Tuesday, 17 January 2012

dewymatt fullcoverage the perfectbase

Hey everyone,

Hope you are enjoying my beauty blogs. This blog is about foundations and tinted moisterisers. I wrote this before I discovered the amazing Garnier BB Cream so make sure you read that blog for information about that fantastic product.

Right then, much like my obsession with finding the perfect exfoliator, I have spent 10 years looking for the perfect foundation. Im going to be honest right now and say that sadly, there is no perfect one. What I have discovered over the years is that, mixing different foundations, different shades, different coverage with different tinted moisturisers can make a perfect base. I have also found that changing your foundation every 6 - 12 months also helps as if you use the same one for too long you begin to stop noticing a difference to your skin, so have a try of different ones.

I need to point out too that I have quite dry skin, so many of the products that work for may may not work for someone with say, oily skin. However,  do not fret after 10 years of trying and testing I have figured out some good foundations for different skin types.

I also need to point out that although a lot of products and tips I use are cheap and work, however, when it comes to makeup, in particular foundations, I am afraid that you buy cheap, you buy twice. When it comes to makeup, your foundation creates a base, one which needs to be as near to flawless as possible. Blushers, bronzers, etc only highlight your features. So if you are going to invest in some good makeup, make SURE it is your foundation.

Now I have got that out the way, I am going to start with telling all you girlies what I am using currently and what I like about it.

Having always been a lover of Chanel, Dior and Lancome when it comes to make up, I had never had much time for products from MAC, Clinique etc. However, I was in Debenhams a few months ago and a beautiful shop assistant working at MAC had really perfect, flawless skin and I had to ask her what she used. She introduced me to Studio Sculpt which she said she was using. I was dubious at first as it seemed so thick, and I am not a fan of Matt foundations due to the fact I have quite dry skin. It took her a while to find the right shade for my skin, which is also a problem to be faced when buying foundations. Make sure you try before you buy. The assistants at any beauty counter are more than happy to help you out and find the right shade. The last thing you need is to spend £25 on a foundation, get it home and find it makes you look like an orange.

The shade I went for was N15 and the foundation was £23. There are 23 shades to choose from, so do make sure you try them. MAC is great for darker skin tones too as there shades are super varied.

I've got to admit, I love this foundation. It gives great coverage and stays on for hours, however I do find it a bit matt so I tend to mix it with a more dewy foundation ; a fave of mine Chanel Vitalumiere, Satin Smoothing Fluid Foundation. This stuff is a God send and makes your skin look like you've got barely no makeup on, and gives such a dewy, glowy finish. However, on it's own I find it comes off quite quickly and doesn't give much coverage which is not unusual for fluid type makeup. So mix this with a Matt finish foundation for full coverage and a dewy glow. Best of both worlds.

N.B. If you have oily skin, it is best not to use dewy, fluid type foundations as they will slide of your skin in seconds and make your oil prone bits to look even more greasy. Stick to using just Matt finishes such as the MAC Studio Sculpt.

Another great Matt, full coverage foundation is Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. I do love this product but find it leaves me with quite a 'cakey' finish. this is not good for people with dry skin as it will dry your skin out even more and show up your dry bits! I also found that this foundation was very thick, I guess thats why it stays on all day, which it does, but I prefer using it for a night out rather than day time as it really is very thick and Matt. It gives great coverage, and is ideal for people who work all day and need their makeup to stay in place, have oily skin or have blemishes or scars that they wish to cover up. For people with dry skin that want full coverage, and that 'doesn't budge' factor then mix this foundation with a dewy, satin finish like I discussed above. Mixing really does work.

A foundation I stumbled across and I really did get on with was Clinique Even Better foundation. Totally love this foundation. Great for all skin types, full coverage, keeps dry skin hydrated and oil skin at bay! The reason I stopped using this was down to what I said earlier, I never keep the same foundation for more than 6-12 months as I stop seeing an affect. I tend to go back to old foundations and keep them on rotation over the years as once you've found ones you like, it is hard to let go.

