Saturday, 1 February 2014

Review : Smashbox 'Photo Finish' Primer

Hi everyone,

This week I was in the queue at Boots (no surprise there) and they had a small travel sized bottle of the Smashbox 'Photo Finish' Primer just waiting on the shelves by the till and I just thought to myself, why not?!

An impulsive buy I must admit, but I just could not resist this little dinky primer to add to my collection.  And what a treat.

I think this is by far the best primer I have found, and if you are not really sold on the primer thing yet, then just give this little sample one a try and I can assure you it will change your mind.

It has got a really great silky feeling when applied and I can see a minimizing of my pores straight after application.  On my first day of use, I looked in the mirror at work and my foundation had stay put noticeably more than it had done when I have used alternative primers. Where I usually have a lot of make-up slipped off the apples of my cheeks and my cheekbones, this had helped to keep my foundation still very much in place.

This is a great product from such a great brand and if you have oily skin like me then it is ideal as this is oil free.

I actually really like the idea that some of the bigger beauty brands are doing small size samples of their products because let's face it, there is nothing worse than spending a small fortune on a product and then not loving it.  It is a really great way to trial a product before making the commitment.

I will almost certainly be purchasing this in a normal size when I have finished with this mini sample.

It is not the cheapest and this small size bottle cost £12.50 which is quite steep but I would be happy to pay this again as it really is a worth while buy.  Link is here for the travel size and if you wish to purchase the full size this is £25.00 and can be found here.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

What's In My Bag - Skin Prep

Hello fellow beauty fans!

I thought I would share with you a "what's in my make up bag?" skin care special.  Below I will talk about the the products which are my tried and tested favourites before applying make up and also using after I take my make up off.

I should probably start by saying that I have combination skin which means I have oily skin around my nose, chin and forehead but I also tend to suffer with dry skin on my cheeks.  I have found that since establishing a daily skin routine that I tend not to suffer with combination skin as much and I put this down to using the right products to suit my skin type.

Cleanser & Toner

So let's start with the basics.  I own the No 7 Beautiful Skin Foaming Cleanser for Normal / Oily Skin and let me tell you, this product is AMAZING.

I like foaming cleansers as opposed to lotions, I just find it works better with my skin type as milks/lotions tend to leave my skin feeling greasy and I prefer to wash the day off properly with a foam cleanser. This leaves my skin feeling clean, refreshed and totally matte, and super soft.  It has also got a really nice smell to it.   I just love this cleanser and it is going to be a staple in my skin care routine for the foreseeable future (if its not broke don't fix it right?).

I use this in the morning (just one pump) on the face and neck and then again in the evening before bed (two pumps) on my face and neck again.  Using this twice daily means one bottle will probably last me about two months so in my opinion it is quite long lasting and good value for money.

What I really like about the No 7 range is that they are tailored to specific skin types i.e. normal / oily / dry / very dry and I'm pretty confident most of their products are hypo-allergenic which is great news if, like me, you have sensitive skin. If you are not sure what skin type you have, go and ask someone in store they will be able to tell you.

Now the price.  If you usually reach for Nivea, Garnier, etc., then the price tag might be slightly more than you are used to paying but let me tell you it is so worth it.  So far I have found every No 7 skin care product very effective and I know there is some serious research that goes into all their products and hence why the price is slightly higher than your usual drugstore brands.  Having said that, if you shop in Boots regularly then chances are you have been handed a voucher and these will most likely contain money off their No 7 range so its such great value when you get can £5 off or alternatively they often do 3 for the price of 2 across the whole range so there will always be some type of offer on.  Usual price is £9.50 and you can find it here.

Next up is from the No 7 range again, the Soft & Soothed Toner which is, as far as I am aware, the only toner in the range.

This again is a really good product.  I just pat a bit on a cotton wool pad in the evening after I have cleansed and this instantly hydrates and soothes my skin and takes off whatever make up or grime is still left on after cleansing (I work in London and it really is shocking how dirty your skin gets when you are working in the big smoke!). It also leaves my skin smelling pleasant after use, calms down any redness that I may be suffering with and reduces the look of pores.

Usual price for this toner is £8.00 but as above, if you look around you can usually buy this with some kind of offer.  If you are interested in this product, then link is here.


