Monday, 30 July 2012

My first experience with tooth whitening! Part Two- Results

Last Sunday I posted here about the RapidWhite teeth whitening travel pen which is a week long treatment used twice daily. (I've since seen it in Boots and FYI it is priced at £13.30!)

The instructions state to leave the treatment on twice daily for 5-10 minutes after brushing, and brush afterwards too. I did do this bar one night where I was too tired!

The results:

Unfortunately, I've noticed no change in my teeth. I've compared them against the chart to see if they've gone up a shade but I can't see that they have, the treatment hasn't cleared up any discolourations and they don't appear any brighter than last week.
Whilst on one hand this is a disappointing result, I'm not too shocked. For a whitening treatment priced at just over a tenner I can't have expected too much though was hoping for a slight yet noticeable difference. 
On a plus point I've not experienced a lot of sensitivity as a result- sensitivity is heightened with cold drinks but it isn't too painful and there isn't a huge difference in comparison to how sensitive they were before.

Overall, I cannot recommend this product as I've not seen any results. However, I am glad I tried it, because if you don't try, then you don't know!! 

Have you ever used this product? Have you ever completed an at home whitening treatment that works?

Saturday, 28 July 2012

My summer must have- Avene 50+ SPF.

Eau Thermale Avene Very High Protection Emulsion SPF 50+, £15 for 50ml.

Rhossili Bay, South Wales
Monday brought an old friend coming to visit (who is an absolute sun worshipper) and the weather finally brightening up to high heats and sunshine. Keen to explore South Wales a bit better (I have lived here a whole year now and still haven't visited many 'landmark' sites) we set off each day in my little car, sat nav in hand to discover some beautiful beautiful beaches.

There's a product I have to thank for me staying burn free this week (aside from my back which I completely forgot to SPF on Thursday) and that is Avene Very High Protection Cream SPF 50+.
Avene is a brand that can be found with the Vichy and La Roche Posay products in your local Boots and is another French brand that boasts soothing properties from Thermal Spring Water contained inside of it.
It contains both UVA and UVB protection. This is a must have in any sun lotion, UVA protection helps prevent the ageing side effects that direct sunlight has on the skin. UVB protects against the skin actually burning as a result of being exposed to intense sunlight. It's very important that you choose a product that offers protection of both, and particularly if you are as fair skinned as I am!

Yesterday I noticed that the 50ml carton has depleated in size quite considerably. I do apply a lot of sun cream (you are advised to or it won't work to it's full effect) however I couldn't help but wonder why this sun cream was in such small quantity. 50ml?! It then dawned on me that this product is probably meant for facial use, after all Avene products are to cater for hypersensitive skins and the factor 50 is a popular choice for people to apply to their face, but I feel I must defend myself in saying that it doesn't state that this isn't for full body use on the packaging....anywhere! I know that at £15 a pop for 50ml some of you may feel this is a pricey habit to maintain but I'm here to tell you how fantastic this lotion is:

  • The product absorbs into the skin super quick and doesn't feel heavy.
  • The product leaves absolutely none of that greasy or oily residue which has annoyed me so much in the past with other creams.
  • It's perfect for those with dry or sensitive skin, so is nice n' nourishing.
  • It works SO well! I know this is probably a given, but this has protected me so well that I only had to apply the cream once in the morning, and could wear it throughout the day before an evening shower and I did not burn. Ok I did burn a bit on my foot where I completely missed a patch, photos for your amusement below.
Random burn on my footsie!
I can't sing this products praises enough. I'm slowly becoming a huge convert to these thermal water brands, and this sun cream specially formulated for blondes and red heads hits the spot and does the job so well. I also like the pump dispenser and because it is a smaller size it doesn't weigh your hand bag or beach bag down, it's a win win!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

My first experience of teeth whitening (Part One)

RapidWhite Travel Tooth Whitening Pen, 2x3ml.

