This Works Perfect Look skin miracle tinted moisturiser

It's a miracle in a tube. Apparently.

It’s a miracle in a tube. Apparently.

I never know where I stand with This Works. I know a lot of people hold them in very high regard and I DO like their pillow spray which works wonders for helping me nod off (but anything with lavender in it will do that for me), but I’m always put off by the prices, which seem excessively spendy for what the products actually do. I was one of the few people who didn’t go completely bonkers over the In Transit camera close up primer when it came out -it did nothing for my skin AT ALL, which was hugely disappointing as I love the idea of a multi functional “why take 2 bottles into the shower?” product. Maybe it wasn’t the correct serum or moisturiser for me. Whatever. I’m over it (I’m not over it.)

Nice little pump action

Nice little pump action

Anyhoozles, back to the matter in hand. I’ve been sort of looking for a tinted moisturiser to take away with me, and I really liked the look of this one (always a sucker for the packaging). It’s in a 30ml tube with a lovely hygienic pump action dispenser and one pump does the whole face.

One pump

One pump

It has a lovely light texture, it glides on quickly and evenly (and virtually unnoticably) and gives a dewy, even toned appearance to the face.

blended out

blended out

It says that you can wear alone or under foundation. I took it for a spin today on its own, no powder or anything to finish. After about three hours I looked distinctly greasy -so much so that I had to dive into the nearest chemist and sneak some powder to go on top, after which I have to say, it looked awesome.

I’ll report back once I’ve used it a few more times. This could be one I need to get the hang of in terms of other complementary products before it really looks its best. The question is: can I be bothered when I have other products that work better with less faff?

If you have normal to oily skin then I would avoid unless you are using a mattifying foundation or powder on top. If you have dry skin this might be better for you if you want a glowy, dewy look but keep an eye on the shine.

What are your favourite tinted moisturisers? Are they more faff than they’re worth?

This Works Perfect Look Skin Miracle Tinted Moisturiser is a weighty £28 for 30ml and is available HERE

Info: Purchase

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Eau des Minimes Cologne -Botanical cologne of the Minims

I was suckered in by the hokey looking Apothecary-type “Oo we’ve been doing this since 1862 in a convent to a secret recipe that goes back to the 15th century” packaging.

Apothecary type nonsense

But… I was in the market for a fresh smelling cologne now that summer is (slowly) coming and I spotted this, completely unknown to me brand (which is exciting in itself, to be honest). I’m a simple soul when it comes to perfumes: I tend to like significantly one-note fragrances, citrussy ones or ones that are very white floral heavy. Anything too complex and I want to wash it off -my nose goes into overdrive. Maybe it’s being a florist -I smell a lot of fragrances every day and poor imitations of flowers particularly offend.

Eau des minimesThere’s a whole range of different scents of which this is the original, but -staying on track- this one was my favourite by a Provencal country mile. It’s a gorgeously fresh, sparkling lively scent. Completely citrussy (Grapefruit, Lemon and Blood Orange), what gives it an edge of complexity are the other ingredients (Rosemary, wild pansy, burdock, lemon balm, mallow and benzoin that stop it smelling like you’ve just rolled in a vat of Cif.

Doesn't it just transport you to France? :-)

Doesn’t it just transport you to France? ūüôā

It’s ¬£19 for 100ml, so it’s not a¬†complete bargain, and being a cologne its staying power is virtually nil. But the beauty of a cologne is being able to splash it on in abundance, and every time get that lovely summery hit of citrus. You can even keep it in the fridge.

It comes with a spray nozzle which is a thoughtful touch, as I don’t quite fancy splashing it all over Brut¬†stylee.

This one is a definite Summer hit and is coming away on holiday with me.

What’s your summer scent? Do you like a cologne or a perfume in the summer?

Eau des Minimes range can be bought HERE

Info: Purchase

CHEAP LIPSTICK KLAXON! Make up Revolution Velvet lip laquer and lipstick

I’m not going to waste an immense amount of time here because -and I’ll be honest- these aren’t all that good**. My love for Make up Revolution generally knows know bounds -they are absolutely shaking up the game among the cheaper drugstore brands with highly pigmented, finely milled products that match a lot of the big brands for longevity and colour payoff.

