Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Review | Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum

Caudalie Vinoperfect serum review. Before and after photos.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum * £37.00 for 30ml
For the past 8 weeks I have been trying out Caudalie's Vinoperfect, a serum that brightens and evens out skin tone by correcting dark spots caused by acne and sun damage.  
If you've ever had the pleasure of receiving a visit from the spot fairy you'll know that not only are they painful and unsightly when the first arrive, but some can take it that step further and continue to hang around in the form of scarring and discolouration. I've had the pleasure of this and to say it's annoying is an understatement!! 
I was given the chance to try a product from the Farmaline website and giving my annoyance with old scarring I wanted to try something that would help diminish them. I've never tried anything from Caudalie before so I was excited to see what the well known and highly raved about brand could offer me. 

Vinoperfect is a water based milky serum and possibly one of most light weight ones I've ever tried. It sinks into the skin within seconds leaving no tacky or sticky residue - almost like putting water onto the skin. I've been using this morning and night by pressing it onto my skin just after toning and before moisturising. As the serum sinks in almost instantly I can apply the remanding of my products straight after which is perfect for me as I can be rather impatient at times and hate having to hang around waiting for products to be absorbed. The serum also offers instant hydration due to one of its ingredients - Olive Squalane which "improves elasticity, reduces signs of ageing and boosts cell regeneration". The formula is oil free, non photo sensitive and suitable for all skin types. 
Top - Scarring and discolouration prior to using Vinoperfect
Bottom - Results after 8 weeks use.

If you look at the pictures above you can see the redness and discolouration has faded making the scars appear less visible and the skin more even. As well as lightening any discolouration I had from breakouts it also offered a brightening effect to the rest of my skin, it looked healthier and more youthful, the redness was less obvious and the skin has a more even appearance.
As with most skincare products that are designed to even out and correct dark spots the results don't happen overnight. It's takes time for the ingredients to work especially if the scars/dark spots have been present for months or even years!
I'm pleased with the results that were achieved but of cause the marks haven't gone completely but I think a few more weeks of using this along with my Alpha H Liquid Gold  and high SPF I should be well on the way to saying goodbye to them for good!

The product has really helped me fade some unwanted marks and its done so in a non abrasive manner. I have always thought that the only way to get rid of them was to exfoliate and remove the discoloured skin cells by using acids and chemical peels. These aren't always possible for some people and do have side effects like sensitivity and tingling that some may find too harsh for their skin.  This feels so gentle and almost like its not doing anything at all, until that is you look back and see the visible difference its made. If you have dark spots and marks that you want rid of and are worried about using acids and chemical exfoliators I can recommend giving this a try!

Have you tried Caudalie Vinoperfect before? What products do you use to help correct dark spots and scarring?

Monday, 28 April 2014

Review and Lip Swatches | Lime Crime Lipstick in Geradium

When the sun starts to shine one thing that's certain is the coral shades come out and stay out!Review and lip swatches of lime crime Geradium

Lime Crime Geradium is the perfect pinky coral that in my opinion is summer in lipstick form. Imagine Mac's Costa Chic without the frost finish and you're on the right tracks to finding the perfect pink/coral toned lipstick.
To say this is pigmented in an understatement, one swipe of this in its gorgeous girly and eye catching packaging and you have an opaque vibrant veil across your lips.  I would say the finish was satin almost semi matte but still feels moisturising and comfortable on the lips with a strangely familiar vanilla MAC scent and taste to it. The wear time is nothing to knock either, lasting a good couple of hours and still being left with a slight stain to the lips.

With these £2.50 cheaper than Mac and offering some fantastic shades (if not a few unusual ones) I can definitely recommend giving them a try - if not for the mire fact these are the most pigmented lipsticks I have tried but for the gorgeous packaging which encases them! Who wouldn't want one of these in their lipstick collection?
What are your thoughts on  Lime Crime lipsticks? Have you tried any out? I would love some more recommendations!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Spring Picks..

