Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Hourglass Vanish Highlighting Stick





The most frequently occurring question we get asked on our Instagram posts is “what highlighter are you wearing?”. Seems most people love radiance to the skin.

 We have been testing out the latest highlighting sticks from Hourglass, which provide an intense flash of light to the skin.

 This highlighter is by no means a subtle one. It’s literally like a strobe on the skin.

 You could make it work for daytime by buffing it well but it comes to life in the evening light or under flashlight.



 The triangular shaped stick allows good coverage and precise application. Use it on the flat of the stick to apply to the cheekbones or use the pointed angle of the stick to apply under the eyebrow or corners of the eye.


The texture is very lightweight but doesn’t feel particularly hydrating, almost dry to the touch, be cautious using over dry, textured skin or fine lines, it’s pretty unforgiving.



The colour selection is nice, suitable for all skin tones in a range or golden, bronze and pink shades.
 The highlight does have a slight shimmer rather than a natural highlight. It’s not an everyday kind of product but one for those who like their highlight strong!
 You can shop these here and they are £38.00 each






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Monday, 29 January 2018

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Niod Photography Fluid Opacity 12%




January in the UK is one of the worst months. I feel like it’s been grey for weeks and I’m constantly on the look out for the spring bulbs poking their heads through the soil to reassure me we are heading for spring.

 If you feel like your skin needs a pick-me-up too or you are on the hunt for your products for upcoming events or your wedding then you may be interested in today's review.

 Niod, which comes from the fab brand Deciem, have an interesting product called Photography Fluid, Opacity 12%.



 What is it?

It’s a light textured fluid that is infused with various light reflecting prisms.

 You can wear it alone on moisturised skin, use it as a primer underneath your regular foundation or even mix a few drops with your foundation to give it a more radiant finish.


It contains light reflecting prisms that bounce light off of the skin in lots of directions to blur out skin pigmentation and redness but also to give a radiance to the skin that doesn’t look artificial.

 Initially it applies very white to the skin so you may be scared it will leave you with a washed out pearly face but it quickly spreads out and blends in. The undertones are softly golden so on a fair to medium skin it will reflect a warm sheen. On a deeper skin tone it will look a brighter, slightly more yellow highlight.


It’s hydrating without feeling tacky and would work on all skin types. It actually dries pretty fast so you need to work relatively quick. I found it applied easier when buffed into the skin straight after moisturiser. If your skin is particularly oily then avoid too much down the central area of the face however it’s a nice way to add a matte textured highlight to a combination/oily skin comfortably.


I preferred how it looked on my skin 20 minutes after application rather than immediately. I think it just needs a little time to warm into the skin. Give it time to work in before continuing with your base makeup.


Considering the high level of Titanium Dioxide and Mica there was no flashback for me, it photographs well.


What I didn’t like


The bottle. Normally I enjoy using the pipette style bottles as the dropper allows you to apply minimal product and also allows you to dropper the liquid directly onto the brush. For some reason this fluid leaks badly from the bottle. I clean the rim after each use but it still seeps from inside and often drips down the side.

 I have spoken to a few others who have also found this. Because of this I would say it’s a dressing table item, not a transportable kit item.



If you have particularly large pores then spritz a skin mist over the face to aid blending and sheer out the coverage. Using too much over open pores and not blending well means it does linger slightly in this area.



Also this is not a slap on and dash product. Hastily apply this and it can easily streak or appear patchy. Lovingly blend it with a firmly packed buffing brush, aided with a sneaky spritz of something like Emma Hardie Plump and Glow or MAC Fix+ and you’ll be fine.



You can shop Niod Photography Fluid here for £20.00


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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Clinique Fit



So the clever marketing department at Clinique have launched a range of products to fit in with the New Year, new me resolution that we all try to adopt in January.



Their latest workout inspired collection is targeted towards those who require products to suit an active lifestyle. It comes all neatly packaged in aesthetically pleasing, sporty packaging, albeit very plastic heavy! This collection is limited to Selfridges, Brown Thomas Dublin and Clinique.co.uk



We all want to look like the person in the gym that totally knows what they are doing, whilst secretly reading the diagram instructions on every machine (maybe that’s just me!). This collection incorporates 7 products that will naturally enhance your skin whilst working out or gives hydration and protection.