(**for me. If you’re 15, knock yourself out because you will have lovely full young lips on which any formulation, however cheap looks great. *weeps*)

Salvation Velvet Lip Laquer in What I believe (L) and Lipstick in Bliss (R)

Salvation Velvet Lip Laquer in What I believe (L) and Lipstick in Bliss (R)

The Velvet lip Lacquer is pretty much the same kind of deal as MUA have going on with their Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers which have been out for a while now (and no, I didn’t get on with those, either)

Left -Lip Lacquer. Right-lipstick

Left: lipstick. Right: Lip Lacquer

The lipstick is a pound. Let’s just park that there for a moment and consider it. A POUND. ¬†If I had my teenage years again I would spend all my money on these because they come in some of the most hideous colours imaginable, including green, blue and black.

Being 45, I am a little bit more cautious and so went for the sheeny coral-y/pink colours to try. The packaging is fine -the lipstick is sturdy enough and doesn’t look like it’s going to shatter the first time it drops into the washbasin (or is that just me?). Even though it has swatched well (above), the texture was dreadful. I had scrubbed and moisturised in preparation, but the lipstick went on in fits and starts, was claggy yet without having any hydrating properties and just sort of¬†sat there.

Not impressed

Not impressed

To be fair, the lip lacquer was actually worse. If I had gone for this in a bold colour you might have been able to see the texture better:

Grumpy face

Grumpy face

It’s not the greatest photo, but I think you can see the way it managed to cling to all the dry skin (which, I would like to reiterate, I had scrubbed and moisturised not five minutes previously).

So it’s a no from me. But I can’t be too harsh because the prices are amazing (Did I mention the lipstick is A POUND?) If you’re on a budget or just want to try some dramatic colours before deciding if you can carry them off then this is a great way of doing it.

Make Up Revolution lipsticks are £1 and the Velvet Lip Lacquers are £3 and available HERE

Info: Purchase.

Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Retro Summer mascara – limited edition review

I haven’t used a Bourjois mascara in quite a while, but this tube was so irresistible (DAMN YOU, MARKETING!!) that I picked it up at once.

SO PRETTY!

SO PRETTY!

Here’s what the bumpf says: “Bourjois‚Äô NEW Volume 1 Seconde Retro Summer mascara has a unique brush with spherical bristles to wrap every lash in a 360¬į motion and straight bristles to create clump free definition. Apply in a zigzag motion to your top and bottom lashes for an instant eye-opening look that will last up to 16 hours!”

Unlikely to get lost in your make up bag...

Unlikely to get lost in your make up bag…

I’ll be honest -I take most mascara claims with a tablespoon of salt; the perfect mascara is a meeting of the correct bristles (you never know which these are until you’ve tried them, and cunningly, two mascaras that look to have the same bristles will give wildly different results), the correct formulation and the correct colour. Goats are born with three heads more often than this trifecta comes together in a mascara tube.

the 'spherical' bristles

the ‘spherical’ bristles

I won’t waffle on because the technical side of it is beyond me. I think this is Bourjois’ take on Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara¬†as it seems to be promising much the same effect. So -does it work?

HELL TO THE YEAH!

The picture below is what ONE COAT¬†does to my lashes. ONE COAT, people! Imagine what would happen if I used three. I’d be able to comb my own fringe with my eyelashes!

I should have included a before picture, but believe me -you can barely see my naked lashes with a magnifying glass. After application my lashes were long, glossily black, curled and perky (I didn’t curl them beforehand -Lord would know what would happen if I did *gets thoroughly overexcited.*) Wear is supposed to be 16 hours -I wore for about 7 before I took my make up off and it was still looking great: no fallout or smudging.

One coat.

One coat.

Apologies for getting somewhat over excited, but so many mascaras are completely duff on me that it’s amazing to find one that works so well. I’m absolutely going to stock up on this next time I’m in Boots.

Have you tried the Volume 1 seconde mascara? What did you think? How does it stack up against other mascaras you use?

Bourjois Volume 1 seconde Retro Summer Mascara (try saying it with a French accent!) is £7.99 but is on 342 at the moment at Boots

Info: Purchase

Sleek Blush BY 3 Palette in Californ I.A review

You may have heard tell that I like a blusher or two. Well, here are THREE amazingly coloured cream blushers all in one palette for a tenner.

Sleek CalifornI.A palette

Sleek CalifornI.A palette

I love Sleek. A lot of their colours are wonderfully bright and look fabulous on dark skintones, so although I can’t wear a lot of the shades I spend a lot of time marvelling at their general gorgeousness whenever I pass a concession by.

