Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Xen Tan Minis: try before you buy

Mini XT

Want to be sure you like a high end self tan before committing to the full shebang?  These new mini self tanners by Xen-Tan are a great way to try one of my fave tanning brands before you buy,  priced at just £3.99 each here.

I also like the mini trio sets, £9.99, which include a £5 voucher off your next purchase.  Great for holidays too!

See my previous reviews of Xen-Tan Transform, Dark Lotion & Scent Secure Gold to get an idea of how the products look applied.

Have you tried Xen-Tan?

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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

LVX Azalea Nail Polish: Review & Swatches

LVX-Azalea-purple-nail-polish-swatches

Yesterday I was talking bluebell candles; today it’s bluebell nails… which are exactly what LVX Azalea reminds me of. My favourite from the 3 free brand’s new collection, I’ve never seen a purple polish quite like Azalea.  Blue toned and slightly dusky, it’s deeper than lilac but softer than a true purple.   

LVX-Azalea-purple-nail-polish

Here it is with flash.  I used two coats for these pics with Lumos top coat and had no issues with the formula, which is quite thick but applies smoothly.  I’m very fond of the Chanel style bottle, right down to the square lid which lifts off to reveal a small, grippy lid. 

LVX products are formulated without the use of Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, DBP, Toluene, and Camphor, are vegan friendly and cruelty free.

LVX-3-free-purple-lilac-nail-polish-Azalea-review

I couldn’t resist sharing how well it matches my daughter’s pretty new duvet cover!

The new collection includes six shades priced at £10.99 each here, where you can get the Winter shades on buy one get one free, including the gorgeous Prussian, one of my fave polishes of the year, reviewed here.

I’ve also just noticed that Real Techniques brushes are discounted by 10-20% on Cloud 10 at the moment – and I do want to pick up a few more, so I’m off for a browse!

What do you think of my bluebell mani?

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Monday, 27 May 2013

Neom Enchantment Candle: A Bluebell Beauty

Neom-Enchantment-Candle-review-pics

‘I wish there was a bluebell field nearby where I could photograph this beautiful bluebell candle’ I thought… only to discover a random cluster of bluebells in my garden a few days later!  You see there are advantages of au naturel style gardening (ie unkempt & overgrown) - apologies to my mother in law who preened it so lovingly when she last visited.

Enchantment is Neom’s latest launch, a limited edition candle and diffuser that are not to be missed, as the feel good fragrance is quite exquisite. It combines bluebell with sweet guaiacwood and rose for an uplifting, sunny scent, perfect for this time of year (especially days like today, when I write with sunshine one minute and rain teaming down my window the next). Neom founder, Nicola Elliott encapsulates the fragrance perfectly…

“Reminiscent of a stolen morning walk in an ancient bluebell wood. Wild, unknown and breathtakingly beautiful.”

Neom-Enchantment-Candle

The presentation is even lovelier than usual - opaque white glass, dark wood embossed lid and gorgeous presentation box – it doesn’t get much better than this really!

Neom-Enchantment-Candle=review Neom-wooden-candle-lid

Neom has teamed up with the Woodland Trust on this release: with every Enchantment Home Candle or Reed Diffuser sold, Neom will donate £1 to the Woodland Trust, to improve the landscape by planting more trees and protecting national heritage.  I did some work with the Woodland Trust many years ago and have great respect for what they do. This lovely video explains more about how the teams will work together.

As with all Neom candles, Enchantment* is hand-poured from a blend of 100% natural vegetable waxes and pure essential oils; no paraffin wax, synthetic scents or artificial chemicals. It weighs 380g, burns for up to 50 hours and costs £42.00 here

Do you like the idea of your home smelling like a wander through enchanted bluebell woods?

