Tuesday 24 August 2010

Benefit Porefessional

I have been searching for something to conceal the enlarged pores on my nose and in answer to my prayers and no doubt many other beauty fans, Benefit have created and about to launch in the UK a product called Porefessional.

Being meticulous with my beauty regime of cleanse, tone and moisturise as well and using an exfoliator twice a week has really helped to clean them out, but the holes remain.. A toner does close them up but the effect is short lived.

So when this product dropped through my letterbox and promised to minimise the appearance of pores I just had to try it out.

This is advertised as a dual action primer and touch up during the the day but personally I would just use it on my nose to conceal the pores. It is lightweight and oil free. As it comes out the tube it is beige in colour but is translucent on application which means that it can be used by all skin tones. The instructions say to apply it after moisturising, but if you need to retouch it can be done over make-up.

Porefessional has a pleasant fresh scent and feels lovely like satin once on. When applied it does minimise the appearance of the pores but not enough for my liking!

When foundation is applied the pores pretty much disappear completely, leaving very little evidence that you ever had visible pores which is impressive.

It is essentially a filler which provides a smooth base to apply the foundation to but after a few hours you may need to reapply to maintain the look.

Whilst I like Porefessional I wasn't wowed by the product, when used on its own it concealed some pores more than others and I feel it is a little pricey. I would have liked a product that conceals and treats the problem at the same time - Now wouldn't that be good?

Porefessional is available at Benefit Stores and Counters from 1st September - Price £23.50

Sunday 22 August 2010

Korres Colour Organic Face Primer

I am so excited to have discovered this primer, a fantastic product from a great company.

Korres claims

This is a "Certified organic, silicone free make-up primer with antioxidant, nourishing vitamin E, Jojoba oil and Edelweiss extract. This silky, fast-absorbing formulation – offering all the benefits of the primer yet without any silicone-related disadvantages - acts as a layer, keeping skin elastic and comfortable, while ensuring smooth, long-lasting make-up application."

What I think:

The packaging is attractive; It comes in an easy to use tube, smells fresh like lemons, glides on easily and is very moisturising and hydrating. It makes the skin very soft and smooth, and provides an excellent base for make-up. It left me looking radiant and fresh faced for 10 hours, and although my blusher had gone, my foundation remained in place. I was so pleased with the results; It does exactly what it promises and is free from all the nasties - You HAVE to buy this!

I prefer to limit the amount of chemicals that go on my skin so I love that this is dermatologically tested and free of mineral oil, paraben, propylene gycol, ethanolamine and silicone!

Coming soon -
A review of their Wild Rose Moisturising Cream and Wild Rose Brightening and Line Smoothing Serum.

Korres Primer - £19.50 for 30ml and available from lookfantastic.com or call this number for more stockists - 0870 850 3868

Friday 20 August 2010

Boots No7 Autumn Limited Edition Collection - Review

I am looking forward to updating and adding to my make-up for the Autumn/Winter Season and was excited to have been given the opportunity to review the Boots No7 Autumn Limited Collection. It has always been denoted for its quality and affordability, a few years ago it underwent a revamp in products & packaging and continues to be a strong and innovative brand.

Exceptional Definition Mascara - £12 - Available in Black and Brown/Black

What it claims - This amazing new mascara has a truly magic wand and unique, conditioning formula. The innovative three-in-one brush gives lashes exceptional definition and volume.

I was really looking forward to trying this as I already own a good waterproof mascara from the No7 range. I felt a little disappointed as while it was good, it wasn't amazing. Although it did manage to pick up the tinier lashes,  I found it did clump a bit and the innovative wand was a bit baffling.  Although it lengthened my lashes, they are pretty long anyway and the first time I used  it my husband didn't even notice I was wearing it. 

No7 Autumn Limited Edition Soft Matte Finish Lipstick - £9.75 - Available in Nude Rebel and Plum Rebel 
Available in store until 5th October

This season Matte Finish is all the rage across all Cosmetic Brands and it is nice to see that No7 have also created a range to compliment this. Nude and Plum are big trends this Autumn.
I was sent Nude Rebel and really liked it. It was moisturising and very light to wear (which is good as I haven't worn lipsticks for a long time). I found it to be very natural looking and it was the perfect accompaniment to the strong eye colours that are in the range, allowing the eyes to be the main focus. 
The packaging is sleek too in black with a snake skin design texture on the lid. 