Come to Mummy...

Come to Mummy…

It’s also fairly rare that I find a concession that is anything¬†near to fully stocked, with the more popular items long gone by the time I get there.

So imagine the thrill when I saw that my local Sleek stand was packed to bursting with little beauties like this. This is the ‘Californ.I.A’ palette of 3 cream blushers in summery shades which are just begging to be used on top of a light tan as you cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway in your sporty little coupe *shakes self.*

don't you just want to dive in??

don’t you just want to dive in??

The colours aren’t individually named, but L-R I’d say there’s a watermelon, an apricot and a peach. All summery, infinitely wearable colours for pale to medium skintones that like to fall on the coral blusher spectrum (having rosacea I avoid pink like the plague).

L-R Watermelon(!), Apricot (!) and Peach (!)

L-R Watermelon(!), Apricot (!) and Peach (!)

They apply like a dream, in a light wash of colour that can be built up (and/or mixed) if you want more than just a flush of blush. The outer two shades are mostly matte, and the middle, apricot shade has a slight pearly rose gold shimmer to it, making it useful as a very subtle highlighter.

I can’t tell you how much I love these. They are just SO WEARABLE!¬†Sorry -I’m just so pleased to have something lovely to review having been on such a downer about BB creams yesterday!

Does blusher cheer you up? Or do other products float your boat more?

Sleek Blush By 3 palette costs £10 (*squeals*) and is available HERE -or if you can bear the disappointment of it being sold out -try Boots or Superdrug.

Info: Purchase

KIKO BB Glow Compact Foundation review

KIKO BB Cream compact

KIKO BB Cream compact

Who doesn’t love a bit of KIKO? I turn into a crazy woman every time I go into the Regent Street store grabbing at just about everything as if they’re going to run out of stock at any moment.

No 5:  Universal Beige

No 5: Universal Beige

I’m generally not a fan of BB creams -they¬†always just sit on my skin gathering in creases and looking patchy. I DO NOT KNOW what I’m doing wrong: it’s completely maddening. I have pretty good skin to start with, so I don’t *need* an amazing amount of coverage, and you’d think BB creams would be the business, no?

Comes with nifty make up sponge

Comes with nifty make up sponge

Somehow, when I saw this in store, I thought it may be different. I thought it could be the one. Rather than coming in a tube as so many BB/CC creams do, it’s in a snazzy compact format, complete with a flip up compartment for the applicator sponge. The whole thing looks great -smart and a bit posh. I had high hopes for this one.

Swatches on my wrist in store looked promising, so in the basket it went. I bought shade 05 -Universal Beige (what a tremendously drab name!) which is a yellow toned neutral that suits my NC25 skin pretty well.

Shade 05 -Universal Beige

Shade 05 -Universal Beige

So far so good. It’s a creamy, lightweight formulation that feels silky and moisturising on first application. It looks like it’s going to be dewy and radiant on the skin if the swatch is anything to go by, right?

Blended out

Blended out

It seems to blend away to almost nothing, which is what I was hoping for as I’m no fan of heavy coverage. Next day I applied it after serum (no moisturiser) to see if the moisturising properties were enough to forgo my usual Ole Henrikson layer.

Well, I blended, and I blended, and I blended some more, using the sponge. I started light and built up coverage where I saw fit and all it did was sit in my pores, staring back at me as if to say ‘What?’ It settled in the creases around my nose, between my eyebrows, and it looked patchy and sparse.

Now I LOVE a good foundation, and I’m really particular about the finish it gives. I’m not a snob: I happily use Bourjois alongside Suqqu -as long as it works, it works and I am always irrationally cross when I find one I don’t get on with, so I went back and tried again, took the whole lot off, used serum again and had another go -this time using my Expert face brush¬†to really buff it into the skin. Same thing happened. I could see EVERY PORE ON MY FACE. It seems that BB creams work in inverse proportion on my face to the way they do with every other person on the planet.¬†

I have subsequently tried this with serum and moisturiser/moisturiser on its own and it’s the same every time. I’ve just had to give up and accept that I have a weird face and BB creams are not for me.

On the plus side, it feels wonderfully creamy and hydrating -great for drier or older skins. It has a great range of colours for darker skins and those with pinker or neutral undertones. I just couldn’t get along with the finish.

