Thursday, 9 May 2013

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush!

When it comes to foundation, most of the time I want quite a full coverage. I have redness in my cheeks and am very prone to blemishes which can give an uneven skin tone that I hate and am very aware of.
There are some very good drugstore foundations that I really like, but as I have very dry skin I find it doesn't take long for them to go cakey, patchy and flakey. Not a good look!

I've always applied foundation with my fingers, as I've tried the generic flat foundation brushes before and found they just did nothing for me, except leave me with stroke marks on my face (that I had to then blend out with my fingers anyway!) and a brush to clean.

After watching many YouTube videos featuring the Real Techniques brushes by Samantha Chapman (of Pixiwoo, as I'm sure most of you know!) and reading countless blog posts about them, I became interested in the Buffing Brush and the Expert Face Brush and thought this may be a good solution to wanting to use my cheaper foundations but still getting a good coverage and finish.

They appealed to me as they weren't the average flat foundation brushes, and of course their reputation preceded them. Both have been raved about endlessly for their foundation application, and ultimately my choice, as I'm sure you can tell by the title of this post, was the Expert Face Brush. This decision was made pretty much purely because the Buffing Brush is only available as part the Real Techniques Core Collection, which retails at £21.99 from Boots. While this is a great deal for 4 brushes (Detailer Brush - which I looks brilliant for concealer, Pointed Foundation Brush, Buffing Brush, and Contour Brush), I justified buying just the one I really need at the moment. However, I would love to buy the Core Collection at a later date, and as it doesn't include the Expert Face Brush, I won't be left doubling up on brushes for the sake of a couple more.

I have really noticed a difference to my base since using this brush, and other people have even commented on it, which has made me feel a bit happier about my skin!

I like to dot my foundation (currently Rimmel's Wake Me Up Foundation, which despite being Ivory is my Summer foundation for when I'm a bit tanned) on my cheeks, nose, forehead and chin and then buff it out in circular motions, before finally smoothly going over the whole face to make sure it's well blended. The brush also makes it really easy to pop your foundation down your neck quickly and over the ears if necessary to make the whole look more seamless.

I've found I have so much more coverage now, particularly on my cheeks which would in the past make it hard to apply blusher if there was redness coming through. It gives a beautiful flawless finish to my foundation  and makes it last a lot longer when I'm at work etc. It also makes me feel like I'm getting more from my cheaper foundations, and the brush isn't left caked in foundation, which leads me to believe the majority of the product is getting actually on my face instead of stuck on the brush.

I've used the Expert Face Brush everyday since I bought it, and am so glad I did as it's made me a bit more confident with my skin and makeup, which is well worth the £9.99 I paid for it!

Let me know if there's any other Real Techniques brushes I should try!

Thanks for reading! xxx

You can buy the Expert Face Brush here as well as the other Real Techniques brushes!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Models Own Fruit Pastel Collection!

This Spring I have been obsessed with all things pastel. I immediately lust after anything candy coloured I see. It's a slight problem. So when I saw the Models Own Fruit Pastel scented nail polishes in Boots on offer (buy one, get one half price) I couldn't resist!

I was drawn to the shades Apple Pie and Strawberry Tart as I was just running out of my old pale pink and mint green nail polishes, and they're always go-to nail colours for me. I stupidly didn't even notice they were scented until I bought them, so whether that would've changed my decision I simply do not know!

The Scratch 'n' Sniff lids (in the scent of the shade name) were a cute little addition, and it's always nice to add a bit of fun to your make-up.

Strawberry Tart is a gorgeous, baby pink shade. Sometimes baby pinks can be quite neutral and plain, but I really liked this shade as whilst still being a pale pastel pink, the colour really pops nicely when on the nail and stands out.

Apple Tart is the perfect pastel pale green in my opinion. I love minty green nail polishes and have enjoyed a few different brands' interpretations of the shade. I think this has been my favourite as often they can too bright of a green, or a bit too dusky. Apple Tart is the exact colour I think of when I think of a mint green.

The formula does tend to 2-3 coats to get past the streaky looking stage, which doesn't bother me too much as I normally like to build my nail polish up with a few layers. However, when more than one coat has been applied it can take a while to dry (and I'm sooo impatient when waiting for my nails to dry anyway) so be wary.

The formula doesn't have it's scent when in the bottle, so I don't recommend taking the lid off and have a big sniff like I did when I first opened them! The scents are like synthetic sugary versions of what the name suggests, but they do still smell nice. Although I think they could have made the scents a bit stronger. To be honest, it doesn't bother me too much. It's a nice gimmick and an interesting twist, but I don't spend all day sniffing my nails so I'm not really bothered if they don't smell like freshly baked apple pie!

I found that when the nail polish was dried on the nails it became quite brittle and easy to shatter/chip. Whether this was because I put a few coats on, I'm not sure. However, when I used a top coat (I use Collection's 2 in 1 Top Coat and Gloss Enhancer) they lasted much better.

Whilst I'm not sure the formula is worth £5 each normally (especially with the Barry M Nail Paints being cheaper and having a better formula in my opinion), the colour is a real selling point of these and that is what would make me really consider buying more in the future.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your opinion on the Models Own colours and if there's any I should try!


All Models Own Nail Polishes are Buy One, Get One Half Price at Boots!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Soap & Glory - 3 for 2 at Boots!

I popped into Boots the other day on the hunt for Soap & Glory's Original Pink perfume. Sadly it was out of stock. However, I did notice that the Soap & Glory range was all 3 for 2, and as some of their products can be relatively pricey, I thought it would be a good opportunity to pick up a few things and get one free!

I was keen to save some money for when I did track down the perfume, but I did grab a some of the smaller size products...

