Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Hair Hero: Ojon Rare Blend Oil

Ojon Rare Blend Oil review

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about any Hair Heroes, as quite frankly it’s not often I come across them, but couldn’t wait to tell you about the wonder that is Ojon Rare Blend Oil.  In the past I’ve been timid of hair oils as although my hair is frizz-prone, I absolutely cannot bear anything that weighs it down or makes it feel lank.  This one doesn’t, so long as I’m careful to use the teensiest amount.

Rare Blend Oil contains seven oils, including Monoi, Kukai, Marula - and of course, Ojon, from Central American rainforests. Together these create the perfect cocktail of softening, nourishing and antioxidant qualities.  The oil feels quite light and silky to the touch, not tacky or sticky, and leaves my hair looking and feeling soft and smooth. Plus it smells amazing!!  My hair is quite coarse underneath - more typical redhead style than the finer strawberry blonde hair on the surface - so I need something that really tames it.

Ojon Rare Blend Oil (2)

It even looks like a cocktail!  Pretty isn’t it?

I imagine that this would work best on dry, frizzy or chemical treated hair - and seems particularly good for long hair.  The Total Hair Therapy claim is a big one, but for me, it doesn’t disappoint. I warm a little between my palms, then comb it through the lengths with my fingers, concentrating on the ends and lower half of my hair to avoid greasiness at the roots. I then smooth the remainder over the surface and blow dry. If necessary, you can add a teensy bit more when your hair is dry, but start small - you can always add more.

Ojon Rare Blend Oil

Before use, you shake the three stripes of colour together to create this pale salmon pink mixture.  I was warned not to use too much, yet of course I did the first couple of times.  It didn’t seem a lot for someone with so much hair, yet a 10p piece sized amount was too much!  After getting it wrong the first couple of times, I found I needed a 5p piece sized amount, or 1/3 of a teaspoon. 

For this reason, I’m not sure how this would work on very fine or sparse hair, but it’s a total winner if you have lots of unruly hair like me!  And although it doesn’t come cheap, you need so little that it will last a loooong time.  If I could change one thing about it, it would be to add a spray nozzle… I guess I could do that myself, though I’d be loathe to remove it from the cute bottle.

Ojon Rare Blend Oil, £29.50 at Boots

PS: I just came across a great offer on the Ojon site & had to share.  If you buy one product, you get 2 free!  With any purchase, get free full size Damage Reverse Restorative Shampoo & Conditioner worth £41.50 with the code TRADEUP at checkout. There is also free delivery at the moment (automatically applied).  This is the same duo that I posted about in the Ojon Trade-In here, but if you want to avoid missing out on that - or double up on products - here’s your chance! Full details on the Ojon website HERE 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Liz Earle Signature Foundation Ivory 02: Free delivery & returns!

Signature-Foundation-Ivory-02-Review:

If you’re thinking of trying Liz Earle’s Signature Foundation, now is the perfect time.  The company is so confident about the new formula, it is now offering free returns with a full refund (within 14 days) to anyone that doesn’t love it, no questions asked!  While I’m always careful to look up lots of swatches (thanks to my fellow beauty bloggers), foundation is one makeup item I’m particularly reluctant to purchase online. I think this bold step by the brand is a clever way to entice those who feel the same way; a bit like trying on an online clothing purchase - if it doesn’t fit you can just return it!  (which reminds me, I have several disappointing clothing deliveries to return)

I’ve been wearing this foundation for a few weeks now and here are my thoughts…

Coverage & Finish

Excellent, medium to full coverage with a perfect skin finish. Heavier than I had expected I must admit, but a little goes a very long way, so you can use less for lighter coverage.  The glass bottle comes with a hygienic pump and one full pump is more than enough for my face.  It applies well with both fingers and brush, though personally I prefer to use my current love, the Real Techniques Buffing Brush for a seamless finish.

The finish is ever so slightly powdery - a little moreso than I personally prefer.  I feel as though it makes me look quite made up, though this may be due to my skintype - currently normal to dry.  I tend to prefer a more dewy finish and think this foundation may be best suited to normal/combination/oily skins.

