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LittleNat

LittleNat
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      17.01.2012 17:25
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      An overpriced, glittery body illuminator.

      I'm a huge highlighter junkie and over the years have added many different types of illuminating creams and powders to my ever expanding make-up collection. While my skin is in relatively good condition at the moment, years of struggling with acne took their toll on both texture and tone, and I use a matt finish, medium to full coverage foundation on a daily basis to conceal and even things out. However, one of the issues I find with heavier bases is that they can sometimes make skin appear slightly flat and unnatural, so I find using a light reflecting powder or cream on certain areas of my face help to adds a glow, takes away the 'flat' look and gives the illusion of even, flawless skin. Over the last couple of years, I've also started using similar products on my body during the Summer months, as I've found they have similar benefits to the products designed to be used on the face, and also work really well at enhancing a tan. One of the products I currently have in my body illuminating stash is, Guerlain's Terracotta Body Illuminating Gel.

      About the product

      Guerlain Sun Gold Body Illuminating Gel is from the brand's Terracotta range of products, and is described as a 'high glamour body make-up to enhance your tan with glistening gold'. It's described as having a smooth texture and according to Guerlain, imparts a sun-kissed shimmer.

      Price/availability

      My tube of Sun Gold Body gel was actually purchased at least a year ago at my local Guerlain counter, so I'm struggling to remember exactly how much I paid for it. I believe it was around £20.00 for a 100ml tube, though. Also, after hunting around online, I've found that official Guerlain stockists no longer sell the product, and it looks as though the gel has been replaced with a similar, illuminating spray instead (Terracotta Jambes De Gazelle Bronzing Mist). The body gel is still available from fragrancex.com where it's priced at around £24.00, but is currently out of stock, and the product is also available on ebay where it costs £17.99 for a 100ml tube.

      Packaging

      The gel is packaged in a 100ml, dark brown, fairly plain looking tube, which has the Guerlain logo and product name printed in gold lettering on the front. A brief description of what the product does and how it works is printed on the back, as well as usage instructions and a brand address. The tube has a screw on lid/cap printed with Guerlain's intertwined G's.

      There's not really much to be said about the packaging, as the tube is rather simply designed. Other products from the Terracotta range are all housed in similar, brown compacts and tubes, all of which look slightly prettier and more luxurious than the gel's.

      The product/application

      The product itself is, as the name suggests, a gel and has the same sort of consistency as a gel like body lotion or cream. It's metallic gold in colour and looks almost opaque when squirted straight on to skin. It does have a subtle scent, but I can't quite put my finger on exactly what it smells of. I'd describe it as quite fresh, pleasant and similar to sunscreen fragrance.

      The usage instructions on the back of the tube are fairly vague, so I decided to apply the product in the same way I use similar products. I apply a small amount of the gel to my hands then gently rub into the areas (legs, arms, shoulders etc) where I want to add a subtle sheen. The almost opaque, gold gel sheers out a lot as it's rubbed into skin, feels quite cooling, and sinks in quickly without leaving any sort of greasy or oily residue behind. Application is simple, but slightly messy as the tiny gold particles stick to hands. I suppose one way of avoiding this is to apply the product with a self tan mitt, but I've found the gel washes off easily enough with soap and water anyway, and doesn't stain like fake tan, so it's not a major problem.

      Results

      Hmmm, very shimmery! I personally like illuminators and highlighters to leave my skin with a natural looking, delicate sheen. Sun Gold Illuminating gel's gold particles leave it looking very glittery, which is neither natural looking, or particularly flattering in my opinion. When I initially tried the product, I was hoping the pretty, gold gel would leave me with a healthy glow, but the bits of shimmer are just too large and chunky and fail to work in the same way as similar body illuminators I've tried. As for the tan enhancing claim, I can't say I really notice a difference here either. The gold shimmer neither intensifies nor enhances colour, whether it's real or a fake tan.

      On a more positive note, when I have used the gel, I've found that I haven't any problems with the shimmer transferring onto clothes and it does stay put for a reasonably amount of time. I was also pleased to see that the product is easily removed with a regular body wash, and no scrubbing is required to remove the micro glitter.

      Recommended?

      I'm a big fan of Guerlain's Terracotta range and use a few different products from the line on a regular basis which I'd highly recommend, but I'm afraid I wouldn't recommend this one. Apart from the shimmer issues I mentioned above, I was also disappointed with the fact that the gel offers no hydrating benefits and I feel more effort could have been put into the fragrance, which as I said, is pleasant, but certainly nothing special.

      As mentioned above, it looks like this is now discontinued, so I assume it wasn't a particularly popular product with Guerlain fans. The gel can still be found on various different sites online (listed above), but I wouldn't recommend trying unless you're a big fan of shimmery products.

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      • Clinique Almost Lipstick / Make Up / 51 Readings / 49 Ratings
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        15.01.2012 19:00
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        A fantastic, light weight, pretty range of lipsticks.

        I've been a big fan of Clinique's range of products for quite some time and their lipstick formulations are among my favourite's. I tend to stick with their Buttershine range as there is a beautiful selection of fairly natural looking shades on offer, and the balm type formula feels wonderfully light and moisturising. However, after seeing the brand's promo pictures for their 2011 Black Honey Fall collection, I decided to give their Almost Lipstick another go.

        The Fall collection consisted of a range of berry and violet shades inspired by the cult classic colour, Black honey, and among the pretty products on offer was a limited edition version of their Almost Lipstick. The difference between the original and the one I'm reviewing, is the Fall version is dual ended and contains a gloss as well as the lipstick. However, since this will be posted under the regular lipstick category, I'll stick to reviewing just the lipstick end of the product, which is part of the brand's permanent collection.

        About the Product

        Clinique's Almost Lipstick is described as a sheer, non-staining lipstick formula, which delivers a hint of colour and allows the wearers natural lip hue to come through, creating a custom-fit shade that is unique to the wearer. Until recently, only a small range of shades were available in the formulation, including the iconic shade, Black Honey. The colour was originally created in gloss form back in 1971 and was hugely popular and quickly developed a cult following. Clinique then released their lipstick version in the '90s, which became even more popular with fans of the universally flattering shade.

        For Spring 2012, Clinique have finally decided to extend their range of rather limited colours, and are introducing seven new, flattering shades in the Almost Lipstick range, all of which offer a sheer colour pay-off and a natural finish. I've yet to see swatches of any of the colours, but they do look incredibly pretty in the promotional pictures I've seen!

        Where to buy/price

        Clinique Almost Lipstick is available from the Clinique website where it's priced at £16.00 for a 1.9g tube of product. It's also available from almost all of the department store's sites as well as garden pharmacy (gardenpharmacy.co.uk), where you can currently choose from a selection of free samples when you order anything from the Clinique range. The limited edition version is no longer available, but can still be found on ebay where it's often slightly cheaper than the £17.50 I paid for mine.

        Packaging

        The lipstick and gloss duo was packaged in Clnique's standard, pastel toned box, which contains all necessary ingredient info and a company address and website details. As I mentioned above, the version of the lipstick I purchased is different to the original as it's dual ended, so the packaging is different too. On one end of the product there's a glosswear version of the shade, and the original, Almost lipstick version can be found at the other end. The tube is actually slightly thicker than the standard Almost Lipstick tube and is made from shiny, silver metal instead of the regular matt grey. The lid is also slightly smaller and stumpier, but the lipstick housed inside is exactly the same shape and size.

        I have to say, the slightly more detailed packaging was one of the things which actually persuaded me to try the Almost Lipstick formula again. As I already said, I am a big fan of Clinique's formulations, but I've never found their packaging particularly pretty, especially compared to other luxury brands of a similar price. Having said that, I do find the brand's packaging to be both well made and easy to use, and the brushes/applicators which are included with most Clinique products are a nice little added touch.

        My Thoughts

        Black Honey actually looks slightly scary in the tube. In fact, it looks like a very dark eggplant bordering on black shade, but becomes more of a subtle, sheer berry colour once it's applied. The whole idea of the Almost lipstick formula, is that the shades look slightly different on everyone as the wearers natural lip colour is still allowed to show through. I have fairly pigmented lips and on me, Black Honey leaves a very sheer hint of colour similar to that of a crushed blackberry, but with less red/purple tones and a little bit of brown thrown into the mix. The result really is very natural and the shade works well at enhancing my natural lip tone with a barely there layer of subtle colour.

        The formula is soft and applies well without any tugging and with little effort. The texture reminds me of that of a lip balm and has absolutely no sticky or tacky feel once it's applied. I imagine the light weight texture would appeal to those of you who don't generally like the feel of lipsticks or glosses as Almost Lipstick is very similar to a tinted balm. The formulation is described as mositurising, and while it does add a small amount of moisture to my lips, the formula certainly isn't the most hydrating I've tried (Chanel's Rouge Coco Shines wins that prize!). I don't find it to be drying though and considering it's a sheer lip colour, I find lasting power to be pretty good. I'd say I get a good three hours wear before I need to reapply, and the colour wears and fades evenly.

        Recommended?

        Definitely! The pretty 'my lips but better' shade is perfect for creating an incredibly natural 'no make up' look and the balm like, light weight formula feels lovely. If you're generally not a fan of lip products but want something which adds a little bit of colour and feels almost like you're wearing nothing, I highly recommend checking these out. Even if Black Honey doesn't appeal to you, one of the seven, newly released shades in the range might.

        It's also worth mentioning that the Almost Lipstick formula is allergy tested, 100% fragrance free and dermatologist tested, too.

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          14.01.2012 12:05
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          A really nice product if you suffer with dry, sensitive, or easily irritated eyes.

          Liz Earle is a brand I discovered fairly recently after I received a few products from the range as a gift. Included in my skincare goodie bag was the brand's soothing eye lotion, Eyebright. Had I been choosing/buying Liz Earle products myself, Eyebright probably wouldn't have been one of my choices as I don't have particularly sensitive eyes and generally don't have too many problems with them. After reading the product details on the back of the bottle though, I was looking forward to giving the product a go.

          About the product

          Eyebright is described as a gentle herbal lotion which soothes and refreshes tired eyes. Like other products from the Liz Earle range, it contains a whole host of naturally active ingredients, including witch hazel, aloe vera, cornflower, and the grassland herb, eyebright. It's suitable for those with sensitive eyes and also for contact lens wearers.

          Price/Availability

          The product is available from the Liz Earle website (www.lizearle.com) and costs £10.00 for a 150ml bottle, or £5.00 for a 50ml trial sized bottle. John Lewis and QVC also stock the range, but prices seem to be the same on all sites.