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Sunday, 26 May 2013

Day time Red Lip Make-up Look

Daytime Red Lip Make-up Look

I do love a daytime red lip and think it can inject personality and energy into an otherwise ordinary look.  In my book, reds should not be reserved for evening - and this post illustrates an everyday red lip make-up look, using products from Aveda’s new Petal Essence range.  I wasn’t sure what to expect of Aveda make-up as this was the first time I’d tried it.  I imagined a soft flush of very natural looking colour in muted nude shades, so was amazed when some of the brightest tones I’ve tried arrived on my desk… think creamy textures, strong pigments and vivid colours!

Aveda Petal EssenceAveda Petal Essence swatches

Lips & Eyes

Cana Lipstick is a gutsy, bright orange toned red, which immediately made me think of Marilyn Monroe.  Made to nourish as well as colour lips, it is flavoured with organic spearmint and vanilla, unusual on application but I don’t notice it shortly after application.  I always use lip liner with a bright lipstick to help prevent bleeding and improve lasting power; Barbarry Bloom Nourish Mint lip liner is a perfect match for Cana. 

Jade Vine Eye Liner taps into this year’s Emerald Pantone trend and is the most vibrant green liner I’ve tried. I was a little hesitant, but it actually works really well contrasted with pale skin and black mascara.  I wanted to keep the rest of my make-up quite neutral against these bright pops of colour and Bare Bellis Petal Essence eye shadow was perfect for this – a soft peachy nude with a velvety texture that leaves a pretty sheen on lids.

NB For ethical reasons, some Aveda products (eg eye shadow) come in refill style products that can be slotted into their palettes or your own.  I like this, but wanted to flag in case it’s an issue for anyone. Find the full Petal Essence range here (free delivery on first order).

Dainty Doll Cream Blush

Base

For my base, I started with a touch of Pur Minerals CC Cream (Light, previous post) in the central of my face to neutralise any redness and prime my foundation - YSL Teint Radiance.  I tried a little sample of this when it first launched and liked but didn’t love, then picked this one up on my way to France at Easter and have used it almost every day since.  I may do a separate post on it so won’t ramble on now, but I do love it!

Cheeks were given a subtle flush with Dainty Doll cream blush in a nude pinky beige and lashes coated with Gosh Growth Mascara (review).

Aveda Cana Lipstick

I love a bright lipstick like this with an otherwise casual daytime look… this one looks even brighter in real life and I got quite a few sideways glances and comments on it – better than blending into the background, right?  Wearing it definitely put a spring in my step!

So will you be sporting a red pout to the supermarket this week – or are you already doing it?

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Friday, 24 May 2013

Face Oils: Pai Age Confidence & Bodhi Neroli Luce

Pai Age Confidence & Neroli Luce

It's taken me a couple of days to write this post as Windows Live Writer isn't loading for me so I'm writing this in Blogger, prehistoric style... hopefully it will look ok, but if not, that's why!

Today I want to introduce two additions to my skincare repertoire: Pai Age Confidence Facial Oil and Neroli Luce Revitalising Face Oil.

Bodhi Neroli Luce

While I'd recommend Pai for more mature skins, the Bodhi will suit all skin types in need of a little nourishment.  In a complete stroke of genius, it's been created to suit even blemish prone skin.  While it's a myth that adding oil to oily skin will create more oily skin (it actually provides balance), I can still understand why oily acneic types steer clear.  No need any longer, for this oil is the lightest formula I've tried.  Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely brimming with goodness: Neroli, Frankincense, Sea Buckthorn, Grapeseed, Evening Primrose, Apricot, Jojoba - and more...

Designed to be used after cleansing and toning, before moisturiser.  I've only recently learned that moisturiser should be applied on top of oil - did you know that? My skincare guru, Caroline Hirons, told me this week.  One to two pumps on face, neck and chest gives skin radiance and apparently can even reduce mid day shine for those who suffer from it.

£32 for 15ml here



Age Confidence & Neroli Luce Face Oils

Pai Age Confidence

Firstly, I love the name. Yes... I'm as obsessed with anti ageing as the next person, but the idea of embracing the process and using products to increase our self confidence rather than undo what we have really strikes a chord with me.

