Wednesday, 28 September 2016

FACE-OFF (or ON?): Drugstore foundations!

I've acquired some new foundations in the last few months and some you've already seen. I realised today that I now have so many un-reviewed ones that it was probably best to do a 'face-off' instead of doing separate posts (which other bloggers have done masterfully already). So here is a low-down on some recent high street/drugstore foundation releases and how I got on with them!

I will say straight off neither of these have had much 'face time' as I didn't particularly love any of them, and therefore I never reviewed most of these properly.

L'Oreal Infallible Matte
Hmmm not sure about this one but a lot of bloggers love it? I must say I found it highly mattifying and long wearing, but the shades were just a bit all over the place for me and I couldn't get a perfect match. Not very pore blurring, and it did cling to some dry bits on my face. I struggled to apply this, it was streaky with a brush and looked dodgy with large pores if I used the Beauty Blender..

Bourjois Air Mat
Hell no. I wore this once, then it shipped off to a palefaced friend. It was horrible on pores for me (they looked like craters), and very drying. And even in the middle shade it is very, very pale.

Maybelline Dream Velvet
I can't begin to tell you how much I hated this at first. Then I realised how to apply it. Using the flat side of the original Real Techniques blending sponge, swipe it on, don't dab. It then glides on nicely and doesn't settle in pores. And speaking of this makeup sponge, how pissed off was the beauty world when it's creators used said sponge in this way?? :) Hilarious. Anyway, would likely also work well with any old skool flat makeup sponge/wedges (don't bother with the stupid applicator Maybelline released to accompany this foundation). Wear time was about 5-6 hours before I started to look a bit dry and patchy.

Rimmel #Insta Flawless
Extremely light coverage, if any. Slight pore blur, but generally this was a waste of time for me. Only comes in two colours as well. More on it in this post here.

L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion
Not too bad! Very dewy, light coverage in a novel compact with a sponge. I apply this with a Beauty Blender, not the sponge it comes with. Looks nice on older, drier skin, and wear time was about 6 hours before it kind of just disappeared. Don't bother with this is you have normal/combination or indeed oily skin as it has a super dewy finish. More on it here.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless
Had such high hopes for this after lots of positive reviews... This was very drying and clung hard to any flaky bits on my face no matter what I did. I think this is definitely not for anyone with a hint of dryness. And it's not really poreless. In fact, I couldn't see any pore coverage at all. Poor shade selection too - I used the darkest shade they do in the UK at the moment, 230 Natural Buff, and it was still quite pale on my tanned face...

Have you got any favourite new drugstore releases that I should try??

Monday, 26 September 2016

XMAS: Some gift sets you can get now!

Yeah I know, I hate myself for posting this when it's 3 months til Xmas but you know what, Xmas gift sets or not, these will be useful. You can get both of these in Boots, right now.


Real Techniques has always been a fave for brushes for me - I love the Expert Face Brush, the blush, powder and setting brush; I use them almost every day. When I saw this set, I was like, yes, I think for £25 I need that. That's £6.25 per brush! Considering their Bold Metals range start at £12 each, that's a bargain and a half if I ever saw one. And everyone needs good eye shadow brushes. It won't be £25 for long though, so if you see it, grab it! At some point in October these will start selling for £40, or so the sign said. They also have a face set but seeing as I have enough face brushes to paint a whole house, I passed on those...

Sleek is one of those hidden high street heroes. I highly recommend this matte liquid lipstick kit in half sizes for £5, and they also have a set with a matte liquid lipstick and the coveted 'Solstice' highlighting palette for £10. How can you go wrong??

NOTD: Barry M Superdrug limited edition "Nutcracker"


I love me an exclusive Barry M nail polish :) Or any Barry M, usually. This is one of two exclusives now selling in Superdrug, £3.99, it's limited edition so if you wants it, go gets it! I hear two Boots exclusive is launching this week but not sure of the exact date.

I did 2 coats here but didn't really need to. I topped it with a coat of Sally Hansen Megashine.