          Packaging

          The product is packaged in a fairly simple, 150ml, pale green, plastic bottle, which has a nifty and easy to use twist up lid. The same twist up lid is used on the brand's Skin Tonic, and makes dispensing liquid from the bottle an easy, and mess free task. A short but informative description of the bottle's contents, instructions for use, and a full ingredient list are included on the back of the bottle, along with animal testing/ingredient info (Liz Earle products are not tested on animals), website details, and a contact address and phone number.

          I have to say, I don't find any of Liz Earle's packaging particularly pretty or exciting, but when it comes to skincare products, I'm more concerned with the contents of the bottle/tube and whether they actually do what they promise. In fact, I think simple packaging is almost reassuring as it's likely that more money has been spent on the actual product and ingredients instead of pretty, but unnecessary bottles/tubs. While Eyebright's packaging is slightly bland, the bottle itself is safe (no problems with spills) and sturdy, and the product info is well laid out and easy to read, so all the important details are there.

          How to use

          The product can be used in two different ways. It can be applied to a cotton wool pad and swiped over eyes as a quick pick me up and gentle make up remover, or you can soak a couple of pads with the solution and let them sit over eyes for 5-10 minutes as an extra special, soothing treat.

          My Thoughts

          I've used Eyebright in both of the ways mentioned above, but favour the quicker swipe method most evenings. The delicately, herbal scented lotion (I mainly smell witch hazel) has a watery consistency which is different to most make-up removers and eye products I've used in the past. It feels very gentle, non oily and light, and the lotion instantly cools and soothes as it's applied. It really does do a fantastic job at revitalizing tired, heavy eyes, without irritating them, and I've found the lotion works brilliantly when used as a soothing compress and also helps to reduce puffiness and redness.

          In terms of make up removing abilities, Eyebright does do a fairly good job at removing very light make up. I normally wear a powder or cream eye shadow and a light application of regular mascara, and I find the product used alone does melt eye shadow away, but doesn't completely remove the mascara. I normally use the lotion after I've cleansed my face with a make up removing wipe or face wash and it just removes any last traces of mascara and liner. I mainly use Eyebright for it's soothing and refreshing effects anyway, so the make up removing abilities are an added bonus for me.

          An extra little thing that I've also found Eyebright useful for, is cleaning up any minor mascara or liner smudges when applying make up. A cotton bud soaked with a little bit of the lotion cleans up any small mistakes quickly and efficiently without making a mess of any base make-up or under-eye concealer.

          Recommended?

          Overall, Eyebright is a fantastic product which does do exactly what it promises. Out of the Liz Earle products I've had the pleasure of trying, the eye lotion is definitely one of my favourite's and I really do look forward to using it every evening. I highly recommend checking it out if you're a Liz Earle fan and haven't yet given it a go, or if you suffer with dry, sensitive, or easily irritated eyes and want something to cool and sooth them. Eyebright does exactly that, without leaving a greasy/oily residue behind.

          Ingredients

          Aqua (water), Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) water, PEG-60 almond glycerides, Glycerin, Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, Decyl glucoside, Panthenol, Centaurea cyanus (cornflower) extract,
          Euphrasia officinalis (eyebright) extract, Potassium sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic acid, Dehydroacetic acid, Polyaminopropyl biguanide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium methylparaben, Sodium propylparaben.

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            18.01.2011 14:26
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            A bit of a shimmery mess

            L'Oreal is a brand I rarely look at when shopping because I consider their cosmetics line to be quite overpriced and not of particularly good quality. I've purchased a few different products from the range in the past and have been disappointed with all of them so I tend to stick with Revlon when I buy lower end make up now.

            I'd heard of L'Oreal's mineral range after reading some reviews on the foundation but hadn't tried anything from the line and probably wouldn't have, had I not received a color minerals eye shadow in the shade Golden Olive as a gift last year.

            About the product

            Color minerals eye shadows are L'Oreals first mineral eye products and come in a range of what L'Oreal describe as, subtle, shimmering shades. I always associate the word subtle with natural, muted colours when it comes to make up and the shades available in the colors minerals range aren't really what I'd call natural. There are quite a few different colours available ranging from pinks and peaches to blues, purples and browns, all of which seem to have some sort of sparkle/shimmer in them.

            The formula is designed to be gentle on the delicate eye area and is free from preservatives and fragrance. The shadow is also oil free and is suitable for sensitive skins.

            Packaging

            The product is packaged in a small transparent tub so the powder eye shadow can be seen within and has a silver screw on lid with a small eye shadow brush sticking out of it. The brush is covered by a transparent push on lid which keeps the brush clean and prevents spillages. The L'Oreal logo is printed on the front along with the product name in white font and the base of the jar or tub contains a sticker with the shade name printed upon it. The screw on lid unscrews to reveal several holes which work like a sieve and the powder travels through these and dispenses through the attached brush.

            This type of all in one product and applicator packaging seems to have been done quite a lot over the last few years in both eye products and face products. A similar design springs to mind which came from Yves Saint Laurent and it contained an eye shadow in a similar jar to L'Oreals offering with a sponge applicator on the end to apply with. Yves Saint Laurent's actually worked quite well and dispensed product quite easily and evenly, L'Oreals unfortunately doesn't seem to work quite the same and I find it dispenses far too much powder at once making application messy. The included brush is soft, fairly thick and blends quite well which surprised me, it's just a shame that it's so difficult to control how much eye shadow is dispensed with each use.

            Where to buy

            As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, I received the product as a gift so I'm unsure where it was purchased or how much it cost. After searching around online I've found that the recommended retail price was £7.99 but sites such as Boots and Superdrug no longer seem to stock the range, the product can still be found on quite a few discounts sites though. Amazon currently has quite a few different colours available which cost £3.99, directcosmetics.com also still stock them and they cost £2.69 and fragrancedirect.co.uk also carry some of the colours and they are currently priced at £2.99. There also seems to be a lot listed on eBay where they vary in price depending on shade, seller etc so it's worth shopping around to find the best deal if you choose to buy.

            How to use

            The product packaging is obviously designed to make application easy and the inclusion of the brush means no separate applicator is necessary. It took me a while to get enough powder through the sieve and on to the brush the first time I used it but after this I didn't have anymore problems and applying just requires sweeping the brush over lids. As I mentioned above, the brush is quite soft and does a fairly good job at blending colour in to lids and if the right amount of colour was dispensed from it, application would be really quick and easy. Because far too much comes out with each use, I find Color minerals quite difficult to apply and I get a lot of fall out which is messy and annoying, especially since the shadow is shimmery.

            Results

            When I first looked at the colour I received (Golden Olive) I was reminded of a MAC shade, Sumptuous Olive which I use regularly and was hoping that the colour might be a cheaper alternative. Unfortunately I've found the colour looks quite different once it's applied to skin and seems to be very sheer with little colour pay off which was disappointing. I've tried packing more product on to intensify colour but still end up with a really sheer, pale olive green wash with lots of bronze/gold shimmer.

            Lasting power

            Lasting power isn't awful but compared to other shadows of a similar price I certainly find this one is lacking. I'd say I get a few hours wear before the colour starts to fade and I also find it creases and wears unevenly.

            Would I recommend?

            No I wouldn't recommend at all even if you can pick up for a few pounds. The packaging is a good idea but fails to apply product properly and is messy, the shade I have has no colour pay off and the lasting power and creasing is a let down. Overall it's really not a very good product and one that now sits in my drawer of unloved make up items that are very rarely used.

            I think there are much better mineral eye shadows out there that give much better results for the same price or less. Lily Lolo is one example, at only £5.29 for a far superior pot of product that gives excellent results.

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              17.01.2011 20:45
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              A fruity scent that's perfect for warmer, summer months

              I'd wanted to try Hugo Boss Orange since seeing the TV ads for it and I was lucky enough to receive a box set containing the fragrance and matching body lotion for Christmas. The scent description was initially what attracted me to the perfume along with the pretty bottle design. The fact that I'd also used Boss fragrances in the past and had really liked them also drew me in and I was over the moon when I found the set sitting under the tree on Christmas morning.

              The bottle

              As I mentioned above, I received the scent as part of a set with the matching body lotion. Both items came packaged in a silver gift box covered by a transparent, orange sleeve. The perfume bottle itself is a tall rectangular shape with smooth rounded edges and is made of semi transparent orange glass so the scent can be seen inside. There are four jewel shapes let in to the glass on both the front and back of the bottle which make it slightly more interesting and a silver metal detail has been used on the sides and base. A small boss logo is etched in to the metal on one of these sides and a small sticker can be found on the bottom which contains the bottle size (30ml) and a company address. The top is made up of another jewel shape which is made from orange plastic and this is again covered in silver. Underneath the lid is a silver coloured spritzer which the lid clips securely/tightly on to.

              Overall I really quite like the design as it's fairly plain and simple apart from the jewel details which make the bottle a little bit more interesting and look quite pretty. The metal detail is also a nice touch and makes the bottle feel sturdy and look quite sleek. My only gripe with the design is the lid/top which makes it feel a bit cheaper due to it being made from plastic. It would have been nice if it had been finished in glass and metal like the bottle.

              Price and availability

              The fragrance is available from a number of different sites online and ranges in price depending on which site you purchase from and obviously which size you buy. The 30ml size is currently available from Superdrug, The Fragrance Shop and slapiton where it's priced between £25.00 and £26.50. The gift set containing the scent and body lotion is currently reduced at The Fragrance Shop and can be bought for £20.00 at the moment. As with most other fragrances, it's worth shopping around before you buy as deals can often be found, especially at this time of the year.

              The Notes

              Top Notes: Apple and Bergamot

              Heart Notes: Orange blossom and white flower

              Base Notes: Sandalwood, Olive wood and Vanilla

              The Scent

              I was expecting something fresh and fruity and I wasn't disappointed. The fragrance opens with a burst of sweet fruitiness with a slightly musky edge but quickly warms up and becomes slightly richer as the floral notes start to come through. The freshness seems to dissipate with wear but the scent still smells clean and summery. The warmth that comes through, in my opinion makes the fragrance feel a little bit more grown up and sophisticated while the fruitiness adds a feminine touch.

              I think Boss Orange is definitely a fragrance that's more suitable for daytime use as it would probably be too light and delicate for anything else. When I first sprayed it, I was instantly reminded of warm, summery days and I think I'll probably be using it more in the summer months than I will now.

              Lasting power

              As with the other fragrance I received for Christmas (Gucci Guilty) I have been slightly disappointed with the lasting power. The fragrance is quite strong when I first spray it and it does stay that way for a little while but as it settles I find it fades quite quickly and after a few hours I only catch a slight whiff of it if I smell the areas on to which I've sprayed. I find the scent lasts longer if I layer with the body lotion so I think it may be worth buying the set if you decide to try the fragrance.

