Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Mini haul and my FIRST Mac purchases

Hi all,

I've just got back from taking the kids to Legoland for 2 days. I have to say I need a few days to recover. It was brilliant but exhausting!
We did want to pop to London on our last day but we ended up spending way more than we expected whilst we were there so we decided against it. We took £400 for 2 days as spending money thinking we would have enough left but we ended up spending it all. If you have kids and are thinking of going to Legoland take plenty of money!

So on the way back I decided I wanted to take a bit of a detour and we went to Bicester and found a little outlet village. There were loads of fab shops but my husband pointed out to me the Cosmetic Company Store. I actually stopped breathing for a minute, I kid you not.

They had Estee Lauder, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Mac and a few other brands all at discounted prices. I've been wanting to try Mac for a while but the prices put me off because I have seen so many mixed reviews on alot of the products and whenever I have been into Selfridges and swatched I have never been overly impressed but considering they were cheaper than usual I couldn't not!

I picked up 2 things a Mineralized Skin Finish in Porcelain Pink and a Mineralize Eyeshadow Duo in this and that.

The MSF is gorgeous, its a pinky coral colour and is lovely as a highlighter. I have got a bit of colour to my skin at the moment since having a few days of sun and looks really nice as a subtle highlight to my cheeks. I really do want to try some more of these. I've been looking online and really like the look of a couple of others. I think I'll be grabbing at least one more when pay day comes around (and this cannot come round soon enough)

The eyeshadow is also amazing, they had loads to choose from but I am loving my neutrals at the moment and have been using my Naked 2 palette every day for the last month so I picked up this little beauty. The colours as stunning, the pigmentation is really good and the lighter shade looks amazing in the inner corner of the eye and as a brow bone highlighter.

The MSF cost me £15.25 and the Eyeshadow duo was £11.75 so quite good prices in my opinion.

There are 6 of these outlets in the UK. They are

1). Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth Harbour
2). Bicester Village, Oxon
3). Designer Outlet, York
4). Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port
5). Designer Outlet, Swindon
6). Junction One, Antrim

The one at Ellesmere Port is the closest to me so I will be heading off over there a week on Sunday after getting paid to pick up a couple more. I can see this becoming my new (expensive) addiction.

After arriving home I wanted to go to Boots to see if they had anything new in. I picked up 2 items.

First was this No 7 Skin Illuminator in Peach, this was on half price from £11 to £5.50. It comes in either pink or peach. I have already have a pinky illuminator so I picked up the peach. I swatched it in the store and it was really nice, since getting home I have put a little on my face and I'm not as impressed if I'm honest, it seemed a little patchy. I'll try it again tomorrow on freshly moisturised skin and hopefully it will be better. I also really dislike that it has a brush, you have to twist the brush round so the product can be released from the tube, you have to be super careful with this. I ended up squirting it all over my hand and the sofa trying to twist it as it was really stiff. I'll update if the product turns out to be any better when I try it again. 

I spotted this in the clearance section for £1.75, I have been wanted to try these for a while but I didn't want to fork out £6.99 for it as I don't tend to get on with L'oreal eyeshadows. For £1.75 I thought it was worth a go and luckily the only colour they had was Endless Choclat which was perfect. Its a lovely dark brown colour, it goes onto your lids like silk. It blends effortlessly and lasts for ages. Looking at in in the packaging does it no justice, it really is a beautiful colour. The packaging is quite nice, what I really like is that there is a little stopper inside which stops any of the shadow going all over the place. This is super handy. I'll definitely be picking some more of these up. 

Last but not least I headed over to Poundland to pick up some diet coke. I picked up this rather lovely Revlon lipgloss in coral reef. Its the perfect coral colour, I look awful in any coral/orange shades as in really really bad but I love them so much. I picked this up on the off chance it suited me and it does! Its a gorgeous summery colour its really glossy but not sticky at all and it lasts a good while before having to be reapplied. I have seen a lilac one of these glosses in another Poundland near to me, I've often admired it but always thought I would never be able to pull it off but after trying this and seeing how gorgeous it is I think I shall pick it up next time I'm in town.

