, can be sheered out or built up, has good lasting power, doesn’t sit in creases or accentuate dryness. Pretty amazing right? PS Think I’ll try Light Golden next time - this comes in so many shades, another big plus!

HAIR

Bumble-BB-Straight-blow-dry-cream-frizzy-hair,Ojon-Rare-Blend-tamer-wand

I’ve made quite a few new hair discoveries lately, which I’ll feature soon, but these two are my new must haves.

Bumble & Bumble BB Straight Blow Dry is a styling cream for curly, frizzy hair which tames, heat protects and adds a little natural hold. I only need a small amount of this and it really does make a difference, even on my very unruly fringe! NB I rarely use this for straightening, more to smooth waves and add shine!

Ojon Rare Blend Tamer is a finishing/ touch-up treatment for flyaways and frizzies, which works really well on baby hairs and tames that annoying layer of surface fuzz on my crown. It has a serum texture and is really easy to apply with the mascara-style wand. I mainly use this most for touch ups throughout the day (handbag size helps) and to give up-dos a more polished, sleek finish. PS it doesn’t leave my hair oily or crispy.

SKINCARE

Aveda-Botanical-Kinetics,BurtBees-Lipbalm,S5-Calm-Serum,Clarins-Camomile-Toner   

Burt Bees Beeswax Lip Balm with Vitamin E and Peppermint has taken up residence on my bedside table - it’s really softening, 100% natural, keeps my lips hydrated all night and I love the fresh scent.

Clarins Camomile Toning Lotion is great for dry skin, with Alpine Herbs, Linden and Camomile to soften and rebalance. Even the scent of this is soothing and I love to use it after cleansing, pre-serum.

S5 Calm Serum has a lovely milky texture that feels instantly soothing on my sensitive-prone skin. It contains marine bioactives and peptides to reduce redness, sensitivity and skin stress, while hyaluronic acid plumps skin and locks in moisture. My skin often feels in need of calming and I think this has really helped.

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Intense Hydrating Rich Creme is one of those moisturisers that’s an absolute joy to use. I love the texture; it’s super hydrating and feels delicious on my skin, every time. Not a dry patch in sight since using this.

Have you tried any of these products - or would you like to? If you only treat yourself to one, I can’t recommend the Smashbox Double Exposure palette enough!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Clinique Pop Lip Review & Swatches

Clinique-Pop-Lip-review-swatches  

If I was a lipstick I’d be a Clinique Pop Lip - as this new formula has just about everything going for it that a girl lipstick could ask for. Colour and Primer in one, Pop Lip coats the lips with smooth, intense colour and instant moisture. It’s probably easiest if I transcribe the list of reasons why I love these, starting at the shallow end…

  • Chic, colour coded packaging (immediately justifying more than one - just so that you can pick out your favourite with ease)
  • 16 beautiful colours in Nudes, Tawnies, Pinks & Violets to suit every complexion (I’d wear at least 12 of them)
  • Moisture without compromising on colour. I do like a sheer coloured lip, but a proper pop of colour that feels like balm = winning. Shea Murumuru butters help with this.
  • Longevity. That’s the primer bit - essentially built in primer to add lasting power. A moisturising finish AND longevity. Is this magic?

Clinique-Pop-Lip-BeigePop-WowPop

SWATCHES

 Clinique-Pop-Lip-Swatches-Poppy,Wow,Beige,Melon-Pop 

Gorgeous, right? Poppy Pop is the kind of orange toned red that I just love for Spring & Summer. Wow Pop is a bright, blue toned pink that’s softer and more wearable than fuchsia. Beige Pop is about as nude as I can go minus mannequin lips - I need a serious smoky eye to balance this one out. Melon Pop is a really pretty peach that has graced my lips most days this week.

Clinique-Pop-Lip-PoppyPop-MelonPop

Poppy and Melon (above) are my favourite of the four, but there are TWELVE more to choose from - and personally I can’t wait.

The RRP of £16 is neither cheap nor extortionate… considering that so many lipsticks are now priced at £26 or even £36 these days, I think you’re getting a lot for your dollar here - and I have a feeling my Lipstick Wardrobe will be growing very soon. (no that doesn’t actually exist)

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer Lipstick, £16 at Boots

PS - Ohhh I thought these were launching tomorrow, but they appear to be available now at boots.com!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Pixi Beauty: In the Spotlight #3

Pixi-Beauty-Makeup Skincare

Pixi Beauty is a London based brand developed by a Swedish makeup artist, which aims to make fuss-free beauty accessible to all women. The makeup and skincare collection is all about achieving a glowy finish with pretty pops of colour. Pixi’s hero product is Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner, which I’ve used for years, but the makeup line has been on my radar since discovering the tinted lip balm - and I’ve been trying out more of the line since. It includes some real gems, some of which have made their way into my regular routine.

