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What is it?
The Konad nail stamping system is a relatively new idea, combining easy and simple nail-art techniques with professional looking results! The kit I am reviewing is a kit, purchased from the online retailer www.wowsocool.com, called the basic stamping kit, and contains all the necessary equipment for the Konad technique.
How to use it?
The kit contains 1 (5ml) special nail polish (white), 1 image plate (m2), 1 stamp & 1 scraper. Basically, the polish is painted onto the image plate which has designs engraved on it. The scraper is then drawn across the image plate to scrape off excess polish, so that the only remaining polish on the plate is that that is in the engraving and all excess polish is removed. Then, using the rubber stamper, press down onto the polish to pick up the design. This is then stamped onto the nail. It may sound confusing but this is actually a very easy method!
On my photo-sharing site, I have uploaded images of my nails the first time I used the stamping kit and I used a bright nail polish as the base (Barry M's Turquoise) so that the patterns stand out. The link is here: http://s367.photobucket.com/albums/oo116/SpicedChocolate/Konad%20Nail%20Art/
The polish that comes with the set is white, this is probably the most universal colour, it is not recommended that regular polish is used, as the "special" polish is alot thicker and is picked up better by the stamper.
Where to buy:
As I mentioned, I purchased my kit from wowsocool.com, this is an American based site so prices are in US dollars and higher shipping rates apply, but this still is cheaper than purchasing from the UK sites. If you use the coupon code "xsparkage", you get 20% off any order! It is the cheapest kit available on their website, and with the coupon code and international shipping included, the price totals $17.79, which equates to £10.77. I think this is great value as the results are amazing, so many patterns can be created easily, I always get compliments when I have done my nails with the Konad set! And it only takes around 10mins to do! The plate of designs that comes with the starter kit is very pretty, most of the designs are flowers, with one cute animal and animal print design aswell.
Wowsocool.com stock many other design plates and nail polish colours, for even more variety with your nails!
Thanks for taking time to read this review, if you have any comments or questions please message me or leave a comment and I will be glad to help! :)
Sigma Enterprises PLC is a relatively new US based online makeup brand. They sell brushes comparable to MAC but for a fraction of the price, all their brushes are handmade and great quality.
I have recently become interested/addicted to makeup and the main reason is due to YouTube! There is a large online makeup community with many makeup artists showing how to apply makeup and the products they use. About 2 months ago, several makeup artists such as MakeUpByTiffanyD and EnKoreMakeup made video's reviewing and raving about Sigma brushes.
All reviews I read and saw emphasised the same thing - these brushes were as good as MAC and other leading brands but at a much more affordable price! To make things easier, the company have even named their brushes with the same numbering as MAC ones, but with "SS" at the beginning - for example, the SS 187 is comparable to MAC's #187 brush. This makes brush identification easy and simple.
Of course, after seeing these reviews, I had to try at least one of these brushes out! I had been saving up to buy the MAC 187 for a while, but at £30 I was still dubious as to whether it would be a worthwhile investment. The Sigma version was $16 plus $5.60 shipping, this equates to £13 - less than half the price the MAC brush!
The 187 is a stippling brush - also known as a duo fibre brush. The brush consists of 2 layers of hairs - shorter black ones made from goat hair, which are thicker and give support and rigidity to the brush, and longer, softer white hairs which are synthetic. These hairs extend past the black ones and as they are synthetic will not absorb any liquid products you may use, they also allow for layering of a product - so you can control whether you require a sheer or fuller coverage.
These brushes can be used for applying liquid foundations, face powders, powder and cream blushes and even gel blushes.
Appearance and packaging:
I was very impressed with the speed of postage and the product arrived with me in less than a week. This is very fast considering the company is based in America and I live in England. It came in a securely sealed and well padded bag, and inside was not only the brush but a leaflet explaining how it, and other Sigma brushes can be used. I also received a free gift - an ELF eyeshadow compact! I felt that this was a very nice touch as I love getting freebies to try!
The brush itself was in a re-useable sleeve which protects the brush and keeps the hairs in perfect shape.
The brush is hairs are of very high quality and very soft, the black ones are slightly firmer as intended, but the white ones are so smooth and not scratchy or irritating at all! The bristles are very dense and well-packed and do not shed at all! As I do not own the MAC version, I cannot compare the two myself - but so many people have told me that the performance and feel of this brush is identical to the MAC version!
My main reason for using a stippling brush would be to apply liquid foundation. I get some foundation on the back of my hand and dip the brush into it; I then dot it onto my face and use a "stippling" motion to apply an even layer over my face. There is no need for excessive blending as this brush does it all in one step! I have heard that using a stippling or dotting motion when applying foundation helps to create an air-brushed or soft focus effect. I have tried this brush with many foundations and the end result has always impressed me, being much nicer than using fingers, a sponge or a flat foundation brush. I found I used less foundation overall, and my foundation gave me the coverage I required but still looked natural. Using this brush is also the quickest method I have ever experienced of applying foundation - I can have my foundation routine finished in 2 minutes! This is great for when I am in a hurry or just don't have the time to spend infront of the mirror in the morning!
This brush can also be used to apply a thin dusting of powder - pressed or loose - to set your foundation, I found it picked up the perfect amount of powder and distributed it evenly onto my face.
As this brush is so versatile, it can also be used to apply blush. I find this great for really pigmented or bright blushes because the brush has quite a wide base, so can distribute a thin layer onto my cheeks and prevent me from looking like a clown with a really bright, unnatural cheek colour!
