Monday, 30 April 2012

Currently Craving

Sadly I can't afford to be spending all my money at the moment, but there are a few things I desperately want!

Purple GAGA Vagabond pumps, £71.
I saw these on Daisy's blog and immediately wanted them. I'm tempted, sorely tempted, but sadly/luckily they don't have my size in stock. This is a sign and I must resist checking on a daily basis.
Best Mineral Foundation Powder
Inika Mineral Foundation, £25.55
Having tried their liquid foundation and loved it apart from it really not being suited to my skin, I'm counting down the weeks until I have a Proper Job and can afford to try Inika's Mineral Foundation.

Image 1 of ASOS Bodycon Dress In Chain Print
Chain Print Bodycon Dress, £11

Image 1 of Xi Designs Necklace With Star Charm
Star Charm Necklace, £18

And just to stop me getting too depressed, here's something I really, really don't want.
Dress, £174
This could only be TopShop. I'm sorry if you own this. No, truly, I am so sorry. There are no words for this ruffled monstrosity.
What are you wishing for/wishing against at the moment?

xo

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Primark Rings

A wee one today, ladies, to share the pretty rings I got from Primark the other week!


I think the rose and bow ones were £2.50 each, and the big orange one £3, but I'm not certain. Aren't they lovely?
In other news, my dissertation is now submitted, leaving me with three assessments and an exam before I finish for summer. I've got two of my essays pretty much finished now so the end is definitely in sight! I've applied for a Masters course starting in September, if all goes well I'll be studying Applied Cognitive Neuroscience and I'll be able to tell people I'm a brain scientist!!
Hope everyone is well!

xo

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Review: Inika Liquid Mineral Foundation

I recently received a sample-sized tube of Inika's Liquid Mineral Foundation, available here. Inika pride themselves on being a, "100 percent natural beauty brand incorporating mineral makeup, vegan and organic products that are completely free from synthetic chemicals and harmful ingredients"



After their eyeliner has shown up in this month's GlossyBox (I don't subscribe but every post I've read has mentioned this item), Inika are getting quite a lot of attention at the moment. Their certified organic Liquid Mineral Foundation comes in four shades and retails at £29.50 for 30g, which is more than I have ever paid for foundation in my life. I received a 6ml sample of the shade 'Cream', which is described as ideal for light to medium skin-tones and matches me perfectly. So, do I think it's worth the price point?

Their website claims that the foundation, is certified organic and packed full of organic antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It blurs the line between foundation and moisturiser by hydrating and nourishing the skin while providing a flawless and radiant finish that lasts all day..With extreme staying power that won't clog your pores like normal liquid foundations, your skin has room to breathe with no oily residue."

The website recommends applying with fingers or a foundation brush, in sections starting with the eyes, then nose, chin, cheeks, forehead and decolletage. I followed these suggestions using my trusty ELF foundation brush. The first thing to note is that this is very heavily scented - if you're not a fan of scented products or rose-scented geranium, I'd avoid this as the smell really lingers on your skin. I can still smell it now, after eight hours of wear.
This provides a medium coverage and has a very dewy finish - it really doesn't look like you're wearing make-up. As my skin is so oily, I like to powder over this or I don't feel like I'm wearing make-up at all, in a bad way. Worn over primer and powdered over, I don't find this foundation lasts more than hour for me before my face is shiny. I often have this problem with liquid foundations so if your skin is drier you may find you get on with it better but I'm afraid this just doesn't work for me. This is a shame because I do like the coverage and how well the shade matches my skin-tone.
 
There is currently an offer on the Inika website to receive a free Vegan Inika foundation brush worth £22 with any purchase of their Liquid Mineral Foundation. I don't own this brush so can't comment on it but just thought it may be of interest to my readers :) The foundation is also available from Feel Unique, John Lewis, and MyPure, with Feel Unique being the cheapest I've found. Although it doesn't work for me, I think I'd repurchase this if it did. Does that make sense? I like it enough that, if it lasted a bit better, I think it'd be worth the price tag. There. So, if your skin is less oily than mine, I do recommend checking it out :)
xo

PS, if you follow Inika on Twitter, they are holding a giveaway of 'A Face In A Box', worth £118, for everyone who follows before May 3rd.. So get following to be in with a chance!
(I received this item as a PR sample. This does not affect my views. As always, all reviews are my honest opinion.)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Mask of Magnaminty

