Sunday, 20 June 2010

Beauty Product of the Month: May - Simple Sun Sensitive Protecting Facial Hydrolotion

The name of this product is a little bit of a mouthful, but all you need to know is this is a sun protection cream effectively. On Simple's website you can sign up to be a VIP member, which allows you to post on the website's blog, answer surveys to gain points which you can eventually turn into free products, and occasionally, get sent samples. This was actually the only product I have received for free from Simple and although I wasn't expecting great things, I hardly ever repurchase anything I've gotten as a trial size, whether it be from a counter, a magazine or wherever, I actually want to go and purchase the full size of this product.

So it came in a 10ml tube, and a little too early in the year for me to use. I put it away, forgot about it, then rediscovered it just before my holiday. It turned out to come in great use and was a staple item in my beach bag. Now I am careful when it comes to sun protection and pretty rigourous applying it, there's nothing worse than having a patchy tan, or any burnt parts when the rest of you is tanning safely and evenly. Having said that, I really don't like applying most sun lotions to my face; they're greasy, make my skin far too shiny and I can't apply anything over it. Until now, that's something I settled for, after all, your face is probably the most important part to protect when you go abroad as it's always exposed so is going to face the most damage. However, this facial hydrolotion offers SPF 25 without the greasy face! It's just like an ordinary moisturiser. This is exactly what I want from my sun protection on my face. If you're anything like me and like to put a little make-up on for the beach, (I'm not talking a full face here, just a touch of bronzer and the like) then this is perfect, it settles in to your skin like any other moisturiser and leaves a matte finish on your face so you can go ahead and apply anything over the top of it. I was sort of expecting my face to still tan because I didn't have that heavy, greasy feeling that all other sun lotions seem to leave me with, but it does work.

The nice thing is knowing this product is by Simple which means few chemicals that are going to irritate your skin. I think this is targeting the natural product lovers as it contains "sunflower goodness" to "naturally fight premature ageing". I don't really expect a sun protection cream to be too natural, and it really doesn't bother me that much, as long as it protects my skin. I think this product is suitable for people with sensitive skin and might be worth trying if you've been irritated by other brands of suncream. I personally love it purely for the non-grease factor and that's persuaded me to go and repurchase. I haven't actually seen it in the shops but I did check the website a while ago and I think this is available in various SPFs.

The only thing I will miss is the size, as this was a handy little product to pop in my bag alongside my regular suncream for the rest of my body. I don't overly want to be lugging around two sun protection products...I'm sure I'll get past that though.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Rimmel's latest mascara offering: 3 looks in 1...

Rimmel's latest mascara offering is the 3 looks mascara. My initial thoughts were ones of confusion, 3 looks in 1? How can that be? Even when I got the mascara home and examined it I was still a bit perplexed. It finally occured to me that when you twist the dial, the pressure at the top of the tube increases or decreases, thus allowing more or less mascara on to the wand, depending on your desired look. You probably are a bit smarter, and worked that out quicker than me. The pictures on the advert are so exaggerated it's not even funny, so I decided to conduct my own little test to show you what the different looks you can really create are. Turning the dial to number 1 is supposed to create 3 times more volume; number 2, 5 times more volume and number 3, 10 times more volume than your ordinary lashes. Ok... so below is a picture of the wand to give you an idea of the amount of mascara released on the wand on each dial, top left is number 1, and going clockwise, 2 and 3. Sorry they are not the same size exactly, but hopefully you can see the difference in the wand each time.And below are pictures of the mascara when applied with just one coat. When twisted to number 1, lashes are really separated well with just enough volume to enhance your lashes without it being glaringly obvious you're wearing mascara, a nice natural day time look.Number 2 for me is probably the best way to wear the mascara. More volume yet still enough separation so you don't get that nasty spider looking lash situation. The only problem with this was I felt like I couldn't achieve the right length with my lashes. They seem a little stumpier in this picture. I guess I could fix this with a dash of another mascara on the tips, something specifically for lengthening.Number 3 is below, different lighting in the shot, but you get the idea. My lashes were pretty lengthy after application but I'm not too keen on the volume side of things. You can see from the top picture of the mascara wand that when the dial is on number 3, there is a LOT of mascara on the wand, and that's the problem, the bristles on the wand can't really do their job because the wand is overloaded. So instead of separating it just kind of puts a huge chunk of mascara on your lashes which you're left to try and sort out. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who doesn't use mascara a lot. I wear it everyday almost without fail, so I feel I'm a pro at applying it on myself by now! I could see myself getting in a mess with this if I wasn't so familiar with the whole process though. Looking at the picture I think it resembles the spider lashes I was talking about. My lashes are volumised but it's like I can count how many lashes I have which just isn't quite right.

