Review: Clinique Chubby Stick, 15 Pudgy Peony

Clinique Chubby Stick, 15 Pudgy Peony

Clinique Chubby Stick, 15 Pudgy Peony

Hello and Happy New Year to you all!

I thought I’d start the year as I mean to go on…focusing on beauty! Obviously I’ve been aware of the Clinique Chubby Sticks for quite some time as they’re not really a new product but I’ve not used them before as I’m not that big into lip colour. However, my sister gave me a set of 3 as one of my Christmas presents and I know that she’s used them before so I thought I should give it a go in case I was missing a trick. I was!

Chubby FaceThe first colour I’ve tried is this Pudgy Peony shade which is a purple-pink colour. Normally I’d go for a more orange-based shade but this is fantastic; the bluey tone makes my teeth look whiter and the colour is striking without being over the top. It doesn’t even clash with the red bits in my hair! I’ve inserted a small picture of me with it on so you can see it in action but please forgive my podgy face and lazy, work hair.

It’s really easy to apply, just like a big crayon and because it’s a balm, it slides on and doesn’t have any of that sticky or dry feeling that some lip colours have. I’ve found that the first layer comes off easily when drinking, etc. but after a couple of coats it has really good staying power for something that you can’t even feel on your lips. It’s also super easy to re-apply because it’s so glossy; you can glide it on to the middle of your lips and then smudge it around properly using what I call the “gurning” technique – rubbing your lips together.

I’ve just Googled the price and it seems these are £17.00 each which is not cheap but if you love your balms and you love colour, they’re a great hybrid. Also look out for them at Bonus Time as I’ve seen them in the free gift packs before. If you’ve got one and you haven’t used it yet, crack it open and start loving your pout! Have a fab weekend everyone :-) x

Review: Electrolysis for Milia and Thread Veins

Hello!

I told you I’d catch up with my beauty reviews, etc. and I am on the case! Today I’m going to review a recent electrolysis treatment I had and completely forgot to add to yesterday’s list of things I have been doing when I’ve not been blogging.

I’m sure most of you have heard of electrolysis but you’ve probably heard of it in relation to hair removal rather than as a treatment for skin complaints. I had the treatment on my skin and it was so fantastic that I just have to spread the word because it took me ages to find not only the treatment, but also a place that offered a free consultation and a price I could afford.

The place I ended up going to is called Destination Skin and in Reading, they are based inside House of Fraser but they have a number of clinics so check out their website for more details. The condition I went to see them about is called “milia” and I’ll explain to you exactly what that means and what my experience was…

Roughly around the time I split up with the bf I lived with, Sept ’12, a lot of small bumps appeared on my cheeks. They were like clogged pores / blackheads except they were quite far below the surface. I didn’t think much of it at the time as I’d been on holiday and thought I’d broken out because of the sunscreen. A few months on though, these bumps were still there and showed no signs of changing. My skin felt rough and lumpy to the touch, especially when washing my face in the shower and although the bumps had no colour, you could really see them when they caught the light.

I tried all sorts, from spot-clearing face wash, to microdermabrasion, to changing every single facial product I used. NOTHING! It was pretty depressing and I ended up picking at my skin and creating spots as a result of my determination to rid myself of these things. Eventually, through a combination of Google and a couple of facialists, I worked out I had milia and that they weren’t going to go unless I had them extracted or zapped through electrolysis.

The extraction route didn’t sound too appealing as that involves making tiny cuts in the skin and manually squeezing the milia out. Ouch! Huge scar potential too if it’s done incorrectly. Electrolysis however seemed to be a rather expensive option; I couldn’t find anywhere close by that offered it and I was being told it would cost £100 just for a consultation with a doctor. On top of that I could expect to spend another £150 on the treatment. Oh, and the results weren’t guaranteed. Well I’m not rich so I ruled that out too.