Hope you enjoyed my little haul. I hope I'll be doing a FOTD with these products shortly as soon as my skin has cleared up!

Which Mineralize skin finishes have you tried? Any recommendations would be appreciated!

Lots of Love

CF x x x

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

My problem skin and facial steaming

I recently tried out a new skincare range, it contained no nasty parabens etc so I thought my skin would be fine. After about a week of using it I found my skin felt really tight and I developed a sore, itchy rash on my face that was so uncomfortable and quite painful and also a cluster of angry spots on my chin. I very rarely get spots apart from a certain time of the month so put it down to the new skin care range I had and stopped using it straight away. I went back to my old products and found that the issues weren't getting any worse but they weren't getting any better either. 

After about a week I decided to try a product that I know other people have had success with for getting rid of spots. Freederm. I didn't use this on the areas that had the rash just the horrible spots. I followed the directions exactly as stated on the  box and within 2 days my skin was horrendous. My chin is so dry (bear in mind that I have oily skin) its painful and looks like I have a really bad rash. I stopped using the Freederm right away, this was about 2 weeks ago now and its still just as bad as it was. 

My skin is something that I do try to take really good  care of and this has really knocked my confidence at the moment. Its almost impossible to cover even with a good concealer and I have a constant feeling of discomfort and putting moisturiser on my skin stings like a bitch.

I've gone back to my old products that I have never had a problem with and can see that they definitely work for my skin, so goes the saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The range I use is First Aid Beauty. Its available online at various retailer or in selected Boots stores. Its really reasonable priced, doesn't contain parabens or harsh chemicals and its suitable for sensitive skin. It works for me so I'm now sticking to it.

So whilst in my search of something to help my skin I came across a couple of articles about facial steaming. I've done the whole bowl of boiled water with a towel thing and I just felt like I couldn't breathe and gave up after about two minutes. Reading a little more into detail about steaming I realised that there was alot of benefits to relatively cheap and easy addition to your routine. Some of the benefits include

  • Helps to soften plugs in pores which can make it easier to remove dirt and dead skin debris
  • Stimulates skin blood circulation allowing the skin to look refreshed.
  • Allows for deep cleansing.

I decided that I wanted to try a facial steamer but didn't want to fork out a fortune for something that I may only use once. So I found one at Argos for only £9.99 
I figured if I didn't like it, £9.99 isn't a huge amount of money but if I love it I can invest in a more expensive one at a later date.

It was really easy to use, fill the water up to the water fill line, plug in and switch on. I managed to do this all by myself so it really is simple 

I sat with my face over the steamer for about 10 minutes. The book stated 15 but I thought 10 was enough with it being my first time.
After I finished I splashed my face with cool water and used a gentle exfoliator on my face. I then finished off with my First Aid Beauty moisturiser. My skin feels so soft, my forehead really is as soft as baby's bum! I also found that my skin looks alot brighter and it didn't sting when putting my cream on like it has done. I'm not sure if this is down to the steaming or if it is just FINALLY getting better!

Either way I'm definitely going to continue with facial steaming and see how it goes, I have some blackheads on my nose which are being rather stubborn and seemingly are rather comfortable where they are and don't fancy moving so hopefully this will help. After I have done this a few times I will do an update to let you know how I get on, hopefully I will be reporting on some glowing skin and a blackhead free nose!

Have you tried facial steaming? Whats you opinion on it, I'd love to know so please comment below!

Lots of Love

CF x x x

Monday, 13 August 2012

Cheap make up haul & review

Today I picked up a couple of bargains from the Poundshop. My local was quite well stocked today with lots of Sally Hansen, Revlon and Rimmel. I have plenty of nail polishes at the moment, most of which I don't even wear so I didn't pick any up although there were some beautiful ones that would have looked really good in my collection. I was strong and resisted. Go me, I am learning.

