Sunday, 30 January 2011

EcoTools

EcoTools - the tools for earth friendly beauty...I've been eyeing these for ages and don't quite know why I never gave into making a purchase sooner...

The brushes feature:
  • a highly sustainable bamboo handle
  • 100% cruelty-free, soft taklon bristles
  • recycled aluminium ferrule 
  • reusable storage pouch 
I've got three eco brushes but I'm really keen on trying out more. The ones I have are:


eye shading brush -
The bristles are flat and firmly packed. I use this one for packing eyeshadow colour onto the lid and it's also great for concealing and highlighting the under eye area.

eye shadow brush
I think that this brush is meant to be an improved version of the eye shading brush (above) - at least that's what it says on the pouch - "Improved Cut & Application".
The bristles are a bit more fluffy making it easier to blend with. It works great for highlighting the brow bone or adding an all over colour to the lid.

Here are the two eye brushes side by side:
Left: eye shading brush  Right: the improved eye shadow brush

bronzer brush -
 Oh my eco bronzer brush, how do I LOVE thee...!!! I'll definitely be getting another one of these as it is just amazing. The bristles are densely packed and so so incredibly SOFT! It's such a pleasure to use. You need to use with a light hand though as it's all too easy to get too much product on. I've been using it with both cream and powder bronzers and I couldn't be happier.

All three of my eco brushes are very soft and great quality so I'm really looking forward to trying other ones from the series.
If you've tried them then I'd love to hear your recommendations!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Clairol Nice 'n Easy Colour Blend Foam

Clairol's Nice 'n Easy Colour Blend Foam promises to make colouring an experience to look forward to due to its foamy consistency and non drip formula.
Personally I detest permanent hair dyes as I can't stand the stink that comes with the territory. However I was keen on trying out this one as it promised a clean and effortless application. 

So fully prepared to embrace the unpleasant smell I got all set up and followed the instructions:
...and so I mixed and shook the hell out of the bottle...gave it a squeeze and out came a stinky, rather beer-like smelling blob of runny foam. I applied it to my hair only to have it drip down my forehead and also onto the floor...no drip formula huh?

In order to get a foamy consistency you need to shake the bottle intensely before each and every squeeze which is rather annoying and quite messy as the dye goes all over the place.

Overall I'm not impressed and in the future will pass on this latest offering from Clairol. It's only saving grace has been the conditioning gloss (you get two sachets) that accompanies this product as it smells divine and leaves the hair looking shiny and feeling soft.


Have you tried this foam formula and how did you find it?

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Bloggywood Awards - Vote for your Favourites!

One of my blog followers Olivia informed me the other day that she'd nominated me for a blog award. I was over the moon and in complete and utter shock that anyone would actually consider my blog for such a thing.

I'd like to thank all of my followers and readers for checking out my blog and commenting - I'm still finding it hard to believe that people actually read the stuff I write...and I get really happy and excited whenever I see any sort of comments - so thx for your support!

Anyway, if you'd like to nominate any blogs then here are the rules:
  • Post about this award and copy the rules. Link the person that had tagged you.
    • Choose 3 - 5 Blogs you would like to tag and link them too. Leave them a comment on their blog that you've linked them.
    • Important: This award is for unknown blogs or the ones that are starting out.  
    This is a great idea as it helps to promote the newer or less popular blogs that really need more traffic. There are no prizes to be won - just good old recognition.

    My award goes to:

    Into the Palette - this is Olivia's blog, I'm nominating her cause she introduced me to this great idea. Check out her blog as she puts a lot of work into it and shares very in-depth make-up how to's and step by step demonstrations.


    Kranberrie's Juices - another lovely girl who's very dedicated to her blog. She shares her life, dreams, ideas, recipes and whatever else grabs her fancy...

    Skyla Arts - a very talented make-up artist and photographer. Be sure to check out her fabulous work!

    D.A.D.M - a very interesting blog that provides a lot of posts detailing researched info regarding beauty products. I loved his "beauty myths debunked" posts.

    Hope you guys will get involved as well and have fun giving out those awards!

    Thursday, 20 January 2011

    Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream

    Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream has a variety of uses - in fact, the list is pretty darn long.

    You can use it as a make-up remover; skin moisturiser; for dry, itchy, chapped skin; massage lotion; hair tamer; hot oil treatment; after-shave cream; skin irritations; scars...and the list goes on and on.

    I was drawn to this product as I love a multi-tasker and the ingredients list is pretty impressive too:
    • Olive oil, Beeswax, Honey, Pollen, Royal Jelly, Propolis Extract
    I think the Olive oil and honey just sold it to me - I love these two ingredients as they bring out the best in my skin.

    I purchased my first tub from Beautybay around Christmas time and after trying it out for a week I ordered a second one - I really wanted to get a back up especially since it was retailing for £22.50. I'm not quite sure but I think that it normally retails for £45 - but I could be wrong.

