Monday, 6 July 2015

Illamasqua Gel Sculpt & Gel Colour for your Cheeks

Illamasqua Gel Sculpt & Gel Colour* (£22) | available from Illamasqua 

Contouring has been quite the buzz word in the beauty world for so so long now! Faking those cheekbones, chiselling and defining the contours of your face with the clever trickery of makeup is a skill favoured by a plethora of celebrities (cough, cough Kim Kardashian) and is something that we have probably all tried to emulate, with varying degrees of success! Sometimes hours and hours of blending out your favourite bronzer just doesn't cut it and you are left feeling powdery and slightly muddy-looking, with a contour line that is anything but subtle and natural.

Illamasqua might have got this contouring business sorted however with the launch of their new Gel Sculpt contouring stick in Silhouette which is described as a sheer sophisticated coffee shade and is a uniquely light, gel-textured product. This innovative new launch is set to revolutionise the way we contour, not only with the gel-like, water resistant formula but also the way Alex Box, creative director, suggests you apply it. Matte, flat and clearly obvious are the big no-nos when it comes to contouring so the Gel Sculpt promises to give you a sculpted look that is natural, light and reflective on the skin. Alex Box suggests you apply the stick onto the fleshly pad of skin at the bottom of your thumb and then rub it between both hands to even distribute the product. Bring the hands to your face and feel for the hollows of your cheekbones using the palm of your thumbs to press and blend the colour along. You can build this up accordingly for a flawless and surprisingly natural finish. The formula makes this product easy to move and blend out and recreates your natural contour shadows perfectly.

In conjunction with their new contouring stick Illamasqua have also released two Gel Colour cheek tints which are highly pigmented and add an instant, convincing flush to your complexion. These two Gel Colours in Fluster (delicate poetic pink) and Charm (fresh wash of apricot) have the same water-resistant and gel-like texture as the Gel Sculpt and mimics a natural flush of colour by allowing the skin to be seen through the colour unlike your average cream or matte blushers. It is the transparency that makes these cheek tints feel incredibly fresh and real and they work really well applied after your contour for a pop of colour. Again you could use the palm of your thumbs trick to apply the product or simply use the tip of your fingers to blend the colour out. When it comes to Summer time makeup it is all about light, fresh products that look natural on the skin and last so these new cheek sticks from Illamasqua are just perfect for the job!
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Sunday, 5 July 2015

St Tropez Gradual Tan in Shower Lotion

Shower and Glow! St Tropez In Shower Gradual Tan* (£14.50) | available from Boots

Well this is novel - who would have thought we would ever be getting excited over a fake tan that can actually be washed on, rather than washed off? Self-tanning is a laborious task to say the least. I love having a subtle bronzed glow but sometimes the whole process from preparing your skin, thoroughly exfoliating, applying the lotion evenly and letting your skin air dry whilst praying you aren't left streaky or patchy, is all just too much like hard work! So wouldn't it be fabulous if you could get a tan whilst in the shower, in between shaving your legs and applying your favourite hair mask?

St Tropez's newest release, in the form of their In Shower Gradual Tan Lotion, has certainly got those fake tan devotees excited and I was very intrigued to give this a go. So how does it work? Well the idea is that you jump in the shower and wash your body before switching off the water and generously applying this foamless-lotion all over your skin in circular motions. Rinse the palms of your hands and then simply...wait, for three minutes. After the three minutes rinse off with warm water only, gently pat yourself dry and wait for the tan to develop. Over the next few hours and days, with some reapplications in the shower, the tan really develops into a gorgeous, soft golden colour and hooray, I was streak-free too! The lotion is enriched with sweet almond oil so it also leaves your skin feeling ridiculously smooth and soft so an ideal product to combine a sun-kissed colour with some ultimate moisturisation.

So this product does have a few flaws, mainly with the way it is applied, but if you can see past those three minutes of standing shivering in your shower then you will love the results. Before jumping in the shower, prepare yourself - have a watch or your phone handy so you can accurately time your three minutes and why not try and make the time go a bit quicker by applying a hair or face mask (or simply dance around) while you wait for the lotion to work its magic. It is currently on offer in Boots I believe so no better time than now to pick one up, shower and glow!
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Friday, 3 July 2015

Benefit the POREfessional: License to Blot

Benefit Cosmetics Instant Oil-Blotting Stick* (£15.50) | available online and on counters now

Due to the beautiful balmy weather we have been experiencing over the past few days, there seems no better time than now to write about a product that could banish all those sweaty, shiny, melting-makeup woes! Surviving the heat wave whilst keeping a pristine face of makeup is a tricky task for many which is why handy little products such as the new POREfessional License to Blot from Benefit might just be your new best friend on your commute home from work!