I seem to have a bit of a face mask series going on at the moment, and I've got a few more to come as well! I hope you're all enjoying the horrific photos of me covered in various shades of gunk...
In Meadowhall the other week, I popped into Lush because it smells nice - it always draws me in! I ended up making a couple of purchases, one of which was the Mask of Magnaminty, which retails at £4.75 for 125g, or £8.25 for 315g. Being as I'd never tried it before and didn't know whether I'd like it, I went for the smaller size. Unlike the fresh face masks, Mask of Magnaminty doesn't need to be kept in the fridge, which is a plus for me; I live with boys and they never take kindly to my filling up valuable fridge space with weird stuff they can't even eat!
Mask of Magnaminty is marketed at fighting breakouts. I've been suffering with a few spots lately, which I'm putting down to a combination of dissertation stress and resultant failure to eat properly - bribing myself with chocolate has consequences! Taken from the website:
"The first thing about this mask is that it has to go on easily over the skin. It is what we call ‘slip’ in the industry. On sensitive skin you don’t want anything that drags, because it can cause already disrupted skin to inflame and go puffy. So we have used a combination of bentonite gel, talc, kaolin and vegetable glycerine, to enable you to gently smooth this over your face and get great coverage.
We have then added ground aduki beans and evening primrose seeds to give you the option of gently scrubbing your face for a few minutes when you are removing this, to get rid of any dead skin. Honey is added because it will moisturise the skin but is also antiseptic. Finally we have peppermint oil to stimulate the blood and give a cool feeling and marigold oil and chlorophyllin to help treat the skin."
All sounds pretty good, right!? So, here is what you get and how it looks on the face (a key point, obviously!)

As claimed, I found this went on nice and smoothly without any dragging at my skin. The first thing I noticed was the lovely fresh minty smell and corresponding tingle in my skin - not over the top or stingy, but enough that you could tell it contained peppermint. The scrubby bits mentioned above were also noticeable as I smoothed it over my skin, but felt gentle and kind rather than abrasive. I left this to do its thing for fifteen minutes or so (whilst I checked my dissertation references, if you're interested) before washing it off with lots of warm water and a face cloth. My skin felt quite tight afterwards but once I'd moisturised it was left feeling soft and clean. I found my skin tone generally was evened out, but the blemishes I had on my forehead seemed redder - this might just be from washing my face because that does usually happen. Over the next couple of days I have noticed my skin clearing up though so I'm not complaining too much.


If you're interested, this is how much product is left after one usage. Based on this, I'd estimate a small pot of this mask will do 7 or 8 applications, making it an absolute BARGAIN.
As a side note, I always apply my face masks after removing all my make-up and cleansing thoroughly. I then put some freshly boiled water in a bowl with a few drops of tea tree oil and sit with my face over the bowl and a towel over my head (it's a good look!) for a few minutes so that the steam opens my pores and the mask can do its job better. I'm sure a lot of you are aware of this tip already but if not it's definitely worth a try.

xo

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

BlueFinch Boutique

I came across BlueFinch Boutique on Twitter last night whilst procrastinating (again). Actually, in fairness, they followed me, prompting me to have a bit of a look on their website.
BlueFinch Boutique are an independent shop specialising in handmade and vintage jewellery, accessories, gifts and homewares. They have some truly beautiful pieces at very reasonable prices so I just wanted to share a few of my favourites!
'Peach Blossom' Vintage Gold Necklace
'Peach Blossom' Vintage Gold Necklace, £9.95
'Enchanted' Laser-cut Birthday Card (Pink)
'Enchanted' Laser Cut Birthday Card, £2.95
'Stealing My Heart' Gold Necklace
'Stealing My Heart' Gold Necklace, £10.95
'Ring Of Hearts' Ring in Silver
'Ring of Hearts' Ring in silver, £4.95
'Time For Tea' Silver Earrings
'Time For Tea' Silver Earrings, £5.95
'Lovebirds'Cream Tealight Holder
'Lovebird' Cream Tealight Holder, £10.95
'Walk In The Park' Bracelet - Silver & Jet
'Walk In The Park' Bracelet in silver and jet, £8.95
BlueFinch Boutique also offer the option of having your purchase gift boxed in a gorgeous white box tied with pink organza ribbon, at an additional cost of just £1 - perfect if you're treating someone else!
Has anything caught your eyes?