              Would I recommend?

              I would recommend despite the scent not being particularly long lasting. The bottle is pretty and quite unusual and the scent is feminine, fruity and perfect as an everyday fragrance for those who prefer lighter, more subtle scents. I also think the price is fair, especially now it seems to be reduced on many sites.

              As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, I received the bottle as a gift but I think I'll be repurchasing when the bottle runs out, especially if I can find both the lotion and EDT for £20.00.

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              • More +
                12.01.2011 10:59
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                Another excellent product from a fanatstic brand.

                I'm a big fan of both lipsticks and lip glosses but at the moment I seem to be favouring lipsticks. This is mainly due to the fact that I've discovered a new range from the brilliant brand Becca which are really lovely. Sheer tint lip colours are a cross between a lipstick and a balm, come in a stunning range of shades and contain a cocktail of ingredients to moisturise and care for lips.

                About Becca

                I added this part on a previous review for Becca Beach tint but felt I should put it here too because a lot of people commented that they had never heard of the brand.

                The Becca line of cosmetics was created by Australian make up artist Rebecca Morrice Williams. Frustrated by the lack of natural looking, long lasting foundations that were still able to conceal blemishes, Rebecca decided to develop her own range of bases and make up and after six years of scientific development, the Becca range was born. The Becca philosophy is all about creating natural, flawless looks and mainly concentrates on creating a perfect base which makes skin look amazing.

                Becca has created a 3 step skin perfecting system to correct, perfect and enhance all skin tones and the huge range of 34 concealer shades and 30 shades of foundation caters for the very lightest to the darkest of skins. A huge range of cheek products, eye shadows, lip glosses and lipsticks and a large range of high quality brushes are also offered as well as limited edition palettes. Most of the colour cosmetics in the range are natural toned, allowing the user to enhance their natural features and emphasis is also made on multi use products such as the lip and cheek crèmes and beach tints.

                What are Sheer Tint Lip Colours?

                Sheer Tint Lip Colours are hydrating lipsticks which leave lips with a semi transparent, sheer wash of colour. The formula contains Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Honey and Vitamin E to moisturise, protect and soften. There are ten nude shades available in the range, all of which are scented with a delicate vanilla/caramel scent.

                The Shades
                Milla (sheer black currant)
                Gisella (sheer caramel nude)
                Vendela (sheer rosy nude)
                Estella (sheer soft beigey pink nude)
                Alina (sheer orange/red)
                Laelia (sheer peach nude)
                Yasmina (sheer mauve nude)
                Tatiana (sheer raspberry pink)
                Oleysa (sheer deep nude)
                Leticia (sheer soft guava pink)


                Price and availability

                Sheer tint lip colours are available from beccacosmetics.com where they are currently priced at £22.00 for a 3g tube of product. Becca products are also available from beautyexpert.co.uk and hairhq where they are priced the same (£22.00) and from salonskincare.co.uk where they cost slightly less (£21.00) although I'm unsure how much postage costs. The occasional bargain can be found on ebay but you have to keep an eye out as things don't seem to be listed often.

                Packaging

                Sheer tint lipsticks are packaged in the usual matt black boxes that all Becca products come in and are wrapped in a piece of matching black, corrugated cardboard for extra protection. The actual tube is made from shiny, silver metal and is a standard round cylindrical shape. The edges of the tube (top and bottom) are rounded and smoothed which gives a sleek appearance and the whole thing is completely plain apart from a circular design which contains the Becca logo on the top of the lid and a shade sticker which contains contact info and the product name on the base.

                The lid is slightly different to other lipsticks I own and have tried in the way that it screws on to the base instead of simply clicking in to place. The twist and lock design is a fantastic idea and works really well at ensuring the lid stays put and the product within doesn't get damaged. The tube also feels quite heavy which makes the lipstick and tube design feel well made and high quality. Overall I really like the simplicity of the packaging and really love the fact that Becca have been subtle with branding and haven't felt the need to print their logo all over the tube.

                How to use

                I don't think I need to write much here as applying lipstick isn't exactly rocket science. Becca do suggest on the their site that applying the product with a lip brush works well and helps the product to stay put for longer. I have tried this and have to say that I haven't experienced any longer wear when I've used a brush. I tend to apply in the same way I would with any other lipstick and find it incredibly easy as the product is sheer which means you don't have to be as precise as you sometimes do with fuller coverage/darker lip products.

                The vanilla/caramel scent is quite prominent when applying but is really quite pleasant and not synthetic or sickly. I find that the scent lasts a while after I've applied but becomes a lot more subtle and I only occasionally catch a slight, sweet whiff of the fragrance.

                Results

                Sheer lip tints feel different to any other lipstick I've tried which I think is due to the balm like hydrating formula. After applying, my lips feel nourished and hydrated but without the horrible sticky feeling that some lipsticks and glosses give. The shade I purchased (Gisella) is described as a sheer caramel nude (which is a pretty accurate description) leaves my fairly pigmented lips with just the right amount of colour for a natural look. The formula also adds the right amount of shine and lips appear moist and healthy but don't have that gloopy glossy look.

                As far as lasting power goes, these aren't the longest lasting lipsticks I've used and I generally get just a couple of hours wear before I need to reapply. I've found this to be the case with most moisturising formulas and find only the drier type lipsticks seem to last a decent amount of time on me. When the colour has worn off, I do find that my lips still feel moist and conditioned and any dryness I had before applying has been smoothed which is an added bonus and one I don't get from other brands.

                How long does the tube last?

                The soft textured formula of the product does seem to mean that I apply a little bit more with each use than I would with other lipsticks. This and the fact that I reapply quite frequently means that I've noticed the lipstick shrinking slightly more quickly than other formulas I own. I've not found this to be a major problem though and after four months of fairly heavy use my tube is still going strong and I still have approximately half left.

                Would I recommend?

                Becca really is my favourite cosmetic brand at the moment and if I could afford to bin most of my stash and replace it with items from the range I would. Everything I've tried has been superb quality and the results I get from the products are incredibly natural looking. Sheer lip tints are no exception and the pretty colour, conditioning ingredients and balmy type feel I get when wearing mean I will definitely be repurchasing more from the line.

                I would recommend to anyone who likes to wear minimal make up or likes the 'no make up' natural look or to anyone who's not particularly confident in applying products as it's so easy and pleasurable to use.

                Becca cosmetics are not tested on animals and the company actively participates in research to prove that other methods are more relevant and reliable. The product formula is also paraban free.

                Ingredients:

                Ingredients:Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Ricinus Communis(Castor) Seed Oil, Phytosteryl Oleate, lsostearyl Isostearate, Hydrogenate Polyisobutene, Polyethylene, Polyisobutene, Kaolin, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Flavor (Aroma), Beeswax, Ozokerite, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Luffa Cylindrica Seed Oil,Tocopheryl Acetate,Honey Extract, Water (Aqua), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Caprylyl Gllycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Talc. MAY CONTAIN + /: Iron Oxides (Cl 77491, Cl 77492, Cl 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Cl 77891), Carmine (Cl 75470) Yellow 5 Lake( Cl 19140:1), Red 7 Lake( Cl 15850:1), Red 30 (Cl 73360)

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                • More +
                  09.01.2011 12:18
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                  A fantastic hydrating product for Avene

                  I normally suffer with oily skin that's prone to blemishes so I tend to stick with moisturisers that are oil free and aimed at my skin type. Recently, with the cold weather and central heating I've noticed that my skin has become a lot drier than it normally is and my usual moisturiser (Peter Thomas Roth oil free) has not been hydrating my skin enough. After searching around online and on forums to find a suitable replacement I noticed one brand and product in particular had been mentioned a lot. Avene Rich skin recovery cream seemed to be highly recommended for those with skin similar to my own that's in need of some extra hydration.

                  My skin normally seems to break out at the mere mention of anything that's rich or a cream formula so I was hesitant as to whether this product would be suitable. After doing a little bit more research on the ingredients and opinions of acne prone users I decided to give it a try and hope for the best.

                  About the product

                  Rich skin recovery cream is from Avenes intolerant skin care range, a range which helps cleanse and moisturise very sensitive, redness prone and reactive skins. It's designed to calm irritation, moisturise and protect and contains only a small number of ingredients which have all been selected for their gentleness. The formula is paraban, preservative, fragrance and colouring agent free.

                  There are two other products available in the intolerant range, the extremely gentle cleanser and also a Skin recovery cream, a slighter lighter version of the rich formula which doesn't contain Shea butter.

                  Price and availability

                  The product is available from a number of different sites online including, Chemist direct, slapiton and ExpressBeauty.co.uk. It seems to be priced between £10.00 and £12.00 for a 40ml tube with Chemistdirect being the cheapest place to purchase (£10.00) and slapiton being the most expensive (£11.70). It's also available from Boots stores which is where I purchased mine and it currently costs £12.50. It's priced the same on the Boots website and there are no postage costs to pay at the moment.

                  Packaging

                  The product is similar in appearance to most other items from the Avene range. The 40ml tube of cream came in a cardboard box (which I unfortunately no longer have) with an instruction leaflet that contained detailed usage instructions and an explanation of ingredients. The actual tube is made from white plastic, has a screw on lid and printed on the front is the Avene logo and a swirl design in orange, the name of product in French and English, product size and what type of skin the formula is aimed at. Printed on the back are the usual warnings to avoid contact with the eyes and that the product is for external use, a company phone number, website and address.

                  I suppose the packaging could be described as being a little bit bland but I actually quite like the fact that's plain. Skin care packaging is not something that normally bothers me too much as I'm generally more interested in what's inside and whether it's going to work. The squeeze tube design works well and makes dispensing a small amount of product with each use easy and the lid screws on tightly and securely which is handy if you're carrying the product around in your bag or travelling with it.

                  How to use

                  The cream is white in colour and has quite a thick consistency but still has enough slip to apply/rub in with ease. It's described as fragrance free but I still notice a slight delicate scent to it which I think is the Shea. A very small amount (just smaller than a pea) is all that's needed to adequately cover my face in a thin layer of moisturiser and a slightly thicker layer under eyes. Although it's fairly easy to rub in anyway, I have found that applying on slightly damp skin helps the product to sink in a little bit faster and makes it a little bit more spreadable. Avene suggest spritzing with their thermal water spray before using which I've tried but I've found normal water works just as well and is a lot cheaper! After I've finished applying I'm left with a slightly tacky feeling on my skin for a little while until it sinks right in but this actually feels quite nice and comforting and not greasy or oily in any way. When it has disappeared, I'm left with no visible residue on my face or white marks but my skin does tend to look a little bit more shiny than usual.