Age Confidence is applied with a pipette dropper, while the Bodhi is pumped straight into the hand. Both methods work well, though the Pai method and packaging are a little more luxe. Age Confidence  is supercharged with vitamins, omegas and essential nutrients to optimise skin health, hydrate, smooth and plump.

One of the things I love most about this product is that it comes with a facial massage guide. This is something I'm fascinated by and has made using this oil at bedtime something of a ritual, which I find really relaxing.  When I'm ready to go to sleep (in bed!) I warm a few drops between my palms, then start my facial massage - and I really love it!  You can read how to do the massage here - it would work with any oil you might already have.  My skin most definitely looks extra smooth and plump the morning after using this.

Age Confidence, £46 here

Are you a facial oil lover like me - or do you not like the idea of oil on your skin?
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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Skin Brighteners: Blue Plasma, Pepta Bright & Illuminate

DrPerricone-Blue-Plasma-Pepta-Bright-Crystal-Clear-Skin-Brighteners-Review

Post Winter skin can appear a little dull from exposure to cold weather, central heating, lack of fresh air and Vitamin D.  Over the past few months I’ve been trialling three skin brightening products to help address these issues: Perricone MD Blue Plasma, Indeed Labs’ Pepta-Bright and Crystal Clear Illuminate.   While each of these have slightly different roles, they all help create a brighter, more even complexion.  Here’s how…

Blue Plasma by Perricone MD, £78 - This non acidic peel is designed to provide all the benefits of a salon peel at home, minus the red, irritated skin. It skims over healthy skin, only attacking the dead cells and boosting renewal, while unclogging impurities and adding hydration - quite a little workhorse!  It didn’t irritate my skin one little bit and did provide a more even tone.  I actually loved the cool, light texture, which sinks straight in and gets to work, plus the dropper makes it super hygienic and easy to use.  This is the first product I’ve tried by the highly esteemed Perricone MD and it’s definitely left me hungry for more!

Pepta-bright by Indeed Labs, £29.99 - I have a few staples by this brand in my stash, including Eysilix and Hydraluron, so was excited to try its latest offering, which didn’t disappoint. This little number lightens hyperpigmentation and scarring, while helping create a more even skintone and luminous complexion.  After using this for a few weeks I stopped when passing the mirror (more than once) and was actually taken aback by how healthy and even my own skin looked. I even went out without make-up, several times.  These things never happen.  Need I say more? (besides that it’s on 3 for 2 at Boots!)

Illuminate by Crystal Clear, £60 - Unlike the two above, this is not a new product, but the celeb (Beckham) favourite brand is new to me.  This multi-tasker is a moisturiser with skin brightening properties, which hydrates and diminishes age spots while brightening and firming dull, lifeless skin. Ingredients range from essential oils and Vitamins to peptides and active minerals.  It also contains UV protectors, so is perfect for this time of year.  I feel a slight tingling as if it is actively working on my skin as soon as I massage it in and although pricey, I think the multiple effects are worth the investment.

Does your skin ever look a bit dull & lifeless?

 

 

 

 

samples

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Sunday, 19 May 2013

Paul & Joe Beach Baby Lip & Eye Duo: Review & Swatches

Paul-and-Joe-Beaute-Lip-gloss-and-eye-gloss-duo-Monaco-Santa-Monica-Nice

What’s impressed me most about my recent foray into Paul & Joe Beauté is that the brand is not just a pretty face. The packaging and presentation is as gorgeously girly as it gets, yet I’ve been just as wowed at how the products perform.  Here’s my low down on the Lip & Eye Duos, also part of the Summer 2013 Beach Baby collection…

Eye Gloss & Lip Gloss Duos in Monaco, Santa Monica & Nice

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Eye Gloss: First up, if the thought of an eye gloss scares the pants off you, fear not; these apply like a gloss but perform and set like a cream shadow - ie they don’t stay wet and sticky on your eye.  At the same time, lovers of that look may be disappointed.  In terms of texture, these remind me a bit of Clinique lid smoothies and although they can be built up, for me they work best as a wash of shimmery colour over the lid. Very quick and easy to apply, they are great for an every day wash of colour, particularly Santa Monica, the middle shade above.