No7 Autumn Edition Limited Eye Palette- £10.50. Available in store until 5th October.

No7 says: "Richly pigmented and ultra soft, this eye palette will more than satisfy your colour cravings. Packaged in a beautiful deluxe snakeskin textured compact, this palette will inspire any woman to indulge in the tribal trend. With indigo blue, purple haze, red lead and chrome green you can carry graphic primal sweeps of symmetry across the eyes."

The packaging for this is cute but I must admit I opened this and was a little apprehensive of the bright colours, I was totally converted when I applied it though. The colours were gorgeous and rich but very wearable and really brought out the colour in my green eyes. They really are very pretty and fun and I may add photos this weekend.... I love this palette and can see myself getting lots of use out of this - Bring on Autumn and colour!

No7 Autumn Limited Edition Smoky Eye Liner - £9.50.  Available in store until 5th October.

Smoky eyes are a big trend this season both on and off the catwalk. This powder liner is a great product and it is  very easy to create a smoky effect. I have sensitive eyes that can water when I use a pencil or liquid but my eyes didn't water at all with this. It has a tiny sponge applicator (nice surprise) and can be used to create a strongly defined lined or using a cotton bud, I softened the look for a great smoky look. Foolproof.

No7 Matte Top Coat - £6.75

Matte is the word this season , all the catwalk shows featured matte nails. No7 have brought out a very affordable version of something that is available at a far higher cost from other companies. Just one coat makes your glossy polish velvet smooth and matte. This really works in just one coat but personally I am not sure I really need it. One for the fashionistas?

Monday 16 August 2010

The Body Shop Moisture Foundation SPF15

I haven't ventured back into The Body Shop much, not since those heady days when we all ran in as 13 year old's drenching ourselves in as much fragrance oils as we could from those cute dropper bottles - Remember Vanilla, Dewberry, Oceanus and White Musk anyone? I cannot imagine that there were many girls who didn't own at least one of them.

Well imagine my surprise that they are still being sold, so if you fancy some nostalgia they are priced from £6.50.

Having been lured back into the store by the lovely smell wafting through the precinct, I headed to the Make-Up section (of course!). I found something called Moisture Foundation SPF15 - it looked good and I liked the fact that it had a SPF, as I was looking at it the friendly assistant offered to put some into a tester pot for me to try at home. I feel this is a good sign as it means they are confident of the product.

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the Chanel Vitalumière then I don't think you can go wrong with this product. It went on very easily, was moisturising and gave light to medium coverage so you may need a concealer if you have slight blemishes.

It left a nice, smooth, dewy finish similar to the Vitalumière, perhaps the only thing that lets it down is that it doesn't last as long. I was pleasantly surprised and therefore this item has made its way into my make-up bag.

I would say that it is suitable for all skins except oily.

The Ingredients -

Marula Oil
Vitamin E

Available in 7 shades costing £12 for 30ml from The Body Shop stores or from www.thebodyshop.co.uk

Thursday 12 August 2010

Clinique All About Eyes & All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage

As a mother with a young toddler I have had my fair share of sleepless nights added to that this years hay - fever and you have a recipe for eye disaster. My eyes have been transformed from line less to lined, bags and dark circles have appeared where once bright eyes shone from.

Time for action -  For the past couple of weeks I have been using Clinique's All About Eyes and All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage to see if I could remedy the concern's I had about my eyes.

What they promise to do -

All About Eyes - Suitable for all skin types - Women or men
Targets under eye circles, shadows, lines and puffs. Long term smoothing and firming results are cumulative so use day and night, over the entire eye area.  Costs £22

Serum - Instantly cooling serum refreshes and hydrates puffy, tired-looking eyes. Brightens up eye area immediately and over time. Combats dark circles.  Using gentle pressure, roll under each eye from inner to outer corner twice .Apply morning and night. Can be used with other All About Eyes products. Costs £20

Well I liked both products - All About Eyes is so light, with a nice texture and easy to apply - I didn't need to drag it at all and I found it absorbed quickly and left my skin really soft and hydrated. I applied it after the serum.
Rollerball eye serums are 'of the moment' so I was looking forward to try it out. I really enjoyed its cooling properties and will be taking this on holiday with me as it was so refreshing and the massaging action felt like it was doing something. It dried quickly and wasn't sticky.

Neither product gave me spots around the eye area after use which other heavier products have done.