I usually wash my brush after every use, I wet it and create a lather using a gentle hand wash or shampoo, it is really easy to wash and there is no colour run either. I then leave it to dry and often use the protective sleeve it came packaged in so that it dries in the desired shape. I leave it to dry overnight, but it can also be cleaned using a brush cleaner, and it will dry much quicker when using this as it contains alcohol.
Sigma is constantly expanding its brush range, which can be seen at: www.sigmamakeup.com. I find their website very easy to use and all it contains all relevant information. They have a range of brush kits to choose from, as well as buying the brushes individually. Their newest additions to the line include the SS 109 and SS 188 - both very versatile brushes.
The brush kits look amazing! There are 4 to choose from, depending on your needs, and even the largest kit containing 12 makeup brushes costs just $64 - that's around £3.50 per brush which would usually cost upwards of £15 at MAC!
The company ship worldwide and use USPS First Class Mail Service they have a great breakdown of prices on the "Payment and Shipping" section of their website - where international shipping costs $5.60 and for kits $9.20. This is quite reasonable for international fares, and all brushes are still less than half the price of MAC brushes, even including shipping.
Overall, as I am sure you may be able to tell - I am in love with my brush! This is a great brush for beginners as well as professionals as it is so versatile and easy to use. The brushes are amazing quality and a really good price, I recommend the SS 187 to you all! Go check them out! www.sigmamakeup.com
Thanks for taking time to read this review, if you have any comments or questions please message me or leave a comment and I will be glad to help! :)
Product Name: NVEY Eco Organic Lipstick
Check them out at: http://www.spiritofnature.co.uk/acatalog/6031.html and http://www.nveyeco.co.uk/eco_products_lips.html
These lipsticks can be purchased from several websites, but I find Spirit Of Nature has competitive prices, quick and reliable shipping and a great customer service. Another plus is that it is UK based so there is no additional charge or price conversion needed. I have seen these sold in Sephora in the US for a much higher price and I remember them catching my eye then, but I am glad I found Spirit Of Nature instead! The website can be a little confusing as to which colour is which lipstick but I contacted them and swatches of the products should be up soon, which will make things a lot easier!
About the company: Spirit of Nature is a family run business selling all organic products. Therefore, you can be sure all products are free from harmful unnaturals such as parabens and petrochemicals. For more details on these visit http://www.spiritofnature.co.uk/acatalog/about_us.html or my review on Naked Care Sensitive Conditioner. You can find many things sold on this site from clothing and biodegradable nappies to eco friendly household cleaning products and organic cosmetics.
NVEY Eco (pronounced na-vay!) is an Australian based company and has a high level of expertise in research and testing to produce high quality products that are free from chemical ingredients and not tested on animals. Their products are produced "down under" but sold globally.
Product Description: The website says... NVEY ECO Organic Lipstick delivers vibrant and natural colour compositions. An organic Castor Oil base combined with soothing Safflower, Beeswax and Vitamin E provides antioxidant and nourishing properties for soft, smooth lips. Available in 16 colours - 4 matte and 12 lightly shimmering or shiny shades.
Ingredients: Caprylic Capric Triglyceride(Coconut Oil), Safflower Oil, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, Natural Beeswax, Copernicia Cerifera Palm Wax, Sorbitan Olivate, Honeysuckle Extract, Candelilla Wax, Natural Vitamin E.
Appearance: The lipstick comes in a compact blue cardboard box with daisies and blue skies on the front - very cute! The product name and colour are also listed on the base, and this is repeated on the actual lipstick tube which is a shiny black colour with the nvey eco logo on the front. I was really impressed by the quality of the lipstick tube - it is much stronger than any of my MAC or NARS ones and consequently feels like the product is more protected. The actual lipstick is securely fitted into its container and I do not feel that the lipstick will snap off at any moment (are you listening Maybelline!?). The colour I have is Neutral Mauve Number 351, I usually stick to nude colours so was abit apprehensive when I got this - it looks a purplish brown in the tube. However, I got a pleasant surprise when I applied just one coat, I was really pleased with the outcome - it slightly darkened my lips to a wintry plum colour - nothing too dramatic. If you want more dramatic lips, 2 or 3 coats gives a darker, more intense colour which looks gorgeous on olive skin tones and not too bad on myself (I am pale with very cool undertones) especially when paired up with a matching scarf and hat!
The other colours available with a matte finish are coral pink, light pastel pink and violet rose. In the shimmery collection, there are 12 shades covering a broad colour spectrum with both warm and cool undertones.
Results: Apart from the colour, these lipsticks are really smooth to apply and seem to last a long time on my lips and also I do not need to worry about running out any time soon even though I have used it every day for a month - it doesn't seem to be any less than when I first got it! I can tell these contain oils and waxes as they are very soothing to my lips, leaving them feeling moisturised; and do not dry them out like other lip products can do. One thing I love about this lipstick is its versatility - I can wear it alone, with a gloss for a shinier look, with Vaseline for a neutral tint or wear a few layers of it for a more intense look.
Overall I think this product is a great investment, it is not only high quality, but I know it is not damaging to either myself or the environment. The versatility and lasting power is super and although a little pricy at £14.95 each I think it is well worthwhile as you know you are getting great, long lasting quality with this company.
Would I repurchase/recommend and why?: I would love to try more of these organic lipsticks as they have really impressed me and this one in particular has encouraged me to swap my nude lip for something a little darker. I would recommend these, and think they would make great Christmas presents or stocking fillers depending on how much you were spending on the person.
See my photobucket for swatches of this product etc...