xo

Monday, 23 April 2012

Models Own Tropical Sun

Part of Models Own's Beetlejuice Collection, Tropical Sun retails at £5. I got mine from Boots in their 3 for 2 offer. In the bottle, it's a lovely bright orange with a golden shimmer and tiny silver glitter, very summery and definitely suited to its name. The polish goes on nicely and dries quickly to a shiny, shimmery, but not quite smooth finish. It does, however, go on very sheer and it's quite thin, so you have to be careful not to overload the brush or you end up flooding the nail bed. In these photos it looks to have a blue undertone, but I think that's just because my hands were so cold, sorry!
It builds nicely, but this is not a polish you should expect to build to opacity; the photos below show two coats. 
At three coats (which is about the limit of my patience) it looks opaque if you don't look too closely, but in direct light it's definitely still sheer.
I then wanted to see how it would look layered over other colours.
So, here is it over OPI's Smok'n In Havana (seen on its own here), where it becomes a lovely coppery-bronze colour; it's fiery and beautiful.

What do you think girls? Do you prefer Tropical Sun on its own or layered?

xo

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Natural Collection Shine Away Foundation

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I came across the Natural Collection Shine Away Foundation in Boots and picked it up to try, because at £1.99 I wouldn't mind it being rubbish and going straight in the bin. As it happened, I was pleasantly surprised!



I tend to avoid liquid foundations as my skin is quite oily and I prefer the more matte finish of mousse or gel formulae. As this was marketed as a product specifically for oily skin, and since the lightest shade 'Porcelain' looked like a perfect match for my ridiculously pale skin, I thought it was worth a shot.



I'm not a huge fan of the packaging, as I find it really difficult to judge how much product I'll need and almost always end up with way too much. However, it is much more hygienic than dipping your brush into a pot every day, so swings and roundabouts.


As always, I applied my foundation with my ELF foundation brush over moisturised, primed skin. This takes a little more blending than my usual mousse foundations but this is usually the case when I've tested liquid foundations so not too much of a problem. It's a medium coverage but can be built where necessary without going cakey. It does work into the skin well and leaves a natural, dewy finish. I tend to powder over this as I like a matte finish but obviously this is a personal preference matter! These photos show my face with just the foundation - no concealer/powder etc.




As for the 'Shine Away' claims? Well, I wouldn't say it banishes shine completely, but it does definitely reduce the number of touch-ups I need. I've also found its staying power to be brilliant - I've trialled this through a training session at the athletics track, and at a McFly concert, and got home from both with a decent amount of coverage remaining. The picture below is after a normal day at uni, no touch ups.



My one complaint is that, although the majority of my skin is oily, I do suffer from the occasional dry patch, and this foundation really clings to those and makes them look awful. However, this is probably to be expected from a product of this nature and the problem can be avoided by using a different foundation on any dry areas.
There are only three shades available so it's very limited but if you find a match I definitely recommend checking this foundation out if, like me, you suffer from oily skin.

xo

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Smok'n In Havana

Believe it or not, I've never owned a full-size OPI polish before; as a poor student I just can't justify spending that much money on nail polish. But recently, badgering around on Amazon as you do, I came across Sally's, selling full-sized OPI polishes at low prices! I ordered two, one of which was Smok'n In Havana, a gorgeous deep shimmery orangey-red. I paid just under £5 for this polish, including postage, which is a bit of a bargain as I'm sure you'll agree.


The photos below show two coats, which went on beautifully and dried in record time. I got about two days out of this before it started to show noticeable tip-wear, which is about average for me with the amount of typing/washing up/cleaning I do.



What do you think ladies?

xo

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Grease Isn't The Word

{Apologies for the recent face mask overload and consequential horrific photos of my face covered in multi-coloured gloop}
Whilst in TopShop the other day, I noticed they stocked a couple of Anatomicals face masks at £1 each, so I grabbed the cheesy and long-winded Grease Isn't The Word (Tell Me More, Tell Me More) Mattifying Face Mask. This doesn't seem to be on the TopShop website but it's available from Beauty Bay for the same price.

