Thursday, 28 July 2011

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics - Skin-Friendly Make-up

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I’ve gone into a lot of detail in this review and included the kind of information I personally like to know when considering products that are new to me. Overall verdict for skim readers:  Superb quality, skin-friendly, very flattering and wearable.  The rest of you, read on – your skin may thank me for it…

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics has been popular in the US for many years and is currently making waves on UK shores. So far it’s been warmly received and I’ve heard only positive things about it, so I was chuffed when invited to try some product samples.
I don’t have a great deal of experience of mineral make-up and have been put off some which contain talc and other nasties, which don’t go hand in hand with a mineral range in my opinion. One leading brand I tried made my skin feel quite itchy and look dry and ‘made up’, which I hate.

Skin Friendly
Youngblood ticks a lot of boxes for me – these are some of the reasons why:
  • Suitable for all skin conditions, including allergy sensitive
  • No zinc oxide, so minerals are non-drying
  • Contains titanium dioxide for broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • Has no fragrances, oils, or talc
  • Water-resistant, long lasting
  • Non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic. Cruelty-free.
Products
I tested the following products (pictured above):
  • Mineral Radiance Moisture Tint – Natural £32
  • Mineral Radiance Moisture Tint, Illuminating – Golden Sun £32
  • Mineral Primer £30
  • Liquid Mineral Foundation – Sand £35
  • Hi-Def Hydrating Powder – translucent £32
Sometimes it takes me a while to learn to love a new product and admittedly, I was slightly unsure when I first tried these, mainly because I’m used to slightly more coverage.  After using them for several weeks in various combinations, I have to admit I’m completely won over and can’t recommend them highly enough.

Swatches
The following swatches show each product ‘straight from the tube’ (top) and blended (below).
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Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation, Sand
The texture of Youngblood products feels immediately expensive, which is quite appropriate, as they’re not cheap (more’s the pity) but not without good reason.  Liquid Mineral Foundation’s Deep Sea Hydrating Complex and provides light to medium coverage with a dewy finish.  Rich in minerals and nutrients it contains extracts of Calendula, Allantoin, Cucumber, Green Tea and Cactus Grandiflorus.

The fluid consistency is very liquid-y and a little goes a long way.  I loved it more as the day went on, when it kind of ‘softened’ and looked even more natural - and was impressed with how long it lasted on my skin.  (I did take some evening pics to prove this point but look so knackered in them I’ll save your eyes).  I used the shade ‘Sand’, which is very yellow toned, but blended beautifully. 

The coverage was a little light for me, but with the addition of concealer, it was enough - especially for this time of year - and looked very natural.  I’m not sure how it would withstand bitter winter cold and harsh winds… I normally use a heavier coverage in Autumn-Winter.
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Wearing Youngblood Mineral Primer, Foundation and Powder
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Mineral Radiance Moisture Tint in the ‘Natural’ shade is more golden than it looks here. Despite being one of the lightest shades it’s a touch dark for me  but I don’t mind as my skin is more tanned than normal at the moment (no it’s not real – I’ll tell you more in a separate review this week!).  This adds colour and barely-there coverage, waaaay less than I’m comfortable with in all honesty.  The only time I’d use such light coverage would be on holiday, to take the bad look off myself. Or maybe at the gym (if I went to a gym!). It contains a host of natural antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and minerals and is recommended for normal to dry skins.

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Wearing Youngblood Mineral Moisture Tint in Natural, with light mascara & lipgloss
for no make-up look (won't be doing this again in a hurry!) ;-)

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Youngblood Mineral Radiance Moisture Tint, Illuminating, Golden Sun
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I tested Mineral Radiance Moisture Tint – Illuminating in ‘Golden Sun’, a colour that reminded me of American Tan tights, which is probably showing my age… do they even exist anymore?!?  The Golden Sun is the only ‘Illuminating’ shade and I found it even lighter in coverage, with a sheen so subtle that I didn’t even notice it until photographing in Digital Macro. I’ve photographed a bigger swatch of it separately to try and show the delicate golden sheen.
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Illustrating the subtle golden sheen in Illuminating Golden Sun
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Youngblood Radiance Moisture Tint (Golden Sun) worn under Mineral foundation & powder
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Youngblood Hi-DEF Hydrating Powder, Translucent
Hi-DEF Hydrating Powder may be my favourite of the Youngblood products. It’s the finest (literally) powder I’ve ever tried, just amazingly finely milled and sooo soft. When blended (with a brush) it dusts the skin in a silky finish which isn’t at all caked, heavy or even visible really. It just adds a subtle soft focus to the skin, diffuses imperfections (always a winner with me!) and sets make-up beautifully.

