Friday, 31 January 2014

Review || Sarah Chapman | Overnight Facial

Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial
Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial

Sarah Chapman is a name and brand that has done the rounds around the blogosphere. One product stood out the most for me and that was the Overnight Facial.
Sarah Chapman's Overnight facial is a potent cocktail of antioxidants, vitamins, omega oils, jasmine and rose flower extracts as well as their skin brightening complex. The oil is meant to recreate the effects of a Skinese facial ( one of her signature treatments), leaving the skin plump, smooth, rejuvenated and glowing from within.
The oil is not cheap, £45.00 for 15ml to be precise. So what makes someone part with that sort of money on a skincare item? For me it was two things...
1. The word overnight. I'm lazy, I'm not gonna lie and a product like my Liquid Gold that I can put on and forget about overnight is right up by street.
2. The promise of "plump rejuvenated skin" that "glows, looking fresh, hydrated and youthful".
All of these claims had me popping it into my basket in a flash, gulping at the price as I did so. It was an investment for my skin....I will look 32 at 52!!!!
First of all packaging.. the slate grey pump dispenser looked very swish, if not slighting deceiving. The jar makes it look like you get more product than you actually do, a little annoying but never the less not a deal breaker.
The oil is, well an oil. Pale yellow in colour which is runny, smelling of a mature perfume, floral and musky, not to my taste but something that could be overlooked. I was a little worried that it would be too heavy for my combination skin but the oil felt light and was easily  absorbed. It does leave a slight oily residue on the skin but nothing I was too worried about, after all it was an overnight product so it's not like I had to apply make up over the top. It did in fact make the experience feel more luxurious and spa like, something we all would like,.. no?

The result..
I've been using this now for a good 4 - 5 weeks until recently when I had to stop using it ( more of that later). When I'm testing out a skin product I like to trial it for a few weeks. I'm not naive in thinking it will work overnight (even if that is what the name suggests) but believe my skin has to acclimatize to it, giving it chance to work its magic. I used it once a week as a treatment and slotted it around my current skincare routine.
On my first application my skin felt moisturised and nourish, maybe slightly plumper but nothing too noticeable in the morning. I continued to use it but what happened next was not what I expected..
My skin erupted into big cyst like spots all around my mouth and the bottom of my cheeks. I would treat them as I would do normally, using my holy grail Effuclar Duo and Origins Super Spot Remover. As soon as one spot would start to disappear another will return in its place. This continued for weeks ( felt like years!) and nothing seemed to stop them.
 Now this was around the festive period and I didn't put it down to this product until only recently. After getting really fed up I decided that is was nothing it do with diet or alcohol ( I've never reacted that why before!) I knew it had to be something else, the only new addition was the Overnight Facial. I stopped using it and within a week my skin was back to normal, when I say normal I still have scarring and the marks left by the troublesome pests but nothing my liquid gold won't sort out in time.
I've not set out for this to be a bad review, its obvious that my skin is not right for the product nor the product is not right for my skin, whichever way you wan to put it. I'm sure drier skin types would benefit a lot more then what I did. It didn't leave my skin feeling or looking any better than what a rich moisturiser would do. I was very disappointed in such a high end and expensive product but hay ho you live and learn, and I (my skin) learnt the hard way ;(
It's safe to say I won't be re-purchasing this. Let me know your results if you've used this product. Is it just my skin?

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Laurens Way Valentine Gift Sets

Valentines day is nearly upon us and that means it's time for us girlies to look our best.
Whether it's for that special date or a time for the single ladies to show the boys and girls what they're missing, Lauren's Way has some fab gift sets to help make this happen. 
The sets include Lauren's award winning lashes and golden fake tans. There are two choices, Medium for a subtle sun kissed glow or Dark than Dark for a more bronzed goddess look.

