Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Benefit Review #1 False Lashes

Benefit 'Prima Donna' False Lashes £11
Benefit Eyelash Glue £7 for 7ml

Benefit recently launched an array of false eye lashes and I've got the 'Prima Donna' pair. 
I will say that the first thing I noticed is how sturdy and strong these lashes are, in comparison to cheaper brands that I've had experience of. They seem industrial strength! I'm on my 4th use and they're still in excellent condition! They have a thick base so a sweep of liner on the lid afterwards is necessary otherwise the base may well become noticeable.

The strong plastic slide box means it is easy to store the lashes again after use, which I think is a huge positive. Storage for makeup is always a plus for me, and for something as lose-able and breakable as false lashes, the packaging Benefit are offering here is worth the investment of the slightly higher price tag.

 The lash glue is something special; it's clear and latex free. Two very strong plus points, no? Again, the lash glue is quite pricey, but the generous size of the tube will last such a long time and it doesn't have a god awful smell like the Eyelure glue does. The glue is super runny, so it can be hard to control how much you squeeze out of the nozzle as it isn't very thick like other glues tend to be. It's really important to let this glue go tacky before applying it onto the lashline, otherwise it will get into your eyes, which of course is an unpleasent experience!!
My least favourite point of these lashes is that due to their strength and their thick base, they can feel quite heavy on the eyelid. I'd imagine that if you're not used to wearing lashes very often that this factor would be quite noticeable and may be irritating. The 'Prima Donna' style are a nice length, they add volume, yet are natural enough to be worn in the daytime! Worn with a smokey eye in the evening and with a bit of added mascara, this style of lash is easily transferable from daytime to night time. I really like the look of the 'Pin Up' lash, they're a gorgeous length and are a really dark brown, rather than black. Also, the lash base is long enough to fit the largest of eyes, but most of us will have to trim them down ever so slightly. Quick tip for this; cut them at a slant to avoid them causing discomfort on your lid.

The problem I've mainly experienced when applying them, is firstly the runny glue (errors are easily made) but then the inner corners of the lash always seem to flick upwards after wearing them for a while. I normally disguise this with a bit more eyeliner, but if I'm honest it's a problem I have with a lot of falsies, cheap or expensive, they always seem to flick up a bit. I've seen these lashes on other people and this hasn't happened!

What do you think? The bottom two pictures show the problem I have with the inner corners. I think I might trim them down a bit more.

Happy lashing!!

What false lashes do you use?

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

17 Review #1 Nail Varnish

17 Fast Finish Nail Varnish in Ruby Gem £2.99

Left; With flash. Right; Without
The perfect autumnal shade, but also the perfect shade to take you into the upcoming CHRISTMAS SEASON!!! I can see this being 'jazzed up' with the Barry M 150 red glitter polish, or with some festive nail art, I'll post some photos nearer the time, I've got a couple of ideas. It's a deep, blood red, a stunning jewel colour that deepens and intensifies with every coat. I think this colour is versatile and will suit everyone. It dries pretty quickly too! 17 never fail to disappoint me actually, just a shame that this seems to chip after a day (even with base and top coat...sad face)

Three Coats
What colours are you wearing on your nails at the moment?

Monday, 21 November 2011

Wonder Product #2 La Roche Posay Effaclar K

 La Roche Posay Effaclar K Renovating Care For Oily Skin, £13 for 30ml

Since moving to Wales in July, I've been suffering with terrible skin. It is the worst it has ever been, I have quite an uneven skin tone but growing up I was really lucky with my skin; it wasn't sensitive, it wasn't spot or acne prone. I couldn't understand the changes it my skin, and it noticeably got worse September onwards. I hadn't changed my skin care routine, and was basically confused as to what was going on! I consciously changed my skin care routine, twice, but nothing helped. Feeling a bit of a lost cause, I decided to try La Roche- Posay because I'd read in a magazine that it had done wonders to others skin.

