Sunday, 27 April 2014

Soap & Glory Orangeasm Body Wash

Soap & Glory Orangeasm Body Wash Boots £6.50

Let me introduce you to the new kid on the Soap & Glory block. Orangeasm is a new fragrance they have recently introduced, it current carries in a Body Wash, Body Butter and Super Tonic Fragrance. The scent itself is a combination of fresh green mandarin, Sicilian lemon and sweet orange peel oils. Unlike other fruity scented bath products, this genuinely smells like the real deal; it's extremely zesty and smells of freshly squeezed fruit juices. I must admit, on first sniff I was pretty suprised, I was expecting it to be similar to Sugar Crush which is one of my all time scents but this is very different.

Let's get more specific with this product. It comes in the regular 500ml bottle which I love, one of these seems to last me around a month and a half. This is mainly down to the fact is has a pump which allows you complete control over how much is dispensed so you don't use too much or too little - 6 pumps is generally a good amount lathered up on a loofer. The branding is quirky and humorous, it looks uber pretty and colourful sitting in your bathroom.

So is the product actually any good then? I don't like to be disappointed and this has pleased me thoroughly. It's the perfect pick me up for a summers morning. The zingy smell wakes you up in the morning and is super refreshing. The product itself lathers onto the skin well and leaves you feeling refreshed and clean without stripping the skin. It has moisturising properties such as MSUDS technology, TRIPLE TEA antioxidant complex, GINSENG and PINKPEPPERBERRY. I do find this less moisturising than other body washes from Soap & Glory but is still nourishing enough for those of you with normal/oily skin. I have drier skin but when followed with a body butter/lotion I don't see any difference to other products.

I really do love this product and the scent is very unique and something which I'll most likely be reaching for in warmer months when I don't want something too heavy on my skin but leaves me feeling clean and ready for the day. I definitely want to pick up the matching body butter too!


Monday, 21 April 2014

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush: 03 Berry Pop

Clinique Cheek Pop in 03 Berry Pop Boots £16.50

You've most likely heard of these new additions to Clinique, who might I say have absolutely stepped up their skincare and make-up recently, bravo. I have to admit, I don't wear blush, it's something that doesn't really appeal to me. I love bronzer but having seen too many tragic blusher applications on girls, it's steered me away from giving them a real chance. However, when I saw these little beauties, I couldn't resist shelling out for one and giving it a go.

Let's start with the design. Being a spring launch they've made the packaging super cute with the blush itself being in the shape of a flower (I guessed a daisy, I may be wrong?) It's in a clear plastic compact case with a satisfying click clasp and the usual silver Clinique logo. The case itself is super sturdy and easy to travel with so you don't have to worry about the product smashing. Nice and simple, just what I adore from Clinique.

Colour-wise, I am speaking solely for 03 Berry Pop, although there are 3 other shades in the collection; 01 Ginger Pop, 02 Peach Pop and 04 Plum Pop. I chose Berry Pop as it looked the most wearable to me, but there are shades to suit every skin-tone which are all gorgeous. Berry Pop itself is a vibrant cool toned pink, it's a matte blush and doesn't have any shimmer in it. I find this blush is best applied with a stippling brush such as the Real Techniques Stippling Brush, when swirled in the blush there isn't any fall out and the daisy embossed is fully intact showing a little goes a long way. The texture is like no other, the only way to explain it is a mix between a powder and a cream blush. It has a velvety feel and isn't sticky like a cream blush but not as chalky as a powder blush.

It applies effortlessly and the finish is beautiful, it looks very natural and doesn't sit in the pores and enhance them. The blush is very pigmented meaning it can be applied lightly for a just there pinch of colour or built up to the full colour in the pan for a more statement colour. The longevity of the blush is excellent, I wear it sheer/moderate and it lasts around 6-8 hours without the need for touch ups without losing their colour throughout the day. Although they are a little pricey, I reckon these will last a pretty long time so that justifies the price tag for me. Overall, these are excellent little blushes and I am completely besotted by them, it won't be long before I'm back at the Clinique counter picking up the rest of them.


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Real Techniques Starter Set

Real Techniques are my all time favourite brushes, and it's not surprise I own almost everything they have to offer. In the past few years I've become a keen eye shadow wearer, nothing too adventurous, more neutral colours. It helps even out any discoloration I have in the eye area and makes me look more awake and healthy. When I picked up the core collection it was buy one get one half price on all Real Techniques, so I picked up the starter set which is a set of brushes to use with application of eye make-up as I thought it would be useful.