The gift set contains
Mini Dark Glam Tan
Mini Medium lotion or Mini Darker than Dark lotion 
Mini Tan Enhancer
A pair of False Lashes
PLUS a mystery tanning product and valentines sweets as an extra treat. 
Laurens Way Valentines gift sets
The little kits are perfect for a present or for a gift to yourself. They come beautifully wrapped in a girlie pink box, so there's no need to wrap it up if you don't want to! Perfect for the guys and girls who lack the parcel wrapping ability. lol
The gift sets retail at £15.00 which is a great price for everything included. If you haven't tried her tanning range before it's a fab way of trying the miniature's before committing to the full size or, if you're an avid user it's a great way of stocking up on travel sized essentials.
The range is available until the 17th February on the Laurens Way  website.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Foundation and Bases || Matte and Shine Free

Matte Founations and oil free primers. Matte powders

Matte and oil free foundations and primers

If like me you're on the oily side and strive for the "matte look", there are foundations and primers available to help you achieve this. Here are some I use to keep the shine at bay....
Starting off with primers. Laura Mercier oil free primer is a great product to have. The primer acts as the perfect undercoat for your foundation. The primer keeps a tight control on oil and shine, helping your foundation look flawless throughout the day. Another option as a primer on the cheaper scale is La Roche Posays Effaclar Mat. An anti shine moisturiser which soaks up excess oil like a sponge making it the ideal base for your make up (Be careful not to use too much as it can ball up).

As for foundations, Vichy DermaBlend delivers a matte finish which in my opinion doesn't even need powdering in place. The foundation is full coverage and will cover birth marks and spots without looking cakey and lasting all day. Make up Forever HD foundation is another good contender. The medium - full coverage foundation delivers an excellent semi matte finish making your skin look flawless and HD camera ready!
Laura Mercier Silk crème foundation is a bit of an in between base. In terms of Dulux paint it would be on the satin spectrum, not matte and not glossy. This teamed up with Rimmel's stay matte powder will achieve a shine free finish.

If you are looking for a quick and easy matte base team up Mac's Studio fix foundation powder with an oil free primer of your choice and you're good to go in a flash. Shine free and looking flawless.

What are your tips to the perfect Matte base? Any recommendations?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Purple Lips

L-R Nars Never say Never, BeautyUk Plumalicious, Revlon lip butter Raspberry pie and Revlon's Wild Orchid.

Top - Nars Never Say Never, Revlon Wild Orchid,
Bottom - Revlon lip butter Raspberry pie, Beauty UK  Plumalicious* 

Up until a few months ago I was all about the nude lip, (still am in a way) and shuddered at the thought of Reds, bright pinks and purples. In my secret Santa swap the lovely Danielle from Miss Sunshine and Sparkle sent me some gorgeous lippy's from Revlon, ( as well as lots of other fab gifts). Lipsticks that I would never of thought of trying, they we're  purple, a colour I had over looked in the past. I loved them and this prompted me to dig around my stash and find others of the same tones.

Nars Never say never A matte formula of a muted down purple. A dusky pink with a hint of Lilac. Can be great as a introduction into purple lips if you like matte lipsticks.

Revlon Wild Orchid reminds me of Show Orchid from Mac. A bright fuchsia purple, fab for spring and summer and a great colour for a statement lip. The formula is super hydrating and delivers a gorgeous sheen to the lips.

Revlon lip butter in Raspberry Pie. This is really pigmented for a lip butter. I was assuming it to be a hint of a tint but it does in fact deliver quite a punch. Very similar to Wild Orchid but more muted down, not as bright, but still fabulous!

BeautyUk Plumalicious* is a deep plum that will vamp up any look. The formula is matte so is long wearing. I like to wear this patted into the lips for a softer look but can of course be worn as a bold lip colour.
 What are your thoughts on purple lips? Yay or Nay? I would love to read your recommendations on other purple lipsticks you have tried.
*PR Sample

Friday, 24 January 2014

The Forgotten Products...

