Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Body Shop Muslin Cleansing Cloth

Short and sweet post today! As you more than likely know, The Body Shop is currently offering 40% off all orders (plus if you use the code 'HONEY' you get a free gift, winner) which makes these muslin cloths the bargain price of £1.50 (normally £2.50).
They are rather large so will cover the whole face and are a great way of washing off cleanser/face masks and removing makeup as they gently exfoliate at the same time. If i were you I would stock up whilst you can as these really are a worthwhile investment.
Do you use muslin cloths? Or do you recommend something else? Let me know!

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Friday, 27 September 2013

No7 Beautiful Skin Purifying Mask

Grabbed your attention yet?
No7 is a brand most of us have probably dabbled in (due to those wonderful £5 off skincare vouchers boots do). I myself have a lot of No7 products as their quality is worth the extra few pounds (an plus I stock up with those amazing vouchers). This mask, their Beautiful Skin Purifying mask is the bee's knees. Something I will repurchase again and again.

So what is it? It is a face mask that uses thermal technology to draw out impurities. Yes you heard that right. You apply it to a damp face, massage it in, leave for five minutes then wash away. The gimmick is that upon contact with the damp skin it heats, leaving a warm sensation that opens pores. As you can see its rather a thick cream that has exfoliating bits in it to, so great for combination skin.  When washed off you are left with soft skin (feels like a babies! Amazing I tell thee) that gives you that clean feeling. I follow with a moisturiser/cleanser depending what routine I'm going with that day. Good tip is to use a muslin cloth for removal and for extra gentle exfoliation.
The packaging is plain and simple, not OTT which is great and with a squeezey tube you can control how much you want to use. Good times!

Get it for £12.50 here or from your nearest Boots.
Well.. what are you waiting for?
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Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Nail Polish Collection

 (My Favourite Picks) L-R- No7 Crave Me, Models Own Beach Party, Barry M Greenberry, Models Own Ibiza Miz, L'Oreal Color Riche 820, Gosh Holographic Hero.

Here it is. A visual representation of where all my money goes. Lovely to be reminded..
In all seriousness, this collection gets quite a pounding. I change at least three times a week so it was inevitable a build up would happen. Compared to some my collection is modest, to others, excessive. However the colours in here are what work for me, and alongside the photos I will share my top picks with you.

The reds and Neutrals
Most reached for as these are my more corporate colours. The more boring ones lets say. My favourites are the Models Own Beach Party, China Glaze Pool Party and the No7 Gel Shine in Hotting Up. All of which I have reviewed seperately. I own a fair few Nails Inc polishes as the quality is great, but for the pricepoint I'd look towards brands such as Barry M and Models Own. Some hidden gems would be the SEVETEEN polishes, for their price they make a fab addition to your colour spectrum and keep up to date with trends.

The Blues, Greens and Purples
The most reached for? Fantasy Fire and Greenberry (Barry M). The ones I wouldn't waste your money on? Primark polishes. They take an age to dry. My only Essie polish is nestled here (To Buy or Not to Buy) a pale lilac with blue shimmer which is a gem but is getting bustled to the back the closer to the Autumn months we move. Try having a look at the Collection Hot Colours polishes. Cheap and long lasting, some of the most hard wearing ones I own.  Sinful Colours deserve a shout out here to, especially when they are £1.99 each so a great for on trend colours.

Glitters and Darks
My favourite! So much! Love the Nails Inc Graffiti polishes, the L'oreal Confetti and Cystallisme and the Barry M. Don't rate the Models Own  Silver or the NYC polishes because they take forever to try or chip easily. The 17 White polish isn't the greatest but Barry M and Models Own offer a great alternative! The Collection Gel Shine nestle on the top right is great to - dries to a really high shine!

There you have it!! If you would like to see an individual swatch of any of these, drop a comment or a tweet to me and i'll rustle something up for you :) Any of these your go to shades?