The set consists of 4 brushes; a deluxe crease brush, base shadow brush, accent brush, pixel point eyeliner brush and brow brush. It comes with the standard case in all Real Techniques sets which the brushes can be held in to travel with and it also doubles up as a stand. The brushes are made of taklon which is 100% synthetic hair and cruelty-free. The handles are made from aluminium and rubber which make them super light to hold. The set retails for £21.99 and perfect for those of you who love a bit of blending, contouring and lining with shadows and eyeliners in the eye area.

  • Deluxe Crease Brush: soft, oversized design for effortless contouring.
  • Base Shadow Brush: applies a smooth, flawless foundation of colour.
  • Accent Brush: designed for precision detailing, spotlighting, highlighting and smudging.
  • Pixel Point Eyeliner Brush: tapered cut is ideal for sense or fine eyeliner application.
  • Brow Brush: distinctive shape easily defines eyebrows.

What I use each brush for

Deluxe Crease Brush: This big is the fluffiest, biggest, eye brush I have ever used. Although it is targeted for blending and contouring in the socket, I prefer to use this as my base brush. It's good at applying a neautral base colour all over the lid quickly and effortlessly. It is also great for it's main purpose, blending colour into the crease.

Base Shadow Brush: I use this brush for absolutely everything. Applying shadow to the base of my eye and blending into the crease. Also I use it for applying highlighter below the brow bone and above my cupids bow. This brush is a great all-round eye brush and an essential in any eye shadow wearers brush collection.

Accent Brush: I soley use my accent brush for apply darker colours as eyeliner under the eye towards the outer socket. It's exactly the right density and size to be very precise with the line you create and allows to you have good control. It can also be used to highlight the inner corners of the eyes.

Pixel Point Eyeliner Brush: I must admit, I don't use this brush hardly ever. Maybe that's just because I personally haven't found a use for it yet. I don't really use liquid liner anymore but it could easily be useful to create winged liner with liquid liner.

Brow Brush: I did used to use this brush for filing in my brows with shadow before I started using Benefit Gimmie Brow. However, I did find it slightly chunky and prefered using my MAC 217 for brows. Instead I use it to line lighter colour under the eye on the inner corner. Can also be used to line the lids with shadow too.

I only owned 2 eye brushes before I invested in this set and they were both MAC brushes which were super expensive. For less than the cost of both of those brushes together, I have gained 5 excellent brushes that are super useful. Although I don't use the Pixel Point Eyeliner brush personally, I do believe this set is an excellent investment to anyone who uses eye make-up whether you wear one basic eye colour or experiment in blending and contouring all different colours at once. The synthetic hair is super easy to clean should you use and cream shadows which won't absorb product either. The set retails for £21.99 which is an absolute bargain as with all Real Techniques brushes. I haven't experienced any shedding of hairs with any of brushes and they all dry super quickly when cleaned also.


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Clinique Take The Day Off Make-Up Remover

I'm a massive fan of Clinique's Take The Day Off Cleansing balm, in fact, it's my favourite skincare product ever. Therefore, it was only right I try out their eye make-up remover too. I love to use separate eye make up remover to my cleansers as I have sensitive eyes and they are easily irritated by products. I've heard several good things about this product such as winning the SHE Magazine Beauty Awards 2011 for best eye make-up remover, so I thought it had to be a good investment. I've used the whole bottle to make sure my review is as informative as possible.

Clinique's Take The Day Off Make-Up Remover for lids, lashes & lips claims to be a two-way formula that loosens the grip, then speeds up the departure of the most persistent, eye make ups, mascara and lipsticks. Even waterproof mascaras. It is also suitable contact lens wearers. It's ophthalmologist tested and perfume so it's suitable for those of you with sensitive eyes like me! Sounds pretty good eh? It comes in a lilac plastic bottle, so any clumsy moments won't leave you with a broken bottle and a floor covered in expensive solution. The cap has a lock on it similar to a medicine bottle, you push down and twist, very simple but effective at making sure your product doesn't leak if you're travelling.

