27 June 2015

My Second Cleanse: Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

I have always known about her, and her blog, but over the past six months especially i have been reading Caroline Hirons' blog religiously. She posts about everything from face masks to serums and product ingredients. She has plenty of years in the biz and really knows her stuff, so when she says something is good i tend to believe her. Something she also does really well on the blog is teaching tips about how you should be applying things, when you should be applying things and cheats sheets for every skin type imaginable. 

Well, it wasn't until i read her blog that i really new anything about second cleansing, and had never really given it a second thought. However, when i did think about it it kinda does make sense. So, i use the REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Gel after i've taken off my make up with either the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm or the Simple Make Up Wipes (Eek!) to thoroughly clean my skin but never really thought about using a cleanser to treat my skin or further cleanse. When using my REN, really it's probably just removing extra dirt but if you use a second cleanser you're actually getting a chance to treat completely clean skin for anything from acne prone to dull skin.

Anyway, she recommend this, the Oskia London Renaissance Cleansing Gel - Illuminating Vitamin Facial Cleanser with Vitamins A, C & E, Omega 6, Pumpkin Enzymes, Chamomile and Rose. It contains plenty of natural ingredients to "help strengthen and revitalise skin whilst eliminating every last speck of residual everyday grime". You can use this to remove make up but, as Caroline says, it's far to luxurious to use just to remove your make up. This leaves my skin feel ultra clean without feeling dry or tight, and my face always feels so soothed. Not only do my acne breakouts half in size but the general look and feel of my skin smooths and clears out.

When applied the light, pink gel melts into almost an oil and is easy to work into the skin. You don't need very much to do your whole face, and i personally love to work it into the skin and then massage my face with my knuckles and fingers - funnily enough another Hirons tip. I just love how it makes my skin feel, and i can see an almost immediate difference after using this - i would highly recommend this, and if not this then give second cleansing a go.

The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel can be bought on Cult Beauty for £28, a little pricey but well worth a try.


24 June 2015

All About The Base: Liz Earle Signature

Liz Earle is a brand not all that well known for it's cosmetic, but rather it's extensive range of naturally active skincare. So, when i was on my rampage for foundations, i stumbled across this one and wasn't really sure what to expect from it. I love the skincare they offer, i use the Cleanse & Polish in my everyday skincare routine and also the Gentle Exfoliator & Deep Cleansing Mask as and when my skin needs it. So i thought why not give their make up a shot.

The Signature Foundation is Liz Earle's only traditional liquid foundation, but they do offer a Perfect Finish Powder Foundation and a Sheer Skin Tint. This one is targeted at all skin types and contains a natural source of Vitamin E. Similar to the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation, it's supposed to have a natural finish but i would say this is dewy-er than the Bobbi Brown. It claims to have buildable coverage, offering a light to medium cover, and is also supposed to be easily blendable. It's supposed to be long lasting and a radiant finish, giving you the skin you've always wanted.

I found that this foundation is very limited when it comes to it's shade range, and there is quite a large colour difference between shade 01 Porcelain and 02 Ivory, 02 is quite a fair bit darker. 

Here we are again, another naked face below.

As you can see, i think it really does stake it's radiant claim and does come across rather glowy, but honestly? There's nothing special about this foundation. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad. It lasts well enough, it's got good enough coverage but it's just nothing special. It's not got any great claims, but what it does do well is even skintone - don't all the other foundations i've tried do that? It does look very natural, i'll give it that. However, when applying like i do all of my foundations - with my fingers, and then a buffing brush - it did take some extra buffing and it did get a little streaky.

So, if you're looking for an easy to wear, natural foundation then this is a good one to start with. This is probably something i'll wear in the Summer months but i feel like perhaps Liz Earle should stick to their kick-ass skincare.

Liz Earle's Signature Foundation can be found on JohnLewis.com for £21, in a glass, 25ml bottle with a pump.


20 June 2015

bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow 2.0 in The Covert Affair

I have never owned anything bareMinerals. Until now. I have a lovely friend at work, Lizzie, who swears by her bareMinerals mineral foundation, and lipgloss and honestly loves the brand. I, however, just cannot get on board with powder foundation so have kind of steered clear. But when i spotted this little beauty, while trying to come up with gift ideas for my birthday, i knew it was something i just had to try.

