Friday, 19 September 2014

Friday Video Quick Review - MAC Brush Cleanser

This is definitely the best of the shop-bought brush cleansers I've tried so far. It doesn't get your brushes as spanking clean-looking as I'd like but it doesn't damage them and doesn't smell grim.


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster

I have used a lot of serums in my time, some great, some that make no difference whatsoever but none that have made such a noticeable difference to my skin and in fact my morning routine.

I still find that the majority of my friends barely cleanse and moisturise let alone use the 'added extra's' of toning and serums (they may stretch to an eye cream if they think that's a problem area). And in a way I completely understand, it can take a while to find products that work with your skin and you can spend way too much money on your failed attempts but the right serum used in a good morning and evening skin routine can really make a difference to the look, feel and health of your skin. I'm going to do a whole different post on serums...

What I want from a serum is collagen boosting/mild-anti-ageing, vitamins and moisture. I have dry skin and I'm 31 so although I don't want anything harsh on my skin it does need a bit of help. The only serum that's really made a difference up until now it Liz Earle's Superskin Concentrate which is good but has been over-taken in my affection by the Truth Serum Collagen Booster from Ole Henriksen.

It's very hard to review this as a stand alone product as I'm pretty sure it has slotted into my skin routine and worked with products that I have also spent a lot of time trying out and perfecting for what my skin needs but there is a visible difference in my skin and after not using it for two weeks I missed it - my face missed it.

There are certain things about this product that I shouldn't like or that would put me off if the results weren't so good. The first is the smell which is exactly like those fizzing Vitamin C tablets (which I'm sure some will love) but was initially not great for me but I've taught myself to take deep breaths when I'm applying it an actually its really invigorating and refreshing first thing in the morning and I sort of love it now. The second problem is that it can, on occasion feel a bit sticky, however this stickiness does not last especially when a moisturiser is put over the top so it's not a problem as all really just something that would annoy me in a lesser product! 

So what's in it that makes it so good? Described on the Ole Henriksen as 'a vitamin for your face' that's exactly what it is so if you are lazy in your skin care or need something to soothe, calm and boost your skin this could be the serum for you. You can use it morning or night after toning and before your moisturiser (ideally...) and a tiny bit goes a long way, you don't need a full pump of this. Sodium hyaluronate binds moisture to the face plumping the skin and evening out fine lines and wrinkles, licorice extract evens skin tone, Vitamins C and E calm, heal and nourish whilst protecting from antioxidents and grapefruit and orange extract purify and brighten. That's only some of what's in there.

It's not cheap so I use this as sparingly as possible and it does contain fragrance so if you don't like that then this is not for you but this is going to be an absolute skincare staple in my skincare cupboard from now on. 

What You Need to Know
  • Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster
  • Approximately £47 (and about US$48) for 30ml (also available in 15ml and 60ml)
  • Contains Grapefruit, Orange, Licorice, Rosehip, Green Tea extracts, Vitamins C and E and Sodium Hyaluronate
  • Available in the UK from lookfantastic, feelunique, Selfridges,
  • Available in the US from  Ole Henrikson, Sephora, Skinstore

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Dior Star Fluid Foundaion

The first time I used this foundation I was in a hurry, I hadn't moisturised (tut tut) and I thought it was a bit meh. I WAS WRONG. The next time I tried it it blew my mind. It's that good.

In this job you hear a lot of 'this is the best... it does everything... it's better than... etc etc' and I have to say it's very easy to go 'yes yes' nod enthusiastically, go home, try it and find it's not as amazing as they've made it out to be (and why not? it's their job after all). And I assumed this was the same for the new Diorskin Star foundation but this product actually lives up to the hype.

With a long-lasting, radiant, professional finish this it the foundation that the lovers of the now extinct Chanel Pro Lumier are looking for and, available in 12 shades, this medium to full coverage foundation is pretty light on the skin and lasts all night even without a primer underneath. The luminosity comes from the doughnut shaped pigment spheres that reflect two dimensional light which intensifies the natural healthy glow - most modern foundations contain solid spheres only reflecting light in one direction which can cause a flat mask-like appearance.

But this new technology is not the only fantastic thing about this foundation. It contains powerful active ingredients with longer-term skin benefits. Immortelle flower encourages cell renewal and softens the skin, daisy extract regulates melanin production to counteract dark spots and liquorice extract combats redness. These are said to improve radiance and smoothness of the skin by 50% in just 4 weeks - whether this is true or not it's great to know that something you are putting on your skin as make-up is benefiting it as well.

Dior recommend using this with their Backstage Pro's Fluid Foundation Sponge (also available in September) - their version of the now famous Beauty Blender - but I use it with my foundation brushes and/or hands and it goes on very well. The trick with it is to use a little at a time and build and blend on well moisturised skin. It really does even out your skin tone and I hardly had to use any concealer when using this foundation - it worked that well on my redness and dark circles.

I believe that this foundation would suit all skin types though I've only tried it on my own dehydrated and fairly sensitive face. I know that the reason I didn't like it the first time was that my skin was so dry it just absorbed it really and I felt like I would need the entire bottle to cover my face. This isn't the case, a little of this can go a long way and, when applied correctly, it will give you a full coverage but with a radiant finish.

I will be posting a quick review for this over the next couple of weeks so keep a lookout for it.

