Tuesday 21 January 2014

#2014BloggerChallenge Winter Skincare

The second topic for the #2014BloggerChallenge is on Winter Skincare so I'm going to talk about some products that I've been using throughout the colder months. When it comes to skincare I'm not that knowledgeable and find products through trial and error but am fairly happy with most of what I'm currently using; I wish I was the type of person to invest in luxurious products but really am not and so instead take to the aisles of Boots and Superdrug. I think I'm actually publishing this a day late, time management definitely is not my thing. Thank heavens I didn't make any New Year's resolutions, particularly any related to organisation, because I would be out of the game already.

The Vitamin E cream I've been using both in the morning and at night as it's quite a thick moisturiser but sinks in really quickly meaning I don't have to spend a lifetime waiting to put my makeup on. I've nearly finished this which is a miracle as I hardly ever use something up completely and can see myself repurchasing it. The Nivea cream is very rich and so I don't use it very often but more for times when I feel like my skin is more dry than usual or if I've been ill and my skin is looking a bit battered. It's quite a greasy formula and so would probably be good for people who suffer with quite a bit of dryness but for me it's too much and would probably end up in me being an oily mess if I used it every single night.

Lacura Face Treatment Oil

This facial oil is actually from Aldi and is a product my mum picked up but I have claimed as my own *hawhaw*. I like to pour a few drops of this onto my hand and then mix it with some of the Vitamin E moisturiser and feel it gives my skin more moisture and makes me skin feel a lot softer. Again, I don't use the oil every day but about twice a week.

Nip and Fab Eye Cream

I la-la-laaaave this Nivea Lip Butter and much prefer it to the Vaseline tins as it feels so much more moisturising on my lips, check out the lovely dent I've made in it haha. The eye cream I actually got from a Nip and Fab set that I found in a charity shop (it was all sealed, fear not) and it seems to do the job but I want to research different eye creams and find one that I really like but is affordable, I don't ask for much do I?

This is a bit of a boring one but my hands tend to get really cracked (shudder) during the Winter but this hand cream really does heal them. It's a concentrated formula so you only need a tiny amount and even though it smells and feels horrible it does the job really well and so is an essential for me.

Lastly is this facial scrub from St Ives and I'm 99.9% sure everyone would have owned one of these little guys at one point in their life. I use this scrub every time I wash my hair, so about two or three times a week.

So these are the main products that came to my mind when I think of Winter skincare and I've excluded my normal, everyday products such as cleansers and toners as these don't change regardless of the Season! You may have been able to tell from the short sentences that I really wasn't sure what to write about each product apart from the obvious but hopefully you may have seen something you'd like to give a go!

By the time I've got to this point of the post it's 3 minutes until midnight technically making my post two days, WHY DOES TIME HAVE TO PROGRESS SO RAPIDLY?!

Saturday 18 January 2014

Review: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum

I bring yet another review of a truly hyped-up foundation that I feel every girl in the world has tried, a conclusion I have reached from that survey that I did not do. Hint: not everyone owns it. The Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum costs £10.99 so is on the more expensive side of high street brands, it's worth saying that there is also a Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation that is different to the serum but is kind of similar in packaging so don't just pick one of these up in a rush as you might get the wrong one. I spent some time googling reviews on both the serum and foundation to work out which one I would prefer (if only I put this much time and effort into proper real life situations) and chose the serum, partly down to the fact a lot of YouTubers and Bloggers love it.

Some of the claims made about the product is that it gives the skin 'an even complexion and an instant anti-fatigue result', has a 'fresh and instant blending gel texture' so sits on the skin with an even, natural finish while 'imperfections are erased' and the 'skin's radiance is boosted for up to 16 hours'.

I bought my foundation in the shade 52 Vanilla, which, in Superdrug, looked a really good match for me but since owning it I wish I went for 51 as it is slightly too dark for me and I have to blend it down my neck. Damn you bright shop lighting. The good thing about this shade however is that it's very yellow-based so suits my skintone well. I love the fresh, fruity sort of smell this foundation has and also love how the bottle is really lightweight and slim.

I really like the formula of this foundation, it's really quite runny and feels so light on the skin that you don't even notice you're wearing foundation. I've been using this foundation for days where I'm not doing anything special so just for college or pottering around somewhere and find it gives my skin the boost it needs to look better without caking it in makeup. I personally would say that this gives a dewy finish on my skin which is different to Bourjois' claim of giving a 'semi-matt finish'. I absolutely love the finish and prefer the dewy look for a daily basis but it is a little misleading if you are wanting something that isn't completely matte but still quite toned down. I always thought this foundation would feel a bit sticky as it's marketed as a serum and moisturising serums I've seen in the past seem to have the gloopy (English vocabulary at it's best) sort of look but I can't notice any difference between this and a normal liquid foundation.