Lasting power

I expected this foundation to last all day on me, but unfortunately it doesn’t.  It’s great for several hours of perfect looking skin, so I’d use it more for a special occasion or night out rather than an everyday makeup.  Again, this could well just be my skintype as I’ve heard of others who thought its lasting power was great!

My skin type, my skin tone, my Signature Foundation

 

Colour

Available in nine shades from Porcelain to Mocha.  I opted for Ivory, 02, though on reflection I think Porcelain would have been better for me.  I chose it in September, which is always a difficult time to pick foundations as your skintone is in between Summer and Winter tones; still a little bit of colour, not quite Winter white!  The Ivory looks ok on, but I always like to wear the lightest shade I can get away with as I find it more flattering.

 

 

 

 

Swatches

Signature-Foundation-Ivory-02-Review-swatches

Although Ivory is yellow based, it looks deeper and more yellow than in real life in the sunny pic above.  The swatch below in natural light is much more true to the actual tone.

Signature-Foundation-Ivory-02-Swatch

Applied

Signature-Foundation-Ivory-02-Review (2)

Please excuse the wee tired face.  I’m also wearing the foundation in this post.

For advice on how to create natural-looking skin with a radiant finish you can watch Liz Earle’s Signature Foundation video where Make up Ambassador Jane Bradley reveals her top tips for expert foundation application.

So don’t forget, if you’re not happy, you can get a full refund for Signature Foundation returned within 14 days of purchase - and free UK and ROI standard delivery on all orders until midnight Wednesday 31st October, with no minimum spend.

Liz Earle Signature Foundation* costs £21 for 25ml - full details HERE 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Laura Mercier Christmas Gift Sets: Holiday 2012

Laura_Mercier_GLAMOUR_WARDROBE

I look forward to the Laura Mercier Christmas Gift Sets at this time every year - and the 2012 collection is the best ever!  The quality of this brand is one of the best I’ve tried and while you get what you pay for, these sets make them great value and a lot more accessible. Plus the products are so well pigmented you only need a little, so they’ll last you for ages. 

The ultimate set is Glamour Wardrobe, above, with eye, lip & cheek colours and brushes in one. I love how the top layer slides across and the colours are just sigh-worthy.

On my wish list….

Christmas_2012_lauramercier_warm

Colour To Go: Warm Neutrals, £30 - 3 Eyeshadows & 1 Tightline Cake Eyeliner, Blush, Bronze and a mini Lip Glace. All in a gorgeous chunky little compact with a built in mirror.  I swatched this in-store yesterday and had to prise myself away from the counter without buying it as I was supposed to be present shopping (for others!) at the time.  Just gorgeous and brilliant value considering that full size these items would cost around £15 each!  Also available in Cool Neutrals.

Laura_Mercier_holiday2012_eye_pencils

Mini Kohl Eye Pencil Set, £31.  Adore these pencils… Black Gold is one of my all time favourites, despite its less than perfect staying power - the softness, pigmentation & colour is just incredible.

Laura_Mercier_F12_BEC_Golden_Metallics

Mini Baked Colour Eye Trio: Golden Metallics, £20.  These can be used wet or dry and really have to be swatched to be believed.  Pale gold, black/gold and green/gold; these are essentially Christmas party eyes boxed - truly stunning!

Laura_Mercier_Christmas_2012_SOFT_NUDESLaura_Mercier_Christmas_2012_TRAVEL_BRUSHLaura_Mercier_Souffle

Other sets available include lipglosses, makeup brushes and deliciously scented body soufflé products.

All are limited edition and sell out fast; once they’re gone, they’re gone, so if you want one (or two), don’t hang about!

You can check out the full range at Space NK

Saturday, 27 October 2012

NYC Rock Muse: Starry Night Halloween Nails

NYC_Halloween_Nails

I thought it was Halloween next weekend, until today when I hurriedly painted my nails to look like twinkly black starry nights, courtesy of New York Colour (aka NYC) Halloween collection. I wasn’t going to a Halloween party, or anywhere in fact, but I thought I ought to do my bit!  City Blackout & Fine Red Wine (above left & right) aren’t officially part of the collection, but I thought they worked with the rest.

