Christian Dior Forever Undercover foundation – first impressions

product review

I joined Glamour Beauty Club online a few months ago, and surprisingly, have received two great products in the post since. Last week I was fortunate enough to receive a (rather large) sample of Dior’s newest foundation; the Forever Undercover foundation boasts a 24 hr full coverage. Does it live up to its claims?

The Performance & First Impressions

Firstly, I would like to advise any fellow beauty bloggers to sign up to Glamour Beauty Club. As you will know, unless you have several PR companies consistently fighting to mail you products, (we aren’t all that lucky). It can get very expensive when you keep buying the latest products just to produce blog content. It’s handy being sent free products to test – and gives a helping hand in producing content for both social media and your blog.

I’m not really a full coverage gal if I’m honest. On a daily basis I’ll wear a light Serum foundation for work. However this Dior foundation gives excellent coverage, without the heaviness that often comes with full coverage foundation. It isn’t thick or cloggy (I think I just legit invented a word), it is light on the skin but covers all imperfections. I have rather large, open pores on my right cheek. Probably an after effect of battling acne for the last ten years. And I struggle to cover them, even with a decent primer on before foundation application. The Dior Forever Undercover managed to fill them in and give a flawless finish. (See picture below).

It smells divine when you apply it, and has that luxury feel that you would expect from a £34.00 foundation. I’d be happy to wear this daily, and on a night out. As for the claim of lasting 24 hrs, I’m not nasty enough to leave my foundation on for that long. Although it did last all day without any signs of wear on my face (8 hours or so). Overall, I’d say that the foundation is great, but there are other foundations on par quality wise that are slightly cheaper.

(I know I’ve got a filter on my mush, but this foundation did give a matte, flawless finish💜)

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The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Glow Mask – Weekend pamper for skin

product review

Due to global warming we’ve had a prolonged Winter this year, and it’s been difficult to say the least. Battling through snow and sub zero degree weather in mid March, I’m sure, has taken its toll on us all. I certainly know it has taken a rather large toll on my skin. The harsh weather, and consistent ups and downs in temperature have left my skin battered. Dry and dull.

The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Glow Mask, at £17 is a bargain of a treatment. The Full Review

The Body Shop has a great reputation when it comes to skincare – and after using several of their products I can see why. As a brand, they pride themselves on being vegan friendly, animal cruelty free & are not exploitative with their prices. Could The Body Shop be the ultimate millennial skincare brand?

Their Himalayan Charcoal Glow Mask was a favourite with bloggers and beauty fanatics alike, since it launched. The Glow Mask does exactly as the name suggests – it gives skin a refreshing glow. A wonderfully pampering treatment; you apply the face mask, leave for 5 minutes to dry and then wash off.

The natural ingredients used such as, green tea leaves, tea tree oil and bamboo oil are great for consumers with sensitive skin, like myself. I have found some face masks too abrasive for my skin, they are ultimately dehydrating. Which, in fact, ends up being counter productive. However this mask leaves skin looking and feeling refreshed.

The Glow Mask is inspired by Ayurvedic traditions, and the tea tree oil used provides a holistic smell and relaxes body and mind whilst using the mask.

The Charcoal content is added for its purifying benefits. Charcoal is used to draw out impurities, and reduce excess oil in a natural way. The mask contains no Parabens, Silicone or Paraffin.

If you are hibernating until the weather improves, (I certainly am), add this to your pampering routine this weekend. It is a must have to bust winter skin blues.

Murad Professional Eye Lift Firming Treatment review

product review

There is a certain element of trust when it comes to purchasing anti ageing skincare products. Naturally, you will not be able to view any results immediately. We place an immense amount of trust into products and brands, believing their creams and potions will be the fountain of youth.

Although I am only 25 (and I feel 19 let me tell you), I feel this is the appropriate age to start taking care of my skin. Beginning to ward off wrinkles.

My under eye area has always been a concern for me. I have severe dark circles, and so when applying make up I tend to over conceal them. I am aware that dragging this sensitive area may cause premature wrinkles. Furthermore, overloading the concealer draws attention to fine lines. I am caught in this vicious cycle of attempting to cover the dark circles; whilst potentially causing further damage and premature wrinkles. I have been scouring the shelves for a beauty product which can renew my under eye area.

And to my utter amazement, I have found an eye firming treatment that actually works.

Performance

Okay so the Murad Professional Eye Firming Treatment is not cheap, at £55 per 30ml – you may already be reconsidering.

