Showing posts with label beauty. Show all posts

MUA: A cheaper alternative

writer's block and broken lenses

Make up is expensive as hell. Sometimes I wonder why I spend so much money on it and so much time doing it... but then the results are just great.

Like everyone out there, I don't HAVE to wear makeup, I enjoy wearing make up... As much of a financial nightmare and pain in the arse it can be sometimes.

Recently I have ran out of not only my favourite foundation but also my favourite powder. Unfortunately it is a little too close to pay day for me to justify spending around £50 to replace these things (although I know they will last me at least a year) so I thought I'd try something else, at least until payday.

writer's block and broken lenses
Sad times...
I know a lot of people have been raving about MUA, all I have ever tried from them is lipstick and as I have found my favourite products, I'm a little precious about them and I'm a bit wary of anything new. BUT when foundation is only £2 odd... it's definitely worth a go, right?

I went for the Matte Perfect liquid foundation (fair) and a translucent powder as I am a pale person and I always struggle to find things to suit my skin tone. Annoyingly, I found their 'fair' a little too dark but with a serious amount of blending I think i managed to make it work.

The liquid foundation claims to do this whole shine control thing that 'lasts all day', but to be perfectly honest, I found that didn't happen and I had to re-powder my face frequently to keep the shine at bay.

Awkward selfie time!


However, the foundation was a nice consistency and didn't feel too heavy on my face. Although the shine was a problem, the foundation itself definitely stayed put and I don't have a single fault with the powder. Then again, you can't really go wrong with a translucent powder, can you?

In short, you get excellent value for money when you get MUA products and they are certainly to a higher standard in comparison to other products I have tried. However, I'm not really a convert and other than the odd lipstick (which are really good), I'll still be getting my cosmetics from my trusty Benefit.

Have you ever tried MUA products? Let me know what you think in the comments


Lush Oxford Street Store

Lush Oxford Street Store
Image source: www.lush.co.uk
The one problem with Lush is pretty much that I should not be able to go into a store, attended or unattended. I have used their website in the past to get my essentials such as Soak and Float and Ultrabland without a problem. Let me go in a store and I always leave with my purse crying despite how happy my soul may be. Damn you bright colours and glitter.

The new flagship store opened on Oxford Street a few weeks ago and a bunch of my friends have been going on about how amazing it is. It was no word of a lie...


Lush Oxford street store


ONE essential turned out being three bath bombs (one for Gary, may I add), bath oils, glitter and that essential Soak and Float. This is mainly because I'm a sucker for any variety of advertising and when they have 'shows' on the different bath bombs I get all levels of excited and buy them all.

From left onwards:
Soak and Float solid shampoo
Sunnyside - my favourite glittery bubble bar
Oxford Street Exclusive silver bath melt (can't remember the name)
Frozen bath bomb for singing 'Let It Go' loudly in the bath
The Oxford Street exclusive Experimenter bath bomb

Out of all of these things, the Experimenter is one of the most exciting bath products I have bought for a while. I don't even know how to describe it properly, it's made up of loads of different colours and scents plus it makes your bath look like tie die. Honestly, where's bad with this?


Frozen was equally as amazing. I mixed it with a bit of Sunnyside and it ended up looking like a sparkly blue lagoon. I obviously insisted on listening to the Frozen soundtrack while in the bath too. 

I felt like this:



#Standard

Next came the bath melt. I have never used one of them before and was pretty much convinced to buy one when I picked it up and ended up with glitter all over my hands. As it strange as it sounds it made my bath so lovely and 'soft' (if that makes sense) and when I got out not only was my skin amazingly soft, I was also covered from head to toe in glitter that I rapidly started to shed all over the house. I really recommend them for fellow dry skin sufferers, plus they're just over £2. Bargain.

Gary is yet to use his Experimenter and unless he hurries up soon I'm going to have to take it as I already need to get another Lush fix soon.

What's your favourite Lush product?

My Little Box: The Cosy Edition

So last month I was absolutely gushing over my first delivery of my 'My Little Box' subscription. Last month it was the DVF edition and this month it's time to get all cosy ready for the winter months.

http://www.writersblockandbrokenlenses.com/


This is a great little collection for me because I am ALWAYS cold not matter whether I'm at home or at work. There are even pictures of me on holiday wrapped up in a towel on the beach/ by the pool with blue lips!