It's a serum like consistency, a milky liquid that absorbs into the skin within minutes. The packaging calls it a 'fresh, hydrating and non greasy cream-fluid texture.'
Smell; It's a hard one to describe. It smells like something that has been made in a lab. Good, right? Not too overpowering or chemically, though.

I've been using it twice a day for two weeks and I can honestly say that it has transformed my skin back into it's old self. For the first week of use I kept a diary to show you lot how quickly it worked.

Day One; I had a no makeup day and used this morning and night. 
Day Two; I've woken up and can see a visible difference. Blemishes seem calmer, and redness has toned down. I used this before my makeup (primer afterwards) and after I washed my face, before bed.
Day Three; No new blemishes or spots!! Skin looks clearer.
Day Four; No changes
Day Five; A slight disruption in skin but nothing like before, skin tone remains even!
Day Six; No changes
Day Seven; I look freshfaced and healthy. Today there are no spots or blemishes, and my skin tone appears more even.

The packaging states that this is for combination- oily skin, for irregular skin tone and blocked pores. It's a daily care product which unclogs pores and helps to transform and refine skin texture. Used daily it will help prevent a relapse of any former skin imperfections.
It says that the results should be a smoother skin texture, tightened and unblocked pores, clearer skin and a more radiant complexion.

The only downside is that from the way the products were displayed (in Boots), and perhaps the language barrier (it's all in French, and I ain't a French speaker), it wasn't clear to me if this product should have been used in conjunction with anything else, and I didn't even know if I was picking the right one. I found the process of picking and purchasing this quite time consuming and confusing, but I obviously (luckily) chose the right product. I wish there was some congruency/consistency/guidance in what other products to use with this one, so that I could have my entire skincare regime by La Roche- Posay!
At £13 I'd say it was completely affordable for how it has changed my skin for the better, so pleased to have found something that actually works for me!

What products have helped your skin? Do you use La Roche- Posay?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

17 Review #1 BB Cream

17 Blemish Balm in Light, currently £5.99( in Boots) for 30ml 

I've been interested in using one of these for a while, I know that my Illamasqua Skin Base is 'based' on the concepts of a BB cream, but recently I've not been reaching for the Skin Base because I'm finding it increasingly harder to use. I know that the Garnier release went flying off the shelves, but I stopped myself from buying it so many times. Firstly the 'light' shade seemed too dark for my skin tone, it also seemed quite greasy and also quite expensive for something I wasn't sure I really wanted. There's been lot's of hype for BB creams, so read on to see what I think of 17's version...

Astounding results. I am honestly so impressed, surprised and happy with this product that I cannot sing its praises enough. The 'light' shade (there's currently 'light' and 'medium') matches me well, the consistency of the product is a soft liquid balm, perfect consistency as it is easily controllable, and not too thick that it's difficult to blend. A generous pea sized amount covers my face.

I've been having serious problems with my skin for the fist time in my life, recently (post coming up on that one) so was dubious as to whether even try this- wondering if it might make matters worse, and was also worried the coverage wouldn't be strong enough for a long day at work, there was no need for me to worry!
I've been using the 17 Blemish Balm for about 10 days now (I don't like to review before I've really used a product first), and it hasn't disturbed my skin, and it has been something I've chosen to pick up each day.
The coverage is a satisfactory medium, and also buildable once the first layer has dried. It covers my flaws without making me looking 'plastered on' or 'fake', it's flawless and perfect for my needs at the moment, it evens out my skintones wonderfully. I was expecting it to be weaker, considering it was a cheap product. An excellent day time coverage.
The coverage lasts all day, and doesn't dry out and cling to my pores by the end of the day like I find with some foundations. The SPF 25 is also an excellent bonus, particularly for us fair skinned girlies!

The packaging is a squeeze bottle which is handy and well designed. A simple black colour with silver writing is also a nice touch, I would say. It doesn't look like it was only £5.99!