I think a lot of people tend to think that this foundation will be good for dryer skin as it feels quite moisturising, however, when I first started using this foundation I had a dry patch on my cheek and this foundation really highlighted it so perhaps it wouldn't be the best option if you do suffer from dryness. Another slight downfall is that my nose can get quite oily, nothing crazy but oily nonetheless, but when wearing this foundation, even when set with powder, my nose becomes Shine City Central. Like honestly there's dewy and then there's this whole other level which just does not look attractive.

This foundation does tone down any redness I have but I would still go in with concealer if I had any really bad areas and so doesn't exactly give a flawless finish to the skin. If you're a fan of full coverage, matte foundations then this definitely wouldn't be for you but if you are a fan of letting your skin show through and are looking for something that offers more coverage than a BB/CC -and whatever the heck else the market will come up with- cream then I would recommend this providing you don't have overly dry or overly oily skin.

Even though this review seems quite negative it actually works really well for me as I have quite Normal/Combination skin and so the majority of the time it just glides onto my skin and gives a really natural finish and gives me no problems that can't be solved with some powder throughout the day. I'm not sure this foundation lasts 16 hours as it claims but if I wanted my makeup to last for a full day I wouldn't opt for this anyway.

Does anyone else have the urge to just eat this? I think it's the fact the shade I have looks like cake mixture and the way it's called 'healthy mix' doesn't help the craving. Have you tried this foundation or any other Bourjois foundation?

Monday 6 January 2014

Review: Revlon ColorStay Foundation

I jumped on the Revlon ColorStay train and have no plans of departing any time soon. I bought this fella I'd say more than a week ago, less than two weeks ago (WHO CARES FOR FINITE DETAIL) as I had a £2 off Revlon makeup voucher and had been interested in the foundation for a while. If you follow my twitter you may have seen my tweet regarding the lady who served me when I bought this, basically I forgot I had the voucher until the transaction was over and then asked if I could use so she had to return it and start again. I feared for my life as she wasn't the most friendly of people and we stood there in silence while she angrily tapped at the till. I'm too weak for this battle we call life.

The ColorStay foundation claims to wear for up to 24 hours and have a lightweight feel as well having an SPF 15 (big up big up). I chose the shade 150 Buff from the Combination/Oily Skin range as opposed to the Normal/Dry choice. I had been wanting a foundation with a heavier coverage as I felt that it would help the rest of my makeup sit better and look more polished but was a bit wary as I hate the feeling heavier foundations tend to have. I can say however that this foundation actually does feel really lightweight but I have read some other bloggers say this has a sticky, heavy feeling but I apply quite a small amount so this may be the difference.

A common complaint about this foundation is that it doesn't have a pump, in all honesty this doesn't bother me as the formula is fairly thick and takes a while to 'pour' out so even if you have a delayed reaction speed it's not going to coat everything nearby. I like to pour some onto my hand and then use my finger to dot it on one section of my face and then use my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to apply it. I find using my finger initially is the easiest way to judge how much you need because I've found my skin can actually look worse if I wear too much of this foundation; if I have under the skin bumps then this foundation will emphasise them. LESS IS BEST GUYS.

I have to admit that I've slept in this foundation twice (I am only human) and, after waking up, my mum said how it looked like I still had a full face of makeup on. This is pretty amazing considering one of the times I applied it at 5pm, went clubbing, got a taxi home at around 5am, walked for about 10 minutes in the rain and then woke up at 9:30 for my face to still look in tact. Granted I did use a primer and set it with powder but still, that is crazy. I honestly do not know who would wear foundation for 24 hours though so the claim is pretty ridiculous and one that I'm not planning on testing.

The shade is a perfect match for me and does not oxidise at all throughout the day which is something I have found with a few other foundations. The finish isn't dewy but it also isn't matte, I'm not sure how I would describe it but I really like it. That was probably the most unhelpful statement of the century if you're looking to buy this foundation, sorry.

At £12.49 this foundation is at the more expensive end of 'drugstore' foundations but I do think it's worth it considering how long it lasts on the skin. It's quite difficult to remove and so I use a micellar water followed by cleanser and toner to make sure it's all removed properly. I won't be wearing this on days where I have college as the poor girl I'm working with will have to waste time removing it and so will instead wear my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, a post on that will be coming soon.