My overall conclusion of the mascara: I like the idea of it more than the actual mascara. 3 looks in 1 seems too good to be true, and sadly yes it is. If you want to create 3 different looks you probably need 3 different mascaras. Personally I think it's better to have a mascara that is buildable. Examples of these are L'oreal Lash Architect, and Rimmel's Glam Eye Mascara. They really separate your lashes so you an build up the volume by applying a greater number of coats. I sort of think this mascara is trying to do too much. It works well on number 2 though, and that can be built up but then it renders the other dial numbers useless. So honestly, this is a bit of a gimmick which I clearly got suckered in to. Like I say, nice in theory, but it doesn't represent what Rimmel is about. I really rate Rimmel mascaras on the whole, I have quite a few reviews on here, but this just isn't one of their best. It's probably better for someone looking for a daytime mascara, using it on dials 1 and 2 depending on how dramatic you want your lashes, but I'd steer clear of number 3, it just doesn't deliver what it's meant to and their are plenty of better max volume mascaras out there.

Anyone tried this and had more success?

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Make-up Product of the Month: May - Barry M Nail Paint Mushroom

I don't have to explain what's good about Barry M, I'm sure you already know. Great quality nail varnish, it's long lasting and good value for money. Alongside that, there is a vast array of colours to choose from, and now added to that collection there is a (much needed) choice of pastel colours. The most popular are probably the pastel pink and purple shades, they are gorgeous in person. But I was drawn to this dirty shade of griege! I don't know what it is about these shades, but I seriously love them! This one is called Mushroom, which I don't think is a particularly accurate description, the colour is more of a greyish, slightly taupe shade. The other pastel colours are named after ice cream, this would probably fit in as the chocolate ice cream of the bunch (at least in the bottle...).It really doesn't come out the same as the colour in the bottle which is more brown toned. That's ok though, I'm happy with the result, I don't own any shades in this family so this is a good start. I love the finish of this nail varnish. It's super shiny and glossy and a good formulation because I applied two coats of this yesterday and no sign of chipping yet. Another winner from Barry M.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Elephant Parade and Lush Designs

Obviously make up and beauty related topics are what I normally blog about, but my interests are varied and hopefully if you are a follower of this blog, you won't mind me venturing out to other topics. Being interested in all things pretty also transcends to home decor, and I am always looking for ways to beautify my home. I went to Greenwich market yesterday, a favourite place of mine where you can find some unique and beautiful items. I noticed a shop there before that I hadn't seen before called Elephant Parade. If you live in or have visited London recently you will probably have noticed these giant elephant statues dotted all over. The idea behind Elephant Parade is to raise money for, and ultimately save endangered elephants. I absolutely love elephants, I think they are beautiful, powerful yet gentle creatures and one of my favourite animals, I couldn't imagine a world without them. My Mum is also a big lover of elephants, which is probably where I get it from so when I saw the Elephant Parade shop I had to have a browse. The shop was full of statues of elephants, in various sizes, each one a unique piece of art. Elephant Parade started in 2007 in Rotterdam and has come to London for 2010. There are about 250 different painted elephants and you can buy statues of each of the larger, original ones. The larger ones will be up for auction in July, and the smaller ones available in the shops are limited edition, the number available depending on how many the artist made. I bought myself one, and one for my Mum for her birthday. They are both from the 2009 Elephant Parade held in Amsterdam. I kind of wanted London ones, and thought that's what I was buying, but I didn't realise until I got home that the parade has been held in various locations before. I think they are both gorgeous anyway, and it was so hard to choose. If you want to have a look at the elephants, you can buy them from the website here and here. Next door to the Elephant Parade shop is a shop called Lush Designs. I have been lusting after a light shade from there for about a year (!) so after moving rooms I thought it was as good a time as any to finally buy one. Lush Designs is a small independent shop that sell interior textile items such as light shades, cushions, as well as clocks and bags with quirky prints on them. I really wanted a large light shade, and managed to find myself one in the sale part of the shop marked at £20, down from £38, I'm such a bargain hunter! It was a little damaged, but it's only a crease mark, it's not ripped and you can't tell once the shade is hanging up. I love the monkey design on this one. Check out Lush Designs here.
I love that my room is finally starting to take shape. I will have to post a picture of the whole room so you can get a real feel. Enjoy the rest of your weekend ladies. xXx

Friday, 4 June 2010

Leeds Castle and Recent Buys (pic heavy)

It's June, which means officially now, we can say it's summer! My absolute favourite time of year, I love going on day trips and being outside so this past bank holiday Monday was a great day for me to get some fresh Kent air when me and some friends took a trip to Leeds Castle. It was a great day, turned in to evening round our flat and just the perfect start to Summer. I didn't know what to expect from Leeds castle, I've never been before, all I knew was it wasn't in Leeds! I'm sure a lot of people expect beauty bloggers to not have a lot of substance to them, but I know I'm not alone in enjoying soaking up a bit of culture every now and then and that's why I like to post on a different topic every now and then.

