Saturday, 29 December 2012

Super Facialist by Una Brennan.

Super Facialist By Una Brennan Tea Flower Deep Clean Purifying Cleansing Wash, £7.99 for 150ml.
Super Facialist By Una Brennan Tea Flower Deep Clean Mattifying Moisturiser, £12.99 for 75ml.

I have a combination skin type- my skin is fairly normal but with an oily t-zone with blocked and enlarged pores on my nose and a little on my cheeks. I am prone to the odd blemish and my skin sometimes feels a little sensitive. I saw that Pampered Prince had reviewed a few products from the Una Brennan Super Facialist range, he seems to have a similar skin type to myself and while I had seen the range in Boots I hadn't taken much notice, I made a mental note to look at them in more detail next time I was there. In the same week Jess from Spoiltface recommended I try some products with salicylic acid in as it is effective at clearing pores and maintaining fresh looking skin. On closer inspection I noticed there was salicylic acid in the Super Facialist Tea Flower range. Perfect, I thought, I'll defnitely give these products a go...

Purifying Cleansing Wash:
My love for this cleanser has grown slowly. When I first used it, it seemed so thorough that I was worried it would be too harsh. My skin went red and was squeaky it was so clean! I perservered and saw results within the week, after using it twice a day the squeakiness and redness stopped happening. Applied to a dry face and thoroughly massaged in, it really has cleared out my pores a great amount. Not completely, but significantly. My skin has developed less spots than usual despite me leading a hectic and unhealthy lifestyle the past few weeks. The cleanser is a clear gel that foams up and I find that removing it with a hot cloth or flannel keeps my skin looking fresh. It removes any excess makeup gently, too. I have already bought a new one.

Mattifying Moisturiser:
I loved this moisturiser from first use. I was wary of a moisturiser that claimed to be mattifying but it is one I have fallen for and really enjoy using. It's a fairly light lotion that absorbs into my skin so quickly in comparison to other moisturisers that can feel like they are sitting on my skin for an absolute age before they soak in, and it doesn't leave a residue behind either. Similarly to the cleanser it contains salicylic acid, my skin has become more controlled, it feels more balanced and as said above, I have been a bit less spotty. Despite how light it seems, it is enough nourishment and hydration for my skin, I have experienced absolutely no dryness this winter. It creates a lovely smooth base for my makeup to go on top of and I have been known to apply two layers of it because I love it so much (and probably because I am deceived by it's mattifying properties). I have been using this as my day cream and the only negative I can give this is that it doesn't contain SPF.

Overall I have been really impressed by both products, they're fantastic value for money and great if you are on a budget and/or suffering from oily skin, breakouts or blocked pores. They're also SLS and paraben free.
You can buy this range from Boots, I got mine on a 1/3 off and I know they have recently been half price on the website so keep an eyeout for any other offers.

P.S. I hope all of you had a fantastic christmas and got some lovely presents and quality family time. We had a relaxed day, I cooked an EPIC roast dinner (8 different veg dishes!) and we drank Baileys all day. Ben spoiled me rotten with a new camera and some beauty bits that he must have read off my 'Wish List' tab!

Unless the product is tester sized, I don't review skincare until I have been using it for a month. I feel this gives me enough time for me to develop an honest opinion and to showcase any noticeable results.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Ciaté 'Cookies and Cream.'

It's been such a treat opening up each window on my Ciaté advent calendar. There's been a few questionable shade choices (there's a canary yellow that I know will go untouched) but overall they've been lovely picks. 
Opening up the window to 'Cookies and Cream' immediately prompted my nude obsession to come flooding back to me. I posted a while back about how much I was enjoying a nude nail- understated, feminine and so chic but with the onset of winter I felt compelled to wear deep redsdark greens and greys. The nude polishes got brushed aside and ignored.
'Cookies and Cream' reminded me straight away of my beloved 'Sand Tropez' from Essie. They're very, very similar, a warm pastel beige that even flatters pale, pink hands like mine.
In terms of application this polish was opaque in two coats but I applied three to stengthen the finish (they seem to chip on me a bit too quickly with two coats, other than that I can't complain)

I'll do a post with the 'best of' the advent calendar after christmas with swatches of my favourites, I just thought that this one was worth a mention in the mean time. It's certainly up there in the favourites!