*** The shimmery shades of the organic lipstick are £2 off right now over at Spirit Of Nature - http://www.spiritofnature.co.uk/acatalog/6067.html#a6067 ***
Thanks for taking the time to read this review, feel free to comment, rate or ask me any questions, and Merry Christmas everyone! :)
Product Name: Suncoat Natural Liquid Foundation
Price: £21.95 (32ml from greenhands.co.uk)
Would I buy again? No
About the company: Suncoat was founded in Canada in 2001. The aim of the company was to create an exciting product line of water-based nail polish and natural cosmetics that are both environmentally safe and chemical-free. These eco-friendly products are designed to meet your daily needs as alternatives to the many toxic products used in the personal health care industry today. All products are registered with Health Canada, and the ingredients in every product have been reviewed by the Canadian Government. Suncoat also guarantees that no animal testing has been involved.
Product Description: 100% Natural with Certified Organic Vegetable Oils, Vegan.
Soft, natural and effective - our natural liquid foundation helps to conceal facial imperfections whilst moisturising and protecting your skin. Suncoat's natural liquid foundation gives great coverage, looks natural and lasts all day! Preserved with natural extracts, and colored with mineral pigments. Free from parabens, synthetic colours, mineral oils, and animal products. You can adjust the coverage if you want a sheer look by mixing it with a small amount of moisturiser.
Available in Transparent, Ivory, Classic Tan and Bronzer.
Ingredients: Contains nurturing organic aloe vera, shea butter and soya oil. Also contains hemp seed oil, vegetable glycerin, antioxidant vitamins A, C and E.
The foundation is packaged in a glass jar with a pump applicator. I really like this feature as it seems to administer just the right amount of product. However, the tube inside the bottle, connected to the pump is shorter than the jar so I am not sure how you are meant to get the last 1/5 of it! There are only 4 colours which is a disappointment because even brands offering 20 or more colour shades often cannot suit everyone, HOWEVER, I was given "Transparent" which is their lightest shade and it suits me perfectly. For the MAC users out there - I am NW15 / NW20 in MAC and transparent is identical! I am unsure as to why it I called transparent as it implies it is unpigmented or something but its not.
This is not too think consistency wise, and applies very well - it does not show up dry areas or cake, and is easily blend-able - so far so good. It makes a good base for applying concealer to my undereye circles and mattifies my skin. It provides sheer to medium coverage and looks quite natural when on, blush and setting powders apply easily over the top. However, about 3 hours into the day my oil/shine is breaking through, this happens whatever foundation I use due to my oily skin type, but when I blot with MAC Blot powder, I notice my foundation has seemed to slid off my face. There are a few patches left in my pitted pores (great) and drier areas, but apart from that it has completely gone and I guess it could now be well described as "transparent"! I have worked on it and figured that I have to used setting/blot powder every 2 hours when using this foundation to maintain its staying power on my face, however this is a nuisance as during the day I do not want to be constantly scuttling off to the bathroom to blot my face and on days when I am out and about it is not always possible to do this. For me, this means that this foundation just does not work for me.
Pros: Didn't break me out - it is gentle to the skin as it has kind ingredients and suits my skin colour well
Cons: Very oily ingredients, best for dry skin, limited range of colours, expensive, doesn't stay on oily skin well
Would I repurchase/recommend and why?: I would actually recommend this to people with dry skin, but for its price - it doesn't compare with MAC Select SPF 15 which it seems very similar to with coverage, consistency, price etc but doesn't have the quality or staying power.
EDIT: I didn't use the foundation for about 3 days and when I went to try it again, I found there to be an oily residue about 3cm thick - I am contemplating pouring this off to reduce the oil content of the product!
Even for those with normal - dry skin and only wanting sheer coverage I wouldn't recommend this as it does separate out quickly and is expensive.
Product Name: Naked Bodycare Mildness Unadorned Sensitive Conditioner
Packaging: 4 out of 5
Quality: 3 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Price: £3.99 (250ml from nakedbodycare.com or in larger Boots stores)
About the company: Naked Bodycare provide products that are 97% natural. (The other 3% include chemicals to stabilise and preserve the products.) They are paraben, SLS and petrochemical free which is good for us, and they are biodegradable so good for the environment too! The website is also really good - friendly, informative and easy to use.
A little more about...
Parabens - Used for their bacterial properties, but often irritate those with sensitive skin and reports from the USA have linked parabens to breast cancer.
Petrochemicals - Used as they can smooth skin or hair but can "sit" on the skins surface causing blocked pores or lank hair.
SLS - Sodium Laureth / Lauryl Sulfate EXTREMELY popular in shampoos, body washes etc as they create the lather. But, they dry out the skin and hair and can irritate skin conditions because it is a very harsh product that strips the skin and hair of its natural protection, it can also remove or alter the colour of your hair if it is coloured.
Product Description: (It's a long one!) If you are a sensitive soul, Naked Care products are so naturally meek and mild they are suitable for the whole family from babies to grown ups. With deliciously smelling Neroli oil to soothe and calm the dryest of scalps. If you suffer from sensitive scalp, some products can be like a red rag to a bull. But Naked Care is formulated to avoid aggravating itchy, inflamed or scaly scalp. Cotton Seed extract reduces the appearance of irritated skin and strengthens hair. Brassica and Olive oils lightly condition all hair types so this meek and mild formulation should leave hair soft, manageable and pleasantly fragranced.