Used all over face; Primer, BB Cream and a light dusting of loose mineral powder to seal.
All I can say is...go buy this! It's better than any cheap foundation, and is a bloody bargain. 

Thanks for reading, I'd love to know your opinions on this product? x

Monday, 14 November 2011

Illamasqua Review #3 Lipstick

Illamasqua Lipstick in Corrupt, £15.50 for 4g

 I really love lipsticks, and I really love Illamasqua, so I thought it time I purchased an Illamasqua lipstick! It was on the pricier end of the scale, being £2 more expensive than the renouned lipsticks by M.A.C., but you get 4g of product which is a gram more than M.A.C...

 I was drawn to this colour because it was a matte finish and it stood out to me from the swatches on the website. I'm not the girliest of girls, but I do LOVE the colour pink, and to me this shade, 'Corrupt', is the perfect striking, barbie pink. I have plans to try 'Resist' and 'Salacious' ASAP! 
Left; Without Flash. Right; With
If I'm honest, it's a more fluro and deeper pink than I expected it to be, in my head it was a bright candy pink, but this is the problem with ordering online sometimes. I'm not disappointed though, the finish is lovely, and I really can't complain as it makes a nice addition to my lipstick collection! I'll be needing to buy myself a bright pink lipliner though, asap!- Why don't I already have one!!
This would look darling on all skin tones, worn with pink blush, simple & sparkly eyes and a defined brow. It also looks lovely with a gloss on top for an all out, party lip.

Do you have any Illamasqua lipsticks? What do you think of this shade?

Saturday, 12 November 2011

I done and got my nails did #Nails Inc

 Nails Inc

One coat of Holographic Top Coat
I made an appointment at the Nails Inc bar because my nails were in such a state (I'm afraid to say I'm a biter) and I needed it fixed. If I'm honest, I usually go to the cheaper nail shops (we all know which ones I'm talkin' about) to get 'gel nails', but after my rather refreshing/informative visit to Nails Inc and being educated in the proper practices of nail care (and being told that even gel nails in those places are acryllic, and that the UV dryers are used in the incorrect places), I won't be returning to anywhere else again!

I told the lady (lovely Sheeza) my situation. She trimmed my cuticles (trimming and cutting these off increases nail growth because the cuticles act as an anchor onto the nail), buffed, preened, used vitamin E oil.. I felt really pampered. She applied gel onto my nails in layers, (this does't include extensions.) She told me that due to the treatment she was giving me, my nails underneath were going to be kept in good condition. Sure enough, after a cuticle clipping and some treatment, my nails grew about a quarter of a centimetre overnight. No word of a lie!
The lilac colour is the final layer of gel (it was a toss up between this and a neutral pink!). The top coat is a Holographic top coat (I'm in love with this)- it is fine glitter particles that catch the light and reflect off rainbow colours (better than the GOSH Holographic nail laquer beause the holographic qualities are more noticeable, but I love that also. This Holographic Nails Inc varnish may also be similar to Models Own 'Juicy Jules')

3 coats of Holographic Top Coat
 I bought a treatment kit that I'll be reviewing after I've been using it for a few weeks, it contains the Vitamin E oil pen that Sheeza used on my nails during my appointment, it increases nail strength and growth- I have high hopes for this!

Overall, the experience at Nails Inc was really enjoyable. Their varnishes are amazing quality and there are some superb christmas gift sets as well. The employees know their stuff and they offer fake lashes and facial threading, as well as a range of nail treatments. 

Have you had your nails done at a Nails Inc bar? Are you loving the holographic topcoat as much as I? 

Also, if you like fashion/personal blogs then Aimee's blog is pretty good. She emailed me last week and has since added me onto her links page, I'm returning the favour! :)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Two products I'm loving ATM

Soap and Glory Hand Food £2.35 for 50ml (Miniature)
Original Source Raspberry Milk and Vanilla Shower Gel £2.20

Not the most of exciting products, but two that make me very happy when I use them!