Spring is upon us people! YAYYYyyyyyy. This means 3 things to me...
1. Lighter mornings and evenings. 2. Nicely chilled Rosé and maybe even a fruity cider and
3. Lighter more spring time make up and accessories.
I know that's its hardly sun bathing weather here in England but we have seen the occasional sunny day and in the stark light of the sunshine the wintery heavy make up can look just too much. These months ahead are a time to embrace that "natural look", I use that term loosely as if you know me at all my make up is anything but natural, but I do like to tone it down a wee bit.

First and fore most Bronzer... this is your best friend for livening up the skin and adding that much needed glow and warmth to it. Sweep a small amount ( you can always build it up) across your face concentrating on the high points like fore head, cheeks and a tiny bit across the nose, just anywhere the sun would naturally hit your face. This will put some life back into your skin, the skin that saw some beating in the colder months, this is its time to shine!
For powder bronzers that are not too warm/orange but still give off that sunkissed glow there is Nars Laguna  and a cheaper option is Asda's George 'Bronzing Duo'*. If you're more of a cream bronzer fan there is of course Chanel's Soleil de Tan, I do think it's more on the warmer side compared to the other two and can look a tad orangey if over done but feels and looks natural and light on the skin.
Keeping on the light "natural" theme...Mineral make up can be a god send when the weather warms up. The filling milled powders airbrush any imperfections, but still allow your skin to peek through and breath making it look natural and virtually undetectable. Mineral make up is also perfect for spot and acne prone skin as the powder doesn't clog pores and can aide oil control as the formula's helps to soak excess sebum. The two I like using are Sheer Cover's Mineral powder* and a powder foundation from the all natural brand Benecos*.
When the sun pops out its essential to wear SPF, I know we should be wearing it all year round, but hey I'm a rebel and it's the last thing on my mind in the wind and rain, FACT. But I do like to wear something when I know the suns shiny rays will be gracing my body and especially my face. The Stila all day 10 in 1 bronzing bb cream is perfect for me as it contains SPF30 and also bronzes up my face, brilliant if your a fake tan wearer like myself and find your face is always paler than your body! Its gives a natural bronzed effect ( note; is does look super scary when first applied but done sheer down when buffed into the skin,.. promise. But if you are super pale this might be a bit dark for you).
For the time of year and coming into summer I like to play down my eye make up some what, just applying for a bit of mascara and not bothering too much with eye shadow and eye liner ( if you're a hay fever sufferer or have sensitive eyes to the sunlight you will understand), there's nothing worse than eye make up running or creasing due to sweat and allergies, nothing! So I like to go for a bold statement lip. The colours I'm loving at the moment are the Revlon Matte Balms in 'Unapologetic' and 'Showy Flamboyante' and Beauty UK's 'Pink my Ride'*
My scents tend to be more of less the same all year round, I'm not into floral and sweet aroma's opting for spicy and earthy tones but these two tick all the right boxes for me. Hermes 'Voyage d'Hermes'  is fresh and still has the woody notes that I love, making the fragrance really clean smelling and great when things start to get all hot and sticky. Escentric Molecules 'Molecule 01'  is another fresh and spicy scent which smells different on everyone and can be layered with other fragrances to change the notes into a fresher more up lifting scent.  I love mixing this with my deeper perfumes to lighten them and make them more spring time appropriate.
The 'Rio Ultimate Necklace'  has been a staple part of my wardrobe every since I received it for my birthday a few months back. The bright statement piece necklace is perfect for adding a pop of colour to any daytime or evening look. I'm not brave enough to go all out on my summer wardrobe just yet but this sees me through the transition period perfectly.

What are your Spring picks?

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Review | Skinny Tan

Skinny Tan Review, Before and after photos
If you're an avid watcher of Dragons Den you may have heard of Skinny Tan before, all five dragons wanted 'in' on this all natural fake tan that can, wait for it... make you slimmer! Yes slimmer!
The tan has been developed using all natural ingredients and including Almond oil and Sunflower oil for added hydration as well as natural caffeine derived from Guarana (active ingredients in most cellulite creams) to help reduce the appearance of cellulite and firm up the skin. We all know that having a tan makes up look slimmer but combining a fake tan and anti cellulite cream is genius!