Aqua, Cetearyl alcohol, Glycerin, Brassicamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Gossypium hebaceum ( cotton ) seed extract, Olea europara ( olive ) fruit oil, Citrus aurantium ( neroli ) oil, Aspartic acid, Citric acid, Chlorphenesin, Linalool.
The product is packaged in a squeeze tube with a flip cap at the bottom - I find this a good feature as the product remains in the bottom of the tube near the applicator so that the amount of product used is controlled. All the packaging is fully recyclable too! The tube is of simple design with the Naked logo and product description on the front. On the reverse, there is a lot of useful information with cute images and my favourite part - instead of the usual "Dermatologically tested" or "Not tested on animals" we get - "We don't believe in testing our ingredients of Bambie, Lassie or Skippy"! How cute! It is the little things like this that give the company a friendly, down to earth feel.
The conditioner itself is a really think white cream and has a lovely floral scent I just cannot put my finger on! It is strong but not overpowering and really relaxing.
Usage directions: After washing with Naked Care shampoo, squeeze out excess water. Massage plenty of conditioner evenly through your hair. Combing through will give even better results. Leave for a minute then rinse away. And don't forget to swish.
I find that I use considerably more of this conditioner than with my regular ones e.g. Garnier Nutrisse, because it doesn't lather up as much (due to the lack of SLS); therefore, I shall probably find myself getting through this bottle faster. However, it does feel like a real luxury product as it is so thick and creamy. I only apply it to the ends of my hair (from my ears down!) and leave it on for around 3 minutes. I must admit, the first time I used it I had a problem because when I was rinsing it off, I didn't account for the fact it was so much thicker in consistency. As my hair was drying, I ran my fingers through it and it was awful! Coated in the conditioner still! So I re-rinsed my hair and it was much better! I have been using it for about a month now and haven't had this problem again as I just spend more time rinsing!
This product keeps my hair soft enough, but doesn't make it any softer or shinier than it usually is; however, I understand that if people have sensitive skin it is important for them to find a kind and gentle conditioner.
Would I repurchase/recommend and why?: I liked this company and the product, it wasn't amazing but worked just fine and I think it is a really great price. My favourite thing is its great ethical features - vegetarian and vegan friendly, fully biodegradable, ingredients only from sustainable sources AND committed to paying a fair price for ingredients only found in economically disadvantaged countries.
EDIT: I did a little bit of calculating and one 250ml tube will last me 22 washes, whereas my Boots Coconut Conditioner lasts me 29 washes per 250ml.
Lily Lolo Eye Colour
£5 for 2 .5g mineral powder in a 10ml sifter jar
Where to buy:
At the moment Lily Lolo products can be purchased online, at www.lilylolo.co.uk and can sometimes be found on eBay. They also supply a number of beauty salons throughout the UK, and their website has more information on this.
Easy to blend multi use mineral powders
Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Silica, Ferric Ferrocyanide **Ingredients vary from colour to colour**
About the company:
Lily Lolo is based in East Yorkshire and started in 2005 when Vikki Khan fell in love with mineral makeup only to discover that an affordable yet dazzling range wasn't available in the UK. Mineral cosmetics are gaining popularity and awareness, especially in the past 6 months with major drugstore brands such as Maybelline bringing out their own ranges, their main attraction is that the ingredients are mineral which are natural so better for the skin as they do not contain strange chemicals and toxins, and also are great for sensitive skin as irritant causing ingredients such as parabens, perfumes and dyes are not included. However, unlike some companies, all Lily Lolo products are au-naturel and their products do not contain Bismuth Oxy Chloride which is often in mineral cosmetics but many people are allergic to it as it contains metallic particles which are pushed into the skin and pores upon application. Acne and roseacea sufferers who use these products find that they also irritate and aggravate their condition. So, YAY for Lily Lolo for being Bismuth Oxy Chloride free!
Their range includes foundations, concealers, blushes, bronzers, eyeshadows and the like.
I recently received 2 Lily Lolo Eye Colours in Gunmetal and Sticky Toffee. Not knowing much about the company and their products, I went to their website and saw that they offer a wide range of eye shadow colours (31 in total) and they all looked very pretty and appealing. However, there are no "swatches" of the colours anywhere on the internet so it may be hard to really be certain of the colour you are buying, the website has good images of the loose powder but they often look different on the skin. However, even if the colour is different to how you imagined - I guarantee it will still be a great colour and you will fall in love with it!
The product is a loose powder, contained in a 10ml jar with a sifter and screw top lid. (It is best to store these upright as the shadow can get into the screw lid and fall out when you open the jar, and however pretty the colours are, having them all over your black suit isn't always a good look!) The lid has the Lily Lolo logo and a faint design, on the base of the jar is a sticker stating the colour of the shadow, although it is possible to see the colour through the side of the jar as it is frosted but clear plastic.
The packaging is sturdy and has survived the "drop test" (drop it down the stairs and hope shadow doesn't explode everywhere!) and the print doesn't rub off which is a pet hate of mine.
The colours I have are Sticky Toffee which is THE most gorgeous shimmery nude colour which is great for the inner third of the eyelid, combined with a darker colour on the outer third of the lid and blended together in the middle! I would really recommend this colour for complimenting blue eyes, as it really brings out both the golden base of the shadow and the blue of the eye. Gunmetal is a really accurate name for the colour! It creates a light lilac/purple shimmer when applied lightly but a deep silver/grey when more is applied or it is applied with a damp brush, I use it mostly for accentuating the crease of my lid with a small shader brush. All colours are easy to blend and do not create harsh lines.