I am also loving Dior .... at the moment. It smells lovely and gives great coverage. It is Matt but also gives quite a light, dewy effect on your skin. I mix it with Studio Sculpt and get a perfect result.

Another foundation which I use a lot is Lancome Teint Idole Ultra ,which is oil free so great for oiler skin types. Which is probably why I don't use it too often, as I need to mix it with a tinted moisteriser or a lighter foundation. It is really light and creamy and gives you full coverage but I find it comes off during the day, so you may need to reapply this one!

These are the best foundations on the market at the moment, but remember with foundation, it is very personal. You have to try some out, find the right shade for your skin and mix and match to get a perfect result. Every skin is different and every preference is different. So try different matt ones, different lighter ones and see which you prefer. And remember to MIX.

Which leads me nicely to my next 2 products which I love love love to mix with my foundations if I find my skin needs some extra moisture or if I want to lighten up a Matt look.

Tinted moistrisers are great for so many different things. If you are blessed with perfect skin ( i hate you) and want something just to add a hint of colour and coverage then tinted moisturisers are your best bet.

If you are on holiday and want something just to add a bit of oomph to your skin on the beach or for dinner in the evenings, then tinted moisturisers are great for that.

And if, like me you have dry skin and/or like mixing foundations then they are also fab for that!

The two I have used for years are Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizer and Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. The Laura Mercier one is more of a lightweight coverage than the Bobbi Brown one but they are both amazing. I use one or the other on their own or mix them with my foundation for extra moisture and illumination. If I had to choose a favourite it would be the Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizer!

****I have just just just bought the BRAND spanking new Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation which was only launched this week! It is long lasting yet fluid so brill for all those dry skin's out there! Will let you all know if it is any good!!!*****

All the foundations and tinited moisturisers I have reviewed include SPF 15 which is a must these days!

I hope this post has helped people! Remember to try different ones, change them regularly, find the right shade and mix different ones!

Hope you have enjoyed this post if you have any questions on any foundations I have tried in the past as I really have tried them all then just contact me and I will give you as much advice as I can.

Look out for a little one on my favourite concealers coming soon!!!


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

stoppress theperfect product


I've found it. The perfect skin product. Well, I didn't exactly find it I was recommended it, and wow what a recommendation!

Everyone has been talking about 'BB' creams but I had no idea quite why, until now.

BB cream is almost like a tinted moisturiser but a hell of a lot more. BB stands for Blemish Balm and they are basically hybrid products that combine beneficial skin care with makeup - perfect! They have become massive because of their 'all in one' qualities.

It gives a dewy, light coverage, and completely removes blemishes and pigments in one swoop! I've mixed it with a touch of foundation and the dewy glow has lasted all day long. My skin looked luminous, smoother and I had really even pigmentation. You can use it on its own for a fresh, dewy natural look or mix it with your foundation like I have for the best of both worlds!

This product is great for anyone who suffers from dry skin, blemishes and for the more mature woman, wrinkles as it helps to prevent and help all of the above.

After just 2 uses, my skin feels and looks better when I have it on during the day but also a night time when I remove my makeup my skin feels softer and looks clearer and fresher!

The one that I have tried is the one that is meant to be the best and I can honestly say it is one of the best things I have ever tried. For a VERY modest £9.99 from any Boots store, Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector is my new favourite thing! Thanks Taylor for the recommendation!


in a spot ofbother

Hey everyone,

This blog post is all about spots, the misconceptions of spots and the way I got rid of mine. Read on...you may be surprised!

In 2010 I gradually became inundated with spots. Angry, red spots which appeared all over my chin, around my mouth and on my cheeks.

For someone who is obsessed with their skin, this was a disaster. My friends listened to me moan on an on about how horrible they were and they genuinlely made me feel ugly and I lost a lot of self confidence. It really is crazy how a few spots can make you feel.

I tried everything ; creams, lotions, face masks, sleeping loads, drinking lots of water, eating healthily. Nothing changed.

Eventually, I went to the doctors to see if they could help me out. This is where things got interesting.

Turns out that hormones play a MASSIVE part in the condition of your skin and having not been on any contraceptive pill for a couple of years, my skin was showing that I needed these extra hormones to improve the condition of my skin.

