Friday, 30 November 2012

Max Factor Face Finity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 Foundation

I've needed a new foundation for quite some time now. I was wandering around Superdrug about a month ago before uni and I decided to go for this one, despite never having heard of it before, mainly because it assumed that it would be high coverage and the swatch on my hand seemed light enough for me. I never usually buy foundations on a whim but I had £3 worth of Superdrug points and I was really very bored (I hate having big breaks and not much to do). I picked up the shade Light Ivory.

This foundation comes in a pump bottle. I really like these bottles, they aren't as messy as the ones that you have to pour, and it's much more hygienic. You can also control how much product you get out of the pump, which is handy and makes sure that no product is wasted. I've found that one full pump is enough for one application (I prefer fuller coverage).

I apply this foundation with my Sigma F80 brush. It has a matte finish, but it's still a little dewy around my cheekbones, so I wouldn't say that it's fully matte. I really like how this makes my skin look, I usually go for fully matte foundations as I have oily skin, but this one surprised me. It applied very smoothly, and you really don't need to use much, a small amount goes a long way. I haven't found that it feels at all heavy on the skin. The coverage is very good, it hides a lot of my freckles but it doesn't hide them completely, and it hides any red areas that I have. It also has SPF 20, which is always a bonus!

However, although this foundation is advertised as being a foundation, concealer and primer in one, I found that I still required concealer under my eyes as I seem to permanently have dark blueish circles under my eyes. I have oily skin and I will use primer underneath this if I know that I'm going to be out all day.

In terms of wear time I did find that I had to apply powder over this foundation and touch up throughout the day as I did begin to get shiny. I'd say that this lasted around 6-7 hours (without a primer) before I began to get shiny, which isn't too bad!

There's only one big drawback with this foundation for me. It's too dark. This is the lightest shade, and it's a completely different colour to my neck. It doesn't look too dark on the swatch, but on my face it just isn't light enough. I also think that darker skinned ladies will also struggle, as the shade range is pretty lacking.

Overall I really do love the finish this foundation gives; I'm just really disappointed about the colour. I think I will mostly likely purchase a white foundation and mix it to lighten it a little bit.

This foundation costs £11.99 and I can be bought from Boots and Superdrug.

What's your favourite drugstore foundation?

Disclosure: I bought this product myself.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Moroccanoil Light Oil Treatment

I am one of those people who is always moaning about their hair. To say that my hair is pretty much constantly dry is an understatement. My hair is naturally very curly with a lot of volume, so I use hair straighteners every day (sometimes twice) and I also dye my hair about once a month at a minimum, which as you can imagine has left my hair in a bit of a sorry state!

I have been using Argan Oil on my hair for quite some time now, but it's reached a point where I don't think that it's enough to quite sort out the damage. It was a little unsure about which oil to try next, so I went for the light version of Moroccanoil to see if I noticed any change in my hair since the larger bottles were so expensive.

I went for the 25ml bottle. It doesn't have an applicator so you have to pour it straight from the bottle. I'd much prefer it to have a pump or a pipette, but it's understandable since it's such a tiny bottle! The larger ones do have pumps, I believe.

At first I was a little concerned that it wouldn't enough and I would use it up really quickly, but that hasn't been the case! You need the smallest amount to cover your hair. I use less than a pea sized amount to cover my very thick hair. It doesn't seem like much in your hand, but on your hair it almost seems to spread? It also has a really nice sweet scent.

This product suggests that you apply it to dry or damp hair. I usually wash my hair and wait until it is very nearly dry and then apply it. It de-tangles my hair really well, and it was really helped with the overall condition of my hair. My hair is by no means perfect now, but it has been so much better (and softer!) since I started using this. I think I could definitely benefit from using the normal version instead of the light one - I'm going to finish up this bottle first though!

I would also say that this has helped with the overall craziness with my hair. Sometimes I'll wake up and my hair will be huge, but since I've been using this it has been much calmer and it has been much easier to maintain and straighten.

This oil is definitely expensive (for me at least) but you need the tiniest amount so I'm hoping I'll get my money's worth out of it!

This oil costs £12.85 and can be purchased from your local salon or online at Feel Unique.

Disclosure: I bought this product myself.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Urban Decay Smoked Palette

Urban Decay's Smoked Palette was one of those palettes that I'd look at whenever I was in the store but I never bought. At £35, I decided it was a little too far over my price range and I couldn't quite justify it, especially since I already own a Perversion eyeliner and a primer potion. I went to one of those in store Debenhams events last week, which was £5 per ticket (which was redeemable on products) along with 10% off beauty and fragrance. I also had £5 worth of points on my beauty card, so in the end I managed to get this palette for £21! My mum wasn't overly pleased when I bought this though, it turns out it was what she was planning to buy me for Christmas...