That was until I was in House of Fraser and spotted Destination Skin; a quick Google and phone call later and I’d booked in a free consultation. Now I won’t pretend it all ran smoothly from there because I had to overcome one final hurdle but with my advice, you can do the same! During my consultation, 2 girls looked at my skin under a magnifying glass to determine whether or not the bumps were definitely milia. They came to the conclusion that they were and that electrolysis would be the best option. They also pointed out my other, “normal” clogged pores and fine lines. What they suggested was a treatment plan that consisted of facial peels, electrolysis and 3 specialist products; what I heard was “that’ll be £750 please”. WTF!?! How was I supposed t0 fund that, even with their 3-step payment plan?

I made the executive decision to book in for 1*30min electrolysis session which they had told me would start off the milia treatment. Electrolysis essentially works by breaking the milia into smaller bits so your lymphatic system can drain it away so it can take a few sessions to work completely.  When I got to my appointment, I had a different consultant and she was much better. She didn’t try and con me into a non-refundable treatment plan, she actually told me I’d only need 15 mins for my treatment so it would cost around £50. Much more reasonable!

During the treatment, you feel pin-like pricks as you are zapped but it’s nothing too uncomfortable and in my 15 mins, the therapist zapped all my milia and then offered to start the thread veins on my nose as we had time left. The nose hurt a bit but that provided instant results, the veins are pretty much gone!

As for the milia treatment, I had a rather blotchy red face afterwards and the next day. The advice is to leave your skin alone and be gentle with it as the treatment works and the skin heals over the next couple of weeks. What actually happened was the larger bumps rose to the surface of my skin and I was so keen to get them out, I squeezed them. This probably meant my healing process was longer and I definitely looked VILE during it but after a month my skin was totally fine. As the bumps weren’t easily visible beforehand, I couldn’t take photos to show you before and after but this whole review is purely because I’m so chuffed that I want others to know where to go and what to do.

Honestly, my skin is still far from flawless but it never has been great. What is important is the big bumps have gone and I am so much more confident now. I’ve also stopped picking at my skin because it bothers me so much less so it’s all round much better looking! If I went back for further treatment, my results could be even better but for now, I’m happy with what I have achieved. If you are feeling self conscious like I was, I really urge you to go for a consultation and then splurge that £50 to get some great results, it will transform your life! x

Review: No.7 Stay Perfect Long-Lasting Volume Mascara, Black

Yo!

Way, way back in October, I reviewed a No.7 Stay Perfect foundation I had tried on my hunt for a decent foundation and mentioned that I had also tried a No.7 mascara at the same time. Well finally, I am going to give you some proper feedback on what I thought of it; it being No.7 Stay Perfect Long-Lasting Volume Mascara.

I believe I mentioned in the foundation review that I wasn’t a huge fan of the mascara and nowhere is this more evident than in the fact that I couldn’t really show you before and after pictures because they look so similar you can barely tell I’ve put anything on my lashes! The reason I went for this mascara was two-fold. One part was cost-based as I was pretty broke and needed both a mascara and a foundation so No.7′s offer to buy one and get one half price made perfect sense. The other is that this mascara works in a similar way to Clinique’s High Impact Curling Mascara which is a previous favourite of mine. (You can find out more about that here.)

No.7 Stay Perfect Long-Lasting Volume Mascara, £12.95

No.7 Stay Perfect Long-Lasting Volume Mascara, £12.95

As you can see in the picture, this little bad boy has one of the small, precision brushes which can be great at catching the smaller lashes. I’m used to a bigger brush but actually I don’t have any problem with this one, it does it’s job well.

Where this mascara starts to get tricky is layering. I personally think you may as well not bother with one coat of this mascara so you need to layer it on. However, the mascara gets tacky and dries really quickly so you need to be instantly layering more on otherwise the brush drags on the lashes and you end up with a horribly clumpy and uneven look.

Once on, the mascara does stay put well but I found that by the end of the day, some specs had started to melt off onto my face; this never happened with the Clinique. Removal of this mascara is a warm water based affair and you massage the mascara off in tubes. Except because this is so sticky you kind of have to pull it off and they didn’t advise me of this at the counter, I only knew because I’d done my research beforehand.

It’s a great concept but Clinique have done it much better so I’d say spend an extra £4 and get the Clinique version, your lashes will most definitely thank you for it!