The bottle consists of a half water based, half oil based solution. You shake the bottle up for a few seconds so that they mix together to create a cloudy consistency. You the remove the cap and apply to a cotton pad and hold over the area you want to remove make-up from. I personally found it really hard to work with, it was great for removing eye shadows and lip products in seconds. However, I have a battle trying to remover mascara, this goes for all brands of mascara and I don't even wear waterproof either. I soak the cotton pad generously and hold over my eyes for around a minute, it just removes the odd trace of mascara and it comes off all flaky; I have to use loads of product and really work with it and rub and tug to actually remove the majority of it, not good for the eye area at all!
I also found the product quite greasy too, I would definitely cleanse after even though it claims to be suitable for before and after, I can't see having that much oil sitting on your skin to be good for your pores. I do wear quite a few coats of mascara which could impact on why my review is so negative compared to others, however, I've not had a problem with a variety of eye make-up removers before and for the price tag of £17 for 125ml, I expected this to be better than my drugstore equivalents, not worse. I don't recommend this product at all, you can get much better for a fraction of the price. I was left really unimpressed from one of my favourite skincare brands, I'm hoping this is just a one off.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Benefit Gimmie Brow

Benefit Gimmie Brow in Light/Medium ASOS £17.50

Brows used to be a massive deal for me, I'd spend forever using pencil/powder to make them bigger and bolder adapting their shape. I was an over-plucker back in my teens and they've never grown back quite the same. Recently I've stopped completely, my obsession was getting out of hand and they were starting to looking very unnatural and unsightly. My brows still crave that something extra to give them a little boost, they are quite sparse and fair meaning they get lost under a full face of make-up.

Benefit Gimmie Brow is a 'brow-volumising fibre gel'. It is a water resistant, long wearing formula and doesn't transfer unlike powder and pencils (ever had someone rub past you in a club and lose half your eyebrow with it, not cool). It's very similar to a tinted brow gel and has a teeny tiny brush which applies like you would mascara to your lashes. The formula builds volume onto the brow hairs and also helps shape them and keep them in place, perfect! The application is super easy and quick, pretty fool proof really. The formula is build-able so you can subtly enhance the brows or build them up to be quite bold.

Although I have dark hair, I opted for the light/medium as I wanted the effect to be very subtle. The finish is very natural and you can barely tell any product has been apply, it adds a good amount of colour to my fair eyebrows and builds them up so they aren't so sparse but don't look cakey and fake. They stay put all day without smudging or flaking and when it comes to taking my make-up off, it comes off easily with a good cleanser without pulling any hairs out. Gimmie Brow is a brilliant wonder product and I suspect other brands will follow in Benefit's footsteps with this revolutionary concept, it's definitely won me over becoming a staple in my make-up bag.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Clinique 3 Step Skincare Type #3 Combination Oily

As most of you will know I'm an absolute skincare junkie. However Clinique isn't unfamiliar to me and we've encountered before. Back in my early teen days when my acne first started flaring up, I was recommended Clinique's Anti-Blemish Solutions and had a really bad experience. Now my skin has matured and settled down a lot, I decided to give their ordinary range a go. I've been using the range for a few months now and wanted to share my thoughts.

I took the online consultation which matched me to mainly Anti-Blemish Solution products, obviously I wanted to steer clear of these. On the list also popped up the Type 3 Clarifying Lotion so I decided to give the equivalent products a go and hope they suited my skin type. I'd recommend getting a start kit for £20 first before you commit to buying the full size products. Mine lasted around a month but I can be quite wasteful, this should be enough time for you to test if they suit you.

What Clinique say: 'Just 3 products, 3 minutes, twice a day—it’s that easy. Cleanse. Exfoliate. Moisturise. Three simple actions, morning and night. Yet when custom-fit to your specific needs, this dermatologist-developed system reveals your skin’s best version of itself: clear, radiant, glowing. At Clinique, we believe any skin can be great skin.'

Overall opinion: I liked the range, some things more than others. I've found my skin to break out slightly initially but they do inform you of this. It leaves my skin slightly redder than my La-Roche Posay which was expected as it isn't targeted to sensitive skin. I have found my skin to produce excess oil after a few hours which is a pain but I can cope with. After a 2 months of using these products I made a decision to cut the Clarifying Lotion out of my routine and saw an improvement in redness and breakouts improvement. I recently went back to Clinique and have altered my 3 step type, but I still use the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel and love it.

Step 1: Liquid Facial Soap (Oily Skin Formula)

The first step can comes in 2 forms - a liquid soap and a bar soap. I opted for the liquid soap version. I use one pump of these and massage it in wet hands to a lather and then gently rub onto a wet face in circular motions. When applied it instantly cools the face and causes it to tingle slightly, I think this may be just the oily version as it contains harsher ingredients to combat sebum. The wash leaves my skin well cleansed but doesn't strip it completely and leave it feeling uncomfortable and tight. I really love this product and a bottle of this has lasted me 2 months used twice a day. However I wouldn't recommended to those of you with spot prone skin as it doesn't have any spot fighting ingredients. (RRP £15.50 200ml)