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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Lush: Quick Reviews

A few quick reviews on some Lush products for you today guys. All tested when I was recently away in hotel for a night so was very relaxed and needed a good pamper! Heres the lowdown...

Sugar Scrub (£2.95 here)
Bit on an awkward one. If you use it directly onto the skin it is really scratchy and will leave you with red marks all over. I'd recommend running it under water, breaking a bit off then applying it to the skin from your hands so you can control the level of exfoliation more. It does it's job after you get over this hurdle and will rid you of all sorts of nasty dry patches. It's mainly made up of sugar, ginger and fennel so it's less perfumed but still pleasant. Rebuy? No, as I find pots are easier to apply in the shower.

The Big Blue bath bomb (£3.25 here)
Surprisingly, it turns your bath blue. Lavender oil makes it heavenly and relaxing (what you need from your bath bomb) and Arame Seaweed and sea salt to make your skin feel scrummy and soft. Oh, and it smells Devine. I only used half and its sufficient for a soak, so value for money wise it's a great investment for a luxurious bath. I genuinely feel better after using this. It does have bits of seaweed in so if floaty bits weird you out, it might be worth steering clear of this one. Rebuy? Yes.

Ayesha Fresh Face Mask Sample (£5.95 here for full size)
Featuring ingredients such as Elderflower, Rosemary, Kiwi and Asparagus, Lush states that 'This mask was designed for those times when you want to make a quick difference to your face, for a night out'. Did I find this? Well it was a great mask, it made my skin feel clean and fresh afterwards but I didn't feel like it appeared much different. It does smooth but I felt that brighten it did not. I think, as part of a proper routine, this would be a great finishing mask but as a stand alone product I'd try one of lush's other amazing offerings. Rebuy? Yes, as it smells pretty spiffy and my skin does feel nice afterwards.

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Saturday, 14 September 2013

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation

A foundation match made in heaven? With the launch of No7s Match Made service, offering the perfect match, the allure of the perfect colour was too much to resist. Off I went to my local boots, had the lady brandish the funky looking machine at my naked skin and five minutes later I walked out with this. Stay Perfect is medium to high coverage with a natural finish also offering SPF 15 which is always  important in skincare. It promotes a long wearing formula that is moisturising, a claim I would personally agree with. The boots website says 16 hours, but I can't say I have tested this claim. It is a hardwearing formula though, covers dark circles and evens out my skin tone. (See me wearing it here) Lovely!
The colour spectrum is wide in this range, but the very pale or the very dark skinned may struggle to find their perfect match. But what do I think? Its my day to day, go to foundation. It lasts as long as I need it too and makes me feel confident. The price? Is it worth it? For £14 pounds, it is mid range, and compared to Rimmel and Revlons new offerings it could be seen as a little less value for money than those however the quality speaks for itself. Theres never a bad skin day when I'm rocking this.

Get it here.
Tah dah!
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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Winterberry Nail Kit

A bit of a different post today. Yes, it's about nails. But with a difference. My first foray into the hidden world of etsy, and some of the hidden gems they have to offer. Today I want to present to you the Winterberry Nail Art kit. A value for money collection offering all you need to do some easy nail art. If you head over to the Winterberry Facebook Site they update when these kits are avaliable as from what I've seen, they sell rather quickly! So onto what I ordered.

Containing  colours of nail beads (for the fish egg beady effect), 3 vials of glitter, gold foil, 1 pot of red flocking powder, a UV nail polish, dotting tool and orange sticks, 2 striping tape (gold and red) and finally some nail studs! A lot, I'm sure you'd agree.
At £6.25 a pop plus postage I think you'd agree, well worth keeping your eye out and getting one from the Winterberry Etsy Shop. Plus for my lovely readers, the lovely Rachel is offering you a massive 20% off by entering the code BEAUTYFACTORY20 which is valid for 2 weeks from today! Get placing those orders.

 My favourite combination has to be the glitter effect on the nails, it looks great and lasts a while too. Here I've done a few examples of what you can achieve, but for more experienced nail art affectionados I'm 99% sure you can achieve something better than I did. 