As the shadows are loose, sometimes "fall out" can occur when, during application, some of the powder can fall onto the under eye area or the cheekbone, but no more than any other loose shadow. I usually do not have fall out as I really push the colour into my brush before applying it to my eye or if I am using a darker colour such as gunmetal, I will do my eye makeup before my foundation so I can wipe away any fall out.
These colours have multiple uses - they are not only great as eye shadows, but if applied with a thin, damp to wet brush they can be used as a liquid eyeliner. The warmer colours can also double up as a blush and even a coloured lip gloss when mixed with a clear gloss. For me, this justifies paying £5, as the colour can differ, depending on application and they can be used for a whole range of looks. They are long lasting and do not crease, even on my oily lids! They are highly pigmented and most of the shadows have a classy, sophisticated shimmer to them, but not the tacky looking glitter that some shadows have! Lily Lolo stock a great variety of colours for day and evening wear and you are guaranteed to find a colour to compliment your facial features and characteristics.
Would I repurchase/recommend and why?:
Yes! I would love to have the whole collection of colours! All the looks and combinations I could create would last me a lifetime! I would really recommend these as a great present for friends, and they are the ideal stocking filler. I would say Sticky Toffee should be a staple in every girls makeup bag and it is the best shimmery nude colour I have ever had, and I do have quite a collection going!
See my new photo site for images of the products and swatches too!
Thanks! Any questions, feel free to ask :)
I was at my local discount store (I practically live there now!) and found a box of these shadows going for £1 each, so the makeup addict in me couldn't resist! I decided to go for the colour - Shiver, number 085, it is a shimmery frosty silver. There were many other colours such as blue, green, pink and gold all with a shimmer. But I decided not to buy all of them (just yet!) because I didn't know how good they would be and have learnt from past experience not to buy every available colour on impulse because I will inevitably find that they are rubbish and I have them in every colour under the sun!
The shadow comes in a tube identical to the Sweet Jelly glosses also by Rimmel (a squeeze tube with screw cap). The tube contains 10ml or 0.34fl oz (0.33 US Fl oz). The description on the back is as follows: "cooling colour wash with cucumber extract. Crease free." Cucumber is a renowned natural product for the eyes - it can soothe and awaken tired eyes, so I was surprised but impressed to find it in a cosmetic.
Application - A tiny amount is needed (about a ¼ of a pea!) to cover the eyelid up to the crease or brow bone, so there is no chance of me running out of the shadow any time soon! I apply it with my ring finger and it is really easy to blend in. I use it as a base or a single wash of colour for when I do not want to be bothered with applying a load of shadows, pigments or liners. It is hard to apply it with a fine liner brush as an eyeliner as that is not the intended use for the product.
In my case, the shadow was a frosty silver in the tube, I wasn't sure whether it would apply as a solid silver colour or a sheer silver wash or pure glitter. When applied it to the lid, it forms a very thin, sheer silver sheen, with tiny pieces of glitter or shimmer in it. The glitter is not disco ball style tacky glitter, but a classy sheen! I sometimes use this as a base with matte eyeshadows to give them a shimmer; as a base it works quite well and doesn't crease at all, but it cannot keep eyeshadows applied on top crease free too so I still use Urban Decay Primer Potion under it!
Overall, there are a range of gorgeous colours to choose from and at £1 a pop, how can you go wrong!? I am planning on getting the gold colour so as I have silver shimmer and gold shimmer to add to eyeshadows and pigments! Great product - doesn't crease, lasts a long time and is easy to apply, love it!
EDIT: I have now bought...err...every colour in the collection!
I have been using mineral foundation and concealer for a while, but didn't find it as amazing as everyone else had been saying. So, I decided to splurge on some MAC basic products - a concealer, foundation and powder, hoping to find they made me feel much more confident about my skin and ensure me that they were worth the money! In this review I shall be analysing the select cover-up concealer...
Once I had decided to go for MAC, I did thorough research so that my money wasn't wasted - I looked on the internet and spoke online with a MAC artist. The live help MAC offers is very useful because if you do not live near a store you can get thorough and informative help from the comfort of your own home! I told the artist what I was looking for in a concealer - good coverage for under eye circles and to even out my skin tone - especially the redness around my nose. She recommended MAC Select MoistureCover, however I was a bit dubious because it sounded moisturising, and for someone with oily skin, I don't really want or need moisturiser as I provide enough of my own thanks!
I went to the MAC store in Selfriges in the Manchester Trafford Centre (the stores are few and far between but mainly in the major cities and their shopping centres), and I was a bit nervous because the last makeup someone else put on me went horribly wrong. But there was a huge buzz around the counter compared to the others nearby - Olay, YSL, Clarins and Clinique. There were plenty of staff and all looked friendly and professional. I waited in a small queue and a lovely lady asked me what products I was looking for. She immediately knew the colour I needed - NW20 - and recommended the Select Cover-Up Concealer. I decided to go with her choice rather than the online help recommendation of Moisture Cover because she could see my skin and so I figured she would have a better idea of what would be best for me. She was not pushy at all, and I was worried she would push me into buying things I didn't want or couldn't afford. BUT SHE DIDN'T! Yay! I had such a good experience with the MAC counter and would be happy to go back again.
The concealer itself comes in a squeeze tube which is very practical as no product is wasted. The product is administered through a thin pointed nib that doesn't splurt the product everywhere and you can easily control how much you squeeze out. The tube contains 10ml or 0.33 US FL OZ of product and retails at £11.
As with all MAC products, it comes with an outer packaging of a classy, simple black box with the product information on it.