So what's in my box?

http://www.writersblockandbrokenlenses.com/

As what seems to be always, the contents of the box were so varied. There's beauty products, keepsakes and another fabulous art print.

http://www.writersblockandbrokenlenses.com/

With beauty, there was everything needed to create the perfect smokey eye, including instructions! Wonderful because this is something I always fail at and I've been desperate for a new eyeliner for a while because mine just leaks down my face and I've been too lazy to go to the shop!


My favourites in the box were this little warm up cushion and espresso mug. I suffer from recurring neck problems and little cushions like this can be the only things that make me feel better and who could not like this mug?

http://www.writersblockandbrokenlenses.com/


Once again I'm so happy I signed up for this box, roll on the next one!

Do you subscribe to a monthly box?

Product Review: 'It's Potent!'

It's really hard finding a good eye cream, they always claim to work miracles. I'm a sucker for these empty promises so it's taken quite a lot of trial and error.

Until recently I was using another eye cream and it was great for a while but as it's getting colder and my skin is turning against me, it reached the point where I would put it on at night and would have my eyes watering after five minutes because oh dear God did it burn. It's absolutely pointless to me having to have a different eye cream depending on what your skill feels like doing at the time. They're not cheap afterall!



After some hunting around I decided to return to the trusty Benefit. I explaine my skin woes to Vikki while havin my monthly treat (eyebrow waxing for the win) and she pointed me in the direction of 'It's Potent'. I use a lot of Benefit stuff but had never tried this one before and as I've never had any problems with anything else, I thought why not?

It says it''s to reduce dark circles and fine lines... Luckily I don't have any fine lines yet but I do get dark patches under my eyes which I'm constantly trying to hide with concealer. Not really handy if I've woken up late and end up with streaks...

I've been using 'It's Potent' for over a month now and the dark circles have started to disappear completely and, better yet, I suffer from puffy eye syndrome and it's totally less noticeable not. Not sure about you but I get really puffy swollen eyes if I cry and after using this cream it's no where near as bad first thing the next morning. It's a hero cream.

Have you started to use eye creams yet? Which is your favourite?

All the essentials - What every girl needs to get through life

This isn't going to be one of those posts where I sit here and tell you what you MUST buy,  I just happen to think there are a couple of things that are essentials in every beauty routine. I may be completely wrong.

Everyone has a signature look but there are a couple of things out there that will automatically make a girl explode with joy. Even if you don't use them every day, you know they're there and you can have a look for any occasion without worry.

For me, the ultimate essentials are:

The perfect red lipstick

This is actually surprisingly hard to find! Obviously everyone has different skin tones and with me some shades can end up making me look like Morticia Addams. It may be perfect for Hallowe'en but certainly not for a job interview.

Got to love a little pout

After trying what felt like all the lipsticks in the world I have finally found THE lipstick that I can't live without. It's not a fancy brand and it's really not expensive. 


Topshop have released this beautiful shade for their Red Lippy Project where you can raise awareness for cervical cancer in style. It's a fantastic concept and 30% of their proceeds go towards the project. Better yet, it's only £8 and is long lasting so fewer stains on my coffee cups throughout the day. If you want to give it a go and pout for a good cause, you can get it here.

Moisturise girls!

I'm going to be honest, I'm still pretty rubbish at this as I always forget at night but it's reach that point in life where soon there will be no escaping the ageing process. But I can damn well try.

Moisturising for me isn't just about keeping my skin silky soft or fighting back the inevitable lines that I have convinced my elf are starting to appear. Moisturising just makes you feel amazing as well, even when I have been horrendously hung over and hating the world, I just slap on my moisturiser and I automatically feel fresh faced and ready to deal with humanity.



Everyone will have different tastes, a girl I know uses cocoa butter because it gives her the ideal base for her makeup no matter what the weather, but if you're like me and have horridly dry skin/Eczema/Psoriasis I use the Eucerin Even Brighter Day and Night creams. I'm a lucky sod and got mine as a gift a few months ago and normally £22.50 would be a little steep for me but now I know how good it is, I'll never use anything else.

A signature scent

Everyone loves smelling good and have you noticed how certain smells can make you remember the strangest things? It might sound a little strange but I like the idea of if people smell my perfume, they automatically remember me. I do it all the time, like one of my closest friends uses a Ginger perfume and whenever I smell it in Lush I remember about that thing I need to get back to her about or organise drinks soon. You know, that kind of thing.



After trying many and have loads littering my beauty cabinet, my all time favourite is Marc Jacobs 'Lola', not only does it smell absolutely amazing but even looking a this exciting bottle makes me happy. I'm reaching the end though so soon I'll have to make an emergency trip to boots!