From Top - bottom.
Natural colour
Once the tan has just been applied
The tan washed off
Second application of the tan and then wash off. 
(all photos taken in natural daylight)

The tan is in the form of a gel/cream hybrid which is surprisingly easy to apply and blends into the skin effortlessly, drying almost instantly. The tan leaves an already bronzed effect to the skin which means you can see where you're applying it, making sure not to leave any areas out and reducing the chance of the dreaded streaky tan look!
The colour when first washed off is very natural, fake tan novices fear not as you won't look like an umper lumper.  It gives the skin a healthy glow and takes the blue corpse like appearance of the skin away ( if you're really pale like me you'll understand what I mean). As I do prefer a much e deeper tan I applied the tan again the following evening, this achieved a slightly darker tan but again still looking completely natural and not orange!
One thing that stood out for me was how well the tan covered my dry areas. My hands are my worst area when I'm tanning, the tan always clings to my knuckles and in between my fingers. My hands are in water a lot so they tend to dry out very quickly. But it didn't with the Skinny Tan, it covered the area evenly without going patchy which is a major plus point for me. Another point to make is that the tan comes with a mini tanning mitt which is to be used on the face or other small areas. I have never seen anything like this before and can't believe more tanning ranges don't supply them,... its brilliant! Its get into all the nooks and crannies, allowing much more precision when applying.
I would say the tan lasted really well on me, I did reapply after day 5 as the tan had faded from my face and hands ( like it always does) but was still visible on my arms and the rest of my body. The tan faded really evening without any dark patches or crocodile skin ( I did moisturise everyday like you should when fake tanning) and it just seemed to fade a little each day.
As for making me appear slimmer and reducing cellulite, all I can say is when the tan was on I did feel slimmer but haven't noticed any improvement to my cellulite at this stage. I think with all anti cellulite creams they need to be used often and in conjunction with a healthy and active lifestyle to see the full benefits and as I have used this only once I can't comment on it at this stage.
The breakdown...
Natural tan colour ( not organgy)
Easily to apply
Fades evenly
No awful biscuit smell
Colour guide for streak free application
I think the price is a little high but it does state that you can get 6 full body applications out of one bottle.
Only available online, at the moment.

Have you tried Skinny Tan before? Is it something you would try out?

Friday, 11 April 2014

A Little Boots Haulage

Who doesn't love a good Boots haul? I feel as if I haven't done one for ages, when in fact I'm always buying something but they never seem to make the cut and make it into the haul post. So today is my most recent boots haul with some repurchases and new additions to my make up and skin care collection...
With the warmer weather ever nearing I though it was about time to show my body some love and give it a bit of a pamper and hydration before I'm forced to bare all. This body butter has been on my shopping list for as long as I can remember, after having lots of travel sized samples and loving it I finally caved and purchased the full size. I absolutely love the smell of this stuff, to me it reminds me of the Miss Dior fragrance and it's lush! As with most body butters it does take a few minutes to sink in but I don't mind that as my skin feels hydrated and smelling gorgeous.
 My skin has been awful for this last week and it is really annoying me, My HG Origins Super spot remover just didn't seem to be doing it for me this week, I don't know why? Maybe my skin has got used to it?...God knows but I had to find something to sort it out, and fast! I came across this which contains Salicyic acid and Ginger which is meant to "fight stubborn spots immediately after application", so fingers crossed it works!
Again to help get rid of my pesky visitors this was a well needed re purchase. I've tried the original version (which I love) so I'm hoping this is just as good and will help clear them up without leaving any marks or discolouration which I normally get.
I'm getting ready for the warmer weather and making sure I have a high SPF for my face. As I use glycolic and chemical exfoliators a lot I need to make sure I have something to protect my skin from the sun. This fluid is nothing that I have ever seen before from a sunscreen, its soooo light and watery which is great as I hate that heavy sticky feeling that some have. I haven't tried it out fully yet, just on the back of my hand but I will report back and let you know what it's like.
I have heard at lot of American You Tuber's talk about this foundation a lot saying its meant to be really good, long wearing and excellent coverage. The foundation comes tailored to different skin types, I have the oily - combination one and they also do one for dry skin which is excellent in my opinion. Its the first foundation I've tried from Revlon so I'm looking forward to seeing the results, the only bad point is that it doesn't come with a pump which slightly annoys me but I'm sure I can get over it.
This was a complete wild card. The term BB and CC creams mean nothing to me. I'm not the sort of person to just wear a "tinted moisturiser" so the whole concept never appealed to me at all and I still  have no idea what possessed me to pick this up lol. I think I've seen it floating around the blogoshere and my subconscious popped it into my basket, the whole anti redness and dark spots does have me intrigued though, so lets see..