Do you like nude nail polishes? What nail polish are you loving at the moment?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

New In! Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette.

Urban Decay 'Naked Basics' Palette, £20 for 6 x 1.3g (7.8g) 

I knew I had to have this as soon as I saw it advertised (I think in a magazine?) so I placed an order for it the day it was made available. How keen is that? 
The palette is an online exclusive at Debenhams and luckily for me it was during megaweek so there was 10% off too aswell as free delivery.
I don't own the Naked or Naked2 palette, while they always tempted me I always thought that shimmery shadows from Urban Decay always created a bit too much fallout for my liking, but I was confident this wouldn't be the case with a palette of 6 matte shadows.

The packaging:
It's smaller and more compact than I thought it would be, which makes it perfect for travel. I don't think the presentation is particularly good- the pans never look very secure and you might be able to see on shade 'Faint' that it looks a bit faulty as if it could pop out any minute. I like the mirror inside which covers the entire lid and I like that it doesn't come with any brushes, as they are wasted on me (but would perhaps be helpful for others.) It is made of hard plastic which is fairly protective with a click-shut mechanism.

The shades:
Four of the shades in this are exclusive to the palette, which is nice, eh? Urban Decay describe them as 'must own' and I am inclined to agree. Neutral shade eyeshadows are a must have in any girls basic makeup collection. I'm also a firm believer that eveyone needs a good, matte black and this one contains it.

Left to right:

Venus: This one is more of a satin finish rather than matte, it's slightly frosted and is a good highlighter or used on the inner corners of the eyes to widen and brighten.

Foxy: A wearable, buttermilk shade which is good at neutralising discolouration on tired eyes. A good base for any day-to-day look.

Walk Of Shame: I am in love with this colour, a creamy pale pink, but when I say pink, I mean the faintest most delicate shade of pink. This will look great if any of you like a vintage look, as there's something quite fabulous and retro about it.

Naked2: A light brown that is very buildable, great used all over the eye for a grungry gothic look or used in the crease to define and shade.

Faint: A stunning taupey brown, can be used in a similar way to Naked2 but for a deeper, more dramatic effect.

Crave: A matte black, that is pretty black. Nothing more disappointing than a watery black, which are so common in palettes. Great to line with, define, or deepen the browns. This one is very buildable too, I've been able to get it quite intense.

All of the shades are so silky to touch and really pigmented. They're not a bit chalky which is something some companies struggle with when creating matte eyeshadows. Worn with eye primer, the eyeshadows lasted a whole day and I experienced no creasing and minimum fade. This palette gets a thumbs up from me, I haven't put it down since it arrived.

Do you own any Urban Decay Palettes? Would a palette solely dedicated to matte shadows appeal to you?

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Bobbi Brown Brightening Face Powder

Bobbi Brown Brightening Face Powder in 'Brightening Nudes', £40 for 6.6g.

When I see the words 'brightening' on a product, I am immediately attracted to it. I had been searching for a new face powder for a few weeks and had decided that going high end was the only way, I was done with 17 and Collection 2000's offerings. I was about to buy the MAC mineralize powder but saw this on the Bobbi website and had to try it.

The powder palette is called 'Brightening Nudes' and holds 6 different shades, all subtle and almost pastel in tone including lilac, brown, pink and cream. The top 'layer' has quite a bit of glitter but this didn't transfer on to the skin in an obvious way and once the powder has been used a few times the glitter becomes undetectable. 

I have been using a really small amount powdered over my t-zone, and while I think it does lean too pink on my skin, I love the way it lets a luminous foundation shine through and how it doesn't make me look flat and lifeless which so many powders do. It helps maintain a healthy complexion firstly by not covering the foundation in thick powder and secondly by having illuminating properties itself. It contains sodium hyaluronate which is a great ingredient for keeping skin looking happy and fresh. You can see how it looks layered on top of Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation by clicking here.