The Show Time Mascara (above) is part of the collection, which includes a Red & Black Duo Lipstick and the Demon Glow top coat above, developed with a unique fluorescent brightener that makes nails glow under black light.

NYC_Rock_Muse_Black_Glitter

Rock Muse Smoky Top Coat is fine silver glitter with bigger hexagonal pieces, suspended in a clear black base, which works beautifully over the plain black City Blackout (gorgeously glossy on its own). 

NYC_Rock_Muse_Black_Glitter_Smoky_Topcoat

This is just one coat of each, no regular top coat required - I wanted you to see how amazing the finish is. People I’m honestly thinking I’ll never buy expensive polish again (that’s a lie) but seriously, the application & finish is amazing. Obviously I can’t speak for the lasting power just yet, but I’ve tried some other NYC polishes recently and been really impressed with them too (post coming soon).

NYC_Rock_Muse_Black_Glitter_swatch

This is the first time I’ve ever worn a black polish!  I’d actually bought a Revlon one the day before I received these - and must say I love them much more than I expected to. I think I’ll be wearing this look a lot over the festive period this year.

Priced from an incredible £1.99 to £2.49, you can read more about the products here. So far, these have impressed me as much as brands that cost £10 more!

Are you sporting Halloween nails - or have you tried NYC Nail Polish?

 

 

Friday, 26 October 2012

Eye Makeup that Lasts all Day (& Night)

Longwear_Eye_makeup

Lots of you have asked for a post on longwear eye makeup, particularly those who (like me) have hooded eyes.  I almost wrote who ‘suffer from’ hooded eyes - as that’s what it feels like a lot of the time.  Mine have been naturally hooded since I was quite young, but time has not been kind to them - and often products which look immaculate when freshly applied, smudge or transfer to my brow bone over a period of time - sometimes minutes, sometimes hours.

Whether or not you are a ‘sufferer’, we all like products that last well and still look fresh at the end of a busy day.  Here are some that I’ve tested thoroughly and work well for me.  A couple not included here as I’ve run out recently, are Nars Larger than Life Eyeliner and Urban Decay Primer Potion - both brilliant products and worth a mention before I forget about them!

Quite a few to get through here, so I’ll try to be brief and will tell you my favourites at the end.

Primer

Limecrime_Eyeshadow_Helper_Primer

Got to start with primer & this little cutie is a recent discovery that has totally WOWed me! Lime Crime Eyeshadow Helper comes in a cute circular turquoise pot (mine is a mini sample size) and works like any other. Less is more - dab a little on, blend in and apply shadow. I find that shadows appear more smooth, pigmented and remain immaculate until removed with this baby as a base.  I tried to swatch it, but really it’s invisible on the skin.  One touch on my fingertip is enough for each eye - I’ve used it quite a lot of times even though it looks barely touched.

Revlon_Eye_Pimer Revlon_Eye_Pimer_swatch

Revlon Photoready Eye Primer acts as a concealer, primer and illuminator, giving some coverage.  Perhaps not quite as long eyeshadow hold as the Limecrime, but a great all rounder. Reviewed in full here.

Eyeshadow

Personally I find that cream based eye products have more lasting power than powders, especially when used without a primer.  Here are a couple of the best I’ve tried…

11-040 Clinique_Lid_SmoothieClinique_Lid_Smoothie_Gingerly_Currant_swatch

Clinique Lid Smoothies are genius little tubes of shimmery colour that cool your lids on application thanks to a metal applicator, as you can see above right.  This is soooo soothing on tired morning eyes - I just love using it. Ginger-ly, a soft golden peach is really pretty all over the lid for a bright eyed, wide awake everyday look, while Currant Affair adds a little more depth and definition. As you can see in the swatches, both can be blended out for a light wash of colour or built up for a more dramatic finish.  I find these work best with a primer for the built up effect, but last beautifully alone when blended out.

Colour_Tattoo_Permanent_Taupe Maybelline_Color_Tattoo_Immortal_CharcoalMaybelline_Color_Tattoo_Swatches

Maybelline Color Tattoo has become a bit of a cult product, renowned for amazing pigmentation and lasting power. I wear Permanent Taupe a lot (today in fact) - it’s the perfect mushroomy tone for me and works brilliantly with tonnes of other colours.  Immortal Charcoal has a slight shimmer and is great blended out for a smokey eye. These are quite a dense cream - much moreso than the Clinique -they almost feel more like a gel eyeliner in texture and do.not.budge (on me!).

