21 February 2013

Elemis Freshskin Peachy Perfect Gentle Face Wash

Although face washes seem to be a standard thing, I've struggled finding one that I like. Not only do I need it to clean my face (granted I do remove make-up before face wash), I need it to not contribute to my oily t-zone and to reduce my under-the-skin acne - my main prerequisites for a working face wash (and it's surprising how many don't make a difference!) Beyond those three, it'd be nice if it could help brighten some existing acne scarring, minimise my pores, oh, and be paraben/SLS free. Surprisingly, such a thing seems to exist for me, and that's the Elemis Freshskin Peachy Perfect Gentle Face Wash.

In terms of consistency, it's your bog basic gel face wash that lathers quite nicely, and the packaging is sturdy and what have you - it's all quite standard. However, what is beyond standard is the ingredients and the effects.

The ingredients are impressive - no parabens, SLS, SLES, DEA, mineral oils, artificial colours nor silicones. As with most of the nasties-free products I rave about, you could not tell the difference in the ease of use, but you will have the ease of mind :)

The effects are stunning. The Freshkin range is generally for teenagers to those in their 20's and as I do very much still have normal/combination skin and hormonal acne, this range seems to be perfect for me. Since using this face wash, my acne has significantly reduced in number and frequency (especially those pesky hormonal, under-the-skin ones), and my pores are much less noticeable. I also find that after using this, my skin is much brighter, spots are less red and my acne scarring are lighter and heals much faster.

The thing that I also liked about this face wash is that it doesn't leave your skin tight and it hasn't affected the amount of oil that my skin produces. It's neither oilier nor drier, so I think it's worth a go for anyone. I personally find it much easier to use other methods than face washes to control oil/hydration.

So there you have it - a winner in my books. Although compared to the Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser, this is much less hardcore, it's also less than half the price and doesn't include a lot of the nasties Murad uses. It's a tough call as effects are important but this is a perfect alternative if you are short on dosh, don't want the nasties or don't have as severe a problem with acne as other people.

I always use this in the morning as it's refreshing but at night I use something slightly heavy duty and more moisturising, and having used it for almost 2 months I can say that it does keep up its initial performances and it's not too badly priced at £12. Although I did have high hopes for a gorgeous peachy smell, unfortunately this has a much more subtle, herbally sweet scent - which I can't say I absolutely adore but I'll deal with, as the effects are so worth it :)

Have you tried the Elemis Freshskin range?
What's your favourite face wash?

* Received for consideration
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13 February 2013

Today's Make-Up Bag: School

In the centuries that I've been attending schools, I've hardly ever carried make-up bags but this year seems to be different - and I couldn't really tell you why. Perhaps it's the fact that I'm there for longer, or that I often go places afterwards. Either way, my make-up bag is less like the all-rounder collection of "things to complete your face", and more like the "things that wear off during the day". That being said, there's embarassingly loads in there.. 

The Perfumes..
No, I do not carry all three - but I do alternate! First up is the Elie Saab EDT, which is so fresh and girly but not too sweet - this is a must-carry because it doesn't last too long but it's just too pretty not to have! The Limited Edition Alien by Thierry Mugler, is like their Alien but with a dash of caramel. Quite sweet and heavy, but incredibly long-lasting - so great for the long, cold days! Lastly is my old favourite, Paco Rabanne Lady Million - the perfect mix of sweet, fresh, classy and edgy, it's my absolute love! (A full review here)

Hmm.. quite an unusually large amount of lip products for one bag? I concur. But seriously, lip product is the one thing I don't apply at my vanity because it's something I top up throughout the day and I don't want to leave in my vanity - all my favourites of the moment live in this bag. At the moment, these are..

Dior Addict in Miss Dior -  a very peachy balm-like tint.
Bobbi Brown Bikini Pink - bright pink for the warmer days.
MAC Faerie Glen - my everyday winter nude.
Revlon Cherry Blossom - for my brave, red-lip days.
Chanel Levres Scintillantes in Coral Love - a corally tint and conditioning gloss/balm.
Clarins Instant Lip Perfector in Apricot - a slightly nude-ing (a word?) conditioning lip gloss/balm.
Avon Naughty & Nude* - a great my lips but better/peachier.