The successful POREfessional range from Benefit has just welcomed a third superhero product to their already much-loved line of POREfessional face primer and POREfessional Agent Zero Shine powder in the guise of an instant oil-blotting stick. Shine, pores and oil don’t stand a chance now against this mattifying threesome and the latest addition is a great, convenient option to keep the shine at bay when you are on the go! So what exactly is it? Well if you can look past the cute, cartoon packaging so recognisable of Benefit then you will find a triangular shaped, twist up stick that promises to help mattify your skin for up to six hours thanks to some tiny blotting spheres that miraculously absorb excess surface oil. The pyramid shape has been designed to work perfectly in the areas that tend to need blotting the most during the day– the side of your nose, forehead and chin, all without disturbing your makeup.
The colourless stick imparts an invisible balm-like film onto the skin which instants erases any shininess, leaving little residue. The texture is lightweight and the key is to gentle pat and blot the skin with the end of the stick and avoid any rubbing or stroking as this will then disturb your makeup. Understandably you will move your makeup a little when using this product and your stick can be left looking a little grubby afterwards, particularly if you wear a heavier base. But you could always use your fingertips to dab the product on to save your makeup moving around your face or transferring onto the stick. Despite this one flaw it does do the job at eradicating the oily areas instantly and keeps your complexion shine-free for a good few hours afterwards. If you are a bit sceptical at applying this balm over your makeup (I was at first!) then it also works wonders under your makeup, just after your primer, patted straight onto those troublesome areas. It almost doubles up as a pore-refining primer and a mattifying base when used like this as it helps blur pores, minimise oiliness and sets your makeup well. If you like a matte finish but steer clear of tackling your t-zone with powders due to their cakey finish then this would be a great product for you to try – you can blot away without any fear of a powdery complexion!
I think the POREfessional: Licence to Blot will definitely be a love it or hate it product but it does do exactly what it say on the tin stick and is a great, quick fix to have in your stash for those moments when the sun shines and the shine attacks. What do you think of this latest launch from Benefit? 

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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Elizabeth Arden: #My8hours Campaign

Elizabeth Arden is synonymous with skincare, maybe most notably the iconic Eight Hour Cream, which has become a staple product in women's makeup bags all over the world. But there is so much more behind the brand and the legacy of Elizabeth Arden herself: she was a business women, beauty advisor, women's advocate and inspiration everywhere. Building on this legacy the #My8Hours campaign was launched to allow those avid social media followers to have a glimpse into the lives of 8 inspirational 21st women. This movement sets to capture and reveal an insight into the daily doings of a diverse range of women, from a beauty blogger, athlete, makeup artist, comedian and singer to name but a few. Each week from 11th May to 5th July one of the chosen women will share a typical 8 hours in their life on social media, via photos and videos, using the hashtag #My8Hours and you can tune in and find out what the stars eat for breakfast and get up to in their free time on the following social channels: twitter: @ArdenUK, Facebook: ElizabethArdenUK and instagram: @ElizabethArdenUK.

For a bit of fun I thought I would share with you my own 8 hours with you, to give you a little insight into what I get up to on an average Saturday which first begins with a good workout at my local boot camp. By 9am I am up, trainers are on and I am out the house running, jumping, lunging and generally getting my sweat on! Next it is time for breakfast so Rob and I head into town to enjoy some fresh smoothies and brunch at one of our favourite little cafes. In the afternoon we decide to head over to a nearby Antiques centre to have a little mooch around and pick up some fresh flowers on the way to brighten up the flat. After an early morning and a busy day I look forward to a relaxing evening so whilst Rob whips up something tasty in the kitchen I resign myself to the sofa to catch up on some blogging before finally curling up in bed with the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars on Netflix! Bliss!