So what do you think? Worth a bash?
I realise this post sounds a bit PRish but I paid for this myself, I just think it's totally awesome and that you should get involved :)

P.S Enter my MAC lipstick giveaway here, it ends Friday so get your entries in now!

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Starting Off Project: Foundation

Foundation. The base. The saviour. The thing that can turn you from bright red cheeked, freckly, grey faced (that's just me) to fooling people into thinking you have the skin of a goddess. Well you've got to find the right one first. It's okay, no need to call 999, #theSOproject has you covered... 

What do you want your foundation for?
What are you trying to hide or gain? Not all foundation will be right. There's different coverages and finishes so you need to know what to target. Thicker foundations with higher coverage can hide a multitude of sins but in summer months won't last too long if you get too hot and sweaty. Also they are harder to blend. Trying to look fresh faced and natural? A tinted moisturiser may be the way forward. So write a few bullet points of what you want from your foundation. done?

What type of foundation should I get?
As I assume you've done step one this should be a lot easier. This is a quick and brief list of what you should mainly look for depending on what you want to gain.
Tinted moisturiser - for less coverage but to even out skin tone. Great for drier skin and younger faces where you don't need to be wearing a full face of makeup. Skips a step in a routine as its two in one! Winner.
CC/BB Cream - Claims to be the Pippa Middletons bum of the foundation world, these offer a combination of SPF, moisturiser, foundation, anti ageing, brightening and concealing properties.. The list goes on! If you are looking for a multi purpose product for your routine these are great and everyone from Superdrug to Dior have their own.
Mousse Foundation - Has a very light texture and can be layered for your desired effect. These are more weightless so better for those of you that like a fresher feel to your skin.
Liquid foundation - The most common, the one I find easiest to apply. Buildable, offering all different types of coverage.  Some are thicker, others thinner, it's simply down to finding your cup o' tea.
Powder/Mineral Foundations - Not something I have great experience with using, these are good for ladies with oily skin, great for summer when sweaty face could appear and it leaves your pores well alone.

Obviously I may have missed a few here but you get my drift, eh?

Which foundation should I get?
Well, the ultimate question and not a simple answer. Many factors to consider: what's your skin tone? Higher end brands tend to have a better colour selection than high street but doesn't necessarily mean they are better. You want to be illuminated or want a matte finish? Matte everything is a la mode this days but when you are ashen you want something that will brighten the face. Money is a big one, I favour YSL Touché Éclat foundation but also have a Rimmel one on hand which I use equally as much and there's a good 15 quid difference in price. Obviously, as you wear foundation for a long time, this is somewhere where spending serious moolar isn't wasted but just make sure it's in your budget, so when you run out you aren't left hight and dry sobbing in a corner as you either choose food or new foundation. Obviously I'm not speaking from experience here... At all.

Other advice?
Have a range of colours and types. In the summer you want a darker colour than in winter (unless you are a pasty ghost all year) and may favour a lighter coverage whereas in winter you'll want something with kick ass coverage.
Remember that how you apply foundation will affect the finish. Not going too much into tools here as there will be a post on it later in the series but finger application vs brush vs sponge all provide different finishes.
Go outside and test your foundation.
Shop lights make your foundation choice hard and deceiving. Get a mate to come along and ask if you look like you've been smacked with the makeup stick or look au naturale. Even if you are in a rush go outside... Just a quick glance and you'll know.
Less is more. You don't need to apply it all over your face, normally around the centre of the face. Also, more foundation will look less polished and less natural.

Hopefully this has been helpful for you. I have decided not to go into reviews of what I use as this post should guide you to choose your own. If you've any comments or questions, drop me a line here or on Twitter (I'm @chizzasaur).