I tried it with my usual foundation too (Clarins Skin Illusion) just to give me an idea of how it works with more familiar products. Answer: equally well, though I’d imagine it performs best with its usual counterparts. I used this in ‘Translucent’ but it’s also available in ‘Warmth’, a yellowy gold shade.
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Youngblood Mineral Primer
Mineral Primer – another top scorer in my book.  This feels like silk when applied, makes pores, fine lines and imperfections less visible and provides a gorgeous make-up base.  I’m not sure how much this contributes to the lasting power of the above as once I’d tried it I couldn’t bear to use them without it!

Paraben-free and naturally rich in vitamins in minerals, the texture is gel-like and gloopy. Good gloopy, not yucky gloopy. It takes up to a minute to dry on the skin before make-up application, during which time it’s almost impossible to resist stroking your face in awe of the softness!

Full product range at www.ybskin.co.uk or www.ybskin.com



Are you a fan of mineral make-up and do any of these products appeal to you?

Monday, 25 July 2011

OH MY GOSH POP ART GIVEAWAY!

I recently reviewed the OH MY GOSH collection of Limited Edition nailpolishes ~ LINK ~ and promised a giveaway of the Pop Art range – so here it is - the very first giveaway for my lovely followers!

The Prize: One person will win these six gorgeous

Pop Art Nailpolishes by OH MY GOSH!

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Pop Art Summer Shades

Turquoise Blue … Orange Splash … Bright Yellow

Apple Green … Electric Pink … Cobalt Blue

Limited Edition, only available in-store at Superdrug

£2.99 each, while stocks last

Like GOSH Cosmetics’ Facebook page!

 

Giveaway Rules:

I’ve kept these as simple as possible so please take a minute to read before adding your details in the comment box.

1. You must be a follower of my blog. It means a lot to me that 183 people now subscribe to my blog – thank you!                         This is for you guys!

2. Tell me which shade you would most like to try from the     OH MY GOSH Pop Art collection.

3. Entries are open to UK & Ireland followers only and the prize - a set of 6 OH MY GOSH Pop Art nailpolishes - will be sent to you directly by a representative of GOSH Cosmetics. 

(Apologies to those who are further afield on this occasion – there will be others!).

4. The closing date for entries is Monday 1 August 2011         at 12.00 midnight GMT.

****** Please don’t forget to include your contact details ******

GFC name & Twitter or email, so that I can contact you if you win! Best of luck!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Calvin Klein Taffy Pink Lipgloss: CK at TK

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Calvin Klein Delicious Light Glistening Lipgloss
I picked up a pretty pink Calvin Klein lipgloss for a bargainous price at TK Maxx this week and thought I’d give you a head’s up as they had quite a large collection.  I was in the Belfast city centre store – and know good old TK isn’t always consistent across its branches - but there was quite a lot at well reduced prices, so it could be worth a look.
I was very restrained – sidelining the powder, bronzer, eyeshadow, lipstick (all this season apparently) – and only purchasing this gloss in Taffy.
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Calvin Klein lipgloss in 'Taffy'
I’ve never used a Calvin Klein gloss before. Delicious Light Glistening Lipgloss #315 in 'Taffy' is of quite a fine consistency, not overly sticky or gloopy and is applied with a doe wand. It’s difficult to apply too much (yes I tried) but a second coat does make it look much more pink. It’s really quite sheer with just one light coat.
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Calvin Klein Taffy swatch
It’s quite a cool pink, with lavender undertones and a subtle gold shimmer, barely detectable on the lips, but enough to stop it looking too ‘solid’. The packaging is light plastic in the usual CK style - simple and chic.
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Calvin Klein Taffy - pale pink with gold shimmer
You can hopefully see the shimmer more closely here. ^
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Calvin Klein Taffy, hand swatch in natural light

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I like how it’s packaged in this little resealable clear plastic pouch.
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Calvin Klein Taffy lip swatch, with flash

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And in context on my wee tired face, at the end of a very long, long day (can't believe I'm including this)!

This cost me £4.99 instead of the usual £12.00. The cheapest I have found it online is at Lavish for £7.95 exc p&p. Have you used any Calvin Klein glosses or other make-up that you'd recommend?

Friday, 22 July 2011

Best Blog Award

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A huge thank you to the very lovely Catherine who gave me this award & pretty bunch of flowers!  I’m really chuffed – it’s lovely to receive recognition from other beauty bloggers!

Rules:
1. Link back to the person who gave this to you:
http://beautyblogbycat.blogspot.com/ – Please go follow Catherine’s gorgeous blog!

