Month: June 2014

Big Eyes, Big Smiles – Benefit They’re Real

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When Benefit released their much talked about They’re Real mascara, I was hopping out of my seat to buy it. It’s a fabulous mascara, which does indeed live up to the hype of both length and volume, however like a lot of people I struggled with the removal of if. It’s tricky and really time consuming to remove, and so this lead me to really only wearing it on special occasions. Until now….

This post is going to be a two product review, and I’ll start with the remover.

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It seems Benefit have listened to customer feedback, and designed a remover which not only gets rid of both it’s mascara and eyeliner (more on this beauty in a moment), but is also kind to sensitive eyes, and great for removing other make up too, like the oh so popular lip lacquers with staining power that are all the craze at the moment (I’m looking at you Bourjois). The creamy gel formula works perfectly to lift away long wearing make up, and is also suitable for contact lens wearers too.

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It is a really lovely remover, however unless you have used They’re Real before, then it’s going to mean very little to you indeed. I won’t lie, if I was you and I was as reading this post, I’d probably skip to this little gem of a gel pen (in all honestly I’ve pretty much written this post the wrong way round)…

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First of all if you’re not very skilled in the art of eyeliner application (hands up, me) then the They’re Real Push Up Liner is going to be your very best friend. It takes out the wobbly hand, pulling, tugging and general ‘arggggh’ of applying liner.

The formula is a very, very long wearing gel – I say this because I’m ashamed to say I feel asleep with it on on Saturday night, then I got up in the morning and went to grab breakfast (it was Sunday don’t judge me) and it looked exactly like it had when I applied it 16 hours before.

The nib is ultra flexible and when you click the bottom of the pen around, it distributes just the right amount of jet black gel to give a nice even line.

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The curved shape of the nib also allows it to fit right up tight to your lash line, which helps to really open up the eyes, and make them look big and bright. I often find tight lining the eye can help to create bigger looking eyes, especially if they’re a tad hooded – the formula of this gel is great for tight lining as there’s absolutely no transference of colour onto the bottom lash line, and again the magical nib really helps to get right into the lid, without irritating or pulling on that area.

The one main problem I have found is that it can dry out quite quickly, meaning that if you apply a line, then go back to it to touch it up, it’s quite hard to reapply with out the original line flaking slightly, or the nib dragging just a bit. Saying that though, it really hasn’t put me off, because the pen is so, so easy to get used to that I find myself going back over to retouch less and less.

If you’re looking for a new eyeliner, then I would recommend popping past your local Benefit counter and ask for a demo, because it’s really a new, quick and easier way of applying gel liner.

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Benefit They’re Real Remover – £14.50 – link here
Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner – £18.50 – link here

NOTD: Summer Favourite – Barry M Prickly Pear

As much as I love dark, vampy nails – plums, deep reds and navy shades are my ultimate love, I still always lean towards pastels and nudes in the warmer weather.

My current summer favourite is an oldie from the Barry M Hi-Shine gelly range; Prickly Pear.

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It’s such a gorgeous lilac that compliments a tan so well. It’s much more of a blue toned lilac than a pink, which I wasn’t sure would suit me do well, but in actual fact it’s so pretty.

As usual with the Barry M range, the formula applies really easily and dries down quickly. I’ve applied two coats to get a nice opaque finish, as just one coat is quite sheer which I did find surprising as usually I’ve only ever needed one coat with this brand.

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You can find the Barry M High Shine Gellt polish here via Chemist Direct- link for £3.49.

Real Techniques | Silicon Liner Brush

I haven’t bought any make up brushes for a while now. I’ve actually been really well behaved and cleaned and cared for my current stash pretty well.

I had heard that Real Techniques were releasing a few new brushes, and the one which stood out the most for me was their Silicon Liner brush.
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I’m addicted to perfecting eyeliner, it’s becoming something of an issue when I’m doing my make up in a hurry, because let’s face it, I’m the girl who never gives herself enough time.

I’m always pretty excited to try new liner related products, wether it be a tool or a pencil/liquid/gel offering. I’d bought some Bobbi Brown gel liner a while back but was really struggling to find a brush that I could apply it with, without looking like I’d let a 5 year old loose on my face with a sharpie.

Enter the magic tool of silicon…

The Real Techniques silicon liner brush is a firm, pointed tip brush. The handle, apart from being the pretty brushed coloured metal, is easy to grip despite being quite thin. It’s also easy to manoeuvre and the tip is the perfect size for getting right into the lash line.

It’s become my staple tool for applying gel liner; the formula really adheres well to the silicon tip and makes application really easy – there’s no dragging or colour fade out. The tip is also super easy to clean, so there’s no product build up what-so-ever.

Overall it’s a great tool to have in your collection, if you’re a fan of gel liners – novice or beginner. It’s also amazingly priced at £5.99.

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You can find the Real Techniques Silicon Liner Brush here – link.