I apply the concealer to my under-eye circles and around my nose with my concealer brush for precise application, a little goes a long way but when I use my brush I find it absorbs a lot of the product so some is still wasted. Therefore, I have started to apply it with clean fingers. The liquid is not runny or firm, but creamy and easy to blend into the skin, I have started applying a thin layer all over my face before foundation and find it improves my overall skin tone.
I would say the concealer is the best I have ever tried, but this is my first non-drugstore concealer. It is probably not much better than Rimmel Recover concealer though, but it lasts a little longer and less is needed. I find that it lasts all day and looks quite natural - my under eye circles are not completely gone but look much less obvious and natural - rather than coated in concealer. I do not break out much so I don't know how good it is at covering acne and spots, but I have oily skin but recently my skin went dry for a few days (weird I know!) and the concealer worked just as well on oily or dry skin - but with all makeup - try before you by! Ask the MAC store if they have samples, or if you are going for a days shopping near to a MAC store, go there first thing and apply the product then shop for the day. Re-assess what it looks like by the end of the day and make your decision about whether it is worth buying because sometimes the products look good when first applied but change over the course of the day.
I would not buy this again because I am going to try different concealers until I find the perfect one, but I feel there is a good chance this is the one I will be returning too!
I was in my local discount store and saw the Hard Candy Training Brow and was intrigued. I was unable to open the box as it was sealed but read that it contained a "Brow Pencil and Gel". There was a £1 price tag so I decided to go for it as I have been looking at brow shadows and pencils for a while. But wait - there were two colours, named light haired girl and dark haired girl! Which to choose?! Well, let me tell you, my hair is a very dark brown, but I was considering light haired girl because I do not want really bold dramatic brows so I thought the lighter one may be better for me because it would be less obvious. For £1 each I decided to buy both, hoping I could pass one on to a friend if it was the wrong colour.
*Note* I have not found these on the internet for less than £3.50 plus P+P, so if you have a Factory Store Outlet near you, go check it out! RRP is £7.50.
When I got home I was eager to try these out. The product is packaged in a cardboard tube with a colourful hearts and stripes pattern of pastel colours - very girly! When you open the box, you find a dual purpose "stick" on one end is a mascara wand and clear gel, and the other a pencil. The pencil is protected by a plastic tubing which can be removed and re-secured. It is very cute, with the continuing hearts pattern on the plastic.
The pencil -
ok so the 'light haired girl' pencil didn't look too light - it is a tan colour, but when I applied it to my brow it looked very orangey and unnatural. Bummer I thought - a waste of a purchase. The 'dark haired girl' is a dark brown and suited my brows very well. However, I only apply it lightly because it can look very dark and dramatic if applied heavily. The pencil is quite hard so easy to sharpen and you do not need to sharpen often.
The pencil is to be stroked along the brow with light, feathery strokes to fill in and define your brows. It is very easy to apply and my eyebrows look so much improved! The colour stays all day and doesn't have that drawn on effect which is what I was worried about!
The gel -
The wand for the gel is shorter than your conventional mascara applicator and the bristles are clear. The gel lasts me for about 1 month if I use it everyday with a re-application during the day. To apply - I just run the wand through my eyebrow hairs and style as required. The gel dries like hairspray - it doesn't have a shine or the look of product build up. It gently coaxed my unruly brows into place but I do not mean that they are not completely immovable after this and I do have to re-apply half way during the day, especially if it is a really hot day!
Double use for light haired girl -
As I mentioned before I was gutted that the light haired girl wasn't right for me, I tried using it as an eyeliner but it is very hard and I didn't want to press that hard on my delicate eyelid! I actually now use it as a lip liner/base. I fill my whole lip in with it and it gives a hint of a tint of a beige/brown colour. I then apply lipstick and gloss over, the base stays all day even if my gloss doesn't and just provides that little bit of natural looking colour I need! Yay!
This is a great product, I would only recommend 'light haired girl' to blondes because it is too light for any other hair colour, but this is a really great 2 in 1 product and I am so pleased with it and will definitely re-buy for perfect brows!
Ok, so I saw the advert for the new Garnier Multi Lights Kit on the telly - now called Garnier Nutrisse Cream Multi Lights Kit - they have changed the name and box for some reason! And I have dark brown hair and have been thinking of getting some highlights for a while to lighten up my hair for the summer.
So, when I saw this product £1 off in Superdrug - it is usually £4.99 but was down to £3.99, I decided to go for it! I bought Kit number 4. There are 4 different kits now, which the website describles as:
Kit 1 - Medium Blonde
Kit 1+ - Extra Light
Kit 2 - Light Brown
Kit 3 - Red/Copper/Auburn
Kit 4 - Dark Brown
I haven't quite worked out what the Kit 1+ is, because I gathered from the website it was for extra blonde hair, but on the box in the shop it said for any hair colour! Anyway, I bought Kit 4 for dark brown hair.
In the box you get a mixing bowl, 2 gloves, a 20ml bottle of developer milk, a 10g sachet of multi lightening powder, a 10ml sachet of conditioner with avocado oil and an applicator brush.
The instructions are pretty simple - first make sure your hair is damp, then put on the gloves and mix the developer milk with the lightening powder. The "patented applicator wand" is kinda useful as one end is a stirrer/mixer. You then select a strand of hair, scoop the brush into the cream and sweep the brush through the hair starting 1cm from the root. You carry on like this until you have highlighted all the hair you want, then when you have finished applying, leave for 20 mins or 30 mins for a stronger colour. You then rinse your hair with warm water and shampoo, and then apply the conditioner sachet for 2 minutes. Rinse your hair and thats the end of the instrustions!
