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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Tan-Luxe Sleep Oil

More than anything I love products that work for me whilst I’m sleeping, which is my most favourite thing to do!
 You know the fail-safe products you can slap on with little care or attention. The ones where you wake up forgetting you ever applied them until you look in the mirror and think you actually look all right!
 I had heard about Tan-Luxe after Amy in the office had purchased on a whim but was excited to test out for myself.

 The brand was developed by beauty entrepreneur Marc Elrick and hairdresser husband Dylan who together own a hair salon in Glasgow. After years of chat with clients regarding epic tanning fails and distaste for the classic biscuit scents they set about developing a tanning brand that would deliver a no fuss tan that was completely customisable.

We have a few of the Tan-Luxe products to test out over the next few weeks but recently I have been using the Sleep oil.
 Sleep oil immediately got me excited to wash my face and get ready for bed!

The ethos behind the brand is combining skin caring benefits with self-tan to ensure your skin is stimulated, hydrated and rejuvenated overnight, all with the added benefit of a tint of tan.

It contains no parabens, mineral oils or sulfates and best of all it has no stinky aroma as it uses an odourlite fragrance technology. It’s actually one of the first self-tan's that actually smells nice; you actually enjoy being able to detect it on your skin.

All you need to do is cleanse your face as normal and then apply 6-10 drops, via the pipette applicator, depending on the depth of colour you desire.
 The oil feels totally comfortable on the skin and just feels like you are applying a regular oil based moisturiser. It’s a total luxury to wear.

On waking, I had a very subtle tint of tan to the skin. Nothing hugely obvious. My skin just looked refreshed in the way that it does after your first day in the sun on holiday.

You could use multiple times in the week to up the tan depth and if you decide that once is enough then it gradually fades away during the week with no patchiness or streaking. It also doesn’t stain your bed sheets or offend anyone else who may have to share your bed!

For those who hate the rigmarole of applying tan then this is for you. It’s also perfect if you are someone who finds their face never tans or prefers to wear a high SPF normally on their face.

Available in a 20ml bottle (sounds small but will last ages) and is £34.00 here.


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude

Shade in Fresco

Gone are the days of thinking Estee Lauder’s Double Wear foundation is a full on base that allows for no natural skin to peek through. The latest launch this July is their Double Wear Nude water fresh makeup and my go it’s gorgeous!

It’s a weightless liquid foundation that provides the skin with a light to medium cover. It evens the skin, dulls down pigmentation areas and smooths out the overall look of the skin. The finish it gives is the piece de résistance. It literally is like you have just washed your face and still have a sheer wash of moisture over the skin.

 As you move your face the light bounces off naturally but without a hint of artificial shimmer. The pigments used within the foundation are wrapped in a flexible polymer that moves with the skin. You can really tell that the pigments move with the skin as when the light catches it looks like waves of silk on the surface of the face.

 The skin feels hydrated and velvet soft without any clinging, or patchiness over time.

It contains an SPF30 and is also oil free. Would be suitable for a very dry through to a combination skin type. The very oily among you may find it a little too reflective.

There are a whopping 33 shades in this launch in a good mix of warm and cool tones. Unfortunately we only have the shade in Fresco (which is way too light on my skin so looks a little ashy on me).


This foundation is available now for £32.50. Because of the huge shade range I would advise visiting a counter for the consultant to check your best match.

 You can also shop online here.


Friday, 14 July 2017

Nip+Fab Concealer

If you’re looking for a more purse friendly alternative to the high-end concealers then check out Nip+Fab liquid concealers.

These water-based concealers apply via a flexible brush tip. The tube is squeezy so you can control the amount of product dispensing through the brush. Be careful though as I found the lighter colour to spurt out a little.
 The texture is nicely creamy but dries off to a flat matte finish, there’s no light reflection, which makes it a nice choice particularly for blemishes.

It’s a good coverage so go easy on application to avoid it caking. Sit’s nicely on the skin and even after a few hours wear I couldn’t detect much movement.
 It applies nicely onto blemishes and would conceal pigmentation and flat blemishes well. If you have any blemishes, which are particularly dry, then it will cling slightly because of the matte texture of the cream.

Colour wise it’s not extensive. A good selection of medium tones but if you have very fair skin or have a deeper skin tone then you will struggle. We have 5 out of the 6 shades available.

If you were looking to apply this concealer on blemishes then I would advise not to use the brush applicator, as it will easy to spread bacteria with this type of applicator. Either dab it onto your clean finger first or apply onto a separate brush.

