Thursday, 24 July 2014

Dr Organic Aloe Vera Wet Wipes

 RRP: £2.89 for 20 wipes

--What does the promo say?--
"A convenient way to remove make up, freshen up and maintain healthy skin. This 2 in 1 cleansing wipe combines the soothing properties of aloe vera in a refreshing wipe."

--Packaging--
The green and white colour scheme is bold and refreshing if unoriginal; it nonetheless also accurately reflects the ingredients used in the product. The sticky-back plastic window, which you peel back from the top of the pack to access the wipes, opens and closes easily and keeps the wipes fresh. In addition, the small pack size (20 wipes) means that this little bundle slips easily into handbags or hand baggage without being at all cumbersome.

--Application--
Wipe over the whole face, either to remove makeup, or to simply cleanse the face. Easy as.

--Appearance--
The white wipes are saturated with invisible cleansing lotion that leaves no visible residue on the skin.

--Scent--
Natural aloe vera smell as promised; nothing chemical, clinical or harsh about this.

--Texture--
The wipes are rough enough to cleanse well and smooth enough to remain gentle; however, I'd say that as holes appear in the wipes while you are using them, they are perhaps of slightly less high quality than others on the market (in this respect I preferred the Australian Bodycare wipes that I tested recently).

--Effects on the skin--
Skin feels cleansed, smoothed, soothed, and refreshed. Perfect for travel, summer, or just those nights when you CBA to wash your face properly.

--Longevity--
While one wipe will remove your makeup without trace and cleanse your face too, the pack still seems to run out rather quickly. Still, with 20 wipes in a pack, it'll happily do you for a long weekend or even a full week's break.

--Value for money--
These are inexpensive, cleanse and remove makeup well, and give you peace of mind thanks to the organic ingredients. Don't expect durability or for a pack to cover your whole summer holiday, though! Nevertheless, once my free pack runs out (thanks, Dr Organic PR!), I would consider repurchasing.

perfect partners
Aloe Vera Deodorant, £5.49
Aloe Vera Gel, £5.39
Aloe Vera Body Wash, £5.39
Aloe Vera Hand Wash, £5.19
Aloe Vera Lip Balm, £3.49
Aloe Vera Soap, £2.99
Aloe Vera Skin Lotion, £6.59
Aloe Vera Body Butter, £9.29
Aloe Vera Shampoo, £5.49
Aloe Vera Conditioner, £5.49
Aloe Vera Eye Gel, £9.29
Aloe Vera Travel Pack, £15

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Laura Mercier Oil Free Primer

RRP: £29

--What does the promo say?--
"Prep your skin for a flawless makeup application and keep oil at bay by using this multi-talented primer. Specially created for oily, sensitive and acne-prone skin types, this lightweight formula primes skin perfectly to help you spread makeup on evenly and effortlessly."

--Packaging--
The sleek, shiny, skin-coloured tube is sophisticated and the screw-top lid is practical too.

--Application--
Apply to clean, moisturised skin prior to other face makeup (concealer, powder, foundation). 

--Appearance--
Looks like a moisturiser thanks to its white, lotion-like look which fades invisibly into skin.

--Scent--
Clean and slightly soap-like without being industrial or overbearing.

--Texture and consistency--
The moisturiser comparison continues into this category thanks to its smoothness. It's non-sticky and absorbs quickly without being claggy or bitty.

--Effects on the skin--
As well as mattifying the skin (meaning your face won't feel like an oil slick this summer...WIN) and helping makeup to stay put, it also seems to moderate blemishes a bit and minimise dry bits too. One of the best primers I've used.

--Value for money--
Even though this is a high-quality, effective product, one tube runs out a little too quickly for my liking. I'd recommend buying this in America or online, just to make sure you get the best possible deal.

perfect partners
Oil Free Supreme Foundation, £34
High Coverage Concealer, £23
Smooth Focus Pressed Setting Powder Shine Control, £26
Flawless Skin Regimen, £85
Foundation Primer Oil-Free Travel Size, £19

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer

 RRP: £5.99
# of available shades: 3

--What does the promo say?--
"Skin tone adapting concealer. Conceal signs of fatigue. Highlight and illuminate eye area. Soft precision brush for the delicate under-eye area."