So the first thing we were met with inside the castle grounds were peacocks, lots of them! They're so beautiful and impressive, and not a little bit scared of humans, this one came so close to me.
What a showoff!
An albino peacock!
The castle itself was really impressive. It's gone through a lot in it's history and belonged to a lot of different families so there is no real theme. Every room is completely different which made it quite interesting. I loved this bathroom.Loving the Japanese themed ornaments in this room.
Today was another stunning day. I've been ill most of this week with what I believe might be laryngitis, although I never see a doctor or pay that much attention to my symptoms so it could be a number of things! Anyway I don't like to stay inside and waste my holiday time off from work so I ventured over to West London today, I went to Kensington, primarily to visit the Saatchi gallery. If you're not familiar with the place, it's a gallery that has contemporary art from around the world. I went about a month ago and it was contemporary Indian and other Asian art. It's recently changed to British artists now. It is interesting, it's the kind of art where if you're not clued up on art history you find yourself questioning whether a lot of it is really art. I know I did myself. But there's no questioning some of the art in there, it's extremely talented, I definitely think there's something for everyone in there. The first couple of rooms are always really out there, and a lot of people give up and don't carry on to the top, but both times I've gone, it's got better as I've got towards the top. Saatchi gallery is on King's Road, admission is free and they regularly change the exhibition, so it might be worth a look if you're visiting the area.

I couldn't be on King's Road without popping into MAC, I just don't think it's possible. I bought a 4 pan palette and two eyeshadows, Jest and Retrospeck. They are both gorgeous neutral colours which I really thought my palette was missing. I intended my 15 palette to be a neutrals one. Since MAC eyeshadows are expensive, I wanted ones I would reach for everyday, but then that branched out to colours that were unique and I didn't own anything like them. The idea was I had some everyday colours, and some shadows to create a pink eye, and a green eye when I wanted some colour, since they are the two colours I always go for. I found that even though I had gorgeous colours in there like Tempting and Woodwinked, I wasn't reaching for them, but always went for the same suspects; All That Glitters, Patina, and Satin Taupe for a smokey, seductive eye. So now I have some more neutrals. I always seem to find a way to justify my addiction anyway! I figured also, now I have a palette for if I go away overnight, and only want to take enough eyeshadow to create one look. Now of course I need to buy two more to fill it! I think I'll be swapping them around quite a bit, but that's the great thing about the pans, they're designed exactly for that.

I think it was Liparazzi who drew my attention to these two colours. They are often overlooked, or maybe it's because everyone owns them so doesn't mention them either way I'm glad I have them now, I can see me reaching for these a lot. In the picture below Jest is on top, Retrospeck underneath. Jest gives your eyelids like a glow. I find it hard to describe the colour as it's not anything specific, it's not really golden, or pearl, but somewhere between the two. It's very pretty, and really makes your eyes look healthy and alive!Retrospeck is similar to All That Glitters, but slightly more golden and with more chunks of glitter in. It's not fall out city though, so don't panic. Below, I have put Jest next to Hush for comparison. When I bought Hush I made the mistake of not looking at the colour in natural daylight, but only what I saw in the MAC store. Under the shop lights, I saw a neutral colour that I could wear on my lid. Reality, Hush is very much on the light pink side, it doesn't look all that pink, but when swatched it has a real pink tone to it. It's pretty, and works great as a highlight for a pink eyeshadow look, but it's just not what I intended to buy. What I did want was what I found with Jest, it looks kind of pink in the pan, but it's really not an over the top pink, it's almost colourless, I guess peachy is a better word. Not too light, just the perfect tone for a wash over the lid. Here they are swatched, Hush is above and jest is below, as you can see, quite different. I also went in to Accessorize today, I bought a couple of flower hair clips. I think they're nice and summery, and look pretty and girly with a summer dress. I have an obsession with Japanese culture, so couldn't resist this cute necklace with a Japanese doll. It hangs quite high on the neck so will look good with other chains of different lengths.
An essential I had to buy! Summertime means getting the feet out. I'll be the first person to put my flip flops on at even a hint of sunshine in Spring, I'm a wishful thinker! But of course I want nice feet so pumice is an essential part of that. I love the fact it's shaped like a foot too, a slight novelty factor.Not related to this shopping trip, but thought I'd throw this in anyway, I bought these a couple of weeks ago with a half price sunglasses voucher from Boots. They're by French Connection and were originally £52, which I was prepared to pay before I got the voucher. I was toying with the idea of getting these, or a pair of Chanel ones. I'm glad I was so indecisive because then I got the voucher, and the decision was made for me! Chanel can wait til I earn a better wage!
They are ridiculously too large for me, and I look like a kid wearing my Mum's sunglasses, but hell I like them.

I also filmed a Youtube video to accompany this but I'm too tired to edit right now, hopefully that will be up tomorrow. I'm such an amateur. xXx
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