 These concealers are £8.95 each and are available here.


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Giorgio Armani Eye and brow Maestro and Precision Brow Pencil

Initially, when the new Eye and Brow Maestro landed on my desk I assumed it was a brow cream, I think most people would have that conclusion too right?
 It kind of is really but it’s more than that. It’s a multi-purpose solid to liquid to solid product, which can be used in the brows, as an eye shadow, eyeliner and even a contour. It is strongly pigmented and once set it mimics the natural shine of hair through its use of glass and mica pearl infusion.
It’s completely waterproof and lasts super well on the skin. The texture is beautiful. It glides on in a lightweight veil of colour and is easily blended providing you work relatively quickly. It’s a really nice product for summer getaways when you don’t fancy taking multiple products.

Now the colours available confused me slightly. We were sent two shades in Wenge Wood (a lilac/brown) and Henna, which is an orange/red. Both colours would probably look a little bonkers through the brows unless that’s your thing in which case you probably look mega cool and way more daring than us.

  After inspection of the Giorgio Armani website, however, there are in fact a load more ‘regular’ colours that would be more suited to the brows. The two shades we have would look sensational over the lid though as a base or worn alone.

There are 7 other shades available but I would recommend taking a look at them in store if this is an option because I don’t think the shades translate well on the imagery on the website. Wenge wood looks a taupe brown on the website but has way more plum undertones in real life.

Along with this collection are three shades of high precision brow pencils. We have the shade in 1 Wenge Wood, which would be suitable for a dark blonde through to deep brunette.

 It applies smoothly, lasts really well, applies with great precision and best of all has an amazing fine tooth comb on the opposite end so you can accurately position your brow hairs. The comb also helps to blend in the pencil and soften the finish.

The Eye and Brow  Maestro is £28.00 and the High Precision brow pencil is £25.00.

 Both are available now, here.


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Friday, 7 July 2017

Urban Decay Shapeshifter Contour/Highlighter palette

Contour queens you’re going to enjoy the new Shapeshifter palette from Urban Decay. It has two layers of contour and highlighting products in a mix of powder and cream.
 The handy palette holds 2 powder contours and 2 powder highlighters. If you flip the inner layer up it reveals 2 cream contours and 2 colour correcting creams along with a highlighter.


 We have the palette for medium-dark skin tones so these would only really be suitable for a medium through to olive and on to deeper skin tones. I haven’t seen the light-medium option to comment on but I believe it contains lighter tones that have an ashier undertone.

The shades in the medium-dark palette we have are very warm toned. They contain a strong pigment that must be applied in minimal amounts to ensure a soft contour.

I found the powder texture a little tricky to blend. It applied heavily and it stuck to any dryness or skin texture and also went slightly patchy. Use a small fluffy contour brush to dust on the powder and then really work it into the skin with a slightly firmer brush. I would say this palette wouldn’t really be for someone new to contouring, as it needs a little practise and work to get it to sit on the skin well.

 The cream products are much easier to work into the skin and are also easier to correct if you make a mistake. The creams have a nice, easy to work texture but would not be great on an oily skin. I did find that they moved a little on the skin too so you may prefer to set with a little loose powder.

 Over all a nice pigmented contour/highlight palette, which would be great for travelling with or for professionals. Not one for those who like a quick easy contour and definitely more of an evening palette rather than a daytime natural look.

Available now here for £39.50

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

By Terry Blur Bronzing Serum and Stylo Blackstar

Oh boy I wish this wasn’t so expensive because it’s a beautiful bronzing serum and super easy to incorporate into your routine. I love the idea of a pigment infused serum because it slots in easily with a good skin care regime and also aids your makeup application by giving you a tinted base to work upon.

 This water-based serum contains skin-benefiting ingredients to smooth and firm the skin. It applies in a gel/cream formula and contains bronzing spheres of colour which melt into the skin and give a naturally sun kissed veil of bronze.

sun glow
 The finish is beautiful on the skin. It has a totally realistic and natural tint to the skin, which is easy to blend. Apply it as you would your regular serum and finish with a thin layer of your normal moisturiser on top. You can then use a foundation if you need a little more coverage but because of the skin smoothing and bronzing effect this has you can totally get away with no foundation and just a few blobs of blended concealer here and there.