It really is a massive misconception that bad skin is due to not cleaning your face properly, although cleaning it properly helps a lot.

So if you have tried all the products in the world and your skin is not improving, go and see your doctor. You may need to go onto the pill or change your pill.

I was given a cream which literally changed me life. Duac Once Daily cleared my skin in a matter of days. Combining that with a change in pill, transformed my skin. It is to be applied at nighttime and precautions must be taken as it is very strong. I was advised to pop a towel down on my pillow before I went to sleep as the product contains bleach which can bleach material. I forgot to do this a couple of nights and my lovely Laura Ashley pillow covers are no more. The cream can leave your skin very dry so I used plenty of moisturiser in the morning once I had washed it off. If you use it for a month solid it will clear your skin up and I find I only use it once in a while now when I can feel an angry red spot rearing it's ugly head!

Another point I need to stress, from personal experience is that by dosing your skin in heaps of products can actually make it worse. Over exfoliating and over use of chemicals on your skin can actually dry it out causing your skin to over produce oil which leads to spots.

I tend to use a Tea Tree face mask these days which seem to help keep usual spots and blemishes at bay. I have stuck with the Tea Tree one from The Body Shop and use it once a week if I can. It costs around £3 and does the job. Your skin will feel fresh and really clean after just one use.

My spots have completley cleared up now, apart from the odd one, which is normal for everyone. I have been left with a few scars that need makeup to be covered however, a bit of sunshine usually helps and I am looking into Microdermabrasion which is great for pigmentation, scars, wrinkles etc. Sands Salon in Broughton has just started to offer treatments like Microdermabrasion so pop in and have a chat with Louise.

Hope youve enjoyed this and that it has helped anyone who is suffering from spots - I know its not the nicest of topics but a topic which needed to be addressed. My next post, which I keep getting asked about is the foundations, tinted moisturisers and concealers! Look out for it!


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

newbeauty treats

Hey everyone!

Sorry I haven't blogged in ages but this time of year is always so busy! But do not fret, over the Christmas period I have been on the hunt for more brilliant beauty products and have done all the hard work and tried and tested them for you!

So a few little buys which wont set you back too much and that you can spend your Christmas money on......

Still in pursuit of the best Body exfoliator after the tragic discontinuation of my beloved Elle MacPhearson SOS, I have managed to rustle up a couple which I've got to admit have come pretty close.

I have recently discovered Sanctuary Salt Scrub Sachets which are a modest £2 and can be purchased from any Boots store. They are brilliant. They smell amazing and leave your skin feeling brand spanking new! A great treat for dry, dehydrated skin brought on by the cold winter weather.
These little sachets do only last 1 use but as they are so cheap I stock up on them. I use them after I have washed my skin with shower gel using either exfoliating gloves, my own fair hands or an exfoliating sponge. Start on your arms with a handful and work your way down your body and through the sachet. The results are dreamy. The salt particles really work to remove all your dead skin cells and the sachets contain Sea Salt and lots of yummy mineral oils which are well known for the best skin exfoliation.

My second fab exfoliator is new and I spotted it in Boots the second I walked in and is by a company well known for its excellence in body care. Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Cocoa Body Scrub smells delicious and really works and is very cheap at around £4 for a tub. I tend to use that in collaboration with the Sanctuary Salt Scrub as it is more creamy and is very moisturising. I use them together as I tend to find using a vigourous salt scrub can dry your skin out a bit so you need a moisturising scrub to pop back some moisture into your skin. I have applied it to my skin using my hands and exfoliating gloves after to get a really good result!

The next little treat is a facial exfoliator and is by Lancome. I was totally unaware of its existance, which came as a shock, and I now cannot imagine my life without it! Lancome Exfoliance Clarte ( Fresh Exfoliating Clarifying Gel to use mere mortals!) is applied onto wet skin and much like my body exfoliating routine I mix it with A small amount of St Ives Invigorating Facial Scrub for baby soft skin. it comes in a delightful baby blue tube and costs around £16 - really worth that bit of extra cash trust me! Try it for yourself - you will love it, my skin has never felt so soft!

