Sunday, 1 December 2013

GOSH CC cream Illuminating foundation.

Hi ladies

I have been meaning to review this bad boy for a while. I received it back in August with the rest of the GOSH A/W 2013 collection and have used it a lot since joining the world of work. These retail for £8.99 and are available at superdrug.

I was given the shades 03 Sand and 04 Natural. These are a decent match to my skin colour so kudos to whoever selected which ones to send from the 6 shades that are available. 03 is lighter and has a yellow undertone, whereas 04 is darker but has a pinkier undertone. By mixing the 2 I get the deeper colour I need but with the right undertone.

I really like the packaging for a number of reasons:

  1. The colour combination is eye catching
  2. It is all very hygienic with the squeezy tube and thin nozzle
  3. It is lightweight and thin making it perfect for popping in a make up bag/travelling.

Now onto the product. This is the perfect formula for my skin and is the perfect product for day to day application. High praise indeed. It is lightweight, easy to blend in and moisturising for my dehydrated skin. It adds moisture to the skin without being greasy as it is oil free. It contains SPF 10 which is good enough for me, so it protects a little without giving the white cast in flash photos. It is also illuminating which must be down to the light-reflecting pigments, although I hadn't noticed these pigments myself.

Overall, I really enjoy using this product. It gives pretty light coverage but if I'm going to wear anything on my face to work (I'll be honest it's moisturiser and pore minimising primers most days) it'll probably be this. It's a much runnier consistency to the GOSH BB cream which I also really liked. I'd recommend this to anyone with normal to dry/dehydrated skin that is looking for a product to even out skintone without too much coverage.

Till next time...Toodles! :)

PS I have a few more things from the GOSH A/W collection to review. Here's a peek.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Helen É cosmetics.

Hi ladies

A while ago I was sent some Helen E cosmetics to review. I opted for a glitter pot, the fixing gel and the Nubian beauty duo.

The reason I went for the glitter pot is because I've been watching tutorials on youtube where pigment has been used on the centre of the eyelid and it looks so beautiful. I thought it would be great to use at Asian weddings. These retail for £5 and you get 2g of product. They have a huge range of colours to choose from and I went for white disco because I thought it would compliment a lot of looks.

In short, I'm not a fan of the product but that's my own fault. What I think I was looking for was more the shimmer eye powders. The glitter pot is exactly that - glitter. The little glitters actually feel quite sharp when you try to remove it, there's lots of fall out and you'll basically find glitter for days. 

Next up is the fixing gel. I was recommended to take this with the glitter to keep it all in place. This costs £10 for 7ml of product. It has an easy to use doe foot applicator, is a clear gel and it is quite runny. At first I thought the runny formula meant it wouldn't help anything to stick. I then compared it to the UDPP and below you can see the results.

Left to right: just the glitter, fixing gel and UDPP.

When I wiped my hand, all the glitter that wasn't stuck to my hand using the fixing gel disappeared (onto my floor. Despair!). So, from what I can see (with very limited use) the fixing gel does a decent job.

Lastly, I thought I would try a face product. I went with the Nubian beauty duo in shade 3 which retails for £16.50. Shade 3 is the lightest in the Nubian range and the website says it is suitable for golden undertones. Now this product really really confuses me. The website says it gives a flawless finish and evens out skintone. The website says it looks natural and feels lightweight. I agree with that last bit but that is because the product gives zero coverage. I just don't understand what I'm meant to do with it.

It has a nice big mirror and the packaging is very sleek and travel friendly but I had to seriously build up the product to get any payoff. The last thing you want in a foundation/whatever this is.
I have to give recognition to the brand for having a whole section dedicated to what they call 'black make up' but basically make up for darker skin tones. That's very rare with any brand and they also have blushers to complement darker skin.

On the whole, I may have went with the wrong products. The glitter just isn't what I was expecting but it is exactly what it says on the tin, a pot of glitter. The fixing gel is redundant without the glitter although it does a good job and so in hindsight I wish I had gone for the shimmer pot or the eyeshadow primer instead. However, the nubian beauty (foundation?!) was a complete disappointment. There are no two ways about it. I just can't figure out what the purpose is and why anyone would be a fan. If you are, please let me know how you use it.

Have you tried anything from Helen É?

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Sunday, 10 November 2013

My Dermalogica facial at Shumaila's salon!