Review: Nails Inc Kensington Church Street Snowflake Effect Polish

It’s no secret that I get far too excited about Christmas and start my celebrations at the time that everyone else is moaning about the fact that the shops have their decorations up already. So when I saw the Nails Inc Snowflake Effect nail polish, it was only a matter of days that I was able to contain myself before I popped into my local Debenhams and picked up a bottle to try out.

Nails Inc Sparkle

When you look at the bottle, it really does look like snow in a Nails Inc package so I was super excited to create snow on my nails :-) I’d read that they recommended you try it out over a nude type colour polish to get the best effect but I decided that I should probably try it out over both light and dark. Here is the result:

Snowflake

As always with sparkly polishes, it’s lost some of its life in the photo-taking process but I think you can get the idea by looking at the nail with the black base.

It’s a great polish and I really like the effect on my nude fingers but I’m wondering if it would look even better on a white base so if anyone’s tried that, I would love to know. Like all polishes which have chunky bits in, it can be awkward to apply as it’s slightly gloopy, you want to get some sort of even distribution across the nail and have to dab the end of the nail to get rid of pesky sparkle overhang!

Overall however, when I look at my nails right now I feel like Christmas has landed so it’s done it’s job and I’d pay my £12 all over again to enjoy that if I had to :-)

Happy shopping! x

Review: No.7 Stay Perfect Foundation

Hello!

Today I thought I’d get back to my foundation hunt and update you on another of the products I have tried; this time it’s the turn of No. 7′s Stay Perfect Foundation.

After reading loads of great reviews about this foundation I figured I may as well give it a go. I don’t usually like No.7 products but I think this stems from an allergic reaction to a face wipe years ago so the time has come to try again. What really persuaded me to try it though was that they had a buy one, get one half price offer on their make-up and I needed a mascara too. (Review of the mascara later.) Anyway, I went to my local Boots and had the lady use the colour match gadget thingy to tell me which colour I should have. The answer was Calico but I don’t like to look as pale as I really am so we went a shade up to Cool Vanilla.

No. 7 Stay Perfect

In the shop I only had a small patch tested on me but I couldn’t really see it so I was happy enough to try it given the small amount of money I’d be parting with. The next morning I woke up excited to try out my new foundation but unfortunately that excitement didn’t last long.

I pumped the liquid out onto my foundation brush and then tried to sweep it across my face. I say tried because this stuff is horribly thick, it really requires  lot of effort to get it evenly distributed. I ended up using far too much make-up because it was just sticking to my face even though I’d just used a primer. Nevermind though, at least it was on.

Then I got to work and the natural light in the ladies’ here is brilliant…sadly for me. I realised the colour wasn’t just a shade darker than my skin but was actually brown. BROWN! Where the make-up had been so difficult to apply it was also very evident where I’d not quite got it perfectly right as my skin shone through like the moon at night. I looked plain dirty. This reminded me that the previous reason I hadn’t used No. 7 was because their foundations tend to run dark which is clearly not ideal for me.

I tried this for a few days to see if I could get used to it but the application was just as bad with or without primer, nevermind the colour issue. I’m not a fan and I would not recommend anybody try this out unless you’re trying to mimic some sort of skin condition!

Never fear though, there are more positive reviews to come on my foundation trail and believe it or not, I have actually found the one! x

Review: B. Youthful Anti-Ageing Foundation

‘Ello, ‘ello!

Recently I have resumed the hunt for a decent foundation which I originally started last year following the discontinuation of Clinique’s Repairwear Anti-Ageing foundation. I have been using the Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions foundation in the meantime but it’s not a 100% match to my skin tone, even in the lightest shade. I also find that it has a tendency to slide off of my oily bits and stick on my dry bits. It’s not bad but it doesn’t match my old favourite.

So, I have picked up the search again and after scouring the net, I have tried a few budget and more premium foundations and will be delivering my verdicts here. This has been a bit costly as I’ve been having shop assistants con me into thinking I looked good, only to apply the foundation at home and realise I look like I’ve been Tangoed. Finally today I have plucked up the courage to demand samples to take away before I buy so fingers crossed I won’t make another erroneous purchase.