Top Row: Avon, Dior, Bobbi Brown, MAC, Revlon
Bottom Row: Chanel, Clarins

The Other Bits & Bobs..

Hand cream. I love hand cream. My favourite recently has been the L'Occitane Amande* hand cream which is quite possibly my favourite so far - it's light, has long term effects and it absorbs quickly.

The Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer is a bit of an all-rounder - I use it for topping up undereyes, blemishes and when the foundation on my nose rubs off because I've been sneezing like a crazy person..

Rescue Remedy Spray - I mention this for people who suffer anxiety from claustrophobia or stress, this, in my opinion, is a godsend.

The brush I keep in my bag is the MAC 181SE, because it's great for buffing on powder foundations for when you need to redo a lot of your face, but also for just dusting and patting on powder to set concealer or take away shine.

My powder of choice has been The Body Shop Pressed Face Powder in 06. It has great coverage and a natural matte finish which, in combination with the kabuki brush, makes it a great powder to use both as a foundation and a setting powder. It also has a great big mirror! (Although I insist on carrying my silver heart mirror in the corner there for sentimental reasons :))

Am I a bit OTT? Probably.

What do you have in your make-up bag?
As usual if you're curious about my make-up bag pictured there, I have a full review here :)


Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram: @MakeYuUp

*These products were received for consideration.
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6 February 2013

L'Oreal Nude Magique CC Cream Anti-Redness (Before & After Shots)

It's no secret by now that I am a bit of a base fiend, and anything that claims to give you a perfect complexion - I want to have a go. My newest venture recently has been from L'Oreal's Spring/Summer 2013 collection which I had the pleasure of viewing at Maison de L'Oreal a few days ago, and it's the..

L'Oreal Nude Magique CC Cream for Anti-Redness

A few things to admit to first - I haven't been keeping up with this new CC cream idea so I'm not sure if  L'Oreal's idea of a CC cream is in keeping with the buzz that's been going on about the new kid on the block. Second thing to admit - as much as I'm in love with the Nude Magique idea L'Oreal has created, I haven't actually tried anything from the line! However, as the idea is so perfect (who doesn't want a lit up glowy face, right?), I'm glad they're keeping it going.

Anyway, this anti-redness base is one of three - anti-dullness and anti-fatigue. I naturally reached for this one because as you may know, I have quite a few acne scarring and acnes that are ultimately the reason for my obsession with skincare and foundations. My experience thus far with green products that claim to counteract redness has been, quite frankly, failure. Everything was either not pigmented, or very chalky and white. So I was very, very surprised when this product churned out results that looked something like this..

Left: Bare skin (eep!) Right: One layer of L'Oreal CC Cream

I was blown away. I think my complexion looks glowy, most of my minor scarring has disappeared or at least has minimised and most of all, it looks like I have nothing on. On its own, I think people with already okay skin can get away with it and I would be happy to wear this out on a casual day. I apply it with my fingers, which is simple and quick! I have applied this under my foundation as well, and by the time it's on (which is low coverage and dewy so one that I've usually saved for good skin days), there is literally, no need for a concealer and my foundation doesn't look any heavier or dewier than it usually does.

Overall, I am super impressed with this because it seems to correct my redness, add warmth to my face, add a level of glow without disrupting the oil-controlling properties my skincare induces and without having any effect on the original properties of the foundation I'm wearing on top.

A bit more about the formula, as you can see, is quite runny. But as I said, while it does give a glowy finish it's by no means very dewy nor matte, drying nor too oily. I'd probably say this is a safe bet for any skin type.

The only concern I have with this product is the capsules - you may be able to see them above. This is a similar kind of thing as the Origins Vitazing and The Body Shop BB Cream. They have tiny little capsules that erupt on pressure and inside are skin-toned pigments that I suppose dilutes the green and prevents the chalkiness and adds a bit more coverage.