Heres what I snagged for the grand total of £5.00

As you can see from the swatches these are super sheer, these have been built up quite alot and they still don't have much colour to them. The pigmentation isn't all that great but they would probably be ok if your really pale and don't like too much colour. They are a little chalky but not as bad as some I have tried that have cost more than £1.00. These are also sold at Superdrug for £2.99, I wouldn't pay that much for these blushes even though £2.99 isn't a lot of money I have found other blushes that I think are much better for around the same price. For example the 17 one I picked up from Boots for £3.49

Next up I spotted this, I was a little surprised to see Bourjois in the Poundshop. I have never seen this brand in there before

They also had light and dark which I was really happy about as usually whenever I find something that I like they only have it in dark so its never suitable for my uber pale skin.

I actually rather like this, the roller ball is cooling on the eye area so would help with the puffiness and does disguise my circles quite well. Although mine aren't too dark. I have read a few reviews on this with people putting the concealer down and saying it doesn't cover spots very well. Its not that type of concealer it does state on the packaging that it is anti puffiness concealer. I think people should use products correctly before giving negative reviews. Just my opinion. Its definitely worth a try. I found it easy to apply, it doesn't put on too much product and it blends really well. Bargain for £1.00. I think I'll be popping back for a few back ups.

Finally we have this, I picked this up purely for the packaging as it was so cute. I'll be honest and say I did not know what it was when I purchased it, I figured it would either be a highlighter or a blush. How adorable is that polka dot packaging?

The product itself is also pretty good.

Its a real bubblegum/ barbie pink when you first apply it but it blends out so well to give a more subtle pink colour if required. Technic are a brand I have heard of before but never really paid any attention to. I know there was a lot of buzz recently about a glitter nail polish but I couldn't find it anywhere near me. This is beautiful though. I absolutely love it and again will be popping back to pick up a few back ups. My local Poundworld always runs out of the good products fairly quickly and never gets anymore in. 

All in all I like my purchases, a little disappointed with the pigmentation of the blush but I can't expect too much for £1 the real gems though are the concealer and Technic I love them and they will definitely be the new addition to my everyday make up bag.

Have you found any Poundshop bargains?

Lots of Love

CF x x x

Friday, 10 August 2012

17 Purchase

I popped into Boots today to pick up a new blusher, not that I needed another one but I wanted something a little more pink than the others I have. I've seen a couple of reviews on these so I picked one up. 

I got this in the shade In Bloom, it has two very different pink shades.

The blush is not chalky at all and is quite soft considering the price of £3.99. It does blend quite nicely and leaves a lovely flushed look to your cheeks. Its exactly what I was looking for colour wise. 

Secondly I spotted this little beauty

IT CHANGES COLOUR!!!! Ok so its really gimmicky but I'm a sucker for anything like this. The polish goes on a silvery lilac colour but when you put a top coat on it it turns a darkish purple colour. It really does work too. I'm not overly sure on the point if I'm honest as I would say most people would put a top coat on there nails anyway, I know I do so I really would never get the chance to benefit from the lighter shade apart from the first ten minutes of applying when its drying but hey ho. I really like the brush and the formulation. I found that one coat and my nails were covered nicely and it didn't take too long to dry.

The left is the colour it goes on straight from the bottle and the right is after a top coat. Apologies for the awful picture my camera just did not want to take a photo of my nails today. I love both the colours, before and after and I think I'll just have a great deal of fun watching my nails change colour. Small things and all that!

So these two rather lovely items came to £7.48 and Boots currently have an offer on, if you spend over £5.99 you get a free gift.

The gift contained a lip gloss, eyeshadow and a cream blush. 

I love the shadow, its so pretty and its one I will definitely wear. I'm loving my nudes at the moment. My  husband won tickets to the Leeds Festival in a couple of weeks so this will be perfect for taking with me and I wont mind if it gets smashed up with it costing me nothing.

The lipgloss is also nice, I swatched it on my hand and it looks quite bronze and I cannot pull off bronze lipglosses they just wash me out really badly but it goes on your lips a really nice nude colour and it looks quite nice.

The cream bronzer unfortunately is the dud of the box in my opinion. It says on the box to use it to contour. I have no idea where they got this from. I would never use this to contour it looks like a really sheer orange colour and I just cannot see how this would look nice if you used it to contour. I may be wrong but I wont be trying it out. But considering it was free I can't complain too much. I'm sure I can find another use for it.