Eyeliner

Estee_Lauder_Liquid_Liner (3) Estee_Lauder_Liquid_LinerEstee_Lauder_Liquid_Liner (2) Estee_Lauder_Liquid_Liner_Graphite_Bronze_swatch

You know when you try a beauty product and wonder how you ever managed without it? That’s how I feel about Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Zero Smudge Liquid Eyeliner.  I’ve been using either the bronze or graphite pretty much every day and will definitely pick up another couple of colours. The nib is firm with just enough give; the colour glows and catches the light without looking OTT for daytime. It’s quite buildable and works well for a dramatic flick, but has a softness that can be more flattering (esp on older eyes) than black. It is actual love.

27-NYX_The_Curve_Liquid_Liner_review (5)28-NYX_The_Curve_Liquid_Liner_review (9)

If drama and a matte finish are more your thing, try NYX The Curve, ergonomically designed for each of use.  This leaves an inky black line that lasts and lasts - brilliant! Full review here.

Laura_Mercier_Caviar_Stick_KhakiLaura_Mercier_Caviar_Stick Laura_Mercier_Caviar_Stick_Khaki_swatch

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick is a thick, crayon shaped creamy liner-stroke-eyeshadow which comes in amazing colours and I adore it. Once set, this is utterly budge proof. Apologies that these pics aren’t great - they were taken when I bought it last year but I wanted to include this as it’s an amazing product. I’d like a slimmer version as it’s a touch thick for liner, though I do use it with a brush too. It also works great drawn all over the lid and blended out with a brush for a really cool smokey look… sets pretty fast though so not a lot of time to work with.

Mascara

Clinique_Mascara 15-053

Clinique Lash Power Mascara is a longwearing formula with the most gorgeous silky texture. It’s the inkiest black mascara I’ve tried and the slim brush is great to work with. I find it coats each lash beautifully and leaves them feeling super soft.  Despite its great lasting power, it’s a total breeze to remove!

Gosh_mascara

GOSH Catchy Eyes is a fab budget friendly mascara with a neat little rubberised wand, curved to fit the shape of your lashline perfectly.  Every single lash is coated with this and it gives brilliant length. Love it!

Brow Pencil

Anastasia_Brow_Wiz_BlondeAnastasia_Brow_Wiz_Blonde (3) Anastasia_Brow_Wiz_Blonde_swatch

Anastasia Brow Wiz is another life changer for me.  Highly recommended by makeup artists, it’s a fine twist up pencil with a spoolie for evening out product and tidying your brows at one end. Mine is Ash Blonde, the.perfect.shade for blondes. No red/orange tones, just a cool soft brown - love! Wish I could find a cheaper version, but until I do, I’m sticking with this!

Price List

Limecrime Eyeshadow Helper £13 here

Revlon Photoready Eye Primer £9.99 here

Clinique Lid Smoothies* £17 here

Maybelline Color Tattoo £5.49 here

Estee Lauder Double Wear Liquid Eyeliner £20 here

NYX The Curve* £12.50 here 

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick £20.50 here

Clinique Lash Power Mascara £16 here

GOSH Catchy Eyes Mascara £7.49 Superdrug (not online)

Anastasia Brow Wiz £15.50 here

If I were to choose just a few from the above, the absolute longest lasting formulas are: Limecrime Primer (which you could use to make any eyeshadow already in your collection last all day), Laura Mercier Caviar Stick and Clinique Lash Power Mascara.

The end!

What are your favourite all day eye products?  I’ll be doing a most on longwear face makeup next!

 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Skin We’re In

From acne to scarring, many people are self conscious about skin conditions, which can often be addressed by professional treatments.

Dermatology Clinics

Most good dermatology clinics offer a wide range of treatments to improve the health and appearance of a patient’s skin. Some conditions can be treated with creams or medication while others require the use of lasers and light treatments, which go a little deeper into the skin’s layers.

