Monday, 31 March 2014

Guest Post | Pigment Powders

First of all, I am very pleased to be writing for Lou's amazing blog. Thank you, Lou, for this brilliant opportunity! I love your blog, so it's a big honour for me. 
In the last couple of days I have been thinking about what I should write for Lou and I decided that pigment powder sounds like an interesting topic. I will give you a brief review
of Younique MoodstruckMinerals Pigment Powder, which is the first and only mineral eyeshadow that I have ever had.
So, let's go to the subject.
What are pigments?
Pigments are highly concentrated loose powder that is used as an eye shadow. It usually has very strong colour, hence the name pigment. They also have some special ingredients that aid adherence of the product to the skin.
How to use pigments?
Often ladies use pigments wet, i.e. they wet the brush before dabbing it into the powder. This method gives a particularly strong dramatic colour which you may blend a bit or not. Some foundation on the eyelid is recommended before the application of the pigment.
The other method is to use the pigment loose. This is what I do as I don't often require a very strong colour. When this method is used, only a little bit of the pigment is required. To be honest, I hardly touch the powder with the brush and that is normally enough for me to give the colourstrong enough for my eyes.
Younique Moodstruck Minerals Pigment Powder (Confident colour)
The pigment that I use is made byYounique, which has a range of 30 colours to choose from. I only have one colour which you can see in the picture. Thatcolour is called 'confident'. It's very neutral and goes with any outfit. I love it. It costs US$10 for a little pot. However, I can see it lasting me forever as I only use it occasionally.
Younique pigment powder is 100% natural, chemical-free, mineral-based, free of talc, oils, preservatives, perfumes, synthetic dyes and parabens.
These powders are sweat-proof and do not get into creases of my eyes. All in all, it's a great product!
I would love to know if anyone of you, my dear readers, use any pigments. What colour eyeshadows do you like? Do you go for subtle natural or dramatic look?
About me
My name is Min. I am the creator of a beauty blog Mins Beauty Equipment  who loves beauty, skincare and anti-ageing.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Review | Benefit Gimme Brow

Benefit Gimme Brow in light/medium, review

Top Natural Brow, bottom with Benefit 'Gimme Brow' in light/medium £17.50
If you read my blog regularly you will know I love brows. It's a  weird obsession to have I know, but I really do! I can't go out the door without my brows on, I feel naked as they completely change the shape of my face giving it more definition and structure. When I saw Benefit were bringing out a new brow product I was all over it like a rash, and for one that doesn't really use a brow gel I was really excited to try it.
Gimme Brow is not like most brow gels, its similar in the way that it tints them slightly and keeps them in place but also comes with tiny fibres which are meant to thicken your brows creating a fuller more defined brow.
I've been using it for a good week now so feel I can cast my full judgement on it. I know lots of people love this but for me it's a bit of a fail. **shock horror!!* I know a lot of people with disagree with me on this and that's fine, we're not all the same,... that would just be boring! lol

Firstly the price... nearly £18 pounds of a brow gel, come on, I expect a wax or tint to be included for that! I know Benefit is not the cheapest brand out there but I think a fair price would be more of the £10-£15 mark personally.
When using it I was expecting there to be fibres as stated on the tube, I couldn't see any, nothing but a thick gloppy gel that for some reason applies quite heavily on me. I find (as you can see from the photo) that the gel clings to the hairs, separating them and making them look liney ( if that's a word), they don't appear natural to me at all. I would be lying if I said it didn't thicken them, because it does there's no denying that and it does define and tint them, but for me it just doesn't  DO enough to warrant the price tag. I find myself vigorously combing them out to try and make them appear softer which to be honest is not something I have time for in the morning.
Without being too much of a 'Negative Nelly' I can see why people like it, I think I'm just in the minority on this one. For people that don't like to spend time pencilling their brows in, then this would appeal as it's fairly simple to use, and for those who want a slightly less defined brow ( excluding the clumps of eyebrow hair) this may appeal to them as well... but not me. I love the idea of it and in theory I should love it, but in reality I just can't make it work for me and just don't like the effect in which it gives.