How's this for a perfect nail polish for autumn?? :) Loving this, can see myself getting a lot of wear out of this through autumn and winter.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Makeup Obsession custom palettes


Top L to R: Eyeshadows "Daze", "Scene", "Cosmo" and "Precious Metals"
Middle L to R: Blush "Fancy" and "Babe", Highlighter "Bronze"
Bottom L to R: Cream Highlighter "Radiance", Cream Contour "Light", Highlighter "Bare" and Powder Contour "Light"

You know when you're just cruising the internet and just happen on something then half an hour later you have bought something you probably didn't need? Yeah. That happened. Lucky for me I only spent Boots Advantage Card points, not money :)

I must say that this particular launch has completely passed under my radar? I can't even find hardly any blogger posts, Jane from British Beauty Blogger has one, and London Beauty Queen has one too. There are some swatches, but not that many. Small selection of Instagram posts. So I've included a swatchfest in this post for you! :) Boots pages have a few more nuggets of information, and a very short video.

I did go past the new Emporium stand in my Boots today where these are to be sold, but it wasn't all finished. But they did have all the colours out already, so I bought another blush and highlight.

Anyway let's get into this. You buy the palette, then you buy the colours, then click them into the palette. If you decide to swap things round, just pop the product out and it goes back into the hard plastic box it came in! This is great if you want to just take one or two of the products with you travelling. The boxes are also great as you could mix and match it on a weekly basis without having unprotected eye shadows lying around getting broken.

Of course I went overboard with the large luxe 12 shade palette in rose gold... It's not completely full, as I decided I could buy more later when I had made up my mind. I did get a bit of anxiety trying to choose the shades...

My only concern right now is I am not sure how the cream products will fare in the palette; they may dry up/attract dirt. I'll keep you posted.

Swatches

Here is a list of the shades, and how I feel they swatch in terms of formula and colour pay off. I swatched these with an brush, as that is how I will use them.

Eyeshadows: "Daze" (matte), "Scene", "Cosmo" and "Precious Metals" (shimmers)

Blush: "Fancy" (matte) and "Babe" (shimmer)

Cream Highlight "Precious", Cream Contour "Light", Powder Contour "Light", Highlighters "Bare" and Bronze"
I wore the first lot today for the day. I put MUA Pro Base eye primer on under the eyeshadows, and they didn't start to crease or fade until middle of afternoon (I put them on around 9.30am). Good going for £2 each! The blusher in "Fancy" was hella lot more pigmented than I thought, so I ended up with a bit of clown makeup and had to reapply :) Rookie mistake! The contour (I used it as bronzer), blush and highlights (I layered the cream with the powder) wore flawlessly.

Overall I felt the colours I picked had great colour payoff and the formula was smooth, and the only one I didn't like much was the matte eyeshadow, which I found a little bit 'dry'. This is likely to be swapped out for a light shimmer I spotted called "Champagne" fairly swiftly.

That's it for this first impressions, I will update you on my adventures with this palette in a month's time, so please keep checking back!

PS: This is a perfect gift idea - I am planning one for my Mum for Xmas (check the number of shopping days til Xmas here)! Actually I hope she doesn't read this post... :(

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Fitbit Charge 2



Wearable fitness technology is all the rage right now. But I bought my fitness tech because frankly I'm fat and struggle to keep as fit as I should be, and I need something to help me keep motivated. That's it. I will eventually give a full review on this new bit of kit, however here are my out-of-the-box and setup first impressions. The Fitbit Charge 2 comes in 4 colours, and you can buy leather bands for it as well.

It comes in a box with a weird-looking clip-on charger and scant instructions. Good thing I am a thrifty consumer and had watched umpteen YouTube videos before committing to the £129 price tag, or I wouldn't have a clue how to set this up!

With so many different kinds of trackers out there, why did I choose the Fitbit Charge 2? Hard to say, but I think the features you get for the price is the dealbreaker. I am not an athlete so something that does the everyday fitness stuff is better for me.

The Charge 2 has a heart rate monitor, which is actually good if you like to keep an eye on what your blood pressure might be up to. People have rated it very good for sleep tracking which will be interesting! I also liked the sound of the interval training mode as I like to run-walk and not just run. 

I must also admit I was totally drawn in by the new 'Relax' mode where it gives you a 2 or 5 min guided breathing exercise...How much I'll actually use it I don't know but hey I'm gonna try it! And you can set it to issue buzzing reminders to get up and move every hour. That will probably get really annoying after a while but at the moment I am excited to try it out!