2. Share 7 random things about yourself:

  • I’m a good cook
  • I studied English Lit & Media at University
  • I love cheese
  • I’m addicted to chocolate & sweets
  • I have two small children
  • I’d love to visit Switzerland
  • I want to get fit (cheese, chocolate & sweets not helping!)

3. Award blogs you love:

There are soooo many, but these are the ones I’ve been enjoying lately – please check them out & follow!

4. Answer the following questions:
* Favourite colour: Purple
* Favourite song: Vegetable Car, Joshua Radin
* Favourite dessert: Sticky toffee pudding & icecream
* What is p*ssing you off: rain
* When I'm upset, I: eat too much sugar
* Favourite pet: don’t have one, but love dogs
* Black or White: to wear – black; to look at - white
* Biggest fear: moths!
* Best feature: hair (on a good day)
* Everyday attitude: live it like it’s your last
* What is perfection: being surrounded by the people I love
* Guilty pleasure: a sneaky glass of wine at tea time

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Marc Jacobs ‘Oh Lola’ - now available!

MJ Oh Lola
Last month I wrote about the impending arrival of Marc Jacob's new Oh Lola perfume LINK and lots of you thought it sounded lush!  I smelt it in person for the first time today in Boots and thought I’d give you a heads up that it’s now available!
It’s such a pretty, feminine fragrance and the clear pink bottle is adorable. It has none of the pungent headiness of the original Lola, but is a really gentle, sparkling smell, which reminds me of raspberries and light florals. 
Has anyone else tried it yet – and if so, what did you think?!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Sunshine on a Rainy Day - Bois D’Orange

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Roger & Gallet Huile Sublime Bois D'Orange
Ever gone for a sunset stroll on a balmy holiday evening and caught little wafts of intoxicating fragrant blossoms as you walk along?  To me, this is Bois D’Orange, bottled.  So I couldn't help smiling when I read that it had been inspired by Andalusian gardens.

Despite the name it’s not overtly orangey or even citrusy.  The French name translates directly as 'Orange Wood' - and this woodiness adds a gentleness to the orange.  A really soft, ‘skin’ smell is how I’d describe it. I love ‘skin’ smells… warm, slightly musky, not overpowering...
 
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I love the bottle… the pattern on the back reminds me of stained glass windows.


I was drawn to this as it sounded like a summery fragrance, which it is, but in a very gentle, warm-sunshine-on-your-skin kind of way, rather than many sharper, fresh summery scents.  These are the notes:
  • Top: Mandarin, Basil, Verbena
  • Heart: Orange Flower, Neroli
  • Base: Amber, Rosewood, Cedar
It is really quite subtle, suitable for either men or women in my opinion and well, yes – it has to be said – it’s sexy! As some of you know I’ve been longing for a new perfume recently, so I almost bit the postie’s hand off when this arrived for me today!  I only discovered the Roger & Gallet brand recently, after hearing a few beauty bloggers rave about it so decided to explore the website and was so impressed with what I found.  It’s not a new brand – it’s been around for 200 years in fact.

Bois D’Orange is one of the newest fragrance collections by Roger & Gallet. I’ve wanted an orange based perfume for quite a while, so my ears pricked up as soon as I came across this.  The dry body oil was recommended to me - and while it’s not something I’d normally opt for, it is just divine.

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Please click to enlarge
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Huile Sublime Bois d'Orange contains a fine ingredient list, enriched with Argan, Almond, Camelia, Macadamia, Evening Primrose, Sesame and Essential Oils. The formula also includes antioxidant Vitamin E and invigorating orange essential oil. Bearing all of this in mind, it's right up there with much more expensive formulas.

I have it on the crook of my arm and have received the strangest looks and comments as my nose has been buried there, inhaling it all day!


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Just sprayed
The oil sprays in a fine mist… you can literally spritz it all over you and it only takes a little light rubbing in.  It doesn’t leave your skin shiny or feeling oily – I’d happily dress a few minutes after applying.  I rubbed the excess in my hair and later discovered, when I stopped falling in love with it long enough to read about it, that it’s actually designed to be worn on the hair, as well as the face and body!
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Immediately after rubbing in
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Subtle sheen, immediately after applying all over arm
An extensive product range includes body wash, body lotion, oil and fresh fragrant water spray.  The latter is priced at around £15 for 30ml, which I think is amazing for such a quality product. I haven’t seen it in-store, but it’s available online

Huile Sublime Bois d’Orange is available at escentual for £23, though many products from the range can be found elsewhere, such as halfpriceperfumes and amazon.