                  As I mentioned above I apply a generous amount under my eyes and have found the cream works really well on this area. On days when I feel my skin needs something lighter than this and I use an oil free moisturiser, I still use this as an eye cream because it's really effective. I have also found it works brilliantly as a lip balm, in fact I'd say it's on of the best lip products I've ever used and it works wonders at helping to sooth and hydrate dry or chapped lips.

                  Results

                  One of the main things I was worried about before I purchased and used recovery cream was whether my skin would tolerate a rich cream and if the formula would cause more issues with blemishes. I am pleased to say that since I started using I've had no extra problems with blemishes or blocked pores which really has surprised me. The product has really helped to combat the dryness and irritation I was experiencing and my face looks and feels a lot better because of this. I have noticed any redness in my skin is reduced after using too and my skin also looks plumper and generally healthier which I suppose is mainly due to the fact that it's adequately hydrated.

                  Avene suggest that you use the cream twice daily in both the morning and evening but I have found the cream is much too hydrating to use during the day and stick to applying at night only. Although the product doesn't make my skin feel greasy, it does seem to make it a lot shinier during the time when I'm using it so I find it unsuitable to wear in the daytime. Make up also seems quite difficult to apply over the top but I feel this problem and the extra shine is probably due to my oily skin and not the product. The cream is aimed at very dry, sensitive skin types so you might get away with using twice a day if you suffer with dry skin.

                  Would I recommend/buy again?

                  I am used to being very careful with what I use on my face and have been disappointed with results from many different products in the past, so when I find something that works for me I tend to stick with it. I am really pleased with the way recovery cream has dealt with the problem I was experiencing without causing additional problems and I'm also pleased with the added bonus of reduced redness and the fact that it also works as an eye cream and lip balm. I think the cream would be far too hydrating and rich to use on my skin in the summer months but I think I'll be keeping a tube handy for eyes and lips and will come back to this during the winter.

                  If you suffer from naturally dry skin, are having hydration problems due to weather or acne medications or you think your skin needs a bit of extra pampering I definitely recommend trying Rich skin recovery cream. It works brilliantly and at £12.00 for a fairly large tube it's also excellent value for money.

                  Avene products are not tested on animals.

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                  • More +
                    06.01.2011 22:10
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                    A lovely fragrance but lasting power is dissapointing

                    I'm quite fussy when it comes to fragrance and tend to stick with a couple (Chanel Chance and Dior Cherie) which I've used for a while and really love. I'm happy with the scents I wear but sticking to them means I don't often sample new fragrances so I was pleased when I found a couple of new perfumes in my stocking on Christmas morning. One of the box sets I was lucky enough to receive was a Gucci Guilty set which contained a 50ml EDT and a 100ml perfumed body lotion. I'd seen a lot of ads for the fragrance before Christmas and was also attracted by the pretty and unusual bottle when out shopping but hadn't actually tested the scent.

                    About Gucci

                    Gucci is an Italian luxury fashion brand which was founded by Guccio Gucci in Florence in 1921. The first Gucci boutique was opened in Rome in 1938 where fashion goods designed by Guccio were sold. After his death in 1953 Guccios sons, Vasco, Aldo, Ugo, and Rodolfo all took on roles within the company and expanded in the late 1960's when they targeted the Far East and opened stores in both Hong Kong and Tokyo. The GG logo (the founders initials) were also created at this time along with the Flora silk scarf worn by Grace Kelly and the famous Jackie O shoulder bag. The company continued to grow until the late 1970's and 80's when the Gucci accessories collection and fragrance line which was hugely popular was created. The exclusive brand was now available in over a thousand stores in the US and Guccis products became less popular with its fashionable customers. Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter described Gucci as a tacky airport brand and cheap knockoffs began to appear on the market.

                    The early nineties also proved to be a difficult time for the company when new ranges of accessories proved to be less successful than previously released lines and it wasn't until more recent years that Guccis popularity began to grow again. The brand currently offer a clothing range, watches, jewelry, shoes, leather goods and of course a fragrance line.

                    The bottle

                    As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, I received the EDT as part of a gift set which came packaged in a glossy black box with the GG logo and name of the fragrance printed on the lid in gold. Inside in their own separate compartments were the scent and a black plastic bottle similarly shaped to the fragrance bottle of perfumed body lotion.

                    The bottle is gold and square in shape with rounded edges and has the GG brand logo on both the front and back. This has a cut out detail in the centre which has glass behind it and reveals the fragrance inside. The sides and bottom have also been left free of the gold metal casing and the perfume can also be seen here. Gucci guilty is printed underneath the G detail and there is also a small Gucci logo engraved on the top or lid. The lid pulls off to reveal a gold spray applicator and there is a small transparent sticker on the base of the bottle which states the perfume is an EDT, where it's made (France) and that the bottle contains 50mls of fragrance.

                    I actually think the bottle is quite bold and unusual which is partly due to the shape and partly to do with the fact that it's predominantly gold. The cut out G detail is also unusual but a really nice touch that softens the overall appearance and breaks up the heaviness of the gold casing. The fact that the sides have been left as plain glass also give the design a slightly more feminine appearance and also allow you to see how much fragrance is left with ease. Overall I really like both the design of the bottle which reminds me of a piece of Guccis jewelry or one of their watches and also like the fact that the bottle feels heavy, well made and like a quality product.

                    The notes

                    Top notes: Mandarin and Pink pepper

                    Heart notes: Peach, Lilac and Geranium

                    Base notes: Patchouli and amber

                    The scent

                    The scent is described as an oriental floral which I was a little bit put off by to start with as I tend to associate the word oriental with slightly heavier fragrances which I generally stay away from. I was pleasantly surprised when I sprayed it to find that this wasn't the case and when I first tried it, the initial hit reminded me immediately of my favourite scent, Chanel Chance. I have noticed that they both contain pink pepper so I'm assuming this is why they smell similar.

                    The scent opens with sweet and fruity citrus notes with a hint of delicate spiciness from the pepper. As the heart notes start to come through I get a hint of lilac and fruity peach along with the peppery ness, the initial freshness dissipates a little and the fragrance seems to become a little bit warmer. As the base notes start to come through the sweetness dies down a lot and what's left is something that's warm and quite rich but still very soft.

                    After seeing the ads for the perfume before Christmas and seeing the scent being described as bold and daring I was quite surprised after I'd actually tested it because to me it's not really either of these things. I suppose it could be described as sexy but I find it more comforting, cosy and soft than it is bold and I also find it to be quite delicate which is why I like it. I would personally use this as more of an evening scent than something for daytime use but I think a lot of people would maybe find it too light to use in this way.

                    Lasting power

                    I have to say; I've been a little bit disappointed with the lasting power as it doesn't seem to last past a few hours on me. I understand that it's an EDT and weaker than EDPs but I'm used to getting a little bit more longevity out of out my perfumes. It does tend to hang around for a little bit longer when I layer with the matching body lotion but this is not something I always use and it would be nice if the fragrance lasted a little bit longer without it. I've heard quite a few others complaining about the length of time it lasts too and after searching around I'm disappointed to see that there's no EDP offered in the same scent at the moment.

                    Price

                    I'm unsure how much the set was which I received as it was a gift but the perfume alone seems to be available from a wide range of sites online where it's generally priced between £45.00 (Boots.com) and £47.00 (Debenhams) for a 50ml bottle. After a quick search I noticed there aren't really many deals on the fragrance at the moment which is probably due to the fact that's a new release but I'm sure deals and reduced prices could be found if you search/shop around before buying.

                    Would I recommend?

                    I actually really like the fragrance and as I mentioned was really quite surprised at just how much. I think the ads are a little bit misleading and I was expecting something very different before I tried it. I really like fresh and fruity scents that are subtle and feminine and for me Guilty is just a twist on and something slightly spicier and warmer than what I'd normally go for but it's still safe and wearable.

                    I would recommend it if your fragrance tastes sound similar to my own and you're looking for something slightly different to what you normally go for, be aware though before you buy that the lasting power is a little bit of a let down for such an expensive perfume. I'm unsure as to whether I'd buy it again due to this issue and would possibly look for a similar fragrance with more lasting power when the bottle runs out.

                    Three stars from me for a lovely fragrance, one off for the lasting power and another for the price.

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                    • More +
                      05.01.2011 12:26
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                      A fantastic brow pencil which gives fantastic results.

                      When asked which make up product they couldn't live without, a lot of women seem to say mascara. I do like mascara and wear it on a daily basis but if I could only have one item from my make up bag, I would definitely choose my brow pencil. I think eye brows make a huge difference to the face and when sparse brows are groomed, shaped and lightly filled, the effect it can have on your face can be quite dramatic. Well groomed brows can lift and open your eyes, make you appear younger, balance features and in my opinion generally make your face look more polished.

                      There are a lot of different products out there to make keeping your eye brows in check an easier task including, waxes, powders, mascara type products and of course brow pencils. I've tried all of them in some shape or form and the two I tend to use the most is powder and pencil. I find wax products messy and hard to apply and mascara type products aren't precise enough, don't give me enough control and seem to work better on thicker or fuller brows. Pencils allow me to fill in any sparse areas of my brows with ease and I find powder products give a softer look so I generally use a combination of both to define and shape.

                      Finding a powder in a suitable shade wasn't a particularly hard task as I've found eye shadow (particularly MAC) works equally as well as products made especially for eye brows but finding a pencil to match my brows was slightly harder. I've found that most pencils seem to be red based which is a problem for me because I have no red in either my hair or eye brows and these types tend to look very unnatural and slightly gingery. I have tried various offerings from Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Benefit etc which have all been nice but always slightly off colour wise and only found a really decent match recently in the form of Christian Dior's powder brow pencil.

                      About Dior powder brow pencil

                      Diors powder eye brow pencil is similar to most other pencils designed for the same use but is different in the fact that it's gives a slightly powdery finish. Some pencils draw a very hard, opaque line which can look too harsh but Diors pencil has a soft powder texture which allows you to draw natural looking lines and create soft looking brows. There are five pencil shades available in the range, blonde is designed to work on light hair and brow colours, sand is light neutral brown with no red tones, brown is similar but slightly darker, chestnut is darker again and is richer than brown and Black is designed to work on very dark brows.

                      Price and availability

                      The pencil can be purchased from most Dior counters where it's priced at £16.00 and is also available to purchase from many online sites including, Boots, House of Fraser and John Lewis. The product seems to be similarly priced at most sites but is currently priced at £14.40 at Debenhams and the pencils can sometimes be found for quite a bit less on sites such as e-bay so it's worth shopping around before you buy.