    Since getting it I've been using it daily as a neck and facial moisturiser, hand and foot cream, lip balm, on my knees and elbows, around the cuticles and to tame any unruly eyebrows.
    I have also tried it out as a make-up remover and it works incredibly well at removing the slap. Does a great job of conditioning the eyelashes too.

    Egyptian Magic is just the sort of product I adore - simple, thick, oily, moisturising, hydrating...
    The consistency is pretty thick but takes the form of an oil once you start rubbing it into the skin. 
    Prior to using Egyptian Magic my skin was pretty dehydrated due to the heating being on almost all the time throughout the day. I have this test that I do to check for dehydration:
    I place my index finger horizontally across my cheek and lift the skin upward with it. When I see a lot of tiny lines then I know that it's time for some serious re-hydration.
    Egyptian Magic resolved this problem after the first use! My skin has become incredibly soft, smooth and plump.

    I know that a lot of people would probably refrain from using Egyptian Magic as a day and night time moisturiser due to it being so oily but for me it serves this purpose incredibly well as it's just the sort of thing my skin loves. My skin just seems to devour moisture.

    In terms of it being effective at treating serious skin conditions - well I can't vouch for that as I haven't had any to test this product on apart from dry elbows which are now the softest I've ever had and of course my dehydrated skin which is now baby soft and very supple.

    I did give a little sample to my sister to try out as she's got very dry, sensitive skin. It didn't cause an adverse reaction on her which was a good thing as almost every product on this planet does. Apparently it made red areas go down but also made her skin quite flaky in some areas and she thus stopped using it on her face.

    Anyway, being such a wonderful multi-tasker, Egyptian Magic could quite possibly save one a lot of bathroom space - just think of all the products that it could replace...tempting but I do love my product testing so I won't be giving up on all other beauty goodies out there just yet.
    I will however make Egyptian Magic a staple within my beauty stash.

    Saturday, 15 January 2011

    Kryolan Dermacolour Concealer Wheel

    Dermacolor is a paramedical make-up line developed by Kryolan and is designed to correct skin disfigurements or discolorations.You can purchase Dermacolour concealers individually but they also come in very handy wheels and palettes which are brilliant for make-up artists. 
    I love concealer wheels as you can mix and match to your heart's desire and was also on the lookout for a heavy duty concealer which would be able to deal with masking more prominent imperfections and discolourations. 

    I purchased this Dermacolour Wheel 1 which features six shades to cover a range of lighter skin tones - D1W, D62, D66, D3.5, D7, DFD. 
    These concealers are very high pigmented, thick, waxy and provide full coverage. I've been playing around with this wheel for over a week now in order to get to grips with the usage as the consistency is quite tricky to deal with. 
    It's very important to use tiny amounts of product as that's all that's needed and to apply in thin layers. 
    You really wouldn't believe just how little product manages to go a very very long way. 

    Here are the swatches for this wheel: 
    And for the purpose of this post I decided to quickly conceal a birth mark found on the back of my calf - 
    Before:
    After:
    I've also worn this concealer as a foundation when experimenting and quite liked it. Less than half a pea sized amount is enough to cover the whole face area. It's absolutely crucial to really warm the product up on your hand before application. 
    When applying it as a foundation I scoop out the shades that suit me on the back of my hand and mix them really well with a foundation brush. Then I start applying to the centre of my face and blend, blend, blend outwards. Blending is really crucial!
    If properly applied you can achieve a natural looking result which still shows your natural skin. 
    I wore it as a foundation today and here's how it looked -
    If you're not careful it will end up looking as a mask and really cakey, settling into any lines you may have. I tried it with a heavier application and wasn't even able to see any of my freckles. 


    Overall, I'm very pleased with it both as a concealer and foundation and can see it becoming a very useful part of my kit.

    Friday, 14 January 2011

    Make-up Makeover

    A friend of mine Monika popped over today so that we could see how she manages to pull off a "dark eye" look.
    She normally tends to wear minimal make-up but has always been a fan of dark eye make-up paired with a nude lip, however isn't able to make herself up in such a way and thus asked me to help.

    She was also kind enough to allow me to share the results with my wonderful blog followers.

    Here's Monika before:
    ...and a little after:
    Here's what I used to create her look:

    Face
    Leichner Camera Clear Tinted Foundation in Blend of Beige mixed with Blend of Biscuit
    YSL Touche Eclat under the eyes
    E.L.F. Studio Line HD Powder
    MAC Bronzing Powder in Matte Bronze

    Cheeks
    Illamasqua blush in Lover
    Smashbox softlights to highlight

    Eyes
    Kryolan matte eyeshadow in Anthracite mixed with Urban Decay's matte eyeshadow in Heist
    Urban Decay matte eyeshadow in ABC Gum to highlight the brow bone
    Urban Decay Virgin eyeshadow from Naked palette just in the inner corner of the eyes
    Black eyeliner from MAC
    Prestige My Blackest Lashes Mascara

    Lips
    E.L.F. Mineral Lipstick in Natural Nymph mixed with Runway Pink
    Revlon Super Lustrous gloss in Peach Petal


    What do you reckon...does this look suit her?