It doesn’t have any shimmer to it so if your skin is more on the dry side then I’d team it up with a cream blush or liquid highlighter on the high points of the face to give the skin a lift. 
 I found

 We have the shade in No 3 Sun Bronze, which was the darkest of the three shades available. It does appear quite terracotta toned initially but used sparingly on a medium to olive skin it would be totally natural. There are also two other shades, which are lighter if you need something for a fairer skin.

This product is also really nice to mix with your foundation on an evening out if you feel like your normal foundation is not quite matching your summer skin tone. It gives it a shot of warmth that also makes the skin literally come to life. It’s a really great product for the summer if you have the budget. You can purchase here for £76.00.

We have spoken before about our love for the By Terry Stylo Blackstar sticks and for the summer the shades in Aqua Mint and Copper crush are gorgeous.

Suitable for any skin tone, they blend out well as a base and ensure that any powder eye shadow you apply on top will not budge, even in humidity.
 These are nice swept over the lid and worn on their own but you need to blend fast as they don’t budge once they are set.
 These are £25.00 each  here and are available in other shades too. We also love the smoky black as a base for an intense smoky eye.


Thursday, 29 June 2017

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Stick

Most makeup fanatics would have tried the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer but there’s a new one in town if you are someone with a combination or oily skin.

The latest 12-Hour Oil Control Primer comes in a stick form and applies in a blurring transparent film.
 Upon application it immediately gives a soft focus effect to the skin and leaves a matte veil. It doesn’t cling to any dryness whatsoever and feels hydrated and silky to the touch.

Ideally you would apply this after your moisturiser, once it has had time to sink in, but before your foundation. I also found it useful to touch up any oily patches with during the day. By doing this it will mattify but won’t add any texture or cakiness to your skin. It also doesn’t alter the shade of your foundation at all, which can be a problem when using powder on an oily area.

The stick makes it very convenient to dab on and blend out but if you have any breakouts or blemishes then I would advise using a small synthetic, flat brush or stippling brush to apply so that you don’t contaminate the stick.

Photographs well and helps increase makeup longevity. Perfect if you’re a bride or someone who doesn’t have time to touch their makeup up throughout the day.

This is available from 12th July here and will be £22.00

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Giorgio Armani Eyes to kill Pro liner

 The new Eyes to Kill Pro Liner from Giorgio Armani is an art liner, which features a flexible sponge applicator wand. It’s an ink well style liner, which needs to be shaken well before use. I also found I needed to re-dip a few times throughout application.
 Initially the black is very black. It gives an opaque finish that dries off completely matte. No gloss or shine whatsoever. After the liner had totally dried I felt the black didn’t look quite so intense but I think that’s just because it’s a flat matte rather than the glossy wet look liner I am used to.

The tip is nicely flexible and allows a relatively thin line with good precision. If you like a super fine line then it may not be the liner for you. It does enable you to create a variety of shapes and the liquid lays down well on the skin making it easy to rectify mistakes.

The negatives I would say is that the tip dries out quickly. I needed to re-dip to be able to build up the line.  It dries to a matte finish fast so you may find you have to build the shape in stages. There’s not much playtime.

Longevity is amazing. It lasted the whole day with no cracking or smudging but removed fine with regular eye makeup remover.

This is available now here for £27.00 and is also available in a coral and a blue also.


Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Bobbi Brown Face Mist

So this a rather lovely find for the summer! Bobbi Brown Face mist is like a shot of hydration for the face which not only feels wonderfully cooling on the skin, but also helps revive a mid day skin. It’s in a handy sized 100ml, which, means it’s fine to take on board aircraft, and also fits nicely into your handbag.

It’s great to spritz over a bare skin for a veil of dewiness, mist onto the skin before you apply foundation to sheer the texture out and aid blending over dry patches. As mentioned, it’s nice to keep handy to revive a patchy foundation or blusher. Spray a fine mist and then whip out your blending brush to rebuff in any settled makeup.

A nice product for any makeup artist working on a shoot to treat their model to inbetween takes.

Contains Chamomile, greet tea and cucumber so no annoying strong scents, just subtle summery freshness that calms and soothes a stressed out skin.
 I also like that its in black packaging gives it a unisex feel. Guys need a little skin freshen up too you know!

Available here now for £22.00

Monday, 26 June 2017

My Secret Illness

We're so glad that we can share this video with you and wanted to say a huge thank you for all the messages, tweets and comments that everybody has sent. Nic has a treatment plan in place and has been successfully following this for a number of years now. She hasn't gone into the details of this simply because what works for one may not work for another and she believes everybody should follow the advice and treatment which works individually for them.
 We hope this video will help to raise awareness and help people to connect and find support in each other.