HOW TO: adapt your everyday foundation for the summer

I’ve lost count of how many times I go on holiday, and always plan to buy a foundation a shade deeper for when I’ve tanned a bit. I just never actually get round to doing it, and also it would probably be a bit of a waste of money because it’s hard to tell how tanned I’m going to go.

So I’ve come up with a simpler, and much more cost effective solution….

Mix a liquid or cream bronzer, into your current foundation….

You can find these bronzers from the drugstore likes of Bourjois, up to the more higher end likes of Chanel Bronze Universal – both will work.

For the sake of this post I’m going to demonstrate with Bourjois…

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Step 1 – using your trusty hand as a mixing palette, pump some of your regular foundation onto your hand.
Step 2 – then apply a small amount of the bronzing cream to you’re hand too.
Step 3 – mix both together, you can use your finger or a small brush to do this. I prefer to use a finger though as there’s less product waste. I’d start with a small amount of bronzer and build the colour up until you reach your desired shade.
Step 4 – apply!

If you’re on holiday, it might be worth taking a small empty pot with you, and the mixing up and decanting enough to last you, so you’re not having to mix up a batch each time you need to use it, and you can just add to if needs be.

The cream bronzers are brilliant for contouring and adding a bit of colour to your complexion too, as they’re easily applied and blended into the skin.

Let me know of you have any tips or tricks for adapting your make up for the weather!

The game changing OGX Hair duo

There’s something about the chic, but chubby bottles of OGX (formally organix) shampoos and conditioners that I just can not resist.

The blends and ingredients of their products always sounds so luxurious, and I’m always drawn in by their promises of swishy, gorgeous looking hair and amazing scents.

I went off plan and done something I don’t usually do so hair care. I bought a shampoo and conditioner that wasn’t from the same range.

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I picked up the Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil shampoo, mostly because my hair is prone to breaking off. The heat and colour that I’ve poured onto my hair over the years has not been at all helpful to the condition of it, so I thought an extra bit of TLC would be what it needed. As shampoos go, it does the job it’s needs to in terms of cleaning, however I have found that my hair is a bit softer, and a lot less knotty just after washing it out which is definitely going to help breakage.

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The conditioner I opted for was the Luxurious Moroccan Argan Crème. It’s a softly whipped Crème conditioner, so won’t weigh hair down so much, and is designed to give extra moisturising benefits. The forumla is really soft and light, I’ve never really tried a conditioner of this texture before, and thought I would have to use quite a bit of it to get any sort of results, however that’s not the case; my hair felt soft and silky, and just after three washes with it I noticed a big difference in just the texture and condition of my hair.

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Sadly I had to stop using these two combinations together as I think the Keratin oil in the shampoo and the Argan in the conditioner was too much, and was in fact weighing my hair down a bit too much. However used separately with a lighter counterpart product, they both work like a dream.

The shampoo is ideal if you have quite fine, oily hair and you don’t like to use a lot, or any conditioner on at all, as it’s quite moisturise on it’s own.

The conditioner is a good product to use after a cleansing, stripping, or product build up shampoo, as it will just inject some much needed moisture back into your locks again.

The OGX range of shampoos, conditioners and treatments are available at Boots – link here. Online can be a bit sparse sometimes, so it’s worth popping in store if you have one local.

NSpa Beauty Rituals | Replenishing Moisture Mask

Face masks are a rare purchase for me, mostly because I just don’t factor them in very well to my routine, and I never leave myself enough time.

More recently though, through the luck of receiving beauty box samples, I’ve had a few to test out, so have been keeping them within my eyeliner, and slathering them on while a dry my hair, or paint my nails. I will admit that my skin has seen an improvement in using them, especially on the moisture front, so I decided to pick up a tube of something.

The NSpa Replenishing Moisture Mask aims to do exactly that…replenish moisture. It contains a blend of sweet almond oil and essential neroli oil to help rehydrate and restore, as well as ginseng and good ol’ vitamin E to help calm and soften skin.

It’s a cream based mask, which you apply to your face and neck in a thin layer. It’s quite light in consistency, so don’t be surprised if it sinks in quickly, it’s not like a conventional mask that you’re going to be able to see sitting right on top of your skin. This also means less fuss and mess when trying to remove it after the 10-20 minute guideline sitting time. It says to remove either using cotton pads soaked in warm water, or a toning mist, however I’ve take mine off using a flannel and a muslin cloth and both have been fine, especially if you like a little bit of exfoliation too. NSpa advise to use 2-3 times a week to see optimum results.

So, has it helped? In short yes, it’s a nice moisturising, easy to apply, budget friendly mask.

Is it the most nourishing one I’ve used? No, however if you’re looking for something quick and easy to include in your skincare routine a few times a week as a bit of a pick me up, I would highly recommend it. It’s helped to even out the dryness on my face and I’ve had no breakouts from it.

The matte white packaging is really lovely, as with all the NSpa products, it just looks, and smells more expensive that it actually is! You can find the whole range of NSpa goodies at your local Asda stores, or online here.