The mixing was easy because the mixing bowl you get is a plastic square with a small and a large compartment. The small compartment is so you can rest the brush in there, which I really liked as there is nothing worse than having nowhere to put something that had hair dye on it in the middle of you application process and end up staining your bathroom sideboard or whatever!
The brush was awful, they hail it as an easy to use patented applicator but really, I dont know why they spent the time and money patenting it! It looks and feels like the hairbrushes you get for barbie dolls - a few plastic bristles and thats it! It did not hold the hair dye and when you swiped it through your hair you got uneven blobs of it here and there. In the end I just applied it with my fingers and smoothed it evenly over the strands.
The leaflet has images of different hairstyles and how you should highlight them - the options are - a bob cut, a layerd cut, long curly hair or short cropped hair. None of these seemed to really fit my hair but I opted for the layered cut which told me to frame my face with thin strands of highlights. This is what I tried to do, but it ended up looking like I had highlighted the whole top layer of my hair rather than individual sections.
One major problem with this stuff is that it can take a long time to apply if you want specific areas to be highlighted. It took me about 15mins to highlight all the areas I reqired, and then you are supposed to wait 20mins before washing it off. The problem being that if I did this, some of my hair would have had the dye on for 35 mins, and some for just 20mins. Even as I was finishing my hair, I noticed some areas were very light, this panicked me because I didnt want them to go that light (or any lighter for that matter) but I couldn't rinse my hair yet as other strands hadn't changed colour. I then decided to go for the fiddly process of using a wet flannel to try wipe the highlighter cream off strands that were very light. In the end I just gave up because none of my other strands looked like they were ever going to get lighter.
So, I had my shower and rinsed my hair. The conditioner on the other hand, was lovely. It was really fruity and made my hair so unbelievably soft! I wish I could buy it in a bottle but they only do it in the hair colouring packages at the moment.
Now I shall come to the second major flaw with this product - the instructions are very specific that you should only put the product from 1cm away from the scalp. Now I have the problem of having "roots"! This is the worst thing, because you cannot put the product any nearer to the scalp with the applicator brush because it is so useless, and if you try to apply some with your gloved hands, you find you get the colourant all over other hairs. So, you can either end up with a large lighter patch surrounding a highlight, or have your roots a much darker colour than the highlights.
This was the final straw for me and I decided I shall not have another attempt with this product as its not worth the risks of messing up your hair with splodges and patches!
I also noticed that it is quite hard to get the product spread evenly on the hair, so you end up with lighter or darker patches along the strands.
All in all, not a great look!
I shall probably update this review in a few weeks to describe if it fades quickly or lasts a long time (it is supposed to be permanent)
This is the toner from the Tesco Vitamin E range. They also do a cream cleanser, facial wipes and a moisturiser. They are great products for people on a tight budget - this toner is only 74p for 150ml!
According to Tesco, their Vitamin E skin care range is "Enriched with Vitamin A to help care for all skin types". The toner is described as "a refreshing formulation which will remove the last traces of make up and leave your skin feeling fresh and toned."
The toner is a liquid and comes in a clear, boring plastic bottle with a white and peach coloured label. The toner itself is also peach in colour. It smells quite bland, which is good for me as I dont like to put lots of fragrance onto my face. It smells clean and refreshing. You apply it directly to your face on a cotton wool ball. I like to use it before I go to bed, but also as a skin refresher during the day.
It is quick and easy to apply and dries instantly. Just after application, my skin feels well balanced and clean. However, later on, my skin feels much tighter and drier. This is good for me as I have oily skin, so it kind of dries out my skin a little. However, if you have already dry or sensitive skin, I wouldn't go for this product. Its second ingredient is Alcohol so naturally it is really drying, but if you apply moisturiser afterwards it is fine.
The toner doesn't do anything amazing such as get rid of spots or even out your complexion, but it does remove and extra makeup I have left on my face. It is also a useful step to include as it removes any residue of harsh cleanser you may have left over.
The 150ml bottle will last me around a month, and I really like it, but I know some people do not. I say, for 74p its worth a try!
I saw the Neutrogena Clean Balancing Normalising Shampoo for Normal Hair (looong title!) in my local Savers for £1.99. I have normal to oily hair and was looking to change my shampoo, so decided to give it a try. It comes in a clear bottle with a simple, informative label. The bottle appeals to me because it is a really simple design, and practical - its not a funny shape so you can get all the product out and it stands up fine in the shower. The bottle contains 300ml of the shampoo which is normal to thick in consistency and is a peachy orange colour.
The shampoo claims to cleanse and add moisture where needed. The directions are the usual - Wet hair and lather and rinse thoroughly. It forms a really thick lather in my opinion, but I need to use alot of the shampoo to cover my whole head. The smell is fruity and refreshing, but also quite creamy but the smell is not very strong. The lather feels really rich and luxurious which is nice, and it rinses out easily.
After the shower, I felt like each hair on my head was more separated giving me a softer, almost fluffier look, my hair seemed to dry faster than usual aswell. My hair did feel VERY CLEAN! The smell, to my suprise, was noticeable which was nice but not overpowering. I didn't feel like my hair was cleaner or less likely to get greasy, but it is a nice shampoo for everyday use that cleans your hair, nothing more, nothing less.
e.l.f. started in New York in 2004 and has since been taking America by storm offering great quality at a great price...