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Friday, 6 September 2013

MAC 'Hang Up'

MAC Hang Up. Bold. Beautiful. Autumnal.
Yes, another MAC lipstick. I promise you I do buy other brands. I picked this up in a blogsale for a bargainous price without really doing much research into it. I googled swatches and what not, but had no idea what I was going for. As you can see, Hang Up is a deep berry purple shade perfect for the A/W trend of 2012 (maybe 2013?) which isn't too blue in base and makes teeth look super shiny white. It's a very very bold and vampy colour so good for making a statement or teamed with a simple cat eye.
Being a cremesheen formula, its staying power isn't the greatest (2-3 hours if you don't eat/drink) but it doesn't bleed and the best thing is the shade is buildable depending how vampy you want to go.

Overall it is a great shade and it really pulls a makeup look together. The icing on the cake to go with such a cliche. The best thing is it is a colour that can suit many hair, skin and eye colours so however intimidating it looks in the bullet (very) I would urge you to go to your MAC counter and have a play with it. 

Try it.. you know you want to.

Or.. try and win it for yourself by entering my MAC lipstick giveaway here!

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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Starting Off Project: Concealer

Good Morning. Here you are, ready to tune in to the second instalment of The Starting Off Project (#theSOproject). Concealer isn't something I use overly, I only own one, so today I'll do a mini review of the one I favour and some general helpful tips regarding concealer wear.

Put Concealer on top of your foundation, not under.
Your foundation will mask some of the areas you want to hide. It's fact. By putting the concealer on after you may use less, you may not need any and it means you won't rub away your hard work.

Different concealers combat different things
Want to cover redness? You'll be needing a green to cover that! Under eye? You'll be wanting something with yellow pigments and perhaps something
 that highlights and luminates rather than masks. A stick concealer is great for higher coverage but will need setting whereas something in brush form is easy to put on and blend without the need to blend as it will be a thinner consistency.

Apply with Clean digits/brushes
This is a given. But wash your hands after as well! Unless you want to rub all that all over your face? Thought not. Plus a clean brush or finger means you'll only be applying the concealer you want rather than the concealer from last week that's left on your brush.

Dab not Pull
When applying concealer, dab it in to blend. If you pull/drag it won't stay where you want it to (what you are trying to hide). Nobody wants that.

SEVENTEEN Hide Away Concealer cream (£3.99 here)
Now, everyone raves about the very good Collection Concealer however I've been using this and love it. Seventeen hide away concealer. Only two shades, so limited, but it dries to a matte finish and it's consistency is thick so is great for tackling unsightly blemishes that dare appear on my face. It does need to be built up but once on it does persevere and last all the day throws at it. This might be because I set it with powder though. If you are looking at higher end alternatives I wouldn't. There are more important areas to splash the cash (foundation, skincare) rather than something you don't need all the time.

Now this is my opinion, for more check out #theSOproject on Twitter, as ladies with more experience share their wisdom with you!!

See Starting Off: Skincare here.
Win a MAC lipstick in my giveaway here. Only over a week left!
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Sunday, 1 September 2013

Collection Eyeshadow Pencil in Vintage Blush

Eyeshadows pencils. The spawn from the Clinique Chubby sticks, a year ago these were an obscure and uncommon product. Now every brand near enough have thrown an offering into the arena. This is COLLECTIONS offering, the Work The Colour Eyeshadow Pencil in Vintage Blush, a pale metallic pink. The colour itself is more neutral than pinky, making it a great base colour and perfect for brightening the eye area. To apply, draw it on. I like to blend it out at the edges with my finger and into the crease a little. For a pencil it is very soft and creamy, don't leave it too near a heat source or you'll end up with a hot mess when you remove the lid. Not exactly what you want now is it?
As a base I find it works really well, not only is the colour perfect (not too strong to overpower whatever you put on the top) but as it lasts a fair while it means less smudgy smudgy and more smouldering eye makeup look. It is a great product to have in your stash and with its pricepoint it would be stupid not to. Only £2.50 here (Normal Price £3.19).

Have you heard? I'm giving away a MAC lipstick of your choice here.. if you already follow this blog you're half way there! Oh livin' on a prayer!
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