A little hair duo which I have been using for about a month now - given to me by my trusty hairdresser and miracle worker Erica Walters. (If you ever need someone who really understands hair, she is your best bet! She works at Universal Hair Studios which have salons in Broughton and Grange Farm. Contact me for her details but be warned she may make you let her snip of your dead ends, heartbreaking I know,but always for the best I am told! ). Erica recommended this shampoo and deep conditioner to me after I had had a few highlights put in my hair. The bleach had slightly damaged the condition of my hair and it needed a boost!
The shampoo is L'oreal Professionnel and can only be found in salons. It is called Force Vector Glycocell and is pure protein which means it reinforces your hair making it shiny, manageable and healthy! I use this with the Conditioning Mask which I pop on before I use a normal conditioner as that is when the hair cuticles are open, straight after shampooing. Try this combo and your hair will never have looked so healthy! They smell delicious too!

Another little hair treat I found in Boots. Its new...and FAB! Vo5 has never really worked for me apart from their hot oil treatments, but this deep conditioning treatment is amazing. Vo5 'Treat Me Right' (very witty) mask is so thick and creamy and really really works. My hair is so soft and so much easier to manage after using this! I use it in conjuction with the L'oreal Force Vector treatment for a really extra boost! Pop them both on for 10 minutes while you exfoliate and rinse out. Your hair will look, feel and smell incredible.

A little body treat I stumbled upon is part of the Elle MacPhearson BARE collection which I have raved about for years. It is her Ultimate Moisture Body Butter which does exactly what is says on the tub!  Its so thick and creamy and can moisturise the driest of skins in seconds. This is an absolute must for this time of year as our skin is dried out and neglected! I use this after exfoliation and after using my Baby Oil damp skin trick ( refer to older post on body care) and then pop a dressing gown on for a few minutes whilst it soaks in. Do this for the next few weeks and your skin will feel completely different. Come on girls remember it's only 4 months till summer - we need to start prepping now! This body butter can be found in any Boots stores with all the Sanctuary and Elle Macphearson body treats.

Last but certainly not least is a little gem by the fantastic Soap and Glory. I have to be honest when I say I don't like many of their products but they do smell gorgeous. I have sworn by their concealer for years but not much else...until this popped up. The Fab Pore Facial Peel - TRY IT. AMAZING results. It can be found in any Boots stores around the country.

Hope you've enjoyed a little update which will get you all prepped for the New Year ahead. I will be blogging a lot more now Christmas is out the way so keep a look out for all those great beauty buys and tips and tricks I have learnt over the years.


Friday, 2 December 2011

exfoliateexfoliate exfoliate

Anybody who knows me knows I have spent a very large chunk of my life exfoliating, talking about exfoliating and looking for new exfoliators.

I genuinely believe that if you read on and follow these simple steps, you could feel happier in your own body, without losing a pound.

For years I searched around looking for the perfect exfoliator, one that really felt like it was working. and after many years of searching I found it.....but then, as like every product that I get attached too., it was discontinued. Boo! It was Elle MacPhearson's SOS Salt Scrub and it worked miracles.

Anyway, after that heartbreak, I continued my search for the best exfoliator.  I must admit, I have never found a product that was quite like it.

However, there are a few that I have found that work well, and with the method I use, can achieve great results for your skin.

If you haven't exfoliated for a while, or God forbid, ever, then to achieve the best result you need to start with using your exfoliator in dry skin as this helps to remove dead skin cells more vigorously.

There are a 2 different exfoliators I am using at the moment, and I can assure you, there aren't any others out there that are better. Trust me, I have looked and tested every single one I can get my hands on.

There are 3 steps I follow to really get the most out of exfoliating. However, depending on time, you may just want to do one or two.

So start off with using Aveda Caribbean Therapy Body Scrub. It has salt and sugar in which are the 2 best exfoliators and most exfoliators with these things in are the best. It smells divine but be careful as it is quite tricky to use. Make sure you follow these tips and you will be fine.