Lip Gloss: In all honesty I don’t get wildly excited about lip gloss and think most are much of a muchness. The time I do tend to whip them out is in Summer, when I like a bit of gloss and glow about my face. My favourite of these three - no surprises - is the one with a bit of colour, Nice. It’s a lovely watermelon shade for a subtle pop of colour.  Santa Monica (middle) is also very pretty, a pale pink shot with gold, though I don’t tend to reach for Monaco (top), a milky, barely there colour which would probably work best over a nude lipstick. Shame really as its matching Eye Gloss is the most gorgeous old gold shade.

Before I talk you through the eye pencils, here are some swatches…

Swatches

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I really struggled to capture the eye colours accurately; they are actually a touch more pigmented, shimmery and interesting in real life.

  • Santa Monica Eyes - a pinky beige nude shimmer. Lips - pink shot with gold, with an overall effect of rose gold
  • Monaco Eyes - old gold shimmer. Lips - barely there milky nude.
  • Nice Eyes - close up this is a mix of twinkling pink, blue and silver and reminds me of the inside of a shell. Appears lilac from a distance. Lips - a sheer, bright watermelon pink.

Wear time is great for the eye gloss and about an hour for the lips.  Because the eye gloss sets, it works well both under powder as a base or over for a wash of subtle shimmer. I tend to apply a dot and just blend it out with a finger.

Eye Liner and Eye Crayon Duo in Fiji & St Tropez

Paul-and-Joe-Summer-2013-Eye-Liner-Duos-review

Lid and liner colour in one pencil is a great idea and while I love these soft tones, they do come in beautiful brights too.  The fine point means that I’m unlikely to use these for all over lid colour and tend to use them as a broad liner on top with the liner shade on the lower lash line or water line.

Paul-and-Joe-Eye-Liner-and-Crayon-Duo-St-Tropez-Fiji Paul-and-Joe-Eye-Liner-and-Crayon-Duo

Both eye crayons have a sheen and are of course softer in texture than the liners, though not overly soft. They can be blended out and don’t tend to set, so require a primer to avoid creasing if used all over the lid.

  • Fiji is a dusky pink eye crayon with a mid brown liner. I was hoping the liner would be cooler toned, but it does have a bit of warmth.
  • St Tropez is a light golden brown with the most perfect nude liner, which totally saved my morning after rims this weekend. Not too pinky or peachy, just slightly deeper than my natural skin tone.

Paul-and-Joe-Eye-Liner-and-Crayon-Duo-St-Tropez-Fiji-swatches-photos-pics

I’m all for multi tasking products that taking up less space in my make-up bag and mean carrying less items - and of course both of these products are genius for travel, an evening clutch or on-the-go touch ups. 

Paul & Joe Eye Gloss & Lip Gloss Duos*, £28 and Eye Liner & Eye Crayon Duos*, £22 are available at Harrods, Selfridges and Fenwick now and from 1st June at beautybay.com

Any of these catching your eye… or lips?

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Thursday, 16 May 2013

SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer

Skinceuticals Redness Neutralizer

In the past six months or so I’ve developed a skin condition which causes occasional hot, red flare ups, mainly around my nose and cheeks and usually after coffee or wine.  I’m not sure if it’s rosacea - the jury is still out - but it’s incredibly uncomfortable and quite disconcerting, so I was keen to try SkinCeutical’s new Redness Neutralizer to see if it made a difference.

I planned to review this after one month, the time I normally test skincare for, but was told it may take up to 12 weeks to see results, which indeed turned out to be the case.