I used both products day and night religiously for two weeks and have taken before and after pictures



What do you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

I am pretty impressed!
The lines are not as deep, the area is brighter and my eyes are less puffy.

I will keep on using and after another 4 weeks I will post another picture but so far so good :-)

Tuesday 10 August 2010

EYESHADOW by H&M - Pearl Dust and Brown Dust

I wouldn't normally have considered purchasing cosmetics from a fashion store, just like I am a bit averse to buying things like clothes in the Supermarket, or a pasta dish in a restaurant known for its carvery. I often find that if you don't stick to a company's area of expertise you will be disappointed with the results.

For cosmetics and skincare, I prefer to visit Superdrug or Boots for their great offers and choice. I mix this with semi-frequent shopping at department stores when I require that extra bit of attention and advice from the more exclusive brands.

Recently, I had a moment to myself when I was perusing the rails of H&M - where I picked up this great top which I am planning to wear with crop trousers and my killer black satin peep-toe stilettos:

My eyes quickly found themselves drawn to the make up section and finally settled on these cute looking bottles

I loved the colours from the outset as I generally tend to use very wearable, muted colours.  I never go out without applying eye shadow(s), so my makeup bag contains those which I wear everyday and those that I save for matching to an outfit or when I am feeling inspired / cheeky / sultry / cute or vampish!

It can take me a long time to get through eye shadows therefore the price appealed as I wouldn't be so reluctant to part with them once they were past their use by date.

But the question is:  Would they be any good once I got them home ....?

Well I am impressed actually! They are in a cute bottle with no chance of spilling, although I haven't a clue how they get from the pot to the applicator. The powder collects on the tips but a quick shake of the bottle seems to solve this. The applicators are a little short in the handle so you may find them a little fiddly. However, the colours look good -  the Pearl Dust I thought would be creamier in colour -  and really come into their own on a sunny day or when the light hits them as they shimmer like anything. Very pretty - Here I am wearing them.
What do you think ?

In summary - cute, non messy, nice colours and they seem to last a few hours.

£1.99 each from H&M, other shades available

Sunday 8 August 2010

Boots Traditional Skincare - Glycerin and Rosewater Toner

Do you remember right back at the start of my blog I suggested Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser as a great budget beauty buy, and how I first discovered this gem on the basis of the recommendations of the older generation that had amazing, soft, youthful skin? Well hot on its heels is this other non fashionable golden oldie staple from their dressing tables. Boots Traditional Skincare - Glycerin and Rosewater.

I discovered this about 10 years ago and really love the product - of course it always helps when people comment positively on your skin. I must admit I do hanker to possess anything with rose in it, it must be the Middle Eastern influence in my background. I do adore absolutely anything and everything containing roses in any form, I even had Dolce Vita roses at my wedding. Dolce Vita translates to Sweet Life which I think is really apt.

I love having bouquets of roses around the house, drawings & pictures of roses, anything with its scent - Perfumes, hand creams,face and body products and especially I love the taste. I take pure rosewater, use it as a toner and also add a splash of it to ice cream and use it in cooking various Middle Eastern dishes, both sweet and savoury.

The use of rose in various forms has long been used in traditional skincare and beauty originating from Persia. It is well known for its cleansing, toning and moisturising properties. It is soothing and balancing, perfect for all skin types, but especially good for sensitive skin as it is so gentle. With regular use it can help prevent your skin ageing - wonderful and potent indeed. The skincare industry has recognised this, and within the last few years more and more products now contain rose or rose oil, with various companies even doing their own version of the Boots product but at a much higher price.

Back to the actual product... I use this after cleansing, it has a pleasant subtle smell, leaves my skin soft (that will be the Glycerin), refreshed and moisturised and - okay - it does leave it slightly tacky, but this disappears once you apply your moisturiser. I think it is a great budget beauty buy, but you will have to search for it on the bottom of the shelves in Boots!

Available from Boots stores priced at £2.77

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Benefit 'YOU REBEL' Tinted Moisturiser

I am a recent discoverer and convert to benefit. I mean I knew it existed but for some reason I would just walk past the counters. Even when I was Honeymooning in San Francisco, the home of benefit, I remained blissfully unaware.