Anyone else feel the same or is it just me?! :/

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

High End vs High Street | Clay Detoxing Masks

Today's High End vs High Street post is all about detox and pore minimising masks. These types of masks are great if you're like me and have oily - combination skin, they help to unclog pores and help get rid of excess sebum and dirt, thus preventing breakouts and reducing the appearance of open and clogged pores.
Both masks are clay based which is the best type of ingredient when dealing with oily skin, the clay helps to draw out impurities and soak up excess oil helping to achieve a even and blemish free complexion.

The Ren Invisible Pores Detox Mask is  thick and of a more solid consistency, packed with skin clearing ingredients like French Clay to draw out impurities and Essential Fatty Acids to leave the skin smooth and imperfections less visible. The mask is applied to cleansed dry skin and left for 10 minutes or so ( I like to leave to on for as long as possible), it dries hard making the skin feel tight, its then removed leaving the skin looking more refined, smooth and feeling extra clean.
Like with most masks that are designed to draw out imperfections I find that if I have the start of a blemish this will bring it to the surface quicker so I can tackle it and bid it farewell in no time at all. It does give a temporary tightening effect to the pores making them appear less visible but nothing ground breaking in my opinion.( I don't think any product will diminish the appearance of open pores to the desired effect I require, its just something I'm going to have to live with I suppose. )

The Una Brennan Pore Purifying Clay Mask is a lot thinner in texture and easier to apply than the Ren mask, still containing some fantastic ingredients like Dead Sea Mud which is renowned for its skin healing properties and oil absorbing abilities. Salicylic Acid that helps to unclog pores and dry up existing blemishes and Vitamins A, E and D which helps restore the skin back to its natural balance revealing a more even and clearer skin tone. The masked are used in exactly the same way and sets hard to the face. Once removed my skin feels soft, more even and clarified, again with a temporary tightening effect to the pores.
Which is best? High End of High Street?
Both masks work really well and I use them both in rotation weekly as part of my skincare routine. Considering the price difference I expected them to be poles apart but the results they deliver are in fact more or less the same in my opinion. There isn't anything that stands out which would have me say that the High End version is any better than the High Street version. They both smell nice and leave my skin looking and feeling clear, the Ren might offer more of a tightening effect to my pores, but nothing worth spending twice as much money on and remember the result is only temporary. In my opinion I think the high street wins here,  the Una Brennan range is fantastic value for money and offers a wide range of products to suit all skin types and concerns. When my Ren Mask runs out I will definitely not be repurchasing and sticking to the High Street version.

What are your recommendations for clay Masks? Have you tried these two, what did you think of them?

Monday, 24 March 2014

Guest post | Top Three Mac Lipsticks for Spring/Summer

Mac lipsticks shy girl, creme cup and costa chic swatch

Mac Shy girl swatch, Mac creme cup swatch, Mac Costa chic swatch

L-R Mac Shy Girl, Crème Cup and Costa Chic

Hello! I’m Anna and you will normally find me over at On The Dressing Table talking about makeup, skincare, and all things beauty as well as some home style, travel and general lifestyle posts. If you enjoy reading this it would make my day if you would come over and say hi, or find me on Twitter @OTDTblog.
When Lou asked me if I would like to write a guest post for her blog I went and had a browse at my makeup collection to see if anything jumped out at me to talk to you about. I was going to do a MAC lipstick collection but occurred to me that there are different MAC lipsticks I reach for at different times of the year so I decided to talk to you about my three favourite spring/summer shades.  

On the left of the pictures is Shy Girl, a peachy nude. Shy Girl is a cremesheen finish which is my favourite MAC formula because they are well pigmented and give an opaque colour but they still have a gloss to them and are very moisturising. Probably one of the most wearable MAC formulas in my opinion. This is the perfect shade for a nude lip to pair with any warmed toned makeup look and looks especially good against bronzed up skin.
In the middle is my favourite MAC lipstick of all time! Crème Cup is a shade that is talked about a lot and for me it’s an absolute must. Its another creamsheen finish and is a light, blue-toned pink that still manages to be sophisticated and wearable, much less in your face than something like SaintGermain.  One of my fail safe makeup looks for day or night if I’m in a rush is satin taupe all over the eye and smoked along the lower lash line with lots of mascara and Crème Cup on my lips.
On the right is Costa Chic, a true bright coral. This is a frost finish which is the only thing I’m not so keen on because it can be slightly drying  and very unforgiving if you have any dry patches but in terms of colour this is just the nicest bright spring/summer shade. I like wearing this with minimal eye makeup as a statement lip and again it looks great on tanned skin.