It's packaged in a mirrored compact which feels so luxurious, it also came in a velvet pouch but that soon got discarded- I can't be doing with all that faff but it would help protect the compact if you are on the go.

Overall I do think this is a fantastic product- it brightens the skin and works with radiant foundations to keep skin looking like skin and not a flat, matte mess. I have an oily t-zone and this powder makes my skin look dewy rather than shiny in this area and it doesn't cling or go cakey on any dry patches. Overall, a win win! It is expensive, £40 on a face powder is rather extravagant, but if you use as little as I do I can see it lasting a fair while.

What is your favourite face powder?

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Midweek Post: What have I been up to?

I have been a bit absent from blogging recently for a few different reasons. Firstly I have been working three jobs which has obviously been taking up a lot of time, then the days off I have had I have wanted to spend with friends or Ben, or on the sofa watching films! Secondly, I've lost a bit of 'mojo'- I'm using lots of products but I am having a bit of trouble forming an opinion on most of them, so I don't want to blog about them as that would be pointless, so I think I might include more makeup looks into the blog as I like to do them. Thirdly, I have been really busy aside from working, but it's those bits I'll include below :-)

I popped down to London a couple of weeks ago to be a practice model on a makeup course held by celebrity makeup artist Louise Constad. She was teaching a one day shortcourse to a lady who is a hairdresser at the BBC and wanted to branch out into makeup too. I'm booked in to attend Louise's 'Mastering Makeup' Course in March and she invited me down to meet her and to be a practice model. I really enjoyed myself, she has a crazy mini poodle who was so small! In the morning we had coffee and went through different magazines like Harpers and Vogue and talked through different makeup looks and trends. Couldn't help but notice an abundance of bleached brows! In the afternoon they did a natural makeup look on me, which included perfecting foundation and concealer, how to contour, different ways to do brows and a natural lip. Then they created a more dramatic look on me with graphic liner and Lady Danger lipstick from MAC (which I much preferred to the natural look ;-) ) My skin was so sore by the end of the day because my makeup had been off and on and off and on and being removed with makeup wipes each time which don't really agree with my skin. I had a great couple of days but they were so exhausting, really excited to do the week long course with Louise, March can't come soon enough!

Last Sunday I drove to Birmingham after work to see an old friend. On Monday morning we headed into Birmingham to do a bit of vintage shopping, we started in Digbeth and looked around the emporiums there. There was so many awful christmas jumpers I had to resist taking photos of all of them! She also took me to a sack sale where everything is a pound, and if you fill up a sack you get the lot for a tenner. I only picked up a couple of bits but I'm really pleased with them and you can't go wrong for £1 each! Later in the day we went to the German Christmas Markets which was absolutley huge, stalls included foodie ones with gingerbread, chocolates, candied nuts, deep fried cheese, waffles, pancakes, pretzels, reindeer burgers! Alongside mulled  cider and wine stalls, and Baileys hot chocolate. Shame I was driving home that night becaue I could have easily got pretty tipsy and spent the day tasting the alcoholic delights! There was crafty stalls too with German woodwork etc as well as local businesses that had hired pitches. Finished off the day in the Art Museum at the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition. I don't go to many exhibitions any more, but I should make more effort as I did a degree in Art History! I loved seeing Alma-Tadema's 'The Bath' in real life.

Right, I won't bore you with anymore, just thought I'd include the highlights from the last couple of weeks! Have you been to any christmas markets this year?

Monday, 10 December 2012

Empty Products- The November Edition.

I'm baack! Time to show you what I finished last month, what I thought of 'em, and whether I'll buy it again! Any questions you have about any of the products leave me a comment below and I'll get back to you.