--Packaging--
A slender tube that really pops out on the shelf thanks to its summery blue and beige (sea and sand!) colour scheme. The application brush is also a helpful addition that mirrors higher-end brands, such as Yves St Laurent.

--Application--
Gently squeeze the tube until the product appears at the end of the application brush. Brush the product onto the skin, and then blend in with the tips of your fingers.

--Appearance--
Simultaneously matte, radiant, and providing excellent coverage. The ivory shade was also perfect for my skin tone (even though I think it's pathetic to only supply three shades). WIN.

--Texture and consistency--
Smooth and blendable. 

--Longevity--
Lasts well even without face powder to finish off.

--Value for money--
The retail price is already extremely reasonable and if you shop around the discount stores it can even be found cheaper. While an availability of three shades is arguably insufficient, if you can find one to suit you it is a great deal, thanks to the product's longevity, blendability, coverage and radiance. Proves that cheap can definitely be cheerful! Would doubtlessly repurchase.

perfect partners
Match Perfection Foundation, £6.99
Match Perfection Bronzer, £5.99
Match Perfection Compact Powder, £7.49
Stay Blushed!, £4.49
Stay Matte Primer, £5.99

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Glo Minerals Bronze

 RRP: £31.50
# of shades available: 2 
available from:  www.glo-minerals.com

--What does the promo say?--
"glo-minerals Bronze provides a golden colour for an even and buildable sun-kissed look.  Dust on lightly to add colour or to contour the face and body. Developed utilizing natural, high-pigment minerals to deliver a range of flattering, fashionable colors that looks good on all skin types. Also formulated with an exclusive blend antioxidants including Vitamins A, C, E and Green Tea Extract to provide nutrients that are vital to maintaining skin’s healthy radiance."

--Packaging--
Sleek, practical, and generously-sized, this provides nearly everything a girl could want this summer. Some might prefer a portable sponge or brush in a compartment below, but this is purely incidental.

--Application--
Sweep over face and neck in place of face powder, or use just on cheeks to replace blusher. Easy to build up gradually according to your skin tone and the look that you want.

--Appearance--
The monotone version of the bronzer (named Sunlight), which I was sent by Glo Minerals' PR, does just what it says on the tin: provides a natural, sunkissed-looking glow to even the palest of girls.

--Texture and consistency--
Light, powdery, and apparently non-comedogenic. As mentioned before, easily buildable.

--Effects on the skin--
Over time, the antioxidant effects would have anti-ageing results. Vitamin A has benefits for blemish-prone skin, and vitamin E's moisturising qualities are well-documented.

--Value for money--
While I perhaps wasn't expecting this to cost £31.50, there's no denying that this is a flattering product that will deliver on radiance and quality. Would recommend.

perfect partners
Pressed Base, £31.50
Blush, £14
Dust 24K, £30.50
Protective Liquid Foundation Matte II, £30.50  

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Australian Bodycare Tea Tree Oil Wet Wipes

RRP: £3.25 for 24 wipes

--What does the promo say?--
"The New Handy Pack Wipes by the Australian Bodycare Spa Range contain 24 wet wipes suitable for use anywhere. Formulated with 1% Tea Tree Oil, which works as a natural antiseptic, these wipes cleanse the skin and removes bacteria from surfaces. Effective and convenient, they're suitable for all the family."

--Packaging--
The white, blue and green colour scheme clearly identifies this product as being part of the Australian Bodycare range, and is also nicely unisex, allowing the product to appeal to a wide range of potential users. The peel-back opening and closing window is convenient, hygienic and practical, and the pack of 24 wipes is not too cumbersome to take in your suitcase, keep in the glove box, or carry in your handbag.

 --Application--
The use of this product is both easy and versatile. Simply sweep across skin to remove makeup, cleanse, or disinfect. Could also be used to clean surfaces or as part of a baby's nappy-changing routine. Their generous surface area means that one wipe should also be enough for one complete use, with room to spare.

--Appearance--
The wipes are white and are pre-soaked with an invisible lotion that leaves no residue. They are also generously sized.