Hi ladies

Last week, I was kindly invited along to Shumaila's Hair & Beauty Salon in Gants Hill by the lovely Sheefa. They have 4 locations across East London and Essex. I went along for a Deep Cleansing Dermalogica Facial which would usually cost £35.

The actual salon was nice. It looked clean, had a simple layout and staff had matching purple uniforms which gave it an air of professionalism. There was also soothing, spa type music playing in the background. Shumaila's offer countless treatments from botox, hair removal to haircuts.

I was welcomed by the lovely Nadiea, who was also the therapist that gave me the facial. I was offered tea and coffee while I waited for her to set things up. She asked me what skin type I had and what my concerns were. I told her I had dry skin and congested pores on my nose. She also asked about allergies and back problems (which became clear later).

She led me to a private room where the treatment took place. It was a fairly small room but more than adequate for the facial. I was asked to lay down and was given a blanket and towel to cover myself. Nadiea started by using the pre-cleanse. Once she had cleansed my skin, she covered my eyes with cotton pads and used a bright light to closely inspect my skin. I was really intrigued by her diagnosis of my skin. We all know I go on about having dry skin but turns out it's more dehydrated than dry with an oily t-zone. Although she said it wasn't in a bad condition she noticed congestion on my nose and some pigmentation from the sun.

After cleansing and exfoliating, she steamed my face and used a tool to squeeze out all the greasy bits that had clogged my pores. Not going to lie, this might be a bit too painful for the more sensitive out there but it felt satisfying knowing what must be coming out. She then gave me a nice face and shoulder/back massage which just felt amazing. Nadiea then put on a treatment in the areas I had pigmentation and a masque to give my skin some hydration. She left this on for a while during which I almost fell asleep. After wiping it all off, she finished by mixing a bit of spf and a normal moisturiser and with that the facial was over. I was in quite a daze from being so relaxed after it had ended. Nadiea was very knowledgeable about the the products and gave me lots of advice and recommendations based on my skin type including to always wear an spf!

Overall, I loved the facial! I was having a browse of their deals page and the Dermalogica Age Smart Facial is currently on offer for £25 so if you live anywhere close by, I would thoroughly recommend it. A week later I can still see the effects and the ultimate compliment is that I haven't used a pore minimising primer since the facial. A big deal. I'm going to try and get a facial done every few months now ;)

Shumaila's also stock a range of Dermalogica products that you can buy there or online at beauty900. During my facial, Nadiea used:
  1. Precleanse - £11.50
  2. Essential cleansing solution - £22.50
  3. Daily microfoliant - £38.50
  4. Revitalising additive
  5. Massage cream
  6. Chromo-white complex (for pigmentation)
  7. Multivitamin power recover masque - £33.50
  8. Intensive Moisture Balance (£35) mixed with Solar Defence Booster spf 50 (£36).
I was kindly sent the microfoliant and the daytime radiance kit. This post might become too long if I review these so I will leave that for another time. For now I wanted to say if you're interested in Dermalogica, the beauty900 website is offering free samples with every order and free UK delivery.
Have you ever had a facial or do you have any DIY tips? Do share in the comments.

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Saturday, 2 November 2013

La Roche-Posay skincare - Full routine for dry skin.

Hi ladies

Last December I blogged about the whole No7 skincare routine I hooked my cousin up with. After that finished, I was itching to introduce her to something else even though she was happy to stick to the No7. I decided to go with La Roche-Posay as Escentual had a 1/3 off French skincare offer and I had a discount code on top of that. One thing I discovered when I was researching the brand is that there are lots of reviews from oily skinned lasses out there, but not many from my fellow dry ladies so hopefully this will help. My cousin has been using it for a few months and unless stated otherwise, here are her views. 

Micellar Solution - £11.50
I use this with cotton wool when I have heavy make up on which isn't very often. I use it to remove my make up and will then follow up with the cleansing milk which I use as a face wash. It is cool, refreshing and has an amazing scent - if I was to describe it I'd say it was lemon water with some fresh meadow daisies (I should warn you my cousin is slightly weird).

Mez - I've given this a go and although I don't agree entirely with that scent description it definitely smells really nice and I found it works as well as other cleansing waters I have.

Physiological Cleansing Milk - £11.50
I have been using this to take my make up off with a cotton wool pad and it's great as a face wash. The scent again is amazing like the micellar solution but not as strong. It wipes off make up really quickly and works like a charm. I think this is the best product love it love it love it!

