21 October 2016

theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Mini Set

Hi everyone! It's been so long since I blogged but October so far has been a VERY busy and not going to lie very stressful month! I'm definitely feeling the pressure now of being a recent graduate and a '20 something' year old who has no clue what they want to do with their life. Every time someone asks me what I'm doing now I've finished university I feel like it stresses you out more and more each time and you literally feel like you're about to scream at them to shut up even though they are just being nice! Thankfully I'm going on holiday in a couple of weeks so I'm hoping that will cheer me up and also getting back into blogging should hopefully take my mind off things! That being said it makes me so happy seeing all the gift sets being released around this time of year and it inspires me so much to try new products to post on my blog. For ages I've seen the liquid lipsticks by theBalm which are called Meet Matt(e) Hughes but I'd never got round to trying them, however I saw Debenhams had a set of six of the liquid lipsticks in a gift set in mini size so I thought I'd buy it and see how the colours were and how the formulas performed. 

I felt like the shade range in this was perfect for me as they aren't too bold, there is a red shade and a slightly berry toned shade however they aren't too full on which usually puts me off. I have to admit matte finishes really aren't my favourite, however I love theBalm and I felt like this set had such pretty shades and I do love a gift set so I wanted to try them anyway and maybe see if it turned my head more towards a matte finish.

One of my biggest issues with this set is that it is such poor value for money, which I really didn't take into consideration at the time of buying which is my own fault however it really is disappointing how little product you get when you look at the price. From Debenhams this set retails at £25, however you only get 1.2ml of product in each mini, so that totals 7.2ml of product. In comparison a single full size liquid lipstick is 7.2ml for £13.50. So you're paying almost double the price of a standard liquid lipstick for the same amount of product which I think is so ridiculous. I do love trying a range of shades but I feel like this set is such poor value for money you may as well just buy one full size, or two full size products which would be almost the same price as this set anyway. 

Left to right: Charming, Sincere, Committed, Doting, Dedicated, Loyal

Despite the issues with the price of this set and the amount of product you receive I still had high hopes for the formula and the shades because when I swatched them I thought they looked so pretty and basically were some of my ideal shades especially for this time of year. They also swatched very pigmented and didn't seem too drying, however when I actually wore them on the lips they were so disappointing. They felt very 'gloopy' and messy to apply and once applied I pursed my lips together they actually started to crack and flake off. As well as that the smell of the product put me off so much, it was very minty but very sickly as well and I already don't like the smell of mint so it wasn't for me at all unfortunately.

I hate feeling like I'm coming on here and having a whinge but this product really was a disappointment for me especially as I have only had good experiences with theBalm before, it is a shame because the actual shade range is pretty and I usually love gift sets where you can try a range of colours from a product you have never used before but the value for money and the actual performance of these were just too poor so I definitely would not recommend. Let me know if you've seen any good Christmas gift sets out already in the comments!

4 October 2016

Vichy Double Glow Peel Mask

Hi everyone! How crazy is it that it's now October, I'm so happy though because I've got lots of nice things planned for this month, plus the run up to Halloween is one of my favourite times of the year! I'm that person that never even does anything for Halloween other than stay in and watch scary films, but I'm still obsessed! Recently I've been talking about how bad my skin has been so I've been trying out a few different skincare products, especially face masks because I'm so into them at the minute to try and improve it, thankfully my breakouts have calmed down now so I mostly just want to work on the texture of my skin which is very dull and dry. Vichy is a brand that I've had nothing but good experiences with in the past, but I've only really tried their makeup before so when I saw they're new face masks floating around on the internet I thought they looked so interesting and I actually tweeted about how I thought they looked really cool, so when Vichy contacted me asking if I'd like to try one of the face masks I was so excited and of course said yes! 

There is actually three variations of their new face masks and I chose the Double Glow Peel Mask* however there is also the Pore Purifying Clay Mask which is formulated with two types of white clay to absorb impurities and excess sebum and to minimise pores and purify the skin, this one is designed for those with oily to combination skin with congested and blocked pores. There is also the Quenching Mineral Mask which is a gel mask enriched with vitamin B3 and glycerin, this one has a cooling effect which provides instant hydration. I was actually so torn over the peel mask or the Quenching Mineral Mask as that one also sounded perfect for me because I do have dry skin but in the end I went for the peel mask based on the fact that my skin is SO dull and tired, definitely one of my biggest skin issues. 