Boots 'Smooth Care' Facial Hair Removal Cream- Oh yeah, I'm going there. It may be TMI for some people but I love this product way more than the Veet option. It's a hair removal cream especially designed for hair on the face, I use it on my upper lip as I don't like getting it waxed (the upkeep is too much/the hair will grow back uneven or coarse/I don't really want to walk around town with a red strip above my lip) nor do I like getting it threaded when I could save a whole lot of money and do it myself. The tube has lasted me a long time (let's say a year because it has a 12month expiry) and I think it is effective at what it does and a good price too. I don't experience any irritation or sensitivity after using this and it is a bargain.
Will I buy this again?
Already have!

Emma Hardie 'Amazing Face Natural Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm'- This was a free sample, it was 15ml and came with an Emma Hardie facecloth. The sample lasted me approximately a week being used twice a day which is pretty good. I absolutely loved it, the whole process of using a balm to cleanse with feels so luxurious and this product really seems to pamper the skin, plus I experienced no negative side effects. See a more indepth review by clicking here.
Will I buy this?
Oh fo' sho'

REN Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk- Luckily I didn't pay for this as it was a 30ml sample. I first noticed how strong it's scent was, it was so intense and not particularly pleasent and for review purposes I tried it removing a full face of makeup. It removed makeup really well but three days after using this twice a day my skin broke out like I have never experienced in my life. I have never had a big problem with spots and at the age of 23 I never expected to have such a break out, my diet or liestyle hadn't changed and that was the only new face product I was using that week. I don't want to blame the cleanser but I don't know what else it could be. For empties sake I used it to the end, I wanted to prove myself wrong but my skin worsened. It has put me off the brand completely. Has anyone else experienced this?
Will I buy this?
No. Even if it didn't cause the breakout, I hated the smell. Too strong.

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic- This was a 50ml sample that came with a cleanse and polish that I ordered online. I adore the smell, it smells a bit like baby products. In a good way, haha. It contains some gorgeous ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamin e, and cucumber and is alcohol free which is a must have in a skin toner, too many contain harsh alcohols ready to strip your skin! This really soothes the skin after cleansing or exfoliating and makes the skin feel healthy and supple.
Will I buy this?
Yes, I treated myself.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Cream- I do think this is worth the £36 price tag, as it seems to have done wonders for my partner. He now uses it religiously! In texture this is a thick balm, which is a consistency I prefer in eye cream than to a thin lotion. My fiance has suffered with eczema for years and developed dry, flaky skin all around his eyes which is heightened in the colder months. Since using this every night he has experieced no flakiness or flare ups around his eyes and I do think it is due to this product. I enjoy using it too, though I can't see a huge difference on me.
Will I buy this again?
Yes, we both use it and it seems to help maintain his skin in a good condition.

Clinique 'All About Eyes' Eye Cream- This was a sample in a recent GWP. I'm always a bit wary of Clinique skincare, it is so laden with chemicals. The number 2 clarifying toner is an amazing stain remover....therefore it's not going anywhere near my face.
We had run out of the eye cream mentioned above so thought we'd use this in the mean time. It's a light consistency that feels like a lotion or moisturiser, it absorbs well and leaves the under eyes feeling a bit fresher. This didn't last us long so I can't comment on whether it improved my under eyes, but it didn't seem to do anything for Ben and his sore skin!
Will I buy this again?

Estee Lauder DayWear Moisturiser- This was a sample pot in the most recent Gift With Purchase. I like the cucumber scent this has but I would definitely recommend the oil free version over this one, it never seems to absorb like I want it to, always leaving a slight film on the skin! I never notice any benefits or bad points when using this, it is just average. I have used up a 50ml tub in the past but I can't say I love this or would want to use it again.
Will I buy this again?

John Frieda Full Repair 'Perfect Ends Sheer Mist'- This is similar to most heat protection products I have used in the past and seemed to do it's job well, it helped maintain a smooth feeling to my hair. I did notice it held the blowdry well too, which is a huge bonus. I think the bottle is too small though...
Will I buy this?
I don't think so.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in 'Cherry'- It's in my empties every month. I think it does a good job for the price, and I like the cherry scent the best.
Will I buy this again?
Already have!