Mez - I tried this out as a face wash and felt it left a bit of a film on the skin. Having said that though it is designed to be used dry on a cotton wool pad. I sense it would work in a similar way to the organic surge cleansing lotion. Lightweight and great for dry skin.

Thermal Spring Water - £7.50
Refreshing spray that provides a boost of moisture and doesn't ruin make up, I don't use it unless it's necessary. I had it in my bag during summer, its expensive stuff so didn't want to waste it and I still have a lot left.

Mez - I have used face mists before but this was the first one I used in an aerosol can. It leaves such a fine mist on the skin. I'm not sure how necessary these spring waters are but this would be nice to freshen up in the hot, sticky summer days.

Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub - £10
I use the scrub twice a week - I feel I don't need to use it twice at all but I have this obsession with scrubbing off dead skin at least twice a week. It should come in a bigger size because I have to ration my uses. It's bitty enough and absolutely amazing for sensitive skin.

Mez - I was very impressed when I gave this a go. I was expecting it to not be scrubby enough for what I like but there were lots of tiny bits. I actually thought the bits were quite sharp so I'm surprised my cousin finds it works well for her sensitive skin. Personally though it's the type of scrub I love.

Hydraphase Intense Riche - £16.50
I used this as my daily moisturiser in the summer. It is light, easy to blend and left my skin soft and supple. I didn't have to worry bout the UV rays and it never dried out my dry skin. I don't think the scent is as nice as the solution and nutritic moisturiser.

Mez - Considering it is an spf, it is one of the lighter formulas. It doesn't leave the skin as greasy as other formulas. 

Nutritic Intense Riche - £16.50
My daily moisturiser for London weather and night cream. It's much thicker than the Hydraphase so a few more rubs to blend in, but again no complaints as I feel my skin has never dried out and it is a lot more hydrating than the hydraphase. I'd describe the scent as a light floral and I like to inhale the scent sometimes.

Mez - I actually felt the cream had a whipped lightweight texture. It has a nice scent and I found it was quite easy to rub in.

Hydraphase Intense Masque - £15.50
Due to the fact that my face is nicely hydrated with the daily stuff, I only use this roughly every 10 days. It's a nice light soothing mask and when you wipe it off, your face feels so soft and hydrated. I love it!

Mez - I haven't had the pleasure of trying this unfortunately.

Hydraphase Intense Eyes - £15
Like a gel, cooling sensation and feels nice after a long day on the PC. Only used at night as feels slightly sticky so didn't think it would be a good base for eye make up

Mez - A gel texture which feels quite tacky at first but once absorbed, feels smooth.

Summary - using all the products regularly for the past few months I haven't noticed a dry flake and my skin always feels hydrated and supple. I love this French range and I definitely recommend it to dry skin peeps who maybe don't drink as much water as they should be.

Mez's summary - I'm glad I got her to try out this range. The products are finishing up so I'm now looking onto what could be next. My cousin is actually happy to repurchase this but I want her to try Avene next so I'll be sure to let you know how that goes.

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Sunday, 27 October 2013

NYX collection.

Hi ladies

Back in the summer I went to IMATS and got a little excited by the NYX stand. I have heard lots about the brand and went armed with a list of shades and products I wanted to try. Annoyingly they didn't have some of the most popular shades but I still managed to get a few things which I thought I'd share with you.

NYX round lipstick - Fig (£4)
This is something I bought for a friend because I thought this sort of bright pink was very her. The swatch she sent me showed it was quite a bit lighter than it looks in the bullet.

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss - £6
This smells gorgeous! I love the fruity scent and it is not sticky in the slightest. It feels light on the lips and gives a transparent colour.

Jumbo Eye Pencil - Milk (£5)
This is quite the cult product!I am going to dedicate a whole review to this but in short it is very creamy, extremely pigmented and adds vibrancy to eye shadows. There was a time when this was one of the only brands doing these sorts of jumbo eye pencils but now they are everywhere. I might compare this with the collection version which is half the price.

NYX High Definition Eye Shadow Base - £8
This has a very thin texture. It feel very different from other primers especially the UDPP. Due to the thin, watery texture I found it creased quite quickly. I haven't used it much but I might give this a more in depth review when I have a primer battle blog post.

