Month: January 2014

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm | 250 Standout

Finally after months of searching the interweb and drooling over swatches, the Revlon Matte and Lacquer Balms have been released!

I showed an enormous amount of restraint and only picked up one whilst I was browsing, yep you heard right…ONE. It may have had something to do with the amount of make up I already had piling up in my basket.

I chose the shade 250 Standout, from the Matte range.

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I’m still firmly on the red love train when it comes to lipsticks, so as soon as I swatched this I knew I needed it. It’s a gorgeous dark burnt red, which compliments most skins tones.

The matte formula of the Revlon balms are just as I expected – creamy and moisturising, with a velvety finish. There’s not a hint of dryness to them, and they apply beautifully, and super easily. I’ve always found these crayon type lip products to be a breeze to apply, even without the use of a mirror.

Ere are some gorgeous shades in both the lacquer range and the matte range, however surprisingly I think the mattes are appealing to me a lot more lately, so I’ll definitely be going back for a few more soon.

You can find the Revlon ColorBurst balms in Boots and Superdrug, online or in-store for £7.99 each.

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Wella Professional | Oil Refelctions

I’ve been using L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil for quite a while now, I believe I’m actually on my 3rd bottle of it. I decided I might need a bit of a change around, and really just an excuse to buy something new.

As I said in a post last week, my hair is feeling a bit dry and unloved at the moment, so this weekend’s visit to the hairdresser for my 8 weekly colour did not help matters. While I was there my hairdresser whipped out a new oil that they’d just started stocking; the Wella Professionals Oil Reflections…

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Not one to say no to something that smells as amazing as this oil does, I bought it. It promises to smooth hair and reflect colour, and contains macadamia seed oil, avocado oil and vitamin E (sounds like a vitamin supplement!) while also claiming to be an anti-oxidant.

I used it myself for the first time yesterday, after ohhhing and ahhhhing over how soft my hair had been after my visit to the hairdressers. Now I’m not really an expert at blow drying hair, I have my own quirky way of doing it, which works for my hair, so I just put the softness down to the hairdressers professional ability to do it.

I used my current favourite shampoo and conditioner (find that post here) then towel dried my hair off and applied two pumps of the oil all over my hair, concentrating on the ends. I have a lot of hair, so two pumps pretty much gives it a very light covering.

The oil is actually quite a concentrated one, it’s quite thick and gel like and once applied to he hair, the left over residue on the hands is absorbed really quickly which is something I found great, as I’m always having to wash my hands after using an oil.

I quickly rough dried my hair, then sectioned it off and applied a small amount of oil on each section as I dried it with my paddle brush. I was really, really impressed with the results, my hair felt instantly soft and sleek, with no frizz or fluff. I actually had to do a complete 360 turn with a mirror to make sure all of my hair actually looked like that.

Even the next morning, when my hair would usually feel a bit knotty, with the ends starting to dry out a bit, it actually felt exactly the same as when I’d just dried it. You can reapply this onto dry hair, if you feel you need it, however I haven’t really felt that’s it’s necessary.

I actually think this oil has now knocked off the L’Oreal one, it’s light weight and just makes my hair feel that little bit more luxurious and cared for. It’s slightly more expensive though – I’ve found that BeautyBay have it in stock for £12.95 for a 100ml bottle.

Ultraflesh | Shinebox*

Ultraflesh is a completely new brand to me, so when StrawberryNet.com sent me the ShineBox compact to try, I unwrapped and swatched it like a little eager beaver.

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ShineBox is a highlight and shimmer product, which is housed in a pretty three tier compact.

The first tier holds an all over enhancer in a powder form, which I’ve used a few times to add warmth and definition to the face, and is fast turning into a much used product of mine. It looks quite shimmery in the pan, however once applied it’s actually very subtle.

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The second tier has two cream type highlighters. These are great for highlighting the brow bone and cheek area, and again the shimmer pay off is really subtle.

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The third tier holds these really lovely little all over shimmer pencils. I’ve used these for running on the top or bottom lash lines, to add something a bit different to my normal look. They’re really easy to apply, and the glide on nicely, however the staying power of these are not too great.

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Overall I really like this compact. I love the design on the front, and the tier system really helps with keeping it compact and taking it on the go with you., or storing it. I think it even looks more expensive than the £20 that <a href="http://uk.stawberrynet.com/m/makeup/fusion-beauty/ultraflesh-shine-box-highlight/141830/StrawberryNet.com are currently selling it for. I wish they sold the all over enhancer as a single product, and in maybe a fee more shades, because I would definitely be buying a few more.

L’Oreal Studio Secrets | Universal Lip Glow

As you probably know by now, I love a gimmick.