The Double Glow Peel Mask that I chose is a double action face mask with volcanic rock and AHA to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. This is said to leave skin more smooth and luminous and a pick me up for dull, tired skin. Anything that claims to leave skin luminous and smooth I'm all for because I have a lot of skin texture which prevents makeup from applying smoothly which gets me down so much!

I absolutely love the packaging, the jar feels very heavy and it looks luxurious, to me considering the packaging it does appear more high end however it does not have the high end price, you can get these from Boots for £14, they aren't as cheap as some other drug store products but I still think they're a really good price considering how it performs. You get 75ml of product as well which I think is quite a lot for a face mask plus you don't have to use too much product so I think you will get a lot of use out of this. There is a scent to this product which I did want to mention, I actually do like a scent in my products and this one doesn't bother me at all, I find that it smells quite perfumey so for those who don't like scents you may not be that keen, but I didn't find it overpowering.

One of my favourite things about this product is the gel texture of it, which I really was not expecting as it is also said to have exfoliating properties, the instructions that come with the mask actually state to apply and leave on for five minutes, then massaging into the skin after the five minutes before rinsing it off with water. What I found was that you couldn't really tell the mask was an exfoliant until you massaged it into the skin when you could actually feel what felt like a slightly beady, gritty texture. When you first apply the product it honestly feels so cooling and refreshing, I loved how it felt on the skin so much! You are advised to leave this on the skin for only five minutes which is what I was doing the first few times I'd used it, I'd seen a few people say they had left it on for longer and it made their skin a little bit red, but after a few times I left it on for about 8 minutes instead and I didn't experience any redness but I have no issues with sensitive skin, so if you do I'd definitely suggest only leaving it on for 5 minutes. When it's sitting on the skin it does start to feel tingly but I absolutely love that because I feel like it's actually working and doing something, it's not uncomfortable at all though which is something I was worried about especially because of the word 'peel' in the name it made it seem a bit scary, but thankfully it's not bad at all and it doesn't sting or anything like that!

After I massaged it into the skin and washed it off my skin definitely did feel smoother and so much more refreshed and clean, it did look brighter as well, once I'd applied a moisturiser after using this my skin looked so much nicer and healthier than normal. If you have dull and tired skin like me I'd definitely recommend trying this, I feel like it's a nice pick me up for your skin especially on days when it's looking especially dull. I actually love this I can't wait to use it more, especially in Winter! I think for the price and the amount of product you do get it is worth trying, plus if you think this particularly mask won't be suited to your skin you at least have the option of two other masks which might be more suited to you. I really want to try the Quenching Mineral Mask next after liking this one so much, especially as the weather gets colder my skin gets so much drier. Let me know in the comments if you've tried this and what you think!

*PR sample however all opinions are my own

25 September 2016

L'Oreal Infallible Sexy Balm

Hi everyone! I know my last post was also on a L'Oreal product however I also have another face mask post coming out soon and I didn't want to do two face mask posts in a row, so I decided on a post centering around the L'Oreal Infallible Sexy Balms. I picked up two of these from Boots, mostly because I'd seen them around online and they sounded like my ideal products! I'm not into matte lips at all, I own hardly any matte products just because the finish really isn't for me. So any creamy lip products are absolutely perfect for me, especially as Autumn is approaching and my lips tend to be a lot more dry around this time of year. 

These are described as a 'moisturising gel balm with a weightless velvet texture and vibrant pigments for a true kick of colour'. What I love about these is that there is also two finishes you can choose from, sheer or bold and they have different colours for each finish. I actually chose two from the sheer selection, just because I really love subtle lip shades, I basically never wear a bold lip shade, for me I just love the 'my lips but better' look so if you're like me then I think you'll love these! There isn't the biggest shade range however which isn't the best, but I feel like with the shades they do offer there is something for everyone. 

One of my issues with this product, and to be honest it's probably the only thing I don't like about it, is the packaging. I feel like it just looks cheap, these are a really affordable product at £4.99 each but I feel like L'Oreal usually has nicer packaging than this, it just doesn't really match the rest of the brand for me. The applicator also isn't my favourite, as you can see it kind of reminds me of a felt tip style applicator kind of like a chubby stick, which just isn't as nice to use as the standard applicator you would find with a regular lipstick. You twist these up from the bottom similar to a lipstick and you actually do get a lot of product so don't be deceived by first impressions! To be honest though I can look past the packaging and the applicator because I absolutely LOVE the formula of these!