Cream Blush - £5.50

I really like this cream blush -  I use it with a stippling brush, it has quite a firm texture and the pigmentation is spot on. This shade is very natural on medium-darker skin tones. Neither of the photos above are entirely accurate (annoyingly) but I'd describe it as a rosy brown.

Top to bottom -  gloss, cream blush, jumbo eye pencil, primer.
Overall, I would like to try more products from NYX. They have a huge selection of products and shades. I think women of colour would definitely find something to suit them. The prices are decent for the quality (having said that now there are even cheaper brands with good quality) and although NYX is hard to come by in the UK, they have a website to order from. Excitingly though news came out this month that Next stores now stock the brand! Time for swatches galore me thinks.

Have you ever tried anything from NYX?

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Bourjois Cream Blush - Nude Velvet 01.

Hi ladies

Today I have a review about the Bourjois cream blush in Nude Velvet 01. I received this in the one off British Beauty Blogger Box and it retails for £7.99 (but is currently on sale for £5.99 in Boots). I was really excited to receive this because I had heard great reviews from some of the more well known bloggers. However as you'll see from this review, it didn't live up to the hype for me.

I love the cute little round packaging. It is really light and thin, making it perfect for make up bags.

I was surprised that despite being so small it had a cute little mirror making it perfect for on the go.

My biggest problem with the blusher is the shade which I know is pretty unfair because it came in a beauty box and shade selection is very much luck of the draw. I got the lightest shade which I can imagine would look so pretty and natural on fairer skin but on my medium skin it just doesn't show up. As you can see with the swatch below it looks quite ashy on my skintone and it took a lot of building up to even get it to show up.
That wasn't the only thing I didn't like. I think of cream blushers as dewy, creamy products perfect for my dry skin but this is a cream to powder finish. I personally just don't get the point of blushers that end up with a powder finish when you have to put in the effort of applying a cream formula. They aren't the easiest thing to apply, definitely not as easy as powder blushers so why not just apply a powder blush to begin with?

All in all, I wasn't a huge fan. It might have been different had I received another colour but like I said, I wasn't keen on the formula either.

What do you think about cream to powder blushers?

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Organic Surge skincare.

Hi ladies

Organic Surge isn't really a brand that was on my radar but then they had a 70% discount offer and that sort of discount definitely grabs my attention. 
Organic Surge products are 100% free of harsh chemicals – no parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, no artificial fragrances or colourants and no genetically modified ingredients. And the very soul of Organic Surge lies in its charitable donations and hands-on work spanning many years.
All prices listed below will be the usual prices not the discounted prices I paid.

I bought myself a facewash (x2 by accident), cleansing lotion, body lotion, moisturiser and a body scrub.
From bottom to top: face wash, body lotion, cleansing lotion and moisturiser.
These sorts of  'swatches' might seem pointless but I think it helps to see the texture.
Daily Care Face Wash - £5.49
I annoyingly bought 2 of these without realising. Although this says it is for all skin types, I don't think it's great for dry skin. It doesn't leave my skin as hydrated as the sorts of cleansers I usually go for. However I like the pump packaging and think it would be good for oilier skinned lasses.

Gentle Cleansing Lotion - £5.99
I quite like this product. This is again designed for all skin types but I think it's a good one for dryer skin as it leaves my skin nicely hydrated. I don't use it to remove eye make-up as it isn't fun when you get it in your eye but I think it'll be good to remove face make up when my skin gets dryer this winter. It removes what I need to and is great for lazy nights when you just want to wipe things off with a cotton pad.

Fresh Ocean Light Body Lotion - £5.99
This has a thin, light texture with a really nice fresh scent. It does take a while to fully rub it in but it's a nice, no fuss body lotion.

Super Intensive Daily Moisturiser - £8.99

This is a much thicker consistency of moisturiser than I'm used too. It is targeted for dryer skin and I think it'll be great for the upcoming winter months to hydrate my flaky skin.

Million Dollar Brown Sugar Body Polish - £32

How fancy is this packaging? It looks great in the bathroom, although it uses a lot of space on the bathroom shelf and gets quite sticky.

I thought I would instantly love the scent of this as it contains sweet brown sugar, orange oil and bergamot. However, the orange doesn't come through as much as I would like. This is the kind of body scrub that is gritty enough to do the job yet isn't harsh because of the oils. It leaves an oily residue on the skin which some people like so they don't have to moisturise and others (like my mum) find too greasy. I can't find this on the website any more but at £32 as nice as it is, it is very expensive.

