Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Elemis Balancing Cleanser And Toner

 Now, I don't want to bore you again my bringing up this relatively unspoken statement, again. However, here it goes - I have very oily and spotty skin and this is the one aspect that shapes the whole of my skincare regime. Never satisfied with the appearance of my skin, I regularly browse the various beauty sites looking to see what products will help combat my troublesome skin.
The latest products that caught my eye were the Elemis Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser and the Balancing Lavender Toner.

Sticking to a skincare regime is not something that I'm use to, I have to admit in the past I've been pretty lazy. Frequently, the most strenuous activity during the removal of my make-up would be wiping my face with a wipe - I know, it's not very impressive. For the benefit of you guys (well, myself really but I'm in the Christmas spirit) I have stuck to these products, morning and evening, religiously for seven weeks!

Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser:

This cleanser with is designed specifically for combination skin has a creamy consistency, although it is also verging on the edge of being a lotion. It contains extracts of lime blossom (as you probably guessed by the name), egg yolk protein and vitamin E and F - products which are going to work with your skin rather than against it.
This is a lovely gentle cleanser that worked really well on my sensitive skin; it did not leave my skin irritated in the slightest. As somebody who is particularly fussy about fragrances I really cannot complain as there is barely a smell, it smells very fresh and quite plain really. Admittedly, I did get this into my eyes and there was no stinging or pain, which I found a little odd but still I'm not complaining!
The only problem that I have with this product is that I still need to remove my make-up with a face wipe beforehand as this cleanser seems to have a problem with removing foundation, but this may be because I wear quite long-lasting foundation. Also, you can't really remove your eye make-up with this cleanser either, unless you want to be there all night.
Overall, I can't complain with this cleanser as it leaves my skin feeling clean and it does keep my shine at bay a lot longer than other cleansers do. So, if you have combination skin I would highly recommend, as the number of blemishes I had reduced significantly!
Balancing Lavender Toner:
Now, I know toners are not really seen as a staple item in many people's beauty regimes but I'm never one to follow to crowd. I love this toner; a lot more than the cleanser, even though it smells of lavender which is a fragrance that usually plays havoc with my eyes - but not this one.
Lavender is meant to be great for problematic skin as it soothes blemishes, this toner also contains Quillaja Wood and Sweet Betty Flower (Yes, this is new to me as well, but it sounds good!), these are meant to soften and balance the skin.
Not surprisingly, Elemis live up to its claims as this product leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean without the tight feeling you can often get with toners. And, although it doesn't claim to do this, my pores seemed minimised which is an added bonus. I use this morning and evening and it makes a large difference to my skin, as it ensures all my make-up is removed in case the cleanser hasn't managed to fully cleanse my skin.
The Elemis Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser retails at £21, as does the Elemis Balancing Lavender. Elemis is avaialble from a range of places including, Feel Unique, Debenhams, QVC UK and more.
Has anyone else been impressed by Elemis products? Can anyone recommend a good cleanser and toner to try once I have finished this?

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Max Factor Lipfinity Lip Tint

Never someone who wanted to stand out of the crowd I've always avoided lip glosses, sticks or tints that step outside of my one shade above boundary. Recently, I decided I was going to be more adventurous with my lip colours, especially seeing as there are some amazing shades around at the moment.
Having gone off the idea of lip glosses (the texture now makes me cringe for some reason) I decided to give lip tints ago. Anything to help my lazy self from having to reapply later on in the day.
And, this is what caught my eye - Max Factor Lipfinity Lip Tint. I picked this up in the shade Pink Princess (03), I know this isn't particularly exotic for many of you but for it's a lot darker than I usually go for. It promised long lasting colour, no fuss and no mess... what could go wrong?
The nib of this pen, reminds me of a felt tip pen, it's very small, precise and quite sturdy. Also, the long nib allows you to fill in your lips by using the side of it. It allowed me to draw a very precise line without a problem at all, and although this had quite a watery consistency the liquid is very pigmented.
The stain feels a little tacky on the lips, not gloopy but not glossy either. This texture did disappear after wearing it for around five minutes. The application wasn't particularly quick; first I applied it by defining the shape of my lips, so the stain could begin to settle on my skin. Then I applied again across the lips to build up the colour, after I rubbed my lips together otherwise it just sat on my lips without settling. And then, I did the whole process again just to make it pigmented, as it can look a little patchy otherwise.
As this is a stain I expected it to sit on my lips and not budge, at least for a few hours anyway. However, this wasn't the case, within three hours this had completely disappeared off my lips and I hadn't eaten or drank anything either.
Also, as someone who has particularly dry lips I was hoping it would be moisturising, but, within an hour my lips looked dry. With this stain on top it wasn't a good look. Plus, I also had bleeding around the side of my lips.
I didn't want to waste this product so applied Vaseline over the top to hydrate them and make them appear glossy rather than matte.  
As much as I grew to love the colour, this product is definitely not something I would buy again. It just seems such a waste of time going through the application process only for it to have worn off within a couple of hours. I will not be giving up my Jemma Kidd lip and cheek flush for this I'm afraid.
Anyone recommend some lip tints? I'm tempted to buy the Revlon Just Bitten lip tints?
P.S. Half term is nearing so expect to see me a lot more once these three assignments are handed in!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Benefit Brow Zings