                      Packaging

                      The pencil comes packaged in a long, dark blue Christian Dior cardboard box which also contains a nice Dior sharpener in a matching shade. The actual pencil is silver coloured and printed all over with a CD pattern. The Dior name and the product name are printed over this design and a small strip or coloured band is printed at one end along with the shade name. Both ends of the pencil are covered with a protective, silver metal lid or top, one covers the point or tip and the other covers a brush or brow groomer.

                      The product is pretty standard in design but Dior have added some nice little touches. The groomer is really useful and is much better quality than others I have used that have been attached to pencils in the past. The sharpener is also handy as is the fact that the brush is also protected by a lid which prevents it becoming damaged in my make up bag.

                      How to use

                      The first thing I noticed when I used the pencil for the first time on the back of my hand is how soft the lines are which it draws. When used on skin in this way, a fair amount of pressure is needed to create anything more than a faint line and even when you do press down hard you still only end up with a subtle strip of colour. When the lines are gently rubbed or blended together they actual look very similar to a swipe of soft, powdery eye shadow. Every other brow pencil I've purchased has been creamy in texture and sometimes almost similar to a pencil eye liner which is fine but can sometimes make it difficult to fill in brows subtly.

                      You are instructed in the enclosed leaflet to apply the pencil/colour to brows using soft, short strokes and to work from the inside out. The powdery texture seems to draw much better and with less pressure on to brows than it does on to skin as brow hairs seem to grab the soft formula. The product really is quite simple to apply and I find the precise point (when properly sharpened) makes it easy to fill in sparse areas and define brows without much effort. When I've finished filling I use the brush or brow groomer to tidy and then take a slanted brow brush and blend the colour which I've applied to give an even softer look. I sometimes choose to add a little bit of brow powder at this stage which softens even more and gives an even more natural looking result than the pencil used alone and I find this works really well with the already powdery formula of the product. Brow waxes also seem to work really well over the top and don't seem to interfere with colour or lasting power either.

                      Results

                      As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, most pencils I have purchased and used seem to have red in them which tends to look quite unnatural on me, the first thing I noticed after using Diors powder pencil is how natural the colour looks. The shade I purchased (Sand) has no red in it and seems to match my medium brown eyebrows and hair perfectly. My brows look even and defined without looking harsh or overdone and stay that way until the end of the day when I remove my make up.

                      The pencil itself seems to stay sharp for quite a long time before it needs sharpening which I imagine is down to the fact that such a small amount is applied with each use and that very little pressure is needed to draw. I have found when it does need sharpening it's easy to get a decent, soft point and have had no issues with the crayon breaking or snapping providing I don't over sharpen.

                      Would I recommend/buy again?

                      I can't imagine using another brow pencil now I've discovered such a great colour match with Diors and I'm extremely happy with the unusual but effective powder formula. I haven't found the need to repurchase yet because I've used such a small amount of the pencil even with daily use but I'll definitely be visiting my local Dior counter when my pencil runs out.

                      I highly recommend trying this pencil if you've been unhappy with results from similar products in the past. It's easy to use and apply, comes in a great range of shades and does an excellent job at helping to create groomed and defined brows without giving the dreaded sharpie eyebrows or drawn on look.

                      The product gets 5 stars from me.

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                      • Becca Beach Tint / Make Up / 73 Readings / 71 Ratings
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                        16.12.2010 12:32
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                        A stunningly simple multi use product

                        If I had to choose a favourite cosmetics brand at the moment I think I'd have to go with Becca because items from the line are so simple and give such unique results and finishes. I only discovered the brand around a year ago after seeing a promo picture for a summer collection which showed two beautiful models wearing the most stunningly pretty and natural make up I've ever seen. After digging around for a list of products that had been used on the two women I discovered that a multi use product (Becca watermelon beach tint) had been used on their lips and cheeks and immediately went on search to find my very own tube.

                        About Becca

                        The Becca line of cosmetics was created by Australian make up artist Rebecca Morrice Williams. Frustrated by the lack of natural looking, long lasting foundations that were still able to conceal blemishes, Rebecca decided to develop her own range of bases and make up and after six years of scientific development, the Becca range was born. The Becca philosophy is all about creating natural, flawless looks and mainly concentrates on creating a perfect base which makes skin look amazing.

                        Becca has created a 3 step skin perfecting system to correct, perfect and enhance all skin tones and the huge range of 34 concealer shades and 30 shades of foundation caters for the very lightest to the darkest of skins. A huge range of cheek products, eye shadows, lip glosses and lipsticks and a large range of high quality brushes are also offered as well as limited edition palettes. Most of the colour cosmetics in the range are natural toned, allowing the user to enhance their natural features and emphasis is also made on multi use products such as the lip and cheek crèmes and the beach tints.

                        What is Becca Beach Tint?

                        Beach tint is an oil free 2 in 1 crème tint that can be used on cheeks and lips. The non greasy, non drying product is both kiss proof and water resistant and comes in a choice of six natural looking shades; Watermelon, Raspberry, Strawberry, Peach, Grapefruit and Fig. Each shade is scented in its synonymous name and the formula contains vitamin E and is preservative and paraban free.

                        Price and availability

                        Beach tint is available from beccacosmetics.com where it's currently priced at £19.00 for a 7ml tube. There are a number of different sites online where the product can also be purchased, including cult beauty, Zuneta, Amazon, HairHQ.co.uk where it costs the same (19.00) and Beauty Expert also stock it although it's priced slightly higher here. I have occasionally spotted it for less on some of these sites and have also seen the odd deal where it's reduced or comes with a freebie so it's worth shopping around before you buy.

                        Packaging

                        The tint is packaged in a small 7ml squeeze tube which is completely black apart from a small transparent stripe which acts as a window and allows you to see the product within. The Becca logo, product name and size is printed in white font on the front and where the product is made (Germany) address and website details are printed on the back. The lid is quite small, silver coloured and screws on to the tube/nozzle. The product was also packaged in a small, matt black cardboard box when I received it and contained details on ingredients and usage instructions.

                        I am a huge fan of all Becca packaging; everything from the line is really well made, looks simple, has no unnecessary fussy bits and is really easy to keep clean. I really like the design of the tubes for both the beach tints and eye tints which are packaged in the same tubes. They're small and compact which makes them perfect to pop in your bag and the thin, nozzle design is fantastic for dispensing a small amount of product which really is all you need.

                        How to use

                        As I mentioned above, the tint is a multi tasking product and can be used on cheeks as a blush and also on lips. A very small amount (about the size of a grain of rice) is all that's needed to use on both areas since the product is quite pigmented. I normally dispense on to the back of my hand and then use my finger to apply a small amount on each cheek before blending. A brush (foundation brushes work well) or fingers can be used to blend the product in to skin and both work well but I tend to use fingers more often simply because it's quicker and results are very similar to brush application anyway. Blending really is easy as the product has a fair amount of slip despite it being oil free and you have plenty of time to play before the tint dries. I normally apply the tint after foundation but before loose powder which seems to work really well and I haven't experienced any problems with foundation rubbing off or becoming cakey when I apply. This is something that has been an issue in the past with other crème or gel blushes that I've used as have problems with loose powder sticking to cheek product which ruins the effect they're designed to give. I have also used the product on bare skin which also works fantastically well and gives an even more natural looking finish.

                        When I use the tint as a lip product I tend to apply a little bit of lip balm beforehand. The product applies fine without this but applying balm is something I always do before adding product to lips and this seems to sheer the product slightly too, giving a bit of a lighter finish. The tint blends equally as well on lips as it does on cheeks and a few taps and gentle rubs is all that's needed to apply colour evenly.

                        Results

                        What I'm left with after application is a beautiful, sheer colour on my cheeks which looks natural and fresh. The shade I purchased (Watermelon) is a true watermelon pink (Swatch here http://raspberry-rouge.blogspot.com/) which looks very summery and almost juicy on lips. The pigmented gel sheers out perfectly once it's blended and leaves areas on which it's applied with a transparent hint of colour which I think is what allows you to achieve such a natural finish. Powder blushes can also be applied over the top of the product for extra intensity and lip gloss can also be used over the top to add extra shine. I have tried both and both work really well, bronzer looks particularly pretty when combined with the stain as do powder highlighters and lip gloss adds to the juicy effect on lips.

                        One thing I'm always slightly concerned with when using crème or gel blushes or stains is whether they will hold up on my oily skin and I have to say that I haven't been disappointed with Beccas offering. The product seems to last as long or possibly longer as most of my powder blushes and doesn't run, streak, cake or become shiny throughout the day. I was also surprised with lasting power on lips; I get a good four hours wear with no touch ups and the product doesn't dry out lips or bleed either.

                        All the tints in the range are scented as I mentioned above and watermelon smells of you guessed it, watermelon. I generally prefer make up to be unscented but beach tint actually smells quite delicious and the addition of the fruity aroma makes it even more pleasurable to use. The scent really is quite fruity and doesn't smell synthetic of overly sweet which is great.

                        How long does it last?

                        The tube does seem quite small for the price but such a small amount is needed with each use that it does last a very long time. I purchased my tube around a year ago and I use it at least a couple of times a week on either lips or cheeks and it's still going strong.

                        Would I recommend?

                        Overall I think Becca Beach tint is a fantastic product which works really well as a 2 in 1 or multi tasking tint. I have found similar products in the past to be quite drying on lips and too emollient on cheeks which has put me off but Beach tints work well for both uses. I have used other stains such as Benefits Benetint before which I quite liked at the time but after using Beach tint and being amazed at the finish and lasting power I won't be going back to Benefits version or any other. I imagine the product would work well on all skin types and there are now six shades to choose from in the range so I'm sure everyone will be able to find a shade that complements their skin tone.

                        Beach tint is a beautiful product which allows you to create a pretty, natural cheek and lip colour with ease and I highly recommend the little tube of pigmented gel to anyone who's a fan of multi tasking products.

                        Another little thing that I thought I'd mention is Beccas customer service. I recently had a small problem with one of the lip glosses from the range and contacted the company about the issue. The customer service is possibly the best I have come across. I received a reply to my e-mail the very same day and the lady who dealt with the issue was extremely understanding, helpful and resolved the problem quickly which I thought was excellent.

                        Becca cosmetics are not tested on animals and the company actively participates in research to prove that other methods are more relevant and reliable.