Here are the sums, quite the bargain I'm sure you'll agree...

Order Summary

There are 6 items in your basket.
Sub total£63.95
Promotional Discount-£43.72
Order total:£20.23

Overall, there are some hits and misses for me but if you're looking for a 100% natural skincare brand at decent prices I would recommend you give Organic Surge a go. They might not have 70% off on a regular basis but I know they do have offers so maybe give them a follow on Twitter to keep up to date.

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Sunday, 22 September 2013

My CARGO Cosmetics wins!

Hi ladies

So I was lucky enough to win a Twitter competition hosted by the lovely people at CARGO a while ago. To set the scene - my cousin was round my house, I got the notification and I screamed and ran around the room like a headless chicken. I never win competitions so this was a huge deal! A few days later these goodies came through the post. Although it may seem cheeky to criticise products when I was kindly given them as a prize - I am nothing but honest when it comes to reviews. So that having been noted, on we go...
I received a contour palette, lip gloss quad, eyeshadow quad and a mascara. I will be swatching them all for you today. I will leave the review of the mascara for another day though as I have some mascaras on the go and don't like opening new ones unless I'll be using them.

Contour Palette - 02 Monaco (£22)
The packaging is sleek in that it is thin and comes with a huge mirror. The outer part is that silver reflective material that is so anti-photographing.

The kit comes with a highlight, blush and contour shade - all of which are clearly labelled.

CARGO Contour Palette 02 Monaco swatches
I think the contour shade is most accurately reflected in this photo above. The other photos wash out the colour slightly.

  • Unfortunately the contour shade pretty much matches my skin colour so contouring with it is out of the question. 
  • The blusher is a shimmery peachy shade which on my skin takes a bit of building up and although shimmery blushes aren't really my thing this feels like a good quality blush.
  • The highlight shade is a completely different colour to other highlighters I have in my collection. It isn't the most subtle of highlights on me because of the contrast between the really light (almost white) coloured powder and my darker skin tone. I think I'll enjoy using this!

Overall, I think £22 is a very decent price to pay for a trio like this IF the shades work for you.

Lip Gloss Quad - Oceania (£15)
The lip gloss quad comes in a round, silver, lightweight tin. I thought at first it would be the cream blusher as that comes in the same packaging.
They have this quad in 3 different shades - Argentina seems peachier, whereas South Beach is more for the nude lovers. Oceania is the pinkest offering, with a deep purple to allow you to darken it up. Well that's the theory.

CARGO Lip Gloss Quad Oceania swatches

I should start by saying - I'm not really a gloss sort of girl. Especially not the palette variety but the colours looked really bright so I had high hopes for good colour pay off. Instead, I had to really build up the swatches and do a bit of editing to show you the colours. On a positive note, the soft and somewhat oily texture means it isn't at all sticky. I would describe these as high shimmer but low colour pay off.

Colour Eye Shadow Palette - Bermuda (£18)
The packaging for this is quite different from the rest of the range. I'm sure most people would like the design of this but personally it feels quite old fashioned to me.

This is a pretty little neutrals palette. A highlight shade, a medium brown with a cool undertone, a darker brown with a warmer undertone and a pinky shade. If you're a neutrals girl and need to go away for the weekend, this would be a lightweight and thin option to pop into your bag with a big mirror.

CARGO Colour Eye Shadow Palette Bermuda swatches

CARGO Colour Eye Shadow Palette Bermuda swatches

I don't have a lot to say about these. They look really glittery in the pan and I'm talking chunky glitter but the glitter doesn't really translate onto the lids. As soft as they are, I don't find they are pigmented enough to show up on me. It would take a lot of building up to get it to show up on my skin. I would therefore recommend this palette for those that don't mind the the effort it would require to make the colours appear more vibrant or those with fairer skin.

Overall, it doesn't seem my views are very positive. A lot of criticisms revolve around the products not being pigmented enough and maybe better suited for lighter skin. Having said that, I'm really grateful I won the competition and was given a chance to finally try some Cargo products after hearing rave reviews. I'm sure when I get the chance to choose products myself, they'll be better suited to my skin tone so I haven't written off the brand just yet. Thanks Cargo!

You can buy CARGO at the likes of BeautyBay and Debenhams..

Till next time...Toodles! :)