This is the Ready Eyeshadow Duo 2.0 in The Covert Affair, and first thing you notice is, just like Nars, it has that velvety black packaging that picks up all the dirt and is impossible to clean but that's something i can come to terms with for a lovely product. As you can see the shades inside are called Air & Catch Me If..., Air is a beautiful golden toned champagne shimmer and Catch Me If... is an unusual golden toned pink/plum/burgundy shade. They work beautifully separately but are utterly gorgeous blended together and are quite clearly made for each other.

I am happy to report that the eyeshadows themselves are not just beautiful, but lovely to work with too. They're a silky texture and are somewhat lighter than they look in colour when applied, perhaps kind of sheer but can be built up and actually i really love that about them. It makes them super easy to blend, and take very little work to put together to create a lovely day to day look. Not only are is the product buttery and blendable, but also have great lasting power. These last me a long day at work in the air conditioning/outdoor humidity/still air inside the store. I actually love wearing these for work, it's just something more exciting to wear than my usual wash of colour and, as i said before, they blend so easily that it takes next to no time to do before work.

I would definitely consdider trying more from the bareMinerals brand and definitely the eyeshadows.

The Covert Affair can be bought on JohnLewis.com for £19.


17 June 2015

All About The Base: Bobbi Brown Skin

Bobbi Brown was probably one of the first beauty brands i started to discover after i became a John Lewis Partner. First it was the corrector, then the creamy concealer, and onto the sparkle eyeshadows. I'd heard many things about the foundations but just never taken the plunge. When i did start to look into what bases they had to offer, the first thing i encountered was bad reviews. Many of the foundations i was looking at either didn't come with great reviews or the ones that i could find pointed to the product not being right for my skin type. It wasn't until i came across the Skin Foundation that i decided i'd just give it a go. The next hurdle was the shade range; i read that Bobbi Brown had great colour options, but when i came to look none of them looked quite right. I tend to usually be the lightest shade, so opted so going with 00 Alabaster. When i purchased it, in the bottle it looks light but really pink so i was a little worried that it would completely throw me off. However, when applied, thanks to my neutral undertones, i can make it work.

If you couldn't work it out from the name, the Skin Foundation is supposed to offer invisible, weightless coverage that evens skintone and looks like skin, not make up. It's a BB best seller, and it's easy to see why. It's claims are quite something; a long-wearing, hydrating foundation providing evenly toned, glowing skin. It conceals pores and imperfections, plus has buildable coverage - just layer up where you need extra coverage. What's not to love? It's best suited to normal/oily skintones, but when i'm dehydrated i pair it with a good moisturiser and have no problem - however, i think i'll love this best during the Summer months.

As usual, below is my naked face to get a true feeling of the product.

And now you can see what my face looks like with one layer of the Skin Foundation all over my face, with no other products applied. I just love how this looks and feels. I must say that i think i'll love this on good skin days, but they are right as it's definitely buildable. With a little concealer in the right places i love this for a lighter option, especially as the Summer is on it's way.. i hope. As you can see from the close up, pretty much all my redness is evened out and as i said, a little concealer on my darker acne scarring and i'd have a pretty perfect coverage. Do bare in mind, all my high coverage lovers, this is definitely only light to medium.

As it's the Skin Foundation, you can expect a skin-like, natural finish which is what i would describe as a satin. As usual it was applied with my fingers, and buffed in around the edges/areas that need it. I didn't have any problem with streaking, or it settling anywhere and it was easy to apply. It lasts pretty well, but it's gonna need some more road testing and i'll get back to you on that one.

The Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation can be found on JohnLewis.com for £31 in a 30ml glass bottle, with a pump and to top it all off it contains SPF15, perfect for Summer!


13 June 2015

Burberry Kisses Hydrating Lip Colour in 101 Bright Plum

Similarly to Chanel, Burberry is one of those luxury brands i never thought i'd ever indulge in. However, with the beauty of my discount i've been lucky enough to purchase a couple of items, now, from Burberry Beauty.

I've got a couple of the eyeshadows, and they are something quite beautiful, but the lipsticks are a whole different ball game. As you can see above, the packaging is chrome with the classic Burberry check imprinted all over. It's mirrored, and there is something about that just feels so special and opulent. You definitely get what you pay for with this brand, not only a great product but packaging too.