Have you tried any of these shades? Which MAC lippies do you love at this time of year?  

Friday, 21 March 2014

Most used Make-Up Brushes..

Prior to blogging the only make up brushes I owned were ones that came free with purchases. I cant actually recall ever buying any, and my eye shadow was applied with flat cotton buds, I know please don't judge me! **cringe**
Thankfully I have closed that chapter and now use an array of brushes, all designed to be used on various parts of the face and here are the ones I use most often...

Face Brushes

Real Techniques Powder Brush - is what I use for, you guessed it... powder! I use this with my all over face powders like my Rimmel Stay Matte or my Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder. I find it picks up just the right amount of product, distributing the product evenly and the soft bristles mean it doesn't disrupt my foundation too much as well.
Nanshy Pointed Foundation brush* - I don't use this for foundation but for use with cream products for contouring and bronzing. The brush is quite dense with makes it ideal for buffing the products into the skin delivering a seamless and polished finish. The only down side I've found is that the handle has come loose, not sure if I have a faulty one or I was a bit overzealous when washing! :/
Real Techniques Buffing Brush - this is the brush I use for applying my foundation. I love it and it works like a charm to achieve a flawless finish. The brush is dense but at the same time soft and pliable making it easy to work the foundation into the skin
Real Techniques Stippling Brush - this brush is fantastic to use with cream blushes and this is manly what I use it for. I find the flat top is perfect to picking up just the right amount of product and it can be applied lightly in a stippling motion or buffed in for a more sheer look.
Real Techniques Blush Brush - This isn't just a blush brush, I use it for of course blushes but also for spot powdering, bronzer and the pointed end makes it a ideal for light contouring. A good all rounder brush to have. 
Real Techniques Contour Brush  - This is another brush which I use in different ways. The first is how its supposed to be used, as a contour brush which it does really well, the brush neatly snuggles into the hollows of your cheeks perfectly delivering just the right amount of product and blending it out seamlessly. The other use for this brush is to use it to set my under-eye concealer, the brush is the perfect size for this and doesn't hold on to too much powder, avoiding over loading the area.

Eye Brushes

Nanshy Large Shader Brush* - I use this to apply eyeshadow under my eyes. It doesn't pick up too much product and blends it in really easily and it the perfect shape and size for nestling into the lower lash line.  
Mac 239 - I use this to apply my eyeshadow onto my lids. Its great at packing on the colour for both pressed and loose eyeshadows. I find I get less fall out when using this, which is why I love it so much.
Nanshy Blending Brush* -  I use this to blend eyeshadow through my crease to create a softer transition between the colours. A must have brush for blending out a smokey eye.
Nanshy Crease Brush* - This brush is perfect for creating definition around the crease and socket line of your eye. The brush is soft but firm, essential for a defined crease.
Mac 263 - I use this for my eyebrows, its the perfect shape. I haven't used it to apply gel eyeliner but I'm sure it would work just as good for that also.

What are your favourite brushes to use? Any more suggestions?

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Sheer Cover Challenge || Make It Mineral

Sheer Cover Foundation
Sheer Cover Studio Deluxe Kit £29.99*in medium
Date: March 2014
Agent: 'LouLovesBeauty'
Code name:#makeitmineral
Commander: Sheer Cover
Mission: Your mission if you choose to accept it is to 'make it mineral' for one week. 7 days of wearing nothing but mineral make up from Sheer cover.
Do you accept the challenge?
This message will self destruct in 30 seconds....good luck!
Ok, slightly melodramatic there, but I have been set a challenge, and that challenge is to ditch my cream and liquid foundation, my bronzers and mascaras and wear nothing but Sheer Cover for the whole week (items like blusher, eyebrow products and make up not in the kit can be worn). Living life on the edge I welcomed this with open arms and set myself up for the challenge.