--Scent--
A unisex, natural, clean smell of pine, aloe and tea tree makes this suitable for the vast majority of people and situations.

--Texture and consistency--
The wipes have enough texture to make you feel like you are cleaning effectively, without being irritating or rough. Furthermore, the lotion in which the wipes are soaked is smooth without being too thick or overbearing.

--Effects on the skin--
These cleanse and remove makeup effectively, and their tea tree oil content means that over time conditions such as acne could potentially improve with long-term use.

--Value for money--
£3.25 for 24 wipes comes to about 13p per wipe. While perhaps a little on the expensive side, their overall reasonable price, anti-bacterial qualities and wide range of possible uses make them worth it, in my view.

perfect partners
Australian Bodycare Spa Range Facial Cleansing Gel (250ml) , £10.90
Happy Hands Antibacterial Instant Waterless Hand Gel (50ml), £5.00
Australian Bodycare Spa Range Gentle Toner (250ml), £7.92

Monday, 19 May 2014

Rockface Face & Body Scrub

 RRP: £4.99

--What does the promo say?--
"New Rockface Face & Body Scrub might not be made from rock, but it does in fact contain a substance more durable than rock - a blend of crushed walnut shells and ground rice to produce this unique multitasking scrub - fine enough to exfoliate your face and rough enough to exfoliate your body."

--Packaging--
Easy to open and close even in a wet shower, and the mountain range design is a different look to other men's products.

--Application--
Use is facilitated by the fact that not much product is needed, as well as the fact that a good lather is created in the shower. Just squeeze out a small amount of product onto wet skin and you're away. Rinse after use.

--Appearance--
Translucent green with visible brown particles, with no residue left on the skin after use. Lather is white.

--Scent--
Quite masculine, but a bit cheap. Not displeasing, and slightly menthol-ish, but it's difficult to specifically identify the smell or know where it comes from based on the ingredients.

--Texture and consistency--
Quite a strong, satisfying scrub thanks to the walnut and rice the product contains. It works well on face and body, although people with more sensitive skin may find it too harsh for the face.

--Effect on the skin--
Skin is smooth and strokeable after use thanks to the jojoba as well as the exfoliating elements, with daily use not being required to maintain this effect.

--Value for money--
A fair price for what this is, and you get positive effects on the skin for the price paid. However, this would seem to corroborate the slightly superficial scent of the product, so those who normally use more expensive products may notice a difference in terms of usage experience.

perfect partners
Shave Butter, £4.99
Shave Gel, £4.25
Post-Shave Balm, £4.99
Shower Wash, £3.73
All-Weather Moisturiser, £5.49

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Hauling Your Makeup Hoard on Holiday

Whether your summer plans include hitting the beach, showing up in the hottest clubs in town, or just hoping to impress the buff bloke you saw at the gym, everyone’s hoping to look their best during the summer months. The sun is out, and everyone’s ready to have some fun after a long winter. Of course you don't want to look or feel dull or drab - and everyone knows how important it is to have a choice of colours in order to achieve this. It's natural, then, to want to take your complete makeup collection with you on a break, especially if you're going away for more than two weeks - because even though you’ve never worn that exact shade of pink lipstick, it might actually go perfectly with your new bikini.
But just how are you going to haul all of those essential items by plane, train or car? You could choose a soft, cushioned makeup case. However, while it is cushioned, it has no divided compartments, which means your makeup will probably get jumbled together. You could choose a tie and roll case. Though this option could possibly be easy to throw into your suitcase, it doesn’t allow you to take much along with you. And, if you're like me, you’ve got lots of makeup! You could potentially go with the age-old ‘throw it into a plastic baggy’ route; however, we all know that your favourite products are just very likely to get broken or lost this way.

What you need is not just any makeup case. Those at The LA Shop or The Salon Outlet are ideally designed for long trips. Their train cases are actually fold up boxes with separate compartments for your different makeup items. You have a large section in the bottom for bulky bottles and tubes and smaller trays close to the top for lipsticks, eye shadows and also other small items. Durable and affordable, they're the perfect way to travel in style. Now you're ready :)

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Vera Mona Colour Switch Duo


RRP: £18

--What does the promo say?--
"Often, makeup can become a hassle when you have to switch between lots of different colors. But not anymore! With Colour Switch Duo, any makeup artist can easily switch between colours. The duo is aptly named for two functions:

  • First is the colour removal. Simply stroke the eye-shadow brush with the duo sponge to remove the current colour and quickly start using the next one.
  • The second is application of wet makeup. The duo comes with a special sponge in the centre which can help apply wet makeup for a fantastic and appealing look.

