Saturday, 31 March 2012

Just a Little Wishlist

wishlist
Laura Mercier radiance foundation primer/YSL Shocking Mascara/ NARS Orgasm blusher/ Chanel Illusion D'Ombre - Emerveille/ Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Skin Protectant/ Clarisonic Mia.

If anyone would be generous enough to buy me all these things I'd really appreciate it, until then I just keep lusting! (then buy them)

Annie x

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser

So when we were in Harvey Nics and Sarah bought her Clarisonic (so jealous, btw) I also picked up some Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser, oil free of course. I'd been wanting to try it for some time after seeing it being mentioned on blog after blog, so £33 (50 ml) later here I am. (The woman in the HN said the 100ml is £40, which I thought I'd picked) I've been wearing it most days since we went and I love it!

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The lady behind the counter matched me to the shade 'Nude' and I have to say this shade is perfect for my skin tone, it matches flawlessly! Like the box suggests I apply mine with my fingers, I haven't tried to use a foundation brush despite the consistency being very much like a normal foundation, but it goes on well with my fingers.

Once its on it looks like I'm not wearing anything but my skin is just enhanced, an amazing effect! It does feel lovely and lightweight on your skin and it was perfect for those few days of hot sun we had earlier this week. Plus it has SPF 20 so has protected my face from burning without having to slap sun cream on it. Also, it lasts ages on my skin, even after a long day when I'm taking my makeup off its still on my face.

Here's how it looks on my skin, excuse the look on face, still getting to grips with taking photos of myself

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Overall this is a winner, it is a bit pricey but what it does I don't think the highstreet could match so, I definately think I'll repurchase when it runs out, but go for the bigger size.

Annie x

Friday, 30 March 2012

Clarisonic Mia: Week 1 Review



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Hellooooo :) I hope you're all enjoying the sunshine as much as I am currently sat outside in the garden!
Today's post is going to be my week 1 review of the Clarisonic Mia that I bought. After what seems a lifetime of wanting my very own Clarisonic, I parted with the £120 from Harvey Nichols and made the purchase, yipeee!

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Ive posted some photos below of how my skin looks from the beginning and have decided to do this every Friday to give you an update each week with the condition of my skin and so you can see improvements, if any, yourselves. After seeing other peoples' reviews before I bought my own, I really wanted to actually see the proof, so I hope you appreciate the pics, seen as they aren't the most flattering if I say so myself!

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First things first though. I've been using the brush for just over a week now, and my initial verdict is so far so good. The brush itself is really sturdy and heavier than I thought, but I like that it feels as if it will last! Also, I did expect it to feel far more abrasive against my skin than it actually did, as you don't really feel like its brushing your skin, more vibrating against it.(maybe I was literally thinking it would be like an electric toothbrush for your face.)

I use it with my normal cleanser Avene Thermale Extremely Gentle Cleanser, and it literally makes my skin feel squeaky clean, soft and really smooth. I chose not to use the free cleanser sample that came with this as I'd rather my skin get used to using it with my normal cleanser, and then I know whatever reaction I might get will be from the Clarisonic and not from the cleanser. So far I haven't had the dreaded purge, but if you have seen our intro video, I have really problematic, acne prone skin anyway, so I'm not sure I would notice whether I'm getting any more spots than usual. But so far, my complexion just seems brighter and skin much smoother. My products now also feel amazing to put on after, they seem to soak into my skin much easier and I don't feel a film of product across the surface, which I would sometimes get. Also, I had alot of dry skin around my nose and this has already started to disappear and seems much smoother!

I'm hoping that after another week, I'll start to notice an improvement with my acne type skin across my cheeks, so fingers crossed! Have any of you got a clarisonic? What do you think to it?
Let me know what you think!

Sarah x

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Budget Beauty: Real Techniques Brushes

I'm sure you're all well aware of the Pixiwoo girls and the range of brushes that Samantha produces called Real Techniques, but if you're not here's a little introduction.

Samantha Chapman (along with her sister) runs Pixiwoo on YouTube, arguably the biggest beauty YouTube channel, and has been working as a makeup artists for 15 years, shes worked for Tatler, Cosmo and Elle to name a few and celebrities such as Peaches Geldof, Ashley Tisdale and Sir Paul McCartney. Basically she knows what she's on about when it comes to designing makeup brushes, so she did.

Real Tenchqiues brushes all have aluminium handles, making them lightweight and Taklon bristles, making them cruelty free. Also each brush is named, so you know what you're meant to use it for.