SkinCeuticals developed Redness Neutralizer to specifically tackle the appearance of skin redness and soothe skin.  It works by helping to protect the skin against triggers that stimulate the sensory nerve endings, causing the onset of flushing, burning and discomfort for redness sufferers.

It’s important to point out that this product does not claim to stop flushing completely - and hasn’t done that for me.  It says it will reduce flushing by 30% and while I can’t measure accurately, I did (after a couple of months) notice some decrease.  I also found the product pleasant to use and quite moisturising and soothing on my skin. It’s suitable for the most sensitive skins, including post procedure, scars, red stretch marks and superficial burns.

Skinceuticals Redness Neutralizer

Although it contains a generous 50ml, the bottle is quite dinky, lightweight and has a pump dispenser - all plus points for me.

“In a 12-week clinical trial of 48 subjects, conducted by a board-certified dermatologist… 87% of users reported a reduction in the appearance of their redness in just 12 weeks.”

While I don’t want to blind you with science, this really is the most scientific skincare product I’ve ever tested. The extent of research behind it and quality of ingredients is significant - and reflected in the price, a hefty £66.45 here (SKIN10 gives an additional 10% off).

I was sent this bottle for review, so would I repurchase?  If it cost a bit less, probably yes, but I’m not sure that it made a significant enough difference for me to do so - or if any skincare product would.  At the same time, the flushing can be so uncomfortable at times that I’d consider anything!  To be honest I think my best option right now is to avoid the triggers, sadly two of my favourite things: coffee and wine!

Do you suffer from skin flushing or rosacea - and if so, has anything helped?

 

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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Paul & Joe Beach Baby Nail Enamel: Caribbean & Rio

Paul-and-Joe-Caribbean-Rio-Nail-Polish-review

Caribbean (aqua) and Rio (orange) are two of the new nail polish shades launched this month as part of Paul and Joe’s Beauté’s new Beach Baby collection.  Aren’t the bottles gorgeous?!

Paul-and-Joe-Rio-Coral-Nail-Polish-swatch-Summer-2013

I’ve been wearing Rio this week and can’t help myself from smiling every time I look at it, despite the lack of Spring sunshine.  The crème polish is well pigmented, smooth in texture and application and wear time has been above average on my nails. I’m wearing Orly Polishield top coat in these pics. 

In the bottle the colour looks like a deep dusky coral, but on my nails it’s much more orange in real life. My favourite kind of ever so slightly muted orange; no sharpness here, just pure juicy!

Paul&Joe-Rio-Nail-Enamel-swatch

Doesn’t it contrast well with my new blue Lola Rose ring, a little pressie to myself? I got it in the sale at Accessories Online last week (ohhh it’s still online here) and was very lucky that it fitted perfectly!  This site is a new discovery, full of temptations… next on my lust list is this gorgeous neon leather bracelet in my favourite pink and orange colour scheme - love!  Bibi Bijoux Braided Neon Pink Leather and Silver Bracelet

Paul & Joe Beauté Sixties-inspired nail enamels come in five shades, priced at £12 each.

 

 

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Meet the Beauty Experts at Liberty: Brushes with Greatness

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This is one of the numerous occasions when I wish I was in London to avail of great events like this one, but since I can’t make it, maybe some of you can!  Starting today, head to Liberty for a week of workshops, pro tips & live demos with beauty industry insiders, from Ruth of A Model Recommends, the lovely Pixiwoo sisters and a host of top make-up artists and beauty experts.

Some events are drop ins and others require an appointment: check out the full details here.

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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Paul & Joe Summer 2013: Pressed Powder in Summer Sand 004

 Paul&Joe-UV-Pressed-Powder-Summer-Sand-004-leopard-compact-spf-20

Paul & Joe’s Summer 2013 Collection includes some of the prettiest make-up of the season - and this leopard patterned Pressed Powder compact is the hero product.  Finely textured, it brightens the skin with a gentle glow, creating a soft focus, light diffusing effect, while absorbing any excess oil.