This is a Burberry Kisses Lipstick in 101 Bright Plum, and i originally bought it at the beginning of the year, when i was still feeling very Autumnal and did worry that i'd spent a lot of money on a product i'd only get the chance to wear a few times a year. However, when it arrived i actually love the shade far more than i thought i would. Yes, it's a beautiful shade of Plum - more than perfect for the Autumn and Winter months - but there's also something quite bright and sumptuous about it, making it still wearable for Summer too. I can just imagine this with a plain black and white outfit, some cute sandals and this for a pop of colour. It's so incredibly comfortable to wear, and i love that it has a good lasting time but wears gently, leaving a lovely stain behind.

The Burberry Kisses range is marketed at being a build able formula, so you can apply a thin layer to sheer it out and apply multiple layers to get it really opaque. "The weightless formula delivers a customisable make-up result - a single kiss of colour gives understated luminosity, two or three kisses give intense depth and vibrancy." It has a comfortable, satin finish and creates a luminous colour with a lovely, light texture. It's enriched with a signature blend of tea, lavender and rosehip, and glides on to give six hours of hydration.

Just to complete the whole package, i love the Burberry check impreneted on the actual lipstick bullet - that's a real luxurious bonus.

I bought mine from JohnLewis.com for £25.


Ps. You might have noticed, or will come to notice, that i keep mentioning being able buy product from JohnLewis.com at the end of my posts. Now, yes i do work for John Lewis but i am in no way getting paid to mention the products, all opinions are my own and none of them are affiliated links. I just love John Lewis customers service (yes, i'm biased) and the great makeup counters as well as click and collect services they offer.

10 June 2015

All About The Base: Laura Mercier Supreme Moisture

This week i've got a Laura Mercier offering for you. I originally went to the LM counter to be matched for the Smooth Finish Flawless Finish Foundation, but they just could not get a good colour match for me. They were all far to heavily pink toned for my neutral complexion, so she tested this on me and it was such a great match i decided to try it out.

I have to say i couldn't find all too much about this one either, but there was plenty of reviews of the Flawless Finish and classic Silk Creme. Luckily i didn't have to colour match myself this time, but i really would advise - if you're going to get colour matched at a counter - that you go and look at the swatch in natural daylight, and have it applied to your chin. The lighting in department stores is always a little off and can obscure even a trained make up artist. There really is limited shades of this foundation too, so you may well find it tricky getting matched. I have to say, from talking to the sales assistants at the LM counter, their shades are often either very light, very dark, very pink or very yellow which isn't great for neutral under-toned girls like myself but this one is pretty fair, so i can make it work.

Below, again, is my make up-less face, so you can see what my skin is really doing.

And below here is the Moisture Supreme foundation fully applied. No other products are on my face, no concealer, etc.

Now, i am fully aware this makes me look a little like a lunatic and actually when wearing nothing else it looks so, so fair on my face but when all my other make up is applied it does look lovely. It does a really good job of hiding my blemishes and redness, and apart from my really dark acne scarring i could go without wearing any concealer. My general skintone is completely even, and everything that needs covering is covered. This foundation is thicker in consistency than last weeks Japonesque make up but it's still fairly liquidy and no more difficult to apply. I apply it the same way as i explained last week, with my fingers and then buffed in with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. It does take a little more buffing in places to get rid of any streaks but nothing that's worth worrying about. My shade is Porcelain Ivory which, if i'm not mistaken, is the lightest shade of the bunch. I'd say this is a solid medum coverage foundation, and if really built up could be full coverage - by my standards anyway as i'm not a full cover kinda gal.

I would say, however, that seeing as this is named Moisture Supreme i wouldn't say that's as moisturising as it's name suggests. It's not at all drying, but i always wear a good moisturiser underneath my foundation, but it might not be enough for all you really dry skinned girls. It did settle into the lines around my face a little but i get particularly dry there and am plagued with issues in the same spot so that's nothing i can't work with. This is probably a bit much for my everyday base, but it is lovely for dinner and evenings out especially as it's SPF free so no white case in pictures. 

It can be bought for £35 on JohnLewis.com and it comes in a 30ml glass bottle with a pump.