Currently I have the Core Collection which contains the Buffing Brush, Contour Brush, Detailer Brush and Pointed Foundation Brush. As with most of the blogging world I am completly overwhelmed with the amazingness of the buffing brush, applying foundation is easy peasy and takes barely any time compared to the classic foundation brush, you don't have to go over it to get rid of brush stroke marks!

Real Techniques Core Collection

I've already had to wash these brushes, since I've used them so much already and they keep their shape after you've washed them as well unlike others I own (Sigma, I'm looking at you!). Always a plus because once brushes lose their shape thats it

Now £20.95 (or £21.99 if you buy them from boots) for this set doesn't sound like much of budget buy, but considering you get four brushes that works out at just over £5 a brush and considering the quality then definately go for it! I haven't bought any of the other brushes yet, but just a quick google search will tell that they're really good, so check 'em out!

Annie xx

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Review: Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Gel Liner



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Hellooo! First of all just a quick apology for the shortage in Posts, I was ill over the weekend so had a rest from it all; fully recovered now though, and just as the sun has shown itself :)
Today's review is the latest Gel liner from Maybelline. I've been wanting to try this for a while, as I've heard quite a few good things about it, and I bought it on offer from Superdrug for only £5.99, so thought it was cheap enough to check it out. The retail price in Boots is £7.99, which I think is really good as the liner brush comes with it - more expensive gel liners don't normally, so this is certainly value for money.

First of all, the packaging is really nice, I love the little glass pot and the black liner brush is good quality. The liner itself, with the brush, glided on really easily and I was surprised how easy it was to get a nice even line on the upper lash line (and I'm normally rubbish with eyeliner pens etc). If you want a nice neat flick this type of liner is what you need! And the big deal for me was the fact it did last all night. I wore it out clubbing and after a full night, had no smudging or lines on the lid or lower lash line, which is what I hate about pencils!

The one thing I would say as a negative is the brush. After a few uses I have noticed the brush has split a little, meaning getting a perfect line is harder, especially if I want a thin line as the brush doesn't lay straight anymore, which is a shame. But for the price, I can't really expect an amazing brush, so it doesn't put me off too much.

For me, I think this is a really good gel liner, that lasts all night and works well, and is worth a try if you don't want to spend a fortune on the more expensive liners such as Bobby Brown.

What do you think? Does anyone else recommend a good budget Gel liner?

Sarah x

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Summer Is Coming!

Spring is already upon us and the sun is doing its best to peek out and warm us all up again! This also means its time to start getting rid of the effects of winter. Namely, for me, on my lips!

My lips have been so dry lately and most of winter and despite slathering on my Carmex lip balm they just weren't getting any less dry. I remember my Aunty telling me that I shouldn't use Vaseline because petroleum jelly doesn't actually make a difference, it only superficially works when you use it. She suggested switching to Carmex, which I did, but it was only recently I took a look at the ingredients and BAM! there it was petroleum!

I remember reading it somewhere before that petroleum in beauty products is bad, but I only considered it to be part of lip balms and such like. A few minutes and an internet search later and I'd found lots of articles about petroleum being just a cheap by product of oil and is used in beauty products to add moisturising properties. Unfortunately, petroleum can't be absorbed by the skin so it just sits on top and creates the illusion that it's all lovely.

Anyway, enough of the anti-petroleum rant! Once I realised my Carmex had it, I decided to get rid and sort my lips out once and for all!

I need to shed away the dry old skin that was still on my lips so searched the net for a home made lip scrub.

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Pretty much every recipe (can we call it a recipe?) said you needed a tea spoon of both honey and brown sugar. I had neither! But I did have the next best thing, golden syrup and white sugar! (I realise in the photo it's sugar and olive oil, I had a blonde moment when photographing). So I mixed the two in a little pot, applied it to my lips, waited a little bit, whilst resisting the urge to lick a little bit, then eventually scrubbed it off. I actually applied this mixture twice to really give my lips a proper scrub. Immediately after I'd washed any mixture off my face and lips I applied olive oil with a cotton ball.

I kept using olive oil to add a moisture to my lips, as and when they needed it. Then the final step towards non chapped lips happened in Boots yesterday when I was looking for a suitable lip balm. Enter Burt's Bees Rejuvenating Lip Balm with Acai Berry.

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This lip balm is 100% natural ingredients, smells gorgeous and most importantly doesn't contain petroleum or any other names for it. Mineral oil, liquidum paraffinum, paraffin oil, paraffin wax and petrolatum, fyi.

Now I just need to tackle my lip biting problem and I'll be well away! Hope this helps some of you.