Paul&Joe-Pressed-Powder-UV-004-leopard-compact-gold067

The pretty, embossed powder contains SPF20 and while I wouldn’t rely on it exclusively for sun protection, it’s good to know that it can be swept on to provide a little top up throughout the day.  Available in two shades, I was sent Summer Sand 004, a natural beige with barely perceptible gold pearl particles.  It also comes in Beach Baby Pink 003, with fine silver pearl particles.

Swatches
Paul&Joe-UV-Pressed-Powder-Summer-Sand-004-swatch Paul&Joe-UV-Pressed-Powder-Summer-Sand-004-swatch-review

It looks super pale here, but really it’s quite translucent.  I’ve swatched it quite heavily on my arm to give you an idea of texture; note the fineness and lack of fall out on the finger swatch.

Lots more Paul & Joe prettiness to come this week…

Pressed Powder in Summer Sand, £28. Paul & Joe’s Summer 2013 Make-up Collection is available now at Harrods, Fenwick & Selfridges and from  1st June at beautybay.com

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Beauty Steal: DuWop Lip Venom Offer

DuWop-Lip-Venom

A real beauty steal to share with you today… this little set of mini DuWop Lip Venom products (worth £40) is free with any DuWop purchase at Cloud10Beauty - just don’t hang about as they’re running out fast!

The lightly pigmented venom gloss in pink or nude tones are both very pretty (and cinnamon scented, in case that allures/bothers you!). Prime Venom (second right) is a satin matt balm for secret lip smoothing and plumping - great for wearing alone or layer with lipstick for an even finish. The set also includes a lipstick in private red and lip gloss in original and pink shimmer. 

DuWop Private Collection is the latest launch by the brand and the suit-all lipsticks change colour according to your body chemistry (and presumably, temperature).  Private Pink and Private Coral both look lovely for summer!

All of the above are available with any DuWop purchase at Cloud10beauty.com while stocks last. NB all products are miniature sized and worth £40 in total.

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Hair Helpers: Herra, Tigi On The Rebound, Alterna Overnight Rescue

Tigi-Bedhead-On-the-Rebound-Curl-Cream_Alterna-Caviar-Overnight-Hair-Rescue_Herra-Hair-perfume

Sometimes (usually!) my hair needs a little extra help to look its best and three products have stood out for me lately: Herra Hair Perfume, Tigi Bedhead On the Rebound and Alterna Caviar Overnight Hair Rescue.

I’ve shared the joys of Herra Hair Perfume before (here), but wanted to flag it again as I think this is the time of year when it really comes into its own.  I always avoid perfume when sunbathing to avoid skin discolouration in the heat, so spritzing this through the hair is a great way to smell great and still get my perfume fix, plus it moisturises and protects from UV damage.

Tigi-Bedhead-On-the-Rebound-Curl-Cream_Alterna-Caviar-Overnight-Hair-Rescue_Herra-Hair-perfume-review

When the weather is a bit milder I let my hair go au naturel most of the time, so a quick upside down 1-2 min blow dry with a little scrunch action at roots for volume and at ends to encourage curl.  On the Rebound Curl Recall Cream from Tigi’s Bedhead range is rich and creamy, great for a little extra definition and hold. I adore the packaging cuteness and the sweet scent is pretty swoony too.

I’ve just discovered Alterna hair care in recent months - it’s not cheap, but everything I’ve tried so far has blown me away - and if your hair is in need of some serious tlc, the Caviar range is second to none. The hero product for me is Overnight Hair Rescue. Now I’m not big into overnight hair treatments: oily hair, manky pillowcase… you get the picture.  Instantly absorbed, this formula provides an incredibly nourishing treatment with little, if any, residue on my hair.  It smells beautiful and when I wash my hair the next morning it’s the closest I get to salon results at home.

  • Herra Hair Perfume £24.95 here
  • Tigi Bedhead On the Rebound £10.80 (cheapest I’ve found) here
  • Alterna Overnight Hair Rescue £28.10 (20% off) here

Which hair care products are you loving right now?