Step 2: Clarifying Lotion #3

The second step is the clarifying lotion, see this as your exfoliating toner. They come in a 200ml bottle and a large 400ml bottle, I opted for the 200ml as the 400ml looks huge and I already lack space in my en-suite. You use this by applying it to a cotton pad and then gently wiping it over your face avoiding delicate areas like the eyes and mouth. This chemically exfoliates the skin and gets rid of any dead skin cells and excess dirt that the cleanser may not have caught. The product contains a lot of alcohol and if you have sensitive skin like mine, it irritates so much that is burns my skin and leaves it feeling raw and itchy. I personally wouldn't recommend this step and I'd say just go for 1 and 3 but if you think you have pretty tough skin then go for it, I like the idea behind it though, it just doesn't agree with my skin. (RRP £15.50 200ml)

Step 3: Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

The last and best step, moisturising. For types 3 & 4 you are recommended this product, the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. This is a lighter version of the + which is quite heavy and targeted at those whom have drier skin types. This is the biggest size they do and I'd highly recommend you get this one, with the pump, 2 pumps is enough for the entire face and neck, I've had mine for 3 months and I'm only about 2/3 through. The gel is really refreshing and although it says gel, it has the same consistency a moisturiser and isn't sticky and sinks into the skin nicely. It doesn't leave you looking too matte either but controls oil well. The formula doesn't irritate my skin at all and is super gentle and refreshing. (RRP £29.50 125ml)


Saturday, 5 April 2014

GHD IV Candy Collection Lemon Styler

GHD IV Candy Collection Lemon Styler ASOS £110

I swear by GHDs. I had a previous pair of GHDs since I was about 14/15 and they still work to this day, considering I'm 20 soon that's some good going! I thought it was time to invest in a new pair as my old ones are now looking a little grubby and not as pretty as they used to. I'm an  absolute sucker for anything yellow so the 'Lemon' styler caught my eye straight away. They were released last year and I managed to nab the last pair on ASOS.

This styler is the same as my previous IV styler. The styler itself is a different colour obviously, this gorgeous bright yellow colour is stunning and really brightens up your gloomy mornings. I also like that the styler itself is plain, I had a patterned one previous and the pattern has now mostly worn off so it looks rather battered and ugly these days. One switched on, the styler takes 30 seconds to heat up, the red indicator will hold a steady colour and then flash and beep when it is ready. It heats up to one standard heat - 230 degrees; the heat is good but I would love if GHD would maybe add another heat setting or two for people who's hair may not need so much heat.

The styler also has a sleep mode, when it is left on for longer than 30 minutes the red light will change to yellow and beep in intervals. The styler will also completely cool down so you don't have to worry about burning in the house down when leaving the house in a half asleep state. The only difference I have found with this pair compared to my last is that the plates clamp further apart, meaning I usually have to go over the same section of hair a few times to get it poker straight. Curling hair is exactly the same though, I love the smoothness of the coating and the the shape of this particular styler, it makes curling and waves so fuss free, they usually last all day too!

Overall I still completely rely on and trust in GHD despite competitors entering the market. I love that their prices haven't changed at all over the years, although they are a pricey, they are long term investment which I would favour over several pair of lower quality irons that I would have to replace regularly. This isn't my first pair, and probably won't be my last, I can see myself always going back to GHD in years to come.


Friday, 4 April 2014

Clinique Superprimer: Dullness

Another Clinique review, I know, I know! However I couldn't resist popping this in my basket with a recent online order when I ran empty on my cleanser. If you haven't heard of Clinique's Superprimers, you must have been living under a rock; heavily advertised everywhere following their launch last year. Clinique created a collection of 6 primers, all to suit different colour correction needs. The collection hosts a Dullness, Sallowness, Redness, Discolourations, Dullness in Deeper Skins and a Universal primer. I'm going to be reviewing the Dullness Superprimer.

I must confess, this was a mistake purchase, I actually meant to opt for the Redness superprimer but accidentally chose Dullness. I thought I'd give it ago anyway not expecting much seeing as it is pretty much opposite on the colour spectrum from what my skin requires. The Dullness superprimer is aimed at those who's skin lacks radiance and glow. My skin personally doesn't suffer too much from this as I have very oily skin, however, it can be quite dull and lack colour as I am very fair.

The primer comes in a 30ml plastic tube, you all know how much I love Clinique's packaging so I won't ramble on. The lightweight, oil-free formula is suitable for all skin types too. The formula is a pastel pink colour with a thick creamy consistency which is applied with either a brush or fingers (I prefer fingers) pre-foundation. I used a large pea size amount the cover my whole face. It glides onto the skin effortlessly, it leaves a very velvet-like finish and is very matte.