Annie xx

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Budget Beauty: MUA Makeup Academy Part 2


Here's the second part to my MUA review, hope you enjoy it.

Lipstick - Shade 16
MUA Lipstick Nectar

This lipstick goes on in a lovely coral/pink colour. It’s not drying on the lips at all and actually feels rather like a balm. It doesn't take long for the intensity to fade, so top ups are required. A nice little treat with MUA lipsticks is that the bottom of each stick has a little pot of it at the bottom, quite tricky to get it off though I've only managed it once!

Bronzer - Shade 1

mua bronzer Bronzer! This bronzer has a lot of shimmer, more than it appeared to have on the website. Although when you apply it, the shimmer isn't too obvious, I was worried I'd look like a glitter ball! It isn't overly pigmented either so you can build it up when you want more. I use for contouring more than my Sleek kit at the moment because the shade isn't too harsh on my pale skin.

Love Hearts Nails
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These polishes are part of a limited edition nail and balm collection with Love Hearts sweets, with the colours being a reflection of the shades within Love Hearts sweets. At the moment, my favourite shade is I <3 U, although that’s bound to change before too long. The annoying thing with these is that some of the brushes in mine are completely splayed out; meaning getting it back in the bottle is quite hard. Two coats are required otherwise you can still see the nail.

There we have it! MUA are firmly one of my favourite brands for purse friendly beauty. Check out the rest of their products here. It also has a list of which Superdrug stores stock their products.

Have you tried MUA? Anything else you think I should be trying out?

Annie x

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Skin Care Review: Avéne Eau Thermale Extremely Gentle Cleanser



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Hello there, hope you're all enjoying Mothers Day! This week I decided to review a cleanser I've been using for about 6 weeks now, so I think it's a good enough time to give you my verdict.
Avéne is a French dermatological brand that specialises in skincare for different types of sensitive skin, whether it be intolerant or allergic. They say each product contains Avéne thermal spring water, which is endorsed by dermatologists all over the world.

I was excited to try their Extremely gentle cleanser, as I had heard good things, and lately my skin has been worse than ever, really sensitive from the harsh winter weather, and generally irritated and spotty, so I wanted to see whether this lived up to my expectations; which it certainly did! The retail price in Boots is £8, which I think for a well established brand is really good (plus it looks more expensive!). My initial thought after the first use was a little disappointing, being that there was no nice smell or sensation when massaging it into your skin, and no foaming formula to feel like it was doing anything straight away, so for those who love that really squeaky clean feeling, and a nice scent whilst cleansing, this is probably not the right product for you.

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However, the fact that none if this happens is why the product is so good. My skin has had no reaction to this cleanser, and feels smooth and gently cleansed, without any irritation or any dry patches on my face. I suppose that's why they call it extremely gentle; it does exactly what it says. After 6 weeks of religious use my skin has calmed down so much, and it no longer feels like I need a heavy moisturizer to compensate for the stripping effect some cleansers can have. Also, as you can see from the photo above, after 6 weeks I've not used much, which shows a little goes a really long way.
All in all, a brilliant cleanser for anyone who wants to keep things simple, and know they aren't damaging their skin before the day even starts!

I'd also like to add I have heard that this cleanser is really good for use with a Clarisonic, and after a lot of time on the wish list, I will be getting one soon, so hopefully I will do another review along with the Clarisonic to let you know how it goes. Watch this space!
What cleansers do you recommend for sensitive skin? Let me know what you think.

Sarah x

Saturday, 17 March 2012

A bit of an introduction...

Since we've been posted a few times, it seems a good time to properly introduce ourselves. Here's a cringey video of us!



Sarah and Annie x

Friday, 16 March 2012

No. 7 Shine Free Primer

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I bought this primer because suffering with oily skin, I wanted to prolong the wear of my foundation. With summer coming up I think a primer is exactly what I need since the heat causes it to disappear very quickly. What better than a Shine Free primer?!

I decided to try No.7 since they are a good brand and I’ve never had any complaints with their products before. I bought mine for £6 with a £5 off voucher, but you can buy it in Boots stores for £11 (not currently available online).

Where can I start? The first time I applied this primer it was right after I moisturised since the bottle says to apply moisturiser beforehand so I did and squeezed a little out onto my hand and tried to spread it on my face, tried being the key word, it was so thick and would not spread at all. The little bit I got on my face I had to try really hard to move it so it wasn't in white patches on my face, it dried so quickly that after barely a few seconds it became impossible to move it, instead it sort of flaked off my face. It did live up to its mattifying qualities though, maybe a little too much and that's its problem? When applying my foundation it did go on well, except anywhere you hadn’t completely rubbed it in where the foundation caught onto it making it look like you have dry flaky skin.