However the results should convince you otherwise. The products works with the pads which are included with the treatment cream (as pictured).

You firstly apply a generous amount of the cream to your under eye area. Next you apply the pad which sticks to the cream, and pat on in a massaging motion. You leave the pad under your eyes for around 10-15 minutes.

The results are instantaneous. The under eye area feels tight and taut. I believe the effects of this cream are comparable to salon treatments and aesthetics that you would pay considerably more for.

Overall

The entire experience of using this product is enjoyable. It forces you to make time for yourself. To sit down, forget the world and focus on yourself. Whether it’s only 10 minutes or 20, setting time aside for yourself can be so beneficial to your overall happiness and mood.

In a world where social media rules, in a society where depression and anxiety is rife, it is mandatory to self heal. The Firming Eye treatment gives you a personalised spa treatment in the comfort of your home; the after results are amazing, so amazing you’ll forget that you are spending over £50! Do you need any more reasons to invest?!

Make Up Revolution Conceal and Define concealer review & mini haul

make-up hauls, product review

It’s the concealer that has taken the beauty blogging world by storm. At only £4, Makeup Revolutions mini wonder stick has been dubbed as the perfect dupe for Tartes’ shape tape concealer.

It’s safe to assume this concealer has built up quite the reputation since it launched.

At a fraction price, available in 18 shades and with a smoothed brush that will not drag sensitive under eye skin. It’s got to be the ultimate concealer?

My experience and first impressionsI purchased the concealer in shade C2, and I am impressed that there is diversity in the shades available. Naturally, due to the various shades available the concealer is also popular for contouring purposes. The wide, smooth application brush allows the product to be applied effortlessly with no pulling or dragging of the under eye area. This is a full coverage concealer, and it is not thick or heavy on the skin. I was very satisfied with the coverage on my dark circles and imperfections. I have severe dark circles, and sometimes concealer under the eyes can crease after a few hours of wear. The make up revolution concealer did not crease – which is helpful as the creases only further accentuate the tired looking under eye area! Overall I really enjoyed applying and wearing this concealer. Not to mention the pretty rose gold casing which would have you believe the product cost much more than the actual £4 price tag. A really classy, quality product. 10/10 (and believe me I don’t often give products full marks). Make Up Revolution mini haul review I have been an avid fan of the Make Up Revolution franchise for a while. Also being an avid cheapskate, I love the high quality products available for slashed prices. Superdrug currently have a great offer on make up Revolution, when you spend over £12 you will receive a ‘Love Conquers All’ palette (as pictured). The Mini Haul The Must Have Red Lipstick Rose gold lipstick in Red Carpet, £3 The images I have captured certainly do little justice for this red lippie. I have had a long and lustful affair with red lipsticks, having white blonde hair and pale skin u prefer those with a blue undertone. Mac Ruby Woo is my usual go to red lipstick. However this little baby has now overtaken that. The shade of this lipstick is insane, it’s a deep powerful red. I did not expect the amount of pigment which is present at such a low price. If you are partial to a red lip, this is an absolute staple item. The Baking PowderBake & Finish luxury baking powder, £5 You know my reviews are always shamelessly honest and completely unadulterated right? I’m sad to say that I don’t actually know how to correctly use baking powder. It’s not a concept that I am familiar with. So before reviewing this product I had to watch YouTube tutorials in order to appropriately blend my white powder seamlessly into my new concealer. I used the powder mainly under the eyes as my dark circles are my main skin concern. The powder did give an even matte finish, and for those of you with more experience with baking your face – this would be an ideal buy at only £5. The All-Rounder Palette Love Conquers All palette, FREE with £12 worth of purchases (unfortunately the deal is not longer running and the palette seems to have disappeared from the Internet altogether) Sometimes I am so sensible it hurts. And when it comes to make up practicality, my inner geek rises up. So upon realising this palette had not only pigmented eyeshadows, but a pink and gold highlighter – I was delighted. The palette contains 6 eyeshadow colours, and a pink and gold highlighter in the middle. As I expected the highly pigmented quality that we are used to from Make up Revolution is ever present in this palette. I am very excited to create some bold looks with it. Infact, I would recommend all of their palettes. If you buy anything this weekend – ensure that it is a Make Up Revolution product. The quality never disappoints and you are left with zero guilt afterwards, because let’s face it a couple of pounds for cult beauty products. We are practically stealing from the brand.