Soap and Glory Hand Maid Gel-  Antibacterial Hand Gel is an absolute must have for me and this one by Soap and Glory is my favourite. While it removes any nasties your hands may have picked up, anitbacterial hand gel is self absorbing so you don't have to worry about rubbing it off afterwards as you would with normal soap. This one has a really nice scent which completely counteracts the high intensity smell of alcohol present in other hand gels. I really hate having dirty hands or feeling like they might be dirty, so this is a definite repurchase for me.
Will I buy this again?
Already have!

As always, let me know if you use any of these and what you think and link me to your empties posts because I lurrve reading them!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Midweek Post: Buy of the week!

Nails Inc Duo, £12 for 2x 8ml bottles. 

I just thought I'd show you what a bargainous deal is in Boots at the moment. For only 12 British Pounds you can get yourself an 8ml bottle of the A&E Basecoat and an 8ml bottle of the Albert Bridge Topcoat. They're not quite full sized, but full sized bottles retail at £11 so to have these two for just a pound more is a worthy spend. 
I love Nails Inc polishes and was a bit sad when my base coat ran out last month, then in the same week I lost my Sally Hansen MegaShine topcoat after using it in the car, I cannot for the life of me find it anywhere! I swear cars are just a blackhole for me, I lost a flip flop in one once while it was ON my foot and we couldn't find it after emptying out the car- twice!! Since that mishap I've been using a base coat from Collection 2000 but I swear it is making my nails dry, flakey and weaker than usual. I haven't worn the A&E basecoat enough to comment on whether it has helped repair my nails but it is really quickdrying and provides a good base and fills in ridges well. The Albert Bridge topcoat is wonderful. It dries in under two minutes to a super glossy wet look finish that seals the colour well. It still doesn't prolong the wear of those darn Essie polishes though, but does anything??

I don't know if these have been available for a long time as I normally buy my Nails Inc from Debenhams, but I know that if I had known this was available I'd have snapped it up sooner!

While I'm on the subject, what are your favourite base and top coats?

P.S. So sorry I have been absent in terms of blogging recently- I will reply to all your comments, check out your blogs and say hello to all of my amazing new followers very soon. I have been juggling three jobs and driving all around the country and I am knackered. I'm not ignoring you!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Rebel, Rebel.

MAC 'Rebel' lipstick, £14 for 3.5g. 

Thanks to the gorgeous Catrine over at Unnaked Nails I finally convinced myself that yes, another MAC lipstick was in order. 'Rebel' dropped on my doorstep earlier this week (well the Yodel man handed my box of goodies over, we're firm friends) and I whipped it on straight away. It is a deep blackberry purple shade and is of 'satin' finish. While I always find the MAC satin lipsticks drying (more so than the other finishes) I can overlook that point because I luuurrrve this shade. It's deep, but sophisticated without being too gothic. Though if you are a goth, this could totally work for you too.
As ever, unless you're going on a big night out or have a fancy do to attend, keep the eye makeup minimal. I used NARS 'Abysinia' as a base with MAC's 'Haux' in the crease and added lashings of mascara. See below for the rest of the products I used.

Please excuse the 'MySpace pose' above.

Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in 02
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in 'Fair'
Bobbi Brown Brightening Face Powder in 'Brightening Nudes'
Illamasqua blusher 'Lover'

Eyes & Brows
Benefit 'Stay Don't Stray' eye primer
NARS 'Abyssinia' eyeshadow
MAC 'Haux' eyeshadow
YSL 'Shocking' mascara
Benefit Brow Pencil 'Medium'
Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner 'Sepia Ink'

MAC lipliners in 'Brick' and 'Magenta'
MAC 'Rebel'

Would you dare to wear Rebel?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Midweek Post: Emma Hardie Deluxe Sample.

I applied on to receive a luxury sample of Emma Hardie's Moringa Cleansing Balm from her Amazing Face skincare range and I was lucky enough to get a lovely package on my doorstep with a generous 15ml sample inside, along with an Emma Hardie facecloth about ten days later. This cleansing balm has been on my wishlist for about 6 months now but I've yet to buy it, so I was over the moon when I unwrapped it. 