Eyeslipsface.co.uk is the sister site to american eyeslipsface.com. It is an online shopping site for makeup and cosmetics, and is sometimes referred to as ELF (eyes lips face). Its main claim / attraction is that (almost) everything is £1.50! In america it is cheaper still at $1 per item!
I have bought pretty much every item on their website and it can be abit hit and miss with the quality of the products but I highly recommend their Therapeutic Conditioning Balm, it is £1.50 and is for your lips. There are 4 different varieties of this balm at the moment: Strawberry Creme which is pink and smells of strawberries; Vanilla Creme which is a yellow/beige colour and smells of vanilla (it is gorgeous!), Orange Creme which is an orange/coral colour and smells of oranges (not such a nice smell), and finally Blackberry Creme which is a Blue/Purple and smells of Raspberry.
The pigmentation of the balms is only slight, for example, with the Blackberry Creme the purple was only the slightest hint of a tint, so I dont really think it matters what colour you get as a strong colour is not really what it is intended for.
They are long lasting once applied and are infused with Vitamins A and E, and also Shea Butter. They really soothe dry, chapped lips and is described as "Salvation for Parched Lips" on the website.
It comes packaged in a cardboard outer casing, but the actual balm is in a twist up capsule (think ChapStick style). The balm itself is quite soft and quite a good amount goes on to your lips in one sweep. It really does work better than Vaseline or my Chapstick in my opinion and is only £1.50! I have used one everyday for a month but still have not used 1/4 of the product.
Another good thing is that as they are so cheap, you can buy a few e.g. one to go in your handbag, one to go in your car and one for your makeup case!
My only problem was that the twisty mechanism broke away from the balm on one of the product. So I couldn't twist the stick of balm back down into the plastic casing. When I tried to push it down with my finger, it just squashed the balm into a funny shape. I was annoyed by this but sent ELF an email with my problem and my order number. The next day, on my doorstep was a replacement free of charge! Yay! This shows how good their customer care is and I have always been impressed with how they handle questions, comments and problems.
This is a really nice, cheap product that really moisturises the lips and lasts for hours. It has a slight sheen to it so could look like a very light lip gloss too.
Neutrogena are a leading brand of drugstore beauty products. Their products are especially aimed at teenagers, but can be used by all. They have a very extensive range, which can be found in most beauty shops (Boots, Superdrug etc) as well as supermarkets.
I saw an advert on TV for their Visibly Clear Blackhead Eliminating Daily Cleansing Cushions. I wanted to try them because they claimed to eliminate and prevent blackheads. They retail at around £3.99 in Superdrug, but I got some for £2 from a discount store.
They come in a box with grey and orange design. The product description is as follows: These breakthrough cleansing cushions combine gentle exfoliating micro-brads on one side and soft conditioning waves on the other to help remove blackheads and prevent their return. Used daily, your skin will look softer, smoother and cleaner. The box created a good storage facility for the cushions as it has a fold down flap to contain them in. The 22 cushions come in a sealed plastic bag, but this can be discarded when you get them.
The cushions themselves are quite hard to describe. They are basically the size and shape of 2 cotton wool pads (the circular discs) on top of each other, with 3/4 of the edge sealed, creating a pocket. You are intended to put 3 fingers inside this and rub each side onto your face. One of the sides has little orange dots on it and this is the exfoliant. It is very gentle and I am convinced the orange dots are just dots of plastic which create the exfoliating surface. However, if you have skin that needs alot of exfoliating, these are probably abit useless as they are not very abrasive. The other side if fluffier and when wet produces a moisturiser. It is supposed to contain anti bacterial properties.
The product is used like this:
1. Slip fingers into the pocket and place the cushion under warn water
2. Massage face with the beaded side to exfoliate
3. Flip cushion over and massage face with conditioning waves with blackhead fighting ingredients
4. Rinse face with warm water
5. Use daily
Upon application, a small lather is created that smells refreshing and clean. After useage, this smell is gone but your face does feel very clean.
I like the fact that you can get more precision and accuracy because you use your fingers, but are not rubbing more bacteria into your face from your fingers because they are separated from the face by the cushion.
I did not like the fact that these are only intended for single use. In my experience, they can be used 2 or 3 times, but you dont really want to use an already used cushion on your face. Therefore it is not friendly to the environment as they cannot be reused or recycled.
I did not see any change to my face during using these, and wouldn't buy them again because I dont think they are anything amazing, definately not the "breakthrough" they described.
Nivea is one of the leading brands in skin care, and after buying my first waterproof mascara I had to try out the Refreshing Facial Cleansing Wipes form Nivea Visage because they claimed to remove even waterproof makeup.
I bought a multi pack - 2 individual packets for £3.49 from Morrisions. Each pack contains 20 wipes which are used once. (Disposable)
They claim to cleanse, tone and invigorate, and are recommended for normal and combination skin. The directions for use are called "Beauty Advice" and state: Oull out one wipe and wipe it over face, eye area and neck. Carefully reseal the bag after use with the self adhesive label to prevent drying out. After, dispose of in a bin - do not flush.
They are meant to refresh your skin without leaving a greasy residue, but I found that they left my skin feeling oily and quite raw. I do not have sensitive skin but although my skin felt softer, it looked redder and oilier. The wipes did not take off all of my makeup either, and I would have to really scrub at my delicate eye area before I saw any results. They do have a nice smell, but this isn't very long lasting. And they dry out quite quickly as the label fails to function.
I would say they are best for people with dry skin that is not sensitive. They are, in my opinion, a moisturiser on a cloth, and because of this, they broke me out :(
They do not seem to cleanse or tone, only moisturise.