Hormonal skin / acne defense kit

product review

You know only too well those dreaded feelings. Irritable, on edge, mentally imagining hurting people for saying the wrong thing. Craving everything in the world that is bad for you, chocolate, crisps, chips. I’ll have all the calories at once please. Just to add insult to injury, your skin is also plying havoc with you. Lovely great red bumps appearing in cute little mountains all over your face. Yep, you are about to menstruate. And it’s not fun.

For those of us suffering with acne (I only just realised I am now classified as an actual adult, skin condition has evolved into ‘adult acne’), or annoying breakouts right before our period; it can cause stress and lower self esteem. Because as if your devilish hormones didn’t make you feel bad enough, your skin also has to suffer for you being part of the female gender.

I have compiled a kit which helps eradicate the breakouts and keep spots at bay, whilst also targeting other skin concerns. I personally have acne, and severe dry patches of skin (possibly eczema). It can be difficult to find products which can cater for two contradicting issues. Hopefully this kit can be utilised by anyone with differentiating skin types, as I seem to have developed all of them at once!

Here is the ultimate skincare line up of all line ups:

1. What Skin Needs Skin Balm, £9.99

I have mentioned this miracle cream in previous posts, and it continues to amaze me. Containing exotic Aussie natural ingredients, the Balm promises to treat a number of dry skin conditions. This moisturiser will help renew hydration in the skin, which can be lost using stringent cleansing agents – especially when treating acne / spot breakouts.

2. Primark Cucumber & Aloe Hydrating Mist, £2.00 (Available in store)

Just to reiterate, it is mandatory to restore the moisture in your skin. I use this hydrating mist after cleansing my face, however it can also be spritzed on after make up application. Use throughout the day to enjoy a fresh burst of moisture. This is an unbelievably cheap dupe for Mario Badescus facial spray.

3. Vitamin E Dual Phase Cleansing Oil, £2.99

A great everyday cleanser which is gentle to skin. Although it may not assist with breakouts, it will help restore any damage caused by harsh acne treatments. My usual routine is to use a face mask once a week, and cleansing oil for the rest of the duration of the week. It’s easy to over cleanse when trying to eliminate spots and oily skin, counteract this with a cleansing oil.

4. Avon Anew Reversalist Night Treatment Cream, £20.00

This cream is aimed at ageing skin; however if you have been subjected to taking any type of oral acne treatment, or other medicinally prescribed treatments for conditions such as eczema; they often contain ingredients like steroids which can strip layers of skin and cause premature ageing. Not to mention all the chemicals which are features in drugstore ‘acne’ treatments which can also harm the skin over prolonged usage. I feel at 25, this is a great time to start targeting the early signs of wrinkles. This Avon dual treatment is scientifically proven to target wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. It works by rotation, you use the night treatments for one week at a time and alternate between the two. It contains a super retinol which boosts collagen and reduces wrinkles.

5. Dr Organic Rose Otto Face Mask, £7.99

I find this face mask is brilliant at calming down stressed skin; especially during or in the midst of a breakout. It contains natural China Clay, which draws out oils and impurities without being harsh on skin.

6. The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%, £8.00

I use this intermittently when not using the Avon treatment (this product advises against using with other retinoid treatments). As standard with The Ordinary skincare range, I find this more of a treatment rather than an everyday product. On the day where you feel your skin has broken out – or is just about to. This is the perfect time to reach for this emulsion. Although this also contains super retinoids to target uneven skin tone and ageing. I find this also dries out spots, I use it after Cleansing and before moisturiser as a toner. It doubles up as a wrinkle treatment. Killing two birds with one stone!

With this kit your skin should be armed to face anything. The world can be falling apart around you, at least your skin will be flawless.

Are commercial brands like Neutrogena suitable for sensitive skin? 

opinion piece

*Disclaimer; I am not a trained cosmetologist or scientist, opinions included within this post are based on my own experience, skin type, research and opinion* 

I know I have previously mentioned all of my hundreds of skincare concerns, however I am going to reiterate for the sake of this post. My skin seems to incessantly hate me, for it doesn’t matter how much time or money I spend trying to love it – it still misbehaves almost instantaneously. The main problem is that I have suffered with acne for the last 10 years, meaning my t-zone is naturally full of oil. I was taking accutane for a year to treat my acne (a very strong drug used to treat cancer and other ailments). This drug severely dries out your skin, so now I have both permanently oily and dry skin. Oily overall with dry peeling patches. So not ideal really. 