Hand Food

I was never a big hand cream person. I found a lot of the time they left my hands feeling greasy or smelling like an old lady, and it was certainly never something I'd splash out on.
However, when I started my new job in September I noticed my hands were getting very dry and generally a bit mistreated from moving things around, carrying things up and down stairs etc. I was given Hand Food in my stocking at Christmas, and it instantly became a heavily relied upon product. 

I've used my old one every day I've worked since Christmas and it's only just run out (although I only used a pea-sized amount as I found a little goes a long way). So I thought the 3 for 2 offer would be a good chance to pick up a new one. 

Hand Food does also come in a 250ml pump bottle for £7, which is clearly better value! Even so, I opted for the 50ml handbag friendly sized tube, costing £5 (the behaviour of a crazy person, I am well aware!).

The packaging comes ready with the alluring 'The most astonishing hand cream ever? You decide!' slogan, and it is certainly the best I have tried. Hand Food has the Soap & Glory trademark 'Original Pink' scent, that I've loved in their Clean On Me shower gel and Calm One, Calm All bubble bath in the past (and would have no doubt loved if I could've gotten my well-moisturised hands on the perfume!). This was a big tick in for the product in my eyes as I find a lot of hand creams tend to have very floral or peculiar smells that just don't do it for me. 

The formula contains shea butter, macadamia oil and marshmallow which contribute to it's gorgeous scent, as well as making it incredibly softening. Hand Food feels a little greasy at first but is absorbed very quickly with no residue or greasiness whatsoever, which I find great at work as it means I'm able to touch products without fear of leaving sticky hand prints all over them. 

If I had to find a flaw with Hand Food it would be that that it hasn't had much affect on my nails or helped protect them in any way, however it never claimed to so I can't really fault it for that!

The Righteous Butter

The Righteous Butter is a body butter that I'd never tried before, so I thought the mini size would be a good one to trial. I do tend to get very dry skin, especially after a Winter of heating drying it out. I also tend to take better care of my skin as Summer approaches and I want to start showing off a bit more skin and feeling confident enough to do so. 

You apply the product to damp skin, after getting out the bath or shower, and massage it in well. I've found that you don't need to use an awful lot, perhaps as it's being used on damp skin it helps it spread further. The formula is also quite rich, so it may be too much for some people. I, however, loved it. It sinks into the skin well, so you aren't left unable to get dressed for ages afterwards like you can be with some body lotions or butters. It also has the same scent as Hand Food (the Original Pink scent) so you're left smelling great too!

As with many of the Soap & Glory body and skin products, it also contains shea butter and aloe vera, making it very soothing to the skin, which I loved as my skin can get quite sore and irritated. 

The mini size costs £2.50 for 50ml. The big pump bottle is £10 for 500ml which again is much better value, but I thought I'd see how I got on with it first. Unlike Hand Food (purely because it's more convenient for my to have hand cream travel sized), I would definitely buy the large size of The Righteous Butter. 

Clean, Girls Body Wash

The Clean, Girls body wash was another product I was keen to try out and therefore bought a miniature of. I'd owned the large Clean On Me shower gel before and really loved it, but as I currently have a Lush shower gel on the go I thought I'd try a small version of something new for when I need to purchase a new one. 

I was drawn to Clean, Girls as the scent is described as 'natural vanilla, fruit and orchid extracts' and I am a sucker for anything vanilla scented! The body wash does smell really nice, however I do think I'm more of a fan of the classic Soap & Glory scent (Clean, Girls has the Mist You Madly fragrance that they have available in body sprays). The formula was lovely and creamy, and claims to have a 'built-in moisturisng matrix'. I can't say I personally noticed it softening my skin much but, as I have said, I do have dry skin and rarely do I find a shower gel that would have any noticeable impact on this. 

I don't think I'd purchase the full sized product, however at £6 for 500ml I do think it's great value if you are a fan of the Mist You Madly scent, or just in the market for any Soap & Glory shower gels/body wash.

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know your thoughts and your favourite Soap & Glory products!


Find all Soap & Glory products 3 for 2 here from Boots!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

My First MAC Product! - Saint Germain Amplified Crème Lipstick!

I've been gone a while, but what better reason to hit the blog again than MY VERY FIRST MAC PRODUCT. I know this is not very exciting for many people, but I've never really had the money to find many of the MAC products justifiable for me to buy, and while I absolutely love make-up and beauty, 95% of the time I would rather spend that kind of money on clothes (or shoes... or handbags... you get the idea!).

My best friend, knowing I'd been wanting to venture into the world of MAC for a while, took my MAC virginity for Christmas. As it was a gift, she made the wise choice of avoiding any face products that could be horrendously wrong, and opted for a lipstick. Saint Germain Amplified Crème Lipstick to be precise.

She knows I love bright lip colours, and this certainly ticks the box. The shade is a gorgeous bright Barbie pink and I loved it straight away. Some may find it hard to wear or feel confident with, and while I wouldn't plaster it on, a light coat is gorgeous. It can be easily sheered down to a faint hint of colour, or layered up for a real pop. I actually think that baby pink tones can look fantastic if worn right, and as Spring approaches it's a really nice alternative to reds and more plummy lipsticks that I favour in Autumn/Winter.

I find the texture nice and creamy (obvious I know, what with it being an Amplified Crème), but with a couple of layers it can easily look a bit cakey and highlight any dry skin on your lips.

Would I spend the £14 on it myself? Probably not. If I was going to purchase a lipstick from MAC myself then it would probably be a bit more of a wearable, versatile shade. But I do like the colour a lot and I know I will get a lot more wear out of it come Spring/Summer.

Sorry for the long absence! Thanks for reading!


You can find MAC lipsticks here!