Cosmetic Answers

As the signs of physical ageing become less and less acceptable - to society and ourselves - a number of options exist. Fine lines can be addressed by Microdermabrasion – to remove dead cells and allow firmer, smoother skin to come through. Deeper lines usually respond well to chemical peels and botox, which should always be administered by a reputable expert, following consultation.

Birthmarks and Thread Veins

Birthmarks can now be diminished by lasers until imperceptible. Of course, any mark must be examined and diagnosed in case it is a symptom of something else before treatment. Lasers are also great for getting rid of thread veins which usually appear on the nose or cheeks. It takes a short time for the scab to heal and drop off but the results are usually well worth the wait.

Have you ever had any of these treatments - and if so, was it successful?

Sponsored post

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

e.l.f. Party Purple, Crimson Crush & Glow

elf flawless eyeshadow, glow blush, lip stain

I’m a big fan of elf brushes (Eyes, Lips, Face); in fact they were all I ever used until around six months ago.  I hadn’t tried the make-up products before and have held off on this review as I couldn’t quite make up my mind.

elf_party_purple_flawless_eyeshadow 3-008

Flawless Eyeshadow is available in five colourways, with Party Purple as the bright & bold option.  Each shade is marked with the area which it is intended to be worn, which is useful for creating a look, though obviously not restrictive - you can do your own thing!

Glow blush is a pale pretty peach, also available in Shy, an equally soft shell pink.

Lip Stain comes in four shades and is designed to create a long lasting wash of colour - this was my favourite of the three items. I always use this kind of product over a lipbalm, which probably restricts its staying power, but I do find them a bit drying otherwise. This one contains Vitamin E and isn’t any more or less drying than alternatives I’ve tried by GOSH or NYC.

elf_party_purple_flawless_eyeshadow_swatch

Swatched from left: Lip Stain, 4 Party Purple eyeshadows & Glow blush.

The Lip Stain is a lovely soft berry tone and the eyeshadows are softer and much more wearable than I expected, though this may disappoint those who hoped them to be highly pigmented for a more full-on look. My favourite shade of the four is the darkest aubergine colour, which sadly had the least payoff.  The Glow blush is a soft, pretty peach with a slight sparkle, which could be worn on pale skins as a blush or on darker skins as a highlighting glow.

elf_party_purple_flawless_eyeshadow

These are the palettes after I’d swatched them once - as you can see there is a lot of fall out.  For this reason I was reluctant to try them on my (sensitive) eyes incase of irritation.  This might not be an issue for you, especially as the products are so inexpensive.

These products* cost £2.50 each at elf

Have you tried elf make-up?  Do you think it’s on a par with drugstore brands?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Ted Baker Nail Duos and M&S Swarovski Beauty

TB_Nail_Duo_Blue_Boxed_LRTB_Nail_Duo_Gold_Boxed_LRTB_Nail_Duo_Pink_Boxed_LR

I think these twinkly duo nail sets from Ted Baker would make a perfect gift, which is why I’ll be treating myself to the blue one asap!  Available in Blue Moon, Golden Girl and Cherry Bomb, they are priced at £8.50 each, which I think is very reasonable.  Designed to be used together with a deep base and sparkling topcoat, you can obviously combine them any way you wish or wear alone. Fee at makeupsavvy blog has created a gorgeous Galaxy nail using the Blue Moon set.

Available at Boots or selected Ted Baker stores priced £8.50 each.

 

Swarovski for M&S Beauty

While I’m in bling mode, check out these Swarovski encrusted pretties from a new limited edition Autograph make-up range for M&S.

Autograph Moisture Colour Lipstick Made with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS - RaspberryAutograph Fragranced Shimmer Dust Made with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTSAutograph Luxury False Lashes Made with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS

Lipstick £11, Fragrant Shimmer Dust £15 and Luxury False Lashes £12, though if you’re quick you can get them for a little bit less with the current 10% off M&S Beauty offer.  I think they would work brilliantly with these new silver crystal effect nail foils.

Limited Collection Nail Foils - Silver

Available in six special effect finishes including leopard & zebra prints, each set contains 20 Limited Collection Nail Foils for £6 (or £5.40 with the current discount).

Every girl needs a little bling sometimes!

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