All in all I'm happy with my purchases and considering I was expecting to pay around £7/£8 for a blush I think I got a pretty good deal, all this for £7.48! (+ an extra 100 boots points for buying two 17 products)

Lots of Love 

CF x x

Revlon Colourstay Foundation

Ok, so I'm a little late to this party. I know people have raved about this foundation for ages and I've watched loads of reviews and tutorials on Youtube and read loads of reviews on blogs but I just never really fancied giving it a go. Mainly because I've never been the biggest fan of Revlon make up, well apart from their nail polishes which I love.

I've been hoping it would go on offer for a while cause the thought of paying the full £12.49 for something that I more than likely would hate really irritates me but it seems it just never goes on offer so I just had to take the plunge and go for it. 

I purchased the shade buff which seemed pretty close to my skin colour.

I'm going to start of with saying that as soon as I took the lid off I was gutted, its not a pump you have to pour the foundation out. I hate that so much, I always end up pouring too much out and wasting loads of product. Its quite runny so does come out quite quickly so as soon as I opened it I was a bit put off. 

I have no idea why I never picked up on this when watching the videos, but I'm always more focused on looking at their skin before and after. 

So I poured some out (too much) onto my hand and used the Real Techniques stipple brush to start applying it to my face. I had heard that it dried fairly quickly so you are best to do one section of your face at a time so after the first section was done I realised that using a brush to apply wasn't the best so I moved on to using my fingers.  

By the time I had done my face I have to say I was completely in love. Its the best foundation I have ever used and blows my Lancome and YSL out of the water.

 I got the formula for combination/oily skin as I have a terrible time with shine on my t-zone after about an hour of wearing foundation. I am currently up to 10 hours with this foundation and there is no shine to my skin whatsoever and thats with no powder! It still looks just as flawless as it did when I put it on this morning. 

I'm genuinely over the moon with this product. I am currently suffering with some horrible spots and rashy nastiness on my chin from using a new product range and have been finding it really difficult to disguise even with concealer. This covered it beautifully. I've been so conscious about my chin because by the end of my work day its all showing back through and I look like I've got really bad acne. Not with this baby. It leaves my skin with a perfect matt finish without looking cakey or heavy.

 I really can't say enough about it, I will definitely be repurchasing it and my higher end foundations will have to take a back seat. I don't know how Revlon have pulled this off because it truly is an amazing foundation and I totally get all the hype about it now. I think I'll definitely be giving more Revlon products a try in the future, especially I have heard people raving about them.

Lots of Love

CF x x x

Sunday, 5 August 2012

July Favourites

July  has been a good month for me in terms of finding products that I know I will continue to use and will be repurchasing. I usually like something for a week and then find that I just get bored of it or it doesn't have the same effect as it did when I started using it,  but these products are ones that I have continuously used and either love just as much, if not more than when I first started. So lets get straight into it.

You can find all the products above here, I've searched for the cheapest sites  if they are available to buy in more than one store.

Natural Collection Eyeliner - Available in Boots stores at £1.99, cannot find online.
Sleek Rose Gold Blush - Or in Superdrug stores

I ordered this from John Lewis, it was on offer for £7.49 so I thought why not. I've seen hundreds of reviews on this product and they are so mixed so I never bothered with it. I've been using Lancome Teint Idole for my bad skin days and Yves Saint Laurent new Touche Eclat foundation on my better skin days but this has now taken over both and I just use this with a bit of my Collection 2000 powder and I love it. It just gives me enough coverage without making me feel like I'm caked in make up. This is the original one but I believe they have recently brought out an oil free version, I have quite oily skin and this one is fine with me although I could see it leaving me a little shiny looking if I skipped the powder so I'll be giving the oil fee version a go once I have finished with this.

I did a post recently on budget mascaras vs the Lancome Doll eyes mascaras and this one featured in it. You can find the post here I have since used this mascara pretty much every day. I adore it. I find it lengthens my lashes so much and with a few coats gives me as much volume as I like for a day time look. Its £1.99 and will definitely be repurchased in the future. I'll also be giving the other mascaras in the Natural Collection a range a go.