                        Ingredients:
                        Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Oxidized Polyethylene,Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Dimethicone, Polyethylene,Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Tocopheryl Acetate, Nylon-12, Propylene Carbonate,Parfum (Fragrance), Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides CI 77491, CI 77492,CI 77499, Carmine CI 75470, Red 21 Lake CI 45380, Red 36 CI 12085 , Red 7 CI15850, Red 40 Lake CI 16035, Yellow 5 Lake CI 19140, Yellow 6 Lake CI 15985,Ultramarines CI 77007, Blue 1 Lake CI 42090

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                        • More +
                          14.12.2010 18:24
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                          A great budget spot treatment gel

                          Over the years I've tried many different products and treatments aimed at oily and acne prone skins from a huge range of different brands. I've found some really good products that I've added to my routine and at the moment I'm really happy with the results I get from them. The only real problem with the items I am using at the moment is the cost. I use a couple of products from the Peter Thomas Roth range that are excellent and very effective but they are quite pricey.

                          Around six months ago I ran out of my Peter Thomas Roth acne clearing gel and didn't have the funds to replace my bottle so I went on a search to find something similar for less money. I'd heard very good things about the Neutrogena stress control range and when I spotted it on a two for £5.00 deal at Boots I decided to give it a go. At the time my face wash was also running quite low so I purchased a wash and a tube of visibly clear spot stress control gel.

                          About Neutrogena

                          Neutrogena was founded in 1930 by Emanuel Stolaroff and was originally called Natone. The company began by supplying specialty cosmetics to beauty salons related to the Hollywood film industry before expanding in the 1940s and offering products to a larger retail market. The brand now offers a huge range of products that are designed to cater for many different skin types and products are available in many different countries. Neutrogena was an independent company up until 1994 when Johnson and Johnson purchased it.

                          About the Visibly Clear range

                          Neutrogena worked with dermatologists to create a line of products aimed at reducing spots and blackheads and also to prevent them from returning. The range combines special cleansing components and soothing ingredients to help prevent the build up of oil and bacteria that causes blemishes. Patented Microclear technology works by dissolving oil at the top of the pore and allows the products bacteria-fighting ingredients to penetrate deep in to the pores to fight spots.

                          The range consists of eight different products including, washes, scrubs, cleansing wipes and treatment gels and there are a further four products offered that help to reduce and eliminate blackheads, remove make up and hydrate skin.

                          Price and availability

                          The Neutrogena Visibly Clear range is available from a number of different sites online but I find Boots and Superdrugs prices to be the lowest. The product is currently priced at £4.45 at Superdrug and similarly priced at Boots, although I'm unable find the product on the Boots site at the moment. There are also a number of different sites online that offer the Visibly clear range and this particular product where you can normally purchase for less but I find postage to be quite expensive.

                          Packaging

                          The gel is packaged in a 40ml, plastic tube with a semi transparent screw on top or lid. The front of the tube contains the product name, the range it's from which is printed on a bright orange and turquoise background and the Neutrogena brand logo. The back of the tube contains information about what the product is designed to do, a warning to avoid contact with the eyes and a contact address and phone number for Neutrogena. The tube also came packaged in a cardboard box which I no longer have but it was similar in appearance to the tube and contained more detailed instructions on how to use and an ingredients list.

                          The packaging isn't the most beautiful I've seen but the bright orange and turquoise colours that have been used definitely make the products and range stand out in shops. The squeeze tube is easy to use as is the screw on lid and one thing I noticed when coming to the end of the product is the gel is still fairly easy to dispense even when there isn't much left.

                          How to use

                          The hydrating spot treatment is designed to be used on clean, dry skin. A small amount is supposed to be applied to the affected areas or you can use it like I do and apply all over the face. I choose to use it in this way because it's a hydrating product and I tend to use this instead of a moisturiser which works well on my oily skin. I have added a little bit of moisteriser over the product occasionally when areas of my face have been slightly drier than usual and have found that any additional product added on top of the spot treatment still seems to sink in well.

                          The gel is a semi transparent white colour and is quite thin in consistency but isn't runny which makes application easy. The product is scented but the aroma is quite subtle and dissipates quickly leaving just a faint whiff of fresh cucumber. I find a pea sized amount which I dab on various different areas, nose, cheeks, chin etc is enough to cover my entire face in a thin layer of product. The gel is easy to rub into skin and absorbs quickly leaving no sticky residue and my skin is left feeling fresh and clean.

                          Results

                          One of the things that initially attracted me to the hydrating spot treatment apart from the great reviews I'd read was the fact that the product was hydrating. A lot of treatments aimed at oily and spot prone skins tend to work by drying skin out which can sometimes be quite uncomfortable and can look quite unattractive, especially when make up is applied over the top. The first time I used Neutrogena's gel I was actually quite surprised at how comfortable and hydrated my skin felt after using. I haven't really come across a treatment gel that not only helps to fight spots but also moisturises and leaves my face looking and feeling soft and healthy.

                          My skin wasn't in a particularly bad state before I started using the product because I'd managed to get it under control before I added the gel to my routine and at the time I was only suffering with a few minor blemishes and blocked pores. I am always wary when using new products because my skin tends to be quite fussy and reacts horribly to most things I try but I had no issues at all with the hydrating spot treatment. The few blemishes and blocked pores I did have were not completely healed by the gel but were definitely reduced and looked a lot calmer after I'd used the product a few times. My skin also felt a lot more comfortable and less inflamed but the biggest difference I noticed which I mentioned above is how soft and hydrated my skin felt after applying the gel. I also noticed an improvement in the amount of oil my skin was producing when using which I assume is again due to the fact that the product hydrates and my skin doesn't feel the need to produce as much oil to combat dryness.

                          I normally use all treatments in the evening because I feel they work better when applied overnight but I have also used Neutrogena's gel during the day underneath make up. I have to say that it works extremely well as a make up base, creating a perfectly soft and smooth canvas on which to apply concealor and foundation.

                          Would I recommend?

                          As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, the main reason I purchased is because I couldn't afford my beloved Peter Thomas Roth acne clearing gel at the time and thought this would be a suitable and cheaper alternative. I certainly wasn't disappointed with the results I got from the hydrating gel but I have to admit, I have gone back to the acne clearing gel since, not because Neutrogena's offering doesn't work but because I feel acne clearing gel gives slightly better results due to the glycolic acid it contains. I do keep a tube of Neutrogena's gel to use when I'm running low on other products and sometimes use it under or over other products on days when my skins in need of a bit of extra moisture.

                          I thoroughly recommend hydrating spot treatment to anyone who suffers with problem skin and to anyone with combination skin who finds most spot gels too drying. It's not a miracle product but it certainly helps to sooth, calm and reduce blemishes and for the price I think it's an excellent product.

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                          • Dior Shimmer Powder / Make Up / 62 Readings / 60 Ratings
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                            26.11.2010 15:12
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                            A lovely highlighter for those who don't like glitter

                            A couple of weeks ago I wrote a review on Guerlain meteorites and mentioned a product from Dior (rose diamond shimmer powder) which I'd used before purchasing meteorites. Writing a review on Guerlains highlighter reminded me how much I'd enjoyed using Diors shimmer powder so I started searching around online to see if I could find a site that stocked the limited edition product. I was quite surprised to see that quite a few sites were offering it including Boots and the powder was also available on Diors website. I'm almost certain that the product was Limited edition when it was released around two years ago so I'm assuming that it proved to be quite popular and was made part of the permanent collection. After finding out that I could still get my hands on the pearly pink highlighter I headed off to my local counter to pick one up.

                            What is Diorskin powder shimmer?

                            Powder shimmer is a brightening and highlighting pressed powder that is designed to add a subtle sheen to skin. There are two shades available in the range, Rose diamond 001 and Amber diamond 002, both of which do the same thing but give a slightly different effect.

                            Rose diamond contains five different shades of powder, a white, a very pale pink, two slightly bronzey pinks and a brighter pink on the end. These add really delicate highlights to the skin and leave a translucent glow on the areas the product is applied

                            Amber diamond contains five colours, a pink, two slightly different golds, a bronze and a deeper brown. The earthy tones brighten and leave skin with a tanned, healthy glow.

                            The two powders also have a diamond design etched in to the surface and the Dior logo which makes them very pretty to look at and they are oil free and suitable for all skin types.

                            Price and availability

                            Both powders are currently available on the Boots website where they are priced at £31.50 for 10g of product and also from House of Fraser where they are priced at £28.35 in the sale. There is a note on the product page on House of Fraser stating that only three are left in stock so it might be best to order soon if you decide you want to purchase one at the reduced price. The powder is also available through various other sites online where they seem to vary quite a lot in price and occasionally on e-bay. I would imagine you would also be able to find the powders at your local Dior counter which is where I purchased mine (Boots).

                            Packaging

                            I own both shades of the powder and both are housed in exactly the same dark blue glossy compacts. The compacts are rectangular in shape and have a silver Dior logo stamped in to the top along with the letters CD which are let in to the blue plastic and can only be seen when the compact catches the light. The back contains a small sticker with the product shade, size, where it's made (Italy) and a product code. The compact is opened by pressing a little concealed button which is situated on the front edge and inside is the pressed powder and a large mirror. The products also originally came with a Christian Dior box, instruction leaflet and a navy, velvet pouch which seems a little bit pointless and is something I haven't used. I imagine the pouch might be quite useful if you're taking the compact travelling and are worried about it getting damaged.

                            Dior is one of my favourite brands where packaging is concerned. The navy compacts are sleek and simple and feel heavy and well made and I love the fact that Dior haven't tried to make room for a brush inside it. I have noticed a lot of brands try to do this which results in less room for actual product and the brushes are often too small to apply blush or powder properly anyway. I also like the fact that the mirror is large enough to use with ease and that the shiny plastic never seems to become scuffed or scratched no matter how much it's thrown around in my make up bag.

                            How to use

                            The shades in either compact can be used individually with small brushes or fingers or swirled together and mixed before you apply to skin. I have used the shades in Amber diamond in this way as eye shadow before and found the bronzes and browns worked quite well. Used this way on their own they create a really sheer wash of colour and used over the top of other shadows they create a shimmery finish. I have also used the white from Rose diamond to highlight inner corners of eyes and brow bones but haven't found any of the pinks particularly useful as eye shadows although they do make a nice highlighter when applied to your cupids bow.

                            When I use the powder as a highlighter I use a soft fluffy brush to sweep across the top of the five complementary shades and when I've picked up a suitable amount I apply to all the areas I would normally add highlights to such as, cheek bones, nose and chin. The powder is very fine and whatever brush I use grabs enough product without too much sweeping or effort and also without too much fallout or a cloud of product filling the air. The colours blend together on my brush but don't seem to mix too much in the pan which is great as the individual shades stay in their own little blocks or lines and the product stays prettier for longer. The etched diamond design really is a thing of beauty and the fact that this remains on top of the powder until it really does start to get low and run out is excellent.