When you have a fringe it's very easy to hide those untamed eyebrows. I was guilty of hiding my eyebrows behind my heavy side-sweeping fringe and forgetting about them. Since growing my fringe out, my eyebrows have become one of my priorities.
I am incredibly fussy about eyebrows. In the past I have left them very natural, however as they have become visible I've tried to keep them in a good condition. As someone who got a little tweezer happy when I was younger (something I seriously regret now), my eyebrows aren't the best. After using various serums I have managed to regain the thickness of my eyebrows, however, there are a few sparse patches in my eyebrows. This is where eyebrow pencils or eyebrow powder come in very handy.
I purchased the Benefit Brow Zings after running out of my beloved Urban Decay Brow Box. Instead I repurchasing I thought I would give the much raved about Benefit Brow Zings a try.
The Benefit Brow Zings product comes in a sleek compact, and you know what a sucker I am for cute, practical packaging. Within the compact you receive, a brow shaping wax which is colourless (although it looks brown in the packaging), brow powder in your chosen shade, a hard angle brush to apply the wax, a blending brush to apply the powder and mini-sized tweezers. This makes the product a great product for travelling, as you have everything you need to groom your eyebrows, all in one place.
It's very easy to use the compact. The first step is to use your blending brush and fill in any sparse areas with the powder. Then, take the hard angle brush and apply the wax on top to seal the brow powder. Finish off by plucking out any stray hairs with the mini tweezers. Handily, the compact comes with instructions and diagrams so you really cannot go wrong.
The Benefit Brow Zings is available in three shades: light, medium and dark. I chose the lightest shade, as recommended by the make-up artist and this is a perfect match for my light brown eyebrows. While the powder is the perfect shade, the wax has an orange tinge on my skin tone. I usually just give the wax a miss, the powder last all day so I wouldn't say it's essential to apply the wax.
This product retails at £22.50, for 2.65g of powder and 1.7g of wax. Admittedly this is expensive, but like with most eyebrow powders, a little goes a long way. I've been using this for around four months and I haven't hit pan yet.
Although this is a good product, I'm not sure that this is better than the Urban Decay Brow Box. It may just be me being fussy, but the powder seems a lot harder to apply, it just doesn't want to stick to my eyebrows. Either way, it's a good product, but for me Urban Decay provides my Holy Grail product.
Which eyebrow powder would you recommend?
P.S. Sorry for my mini blogging vacation, university took over my life and my laptop died and disappeared from my life - not good.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel

As someone who is never satisfied I'll often flick from one product to another, always thinking there must be something better out there. So, I hid my much loved Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish away and took a trip to the Elemis counter in Debenhams.
It didn't take much persuasion to make me buy the Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel.
Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel is a hybrid formulation; it has a gel to oil formula. It's described as an "ultra purifying dual-phase cleanser perfect for challenged, tired and stressed skin".
Although it's described as a gel, it isn't at all like one. There is no tackiness, instead it resembles a runny balm, a delicious smelling one at that. Though it claims that the cleanser is suitable for all skin types, but the scent may mean that it is not suitable for everyone  such as those who have sensitive skin or react to fragrance. Personally, my skin is a little sensitive and I didn't have any problems with it at all! The tangerine and citrus smell is amazing, very soft and not overpowering. It's one of those smells that I love, no matter what my mood is.
To use you only need a small blob, about the size of a 10p coin, so not very much at all. Although it doesn't seem much, this is enough to whip off my full coverage make-up and eye make-up with ease. As you would with an oil or balm cleanser, you massage into the skin. It's advised that you do not use this around the eyes, but I did and it was absolutely fine.
You can tell if you have massaged the gel in enough as it turns into an oil-like consistency, and your face will look a mess. But fear not; simply remove all the cleanser and grime with hot water and a muslin cloth. I find it's best to remove it in sections and then rinsing the cloth out before starting on another section of the face, that way I can ensure it's been removed thoroughly. I'm left with a clean and radiant complexion, that doesn't feel tight or oily.
A bonus point of this product is the lack of sulphates or parabens which can sometimes work against my skin.
While the packaging doesn't scream 'luxury' like it should with the Elemis brand, it does look simple and chic. Elemis are all about the effectiveness of their products and so this reflects in their packaging, as it is created to make sure the product can be used easily and ensure that you use every last bit of the product. After all, being unable to reach the bottom of a product is one of my pet hates. 
Although £21.00 is quite a hefty price tag for 125ml of product, but I think with Elemis you pay for quality and luxury. This brand always lives up to my extremely high standards!
Anyone else fallen in love with the Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel?