Aveda Caribbean Therapy Body Scrub

If applying to dry skin, for a more extreme result, then stand in your bathroom on a towel. The towel catches any of the product that doesn't make it onto your skin, and you can use it later.

Scoop a handful of the scrub into your hands and massage it into your palms for a few seconds. Then start with your arms and rub the scrub vigorously over your whole body, paying particular attention to your knees and elbows and also the tops of your arms. Most people have dry, uneven skin on the tops of their arms so this helps to get rid of this and prevent it from reappearing.

Once you have scrubbed your whole body, get in the shower. Rinse the scrub off.

For those who are applying the scrub on damp skin then before you apply it, wash your body with a shower gel first. I have been using Johnson's 24hour Moisture Extra Rich Body Wash for 5 years and when I use something else, I really can feel the difference. This shower gel works wonders and really does moisturise as it cleans. Brilliant for dry skin.

Johnson's 24hour Moisture Extra Rich Body Wash

As you can see, the products I use aren't all really pricey. The real reason for this is because I don't just look for products that are in a high price range. I look for products that actually work and make a difference.

So, once you have washed your body, turn the shower head away from you, so that your skin and dry off a bit. By applying the scrub to damp skin instead of wet skin, the scrub can really work.

Again, apply the scrub from your neck down to your feet, in vigourous circular motions. I often sit down in the shower whilst I do this. Once you've tired this out you will realise why. It is a tad tricky to try and scrub your entire body standing up. Sitting down helps me to really get to those hard to reach areas, and give them a good scrub!

I then reach for a different exfoliator. The one i am using at the moment is Sanctuary Revive Invigorating Body Rub. It smells like heaven and works well. I pop that onto my exfoliating gloves and start the scrubbing process again. really go for it this time, put your back into it.

Sanctuary Revive Invigorating Body Rub

Everybody should own a pair of exfoliating gloves. You can use them with a scrub for double exfoliation or use them with a shower gel in between using a scrub to gentle sift off dead skin cells. I use them in conjunction with a scrub on days when I have more time. The gloves i swear by and have been using for years are Sanctuary Exfoliating Gloves  which can be found in any Sanctuary section at Boots. I have found that quite recently, much to my dismay, these gloves are often out of stock. But don't panic, I have found a similarly priced alternative.
Soap and Glory Exfoliating Scrub Gloves will put you back about £4 and are lovely and pink, which looks great in your bathroom. They do work a treat but I only ever use them if I can't find the Sanctuary ones.

Soap and Glory Exfoliating Scrub Gloves

I change my gloves approximately every month as I find they lose their strengh after about 4 weeks and don't work as well. So keep changing them, it's worth it.

Having done that, I grab ANOTHER sponge. You can get them from pretty much everywhere and cost about 99p. They have the rough white part on the top and a spongy bit on the bottom. I often get the pink ones as they look cuter in your bathroom.

The rough part of this sponge exfoliated the skin and removes dead cells and its very vigorous and you really feel like you have new skin after using it. I use this is conjunction with either scrub I have discussed, however, like before, depending on how much time I have, I may use it with just my shower gel.

This may sound like a long time, but once you have made it your routine it only takes 10 minutes, sometimes less. If time really isn't on your side then cut out 2 methods and just do one but make sure at least once a week you use all three if you really want to benefit from it.

So lets just recap:

  • Use a salt based scrub on dry or damp skin, massage over the whole body.
  • Rinse off and then sit down/stand up and apply another exfoliator, with a more creamy texture
  • Put on exfoliating gloves and squeeze on some exfoliator.
  • Scrub away
  • Use a cheap exfoliating sponge, using the rough,course part on the top. Use from head to toe in conjunction with a shower cream or a scrub. 
  • Rinse off 
I usually do all of this whilst I have a deep conditioning treatment on my hair as it saves time and makes sure the mask has had ample time to soak on. I will be discussing hair care in another blog so look out for that!

Once out the shower I immediately apply Johnson's Baby Oil to wet skin. I started doing this a good few years ago and I use it either alone or in conjunction with another moisturiser. I massage that into wet skin and leave for a few seconds then PAT dry with a towel.