A bloody good mascara

Sometimes the cheap ones just don't cut it unless you get lucky. I've found that they're either icky and clumpy or end up streaming down your face the moment you get a sweat on and neither are pleasant. With mascara, there's no point in spending so much time on your face if you ignore the lashes, your look won't have quite the same impact. Even if you just haven't had time to do your whole makeup routine, just applying a bit of mascara can make a world of difference and make you look like you've put all the effort in.


Excuse the glitter!!!

After some discussions with friends and in the office, we have all reached a mutual agreement that Benefit's 'They're Real' is the best mascara in the whole world. Worth the splurge, doesn't run and gives your lashes a long fan-like appearance. Love it.


Always have a back up hairspray

This is one of the many things my mum taught me that I will never forget. Even if you don't use it a lot, you'll never know when you're going to need it. I normally keep one in my desk at work for one of those unplanned trips to the pub when you need a bit more oomph. 

A pocket mirror

This one is completely common sense really but we've all had those moments where we've woken up late, done our makeup in a rush and feel a right mess when we realise we have a big foundation streak along our jaw line. Buy cheap old 99p thing from Superdrug or even a cornershop, throw it in the depths of your handbag and know you'll always have one for emergencies.

What do you think are the ultimate essentials in a beauty routine?


Product review: Eucerin DermoPURIFYER

Hands up if you're prone to breakouts? How about eczema? Let's face it, having the two combined is like the seventh circle of hell. You can't really wear foundation or concealer to hide the spots because then the eczema will be even more visible. The ultimate torment.

I'm going to be honest with you, I had never heard of Eucerin before, I'm a creature of habit really and probably wouldn't have tried it off my own back. However, now I've tried it, it will now be my skin care go to. Needless to say, I'm a convert.



As you may have seen from previous posts, I have tried a lot of face products and have decided to type up a review within the first week. With the exclusion of some, I have seen amazing results within the first week or so but then my skin decides to rebel. On the advice of my flatmate, I waited three weeks this time to give my skin enough time to adapt to the new product and I'm glad I did.

I have been using Eucerin Dermo PURIFYER once a day for three weeks and I haven't had a complete breakout for at least two weeks, only the odd spot here and there but they have been few and far between. This has made me a very happy bunny indeed. I still have the odd blemish here and there from past breakouts but it makes me very happy to see these are disappearing, slowly but surely. Hopefully, by this time next week they'll be gone completely!

Another reason I like the product ios because it's cruelty free, as promised on their website and various other cruelty free listings. This is very important to me and it's always a struggle to find 'rubbish skin friendly' products that haven't been tested on animals. Well done Eucerin.

The only downside isn't a major thing, rather of a personal moan. I want to have a facewash that smells nice! Obviously it's scent free to make it even kinder to your skin. I shouldn't really moan that my face doesn't smell like peaches when the product actually works I guess!

I thought this would be too expensive for me at £9+ (I try to go for the cheapes thing all the time which is probably bad), but right now it's only £6 on Escentual and it's completely worth it. I'll probably be stocking up myself on payday! Plus, I also got a bunch of extra little samplers that I still need to try!

Hastily taken desk photo...









Emergency trip to Benefit

(Fist of all, apologies but I stupidly lost all the photos I took...)

A couple of weeks ago, I was extremely upset when I discovered a few recent purchases were part of an umbrella company that tests on animals. I'm normally quite on top of these things and had heard so many great things about this company that I was devastated.

There was only one solution to this problem. Throw everything away and go straight to Benefit!

The essentials for this trip was mostly more POREfessional and a new foundation for pale people which is always more difficult to find than you might think. Obviously, I left with a lot more than just these...

Foundation

Ever since B Never too Busy to be Beautiful sadly disappeared off the face of the planet, I have missed their Baby Doll foundation more than words can express. I've tried lots of other brands but struggled to find one to suit my skin tone but now I've found it!




Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow is my new saviour. The sales assistant asked me lots of questions before we tested a few things to find out what my perfect match would be and we both got quite excited about this one (Ivory - I'm pure 4 sure) because it blended well and you could still see my freckles! I've also noticed that over the course of the day it doesn't reach that icky flaky stage that you'll get with cheaper foundations, its stays put.


Moisturiser

If you have eczema, there's only so long you can put up with using evil, foul, tar smelling products on your face. A lot of creams for skin conditions that I have tried are too thick and tend to lead to the breakout from hell and no one wants that. I explained these skin woes to the lovely sales assistant and she gave me a trial for Total Mositure.