Seven days wearing Sheer Cover..
The concealer palette contains two concealers and an eye brightener, all of which are super creamy and really easy to blend, they don't cake or look heavy on the skin and deliver fantastic coverage. I like to use the lighter concealer under my eyes (I did find it creased a tiny bit, but nothing too bad that would put me off wearing it) and the darker shade on the rest of my face to conceal and hide any blemishes and discolouration.
I applied the concealer in two different ways to achieve two different finishes. For a light - medium coverage base I just applied the concealer on any discolouration I had and under my eyes, on days I wanted a full coverage look I applied it more like a foundation concentrated on the centre of my face and then blended it out before applying the powder.
Mineral Powder
The powder is finely milled and light making it feel weightless on the skin and almost like you're not wearing anything at all. The coverage I would say was light-medium on me but I found I could create a more full coverage look by applying more of the concealer as I stated above. The finish was not something I expected from a powder. It offers a satin finish and (unlike the matte finish I was expecting)  giving the skin a luminous glow, not in a sparkly or shimmery way but leaving it looking  healthy and lit from within, very unique and a pleasant surprise.
Bronzer and Highlight Powder
The bronzer is lovely and natural, adding warmth to the skin. I tend to use the darker shades to contour but you can swirl them all together if you like for a softer bronzed look. The lightest colour is a subtle highlight which adds a gentle sheen to the skin, again like the mineral powder its not glittery at all, just illuminates the skin making it appear radiant and healthy
The mascara is a two part system, a black lash lengthening mascara and a thickening fibre building mascara. You apply the black mascara as normal and then the fibres over the top finishing with another coat of the black. I couldn't really give this a proper test as I wear eyelash extensions, but I did use them on my bottom lashes and it seemed to work a treat. It lengthened and added thickness without making them look clumpy or spidery.
The results of the challenge...
As the week went on I found myself really enjoying the products. The stars of the show have to be the Concealer and Mineral Powder in my opinion as I thought they both worked beautifully together. I also found that if I contoured using a cream bronzer ( the Soleil Tan de Chanel or my Crown Brush contour kit) before applying the powder I achieved a natural and seamless finish which lasted all day and looked natural my skin, a technique I will definitely continue to use.
I'm glad I've found these products as my views now are a lot different than they were before using them. I thought that by using a powder foundation it would look cakey and too matte, making my skin look unnatural, but in fact it delivered the opposite. My skin felt like it could breath, the powder sat nice and evenly on my skin without settling into my pores or lines and it didn't feel weighed down which is sometimes does with heavy cream foundations.  I'm not saying that I'll never use a liquid foundation never again, I do like using them, but I now feel I have another option when it comes to foundations, an option that hasn't been on my radar until now.

Thank you to sheer cover for setting this challenge, I'm happy to say the mission is complete and I will definitely be using the Sheer Cover range in the future.
Have you tried Sheer Cover? What did you think of it? What are your thoughts on mineral foundations?

Friday, 14 March 2014

Review || Mac Lickable lipstick

Mac Lickable Lipstick

Mac Lickable Lipstick lip swatch
A new lipstick is yet again added to my ever growing Mac collection. I don't know what it is about Mac lipsticks, I never seem to have enough! When shopping for a lippy I tend to head straight for the nudes and reds by passing all the colours in between, but not on this occasion, Mac 'Lickable' caught my eye and now finds its place in my mac lipstick family. 
"Bright clean blue pink " Mac
Mac 'Lickable' is a pinky purple with blue undertones. It has tiny hints of shimmer running through it,  not enough to be transferred onto the lips but enough to add a gloss and sheen to the lips. The colour that is not a normal occupant of my lipstick collection but one I have fallen in love with. It's a cremesheen which means its super moisturising and actually lasts quite a long time compared to my other lipsticks with the same finish.
I do love a red lip, it can vamp up and add some glam to almost any make up look, but sometimes it can be a bit OTT for day time use and that's where this one comes in.
It's bright and bold without being "in ya face" making it perfect for daytime use and still adding that vibrancy and polished effect to any make up look. I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of this,  it's a shade that's perfect for spring/summer and also one that can see you through autumn/winter, a great all rounder and ideal for any occasion.
I'm thinking of getting more lipsticks in this tone, Mac 'Girl About Town' and 'Show Orchid' are already in my sights! lol
What do you think to this colour? Yay or Nay? Is it in your collection already?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Highend vs Highstreet || Under Eye Concealer's

Soap and glory Kick Ass Concealer vs Bobbi Brown Corrector

Top - No product. Middle - Soap and Glory (light) £10.00. Bottom - Bobbi Brown (light bisque) £18.50

What is an under eye concealer? What makes it different from regular concealer's? A concealer that is dedicated to your under eye is normally more of a pink or peachy tone, this helps counteract the blue and purple tones that reside under our eyes (annoying I know!)