                            Both shades are quite sheer when applied normally but I've found both can be applied with a heavier hand to add more colour instead of just glowiness. Amber diamond definitely works better for this and when more product is used it can be built up and makes a really nice bronzer. Rose can be used in the same way and makes a lovely fresh pink blush and also works well over the top of matte blush when you want to brighten up a cheek colour.

                            Results

                            What I'm left with after I apply Rose diamond is slightly shimmery, glowy, glitter free skin. The pink tones in the powder add just a subtle hint of very pale pink almost translucent colour that looks incredibly natural. The shimmer is noticeable but only up close and from a distance my skin just looks healthy and slightly flushed. Amber is a shade I use more often in the summer when I want more of a bronze glow on my pale skin. I get the same glowy effect but instead of the translucent pink that I get with rose I get a shimmery bronzey finish with subtle copper tones.

                            Both powders give a really beautiful finish and have enough shimmer to illuminate skin without making your face look like a disco ball. The pearlescent particles also manage to reflect light without emphasising pores or flaws which I normally have problems with.

                            Lasting powder

                            Lasting power is excellent. When I apply over the top of my normal foundation and loose powder the product stays put until I take my make up off at the end of the day. I get slightly less wear when I apply on bare skin or straight on to foundation but I find this is the case with almost all highlighters and blushers on my oily skin. The 10g of powder you get in a compact I think is actually a really generous amount and I got a good year and a half of daily use out of my original rose compact before I needed to replace it. I know the product is pretty expensive but considering it's a multi use product and most blushers from higher end brands cost at least £15.00 for less than 10g of powder it's really not a bad price.

                            Would I recommend?

                            Yes I would. I mentioned in my meteorites review that the balls were a decent substitute for rose diamond powder but not quite as nice and after using rose diamond again I have decided that I really do prefer Diors powder. Meteorites are more of an all over face powder and give me a much more subtle effect than Diamond powders do. I also feel that I get a much better glow out of the shimmer powders and although Guerlains packaging is very pretty, the fact that Diors comes in a pressed compact makes it much easier to use and more travel friendly.

                            If you like to add a glow after applying foundation or even on bare skin I highly recommend giving Dior diamond shimmer powder a go and as I mentioned above Rose works as a really beautiful blush too. I'm really glad that the product has been added as a permanent product and as long as Dior continue to make it, I'll continue to purchase.

                            5 out of 5 stars from me

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                            • Orly Bonder / Make Up / 50 Readings / 50 Ratings
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                              24.11.2010 13:02
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                              A brilliant basecoat

                              I never paid much attention to nail polish until fairly recently when I discovered Essie and OPI lacquers. I'd always been put off of painting my nails because mine never seemed to last more than a day before it started to chip, peel and generally look quite horrible. The amount of effort I put in to shaping, buffing and applying polish really didn't seem worth it for the short lived results. That changed when I purchased my first nail lacquers from Essie and realised the problems I'd been having were probably due to my nail polish choices.

                              With Essie I was getting a good three days of wear before my nails were ready for a repaint which still doesn't sound like long but considering my hands are always covered in some sort of cleaning product (I forget to wear gloves) it was a small miracle for me. I was fairly happy with the lasting power I was getting from my polishes but still wanted better staying power and was recommended to try a base coat by the lovely ladies on a forum I use. Three different types were suggested of which two were near on impossible to get hold of here in the UK so I decided to try the recommendation from ORLY, a brand I'd not heard of before.

                              About ORLY

                              ORLY is an American company that specialise in nail products. They offer a huge range of nail lacquers in a rainbow of different colours that are free of DBP, Formaldehyde and toluene (info below) in various different finishes, a French manicure range, tools such as files, brushes, orange sticks etc and a polish remover range. Moisturising and hand care products are also available along with a large range of nail treatments which include top coats, cuticle removers, strengtheners and base coats.

                              DBP, Formaldehyde and Toluene (The big three)

                              DBP or Di butyl phthalate is a Plasticizer used to increase the fluidity of products they are added to products such as adhesives, printing inks and nails polish. The use of DBP in nail polish is banned in the European Union due to concerns over it's the substances potentially very serious effects on health.

                              Formaldehyde is an organic compound that's used as a preservative in nail polish and acts as a nail hardener to stop polish from chipping. Exposure to the skin can result in rashes and breathing in the fumes can cause headaches, labored breathing and watery eyes. Formaldehyde has also been linked to cancer and many brands have stopped using the ingredient in nail polish although some still continue to use it.

                              Toluene is used as a solvent in nail polish to give its smooth finish and promotes quick drying. It promotes a feeling of intoxication when inhaled and has been linked to neurological disturbances in humans and birth defects in laboratory animals. A lot of brands have also stopped using this ingredient but some still add it to their polish.

                              More and more brands seem to eliminating these ingredients from their products including Nubar, Buttter London, Chanel and China glaze. OPI are also free of the big three although some of their older collections aren't.

                              What is ORLY bonder?

                              Bonder is a basecoat that's designed to improve lacquer adhesion and prolong the wear of nail polish. It's described as a rubberized, polish gripping basecoat that helps polish adhere to nails for longer.

                              Price and availability

                              The product is available from quite a few different sites online but seems to vary quite a lot in price depending on where you buy it from. A lot of the sites offering ORLY products have them for pretty low prices but I've found that most of them ship from the US which means postage is high. Bonder is available on Amazon.co.uk where it's currently priced at £4.49 for 18ml and postage is £3.49, powderpuff.net also stock it although it's priced at £8.95 and I'm unsure how much postage would be. I decided to order mine from e-bay where I paid around £5.50 with shipping which I thought was very reasonable since it was shipped from America. I often see the product listed on e-bay and it's normally available form both US and UK sellers for much less than most websites tend to sell it for so if you decide to buy e-bay is definitely worth a look.

                              Packaging

                              The product is packaged in a matte finish, transparent glass bottle which has the ORLY logo and product name printed on the front and what the product does along with an address printed on the back in purple text. The lid is also purple and is covered in a soft, rubbery material which makes the top both easy to undo and easy to grip when you're using it.

                              How to use

                              Bonder is a base coat and is obviously meant to be applied before nail polish and on to clean nails that are free of residue. The product contains a brush exactly like a nail nail polish does and one, thin coat is supposed to be painted on to nails and allowed to dry before applying whatever colour you want over the top.

                              The product is a transparent orange shade in the bottle and the liquid is quite thin and runny in consistency. I find it's best to make sure you don't overload the brush with product before painting on to nails as only a thin coat is needed and the product takes a while to dry if too much is applied. The thin brush allows for precise application and the rubbery grip on the top is a fantastic idea that makes the top easy to hold. The orange formula is clear once applied to nails and dries very quickly (in around a minute). Once it's dry you're left with matte nails that feel almost like rubber or vinyl when touched.

                              Polish is easy to apply over the top and I feel I get a much better, smoother application when I use bonder on my nails prior to lacquer application. Varnish seems to stick and grab better and although ORLY don't promise that the product will even out ridges, I think it definitely helps to smooth the nails surface.

                              Results

                              As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, I was getting around three days wear out of nail lacquer before I had to repaint. With bonder underneath my Essie and OPI polishes I get a good five to six with little chipping and no peeling at all which I'm really pleased with. The basecoat has also helped a lot with staining which I sometimes get with darker, vampy colours and overall I get a much better, more professional result when I do manicures.

                              Would I recommend?

                              Yes! I highly recommend the basecoat to anyone who has issues with the staying power of their polish. The product is relatively cheap and because such a small amount is needed with each use a bottle lasts for a very long time. ORLY bonder is by far the best coat I've used and although it can be a little hard to get of, I will continue to purchase and will definitely be trying some of the lovely polish colours too when I replace my bottle.

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                              • More +
                                23.11.2010 19:22
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                                A fantastic full coverage foundation that wont budge

                                To be honest I don't normally purchase make up from drugstore brands because I find higher end cosmetics to generally be better quality particularly when it comes to foundation and also because I'm a bit of a sucker for pretty packaging. I have found a few gems from brands such as L'oreal and Ruby & Millie but always tended to stick to Estee Lauder, Chanel and Dior etc when purchasing foundation because I find there is normally a wider range of shades to choose from.

                                A couple of years ago I ran out of the foundation I was using at the time which was Estee Lauders Double wear and didn't have the funds to replace my bottle. I started searching around online for recommendations on similar products that cost less and came across a number of positive reviews for Revlon colorstay. Revlon was not a brand I'd paid much attention to before and I'd never tried their foundation range but according to the reviews I read it was very similar to Estee Doublewear for half the price so I toddled off to my local Boots to pick up a bottle.

                                About the Colorstay range

                                Revlons colorstay line of products consists of a range of different items including, eye shadow, liners, lip sticks, glosses and foundations and powders that are designed to be ultra long lasting. A lot of the items have something called softflex which Revlon say make their long wear formulas light weight and comfortable to wear.

                                What is colorstay foundation?

                                Colorstay foundation is a medium to full coverage base that is available in two different formulas, there's one for oily and combination skins and one for normal to dry skins. I purchased the oil free formula since I have oily skin and this one is designed to control shine and help your skin to stay matte throughout the day. As the product is part of the colorstay range it is also designed to be long lasting whilst also feeling light weight and Revlon promise up to 16 hours of flawless coverage and wear.

                                There are a wide range of different shades available ranging from very light shades such as Ivory to darker shades such as Mocha. On the US website there are around twenty different colours to choose from although I have never seen the whole shade range available when I've purchased the product and only the most popular colours seemed to be offered. Some of the shades also have an SPF 6 but the darker colours Golden, Caramel, Toast, Rich Ginger, Cappuccino, Mahogany, and Mocha do not contain any sun protection.

                                Price and availability

                                Colorstay is available from both Boots where it's currently priced at £12.49 for a 30ml bottle and is part of the 3 for 1 mix and match range and Superdrug where it's priced slightly cheaper at £11.99. There are a number of different sites to purchase from online and the product often costs considerably less on discounted cosmetics sites but I always find that only a small selection of shades (normally the less popular colours) are available. The foundation can also be found on e-bay occasionally although the last couple of bottles I've bid on have ended up going for almost the same price it is at Boots anyway.

                                Packaging

                                The foundation is packaged in a transparent glass bottle and has a matte, black plastic screw on top. On the front the brand logo is printed in black along with what the product is, which skin type it's for, colour and product size. On the back of the bottle there's a white sticker with the company address which can be peeled back to reveal an ingredients list and the usual warnings advising the product is for external use and to avoid eyes etc.