102 Gossip, 103 As If

The shades I chose were 102 Gossip and 103 As If, probably the most neutral out of all the shades which is so typical of me but I'm all for playing it safe! The reason I love these so much is because for a product which is essentially a tinted lip balm, for me it performs much more like a lipstick, they remind me of a cremesheen finish lipstick but a lot more balmy and moisturising. For a lip balm the colour pay off is so nice, you can see in the swatch picture that while they are quite sheer they still apply colour really nicely and they look so pretty on the lips. I would say both the shades I got are pinky nudes, with 102 Gossip being a bit lighter and a lot more on the baby pink side but not too light so that it washes you out and 103 As If is slightly more mauvey, definitely a 'my lips but better shade'. If I had to pick a favourite it would probably be 103 As If, but I really do love them both and would recommend either of them to anyone who loves subtle lip shades. In terms of staying power it was kind of what I expected from a lip balm, it lasts really well when just sitting on the lips but doesn't really stand a chance if you're eating or drinking a lot. 

I really think these are going to be one of my go to lip products towards the end of the year, especially as it starts to get colder because these are so moisturising and leave your lips feeling so soft! These really are such pretty shades as well, perfect for anyone who loves neutral lips like me, plus they're so affordable for £4.99 each. Let me know in the comments if you've tried these and what you think!

16 September 2016

L'Oreal Pure Clay Glow Mask

Hi everyone! I have really been on a major skincare kick recently because my skin at the minute is probably the worst it has ever been in years, I don't know if it's because I've been feeling really stressed but I've been breaking out constantly which never really happens to me, and my skin is so dull and tired looking all the time. If anyone has any good skincare recommendations please let me know in the comments because I'm on the hunt to find new products that will work for me! Having such an issue with my skin at the minute has led to me changing my skincare routine around and I've started using more face masks, I actually really enjoy using face masks, I feel like it's less of a chore than your nightly skincare routine and they always feel like a nice treat. I'd seen that L'Oreal had released three pure clay face masks targeted at different skin issues, they have a purity mask to mattify the skin, a detox mask to clarify the skin and finally the one I have which is the glow mask that brightens and exfoliates the skin. I definitely need to work on my skin's glow at the minute, it's severely lacking which is why I choose this one, however I would also like to try the detox mask which has charcoal in it as I love charcoal masks and they've always worked for me in the past.

I had seen these online quite a lot before I actually went into Boots and bought one but I found that they are so much bigger in real life than how they look in pictures, the box says you will get 10 applications out of this and there is 50ml of product but after using it a few times I definitely think I will get more than 10 applications out of this! This mask is created of three pure clays which are koalin, known to absorb impurities and excess sebum, montmorillonite, recognised for helping to eliminate imperfections and ghassoul, renowned to help clarify the complexion combined with red algae extract which is known for it's brightening properties, the packaging claims that the "beaded creamy texture illuminates tone by exfoliating the skin's surface without drying it out". I'm really into exfoliating products at the minute because of how dull my skin is, however my skin is also dry so I do need to be careful that it won't be too drying.

I actually love the packaging of this, it's in quite a heavy glass pot with a little cover inside the lid to keep the product fresh, it doesn't come with any form of applicator though so I just use my fingers to apply. 

The claims that this mask has a beaded creamy texture is definitely 100% accurate, I've never actually tried a product like this before for a face mask I feel like it's so different. When I first applied it I was a bit worried it would be drying on me as I could tell at the same time it would be really exfoliating. You leave the product on for 5-10 minutes and then remove with a wet towel or warm water, what I found was that it is very creamy and doesn't dry like other face masks which will crack after about 10 minutes. You actually look a little bit crazy when it's on, it looks like you've put some really dodgy fake tan on but that really doesn't bother me! One really good thing about this product is that it was really easy to take off, I absolutely hate when a face mask doesn't want to budge and then it ends up all over your towels and in your hair while you've been trying to scrub it off! After I had taken it off my skin definitely did feel a lot smoother and cleaner, thankfully it didn't dry my skin out either. It definitely didn't hydrate my skin at all but didn't make it feel any drier so I think it's great to use this and then apply a moisturiser straight after so it will sink really nicely into the skin.