What’s in the range?



Post Workout Face and Body swipes

 We all know that wipes are not the best regime for our facial skincare, however a quick once over the face with these wipes after attending a gym class is not the end of the world. If you are someone who suffers with blemishes on your back or other areas because of a build up of sweat and dirt on the skin then these will be super helpful post workout just to remove the excess sweat.



Workout makeup SPF40

 This is a really lovely lightweight foundation and due to the fluidity of it, will probably last you a lot longer than your 2018 gym membership! Sheer coverage which, instantly smoothes the skin and blurs skin tone and redness for a more naturally flawless finish. Matte but still feels hydrated. I would say this would work well on all skin types but those with a very dry skin may find they need to layer over a hydrating primer.


 It contains an SPF40 so great for outdoor training. Clinique state that this contains a blend of chemical and physical sunscreen that is great for an all round protection however, there are elements within each type of protection that counteract each other.

  Physical sunscreens are better for a sensitive skin, better for congested skin and deflect heat. Chemical sunscreens tend to have more ingredients that may react with a sensitive skin; changes UV into heat, which leads to flushing and can clog pores. Not sure how they have worked it to ensure one type of sunscreen doesn’t prevent the other from working?

 Regardless it’s very liquid so be sure to give it a good shake before hand and it gives a beautiful finish to the skin even when applied with fingertips. This foundation is available in 4 shades. We have the shade in light/medium.

This is £29.50



Post workout Mattifying moisturiser

 Very lightweight moisturiser that would be particularly beneficial for a combination or oily skin. Doesn’t really feel hydrating enough for a dry skin and dries off quickly to a completely matte undetectable finish.

 The small 40ml tube makes it an ideal one to sling in your gym bag though. Just make sure you either wash your face or use the wipes first before application.

This is 26.00



Lip and Cheek Flush

 Oil free gel blush, which provides a very sheer tint of raspberry to the cheeks. I like the colour, it’s a nice shade but if you’ve already hit it hard in the gym then you may want to take it easy on this flush enhancing blush!


 Texture blends easy but it does cling slightly and if you don’t blend immediately then it will go patchy.

 It’s also pretty pricey at £17.00 for 7ml when you could maybe get a similar effect from Glossier Cloud Paint, which is £15.00 for 10ml, and you get a choice of shades.





Workout 24-Hour Mascara
 Love the wand for this mascara. It’s slim, tapered and separates the lashes nicely. It coats the lashes in a carbon black and lasts well in humidity.


It is only waterproof with cold water and will easily be removed with warm water.

 This is £20.00



Post workout neutralising Face powder

 A fine yellow based powder to tone down redness within the skin. It’s so sheer that I don’t think it will make a huge difference to a post workout reddened skin but it will certainly brighten. Only really suitable for a very fair to medium skin tone.

 I love the mirrored lid as you can use this during application however, the thick sponge applicator doesn’t allow for much powder to come through so you’ll be there a while if you need anything more than an extremely light dusting.

This is £27.00

Get hold of the range here.






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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Burt's Bees Satin Lipsticks


We have never tried Burt’s Bees Lip products before, other than the clear balms, but recently every lipstick I seem to like on an image in a magazine is Burt’s Bees!

 We have the Satin lipstick collection from the range and I have to say, the pigment pay off and the texture is one of the nicest I have used for a while.

 The tones all seem to be on the pinker side of the spectrum but the colours remain true on the lips after a few hours wear. 
 The shades come up slightly ligter than what you imagine but they seem to miraculously blend and work with your natural lip colour so well.



The packaging doesn’t have an expensive or particularly luxurious feel but the proof is in the product and as the actual lipstick performs so well, I can overlook this.



 Good selection of shades from nudes, through to pink, plum and red. Not much in the way of orange,coral or brown.



 The finish is satin but doesn't feel glossy or greasy. You will need to top up every few hours but the colour fades rather than cling in patches.

Burt's Bees ingredients are sourced responsiby, 100% natural and are not tested on animals.
 These are normally £9.99 but are currently £6.99 at Superdrug.
 