Monday, 22 October 2012

OPI Nail Envy

I reached a point where I was fed-up of constantly painting my nails to hide my short, peeling, breaking and splitting nails. It wasn't pretty, believe me.
Nail Envy is a product that my Mum had used in the past and had raved about. Plus, I was reaching the end of my list of potential remedies. I needed to find something that was going to work, fast.
OPI Nail Envy comes in a variety of formulas; there is the original clear version plus a matte and pink version. I originally tried the OPI Nail Envy in the original formula which is where I saw the magical results. But, as you can see from the pictures, I repurchased it in the matte finish.
You apply two coats of the treatment to bare nails, and then apply another coat everyday or every other day; this can be on top of any coloured nail polish. Admittedly, I didn't quite stick to the route. I was just applying the two coats onto my bare nails every time I painted my nails, this was usually every few days.
But, without following the routine I noticed a dramatic difference within six weeks. Now, three months on, my nails are like new. They grow, no longer peel, split or break. Basically, they look like healthy! Brittle, dry nails are no more, and it is all down to this product and this product alone.
OPI Nail Envy can be purchased from a variety of places from QVC UK to Boots. This retails at £18.65 but you can find it much cheaper on eBay so it's worth shopping around.
Is OPI Nail Envy your holy grail too?

Friday, 19 October 2012

Tangle Teezer

It's hard to imagine that there could be anything unpleasant about having a shower. There isn't, till I have to try and comb my knotted hair. And, it appears not matter your age it isn't an experience that gets easier or less pain free.
The Tangle Teezer isn't particularly new; I've often wandered past it in shops. However, the appearance of the brush left me unmoved; as the bristles seemed to be rather hard and painful looking. After picking the packaging up and giving the information to read I thought why not, if it doesn't work then I have still got a hairbrush out of it.
Tangle Teezer said, "Tangle Teezer Original professional detangling hairbrush is loved by hairdressers and used in professional hair salons. It's a super smooth operator that works the minute hair is lathered and rinsed. Glides through wet, vulnerable and colour treated hair with no pulling, tugging or yanking. Hair peace at last!"
From the first use I was amazed. My big knot ball hair was able to be brushed without me uttering an 'Oww!' With a few strokes my hair was completely tangled free, what's even more incredible is that this was on wet hair! Although the bristles look quite hard and sharp they aren't, they do have flexibility to them.
As first I wasn't keen on the fact that it didn't have a handle. But, after using it I soon realised a lot of work had gone into the design of this brush. It was easy to hold and enabled you to have a lot more control than a comb would. I've also used the Michael Mercier Detangling Hair Brush in the past, but the Tangle Teezer seemed to work better without as much effort.
If I was going to be picky then the only complaint I would have is that if you use this in the shower you do need a tight grip as otherwise it can slip out of your hand.
There was no question of doubt as to what colour I would purchase the Tangle Teezer in, but if you aren't a pink girl like me then there are other colours, designs and patterns available.
I cannot imagine being without this product now! At £10.99 this isn't just an ordinary hair brush.
Can anyone else not live without their Tangle Teezer?

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Lee Stafford Poker Straight Flat Iron Protection Shine Mist

I confess, when it comes to styling my hair, I am a sinner. For as long as I can remember I put my hair through the daily challenges of blow drying and straightening. I cringe when I think about it. What makes it worse if that I've often forgot to protect my hair, usually because I hate the feel of products on my hair. A good lecture from my friend telling me all about the consequences of heat damage on your hair and I was soon perusing around Boots seeing what I might like.
Heat is a crucial part of my routine, and one that I am not willing to miss out. So, I decided to head to my favourite hair brand range, Lee Stafford. I picked up the Poker Straight Flat Iron Protection Shine Mist, I thought this would suit me seeing as straight hair is my signature hairstyle.
When it comes to hair care brands I don't believe you necessarily need to spend a fortune to find a good, effective product. Obviously the professionals may say different as I am not hairdresser, but from trying a huge range of products they all near enough do the same job.
For a reasonable price of £5.99 this protection mist lives up to my expectations. Firstly, I feel like it is protecting my hair as compared to other brands it does leave my hair feeling silky and soft without a residue or sticky feeling. Another bonus is that it  leaves my hair straighter for longer, especially in humid conditions where my hair begins to kink.
As far as heat defence sprays go this is definitely top of my list. This isn't a miracle product that has changed my hair dramatically, but it does what it sets out to do. Remember it's a protectant not a cure. A simple spritz onto damp hair is the only added step needed in your regime to create silky, undamaged hair.
That's all I can really say on a heat protectant, but I've been happy with the results so far and I promise to use it every day from now on. Now the thought of using heat as high as 200 degrees makes me shudder.
Do you always make sure you protect your locks from heat damage?