We're all guilty of having beauty products in our stash that have been neglected or even ignored. I've recently discovered some old favourites that have found their way back into my daily make up routine.
Soleil Tan de Chanel has been one of them. I bought this last year and wasn't overly impressed with it at the time. It had been hyped up so much that I was expecting this wonder product to change my life when, in fact it was rather disappointing. One main reason why I didn't like it too much was I found it too light for my skin. I'm an avid fake tan wearer and when I have it on this doesn't show up at all on me. Now the cooler months are here and we're not quite into spring I haven't been tanning as much and found this to give a subtle sunkissed glow. I'm still not sure if its worth the £31 price tag but I'm enjoying using it.

As most of you know I LOVE eyebrows (I know a little weird!). I tend to mix up by brow products, I'm either using my illummi Eyebrow palette , Soap and Glory's Archery or Mac's charcoal brown, so I forgot about the product that started it all off for me. My unnatural obsession with brows started when I received the HD Brow Palette in a glossy box. The colours are perfect for me but what I really love is the angled brush that comes with it. Its much finer than my Mac 263 angled brush, I find it fills my brows in quickly and with more precision.

Bourjois cream blush in shade 2 "Healthy glow" has made a come back into my life. The sun has been shining on some odd days here in England so I've found I'm ditching the deep rich winter blushers and going for the coral colours that I was loving last year. I apply it with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush which I can't say I've used at all these last 4 months or so. I love how this blends in cream products, one dab into the blush then popped onto my cheeks and your good to go.  Its so quick and easy. I don't really like to apply my foundation with it, the buffing brush is my brush of choice for that, but as for cream blushers, it's perfect!

Sheer covers concealer duo has once more seen the light of day. I forgot how damn creamy this concealer was, it can almost pass as a cream foundation. Its super easy to blend and gives fantastic coverage. I've been using this on good skin days and lazy days as my base product of choice. I just pop a bit on any imperfections, under my eyes, and boom, I'm done.

Escentric Molecule 01 had so much hype last year it was untrue. Everybody and I mean everybody rushed out to get their hands on this little bad boy. "The unique fragrance that smells different one everyone". I was one of those people, I got it, smelt it, then forgot about it. I've been using recently to layer up my existing fragrances, I love deep spicy perfumes and have used this to freshen them up and make them a little softer. (Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir and this are fab!)

Have you discovered some old favourites recently?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Review || Pixi Glow Tonic

Pixi Glow Tonic

If you've clicked on this then you're probably already aware of  the Pixi Glow Tonic cult status. The "wonder" exfoliating tonic that removes dead skin cells and offers a brighter looking complexion.

"Glow tonic with ginseng & fructose For normal to dry, dull and aging skin. Oxygenating, exfoliating facial glow tonic. Helps tone, firm and tighten the skin. Removes dead skin cells for healthier looking skin. Use after cleanser on cotton pad. Key ingredients: aloe vera and ginseng."

If you read my blog you will already know that I'm in love with Alpha H Liquid Gold. A chemical exfoliant which contains Glycolic Acid, restoring skin back to it's youthful and glowing state.  I have seen some fantastic results with this so far and thought maybe I should try this out and see how I get on.

The Glow Tonic contains 5% glycolic acid as well as Deionized water, Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Horse Chestnut Extracts and is alcohol free. The tonic is aimed at people with dry, dull skin. Mine being combination and far from dry, I gave it a go anyway.

After the first use I couldn't believe how smooth and soft my skin felt. I was amazed that a potion in the most simplest, almost boring of  packaging was so effective. It left my skin on my cheeks and nose super soft and smooth, feeling clean and less congested. The tonic didn't dry out my skin or leave it feeling dehydrated, but left it in perfect condition to place my serums and moisturisers on.

I use it every day, morning and night as part on my skincare routine and would definitely think about re purchasing it as I am nearly running out! Part of me wants to try the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner to use how it compares, so I might give that a go next, I'm not too sure.