Friday, 15 July 2011

What a Girl Wants, What a Girl Needs...

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I’ve just been reading some blogs about make up storage and I’m totally overwhelmed – and of course green eyed ;-) – at the extent of some people's make up collections.  Admittedly, since starting blogging my own collection has increased, but up until now I’ve always had roughly the following in my make up collection:
  • 1 foundation
  • 1 bronzer
  • 1 powder
  • 1 mascara
  • 2-3 lipsticks
  • 2-3 lipglosses
  • 2 eyeliners
  • 3-4 eyeshadows (individual or palettes)
  • 1 highlighter
  • 1 concealer
That is IT!  Is this normal/pathetic/modest?  I honestly couldn’t justify having more than one powder blusher in the exact same shade of pink, for example. At times I may have a regular mascara plus a waterproof one. Or a black & a brown. I’d never have 2 identical shades of red lipstick. I normally have one perfume, which I use until it runs out and then get a new one – same for shampoo, conditioner & styling product.  I’d usually have an average of around 5 nailpolishes.

So I’m seriously ‘WOW!’ that people have around 5 or more of each individual item – like 5 pink lipglosses, 5 foundations, etc – and feeling rather inadequate.

Part of me thinks ohhhhh I would LOVE to have so many products - I’d feel like a child in a sweetshop if all that was mine! And part of me thinks I’d panic if I had so much to choose from… like I’d have to use a different one each day so as not to be wasteful haha!

I’m the same when it comes to clothes, handbags, shoes and pretty much everything in my life. Admittedly a lot of this has been due to limited funds (though I’ve always invested in good moisturiser, eyecream and foundation even as a student ;-) ) – or maybe it’s  reflection of my upbringing, where we always had enough, but little if any excess. 

For some time I’ve been trying to streamline my wardrobe (another passion!) and invest in a modest amount of really good quality, stylish clothes that I LOVE and feel really good in, rather than hoards of tat picked up in sales ‘just because it was a bargain’.

I like to apply the same approach to my make up (more than skincare, which I rarely scrimp on). Just yesterday I bought a bargainous lipgloss, as I’d missed out on the Chanel Venus one I really wanted in duty free (which some of you heard me ranting about on Twitter).  I don’t love my bargain gloss – and didn’t even wear it today – which is most unlike me as normally I can't wait to use new products.  So I’d have been better saving that £4.99 and putting it towards the Chanel one, right?

Obviously I adore make up and beauty products or I wouldn’t be here now, writing this beauty blog.  I’d love to have more and like I said, have already expanded (ok, probably doubled!) my collection since I started blogging. It’s pretty impossible to read about gorgeous new products or tried & tested favourites all the time and resist trying them out!

Just for the record, I’m not being judgmental about people with multiple products at all...  just thinking out loud (typing out loud?!) my ponderings.  I’m curious to know if I’m the only one who feels like this and if those of you who have lots of products actually use and enjoy them all?  I hope you do – and can totally predict being reminded of this post and teased about how things have changed in the not too distant future! :)

Thanks for reading and do tell me your thoughts in the comment box below! X

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

OH MY GOSH - Ltd Edition Nifty Nails!

OH MY GOSH if you you haven’t already discovered this range of limited edition Mini Nail Lacquers you’re missing out!  Available exclusively from Superdrug, these gorgeous nail polishes are available in 20 shades, divided into 4 key looks: Femme Fatale, Pop Art, Rock Chick & Nude Powder.


I’m delighted to show you the selection of colours I was invited to try – and will soon be giving you the opportunity to win the Pop Art range for yourself!


The polish is described asa super-quick, fast drying formula that gives a strong, super durable covering that will leave you sporting the ‘latest’ looks with an intense gloss finish for days.’


I tried Nude Champagne, Peachy Rose, Electric Pink, Pink Red & Deep Red – as seen below.


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The colour applied thick, creamy and extremely glossy – I’ve photographed them without a topcoat.


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I especially liked the Peachy Rose and Electric Pink from the shades I tried, though I would wear all of them except the Nude Champagne, which is a touch toooo nude for me.

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The polish is very opaque and gives great coverage even with a single coat, though looks more ‘polished’ with two.  The shades look and feel more expensive than they actually are and lasted reasonably well considering I didn’t use a topcoat (around 24h without chips).

Only available at Superdrug priced at just £2.99 for 5ml – before 2 August 2011 or until stocks last.

You can keep up to date with new GOSH products and giveaways at their Facebook page.


Keep your eyes peeled for a chance to win the summer brights Pop Art shades for yourself in my giveaway over the next couple of days!
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