First up in the “erroneous purchases” category is B. Youthful Anti-Ageing Foundation which you can buy in Superdrug.

B. Flawless Coverage Foundation

I tried this foundation in the lightest shade they offer, 010 Linen. First off, let’s talk about the colour…I actually like the colour. If you are really, really pale you might find there isn’t a shade light enough for you but I’m paler than most people and I liked this colour. It is slightly darker than my skin but gives it a healthy glow without looking orange.

That’s it for the positives. Something I wasn’t expecting was that this foundation is actually fragranced; as I usually use fragrance free products I found it strange being able to smell my own face on the bus this morning. Others may like that. More importantly, I just don’t like this foundation. Yes, I have taken into account the cost of it and no, I still don’t think it’s worth the money.

Pumping this out onto my foundation brush, I thought the bottle needed a good shake because it was so runny but after a good shake it seemed to be the same. Still I gave it the benefit of the doubt but then it made me late this morning because it was so tricky to apply. It’s watery consistency means that it’s almost impossible to get it streak free. When I did finally get it looking ok, I made the mistake of raising my eyebrows. This instantly ruined the look as the foundation on my forehead all gathered in my expression lines. I’m only 27 but I looked about 40 this morning with all that make-up in my fine lines; ironic that an anti-ageing foundation should have this effect!

Coverage with this isn’t really medium, I’d say it’s light to medium and that was with the benefit of a primer underneath. I really didn’t feel like this covered up any of my imperfections even after 2 layers and it’s just so awkward to apply because of the consistency that I would not recommend it to anyone, regardless of skin type. Even when I used my fingers as the website recommends, I just found myself with messy hands rather than a pretty face.

If you do want to try it though, it’s usually priced at £10.99 but is currently on offer so is just £7.32 so now would be a good time to give it a bash. Loads of people have given it positive reviews so maybe it’s just my face it disagrees with! x

Review: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Hello everyone!

It has been ages since I did a product review, I’ve been far too lazy recently! One product which I have been using for a couple of months now and is definitely worthy of a write up is Seche Vite’s Fast Dry Top Coat. A friend recommended this to me after having a manicure at a spa where they used it. This friend raved about it so much that I really was expecting to be disappointed, I couldn’t believe it would live up to my high expectations. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Seche Vite, Dry Fast Top Coat, £9.50

Seche Vite, Dry Fast Top Coat, £9.50

This little bottle may as well be a miracle potion, it has completely transformed my nail beauty regime. I have incredibly dry, weak nails which flake more than any I have ever seen. This means that usually it’s virtually pointless me painting my nails as literally within a day, I’m missing half of the polish on my index fingers. I had been having gel nails done for a few months but that’s very expensive to maintain and there’s also the inconvenience of making appointments and having to go to the salon, which takes up a good chunk of a weekend day.

However, along came Seche Vite and that’s all changed! Check this out:

Seche Vite Nails

Please excuse my shocking cuticles but this is my hand and those nails were painted 5 days ago. Since then I have done the washing up a few times without gloves, stuffed over 100 envelopes, hunted through piles of junk in the office for a drill battery pack, picked labels off the bottom of a new pair of shoes…the list goes on. The point I am making is really that I’m not careful about keeping my polish in tact, I have things to do and can’t be bothered with trying to protect my nails.

As far as I’m concerned, this is an amazing result! Not only does the Seche Vite do what it says on the bottle and dry your nails quickly, but it keeps the polish in place for what feels like an eternity. The nail polish I’m wearing in the picture is Nails Inc Queen Victoria Street but I’ve tried the Seche Vite with cheaper polishes too and it works just as well. High gloss shine, quick drying and incredible staying power. What more could you want from something that costs less than a tenner? I bought mine from BeautyBay so here’s a handy link to the product if you’d like to do the same (here).

This is the best product I’ve tried in ages, I cannot recommend it enough! x

Review: L’Oreal Lumi Magique Primer

Hey hey!