Johnson's Baby Oil

 I then follow with Clinique Turnaround Body Cream or if I am staying in for the night I apply Clinique Deep Comfort Body Moisture which is a lot thicker but really soaks in and works it's magic.

Clinique Turnaround Body Cream
Clinique Deep Comfort Body Moisture

So there you have it! That is the best and only way to get beautifully soft and subtle skin and I can guarantee that your skin will feel amazing straight away but if you carry on with this routine it can really change your skin forever. You will feel happier in your skin too, as if it looks great then you will feel great. Trust me, if I ever feel rubbish I just get scrubbing as it makes me feel better about my body straight away.

Many people may laugh and think what a waste of time but remember your skin is your body's largest organ and taking care of it now will be worth it in the future.
I won't go on about how important exfoliating and moisturising is as Im guessing you would have realised I wouldn't have spent time writing a blog about it if it wasn't important.

My next blog is going to be on getting rid of spots followed by a special blog on Foundations and Tinted Moisturisers.



Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Removing your makeup and cleaning your skin before bed is essential as during the night your body replenishes and repairs your skin. Using the right products before bed will guarantee your body repairing it to its full potential.

I start off by removing my eye makeup. having tried and tested numerous eye makeup removers I have found that oil based ones are a God send for removing stubborn mascaras and liquid eyeliners. Despite it being able to remove my vast amounts of mascara it is also very gentle and you don't feel like it is damaging the precious skin around your eyes. THE BEST EYE MAKEUP REMOVER EVER is a very modest £3 and is Johnson's Daily Essentials Eye Make Up Remover for all skin types.

Johnson's Daily Essentials Eye Make Up Remover

With many products such as makeup and moisturisers, the more you pay the better the result but this is not always the case as i have found out through the years. And, having tried Chanel, Dior, Clinique, Lancome and many other expensive brand eye makeup removers I have found the best one for a mere £3.

Okay so once the eye makeup has been removed I use a face wipe to remove the first layer of make up from my face. Again, having tried numerous face wipes, I always go back to Johnson's Baby Wipes as they remove make up and dirt and have NO chemicals in them whatsoever.USE THEM. 

Johnson's Baby Wipes

Having done that I use and old trick which I promised i'd never tell anyone but here it goes.

Use a cotton wool pad and pour a 50p piece of Johnson's Baby Oil onto it and wipe that over your face. You will be amazed at what happens. The makeup residue and dirt clings to the oil and you are left with a makeup free face. Do this as many times as needed to remove all makeup traces.
Johnson's Baby Oil

Your face may feel greasy after this so just swipe a baby wipe over your face to get rid of any excess oil.

So now all the make up is removed I then go onto using a cleanser and clarifying lotion.

I have 2 cleansers that I swear by and depending on how much time I have will depend on which one I use.

If im shattered and only have a few minutes I will use Lancome Galatee Confort (in English, Comforting cleansing milk). I have used this for over 5 years and swear by it. Its very gentle and so creamy and leaves your skin feeling fab.Pump the bottle 2/3 times and swipe the cleanser over your face using a cotton pad.

Lancome Galatee Confort 

I follow this with Clinique's Clarifying Lotion, which will make your face tingle a bit but that just means its working. Again, swipe this over your face using a cotton pad. This clarifying lotion exfoliates the skin, removes dirt, opens pores and evens out skin tone which helps create a smoother appearance. Check at Clinique for the right one for you as there are different ones for different skin types.This one if for dry/combination skin. 

Clinique's Clarifying Lotion

On the evenings where I want to have a proper good clean I use Liz Earle's Hot Cloth Polish which was recommended to me by a friend when i broke out in spots. WOW is all i can say about this product. Try it - you wont be disappointed. 

Liz Earle's Hot Cloth Polish

Follow with moisturiser or night cream. I tend to use a thick lip balm before bed so whilst Im sleeping my lips care be repaired. I use Blistex Relief Cream. It really is the only thing that will actually rid you of dry cracked lips.

Then I sleep, sleep, sleep.

In my next blog I will be discussing body skincare.