I bought this from Boots for £7.99 which I think is a very good price considering how much usage I will get out of it, it didn't change the whole texture of my skin so I wouldn't go round saying this was a miracle mask or the best mask I've ever used, but it did make my skin a lot smoother and help to exfoliate but I personally feel like it didn't leave my skin any brighter. I do like this mask and will use it up and it does perform well but it didn't leave me massively raving about it however for the price I'd still recommend you trying it and seeing if it works for you. Let me know in the comments your favourite face masks as I'm on the hunt to try more!

11 September 2016

Too Faced Born This Way Concealer

Hi everyone! Just wanted to mention that this is my 100th blog post which I think is so crazy! I've seen a few comments on my recent posts about people being interested in reading a review on this product so I've finally got round to writing one! I bought the Too Faced Born This Way concealer in a Sephora in Rome so it's fairly new in my makeup bag and I wanted to wait a little while before reviewing it so I could know fully how much I liked it. The Too Faced Born This Way foundation is one of my favourites, it's quite expensive but definitely worth the money so when I had seen that Too Faced were releasing a concealer to go with the foundation I was so excited. I don't own too many high end concealers, the only experience I've really had with one was the Nars Creamy Concealer which I did love, I'd wanted to try the Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer for ages however Too Faced took priority for me when they released theirs as I love them so much, so the UD one is definitely next on my list!

The packaging is standard Too Faced, so pretty and girly and it is basically identical to the Born This Way foundation packaging. You get 7ml of product which I think is pretty standard for a concealer and it has a doe foot applicator. Similarly to the foundation it contains coconut water to replenish skin moisture levels, alpine rose to brighten, and hyaluronic acid for a smoother more youthful appearance. It also claims to provide a natural undetectable, smooth, creaseless finish and a "no makeup" look. I'm also al for natural looking products, I very rarely want to wear something too heavy it's just not for me, plus I have very dull dry skin so anything moisturising and brightening is also something I go for. I do need coverage when it comes to concealer though because I do have quite dark under eyes.

I love the applicator I feel like it's the perfect size, one thing I noticed straight away with this product and it's such a strange thing to point out, but how flexible and smooth the wand is to use, even when you're putting the wand back into the bottle it feels really smooth, it's so hard to describe definitely something you'd have to experience yourself to get what I'm saying, this is probably my favourite applicator for any concealer I've used. It also doesn't affect your base makeup when you apply it which does bug me about some products.

I have mine in the shade fair, which is light with pink undertones, there are 10 shades available which I think is good for a concealer, I'm really pleased with the shade I picked I'm so bad for getting it wrong but this is a really good match especially for my under eyes. I think you can tell from the swatch that the formula has a very liquid consistency, it's definitely not runny though it just isn't as creamy as other concealers I've tried however I really like this, it's so hydrating and blends very well I think you just need to be careful with how much you apply as a little goes a long way. There is a scent to this which I personally don't mind but I do think it's fairly strong so anyone who isn't keen on stronger scents may not like this, I think it smells like coconut which is a scent I love with a bit of a strange undertone which is what makes me not love the smell. I don't mind it but definitely don't love it! 

My favourite thing about this product is definitely how brightening it is though, it makes me look 10x more awake as soon as I put it on my under eyes and it does blend so well plus the coverage is amazing! It covers blemishes pretty well however the under eyes is my favourite place to apply it and where I think it performs best. My only issue with this however is that because I already have fine lines under my eyes, if I don't set this with powder it will crease over time. I don't know how it performs on people with smoother skin but powder is a must for me when using this, that is one of my pet peeves with makeup, when I get home and my skin looks all creased and gross! It's not a problem with a good setting powder though which is what I've found when I had it on all day, I just wish it didn't crease because then it would be perfect! It's definitely not a cheap product at £20 which I think is a lot for a concealer, but to me it's worth the price and it's up there as one of my favourite concealers. If you have very dull skin like me that needs hydration and something that is going to brighten it up then I think you'll love this, I still want to try the UD Naked Skin concealer next so I think that's what I'll try when I've used this one up. Let me know in the comments if you've tried this and what you think!
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