Remember to check out the Elizabeth Arden hashtag #My8Hours if you fancy getting a peek into the lives of these great women - Laura Jackson (TV presenter and model), Rachel Stevens (singer and model), Jo Pavey (athlete and campaigner), Polly Osmond (makeup artist), Sacha Mascolo-Tarbuck (TONI & GUY creative director), Fleur de Force (beauty blogger), Dr Sam Bunting (renowned dermatologist) and Shazia Mirza (comedian).
*sponsored post
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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Foreo Luna Facial Cleansing Brush

Foreo LUNA Facial Cleansing Brush & Anti-Ageing Device* (£145) | available online

The Foreo Luna. You have probably seen this unique and oddly-shaped device popping up on beauty blogs and in magazines left, right and centre, but what exactly is it? Stemming for the inventive Swedish brand Foreo, the Luna is a silicone facial cleanser with a sonic pulse technology to clean skin and pores in the most hygienic and effective way to date. Facial cleansing gadgets have really saturated the market over the past two or three years but whereas some people swear by them, others can find the synthetic brushes and oscillating motion all a bit too abrasive for their skin. 

This is where the new Foreo Luna really trumps the rest as it is not only exceeding gentle and effective, with its rounded silicone nubs, but boosts a hygiene factor that no Clarisonic could rival as no bacteria is harboured on the device. The silicone gadget can simply be rinsed with warm water and a little soap after each cleansing session rather than having the hassle of replacing your brush head every month or so. And one charge equals over 450 uses. It is easy to increase and decrease vibration speeds and it also has an anti-ageing mode as well to help optimise the benefits of anti-ageing and hydrating creams. Available in pink (sensitive/normal), blue (combination) or white (ultra-sensitive) the Luna is ergonomically designed to fit neatly in your hand and even more neatly into your beauty regime. 

Simply use this morning and night for 1-2 minutes alongside your normal everyday cleanser. Apply your cleanser, wet the Luna and switch it on - moving the pulsating device over your face, spending 15 seconds on each area. At first it feels a bit weird, the sensation all a bit odd but afterwards your skin feels genuinely glowing, cleansed, smoothed and makeup-free. The vibrating silicone nodules almost wiggle the dirt away from your skin whilst giving you a rather lovely facial massage at the same time. It also holds it charge for absolutely ages so is a great option for skincare on the go when you are travelling and trying to pack light - no need to lug all those wires, plugs and adapters with you! If you find the Clarisonic (and other oscillating brushes) all a bit too harsh and ineffective then I definitely recommend giving the Foreo Luna range a whirl - this little silicone system will fit seamlessly into your skincare regime.
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Friday, 19 June 2015

A Revlon Round Up

revlon HD lipstickOver the last few months there has been a lot of newness hitting the beauty aisles from our favourite 'drugstore' brand - Revlon. From a range of new nail polishes to an exciting new foundation, with some pretty impressive lipsticks thrown into the mix, I thought I would give you a quick Revlon round up and let you know what to look out for next time you are 'browsing' in Boots...because let's face it, browsing always leads to purchasing, right?

Firstly we have three new products for the face and a new eyeshadow quad to get those peepers looking pretty. The Revlon ColorStay 16hr Eye Shadow Palette in Surreal (£8.99) is a quad of bendable, silky shades for the eyes that won't crease, fade or smudge. Inspired by the warm earthy tones of the desert interspersed with metallic, bright pops to capture the natural elements, this palette is a lovely mixture of natural shadows - a white highlight shade, a shimmery golden and muted green for all over the lids and a grey-black to define. Also released with the Sahara Escape Collection is a limited edition Revlon Highlighting Palette in Desert Bronze (£9.99) which can be swirled together to kiss the skin with a enhanced, natural glow. The bronze shades are matte and natural so can be used separately to bronze or contour whilst the lighter shade is beautifully shimmery to highlight and illuminate cheekbones and brow.

The new Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Effect Makeup (£12.99) is a new, improved version of the popular, budget-friendly PhotoReady foundation which now contains a fancy pigment technology that provides the skin with a flawless, airbrushed appearance in any light. Oil and fragrance-free, SPF20, soft focus pigments with a medium to full coverage - this foundation feel pretty light on the skin but covers flaws and evens out your skin tone really nicely. The finish is somewhere between satin to matte (you won't need much powdering) and is probably best for normal or slightly oily skin. It provides a luminous, radiant finish without being too shimmery - an issue some people found with the original PhotoReady foundation.

Another new product to join the PhotoReady range is the Revlon PhotoReady Prime & Anti-Shine Balm (£9.99) which is multi-use product for perfected skin. Made with a special clear-on-skin formula, this ultra-lightweight balm glides on easily and seamlessly minimises the look of pores, fine lines and wrinkles to create a smooth, matte look. This convenient compact, perfect for touch ups on the go, can either be worn alone to smooth out skin, under makeup as a primer to create the ultimate base or  over makeup to touch up creases and to eliminate shine.