The two I have today is the Bobbi Brown Corrector and the Soap and Glory 'Kick Ass Concealer' ( major brownie points for the name).
One of my holy grail products happens to be the Bobbi Brown corrector so I was super excited to see how the Soap and Glory measured up against it, if not a little dubious that it could no way match my beloved Bobbi Brown.
Without getting into colour, texture and longevity I want to express that the soap and glory has not only the under eye corrector but a concealer and setting powder all included in the cute compact. The product retails for £10, £8.50  cheaper and offering a lot more for your buck.

You would have to have a serious eye impediment not to notice the similarities between the two, both correctors look identical in colour, verging on the pinky/peach tone. As you can see from the pictures above, both offer the same sort of finish concealing the dark circles and erasing them for your face. I was really impressed with the  Soap and Glory one, I wasn't expecting the finish to mirror the Bobbi Brown so well! If I were to be really critical I would say the Soap and Glory tends to be a little more patchy than Bobbi Brown, but nothing major and only because I have studied them both in fine detail.

As for texture, they're very similar again but there is a slight difference. The Bobbi Brown corrector is very dense and quite dry, this sounds like it would be a negative but it is in fact a positive for me. It means you only pick up a tiny bit on your finger, dabbing it under the eyes rather the wiping it, this means the cream tends to stay put and doesn't slide or separate under the eyes. The Soap and Glory is a lot wetter and thicker, meaning it does have a tendency to crease and not hang around for as long as it's opponent. Again I only notice this as I'm lining them up against each other, if I hadn't of tried the Bobbi Brown I would have thought the Soap and Glory was brilliant, and it is for the money, there's no denying that!
For me I have to say these are sisters not twins, but the family connection cannot be overlooked, the Soap and Glory is a fantastic dupe for the Bobbi Brown Corrector and one I would recommend to anyone to try. The reason Bobbi has the edge is it lasts longer, is less likely to crease and comes in a array of shades and tones. Soap and Glory only has two shades, light and medium and to be fair the light matched me really well but darker skin tones may find the shade range a struggle.

Final Thought
If you've always wanted to try the Bobbi Brown and the price has always put you off definitely try this, you can see how you get on using a  solid concealer as appose to the ones with a doe foot applicator without the fear of a call from your bank. If you don't really suffer from dark circles and just want to brighten the area I recommend Soap and Glory. If you find you do suffer from dark circles (or if you have kids, coz that will definitely cause circles, believe me!) I recommend the Bobbi Brown, (make sure you get colour matched at your local counter) purely because it covers a little better and lasts longer, its fool proof and does exactly was it says it will do and does it well!
*side note - I love the setting powder which comes with the Soap and Glory, I would buy it just for that!

Which one would be your choice?

Monday, 10 March 2014

Spring Nail Polishes

1. BarryM 'Dragon Fruit' 2. Nails Inc 'Summer Place' 3. Models Own 'Apple Pie' 4. Maybelline 'Cool Blue'* 5. Asda - George Gel Pro 'Nectarine'* 

Spring is nearly upon us (breaks out into Carlton dance from The Fresh Prince of Belair) ...and that means saying goodbye to the deep and dark winter shades and inject some colour back into your life.
Now, it may not be warm enough to dust off the bright t-shirts and hot pants (side note - I don't "do" hot pants) but if you want to sprouse up your look an easy way to do this is with your nail polishes.
I've picked a few colours that I think can see you through the spring and hopefully see the return of the sun.