I’ve been meaning to write up this review for a little while now but the plus side of that means I’ve tested this primer on a number of days, in a number of situations so I’ve got an all-round knowledge of how it performs.

Prior to using this I had been using a MAC primer but I was a bit pushed for pennies when that ran out so I decided I’d try something a little cheaper and at just £9.99, L’Oreal’s Lumi Magique was what I decided to go for.

Here’s what the product looks like when you squirt it out of the bottle:

Holly Birthday 034

It’s much runnier than the MAC primer but also has a much more pearlescent sheen to it so I was hopeful that it would provide me with a dewy glow, not just a slick base to apply foundation to.

Here’s how it looks when you rub it in:

Close Up

Close Up

In Context

In Context

Hopefully you can see the shiny part of my hand vs the rest which looks much duller. This product is fantastic! Now, I don’t believe it will really work out much cheaper than the MAC primer as I find that you need to use more / it doesn’t stretch as far as the MAC primer but it really does give your skin a dewy glow. The first time I wore this under my make-up I couldn’t believe how much younger my skin looked. It also felt really nice too.

The issue I always had with the MAC primer was that it felt like my make-up was just perched on my skin and it rubbed off really easily. This meant by the end of the day, I had really patchy make-up. With this primer, I feel like it just adds an extra layer to my foundation and helps to hide my imperfections by reflecting the light in a more flattering way. I still have an even face of make-up by the end of the day.

I would highly recommend this primer and I’m really surprised at that, I’d pretty much given up on finding good make-up outside of the premium beauty halls but this has been great so far. I’ve worn it to work, to parties, dog walking – it really does help your foundation stay put and keep you looking sparkly and fresh all day! x

Review: Sally Hansen Gem Crush Nail Polish in Bling-Tastic

Hello all and sorry for my tardiness in writing to you!

It’s been a bit of a manic few weeks and I don’t do well in the sunshine, in fact I pretty much wilt and collapse in the heat!!! However, while I’ve been busy doing things in real life which make me a bad blogger, part of that has included purchasing a few new beauty products and trying them out. So… here’s the first of a few reviews which will hopefully help you to make more informed beauty purchases over the course of this fabulous summer.

To kick off, I’m going to start with Sally Hansen’s Gem Crush nail polish in Bling-Tastic which appealed to me because it sparkles and let’s face it, I’m something of a magpie!

Bling-Tastic

Bling-Tastic

I actually picked mine up in Boots but I can’t find it on their website so I can tell you than Superdrug sell it online for £6.99. It’s a bit on the pricey side for a nail polish but still well under the likes of Nails Inc. and it’s just so sparkly and pretty that it makes it ok!

Those of you who know me will know that blue isn’t usually my thing, I’m much more a fan of pinks and reds but the picture on this blog does the colour no justice whatsoever, this is a really bright, perfect Caribbean sea blue :-)

On Me

On Me

Now I hate putting pictures of my fingers and toes into blog posts because quite frankly I have neither model hands nor feet. However, in the interest of showing you that you can achieve a proper colour with this, I figured I’d best pop some evidence in. The picture to the left is my ring finger after 3 coats. My advice is to let each coat dry in between applications and instead of painting it on, kind of stipple / daub it on and you’ll get a much better coverage. Otherwise, you end up taking glitter off or you end up with very sparkly tips and just a few specks on the rest of the nail.

As for staying power, like any good sparkly polish, this even stays put on my incredibly thin, bendy, flaky nails so it’s a winner. I’m not looking forward to taking it off, that’s potentially going to take some brute force but you can’t have it all!

You can’t see very well in the picture but this is very sparkly and catches the light beautifully in real life. My only criticism is that I think this amount of sparkle would be a bit much if you had it on all 10 fingers so I’ve just popped it on the ring fingers for a quick splash of glamour and I love it. (It looks especially good when the rest of your nails are bright pink!)

So there you have it…this does exactly what it says on the bottle and I LOVE it! If you want some summery glam, definitely get yourself one of these. At just £6.99 it’s cheaper than most sparkly jewellery and in my opinion, adds just as much to your outfit.

Until next time… x