Next up is the new Revlon line up of Colorstay Gel Envy nail polishes (£6.99) which provide vibrant colour, brilliant gel-like shine and long lasting wear for your nails - everything you would wish for from your gel nail manicure but from the comfort and ease of your own home. I love doing my gel nails every couple of weeks but sometimes, when time is tight, I just don't have to patience to go through all those different stages of painting and curing which is why these polishes are so perfect! The results they give are comparable to salon quality but so much quicker and cheaper! Simply apply two coats of your chosen colour, which combines your base coat and colour to save time, then top off with the diamond top coat for added protection and a glass shine finish. These polishes are available in 30 gorgeous shades and are a whole lot easier to remove than your normal gel nails!

Finally and maybe the most exciting launch for me, the lipstick junkie over here, is their new range of Revlon Ultra HD lipsticks (£7.99) which lace your lips with intense shine and high-definition colour. The wax-free formula has been crafted specifically to deliver you a true colour clarify with one application with a smooth, long-lasting finish. These lipsticks are gorgeous to wear - they feel incredibly light and comfortable on the lips with a dreamy scent of whipped vanilla and creamy mango. I have 2 of the 14 shades available - Poppy (a fun, bright red) and Geranium (a punchy coral-orange).

What new Revlon bits have taken your fancy?
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Too Faced Bronzers

Pick up your perfect bronzer from Too Faced (£21) | available online
Choosing the perfect bronzer for you is a beauty dilemma that many face time and time again. With so, so many different bronzing powders on the market, promising you that sun-kissed glow in one easy sweep, it can be a minefield to navigate and find that one perfect product that suits all your needs. Do I want matte or shimmery? Do I need warm tones or cooler tones for my skin? What if I want a pop of colour too or the ability to contour and highlight as well? With so many questions begging to be answered Too Faced seem to have got this bronzer business sorted with their extensive collection of eight, yes eight, different compacts that will hopefully satisfy everyone whilst encouraging you to build your own bronzer wardrobe, as easy and interchangeable as your favourite outfits.

The Too Faced bronzers cover all bases so whether you want natural, matte, luminous, blushing, light or dark, there is definitely something here for you. The extensive collection is organised into three little ranges; the Bunnies, the Chocolate Soleil and those other special ones such as Pink Leopard and Endless Summer. Let's look at the three Bunny Bronzers first - Sun Bunny, Beach Bunny and Snow Bunny. Aside from their adorable names and sweet, young packaging the Bunny range offers you a great choice of bronzing with added shimmer and colour. Snow Bunny helps to emulate that just-off-the-mountain-top glow for the ultimate winter look without leaving the lodge! It has four shades including white and pale pink shimmer powders to give you an illuminating, soft finish. Sun Bunny is a half and half bronzer with pink undertones to mimic that natural flush you get from being in the sun. Perfect for swirling together or using sperately for a subtle glow and shimmer. Finally we have Beach Bunny which contains four shades ranging from a deep bronzer to a light, golden shimmer. It is illuminating, great for contouring and is ideal for darker skinned girls looking for a warm, deep colour.

The next trio of bronzers fall into the Chocolate Soleil category. They are basic, matte and probably the most easy to use from the entire collection, with one to suit every skin tone. They are made from real cocoa which you can detect in their scent and are smooth and silky to apply - perfect to add colour or to contour. Milk Chocolate Soleil is the lightest shade, great for those fairer ladies, followed by Chocolate Soleil which will give a medium to deep tan to your skin. Finally, the newest addition to their range, is the Dark Chocolate Soleil which offers the ultimate rich, deep matte bronze to sculpt those cheekbones or sweep all over. It has some subtle red undertones to it too which emulate that true outdoor-sy glow.

Finally we have two special additions to the range; the fancy looking Pink Leopard Blushing Bronzer and Endless Summer 16 hour Bronzer. Pink Leopard is described as a blushing bronzer due to its pattern of gilded pinks and natural fawns which brighten the complexion and work best applied onto the apples of your cheeks, rather than all over. The toned-down golden bronze shades give you an illuminating finish and this is super pretty for the Summertime. Endless Summer 16 Hour Bronzer is made with a double bond formula that promises a longer lasting colour on the skin, to take you from beach to beach party! If you love the medium tones of Chocolate Soleil but crave a bit of shimmer then this is the pefect pick for you!

Which bronzer have you got your eye on?
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