I really wanted to love this product (-mainly because I thought the packaging was swish and I liked the idea of being able to effortlessly touch up my make up on-the-go). Reading other blogger’s thoughts on it -and it gets quite a bit of love out there- I’ve come to realise that my skin and BB creams will never be friends. It seems I need my skincare and my make up in two completely distinct layers. How annoying!

What are your thoughts on BB creams? Can you get along with them?

KIKO BB Glow Compact comes in 12 shades, costs £11.90 and is available HERE

Info: Purchase

Superdrug Skincare: Optimum Phytosurvive Moisturiser and Serum review

Superdrug’s own brand skincare is always worth a look in my opinion -sadly they are discontinuing their great Vitamin E hot cloth cleanser which is properly great for the price and a convincing Cleanse and Polish dupe, so stock up if you see any on the aisles. Their Radiance 2-in1 serum and Moisturiser was a surprising find, their Overnight Glycolic peel pretty good for the money, and they’ve finally brought back their Simply Pure Hydrating Serum, which at ¬£2.69 works almost as well as Vichy’s Aqualia¬†which is about eight times the price.

serum and moisturiser

serum and moisturiser

So I thought I would give these a go as they were at half price (£6.50 rather than £12.99 and currently on BOGOF) and I was suckered in by the 40+ age bracket blurb.

The claim is that the formulation “strengthens skin’s resistance to daily external aggressors and improves cellular longevity in order to delay the ageing process.” ¬†It increases skin hydration (hyaluronic acid, urea, glycerin) and contains something called ‘Moistboost’ which sounds absolutely filthy, but apparently is a slow release complex that keeps skin hydrated for up to 5 days (HOW???)

Moisturiser (L) and Serum (R)

Moisturiser (L) and Serum (R)

They both come in serious looking chunky clinical grey packaging and are both pump action, which is an immediate tick from me.

The Serum

The Serum

 The Serum is a light, slightly foamy textured watery feeling gel. One pump goes a surprisingly long way and does both face and neck.

Spread out but not rubbed in.

Spread out but not rubbed in.

I’ve been impressed by the serum; it sinks in very quickly to a matte but not drying finish and my skin feels supple and hydrated and ready for moisturiser immediately. Some serums that are hyaluronic-rich feel like they are actually sucking the life out of my skin even before I’ve managed to get moisturiser on top (go to the back of the class, Hydraluron…) so I was pleased that this didn’t have the same effect. My skin looks more matte and even toned when I apply this, and yes, my skin does feel comfortable all day long without any oily breakouts or patchiness of my base. Does it make my skin look younger? No, but it makes it look¬†perfectly acceptable.

The only downside for me was the smell. Fragrance in products is a bit hit and miss at the best of times; if I love it I really love it, but a smell I don’t like can properly put me off a product. Possibly it’s the PhytoSnowAlgae (No, I don’t know either), but to me it has quite an unpleasant whiff like cheap Vitamin E cream which takes a while to dissipate.

The moisturiser

The moisturiser

To my mind the moisturiser isn’t the best I’ve ever used. It’s quite silicone heavy, which usually doesn’t bother me but does make this feel a little like it’s just “sitting” on my skin, rather than sinking in. So far I have only used it in conjunction with the serum, so maybe it would do better on top of a more ‘brightening’ type treatment.

It’s a white, medium consistency cream which doesn’t smell as much as the serum, thankfully.

Spread out but not rubbed in

Spread out but not rubbed in

It doesn’t make my skin oily, it doesn’t break me out and my skin feels comfortable when I’m wearing it. But I’m a bit ‘meh’ about it. I can’t get excited about applying it for some reason, even though it performs just as well as some much more spendy moisturisers that I own. It just doesn’t feel luxe enough (not sure what I was expecting for the price!) and possibly because I’m using it in tandem with the serum, I’m associating the nasty honk with it.

Overall: Superdrug are always worth keeping an eye on for some surprisingly good low-spend products. On balance I think I’ll go back to the Simply Pure serum when I’ve used this up rather than repurchase -and that’s purely down to the fragrance issue.

What do you think? Have you used these? Is my nose just super sensitive???

Superdrug Optimum Phytosurvive Serum and Day cream cost £12.99 (but are almost constantly on offer) and are available HERE

Info: Purchase