1. Barry M Gelly polish in 'Dragon fruit' is a pretty Barbie pink, not too "in ya face" like some pinks out there, but I think this a really wearable colour if you're not into vivid or pale pastel shades.
2. Nails Inc 'Summer Place' is a pastel banana shade that is actually very wearable. This would also look fabulous in summer sporting a tan as it would complement it perfectly.
3. Models Own 'Apple Pie' is a fresh minty green for those that love really pastel and pale shades. I love this colour but I hate the formula of the polish. It's so streaky and looks best with 3 coats or a white polish underneath as a base coat. Never the less a pretty spring/summer shade to have.
4. Maybelline Color show* 'Cool Blue' is a pastel royal blue, not a colour for everybody but it does give off that fresh spring vibe. I just need to mention the formula is super pigmented and the swatch above is with only one coat! Fab for those (like me) who never really have the time to paint their nails, this is a one coat wonder.
5.George Gel Pro* 'Nectarine'. If pastel shades are not your thing then you can't go wrong with a beautiful coral shade this time of year. This looks fab with or without a tan and is a subtle but firm transition colour into the coming season. The formula of this is also well pigmented and you can get away with one coat if needed. (The swatch above is with two)

What shades will be covering your nails this spring?

Friday, 7 March 2014

Skincare || Masks and Overnight Treatments

In conjunction with my morning and evening skincare routine I like to use extra products throughout the week to give my skin an extra boost, and prevent break outs from occurring.

I'll firstly talk about the masks I have been using. There are two clay masks in my routine, Una Brennan Tea Flower Deep Purifying Mask ( gosh, please think of another name, that one is far to long!) and Ren Invisible Pore Detox Mask.  I use them weekly (alternating each week)  to clean out my pores and prevent any breakouts for occurring. Both masks are very similar in what they do. They are both typical clay masks, that leave you face feeling super tight when on and are removed with a flannel after 10mins or so.
When using these my skin is left feeling lovely and soft, it feels less congested instantly and super clean. These are especially great when you're nearing that time of the month when your skin just doesn't feel itself and produces excess oils, these will help to restore your skin back to its normal balance and hopefully prevent any visits from those pesky spots.

There are two other treatment that I like to use, one, Alpha H Liquid Gold will need no introduction onto my blog. As most of you may know I love this stuff!
I use this every 3 days. Its a Glycolic based solution that removes all the dead skin cells from your face. It's so easy to use, you use this and this alone overnight and awaken to fresh glowing skin in the morning. I use this not only because of how it makes my skin feel and look in the morning but as an aide to helping my other skincare products work more efficiently. By removing all the dead skin you will see better results from your moisturisers and serums as there is no barrier of dead skin preventing them from working a to their full potential.
Another mask I use, but not that often is the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. This is a love/hate sort of product for me. When I first tried it I was a little disappointed by the results, thinking my skin was going to look a million times better from all the rave reviewed I had read. I tend to use this if my skin is feeling and looking dehydrated, which to be honest is not that often and only when I've had, lets say one too many glasses of wine the night before!.... Yes I put this on when I have a hangover, you know, we've all been there, when your skin is resembling a living corpse and only a good unhealthy fry up will sort out your in sides! I don't see masses of improvement but it's lovely to wear and smells fresh and up lifting. My skin feels more moisturised and a little plumper, making the effects of the night before a little more manageable.
I think because my skin in verging on the oily side is why I don't see massive results from this. I'm sure drier skin types will love it as I know some people that swear by this but for me, it saved to high days and holidays.......when lots of alcohol is involved! lol
What treatments and masks do you use as part of your skin care routine? Leave me a comment below with any recommendations.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Skincare || Evening Routine

Night time skincare routine, Pixi glow tonic, Emma hardie cleansing balm, origins, bioderma, serozinc.

My evening skin routine is where I spend the most amount of time and effort unlike my Morning Routine with is aimed at quickness.  For someone like me who used to neglect their skin this is the favourite part of my skincare routine. There is something very satisfying about taking off all my make up and getting my skin squeaky clean. As soon as I get in a night the make up that has been sitting on my face all day suddenly becomes heavy and I can feel it,....I have to take it off straight away! Is it just me or do you feel the same?

