All About Face

Pretty sure I'm the last beauty blogger on the block to get around to trying the original Beauty Blender. I've tried alternatives like those by Real Techniques and Barely There, but only recently had my first play with the iconic hot pink bouncy makeup sponge.

This All About Face set contains the original pink Beauty Blender for foundation, a smaller grey one for blusher and a micro mini for highlighting and concealer. The mini is particularly good for concealing around the eyes, where I find the pink one a little too bulky to really smooth concealer into the corners.

I've been using the Beauty Blenders with my current base products, YSL Touche Eclat Le Teint Eclat foundation and Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum concealer (yep, still loving this - full review here). Both of these are liquid formulas with a dewy finish, so lend themselves particularly well to this kind of application. I'm not sure if a thicker cream or compact would work so well?

If you're new to Beauty Blenders, they're firm-ish sponges used to press or bounce foundation onto the skin for a perfected, seamless finish. I dampen mine before use, which makes it almost double in size and apply product more smoothly with a natural finish. I squeeze it with a clean flannel to get rid of excess water before use, so it's not dripping wet. 

I definitely use more product with a sponge compared to a brush - almost double in fact - which is quite significant, though I'm currently sucking it up as these give such a perfect, almost poreless finish. Cleaning them is easier than I expected... little and often seems to be key (and more hygienic). The solid cleanser is great, though I've tried a face wash (the Merumaya Luxury Facial wash from this post), which works well too.  

Once the novelty has worn off, I'll probably return to makeup brushes for every day and save my Beauty Blenders for times when I want to make more of an effort. I'd love to hear your experiences of using one - and welcome any tips. 

You can find the full Beauty Blender range and All About Face collection here


Pixi Hello Rose Glow Kit

If anyone knows how to get the glow, it's Pixi. So many of the Pixi Beauty products help to create a more radiant, glowing complexion and this little Hello Rose kit is no exception. If rosy tones aren't your thing, it's also available in a peach and honey toned version called Hello Glow.

This is how the kit comes, with generous miniatures of cream highlight, blush and plumping lipgloss. 

Glow Booster in Pink Pearl is a sheer pearly pink toned highlighter... mix a dot with foundation, apply under base for an all over glow or add to the high points of your face as a final step (my personal favourite).

Lip Lift Max in Sheer Rose is the ultimate nude lip colour for me... I have the full size version which I've worn a lot in recent months. A rosy brown toned nude with the perfect amount of pigment for a semi-sheer wash of colour, this looks gorgeous paired with a nude lipliner. I'm a big fan of Pixi's Soft Nude Contour Liner though since mine ran out I've been using Barry M lip liner in Blush, an excellent nude shade and total bargain at £2.99.

Pixi Blush Duo in Rose Gold is a cool pink with a slightly iridescent finish and a white gold highlight. I like to use the blush side on its own, though it can be mixed with a little of the highlight for a more shimmery finish or used separately. I prefer the more subtle finish of a cream highlight, so tend to use the Glow Booster on tops of cheekbones.

Swatches from left: Blush Duo in Rose Gold (blush & highlight swatched separately), Glow Booster in Pink Pearl and Lip Lift Max in Sheer Rose.

Pixi Hello Rose Glow kit is available now for £20 here in the UK or in-store at Target in the US. 


Bathroom Shelfie

Hello from my new bathroom! It's been a while since I've shared a bathroom shelfie and as some of these products have become regulars, it's time to share my thoughts...

I first discovered Alfaparf Milano hair care after a Keratin treatment at Stafford Hair. I've tried quite a few of the products since and have most recently been enjoying Prickly Pear and Orange from the Precious Nature range. The smell of these is as authentic as I'd hoped and really lingers on my hair. I'm prone to dryness and a frizzy halo (lucky me) and these really do leave my hair feeling softer and smoother. The mask is so rich that I can only use it on ends as my hair is prone to that weighed down feeling (coarser hair types could probably use it more often)... I use the shampoo alone and then apply the mask every 2-3 washes. This is the first shampoo that leaves my hair feeling nourished without any conditioner, so although a little more pricey than your average Boots number, it works out fairly economical (available at selected salons or amazon). PS also works wonders on my daughters spirally curls and the gorgeous scent has made hair washing much less of a chore!

Bioderma's Atoderm bodycare range is aimed at dry, sensitive skin, which I'm particularly prone to in Winter. If you're the same, it's really not worth inflicting your skin to highly scented, foaming products with harsh chemicals, which increase irritation and strip skin of natural oils. This Ultra-nourishing Anti-irritation shower oil is a pleasure to use and much more luxurious than it looks. On contact with wet skin, the oil quickly emulsifies into a milky lotion, rinses off easily and leaves my skin feeling soft and comfortable (not remotely greasy). The pump makes it really practical and as an added bonus, it's makes leg shaving a breeze!

I've been using this tube of Merumaya Luxury Facial Wash each morning for longer than I remember and need so little I'm barely half way through. It's super gentle and a little dot the size of my baby finger nail is all I need. The reason I've stuck with this for so long is that it's one of the few facial washes I've tried that cleanses without drying or irritating my skin in any way. Active ingredients include antioxidants to protect and pomegranate enzymes to brighten, treating redness and imperfections without stripping. I'll sometimes use it alone and rinse off, but more recently have been massaging it in with a super gentle Konjac Sponge for an even more thorough cleanse. Konjac Sponges were one of my earliest discoveries through this blog and are perfect for anyone who likes an uncomplicated, natural approach to skincare. Available to suit different skin types, each one contains French clay and minerals; mine is the Chamomile Facial Puff sponge to soothe and calm sensitive skin. 

Mauli Reawaken Hand & Body Wash is an indulgence for my dry hands and I've been eeking out every drop to make it last as long as possible! Made with 80% organic ingredients, including essential oils, its amazing scent includes lime, grapefruit, frankincense and jasmine... an absolute treat for both the skin and senses.

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