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Hair by Sam McKnight

 This new range of hair care from legendary session hairstylist Sam McKnight has been developed after 40 years of working in the industry and knowing what works and what doesn’t.

Possibly the best-looking set of hair products that we have gotten hold of for a while but whilst they are aesthetically pleasing in their pastel bottles they also do exactly what they say on the tin. The fragrance, which is slightly floral but fresh, has been created by British perfumer Lyn Harris taking into consideration Sam’s love of gardens.

Easy-Up Do

This is the product to reach for if you plan on having your hair up but are worried that it’s not going to last through the day. Sam McKnight actually say’s “It’s 20 hair pins in a can”

 Spritz it through dry hair prior to creating your ‘up do’ to create a texture that will enable your hair to grip and maintain its shape.

Cool Girl

If you like a little texture and shape to your hair without it feeling brittle or sticky then this texture mist is the one to go for. It’s a lightweight spritz that gives the hair an undone tousled finish. It also adds volume without frizz.

Modern Hairspray

Strong hold hairspray that allows you to position and shape your hair without saturating it or weighing it down. It brushes out nicely too so you can adapt your style from day into evening.

Lazy Girl

This is the dry shampoo in the range and when spritzed at the roots will absorb oil, freshen and give hair back a bit of oomph. It has a delicate, slightly cucumber (is that a word?) scent that doesn’t overpower. In fact, they all have this same scent.It's beautiful.

The whole collection is available from Liberty here.


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Origins Ginzing Tinted moisturiser and Eye cream


 We have been using the Estee Lauder Sheer tint release for years so we were really excited by the new Origins Tinted Moisturiser.
 It works in a similar way by applying as a colourless cream but upon blending it trasforms into a sheer tinted base.
 It's a relatively thick cream that would possibly be too rich for an oily skin type (and probably too radiant also).

It applies as an off-white with a undertone of blue pearl, sounds weird but the blue pearl provides the most amazing radiance. It definitely doesn't look blue on the skin so don't panic!

 Select a firm buffing brush to blend this out so that the firm brush hairs can effectively break down the pigments within to give the skin a sheer wash of skin smoothing colour.

After blending out
  There is only one shade option and I would say this would work for a very fair through to medium skin tone. Any deeper skin tones may look a little ashy.

This tinted moisturiser is great for summer when you feel like you need a little something on the skin but nothing that will mask your natural skin tone. It contains an SPF40 for protection, coffee beans to stimulate the skin and ginseng to boost hydration.

Overall an awesome skin base that will see you through the summer months. Also great for holiday as it will adapt to your skin as your tan deepens. Saves having to take multiple foundations!

Available now here for £30.00.

Another amazing product from Origins is their GinZing refreshing eye cream to brighten and depuff. Pretty much does what it says on the tin but what we love about this is it's slightly tinted with a delicate pink pearl which works really well to diffuse the light from dark circles.

 If you're a little dark on the eyelid it also works as a great base for your eyeshadow, toning down any natural redness or yellowing that often occurs on the eyelid.
 Again, this wouldn't be suitable for any skin tone darker than a medium as it will draw more attention to the under eye darkness by making it look ashy. Brilliant on a lighter skin tone.

 Nice to use on its own, as a base or mixed with your regular under eye concealer.
 This eye cream is £20.50 and available here.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Sam's Q&A

Last week we thought we would do a Q&A. Let us know if you enjoy these...


Friday, 16 June 2017

Real Techniques 6 Miracle Sponges

Don’t forget Real Techniques also do amazing sponges and if you’re unsure which ones to choose from them why not opt for three different styles all nestled neatly in one pack!

In this kit there are 6 sponges in total. Two Miracle complexion sponges, three Miracle mini eraser sponges and a Miracle Sculpting Sponge.

The Miracle Complexion Sponge is the Grandma of our sponge world. It’s for people who want to create a perfect base quickly. It can be used dry for a fuller coverage or damp for a sheer base.
 The angle of it means that you can reach the corners of the face and work with the contours of the face. It’s also nice to use on a base that is a few hours old to rebuff and freshen up the skin.