After a couple of weeks I would 100% recommend this for people with dry skin and eczema, it's light so you don't have to use a lot, it's nice to have something that smells good for a change and unlike a previous skin cream I have written about, it's yet to dry out my skin, Needless to say, I'll be buying some more very soon.

Blusher

Blusher frightens me but that's only because I have never been able to use it and I always end up unintenionally looking like Aunt Sally...

For those of you who are too young, this is Aunt Sally...
Because I always have bright eyes, we played with a couple of things to see what would suit my skin tone best and what wouldn't clash too much with my eye makeup and make my face look off balance. Rockateur was the overall winner.


It's just dark enough for me to experiment without looking too Aunt Sally-ish  and I love the pinkness of it which looks more natural for me.

Concealer

We all have those bad skin days and Boi-ing covers everything  so now I can't leave the house without it. You know, just in case.



ARGH Breakout!

Thanks to the delightful smog incident in London, my skin has not been coping well. It isn't exactly attractive but then I found Boo Boo Zap.



I know this post is basically me gushing about the fabulousness of Benefit and to be honest you're probably getting sick of it but Boo Boo Zap actually works. I have tried Witch hazel, tea tree oil and various face masks but after using Boo Boo Zap, my skin clears up after a couple of days and unlike many other treatments, my skin doesn't dry out and peal so I can still apply foundation without looking like I have horrible bumpy skin.

Shopping in Benefit is always a pleasure, I just love sitting down, drinking tea (did you know they have tea???) and having everything tested and even being shown how to do things, I'm still terrified of using bronzer by myself but I have been shown how to use it and that's the most important thing! Now I don't have to feel guilty about any of my make up. WIN!

What are your favourite cruelty-free products?


Product Review: Soap and Glory

I do love Soap and Glory. To be honest the packaging excites me more than anything else. I know, I know, 'you should never judge a book by it's cover' but the quality of Soap and Glory is completely on parr with how pretty their boxes are.


After writing a post about my beauty essentials, I got some wonderful recommendations from Jurassic Panda and thought I might give Soap and Glory another go as I've been getting most of my things from Lush recently and I'm rapidly running out



Recently I have noticed that my eyes have been getting all puffy. Is this because I'm getting older or is it just because I don't sleep well? What ever the reason, an eye cream was definitely on the cards. I've always been dubious about whether eye creams actually make a difference but after using Puffy Eye Attack I am completely converted. I have only been using the cream for a week and already my dark circles are starting to disappear and even after a full blown crying fit after watching Les Mis (standard), my eyes still looked fresh the next day!

The cream absorbs quickly which means I can put on my makeup straight away, always good if I've over slept and need to rush out the door.



My other purchase is Scrubatomic. It's about time I got a good exfoliator because I have terrible skin. I suffer from breakouts of psorasis occasionally (attractive...) and it makes my face hurt and my makeup uneven. I know you're not really supposed to use exfoliators on psorasis but Scrubatomic is so mild I can get away with it pain free! It's given me a smoother complection even without makeup and it smells amazing.

do you have any more skin care favourites? Always looking for new things. 

My face!

We all have a bunch of things that we actually can't survive without. There are little things that you can make compromises for but cosmetics don't fit in to this category. Not for me anyway.



The idea of not having one of these sends me into a bit of a panic, after all I can't be seen without my face on! But, because I'm nice and to show you what a difference the ideal cosmetics make, here's a sneaky shot.

yuck. You can even see my wonky mouth
First of all there's the skin. after my recent discovery of POREfessional from Benefit, I now can't go through a day without it, it helps to even out my skin tone and hides all the icky spots. Plus it gives a perfect, smooth base for my new Clinique foundation.

At first look, I thought it was a little dark so I mix it with some moisturiser to tone it down a little and the result is a much more normal skin colour compared to my usual Morticia Addams look.



No more spots but I still have freckles :-)
For the eyes, I tend to use a lot of the same colours. I have been in love with blue eyeshadow since I was about 17 when I first started wearing make-up. for this look I used some of my favourites from Barry M. Combined with my Models Own eyeliner and They're Real mascara from Benefit, my eyes look wider and brighter. In the right light it brings out the green flecks in them.





With the lips, I'm always worried that any colour I use will make me look too pale. I love red lipstick but I'm yet to find one that suits me. Again,. the Morticia Addams look. I'm going for a happy medium with the My Treat lipstick from Benefit, it's a nice dark pink and I use it with a dark models Own lip liner to give my lips a slightly fuller look and to even out my wonky mouth.