The good news for anyone wanting to try this is it's now available to order online!!! Up until now you could only buy it in store or over the phone. The packaging has changed, mine is in the style of the old packaging. The new design is a more cylinder shaped bottle and no longer carries the pump action lid. I don't think this will bother too many people but I did like this design, it was so handy to use and easy to dispense. The price is still the same at £16.00 and standard shipping costs are £4.50 ( free delivery applies to orders over £35)

What are your thought on Pixi Glow Tonic? Do you love it or hate it? Have you tried the Clarins version, how does it compare?

Monday, 20 January 2014

Review || Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Precicsion Shaping Pencil

Soap and Glory Archery Eyebrow pencil

Soap and Glory Archery eyebrow pencil

Soap and Glory Archery in Brownie Points. £10.00
Top - Natural Brow
Middle - Brow Tint
Bottom - Pencil

Finding the right eyebrow product is down to personal choice. Some prefer a powder, a wax or pencil to fill in and define their eyebrows. Soap and Glory Archery is a pencil on one end and a felt tip pen on the other.  
The pencil end is firm, a little dry but not too waxy allowing you to fill in and define your brows in either a natural or dramatic manner. I find the after the first couple of strokes the colour appears, I think you need to warm it up slightly or it tends to drag on the skin. As a pencil goes this is OK, not the best one I've used but certainly not the worst. The rounded end doesn't give you the precision that some others pencil's do but that's where the Brow Tint  comes in.....

On the opposite end is the brow tint, a fine nib felt tip pen that delivers just the right amount of colour. Some people have said that they find the nib to be dry making it hard for the product to come out, I haven't found this so I'm unsure whether they have a fault one or not. The brow tint allows you to achieve a very natural shape. The pen mimic's hairs in a feather like stoke creating a very natural brow that can be built up for a more bold look. I like to use this end for drawing in the start of my brows as the lines appear less harsh and more natural.

Using the two ends together you can easily achieve the perfect brow whether it be light and natural or more bold and dramatic. The colour I have is brownie points which is the darkest of the two shades they have to offer. I find it to be a perfect match for my brows, edging on more of the achy side of brown.
When using Soap and Glory's Archery I find my brows keep their colour and shape all day without the need to touch up. The colour doesn't smudge or transfer and well worth the £10.00 in my opinion,.. even if it's just for the brow tint alone!
What products to you use for filling in your brows, have you tried this yet?

Friday, 17 January 2014

5 Blogs I Love, and you should too!!

As a blogger I love nothing more than reading other peoples blogs. I find out about new products, discover looks and find out what is "the" must have item to have. Below are a few blogs that I read and adore.....

First up is Stacey from Expat Make-Up Addict. Stacey is in my opinion a babe, she's always so friendly and I feel like I know her even though we've never met.  Her blog is a pleasure to read packed to the brim of all things make up and beauty related.
Her "lip six" is my favourite post. Each week she posts the six lipsticks she has been wearing along with lip swatches. Now, be warned if you are easily led this girl could turn to be your banks worst nightmare! Her haul posts are enough to make any beauty addict quiver at the knee! You have been warned! lol

Charlotte blogs over at Looks 2b Loved , her posts range from fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Her blog is a fantastic read and this girls photos are just A-MAZING, beautiful, stunning and any other word you can think of. I find myself starring at them in a hypnotic trance and have major photo envy!

Karima from Shameless Fripperies is a new find to me and I have Vivianna from Vivianna does Makeup to thank for that. She has a YouTube channel as well as an amazing blog. Her videos are in depth and easy to follow. Her voice is quite hypnotic and soothing which makes them easy to watch and her looks and reviews are brilliant, she explains stuff in such a way that's easy to understand. Her writing style is natural and informative with her personality poking through.

Katie from SugarfixxBeauty  has a blog and YouTube channel. Her blog is mainly make up and beauty with the occasional fashion post. Her channel has everything from "Get ready with me", to reviews, hauls, and collection videos. She mixes up high end and drug store products so there's something to suit every budget. Shes very easy to follow, young, friendly and the sort of girl you would want to go on a night out with and have a few drinks.  I love watching her and have done now of some time, she always mixes up her posts and videos so they're varied and up to date on the latest trends and product releases.

