One product I’ve always struggled with is face primers. I have an allergy to salicylates, and for some reason almost every primer I’ve ever seen or tried has had some form of salicylate in, and has brought me out in red rashy spots – not a good look! I’d just about given up looking for a primer suitable for my skin when, whilst browsing MUA’s online sale, I came across FashionistA’s Fashion Secret Flawless Primer. MUA are currently selling off loads of FashionistA products at heavily discounted prices, and at £3 down from £10 I thought I might as well give this one a go.
Going by aesthetics, this primer isn’t especially exciting. Just a simple grey tube with a wide nozzle which, quite frankly, makes quite a bit of mess as it lets out far more product than you actually need. But as they say, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and what’s inside this IS special.
Almost every other primer I’ve encountered has had a heavy, creamy consistency, so I was quite surprised to find that this one is a clear, lightweight gel. At first I was a little put off as I expected it to be a bit greasy, like hair gel, but a little goes a long way and it actually glides on perfectly and forms a silky finish which is the perfect base for make up. My skin always feels so soft and smooth when I’m wearing this, which is lovely, but it does leave an odd residue on your hands after application which needs washing off.
In my experience, both liquid and powder foundations apply easily over the top of this primer to create an even, flawless finish, and quite impressively one application keeps your make up in place all day, which for me is the sign of a very good primer! Furthermore, I’ve been using this for over two weeks now and have had no sensitivity to it whatsoever, so this is a great little product for allergy prone skin (although check the ingredients first, obviously!)
Without a doubt, FashionistA’s Flawless Primer is worth every penny I paid for it, and I’ll definitely be stocking up before it sells out. It is available online from MUA here, and costs £3 for 30ml.
Will you be trying it?
I hope you’re all enjoying the weekend.
This is just a quick update to let you know that I have just added some new items to my blog sale, mostly clothes, and reduced the prices of almost everything else! If you want to see what I have for sale, click here, or visit the ‘Blog Sale’ tab above. If anything takes your fancy you can either comment on the post or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve been having a bit of a clear out lately and have gathered together a few cosmetics and toiletries which I’ve decided to sell, including body lotions, lipstick, nail varnish, aftershave and more. Almost everything is brand new and unused, and a lot of it is still sealed. If you’d like to have a look at what I’m selling, click here or visit my ‘Blog Sale’ page via the tab at the top. All information on postage costs and payment details etc can be found there.
Last month, Cargo Cosmetics, a highly sought after brand known for its use on TV and film sets worldwide, launched in the UK at Debenhams. The brand boasts better, easier, smarter products with the latest innovations in beauty, that give a high-definition, flawless finish from all angles.
Cargo’s range features a wide selection of high quality make up items, including lip gloss, eye shadows, water resistant blushes and bronzer, foundation, liners, mascara, brushes and carefully concocted palettes, sets and quads, all of which look simply slick in Cargo’s award winning silvered packaging. I was recently sent a few products from the range to try, these being two Eye Shadow Singles in ‘Flint’ and ‘Windsor’, a Water Resistant Bronzer and a Lip Gloss in ‘Route 66′, and I have been nothing but impressed by their quality. Here are my thoughts on each…
Eye Shadow Singles in ‘Flint’ and ‘Windsor’ – £12.00 each
Cargo’s Single Eye Shadows come in twelve shades, featuring daring brights and more neutral tones, in either matte or shimmer. The two shades I was sent are ‘Flint’, an ashy grey, and a pale peachy cream called ‘Windsor’, both of which have a very slight shimmer. Both shadows have a soft, velvety formula, and they’re not too powdery. Because of this, I find they apply really smoothly, and give very little fall out so it’s easy to create a sharp look, with hardly any mess. The pigmentation is also impressive, and it doesn’t take much of the product to get a bold finish. My favourite thing about the shadows, though, is how long they last. After morning application, the eye shadow stays put without the use of a primer until you’re ready to remove it, and it barely gathers in the creases at all.
Here’s how the eye shadows look worn together. I used ‘Flint’ as a base up to the eye crease, and ‘Windsor’ above the crease and in the corner of each eye. ‘Windsor’ works really well as a highlighter eye shadow, and ‘Flint’ is the perfect shade to create a subtle smokey look.
If you like the look of Cargo’s Eye Shadow Singles, they are available online here at Debenhams, and cost £12.00 each.
Water Resistant Bronzer – £20.00
Cargo claim that their Water Resistant Bronzer is a world first, as it contains a silicone-coated talc that adheres firmly to the skin, making it long-lasting even in water. This makes it perfect for summer, as it gives skin a healthy glow with the appearance of a natural tan, and will survive a dip in the sea or pool, and stay put even through perspiration.