What You Need To Know
  • Diorskin Star Fluid Foundation
  • RRP £32 for 30ml 
  • 12 shades
  • To suit all skin types
  • Available from September 2014
  • Active ingredients include Immortelle Flower, daisy extract and liquorice extract

Friday, 22 August 2014

Friday Video - How The Sun Sees You by Thomas Leveritt

I'm going on holiday to France tomorrow and this year I'm feeling especially disorganised about it all, but one thing I'm not chaotic about is making sure I have enough of the right suncream. I'm vain enough that long before I had my son I was worried about not wearing the right SPF and now I'm a mother the worry of my little cherub getting burnt means I'm fully focused on suncare.

There are some things that I get all fired up about that then turns out not to be so much of a big deal but being protected in the sun isn't one of those things as this incredible video shows...


Also Happy Birthday Miss F, she originally sent this to me saying I had to see it so it seems fitting that I post it on her birthday

Monday, 18 August 2014

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

There are so many reasons why you need to have these in you bathroom. They will make a visible difference to your skin, improve it's clarity, diminish the appearance of fine lines - a must for those who are just to lazy to tone because these badboys actually work. I've been using these most mornings for the past month and I can't imagine not having them in my skincare arsenal. They are so good that they are worth getting and using once or twice a week if you are on a budget and want them to last for longer.

I have to confess this is the first product I've used from First Aid Beauty (FAB) a US company developed by Lilli Gordon in 2009 as an antidote to all the products she had used that either worked but felt medicinal or didn't work at all! The packaging may be simple but it's stylish and appealing.  Having tried these I am desperate to get my hands on some of the other FAB products to see if they are all as good. I've only heard good things about this company.

The lactic and glycolic acid exfoliate, the Indian gooseberry tones, and the lemon peel and licorice root brighten. I haven't had to exfoliate since I started using them (I have not felt the need to exfoliate since I started using them) which makes me feel like they're even better for my skin because I'm doing less to it. They are free from alcohol and allergens but remember that if you do use these use sunscreen because AHA's can make your skin more sensitive to sun damage.

What You Need to Know - First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
  • Approximately £16-£20
  • 60 pads per pot
  • Contains lactic and glycolic acids, lemon peel, licorice root and Indian gooseberry
  • Suitable for all skin types including acne prone and sensitive
  • Available from feelunique.com and beautybay.com

Friday, 15 August 2014

Quick Review - Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher

This was an incredibly difficult review to do. On the one hand I love the ease with which it goes on, the feel of it and the staying power. However for the price I just don't think it gives quite enough coverage for my super-dark circles. See it in action...



The Retoucher by Charlotte Tilbury is £25 and available at charlottetilbury.com and Selfridges

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Dowal Walker Christmas

When I first met my husband I was at university and he was a restaurant review for a what's-on-in-London website and I thought he was incredibly glamorous and he used to complain that he was always having to do Valentine's Day reviews at Christmas and Christmas in July and I thought he was a moaning miny. Now he's a consultant and I am a blogger and so it's me that spent quite a lot of a very hot July going to Christmas events and trying to take endless notes and photo's so I don't forget all the festive wonder before it all comes out in July.

Some of the gorgeous palette's from Paul & Joe
Limited edition Lipstick compacts from Paul & Joe
I don't usually write about events that I've been to as I think it's a bit weird but Dowal Walker PR did such a fun Christmas preview last week that I thought it was worth a mention. A major perk of this job is you do occassionally get your hands on some fabulous samples to try out and this Christmas event was no different - we were given empty bags when we arrived and told to take anything we wanted from the huge glass bowls dotted around the rooms. Sadly I was on 'mum-time' so only managed to arrive half an hour before the end when there was hardly anything left (I have suggested goody bags be made up for those who have to do bath time before they are able to get out). However I still came away with some amazing things to try out and was blown away by their amazing client list and the products I tried out on the night.

I am a huge fan of Paul & Joe Beaute, not just for the show-stopping packaging every product I've tried has been fantastic quality and worth the money I paid for it - it's rare to find a brand that does both so well. We got really cute kitten make-up bags to take away with us and a sneak peak at the up-and-coming products they have on offer this Christmas including new limited edition lipsticks and cases, lip concealer pencils (a must have) and Lip Liner duo's.

Nails Inc have collaborated with It Girl Alexa Chung to bring out a range of incredible nail colours for Christmas. I tend not to focus on nails so I probably wouldn't have noticed these had I not gone to the event but the sparkle colours are absolutely gorgeous, fun and sophisticated. Sadly I missed all the samples though did manage to get some Gel Effect Top Coat which I'm hoping will be a more reasonably priced dupe for the Dior one which was huge last year.

HealGel is taking the makeup and skincare world by storm and this was the first chance I'd had to actually try some out. For those who don't know HealGel is an aqueous gel with active ingredients created by plastic surgeons and dermatological biochemists who wanted to create a range of skincare that actually worked to soothe, repair and protect the skin. They have just bought out HealGel Body and I tried their world-renowned HealGel face which seemed lovely (though applied to the back of my hand). Can't wait to try more of this.

Fell in love with this Japonesque paletted
Percy & Reed are by far and away my favourite company for haircare products - if it was easier to get hold of I would never use any dry shampoo but theirs. One of the samples I did manage to pick up was the Shine & Fragrance spray and this smells divine. Perfect for the morning after the night before,  giving your hair a spritz when you are going out straight from work or as a present for a pregnant friend - I hated my hair smelling of cooking smells when I was pregnant so this spray would have been a godsend.

So those were my favourite picks of the night from brands I do know. I was also introduced to Grown Alchemist - a new organic skincare range and their Vanilla and Orange Peel hand cream is to die for. Free from artificial chemicals their products focus on a whole range of needs from anti-aging, anti-blemish and dryness to redness, oily skin and uneven skin tone. Definitely a brand to try out.
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