And the end result is a much more normal face that will happily venture into the outside world.




What are your beauty essentials.

Product Review: POREfessional from Benefit

This is my new favourite product.



The lovely people at Benefit gave me a free sample after I took part in their #PoreOclock competition on Twitter and I'm now in love with it.


I've been having problem skin for a while now and POREfessional has made it look like it's not happening! Winner.

I'm a pale, pale person and unlike the That Gal primer (made me a little too pink) I used before, it blends nicely with my skin tone and it has a silky smooth consistency balancing out all the icky areas of my skin that I like to pretend don't exist. It also lasts all day so I don't need to touch up my face at all, even after I got stuck in the pouring rain.

One of the many things I love about Benefit is that they don't test their products on animals, which is a key decision maker when I'm buying new cosmetics.This along with my They're Real mascara has very quickly become one of my beauty essentials. Looks like I'm going to have to get myself to the shop!



Face Face Face

As I have mentioned before I am against animal testing and really struggle to find products that are not only suitable for my skin but also cruelty free. I think I have finally found some!

A while ago I blogged about needing a new foundation so I finally treated myself to Benefit's 'Hello Flawless'. I've used it before but I forgot how much I love it. As it's a powder it's nice and light but still gives amazing coverage. It's also suitable for horrendously sensitive skin like mine which makes a nice change.

A decent cleanser is always hard when you're against animal testing. Superdrug are amazing for things like this but my heart will always go to Lush. I had never used their 9 to 5 before and was a bit dubious because my skin tends to hate anything that isn't a facewipe but I gave it a go and it's brilliant. It's a milk cleanser so it's light and leaves your face feeling really soft. It says to use directly onto the skin and remove with cotton pads but I have been using it as a wash instead and am very happy with the results.




Sadly I have reached the age where I need to start moisturising *weeps*. It a sad time, I know. To be honest I am yet to find a day moisturiser that works for me but I love my night creme. It's Boots own brand so is cruelty free and unlike most night cremes it isn't too heavy so I don't feel uncomfortable at night. Always good.

When I'm in a rush I tend to stick to either Superdrug or Boots own brand cucumber wipes. They're great when you're on the go or on your way to a festival and they're nice and cooling. They're also great for sunburn as I have just found out!



Do you have any cruelty free recommendations? I'm still looking for that moisturiser!

Cruelty free hair dye

Out of sheer boredom I have a tendency to dye my hair. Sometimes it works, sometimes it really doesn't and I end up looking like an idiot.

I recently blogged about cosmetics I had found that proudly show the cruelty free bunny as I'm against animal testing and I have recently found a hair dye that's also cruelty free. Sadly, my heart broke when I found out the brand I had been using for years weren't bunny friendly. My hair has gone unloved since.

Superdrug are also against animal testing and all of their own brand products have the happy little bunny which makes me extremely happy whenever I go in there. I always end up leaving for a basketful of things even if I just went in to buy lip balm.



It's been a while since I dyed my hair. I've really been wanting a pink rinse for a while but the usual monetary issues have prevented this. This beautiful shade of 'Fire Red' was a bargain price at £4.49 so it was a nice, cheap alternative.

'Fire Red' from Superdrug

For the people who have used box dyes at home, you know how messy and awkward the whole thing can be. Another reason why I love this new product is because they've considered everything down to the tiniest detail. You know those rubbish gloves you get with hair dye? Well these ones are longer and thicker so you stand less of a chance of staining your finger tips (every time. The gloves can't take my talons!) and getting dye all up your arms when you reach around to the back of your head. You know those pathetically tiny bottles of conditioner you usually get? Well not with Superdrug, you get a bottle big enough for at least two weeks' applications. Obviously this depends on hair length but it's still pretty damn cool.

Awkward hair dying face
The only downside to this product is the smell. I have been dying my hair for years, so much so I'm pretty sure that my hair will never go back to it's natural colour (whatever that is), so I'm more than used to the smell of hair dye but this was really strong. I had to leave the bathroom once just so I could breathe.

I'm so so pleased with the overall result. When my flatmate came home she said it had really good coverage. I don't think it's down to my finally being able to dye my hair properly. The instructions for this dye are a bit more intense than your standard box dye. It requests that half way through you take your hair down and blend it more evenly to the tips of your hair and to do this again 10 minutes before you wash it out. This creates a more even colour from root to tip and makes sure you get all of those stragglers.

I'm so happy I have found a cruelty free hair colour and I recommend you all try it. It's all shades of wonderful.