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Sunday, 12 May 2013

Everyday Make-up Look with Pur Minerals CC & Atelier HD

Pur-Minerals-CC-Cream

Just as I was starting to feel a bit disillusioned by the whole CC cream craze, Pur Minerals’ new release arrived on my desk - and suddenly I get it. It’s creamy; it applies smoothly and with ease. It’s not as moisturising as a BB cream, but that’s not its job.  It evens out my skintone, reduces redness, provides me with an impressive SPF of 40 and gives enough coverage to be worn alone.

Pur-Minerals-CC-Cream-Light-review 

The packaging is excellent - the ease and hygiene of a pump combined with the lightweight portability of a tube - tick, tick, tick!

Makeup-Atelier-moisturiser-pink Susan-Posnick-lipstick

Cheeks:  Make-up Atelier HD Blush in Natural Rose (AIRRN1) is a liquid silicone based crème in the most exquisite shade of pink; so little is required it will probably last me a lifetime.  If you’ve ever used red food colouring to turn white icing pink, you’ll know that the tip of a wooden cocktail stick dipped in the colour is all that’s need to pinkify a full batch of cupcakes.  Similar precision is required with this blush: the teensiest dot imaginable is all that’s needed to colour up two cheeks and I advise experimenting in advance of wearing this in public to get used to the formula.  Totally worth the effort as it’s just beautiful and is the longest lasting blush I’ve tried... also adorable on lips.

Lips: Susan Posnick lipsticks have the kind of texture that makes me want to reapply continually throughout the day as it’s super creamy and feels sooo good! Packed with natural ingredients this is gorgeously moisturising and I love the little chunky magnetised tube.  Impossible to overdo, Shanghai Pink (one of six new Color Essential shades) remains a lovely everyday mid pink no matter how much you layer up; great for those with Lipstick Fear (yep, it exists).

Eyes: All that remained was to conceal dark circles with Make-up Atelier Correcting Concealing palette (full post here), add a peachy sheen to lids with Aveda Petal Essence eye-shadow in Bare Bellis and subtle definition with Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Sandglow (review).  I curled my lashes with Shu Uemura curlers I picked up for a song in Singapore airport (lash curling = not my forte, but I’m learning!) and added a slick of Sheer Cover Extra Length Mascara, the blackest I’ve tried.

Make-up-look-CC-Cream-Makeup-Atelier

The finished look… lightly covered skin with a natural flush to cheeks and lips and naturally defined eyes: my everyday face.  I really ought to have included some swatches of the CC cream and if you’d like me to, please just leave a comment below; at least this allows you to see it on my face.

So how does Pur Minerals CC cream compare to the other two I’ve tried: Nip’n’Fab and Clinique? (links to full reviews).  Less dry in texture, more even coverage, feels more comfortable on my skin, is easier to apply and performs better as a make-up base (over moisturiser).

Pur Minerals CC Cream launches in late May 2013 priced at £25, available exclusively at M&S.

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Saturday, 11 May 2013

Kure Bazaar Macaron: Baby Pink Nail Polish

Kure-Macaron-nail-polish-review

Kure Bazaar nail-friendly polish combines fashionable shades with an eco-natural formula based on wood pulp, wheat, cotton, potatoes and corn.  The four-free  range (no Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate, Synthetic Camphor or Toluene) is the creation of Brazilian Supermodel, Kartika Luyet.

Kure-Macaron-nail-polish Kure-Macaron-baby-pink-nail-polish

Macaron is a sugar sweet baby pink with slight shimmer, which appears a little more pink than in these pics, taken in direct sunlight.

Kure-Macaron-nail-polish-swatch

I found application a little tricky for what I consider to be an expensive brand (£14.95), possibly due to the pastel shade and very fine brush, but three coats on, the finished results were very pretty.