So that's my little haul, have you tried any of these already? What did you think to them?

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Ash Toned Eyebrows | Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Permanent Taupe

Ash tones eyebrow product. Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Permanent Taupe
Top left - natural brow and then my brows using 'Permanent Taupe' from Maybelline. £4.99
You know how I like a good eyebrow product and today's offering comes from a very unexpected place. I was watching one of Miss Budget Beauty's You tube videos and saw she was talking about using Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Permanent Taupe for her eyebrows. I'm always after a new brow product to try and the fact this was on the ash side was a major selling point  before you could say Boots 3 for 2 I was down there like a shot and picked up this baby to try ( I was half thinking it wouldn't work and wanted to be proved wrong).

As you can see from the pictures of me wearing it I think you can agree its a really good colour, its cool enough not to give off the orange toned brow look ( which is not attractive!) but warm enough not too look like you have grey eyebrows. The formula is very easy to use and you only need a little on your brush, building it up slowly not to overload the brows and make them appear too fake.
As the formula is a cream eye shadow the colour lasts and stays put for the good part of the working day, even though it does state 24 hours I think we could all agree its hard to find a product that really lasts that long and is even harder to test,  I'm certainly not going to not wash my face for a whole day and night to test it out, sorry guys I love you but not that much! lol
Since I got this I have been wearing it pretty much everyday and am loving the look it delivers. If you're a blonde or someone with fair brows like myself I think you would really like it, the application is different if you're used to a pencil but I think its really easy to do and something most people can achieve.
Have you tried this on your brows? Are you looking for a cool toned eyebrow product? What recommendation's do you have?

Monday, 7 April 2014

Guest Post | NYX 'The Curved Liner'

NYX The Curved Liner review
 Hey ladies its Nikole from Naturally Informed here!
I'll be the first to admit my skill set is slim to none when it comes to eyeliner. And ladies...I've tried EVERYTHING. Pencil liner, liquid liner, tape, a genie in a bottle and nothing has worked. I had almost given up on my quest to be to be the queen of the liners (you know that girl who can do those elaborate designs and make it look easy) until I met "Her". And by "Her" I mean NYX The Curve Liner. My prayers had been answered.
I know I know you are probably snickering and thinking, "How in the world could a liner be so great?" Well, here are my thoughts. First off, I find eye looks to be one of the most challenging things to master when it comes to makeup. And to have your eyeliner look sloppy can take you from decent to tragic a matter of seconds. Thankfully there are tools like this out there to make our lives easier. No longer will you struggle to draw the perfect line. No fuss just smooth sailings. At the end of the day isn’t that what all beauty junkies strive for? Effortless/fun makeup looks?  

Curious about The Curve Liner? Well, here's the skinny...
Um what's not to love?! It fits comfortably in my hand and allows me to change my grip based on my liner width preference.
Then there is the cute yet sleek packaging. The curved design sets it apart from all the other liners in its class.
The cons are pretty much non existent. The only thing I will say stinks is that it's not easily accessible. I can't just run to my local drug store and purchase it unfortunately. But other than that it's AMAZZZZING!