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Monday, 15 January 2018

Friday, 12 January 2018

MAC Fix+







We always carry a Fix+ from MAC around in our personal makeup bag. It’s a great product to aid blending, sheer out a foundation, revive an over powdered skin or simply add a little shot of hydration.
 The standard Fix + has been around for ages but there are three new blends added to range that are also becoming part of the permanent line up.

January is always the month that MAC focuses on the ‘fresh start’ for makeup and skin and stripping your routine back to the basics, which will nurture and give radiance during this dull month.

What’s in Fix+?

Water, Glycerin, which is a moisture magnet and Cucumber and Chamomile, extract to soothe.
 The new launches include a Fix+ infused with Lavender, Coconut and Rose.
 I would select the spritz, which contains the scent you personally prefer. The lavender is obviously a very calming scent, Rose is uplifting and Coconut is always a winner to evoke feelings of long summer days…something we’re desperate for at the moment.

You can get each of these online or in store now for £18.00.
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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

NARS Natural radiant longwear foundation




The latest foundation from NARS landed on my desk just before Christmas so you may already be clued up on it.

 NARS say it’s a 16-hour fade-resistant foundation with full-powered radiance. They boast that it improves skin condition hour by hour due to its list of ingredients and that it offers a weightless texture but with a full cover.



What do we think?



Available in a 30ml squared glass bottle with oddly pleasing rubber lid. Love the feel of the lid but it looks instantly grubby with foundation fingerprints after a few uses!

 A little goes a crazily long way so apply lightly and build. One squirt will give you a very full cover but it’s easy to adapt to a sheer cover by using a loose fibred buffing brush. Those who like it full then select a sponge or tightly packed, firm bristled brush as your weapon of choice.



It’s creamy rather than liquidy and the thickness of the fluid means you have to work it into the skin rather than hastily sweeping it over the skin. Work fast with this one because it dries quickly, there isn’t a lot of playtime and if you dillydally around you will be left with a patchy finish.



It has a silicone base so once dried it has that slightly film texture. Feels pleasant on the skin, not greasy at all and leaves the skin with a low level radiance, not shimmer.



I would suggest that this foundation would work better on a normal/combination skin. I think an oily skin would find the silicone texture a little uncomfortable and I personally don’t think it sits nicely on a dry skin.

When I tested on dry skin it clung onto every area of dry skin and made it look 10 times worse. It feels fairly hydrating but it just highlights the dryness. It also sat in my pores and made my skin look more textured than it looks normally.



I do agree however that this foundation looks much better an hour after application than it does on initial application. If you’re testing a sample in store then definitely apply it, go for a shop and then check it out an hour or so later. It seems to melt into the skin and the shade warms up a little.


Talking of shades, the colour line up is phenomenal, totally overwhelming, but bloody good.

 A mix of pink and yellow bases from fair through to very deep. I’d be surprised if you can’t find your shade, but you may need help in selecting, as there are 33 shades in total.



In summary it gives a medium to full cover, works better on a normal/combination skin, has a natural radiance and lasts really well, in fact the look and feel of it improved throughout the day.



This is available now for £35.00 here.
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Monday, 8 January 2018

Thursday, 4 January 2018

The Ordinary Glycolic Toner 7%


Image: www.theordinary.com


It seems everybody is talking about The Ordinary at the moment so it’s about time we popped a post up about them.
 Acid toners have always been a staple product in my skincare regime and normally I purchase Biologique Resercher P50V toner for an eye watering £56.00. I still love P50V but unfortunately Biologique Resercher make it so damned hard to get hold of that I have begun to test out alternatives.

The Ordinary Glycolic acid 7% toning solution at  £6.80 for a whopping 240ml is the first I have tried from the range.
 It comes in a plastic bottle with a screw lid that can be replaced by a squirty style (I’m sure there is a more professional term) nozzle. It took me a few moments to realise you just twist the nozzle to get the fluid out. I almost cut the tip off with a pair of scissors because I couldn’t figure it out, idiot!

The fluid is slightly yellow/blush and smells like cucumber (in my opinion), although it’s not actually scented. Quite often products with active ingredients smell hideous but this is not offensive at all.