In the pot, it is a solid balm that you could liken to a lip balm in terms of it's solid consistency. The citrusy moringa scent is fairly strong, this didn't cause any irritation that I noticed, but it's definitely a smell that lingered for a while after the product has been cleaned off.

It felt so luxurious to use; from the packaging, to the ingredients and consistency. I did find I had to use quite a substancial amount for a night time cleanse, but soon learned the best technique to apply this with minimal product wastage.
The facecloth is wonderful. It is more gentle than muslin cloths I have been using and effective at lifting off the product, leaving the skin refreshed and glowing. I'm really pleased that it came with the sample as it certainly improved my experience with the cleanser.

My skin felt great over the week and a half I was using this. It felt plump and refreshed after every cleanse and I didn't experience any dryness. It's hard to give a full review as it was a sample size, but I suppose it all wittles down to this: Will I buy this product? And the answer is yes, I know that I want to use this again and to have a full sized tub in my possession would make me extremely happy. I would recommend both this cleanser and WhatsInMyHandbag, both have served me well. (Thankyou!)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

New Cid I-Gloss in 'Raspberry Kiss'

New CID I-Gloss Light Up Lipgloss in 'Raspberry Kiss', £13.59 from

I was so excited to try this! I've been curious about New CID for a long time and having the chance to trial one of their lipglosses made me feel like a very lucky gal.

I'll start with the packaging. At first glance this lip gloss looks pretty regular- the tube is transparent so that you can see the shade inside, but on closer inspection you soon start noticing the interesting stuff. Not only does the lipgloss have a mirror alongside the tube, which is handy, but as soon as you twist off the applicator this bright white light switches on automatically. These two features make it a very unique lipgloss and the perfect accessory for a night out on the town- you're sure to attract some attention with a lit up lipgloss and it'll save plenty of toilet trips as you'll have your very own mirror and light all in one place to top up. It could also make a great impromptu torch, or glowstick, should a situation where you needed either of these arise!

The shade 'Raspberry Kiss' looks a deep red in the tube but transfers a beautiful sheer berry shade on the lips. The pigment has enough depth to it that it is great worn at this time of year- on it's own during the day or layered on top of a red lippy for night time. There's lots of microglitter scattered through it but this isn't very noticeable when it is on, and the glitter wears off naturally with the gloss throughout the day.

The consistency of the gloss is lovely- it's light and non- sticky. I find it lasts around an hour and a half before it needs topping up, but if you don't have time to do this it does wear down to a subtle berry stain. The only downfall I noticed was that it settled into the lines in my lips however I imagine thise wouldn't be as noticeable with their lighter shades. If it does feather, this could probably be combatted using a lip liner.

All in all, this is a fab product and would make an excellent Christmas gift because it's a conversation starter paired with a good quality product inside. I love the shade because it is so wearable and I imagine it would suit almost everybody, even those who are shy of colour as it isn't 'too much.'
I definitely want to try more shades of these, 'Coral Candy' looks like my perfect summer colour. You can also watch a demonstration of the I-Gloss and other New CID products by clicking here.

This product was sent for me to review. is one of the UK's leading online retailers of hair extensions, hair care and beauty products. You can buy this product by clicking here.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Midweek Post: Limited Edition LUSH Shower Gel.

LUSH 'Snow Fairy' Shower Gel, £4.25 for 100ml. (Limited Edition)
LUSH 'Twilight' Shower Gel, £4.25 for 100ml. (Limited Edition)

I popped into LUSH last week to pick up my annual bottle of Snow Fairy. I know it must be a love/hate scent because Snow Fairy is so sugary that it wouldn't appeal to everyone, but I do enjoy it's sickly sweet aroma. I don't however enjoy its sickly sweet aroma for more than 100ml. This gets a bit much and a bit samey very quickly, and while it is a treat to have, I'm always happy to see the back of it. Talk about a fickle relationship, eh?
I was really interested in buying Glogg but apparently missed the boat on that one as it isn't being sold this Christmas (even though it's on the website?) Instead the sales assistant showed me Ponche and Twilight. While I wasn't too fussed on the orange/tequila Ponche I was happily surprised at how much I liked the first whiff of Twilight. Infused with Lavendar and malt it seemed like the perfect night time shower gel. While it has the strong, herby scent of lavendar it doesn't have that nana smell that so many products have, it's got a bit more punch without being overwhelming or intoxicating. I've used it every day since.