All in all, this product is a blessing for any makeup artist or makeup lover."


--Packaging--
The purple and silver tin is feminine, modern and attractive. Equally, not many beauty products come in tins, so this gives the product a new and different edge. The lid comes off easily when you want it to, but closes securely when you don't. The fact that it's a tin also makes it hard-wearing, so no worries about carting it around in your handbag, as it won't break or split in the same way as plastic packaging.

--Usage--
As mentioned in the promotional materials, this is really easy to use. Rub your eyeshadow brush against the black sponge in order to 'clean' it, so that you can switch between colours. The usage of the central sponge is perhaps less obvious, but the upshot of it is that you can easily soak it so as to apply or retouch makeup on the go, to correct errors or to create a more vibrant makeup look.

--Appearance and texture--
The black outer sponge is coarse and wiry, whereas the white inner sponge for wet-look makeup is finer in texture.

--Efficacy--
I was actually amazed at how cleanly and quickly the old eyeshadow was taken off the brush so that I could change eyeshadow colour. Perfect for doing makeup on the commute!

--Value for money--
Even though refills are available, I don't think you'd need them for the outer sponge, especially as you could easily clean it yourself. Equally, if you leave the tin open so that the central sponge can dry out after use, there'd be no reason to replace this one due to bacterial growth. This is a good thing, as £18 for this product is not cheap (luckily, mine was sent to me for free by one of Vera Mona's main UK stockists, BeautyStore4U). It seems hard-wearing and is definitely useful, but I was still expecting it to cost less. Nevertheless, it would definitely make a handy gift for yourself or others - perfect for the makeup lover who already has everything.



perfect partners
Colour Switch Duo Refill, £5.95
Colour Switch Mini Refills, £4.95 for 6

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Breakdown of Acne Breakouts

Acne is sadly a common problem - not just for teens but also for adults. In this modern world of ours, it's difficult to know what causes it. Hormones? Diet? Pollution? Skincare routines? Something else? My own skin story is here; the latest evolution of this saga has been a visit to a dermatologist, where they've suggested Roaccutane, and I'm considering whether or not to go through with it.

Luckily, this handy infographic from Advanced Dermatology can help to break down symptoms and possible treatments. Maybe it could help some of you - so I've agreed to post it here. Feel free to let me know your experiences and views in the comments!


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Radox Nourish Shower Cream

 RRP: £1.25/250ml
 
--What does the promo say?--
"We've selected and combined natural ingredients with our feel good fragrance to create this nurturing blend. Your Nourish shower cream, with shea butter and ginger, will leave you feeling confident and ready to take on the day."

--Packaging--
The opaque plastic bottle is an ergonomically pleasing shape, meaning it's not only attractive aesthetically but is also less likely to slip out of your hand in the shower. Plus, the flip-top lid is easy to open, closes securely, and doesn't seem to promote leakage. The red plant design is also eye-catching against the shower cream's pale orange colour.

--Application--
Rub into wet skin while under the shower, and then rinse off. Simples, as they say.

--Appearance--
The pale orange cream becomes a luxurious white lather that doesn't leave any visible residue on the skin.

--Scent--
You have to sniff hard for the ginger, but it is there - so great for those that don't like the smell of ginger to be too overpowering. It also tempers the shea butter, meaning that it, too, is not overwhelmingly chocolatey.

--Texture and consistency--
Builds up to a silky lather without being sticky, runny or irritating. 

--Effects on the skin--
Has a softening effect that lasts all day. Not bad for £1.25!

--Value for money--
Excellent. An inexpensive treat. Even though mine was free from Radox's PR, I would definitely recommend this to others and purchase a further bottle for myself.
 
perfect partners
Nourish Liquid Handwash, £1.90/300ml
Nourish Herbal Bath, £1.25/500ml