I didn't find too much colour pay off, I hardly noticed a difference from using the sample of the colourless Universal. Considering it is aimed at dull skin, the super matte finish doesn't help too much in this respect, although it could be argued it is a primer and it's main purpose is to create a good base and prolong foundation wear. Overall I like the primer, it applied nicely, gave my skin a very slight tint (although you don't see this through foundation anyway) and I noticed a huge difference in how long my foundation lasted on my skin. It retails for £20 which is a decent price for a high end primer. I would recommend going for a colour corrector primer from the range despite the them not making much difference, I've used the Universal before and the formula wasn't as thick and my foundation didn't last as long.


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Real Techniques Core Collection

Real Techniques are my all time favourite brushes. Besides MAC, they're the only brushes I ever buy. Mainly because of their amazing quality for a decent price. I've brought many separate brushes in the past but never any of the sets. Since I had some Christmas money left and Boots had a buy one get one half price on all Real Techniques I decided to buy both sets. I thought I'd review the core collection first which is the most popular set.

The set consists of 4 brushes; a contour brush, foundation brush, detailer brush and buffing brush. It also comes with a nifty little case to store and travel with which also doubles as a stand. The brushes are made of taklon which is 100% synthetic hair and cruelty-free. The handles are made from aluminium and rubber which make them super light to hold. The set retails for £21.99 and is ideal for those of you beginning your brush collection as it has everything to achieve a flawless base.

  • Contour Brush: delicately applies highlighter to contour or create sheer, soft-focus finish.
  • Pointed Foundation Brush: Use with liquid foundation to build custom coverage.
  • Detailer Brush: precision cut to effortlessly conceal problem areas; or, use with a lipstick for long-lasting shape and definition.
  • Buffing Brush: Ideal for full coverage application of powder and mineral foundation.

What I use each brush for

Contour Brush: I must admit I don't use the contour brush much, I use a larger brush to contour with but it definitely can be used for this purpose. I usually use the brush to apply blusher or to set my concealer with powder under my eyes.

Pointed Foundation Brush: My least used brush, only because I don't like these types of brush to apply foundation as I find they can be quite streaky for heavy coverage liquid foundations. Perfect to apply primers and BB creams with.

Detailer Brush: I use this brush to apply concealer onto blemishes as it is very small and can pack on coverage easily. I also use it to apply highlight to my cupids bow and even to line under my eye with a shadow. Very multi-purpose brush.

Buffing Brush: My favourite brush in the world, ever. Not just from this collection. The brush is perfect for blending any form of liquid and mineral foundation. It will give you a medium-full coverage and makes your skin look airbrushed and streak-free.

Overall I am more than impressed with the set. First of all the price is great for 4 good brushes, You can more equal or in excess of this price for just one MAC brush. Although the hairs synthetic is makes them easier to clean as they don't absorb cream products or stain the hairs. The hairs are super soft and don't scratch at all, they are also really easy to clean, you can read my post on how to wash them here. I wash my brushes once or twice a week and have had them several months and still not experienced any shedding or change in the texture of the hairs unlike my other brushes. They also seem to dry pretty fast in relation to most brushes I've used. If anything, the buffing brush is so good it's worth the £21.99 just for that brush. The set is definitely a good investment to any make-up user whether you're just starting out or already own a ton of brushes.


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

April Wishlist #01

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

(1) Mint is super in SS14 and I'm absolutely loving the trend! The bluey/greeny colour is super flattering for all skin tones and hair colours which makes it super wearable. This little number from Miss Selfridge has been on my wishlist a few weeks and would be perfect for a comfortable evening dress for holidays! (2) Benefits Watts Up has had nothing but rave reviews, and my make-up collection is still lacking a highlighter. The thing that appeals to me the most from this product is the formulation and it seems a little goes a long way which is a bonus. (3) I'm a massive Clinique whore lately, anything from them never fails to disappoint me and they've quickly taken over my bathroom and make-up bag. I'm in huge need for a powder blush and their recent launch of their cheek pops are right up my street, Plum Pop is super pretty and not too bright as a pink which I think would suit my complexion perfectly. (4) I'm a huge huge fan of Marc Jacobs perfumes and Daisy is one of my favourites, a few years ago I was brought Eau So Fresh for my birthday and fell in love instantly. This is their Sunshine Delights version, I may admit I have been completely sold on the packaging as always but how can you resist a bottle so pretty? (5) Whilst in Topshop last week, this jumped out to me straight away. This elegant monochrome playsuit with lace edging oozes sophistication. I really need this in my life ASAP, why am I a poor student?

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