I trotted home with my two 100ml shower gels a very happy girl. I am an absolute shower gel addict- I LOVE them! I think I've got 5 or 6 in regular circulation at the moment. The only downside to these two shower gels is that they contain parabens. I think it's a real shame that a company such as LUSH who champion cruelty free and natural ingredients are still including parabens which have such a bad stigma attached to them. If it wasn't for this fact I'd give these products a double thumbs up!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Stocking up on 'Shell.'

Estee Lauder DoubleWear Foundation, £27.50 for 30ml.

When I was told that Estee Lauder were increasing their shade range in Doublewear foundation from 18 to 30 I was really excited. With a foundation shade expansion, I assumed this meant they'd cater for both the pale and deep end of the spectrum comprehensively. 'Shell' was my closest match in Doublewear, the palest with cool undertones, it wasn't a perfect match but good enough as it didn't leave tide lines and blended into my neck well, but was discontinued when the new shades came in last month.

I was disappointed when I swatched the new 'pale' shades which are 'Cool Bone' (supposedly the equivalent to Shell but it is much richer and pinker in colour) and 'Ivory Nude' (far too deep) against it.
Unfortunately these new shades are unwearable for me, they're too deep so I went out and bought the last 'Shell' on counter. While DoubleWear isn't necessarily my favourite foundation- (sometimes I do find it a bit much) it was reliable in terms of it's impeccable staying power and great for bad skin days as it does airbrush the skin out well. Definitely not one I can wear everyday, but one I like in my possession! I'll be rationing my last bottle!

Has your foundation ever been discontinued?

Monday, 5 November 2012

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask.

Origins 'Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask', £20 for 100ml.

It has taken me about 3 months and roughly 12 uses to form an opinion of this, it's only recently I have appreciated what this mask has done/is doing for my skin so I thought I'd pop a quick review up.

I use this mask weekly (every Monday FYI) to help clear my pores after an often naughty and skincare UNfriendly weekend! My pores are most visible on my nose and my cheeks. I've learnt through consistent use for the last few months that the longer this mask remains on your face, the more succesful the results will be. I leave it on for a lot longer than the recommended 10-20 minutes and try to wash it off after about 45 minutes. I find a flannel soaked in warm water is most effective at removing it, the warm water melts it and the flannel exfoliates it off, because it is a clay mask it 'sets' and if you're leaving it on for as long as I do, you'll need that extra help to get it off.

This mask contains Activated Charcoal and White China Clay and is very wet and smooth in it's consistency. After about 10 minutes it will dry completely. I feel a slight tingling sensation throughout the entire time of wearing this mask, though it is heightened at around that 10 minute mark. As it dries it does tighten on the skin and feels quite uncomfortable (and it will crack if you try to talk or smile!) I don't find the process particularly enjoyable but I love the way my skin looks and feels after I remove it.

Once I've washed the mask off my pores appear significantly clearer and and the skin looks more radiant than before. This mask draws out impurities to help the appearance of the skin, and this is what I notice. For about an hour after I've removed this I don't put any other products on my face, it feels so refreshed, clean and 'alive' that I let it breathe, thankfully, and also surprisingly, my skin doesn't feel tight or dry and my skin doesn't go red or react in any way.

After 12 uses (I apply it all over my face, avoiding the eyes) this 100ml tube shows no signs of running out. I definitely think I've noticed the effects of this a lot more recently than I did before, it has become an important staple in my skincare routine and now I always look forward to 'mask mondays'.

Do you use this mask? What product from Origins would you recommend to me?