Well now I have discovered its - ahem - benefits, I cannot stop popping by my local counter in my parent's home town and I am lucky to have a benefit store in my nearest town too.
So, a couple of Saturday's ago I popped in and met some lovely ladies who were only too happy to help me whilst I was browsing. I thought, with all these sunny days I would like to have a lighter foundation so my gaze wandered to the you rebel tinted moisturiser. The girl offered to do a quick make over with it and - well for the purposes of the blog - I thought "why not"....
I have to say I was rather impressed with it and parted with my cash there and then, and I even took a picture of the results:

It is not the best picture as it was taken on my mobile and it was a very bright sunny day.

It was applied with a foundation brush which I thought I could replicate at home as I have one too, and found that it went on very easily but also gave good coverage when applied with fingertips.

It gives really good coverage for a tint and is moisturising - which makes a change as I did try one recently that was quite drying on the skin - and it has the added bonus of a SPF15. The one thing I would say is, it is probably best not to use the benefit primer underneath as when I tried it with it,  my face was very very shiny - not a good look at all. I also found that when applied, the tint gives a welcoming cooling sensation which I imagine will be nice when used on holiday in the heat. It lasts well too - which is a must in my book.

The cooling sensation could be the aloe vera but I am not sure. It also contains the Vitamins A and E, all good stuff!

Benefit 'YOU REBEL' comes in two versions - Original and Lite (Lite is the one I purchased) and costs £21.50 for 50mls which I think is very reasonable.

Sunday 1 August 2010

Liz Earle Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise 3 Step System

I recently had the pleasure of trialling the 3 step system from Liz Earle and I know lots of you have been waiting for this review, I remember watching her on breakfast TV and thinking what lovely skin she had....So when she brought her own range out I thought my skin was in good hands. I must confess though I already love the Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, I won a competition a while back and received a small bottle of it with 2 cloths and was instantly smitten. I was interested to find out what the toner and moisturiser were like too. Well it all came in gorgeous packaging, you could tell someone had lovingly prepared it and the items are packaged nicely too and look good in my bathroom.

The Cleanser - Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

I love this cleanser it has to be said, I already liked using a warm muslin cloth for cleansing with the Pond's so I was no stranger to it and at the moment it really is my favourite way of cleansing. The bottle is a pump action one so you can pump out as much or as little as you need and you do not need a huge amount. I like the smell (it contains eucalyptus, rosemary oil amongst other natural ingredients) and the way it goes on the skin so gently but thoroughly and effectively cleansing the skin and removing ALL my make-up including waterproof mascara. I used to feel like cleansing was a chore but I actually look forward to doing this twice a day! I had clean, soft fresh skin immediately and just 2 days later my skin was clear and provided a great canvas for my make-up. I am also pleased that it doesn't use things like SLS, parabens and similar. It is suitable for all skin types.
To use - pump out 1 or 2 squirts, gently massage into the skin and then remove with your hot cloth, if you want you can also splash afterwards with cooler water.
It is multi award-winning and you can see why, it really is fab and I will be sad when it finishes! But I have to keep on trying other products in the interests of the blog. As a favourite, this is my number one cleanser so far..... 100ml with 2 muslin cloths is £13 from the Liz Earle website but I believe John Lewis also is a stockist.

Toner - Instant Boost Skin Tonic

Another great product from Liz Earle, the bottle was interesting for a start..the lid twists up like a sports bottle which got me the first time I used it. This is very refreshing after cleansing, it was cooling and slightly tingly on my skin and as mentioned above when I swept the cotton wool over my face there was absolutely no trace of make-up so it remained clear. It smells lovely too and I did notice my pores closing up. The toner doesn't contain any drying alochol and contains hydrating organic aloe vera and rose scented geranium. Liz Earle says that it revitalises, soothes and brightens, whilst it smells good and is very nice I am not sure it brightened my skin but it did revitalise and soothe my skin and at no time did it feel dry and tight.

A 200ml bottle costs £11.50 from www.uk.lizearle.com

Skin Repair Moisturiser

I used the normal/combination moisturiser which is right for my skin and whilst it was moisturising and left my skin soft and I really wanted to like it,  I wasn't as keen on it as the other products in the range. Its ingredients are borage, avocado and vitamin E amongst other things. I found it quite thick and heavy to put on, I think I prefer more of a lotion consistency. I also really wasn't keen on the smell of it and I just cannot get past that as for me the smell is a really important part of my routine. So it does work but I am not sure it is for me and so the search for my perfect moisturiser continues.....

If it sounds like something you would like to try it is available as before from www.uk.lizearle.com costing £17.50 for a 50ml jar.


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