Overall I am really impressed with this foundation and feel I've found what I'm looking for in terms of giving my face a really even base for blusher/bronzer and all that jazz. Have you tried this foundation before? If not what foundation do you use?

Saturday 4 January 2014

Dresses for Short Girls...Again

This post is following on from yesterday's and, as mentioned before, I will be talking about 3 dresses I own that are more basic than the ones I showed yesterday and are a good length on me (I feel like I'm just repeating myself).

The first dress is this marl grey skater style t-shirt dress with lurex sleeves that I bought from New Look quite some time ago but from one of the sections where they have clothes from other brands, this one being Blue Vanilla. It was around the £10 mark and is so easy to wear with so many things. I know New Look themselves do dresses similar to this t-shirt skater style that look to be the same length but in a variety of different colours and patterns.

I got this (again) from the teen section of New Look a few weeks ago from their Christmas sale and bought it for £5 instead of £14.99!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!one!!!!!! I really love how it's loose fitting and think it looks quite festive (okay been and gone now, whatever) but can be worn throughout the rest of the colder months with cropped jumpers and woolly tights. I think this may have sold out online now but always check the New Look sale sections as they do tend to have crazily good reductions.

This dress is quite possibly the definition of basic...BUT I DARN WELL LOVE IT! In the picture it does look a little toooooo short but when worn it isn't and because it's stretchy you can readjust it. I would never wear this dress by itself just because it is tight fitting and has a scooped back which I really don't think does any favours for me but I really love it for layering with other items. Let's hope I never get overly hot/faint in public as I probably would refuse to remove my jacket/cardigan/jumper even in my deranged state making my mishap a lot more dramatic than necessary. Usually I would walk straight past items like these in Primark but next time you pass make sure you have a look as it is so versatile and you will probably wear it for many days straight, like I may or may not have done myself.

Sorry there were no links to any of these items, I did not think this post through in terms of what would be sold out/not available anymore. When it comes to finding dresses that fit properly I do think it is a case of trial and error, for example I've now found out that anything that is quite smocky just definitely won't look good on me no matter how I accessorize because it ends up drowning me (drowning in the sense of appearance and not like I have nearly done so on many occasions on holiday, thank you bad vision leading to blindness in the pool, that is).

Friday 3 January 2014

Dresses for Short Girls

This post is quite different to what I usually blog about but am hoping it helps a few people out who have the same sort of problem as me. I'm a naturally small person and pretty much do not have the body of a person who is 20 this year (say whaaaaaaat?). I'm 5ft and this used to frustrate me so much as I could very rarely find dresses from shops like New Look, H&M and Primark to suit me as the proportions just seemed really wrong for my body. I'd hate that it seemed like all other girls would be wearing fashionable dresses and I'd just be like waaaah grooooow. Up until a few years ago shops like Debenhams and Marks and Spencer seemed to be the only shops that offered Petite collections but had things like suit jackets and 'classic' pieces...can you imagine me rocking that? No, just to clarify. Now though more 'young' shops have petite collections meaning there is more choice but I thought I'd show some dresses I've found that sit nicely on me and are a really good length i.e. not nun-like. I know that Topshop and Miss Selfridge clothes generally come up pretty short but I don't tend to shop in these places just because I can't justify the prices and would probably have a coronary at the till.

All of these dresses I wear either dressed up or down which I think is really important as it gives you a lot more choice when wearing them. Earlier in the year I would pretty much only wear leggings but towards the end of last year I wore a lot of dresses and skirts for casual things like shopping or going round someone's house and I feel like this is going to the way for a loooooong time.

Today I'm going to show 3 patterned dresses I've recently bought and then tomorrow's post will be on 3 dresses that are more basic.

Tartan is really on trend at the moment and I purchased this from the teen section of New Look, I often buy clothes from children sections of shops as often they are just mini versions of what the adult section offers but for a cheaper price. I used to panic if people would realise it was a child's piece of clothing but now I don't really care ("yolo" she whispers), apart from that time I was wearing a child's jacket from Primark and I honestly saw like a 7 year old wearing it at the same time as me. I think she caught on but I vanished into the busy shopping centre crowd *brushes shoulders off*. I can no longer find this online but it may still be in stores and I assume all the other skate style dresses will be the same fit!

This again is from the teen section of New Look and I absolutely love it! I wore it to a New Year's Eve party I went to and am going to be wearing it casually with my denim jackets or a cardigan as well. Admittedly it looks really, really damn weird in the picture above but once it's actually on it doesn't look strange and has a nice, quite fitted shape.