NOTE: you cannot just use this thing on its own to track your fitness! You have to use either a smartphone or a computer with the Fitbit app alongside it. There is a handy list on the website which devices and OS it supports. I use it with my Samsung Galaxy S5 with the Android app (I have Marshmallow OS). The app itself has such a vast amount of information you can collect that it will take you some time to get used to it all and to set it all up.

This syncs with your smartphone using Bluetooth. I didn't realise just how annoying this would be. I have never really used Bluetooth before and find it's a bit fiddly to get the devices to pair. But maybe that's just me - perhaps more experienced users will not have this problem. Once done that's it done though, I guess.

I also found that constantly using the Bluetooth (and Location, as it won't work with that turned off!) drains the life out of my smartphone battery like nobody's business?! I have now bought a Veho Pebble Smartstick emergency charger to deal with unexpected shortfalls, but I am also starting to switch Bluetooth and Location off and only syncing the Fitbit occasionally through the day to save juice. But technically this is an issue with my smartphone, not the Fitbit, so I should stop moaning.

The Fitbit app has so many variables and mode of tracking, you just have to spend some time to get to know it and your device! :) I enjoyed the silent wakeup alarm this morning, no loud beeping noises. However if you are a heavy sleeper you may benefit from a back up alarm...

The strap on this is changeable so that's good - I have heard people having to replace their whole unit on the preceding model the Charge HR as the straps have kind of disintegrated with sweating! The strap is soft and comfortable even if you are sleeping. Some reviewers commented that it was difficult to get off once on, but you only really take it off when you have a wash so shouldn't be too much of an issue...

The unit isn't waterproof - it is sweat and splashproof but you shouldn't shower or swim with it.

The only thing I am kind of thinking is a bit weak so far is the vibrating feature. It's very subtle and you may not actually notice it if you are exercising... But maybe I am just too hardened!

So here's to many fun months of tracking my fat ass around town :) Check back in a few weeks to see how I'm getting on! :)



Monday, 19 September 2016

NOTD: MAC Star Trek collection "Skin of Evil"



I saw the very first promo shots of this polish way back last year and knew I needed it. I wasn't sure what it would look like on the nail, and it wasn't what I expected. It was better!

I can't recall seeing the episode that this is named after, as I was more of a Star Trek: Voyager fan than Star Trek: The Next Generation. Captain Janeway was totally rockin'!

Anyway, veering off target. I did 2 coats here, and it's an amazing goldy-green shimmer base with larger green glitter particles. If you hate VNL, you need to put this over another polish, like the silver and gold from the same collection. But the sheerness of it makes it so sparkly! I did 3 coats on a nail wheel just to see what it was like but there wasn't much difference.

Love this, it will likely appear in the Top Ten at the end of the year! :) Now I will need to seek out the Lip Glass called "Khaaaan!" as well :)

Sunday, 18 September 2016

REVIEW: Tresemme Expert Beauty-full Volume reverse system


So I am a sucker for anything new that will give me nice hair. So of course, I had to try the 'reverse hair washing' system from Tresemme. I don't think this is necessarily new, I think it may have been out for a while but passed under my radar.

I have fine, blonde hair; typical Scandinavian hair. It's also a little bit dry. I gave this system a good 2 weeks to work, washing my hair every other day or so.

So the gist of this system is that you put the conditioner in the ends, let it work for 1 minute then rinse out. You then shampoo your hair. Tresemme claim that this way you can condition your hair without weighing it down. I found the shampoo feels more like a 2-in-1 shampoo as it's very creamy, more on that below.

No matter how much I wanted them to, these products did not work for me. I found my hair to be very soft, but also very limp and flat. I tried varying the degree of conditioner I put in, but it was always the same. I also got a lot of flyaways, something I am not usually bothered with and my hair was also static a lot of the time.

I think the shampoo formula is to blame. It seems like it has something in it that coats your hair and just makes it a bit too heavy for fine haired gals like me. I think I could probably use the shampoo on it's own as a 2-in-1 shampoo if I go travelling?..

So sorry, Tresemme, I love your Deep Cleansing Shampoo but this system is a bust for me. I will be going back to my L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay shampoo and conditioner tomorrow!