$15.00/ £14.00
Where to buy, Ricky's, Target, Ulta, London-Bond St, London-Brent Cross, London-Westfield

Ease of application or User Friendly (on a scale from 1 easy-10 difficult)
Final Verdict
Love, love, love!! I would definitely recommend this to beginners and seasoned vets alike. This is the perfect liner to have in any collection. The next time I take a trip to my local Ricky's I'll be stocking up!
xoxo Nikole

Friday, 4 April 2014

High End vs High Street | Bottom Lash Mascara

Top - Normal mascara wand. Middle - Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara. Bottom - Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

Another High End vs High Street post for you today and its all about bottom lash mascara. I know not everybody will feel the need to own two different types of mascara, one for the top and one for the bottom, but I find they really work at preventing the dreaded panda eye look.

I LOVE the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara and it was one of my best finds last year, since then  I have repurchased it no less than 3 times and found my bottom lashes just aren't the same without it. But at £12.00 a pop ( not extortionate I know, but still pricey) I'm finding it's starting to lose its appeal a bit as the formula tends to dry up quickly and the tube don't last very long. I know we're all meant to throw our mascaras away after a few months, but really who does that? I don't have many lashes on the bottom and thought the tube would last a little longer than it does.

Clinque Bottom lash mascara vs Maybelline Big eyes bottom mascara. Review.
With this in mind I set out to try something different and see if the high street could offer a version that would live up to its high end counterpart. Maybelline Big Eyes is a double ended mascara, one wand for the top lashes and another smaller wand for the bottom. On this occasion I am only interested in the bottom lash and to see if the wand and formula were as good as Clinique's Bottom Lash.
Both wands are smaller than your average mascara wand, Maybelline's is thinner with closely packed bristles meaning I can coat every lash with ease without transferring the mascara onto my skin. Clinique's wand is a lot smaller still, almost 4 times smaller then the average mascara wand both in length and width. This wand again makes applying the mascara a breeze, but out of the two I think I prefer the Maybelline's wand. Its slightly longer so I can apply the mascara quicker as it covers more surface area, it defines and cover them just as well as Clinique, if not slightly better in my opinion. 
Both formula's mimic each other perfectly, both separating, defining and lasting all day without smudging or flaking (even though I do think the Clinique wins by a hares whiskers) . Out if the two of them I think again I prefer Maybelline's mascara as I find it doesn't dry up as quickly as the Clinique, this is one of my main problems with this mascara so I'm happy to say I don't find it the case with the high street option.
I know these are not poles apart on price, Clinique at £13.00 and Maybelline at £8.99 ( can normally be found on offer in Boots or Superdrug) but you do have to remember you're getting  2 mascaras for the price of one with the High Street option so saving money again, this makes it a bargain compared to Clinique in my opinion.

I never thought I would find something that would rival my beloved Clinique Bottom Lash mascara, I've loved it ever since I discovered it and didn't really think I could find another product just as good and especially on the high street. Since purchasing Maybelline's Big Eyes I haven't reached for the higher end mascara at all, it really has impressed me and I think it's a big fat thumbs up for the high street on this occasion!

What is your favourite bottom lash mascara? Do you use two mascara's for your lashes or do you find that one can do both jobs just as well?

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Review | Benecos Natural Mineral Powder and Concealer

Benecos Natural mineral powder and concealer review

Natural Concealer in Light £6.95* and Mineral Powder Foundation in Medium Beige £6.95*
When I'm looking for make up I must admit their ingredients are not a big factor to me, they are with skincare, I always look for products without mineral oils as their main ingredients and I don't know why I haven't thought this way when it comes to make up, isn't and shouldn't make up be an extension of our skincare routine?
I know a lot of people would disagree with me and try and source out natural alternatives for their make up needs. More and more people are now looking at a more natural approach and maybe I should think about what these ingredients are doing to my skin, after all we only have one face, don't we.
The pieces I have been trying out come from Benecos, a brand that produces natural and organic make up and skincare products, all free from mineral oils, paraffin's and silicone's and are on Peta's list for companies that don't test on animals.