Despite my bad experience I decided to give it a second go, this time waiting until it my moisturiser had soaked in for a round twenty, thirty minutes. I also tried to warm the product up in my fingers before applying it, this did help it spread a little further but nowhere near a good enough standard.

Third time lucky, I tried to apply it again. This time however I tried mixing it with my moisturiser and applying them at the same time. This actually worked! It went really well and left my skin matte by not dried out. Unfortunately I didn't notice my foundation lasting any longer though.

I had such high hopes for this primer but considering that it only applies properly when mixed with moisturiser and didn't prolong my foundation, it doesn't really seem worth it! I think you'd have to have really oily skin for it to spread well without mixing it; this is the only case I think it could work with.

So, does anyone know of a good, reasonably priced primer I could try?

Annie x

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Budget Beauty: MUA Makeup Academy Part 1



Another feature we decided to have is Budget Beauty. Focusing on a different brand or product each week that's suitable for a student budget, this week it's the turn of much blogged about beauty brand MUA Makeup Academy.

MUA launched in 2010 with the aim of creating affordable, high quality make-up and have since spread like wild fire! With prices for their original range all being £1, it's no wonder why.

It was these prices that made me want to try MUA and I’ve never looked back. I currently own; two pro eye shadow palettes, a bronzer, a glitter eyeliner, a lipstick, eye primer and 4 nail polishes! This review will be spread over two posts, otherwise it'd be an essay and no one will want to read that much text!

Heaven and Earth Palette

DSC_0178 This is by far my most used eye product, the shades are just gorgeous for both day time and going out in the evening. You can't really tell but my most used shade is the top right gold shade. I'll use this in day time just swiped over my eyelids or in the evening I use it with two others to create a really pretty golden smokey look.

Immaculate Collection

DSC_0179 I actually received this palette for free from MUA online store because I spent £8. It has 24 shadows, in a variety of shades with both matte and shimmer effects. My most used shadow is the glitter gold shade (noticing a theme?) but having this palette has helped me to be more daring than I usually am with eye shadow. I’ve even branched out into pinks, so very daring!(These palettes are actually the only ones I've bought and cover all my eye shadow needs)

Eye Primer

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This is basically a necessity if you’re going to be wearing MUA eye shadows for long periods of time. Before I had this and went out clubbing my eye shadow would’ve disappeared into the crease on my eye lid before the night was through. Now my eyeshadow stays intact all night!

Glitter Eyeliner - Shade 4

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Continuing with this mini gold trend, this is my favourite liquid eyeliner, mainly due to the fact it's glitter and, of course, the shade. It catches the light beautiful and just looks so nice! And it does not budge all day! The only criticism I have is that the brush isn't fantastic; mine has a few hairs that have got caught stuck out and get in the way when I'm trying to apply it. Also be warned the drying time on this is quite long so it can transfer to near the brow bone.

Part one, done! Let me know what you think.
Annie x

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Skin Care Review: Effaclar M


Hello! This is our first blog post and we decided to start with a weekly feature for our blog, Skin Care Review. 

For those who don't already know, La Roche Posay is a french dermatological range specialising in sensitive skin. The Effaclar range of skincare products specialises in spot-prone skin, particularly for clogged pores and oily skin.

La Roche Posay say that Effaclar M will restore skins natural balance, whilst moisturising the skin and over time reducing the size and appearance of pores, creating a mattifying effect on the skin.




The retail price in Boots is £13.50, which I think is quite expensive, but I did buy it while the range was on offer for 2 for £15 so not as bad! However, once you've used this, the price is pretty much justified. After three weeks of use, my skin is much less oily, also the large pores around my nose do seem to be reduced, which I've never experienced from using other products which claim to target these problems.

Also, as I have sensitive skin, this has been really gentle and I haven't had a reaction from using it. I do think though that unless you have oily skin, this wouldn't work well under your make up as it can make some foundation seem cakey, and I think you'd need a proper primer over the top. It is also recommended to use for day and night, but I still prefer to use a heavier night serum or cream as even though my skin is oily, the parts on my forehead and cheeks get really dry, and need something extra.

All in all, if you have oily, problem skin that still needs a daily moisturising I would definitely recommend this product. A little does go a long way as you only need one pump and it's enough for one use.

Let me know if you've tried it and any thoughts you have on this product!

Sarah :)