Please excuse the bedraggled packaging photograph, but I didn't actually pay for this item. Last week I was helping my sister sort through some of her stuff for a bootsale, ebay etc and we came across this. She had bought it with every intention to use it but said I could have it as I had already been moaning about the fact that I'd ordered this product at the beginning of June on a couple of recommendations and it just never arrived. After several emails back and forth and the supplier being extremely unhelpful and not answering my questions, my money eventually got refunded and I remained tooth whitener-less.

I can't currently find this exact item on the Boots website though this doesn't mean you won't be able to find it in store. If I have a good experience with RapidWhite then I'd be keen to try their other treatments, after all this is just a travel pen.

The course is a week long, with applications twice daily. I'm commiting to this so check back next Sunday for my results!
Below is my smile today, so we can compare next week to see whether this stuff works! I hope it does but I hope there aren't any negative side effects...sensitivity is not my friend!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

LATE Midweek Post! Pink Lemonade

(Apologies that my Wednesday post is up on a Thursday, yesterday I had a 5am start and training for work in Bristol. I didn't get home til gone 9 and after the second Dominoes of the week (tsk) I collapsed!)

MAC lipglass in 'Pink Lemonade', £13.50 for 8g.

 Despite their bad rep, I've been really enjoying using this lipglass in 'Pink Lemonade' for the last couple of weeks, and I shall tell you for why!

When I first removed the lid I did notice the product string, gloop and stick to the wand and immediately wondered if this product would be too sticky to even wear. However, after applying it onto my lips I wasn't as disappointed as I thought I'd be.

Pink Lemonade is a warm, light coral pink shade- having only been a lipgloss fan for less than a year my collection in comparison to lipsticks is mere and this shade seemed to shout out to me, as I love peaches and corals! I really enjoy the feel of gloss on my lips, they don't seem to negatively affect my lips like lipsticks do, instead acting as a barrier whilst delivering high shine. Perf!

What I find impressive is it's pigmentation. Because the formula is thicker than most other glosses I've come into contact with, one swipe applies a near opaque finish. It's good worn on it's own as it offers more than just a sheer wash that most glosses offer, but is also good layered over a lipstick for added oomph and shine.

Similarly to MAC lipsticks, these also contain that inital vanilla scent that becomes pretty much untraceable once it's on. It's lasting power is fantastic (due to the thicker consistency) however this isn't one to be worn with your hair down, on a windy day! Trust me on that one! 
It has got a slight sticky and tacky feel to it, however I don't find this uncomfortable (however some of you might).

Overall, I don't hate lipglasses! Part of me is happy that my money wasn't spent on a dud product, but part of me is sad as now there's a few more shades added onto my everygrowing list......
(FYI it's found under the 'Tinted Lipglass' section of the MAC Cosmetics website!)

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Collection 2000 Lasting Pefection Concealer

Collection 2000 Lasting Pefection Concealer in 'Fair', £4.19.

Yes, I gave into both external hype and internal pressure to try, and bought it. For a cheapo pharmacy product, the quality of this concealer is fantastic; high coverage, blends well and comes in enough shades that most people could probably find a near match. As you can see above, the fairest shade is still too warm for my skin, but as long as it's blended well and used underneath my foundation this colour difference is undetectable.
In terms of wear, I find it does live up to it's longwearing claims. I've not worn it as long as 16 hours but it's longevity has impressed me, there's no slip or fading, once it's there, it stays put!
I woudn't necessarily use this everyday, I choose to use this for times when it is really needed- redness, blemishes, or severe under eye circles!
The applicator is that of a typical lip gloss one. However, I wouldn't apply the concealer to my face straight from the sponge, this is where my germaphobe habits come in to play! I always transfer the product onto a clean hand before dabbing it onto my face using either a brush or my fingers, this will help avoid any unnecessary bacteria transfer straight from my face back into a tube of concealer ready to fester for next time (just the thought of doing this makes me shudder!!)
A big thumbs up from me, and I'd certainly recommend this if you're looking for an excellent concealer on a budget.

What concealer is your favourite at the moment? Any other cheap products you can recommend to me?

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Midweek post: My guide to washing makeup brushes.

Hi everyone!

I thought I'd do a a post today on my top tips for washing your makeup brushes. Having worked on several beauty counters, working with different brands, aswell as doing a couple of freelance makeup jobs on my friends, and of course having experience in washing my personal brushes.