When I saw that L’Oreal had a lip product that claimed to adapt its colour to the heat and moisture from each individuals lips, to create a bespoke colour, I decided it was my mission to try this magic product.

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The product is designed to leave a subtle pink finish to lips, and create a smooth texture with the use of pomegranate, emollient oil and polymers.

Now as gimmicky products go, I actually really like this lip glow.

If you’re not expecting the colour pay off of a lipstick from it, it’s actually a really nice, and effective lip balm. It gives a flush of colour to the lips, just enough to perk up my complexion, while also actually working to smooth out dry patches on my lips, and leave them feeling nice and soft.

The price is a tad high for something that’s essentially just a lip balm. At £8.49 a pop, I can hear the budget lovers out there crying out about Carmex and good old Vasaline, but actually I’d chose this over a conventional lip balm any day.

Now I’m not saying I’ll substitute it for my trusted Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream, or Dr Lipp’s Nipple Balm, because they’re for when I’m having a complete crisis. But the L’Oreal Studio Secrets Lip Glow makes a nice addition to my balm collection.

It’s also great to use underneath a lipstick. If you suffer from dry, chapped lips, or just want a bit of a primer then I’d definitely recommend giving this a go.

You can find the Universal Lip Glow in Boots, or Superdrug, in store or online.

James Brown London | Rich Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

My hair hates me at the moment.

Ok…so maybe hate is a strong word, but it definitely does not enjoy or appreciate anything I’m doing for it. Maybe years of colouring and bleaching is catching up to me, or maybe I’m just not supposed to have lovely, long, soft flowing hair.

Either way, I’m still trying to win it round with nice, caring products.

I’ve seen the James Brown London range before, but I’ve never tried anything from it. Then when was passing the hair care stand in Boots a few weeks ago I saw that it was on special offer – 2 for £8.00, so not one to say no to an offer, I picked up the Rich Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner…

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There are a few different ranges within the James Brown line, but seen as my hair needs an injection of love, I went for the duo aimed toward moisture and hydration.

Firstly, I love the packaging. It’s just plain white you may say? I know this, but it looks so clean and chic, with a nod towards the higher end variety. I also love the smell of both of these, again it’s a very clean, fresh scent.

The shampoo lathers well, and leaves my hair soft without a hint of a tangle. With most shampoos it’ll say on the back, lather and rinse, then repeat if necessary. This one says pretty much the opposite – it says you’ll only need to use it once. Lather and leave for 2 minutes to do all it’s good stuff, then rinse out, and you’re done!

The conditioner is a dream as well. It’s quite thick, and I didn’t really have to use too much of it, to cover my hair. This is just like an conventional conditioner, after shampooing I just applied it starting from the ends of my hair, and working my way up towards the roots, then left it for 5 minutes before rinsing out.

Both shampoo and conditioner contain wheat germ and murumura butter to help lock in moisture and add that lovely softness.

I always judge a conditioner once I’m out the shower, and I start drying and styling my hair. I have pretty much nothing but good things to say about this conditioner, it works really well, my hair has no knots or tangles and it dries amazingly well – none of the usually frizz or fluff, and my ends actually feel really soft and manageable. There’s no heaviness or residue left over, and my hair feels light and clean. Obviously the ends don’t stay this way, after a few days they go back to being a bit brittle and dry…so it looks like an inevitable trip for the hairdressers for a snip is much needed.

The James Brown London range can be found in Boots , online and in-stores.

L’Oreal True Match Concealer | Vanilla

I’ve never tried anything from the L’Oreal True Match range, but I’ve heard some really good things about it, so being the concealer junkie than I am, I picked up the True Match concealer in the shade Vanilla, when I was passing the cosmetic stands.

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L’Oreal says that their True Match concealer is a blendable, colour correcting product that hides imperfections, blemishes and evens skin tone.

It has a great texture, perfect if you suffer from dry skin around the eye area. It does leave a bit of an oily feeling, so be sure to set it with a good powder. It haven’t used it as a spot or blemish concealer, but I don’t think it would be ideal, as the texture just seems a bit to oily for that even with a powder.

It covers well without looking heavy, while creating a highlighting effect, to help hide dark circles. It also doesn’t sit in fine lines either, as it’s not really a heavy formula, which again makes it good for those of use with dry under eyes, or those with more mature skin.

Based on what I’ve seen online and in-store, the shade choices are a bit limited, with the very fair as well as the darker shades being pretty non-existent.

L’Oreal True Match concealer retails for a reasonable £6.99, and can be found in selected supermarkets, or in-store or online on Boots and Superdrug.