 Hand Food;
I like buying miniatures of products for two reasons; a) they are a handbag size, so easier to carry around if they are a product to use on the go. (Such as hand cream, like this) b) It's nice to 'test' something new out before buying the full size. Hand Food; it's the typical girly, eye- catching packaging and witty lines that Soap and Glory offer, but the contents inside are phenomenal. Yep, that good.  Soap & Glory claim that "Hand Food™ Hand Cream is a super-silky gorgeously-scented non-greasy hydrating hand cream featuring fennel and lotus flower extracts, which leaves your hands super smooth."- And they ain't lying.

This product softens hands instantly. The shiny plastic packaging means it doesn't get dirty or look manky from being in my bag for weeks. I use it quite a lot- I work on a makeup counter so use a lot of antiseptic serum and wipes on my hands after every customer so it dries them out. I recommend this product for baby soft, luxurious feeling hands! It takes a few minutes to soak in, but once it has the results are instant, particularly perfect for this frosty time of year! The smell is clean, and fresh, and the product is a joy to use.

Original Source Shower Gel;
I've always used Original Source but recently I noticed this product was vegan friendly (have they always been?) and in a way it did attract me to the product even more. Throughout the years I've tried most of the Original Source shower gels, shampoos and conditioners (unfortunately I cannot recommend the shampoos and conditioners, but hey you can't win everything!) but this Vanilla Milk & Raspberry one is without a doubt my favourite. My other favourites are White Pear and Avocado, and Mint (but I sometimes find this too strong to use). This one is a creamy consistency and feels quite indulgent when I use it, it lathers really well. It may be a silly point to make but I also feel really clean using it!- I think this is because the sweet smell lingers on my skin for a while after washing it off, lush :-) I love the pale pink colour and I think the bold yet unfussy packaging that Original Source adopt is pretty refreshing and makes it stand out in what is a saturated market. This particular scent is also available in a hand wash.

What are your favourite products this week?

Do you use Hand Food or Original Source? What simple but effective products could you recommend to me?

ps) I'm nearly BURSTING at the seams with products to blog and review, and they'll all be coming up in the next couple of weeks. It's hard to get good photos which is why my posts lack every now and then; I leave the flat when it's dark, and return when it's dark! I always think it's important to get daylight photos of products, so bear with me! Posts coming up include BB Creams, Illamasqua, La Roche Posay, Benefit, Lee Stafford, Dior, TopShop...the list goes on. (and on and on and on...but I'm not complaining!)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Vivo Review #1 Eye Shadow

Vivo Eye Shadow in Purple Passion £1.50 for 3.8g

I had been looking for/ debating purchasing a lilac purple eye shadow for months, but always changed my mind at the last minute when ever I was going to buy one- worrying it would be 'too much' for me, or I wouldn't like the outcome, or I'd never use it, or I'd look bruised wearing it...The list goes on! When I was shopping in Tesco yesterday I saw a lovely, matte lilac shade jus' lookin' at me. I then saw the £1.50 price tag and bought it, thinking 'for £1.50 what do you really have to lose?'

For just over a quid, the packaging isn't half bad, it's simple and straightforward, and it works. Also, notice how much product you get for the money (over 3gs). I like the VIVO indentation in the product, it reminds me of Chanel lipsticks where the double C's are imprinted onto the bullet. A nice touch.

I'm really impressed with the product. It's wearable!! -Normally such bright/unnatural eye shades terrify me, reminding me of old ladies who insist on painting their eyelids bright blue, but I find this shade is fun and different, but not too overpowering to be used every day, during the day. Today I used it with M.A.C.'s 'Forgery' eye shadow which is a simple white- silver glitter shadow. I used Purple Passion in the outer corners, the crease, and underneath the waterline. The colour lasted a long time, and the pigmentation is quite impressive, a pastel lilac.

I can see me using this many more ways in the coming months. I am a lilac convert :-)

Have you tried Vivo products yet? Would you ever use a lilac shadow, and how would you wear it?