Cleansing.. I use two cleansers. The first is Bioderma Sebium H2O, I use this is remove the bulk of my make up and then go in with my Emma Hardie Cleansing balm. The balm removes every last trace of makeup including mascara. It feels luxurious and hydrating, cleaning away all the dirt without stripping my skin but in fact leaving feeling plump and hydrated.
Once my face is clean I then use two toners, the first is an exfoliating toner, the one I've been loving lately is the Pixi Glow Tonic. This contains Glycolic acid, which removes dead skin cells leaving my face super soft and extra clean. By using this type of toner and removing any dead skin cells you are leaving the skin in most optimised position for your serums and creams that can now penetrate the skin without the dead cells acting as a barrier. (Side note..I only use this on days when I'm not using my Alpha H Liquid Gold, I never use the two together.)
The second toner is La Roche Posay Seroznic, its zinc based and helps cleanse and soothe the skin before I put any of my serums and moisturisers on, the mist is fine and also very refreshing, so great as a pick me up.

The lasts steps of my routine are to control, protect and hydrate. The first port of all is my eye cream,  I've always applied my eye cream first as I can remember someone saying this is the best way to use them. Applying them after serums and moisturisers will create a fine barrier so its not as effective, whether this is true I don't know but I've been doing it this way for some time now. I use Origins A Perfect World for Eyes, this is a thick serum which is said to hydrate and prevent lines and dark circles from foaming around the eyes. It feels very hydrating but I cant tell if its really doing anything as I don't have any lines yet, so I suppose you could say it is 
The serum I use is La Roche Posay Effuclar duo, I'm sure most of you are aware of this. The serum de-clogs and controls oils helping to maintain a spot free complexion. My night time moisturiser of choice is Origins High Potency Night-a-mins. This is so nice to use especially if you have combination skin like myself. The cream feels and looks rich and heavy but is in fact light and absorbs in the skin quickly, leaving it feeling so soft. I mean its unbelievable how smooth and silky my skin feels when I have this on! It doesn't break me out and my skin feels hydrated and slightly plumber in the morning, I definitely enjoy using this!
So there is my evening routine, do you use any of these products? What do you think of them?

If you would like to know more about Origins skincare products, I did a Brand Focus post which you can read HERE

Monday, 3 March 2014

Skincare || Updated Morning Routine

Like many people I'm not the most spritly person in the morning ( in fact I'm terrible! Don't even think about talking to me until I've had at least one cup of coffee!) .
I have adapted my skincare routine around this, using products that are quick and effective. I haven't got hours to spend cleansing my face or to apply numerous lotions and potions, so I use the products that work and cut out any that I feel don't benefit my skin.
First up is Cleansing and "Toning". I use the word toning loosely as its not the same as it was years ago. Toners are there now not just to remove the residue of your cleanser but to exfoliate, soothe and  restore the natural pH balance of your skin. 

In the morning the first step I do is to cleanse using the Bioderma Sebium H2O. This is a great cleanser for anyone with oily skin, the active ingredients cleans the skin without drying it out whilst reducing sebum and prevents pores from clogging. I use this as appose to a wet or foaming cleanser  because of the pure fact that's it quick and does the job well,  removing all dirt and oil accumulated throughout the night
Once I've cleansed my skin I then go in and spritz my face with La Roche Posay's Serozinc. This zinc based solution is again great for oily skin, cleansing and soothing any problem areas in a flash. It leaves the skin feeling refreshed and awakened.....something I definitely need in the morning!

When I've finished cleansing I pop on some products which are light and easily absorbed, not leaving my skin greasy or over loaded.
First up is La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo, a light serum which delivers a bit of moisture. Its main job is to de-clog pores and help congested areas, an holy grail lotion in the fight against blemishes and spots for me. As a day moisturiser I've been using Origins GinZing, a light and gel like cream enriched with Gin sing and coffee beans to wake up the skin. I really like this, I find it delivers just the right amount of hydration without leaving my skin feeling greasy, it absorbs really quickly and gives my skin a slight boost.. another bonus in the mornings.
Lastly I apply an eye cream, another Origins product, GinZing eye cream. This, like the moisturiser contains the same active ingredients caffeine and ginseng to help de-puff and awaken the under eye area. The cream is light and has a pinky iridescent sheen to it which is meant to brighten  and highlight the under eye area. It sinks in quickly and works well under my Bobbi Brown Corrector.

I have found I can apply and do all these steps in under 5 minutes, leaving my skin feeling fresh, clean and ready for my make up, or for applying my "slap" (as my husband likes to call it!) These and my coffee leave me feeling a bit more lively and ready to face the day.... well almost anyway!
What products are part of your morning routine? Anything I should be try?