What’s in it?

Water based with Glycolic acid being it’s next biggest ingredient. The Glycolic acid within this is at 7% and slightly higher than that within Pixi Glow Tonic at 5%. Glycolic acid is an AHA and a great anti aging ingredient. It works by penetrating deeply into the skin and dislodging the dead skin cells, leaving renewed fresh and softened skin. It’s thought that for Glycolic acid to effectively work it’s best for it to be at a pH range between 3-4. This toner sits at a pH of 3.6.
 Sadly no Salicylic acid within to help with congestion and blemishes but the Ordinary do also do a 2% Salicylic and witch hazel serum for £4.20 so if you battle with blemish prone skin you may be interested in that also. Maybe skip your morning Starbucks for 2 days and you can afford that one as well!
 Other ingredients include Aloe and Ginseng root to soothe and promote radiance along with Tasmanian Pepperberry to counteract the often-irritating acid within.

If you are feeling like your skin needs a kick-start and looks dull and dehydrated then this is a great product. It instantly renews after one use, skin feels softened and noticeably radiant. Because it helps to lift off those pesky dead skin cells which are reducing the effectiveness of your other products it makes for a great product to use before your serums or moisturizer to help them work harder for you.
 If your skin is particularly dry then maybe use this on alternative days with your normal toner. If your skin is combination or oily you may get away with using a little more frequently. If you live in a hotter climate, are using in the summer months or are outside a lot then also be aware that this product can increase the skins sensitivity to UVA/UVB.

 Such a great product and I’m excited to test out more from the range.

 You can get hold of the Glycolic Acid toner here.
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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

it Cosmetics Your skin but better CC cream

And just like that it’s 2018! To kick off the year we have been testing out the It Cosmetics Your skin but better CC cream SPF50+ and oh my goodness is it great.
 Initially I had disregarded this when it appeared on my desk, CC creams generally don’t float my boat, but I took it home to test out and was in love from the first use.


Image from www.itcosmetics.com


Coverage wise it’s medium to full but by no means feels heavy or chalky. I don’t enjoy a particularly heavy cover base but I found when I spritzed on a hydrating facial spray, such as Emma Hardie Plump and Glow or Origins Ginzing Face spritz first it helped to sheer out the cover.
 It instantly blurs out discolouration, uneven skin tone and any high colour from blemishes but doesn’t mask it. Your skin just simply looks naturally evened. You can always pin point conceal with a separate concealer if needed.
 Blending is easy and the creamy rich texture melts away easily. Use a minimal amount of product and build using a large buffing brush.


 The texture on the skin once it has set is hydrated but not greasy and it gives off a radiant finish that looks totally natural. No sparkle or shimmer. It’s brightening rather than illuminating. It doesn’t sit in fine lines or pores and really does look like the best version of your own skin.
 You may notice that Titanium Dioxide is the first ingredient, which usually means flash back,  but I have found there was zero flashback under camera light and my skin didn’t look pale or chalky. I would definitely say it’s a nice product for brides but I would test it first during a trial as sometimes ingredients react differently with different skins.

There are some interesting ingredients within, which would mostly benefit a dehydrated or dryer skin type (I found it still worked well on a combination skin however).
 High up on the ingredients is snail slime filtrate. Yes you heard me, snail slime!
 If you ever picked up snails as a kid and let them slither over your hand you’ll know the slimy, slightly sticky feel they have. Well this slime is now becoming popular within cosmetics. This slime is packed full of Hyaluronic acid and glycoproteins which promote healthy collagen and elastin. Don't panic, no snails are harmed in this process (it Cosmetics is cruelty free).
 Niacinamide is also included which is great for soothing blemished skins and reddened skins.
 Lots of skin loving ingredients are within such as avocado oil, lime oil, soyabean, grapefruit, aloe, olive and turmeric. Not to mention the citrus ingredients that you can instantly smell on application. It’s like buffing in lemon cheesecake onto your face, smells delicious.

The only downside I can find, as usual is the shade selection. 7 shades from fair through to deep but I’m not sure the deep is quite deep enough. Unfortunately it cosmetics don’t offer samples.
The full size 32ml CC cream is £30.00 and available here.


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