Miracle mini eraser sponges are the same shape as the larger complexion sponge but shrunken. Why are miniature products so cute?
 These little guys are great for touching up smaller areas of the skin but also correcting mishaps without disturbing your makeup. They are handy to sling into your make up bag or vanity case for emergency touch ups or for when space is limited. They are also really nice to apply cream blush with as the curvature of the sponge means you can apply with precision and blend.

The Miracle Sculpting sponge is for those who love the contoured look but hate having to use multiple brushes to create the desired look. The larger angled head can sculpt out a shadow under the cheekbones whilst the opposite projected side can accurately dab on the highlighter.
 The smaller tip can apply your contour to the eye socket, the sides of the nose or the Cupid’s bow.  It really is a one-stop shop of a sponge.

You can clean your sponge in warm water after each use but replace after 3 months.

You can shop the collection here. Each sponge is also sold separately here if you prefer.


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

Hourglass often features in our tutorials. It’s Nic’s go-to foundation if she has to have her photograph taken. Nic usually wears the Veil Fluid Foundation, which is great for a dryer skin but if you’re more on the combination to oily spectrum then you may prefer the immaculate liquid powder foundation.
 It’s already been out before in a pump style container however Hourglass have reformulated it and popped it into a more travel friendly squeezy packaging.

Immaculate applies in a cream but as you massage it into the skin it transforms into a powder finish. It’s like it almost evaporates into the skin, it’s a joy to apply
I think it provides a light to medium coverage but Hourglass does state it’s a medium to full cover. You can easily build it up if you feel you need a fuller cover although I would imagine you are going to get through a tube of this in no time at all. If you prefer a fuller cover I would maybe consider an alternative.

The cream is easy to work with and doesn’t dry off too quickly. It provides a beautiful velvet-matte finish that is neither flat nor overly dewy. It has an almost buttery balmy finish but without the residue. Being oil free it feels comfortable on an oily skin and contains Cashmere Kaolinite Clay, which absorbs its weight in oil but still retains moisture.

The new formula specifically targets the oxidisation of colour. Often on an oily skin, foundation will mix with the natural oils in the skin and will gradually deepen or change tone. The ingredients within help to keep the colour pigments true so you can be confident that the colour you apply in the morning will look the same at 4pm.

Immaculate foundation lasted really well on my skin and still looked fresh without any pooling in oily areas. I did feel that on really close inspection it had caught in a little dry skin around my nose so if you suffer with a little patchy texture on the skin then use a moisturising facial spritz to aid buffing it in.

Immaculate has a good colour range of 22 shades and would suit a pink toned porcelain skin through to a mid-deep warm tone. We only have three shades to share with you but check out the Hourglass site for more colour information

You can check out Immaculate liquid powder foundation here for £50.00.


Monday, 12 June 2017

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Medik8 Beta Gel Blemish Gel

Even into my mid 30’s I get the odd blemish cropping up, usually on a Friday before the weekend I might add. It’s annoying but over the years I have learnt to try my best to just ignore it and not irritate it further by picking at it. Unless it has come to a head (gross) then I leave it alone to just do its thing.
 Whenever I start to feel a lump under the skin brewing I like to apply a treatment to try and tame the beast before it raises its ugly head!

I have been testing out the Beta Gel by Medik8 recently. It’s a 15ml tube containing a transparent gel. It can be used as a thin layer over a larger problematic area or you can use it over the top of a lone blemish.

What’s in it?

Dioic acid-Helps to reduce sebum output

Azelaic Acid- Anti inflammatory and also assists in reducing the redness associated with blemishes. It also helps to kill of the blemish causing bacteria.

Salicylic Acid- Great at de-clogging the pores and loosening all the blemish-causing gunk!

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)- Reduces inflammation, doesn’t dry out the skin and strengthens the skins barrier.

When you apply this gel it has a slight sting. Not eye wateringly but more of a pleasant “ahh it must be doing something because I can feel the tingle” kind of sting. If you suffer with blemishes you’ll probably weirdly like this sting, I do anyway!

After about 20 minutes of applying this the blemish redness was taken down and appeared less angry! I feel like it accelerated the speed of healing too (providing I didn’t pick at it).

The best thing about this gel is that once it dries off it leaves behind a clear film. The film evens out the texture of the blemish and allows any foundation or concealer applied on top to appear smoother. The film will also protect the blemish underneath and to promote the healing.

It’s not a cheap product but I would say if you suffer from the odd blemish then it’s a good investment. The use by date is 12 months so if you’re only using it occasionally it’ll get you through the year!

The 15ml tube is £33.00 and available here.

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