Stacey from Beautyiful Solutions is a fantastic blogger. Her blog contains everything from Fashion, Beauty, Hair and even Blog Design and Blogging tips. She did in fact designed my blog for me and has posts dedicated to blog design which are easy to follow and give you a better understanding of HTML codes and all that jazz. She's a lovely person and always helps me out if I have any problems with my blog. Her posts are always really informative with fantastic photos and an easy to follow writing style.

Please go check out all these ladies and leave me some links to bloggers and youtubers you like to follow, I'm always on the look out for new blogs and channels to subscribe to. ;)

Thursday, 16 January 2014

My Beauty Compare

My Beauty Compare is basically the beauty version of go compare. Comparing all sorts of beauty related products from haircare, skin care, fragrance, and of course make up.
My Beauty Compare delivers you reviews from its members ( which could be you if you join), on every type of product known to man. This is like reading a blog which contains over 150'000 products, giving you the chance to pick and choose items you know that will suit your skin thus saving you time and money in the process. Don't worry though this wont make beauty blogs obsolete, it doesn't contain swatches or in depth reviews like a blog would do but  is another source for you to refer to when looking for new products to try.

The site then takes it a step further and lets you fill in your unique profile, determining your skin type, concerns, hair type, lifestyle and then recommends products accordingly. With this information it recommends make up, skincare and haircare products for you that you may not have thought about trying in the past. You can also then go and purchase the products recommended from the site, making it a on stop shop for all your beauty needs.

Its really a great site and one I think will become very popular with make up and beauty addicts a like. You can read their full press release HERE.

*In association with My Beauty Compare. No monetary reward was received for this post.  

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Where to buy Tarte, Bioderma, La Roche Posay's Serozinc and Make Up Forever in the UK

Don't you just hate it when you read and watch videos that contain products that are hard to get hold of in the UK?
I've been trailing through the many sites and have found some hidden gems that stock those hard to reach products  everybody is talking about.

I found this site last year after hearing so much about the Make Up Forever products. Guru Makeup Emporium is a professional make up artist stockists based in London that stock Make up forever, Beauty Blenders and Ben Nye for those of you that want to try them out.
Their service is excellent and delivery is fast, just what you want when your waiting to try a product that you've had your eye on for ages!

Makeup Forever HD Foundation - £30.95, Ben Nye Loose Setting Powder - from £7.50, Beauty Blender - £16.00

*Update* there is a rumour that Debenhams will soon be stocking Make Up Forever!! whoop whoop! I'll keep you posted.

Farmaline is an online pharmacy based in Belgium that deliver to the UK, stocking brands such as Vichy, Nuxe, Bioderma, La Roche Posay and many more. This shop even stocks the beloved Serozinc!
Serozinc is the zinc based facial toner which has had rave reviews from all the top beauty bloggers. Most people have resorted to buying it off ebay even though Boots do stock La Roche Posay for some reason they don't stock the entire range. If you have been wanting to try to this is the place to buy it!
I recently purchased some products from the site and was really impressed with the service. I ordered some Bioderma and Serozinc on a Wednesday and by the Friday my package had arrived!

La Roche Posay Serozinc 150ml - £9.00, Bioderma Micellar Water 500ml - £14.75, 100ml - £6.96

*Update* Serozinc is now available from Escentual 

Want to try Tarte, Marc Jacobs, LoracRoses Beauty Store is a make addicts dream stocking hundreds of products, all from the big names that you can't get here in "sunny" England.
They stock the full range of Tarte's Amazonian Clay blushes as well as Marc Jacobs full make up line.
I ordered the Lorac Pro Palette from them which to be fair was more expensive, but i was willing to pay it just to have it in my life!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush - £26.99 Marc Jacobs Eyeshadow Palette - £54.99 Lorac Pro Palette - £49.99

*Update* Tarte cosmetics is now available from QVC !