For me, this is great - the shade is perfect and it's the right amount of warmth and it works. At first I thought it was slightly deceptive because I went in with the impression that it wasn't a foundation but just a correcting fluid, but I did notice afterwards that the packaging says it transforms into foundation and let's face it, it works so I need to just zip it and love it.

However, a common complaint of the Vitazing is that it's too orange or too dark, and I think this is the only problem with this product. Unlike The Body Shop which has 3 shades, L'Oreal has opted for one shade for inside the capsule which I think may be slightly too dark or orange for the palest. I think for anyone darker than me, that the warmth will always be a pretty glow and a great addition to boost the radiance. That being said, if you are planning on layer foundation, it may not matter so much. You can see how the capsules erupt below..

But as I always do, I assess products on how they work on me, and frankly, this is a fantastic product for me. Perhaps the reason why so many green products turn chalky is because they're missing this 'mixing' element - i.e, mixing with a skintoned product so that the green pigments do their job only when they are placed above red areas.

Whatever the capsule-logic, the green one works on me and is absolutely fantastic. I'm also super impressed that they managed to make it so that it's neither drying nor incredibly oily. Because of this, I can see myself recommending this to many, many people (including males and people who usually don't like make-up!) who struggle with redness or acne scarring. It's easy, quick, effective and affordable - I couldn't rave about it enough!

As for the other 2, because I don't suffer from fatigued or dull skin as much, I didn't see as big of an effect, but I did find the orange one very good for acne scarring that's turned a bit blue/purple or for under the eyes. The purple one didn't do much for me but I assume it's because I didn't really need it!

The L'Oreal Nude Magique CC Cream for Anti-Redness will be sold at RRP £9.99, and this and other SS '13 products will be out between mid-February and March depending on when stocks arrive in your local Boots/Superdrug.

What is your experience with color correcting products?
What's your concern - redness, dullness or fatigue?


*Received for consideration.
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4 February 2013

Another Way to Use the White Liner..

Glow, glow, glow.. you must be sick of hearing me use that g-word all the time, but truthfully, I love anything that makes me glow! Until now, that function has been left to the face products - the foundation, primer, bronzer, blusher and highlighters, bar the Estee Lauder French Vanilla. But recently, I've found an eye product and a technique that adds another level of - wait for it.. glow, to your face!

And that is, the white eyeliner. Not on the waterline as many people suggest, but on the bottom inner corner as I have above. It's super subtle but makes worlds of difference. A lot of people don't like using white eyeliner because it can come across quite stark, but using it this way I find it much more natural and more effective. I tend to blur it out with my finger if I find it too stark anyway, and because of my folded eyelid, I don't apply it all around the tear duct - but I suppose you could if you wanted to! I'm not quite sure why, but this seems to instantly open up my eyes and brighten the area around the eye. 

The pencil I've been using is the Rimmel Soft Kohl pencil in white. Cheap as chips, and granted it doesn't last ages on the skin, it's easy to buy 2 and take around with you if you are touch-up inclined.

There's really not much more to say other than that I've found this trick and I wanted to share it with you in case it makes a massive difference to you too! Short and sweet, I highly recommend a go - I haven't skipped this step in months now, it just makes me look much more awake than I really am most mornings! ;)

Have you used a white eyeliner before?
What do you use to give that glowing/brightening effect?


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1 February 2013

January Favourites 2013

Has it really been a month since New Year's?! Mental.
Fortunately January has been kind to my beauty needs and while I have been stupidly busy, I've discovered some truly amazing products that I have been using non-stop this month! I suppose the most exciting thing is that most of the things I mention today I've never or hardly mentioned on the blog, so I hope you find this helpful and informative! :)

And yes, I forgot to do my monthly fails, YET AGAIN. I honestly haven't had anything I've absolutely loathed this month.. even better!

What are your faves this month?
Have you tried any of the products I've mentioned?


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