At the moment I am using the Neutrogena Visibly Clean Pink Grapefruit Oil Free Moisturiser and also the Garnier Moisture Match "Wake Me Up" for Dull Skin.  I often find myself alternating between moisturisers and these just happen to be my current two.

I do not think I have ever found a moisturiser that is "ohmygosh wow" (which is likely to be down to the fact that my skin is often oily) but I have found the Neutrogena very suitable for my skin type. If I am having a day where I have blemishes then this oil free moisturiser helps to hydrate and leave my skin soft but I also know it is not going to be clogging up my pores.

I actually bought this to compliment the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub and both products worked well together when I was using them to help keep blemishes at bay (I'm 25 and still suffering from teenage skin).  Usual price is £4.99 but currently on offer here.

I picked the Garnier up on a bit of an impulse and upon reflection, it was probably not my best choice.  If I was to replace this product I would probably try the "Shine Be Gone" which is for oily / combi skin.  However, having said that it probably still suits my skin because it's not a cream moisturiser but a gel and therefore doesn't leave me too oily, dries really quickly and hydrates my skin well. As for the part about it supposedly making skin less dull I haven't really noticed a difference after using it.

Usual price is £5.99 but currently on offer here.


Are you still with me? Great.  Because now onto the game changer.

I used to have individual false lashes and after them practically pulling out every eyelash I had, it was time to give them up which needless to say, left me with tiny stumpy lashes.  It was such a sad time.  Until..

I was scouring the internet desperately searching for some kind of lash enhancing miracle and behold, here it is in the form of L'Oreal Renewal Lash Serum.  After I noticed this on Amazon, I was scrolling through the reviews, praying for some positive ones.  I didn't find many but I figured I didn't have much to lose, at worst I'd wasted the tiniest bit of money which at the time was around £2.00 plus p&p.

This I can honestly say is one of my proudest moments, one of my best finds, I really can't believe the reviews aren't 100% positive.  As I said above, I found this on Amazon so I was slightly sceptical when I could not find this in any stores but this is just a little treasure.  I put this on day and night religiously and within a few weeks my lashes were not only back to normal but longer looking than ever before (which is a God's send if you have experienced effects of individual lashes, you will understand how terrible your lashes look once they're off and trust me, this is such a good cure).  After using this I regularly got compliments on how long my lashes were and I'm so glad I took a chance on this one.

The only 'con' as such is that once I stop using it, I do notice that my lashes just look normal again, not as lovely and long as when I am using this regularly.  However, this has definitely contributed to the revival of my lashes, they are in such lovely condition these days (really soft) and I can only put it down to this product.

Usual Price is apparently £11.29 however this can currently be yours for £4.20 and you can find it here.

Eye Creams

Keeping with the 'eye' theme, I thought I would share with you the eye products which I'm currently using. As mentioned above, I have recently turned 25 and I started to ask myself, when do I need to start using anti-ageing products? Apparently the answer is now.

No 7 as well as tailoring to specific skin types, also tailor their products dependant on what stage you are at in the anti-ageing process and as I'm in the 25-35 bracket, that means I should be perfecting and protecting. 

Probably not a product I would have picked up if it wasn't for the 3 for 2 offer, No 7 Protect & Perfect Eye Cream is actually really a great little product.  (I shouldn't expect anything less these days seeing how much I love all this range!)

This clever little cream this helps reduce the slight lines I have forming under my eyes almost instantly and leaves the skin feeling tight.  I try and remember to put this on morning and evening.

Usual price is £15.00 but as above, look out for the offers.  Link is here.  Also available in an 'intense' version.

If I find the delicate skin under my eyes dried out I like using Boots Simply Sensitive Hydrating Eye Cream.  This is so moisturising and it is really great if you are going to put concealer under your eyes and it makes sure it doesn't go on too cakey.  

This product as the name suggests is good for sensitive skin as it is hypo-allergenic and also has aloe vera which helps to sooth the skin.  Great little find and relatively inexpensive at £3.49, find it here.


As well as my growing obsession with No 7, I am also in love with Body Shop products.  Cruelty free and quality products, what more could we ask for?