I actually bought this dress yesterday after seeing it and falling in love. Initially I wasn't going to buy it as I thought it looked way too long but I was really surprised when trying it on that it came to just above my knee. I love the sort of turtle neck style it has but the pattern actually kills my eyes and makes me feel sick but I won't be the one looking at it when wearing it HAWHAW. I can't find this online either but it definitely is in store, I can never seem to work the H&M website properly though when looking for anything?!

I hope this has given people some ideas if you struggle with the length of dresses and I'm sorry for the photos, I can't even look at them they look awful! It's the only way I can think of displaying them though without actually having to be in the picture haha! Does anyone have any idea of how I can take pictures of clothes? Help a fella in need please.

Thursday 2 January 2014

#2014BloggerChallenge New Year's Inspiration

Now 2014 is he-yeeeer the #2014BloggerChallenge is starting with the first topic being New Year's Inspiration. Gaby has asked for us to post a quote or picture that inspires us and that other bloggers might also find inspiring. I am being a rebel and posting two picture quotes (arrest me) that may not be considered inspiring but are just little things to keep in mind throughout your day. I've also linked the pictures to where I originally found them on Pinterest in case you want to knooooooooow.

I genuinely think it's really important to be a nice person no matter how you're feeling or what type of day you've had because you never know how you will effect others. I'm not that sensitive when it comes to things to do about myself but am the type of person who feels really bad for other people and so always try to avoid doing anything that would upset anyone.

Whenever I feel like I'm having a rubbish day, usually, by the next day I'm really happy for no reason at all  even though nothing has actually changed. I think it's important for people to just let things happen sometimes as life does seem to work itself out eventually even when you feel like it won't.

No-one ever let me be a counsellor, I am too awkward when it comes to this sort of stuff. Plot twist: while studying Psychology at A Level I very, very, very briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a therapist. Aren't you guys glad I didn't pursue that?

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Elf Healthy Glow Bronzing Powders: Luminance and Sun Kissed

I write this with mind-blowingly painful pins and needles in my left leg thanks to my motionless sitting down. I hope everyone's had a good start to 2014, mine began at a friend's house, progressed to walking home and nearly freezing to death, waking up very late in the day, eating chocolate stars, getting a headache and then now this. Obviously there was more but none of which is all that interesting, not that any of the previously listed is either...

I bring another Elf related post but this time on two of their Healthy Glow Bronzing Powders in the shades Luminance and Sun Kissed. Although these are marketed as bronzers I bought them with the intention to use them as a highlighter, one for me and one for my mum and *drum roll* they work goooooood.

They sell for £1.50 and are pretty much in the most basic packaging known to life itself but make a nice little click when closed (okay I lie, only one makes that satisfying clicking noise, the other tries but fails). If you like your products to look luxurious then these probably aren't going to cut it for you as there are glue marks clearly visible on the bottom of the bronzers but as I've said countless of times on this blog, I don't mind what a product looks like on the outside.

From left to right: Luminance, Sun Kissed

Luminance is almost sand coloured but on my skin comes out a shimmery champagne colour; it doesn't have much noticeable glitter making it so much more wearable than Mac's Soft and Gentle which I feel could look a teeny bit overdone on me just for going to the shop quickly. Sun Kissed is much more of a golden bronze and just would not work on my skin tone if I was wearing blusher but would work if I was wearing bronzer and wanted to look sun kissed (everyone laugh plz). On my mum however, who is naturally more tanned and darker than me, Sun Kissed works amazingly as a highlighter for her while Luminance looks quite silvery and is much too cool-toned on her skin.

I'm only guessing but I feel like these bronzers have an overlay on them as, when you use them for the first time, the surface feels really smooth and fairly velvety but once they've been used a few times it becomes rough and textured. You can probably see this on Luminance whereas on Sun Kissed you can see a section that hasn't been used yet. Although this is the case, it does't affect/effect (uh who even knows) how it applies to the face.

 From left to right: Luminance swatched, Sun Kissed swatched, both unblended

I have been reaching for Luminance on a daily basis and I keep hassling my mum to remember to use Sun Kissed because it looks so pretty on her but she says she forgets so we'll have to allow that to slide. I really should have swatched the bronzers on my mum's arm so you guys could see how the bronzers look different depending on skin tone and what would work best for your guys, apologies.

For £1.50 these bronzers are hardly an investment and definitely worth picking up next time you make an Elf purchase regardless of the cheap packaging and feel to the product. Have you tried these before or is there anything else from Elf that you use in a different way than what it is intended for?