As you’d expect, I decided to put the water resistance of the bronzer to the test, and I’m pleased to report that water just slides right off it – as you can see in the picture above! Even with some rubbing it takes a while for the colour to fade, but it fades evenly and doesn’t go streaky, which is always good news. Luckily though, it removes easily with make up remover, so there’s no need to worry about it being stubborn.
In terms of colour, Cargo’s Water Resistant Bronzer gives a fairly subtle bronze shimmer that looks great even on pale skin like mine, but it can be built up to create a bolder look if you prefer.
This wonderful Water Resistant Bronzer has well and truly converted me to the bronzed look, and is available here at Debenhams, for just £20.00.
Lip Gloss in ‘Route 66′ – £7.50
All of Cargo’s Lip Glosses are clinically proven to last up to six hours, a statement that I can vouch for, and they have a moisturising formula that isn’t sticky and leaves your lips feeling incredibly soft. The gloss tubes are dinky enough to carry with you at all times, and they come with a just as dinky price tag of just £7.50. I really like the applicator that comes with the gloss as its flat, rounded shape and soft padding makes for precise application. However, I’m not a massive fan of how the gloss smells. I really like sweetly scented glosses, but this one is almost scentless, other than a slight plasticky smell that is slightly off putting. Thankfully it doesn’t taste horrible though!
The shade I was sent, Route 66, is a coral pinky red which is packed full of shimmery particles that give the gloss a lovely, long-lasting shine. The colour applies very subtly for a natural touch of pink, but like all of Cargo’s products that I’ve tried it can be layered to create a deeper colouring. Here it is after one coat:
Cargo Cosmetics Lip Glosses come in a wide range of shades (eighteen, in fact), including an unusual but beautiful gold shade, and are available online here.
If you like the look of any of Cargo’s innovative cosmetics, or you want to find out what else they have to offer, the full range is available to browse and buy online at Debenhams. Do you think you’ll be giving any of their products a go?
*These Cargo Cosmetics products were sent to me by Debenhams for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
I recently came across a great little interior design company called Pebble Grey, who specialise in contemporary mirrors and modern bathroom accessories, and they kindly sent me one of their newest products to review – an LED Illuminated Cosmetic Mirror.
When I first received the mirror, I was instantly struck by how beautiful its packaging is. The mirror comes presented in a sleek, dark grey presentation box which feels lovely to the touch, and comes with a velvet black pouch to store it in when you’re out and about, to prevent any scratches or scuffs. It’s obvious that a lot of care and thought has been put in to the packaging, and it gives the product a luxury edge that would make it perfect as a gift idea for a loved one, or even as a treat for yourself.
The mirror itself is matte grey in colour, and is adorned with the Pebble Grey logo on the front, and a feminine, swirly pattern on the back. It is elegantly slim, but very well made with a strong hinge, and feels very sturdy, so it won’t break easily like some cheaper pocket mirrors do.
Inside the compact are two mirrors with 2x magnification, one of which is studded with six powerful LED lights. The lights are very useful and make for effortless make up application, as they highlight the areas of your face that are often in shadow, meaning you can blend your make up perfectly with no unevenness. They’re also bright enough so that you can check your face in darker areas with no trouble. My favourite use for the mirror, however, is for plucking my eyebrows, as the magnification and LED lights make it easy to see any small, stray hairs.
Pebble Grey’s Illuminated Cosmetic Mirror comes everywhere with me, and is extremely handy, and several people have asked me where they can get one. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a high quality, versatile mirror. The mirror usually retails for £14.99, but is currently on offer for £9.99 on the Pebble Grey website, so grab yourself a bargain whilst you still can!
*This LED Illuminated Cosmetic Mirror was sent to me be Pebble Grey for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
A couple of months ago, Clair of Bags, Bows and Boots and I decided to do our own little beauty swap. Clair is one of my favourite beauty bloggers and a lovely girl to chat with, so I had a lot of fun choosing products to send to her. We had a budget of £15.00, and let each other take the reins and buy what we wanted, so we both sent and received products we may not usually have chosen. I actually received my package of pretties a few weeks ago and have been meaning to post about it for a while, so here are a couple of pictures of what I sent and received… Apologies for the bad quality photographs!
What I Sent
Owl Makeup Bag
Pin-Up Manicure Set
NYC Smooch Proof 16h Lip Stain
Colortrend Kajal Stick
H&M Smoky Eye Quad
Dainty Doll Powder Blusher
Avon Magix Illuminating Face Perfector
What I Received
Coldora Sparkly Rainbow Eyelashes
Benefit Smokin’ Eyes
Bourjois 1 Seconde Nail Varnish
MUA Undress Me Too Palette
Bourjois 3D Max Lipgloss
Benefit Erase Paste
GOSH Effect Powder
I’m really happy with everything I received, especially the MUA Undress Me Too Palette which is a pretty impressive dupe of Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette. I will be reviewing everything I was sent individually in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out if you want to know what I think of each product!