6 June 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadow Palette in Dolce Vita

It took me a long time to decided whether i was going to take the plunge and buy this palette. An upcoming London trip was looming, the opportunity was there but it really is a lot of money. At the time, when i bought this, i hadn't even strayed into the world of Chanel beauty and since these purchases i've spent a lot of money exploring the beauty and skincare world. However, when i was making the decision to purchase this i was very undecided, but since purchasing it i've fallen in love and it's now one of my most favourite palettes.

I can't even begin to explain to you how creamy, blendable and all around beautiful these shadows are. You really do get what you pay for when you purchase a Charlotte Tilbury Colour-Coded Eyeshadow Palette and this one is in Dolce Vita. I was drawn to this one originally because i had seen every blogger and their mother raving about it, but after looking at it up close it seemed right up my street. I'm also a real sucker for the experience, and purchasing this from Selfridges and getting myself a little yellow bag was really special.

Something i love about the palette itself is that it doesn't come with those stupid little foam applicators that i just toss straight away anyway, and you can just enjoy the beautiful packaging. The palette itself comes with a gorgeous classic champagne, a brick red, a bronze pressed pigment full of glitter and a deep, warm brown. They're so pigmented and all work so well together, and you can create so many different looks. My go to at the moment is using the champagne shade all over the lid and finishing with the red toned shade through my crease and outer corner. It's so easy, they blend so beautifully which makes it quick and it looks like you've made a lot of effort, but actually not so much.

If, like me, you've been eyeing this palette up for some time but just haven't taken the plunge, i really recommend that you do. It's worth every penny, despite how high the price tag, and the shades are just beautiful.


3 June 2015

All About The Base: Japonesque Luminous

I'm bringing back a feature on the blog, that i'm pretty sure i started some time ago but either forgot about or i only thought about doing a base series but never actually did it. Either way, i've been quite into foundations lately and i've been trying quite a few so i thought i might as well put all that to good use and share my thoughts with you. I'll be including face swatches of all the foundations i'm reviewing with no other products on the face, so you can truly see the coverage and how it sits, as well i'll include an initial bare face shot so you can really compare.

First up is one that i actually only found while browsing the foundation pages of the John Lewis website. I tried to look up reviews for it, but found very little except a few that were written by european bloggers in other languages. I was fortunate enough to find a few colour swatches that were all i needed to decide on my colour, and besides i've gotten pretty good at matching myself these days  - especially with products that have limited shades.

This is the Japonesque Luminous Foundation, and i've heard quite a lot about other products from the Japonesque brand from other bloggers but nothing about this foundation. I was a little reluctant when i saw the word luminous in it's title, but actually it's worked out pretty well. As far as i'm aware, this foundation is limited to 10 shades so if you're any fairer than me you might not be able to make this work for you and if you're very dark, it ain't gonna happen. I went for shade 01 which is a pretty perfect match for my skin colour, leaving no make up lines and evens out my skin.

Below is my bare skin image, so you can see i do suffer with some active blemishes on the cheeks and chin, as well as some pesky acne scarring on the cheeks too. I do also suffer with some redness on the apples of my cheeks and nose.

So, as you can see below this foundation really evens everything out. There's really no more redness on my face, except for a little on the chin but i would usually go back over with another thin layer to help conceal that. However, for review purposes i'm going in with just one, even layer all over so you can see how it really wears. My blemishes are pretty much all hidden, except up close around the chin, and you can still see some acne scarring on the cheeks, but they can be pretty dark and hard to cover without concealer. This isn't a sheer foundation but i would say it's on the lighter side of things, but could be built up to a medium coverage and with some added concealer you'd definitely be good to go.

Although this foundation is said to be luminous it's not at all shiny or really all that dewy if you ask me. It's certainly not matte, but it's really not all that far off. It's quite a liquidy consistency and is really easy to apply. I applied this the same as i would any usual foundation, by warming it between my fingers first and applying with my hands, then buffing the edges, chin and any unsettled areas with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. I spread easily and evenly, all over, and it didn't really streak at all either. I don't find that it settles anywhere, and does last a pretty good amount of time. It's not going to last you all day and into the evening, but if you're just looking for an easy everyday base, this could be a nice option.

It comes in a 25ml glass bottle, with a pump which is always a bonus - i don't know why all foundations don't and can be purchased for £24 from JohnLewis.com.

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