I could not tell you how many white eyeliners I have tried, in all brands and price ranges and I have never found one that I am happy with. It either looks really unnatural on my water line or it disappears after an hour or it just wont actually go onto my waterline. This one however ticks all the boxes. Its really creamy so applies easily and does last all day. Again this cost me £1.99 so I'm super happy that I have finally found a white liner that I get on with. I'm also pretty impressed with Boots for getting 2 products into my July favourites.

I actually received these curlers in a swap. I was in Selfridges a couple of weeks ago contemplating buying the Shu Uemera curlers at £20 after some time talking myself into and then out of buying it my husband told me to leave it go home and think and then if I still wanted them to buy them online. For once I actually listened to him and left them. I personally think £20 on a set of eyelash curlers is alot of money but I figured the amount I've spent on cheaper ones that I have hates would add up to alot more than the £20 for the Shu Uemera. Shortly after I spotted someone wanting to swap a pair of these which came in a beauty box so I thought what the hell. I bloody love them. They curl my lashes within about 5 seconds and it lasts all day. I am really happy with these and will not be splashing out on a pair of £20 curlers. I would definitely recommend these to anyone who is thinking about some new curlers.

There isn't alot to say about this product. It is what it is. It does keep my face from becoming shiny throughout the day and I don't need to reapply it. I have this in light and its perfect for my colouring. The packaging is sturdy and quite cute I think. It does have the problem of the wording rubbing off but I find this with alot of my Collection 2000 products. Its not a major issue but I just think it doesn't perhaps look quite as nice with half of the letters rubbed off. I'm perfectly happy with this product also and wont feel the need to go out and purchase any more higher end powders. It does its job and I'm pleased with it and its under a fiver!

I've been after this product for a while and finally decided to splash the cash last month and pick it up. It cost me £19 which is alot for me but I am so impressed with this. I have horrendous huge pores on my cheeks and nose which I think look really unsightly. I have been told that you can't see them but when I'm doing my make up in a morning I can see them and thats the point. I've been trying out so many products that claim to reduce pores but nothing works and I have given up on that now so I was looking for a product to reduce the appearance of them and this is what I came up with. Here is what Clinique say:

Look smooth and virtually flawless with pores that appear more than 50% smaller - instantly. Natural-looking matte finish lasts up to 8 hours. Resists sweat, humidity. In two skin tone shades, or Invisible Bright for subtle brightening. For all skin types.

Finger-dot and blend over pores - alone, over Correcting Serum, or Makeup.

I purchased it in invisible light after chatting to the very lovely sales assistant about which one would be better. I love it, it works, it honestly really really works. I don't know how or why but it does. The pores on my cheeks are nearly invisible and the pores on my nose are dramatically reduced. The good thing is you only need the tiniest amount to do your nose and cheeks so I think this will last me quite some time so £19  to help me feel more confident about my skin I think its money well spent.

Apologies it looks a bit dirty. I used it right before taking the photo. Anyway I purchased this from Superdrug for applying foundation but I found that it wasn't as good as my Real Techniques stippling brush so I was a bit miffed cause I really wanted to love it. However I decided to give it a go with my Collection 2000 powder and I love it, I just dab it in my powder and then onto my face and it looks great. It makes the powder look really natural and not cakey on my face at all which I sometimes find happens on my skin I'm not sure if this is how your supposed to use this product but I don't care. It works for me in this way and I'm so happy I bought it. I've always struggled to apply my powder to make it looks like I'm not wearing powder but this is now a must for me when applying it.

I did a post on this also when I managed to find it in a Superdrug a few weeks ago. You can find the post and swatches here I love this blush and have been using it most days. I love the gold in it and I find it blends nicely and I can build up the colour without looking like a clown like I sometimes do, I'm quite heavy handed when it comes to Blush. I think its a fab product, love the colour and the packaging looks nice too. I'll be picking up some more of the Sleek blushes, I currently have my eye on Flamingo and Pomegranate 

So I hope you enjoyed my July favourites. I already have a couple in mind for my August favourites so we will see if I am still enjoying using them by the end of the month!

Lots of Love

CF x x x