You can see Clair’s swap post here.
Trying to find a suitable foundation for your skin can be difficult at the best of times, but when you’re looking for a natural, vegan, cruelty free foundation like I was earlier this year, your options suddenly become very slim. So, when INIKA agreed to send me a product to review I naturally chose their Certified Organic Liquid Foundation, which fits all of the above mentioned criteria.
INIKA is a certified organic brand with a focus on producing natural make up, all of which is Vegan, Halal and isn’t tested on animals. All of their products are free from synthetic substances and nasty chemicals, and to go along with their ethical image, INIKA’s tubes, pots and brushes are made of recycled materials, and are also recyclable.
The bottle of foundation I received looked different to the one pictured on the INIKA website, but what struck me about the packaging is how classy and high-end it looks. In my experience some ethical brands, particularly those with recycled packaging, tend to be lacking in the image department, but INIKA’s black, sleek packaging with its gold font looks (and feels) wonderful, and would give any luxe brand a run for its money. Also, the bottle has a pump press top, which I prefer to a squeezy tube or pour bottle as it means you can easily control the amount of foundation you want from bottle (either with a half pump or full pump), and because the hole is small there is minimal mess.
Quite usefully, the INIKA website recommends different shades to suit specific skin tones, so I was able to choose the best one for me, which happens to be Cream. According to INIKA, their Cream shade is for ‘light to medium skin tones and perfect for those with an ‘English Rose’ complexion’ – a description which suits my skin down the ground, and the foundation is indeed ‘perfect’ for me!
The foundation itself is very light in texture, almost like a moisturiser, meaning it allows the skin to breathe and doesn’t clog the pores, and it also has a slight cooling effect when it touches the skin. I always apply this foundation with a brush, starting at the eyes and nose, working down to the chin, across the cheeks and finally across the forehead and neck. In the past I have always struggled to apply foundation with a brush, but because this one isn’t too thick it blends extremely easily.
Despite its light texture, INIKA’s liquid foundation has incredible pigmentation which makes for beautiful, flawless coverage which still looks natural. As you can see, it evens out any redness or blotchiness on the skin, and due to the lack of harsh ingredients it covers breakouts without aggravating them. The foundation balances the skin quite nicely too, adding moisture to avoid drying, but also without causing any unwanted oiliness.
The above image shows the coverage that INIKA’s liquid foundation gives (with a little bit of translucent powder applied over the top). The only thing it doesn’t cover fully is the dark circles under my eyes, but that’s nothing a small amount of under eye concealer can’t fix. To top it all off, this foundation lasts a very long time. Whenever I wear it, my face looks as smooth and flawless after a day at work as it does in the morning. It even looks great after a night at a bar or a gig, which is very impressive!
INIKA’s Certified Organic Liquid Foundation is available online in four shades, and costs £29.50 for 30g. It may be a bit on the pricey side, but its top quality reflects the price and it is honestly one of the best foundations I have ever used. I think I’d struggle to find another foundation to match it, let alone an organic, vegan, cruelty free one, and I will definitely be purchasing another bottle when I run out.
*This INIKA Certified Organic Liquid Foundation was sent to me by INIKA for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Happy Easter everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying the bank holiday. Yesterday was my friend’s birthday, and to celebrate a small group of us went for a Mexican meal before going to one of my favourite bars in town. For some reason I struggled to find something to wear, so I decided to keep it simple with smokey eyes, nude lips, monochrome stripes, a few stackable bracelets and one of my favourite necklaces that I don’t wear often enough. Considering it was a last minute job, I was pretty pleased with last night’s look, and here it is…
Inikia Organic Certified Liquid Foundation in Cream
Colortrend Perfect and Hide Concealer in Light
MUA Matte Perfect Loose Powder
17 Smokey Eye Palette
MUA Pro Gel Eyeliner in Underground
Dress, Tights, Bag – Primark
Boots – Deichmann
Necklace – Alchemy
Bracelets – Thrifted, Primark, Celliana
What did you do with your Easter weekend?
Early last month I launched my Budget Beauty Blogger Swap. The budget for the swap was £10/€12/$16, and the aim was to buy your swap partner as many beauty products as you could within the budget – quite a challenge, but not impossible! So far, I have already seen quite a few posts from bloggers sharing their swap parcels, and everything sent and received has been brilliant.
Today it was my turn to receive my parcel all the way from Beverly Hills in LA. My swap partner was the lovely India, a US beauty blogger who runs beautynthbrains. I answered the door to the postman this morning to see him holding a box with the US postal logo on it, and I knew what it was straight away. As I’m sure you can imagine, I was really excited to see what was inside the parcel so I opened it in a hurry, and was met by this pretty pink, spiralled package, packed full of amazing products.