Urban Decay Smoked Palette

I actually got very excited when I was opening this. It comes in a black box, with a travel sized primer potion at one end and the palette at the other. The palette itself is zip up (similar to the Midnight Emergency kit) and it's very lightweight. A lot of Urban Decay palettes are a little too extravagant and too fussy for my liking, but this is perfect. It's very compact, and has a space in the middle for the Perversion eyeliner. It would be fantastic for travelling, and it's very sturdy (I wouldn't be worried about this getting smashed on the plane for example). It also has a good sized mirror. 

Another nice feature of this palette is the 'look book' that comes with it. I love things like this, and it's really nice touch. There's 10 looks altogether, all with step by step instructions. I haven't actually had the time to really sit down and play around with some of these, but it's super handy if you're going out and you're at a bit of a loss of what to wear make-up wise. I'm really looking forward to trying some of these out! Just from glancing at it I think 'Rock Star' is my favourite.

This palette contains 10 eyeshadows, three of which are matte. As always with Urban Decay shadows, these are soft, highly pigmented and generally wonderful to apply. I was also pleasantly surprised with the colour payoff with the lighter mattes, which I usually have trouble with. My favourite colours in this palette are probably Mushroom, Rockstar, and Barlust. There isn't a single shadow in this palette which is of a bad quality. However, none of these are full sized.

Urban Decay Smoked Palette
Kinky is there, it blends into my skintone.  They are much more lovely than this shows! My camera hates swatches...

If you have several Urban Decay shadows I'd recommend that you check which ones you have if you're interested in these palette as five of the shades (Mushroom, Rockstar, Blackout, Evidence and Loaded) are part of the permanent range. I don't own many of the individual shades so for me all of these are new, but if you own some of these the value isn't as good.

I reviewed the Perversion eyeliner in full quite some time ago. This is still my favourite eyeliner, and I'm really pleased that I now have a back up. I've had my other one for nearly a year now and I'm not even at the half way mark (I use it nearly everyday). This eyeliner is extremely soft, long-wearing and super pigmented. It's the most intense black that I've seen with an eyeliner. Unless something cheaper and of a similar colour comes on the market I can't see me using another black eyeliner. It's full sized too, which is great value.

For those of you who don't wear dark shadow frequently this palette isn't for you. If, like me, you wear a lot of dark shadow on almost a regular basis you'll love this palette and get a lot of use out of it. In terms of versatility it isn't great due to the amount of dark shadows there are, so if you want something that can create a number of neutral looks too than this is not for you.

Overall I love this palette! I am going to get a lot of use out of it and I really like how compact it is.

This palette costs £35.00 and can be purchased from Debenhams.

Have you bought this palette? What's your favourite Urban Decay palette?

Disclosure: I bought this product myself.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Models Own Nail Art Pens in Black and White

Nail art has always been a skill that has managed to escape me. I can't draw straight lines with a pencil so the likelihood of being able to do it on my nails with polish was very unlikely (if you read this blog regularly you know how messy my nail swatches are) yet when I was in Boots and their 3 for 2 offer was on a few weeks ago, I found myself tempted by these and I decided that with the offer it made it worth a go. While buying them I did get stuck with the 'please call for assistance' message four times on the self service checkout (technology hates me) but that's a different story!

I bought the colours black and white, because I thought I'd get the most use out of them and that they'd be a good starting point. The packaging is really interesting and pretty cool to look at, I was a little sad to throw the boxes away!

These pens have a dotting tool underneath the lid, and the lid also screws off to reveal a striper brush. It's a very small and compact which makes it much easier to use and to store.

Both the dotting tool and the brush are really easy to use. The dotting tool creates very tiny dots and it's great for more precise application. I would recommend using the bottle to wipe off any excess polish before using the brush or you will get a blob of polish in the middle of your design, but aside from that it's also really easy to use. I think it may have benefited from a slightly shorter brush to make it easier to control, but it's not too tricky to use as it is. So far I've used the striping brush more than the dotting tool, it's a lot faster to create flicks than it is to attempt more intricate designs!

Both of these pens are very pigmented and I haven't had any issues with them chipping before the base polish.

So far I'm really enjoying playing around with these! I haven't really had the time to experiment with them as much as I would have liked, but I have been using them to create little flicks here and there. I also used the black one on my Halloween post. I'm hoping that practise makes perfect! I have a very unsteady hand...

These nail art pens cost £6.00 and can be purchased from Boots or the Models Own website.

Have you tried any of these pens? What did you think?

Disclosure: I bought these myself.