Top - Concealer in 'Light'. Bottom - Mineral Powder in 'Medium Beige'
Mineral Powder.
It's only recently I started to use and try mineral make up and I was interested to see how this would fair against the one I was already using. The filly milled powder feels lightweight on the skin creating an even veil the doesn't cling to pores, evens out skin tone and texture while delivering a good light- medium coverage finish.
The colour I have is Medium Beige which would normally be too dark on my pale complexion but I'm fake tanning at the moment in preparation for the coming season and the colour is perfect (note: the swatch above is on my natural skin colour, without fake tan). The powder delivers a matte finish, good news to any one with oily to combination skin as the powder helps to absorb excess oils due to the Kaolin Clay ingredient, which also helps with inflammation and redness.
The concealer I have is in the shade 'light' which I found to be slightly too dark to use under my eyes to highlight and brighten but matched my fake tanned skin tone well, it is on the warm side so some people might find this a problem as it is the lightest shade they do.  It does cover well and oily skin types may like it as it's quite a dry formula meaning it doesn't slide all over the place like some do. I personally found it to be a bit too dry and it had the tendency to look at little cakey on my skin, this could be because I do prefer a more solid concealer, not really one for cream concealers in general so it's down to personally preference really.
Overall I'm pleasantly surprised, I always thought that natural products would be somewhat inferior to ones that contain chemicals and such,  thinking they wouldn't work as well, I don't know why I thought this but my feelings have now changed and It's nice to  know that my skin is being looked after a bit better when wearing them. The star product for me has to be the powder which gives a lovely and natural finish to the skin whilst delivery good and even coverage.
If you're looking for natural make up and skincare items there's a whole array on the Pravera website.

What are your thoughts on natural make up, is it something you look out for?

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Worth the Hype? Revlon Matte Balms | 'Unapologetic' and 'Showy Flamboyante'

Revlon Colourburst Matte balms are on everybody's radar at the moment. Not one to follow the crowd  I like to resist the urge to buy the hyped up products ( I'm a rebel deep down lol), but these balms had me intrigued. I love matte lipsticks at the moment and these seemed to have some good write ups, but are they really as good as everyone makes out?
I didn't rush out and buy them straight away, I waited for the sea to settle and then purchased these two on a whim in Boots on their 3 for 2 offer. The two shades I have are 'Unapologetic' and 'Showy Flamboyante'.
"Velvety Matte Look. Moisture Rich Balm" Revlon

'Showy Flamboyante' is a shade I don't normally go for, a bright blue toned fuchsia pink, its not a colour everyone will love, but I do. I personally thick its a deeper shade of MAC's Candy Yum Yum, a lot more wearable and more flattering on the skin.

Relon matte balm in 'unapologetic'
'Unapologetic' is a colour I am more used to, a bright pinky coral. I love these types of shades and this colour didn't disappoint. I can see this suiting most people if you are after a bold bright lip and will look perfect in Spring/Summer. 
Worth the Hype?
Both shades are lovely and have a minty taste and smell to them. For a matte lipstick they apply really well without dragging and actually feel quite moisturising when first applied. They do dry out a bit ( like all matte shades do) but I found they don't go as flaky or patchy as some other brands do. The wear time is a good 6-8 hours and then the colour tends to fade in the middle but still leaving a slight stain on the lips.
In my opinion I think they're worthy of the hype that surrounds them. They last ages, have brilliant colour pay off, are great value for money and actually put some of my higher end matte lipsticks to shame ( MAC Ruby Woo, I'm looking at you!). I will definitely be purchasing some more of these and at £7.99 a pop who could resist?!
What are your thoughts on the Revlon Matte Balms? Any colours I should look out for?