When I saw this little haul I was over the moon! Everything India sent is exactly my colour, and I was really happy to receive products from so many brands that we don’t have in the UK. I will be reviewing each of the products separately in the coming weeks once I’ve had a chance to use them properly, but here are my first thoughts on everything…
Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Collection in Shimmer The Night Away
I was incredibly happy to receive a Wet n Wild eyeshadow palette, as I have heard a lot of good things about them and they are highly sought after in the UK. The palette I received is Shimmer The Night Away, which features eight shimmery shades – four suitable for a smoky eye look, and four pinks and purples which are my go-to colours – perfect.
Everyday Minerals Stay Cool Matte Eyes Eyeshadow
Everyday Minerals isn’t a brand that I’m familiar with, and I don’t own many mineral eyeshadows, so I’m really looking forward to experimenting with this. The colour is a deep grey with a lovely violet undertone, which will incorporate well into my usual colour palette.
Sephora Nano Eye Pencil in Midnight Black
India and I told each other a few items that we had been lusting after, and Sephora Nano Eyeliner was one of mine. I adore bold, black eyeliner looks so this is ideal for me. I’ve swatched the liner on my hand and, as the Sephora website says, it is highly pigmented and glides on easily as it’s enriched with shea butter.
Sephora Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencil in Fuchsia Pink
Sephora’s Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencil in Fuchsia Pink was another of my requests, and it hasn’t disappointed. I wore this today and it applies smoothly and lasts a very long time. The bright pink shade is absolutely stunning, and the micro-glitter finish gives incredibly shine. I think it’s reminiscent of Barry M’s Lip Lacquer Crayon in Party Pink. Gorgeous!
Sephora Pencil Sharpener
I’ve been meaning to buy a new pencil sharpener for ages now as my old one is on its way out, so this was a great little accessory to find in my swap parcel. India must have read my mind!
Model Co Lip Gloss
Model Co is another brand that I’ve never used before. The gloss doesn’t have a name or colour labelled on it, but it’s a bright shimmery pinky red with a sheer finish. I didn’t find the gloss overly sticky when I tried it on earlier, and it has an intense strawberry scent and flavour which I love. The mirror on the tube is so handy too. I’ll definitely be using this gloss on a regular basis.
Beauty So Clean Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipes
India also sent me four cosmetic sanitizer wipes which are for cleaning cosmetics before or after use. Another nice little addition which will be carried in my make up bag for cleansing on the go.
Overall, I couldn’t be happier with what I received in my swap parcel. I imagine India went over the budget with her buys, so thank you India for being so generous and sending me so many fantastic treats. I feel well and truly spoilt today! Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph everything I sent, but hopefully India will share everything in a post of her own when her parcel arrives. I posted almost two weeks ago so fingers crossed it will reach the US soon!
I plan on linking to everyone’s swap parcel posts in a blog post very soon, so if you’ve received your parcel and have blogged about it please let me know!
On my birthday I got quite a few bottles of nail varnish, and the one I chose to wear on the day was this one from my mum – Layla Hologram Effect in Ultra Violet. I’ve always liked the look of hologram nail varnishes but have never got round to buying one myself, so I was very pleased to see this in my pile of presents, especially as it’s my favourite colour. Thanks mum!
Layla isn’t a brand that I’m familiar with, but according to their website they are based in Milan, Italy, and sell a wide range of make up as well as nail products.
This varnish has a fairly thick consistency, but it comes with a decent brush so applies easily and evenly, and despite the glittery look dries smooth to the touch. However, it does take a little while to dry, and if you attempt to apply the second coat whilst the first is still sticky it can cause some streaking, so it’s best to be patient with application if you want to achieve neat coverage! It only takes two coats to create an opaque finish, which is always my test of a good quality varnish, and this one passes.
In the bottle, Ultra Violet looks a dusky purple colour with an undertone of grey, but on the nails it looks slightly paler. However, once you’re in the right light the hologram effect really comes alive, and it’s impressively strong! The hologram looks 3D and shines a rainbow of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink and purple in both natural and indoor light, and at the same time the glitter shimmers beautifully underneath. It’s difficult to put into words just how stunning this varnish is, so here are a few pictures of it in different lights to give you an idea…
No hologram effect.
Hologram effect without flash.
(It actually looks a lot more colourful than this in reality but it was difficult to capture on camera.)
Hologram effect with flash.
I have been wearing Ultra Violet for three days now, with a top coat, and it has lasted really well. The ends have started to chip today so I will probably remove the varnish soon, but other than that the coverage still looks neat and vibrant.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish as it is excellent quality and the hologram effect is powerful and very, very pretty. A lot better than the Boots 17 hologram varnish I’ve seen in reviews! The colour is a bit more interesting than the typical silver hologram too. If you’d like to try this range for yourself, it may be difficult to locate in shops, but Ultra Violet is available on Amazon here, and you can find other shades here.
Do you like the look of this varnish?