Over the last few years, I have tried and tested a myriad of skincare brands and products. And there seems to be one thing in common with a majority of them.  They are super stringent on sensitive skin, and consequently cause an over production of sebum – making any skin issues worsen. You see, if you strip your skin of its natural oils, as a defence mechanism your skin will start to product more sebum (oil). An over production of sebum is what causes acne. This is counter productive to treating your oily skin problem, as you are in fact adding to the issue. 

If your skin feels tight after your skincare regime, you may be using a cleanser containing alcohol. Or simply over cleansing. A lot of drugstore / commercial brands use alcohol within their face washes and toners. 

I recently attended a press event for Neutrogena, where I received these skincare products in my goodie bag:Using these products just emphasised to me how there is an entire branch of the skincare industry misadvertising. If we take the above cleanser as an example, ‘gently cleanses..’ – there is nothing gentle about this cleanser I can assure you. I have attempted to use this cream wash and it totally dried out my skin. It contains alcohol AND salicylic acid. Now, although salicylic acid is known for its acne fighting properties. What these advertisers often don’t mention is that prolonged use can dry and thin skin, and cause excessive dryness. The combination of these two ingredients plus a whole host of other chemicals makes these products very drying. There are also websites where you can check if a product contains irritant ingredients, this is helpful as you can check before investing. It’s important to remember that some of these ingredients are necessary, however try to choose products with less harmful amounts of these irritant ingredients. 

I’m sure that these products may be suitable for those with less sensitive skin. However the fact that some of the ingredients are harmful to skin, rings alarm bells in my mind. 

If you do have sensitive skin, I would avoid brands that make products similar to this. Remember to check ingredients before purchasing. Here are some other tips to stop you from over-drying your skin; 

1. Limit chemical exposure 

If you can, try to cleanse with a plain oil or water. Of course you can use a gentle oil or make up remover to take off make up beforehand 

2. Tone it down 

A lot of toners are stringent and drying. They often contain perfumes, alcohol and salicylic acid. Check the ingredients, and remove them from your skincare regime 

3. Creamy dreamy 

Invest in an appropriate moisturiser for your skin type. Especially for over night moisturisation, this will help to repair skin and leave it replenished in the morning 

The conclusion is that you must be over careful when purchasing skincare products. Always check and research ingredients – and be aware of what your own skin can handle and needs. Every facial wash out there is going to emphasise how brilliant it is – we must learn to read between the lines. I think as consumers we can often become lazy, and we trust certain brands because they have a huge reputation. This does not necessarily mean that they always have our best interests at heart. Products are produced on a mass scale to make money. Sometimes, you have to stop and think about what exactly you are choosing to lump on your skin. 

November beauty heroes 

product review

The past month has been crazy busy; and what has been a flurry of beauty reviews, starting a new job and alcohol fuelled event launches has just flown by. Having a superabundance of products to try is certainly nothing to complain about, but it does however making choosing the best of the bunch a hard job. 

Here is what I’ve loved this month and why: 

1. Protect the skin your in 

What skin needs, Skin balm, £9.99 

Forever fighting a battle against my skin, I’m always on the lookout for ‘miracle’ products to surpress my ever growing list of skin concerns. This skin balm works at reducing several types of irritations, including eczema, dry skin, acne and sunburn. It is made in Australia, and derived from a Phyto Activated plant extract. From the first night I used it, I saw a visible difference to my skin condition. An absolute steal at £9.99. 
2. Perfect for Christmas, perfect for you 

Ghost sweetheart gift set, £38 

This gift set is amazing value for £38. It contains a 50ml version of the Ghost Sweetheart perfume (which is absolutely enchanting, without being overpowering), two nail varnishes, a candle, a make up bag and body butter. Everything smells divine, everything has rose gold on it. It’s a beauty bloggers dream. This would make a perfect Christmas gift for a loved one, or why not for yourself!? 

3. Sometimes natural 
Kiss Lash Couture Eyelashes in Little Black Dress, £5.32 

As a serial lash wearer (I feel terribly bald without them), it’s difficult to find daily lashes. The trouble of searching for a glamorous false lash that isn’t totally ridiculous in the workplace. I think I have finally found a feasible solution! Kiss’ latest Lash Couture range uses faux mink lashes, which are soft and easy to use but give a good length. They look really pretty on, a lovely flirty natural lash. 

Kiss Lash Couture Lashes in ‘Little Black Dress’