    Thursday, 13 January 2011

    NYX Cream Blush

    My first purchase from NYX - a cream blush in the shade Orange.

    When I first saw it I didn't think that I'd be able to pull off wearing it but luckily it looks soft and sheer when blended out. 
    It's soft, creamy and incredibly pigmented and thus needs to be applied with caution. A gentle dab of the fingertip into the product is just enough to cover the cheek area. If you need more intensity then just simply continue to carefully layer and build up the colour.

    Here's how I wore it today - both on the cheeks and lips -

    Isn't Orange just lovely and bright? It would probably look great on a tanned complexion.

    Wednesday, 5 January 2011

    Prestige My Blackest Lashes Mascara

    If asked which make-up item I'd not be able to do without, I'd probably have to say mascara. Even on days when I'm not wearing any make-up I still like to put mascara on as it just adds a bit of that much needed definition to the eyes.
    So with mascara being my must-have item it is quite surprising that I don't have a favourite one.

    A couple of years ago I swore by Maybelline's Great Lash and was never swayed by more expensive brands. Then I went onto an experimental route and never used the same mascara twice. I used a lot of mascara's by Avon having their catalogues always at hand.
    I find Loreal's Voluminous to be one of the great ones but will not be repurchasing due to Loreal not being an animal friendly brand...and so my search continues.

    The one that I've been using for over a month now is My Blackest Lashes by Prestige. I heard about it in one of Lisa Eldridge's tutorials and then went on to read a couple of reviews, all of which seemed to be pretty positive with a lot of reviewers claiming that they'd found their HG mascara.

    The first time I tried My Blackest Lashes was a bit disappointing, perhaps due to the fact that I'd had raised expectations. But then as I continued using it it started to grow on me.
    You definitely get better results by following the zig-zag motion of application.

    As you can see the packaging is pretty plain and simple:
     The brush is pretty big which I happen to like:
    My Blackest Lashes claims to give intensely black lashes and this is what I seem to have an issue with - does it really? Every time I apply it, I seem to be analysing the "blackness" of my lashes and whether or not they're any blacker than when I use a regular black mascara.

    Oh, decide for yourselves -

    Without Blackest Lashes: 
    And with My Blackest Lashes on:
    Well, they're definitely black but is it an intense black?

    Anyway, putting aside the whole "black intensity" issue, I'd say that it's still a very decent mascara that wears pretty well and still looks in place and reasonably fresh on me at the end of the day. The price is great too as it retails for around £6 or so.
    Does it have the "WOW" factor though - not for me personally although I have no complaints about it.

    Will I repurchase? I'll probably continue experimenting and trying out other mascaras within the £10 mark as I really don't like to spend more than that on a mascara.
    I might repurchase My Blackest Lashes somewhere down the line but definitely not straight away.

    Do you have a Holy Grail mascara?

    Monday, 3 January 2011

    New Blushes

    Happy New Year to you all - let it be a good one!!!

    I just wanted to share two new blushes which I acquired last month...and yes I am still on the peach/apricot bandwagon.

    The first is The Body Shop Cheek Colour in Apricot Shimmer
    Comes in a not too big of a pan which is only a little bigger than your average eyeshadow. It's thus a great space saver and ideal for popping into your handbag.
    Apricot Shimmer is a very pretty and wearable shade with the glitter particles not being overwhelming. I'd say that this blush is more suited for lighter skin tones as it probably won't show up well on darker complexions but could make for a nice highlighter along the upper cheek area.

    Here's a swatch:
    The other blush that I got is probably not to be found in stores any longer as it's from the Smashbox Reign Collection which was released when?...I can't even remember but it was probably Autumn/Fall 2009.

    Anyway, I got it from www.justbeautydirect.co.uk which is my go to website for all my Smashbox needs.
    They're having a great sale on right now so be sure to check it out.

    Onto the blush at hand - I purchased the Reign Fusion Blush in Regal - and I love it.
    It comes in a soft, padded faux leather effect, mirrored compact. This is a dual toned blush which has both a matte and shimmery texture in a peachy nude shade.
    The shimmery side of the blush is luckily not overly shimmery, in fact when swatched and applied onto the cheeks you can barely see any shimmer.
    Here's a swatch - the matte texture is on my index  finger and the shimmer on my middle finger:
    ...and here they are blended together:
    Regal has subtle colour payoff which is just perfect for a blush as there's lesser chance of going overboard with the application.

    One thing's for sure - Regal is definitely going to be a very often reached for blush.