Kure Bazaar polishes come in a range of sophisticated, subtle shades that are a little bit different to most collections I’ve seen - £14.95 each at biggreensmile.com

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Thursday, 9 May 2013

Cute Cosmetics rECOnsider Beauty Bag: 100% natural

recover-beauty-gift-set

Bored of beauty boxes?  Online natural beauty retailer, CutECOsmetics, has come up with a first: an eco beauty bag featuring make-up and accessories as well as skincare, presented in a fairtrade make-up bag.  The limited edition Eco Beauty Bag, designed to encourage you to rECOnsider what's in your makeup bag, includes cruelty free products with 100% natural ingredients. Essentially a way to try out new natural brands at less than half the RRP, I think it’s a great idea and love that it includes two firm favourites of mine, Revolution Organics and Bdellium Tools.

Cute-cosmetics-recover-organic-beauty-bag-set Organic-beauty-set

The Contents:

Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm in Sunkissed, £21 (full size) - a multi-tasking product that can be swiped across cheeks, lips, eyes and décolletage for a bronzey coral glow (my review & swatches). Also comes in Blushes, a rosy pink.

Bdellium Tools Green Bambu Large Shadow Brush (vegan), £7.95 (full size) - #778 brush is perfect for applying shadow to the entire lid in one super soft sweep.

Lily Lolo Mineral Eyeshadow, £5.29 (full size) - this comes in 1 of 5 highly pigments shades; mine is Cosmopolitan, a dark khaki. Lovely paired with bronze for an evening smoky eye.

Inika Certified Organic Eyeliner in Caviar, £11.75 (full size) - soft, long lasting and sensitive eye friendly. I love the built in sharpener on the lid, way better than the little fiddly kind attached to the end.

BM Beauty Mineral Eyeshadow, £3.50 - this trial size shadow in Platinum Tiara, a lovely shimmery mauve tinged grey; comes in 4 other colours.

I also received sample sizes of Nat Origin moisturiser and Deep Steep Body Lotion - and of course the hot pink canvas make-up bag, manufactured with the Bags of Ethics trademark.  I’m not sure if you get a choice of shades where multiples are available… I’m guessing it’s a lucky dip but am not sure.

rECOnsider eco beauty bag is priced at £20 (actual value: £50) and available here.

Do you prefer natural beauty products - and would you be tempted to try something like this?

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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Bourjois Cream Blush: Nude Velvet & Rose Tender Review & Swatches

Bourjois-cream-blush

I’ve been excited to try Bourjois Cream Blush since the day and hour I heard about them - and they really don’t disappoint - light as air, easy to apply and in four Summer swoony shades.  I have Nude Velvet and Rose Tender to share with you today, two of the prettiest blushes I’ve seen in a long time, high praise coming from an absolute blush addict. 

The texture is unlike any other cream blush I’ve tried; slightly mousse-like to the touch, they blend on the skin like velvet, instantly changing to a powdery finish. The texture is divine and in fact I think they should have been called Velvet Blush rather than Cream Blush. 

Bourjois-cream-blush-rose-tender-03-review Bourjois-cream-blush-nude-velvet-01Bourjois-cream-blush-rose-tender-03 Bourjois-cream-blush-nude-velvet -01-review

Nude Velvet is a matt peachy coral and Rose Tender a soft mid pink with a slight sheen (not shimmer).

Swatches

Bourjois-cream-blush-swatches -pink-coral Bourjois-cream-blush-01-03

I’m usually most drawn to pink blushers, but actually think I like the Nude Velvet best… it injects a lovely Spring glow into my cheeks. Just one or two light touches of product on the pads of my fingers patted across the cheek is all it takes - no interference with base and not a brush in sight. The colour lasts well on my skin and I can’t wait to create some pretty Spring make-up looks with these, so look out for them featuring on here again soon!

Bourjois Cream Blush launched exclusively in Selfridges today and will be available at Boots, Superdrug and ASOS from May 15 2013, rrp £7.99 each.

I’ll definitely be picking up at least one of the other two shades, how about you?

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