                                I am really not a fan of the bottle because unfortunately it doesn't come with a pump and I sometimes find it difficult to dispense the right amount. I have actually wasted a fair amount on occasions because I find the foundation hard to pour, especially when the bottle is quite full. I've also found that the neck of the bottle can become very messy and caked in product unless it's wiped clean after use which I find slightly annoying. I really don't understand why Revlon insist on keeping the bottle design as it is, especially since a pump design was used on the newer photoready foundation from the range.

                                How to use

                                Colorstay can be applied in the same way any other liquid foundation can be. I tend to use fingers because the product is quite thick and I find it a little bit difficult to blend with a brush and also find that I get quite a lot of waste. When I've given the bottle a good shake and dispensed enough on to the back of my hand (a pea sized amount) I normally apply a few blobs on to different areas of my face and then start to blend from the middle of my face outwards. As mentioned above the consistency is on the thick side but the foundation actually blends surprisingly easily and with less effort than similar products I've tried. You get a decent amount of time to spread and blend the foundation before it starts to dry and building product is not an issue either because of this.

                                The foundation has quite a strong scent which actually reminds me of paint when it's first applied but thankfully it doesn't seem to hang around for long. I wouldn't say it feels particularly light weight either if I'm honest and my skin definitely feels as though I'm wearing quite a heavy base which is a bit unpleasant and not something I experience with higher end foundation. I normally use a loose powder to set my foundation and find that my usual brand (NARS) works well over the top of colorstay and applies with no problems. It can obviously also be worn alone without powder which I've tried and it also gives a nice finish this way too but doesn't last as long.

                                Results

                                I chose the shade 150 Buff which I think is the second lightest colour in the range and although it's not a perfect match, it's pretty close. The shade blends really well in to skin without leaving the dreaded line along my jaw and the formula works well at hiding any flaws, redness and blemishes. Colorstay is described by Revlon as a medium to full coverage base and I think they're right because it does cover extremely well. The foundation manages to do this without looking cakey and despite feeling quite heavy it doesn't actually look it which is quite surprising. The formula does well at gliding over pores instead of emphasising them and overall leaves me with a fairly natural, even base on which to apply the rest of my make up.

                                Lasting power has been really good with this stuff, I don't get the sixteen hours that Revlon promise me but I do get a good ten with the odd touch up which is perfectly acceptable. The product wears evenly throughout the day, doesn't cake if my skin gets shiny and the colour remains the same. I've also found that my base stays in tact when I touch up during the day and the product doesn't smear or lift off when I'm patting or dabbing with my sponge or applicator puff.

                                The long wear, medium to full coverage formula can make this stuff a bit of a pain to remove and when I use it I always make sure I use a good make up cleanser before I wash my face to make sure I get it all off. The product hasn't caused any problems in terms of break outs on my acne and clog prone skin but I imagine it would without thorough cleansing but I suppose the same can be said for all products of this type.

                                Would I recommend?

                                Overall I am really quite pleased with the results I get from colorstay, it's not as good as Estee Lauders Doublewear but it does a pretty good job for half the price which is excellent. I am mainly using a Clarins everlasting foundation at the moment but I sometimes take a break and use Revlon for a while and am never disappointed when I come back to it. It's by far the best foundation I've used from the lower end brands and the only one I've used that I've found a good colour match in.

                                I would definitely recommend to anyone who's looking for a great medium to full coverage foundation that doesn't cost as much as offerings from the designer brands and doesn't budge. Colorstay is a fantastic product with a reasonable price tag and there is an excellent range of shades to choose from, none of which seem to be orange.

                                The product gets 4 stars from me; it loses one for the packaging.

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                                • More +
                                  21.11.2010 13:49
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                                  An excellent face mask that really does do what it promises

                                  Dr Sebagh deep exfoliating mask is by far the most expensive skincare product I have ever purchased. I noticed the pot of orange goo in a Space NK Christmas book a couple of years ago and was having major skin problems at the time (acne and scarring) so I actually bought it out of desperation if I'm honest. I'd never tried Dr Sebagh products before, I'd read reviews on them and had spotted them on top 100 best beauty product lists in magazines but never took the plunge and purchased anything from the line due to the high price tag on items in the range.

                                  About Dr Sebagh

                                  Dr Jean-Louis Sebagh is a French Doctor and plastic surgeon who is known as the king of botox. He worked in Paris rebuilding cancer and burns victims faces for around 15 years before he started traveling to London every few months to visit a select group of fans with injectables (fillers and botox). The fans gradually grew and in 1997 Sebagh set up a surgery in London to cater for his clients, some of the worlds most famous faces. Dr Sebagh developed his range of products called The Meaningful Beauty skin care line after one of clients; Cindy Crawford requested at home versions of his treatments. The line was introduced in 2005 and consists of a range of different highly active products to treat skin problems such as wrinkles and acne.

                                  What is Deep exfoliating mask?

                                  It's a mask aimed at exfoliating the dead layers of skin for faster cell turnover and reducing pigmentation, acne scars and melasma and at the same time reducing sensitivity and redness. It's designed to clean and exfoliate pores, to moisturise skin and contains anti bacterial ingredients. The key ingredients are Lactic acid, Azelaic Acid and Palmitoyl pentapeptide-3.

                                  Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that's obtained from milk and it works by helping to dissolve dead skin cells and by moisturising fresh new skin cells.

                                  Azelaic acid is a yeast found on normal skin and is known to be effective against a number of different skin conditions. It can be used to treat mild to moderate acne and works by preventing the growth of acne causing bacteria. Azelaic acid is also used as a topical treatment for rosacea in products such as Finacea gel due to its inflammatory reducing capabilities.

                                  Palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 stimulates the skins matrix and improves collagen and elastin levels which reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It has been found to be as effective as retinol in dealing with wrinkles and skin damage caused by sun exposure but without the side effects such as peeling or red skin.

                                  Cost and availability

                                  Dr Sebagh products are available from quite a few different online retailers although the price still seems to be about the same wherever you choose to buy from. I purchased mine from Space NK at the time and it cost me £52.00 for a 50ml jar. The mask is also available from beautybay.com, beautyexpert.co.uk, Liberty and mankind as well as being available in department stores such as John Lewis, Harrods and Selfridges. The price seems to be about the same (£52.00) at all the above stores except for beautybay where it's priced at £50.00.

                                  There is also a sensitive version of the product available which as the name suggests is aimed at more sensitive skins and this is priced the same as the original.

                                  Packaging

                                  The mask came packaged in a quite a large white box and inside it was an instruction leaflet and the small 50ml jar of product. The jar is made from quite thick transparent glass which means the orange product can be seen within and has the Dr Sebagh name on the front in black font and the usual info such as size, what the product is and a company address printed in various locations around the tub. The lid is made from a matte, black plastic and is almost the same width as the jar. A plastic spatula was also included in the box.

                                  Although the packaging is quite plain there is something very appealing about it. The jar feels quite heavy and expensive and the simplicity of the design makes it feel like a professional skincare product. As I've mentioned in previous reviews, I am not a fan of jars and much prefer products to be packaged in tubes due to hygiene reasons but I can live with the jar as long as the product inside does what it's supposed to. I have found the spatula has been quite useful for dispensing the mask and avoids me sticking my fingers in to the product and has also prevented me from wasting any too.

                                  How to use

                                  The mask is supposed to be used once or twice a week on clean, dry skin and the instructions advise to leave it on for 5-10 minutes depending on how sensitive your skin is. First time users are instructed to leave the mask on for just three minutes the first time they use to avoid irritation. I decided to ignore this advice the first time I tried it believing that I'd see results quicker if I went straight for the full ten minutes and what I was left with was a very pink and irritated face so I recommend following the advice on the box as it's definitely there for a reason.

                                  The actual mask is a semi transparent, bright orange colour that smells quite strongly of peach, a fragrance that I'm personally not a fan of. The texture is very soft, quite thick and has a quite a bit of slip to it, this makes it easy to apply and massage into skin. I find an amount slightly smaller than a pea is enough to cover my entire face in a very thin layer of product carefully avoiding the eye and lip area. The mask feels quite thick as it's being applied but warms up as I apply to skin which makes it easy to spread.

                                  The product feels quite comfortable for the first five minutes or so but starts to tingle and sting a little bit towards the end of the ten minutes which is a little bit uncomfortable sometimes but definitely bearable. The mask never actually dries or changes throughout the ten minutes and because the product stays transparent with just a hint of orange I'm able to see my skin underneath the product which also starts to look a bit pink before I wash it off. If you have sensitive skin I would recommend only using the mask for five minutes or you could of course go for the sensitive version which is now available.

                                  When the ten minutes is up you're supposed to wash off the product with clean, tepid water. I normally add a little bit of water to my face and massage it into the product first which makes it a lot easier to remove although it's a quicker to remove than clay based masks. After I've finished massaging and have rinsed the majority of the product off, I tend to take any missed bits or bits that are close to sensitive areas with a soft, wet washcloth and pat my face dry with a soft towel.

                                  Results

                                  After using my skin does feel a little bit irritated and in need of moisteriser so I apply my normal moisteriser (Peter Thomas Roth oil free) immediately after I've dried my face. I find whatever product I use absorbs in to my skin rapidly, the irritated feeling subsides quickly and my face is left soft, incredibly smooth and hydrated although still slightly red. The pinkness normally lasts for most of the evening after I've used the mask but calms down overnight and in the morning I am left with even, smooth and glowy looking skin.

                                  I noticed an immediate difference in my skins texture and pores felt cleaner after the first use. After using the product on a weekly basis over a period of a couple of months I really started seeing a difference in marks and scarring form previous break outs and I also noticed a big improvement in the amount of blemishes I was getting. I also found the mask did an excellent job at drying existing spots and prevented those pesky purple marks or scars appearing after the blemish had healed.

                                  After continued use my skin generally looked a lot more even and refined than it did before I added the mask in to my routine and I felt pores looked less noticeable too. Overall I am really pleased with what the Dr Sebagh product has done for my skin and I'm impressed with the positive affects it has had on pigmentation, texture and redness.

                                  Is it really worth the huge price?

                                  I really do want to say no because the stuff is so pricey but I feel it works wonders and would thoroughly recommend the mask to anyone who has scarring, pigmentation, blocked pores or dull skin. The product definitely does what it promises and it's the only face mask I've purchased that has made a real difference to my skin.I know the initial cost of the product is really quite high but I estimate I get around 50 uses from a 50ml jar so cost per use is actually quite low. In fact each use works out about the same or a few pence more than a Montagne Jeunesse sachet of mask which are quite cheap but pretty ineffective on my skin.

                                  If you're looking for a product that gives serious results then I highly recommend you give Dr Sebagh a go. I have repurchased the mask and will continue to do so as long as it works its magic.

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