The Body Shop Skin Primer Matte It is a good addition to my growing primer collection.  Does what it says on the tin, matte finish and product once applied feels silky smooth, helps my make-up glide on and stay put fairly effectively throughout the day.  A good buy if you have oily skin and find other primers too oily. 

A relatively cheap option at £12.00 and can be found here.

Well that is it folks.  Hopefully the above will be of help if you were thinking about purchasing any of the other or even if you were just searching for some inspiration.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Review : Drug Store Haul - Eyes

Hello everyone,

I recently purchased some new products for my eyes and so here is my quick review on them all.

Rimmel 5 Pan Eyeshadow in Brixton Brown

This little palette caught my eye because I really liked the middle colour alone and I'm very into neutral colours and I tend to find most browns / golds look nice with my eye colour  (brown / green / hazel).  

This is such a great starter for anyone who is not used to using eyeshadow but want to experiment as on the back of the packaging it has a little guide on where to put each colour and on what part of the eye.  

Colours blended really nicely and made a pleasant shimmery brown.  This palette would be really ideal for work or if I was going out then I would probably put slightly more product on in order to deepen the colours.

Overall I was really pleased with the colour this palette produced but the best thing about it was that it did not crease which is really great when, if like me, you find that products tend to crease because you have oily skin. I left this product on for about 6 hours after I tested it and found that although it faded slightly, it was still visible when I took my make up off and it stayed put really well.  

This palette was reasonably priced at £6.99 and I picked this up in my local supermarket but you can find it here if you want to pick this up where you can earn points.


I was attending a work function recently and wanted a slightly more dramatic look as opposed to my usual work daytime look and so invested in two new eyeliners.  They are Max Factor Colour X-Pert Waterproof Eyeliner in Deep Black (which I have read some good things about) and also Rimmel London Scandaleyes Thick & Thin Eyeliner also in Black (which I picked up for the applicator).

Obviously the difference is one is waterproof  and smudgeproof and the other is just normal.  The other difference is the Max Factor is just a normal liquid eyeliner brush whereas the Rimmel is designed like a pen with a thick and thin nib which is super great and easy if you're a beginner.  

I really enjoy using both of these products but for different reasons.  

Looking at the picture, left eye is Maxfactor and on the right eye is Rimmel

The Max Factor because it is waterproof will last all night long with no touch ups, can create a great curve with the brush and also a really easy flick at the ends.  The only down side I think is that when it goes on it looks gappy around the lashes and it appears to be because the liquid is too wet and therefore product does not apply as well as it should.  I had to wait to give this one time to dry off and then applied again to fill in any gaps which is not really ideal if you are in a rush.

I bought this for £6.99 and if you would like to purchase you will find it here

Max Factor Colour X-Pert

However, the Rimmel is really great for actually just drawing round the eyelid which makes it super easy to apply.  It doesn't give the best flicks as it is just too blocky and not fluid enough and it doesn't really give much a curve either, it  is is more of just a straight line but you can get so close to the lashes and it is so easy to see and fill in any gaps with this one.  

I bought this product at full price of £5.49 but at Boots at the moment it is on special offer, find it here.

Rimmel Scandaleyes

I actually tend to use both of the products together when I am going out, the Max Factor to create a really nice curve and flick at the ends and then the Rimmel to fill in any gaps around the lashes or at the outside corner of the eye.  They are both really good products but just for different reasons and depending on how confident you are applying liquid eye liner. 

If you are just starting out using liquid eye liners then the best advice I can give is just to keep practising and always to have cotton buds at the ready!

What I am wearing in these photos (in addition to products mentioned above):

Face : Rimmel Wake Me Up in Soft Beige (find me here!), Bare Mineral Loose Power in Light (find me here!) and Collection concealer in medium 3 (find me here!)
Eyes : Rimmel - Accelerator Endless - Extreme Black (in eyeshadow photo only / no mascara in eyeliner photos) (find me here!)
Lips : Eyeshadow photos - Boutique Lip Gloss in Don't Gloss Me Around, available at Sainsbury's / eyeliner photos - Body Shop - Lipstick Colour Crush in 335 'Hot Date' (find me here!)

This Blog is provided for general informational purposes only. The opinions expressed here are my own and not those of any advertiser, company, affiliate or group.