“My aim is to achieve flawless, lustrous makeup to bring out the best in you. Women need a treat, so makeup should be skin beneficial, as natural as possible & multipurpose. If you look better, you feel better – it’s as simple as that.  Petra Strand, Pixi founder

Petra’s inspiration comes from busy real women like herself – ‘working women and mothers trying to look awake, fresh and pulled together in 5 minutes’. Don’t know about you, but as the mum of 2 young children, this is definitely something I can relate to! Yes, I’m beauty-product obsessed, but on a day-to-day basis, I often don’t have time to fuss around with my beauty routine. In fact to do so is an indulgence for me - and ironically, most often occurs when I’m not going anywhere or doing anything - as that’s when I have the time!

Here are a few of my favourite things from the Pixi range…

GLOW TONIC & GLOW MIST

Pixi-Beauty-Glow-Mist,Glow-Tonic

I ordered my first bottle of Pixi Glow Tonic (and a lovely serum, which I’ve only just remembered about!) by phone from its Carnaby Street store, long before the product gained a cult following and became widely available online. It’s since been repackaged to look a lot more chic. Essentially a more gentle and effective method of exfoliating than a gritty scrub, I use this daily, immediately after cleansing. A 15 second swipe over my face, neck and décolletage with a cotton pad helps plump, decongest and remove dead skin cells for healthier looking skin. It’s alcohol free, non drying and contains 5% glycolic acid, aloe vera and ginseng. I only stop using this if I’m testing another product - and my skin always looks clearer and brighter when I return to it.

Glow Mist is PIxi’s latest skincare launch, a lovely fine facial spray with 13 natural oils, propolis, aloe vera and fruit extracts. I mostly use this for hydration - both pre-skincare and throughout the day - but it can also be used to add a dewy finish to makeup (or just bare skin). If you’re used to a water-only face mist, you should notice the additional benefits of using this.

PALETTE BRONZETTE

PixiBeauty-Spring-Palette Pixi-Beauty-spring-palette-eyeshadow-swatches  Pixi-Palette-Bronzette

Pixi Palette Bronzette is the brand’s newest release for Spring and includes blush, bronze, highlight and 4 sets of eye trios designed for use as liner, crease, lid and highlight colours. I do mix and match them as I love the khaki and olive tones on my lids or in a smoky eye. (NB These swatches were not intended for inclusion in this post - so apols that they’re a bit minimalist). Cheek colours include a pretty soft pink blush, which might be a bit light for deeper skins; a matte bronzer and flattering gold highlight, which is more shimmery than I’d normally go for, but somehow works. Some of the eye colours are more pigmented than others and I tend to use the liner colours wet, but most are buttery and blend beautifully - I’ve been really happy with the various looks I’ve done with them and find this palette particularly useful for daytime. NB most of the eye shadows are quite shimmery, but not glittery - and can be blended out to look quite sheer or built up over primer for a more metallic finish.

NATURAL BROW DUO | CORRECTION CONCENTRATE | FAIRY DUST

Pixi-Beauty-Brow-Duo,Correction-Concentrate,Fairy-Dust-pics

This Natural Brow Duo with Vitamins C, E and brow-strengthening panthenol, includes a hard waxy pencil and slightly tinted gel in a great colour match for me and very handy for on the go. Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach is one of my favourites from the range to counteract the darkest of shadows quite dramatically. Creamy enough to blend yet with good lasting power, I only need the tiniest amount of this. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen me rave about finding the perfect gold eye shadow in the form of Olive Gold Fairy Dust - you can see me wearing it here. This is a no-mess powder pigment, applied with the spongy tip of the wand for a gorgeous gilded effect.

LIPLIFT MAX | TINTED BALM

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LipLift Max in Petal Ice is an almost clear glossy plumper that smoothes out lip lines and can be used under or over lipstick. I’m a big fan of the tinted lip balms with shea butter - this one is Ripe Raspberry - as they add proper colour as well as nourishing my lips.

I’ve only tried a couple of Pixi products that didn’t really work for me - the mascara (I need more va va voom) and Tinted Brilliance Balm in Lucent Glow (a bit frosty for my taste) - but everything else I’ve really enjoyed.

SWATCHES

Pixi-Beauty-palette-swatches

Swatches of my favourites from the colour products… the tones are all quite gentle and very skin flattering. I don’t feel overly made up with them on - this isn’t shouty, dramatic makeup - it’s pretty, feel-good makeup that’s quick and easy to apply. My top skincare pick will always be Pixi Glow Tonic and my makeup favourite is the new Palette Bronzette, which I know I’ll get loads of wear from this Spring/Summer.

The full product range is available at pixibeauty.co.uk

Have you tried anything by Pixi Beauty?

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