According to the website, "Enriched with algae extract and wheat protein, this sensational face mask regulates sebum production, tightens pores and regenerates the epidermis. Shea butter works to soften and moisturise dry skin, whilst coconut oil leaves skin feeling refreshed."
As usual, I slapped it on, left it for fifteen minutes or so, then removed it with plenty of warm water and a face cloth before moisturising. So, does it live up to its claims?
Immediately afterwards, my skin was not oily, but then I'd just washed it so I'd bloody well hope so! This didn't seem to last any longer than just normal face-washing. My skin did feel nice and clean and soft, but I couldn't see any difference in the size of my pores. So, overall, I'm not massively impressed with this. It's nice enough to use and left my skin feeling good but I didn't feel like it did what it was meant to do. There are definitely better face masks out there for this price!

xo

Monday, 16 April 2012

Review: 17 Photo Flawless Skin Primer

A couple of weeks ago I posted a review of No 7's Shine Free Primer, stating that it really wasn't the one for me. Becca commented on that post recommending I try 17's Photo Flawless Primer, so I picked it up in the Boots 3 for 2 offer. Here are my thoughts.
First up, I like the packaging - it's a black plastic squeezy tube with timeless gold lettering, making it look more expensive than its £4.99 price tag. The tube claims that this product will "Prolong foundation wear" and "Minimise pores".
The cap unscrews to reveal a small nozzle which makes it really easy to control how much product you're getting. At 15ml, this is less than half the size of the No 7 primer, but it's also less than half the price, and if it works I don't care!

Once you squeeze it out, there isn't really a smell - a definite improvement on the No 7 PVA horror! You can sort of see in the poorly-lit photos of my hand how it smooths out the skin's surface, providing a better base for your foundation.

Cue the half-and-half test! I applied Photo Flawless Primer to the left side of my face, then applied my foundation and set with powder as usual. Applying foundation is definitely easier over the primer, buffing into the skin nicely. My large open pores were much less obvious on the left side of my face, and my foundation looked more natural. Six hours and a three-mile walk into uni and back later, I couldn't see a visible difference between the two sides of my face - there was a little bit of shine all over. Despite the shine, my foundation hadn't slid or faded - I had a few red blemishes and these are still covered nicely. So I'd say it lives up to the claim of prolonged foundation wear.
Primer on the right side of this photo!

Overall, I like this primer - it gives a lovely smooth surface for applying make-up over and conceals pores and fine lines nicely. In terms of keeping my skin matte, it doesn't do much, but then it doesn't claim to so I can't really complain. I'll be continuing to try out primers in search of the perfect one, so if you have any recommendations please let me know in the comments!

xo

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Catastrophe Cosmetic

I've mentioned before my love of face masks and I'm going to mention it again: I LOVE FACE MASKS. Today I wanted to review Lush's Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask, which retails at £5.75 for 75g. I find a pot lasts three applications, so this works out at £1.90 per use - not bad value.
Sorry for the stock photo but I failed to take a picture of mine:

So, what does the Lush website have to say? 
"You know those times when you get one or two spots and it throws you into panic? Well, this mask is here to lend you a bit of perspective, to tell you to calm down, it’s not the end of the world and it’s nothing that can't be sorted. Basically, this is your best mate in a pot. Irish moss gel will soften the skin, whilst almond oil will moisturise and leave it supple. Fresh blueberries are full of vitamins and minerals and are antioxidant. Rose absolute and chamomile essential oil will reduce redness and irritation. Calamine and talc will deep clean and soothe the skin at the same time. Combined together they provide your skin with a good deep cleanse without causing puffiness – leaving the face cool, clear and calm. This is a deep cleansing mask that is designed for regular maintenance to keep the skin clean and clear. Regular deep cleaning can avoid spots occurring and keep skin in top condition."

Obligatory on-my-face photo:


Like all Lush face masks, this has a thick texture and has lumps of blueberry in it, which can make it difficult to get an even layer over your skin. My tip is to apply it with damp fingers to thin it down slightly and help it spread more easily. I ignored the instructions, as usual, and left this on for about fifteen minutes, during which I tried to avoid my dog licking it off my face. I then gently washed it off with plenty of warm water and a face cloth. As always, I followed up with moisturiser.
I really do think this helps my skin - it's left feeling beautifully soft and looking immediately calmer. It evens my skin tone out nicely and it smells delicious which is always a plus point.
This is my go-to Lush face mask, although last time I was in store the lovely helpful assistant recommended I might also like to try their BB Seaweed Mask, which also retails at £5.75 for 75g. This was apparently created aimed at men but is also great for ladies and provides deep cleansing plus exfoliation. So I may have to pick one of these up soon! Back to Catastrophe Cosmetic though, it is a mask I go back to time and again, and I definitely recommend it if your skin is oily or prone to breakouts!
xo
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...