Since I loved these pens, I bought my sister the gold and silver ones for Christmas. I tried them out on my nails yesterday after hearing my sister saying that she didn't think they were as good as the black and white ones, and I'm terribly disappointed. The brushes were thick and it was impossible to create a thin line, and the ends of the brushes were uneven and I've had to trim them to create a smooth line. I felt that I had to update this post since I gave these a positive review, and I don't want to feel like I've mislead people. I don't know if this is a problem with just the particular gold and silver pens that I bought or with all of them, but I felt that I should share this experience all the same. I've no issues with the black and white ones, but it's something to bear in mind if you're thinking of buying.

Thank you!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in Hermetic

If you read this blog frequently, then you'll know that Illamasqua are one of my favourite brands. I had tried one of the sheer lipglosses in Mina quite some time ago, and I've found myself looking at the intense ones on the website quite frequently, but I could never quite justify it as I'm more of a lipstick kind of girl and it's very rare that I reach for a gloss. I was very excited a few weeks ago when I was browsing the Debenhams website and discovered that a few of them were on offer for £5.99, including this one in Hermetic, which was the colour I'd always look at on the website.

The packaging for this is the same as Mina. I'm not a huge fan of these tubes; I much prefer a wand because I think it gives you a little more control. I have heard that the packaging for these has been changed and that they now have a brush, I can't comment on this as this has the old style tube.

Hermetic is a beautiful deep burgundy brown with a lot of shimmer. It's actually not the sort of colour I normally go for as I'm more into reds and purples than browns, but I really love this. It's a very unique colour and I don't own anything even close to this.

This is one of the intense lipglosses so it is super pigmented. It becomes opaque very quickly and it isn't sticky (although it is a little bit tacky). It has a very shiny finish and it doesn't feel uncomfortable on the lips, it's rather creamy. However, it does apply on the thick side. A small amount of product goes a long way!

I get around three hours of wear out of this, which is really very impressive for a gloss! I was also pleased to see that it doesn't lose its shine. This is probably the longest lasting lipgloss that I've tried.

This lipgloss is on the more expensive side at £14.00 and can be purchased from the Illamasqua website. However, it is still available on the Debenhams website for £5.99.

Have you tried any of the intense lipglosses? What did you think?

Disclosure: I bought this product myself.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Crème In Your Coffee

Some of you may remember that a few months ago I was off in search of a more natural lipstick that I could wear to university or on days where I didn't feel like a more colourful lipstick was appropriate. I've always felt a little out of my depth when it comes to looking for natural lipsticks. My lips are naturally very light so without lipstick it can make me look really washed out, but some lipsticks can be too pink and nudes don't really tend to suit me either, so I wasn't sure where to start! In the end I narrowed it down to Modesty and Crème In Your Coffee (a big thank you to Sandy for this suggestion!) In the end I decided to go with  Crème In Your Coffee because it seemed a little bit darker than Modesty so I thought it might be a safer option.

This lipstick comes in the standard MAC bullet packaging. I had the usual problem of having to chase it around my room to photograph it (I think my house is on a tilt). While I do like the MAC packaging, I do find it a little annoying to have to pick them all up and check the bottom of them to find the one that I want in the morning.

MAC describes Crème In Your Coffee as a mid-tone pink brown, which I think describes it perfectly. For me it isn't too pink that it looks silly against my pale skin, and it isn't too dark (for me at least) to not be suitable for everyday.

This is one of the cremesheen lipsticks, so it is very creamy and had some sheen to it. I really like the texture of cremesheen lipsticks. They're a little thicker than normal lipsticks, but they don't feel too heavy, and this one doesn't dry out my lips at all. This lipstick takes around three coats to become fully opaque.

The only downside to the cremesheen finish (for me at least) is that they don't last as long as the usual MAC lipsticks. This lasts around three hours on me before it needs to be touched up. 

Overall I'm really pleased with lipstick. I've used a lot of it too, I've been reaching for it nearly everyday for university and I can see me having to buy another one fairly soon. I may also pick up Modesty too, does anybody have this one to compare it with? This lipstick has definitely filled the gap in my collection for a natural lipstick!

This lipstick costs £14.00 and can be purchased from the MAC website.

What's your favourite natural MAC lipstick?

Disclosure: I bought this product myself.

**unrelated note**

This was going to be standalone post, but since it's only going to be about a paragraph long, I decided to add it in onto this post.

Last week I was contacted by Mentorn Media, who are making a show for BBC Learning all about problem skin; how it makes people feel, the effects it can have on people’s lives and the different treatments and options available to help deal with acne.

They are looking for success stories of people that have battled nightmare skin and would like to find out what treatments they have tried. I'm aware that this might be a little uncomfortable for some, but I offered to ask on here if anybody was interested since I've heard a lot of success stories through reading blogs in the past and I definitely encourage people to get involved if you are comfortable to do so.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, then Alex at Mentorn Media would love to hear from you.

You can get in touch with her on or 020 7258 6805

Thank you!
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