I've divided the cleaning process into three important sections, so hopefully a couple of you might find it useful!

But first some people may ask the question:
Why do we need to wash our makeup brushes?

I would say that the majority of women don't wash their makeup brushes, however it is important to do this for hygiene reasons, but also to maintain the quality of the brushes. If you were to use a foundation brush everyday for a year and then were to wash it I can guarentee it'll be almost impossible to get it back to it's original state, however if it is washed frequently the same foundation brush could last you twice as long. If you take care of your brushes, particularly expensive ones, then they can last you a very long time.

Firstly, assess the time between washes that is realistic for you. Not everyone can assign time every week to wash their brushes, but I would urge that personal brushes should be washed every three weeks at least. Partly because most skin issues clear up around the 21 day mark, as well as skin renewing itself constantly, yet it's not too unrealistic for busy women who have a full time job and a family to maintain. 

There's no point washing brushes if you're in a rush, firstly the job won't be done as thoroughly as it would if you did have time, rendering the process pointless, but you also need to allow sufficient drying time. For my personal brushes, I only ever wash what I have actually used since the last wash, and find the process takes me around half an hour. At work, I allow around twenty minutes before closing time to clean the brushes and lay them out to dry (this should be done at the end of everyday, for obvious reasons). 
An overnight period for the brushes to be able to dry naturally is realistic, but to be sure I'd try to leave them for about 16 hours
Do not try to speed the process up! I saw a photograph on Instagram recently of someone laying their brushes out to dry over a radiator. This is a big no no as the heat off the radiator can cause the natural fibre brushes to become damaged and will more than likely cause them to become out of shape. Lay them on a clean towel, somewhere away from unnatural heat!

Run the tap on a tepid heat, a high temperature can cause damage to the brushes. Do not put the plug in your sink for all the dirty water to fester and absorb into other brushes! Keep the tap running and clean one brush at a time, let the brush get a bit wet before placing the soap in the palm of your hand and gently circle the brush in your hand. I'd stress that this should be done delicately, again so as not to damage the hairs of the brush but firm enough that the grime is being removed! Rinse the brush and repeat until the water runs clear. Gently squeeze the brush to get rid of excess water, reshape and lay to dry before starting on the next.

Believe me, I've tried almost everything, but the one product I'd really recommend to wash brushes with, is simple everyday anti bacterial washing up liquid! Baby shampoo seems to be a popular choice, but while this is nice and gentle on the natural fibred brushes, it isn't antibacterial so will not elimate any bacteria while you're washing them. By using baby shampoo you'll wash product out, but you won't wash out the germs! Anti bacterial washing up liquid lathers well, and removes product wonderfully. 
On my makeup jobs I've used both MAC and Estee Lauder's brush cleansers. I've never been clear on whether the MAC one is meant to be instant cleanser but it does work as one for me, cleaning the brushes of product quickly and efficiently but the brushes will need to be deep cleaned later on if used on a client to prevent cross contamination. 
(Please note that I have used MAC's brush cleanser as a deep cleaner too but find it economically draining in comparison to washing up liquid!)

If you have any other questions please let me know and I'll answer you, but hopefully this post is thorough enough! If you have any other tips or suggestions please write them below!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Summer cupcake NOTD!

Technic 'Carnival' available here for £2.05 for 12ml.
Illamasqua 'Loella' available here for £13.50 for 15ml.

Not one for nail art particularly but like a true magpie anything with glitter and I'm attracted to it! A few weeks ago when my bargainous Technic 'Carnival' glitter topcoat arrived through the post I rushed to my bedroom to pick out the perfect base colour. For the ultimate girly, party nail it had to be paired with Illamasqua's nail varnish in 'Loella'. It's a perfect candy pink with subtle pearl sheen, however the formula of this is gloopy, streaky and takes a long time to dry which is a shame, (however the colour is so gorgeous that I'm never really put off.)

The pictures show (base coat), two layers of 'Loella', two coats of 'Carnival' and a coat of Sally Hansen Mega Shine top coat.