Have you used any of these sites before? What would be on the top of your shopping list?

Monday, 13 January 2014

Review and Swatches || Dior ~ Diorific, Minuit and Ange Bleu.

Ange Bleu
             Left - Minuit              Right Ange Bleu
Dior, Diorific Minuit and Ange Blue
Top Minuit, Bottom Ange Bleu, both £26.00
While shopping for Christmas presents this year I came across these beauties and after seeing a review on Stacey's blog (Expat Makeup Addict ) I decided that I needed to get them!
First of all can we just sit back and admire the packaging of these lipsticks for a minute..... They're amazing and stunning in their own right, definitely a talking point when you get these out of your handbag to re-apply!
Minuit from the Diorific Golden Winter Collection is a raspberry red with flecks of purple shimmer running through it. A stunning shade which verges on the matte/silk scale, long wearing and non drying which delivers a fantastic opaque lip colour, a simply stunning shade.
Ange Bleu is from the Diorific standard line, a true red shade, not too blue toned or too pink, just perfect in my opinion. A bold and classic red in a semi matte finish with fantastic longevity. When first applied the lipstick glides on creamy in a more satin finish and then mattes down after a few minutes to deliver long lasting lip colour that is no way as drying as most matte lipsticks. The perfect Christmas shade and for anyone that like a strong lip colour.
What do you think to these stunning and swanky lipsticks?

Friday, 10 January 2014

Review || Aromatherapy Associates Bath and Shower Oils

Aromatherapy Associates is a brand that has been knocking around the blogosphere for some time and a brand that I thought was well over hyped, I mean how good can a bath oil be?
The brand itself is high end and carries the high end price tag that goes along with it. Not really wanting to spent £39.00 on a bath oil (for 55ml), I pushed it to the back of my mind and carried on with life. 
Recently SpaceNK we're doing a gift with purchase and one of the gifts was this travel size set, containing four bottles of the much talked about bath and shower oils. Each bottle is 7.5ml and filled with essential oils that are created to relax or simulate you in the mornings and evenings.
Deep Relax contains Vetivert, Chamomile and Sandalwood, these are said to "simulate an exhausted immune system" as well as adding a comforting blanket around you. The scent is warming and herby with a hint of menthol. 
Evening Revive contains Geranium, Patchouli, Ylang ylang and Sandalwood, these are said to "enhances feelings of self esteem and sociability" as well as increasing self confidence. The scent is more floral than Deep Relax with a rich earthy undertone.
Morning Revive contains Pink grapefruit, Rosemary, Juniper berry and Pine said to be "invigorating" which wakes up body and mind. The scent is fresh with a minty, zesty twang.
Support - Lavender and Peppermint contains as the name would suggest lavender and peppermint, said to "Cool and soothe skin" while "Gently relaxing" you. The scent is exactly what is says on the bottle floral and cooling, the most subtle aroma from the set.
The oils are potent and you only need to use a cap full in your bath to fill the room with the captivating fragrances. The aroma seems to linger on the skin and fill the whole house. I can still smell it the next day when I walk past the bathroom. I haven't used them in the shower yet which is suggested you can do but I think I would use too much product and prefer to save them for bath time use only.
The "relaxing" oils did in fact relax me, now I don't know if this was mind over matter but they did leave me feeling sleepy with a warm fuzzy feeling. I am a little sceptical when  it comes to things like this so I was surprised that they actually worked. I like most people find having a bath relaxing in itself but these did go that step further. I would definitely recommend them to people that struggle with sleep to give them a try.
If you wanted to give these a go this is the time of year to pick them up, there are loads of sales on and you can pick them up in either the full size or in the Christmas gift sets which are travel sized ( the miniatures will last you some time as you only use a tiny amount) at discounted prices. (check out BeautyBay, SpaceNk and Feel unique.)
Have you tried these oils? What did you think of them?